TLS Angst Contest Entry

Word count: 8698

Pairing: Edward/Bella

Summary: A heartbreaking tragedy caused Edward to lose everything he loved. Now, years later, he watches as his beautiful girl sells herself on the corner each morning. He quickly realizes he wasn't the only one who lost. Will he be able to save her and get back what they once had?


Breaking Beautiful

PRESENT

My heart is pounding. It can't be her, not after all this time. She can't just show up out of the blue, on my route to work. This isn't happening.

I had once turned this city upside down looking for her, but a few years back, I gave up when the few leads I had to follow dried up.

People are bustling around on the sidewalks, starting their days off with briefcases, coffee cups, and morning papers. As usual, I have all three of those. My Seattle Times is tucked under my arm, the one holding my briefcase and in my other hand is my dark roast coffee from the corner coffee shop; I'm all set for work at my advertising agency.

I take a deep breath, clenching my teeth together; as I walk past her in hopes she doesn't see me.

She doesn't notice. She looks dazed, gazing off in the opposite direction, the wind blowing her hair in her face.

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SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL

"Stop, Edwarrrd," She giggles as she's running away from me, trying to make it to the car before I catch her.

Long silky, chestnut hair bounces up and down, and side to side as her slender legs run away from me.

"Oh, no you don't, baby. You can't run from me." I catch up to her- she's not that fast- sweeping her off her feet by her waist and swinging her around. She squeals in delight.

I put my mouth to her ear, whispering, "I'm going to take you home to my room, and make love to you, Isabella … very slowly. She is panting from running to my Volvo, but I also know what I do to her when I tell her exactly what my plans are for her body. I see her shiver at my words.

"Isn't your mom home?" She's sucking air trying to settle her breathing.

"Went to see my grandmother today." I set her back on her feet opening my car door for her. "She won't be back for a few days." I tuck a wayward piece of hair behind her delicate ear.

"And my dad is working at the hospital, won't be home till tomorrow."

I lick my lips anticipating the sweetness that I'm going to taste on my tongue, as soon as we get to my house.

"Seat belt." I shut the door, winking at her.

She does what I say and clicks her seat belt into place.

Since grade school here in Forks, Bella and I grew up together. Dating seemed like a natural thing to do since we were always together; school projects, dances, outings with our friends. We had always been paired together whether it was intentional or unintentional. The latter years … it was definitely intentional.

Our families are even close. We get together once a month for dinner, our mothers are best friends.

We've made love this past year almost every weekend. Sometimes we are lucky, like today when my mom is out of town on a weekday. We can't get enough of one another.

Pulling into the long driveway to my house, I notice Emmett is already home. He doesn't care when Bella is here, she's like a sister to him. He knows that we are fucking, to put it in his words. I always tell him it's not fucking that Bella and I love one another, but he laughs and shrugs it off not really caring. He's just glad that his baby brother is getting laid, he says.

We put our backpacks on the bench just inside the mudroom as we make our way into the chef's kitchen. My mom has a thing for cooking and top of the line appliances. I opened up the Sub Zero fridge looking for a couple of Cokes.

"Bella, go upstairs and strip for me, baby." I smack her on her bottom, hustling her to my room. "I'm going to grab us some drinks. "Oh, and baby? You better be naked and spread eagle on my bed when I get there." I wink giving her my most seductive, cocky grin.

"Oh gah…don't be long, Edward, I want you so badly." She bites her lip, which fucking drives me insane.

I take our sodas from the fridge and grab a bag of pretzels out of the walk-in pantry. My girl loves pretzels, and it makes me hard thinking about how she sucks the salt off them first and then nibbles just the outside edge off the entire pretzel. I think of her sucking and nibbling my dick. Then she eats the rest of it in sections, starting with the top left-hand loop. I love watching her technique of devouring a pretzel. It makes me horny every time she eats them. That's just one of the many things that I find interesting about my girl. The other thing I find fascinating is her love for art; she is so fucking talented, and she's going to be famous one day. I can feel it. My face is prevalent throughout her sketch book.

I jog up the stairs to my room on the third floor. My door is closed tightly. I lightly knock giving her a heads- up that I'm almost ready to devour her, not a salty pretzel.

When I swing the door open I'm graced with the most beautiful sight. I feel as though I've died and gone to heaven. It never gets old, only better.

Her soft perfect skin, round breasts … not too large, but big enough to fit just perfectly in my greedy hands are on display just for me. My buffet of Bella, waiting to be eaten, sucked, nibbled, tasted and touched.

My tongue darts out licking my lips as I make my way to her sweet spot. She's spread eagle just the way I like her, and just like I asked for her to be. Her pink pussy is glistening; I can tell she is already turned on. Her erect nipples are puckered and her chest is heaving, anticipating my mouth and my full-on erection. And I'll be damned if my cock isn't harder than a fucking rock.

