I'm only going to post the long disclaimer once. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
It's worth repeating. This is not an independent story. These are select EPOVs from The Give Away Girl. Please read it first or this won't make a lick of sense.
Special thanks to my beta Maxipoo1024. I love her. Also, thanks to M, DiamondHeart78, and MariahajilE for pre-reading. I love them too.
EPOV of Chapter 19 of The Give Away Girl
First day of school – August 1992
I would tell you
That I loved you
If I thought that you would stay.
But I know that it's no use
That you've already
Misjudged your limit
Pushed you too far
Took you for granted
I thought that you needed me more...
Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Cause boys don't cry.
Boys don't cry.
Boys don't cry...
(Boys Don't Cry- The Cure)
By the time the alarm clock blares, I've already been awake listening to the minutes tick by for over a half hour. I reach over without looking and turn it off.
This is it. Today's the day. I turn the postcard over and over in my hand, looking at the picture and then her handwriting.
There has to be a reason she sent it. Maybe she's finally ready to talk and work this shit out. I'll quit the team and walk away- no regrets. I'll do anything she asks if she would just talk to me and help me find a way to put it behind us. Even if she only wants me as a friend, it's better than nothing.
Nothing is Hell.
I leave the card on the bedside table next to the framed picture of us that is currently turned around, facing the wall. Some days I can handle it. Some days I can't.
After a quick shower, I grab my clothes from my closet as quickly as possible, trying to ignore the brown paper sack that's still sitting on the floor in the corner with everything I ever gave her inside of it...well, everything but my ratty old Pink Floyd tee and the friendship bracelet. I'm guessing she threw away the bracelet and turned my t-shirt into dust rags.
I wouldn't blame her for either.
One way or another, this is going to end today. I'm going to man up and tell her I'm sorry. And this time, I'm going to make her listen. If I'm lucky, she'll try to forgive me. If I'm really lucky, she'll let me kiss her and take her home and show her how much I've missed her.
Wishful thinking, asshole.
Being away from Bella, and not seeing her at all for almost three months, has really done a number on me. I miss her. Christ, I fucking miss her, but I won't pretend I don't think about her naked at least a dozen times a day. I miss her skin, the way it pebbled under my fingers no matter where I touched her.
I miss the way she smiled right before she kissed me. Every single time, like she was the lucky one.
I know better.
The spot next to Emmett's Jeep is open when I arrive at the school. Bella's truck is nowhere in sight. This is the first time I've been back to this lot since I watched her ride away with her asshole ex-boyfriend, and it's hard not to think about it.
"S'up, man," Emmett says.
"Is she here yet?"
"Haven't seen her. Let's go inside. Maybe her truck is fucked up again. Renee probably gave her a lift."
We go out of our way to walk by Mrs. Simpson's classroom to see if we can catch a glimpse of her. Angela waves, but there's no sign of Bella.
"I'll go and ask Ms. Swan about Bella's classes after homeroom. She can't avoid us forever," Emmett says before we split up.
Ms. White passes out schedules and locker assignments. We sign the plagiarism oath and an acknowledgment of the school rules and deal with all sorts of inane bullshit until the bell finally rings.
I have Spanish II first period, but I linger in the hall instead of going into the classroom. This is one class I know I won't have with Bella since she's done with her foreign language requirement, but that doesn't stop me from watching for her.
There isn't any sign of her, but I do spot Emmett walking in this direction. "Did you ask Renee about Bella's schedule?" I ask as he approaches.
"Don't fucking talk to me right now, dude."
"What the hell?"
"I'm serious, Edward. Fuck off." He walks past me into the classroom as Angela rushes up to me.
"Did you talk to Bella this summer?"
"I only talked to her once or twice, and then she started ignoring my calls. She wasn't in homeroom. She wasn't even on the roll. Ms. Simpson didn't call her name. I tried to ask her…"
My feet are moving before she even finishes. The sinking feeling in my stomach worsens as I get closer and closer to Renee's classroom.
She's standing outside the door, monitoring the halls. "Mr. Cullen, I don't think you're supposed to be here until fourth period."
"I'm not. Where is Bella?" I ask.
