AN: Hi my lovelies! *Gives my dear readers a very apologetic look* Wow, I cant believe its been over two months since I last updated. Yikes! I feel so terrible and I am very sorry. I didn't mean for such a long time to go by. *sighs* But, well, the holidays kept me really busy, as well as life, meaning writing had to take a back seat :( Then, when I had the time to write, I wasn't too happy with the original version of this chapter. It was nearly completed and after reading it several times and brainstorming, I wanted to it change a bit. Once I did, I ended up getting sick with the flu and yada, yada. Enough with the excuses, again I'm sorry for the delay. I hope the long wait will be worth it,*gulps* I am nervous about this chapter. Just remember I did warn you all in the last update that its going to be a bumpy road for these two from here on out! So, if you are ready...here we go. I'll hold your hand if you hold mine, okay? See you at the bottom!

***Disclaimer: Of course, it's not mine. It's Stephenie Meyer's! However, this storyline and characterizations are mine though! L.K. 2014

***My beta is the very loyal Serenshadow, without her you would be reading a mess, haa. Thank you hunny for always helping me with your FAB beta skills! I also have to dish out a BIG thank you to my new pre-reader, Payton79! Give her a round of applause, she really helped me with this chapter. If it weren't for her encouragement, you all probably wouldn't be reading this! Thank you my dear friend :)

***Lastly, I have to add the usual warning: This story contains the subject of infidelity. If you are NOT comfortable reading about it, then I am kindly suggesting you exit now! I am NOT forcing you to read this. Thank you!***


If Only

Chapter 6: Almost Is Never Enough

"Waiting for someone you love is never easy. It may even be irrelevant, especially if the one you love isn't aware that you're waiting."

***EPOV***

I haven't seen or heard from Bella in over a month.

And it's been a challenge to keep myself together and to not panic. I mean, this isn't the first time we've lost touch.

However, this time seems different. Something is wrong. I can feel it.

I've lost count of how many times I've texted and called her. I'm still waiting for a response. I'm trying not to think of the worst, but I can't help it, clearly, she's avoiding me.

Maybe things with Bella and Riley are back on track again. If so, then I should be happy for her. But, I'm not. How can I be? Foolishly, I thought she was going to think about the things we discussed the last time we saw each other. She even promised me on the phone that night that she would.

She promised.

And I was a damn idiot for believing her.

These past few weeks were stressful and difficult to say the least. I tried everything possible to get Bella off my mind. I threw myself in my work and came home late every evening so that I would see Irina for only an hour before she turned in for the night. I couldn't bear to look straight in her eyes. It was becoming more and more impossible to pretend. I felt like such a guilty, deceitful bastard. Irina deserves so much better.

One day I finally decided to come clean to her. But, every time I tried to talk to her, I fucking chickened out. Days went by and suddenly, Irina's behavior changed. She became distant and quiet. I panicked, wondering if she had suspicions about my affair, or perhaps she was just as miserable as I was. I wouldn't blame her if she were. To say I've been a shitty boyfriend would be a severe understatement.

I gathered up the courage one evening and questioned her. She assured me all was well and apologized for being busy with her work, leaving her minimal time to focus on us. The entire time she spoke, I knew she was lying. Yet, I didn't call her out on it; I should have at least made an attempt to get her to open up to me. That's what a good boyfriend would have done.

Instead, I was sulking over Bella and waiting for her to reach out to me. How pathetic and fucked up!

Eventually, I decided to make a better effort with Irina and try to be a man worthy of her. After all, it was clear Bella wanted nothing to do with me anymore. I didn't want to give up on her though; a part of me is still holding onto a small thread of hope that she'll come back to me.

Until then, I have to get on with my life. I have to move forward with Irina, without looking back. It's the right thing to do. The least I can do for her. But, why isn't that enough for me? Why can't I be happy with her like I used to be?

***IO***

Things have improved significantly between Irina and me. We're both making the effort to spend more time together and honestly, it's been nice. Lately, between work, and being with Irina, my family, and my friends during downtime, I rarely think about Bella. However, I would be lying if I said she doesn't star in my dreams.

It was a long and extremely busy day at work, and I'm hurriedly typing the last few lines of a report. I can't get out of here fast enough. I'm starving and eager to meet Emmett and Jasper at The Winghouse in twenty minutes. Fridays are usually when I meet with them to have a few beers, eat dinner, and discuss our jobs and lives. I don't need to fret about leaving Irina behind at home since she is spending the weekend with her sisters in Vancouver. It's going to be a long three days, and I intend to do everything possible to stay occupied.

Once I finish wrapping things up, I leave the office and head straight for the elevator. Moments later as I'm walking to my car, I feel a vibration inside my pants pocket. Curious, I pull out my cell and glance at the new text message.

Holy shit, it's from Bella!

