AN: *Taps microphone* Is this thing on? No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, this is an actual Turning Page update! Surprised? Happy? I hope so! This is my Christmas gift to my VERY patient, amazing, and supportive readers! You all deserve a HUGE apology! I feel very awful :( I did not mean for nearly five months to go by without an update. All I can tell you is the usual, but I hope understandable excuse, life is busy! Well besides that, Grouchward was giving me a hard time too, damn him! LOL. Some days he wanted to talk, some he didn't. But, finally, he opened up to me. And he really did! This a very long chapter just for you wonderful people to make up for the long delay. Its all in Edward's pov. Anyway, I'll hush now so you can get to reading :) Talk with you more at the bottom!
***Disclaimer: It's Stephenie Meyer's and it always will be! I am so grateful to her for allowing us authors to have some playtime with her characters! However, this story line, characterizations are mine! L.K. 2013
***My beta is the fantastic and very supportive Serenshadow who spent a couple of days betaing this long chapter! Give her a around of applause. Thank you my dear friend!
***One more thing, if you don't recall what happened in the previous chapter, I suggest you skim it over before you start reading this one!***
Chapter 11: Confrontations and Painful Memories
If only this was real.
If only her soft fingertips were actually caressing my chest, and her warm, silky lips were brushing over mine.
Unfortunately, this is just a dream.
A beautiful, passionate, perfect dream.
My eyes roll in the back of my head as her hips sway back and forth in flawless rhythm. God, she feels so damn incredible; her slick and hot opening sliding over my throbbing cock just right as she picks up her pace.
Our bodies are lightly glistening in sweat as we roughly slam together. Jesus, I need more, more of her. I can't get enough. I need to be deeper inside of her.
Thrusting my length further inside her wetness, I clutch her waist firmly and lock my eyes with hers.
"You're so beautiful." I murmur tenderly, stroking her jaw with the back of my fingers. "I missed you…very much."
"As did I." she gasps, rocking her hips harder, gazing at me lovingly. "I love you Edward, always."
"Always, my sweet Kate." I concur, my voice filled with intense emotion. Gently, I tilt her head to the side and press my lips on her neck. I love how wonderfully soft and warm her skin is.
I kiss down her throat fervidly, between her breasts and pause right at her taut nipples.
"Edward, please," she pleads with a desperate, aroused gleam in her blue-grays.
Gazing at her seductively, I eagerly and slowly wrap my mouth over her hardened nipple. Curling my tongue over her smooth skin, I suck it roughly and release it quickly. Her body quivers and I groan deeply, feeling her inner walls clench tightly around my dick.
She's getting close; I can feel it. And so am I. However, I don't want this to end, not just yet. I need to slow things down a notch.
Carefully, I help Kate roll onto her back and position myself on top of her. Instinctively, she wraps her legs around my hips and curls her arms over my shoulders.
"Oh, Eddie, please. I need you back inside me, now." Her lips assail mine with such force and fervor it renders me breathless.
Christ, she feels fucking unbelievable! Her body was designed just for me, only me. I have missed making love to her so much.
Slowly, I push my hardness inside of her, inch by inch and move in a gentle pace. Kate runs her fingers through my hair and grips it lightly at the ends. Moaning into her mouth, I kiss her ardently and our tongues frantically swirl together, doing a sensual dance.
As I rock my body faster, I feel the familiar tightening in my lower abdomen. Though I wanted to cool things down, this feels too mind-blowing. I want it harder and faster now. Our lips break free from the kiss and I shut my eyes, plunging inside her damp heat with rapid, forceful thrusts.
"Yes, God, yes! Oh, Mr. Masen, harder. Fuck me harder!"
Wait…hold up, did Kate just call me Mr. Masen? Why would she, unless…Oh shit! No, Jesus Christ, no! That wasn't even Kate's voice. Oh God, no!
Timidly, I open my eyes and stare right into a pair of familiar brown ones.
It's Isabella Swan.
Oh dear god!
This isn't happening. What is she doing here? Where is Kate?
Throwing me a look of concern, Isabella caresses the side of my face and whispers, "What's wrong, baby?"
"B-Bella?" I stammer in appall as she leans in and brushes her lips with mine ardently.
Then, everything quickly faded.
I wake up gasping, beads of sweat trickling down my forehead. Suddenly, my head begins to pound and I wince in pain. Shit, what a great way to start the day!
