I apologize in advance for the long A/N. This story has been sitting on my computer waiting for me to get a few more chapters completed so I could post with some regularity, and with the Fandom Gives Back auction starting tomorrow at midnight, and my one year anniversary of being a fanfiction author coming up next week, I decided to post this as a thank you. Check out my auctions at: http:/www (dot) thefandomgivesback (dot) com/browse (dot) php?id=312

Please note that this is an edited version of this story, the unedited copy will be posted on twcslibrary and chapters will be clearly marked if something has been cut out. Now on to the story details:

This story is a little bit different for me, because I've never tried to tell a story almost completely in memories before. This idea started as a strictly high school story, because at the time I've never written one of those before either, but I quickly saw it grow beyond that and after trying to figure out how to frame it, I took something I had planned to be a part of the later section of the story and brought it up front so now you know where they are, and the goal is to see how they got there. The entire story is from Edward's POV, unless otherwise mentioned, so I won't be putting that in every chapter; just know that it's his memories and his voice telling the story. This thing starts off nice and heavy, so let me know what you think!

When you see:

~%~%~%~%~

That is when it jumps to a memory from the past, or comes out of one. Usually he'll start talking about it and then it'll fade into his memory of the event instead of it all being in quotes because he's actually telling her out loud. Which he is, but we're in his mind as he remembers, not a fly on the wall…if that makes any sense.

The plan is to incorporate famous sports quotes or terminology from baseball for the titles of the chapters, with the reference placed just above the title, as you see below. In the case of the first chapter, it is not only the chapter, but the entire story that gets its title from the quote below.

Finally, I don't own Twilight, that's the creation of Stephenie Meyer. I'm a lifelong Mets fan, and to say that nowadays shows a devotion beyond logic (here's hoping we're healthy this year!) but sadly I don't own the rights to them either. I am however the owner of all original characters and plots within this story and copying this story for your own purpose is not only a crime against me, but goes against the general good will of the fandom, which is filled with lovely ladies and some very brave men. This is the first time I've ever felt the need to put up a warning like this, but there has been a rash of story theft in the fanfic community and I don't want the masses to suffer for the mistakes of a few.


If you come to a fork in the road, take it. ~ Yogi Berra


Taking the Fork

Chapter 1 – A Fork in the Road

"Bella, I didn't ask you if you wanted to discuss this. I'm telling you that we're discussing this, now start explaining!" I weaved around a minivan that was barely doing the speed limit on the Long Island Expressway, tucking back into the right lane as soon as I was clear.

"Not while you're this upset, and certainly not while you're driving, now slow down before you get us killed!" She fired back, shrinking back into the seat as she looked at the traffic on the service road that ran along the side of the expressway.

"Don't turn this into another lecture about my driving." I gripped the steering wheel as I looked ahead at the ridiculous traffic that always managed to clog up the road no matter what time of day it was.

"Edward…this hasn't been working for a while and I just didn't want to bring a child into the middle of all this animosity." She looked down at her hands as she spoke; her voice was quiet, defeated.

"And you didn't think that might have been something to discuss with your husband?" The anger grew in me again. Frustrated, I pulled off at Exit 37 with a quick move of the wheel.

"Edward watch the-" Her voice was cut off by the sound of a horn blaring and bright lights, quickly followed by screeching tires and crushed metal as our car slid back into the left lane and slammed into the wall along the exit ramp. Bella's scream rang in my ears as I struggled to open my eyes before my consciousness slipped away.

The next thing I heard was the yelling of the doctors and nurses for a minute before the darkness took me again.

I don't know how long I was out for, but when the sounds around me began to make sense again, I was jarred by them. I heard my family and friends, their worried voices buzzing in hushed tones, but the one person whose voice was absent was Bella's. Opening my eyes, I was met by my father's relieved face. "Oh thank goodness, my son, you had us so worried."

"Edward? Oh my sweet baby boy!" My mother's sobs came harder as Alice rushed to my bedside with Jasper behind her.

