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Heart and Soul

Summary:
Edward is nearly broken when he loses a dear friend in an accident. When he meets Bella at Forks High, not only is his heart healed, but his soul as well. However, Bella has a secret that could make or break them. AU/AH Twilight meets Return to Me!


Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I once said ‘what’s the point of an AH Twilight story? Wouldn’t it be better to change the names and make it original?’ Then I read a few that were pretty good. Then, I was bitten by this rabid plot bunny…it had sharp, pointy teeth! So, if you’ve ever seen Return to Me, you may recognize certain key story lines :) Read on, and let me know what you think! Rest assured; this is Edward/Bella :)


10. Chapter 10

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3332   Review this Chapter

Edward hadn’t been at school since the accident. Bella kept replaying his last words in her head, ‘Bye, Bella.’

Surely, he’s only home recuperating,’ Bella kept telling herself. She kept remembering his panicked expression while he was tormented by his memories while trapped beneath her truck; the tantalizing energy that sang between them while she cradled his face and talked him down from his attack. She felt guilty for wishing that the contact could have lasted longer.

Bella couldn’t help but wonder, though, if he was hiding from her. She had seen the pain he tried to hide every day. She could read it in his soulful eyes. Bella had witnessed something beneath her truck that she was sure that Edward would rather she hadn’t seen.

Nearly every one of her classmates had heard the heroic tale of Edward and Bella rescuing one another. For two whole days, Bella couldn’t move through the hallways without an entourage following her, and she was certain that there would have been a crowd flocking to Edward as well. Occasionally, one person among the crowd of students would work up the courage to ask her to share her side of the story.

Calling Renee after her near-miss hadn’t been a very enjoyable experience. Nearly thirty minutes of tear-filled reassurances.

Bella, I thought I had lost you! I didn’t think I had to worry about that anymore!’

It took another half-hour for her to convince her mother that she was perfectly fine and happy where she was, and that Renee didn’t need to come to Forks to make sure Bella was settling well.

Mom, I swear, I like it here; Charlie’s great to live with, and I have a few nice friends at school…I’m sure Phil would miss you Mom… stay with Phil, he needs you too…’

Then, Bella was subjected to another hour-long interrogation into every embarrassing detail of every conversation and interaction Bella had ever had with Edward.

So, this boy…Is he cute, what does he look like? Charlie said he had been rebellious…does he have a leather jacket and a tattoo? Do you like him? Why on earth did you mention Mr. Darcy, or coccyxes for that matter? When have you ever worn a shower cap? Does he have any scars? They say girls are into that sort of thing these days…I think he likes you…Just remember, boys won’t buy the cow if the milk’s free, and no diamond rings and no babies till you’re thirty… ’

Renee had called whenever ice was forecasted since the van incident. Bella cursed satellite television for enabling Renee to monitor the weather in Forks so readily. Luckily, the weather was turning warmer, Renee’s reminders to drive carefully slowly tapered off, and the next couple of weeks promised to be scattered with occasional sunny days, which caused the student body of Forks High School to rejoice.

Bella grimaced as she thought of the excursions that Mike Newton had been planning in order to take advantage of the coming spring. Mike had also increased his attentions to Bella in Edward’s absence. She kept wishing every day to see Edward at lunch or in biology, in the hopes that Mike would back off. Bella was growing tired of letting him down easy day after day.

However, Bella was never that lucky. She cringed inwardly when she noticed Mike bounding over and falling into step with her.

“Hey, Bella-bo-bella! You going to the dance? You know it’s a girl’s choice, and I couldn’t help but notice you hadn’t asked anyone this week,” he said.

“Uh, no Mike, I don’t plan on going to the dance,” Bella said as she crossed her arms and hoped that Mike would just drop it at that.

“Well, I was kind of thinkin’ you know…I could go with you…you know…if you wanted…I know you don’t know too many guys here yet,” Mike said.

Bella sighed and stopped walking; Mike didn’t notice at first and had to turn around and backtrack until he stood next to her again.

“Mike, I’m not going to the dance…I’m going out of town that day, and besides, I think Jessica would be disappointed if we went together,” Bella explained.

“Why’s that?”

“Mike, do I have to spell it out for you? Are you illiterate? Are you telling me that you couldn’t read the signals poor Jessica has been broadcasting?”

“Signals? What kind of signals?” Mike asked, still clueless. Bella just stared at Mike in stunned disbelief.

