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Bless the Broken Road


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.

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5. This isn't Normal

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Chapter 7: This Isn’t Normal

BPOV: On How they met

I was upset that I had to work today. One of the girls had called in sick, and I had to cover for her. It was bad enough having to work at this stupid place but now I had to work an extra shift.

I was working the bar keeping my eye open for anyone remotely interesting. The monkey on my back was aching for a quick fix, but most men here were old or disgusting, not what I was looking for right now. I scanned the room one last time and gave up in my search for a quick fuck.

As the night dragged on, I was filling orders as fast as I could. I was on a roll and I didn’t want to stop. At that moment fate, God, destiny, or karma decided to intervene. Three handsome men walked in and I was awestruck.

I quickly checked them out and found myself drawn to a green-eyed, bronze colored hair, God. I went back to work, and watched him from the corner of my eye as he made his way toward me.

Okay Bella, give him your best smile.

I smiled at him and asked, “What can I get you?” I was trying to be coy but I’m sure I looked like a lunatic.

“Yeah, can I get some rum and coke?” he responded.

“Sure.” I smiled again.

I served his drink and saw him through my lashes, he walked away knowing he would come back.

He was beautiful. He was more than what I had been looking for. He was definitely more than a quick fuck. He was the perfect mark, too perfect.

The excitement he ignited was new and exhilarating. It was different than anything I had ever experienced before, it almost compared to the feeling I got when I first started my new life.

A part of me knew this feeling was trouble, it was uncontrollable and unpredictable. But an even bigger part of me wanted, needed this feeling, the everyday predictability of this lifestyle was growing old. If I wanted to pursue him the way I wanted, all of Renee’s rules, tricks, and insight could not be forgotten.

When I was five years old, I discovered that Aro wasn’t my real father. I had overheard Renee thanking Aro for being there for me, even though I wasn’t his.

When I was twelve I asked Renee to tell me the truth and she did. She loved my father but things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to, and she had to leave. She moved to Miami, Florida and met Aro a few weeks later. Within the next six months they were married and had Vanessa a year later.

That was the only time she ever talked about my father and I never asked, blissfully unaware of what Renee was hiding. She asked me not to tell Aro that I knew because it would shatter him. I never would have told him, Renee’s favor tossed aside, because Aro was my father despite DNA.

Aro cared for me even though I wasn’t his daughter, spoiling both Vanessa and I with gifts and parties. He was good natured, kind hearted, and a great father. Aro tried to make up for the lack of maternity Renee offered, familiarizing us to an extravagant life. One that Renee valued too much. My life included designer clothes, yachts, mansions, vacations all over the world, and anything else we wanted.

Renee wasn’t a bad mother; she just didn’t bother sugarcoating the world. When I got my period I ran to her, scared, for advice. She didn’t use any metaphors when she explained sex to me and pretty much scarred my belief in love.

“Bella, you need to understand now. You body is your most valuable treasure. Many men will go to great measures to have sex with you. You must learn not to give in, because a majority of the boys will leave you as soon as they get what they want.”

“Mom, how can you say that? Love is supposed to be something magical, rare, and beautiful,” I responded, with as much conviction a twelve year old could have.

“Bella, that only happens in the movies. Trust me I’m your mother I know what I’m talking about,” she said, walking away.

Vanessa and I were close growing up. I was always shy and liked to keep to myself, struggling with my self esteem. She was beautiful like every other girl at out prep school and I was plain. Vanessa was always giving her heart out easily, while I protected mine.

We were complete opposites; Vanessa demanded attention, as soon as she walked into a room, while I preferred to people watch, getting a feel for the room before interacting. I was clumsy and she was graceful, she got all the boys, while I stayed at home, even though I was the oldest.

That was the way it was until Aro’s heart attack. After his death we were all devastated, I think that despite what my mom had said about falling for someone, she cared deeply for him. Renee had only two moods after Aro’s death, sad or angry.

After his will was read, Renee was left with nothing but the house, shifting the mood from angry to furious. All of Aro’s other properties were shared with his brothers, Marcus and Caius. Aro left a trust for Vanessa and me. We could only access them until we were married, or turned thirty. The Volturi brothers would have Aro’s shares only if they pay the rest of our schooling.

Marcus and Caius were not evil people but they never liked my mother, constantly referring to her as the gold digging whore. Because of this hatred, they wanted to cut all ties with her; they had set up an account with all the money we would need to finish college, and then some.

Renee sold our house so she could preserve the little money we did have and keep us afloat. We moved into a small three bedroom house that was located in a decent neighborhood, but wasn’t that glamorous.

