A/N: This is the original contest entry. I will be changing it, when I continue it, and it will be betaed. For those of you who don't like it...don't read it. I've read enough horrific reviews to last me a lifetime. Constructive criticism is one thing...attacks on my character are quite another. And for anyone's information...yes, I have been raped, and it is possible to compartmentalize it. So...if you don't like it...BITE ME!
Contest: The Second Season of Our Discontent Anonymous Angst Contest
Pen Name: J.D. Wolf
Twitter: J.D. Wolf Janette Wolf
Facebook: Janette Wolf
Title: Four Days In December
Picture Prompt Number: 7
Word Count: 9729
Summary: Edward Cullen is a drug addicted superstar, with a tragic past. Bella was a wife and mother. Now she's a kind, forgiving woman alone. When they meet during a snowstorm, they will be temporarily joined by pain. But will it be temporary? AH, AU,
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.
Based on the characters created by Stephanie Meyer, in her Twilight Saga series of books
WARNING: This story will contains scenes of physical violence, including rape, death, drug abuse, as well as adult language.
Four Days in December
I hate snow! Doesn't matter if there's a little or a lot, I just hate it! In my hometown, Forks Washington, I never saw snow like this. The flakes today are about an inch across. We had already hit a foot of snow about an hour ago, and we're well on our way to the second foot. They called it "lake effect" snow. The wind blew down from the north end of Lake Michigan, and dumped several feet of snow on the southern shore. Unfortunately, that was where I was. I had lived in Chicago, Illinois a few years back, while I was married to Mike Newton, but I didn't see this kind of snow there either. We had a couple kids back then. That was all before we found out he had a heart condition. He died about a year later. The care he received, after being diagnosed, took almost everything we had saved. Then to my surprise, my mother-in-law decided Mike should be buried in their family plot at Forks Cemetery. I learned, as his wife; it was up to me to not only make the arraignments, but I was also the one who had to pay whatever expenses were incurred, from shipping Mike's body from Chicago to Forks, for burial. I refused to move back there, though. There was nothing left for me in Forks. My father had been killed a couple years before Mike was diagnosed. Some drunken asshole with a loud mouth and a twitchy trigger finger murdered my father. I sold the house in Chicago, and moved out of the city. I didn't move all that far. It was just an hour away by car. A little more by train; the South Shore's a small train line that runs between South Bend, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. There were two train stations here in town and it had stops close to just about anywhere I'd want to go in Chicago. So it was just me...
Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm Bella Swan. Well, Bella Newton really. I never did get use to that name. Was married to Mike for six years and still detested the name. Anyway I bought this nice three bedroom house in a little tourist town called Michigan City. It's located just to the east of the southern tip of Lake Michigan. I've lived here about five years now and this was the worst snow storm I'd seen. I've been told about them, and I'd seen a few storms pile up a couple feet of snow, but this one was different. Not only was there the lake effect snow, but a storm was blowing over from the west. They were forecasting three and a half to four feet of snow by tomorrow morning. The plows were out but they couldn't keep up. People were advised to stay at home. I needed a few groceries to make it through the storm. I knew my truck could make the trip safely there and back so I headed to the store. Just one of the many reasons I love my old truck. I made it through the foot or two of snow with no problem. Of course the ice was a totally different matter.
I was making my way back home and as I neared the intersection with the Boulevard I saw a shiny silver sports job trying to navigate the city highway. Its motor was revving and the rear end was fishtailing. As the sports car got closer I was able to see the driver, and he looked to be drunk as a skunk. It was almost hilarious to watch. That is until it slammed into the utility pole on the corner to my left.
"OH HELL!" I huffed, as I slammed the gear shift into park. Pulling my coat tight around my neck, I made my way to the silver, use to be, Volvo, that was now a pile of twisted shiny junk. As I got closer to the car, I began to recognize the driver of the silver wreck.
"Holy shit" I whispered when I got to the driver's side door. It made a God awful twisted metal sound as I pulled it open. The man inside the car nearly fell on my feet. I was glad his seatbelt was still wrapped around his waist. "Well I'll be damned" I stood up straight with gloved hands on my hips and took a good look the man at my feet. To my surprise it was, "Edward fucking Cullen, movie star extraordinaire." I couldn't stop the laugh that bubbled out of me.
"You got me babe" he slurred as he pulled himself back up into a sitting position. "Hey Tanya, how 'bout a blowjob to commemorate you finding me?" He grinned then flopped back over and vomited on the snow and ice covered road.
"Just—wonderful" I mumbled to myself, Then I heard another car approaching from the end of the block behind me. "Shit! You, drunk fuck! Cops are on their way. You want me to rescue you or would you rather spend a few days in jail? Make up your mind fast." I looked over my shoulder at the slowly moving police car as it pulled up behind his silver wreck with its blue and red lights flashing wildly.
"Fuck me" Cullen said as he straightened up again and looked back at the flashing lights. Then he turned his Hollywood greens on me. "Be my angel and save me, Tanya." God I really hate men! I leaned into the car and unbuckled his seatbelt.
"Keep your shit together at least until you get to my truck." I whisper-yelled into his ear, and my name's not Tanya! It's Bella. And for God's sake, don't breathe on me!" I shouted as I carefully extracted him from his car helping him stand up. I moved him away from the car door and leaned him against the smashed hood.
