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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


25. Unexpected

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3919   Review this Chapter

Chapter 25: Unexpected

BPOV

It was around two in the morning that I finally dosed off when I heard a hard knock on my door. I got up from the couch and looked through my peep hole to find my sister standing there. I had stayed up longer than necessary, knowing that she would come.

I opened the door and wasted no time in greeting her, instead I said, “I always knew you had bad timing, but this is ridiculous.”

“Well aren’t you a funny one,” she countered as she pushed her way inside.

“Look, Vanessa, I really don’t want to get into this, and I thought we made it clear to Renee that she would leave us alone,” I flatly stated.

“That's right, Renee being the key player, not me,” she emphasized, pushing her way inside.

“Get out of my house,” I practically yelled, still at my door.

“This place is so plain and boring, just like you,” she commented, ignoring me.

“You've had your fun, you can go now,” I said, containing my anger.

“I will as soon as you return the money, Renee may have gone soft on me and actually believed that you donated it, but I know better. You and I don't fall too far from the tree,” she said, plopping herself on the couch.

“Vanessa, just go. I don't want any problems with you. Take Renee's warning seriously,” I urged.

“Let me think about it... no. You see the evidence for murder would only be for her and not for me. I wouldn't go to jail,” she responded.

I had already anticipated this and had braced myself for how ugly this was going to get. “If Renee is caught for murder all her past cons will be revealed and you will go to jail. Is that really what you want?”

“That’s not my concern, because you will not be handing over anything. If you do you’d be charged with fraud as well,” she said.

“No I won't, I'm dead remember?”

“Not for long,” she mused.

“Is that so?”

“If you don't give me the money back; I will expose you and all your lies,” she said, jumping from her seat.

“Vanessa, how much time and money did you spend looking for me? I mean it’s pretty obvious that I did a great job faking my death. Really, you only found me by coincidence. I have managed to keep my identity hidden for such a long time, and you have no concrete evidence that I’m alive. By the time the police review the evidence I will be long gone all with all the evidence of my life here erased, not to mention the fact that if you expose me your little charade will come tumbling down. Is that really what you want? You know Edward will come back to me in a heartbeat,” I said.

“You’re not that slick, Bella. Are you willing to drag down your little friends? They are accomplices in all of this you know? As for Edward, well let’s just say I got him wrapped around my little finger.”

“Give me some credit here, sis, I would never compromise them that way. I’m not you. And save your little speech about Edward. I know about all of his indiscretions. It’s so sad and pathetic how you have to cling to him to survive. You and I both know the only woman he’s ever loved was me.”

“Please, you're not that important, Bella,” she brushed me off, but I could see her panic. She got up from the couch and began to pace, “I wonder how it feels to know that he married me so quickly after your death? Or how it feels to know that he comes home to me every night.”

“Don’t try and con me, I know all about how your relationship with Edward really operates. He cheats and you look the other way. It’s so sad, how much you have to put up with because of me,” I said sweetly, knowing this was hurting her.

“I don’t know what you think you know about Edward and me, but let me tell you that Edward has been a faithful husband, fatherhood will do that to you,” she responded.

“You’re so pathetic, Vanessa. Really, fatherhood? Let me tell you something, sis, the only woman Edward has loved is me. In some pathetic attempt to keep my memory alive, he’s clung to you. He may come home and screw your brains out, but he’s doing it to every other woman in his way. It makes me sick to know that he fell victim to your mask.”

She rolled her eyes at me and tried to argue against me, “It may have started out that way, but things between us have progressed. If you don’t want to believe me that’s fine, but don't stand there and tell me you know better. The fact of the matter is you just can't take that I finally beat you at something. I won. Now do what you have do to get me my money so I can leave this dump.”

Her words struck a chord but I wouldn’t let her see me weak. I had dreamed about this moment for so long, and I wasn’t about to let her leave here feeling like she had been victorious.

“What exactly have you won, Vanessa? Every single moment of every single day he spends thinking about me. Say what you will about your relationship but that is one fact you can’t deny,” I said.

She tried to cut me off but I continued, “When he wakes up in the morning, as he's getting dressed, at work, and when he comes into bed with you, he's thinking about me. Sure he may fuck you senseless and play into your trickery, but he's never touched you the way he did with me, because he's never loved you. You may look like me, and even act like me to keep him interested but just to be clear, you will never compare to me.”

