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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


17. A Change of Plans

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3405   Review this Chapter

Chapter 17: A Change in Plans

After my brief stay in Phoenix, I headed west to Los Angeles and waited. While Charlie was away I stayed at his place, actively searching for my own. Charlie had insisted that I live with him so that we could grow closer, but the thought of sharing house with a complete stranger wasn't so appealing. Already it was awkward for me to stay at his place when he wasn't home; it was like living in a museum or stealing someone's home. Charlie kept me updated on everything that happened, but he never had enough time to talk to me in detail.

Finally, I had some real time to think and be myself. I took this time to do some soul searching and tried to figure out what to do next. I had focused all of my energy on an exit strategy so I hadn't really thought about my life afterward.

While in Cancun I was more concerned for my health so I really couldn’t think about Edward. Once I began feeling better I had no other choice but to let my mind wander. I kept replaying everything in my head, changing scenarios so that everything worked out the best way possible, but really it had all come down to the single fact that I wasn’t meant to have a happy ending.

Renee had tried to give me a normal life when she married Aro but when that didn’t work out she opted for the easy way out. Of course she wasn’t the only one to blame I should have walked away or put a stop to the whole thing earlier, maybe even told Edward the truth, but I quickly nipped that last idea in the bud. The whole point of this was to preserve Edward’s faith in love, if I died then he could mourn me and move on, instead of me staying alive and holding hope that I would return.

Besides if he knew the truth about me, who I really was and why I dated him, he would be really messed up. I was trying my best not to think about him, but when a song would come on or I saw couples at dinner I couldn’t help but think that should have been us. I hoped that Charlie would not notice my absent mind much when he would ask me if I was okay or if I was sure I wanted this, I always responded with a yes and quickly ended the conversation.

Charlie and I could not communicate often. Only informing me that everything was going as planned and no one suspected a thing he kept it simple, only informing me that everything was going as planned. When I asked him about Edward he refused to talk about him until we were face to face.

Unsure of what to do with myself I lounged by the pool and enjoyed the California sun. I was reading the latest issue of Vogue when I heard someone prowling around inside. I jumped at the noises and grabbed the tray of food to use as a shield as I entered.

A tall, brown, body builder was standing in the kitchen, chugging a beer.

“Hey, you got any food? I'm starving,” he said, rubbing his belly.

“Who are you?” I yelled, grabbing the knife that was on the counter.

“Whoa! Calm down Isabella. It's me Jacob,” he said, raising his hands defensively.

“Is that supposed to make me feel better? You have five seconds to explain before I call the cops!”

“Charlie sent me. Didn't he tell you?” he said, his hands still up in the air.

“No he didn't tell me. How do I know you're not lying? Did Renee send you?” I asked, the knife ready in my hand.

“I don't know anyone named Renee. If you don't believe me you can call Charlie, although I find it strange he didn't let you know I'd be stopping by, we talked this morning,” he mused, grabbing his beer and taking a swig.

“Careful guy! No sudden movements I am going to give Charlie a call and we'll go from there,” I said reaching for the phone.

The screen indicated a voicemail and I entered the password to hear Charlie's voice.

“Hey, Bells, listen I got a job in Florida so I won't be making it this weekend. I'm sending my friend Jacob Black to keep an eye on you while I'm gone. I hate doing this, but this job is just too important to ignore. I trust Jacob with my life, so he's going to get you settled and hopefully keep you company. I don't know how long this job may take so get used to seeing him, kid. I'll call you later.

I deleted the message and put the phone down. Great I was stuck with Al Bundy until Charlie came back.

“Well?” Jacob asked, his arms waving in my face.

“I just got Charlie's message, sorry,” I said.

“I figured as much, now can you put the knife down. You're starting to scare me.”

“Right, sorry,” I agreed, laying the knife down.

“Well now that we've gotten to know one another, do you want to go out to eat?” he said, a warm smile plastered on his face.

His easy going attitude made me more accepting of the situation. I agreed to go with him, so that I could let him down easy and send him on his merry way. I didn't know what Charlie was thinking but I most definitely did not need a babysitter.

I insisted on taking two separate cars and he laughed at my lack of trust but agreed. I followed his white, Toyota truck to The Hat, a burger joint nearby.

He ordered our food and we sat in a booth on the corner.

“Look, Jacob, let's just get down to it. I don't need a babysitter, whatever Charlie is paying you I can double it,” I began but he cut me off.

“Charlie isn't paying me a cent. I'm doing this to help a friend out. No amount of money will stop me from helping out a friend.”

I began to feel dizzy and I could hear Jacob's voice far away.

I blacked out and when I woke up I found myself in a white room. At first I thought I had been kidnap by the giant man, but quickly realized I was in a hospital.

A nurse walked in and came to take my vitals.

As soon as the nurse left Jacob walked in.

“Why did you bring me to the hospital?” I asked, as I fumbled with the wiring.

