Chapter 43 EPOV

I finally convinced Angela to go to a psychologist in order to try to deal with what happened to her. She didn't think anything was wrong with her. I knew better.

There wasn't a day in all of the years we had known each other that Angela wasn't obsessed with her future and her career. Since coming home, she refused to talk about anything to do with her job or with her kidnapping. After pressing her with these facts over a period of days, she finally relented and said she would give it a try.

After her first two consultations, the psychologist recommended twice weekly visits. Sometimes she came home morose and went straight to bed. Other times she came home excited and happy and full of energy. I never knew what to expect.

At bedtime on the days she came home happy, she would usually start kissing me and touching me. Clearly she wanted to have sex. Initially, I panicked. It's not that I didn't love Angela but my feelings had changed. I now viewed her as more of a friend than my wife, and it was hard for me to imagine making love to her. Luckily, on those few occasions, fate stepped in to save me. Once Ethan started crying, another time I was paged by the hospital. Once I actually said no and told her I wasn't feeling well.

I knew the time was coming when I wouldn't be able to rely on something 'coming up' to avoid being with her. I couldn't out right turn her down again. I was afraid it would devastate her and I didn't want to hurt her that way. I also realized that at some point we would have to get back to being a normal married couple. And normal meant having sex. If I was to make a legitimate go at my marriage, then I had to step up and make the effort to return things to normal.

All I could think of when I contemplated sleeping with Angela again was how wrong it felt.

It felt like I was cheating.

And it was.

It was cheating on my love for Bella.


Six weeks.

Thirty seven emails to Bella.

No answer.

What was I doing? Why couldn't I really let her go?

The answer was obvious of course. I loved her. But I knew I loved her when I let her go. I made the conscious decision that letting her go was the best for her. The best for all of us.

But was it? Was it really?

If it was the right decision, why did every molecule in my body scream for her in her absence? Every place I looked in my home reminded me of her. Every song on the radio, every dinner Monica cooked, every laugh from the twins brought thoughts of Bella.

I realized too late that it would always be Bella.

That old saying 'you can't fight fate' had new meaning for me now. I fought against it and in the end it won.

In reality, even though I professed to want to make my family life- my marriage- work, I continued looking for Bella. I wrote emails begging her to contact me.

I was such a hypocrite. The absolute worst kind.

I sent Bella away so that she could have a normal life without dealing with all of my baggage. And what did I do? I was incapable of really letting her go. I didn't do it consciously. I wanted to do the right thing. I had convinced myself that I was doing the right thing.

But through it all, I kept trying to get in touch with her.

I knew when I made my decision that I would have to live without my true love. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be challenging and I knew it would be lonely at times. What I hadn't expected was the complete and utter emptiness that I would feel every day.

Each morning I awoke with a little bit of hope that this day would be just a bit easier than the day before. It would go a little faster. I would find a morsel of joy to hold on to.

Each day the pain was worse. It never abated. Not even for a few hours.

Bella was the drug I was incapable of living without. Much like the drugs that transplant patients would forever be taking or risk losing their new organ… that was Bella for me. My heart- no, my soul- was now at risk.

There was no going back. I didn't know where Bella was, she wasn't in touch with Alice and her parents wouldn't tell me anything.

This was a lifetime sentence for me. I committed myself to a prison I couldn't break out of.

Suck it up, Cullen… this was your choice!


I finally stopped emailing Bella. What was the point? She obviously hated me and wanted nothing more to do with me.

I had made my choice and now I had to make the best of it. I realized how unfair I was being to Angela. I thought that offering her the home she had left was the right thing to do. And I still believed that. What I didn't realize at the time was that the home she left no longer existed. The man she married was no longer the same.

As the days passed and Angela started to get better, I saw glimpses of the woman I used to know. She started to go in to work again. Not every day, but more than before. She still didn't want to talk about the kidnapping, but she did start talking about how she now realized how much she had taken for granted.

She said she thought she would never see the twins again and that had devastated her. She said going forward that she would make her family a priority and find more balance in her life. I was overjoyed. She was finally doing the things that I had always hoped for. Monica had stepped up to help out with the twins but Angela insisted on doing most of the work.

But it wasn't enough. It would never be enough.


Because she wasn't Bella.


It was one of those nights when Angela came home happy from her therapy. I knew what was going to happen and I was avoiding going up to bed.

Snap out of it, Cullen! What the hell is wrong with you?

It was time.

It had been over a year, and it was time.

I love her. I kept repeating that to myself. I love her. We love each other.

