-- Indention of the Heart --
A/N: I've had this in my head for quite sometime. I couldn't quite fit in the bad guy/good guy characters that I wanted in it and after I saw this REALLY hot picture of Jackson Rathbone it finally hit me. I was born and raised in the South and there are so many southern gentlemen around here who are more than willing to scoop a girl up and take care of them... especially when you see Bella in the situation she's in.
This is written as a test to see if I can get away from the Bella/Jacob genre of stories and dive into other characters.
This story is dedicated to a couple of people who taught me that moving on from things is the best way to go through life. Holding onto the past isn't always healthy and so this is for JenniP, my beta, friend and confidant; Chris, my BFF for who gives me support even when he has no idea what the hell I'm talking about; for Cathy, my editor at the paper who despite what she thinks, is the most awesome birthday sharer a girl could have; and last but not least, this is dedicated to you, the readers. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Abandon hit 40,000 hits this week and I was in tears from overwhelming happiness.
I lastly have to dedicate this story to two writers who influenced me to write. Angstgoddess003 and HunterHunting are two of THE best damn fan fiction writers around and after reading their work, I'm almost half embarrassed to even post anything.
I got the idea for this from my great-grandmother's engagement ring that has created and indention on my finger. When I removed it to clean the diamond the other day, I noticed a small indention in my finger. I cannot imagine what it would be like to see that there day in and day out after removing a wedding band due to a divorce or losing your loved one.
I know I'm going to cry during this story, but I'm actually ok with it. It'll be healthy to cry.
So without further wait... Indention of the Heart....
"Mrs. Isabella Cullen"
The outside envelope made me giggle a little. Who could have known that in less than twenty-four hours my name would change?
I couldn't believe that after all the years of struggles and having to put up with Edward's bullshit I would have finally been back to me.
I missed my maiden name as I stared down at the envelope. Inside this heavy, brown ticket to my freedom was the one thing I couldn't wait for.
They were my divorce papers, and even though the mere thought of the word almost brought me to tears. I couldn't help feeling a small bit of joy out of it. I was the product of a broken home, and I thanked God every single day that I had not brought a child into this world to suffer the way I did when my parents split.
I loved Edward more than anything on this earth. I wasn't sure that marrying him so early on in our relationship had been the best idea, but he was insistent upon it. He loved me so much, or at least that's what he claimed.
I just think he hated the thought of anyone else having me. He was my first everything. He was my first love, my first sexual experiences and now my first heartache. I'd never even been with another man, and as I crept closer to my 23rd birthday, I knew that I could fully experience life for the first time. It wasn't like I would go out and find a new guy each night – I wasn't that kind of girl. I just wanted to know what it felt like to have someone else hold me.
And hopefully not be so damn overbearing.
I first realized how completely overbearing he was the night he knocked out Tyler Crowley for accidentally grazing my ass at a small reunion we held for our friends. Tyler meant absolutely no harm, but Edward went into complete freak out mode and punched him square in the nose. I am still apologizing to Tyler for Edward's barbaric behavior.
At first, it seemed sweet that he was so protective over me, but eventually, I couldn't put up with it anymore. The night I asked for the divorce was the hardest night of my life. Edward's reaction was the part that worried me the most. He was so calm about it all. He didn't show any emotion whatsoever, and that made it easier for me.
If he wasn't hurting on the outside, I could do this.
I packed my belongings and moved from Seattle back to Forks, Washington. My father, Charlie, was the chief of police for the sleepy little town, and he was so happy to have me move back in. I expected a ton of I told you so's to hit me the minute I arrived, but instead he only said that my bed was made up and that he had an extra dresser drawer available if I needed it.
Charlie was so good about keeping his mouth shut until he really needed to speak up about something.
I took a job at the school as an English teacher. Everyone there – the teachers, principal, other faculty – loved the idea that I came back to town to teach. I guess when people leave, they don't normally come back. I was the exception to the rule, twice.
I moved here in my junior year of high school. That's when I met Alice Cullen. She was my complete and total opposite. She was smaller than I was with short black hair, beautiful figure and great fashion sense. She took me under her wing, and we became the best of friends. Then she introduced me to her brother, Edward, and that's when the sparks flew.
Alice, despite the fact that I was divorcing her brother, remained my loyal friend. She claimed she was Switzerland, and that she would be neutral during the whole break up. She kept true to her word.
She was happy that I would get my freedom. She knew how Edward treated me and had talked to him about it on several occasions, but it didn't matter. He wouldn't budge with his behavior, so it was all on him.
It's not like he wasn't warned.
I realized I had stood for almost ten minutes in the driveway of our small house staring at the envelope when my pocket buzzed. My cell was going off and I instantly knew who it was.
"Hello, Miss Swan," a small voice said on the other line.
"Not quite yet," I said back to Alice.
"Well, the day you left, you were Miss Swan. Keep that in mind. So the papers arrived?"
"Hello, I know everything. Well that, and I see you standing in your driveway with a huge brown envelope."
