Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thanks to the lovely TwiDi for cleaning up my mess :) Check out her story You Don't Know Anything *hint it's in my favs ;).
Bella watched as the last one of her class accepted his high school diploma from her seat in the first row. She smiled up at Edward her boyfriend and he gave her a wicked wink.
Edward was the class President, captain of the boys' baseball team, but more than anything else… he was hers and everyone knew it. Bella looked down at the small diamond promise ring on her left hand and smiled again. Touching it gently, she remembered the day Edward had given it to her. Two years ago Edward had simply slipped it on her finger and said, "Sorry it took so long.", Not that she cared everyone in town knew Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan had been joined together from the crib and would be that way for the rest of their lives.
Edward gave her one of his crooked little-boy-going-bad grins from his seat next to the Principle's on the stage. Bella blushed when Edward continued to grin then boldly blew her a kiss. Sometimes she could swear that he did things like this just to see her blush; because he alone knew just how much of her body actually blushed.
Lost in a daydream of Edward and herself wrapped up in a blanket, she failed to see the devil gleam come to his emerald green eyes. She began to come around when the people around her began to stand and caps were thrown in the air. Bella felt like she was punched in her stomach. This was it; no more high school.
No more having to sneak out or sneak back into the house. No more baseball games cheering for Edward and the guys to win, no more watching the clock for 3 pm so you can go out to the parking lot and make out with your boyfriend before having to go home and do your homework so you could leave the house again to see the same boyfriend and make out some more over cheese fries down at Toni's Place.
Looking up with unshed tears in her eyes searching to find Edward's eyes to somehow get some comfort, she met his eyes straight on; green colliding with brown. Edward left the stage to come and hold her right there in the middle of everyone. He hugged her close lifting her a bit off the ground and smiled gently as he said the words that she would late wonder about , "Don't worry, Bella, it's over and we're finally free." as he kissed her lightly freckled nose, "Come on, baby, I'll get you a corn dog and a double dip chocolate cone." he placed his arm around her waist and led her through the crowd towards his truck when a voice behind them stopped the their tracks.
"Bella, are you ok?" Maggie Webster, Bella's best friend asked. The worried look in her hazel eyes made Bella feel guilty for crying.
"Yeah, she's fine." Edward grinned looking at Maggie, the devil-smile back in place, "She just wanted to sucker me into a double dip cone so bad that she made herself cry." he teased and then lightly kissed Bella's lips. Maggie groaned and laughed but she looked hard at Bella to try and read for herself if Bella was really ok before she ran off into the waiting arts of her linebacker boyfriend, Felix.
Later that evening...
Bella rolled over in the soft confines of her bed. The last party had been over hours ago and Edward had left for the night not long after dropping Bella off at her house. Her graduation party had been the best in her head. She had absolutely loved the laptop computer her father had bought her, but Charlie Swan had just blushed and brushed off his eldest child's thanks saying simply, "You'll need it at that fancy school you got into and when you get into law school you'll need it even more." Charlie was still slightly bemused that his daughter was going to be a lawyer. He was the town's Chief of Police and his wife was a first grade teacher at Forks Elementary school. Renee Swan, on the other hand, as a teacher and loving wife and mother thought that Bella's law dreams were perfectly normal seeing nothing at all funny with a cop's daughter being a high powered lady lawyer.
Bella had picked out law after watching Edward's father many summers in a row in the court room. She felt a rush at the whole process. Carlisle Cullen, Edward's dad had encouraged his son's girlfriend, even helped her to get into his old college along with his dream to get his son to see the light and a be a lawyer like himself. Edward had never wanted to go into law though; his dream was to write songs and sing. He was going to be a country legend. Not something every kid from Forks, WA dreams about. But then again, Edward was unique and that's what Bella found so appealing and so did the rest of the town. His charm and charisma drew everyone in and kept them interested in him and his life for years.
Edward even started writing a song for her which he called "Bella's Heart". It was a youthful corny song but it was all hers. Bella began slipping into a deeper sleep as the day's events started to worn her out completely. She had fallen asleep long ago, but the deep sleep just began to hit. It was when she began dreaming of Edward, when she felt a warm breath fanning her cheek and heard a soft voice whisper her name.
"Bella, wake up," a soft demand came from behind her and she rolled over, feeling no danger; she looked up into the eyes that were more familiar to her than her own.
"Edward," she said in a sleepy whisper, "How did you get in my bedroom?" her brown eyes trying to focus slightly through the dark, she saw that he was wearing jeans and a Mariners jersey.
"I climbed the tree. Bella, hurry up we need to talk. Let's get out of here and go to the cabins, so I don't have to worry about your dad shooting me with his shot gun tonight." Edward told her in a cheeky whisper. His green eyes full of emotions that she couldn't seem to comprehend, though she figured that the finality that had hit her earlier that day at graduation had finally hit him and he wanted to talk about it.
