Disclaimer: Everything related to the Twilight saga is the property of Stephanie Meyer. Summit Entertainment owns all the rights to the Twi saga films. I only own writing this story, plot lines and all. No copyright infringement intended.
A/N: So, I checked my schedule and I am literally going to be busy for the rest of the week. Thought that I better get this update ready for posting while I still had the time. I wanted to keep my promise of another update by Friday. Besides, the responses to the last chapter were so great, wonderful, and overwhelming, that it really motivated me to get this chapter off to you readers.
So, the dishes that need to be washed are stacked pretty high in the sink of my kitchen (b/c I currently have non-functioning dishwasher), my kids were pretty much neglected before and after I took them to the Lego Movie today, and my hubs is kind of upset with me for just giving him leftover spaghetti for dinner. But, I was able to deliver this next chapter to you readers. That's all that matters, right?
Seriously screaming that this story has surpassed 350 reviews. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all those that review!
*WAVES* TO ALL THE NEW FOLLOWERS AND THOSE THAT NEWLY FAVORITE'D
MASSIVE, MASSIVE HUGS TO ALL MY REVIEWERS, BOTH REGULAR AND NEW
I hung up the phone in frustration and slammed it down hard on the table in front of me. Thankfully, the tough case it was contained in prevented it from cracking. I resisted the urge to hurl this phone across the room like I had done to a couple of phones prior. I had managed to destroy those and I was on my third cell phone in just as many weeks. I think the salesgirl at the cell phone place thinks I'm breaking phones on purpose as a means to see her. I don't think my family would appreciate me breaking another phone, considering I'd already broken several, and let's just say they weren't all my personal cell phones.
"Still not answering, huh?" Emmett said as he came in the room looking sympathetic.
"Nope," I deadpanned. "And why would she? She doesn't know it's me."
"Maybe she should answer the phone and find out it's you," he retorted.
"After what she had been through, I can understand her wariness. If I was Bella, I wouldn't answer any unknown calls. Who knows who it could be? For all she knew, I could be her psycho ex-fiancé still trying to stalk her, or worse yet, intentionally trying to frighten her. I could be a reporter, maybe even a heckler, or some other psycho. There's a wealth of possibilities of folks she probably doesn't want to talk to. I have a feeling she has experience in the matter, so I can't blame her for being unresponsive to my calls. Like I said, she doesn't know it's me."
"Is that the only number you have for her?" Emmett questioned.
"Yeah, and as if this number wasn't hard enough to get. For obvious reasons, she's unlisted."
"Well, don't you worry, you'll get to see her soon enough," he said, trying to ease my frustrations.
"Ugh…unless I'm face-to-face with her now, no amount of time is soon enough," I cried. I then got up and began to pace back and forth furiously. I really wanted to throw something or smash my fist through a wall.
"Edward, you have got to relax. All this frustration and tension isn't good for you. Remember, you need to mind your blood pressure."
His words only served to aggravate me further and I ended up punching the nearest wall. "Fuck!" I screamed in agony.
For the third time in as many weeks, I landed myself back in the ER, this time for a couple of cracked knuckles. I think the nurses working the emergency room thought that I was hurting myself on purpose in order to be able to see them. Dr. Laurant, by then, had already viewed me as being quite comical.
My parents, on the other hand, had definitely not been happy with me of late, what with the broken phones, the ER visits, ransacked rooms, and valuables being hurled every which way. Now, there was a hole in the wall in the Great Room.
The sooner I was able to get myself to Seattle the better.
When I found out that I barely missed Bella when she was in Chicago, naturally, my next step was to find her and then follow suit with a visit. Things hadn't gone according to what I had planned. In fact, for the past three weeks, my plans to go after Bella went to hell, and when I needed to get to her the most. It was why I was this massive ball of tension and frustration of late.
As soon as we returned from O'Hare, I went in search of information on Bella, a number, an address, anything I could find so that I may seek her out. As I had mentioned, I didn't know if she was still in Forks. With my near-death experience and subsequent amnesia, I had lost all contact information on her.
Emmett tried to be helpful by remembering that my things that were mailed to him were postmarked from a Forks post office, but it wasn't as if there was a Forks return address. It had been months since then. I knew we had plans to move to New York together. I didn't know if she had gone on to New York without me.