I looked over and saw her sitting in her car. I shut the phone and laughed. She jumped out of her car and skipped over to me. No matter what, Alice skipped. I've tried to figure out how on earth she can have so much energy.
"So, are we still going out to Port Angeles tonight?" she mused.
"I really don't know. Have you spoken to Angela, Jessica or Rosalie?"
Jessica Stanley Newton, Angela Weber Yorkie and Rosalie Hale Cullen were good friends of mine. Rosalie and I didn't exactly hit it off when I first moved here, but she was in our little group of girls so she kind of stuck with us. She was now married to Emmett Cullen, Alice and Edward's brother and technically my sister-in-law by marriage. She didn't blame me one bit for the divorce. To be honest, I don't think anyone did. Even Edward's parents were still loving and open towards me.
Angela married Eric Yorkie, and Jessica married Mike Newton, who was also my divorce lawyer. The shit really hit the fan when Mike had to tell his dad that he wasn't taking over the family run outfitters store and wanted to become a lawyer. After his dad saw how well he did with it, not another word was spoken about it.
"Well, why don't you call them and see if they'll meet you at the club? I'm going upstairs. I have a surprise for you," Alice said.
It was the first time I realized that she carried a garment bag in her arms with a box of shoes. This worried me – big time.
I came down later, adorned in the shortest black dress ever with the highest black heels ever. Alice was either secretly pissed at me for divorcing her brother and this was her torture, or she was trying to get me laid.
The moment I stepped on the bottom step, she squealed.
"Bella, look at you. You are so hot. If I were a guy, I would for sure take you home tonight."
Yup, she was trying to get me laid.
"Thanks Alice, but I'm not going home with anyone tonight except three awesome amazing girls who have done more than their fair share for me."
Tears welled up in my eyes, and Alice stopped me before I could let them slip out.
"Stop it Bella, you are going to ruin your make up. I don't think you'll attract guys with raccoon eyes."
She grabbed me by the hand as we walked out the door towards the car.
The waves of emotions hit me like the biggest seawall. As I stared at the gold wedding band on my left ring finger, I couldn't bear to remove it. I knew it was time. As of eight this morning, I was no longer married to the girl of my dreams. Charlotte Whitlock; the woman of my dreams was no longer mine.
I didn't know what to think about it. I wanted to try to make things work between us, but I couldn't. She didn't want to be with me anymore. She had found someone else, and even though I would have fought for her love, it wasn't enough to keep her with me. Once you are no longer needed, it's best to bow out like a gentleman and fade away.
As a single tear hit my wedding band, I knew it was time.
I stood staring outside the window of my small apartment in Port Angeles. Tonight, my best friend of four years and others were taking me out. They figured I could use a night on the town, but I just didn't know if I was ready or not.
I heard a knock at the door, and I wiped the rest of my tears away. I cleared my throat as I said, "Coming."
The banging got louder on my door, "Damn it, I said I was coming."
"Sorry, Jazz. I thought you backed out on us."
Standing before me were my guys – Emmett Cullen, my best friend, and his crew of meat heads, Sam Uley, Jacob Black and Embry Call. They all looked alike. Their muscles were huge, and I wasn't surprised. I think they spent more time at the gym than they did with their beautiful wives.
I was shocked that Emmett was taking me out at all. I thought Emmett would need to be there for his brother, who also faced the same fate as me the next day. His wife had left him after so many years of marriage and a great relationship – or what I thought was a great relationship. I had never met her. Emmett said she was a great girl and that he was sad to see it end.
From what I understood, he wasn't exactly the best to her.
I was raised in the South where men treated their women like gold. That's how I had treated Charlotte, so I guess no matter how you treated a woman, as long as she has her mind made up, there wasno changing it.
"Nah, I guess I do need this. Give me a second."
I ran straight to my bathroom, brushed my teeth as fast as I could, brushedsome stuff through my blond curls to keep them from being so damn curly and took off my wedding band. I figured now was as good a time as ever.
I headed straight for the door, and Emmett was the only one still waiting for me.
"Jazz, are you sure you are up to this?" Emmett asked in a caring way.
"Sure, we need to do this. I need to do this. How else am I supposed to move on?"
Emmett looked down at my hand. He could still see where the ring left an indentation in my finger."I'm glad to see you finally took it off. That's the first step in the right direction."
He put his hand on my shoulder and gave it a tight squeeze. Then patted me on the back, pushing me out the door. He slammed it behind us as we walked towards the club.
My apartment location had its advantages. There were tons of places to eat and party around my area, and we decided to go out for drinks.
We entered this club two blocks over, and as soon as we got there, Emmett slipped the doorman a hundred. We were immediately moved upstairs to the VIP room. There weren't many tables up there, and we seemed to be one of three parties. Emmett glanced over and laughed.
"Well I see Rosalie and them decided this would be their celebration point tonight also. I guess I have to be on my best behavior."
I looked over to the table full of girls. I saw Rosalie, three girls we went to school with and his sister Alice.
"Damn man, you really have to be on your best behavior. Alice is here too."
He shook his head, "Figures."