"Oh, baby … you are so ready for me." I set our sodas and her pretzels on the nightstand before quickly stripping out of my clothes. I don't take my eyes off her, and she doesn't take hers off me. Her bottom lip is tucked under her teeth, but she's not nervous, she's excited. She wants what I have to give to her, I can see it in her eyes, and I want what she has to give me.

"This. Body. Is. So. Beautiful. Baby." I slowly and lightly drag my finger down the middle of her chest, around her belly button and to the cleft of her pussy, avoiding her clit. I don't linger because I want her worked up and begging for me. It's the best fucking feeling when she is screaming my name and grabbing my ass like she can't live without my cock.

I hover over her body not touching her, just hovering, but the tip of my dick is touching her belly.

I place a kiss between her eyebrows, and then I move my head down toward the sweet scent of her pussy, breathing in her sex. My dick makes a wet trail down her stomach, grazing her pussy lips-just teasing them- and then to the mattress. My nose follows the trail that my dick just traveled, and it is just barely touching the place I most want to taste. My tongue darts out licking her outer lips and my mouth waters with desire.

Bella's dark curls are closely trimmed, and I love the softness on my tongue. I lie on my belly and wrap my arms around her thighs, spreading her lower lips with my left hand.

"Edward. Pl… Please," my girl pants out her request. She is gripping my comforter, which is going to need washing. Her juices are dripping down her ass crack and onto the bed.

"Needy much, Bella?"

She nods her head, eyes tightly closed. I smile against her spread out pussy, coating my nose with her juices.

"Yes … yes … Edward. Need you, please." She wiggles her pussy in front of my face begging for more contact.

"Pinch your nipples, baby, play with them." She complies.

My tongue slides between her folds finding her clit. I sweep my tongue up and down her dripping entrance. I suck at her opening and then stick my tongue deeply inside her, fucking her with my mouth. Bella is writhing and grinding my face.

I love how responsive she is to my mouth, to my tongue. I slip my finger inside her pussy, curling it up and wiggling it until she is moaning, telling me not to stop. I add one more finger and she immediately starts tightening around them.

"Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod." That's her telltale orgasm chant that tells me she is toppling over the edge. My dick is so hard it's throbbing on the comforter. I need to get inside her but not until she is begging and pulling me to her. It's always the same, but it's never boring. I love how we know what's going to happen next with each other. She knows that once I slide into her that I will fuck her hard until we both come and then I'll take it slow with her. She loves that shit.

I love her.

She comes hard around my fingers, and now she's tugging me by my hair trying to pull me up to line my cock to her entrance. I let her pull me because fuck if I'm not tired of humping my mattress. I need her warm wet body to satiate me.

I thrust into her, she gasps when I fill her. Bella is so fucking tight, and she feels like a snug glove around my shaft. I pump in and out of her; she's begging me for faster and harder, which I obey.

"I'm not going to last much longer, Bella. Come … come with me baby." My eyes are closed tightly, and I see white, hot stars shooting around the inside of my head. She is coming hard once more. My breath is short and heavy, and I collapse on top of her, her legs still gripping my waist, not letting go.

"That was so good, Edward." Her eyes are closed.

We are in complete and utter bliss.

"Truth, Baby." I smile, kissing her. Our tongues swirl, she tastes herself on my lips, and it turns her on.

She only speaks the truth, that's another reason why I love her so much.

I don't pull out of her body. She never wants to feel the emptiness, and I don't either; instead I slowly rock my hips, and she follows my lead.

This is the making love part.

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PRESENT

I see her on the corner waiting for the light to turn, but she doesn't see me. Her eyes are fixed; no life remains in what were once the most expressive chocolate eyes. I've seen her there every day for the past few weeks. I can't even imagine what it's like for her.

The weather is turning cool, and she's not dressed appropriately. Well, she's dressed appropriate for a streetwalker, that is.

I wonder why she not showing her art or working in a gallery, or even teaching art classes. She's always loved kids, and her art work was fucking amazing.

My walk to work hasn't been pleasant. It's fucking hell. I want to pull her from the streets and take care of her, clean her up, feed her much-too-thin body and let her know there are other options. I see the bruises on her arms, fingerprints on her neck and a bruise on her face; it makes me want to scream. It makes me want to beat the person beating her.

Why does she do this?

But why do I care? She left me.

But I never stopped loving her

I want to reach out and touch the beautifully broken girl in the too tight jeans and tank top two sizes too small, wearing platform, hooker shoes. Shivering on the corner and rubbing her arms for warmth, she doesn't look the part because of her sweet face; I know this isn't what she wants. I see it in her eyes each day. She looks vanquished, heartbroken.

This isn't my Bella

What went wrong with her? She's fucking defeated.

I know my Bella, I can tell

A beaten up red Mustang pulls up to the corner, and I hear the fucker's words. I know he must be one of the factory workers just getting off of third shift. I did put that together, and figured out why Bella is always here in the mornings.

