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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 :)


7. Chapter 7

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3262   Review this Chapter

Heart and Soul Chapter 7

Bella wasn’t surprised that Charlie’s refrigerator held only a half- full curdled carton of milk, a greasy paper bag labeled ‘fish fry’, and an expired package of hot dogs. She shook her head at the lack of supplies in Charlie’s kitchen. His cooking skills were probably worse than Renee’s, and that was saying something. Bella’s father seemed to live off of the fish he caught on his perpetual fishing trips.

‘It’s a wonder he doesn’t sprout gills,’ thought Bella ruefully. Further inspection of the pantry revealed it to be as bare as the fridge, save for a small tin labeled ‘groceries.’ Curious, Bella opened the tin to find it full of cash. Bella smirked at the cash in her hands, wondering how often ‘groceries’ translated into ‘pizza.’ Lack of culinary skills seemed to be the only thing her parents had in common, other than Bella herself. She sighed, grabbed her keys and the little tin, as she thought ‘Looks like I’m going to be the grocery shopper here too.’

Bella didn’t mind shopping or cooking for Charlie; it did guarantee that she would get a meal worthy of consumption that didn’t include fish. Renee was quite experimental in her meals, which often led to rather interesting though not always edible results. Renee did try though; enthusiastically. Thinking of Renee reminded Bella that she hadn’t emailed or called her mother at all since she had gotten to Charlie’s yesterday. Knowing Renee, she was probably ready to call the FBI and report her as missing. Bella looked at her watch and decided that perhaps the shopping could wait for a few more minutes. She dropped her keys back on the table by the coat rack where Charlie always hung his gun belt and took the stairs as fast as she could without stumbling.

Once she was in her room and waiting for the hulk of a computer to start up, Bella let her mind wander, taking in the room that was once her nursery. The rocking chair in the corner and the frilly curtains were still there where Renee herself placed them. Bella was pulled from her observations by the sound of the over-taxed processor fading as the ancient computer finally displayed the desktop. She started the free internet service and waited for the obnoxious modem tones to stop wailing in her ears. While she waited, Bella started to think back over her first day of school in Forks. She remembered each of her classes and the work that was set, the books that she would re-read, and the people she had met. One person in particular stood out in her mind; Edward Cullen. Bella remembered how he had stared at her with his strangely frustrated expression; she watched as the memory played over and over in her mind, and his face grew more exasperated by the second.

‘What is it that he is having such a hard time with?’ Bella thought. The hurt that he felt was evident on his features as he sat in the cafeteria, seemingly unconcerned with the tumult happening around him as he drifted, lost in his own thoughts. Angela had mentioned a terrible accident that he and a friend had been in, and Jessica had mentioned ‘his little Russian friend’ had died.

Is that what is bothering him?’ Bella asked herself. Then, she remembered Charlie’s admonition to her about driving in the snow.

‘Couple people died ‘bout a year ago,’ Charlie had said. Was that the same accident that Edward had been in? Charlie would know; perhaps if she made a good dinner, she could get some answers out him before he realized why she was asking.

What would Charlie like for dinner? What does Charlie like besides fish!’ Bella thought. ‘That’s easy enough; steak and potatoes. A little marinade for the steak and some big baked potatoes and Charlie will think he’s gone to the Lodge.’

Bella was pulled from her musings when she realized that her room was silent; the modem had stopped screeching some time ago. She moved over to her desk to check her mail. Renee had left her eight emails, ranging from cheerful messages of support, vague requests to let her know how things went, and urgent messages demanding to know if Bella had arrived, and if not, should she call the FAA or the FBI.

Bella sighed and sent a quick reply before Renee could start a national search involving two federal agencies; then she sent a longer reply detailing her first day of school. She had thought about telling Renee about Edward, but decided against it. She didn’t need her mother calling Charlie and demanding to know every last detail, including possible criminal record, of someone she hadn’t even spoken to properly. Bella looked at her watch and decided that she should get to the store before it became too late to get groceries before dinner.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

None of Edward’s adoptive siblings said anything as they walked into the house after he parked his Volvo in the garage. He noticed Esme sat on her usual barstool at the counter in the kitchen, looking over a series of color samples and cloth swatches for an old farmhouse she was restoring.

