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For those interested, you'll find chapters and inspirational pics on the On Call blog. Story can also be found on TWCS. Thnx a million to beanothercullen and the fab girls from PTB, Batgirl8968 & ClaireyBeary12 for this!
I deeply apologize for my hiatus.
James confronts Bella...
Edward groans beneath me as I nudge my body closer to his. His hand tightens around my waist, steadying me as his soothing breaths fans across my skin, tickling my neck. He must have been tired; between his long shift at the hospital and then coming back here to console me after the disastrous day I had, it's astonishing he's been able to keep his eyes open for as long as he did.
I gently run the back of my hand along his angular jaw, delighting in the way he whispers my name in his sleep. Taking a deep breath, I adjust my eyes to my now darkened living room while gripping his strong arm, and burying my head into his chest not wanting to get up. While Edward can find rest, I can't. Now that I'm awake, the ramifications of the previous day are hitting me like a freight train.
I was so dumb. I shouldn't have overreacted that way. I was wrong to let James get me that way. I'd embarrassed myself in the worse manner by letting James's comments and Edward and myself, get to me. While James had no right to gossip about my personal life, I had no right to act the way I did.
Lying here now, in Edward's arms, all I feel is remorse for my abrupt and disturbing actions. I should've kept a handle on my temper, but to hear the vile things James was spewing, was too much and I lost it. I got in his face, and things got even worse when he leered at me with this happy yet sickening smirk plastered on his face.
Still, I was wrong; though others, don't agree with me.
Alice thought I did the right thing. She said that James needed his ass kicked for what he did, and she thought he said the things he did, because he was jealous of Edward and me. But while I'm incline to give her statement further thought because it does make a little sense, I reminded Alice that I was still wrong for doing what I did. To me, not only did I bring disgrace on the hospital but also on our chief administrator, Carlisle, her dad.
After my explanation, Alice sighed, defeatedly, and said that she understood. We then agreed that the best thing to do when I got back to work was to just avoid James. Unless, it's work related, I shouldn't even be in the same room with him.
Edward starts rubbing my back in a soothing, circular motion, bringing me out of my thoughts. The feel of it is so comforting, it makes me want to cry. To have him here with me is best thing ever. I really need him.
I hold back my tears long enough to get out, "I'm awake, Edward."
"Hmm, okay," he says, yawning. "I thought you were still asleep and about to fall out of my arms."
"No, I'm up," I answer softly. The croak in my own voice scares me. It sounds so unlike me. Then again, I have been crying for hours. The tears just seemed to effortlessly flow the more I thought about how wrong I was.
Yes, I want kick James's ass, but I shouldn't have done it at work, and in front of witnesses, no less.
"Do you want to go lie down in the bed or get something to eat?" he offers, and then adds, "I'd brought dinner."
"Thank you," I whisper, looking up at his handsome face with a smile. Edward had brought food with him, but I was too distraught to care, so he'd just set it down in the kitchen and rushed to my side when I broke down as soon as he walked through the door.
Looking up at him, I feel unbelievably grateful to have Edward in my life. I'm happy that we took the chance to be together. Now that I have him, I don't know what I would've done without him. "I could go for something to eat," I say, trying to smile.
He smiles back but his eyes are so filled of concern and sadness, it pains my heart, and causes me to look away. Edward sighs sadly, and then lays a soft kiss on my forehead before he gets up; going to heat up our dinner.
While in the kitchen, Edward tries to talk to me. He tells me about his day and a few interesting cases he got to work on. I know what he's doing. I know he's just trying to make me feel better, but all I want to do is tell him to stopping talking. Then again, I don't want to insult Edward. I don't want to throw my anger on him because he's in the same boat I'm in. That would be unfair. How can I hurt the person who cares about me and wants to help me?
Aside from the fact that I'm the one on suspension, Edward will face ridicule because of James's gossip about us. He'll have to work twice as hard for others not to believe that he's having it easy because he's screwing a resident, and his godfather is the chief administrator of the hospital. Edward has his own battles to fight so the least I can do, is sit and listen as he smiles a little while placing my reheated dinner before me while telling me about the frisky female patient he had that shamelessly tried to flirt with him.
