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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


8. Proposals

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Chapter 11: Proposals

Chapter 11: Proposals

The following weeks ahead I kept planting seeds into her head, trying to convince her that I should stay married. After all, if I stayed married our profits would be greater. I casually mentioned to her how Edward’s money was smartly invested, his future inheritance, and the social status he could bring for us. I could see her silently plotting, rethinking her plan. I knew that if things went the way I wanted them to go by the time Edward proposed the plan would change and I could stay married. I was betting on her greed so I could be happy. By this point I knew I needed to do everything in my power to be with Edward. I finally found love and I wasn’t about to give it up.

Things between Edward and I were going great. I was showing a little more of myself everyday. I was sharing as much information as I could, although I tried very hard to avoid bringing up my past. Renee was taking the bait and I could tell she was intrigued, I just didn’t know to what extent. I needed her to take it seriously. I needed Edward.

We fell into a comfortable routine, spending time at home, talking for hours about us. We spent several evenings out with his family, dancing and going to dinner. Things were progressing well. My love for Edward was growing with each day. I didn’t rush things in terms of our future, the bet forgotten. I kept trying to postpone the process as much as possible in order to spend more time together. For once, my goal wasn’t marriage but to enjoy the phenomenon that was love.

I was spending some time with Alice, shopping of course, and Rosalie was also coming with us. I saw this as an opportunity to reinforce Charlie’s report. She was acting slightly less rude since Charlie’s departure. I knew how much Edward’s family meant to him and I didn’t want there to be any trouble.

Alice was trying on some outfits when I decided to take her aside, “Rosalie, I think I may have given you the wrong impression when we first met, I was just reacting to what I felt was an attack. I see now you were just being protective. I know we don’t always see eye to eye but I want you to know that I love Edwar,d and I’m not going anywhere. So for the sake of Edward can we please try and be cordial?”

“I guess I can see how that situation may have been misconstrued as an attack. Honestly, Bella, it’s nothing against you but I just hate to see Edward hurt again,” she said.

“Again?” I asked her, nervously.

Edward never mentioned other serious relationships before.

“Yes, again, I don’t want to get into too many details. I think that should be Edward’s decision, but I will tell you this much when he was in college he got serious with this girl named Lauren. All she did was use his name, money and prestige for her own benefits. We all trusted her and let her in, making the break up even more difficult. As soon as she got what she wanted she broke up with him,” Rosalie said, in a hushed tone.

“I think that’s why Edward has been so guarded for so long. After that he became such a man-whore. I thought he would never be happy again. This is why I’ve been so apprehensive of you. He finally got it together when you showed up. Edward’s hasn’t always been this put together and I just don’t want to have to see him fall apart again.” She was giving me another warning and strangely enough her blessing.

I tried to reassure her with my words, “I understand Rosalie, I promise you, and I do love him. I’m really working to make my relationship with Edward work. More than you could ever understand.”

My conversation with Rosalie made me do a double take.

Could I really go through with this? I didn’t want to lie to him. I loved him and I hoped I wasn’t going to break him. I was sure in my plan and I wasn’t going to leave him. I was too selfish to ever want to do so. But what if he found out?

I knew now, more than ever, that I had to convince Renee. The possibility of having a happy ending with Edward was far too important to give up. I was going to have to use my only weapon against her and it was not going to be pretty.

That same day, I had a date with Edward; we were going to our favorite restaurant, Our Meadow. I picked the dress I bought earlier with Alice and began to get ready. I was strategizing how I was going to outmaneuver Renee when Edward knocked on my door. I made my over to him and gave him the most passionate kiss I could give him. I wanted him to know that I loved him.

When we broke away he raised and eyebrow and said, “Happy to see me?”

“Always,” I purred back.

“Ready to go, love?” he asked, eagerly.

“Yes, let’s go!” I replied, feeding off his enthusiasm.

On the car ride over we quickly fell into easy conversation. I was marveling at how easy this felt; being with him, not always having my guard up. We made our way to our favorite table and ordered our food. I decided on mushroom ravioli and he ordered a steak. He also ordered some champagne for us to enjoy. The food was great, as always, and I couldn’t help but smile, the night was going perfectly. We ordered tiramisu for desert and ate in comfortable silence.

I was finishing my last bite when I saw Edward go down on one knee and he held my left hand in his as he said, “Bella, I know we’ve only dated for a year but I know you are the love of my life. Will you do me the honor of spending forever with me?”

I was shocked. I wasn’t planning on this happening so soon, but all I could say was, “Of course Edward, I will marry you.”

He slipped the ring onto my finger and we fell into a deep kiss. We left the restaurant soon after, I just couldn’t contain myself I needed him to be with me tonight. Renee was the least of my problems tonight, all plans were forgotten. When he dropped me off I invited him up, knowing Vanessa wouldn’t be home.

