~AL~

Prologue

I'd Rather Go Blind

Cabo San Lucas

March 1996

Edward and Bella arrived at their hotel in Los Cabos with their friends from work. The sun felt hot but the breeze from the ocean was a relief. The scenery was beautiful. The sand stretched as far as the eye could see. Bodies lie on chairs, some with umbrellas and some right on the sand. There were a few little shack-like structures on the beach. One in particular caught Bella's eye with the name, The Office. It was a catchy name.

Their last minute trip to Baja California was only possible because of the twenty-nine dollar a night cost. It was all-inclusive, which meant all you can eat and drink at the hotel. Working for a major airline, afforded them huge travel discounts. When they arrived to check in they discovered they were the last group to benefit from that great deal. They came to find out that the pricing was a mistake and the hotel misprinted the flyers they received. The hotel still honored the reservations already made, but was upset with how much they were losing. The flyers should have read, two hundred and twenty-nine dollars a night. Imagine their excitement when they discovered their luck.

"Bella, are you ready?" yelled Edward into the bathroom.

"Yes, I'm ready to go. Is everyone meeting us at the pool?" replied Bella.

"Yup, let's go."

"You look so beautiful, baby," cooed Edward with a kiss.

"Thank you, sweetheart. I love you." Bella replied as she squeezed his cheek. That was her thing; she loved squeezing the cheeks on his beautiful face.

Off they went down to the pool to meet up with their friends and hang out all day.

As they arrived, Edward gave Bella a sweet kiss and told her he would be sitting with the guys in the shade. She kissed him back and gave him a loving pat on the butt.

"Hey girls, don't you two look beautiful with your skimpy little bikinis," said Bella to her friends, Rosalie and Alice.

Rosalie stood up and twirled, showcasing her dental floss thong on her banging body. "You like it?" Rosalie, the most gorgeous woman you have ever seen could pull that bathing suit off.

"Bella, oh my God, took you long enough. Where have you been? Why didn't you get down here earlier? You look super hot yourself! I'm so glad you let me do your shopping for you," babbled Alice.

"Yeah well, you love to shop and I don't, so it worked out perfectly," replied Bella.

The three girls sat by the pool tanning, gossiping, and drinking margaritas for the next few hours. The boys, Edward, Jasper, and Emmett were sitting on the other side of the pool drinking beer in the shade. The band on all of their wrists gave them free reign to unlimited drinks. So, the six of them drank all day with out a worry in the world. That was their vacation and they were going to enjoy it.

After an hour of drinking and talking, Rosalie noticed three skanky looking girls in the shallow end of the pool. They were gathered in the area the guys were relaxing in. It seemed they were making a show of being there because they were being loud with their giggling and splashing. Bella kept her eyes on them but thought they looked quite ridiculous. However, when Bella saw Edward make his way into the pool straight toward the girls she stiffened. The girls sort of surrounded him while he made it look like he was just casually taking a dip.

Bella's known him long enough to read him well, and that did not look casual to her. He went there with the intent to talk to them. Bella lay on her lounge chair quietly watching the interaction. She trusted Edward so far, but she didn't like the way those girls were acting. Even from a distance, you could tell they were flirting heavily. Edward mostly seemed to be talking to the strawberry blond girl while they other two were having conversations with Jasper and Emmett.

After Bella and the girls had lunch, they looked over at their boys to see them sitting on the lounge chairs all cozy-like with those skanks. Rosalie and Alice quietly watched their interaction for a while.

After another hour, Rosalie noticed that the boys were still chatting with those girls. She decided it was enough and dragged Emmett away by his ear. Jasper saw the look on Alice's face and got up on his own, and took her back to their room. Edward continued to talk to that girl, and Bella yelled across to him that it was time to go. She walked back to the room knowing Edward wouldn'tbe far behind her.