Needless to say, in googling Bella and in our quest for finding information on her, I had found more than what I bargained for. Her kidnapping and subsequent rescue hadn't made national headlines, but there were many articles about it in the local papers of Washington. In fact, she was a staple topic in the Forks paper and had been for months. There was even news footage from the local TV stations that I could view.
I had all the answers I needed. Now, I knew why she had disappeared for those couple of months since we'd parted ways in Seattle. She literally had gone missing.
For the couple of months I had been in the coma and had forgotten all about her, Bella was struggling to survive, being held hostage by her sadistic ex-fiancé, Jacob Black and his accomplice girlfriend. Who knows what Jacob had put through while he held her captive? It was only by the grace of God that Bella had made it through the ordeal and that her father and his police force was able to rescue her. It must have not been easy, considering Jacob was not a likely suspect.
Thank God that they were even able to solve the case and find her.
If finding out all that wasn't bad enough, knowing that I wasn't there for her was the worst for me. It was all Lauren's fault. That bitch robbed me of being available for Bella when she needed me the most.
God, what must've Bella thought when she realized I wasn't out there searching for her, or that I wasn't waiting for her when she was finally rescued from the hell that had been those months of her life when she was kept imprisoned. I could guess that she probably thought I'd abandoned her. In essence, I had.
I could only garner a guess that the reason she ran away from me the first time she visited was that it was just too painful for her to see me after all, with her thinking that I basically left her for dead. I can't say that I could exactly blame her. Bella probably had no idea what had happened to me considering what she had been through, and with the cover-up that occurred, there was less of a chance she knew.
Naturally, I wanted to get to Bella as soon as possible. I needed to set things right.
Of course, finding out her news was quite upsetting to me. However, I underestimated just how upset I had gotten. I had wound myself tighter than a rubber band ball. I emanated tension from every part of my body.
I was boiling with anger for both what had happened to Bella and I and the cruel hand that fate had dealt us. We had just found each other, only to be ripped apart. We had lost so much time, not to mention the plans we had made. Now that I finally remembered, I needed to let Bella know that everything I'd said to her were not just words. I meant them.
I suppose I'd forgotten that I was still recovering from serious injury. Truthfully, I still wasn't at a hundred percent, even though I'd like to fool myself into thinking I was back to normal. My blood pressure had shot up quite high, which was how I landed in the emergency room the first time. For all the work I did to get myself discharged from the hospital for the holidays, that was exactly where I ended up.
I had collapsed. My blood pressure was in the dangerous zone and I was admitted for a week-long worth of tests, observation, and rest. The fact that I couldn't get on a plane and run to Bella made me more livid, setting my recovery back further. There was no way Dr. Laurant was clearing me to get on a plane, especially not in the state I was in.
Eventually, I got discharged again from the hospital, but I still wasn't allowed to fly anywhere. As much as my family and Jasper wanted me to be able to get to Bella, they wanted to first make sure I was actually around and healthy enough to have that meeting with her.
I had no choice but to follow doctor's orders and wait until my health stabilized enough so that I was cleared to fly. That meant I had to wait a couple of more weeks. It was weeks longer than I liked. I wanted to be at Bella's side sooner rather than later.
I was in a constant state of agitation knowing that I couldn't get to where ever Bella was. Of course, that wasn't helping my case and getting to her sooner.
I understood that Dr. Laurant was just doing his job, being the best physician he could be to me and ensuring that I didn't have a health crisis while flying. That would've certainly been bad. In turn, he understood my frustrations, and how I so desperately needed to locate Bella, go to her, and straighten out my personal life. However, if I didn't get myself into a calmer state, the longer I would be keeping myself grounded and stuck in Chicago.
In the meantime, I had gotten a hold of a good number for Bella and had been trying to call. I wanted to explain to her that I was definitely planning on getting to her, but because of circumstances at the moment, I couldn't. But, she wasn't answering. That was strange.
At first, with the amount of unanswered calls, I had thought that the number I had was a mistake. However, I was assured that it was a good contact for her. I kept trying. Still nothing. It was curious that I couldn't even leave a voicemail, but understood why that was the case. Then, numbers began getting blocked, making it even more difficult to get in contact with Bella, which resulted in my breaking a slew of phones.
