Edward Cullen: Confessions of a Serial Killer
Thanks to my beta Twimarti for her superb help in getting this fic ready!
Disclaimer: Twilight, Dexter, and Play Dead by Bjork, and all publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning This story is going to be very violent, and in a later chapter will have a non-sensational depiction of rape. Rated M for a reason
Chapter 2 **Welcome Home**
** Bella Swan **
Play Dead - Bjork
I play dead
it stops the hurting
I play dead and hurting stops
It's sometimes just like sleeping
curling up inside my private tortures
I nestle into pain
caress every ache
** October 3, 2009 **
"Hello, my name Bella, and I'm an alcoholic. I've been sober for eleven months," I spoke quickly, anxiously tapping my boot heels on the cold linoleum floor.
I wasn't going to share today, not for a while, but I was new and at least had to introduce myself to the small group. Anonymous my ass.
"Hello, Bella," the group mumbled simultaneously, some sounding more enthusiastic than others.
I sat in a wide circle in the basement of First Methodist Church in Forks, Washington, which just so happened to be the rainiest place in the entire country. I couldn't wait to see how that would affect my depression.
These meetings mostly consisted of older folks, but there were three that looked to be about my age - a girl and two guys. One of the guys, Eric I think, was sharing. I couldn't find it in me to listen.
I'd been in AA for 18 months, and by now I'd heard it all. I wasn't really feeling the meeting tonight. Being in a new place and seeing new people was too much of a distraction.
Tyler, the man running the meetings, had approached me before we started to offer to match me with a sponsor. I'd agreed reluctantly, knowing that being in a new place was going to test my limits. Having someone I could call might be the only thing that would keep me from giving in to my sad addiction.
I'd been here seven days, and already I'd been tempted to drink.
The first day I was here was to help Billy Black, my father's best friend, plan a funeral- my father's.
The second day, I attended the visitation, seeing only one or two people I'd recognized from my childhood.
The third day, I attended the funeral and the reading of the will.
The fourth day was spent making arrangements for all of my stuff to be packed and moved from my studio and apartment and shipped here to the home I'd inherited.
The fifth day, I ended up moving out the things I wouldn't need and had them donated or brought to the dump.
The sixth day, I drove my father's pickup truck to the nearby town of Port Angeles, to buy things for the house. I had to make it more suitable for a woman to live in.
Today my stuff arrived, and that was when I truly realized that I'd left my old life behind and was about to finally move on.
The last several days had felt like I was on autopilot. I hadn't even realized what I was doing in moving here, but when I did, I nearly had a panic attack. Needless to say, I called around till I found a meeting.
Before I knew it, the meeting was over, and I'd hardly heard a word that anyone had said. I stood up and reached for my coat, as it was practically the dead of winter here compared to the last place I lived, Florida. Tyler lightly grasped my shoulder to stop me from leaving and I cringed while fighting the urge to rip his hand off. I didn't want him touching me.
"Bella, before you go, there's someone I thought you should meet. This is Alice. If it's amicable, she'd like to be your sponsor," he offered cheerfully. I glanced behind him to see a small, waifish girl with spikey black hair standing behind him staring at the floor.
I felt overdressed next to her, as she looked plain in black pants and an oversized grey sweatshirt. She appeared to be about 26 or 27, but when she met my gaze her eyes made her seem so much older. I was suddenly worried about having her as a sponsor. She looked much worse than I was. I managed to elicit a sad smile and timid handshake from her.
Tyler left us alone, and I was suddenly at a loss for words.
"Hi, Bella, so yeah, I'm Alice," she said quietly, barely able to look me in the eyes.
"So I hear," I replied jokingly, which earned me a small smile. Her reaction encouraged me to give her a chance. "It's nice to meet you, Alice. Listen, I really want to get out of here, but I'm not really in the mood to go home just yet. You want to go for some coffee?"
She looked up at me curiously and then nodded.
"Do you want to follow me or ride together?" she asked apprehensively. Not wanting to be stuck somewhere in case she turned out to be totally bat-shit crazy, I agreed to simply follow her.
I walked into the bitter cold over to my black Audi A5, which had arrived today along with all of my other stuff. Alice came up behind me suddenly and I tensed reflexively.
"Cool car," she said, smirking at me. The change in her demeanor surprised me until I heard the familiar beep of the car next to mine unlocking. I glanced over and saw the exact make of my car, but slightly older and in yellow. We chuckled at the same time at the coincidence of having the same type of car. After getting in to our respective vehicles, we drove toward the diner down the street.