"Don't you ever scare us like that again. Emmett and Rose are here too, they just stepped out to get the doctor."

I tried to talk, but realized that there was a tube helping me to breathe, which also made speaking impossible. The doctor entered and proceeded to check my stats and make notes on my chart. "All right, Mr. Cullen, you seem to be breathing well now that you're awake, so we're going to try unhooking the ventilator. If your O2 levels stay up, then we'll remove the breathing tube. Do you understand?"

I nodded, wanting to get this over with so I could find out what happened. As it was now, I couldn't remember much. They removed the tube attached to the one down my throat and then waited to see how I responded. After they were satisfied with my breathing, they removed the tube that had been down my throat.

"It will be painful to talk for a while, so try to speak as little as possible." I nodded again and waited for him to leave with the nurses.

Once we were all alone, I looked up at everyone where they stood around my bed. "Where's Bella?" I rasped out as my family all looked down with the exception of Alice, who betrayed her silence by glancing to the side, drawing my attention to the bed next to me, where Bella lay unconscious. "No!" I yelled hoarsely, cursing myself inwardly as I struggled against the wires, tubes, and the pain of my injuries in the seconds before three sets of hands pushed me gently but firmly back onto the mattress. "What's wrong with her?"

My father stepped up to the head of my bed. "Edward, it's a miracle that either of you are alive at all right now after the accident the other day. While you did suffer some serious injuries, Bella's side of the car bore the brunt of the impact of the crash…" he trailed off, unable to actually tell me what I knew was coming. "…Edward, they're doing everything they can for her, but there's a chance Bella may never wake up."

My breathing became more labored as the tears welled up in my eyes. I did this to her. I had been driving like a maniac. I had been too busy fighting to pay attention when I got off the expressway. And if she died, if my Bella died…I would be the one that killed her. "Edward, son, you have to calm down or they'll have to sedate you again. Please, son, we just got you back."

The weight of my father's words hit me as I sank in the bed. He proceeded to tell me what he knew. The driver of the other car had been on their cell phone when they ran the red light just before the exit ramp, so when they went to merge into the left lane as I attempted to cross the three lanes to get to the far right lane, we collided, sending my car into the wall, while his car spun out and stopped before the next intersection. The driver called 911 and told them that he hadn't been paying attention. Even though I was going too fast, lots of cars fly off that exit, and it had been him who entered our lane before I could even try to get over.

The story made sense, and I certainly wasn't thinking about personally pressing charges against a middle school teacher with a mortgage for something that I felt just as guilty over. When the police arrived to speak to me a few hours later, I found out that all security footage and eye witness testimony had cleared me of any wrong doing, and I made my intentions clear as far as not going after the man in the other car.

My family came back in, but soon had to leave after my heart rate was a little too high for the nurse's liking.

Watching Bella from my bed that night, I prayed for the first time since I was little that she would wake up, because the idea of being without her was too much for me. When I finally fell asleep, I was happy to dream of nothing at all, instead of reliving the crash and the moments that led up to it.

I woke up the next morning with a new nurse, who smiled as she checked my injuries. Not entirely sure what was wrong with me, I looked up and used some of the never fail Cullen charm.

She laughed before telling me that I had a broken left leg and a compound fracture in my left wrist, along with some badly bruised ribs and sternum, but thankfully, no breaks there. I also had some internal injuries, which was the main thing they were monitoring now that I was awake, but I should be allowed to go home soon. Looking back over to Bella, the nurse, whose name I couldn't remember, smiled at me. "Would you like to sit by her for a little bit?"

I stared at her, shocked. "I can do that?"

She nodded and smiled wider. "Right now, you have bed to chair privileges, which includes the recliners as long as you ring to move back to the bed. I have to get a bed check monitor, so you can't try and go AWOL on us, but if you give me a few minutes, I should be able to get you all set up."

