Title: Misguided Arrangements
*This is an original o/s that will be continued on at a later date*
Rating: M; Content, language, & lemons
Warnings: This turns semi-slashy at the end. If that offends you please don't read.
I do not own Twilight and mean no disrespect for SM and her characters-I just enjoy re-writing them.
Summary: Isabella Swan has never measured up to her families expectations. An arranged marriage to Edward Cullen provides a lucrative business arrangement between families, but will the secret Edward keeps destroy them all?
A/N: I just wanted to thank each and every person who donated to Fandom 4 Preemies. I am an aunt to four, all of which were preemie NICU babies. I also wanted to my beta Beth (stupidlamb118) and my pre-reader Trisha (tg10781) for putting up with me!
When I was twelve, my parents sat me down to explain "the facts of life," or so they put it.
I knew being born as a Swan meant something. Next to the Cullen's, we were the wealthiest family in the country. My great-grandfather found a few oil wells and voila! We had money. We were sought after, but I couldn't have cared less. I hated attention.
I wasn't what anyone would describe as beautiful. I was about average height, plain brown eyes and brown hair, and despite the Florida sun, I was pale as a ghost. Most of the people I attended school with only paid attention to me because of my last name. All of the boys wanted to bag the Swan for the money; little did they know, they never stood a chance. I didn't even have a choice.
When they sat me down, they explained the arrangement they had made with the Cullen's shortly after my birth. I was arranged to be married to their oldest son, Edward.
I should have been shocked. I should have put up a fight, and I'd like to say that I did. The truth is, I just sat there. I really didn't know what to say. In that moment, I was told I had six years left of freedom.
About a month later I heard my parents talking, they had no idea I was listening.
"Charlie, can you imagine if we didn't arrange this before now. Who would marry her?" My mom was talking to my dad.
"Renee, she's our daughter!" At least he believed in me.
"I know and she's beautiful to us, but to the outside world she's...well she's just...I don't know, boring. All she does is read, she doesn't attend events, getting her in a dress is hell as it is." She kept going on and on about everything wrong with me. Silent tears fell down my face, but I knew she spoke the truth.
"Carlisle called, they're considering breaking the arrangement. Apparently Esme thinks Edward needs someone more...refined, was the word he used." My father's voice sounded grim.
"They can't do that! If he doesn't marry her, who will?" And then my mother began to sob.
The next morning I woke up to "Lady Renee Bootcamp". I also resolved to become exactly who they needed me to be.
I was only twelve.
I did the best I could, but it was never enough. The dresses, the shoes, the make-up lessons, the etiquette lessons never stopped. As time went on, it only got worse. I dreaded waking up each day. My only saving grace was knowing it would end when I was shipped off to marry a man no one thought I deserved.
In the perfect world, we'd be friends. I did not expect to meet the love of my life. My parents explained to me their marriage was arranged, but I knew I wouldn't be so lucky. I was just plain Isabella Swan; the disappointment.
A week before the wedding, I met my future husband. My parents and I flew out to Seattle, where Edward and his family resided. It was a lot different then the sunny beaches I was used to in Florida.
I had previously met Carlisle and Esme Cullen, but I'd never met his sister and brother.
My first encounter with Esme was not one I could forget.
"You're Isabella?" she questioned.
"Yes ma'am, it's a pleasure to meet you," I extended my hand to which she shook.
Someone called my name and I looked away from her face, however she didn't have enough time to disguise the look of distaste by the time I refocused my attention back to her.
I cried myself to sleep that night.
I was only fifteen when I learned my future mother-in-law hated me.
I immediately recognized Alice, Edward's sister, standing on the front steps as we pulled into the Cullen driveway. She was always front and center in the pictures I'd been shown.
Our parents felt it was best to introduce us shortly before the wedding instead of years in advance. I had the distinct impression they felt Edward would pull out if he knew me sooner.
Carlisle and Esme came out to greet us after Alice nearly knocked me over with a single hug. We were shown into their living room. The room was decorated to the nines, but it felt more like a museum to me.
The one thing I appreciated about growing up in my house was that, despite it's size, it felt like a home. It felt lived in. It had personality. The Cullen mansion just felt cold.
"Edward will be down soon," Esme explained and I simply nodded. I had six years to prepare myself for this. My life was over and now it was time to meet Edward, who would also come to hate me.
I heard him before I saw him. His voice cut through me like velvet, but I continued to keep my guard in place. When he came around the corner I was greeted with the same bronze hair and green eyes I'd seen in several pictures over the years. His jaw was a little more angular and his face more matured since the last one, but he was still the same man I was told about six years prior.
"Bella, we'd like you to meet our son, Edward," Carlisle introduced us. Edward's face was blank of emotions, but he extended his hand out.
