After a forced marriage filled with violence, Bella escapes from Edward with their unborn child. Almost four years later, Edward has found her and their daughter and he refuses to let them go.
This story will contain domestic violence. Not graphic, but if you are not comfortable with that, please stop reading. Not all the chapters will contain abuse, and I will be sure to warn everyone at the beginning of the chapter where it will be. But if you are disturbed by it, please don't continue. There will also be language, underage drinking and implied sexual themes. Again, if you are not comfortable with it, please stop now.
"There are different kinds of love, but they all have the same aim: possession"
- Andre Gide
Prologue: Only the Beginning
Flashback: August 2002
It was the night of her eighteenth birthday. They'd just wrapped graduation a month ago, and she was out with friends at a finally-free-of-the-hell-that-is-school beach party. Despite it being nighttime, the Florida heat was in full force, and even though it was almost one in the morning, the party was still in full swing.
"So how does it feel to finally be legal?" Jessica asked, raising her cup to Bella. Bella stood in between her two friends from school, Angela and Jessica, at the makeshift bar.
Bella laughed in response. "It feels the same way it did yesterday when I was seventeen."
It hadn't really hit Bella yet that she was of the legal age, that in a month's time she would be leaving home to go to college and pursue her degree in photography. She tried not to dwell on that too much because whilst she was glad to finally go out on her own, she hated having to leave her mother behind. Bella's father passed away when she was eleven, leaving Bella's mother, Renee, to raise Bella on her own. Because they were all they had in the world, Bella and her mother were very close. But tonight was her birthday night, so she pushed all thoughts of her deceased father and college out of her mind and let herself enjoy this moment with her friends.
Jessica and Bella were not totally drunk, but they were getting there. Angela hadn't drunk any figuring someone had to be sober to get them home later.
"Look who showed up," Jessica said, pointing across a few yards from where they stood.
Looking up, Bella saw him.
He was talking to some guy, but his eyes were roaming over the crowd.
Bella and Edward had dated for a few weeks during high school. He was the boy every girl wanted. He was rich, handsome and drop dead gorgeous. With green eyes and reddish brown hair, he was every girl's fantasy guy.
He was also the unattainable guy.
Every girl had tried to make their move, but he never went for any of them - except Bella, and she hadn't even been trying. They were biology partners, and they'd hit it off right away. They shared a taste for similar books, music and movies. The relationship started well, but then another side of Edward came out. One day, he was the sweetest guy she'd ever met. The next, he was possessive, controlling and overbearing. Demanding to know where she was at all times and getting angry when she so much as looked at another guy, and if he called her and she didn't answer immediately, he would accuse her of cheating on him. He would try to dictate her every move and throw a tantrum if she dared see her other friends. He was controlling, and she refused to be controlled. They'd had more screaming matches than she cared to admit, till a few days ago she'd had enough and broke it off with him. She did like him, a lot, but the possessiveness was just too much.
Edward did not take it well.
He followed her and begged her to give him another chance, and when she refused, he got angry. Jessica and Angela knew Bella and Edward had dated and broken up, but they didn't know the real reason why. Bella never told them about Edward's violent nature or the rows they'd had. She just told them that they'd just fallen out of love.
She hadn't expected him to be here, but now that he was, she considered bailing so she wouldn't have to deal with him. But she didn't want Edward to think he had any control over her so she stayed. Turning her back on him, she focused instead on enjoying time with her friends.
"Let's play one tequila, two tequila," Jessica said, handing Bella a shot glass.
"Okay." Turning to Angela, Bella asked. "You'll drive, right?"
"Sure. My parents are home. If I come home smelling like alcohol, I can forget about college. They'll ship me off to a convent."
Bella's mother was working late, and Jessica's parents never cared when their daughter came home just that she did so they wouldn't have to spend money bailing her out of anything. A few minutes later, both girls were plowed, giggling at things that weren't even funny.
"What the hell are you doing?" Edward's voice came from behind her.
His voice made her jump, but before she could respond, he grabbed her hand and pulled her away from Jessica and Angela, who were laughing as Bella stumbled behind him. When they reached a distance away, he turned on her. His eyes were stormy, his jaw hard. Bella couldn't stop herself from getting an eyeful of him. Edward was handsome. She couldn't help but wish he had a personality to match it.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" he asked again.
"Who the fuck are you to think you can get in my business?" Bella snapped back. "Don't you remember? We are over."
