Author name: GemmaH
Email Address: gemmahfanfic
FFN profile page link: u/2096001/GemmaH
Word Count: 5264
Pairing: Edward x Bella
Title of Story: Obsessions of a Scathed Heart
Story Summary: When the one who held your heart has shattered it but kept the pieces, it's hard not to keep trying to find your way back in the hope that she might want to repair it some day. And when it means betraying the one who wants you, despite the fact you remain broken, you'll shatter them along with you. Love isn't supposed to hurt, they say, but sometimes it seems that's all it does.
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.
Obsessions of a Scathed Heart
"This again, Bella?" I moan quietly into my phone, my words amplified in the stillness of the dark kitchen. My eyes dart toward the hallway, nervous that the front door may open at any time.
"Please," she begs, her voice trembling. "I need to see you."
I lean forward and rest my elbows on the island counter. As I consider her request, I rub a hand down my face and across my mouth. Back and forth the decision swings within my head, first one way and then the other. We both know what I'll decide; the same thing I always do. She knows, or she wouldn't bother to ask. I know, or I wouldn't still be on the phone. So here I am, humoring the both of us.
"Fuck," I spit in frustration, hating us both just a little.
"I'm sorry," she breathes.
"No, you're not," I tell her. Silence. No denial.
"So you'll come?" she asks.
"Give me thirty minutes," I say.
I pull onto her driveway and my headlamps sweep across her. She's huddled on the doorstep with her knees pulled up under her chin and one arm wrapped around her bare legs. She lifts a cigarette to her lips with her free hand. I cut the engine and unbuckle my seatbelt but make no move to go to her and she doesn't come to me; she merely watches me as she sucks on that damn cigarette and gently blows the smoke away again. Eventually she has sucked everything it has to offer, and she tosses it away. Her legs unfold as she rises to her feet to reveal the tank top and tiny sleep shorts she's wearing. Her head tilts to invite me in, the ponytail at the back of her head swaying with the action.
I can't control the sigh that escapes my lips as my fingers find the cold metal of the door handle and pull it until it clicks. I step from the car, pushing the door closed and pressing the fob to lock it as she leans against the door frame and waits for me.
"I thought you'd quit smoking," I say, not bothering to try and hide my disgust as I grow near. She looks me up and down lazily and pushes away from where she was resting. She sways a little as she steps towards me, and even though she bats her eyelashes and smiles at me with the look of a predator stalking its prey, I can see the lines of smudged mascara on her cheeks and the pink puffiness above her top lip that she gets when she cries a lot.
"I thought you weren't coming when I called again," she replies. I duck my head and run my hand through my hair in frustration. She's right; that's exactly what I told her the last time I was here. I shake my head and turn to walk wordlessly back to my car.
"Wait!" she says, her voice catching on the word as her hand catches on the hem of my suit jacket. "Don't go."
I turn to face her. Her eyes are focused on my chest and I watch as she lifts a finger and runs it down my loosened tie, twirling the fabric once around and then again, grasping it inside her small fist with the second twist. "You went to the wedding?" she asks.
"I left early," I tell her. "I told Kate I was sick." I threw Kate's name in deliberately of course, but as the pained expression hits her face for a second before she composes herself, I feel none of the satisfaction I'd hoped for.
"I hate that she has you," she confesses. It's the first time she's admitted it.
"You didn't want me, remember?" I throw back. It seems tonight she'll admit to jealousy, but she's too stubborn to embrace the regret. She shrugs her shoulders and looks away as though she doesn't give a shit, but her hand still hangs onto my tie as though it's a lifeline.
"Come inside," she whispers, letting the coils fall away from her hand as she releases me and steps away. Half of me wants to run away and the other half wants to bury myself inside her. It doesn't matter which I choose, I'll feel like shit afterwards regardless. I don't turn away but I don't move forward either. "Edward," she urges and reaches forward to grasp my fingers. "Please."
