DC: I don't own it
Summary: AU. Bella's life was going well. Upon the death of her sister things begin to take a turn for the worse. Someone is trying to destroy her life. Someone who was buried only days before. All in the name of revenge. Can she figure out who is trying to take away everything before she loses what she treasures most: Edward. ExB
The Cullen children were late to school. It was a rarity but they had gotten back late from their hunting trip and Esme thought they should add a dash more of human normality to their lives by having a late day. Edward and Alice split off down to English while Jasper went to gym class.
"I don't smell her," Edward said quietly as they walked. "Something's wrong."
"Well I'm sure she's fine," Alice assured him, "if something bad had happened I would have seen it."
Edward turned into his classroom and as he gave the note to the teacher he noticed that Bella was indeed not there. As he sat he was already picking the brains of the people around him. Jessica didn't seem worried about her at all, instead she was inwardly grumbling that Bella got to miss the math test. Mike was hating on him as usual so Edward didn't expect any help there. He knew he should have turned to Angela first.
"I hope she's okay. Mrs. Cope looked really sad, like she was pitying her. Edward's here so maybe I can ask him later."
Well that wasn't any help. Edward tried to pick Mrs. Cope's frazzled mind out of the tangled web of thoughts around him but it was hard. When he did find her she was thinking about her husband's suit that was being dry cleaned. No help at all. Edward began nibbling nervously on his pen cap. It was a habit he developed to appear normal. Had his human mother seen such a habit she would have given him a stern lecture.
Edward looks nervous, does that mean Bella's hurt? Is she sick? If she is I should get her a balloon to cheer her up. I know her leg had been bothering her, maybe that's it. I keep telling her that she needs to have Dr. Cullen take a look at it. I mean certainly she can find time seeing as she's dating his son and all. Maybe she doesn't want Edward to know. He's sweet and all but boy does he obsess over her. It's almost unhealthy. No, Angela, stop judging him! He just loves her that's all. I'm sure Ben feels the same way about me.
Sometimes Edward wondered who worried more about his girlfriend, him or Angela. He didn't know that Bella's leg was bothering her. It seemed like her to down play when she was hurt. Unfortunately his vampire state let him feel several emotions at full strength. So he felt overcome by guilt for being the cause of her near death at the hands of James along side the worry over where exactly she was. His phone buzzed and he quickly looked at it under the table.
Are you back yet?
Edward smiled softly and sent a text back.
Yes, I'm in class right now worrying about you. I'm trying to find out why you aren't here.
Get out of my friend's heads!
Edward rolled his eyes.
I wouldn't be in them if you had told me you were leaving!
:( stop being so paranoid!
Now where are you?
Family stuff. Im fine. Charlie pulled me out.
What kind of family stuff
Dont wanna talk about it
Edward scowled at his phone as if it were Bella herself.
Stop obsessing im safe and fine.
Edward sighed. She was stubborn and determined not to tell him what was going on. So he just had to hope that she was safe. His thumb was itching to text a pressing question but he had to resist. Bella had been in a stiff mood with him lately and he wasn't going to push her if he didn't need to. She was safe and sound and that was going to have to be good enough.
I trust you
:) I love you Eddie-poo
Stop letting Emmett talk to you
Edward smiled slightly.
I love you too Bellie-poo
He put the phone away and waited impatiently for the day to end.
To Edward's surprise Bella was waiting for him after school. Somehow she knew Alice had driven them that day. So she was offering to give him a ride. He met her with a soft kiss and a gentle embrace.
"I missed you love," he murmured.
"I missed you too."
Bella smiled and pulled away from him. She was happy when Angela gave her a big hug.
"Are you okay? I've been so worried!"
"Yeah I'm fine," Bella assured her, "Charlie needed me with him. Did I miss anything?"
"Mr. Bones had a huge chocolate smear on the corner of his mouth and didn't know it," Angela answered. Edward was relieved when he found that Angela could laugh at a few misfortunes. As long as they were small.
"Darn," Bella groaned, "I can't believe I missed that!"
Mr. Bones had a habit of being picky about cleanliness and quite snooty about it. Bella sighed and looked at Edward.
"Homework? Please say no."