Bella decided to lie on the bed until Edward arrived. The sun and alcohol must have made her a bit tired because she fell asleep. A while later she woke up a bit disoriented. She expected to find Edward snuggled with her, but he wasn't. Bella looked around the room and called out to him a few times, but finally gave up since he didn't answer. She couldn't understand why he wasn't there. She checked in the bathroom and of course he wasn't there.

Bella went back down to the pool to see if he wasstill there, but he was nowhere to be found. She thought maybe they missed each other, and she rushed back up to the room.

When Bella arrived to their room again, and Edward still wasn't there she started to freak out. She sat at the desk and called Rosalie first. She asked her if she had seen Edward and was told that she hadn't been out of the room since they got back from the pool. Next she called Alice's rooms and they hadn't seen or heard from Edward either.

Three hours had passed since Bella first left the pool when Edward finally walked through the door.

Bella asked angrily, "Where have you been? I was so worried."

"What?" Edward replied coldly.

Ever since Bella left the pool she has had this odd feeling in the pit of her stomach, like she could sense something was going to happen. Everything was fine between them that morning and she wasn't sure she what the change was. But there was definitely a change because they had neverspoken to each other like that.

So she tried with all her might not to cry, but with the feeling she had it was impossible. "Where were you? I came back up here and thought you were following. Since that was three hours ago, I thought maybe something happened to you. Were you with that girl from the pool?" cried Bella. She felt strange asking him, but she had to know.

"I didn't even know you left, I was busy swimming," said Edward. "What, do you want me to report to you every minute?"

That was when Bella knew something changed something was going on. She didn't know whether she should punch him or cry like a baby, but she had to do something.

So, she charged at him, fist raised, and a face red from anger. "Edward, what the fuck is wrong with you? It has been three hours since I've seen you. We're here on vacation together. "Then she pushed him. "I just don't get it. I'm completely out of my element here. First, you have never spoken to me this way, and second you have never ignored me," Bella said, choking back a sob.

"No, nothing's wrong. I told you I got caught up swimming. I don't know why you worry so much," huffed Edward. Bella knew those were more lies.

"You need to stop lying to me. You're acting strange. You're always so adamant about us spending time together. How could you just go off with out telling me or asking me to go, too? I'm not being clingy here, but I'm not used to this." She waved her finger between them. "You're the one always telling me that we're a couple now and need to do things together that we have no business acting like single people doing things on our own."

She pushed him again. "Where were you? I went back to the pool and you weren't there," Bella yelled.

Edward ignored her and side stepped his way into the bathroom. He jumped in the shower by himself and left Bella in the bedroom still very confused and hurt.

Bella was extremely upset and felt completely betrayed. Betrayed at the fact he has never treated her so coldly. She had never doubted his love, until now. What happened? All this doubt was working her nerves, and causing quite the spell of anxiety.

When Edward got out of the shower Bella jumped in. As soon as they were dressed in casual clothes for a quick dinner with their friends Edward said, "Come on, let's go eat dinner, I bet the others are waiting for us downstairs."

Bella's eyes watered, but she refused to let the tears fall; she didn't want Edward to know she was crying. She was not one to cry, but the hurt and anger were just too much. In the six months they had been together, he had never treated her that way. Bella felt deep down inside that something was wrong something changed.

They met their friends downstairs for dinner and started to discuss their plans for the night. They wanted to go out dancing. So Alice started making plans for the girls to get ready in Alice's room and plans for the boys can get ready in one of the other rooms.

Bella was rolling her eyes becauseshe knew that Alice was going to make a big production out of it. She was also a bit weary to leave Edward, becauseshe knew things weren't right between them. That strange feelingin the pit of her stomach grew stronger.

Dinner was over, and they piled into the elevator to go to their rooms. Bella's clothes were already in Alice's room, so the girls went straight there. Edward gave Bella a slight wave and told her he would see her when they were done.

In Alice's hotel bathroom, Rose was curling Bella's hair and Alice did her makeup.