"Got a problem Ms. Newton?" The warmly dressed police officer asks as he cautiously made his way from his car to the silver wreck.
"I think he hit his head. He's a little dizzy, but I think he'll be okay. I was going to leave a note, and take him to my house." As the officer approached I was able to see enough through the scarf wrapped around his face to tell it was Eric Yorkie.
"Hey Eric. It's been a long time."
"Sure has, Bella," He loosened the scarf so more of his face showed, including his broad smile. "The hotels and motels are running about five to a room, and they're still pulling cars off the interstate. The jail's full, too. They're talking about setting up cots in City Hall. Just don't know how they plan on getting them there." He looked at Edward Cullen for a moment then made the decision. "Sir," he called rather loudly at Cullen. "Do you want to go with this woman?" Cullen nodded. "You do understand that you may be with her for a few days while this storm passes, and until the plows can get through?" Cullen raised his hand to his forehead and nodded again. "Okay Bella. The car will get towed by whoever's next on the list, and I'll make a notation in the report that he can be located at your house and list the telephone number."
"Thanks Eric," I smiled as I continued to try to get Edward to my truck. We had shuffled off a couple of feet when Eric came up on Cullen's other side.
"Let me help" he offered "Whew! Damn Bella, you sure you want this guy at your place? He smells like the old brewery when it really was a brewery." You're too young to remember that and yeah, I know. But I'll be okay with him, thanks for the help Eric." Reaching to open the passenger side door on the truck, I told Edward to climb on in. He crawled into the truck and curled into a ball on the large bench seat. I slammed the door turning to Eric.
"So, that's the great Edward Cullen," Eric looked down and shook his head. "He's lucky we're in the middle of a snow storm and that he ran into you." He looked over his shoulder at the ruined sporty Volvo. "Well, almost ran into you."
"Thanks Eric," I need to get home. I'm fucking freezing out here." Eric laughed and gave me a pat on the back.
"See ya around," he said as he turned and started sliding back to his car. I opened the driver's side door, and shook my head in disgust at the full grown man curled up on my truck seat.
"Hey, Cullen" I yelled giving him a shove. "You got any clothes in that wreck of a car?"
"Trunk" he slurred. I slid back to the car, took the keys from the ignition and popped the trunk. I found a suitcase and a couple garment bags. I didn't figure he wouldn't need any suits, so I grabbed the suitcase and quickly slide-stepped back to the truck. I threw the suitcase in the trucks bed then jumped back into the driver's seat.
I only lived a couple blocks from that corner, on the other side of the Boulevard. It was a real quick ride to the house. I was glad I'd shoveled before I left for the store. Not that you could tell, but there was less snow to walk through on the sidewalk. I helped Edward into the house and leaned him against the closed door while I stripped off his coat and scarf. He mumbled the entire time. I couldn't tell what he was saying but every now and then he called me Tanya and laughed a little. By the time I was done hanging up both our coats, he was falling asleep against the door. "Well hell," I said as I stopped him from sliding to the floor. "Hey!" I yelled slapping lightly at his face. "Wake up! You can sleep in a minute."
"Sure Tanya," he said as his eyes opened a sliver. "Just lead me to the bed, baby. I'm ready." I guided him back to my son's room, the door to the left of mine. My hope was to be able hear if he had any trouble during the night. I knew he was drunk but I was more concerned with what else he might have in his system. Word was he was quite the coke aficionado, and there was never a drug he ever met that he didn't like. So I was ready for this to be quite the snowstorm. When we made it to the door to my son's room I had to pause and take a deep breath before opening the door. It had been almost two years since I had been in either of the two other bedrooms to do anything other than dust. Cullen was lucky he was getting clean sheets. I reached down and pulled the blankets back then sat him on the edge of the full size bed. I unbuttoned and removed his shirt leaving his white T-shirt. That's when he started getting a bit frisky.
"Come on Tanya" he slurred as he grabbed my upper arms. "It's been too long, babe."
"Not long enough evidently. My name's Bella! Not Tanya or babe." I pulled my arms away from him and pushed him over onto the pillow. I then went to work on his boots. He was wearing, fake combat boots, laced up practically to his knees. They were a nightmare to unlace with all the ice and snow packed into the crosses and eyelets. When I finally got them off, along with his amazingly dry socks, I placed his bare feet under the blankets and covered him. Closing the door as I left the room, I took his boots out and placed them near one of the heat registers in the front room. I looked out at the falling snow and swore.
"Fuck me harder" I mumbled under my breath. I snatched my coat back out of the closet and trekked back out to the truck. I started it up and turned it around to move it across the street. When I had it on the right side of the road, so it wouldn't get towed when they plowed, I grabbed his suitcase and the groceries. The damn suitcase was heavy and packed with snow by the time I got it in the house. I set it by the heat register to dry as well. Once the groceries were put away and everything was back to my normal quiet, I sat down at my computer, set up my playlist and turned up the speakers. I figured that Mr. Wasted was to out of it to notice, and he didn't. I opened my twitter account and a couple other sites I frequented and then set about ignoring them. I opened up my fan fiction account and went to work on a chapter of a story I was working on. I had to laugh at the irony of it all. I was writing a fan fic based on an action movie that Cullen had starred in. I chuckled as I wrote, and the time flew by. The next time I looked out the window it was dark. I looked at a clock and it was past 5 o'clock. Well past time to start dinner.