Hey, maybe things aren't so bad after all. My eyes lower, landing on my crotch and I furrow my brows, confused.
Why am I…hard?
Oh, that's right, the dream! I had a dream last night, a very hot and detailed one at that.
Gingerly, I slowly sit up and pull my hair with my fingers. I dreamt about making love to Kate. It was astonishing, sensual, and beautiful.
It felt so real and she was so damn amazing. Tears prickle the corners of my eyes and I blink them away. If only that dream was true, if only she was still alive. God, I still long for her like crazy!
I wish the dream were longer, what woke me up anyway? Suddenly, a realization hits me and my heart beats violently against my chest.
That's right; she ruined the rest of my beautiful dream!
She just appeared out of nowhere. One moment I was making love to Kate and then the next thing I know, Isabella is in her place. For crying aloud, why would I even have a dream about having sex with Isabella? What is the matter with me? That's twisted and entirely inappropriate! I don't even like the girl. I'm not even remotely attracted to her!
Really? Then why did you check her out the night you caught her spying on you? Don't you remember that you stared at her backside longer than necessary as she was picking up her cigarette off the grass?
I did not! I mean, why would I? She's much too young and is certainly not my type. Isabella Swan is nothing more than still a thorn on my side that I can't get rid of. To say she irritates the shit out of me is a severe understatement. Even so, I can't deny that she and I shared a little bonding moment last night. Speaking to Isabella about her mother stirred up some painful memories.
I understand more than almost anyone else does what she's going through. The loss of a parent is truly heartbreaking. One is never the same after; a big portion of their heart is forever shattered. I do sympathize for Isabella, but that's it.
Dammit, why can't I stop thinking about that dream, about her? I don't understand it! I'm not fixated with her as she clearly is with me.
Are you sure? Yes, I'm sure, completely sure! Why am I even giving her another thought? I have better things to think about!
For instance, the gathering at my parent's home yesterday afternoon. It went better than I could ever have anticipated. Honestly, I didn't expect my family to be so understanding and forgiving.
Of course they would be, there your family and they love you no matter what.
It didn't dawn on me how much I missed being a part of their lives until I reunited with them. I want to make up for lost time, starting with my wonderful niece and nephew. I had discussed with Emmett and Rosalie during lunch yesterday about the possibility of taking them out for the day.
Now I just need to figure out where to take them, I want this day to be special and fun for them. Perhaps the zoo is the best option, I remember that's one of their favorite places to visit; or the aquarium is another great idea.
The dull ache in my head increases and a wave of nausea attacks my stomach. Perfect, just perfect. A trip to the bathroom might be in order. This is exactly what I deserve for drinking more than I should have last night. I don't even recall much of what happened before I went to bed. Sighing heavily, I carefully leap off the bed and head straight to the bathroom.
Okay, I really should ease up on the late night drinking.
I felt as if I just threw up some of my guts! I groan tiredly, turn on the faucet, and splash my face with some ice-cold water. There, that's better. I grab a hand towel off the counter and pat my face dry. Noticing my reflection in the mirror, I give myself a long once over and sigh.
Damn, now I understand why Esme was fussing over my appearance. This mountain man look really doesn't suit me and makes me appear much older than I am. I rub my bushy beard with my hands and study it thoughtfully. For some unknown reason, I'm unwilling to part the beard and my lengthy hair just yet. Quickly, I shut off the light, leave the bathroom and head downstairs.
A strong pot of coffee is just what I need.
Just as I almost reach the last step, a chime catches my attention. Groaning, I drag myself back upstairs and retrieve my cell from my nightstand. The second I read the incoming text message, I roll my eyes and curse under my breath. Great, this makes my shitty ass morning even worse! Sighing in frustration, I sit down on the edge of the bed and reread the text.
Tanya Denali: Eddie, baby, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am about yesterday. I wish we didn't fight and I'm sorry for ruining your family gathering. Allow me make it up to you? Let's meet for lunch or dinner. Call me please. XXO
Shaking my head in disbelief, I slam my phone down on the table and rub the back of my neck angrily. I swear to God I think that woman is bipolar! It doesn't make any sense. Yesterday, Tanya repeatedly tried to flirt with me right in front of my family during lunch. Then she attempts to seduce me the instant we are alone in my parent's kitchen as I was cleaning up.
When I refused her advances, she went ballistic and today she is playing innocent, expecting all to be forgotten. I don't think so! Regrettably, I remember every detail of what went down and it wasn't pleasant. If I never see Tanya Denali again, it would be a blessing!
