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Bless the Broken Road

Summary:

Thanks to lunamoon for the awesome banner please show her some love Bella and her family are con artists. Her path crosses with Edward and the opportunity is too great to pass up, making him her next mark. Edward is blissfully unaware, and it will take a lot of mistakes to finally lead him back to Bella and the truth.


Notes:
No copyright infringement intended. All things Twilight belong to SM


10. The Aftermath

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Chapter 6: Aftermath

When Vanessa and I were together, there was a lack of passion, need, or fire. I didn’t enjoy my time with her, or having to look her in the face, during such an intimate act but my body couldn’t deny the attraction to hers, so I fucked her.

There was nothing soft or romantic about our movements. I pumped into her fast and hard only caring about my needs, never hers. I shoved in harder and deeper, closing my eyes, hoping to see Bella and not her sister. Each thrust was a pathetic attempt to reach Bella; instead it pushed me further away from her. It was a sick game really, to play when you knew that you were never going to win.

Fucking her sister would never bring me closer to her. I knew that much, especially since she was the woman I cheated with. Bella was gone and she was never coming back, yet I couldn’t deny seeing a small mirror of Bella in Vanessa. It was sick and demented, but when I saw that glimmer in Vanessa, I came.

When we were done, I didn’t bother to make sure she was satisfied, I just asked her to leave and she did so, never uttering a sound.

After that night at the bar, Vanessa and I came to an agreement, we didn’t actually talk about it, but the implication was there. Nothing in my life really changed except that she was a now regular on my bed.

We followed a routine. I would go to the bar, we wouldn’t really exchange pleasantries and I would take her home. We didn’t talk much, especially about that first night. It was like we had a silent understanding of what we were to each other, she was my booty call and I was hers. We knew what was permitted and what was not, we never talked about the night that ruined our lives, and we acted like I hadn’t seen her naked, and she hadn’t let me ram my cock into her mouth.

I wasn’t sure what Vanessa wanted or gained from being with me, and I never asked. Being with her was similar to all the other girls I had slept with prior; to me she was another notch on my belt. But this notch was important for my sanity. Bella had been my brand of heroin, while Vanessa was a cheap knockoff that could get me though the day. After Bella’s death I needed my dose of Bella more than ever.

She tried to be a friend, but I wouldn’t let her. She was like the annoying little sister, unlike Alice, who kept pestering you to include her in your life. She attempted to bring some normalcy to whatever we were but it never worked.

We never talked about Bella, it was our unspoken number one rule, or what happened that night. We avoided anything that caused us pain or heartache, never letting ourselves feel any emotion, never allowing ourselves to get attached.

The only reason I let her into my life was because she would have moments that were Bella-like. Biting her bottom lip, running her fingers through her hair, pouting, and they way her eyes furrowed when she was thinking. I was disgusted with myself but I couldn’t stop. Having her around was like having a piece of Bella with me but at the same time, having to endure her was pure torture.

Things somehow progressed into a relationship and Vanessa moved in. There was no formal ceremony, she was just there all the time and so her belongings followed. No one in my family was pleased; the only person who remotely accepted her was Alice, which was astonishing because she and Bella had been best friends.

Rose and Emmet didn’t support my relationship and constantly ostracized Vanessa at family gatherings. While Alice wasn’t as friendly as she tended to be, she was welcoming. The rest of my family was polite and didn’t say anything about her, in her presence at least.

Vanessa and I had a love hate relationship, we both couldn’t stand each other, and yet we needed one another to survive. I wasn’t faithful to Vanessa, I didn’t see a point. I would display my little tryst openly and she either ignored them or went along with the charade. I would purposely bring girls home, when I knew she would be there, just to parade them in front of her. I always saw her anger flair but she never acted on it, she didn’t have any right to.

I honestly didn’t have any real feelings for Vanessa, but she was the only constant in my life, where everything else kept changing. Time moved on and people did too.

Alice and Jasper got married. The wedding was held at the country club, where it looked like mother earth threw up on the wedding. She only had Rose as her maid of honor and our cousin, Tanya, as her other bridesmaid. Emmett and I were Jasper’s best men. They exchanged their own vows, and asked us to read poems during the ceremony. It probably would have been romantic to any other sane person, but for me it was just a sappy love fest that couldn’t end quickly enough.

