A Better Place, A Better Time
It’s impossible, this can’t be… 1917. Even time, itself, can’t keep them apart. If this is a dream… I don’t ever want to wake up. Bella finds herself nearly 100 years in the past. Coincidentally in the city of Chicago. (Takes place during New Moon when Edward has left, AU.) Time traveling should be illegal. *COMPLETE* Sequel "All This Time" is posted on my profile.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in the story. Warnings: None yet. This takes place during New Moon, when Edward is M.I.A. It does not take the rest of the series into account. Enjoy. *Complete as of 4-25-2008!
12. 12. Hell
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1730 Review this Chapter
I wished from the moment I met him that I could have told him everything. Every little truth that I had been trying so hard to hide. I knew deep inside he would never believe me. He would think I was unstable, lock me up and throw away the key. I couldn’t bare the look in his eyes anymore.
I took a deep breath as I watched the world changing outside my window. Edward had nodded off for the time being, and I felt a bit relieved. His probing questions and insinuations had come to a stop for now.
We’d been traveling for uncountable hours… days… weeks… My brain was a jumble from nodding off here and there. Each time I woke to a new scene that played out beyond my window.
I watched the vegetation turn from green to greener. I groaned as I realized the direction the tracks were leading us. It was a place I’d rather not remember. Especially now as I started to grow use to him, use to this place.
Dusk was beginning to settle over the land. Trees grew in densely around the train tracks, closing out the nighttime sun. I rolled my head back onto the chair, pressed my eyes shut tightly. I dreamed about being back in Chicago, in Edward’s warm arms… in my bed… my bed? Had I really made a home there? I felt my heart break as I thought of the chance we may not go back… together. Would he really leave me behind?
I shook off these thoughts as best as possible. I knew him better than that. I had put so much trust into him since I had gotten here.
I brought my head back up, wishing away the greenery. As I opened my eyes, I found him staring amused.
“See something unpleasant?”
I scoffed and crossed my arms over my chest. “If you call rain unpleasant, then yes.”
He smiled with a slight chuckle under his breath. He glanced out the window. “I’ve always enjoyed the rainy weather.”
I turned my face to the window and muttered, “You would.”
“Hmm? What was that?”
There was a sudden knock at the door of our compartment. The door slid open. “We will be arriving at the Seattle Station at a quarter to the hour. Is there anything I can get you until them?”
Edward shook his head, “No, thank you.”
He nodded and stepped back out.
“Seattle?” I groaned. My fears had come true.
“I take it this was not a pleasant surprise.”
“Absolutely was not.” I tightened my arms across my chest and hunched my shoulders like a whiney five-year old.
He just smirked.
We had passed by Bellevue and went over the bridge leading to Mercer Island. Lake Washington was beautiful. Raindrops dented the solemn lake’s surface, echoing into the other ringlets.
The train slowly rolled to a stop a few minutes later. I dreaded this moment. I knew it wasn’t promising to turn out alright. Seattle’s sky was pouring, water gushed over our window as the steward helped Edward grab our trunks.
“How… wonderful,” I groaned, sarcastically.
Edward simply smiled.
“Don’t you’re parents worry about you taking off like this?”
He shook his head and led me down the isle of the train to the exit. “We’ve been planning my visit for months.” He turned back around to face me. “You, on the other hand, were the surprise.”
I rolled my eyes and pushed him out of the car. He stumbled slightly down the steps, but caught his balance quickly.
A car was waiting for us. This one was a bit longer than the Model T’s I was use to seeing, but as luxurious as the Studebaker Edward had driven us in. The driver put our bags into the back, tying a few down to the car itself, while Edward opened the back door for me. The corset I was wearing had left permanent bruises on my sides and hips. I adjusted it tenderly as I positioned myself in the backseat. Edward climbed in next to me, tired from the long journey.
He patted my hand gently on my leg and smiled reassuringly. I still couldn’t do it. His eyes were too inscrutable. I glanced quickly at them, before returning my gaze outside the car. He nodded his head in a knowing glance and proceeded to hold my hand lovingly.