As the older child, I was privy to more information from Renee on her plans. She came into my room once we had finished unpacking. Vanessa was exhausted and already asleep when Renee informed me of these plans.

“Bella,” Renee said, walking into my room and shutting the door behind her. “I know this must be overwhelming but I have plan, a way for us to never have to worry about money again.”

I didn’t respond I just let her continue. I wasn’t as upset as Vanessa was about the situation, but I was upset that we hadn’t gotten more.

“I know I’ve never told you much about your father and you’re probably wondering why it matters now but you need to know before I can tell you what my plan is.”

I nodded and she continued. “Before I met Aro, I lived a different life than the one we’ve lived. I was involved in a shady business with your father, Charlie. We were con artists, pretty damn good ones, in my opinion,” she said, chuckling.

To say they were pretty damn good was an understatement. Renee and Charlie worked a degree of various angles, they had first met in a diner in Houston, Texas, and Charlie walked in and swept Renee of her feet. Charlie smooth talked his way out of every situation and began to teach Renee how to do the same.

They first started with minor things. Renee and Charlie were still young and good-looking, so they stuck to blackmailing married men, or women. They progressed to more complicated routines as they got older. They did a variety of bits and acts to get people to invest in their “business,” charity, or property, that wasn’t event theirs.

But after my birth Charlie wanted a change of pace, not wanting to drag me into the type of life they held. Renee had a different idea, still wanting to con people out of their money. In the middle of night she left him, with me in hand, never to return.

When I heard this my mind began to race, it wasn’t hard to deduce what Renee had in mind.

“Bella, I think it’s time I pass on my knowledge to you,” she said, slowly.

“You and Vanessa need to learn to survive in this world. If you do this, you will be able to maintain an even grander lifestyle than what we’ve known. You can buy anything you want, travel the world, taste new cultures, and you’ll never be tied down by anyone. This world is too cruel to be this naïve, falling in love is a bunch of bullshit, you don’t need it. The sooner you learn that the better, this way you won’t ever have to get hurt,” she said, never faltering from her proposal.

I thought this over, and what she said made a lot of sense. I’ve always been on the sidelines watching people get hurt because of love and it was probably the reason I was so guarded.

“I know it’s a lot to process but we can’t be wasting time with emotions. I need you to do this for me, for you,” she said, with and excited look.

I thought it over, a neon light flashed in my mind alerting me to run away, but Renee painted a life that I couldn’t resist.

“I’m in,” I said, happily.

The next day Renee told Vanessa her plan and she agreed without hesitation, she didn’t need to hear the big long speech; she just wanted money and lots of it. I must admit it was exciting the idea of being so powerful and free from the normal rules of the world. Our lessons began that same day.

Renee taught us the three most important rules about this life; the first was that lying should be our first instinct and the truth our second. The following rule was deeply connected to the first, if someone was too stupid to fall for a lie then they deserved to be lied to. The last and most important rule was to never ever let your feelings get involved.

Renee had showed us how to read people, trained us to be the best liars, to become chameleons in every situation, and how to invest our time and money wisely. She prepared us for what was to come, teaching us how to pick the right target, making connections with the wrong kind of people, and how to entice men. My morals were thrown out the window and replaced with new ones.

We practiced on the boys at school, manipulating them to do our every command. They would buy us gifts, take us out to expensive dinners and even did our homework. We would go to various hot spots; with the fake IDs Renee’s contacts had gotten us and practiced our lying.

All the money we had was spent on clothes and make-up, instead of books and other school supplies. We created different personalities that fit each guy we met to make them fall at our feet. We never let things go too far, we just kept up with the charade long enough to get some practice in and some great jewelry and clothes.

Our weekends consisted of club hopping and getting numbers from as many guys as possible. Vanessa and I became competitive and would usually bet a new accessory or outfit to whoever got the most. We flirted, we danced, never drank, while Renee would be somewhere near getting a read for our next mark.

Once, one was picked, we both would go up to him and make him putty at our hands. Things didn’t go beyond buying us dinner, unless Renee saw potential for something more.

If that was the case, one of us would call him back and let the poor sucker romance us, until we were done with him.

After my junior year, Renee decided to move us to Jacksonville for a fresh start. She enrolled us in a private school there to begin our mission. We wanted to change our names but the need for the trust fund money would make it impossible.

New students were rare for this school so we were the talk of the school that first week. We had the boys swooning over us, carrying our books, and walking us to class. With my new found confidence, and the tools Renee had taught us, we began to scope out the right target.