In retrospect, I think maybe I'd misjudged her. Seeing the bright yellow car gave me hope that maybe somewhere deep down Alice wasn't as morose as I'd originally thought.
The warmth from inside the diner was shocking to my frosty cheeks. I followed Alice to a booth near the back. My assumptions about her were again challenged as she was greeted by name by all the patrons and wait staff before we could even sit down. For such a quiet girl, she seemed to be awfully popular.
I ordered black coffee and a slice of apple pie with melted cheddar. It had been years since I'd had it that way - Charlie's way. I thought having it like that would be a bit of a tribute to him. Sadly, the apple pie and Rainier beer were the only favorites of his I could remember, and the beer was out - for obvious reasons.
"So, I know this is supposed to be anonymous and all, but I've never had that apply with any of my sponsors. If it's alright with you, I'd like us to get to know each other, maybe even become friends," Alice spoke nervously, but I could see a glimmer of hope in her sad eyes.
Instead of responding to her offer I held out my hand. "Bella Swan, nice to meet you," I smiled reassuringly.
"Alice Whitlock," she grinned, her eyes suddenly much brighter.
"So Alice Whitlock, tell me about yourself," I asked before taking a bite of the savory pie.
"Umm, well, there isn't much to tell. I work at the bank as a teller, and my husband Jasper is a detective for the Seattle police department. He works there with one of my brothers…" she trailed off. I briefly wondered why she was living in Forks while her husband worked hours away in Seattle, but thought it best not to ask.
"I've been sober for two years," she said suddenly excited, as if she'd just remembered something really important that she'd forgotten to say.
"What about you?" she asked breathlessly.
"Well, I just moved here a week ago into the house I inherited from my father-" I started, but was suddenly interrupted.
"Swan, I didn't even realize! You're Charlie Swan's daughter, the artist?" she asked, suddenly beaming from the realization. Just as quickly as she'd become excited, her face became the picture of remorse. "I'm sorry about your dad. We, I mean my family and I, went to the funeral. It was lovely."
"It's alright," I dismissed, "we really didn't spend that much time together."
"Oh, well, umm I'm sorry. You were saying before," she spoke still remorseful.
"Well, I guess you know I'm an artist, and about my dad. I guess there isn't that much more to tell," I chuckled and Alice perked up again as she realized she hadn't upset me.
We talked for a while. I told her what little details I could about myself. I learned that Alice had two single brothers. One was a cop, as she'd mentioned before, working in Seattle. The other was a doctor who worked at the oncology clinic here in Forks as a hematologist. She was eager for me to meet them both.
Since I didn't know anyone else and Alice seemed nice enough, I asked her to go shopping with me the following day. I had hardly any clothes suitable for the weather here and needed to stock up. Since she was off work, she agreed excitedly. She knew where the former police chief lived, so she said she'd meet me at my place so we could ride together.
By the time we'd gotten done talking, she was practically bubbling with excitement. Apparently, she hadn't been shopping in months and thought that it would help her get out of the funk she'd been in.
Alice was a paradox; the way she dressed and her shy demeanor were in direct opposition to the excited girl who couldn't wait to go shopping and was trying to hook me up with her brothers. We'd only met an hour earlier, but she spoke as though we'd known each other for years. I had a feeling that we were going to be good friends.
I mostly thought about Alice and what tomorrow might bring as I made the short drive home. All was quiet except for the smooth purr of the engine, until I got to the graveled drive of Charlie's, I mean my home. The dark house, which had felt empty, seemed more like home knowing that I would have a friend over the next day.
I lit a fire in the fireplace and curled up on my comfy black chaise lounge across from it to read. I was about to nod off when Jake padded sleepily into the room. When he yawned I chuckled, causing him to perk up a bit when he realized I was there.
"Let's go to bed," I suggested groggily. He followed me up the stairs, but stayed behind as I brushed my teeth. When I opened the bathroom door he was there waiting for me. I scratched him under his chin affectionately and he followed me into the dark bedroom.
I groaned when I realized that he'd totally messed up the bed I'd made earlier. In his fight to curl up under the blankets, he'd knocked them all into the floor. He was almost too big for the queen sized bed we'd shared for the last seven nights.
"What am I gonna do with you?" I chuckled.
"Don't make me send you to the pound," I teased. He jumped up on the bed, and then licked my face before nuzzling me to let him under the blankets to sleep against me. I wondered if Charlie had allowed him to sleep like this, or if I was just a sucker for those big blue eyes. Who needs an electric blanket, when you have a 75 pound Alaskan Malamute to warm you up at night?
