AN: Again, this is not beta'd. I am just posting to get this story finished, that's my only goal here. There are approximately 4-5 more chapters left (including this one) and then there will be an Epilogue. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me through this crazy journey.
Ch 41: I Gave You All
That moment when… you know it's really over.
The Roaring 20's is our prom theme and I have to admit it's looking fan-fucking-tastic right about now in the Forks Elks Lodge.
The colors are red, black and gold and the backdrop has a shimmering three-dimensional effect using silver holographic curtains all around the walls with red and blue glowing lights. Tall Chicago building props stand prominent among the black silhouette flapper girls and gangster guy standees. The room will be dim and lit only with white Christmas lights strung across the ceiling and Mini City street lamps placed throughout the room.
The tables are covered with white fabric cloths and theme styles table runners. Bottles of water are set up at each table with personalized prom themed labels. The main stage is more of the same, keeping with the theme and mimics the photo marquee up front.
There is a large red roadster cutout that hides the bottom of the DJ booth that it looks as though he will be driving it while DJing. There is a long red velvet isle runner that starts at the entrance to the lodge and leads all the way inside the party room.
The photo props are set up in the main area before you walk into the party room with a 10 foot tall Chicago Marquee Arch. Accented with little blinking lights and our custom wording in bold block letters that read Roaring 20's and beneath it in a smaller font: Forks High Prom and the year of our graduating class. The Art Deco design looks elegant and is a great first impression of what's inside. Across the hall is an old fashioned mugshot background with height and measurement marks. It's there for people to take funny pictures on their phones and has two different cardboard props with our theme and school name printed across them.
The mugshot prop was Angela's idea and we had to fight with all the guys in student gov to not bring fake guns. Our principal made us cut out the guns from the black silhouette gangster standees as well as the long cigarette sticks from the flapper girls. We thought he was kidding until he stopped by this morning and threw a fit.
So that's what Jessica and I are currently tasked with while simultaneously barking out orders to freshmen student gov kids.
"So, how are you?" Jessica asks me while snipping the jagged edges off her now unarmed gangster.
I smile and do the same with my tobacco free flapper girl. "I'm good. Stop asking."
"Liar!" Jessica slaps her scissors down on the table between us. "You're starting to freak me out Pod-Bella. I want my friend back, not this shell of her. Be real with me, Bella. How the hell are you?"
I laugh and shake my head at her. "I'm okay as long as I keep myself busy and don't think about Edward. So thank you so much for ruining that for me." I playfully narrow my eyes at her.
"You're still coming tonight, right?" she grabs the scissors and gets back to work.
I nod. "Yep. Even got myself a date."
Jessica's head snaps up. "Seriously? Wow. Who?"
"Me." Rosalie waddles into the room that's currently lit with the sun from the uncovered windows.
All at once nearly everyone drops what they're doing and rushes to greet Rosalie excitedly. I smile big when she winks at me over the shoulders of everyone. I'm so glad she's here in Forks right now. I'm eternally grateful to Royce for setting everything up. Speaking of Royce I see him hiding out in the entrance area and jump up from my chair to meet him.
"Hiding's not really your style, King. What? You scared of a bunch of girls?" I tease him lightheartedly and let him pull me into a hug.
"Nah, I was just finishing up with a call from my mom." He says and pockets his phone.
"How is she doing? How are your brothers and sister?" I motion for him to sit with me on some nearby chairs.
He grins. "They're doing great actually. I never thought I'd see the day my mother pulled her shit together. This guy she's seeing has really turned things around. I was worried this was only a temporary thing but he and I talked it out a few days ago and he's legit. He wants to move everyone to his farm near Seattle."
"Wow!" My eyes widen. "Really?"
He nods. "I'll always be cautious but I have a good feeling about this guy. If it doesn't work out and my mom backslides then I'll push for full custody and bring them to Texas. Rosie's aunt and uncle are aware of my plans and have my back if it comes down to it. Rose is optimistic that it will be fine, but she's already planned out what kind of house she wants me to build her that has enough rooms for all of us." He grins like a love struck goofball right then and takes my hand. "I can never thank you enough, Bella."
I tilt my head in confusion. "For what?"