How is it, that this boy is so obtuse?’ she thought.

“Mike? Did Jessica ask you to this dance?” Bella asked, knowing full well that it had been Jessica’s intention this week. Bella had seen Jessica and Angela gluing candy bars onto a giant poster board for a cheesy invitation to go to the dance just this morning. Mike at least had the decency to look sheepish as he suddenly took interest in the cracks in the sidewalk.

“Mike, she may as well start a fire in the parking lot and send you smoke signals, she was so obvious. Tell her yes. You and I are just not meant to be,” Bella said. Then, she turned on her heel and walked as quickly as she could to the parking lot.

She was embarrassed by Mike’s cluelessness, and his seemingly never-ending supply of terrible pick-up lines. His advances had only gotten worse since she had been sitting alone in biology. ‘Stupid gorgeous absent lab partner,’ she grumbled to herself as she wrenched open the dented door to her truck and started home with a deafening rumble.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Bella had only been home for a few minutes when the ancient rotary phone that hung in the kitchen started ringing. Bella furrowed her brow; of course everyone knew the police chief’s phone number, but no one would call at the house for him at this hour; everyone in town knew he was at the station until five o’clock.

“Swan residence,” she answered tentatively.

“BELLA!!!” squealed two female voices. Bella pulled the phone from her ear and slowly blinked her eyes as the shock of her nearly shattered eardrum settled down. Then she realized that the phone in her hand was still calling her name.

“Hello? This is Bella,” she started.

“IT’S JESS!” she heard followed by a much quieter, “and Angela…” in the background.

“MIKE SAID YES!!!” Jess squealed as a loud thud was followed by a scuffling noise.

“Bella?” Angela’s voice said after a moment. “Sorry, Jessica dropped the phone…anyways…we’re going to Port Angeles this afternoon to look at dresses. I know you’ve said you’re not going to the dance, but would you like to go with us? Help us decide?”

Bella could hear the earnest plea in Angela’s voice; even though Bella had really planned on getting ahead with her reading for English, she couldn’t refuse the invite.

“Sure…” she agreed.

“Oh, great…Bella, you can tell us which dresses look the best, and which ones make us look fat. We’ll pick you up in ten.” Jessica had grabbed the phone again.

“Ok, see you soon…” Bella said. She replaced the antique phone, wrote a quick note for Charlie, and carefully went upstairs to get ready for her first girls outing since moving to Forks.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

“So, I’m thinking, this eggplant dress makes me look ill…maybe the fuchsia one, but I think Mike won’t look at my face in that one…”

Jessica had been trying on every dress in her size, which wasn’t very many, considering the lack of options in a town as small as Port Angeles. Bella had weighed-in on each dress in turn, though she was starting to recycle her comments. Angela smiled knowingly at Bella when she heard her tell Jessica “That’s very slimming,” for the third time since Jessica had started her fashion show.

“Jess, we still need shoes, so you’re going to have to pick one soon, or we won’t have time to eat,” Angela said sensibly.

“Right…shoes…ok, maybe cleavage isn’t such a bad thing…where’s the fuchsia one!” Jess stormed back into the dressing room and started changing again.

Twenty minutes later, Bella, Angela, and Jessica made their way to Jessica’s car where they stowed their garment bags.

“I think the best place for shoes is about three blocks that way,” Angela gestured over her shoulder.

“Is there a bookstore around here?” Bella asked. Jessica’s mouth hung open slightly, her face clearly showing her disbelief at Bella’s desire for a store that sold no shoes, clothes or makeup.

“I think there’s one that way…” Angela supplied once more, though now, she was pointing in the opposite direction as previous.

“I’m not really much of a shoe shopper, why don’t I just meet you two at the restaurant?” Bella said.

“Ok, that’s fine, come on Jess,” Angela agreed while grabbing a confused looking Jessica and turning in the opposite direction.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

The bookstore was a bust. New age-fantasy-self-help sold by a former hippie did not interest Bella in the least. Left without a distraction for the next hour, Bella kept walking down the street; she knew the waterfront must be close by, and there would be plenty of tourist traps there to occupy her.

After she walked another block, Bella realized her mistake. This was not the quaint tourist bubble that was advertised on the glossy pamphlets in the Port Angeles Airport. This was the red-headed step child that was peripherally mentioned at family gatherings, but never invited.

Nothing but the bare block walls of warehouses stretched for another block in front of Bella when she heard a metal door scrape open, and four gruff men stumbled out of it.

