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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


6. This is Definitely NOT Normal

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3661   Review this Chapter

Chapter 9: This is Definitely NOT Normal

The car ride home was in awkward silence. I was worried that after interacting with his family he realized I didn’t belong, because really I didn’t. Maybe someone had directly voiced their opinion of me and it was going to end. I didn’t know why I was so worried; things had gone better than I had hoped. A strange panic came over me and I found myself gasping for air. Edward saw my panic and stopped the car so that he could calm me down.

“Bella, what’s wrong? Talk to me, breathe Bella, breathe,” he said in a calm and luscious voice.

“You’re… breaking… up …with… me… aren’t you?” I said in between breathes.

“Of course not, why would I do that? I love you,” he said calmly, and I could see his lips twitch, readying for a smile.

For some reason hearing those words sent me into another panic.

“I… love... you… too,” I said in between breathes.

He gave me his crooked smile and a toe curling kiss I will never forget. His lips on mine felt like they belonged, bringing to me a sense of joy and safety. The frustrated feelings I had been having finally made sense, Edward was one of a kind. It was impossible not to fall for someone as. I had broken the most important rule. I was letting my feelings get involved.

I was sure Edward expected us to sleep together when I saw him pout, once I exited the car. It killed me not being able to be with him, my body ached for his much more now that I had admitted my feelings for him.

As soon as I walked into my apartment I was bombarded with questions from Renee.

“How did it go? Did they like you? You didn’t fuck this up did you?” Renee began. I noticed that she was alone, Vanessa was no where to be found.

“Everything went well. Where’s Vanessa?” I asked, heading into my room to change.

“She went out; she didn’t want to wait around for you, who cares. Give me a rundown of what happened,” Renee demanded, sitting on my bed.

“Well dinner was awkward, I stuck to our story, and of course they bought it. His family didn’t seem to like me; I think I came off as this hippie type. I think I won over his godparents and sister though,” I said.

“What else?” Renee asked, a little too enthusiastic for my taste.

“Well, he defended me when things got a little too intense. And…” I hesitated, I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell her.

“And?” she asked, annoyed.

“He seems serious about marriage. He said it was in our immediate future,” I finished, realizing that this is what I had signed up for.

“Wow, things are moving fast. Has he said I love you?” Renee asked, with a look in her eye that meant she was already planning her next move.

“We just said it in the car on the way home,” I said, trying to hide my emotions.

She looked at me and nodded, “Great work, you were truly meant for this. Anything else happen I should know about?”

Her last question threw me for a loop, was I that easy to read?

“Umm well Emmett’s girlfriend, Rosalie, really hates me. She tried to call me out and failed,” I said, laughing.

“Really? What did she say?”

“She said she knew I wasn’t being honest, that I couldn’t commit and that I would never belong with her family, blah blah blah,” I said, mocking her. “I’m telling you Renee, I came off like a hippie, a free spirit.” I shrugged.

“Oh well, we’ll just have to keep an eye out for her,” she responded.

“Ok well bye, I need to sleep now,” I said kicking her out.

I was glad to hear my door close when she left. I really needed to blow off some steam.

Vanessa texted me and asked me to meet her at bar downtown, she had a new target in mind.

I quickly changed and made my way over to CQ’s, and saw Vanessa flirting with an older gentleman; I sat at the other end of the bar and studied the guy. His suit was designer, but off the rack and his shoes were last season. I was a little confused, Vanessa and I had the same skills, and she should have seen this right away. Then I remembered her less than perfect track record and laughed.

After several guys tried to get me drunk, and a few who attempted to get my number, Vanessa finally pried herself away from the guy.

“Let’s get this party started,” she said, ordering two shots of Tequila.

“Vanessa, that guy was such a fake, I can’t believe you didn’t see it,” I said, taking the shot.

“I know that. I’m not interested in him, I’m interested in his friend. He was wearing custom everything, from head to toe,” she gushed.

“So where is he?” I said, scanning the room.