Her eyes narrow as her jaw sets. "She's probably sitting in her first period class. Any other questions?" The tardy bell rings, and she smiles. "You're late." She could offer me a note to give to Mrs. Barrett, but she leaves me standing in the hall instead.
There's a line in the office. Several people overslept and just now made it to school. Maybe Bella is running late. It wouldn't be a first. She probably got blitzed last night and overslept. Angela didn't actually see the attendance sheet. Mrs. Simpson probably saw Bella wasn't there, so she didn't call her name.
"I was in homeroom, but I'm late for first. Ms. Swan wouldn't give me note," I tell Mrs. Leonard. She leans over to write my admittance slip, and I steal a glance at the other carbon copies in the book. Bella's name isn't there. "Do you know if Bella Swan was transferred to a different homeroom?" I ask casually.
"You know I can't give out another student's information, Edward." She busies herself, stacking papers and avoiding my gaze. I'm sure Renee has turned the entire staff against me. Last year with Banks will end up looking like a fucking picnic if she holds any influence over Coach Dwyer.
I'm ten minutes late for Spanish II, and I have no idea what Mrs. Barrett is saying as I hand her the note. Emmett looks like he wants to kill me when I walk by him. Unfortunately, the seat behind him is also directly across from Heidi.
"Page thirty," she whispers.
"Anytime." She licks her bottom lip and then silently blows a big pink bubble with her gum.
It's a repeat of an offer she made me in a booth at Pam's over the summer. I ignore her now the same way I did then.
Bella isn't in the classroom when I get to Chemistry, and this is the only Honors Chemistry class offered this year. Mr. Biggs doesn't call her name when he's reading the attendance list. She isn't late.
She just isn't here.
Christ. She did it again.
By the time I get to Algebra II, I'm fuming. This hot and cold bullshit is really starting to fuck with my head. Why had she sent that fucking postcard? I had really thought it meant something, but to her it's nothing.
Having Renee for a teacher is going to be a goddamn nightmare. I can't stand the woman because of all the shit she put Bella through, but listening to her talk in fourth period makes me hate her even more. She calls me "Mr. Cullen" every time she addresses me in class.
I finally get the confirmation during lunch. Emmett and I sit down at our same table from last year, joining Charlotte and Felix.
She leans forward in her seat. "It's a shame about Bella. I'm gonna miss her ass, especially with Alec and Jane gone. Although, I can't really blame her after what your friends did to her last year."
"Where is she?" I ask, already knowing the answer.
"My mom and I ran into Ms. Swan at the mall a couple of weeks ago. She told us that Bella moved in with her dad over the summer. Hope you're happy." She picks up her tray and leaves us as Angela arrives.
I can't believe she really left.
"I guess you heard," she mumbles as she places her backpack in the seat between us.
"Yeah. I heard. Did she say anything to you over the summer?"
"We only talked a few times, and now that I think of it, she completely blew me off every time. What a bitch. I guess this just confirms it. We were always second class citizens compared to her precious Pack," she says bitterly.
I want to argue and defend Bella. It's instinct. But I can't. By the end of tenth, she was barely speaking to any of us. She was already done and just biding her time. Returning my shit and throwing away everything connecting her to this school was her way of tidying up.
How can I defend someone that would just walk away from people that care about her without a word? She avoided Emmett all summer, dissed Angela, and from what I gather, didn't tell a single fucking person that she wasn't coming back.
"Shut up, Angela." It's the first thing I've heard Emmett say since he cursed me out before Spanish.
It ends up being the last thing I hear Emmett say all day. He has American History after lunch, and I have World History in the classroom next to his, but he leaves the cafeteria early without a backwards glance.
The silent treatment continues during PE. After taking attendance and passing out course objectives, Coach Dwyer calls me into his office.
"Relax," he says, clapping me on the shoulder as he walks by on the way to his desk. "I just wanted to meet last year's players and find out who plans to return."
"Maybe we should just get this out of the way and put it behind us now," he says, leaning forward. "Whatever happened between you and Bella is between you and Bella. I have no intention of getting in the middle of it. I've had to work with all sorts of people over the years, and I know I can work with you."
Damn. This dude doesn't fuck around.
"You've met her?" I can only imagine how that went down.
"Just once." He leans back and smiles. "She's an interesting girl."
Understatement of the year.
