Tainted Love

I like to see the underdog win by any means necessary, thus I enjoy revenge. I hope you do too.

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~Chapter 1 - Cheater, Cheater…

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Shoulda stayed lonely, shoulda stayed bored and broken

I shoulda been alright, just for the night

But this noise in my head, on my cold empty bed

Makes me need somethin, to pass the time

Damn this old weakness, the first taste of sweetness

The lump in my throat, ya give a girl enough rope

Shoulda let my hair down for dancing

Shoulda wrapped myself in a blanket

Shoulda been drinkin just to forget

Shoulda left my lipstick on a cigarette

Tried to put you out, tried to clear the air

But I'm breathin your breath as I die a slow death

What burns like a flash is ashes to ashes

Shoulda let my hair down for dancing

Shoulda wrapped myself in a blanket

Shoulda been drinkin just to forget

Shoulda left my lipstick on a cigarette

Shoulda closed my eyes to dream about you holdin me

Shoulda let my hair down for dancing

Shoulda wrapped myself in a blanket

Shoulda been drinkin just to forget

Shoulda left my lipstick on a cigarette

Shoulda left my lipstick on a cigarette

(Laura Bell Bundy - Cigarette)

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Years ago, when Angela was going through her divorce. We all tried to be supportive; yet remained blissfully ignorant. I had always truly felt sorry for her. I couldn't imagine my husband would ever do such a thing. We were in it for the long haul; life. We never had any serious marital problems, no reason to throw caution to the wind.

So how did I end up here?

Why was my husband lusting after a woman who was everything I wasn't? Didn't he love me?

Those were the rational questions… At first I was so numb; in shock and a state of disbelief. I couldn't eat, nor could I sleep. My husband slept peacefully beside me, unaware I had his text logs.

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He seemed a little distant in the weeks prior and while I brushed it off as being over-worked, stressed, and in general just having a lot on his mind. Angela suggested, I retrieve the phone logs. I could obtain them in several ways…

I laughed it off… But the idea kept clouding my thoughts. Especially upon noticing he guarded his phone as if it were a live grenade. If he is, it's better I should know now… It's probably nothing. I tortured myself for two days before installing a key-logger onto our personal computer.

The following week I spent four hours combing through the logs, doing reverse tracking on the phone numbers. Then I moved onto the social networking sites…

Ignorance was bliss…

The other woman:

Tanya Denali; thirty-four, in a relationship, catholic… - WTF?

Occupation: Anything you can do, I can do better! - WTFFFFF!

Five foot seven, a hundred and twenty eight pounds - Soaking wet and in a bikini.

Attended some college, doesn't smoke but she drinks. - Tequila slut

She likes to read romance novels, but loves horror movies. - Nasty cunt whore!

She's a Leo and her mother is her hero… - Is your mother a skanky bitch too?

First, I was angry - very angry. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, throw all of his shit out onto the lawn and douse it with bleach. Burn every memory we ever made together…

Then there was a period of numbness, where I confided in some of my best girlfriends. They all kept asking if I wanted to make it work? Like I had a fucking choice… I never stepped out of our marriage, not once. The real question, would he want to make it work? I didn't have that answer, didn't he choose her? My perfect bubble had been popped; it could never be what it once was…

I didn't have the financial stability to leave or kick him out yet. Certainly I could move in with one of the girls and interrupt their family and relationships… To think just last year we were talking about trying for a baby this coming fall… Which brings upon the realization that I may never be a mother, I'm not getting any younger.

The first few weeks were hard… He remained distant and I - well, I was indifferent. Torn between whether I would ultimately stay or go.

I was always completely wound up, ready to lash like a wrecking ball… Or too tired to function with any sense of normalcy. The symptoms of depression were flu like. My cheating whore of a husband didn't even seem to notice something was off, which only fueled my anger.

And then came a breakthrough… I shared it with the girls over lunch. It started when I'd accidentally knocked his toothbrush into the toilet. It took a rubber glove to convince me to retrieve it. I debated rinsing it off and inside there was this little squeal of laughter. Oh it would be so wrong, yet so right… Which prompted a quick scrubbing under the rim of the toilet bowl, the removal of one cat hair? Pubic hair, maybe? You can bet your ass I moved mine into the second drawer of the vanity before innocently resting his back in the toothbrush holder.

