AN: Well my loves, I am FINALLY back! I know it's been months, but my addicts & I are now on the same page and we've come back to play!
They've missed you...I have missed you...so get to enjoying!
To my girls who have supported me all this time, thank you for everything! I wouldn't have done it without you!
Chapter One: Leave Out all The Rest
I'm strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I've never been perfect
But neither have you
So if you're asking me
I want you to know
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
The noises coming from the down the hall was annoying as fucking hell, especially with the massive headache I was sporting.
But they were also cute as shit so the small smile that graced my lips didn't surprise me all that much.
Such a fucking foreign concept, smiling.
Tossing the remote beside me I brought my knees up to chest and just waited.
I knew it wouldn't be that much longer now.
Two minutes to be exact.
"Still not feeling good?"
Such a simple question and yet, as soon as he sat beside me, I felt my fucking heart speed up like some love struck teenager.
"I'll be fine, you know these fucking things come and go."
Smirking he reached forward and brushed some hair out of my face. "Still doesn't mean I won't worry about you."
My smile, if possible, grew a little bit bigger. I still wasn't use to all these words and actions of fucking endearment. Even after all this time.
"Well you're here with me so I'll be better soon."
Leaning in he brushed his lips over my forehead. "You're such a horrible fucking liar."
Shrugging I leaned into his touch. "Fine, then just shut up and keep me company."
"You're annoying as fuck you know that?" He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me into his side. "But I fucking love you Bella."
"Good to know." I stole a glance at him and, for the first time in for-fucking-ever, I felt whole.
Well it was about fucking time…..
"Rise and shine San Francisco, it's another cold and sunny January day in the city. Let's make the most of it!"
What the fuck?
"Oh fuck I did it again." I groaned sitting up on the couch, every muscle stiff as I outstretched my legs, raising my arms up over my head.
A quick glance of the clock told me that it was just after nine a.m., giving me exactly thirty minutes to get dressed and get my ass down four blocks in order to make it to class.
I must've been hammered when I thought it would be good to sign up for a three day a week class that started at such an early hour.
I knew time was of the essence, but as soon as I took no more than two steps down the hall, my body literally came to a halt and I had to lean against the wall for support.
"Ugh, fuck it." With a groan I basically had to drag myself to the bedroom, pulling out whatever fresh pair of clothes I could get my hands on before barely making it into the bathroom to turn the shower on as hot as I could get it to go.
Though skipping class wasn't the smartest thing to do there really wasn't much I could do about it. I knew for a fact that my body wasn't having anything to do with walking any time soon. I'd be lucky if I made it to my damn meeting later on this afternoon.
Fucking hell I still wasn't fully comfortable going to those things, but I had ended up meeting some pretty interesting people there. In fact, two of those people lived on the same floor as I did so, in a way, I lucked out there because I sure as hell didn't have any other friends around this place.
Oh sure there was my weekly call with Esme and my Uncle, but those didn't really last all that long. Other than that, there was nothing.
And just whose fault is that?
"Yes, everyone knows I'm the fuck up…" I tried to block out most of my inner monologue by focusing on the steaming water and the fact that it was soothing was nearly constant aching muscles and joints.
It didn't last too long though.
No as soon as I tried to clear my head, my stupid dream started playing in my mind clear as day, no matter how hard I tried to get rid of it.
I didn't understand why the hell it wouldn't go away. Though not the exact same dream, the same theme had been a constant in my dreams for the past few months.
Ever since I left there.
"Oh who the fuck cares, it was just a dream Bella! That's all it'll ever be and you know it. That fucking ship sailed a long time ago."
With a roll of my eyes at my own stupidity I snapped the water off, got dressed, and ran a brush thru my hair before making my way out to the tiny kitchen, hoping that there'd be something edible in there.
Thankfully for me and my stomach there were a few slices and peanut butter, allowing me to make some toast that would hopefully hold me over until I got to the grocery store after my meeting.
Perched on my kitchen counter I let my eyes scan quickly over the things that needed to be done around here. The dishes were slowly piling up, there was clothes scattered in various places that needed to all be taken downstairs to be washed, and the floors could use a quick sweep and mop.