Edward kissed her forehead. "I'll help you, don't worry."
"Just great," Bella grumbled, "we should probably get going. I have to pick up Charlie's suit from the dry cleaners. They were swamped today."
"I'll see you later then Bella," Angela said, giving her a hug, "call me if you need anything."
Bella nodded and Edward wondered if Angela knew something he didn't. They started walking towards her truck. Edward slid his hand around hers and she smiled up at him.
"So how long has your leg been bothering you? Angela was worrying about you earlier and that came up."
"Lord this is why you should stay out of their heads," Bella sighed, "it's fine. I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to get all worked up like I know you do. Someone crashed into me during gym, I know shock it wasn't my...!"
Edward caught her as she slipped on the wet cement.
"...my fault," she sighed.
"Don't worry I believe you," he chuckled. He kissed her cheek and Bella blushed. "You were saying?'
"It's fine. I went to the doctor and he said everything was fine."
"What doctor?" Edward asked sharply. He was ready go pick every brain in Fork's hospital if he had to. "Was Carlisle there?"
"I went to PA because I knew this would happen," Bella said, gesturing at him.
Edward gave her a pained look and she climbed up into her truck. He went to the passenger seat and she was buckling up. She always made him wear his seat belt even though it was pointless.
"Edward I know you want me to tell you everything," she said over the sound of her engine kicking into life.
"Our relationship is delicate enough, let's no add secrets ontop of it."
"No, I can't add secrets," Bella clarified. She closed her eyes when she realized how harsh she sounded. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so snappy. I'm just frustrated."
"With what?" Edward asked. "Love what's going on?"
"Things have just been very tense at home," Bella said quietly. "It's just stressing me out. That's why I've been spending so much time with you at your place."
"You can always come when you need any of us," Edward reminded her. Bella smiled a little and turned into the dry cleaners. She and Edward got out and went inside. Edward watched Bella get her father's suit and was surprised when there was a conservative black dress there too. They left and Edward waited as long as he could for Bella to tell him what they meant.
"Did something happen?" he asked finally.
"Death in the family," she answered, "the funeral is in Phoenix next week. Charlie got the news today."
"Oh, Bella, I'm so sorry," Edward murmured. He held her hand and she kept her eyes on the road.
"I'm just tired of it," she said quietly, "I feel like a bad person for saying it but I don't feel sad. We've been waiting for this day for months."
Edward was in shock. He hadn't expected that from her and it would be a moment before he recuperated. It had to be the denial. Bella was very loyal to her family and cared about them deeply.
"By the way Charlie doesn't like you."
"Oh? Why? He liked me before."
"Yeah," Bella said quietly, "he doesn't like that I've been spending so much time with you lately instead of staying home. Apparently telling him that I didn't care about the family drama was a really bad mistake."
"So is that why you picked me up?" Edward asked.
"I don't like seeing Charlie crying and we had a huge fight."
"Do you want to stay with us for the night?" Edward asked. "Nobody will mind. I'll tell Emmett to keep it down."
"I don't know yet," Bella sighed, "I should go comfort him. Something. But I don't feel that upset."
"Who died?" Edward asked again as they pulled up into his massive driveway. He opened her door for her before she could even reach for the handle.
"I can't tell you," she answered as he lifted her out of the truck and set her down lightly.
"You can tell me anything," he reminded her. "No matter how bad."
"Charlie is mad at me because I'm not getting worked up and crying and all that. That's bad enough."
"I'll find out anyway," Edward reminded her, "small towns talk."
Bella wrapped her arms around his middle. She sighed into his chest. Edward carried her inside and found that Esme had baked cookies. She had been insisting since they met that Bella was too thin and needed more treats. Edward knew that Esme had always wanted to be the typical mom who baked for her kids.
"I don't want to talk about it," Bella said before he could open his mouth to ask her again.
"You don't want to talk about a lot of things it seems."
"Lord is this about my leg? I didn't tell you because I knew how you would react!"
"Is it acting up?" Carlisle asked as he came in.
"I had a bit of an accident in gym and jammed it a bit. It's fine."
"Alright," Carlisle said warily, "just let me know if it's bothering you okay."
Bella nodded and looked back at Edward.