My mind suddenly drifts, taking me back to yesterday's events...
Thankfully, I was able to make a fast getaway from Tanya immediately after we finished eating lunch. I had offered to help Esme with the clean up in the kitchen and luckily Alice was distracting Tanya by chatting with her about fashion. It was nice to have a few moments alone with my adoptive mother. Without missing a beat, she gave me the mom speech, voicing her concerns about me and offering kind, thoughtful advice. As hard as it is to admit, she was right about everything.
It's time for me to reflect on what I want to do next with my life and continue moving forward, not looking back. Esme assured me that she and Carlisle, along with the rest of my family, would be there for me every step of the way. I am eternally grateful that I have such a supportive, caring family. I certainly don't deserve their kindness and forgiveness after I turned my back on them for so long. Esme also made sure to point out that I need to quit beating myself up over it and that there was nothing for her and Carlisle to forgive me for.
The amount of weight that lifted off my shoulders after our conversation was staggering. I felt more at ease and very thankful to have my family back in my life.
As I was washing the dishes, I suggested to Esme that she should join everyone back in the living room. I assured her that I could handle the rest of the clean up and Esme gave me a warm, loving embrace, and thanked me for my assistance. I kissed her on the cheek and thanked her as well for all of her advice and guidance.
Moments passed and I was alone and lost in my thoughts. As I was drying the last plate, I felt soft hands cover my eyes. A potent, nauseating scent filled my nostrils and my back instantly tensed. Oh no! God, please don't let it be who I think it is…
"Guess who, Tiger?" a lust etched voice whispered inside my ear.
I shuddered in disgust and stepped to the side as Tanya tried to snake her arms around my waist. "What do you want, Tanya?" I snapped through clenched teeth and turned around to face her.
Tanya waved her hands defensively and pouts. "Whoa, easy there, sugar! I'm here to check in on you and see if you needed any more help."
Does she seriously think I'm that stupid?
I flashed a sarcastic grin and held up the last plate I just washed. "Ah, thanks Tanya, but no thanks. As you can see, I just finished up. Now if you'll excuse me."
I spun around, paid her no mind, and placed the dish inside the cabinet. Tanya sighed dramatically and I rolled my eyes in irritation.
Dammit, can't she take a hint?
"So, Eddie. I've been trying to…I mean, I want to apologize to you. About the message I left on your voicemail the other night."
Her tone was sweet, too damn sweet, which could only mean that she has something up her sleeve. As much as I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt for Kate's sake, I know Tanya Denali all too well. She always has an agenda and she is one of the most self-absorbed people I know, which is more the reason why I was truly not in the mood to have a conversation with her.
Therefore, I decided to be the better person and told her that it's forgotten and to move on.
"Are you really over it, Eddie?" Tanya asked in a voice dripped with sarcasm.
My hands curled into tight fists and I took a couple of deep breaths before spinning around to face her again.
"Yes, I'm over it, Tanya. There's nothing more for us to discuss." I dropped the dishtowel on the counter and started to walk away.
Tanya grabbed a hold of my wrist, halting me mid-step and I glared at her furiously.
"I wasn't finished, Tiger. Look, I'm sorry for what I said on that message. It was the grief talking and-"
"Oh, don't even go there, Tanya! Don't you dare use your "grief" for my wife as an excuse for your childish behavior!"
Roughly, I shoved her hand off my wrist and her mouth dropped wide open. All right, perhaps that came across as a tad harsh. But, shit, she had it coming!
"How could you insinuate such a thing?" Tanya shook her head, incredulous. "She was my sister for God sakes and for the record, whether you believe me or not, I do grieve for her every single day. Irina and I miss her so much,"
Her eyes then water and immediately my heart dropped. God, I am such an asshole!
I gazed at her sympathetically and murmured, "I know you both miss her and I do too. Look, I'm sorry Tanya and I accept your apology."
All right, this seems promising. I know Kate would want us to be civil, so I will be for her sake.
Tanya nodded her head and wiped away the wetness that stained her cheeks. "Thank you Eddie for forgiving me and for listening. You have no idea how much it means to me."
She took a step towards me and pulled me to her for a tight embrace. "You're welcome Tan."
As I attempted to break our hold, Tanya moved back and stared deep in my eyes. "So, Tiger, I was thinking…we should meet for dinner one evening soon. It would be great to talk, catch up."