"Hey, sunshine, I've got eight inches here calling your name … how much for a blow job?"

I don't hear the rest.

I 'm not sure what she charges or what she says. I don't want to know. I close my eyes hoping that she doesn't leave with him, but she does.

I continue walking.

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"James, there has to be another way." Tears stream from my eyes as he flashes me his signature dominant look, the one that makes me recoil every time.

"Bitch, there is no other way. Get on that fucking street, you piece of shit, and do what you're good at." He takes a long drag from his cigarette, giving me a kick in the back of my leg that drops me to the floor. I'm caught off guard, hurting my knees from the fall, but I get up; cautiously walking to the bathroom to finish getting ready, tears are streaking my cheeks.

I don't talk back.

Ever.

I keep telling myself that this too shall pass, but his anger only increases each day that he doesn't get his pills.

I shouldn't have trusted him.

I was lonely after my mom's death, and he latched on to me. I was vulnerable. He must have seen me coming from a mile away. He wasn't truly interested in my art, I know that now. I was such a sucker.

We live in a little shack of a house, and for a moment it used to be a happy place; it was supposed to be our starter home, you know, the one a couple buys when they first start out. It's been our home for six years. But it's not a home anymore, it's a prison. It's now falling apart, inside and out.

I wipe my tears. I need my family, but he's alienated me from them.

I've tried contacting my dad once before, but James caught me. He hurt me so badly, and he threatened to hurt Charlie too. So now I do what he says, hoping that one day I can escape him. I have to escape. In my mind he's not my boyfriend any longer, he's my captor.

The streets are a vacation from James.

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Today I see her, she's limping. I wonder if it's her insanely high heels that are making her feet hurt.

I try to figure out how she ended up like this. I'm scared to approach her; I don't know how she would take seeing me after all this time, so I watch from afar.

She turns her back toward the street, but she doesn't notice me as I walk by. I see a huge purplish bruise on the back of her thigh. When she turns once more looking to her left before crossing the street, I see skinned knees. They look recent, so it answers my question. It's not from her heels that she's limping; it's from the bruise and hurt knees. I close my eyes trying to wipe the image of how she acquired them in the first place.

Once again, I pass by her, trying to make it to work on time. I've watched her a little too long today.

I vow to speak to her tomorrow. I vow to help the beautiful, broken, chestnut-haired girl on the corner.

My Bella

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I see her.

I'm going to make my move.

I want to talk to her and ask her if she's okay. It doesn't look as if she has a pimp, which is good because I don't need to get caught up in any of that bullshit. It looks as if she's all alone, but she looks apprehensive, looking around as if she is being watched. Maybe, she feels my eyes on her, or worse, perhaps there is someone she is afraid of.

Just as I'm about to approach, a guy in a beaten up Ford Escort rolls his window down, and she advances to talk to him. She's biting her lip, and she's nodding. I hear part of what the disgusting man is asking.

"I bet you like sucking cock. Why don't you get that pretty ass in here and show me? How much sweetheart? How much is that sweet mouth gonna set me back?"

I don't hear her price, I want to yank her out of the car, but I'm too late. I had paused too long before I acted.

Damn it!

Tomorrow … there is always tomorrow, I try telling myself.

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James laughs at my tear stained face. I'm pathetic, and not worth anything. He tells me he's not going to let me see the baby unless I bring home more money. I need Jacob. The only reason I've been doing what James tells me to do is because I'm scared for my son. He's keeping the baby at his sister Angela's house. At least he has the sense to keep him safe and fed and taken care of, but I know the truth, he doesn't want to be bothered with him. He's been there for three weeks, and I know he misses me; I'm dying inside without him.

Angela has no idea what is going on. She just thinks I'm working weird shifts at the restaurant I used to waitress at, but James made me quit, saying I'd make more money on the streets. She thinks I can't take care of Jacob right now; at least that's what James has told her.

I need my son.

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Today is the day.

Today is the day I'm going to talk to Bella. I just want to talk to her.

This time I order two cups of coffee at the food cart, down the way. I'm going to offer her one, kind of like a peace offering if you will.

The corner is empty though, nothing but the rush of people hurriedly walking to work. My girl with the lifeless eyes isn't there.

Bella

"Shit!" I must have missed her. A bad feeling seeps into my heart and swirls around until I feel sick. I can almost taste the bile rising in my throat.

Where is Bella, my now broken girl?

Tomorrow I plan to leave my house earlier, I'm going to talk to her and hopefully rescue her. I'm not sure if I'll listen to her if she says she doesn't need help and tells me to fuck off again. I'm going to be assertive this time. I'm going to fix her.

I walk to work, throwing one cup of coffee in the trashcan as I walk past, pissed at myself.

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"Please no, James. Please, I need to see Jacob." He back hands me in the face, and losing my balance I fall into the wall.