"I couldn't believe her, Bella." He laughs and I join in with a soft chuckle of my own. Edward meets my eyes as he pops open my beer and hands me the bottle and sighs, "I know it seems bad, but everyone knows that James is an asshole and someone was bound to snap at him at some point. Although, I'm really sorry it had to be you, love."
"Love?" I smile. I love that sentiment.
Edward ducks his head and slightly blushes. He stuffs an eggroll in his mouth, and then grumbles, "Umm...I've been calling you that in my head for a little while now. I guess I was trying it out. I won't do it again, if you don't like it."
He's so sweet. Even while being nervous, he's still adorable. "No." A bit of sadness passes over his face, and I knew he misunderstood me. So I continue, wanting him to fully see what I am saying."I want you to. I like it."
Edward's smile is radiant.
We spend the rest of dinner talking idly and it's actually quite refreshing. I find myself smiling more, and even laughing while Edward does his best to erase the pain of yesterday.
"How was it after I left?" I ask him, curious as to what happened after I went home.
He looks up at me and chuckles darkly. His jade irises spark with a flash of anger before he says, "It was okay, but I had to work with James on a case."
"Don't worry about it," he says with a crooked grin. "I don't think Carlisle or Carole trusted me enough to leave me alone with him."
We both chuckle at that. "How was his face?"
Edward laughs loudly. "He looked a little like he got run over by a car." I can't help myself. I laugh at that description while internally telling myself, "Serves him right."
"That's good," I croak as tears bubble to the surface, surprising even me.
"Bella, don't cry," Edward pleads softly, moving to my side and taking me in his arms. I lean into him, sobbing. "It hurts me to see you cry, love."
"I'm sorry." I sob, and then chuckle a little. "I don't know what happened. I just can't seem to stop crying." Wiping the traitorous tears away, I try to explain to Edward what I'm feeling. "Edward, it's just that I work so hard. Usually, I don't let anything get to me, but the degrading things James was saying; the things he was making people think, it was...it was too much. Shit, I can't even repeat it to you."
Edward pulls me closer, but what he says causes more tears to pool into my eyes as he whispers softly, "I'm sorry for causing this, Bella."
"What?" I push myself away and ask; confused by what he's saying. "What are you sorry for?"
"I shouldn't have pursued you." Edward sighs. "Maybe I should've let my feelings for you stay in the dark," he goes on, "Look what's happened."
"And it wasn't our fault," I tell him, trying to reason why I'm not ready to trade him for the world. "I like you, and for some crazy reason, you like me too." He laughs at that. "But, because James is apart of my past, it's come back to haunt us. So I should be the one saying sorry. If it wasn't for me, then James probably wouldn't be trying to drag your name through the mud."
"It's okay, Bella." Edward reasons. "James hates me for his own reasons. Even if we weren't together, I think he'd just find another way to attack me. He just fucking hates me."
I don't say anything. Edward is right. James is a bastard and when he dislikes someone, he'll always finds a way to hurt them. "We all make mistakes, Bella," Edward says, softly kissing my lips. I smile when he pulls away as he continues, "I've made my share."
I return his kind smile though my brows knit in deep thought. Edward still views Tanya as his mistake, especially with the fact that she left him for his own father. Damn, those two should be ashamed of themselves for hurting Edward like that.
"We both have," I finally say, and Edward just sighs as we lay there, finding solace in each other's arms.
The rest of the night passes with us on the couch. It's so comfortable, we don't move until we wake up the next morning and Edward rushes thorough his shower, saying he'll grab a fresh pair of scrubs at the hospital. I throw him the keys to Cherie, telling him I'd call him later and he smiles - though he seems shocked that I'll let him drive my car - and kisses me goodbye before racing out the door.
The rest of my mundane morning passes with me doing odd things to pass time. I don't feel like going outside. I just want to stay indoors and feel sorry for myself. More than once, I pick my phone up ready to call Edward and see how things are the hospital, but quickly decide against it. How would I expect it to be? It's busy as hell. With morning rounds just passing, Edward is probably in the trauma room now. You'd be surprise how many traumas you can get between breakfast and lunch. I thought about calling Rose, but she's definitely in the same boat as Edward. With EMTs, things are always happening. Then, I go as far as bring Carlisle's number up, I'm really missing the hospital. I miss the ER. I miss the traumas rolling in and firing off the orders while I try to save a life. I fucking hate James and his big mouth. I fucking hate myself for overreacting.