"Oh so you'll let him be worried about your health?"
"First off, he's my primary physician in this town, second he's not my boyfriend who worries almost obsessively. Edward its sweet that you worry, but it's a little too much sometimes. You overreact."
"Name one time," Edward challenged.
"July fourth when I burned myself on that little stick because I put my hand on it by mistake. You freaked out and said you didn't want me to go back because it was dangerous!"
"July seventeenth when I stepped on a jellyfish."
"Bella you don't understand how fragile you are," Edward said holding her hands.
"To you," Bella reminded him, "to other humans I'm on the same level. Please, Edward, please understand that you're starting to suffocate me with how much you worry."
"It's only because I love you," Edward told her. He looked hurt and Bella began to feel bad. She kissed his cheek.
"Edward I know you mean well. I know that you see me differently because you're basically indestructible and I'm not. You want me to have human experiences and some of those experiences involve falling and skinning my knee or breaking a bone. I heal just fine. I did manage to survive seventeen years of this clumsiness before you came along."
Edward sighed and closed his eyes. He could hear his parents in his head, telling him that Bella was right and he needed to put her comfort above his worrying. He really wanted them to stay out of it. He hated that they could hear his argument with his girlfriend.
When Bella's phone went off he didn't move. He didn't get worked up when people called her and he could hear them anyway.
"Hey Bells, I just heard."
It was Jacob. Edward squeezed his eyes shut to show his irritation. He felt Bella's gentle hand pat his thigh, telling him it was fine.
"Oh, Jake, I told Charlie not to tell anyone yet."
"When were you going to tell me?" Jacob asked, sounding kind of annoyed.
"What does it matter?" Bella asked coolly.
"Well I knew her too, believe it or not we were all friends once."
"No, you two were friends and you and I were friends. She and I were never friends."
"Oh come on Bells, don't be like that."
"I swear I'm gonna skin him," Edward grumbled, earning a look.
"You with Cullen now?"
"Yes, I'm with Edward," Bella sighed, "not that its any of your business."
"I just worry about you is all. Hey a bunch of us are going for a last swim this weekend. Wanna come?"
"When?" Bella asked, ignoring Edward soft growl.
"Saturday. It's on the rez but that's no problem for you."
Bella closed her eyes and sighed. She briefly counted to ten before answering.
"Morning or evening?"
"Well it was gonna be an all day thing. Come on Bells."
"I'll see what's going on," Bella said, "the next week or two are going to be kinda hectic."
"And cheering up is what you need."
"I'll let you know," Bella sighed with a smile. "I gotta go, Edward and I are gonna watch a movie."
"Alright. Talk to you later."
They hung up and Bella put her phone away. "Alright let's hear it."
"I hate him."
"Wow that's it?" Bella asked. Edward looked at her with a strange smile.
"Nothing need more be said."
"Would it bother you if I went?"
"No," Edward lied through gritted teeth, "I don't want to keep you from your human life."
"Lord," Bella sighed, sinking back into the sofa. "Edward."
"Jacob is obviously in love with you and it makes me uncomfortable," Edward said stiffly, "how is it you are fine with him knowing who died but not me?"
"Because he knew her. Charlie called Billy earlier I guess."
"Is he going to the funeral?"
"As the funeral is in Arizona, no. Edward if you could come you're welcome. But it's during the day in Phoenix."
Edward sighed. He and the sun didn't get along but he didn't want her there alone. He ran a hand through his hair. He wanted to know why she wouldn't tell him who it was that died. She said it was a family member so he could rule out a former lover. Charlie was from Forks though so it was only natural that he had family in the area. Billy was also one of his best friends so naturally Jacob would know more members of Bella's family than he did. Also Charlie didn't extremely dislike Jacob like he did Edward.
"Baby," Bella murmured, holding his hands in hers, "I promise I will miss you like crazy the whole time I'm there."
"How long will you be there?" Edward asked.
"A week at the most."
Edward groaned and Bella laid her head on his shoulder. "Don't be like that!"
Her phone rang again and she looked at it. It was Charlie. She let it go to voicemail and Edward looked at her.
"Lets put in a movie," Bella suggested. "I just want a relaxing time before going back home."