Glancing behind me at the clock told me it was just a little past nine. My eyes shifted around the apartment, the internal clock ticking in my mind. I had five hours until my meeting.
Five hours cleaning or four hours taking a much needed nap?
"Yea like I'm going to choose to clean, no one comes to see me in this place anyways. There's always tomorrow."
Hopping off the counter I could hear that nagging little voice in the back of my mind.
The voice of my mother and how she would so not approve of all this shit everywhere.
She's gone remember Bella? No use in dragging up old ghosts from the past.
God, sometimes I hated that inner voice of mine. She was so damn annoying!
"And yet, you're still talking to yourself." Before beating up myself more than I already was, I trudged back into the bedroom and curled up on the left side as always, pulling the blankets up close around me and was already drifting off as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Honestly, I welcomed that darkness and the time for my brain to just stop dealing and just rest and give me a little bit of a break.
I slept those four hours, but it felt more like only one though with all the damn constant tossing and turning I did almost the entire time since I couldn't find a comfortable position to stay in.
Over the past few weeks my back had been killing me and lying on my stomach was pretty much out of the question these days.
I'd barely slipped my feet into my shoes when someone started knocking on my door.
Well, pounding was more like it and they didn't let up until I flung my front door open.
"Jesus Christ tiger," I groaned and grabbed my things, slamming the door shut behind me. "What's with all the damn noise?"
He huffed and wrapped an arm around my shoulder, his other closing in around his girlfriend. "I thought you were still sleeping, Bells! I couldn't have you ditching group today."
I peered around him, raising an eyebrow at my other friend. "What's got him so happy?"
She shrugged. "He got fucking lucky just now."
"Oh for fuck's sake," I tried to shake out of his grasp. "C'mon tiger, I don't want to be around you after that."
"It's all part of life baby. Now come on, let's get this shit done!" Pulling me back into his grasp tightly the three of us made our way down the elevator before walking the three city blocks to our meeting.
Though a relatively short distance, I was completely spent by the time we got there and practically collapsed down in the black plastic chairs that were all neatly arranged in a circle and waited for everything to start.
I may know everyone's name in this group now but there are really only two people, besides our group leader, who I talk to on a regular basis.
And, as the meeting starts up, I realize that it's perfectly fine with me.
The less people who know of and about me, the better.
That's just how things work out sometimes in life. No one said it'd be a damn walk in the park though.
Our meeting was the same as every other week. We went around the room, sharing things we accomplished or were working on and our goal for next week.
My goal for this week was to venture out and meet someone knew.
I made up some girl who I met in my class and how we had coffee.
Yea, so sue me because I lied in fucking group I don't really care. Sometimes these little goal challenges were seriously pointless.
By the time everything was over I was actually starting to drift off so I nearly fell on my ass when people started moving around me, my eyes snapping open as I jumped up out of my seat to rejoin my friends.
"C'mon Bells, it wasn't that bad!"
I merely shrugged, but they seemed to understand what that meant.
Yea it wasn't that bad at all, but I was so damn exhausted all the time that I was highly likely to start falling asleep more often now.
All effects of my current situation I suppose.
"You girls want to stop by and get food? I'm fucking starving!"
I took a few steps ahead of the happy couple, zipping up my sweatshirt as the wind greeted me.
I slowly shook my head as my fingers grazed the small plastic card in my pocket. "Not today," I mumbled.
Two words and I was quickly surrounded by them, their arms looped thru mine in a quiet understanding. I had truly lucked out when it came to these two. Maybe it was because we were both in the same boat when it came to our damn addictions, but they just knew everything without me even having to say anything.
And that was perfect for me, the girl who hated having to explain things every time I made a certain facial expression or movement.
"We got you this time, Bells. Come on, let's hit up that deli by the apartment. How does that sound?"
I licked my lips and nodded with big eyes, causing the two of them to laugh at me. They knew that place was one of my many weaknesses these days and I could never find the strength to say no.
"Assholes, you're lucky I love you both." I nudged them both in the ribs as we walked somewhat awkwardly down the street in a small little group until we reached our destination.