She was the mother of my children. She was my wife. She was my partner. She was my life. I thought she was gone, but she was still here.

It had been over a year. It was time.

I thought lighting some candles or playing soft music might help set the mood after so long, but that was not our style. Funny, I never thought that was my style. Why did I think of that? Candles? Music? Oh that's right… her.

Saying no again was not an option. It wouldn't be right. I love her. She is my wife. It has been over a year. It is time.

I looked at the clock, 10:35 p.m. If I waited any longer, she would be asleep, and it would be another day gone by and I would be in the same situation again tomorrow night. I put my book down and turned off all the lights downstairs. I made sure all the doors were locked, peeked into the nursery to check on the twins, and headed upstairs to our bedroom.

When I entered our bedroom there she was, lying on our bed under the covers, but propped up on the pillows. She wore an emerald green nightgown that displayed her breasts perfectly. She had a book in her hands.

"Hey there," she said, putting her book away.

"Hey yourself," I replied.

I headed over to her side of the bed and sat down. "You look beautiful in this," I said as I fingered the strap of her nightgown.

"It reminded me of your eyes," she said.

I looked deep into her crystal blue eyes and saw all the years we had known each other. I saw our daughter and son. I also saw the uncertainty. Uncertainty, of what I was not sure… of us? Of me? Of herself? Had I placed that uncertainty there?

My guilt started to rear its ugly head. She didn't deserve that. I would have to do better.

I leaned over and kissed her softly. It had been so long. Her lips were soft and supple. They were different. I was different. We were different. I pulled back and looked deep into her eyes again.

"I'll be right back," I said.

I went to the bathroom, washed up, brushed my teeth and got undressed. I looked at myself in the mirror for a few minutes and I wasn't sure I recognized the face that I saw there.

I went back to the bed and got under the covers naked. I always slept naked and tonight was no different.

I reached for her and touched her face, tracing over her cheekbones and her jaw line. I began kissing her neck slowly and working up to her jaw and mouth. I kissed her deeply, tasting the all too familiar scent that was my wife. I remembered it well. We were hesitant with each other. It had been a long time.

I pulled down the straps of her nightgown, exposing her breasts to me, and began a descent of kisses from her mouth to chest. I palmed each breast in turn, slightly pinching her nipples and hearing her moan in response. I knew her body, every curve and corner. I knew all its secrets; where to touch and how to please her. Yet it all seemed alien to me now.

I pulled myself away from such ponderings. I needed to stay focused. I could feel myself slowly get hard when I heard her little noises. We would be ok. I could do this. I love her.

I pulled the nightgown off of her completely and slowly nudged her thighs apart. My left hand slowly rubbed the upper part of her left leg and worked its way to the apex of her thighs. I reached her center, placing my fingers on her lips and began rubbing them up and down. I could feel her wetness and placed my thumb on her clit. I rubbed it slowly in a circular motion as I inserted my finger into her. I heard her softly groan.

"Honey, please… it's been too long." She panted.

I drew my hand away and settled myself between her legs. My cock rested at her entrance as we looked into each other's eyes.

"I've missed you so much," she said.

"And I you," I replied.

Then I entered her, slowly, gently. I thrust into her unhurriedly and set my pace to her. She seemed distant, disconnected in some way. Or was that me?

I could feel my orgasm build slowly, and as our bodies began moving faster, her moaning became louder. I could feel her walls begin to tighten around me and I knew she was close. I closed my eyes and buried my face in her neck. I could picture chocolate brown eyes staring back at me. As I inhaled, I could smell the strawberry and freesia scent of her hair. I could feel myself getting even harder and my body reacting to my vision.

I moved faster toward my climax, and when I came I imagined saying her name loudly in my mind. My body shuddered through its climax as I realized that my wife had suddenly frozen beneath me.

"Are you ok?" I asked her.

She violently pushed me off of her and jumped out of the bed.

"What the fuck was that?" she asked.

"What do you mean? I was making love to my wife," I said. What the hell was her problem?

"Nooooo," she said, "it sounded to me like you were making love to someone else. Do you want to explain to me why you yelled out Bella's name just now?"

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Dear God, what had I done?


Happy VD everyone! Special thanks to my amazing beta Louise who did this immediately and therefore I took it as a sign to get it to you on VD! We surpassed 1000 reviews…yeah! Thanks for everyone who takes extra time to review…I know it is not always the easiest thing to do.

Thank you Parama my partner in crime and extra special friend.

Well, we have reached the Prologue…finally! What did you think? Can't wait to hear…