I could feel his hot breath on the back of my neck and the cold steel of the gun pressed against my back through the thin blouse. I whimpered fearfully but the sound was muffled by the large calloused hand that was closed tightly over my mouth.
"Make a sound and you die, slut," he rasped menacingly into my ear.
I could almost feel the vibration from the thunderous pop of the gun as it went off.
I awoke screaming, causing Jake to stir and climb out of the bed. He obviously didn't want to sleep with a banshee. Knowing I'd need my rest for shopping the next day, I tried to fall back asleep, but was almost afraid to. I had been blessed that the dream ended when it did, but if I fell asleep it might pick back up where it left off. It was times like these that made it hard to resist drinking. When I was drunk the dreams would stop because I would get too wasted to even think about that night. I finally managed to nod off after tossing and turning for another hour.
Alice arrived at the house bright eyed and dressed to the nines. She barely resembled the mousy little thing I'd seen last night. I imagined that she wanted to impress me, but hoped that maybe it was just her way of making an effort to get out of the funk she'd mentioned being in. She came in to have a cup of coffee and get a tour of the house. It seemed she liked all the changes I'd made. She couldn't believe it was the same house, knowing the way Charlie had everything.
Apparently, Charlie had been a bit of a mentor to her brother Emmett before he joined the police force. It was interesting that both our families were involved with law enforcement, but with the little time I'd spent with Charlie, I couldn't really relate to Alice on that matter the way I might have. Had things been different and I'd grown up in Forks instead of Arizona, Alice and I may have become friends a lot sooner.
We had plenty in common - the same taste in movies, music, and literature. I was surprised to find that she was a fan of my art and that she and her husband, Jasper, even had one of my prints in their study. I knew it had to have been some of my older work, though. Hardly anyone in their right mind would hang my new work. People sure loved to fucking look at it though. It seemed like lately the only people buying my work were rich eccentrics and people who generally seemed disturbed. Needless to say, I'd recently stopped meeting with buyers. They all wanted to know about my inspiration. I could hardly talk to my shrink about that, so there was no way I'd tell them.
Alice and I made the hour-long trip to Port Angeles, chatting constantly along the way. We were having fun, and I could honestly say it was the first time in months that I'd felt that way.
"I have to clear out the downstairs bedroom on Saturday. I'm going to turn it into a studio," I told Alice as we ate noodles from the mall food court. She nodded, probably unsure of how to respond since I'd suddenly changed the subject from facial cleansers.
"I need to paint the room so I can start working again. Charlie painted it hunter green, so it looks disgusting. If you're not busy, it might be fun to have a painting party. That is, if you know anyone who'd want to help," I suggested nervously. I thought maybe if Alice had some friends, I could put myself out there and really make an effort to get to know people here.
"Oh, a party, that sounds like a great idea. Jasper and Emmett are in Forks most weekends unless they have a case to work on. I know they'll want to meet you. Edward, he does a lot of research when he isn't in the clinic during the week, so he probably won't be up for it. If you don't mind an older person being there, my mom would be handy. She's a retired interior designer," Alice spoke quickly, barely taking a breath.
"Oh, well, that sounds great," I managed a smile. I'd expected Alice to suggest a few friends, not practically her entire family, but who was I to complain? I was thankful I wouldn't have to paint a giant room by myself.
The day passed mostly uneventful after that. Alice tried to talk to me about her brothers. She really wanted me to meet both of them, but had a feeling that I would probably be more interested in Edward, her oldest brother. I hated telling her that I wasn't really looking to date right now. I couldn't, however, bring myself to tell her that it wasn't because I wasn't interested; I just couldn't stand for any man to touch me anymore. If I was being honest, I missed having sex and cuddling, but every time I was within a few feet of a man, my body seemed to repel, never mind if they touched me. It had taken two years of therapy to barely get over the violent reaction that a simple touch elicited from me. Fucking PTSD.
Alice and I each put nearly a thousand dollars' worth of clothes and shoes on our credit cards. We then went to the hardware store to buy some supplies for the paint party. After, Alice showed me where the closest art supply store was so I could pick up a few canvases and a new brush.
Alice left after we got back to Forks and I was alone, again.
There were a few things I still hadn't taken care of. I needed to call my manager, Peter. After putting it off as long as I could, I called him and we spoke for a while. He was furious that I'd packed up and moved to the other side of the country without so much as a word to him in over two weeks.