While the two of them ordered our food to go, I quickly grabbed a few things that would hopefully last me for the next two weeks.
Money had been tight this month because of those two damn doctor appointments I had to go to and being as I didn't have a job I was just going to have to wait until Carlisle deposited money in my account.
Of course I could always call and tell them I needed a few extra dollars, but I already felt like a burden to them so I was just going to have to make it work.
After everything was paid for, we decided to just head back home where we could just hang out in one of the apartments for a few hours without any one bothering us.
"You should actually accomplish your goal for next week, Bella."
I rolled my eyes at the snide comment, glaring at my friends as we stepped off the elevator and made our way down the hall.
"Yeah yeah I know just what…." My train of thought was all but lost as we got closer to where we stayed, my bags nearly falling out of my hands as I stopped dead in my tracks.
"Ah, fuck." With a groan I turned back to face them, a helpless look on my face.
The two of them looked at me confused. "What's wrong Bells?"
"That's her," I sighed, shaking my head before turning around and just making the rest of the journey down the hallway until I reached my doorway.
"Sweetheart, oh I'm so glad I found you!" The sound of Esme Cullen's soft, motherly voice was a bittersweet comfort.
Raising my gaze to meet hers I tried to muster the best smile I could.
It was good enough because I was suddenly wrapped up in her embrace, her tiny frame pressed tightly against my own. Hesitant at first, I soon found my arms around her as well as I felt a light pat on my back.
"We'll call you later, Bella." I heard one of them say.
"It's so good to see you, baby. You look good."
I knew Esme was lying. I knew I looked like shit, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt as I let the two of us into the apartment.
Removing her coat, my eyes immediately fell to her stomach as she sat down on the couch and I across from her.
Pregnancy had done wonders for Esme. She looked radiant and glowing. She was so happy, you could see it in her eyes.
"Just a few more weeks," She gently touched her stomach, her eyes soft and loving as she spoke about her unborn child.
I nodded, twisting my hands in my lap. "What…what are you doing here, Esme?"
She laughed softly. "Carlisle had a conference and I tagged along because I wanted to come see you."
"You didn't you know…tell him, did you?"
"Of course not sweetheart. I know that when the time is right you will tell him." There was a hint of hope in her brown eyes, perhaps trying to indicate that now would be the time to tell my uncle about my current situation.
I just gave her a nod, my own indication that I wanted her to change the subject.
She smiled softly. "So, tell me about school!" She beamed, leaning back to get comfortable.
It was a nice feeling, having someone to talk to.
But it didn't last forever.
After awhile our conversation trailed off until we were answering each other's awkward questions with one word answers.
I knew Esme was trying to be nice and to be honest I was really fucking happy to see her, but I could only handle so much social interaction with her. Talking to her on the phone was perfect, but having her sitting right in front of me right now was a bit nerve-wracking.
I knew that it would come up eventually, but desperately hoped that I'd be able to avoid the inevitable.
"You can ask me sweetheart."
Well, so much for that.
I decided to play dumb for a few moments, hoping maybe she'd get the point.
"Ask you about what?"
Twisting my hands in my lap I awaited her response.
She just smiled at me, reaching over to pat my hands gently. "It's okay baby."
I tried one more time. "Okay to do what?"
"To think of Jasper, it's perfectly understandable."
And then it fucking went. The mere mention of his name and I felt my heart tighten to the point where I felt like I couldn't breathe.
Three months of trying to not think about him all went down the damn drain as soon as she said his name.
Damn it, it wasn't supposed to be like this! I was supposed to leave there and forget all about him and everything that transpired between us.
Yea right Bella, are you really that fucking stupid? Just because you moved away doesn't change what happened.
I let out a low gush of air, staring over at Esme and trying to ignore the nagging thoughts running through my mind.
"I don't want to think about him." I eventually caved, knowing that Esme was probably one of the few people who understood all this fucking drama with Jasper.
"Have you…." She hedged and I held up my hand to stop her. I wasn't about to have that conversation with her right now. I just couldn't.
"Right," She sighed. "Well, you know, he asked about you the last time I saw him."