He gives me a look like I'm a dummy. "I don't think I would be where I am today if you hadn't helped me. I for sure would not have Rosie in my life right now, that girl is stubborn to the bone unless it's for you. I know she only gave me a chance because you vouched for me. I can never thank you enough, but just know what I will always have your back." He squeezes my hand and tilts my chin up to meet his eyes. "I mean it, Bella. I'm on your side."
"Don't make me cry." I whisper but I already feel the tears forming.
He pulls me to his chest and sighs. "He's such a fucking idiot."
"He's just hurting." I defend him.
"Yeah. He's in a real bad place right now but we can't help him if we won't let us. He has a lot of shit to work through and I just hope…"
I lean my forehead on his shoulder and hold my breath to keep from crying.
"I just hope he wakes up before it's too late." He pats my back. "I don't mean that in regards to your relationship, but to his own well being. He has a lot of skeletons in his closet and demons to fight. If he's smart he'll stay away from you until he's fought them and won."
"I don't like thinking of him doing that alone." I pull away from him and wipe the tear streaks from my face.
"He has to, Bella. We all have our own paths to follow and hurdles to jump. We can have help along the way but ultimately its something we have to complete ourselves." He pats my knees and juts his chin toward the party room. "Enough of the heavy. Rose says your prom theme has gangsters, right? I want to see these bad asses." He winks.
I laugh and stand with him. "We had to cut off their guns."
"What?" Royce gasps. "You emasculated them? Oh I bet you had fun with that." He nudges me with his shoulder and I playfully shove him before we enter the room and join Rosalie.
Chelsea Salvatore I gotta feelin'…
Tia Kebi That tonight's gonna be a good night!
Irina Denali That tonight's gonna be a good good niiiight!
Emmett McCarty Ooooooh hooooo!
Kate Stone LOL!
23 people like this.
Royce King Prom is overrated.
Rosalie Hale and yet you're still jealous you cant go.
Royce King with you, yes. Bella is a lucky girl.
Rosalie Hale Damn right she is!
Isabella Swan Don't worry Roy I'll bring her back in one piece ;)
Facebook EMAIL Notification:
Message to BellaSwan from Royce King
Royce King FYI I'm on standby if Rose gets tired
Isabella Swan I know. You told me like ten times.
Royce King Well here is 11.
Isabella Swan ugh I'm rolling my eyes
Royce King so is Jasper your date?
Isabella Swan What? No, Rose is. Jasper is bringing Heidi.
Royce King tell that big jock dude to stay off my woman.
Isabella Swan if you mean Emmett you're going to just have to suck it up because he's almost more protective than you when it comes to Rosalie.
Jasper Whitlock Still got room in the limo! Who's in?
Emmett McCarty Dude, how is there room? I have TWO dates. Remember?
Rosalie Hale yeah, and my fat ass takes up for two people.
Isabella Swan Rose, shut up. You're not even that big.
Rosalie Hale but I'm still big! You just said it yourself!
Emmett McCarty oh lord, is this what I have to look forward to tonight?
Kate Stone I thought you were full?
Jasper Whitlock Kate Stone we were but Austin's brother is letting him take his Mustang, so he and Jess are out.
Isabella Swan They gonna be knockin' boots! Right Jessica Stanely ? Haha!
Jessica Stanley Bella! You bitch I'm going to kill you my mom saw the notification!
Isabella Swan Oops
Kate Stone Okay then me and Pete are in if there's room!
Jasper Whitlock There's room! Welcome aboard!
Kate Stone Yay!
15 people like this.
Sitting at a booth inside Giovanni's Pizzeria with Rose, Emmett and Jasper, I find that I have truly come full circle. All those months ago I sat not at this particular booth, but in this same building with these same people. The difference is that none of us are who we were at that time anymore. It's as eye opening as it is remarkable and as sad as it is good. This could very well be the last time the four of us sit together like this.
It's unconventional for a pack of teenagers dressed to the nines in formal wear to be seated at a pizzeria. Especially one that hosts children's birthday parties and family coupon nights. But Rosalie was craving pizza and was willing to go by herself while we went out to some fancy place. Emmett said he was lucky to find himself such a cheap date and after an elbow to the side, we all piled into the booth we're sitting in now.