"What about Ms. Swan?" It's time to see how pussy-whipped he is.
"I'm not getting in the middle of that either."
I don't know what it is about this guy that makes me believe him, but I do. "I'd like to play." Baseball is really the only thing I have left.
He asks if I have any concerns, looks over my stats, and asks if I have plans to play in college. As I'm talking, he alternates between making eye contact and writing notes. About what, I have no idea.
On my way out of his office, he tells me to send Emmett in.
Royce and a few of the other guys are waiting between the Jeep and the Volvo after school. "How was your summer, Cullen? You fell of the map, dude," he asks as I unlock my door and toss my backpack into the car.
"Oh come on. You can't seriously still be fucked up over Bella Swan? You're seventeen years old, man. This is when you get to have fun. Speaking of…" He nods in Heidi and Irina's direction as they walk by "…Heidi is definitely interested. I overheard her talking about it in the cafeteria today."
Luckily, they have first lunch this year, and I won't have to listen to it in person. "She's not my type."
"Not your type?" He shakes his head. "Edward, that girl can Hoover a Dr. Pepper can. She also hums 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' as a grand finale. She's every guy's type."
"Fuck off, man. I'm not interested."
"It's cool." He holds both hands up. "No problem. I was just trying to help."
"Ignore him," Ben says as he approaches. "I'm sorry about Bella, man. That's too bad." He shakes his head. "Girls are brutal. I swear Royce and I did everything we could to get them to lay off of her last year. He told Rosalie to back off, and I asked Irina to tell the others to leave Bella alone, but chicks are evil."
Bella had never given two shits about what any of those girls thought of her. She considered them a waste of good oxygen. She didn't leave because a couple of cheerleaders talked shit. She'd left to get away from me.
"Thanks for trying." I still feel like shit that he tried to help me after I believed he made a play for my girl. I probably would have killed his ass if I hadn't seen Bella first and realized it was bullshit.
"Let's go," Royce calls over his shoulder as he walks away.
"We're going to the cages," Ben explains. "You in?"
"Nah. I've got to help my mom with some stuff this afternoon."
I don't even start the Volvo until they've all left the lot.
This is so fucked up.
A year ago, I had dropped Bella off in her driveway for the first time. It was the first time I really thought I might have a shot with her. Instead of jumping out of my car to rush in for a nap, she didn't move at all. She pulled a Temple of the Dog CD out of the sleeve on the visor and told me how much she loved Chris Cornell. As if I'd forgotten the details of my first conversation with her. Hearing a beautiful girl talk about a sex dream is hot, even when she's somehow bitching at the same time.
We listened to the entire album while sitting in my car in her driveway and talking. She talked about her friends back in Forks a lot that afternoon, but she'd never made me feel the way Angela described until today.
I deserved it.
I'd give anything to just go back to the night of that play. At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal. All I wanted was food and a bed. I barely remember what we said to each other now. In the grand scheme of things, the actual words spoken didn't even matter.
What mattered was that I should have driven my car to Forks and followed her after she left me standing there. Instead, I was pissed off she picked a fight that I'm not even really sure she picked anymore.
And I was stupid enough to think it was just a fight. I still didn't get it, how we went from fine to fucked so quickly. On Monday, I was ready to apologize and grovel until she blasted me for the Pam's thing and practically accused me of cheating on her.
And then she did it. She said she was starting to hate me. So I let her go. I would never want her to hate me.
She pulled away so fast and thoroughly that it almost seemed like she didn't care. But then the prom thing with Irina happened, and she was upset, upset enough to almost get suspended.
When I showed up on her porch, I was hoping for some kind of sign that maybe, just maybe, she might have been having second thoughts. She'd killed any leftover hope the moment she said she didn't even want to sit next to me in Bio anymore.
Things had seemed a lot clearer after watching her wrap herself around her ex on the last day of school and leave without even a backwards glance. Again.
And every time I've almost convinced myself that she's really done with me, she does something to reel me back in- like the post card. Why would she send it if she didn't care?
This is the girl that calls Winnie Cooper indecisive. Although I have to admit, moving and changing schools is really fucking decisive. I'd give anything to know how her brain works. I thought I had her all figured out, but obviously, I don't know her for shit.