The kitchen was spotless as I reached into the fridge to pull out the making of a big salad. I loaded the small counter down with what I was going to need. Then reached over to the dish drainer and pulled the cutting board and knife out. In no time at all I had thrown together a large salad with ham and cheddar cheese. I topped it with cottage cheese and ranch dressing. Then took it to my computer desk and set it up to watch a TV show. Before I settled in, I went back and checked on my unconscious guest. As I peaked in the door he was curled up with the blanket bunched up in his hands and pulled up under his chin. His hair had flopped onto his forehead and over his eyes. His lips were pooched out and flapped a little when he exhaled. He looked like a little boy who had had a very exhausting day. He was laying on his side and his shoulder and back were exposed to the cool air in the room. I stepped closer to him and pulled the blanket up around him so his back would stay warm. I heard him mumble as my hand brushed his neck. Without thinking my hand brushed over his forehead pushing his hair back from his face. For just a moment his eyes opened a sliver and a smile spread across his face. But he didn't move or wake as I withdrew from the room and quietly closed the door. I went back to the front room, and settled in to watch a show and eat my dinner.
It had been a long hard day of fighting the snow and shoveling it. By 8 o'clock I was ready to go to bed. I stifled a yawn and shut everything off in the front room, as I took my bowl and fork to the kitchen. I checked to make sure all the doors were locked than retired to my room. I sat on the edge of my bed thinking about my house guest. I got up used the bathroom and left the light on in case Edward woke during the night. Then I went into my room and closed the door. Now I usually slept in the nude but...with Edward Cullen in the next room. I just didn't feel comfortable sleeping that way tonight. I searched my dresser drawers and came up with a snug pair of shorts and a short T-shirt that should work as pajamas for the next few days. I changed clothes and laid down on my bed grabbing my Kindle and began to read for a while before going to sleep. I loved to read in bed. It was something I had always done and probably always would do. Withering Heights was my favorite but tonight I wanted something a bit scarier. Bram Stoker's Dracula jumped out as I went through my Kindles table of contents. I navigated to the first chapter and snuggled down and began to read. The wind was blowing against the house and whistling through every crack and crevice it could find. It was a natural soundtrack to the description of the storm in chapter seven. It was after 10 o'clock when my eyes began to blur. I put my Kindle aside and shut off the light. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I was dreaming. I had to be dreaming! Hands cupped my breasts under my shirt. Garbled words were spoken into my neck. It was one of those dreams where you know you're dreaming and you just can't stop it. It was that damn book. Dracula! He was trying to bite my neck. But what was he saying? My eyes flew open! It wasn't a dream! There was a naked man in my bed. "Tanya! Stop fighting it, you know you want this." The words weren't as slurred as they had been earlier in the day but he was still under the influence of something. I was waking up fast, and I was furious. I reached up to push him off of me but he was too heavy. His face finally lifted from my neck and he looked at me. The blue light from my clock lit his face and he was just as mad as I was. "Stop it!" he yelled at me. "Damn it Tanya!"
"I'm not Tanya!" I yelled back. "I'm Bella! Bella Swan!" He laughed.
"Is that a new part you're rehearsing? Well stop it!" he yelled again. He gathered my wrists in one of his hands and held them above my head. His free hand pulled my shirt up to my neck and began to massage my breasts. "So beautiful," he seemed awed. "Are these new? They look so different. They feel so real. Your old ones felt so phony. I like these better" and his mouth captured one of my nipples. He sucked hard on it drawing it into his mouth where he nipped it with his teeth.
"Stop it!" I yelled at him. "Edward listen to me, I'm not Tanya." I tried to get through to him but it just wasn't working.
"Oh God, Tanya, I've missed you." He began to kiss my right breast licking and sucking as he went. His free hand massaged the left breast as he laid on me to hold me down. Eventually his mouth began working both sides of my chest. I raised my knees and placed my feet flat on the mattress then pushed up. I was trying to lift my hips off the mattress trying to dislodge him from covering the top of me. It didn't work. He just laughed and sucked harder at my nipples. He wouldn't hear me, I couldn't move him, and I was beginning to panic. With one hand holding my hands over my head, his teeth clamped down on one nipple as he started moving his free hand lower over my abdomen. In a moment it had reached the waistband of my shorts and was sliding underneath. I had nothing on under the shorts so his hand slid easily over my clit. He moaned loudly as his fingers sank into my folds. "Oh Tanya! I don't think you've been this wet since the first time we fucked" he grinned up at me as he released my nipple to speak. He rubbed the side of his head against my breast and stomach as he moaned again. "So wet for me" he murmured. His middle finger sank into my vagina and he started to pump it in and out. Tears fell from my eyes, as I shook my head back and forth.
"Please don't" I begged him. "Not like this! Edward, please, not like this." A sob ripped through me as a second finger joined the first. I pushed my thighs together as tightly as I could. "Damn it Tanya. You're really pissing me off." He shoved hard on my wrists as he pushed himself up onto his knees. He used his free hand to grab the waistband of my shorts and jerked them from around my hips.
"NO! NO!" I yelled as I brought my knees and ankles together in an attempt to stop him from removing my shorts completely.
