Summary:Anna Russo has received a new identity and is on the run from her abusive ex-boyfriend with her young son in tow. She ends up in Forks, where she is now known as Bella Swan, and meets Edward Cullen. While she can't deny the unexplainable pull she feels toward him, she also can't shake off the feeling that he is not quite normal and not quite...human. Does she dare explore a new relationship with Edward while in fear for her life? Will Edward be able to put her safety first and stay away from the family he's always dreamed of having? And what will Bella's jilted ex do when he finally does catch up with her?
Sometimes, humans are monsters, too.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, Stephenie Meyers does. I do, however, own Eric and Ethan.
"Sickness and healing are in every heart; death and deliverance are in every hand."—Orson Scott Card
How did I let our lives come to this? Anna Russo thought, her eyes wildly searching for her three year old son, Ethan, while her arms reflexively attempted to defend her face from the impending blow. How did I let this happen?
She lay crumpled against the wall, spotting Ethan's legs underneath his bed. He was safely out of harm's way, so she turned her attention to her tormentor, the man she had once thought would be the love of her life, attempting to ward off another slap. She had met Dr. Eric Anderson at Memorial Hospital a year before where she had been working as a nurse and they had seemed to hit it off. She had been immediately attracted to his blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She had been pulled in by his charming smile and quick wit. Unbeknownst to her, they would soon hit it off in an entirely different sense of the phrase.
Six months into their relationship, Eric had been found to be writing false prescriptions for certain clientele and himself and his medical license had been temporarily suspended pending a hearing with the medical board. This action had caused him to begin drinking heavily and Anna soon found out that he was not a pleasant drunk. The night the information had broken on the evening news was the first night he had jerked her head back and slammed her forehead into the kitchen wall, leaving her unconscious on the floor for an hour. When she came to, the only thing she could think of that had ignited his fury was that she had been thirty minutes late getting home from work. The night before his hearing with the medical board, she had been stepping out of the shower to find him on the other side of the door with a murderous look on his face; he then proceeded to choke her until her vision was peppered with black spots and her throat burned from lack of oxygen. When she clawed at his hands attempting to loosen his hold, he dropped her as if she disgusted him, and stormed out of the house. She did not lay eyes on him for three days. She never figured out what she had done to instigate his rage that night.
The first time he actually hit her, she had been setting the table for dinner, allowing Ethan to help. He had set a glass too close to the edge and it had slipped off and shattered against the hardwood, bringing Eric to the room to see what the commotion was about. When he saw the crystal glass in pieces, his fists clenched and he moved toward Ethan, but Anna had been quicker. She had grabbed her son and pushed him into the living room right before Eric's fist slammed against the side of her head, causing her to fall against the wall, smacking her temple against the doorjamb. The remainder of the night was blurry, but the resulting bruises were something she would never forget. When she told Eric the next day that she was leaving, he had whispered in her ear that if she ever left him, he would hunt her down and kill her, along with Ethan. She knew he was serious and that he had powerful connections so she had stayed, but only in body. Her heart had left him long ago.
The situation continued to spiral out of control. Eric's license had been suspended for three years and so he had taken to moping around the house. Most days he stayed drunk. Anna escaped to the hospital as much as she could, signing up for all the extra shifts they would allow her to work. She hated leaving Ethan at daycare so much, but she knew he was safer there than at home. Eric had never laid a hand on him…yet. She knew the day would come, however, and so she had been planning her escape ever since that first day he had slammed her head into the wall.
"I'm going out and this place better be fucking clean when I get back!" Eric shouted at her, his open palm raised, ready to strike, as if she would disagree.
"O-okay, it will be," she stammered, pulling her legs back and trying to make herself as small as possible.
He snarled at her then turned and stormed out of the door, leaving her to finally release the breath she had been holding. She heard his Lexus squeal out of the driveway and when she was sure he was not coming back, she stood up on shaky legs. It was now or never.
She had been to the bank a week before and emptied the account that Eric knew nothing about. Every paycheck, she had been putting back as much as she could, whatever he would not miss. She also had the small inheritance that she had received when her mother, Renee, had passed away from cancer last spring. Eric had not known about that either. All this she now retrieved from the small backpack she had hidden in her closet. She moved about the room quickly, throwing clothes and toiletries into a small rolling bag, and the few sentimental things she could not live without into the backpack. She then ran to Ethan's room, where he stared at her with wide brown eyes that were so much like hers, and began tossing his clothes into another bag.