During their wedding dance my heart almost burst. Watching my sister and Jasper dance their first dance as husband and wife reminded me that Bella and I never got to share this precious moment.

I left the reception with Vanessa in hand. She knew that that night was different for us, it was another form of punishment for me and she knew it. It never really occurred to me how all this affected her, and I never really cared until that night.

We arrived home, my anger and pain was apparent and set the tone for our night together. I headed to my room got undressed, I turned to see her standing there, watching me with an angry face.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“Edward, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take knowing that I’m your punishment. You think I don’t know why we’re together? I know I remind you of her, but I’m not her. I need to know right now, where is this going?” Vanessa said, with tears running down her face.

“You’re absolutely right, I need you but I don’t love you, I never will. All I can offer is what we have right now,” I said, taking a seat on the bed.

“Then I can’t be with you anymore. Unless you offer some kind of commitment, some kind of inclination that this is worth it, I’m leaving,” she said, her voice breaking.

At that moment my feelings for her didn’t matter, all that mattered was keeping her near me. I needed the only thing that remained of Bella. So I did something unexpected and stupid, I proposed.

“Vanessa, I want you to marry me, for reasons we both know. I don’t know if I ever will love you, or if I will leave my old ways behind, but please don’t leave me. You’re all I got left of her,” I said, pleading with her.

“That’s all I can ask of you. As this family grows I expect you to change, and keep your word. I am stupidly in love with you. Promise me that you’ll at least try,” she said, leaning closer to me.

I didn’t mean it, but I said it anyway. “I will.”

Soon after, Vanessa and I tied the knot. We went to the courthouse and were married, only two and half years after Bella’s death. Everyone reacted poorly, just like I knew they would, when we told them. It was our weekly dinner together and Vanessa who usually never spoke was the one that spilled the beans.

She clinked her glass and began her speech, “Edward and I have decided to take the next step in our relationship.”

“You what?” Rosalie jumped out of her seat.

“Yes Edward and I got married at the courthouse two days ago,” Vanessa said, trying to keep her cool.

“How could you do that to Bella? She’s only been gone two years!” Rosalie was seething.

“Look we didn’t tell you for this exact reason. We don’t expect congratulations, we just want you to be aware that we are married now,” Vanessa spoke.

“This is ridiculous. I turned a blind eye when you first started screwing her but this is unacceptable. How could you two pretend like she never existed!”

“You were her sister!” she screamed, pointing at Vanessa. “And you, were suppose to be love her, not bone her sister,” she said, pointing at me.

“I know,” I responded, letting my face fall.

“So, why did you get married, knowing it will never work. We all know it,” she asked, her anger faltering.

“I don’t know it just did okay?” I fired back.

“Not good enough. Let’s go,” Rose said, storming off with Emmet. The rest of the family pretended like the outburst hadn’t happened and offered weak congratulations.

My friendship with Rosalie and Emmet was strained after that, more so than everyone else who used to matter in my life.

Three months later Rosalie and Emmet decided to leave their life in Seattle, and start a new one in Los Angeles. Emmet and Rose had set up a mechanic shop, Emmett with his business skills and Rose with her expertise in restoring cars, putting her mechanical engineering degree to good use. I wasn’t sure what was so alluring about that city but they went anyways. I think a part of them just wanted to get away from the downhill spiral that seemed to take over Seattle.

After everything we lived through, getting married seemed like the next step for us. Of course, it backfired on us and our marriage became rocky fast. Quickly my life with Vanessa became a living nightmare. She became a controlling, manipulative, heartless bitch. I couldn’t divorce her because I knew that I was the one who had changed her.

Vanessa and I tried to live a normal life, but it seemed like our relationship was doomed from the beginning. A dark cloud of sadness and sorrow was constantly over our heads after we were married. We tried to make the best of our loveless marriage but we both knew any hope for us had died. We kept going, partly because of guilt on my part, and hers, and because we had invested too much in one another to give up.

My work in the E.R. had not gone unnoticed and Los Angeles County Hospital was looking for a new head of trauma, and offered me the position. I quickly joined Rosalie and Emmett in Los Angeles six months later.

After talking it over with Vanessa we decided moving was the best thing for us, despite it meant having Rosalie near us. Esme again helped pick out our home and decorate it. I kept quite until Vanessa wanted to go for an impersonal modern décor to our home I stepped in.