"You came to me!" he yelled in my face. "You came back! You can't keep doing this to me!" He used his bare foot to wedge in between my thighs and pushed the crotch of my shorts down between my legs and off the end of the bed. "Just let me in baby. Let me show you how much I love you" he purred in my ear.
"Edward please listen to me" I tried to speak gently but that didn't work either. He looked at my face and saw the tears streaking down my cheeks.
"Don't cry baby." He wiped the tears from my face with his palms and then kissed my mouth. "We'll be just like we were before. Back when nobody knew us. It can be good again. I can be good again." He was nearly sobbing as he licked his lips and kissed me again. "You just need to let me in babe. Just let me show you." His leg that had pushed off my shorts was lying between my legs. He used it to try and pry my legs apart but I blocked him at every turn. As he rubbed against me his penis began to grow to alarming proportions. He finally gave up trying to pry my legs apart and simply moved his knee up toward my vagina. With a wicked smile he pressed his knee into my groin catching my pubic hair and pinching the skin. As hard as I tried to fight the pain he tried harder to create it. He leaned into me until the pain forced me to open my legs in order to push myself away from him. In a flash he had positioned himself between my legs and was lying on top of me. I pulled my feet up and began to kick my heels into the back of his thighs and calves. "Fuck this Tanya!" he yelled in my face. "This is your last chance to stop this shit."
"I'm not Tanya!" My head rose off the pillow and I screamed at him. He pushed up on his knees releasing my hands. I sat up and began slapping at him trying to get out of the bed and away from him. But it was too late for escape. I didn't even see the fist that blacked my eye and split my lip.
"Oh baby! What have I done to you?" Tears filled his eyes as I fell back to my pillow and stayed there. I watched him as he went from terrified that he had seriously hurt me, to filled with rage, to overwhelming lust. "Oh God baby, you feel so good." His hands surrounded my face. His mouth licked and sucked at my nipples and his groin rubbed against mine. His penis was pointed down so it rubbed against my clit as he moved his body up and down mine. "Do you feel it baby? Do you feel what you do to me? My cock is so hard. I need you so much, Tanya. Do you feel the electricity between us? That's so different, everything is so new."
I had felt it. Like a mild electric current but I had ignored it. I felt it now growing stronger, as he rubbed his penis over my clit and it coming up wetter with every pass. My face hurt, and all I could do was let the tears fall as I whispered pleading words, begging him to stop. But he didn't. Whatever drugs he was on they had complete control of him. He was going to prove his love to Tanya, even if I wasn't her. My arms remained at my sides and my legs open. He would take me, but I would not acknowledge him. It was all I had left to fight with. He rubbed me hard then drew back and angled his cock at my pussy. At Tanya's pussy. He grabbed a hold of his cock with his hand and wiggled it through my folds to my vaginal opening. He leaned into me and he forced his cock in. The pain made me scream as he slowly pushed all the way into me.
"What happened baby? You're so tight you were never this tight. Not even the first time we did it." He sat back on his feet pulling my hips with him so he stayed buried in me. "Just let it be for a sec, babe. Your body will adjust." The pain slowly faded and my body did adjust to his larger than normal size. "Is that better Tanya?" he asked quietly. Not knowing what else to do at this point, I nodded. A smile spread across his face. In other circumstances that smile might have been breathtaking. But not now. Not this way. Right now, that smile was heartbreaking. He began to move in me. Slowly pulling out, only to plunge right back into me again and again. As my pussy stretched to accommodate his size he began to move faster. His hands pulled my hips to him, as he rammed himself forward. His cock hit places inside of me that I never knew existed. As his breathing became labored his right thumb moved to cover my clit. "I want you to cum with me, baby."
"Oh God!" I cried softly, because I knew I would. As much as I didn't want to, I knew it was going to happen. Rape or not, Edward Cullen was an expert. He was going to make me cum no matter how hard I resisted. I felt the pressure building in my lower abdomen. I fisted the sheets and gritted my teeth, but my hips still jerked to the rhythm he was creating with his cock and thumb. I moaned without restraint as the pressure spread through to my lower body. My moans turned to panting groans.
"That's right, baby. Let it go. Cum for me baby, cum now!" he finally yelled, and I did. I came harder than I ever had in my life. It had been over five years since I had felt anything close to this and I screamed as it wracked my body with convulsions. The tears that followed turned quickly to great wrenching sobs. Edward yelled his release as he grabbed my hips hard and rammed into me three or four more times. "Oh baby! That was better than it ever was." An almost angelic smile spread across his face just before he collapsed to the side of me. He gently rolled me to the side and pulled me so my back was pressed firmly against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me so his fingertips could play across my breasts and nipples, but also trapping me in place. "I love you Tanya, I've missed you so much. Can I stay with you now?" As much as I wanted to hate Edward Cullen, that last plea broke my heart. I tried not to think about it as I felt him lined up behind me; spooning me. I felt as if I were in some sort of cocoon. I would have felt protected except for what had just happened. I cried until I had no tears left, and then I fell into a fitful sleep.
