Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and no copyright infringement is intended.

With that she walked back into the house with a slight limp, then I remembered about her visit to the hospital and her injury. I followed her quickly, resisting the urge to support her as she still had that limp.

"Is your ankle okay? My mom said that you'd hurt yourself."

She turned, anger flashing across her face. "Like you really care." The words stunned me.

"Bella, why are you being like this? I'm worried about you. "

"You seriously expect me to believe that? You ignore me, pretend like I meant nothing to you. Let's face it, you made it abundantly clear about how you felt about me. Add to that, what you thought that I was capable of doing to you, to us. So please do forgive me if I don't run into your open loving arms and pretend that this mess never happened. I'm sure that you have already given this same speech to Tanya. I'm guessing that she turned you down seeing as you're here now, me being second best and all that."

I was rendered speechless, how did she know about Tanya? My mouth refused to engage with my brain as it opened and closed. Then finally I was able to speak.

"Tanya? Why are you bringing her into this?" I stammered, this seemed to give her the opening and confirmation that she was looking for in her allegations.

"You know about my height, blond hair, blown up tits and oh yeah the one that you were fucking at the same time we got together. Only you never thought to tell me about it." Each of her words were laced with venom, and anger. I couldn't blame her for any of it. I knew at the time that I was playing with fire, it was only a matter of time before it burned me.

"Oh Tanya." Was all I could mutter under my breath. The look on Bella's face told me that she was serious and there was no avoiding the truth this time, now was the time for me to face the decisions I made and the consequences.

"Oh Tanya." She mocked me. "Is that all you have to say about her? I mean seriously you have whatever it was, fuck buddy or was it that she was your other secret girlfriend, and I find out from Jessica Stanley of all people." She paused for effect before continuing. "I bumped into her at the store yesterday, see she was being all nice and caring. I should've known that there was something wrong and walked away especially after everything that happened at the dance. But no, I was grateful for her not giving me the cold shoulder. Stupid Bella, really shoulda known better." She paused briefly and I could only watch as she went to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water, taking a long drink I watched her intently, my heart pounding like a freight train in my chest.

Her hand shook as she tried to calm whatever emotion she was feeling. It felt like forever before she continued. "Dearest darling Jessica just couldn't wait to tell me all the intimate details of your hook ups with Tanya. She assumed that I knew about it. But it seems that you truly are a master at keeping secrets. Obviously I was foolish enough to think that you wouldn't keep them from me. Look how easy it was to keep us a secret, that should've been some kind of warning. I told her that she was lying and just trying to stir up trouble. Only she went and proved it by calling Tanya who told me that it was true, all of it, every last word. I told her that she was making it up, lying to save face. But no, she told me only someone who knew you intimately would know."

"What do you mean?" I asked, almost afraid of the answer.

"That's not important now, just hearing her confirm it was enough for me." Her words came out in almost a whisper.

"Oh." Was all I could say.

She threw the glass against the wall, surprisingly I didn't flinch. "How could you?" Bella screamed as she walked away, keeping her back to me. I hated not being able to see her face and gauge her reaction. I needed to regain control of this, quickly.

"She was never my girlfriend, never. I ended it with her when I realized how I felt about you, I swear." I begged even though I knew that wasn't strictly true. I had no way of knowing exactly what Tanya had told her. Now was the time to try and do some damage limitation, but that would only compound the problem. Making a quick decision, I decided where better to start than the truth.

Taking a deep breath I spoke to her in a soft voice, hoping that it would calm the answer that was rolling off her in waves."Bella, please I love you. I came to tell you that I know the truth, it wasn't you that set that up at the dance, it…it was-" The words caught in my throat, how could I tell her that it was Tanya after what she just revealed. Taking a risk I stepped toward her. Reaching out I touched her arm, refusing to back down even though she flinched at my touch, her words cold. "Don't touch me." She spun around anger flaring in her eyes, it was mirrored in her voice but she retained that cold edge. "You come here and think that I will forgive you like that?" She snapped her fingers together. "It doesn't work like that anymore."

My hand recoiled, and head dropped as I fought back the emotions that were threatening to overwhelm me. "I'm sorry, I was wrong. It wasn't you that did anything wrong, I should have listened to you, given you to the time to speak but I was hurt. So desperately hurt Bella, you have to understand. I opened my heart to you, gave you everything I had and then that night happened, we both got hurt I see that now. It wasn't just me that was humiliated it was us. There is no way that I can go back and make things right, take back what I said. I wish there was, I really do. So many people were hurt. It wasn't you I know that now, if only I had listened to you."

Looking up at her, I saw a flicker of emotion cross her face and I went for the only words that I thought would get through to her. "I mean what I said, I do still love you Bella, I'm sorry for not believing you. It's just that after the dance, things happened, I…I…" The words caught in my throat, I wanted to open my heart and soul to her. Taking a moment I fought to continue. "I need you to listen to what I have to say, please?"

She nodded, and so I continued.

"The day after the dance, after we fought. Tanya called me, asked me to meet her. She needed a friend, but she tricked me, luring me to James." I heard her gasp at the mention of his name,but I continued. "He beat me up, not too badly, but enough to get his message across. Then they both told me that they had set up what happened, it was them. They laughed at me." My voice broke with emotion.

"Is that why you ended up on the beach?" She whispered.