The Bella I thought I knew would've never given up so easily. Or she was just a fantastic liar.
I drive by my house, but Angela's car is in the drive. She must be working with Mom this afternoon. I don't feel like listening to her bitch about Bella again, so I keep going. The more I drive, the angrier I get.
I want answers. I want to know why she sent that fucking postcard and if she got back together with Jake. Is that why she moved to Forks, to be closer to him? What does that say about what the fuck kind of boyfriend I was if she would rather be with some asshole that abuses her?
If she had hated my guts so fucking much, why would she care if I went to prom with Irina? And why didn't she just open her mouth and tell me what was wrong in the first place? This was the girl who told an entire music store full of people about gonorrhea. She could have yelled at me or cussed at me. Hell, I'd have taken a punch like the one she gave Jake if meant she had cared.
The drive to Forks is long, but only because I'm on edge. Even though I'm angry, I still want to see her. I haven't seen her in so long. Not in person, anyway.
Seeing her truck parked in Charlie's driveway hurts even though I knew it would be here. It just hasn't had time to sink in yet. Pounding on the door gets me nowhere. After a few minutes, I notice the mail is still stuffed in the slot next to the door. One of the girls has probably given her a ride to school.
Now that I'm here, I'm not leaving until I get some answers. I don't care how long it takes.
She comes home an hour later with that Mike guy. I almost start the car and leave without a word, but I'd rather look like an idiot and stay than give him an invitation to stick around. Maybe he's her ride to and from school now. It's fucked up how easily she replaces people.
He pulls away without ever cutting the engine, and I'm glad he doesn't stick around for so many fucking reasons. I would never hurt Bella or put my hands on her, but I would beat the shit out of any dude who tried to tell me to stay away from her. That's a fucking fact.
"Where were you today?" I want her to say it. She should have told us she wasn't coming back. I don't give a shit how mad she is…she could have picked up the fucking phone.
"School." She doesn't even bother to look at me as she walks right by. She keeps her back to me as she walks up the stairs, and the long skirt is brushing against her ankles.
If she thinks ignoring me is going to make me go away, she can think again.
"Funny. I didn't see you there. Emmett isn't speaking to me. Your mom refused to tell me anything. Angela was-"
"I moved home. I go to Forks now," she mutters as she digs in her purse.
"I really didn't want Renee to be my teacher."
"Bullshit." It hadn't been a big deal to her when we talked about it last year. She'd said it would be annoying. Now she expects me to believe it was enough to make her transfer? No fucking way. I call bullshit.
"Not everything is about you, Edward." She has the door unlocked, opened, and slammed in my face before I can get a word out.
I'm sick and fucking tired of her games. She either wants me or she doesn't, and she owes me some answers. I intend to get them. But when I open the door and find her stomping across her living room, cursing and having some kind of tantrum, I completely forget what I wanted to ask her.
She's incredible when she's pissed off. She always has been. Her chest heaves and her fingers are bunched in her skirt. "Get out."
If she really wants me out of her house, I'll leave, but she's chewing her bottom lip, and I haven't felt her skin in so fucking long. As soon as she's within reach, I bury my fingers in her hair. God, I've missed her hair.
She doesn't fight it when I kiss her. She can't fight this. This is perfection. We've always been perfect like this. I just need to show her. Remind her.
I've missed her body, and I can't stand to not feel it anymore. I manage to get her shirt and bra off, and the moment her tits are pressed against me, I turn into a desperate man. I want to make her remember me and what I can do to her.
Finally, fucking finally, she grabs for my jeans. She wants this. She tastes so good, like weed and chocolate and Bella. She's smoked with that fucker. I try not to think about that as I lower us to the couch. I don't want her to think about it either.
I want to see her naked and feel every inch of her against me, but I need to be inside her more than anything.
Fuck the skirt. I can work around it.
Her breath catches, and I freeze, petrified she's going to tell me no and send me packing before I even have a chance.
We stare at each other in silence. When she puts her mouth on my neck, I give up and close my eyes. The feel of her teeth on my skin is all it takes. She pushes against my hand as I slip my fingers into her. It's hard not to come in my shorts looking at her and feeling her like this again.
