A/N: So I was dreaming about Edward and Bella… yes I know, I have a sick obsession, but my dream was an interesting one so I decided I would write it down before I forgot and continue it the story. This is the start of it. Enjoy, review, critique, the usual…
EDIT: The first chapters are being beta'd by ARenee363, I will repost as they come back. Here's the first new and improved chapter.
As usual, Twilight and all characters belong to S. Meyer. I would be rich otherwise…
Prologue – So Cruel
The aisle was lined with gardenias and hydrangeas. My parents sat in the first pew, my mother dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief. We stood at the front of the church facing each other, hand-in-hand. I was in my white gown and baby blue bow; Edward was in his light gray tuxedo and matching baby blue vest. All eyes were on us, some with tears of joy, others smiling, all waiting in anticipation.
"Do you, Isabella Marie Swan, take this man, Edward, to be your lawfully wedded husband?" the priest asked.
"I do." The smile on my face was miles wide. I was finally marrying the love of my life. I thought I saw Edward grimace, but I figured it was just nerves.
"Do you, Edward Anthony Cullen, take this woman, Isabella, to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
I raised my brows and gently squeezed his hands, prodding him to answer, but nothing came. I could feel his heart beating rapidly through his palms. He stared at me and that was when I saw the fear. Emmett nudged Edward from behind so he could respond. Nothing.
"Edward," the priest started, "we need an answer, son."
"I…I don't know." There was a loud gasp from the audience.
My mouth dropped in shock. "What?" I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I had to have heard wrong. He wanted to marry me, there was no way he would change his mind.
"I don't know."
"No…" I was shaking my head. "What do you mean, 'I don't know?' That's not an option. It's yes or no." The tears were starting to fall from my eyes.
"Bella, baby, please don't cry." His face was torn with anguish.
"What the hell, Edward? Everyone's waiting for you. Don't fuck this up now?" Rose chimed in from behind me.
"Bella, can we go somewhere and talk?"
"No," I said firmly. "I think you've embarrassed me enough by not giving an answer. Whatever you have to say can be said in front of everyone." I was sure it couldn't get any worse. I could, from the corner of my eye, see my father fuming with rage.
"Bella…" he started. "I can't marry you. Not yet. Not today."
"Why not?" I questioned through gritted teeth.
"Please. I love you totally and completely, but I'm not ready for this and I'm definitely not ready after what I did to you. I don't deserve you."
"Did to me?" I was confused. I'd never had a problem with Edward. He was the perfect man in every way. He loved me unconditionally and he was the greatest lover in the world. "What did you do to me?"
"Ummm…well…" His eyes shifted around the room, trying to avoid my angry glare.
"Oh, just spit it out already, Edward," Rose demanded.
"I slept with Tanya…and with Lauren."
I took me a moment to register what happened next, but the stinging in my hand told me that I just slapped Edward across the face, staggering him back.
"When the hell was this?" I thought back to all the nights he worked late. I had trusted him; he told me he only had eyes for me. "How many times?" I seethed.
He was stunned into silence.
"A couple of times. It was those times that I told you I was working double shifts."
"All of those times? That's more than a couple."
"No," he answered sheepishly, "just the past few months. I was scared of losing you. I didn't think I was good enough for you. I never meant for this to happen…"
Before I could say anything, Jacob leapt up from a few rows back and lunged for Edward. Before Edward could get out of the way, Jacob punched him.
"Fuck him, Bella. He hurt you. He doesn't deserve any mercy. He certainly doesn't deserve you. You should have married me like you were supposed to and this wouldn't be happening," he barked.
"Are you kidding me, Black? You punch me and then make a play for my wife at the same time?" Edward questioned, wiping at the blood at the corner of his mouth with his knuckles. He looked ready to fight.
I looked at Edward incredulously. "Excuse me?" I pushed him. "You're wife?" I pushed him back some more. "You never answered, remember? I am no one's wife and I never will be! I won't be a Black." I glared at Jacob. "And I certainly won't be a Cullen." I turned back to Edward. "I can't believe I was so stupid."
I turned and began walking down the aisle and out of the church.
"Bella! Stop, please! I want to talk about this!" Edward yelled. I ignored him and continued. I took my veil off and dropped it at the door. I took one glance back barely noticing the crowd or the murmurs; my eyes were focused solely on Edward. He was still standing, pleading for me to come back with his eyes. I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. He had been my everything. I was scared and suddenly alone, but I knew I had to get out of there.
The last thing I heard was "I love you" followed by a punch.