Morning started dark and calm. I felt Edward's breath at the nape of my neck. He was snoring gently but his hold on me had loosened slightly. I carefully lifted his arm away from my body and slipped out of bed. I ran from the room closing the door silently. I found fresh clothes in the drier and a clean towel and washcloth from the hall closet. I jumped into the shower before the warm water had even started, shivering as I scrubbed my body in the cold spray. As the water temperature rose to the hot side of warm I slid down the shower wall to the floor. Tears flowed and sobs once again wracked my body. I wrapped my arms around my knees as I brought them to my chest. I had to get past this. I was stuck with this man for the duration of the storm. I finally gathered my courage and stood up. I finished my shower, dried off and got dressed. I wiped off the mirror and took a look at my eye and lip. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Oh I had a shiner all right, but my lip wasn't bad at all. There was a small cut on my upper lip, on the right side. I tested the healing with my tongue. It hurt a little but not bad. I examined what I could of the rest of my body, in the full length mirror on the bathroom door. I had bruises on both wrists, both my hips, and hickeys on both my breasts. Plus, teeth marks surrounded the nipple of my right breast. He had bitten me on one side. I looked closer and realized that no he had in fact bitten around both of my nipples. The left was simply less noticeable. The only thing I could think was that at least he was symmetrical. I shook my head and walked down the hall and into the kitchen. Bacon and eggs sounded like a good idea for breakfast.
The shower had made me feel better. Feel cleaner anyway. I had always been able to compartmentalize the issues in my life. This was another issue I had to separate myself from. I switched on the radio that I kept on the counter and did a little dancing and singing to the songs the DJ played. I thought about what I would do now, considering the Edward issue. I had breakfast done, the table set, and a decision made by the time Edward Cullen dragged his sorry ass out of my bed. Evidently he found his suitcase in the next bedroom, because he was wearing a pair of silk navy blue pajama pants. He walked into the dining room scratching his head and looking lost.
"Hi," he smiled at me. I turned so he couldn't see my black eye. I don't know why I didn't want him to see it. I just didn't. "Morning," I said. "You can decide if it's good or not." I motioned for him to go ahead and sit down at the table. "I'll have everything done in a minute." I went back into the kitchen to grab the milk and orange juice out of the fridge. When I came back out I set the two jugs on the table and sat so my good side was facing him. I split the eggs and bacon between us then poured myself a glass of orange juice.
"Looks good" Edward smiled and dug into his breakfast. "Um, I have a couple questions, if you don't mind?"
"My name's Bella. We're in the middle of a snow storm. You wrecked your car. You're stuck her until the storm is over and they can get the roads clear enough for something besides emergency vehicles to get through. Did I answer all your questions?"
"Just one more if you don't mind." he took a deep breath and looked at me questioningly. "Have I done something to offend you?" I was so surprised by his question that my face swung around toward him before I could stop myself. "Jesus!" he breathed. "Who the hell did that to you?"
I lost it! I pushed the small dining room table away from me and jumped to my feet. I quickly paced to the front room and stared back at him. "Who did this?" I pointed to my eye and gave him a short clipped laugh. "You did! You son of a bitch!" I paced as I talked my arms wrapped around my chest tightly. "I watched you drive down the road and crash into a utility pole. Then watched you vomit at my feet. I saved you from the cops, brought you to my home so you would be safe and warm. Your way of repaying me was coming to my room naked, calling me Tanya, and you..." tears were streaming down my cheeks as the sobs forced me to stop. My arms dropped in defeat and I looked at the floor at my feet.
"I did what?" Edward had turned in his chair so he could watch me as I spoke. He stepped easily out of his chair and stood by it. "I what?" he said again more forcefully. A look of horror crossed his face as he looked down and saw the bruises on my wrists. I lifted the edge of my shirt with one hand and lowered the waistband of my pants with the other. The gasp that escaped him was clearly heard as he recognized the hand prints on my hip.
"I'm not going to show you the bite marks" I told him. "But I am even. I'll give you that. Bruises and bites on both sides."
"I would never have done that?" He tried to deny what he had done to me.
"You did!" I yelled at him. "You...you raped me!" I screamed and collapsed in the archway between the two rooms. He stepped toward me but I scuttled away from his hands. "Don't touch me!" I growled through clenched teeth. I pulled my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. "What are you going to do?" he whispered.
"What can I do?" I rested my forehead on my arms and talked into my legs. "Nothing, there's nothing I can do."
"You could call the police. Have me arrested for rape," he sat back on the chair, and watched me closely.
"Do I look stupid? No strike that. Obviously I am. But I know better than try and nail you for rape. Not the great Edward Cullen." The sarcasm dripped from my lips as I glared at him.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" he spat at me.
"Jeez. It's so simple a five year old can follow it. I've thought about it. I've thought it through completely. I know that the only thing I'd succeed in doing is making a fool of myself. The man that every woman around the world wants to fuck, accused of rape? Yeah, that's not gonna happen. No one would believe me. The worst part of it is just one simple question would destroy me on the stand." "Yeah?" he had straddled the chair and folded his arms across the top of the back. "What question?"
My tears had stopped for the moment and I could see him clearly. I looked up into his stunning green eyes. "Did I, Isabella Marie Swan Newton, want to have sex with Edward Anthony Masen Cullen? And I would have to say yes or I'd be lying" I breathed in defeat. "But not like what happen last night." My voice shook. "I wanted you to remember my name. Not think you were making love to your dead wife's ghost. I wanted you to see ME." I laid my forehead back on my arms, and fell silent for a while. He just sat there staring at me. "There's a computer and a TV in the room where you found your suitcase. There's probably a game system or two, as well. Help yourself." I used the wall to help me stand. I took a deep breath and looked back at him. "Did you really think I would be any different than any other woman in the world?" I walked past him and began to clean up the breakfast dishes.
