Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
The Denver International Airport was packed with holiday travelers. Their hassled nervousness made me feel on edge as I sat there waiting, knowing that the flight to Seattle would be canceled. I knew it as I glanced around at all the angry faces that were watching monitors and praying for a miracle. I knew better. I had traveled this path every December for the last six years. I knew that when the snow flew in Denver that the flights would be canceled.
I didn't bother to wait as I called the Marriott and reserved a room. I knew better. I knew that soon they would be booked, leaving travelers stuck in this good forsaken place over night. I made my arrangements and slowly made my way to the front since there was no hurry on my end, after all, the hotel shuttle wasn't going anywhere in the snow storm that was raging outside. It was on this long wait of bypassing stranded travelers that I saw her.
She was wearing a bright red winter coat that made her stand out of the crowd as if everything around her was in black and white. I may not have seen her in six years, but I would know my former wife anywhere. I would know the sound of her footsteps out a crowd of a thousand. I would know her soft laugh. I would know her anywhere.
I watched her as she spoke into her cell phone, oblivious to everyone around her. She looked more beautiful than what I had remembered, with her soft brown hair cut to a sassy bob that was hiding half of her face. I could see from my distance that she was frustrated as she ended her call. It was odd to find myself falling back into my old pattern of wanting to know who she was speaking with and what had made her upset.
I found myself approaching her without thinking first, but this was my standard MO with Bella. I would react first and think later, but I couldn't stop myself even if I had tried. It was Bella, here in the flesh. I had moved away from Seattle to leave her alone, to leave her to rebuild a life I had destroyed. I had kept my promise that I had silently made to her the last night we spent together in her little townhouse while having dinner with our son after pleading for another chance. I had kept my promise that I would let Bella have the life she deserved and that was a life without me, no matter how much it hurt me. It was that promise which led me to accepting the position as a Professor at Northwestern's Medical School in Evanston, Illinois. It was good decision and I knew it even though it hurt. When I left Seattle for good I never looked back and to the best of my knowledge, Bella never watched me go either.
I walked closer to her, feeling that draw that was always there when it came to Bella. It was a warm sensation that I could not describe with words that only ever settled over me when Bella was near. It was odd to feel it sweep over me after six years of nothing. It left me feeling jittery with nerves as Bella finally looked up to see me standing before her.
"Edward?" she whispered softly in an uncertain voice as she looked at me as if she was seeing a ghost. Hell, to her I probably was a ghost, a ghost of bad marriages of the past.
"Bella," I said simply, forcing myself to smile as she watched me with a startled look while I cringed knowing that my smile was off.
"Oh my god, Edward," she said with a slight exclamation as she looked at me with a bright smile, as if she was actually pleased to see me. It was that pleased look that sent a zing of happiness through my system since I had never expected to see her happy to see me again.
Bella stepped forward as if she was going to hug me, but stopped abruptly as I watched her fumble for a moment before offering her hand in a friendly hand shake. I took her hand firmly in mind as I longed for a hug, but knew that a hand shake from my ex wife would have to do.
"What are you doing here?" I asked her, genuinely surprised to see her here in Denver, as I watched her fumble with her purse nervously. She looked at me with bright amber colored eyes that held laughter as she smiled.
"Seth asked me to come out, well, not me but he asked for the ring," she said with a proud tone that she always used when discussing our son. Seth had moved to Chicago not long after I had since he and Emily were going to Northwestern together. They lived in the dorms as Bella had wished until after graduation this past summer. I knew that he was close to asking Emily to marry him, but I had no idea that it was this close.
"That's great," I said with a smile as I watched her smile brighten over the idea. I knew Bella would be over the moon with the idea of Seth asking Emily to marry him. Bella was always over the moon when it came to Seth.
"Wait, what ring?" I asked her; uncertain as to why Seth had asked his mother for her help. It seemed out of character. Seth had grown quite independent while living in Chicago, away from Bella. It was also this move that had given me a chance to reconnect with my son. It was a long process, but I could honestly say now, five years later, Seth and I were good together. We had a good relationship and I was proud of it.
"He asked me for my ring, I mean your grandmother's ring," she said with a slight smile as I felt my heart drop in my chest over her words.
