Based on the song "Finally Free" by Dream Theater
Summary: Isabella "Bella" Swan, a young girl, fell madly in love with Jacob "Black" Cullen, a troubled young man addicted to alcohol, cocaine, and gambling. When Isabella tires of Jacob's addictions she seeks comfort from his brother State Senator Edward Cullen. A torrid affair ensues leaving Isabella crushed and Edward obsessed with this young girl.
Time: July 27, 1928
The waxing crescent moon was just coming up over the tree line as a seemingly lost man ambled off a dark dirt road. Clutched in his right hand was a bloodied handkerchief, in his left a folded scrap of paper stained in the same blood that soaked through the handkerchief. The figure only had a few moments left before the sirens in the distance found him. His heart pounded against his chest, his breathing became unsteady, and the palms of his hands were soaked in a mixture of his sweat and their blood.
Laying in front him, just off the beaten path, were two bodies; a man, really just a boy, and a woman, a girl really. Clutched in the dead man's hand – an old Colt pistol, a leftover from The War to End All Wars. The dark figure reached down and slipped the folded piece of paper in the dead man's pocket. In the distance police sirens grew closer and closer. He hadn't much time, the quicker he moved the sloppier he got. He hurriedly shoved the stained cloth over one of the two bullet wounds the girl suffered. He applied clumsy pressure to the bullet wound just above the poor girl's heart, with extreme luck his well laid plan would not go astray.
On the road tires screeched to a halt and the sirens stopped. Two pairs of shoes shuffled along the dirt and on to the grass around him. In the dim moonlight around the two policemen were able to make out the shape of a man kneeling over the corpses. Sergeant O'Rourke, a round man nearing fifty with bright red mutton chops, flicked his flashlight on. He shined it in the kneeling man's face.
"Hold it right there, young man." O'Rourke said in a gravely voice thick with an Irish accent, "Let me see your face." His free hand rested on the butt of his service revolver.
The young man tilted his face up at the two officers, squinting, shielding his eyes from the dim light cast off by flashlight.
"Excuse us, Senator Cullen sir." The other officer, Marsdon, stammered. Aaron Marsdon, a tall blond kid of clear Nordic descent, was fresh out of the academy and unnerved at the prospect of having to arrest the only living son of the most powerful and well connected man in Albany.
"I tried to stop him. I did." Edward Cullen's voice was choked with fake sadness as false tears streamed down his face.
In the moonlight the officers brought out two large linen bags and carefully placed the young girls body in one and the young mans in the other; all under the tear stained eyes of State Senator Edward Cullen.
The sun beat down on Albany, New York as Edward Cullen paced listlessly through his office; his thoughts focused solely on his new obsession: Bella Swan a young girl that has haunted his thoughts for far too many weeks now; her warm brown eyes, her dark chestnut hair, her beautiful pale skin, her delicate features. None of it could escape his troubled mind. Her face was burned into his minds' eye; every time he dared to close his malicious hazel eyes her face would be staring back at him.
He ran his shaking hands through his tangled bronze hair that hadn't been washed in days; his normally immaculate black pen-striped suit was disheveled his red power tie was loosened to the point where he could easily slip it. His already pale skin seemed to grow to pallor with the lack of sleep he had willingly endured to obsess over his supposed love.
On his desk was an open bottle of twenty year old single malt scotch, a present from his father when he was elected to the New York State Senate, the youngest state senator in the history of New York at the age of twenty-five. Next to the bottle was an empty glass; the remnants of a single ice cube causing the glass to sweat and leave a ring of perspiration on the hundred year old desk, one of the many trappings of his current office.
"After all I've done for her. She goes back to him!" He slurred, yelling at the empty office around him. He grabbed the bottle off the desk taking a long drink; the alcohol burned his throat as it went down.
"She told me a new love was born for each one that died!" He spat! He was meant to have her, not his brother. "His was the love that died! Mine is the one meant to live!" Edward collapsed breathlessly onto the cold hard wood floors. He sobbed breathlessly to the empty room around him. His mind wandered back weeks before, to the first time Bella came to him. She cried against his strong arms all night as she poured out her soul. He could still feel her soft, warm skin against his.
'She loves me, I know she does.' His mind idly thought through his drunken haze.
