Disclaimer: All Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
A/N: If you haven't read Fearless, you really should read that first. This story will not make as much sense if you haven't read it. I got a lot of emails with ideas for alternate POVs. When I looked over the list, I found it was most of the story. So I thought, why don't I just work my way through the story, telling different sections from different characters POVs. I think it will be fascinating to explore what the other characters were thinking as Edward tried to battle his own monsters.
That said, this is the prologue, told from Elizabeth's (his mom) POV. Enjoy!
"Mom," I turned my head and saw my ten year old son crawling towards me. The part of my heart that I kept locked away rattled in my chest when I saw the familiar green eyes and messy bronze hair. I closed my eyes for a second, hating that he saw me this way. "Are you okay?"
"Edward, baby you need to get back to your room." I didn't want to look at him right now. I was ashamed of what I had become, a punching bag for a drunk. It wasn't supposed to be this way. I had found a man to love. A good, wonderful man that I loved with my whole heart.
"No," the child said defiantly. He took a towel and pressed it to the cut on my forehead.
"I'm fine, please honey, get back to your room." He shook his head and continued to kneel next to me. Why did he have to be so difficult? Why didn't he understand that it hurt me to look at him? As a child, he possessed some of the same features as his father. The green eyes, the bronze hair that both were blessed with. But as he grew older, the resemblance strengthened. His facial features, his expressions, even the way he talked were so similar to the man I had loved.
"Can you sit up," he asked, whispering as if the noise would bring my husband home. How I hated calling him that. James, the man I married was definitely not my husband. Edward helped me to a sitting position. I watched those green eyes as they examined me for more injuries.
For the most part, I was fine. Just a bump on the head from where I hit the table. It was more my pride that hurt. The humiliation of what I had become. I stood up, weaving slightly as I felt a rush of dizziness. Edward was by my side immediately, pressing against me to help me stay standing. I put my hand on his shoulder to steady myself as I fought the urge to shove him away. "I need to clean up," I told him. The room had taken the brunt of James' rage and I knew if he came home and saw the mess it would simply set him off again.
Edward nodded and began to quietly pick up the pillows, chairs and lamps that had been knocked over. I watched him silently. A now familiar question raged through my mind. Why had he survived and not his father? Why? Why had the only man I would ever love been ripped away from me?
We were almost done picking up the room when the front door opened. Immediately, Edward threw his little body in front of me. "Edward," I gasped as I put my hands on his shoulders. I tried to push him out of the way, afraid that if James saw him there he would lose it and beat me worse. But the child fought me and stayed standing in front of me.
James walked into the room and I saw his pale blue eyes focus on Edward standing in front of me.
"You are supposed to be in your room," he sneered, coming closer. His eyes flickered to me and I unconsciously tightened my hands on Edward's shoulders. He was not happy.
Then I heard Edward speak, his voice brave, despite the tremors I could feel shaking his small body. "You won't hurt her anymore tonight."
He laughed, then his hand snapped out and back handed Edward across the face. I kept him upright, still holding on to his shoulders.
"So you are a big man now, huh?" James laughed loudly. I could feel Edward's head nodding up and down. James looked at me now and I fought the urge to cower. A part of me wanted Edward to shut up and go back to his room. He was only making things worse with this show of bravery. "So, it appears you have a protector."
I didn't know how to answer that, I didn't want to set him off again. Then he grabbed Edward's shoulder and I completely expected him to shove the boy away and come after me. But his pale eyes focused on the child and the child nodded slowly. Then I watched James pull his small frame closer to the closet. I knew the closet held a belt. James had only used the belt on me once. I felt the remembered bite of pain.
"No!" I gasped, not wanting to feel that pain anymore.
"Mom," Edward said. My eyes flew to his and I saw the sparkling tears in the green depths. "Go to your room, I will be fine." Wait, what? Edward was telling me to go? I think I missed something in my panic. "Go," he whispered. "I'm fine." My confused eyes looked from the child, to the hand gripping his shoulder, to the man I had married.