“He had to leave early, so he left me his card. I was just talking to his friend Chad so that I can get some more information,” Vanessa said, after she took her shot.

“So what now?” I asked, annoyed that the night was so dead.

“Let’s have some fun, how about we have a contest. I know I can get more numbers than you,” she said, with a menacing look.

“Give it up, we both know I always win,” I said, taking off.

In a way, Vanessa was just a carbon copy of me. She dressed, talked, and acted like me, but she would never reach the potential I had. I had never lost a bet, always picked the right target, and always got the most numbers.

I worked the room until it was time to go. Usually, it didn’t take much work on my part to get men at my feet, but I was having a hard time today. I would be talking to a guy longer than the usual five minutes I allowed because my mind would wander to Edward.

The night ended, Vanessa and I met at the same spot we had started from and counted our numbers, she had gotten sixteen and I only gotten ten. Vanessa was giddier than a school girl, rubbing it in my face like a bully that she finally had beaten me.

The fact that she had gotten more numbers than me had troubled me greatly. I knew the only reason she had won was not because she had gotten better but it was because I was losing my touch.

I tossed and turned all night and didn’t get much sleep. It wasn’t until around lunch time that I got a call from Edward, updating me on his day. We met up for lunch and he recounted the positive reactions he got last night after he dropped me off. Alice had insisted on hanging out and I couldn’t refuse.

After meeting Edward’s family I knew he would want to meet my family really soon. I was dreading this, so I postponed it at much as possible. I had already been given earful for using Bella as my first name again and I didn’t want to get another for using all their first names as well. I hadn’t told them much of my slip ups, I only reported the progress I was making. I had told them about what he said about marriage being in the immediate future and my encounter with Rosalie and they were pleased. They were already planning on how they were going to spend their money.

I asked Renee for advice on how to keep them from having to meet Edward. She hated having to meet my future husbands and having to pretend to care that I was getting married again. She suggested that I create a bigger bubble that included his friends, that way my family wouldn’t come up, and everyone else would be in the spotlight but me. It worked a lot better than I had expected.

Alice insisted on hanging out with her future sister in law by taking me shopping and to many spas. As much as I enjoyed shopping for clothes this version of me didn’t, so I pretended to hate all of it to keep up the pretense. Alice had great style sense. She always knew exactly what looked right on someone without them even trying it on.

I found myself just taking it all in, usually I would have to contain myself in situations that involved handbags and shoes but the feeling I usually got when I bought something as gorgeous as the latest Jimmy Choo’s or the newest “It” bag was gone. It worried me that I was becoming too much like this lame ass Bella persona that I had created. Despite my inner turmoil, Alice always made me happy and I found a friend in her that I never even had with Vanessa, even though I couldn’t tell her anything she didn’t have to know and she never asked. She bought into my act so well; I was starting to feel bad for her. This of course caused me more turmoil. I wanted to tell her what was bothering me but I couldn’t. I wasn’t that nice, I never could be that nice.

We were at her boutique and she was picking out an outfit for me to wear.

“Bella, blue is definitely your color, how about this,” she said, handing me a beautiful halter top that I wasn’t suppose to like.

My mind was distracted and I went into the dressing room to change. I modeled it for her and she praised her good taste. I just nodded in agreement.

“Bella, what’s wrong?” she asked, with a sad look on her face.

“Nothing, it’s complicated,” I responded, realizing I was letting my feelings interfere.

“Are you sure you don’t want to tell me?” she asked, giving me a puppy dog look.

“I’m sure… Ok I mean what would you if you had a secret that could hurt someone you loved?” I caved.

“Is this about Edward? I think honesty is important, but not always necessary. If it’s something he should know you should tell him,” she responded, giving me a tight hug.

“Thanks Alice,” I responded.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to take her advice but the sentiment was there and I appreciated it.

Unfortunately, Rosalie would often join us in our little expeditions, which did not help my inner battle in the slightest. She was always there even though she didn’t want to be. She studied me and I made sure to give her what she wanted. I did’t know if she was more worried that I was going to break Edward’s heart, or that I had insulted her.