Everyone looks amazing tonight. Emmett and Jasper both wear fitted tuxes; Emmett's is accented with a royal blue cummerbund and Jasper's is red. Which is coincidental because my dress is red. Emmett chose royal blue with the intention of matching Rosalie—per her instructions—but at the last minute she decided she looked like a beached whale in blue and instead wore a black Greek-Goddess style chiffon gown with a crisscross patterned back. My suspicion is that she actually brought back-up dresses incase she changed her mind and poor Emmett was none the wiser.
Royce was more at ease to know they wouldn't be matching. It's more than obvious that Emmett cares for Rosalie a non-romantic way. That doesn't stop Royce from scowling whenever he hears Emmett's name, though.
My dress was bought nearly three months prior with the intention of knocking Edward off his feet. A scarlet jaw dropper with sheer lace insets to accentuate the sides and the back of the elegant silk gown. A graceful draped skirt leading to a flowing train and the show stopper… a neckline that plunges down so low my dad almost had a heart attack. He also refused to let me leave the house.
Rosalie all but attacks the waiter when he brings our extra large pizza out and places it on the stand in the middle of the table. Deep dish cheesy greatness. I'm eternally glad Rose chose this place.
"Say Cheetos!" Emmett calls out and we all look up with pepperoni laden slices halfway shoved in our mouths while he snaps several pictures with my digital camera.
"I will cut you!" Rosalie shrieks and smacks him on the shoulder numerous times. With each smack Emmett laughs harder.
I snatch my camera back and check to see how the picture came out. Just as suspected we all look like hungry hippos and I love it to pieces. I start to flip through the others I'd taken so far tonight and I cant stop the grin from spreading across my face. There is an upward angle picture taken by Jasper of me and Emmett standing in the limo and with our top halves out the sunroof waving our arms around like weirdos. Another is of Rosalie pretending to pick her nose, one of Jasper pretending like he knows how to dougie, and another of Kate kissing Pete's rosy cheek.
I click past a few more then pause when I go back one too far and see the last picture taken. It's of Edward. He's driving his car with his usual self-assured posture, one hand on the wheel and the other in my lap. The smirk on his face was priceless because I had told him not to smile as a trick to get him to smile. I loved those moments of shared innocence when it was just the two of us and no one else. No worries or cares or responsibilities or hard decisions…
I close my eyes and I feel like I'm there in the car right then. The wind flowing in from the open windows, cool against my skin and billowing up through my hair, his hand on my thigh crawling higher and higher until it's snug between my legs and teasing me. I can feel my breath catch, I can remember the John Mayer song playing on the radio, I can smell the salty scent of the ocean as we glided alongside it on the narrow two lane road.
"Bella…" I can remember his husky voice in my ear. "Bella…"
"Bella!" Rose shakes me full of impatience. "Ladies room por favor, I need help getting up."
I blink a few times and the florescent lights burn my retinas while the arcade games chime and whistle far too loud for comfort. My heart starts to pound and I quickly slide out of the booth behind Rose who is helped by Emmett.
She takes my hand and for a moment I lean on her instead of the other way around. It's not until we're closed up in the restroom that I exhale my held breath and lean over the sink. I feel like I'm going to hurl so I fumble with the lever and stick both my hands under the stream of cold water.
"Are you alright?" Rose watches me and stays where she is by the door. "For real, Bella. Tell me the truth."
I wave her off and croak, "I'm fine."
"The truth, Bella. How are you doing?"
"What do you want me to say, Rose?" I snap angrily. "That I'm the happiest I've ever been right now without the guy I love sitting out there waiting for me? That I'm having the time of my life despite the fact that this would have been the first and ONLY dance I would have been able to share with Edward? Do you want to hear about how I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest? Because if that's the truth you want then there it is!"
She purses her lips and frowns. "You sure you're not the pregnant hormonal one here?"
I roll my eyes, "Ha. Ha."
She snickers and waddles over to one of the stalls. "Get over yourself and help me get out of these spanx so I can pee."
"Oh goody, the best part of my night." I clap my hands together with mock enthusiasm.
"Sure is, cause this is the only ass you're getting tonight." She wiggles her butt at me.
We both burst out laughing and have to lean on each other to stay upright. When we start to calm down we laugh all over again.
It takes us over 45 minutes to take prom pictures and 30 of them were standing in line. Well, we stood in line and Rosalie sat in a chair that Emmett scooted forward each time we moved up closer to the photographer. When it was our turn we had many variations to accomplish before Rosalie was satisfied.