"I figured you would be fine with it. I mean, it is your family's ring and the next Cullen bride should wear it," she explained while the sick feeling inside of me grew.
"I should have asked you if that was ok," she said awkwardly as I struggled to right the sick look on my face.
"I offered it back to you at the divorce and you turned it down. I should have thought about you giving it to whomever you wanted as …" Bella stammered nervously as I shook my head no. I could not bear to hear her tell me how I would give that ring to my next wife. That ring was hers and would only ever be hers.
"No, Bella, it's fine. I'm just surprised that he wanted it, that's all," I said as I watched her awkwardness ease over the fakeness of my smile. This simple act made me sad, since I realized that the woman who had been my world, who knew me better than anyone else, now didn't know that I was pretending all was fine.
"Besides, it was your ring to do with as you want," I finished up with the same smile as she laughed softly while muttering something about a recycled ring that made no sense to me.
"It was always your ring," I finished awkwardly as I glanced at her left hand, almost expecting to still see the diamond ring gracing her finger, but of course it was bare.
"Well, not any more. Seth is going to ask Emily to marry him right before they leave for Seattle," she said happily as she shifted uncomfortably before me as the air around us settled with this warm tension.
"Where are you staying?" I blurted out nervously, as she chuckled at me, while I fought the urge to roll my eyes over my own stupidity.
"I haven't got a room yet, but I guess I should," she said as she gestured towards the near white-out of snow falling outside of the glass doors of the airport. I smiled as I explained that I thought the Marriot had rooms still as I had already booked mine for the night and with that the warm familiarity of our conversation started once more.
We talked as Bella searched for a room, while I bit back the offer to stay with me, since I knew she would take it the wrong way, but I just wanted more time with her. I knew the few minutes with her in the airport, discussing nothing and everything all at once, would never be enough for me. No amount of time with Bella would be enough and I was willing to damn the good effort I had placed on rebuilding my life without her just to for five more minutes in her presence.
"You could always stay with me," I offered in a voice that seemed too loud for the stillness of the air around us; as I listened to her tell me about the lack of rooms in whatever hotel she had just contacted.
"I…I couldn't," she stammered nervously as she looked at me with an expression that did not seem so much as shocked as it was distressed.
"I mean, it's a suit style room. There are two bedrooms so it's not like…" I stuttered nervously as I watched her looking at me with an apprehensive look on her beautiful face. I wanted her to understand that I was trying to be a gentleman. I needed her to see that I had changed since I had.
I had walked away from our marriage lost and alone. I had taken our time apart to discover what I could have done differently and really look at how I failed not only her, but myself. I had taken the last six years and rebuilt everything that I had lost in my life; my son, and my soul. The only item left untouched from my self-imposed "dark days", as I had come to call my days of falling apart, was my relationship Bella; but I had come to terms that I could never repair that. I had moved forward and attempted to find ways to honor her by treating others as how I should have treated her.
"I don't know Edward," she said softly as she looked away from me. I could see it wasn't discomfort that was stopping her from accepting my impromptu invitation, there was something else, but I couldn't tell you what it was since as always Bella continued to be a mystery to me.
"It's just one night, Bella. Just one night," I said softly as I looked at her, willing her to give me more time. I wanted to know her again. I wanted to know how life had treated her for the last six years. Seth never spoke of his mother and when he did it was sparingly. He knew me. He knew that I craved information on her and yet he never spoke a word, except to let me know that she was happy.
I watched as Bella seemed to sway back and forth over if she would agree to give me the gift of time. She would look at me with calculating eyes, as if she was trying to read me, measure me, yet there was something in her eyes that still held the same warmth that had always been there with Bella. I had missed that warmth. I had looked for that warmth in other women, yet never really found anything to replace those feelings, that look.
"Ok, fine, one night," she agreed with a soft nod as she looked at me with a soft smile, making my heart beat loudly in my chest like a man who had been granted his dying wish.
Thanks for reading! I am so glad that you are willing to take this journey with me since I do know how many people are not interested in sequels.
I want to thank Loopylouy992 and Ffaddward for pre reading this chapter. I also send out my love and thanks to Cejsmom and 3c Cullen for their support and awesome betaing skills.
This is just the first chapter in the future outtake or sequel if you will, of What's Done Cannot Be Undone…. Six years later.
Until next time…