Rose finally asked Bella, "What's up with you and Edward? You two were acting a bit weird at dinner." Rose didn't want to tell Bella that it was Edward acting coldly.

Bella sighed and willed herself not to cry she said, "When we all came up from the pool, Edward stayed down there. He didn't get back until right before dinner. Then when I asked him where he was all that time he just side stepped my questions. He said he said he was at the pool, and didn't notice I was gone because he was swimming." She shrugged and continued, "It's bull shit because I went to look for him at the pool and he wasn't there. I just have this strange feeling. I don't want to believe that he took off with those girls, but what else am I supposed to think."

"Girl, don't worry. We will have fun tonight. When Edward takes one look at you, he won't be able to leave your side for one moment," said Rose.

Alice had a perplexed look on her face. "Bella, I don't know, but we need to keep those girls away. Even if Edward's deal at the pool was just innocent, I don't trust those three girls. They looked like skanky sluts that have no qualms with taking someone else's man. I just have a feeling about this."

Bella didn't want them to know she felt the same way.

"Alice!" yelled Rose.

"What?" Alice replied defensively.

"Don't do that to her. Don't make her doubt this more than she already has. Things are fine. I'm sure it was a misunderstanding. Edward loves her and would never do anything to hurt her."

"Rose, don't you think I know that, he is my brother. It's just those girls are... I don't know…" Alice trailed off, shaking her head.

Bella just sat there listening and watching as Alice and Rose contemplated her relationship for her. She couldn't say anything for fear of crying. It was the unknown that had her so emotional. Not that she wouldn't be upset if he said he was with those girls, but at least then she'd know where she stood.

So when all three of the girls were ready, Rose called Emmett to tell him they would meet them downstairs.

Rose, Alice and Bella were in the hotel lobby for fifteen minutes waiting for Edward, Emmett, and Jasper to arrive. Finally, Jasper and Emmett snuck up behind the girls and Jasper whispered to Alice, "We can't find Edward. He said he was going to change an hour ago, and we can't find him anywhere."

"WHAT?" exclaimed Alice.

Bella looked upset; everyone could see the hurt on her face. She feltstupid because this was happening to her. If something was really going on, she didn't want to draw attention to it. She just wanted to act like everything was okay.

She knew Alice and Jasper were talking about Edward, because he was the only one not there. Biting her tongue to hold back her frustration, she turned to everyone and said, "Spill it! Where is he? What's going on?" Now she was just plain pissed.

So Jasper gave her the bad news. Bella felt even more ridiculous becauseeveryone was looking at her with such pity. She didn't want anyone to feel sorry for her; she just wanted Edward. She needed to be alone; she was too conflictedto be around anyone.

Bella turned to the gang and said, "You all go ahead to the club. I'm going to look for him, he is probably at the bar drinking a beer. Or maybe he is back in the room, and we all just missed each other."

Alice asked her if she wassure and Bella shrugged. "Yeah, we'll see you there in a few." She lied, because she knew she wasn't going to be able to find Edward.

Bella looked everywhere for him, but he was nowhere to be found. By then she was crying, and her heart was literally hurting. It hurt so bad that it felt like a heart attack. Pain traveled up her left arm, and her chest felt so tight. She couldn'tcatch her breath and wasn't even sure how she made it back to her room. All the stress of the day was giving her an anxiety attack.

She wasn't sure how much time passed, but she found herself on her bed in a daze. She decided to get up, shake it off, and get ready for bed.

She couldn't understand what had happened. The unknown was killing her more than anything. She was so full of pain and hurt and tried to figure out why he would just disappear. What did he see in that girl at the pool that he was willing to risk everything he had with Bella? They had been so good together since they were officially a couple. Her brain was going non-stop until she saw the light slowly coming through the window.

It was at that moment, at fouro'clock in the morning, when she realized they were going to have their first major fight and most likely break-up.

~AL~