A wicked thought crossed his mind; he dragged himself to his feet, feebly attempting to smooth out his wrinkled suit. If he couldn't have his Bella, his beautiful, neither could his drug addled brother. He took another swig of the quickly diminishing scotch, relishing in the burn he felt in his throat.
He walked around the desk, taking a pen and paper out of the top drawer of the desk; he sat back in his black leather wing back chair. He sloppily twisted the cap to his fountain pen off; the cap fell carelessly to the Mahoney floors below.
Trying to focus through the scotch induced haze; he gripped the pen tighter in his hand as he started to write. Edward's handwriting was sloppy, evidence of his inebriated state; his current drunkenness is what he would need for his plan to take shape.
There is this feeling deep in my heart, my dearest Beauty: like I've finally found the love of my life. I need you my love, to break free from the problems of my life. Without you the world is dark; I would much rather be dead than to live without you.
Edward quickly scratched the note out, crumpling it up he set it on fire with his cigarette lighter; letting it burn itself out in a metal wastepaper basket; the note was too coherent, not the ramblings of dope fiend. He snatched another piece of paper from a ream sitting on the corner of his desk; he wrote again in furious hast, letting his handwriting wonder further in large sweeping loops intermixed with short choppy strokes.
This feeling inside me. I've finally found my love; and I've finally broken free. No longer am I torn into two. I'd take my own life before losing you.
An evil smile curled across his twisted red lips as he casually folded the note, slipping it neatly in the inside breast pocket of his wrinkled suit. "Who are they going to believe, a drunken degenerate gambler, or a state senator?" He slurred to the near empty bottle of scotch in front of him; laughing in a manner only inebriated people can manage. "Me! They're all going to believe me." He pounded his chest in a furious manner, standing up form his chair.
He sat silently waiting for the right time to leave, at the end of tonight, Jacob would be dead, evidently suicide; and Ms. Swan would be his and only his.
Love is the first dance and it is eternal.
The good senator staggered towards the door, grabbing his hat on the way out into the black night. The door slammed behind him sending a tremble into the glass bearing his name and title. The office was left deserted, looking oddly peaceful illuminated by a singly light bulb in the desk lamp.
Scarcely a minute later Senator Cullen threw the door open again still stumbling drunk, but quickly sobering up. Edward ran to his desk throwing open one of the bottom drawers, desperately trying to find his brother's Colt .45.
Emmet Cullen, the oldest of the Cullen' children, was a captain during The War to End All Wars; he was killed November 10, 1918 when a German sniper's bullet entered his eye socket, scattering his brain across the French countryside. Among his personal effects returned to his family was an engraved pistol that he willed to his younger brother Edward.
Edward never took a liking to the gun, but showed it off every chance he got, if it could help him politically; voters loved it, the tragedy of the oldest child dying in war leaving his sidearm to his favorite brother. Tonight though, the gun was going to be used for its intended purpose; he was going to kill his obsession and his outcast brother. The wicked smile crossed his mouth again, he loved the thought.
He left his office slamming the door behind him hard enough to send a spider web of cracks splintering his name. If his plan worked as well as he hoped it would need to be fixed Monday morning. The sun was just beginning to set as he left for the second time; giving him enough time to sober up before the fateful meeting at Echo's Hill. 'He's so god damn pathetic, going there night after night to cry over the spilled milk that was Bella's love for him.'
Hours earlier Bella Swan, the current obsession of Edward Cullen, left her parents modest one story home in Albany for one reason and one reason alone. She had to find Jacob and set everything right, she had to come clean about the affair she had with his brother and tell him that he alone was her only love, and that she had to break free from the grasp that Edward had held over her. As she walked through the city, nothing seemed real; her mind left her body (like in a dream.) Was this all she was doing, dreaming? No it couldn't be, she felt the hot sun on her face, how the light breeze gently whipped her hair. It was real alright, all to real.
She walked quickly through the streets of Albany looking for the one place Jacob would be at: Ramon's Drug Store, an obvious front for the illicit gambling hall and speakeasy in the back. On a Thursday afternoon the place was deserted except for a lone man in a threadbare suit, and a worn hat. Jacob Cullen, the youngest in the Cullen dynasty, looked nothing like any of his family, leading to many rumors that he was an illegitimate child; he towered over every member of his family from a young age.