A group shot.
A shot of Emmett in the middle of me and Rose looking smug and proud of himself.
A best friends forever shot with me and Rosalie.
A Charlie's Angels shot with me, Rosalie and Kate.
A Charlie's Angels shot with Emmett, Jasper and Pete.
Another group shot with Jessica and Austin when Rose saw them pass by.
A shot of me, Rose, Jessica, and Kate.
Then we did it all over again with the mugshots. Those were really fun because Irina brought more photo props. One was a dry erase board which we wrote different crime offenses on for each of our mugshots. I write "baby mama drama" for Rose and she wrote "the infamous black widow" on mine.
By the time we get into the party area Rose is exhausted and wants to sit down. I contemplate texting Royce and decide to wait another half an hour before doing so. Despite being tired I can tell Rose is having a good time. Emmett is really good at making a person feel special and he is working overtime to keep her distracted whenever we're around people who are' anti-pregnant-teen-at-the-prom.' You would think he murdered someone and dared to show her face the way some of these people look at her. As long as they stay on their side of the room and don't upset my best friend I could careless how they feel.
"Ah! This is my jam!" Emmett shouts when—of all viral songs—Gangnam Style starts to play. He's not the only one hollering and making their way to the dance floor, however.
"Don't look at me, my butt is not leaving this chair. Take your other woman." Rose points at me when Emmett gives her puppy dog eyes.
"I'll stay back with her." Jasper assures us with a playful wink.
I smile in thanks and take Emmett's outstretched hand. Jasper's date is MIA and I'm pretty sure it's on purpose. I'd ditch him too if he ignored me the whole night the way he is her. You would almost think I was his date. He paid for my dinner and wouldn't let me chip in for the limo. Not to mention I'm pretty suspicious that he bought my corsage and gave it to Emmett to put on my wrist.
Emmett pulls us to the center of the dance floor and immediately starts to do hid own rendition of the Gangnam Style dance. I join in and laugh so hard my stomach hurts at the funny faces he makes. He has the most infectious happy and carefree vibes I have ever experienced. He is the perfect person to have as a dance partner. He never stops moving and grooving.
We throw our hands up in the air and shout with everyone else when another Billboard top ten song starts up. I would do anything to have Edward here with me now, but I highly doubt I'd be busting a move with him the way I am now with Emmett. Twirling and stomping and swaying and clapping… we do it all and lose track of time. We don't stop until a slow song sneaks in and we realize how hot and sweaty we are.
"May I interest my sweet Belly Boo in a cup of punch?" Emmett holds his arm out for me to take so we can exit the dance floor.
I take his arm and curtsy. "You may good sir."
He wiggles his brows. "You know when you dropped it low to the flow earlier I totally almost got a nip slip."
I throw my head back and laugh then gasp and cover my chest when I feel too exposed. The evil grin on Emmett's face is all the confirmation I need to know he got an eyeful. I lightly punch his arm and point to the table where our friends sit. He nods and we separate; he goes to get punch and I sit down.
"Having fun?" Rosalie winks at me. "You two are a perfect dance pair. Have you noticed that you two always end up dancing together whenever we have school dances? It's adorable."
"Wow," I lean back in my chair as it hits me that she's absolutely right. It is always me and Emmett who end up together at dances. How cool! "I never thought of that until now. I'm kinda sad this is the last dance we'll go to."
At my admission I immediately think of Edward and my heart squeezes in my chest. A tight pressure that almost takes the breath from me. I quickly avert my gaze to look anywhere else but at Rosalie's piercing stare. I don't want her sympathy and I especially don't want her to talk bad about Edward.
"So Jessica," I turn to her in an attempt to swiftly change the subject, "are you having a good time?"
"Yes ma'am. How are your feet? Those heels look amazing but they also look painful." She looks down at my shoes.
I stretch out the leg closest to her and admire the red patent leather open-toe pumps I got to match my dress. "I'm okay." I shrug. "I will admit I took them off during some of the songs though."
Emmett stops by to drop off my drink and then gets pulled back onto dance floor by a leggy blonde who I'm pretty sure is a sophomore. Jasper is already there with his date who I'm pretty sure dragged him there if the grimace on his face is anything to go by. Jessica looks at Austin and he stands to take her hand and pull her up from her seat. They join Emmett and the other slow dancers while Usher croons a sweet R&B ballad with a slow burning bass line.
