A/N: Katbug86 beta'd this, she is an angel for always being there at the drop of a hat. Thanks love.

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight; all respective characters belong to Smeyer. Plot line and original characters belong to me. :)

A Life Less Ordinary

Part One


My name is Bella Swan. I am a 32-year-old mother of two, and a wife. When I was married I decided to be progressive and keep my last name. That doesn't much matter though, because everyone still calls me Bella Reed anyway. There are bikes and skateboards that litter my lawn, not to mentions leaves. I live in a small two-story home with three bedrooms and one bathroom, which is no fun with a pre-teen daughter and a rather stinky eight-year-old son.

The best thing about my kids though? When they come up to me, unprompted, and with a smile in their eyes, hug me and tell me they love me - it warms my heart and reminds me why I'm on this planet in the first place. Love. That was something my husband taught me. I knew of love before him; I have two loving parents and three loving siblings, but it wasn't something we went around expressing all the time.

My husband showed me what it really felt like to be loved, always telling me and making me blush. Now I get it from my children as well, and I freely admit my adoration in kind. It feels good. We married young, had a baby young, but it wasn't like that. It was because of the love. There was nothing in our way, no doubts holding us back, it just felt right.

So, when I was eighteen, we said our vows, and Rebecca followed a year later. She was an angel; she took my breath away the moment I laid eyes on her. She was covered in goo, blood caked to her hair, but she was beautiful. Her little eyes opened and locked with mine, and a piece of my heart melted into her. I was lost forever.

My son, Ryan, followed five years later. We hadn't intended to wait so long, but life tends to get away from you once you have children. Before we knew it Becca was celebrating her fourth birthday, and it was still just the three of us. That night we decided to try for another, and it took us no time at all to conceive Ry.

We don't come from blue-blood families. Neither of our parents have much, but what they do have they strived hard for. They were good models for us, and we both work hard to provide for our own family, which is no easy task nowadays. My husband works with computers, and I work part-time at a photo place. Not glamorous, but I was a stay at home mom until my kids were in school, and I never put much stock in where I would work.

I did take some night classes once my children were a bit older, but never completed a degree. My passion is drawing, and I would love to be an architect - but that's a pipe dream. Awhile back, when I was really gung ho about it, I submitted some drawings to local firms, but I didn't hear much back. I think that's what deflated me on the idea.

I am as involved in my kid's lives as a parent can be. I am on the PTA, I am room mother in my son's class (my daughter would kill me if I stepped foot in her middle school). I am team parent for my son's soccer team, and I help make the uniforms for my daughter's cheerleading team. My life is in constant motion, and, sometimes, when I pause a moment to take stalk it makes my head spin.

This year, my husband and I celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary, and he surprised me with a weekend trip away. We never got a honeymoon, and I know it seems odd to finally do something special on your fourteenth anniversary, but that's the way we are; we don't much play by the book, but it works for us.

My husband, Tim, is still as handsome to me as he was the day I met him. I was working in the mall at a small boutique, and he strolled past the window of the store as I was setting up a new display. The mannequin I was working on was not cooperating, and it was taking me forever to fit it with this tiny bra and panties set. I noticed him walk by, his light, caramel mop of hair catching my eye, but my frustration with the mannequin got the better of me. I grunted and climbed of the step stool, using my foot to help stretch the underwear with my hands.

A few moments later, once I had successfully clothed the dummy, I was hanging plastic bubbles from the ceiling in the display. It was then I caught a better glimpse of him as he passed by the window again. I brushed it off and continued my work, setting up a large cardboard bath tub in front of the mannequin. As I struggled with the unstable feet of the cardboard cutout, I was facing directly towards the window. He passed by again, slowly this time, watching me the whole way. I stopped what I was doing and waited a moment, sure enough he passed by again, still watching me, and walking even slower. I couldn't help but chuckle at the expression on his face, as if he had spied something in the window he really liked.

He came back again, this time stopping directly in front of me, and cupping his hands against the glass. He looked like a little boy, peering in at a toy he desperately wanted for Christmas. I laughed out loud, placing my hands on my hips. "See anything you like?" I asked, trying to pry the smile from my face.

His head poked up out of his hands as if he were shocked that I'd spoken, before a wide grin spread across his own face. "Yes," he replied.

He waited until I got off that day, and then asked me out to dinner. He had deep brown eyes that complemented his honey-colored hair so nicely. His sharply cut features and his straight jaw made my knees weak, and when he spoke, I think I would have agreed to do anything. Tim was two years older than me and in college. I was a junior in high school, it was like something out of a movie the way we met and fell into such an easy rhythm.

We were inseparable after that. He would pick me up from school in the afternoons and take me to work. Most days he would hang out at the mall until I was done, and then drive me home. We could talk about anything, and we did - we talked about everything. I told him about my aspirations to move to New York and become a world famous architect. He told me about his hopes and dreams of becoming a pilot.

I was a virgin when we met, but I didn't hold onto that for long after we had been together. We were desperately in love, and we both knew it after a few months. I can still remember the night we made love for the first time like it was yesterday … mostly because it was an accident. And yes, that is possible. We were at his house on a Saturday night watching a movie in the basement. Since Tim was older, his parents never cared what we did, that's why we spent most of our time at his house.

Whenever we watched a movie it would inevitably end with us making out under a blanket. One night, things got especially heated and clothing was removed. It felt so good, my body seeming to know exactly what it wanted, where it wanted him. I moved to hook my leg over him to get a better angle, the tension low in my belly growing, and he slipped inside of me. The pain that shot through my groin made me cry out, and Tim grabbed my arms, pulling his face away from my neck. "Oh my God, are you okay?" He asked, panic in his voice.

My eyes were clenched shut as I tried to reconcile with the pain, and the fact that he was inside of me. "That really hurts," I grunted through gnashed teeth.

"Okay baby, just move very slowly off of me, it's okay," he hummed in my ear, trying to soothe me. I nodded, moving backward off of him. The release of the pressure was immediate, but my insides throbbed and burned. I bent in half, a tear slipping down my cheek. "Shit, that was stupid," I moaned, wondering if it truly even counted.

Tim rubbed my back in small circles as I sat there, half naked, on his legs, trying not to cry. "Bella, honey - I think you're bleeding," he said softly. I gasped, jumping up and running into the bathroom, completely uncaring that I was absent pants or underwear.

I was, in fact, bleeding. I tried to clean myself up, but was having a hard time seeing past the tears. I poked my head out of the bathroom calling for Tim. "Hey, can you bring me my pants? …Aaand, your phone?" I whispered hesitantly.

"Um, okay."

He brought me those things, and I excused myself inside the bathroom. I could hear him outside the door, waiting. "Bella, are you okay baby?" His voice came muffled through the wood.

"Um, yeah, can I just have a moment please?"

