Prologue: Summer Rain
Thanks to PasticheLethe for being a fabulous beta for this fic! Chapter One will be posted in a few days time.
This past summer had been unlike the others. It had been raining.
Edward and I met in our usual spot, on the shaded sand, far away from the prying eyes of the caravan park's inhabitants. My mother and Edward's parents' were blissfully drunk and none the wiser outside their motor home, like always. The absence of my mother's long-time boyfriend had been swept away by the unusual howling wind.
The grainy Florida sand beneath my feet felt cold. My brown hair was slick wet against my head. My lips were dull and cracked from exposure to the wind, and I knew that my face looked just as dreary. I hadn't been sleeping very well and the nightmares showed in the bags under my eyes and the paleness of my face. Perhaps the weather could justify my appearance to the casual observer, but Edward wouldn't be so easily fooled. I didn't want him to be fooled. I wanted him to know. I needed him to understand. I knew that he would when no one else did.
Edward wasn't wearing a shirt, but the pink splotches on his pale chest betrayed his apparent nonchalance about the freezing wind that whipped around us. His messy hair had been flattened to his head by the pelting rain. Edward gave me his best lopsided smile, the one that had made me melt without fail for the last three years. I shifted anxiously, scrunching the sand under my midnight blue painted toes.
"Hey, Bella - " Edward started, but I cut him off miserably.
"I can't do this." To my shame, my face twisted and screwed up as I choked back a sob. I couldn't believe I was actually crying. "Not this year, Edward. S-Something bad happened."
Edward reached out and pried my hand from its death-grip around my waist. His hand was warm and smooth. Behind the veiling of his hair, his pale green eyes were kind.
The past summer vacations hadn't been the same. We weren't fifteen and fumbling around in my mom and I's hired cabin, making blood oaths that swore these meetings would only be summer trysts – no contact throughout the year. We weren't sweet sixteen and secretly drinking stolen vodka while doing things I'd read about in Cosmopolitan. We weren't almost seventeen and skinny-dipping in the river, sand dusting our hips.
We were finally seventeen, and because of the incident, I spent my summer vacation seeking comfort in Edward's embrace. He was the only one who didn't tell me I was overreacting and needed to get over it. He was sweet like always as we got ice cream and told each other things no one else knew, because no one from our real lives knew the other.
He didn't push me. He didn't tell me to stop blubbering because it's not like you were even actually raped, Isabella. You lead him on – don't try to deny it.
Our blood-sworn agreement seemed so flawless. But this past, cold, wretched summer marked a change.
I should have known it was too perfect to last.