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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


14. Exodus

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3812   Review this Chapter

Chapter 14: Exodus from the Valley of the Bitches

I held on to that anger because it was the only thing keeping me from falling apart. All of my efforts were devoted to executing my plan, never allowing my heart to mend, or my mind to wander.

When Vanessa came home that night, we steered clear of one another. The following day Renee came by to help ease the situation and strategize our escape plan. She gave me a once over, a look of disgust plastered over her face and, sat beside Vanessa.

We gathered in my living room and Renee spoke first. “Since things didn’t work out, its time to get the paper work started. Bella, it’s time for you to go to him and make sure the marriage is consummated. There is no way in hell we went through all of this, to not end up with his money.”

The anger that was inside of me was ready to burst as I heard her words; they were so cold and callous. She didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I was hurting.

It wasn’t until Vanessa spoke that I lost my temper. “He likes it rough, you should try that.”

I must have caught them off guard because I saw the shock and fear in their eyes when I spoke. “Let’s get one thing straight, mom. What happened was I got my heart broken, and you help cause me this pain, so don’t say it just happened.”

“Here we go again,” Vanessa said.

“Bella, you should take what happened as a learning experience. You messed up and you got burned, move on and enjoy the money,” Renee reasoned.

Something inside me snapped, but I didn’t respond or let my feelings show. Instead I finalized my plan for revenge and sealed their faith.

“You’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking. All men cheat he was no different,” I finally responded.

I saw them each let out a sigh of relief, and we continued with the final step. I needed them to believe they had won. That I had seen the error of my ways, and that they were getting their money.

“However,” I stopped to read their reactions, instantly they tensed, “I think Vanessa should leave.”

“I thought you finally understood-” I saw Renee cut her off.

“If someone shows up here and sees you still living here it will raise some eyebrows, don’t you think. I’m supposed to be hurting. Besides, you’ll never know who I may bring back.”

“Oh, right, I guess should start packing,” Vanessa said, sounding more like a question than an answer.

Renee nodded and Vanessa left to go back her things.

“I know why you’re really doing this,” Renee said softly.

“Enlighten me,” I retorted.

“I know you’re in much deeper pain than you lead on. You need time, and I’m giving it to you, you’re welcome.”

As much as I hated Renee and her condescending attitude I couldn’t ignore the perfect opportunity she was offering.

“Okay, well in that case, I think I will need to get away soon. After I see Edward one last time, of course,” I said, giving her a cheesy grin.

“That sounds fair, but as soon as you come back we need to start on a new job,” she said, patting me on my shoulder.

This was probably the most affection she had ever shown me, and it was kind of scary and maybe even sweet, but not sweet enough to prevent me from executing my revenge.

I used the plan as an excuse to kick Vanessa out. Aside from the fact that I didn’t want to see Vanessa’s smug face, I really needed time and privacy to execute my plan. I avoided all contact with Rosalie and Alice, I didn’t want their sympathy, and I didn’t deserve it.

Edward kept calling me, leaving me messages at work and at home, and sending me flowers. With each gesture I felt my heart break. It wasn’t that I blamed Edward for what happened, at least not completely. It was just that I didn’t deserve his apologies. In truth, Edward had cheated, but it was my family and I who had set him up to do so. He wasn’t fully responsible for what he did, but the wounds he created would never go away.

I knew I would have to take care of him before I left, I just didn’t know how. Edward was a part of me now. Leaving him would mean leaving a part of me with him. To a sane person, telling him the truth would have made sense, but that wouldn’t have helped either of us, leaving us more jaded and broken. If he ever did find out the truth about me his faith in love would be lost. He had been broken once before and regressed, becoming a womanizer. It wasn’t that I was any better, but I knew the impact I had on his life. His family had told me time and time again. I wanted him to remember me in a better light, to still held a special place in his heart.I was being selfish, but I needed to leave knowing that I still mattered.

I refocused my energy back to the matter at hand, pushing Edward out of my mind long enough to contact Charlie. It was then that I finally realized that he always was my way out. After two weeks of brooding I finally got the guts to call Charlie.