"I'm sorry," I spoke as I extended my hand out to meet his. His brow shot up in a question and I shrugged, "I know you don't want me."
Everyone in the room gasped and begun scolding me, all the voices blurred into one as he smirked.
"I'm sorry as well." He spoke just loud enough to make everyone quite down. "You're right."
That is how I met my husband, and over the next week it didn't get much better. We learned that although we had quite a bit in common, any sort of normal conversation flew out the window within five minutes. I wasn't sure if it was because we were too alike or our personalities just didn't mix.
Our parents warned us that if we made a mockery of our wedding we'd both be disowned. For a split second, I considered it, but then decided against it. If nothing else, at least I'd have books and writing to keep me sane until my time came to an end.
The night of the rehearsal dinner I slipped away for a bit, stumbling onto a conversation between our fathers.
"Edward is a good man, he'll take care of her." Carlisle seemed to love his son. At least from what I'd seen.
"I know that, it's just Bella. She puts on a tough exterior, but I don't know..." my father's voice trailed.
"Once they wed, we can take over the country you know," Carlisle joked. I knew our marriage was more of a business transaction between the two families then anything else. Hearing it confirmed outright hurt just a little.
"You mean the world?" My father's joyous laughter surprised me.
So much for parental love.
The only positive moment of our wedding day would have been that night. We didn't have sex, but we did talk about quite a few serious matters.
"I think this is the part where I take you to bed." He smirked. The same smirk I had wanted to slap off his face during multiple occasions this past week.
"I'm not having sex with you," I rebutted. He may have been my legal husband, but he was still a stranger.
"Have you ever..." His voice trailed off, but I knew what he was asking.
"I've um...never been with a woman." His answer surprised me, but I appreciated his honesty so I simply nodded.
"They'll expect an heir," he went on to add.
"So we'll give them one. After I've graduated from college, toured Europe, and am at least twenty-five, maybe thirty," I shot back. I knew one day I would want to be a mother, but not at eighteen. Not before I'd even lived.
"Fair enough, so you wanna go to college?" His face gave nothing away, but his question still threw me.
"Of course! What did you expect? Did you think I'd be a girl happy to sit at home, baking pies, and having kids every other year?" The mere thought made me want to gag.
"Um...well from what I was told...well yeah."
My face must have spoken for me because he looked at me with shocked eyes.
"Who told you that?" I questioned several minutes later when my mind stopped spinning.
With those two simple words I knew we'd both been lied to. He didn't match the description my parents gave me anymore than I matched his.
We'd turned over a new leaf that night and begun getting to know each other...the real other.
Edward's parents had bought us a house as a wedding gift. It would have seemed extravagant if my parents hadn't bought us a yacht. I really didn't see the point to either, but we couldn't say no and we knew it.
Thankfully the house they bought was on the outskirts of Seattle. Close enough that Edward's trip to Cullen Inc. wasn't too far and the distance to the University of Washington wasn't unreasonable. It was bigger than I would have liked, but I would manage. The Cullen's had hired us a maid, which I thought was ridiculous. The first time I met her, I knew she didn't like me.
"So you're Isabella Swan?" she questioned as soon as Edward was out of earshot.
"Um yeah." I looked down at my feet, extremely uncomfortable.
"Wow," the malice was laced in her throat.
I didn't know what I did to her, but she hated me.
Sadly, I couldn't fire her, because Esme adored her.
The next six months had put us into an easy enough routine. I had gotten to know Edward's sister, Alice, quite well. She quickly became a close friend of mine. I saw Emmett, his older brother around every so often, but he was normally over to see Edward, not me.
Edward had taken me to his office a few times to introduce me to his friends and to give me a better idea of what he did. There I met Riley, his personal assistant and Tanya, an old family friend turned Head of Accounting.
Riley was a nice kid. Probably around our age. He didn't talk much, but he was always polite. Edward told me he'd been working for him for a few years now.
Tanya, on the other hand, hated me. Anytime I saw her she'd remind me of how low she thought of me. In front of Edward, she was an angel, but once he turned his back the claws came out. I never said anything back, I'd simply shrug. If she wanted to take my place, I would have let her willingly.
Edward wasn't a bad man, we just didn't fit. We could spend hours talking about our favorite books, movies, foods, places we've visited...and on and on, but it never turned into more. We'd hug and it would always be awkward. When we'd be seen in public, he's make sure to kiss my cheek or hand, but the awkwardness never went away.
Despite the fact that Edward and I shared the same bedroom, we still hadn't consummated our marriage. He'd tried a few times, but I just pushed him away.
"Bella, we've been married for months..." he whined.
"You're still a stranger." I shrugged.
"I'm your husband," he pushed.
"You're never home." I just rolled away from him.