The rumor among affluent families of New York is that Esme Cullen had a torrid sexual affair with one of younger members of the local Cree community. It was a disgrace that she would never recover from.
His black hair was longer than any man's should be, falling to his shoulders, it was gathered in a loose pony tail. His skin was the polar opposite of Edwards; it was a deep tan, almost russet, color to his brothers ivory pallor.
He was disowned from his family before he reached age eighteen, and he wore it with pride, often forsaking his given name and going by Jacob Black, to symbolize his status as the black sheep of the family. An inside joke that only the few people closest to him ever really understood. He never gave it much thought; he'd been on his own since birth; he may have been raised in the Cullen' household, but he was never a member of the family. He was shunned by his two brothers, his sister, his mother, and his "father."
No other soul was in the drug store proper when Bella pushed open the simple glass door, jingling the bell on top. She was surprised that Jacob wasn't gambling in the back. A smile spread across her face, showing her beautiful white teeth. "Jacob," she whispered under the jingling of the bell on the door.
Jacob swiveled in his red leather stool still swirling a small glass of Coca-Cola in his hands, it was a poor substitute for the whisky he'd come to depend on. When he saw his Bella standing there facing him, the blood left his face, making him temporarily as pale as his brother. He rushed to her, the glass falling from his calloused hands, shattering on the floor.
She held out a hand in protest, stopping him dead in his tracks, he needed to tell her about everything, but it was as if her small hand had completely stopped everything in his body.
Bella's breath caught in her throat; it took her a few ragged breaths before she could choke out the simple speech she had been planning for days. Jacob sensing her hesitation moved to the one person on this earth he'd be willing to change for. He wanted so much to take her in a warm embrace and tell her everything would be alright, that he was better.
Jacob had all but killed himself for weeks trying to break his addictions; he hadn't snorted dope in two weeks; even sitting out in front of the gambling hall he'd managed to not place a bet in a week, but the sound of the roulette and craps in the back was close to driving him mad. The booze was the worst; he'd tried, but trying wasn't good enough. He still couldn't go a day without it. His hands would shake, his vision would blur, and he would have to take a drink; hating that he had to drink. Jacob wanted to be rid of all of the chains that held him in this dark place; all of it just to get Bella back. He loved her too much. At his heart though he knew it all to be a charade; he hadn't broken any of them, not really. He hoped that if he kept up the fabrication long enough it would eventually become his reality.
'What if Jacob knew everything that happened between me and his brother.' Bella thought as he rose from the bar. Five weeks ago she had broken her relationship with her Jacob off; she couldn't stand by and watch him drink himself to death and gamble himself into the poorhouse. The drugs were the worst, the cocaine made him violent and unpredictable. It wasn't healthy for either of them to stay connected. In spite of all these problems, she never stopped loving him; even as she lay underneath Edward night after night; letting him use her in any sexually depraved way he wanted.
Bella finally managed to speak; her voice was low, broken. "Jacob, I'm sorry. Meet me tonight at eight o'clock." The careful speech she'd planned left her the moment she saw his smiling face. She was going to tell him everything, and if he hadn't rendered her speechless on sight; none of the words would have come out right.
"Of course, anything." Jacob said coming closer. He wrapped his arms around Bella's tiny frame, or at least he tried.
"No, not now." She said tears streaming down her face as she weaved out of his loving embrace, "Tonight." She ran out of drug store wiping her eyes clean with a white handkerchief that her Jacob had given her the night she broke off their relationship. She kept it with her at all times, always close to her heart.
The sun was just beginning to set as Jacob paced around a small clearing at the top of Echo's Hill. Echo's hill was a small park outside the city limits of Albany, a popular spot for young people wanting to get some privacy.
A bottle of whisky was stuffed in his jacket pocket; to him it felt like an enormous weight on his soul. It was almost the time that he would have to drink again, he held out his hand, seeing if it would shake. It did. He reached down gripping the bottle in his pocket. Slowly he drew it out fumbling with the cork; he pressed it again his cracked lips. The amber liquid flowed freely into his mouth burning the myriad of small cuts on his lips.
Jacob continued to pace around the clearing, 'she didn't tell me where,' his began to race with all sorts of unpleasant possibilities, 'I assumed she meant here. It's where we always met in the past.' His mind rambled on and on and on and on, as he waited in the dimming summer sun.