"Yeah … sure." Tim sounded worried, but I couldn't think about that. I did the only thing I could think to do, and I called my older sister. She picked up after four rings. "Hello?"

"Alice?" My voice shook.

"Bells, is that you? What's up honey? Are you okay?" Alice is my older sister by four years. She was in college at the time, and had always been a rock star in my eyes. I knew by many of her stories that she was more than experienced in this area and would be able to guide me through it.

"Yeah, hey Ali, I uh … I have a question," I couldn't keep the tremor out of my voice, and I squeezed my hand into a fist in irritation.

"Okay babe, shoot."

"How do you know if … if you have … how do you know if you've had sex?"

I could hear her stifling a chuckle before she could respond. "Well, it's kind of obvious. Was there penetration Bells?"

That is why I love my sister so much. She knew when to mess around, and she knew when to get to the point. She wasn't going to give me a hard time about it and I was more than thankful for that. "Um, well … yes, but only for a second. Am I still a virgin? And there is blood, is that normal? It hurt so bad, Ali."

"Yes, that counts, you no longer have your V card, and, yes blood is normal in most cases. It can hurt like a bitch depending, but if you're still bleeding in a few days you should see the doctor," she replied, not even attempting to hold back her laughter anymore.

"A few days!" I whisper yelled.

"Yeah, Bells, it's no big deal. You might be too sore to use a tampon, but just put a panty liner in and you're golden."

"This fucking sucks," I grunted.

"Awe, my little baby B is a woman now!" She trilled into the phone, and I shushed her.

I thought about Tim nervously waiting for me, and I figured I should go and talk to him. "Thanks Ali," I sighed.

"No problem babe. Call me when you have your first real experience with it - I can give you some pointers on how to hit the big O every time."

"Bla - okay!" I cut her off. "Thanks, later Ali-gator," I smiled hanging up the phone.

When I came out of the bathroom Tim was sitting on the edge of the couch bobbing his knee furiously. I stepped towards him handing him the phone. "Are you mad at me? Did you call your dad?" He asked, sheer terror in his eyes. I couldn't help but laugh, falling to the couch beside him.

"No, Tim, I would never call my dad, are you crazy? I just called Ali, she said everything was normal." His cheeks went scarlet.

"You talked to your sister?"

"Yeah, it's fine though, she won't say anything. I have enough dirt on her to keep her quiet for two lifetimes," I shrugged, bringing my arms around his shoulders. "And of course I'm not mad at you silly."

He melted into me, leaning in and kissing my neck softly. "Are you okay Bells? I was so worried," he asked, pressing his forehead against my temple.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I sighed. "I'm not a virgin anymore," I mused, and Tim laughed at me. That was one of the reasons I think that we have been together for so long and still in love - we can always make each other laugh no matter what the situation.

Sitting in the carpool lane at my son's school, I stare across the school yard to the playground, lost in thought. The air is cool, with that smoky smell to it that fall always seems to have. I breathe in the air, running my fingers through the emptiness as the breeze blows gently. I am normally third in line at the carpool. It never fails, no matter how hard I try, or how early I get there, there is always the same two ladies in front of me every day.

I am a competitive person by nature, so at first this bothered me. The first few days I tried to get here an hour early, just so that I could have the satisfaction of being first in line, but one of these ladies was always here. I wondered if they just sat there all day while their kids were in school. I have gotten over that though, and I happily settle on being one of the first few in line instead.

I jump when my cell phone rings, glancing around to see if anyone is watching. You see, there is carpool etiquette - you are not supposed to use your cell phone while waiting in the carpool lane. Now, I can understand this when you are pulling through and there are children around, but I never care for the rule during the thirty minutes a day I sit here before the bell even rings. That doesn't mean I haven't been reprimanded for using it by school staff during that time before though, so I covertly sink low in my seat and answer the call. It is a blocked number, so I have no clue who it may be. "Hello?" I whisper.

"Yes, may I speak with Miss Swan?" The use of my maiden name, although still my legal and proper name, catches me off guard; I live in a sleepy microscopic town where everyone knows everyone, and anyone I am aquatinted with calls me by my married name.

"Um, this is she," I respond slowly.

"Wonderful, so nice to speak with you Miss Swan. My name is Tanya Denali, and I just recently took the reins of an architectural firm out of Seattle."

My brow furrows with her words, I have no clue why this woman is calling me.

"The company was previously known as Pender and Associates, but it has been bought out and is now under the umbrella of Cullen Enterprises. I was charged with hiring new staff for our company, and I was given previous files Pender and Associates had of possible hires. Your name was among the list, and I would like to see when you are available to schedule an interview."

My jaw hits my chest because I am sunk down in my chair so far. I wrack my brain at how my name would have been in their files. It has been almost three years since I sent out resumes to any companies, and even then I can't remember including any architectural firms in there. "I'm sorry, um ... how did you get my name? I apologize for my confusion, but I don't recall applying with any Pender and Associates."

"Oh, of course, there was never any formal application on file, I should clarify. Pender and Associates received a portfolio with your work almost four years ago. Someone must have been impressed with your work, because they held onto your file. One of the reasons Cullen Enterprises bought out this company is because it had gone stale. They weren't progressing much, hadn't hired any new staff in years, and their numbers were slowly declining. The owners were old and set in their ways, so I think it was just time for them to move on. I was also impressed with your work, and would love the opportunity to speak with you in person."

I am in shock, my whole body buzzing, and my ears are ringing. This is the phone call I have been dreaming about. I don't even know what to say. "I … uh, I am truly flattered Miss Denali, but I have to be honest, this is a bit of a shock."

"Well, it may be a shock Miss Swan, but I can assure you it is a once in a life time opportunity."

She is completely right, and that is all it takes to convince me there has to be a way. "Yes, well, let me look over my schedule. Is there a number I can reach you at?"

"Absolutely, but I am scheduling interviews now, so I would appreciate a call back today if possible."

"Of course," I reply, and with shaking hands I take down her number.

As I sit upright in my seat, my chest is heaving with deep breaths. A teacher eyes me as I put my cell phone away, but I ignore her. The car door slides open and Ry clambers in. "Hey ma."

"Hi baby," I perk up, snapping out of it. "How was your day?"

"Good," he supplies me with his standard answer before I pull away.

I chuckle and turn up the music. Ryan sinks back in his seat closing his eyes. One thing I have learned over the years is that kids need to decompress after school. I normally give him a good two hours before I try to pry out of him how his day was. Some days he's more generous with his information, but other days it's like pulling teeth to find out something as simple as what he ate for lunch.

That in particularly irritates me more than anything, because if it were up to me my children would take bagged lunches to school. After a long argument, begging, and then finally Becca resorting to cajoling Tim into giving in (she is most definitely Daddy's little girl, that child has him wrapped so tightly around her pinkie, only he is blind to it,) I had to concede to a lunch card for each of them.