I spent the next hour hiding in the kitchen, washing dishes, and cleaning the counters and other surfaces. I even washed the floor that didn't need washing. I did anything to avoid walking into another room and possibly finding him there. Around noon I made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. When it was ready I called for Edward to come to the table. He looked as if he'd been sleeping as he walked slowly through the hall to the dining room.
"Looks good" he tried to sound more positive and upbeat, after the talk we'd had that morning. He sat in the same chair and picked up a grilled cheese. He nearly ate a whole half in one bite. "I'm not good with the different cheeses, but cheddar?"
"Colby," I responded.
"Bella?" he swallowed his food before he spoke. "I know it doesn't mean much, but I am sorry. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I hit you. I'm sorry for the bruises and the bites and for scaring the shit out of you." He looked back down at his food, and began to drink the cup of soup. "Wow, the soup is good. What'd you put in it?"
"Butter, pepper, and celery flake. And you're right. Right now it doesn't mean much. But it might later, when I can think about this without wanting to see you dead." There was a long pause before either of us spoke again.
"It was PCP," Edward admitted quietly.
"PCP. I was smoking a pin joint in the car just before I hit that pole you told me about. I'd been drinking at the bar at the casino boat. Got really drunk. I mean...really drunk. Then I took off. I don't even know where I was planning on going. I just had to get out. I pulled out that joint and smoked about half of it. It was probably a good thing I was drinking so heavily. I passed out for a while. That was time you didn't have to deal with me."
"You need to stop." I told him weakly. "You need to stop before you hurt someone else," I said more forcefully. He looked down at his empty cup and frowned.
"I need to go into rehab." He sighed. "And I need to do it now."
"I'm afraid this snow storm is going to put a crimp in your plans, again." I told him.
"Well, as soon as I can leave. I promise you, Bella, I'll go to rehab as soon as the roads are clear. I'll make some calls and set things up right now. While I'm here" he looked up, and slowly reached a hand toward my arm. "Please, believe me." I still couldn't let him touch me but I didn't jerk away from him. I just slowly slid my arm off the table and onto my lap.
"I hope so Edward. You don't strike me as someone who wants to murder people."
"Don't you mean, 'any more' people?" He released a shuddering sigh.
"You were found innocent of that." I reminded him.
"Yeah, I know, but it doesn't stop the guilt. It doesn't stop the nightmares. And it obviously doesn't do a damn thing for my need-my desire for her." He paused and looked off toward the kitchen. "I was high that night,too. Not drunk, but none the less I was blasted out of my mind. We both were. We both loved our coke. I never told anyone that. Have never admitted that to anyone, not even to myself." I shivered a little, as he began to open up to me. Maybe because I was a victim of one of his crimes, he felt he could tell me about his others. "My lawyer said it wouldn't have made any difference. The truck's breaks failed and I did have the right-of-way. But I can't help but believe that if I had been sober, I could have done something. Turned the car sooner. Hit the brakes faster. Something. Anything that might have saved her. If I had only been sober."
"If you believe that then why do you do it? Why keep getting drunk? Why keep doing the drugs? Why the hell go cruising in a dangerous snow storm high as fuck?" I ask him.
"I miss her" he groaned. I watched as his eye filled with tears at the memory of his late wife. "It should have been me not her. I would still trade my life for hers but I can't. My early up-bringing steps in, and all I can think about is being with her again."
"Well you need to stop it. You sure as hell don't want to take anyone with you. And if you're early up bringing has anything to say about it you wouldn't see her again, because it's still suicide. Getting fucked up and going for a dangerous drive, living the way you have been, the destructive behavior. It's all a form of suicide. No matter whom you've lost-no matter how they were taken, you have to continue. The survivors have to continue, if for no other reason than to remember. To keep them alive in any way possible, even if it's only in our hearts and minds." I stared off out the front room's picture window. It was completely frosted over but I could still see the green grass of the front yard, in my mind. Edward huffed and glared at me.
"What the hell do you know about it?" he huffed. "You live here in your nice little house. Friends with everyone, including the local cops. You think you can pass judgment on me?" He stood from the table and continued to glare at me. "I can't believe you have the gall to accuse me of trying to kill myself through my behavior. It's just my way of coping," he spat through his teeth. "I have to get up every morning and pretend to be happy to my fans. I have to go to work and pretend to be someone else; someone happy, or confident, or...in love. Facing the crowds, that's the hard part. Wondering who blames me. Who secretly wants to kill me for what happened. Who thinks it was just an accident, and holds no ill will. I've taken pictures with supposed fans, only to have them whisper in my ear, "Hey killer, who you going to kill today?" and I have to act like it never happened. Those are easy to ignore. It's the ones that tell me how sorry they are for my loss, that really kill me. The heart-felt words that I don't deserve. The ones that remind me of her the most. Those rip me to shreds. And I still have to go on like nothing happened." He huffed with a growl, and then finished, "Did you know I had to go back to work the day after her funeral. The studio threatened to shut us down, and sue me for breach of contract if I didn't get back to filming. They were bitching because production had been shut down for the two weeks I was in the hospital." He shuddered as he drew in a deep breath. "Screw this," he huffed again, then turned and walked back to my son's room.
