A/N: I'm so sorry for posting this so late. I had a lot of things to do because of college and some personal issues that I was dealing with. I hope you enjoy this chapter, we're getting closer to the next part of the story. Please leave me reviews, I love hearing from all of you. Reviews help me a lot!
Bella knew that she really did love Edward, but she didn't understand why things had to be so difficult with him. He was difficult and prone to various mood swings. She had seen the worst sides of his personality and yet still her heart loved him. She picked up her silver comb from the sink and brushed her wavy, brown hair. She looked into the mirror and her appearance seemed mature now. She wore more makeup and she was starting to feel more like a woman. She looked into her brown eyes that were reflecting back at her. They seemed drained. Was this how it was suppose to be when you loved someone? She didn't really understand, but she was tied to Edward. The bond between the two of them couldn't be severed. Bella wished that she didn't need Edward as much as she did because that way she couldn't get hurt.
Edward wanted her to go to some fancy black tie event with him. She knew that this was a big deal because they were going public with their relationship. She felt self-conscious; she would be around people who were much older and more powerful than she was. She hoped that she wouldn't embarrass Edward. She was wearing a purple colored, Marchesa gown that Edward had bought for her earlier. It was tight fitting and embroidered with silver beads on the bodice. It was a beautiful dress, but a part of her hated that fact that Edward had to buy her something. It didn't make her feel independent. She decided that she would pay him back for it because she wasn't going to be that kind of girl that relied on a guy for everything. She walked out of the bathroom and headed to Edward's room because she wanted to see if he was ready. The door was open. She saw him standing by his full-length mirror adjusting his tie. She admired him for a few seconds. He had a serious look on his face and he was pouting a little bit, he looked cute. She hated how he could make her feel as if she could melt. She quickly snapped out of her thoughts and walked over to where Edward was standing.
"Do you need some help?" She asked.
"I can do this Bella." He said sounding distracted.
"Okay then Edward." She said.
She walked over to his bed and sat down, her dress spilling off the bed in a pool of purple material. She dangled her feet that were clad in her black heels from Forever 21 above the floor. She suddenly felt bored and Edward seemed to be in one of his famous moods.
Edward was distracted by trying to fix his tie. He wanted everything to be perfect tonight because he was introducing Bella to his world. There were so many things he was worried about, especially Bella running into one of his many women again. Then there was the fact that Bella was 19 and everyone would just assume he was being like his father and they would judge him for that. It was so easy for him to forget that Bella was just 19 at times, but when it came to being out in public it became clearly visible. He looked at her from the mirror, she seemed a bit sad and bored. She had been that way ever since he came back. She would be happy and then she'd go back to being sad again. He hoped that he wasn't making her too miserable because that was never his intention. "Smile. It's going to be fun." He said trying to sound a bit charming.
She looked up at him and smiled slightly.
"It seems more nerve wracking than fun. Maybe you should just go and I can stay at home." She said sounding unsure about everything.
He quickly fixed his tie and then walked over to Bella. He took a seat next to her and reached for her tiny hand. Placing it in his.
"Isabella, look at me." He said.
Bella turned her face to look at Edward.
"What?" She asked softly.
"You look beautiful tonight. You shouldn't be nervous." He said caringly.
She smiled and then leaned in to kiss him on the lips. He kissed her back softly and then pulled away.
"Thank you Edward. You always know what to say."
Edward smirked a little.
"It's one of my many talents."
Bella held Edward's hand as they walked into the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel. She had always wanted to go to the famous Plaza Hotel and now she was finally here. She looked at the gold and cream color scheme. The walls had gold ornate patterns, which reminded her of old palaces in Europe that she had seen online once. There were people dressed in expensive couture gowns and tuxedos. It was as if Bella had just fallen into a scene from The Age Of Innocence with a modern twist. She turned to look at Edward who seemed uncharacteristically nervous.
"This place is beautiful." She whispered.
