Sorry lovely people of Fanfiction it took so long! Better late than never right? I will try to be better about uploading faster, but it is a process between me and my Beta.
To answer some of your question. Jasper can't marry Jessica because Caius is looking for an heir to his throne. All his sons and brothers died in the last war leaving him only with daughters. Jasper is already reigns over England so France is off the table! Back in those days marriage was used as alliance so what better Alliance than two brothers? Caius knows this and he wants to protect his country. If He can secure one of the princes than he knows he has a strong alliance with England and one day his grandson will rule instead of a distant cousin.
As always thank you to all my loyal readers! Your reviews Follows and favorites keep this story going so thank you!
Snowgoose… You already know! A million thank you's shouted your way!
Almost immediately I questioned my assertion. I had just defied my king… I just refused my king. It felt as if I could not breathe, not so much that I had just challenged my king as much as I disregarded my love. Edward. I had just refused to stay with him but I would never take the words back because they were the truth. I would never live in that way, I Isabella Swan was not the type of woman who would openly lay with another woman's husband given the choice. The first time I had been led to believe that my cooperation was compulsory and necessary for the good of Edward's people and somewhere along the line of my duty I fall in love with him. I am not saying it was right but it was also involuntary. I had no choice! Though now I knew Edward would not force this upon me even if he forced it upon himself. He would never force me! That was also the worst part. Knowing that he might just walk away from me. I tightened my hands in fists as I clenched every muscle inside of me to keep from screaming.
"Isabella." Edward's eyes widened and he looked as if he couldn't believe what he had just heard. Jasper took a step forward and put his hand on Edward's shoulder. For the first time since he walked in he seemed to open his eyes and see what was really going on here. He could sense the pain he had just caused his brother, perhaps a lifetime of pain. I was angry at Jasper but even than I knew better than to push the King. He like Edward is not a simple man. Jasper gives me one long look before retreating from the room. I watched him go as I slowly turned to Edward who was still watching me.
"I should go." I frowned. I went to side step him. He reached out and gripped my arm, almost to the point of pain.
"You are not leaving me." His voice was like ice.
"I will stay if you would like." I offered. "We could talk."
"No." His voice is hard. I wince as his grip tightens on me.
"Edward." I caution him as he abruptly releases his hold on me and pulls at his hair.
"You will never leave me, I cannot be without you." He is panicking. I take a step back from him. "You belong to me!"
"I belong to….." I don't even know how to finish that question. I am a woman, an unmarried woman. I have no rights other than that of my Uncle and would be husband. My uncle is not here and my 'would be husband' may never be more than the father of my children. The man that captured my heart may soon be my captor. Since the moment I laid eyes on him he controlled my life, he has controlled everything I have ever done. He even controls my emotions. I love him, I love him passed the point of no return. He is the only man for me and if he can't be mine than even though I love him I will never truly be his.
"I am a prince of England." He screams. I cringe back from him.
"Own me than!" I yell back causing him to look at me. "Own me like you would a horse, every night take me as you would your whore." I cry. "Because that will be what you turn me into!" His anger leaves his face as it crumbles before me.
"Bella." His voice goes low. "What would you have me do?" He demands. I look at him, I mean I really look at him. Every time before now I have always seen a strong infallible man, a prince that has never lost a battle, a man they say is lethal, deadly! The most handsome prince to ever be born into England and he is all those things but looking at him now I see a man who is fearful, A man who is at the brink of losing everything in the world. I want to reach out to him and wrap my arms around him. I want to comfort him and in return be comforted but I can't. This is a choice that he has to make. A choice that goes beyond his own life even beyond our happiness. Edward and Brianna are all I want in this world but sometimes a want goes no farther then what one might need.
"Do what you think is right." I answer him. "Listen to your conscience."
"My heart and my gut are telling me two different things." His shoulders drop.
"Then perhaps you should listen to your head." I offer.
"It is telling me to take you and our daughter and run away from this mess…But…." I interrupt him.
"But you are not a coward." I finish his words for him. He nods at me as he puts his face in his hands.
"I don't want to run out on my brothers." He nods as his lips mesh together in a hard line. "I loath that Jasper demands so much from me, I am his brother but I am also his kinsmen and he is my king."
"You are loyal Edward." I smile at him though I am certain that it doesn't touch my eyes. "If you were to never have met me than what would your response be to this question of betrothal?" I ask.
"I am an Englishman." He says simply. "I am a Prince of England… I would have done what was best for my country." I nod even though I feel like I might die inside and to me I feel as if I am dying a little.
"Edward, you do not have to decide now." I say. "Just focus on the battle. Win the Battle so one day you might win the war." I tell him as I take a step forward and place my open palm on his scratchy cheek. He has not shaven in a while. I smile a little as I lead him to the chair in the corner. He follows me and twenty minutes later I am shaving him.
