A/N - This is my first fanfiction. It's my first attempt at writing anything beyond really bad poetry and journalling. Please review as this experience has been a learning one for me. I started posting this on Twi in April. I've met some amazing authors whom will be showcased and recommended reads as we go along this journey with Alternate Universe Bella and Edward. This takes place 9 years after Edward leaves Bella in the forest in New Moon. It may start off a little slow, but it won't last long I promise you.

Thank you goldenmeadow for helping me put this up here and for your never ending brilliance, friendship and pimpin'. Bless you.

Chapter 1


I don't dream any more.

I haven't dreamt since that day Edward left...so many years ago now…

I've died twice since that day.

The first time I died after Edward left me in the forest. Why didn't he just dig a hole, put me in it and finish the job?

I was devastated when my heart, my love, told me I was not wanted.

Not wanted.

I shrivelled up and blew away to a place where no one could touch me. Not even my parents could reach me...and I know I broke their heart in my exile from the reality I didn't want to face. All those months! Then Jacob, child hood friend, dear gentle heart, held out his hand to me and smiled, he was my sun. I basked in his warmth and dared myself to accept it. He woke me from my zombie like state and coaxed me gently into feeling again. He gave me hope for a life I could not choose on my own. Edward stole my choices with as much callousness as he stole my heart. Jacob took those crumbled pieces and applied the band-aids of hope, faith and comfort.

Ours was a comfortable love, not an all encompassing, heady love that I gave to Edward...but safe, secure and familiar. We married. Shortly after my honeymoon, Charlie died from a massive coronary. I was devastated. He left me the house, and the vast acreage of forest behind it, and wanting to remain as close as I could to my father now that he was gone, I begged Jacob for us to begin our new life there. He was very supportive even though he did not want to leave the Reservation. We were happy at first. After a few years of quiet contentment, we settled into a life of complacency…

I was never meant to be complacent.

The complacency is what killed me the second time. My salvation eventually morphed into my undoing. Even the best band aids dry out and peel off...or, they are simply ripped off quickly and thrown into the trash once the bleeding stops and healing is underway.

Jacob was so sure in our love that he paid it no mind, no due care. He went to work, came home, and ate the meals I put in front of him each day. He would tell me everyday I was irreplaceable, his reason for being. Then he would place his widening ass on the couch and watch TV until bedtime. It all became white noise. Stale and boring, like the snacks he would gorge himself upon while settling for an evening of baseball.

His lovemaking, albeit heartfelt, was sloppy and smacked of laziness and inexperience. I was unhappy. Unfulfilled. Unsatisfied. Since I was happier than the wraith I was when Sam Uley found me on the forest floor years before, I swallowed my discontent like a bitter venom and told myself I should be thankful. I was obligated. I choked on those sentiments. They cut off my air and I died a little everyday. Drowning in this repressed aggression. He was a good man. He loved me. I swam in guilt from the get go, knowing I would never love Jacob the way I loved Edward...but he assured me he knew that, and it didn't matter.

It should have mattered.

I performed all of my wifely duties, and more; Jacob being so young and immature, was not good at handling the "adult" parts of our relationship…the cheque balancing, the paying of bills, the planning for retirement...so I handled it all. Eventually, the weight of shouldering all of the responsibilities for two lives seeped into my passive aggressive heart and I shut down…slowly, over time. At first, I stopped reading the books I loved. Then I stopped writing. I stopped listening to music and cooking the homemade meals and served up processed frozen entrees. Then I stopped "making love" to him. Jacob finally clued in that there was a problem. One morning over breakfast, he asked me point blank if I was happy.

"No." I delivered that cold, hard, word with dead dull eyes – another new feature of my constantly saddened state. To be honest, this wasn't far off what I had been like when Edward left.



Nothing could compare to that! The emptiness in my chest and the acidic taste of rejection rose to the surface. I stood my ground waiting for Jacob's reaction to the knife I never wanted to cut his heart out with. His love alone was not enough to save me. There was no going back now. I had ripped off the band aid.

He said my name softly, but it was wrought with tension for control;

"Bella..." his face turned red, and a lone tear began to run down his cheek. His sad brown eyes glazed over with anger and he began to tremble, clenching and unclenching white knuckled fists. He then turned around and stomped out the door, just as a child would have done, again, reiterating to me who my husband was.

He knew there was nothing he could do to change how I felt.

I knew he was never coming back. I had cut him to his core with a simple, two letter word.

I crumpled to the floor and died again.

I was alone. A relief washed over me for that....but it evaporated as quickly as it came. Then I felt nothing. I welcomed that feeling; I had spent too long fighting it. Numbness crept into my soul and I resigned myself to it's peace.

I never wanted to share my heart and my pain again.


I laid on the floor until the moonlight filtered through the kitchen window and I heard the soft, mysterious sounds of night. I closed my eyes and sighed. Should I get up? Then what happens? I worried I had so marred my soul that I was irrevocably ambivalent.

Do something Bella.

I decided to get up.

I looked around the house and felt panic settling in. I could not stay here. I walked out of the house and into the forest. I felt a strange pull to the place where I had died the first time. It seemed cathartic to retrace my steps into the depths of where my pain began. Because I realised only then that it had never left. Jacob had only pacified the intensity of it. The night was damp, but I welcomed the physical sensation of the mist on my body. I was reminded of one day so long ago, we were blood typing in biology and I was on the verge of passing out. Mike Newton jumped at the chance to be my night in shining armour and had helped me outside to catch my bearings. Edward swooped in from out of nowhere and gallantly saved me from being Newton's damsel in distress fantasy. He deftly picked me up and carried me to the nurse. The drizzling rain on my face and being held in his strong, cold arms had felt so good. I was struck with a strong stab of pain in my chest and suddenly the hole that damnable vampire left in my heart was more present than ever. With a vengeful agonizing stroke, erased were the years of reprieve I had stolen from the raw pain of my loss and it now carried a devastating, crushing weight. It knocked the breath out of me. At least I was feeling something besides the buzzing numbness that had permeated my soul. I walked on and on, an animated corpse stumbling through the under brush. The moon trailed across the sky and I followed it's ghostly path.

Towards morning, I came upon a clearing where a small, stone cabin stood. I had no idea this was out here. We owned hundreds of acres of this forest, so I knew it was on our land, but Charlie had never mentioned it's existence. Curiousity over took me and I walked up to a window filmed over with dirt and wiped a peek hole across it with my sleeve. Peering through the grimy window I took in the furnishings and came to the conclusion that it was at one time or another inhabited. Maybe even recently. I walked over to the door and gave the knob a rattle. To my surprise, it creaked open.

I was not prepared for the smell that assaulted my nose when I opened the door.

I dropped to my knees.

The scent ripped open a wormhole through time and threw me backwards to a night in an Italian Restaurant, his cold leather jacket enveloping me in the sweetest, most alluring scent I had ever encountered. Flashes of evenings in my small bed wrapped in his stony embrace, the meadow, his bedroom..


Everything went black as I passed out in the doorway from shock.

E/N Sorry for the cliffie?! I got to keep you interested somehow! :) Please review!