He wasn't going to deny her that, even if he was a little irritated. He put in Pride and Prejudice and while the previews rolled she got her some of Esme's cookies and some popcorn.
"You're going to make me fat you know," Bella giggled as he returned with the snacks.
"Eh if it makes you unattractive to the hormone driven he-puddles out there then I say let's bump you up to a size twelve at least."
"He-puddles?" Bella asked.
Edward laughed at her face and held a cookie to her lips.
"I'm going on a diet after this, just to be safe," Bella teased.
"But I don't want you to be a stick," Edward pouted. "Your skinny enough as it is."
"I need to put a little meat in my butt I suppose."
"It's okay," Edward chuckled, nuzzling her neck, "you're white so you can get away with having no ass."
As usual the movie played but they hardly watched it. Along the way Edward began quoting Mr. Darcy to her and Bella giggled. By the time Elizabeth was denying engagement to Mr. Collins, Bella was reclined against the arm of the sofa and Edward was kissing her.
"You kids should probably get a room if you're going to do that," Carlisle said as he entered.
"We're in one," Edward reminded him. But he detached from Bella's neck all the same.
"Ah to be young and in love," Carlisle sighed with a smile.
"You aren't that much older than we are," Edward reminded him. "You're barely in your twenties."
"Ah yes but in my day that was an old man. Now you twenty-somethings are so childish and spoiled."
"Thanks for the story grandpa," Edward sighed, moving back up into a proper position with Bella. He shot Carlisle a grin and his father figure just smiled serenely.
"I suppose it is nice that you actually kissed a girl. Finally."
"Heavy emphasis on finally," Emmett teased from upstairs.
Bella giggled when Edward scowled at the ceiling. She knew Emmett had said something, even if she couldn't hear what.
"Edward's too much of a goody to get laid before marriage," Jasper commented as he came into the living room. "So Emmett may never get to make sex jokes and make Bella blush."
"Oh I can still make them," Emmett said, coming down the stairs, "for instance Edward has a striking similarity to a Christmas tree."
"What's that?" Bella asked.
"God don't encourage him," Edward moaned.
"The balls are just for decoration."
"Excuse me love, I must kill my brother," Edward said before pushed out of the sofa and charging after Emmett.
"Boys!" Esme called from upstairs. "Wreck anything and I'll box your ears!"
"Ah I love getting a rise out of him," Jasper sighed with a smile.
"You kids," Carlisle sighed shaking his head, "always teasing each other."
"Aw you know we love each other," Emmett said as he came back in.
"I wish I had brothers," Bella sighed with a smile.
"Aw you probably will," Emmett said, falling into the sofa and hugging Bella's shoulders. "You and Eddie are bound to get hitched and we'll be able to tease you all night long!"
"Will you kindly stop ringing the wedding bells?" Edward asked as he came in, brushing his sleeves clean. "We haven't even been together for a year."
"Yes and I don't ever want to get married."
"That'll change," Carlisle promised her, "Esme used to say she never wanted to have sex but we find our bed rocking quite often."
"Thank you for that," Bella grumbled after shuddering. Carlisle laughed and turned the page of the journal he was reading.
"We hear it every time," Edward sighed, "at least they sound better than Emmett and Rose who sound like elephants dying."
"Yeah well at least I'm not whispering sweet nothings to my hand," Emmett shot back.
"Burn," Jasper chuckled.
"Boys try to remember that Bella is a young lady and doesn't need to hear about your sex lives," Esme scolded.
"Yes mom," the boys said with bowed heads.
"Yes Esme," Carlisle said with them in the same submissive tone.
"Bella dear your father called asking if you were here and he would like you to call him when you can."
"Of course he did," Bella sighed, "I'll call him soon. I'm not really ready to talk yet."
"This I know," Edward nodded.
Bella laid her head on his shoulder and sighed. "I probably should get home. Will you come tonight?"
"If you want me to," Edward said with a gentle smile. They stood up and Bella said goodbye to the family before Edward walked her out. She hugged him tight.
"You're going to follow aren't you."
"I always do."
"Just don't think to badly of me," Bella asked. She looked into his eyes and he smiled at her.