“How was school?” she asked, eyeing each of her children as they wandered around the kitchen and murmured their greetings. Esme had always made it a point to ask everyone about their day, and today was no exception. Edward knew that she would want some sort of answer from each of them.

Emmett was already buried to the shoulder in the refrigerator, munching on a chicken leg left over from dinner the night before. Alice stood looking smug next to Jasper, though she occasionally looked over at Edward, and her smirk would widen anew. Edward leaned against the cabinets, opposite from his mother, trying to bide his time before he was required to answer. He could see his expression from five different perspectives as his siblings waited for him to tell Esme how his day had been. His eyes had the unfocused look of intense concentration that he knew he only wore when he was lost in thoughts; either his own, or everyone else’s.

“School was fine Esme,” Jasper said, taking the attention off of Edward, who subtly nodded his thanks. Jasper surreptitiously returned the gesture and leaned against the counter next to Esme and pulled Alice into his arms.

“It was flirtatious!” Alice said mischievously. She was mentally cataloguing all the clothes that Edward had in his closet. Jasper, Edward noticed, recognized the preoccupation on Alice’s face. Edward knew that Jasper understood Alice almost as well as Edward himself did. Edward thought that was pretty impressive, considering the advantage Edward with his skill. Edward gave Jasper a pleading look before pointedly moving his gaze to his fidgeting sister. Jasper smiled knowingly at Edward and thought, ‘You can’t avoid dress-up-Edward forever but I’ll give it a try.’ Then Jasper squeezed his girlfriend tighter before she could skip out of the room and start raiding Edward’s closet for ‘operation-impress-Bella-clothes.’ Alice narrowed her eyes at Edward; she knew what the two brothers had just communicated.

‘Someone has to make sure you don’t go to school in clothes three seasons old, Edward. That isn’t retro, it’s painful,’ she said to him. Rosalie thoughts were completely oblivious to the interaction going on around her, as usual. She was taking in the sight of Emmett with a half-amused, half-disgusted look on her face.

What is he going to do? Climb in? He cannot kiss me with that chicken grease on his face; he’ll ruin my complexion!’ Edward rolled his eyes at his vain foster sister. Emmett himself finally came out of the fridge with a few things tucked in one arm and his half-eaten chicken leg still in his other hand. He saw the look on Rosalie’s face and said, “What? I’m a growing boy, I’m hungry! I could eat a bear!”

Edward smiled; Emmett always voiced his thoughts word for word, this was no exception.

Esme raised an eyebrow at her second adopted son and smirked before she said, “Sorry Emmett, bear is not in season.” Edward could feel Esme’s gaze settle on him just as easily as he could see it from her mind.

“Edward? Is there something bothering you?” she asked him.

“Uhhh…no?” Edward said, though it came out as a question. His brothers smirked; Emmett thought and whispered at the same time, “He’s a goner!” before laughing bumping fists with Jasper.

“Sorry, Esme; I think I need some time to think…” Edward trailed off and headed to his piano and sat down, already caressing the keys and letting a new melody start to flow from his mind to his fingers. However, he couldn’t help but hear what was being said in the kitchen

“What was that about?” Esme asked the question aloud, though she pushed the thought towards Edward as well. She was physically focusing on the teens in front of her, but her understanding of and experience with Edward’s gift made it feel as though she were questioning Edward face-to-face. He understood what she was doing and appreciated that his mother knew him well enough to allow him time to order his thoughts, but still let him know that she wanted to be informed.

“Edward met the new girl- Isabella Swan, at school,” said Jasper. Alice took over.

