Challenge Number/Title: #4 – Mother's Forgiveness
Date Posted: February 7, 2013
Genre: AH, AU
Content Descriptors: Angst,Drama, Mystery, Romance
Character Pairing: Edward/Bella
Prompt: Write the thoughts in a man's mind as he hurries to ask his mother's forgiveness.
Bad men are full of repentance.
How could she?
It was a question that relentlessly continued to blare over and over inside Edward's head as he veered down the vacant streets of downtown Seattle. His anger boiled beneath his skin, searing his body like lava, and burning him from the inside out. Was there a sign over his head that said, "Fuck me over, please!" because he sure as hell was feeling as if there was.
He felt betrayed in the worst way. Not only by the woman he once thought he'd spend forever with, but by the one who had given life to him as well. If the anger weren't enough to end him, the guilt would surely fatally suffocate him soon. Regret was heavy on his shoulders as he grew closer to his parents' estate. The words he'd exchanged with his mother were ugly and disrespectful.
She'd hidden Bella's secret from him all this time. How had she done it? Why had she done it? What did Bella say to get his own mother on her side?
As much as it pained him to even think about those dark days—or be in the same room as his former best friend—a small knee-jerk reaction inside of him wanted to run and ask Royce for advice. Despite the fact that until recently the two hadn't spoken to each other since high school. Not even when Alice—whom he'd disowned shortly after—announced her engagement to Royce. From that point on, Edward had refused to attend any event or holiday dinner Royce dared to grace with his presence.
His father was always too busy with work to notice, but Alice and his mother were charmed by Royce at first sight. It had always bothered him how his family seemed to embrace Royce almost more than Edward himself. But never had it troubled him quite as much as it had when he moved to New York. Edward had been sure his threats of not coming home would be enough for his family to refuse Royce, but instead it had backfired.
His mother had begged him to reconsider, and as much as it pained him to deny her, he did. Now, Alice was missing—creating full-blown chaos within his family—he had fought with his mother, shouting at her out of anger, and he'd threatened Bella without mercy. Everything in his life was falling apart.
Earlier that day when he'd been sitting in his father's study, looking over Alice's old bank and credit card statements. It was then that he found a joint savings account between his sister and mother addressed to the name 'Katelyn Rosalie Swan'.
His heart had dropped into his stomach and one phone call later, his suspicions had been confirmed.
The confrontation between himself and his mother was more of an interrogation, with his mother in the hot seat. He'd mercilessly fired questions at her that she'd had no answers to, and even when she could barely breathe through her sobbing, he'd attacked her with tactless insults. If his father hadn't returned home early from work, Edward could not guess how far he would have gone in his questioning. He'd grilled her like an opposing witness on the stand at one of his trials.
When Carlisle threw him out of the house, Edward drove straight to Swan & Hale P.I. for the second time in three days. It wasn't hard to get inside the locked building. He knew Bella's old habits of forgetting her keys or locking them inside—she'd always hidden a spare somewhere nearby.
He'd planned to storm inside, guns blazing, but the sound of her soft voice expressing love to her daughter and her imaginative storytelling sucked the anger from him like a vacuum. He'd fallen into a chair in the corner of the room and stayed there until she'd found him.
Jesus, she was beautiful. She'd always been stunning in high school, but now she was a fully grown woman and she was sexy as fuck. Her breasts were fuller, hips curvier, and her lips called to him like a siren. It angered him how much his body responded to her without his mind's consent.
His hands clenched over the steering wheel before him as the memory of what her soft and lithe body felt like trembling beneath him. She was breathtaking when she'd come—mouth open in silence and chest arched into him, eyes wide and muscles tight, flushed skin and a tight wet pussy.
"Fuck!" He shouted and jerked the wheel quickly to the right when a car in the left lane slammed down onto their horn. Adrenaline coursed through his veins as the near accident and as his skin tingled and his heart settled down, he took the next exit.
He still could not fathom the realization that he could be a father—that there was a child living in Seattle for the past six years without his even knowing. That there was a good chance that the child was his. He'd left Forks two months before his high school's graduation, unable to stomach walking the halls among the students who stared at him with pity in their eyes. He stayed with his aunt and uncle in New York until he started Harvard in the fall. Soon after, his father accepted a job at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and his parents relocated.
Edward had never returned to Forks since.
It didn't matter anyhow, avoiding his hometown to escape Bella was impossible now that she'd moved to Seattle.
Pulling up the long, winding driveway in front of his parents' house, Edward killed the engine, sighing from emotional exhaustion. His meeting with Bella had been horrible; he hoped for a better outcome when he entered the house to beg his mother's forgiveness. She did not deserve his earlier behavior, nor did she need the stress on her health.
He still could not believe the way he'd treated his own mother, she had raised him to be better than that. She always had his side when his father went off on one of his tyrant lectures about Edward's future. The one who had played referee when his father threatened to disown his only son when Edward had come home one day, to tell them he'd switched his major from medicine to law. She was his biggest encouragement to continue through law school when things got tough.
But most of all, she was there when Bella had broken his heart.
He exited his rental slowly, trudging up the stone steps with tense muscles and a tight jaw. The door swung open before he could slip his key inside and the man on the other side was not welcomed. It flared the anger from Edward once again.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" he snapped spitefully, shoving past Royce to get into the house.
"Your mother called me in a panic, what did you say to her?" His dark brows furrowed full of concern. "Your father is furious, by the way."
Edward forced his hands to unclench, for fear that he'd take a swing at the man standing two feet away from him. "What happens between me and my family is none of your business."
Royce blinked his blue eyes in stunned surprise. "This is my family, too, Edward. Or have you forgotten that I'm going to be your brother-in-law soon?"
