(A/N): Please don't kill me? :D
The highlighted part at the top is from last chapter to remind you guys f what was going on…A great suggestion made by my fantastic beta RandomatGedz :)
A Second Chance
"I still have a bit of a headache from last night, but it's not too terrible. I hope I wasn't too noisy when I came in, I can't even remember driving here." He mumbles, almost to himself looking down at the tabletop.
He can't remember?
He can't remember anything?
I guess that's expected seeing as he was drunk off his ass, but I didn't really see it coming.
I can't decide whether to be elated or disappointed.
"No, you weren't noisy at all." I replied. "I barely even noticed when you came home."
If he can erase last night from his memory, then maybe so can I.
If the situation between me and Edward could be described in one word, that would be it.
We've barely spoke since this morning. Well, that was mainly due to the fact that Edward had to go to work, but even when he had to leave before, he would always text me multiple times a day to check in on how I was doing or if I needed anything.
But today, nothing.
Is he giving me the cold shoulder? Because if anyone should do that here, it should be me.
After what he said last night, I'm the one who should be livid, not him. I'd barely even mentioned the fact that he drove home drunk, endangering his life.
What the hell was he thinking? How could he do that after what happened to Riley.
The more I think about this whole situation, the more worked up I get.
I decide that there is only one solution.
I'm going to release some tension Alice style.
I'm going shopping!
With that decision, I head to my room to change quickly and make my way to the garage to Edward's Volvo.
He did mention once that I could borrow it, if I wanted to.
He said that, didn't he?
Oh, well, my pregnant brain can only register so many pieces of information; I shrug as I get in the car and start the engine.
The drive to the nearest shopping mall is not long. I find a parking spot easily, and start on my shopping spree.
I stop in my tracks as soon as I enter the mall.
What the hell am I doing? I hate shopping! I don't even want to buy anything!
My shoulders slump in defeat as I contemplate turning around and just going back home.
As I start to do just that, I'm stopped by someone calling my name.
"Bella? Wow, it's you! I can't believe I'm running into you all the way across the country!"
I stiffen in surprise as I see who it is.
My own worst nightmare.
The girl who made my life a living hell all through high school. I honestly don't know how I would have gone through it if I didn't have Riley there to support me. The fact that he was quarter back of the football team had a lot of weight in school, of course, and helped a lot in stopping anyone from messing with me.
Not Lauren, though. She seemed to have a sixth sense that helped her know when Riley wouldn't be there so that she could channel her inner bitch and torment me.
The worst thing about all this, though, was that I let her.
I've regretted it every day since then.
"Lauren? Hi. What are you doing in New York?" I managed to fix my facial expression, which I'm sure showed how pissed off I was a second ago.
"I was about to ask you the same question." She winks as though she's about to learn a big secret from me.
She looks exactly the same as she always did - bleached blond hair, and a fake tan, along with a few other fake things.
"I'm here with my husband." I say with so much pride that it surprises me.
"Oh, honey." Lauren pats my shoulder sympathetically and I frown in confusion wondering why the hell she looks like she feels so sorry for me.
"I know that Riley's death must have been a huge shock for you, but you can't keep holding on to him like that, Hun. It's not healthy." She stresses the last sentence as though she's speaking to a five year old.
My blood starts boiling and I push her hand off my shoulder.
"I'm not talking about Riley." I almost hiss at her. I was so close to blowing up in her face.
"Oh? I didn't know you remarried." She looks astonished.
"I did, a few days ago. Actually, my husband will probably be very worried if I take much longer, so glad I ran into you." I lie. "But I really should get going." I try to leave but she grabs onto my arm.
"Wait, you can't leave before you tell me who it is! Is it anyone I know? Is he from Forks?" She rambles, looking really curious.
I figured the only way to get her off my back was to tell her the truth.
"It's Edward, Riley's older brother." I blurt out.
Lauren stays absolutely still for a few seconds. I'm tempted to wave my hand on front of her face to make sure she's still coherent.
"Edward Cullen? The Edward Cullen? The CEO of Cullen Inc?"