“And he flirted with her! Of course, being Edward, he didn’t know how to flirt properly, so he quoted centenarian literature at her, and she took it the wrong way, but Edward actually spoke with her and said something other than ‘No thank you, I don’t date; please stop throwing yourself at me’ or whatever it was he told Jessica. Oh, Esme, you should see her! She and Edward would be so cute together! She’s just perfect for him! And you know what the best part is?! She is like a mental Fort Knox! Our own Professor X can’t pick her brain for the life of him! She’s as silent as the grave to him! Isn’t that great! She’s really going to be good for him, I know it!” Alice said. Only her intense need for oxygen forced her to stop and breathe, though her thoughts were still racing. Edward could see Esme in his sibling’s minds; she sat motionless for a few seconds as her brain finished processing what Alice had said.

“I think you need to be mindful of your brother’s feelings, Alice. We need to let Edward decide if this girl is as perfect as you say,” said Esme. However, the smile on her face took much of the sting from her rebuke. Alice was nearly vibrating with excitement. Esme chuckled knowingly.

Sorry, Edward, I don’t think I can hold her back any longer,’ Esme directed at Edward.

“Go ahead, but don’t toss all of his clothes on the floor this time,” Esme said aloud, raising her eyebrow at Alice. Edward’s siblings drifted off to their own pursuits as Esme back to her work. She attempted to keep her thoughts occupied with the samples an swatches in front of her, but Edward knew her mind kept drifting back to where he was sitting, playing the piano.

Esme sat at the counter for a few moments longer, listening to the tender, sweet, new melody that was tentatively flowing from Edward’s piano. Now that Esme wasn’t talking with the other teens, Edward struggled with the stereo affect of his playing echoing from Esme’s mind along with her thoughts.

It’s so soft and soothing, like a gentle lullaby. This song is definitely new; I’ve never heard Edward play it, and he is definitely in compose-mode. This Isabella may be just what he needs; I think we definitely need find out more about this girl who has moved Edward to compose once more,’ thought Esme as she tucked her samples and swatches away and moved towards him.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward’s thoughts were chaotic as he sat waiting for Esme at his piano; he was at a loss as to why he couldn’t hear Bella Swan’s mind. She seemed different than the other girls at Forks High School. Girls like Jessica and Lauren, who couldn’t stop throwing themselves at him, even though before Tanya had died, they treated him as though he were the gunk on the bottom of their shoes. They were fair-weather friends; Edward knew from both their thoughts that they weren’t very nice people. They didn’t even like each other that much; they just pretended to like one another so that they could be more popular.

Bella, on the other hand, was shy and reserved; she mostly just wanted to blend in. However, through his vicarious observations of her reactions to others, namely Jessica and Mike Newton, Edward knew that she was smart and that she had a sharp, sarcastic wit. She had impressed him with her knowledge of the classics, though Edward cringed when he remembered how that interaction had ended. Mr. Darcy was by far not the worst centenarian literary character to be compared to.

Edward looked up from the ivory keys under his hands when he heard Esme’s mental voice enter the room. He gave her a nod, though he did not say anything. Esme was reciting the ridiculous color names from her color samples.

‘Gentle breeze cerulean blue…cocoa mocha brown…ecru eggshell white…serene sage green…’

“Are you thinking about those for a reason, or are you trying to make Emmett laugh at me when I can’t help but ask for ‘gentle breeze cerulean blue’ paint for my room?” Edward asked her with a small grin. Caught, Esme stopped thinking of colors, sat next to Edward on the piano bench and asked, ‘Was Alice telling the truth? Did you really connect with this girl?’

Edward let out a sigh and started back a few measures in the song he was now composing. “I’m not sure,” he admitted. “There was definitely a pull of sorts, an attraction, if you will,” he continued softly, almost reluctantly. “I’m afraid I offended her though…” Edward trailed off and focused more intently on the keys in front of him.

“Offended? Is that what Alice meant about centenarian literature?” Esme asked with a hint of a smile.

Edward groaned and halted his piano playing. “Alice…” Edward growled, embarrassed to have to explain his blunder to his adoptive mother.

