DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN TWILIGHT

A/N: Wowwww! I got such a great response to this story so far, and I just posted the preface! I kept writing and rewriting this chapter until finally I just decided to post it.

Special thanks to: natashar, sarahlouise80, stormdog11, KaraLinda, and life death love for reviewing!


Wow! That Bella Swan! She's going places. First she's accepted to Harvard Law and then she's valedictorian.

Wow! That Bella Swan! She's 24 and a law graduate. Not to mention newly engaged. Her life is going to be so spectacular.

Wow! That Bella Ross! She's not only married to her college sweetheart but they seem to be happily married.

I clutched the sheets underneath me as tears started to fall.

Wow! That Bella Ross! Look at those bruises splotched all over her small body, the cover up smearing off her black eye, her lip that was busted open three days ago. Hear her crying as she pleas with her own husband to stop hurting her, her screams as pain spreads through her, her shaking at the thoughts of when he comes home. Isn't her life amazing?

I turned and looked out the window by me.

I want it all to stop. I thought. I want this all to stop, so much. I hopped off the bed and held onto my hip as it ached. There was a big suitcase on the floor resting in the corner of my closet. I dragged it out. Frantically, I picked up everything I needed, clothes, my toothbrush, etc. My phone read that it was 4:07. I knew Alex, my husband would be home soon. I knew he would yell at me for not having dinner ready. I knew he would just get mad at me. I knew I would breakdown and cry. I knew he would apologize and say how much he loves me. I knew I would forgive him because I upset him and it was my fault. I knew this whole process would happen again tomorrow. And this is why I had to leave him. I had to escape.

I shook with sobs as I sat down on the suitcase to zip it closed.

The familiar sound of his car pulling in made me jump.

Oh god, oh god, oh god.

My breathing accelerated as I slipped on shoes. I grabbed the handle of the suitcase and made sure I had my phone. The suitcase was bobbing down the stairs as I was hurrying down them. My eyes never strayed from the front door handle, right in front of me. My right foot touched down on the last step right as the door slowly opened.

"Bella!"

I froze. And then as if in slow motion I watched his head peer in and then his eyes make contact with mine. They traveled down to the luggage in my hand.

I was mute. I couldn't say a thing until I finally figured out how to speak again.

"I didn't go to one of the best colleges in the country to live this kind of life. I sit at home all day, waiting for you. I'm not your slave. I need to live the life that was destined to be lived." I paused. "You remember the day we met right?" I asked, softly. He slowly nodded. "I thought there was a connection, but it's not there anymore. And then the day you proposed to me?" I gulped, "You told me that you love me and that you could never hurt me." My fingers went up to my swollen lip and pressed softly on the gash. "You broke that promise, so many times." I spat. "And I want a divorce." I stepped off the flight of stairs. I closed my eyes and then eyed him. "If you dare try to hurt me and stop me from leaving, then I'll call the police." Without another word, I glided my wedding ring off my finger. I grabbed his hand and placed what I once treasured on his palm.

I walked away from his stunned face to the streets. I wouldn't take my car because I didn't know how to bring it with me, wherever I was going. We were right in the heart of Phoenix, with the airport only a half hour's walk away. I was going to miss Phoenix. We moved here to get away from the snowy north, because at the time it was winter. Surprisingly no tears fell as I walked. My phone didn't ring, ding, or bleep once. I must have been something to look at. The time flew by and I was walking into the airport. I ignored the stares that bore into my back.

I ran to the nearest airline desk and waited in line. I tapped my foot as I neared closer and closer. The line moved and I stepped forward until I was at the desk.

"Um, Ma'am, your lip is bleeding." The lady said softly to me. I immediately put my hand to cover the gash. She handed me a tissue and I took it, wiping my lip. I noticed she was staring at my black eye.

I smiled, "Thanks. One one-way ticket." I said simply.

"To where?" She asked as she glanced at her computer.

I looked around. "Well that depends. Whichever one is the next flight available."

She raised her eyebrows. "That would be New York City."

I grinned. New York. Hmm. It was meant to be. "Okay, I'll take it."

She printed out my ticket while I handed her my suitcase and then I paid her. I made my way into the terminal and only had to wait twenty minutes before the doors opened and they started to let us in.

I got onto the plane and sat down in my window seat and closed my eyes. Someone sat down next to me. I slowly opened my eyes to see a tan man with cropped black hair, staring at me with black eyes.

I looked away as he smiled at me.

"I'm guessing you're not going to New York for a vacation." I shook my head. "Neither am I." He sighed. "What are you escaping?"

I looked at him strangely. "What do you mean?"

"And she speaks!" He exclaimed. People turned and glared at him. He laughed and looked back at me. "You don't just go to live in New York, to just live there. You're leaving something." I stayed silent. "My father died." He said suddenly. "That's why I'm going. I understand if you don't want to tell me, if it's too personal."