My life is ordinary, middle of the road, for sure. And although I married my first and only love, things dull over time. The love has not diminished at all, I would die for him. If he were not in my life I don't know what I would do - I wouldn't be functional. That doesn't change the fact that when he comes home from work, and I am making dinner, I get a peck on the cheek and nothing more. There are no sparks that fly, I don't have the urge to turn and devour him at his simple touch, but that is because he is familiar and comfortable and those things become less important when you barely have time to breathe.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I still find Tim attractive, but imagine eating the same thing for dinner every day. Even if it was your most favorite of foods - it would stop making your mouth water over time. He knows me though, and he knows my body, he can satisfy me, and make me tremble with his touch when we're in that mode - but we have to be there - it's not all consuming where just a skewed glance pushes us into the throws of passion.

To be perfectly honest, I don't know that I would like that anyway. I just picture myself trying to get dinner on the table, Tim coming in and throwing me a 'come hither' look, and me having to rip him into our room and take him right then and there - I'd burn dinner. Not to mention, we'd never get anything done.

No, that seems like it would interfere with life too much. I prefer that we have a time and a place for our comfortable passion, it suits us.

"Hey baby," Tim hums as he comes into the kitchen, placing his briefcase on the counter and pecking my cheek. Clockwork. I smile and eye the briefcase as I stir the spaghetti sauce. He grabs a glass of juice from the fridge, leaves the empty cup on the counter, and saunters out. Hey - at least he used a cup.

"Tim! Briefcase," I shout, and without looking over my shoulder I know he has returned and grabbed it, because I can hear him mumbling under his breath.

My thoughts wander to the strange phone call I received earlier while I stir my homemade sauce, and I stare at the calendar on my fridge. I am so busy, and my family needs me, I can't imagine breaking away to go to Seattle for some meeting. Deep down though, something is nagging at me, it is a need. Somehow I felt I needed to do this. My entire life revolved around my family - my children's schedules, my husband's occasional business trips. Even my own work schedule had to be worked around what was going on with them. But that's what a wife and a mother does, I am the glue that holds this family together, I keep it moving and on time. I feel an unbelievable amount of responsibility to that, but in the end, that leaves little for me.

I can't afford to give myself any time or energy, it just simply isn't possible. But what if I wanted to? Was that selfish of me? I worry my bottom lip between my teeth as I mull this over. The sauce pops loudly, and splashes back onto my blouse, burning through to my skin. "Shit," I hiss, turning the heat on the burner down. Placing the lid on the pot, I damp a piece of paper towel, and blot at the red splotch between my breasts.

"Hey mom?" Rebecca rounds the corner, almost running into me.

"What's up Becca?" I say, concentrating on the eminent stain.

"Marley wants to know if I can go to the movies with her tonight."

I look up from my fingers, "Tonight? Absolutely not, it's a school night."

"But Moooom, everyone's going, and Dad said I could if I cleared it with you," she groans.

I lift a single brow, setting my jaw. "Oh did he?"

"Yeah," she replies looking hopeful.

"Rebecca Marie, what is the rule?"

Her shoulders hunch inward. "No going out on school nights," she mumbles looking to her feet.

"Then I think you have your answer, and I can't imagine why your father wouldn't have told you the same thing."

"Ugh! You are so unfair!" She cries, turning to stomp up the stairs.

I roll my eyes, and stomp my own feet toward the family room. Tim sits, feet up in his recliner, mindlessly flipping through sports channels. I clear my throat, and he cranes his head to look at me, his eyes following slowly after as he has to peel them away from the TV. "What's up Bells?"

I cross my arms, my foot is already tapping. This is a horrible habit I have picked up from my mother, but sometimes it's the only way I can keep from ripping my hair out. "Why did you tell Becca you were fine with her going to the movies tonight?"

"Um, because I didn't think it was a big deal?" He replied more in a question than answer.

"We have rules Tim," I shoot back.

He huffs, wrenching his seat upright and dropping his feet to the floor. He knows my body language; the ball is in his court whether or not this turns into a huge fight. "Look Bella, I didn't think it was that bad - besides, she said everyone was going."

My jaw drops. "Tim! Of course she said that! Did you even think to bother asking who everyone was? And, frankly, I don't care if everyone is going. We have our own house rules!"

He holds his hands up in surrender, "Okay, okay, I'm sorry, you're right. That was stupid of me … come 'mere." He pats the arm of the chair he is sitting in, and throws me his boyish grin. I fight back a smile, but he knows he has me. I sulk over to the chair and plop myself down.

"We have to be a team," I say as he rubs my back softly.

"I know baby, I'm sorry. I wasn't really thinking, and they were showing the scores from last night's games…"

Glaring down at him I quirk a brow. "Tim. Your daughter has got to be more important to you then some stupid baseball scores. You probably didn't even really know what she was asking to do did you?"

He shrugs sheepishly at me, nestling his nose into my hair. "What if she were asking to take the car or go out on a date with some boy? What if I weren't here and you just said sure because you wanted to hear the scores of the games instead of listen to her whine - Tim, that is not okay!"

"I know, I'm sorry! Shit, should I write a formal apology?" He is contrite, and I am berating him, another horrible habit I picked up from my mother.

"No, sorry," I mumble. I think about my own comment, about not being here, and I decide to bring up the phone call. "Hey Tim, I wanted to talk to you about something."

"Hmm?" He hums sleepily into my neck.

"Wake up," I nudge him with a laugh.

He snorts, sitting up abruptly, pretending to have fallen asleep. I roll my eyes. "Listen, so I got a phone call earlier today from this architectural firm."

His eyes light up, the deep brown seeming three shades lighter. My hand cups his face, it hasn't aged much, he still looks so young. Only a few light crinkles around his eyes give him away.

"Really? What about?"

"Well, apparently four years ago when I sent around my stuff one of the companies must have liked my portfolio and hung onto it. They just changed ownership and are hiring, the woman in charge of HR called and wanted to set up an interview with me."

"Really? Oh Bells - that's great!" I am surprised that he is so excited, but not too terribly. Tim has always been so supportive, and never wanted anything but all of my hopes and dreams to come to fruition. "When is it? Where is it?"

"Um, well, I haven't actually set anything up yet, I wanted to talk to you first. And it is in Seattle." This is the part I think he may have a problem with. We are small town folk, and I didn't know if he would be thrilled with me having a job prospect almost four hours away, and in a very large city.

His face crinkles for a moment, it's his considering face. It is the same face he gave me when I talked about having another baby on Rebecca's fourth birthday. "Well, I guess it can't harm anything if you go for an interview," he finally concludes out loud.

