Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or it's characters. I also do not own any of the songs/lyrics that may be used or mentioned throughout this story. They are all the property of their respective owners/writers/artists.

Wow! What great responses to the last chapter! I want to thank each and everyone one of you who read and reviewed! I am so pleased that you are all enjoying this story! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Hugs and squeezes to my beta Lynette! She's amazing! Booty slaps for pre-reader Gail! You ladies help me in more ways than you could ever imagine! I heart you both!

Now... let's see what happens with Bella and Edward...


Chapter 17

BPOV

The sound of a car door slamming awakens me with a start. I shoot straight up in bed, keeping my eyes closed and breathing heavily. My hands are shaking as they brush the sweat-soaked hair off my face. I will my heart to slow down, hoping a few deep and steady breaths will help dissipate the remnants of the God awful dream I just had.

I rub the sleep out of my eyes and slowly open my lids. It's dark in the room and I glance over to the left side of the bed in search of the clock, frowning when it's not there. I turn my head the other way and find it on the opposite side of the bed.

"What the hell?" I mutter into the pitch black room, totally confused, not only by the placement of the clock but by the time it displays. It's two in the afternoon.

Everything comes back into sharp focus as my eyes adjust to the darkness. I'm not in my condo in Seattle. I'm in my old room…in Forks.

It wasn't a dream.

"SHIT!"

I scramble out of bed and rush to the window. I need further proof that this is real. I mean, it simply can't be real. Edward and I aren't supposed to be apart. He wasn't supposed to find out about Victoria that way.

But he did.

I throw open the heavy curtain and pull the cord to raise the privacy blinds. The room instantly floods with light and I am greeted with the sight of my dad's back yard and the dense, overly green forest beyond.

The memories of the night before rush back into my head; the country music show, the crowd, the cheering, everything is a blur of cowboy boots and hats. All of it is background noise, except for meeting Edward's gaze in my mirror. The look of total shock, disbelief and betrayal is etched into my memory and I will never forget it; the sound of his voice, the hurt that spewed from his lips is all permanently embedded into my very soul. Then it's all blurry again.

I remember watching him leave the dressing room. I remember calling after him, but he just kept going. He was so fast that by the time I darted after him, he had disappeared. I remember sitting by his car for a while, but he never returned. I remember pulling myself up with the intention of heading home. Instead, I found myself at Edward's building riding the elevator to the thirty sixth floor. I only vaguely remember using the key he had given me only days before. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in his bedroom waiting for him, crying into his pillow.

At the time, I had no clue what I was going to say to him. I just wanted to tell him the whole story. I wanted to tell him how fucking sorry I was for not telling him sooner; to tell him I was the world's worst girlfriend in the history of girlfriends for not doing so. But he never gave me the chance. Instead he yelled at me, told me to leave. I refused. I yelled back. I asked over and over why he couldn't just listen to me. He answered me alright. He answered me by telling me he didn't know if everything was a lie. He didn't know what was real anymore.

That's when I broke down and left. I'm still not entirely sure how I managed to make the long drive to Forks in the state I had been in, but apparently I did. Charlie had somehow known I was coming and was waiting for me with open arms. He held me while I cried even more, awkwardly pushing my hair back and murmuring words of comfort. After a while he led me up to my old room where I passed out until now.

Sighing, I pull myself away from the window and head down to my car to grab my purse and phone. The voice of reason that is always present is still telling me that I need to call Alice and Rose to let them know where I'm at and why.

Stop kidding yourself; you want to see if Edward called.

I pull on my boots and trudge down the stairs. To my surprise, I am greeted by a tired looking Charlie as I enter the small living space.

"Hey, Bells, how are you feeling today?" He asks from his favorite recliner, his eyes barely straying from the sports program.

"Charlie, what are you doing here?" I'm shocked to say the least. The Chief is rarely home during normal weekday work hours.