We made our way to my bedroom and I said, “Just for tonight I’m breaking my rule, I love you, Edward.”

I’d had sex before, sometimes. I would do it because I was forced to in my line of work and other times I just needed someone to scratch the itch, but I was always disappointed.

Being with Edward truly turned my world upside down. He made love to me, it wasn’t just sex, there was passion, need, want, desire, and love.

We were in sync, our bodies connected. He knew when to be soft and gentle and when to be rough and fast. I came first, giving me the best orgasm of my life, and he came right after. After we finished, we just laid there holding each other, drifting into a deep sleep.

The next morning I woke up to find Edward gone. I went into a panic, was last night a dream? Did he finally get what he wanted and leave? Before I could finish the rest of those thoughts, Edward came in with breakfast in bed.

He was too good to be true.

“Good morning, Bella,” he said, giving me a kiss on the forehead.

“Wow you cooked for me, that’s so sweet!” I said, as he handed me the tray of food.

I began to eat the scrambled eggs and I noticed how uneasy he was in his movements.

“Listen about last night,” he paused giving me a moment to swallow, “I’m sorry if I pressured you, I know you have your policy on having sex. I just lost control. I just wanted to be with you after you accepted my proposal.”

“Edward don’t apologize, I wanted last night to happen. But I do have a favor to ask,” I trailed off.

I wasn’t sure how to approach this but I knew he would go along with it for my sake.

“Can we wait until we’re married to have sex again?” I asked, with my voice a chord too high.

I watched him clench his jaw trying to hide his anger. I needed him to be his understanding self.

“It’s just I want our wedding night to be special and I think if we wait it will be even more perfect,” I said innocently.

I really did want our wedding night to be special. I wanted our first night married to really mean something, because it meant we were going to be together for the rest of our lives.

“I can understand that, I love you,” he said while putting his shirt back on, “I got to go to work, I’ll call you later. I can’t believe we’re engaged. Alice will freak out.”

“Bye, I love you too,” I said and continued to eat my breakfast.

I was almost done eating when Vanessa walked in ready to give me her remarks, but before she could speak I showed her my ring.

“Oh my god, you bitch, we need to call Renee, this is awesome,” she said, as she made her way out of my room to call Renee.

“Wait!” I yelled, “Why are you so happy? The year mark bet remember? You’re not getting any of the money anyway?”

“Duh Bella, I may not get any of the money but I do get to sleep with that delicious piece of ass!” she said, walking away.

I really considered slapping Vanessa but I needed to keep calm because this was the moment I had been waiting for. I needed to talk to Renee. Vanessa was not going to sleep with him I did not want her skanky ass near my Edward. Things had gone too far.

After I was showered and dress, Vanessa and I drove over to Renee’s condo. I saw from the corner of my eye the greed plastered all over her face, as she eyed my ring. I felt disgusted with myself because not long ago I was like her.

Renee let us in, and before I could even sit down Renee began to inspect my ring.

“Bella, you’ve done it again! Oh my god, look at that rock!” Renee gushed.

“Hey mom, nice to see you too,” I said sarcastically. The ring really was beautiful, but I had other things to worry about.

She glared at my use of mom and asked, “Did you tell him you want to be married right away?”

“Not yet, but I will,” I paused to ready myself for the next part of the conversation but before I could speak, Vanessa did.

“Renee she may have messed this up already. She slept with him last night,” Vanessa said, with a stupid smirk on her face.

“Is this true?” she asked, worried.

“Yes, let me explain. Vanessa can you give us a minute?”

“Why should I?” she snarled back.

“Mom, please?” I asked, sweetly.

“Just leave us, Vanessa,” Renee said and Vanessa left the room.

“Ok what is it, Bella?”

“Mom, there’s something you should know and I’m not taking no for an answer. I know this is not what you would expect coming out of my mouth but I don’t want to do this anymore… I’m in love with him. I can’t go through with the rest of the plan. My voice was barely audible. I closed my eyes in anticipation of the explosion.

“Oh Bella, Bella, Bella. You think you’re in love with this guy? Come one sweetie, we both know that’s impossible for our kind. We don’t fall in love, we live off of other’s pain, we lust for money, and we lie through our teeth,” she said shaking her head, and walking away.

The familiarity of her words stung, I had told Charlie the same thing. It wasn’t until I heard them come out of her mouth that I realized I really wasn’t like her.

“Mom, I’m serious,” I responded, sternly.

Renee slammed her hands on the counter, the anger in her eyes frightening. “How could you even think you’re in love with that guy? How could you think he could love you? You’re not even yourself when you’re with him. He’s in love with someone who doesn’t even exist!” she spat, each word stinging me like venom.

I had expected them but I didn’t think they would hurt so much. A part of me knew she was right but I needed to believe I could do this.

“How can you say that I can’t love him? I do, I love Edward! He makes me feel like… like I’m the only one that matters. He makes me happy,” I pleaded with her.