"Really?" I squeal, my excitement over it doubling immediately. I kiss him brusquely on the lips before jumping up and running to my purse. I scramble through it's contents and find where I scribbled down Tanya Denali's number. Excusing myself to our bedroom, I dial her number. It rings five times, and I chew on my lip, nervously glancing at the bedside clock. Maybe it's too late, and she's gone home for the day.

"Tanya Denali," the same voice from earlier finally answers.

"Miss Denali, this is Bella Swan, we spoke this afternoon?"

"Oh, yes, Miss Swan, please, call me Tanya."

"Well … Tanya … I was hoping I could still schedule a meeting with you…" I trail, unsure how to proceed.

"Wonderful! I was beginning to think you might not call. Do you have any open times next week?"

I dig through my purse again and find my mini day calendar, flipping it to October. "Um, yes, I can do midweek, Wednesday, or Thursday would be best for me."

"Perfect, I will put you down for Thursday at 3 p.m. sound good?"

"Yes, thank you so much Tanya," I gush, unable to keep the excitement out of my voice.

"See you then Miss Swan." And she hangs up before I can ask her to call me Bella.


Sitting on Becca's bed I watch as she brushes her hair, getting ready. She is really beautiful, more so than I ever was at her age. She has a grace about her that I envy, I have always been more awkward and clumsy. I think being in dance since she could walk has aided in that a bit, but there is a naturalness to the way she moves, even when just walking, like her father. Her chestnut hair falls down her back in soft, natural curls. Her skin is a warmer shade, also like her father's, slightly darker than mine, which isn't hard to achieve seeing as I could be mistaken for being part albino.

Her wide, green eyes are somewhat of an enigma because both Tim and I have brown eyes, but my mother tells me my great-grandmother had bright, green eyes. She has a sweet smile that I have been seeing less and less of these days. I tell myself it's just her finding herself. I try to remember those early teenage years when things seem so confusing, but it still hurts that we are not as close as we use to be.

Becca and I were best friends. Tim always says that she was like my mini me, my little shadow, following me around, doing what I did. Now I see her shying away from conversations with me. I'll catch her smiling at a joke I make, only to go straight-faced as soon as she sees me notice. We still have our special moments together, where everything seems normal, like right now. She isn't yelling at me for being in her room, she actually seems to be enjoying my company.

"So what movie are you guys going to see?" Marley had agreed to wait and see the movie with Becca on Saturday, which is really what I thought might happen, seeing as they are best friends.

"Um, some chick flick, I can't remember the name," she replies, and I laugh at her use of the phrase 'chick flick'.

"Well I suppose that's appropriate, seeing as how you two are in, fact chicks," I comment.

She giggles, but looks away nervously. I narrow my eyes at her. "Rebecca? It is just you two girls, right?"

She chews on her bottom lip nervously, a reflection of what I look like when I feel that way I am sure. It would be a lot easier for her to get away with lying to me if she weren't so much like me.


"Becca," I start, dropping my voice to a stern tone. "It's better to be honest, remember?"

She sighs, her shoulders drop in a defeated manner. "Yeah… no, it's not just Marley and me, Frank and Steve are going too." Her cheeks pink, and her eyes are glued to the floor.

I search her face, her body language, she is nervous, and I can remember exactly how she feels. I tried on more than one occasion to slip something almost exactly like this past my father, Charlie. He was the former Police Chief of the town we live in, and he was always over protective. If Rebecca thinks my rules are strict, she should hear the kinds of things I had to deal with. But I feel for her, I know what it's like to test the boundaries. That doesn't mean I am happy about her trying to deceive me.

"Becca, come here," I pat the bed beside me. She trudges over and plops down. I pull her hair off her shoulders and run my fingers through it. "I want you to listen to me, okay? I know you were nervous that I would say no if there were boys going to the movies, but you need to always be honest with me. No matter what, you can always talk to me. I am not some tyrant who wants you locked in your bedroom … I am flexible on some things, but you'll never know if you don't come to me." She looks up, her eyes watery, but a hopeful expression on her face.


"Yes sweetheart. I am your mother, and I want what is best for you, but I also want you to be able to express yourself. Now, who are these boys?"

She gives me a weak smile. "Um, well Steve Rider and Frank Holmes, they are both eighth graders as well, they live a few neighborhoods away."

I nod, considering who she's talking about. "Mr. Rider, he's a soccer coach for the older boys, right? He coaches both Steve and Frank?"

"Yeah," she smiles.

"I've seen them around the fields, they seem like nice boys," I reply. "Okay, Rebecca, here's the deal. I am okay with this for a few reasons, I know the boys, and I know at least one of their parents. Also, since it's the middle of the day I feel a bit better about it. But I don't want you getting any crazy ideas that this will be okay all of the time … or at night. This is not a date, there will be no kissing, hand holding, lingering glances, do I make myself clear?" I sound like Charlie, but I can't stop the river that has broken through the damn, I am her mother, through and through, and I want to protect her as long as I can.

She beams back at me. "Okay Mom, I understand, I swear. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!" She dives into my arms and squeezes me tightly.

I laugh and then tap her shoulder, "Can't breathe baby girl,"

"Oh, sorry," she pulls away, kissing my cheek and jumping off the bed.

"Oh, and Becca?"

"Yes mom?"

"You have to ask your father as well."

Her face drops, and she turns and huffs out of her room. I chuckle because I know she is fully aware that although he is usually the easier of the two to win over, when it comes to his baby girl and dating - Tim was not thrilled with the prospect. I sigh, pushing myself off the bed, and prepare myself to act, for once, as Rebecca's reinforcement.


"I still can't believe you let her go," Tim muses as his fingers trail through my hair. We are curled in bed, watching a documentary on Roswell. It's after midnight, both kids are passed out in their beds, and I'm not far behind.


"Rebecca, I can't believe you let her go on a date," he repeats, this time with a bit more ire.

"First of all, it was not a date, and secondly, I didn't let her do anything - we did. You signed off on it too papa bear," I poke him in the stomach and he grunts, grabbing my finger.

"Against my better judgment," he mumbles.

I laugh at him, "Tim, you do realize, this is the same group of people you were more than willing to let her go out with on a school night?"

"What? No, it wasn't - was it?"

I nod, nestling my head into the crook of his arm. His nose skids across my cheek, settling behind my ear as he holds me tighter. "Fine, fair enough. But let's make a new house rule - no dating until you are married."

I laugh into his shoulder. "So what, we will betroth her to someone then?"

"Why not? It works for other cultures."

I pull back blinking up at him. "And what if my Dad thought that way? What if when we met I was unable to date and betrothed to another," I feign concern.

Tim buries his head into my shoulder, breathing heavily because he knows that tickles me like crazy, and I squirm. When he leans back and whispers hot air against my ear I can't take it anymore. I am squealing and pushing against him.

"Well, I would have had to kill the man you were promised to then," he whispers.

I gasp in mock alarm, "You would have murdered? For me?"