"I could never."
Edward kissed her forehead and she went on her way.
Bella walked in and found Charlie sitting on the sofa crying. He was holding a framed photograph and there were tissues everywhere. Bella took the dry cleaning up to their rooms. She hung the suit in Charlie's closet and when she turned around she saw the picture on the small table by his bed. She picked it up and sighed. It was the last family picture they took. Well, partial family. It was taken at Disneyland.
"It feels like it was so long ago," Charlie mumbled. Bella looked back at him and nodded. He was holding another frame. "You girls are my world. Now Nessie is gone."
Bella sighed and looked back at the picture. Two identical teenage girls were taking a picture with Mickey Mouse. It was one of the few photographs of the girls together.
"She was your sister, Bells. You don't seem upset at all."
"I'm tired," Bella said quietly. She knew Edward would be nearby and she couldn't wait to get back into his arms.
"We're leaving early tomorrow."
"I'll let Edward know," Bella said in the same quiet tone. "I asked him to come with me but he couldn't."
"Probably for the best."
Bella nodded. She hugged him goodnight before going into her room. She found that there was a photo album on her bed. Until recently her bedroom had been used as storage. Books and old albums had been stored in her closet. Charlie must have been looking through it. She hated that she was so awkward around him when he cried.
Bella looked up and smiled as Edward appeared. He came up and hugged her.
"I thought you hated roller coasters," he said.
"What? Oh, that."
A shot from Space Mountain was on the open page.
"I suppose you heard then?"
"No, I just got here."
Bella sat down and turned the pages back to the first one. It was a picture of Renee sitting with two toddlers. Edward sat down and looked at the picture.
"So you're a twin?"
"Yeah. We're identical, down to the last freckle."
"Wow," Edward said picking up the book, "it's weird seeing two of you."
"Her name was Vanessa but we called her Nessie or Nessa."
"You two were close?" Edward asked, turning the page to see a picture of the girls dressed up for homecoming. This was the first picture where he could see a difference in them physically. Nessa was wearing silver heels that matched her short strapless gown. Her hair was styled and she had a sort of sexy air about her. Bella on the other hand looked uncomfortable. She wasn't wearing heels and her dress was longer. Her hair was straight with a blue headband.
"We were as opposite as you get. She was the beauty queen and I just went with the flow. I didn't tell you about her because I was scared you would want to meet her."
"Is that bad?" Edward asked, turning the page again.
"It's all the physical appeal you find in me with the sexy attitude Rosalie has. Everybody loved her. She didn't let me date anyone."
"Why would she decide that?" Edward asked.
"Well as soon as some guy liked me and I liked him, she'd swoop in and lure him away. Then she'd date him then dump him when she got bored."
Edward smiled and pulled Bella against him. "And you were afraid the same thing would happen to me?"
"Yes," Bella mumbled, blushing. Edward laughed and kissed her temple.
"You could be completely deformed for all I care. I would still want you as badly as I do."
Bella sighed and pushed the album off of his lap onto the floor. "I don't want to look at pictures anymore. I just want her to go away."
"How did she die?"
"I don't know. She's been missing for months though. Since around the whole affair in Phoenix in the spring. Renee is really upset, so is Phil."
"She stayed in Phoenix then?"
"Yeah. Renee gave me the same choice after we convinced her to go with Phil. She had a huge group of friends at school whereas I didn't. Edward I know you're curious but can we please not talk about her?"
Edward nodded. "Anything you wish."
"Can you kiss me for a while?"
Edward smiled. "I suppose I can do that," he murmured before kissing her.
The funeral was weird for Bella. It was open casket and it was like seeing herself. She hated that her sister looked so beautiful in death. Her skin was flawless as always and ivory white. Her hair was curled and made up nice and she was wearing a beautiful prom dress. It was the one that she was supposed to wear. Bella's mind was back in Forks while the ceremony carried on.
She felt a strange liberation that she felt guilty about. She was never going to hear her parents ask why she couldn't make friends like her sister did, or why she didn't go out and have fun like her sister.
"I can't stand this," Renee mumbled into Charlie's shoulder as she cried. "To think that we could have lost them both."