Nodding slowly I found my voice , it was too much for me, I just couldn't cope with it. I hurt you, my family were going to be ashamed of me. It hurt to breathe, I just wanted it over, but I couldn't even get that right."

"Don't you dare say that." She snapped before her face crumbled closing the distance between us, wrapping her arms around me as I began to sob, allowing her embrace to swallow me up. Being so close to her was heaven, I inhaled her scent, closing my eyes so I could drink it in. Bella placed a series of kisses on the top of my head, murmuring into my hair that it would be okay.

How long we stayed like that was a mystery, just being so close it was hard not to pull her into my arms where she belonged. It felt stange to be the one being comforted. Eventually she asked the question that I had been expecting from her.

"Did you mean it? I mean, did you really want it to be over?"

I had thought about this long and hard since that night. Never really knowing what the answer was until now.

"I wanted the pain in my heart to stop. Everywhere I looked I saw us. I thought that you didn't want me anymore, that you were in on the whole thing. I was hurt, really badly hurt. You know this though, I've already told you this. It's taken me alot to be able to talk properly about any of this. So if you are asking me if I wanted to die that night, then-" I never got to finish that sentence as her fingers pressed on my lips, silencing the words that were about to be spoken. She pulled her hand away. It felt like forever just standing there looking into her eyes as she stared right into mine before she reached up and placed a soft and gentle kiss on my lips. I tried my hardest not to react but as she continued to kiss me it was hard not to. Her hands reached my for my hair and mine pulled her closer to me and I kissed her back, how I had missed her and it felt great to have her back where she belonged, in my arms.

"It hurt that night, the phone call and then racing to find you on the beach. I thought that I had lost you, and that I couldn't live with. I love you too Edward, but too much has happened. I was to blame for that night, and there is nothing that I regret more than not standing by your side and admitting the truth to everyone. But what's done is done. Maybe we were never meant to be together afterall. This whole mess is proof of that is it not? I hurt you so very badly, and now I am being paid back for that with interest. We are better off apart, forgetting that this whole mess ever happened."

"Bella, please? Think about it. Hell, I know that I did wrong but you were in the wrong too. We both made mistakes, stupid ones. We're both still here, together though, nothing can keep us apart if we don't want it to. I love you, I don't want to be with anyone else. We can put it behind us, can't we?"

Suddenly she pulled away from me while at the same time pushing me away from her. "No! We can't, you deserve better than that. I'm no good for you Edward, can't you see that? Us being together nearly cost you your life, and I couldn't live with myself if that had happened. I was confused.

"Bella, please? I meant it when I said that I still love you."

"Well you shouldn't." I looked at her and saw tears filling her eyes.

"Get out." Was all she said.

"I… I don't understand I thought you wanted this too? The messages, the song. I thought that you still loved me, that you wanted me to admit how I felt or walk away altogether and end this. " I was confused. "What happened? I thought that you wanted me to tell you that I loved you, I never stopped."

"All that was before I found out about you and her. Did you think that you can come here because it suits you? Edward, you stand here and tell me you are sorry, and I will forgive you? That I would fall back into your arms as if a magic wand had been waved?"

"I, erm..."

She stared at me, obviously expecting some form of answer.

"You cannot think that we could just go back to how it was, like nothing happened. I know that you have been through so much already, and that was because of me. I'm obviously not good for you if I could love you but hurt you like that."

My heart leapt to my throat. "I…I'm not good enough for you?"

"That's not what I said, please don't twist my words around. I'm not good for you, together we're a disaster waiting to happen. I mean, what will happen next? It's best if we leave it like this, remember what we had but walk away now before more damage is done."

I could feel the tears forming in my eyes, but I didn't care. I had to fight for her, for us. "Bella, please?" She said nothing as she walked to the door, pulling it open to make her point. Clearly she was fighting back her emotions, and I pushed on hoping that she would break down that final barrier. "Is this what you really want? Me to walk out that door and never come back? Did you not hear me when I told you repeatedly that I still love you? I've never been in love before. You're the first person I have felt this way about, and you will probably be the last. Please Bella, I know it sounds like I'm begging you here, but we can't give up on us. You didn't give up on us like I did, give us another chance to make it work."

Her face took on a calm mask, but knowing her like I did, I could tell that there was an internal war raging, which she was trying to win. I pushed on, hoping that something said would be the right thing.

"Remember, they tore us apart through their jealousy at us finding each other when the odds were against us. They hated us being happy, we shouldn't let them win, not if this is what we both want." I was hoping that my words would reach her somehow.

"I want you to leave." Were the only words she spoke.

I felt like my world was about to cave in on me at any moment."Okay, if I leave here now, that's it, forever. I won't, no, I can't come back again, no matter what.."

Her glassy eyes met mine. "Get out, now."

Authors notes: Hope you like this, I reworked what I had a lot with the help of etphonehome1

who stepped up and pre-read which helped me as I made the changes with each read through – thanks hun I really, REALLY do appreciate it.

I know that you were all concerned with Bella's sudden change toward him, but of course we didn't know what had gone on until he went to speak to her. Please don't hate me for this, there was no way for them to just kiss and make up after everything that had gone on. Plus if I had done that I think you would've felt cheated somewhat.

Edward is fighting for what he wants here, he loves Bella with all his heart and wants to make it right but it seems that the damage has been done. Secrets are never good and he kept a huge one with Tanya and that was always bound to come back and bite him…

Leave me your thoughts! Lou x x