His eyes blazed at her words. "We are not over," he seethed.
She tried to walk away from him, but he grabbed her arm and refused to let her go.
"Let me go," she said, twisting her hand from his.
"Why? So you can go over there and get drunk? Absolutely not, and what the hell are you wearing?" His eyes roamed over her black tank top and jeans. There it was again- his possessive nature. She didn't care how hot or sweet he was; she refused to be controlled by him.
"Fuck you!" With a final yank, she pulled her arm free and stalked away from him angrily.
"What's up with you and Edward?" Angela asked when Bella had returned. Jessica was gone, probably out searching for her next bottle of booze. "I thought you'd broken it off with him."
"I did," Bella said. Her tone stopped Angela from continuing.
As the night continued, Bella could feel Edward's eyes on her wherever she went. She tried to ignore him, but it was hard. She could feel his eyes burning a hole in the back of her head. He'd always hated her drinking.
A malicious thought occurred to her then. If he wanted to watch, why not give him a show?
She wanted to prove to him that he did not own her. As if right on cue, one of her high school classmates, Tyler, came next to her where she was sitting on the sand. Jessica was already making out with Mike Newton, another classmate, somewhere, and Angela was chatting up some of her friends from her old drama class. Tyler had been coming onto her all night. She'd ignored him, but now she decided to have a little fun. She waited for him to try to strike up a conversation with her, and this time instead of ignoring him, she talked to him. Briefly looking up, she saw Edward's eyes harden. He was talking to Ben, but his eyes never left her.
"So you excited for college?" Tyler asked, his hand grazing over hers. She tried not to pull away.
"Yeah. It should be good." She smiled at him.
He smiled back thinking he'd finally worn her down.
"What about you?" She began leaning into him, hoping to guide him along. Bella had never been a flirt. Edward was the first and only guy she'd ever dated, but the alcohol was making her do things she'd never do sober. Like flirt with Tyler while trying to piss Edward off purposefully.
Tyler swallowed thickly, and when he answered, his voice was shaky. She couldn't believe she was actually pulling it off.
"You bet. It would be nice to finally get out of my parents' house."
He leaned into her as well till they were just inches apart.
Then Tyler's lips pressed to hers. It was brief but it was enough.
"Bella, can I talk to you?" Edward's voice came from behind her. Turning around, she was surprised to see him standing there. She could feel the anger coming off of him in waves. If looks could kill, she would be six feet under.
"Tyler, excuse us," he said, turning to her companion.
At first, Tyler looked as though he would protest, but the glare on Edward's face said he was not to be crossed.
"I'll see you in a few Bella." Tyler stood and quickly walked away.
"What the fuck are you playing?" His voice was quiet and deadly. He stooped close to her. Bella couldn't believe that the guy she had shared books and movies with and liked a lot, who was sweet and had a smile that could brighten any day, had transformed into this asshole.
"Playing? I'm not playing anything. I'm just hoping to move on. Maybe you should too."
She tried standing up, but he stopped her by grabbing her arm and holding her in place. This was the second time for the night that Edward had put his hands on her. When they'd dated he would turn violent, often grabbing her or pushing her around, but Bella always fought back refusing to let him have any kind of power over her.
"We are not done," he snarled.
"Yes, we are. I don't know what the hell is your problem, but there is nothing between us anymore, so do us both a favor and leave me the hell alone."
She stood then, and even though he was pissed, he didn't stop her.
"It's not over," he said again as she walked away.
Without turning, she shot back the bird and a "Fuck you!"
As she walked away from him, their argument was over for the night, but Bella had no idea how much more there was to come. She had no idea of the marriage she would be forced into, or the torment she would face. Or of the child they would have together in the midst of it. She didn't know that when Edward said "It's not over," he meant it.
While studying SWRK, the topic of domestic violence and possessive boyfriends often come up. Some argue that a possessive/violent boyfriend can change, others believe differently. Whilst this story in no way reflects my opinions on it, some story ideas came to me so I penned them down. I know each of us have our own belief (that's okay no matter what it is) but please remember this is not based on any actual events or to be taken too seriously. This is fiction.
Here's hoping it caught your attention. If it did, please review and while reviewing, if it is okay, can you give me your opinion on the topic of possessive/violent boyfriends/husbands and if you believe they can change? I'm curious.
Special thanks to Project Team Beta, mcc101180 & thalia-csiny for proof-reading.
Till next time.