“Well, I didn't know if fainting was a normal thing for you or if you were sick. So I brought you here to make sure you were okay. You were out for a pretty long time,” he said, sitting on the chair next to me.

“How long was I out?”

“About two hours. The nurse took some blood samples to make sure it's not something serious.”

“Thanks,” I said.

He simply nodded and we both sat there in awkward silence.

The nurse walked back in, with a male doctor close behind.

“Hi, Isabella, My name is Doctor Robert Patt. I came here to let you know you're free to go. Right now it seems that you only had a fainting spell. I suggest you eat more often and keep yourself hydrated. We've sent some blood work to the lab and will be hearing from them tomorrow. Please take care and I hope that I won't see you back in here.”

The nurse gave me a plastic bag with my belongings, and Jacob left so I could gather myself.

Since my car was still at The Hat I had to drive with Jacob and was forced to talk to him.

“So, Bella, do you always faint when things don't go your way?” he chuckled.

“Ha ha, no I don't know why I fainted. I just remember feeling light headed and then blacking out. It's never really happened before.”

“Oh, that's weird.” He frowned. “So have you been sightseeing? I know all the great places. My friends and I know Los Angeles better than anyone.”

“I'm not really interested in getting to know Los Angeles right now. As long as I know how to get to Charlie's place and hopefully my own I will be okay.”

“That's no fun, you need to loosen up and enjoy the city.”

“No thanks, just drop me off at the Hat so I can get my car,” I pointed to the exit that lead to the restaurant.

He passed it and said, “I'm sorry but I'm not risking your safety. We'll pick it up tomorrow when you're feeling better.”

“Whatever,” I said, angry at the situation. I hated to loose control.

He dropped me off and I made myself a sandwich and watched some television for the rest of the night.

The next day I received a message from Dr. Patt, to meet him in his office. I was a little nervous about what he had to say. I racked my brain trying to figure out what was wrong with me, but I wasn’t a doctor so I could only imagine the worst.

I was directed into Dr. Patt's office and took a seat while he looked over my charts, after rereading them he finally spoke. “Miss Swan I have great news, you’re pregnant, congratulations!”

“What? I can’t be pregnant!” I screamed at him.

As I said those words I knew I was wrong. I had missed a few pills the last month I was with Edward. Immediately, images of Edward's bachelor party overwhelmed me, it was the last night we had been together. I automatically hugged my belly and smiled, at least I had that one good memory of the whole ordeal.

Dr. Patt referred me to a gynecologist and I left his office in a daze. I drove myself back to Charlie's place, thankful that Jacob hadn't joined me. I went to my room and cried, because I didn’t know what else to do. There were too many emotions coming at me all at once.

I had never thought about children, especially with my line of work but now that I knew I was pregnant, everything changed for me. I studied my profile and the small bump on my belly and smiled. I began to imagine what my baby would look like and hoped that he/she possessed Edward's green eyes. I pictured a mini version of Edward running around the house, playing with his friends, laughing, and extremely happy.

Quickly, that image faded once I realized my child would have no father. Edward would never have the opportunity to meet his son or daughter; I was too selfish to ever let that happen. I was dead now and I couldn't go back.

I was sad because I wouldn’t be able to share this with Edward. I wouldn’t get to experience that joy of telling him, planning and preparing for the new baby, and picking out names together.

I was angry that it was too late to go back and fix things, by now everyone thought I was dead. I wasn’t afraid of Renee, I was more afraid of what Edward would think when he found out. I was even angrier that my life had dealt me such a crappy card, not because I was pregnant, but because I had to go to extreme measures to attempt to be happy and things had not gone the way I had expected.

Despite the anger I was happy, I had a little piece of Edward inside me. If I couldn’t be with him physically, then at least he would be with me in our baby. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until the next day starving.

My pregnancy didn't change anything. Edward and I still couldn't be together and now everyone thought I was no longer alive. All I could do was keep moving forward and that was exactly what I did.

I called Charlie and gave him the news.

“Hey, Charlie, I've got some interesting news to tell you,” I said, an octave higher than normal.

“Oh yeah what's that?” he asked hoarsely.

“I found out yesterday that I'm pregnant.”

He cleared his throat and said, “That is great news. What does this mean for Edward? I hope you're going back to him. A child needs their father and more importantly a father needs their child.”

“I can't do that Charlie. What's done is done. I'm going to raise this kid on my own,” I responded.

“Bella, I've been more than supportive in your decisions but I just don't think I can support you with this. I hadn't told you about how your funeral went because I worried it would set you back in your progress, but I think it's time you hear this,” he paused.

“Charlie, Nothing you can say can change my mind,” I argued.