He sighed and left the room.
I had signed up for classes as soon as the next semester began. So every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I'd have class during the day, and every Wednesday night, Alice and I would go out for dinner, shopping...etc.
My friendship with Alice was easy because we never talked about Edward. It was almost like she avoided the topic on purpose. I never questioned it. I was too happy to have someone in Edward's family not hate me.
We'd just hit the eight month mark, school was out and I had cancelled my Wednesday night plans with Alice. I felt icky, so instead I decided to curl up in bed and sleep.
I wasn't sure how long I'd been asleep for before I woke up to the sound of moaning. Once my eyes were opened it took a while before I became conscious to what I was hearing. I could hear a headboard slapping against a wall and two distinct voices.
My feet padded out of bedroom and I headed towards the guest room. I silently prayed that Edward was watching a porn or something. However, I wasn't that naive. Once I felt the walls slightly shake I knew in my heart Edward was sleeping with someone else. It shouldn't have come to a shock for me, but it was.
I turned the knob open and peered through. I didn't know why I wanted to know who, but I did.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.
Even Tanya would have been better than this.
Edward was completely naked, beads of sweat glistening over his entire body. His back arched slightly off the bed while his hands gripped the pillow at his head. His eyes were shut, but his mouth slightly parted. Moaning and groaning filled the room. I stood frozen as my eyes trailed to his bottom half.
His erection was out for all to see with a tightly wrapped hand pumping him, while Riley simultaneously pumped his ass.
A million thoughts began to race through my head. I always thought Edward gave into our marriage to easily and that he was always so awkward with me. I just assumed it was because he felt family loyalty or simply didn't feel that way about me. The truth was he was...
I gasped and two sets of eyes shot to where I was at the door.
Feeling the pile rise in my throat I ran to our room crying.
"Bella," Edward was winded, but partially dressed. "It's not what it looks like. I thought you were with Alice."
Ha! Like I'd actually buy that line!
"Are you gay?" I whispered.
I looked up into his emerald eyes as he nodded.
My head dropped.
"You can't tell anyone..." Edward began explaining why it would be horrible if anyone knew the truth, how it would ruin his family, would ruin my reputation, and on and on. I just wanted him to stop talking, but he didn't. I eventually exploded.
"Who would I tell?" I yelled at him. "No one thinks I'm good enough for you anyways, why would I give them that confirmation?" I threw my hands into the air, exasperated. How I could be so stupid to think we'd ever work was now beyond me.
"Not good enough for me?" he questioned, his face slowly softening before my eyes.
"Um yeah, everyone! Victoria, our maid, has made it abundantly clear you could have anyone you wanted and she couldn't understand why your family would choose me. Tanya, your lovely best friend, has called me trash to my face. Your own mother looks at me with disgust...do I really need to go on?" Tears streamed down my face as he gave me a deer in headlights look.
"I didn't know that's what you thought," he whispered.
I curled up in a ball on the nearest couch and just cried. I cried for being born without a choice. For being forced into a marriage that would never work. For knowing I'd have to bare his secret. The knowledge that when I wake up in a cold bed every morning, it's because my husband is sharing a bed with another. For the knowledge that one day I'd carry our child and bring him/her into this fucked up situation he/she will never have deserved.
I didn't know how long I cried for before two arms engulfed me. They weren't the strong ones associated with the man I was just arguing with.
When I looked up I saw Alice. Behind her eyes I saw her secrets. The ones she held every time she got me out of the house for shopping or lunch while she secretly played interference for her brother.
In that moment I realized I was a fool. If Alice knew, I wondered who else did. Was I the butt of every joke?
The undeserving Swan girl, stuck in a loveless marriage with a gay man.
"You knew?" My voice was no more than a whisper, but she knew everything I was asking in those two simple words.
Her eyes shut and she simply nodded.
"Get out," my voice now ran cold. "Get out!" I screamed a little louder as I pushed her off me and onto her ass. "You liar, you said you were my friend, you bitch. Get away from me! I want nothing to do with any of you!" My blood began to run colder by the second.
"Bella, please listen..." Alice recovered as she stood up.
"NO!" I shrieked. "I will NOT listen to another word out of any of you, but especially you. Every lunch, every shopping trip for what? So my husband could go and fuck someone else behind my back! Go to hell..."
As I turned to run out the door I saw Edward standing in the corner. His face was red, his eyes were blank, and it looked like he was crying.
In that moment, I didn't care. So I did exactly what I planned on; I ran.
AN~ So there it is! I will eventually extend this, I just don't know when. Someone told me there wasn't enough Edward & Riley slash out there, and I had the arranged marriage idea for a while...so I hope you liked it! If not, I understand that too! Follow me on twitter SammieLynnsMom for updating and info regarding this piece!