I could see the anger taking her over as I said the words and took satisfaction that she was hurting. “Every time he's with you he wishes you were me, he longs to be with me and not you, more importantly he knows that you will never be able to replace me. If that weren't enough, I actually have something so beautiful and so precious that will keep me forever tied to him. Get it through your head that all you've won are my leftovers,” I said.

“What, you think that that little brat will mean something to him, please,” she scoffed. “And if you’re so sure that you mean that much to him, why haven't you gone back? Bella, don't kid yourself, all you ever been is a pathetic excuse of a person,” she argued, her poison no longer having any affect.

“That's easy ,Vanessa, I actually love him. I would never want to cause him the kind of pain I did before. More importantly, I have self-respect and dignity. If he ever pulled stunts like he does with you, I would never submit myself to what you do for money. You can have him,” I responded.

“Oh don't act all high and mighty. We both know you won’t go back because you can never trust him. All that he has done has proved to you that he isn’t trustworthy. As for dignity and self-respect, you have none. It wasn’t long ago that you did the same. The fact of the matter is all we’ve ever been are glorified prostitutes. Face it you're no better than I, you haven’t changed, a zebra can't change her stripes,” she said, trying to gain control of the situation.

“Good thing, I'm not a zebra and can change. This is the last time I want to see you,” I said, coldly.

“We'll see about that,” she screamed, storming off.

“Bitch,” I muttered as she slammed the door.

It was too late to call anyone so I sat on the couch and waited for daylight, unable to go to sleep. I dosed off a couple of times but it was never long enough. Her words were finally having an effect on me. Fatherhood. That word kept popping into my mind over and over again. I had never associated that word with Edward, not even when Carly was born. Hearing Vanessa so sure begged the same question over and over again, who was Edward?

It was finally eight o’ clock, and I heard Carly stirring and so I got up to make her some breakfast. As usual, Carly was her talkative self and began chatting me up about her dream and her plans for today. Now that we were both on vacation we spent all of our time with Rosalie and Wyatt, so it didn’t surprise me when she walked in and joined us for breakfast. I greeted her but didn’t tell her about Vanessa right away, I couldn’t, not in front of Carly. Carly went upstairs to get ready while Rosalie and I lingered in the kitchen.

“Bella, you look dead. What happened?” Rosalie asked with a concerned look on her face.

“Vanessa,” I answered, my voice hoarse.

“Of course, what happened?” Rosalie asked, feeding Wyatt a spoonful of oatmeal.

“Do you really need to ask? She wants the damn money, and she thinks that our threat doesn’t apply to her. She rubbed it in my face that she married Edward and was relentless on trying to a reaction out of me, but she didn’t…Rosalie, did they ever- I mean do they have kids?”

Rosalie laughed. “Bella, I can assure you that Edward only has one child. Don’t let her get to you, you and her both know it’s not convenient for her to spill the beans.”

“I know it’s just that she seemed so sure, and it only made me wonder how much did I really know about Edward,” I responded.

“If they had a kid, I would know trust me,” Rosalie said.

“How could you? You’ve lost contact,” I pointed out.

“Yeah, but it’s something I would hear about. It’s not like I’ve alienated my entire family, Bella.”

“You may be right, but this still makes me wonder how much I ever really knew him,” I said fighting back the tears.

“Bella, you’re starting to sound like a broken record. I don’t think any of us ever truly know who we are. I hate to ask, but who do you think Edward really is? We’re not all perfect you better than anyone should know that.”

“I don’t know if I’d be able to explain myself correctly, but when I first met Edward he was just another job. I knew from a very early age that love was a fantasy and all it did was cause heartache. I stuck to that ideal for a long time, it made it easier to survive. Then Edward comes into my world and breaks every notion I had about love and men in general. He’s sweet, considerate, caring, patient, and genuine. You have no idea how hard it was for me to let him in, to let my heart love someone the way I did with him. I risked it all because I believed in him and he fucked it up the way he did, and it just proves to me that I should never trust my heart to anyone.”