"Yup, that's the one." Edward must be more well-known than I thought. I always figured he was known only as Riley's absent older brother since he took off from Forks right after High School.
"Wow, way to go, Bella. Who knew that little Bella Swan could land Edward Cullen. I mean sure, you were married to Riley, but Edward's a whole other plain field. Although, there's definitely nothing plain about him." She smiles conspiratorially.
I hate what she's implying. That I went out of my way to ensnare Edward, to take advantage of him.
"So, tell me, how did you manage that?" She asks.
"What is that supposed to mean?" I glare as I ask my question, although I already know the answer.
"Oh, Bella. Don't be so defensive." She says, as though I had no right to be upset. "I'm just saying that we were all surprised when Riley first asked you out all those years ago, and now here you go, landing the other Cullen? You sure love that family." She smirks and oh how I wish I could slap that smirk off her face.
"I guess I'm just really lucky." I reply slowly, trying to control my tone so she doesn't figure out how pissed off I am. "Falling in love twice doesn't happen to that many people."
What the hell am I saying?
'Abort!' My inner voice screeches at me. 'Abort, damn it! Before you get yourself into more trouble. She's not worth it.'
"Love, huh?" Lauren mocks my earlier statement. "That's so sweet."
I was five seconds away from committing murder, until she spoke again.
"I bet you thought Riley was in love with you too."
I stilled and felt my heart slow to a stop.
"Riley was a good guy, I'll admit that much, but we all know he had a bit of a wandering eye." She casually states.
"Lauren, what exactly are you trying to tell me?"
"What I'm saying is that most of the school knew he had an on and off thing going on with Jessica Stanley for years?"
She's lying. She's just trying to get to me just like she always did back in school. She's fucking lying.
"Oh, don't tell me you didn't know." She says with fake sympathy.
"You know, Lauren, I always thought you were a vindictive bitch in High School. Apparently, you still are." I hiss before I quickly walk away before she can say anything else.
I only manage to make it as far as the ladies room before I collapse.
"Oh my God, are you okay? Do you need any help?" A middle-aged woman kneels next to me and stares at me anxiously.
I manage to take my cell phone out of my pocket and hand it to her.
"Edward. Please call Edward." I rasp put. It feels like all the blood escaped my body and pooled down to the soles of my feet.
The woman fumbles with the phone before pulling it close to her ear.
"Hello? Is this Edward? Yes, I have uh..." I mumble my name to her.
"I have Bella's phone." She goes on. "She doesn't feel too good, she collapsed in the ladies room, here at the mall, and she asked me to call you."
I can hear his voice yelling through the phone. Damn it, I don't want him to worry.
I point for the helpful woman to hand me the phone so I can talk to him.
She does, quickly. I think his panicked voice has freaked her out as well.
"Edward?" I speak, finally getting my voice back.
I'm already regretting calling him. I could've gotten myself together before going home, instead of making such a scene.
"Bella? Thank God! What the hell happened? Are you okay? Talk to me!" He rambles.
"I'm okay, I'm sorry. I just felt a bit faint, but I'm fine now, sorry I worried you."
"Just stay where you are, sweetheart. I'll be right there okay?" He pants. It sounds like he's already running to his car.
"Edward, you don't have to do that. I'm really fine."
"I'll be right there, Bella." He stresses. We say our goodbyes and he hangs up, but not before I hear his car tires squealing.
I turn to the lady that had kindly helped me put. She was still hovering close by with a worried look on her face.
I stager as I try to stand up again, and she lends me a hand.
"I'm so sorry that I bothered you the way I did." I apologize.
"Oh, don't you apologize, dear. I'm glad I was able to help. I'll stay with you until your husband gets here, okay?" She pats my shoulder softly.
"You really don't need to do that," I say.
"Nonsense, dear. It would be my pleasure. I'm Carmen, by the way." She extends a hand and I shake it quickly.
"I'm Bella." I smile.
"It's great to meet you, Bella."
"We should probably wait outside, so you husband can find us. I can't imagine him coming in here to look for you." She laughs.