I sigh and set my chin in hand while I contemplate why its even necessary to play slow music at dances. Are the solo folk supposed to dance alone? It's discriminating and I hate it. I turn to share this thought with Rosalie and my eyes widen.
"What?" She immediately starts wiping at her chin. "Do I have crumbs? I knew I shouldn't have eaten that stupid cookie." She swats at her chest and looks down for remnants of said cookie.
But that's not what grabbed my attention. It's the tall dark and devastatingly handsome Royce King in a tux sneaking up on an unsuspecting Rosalie. I remain quiet at his motion to do so with a finger against his lips and watch as he leans down and whispers something into Rosalie's ear.
The napkin she'd been wiping with falls from her hand and her wide gaze looks to me as if to ask for confirmation that this is reality. I nod my head with a smile and she turns in her seat to look up at Royce with a gasp.
"Who the hell are you and can we hurry and runaway together before my baby daddy finds out?" She presses a hand to her chest. "Seriously, if I wasn't the size of a whale right now I'd jump you."
I laugh at them and watch Rosalie take his hand. "You didn't really think I'd let my girl spend her entire prom with another guy, did you?" He says to her and kisses her hand then throws a wink over at me.
Speechless, Rosalie lets him guide her to the over occupied dance floor and I realize I am now the only person sitting at our table. I'm not the only person sitting in the whole room, but I am the only one who is sitting alone. I close my eyes and take a moment to imagine what it would have been like if Edward had been here with me.
He would wear a tux and like Royce it would be amazing. On Edward it would be twice as good because, well, he's Edward. We'd dance close and sway and he's whisper things in my ear and I'd smile and snuggle into the crook of her neck and shoulder. He'd want to leave early so he could rip the dress from me and I'd shriek and giggle and… and…
I open my eyes. I exhale. I am still alone.
My fingernails tap on the table top while I contemplate the best excuse to use in order to go home. I don't want to go to any of the after parties and as much fun as I've had tonight I still would have rather stayed home. I could be curled on the couch right now with junk food and Netflix. Instead I'm here alone and thinking about someone who is obviously not thinking about me. It makes me sad but it makes me mad even more.
I stand and gather my things.
"Bella!" Jasper's voice calls from somewhere behind me. "Hey, where are you going?"
"Home." I answer truthfully. "The limo can take me. It's like 15 minutes there and back and the rental is for the night and not the miles, right?" I really hope not or I'll have to call my dad and how embarrassing would that be?
"What? Why?" He literally jogs the rest of the way over to me. "Stay."
I raise my brow and search for his date. "Where is Heidi?"
"With her friends." He waves a hand over his shoulder in a way that tells me he could care less where she was.
"Do you even like her?" I question. "You've been blowing her off all night."
"I needed a date and she wanted to take the high school quarterback." He shrugs nonchalantly. "It is what it is."
I cross my arms and roll my eyes. "You're making me feel sorry for you for some odd reason."
He smiles broadly in that signature unrestrained manner of his and steps closer with a hand held out. "I would have asked you if I thought you'd say yes. So how about a dance instead?"
Instead of taking his hand I stare down at it as if it's covered in mud. "Uh…"
"Relax. We're friends, Bella. I'm not gonna ask you to marry me or anything." He teases.
I fake a small laugh and force myself to take his hand. "I'm only doing this so I can hold it over your head to let me leave afterward." I explain as he pulls me past people to a clear spot on the dance floor.
He nods his head and steps closer than I'm comfortable with. I don't like the feel of his hands on my waist even though I know he doesn't mean anything by it. I nudge his arms higher up with my elbows and try to calm down. There is no reason I should feel like I'm cheating on Edward because A.) I'm not; B.) Jasper and I are just friends, and most importantly, C.) Edward doesn't give a shit either way.
"Not sure if anyone's told you this, but…" Jasper leans in a little closer and says, "you looks stunning tonight, Bella Swan."
