Apologies for the delay it was a long time coming. In the time it took for me to update I have gotten married and moved to another city. Sorry.

Bella POV

I was at Harvard when Dad won the election. I was fifteen, almost sixteen, and had my hands wrapped around a steaming hot latte in an unmarked paper cup, gulping it down even though it was my sixth in as many hours and my heart was caffeinated enough to attempt to beat through my chest at any moment. I was terrified for Dad who had devoted his entire life to this very moment, scared for my mom who had effectively put her dreams on hold so that he could live his; hopeful because if the presidential race was about the ability to lead the USA then Dad had blown the competition out of the water at every stage of his campaign, and disappointed because although I had tried to support him to the best of my ability I could have prepared more for that last Harvard debate.

But that had not been my fault. I had been distracted over those last few months by Edward and although I tried not to think of him I could not help a slight bitterness towards my not-brother for his absence from what was quite possibly the most important moment of our family's lives. And to distract myself from my thoughts (of him) and to try and alleviate some of the stress of waiting I turned to the nearest Harvard Democrat next to me to strike up a conversation.

"I'm Mike Newton from Washington State," The handsome boy next to me smiled, his blue eyes warming easily as he looked at me. "I'm currently a senior, pre-law; been a democrat all my life." He boasted as he gestured to his 'Cullen for President' pin. "But I've never been this excited about a candidate in my life."

"That's only because I'm not old enough to campaign yet," I smirked flirtatiously. Politics was the reason why I lost Cullen House, why my parents spent more time campaigning than they did with their children, why I had been stuck in an empty house with a heroin-addicted brother who stared at me like I was his next fix; but I loved it. There was nothing I wanted more than to become a politician just like my Dad. "Just you wait Mike Newton from Washington State, when I begin my campaign you won't be able to resist."

"I'm counting on it," Mike purred seductively his eyes roaming across my body and within a few minutes we were outside in the narrow alley that led from the fire-escape to the private car park, my seven hundred dollar J-Brand jeans shoved down around my ankles as Mike shoved hard into me from behind. It was my first time and so it hurt but the pain was good. The pain helped me to clear my mind and by the time Mike had softened enough to pull out it was as if I was a new woman. "You are so hot." Mike tongued my ear as he cupped me between my legs. "Come back to my apartment. I only live across campus."

"I can't," I whimpered as I pulled away from him long enough to pull up my jeans and panties. "Interviews."

"Perhaps we could meet up later then."

"I don't think so."

"Right." Mike forced a laugh. "I should probably get going too. I have…stuff to do too I guess. It's been a pleasure meeting you Bella." By the time I had turned he'd disappeared and I felt relieved. Within seconds the relief transformed into self-hatred when I thought of Edward's reaction to my losing it in the back of an alley to 'Mike from Washington State.' He had always wanted my first time to be something special with a guy I loved and who Carlisle and Esme loved. He would be so fucking furious when he found out and a part of me was glad. I wanted him to hurt every little bit as I had when he overdosed and so I called him on the iphone that Esme had snuck into his rehab centre on the off chance that they would allow him to use it. It rang fifteen times before it went to voicemail.

"It's me," I exhaled loudly and not knowing what else to say I told him the truth. "I love you." I wanted to say more but Dad's security detail finally found me and so I hung up with a whispered goodbye before I was whisked away into a media frenzy.

xxx

All of Edward's parties in the townhouse had two things in common: copious amounts of booze and copious amounts of drugs. And everyone in our social set at the exclusive private school that our parents sent us to loved them (and him) for it. I was never invited of course. Being Edward's baby sister I was just there as part of the furniture and nobody ever gave me a second glance except Edward and even then he had to be stoned to do it.

"You are fucking beautiful," He would whisper to me at the tail end of the parties when he had fresh track marks on his pale forearms and love bites on his neck. He always waited until the end because that was when there were the fewest sober witnesses and he sometimes punctuated his words with hard nipping kisses to my bottom lip or jaw. "Come to my room with me, please."

"You know I can't," I would whisper back trying my hardest not to melt into his arms because doing it at fourteen with a drug addict who also happened to be your brother was the height of stupidity.

"Please," He would beg until I melted just enough to let him slide a hand up my skirt or top or on one occasion down the front of my jeans. And then just when I would think that I was ready for it (for him) he would stop. "I can't," He would growl as he pushed me away like it was my fault that we were attracted to each other. "You deserve better, you deserve it to be with someone you love. Someone who Carlisle and Esme loves,"

"I love you," I would say because I am and always have been a masochist when it comes to him. "Mom and Dad love you,"

"It's not the same," He would reply every time and every time I would say the same thing.

"Yes it is, you're just too fucked up to see it."

xxx

When Edward returned he looked nothing at all like he normally did. His hair was clipped short and parted neatly to the side, his shoulders were a little broader than before, and though all of the angles on his face were the same they were no longer as severe as they were before. Edward had put on weight, the dark smudges under his eyes had all but disappeared, and he looked both older and younger at the same time. Mom burst into tears when he walked into the Washington townhouse with three of the National Guard's best and cried so hard that Dad had to lead her into a private sitting room at the back of the house to compose herself before she exposed everything behind Edward's disappearance to the journalist who was sat with us for lunch.

"How was London?" I asked him when he finally lifted his eyes up to mine. Thanks to Dad's connections in London Edward's cover story was that he had studied at the Royal College of Music for half a semester with a prominent conductor while he decided whether he wanted to pursue college or a career with the London Philharmonic. The news had created quite the buzz within the entertainment industry and I could see the stupid journalist's eyes light up before a message on his phone distracted him.

"It was okay," He replied with a tentative half-smile that made my heart melt. "I prefer it here I think. Less rain." While the journalist was engrossed in his Blackberry I impulsively reached forward to peck him on the lips.

"I had a one night stand," I breathed against his skin and ignored how Edward's eyes darkened with rage when I touched his cheek with my fingertips. "He was fucking amazing."

Before Edward could reply Dad returned with an easy smile on his lips and a bottle of his favourite burgundy from the cellar for the journalist. He introduced Edward as proudly and as easily as if he had just returned from a semester abroad and before I knew it the three of us were settled around the table with small glasses of wine.

"So," The journalist simpered at Edward. "How was London?"

"Perfect," Edward replied with a dark look at me that I happily ignored in favour of my wineglass. "I have decided to move there permanently." When I choked on my wine at the news he turned to the journalist with a charming smile. "Playing with the Philharmonic has always been my dream."