Disclaimer: All characters are the express right of Stephenie Meyer. No copy right infringement intended.
AN: As promised here is the new Soldierward story. I hope you enjoy it. I would like to say that I have no working knowledge of how things work in the military. I have looked some things up to try and make it more believable, but I am afraid that I may fall short. Please don't judge me too harshly.
This will be all in Bella POV unless I tell you otherwise. Now on with it…
I lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling. I kept waiting for this nightmare to end and I would wake up and he wouldn't be dead. My fiancé had been killed just days after he had stepped foot on sandy ground. I knew when he told me that he was being deployed that I would never see him again. Don't ask me how; it was just a feeling that I had deep in my gut. Alice would say that I was channeling her.
I rolled over to stare at the grey skies that were always present in my hometown of Forks, Washington. I stared at the water that rolled down my window and wondered where I was supposed to go from here. I had foregone college, because Riley had proposed. I knew he was joining the army; he had been in boot camp during my senior prom.
I'll never forget that day. My mother had insisted on getting me a dress, even though I had informed her I wasn't going. She had set me up a hair appointment at the same salon that Alice was going to and had her to pick me up. After a few hours she had returned me home. Imagine my surprise when I walked in the door and there sat my boyfriend.
"Riley!" I screamed and jumped into his arms. "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted you to make sure you made it to prom, baby." He smiled at me and kissed me.
"Come on Bella, let's get you ready." My mom said, dragging me up the stairs.
Once my transformation was complete, Mom had led me down the stairs to where Riley was waiting, in his uniform. We had a great time and the pictures were perfect. My mom had put them up on the mantle with all of the other milestones from my life.
I heard my door creak open and felt the bed shift behind me. I felt my mom before I heard her, "Bella, it's time to go baby."
I sniffed and slowly sat up. "Just give me a minute, please."
"Okay," I heard her get up and leave.
I looked at the picture that sat on my nightstand. I reached out with a shaking hand and picked it up. I traced the contours of his face and felt the tears start again. "How am I supposed to live without you? What's going to happen to me now? I miss you so much."
"Bella," Mom called from down the stairs.
"Coming…" I wiped my eyes and stood up, straightening my black dress and running my fingers through my hair. I slowly made my way down the stairs and found my parents waiting for me with solemn looks on their faces. "I'll be okay."
I followed them out to the car and looked out the window as we drove to the funeral home. I barely knew that the car had stopped; until my dad told me to that we were there. I opened the door and stepped out, not caring that the rain was falling on my head. I followed my parents inside and found myself face to face with Riley's mother.
"Oh, Bella, I'm glad you're here." Victoria hugged me.
"Sorry I'm late Vikki." I apologized.
"Oh sweetie no, I know how hard this is for you." She sniffled. "There are some things that we need to take care of, you know since…since the wedding won't be happening."
I just nodded and excused myself. I walked into the room and found Alice and her brother.
"Hey Bells, how you holding up sweetie?" Alice asked, rubbing my back.
"I'm taking it one hour at a time right now Ali. Right now I…don't know." I slumped against her.
"Is there anything I can do?"
I looked up at him and tried to smile, it came out more of a grimace. "Thanks Emmett, but there really isn't anything anyone can do."
Before anyone else could say anything the funeral director came in, "Folks we're ready to begin."
I watched as the mourners shuffled their way inside and sat down. "Alice I don't think I can do this." I whispered.
"Yes you can. Riley would want you to be strong. Come one, I'm right here, so is Emmett."
I walked to the entry and saw Vikki draped over his casket, begging to join him. She had lost her husband years ago. Riley was all that she had left and now he was gone. I watched as my dad walked to her and pulled her away and to a seat.
I slowly made my way forward, flanked by Alice and Emmett. I looked toward his casket and was secretly happy that it was closed. Even if he hadn't been hit with a bomb of any sort, I don't think I could have looked at his face. I slowly made my way to my seat and immediately broke down, leaning in Alice for support. I wondered if I would ever survive this pain and I if I could ever put my heart on the line again.
"Mom, I have to get out of here. I can't breathe. Everywhere I turn is another memory, another place that I can't go to because I went there with Riley."
"Okay, baby, I get that. But Bella it's only been six months. You have to give it time. I mean sweetie, you haven't taken his ring off yet."
I have taken it off of my finger, I now where it around my neck on a chain. "Mom, I wear it as a reminder of what I've lost. I don't need a million more." I sighed and grabbed her hands, "I'm not asking for your permission mom. I'm telling you, I have to leave."
"Where are you gonna go?"
"Alice has opened a boutique and has a job for me."
"Bella…Alice lives in Oklahoma." Renee stuttered.
"I know that Mom. Jasper is at Fort Sill, so that's where she is. Mom I am nineteen and I have lost my fiancé, I need a change of scenery. Alice has found me a furnished apartment, off post. Please mom, I need you to understand."