"Edward…" I whispered again, not at all sure about this.
"Go!" he said again, firmly. I stared at him for a second and then realized this was my way out. Edward was going to take the belt for me. I nodded and then raced from the room.
When I got to my room, I sat on my bed, staring at me hands. I had closed the door, but I could still hear the muffled sounds of the leather belt smacking tender skin. A part of me knew this was wrong. I knew that I shouldn't let my own child be hurt, that I should be out there, protecting him at all costs. But I couldn't bring myself to do that.
I went to my closet and pulled out a shoebox. With the box in hand, I returned to the bed. Gently I lifted the lid and smiled at the sight that met me. "Edward," I breathed as I looked at my husband's smiling face. I loved him so much. So incredibly much. I had met him my freshman year of high school. After that, we had been inseparable. There was never a doubt in my mind that we didn't belong together. And then, when he proposed during our senior year, I truly believed all my dreams had come true. There was nothing else I wanted from my life. Just a man to love and cherish.
Then I had gotten pregnant. Edward had been ecstatic. During those nine months, he would look at me with such love and adoration. Then he would gently cradle my stomach and talk to our unborn child.
Even though I had been excited about the prospect of having a child, I had been a little more hesitant. Unsure of where a child would fit in our lives.
When Edward Jr. was born, my life changed forever. If I let myself, I could still remember that day in the hospital when he was born. I had been watching my Edward as he cradled his son for the first time. He had looked at the baby with the same love and adoration that used to be only reserved for me. I felt it then, snaking through me like a venom. Jealousy. Jealous of my own child.
I tried to put it away, tried not to think about it. I forced it away and tried my hardest to be the perfect mom. Mostly because I didn't want to disappoint my Edward. It wasn't hard. Our son was such a sweet child, so happy and loving. He rarely cried, even when he was a baby. Honestly, he gave us no trouble. A dream child. In fact, most of our friends gushed at our perfect family.
Then, on that fateful Fourth of July, it was all destroyed. I will never forget that accident and crawling over to my one true love. But he hadn't seen me. Instead, he had looked only at the child, the one I always suspected he loved more than me. I had heard him tell Edward that he loved him just before his eyes closed forever.
I opened my eyes and found myself sitting on the bed in my small, dirty house. It was silent now and I hastily moved to put the box away. I couldn't let James ever find it. I knew he would destroy it and I couldn't handle that.
Quietly, I opened the door and was met by more silence. James must have gone to the bar, to get even drunker. Great. I made my way down to the next door. It was opened and I peaked my head inside. Edward lay on his bed, on his stomach, sleeping soundly. I tiptoed closer to him. He was facing me, one of his tiny hands lay on his pillow, tightened in a fist. I saw the dried tears on his cheek, the droplets that still clung to his long eyelashes. Carefully I lifted the shirt of his pajamas and hissed when I saw the deep red welts stripped across his back.
I sat gently on his bed, but he stayed asleep. I placed his shirt back down and he made a small whimpering sound as the shirt touched the raw marks. I tried to find some pity, some sympathy, even some anger that this had been done to my child. But I couldn't find. I felt relief that it wasn't me. And some part of me felt like he deserved it because he had taken my husband's love away from me.
"I'm sorry," I whispered to his sleeping form. "I know you don't understand. But I think this is for the best. You know your father wouldn't want me to be hurt." He wouldn't want his son to be hurt either. The tiny voice tried to make itself be heard within my mind, but I blocked it out. I nodded to myself and then stood up. He was young and resilient, he'd be fine. Satisfied, I turned and walked out of the room.
A/N So there is Elizabeth's side of that first scene. I hope it helps you understand why she never protected Edward. Do I agree with her? Heck no, I could never in a million years treat a child like she treated Edward. But I'm hoping it makes more sense now. Please review and tell me what you think. Is this a good idea? Should I continue? Thank you so much!