“So what are you going to do? Are you going to tell him who you really are? I’m not sure he is as forgiving as you may think. Are you willing to go to jail for this guy?” she asked.

“No, I’m not going to tell him the truth, but I want to stay married to him. I don’t want to go through with con. I especially don’t want Vanessa to sleep with him,” I responded.

“See you don’t love him if you did, you would tell him. He probably doesn’t even love you. Are you willing to risk all the money we could enjoy, the freedom from having husband, for this one guy? I thought I taught you better than that!” she said pacing the kitchen.

I didn’t respond, biting my tongue at what I really wanted to say.

“Bella, you’re in your prime, you can settle down later like I did,” Renee stopped to gather her thoughts before she continued. “Bella, please be reasonable he doesn’t love you, not completely anyway. You haven’t been honest with him; he can’t ever truly love you. What’s going to happen when you run into an ex husband while you’re having dinner? Or someone you’ve fucked recognizes you by a different name? You can’t explain that away. Think about it, are you really going to be able to be happy knowing that you’ve been lying to him since the day you met?”

“Mom, I love him! Please give me this chance to be happy,” I said, letting the tears that had been building fall.

“Please don’t blubber, you look ugly when you do. Bella, it’s too big a risk. Besides you don’t know anything about happiness,” she said heading for the living room.

“I don’t know anything about happiness? Hello, I’m fighting for it right now! Edward makes me happy, not the money he has. I’m happiest when I’m with him sitting on his couch and eating dinner! Not when I’m shopping, or scamming some poor guy out of his savings! That doesn’t matter to me anymore, only he does!” I said screaming the words.

“Oh Bella, you sound like your father. He was all about family and togetherness, so pathetic,” she said, looking at her nails unimpressed.

I wasn’t hysterical by this point. Everything coming out of her mouth was another punch. I wasn’t thinking about anything else, except being with Edward so I blurted out the one thing I knew I shouldn’t have.

“I’m glad I sound like Charlie at least he knew there was more to this life. You know, I met him and he isn’t as crazy as you may think. He seemed happy, content with who he was.”

She looked worried then, never had I seen fear in Renee’s eyes. “What! When did you see him? How could you not tell me? Bella what did he want?” she asked, her voice shaky.

“He wanted me to go and live with him but I couldn’t do it. Thanks to you and what you’ve turned me into,” I replied as the hope inside me began to drain.

I couldn’t ignore the giddiness I felt in seeing Renee this rattled. Obviously, Charlie was someone to be feared, for Renee to react the way she did. For a second, I wondered just how dangerous he was but decided to save that for later. Edward was my priority.

“Bella, how could you be so stupid? He’s probably the one who planted the idea of love and happiness in your head,” she said, daring me to deny her.

“No, mom, he didn’t plant the idea, he just helped me realized my true feelings for him. Look if you don’t give me this chance with Edward,” I stopped, hesitating in fear of the outcome. “I will walk away from you, from this, and you will never see me again. However, if you agree then at least you will be getting a monthly allowance, not that you need it. I’ll even help you with a con or two,” I said with all the strength I had left.

I was using the big weapon. She wouldn’t be able to continue to con people without me. I made her fortune. I helped train Vanessa, made her into what she really was. I was the best liar. I was the one who recruited the best marks and the best temptresses. She needed me and she knew it. I watched her stand still, uneasy with the proposition, she knew she had been beat and she didn’t like.

She thought it over for what felt like ages. Finally, she reached a decision; she flared her nostrils in anger and said, “Fine.”

“What?” I asked, still in shock. She gave in way too easily. I knew there had to be some sort of catch.

“Ok, you can stay with Edward but under one condition,” she said, with an evil grin.

“What’s that?” I asked, cautiously. I knew the other shoe was about to drop at any moment.

“He has to pass one test, we will do the same routine we did the first time, with a few minor changes. Vanessa will do her job and if he takes the bait we go through with the original plan, but if he doesn’t you can stay with him, but you will still have to help us on occasion and write me a big fat check every month,” she said and began to make her way to the kitchen again.

I was furious, but I tried to control it for my sake. It was different this time; I wasn’t sure how I would be able to handle the situation if Vanessa was the one to tempt him.

“Mom, please listen to me, I don’t want Vanessa near him. Get someone else, call Jessica if you have to, she’s always been reliable,” I pleaded.

She looked me over and smirked. God, how I hated that smile. Every time she got it, it meant danger.

“Fine, I’ll call her. But Bella the same rule applies if he cheats; he looses his money and we move on. If not, you get to stay with him, and you share the wealth,” she said, filling a coffee cup.

“Thanks, mom I know he won’t let me down,” I said enthusiastically.

I know for a fact he won’t let me down because he loves me but just in case I should take matters into my own hands. Jessica worshipped me and I knew how to butter her up. This was one test Edward had to past even if I was the one who needed to cheat.