Sighing exasperatedly, I throw myself down on my couch and switch on the TV. Maybe a couple of movies will help the time pass a little easier.
I grab some snacks, deciding to forego any workout today for sitting around and wallowing. By the second movie, my friends start to call.
Angela is sympathetic and Jake is cursing me for being sad and then cheering me for kicking James's ass. Jake's one regret, because he says I'm a damn good doctor and that ER would shit without me, is that he wasn't there to witness the epic battle between me and James. I told him it wasn't a battle and Jake says, "You're fucking right, it wasn't. That pussy can't fight." That put a smile on my face.
Phil calls next, threatening to sue James for the emotional distress I'm under, and then cheers me up by saying, "You'll be back there saving lives in no time. Your mom's watching out for you, Bella." That made me tear up a bit. I miss my mom so much sometimes. I wish she were here, so she could scream at me for putting my job in danger and then coax me while making me smile with her crazy antics, and just, loving me. But Phil's right. She's watching out for me.
My dad's the next call. Charlie asks if he should come to Chicago and teach James a lesson, then he asks about Edward. I told how things were going with me and Edward, minus the sex details. I mean what girl wants her father to know that she wants to call another man 'daddy' 'cause he's so good in the bedroom and leaves her wanting her more, but I digress.
I tell Charlie, I'm cool, but he doesn't believe me. He says he can hear it in my voice and now he really wants to come out here and teach James a lesson. Hearing him talk, I can see where I get my no nonsense attitude from. I hear Sue in the back, telling him to calm down and watch his blood pressure and Dad chuckles, and probably blushes; another thing I got from him.
Charlie and Sue have been seeing each other for quite some time now, and I couldn't be happier for him. Her kids, Leah and Seth, and I agree on certain levels, especially Seth and me. Seth is a cool kid. He's fun to be around with his vibrant personality, but his big sister can be a downer, and we've been known to have gotten in quite a few arguments about it. But while we never be the best of friends, Leah and I can agree on one thing, it's great to see our parents happy.
After convincing Charlie to stay in Forks, at least, I hope I did, we hang up and I went back to my movie. It's a really interesting and downright scary horror film; because when my cells rings, flashing Alice's smiling face on the screen, I scream bloody murder and almost fall off the couch.
"Hey, Ally." I breathe, trying to calm my heart rate down.
"Hey, Bells, Are you okay?" she says, and then chastises herself before I can even tell her she scared the shit out of me. "I shouldn't be asking you that."
"It's okay, Ally." I know Alice feels like shit. She always does when she can't help.
"No, it's not!" she yells. "You shouldn't have been suspended, Bella. That prick deserved what he got and if I was there, he would've gotten far more!"
"And then what, Ally?" I chuckle, even if I knew Alice would've kicked James's ass. Actually, the image of that little pixie taking on James's six foot figure is pretty damn funny. But I know Alice packs a helluva punch. Fuck, I dare any girl to try and mess with Jasper. "My actions got me suspended."
"Yeah, but, it's only for a short time, Bells," she tells me. "Dad had to. If he could've let you get away with it, he would've."
"Ally, I don't blame Carlisle, and I wouldn't, in a million years, let him do such a thing." Tears spill over as I utter the words. I don't want to cry, but all of a sudden, I feel so sad.
"Oh God! Bells, don't cry. Please don't blame yourself!" Alice says and I can hear the helplessness in her voice.
"Ally, it's okay, I'm cool." I sniffle, wiping the tears away. It's going to be fine. "I'm going to wait this out." God, it's good to know that I have such great friends, a wonderful family, and Edward. "Everything will be alright." I thought as my confidence builds.
"Whoo! That's wonderful." Alice cheers. "There's the Bella I know and love. You're right. You wait it out, because everything is going to be fine. Don't let that prick get to you."
"I won't." Someone must've walked in, because Alice quickly told the person she'd be right there. "You have to go?"