After the New Year, a fresh round of heavy snowfall wreaked havoc on the city and caused travel delays. I wasn't going to be able to fly out of Chicago to anywhere, even if I was able to. Even though it was dangerous conditions outside, I was stupid enough to attempt travel, which landed me in the ER for the second time and another hospital stay. I'd banged my head pretty good when I slid my rental into a concrete barrier, and considering my previous head injury, customarily precautions were taken to guard against any more head trauma.
I was beginning to think that the universe was conspiring against me, so I wouldn't be able to see Bella.
Although I had figured out really quick that it was fruitless to keep trying to contact Bella by phone, I still kept on trying. I held out hope that she would answer, I'd hear her voice, then all would be right in the world. Indubitably, the universe couldn't make it that easy on my love life.
After all, the universe had me in a miserable relationship for three years of my life to that psycho-bitch, Lauren, who was now rotting away in a maximum security prison for females.
Bella had no reason to believe that it was I who was frantically calling her; therefore, I had no reason to blame her for not answering her phone. I gathered that since her hostage experience, she'd become wary of many things. Particularly, that she probably now had serious trust issues.
While I knew in my gut that Jacob wasn't too be trusted, she didn't. She'd grown up with him, considered him a friend first despite their relationship issues and its subsequent demise. She probably never thought him capable of doing such a horrible thing to her.
Now, she probably believed that I couldn't be trusted either. I had made all these promises, only to abandon her in her hour of need. I wonder what she thought when she came through from her ordeal and realized that I wasn't amongst those that had been searching for her and waiting for her to come home. I could understand if she thought me to be a prick.
Yeah, I had a lot of explaining to do. I can't say that I would blame her, if even after all the explanation, that she still felt it right to walk away from me. Certainly, I wasn't going to stand for that, but I could understand where she'd be coming from.
I suppose I always could've tried to get a hold of Bella's father, but somehow doing that frightened me. The man is an officer of the law. He had guns. I don't know how much he knew about me, or what, if anything Bella told him about us, but I figured that I wasn't exactly going to be his favorite person at this point. It was better to be safe than sorry, and I felt it wise to just try and deal with Bella directly.
The day finally came when I could take the trip to Forks in order to find Bella. Emmett, Tanya, and Jasper would be accompanying me, mostly in part because I supposedly needed babysitters to both monitor my health, make sure I didn't act impulsively, and to keep me even-tempered. I was in no mood to argue. I just wanted to get to Bella. This trip was a long time coming.
I didn't really have any way of knowing if Bella was actually still in Forks. I had hoped that she'd answered her phone for me to make certain. However, since she hadn't been available, I just had to assume that Forks was as good a place to start as any in my bid to get in touch with her.
Actually, since there was no direct flight from Chicago to Forks, we'd have to land in Seattle then make our way to Forks. It didn't matter how I got to Bella, I just needed to see her, talk with her.
I needed Bella to know that if I could've helped it, I would've been there for her. I needed her to know that I am here for her know. Despite what tragedies happened to the two of us, my underlying feelings, my feelings of love, remain the same. Now that I remember them, I could act on them.
I love her still. It isn't in the past tense.
I needed Bella to know that I would accept no less than getting us back together. I wanted nothing more than to recover our relationship. Maybe we couldn't return to the way we were, because too much has happened since our wonderful time in Seattle together, but I was hoping we could start anew.
I needed to lay my heart out on the line for her.
If Bella needed time, I was willing to give her time. I wasn't willing to accept that we were over, though. We'd only just begun, really.
On the flight over, I was brimming with so many emotions. I could hardly keep myself still on the plane. The flight from Chicago to Seattle was taking entirely too long. I think I was annoying the hell out of Jasper who I was sitting next to.
I was feeling relief that I was finally taking this trip. Anticipation, anger, impatience, sadness, happiness-they were all coursing through me. I was also a whole lot of nervous and not ashamed to admit that I was petrified too.
I think when the plane landed safely in Seattle, Jasper was more relieved than me. I think he was ready to leave the confined space and me, who was admittedly, a terrible traveling companion. I think he even complained as much to Emmett and Tanya.