Edward nodded his head, but didn't say anything. He couldn't focus on the opulence of the Plaza Hotel right now because he was too concerned about what the night held for them. So many things could go wrong. He saw a familiar looking Brazilian model heading towards them, so he quickly pulled Bella out of her sight. Bella almost tripped when he pulled her. She looked up at him with a confused expression on her small, heart shaped face. Edward looked at her and then smiled sheepishly.
"Sorry I just wanted to avoid someone. Should I get us some champagne?" He asked.
"Ah champagne, but I must ask is this beautiful girl of yours allowed to drink, or is she under age?" A voice said.
Edward turned his head to see asked such an annoying question. He glared at the man when he noticed that it was his uncle Edwin. He was always after the Cullen fortune and Edward didn't trust him one bit. To him Edwin was probably worse than his father in some way and that was saying something. He watched as Avery walked up next to Edwin. It was no surprise to Edward that the two of them would be acquaintances.
"That's none of your business uncle." Edward said, trying to keep the fire out of his voice.
"It was just a question nephew. I see the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
"I have to agree with you. Bella is a student of mine."
Bella looked very uncomfortable and she looked down at her shoes. Edward let go of her hand. He felt disgusted with himself.
"Avery, don't you have a life to ruin? If you will excuse me I have more important people to talk to." Edward said casually.
"You look beautiful tonight Miss Swan." Avery said, sounding creepy.
Bella stared at him awkwardly.
"Um thanks Professor Avery, but I really should get something to drink." Bella said, politely excusing herself from the awkwardness.
Edward felt his blood boil. Nobody could speak to Bella that way, especially not Avery. He glared at the self-absorbed idiot.
"You said she was your student, so why don't you act responsible? I'm sure the university has strict rules against this kind of harassment." Edward said through gritted teeth.
With that, Edward turned on his heel and walked over to one of his employees that were standing close by. He knew something like this would happen. He was just at a black tie event, having fun with a college student. Bella knew that what Avery and Edward's uncle said had really pissed him off. She hated how easily other people could change his mind about things. She knew nobody at this party except for Edward and her self-absorbed, perverted English professor. That didn't really help her much right now. She walked over to the bar and ordered herself a Cosmopolitan. She watched as Edward was talking to a middle aged man. He seemed so calm and collected. She knew that he was upset, but he was always able to hide how he truly felt. She picked up her glass and took a small sip from it. She felt the warmth radiating from somebody's body next to her. She turned her head and saw a tall, blond model type woman, but she looked like she probably worked in the magazine world. Her hair was pin straight and fell down to her shoulders and she was around Edward's age. She looked at Bella as if she was trying to see through her.
"How old are you?" The woman asked.
Bella wondered why she would want to know, but it wasn't like anyone else was talking to her right now.
"I'm 19. Why do you ask?"
"What the hell?! You're basically a child. Oh I'm one of Edward's exes." She said casually.
She took out a cigarette and lit it. She seemed like the type of women who was completely content with herself. She took a puff from the cigarette and blew the smoke into Bella's face.
"Why does that not surprise me? Now when you say ex, don't you just mean you're some girl he use to screw? And I'm not a child." Bella said.
The woman laughed and shook her head.
"You'd like that wouldn't you, kid. Edward will destroy you. I fell in love with him after Tanya, he was such a mess. It will never work. We dated for about a year? But the only person Edward loves is himself. We hooked up a lot after that, I mean the sex was good, so we didn't see why that needed to end. That all ended a few months ago though and I guess you had something to do with it. Good luck little Bella, you'll need it." She said sounding not completely bitchy as Bella wished she would be. That way Bella could despise her.
Bella didn't know what to make of this whole situation. She quickly took another sip from her Cosmopolitan. She placed the glass back down on the table. Edward didn't tell her he dated someone after Tanya. He always said he never really loved anyone, but here was this woman saying that she loved him, but he didn't love her. Why did that sound so familiar to her?
"I um thank. What's your name?" Bella asked."Oh it's Ashley." She said with a shrug.