Slowly, she wrapped her arms around my neck and batted her eyelashes seductively. Jesus Christ, I should have known better! This woman has no shame. I don't know, perhaps I should consider her invitation. It's just dinner.
No, you shouldn't! Don't be naïve.
I shook my head and gently tried to wiggle myself off her grasp. "Tanya, I, I'm not sure if that's such a good-"
"Shh, stop over thinking everything Eddie. That's your problem. Just give in. I know you want to." She inched her face closer to mine and I cringed uncomfortably. "Remember the night I came over?"
Her hands slid up my chest and her fingers began to play with the buttons of my shirt. "It could have been amazing. We always had so much…chemistry." Tanya's mouth nearly touched mine and I quickly backed away in alarm.
"Just what the hell are you doing, Tanya?" I growled sharply and Tanya jumped, startled by my harsh tone.
"I'm doing what we should have done years ago, what should have happened that night!" She took a step towards me but I raised my hand, ceasing her before she moved another inch.
Agitated, I narrowed my eyes at her and waved my arms furiously. "Are you serious? Do you even hear yourself? Have you actually forgotten what night that was? It was the night of Kate's funeral! Her funeral, Tanya! Jesus, what the hell is wrong with you!"
"Wrong with me?" Tanya snarled against my face. Her lips then curled into a smug grin. "If memory serves me correct, you wanted me that night too, I felt it."
Her eyes lowered, hungrily eyeing my crotch and I felt my face burn in fury. For Godsakes, could she be any more delusional? She has a very different take on what unfolded that evening. From the moment I stupidly allowed her inside my home, she took advantage of my grief, of my pain. Deep down, she knows I don't want her. I never have and I never will. I had too much to drink that evening and briefly lost control of myself.
Staring directly in her eyes, I shot back, "I didn't want you, Tanya! I wanted Kate, that's who I saw that night. I was kissing Kate, touching Kate, not you!"
Tanya shook her head stubbornly, her blue eyes flashing in anger as a trace of embarrassment crossed her face. "That's not true, Eddie. You-"
"Do I need to fucking spell it out for you? I. Don't. Want. You! I never have and never fucking will, even if you were the last woman standing on-"
Before I had the chance to stop her, Tanya's hand connected with the left side of my face, smacking me so hard I nearly tumbled backward.
My eyes widened in shock and I rubbed my stinging cheek soothingly. I had it coming. Dammit, why do I always let her push my buttons?
"You bastard!" she screeched between gritted teeth as her face flamed different shades of red. "You are a despicable, no good; selfish…Katie is better off being dead than being with you!"
How dare she say such a cold, insensitive thing! I can't believe she just implied that Kate is better off being gone than being with me. Just when I believe Tanya couldn't sink any lower, she managed to prove me wrong!
Though it's my parent's home and it isn't my place, I had to say this. I couldn't stand looking at her damn face a second longer.
"Get out," I muttered as calmly and quietly as possible.
Tanya trembled; her fists clenched by her sides as she blinked at me with watery eyes. "Excuse me?"
"You heard me, Tanya! Get the hell out of my parent's house, now!" I roared, startled by the sound of my voice.
Shit, way to go Masen! I am sure every one in the house heard that.
I took a cautious step back as Tanya stalked towards me, jabbing her finger roughly against my chest. "No, Edward! I will not leave until-"
"What is going on here?" a familiar voice asked, causing both Tanya and I to turn our heads.
Irina entered the kitchen with an appalled expression as she gazed at me questioningly. Right away, Tanya rushed to her sister, sobbing hysterically.
"Oh Iri, Edward is being so cruel to me! You should have heard the things he said-"
Irina shook her head crossly and raised her hand to silence her sister. "Don't, just don't Tanya."
She turned to me and sighed. "Edward, what's going on? Everyone heard you yelling all the way from the living room."
"I'm sorry, Irina. We…I didn't mean to startle anyone." I inhaled sharply and tried my hardest to pull myself together before I explode again.
"Tanya and I," I glanced at her pointedly and continued, "had a, ah, disagreement. But it's fine now. We have an understanding, don't we, Tanya?"
