My first ever fanfic. Legalities: I'm not making a penny off of this so please don't sue me. Thanks Stephanie Myers.
Whoever reads it, I know the chapters are really short...I'd probably be irked if I was reading this as well. But I'm going to try to put up a few chapters a day while my muse holds strong. So you'll probably get your money's (just kidding, Stephanie Myers) worth at the end of each day.
Please, please review? This story has been playing around in my head and I'm DYING to hear your thoughts.
Author's note 14 months after initial publication:
I should mention...this is very, very AU BUT it's also super realistic. There's no love at first sight then wam, bam, "now we're mates for life!" deal. If that's your cup of tea and you're not in the mood for something new you might as well leave now.
Also, this story has elements of polyamory. Polyamory is NOT the same thing as polygamy (though you'd never guess based on the number of flames I've gotten in reviews and private messages). I know, believe me I know that 99.9% of you have never given this concept more than a cursory thought before dismissing it. I know that for a lot of you it's just not something you could ever consider much less conceive of. I know a lot of you are here because of the Rosalie/Bella pairing or because it says femslash in the summary. By the way if that's you, you won't be disappointed! The M rating most definitely applies and all of you who are hungry for some fem loving will find it here, cross my heart!
But I beg you not to dismiss this story solely based on the fact that it's Rosalie/Bella AND Rosalie/Emmett. Love works in mysterious ways, and the power of stories is that they can open our eyes and our hearts to things that we may never get to experience or witness in our regular lives. There's a lot more than romance in this story. There's serious drama, angst (but with legitimate reasons, lol), self discovery, growth, and familial and friendship love, action, and more. I've been humbled with overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers, many of whom have found themselves reading on and enjoying the story despite initial reservations because of the romantic triad. I'm not saying this is a golden ticket of a story (god, I'm definitely not that vain and I've read way more superb stories on here than this first effort of mine), but I am saying, I am beseeching you to let go a little of your presumptions, your discomfort, and give this a go. Some of you might still be disappointed. But I think a lot of you will be glad that you held on.
With that, I present: Gifted.
It was difficult, the memories hazy now, but when she reflected long and hard Bella could almost remember her life before...Though she was always lonely, there were enough good memories with her mother and father to make her nostalgic. She remembered days in the park, birthdays and Christmases. She remembered watching her mother cook while she did her homework after school. She remembered playing catch with her father. It wasn't a perfect life by no means, but it was a content and simple one.
How she wished she could completely forget it.
'Pick up. Don't pick up. Pick up. Don't-'
"Hello?" A deep voice asked.
She held her breath. God, what was I thinking? She thought to herself. Her free hand was clenched so hard the knuckles were turning white. Her other hand squeezed the phone, painfully, against the side of her head.
"Hello? Who is this?" The man on the other side asked, the irritation quickly seeping into his voice.
And still, Bella couldn't think past the terror in her mind. She was beginning to feel discomfort now. She hadn't moved a muscle or, more importantly, taken a breath for almost a minute now. Gently she exhaled, and moved her lips hoping a sound might come out.
She closed her eyes and took in a big gulp of air. Exhale. Another breath. She placed the receiver back in its cradle and leaned all her weight onto the payphone.
It had been seven years, but his voice was unmistakable. She blinked back a tear as she thought how both wonderful and painful it was to hear her father's voice again.
A quick glance at her watch told her it was 10 minutes after closing time. Still, she held still for a few more minutes, listening carefully for any disturbance before she relaxed enough to move more than a few inches. She slowly opened the door of her hideout, a closet full of paper supplies, and walked up the stairs.
The library was deserted and dark now, having closed at 9 PM. She liked this library. She had been haunting it for nearly a month, and would be sad to leave it behind. There were no security cameras or motion sensors, which was how she was able to spend so many nights here undetected. It was hidden from the main road just enough for her to be able to turn on a few small lights without fear of detection. Best of all, the staff kitchen was always so full of food she was able to sneak herself a small dinner every night without it being noticeable the next day. At least, she didn't think anyone had noticed.
Bella cautiously walked toward her favorite armchair and pulled off her backpack before plopping down and sighing loudly. Another day, she thought.
She allowed herself a few moments free of stress and worry, then pulled herself back up and walked towards the architecture aisle. She grabbed a few promising looking books and headed back to her spot, sighed again and started reading-but not before setting an alarm for 3 AM. She knew the cleaners came every morning at 5, and the 2-hour cushion was as close as she dared get.
As she read and looked longingly at the pictures of the warm, inviting homes she couldn't stop the pang in her stomach as she inevitably thought of the home from long ago, and the home she couldn't ever have now. The thoughts soon overtook her reading, and she felt the pangs become stronger and stronger. Something light up inside her and just as quickly extinguished as she opened her eyes wide and mentally scolded herself. 'Stop it,' she thought to herself. 'You haven't had a reaction in months. Don't fuck it up now, Bella Swan.'
She focused on breathing, on clearing her mind until the strong emotions she felt not a few moments ago ebbed back into the familiar quiet ache.
She sighed and closed the book.
"Maybe a different subject tonight," she said out loud. Carefully, she shelved the books she had taken back exactly where they belonged. A few aisles over she picked up a book about the secret life of dogs.
Six hours later, her beeping watch forced her to close her book (the 9th one of the night) and make her way out of the building. She carefully scanned her area to be sure nothing was amiss before heading back downstairs to the supply closet and the window with the broken lock. She climbed out, her backpack tied securely to her back, and slowly made her way along an unlit portion of the sidewalk, down the short hill on which the library stood, and on to the woods. When she was a good couple of miles in, she swiftly climbed the sturdy tree that had been her bed for the last month. With a loud sigh she laid back on her sleeping bag which was securely tied to the branches it was resting on, and closed her eyes.
Another night, was her last thought as she drifted to a restless sleep.