I clicked my tongue and then turned to him. "I don't even know you."

He smirked and stuck a hand out. "Jacob Black."

I rolled my eyes. "Bella R-" I sighed. "Swan." I put my head in my hands. "I'm leaving my husband."

The plane started to take off.

Jake surveyed me. My black eye. My lip. The bruises that were visible on my arms. "He deserves to lose someone as wonderful as you."

I tried not to smile, but I failed.

"You're beautiful when you smile." He murmured.

And then for the rest of the ride we continued to talk about everything. I felt like I could trust him. I didn't know that within only three months, he would propose after our whirlwind romance. After only another four months we would be happily married.

I can't explain to anyone why I would move that fast into a relationship after what happened with my first marriage. I guess maybe it was because Jacob loved me and I could tell he had no desire to hurt me, and I craved to have that. But Jake also helped me heal and get over the abuse I endured. He helped me get through the divorce. He helped me trust again. We only knew each other seven months before we were married.

Six years ago, if you told me that the guy I met in the campus coffee shop would later end up hurting me the way he ha, I would have laughed. One year ago if you told that I would escape Arizona and meet a man on the way to New York, who I would later marry I would say you're on crack. One week ago if you told me I would get the much desired job at one of the law firms on the rise here in the city, I would have said, that could never happen.

Yet here I am with a white scar on my lip, a wedding ring from Jacob on my left hand, and waking up for my first day on the job.

"I need to get ready." I murmured as I kissed Jacob's cheek. He smiled as his eyes opened.

"Do you know what day it is?"

I grinned. "As a matter of fact I do, sir."

He grabbed my face in his hands and kissed me softly. "It's been a year since we first met." He said happily.

I breathed in deeply. "I'm so glad I took that plane."

He nodded. "So am I."

I trailed kisses up from his chest to his lips. "As much as I would love to celebrate right now, it would have to wait until I get home."

"I think I can wait."

I hopped off the bed. "Good because I need to get ready." He laughed as I hurried into the bathroom.

I quickly showered, got dressed, did my hair, put on light makeup, and then grabbed Jake's hand. "Come on, I hurried for you." I pouted. "I have 45 minutes until I have to be in the office. Let's go get coffee or go to a diner."

He grinned. "I would love that."

He put on clothes and then we walked out of the apartment. We ended up going to starbucks. We walked through the streets hand in hand as we sipped our drinks.

I checked the time. "Shit. Sorry, sweetie, but I have to go." I kissed him. "Love you!" I yelled as I walked away from me.

"Love you!" He yelled back. I smiled and walked to the office. It was up on the 12th floor of some building, I felt my stomach churn as the elevator moved up.

I reached the floor and went to the receptionist.

"Hello, I'm Isabella Swan."

Her face lit up. "Oh yes! Isabella! We finished your office this morning, but Mr. Cullen would like to see you first."

I nodded and I went to the secretary outside his office. She pressed a button. "Mr. Cullen? Isabella Swan is here." She looked up at me. "Go in."

"Thanks." I muttered as I went through the door.

"Ahh, Miss Swan." Mr. Cullen said as I sat down in front of him. Just like during my interview, I was dazzled by his brilliant emerald eyes. He was gorgeous.

"Mrs. Swan." I said politely. His eyes danced to my wedding ring.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know you were married." He laughed uncomfortably.

I shrugged. "A lot of people don't. Some of my family have no idea." I laughed. Jacob and I eloped, and we didn't really tell anyone besides my parents and it was up to them to tell people. We didn't think that many people would approve especially since I just divorced. I smiled. "Thank you so much Mr. Cullen-"

He chuckled, "No, thank you. I was in desperate need for an associate. And you seemed to be the best out of everyone who applied."

I gulped, "Really? I mean, I just graduated like two years ago, and I haven't done anything. I mean I was a law clerk during college and I did some work as paralegal-" I took a deep breath. "I'm so sorry, I'm rambling, aren't I?"

He nodded. "Yeah, you kind of are." He scratched his head. "You are one of a kind, Mrs. Swan."

I blushed. "Thank you."

"So why didn't you do any work as a licensed lawyer after school?"

I bit my lip. "Personal reasons. I just couldn't handle it at the time, I was in a bad relationship. I wasn't able to fully commit to a job." I smiled.

"I'm sorry to hear that." He murmured. "Allie will show you to your office."

I stood up and smoothed out my skirt. "Thank you again, for hiring me."

He looked up from papers. "My pleasure." He said with a grin on his face. I walked out and his secretary led me to my new office.


a/n: I always hate writing the beginning of stories, so I'm so sorry if this chapter is horrible...

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