After I emailed him pictures of my newest piece, he quit his complaining. I knew there was a reason I paid him a small fortune. He had a few contacts in Seattle, and I was particularly interested in those at the prestigious Foster White Gallery. Within an hour, he'd already set up a showing with them for my newest series.
Since sunny Florida was unreceptive, I wondered if the nice folks here in the dreary Pacific Northwest might have a taste for my particular brand of horror.
Saturday was here so fast I hardly even realized it until Alice showed up at my doorstep with a small painting crew in tow.
Beside her was a lanky man with blonde hair who would have been strikingly handsome were it not for the large scar that marred the left side of his face. I made sure not to stare at it even though I was compelled to do so. I figured he was probably Jasper, and wondered if he would be offended if I asked his permission to use him as a subject.
A petite brunette maybe in her mid-fifties stood to the other side of her. She smiled at me warmly, and I knew she had to be Alice's mother. I felt a pang of sadness seeing her kind eyes, as they reminded me of my own mother's.
It was hard to miss the hulking giant standing behind tiny Alice. I knew he had to be Emmett. They both looked so much alike. The only person I didn't recognize was the platinum blonde amazon girl who was wrapped around Emmett possessively. She must have seen me looking at Emmett because she gave me the stink-eye. I groaned internally, knowing that'd I'd probably have to prove my disinterest in Alice's overgrown brother to keep civility between us.
"Hey, Bella," Alice said excitedly before enveloping me in a tight hug. I tensed a bit in reaction to the unfamiliar gesture, but managed a smile.
"Everybody, this is Bella. Bella, this is Jasper, my mom, Esme, Emmett, and Rosalie Hale, Emmett's girlfriend," she said motioning toward each of her guests. Alice barely concealed the disdain from her voice as she introduced Rosalie. I muffled the laughter threatening to spill out at her reaction.
"It's nice of you all to make it, I really appreciate the help. Please come in," I offered politely, but shoved my hands in my pockets to avoid any potential handshakes from Emmett or Jasper.
Alice joined Esme and I on a tour of the house while the guys and Rosalie readied the room for painting. Because I'd forgotten to buy anything for the party, I had to order several large pizzas, some wings, and drinks to be delivered to the house. If Emmett's size was any indication to his appetite, I assumed all the food would be eaten.
Once we got started, I distanced myself from Emmett and Rosalie opting to talk to Jasper and Alice. I couldn't help but laugh though - Emmett was such a clown. He even seemed to have melted Rosalie's frosty exterior and she was laughing heartily at him with the rest of us.
After we had taken our dinner break, Jasper approached me away from the others. I had to force my eyes to meet his and look away from the long scar that I was strangely tempted to touch.
"Bella, I just wanted to talk to you alone so I could thank you," he said seriously.
"What for?" I asked curiously.
"Well, it's for Alice, really. You have no idea the turnaround that meeting you has caused in her. She's almost care free lately. It's been so long since I've see her this way," he almost choked, his eyes filled with unshed tears. I felt so compelled to comfort him, but my flight instinct wouldn't allow me that kindness.
"I think we both needed a friend; she's helped me a lot, too," I smiled reassuringly, hoping to comfort him with my words.
"Oh my God!" a shrill voice shrieked from the other room. Jasper and I rushed into the room to see what the fuss was about. It only took me two seconds to realize what had happened.
Rosalie's mouth was gaping as she held a large canvas up for Alice, Esme, and Emmett to see. Fuck. I knew I shouldn't have stored my paintings in the walk-in closet without locking the door. I had no intention for my new friends to see the product of the horror that was my life now.
Everyone stared at me as if they were seeing me in a different light, and Jasper curiously walked over to look at the painting. His eyes widened in reaction to the emotions the painting evoked. I wasn't sure which one they were looking at. Each of my paintings shared variations of the same shocking image. Any of them would have elicited that reaction.
"Bella, this… umm, it doesn't look like your other work, but it's very… uhh, intriguing," Alice spoke hesitantly. I had to fight the grimace that was threatening to cover my face from her reaction. It was typical. People either loved it or hated it; there was no in between. Only those who knew well how to hide their distaste.
"Uhh, well yea, I did that and the others a few months ago when I was really struggling to quit drinking. It was a dark time," I lied convincingly. I'd actually done most of those paintings three or four weeks ago, and alcohol addiction had nothing to do with the dark subject matter I'd portrayed in them.
Everyone nodded in understanding but continued to study the painting. I was embarrassed to have my life on display for them, even though I'd planned to show these pieces to the public in mere weeks.