She seemed to lighten up a little, but she always had some remark about me. If she didn’t like what I was wearing she would point out my lack of taste and my poor upbringing.

“Bella that dress looked better on the hanger,” Rosalie said, as I tried on a new outfit.

“Those pants make you look bigger, or are you getting fat,” she retorted.

I never fought back, playing the role of the victim. She made it all too easy for Alice to take care of me and the rest of the group to defend me.

Emmett and I were so comfortable around each other; his lack of a filter was so refreshing. I found in him an older brother who really cared about my happiness and seemed genuinely pleased that Edward and I were together. His constant teasing and joking around, something I thought as an attack, was really his way of showing he cared. He was so carefree and we often spent our time together playing video games or planning practical jokes on the rest of the gang.

“Hey, Bella, when are you and Edward going to seal the deal?” he asked the first time we got together to hang out.

I blushed at his comment and Edward tensed.

“I’m only asking ‘cause I know Edward needs some loving,” he teased, running to hide next to Rosalie.

I laughed and responded, “Maybe you should worry about your sex life rather than mine.”

I noticed Rosalie tensed but he laughed.

“I’m glad Edward stalked you until you finally caved, you are too much fun,” he said, taking a seat on Edward’s couch.

I even had a strong bond with Jasper. I was at their apartment, waiting to go have lunch with Alice when Jasper and I began talking.

“Hey Bella,” he said, walking into the kitchen. “Can I offer you something to drink?”

He walked to the fridge and got out a coke.

“No thanks,” I responded, feeling awkward. He closed the fridge and drank the coke he had.

“So where are you ladies going?” he asked, as he finished the coke.

“We’re going to have lunch at Vince’s Deli,” I said, not meeting his gaze. “What about you? What are you doing?”

“Noting much just reading, have you heard of the Lovely Bones by Alice Sepold?”

“No I’ve only read books by Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Faulkner, and more classic stuff for school.”

“I’ve read those too, but I really enjoy reading the books of the best seller list. You should really read it. I’m almost done with it, when I’m done I’ll lend you the book,” he said, trying to ease the tension.

“Sure, I’ll give it a go,” I said, politely.

He began to tell me about the plot, the narrator was in heaven watching her family move on after her death while the guy who killed her live his life. Jasper’s had really gotten my attention and I actually read the book. When I was done, I found myself eager to see him so we could talk; there was no romantic feeling it was just something fun to do with a friend.

I never thought I could just be friends with the opposite sex. I loved hearing everything he had to say. I had gone to three private schools and never paid the amount of attention I paid to Jasper. He loved to talk about the civil war, the books that came from that period, and he also got me to read more books of the best seller list. Our group had grown close together creating the perfect environment for Edward to ignore my family. Or at least I thought I had.

After a few weeks in our little world, Edward asked me to introduce him to my family, and all I could do was submit to his request. I prepared Renee, Vanessa, and Phil to play their roles. To say they were unhappy at the turn in events was an understatement. I usually didn’t have family when I took on my new identity. Rene and Phil would pose as distant relatives who flew in for the wedding ready to comfort me while Vanessa played my cousin. This definitely wasn’t the normal situation but I was on a roll. I calculated that we would be married soon, and then this whole nightmare would end.

Days before, Vanessa insisted on going out to a bar one night to help her find a new target. I really wasn’t up to it but the pressure from all the lying was getting to me. Partying with Vanessa always made me forget my troubles and the complicated web that involved the job.

We went to CQ’s again, Vanessa swore it was a great place to meet men, and placed ourselves at the bar.

We had only been there for a few minutes when the bartender served us drinks compliments of the guys on the other end of the bar. They were handsome, their wealth was apparent, so we signaled them to come over.

The job of a wingman was never a fun task, unless you knew how to take advantage of the situation well. I made sure to keep the guy interested but never gave him a way in. I had enough lies to deal with, and really didn’t want to deal with any more.