"Well, last I checked this is still my house," he says in his quiet way. I can see the beginning of a smile poking out from under his moustache.

I roll my eyes at him. "Yes, I know that. I was just wondering why you weren't at work." I attempt to give him a smile back, but I suspect it falls short.

"I wasn't about to leave you alone, not in the state you were in when arrived here. Now, do you want to tell your old man the whole story?" he pried.

"Sure, I'll tell you everything, but not yet. I need a shower and a cup of coffee first," I answer him, trying to buy myself some extra time. That is not a conversation I look forward to having. "I also need to grab my phone from the car and let Alice and Rose know where I'm at."

"Okay, Bells."

An hour later I am showered and changed into an old t-shirt and sweatpants that I had left behind. During my shower, I had decided I was too chicken shit to call my two BFFs. I know they would try to get the entire story, and I can't fault them for that. However, I'm not up for that chat yet, so I merely text message them saying I wouldn't be home for the week and not to worry. I turn the phone off before I head back downstairs.

I meet Charlie in the kitchen and he passes me a steaming mug of coffee. The rich smell is inviting but slightly off.

"Charlie? What kind of coffee is this?" I inquire, blowing the steam across the surface in attempt to cool it down a bit.

"It's an Irish coffee, Bells. I figured you needed something a bit stronger today," he says with a wink.

I chuckle lightly and take a tentative sip of my beverage. The taste is surprisingly good; the bite of the whiskey is diminished by the smoothness of the cream and the sugar gives it just a hint of sweetness.

"Thanks," I tell him and take a larger sip. The warmth quickly spreads through my body, the alcohol giving me the false confidence to pour my heart out to my father.

I spend the next two hours telling Charlie about Edward and I. I tell him how we initially met, about our first kiss about our first date. I leave no detail spared, well except the 'X' rated ones. I tell my dad all about Victoria and how she fits into the story. Finally, I tell him about last night.

Charlie is quiet during the entire exchange. He nods his head in the right places, purses his lips whenever I mention something physical between Edward and I, and raises his eyebrows when I tell him how deeply, madly and irrevocably in love I am with the man whose apartment I had fled from the night before; the man who is also my boss.

Fresh tears flow down my cheeks as I end my story. Charlie hands me the box of tissues and reaches out to pat me on the knee. It's something he's always done; my father has never been one for a lot of words or emotions. When he does speak his mind, it's usually not something you'd want to ignore. So when he began to speak, I immediately sat up to listen.

"Bells, it seems to me that you have a lot of thinking to do before you head back. I think you should give this Edward character some distance," he says. I start to protest, but am quieted as he holds up a hand to continue. "I understand your need to explain things to him, I do honey, really. But as a man who's been lied to by a woman before, I have to say I wouldn't give you a chance to explain either."

"I don't understand, Dad," I sob. "Why don't I deserve a chance to explain?"

I really don't get it. Surely if Edward loves me the way he says he does, then my explanation will help things. I'm not stupid, I know I was wrong, I know he's hurting and I don't expect my side of things to change that. But fuck! I would like to think that he'd be able to see that I didn't set out to intentionally hurt him, that I really do love him and that's why it's been eating me alive not telling him.

"I didn't say that you didn't deserve the chance, just that I understand Edward's position," he huffs. His cheeks are red and his fingers play with the corner of his moustache. "Look, you've gotten yourself into a pickle…"

"Really Dad? I didn't already know that." I sniffle and wipe my nose, curious as to what he's going to say next.

"Yes, a pickle. Shit gets sliced up and left to marinate. When the time comes to open the jar- and it's not time yet, pickles need time to sit- anyways, when you open that jar, sometimes they're sweet and sometimes their sour. Only the depth of the spices can determine that."

"So, in other words, I need to back off and let Edward marinate?" I ask.

"Yes, exactly," Charlie beams at me. "That's exactly what you need to do."