"Let me get changed and we can go." she said softly and stood up to put on a pair of denim shorts and a soft pink t-shirt. Grabbing a sweater she led him down the stairs and out the front door. They said no more as they sat in Edward's two year old Volvo and headed towards the cabins. It was only a four-minute drive, but it felt more like an hour in the silence of the cab of his car.
The cabins were an old run down vacation resort that Edward's grandparents had, but were shut down in the early 70's. With the hippy generation that was moving around, they'd found it better to close up than rent out to free love and drug people. Edward and Bella had stumbled upon the cabins when they were twelve years old; and since the land belonged to Edward's family, they made it their own play ground. No one really knew about it but them and only a closed group of friends. And they preferred it that way.
At twelve they had cleaned up the cabin that had been in the best shape, bringing in furniture from the other cabins that ware in good shape still. They took paint from the basement of Bella's house that was used to paint her dad's work shop. There was plenty left for the living room of the cabin, while the other rooms were painted in various other shades that were found in their parents' houses over the years. Blankets had been brought in. And as they got older, the decor had improved with summer job money; adding to their décor different things. This was the place that Bella and Edward had shared their first real kiss at thirteen. At fifteen they had learnt how to share bodies and at seventeen had danced on prom night long after everyone else had gone home and to bed. This is where they had dreamed all their dreams and planned their future together. This is where the best and worst conversations between them had taken place and where they had dreamed of building a home one day to raise their own children. It was their secret hideaway, but more than that; it was their past, present and future memories all rolled into one.
Outside 'their' cabin, Edward held her hand and pulled her close, "Come on, kitten, it's too cold to talk out here. Let's go inside." He pulled her to his side and they walked through the door and sat on the old sofa with the patchwork quilt in the living room area of the house. Edward held her close and leaned his head towards hers then looked her straight in the eyes, "Bella, he finally pulled the last straw tonight. He told me that it was either his old college or any college to become a lawyer or something at least or I was out. That he wasn't going to let me waste my life away on dreams under his roof; that as long as I was there, I was going to live by his rules and grow up." Edward looked so sad as he stared at her pale face and the soft pink pouting lips that stood out against her skin. Bella put her hand on his arm feeling the anger and anguish that filled him as she did so. Edward's dreams were his life, unlike her and his father's; he was a dreamer, where they were far more analytical.
Edward's mother Esme was a dreamer like Edward, but long ago she had fulfilled her dream by marrying a 'Cullen' and becoming the first lady of the town. Edward's younger brother and sister were a lot more like their father. His brother attending military school by choice and his sister in high honors advanced classes planning a life as a medical doctor. "Bella, I'm leaving town." she gasped and he put a finger to her lips, "My cousin has a place in Nashville, I'm going to stay there. I want you to come with me. Over the years, I've saved and I cashed in my savings bonds. I have a little over fifteen grand. We can find our own place pretty quick and if we both work we can live there with no problem. You can go to school there if you can get one scholarship. Surely you could get another or loans. Bella, we would be free like we planned and I can get into the business quicker than I ever dreamed. I sent a demo tape into Mountain Records. You know the one that handles only the best of the best. Well, one of their artists named Alice Brandon; she loved it! And wants to cut it as a single," he smiled at her like she was going to agree to anything he said; as of he had already won. It was the cocky grin that made her feel like a doormat. Bella stood up and walked over to the window, looking out she turned slowly towards him.
"Edward Cullen, for eighteen years, you have asked me to jump; and I would jump only asking you how high. Now, when I am on the verge of getting something that I have always dreamed of, you want me to simply say 'Oh, well I'll just get another scholarship because they grow on trees'! Edward maybe your father's right; you need to grow up." She looked at him, the fire in her eyes matching the red highlights in her wavy brown hair, "I'm your girlfriend, Edward. Not your sleeping bag; you don't simply roll me up and move me along whenever you're ready to go someplace else. You know you are the part of me that isn't really part of me but means the same to my body as if you were my heart. I feel like I'm dying sometimes when I've gone too long without seeing you. But, Edward, I have a family responsibilities that I can't just say screw it to in a space of five minutes and go pack my bags." she stomped her foot on the battered carpet and felt an angry bitter tear slip down her cheek. Edward stood up and rushed over pulling her into his arms. With all the passion of teenage love, he kissed her lips and looked at her closely.