If I could remove my heart from my chest, I'd do it now and leave it on the doorstep as I step over it, because I know there's no way I'll get out of here with it intact.
I wait until the door closes behind us to give in and let my frustration at the whole fucked up situation bubble up and boil over. I grab Bella roughly by the arms and push her against the wall, forcing a gasp from her.
"I fucking hate this," I tell her, my words venomous. She doesn't flinch, instead she steadily holds my gaze. I inhale to try and catch my breath, and her scent is my undoing as the memories assault me and loosen the strands of resistance I'd bound myself in for safety.
Like the addict I am, confronted with my poison of choice, I dive in.
I release one of her arms and reach behind her to grab her ponytail and tug on it so she's forced to expose her neck to me. As my lips find the soft skin there and her sweetness tantalizes my tongue, she makes a sound somewhere between a purr and a growl that makes my cock strain deliciously and my hands release her.
I pull back and try to glare at her.
"I hate you," I say, although this time the sincerity is lacking from my tone. She reaches forward and places her warm hand on my pants just where I crave her touch the most, making me gasp and fight to keep my eyes open.
"I love you," she says. My brain takes a moment to catch up, and then I crash into her, pressing her back against the wall with my full body, my mouth landing on hers and my tongue hungrily forcing her lips apart to let it in. She welcomes it and meets it with her own; sharing the traces of nicotine and alcohol she'd been indulging in before she indulged in me.
Bella tugs frantically on my hair as she moans into my mouth. My hands explore; slide and reach, cup and stroke, dip beneath light layers of fabric and into the soft, wet skin beyond. I'm so caught up in her I've barely noticed her trying to get caught up in me, until she's touching me, her small hand wrapping roughly around me, squeezing and stroking as best she can in the confines of my suit pants.
Before I lose my mind right here like this, I pull her, still joined lip to lip, to the living room. I fall backward onto the couch and she follows me down without breaking the kiss, straddling me and lowering herself in just the right place to elicit a groan from both of us. My hands grab her ass, pushing her shorts up as far as they'll go and wrapping my hands around the flesh there, encouraging her in the way she moves; up and round and down and round and… I need her.
"I want to be inside you," I moan into her neck. I find her ponytail again and try to anchor her down, failing as she arches her back and pushes her breasts into my face. I release her ass and pull her tank top off over her head, discarding it as I bring my mouth to her nipple. I tease her with my tongue, and it's amazing, but I'm too far gone to make do with this.
I reach down and Bella hovers above me as I manage to shuffle my pants down enough to free myself. She stands now and pulls them all the way down, pausing to slide her shorts down her legs as I kick off my shoes, and then she rids me of my pants and socks. I'd be content to fuck her in my shirt and tie, but apparently I'm not undressed enough for her. She leans over, slips the jacket from my shoulders and down my arms, pulls the tie off and begins to unbutton my shirt. She's only got three unfastened when I can't wait any longer. I grab her around the waist and pull her back down, her squeal of surprise turning to an ecstatic moan as I guide myself inside her, pushing all the way in without pause.
She feels as amazing as ever. I've had good sex with other people, but there's something about the way that we fit together that nobody else has ever come close to. I know this woman like nobody else. I understand when she wants more, or less, without her having to speak. I know exactly what she loves and what leaves her cold. There's so much emotion between us tonight, that this was always destined to be a release of frustration more than an amazing act of lovemaking.
She's pleasing herself as she rides me, her eyes closed and mouth open. I wonder what's going through that screwed up head of hers as I hook my thumb inside her mouth, thrusting harder as I feel her tongue swirl around the end of it. She opens her eyes and looks right at me as one side of her mouth raises in a smirk. Raising up, she pulls herself off me, until only the tip of my cock remains wrapped in her heat. Only then does she drop back down onto me. She repeats it once… twice, and now I've had enough of her controlling me again. The next time she lifts herself up, I move and maneuver her quickly so she's face first on the couch, I smile with satisfaction as she raises her hips in the air, offering herself to me. I take my cock in my hand and bury it back where I love to be, gasping at her tightness in this new position as I push myself as far in as I can get. She cries out and I pull out, only to slam back in again. Bella moans my name as I hold onto her hips, pushing myself into her over and over, until I feel myself nearing my release and, moments later, I feel her begin to lose control too, squeezing me; emptying me.