As I bring my sharp blades to his cheek and run it smoothly over his skin I take his face in as if I could brand it into my brain. His broad jaw is masculine and hard. His nose is strong but straight. His eyes are warm as liquid honey although they are sad as he stares off into a world where I could never be welcomed. With every swipe of my blade I feel him retreating further and further from me. I cling to his presents for as long as I can but it isn't long before there is no hair left on his face and my job is done. This all started with a shave so it should be no surprise that it just might end with one. The irony of this unamusing revelation is not lost upon me. With shaky hands I bring the cloth I had beside me to his face and clean him. He reaches out and takes my hand as he pulls me into his lap. He nuzzles my neck causing gooseflesh to appear on me. I cling to him as I wrap my arms around him.
"Bella." He breathes in my hair. "I am committed to us." He says. And I know he wholeheartedly means it. His heart is committed to me, he has pledged that to me over and over again but he also made a vow to his king. A godly vow to Jasper so I know that it is possible that his heart may be mine that his body may not. He could still love me but be blessed by god to another. I cry from this. He senses that because his arms circle around me as comfort but it only serves as a reminder of what will never be.
"As am I." I say. I can take it no longer. I push myself from his hold and hurry from the room. This time it is I that is leaving him. He does not call out to me and I refuse to look back at him.
When I return to my room I am in tears. My ladies all rush over to me and as much as they try I am inconsolable. I notice Rose's absents but I make no mind of it as I retreat to my room and it is there that I spend my night, alone in all senses of the word.
The next morning I am forced to put on a brave face. The soldiers are all set to leave at first light. I hurry down to the gardens, holding my skirts in one hand as I dash outside to see the soldiers, or soldier off. At first I was not going to go but I changed my mind at the very last minute. I rushed from my bed not even formally dresses half scared that I might have missed him. As much as I am angry I need to be sure to see him off. I could never live with myself knowing that something happened to him and I never said goodbye. I hurried out into the cold of day and rushed through the men that were now mounting their horses. I rushed and pushed through families as I searched for the royal family. I found them a short while later. I spotted Edward beside his horse. The only one of the brothers not yet mounted. He looked nervous as his eyes searched the crowd until they found my face. His lips parted for a moment as he sucked in a sharp breath of air. Then he was stalking toward me and me to him. When I reached him I threw my arms around his neck and breathed in his unique scent. He was fully armored so I couldn't feel him inside of the cold metal that now shielded his body.
"I love you." I told him. "I will pray for your safe return every moment of every day that you are from home." I tell him.
"And I you." He pulls back so he can look at my face.
"Bella, I will return to you." He says. "I will never let anyone part us, I only go to protect you from our enemies. If I thought that Jasper and Emmett might win this without me than I could never have brought myself to dress this morning. I go to make a peaceful home for Breanna and our future children." I smile as I look to him.
"I took time yesterday to think about everything and then…." His jaw tightened. "The very thought of you bedding another man…" He had to pause to hold his temper. "I would never ask you again to consider sharing me." He promises. "It is not an uncommon thing for a man of my rank to have mistresses but then they don't have you." He smiles. "You are perfect for me." He presses his head to mine as I feel a tear escape my eye. He uses his thumb to wipe it away. "I need no one but you." He states. "When I get home I will do right by you, I will make an honest woman of you." He kisses my lips softly before pulling back.
"If I am not to return home to you….." I go to cut him off but he puts his lips to mine once more before pulling back. "Listen." He says. "If I am not able to return home to you than I want you to be happy, I want you to marry if you find love." He says. "I hope you will remember me in your prayers. If my brothers can they will help financially support our daughter but if we all parish it is your responsibility to raise our girl into the proper lady that a Cullen woman is expected to be. If my family is defeated then you must get yourself out of England. Go to France with Breanna. I have left names as well as silver with your Aunt. She will give them to you." He bends down and kisses me. I melt into his touch as he pulls me to his chest. He kisses my head roughly.
"Just stay safe and come home to me." I plead.
"I am lucky." He states. "Let us just pray that the luck has not turned sides." He gives me my favorite half smile.
"I will pray." I smile sadly as I realize that he has to go, most of the soldiers are ready for their long march ahead of them to meet Aro's army that is already in England.
"Take care of our daughter and keep yourself safe." He kisses my head one last time before grabbing my hands and bringing them to his lips. As I watch him turn and mount his horse I find his face changing. He is now solid and emotionless and as I watch him leave with the cheer of the crowd. I turn to Esme who has since hurried over to me with Jasper's girls arm in arm. We stay silent as the last of the men disappear from sight.
"Men leave to rage war while women stay home to try to keep the home intact. We must now do that but we as noble women must guide other women who are left behind to pick up the pieces." I know what she is telling me so I wipe my eyes. From behind me someone clears her throat. I turn slowly to find Princess Jessica behind me with her ladies.