I cry, but he never hears my pleas. I just piss him off he says. He makes me stand on the streets twice today because I didn't make enough for him. I can't do this anymore. I need Jacob, I need to escape this, and I'm dying inside.

My face hurts, my heart aches, and I'm broken. When did my life go to shit?

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Shit! I see her.

She's here on the sidewalk coming toward me. I've never seen her after work, only on my way into work. I'm making my move.

As we approach one another, I step a little in front of her and her steps falter just a bit.

"Um … how are you?" I stand near her but not in her personal space. She doesn't recognize me at first, but then again she's not looking at my face.

"Fine." She ducks her head hiding her face with her long hair.

"How much to talk to you?" I am going to pay her for her time. "You weren't here yesterday. Is everything okay?"

She finally looks up and recognizes me.

"Edward?" She whispers.

She turns and tries to run from me.

"Wait, Bella, stop!" I take hold of her arm gently, but enough so that she doesn't wriggle away from me.

"You want to pay me to just … talk?" She bites her lip nervously, shaking her head.

"Yes." I nod, hoping that she will agree. For one, it's hella fucking cold out today, and she's not wearing much of anything, not even a coat.

"Can I buy you a coffee or hot chocolate?"

She nods and follows me into the café on the corner.

We find a booth at the back of the café, giving us privacy. I motion her into the seat across from me.

"What would you like?"

"Can I have a hot chocolate, please?" Her eyes are sad, and she's not the same Bella from six years ago.

"Of course." I smile at her, and she bites her lip again. I began to think it's a nervous habit now.

I get up from the booth and order at the register, making sure they prepare her hot chocolate just the way she likes it, with whipped cream on top. I buy her a sandwich, as well.

When I get back to the booth, she's rubbing her upper arm but quits as soon as she sees me sit down.

"Bella, what's going on?" I couldn't wait to dive into how and why she is in the predicament she's in.

She shakes her head, looking toward her lap.

"Bella, I just want to talk to you. That's all. I promise."

"Why?" she whispers.

Bella looks uncomfortable, but when our food and hot chocolate is brought to the table some of the tension goes away.

"I ordered you a sandwich …. Just in case you were hungry." I inch the plate her way. She looked at it for a long minute and then delicately picked up one half of the grilled turkey on rye, taking a bite.

"My favorite, thank you, Edward."

"Will you tell me why you stand out on the streets every day, Bella?"

She stops chewing but nods her head. After swallowing the bite, she speaks.

"I … I um, I have to make money so that I can see my baby."

"What are you talking about? You have a baby?" She nods her head.

Bella hesitated before speaking again. "My boyfriend had an accident at work and got addicted to pain meds. He got fired when his employer found out he had a drug problem because James wouldn't go to rehab. So to make a long story short … he makes me do this so that he can afford his pills. We are about to lose our house, and James tells me that if I don't make enough for his pills, then I can't see my baby."

Tears roll from her lifeless eyes. I reach over to rub her arm, but she flinches away from me.

"Bella," I whisper. "Where is your baby?"

"He's with James' sister. He lies to her about why I can't take care of him. He's eight months old, and I miss him, Edward." She cries quietly. I get up, sitting next to her, pulling her into my shoulder so that she can cry and I can comfort. I've missed her body next to mine.

"What can I do, Bella? I want to help. Have you talked to your dad about this?"

"He won't let me talk to my dad. He says he will hurt him if I try to contact him again. I can't lose another parent, Edward."

Bella's mom was killed not long after we graduated from high school. She was in a car wreck on her way to Bella's art show in Port Angeles. Bella blamed herself for her passing.

"What kind of man does that shit?"

"James … he's turned into a bad person. I'm scared. I don't love him." She swallows thickly as if she was choking on her own regret and rests her forehead in the palm of her hands.

Her voice barely a whisper, "I never loved him. It's only ever been you." A tear ran down her beautiful face.

I pull her head to my shoulder, embracing her body and rubbing my hand along her arm. I was trying to soothe her weary soul.

"Shh … I promise, I promise I will help you, baby. I promise."

"I don't understand … why?"

I couldn't actually answer her because she had hurt me. I felt as if my world had ended the day she left me.

My heart crumbled hearing her story, and I wanted to beat that motherfucker that was hurting her.

"Bella, will you let me help you? I want to help you."

She nodded.

"What if I called your dad? Maybe we could get you and your son away from James."

She shook her head violently. "No … No … I don't want him to hurt my dad. I can't let him hurt anyone but me."

"You don't deserve this, don't you understand that Bella?" I whisper yelled and lightly touched the bruise on the side of her face. My blood boiled thinking of anyone putting their hands on my Bella, especially in a vicious way.

Bella shrugged.

"Please, eat your food." I whispered and kissed the top of her head. "I'll think of something sweet girl, don't you worry."