I dug up his card from the bottom of my dresser drawer and got my cell phone out ready to call. I hesitated for a few seconds and finally dialed his number. I paced my room until I finally heard the voice of my father.

“Hello?” he answered.

“Charlie, I need your help?”

“Bella, what’s wrong? Is it about Edward?” he asked, knowingly. I was momentarily stunned that he still remembered my voice after so many months but in retrospect it really didn’t surprise me.

“In part yes, but it’s also about Renee. I want that normal life you were talking about, but before I can do that I need to teach her a lesson,” I said firmly.

Charlie sighed into the phone, “Bella, I don’t think getting back at Renee will make things better. I think it will only postpone what you’re meant to do.”

“Be reasonable, Charlie, you said if I wanted a normal life to call you … so please help me. This isn’t just about revenge it’s also about teaching Renee a lesson,” I said, exasperated.

He was silent for a moment, making me wonder if the connection had been lost, until he finally did respond.

“Ok Bells, What is it?” he asked, unsure of himself.

“You were right. I am in love with Edward. I finally realized it after you came to visit. I let my guard down and I stopped planning. I let nature run its course, without all the intrigue and manipulation. I hoped that be doing so he wouldn’t propose and we could spend more time together, but that backfired. When he finally did ask me to marry him it was earlier than expected, and that’s when things got really complicated. I told Renee how I felt and she brushed me off, and that still wasn’t enough. She didn’t seem to care about my feelings until I mentioned you. Speaking of which why is she so scared of you?”

“That’s between me and her, go on,” he responded flatly.

“Well anyway, she seemed to change her attitude slightly, agreeing to let me be with Edward under the condition that he pass a test. She wanted to send Vanessa to play temptress, but I talked her out of it. I wanted her to use Jessica, because I knew she would help me out and she did. Instead of doing what she normally does, I took her place. I needed to know he was worth it, and he was, he recognized me. I thought I was finally going to be happy, but I just hadn’t factored in Renee’s determination. Since Jessica didn’t accomplish her mission Renee sent Vanessa, for reinforcements, and he… they… you know?” I stopped and heard a grunt, signalizing he understood.

“I thought I could pull a fast one on Renee, she knew about my deal with Jess and I got burned. Edward practically admitted it, and Vanessa had some pictures. But I can’t blame him. It’s not his fault, it’s mine for thinking I could be someone I wasn’t. This whole ordeal had made me realized that I don’t want this anymore.”

“Bella, I’m sorry that happened. I hate to say I told you so but I did. I told you, you only had two options: leave him or tell him the truth. There is no compromise on something as serious as this. I hope you set things right with Edward. I’m glad you finally realized that this isn’t what you wanted for your life. But you haven’t told me what you need from me?” he said, slightly confused.

“I need you to kill me,” I said seriously.

“You what?!” he responded, screaming into the phone.

“Look Charlie, you said it yourself Renee will never let me go, and the only way she could was if I died. Besides, she will want to look for me after she finds out I emptied out all her money, leaving her with practically nothing.”

“You did what? Bella, Renee may be your mother but make her choose between her money and family she will always choose money. Look at how thing between us worked out? She will kill you when she finds out,” he said angrily.

“Exactly, which is why, you need to do it first. I needed to act fast. Come on, Charlie, as a private investigator, haven’t you had to help a client out in a situation like this? Besides I’m your daughter, and you promised me a normal life. If you do this I will be able to have one and start fresh,” I said, changing my voice to a lighter one, in hopes of easing the situation.

Charlie let out a loud sigh and stayed quite for some time before finally saying, “Fine, how do you want to die?”

I told Charlie my plan and he agreed to do it but with a few conditions, this needed to be executed perfectly, without a hitch, in a matter of two weeks. I knew Renee and Vanessa would be getting their monthly statement soon and I wanted to avoid a confrontation, giving them a taste of what I felt on my wedding day. They would not get their chance to say what they wanted.