For some crazy reason I can't explain, his words bring tears to my eyes. I find myself shoving him away from me and running in the opposite direction. I feel bad for being so rude, but I'm about three seconds away from ugly crying and I want to be alone when I do so. Much to my annoyance, Jasper follows me but he's not the only one. I hear Rosalie call my name and then I see Royce coming in fast from the reflection in the glass exit doors. I pick up my pace and wipe away the first few drops of emotion from my face. Where the hell is our Limo driver?
"Bella, yo! Wait up!" Royce shouts and then his hand is at my arm and I'm gently pulled to a stop. "What happened? Did that asshole say something to you?" He throws a menacing look over my shoulder to who I assume is poor Jasper.
"No," I shake my head and bite down on my trembling lower lip. "It's just… I mean… Edward is supposed to be here, damn it!" I snap and then I break. I start to cry and I'm so glad Royce pulls me into a hug because it would have been awkward if I stood there crying like an idiot.
"I know, doll. I'm sorry." He pats my back and soon I'm pulled away from him and onto Rosalie's arms.
"I'm sorry I ruined your dance." I snivel into my hands with my forehead on her shoulder. "I just can't do it anymore, Rose. I can't pretend everything is okay."
"It's okay." She rubs my back.
"It's not. You and Royce deserve to have a prom together. I'm going to head home and you guys stay here, okay? I promise I'll be okay. I just need to be alone." I pull away from Rose and wipe under my eyes hoping my mascara hasn't smeared everywhere.
She shakes her head at me as if I've said something stupid. "Don't even try it. The fun songs are playing again so we are going to have fun and then we're getting more pizza!"
"Ew, really?" I wrinkle my nose. "We just had some like a few hours ago."
Royce makes a cut motion at his neck from behind Rosalie. I take it for the warning it is and agree with anything a hungry Rosalie says.
"Geez," she frowns, "at least pretend like you want to hang out with your best friend. It's not like this is the last time we'll be able to hangout like this or anything."
My cheeks burn and guilt rears its ugly head. I take her hand and we go back to the dance. I don't have as great a time as I did with Emmett, but it was time spent with my best friend and one should never take that granted. Right?
Unfortunately the problem with staying was that I was reminded that I was on clean-up duty. Jessica had so happily shared this with me moments before taking off early and skirting her own duties. I forbid Rosalie from helping me and send her and Royce home. The only reason she left without a fight was because good boy Jasper promised to get me home safe.
Is it wrong that I wanted to slug him for being so nice to me? I'm a horrible person, I know.
"Explain to me why the king of Prom is helping cleanup while the queen and all the royal minions are out partying?" I ask after we watch Rose and Royce drive away in the limo with Kate and Peter.
"Who said they were out partying?" His brow arches mischievously right before his phone beeps with an incoming text. "Ah, perfect timing." He types something back then tosses me a wink. "Said minions are on their way back for clean up."
My mouth falls open. "You're kidding me. No way could you swing that. You're Mr. Jasper Whitlock and all, but even you cant make a bunch of teens…"
The words die on my lips with the patter of leather shoes and pointy heels. I turn to see Emmett holding a box of trash bags and beside him the cute little sophomore. A few girls from the squad are present and, as their dates, a few of the football team. The place will be put away in no time.
"What, no queen Irina?" I retort with much sarcasm. I just may possibly be a little salty over the fact that she beat Jessica out by ten votes.
"She's coming." Jasper assures me and then with a hand on my shoulder he looks around and asks, "Where do we start, Captain?"
If there is one thing I've gotten good at since becoming cheer captain it was to boss people around. I immediately get to work and assign people to different parts of the room. I talk to the adult chaperones about returning equipment and decoration props and feel like an adult. I am an adult… I think.
With so many people helping out we finish cleaning up in record speed. As we walk outside, Jasper tries his hardest to get me to reconsider going to an after party.
"I don't like parties." I tell him while scrolling through my missed text messages from my mom, Rose, Jessica, and Kate.
They all think I should go to a party as well. What did they do? Group chat each other about different ways to harass me?
"That's not true," Jasper nudges my shoulder with his, "you forget I've partied with you more than once."
I shrug. "I'm over them now. Time to grow up."
"Bella," he speeds up to block my path and sets his hands on my arms, "you were always way too good for him. He didn't deserve you then and he doesn't deserve you now. Stop letting him effect your life like this. It's been weeks, Bella. Like nearly a month since you two broke up."
I glare at him. "What's your point?"