“Bella, do you hear yourself? You have put Edward at a different level just like he has. Your expectations of him are far too high for anyone to live up to. Good people make mistakes and do stupid things. Edward may be all those things but he’s still human. I think you were just so surprised and happy that a man like Edward could exist that you put him on a pedestal. I’m not saying that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Bella you need to understand that everyone can make mistakes, including Edward,” she said softly.

“I can understand all that, Rose, I can,” I said, tears falling gently on my cheek. “I just fear that the man I fell in love with isn’t there anymore. Let’s take your theory one step more and consider that maybe I never really loved him but the idea of him, what then?”

“Bella, only you can answer that question. You have to take the leap of faith and find that out for yourself. All I can say is that when you know, you know. The moment I met Emmett I knew he was the one. All my inhibitions and all worries went out the door with him. I knew that the feeling of joy and happiness was a direct result of his love,” she responded.

I opened my mouth to respond but instead found myself yawning.

“Hey,” she said, squeezing my shoulder for reassurance. “We can talk about this later, get some rest. I’ll take Carly out for a while and you can sleep.”

“Thanks,” I said, getting up to clean up.

“Hey, think about what I told you okay?” she said, helping me clean up.

“I will,” I reassured.

After we finished, Rosalie took Carly and Wyatt while I took a nap. By then, I was too exhausted to do or think about anything else. It was around lunch time when the vibration of my cell phone woke me up. I checked the caller id and picked it up when I saw Rosalie’s name.

“Bella, thank God you finally picked up! You need to get down here, Carly’s missing!” Rosalie said, rushed.

“What? Rosalie, where are you?”

“At the park.”

“I’ll be there soon,” I said, closing the phone and jumping out of bed.

I raced through the L.A. traffic and headed for our usual spot and found Rosalie talking to a police officer.

“Rosalie!” I screamed.

“Bella, I am so sorry. I don’t know what happened one minute she was playing in the swings and then she was gone,” Rosalie said, exasperated.

“Are you the child’s mother,” the police officer asked.

“Yes,” I answered.

“Where were you when the child went missing?”

“I was at home sleeping, I had a long night,” I responded.

“Do you know anyone who would want to hurt her?” the officer asked.

I thought about it and debated whether or not I should mention Vanessa and was about to when I saw Carly come into view with ice cream in her right hand and a balloon in the other. I ran over to her and picked her up, giving her a tight hug.“Carly, baby where have you been?”

“With auntie V,” she said, pointing behind her, but there was no one there.

“Auntie V,” I repeated her words. Anger filled my veins, and I knew this wasn’t over. Rosalie joined me shortly after.

“Carly, don’t ever leave with anyone but me or Rosalie. How many times have I told you not to talk to strangers,” I said, trying to contain my anger.

“I’m sorry mommy, but Auntie V said it was okay,” Carly said, pouting.

“She is not your aunt, and she is not allowed near you again,” I practically screamed.

“Bella,” Rosalie warned.

I could see this wasn’t her fault but the anger and hatred Vanessa created made it difficult for me to control myself.

“Let’s just go okay,” she offered.

“Rosalie, could you take Carly home with you, I need to pay someone a visit,” I said, strapping Carly into her car seat.

“Bella, please be careful,” Rosalie said.

“Rosalie, I need you to do something for me. Go home and begin packing everything up, I can’t do this anymore,” I said.

“Bella you can’t-” she began but I cut her off.

“She threatened my child, my child, Rosalie! I’m sorry but Carly’s safety is more important than anything or anyone. I’m leaving and no one is going to stop me,” I said.

“I’m not helping you leave,” she said, driving off.

I got into my car and drove to the road that was off limits. I pulled up at the house where Vanessa and Edward lived and scoped out the place to make sure there were no signs of Edward. When I was sure he wasn’t there, I walked up to the entrance and knocked on the door without hesitation.

“Hey there, sis.” she said smugly. “You know you should really get a new babysitter.”

I didn’t bother to come up with a response and punched her. "You are not allowed to get anywhere near my daughter!"

"You bitch, I'm bleeding," she screamed, ignoring my warning.

"I don't care! Vanessa what you did today- you went too far. Did you honestly think you could get away with it?" I screamed.

"Today was just a warning, next time your little brat goes missing she won't come back," she said coldly.

I punched her again unable to hold back the rage I felt for her.