He pauses, pulling back so I can look into his eyes, a genuine smile hanging from his lips. "I would kill for you, I would die for you. You, Isabella Marie Swan-Reed," he smiles wide at my name. "Are what I live for. End of story."

Taking his face in my hands I answer with a deep kiss, it was things like that that made me love him more every day.


"Come on Ry! We're gonna be late!" I holler up the stairs. Seconds later, Ryan comes flying down the steps, shirt buttoned all askew, hair sticking up each way. "Whoa Ry-guy, slow down, come here babe," I smile down at him.

He takes the toast and juice I offer, and allows me to run a brush through his hair. He has the same honey colored hair as Tim, shortly cropped like his daddy. He glances at me, his brown eyes gleaming as he smiles and takes a large bite of toast.

"Did you finish your project?" I ask.

"Yup," he replies through a mouth full of buttery bread. "I think Mrs. Newton will really like it. I might even get first prize!" Mrs. Newton is Ryan's fourth grade teacher, and also the wife of a guy I went to high school with, which always makes me laugh. Mike Newton had asked me out on more dates than I can count, not to mention gained the attention of my father when I stupidly complained about him once. I always felt bad that Charlie showed up at his door in full uniform, gun hanging boldly on his belt, telling him to leave his daughter alone. Although, he never asked me out again after that, so maybe I don't feel too badly.

I'd run into him a few times after he moved back here with his wife, and he was never anything but kind. I liked his wife as well, she was a good teacher. Ryan had a science project due for a fair that was being held this week, and he had worked very hard on it. He had been up late last night putting the finishing touches on his poster.

"I bet you will win first place," I gush, bending and kissing his cheek.

"Morning Ry," Tim greets our son as he comes into the kitchen. He scrubs his hand through Ryan's hair, scuffing it up after I had just brushed it. I sigh, grabbing the brush, and running it through his hair again. Tim grabs a glass and fills it with juice, downing it in almost one whole gulp. When he places the empty glass on the counter I eye him. He pauses when he catches my expression, backing up slowly, and with a frightened look, he picks up the glass and places it in the sink.

I cross my arms against my chest, raising my eyebrows because I know he is making fun of me for being anal without saying it. He corrects his posture and smiles, winking at me. That damned boyish smile. I smile back.

"Don't forget we have that parent-teacher conference this afternoon," I remind Tim as we both head out the front door.

"I won't, promise," he smiles and then kisses me lightly. "I love you."

"Love you too, have a good day babe," I smile back.

I turn the ignition over in the car so I can take Ryan to school, and then head to work; and so starts a typical busy Monday morning.

Later that day, I am on my way from work to pick up Ryan from school when my phone rings. I glance at the caller id as I climb into my car. "Ali! How are you?" I squeal into the phone. Alice is very busy running her own business; she and I hardly have a chance to talk anymore.

"Good Bells! How about you? How are you mama?"

"I'm doing well, can't complain. Busy, but you know, it is what it is."

"I hear ya honey. SO… that's it? Same ole, huh?"

"Um… yeah…"

"Ha! Liar, liar, pants on fire!"

"Alice what the hell are you talking about?"

"Tim told me about your interview little girl, don't think you are getting out of going shopping for interview clothes by not telling me."

I smack my hand against my forehead. "Ohh, no, I just didn't think to run around telling everyone Ali, it's just an interview."

"Well, regardless, you deserve the recognition, and I will be there tomorrow to take you to get the best "hire me" outfit there is to buy."

I laugh at her excitement. "Alright, alright, thanks Ali."

"Of course, what are big sisters for? I gotta run though chica, I will see you tomorrow."

"Okay, later Ali-gator."

"After a while Bella-dile!" She chimes before hanging up.

When the kids were very small they loved calling Alice Aunt Ali-gator, they thought it was so cool. Now when I say what I have always said when getting off the phone with Alice, they usually roll their eyes at me or act all embarrassed. I park in the line at kiss-n-ride and wait for Ryan, thinking about my interview later in the week. I am beyond nervous, but also more excited, I just want to be there already and get it over with.

I must have been daydreaming for a while, because the van door slides open suddenly, and Ryan huffs in, aggravation written all over his face. "Hey bud, what's up?"

I pull away from the curb and watch him in the rearview mirror. His arms are knit together tightly against his chest, and he is clearly sulking about something. "Nothing," he grunts.

"O…kay. Well, let me know when you want to talk about it okay? I'm here to listen-"

"Gosh! Fine, okay I got it Mom. I'm not a baby, okay?" He spits at me.

Whoa. Pre-teen tantrums I've seen, but never out of Ryan. This was new. I swallow, trying not to let it hurt my feelings, but that is basically impossible. "Ryan, I understand you are upset, but you do not speak to me that way. I'll leave you alone, but unless you want to end up on restriction, I suggest you check your attitude," I respond evenly.

This is the same thing I always express to Becca. She can be angry, she can express that, but she cannot be disrespectful.

It has taken three hours. I dropped Ryan off at home with Becca, went back to meet Tim at Ryan's school, met with his teacher, and then came home. An hour later I am sitting in the living room checking my emails on my laptop when Ryan comes shuffling in, perching himself on the edge of the couch.

"Hey Ry," I say simply, continuing to look through my spam folder.

"Hey mom," he says sheepishly.

We sit in quiet for a minute, and I know it's only a matter of time before he speaks.

"Becky made fun of my project," he mumbles into his hand.

"Becky? Becky Reynolds? What did she say?"

"She asked if I had my mommy help me draw the pretty pictures on my poster."

"Oh, Ry," I sigh, pulling him against me. "Did Becky have a poster to go with her project?"

"No. She didn't even have her project."

"Well, then I'm sure she was just jealous. Besides, I didn't help you, and you know that."

"I know, but nobody else did, and now they'll all think that!"

"Ryan, look at me," I tug on his chin until he complies. "Sometimes in life you just need to be okay with yourself, no matter what other people think. You know the truth, and that's all that matters. Does that make sense?"

"I guess," he shrugs.

I hug him as long as he'll allow and then he finally pulls away. "Thanks mom, love you," he says before jetting from the room.

"You're welcome," I answer the empty space.


"Ali, you said we would be finding an outfit that says "hire me" not "fuck me"," I wine, tugging on the pencil skirt she had to basically manhandle me into. I had refused, but she is freakishly strong for such a small person.

"Bella," she laughs, smacking my hip. "You look amazing. This is a very smart outfit, and here," she hands me a charcoal suit jacket that matches the skirt. "This goes over the camisole."

I pull the jacket on and straighten it, appraising the look in the three-way mirror. Not bad. The deep blue camisole accents my skin tone nicely, and the suit - with the jacket - does look smart … I guess. "Okay, I like it," I finally admit, and Alice shakes me by the shoulders.

"Seeeeeee. I told you I work miracles."