“She said I reminded her of Mr. Darcy,” began Edward.

“Well, that’s not so bad; Mr. Darcy is one of the most romantic literary men around. It’s better than being compared to Heathcliff or, or, I don’t know…Dracula!” Esme said, still not sure what the problem was.

“I knew from the other student’s thoughts that she could be sarcastic… I quoted some of the less favorable ‘first impression’ descriptions to tease her, but Mr. Banner interrupted us. I’m sure I was quite successful at offending her,” Edward said mournfully.

Esme pursed her lips and thought, ‘Was Alice right? You can’t hear her?’

“I couldn’t hear her at all, not even when I sat right next to her, and concentrated on just her. Everybody else is still as clear as day; I don’t understand why she’s different,” Edward said.

“Well, maybe that is your answer… she is different. You are both unique in different ways; maybe she is your match.” Esme stood up, pressed a kiss to the crown of his head and gave his shoulders a squeeze before she left him to his thoughts.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Bella was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on a salad when Charlie came home.

“What are you cooking? It smells just like the Lodge,” Charlie said enthusiastically as he sat down at the already set table. He settled in as though Bella had been there every day of the last seventeen years, and this wasn’t something new at all. Bella and Charlie were of a similar mindset; neither required the near constant conversation that Renee preferred, they were content to simply exist in the same space. Charlie didn’t push Bella for details on her first day at school in Forks, which unfortunately didn’t help her root for information on Edward Cullen. Chagrin flooded through her as she realized that she was no better than Jessica Stanley; she just couldn’t deny that she wanted to and could help erase Edward’s pain. He had seemed so troubled in the cafeteria; the frustrated looks he kept giving her in Biology only steeled her resolve to find out what she could do to help him.

“I met a lot of nice people today…” she started tentatively as she brought the food to the table. Charlie looked up in surprise and grunted in acknowledgement as he filled his plate.

“Who’d you meet?” he asked; his voice sounded unsure, as though he wasn’t sure quite how to respond.

“Uh…” Bella thought back to all the names that she remembered. “Angela Weber was nice; Jessica Stanley is in a couple of my classes, so is Mike Newton…” Bella trailed off.

“Oh yeah, the Newtons own the outdoor store. Nice kid.”

“I also met Edward Cullen; he’s my lab partner in Biology,” Bella added.

“Yeah, he’s the youngest of the kids Dr. Cullen and his wife adopted. Loner; he keeps out of trouble now, but a few years ago he gave his parents a spot of trouble. Crazy rebellious teenagers,” Charlie muttered.

“He seemed sad. I thought he could use a friend,” she continued.

“What exactly are you asking, Bells?” he asked pointedly. “I’ve been a cop for longer than you’ve been alive; I know when someone is fishing for information,” he continued. Bella knew she had been caught; she bit her lip while she pondered what she should ask first.

“What happened to him?” she asked finally. Charlie looked at her appraisingly.

“You remember that marker out on the highway?” Charlie asked. Bella knew that the look of recognition in her eyes gave her away.

“Like I said, ‘bout a year ago there was an early freeze, and the overpass iced over. It happens a lot. A young couple in an SUV slid on the ice and hit the car the Cullen kid was driving. It killed the other driver and Cullen’s passenger.”

“Was Edward hurt?” Bella asked. Charlie looked up from his plate again.

“Oh no, you’re not going to make me the town gossip; too many of those already. I’ve already flapped my jaw more than I ought to have,” Charlie muttered. “You want more information, go talk to Edward.” He said as he stood up and took his now clear plate to the sink.

“Thanks Bells, that was delicious; even better than the Lodge!” Charlie said as he made his way out to watch the game. Bella knew that she wouldn’t get any more information from him, so she quickly did the dishes and said, “Night Dad,” as she carefully went upstairs. She really hadn’t gotten any more information from Charlie than she had from Jessica over the lunch table. One thing Bella knew for sure; she needed to get to know Edward Cullen.