It felt good to know that when she kissed him, she'd essentially be licking my ass. The level of gratification it gave me left me nearly cheering in his presence. Waiting, eager for him to use his toothbrush.

When he did, I laughed and gagged my way down to the kitchen… Where I continued to laugh and gag over the sink. I calmed myself once the water stopped running upstairs… but that inner squeal laughed and laughed. A victory dance.

With that one prank, I realized a few flaws. Even though we never really kissed anymore, I'd have to let him have my cheek… Butt-face-kisses. I wanted to laugh and promptly scrub my face off all at once.

Which prompted; the ex-lax brownies and another lunch date with the girls. They laughed right along with me, giving me the validation I needed to serve them. Again I had to play the wait game. When he came home late from work, it was hard to not stuff the brownies into his fat ugly face and down his snake like throat. God, I detest him!

I let him know I was disappointed that he didn't call - and oh look, I made brownies! It was exciting, watching as he ate three… Hours later he had stomach cramps and decided to go to bed. I, worried that he was going to shat my sheets fell asleep on the couch in the den.

Next morning, everything seems fine. He's rustling about in the kitchen, making coffee and searching out breakfast. By prank two, I'd done a little more homework… Cheers! That inner squeal went off as I laced his coffee with several drops of Visine. Take that to the office buddy…

He doesn't come home from work early or make any mention of not feeling well. I'm off to Google to make sure I used a proper dosage. Only to find out that it really doesn't work. So much for doing my homework… According to Snopes it can have some serious side effects, unfortunately asshole seems immune and appears absolutely fine. Still, I can't help but stare and imagine him falling over and dropping dead… Any second now…

The following day I take Angela's advice and sell the diamond earrings he had recently gifted me on our anniversary. She said selling the gifts given during the time of the affair helped her move on. It only gifted me a temporary high, knowing how pissed he would be if he knew I sold them for probably a tenth of their value.

Too emotionally drained to do laundry... I folded up his dirty underwear and socks and placed them neatly back in his drawer. Including the pair with excessive remnants of the ex-lax brownie prank. After all of his deceit it felt good to be able to pull shit no matter how petty over on him. It had become a game. How long can I make my husband miserable for? Before he realizes I know about his secret affair…

Vulnerable, I let him fuck me. I feel sick when his mouth crashes down onto mine, his tongue lingering for far much longer than I want it to. I don't feel like myself. Everything feels numb. It's almost like an out of body experience as I let him have his way with me. All I have is my vision and the crazy thoughts bouncing around inside my head. This isn't me… I love my husband, not this stranger looming over me. This isn't my husband, my husband would never…

What the fuck does she have that I don't?

I hate you!

As soon as he leaves for work I'm checking out her social pages again. It's hard not to be biased and try to look for traits in her that he might find appealing. My mind is on repeat; selfish whore, skanky bitch, nasty cunt…

I trim my hair. Not wanting it to go to waste, I load it up into my spice grinder and then sprinkle it here and there inside the soiled underwear in his drawer. The top pair is missing, so he hasn't caught on. I then decide to move the ex-lax underwear to the bottom of the pile for a more dramatic effect.

I share a few laughs with the girls over lunch. I figured putting my hair trimmings in his underwear would give him a little jock itch, but I never thought it might convince him he could have an std. Alice came up with that verdict, time would tell. I'm so glad she moved out east several months ago, I don't know what I would do without her in a time like this.

Good, maybe he won't want to fuck me anymore than he already is…

A couple weeks pass and I'm still actively stalking the other woman online. Immediately I sense trouble in paradise. She is openly having an std conversation with a friend on her Facebook wall. Yummy! This bitch has no class.

Four days later and I intercept the results of my husbands std testing along with a bill from our family doctor in the mail. I'm relieved they all came back negative but I'm furious he went to our family doctor! Now everyone in the office is going to think my husband has reason to doubt my fidelity. Fair is fair… I reseal the documents in a manila envelope and carefully address it to my husband at his office. Labeling the contents in red sharpie: your gonorrhea test results. In bold print on the envelope, both front and back. Perfect!