The drive was painstaking. I thought the train was bad. This drive was terrifyingly slow. I felt the whale bone of my corset pop out of its stitching and stab me in the side. Great. A five star day… The road had turned from the pavement into gravel, almost immediately after leaving the city, and there were no rest stops to be seen. I gritted my teeth and bared it… just barely. The hours seemed to rack up slowly and the rain seemed to slow to a mist, covering the road in a thick fog. A fog that caused our car to drive slower. It seemed that either everything was against me… or, possibly, everything was rooting for me. If the fog last all night, we couldn’t make it to… wherever.
The humidity seeped into my hair, and I soon found myself wishing for an elastic hair tie. I reached for one on my wrist, but remembered not having them anymore. I pressed my hair down and combed my fingers through it. Nothing helped. I would have settled for a scarf at that point.
And everything was against me.
The tall white house grew out of the fog, slowly, but surely. My stomach sank. I knew it, I groaned to myself. I knew it. Edward didn’t say a thing, he seemed to know how I was feeling.
I began to devise ways to get out of it. To stay put. Hell, I’d even sit here in the car all night. But the driver pulled to a stop in the half moon driveway and hoped down from his perch.
“Mr. Masen,” he bowed graciously as Edward tipped him and began to help unload our baggage.
I sat firm in my seat, unwilling to move any closer to the house. I scanned it from every direction. Noting the subtle differences: newer outdoor lighting, smaller garage… My heart was skipping beats regularly by now which made it hard enough to breath without the help from my corset.
I shook my head as I saw Edward round the car to my door. No! I screamed within me. This wasn’t really happening. The house loomed like a nasty poltergeist wanting to bring me in and send me back to my hell. I stopped suddenly as a cold hand rested against my neck. As I turned to see from whom the hand had come, I saw his stark white face. A beautiful face made of alabaster. Topaz eyes under locks of bronze… “Edward,” I whispered. He smiled, flashing his brilliant white teeth before dissolving into the evening’s mist.
“Yes? I’m right here?” I jerked my head to the other side of the car, where human Edward was holding his hand out for me. “Are you ready?”
I slowly nodding, unwilling to accept the fact that I was unable to decide between my two Edwards. This young, living, breathing version of Edward versus his 21st century counterpart with skin of white, enigmatic smile and hypnotic eyes… My heart sputtered again before picking up at full speed. I brushed my hand into Edward’s as he helped me from the car.
The door swung open and was immediately filled with the jolly silhouette of what could only be his grandfather’s.
“Grandfather!” he rejoiced. He held my hand over his arm and helped me up the stairs. Let go for only a moment to generously shake his grandfather’s plump hand. “Grandfather, this is Isabella Swan… my fiancée.”
My already out of control heart pounded louder and my mind went numb. Did he just… I pressed my eyes shut and let the sick feeling in my stomach rise and fall like tidal waves…
In the dim porch light, his grandfather grinned and rubbed his stubbly chin with one hand. “Well, congratulations, son!” He came closer to Edward and wrapped him in a halfhearted hug. As he stepped back he mentioned, “Swan, you say? Seems to ring a bell. Please, come in.” His voice was warm, but my hands turned cold the minute he seemed to have recognized my name. I tried not to think anything of it. Really… there could be a million people with the last name Swan in this century alone. I hated Edward for a moment, as he put this pressure on me to now be his fiancée.
Thanks a lot… I groaned inside, hoping for my stomach to settle and my mind to clear.
I froze as he turned to enter. Edward nearly had to pull me into the house like a stubborn mule refusing to enter a barn.
The house was not like I had remembered it. The entire first level was sectioned off by walls and into separate little rooms.
His grandfather led us to a sitting area. Edward helped me find a seat before taking his position next to me, still holding my hand. His grandfather was quiet for a few moments, thinking.
I dreaded what was coming next.
“Swan, you say?” He rubbed his chin and pressed his small glasses closer to his face. “I remember a boy about your age, but not a girl. Are you sure it was Forks that you’re family is from?”
I felt the breath inside me flush out leaving me without air. I felt like I was choking and suffocating at the same time. Edward pressed a hand to my back and smiled, “That’s what she said.”
“Hmm, I don’t remember that family dyin’ though.” His words unnerved me. My head seemed filled with helium, unable to process what he was saying. “A person would remember a terrible accident like that happening so close to home, don’t you think?”
I shook my head. “I’m not feeling so well after that car trip. A bit of motion sickness, I think,” I whispered just barely loud enough for them to hear.
His grandfather nodded and motioned to Edward to take me upstairs. Where I knew my hell awaited me.
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