She snorted and shook her head wildly. "Like hell we do! It wasn't a misunderstanding, Iri, Edward…he tried to, to, put the moves on me. And I refused out of respect for Katie-"
"You're delusional! That's not even what happened and you know it!" I threw Irina a pleading, apologetic look. "Irina, I'm truly sorry, I-"
"Oh God, really Iri? You're going to believe him over me!" Tanya cast me a murderous gaze before facing her sister and gripped her forearm. "I swear Irina, that's what really happened and-"
"That's enough, both of you!" Irina removed Tanya's hand off her arm and took a deep breath. "Listen, maybe Tanya and I should leave. This is a family gathering and I don't want it ruined from the two of you arguing."
"Me ruin it? Edward is the one who-"
"Shut up, Tan! Quit embarrassing yourself!" Irina chastised and then gazed at me ruefully. "My apologizes Edward. We probably shouldn't have come."
My heart crumbled at the sight of Irina's face. It's not her fault she has a drama queen of a sister. This was my fault. I allowed Tanya to get under my skin once again. I could have handled this entire situation much better. Kate would have been so disappointed in me. Even though Tanya drove her insane, she was still her sister and Kate loved her.
"No, Irina, it's I who should apologize. I shouldn't have let-"
"Damn right you should be sorry," Tanya cut in, glaring at me with narrowed, heated eyes. "You're the one who-"
"Be quiet Tanya, now!" Irina ordered and then she hissed some words to Tanya in Russian.
I have no clue what Irina just said but judging from the tense tone in her voice, it wasn't pleasant.
Tanya shook her head angrily and huffed before turning her back on us and fleeing the kitchen.
I gave Irina a remorseful look and smiled halfheartedly. "Iri, I am so, so sorry. I shouldn't have allowed Tanya to provoke me that way. Kate would have been so upset at me if she saw that."
Irina shook her head, disagreeing as she closed the distance between us and placed her hand on my shoulder. "You have nothing to apologize for Edward."
She sighed deeply, locking her eyes on mine. "I'm well aware of how, ah, difficult my sister can be. And so did Katie. We both knew Tanya always had a thing for you."
More like an obsession if you ask me!
I inhaled sharply and ran my hand through my hair. "Yeah, well, even so, I shouldn't have allowed things to get so out of hand. I shouldn't have lost my cool."
Irina chuckled humorlessly. "Don't beat yourself up. You're not the only person Tanya's driven crazy. Anyway, I think I'll take her home. She needs a time out."
Her gentle smile and the playful gleam in her grays were contagious. I couldn't help but laugh at her comment and grinned warmly. "I appreciate it, Irina, I do. But stay, I'll go."
Irina's eyes widened in disbelief. "No, wait, what? After the crap Tanya pulled, we should leave. It's your parent's home and your time with them."
"But, I think-"
"No, I insist, Edward. It's all right, besides I have things to take care of. Kate would want you to stay. She would have been so pleased that you are working things out with your family. Kate adored them." Irina grinned kindly as she rested her hand on my cheek.
My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach when I noticed a hint of moisture in her eyes. "Katie loved you so much. You were her whole world."
I nodded and swallowed back the thick sob that burned the center of my throat. "And she was mine too. Your sister was…everything to me. She always will be."
"I know and I'm forever grateful that she had you. That she was happy because of your love. But," Irina glanced away; a look of pensiveness crosses her face. "Kate would have wanted you to find happiness again, Edward. She wouldn't have wanted you to live in such misery."
"What if I deserve to be," I whispered so quietly I wasn't sure if Irina had heard me until I saw the solemn gaze in her eyes.
"No, you don't. You're a good man, Edward. You deserve to be happy and to have love in your heart again. There's room in there for it, I know it." Irina stroked my face affectionately and then dropped her hand to her side.
I exhaled deeply and gave Irina an appreciative look. "Thank you. You have always been such a dear friend, all this time, even when I didn't deserve one."
Irina threw me a scolding glare. "Stop doing that to yourself. You have been doing that for too long now. Don't you think it's time to forgive yourself?"
I rubbed the back of my neck with my hand and took a deep breath. "I, um, I don't know."
If she only knew why I was hard on myself. If she only knew about the problems, Kate and I had before her death. If she knew how unhappy Kate was with our marriage. If I only knew sooner myself, then...
"Promise me, Edward." Irina's voice broke in snapping me out of my thoughts. "Promise me you will forgive yourself and you will let yourself heal. Do it for Kate, please."
I wanted to promise that, god did I want to. But wanting to and actually doing it is two entirely different things. Irina is right though. I need to forgive myself; I need to allow my heart to heal. I need to pick myself up and search for happiness in my life again. Kate would want that. But, the thought of moving forward without her, is still unbearable.