"Oh, don't underestimate, Edward." I say as we finally exit the restroom.
"He sounds like a wonderful husband.
My throat clenches as I reply, "He is."
Edward arrives a few minutes later, dressed in his work suit, only his jacket is nowhere to be seen and his shirt is rumpled with his tied dangling loosely around his neck.
As soon as he spots me, he sighs and walks quickly my way. During the last few minutes I had worried about his reaction, but all that was forgotten the moment he scooped me up in his arms in a bone crushing hug.
"Hey." I wheeze out, barely able to breathe.
Edward realizes how tightly he's holding me and immediately let me go.
"Hey," He greets me. "Are you okay?" His eyes travel all over my body, as if checking for any visible injuries.
"I told you, I'm fine, I promise. I just felt a little light-headed for a second, that's all." I try to convince him. "Thankfully, Carmen was there to help me." I smile at her. She's standing a few feet away, trying to give us our space.
"Thank you so much," Edward speaks to her. "If there's any way that I can repay you for your kindness?" He trailed off questionably.
"Oh, no no!" Carmen refuses. "It was really my pleasure to help Bella out. She reminds me a lot of my daughter."
"Well, thank you again." Edward offers her his hand and she shakes it, while smiling up at him. You can tell that the Cullen charm was working its magic. Carmen's cheeks were turning a soft pink.
I shake my head in disbelief. No one is immune to Edward.
We thank Carmen one last time before saying goodbye and going on our way.
Edward wraps his arm around my shoulder, pulling me close to support my weight.
"Why didn't you tell me you wanted to go out today? I could've gotten off work early and come with you." He says.
"Well, we weren't exactly on speaking terms this morning." I shrug.
"Bella," He sighs. "I'm sorry…"
"Never mind." I interrupt him. "We don't need to talk about that now. I should probably apologize now too, anyway. I was trying to get back at you, by going shopping." I smile.
Edward put forth a great effort to hide his amused grin, but it still broke out a second later.
"Wow, you're trying to get back at me by doing the one thing that I've been asking you to do since we got here. That really hurts, Bells." He says with mock sadness, putting his hand over his heart.
He's started calling me Bells lately for some reason. Probably picked it up from Charlie.
I think I like it.
"Shut up." I tell him, trying to hold in my laughter and failing miserably.
"We should probably make an appointment with your doctor so you can get checked out." He says as we make our way to the parking lot where his car was parked using up two spaces, most likely because he was in a hurry.
"There's no need for that. I feel much better now. I probably just got a bit exhausted from walking around for too long."
Edward is having none of that.
"Still, just to be safe, I'll give them a call when we get home." He insists.
"Edward," We get into the car and I turn to look at him as he starts the engine and starts driving us home. "I really don't need a doctor's appointment. I ran into someone I knew a long time ago, and she might've said a few things that upset me, that's all." I confess.
Edward frowns, "Who did you run into?" He asks, as his voice turns cold.
"Lauren Mallory." I tell him.
His hands immediately clench over the steering wheel.
"What did she tell you?" He asks urgently. My heart starts beating wildly in my chest. I didn't like this at all.
"She…she said that…Riley…That he was cheating on me." I stutter, as the words get stuck in my throat.
The car swerves suddenly as Edward parks by the side of the road. Several cars honk their horns loudly as they pass us.
We remain quiet as the seconds pass and turn into minutes.
"It's true, isn't it?" I ask softly, even though I don't want to know the answer. I contemplate covering my ears with my hands like a five year old so I can't hear what he has to say.
But my hands feel too numb. I can't move. I can't think.
I can't even process the one word that comes out of his mouth next.
(A/N): So here we go :) Feel free to review and let me know exactly how you feel about Riley right now :D
I think this will explain a lot of things, and answer a lot of the questions that you guys might have about the relationship between Riley and Bella. There's still more to come, believe me, this is not all of it ;)
So, feel free to join us on Facebook! Our group over there just reached 200 members! Woot! :D
Thank you so much for all of your amazing support, review, msgs.I really appreciated every one of them :)
Until Next Time,