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My cousin, Jasper, was the second in command when I wasn't in the office, and I was planning on taking an extended vacation. I called letting him know that I'd keep in touch while I was gone, or to email if he needed me. I didn't let on that my vacation was going to be here in Seattle. My usual idea of vacation was a tropical island with frozen drinks, sun and sand, not Seattle. He would assume that I was on a plane to an exotic locale.

I needed a few weeks to sort this out and devise a plan.

I gave Bella a hundred dollars for sitting and talking to me. She didn't want to accept it, but I forced her. I didn't need her fucking boyfriend beating her up for not making her quota. I didn't understand that shit at all. I didn't want to let her leave, and I wanted to fuck him up.

In due time

The old feelings for Bella seeped back into my veins, even though I fought tooth and nail to extricate them from my heart years ago. I don't think she was truly out of my system because it was so easy to fall for her all again. Especially when she says she has only loved me.

I had told Bella that I was going to pay her each day so that she didn't have to continue to work the streets. She couldn't comprehend why I was willing to do this for her.

Each day for two weeks, she showed up on the sidewalk outside the café and each day I took her to my apartment. I paid her so that she wouldn't be beaten by James. I could afford it, and it actually wasn't about the money for me, but it was a whole fucking lot to her.

I was formulating a plan.

The more time I spent with Bella, we developed that bond again. I knew that I had to save her and her baby. I want her in my life. We became closer with each secret that was told and each tear that was shed.

It is against my better judgment to let her leave my apartment each day, but she assures me that she will be okay.

I always hug her to my body each time she leaves, caressing her body and letting her know with my actions that she is worth the world and that I love her. We kiss on the lips, although not passionately. We both need time.

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"Bitch, where have you been? You were supposed to be home hours ago." James stalked toward me, and I waited for a blow to my body.

"You get your pussy fucked today?" He tugged my hair and leaned in sniffing me.

"I bet that pretty little pussy got fucked … and this mouth?" His grimy fingers ran over my lips harshly. "I'm sure you sucked off some lucky bastards. Huh?" He licked at my lips and grabbed me to his body. I tensed up hoping that he wouldn't follow through and try to have sex with me. I shivered.

I handed him the money that Edward had given me, which was way too much.

"Here … here, James." I gave him a tight smile, in hopes that the money would take his mind off of my body.

He snatched it away from me, leaving the house. He was off to buy his pills.

"Your pussy was fucked good today bitch … lots of money for daddy." His laugh was maniacal.

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I heard a tap at my bedroom window. James wasn't home, and I was scared that someone was trying to break in.

"Bella," I heard a man's voice call. "Bella, open up." It sounded like Edward.

I peeked out the window and saw Edward standing there wearing all black. I opened the window quickly not wanting to get caught in case James came home unexpectedly.

"How did you know where I live? I didn't want you to see this." Tears threatened my eyes.

"Come on, Bella, I'm getting you out of here."

I shook my head no.

"James will kill me if I leave. I can't, Edward … you don't know what he's capable of." My arms wrap around my body hugging myself tightly.

"If he lays another hand on you, Bella … I swear to God that he will regret the day he was born. I will fucking kill him. That's a promise! I've never lied to you, and I never will, now get dressed and come with me." He gives me a stern look, but one that conveyed love and protection. I knew he wouldn't let that son of a bitch get away with abusing me any longer.

The past few weeks I had come to trust Edward, just like before. I pulled on my sweatpants and a sweatshirt; I grabbed my shoes, not taking the time to put them on my feet.

I raced out the back door to Edward.

"My car is parked around the corner. I followed you home and then saw that James left, let's get out of here before he gets back." Edward's voice was low.

He took my hand pulling me around the corner to where his car was parked in an alley. I ran like my life depended on it, and I'm sure that it did. When James gets home, he is going to be livid.

"Edward … when James finds out I'm gone, he's going to get Jacob, and I'm afraid of what he's going to do to him. We have to get him from his sister."

"Already one step ahead of you, Bella. I'm going to drive you over there, and we are going to pick him up."

"Oh my god … thank you, Edward."

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She hugged me when we reached the Volvo. She felt so good, so soft and warm. The life that had been drained from her in the past months was beginning to make its way back into her eyes, making me feel proud.

Angela's house was in a shittier neighborhood than Bella's. Bella points out where I should park and got out, going to the door. I told her to make it quick, and she nodded in affirmation.

"Thank you, Edward." She placed a kiss on my cheek then exited my car.

In the past weeks, we had kissed each other and held hands and hugged, especially after reminiscing about our past and when she would leave my apartment each day. I loved her touch again, it felt so right.

I watch Bella walking briskly to the door, looking over her shoulder as if she was being watched. She is scared shitless that James is going to show up.

The door opens, and I could tell that the girl, whom I assumed is Angela, is shaking her head. Bella tries to push the door open and walk in but is stopped by a man. I have my hand on the door handle ready to get out when Bella turns and runs my way.

