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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:


6. Giving in to Fate

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1567   Review this Chapter

PART SIX: Giving in to Fate

[Edward POV]

"Please don't take this the wrong way," I blinked, startled to find Alice at eye-level. She'd climbed onto a bench to achieve that. Creative. "I'm very glad you decided to come back. Goodness knows Esme was worried sick about you." Putting her hands on either side of my face, she gave me a little shake. "But could you attempt to do something other than brood and make scary faces?"

Arching an eyebrow, I closed my hands around her wrists. "If that was all I meant to do, I wouldn't have let you drag me out with you." I glanced around significantly. "Is there a single thing in this store that you actually need?"

Sighing, she tweaked my nose and bounced gracefully to the floor. "You miss the point of shopping entirely, my darling brother. The joy of acquisition has little to do with necessity." She spread her arms out and did a little twirl. Not at all appropriate for an aisle filled with hiking boots, but who was I to tamper with her joy? "Possibility is the key."

"Ah yes, I'll make a note of that." The dryness of my tone was hardly lost on her, and her thoughts turned uncomplimentary towards men in general and myself and Jasper in particular. "Come on, now. Be fair. Jasper indulges your every whim."

She gave me a tragic look. "Not every whim."

"Oh, don't share that. Please Alice, have a little restraint." I coughed and looked everywhere but at her as she giggled and fled around the corner. Evil creature.

Drawing a deep breath, I took the moment for myself. Truthfully, it was easy to fall back into the comfortable place I had with my family. Easy to forget the week I'd spent in solitude, haunting some of the most remote corners of the Canadian Rockies. The temptation to stay there had been strong, but I'd spent too long as a part of this, given too much of myself to the family we'd created. Doing without it had been painful. So I did the only thing I could... I came home.

Unfortunately that did nothing to solve the underlying reason for my absence. I'd nearly killed a woman, and there was every possibility that I might finish the job given a second opportunity. Emmett was the only one of us who had ever experienced something similar. Needless to say it had ended badly. Judging by his experience, it was only a matter of time for me.

I frowned, resenting the very existence of Bella Black. I was a creature of reason and self-control. I would not let her defeat me.

"Edward~ Did you get lost?" Alice was up to no good, I could hear it in her thoughts.

"Coming. And no I will not wear that." Best to nip that in the bud... and the next one too, for that matter. I spent the next fifteen minutes chasing her around the store until she'd finally decided on a few items she absolutely did not need and therefore had to have. Then I drifted along in her wake as she paid and led the way back out into the rain.

Alice glared up at the sky and made a rude comment about the rain that made me chuckle. I was unbothered by it, the wet was not unpleasant, and the rain insured that there was no chance of sunlight, which would definitely put a crimp in our day. I lifted my face to the rain, letting the droplets roll down my cheeks. Tears from heaven, for those who have no tears of their own to shed. Neatly ironic, although for the moment I felt oddly peaceful.

"Are you planning on standing like that all day? Or can I get in the car before I melt?"

"Patience, Alice. Patience. You're not nearly witch enough to melt in a little rain," I assured her, giving her my most dashing smile. She stuck her tongue out at me and began singing some horrible bubblegum pop song in her head at full blast. "Oh dear god, my brains are going to ooze out of my ears!" But I was laughing, she had a particular talent for that, and I was grateful for it.

A moment was all that was required for everything to change. Like the melody of a beautiful song, her scent filled my senses. The rain dulled it, tried to wash it away, but I would know that scent anywhere. I turned, and without fail our eyes met. Memory had failed to capture Bella as she was, could not hold a candle to the real thing. She was lovely in her way, beautiful and natural in the way of the wild places. Her eyes were dark and liquid, again I was reminded of a doe, with a knowing look far beyond her years. Beautiful, alluring, and absolutely irresistible.

What I realized then, in the space of a moment, was that what would happen between us was inevitable. I could fight it and suffer, or let Fate do with me as she wished. Fate apparently had tired of my reluctance, and reached out in her capricious way to force my hand.

I'd never seen anything like it, and I watched in horrified fascination as events unfolded. The car and the truck and the pouring rain conspired to inflict as much damage as they could under the circumstances. The truck flipped, skidding on its side, bent on destroying everything in its path until it came to rest. And directly in its path was Bella Black. Very fragile, very human, about to be crushed between her own vehicle and the oncoming juggernaut. I had one thought, and it guided every action that came after it. 'Not her.'

The distance was nothing. The danger? Nothing. In that moment I would have faced down angels with flaming swords if they were fools enough to stand in my way. My arms closed around her, dragged her to the wet pavement. There was no time to get clear, the only choice I had was to protect her with my own body. I cradled her against me, braced a hand on her truck, and took the impact of the cargo truck against my back and shoulders. Presented with an immovable object, the metal gave way with a shrill cry. Gritting my teeth, I pushed back, inertia finally giving way as the truck squealed to a stop.

Taking a deep breath, I relaxed and opened my eyes to look down into Bella's face. She was watching me, and I couldn't quite decipher the emotions in her eyes. There was no fear, oddly enough, which I think perhaps concerned me more than anything. "Are you alright?"

"I think so." She turned her head and winced, I think perhaps she'd hit it when I pushed her down. "What happened?"

"There was an accident, you were nearly crushed." My voice was vehement, and I realized that the possibility of watching her die that way had shaken me.

"You saved me." I hesitated, then nodded. "But... you were over there." She frowned, trying to remember. "By the car."

I went very still. "No, I was walking past when it happened."

She shook her head, and the movement made her scent overwhelming. "I saw you."

Pulling away, I withdrew as far I could under the circumstances, my eyes on her face. "No Bella, you're mistaken." Please stop asking questions I can't answer. "You hit your head, you're not thinking clearly." I could hear people coming, voices raised in panic as they tried to figure out how to get us free from the tangle of twisted metal. Alice knew enough to stay clear of it, but she was thinking dark, disapproving thoughts in my direction.

"I saw you," she said again, her eyes taking in our surroundings, the pocket of space where there shouldn't be one. "What are you?"

"A college student," I said firmly. "Just let it go."

"No." She frowned, clinging to the argument as though it were vitally important.

"Please, Bella." My eyes bored into her hers, begging her to stop this, to not take it any further than she already had. "Trust me." She said nothing more, but I felt her eyes on me the entire time we waited for them to get us free. Then the EMTs reached us, and events began moving forward again. "Be careful, she hit her head, and she's pregnant." Immediately I heard her swear softly under her breath and I had to fight the urge to grin. The activity around her doubled in response, and I was able to quietly refuse all but the most cursory examination, avoiding a stretcher as long as I agreed to ride in the ambulance.

As I climbed in, I met Alice's eyes across the parking lot. She nodded imperceptibly, already at the driver's door of the Volvo. She'd let Carlisle know what had happened so he would be expecting us. Regardless, the look in her eyes said that I had a lot of explaining to do.

It didn't matter. Bella was safe, and as I had a moment to reflect on that, I realized that a little discomfort on my part suddenly seemed like a very small price to pay.