B: Hey handsome. I'm so sorry I lost touch and didn't reply to your texts or called you back. I can explain if you give me a chance. I booked a hotel room for the night. I'm staying at the Westin Seattle on 5th Ave. If you want, meet me. I'm in room 510. I really would love to see you. XO, B

My brows furrow in confusion. I wonder why she reserved a room at a hotel. Unless she and Riley are…

No, don't even go there! You haven't heard from her in over a month remember? Don't go dropping everything for her as you always do!

Right, I shouldn't. Besides, I have plans to meet Em and Jazz. They'll probably arrive at the restaurant any minute now.

Nonetheless, I finally heard from her, and she wants to see me. She did apologize. Maybe she has a good reason for her absence. Oh good god Cullen, how stupid are you. Think about Irina, things are better than ever with her. Don't screw it up!

I read Bella's text repeatedly. The longing I feel to hear her voice grows stronger by the minute. I missed her very much. I just have to know if she's all right. Before I change my mind, I call her.

"Hey, Eddie," she greets in an anxious tone, and an awkward moment of silence follows.

I take a deep breath, trying to placate my nerves. "Hi, beautiful, it's good to hear your voice. How are you-,"

"I'm so glad to hear from you." Her voice is guilt-ridden and it tugs my heart. "I didn't think you would call, I mean I didn't expect you to; I wouldn't blame you if you didn't."

"Well, to be honest I did debate over calling you…but then I just had to. I was so worried about you, Bella."

"I know; I'm really sorry." She murmurs ruefully, "I feel like total shit for not returning your texts and calls. So much has been happening; I didn't mean to worry you."

I'm sure she didn't mean to, but I did worry, a lot.

I nod my head, gaze down at my feet, and jam my hand inside my pocket. "It's fine, baby. I'm just fucking relieved to hear from you. Life has been hectic for me as well. So, are you alright?"

"Now I am. And you? I mean, how are you, really? Angry at me I'm sure; you have every right to be."

I hesitate before answering. I want to choose my words carefully. I didn't want to fight with her, but she should know how I feel. "I was…upset, really upset. But now I'm much better."

She breathes a quiet sigh of relief into my ear. Suddenly, I think about her invitation, and my stomach twists in knots. "So, ah, you mentioned that you booked a room over at the Westin."

"Yeah, I did. It's just for the night." Bella says timidly.

"Why? Is everything alright for you at home…with him?" I begin walking again, heading to my car.

Bella inhales sharply and clears her throat. "Well, I just…needed to be out of the house for the night. Riley is out of state for work. Anyway, I would completely understand if you don't want to see me. It's wrong of me to ask, I know. But I really want us to talk. So, do you have any plans with um, Irina for this evening?

"Of course I want to see you, beautiful." I assure her, "Ah, actually, Irina is up in Vancouver visiting her sisters for the weekend." I unlock the driver's side door, climb in, and slam the door closed.

"Oh, okay, well then would you like to-"

"I'd love to see you tonight, I really would. However, I can't. I'm supposed to meet Jazz and Emmett at the Winghouse in like 10 minutes." I frown apologetically, feeling terrible when I hear Bella sigh in disappointment. "Though… I can just call Em up and cancel-"

"Oh, don't do that! You made a commitment with them, I understand. You can come by after if you like."

After? Is she kidding? As much as I want to have a beer with the guys, I want to see Bella more. I don't think I can even wait another couple of hours to see her. I need to hold her in my arms, touch her silky skin, and kiss her sweet lips as soon as possible.

"No, no. I'm heading over to the hotel right now. I was just leaving the office. I can be there in about fifteen minutes." I place the key in the ignition and turn it, revving the engine to life.

"As much as I'm itching to see you Eddie, I can wait. The guys are waiting for you. You can come by later." She sounds convincing, but I know better. The wait would be torturous for her as well.

I shake my head determinedly. "Sweetheart, there's no use in trying to talk me out of it. I'm heading there now. I'll let Emmett know and, I'll just meet with them another day."

Carefully, I back the Volvo, turn it right, and then drive out of the lot. I couldn't get to her fast enough.

"Are you sure?" Bella's tone is remorseful but I don't miss the hint of eagerness to it. "I feel bad for interrupting your-"

"Baby, its fine. I'll see you soon. Can't wait." My heart soars in anticipation as a wide grin parts my lips.

"Me too, I missed you like crazy."

"So did I beautiful, so did I."

"I love you, Edward." She murmurs so affectionately, it warms my chest.

"I love you too." I tell her, my voice filled with emotion. "See you in a few."

I end the call and place the phone back inside my pocket. What the fuck is the matter with me? Just like that I agree to see her? Just like that I forgive her? Of course, I did because I love her, no matter what. I always have, and I always will.