He took another long drink, his hands began to settle down, his mind followed suit. Jacob was sacred; he couldn't let Bella see him like this. He jammed the cork back into the bottle and the bottle back into the pocket of his distressed suit. The heat was causing him to sweat around the collar, at least that's what he told himself. In reality it was the thought of getting Bella back.
"Where is she?" Jacob mumbled out loud, running an absent hand through his long tangled hair.
The question was about to be answered.
Bella had taken her time to get there, to get to him. If Jacob was scared, she was petrified. She left Jacob at the drug store for only one thing. She had to end her affair with Edward. Edward, the very name now sent shivers up her spine, and made her stomach churn. She still had a hard time believing how Edward had taken advantage of her.
After Bella ended things with Jacob she was reduced to an emotional wreck; she couldn't think; she couldn't feel; she was completely numb. She sought comfort from the one person she could think of, Jacob's brother, Edward. She cried into his shoulder all night.
Did he comfort her? Did he help her? No, he took advantage of a young and vulnerable girl! Night after night after night after night, he forced himself onto her in as many ways as he could. Why; because she was the only thing is wretched brother ever had that he couldn't! And now that Bella was his, and not Jacob's, he could do anything he wanted to her.
Bella had managed to end things with Edward that afternoon, he'd been angry. Angry enough that if he knew where she was going that evening and who she was meeting he would kill his own brother. That's why she took a long time trying to walk up the dusty road to her awaiting Jacob. 'He'd kill his brother if he knew I was going to meet him.' She thought as she continued her way to the top of the hill.
Through Jacob's wayward pacing he began to hear light footsteps crunching along the road, coming towards him. His heart began to race, faster and faster in excitement. Jacob tried keeping his wits with him, but it was an ever increasing struggle as the pale brunette came into view. His breath was instantly held captive in his chest.
Bella turned toward the frozen statue of Jacob, a smile breaking across her delicate cheeks. She couldn't hold back any longer; she sprinted towards him, tears forming in her eyes. She jumped into his warm arms, wrapping hers around his neck.
Jacob instinctively brought his calloused hands and wrapped them tightly around her back, tears of happiness streamed down his face. All of the torment he had gone through hadn't been for nothing!
"I love you!" Bella wept in his hair, "I always have. I always"
He brought his hand to her hair, gently stroking it he said, "I know, and I've always loved you."
The stayed glued to each for what seemed to both of them like an eternity, but very slowly they pulled themselves apart. Bella, taking the lead, led her Jacob by the hand further away from the road; fearing the prying eyes of Edward. Jacob happily followed letting her small smooth hand lead his large calloused hand.
Edward's black Mercedes rolled along the dimly lit country roads in near silence; with only one destination in mind: Echo's Hill. Lying in the seat next to him was the pistol he'd taken from the drawer of his office. A mile away from his destination he pulled off of the road, parking the car in a dense stand of trees.
Grabbing the gun, tucking it carefully into his back pocket, Edward made his way uphill to confront his brother. Bella never told him she was crawling back to his good for nothing brother but he knew. He knew everything, how she used him to get back at Jacob. It made him sick.
Casually he checked to make sure the note was in his pocket, the paper crunched under his heavy hand. He took a steady breath and began walking up to resolve this situation.
The sun tucked itself below the horizon as Edward made the mile hike up the hill. Sweat formed on his brow as the nerves began to catch a hold of him; in an uncharacteristic fashion he wiped his brow with the sleeve of his tailored suit jacket.
Off in the distance sweet laughter assaulted every fiber of his being, making his eyes go wide with anger. Doubling his pace he left the road in search of the laughter's source, anger welled up inside him. Obsession crept into every fiber of his being, Bella was his, and his alone. Jacob didn't deserve her; the only thing Jacob deserved was a painful end to his painful life. He broke through the few loose trees into a beautiful clearing.
Bella pierced the silent night with terrible scream as she saw Edward's shadow enter the clearing.
'Why did my love scream?' Edward thought to himself. He'd managed to escape much of the drunken haze he'd suffered through in his office.
The two lovers struggled up to their feet to confront the intruder; Jacob pushed Bella behind him, in a protective manner, reaching for an old and rusted switchblade he kept with him.