She opens the car door, climbing into the seat, sobbing.

"Baby, what's wrong? Where's Jacob?"

"She … she said he wasn't th ... there. Sh… sh … she said she th ... thought he was with m ... me. James came an… and picked him up last we … week."

"Holy shit! Bella, we need to get the authorities involved here. We have to find Jacob." I put the car in drive and squealed the tires as I left the fucking ghetto.

"Ed ... Edward. Take me ho ... home. I need to figure out where James took Ja ... Jacob. I have to get ba ... back there be ... fore he gets home."

"No, Bella! I'm not taking you back so that he can abuse you. I'm fucking sick and tired of him putting his fucking hands on you!"

Her eyes widen for just a split second.

"You are so much better than that."

"I'm nobody … Edward! You don't … need my … sh ... shit! Take me home now … I can't do this any ... anymore."

"Please, Bella … let's go to the police. I'm sure they could help find Jacob. Please." Tears were spilling out of my eyes.

"Take … me home, Edward." Her voice was monotone, she had given up.

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The next day I watch for Bella, and she isn't at our meeting place, the corner booth at the café.

I wait for her for hours, but she never shows up. I am fucking out of mind with worry, and I need to find her. The first place I am going to look is at her house, but I need backup. I think about going to the police but what would I say? My hooker friend didn't show up at our regular meeting time? I also didn't want to call attention to the fact that she has a child. I didn't want social services getting involved at this time.

"Hey, Em, it's me. I need a favor." I hate asking my brother for anything, but he has the muscle to get the job done in case I need it.

"What's up, bro?"

I told him what had been going on, and he gave me hell at first until I threatened to call in the loan I had given him. He wasn't in any position to turn me down. I had fronted him the money for his tattoo shop, and he hadn't paid me back a dime, as of yet.

"Meet me at my place in thirty."

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Emmett has his Glock stuck in the back of his jeans when he comes to the door. I knew he'd have my back if I need it.

"Okay, Em, here's the deal. We are going to go to Bella's house and are basically going to scare the shit out of this bastard James, her no good, motherfucking boyfriend." My temper was skyrocketing, and I needed to get a handle on it.

"I'm not going to act like I know her. I'm going to pretend to kidnap her, that's where you come in." I run my hands through my bronze hair, making it more fucked up than usual.

"So, Ed, what's going to happen if she doesn't come with us?"

"You are going to pick her up, throw her over your shoulder and get the hell outta there. I'll deal with James." I tucked my Springfield, nine millimeter into my holster, pulling my shirt over it, concealing my weapon.

"Let's go."

Em shakes his head as we enter the neighborhood where Bella lives. "This place is the ghetto, Ed. I wouldn't let my dog take a shit in this neighborhood. What the fuck happened to Bella?"

I ignore his rambling, trying to psych myself up for what's to come.

"There's the house." I point to the white house that looks dingy and dirty, even in the dark. There is a chain link fence surrounding the yard that is nothing but weeds and huge dirt patches. A glow from the TV is flickering through the uncovered windows.

"I'm going to knock on the door and pray that Bella answers. I'll grab her and try to give her a look so that she knows that we are here to help her." I scrub my hand over my face, hoping to hell that my plan works.

"If James answers … I'm not sure, Em. I think I'll want to kill him." I shake my head, trying to put those thoughts out of my head.

"Then what, Ed, how are we going to find her baby?"

"I've contacted Felix down at the station, and he was going to look into it. Said it was going to be hard without Bella's help. That's where we are going to take her after we leave here."

We give each other that look of do or die and leave the Volvo in the darkness, heading toward the dilapidated house.

Emmett knocks loudly on the door, and I hear obscene curses from James. I know now he's the one that's going to answer the door.

"What the fuck you want?" James yells as the door swings open. He's a little guy, but he's lean. His white t-shirt is filthy and is halfway tucked into his faded, holey jeans. I'm in a fog and not thinking, I pistol whip the son of a bitch, smashing his head hard. Blood is gushing out of his wound, and he falls to the floor.

"Bella!" I yell as I enter the house. James is sprawled out on the stained carpet bleeding like a stuffed pig.

I walk through the house which isn't big at all, coming to a closed door.

"Bella?" I try to open the door, but it's locked.

Emmett is on my heels, and kicks the door in when she doesn't answer.

I'm not prepared to see the sight in front of me.

My girl is bloodied, her face more bruised than ever before. Both of her eyes are swollen shut, and she's unconscious; she has to be to have not flinched when the door was kicked open. Her hands are tied behind her back, and she is in a fetal position.

"Oh my God. " I start untying the rope from Bella's wrists as Emmett stands guard. I was pretty sure James was going to be out cold for a while, but just in case, Em had my back.