I walked into the front room and stood by my desk. The curtains were open and the snow had piled up to the bottom of the picture window. In my mind it was a completely different view. It was summer. The sun was still bright at 5 O'clock and the grass had been cut on that side of the yard. Jessica and Mike Jr. we're playing. Well, Mike was playing. Jess was trying to rake the yard. Quite the job for an eight year old, but she was doing it, slowly. What's-his-face next door, had just gotten home from work, about 10 minutes ago and was on his front steps. An old car was slowly driving up the block.
"I'm sorry," the voice at my side jarred me from my memories. I turned to see Edward standing behind me. "I shouldn't have gone off on you, like that. I just...sometimes it's hard to explain it to people. Other times I don't feel like I should have to. But I do own you an explanation." I stood still and listened to him. "I don't do coke or any of the other crap they say I do. I do smoke pin joints of PCP. I see her when I use it. That's the only reason I do it. So I can see her"
"You know how dangerous it is, right?"
"Yeah, I know, but...I see her. I feel her."
"It's not her," I tried to tell him. "If it was, she'd be telling you to stop it. That it wasn't your fault. It was the truck, not you. You have to find another way." I was pleading with him. "You have to let her go." We stood and stared at each other for a while, before I broke the silence again. "I hope we might have a friendlier dinner, to night. Any requests?"
Edward took a deep breath, and blew it out slowly before he answered. "I'd like to have a friendly conversation too. As for food, I'll eat just about anything. It's not often I get a home cooked meal." He smiled and nodded slightly. "I'm sure I'll love anything you feel like cooking." He nodded again then turned and went back to his room.
Dinner was a quiet affair. We had fried chicken with mashed potatoes and milk gravy. It all came out very good. As the meal ended I let Edward know my plans for the night. "I don't have a lock on my door but I will be moving my dresser over to the edge of the door. It won't stop you from getting in but it will cause enough noise that it'll warn me if you try. And I will hit you with something hard, and heavy."
"Fair enough," Edward told me. "I don't blame you one bit."
The night drew to a close and I went to my room and really did move my dresser against the door. I read for a while, but not Dracula this time. Withering Heights won out as the preferred choice of the night. After a couple chapters, I was too exhausted to continue. Sleeping was another matter. I seemed to wake at every little noise. The night seemed to crawl, and then it was suddenly morning. Gray light streamed through the windows, and into my eyes. I pulled myself out of bed, pushed the dresser out of the way, and went into the bathroom. I completed my morning routine, and then went to the kitchen to start breakfast. Pancakes and sausage seemed like a good choice. Once again, Edward woke just as I was finishing setting everything on the table. The meal was much more enjoyable than the day before had been even though I was still very reserved. Conversation centered on the snow and how to deal with it all. It was still spitting snow but it looked like the worst of it was over.
"I'll turn on my computer when I'm done in the kitchen and check the radar, but I really do think we're safe from any more." I told him.
"How long do you think it will be before the roads are cleared?"
"They'll be working on the interstate and highways first. Major roads here in town are next. Then side streets. Shouldn't take longer than two days."
"I'll make some calls today and arrange a ride. Rehab has been set up in Chicago. I just have to get there."
All I could do was nod in acceptance. I cleared the table and checked my computer. The radar didn't show anything of consequence, so I let Edward know. I pulled out my winter gear; coat, boots, gloves, scarf, and the snow shovel; and opened the front door. It took a lot of pushing on the bottom of the storm door to get it to move because of the snow that was piled there. I finely get it to open enough to get the shovel out. I had to work hard to maneuver the shovel to move the snow from in front of the door. I got it moved a little at a time. After about an hour of hard shoveling I had cleared the front stoop as well as the three steps that led to the sidewalk. The snow was an easy four plus feet high. I began to feel like I was walking into a tunnel as the snow piled up around me. An hour was my limit; I was freezing and needed to warm up. I rammed the shovel into the deep snow, and retreated into the house. By the time I had removed all my gear, Edward was standing in front of me with a mug of hot chocolate and his winter coat on.
"That's not going to do you much good," I indicated his bare hands and head and the lighter coat. "Hold the mug," I told him turning into the closet. I was looking for something more appropriate. Edward changed into the things I offered him, as I sipped at the contents of the mug while using it to warm my hands.
Throughout the day we switched off shoveling the snow and throwing our gear in the dryer to dry and warm up. Between the two of us we probably drank a gallon of hot chocolate. Lunch was soup and sandwiches with conversations about the snow in northern Indiana and the correct procedure for shoveling it. We both agreed that the best way was to pay someone else to do it. By dinner we had shoveled the entire sidewalk and were both exhausted. By seven we were practically walking in our sleep, and fell into our separate beds. I was asleep within minutes without reading a single page of any story.
Our third day together started out the same as all our other days together. After breakfast, I began making my homemade spaghetti sauce. We got another light dusting of snow so I shoveled it off the sidewalk then salted to halfway out to the road. Edward was waiting for me, when I came back in.
"Why not salt all the way out?"