"But what then? How do I know when it's time to open the jar? If I don't open the jar, then how do I know if it's sweet or sour?" I ask. I kind of understand what he means, sort of a convoluted 'only time will tell' thing.

"You'll know, Bells. Trust me, you'll know," he tells me. "I've got to get down to the station now, but I'll be back late this evening, alright?"

I nod my head and mumble some type of sentiment for him to have a good day.

Over the next two days, I stew around the house. Charlie works his normal hours while I sit at the window and try to figure out why I had let things get so fucked up. I don't head out in town; I don't want anyone to see me. I check my phone constantly to see if Edward has called or sent a message. I lost count of how many times I pick up my own phone to call him. I lost the nerve every time though. I do manage to speak with Alice once. I still don't give her any details, just telling her things were messed up and I'll be back on Monday. For once she doesn't push me for the details I'm still not ready to provide.

Before bed on Thursday night, Charlie finally steps in to interrupt my brooding. He isn't mean, but he basically tells me to do something, anything, or to take my depression back to Seattle. He's right, of course. I shouldn't just sit there all week long feeling sorry for myself. What good is that going to do?

I wake up the next morning, deciding to occupy myself by cleaning out the attic. It's something Charlie's been complaining about not having the time to do lately, so I figure what the hell. I should do something to show Charlie how much I appreciate him letting me hide out for a bit. And let's face it…I am hiding out.

Several hours later, I am covered in dust and am just about done. I have organized the small boxes of Christmas decorations, there's a large pile of junk to haul off to the local Goodwill and I found some old paintings done by my Grams that I fully intend on taking back to Seattle with me, with Charlie's permission of course.

After a quick lunch, I head back to finish the last corner of the dank room. There's an old dresser and some boxes, but there's something covered by a quilt, standing on its side behind the dresser, that catches my attention. I push, pull and shove until I get the dresser out of the way and reach for the quilt. Slowly, I pull it off the hidden object.

Oh my God!

I had totally forgotten about this! It's my old keyboard. Not just any keyboard, but a freaking awesome one with capabilities of recording not only the keys played but your voice as well. It's the exact same model as the one I have in Seattle. This one was a high school graduation gift from my mother, Renee, and her husband Phil.

When I first received it, I wanted nothing to do with it. It served as nothing but a reminder of the fact that my own mother had chosen to not be part of my life since I was a little girl. She had left when I was just a baby, leaving Charlie to care for me all alone. She had claimed she felt trapped and suffocated by small town life. She said bigger and better things were waiting for her and she just had to go in search of them. It was the single most selfish thing anyone I've ever known has ever done. Who leaves their baby and divorces their husband like that?

She would send me letters, cards, and gifts from her travels. She went everywhere from Alaska to Zimbabwe. Renee never stayed in once place for more than a few months and I can only remember her visiting a handful of times. She knew of my talent, she knew I could sing and knew that Charlie had let me take piano lessons. She knew I loved music. What she never bothered to find out though, was that I was incapable of sharing my music in public. She was so sure that I was going to be a famous singer/songwriter that she tried to push that dream of hers upon me with that keyboard. I resented her for that and left it up here in the attic when I moved to Seattle for school.

Of course, it was only a few months into college that I, myself, decided I needed the musical release and had purchased the exact same keyboard on my own. Sure, I could have just taken this one but at the time it was something that I needed to do for myself. Taking the one Renee gave me would have seemed like a handout at the time. Don't ask. I don't fully understand it either. I was young and stupid.

Now it seems that it's sort of a late blessing. Perhaps she had always been right about where my destiny lie. Who knows? All I know right now is that there is a keyboard and it's calling my name. Music is exactly what I need right now.

I dust off the equipment and set up the contraption as quickly as I can, plugging it in and sighing in relief that it works. Immediately notes and words begin to swirl around my head and through my fingers. I play for hours upon hours. I sing until my throat is sore and tears are streaming down my face. I pour every bit of hurt, pain and frustration into the music. The end results are sad, beautiful, complicated and nothing but truth.