I slump forward, resting my damp forehead on her back as we both struggle to catch our breath. I slide to her side so I'm lying beside her, and as she turns her body to mine I slip an arm over her waist. I love her so fucking much and I have no idea why she won't just let me love her properly.
"I love you," I murmur into her hair, breaking every promise I've made to myself in the past few weeks. She nuzzles my neck as she tells me that she loves me too, her fingers lazily running up and down my body.
"This is how we should be," she says, her eyes not meeting mine as I try to catch her gaze. "I sometimes think we were meant to be together."
I want to jump up and yell, 'Yes! Yes, we were!' and congratulate her on her revelation. Or maybe bang my head against the wall, because I know her too well, and I know that just because she says this now, it doesn't mean she'll believe it tomorrow. So instead I just hum and try to pretend that this is how life is, not just an occasional view into my idea of a perfect world.
As she cuddles into me, I pull her tighter and tuck her head beneath mine. I let my eyes travel casually around the room, but then something makes me stop and look again. It's slung over the back of a chair, but the logo is taunting me with its clarity. I only realize that my whole body has tensed up when she asks me what's wrong.
"Shit, B," I groan, not wanting to believe she'd do it. I nudge her away as far as I can without depositing her on the floor, and push myself up to stretch my leg over her as I climb off the couch. I grab my boxers from the floor and pull them on, then walk over and grab the offending sweater, holding it out towards her. "Jacob fucking Black? Really, Bella?"
"It's not what you think," she insists, and I can tell that she's trying to be all casual about it, but as she reaches for the wine glass, her hand trembles slightly and she refuses to meet my eye. I laugh; not because it's funny, but because who does she think she's fucking kidding with the faux innocence?
"Yeah, sure it's not," I say, my laughter dying as I feel the anger build. "What the fuck is going on with you?" I demand. And I kind of want her to fight back; to stand up and yell and hurt me until I believe her… but she doesn't of course, she never does. She moves, but she's only reaching down to pick up my jacket from the floor and wrap it around her, then she goes back to being her infuriatingly passive self who refuses to meet my eyes. She's so fucking frustrating at times.
My stomach churns as I toss the sweater down, still not wanting to believe it. "Did you forget what he did to you, Bella?" I ask, my voice barely below a shout. "Because I don't forget. I remember all of it, the things he wouldn't let you do, all of the fucking threats…"
"He's not like that anymore," she says quietly. I reel back in disbelief.
"The hell he's not," I say, trying desperately to control my voice. "My God, B, how fucking naïve can you be? I'll bet he couldn't believe his luck when he found out we'd broken up. I'll bet…" I trail off as a thought snakes its way into my head, winding through my tirade and then raising itself up at the forefront of my mind. I feel sick as I drop to the carpet on my knees in front of her. She's looking at the floor, but I duck into her line of vision and reach up for her chin, forcing her to look at me. "Was it him? The reason you broke up with me?" I ask.
"No," she replies quickly. Her eyes dart away from mine and I see her swallow thickly.
"You're lying," I say, certain I'm right.
"Edward, please... don't do this. Don't do this to me," she pleads, her eyes filling as she swipes at them in turn with the back of her hand and sniffs loudly.
"I'm doing this for you, not to you," I tell her firmly as my heart breaks and then overheats with fury in turn. "You know, if you did it because you wanted to then, yeah, it's shitty, but I can live with it, but if he made you do it, then God help me…" My fists clench and I can't bring myself to go any further with this thought right now. Bella takes a shaky breath in, her eyes spilling over.
