Disclaimer: It's all Stephenie's. I own nothing of Twilight only this little plotline.

~Interlude~

Living a Lie

Edward gripped the arms of the chair until he felt pain radiating up his arms from the effort to keep still. His world was spinning as he tried to make sense of his mother's words.

"I deceived you both." Esme said weeping into her hands. Edward had never seen his mom be other than cool, composed and well put together. The disheveled emotional woman in front of him was a stranger. Her lack of control scared him.

"What the fuck is going on mom." His patience was gone slowly being replaced by anger as a hint of the truth began bubbling in his brain.

"Edward, this is so hard to explain. I love you both so much. I never ever wanted either of you to know the truth about my past. I kept it hidden hoping we could live our happy lives and we were happy, oh Edward, our lives were good until…"

"Until what? Until what?"

"I was married before I met your dad um, Carlisle. I was so young and alone just away for my freshman year in college when I met Edward Masen."

The name meant nothing to Edward, except that they shared the same first name and his middle name was Masen…oh, fuck no! His breathing grew harsh as he glared at Esme. What could he say? No words came to mind as he listened to her ramble on.

"We married when I was just eighteen, a quick ceremony at the clerk's office in Seattle. Ed was much older. He was a professor, my English professor actually. I quit school after my freshman year at his request."

"But you graduated summa cum laude" Edward said, puzzled. She waved her hand at him.

"That came later after I married Carlisle. He encouraged me to return after you were born."

"So everything I thought I knew is a lie" Edward shook his head as if sorting through memories looking for truth.

"No Edward most is true. I just left a few details out."

"Well fill me in mom, I think those few details are pretty monumental. Tell me more." He couldn't hide his resentment.

"Ed and I, let's just say our relationship was short-lived. I realized soon after that I never really loved him. I had married out of sheer loneliness and asked for an annulment after we'd only been married a couple of months. I guess Ed realized the same thing and we quietly separated. Only a handful of people ever knew that we were ever together.

Late that summer I met your dad um, Carlisle. I fell for him so fast but I worried that I was repeating my earlier mistake with your fa… Ed. After a few months it was clear we were destined to spend our lives together. He asked me to marry him and I did.

This time it was a lavish family affair and that's what I wanted. Carlisle was and is the love of my life." Overwhelmed by tears Esme sobbed unashamedly.

"I wanted to forget I was ever married to anyone but Carlisle. I never told him about Ed. I thought I'd be able to erase him from my past but that turned out to be foolish thinking.

About a month after we were married we received a letter from the clerk's office indicating they needed proof of the dissolution of my marriage to Ed before they could officially record my marriage to your dad. Carlisle never knew about the letter and I went into a panic. I let Ed handle all of the details of our annulment and I assumed he'd filed official papers but that appeared not to be the case."

Esme paused leaning back in her chair exhausted by the need to tell this story something she'd prayed she'd never have to confess. She closed her eyes gathering the strength for the last and worst part.

"We still lived close to campus and Ed had never moved out of the house he'd lived in since before he met me and that we'd shared during our brief marriage. Of course I didn't know that until I sought him out knocking on his door one night when I knew Carlisle had late classes hoping he still lived there. I'm not sure what I expected but the sight of Ed shocked me.

He was gaunt and this frightened me thinking he was ill. But that's not what was gnawing at him. He still loved me and let me go hoping I'd come back. As a result the annulment papers were never filed. When I didn't return to him and Ed heard news of my marriage to Carlisle he fell into a deep depression. Ed had taken a sabbatical for the semester initially intending to spend time with me but instead he'd remained closeted in his apartment wallowing in his loss.

When I appeared on his doorstep, I think for a moment he believed I'd returned as he'd hoped. Ed confessed his feelings and begged me to return to him. I regretted coming in person giving him any hope of reconciliation. In any case, I made it clear to Ed that my main reason for coming there was to convince him to file the papers so my marriage to Carlisle would be official.

Ed was desolate. His sadness ate at me. After all I still did care for him but not in the way he needed."

Esme breathed deeply gazing at her beautiful son. Would he ever be her baby after what she said next? Esme continued,

"Be with me, he said. Just once more and I'll file the papers". I was young and foolish and so in love with Carlisle that I slept with Ed so I could keep my secret. The papers were filed within weeks and my marriage to Carlisle was finally official. I honestly thought I had put everything behind me."

Edward stared at his mother as if she were stranger. In some respect it was as if he was watching a movie and the events Esme described had nothing to do with him. Nothing felt real.

"I was overjoyed when I realized I was pregnant. Carlisle too could not be happier. Our lives together were perfect and when you were born the love between the two of us only grew stronger. Everything was perfect but I carefully hid the truth. Anyone who knew Edward Masen would know by looking at you that you were his son or at the very minimum a close relative.

After I graduated we moved to Forks just in time for you to start school. I insisted on the move and Carlisle went along with my wishes. The small town environment suited us all until last year when everything fell apart."

Esme looked at Edward his head was down gazing at his clenched hands. How much more would he listen to before breaking? She thought.

"Do you remember the basketball tournament at UW last summer?" Edward nodded, his gaze still downcast.

"Carlisle and I drove up to see you with the Swans, Charlie and Renee. The stadium was packed with parents and students from all of the regional high schools. No one expected Forks High to go anywhere but you were just that good, Edward." He looked up briefly caught her smiling at him and managed a tiny smile in return recalling the tourney before his face clouded once again.

"Ed was there in the stands. I'm not sure why I thought he wouldn't still be teaching. It's what he loved best. They were announcing your team and you all strolled out as they called your names and then they got to you. EDWARD MASEN CULLEN blared over the speakers over the music and a lone man, a tall man like you stood abruptly staring at you. It was your father and he knew. Right then he knew what I'd done."

"You never told him?"

"No, I wanted to cut all connections. I thought it was better that he didn't know. It was selfish of me."

"Yes it was selfish. I can't image what he was thinking when he saw me for the first time." Edward said. Esme shrunk back stung by his comment. Edward was curious now. Curious about this man he resembled and who'd loved his mother so much.

"Ed scanned the masses of people until he found me. Our eyes met. His were cold with the knowledge of my lie, my betrayal. He is and was a good man Edward. I wanted to get out of there to avoid a confrontation. Until I said the words he would never know for sure that you were his. I dreaded having Carlisle know the truth so I told him I felt ill and we hurried down out of the stands but Ed blocked our way out."

"I want to meet our son Esme." Ed spat at me. His fists were clenched.

"Carlisle pushed me behind him and confronted Ed of course he had no idea who he was presuming this to be a case of mistaken identity.

"Sir, this is my wife. You've mistaken her for someone else." Carlisle spoke soothingly. "We'll be on our way." Carlisle moved to pass but was held in place by Ed's strong hand.

"Tell him Esme. You were my wife once and that is our child. Edward Masen Cullen is my son."

"Everything unraveled after that. I was forced to tell Carlisle the truth just as I'm telling you now. Ed agreed that he would not try and approach you until you were eighteen. Since that night my marriage has been in ruins. Carlisle can't stand to be near me and only returns to see you."

Edward now understood his dad and couldn't imagine what he'd been through.

"Well, I guess I've really learned a lot from you tonight mom probably the most important thing is that there are serious consequences to living a lie. I hope to God I never hurt a person and ruin lives the way you did both of my fathers. I'm in love, you know and I hope to never let him down."

Esme looked up at Edward sharply.

"Yeah, that's right mom, I'm gay. Get used to it."

Edward turned and loped to the door without another word leaving his devastated mother alone in the darkness.