"Hey, is everything all right in here?" Alice's chirpy voice asked.
Irina and I turn around as Alice nervously enters the kitchen with a concerned expression.
"It is now." I replied, throwing Irina a grateful stare. "Thank you, Iri."
"Oh, come on. What's family for?" Irina smiled and reeled me in for a gentle embrace. "I'm always here for you, remember that."
I nodded and squeezed her back tightly. "I know and I appreciate it, more than you'll ever know."
"Aww, you guys!" Alice squealed happily, skipped her away towards us, and circled her arms around our shoulders. "Come on, group hug everyone!"
I rolled my eyes and chuckled under my breath. Leave it up to Alice to be a little corny at a time like this.
After we parted from our hug, Alice immediately glared at me and demanded, "Okay, so what happened with Tanya this time? She's with Rose right now playing the victim."
Upon realizing what she had said, Alice looked at Irina apologetically. "Oops, well, you know how your sister is, Iri."
Irina sighed and nodded her head. "Its fine, Ali, you're just speaking the truth. I'll go check on Tan and then we'll leave. Excuse me."
She flashed me a grin before strolling out of the kitchen. Alice didn't waste another second; prying me to tell her about what happened with Tanya. I really didn't feel like explaining, I was starting to get a headache and I just wanted to go home to clear my head. But, I didn't have a choice, Alice wouldn't leave me alone until I did.
So, I gave in, filling Alice in about my argument with Tanya. She was so furious and appalled at Tanya's behavior that I had to hold her back from kicking Tanya's ass. I admit, for a split second, I was tempted to let Alice do so.
Things were very uncomfortable once Alice and I rejoined everyone in the living room. Rosalie and my sister double-teamed at throwing Tanya dirty glares while Esme attempted to be the peacemaker of the group.
Emmett, on the other hand, was enjoying watching the cattiness between the women with an amused look on his face. Thankfully, Jasper was out in the backyard with Liam and Emma, keeping them occupied. And Carlisle was simply quiet, observing everything unfold with a concerned gleam in his eyes. This was not how I imagined the day going.
Once Irina and Tanya left, the rest of my visit went by smoothly. My family was the perfect distraction, saying and doing the right things just to lift my mood. It worked, temporarily, until I came back to my empty, silent home a couple of hours later. Being alone makes me think too much and unfortunately, my confrontation with Tanya occupied my mind the remainder of the evening. I also thought about Kate and the deep hole in my chest ached painfully.
I miss her so damn much.
I shake my head, forcing myself back to the present. I no longer want to think about what happened with Tanya. I need to unwind.
A long, hot shower should do the trick.
Eagerly, I shed off my clothes, toss them on the bed, and head to the bathroom. Minutes later I'm all cleaned up, dressed, and ready for the day. The only problem is, I have nothing to do and nowhere to be.
Could my life be anymore pathetic?
I rack my brain, trying to come up with ideas to make my day productive. Before long, I'm sitting at the piano composing a new song. I spend nearly an hour working on the haunting, depressing melody, playing until my hands grow tired. I decide to take a break after and prepare some lunch. I'm not too hungry today but I force myself to eat a sandwich and drink a generous cup of coffee. I need some caffeine to get through the rest of the day.
The next couple of hours move by slowly. No matter what I do to distract myself, my mind is still on overdrive, thinking about my family, Tanya, and of course, Kate.
Suddenly, an idea pops in my head. I wish I had thought of this earlier. Without giving it another thought, I grab my keys, cell, and wallet where there laying on the night table. Then I hurriedly walk out of the bedroom and climb down the stairs. My stomach drops and my heart hammers roughly against my ribs as I think about where I am going. It's been a very long time since I've been there. I try to placate my nerves but to no avail as I leave the house.
Just as I'm locking up, the slamming of a door captures my interest and the hairs on the back of my neck rise. Shit, that came from Chief Swan's home!
Just hurry up and get inside the car, Masen!
Panicked, I storm towards the Volvo but immediately halt dead in my tracks when Charlie's gruff voice hollers, "Good afternoon, Mr. Masen."
God, you seriously get a thrill out of testing me, don't you?
I take a deep breath through clenched teeth and straighten my shoulders. Maybe God will cut me a break just this once and spare me from having to deal with Isabella. Please don't let her be with Charlie, please don't let her be with…
Slowly, I turn around and hold back a groan that's itching to free itself. Dammit, of course. Just my luck! My eyes land on Isabella's and I want to chuckle. She looks so scared. Why do I have this affect on her?