"I don't want to," she whines. "I wanna keep talking to you, but duty calls. So we'll chat later?"
"Later, Ally." I chuckle as someone knocks on my door.
"Love you, Bells!"
"Love you too, Ally." We hang up and I pause my movie before going to get the door.
I sniffle, and dry my eyes with the end of my tank top. Passing the mirror near the door, I spruce up my cheeks, and fix my messy ponytail. I don't want to look like shit even if I feel like it. Grasping the doorknob as the cordless in my hand, rings, I make a quick decision to both answer the phone and get the door. "Hello?" I open the door while Edward's sweet voice comes on the line, but it's who's standing there in front of me that holds my attention. James.
"Hey," James says as Edward speaks in my ear.
"Bella? Are you there?" Edward's velvety voice slices through my shock long enough for me to respond.
"Hey, what's up?"
"Nothing much," Edward says. "I wanted to see if you're okay. I know you said you'd call, but I guess I wanted to beat you to it. It's been really busy here, and I've just found the time to call and hear your lovely voice." I think I swooned at his explanation. God, I hate that it's James standing in front of me. I wish it were Edward instead.
The smirk on James's face isn't helping matters one bit. I want to smack him again. "Can I come in?" James says as he rudely takes a step forward. I block his path, my face falling into a scowl, but I try to keep it out of my voice so as not to alert Edward.
"Bella, is someone there?" Edward has given me the way out without even knowing it as my temper flares at the bastard standing before me.
"Yeah, there is, and I'm gonna get rid of them and call you right back, baby." James scowls as I say that, and I can't help but smile brightly.
"Alright then," Edward says suspiciously. I know he wants to say something else, but he's just holding back.
"Are you on break?" I ask Edward while James rolls his eyes.
"Yes." Edward replies.
"Good, then I'm gonna call you right back." James's nose flares and I smile broadly. "Bye, Edward."
"Bye, love," he whispers and my heart leaps.
Turn my attention to James, I ask in dark tone, "What do you want?" How dare he show up here?
"To talk to you," he says snidely. "Maybe if you apologize, I won't think about pressing charges."
"Go away, James, you've done enough." I try to shut the door in his face, but he shoves his foot in, stopping it. "Shouldn't you be at work?" I ask, my anger tethering on the edge.
"No, it's my day off," he says, smiling widely as if I cared. Is he mental? Why is he here then? Didn't he get me suspended?
If he's here to taunt me, I won't stand for it. "So you're here, because..." Maybe if I listen briefly, he'll go away.
He looks at me for a moment, a sly smirk playing across his lips. "Wow, Bella, is it just me or didn't we date?" he asks with a chuckle.
"Yeah, we did, but I guess I was deluding myself in thinking you weren't so much of a prick."
"And then came the insults."
I just want him to disappear, but James is a persistent son of a bitch. What did I ever see in him? I didn't know how someone can be so annoying. "Listen, James, I'm not in mood, so please, just go."
"I want to talk you, Bella," he insists. "How can I do that if I go?" I can hear the laughter in his voice, and it's all royally pissing me off.
"James. Go." I say in a more commanding tone, hoping that he'll take a hint and leave me the hell alone.
"No, I want to talk," he demands as I move to close my door again only to have him block it.
"Fine! What? What the fuck do you want to say?" Fuck not being pissed off, I'm mad as hell.
"Oooh, so hostile," he teases.
"Is this a joke to you?" I ask. "You know what, don't answer that; just leave me the hell alone."
This time, I get to slam the door in his face, but as soon as I walk away, James opens the door, and strolls in, making me regret not locking it. I throw my house phone down on the couch, turning to yell at him. "What the hell are you doing? Get out!"
"Not until we talk, Bella," he says calmly. Is he fucking insane? "Honestly, you've really changed. I mean, since you've started...slumming it with the younger crowd, you've become this..."
"Get out!" I shout, not wanting to hear another word out of his mouth. "I don't want to hear it! Because of your dumb ass, I embarrassed myself before my peers. I don't want to see you, or hear from you ever again! The only time we are to talk in sort of way is at work! Now get the fuck out!"