"Why are you still letting him get to you?"
I don't want to hurt Jasper's feelings by telling him that he doesn't understand because he's never been in love. Real love. His fling with Maria made him sad and morose for a week before he bounced back. Anyone who can move on that quickly was not really in love to begin with. In lust, I can believe. Love? No.
"Are you going to take me home or do I need to call my dad?" I pull away from his hands and cross my arms defensively.
The sound of tires rolling on asphalt and the deep bass from explicit rap music makes me turn around. My heart hitches into my throat at the sight of Edward's impala, but aside from the shock of his sudden appearance I'm more shocked to see the state of his car. Mud is caked onto the rims and undercarriage, dust and dirt coat the usually sparkling paint job, and top it off I think I see a dent on the hood. A small but noticeable dent like someone slammed a fist into it in a fit of rage.
"Shit." Jasper curses.
Irina hops out of the passenger side of his car and I feel sick to my stomach. This is where she's been? With my ex boyfriend? I'm about to explode until I see her reach over to push the seat forward and watch two guys I don't recognize step out. One of them pulls Irina to his side possessively and the other is rubbing his nose while inhaling deeply through it. The light trace of white powder above his lip gives him away and when I take a second glance at Irina and her date, I realize they're positively buzzing with pent up energy.
Irina's date calls out to one of the guys from our football team and jogs over to talk. I see a quick exchange between hands and dread seeps into my veins. No. Please no. Not here, not now.
The other guy is bent at the passenger side of Edward's car talking to him about God knows what but my bullshit meter hits a new high. He knew what today was and he knew I'd still be here because I was on prom committee.
"Bella." Jasper tries to take my hand but I slap his away and stomp toward Edward's car.
The guy talking looks me up and down and straightens up with an interested smile. "Hey cutie, you looking for a little fun tonight?" He winks at me conspiratorially and I shove him to the side and slide into the passenger seat.
"Drive." I snap at Edward.
"Get out." He snaps.
"Fuck you, you wanted this. Drive." I snap my seat belt into place—even though he does not have his on—and cross my arms defiantly and stare straight out the windshield.
"I got a long night ahead of me, baby. It's prom and lots of people want party favors." His monotone voice and blasé attitude grate on my nerves, but stay silent I remain where I am. I can feel his eyes on me as he peels out of the parking lot.
"Did you have a nice time with Jasper?" he spits out like a bad taste in his mouth.
"Did you with Alice?" I counter back just as spiteful.
From my peripheral I see him roll his eyes and sigh. "We're just friends."
"Same." I snap back.
Silence prevails as he drives. I don't know where he's taking us exactly but just being in the car with him gives me a physical peace I haven't felt in weeks. I wish I could say the same for my heart.
"Why did you get in my car?" he asks after a while, voice soft but rough.
I feel my eyes start to sting with held back emotion. How can he ask me that? Isn't it obvious? "Because I still fucking love you." My voice waivers, giving away my state of distress.
"Don't." He growls angrily. "Don't do that."
"Do what?" I sniffle and swipe under my eyes to check for smeared makeup.
He smacks the steering wheel. "Stop crying! You act like you give a damn that we broke up!"
"Excuse me?" Anger burns in me to the point where I start to suck in deep breaths and really cry. "How could you say that? I'm not the one who broke us up, it was you! I still love you!"
"You sure looked cozy with Jasper tonight." He turns to face me while hitting the gas pedal harder, speed increasing as if he's playing chicken with someone… with me.
"You have no right to say that." I whisper while I fight to gain back control of my emotions. "Not when you're the one who broke up with me while that bitch was in your apartment."
He hits the breaks suddenly and I fly foreword with hands slapping onto the dash. Wide eyed and breathless I turn to him incredulously as he skids to the side of the road. He's completely mad. Crazy. I genuinely start to feel afraid of him in that moment sitting in his car.
"Are you on something?" I ask gently so I don't upset him further.
He sets the car in park and turns in his seat to face me. He sets a hand down between us on the bench seat and leans forward so that his face in inches away from my own.
"He's a little secret I never told you…" his raspy voice is extra rough and I can now smell a light trace of alcohol. Whiskey perhaps. He leans in closer, "I'm—always—on—something."
My entire body starts to shake. "I never really knew you, did I?"