She looked over Bella's shoulder and waved to someone. Bella turned her head and saw some handsome looking man with a glass of scotch in his hand, which was looking at Ashley. She smiled a little at Bella then got up and walked over to the man. What else was Edward keeping from her? There were way too many skeletons in his closet and she wished they would all just stay in there. She turned her head to look for Edward, but she couldn't see him. She took out her phone and texted him.
Where are you? We need to talk-B
She waited a few minutes for him to reply. Her phone beeped, she quickly took it out and read Edward's text.
I'm in The Terrace Room and okay.
She sighed and then made her way through the crowd to find Edward.
***She walked to the room and saw Edward sitting on a white bench with a glass of scotch in his hand. He looked very angry about something. His emerald eyes stared off into the distance. He looked frozen like a perfectly molded statue. Bella sighed because she had a feeling she knew what it was about. She paused for a second and just looked at him. She would always care about him. She wanted to be that person that could make him smile when everything seemed to be falling apart. Bella was just terrified that Edward wouldn't love her back. Her mother once told her that sometimes in a relationship one person loved the other more. Maybe she was that person. She walked over to him and took a seat next to him.
"Edward, what's wrong?" She asked.
"Oh I'm just here with a college student and the whole world thinks I'm like my father." He said bitterly.
Bella arched a thin, brown eyebrow at him. He said that like it was the most disgusting thing in the world.
"You make it sound like you're committing a crime. You're not like him Edward! Nothing about us is like him and his girlfriend. You know that. What we have is real. You're not old enough to be my father, it's just 9 years." Bella said defensively.
"We know that Bella, but other people won't. Nobody is ever going to see that." He said as he shook his head and turned his head to look at her.
Bella reached for his hand and squeezed it.
"Edward, do you love me?" She asked, sounding very calm.
Edward looked into her brown eyes.
"Yes." He said.
Edward didn't need to think twice about that answer. Bella smiled slightly and held onto his hand tightly.
"Then that's all that matters. Age isn't an issue for us Edward, so let's not make it one because other people have a problem with it. If we're happy then it really doesn't matter." She said strongly.
Edward smiled as he looked at Bella, she looked so hopeful. She had this way of convincing him that what they had could be possible. That his past and their age difference didn't need to get in the way. Only she could make him feel this way and it was exactly why he had fought against it for so long. He leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her lips, she kissed him back and placed her small hand on his neck. He slipped his tongue into her mouth and slowly moved his tongue against hers. He wanted all of her, he just wanted to take her home and get away from everyone else. Bella reluctantly pulled away and looked at him, she seemed a bit hesitant.
"What's wrong?" He asked.
"Um who is Ashley? She said the two of you dated.." Bella said, as she avoided looking Edward in the eye.
Edward sighed. He really didn't feel like telling Bella about that disaster of a relationship. There were just some things that Bella wouldn't understand.
"We did, but let's not talk about that." He said as he looked away.
"Why not? You always keep things from me. I hate that."
He turned his head to look at her, why did they always fight?
"I'm not keeping it from you. I did care about her, but I was too messed up to make it work. It's part of my past Bella. You are my future." He said quickly.
"You better say that Edward. I don't want to fight with you, although if we did we could have make up sex." She said sounding seductive.
Edward smirked, that actually sounded like a good idea to him.
"Really?" He asked.
She nodded her head as she stood up and then walked up to him. She crawled onto his lap and wrapped her legs around him. Edward placed his hands on her hips; he wished they were back home right now. He wanted to rip that purple dress off her.
"I've been wanting to do that all week. We don't have to wait anymore Edward." She whispered into his ear.
"We don't, but do you remember what happened the last time?" He asked.
Bella pulled back slightly, so she could look into his eyes.
"I'm suppose to be saying that not you. Well if you don't leave again then it will be fine."
She pulled at his tie and gave him a naughty smile.
"I won't leave. I promise, but are you sure?" He asked.
Bella rolled her eyes and laughed.
"Of course I'm sure, I just want you so badly Edward. I can't take it anymore, just take me home already."