My name is a low, deep moan in her throat as she fumbles with my zipper. I want to tell her no, so I can focus on getting her off, but when she wraps her hand around my dick, I go brain dead, completely fucking brain dead. I try to focus on my fingers and her panting, but I know I thrust into her palm more than once. I can't help it. It's been too fucking long.
She's pulling me closer and closer, forcing me to play with a fire I know will end up scorching me. She finally falls apart, shaking beneath me and saying my name the way she used to…when she needed more…when she needed me.
She moans a little when she feels my wet fingers close around hers and squeeze. Before I even have time to ask about a rubber, she's shifting and bringing me inside.
I don't have the balls to look her in the eye because I'd rather keep my memories of the way she looked at me when she loved me. So I ease in slowly and pull her nipple into my mouth, teasing it with my teeth first then my tongue, the way she likes it.
It helps take my mind off how perfect she feels. I haven't had sex since fucking March, and the last thing I want to do is blow my load before I make her come again. Fucking without a condom is so much more intense.
She pulls my hair and her moans, whimpers and the sting of her fingernails, as she grips my back, feed the beast in me as I push harder and harder. I kiss and lick and bite every spot I can reach between her chest and mouth. Shifting, I drop to one elbow and let my other hand slide along her neck and into her hair, supporting her head as we kiss. She tries to pull away when she's close, but I can't let her go. When she comes, I lose it. It's hotter, and I can hear it, how fucking wet she is, what I'm doing to her. There's a tiny voice in the back of my head screaming for me to pull out. But the primal urge to mark her and own her wins.
It feels so fucking good, like she's pulling it out of me, like she wants it…but only for a minute. She pushes me off of her quickly, and I know I've fucked up. She won't even look at me, and she's hunting for her bra and shirt. Following her example, I stand and pull my pants up, wishing she would just turn around and say something. Anything.
Once she is dressed, she turns slowly. "Get out."
Anything but that.
"I'm sorry. That wasn't supposed to happen." We're supposed to talk. Just talk. Maybe fight.
She looks calm and so fucking determined. Until she speaks. "Don't worry, Cullen," she practically sneers. "That was a freebie. It's what girls like to call closure." Closure. I've given her everything I had, and for her, it's just a goodbye fuck.
The Bella I'd known wasn't cruel like this. She would never say something so hateful...well, not to me anyway.
She moves past me quickly, yanks open the front door, and gestures for me to get the fuck out of her house.
"Time to go. I've got homework. My new teachers are tough, especially Mr. Berty."
It's amazing how easily Bella can blow me off now. She's got to be the world's most amazing fucking liar. This isn't the same girl who promised she'd always love me. This is the girl who jumped ship the moment we hit rough waters.
"For what exactly?" she asks as she crosses her arms and glares at me.
"I'm sorry you felt like you had to leave." Whether she admits it or not, I know she left because of me. She's made it perfectly clear she wants nothing to do with me.
"It's for the best." She's staring at her damn fingernails, talking to me like she's bored. I'm not sure whether to be pissed or hurt. Really, I'm just both.
"You should call Emmett," I suggest. He'd been her friend long before I ever entered the picture, and he hasn't done anything to deserve this kind of shit from her.
"You should go."
I don't want to make her tell me again. Lingering would make me look like a pathetic idiot. And honestly, I'm sick of the way she is looking at me, like she doesn't know me at all or even want to.
As I back out of her driveway, I try to convince myself that she's right. Maybe this is for the best because seeing her every day was torture. Gone is better than out of reach.
But it's still Hell.
A/N- So many of you were wondering WTF he was thinking this chapter. Now you know.
The next EPOV outtake will be from chapter 20 and will include the "fight." I promised that scene to my dear sis and Nic. I'm not going to promise a time frame because I need to step away from these two for just a little while after TGAG completes. I love them, but yeah. I'm going to work on a couple of other things (futuretakes for Tofurkey – not a new multi chap) before I revisit them.
By the way – I've been roped into hosting a 90s fic contest. It's called "Smells Like Metallic Roses 90s TwiFic Contest." You can find the contest page on my favorite authors list. We have an incredible panel of judges: Maxipoo1024, Mariahajile, o_Oza, Kassiah, and BellaFlan. Follow contest info on Twitter at SLMR90sTwiFic.
Thanks so much for reading! I'd love to hear your thoughts.