"He said that you didn't love me. He said if you had then you'd have left Kate sooner than you did—"
"No!" I say, aware I'm interrupting but needing to make sure she knows it's all bullshit. "It was complicated, Bella, you know that, I did it as soon as I could. I'd do anything for you, you know that; it's always been that way."
"I know," she concedes. "I do know, it's just when he starts he's so damn convincing."
"I can't wait to show him how damn convincing I can be," I murmur, mainly to myself, although given our proximity I guess it's obvious Bella will hear.
"Please don't, Edward," she begs, hands fisting the white cotton of my shirt. "Promise me you won't," she whispers into my ear as she leans forward into me. I cross my fingers firmly behind her back as I wrap my arms around her.
"Ok," I say, lying, because there's no way on God's earth I'm letting that fucker get away with this. Bella suspects nothing, humming in approval at my reply. My hands stroke her back gently as I revel in the feel of her, folded into me like this.
"Stay the night," she says gently, and for the first time there is a trace of hesitance in her voice and none of the usual indifference that she so often adopts.
"You know I can't, B," I tell her, letting my thoughts flit guiltily back home.
"Please," she whispers, pulling back so she can see me. She's fighting tears again and I feel my stomach twist at the sight.
I reach beneath the edges of my jacket, my fingers brushing her soft flesh as I feel for the inside pocket. I find it quickly and retrieve my phone, pressing the home button to reveal it's now 1.30am and I have five missed calls from Kate with at least one text message which I refuse to read right now. I know it's shit, and I'm being a bastard, and I know that Kate doesn't deserve it after everything I've already put her through. Whatever happens now though, whether I stay or go, she'll know something's going on and it's going to be ugly when I do go home.
What's a few more hours?
I'm such a fucking coward at times.
I look back up at Bella, but she has her head down. I reach out and stroke the side of her face with my thumb.
"Okay," I tell her. "I'll stay." She leans her forehead against mine, her eyes closed as her fingers grab my hair where it's grown longer than she's known it before.
"Thank you," she whispers. We're both still for a long moment, but then she moves her chin up and kisses me softly on the lips. The angry urgency of earlier has passed and now we take our time, both of us savoring our stolen time together.
Eventually I stand and lead her to her bed. Holding her close beneath the sheets, she opens up to me and I slip inside her. Gently we make love, and everything about the way we share ourselves with one another is familiar this time, because this is how it used to be before the anger and the bitterness took over. It hasn't been like this since before I went back to Kate.
Afterwards, as she lies wrapped in my arms in the darkness, she opens her mouth and asks me a question on the topic we've both avoided for months now.
"Does she know about the baby?"
My heart thumps; I didn't see that coming at all; she was always the one to avoid it. It takes me another moment before I can gather my thoughts enough to answer.
"No," I tell her. She's silent. "Does it bother you that she doesn't?" I ask.
"I don't know," she replies. "Do you think it would have made a difference if she knew?" she asks. "Like, maybe she would have made you leave?"
"That's not why I haven't told her," I say. "I'm not hiding it for my own benefit."
"She's your wife," says Bella, as if it's that simple.
"I do know that," I say, irritation clear in my voice as I release her and push myself up so I'm sitting with my back against the headboard. "Does Jake know?" I ask.
Silence. And then, "Yes."
"Why?" I demand, angry because I haven't been able to share it with my wife and yet she's told him.
"I've been a mess, Edward," she says. "He wanted to help."
"He wanted to fuck you," I point out. "The guy doesn't have an altruistic bone in his body. He's a manipulator."
I brood in silence for a while, still annoyed at her indiscretion, when I feel her shaking and hear the quiet sound of her crying. Remorse floods me. I know she's been a mess because I've been here several times since and seen it. I also know I should have tried harder to help when she wouldn't let me in. We both knew what was troubling her and yet neither of us has been able to do so much as mention it before tonight.
