I still do not own Twilight... Damnit!

Thank you Leigh & Lisa pf Project Team Beta for your time and patience on this one.

BPOV

I sat down on my bed and wrapped my arms around a pillow. Not helping. I stood up and paced around the room. Still not helping. What the hell was I going to do? I had to figure out a way to see Edward. I knew my dad thoughthe can control the situation, but it was an extremely naïve idea. What Edward and I had was a force too strong for any one person to control. He will not win.

I sat back down on the bed and tried to form a plan. Perhaps, once Charlie was sound asleep, I could sneak downstairs and call him. It was a very simple plan, but effective nonetheless. Of course, that was assuming he didn't unplug the phone and take it to bed with him. Come to think of it, that seemed like a good possibility.

I stood up and resumed my pacing. Perhaps I could sneak out and walk to his house. It would probably take half the night, but I was sure I could make it. All I would have to do was make sure I didn't get spotted or killed in the process. Hmm, killed. That doesn't sound good. Maybe I could just walk to a pay phone.

I heard the sound of the bathroom door creaking shut, and I froze, waiting to see if it would be followed by the sound of running water. Seconds later, I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the glorious sound that confirmed my suspicions. Charlie was taking a shower. Now was my chance.

I tiptoed down the stairs and into the living room. Stopping only to grab my coat, I made my way out the door and began walking toward the street. I had failed to really think this through, but I realized that I no longer cared. I had to get to him somehow, and I had to do it now.

Damn, if only I hadn't left all my stuff at Rosalie's house!

I'd never been one to rely on a cell phone, but this was an emergency. I quickened my pace, trying to put as much distance between me and the house as I could. Charlie wasn't known for spending long amounts of time in the shower, so I knew I didn't have long to try and pull this off. Seeing the street corner approaching, I paused, trying to think of the nearest convenience store with a pay phone. There was a small curb market about a half a mile down the street to the left. If I jogged the whole way, I should be able to make it.

I turned the corner and soon realized I was running like the devil himself was chasing me. Several cars sped by, and I could only imagine how I must look to them. No matter; they were the least of my worries right now. However, when one came creeping up behind me, I felt my heart skip a couple of beats.

Just great, Bella. It's probably an ax murderer.

I kept running, picking up my pace even more and willing the car to simply go on its way. However, when the car came up right beside me, I saw the familiar silver that brought me to an abrupt stop.

Edward.

He stopped the car in the middle of the street, and the window rolled down. "Bella, what in the hell are you doing running down the street?"

Panting and out of breath, I tried to answer. "I was… had to…" With hot tears streaming down my cheeks, I climbed into the passenger's seat and crashed into his chest. "Oh, Edward!"

His arms folded around me, and we clung to each other. "Shh. It's okay, Bella. I'm here now. Everything's okay."

I could have stayed that way forever, but I knew we had to keep moving. "Um, Edward? I think we should probably keep driving."

Without another word, he let me go and proceeded toward our destination, wherever that was. I sat back and pulled down the visor so that I could clean up my face in the mirror. However, as horrible as my reflection looked, there was something even more disturbing glaring at me in the reflection. I gasped and began to examine the car.

"What's going on? Why is your car all packed up? Are we running away?"

"No," he said with uncertainty. "Not exactly."

I started to feel nervous. Something was definitely not right here. "Well, what then? Where were you going just now?"

Edward's grip tightened on the steering wheel. "I was coming to see you, actually."

I stared at him, shocked but flattered by the gesture. "You were? Even after Charlie…"

"I was going to try." His eyes remained on the road, his face expressionless. "I didn't know what was going to happen when I got there, but I was determined to see you."

His face looked very sullen. I knew the past two day's events were wearing on all of us, but he looked too intense, as if he was mourning the death of someone. "I don't understand."

He sighed. "I know."

