Disclaimer: We don't own Twilight, but we do have a few tattoos...and there might even be a Twilight one in the mix somewhere.

This was originally meant for the Mark Me Contest. Unfortunately, we had way too many irons in the fire and we missed the deadline. Instead of scrapping the story, we decided to finish it and use it as a quick fic; meaning, we'll be posting a short chapter (averaging 1,000ish words) Monday-Friday for the next three weeks.

Without further ado, here is our Tattward:


Removed - Chapter 1

EPOV

It's an unseasonably sunny day as I stroll through Pike Place Market. It's Friday afternoon and I know Emmett and Jasper are waiting for me at our usual table at Kell's Pub, but I'm not in any rush. Work kicked my ass this week and I'm ready for some downtime with my boys, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Seattle at the same time.

I admire the organic fruits and vegetables on one corner before holding my breath and walking past one of the four fish markets found here. Hey, I said I enjoyed the sight and sounds of the area. I didn't say anything about liking the smell of fresh seafood. Fucking gross.

I'm almost to Kell's when a familiar voice assaults my ears, creating the sensation of ice forming on my spine.

Victoria.

I haven't heard her voice in three years but I'd recognize it anywhere. If anything has changed about it, it's the tone; it's even more high-pitched now than it was when we were together. Back then, I'd thought it was cute. Now, though, I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to hear nails scratching on a chalkboard.

I can't help being curious, though, so I turn my head in the direction of her voice, and what I see shocks the hell out of me. It's the same Victoria—long, red hair to go with her long, slender legs—but what's different is the toddler sitting snugly on her hip.

Victoria didn't want kids. At least, that's what she told me when she broke up with me the night before our wedding.

"We don't want the same things," she'd said.

I see some things do change.

I try to slink my way around her, hoping to get lost in the crowd so that she doesn't see me, but it doesn't work.

"Eddie, is that you?" She's the only one I ever let call me by that name.

I let out a deep sigh, plaster a look of surprise on my face and turn back toward her.

"Victoria? Wow, hey, how are you?"

"I'm great! How've you been? I haven't seen you in forever!"

No, shit, Sherlock! I don't usually make a habit of hanging out with my ex-fiancée.

"You look great, Vic. Who's this little guy you have with you?"

"Oh! This is Gabe. He's almost two, I just can't believe it," she squeals, as she nuzzles the little boy's cheek. "My husband, Dan, already wants another one, but I'm not sure. I'd like to wait another year, I think. What about you? Are you married or have any children?"

I shove my hands inside my pockets and shake my head. "Nope, still single. Too busy to date, really."

"Don't tell me you're still playing on computers and getting paid for it!"

I struggle to keep the annoyance out of my voice. "I'm one of the top systems software engineers in Seattle, actually. I've had a busy week so I'm on my way to meet up with Emmett and Jasper now."

Obviously clueless, Victoria giggles before saying, "Same old Eddie, working the same job and hanging out with the same friends. I bet you're still meeting them at Kell's, aren't you?" She laughs louder before letting out a dramatic sigh. "It's nice to see some things don't change. I'm glad you're still you, Edward."

My head's still spinning from her words and I'm not sure if I should be insulted or not. I was at first but, now, I'm not so sure.

"Yeah, well, you know that old saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

She looks at me intently. "Edward, I never wanted to change you. I was the one who needed to change. I couldn't be who my parents wanted me to be, who our small-town neighbors wanted me to be and, I'm sorry, but I couldn't be who you wanted me to be. I know I realized that a little too late but, looking back, aren't you glad we didn't get married? I know I am. If I hadn't left Forks when I did, I might not have met Dan. The thought of not being his wife and not being Gabe's mom kills me. I am sorry I hurt you, but I don't regret leaving."

I'm blown away by her honesty and sincerity and, after a few seconds pass, I realize I'm not angry with her anymore.

"Victoria, I was hurt—heartbroken—for so long, but I know you did us both a favor. I'm fine, really, and I'm glad to see you happy and living the life you want."

She smiles at me and I'm reminded of the girl I once knew, the one who no longer has a hold on my heart.

We say our goodbyes and go our separate ways. Still mulling over our conversation, I head toward Kell's.


A/N:

Just a quick little back story to get us started. :) Don't forget, we'll be back tomorrow . . . same time, same channel!

Thank you so much for reading! Please let us know what you think so far in the reviews!

As always, a big thanks to our rockstar beta, Mauigirl60!