"Hey, I'm sorry," I whisper, sliding back down the bed and gathering her to me. She holds on to me and finally lets go, the grief falling away in loud, noisy sobs and smears of salty water. She's pressed right against me, and I can't help think that there should be a round bump between us where her flat belly sits flush against mine. My gut twists and my heart aches for what could have been and my own eyes begin to water too as I lie there, as consumed in our miserable situation as she is.
This is why I haven't let myself think about it. Because it hurts like fucking hell.
Finally the worst of the storm passes and we both become still, the occasional sniffle and fading hiccup of a sob the only sound for a long time.
"I wanted to have your baby," Bella says, the crying leaving a tell-tale harshness to her voice.
"I wanted that too," I tell her. "So much." I fall quiet again as I debate my next words, but then I go ahead and betray my wife one more time. "Kate can't have kids," I say. "We found out a couple of months back." Bella curses and sits up, her outline visible in the darkness.
"Is that why you didn't tell her?" she asks.
"It was part of the reason," I say. "The other was because it was too raw to share. It was all about us, B." Silence falls over us again. When it's broken, it's Bella who speaks.
"Have you been trying for a baby with her?" she asks, accusation clear in her voice, despite the even tone.
"No," I answer without thinking, before realizing how big a deal this would actually be to her if I had. "Fuck, no. Not at all," I add quickly, sitting up beside her and reaching a hand out to stroke her arm. "She'd been having problems, it all came up from the investigations she had. I promise, that's how it was."
I wonder if my promises mean anything to her, after all, she knows I've lied to my wife; I'm still doing it now, for fuck's sake. Does she know I've never lied to her, or that I never would?
She lied to me, I realize. Countless times. And yet…
"I love you," I tell her.
"I love you," she replies. And that's how easy it is to her.
"You could have me, you know," I say, putting myself out there. "I'd leave her for you tomorrow, if you say the words."
She moves and clicks the bedside lamp on. I squint at the sudden light. As my eyes adjust, I see that she's sitting up, naked, watching me curiously, head on one side.
"Why will you only leave her for me? Why don't you leave her anyway?" she asks.
"I'd leave her for you because you're worth it. I'm not leaving her for no reason. I do love her." I insist. And it's the truth.
"You're settling," she says accusingly. I can't argue because I know she's right.
"If I'd never met you, she'd be enough for me," I say. "I know it sounds like bullshit because I'm here with you right now, but I do love her; really, I do."
"You don't treat people you love like this," she throws back at me. I manage not to snort, despite the irony.
" You say you love me all the time," I say. She tosses her now-loose hair and stands up, lifting her robe from the chair in the corner and slipping it on.
"That's different," she says, the air of indifference returning to her voice. "We're not like other people."
"That's the worst excuse for treating someone like shit, I ever heard," I tell her. "Everyone has crap in their lives, B; trust me, we're no different to anyone else."
"You want a drink?" she asks, intent on ignoring me now I'm saying something she doesn't like.
"Glass of water," I say, a little pissed at her attitude. This is all new. Well, new since karma caught up with us.
I've known her for years; fell in love with her in high school for the first time, wiped away her tears as we went in opposite directions for college, then wiped away my own as she never moved back home. By the time she did, I'd locked all my feelings for her away and was already engaged to Kate. Her reappearance, by chance, at my bachelor party, wrenched open the box of emotions and they spilled messily out, landing in a heap at her feet.
She begged me not to go through with the wedding as she pulled her underwear back on and I lay watching her; guilt and my love for her battling fiercely inside my heart.
I could have saved the three of us a lot of heartache if I'd done as she asked, but I didn't, and so she went back to Jake for a while. Kate knows I'll always love B, but she loves me with that same kind of love. The hope that strings me along praying that Bella will love me back just enough, one day, is the same one that Kate has for me. Between us, we're all kinds of fucked up.
