A/N Hey guys *waves like a lunatic* sorry for the long wait. I could give you a thousand and one excuses and those in my group know that I have a lot going on, but I would like to take a small moment of your time to explain a few things. First off: guys trust that I know where I am taking this story. I have had the ending in mind since the very first chapter and while I do say this will have an HEA, no one knows how but me how this will all play out.
Second: I would like to thank you all for sticking with my craziness and slow updates. Your words of love and encouragement mean the world to me and remind me of why I love being a part of this wonderful fandom.
Third: I have MAJOR news! My first novella titled: ARDOR, will be out this summer and is the biggest reason for my slower updates. I am knee deep in second round of edits and loving every minute of it. My penname is, Elena M. Reyes and I have joined Malfunction Erotica as part of their team to release this baby. Ardor is on Goodreads so head on over and add me to your to read list!
Song for chapter: It's Been A While by Staind
I couldn't begin explaining to you how Jasper talked me into coming tonight. Maybe it was the guilt that I carried over how I'd broken Isabella's heart, or maybe it was the yearning I held to see her once more.
To me, it was a combination of both with a side of selfishness which pushed me to attend her event.
Alice and Jasper along with Emmett and Rosalie would also be attending tonight – every one of us was excited for different reasons, but with the same end goal in mind.
To see her shine.
My brother was coming tonight because he wanted to see the sister he'd lost, and at the time had no clue he'd hurt. It had taken a while for Emmett to see what his words had done on that night so many years ago while they'd visited. He wasn't too blame – not knowing what I had said and how his words had come across. Without wanting to, I think he had hammered the final nail on her coffin.
Though she'd never met Isabella, Rosalie shared something in common with my lost love. She was desperate to witness me fall at the feet of the woman I'd hurt. Rosalie, having had a relationship end horribly while younger – before she'd met my brother – knew what it was like to have your heart ripped out at that age. It was your typical love story gone wrong: she met a boy, fell in love, and gave him her all. All while he used her for nothing more than what was between her legs.
Rosalie still held anger inside of her, and felt connected to Isabella's pain because of it, thus dampening our relationship. She knew I was sorry, knew of my mother's influences and how my life had been manipulated because of Esme –- yet she still believed I deserve worse.
I don't blame her one bit.
Jasper, who had never been in Isabella's presence either, just wanted to see the woman both his best friend and his wife adored firsthand. For him the sun rose and set in Alice's capable hands, and any person who was special to his beloved deserved his respect and admiration.
Alice, on the other hand, wanted to celebrate her long lost best friend's success and start a hopeful reconciliation. After all, it was never her fault that there were now walls between them. If Ali had known the words I'd spoken on that retched day . . . fuck! Or the way I'd watched Bella fall apart after I basically called her replaceable in all our lives, how Alice would move on and never think of her again.
I ruined their friendship.
All because I was a coward who chose to hurt them both – my heart couldn't handle having Isabella close so Alice had to lose her too.
And finally, I was here to lie to rest any misgivings or wrongful thoughts I'd created. To lay my soul bare and show her the pitiful puppet I truly am, and was. Isabella deserved the truth: that the man she once loved was useless and wrong, to know how she has always lived in my heart, and that I would love her until the day I died.
"You ready to do this, Ed?" Alice's worried eyes spoke volumes. After confiding in her and taking her help to initiate my divorce from Jane, I was on a dangerous slope of emotions.
I was eager for it all to be over, and hopeful at the same that the she-devil would cooperate and not make a spectacle of what we were in the public's eye.
Not so much for me, but for my family. I have shamed them enough with the decisions I've made.
"Not really, but it's the right thing to do, Ali. I'm sure it won't be a warm reception – that more than likely I'll be kicked out, but I have to see her. Tell her I'm so fucking sorry for destroying myself, her, and our love." My heart involuntarily clenched as I spoke. I had no doubt in my mind that Isabella had moved on – I'd seen it with my own two eyes – but being faced with that reality once more was not something I was looking forward to.
"I'm proud of you." Alice grabbed my hands and gave them a squeeze. The shame of the position I was finding myself in hit me full force, and I pulled away as I scoffed. How could she so easily forget the friendship I'd cost her with my selfishness?
"Because you're sorry," she whispered as a lone tear escaped her eye.
"What the –" I began, but she quickly cut me off.
"Edward, it's written all over your face." Alice's compassion and her understanding were a stab to my heart. "The disgust, self-hatred, and your repent over what you and Mother," she sneered the last, "cost."
"Don't mention her. After the fight we had last night we are dead to each other!" So many angry words had been released; venom spewed as I'd torn into her for all she had done. Esme had become infuriated when I'd announced my divorce during dinner. Thank god for my siblings as they stood behind me, joining in when needed, and letting the woman who had given us life know how much we resented her and what she had caused in all of our lives.