"Hit me all you want, but if you're not careful things will seriously go from bad to worse," she said, cleaning herself off.

I tried punching her again but she stopped me. She grabbed my hand and began twisting it. "Listen, and listen good, B. I want you to give me my money, when you do, I will leave your little brat alone."

"I already told you that money was donated to charity," I responded, trying to get out of the arm lock.

"Then find a way to get me my money," she said, letting me go. I pulled away and put distance between us.

"Bella, just to assure you that I'm serious ask Carly where we went today," she said.

I walked back over to her to claw her eyes out but stopped midway when I saw a small picture frame with Edward and her in it. He looked miserable and she had her signature smug smile.

"You should probably leave now, Edward is due back any minute," she shooed me away.

Every part of me told me to stay behind just for a glimpse of his face, but I knew that once I did everything would really fall apart. I raced home to not only find Rosalie there but Emmett, Charlie, Jacob and Leah.

“Is this some sort of intervention or something?” I asked sarcastically.

“No, but we are concerned with what happened today,” Charlie said.

“I know. I already talked to Vanessa. She is not backing down, unless I give her the money.”

“But there isn't any money,” Leah pointed out.

“There is some, but it wouldn't be enough,” I lamented.

“Rosalie told us you're planning on leaving... again,” Emmett said.

“I have to, this time it isn't about myself or Edward. She threatened my child. You see that right?” I pleaded.

No one spoke or looked at me. “Look, I know it's not fair, but revealing myself to Edward won't make her go away. It will only make her more angrier, and she will try something worse. When I went over there she told me that the next time Carly went missing, she wouldn't return. I can't risk my baby's safety like that,” I said through my sobs.

“Bella, we can protect her, don't run form this,” Jacob offered.

“He's right,” Charlie assured.

“It's not that simple, I can't risk my only reason for being because I don't want to back down. I'm not going to let my pride get in the way. I'm going to give her what I have and then I'm going to leave. It was a mistake for me to think I could start over, my past will always come back to haunt me.”

“What about Carly? Edward? Us?” Emmett asked.

“I'll keep in touch, and this is what's best for her. I can't have Vanessa taking her away from me. As for Edward, well I don't know,” I countered.

“You're just going to leave him with her?” he asked.

“She's not holding him hostage, Emmett. If he wanted to leave her he would have already,” I pointed out.

“Fine, at least talk to Jasper. He couldn't make it on such a short notice, but he deserves to know that he just risked his marriage for nothing,” he said darkly.

“I guess it's the least I could do. Look, I'm sorry that all this is happening and involving you, but my leaving was inevitable. I kept prolonging it because I thought it was what was best, but this time it's not the case.

No one responded. Leah looked like she was going to break down at any moment, and everyone looked at me with a disappointed expressions on their faces. I went upstairs, unable to deal with the melancholic stares of my family, to find Carly in her bed her face splotchy and red.

“Carly,sweety, you know that what you did today wasn't okay, right?” I asked, picking her up.

“I know, but Auntie V said it was okay,” she responded swiftly.

“Carly, she's not your aunt, Rosalie and Leah are. How could you possibly know if she was really your aunt or not? We've talked about this before,” I said.

“Because momma she looks so much like you and she showed me this picture of you and her,” she said, handing me a photograph of me and Vanessa.

I looked at the picture and recognized it immediately, it was after our first big con with Mike, and we were celebrating.

“Sweety, that woman is a bad person, and if you see her again I need you to run away and get help,” I said.

“But the picture,” she pointed out.

“This picture was before, when we were friends,” I cringed at the use of the words friends in reference to Vanessa. “She's not a friend anymore, she is extremely dangerous and she isn't allowed anywhere near us.

I could tell her curiosity was getting the best of her, but she held her tongue and muttered, “Okay.”

We sat there in silence for a few minutes before Vanessa's words caught up with me. “Carly, where did she take you?”

“First she bought me the balloon and then she told me we were going on an adventure. She drove me to this weird place where there was grass and stones on the floor, it was kind of scary. We stopped to look at a stone and then we left, and she bought me ice cream and dropped me off,” Carly mused.

I tensed at her words; Vanessa had taken my baby to a cemetery. I knew then that I had to tie up all loose ends and leave as quickly as possible.