I laughed. As I recovered from the mere fact that Emmett couldn't act like a wild guy tonight, I noticed a face that didn't seem familiar to me.
She looked… uncomfortable. She had her hands folded on the table. All the girls around her were talking up a storm, and she looked absolutely miserable. She was sipping hard on the mixed drink that sat in front of her. I noticed three empty ones on the table next to her, and my first instinct was that she was trying to drown her misery.
She looked like she could cry at the drop of a hat, and it worried me that she felt so sad. All her friends who surrounded her didn't even take notice.
Emmett slapped my back and knocked me back into reality.
"So, Jasper, what is your poison of choice tonight?"
"I'll take a Jack and coke."
He left me to head to the bar as I took my seat at the table, my eyes staying focused on the girl who seemed so unhappy.
As the night dragged on, we drank and talked. Emmett did more than his fair share of toasting towards me and my freedom. Rosalie kept looking over at him and each time she did, he immediately straightened up. It was so funny to see such a big man completely whipped by a girl half his size. He loved her though and would do anything to keep her happy. That was what made me appreciate his friendship. He knew how to treat people with dignity and respect.
I admit it. I thought of Charlotte so many times during the night. Each girl that walked below us in the regular part of the club looked like her. Being there was becoming my own personal hell, and I almost excused myself so many times to go home. I didn't though. I knew that I needed to stick it out. It would help.
The drinks kept coming, and before I realized it, I was totally fucked. My mind began to spin as the rest of the bar spun in the opposite direction, and then I had to take a piss.
Emmett laughed as I stood up, knocking over empty beer bottles on my way away from the table.
"Do you need help, Jasper?" Sam asked.
"Nah, I think … I got it." I answered, slurring my words.
They were all laughing at me. Yes, I was completely slammed. The door to the bathroom hallway seemed to move each time I reached for it, but as soon as I rounded the corner of the small hallway, I knew I was going to be ok if I could just get through the men's bathroom door.
The door slammed behind me and I locked it. I stood up against the urinal and pissed like a fucking race horse. It seemed to not stop. Finally, after I finally pissed all the alcohol out of my system-well not really- I fought my way back to the bathroom door.
I unlocked it and slammed it open.
I stuck out my head to see if anyone was coming. It was embarrassing enough that I couldn't even stand on my own two feet.
Sitting on the floor on the opposite side of the hallway was the beautiful brunette from Rosalie's table. Her face was in her hands, and she was crying.
She looked so unhappy as she sat up against the wall. Her long brown hair flowed around her shoulders creating a curtain to hide her away from the world. My heart felt like it was breaking right along with hers.
I debated for a minute on whether to go talk to her. I figured she needed someone to talk to. The entire night her girlfriends, while having with the best of intentions for bringing her out, barely paid any attention to her. She drowned her own sorrows and I knew then that she needed my assistance. Leave it to me to be the forever southern gentleman.
I stumbled towards her, and once I arrived, I sat down next to her.
She didn't even look towards me.
I didn't know what to say to her. I had so many questions. I wanted to know what it was that made her so unhappy and why she was alone. I wanted to know why she felt it necessary to disappear from her friends.
Then I saw her left hand.
She had the same indention on hers that I had on mine, and it began to make sense.
"Excuse me, ma'am, are you ok?"
She peered through her hair at me.
"I will be, eventually," she said as she sniffled.
"Do you want me to get your friends?" I asked.
"No. It wouldn't matter. It's not like they are paying me any attention tonight anyway. They are all so caught up in their happy worlds with their perfect marriages."
She began to cry harder. She put her head on my shoulders, and it was mere instinct to put my arm around her and hold her. She looked like she needed a hug.
She responded and nuzzled up against me.
Together, this beautiful stranger and I shared a common bond. I knew she was recently divorced. You don't get those indentions on your finger like that unless you wore a wedding band for so long.
She just sat in my arms for what seemed like forever. I was perfectly content holding her there.
"Bella, there you are. You had us so worried," Rosalie shouted.
She jumped and stood up, almost stumbling over the insanely high heels she wore.
I stood up quickly to help steady her before she fell to the ground.
"Jasper Whitlock, what the hell do you think you are doing?" Rosalie fussed at me.
"She was crying. I was only trying to help."
"Keep your paws off, do you understand?" she spat at me.
She dragged Bella away. Bella took one glance back as Rosalie gathered the rest of the girls and they left, almost carrying Bella down the steps.
I stood watching this beautiful sad creature slip away from me.
"Jasper, what the hell did you do to piss Rose off?" Emmett asked as he joined me.
"She was crying. I was only trying to console her."
"Yeah poor Bella, she's taking the divorce a lot harder than I thought."
"Who is she?" I asked.
"That's Bella, Edward's soon to be ex-wife. The divorce will be final at eight in the morning."
I knew how she felt. I couldn't help but worry about the pain she felt. If it was anything like the way I felt, I wouldn't have wished it on my worst enemy.
REVISED A/N: I have to say a HUGE thanks to cereuleanblue, my newfound beta! She had this chapter back to me in a flash and I am TOTALLY stoked to have her on board.