As she went to leave, I spoke up, feeling the need to thank her for the effort. "Thank you so much…"

"Bianca. And don't worry about it. Pretty soon you'll be free to come and go as you please, so we might as well let you two have some private time before the fan club arrives for the afternoon." She winked before running off.

Twenty-five minutes later, I was well acquainted with my bed check alarm, which I would never intentionally set off; it was so fucking annoying. Bianca and one of the floor nurses, Karen, were helping to get me into the recliner before she pushed it over to Bella's bedside. Finally, she handed me the call button and the remote before getting me properly situated, letting me know that if she didn't hear from me, she'd check on me in an hour.

Reaching over, with my casted hand, I picked up Bella's and began stroking it with my good hand before my ribs protested, forcing me to try and show her that I was there with my hand half covered in the cast.

"Well, Bella, I really screwed up this time. If I had only listened to you…you wouldn't be in that bed like that. They haven't said anything officially to me, but I'm done playing ball. I just don't see me recovering from a fracture like this without the pain being too great every time I catch a line drive. But that's not what matters right now. Now, you have to get better, because I can't think about living the next fifty years without you there. I was just thinking back to the day I finally woke the fuck up. After three months of grumbling about Alice having you over every day, I really noticed you. And I've been lost ever since."

~%~%~%~%~

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

My hand slammed down on the alarm clock as the smell of breakfast wafted into my room. Another school day. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't spent my entire Spring Break training for our first game of the season today. I ran down the stairs after throwing on some clothes and heard the arguing before I even hit the kitchen.

"Don't you two have homes, with parents to feed you, instead of coming here every morning?" Alice was just back from vacation and none too pleased to see my boys here bright and early, even if she was dating one of them.

"Hey Al, chill! What are you on the rag?" Emmett barked out and I suppressed the urge to vomit.

"Can we not talk about Ali's 'situation' before I've had my coffee?"

"Can we not talk about my 'situation' ever?" Alice poured me a cup of coffee with the look in her eye that I knew was going to make me hurt in a minute…she was about to drop a bomb. "Edward, you have to be ready soon, we need to pick up Bella on the way to school."

Bella Swan. Alice's new project. She had moved here during the Christmas break, and since they met in first period history Alice had become determined to help her shed her tomboy image, but Bella had managed to resist so far. "Alice, she has her truck why are we driving her?"

"Bertha died last night, so when we get over there, show some respect." I rolled my eyes at her, seriously who names their car?

"Fine, just let me finish grabbing my breakfast." I took one of the rolls and threw some bacon and eggs on it, before wrapping it up and dumping my coffee into a travel mug. Running upstairs, I grabbed my coat and bag and ran back downstairs to see Alice and Jasper sitting in the front seat, Emmett's Jeep was already gone. Climbing into the back seat, I took out my sunglasses and bit into my sandwich.

10 minutes later we pulled in front of Chief Swan's house and Bella came bounding out of the house and nearly fell when she reached the bottom step. Recovering before completely falling on her ass, she slid in behind Jasper. "Hey Alice, Jasper…Edward."

"Hey Bella, how was Miami?" Jasper asked as he turned around to face us.

"It was great, I was really glad Alice's parents let her come with me."

"Your mom is so awesome; she's like a really cool aunt that your mom's always worried to let you spend the weekend with."

"It's only awesome in small doses." Bella muttered too low for Alice to hear, but I caught it, deciding not to bring it up.

"Want half my egg sandwich?" I held it out towards Bella, not entirely sure how to interact with her even after three months of her hanging out with Alice, we didn't have much in common.

"Sure. Hey Edward, why aren't you driving your Volvo to school?" Bella looked up as she took a bite from the sandwich.

"He lost his privileges over break; but he won't tell me what he did yet," Alice commented from the front and I kicked her seat.

"Don't kick my girl's seat!" Jasper scowled at me.

"She was my sister before she was your girlfriend, son. You don't make the rules."

Bella laughed next to me and I looked over. "What?"

She smiled at me and looked up through her lashes. "Nothing, I just wish I had a sibling to kick my chair sometimes." Well hell, if today wasn't 'learn more about Bella's home life day.'

