With nothing on her mind but the fiery demise of a certain Mr. Cullen Bella returned to her hotel room and began playing away. Each time her music would quiet down, Edward's face would flash through her mind and her music would just intensify. This pattern seemed to continue on until she realized she was due back at the Palais de Garnier for her lesson with Edward. After one quick shower, she packed up her violin and left the room in no hurry.
She took her time arriving at the venue and she was pleased to see the frustration on Edward's face when she walked onto the stage fifteen minutes late. A sour look was present upon his face and his arms were folded tightly across his chest.
"You're late," he miffed, watching her as she crossed the stage and began unloading the instrument. "The best musicians are punctual."
"I guess I'm not one of the best," she shrugged. "Let's just get this over with…what was your name? John?"
"Edward," he said through the clenched teeth. "I am your manager and you will treat me with respect."
"Dully noted, John."
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He'd known this girl for no more than a few hours and already his patience was wearing thin. She snorted quietly and positioned herself to play.
"What do you want me to play, John?" she condescended with a smug grin. "Actually, I think I'll decide what I play. How about some Glazunov? I think that's what I'll do."
She didn't wait for him to object before she began playing. Ignoring his presence completely, she played as if he was alone. While this concerto wasn't the happiest sounding one that Glazunov had preformed, she enjoyed the downtrodden sound and if it made Edward unhappy then she would play slow, depressing concertos all day long.
"A bit dark, don't you think?" he said curtly once she had finished.
"I'm like the queen of darkness," she rolled her eyes. "What problems did you have with that one, John?"
"For starters, you can quit calling me John. My name is Edward and you will call me as such. Furthermore, one of your biggest problems that I can see is that I don't feel any energy coming from your work. You may play the violin but you don't play the violin."
"I play the violin," she hissed with air quotes. "What do you know about music anyway? You're probably some inner city low life who is just looking for a job to get you through the day. How did you even get this job? Did James pick you up off of the street, get you cleaned up and give you shelter? Poor little Edward."
"You don't know what you're talking about," he hissed. "So I advise you start playing before I take your violin and smash it into pieces."
She chortled loudly. "How about I just leave so the only music you hear is the sound of me walking through that door?"
She placed the violin and its case and began walking away.
"You're a child!" he called after her. "You'll never make it in this business if you keep acting the way that you do!"
She threw up her middle finger in a classless manner and hurried out of the building. As far as she was concerned, she needed no manager. She would survive on her own. She would find her own venues. Build her own crowd. Before James, she was fine on her own.
Now would be no different.
For the remainder of the day, she wondered through the city, scouting the perfect spot to begin playing. She did best on the streets. The venues were just a formality.
"Stupid Edward Cullen," she hissed under her breath as she walked through one of Paris' many parks. The weather was perfect for an Autumn day. The bright sun streamed through the vivacious leaves that had yet to fall from the trees. "I don't need him."
"Uhm, excuse me," someone suddenly said behind her. Bella turned around to find a petite girl staring at her with a broad grin and glowing eyes. Her hair was short and dark, sticking out from her head in every which way. "Are you Bella Swan? My name is Alice. I saw you play last night and I was just wondering if I could get your autograph?"
Bella had never been asked for an autograph. This was completely new to her.
"Uh..sure," Bella reluctantly signed the slip of paper the girl had held out for her. After receiving the autograph, the girl giggled happily and hurried away. She hurried away from Bella to greet a woman Bella had only dreamed of meeting.
"Yeah, mom, I got her autograph," Alice beamed proudly at Esme. Bella stood frozen on the path as she finally came face to face with her idol. "Go talk to her!"
Esme smiled and nodded and walked towards Bella.
"My daughter is very fond of your work," Esme said to Bella once they stood face to face.
"Ye-yeah," Bella breathed, nearly shaking. "You're Esme Platt. The greatest Cellist…ever."
"I wouldn't say ever," Esme chuckled. "You're Bella Swan. I saw you play last night. My daughter and I quite enjoyed the show. You're very talented, Bella."
Was this truly happening or was she dreaming?
"Thank you," Bella gushed. "My manager doesn't seem to think so.."
"Oh whose your manager?" Esme asked curiously.
"His name is Edward Cullen. I'm sure you haven't heard of him."
"Oh that's my son," Esme smiled, unaware of the bombshell she had just dropped.
"She's your mother?" Bella exploded, busting into the Palais. Somehow she knew he would still be there and of course he was. Only this time he was playing. He was playing the Cello just as his mother had done in her day. The music was marvelous but not enough to extinguish Bella's anger.
"Who are you talking about?" Edward asked nonchalantly as he continued playing. Still extremely angry, she stole the bow from his hands.
"Esme Platt, the greatest Cellist of our generation. Did you just forget to tell me that?"
"You were too busy acting like a child for me to actually say anything. Maybe if you would stop running your mouth as fast as you run your bow, I could explain myself."
"Well then explain!"
"Alright fine," he stood from his chair. "Esme Platt is my mother. I don't see what the big deal is."
"The big damn deal is that I have worshipped her since I started playing the violin and her son is the most arrogant son of a bitch on the planet. That's what the big deal is. Oh and you also forgot to tell me that your sister worships me."
"I was going to tell before I found out what an arrogant bitch you are," he packed up his cello. "Good day Ms. Swan."
With those last words, he left the building. Moments later, Bella followed suit and headed back to her hotel room feeling something she couldn't remember ever feeling before.
It was late that night when she finally left her hotel room. The midnight hour was quickly approaching and all she could think about was Edward Cullen. As far as her memory would allow, she couldn't remember anybody ever standing up to her the way he did. While his hurtful comments made her angry, they also kindled a different kind of fire inside her, one that burned in the most comfortable of ways. However, not knowing what the feeling was frustrated her and she soon found herself in one of the nicest bars around.
She drank and drank until her world became hazy and as she stood she stumbled. She insisted to the bartender that she had no keys to drive with and the bar tender reluctantly let her leave.
"Bella?" Edward called out as he noticed her stumbling on the sidewalk. He hurried to her side and caught her as she nearly fell to the ground. "What on earth are you doing?"
"That is a good question," she slurred, jabbing his chest gently. "Let me go. I can walk."
"No, you can't. I'm taking you back to your room," he insisted. He held onto her tightly as he walked back to Bella's room with her at his side. Once he'd explained the situation to the doorman, he took Bella up to her room and gently set her on the bed. "You truly are a mess."
He knew that nothing he said would be heard. She was out cold.
"A beautiful, crazy mess."