“Vanessa, if I have to live in that house I want it done right, let me talk to Esme so that she can do her magic. Black and white are not the only colors in the world,” I yelled at her one afternoon as she was attempting to pick out some furniture.

In reality I didn’t want this house to lose the essence of Bella that the previous house had. I told Esme to find a way to incorporate her into our new home while still keeping with the modern look Vanessa wanted.

We got into another fight about our old furniture; I of course wanted to keep it. She insisted that we needed new things, but again I couldn’t leave the memories of Bella behind. We agreed to use some of the furniture for the second living room and other rooms, but not our bedroom.

After our move, Vanessa had directed me into the idea that we could work and create a family but things didn’t end in that direction. I knew I would never marry for love again so I didn’t take the marriage seriously, but I did try to stay committed, because either way Vanessa always forgave me. Slowly, she attempted to control my habits, forbidding me to go out, in an attempt to keep me faithful. She would manipulate any situation to make me feel guilty, and she mostly succeeded, even though I knew what she was doing. She lost interest in me and only used me, and my money, to parade around town, but I didn’t care, my emotions were buried deeply by then.

We were only living there for a six months when the Alice decided to join us. Alice’s business was booming and she was considering expanding to Los Angeles, or at least that’s what she said. Dragging Jasper, who could work from anywhere due to the fact that he was working on a book about the untold stories of the civil war, along with her.

We were all together again, I tried to avoid them, all they offered were sad reminders of the man I once was but Alice was relentless. She insisted we meet up constantly to catch up and play into the farce. She would have us get together a few days out of the month to catch up and spend time together.

Usually, during these outings there was a dark cloud over our heads, spoiling the mood, making it impossible to interact with one another. Never admitting how shitty our friendship had really become, and how much of a waste I was. The only reason I went along with it was because of Alice. I knew how much she missed Bella and missed the camaraderie we all once had, but it seemed like all these gatherings ever did was make things worse.

On one of those days, I was in a particularly sour mood and I wasn’t the only one.

Rosalie broke the silent frustration, “Edward, would you please stop spreading your venom. We all know you feel guilty for what happened and you should, but don’t drag us down. You’re the idiot who cheated on her with her sister and then married her! We all miss her too and I’m sick of pretending like everything is ok. Nothing is okay!”

She had finally said what no one had ever said.

I stayed silent, I wasn’t fighting her on it she was right. I was sulking when Jasper spoke up, “Rose that’s not fair and you know it, what’s done is done. He’s already suffered enough. Stop picking on him.” I was in shock Jasper had never spoken against Rosalie.

What happened next still feels like a dream I can’t remember, Rosalie continued to insult me, and then Jasper and Emmet for not watching out for me, she even screamed at Alice for accepting Vanessa. She saved Vanessa for last, calling her a whore, and a scavenger for marrying me and breaking up Bella and I. Alice, Jasper and, Vanessa argued intently with her, but Emmet didn’t speak, probably agreeing with her or too afraid to oppose her.

I don’t remember much of the specifics, much like my life after Bella, but I knew Rosalie said what needed to be said.

That was the last time we were all together. Rosalie cut all ties between us after that fight. She didn’t want to be friends with us and Emmet was caught in the cross fire. Alice was loyal to me and Jasper loyal to her. Our group became divided and my life became even more meaningless, as I lost two more loved ones.

I felt the hole in my heart grow bigger and bigger with each day. I immersed myself into work, attempting to live a happy life with Vanessa, but it seemed like we didn’t work. We both got caught up in the Los Angeles scene; while I enjoyed the nightclub scene, Vanessa enjoyed the shopping.

It seemed that after everything we had lived through, Bella’s death, the hope and punishment, we had once offered each other was in the past. We lived our lives never digging under the surface, only reunited for sex. It wasn’t like we couldn’t work any other way, or like we didn’t want it any other way. The only thing I could really appreciate was the fact that Bella wasn’t around to see me become, this monster, she was probably up in heaven glad she wasn’t with me.

My life after Bella was a constant blur, only recounting things I should remember. I never stopped myself from thinking of Bella, it was impossible not to, but I tried reining it in for Vanessa. She was the one here now and Bella, my Bella was gone.