Renee had given me all rights, as her accountant, to the account that had the bulk of our money. Vanessa being the ever obedient stooge had done the same on Renee’s indication. Some of the money was invested in property, condos, and apartments, which would probably help them get by just barely, but must of it was in the bank growing with interest.

Before calling Charlie I had the bulk of the money moved to an account in the Cayman Islands. They were going to have to start over with only 30 grand and those properties under her name. Renee had expensive taste, so did Phil and Vanessa, they would not survive on this and would not have enough resources to start over the way they were accustomed to.

They would probably start small just to get their fortune going and continue to grow, but by then Vanessa would not be such a hot ticket. I wanted them to feel powerless, weak, and stupid for trusting me because that’s what I had felt. Any emotions I had for them consisted of hate and anger, they had hurt me in the worst possible way and they deserved the same. This would be my final act as that worthless Bella and my first step as the new one would.

Despite my anger for my family I could not help but feel guilt, pain, loss, and sadness when it came to Edward. After what I had put Edward through, after what I had become I only had one solution left, I needed to let go. I needed to start over and kill Bella, and revive her to become the Bella she was supposed to be without Renee’s influence, without the greed. I wasn’t sure how I would do it, but I knew had to give him that last part of me.

I wanted him to remember me as the girl he had made me into. He sparked something so beautiful in me I never thought existed. Charlie would help provide that girl the nourishment she needed to grow. Leaving Edward was going to be unbearable but I knew it was what was best. He didn’t deserve someone so hideous as his wife. I loved him with all my might for everything he invoked in me, for helping me realize there was more to life, and for loving this part of me unconditionally.

I had to leave not for my sake but more for his. I didn’t want to leave him feeling guilty so I knew I had to go to him. He needed to know that I forgave him so that he could move on. So that one day he could find someone else who loved him and so that he could love again. I couldn’t be selfish anymore. I couldn’t be greedy any longer and more importantly I didn’t want to be.

I intercepted Renee and Vanessa’s mail, hiding their statements, and assuring them everything was fine but that I needed my space and hinted at some time away. I practically gave away some of the properties I had access to, to cut some of their source of income. I told them I had slept with Edward and that all things were ready for my divorce. I was going on an overdue vacation, in New York and to keep me updated for court dates and the divorce.

After preparing my departure I braced myself for my meeting with Edward. I had already sent letters to the rest of the group explaining my need to get away and hoping they understood, and assuring them that I would be better away from here.

I drove to what would have been my home with Edward and sat on the porch, waiting for his arrival. I had been waiting for all of ten minutes when I saw him pull up.

He made his way to me and embraced me in a hug. I pulled away quickly and began my speech.

“Edward I’m leaving… for good,” I hesitated, finding it hard to say goodbye to the man I loved.

I needed to keep my cool and give him his second chance, without me.

Edward began speaking, “Bella, please, let me explain, I didn’t know it was-” but I cut him off.

I didn’t want to let myself hear his words because I may have just changed my plans.

“I already know, it doesn’t change anything. I meant what I said, Edward, I’m leaving town. I only came to tell you that and that you’ll be getting the annulment papers soon. It will be like we were never together, a clean break. I only ask you one thing,” I said, attempting to keep my composure.

“Anything, please, just don’t do give up on us,” he pleaded. I felt my heart break as I heard his words.

“Don’t feel guilty for too long, learn from this and grow. What’s done is done and you can’t change the past, but there is still time for the future. With that said; do not contact me ever.”

It took all of myself control not to give in and tell him I loved him. For a brief moment I pictured us running away together, hand in hand.

“Please, Bella, don’t go! We can fix this!” He begged me to stay, and every part me wanted to say yes, but I just couldn’t face the truth.

“I won't forget you, I still love you.”

I hesitated, I really did love him, but I was still extremely angry. His pleading had thrown me off and I didn’t measure my words.

“It’s just too hard to look you in the face and not feel so much pain. I gave you everything, but you just threw it away. How could you? I tried so hard to trust you, to let you in, but you destroyed our future in one single act.”

