Hey there! If you're coming from big bang and are anxiously waiting for what happens after the cliffhanger, take a deep breath. We'll get there. Start again with chapter one because things are a little different. I've tweaked, tightened and added a few scenes. I'll be updating every Friday unless it's a short chapter (like this one), in which case I'll go ahead and post the next one because I love you.

There are references to sexual assault in this story. The violence itself is not described but the aftermath and feelings associated definitely are. The last thing I want to do is hurt or offend someone, so please PM me if you have any concerns. I'll help you make an informed decision on whether you should read or not.

Lastly, thanks for showing up! I'd love to hear what you think but you don't have to review. If you do feel so inclined, I'll chat back. ;)

Lastly, lastly, I don't own Twilight.

All copyright, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.

February 2008

The snow had turned ugly; on the run but still lurking in dark corners, plotting its return with the sky. Edward kept his head down and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, almost to the top of the familiar concrete steps before he felt a buzz on his thigh.

"Ah, damn it." He managed to fish the phone out of his jeans pocket but dropped his keys, juggling his laptop and coat. "Hello?"


"Dad! What's up?" He wrestled with the deadbolt as he pinned the phone to his shoulder, mentally running through a list of acceptable excuses of why he couldn't come home for Easter next month.

"Where are you?" Carlisle's voice sounded tinny.

"Sorry. Trying to get in the door. I'm home, now."

There was a pause… then, "Edward. Son... I have bad news. Are you sitting down?"

He faltered. "What? No, I'm… just tell me."

"Pete had a heart attack this morning." Carlisle cleared his throat. "It was sudden and well... he's gone. I'm sorry."

Edward sat down hard on the floor.

"Are you there?"

"Yeah, Dad." He glanced around the apartment to make sure he was alone. "I'm here."

"It's not official yet but the house is yours. The business, the house, everything. It's all in the will. You knew about the will, didn't you?" Carlisle was good at giving bad news… detached but sympathetic. Edward wondered if there was a Delivering Bad News course in med school.

"Yeah, he told me a long time ago but I never... I mean, he..."

There was shuffling on Carlisle's end, papers stacked, the creaking of his office chair. "If you want me to take care of this I can. We can just sell it, the money would go to you."

"No, no. God, no. At least, not right now." How could he decide about Peter's house when he didn't even know if he had clean underwear to pack? "When is the funeral?"

"I don't know," Carlisle said. "I expect in a couple of days. And that's another thing, Esme and I had plans to go to Italy for Valentine's. It's been planned for months."

Typical. Fuck you, Dad.

"Yeah, no, you should go. Of course you should go," Edward said. "I'll be down there to take care of things."

"Alright then. Well, Esme sends her love." Carlisle had that goodbye tone to his voice. Edward could practically see his thumb hovering over the "end" button.

"Dad- wait. What happened? Where was he? Did-"

"Shelley said one of the neighbors found him on the floor. From the details she was able to give it sounds like it was quick. There wasn't anything anyone could have done."

Edward drew in a sharp breath. "He was alone then."

"We're all alone when we die."

"Yeah, but…" He swallowed hard past the lump in his throat, as if he could physically push down any kind of vocal evidence that he was about to lose it. What floor? His bedroom? The bar? It must have been downstairs in the bar if a neighbor found him. Who found him? Was it really quick? Or is that just something they say so the ones left behind can sleep easier at night?

"Son? I need to go."

"Sure, okay, Dad. Thanks, uh, for calling."

"You're welcome. Edward... I'm really sorry."

"Yeah," he whispered to dead air, glancing down to see Call Ended winking at him before the screen went black.