I don't stop until I notice the room has darkened considerably. Peeking out the small window, I see that the sun is setting and the day has slipped by. I wipe the stray tears from my face and head back down to the main part of the house, happy to find that Charlie isn't home yet. I'm not embarrassed by what I was playing, but it's simply not something that I'm ready to share yet. Not even with my father.

Dinner that night isn't the quiet affair it has been the past few days. I tell Charlie what I did in the attic, telling him of my discovery. He smiled, obviously happy that I've found some way to let everything out. I couldn't help but to smile back.

Charlie heads to bed as soon as dinner is over, stating he would be up before the sun to go fishing. I itch to get back to the keyboard and play more, but I don't want to disturb Charlie either. Normally, I would plug in my headphones and iPod to the instrument, so I could play and record without disturbing anyone, but those items are in Seattle. Instead of waking Charlie, I sit down in my bed and start writing out lyrics. There's no structure to what I write at first, just little phrases here and there that didn't get the chance to be released earlier. Some of the words juxtapose themselves with music that I jot down as well. I write down some of what I had played earlier, adding parts for other instruments. I stay up all night writing and writing. I have three entire songs worth of lyrics and music by the time I pass out as, dawn breaks over the tree line.

I wake up a few hours later feeling ready to take on the world. I head straight up to the attic, not bothering with coffee or breakfast. Immediately I set to work playing the music I wrote down the night before. For the first time since I walked out of Edward's apartment, I felt…okay. After hours of playing and singing, I had all three songs recorded in their simplest form; just me and the keyboard.

The songs I record are soulful and painful. The lyrics about love lost, love found, not giving love up and the like. I can't help but to release my heart and soul into every song. I am hurting. I have been hurt. Yes, I know, I lied. I get that. Really, I do. But Edward lied too. He told he'd be there, he told me it didn't matter what secrets I had, and that fucking rips me apart every time I think about it. Because obviously, it did matter.

As the sun goes down, I switch to writing by hand again. I force myself to write happier songs tonight though. It's easy to dwell on the negative, especially when it's so fresh in my head, but at the same time I want to commemorate the happy as well. I stay up all night once again, writing more lyrics.

Sunday is spent in much the same fashion as Saturday. I play and sing until dinner time. I am visibly in a much better mood by the time I come downstairs. I can feel the smile that graces my face. Charlie simply smiles back at me; he doesn't bother asking a bunch of questions about what my songs are about. He gets it. It's like therapy to me. Even the highest paid shrink couldn't get emotions out of me like a song can.

After dinner, I head up to my room once again. I start throwing what few belongings I have with me into a bag. Tomorrow is Monday - tomorrow I'm supposed to head back to real life. I'm not so sure how to handle that yet. I have no idea how I'll act around Edward at work. Hell, I'm not even sure if I am capable of being around Edward just yet. Not if he's still as pissed off as he was last week. On top of all of that, Victoria has a standing gig with Breaking Dawn on Monday nights. Can I do that? Can I still perform as Victoria knowing all the shit it's caused already?

I have no clue. But I have all night to sleep on it.

EPOV

What a fucking week from hell.

I scrub a hand across my tired face and trudge out of the elevator and towards my office. I haven't slept much since last Monday, when I learned that Bella is really Victoria. Not even the long flights between Seattle and New York and back again could lull me into a sleep.

Of course, I can't place all of the blame for my lack of sleep on her, even if I really wanted to. Part of the blame goes to Marcus and the entire fucked up trip to New York. Marcus is the one who made me fly out after spending hours on the phone with him Monday morning. Marcus is the one who told me that Vamp Records Seattle is in danger of being closed down. Yes. Marcus is just as much to blame as Bella.