I arch my brow, at her. "Oh, getting me to look presentable took a miracle then?"

"No. But getting you in here to try on clothes, and then to actually like what you see - that's a miracle. Don't tell me you wouldn't normally be bitching at me no matter what I put you in."

"Yeah, well, maybe," I mutter.

Alice was four when I was born, prime age for little girls to be obsessed with baby dolls, and that's exactly what I was to her - a living, breathing baby doll. As long as I can remember Alice has been dressing me up or experimenting on me. Granted, she's good at what she does; fashion is most definitely her thing. But she is by no means infallible.

My Freshmen year of high school she had me in tight spandex, leg warmers, crimped hair, and layered neon tank tops for the first day of school. She was convinced the 80's were back, and she talked my ear off about it half the summer. She was about thirteen years ahead of the curve though, and I ended up having to make up some story that I lost a bet with her over the summer. I was mortified.

Once I am home, I show Tim the outfit and he smiles, barely glancing at it, but telling me it is lovely. "You'll be lovely," he clarifies with a grin. Now, I am lying in bed staring, at the ceiling, and listening to him snore, unable to sleep. One more day, one more day, and then it will just be over. I can't stand anticipation, it is the worst. My brain is spinning uncontrollably with thoughts, but eventually I manage to fall asleep.

The following day I am like a chicken with it's head cut off, running around trying to pack, making sure my family is set for the next day, attending a PTA meeting, and making sure Cindy, my neighbor with a son Ryan's age, knows to collect dues at the Cub Scout meeting tomorrow night. The day blurs by like a bullet train, and I can't sleep a wink.

The alarm clock blares, but I am already out of bed and in the shower. I hear the bathroom door open, and then the shower curtain moves. My eyes are closed because I am washing my hair, fingers intertwine with mine, and I drop my hands as Tim takes over scrubbing my scalp.

"Mmm, that feels good," I sigh, relaxing for the first time in days.

He kisses my neck softly. "I'm gonna miss ya, you know?"

"I know, I'll miss you too, but I'll be home late tonight."

He has finished with my hair, and he turns me by the shoulders, water speckling his chest and belly. He was always so naturally fit; he still is, but the definition of his ab muscles have gotten softer. I run my hands along his chest, scrubbing his skin with a bar of soap. He stares into my eyes, an expression settles on his face I haven't seen in years, almost like he's seeing me for the first time again, that young man staring into a storefront window.

"I am so proud of you Bella," he keeps his voice low, the sweet sound soothes me, his chest rumbles under my fingertips with the bass of his voice. I can feel my cheeks heat, but I only smile and continue to lather his skin, I don't really know what to say - I've always been horrible at taking a compliment. "You are everything to this family, do you know that?" I stop what I am doing and stare into his eyes, because this is the kind of recognition you don't get every day, and something in his voice makes his words so sincere.

"I know life moves fast and I don't get to tell you or show you all the time, but I would be nothing without you. We were brought together because of a pair of underwear that were giving you a hard time. Now, I know a lot of people may be able to say that, but it's true."

I laugh at his stupid, silly face - his eyes sparkle, that's what he wanted. He grins in his boyish manner, his mouth hooking to the side. I run my finger along his jaw.

"Truly though, it was a chance meeting, one of those moments that changes you forever, and I will be eternally grateful for it." His lips brush against mine, his right hand bracing the back of my neck. I close my eyes and revel in the delicate touch. Our foreheads rest against each other, my arms wrap around his waist.

"Tell me," I whisper.

I can feel his soft breath against my skin when he speaks. "Isabella Swan, you were only 17 when we met, you were just a girl," he recites the vows he said on our wedding day. I hardly ever asked him to say them, but he would pull it out occasionally, and it always made my heart swell. The fact that he remembers them is reason enough to hold onto him and never let him go.

"I saw you in that window, and you took my breath away," he continues, " I had to turn around and walk by again, just to make sure I hadn't imagined you. But you were real, and you stupidly agreed to go out with me," he laughs. "I knew that day when you smiled and said yes to dinner that I was done for, my heart was no longer my own. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me a better man. You are my best friend, my soul mate, and I look forward to staring at your pretty face every day for the rest of our lives."

I sigh, knowing he is almost done, happy tears welling in my eyes.

"So I promise you, the carrier of my heart and soul, to always support you, to always make you laugh, and that I will always and forever love you more than a Pooh Bear loves his honey."

"If you live to be one hundred, I hope I live to be one hundred minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you," I reply softly without thinking, the same way I did on our wedding day.

He chuckles gently against me, and my insides tingle. I love this man more than I could ever put into words. Tipping up onto my toes, I kiss him passionately. Water runs down my back, his hands move to pull me closer. He lifts me, turning us so my back presses against the tile wall. He slides into me easily, and that tingling sensation burns through my veins, curling my toes.

We kiss, and touch, and our bodies work together climbing upward until I feel myself fall. I grip tightly to his hair, muffling my cries in his shoulder as my body unwinds, and I explode around him. Tim follows close behind, moaning my name into my hair, pushing me harder against the wall. We exchange soft kisses, as he sets me back to my feet.

"Well, that was a nice goodbye," I tease, unable to keep the gigantic smile from my face.

"Only the best for you, although I have to admit, there was a little something in it for me as well," he whispers in my ear conspiratorially. I laugh and push him back. Supplying him one last hearty kiss, I leave him to finish his shower and go prepare myself to wake the dead.

Once I have successfully roused the children, I go and get myself dressed. I don't have to leave for several hours, but I am so antsy I will most likely end up in the Seattle area a few hours early.

When I return to the kitchen I pause in the doorway, drinking in the scene before me. Tim had Becca and Ry in tears from laughing. Ry is gripping his stomach pleading for his father to knock it off.

"I'm just saying man," Tim says, standing and carrying his cereal bowl to the sink. "Coach Hanover is mighty young looking for his age, don't you think?" Tim notices me and straightens. "I mean, just ask your mom, I think she dated him."

"Ew, gross Mom, really?" Becca squeals covering her mouth, and Ry echoes her disgust. I blanch at them.

"What? No! He's like ninety!" I glare playfully at Tim. "And what, may I ask, have you been filling our children's heads with?"

"Dad's been telling us how Coach Hanover lures small children to his home and eats them to stay young," Ry says very mater-o-factly.

"Nice Tim, really nice," I reprimand, but can't help laughing. He saunters over, pulling me to him by the waist.

"What?" He shrugs. "Gotta keep the kiddies on their toes, don't want them acting up in gym class now do we?"

I roll my eyes at him, but accept his kiss.

"What, are you trying to blind us?" Ryan barks out making me jump. Tim braces himself against me, belly laughing.

"Yeah Mom, really, there are children in the room," Becca adds, but I see the playfulness in her eyes, and then she winks, escorting her brother from the kitchen.