"I know," Charlie murmured, stroking her hair gently. Bella knew he was sending a dark thought back up north to her boyfriend. She once again felt extremely lucky that James didn't kill her. She knew that her parents couldn't handle her death as well.
When the ceremony was over the casket was carried out and the grieving family and friends followed. Bella sat in the back of Phil's CRV with Charlie as they followed the escort to the cemetery. It was sunny as usual and it made Bella feel hot and sticky in her black dress. She picked up her phone when it buzzed.
I love you. Hang in there.
"Good lord does he ever quit?" Charlie sighed.
"He's just being supportive," Bella reminded him.
"You still with that Edward boy?" Renee asked.
I love you too. Miss you.
Bella turned her phone off after sending the message to avoid a lecture. They were at the cemetery anyway. She got out with her family and they walked to the plot. The casket had arrived before they did and was already in position to be lowered down. Final words were spoken before the casket was lowered into the ground. Bella heard her parents sobbing around her and wanted so dearly to feel something. Anything. She felt bad for her sister but that was it. In the end they just hated each other. They fought all the time and at school they may as well been identical strangers.
Her biggest surprise came from a football playing grabbing her and kissing her.
"Sorry," he sobbed after, "I never got to kiss her goodbye."
Bella held back and just nodded. After that she was quick to leave before any other guy got the idea to kiss her in hopes it would be like kissing her sister.
Bella got a call in the airport from Edward. They were summoned to Volterra to celebrate Aro's one thousandth birthday and would be gone for a week. That set Bella's mood to bad for the trip home. At least she and Charlie matched. Nobody knew who had killed Vanessa Swan and the police were declaring the case cold.
"I just wish we could get closure," Charlie said yet again as they sat on the plane. Bella just popped open her can of diet coke and drank it quietly.
When they got home Charlie went to touch base with Billy and Harry while Bella put on a pot for some macaroni. She wanted to talk to Edward but he was out of the country partying with vampires. She listened to Charlie tell his friend that it was a beautiful ceremony and so many people showed up it made him cry. Bella sighed and laid her head on the table. She was sure that if her parents knew the horrible things her sister did they wouldn't be so upset. Such as the day Randy told Bella he would go out with her but then her sister snagged him into a makeout session. Or the time Nessie took Bella's name and got a nasty rumor started about her.
Bella was alone in her distaste for the elder twin.
Bella didn't know she was being watched. If she had she probably would have left. The person watching her hated her. She hated everything about her.
"You ruined my life," she whispered. She pulled back her long brown hair and held it with a clip. She walked up quietly behind her mirror image and grabbed her by her pony tail. Bella screamed and tried to turn her head but an icy hand covered her eyes. She held a wad of cloth in her other hand and pushed it into her sister's mouth while she screamed.
"You always were noisy," she said in a voice too quiet for Bella to hear. She could hear the blood rushing through her veins as her heart raced. With her hand still tight over Bella's eyes she caught her head against her shoulder. She smiled and ripped back Bella's turtle neck.
Bella felt panic rush through her. She was held by a vampire, she was sure now. When her collar was torn she assumed the worst. She was going to be drained by a vampire. She was going to die without seeing Edward ever again. She screamed into the gag as the sharp teeth broke her skin. But too soon she was thrown to the ground. The fire was starting. She clawed the ground to try and move her body but the paralysis was beginning to spread. Her legs were dead from the knees down. Edward had told her once that the venom would paralyze the muscles in the limbs to prevent escape. It was racing up her spine and soon she was immobile. She knew the vampire was standing nearby but she couldn't look to see who it was. Her head was stuck.
Nessie watched quietly. Bella was screaming quietly because her mouth was locked closed. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. She knew the pain all too well. For the past five months she had the memory of that pain to keep her going. It was the pain she had suffered because of her sister. She had suffered alone in her living room, waiting for someone to find her. But her mother was in Florida and her father was in Forks. In a surge of anger she kicked Bella hard in the back. She took the gag out with some difficulty and then tied it around Bella's eyes. She then threw her over her shoulder and walking towards home.
So I've had this idea floating around for almost a year now. I'm just gonna go for it and see if anyone likes it. The title is simply because that was the song that was playing when I started thinking of it.