Pulling up to school, Bella got out and thanked Alice for the ride before heading off to meet up with Angela and Jessica. "Thanks, Edward, I know you don't really like Bella-"

I stopped her right there. "Alice it isn't that I don't like her, I don't know her."

"Well seeing as you're grounded for the next month, you'll have plenty of time to get to know her." Alice winked at me and I reached out to mess with her hair before she dodged me.

"Damn, you caught a month for-"

"Jasper! Not a word." Nodding at me, he grabbed Alice's hand and started walking towards class. Heading out on my own, I set out for another mind numbing day of classes.

Lunch mercifully came pretty quick. I sat with my head down, trying to figure out my damn English assignment. "Bella!" Alice called out, and I looked up to see a bright red Bella walk towards our table.

"Alice, do you have an indoor voice?" Bella quipped and I couldn't help but laugh with her.

"Hey, are Ang and Jess coming to the game?" Alice questioned with that 'please say yes' bounce that everyone recognized.

"Jess is, but Angela is babysitting." Bella answered, playing with her lemonade bottle.

"Does Jessica think she's subtle? Because blind deaf mutes know that she wants to blow Mike." Emmett bellowed in the small cafeteria.

Bella snorted and Rosalie smacked the back of Emmett's head. "Ass!"

"If it meant he'd let her, then she wouldn't care. It's kind of her mission in life, and it's really annoying," Bella commented.

"Don't worry, we'll run interference for you. Jessica Stanley is scared shitless of me for some reason."

"Maybe it's because you're a bitch." Jasper snapped from across the table.

If their similar looks weren't enough, the way the Hale twins fought and teased each other was proof enough that the nine months of quality time they'd shared together when their mother was pregnant with them had been nine months too long in their opinion. But if you messed with one of them, the other would be right there to fuck you up.

The bell rang and Bella and I headed off for Biology, the one class we shared. Walking kind of close behind her, we entered the classroom and sat at our lab tables, which were right next to each other. Mr. Banner came in and shuffled his papers. "Alright class, we have a little seating change, since Mr. Shea has moved and is no longer in this class, Mr. Cullen and Miss Swan will now be lab partners. Mr. Cullen, why don't you move to Miss Swan's lab table?"

Getting up, I sat next to Bella as Mr. Banner handed out the blood typing kits. I knew my blood type and probably would have used that to ditch, but Bella looked a little unsteady next to me. As the class began to prick their fingers and test their blood, Bella laid her head on the table, having never gotten around to sticking herself.

"Bella, are you okay?" She looked up at me and shook her head. "Mr. Banner, I think Bella's feeling faint."

Mr. Banner looked up and nodded. "Mr. Cullen, why don't you take her to the nurse as I'm sure you already know your blood type."

Standing up, I helped Bella to her feet and carried our bags. We made it out the door and about halfway out to the path that led to the office when Bella stumbled and began to sink to the ground. Adrenaline coursed through me as I grabbed her before she hit the ground and lowered her carefully. I knelt over her and waited for her eyes to flutter open again before I let out a breath. "Bella, are you okay?"

"No, I feel like hell. I'm sorry, Edward." She grimaced as she covered her face with her hand.

"Don't apologize for fainting." I slung her bag better over my shoulder so it would hold mine in place, and then bent down to lift her off the ground.

"What are you doing?" She tried to sound annoyed, but she was still too woozy to sound as angry as she probably meant it.

"I'm carrying you to the nurse. I can't very well drag you there."

She tried to argue, but I was making good time, and soon had the office door open. Ms. Cope flew around the counter and opened the nurse's office door. "Is she okay?"

"I'm fine." Bella muttered as we passed through the door.

"What happened here, another accident in gym?" Bella grumbled as the nurse motioned for me to sit Bella in one of the chairs. Sitting next to her, I kept my arm loose around her to prop her up.