Maybe it's because you've been an asshole to her ever since you met!
Clearing my throat, I give Charlie a pleasant look. Well, here goes nothing. I have to make this short and simple. There's somewhere else I'd rather be now. Besides, I'm not sure how much longer I can withstand Isabella checking me out with those pretty, curious eyes of hers.
Pretty? Where did that come from?
"Afternoon Chief Swan." I finally reply, my voice smooth and cordial. "How are you doing today?"
Make this quick Charlie, please!
I try ignoring Isabella's intense gaze but Jesus she's studying me as if I'm a project at the science fair! I wonder what she's thinking about and what her fatuation with me is. Then, all of a sudden, I understand. I know the reason why she is staring at me that way. Isabella probably thinks I'm going to tell Charlie that we already met and then I'll divulge how I caught her smoking last night.
Is she crazy? As if I want to be the moron who informs the Chief of Police that his teenage daughter is a smoker! I cringe at the unpleasant thought.
"I'm doing alright, thank you Edward." Charlie responds after a long, awkward minute. He then gazes at his daughter and smiles. "Allow me to introduce my daughter, Bella. Bella, this is Edward Masen."
Fuck, so much for making this conversation brief! For a split second, I debate whether to tell Charlie that his daughter and I have already met and interacted on a few occasions. Then I glance at Bella's pleading browns. She doesn't want her father to find out about our encounters, that much is clear. So, I decide to make things simple for the both of us. It's probably best if the Chief doesn't know anyway. The last thing I need is for him to be all riled up over his daughter's behavior and upset at me for the way I treated her.
She wouldn't even think about telling her father all the harsh things I said to her. Possibly, but if she did, remember you can inform the Chief that his precious little girl smokes. I'm sure the poor man has no idea. No, I can't concern myself with that. It's not my problem. Besides, I'm very sure he will catch her in the act eventually. I snap out of my thoughts when I notice Charlie looking at me expectantly with suspicious, confused eyes.
You can do this Edward, put on your best show!
I inhale deeply, compose myself, and stroll across the lawn, heading to where the Chief and Isabella are standing. My eyes are on hers and I could have sworn I saw her shivering underneath her jacket. It's not even cold outside. I truly do make her nervous. I decide to mess with her a little and extend my hand out for her to shake. Her browns widen in surprise as she stares at my hand confusedly.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Bella." I murmur as her eyes flit to mine.
The way she looks at me, it's as if she's trying to search my soul, trying to unlock my deepest, darkest secrets. I wish she wasn't so curious about me. She shouldn't be. I don't want her to be.
Charlie clears his throat, interrupting our silent exchange and finally Bella places her hand in mine, shaking it loosely.
Unexpectedly, a shiver glides up my spine and I shake my head in disbelief. What was that? Did Isabella feel that too? I felt…no, that's insane Masen, snap out of it! Don't let her make you crazy now!
"Um, it's good to meet y-you as well, Ed-, I mean err, Mr. Masen."
I think I am losing it because I'm beginning to find how nervous I make Isabella a little cute. The light shade of pink that's flushing her cheeks is so… No, no, no! Stop right there, what is the matter with you?
Quickly, I drop her hand and take a step back. That was a big mistake shaking her hand. I shouldn't have done that. Why is it affecting me so much? It was just a handshake and she's just a girl. The Chief's daughter, that's it. Besides, she made a promise to me last night and I intend to hold her to that promise.
After this exchange, I will make it a point to refrain from having any more contact with Isabella Swan again. Are you sure, that's what you want?
That's the way it has to be.
Well, didn't that just go great! It's terrible enough I had to play Mr. Nice Guy and exchange pleasantries with Chief Swan and his daughter. Then, the second I try to leave, Isabella had to stop me. Dammit why can't she just leave me alone? Jesus, she's annoying! Is there a reason why we continue to cross paths? Give me a hint God, please!
My hands curl, gripping the steering wheel of the car so firmly my knuckles are turning bone white. I have to quit allowing her to get to me. Perhaps if a boy her age would catch her eye then she wouldn't be so interested in me. Shit, this is giving me a headache! I brake at a stop sign and rub my forehead soothingly. I can't believe Isabella actually believed I would tattle on her to her father.