“Well, well, well sugar,” one of the men sneered. “Did you get lost? The docks are no place for a pretty young thing like you,” he continued.

“We could help you find your way back to your car, how about it?” the man directly behind the first said.

“No, I’m fine, my boyfriend is coming for me,” Bella bluffed, hoping she sounded more convincing to them than she did to herself. She brushed past them and walked as quickly as she dared back in the direction she came hoping to lose these men in a more populated area, but it was nearly twilight, and there weren’t any other people nearby.

The slow shuffle of their feet echoed off of the block walls surrounding them, and when she looked back, she realized that there were only two of them still there. Bella relaxed slightly, hoping that perhaps she had misread their intentions. The busy street of shops was just up ahead, she would be there soon, then, she could really relax.

Bella’s hopes were crushed however, when she saw the exit onto the street darken when two large shapes blocked her safe escape. It was the two men who had spoken with her back at the warehouse door. They had trapped her.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward didn’t visit the music store in Port Angeles so much as the larger store in Seattle, but it was better than ordering un-sampled music from the internet. The CDs here were mostly annoying top forty hits that Alice loved to belt at the top of her lungs while she danced around the house; songs that she then used to keep Edward out of her head when she was trying to surprise him.

Edward sighed in frustration at the lack of selection and moved on to the second hand instrument area. Though touching the instruments without assistance was off limits to most customers, Edward had a good rapport with the owner. He was allowed to test whatever instrument he wanted. Today it was a guitar, a recent acquisition by the looks of it; half the strings were missing, and the rest were old and worn.

“You wanna fix that up? I’ll let you have it, for your labor,” the owner said as he walked up behind Edward. “My wife thought I was crazy when I took in that old hunk of junk; she just doesn’t understand how an instrument can sing to your soul…” the older man trailed off.

While Edward peripherally listened to the man mentally reminisce about the sixties, he heard the lascivious thoughts of a group of men break into his mind. These were exactly the type of brutes that he and Emmett had protected Alice from while they lived on the streets in Seattle.

Focusing distastefully on the thoughts of the group, Edward grimaced at their obscene fantasies and gasped when he saw the object of their thoughts in the mind of the leader. Bella.

"Hey, kid, you ok?" the owner asked.

"Uh, yeah, I've gotta run, maybe next time," Edward said in a rush as he hurried towards the door. On the sidewalk outside, he paused and closed his eyes, trying to listen and sift through the multiple minds around him.

'Don't be that way sugar...'

Edward opened his eyes and ran towards the cacophony of disturbing mental pictures spewing from the men surrounding Bella.

'What are you doing on that street Bella?!' Edward thought desperately. He skidded to a halt in front of the walkway where the men had cornered her. They hadn’t noticed his approach, focused as they were on Bella.

Taking advantage of their distraction, Edward ran quietly and swiftly towards the men closest to him. He bent low and grabbed the first guy, just as he turned around. Edward drove his shoulder into the man’s solar plexus.

The man’s breath was forcefully expelled from his lungs in a big whoosh, but Edward kept moving; using the first man to ram the next closest. The two thugs went down in a tangle with Edward on top. The man on the bottom groaned; his head had hit the pavement the same way Edward’s had when he had saved Bella the week previous. Edward knew the man was in pain, though he couldn’t spare any pity. Before either could react, Edward swiftly lifted their wallets and tucked them into the large pocket of his hoodie.

Edward leapt up quickly, stepping on the hands of both the downed men as he went, leaving them tangled and cursing angrily in their drunkenness. Edward scanned the two men still standing, eyes alert for any sudden movements, his mind on edge as he listened to their thoughts.

“What the…?! You a tough guy?” the third and closest man to Bella said, turning his back to her, though still standing between Edward and Bella. The fourth man took in his tangled companions, Edward’s furious face and fighting crouch, and his courage left. He bolted before Edward could lay a hand on him.

Dazed and bruised from Edward’s initial charge, the first two men took their friend’s example and ran before they could be attacked again.

“Just you and me, eh? Think you can take me?” the man said with bravado drunk from a bottle. He was obviously the ringleader of this motley gang of thugs, and his thoughts were full of his previous misdeeds. Edward was sickened by the very presence of the man.

“Bella, run…” Edward growled without taking his eyes off him.

“No!” Bella croaked in a dry voice.

“Bella! Don’t argue!” Edward nearly yelled at her.