Our father was a smart man for leaving her when he had.
"Do you know she had the nerve to approach Bella . . . she fucking –"
"I know, Edward. But brother, that's all in the past now. Esme can't control you. You are getting divorced, and possibly mending the one relationship that mattered to you. I know you still love Bella, and even if there can't be anything romantic between the two of you, you owe it to her to be the man she thought you were and that I see dying to come out."
"Thanks, Ali. You have no idea how much everyone's support has meant to me." My arms hugged her tight. This had been a long time coming and it felt good to believe we were becoming closer once more. "I don't deserve it –" She opened her mouth, but I held my hand over her lips. "I don't, and I could never truly make up for what I cost you . . . everyone, but I'll never stop trying."
"Oh, Edward." Her arms tightened around my middle while she sniffled into my shirt. Her body shook, and tears ran down my cheeks – it felt like a wall had been torn down between us.
Not that she'd ever treated me wrongly, even though I'd deserved it. The love we held as siblings was always present, but our closeness – her trust in me – had suffered.
This felt like starting anew.
"Come on," she wiped beneath my eyes, "let's go see our Bella."
We both walked out of that room on a lighter note and full of anxiousness. We were finally, after so many years and tragedies, going to see the one woman who we missed and loved.
Everyone was quiet as we drove toward the venue. Emmett had offered to drive us in his Hummer as it was the logical choice. Our large group would never have fit comfortably in any of our respectively smaller cars.
"We'll be sitting toward the center," Jasper offhandedly remarked, and I almost had a panic attack.
Isabella would have me removed the moment she saw me. I would never have my moment to beg for forgiveness and explain.
I began to protest. "Are you insane? She'll see us and we'll be booted – well, at least I will, for sure, be tossed out!"
"Edward, you need to relax. This isn't solely about you and your needs. We all risk getting shut out because of the anger she probably holds against us," Alice scolded, but nothing helped calm my nerves.
In hindsight, I was aware of my selfishness, but suddenly this felt too soon. I was nowhere near ready to face this demon.
"Calm your tits, Edward. The stage lights are bright and the place will packed to capacity," Rose snapped. "We get it, you want to have your moment with her – watch her sing, and enjoy having her in your presence again, but you aren't the only one."
"Look, Rose –-"
"We're here," Emmett interrupted and all heads in the car looked toward the front of Van Dykes.
Isabella's picture was the first thing I saw. It was my favorite shot of hers from the album cover: my girl sitting in a satin looking one-piece bathing suit. It molded to her every curve, and she looked ethereal. Her face was flawless with minimal make up on. She'd always been flawless. Even as a child her natural beauty had outshone the world's most coveted models. In this picture Isabella's eyes were bright and smoldering while she looked into the camera, and my heart clenched as thoughts and jealousy coursed through me.
Who had she been thinking about when the picture was taken?
Who held her heart at the moment; whose hands have cherished her flesh?
Her lips, those succulent morsels, were painted a ruby red that made my heart quicken in pace and caused my cock to harden. No one had ever affected me as she has, and no one ever will.
My family has asked me time and time again why I married Jane, and if she'd been a different type of woman would I be as hung up on Bella. Truth is that when I decided to marry Jane it was because of how she was. I wasn't under some false understanding that she was a good wholesome woman.
Jane was, and has always been, a bitch.
It all came down to believing she was what I'd deserved, and living with what had been presented – she was my punishment, and I took it with no false pretenses. We were doomed from the start, and I accepted my fate.
Looking at the giant poster before me, my reality screeches in my ear: I never deserved her. Isabella had always been beautiful, but this . . . this woman before me was perfection, and it was more than just physical. In her eyes there was warmth and the light that has been missing in my own. In her coquettish smile, my past, and what I would always dream was my future.
"She looks amazing," Rose and Alice gushed.
Jasper on the other hand watched me carefully, ready and waiting for me to breakdown.
My internal battles were staging a revolt, and the only thing I wanted to do at the moment was run. The realizations of my truths were making me dizzy.
I didn't deserve Isabella when we were younger, and now I deserved her even less so.
Edward is a wordy fucker and needed to get all this off his chest…next chapter shouldn't take as long as this one did and we will get to POV in the same chap. It's time for Edward to meet his biggest competition…hehehe!
Also, if you want to keep up to date with me and all my projects join Massy's Minions on Facebook and for all original work head on over and like Elena M. Reyes author(www. Facebook pages / Elena – M – Reyes / 595337763817997) page (don't forget to remove the spaces) for news on the release of my first book Ardor.Pssst, it's muy caliente!
Leave me some sugar…