"So, what about this stuff in your car?" I let my eyes do a quick inventory of the contents shoved into the back of the car. There was a duffel bag overflowing with clothes, CD's, books, and a ton of musical equipment. "My God, Edward! It looks like you have all your belongings in here!"

"It's not everything, but a good portion of it," he said, his voice barely more than a whisper.

We continued driving around the local suburbs. Either there was no real destination, or Edward was stalling. "What are we doing?" I asked after a few moments of uncomfortable silence.

He reached over and took my hand in his. "Bella, we need to talk."

"Yeah, I agreed. "We need a plan,"

He shook his head. "Just wait, please. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Some things have happened that I need you to know about."

No shit. Our world had turned into the roller coaster ride from hell in the last forty-eight hours. I hadn't even had time to process one thing before another came along. "Edward, if this about Charlie, I know how difficult he's being."

"Actually, this is about my dad."

My heart sped up. I knew that if his dad was involved, it had to be really bad. "What's Carlisle done now?"

"Yeah, um, about that," he said sarcastically. "As it turns out, Carlisle is not my real father."

"WHAT?"

He frowned. "Don't make me repeat it. This is hard enough as it is."

I stared at him incredulously, not really knowing what to say. It didn't make any sense. "But how is that even possible?"

Calmly, emotionlessly, he explained, "Esme had an affair. Well, she's had many. I kind of knew that much, but I had no idea that it had happened that long ago."

What do you say to that? I was pretty sure there wasn't anything I could say that would help. I took a deep breath and said the only thing that came to mind. "Well, you seem to be handling it well."

He laughed bitterly. "I don't know about all that, but it does explain a few things."

He pressed on the gas, and I watched the houses and trees blurred as we passed by them. "How are we going to handle this?"

He turned to look at me, squeezing my hand almost to the point where it was painful. "My whole life has been a lie. How does one handle that?"

I flexed my fingers, and he took the hint, loosening his grip a little. "I have no answers, Edward." I let out a sigh, feeling completely useless at that moment. "What do you want to do about it?"

We came to a stop sign, and he turned to face me. "Bella, I have to leave. I need to get as far away from here as possible."

"To find your dad or to get away from Esme and Carlisle?"

"Both, maybe. I don't know. To find myself as well, I suppose."

I couldn't help but smile at this. Despite the bad circumstances, I was ready to get away. "Okay. So, where should we go?"

His returned his attention to the road, and we started down another street. "I don't think you understand, Bella. I can't take you with me."

My stomach churned; my heart skipped a beat. Surely I hadn't heard that right. "Wh—what do you mean? You can't leave me."

"Bella, I have to. I'm sorry, but I ha—"

"No!" I screamed, jerking my hand from his grasp. "We can't be separated. Not now, not ever." My mind started running at top speed, desperately trying to process what was happening. His words were clear enough, and yet they couldn't possibly mean what he seemed to be implying.

"I know. I feel the same way, but it's not that simple."

I began to sob. "Why not?"

"Because I have to go," he said matter-of-factly.

I folded my arms across my chest, the decision finalizing within me. "Fine. Like I said, I'll go with you."

"You have to stay here. Finish school. I can't let you throw your life away."

"It's my choice," I said stubbornly.

"No."

I'd reached my breaking point. I was sick and tired of everyone in my life making all my choices for me. I got so much of that from the other people around me, and it was just too much to have Edward do it to me, too. "Don't you understand? You are my life. To lose you would be throwing my life away."

The Volvo was barely creeping along at this point, Edward more focused on me than driving. "You may not see it now, but someday you'll understand why I refuse to let you screw up your life for me."

"Don't you love me?" I asked, the tears sliding down my cheeks.

He reached out and stroked my wet face, wiping the away the tears as they fell. "More than anything."

"Then don't do this. Stay. Stay here and be with me. Next summer, we'll leave here together just like we planned, and we can go find your dad. We'll do whatever you need to do." I could see his face hardening as I spoke. He was trying to stay strong, and he was so much stronger than me.