“Hi, I’m Todd, what’s your name?”

“Tanya,” I replied.

“I can’t believe how lucky I am to meet you Tanya. You are by far the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen,” he said taking the seat next to me.

“Thanks, so tell me more about yourself,” I said, finishing my drink, knowing it would be a long night.

I glanced over and saw Vanessa and her friend huddled close, talking and genuinely enjoying herself.

I redirected my attention to Ted and pretended to care what he was saying about how sketchy the real estate market was. Usually, it was easy for me to keep my focus, but my mind kept wandering to Edward and his family.

This whole job was unusual; I had never really been exposed to a family that was so strong and a part of each other’s lives. I thought I had just that when Aro was alive, but it was clear to me that that was only a farce concocted by Renee.

The guy in front of me must have asked me something because he was waving at me to get my attention.

“Sorry, my mind must be somewhere else, what were you saying?”

“It’s okay; I was just asking you what you did for a living?”

“Umm I work as a secretary,” I said, but it came out more as a question than a real response.

“You seem unsure; it’s okay if you don’t want to tell me. People don’t usually meet there soul mates at bars,” he responded whole heartedly.

“No, sorry I’m just not feeling like myself today,” I said, reassuringly. “How about we just enjoy the night, do you want to dance?”

He led me to an impromptu dance floor and moved to the music. After what felt like forever we went back to the bar and sat down.

Vanessa and her date were still talking, unfazed that we were gone. My mood had gotten better and I really wanted to just go home and pretend tonight hadn’t happened. But of course, Vanessa decided to do some body shots with these guys and I had to oblige.

The guys were excited; they thought we would actually let them take shots off us. I pushed Tom on the bar and put the shot in his mouth before he could protest. He squirmed when I rubbed some lime and poured salt on his abs, but I didn’t say anything. I really didn’t care, because this was just another routine.I waited for Vanessa and let her go first, I watched the excitement dance in her eyes. At the very least she would be bringing him home tonight for a quick fuck.

The crowd that had gathered was whooping and cheering when Vanessa was done and waited for me to continue. I tied my hair back and stood in front of Todd ready to go, but I found myself unable to do so. I kept thinking of Edward and how I would be betraying him if I went through with it.

I left and went home, I couldn’t explain what had just happened, usually I was able to adapt and do what needed to be done well, without hesitation. Yet, today I couldn’t do it. My mind kept seeing Edward, and I couldn’t explain why he was so god damn important.

I sat on my bed thinking of Edward and tonight’s events, I couldn’t explain what was happening to me. I felt my phone buzz and got a message from Edward that said, “Thinking of you, see you tomorrow.”

The message only confused me more. My life was becoming too much to handle. It was like the world was hell bent on making me miserable. The weight of the night was finally catching up with me and I dozed off.

I awoke still in the clothes from last night; I jumped into the shower and took my time, giving myself time to brush of the feeling of insecurity I was feeling. I regrouped and focused my attention on training the family to play their roles well. Renee was even more upset once she realized she would have to be more involved than she had originally planned. She would be playing the role of the fun loving mom, who supported me in every decision I made. Phil would be playing the strong and silent type, stepdad, because he didn’t have the proper training. Vanessa would be playing my sister but a much toned town version of herself, in order to keep the charade going.

We even borrowed a friend’s house, in order to keep things real and believable. Everything was set up all we needed to do was make sure everything was ready, and we knew our roles well. I was mulling over my strategy, it was the only way to keep me from thinking about Edward, while working my shift at the bar.

Edward was working at the hospital that night, and I felt like I could breathe a little, not having to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. I was people watching, when a man walked in and made his way straight to me. He wasn’t intimidating per say but the way he walked toward me with determination made me wonder. He sat at the end of the bar that I wasn’t working at, and I continued to fill my orders.

I was distracted in making a martini for some older gentleman when I heard a strange man ask, “What kind of angle does Renee have you work?” I immediately froze at his words.

Who the fuck is this guy to come here and blow my cover?