Assumptions Chapter 1
"Don't you dare say it! Don't you dare try to tell me that you are sorry. I don't want to hear it!"
"But I am sorry, Bella. I never meant to hurt you." I scoffed. He had the nerve to sit there and pretend to be upset that he'd hurt me by waltzing into my apartment and announcing that he had been cheating on me with my neighbor. The only reason that he finally told me was because he'd gotten her pregnant and was going to marry her. "It was love at first sight." "I never meant to hurt you, but I can't help the way I feel."
I had been dating Jamie since we were in tenth grade. We were each other's first and only in everything. Well I guess not so much on his part anymore. I never thought that anything could hurt as bad as this did. I had also never been this angry.
"Here, let me help you move your things to her place." I marched over to my dresser where he kept a few things for when he'd stay over and yanked the drawer out of the dresser. I walked out to the balcony and dumped all the clothes over the edge. While it felt good symbolically to do it, it probably would have made a bigger impact if I wasn't just on the fourth floor and her apartment wasn't up on the fifteenth. I hated heights and was terrified of the thought of living that far up in the building.
For his part, he just stood there and let me rant and rave and lose it, until I started to cry. Then he came over and wrapped his arms around me and held me while I cried. And I let him. He was all that I had here in Phoenix since my Mom and Phil moved to Florida. He promised them that he'd look after me, and I knew that whether I liked it or not he was going to continue to keep that promise, even though he was in love with someone else.
That was two months ago, and since then the time just seemed to drag on slowly. It hurt so bad. They had been seeing each other behind my back for six months and I had no clue because there was no visible sign of a difference in our relationship. He tried to keep a respectful distance while still trying to make sure that I was alright. But they still lived in the same building as I did and I still had to see them together. That is how I realized that our relationship was different than theirs. He had never looked at me the way that he did her. I had never doted on him the way that she did. The relationship we had was comfortable and convenient, but not true love.
It had taken me the better part of the two months to see that was the truth. I didn't love him. Not like she did. They really did belong together, while he and I had only stayed together because neither of us had realized that we were only settling with each other. I missed him as my friend more than I missed him as my lover.
Phil wasn't happy that I was alone in Phoenix but I refused to move to Florida. I loved my apartment and I did have other friends here, not just Jamie. I will admit that I wasn't all that close to them and rarely went out with them. But I did have a life here and I was twenty three and more than capable of taking care of myself.
There were few people that knew that I had a secret identity. As Bella Swan I was a nobody, and I could go about my life in peace. But as Marie Dwyer, I was a famous romance novelist. Of course there would always be some fan that figured it out but that was, thankfully, rare. And that was also where Jamie stepped in and became my security guard. He, Mom, and Phil, had always insisted that I hire private security whenever I went on a book tour. I hated doing it, but it appeased them anyway, mostly because my publishers thought it was a good idea as well.
I looked up at the clock and realized that I had been sitting in front of my laptop for three hours and had not written a single word. That was how it had been since that night that Jamie broke up with me. I was over it. I really was, and Jamie, Vickie, and I had managed to become friends, but I just couldn't find the inspiration to write at the moment. I was starting to panic about the due date I had for my manuscript that was coming up in two months, and I barely had the first chapter written. My editor told me not to worry about it, that they could extend the deadline. But I didn't want to go there. My fans meant everything to me and I was not going to disappoint them. They were expecting the next book in my series, The Celeste Moon Chronicles, to come out later this year. It was about a powerful witch and demon hunter that fell in love with a vampire.
I decided to try to get some inspiration by going onto Facebook and see what was going on in Marie Dwyer's official fan group. I enjoyed interacting with the fans like this, anonymously. When I got face to face with them I got too self-conscious and nervous, and tended to act like an idiot. Ok, I was the only one that thought that, but see the above reference of being self-conscious.
I stood up and rubbed my eyes and wandered off to my bedroom where my cat, Princess, was already curled up sleeping. It was three in the morning and I was exhausted. After brushing my teeth and throwing on a night gown, I crawled into bed and fell right into a deep sleep until the phone woke me an hour later.
"Hello?" I answered groggily.
"Is this Bella Swan?"
"Yes. How can I help you?"
"I'm Emmett Cullen; the Deputy Sherriff of Forks." That got me to sit up. "I'm sorry Miss Swan. I hate to have to tell you this over the phone, but your father was shot in the line of duty tonight. He didn't make it. Again, I'm sorry." The poor guy sounded like he was near tears and me, I didn't feel anything but dumbfounded and numb.