"Isabella." She smiles warmly. I bow low to her but say nothing. She looks sad as she steps forward and takes my hands in hers. "I wish to have words with you?" I nod as we take a few steps from the rest. I see Esme watching us intently from the corner of my eye.
"I was told last night after the feast that my father had asked…Begged Edward to take up as my husband." I force myself to stay silent. "I want you to know that I do not wish for such a union. I believe Edward to be…..charming but." She grimaces. "I do not fancy him." I can't help it when a small laugh escapes my lips. She looks at me with bewilderment. I put my hands up to apologize.
"I am sorry." I say. "But you look as if you might offend me by your choice words." I say with a small smile on my face. She nods.
"I am sorry, I just did not want to make it seem like he is not good enough for me." She states.
"I am happy to hear it." I say as I reach for her hands.
"My father will choose a noble man for me." She sighs. "Either way. I have come to terms with that but…." She is at a loss for words. "I really do wish for us to be friends."
"And we shall." I say as I grip her hand in mine. As we both walk over to Esme I find a little bit of myself in Jessica. As she keeps looking off into the distance at the direction of the now nonvisible men I see the same longing on her face that I see of every other wife. She is longing and terrified for a certain someone. Through our outreached hands I can feel everything she is feeling because it mirrors my own thoughts. She loves a man that she might never see again.
When I got back to my chambers my aunt stands anxiously waiting for me. I caught her mid-pace. She looked up at me and gave me a small smile. I looked around the room and found Rose and Alice standing beside each other in the corner. Rose looked ashamed.
"What is going on?" I asked no one particular as I walked in and closed the door behind me.
"Better you tell her Rose." Alice said as she took a step back. Rose nodded and then stepped forward towards me. She took a couple steps forward and then reached out and took my hands into hers.
"Bella." She was avoiding my eyes. I looked up at her and searched her face.
"Rose?" I frowned.
"I…" She closed her eyes. "Bella." She cleared her throat. "Iammarried." She said in a rush. It took me a moment longer to realize what she was saying to me. She was married….to Emmett! I widened my eyes at her. If she was married to Emmett and…Caius' daughter was to marry one of the princes….. Oh my god. I pulled my hands back from her and took a step back.
"No one knows…" She continued to say. "We did it last night at the Abby with a witness each."
"What witness'?" I asked.
"Lord Black and Alice." My eyes darted to Alice who grimaced at me. "I love him Bella, He asked me to marry him and what should I have done? I love him."
"I…" I was at a loss for words.
"Bella. I did not do this to hurt you, I love you and Breanna." She said.
"Leave my room." I gawked at her.
"Bella." She reached for me again. I pulled my arm away.
"Go..." I pleaded to not only her but Alice.
"Listen to me." She pleaded. "He asked me to marry him, I said yes. I never thought the consequences that it would bring to you until Mother overheard Alice and me. I love you Bella and I know it will all work out…." I could pummel her.
"It will all work out for you." I countered. "You have ruined my family." I gawk at her. "You married without a care in the world. What will the king say?" I demanded.
"The king? …. Emmett said he would take care of it." She frowned.
"I hope he does. I truly hope because if Jasper annuals your marriage than you will never find a suitable husband. You will be taboo." I tell her.
"Jasper would never." Alice begins to say and then stops.
"It was consummated." Rose spoke. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
"Leave my room." I demanded. "All three of you." I told them. Very slowly I watched all of them leave, my aunt gives me a sad nod. I can't help but question if her remorse is genuine. She never liked Edward, she never wanted me to be with him and through her daughter she might just have gotten her wish; I continue to stare until I am alone. Only when I knew no one would witness me I sunk to the floor and I wept.
I cried for the life I felt was so far beyond my reach. I cried for my embarrassment, and even though Rose hadn't meant to cause it I would now be the laughing stock at court. Edward and I shared a child and yet we were unmarried. All the while Rose stumbles in and marries the other brother as if it is so easy. I cry when I realize that I am now alone. I cry that Edward is no longer with me. I cry and I cry until I can cry no longer. Slowly I pull myself together and send Zafrina to get my daughter. She is brought to me at once. Together Zafrina and Charlotte lead me to Edward's chambers. I then send away all the help and take my sleeping child up my stairs into the room I shared with Edward. I crawl onto the bed and snuggle close to her. She looks so much like Edward, I am comforted by that. It's the only piece of him that I have left, that and the fading smell of him on the pillows.
"What does this mean for us little one?" I whisper as I kiss her head. Rose is married to Emmett. Jasper is determined to alliance himself to France. Edward is off fighting a war and might never return. I must face the possibility of being alone. Edward had said that he would leave his duties to be with me, I believed him but I know deep down that can't be allowed. I can't let him do it. Edward is not a normal man. He is born for greatness not to plow fields and tend to animals. I could never see Edward doing such a thing. This world is better because who he is and not even I could change such a thing.
Perhaps leaving is the best thing for everyone?