Edward smirked and nodded his head.
"Your wish is my command babe." He said smugly.
Edward's phone beeped, he quickly took it out and opened the text that he received. It was from an unknown number.
I wonder if Bella would want to sleep with you if she knew you were using her. It must suck for you since I know all your secrets and you don't know who I Am. -Your worst nightmare
Edward froze and then quickly put his phone back into his pocket. Could it be his father messing with him? Or was it someone else? They seemed to know what Bella and him were talking about. Bella couldn't find out the truth. He couldn't lose her now after everything they had been through. Bella had a confused look on her face.
"What happened?" She asked.
"Nothing. I think we should go home now." He said trying to sound calm.
"Are you sure? You seem upset." She said sounding concerned.
"Yes I am, but let's get going." He said quickly.
Bella got off him and smoothed out her dress. He looked around him, trying to see if anyone was spying on them. He reached for Bella's hand and quickly walked with her out of the room. He was in huge trouble now, somebody knew and that was dangerous for the two of them.
Avery had been watching Bella and Edward the whole time and he thought it was interesting to send Edward a text and scare him a bit. It was obvious after his jealousy tonight and the way he behaved after he received the text that he was in love with the girl. He always wanted to take away what Edward loved and now he finally could do that. Edward would lose his money, his job and his new love. Then he would know what it felt like to lose something he loved, just like how he had lost Tanya. It was all Edward's fault. It was a pity that Bella would have to pay the price, but to him it seemed fair enough.
Bella opened her eyes; she could feel the early morning rays of sun filtering into Edward's room through the shut blinds. She turned her head to see him looking at her, she laughed a little.
"Were you watching me sleep?" She asked.
He nodded his head and smiled.
"Maybe." He said casually.
"Stalker." She teased.
"Would you marry this stalker?"
Bella slowly got up and rested her head against the headboard.
"You're really in a joking mood this morning, aren't you?" She said, not taking him seriously.
"It's a fair enough question. Would you get married to me?" He asked.
"Probably, but this isn't exactly a good proposal." She said.
Edward smirked a little, it seemed like he had just won the lottery, or something. She somehow thought that he would never want to get married. She was happy that he saw a future with her in it, but it all seemed a bit - rushed.
"No of course not, I just wanted to know if that was something you'd consider."
"I mean if the time's right I don't see why not. I don't think I could be without you at this point. Although sometimes I wish I could." She said sounding vulnerable.
"What is that suppose to mean?"
Bella sighed and ran her fingers through her hair, how could she explain it to him? He would never understand her conflicting feelings.
"Nothing. It's just this - us hasn't exactly been the easiest thing in the world Edward. I mean in the beginning you basically hated me."
Edward seemed upset now; she could see it in his eyes.
"I never hated you Bella. I know it has been difficult, but it's getting better. I only acted that way because what we had was too strong for me to deal with at the time. I want you Bella and only you. Isn't that enough?" He asked.
Bella looked into his emerald green eyes that looked stormy at the moment. What they had was very strong and intense; she could understand why he acted that way. It was the same reason why she sometimes wished she didn't feel so strongly for Edward. It would be easier for both of them to move on and find simpler loves. One without age differences, complicated beginnings and a lot of fights. It would all be so easy and if the two of them were smart they would have done that. Bella would have never tried to get Edward to like her and Edward would have stayed away from Bella and found someone else, but in the face of true love being smart and logical just doesn't apply. You didn't just walk away because it hurt too much, or that it could difficult. Their love was all consuming and passionate. They simply could not walk away from each other.
"It's more than enough. This love could be the end of both of us, you do realize that don't you? It's not exactly safe." Bella said.
"Then we'll die happily and we'll say that we lived on the edge." He said.
The two of them looked into each other's eyes, there was no way out of this. The moment Bella stepped into Edward's house their fate was sealed. It was done and now they had to deal with what they had. Fate brings two people together, but it can also cruelly rip them apart... it's all about timing.