A/N Hi guys! Yeah, I'm back all of two hours after I finished Love From The Stars, but I had this idea a long time ago and wanted to get it out there and thought 'No time like the present'. This story was one of the first stories I ever spent a lot of time thinking about and I'm looking forward to finishing it on here with y'all. Yes, I used that word. Anyway, please read and review and let me know what you think!
I sat there in my car as people came and left the bar, my fists clenched tightly on the wheel as I remembered my conversation with Eric Yorkie, my old friend from the Army, just three days ago.
I had been just getting out of the shower finally home after another mission, battered and bruised and in much need of some rest and relaxation when my cell phone had rang.
"Cullen." I had answered my phone automatically.
"Dude, it's me, you can quit with the army tone," Eric had chuckled down the phone.
I had rolled my eyes, slightly embarrassed. It was just what I was used to.
"Why are you calling, Eric?" I had demanded as I tightened the towel around my waist to keep it from falling.
Eric hesitated on the other end.
"Eric?" I had snapped.
"I saw her yesterday, Edward. She's working at a bar in Portland."
I had frozen at his words, knowing immediately who she was.
A flash of pale skin and brown eyes flashed behind my eyes as my heart tightened painfully.
"What's the address?"
So, here I sat, just yards away from her, trying the gather the courage to go in and face the woman who had broken my heart five years ago. The woman who had promised to love me and then left with only an email and a ring sent back from a Fed-Ex box.
I had loved her since I was a child, first as a friend and older brother type and then it had become something more. I had planned to share my life with her and I had believed we would make it. Until the say her mother had called me from the other side of the world and told me she had left to 'find herself'. I had stopped believing as she would send her parents an email from time to time to give them the curtsy they she was still alive.
I didn't know what had happened to the woman I had once loved, but I intended to confront the woman she had become. Now.
Exiting my car, I made my way into the busy bar, soft rock music played above the chatter of the patrons inside. I scanned the room, taking in every detail out of habit. I had been trained to be a solider since I was a young boy and the skills I had learned over the years had saved my ass more than once.
It was as I made my way through the small dance floor that I spotted her and my heart skipped a beat.
Long dark hair, pale skin and big brown eyes and full lips and a curvaceous body that I had once known every inch of. She was wearing tight jeans and a shirt with the bars logo on it and I couldn't help but notice the sway of her hips as I followed her across the dance floor and up to the bar.
"Hey sweetie!" The blond bartender called to her from behind the bar and immediately her head snapped towards her. "Can you give me a hand, Beth's out back throwing up." The blond shouted across the bar smiling gratefully when the woman who had once held my heart nodded and weaved her way through the crowd and began taking drink orders calmly.
Seeing my chance I made my way to the bar. I had waited five years for this and I was getting my answers.
I waiting patiently, watching as she flashed that gorgeous smile to customer after customer appearing calm and confident when I knew she was stressed by the crowd. When the crowd quieted down and she was free I made my way over to the bar and waited for her to notice me.
I could tell by the way her eyes widened when she saw me that she had finally recognized I was there. Well, it was hard to forget your fiancé.
She smiled brightly up at me.
"What can I get you, sugar?" She asked, acting as if she didn't know me.
Though I was furious with her for leaving me all those years ago, for leaving her family and devastating everyone, I couldn't help the feeling that washed over me when I heard the soft southern drawl of her voice.
That only made me angrier. I didn't want to play her games. I wanted my answers and I was going to get them.
She frowned, sensing the change in me. Good.
"Come on, cut the bullshit. You know why I'm here. You have a lot of fucking explaining to do." I growled, unable to calm myself as five years of hurt and anger was finally being allowed to be released.
She blinked. "I'm sorry I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Don't." I warned her and after everything still felt like a bastard when I saw fear flicker in her eyes. It was something I'd never seen in her eyes when she had looked at me before.
She glanced over to one of the burly bouncers. "Bill?" She called out and I watched as the gigantic man pushed his way through to me.
"This isn't over, Bella. You have to face what you did sooner or later." And with that, I disappeared into the crowd, exiting the bar before the bouncer could throw me out.
It was okay, I knew a lot about her new life. Including where she lived. I would get my answers whether she liked it or not.
I couldn't control my laughter as I watched my best friends compete on the Wii.
Alice and Jasper Whitlock had been together for four years. Alice would come home sighing about the Hot Doc, Jasper Whitlock. Complaining that she could never date him because of the fact that he worked at the same hospital where Alice was a nurse. Eventually, I had gotten tired of seeing my best friend depressed and had ambushed Hot Doc while Alice had gone to get her stuff when I had picked her up to go to the movies after her shift. I had struck up a conversation with him and mentioned 'casually' that we were about to watch a movie and if he were free he was more than welcome to join us. One movie, dinner and drinks later he and Alice had a date planned for the next week. They were pregnant a month after that and married two months later, welcoming their daughter Macie to the world soon after that.
I had planned on moving out soon after they were engaged until Jasper had found a bunch of newspaper clippings and shown Alice and both had confronted me over it. I had rolled my eyes and pointed out that they were engaged and needed space. They had both looked at me with serious eyes, full of love and compassion and said that they knew what I had been through and that I wasn't completely over that yet. That I needed more time and had destroyed the clipping's, telling me that until I was ready and they had their seal of approval, then I could move out.