I flinch when he moves to slide a finger down the side of my face and I catch the look of hurt before he quickly masks it. "You knew a version of me that no longer exists." He lifts my chin so that we lock eyes. "I really did try for you, Bella… it just wasn't meant to be."
My bottom lip trembles. "Why not?"
His brows wrinkle and his gaze moves to my mouth. "You were always too good for me. I just needed someone to remind me of that and they did."
I'm cut off when he pulls back to his side of the car and peels back out onto the road. We barely miss sideswiping a minivan and my heart leaps into my throat.
"Please slow down." I say, but my words are drowned out by the sound of the engine as he hits the accelerator to go faster. I watch our speed climb from 45 to 60… 70… 80…
"Edward, please." I try again, begging this time. We're on the back roads of Forks, its only a two lane and it's the middle of the night. The minivan was the only other vehicle I'd seen for miles… miles? Where the hell were we going?
Our speed rises to 100 and my fingers turn white as they grip the door and my seat belt. Edward always drove fast but I'd always felt as if he'd had control of his driving. I do not feel that way right now and my stomach was twisting into knots.
"Edward…" I cry his name with quivering lips. "Edward, please slow down. You're scaring me."
"You want to know something else I never told you?" I says, eyes straight ahead and both hands on the wheel while maintaining a reckless speed. "A few weeks before we ended up in that laundry room? Carlisle had me tested… it runs in the family after all." He laughs bitterly as we roar down the road.
I know what he's going to say, but I let him say it out loud.
"I used to be able to keep it at bay, you know? Smoke some weed when I'm up, swallow an upper when I'm down…" he shrugs as if he's not talking about controlling a mental disorder with street drugs. "Then you came into my life and I swear to god, Bella… you made everything better." He slows his speed only to squeal around a curb and I start to feel sick again when I realize we're back on regular streets.
"You had to know, Bella there is no way you didn't fucking know." He shakes his head at me incredulously.
I lick my lips as I continue to cling to my seatbelt. "I suspected it a few times."
He nods like I've given the correct answer. "We lasted longer than I ever could have imagined. I became so mixed up in you and us that I forgot about all the reasons we don't work." He slows the car little by little and with each decrease in speed I feel my heart relax to a more suitable level.
He doesn't answer, instead he drives quietly until we finally pull to a slow stop. I look outside to see my house. I don't want this to end yet, I'm terrified to leave this car for the last time.
"Reasons don't matter if you really love someone." I whisper.
He shakes his head. "Not true." He wipes a shaky hand over his face. "Not fucking true."
I look to him. "Why not?"
"Because…" he looks to me regretfully. "Because I love you so much it hurts." He presses a hand against his chest over his heart. "And it's not enough to make me better." A single tear trickles down his face and immediately I start to cry upon seeing the raw emotion in his eyes.
"Oh God, Edward." I rip the belt from my lap and throw myself across the seat to pull him into my arms. His face buries in my neck and his arms tighten around my back as his shoulders shake and his breath hitches. "I love you so much. You will never know how much of me is yours."
A gut wrenching sob escapes him. I pull his face up to mine and kiss him with all my heart. My tears mix with as our kiss grows more frantic. I don't know when I was pulled onto his lap, but I do know who initiated sex. It was me and I wasn't sorry about it. It was the only way I knew how to feel close to him in a way that wouldn't make him push me away.
Yes, we were outside my house when it happened. No, I was not thinking about anyone catching us. All I thought about was him. Edward. All I could comprehend was the sound of his breathing, the rip of my underwear and the frantic pull of his zipper.
We were frantic and rough, as if every touch was the last and every kiss was sacred. Too soon his body shook beneath me and I tightened my hold on him. His lips in the crook of my neck pressed kisses as my fingers combed through his hair. I held him and he held me and as the seconds passed I knew…
I knew we were really over.
Rip the earth in two with your mind
And seal the urge which ensues with brass wires
I never meant you any harm
But your tears feel warm as they fall on my forearms
But close my eyes for a while
And force from the world a patient smile
And how can you say that your truth is better than ours?
Shoulder to shoulder, now brother, we carry no arms
And the blind man sleeps in the doorway, his home
If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy I could have won
But I gave you all
I gave you all
I gave you all
I Gave You All – Mumford and Sons