"No, she fainted during blood typing." The nurse nodded, and I leaned down to Bella. "How often do you come to the nurse's office?"

Bella let out a stifled laugh. "I'm so clumsy, I'm practically a cripple." I laughed with her, eyeing Eric Yorkie where he was curled up on the one cot in the room.

"Mr. Yorkie, your mother's here." Ms. Cope called from the outer office and he got up from the cot before stumbling to the door. Bella leaned her head against my shoulder and closed her eyes.

"Thank you, Edward."

"For what? Not leaving you on the pavement?" I sounded as annoyed as I was feeling. Was that really what she thought of me?

"No, for noticing that I was sick in the first place, and then taking care of me. I usually fight it more, but I'm just too tired now to be rude."

I snickered as the nurse handed Bella an icepack, which she placed on the back of her neck. "Are you feeling a little better?" Bella nodded against my shoulder and I got up for a moment. "I'll be right back."

Getting up, I went to the outer office. "Ms. Cope, could you excuse Bella from her last class of the day? I don't think she'll be feeling up to it."

Ms. Cope smiled. "I already excused her from Gym. You just go in there and tell that sweet girlfriend of yours that she's done for the day." Girlfriend…what?

"We're just friends." I muttered before I opened the nurse's office door to see Bella standing back up. "So, you want a ride home?"

"No, I want to stay and watch the Spartans play their first game of the season. School spirit and all that mess." She smiled and walked through the door that I now held open for her.

"Well you're free from gym, so do you want to hang out until I have to get ready for the game?" I'd spent more quality one-on-one time with Bella today than I had in the past three months. I could already tell she was different from a lot of the other girls, and I should know, because I'd become quite popular with the girls this year.

Bella looked up at me for a minute. "You don't have class?"

I shook my head. "I would be in your Gym class, but athletes get credit for their after school sports, so I only take gym during the fall."

"Lucky bastard." Bella laughed as we made our way to the bleachers by the baseball field.

"So, why'd you move to Forks…if you don't mind me asking?" I felt like a dipshit for not having asked her when I first met her, but suddenly I wanted to know.

"My mom got remarried and I wanted her to have a little more freedom. My step dad travels a lot and she was staying home for me. I haven't lived with Charlie since I was a baby, so I decided to move up here."

"Do you regret it?" I'd noticed that she was uncomfortable with the popularity being the new girl at a tiny school had gained her, so I had to ask.

"No. I have more friends here, and people seem nice enough. There are a lot of fake people in Phoenix. It's sad when your spray on tan is the most genuine thing about you."

I laughed at her comment. Bella was a lot funnier than I had noticed, but then again, I hadn't spent much time around her, which I now regretted.

"Hey, Edward, since we're being all honest here, mind if I ask you something?"

I nodded and turned to the field quickly before cutting my eyes to her. "Shoot."

Bella smirked. "What'd you do to get grounded?"

I moaned, rolling my eyes. Well, you offered. "Jaz, Em, and I snuck onto the field after practice one night and got drunk. We were stupid and passed out. Coach O'Reilly woke us up at 6:30 the next morning. It could have been worse; your dad could have caught us. As it was, coach just worked our hungover asses twice as hard and then called our parents. My dad flipped out, talking about how I never used to act this way. That's why I got grounded for a month and got my car taken away."

"You're talking about Irina and them, right?" She looked down as she asked and I suddenly found the dirt under the bleachers very interesting. How did she know about that? Damn! I don't know why I should be surprised, everyone knew about me. I mean, I was no Laurent, his sexploits were legendary, but considering the fact that I dumped Jessica over Christmas break, I shouldn't be surprised that she told her new friend about me. Still, I didn't like the idea of Bella thinking badly of me.

"I'm not a bad guy." I'm not sure why I said that out loud, but I did, and Bella's eye shot up to meet mine.

"I never said you were." Her hand reached out to rest on mine and I felt a tiny jolt. I realized what I thought had been adrenaline earlier was really this pulse that was radiating between us. Bella pulled away and I heard the commotion coming from the school.