"I was wrong," Tim hums in my ear.

"About what?"

"You don't look lovely in this outfit."

I frown, and he places a single kiss behind my ear. "You look fucking edible," he breathes, sending shivers down my spine. This sends me into a fit of giggles, because, well - damn. And my husband never tries to be seductive, but after that display I am a firm believer that he should - he really, really should. Maybe not being able to get anything done isn't such a bad thing. I kiss him again, with everything that I have in me.

Thirty minutes later Becca is catching a ride with Marley like normal, and Ry is waiting in the car for me to drive him to school. I hug Tim in the driveway as we say our goodbyes.

"You'll do great," he whispers before he kisses me lightly.


"Call me when you get there?"

"Okay, and the list of things to remember is on the fridge," I remind him one last time.

"Got it. Alright, after a while Bella-dile," he says with a salute, and I smirk at him, shaking my head. He has always tried to get in on mine and Alice's 'thing'.

"Doesn't work Tim, I told you, Tim-agator sounds stupid."

He grins, hugging me once more and kissing the top of my head. "Oh, alright. … You'll be back," he drones in the worst terminator impression I've ever heard as he pulls away. He's doing it on purpose, I've heard his Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's much better than that.

"Nope," I pop my p. "Sorry, I would have to say that," I shrug.

"I love you?" He tries.

"Love you too," I smile brightly.

"Drive safe baby."

"You too," I reply, and give him one last peck on the cheek.

Watching him smile and wave as I back down the driveway, I sigh. I love that man so freaking much.


I end up arriving within the Seattle city limits an hour and a half before my meeting is scheduled. I decide to look for a place to eat and collect my thoughts. I find a friendly looking dinner not far from the address of the office building I am to report to, and settle in, first calling Tim to let him know I have made it safely into town. It goes straight to voicemail so I leave him a quick message. I eat lunch and then sit in my booth, sipping on coffee and looking over my resume.

It is laughable really that I am even bringing a resume. I listed the few night classes I had accomplished pertaining to architecture, I had a copy of my portfolio with me with some designs and drawings I have done. But as far as job history, I am sorely lacking. I have only ever held two jobs - when I worked in high school at the boutique, and now at the photo lab. I was hired as a cashier three years ago, and just recently was allowed to venture into the back room and begin learning how they process the film. Needless to say, that was a thrilling day when my boss grunted and told me I should start learning the machines.

I huff out a frustrated breath, beginning to feel like I am making a mistake. The waitress comes by and offers to refill my cup, but I decline, asking for the check, and decide to head over to the office.

I navigate the city streets, and find the office parking garage with no problems. I step through the glass front doors to an empty lobby. The only person in sight is an elderly looking security officer, who looks to be asleep behind the main desk.

"Excuse me?"

He jolts, snorting and rubbing his eyes. "May I help you?"

"Um, yes, I am here for an interview," I begin, and he nods.

"Yeah, okay, fourteenth floor," he replies motioning towards the elevators.

A young woman greets me at the elevator when I arrive on floor fourteen, and I figure the security guard must have notified them somehow. She escorts me to an open area that is empty. The entire floor appears barren, not at all what I would have thought.

"My name is Heidi, and I will be just down the hall if you need anything, but Tanya should be out any minute," she instructs me with a kind smile before leaving.

I sit outside of Tanya's office, the room I'm waiting in clearly under construction. A ladder sits in a corner and there are several strokes of different colored neutral paints on the wall. My toe taps against the floor, I check my watch - only a minute has gone by. I open my purse to grab my lip gloss when I notice a small piece of folded paper placed on top. I pull it out and unfold it. Written in Tim's handwriting is a simple quote, one of my favorites.

If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart… I'll always be with you.

It is from Winnie the Pooh, one of my favorite books, and reading it written in his simple script, I can almost hear him whispering the words to me. I close the paper and sigh, my body relaxing slightly. Even when he's not with me he still knows exactly what to say.

"Miss Swan?" A tall woman greets me as she steps out of the back office.

"Yes," I answer, standing.

"I am Tanya, thank you for coming all this way," she extends her hand, and I shake it; she has a firm handshake, I like it. "Please, come in."

I follow her into her office and am surprised to see it fully done up. It has an inviting feeling to it, with warm gold and cream colors. There is a plush chair adjacent to her desk that she offers me, and I sit, my fingers clenched together until my knuckles go white.

"Thank you for this opportunity Miss Denali," I offer.

She holds up her hand, "Please, call me Tanya, and as I told you, I was very impressed with your portfolio."

I swallow hard, deciding the best approach would be to be straight forward. "Well, Tanya, I have to be completely honest, I am not sure exactly what I have to offer, I'm not even sure what position you are looking to hire me for, but that portfolio, well it was kind of something I sent around on a whim several years ago. I don't have any real experience or schooling to back it up," I ramble before I cut myself off. That did not come out as I wanted it to, it sounded a lot smoother in my head.

Tanya listens carefully until I am finished. "I appreciate your honesty Bella, now if I might be frank with you as well? As I told you on the phone, we are a younger company, and the owners are not exactly the most orthodox. I did have a chance to look at the resume you faxed last week, and I must be honest that I noticed your lack of experience immediately. However, I do believe raw talent has to count for something. So, I spoke with my bosses, and if things go well today, then I was thinking of an apprentice type program for you."

My brow furrows, her words are moving too fast, is she offering me a job?

"We would hire you on as somewhat of an assistant, and you would be expected to take classes to acquire the necessary education. But I have to tell you Bella, there is no better education than experience in and of itself. So don't worry about your past, let's focus on what we have in front of us, shall we?"

My body feels like jello, the things she is saying are too good to be true. I do my best to answer the rest of her questions, and try to smile at the appropriate times; attempting to maintain some semblance of being functional. But I feel like I'm in the twilight zone, my head is swimming. The remainder of the interview is marred by my brain screaming at me that this couldn't be reality, but I pull it off, and by the end we are both smiling.

"It was truly a pleasure to meet with you Bella, and I was rather pleased with this interview, so I will be in touch."

I fight back the squeal that is clawing its way up my throat, and shake her hand. "Thanks again Tanya," I reply, but the giddiness cannot be masked. She seems to enjoy this, as her smile widens.

I peel myself away, forcing my legs to move out of her office and to the elevators. Heidi appears out of nowhere and bids me goodbye. I wave with a goofy smile on my face, and sail down to the first floor in the elevator, feeling light as a cloud. Tim, I think, he will be so excited. Or I hope he will, I worry suddenly. What will this mean? Will he want to move to Seattle? Could he find another job here? I quickly dismiss that concern, remembering that his office has a branch here in the city.

My car is one of the first in the garage, well its one of the only, so I get to it quickly. I slide in and dial Tim at the same time. Voicemail again; I squirm in my seat waiting for the beep.