"This is something I have to do alone. Don't you see? I don't even know who I really am. My entire life has been a lie. How can I plan for the future when I don't even know the past? You say you love me, but you don't even know who I truly am!"

"That's not true." My voice cracked. "I know you."

"I don't even know me. The person I thought I was isn't real."

I felt cold all of a sudden. Very cold. "I don't believe that," I said as I felt my body start to shake.

"Believe the lie if that's what you need, but I'm not coming back until I find out the truth."

So, he was coming back? That wasn't what he'd said, but it seemed to be implied. I could live with that. It would be hard, but he was worth it. "Then I guess I'll be waiting for you when you're done."

"No, Bella. I can't have you put your life on hold for me. I have no idea how long this will take. We're talking about an entire lifetime of lies here. It may be a year. Then again, it may be ten."

I looked down and placed my hands in my lap, trying not to fidget. "It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does. I've messed up here. Everything I touch seems to turn to shit." He paused as we came to a red light, but avoided my eyes as if it hurt to look at me. "I've done enough damage to you already."

Damage? How could he even think that? He hadn't damaged me. He'd encouraged me, liberated me, awakened me, but never damaged. That is, not until now. "And you think this won't? Damage me, I mean?"

The light turned green, and he pushed down on the gas. "I'm so sorry, Bella," he mumbled.

It was then that I felt a new emotion filling me. This time it was anger. "You're sorry! That's the best you can do? I give you my heart, and you just throw it back at me like it was nothing. Well, I'm sorry, but sorry isn't good enough.

He winced at my outburst but remained even-tempered, almost melancholy. "You deserve so much better than me, someone who is a whole person, not just a few broken pieces."

Screw that! "Don't I have a say in this?"

"Not this time."

The car slowed, and I realized we were nearing my house. "Please! Let's just keep driving for now," I begged him.

"I have to take you home, Bella."

I became frantic; everything was happening too fast. "But I'm not ready to go yet. I don't even know when I'll see you again."

He eyed me carefully as I panicked, his own pain evident on his face. "I know, but I'm pretty sure you failed to tell Charlie what you were up to. I'd hate to see us end up back at the police station."

We pulled into the driveway, and I was overcome by my emotions. I lunged at him, attacking his lips with urgency. "Edward, please don't leave me," I pleaded between kisses.

"I'm sorry," he whispered sympathetically as he held my face against his. "I'm so sorry."

All of a sudden, the passenger door opened, and we were met by a very angry, red-faced Charlie with a shotgun in his hand. "Bella, get out of the car."

The tears were pouring out of me so fast now that I could hardly see, and I clung to Edward's shirt for dear life. "Please, Edward! You can't do this to me!"

"Now, Bella," Charlie said with a voice of authority.

Edward's body stiffened, and he carefully pried my hands from his shirt. "Bella, you have to go with your father now."

I could feel strong hands gripping my waist. It was my dad, pulling me out of the car by force. I fought him with everything that I had, grasping at anything within reach. I knew my actions were useless, but I refused to let go. Edward watched silently, and I noticed he too had tears falling down his cheeks. Finally, Charlie had me completely out of the car. Just as he was closing the door, I heard Edward's voice for the last time.

"I love you, Bella."

"Edward!" I screamed as I fell to the ground, refusing to help my dad carry me, refusing to stand. I watched through my tears as the silver Volvo made its way down the street and out of my life. Edward was gone. No more silver, no more bronze, no more green. Gone.

My chest hurt… badly. I imagined the pain to be what a heart attack would feel like. It took me a moment before I realized just what it was. It was my heart, breaking into pieces. I'd always thought that was just an expression, but it was now all too real. I felt strong arms wrap around me again, scooping me up from the ground. Then I noticed the light slip away as my world faded to black.


A/N: So there you have it. This was an expecially difficult chapter for me to write, and it really hit home for me. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Be sure to leave me a review! Thanks for reading!