It's all bullshit too, the whole Vamp Records Seattle closing down. The powers that be don't think the Seattle office is pulling its weight in the star making business. Of course, it makes no difference that I've only been there a short period of time. All that matters is that it's under my command now and we haven't produced a platinum record worthy star from Seattle in years. It doesn't matter that I had nothing to do with the lack of performance out of this particular office over those years. What matters is that I'm here now and I need to fix this shit. Now.

You need Victoria.

Damn it! I do need Victoria, in the professional sense. But I can't, can't, do that. It's too personal and I sure as hell don't even deserve the chance to ask Bella if she'd want that. Not after the way I reacted when I learned her secret.

I slump into my office chair and hang my head back. I fucked up. I fucked up big time.

Yes, I freaked out when I saw that wig come off. I couldn't take it. All I could see was the lie. All I could think was that she lied to me. She was supposed to love me and all I could do was run. I should have known she'd come to find me though.

If I could take back everything I said to her that night, I would. I was a dick. I was angry and I was hurt. All I wanted was to be left alone for a while. Instead I lashed out and hurt the woman I love. I got onto the plane to New York the next morning still angry. But somewhere between the Pacific and the Atlantic, the anger dissipated and I was left with the reality of what had happened. I had been lied to, but I had also lied.

She told me there were things going on that she couldn't explain yet. She told me that she wanted to tell me everything. I told her she could keep her secrets. I told her that they wouldn't change the way I felt. I let her believe that it didn't matter. And then what did I do when that secret came out? I fucking turned and ran the other way. I didn't even give her the chance to explain why she did what she did.

I need to talk to her. I need to apologize for the way I reacted. I need to give her the chance to tell me the entire story. I need…her. I need a plan.

I sigh and sit up in my chair and glance at the clock. It's only seven. Bella won't be here for a while, so I start planning.

An hour later, I have a rough plan of what I want to do. When she gets in, I'll call her into my office. I'll have coffee ready for her and I'll just lay out all my cards. I'll tell her how much of an idiot I was to let her walk out my door, tell her what a prick I am to not to have let her explain things and what a humongous asshole I am for making her believe I doubt her love for me. I'll tell her how miserable I was in New York without her and how I ached to call her, go to her, every minute of every day.

I'm not planning on being the only one to be apologizing. I may be a dick for how I reacted, but there's still the reason why: Bella's secret identity. I figure I won't ask about it until I let her say her peace about it. I'm sure, as sure as the sky is blue, that she has a good reason for becoming Victoria. Sure, I have a ton of questions to ask her, but those can wait.

Lastly, I'll have to tell her what happened in New York. This is the part that worries me the most. I have to tell her that Vamp Records Seattle is in danger of being shut down; tell her that hundreds of jobs, hers and mine included, are at risk of being lost. Then I'll have to tell her the only way I can think of to save those jobs.

God, she's going to think I'm only apologizing to get her to sign a contract.

I bang my head on my desk a few times in frustration. "Please don't hate me, Bella," I mumble into wooden surface.

Steeling my resolve, I get up and head to the employee kitchen area to make Bella's coffee. I make myself a tea while I'm there and even manage to find the stash of 'Nilla Wafers she keeps on hand for me. I bring the tray back to the office and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And guess what? I wait some more.

The hours pass by and by lunchtime Bella still hasn't shown up. The phone on her desk rings constantly. My cell phone rings a few times, but none of the calls are from her. I turn on my automatic 'out of office' message on my email and voicemail and pick up my cell again.

I press the button to connect me to Bella. The voicemail picks up after one ring; I hang up only to try again only to get the same result. I sigh and wait for the beep so I can leave my message.

"Bella? It's Edward. Uh…you're not at work and…shit, Precious. This is all fucked up. This is not what I want. Just, call me, please. I'm worried and I miss you. Please Bella. I…I love you."