"Kitten, I need you. I can't do this without you. You have to come with me, I don't think you are really angry at the idea of leaving so much as you are about my assumption that you would just leave without thinking about it." he perceptively figured out on his own. He knew Bella. He knew her better than she knew herself. She was cautious to a fault; she never rushed and never did a thing without over analyzing it. When they had made love for the first time, she had told him it was the obvious next step in their relationship; so, they might as well. He had asked her to sleep with him; and in his wildest randy fantasies, he had never thought she would be that willing. He had a lot of pretty words and persuasive ideas in his head to seduce her. But his Bella had shocked him so much that he almost failed the 'deed' completely. Still they had both agreed that the second time had been much better than their fumbling first. Her brown eyes began to calm and he knew he was beginning to win.
"Oh, Edward!" she exclaimed her voice filled with horror of changing her plans and excitement at taking the forbidden risk.
Kissing her gently and walking her back to the sofa, he lowered her slowly. Kissing her trembling lips, "You always do this to me, Edward." she moaned against his firm lips, "Seduce me into doing your bidding. I know you're doing it, yet I always let you do it anyways..." She groaned and pulled away from him, "Time, Edward. I need some time." He held her from behind and kissed the back of her neck gently.
"Ok, it's 3 am by my watch; and I am leaving town at 8 tonight. Leaving by dark, so I can act like nothing is up. Mom and you are the only ones who know what is happening. Well, my cousin knows too. None of you would tell Dad though, he's likely to lock me away till fall; and then walk me to classes he personally picked out for me to attend." Edward gave a wary laugh, "Be here by 7 pm. Tell your parents we are going camping or something and we'll write them from Nashville. It'll be safer, then your Dad can't shoot me as quickly and your Mom can't use her emotional blackmail to make you stay." Edward looked at her face and saw her pull a small smile. They both had no illusions when it came to their respective parents. Bella's father was the old-fashioned over-protective type that believed that Bella should be married first and then she should still wait to have intercourse. While her Mom was the needy type; holding her daughters and students as close to her as she could needing to protect them from the evils of the world, "Come anyway, Bella, even if you aren't going on the trip, come to say goodbye. You know as well as I do that no matter what, we'll always be together. If you can't come now, I'll give you my cousin's address; and you can come later. I'll always wait for you Bella, you're mine and I'm yours." Edward told her pleading; his green eyes meeting deep brown in a silent battle of control and love.
Bella wrapped her arms around Edward's neck and kissed him. An hour or so later, wrapped in only the patchwork quilt, Edward looked down at the sleeping woman in his arms and smiled to himself. Who would have known when he was three years old and she stole his milk that one day he would willingly give her anything he had; including his heart, which probably had been hers since that day. He would never let her get away for long. Other girls in school had offered him their bodies but though he had been flattered and his teenage body was tempted, he had never touched another girl. Bella was all he ever needed; all he would ever need. One day she would bare his children and they would watch them play on a swing and laugh about the time he pushed her on the swing a bit too hard and she had skinned her knee. At nine years old, he had carried her two blocks home telling her the whole way not to cry as he felt like crying himself. His proud sweet Bella had been hurt and it was his fault. In the end, it was Bella calming his fears and assuring him that it was really nothing; that this hadn't been his fault.
His Bella was always doing that, making him feel better, even when she was hurting herself. One day he swore to himself that one day, he would give her everything she ever dreamed of; she would never wish for anything or need anything again, because he would have already put it in her hands. Bella had saved him many times from himself, from his rebellious behavior and from his feud with his father. She had held him the night that his Grandfather had died and dried his tears and later when he had been embarrassed by his show of emotions she had pretended not to have noticed them to begin with and had never mentioned it again. They were going to make a life in Nashville together and someday when he had made it on his own without his family's money, he would buy this land and build Bella her dream house, here like they had always planned. But until then, he smiled. He and Bella would live on love.
Edward drove her home once again in silence, he was letting her think and she was still groggy from sleep. He got out at her house walking around to open her door and kiss her one last time before her whispered softly in her ear, "Always remember, I love you, Kitten." He left her grinning like an idiot outside her house. The sun was gently rising and her heart was beating like a drum in a rock song. She skipped up her front steps and put the key in her front door.
Bella opened the door and looked around at the pale yellow walls of her childhood home and faintly smiled. Could she really leave? She asked herself many questions including… Can I really change all my plans just because Edward's dreams are coming true? Can I leave my parents to run off to Nashville and probably work in a dinner somewhere until he made it big or she finished college?
"Is Edward worth all this? Do I love him enough? Does he love me enough that we can make this work?" she said out loud.
"BELLA!" she looked up to see her fifteen year old sister Rosalie running down the stairs to her. Tears filled Rosalie's eyes and her face was puffy you could tell immediately that something was very wrong.
"Rose, what's wrong?" Bella asked looking at the beautiful blond in front of her.
"Bella, you have to drive me to the hospital now!" Bella took in the ashen face of her sister and asked no more questions. She grabbed her by the arm and pulled her out the door down to her old beat up 92 two-door Chevy caviler and drove like the wind.