"Babe! Where are you? I need to talk to you, I think it… I think it went really well! I'm on my way home now, I'll be there as quick as I can; I love you so, so much!"

I hang up and start the car. I am in Tim's cute little BMW, something I rarely get to drive, but he needed the van to transport kids to soccer practice this afternoon. It is his baby, one of the only things in life he's spoiled himself with. She purrs to life, and I press the button to lower the top. Despite the cool air I feel like it's a top down kind of occasion.

The drive home is serene, I smile the whole way. I don't make any pit stops because all I can think of is telling my family. It takes me just over three hours to get home, and when I do it's quarter to eight. I pull into the driveway, shutting off the ignition and run inside, pausing in the kitchen when I realize the entire house is dark.

"Tim!" No answer. I frown, it's almost eight, all of the kids' activities should be done for the day, and they should be here.

"Ryan?" I try. Nothing.


Grabbing my cell phone, I poke my head out the front door and notice for the first time the van is still missing. I dial Tim's phone again, and it goes to voicemail - again. Aggravation begins to filter through me, he probably had the kids out getting ice cream or something - he knows it's a school night.

Stalking to my room, I change out of my suit and throw on some more comfortable clothes. Just as I am pulling my shirt over my head, I can hear my cell phone ring. It echoes through the entire house because I left it by the front door. My toe catches against my pant leg, and I catch myself on the railing, almost tumbling down the stairs. I growl in frustration but catch the call on its last ring. I don't have time to check the caller id. "Hello?"

"Mom? Thank God, I've been trying to get a hold of you all evening."

"Becca? Where are you? Your father knows it's a school night-"

"Mom, stop … p..please, just listen okay?" The tremor in her words sets of warning bells that resonate through my entire body.

"What is it Rebecca?" I breathe.

"We were in an accident."

My heart thunders in my chest, my ears are ringing so loudly I can barely hear her as she continues talking. I have no clue what she is saying. "Where are you Rebecca?" I ask, breathing slowly, trying to calm myself.

"We're at Fork's General Hospital, but-"

I didn't wait to hear what else she had to say. The phone clambered to the floor as I slammed the door back against the wall and shot out to the car. I ripped it down the driveway, and could only hope that I actually got the front door closed behind me.

My blood was screaming through my veins, my hands shaking. We didn't live far from the hospital; something Tim had been happy about when we bought our house. I made it there in three minutes, parking in a handicap spot, and running in through the emergency doors.

Rebecca was there, slouched down in a plastic chair, her face red and splotchy. "Becca," I barely get out before she is in my arms. As soon as I feel her fingers grip my shirt sleeve, a sob rips through her chest, and she collapses against me.

Tears pool in my eyes, and I cling to her. "Shhhh, it's okay baby girl, shhhh. Rebecca? Can you tell me what happened? Where is Ryan?" My voice brakes when I say his name, my worst fears simmering just below the surface.

"G-Grandpa came and got hh-him," she sobs into my shirt. I breathe a sigh of relief, but then a new wave of panic hits me.

"Then what are you still doing here?"

"I couldn't leave him Mom, I wanted to wait for you, but they wouldn't let me stay in the room any longer."

My heart sinks to my feet, all of the blood drains from my head. "Becca, who? Who couldn't you wait with?"

"It's Daddy Mom, it's Daddy!" she wails, her body going limp once again. I drop to the floor with her, unable to support my own weight any longer. Tim. He was hurt. No.

"Your Dad?" I whisper, but it still won't register. She only barely nods against me. "Tim?" I try, but the name catches in my throat.

"Oh Bella!" I hear a familiar voice behind me, and then arms wrap around my own. I lift my head to see my mother's blood shot eyes, more tears spilling over.

"Mom," I say weakly.

"I'm here baby, I'm here."

My head shoots up, and I look at her. "Mom, why wouldn't they let Becca stay with Tim?"

She recoils as if I've shocked her, her hand slams across her mouth. "They haven't told you?"

A layer of dread oozes in, and every muscle in my body freezes over. "Tell me what?" I spit.

"No one has come to talk to you?"

"No. Mother. I just got here. Tell me what, God damnit!" I scream at her. She clamps her hand over her mouth tighter, holding back the wailing sound that is coming from her chest.

I stand on numb legs, pulling Rebecca up with me. I know in my gut there is something very, very wrong. "Mom, take Rebecca home," I say, may voice ice, dead. Laying her weeping body in Renee's arms, I turn without looking back and step to the nurses' station.

"Excuse me, I believe my husband was brought in earlier," I begin, but I am kidding myself, because we live in mother fucking Forks Washington - they know exactly who I am.

"Oh, yes, Mrs. Reed," the nurse answers gently. "The doctor has been waiting to speak with you, right this way."

The small woman leads me down a long hallway and into a vacant exam room, I scramble to try and reconcile why she wouldn't be taking me to see Tim. "The doctor will be with you momentarily," she says kindly, but I am unable to focus on anything. She hesitates at the door, looking back over her shoulder, sympathy and pity written all over her face. "And Mrs. Reed? I am so very sorry for your loss."

And like that my world is sucked away from me as if someone turned on a vacuum. My blood rushes too rapidly and then drains from my limbs, my vision goes white, and I breathe too quickly. No. That can't be right. I keep repeating in my head, trying to hold on.

The room spins, and I feel sick, I barely make it to the sink before I wretch all of the food I ate that day into it. The nurse hurries back in the room, trying to help, but I sink to my knees chanting, "No, no."

She pulls the hair that is sticking to my clammy forehead away, and I swat at her icy fingers. "No, no. That can't be right," I murmur, rocking my body back and forth. But I can feel it, deep down I know it's true, he's gone forever - a piece of me. Gone.

A/N: I didn't want to bog you down with a huge a/n in the beginning, so I'll do it here. This is something that was chewing at my brain, and was originally intended to be a completely different type of o/s. I have never, ever had such a hard time (as in it made me too sad) writing someone dying before. And that's saying something because I think all my stories deal with death in some capacity. [I swear one day I will write a story where everyone stays alive and no one has ever had a family member die. #lifegoals] And I especially didn't think I'd have a hard time killing off a B love interest that wasn't Edward ... but this was tough. It made my stomach roll, and I definitely cried writing it. But I was also deep in B's head so that's probs why.

With that said, this story is very different from anything I have written before, and for those of you asking "WTF, this was supposed to be a E+B story?" Patience, in time we will see where this goes. I am writing this in parts as apposed to chapters, so they will be longer, but I will hopefully have this completed sooner, its not meant to be a full fledged story that takes months to get done. So here's hopin.

I would love to hear all thoughts and comments, I am quite nervous about this one actually since it is so different. PLEASE REVIEW! Thanks so much for reading, and sorry about my ridiculous rambling.

-xo Buff