While I worked on getting all the attention, Vanessa gathered as much information about everyone at that school possible. I was looking for a rich husband so we could get our inheritance, and keep the poor sucker’s money.

After about a month we decided on Mike Newton. Mike’s family owned a chain of sporting goods stores all over America, which made them extremely wealthy. He wasn’t handsome but he wasn’t ugly either. He wasn’t extremely popular with the ladies, and wasn’t liked by many. He was weak making him the perfect target for our first big con.

All the boys were jealous when I decided to pick Mike, and I knew that the girls could finally breathe easy, not that I was no longer a possibility for the other boys. Mike worshipped me and I never had to worry about paying for meals, clothes, or vacations.

I pretended to bump into him once and that garnered the attention I needed from him to set things in motion. We talked about the English class we shared, and I convinced him to study with me for the upcoming test.

One study session and I had him eating out of the palm of my hand. I played my virginal school girl act well, although technically I was, so that when I tempted him it didn’t look like I was doing it on purpose. I insisted that I wouldn’t sleep with him unless we were married. This was all a part of a plan that would benefit us later, Renee had taught us how to use sex to our advantage well.

I knew he didn’t have it in him to cheat on me, yet. So I kept hinting at marriage and he took the bait. At prom he proposed, hoping to get lucky, but I told him if we got married right away we could have all the sex he wanted.

He jumped at that chance and we were married after graduation, with a small ceremony. Mike’s parents were ecstatic that he had settled on a smart, sophisticated, beautiful girl like me. The night of the wedding I pretended to get extremely hammered to set the final steps of our plan. I kept telling him naughty things all day, to get him riled up.

As soon as the reception was over he took me to the honeymoon suite. I could see the joy in his eyes. I told him to give me a minute to get changed when I pretended to fall asleep. He came back in I heard his sigh, of anger and defeat. He left the room and I counted down the minutes it would take Vanessa to get him going.

Vanessa would be waiting for him at the bar ready to strike and take him up to her suite.

I waited an hour and headed for Vanessa’s room and found Mike with his pants down and Vanessa in a compromising position.

“Mike, how could you do this to me? My own sister! I thought you loved me!” I screamed, letting the tears fall.

“Bella, wait! You don’t understand,” Mike pleaded, as I walked away.

I went home and Vanessa arrived shortly after.

“So what did you say to him?” I asked, grabbing a coke.

“Nothing much, I told him I had always had a crush on him and that if we had gotten together I would not have held on so long. He pretended to be shocked for all of five seconds and then I began to move my hand up his thigh. He took the hint asked if we could go to my room. I pretended to resist, I mean he is married to my only sister, but after he insisted for a few minutes I led him to my room. This guy was too easy. Next time let’s make it more of a challenge,” Vanessa said, grabbing a coke.

“Agreed,” I said, clinking our cans.

After that I collected my inheritance as well as Mike’s for cheating on me. His lawyer tried to get the marriage annulled because we hadn’t consummated the marriage, but my lawyer was more cunning and conniving and convinced the judge that the only reason it wasn’t consummated was because Mike was busy, fucking my sister.

I played the role of victim well and then I was off on my merry way. We changed our names and ages quickly, and made our ways to through the richest cities of America. Vanessa collected her inheritance and we enjoyed the good life. We often would switch roles when we thought it better suited.

Before picking a target we would do recon work to make sure we didn’t waste our time. We would spend the first few weeks flirting with every man we deemed good enough. We didn’t pursue anything unless they both pursued interest in the both of us. Renee would decide who he showed the most interest in and have her back off, making the lure that much sweeter.

We didn’t always do the same routine. Sometimes we would pick a target just to blackmail them and make some quick cash, in between a major one. Or we met guys that could get us cars, clothes, and houses, until we moved on. Or we would get men to invest in our new “business” or modeling career and they always fell for it. We collected as much as we could before things could progress or we got bored.

When we did decide to marry and take their money, we had to learn to adapt to each of the mark’s need. Some men really did want a family, so a family was what they got. Some men wanted Betty Crocker incarnate, so that’s what they got. And some men fooled themselves into thinking they were ready, and we didn’t say otherwise.

I had been married three times and Vanessa was just finishing her second when we decided to settle in Seattle. It had only been a few years but I was getting tired of the con, I needed a challenge, I needed a change. After a while men became predictable, lying really did become our only instinct, and my emotions were nonexistent.

My prayers were answered when I began working for a very high-end bar and Edward waltzed into my life.