Disclaimer: SM owns all recognizable characters. No copyright infringement is intended. The plot herein is mine. Abbymickey24, Xo Bella Italiana oX, beanothercullen and everyone who helped me with these chapters when time allowed it, thank you.

This story contains mature themes and is suitable for those eighteen and over. Thanks to christag_banners for making the awesome banner and letting me adopt it.

Inspiration for chaps and more can be found on story's blog. Just go through my main blog (address on my profile) and click on the 'A Better Tomorrow' link.

This is inspired by one of my favorite movies, "Sleeping with the Enemy"

Summary: Bella Swan leaves her abusive life behind as Marie Higginbotham-Carter to embark on a journey of finding her true self. When she gets stranded along the way, she discovers a love she never knew existed for her. J/B, matures themes.


The slam of the door woke me up.

I sat up in bed and looked around. Did Jasper forget something? He had become so scatterbrained over the last few days I wouldn't put it past him. With my delivery date drawing close, Jasper was going crazy. He was nervous and I was hoping that it was just a first time father thing. I hoped he wouldn't be like this when we had more kids since we both knew that our daughter would just be the first. We wanted a house full of kids. And I wanted him to be more levelheaded next time.

This was getting nuts! Jasper was forgetting things as simple as his keys or any one of his phones on a daily basis.

It stunned me; because as a doctor, he could remember the least thing about a patient's chart and as a ranch owner, he could remember anything that had to do with the ranch. But not his keys, phones, or laptop. No, those he forgot. Or so he said. Sometimes, I think it was just a ploy Jasper used so he could come home and check up on me since he had wholeheartedly agreed with my OB, Zafrina, about putting me on bed rest.

I had stubbornly disagreed. I was fine. Our little girl was fine.

But with the information Zafrina was privy to about my abusive past, she thought it was best. We had been working together to ensure a healthy pregnancy up until now and Zafrina called it 'finishing strong'.

When they had put it like that, I half agreed to behave and remain in bed. At least, I did when Jasper was home; because when he was here, I couldn't go anywhere. He waited on me hand and foot; especially nowadays, seeing as I was half way there and could go into labor any day now. Which made Jasper nervous. He was worried about everything that could go wrong, and all he wanted was what was best for me and our daughter and a safe delivery.

I got up and headed for the door; waddling out of the bedroom to go and see if I could help Jasper look for whatever it was he came back for. Even though I knew once we met face-to-face downstairs, he would send me back up here or escort me himself. But I was going to be stubborn and help him first.

Reaching the top of the stairs, I grabbed a hold of the railing, but before I placed my free hand on my lower back, my daughter kicked.

"Ow," I muttered, rubbing my tummy. "Come on, behave. We're just going to help daddy and then I'll get us something to eat."

She calmed and with a sigh, I supported my lower back and kept a good grip on the railing as I carefully descended the stairs.

Talking to our unborn daughter was Jasper's doing. I was following into his footsteps. But I have found it comforting to talk to her because it made me feel closer to her somehow.

When Jasper was home, he would talk to my stomach. He said he wanted her to know his voice. And the miraculous thing was, she responded. I would get kicks or feel movement whenever Jasper spoke. She was happy, and they were my miracle.

To this day, I still couldn't believe I was here; happy and in love.

Another surprising factor to Jasper talking to our daughter was that she followed whatever order he dealt. I could definitely thank him for the less swift kicks I got when he was around. My daughter was already daddy's little girl.

When we found it was a girl, Jasper promptly said that he had to become a better shot because she was going to be as beautiful as her mother, and boys will be lining up for miles to date her. He was going to go crazy. I laughed it off, but Jasper was serious.

"She's going to be as pretty as you, darlin'," he had said. "She'll bring men to their knees."

I was at the bottom of the steps, when I signaled out, "Jasper, baby, did you forget something?" I wanted him to know I was down here to help and then grab something to eat, and head back upstairs. Maybe he won't argue with that.

Yeah, right.

He was going to take me back upstairs and then make me something, serve me in bed, grab what he came back for and leave again. I rolled my eyes at the truth of my thoughts because Jasper was like an open book to me now.

"Jasper? Did you hear me? Where are you?"

I got no response, which was strange. Usually, he would have shouted back by now.

I shrugged it off and went to his office. He was probably in there, obsessing. But when I got there, there was no one.

Where was he? I knew he heard me, so where did he go?

"Jasper, come on, answer me," I said, walking back to the living room. I was going to head to the kitchen and get some food. This was weird. "Alright, I'll just make myself something to eat and then go back to bed," I shouted.

Maybe if I said something pleasing, he'd stop looking and answer me. "Jasper?"

No response. What was going on?

I was about to pass the front door, when I noticed it ajar and went to it. I was going to close it because this was nuts. I was hearing things. Jasper wasn't here.

But why was the door ajar?

I shook my head at the thought and went to close it anyways when two things happened.

One, I heard Jasper's voice outside the door, muttering something about forgetting his phone; which I spot on the end table.

And two, I was reaching for the phone when a pale hand covered mine, making my heart stutter and my body shudder with the familiar cold I always felt when he touched me.

No. Not now. I was so close. But those thoughts would be for later, if there was one, because I slowly raised my eyes to meet the icy cold gaze of my husband. James was here. He had come for me.

"Hello, Marie."

Next: From Marie to Bella.