"Are you fucking delusional? Alice is missing, Royce! You keep acting like she's going to walk through that door at any moment and everything will be as it was. Well, it won't, and do you know why? Because you're not marrying my sister. Do you hear me? It's not going to happen. Not now, not ever. Now get the fuck out of my house or I will throw you out myself!" Edward shouted loud enough to draw the attention of the other occupants of the house.
"Edward?" His mother's sniveling was heard nearby.
He spun around and rushed to her side, regret pooling in his eyes. "Mom, I'm so sorry for earlier today. I was out of line and—"
His words paused when she reached out to touch the side of his face. "You were upset," she whispered.
Edward shook his head shamefully. "I had no right to say what I did. Please forgive me, I have no excuse, I should never have taken out my anger on you."
"Oh, my boy." She pulled him to her and wrapped her arms around his waist, as he was far too tall to hold him as she did when he was a child. "I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have kept quiet, but I was worried for you and she—"
"Mother, please." Edward cut in suddenly to keep her from revealing too much and turned to look at Royce by the door. "Not here." He added softly for her ears only.
"Darling," Esme called to Royce, "why don't you and Edward wait in the sitting room while I go and get Carlisle. There is much to discuss."
Edward forced his mouth to remain closed, but it was a losing battle. "A topic for family only." He enunciated and felt a moment of pleasure at the small wince from Royce.
"Yes, Edward." Esme spun around and wrapped her fingers around her son's wrist tightly. "A family matter of discussion."
"May I have a word with you in private, Mother?" he asked through gritted teeth.
Her eyes narrowed fiercely as she regarded him solemnly. "No, you may not. Royce is just as much a part of this family as you are. Now stop acting like a child and wait for me and your father before you say anything else." Her tone said everything her mouth did not.
Do not tell Royce about Bella.
He sighed and followed Royce into the next room where he headed straight for the mini-bar and filled a tumbler four fingers deep with his father's best cognac. He watched the gold liquid swirl in his glass and brought it up to nose to inhale its intense aroma of alcohol and the aged wooden barrel it matured in.
"Edward," Royce spoke after a prolonged silence.
"Don't." He warned his once best friend and slammed back his drink.
"Don't what?" Royce huffed and crossed his arms. "If this is how you're going to react every time you visit, Isabella—"
"I said don't!" Edward whirled around and thumped his glass down firmly onto the bar. "While you are here, you do not speak her name to me or anyone else." His gaze rose and fixed on Royce as a scowl took over his face. "If you need to talk about the case you speak to her through me. Are we clear?"
He watched Royce's eyes narrow and his jaw tighten before he stepped forward and over to join him at the bar. "I see your attitude when it comes to her has not waned. Why do you allow her to get to you, Edward? I never understood that. She's not worth it."
Edward's hands clenched at his sides. "Do you remember what happened the last time you and I spoke about Isabella?" His words were calm and that in itself was enough to cause Royce to back away slowly.
"After all this time, Edward?" He asked incredulously. "You still hold that over my head? You saw it with your own eyes! How can you still take her word over mine?"
Anger boiled and surged throughout Edward like a deadly poison. "Be very careful of what you say next, Royce."
"Oh, fuck you, Edward." Royce scoffed arrogantly. "She played you. Simple as that, get over it."
His temper hit the roof.
"Played me?" He shouted with a hysterical laugh. "Oh no, my friend," he said mockingly, "she played us both."
Royce's brow wrinkled in confusion as Edward fought to regain control of his anger.
"One thing bothers me, though." He began a slow circle around Royce's still form. "How did you stay in Forks until graduation and not notice?"
"Notice what?" Royce rolled his eyes tiredly.
Edward paused at his right and scratched behind his ear absently as he contemplated his parting words for the night. He would not wait for his parents return, he has too much to mull over with himself. But he refused to be the only one to lose sleep that night.
"Notice what?" Royce repeated himself, aggravated by the same song and dance they'd played since high school. "Stop being so ominous and just fucking spit it out already."
"Do you remember when we were sixteen and you practically had a nervous breakdown at the thought of Rosalie possibly being pregnant?" Edward asked with a solemn face and regarded Royce's frigid reaction with some amusement. "Do you remember what you said to me afterward when the test came back negative?"
Royce swallowed loudly and stuck his clammy hands deep into his front pockets. "I said I was never going to go through that again."
"Well that's too bad, Royce, and do you know why?" He exhaled loudly through his nose. "Because Isabella has a child. Guess how old she is?"
His expression morphed into that of pure disgust and hatred. Disgust from the very idea that there was even a possibility the child was not his own, and hatred because Royce was the only other option. The only thing keeping his head on straight was the effect of the brandy he'd swallowed minutes before. The panic would set in once his anger ceased, he was sure of it. Which was why he needed to get as far away from Royce as possible within the next five minutes.
But Royce remained unaffected.
"Six years." Edward replied snidely. "According to what I've gathered, Katelyn Rosalie Swan was born in January. Now count back nine months from then and what day is her conception?"
Finally, Royce's calm broke and he wobbled into the nearest chair before his knees gave out.
A reaction much like Edward's earlier that evening. "Do you feel played yet?" he replied before walking out the door.
A/N: Thank you to my Penny for good luck and your amazing-awesome-fabulous notes. BIG thank you to mariahajile and mauigirl60 for being my awesome beta's! Although, please forgive the last minute un-beta'd additions. Hehe. Thank you Kaia for your help when I bug you on AIM.
Thanks to all the readers/reviewers for your continued support. I will be updating this story once a week now that I'm all caught up with the January prompts. New prompts are posted on Saturdays, just so everyone knows.
Everyone go read Londonstew's entry to the PTB challenge, she writes under the name: heatherarielle.