"I better go get ready for the game." Bella nodded and I stopped before running off to the locker room. "Charlie works late on Monday's right?"

"Yeah, I'm gonna spend the night working on my English assignment."

"Why don't you come over and eat with us? I'm sure Alice and my mom would love it. Besides, I'm lost when it comes to that essay, so I'll need all the help I can get."

"Edward, I know about your GPA, I'm sure you'll do fine on your own…but I'd love to have dinner with your family." I smiled, running off before I could open my mouth and say anything else.

Suiting up, I ignored Mike's lewd conversation about the BJ cheering section that was going to be waiting in the stands. Our school had really bad sports teams, with the exception of baseball, which had won the championship the past three years.

Running out to the field, we warmed up as I looked over to see Bella and Alice surrounded by Rose and Jessica. Tanya, Lauren, and their posse sat a few feet away. After a few more throws around the horn, we headed in for a quick pep talk before taking the field for the start of the game.

After a line drive to center field, and a quick steal from Jasper, we'd already scored three runs and were only three outs from ending our first game with an easy victory. Rocking in my ready position, the ball was a soft grounder right to me, so I scooped it up and lobbed it to Mike at second base as he got the out before firing it off to Emmett at first. Getting the double play, the cheers started again before I heard it. "Nice 6-4-3!"

We all looked over to see Bella on her feet, cheering while even the girls looked at her like she was unbalanced.

I laughed at the idea that Bella actually knew the position numbers, wondering who she had learned it from.

Focusing on the last out, Jasper was able to strike out the next batter as we ran in to say our "good games" and get the hell out of there.

By the time we had showered and met up at Emmett's Jeep, the girls were long gone so we drove off to my house for dinner and some 'homework.'

Walking in the front door, the smell coming from the kitchen was unbelievable. Expecting to see my mom hard at work when we ran into the kitchen, the fact that Bella was alone in there threw us all off. "Short stack, you're feeding us tonight?"

Bella laughed at Emmett's term for her, shaking her head as she turned to grab some spices from the island. "Yeah, Esme's at a meeting in Seattle and Carlisle's upstairs getting ready for his night shift."

"We could have ordered in, I didn't invite you over to put you to work." I walked over and leaned up against the counter next to the stove where Bella was hard at work.

"I don't mind. I love cooking, but I never really get to cook for more than two or three people, its fun cooking for a big group of people." Bella smiled and my heart sped up. It was ridiculous that it took me this long to notice how amazing she was, but I was determined to make up for lost time. "Edward, if you seriously want help with the assignment for English, why don't you grab your book and we'll figure it out now?"

I ran back to my bedroom to grab my book and then joined Bella in the kitchen while the guys went to find their girlfriends. We spent the next hour discussing Pride & Prejudice before Bella started plating the food and throwing the dishes in the sink so they could soak while we ate. I helped her, moving everything into the dining room just as my dad came downstairs ready for work. "That smells delicious, Bella, but you didn't have to cook."

"Edward said the same thing, but I don't mind." She smiled as we all sat down and ate her Penne and grilled chicken ala vodka. This was seriously a great meal, as you could clearly tell from the absolute silence at the table.

Soon my dad left and I headed upstairs for a little while, expecting the girls would be hanging out downstairs like they usually did after my boys went home.

It wasn't until about 9pm when I got thirsty that I went down and found Bella flipping through the channels alone on the sectional sofa. "Bella, where are Alice and Rosalie?"

"Probably screwing Jasper and Emmett." She quipped with a slight edge to her voice.

"So they just left you here?" I was pissed that my sister was being such a crappy friend.

"I'm used to it by now, plus they had made their plans before you asked me to come over for dinner. They knew I hated being alone at my house so they-"

"Left you alone here? Hell, you should have come up and gotten me, I would have come down and kept you company."

"I didn't want you to feel obligated to watch me."