I watched as her eyes filled with tears, "I do understand. I just don't want my baby so far away."
I got up from the table and crossed to her, giving her a hug. "I need to heal mom. I can't do it here. I love you and dad, but I think it's time."
Renee patted my hand, "Okay. I guess we better start packing your stuff then. When are you planning on leaving?"
"My flight is Friday at noon." I had already made the arrangements. I was just afraid to tell my parents.
"Okay, well I'll get you started. You have to go tell Vikki."
"Mom, Vikki's gone. She left last night to go stay with her sister in Virginia." She had told me it was just too much for her here. "Besides, she paid for my ticket."
Renee just nodded and began helping me pack up my life so that I could start my new journey.
The flight was turbulent free and only lasted about three hours. When we finally set down, I breathed a sigh of relief. I waited for the smelly lady beside me to disembark and then took a breath of fresh air. I headed to the baggage claim area and waited for my three suitcases to come around the carousel. I had just grabbed my last bag when I heard my name.
I turned and smiled my first genuine smile in months. "Ali!"
She wrapped her little arms around me and hugged me with all her might. "Welcome home."
"Well come on let's get going. How was the flight?"
"The one to Dallas-Fort Worth wasn't bad, the puddle jump to here…" I snickered.
"Sorry, I probably should have warned you. I hope you didn't get stuck with any terrible seat companions."
Bella smiled but didn't tell her about the smelly woman. "I missed you Ali. How's Emmett and Jasper and don't you have another brother?"
"Edward…he's, well he's Edward. I don't see him much. He is stationed at a different post. I actually think he was deployed a few weeks ago. I'll have to call my mom. Emmett was deployed a few months ago, so I haven't heard from him. I hope to soon though."
I nodded and trudged along beside her, dragging two of my bags behind me. We made it to her car and loaded up before making the fifteen minute drive to my new apartment. It was nicer than I had pictured. "Alice, I don't think I can afford this."
"That's why you have a roommate." Alice smiled innocently.
"Mary Alice Cullen, soon-to-be Whitlock, I am gonna kill you. I can't live with a complete stranger."
"I'm sorry, Bella. You'll like Rosalie I promise. She is Emmett's girlfriend and runs her own auto body shop. Her old roomie got married and moved out. I told her all about you and she can't wait to meet you. Give it a chance please."
I sighed and got out of the car, just in time to see a gorgeous blonde woman come out the door to the third apartment. She smiled and walked out to greet us.
"You must be Bella. The pixie here can't stop talking about you." She held her hand out to me.
I took it easily, already liking her. "You must be Rosalie. Thanks for letting me live here."
"It's no problem, really. And call me Rose." She smiled at me. "Come on let's get you settled."
I followed Alice and Rose into the apartment and immediately felt like I was home. The living room was spacious, even with a large sofa and love seat. There was also a rocking recliner off to the side. All of it faces a beautiful fireplace with a flat screen mounted above it.
The kitchen was a chef's dream. Stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, I was in heaven.
"You'll be in here. I had it fumigated after Lauren moved out. I would hate for you to sleep on that bed knowing what she had done in there. Anyway, this is it. You have your own bathroom. Let me know if you need anything else." Rose smiled.
"Thanks Rose. You have no idea…just thanks." I tried to smile through her tears.
"Oh, Bella." Alice said as she pulled me into her arms.
I cried into my friend's shirt and tried to remember why I had done this. When I finally had it under control I sat up. "Sorry…"
"Bella do you know my story?" Rose asked.
"No, I didn't even know about you until we got here." I said wiping my eyes.
"Alice…" Rose groaned.
"Don't worry about it." I broke in.
"Alright, anyway. Bella I was engaged right out of high school just like you. Just like you my fiancé was killed, though not quite the way that yours was. Royce was killed in a bank hold-up. I was devastated. I thought that I would never fall in love again, but I have. It wasn't until I met Emmett that I realized that what I had with Royce wasn't the forever kind of love. I figured that mostly since I found out that Royce was unfaithful, but…I'm not saying that's how it is for you, I'm just saying that you have to leave yourself open to a new love. You never know what could happen."
"Thanks Rose, but I think it's too soon to be thinking about that."
We talked for a while longer until Alice had to be back on post and left us. I turned in early, tired from my day of traveling. I decide that I would take the weekend to explore my new home before I started my job on Monday. I couldn't help but wonder what my future would hold in my new life.
AN: Okay, so I know that this first chapter was very angsty, but I promise they won't all be like this one. Keep in mind what you read in the summary. Bella isn't gonna get her happy ever after for a while. She hasn't met Edward yet. That will be explained later. We won't see Edward for a while…so please be patient. Leave me some love.