We may have money, but we certainly didn't get first-class seats. In fact, the four of us were put towards the back of the plane, most likely due to purchasing tickets to this flight at the last minute. Heck, I didn't mind if they put us in the cargo hold, just as long as we were able to catch this flight.
Something in my gut just told me that I had to be on this particular flight. I didn't know if it was a good or bad feeling, but I went with it.
I followed the sea of people out of the concourse and got stopped dead in my tracks just as I emerged through the terminal doors. Lo and behold, standing right in front of me was Bella. My beautiful, precious Bella. She was there at my gate, staring right at me.
Our eyes locked and like a magnet, I immediately gravitated towards her. I was within inches of her. I thought I could cry. I could already see tears forming in her eyes.
We still hadn't said a word. Bella and I just kept staring at one another, as if neither one of us could believe that the other was standing right there in front of us.
I was afraid that she was just a mirage, a figment conjured up by my imagination, and not really Bella. But, the moment she touched my face, I knew that she had to be real.
I leaned into her touch and closed my eyes. I relished in the feel of her of touch. I realized exactly how much I missed it, having gone without it for so long. I didn't want to go on any longer without feeling her touch each day.
I opened my eyes to find her still touching my face, just wordless. It seemed as if she was studying me. In a way, I was studying her too. I guess we were both re-familiarizing ourselves.
It occurred to me that she was more beautiful now than when I last saw her. Believe me, the visions I had of her when I was in the coma didn't even do her enough justice.
I couldn't help myself and pulled her in for a kiss. I needed to taste her lips again.
My heart did a virtual fist bump when I found that she wasn't stopping me from stealing my kiss.
The moment that we kissed, it was as if the world stood still. I mean, all time had already stopped the moment I laid eyes on her. I had already forgotten where we were. Nothing else mattered except Bella and I. Now that I was in Bella's arms, it felt like my world was righting itself.
Damn, the kiss. It was exactly like the first time we ever kissed, where she tilted my whole world off of its axis. I felt tingles all the way to the tips of my toes.
I couldn't be sure, but maybe this kiss was even more intense than the first time. I felt like I couldn't have her close enough and kept holding her tighter to me until I felt that there was no more inch of space between us. In turn, her body molded into mine.
I had almost forgotten how well we fit together.
I think I could've just stood there kissing Bella forever, if it weren't for throats clearing that had broken through the lust-induced fog that had overtaken me. I tried to ignore what I heard, and continued to kiss Bella. Bella didn't seem to want to stop kissing me either. However, the voices got insistent.
Reluctantly, we broke our kiss. Both our lips were visibly swollen from all the kissing action.
Bella's cheeks were already a lovely blush color, indicating her embarrassment at the scene we just caused. I giggled a little, remembering how much I loved that blush of hers and how much I wanted to elicit it from her as often as possible.
I did sober up though when I looked up and found we were surrounded. On one side, Emmett, Tanya, and Jasper was staring at Bella and I with these strange, shocked, looks upon their faces. On the other side, I glimpsed the faces of two young women also visibly shocked.
Then I caught sight of an older man, who was also intently watching us. He didn't only look visibly shocked, but his face was quickly morphing to that of anger. I quickly recognized the family resemblance.
Shit! I just kissed Bella like I did in front of her father. Not only that, I'd made a very public, and I mean public, display of affection.
Did I mention that Bella's father had been watching? Her very intimidating looking father who had guns and was an expert at using them. Admittedly, not the best way to have met Bella's father.
Then and there, I thought I was a dead man. Talk about whoops! Probably, the single biggest snafu I'd ever made in my life. I literally began drawing up my will in my head.
End A/N: So, did you guys like? More to come, certainly. I gather that the next couple of chapters are going to be dialogue heavy.
-Still working on those reviews. I think my goal is to get them all done before I post the next chapter, simply for the fact that I don't want to dig myself a bigger hole what with already being behind on review replies as it is.
-Teaser for Chapter 43:
"Everyone this is Bella," I murmured, introducing Bella to my siblings and Jasper.
"Yeah, no shit, lover boy. I doubt you make a habit of kissing beautiful, female strangers at airports," Emmett retorted, trying hard to remain serious.