"Wow, I see your little lover has been teaching you a few things," he says, defiantly ignoring everything I've just said.
What the hell is his problem? "You know, James, we weren't together that long, so why all the craziness? Why did you give a shit about what I do?" I question, changing my tactic. Maybe if I ask, the fucker will just answer and disappear. Why did I answer the door?
"Why do I give a shit?" he repeats and then chuckles as if my question sounds absurd. "But, Bella, it burns me to see you with that little prick. Seeing you with Carlisle's little golden boy makes me want to vomit. What do you see on that charity case?" The disdain in his tone as he speaks of Edward and Carlisle reeks of something. Jealousy.
"Why I'm with Edward is none of your business. That's my personal life." I am not his concern. "But why are Edward and Carlisle your problem? What's the big deal with someone helping out another? I've worked with Edward, you've worked with him, he's got good potential. So what's your big issue?" There is something bugging James and I want to know what it is.
"It doesn't!" he yells, the lie evident in his rushed, enraged tone. "It's just unfair to other hardworking members of staff who can't get the props they rightfully deserve because everyone has to 'baby' Edward. He has it all. The nurses love him; Carlisle, you! You all love him. You pet him. You're all a bunch of gullible bastards, and he's eating it up!"
I can't believe it. James is jealous of Edward.
Wow! You really know how to pick 'em.
"What is your problem with Edward, James?" I say, wanting to hear him say it while I ignore my inner thoughts.
He chuckles. "What makes you think I've got a problem with him?"
I can't help but look at him like he's stupid. "Oh, I don't know, because you just said we're all a bunch of gullible bastards being fooled by Edward. So I can't help but think you may be jealous of him."
"Jealous? Jealous?" He scoffs. "I'm not jealous of your little boyfriend."
"Good." He may have said that, but he's having a hard time hiding his emotions. The guilt and jealousy are written all over his face. "Then you can go."
We have, what I can only describe as a stare off before James finally sighs and I hear a softness in his voice, I've never been privy to hearing before. "Bella, why are you with him?" The way he asks it, in that small, timid tone, it makes me almost forget the asshole he can be.
"Why do you care?" I counter.
"Because..." James starts.
"Bella, we could have had something good," he says in that same small voice. It almost sounds innocent; good.
"Like what, James?" What the hell is he talking about? Was I the only one present while we were dating? Did he not remember how he was? The memories of our time together and the deluded innocence he's displaying now, causes an incredulous laugh to bubble forth and expel from my lips. "You constantly insulted everything about me. My friends, my choices, even the way I speak and converse with others! Nothing I did, was ever right with you! I was always in the wrong. You were never supportive. It was all about you. Fuck what everyone else thought. I couldn't go on like that. I refused to continue that way. It wasn't my job to put up with your bad attitude and demeaning personality. I was supposed to be someone you were dating, not a fucking doormat for your snide ways!"
He bristles at my speech, and then shouts, "Well, if you had just listened, then things would've been different!"
"Oh really?" I fire back.
We are both furious, but James calms down a little to say, "Bella, we had something good."
Whatever James is getting at is making me very uncomfortable. "James...what we had, is over. We tried and it failed. I've moved on, and so should you. Now, please, go."
I turn my back to him, walking away. I'm not going to deal with this. This shit is giving me a headache.
However, James has other ideas. A strong grip on my forearm stops me as James yanks me back to him, spins me around as I yell, "What the...!" and plants his lips on mine.
The slam of his mouth on mine hurts, but I fight him off, shoving him away. He stumbles back and I scream at him, "What the hell is wrong with you?!"
His devilish grin makes me want to kick his ass all over again. How dare he comes over and tries this! "Just showing you what you're missing, baby."
"You sick son of a bitch!" I move to slap him across the face, but he stops my hand midair. His furious gaze is scary. It looks nothing like the man from work or the one I used to date. There is something behind his eyes, something sick and deviant.
"You slut!" he thunders, tightening his grip on my wrist to a point of pain. "You're the one going around with this kid and not a real man."
"Oh, a real man?" I shout, despite the pain shooting up in my arm. "Real men don't force themselves on women. And by the way, Edward is twenty-seven years old, you asshole! He's not a child."
