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Being Mrs. Black

Summary:
BMBEdward/Bella, Implied Jacob/Bella. Imagine that the Cullens were late in returning to Forks. Bella arrived on schedule, but her life proceeded normally. She and Jacob become the best of friends and with no vampires to awaken them, the wolves don't mature. When he turns 18, Jake and his friends enlist, going to look for adventure in Iraq. He proposes, and Bella can't imagine ever loving someone more than she does her best friend. They quickly marry and he leaves for war. Two months later she gets some news that will turn her life upside down. And on that same day, a beautiful, dangerous stranger appears. From the moment their eyes meet, Bella begins to question those solemn vows she made. Will Bella Black do the right thing? Banner art and banner by Seisei


Notes:


5. Holding Out for a Hero

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1516   Review this Chapter

PART FIVE: Holding Out for a Hero

[Bella POV]

"...Why don't you stop by the station, Bells? Haven't seen you in a week or two, we could go down to The Lodge, have a nice dinner." I made a face that I was glad Charlie couldn't see. I wasn't nearly the fan of The Lodge that he was, so I tried not to let him drag me there for less than a special occasion.

"Actually, why don't I just make dinner for us? I could go to your house, have food on the table by the time you get there." I wasn't taking any classes this summer, and there obviously wasn't much for a teacher's aide to do when the kids were out of school, so I had a lot of time on my hands. Frankly it would be a relief to have someone to take care of, I'd obsessed enough over being pregnant this past week to last me a lifetime.

"Now Bella, you don't have to do that." Methinks you doth protest too much, dad.

"You'd practically be doing me a favor. I'm bored." Time to dangle the carrot. "I'll make Grandma Swan's Stroganoff." I hesitated, that actually sounded kind of good, and normally I wasn't a fan. Frowning, I gave my stomach an accusing look. "Alright tadpole, it's a little early to rearrange my eating habits, don't you think?" I muttered.

"Well... if you really want to." He sounded pleased. I knew he would be, he'd never admit it but Charlie had been lonely ever since I'd moved out. Sometimes I enjoyed my space, reminding myself he'd been a bachelor far longer than I'd been his pseudo-housewife, but he wasn't the only one that got lonely. As cozy as the little house on the Rez was, it was still meant for two.

"I really do." Yes, stroganoff sounded good, and I think I resented that fact. God help me. "I should have just enough time to scoot by the store if I leave now."

"Okay, sounds like a plan."

"See you in a few hours, dad." Already on my feet, I hunted around for what I'd need to get out the door.

"See you, Bells. Be careful." The line clicked and I closed my cellphone, slipping it in my pocket as I stepped into my shoes. Outside it was pouring down rain and had been since morning. The street better resembled a river, and I had to pull my slicker close to keep from getting soaked as I hurried out to the car.

The truck came to life with a comforting roar, subsiding into its familiar grumpy cadence as I backed out. Careful of the puddles, I pointed its broad nose toward Forks. It seemed like I'd picked a hell of a day to be out and about, the remains of two accidents littered the road along the way. Stupid really, it's not like people in this part of the country didn't know how to drive in rain.

I hadn't spoken to Jake again since I'd told him I was pregnant. There had been one email saying they would be away from base for a few days and not to worry. Which was, of course, the fastest way to make someone worry. He would let me know he was okay when they got back, I knew that. But every day it was a little harder to be patient. I wasn't the type that needed constant reassurance, it wasn't like me to wring my hands and fret, not until now.

The truck bumped and rattled its way along the wet roads, and I tried hard not to think about where my husband might be. My imagination was too fond of things like roadside bombs and deadly scorpions, both of which figured into my little fantasies at some point or another. Shaking my head, I turned onto South Forks Avenue and then into the parking lot of the Thriftway. It was relatively empty this time of day, so I managed to find a space close to the front.

I tugged the hood of my jacket up and banged the door shut, turning to make the trudge into the store. That left me with an excellent view of the car parked two aisles over. A gleaming dark silver, the elegant sedan barely acknowledged the rain, shrugging it off like a sleek-feathered raptor. I squinted, trying to make out the insignia on the grill. Volvo, it looked like, and not the sort of car you typically saw in Forks. The obscenely gorgeous thing was sprawled across two parking spaces like a lazy cat. Stupid shiny Volvo owner, someone apparently thought they could park wherever they wanted.

I sniffed, decided I didn't like whoever it was very much, and proceeded on into the store. I quickly gathered up the ingredients for dinner, as well as a few other necessities to take back home with me later. And yes, at this stage in the game, I was prepared to call the package of chocolate chocolate chip cookies a necessity. Eating for two here, folks.

Checkout progressed without incident, and I carried my groceries back out into the rain. As I walked to the truck, I noticed two people standing next to the Volvo. A petite, dark-haired girl with a shopping bag in her hand was standing by the passenger door. But it was the person on the driver's side that caught my attention and held it; Edward Cullen stood there with keys in hand, a teasing smile on his face as he bantered with the girl. It was odd to see that expression, I guess it had never occurred to me that he could do more than look gorgeously forbidding. The fact that he possessed such a beautiful smile made me regretful and a little unnerved.

I meant to look away before I got caught staring, I really did, but he was too quick for me. Our eyes collided, and I stopped breathing. Anger, frustration, I could sense them from him loud and clear, but there was also an odd resignation, a bleakness that contrasted so sharply with the rest that my head spun. Reaching out blindly, I steadied myself against the body of the truck, unable to look away.

In retrospect, what happened next was really only the sort of thing that occurred when I was involved somehow. Think of it as one of those freak accidents where everything has to happen just right. A teenager in a sports car came purposefully tearing their way across the flooded parking lot, tires spinning in the standing water. A half-empty soda truck charged in from the opposite direction, the driver trying to make up lost time on his route by driving too fast. I was exposed, unable to tear my attention away from the Volvo two aisles down and its freakishly attractive owners, the parking lot abruptly empty in the immediate vicinity of the truck. For anyone else, the variables would never have converged so neatly. For me? Welcome to my life.

The sports car spun out, swapping ends as the driver lost control. The truck swerved, trying to avoid it, but the pavement might as well have been made of ice as the tires hydroplaned. It hit the speedbump and clipped the coupe, the top-heavy cargo tipping the truck over and into a slide. This all happened in the matter of a moment. I had no time to absorb, no time to move as all it once it hit me that I was about to be crushed between several tons of steel and the sturdy, unforgiving side of my truck.

Time slowed down, and I reflected on how vicious irony could be, that my husband was fighting in one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world unscathed, while his wife and unborn child were squished to death in a supermarket parking lot. More bitter yet was the fact that my last thought was not of him... but a kind of wondrous confusion at the fact that Edward Cullen was no longer angry with me. He was horrified actually. Horrified and intensely, stunningly afraid.

For that matter, I suppose I was scared, too. It's a natural reaction when you're about to die. I wondered if the baby would be frightened, or if life and death meant little to something so small. I guess I'd never have the chance to know... and for the first time, I knew what it meant to say that a mother's protective instincts were a force to be reckoned with. In that moment, I would have moved heaven and earth to protect that tiny life I sheltered, but I was still only human, and only a little less fragile than my child.

Only an angel could save us now, and no one would ever mistake Forks, Washington for Heaven.