"Bella … baby. I'm here; you're going to be okay." I pick her up in my arms rushing through her crappy living room and past James as he lay passed out on the floor. Emmett kicks his stomach as he walks by, just for good measure.

I hold Bella in the backseat of my car while Emmett drives. I'm trying to tend to her and comfort her as best I can. I whisper that I love her and kiss her face in the places that have bruises and cuts.

I try to wake her; I see that she tries to open her eyes. She's moaning in pain.

"Baby. Why were you tied up?"

"Ja … James found out … that I went … to get … Jacob." She's having a hard time keeping her eyes open. I need to get her to the hospital. Not only are her eyes swollen shut, but there is dried blood under her nose and a cut on her lip that looks as if it needs stitches.

"Em, hospital now!"

Bella is completely out of it as we make our way to the hospital. I keep trying to wake her, but she's not responding.

"Fuck! Fucking hurry, Emmett!" I'm not sure how much faster he could drive, but it wasn't fast enough for me.

Bella's breathing is shallow and then it stops altogether. I shake her then start pressing on her chest trying to get a pulse. We screech into the Emergency Department parking lot and Emmett scrambles out of the car, screaming for help. Security comes running our way as I'm actively compressing Bella's chest with no response. I hear a doctor telling me to stop so that they can pull her out of the backseat and place her on the stretcher and take over for me.

Emmett pulls me from Bella.

I'm screaming and crying for her to be okay.

I can't lose her again.

I won't survive it this time.

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.

.

SUMMER AFTER GRADUATION

"Isabella! It is not your fucking fault that your mom is gone." I shout at her because she is not making any sense right now.

"Edward! If it weren't for me, then she would be here. My dad would have a wife, and I would have a mother!" She takes her art portfolio and throws it at me. Her art works floats all over the high school parking lot.

"Listen here, the last thing your mom would want would be for you to blame yourself. Don't you understand that it was an accident?" I try to pull her to my chest to comfort her, and she pushes me away, violently.

"Fuck off, Edward. I'm leaving. You are not coming with me, don't you understand? I don't deserve to be happy, and I'll only drag you down." She is sobbing, and I don't believe she is saying these horrible things.

"Bella! I love you … don't do this!" I fall to my knees with my head in my hands.

Our plans were to move to Seattle together while she attended art school, and I was going to take my general courses and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. We were supposed to be apartment hunting this weekend until Renee's accident occurred. Now our lives were upside down and fucked up.

She leaves me in the parking lot, crying and begging her not to go. I am pathetic, I know I am. Emmett finds me wandering the streets by the high school, wet from the rain and unresponsive to the world.

"Dude, pull yourself together." Emmett hauls my ass into his Jeep and drives me home where I sit on my bed for hours trying to call and text Bella, just to be ignored.

All I remember is that I had never cried as hard as I did when Bella didn't return my calls and left me behind.

Eventually, she changed her phone number and left no address for anyone.

I called Charlie many times, and he always told me the same thing. "Kid, she said she'd call when she got settled in Seattle. She just needs some time."

Even Alice and Rose haven't heard from her, and finally after months of no word, they stop trying to contact her.

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.

.

PRESENT

Bella was now in the ER being worked on. She had head trauma, and they suspected that she had been drugged.

I fucking beat myself up because I shouldn't have let her leave. She convinced me that she would be okay. I had planned to get her tonight and take her back to Forks to reunite her with her dad while Felix looked for Jacob.

My phone buzzed in my pocket, and Emmett nudged me to answer it. I shook my head realizing that it was my phone.

"Felix?"

"Edward. I found Jacob. He was at James' sister house all along."

"Fuck!" I shouted way too loudly in the waiting room, scraping my fingers through my hair.

"I called Bella's dad, he's on his way here to pick him up. How is she?"

"Not sure. She's been back there for too long Felix. I'm worried." I start to pace the waiting area.

Right then, a doctor steps out into the waiting room calling for the family of Isabella Swan. Emmett and I practically run toward him.

"Doc, how is she?"

He touches my arm, guiding me to a family room, off to the side of the waiting room.

"I'm sorry son, I'm afraid Miss Swan didn't make it, we tried everything we could … I'm sorry."

"No! No! No!" I grab a handful of hair pulling it so hard that I feel strands of it in my hand. My sobs can be heard a mile away. Emmett tries to console me, and I shove him away.

"This isn't fucking fair, Em! She's not supposed to die … I just fucking found her!" I drop to my knees and push the heels of my hands deeply into my eyes. Hot tears fill my palms and drip angrily to my lap.

"I'm so sorry, Edward. I know … it's not fair man." He kneels beside me, putting his hand on my shoulder. I know that he had once thought of Bella as a sister, and it is probably affecting him too.

We sit there forever until I can't take it anymore. I want to see her. I need to see my Bella, I need to say goodbye.

Then I was going to fucking kill James.