I wait for a red light and then give Emmett a call. I make excuses about working late. Thankfully, Emmett understands but he still gives me a hard time about it just to be a pain in the ass. I promise him that we will try to meet up again next week, and that I'll pay the bill. Naturally, Emmett agrees to my generous offer. I feel like such a dick, not only for canceling on them but also for lying to him, especially under these circumstances.

If he and Jazz knew that their best friend is a cheating, dishonest asshole…

As I drive quickly to the Westin, I worry about what Bella wants to discuss. Will she officially end things with us? Maybe that's why she avoided me for so long. No, I can't think like that. Perhaps she has good news, maybe she's given my proposal and everything we spoke about all those weeks ago some thought. God, I hope so.

A few minutes later, I am optimistic as I arrive at the hotel. Before I exit the car, I steal a glance at the rearview mirror and run my hands through my hair. It's going to be all right. I have a good feeling about this.

Then why do I have this tinge of dread in my chest all of a sudden? Shaking those feelings aside, I open the door, and just as I'm getting out, my cell beeps inside my pants pocket.

I groan, annoyed by the interruption. I should check to see who it is; it might be a text from Bella. My heart sinks and a stab of guilt hits my chest as I read the words on the lit screen.

From Irina: Hey handsome, just checking in to see how you are doing. Everyone sends their love. I'm having a great time, but I'm missing you. XXO

Light tears fill my eyes, and I shut them tight, willing them away. Dammit, why did she have to text me now?

Feeling like shit, are you? Good, you should.

I sigh heavily and write a quick reply. I don't want to worry her after all. If she only knew where I am right now and who I'm about to see. Jesus I'm such a despicable bastard.

From E: Hey Iri, glad you are having a good time with your family. Send my regards to everyone. Have a good night. Talk to you tomorrow. Miss you too, E

Liar, liar! I take a minute to pull myself together and then turn off my phone. I don't want any interruptions during my time with Bella.

"I'm sorry Irina, so sorry." I murmur as I close the car door, lock it, and then head straight for the hotel's entrance.

***IO***

"Hello, beautiful," I greet warmly when Bella flings the door wide open. God, she looks even more gorgeous than the last time I laid eyes on her.

Bella's eyes light up as she beams happily. "Edward!"

She excitedly circles her arms around my neck, and I wrap mine around her waist, pulling her body close to mine. I take a moment to breathe in her scent, sighing in contentment. God, it feels so good to be back in her arms, to see her, touch her.

"I missed you very much Eddie. And I'm sorry, so sorry for everything." She whispers, her voice laced with sorrow.

"Shh, its okay baby. I know you are." I console her, tightening my grip and kissing the top of her head. "We're together now, that's all that counts."

Gingerly, I pull back and gaze intently into her water filled browns. "Hey, don't cry, sweetheart. I want tonight to be only about us and nothing else, okay?"

Bella nods, leaning her face into my hand as I tenderly stroke her skin. "I want that too, Edward. Listen, we need to talk. There are some things I have to say to you."

No, no talking. I don't want to deal with the umpteenth amount of issues we have right now. I just want to show her how much I missed her.

Breaking free from our embrace, I turn and shut the door. My hands then grab a hold of her hips, and I lower my head, attacking her throat with my mouth. Bella moans lustfully, clutching my forearms, and throws her head back. Swiftly, I press her back against the wall and kiss her neck, flicking out my tongue to taste her skin.

"I missed kissing you and tasting you, so much." I murmur hungrily as I slowly lick her clavicle.

"Oh, oh yes. Oh god, Edward." She moans breathlessly, gripping my hair roughly with her hands and tugging the strands.

"I want you, Isabella. On the bed. Now," I growl under my breath as my lips leave trails of heat down the center of her chest.

Bella circles her hips as her hands slide down my neck before squeezing my shoulders hard. "Edward, wait-"

As I reach behind her back to unzip her dress, Bella shakes her head fiercely and gently pushes me away. I throw her a bewildered gaze and she waves her hands back and forth.

"No, I…I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. I mean, I can't do this. There are some things I really need to tell you."

I open my mouth to protest, then close it the instant I spot a serious look in her eyes. Shit, this isn't good.

I nod my head stiffly and clear my throat. "Alright then, let's have a seat."

Taking her hand in mine, I lead the way towards the enormous, inviting bed. Once we sit down, Bella glances at our joined hands wistfully. "So, um, are you thirsty, or hungry? I can order us some room service."

Though I'm quite starving, eating is the furthest thing on my mind right now.

I shake my head no, reach over, and lift up Bella's chin with my hand. "Bella, baby, what's the matter?"

Taking a deep breath, she removes her hand from mine and leaps off the bed. Bella slowly saunters towards the window and stares at the view below, appearing lost in her thoughts. Her silence is nearly driving me mad. What is running through that pretty head of hers? Then, it dawns on me. She wants to tell me something, and it seems urgent. Could it be that she is…

"Are you pregnant? Is that what you wanted to tell me?" I blurt out. The possibility that she might be is exciting and frightening.