"Oh really, you slutty bitch?" He sneers.
"You fuck! You know what, get out of here before I call the cops. As a matter of fact..." I wring my hand out of his grasp, pushing at his chest with enough force to make him stumble back. I pick my cell up off the coffee table and start to dial 911, but James yanks my phone away. "Give me my damn phone back and get out, James!" If I have to defend myself, I'm prepared to. Charlie and Jake taught me well. I won't let him hurt me without a fight.
"Not until you admit the truth," James says.
"What truth?" I shout, fed up with his confusing attitude. He's angry and jealous about Edward, who's just a medical student trying to make his mark in the medical world; not a resident like himself. Then he's wondering why we couldn't be anymore while admitting he's a fucked up control freak and now he wants me to admit the truth? The truth about what? Should James be seeking professional help? Maybe he needs a psychiatric evaluation.
"You are seeing Edward to make me jealous, aren't you?" he says. Definitely a psychiatric evaluation.
"James, my world doesn't revolve around you," I say, trying to make him see reason. "I'm doing whatever I want, and seeing whoever I want because I want to. Me. Edward is my choice and what I do, shouldn't affect you because it's not your life. Now, please, hand me my cell, and leave." I'm trying to be as calm as possible about this.
"You're lying," he says, taking a few steps forward.
"Don't you take another step," I say, warning him. If he tries anything...I swear to God.
"Or you'll what?" he challenges.
"You try that shit again, and you'll find out," I say in a defensive tone. I'm through playing nice. "I'm over you. What we had, didn't work out. We were too incompatible. So, do yourself a favor and leave. I'll even pretend like this shit didn't happen if you go now."
"You can pretend, Bells, but I won't," the gruff voice coming from behind us says.
Peering over James's shoulder, I see Emmett standing in my doorway; his face, murderous. Emmett walks in and closes the door behind him. His eyes are solely on James, and they are very angry.
"Now..." The pause Emmett takes and the rage flashing in his eyes is enough to make me want to jump back. "I think you should listen to what Bella is saying, and leave."
James scoffs then laughs at Emmett. "Shouldn't you be out serving and protecting or at least writing up traffic tickets?" James already knew about that Edward's brother is a cop. Most of the hospital knows, because Emmett is a frequent there. He drops by a lot, checking up on his brother and even stopping by to see his goddad, Carlisle.
James's snide comment makes me want to growl in anger, but Emmett doesn't even bat an eyelash at the rude statement. "And I can also arrest you for assault and trespassing," Emmett smiles with a dark chuckle. "We can do that too. But then again, maybe you want to do that, doc? To me, that's the only reason why you'd be here, harassing Bella."
Emmett walks over, coming to stand in front of me. His huge shoulders block me from James's view as James laughs, but there is a hint of nervousness to it. "You're bluffing," James says. He falters a bit and his chuckle is shaky. The confidence it held earlier on is getting weak, and I can't help but smirk.
"Well, make a move on my brother's girl again, and we'll find out," Emmett warns. His calm voice is very unnerving. He must freak the hell out the suspects he interrogates them while talking like this. I keep expecting the fun, jovial guy I've come to know to show up, but no, he's strong, threatening, and making James look like a small child afraid of the dark.
Emmett means business.
"Isn't this some sort of personal interest?" James questions cheekily.
"What do you care?' Emmett counters. "The only thing that should concern you is not getting arrested. Now, I believe the lady has something to say, and I think you should grant her request...or else. Bella?"
Taking the Emmett's cue, I walk out from behind his bulky figure, and with him to my back, I look at James and say, "James, please leave and don't ever come back here."
He looks between Emmett and me before throwing my cell, which Emmett catches effortlessly, scoffs and moves to the door. "See you at work, Dr. Swan," he says, stomping out and slamming it shut behind him.
"You cool, Bells?" Emmett asks in a softer tone; that playful guy making his appearance.
"I'm cool." I smile, and I really am. I'm glad Emmett is here. "Thanks a lot."
"Sure, anytime." He laughs. "So what's for lunch?" He asks, stalking off to my kitchen.
I laugh and shake my head; following him as I dial Edward's number.
Next: Edward learns of James's visit.