I'm still conserving water and replenishing his undergarments from the dirty laundry basket. The drawer is starting to reek like ass but mostly stank mildewy socks; I'm fairly amazed he hasn't noticed. We haven't had sex at all this month. Dirty whore is still whining publicly to her friends, I guess she isn't getting any either. Win! I finally get the balls to contact a divorce lawyer, knowing it will benefit me to file first. All of my ducks are almost in a row, almost…

As the weeks pass my husband seems more withdrawn and when I look at him I'm not really angry anymore. I think I mostly feel pity; at this point I just feel sorry for him. He threw away the best damn thing to ever happen to him. I'm going to leave with nothing short of everything.

I have a few final hurrahs under my sleeve… For now, the girls and I are packing up the contents of our marital home. I leave him the bedroom furniture because I want a fresh slate in that department and of course I leave his shit mostly untouched unless it gets in my way. The girls think I'm being too kind, but I know material things will never comfort or undo what's been done.

I cashed out our life insurance policies and cancelled the insurance policy on his little yellow corvette, to the tune of almost fifty-seven thousand dollars. It's more than enough to pay lawyer fees and cover the bills at my new cute little apartment until I can get back on my feet.

I am sad for the life that I was supposed to have.I am sad that he didn't live up to his end of the bargain.I am sad that happily ever after was a lie.I am sad that it came to this.

The girls take the truck over to my new place while I take one last look around at what was supposed to be our forever after. He gets the bedroom furniture and the debt. I hastily sign the divorce papers and leave them out on the kitchen counter with a handwritten note.

It started off addressed to my lying cheating bastard of a husband and then I became weak, stupid, and sentimental.

I trusted you.

I loved you.

-B

Taking one last stroll down memory lane. I want to make him cry, but I want to stop the hurting more. I discreetly show up in the parking garage near his place of employment. An ice pick says it all, grinding the word cocksucker across the driver's side panels of his baby. We never could afford a car like this. Heck we could barely swing the insurance payments. I've always had a lot of resentment for his car and I'm sure when his father left it to him, it wasn't so he could pick up tequila sluts in bars. If his father could see him now…

I laugh myself to tears as I pull away from the scene. Not several blocks down the road I hear sirens, police lights are flashing in my rearview mirror. It's an undercover in a black SUV. I've never been pulled over before and I'm already a crying sobbing mess. I don't see how this day could get any worse.

"I saw what you did back there. Can you please step out of the vehicle?" And then he shows up - the officer informs me while peering inside. The ice pick is sitting on the passenger seat beside my purse, I know I'm busted. I suck in a breath and wipe my eyes, trying to compose myself so I can find the handle to open the door…

"Edward…" Comes floating from my mouth in surprise; I'd never forget those eyes. Such a vibrant and almost unnatural shade of emerald green. I can't believe this is really happening…

"You've seen better days Bella…" He calmly retorts.

"Can we grab a cup of coffee?" I offer, praying for a sympathetic ear.

"Before or after I book you?" He asks with a shake of his head.

"I'm innocent until proven guilty." I remind him with a forced smile and dry my eyes again with sweaty palms. What a fucking day?

"Starbucks on Fifth. I'll be following you so no funny business," he warns with a smirk.

I breathe a sigh of relief before pulling back out into traffic. My mind flooding with memories of Edward, teen years - college years. A time when the decisions didn't seem so hard.

We order coffee and he offers to pay. I smile kindly and pick a quiet corner table away from the windows. I wait watching, knowing the barista is going to comp his coffee because he's in uniform.

I find it amusing that the rebel I knew is now an upstanding citizen enforcing the very same laws he often broke. He looks good, really good.

He slides into the chair across from me, handing me my coffee. Immediately I pop the lid and search his hand for a wedding band. Such is life…

"Whose car was it?" He asks, rubbing his hand along his jaw-line. He looks tired, perhaps bored even…

"My soon to be ex-husband… Jake's. Do you still want to arrest me?" I reveal in an exhausted tone. Edward didn't come to our wedding, not that I could blame him now.

"I didn't see anything," he lies. His smile is infectious, it's a shame he isn't single. I would love to pick up where we left off… You're still married! He's married!

"Didn't think so," I taunt. Then find myself suffering from diarrhea of the mouth and divulge every last detail of how I've tormented my soon to be ex-husband over the past few months.