I watched him wince and stopped, realizing this wasn’t going as planned. I gathered myself and tried to ease the situation.

“Maybe in another time and place things would have been different and we could have worked,” I said. Those last lines more for myself than him.

I let the words sink in and began, “Besides, we both know this wouldn’t have worked out. I’ve never been good enough for you, I never was. I mean look at you and then look at me.”

“Don’t be absurd, Bella, your wonderful, amazing, and perfection. I’m no good for you. I was the idiot who messed up. Please let me make it up to you?” In true Edward fashion, he put me up in a pedestal.

It took great joy and pain in the fact that he still saw me as untouchable. I felt like a fraud, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him otherwise. I needed him to believe I was still worthwhile.

“No, Edward, I’ve made up my mind and we both know how stubborn I can be. I won’t pick up your calls or respond to your emails. I just need to get away from you, from my family, and from this city.” I walked away the shine in my eyes giving me away. This was too much for me.

Before I could process what I was doing I walked back to him and embraced him in a kiss. I needed to give him one final kiss to express my emotions to him. I wanted this final kiss to express all my love and to say goodbye.

When I finally broke away all I could say was, “Goodbye, Edward.”

I turned away and the tears finally fell.

I took a flight to Cancun that same night, taking a vacation before joining Charlie in Los Angeles where he now resided. Vanessa and Renee thought I was going to be spending some time in New York. I hoped it was enough to throw them off.

I didn’t want to die right away. I didn’t want it to look like a suicide, or too much of a coincidence to raise suspicion from Renee and Vanessa. More importantly, I wanted them to squirm. So all I could do was pass the time, by the beach of course.

Two weeks had passed and Renee and Vanessa were still clueless as to what I had done, they never were that smart with managing money, but they did know how to take it. I began to feel sick, I figured it was a combination of stress and something I ate that hadn’t sat well with me and brushed the symptoms off. I hoped it would pass soon so that I could enjoy my vacation.

I would sometimes occupy my time with thoughts of Edward, thinking of him made me feel like I was worthless, like my life had no meaning. Then my thoughts would quickly turn to hatred towards my family, I wanted them to suffer. I was lucky I had Charlie who was stepping up his game to help me through this whole ordeal.

Finally, I had begun to feel slightly better and most of my symptoms went away. I slowly kept up the pretense with Renee, making sure Jay was doing his job and even claiming to have a new mark. Before I sent them their bill statement, I disposed of my old cell phone, and got a new one, making sure it was untraceable. I had a messenger service send them their statement with a letter I was all too happy to write.

My Dearest Family,

Congratulations, you got what you wanted from me, for me to be more like you. The money is gone and so am I.

Love, Bella

I wished I could see the look on their faces, and watch them scramble to locate money that was long gone. Charlie had one of his associates watch them for any indication that they knew where I was, but they were never able to get their answers, not without incentives anyway.

After a few more weeks it was time for me to die. Charlie had my original documents, my real name was Isabella Marie Swan, not Bella Higginbotham, like Renee had told me. Aro had adopted me as his daughter and had changed my name to Isabella Volturi. Instead of falsifying any more documents, Charlie decided that he wanted me to have his last name again and I accepted. I thought it was too risky, that Renee would somehow find out but he assured me that that information was sealed and he would keep an eye on Renee. I agreed, still uneasy with the whole thing but never let on.

I had never given much thought to how I would die but I decided the best way to do so would be in a car accident.

I flew into Phoenix for about a week, making sure to be seen by anyone and everyone. Charlie was able to falsify my death certificate and got an urn full of ash. As he headed for Seattle, I flew to Los Angeles, where I would be starting my new life.

His cover was simple. I had set up an impromptu meeting with him to catch up, but I never made it. He explained how I was in a car crash, with a pick-up truck and died on impact. When it came to Renee, he knew nothing about the money or where I was coming from. I hoped he would get it done soon so that we could move on and I could get my normal life.