I plopped down next to her on the couch and took the remote. "Bella, I know I've been a prick since you got here, but I just hadn't taken the time to get to know you. With everything that's happened in the last year and the train wreck that was my break-up with Jessica, I wasn't interested in Alice's new 'bff,' but now I feel like an ass, because we could have become really good friends these past few months."

Bella took the hand that was still holding the remote and I felt that pulse again. "Can we start now?"

I smiled and nodded, changing the channel. "Sure, you want to watch a movie?"

Bella nodded and leaned into my side as I started flipping through the movie channels and found Wes Craven's New Nightmare was just starting.

"Have you ever seen this?"

"No."

"Oh, we have to watch this now. It's great, the whole movie is about how evil can be captured in an art form as long as it is taken seriously, so once it becomes a joke, Freddy starts raising hell." Bella laughed next to me and we settled in to watch it.

It was around the point where Julie, the babysitter, is murdered in Dylan's hospital room that Bella turned into my chest and buried her face as she thoroughly freaked out. Grabbing the remote, I turned off the movie and shook Bella's shoulders. "Bella, it's okay. The movie's off."

She looked up at me with frightened eyes before Rosalie came in, shooing me away, as Alice walked Jasper to the door and they started their sleepover.

Going upstairs, I fell asleep quickly and was woken up by Alice pinching my pec. "Fuck, Alice, what's your problem?"

"Seriously, Edward, Wes Craven's New Nightmare? Could you have picked a worse movie to watch with her right before bed? The whole movie is about how even in the real world falling asleep can get you skewered by a psycho killer."

"So, Bella can't fall asleep?" I was trying to shake the sleep from my head and wasn't really succeeding.

"No, she falls asleep and then wakes up screaming, freaking herself out, and giving us all heart failure. So you're going down there and taking care of her. You made this mess, and if someone is getting a shit's night sleep because of it, it isn't going to be me."

Alice slapped my chest once more for good measure and then went to her room. I grabbed my pillow and headed downstairs, Rosalie nearly taking me out on the stairs as she ran for the silence that the upper floors would provide. Making it into the living room, Bella was sitting up, curled into a ball on the couch. I felt like shit the moment I saw her tears. "Bella, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have made you watch that movie. Come here."

I sat down and she moved over to curl into my chest like she had earlier. I pulled one of the blankets over and wrapped us up in it. "Edward, how does the movie end?"

"Heather falls asleep and kills Freddy, banishing him back to hell." She nodded and rested her head over my heart.

"Edward, I'm afraid to fall asleep." Her whisper was so quiet I almost missed it.

"Don't worry. You're safe…I won't let anything hurt you."

She sighed and was soon asleep, wrapped around me, making it uncomfortable to sleep, but I didn't care, because she didn't wake up again the rest of the night.

~%~%~%~%~

I looked up at her face, remembering that promise from all those years ago and how bad I was at keeping it. She had trusted me completely, despite each time I failed her.

"Bella, I'm sorry. Please, baby, wake up. I need you to get better and open your eyes. I know you're in there. I can feel it." I reached over and placed my fingers on the back of her palm. "You still feel it, don't you? You can't be gone if that pulse is still there, so come back to me."

"Mr. Cullen?" I turned to see Bianca standing at the door.

I nodded and leaned a little closer to Bella. "I have to get back in bed now, but I'm still here, and I'm not going anywhere."

I sat back and Bianca pushed the chair to the edge of the bed and helped me climb up, settling me with all the pillows. Once I was settled, she gave me a shot of morphine for the pain and everything faded as the weight settled over me.

All right. There's the first chapter of Taking the Fork. What do you think? You'll be getting the story of how they fell in love in a "story of us" kind of way. Each chapter Edward will tell Bella about some of the moments that he felt were important to their relationship, hoping to will her back to him. They're in the spring of their junior year of high school in 2001 and present day is 2010, so that makes them 25 at the point this is taking place. (Whoop '84 babies!) Leave me love, and as always thanks to my beta A Cullen Wannabe for taking this on. Love you hon!