"Baby, put some of your toys into your bag," she said, pointing to his backpack he carried to daycare. "We've got to go, now."
He quickly scooted off of the bed and began picking up his favorite toys. "Where we going?"
She stopped what she was doing and bent down to his level. "We're going away. I'm going to make it safe for us both." She hoped he would see the urgency in her eyes and not dawdle. She felt tears spring to her eyes when he laid a soft, chubby hand on her swollen cheek.
"Okay, mommy. I don't want 'Ric to hurt you anymore," he said, then wrapped his arms around her neck.
She sniffled, not wanting to cry in front of him, and also knowing she did not have time to spare. She had to get them to the airport. "Me either, baby. Now, we've got to go." She handed him his backpack and his favorite teddy bear, then grabbed their two suitcases and her backpack before shuffling him out the door to their car. She did not look back, leaving the door unlocked and sped off down the street. She flipped her phone open and called a number she had called once before.
"Hello?" the familiar male voice said.
"Hi," she stammered, adrenaline making her voice shaky. "This is Anna. Anna Russo. We spoke a couple of months ago. About some papers," she hinted.
"Ah, yes, Anna. I have them ready for you."
"Can I come pick them up?" She heard a pause on the other end.
"Anna, you know my rules. No face to face."
She was getting desperate. "Please! I need those IDs…now. This might be my only chance to get out of here and I can't get on that plane with my own name! He'll check flights!" She knew that once Eric arrived home and found that she had left him, he would track her. And it would be very easy for him to call the airlines, cook up some sob story that he was looking for his fiancée, and find out exactly where she landed.
ID man sighed. "Okay, okay, calm down. This is what I'll do. Stop at the Kangaroo Express gas station on Pulaski Road off I-295 on your way to the airport. Look for a green Ford Focus and in the front seat, there will be a manila envelope. Take it, it will have all of your stuff in it. Driver's license, birth certificate, social security card, credit card. And I got the stuff for the kid too and it's in there."
Anna breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you so much. How long?"
"I'll be there in 15 minutes."
She heard his phone click off and said a prayer of thanks. This was going to work. It had to, or she and her son would pay the price. She had been lucky to find this guy who did not ask questions but did good work. He had been recommended to her by a coworker who had guessed her secret and had quickly become a confidant. She had not had a difficult time explaining her bruises to most people as she was naturally clumsy, but one colleague had been very observant and basically told her she did not buy her stories. Rebecca was a nurse as well and had a sister who had gone into hiding from her husband after he had almost killed her. Rebecca had set her up with a new identity through ID man. Anna did not ask her how she knew about him and Rebecca had never volunteered the information. Anna did not think she wanted to know that information.
Rebecca had even went one step further and had found Anna and Ethan a place to go. She was to get on a plane to Seattle, Washington, then take a commuter to Port Angeles and from there, she would drive to Forks, Washington. Anna had done some research on Forks while at work and found it was a small town on the Olympic Peninsula where the sun rarely shined. It was surrounded by forests and streams and most likely, wild animals. The Pacific Ocean was close, however, and the town was small, with a population of approximately 3,000 people. She knew a large city would be a better place to blend in, but Rebecca had a brother who lived there, Charlie, and he was the chief of police, who would help her get settled. Plus, he knew why she was coming, and he was the police, so that made her feel a little better.
She found her exit and swiftly pulled into the parking lot of the Kangaroo Express, sliding to a stop beside an empty green Ford Focus. She left the engine idling as she jumped out and grabbed the manila envelope that held her entire new life inside. She would not look until she was inside the airport, however. She didn't want ID man to have to wait to go home. He had just literally saved her life and she felt like she owed him one.
She stopped at the Greyhound bus station and bought her and Ethan a ticket in their own names to Boston, then she hailed a taxi. She knew if she left her car at the airport, eventually, it would be spotted and Eric would know to check the airlines. He would report her missing and when she did not show up on any flight manifests, he might realize she was using a different name. She did not want him to even think that. Let him waste time searching the East coast for Anna Russo.
Once she and Ethan entered Jacksonville International Airport, she locked the door to the family restroom and dumped the contents of her new life onto the baby changing table. Staring up at her from her new driver's license was her face, but she was someone else. She shuffled through all of the documents and they all stated they same fact. She was no longer Anna Russo.
She was now Isabella Swan.
A/N: Please let me know what you think, what you like, what you don't, what needs to be improved on. Constructive feedback is greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!