"I love it. Do you mind if I look at the rest?" Rosalie spoke seriously. I was shocked that something so macabre would appeal to her. Alice and Rosalie's reactions had been enough for me. I wasn't ready to hear what anyone else thought about them.
"Maybe later Rosalie. I get pretty emotional when I look at them, and I don't want to ruin the party," I responded, my eyes pleaded for her to drop the subject. I relinquished the canvas from her grasp and placed it back in the closet with the others.
The whole painting ordeal must have made everyone uncomfortable because the remainder of the evening was spent in relative silence until Emmett started cracking jokes again to lighten the mood.
It was nice having people over. I'd been so long without friends and family. Alice's felt like they could possibly fill that void, as long as my painting hadn't freaked them out too much. When the evening wound down we all said our goodbyes. Esme gave me a motherly hug which I surprisingly welcomed. I actually managed to shake Jasper's hand without freaking out, though, I'm fairly sure my face barely concealed a grimace.
With Rosalie by his side, Emmett opted for a simple 'it was nice to meet you and thanks for the grub'. I was thankful for her possessiveness because at this point, I wasn't sure I could have managed my small hand being enveloped by his meaty paw.
Rosalie surprised me by giving me a kiss on the cheek and a warm smile. She insisted on taking me up on my agreement to show her the rest of my work. I knew I'd debate inviting her to the gallery showing until I was able to decide whether or not I wanted the entire Cullen family to show up.
Alice smiled knowingly. We both sensed that tonight had been a success. I felt a bit more at ease, expecting her hug this time. I surprised myself by returning the gesture rather than standing there like a statue the way I normally would.
After everyone left, I went into my new studio to unpack my canvases and art supplies. Inspiration struck and I grabbed a blank canvas. I had hoped that my experience this evening would inspire something more cheerful like my work had been in the past. I was wrong. More of the same poured out of my steady hand.
I filled the canvas with the background of the same dark filthy alley that was always in my nightmares. In the center, I positioned a man who was shrouded in darkness except his fear stricken, scarred face which vaguely resembled Jasper's. Once I had his likeness captured, I began to paint the image of the killer that haunted me behind him. Every painting in my series contained that same image; by now I'd painted that same face dozens of times. It was the easiest to paint from memory, seeing as how I'd seen it so often.
Once I finished the outline of the painting, I glanced up at the clock Emmett had mounted on the wall for me. It was 5:00am, and I really needed to go to sleep. I looked over at my unfinished work and scowled at it. I wanted to destroy it, especially knowing that if any of my new friends saw it and recognized Jasper in it, they'd want to lock me up for sure. I decided I'd finish it, but thought it best to sell privately. Since Jasper worked in Seattle, I knew I'd have to keep it out of my show because there was a strong possibility that someone would recognize him and maybe get the wrong idea about it. The last thing I needed was for a detective to think I was threatening him by making him a victim in one of my paintings.
What could I say though, his scar fascinated me. I was such a freak.
I knew I needed to get some rest, but I had too much adrenaline still left over from painting and needed to work it out. I went up to the bedroom to get Jake to take him for a walk. I threw on a thick sweat suit, a cap, and gloves and my running shoes. Jake and I took off down the street at a brisk pace. It felt good to let out some of my pent up energy.
When we got back, Jake and I curled under the blankets together and I slept for fourteen hours. Alice had left me a message to call her back, so I did. She apologized for Emmett having a girlfriend that she wasn't aware of. I dismissed it, sighting again that I wasn't interested in dating. She ignored me and reminded me that she thought I'd be more suited to Edward anyway. I really liked Alice, but sometimes I found myself wanting to slap her.
The week went by uneventfully. I finished my painting and got everything unpacked. I met with the gallery and brought in some of my paintings; to say they were both thrilled and horrified was an understatement. Once they'd announced my show, there were already buyers interested in seeing my work. I'd even made arrangements to have the Jasper painting shown privately, citing that I didn't want the subject to see I'd painted him. They were very accommodating.
The following Thursday, Alice called to invite me to dinner at the Cullen's on Saturday. Apparently, Emmett had unexpectedly been promoted to Detective, in Homicide and was going to be replacing Jasper's partner who'd recently retired. Everyone wanted to celebrate his promotion, and Alice wanted me there. I wasn't sure how I felt about a party with her family, but she insisted that I was her best friend and belonged there with her and I couldn't argue with that. My only concern was how I was going to keep Alice from trying to get me to mate with her brother.
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