That had been four years ago and I still hadn't got their okay. We were best of friends, though and worked as a team with Macie since both Alice and Jasper had demanding jobs. So I got to hang out with one of my favorite people on the planet; Macie.
Right now, Macie was asleep on the sofa whilst her parent's trash talked each other while punching thin air with all their might.
"Oh, yeah, baby! Take it like the little bitch boy you are!" Alice cheered as she got a shot of Jaspers character.
"That all you got?" He challenged whilst trying for a right hook.
I looked at them in mock disgust. "You two work in a hospital. You save lives and are respected members of the community. Oh, if the medical board could see you now!" I laughed and damn near fell to the floor when Alice started shaking her ass enthusiastically.
When the doorbell rang, I pulled myself to my feet, knowing that they didn't even hear it
When I pulled open the door, my laughter stopped dead.
Standing there was the hot and incredibly creepy bar from the bar earlier tonight.
"Hello Bella," He greeted me politely.
My heart dropped in my stomach. "What are you doing here?" I demanded. Was he a friend of Alice and Jaspers and I'd just never met him? If so I saw it as my responsibility to let them know their friend was a freak.
"Come on, Bella. You know why I'm here." He bit out like he was hanging onto his patience by a thread. Welcome to the club, buddy.
I didn't know where he got off losing anything with me. The guy was weird and creepy. No amount of good looks could make that worth it.
"I am not Bella, dumbass." I snapped out, wanting to strangle him, or call the police.
His green eyes snapped fire. "But the crap. Do you have any idea what you put your family through?" He demanded angrily.
I shook my head. I'd had enough of people that claimed to know me when really they were batshit crazy. I just wanted to be left alone.
"Listen whack job, I have no idea who you are or how you know where I live, but you have two seconds to leave before I call the cops on your ass." I threatened and he rolled his goddamn eyes. Very sexy green eyes, but that was beside the point.
"Look Bella," He began.
"I am not Bella!" I nearly screamed at him in frustration. "Are you retarted or just plain stupid?" I snarled at him.
He shook his head, obviously still in the belief that I was this Bella chick and simply lying to him.
"Whatever happened between us, Bella, you shouldn't put your parents through this. It's not right."
I took a deep breath, striving for calm. I had dealt with this a lot over the years. It was my own fault really and I should be used to it by now.
"There isn't anything between us."
I saw the anger flicker through his eyes but was surprised me was the flash of her there, only for a second, but it looked deep and painful before it was froze over as he smiled coldly at me.
"Come on, Bella. Don't tell me that you've forgotten me," He said is a mocking voice.
His words and the tone that he said them in got through to me and my heart shattered once again. He was either crazy or a twisted bastard. Unfortunately, I had met a lot of both after searching in my past.
I could take a lot of things, but this always hurt because I never understood it. Why would anyone track down a complete stranger to be cruel? This is why I had stopped searching. It had showed me how many true evil bastards were out in the world.
I could feel the tears burning in my eyes and I hated him for that.
"You are a sick son of a bitch," I snapped and slammed the door closed before he could see them fall. I wouldn't give him that satisfaction.
When I walked into the living room after taking a deep, calming breath, Alice and Jasper turned to me immediately and hurried over when they saw my tears.
"What's wrong?" Alice demanded.
"Just another freak claiming to know shit about me." I answered and then told them about his cruel words and horrible joke at my expense.
"Bastard," Alice hissed as she pulled me into a tight hug that made me feel better, like it always did.
Alice looked up suddenly.
Why was she doing this? I thought as I made my way down the steps.
If she didn't love me anymore that was one thing, but to cut her family out completely was another altogether. They were good people who loved and missed her after everything. Dammit! They didn't deserve any of this and neither did I. I had cherished her. I have valued her more than anything in the world and she left me. She left me.
I was startled when someone grabbed me from behind and I barely ducked the punch that had enough force behind it to break my jaw.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" A tall blond haired man growled, pure hatred in his eyes.
This must be why she didn't want to talk to me. Why she was pretending she didn't know me. This must be her new man. I had to restrain myself from killing him on the spot for daring to touch what had always been mine.
"You stay the fuck away from her," He added when I didn't respond.
"Bella has to face what she did five years ago whether you like it and whether she likes it." I answered calmly. If I lost my control now, I'd kill him and not even feel an ounce of regret.
"What are you talking about? You have the wrong woman. Her name is not Bella, its Grace. And you better leave before I kill you." He threatened.
I raised my eyebrows in amusement. "So, is that what's she's calling herself. Well, sorry to break it to you, bud, but her name is Bella. I've known her since she was born so I should know." I looked up towards the door. "Don't know what happened to that girl, though. But she's lying to you and you have to accept that. Just like she's going to have to accept that she hurt a lot of people. That she's still hurting them by her constant disappearing act and her nonstop lies."
The man looked at me in disgust. "You are really one sick fuck, you know that. I don't know why you people find it funny, but that woman has been through enough. She has had everything ripped from her and whenever she thinks she's found a little peace with who she is, you sick fucks come out and mess with her mind."
"What are you talking about?" I demanded.
He gave me a cold look. "She isn't a liar, fuckwit. She is amnesiac."