Then, to everybody's surprise, Edward broke out into a fierce burst of laughter; unsettling everyone's fragile nerves. The last of the dim light reflected off of his face, which had curled into a twisted smile forcing his perfect teeth into a cruel grimace.
Jacob secretly pulled the knife from his pocket; he would protect his precious Bella with his life if he had to. He wouldn't let his monster of a brother anywhere near her, not again. He took a cautions step towards his older brother, still not revealing the knife in his hand. In the silence of the clearing, the sound of his heart beating could be heard by everyone.
Edward also edged closer; hands behind his back, his right resting carefully on the butt of the pistol; his face still twisted and contorted. "How dare you try and steal my woman away from me." He said in a smooth velvety voice that matched his cruel countenance. His eyes were cold and emotionless.
"She chose me!" Jacob shouted, shifting the knife in his hand; edging closer and closer to his brother, easily towering over him. The muscles of his arms quivered with rage as he clenched the knife.
"Don't be an idiot, Jacob. She wouldn't choose you over me. You're nothing! Nothing!" Edward's cool demeanor shattered as his voice thundered across the clearing.
In a flash everything changed. A flash of light brilliantly lit the clearing for the briefest of moments. The old switchblade fell uselessly to the ground, as a thin curl of smoke escaped form the barrel of the Colt.
Blood poured from Jacob's chest, his face drained of color. Oddly though, there was no pain, just shock. He collapsed against the cool grass below him, shattering the glass whisky bottle in his pocket. Pressing his hands against his chest, he made a desperate attempt to stop the dark red blood from flowing out.
Another piercing cry escaped Bella's lips as she watched her love tumble limply to the ground. She felt a hand violently rip out her heart; she squeezed her eyes shut as tightly as she could, wishing she could wake up from the nightmarish scene around her.
Edward's smile danced lightly on his lips, the adrenaline rush sent him over the top; another fierce laugh rumbled from his chest. Calmly he walked to his love (his obsession,) the look on her face troubled him deeply. 'She should be happy, I freed her of him.' His thoughts were completely incoherent. Edward knelt down and placed a cool hand on Bella's shoulder; she recoiled from it like a child's hand from a hot iron.
She crawled closer to the dying man, cradling his head in her delicate arms. Bella kept her eyes closed as the tears streamed down her face; whispering what she could to comfort her bloodied love.
The sight of Bella curled over the near lifeless body of Jacob sent Edward over the edge. He stood quickly, facing Bella, his eyes blank with rage. He sucked in a few ragged breaths, the sweat on his skin glistened in the starlight, "Open your eyes, Bella!" Edward shouted in a ragged and hoarse voice, leveling the muzzle of the gun towards her chest.
She refused to face what she knew would be her death. The tears stopped as she began to accept that, no matter what she wouldn't be leaving this hill alive. She placed a soft kiss on the head of her now dead love as two more shots rang out, shattering the silence of the night one last time.
She collapsed immediately in front of Jacob forcing her eyes open one last time as she gazed upon her true love, knowing that they would be reunited all too soon.
A moment later Bella was dead. Jacob, not quite dead, but semi conscious; shifted himself, with his fading strength, so he could hold Bella one last tiem. He began to sing softly in a ragged voice, "One last time. Well lay down today. One last time. Until we fade away. One last time. Well lay down together. One last time. Until we fade aw…" he never finished the last line, his heart stopped beating.
Edward stood over the bodies for a long moment letting the image burn into his brain. If Senator Edward Cullen was one thing he was thorough. He went to work immediately, pulling the white handkerchief from Bella's to wipe his fingerprints off the pistol. He placed it in Jacob's hand before applying enough pressure to soak the handkerchief in blood.
It would only be a matter of time before the police showed up, and when they did he would greet them; as a concerned citizen who witnessed a fatal tragedy, and not as the perpetrator of this heinous crime.
A/N: So there was Finally Free. To let everyone know I don't take sides in a fictional love triangle. As with all authors everywhere reviews are always appreciated, including flames. And for those Dream Theater fans reading this there was also a good bit of "Home" in there as well. As some of you may know I keep reposting this story as different chapters. This is simply becase I constantly make tweaks and revions here and there.