Penname: kyla713
Creative Original or Derivative Fiction: Derivative

Rating/Warning(s): M

Disclaimer: All copyrighted, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.

Prompt: Dialogue Flex: "Don't flatter yourself."


For two weeks following the run-in with Kate at the store, there was no word from her, and Bella began to wonder if Edward was right. That there was really no weight behind her words when she said she was sorry.

Then one night as she was making dinner, she heard him grumbling under his breath from the living room until he finally appeared behind her in the kitchen. "She's fucking unbelievable."

Bella furrowed her brow and turned her head toward him, noting the angry look on Edward's face. "Kate?"

Edward nodded and lifted his phone, beginning to read the email. "Listen to this. 'Dear Edward, it's taken me quite some time to figure out how to say everything I need to, and I'm not even sure that I can do so right now. But since I saw Bella at the store, I've been doing a lot of thinking. I know from the way I've acted and the things I've said, you probably don't believe that I care about you at all, and that is the farthest thing from the truth. I've been an absolute mess since everything happened between us, and I think I have known you long enough that I can believe that you feel the same.' Don't flatter yourself."

"Edward," Bella murmured with a sigh, clicking off the burner and turning toward him. His hand was shaking slightly, and it almost seemed as if he was forcing more anger into his demeanor than he was truly feeling, something she had noticed him doing with increasing frequency. It was easier for him to be angry than to admit that he was upset and hurt, that much was obvious, but this was a new intensity for him.

"It's still all about her," Edward exclaimed, tossing his phone on the counter.

"May I?" she asked, pointing to the device and he waved his hand dismissively. She took it into her hold and brought the screen back up, continuing through the email silently.

I've lost everything, including Irina. She couldn't understand why I was so angry about the engagement coming to an end and knowing your relationship with Bella would start shortly thereafter. I already felt that I'd lost you as well, since there aren't many women who would tolerate their boyfriend having a female best friend, even if I had never thought of you that way. That she wouldn't understand the connection we've shared for nearly our entire lives. I know that none of this excuses my behavior, but you were the only one who ever got me and loved me exactly the way I was in anything I went through growing up. And Irina took that the wrong way, and thought I was saying that I didn't believe that she loved and understood me the way you did, and left. And I've never felt so alone in my life.

I really am sorry, Edward. I can see now how wrong I was and Bella truly is an amazing woman. She could have clawed my eyes out and screamed at me for the way I've treated you both, and I know I deserved everything she did say to me. I only hope that she's right and that someday, you can forgive me. I do love you and I miss your friendship. Would it be possible for us to meet for coffee or something and talk? I will understand if you say no, but it would mean so much to me if you said yes. My phone number is still the same or you can send me an email with your answer. I hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Kate

Bella looked up from the phone to Edward, finding his jaw clenched and his fingers balled tightly into fists. "She sounds sincere, for Kate."

"For Kate. It's all about Kate," Edward growled and drove his hands into his hair as he began pacing. "What she's lost, and what she wants. 'I'm sorry' doesn't make everything right again, Bella. I don't expect it all to be about me, but something would be nice."

"I know that, baby. But she needs to know that, too," Bella replied calmly and set the phone on the counter, catching his hand and pulling him toward her. "You wouldn't be this upset if it meant nothing to you."

Edward sighed and closed his eyes, gripping either side of her waist with his fingers. "I said I would listen, and I will. When I'm ready to see her. I can't do this over the phone or in an email. I can't take the easy way out like this."

Bella brought her hand to his face as he nodded toward his phone and looked to her again with questioning eyes. "That's fine, Edward. Do whatever it is you need to do. I'm not going to go crazy, jealous girlfriend on you, I promise."

"She was definitely right about one thing," Edward replied in a much calmer voice and circled his arms around her. "You really are one amazing woman. But I already knew that."