Adding meat to his vegan diet was more effective than the ex-lax. Posting a men seeking men ad on Craigslist with his personal cell number forced him to shut his phone off for nearly a week before he wised up and changed his number. I pretended to be various customers and filed complaints against him at work, then I got lazy… Okay so I ran out of fake accents! … and posted several more humiliating want ads with his office number. A small lapse in judgment, eventually I recalled I wanted alimony and quit trying to fuck him out of a decent job.

Flicked cigarette ashes into his coffee each morning, blew my nose in his hand towels, signed him up for thousands of spam e-mails and to his private business account no less. He used it to contact trash, what's a little more? I even confessed to dialing sex hotlines and asking them to hold. I did that several times, once they waited for well over six hours on one of the nights he worked late. I imagine his next phone bill will be in the thousands…

I spit in his food, cut small bald spots out in his hair while he slept - to go with this early mid-life crisis. Lead the cat to start pissing in his shoes and loosened the seams in the seats of his pants.

That inner squeal… Revenge, had become frighteningly addictive… I admit all of this and sadly there's more. Things I've done that I may never tell a soul for shame. I don't know if I'm pathetic or ingenious, but I know it all sounds crazy - even to me.

Edward appears intrigued and I'd like to hope that's because he didn't believe I had a vindictive bone in my body.

The need for revenge had burned its way through my soul. Jake ruined my life and now I wanted to destroy his. Set his world on fire just as he had done to mine. Ashes to ashes and all of that jazz. It was the only way I knew how to seek closure… and I still have yet to find it.

I confess that extramarital affairs can drive people to do crazy things. I admitted I'd done things I never thought I ever could or would do to another human being, but finished that same sentence with a he deserved it and so much more.

"I chose wrong… I should have picked you." I apologize with a great deal of shame, mesmerized by the gold band on his finger. I imagine her life is nothing like mine. She starts her day waking up beside him; lucky gal…

"About time you admit it. I won't even say I told you so," he quips with a wink. I couldn't get over how friendly he was being. Maybe even a little bit flirty? I could be reading him wrong entirely. It's been so long since I shared the company of another man alone that wasn't my husband.

"Never married," he touches the gold band and gives it a spin on his finger.

"Then why?" Now I'm confused.

"The bad guys I go after are just trying to support their families, albeit illegally. If they think I'm chasing them for the same reason, I can play on their sympathy."

"Bad guys have sympathy?" I ask, amused.

"Just like your father," he laughs softly. "But this baby here has saved my ass more than once," he admits - his tone more serious.

"Your dad misses you, you know. He wishes you'd call more often." Maybe if I had called on more than just holidays I'd have known Edward was fuck hot, sporting a uniform, and carrying more than just a concealed weapon. Maybe I would have beat Jake at his own game…

"You still keep in touch?" I ask casually, sipping at my coffee. Trying to clear the perverse thoughts from my mind… Quit undressing him with your eyes, still married - remember?

"Yeah, I still head west a few times a year; always hoping that one of these days I'll run into you again. I've looked you up a few times, but it seems you move around a lot. Half the time your father doesn't even know where you are," he admits. I feel the heat rising in my cheeks, bashful and hopeful all at once.

"I should have…" I shake my head, regret clear as day on my features. I put too much faith in Jake and let the world I knew crumble around me. Thinking I was trading it all away for a better life. How foolish I was…

"You're still wearing your wedding ring," he breaks the silence startling me from my thoughts as he slaps my knuckle with his coffee stirrer.

"Yeah, I haven't gotten around to pawning it yet. The divorce isn't final, he'll find the papers when he gets home," I ramble.

"After he finds his car," he chuckles.

"Yeah. It's the only time I can say getting caught vandalizing made my day," I laugh softly.

"Let's not lose touch." He takes the initiative and reaches in his shirt pocket, retrieving a pen with his business card.

"Lieutenant?" I repeat what I've read in awe.

"Yeah," he flashes me a smile. "This is my personal cell," he notes before sliding his card across the table.

"I'll call," I mean it. Shocked that he'd even want me to have his number after the horror stories I divulged. I've become a crazy bitch.

"I do hope you will… Cocksucker, good choice. I couldn't have done any better myself." He notes as he rises from his seat, briefly tapping his knuckles on the table.