The more I think about it, there's a slight chance that Bella may very well be pregnant. Even though she is on the pill, we take a huge, irresponsible risk every time we sleep together. If she is, the child could very well be mine, or his. I shudder over the thought, and my heart tightens painfully.

"No, I'm not." Bella finally answers, snapping me back to earth. She tilts her head sideways and folds her arms over her chest. "What made you think that I was?"

Her eyes land on mine, and I sigh as I rub my hands over my thighs anxiously. "I don't know. I just…well when you said we needed to talk I just assumed…never mind."

A sad expression crosses Bella's face; she then turns her back to me and faces the window again. "I wish we could have a family together. I would love that, more than anything."

"We can have one, beautiful." I rise off the bed and walk to where she's standing. "I still want to marry you. I still want to be with you, really be with you. I want us to build a life with each other-"

Bella shakes her head vehemently and spins around to look at me. Her eyes are swimming in wetness, and it shatters my heart in two.

"Bella, come on. No need to cry, please." Closing the slight gap between us, I try to envelope my arms around her, but Bella takes a step back.

I look at her in defeat, her rejection breaking my heart even further. Suddenly, Bella's face crumbles as tears slip out of her eyes. "I'm sorry, Eddie," she sobs quietly, her voice laced with anguish. "So deeply sorry."

"For what sweetheart? You're starting to scare the hell out of me, what's going on?"

I'm completely numb from the neck down. My heart is thumping so violently, I fear it might burst right out of my chest. This seems too painfully familiar. Dear god, please don't let her say what I think she's going to say.

Bella exhales, wiping her tear-stained cheeks with her hands. "I've been doing a lot of thinking this past month, about us and about Riley. Do you remember the last time we saw each other, and you said we couldn't keep doing what we're doing anymore, that we shouldn't continue hurting each other and them?"

I have a sinking feeling where she is heading with this. Lord, let me be wrong. She can't do this to me, not again.

I simply nod in response, too apprehensive to speak as she continues, "Well… you were right."

No, no, no Bella! Don't say it…

"We can't do this anymore. Eddie, I can't…see you anymore."

...

***IO***

AN: (I'm very tempted to run, in fear of some of my readers coming after me with pitch forks) JK! Actually, I have a feeling many of you will want to go after Bella with pitch forks instead of me. Well, I did warn you all from the beginning this is an angst story. In order to get to the happily ever after, a lot of drama has to go down first. This is how I envisioned it when I first thought of this story and I am sticking to it. I will not change it. I mean, I never said they were innocent or perfect. When I thought of this story, I wanted it to be as pretty real as it gets. Anyhow, I am sure many of you are disappointed, livid at Bella, and maybe pissed at Edward too. Believe me, I get it. I would probably be livid too if I were in your place. I realize I am still leaving you all hanging, as many of your questions haven't been answered yet. I'm sure many of you are wondering why is Bella doing this? What is her story with Riley? All I can say is I promise that many things will finally be revealed soon, your questions will be answered! Remember, awhile back, I mentioned a flashback chapter will be coming up soon? It will, picking up when Edward bumped into Bella at the street at the end of chapter 3. That will be coming up in a couple of chapters from now, and hopefully, things will make more sense for some of you.

My apologies for leaving you with a little cliffy there, especially after taking two months to post this ;( I have good news though, the next chapter is just about finished, I swear! I am going as fast as I can to wrap it up. No matter what it will post soon, I wont leave you all hanging for two months again, especially after the way this chapter ended. I hope many of you will still be around to read it though. *bites nails nervously* Before I say adios, I want to say a few more things. First, for those of you who may not know, If Only won 1st place for Best Quote in the 2014 Fandom Choice Awards! I'm still so happy about this and I cant thank you all enough who voted for me! It means so very much! Next, I want to thank all of you for reading, adding this story to your favs and alerts, for your reviews, and for being such great, patient readers! It really does push me to keep writing! Alright, that's it for now. Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter: Vampgirl792011, I also have a FB like page: Vampgirl79 Fanfiction and a group on FB too! Till next time, feel free to leave me your thoughts :) I do reply to each review, unless you sign in as a guest! Thanks for reading, XXO, Leslie

P.S. Happy Valentines Day! As a treat, here's a little teaser for the next chapter...

"You feel incredible, beautiful." Slowly, I pull out, open my eyes and notice her browns are lingering on my face. The way she's looking at me brings tears to my eyes.

"So do you, Edward," She murmurs under her breath as she rests her hands on my cheeks.

Gazing at her intently, lovingly, I whisper, "You own my heart. I am forever yours, Isabella."

Gently, I insert my length back inside her slick walls and we both groan in pleasure.

***See you soon! XXO