“Just hear me out. When I delivered the news to Renee and Vanessa they fell apart. At first they didn't believe me but once I had a long talk with Renee and told her you were really gone she broke down. I had never seen her so lost. But they don't matter right now, Edward does. His family had to drag him out of his place once he found out. At the funeral he looked like he hadn't slept for days or eaten for that fact. He was so guilt ridden he didn't say anything at your funeral. I've never seen a man hate himself so. To give it to you straight I don't think you made the right decision. I think, No, I know that this pregnancy is a sign, telling you to go back to him.”

I hadn't prepared myself to hear this. I let his words sink in and for a millisecond considered going back. But the more I thought about it, the more freaked out I became. I didn't have the strength to tell Edward the truth. I pictured in my head his reaction when he found out I was alive, that I faked my own death, and that I had been lying to him this whole time.

“I can't do it, Charlie,”I said my voice breaking. “I'm not strong enough. I couldn't handle him hating me, I just couldn't. I'm sorry. If you don't want to support me in this, I understand. I'll pack my things and find somewhere else to go.”

“Bella, you don't have to do that,” he sighed. “If this is what you need to do that's fine, but just know that all you're really doing is prolonging the inevitable.”

I felt relief at his words and we said our goodbyes.

The weeks that followed, I found a place near Charlie's and moved in right away. I had grown close with Jacob those first few weeks after finding out about my pregnancy and was pleasantly surprised at the friendship that had developed between the two of us. Jacob was an easy going guy who loved sports, cars, and women. He didn't treat me like a fragile doll just because I was pregnant and didn't beat around the bush. I think Charlie knew that we would get along so well and was the reason why he had sent him to look after me.

When it came time to decorate my new place, Jacob enlisted his friend Leah to help me. She was his best friend's girlfriend, Sam. Quickly, Leah took on the role of my assistant and helped me with organizing my life.

When it came time for my six month check up, I found out the baby was going to be a girl. I couldn't deny that I was a little disappointed, I had wanted a boy so that I could have mini version of Edward. Nevertheless, I was happy that had a piece of him growing inside me.

Since finding out I was pregnant I had taken to calling Charlie, Grandpa Charlie, which he didn't seem to mind . Once, he was done with his case in Florida, Grandpa Charlie joined me in Los Angeles shortly after. Charlie really surprised me when he arrived, taking control and making sure I was taking my prenatal vitamins and taking me to Lamaze classes.

The pregnancy couldn't have come at better time. I knew it was a blessing the moment the doctor had told me. Despite all the pain of leaving behind my love, I was happy that I had managed to take a part of him with me. Focusing on the arrival of my baby girl was the only thing that kept me sane, and was my only reason for getting up every morning.

I wasn't sure how I would have handled my separation if I didn't have my baby's arrival to look forward to.

Time flew by. Leah had helped me buy all the things I needed to welcome my child into this world. In the back of my mind, I knew that if things had been different it would have been Edward helping me bring our child into this world. Alice would have organized a grand baby shower and bought only the best clothes for the baby. Of course, I was grateful to Leah for all her help and was thankful to have Charlie and Jacob in my life as well, but it wasn't the same. It was comforting to know that at the very least my child would surrounded by love and happiness.

It was down to the wire. My clothes had stopped fitting a long time ago and I spent my days walking around in sweat pants. My nine months were up and I was freaking. I still hadn't chosen a name for my baby girl, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle motherhood.

I was sitting in the rocking chair, in the baby's room, like I did every morning and was inspecting the room to make sure everything was perfect. We had decorated the room with a soft pink and purple, with some cream colored furniture. I looked around and smiled at the picture of Edward and me on our wedding day that I had placed on the table near the crib.

I had decided early on to make sure my child knew who he was. I didn't want to lie to her, but I knew I would have to shield her from the truth until she was old enough to understand. I wanted her to know that Edward would have loved her had he been given the opportunity. She would know that even though he wasn't around, she was loved not just by him but myself, Charlie, Jacob, and Leah.

Charlie wasn't too happy about including Edward in the baby's life but I knew she would be curious and I didn't want her to grow up not knowing who he was. Neither Jacob nor Leah didn't know much about my past, except that I had been married and was now pregnant. I felt bad for lying to them but I knew it was better to keep them in the dark for their safety and my own.

I got up and felt a shooting pain in my stomach. I knew instantly, that these were labor pains and called for Charlie. He fumbled upstairs, already he had been jittery about the due date, and drove me to the hospital.

After ten hours in labor, my daughter had been born. As I held her in my arms the nurse came in and asked me for a name. I looked into my daughter’s face and looked at Charlie who had been with me every step of the way and knew instantly what to name her.

“Carly, Carly Annabelle Masen,” I responded.

The nurse left and Charlie asked, “How did you finally come up with her name?”

“Carly sounds a lot like Charlie don't you think?” I smiled.

“Thanks kid,” he said, giving my shoulder a squeeze.

“No thank you, dad. I don't think I could have survived without you,” I said, tears threatening to come out.

“Don't say that, Bella. You're a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.”

“I hope so, 'cause this little one is going to be a handful,” I said.