I realize as I surface from unconsciousness, that I must have fallen asleep before she came back with the water. It's daylight outside, and the blind at the window does little to block it out. I open my eyes carefully and the glass of water on the nightstand beside me is the first thing I see. I turn over. The bed is empty beside me, but Bella stands awkwardly a couple of feet away from the bed, one arm wrapped around her, over her robe as she chews on the end of her thumb.
"Hey," I greet her, my voice gruff from sleep.
"You should leave," she says, her eyes wandering from mine as she reprieves her thumb and chews on her bottom lip instead. "Your phone's been ringing every ten minutes for the past two hours."
I regard her silently as she squirms under my scrutiny. Every last trace of emotion from last night is gone. Her eyes are cold, her features fixed. She gives me nothing.
I sigh and climb out of bed to pull on my boxers. I should have known. She does it every time.
"This again?" I ask as I walk behind her to reach the bedroom door and my discarded clothes beyond. "You loved me last night, remember?" I pause as I stand in the open doorway. "I can't do this anymore," I tell her. "I'm done."
"Until next time?" she taunts, reminding me that I make the same promise every time.
"Fuck you," I spit angrily, leaning in to plant a rough kiss on her neck. "This is goodbye."
I close the door.
Twelve months later…
I'm standing outside a store on the main street in a town an hour away from home, when I see her. She's walking in my direction and hasn't noticed me yet. She's looking good, her perfect, gentle curves poured into a pair of skinny jeans and a fitted t-shirt, and her hair a little longer than I remember it ever being, blowing gently as she walks. I feel a pang over how things stand and everything that happened between us. The night of the wedding had been a definite turning point for us.
I figure I have another couple of seconds or so before she notices me, and I debate whether to stand my ground or hide away somewhere. As it turns out I don't even have time to decide, as in the next moment she looks my way. I see the surprise in her face. I see her close her eyes momentarily and her lips move and I guess she's composing herself. I wonder if she'll walk straight past me.
"Hi," she says, her voice trembling a little as she throws me an awkward smile that doesn't even begin to reach her eyes.
"Hi," I reply, shoving my hands in the pockets of my jeans and rocking on my heels. "How are you?"
"Oh! Yeah, I'm good. Busy, but good," she says, nodding to emphasize the point. "You?"
"Yeah, same. Busy, but good."
Damn, this is feeling like possibly the most awkward moment of my life. We're smiling at one another but I notice her eyes darting about just as much as mine, in a desperate search for escape. She suddenly seems to focus on something behind me and the smile fades quickly.
"Well," she says, clearing her throat. "It was nice seeing you. I'd better get… going," she indicates to the street ahead of her and I nod.
"Yeah, you too," I say. And really, it has been. I think about her a lot still and it's reassuring to see she's okay. She looks at me again, and this time there's no awkwardness, no false smiles. She looks at me and I feel my heart lurch.
"I miss you," she says, just loud enough to hear above the noise of the street. Then she turns and she's gone.
I hear the sound of a door closing behind me as I watch her retreat. She looks back just once, looking away again quickly when she sees me watching her.
"Hey," a voice says beside me.
"Hey," I reply, hearing the distance in my own voice as I look down and force myself to focus and smile. "Did you get what you needed?"
"Yep, we're done. Was that Kate?" Bella asks as she follows my gaze back down the street in the direction she disappeared.
"Yeah, it was," I tell her. I look back at her and see she's looking up at me, concern etched onto her face. "I'm fine, really," I say. "Did you say you're ready to go?"
"Uh-huh," she says, as she hands me the car-seat that contains our soundly sleeping son.
"He's getting so heavy," I comment, as I switch him to my other hand. Bella laughs gently.
"Well, he'll be twelve weeks tomorrow," she says. "He's grown a lot these past three months."
I think back to the moment he was born and how our lives have changed. Even though it's in a completely different way, I can't help but realize that our little boy isn't the only one who has grown in that time.
"Come on," I say, taking Bella's hand in my free one. She looks up at me with such love, my heart leaps, even now. "Let's go home."