I pace in my office for a few moments, unsure what to do next. My hands grasp and pull at my hair. It hurts, but it's the only thing keeping me grounded for now. I'm worried. Really fucking worried. It's not like Bella to just not show up for work. She hasn't called or emailed me. She hasn't called the personnel department either; they would have sent a temp up already.

So where is she?

She's avoiding you.

Shit. She probably is. But still, something has to be up besides that. Bella is nothing if not professional. She probably would have called the temp agency herself if she was planning on not coming in.

Go find her.

Within minutes I'm out of my office and in the Volvo, weaving my way through the lunchtime traffic. Twenty minutes later, I pull up to Bella's building. When I get to her door I'm half out of my mind with worry. I bang and yell.

"BELLA! OPEN THE DOOR!"

I press my ear to the door and don't hear anything inside. I bang my fist harder against the wood.

"BELLA!"

I try the handle, hoping that the door might be unlocked. It's not of course.

I turn and lean back against the door. I have no idea where to look now. The next logical step would be to call Alice or Rosalie, but I don't have their numbers. I don't even know their last names to try and look them up.

I slump down to the floor, utterly defeated. I pull out my cell and try calling Bella yet again. And yet again I get nothing but voicemail. I send a text message and email to her as well. May as well cover all the bases I can, even if none of them are getting responses.

I leave an hour later, going back to my place. It's still early in the day; I know both Alice and Rosalie work full time, so they won't be home anytime soon. No point in hanging around in a hallway all day for nothing to happen.

As soon as I walk into my apartment, my phone buzzes. I whip it out and answer it without even looking at the caller ID.

"Hello? Bella?"

"Uh…no. Is this Edward Cullen?" A male voice asks. It's familiar, but I can't seem to place it.

"Yes, who's this?"

"Emmett, Emmett McCarty from the band Breaking Dawn. Uh…Victoria wanted me to call you…"

Oh thank fucking God!

"Victoria? Is she there? Is she with you? Is she okay? Let me talk to her," I spit out question after question, not giving him time to answer.

"Dude, chill. She just left. She wanted me to call you and tell you to be at The Switch tonight," he tells me. "She's had us busting our asses off learning some new songs, originals."

"Okay, I'll be there," I answer, duh of course I'll be there.

"Good, uh…show starts at eight. I guess we'll see you there."

"Yeah. Oh hey, Emmett?"

"Yeah man?"

"How was she? Seriously?" I have to know.

"Honestly dude, I don't know. She was excited about the new songs but seemed depressed at the same time. It's some seriously heavy, sad shit. But the vocals…dayum," he trails off.

I groan. "Ugh, that's what I was afraid of," I whisper, mostly to myself. "If you see her again, tell her I'll be there."

I hang up feeling like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, only to be replaced by a new one.

Bella's alright, physically at least. I sort of know why she didn't come to work; I just don't know why she didn't bother calling. I suppose she probably forgot. I saw the look on her face when she recorded her song to me. She completely immersed herself in the music once it started. I wouldn't be surprised to find that's the case here.

The new weight, however, is the knowledge that she's hurting just as much as I am. She told me, on our first date, that music is a release for her. If she's been releasing everything from last week into her music, then Emmett's right. It's got to be some seriously heavy and sad stuff.

~xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo~

I arrive at The Switch just before eight and secure a spot at the bar. I know damn well I could just waltz back to the dressing area if I wanted to, but I don't think that's a good idea. Not yet anyways.

The band starts promptly at eight. Victoria…Bella, does an amazing job as always. I am confused though. Emmett said Victoria had them working on originals, but what they're playing now is just more cover songs. I shrug it off and order another beer. To be honest, I'm quite content knowing that I am at least in the same fucking room as Bella right now. I have no clue how the rest of the night will play out, but I know I'll have my chance to talk to her.

The band ends their first set and I stay at the bar. A little while later they come back for their second set. I never move from my perch, simply waiting for something new. They still haven't done any original pieces. I watch as they head back through the crowd to take the stage for the final set of the night. Victoria's head turns in my direction and our eyes lock. She frowns briefly, but then gives me a ghost of a smile. Pain, sadness and nervousness flash through her eyes. I want to wipe them away, but I refrain.