All right, to be honest, the idea crossed my mind again as Charlie and I said our goodbye's. I was tempted to inform him about his daughter's vile, unhealthy habit. I wonder when and why she began smoking anyway. Oh no, that isn't any of my concern and that is why I didn't say a word to Charlie. In return, over me keeping mum, I expect Isabella to keep her distance and that's what I told her right before I left.
I expected her to be furious over my request; I was such a jackass to her. But, the sad gleam in her eyes took me aback and concerned me greatly. Why can't she see I am doing this for her own good? For mine?
Even being cordial with each other is a bad idea, isn't it?
I sigh heavily and shake my head in frustration. Right now, I need to focus on where I'm going. My heart beats roughly against my ribs as I spot the familiar road sign that reads La Push. As I approach closer to my destination, my chest tightens achingly. I gulp back a hard lump that appears in the back of my throat as a coat of tears fill my eyes.
Mechanically, I pull over to the side of the road and cut off the Volvo's engine. My stomach churns as my eyes land on a cross that's buried deep in the ground nearly a foot away. All of a sudden, a quiet sob bursts out of my mouth and I lay my face against the steering wheel.
I can't do this. God, I don't think I can do this! It's been nearly a year since I last visited here. The very spot where it all happened. The very spot that forever altered my universe.
I take a few moments to compose myself and then get out of the car, shutting the door behind me. Anxiously, as I walk slowly towards the cross, I realize I left the flowers I bought on the way over here inside the car. After retrieving them, I head to the cross again and my heart weighs heavier with each step I take. Finally, an eternity later it seemed, I'm standing right in front of it. Tears sting my eyes again as I read the simple lettering on the beautifully decorated white cross.
In Loving Memory of Kate Denali Masen
Sinking down to my knees, I drop the bouquet of white roses to the ground and weep loudly. Her screams echo in the back of my mind, the very ones I hear almost every night in my dreams. Quickly, I wipe the warm wetness off my cheeks and gaze solemnly at the adorned piece of wood.
"Hey baby, I'm not sure if you're here with me. I mean, ah, if you are listening to me from wherever you are. But, I just…needed to come here."
Gently, I pick up the assortment of roses and lay them right underneath the cross. "I still miss you Katie, so damn much."
As devastating as it is to be here, I feel close to her. I feel her presence. A light breeze passes by and I quiver in my jacket. I take a minute to stare at the breathtaking view before me, watching the ocean crash against the rocks. Then I clear my throat and slowly rise up from the ground. I have to face this head on, no matter how much it hurts. No matter how difficult it is to relive the memories. It's time I finally have some closure.
Kate would want that.
Sucking in a deep breath, I close my eyes and whisper, "I love you Kate, and I always will. There's so much I have to tell you."
AN: So, um, yeah LOTS happened in this chapter! I do realize I didn't move too forward and I sort of repeated the whole run-in between Edward, Charlie and Bella. But I thought some of you would enjoy Edward's thoughts on the whole thing :) What did you think of his dream in the beginning, yikes huh? Haa. What about what unfolded between him and Tanya at the family gathering? Some of you had wondered what happened during the rest of Edward's visit at Carlisle and Esme's. Now you know what went down. And what about Edward's visit to the accident site? I admit that was sad for me to write. And, well, the beginning of the next chapter will pick up where it left off and it will be even more sad :( So, yes, there wasn't much of Bella in this chapter, but many of you pleaded with me for more Grouchward, so here you go! Bella will appear more in the next chapter. And to answer the couple of readers who had asked me if this story will move on, it will. There will be a little time jump coming up!
Again, I am so sorry this update took so long ;( However, here's some good news, the next chapter is about half way completed, yea! As soon as I have time to write up the rest, I will. I will try my very hardest to not let another few months go by though, okay. In the mean time, for those of you who don't know, I have a new story up that you can read. Its called If Only. There are 5 chapters in so far and there will be an update soon! It's a very angsty one but if you are into that, then I invite you to check it out! Oh here's some more good news... recently, for the second time, Turning Page won second place for Most Promising Twilight FF award from the Energize WIP Awards! I'm so over the moon TP won this award again! Many thanks to those of you who voted!
Okay, that's it out of me. I am so looking forward to reading your thoughts on the chapter! It would be the best Christmas gift to hear from you all :) Thanks so much for reading and not giving up on this story, and me! Love you all! To those of you who celebrate it, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Till next time, xxoo, Leslie