"I have a few more, but that one had the most letters," I joke. "..And mother-fucker was too crass. I liked his mom." I feel good, bumping into Edward has definitely improved my morale.

"I'll be seeing you. I need to get some sleep, I have to be back for third shift."

"Okay," I stammer with a nod. He smiles, grabs his cup and turns to go.

"For the record; if I thought it was anyone else - I wouldn't have bothered to stop them. My shift ended a couple of hours ago," he shrugs. "Take care Bella."

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The girls are grumpy when I arrive at my new apartment. Apparently they were worried. Truthfully I don't know how Jake will react to everything. The only contact information he has is for my lawyer, which is exactly how I want to handle things. It's too late for apologies and I refuse to be fed more broken promises. I - am - done. Done!

The girls have come a long way with unpacking, the place is almost livable. I tell them how strange it was to run into Edward and they both start feeding me lines of it being meant to be, fate, everything happens for a reason, and anything else in between. One chapter closes and another one opens.

I swear to the girls that I'll be okay and deny how terrified I am to be out on my own. There's five other neighbors in my building that I haven't yet met. I'm surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar place. I knew if I asked the girls to stay the night they would make arrangements to comfort me but eventually I'd have to face reality, this is my life and this is now home.

We order in Chinese food and share a bottle of red wine before we part ways, I promise to call if I need anything. Which reminds me… Edward's number is burning a hole in my pocket! Still I don't call; afraid he might still be sleeping and I don't want to come off as desperate. My divorce isn't even final, I shouldn't be this giddy over another man.

Then I begin to wonder if that's how Jake felt about Tanya…

Once I get my computer set up, I can't help but stalk her. My marriage is over, I've admitted it. Hell, I'm the first to throw in the towel on paper, yet here I am. I don't know why I punish myself. I come so close to closing out the page when I notice my soon to be ex's name on her wall.

It's over. I love my wife.

But it's too late. It's over. Over!

His account has no pictures or information and she's his only friend. Immediately I connect the dots and assume he's made an account to post knowing I might see it. I also assume he went back to fucking her after his gonorrhea test results came back negative, because it's obvious he didn't put any effort into leaving her before tonight. My only consolation is that all of skank's friends can see that she's a home wrecking whore.

I vow to never visit her page again, but not before taking screen shots - as if I don't already have enough evidence.

Just for kicks I decide to login and check his call and text logs. Nasty cunt whore is demanding an explanation when she realizes it wasn't just all for show to go back underground and he's called my lawyer six times over a period of two hours. I can't wait for that conversation in the morning.

I save and document everything, it's my strongest weapon against him and his philandering ways.

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I can't sleep, I don't know when third shift starts or ends. I just know it's late. Trying to be less awkward and come off as not so desperate, I watch horrible infomercials until the sun rises. I order a snuggie, a slap chop, and dust mop slippers - don't ask…

During commercial breaks I go to bored dot com and make a few prank calls to Jake. The calls are limited to three a day, so I work to make them count. Can you tell I've done this before? It takes a bit of effort since vulgarity isn't allowed. Cheater! Cheater! Had a wife, but couldn't keep her… - That felt too personal.

Do I have your attention now? Hope she was worth it. - That sounded thought provoking.

Instead I sent - I lied too, it's small. Really small…and yes size does matter!

I was just about to get to: Now I stand a chance of achieving an orgasm with a partner before I die. Thank you! When I had the common sense to not hit send. I was riding one high to the next, prank to prank. I don't want him back. Still, I want to make him miserable and insecure for wasting the past decade of my life.

Then it dawns on me that he doesn't even fucking care. If I meant anything to him, if our vows meant anything to him, we wouldn't be where we are now. I need to move on and see past the rage… This isn't helping.

And ice cream is only a temporary fix. It takes two scoops of mint chocolate chip to convince me to dial Edward's number. He wouldn't have given me his number if he didn't want me to call, right? Right…

I dial, so nervous... I can't imagine doing this on a regular basis. The whole concept of dating is beyond my grasp. Already I feel like I'm doomed to be single and alone for the rest of my life. I hate Jake with a vengeance.