“I’m not going to leave you alone with him!” Bella said, more firmly than before. Edward growled in exasperation as he dodged a sudden charge from the man. His thoughts were simple; the level of alcohol coursing through his bloodstream had muddled his head, causing him to act without much previous thought.

Lonnie-boy, you are gonna break this boy and then the girl…’

Hearing ‘Lonnie’ think of ‘breaking’ Bella caused a wave of white-hot fury to wash over Edward. He charged the man this time, and caught him in the midsection just as he had the first man, and slammed him into the wall behind them before he lifted his wallet as well.

He grappled with Lonnie for a moment, blocking the man’s inept attempts to hit him in the face before the man got a lucky kick to Edward’s shin. Edward grunted with the pain of it, stepped back and kicked the man hard in the knee, dropping him to the ground, incapacitated.

“NOW, RUN!” Edward yelled as he grabbed Bella’s hand and pulled her along behind him, away from the pitiful man moaning obscenities for all to hear.

Edward ran, dragging Bella behind him for nearly three blocks before he slowed to a stop and leaned over to rest his hands on his knees while he caught his breath.

Without another word, Edward straightened and pulled out his cell phone and dialed the police. Bella gaped in astonishment as Edward described the attack in detail, and the location of the immobile ‘Lonnie’ so that police could pick him up.

Edward heard Bella gasp again when he pulled three wallets from his pocket and gave the names and information from the driver’s licenses. Then Edward gave the dispatcher their location and promised to wait for the police to collect the wallets and he hung up. He closed his eyes, and let out a calming breath.

“Bella…” he began sternly without opening his eyes.

“Edward…” she returned just as firmly.

“What, exactly, were you planning to do? You looked like you were going to fight them…” Edward opened his eyes and turned to face Bella, looking at her beseechingly.

“Well, you did…” Bella huffed.

“That’s completely different,” Edward started.

“I’m not weak!” Bella insisted.

Edward sighed and clenched his eyes shut again before pinching his nose between his finger and thumb in frustration.

“I apologize…it was not my intention to make you feel weak, but I didn’t think such a petite person like you would stand a chance against four large men. Those guys are not the sort to be messed with, even drunk as they were. I was truly frightened for you, Isabella.”

“Please, just Bella. Isabella is too stiff…I feel like I’m a socialite straight out of the Victorian era when you say it…” Bella let out a breath, realizing that she was rambling. “Thank you, by the way, that’s twice you’ve saved me.”

“I guess that makes us even,” Edward said softly. He smiled his crooked grin at Bella’s red face. Then he looked down at his shoes. A Port Angeles police cruiser pulled up to the curb and a pair of officers got out and questioned the two of them about the attack. The officers handed each of them a business card and collected the wallets before admonishing the both of them to get home safe and assuring Bella that they would be in touch with her father. Bella groaned, and asked them to let her tell him, as she didn’t want to worry him. The officers both nodded and left to file their report. Edward shoved his hands into his hoodie pocket and blew out a big breath before he started speaking again.

“Are you here alone? Have you eaten? Surely, you have to be near shock after an ordeal such as that, some food would do you good…” Edward trailed off at the sudden look of remembrance on Bella’s face.

“OH! I was supposed to meet Jessica and Angela at Bella Italia! What time is it? I’m probably late…they’re going to be so worried…what time is it?” Bella rambled.

“Er…” Edward pulled his cell phone from his pocket again and checked the time.

“Almost 6:30,” he said.

“I’m late! I was supposed to be there an hour ago!”

“Well, I’ll take you there…Bella Italia? Come on, my car’s just over there,” Edward said, gesturing across the street to his parked silver Volvo.

“I don’t want to trouble you…I can walk,” Bella said.

“Nonsense, look what happened the last time you took a walk by yourself in this city. You’re going to devastate the crime rate if I let you go alone,” Edward joked smoothly as he pulled Bella towards his car.

“I’m glad my bad luck has amused you,” Bella said, more sharply than she intended.

“Bella…” Edward sighed as he opened the door for her. “I just seem to have a knack for offending you…” Edward said sadly. “Let me make it up to you…I’ll buy you dinner at the restaurant, and you can tell me all about yourself,” he said.

“Edward, I’ll let you buy me dinner on three conditions,” Bella said.

“What?” Edward asked warily.

“You tell me how you found me tonight, how you got those wallets…” Bella began. Edward relaxed slightly until she continued, “…and you tell me what it was that has left such sadness in your eyes…”