I hadn't seen my father in years. I rarely even thought about him. Hell, I couldn't even tell you when the last time I talked to him was. I know that it was well over a year ago. He and I never had anything in common and we gave up on each other years ago. Right about the time that Mom married Phil. Every visit I ever had with the man was painful. He never talked to me when I was there, except for asking questions about mom. I guess he figured that if he had no chance of getting her back there was no reason to put up with the inconvenience of dealing with me, the daughter that he never wanted.
I never even told him about my writing career. Why give him more reasons to be disappointed in me? I always had the feeling that he regretted that I was ever born. Not that he would ever tell me that. Oh no, not the great Chief of Police of Forks, Washington. He was a local hero. He was always available 24/7 for them. Not so much for the daughter that he never wanted but was forced to put up with for two weeks every summer.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but are you still there?"
"Uh, yeah. I am."
"He was a great man and will be missed terribly."
"Yes. I'm sure he will be."
"So when can we expect you?"
"What?" Expect me for what?
"As I was telling you, as his daughter, you are his next of kin. In fact, you are his only living relative. We need for you to come up to Washington to claim his body and settle his estate.
I closed my eyes and sat there gathering whatever strength that I could muster to tell this guy that there had to be someone there that was close to him, that he actually liked, that should be handling this, but I knew that legally it would have to be me.
"Let me make a couple of calls and arrange a few things and I will call you back." As soon as I was off the phone with him, I called Jamie's cell. All I had to say was, "Charlie's dead," and he and Vickie were in my apartment.
"Bella, you know that you're father didn't hate you. You have to go." I rolled my eyes at him. He always told me that. So did mom. But they never saw how he was when it was just the two of us. He never talked, and was always relieved when I'd go to bed at night or when it was time for me to go back to my Mom. I knew better than they did. "Fine, it is too early in the morning to have this argument with you, again. Have you called Renee?" I shook my head no. "Well, it's five here now which makes it eight there. Call her."
I just stood there staring at my feet until he got off the couch and grabbed my phone off of the counter and shoved the phone into my hands. "C-A-L-L H-E-R!" He said, dragging out the words. I sighed and hit the speed dial number to mom's cell phone, only to have Phil answer. Right, mom would still be out on the beach doing her yoga.
When I told Phil what was up, he went and got my mom. I spent an hour on the phone with her before she finally let me go. She offered to meet me in Washington to help me out, but I told her that I was just going to go get it done and get back to my life.
I called Deputy Cullen back and told him that I'd be there in a couple of days. I had decided to drive up to Washington. With everything that had happened in the last couple of months, I really thought the drive might help clear my head. Plus, I didn't want to be without transportation while I was there. Jamie and Vickie didn't like the fact that I was going to travel alone but, ultimately, they had no say over what I did and backed off when I told them that. They did agree to take care of my apartment and Princess for me while I was gone.
I kicked the two of them out of my apartment and laid down for a couple of hours of sleep before I left. I ended up having to take a sleeping pill because my brain just wouldn't shut off. There were all sorts of memories of Charlie and me running through my head.
I woke up a few hours later, slightly refreshed, but ready to go and get this whole thing over with. I grabbed my suitcase and started throwing clothes into it. Jamie and Vickie came down to make sure that I ate dinner and to help me pack. I wasn't going to need much because I didn't see it taking long to settle his affairs and get home. Vickie was shocked when she started going through the bag and realized that I had not packed anything to wear to the funeral.
"Bella, you have to plan AND attend the funeral."
"I'm sure that someone else will have taken care of that before I get there."
"You know, for a smart woman, you sure are dumb about things. This is why you are going! They need YOU to plan the funeral, and let me warn you now, Forks is going to expect something big and public. So don't even start thinking you can just have him thrown into the ground without a ceremony."
"And a reception, there has to be a reception." Vickie chimed in from my closet. It sucked that I liked her and that she was pregnant because I was really close to smacking the both of them right now. Vickie came out of my closet carrying a black dress and my hanging dress bag.
I gave them the keys to my mailbox and my apartment; Jamie already knew where I kept the cat food and extra litter. They knew that I would be gone before they got up in the morning. There was no way that I was going to wait around for them, or anyone else. The sooner I left, the sooner I could come home and get on with my life.
I threw my laptop into my bag as an after thought. Maybe I'd get some writing done while I was there. It's not like I was going to have anything better to do with my time. I was going to Forks after all, the town that considered itself the Mayberry of the Pacific Northwest. I guess that made me Opie.
Hello! I don't know how long or short this story is going to be yet. We'll all have to see where this goes together. You should know by now that I don't like to keep character to certain fic stereotypes. I like to shake things up a bit. Thanks for reading! Thanks to Sweetpea123 for being an awesome beta! (Happy Anniversary to her too)