He picks up and all I can hear is background noise. It sounds like he's consulting with a co-worker. I spend a few moments listening, wondering if he meant to pick up or if he tried to ignore my call and had hit the wrong button. It's obvious he's at work and he's busy…

"Sorry about that," he comes in loud and clear.

"Bad timing?" I apologize.

"Bella," he speaks my name as if he's surprised to hear from me. "Actually my shift is about over, I was thinking of grabbing some breakfast…"

"I understand," I note. It was stupid to call now…

"I'm not telling you. I'm asking you," he laughs softly. "Would you like to go grab breakfast with me?"

"Oh, I've already had breakfast"I feel like such an idiot. I shouldn't have called him - this just seems so awkward and maybe even a little wrong. I'm not sure what I expected…

"No pressure," he sounds amused. I can hear the voices in the background fading.

"I don't really feel like getting dressed today," I admit.

"Is that an invitation for breakfast?"

"If you don't mind a double scoop of mint chocolate chip," it's my only defense.

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Edward is coming over! I'm a bundle of nerves and can't stop myself from straightening the remaining boxes to be unpacked. I consider moving them all into my room, but worry that there's not enough time. I scarf down another scoop of mint chocolate chip for good measure. I feel like a fat cow and I'm almost out of ice cream.

Then it dawns on me that he will probably want coffee. Thankfully that's unpacked but it takes a bit of effort to find the coffee grounds since the girls organized the kitchen. I find the alcohol instead and give up, settling on a drink to calm my nerves.

Whiskey, Jake's poison. I never really approved, but I never made too many waves. Looking back, my biggest regret was settling. I settled for a mediocre life and marriage and wore a smile that would make others envy it. It was all bullshit…

I take a long swig from the bottle and find very little to admire. A drunken mans actions are a sober wife's thoughts… A knock at the door startles me back to reality. I quickly run the sink and pour the bottle down the drain.

"Just a minute," I call. With a heavy heart I discard the bottle in the trash. I hate him. It's over…

I smooth my white sleep tank over my pink and gray plaid pajama bottoms and realize my hair is probably a fucking mess. I'm a mess…

I slide the chain over and unlock the door. Edward sweeps in, coffee in hand before I can fully open the door. I'm left staring out into the empty hall, trying to replay in slow motion what just whizzed by me.

I slowly close the door, but I'm afraid to turn around. He's sexy as fuck, in uniform and I'm wearing a pair of faded pajamas my grandmother bought for me because she remembered I had a similar pair that I loved when I was twelve...

"I brought coffee," he calls over my shoulder. I run a hand through my hair and slowly spin to face him. His t-shirt is black and tight in all the right places. My eyes are ogling muscled chest and there's a gun show flexing at the corners of my eyes. He's in the best shape of his life. Reminds me of Jake before he got that cushy office job and let himself turn soggy. I reach to take the coffee tray from him and when I meet his stare…

"You're really beautiful," I gush.

"Distinguished," I try to recover. Moving past him to rest the tray of coffee on the counter.

"Screw it, you know you're hot," I blurt with little abandon and he laughs off the slurry of compliments. The black cargo pants with dozens of pockets tell me he's probably a part of a special unit. Third shift has lost its appeal, but I love the uniform.

"You've always been sexy. Trust me, he didn't stop coming home because you were there," Edward brings up an obviously painful subject.

"Then why do I feel like I'm dying with every memory?" I ramble, nearly crying out.

"I'm sorry," I quickly regret. I shift my focus to the coffee before I claim a new record of idiocy. I remove the cups from the cardboard tray before it dawns on me that I promised ice cream. I scramble around the kitchen. When I have the ice cream and all the utensils lined out on the counter, he steps up to bat and calms my shaking hands by suffocating them with his own.

"One day," he extends his arms and in a desperate moment - reels me in. I'm crashing again. I don't know why this hurts so much. I know I'll be better off but right now I need more than ever, someone to keep reaffirming that. To promise that these tears won't fall forever. Swear that there's still life out there yet to be had. Convince me that I won't die a lonely bitter old hag.

"You'll have to let me show you what love truly is," he seals the sentiment by pressing his lips against my forehead. Drowning in his strong embrace, it feels like a dream. Edward leaps with promises to sweep me off my feet, if I'd let him.

"I'll let you," fix this gaping hole in my heart.

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~End Chapter 1 - Cheater, Cheater…

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