"Umm...Well Shit. When the plows come through, they'll bury that end of the sidewalk. We'll have to shovel it all over again."
He looked at me stunned. "No fucking way! What is this shit?"
"It's called "lake effect" snow and where were you raised?" I gave him a weird look. "I thought it was Chicago."
"Well yeah, but we moved when I was five." He sounded like that five year old. Winy! "Then we moved to LA."
"Go play a game little boy," I told him, as I sat down to my computer. "There's nothing we can do until the plows come through. Lunch was the same as the last couple days. Call it comfort food. Soup and grilled cheese just seemed to be the thing for snow trapped days. Late in the afternoon, the first plow came through. I stood at my desk, and watched it go by. Then, I sort of got lost; the yard was green and freshly mowed. Jess was trying to rake up the leaves and Mike Jr, was kicking around the small piles she had made. The voice beside me was quiet and calm.
"Where are your kids, Bella?"
"Right there," I felt myself smile, as I watched them play.
"Tell me about them?"
"Jess was 8 and always trying to be mommy's little helper. Mike Jr.'s was 6. He's a goof, like his father." I sighed deeply. "The car came from down there," I pointed to the right. "I was done mowing this side of the yard, and had started on the other." My head indicated the different sides of the yard. "I didn't see the guns until it was too late. There were two shooters. They got the guy next door with the first few shots, but one of them had a machine gun. He took out my babies just as fast. The car was gone before I finished screaming for them to get down." There was a sharp intake of breath next to me, but I was too far into the story it to be distracted. "They were still alive when I got to them. I gathered them both onto my lap, and held them while they died. Mike was quiet for the four minutes it took him to die. Jess held him and cried. She kept telling me she was sorry. What for I don't know, but she kept saying it. She lived for 11 minutes. They came and took them away. I stood on the sidewalk covered in the blood of my babies, and couldn't figure out what had happened." I turned to look at Edward. His face was ghost white as he looked at me. "It's been two years. I don't have any tears left." I nodded up to the top of the archway to the dining room. "Never keep a clock where you can see it from the outside." Edward looked at the place I was looking, and saw the large, demolished clock hanging over the archway. The rest of the day was quiet. We worked together to clear the snow that the plow had piled up. By dark it still wasn't completely cleared but it was close. Dinner was spaghetti with the sauce I had put on to cook earlier in the morning. We went to bed early, so we could get an early start on clearing the sidewalk.
The morning of Edward Cullen's fourth day with me, started with the sound of the second plow coming through. It still pushed snow onto the pile but not as much, and it got closer to the curb. Eggs, bacon, and hash browns were the order for the morning, then out to shovel. Edward insisted that we also clear out around my truck and by noon it was sitting in front of my house once again. Lunch was a celebration of hot dogs with chili and piles of melted cheese. Edward had called for a car and it was due to arrive from Chicago by 2 o'clock. We chatted at the table laughing and just enjoying each other's company. Then Edward decided that it was time to pack up his belongings.
"I feel I owe you so much" he told me as he gathered his things at the door. "I...hurt you in the worst way possible and you still treated me as a guest in your home." He looked at the floor, at his feet.
"I've been hurt much worse. You see, when I was pregnant with my son I almost lost him. It happened a couple times. Rather than ever take a chance like that again I had my tubes irrevocably severed. My babies are gone, and there will be no more." Edward's head snapped up, tears filling them, but they didn't fall. "So you see I've had much worse happen to me. Maybe that's why I was still able to tolerate you. And you did try to redeem yourself."
"There's no redemption for me, but I'm curious as to how you think I did."
"You shoveled over a ton of snow in the last few days. And helped me make sure I could move my truck, so I wasn't trapped until spring." We both smiled as the large SUV pulled up and several men emerged and started walking up the cleared and salted sidewalk. Edward grabbed a hold of me, buried his head into my shoulder and hugged me tight.
"I'll do rehab. And I'll get cleaned out and find a better way to morn her. A way that doesn't include killing myself or someone else. I promise you." He let me go, opened the door, and left carrying his own bag. I stood at the door until the SUV pulled away and was down the block.
2 months later
"Come on doc. You know that's not possible." I was almost yelling at the man.
"I'm sorry Bella. I don't know what happened. Your fallopian tubes were never severed. They were only tied. Somehow either when you were shot two years ago or during the subsequent surgeries, your left side came untied, and yes, you ARE pregnant. From what you told me and what the sonogram says, you're two months along."
4 months later
"Come on dude. You're going to get recognized. Are you sure this is the right place? It doesn't look like anyone's lived here for a while."
"It's the right place. Just shut the fuck up. The door's open."
"No. It looks empty. Just...empty."
"Forget it, dude. She's just someone you spent four days with in December. That was four months ago. So she moved. People do that."
"Shut up, Emmett. And stop calling me dude."
"Fuck. You haven't been any fun since you got out of rehab."
"Maybe, but I'm me again. And I owe her."
"She's gone, Edward. Sorry but she's just not here. Take a look through the house if you want but she moved. Why would she think you'd come back? Edward, it's time to go. You have to be back on set in two hours. And with traffic and construction, we'll barely make it."
"Yeah...Yeah, I guess so." He pulled the door closed on the empty house, looked at the small yard under the picture window then got into the waiting SUV. It really was time to go.