The band takes the stage one last time and starts on their final set. They are still playing cover songs. I'm a little annoyed. I was looking forward to hearing another song Bella wrote. Just then Emmett's voice booms through the sound system and I see Victoria leave the stage.

"Hope you guys have enjoyed the show tonight!" He says to the audience. They scream back in response.

"Thank you, thank you!" Emmett chuckles. "We have one last song to perform tonight. This is a new one, written by Victoria."

The crowd screams and yells again. Victoria steps back onto the stage. She's followed by Ashley, the teacher from the Lighthouse Academy.

What the hell is Ashley doing here?

"Hi everyone," Victoria purrs into the microphone. My attention snaps back to her immediately though in my peripheral vision I see Ashley head to a microphone towards the back of the stage.

"Like Emmett said, this is an original. It's called 'Going Under' and I hope you like it."

Victoria nods once at Emmett and glances over her shoulder to the rest of the band.

I don't have to wait long to hear the song.

Now I will tell you what I've done for you
Fifty thousand tears I've cried.
Screaming, deceiving and bleeding for you
And you still won't hear me.
(Going under)
Don't want your hand this time - I'll save myself.
Maybe I'll wake up for once (wake up for once)
Not tormented daily defeated by you
Just when I thought I'd reached the bottom

I'm dying again
I'm going under (going under)
Drowning in you (drowning in you)
I'm falling forever (falling forever)
I've got to break through
I'm going under

Blurring and stirring - the truth and the lies.
(So I don't know what's real) So I don't know what's real and what's not (and what's not)
Always confusing the thoughts in my head
So I can't trust myself anymore

I'm dying again
I'm going under (going under)
Drowning in you (drowning in you)
I'm falling forever (falling forever)
I've got to break through

I'm...
So go on and scream
Scream at me I'm so far away (so far away)
I won't be broken again (again)
I've got to breathe - I can't keep going under

I'm dying again
I'm going under (going under)
Drowning in you (drowning in you)
I'm falling forever (falling forever)
I've got to break through

I'm going under (going under)
I'm going under (drowning in you)
I'm going under

As the song ends, I find myself standing right in front of the stage. I have no idea how I got here, but I don't care. I can see the tears glistening in Bella's eyes as she looks down at me.

"Shit, Precious. I fucked up," I say. There's no way she can hear me, but I don't care. I reach my hand up for her.

She grabs my hand and kneels down. She puts her hands on my shoulder and I move mine to her waist to pluck her off the stage. I crush her to me as hard as I can without breaking her in half.

"I missed you, Edward," she whispers in my ear. "I'm so fucking sorry."

"Shhh, baby. I'm sorry too," I tell her back. She clings on to me tighter.

Tears sting my eyes, but I don't give a shit though. I'm a real man. Real men have feelings too you know.

I pull back to look her in the face. Tears are streaming down her cheeks and I use my thumbs to wipe them away.

"Let's not do that shit again, okay?" I ask.

"Okay," she says shakily as she reaches up to play with my hair. "Edward?"

"Yes, love?"

"Kiss me."

Like she has to ask twice. My mouth devours her and I'm finally where I belong - in the arms of the woman I love, kissing the ever living shit out of her.


E/N: Love me. I just couldn't keep these two apart for long. Doesn't mean they won't still have some bumps in the road ahead!

I am currently working on chapter 18- sadly I have fallen behind as real life has gotten in the way. So please don't hate me if the next update is a few days late. That being said... let me know what you want or think should happen in chapter 18! I get inspiration from your reviews and PMs all the time!

Until next time... you can find me on twitter: (at)RobinsFF

Song:

"Going Under" by Evanescence

Lyrics with ( ) are being sung by Ashley.