She is lying in the ER bay with the sheet pulled up to her neck. Her battered face is now gray, and there is blood on the sheet. The plethora of machines are silent, none hooked up to her anymore. Emmett stands back, but I walk toward the bedside and pull the sheet back so that I can take a hold of her hand.

Bella was cold.

I bury my face into her neck and cry.

I cry because of the way she was taken from me, it didn't need to happen. I cry because she was young, too young to die and especially at the hands of someone that was supposed to love her. I am pissed that we didn't get our second chance at love, and I am heartbroken, not only for me, but for her son that would never know his mother.

"I love you Bella," I whispered. "I never moved on … It's always been you, baby. Till death do us part." I paused trying to get a grip on myself. "Rest in peace, my love." I kiss her forehead and then her cheek and finally her cold lips, before covering her back up and walking away.

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.

.

I ditch Emmett, and go straight to the fucking ghetto to kill a motherfucker. He isn't lying on the floor when I get there, I can tell because his door is ajar. I push it open to find him on the couch watching TV like nothing had happened. He looks beat up, but he isn't in pain. I suspect he has gotten a hold of his pills because he looks high.

He looks up at me and laughs.

The bastard isn't even scared, even though I pistol whipped him just a few hours before. I am surprised the police haven't made it here yet, and I hope that I can finish what I had come to do before they show up.

"You fucking piece of shit. You killed her!" My gun points to his head, my finger pressing tightly to the trigger.

"You didn't realize what you had motherfucker!" My hand is shaking from my uneven breaths. I feel adrenaline coursing through my veins.

"She's a whore. She better get the fuck back here, or she's going to be in a world of hurt." His laugh was sickening.

I grabbed him by his bloodied shirt, jerking him off the couch.

"I said … she's dead, you piece of shit! I loved her! She was never yours … do you hear me? I fucking loved her!"

I shove him to the floor and kick him in his stomach repeatedly. He gasps for air, so the cracks I hear must be his ribs breaking. I'm sure he has a punctured lung, but I can't stop torturing him. Shooting him is going to be too easy of a way out for him.

"You are going to burn in hell, you bastard, for what you did to her and Jacob!" I point the gun once more toward his head, my hand shakes, and tears burn the backs of my eyes. I wipe my nose with the back of my hand, one hand firmly gripping my nine.

I see red and blue lights flashing outside the window and the sound of loud sirens. I don't have time to finish what I came here to do and then leave, so I make a decision.

The front door swings opened and I see Felix standing there with two other deputies.

"Edward, put the gun down and back away," Felix directs.

I shake my head.

"Edward, please. Put the gun down, buddy. He isn't worth it." Felix pleads for me to obey. He had become a close friend over the years.

"Felix, he's not worth it, I know … but Bella is."

I squeezed the trigger once and for all, and the bullet pierces James right between the eyes.

He slumps over dead.

I drop the gun at my feet and then walk slowly to my trusted friend Felix.

Then everything goes black.

I feel my hands behind my back, being cuffed. I hear my Miranda right being read, but I don't recognize the voice.

I am seated in the back of the police cruiser waiting to be hauled down to the police station.

My parents are going to be devastated, but I can't bring myself to care.

I avenged Bella's death.

I loved that beautiful girl … to death.

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.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE GRADUATION

Bella and I were outside all day. We hike to the little spot in the woods that no one except us knows about. I pack a picnic lunch, and she brings her sketch pad and charcoal pencils. I don't need to bring anything because all I want and need was here with me holding my hand, making our way to the clearing by the stream.

Bella pulls me into a hug and kisses my lips chastely. "Do you know how much I love this place?"

"As much as I do?"

"Okay, I bet we love it just the same." Her smile is contagious, and I find myself staring at her beautiful eyes, smiling.

I spread out the blanket and set the backpack of food down on one corner. I'm next; I sit in the middle of the blanket holding my arms up for her to straddle me. She complies. She always complies. I smile to myself.

"Baby?"

"Yea?" She giggles nibbling my neck.

"I can't wait until we have a place of our own in Seattle." I moan at her soft, sweet lips making a trail up to my ear.

"I can't wait either, Edward." Her voice is seductive.

"Our lives are going to be great, you know why?"

"Uh uh."

"I'll tell you why baby." I take her face in my hands and look her in the eyes. "Because I'm always going to have you … always, baby. Until death do us part."

"Edward … Are you proposing to me in some awkward Edward way?" She leans forward kissing my lips and smiling at the same time.

"I don't think of it as a proposal because I've always known that we will be together. We are meant to be sweet girl …it's just a given."

"Yep, we are meant to be, till death do us part, baby." Her smile is warm sunshine.

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PRESENT

I'll never forget that smile on her beautiful face as long as I live.

Maybe that's why I never moved on. I knew we were meant to be together, and that one day we would find a way back to one another.

I had pictured a very different ending though, and now my heart will never heal.