A/N: I own nothing.
Thanks to my beta EmmaLee rose and pre-reader Impressed :)
~Disenchantment, whether it is a minor disappointment or a major shock, is the signal that things are moving into transition in our lives. ~William Throsby Bridges.
"Bella?" I half asked, still needing confirmation that she was indeed Bella.
"Hey, Edward." The corners of her lips were drawn into a smile and surprisingly enough the smile seemed to be genuine.
For a second, I stammered, mentally cursing at the world that didn't provide a manual to deal with the woman who took you home when you were drunk.
"So how are you doing now? I hope you are okay." She was the first to break the silence.
"I 'm fine." The response had almost become like second nature to me these past months.
"I came here to thank you for what you did for me the other day," I said as I bent down to retrieve the bouquet of flowers I got her on my way there.
Siobhan would be so proud of me, if she could see me now!
"Aww, thank you. You didn't have to," she said softly. I could clearly see a pink color starting to tint her cheeks as her teeth embedded in her lower lip. She held the bouquet like it was her most treasured possession in the world. It didn't seem to matter to her that she was carrying what seemed to a million shopping bags and that they were about to spill their contents right here.
"Would you like to go inside? Have a drink, maybe?" Her face flushed more.
"I don't want to impose or trouble you. You must have tons of things to do," I told her while my hand busied itself running through my hair.
"You were no trouble a couple of days ago and you are certainly no trouble now."
"Well at least let me help you with your bags,"
"Thanks. That's very thoughtful of you."
That being said, I moved towards her to carry some of those bags for her. Her hand touched mine for a fraction of a second and I couldn't help but notice how soft and feminine her hands were. It was like she spent her entire day putting on all these expensive creams and lotions I saw in TV commercials. Actually, with a house like this, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't lift a finger to do a thing. She probably had a housekeeper or something. One more thing that didn't escape my notice was how she blushed all the time. The woman's cheeks were constantly red. It kinda looked good on her porcelain skin.
Once we got all the bags and our hands, untangled, she fished for her key in her bag. A minute later, we were inside.
"Umm, if you could just put the bags here on the couch," she muttered, gesturing with her hand towards a black leather couch that sat in the middle of the living room.
Placing her bags on the couch, I stood, feeling slightly out of place.
"Please sit down. I will be gone only for a moment to look for a vase for the flowers."
"It is okay. Take your time," I said, easing her slightly frantic speech.
I sat down on one of the chairs. My head lowered itself till I was staring at the pattern of the carpet, wishing I could lose myself in the red vines adorning her nude colored carpet. Lost in my own reverie, I almost didn't hear Bella coming back into the room.
"I am a total idiot," I heard her say.
"I forgot to ask you what you would like to drink," as she gave a small laugh.
"Would you like some wine?"
"I don't think I should be drinking anything alcoholic."
"Ohh yeah right. Well, how about some orange juice. I squeezed some this morning. I just don't like the carton type."
Well looks like she does some housework after all.
"Orange juice would be great. Thank you."
And she turned back to the kitchen.
Minutes later, she was back, handing me a glass of juice.
"So, how is your friend, Tyler?" she asked as she smoothed her yellow dress.
God he would love to hear that she asked about him.
"He is doing great. As a matter of fact, he would be so happy when he hears that you asked about him."
"Really? Why?" she chuckled.
I sipped on my juice as I pondered how to tell her that my best friend spent days dreaming about her breasts.
"You just made an impression on him," I smirked.
"Good impression, I hope."
"I'd say it was good."
As I tipped the glass back, I could clearly see how her eyes became transfixed on my left hand, particularly my wedding ring. She looked down when I caught her looking. Tension officially ruled the conversation, or lack thereof. It was obviousthat she wanted to ask about my wife but I suspect my tense shoulders and the manner in which my thumb rolled the ring around my finger gave her some warning.
Suddenly a shrill sound penetrated the awkward silence. It sounded like a phone ringing.
"That must be my cell phone," Bella whispered to no one in particular.
She extracted her cell phone from her bag and stared a bit at the screen.
"Umm I have to take this call. Sorry," her countenance truly expressed her sorrow at having received this call.
"It is okay," I reassured her.
Left alone, I scanned the room as an entertainment in my idleness.
Every bit of the room screamed "rich". The coffee table was made of cherry wood. The couch and the chairs were made of leather, the good kind that's smell could make you fall asleep on them. The carpet seemed so soft. There was a huge TV screen facing the couch.
I got up, still sipping on the juice and started to wander around. There was a fire place on the other end of the room. Its sight brought back a memory of Tanya. She wanted to have a fireplace just like that. It took her a while to be convinced that our decent-sized apartment could never accommodate a fireplace and that other apartments, which already contained fireplaces, were very expensive. She was petulant for a while but she relented when she discovered her new obsession with Jacuzzi bathtubs.
When I got closer to the fireplace, I could see a number of photos in frames, sitting there. There was one of a girl, about 6 or 7 standing on the beach with a woman in a hat behind her. Moving closer, anyone could tell that this was Bella. The same cheeky smile and brown hair tucked behind her ears. There was another one of her as a teenager standing in the snow. A third photo displayed an older Bella in a graduation cap and a diploma in her hand. I couldn't help but feel the tug of a smile at the visual chronicling of her life. My eyes wandered to the photo next in line.
It was obviously her wedding photo. She was wearing a sleeveless dress and a veil. I removed the frame from its spot on the fireplace and pulled it closer to my face. I got a sudden itch to see what her husband looked like. And boy I wish I hadn't done that!
The man standing next to Bella wore the same smug smile I dreamed about almost every night, the same one he sported that day in court when he showed off his Ivy League education in front of the judge and the jury. His white teeth and blue eyes shone in the photo the same way they did in the court room.
Bella was married to Michael Newton?
How could it be that this angel is married to the monster who helped my wife's murderer get away?
A million thoughts swirled in my head at the moment and I felt my breaths coming in short pants. My heart beat so loud in my chest I could almost hear it ringing in my ear.
I was brought out of my thoughts by a crashing sound. My glass of juice now lay in shards on the ground next to the bits and pieces of the wedding photo. The little bit of juice that hadn't made it to my digestive system now soiled Bella's wedding dress in the photo, as well as on Newton's face.
"Edward, what is going on?" I heard Bella call from the other room where she was still on the phone.
I panicked. My vocals weren't cooperating at the moment and it seemed like my lungs would give out any second now. I found myself opening the door to the house and running to my car. I started the engine in no time and soon I was looking at the house Bella shared with Newton for the last time.
Or so I thought.
Sorry for the big A/N here but I'd like to announce that I am putting this story on hiatus indefinitely. I am so sorry but I am no longer passionate about it as I was before. Writing new chapters have become a burden and that's not why I started writing. Writing should be fun and exciting. I just lost all enthusiasm for this story. I am so sorry about this. I had already made that decision before I had this chapter beta'ed but I thought it would be unfair to have a complete chapter and not post it even if I wasn't updating the story anytime soon. Maybe one day I will wake up feeling the urge to continue it but until then that's it for me.
So thank you for whoever favorited, reviewed or put my story on alert. You have made my day by a tiny click of your mouse. I love you all.
And I would like to thank my betas and pre-readers for their hard work.
Thank you all so much :)