I chewed my bottom lip softly. "Oh?" I tried to play it cool. "What...what did he say?"
"We all got together for Christmas, both Jasper and Edward were there actually. They both mentioned you a few times, wanted to know what you had been up to."
A small smile graced my lips.
They both had thought about me.
As much as I didn't want to think about my time in that house, the time I had spent with Edward were actually really good memories. There was a part of me that cared deeply for that boy, even if my feelings for him would never amount to the ones he had for me.
"That's nice," I downplayed my thoughts. "I take it they're doing well?"
I was only being polite. I didn't really want to talk about them anymore.
"Edward is doing wonderful and Jasper? Well, he's in a slightly better place than the last time you saw him. In fact, I will be seeing both boys within the next few days."
My heart picked up speed again.
She nodded. "Both my sisters want to be here for when the baby is born and there is no doubt in my mind that they will be bringing the boys with them as well. We're a pretty tight knit family when the time calls for it."
I tried to hide the pang of sadness that hit me, but failed miserably. "I'm glad they'll all be there for you."
"You know Bella, baby, if you want to be there I would love that. Take a few days off and come back and stay with me and Carlisle so you can be there when the baby's born. I think..well I think that would be good for you, sweetheart."
I shook my head frantically. "Esme, you know that can't happen. You are the only one who knows. I can't just show up, see everyone and have them know just like that."
She nodded, her face twisting softly in what looked resembled discomfort.
For a moment she didn't say anything and I thought that I had upset her over my words.
I had only been telling her the truth, but I knew that it must've come off a little selfish.
I, after all, was still that selfish little girl.
"Esme, look, I…I didn't mean it like that. You know I would love to be there, more than anything actually, but it's just…well…I…" I started rambling and stopped when she held up her hand.
"Well you're going to be with me whether you want to you not, Bella." She spoke thru gritted teeth and I glared at her oddly.
"I…" She gasped and closed her eyes. "Bella, baby, I'm in labor…."
"What!" I jumped up off the couch, hovering over her slightly. "No, no…what the fuck? It's not time!"
She shook her head. "This happens sometimes. We don't have time to argue Bella. I…shit.." She groaned. "I need you to drive me to the hospital and call Carlisle. He's at that hospital anyways for the conference."
When she saw me just standing there with a blank look on my face, she snapped me.
"Bella, do you want this damn baby born in your fucking living room?"
I watched her with wide eyes, having never heard her talk like that before.
"Okay, okay! Jesus fucking Christ." I grabbed our things before helping Esme off the couch and towards the door. "We can do this. I'll get you the hospital Esme, I promise!"
"That's my girl," She patted my back, leaning against me as another contraction hit her. "You're all I got right now, Bella. We can do it. Now let's please get our asses to the hospital!"
I nodded, coaxing her along the entire way to the car before speeding off to the hospital.
The entire time we drove, I kept thinking how this had to be some sort of cruel foreshadowing of things that were to come for myself.
Every time she gasped in pain all I could think of was how I couldn't do this.
I wasn't strong enough to this all alone.
Fuck, I needed him more than I had originally thought.
But I knew that was never going to happen. He had made that very clear to me.
Now is not the time to be thinking of this Bella. Esme is as close to any family you're going to get. Take care of her, you stupid girl!
As we pulled up to the ER, Carlisle was already standing outside, a somewhat frantic look in his eyes as he saw the two of us.
He immediately helped Esme out of the car, barely acknowledging me as he did so. Which was completely fine by me. I didn't need his attention quite yet.
They disappeared quickly into the hospital, Esme grabbing my hand as they started wheeling her away. "Thank you, baby. I love you." She grimaced and smiled at the same time and then they were gone.
"You can wait for them right here, sweetheart." A nurse brushed me off to the side into a waiting room and I slumped into one of the chairs, running my hands thru my hair.
"Holy fuck," I bit my lip. "How in God's name am I going to do this?"
And that was the million dollar question…
Just a little taste of the craziness that is to come, I do hope you guys enjoyed it!
And, of course, our other addict will be making his comeback next chapter. Hope ya'll are ready!
Feed the addiction, lovers... ;)