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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


9. Bella Bad-Ass

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3873   Review this Chapter

Chapter 8: Bella Bad-Ass

The night after meeting Edward, I called Renee and told her and Vanessa that I had my next mark. They were skeptical about him right away, he wasn’t what we usually aimed for. He was in his mid twenties, his career was just beginning, and Renee hadn’t picked him.

Both she and Vanessa didn’t think I could handle such a difficult candidate.

“Oh Bella, do you think you can really get him to propose under the usual one year mark? From what you’ve described he doesn’t seem like the marrying type,” Vanessa said, with a smug smile.

“Oh baby sis, I know I can, I have never failed unlike other people in this room.” I gave her a quick smile to rub it in.

Vanessa didn’t have a perfect track record like me. She had set her sight on some guy in Wall Street who ended up being already married. She pulled out all her best work before we could really get all his information, only managing to get some hush money from him.

“Fine, how about a bet? If you get him to propose by the first year, I will give up my cut to you. Deal?” she said, trying to hide her frustration.

This was too easy; we all knew that I never fail.

“You’re on. Renee, get Phil and James ready. Have them follow him, and to get a good sense of what he needs. Call Jay to prepare my paperwork for the big day and I will get started on him the next time we meet.”

“You shouldn’t get your hopes up, I have a feeling you’re going to fail,” Vanessa said, angrily.

“That’s funny because I hear wedding bells,” I said walking towards my room.

This was going to be lots of fun. Finally a real challenge. Phil was my mom’s latest conquest and James was our tracker, who would follow our targets to get a feel for who they were and would photograph the act of betrayal for us when necessary.

Edward Masen was my green-eyed god’s name. He was intent on stalking me which was to my advantage. He was always at the bar waiting for me and trying to get me to go out with him, but I didn’t have enough information to know if he was what I was looking for yet. Multiple times I would find myself slipping, I told him my real name, a definite no-no, and Vanessa’s as well. I constantly had to keep myself in check to avoid another big slip up from him.

Usually I had time to get into character, practice with Renee and Vanessa before choosing a target. No detail was ever too small to cover and every question asked would have an answer. All this helped create my new persona. Since, I met Edward in an unlikely situation, I really hadn’t given much thought to who I wanted to be.

James suggested that I play the damsel in distress angle with him because he was a doctor, so that’s what I did. I found myself able to play into that role easily. I would stumble, slip, or bump into things to get his attention. I found myself not needing to pretend to be someone else but myself. I was after all playing the role of Bella this time.

Edward had become a constant in my life, always where I knew he would be. I found myself intrigued by him; he divulged all his information to me, making it easier for us to find out if he had what we were looking for.

Renee hadn’t been sure at first because he came from old money, usually wealthy families like his married in their own social circles. According to James and Phil’s research he was a womanizer and extremely rich, coming from a long line of lawyers. But there was no denying that Edward was a great target. He had the track record and the money to make him the biggest con for us.

Two weeks had passed and Renee finally had given me the green light to pursue him, but he was no where to be found. When he finally showed up with his friend Jasper, I knew this was my last chance to reel him in. I couldn’t explain why I was so determined to have Edward but I knew I wanted him and I wasn’t letting him go. I did something unexpected but necessary, I made my pseudo feelings known.

“Well hello there stranger, what can I get you?” I asked, hoping he understood my subtle hint.

Once the crowd had died down Edward sat at his regular stool and watched me work. I felt his eyes on me the whole night until the bar closed. I didn’t kick him out and he didn’t leave.

I began to clean up and gave him an irritated look when he didn’t move his arms so I could clean the counter.

“Bella,” he said, smirking.

“Edward,” I responded.

“I know you like me. Your response when I came in was obvious. So here’s the deal, we go out on one date or I walk away. I won’t beg you to go out with me. I would really hate to ruin this opportunity but a man’s got to have his pride. So for the last time, will you please go out with me?”

I was fuming and he knew it, he chuckled and let me think it over.

Finally I said, “Fine, I’ll go out with you.”

He smiled and stood up from his stool to give me a soft kiss on the lips.

I was pretty pissed that I had to lose control but the more I thought about it, it was better for him to think he had the upper hand now.

From what James had told me he liked to control every situation and be the hero that’s why he was a doctor. Phil and James had followed him since he first told me about becoming a resident, where he grew up, and about his family. I didn’t want to admit it aloud but I liked hearing his stories about his friends. I had never really had many friends because any type of relationship meant feelings and that was not allowed.

Our first date was a classic night out. He took me to a movie to watch the latest romantic comedy and to dinner at, Our Meadow.

I hated to pretend to enjoy these movies, if it were up to me we would be watching someone getting slashed and chased around by a crazed killer, but I was trying to lure him in not scare him off. During dinner I was sweet, charming, and lighthearted. I didn’t want our first date to be so strained.

“Edward, tell me more about yourself,” I said, taking a bite out of the mushroom ravioli.

“Well let me think, I’ve already told you that I’m a doctor and about my family. We’ve talked extensively about TV and music, what else do you want to know?”

I had been waiting for the right opportunity to ask him this, because the way he answered would help set the tone for the relationship.

“Tell me a secret, something you’ve never told anyone?”

If he told me something intimate it meant he trusted me enough to want to continue, if he didn’t he wasn’t that into me.

He sighed, “Bella, you’re killing me. If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?”

“Don’t worry, Edward, I can keep your secret,” I said, reassuring him.

“I think you may be the one,” he said, softly.

Edward had thrown me for a loop. This wasn’t what I had expected. I couldn’t get a read on him so I wasn’t sure if that was a line or if he was really serious. Edward was beginning to annoy me.

The night continued, never running out of things to talk about and I actually found myself wanting to learn more about him. He kept asking me question about my life, my dislikes, likes, and a lot of personal information. I let a few things slip about my interests but for the most part I played my role perfectly, answering his questions like I had practiced.

As soon as he kissed me goodnight, I got out of the clothes I had been wearing and put on my favorite leather skirt and blue corset. I called Vanessa so we could meet up. She gave me the directions to the club she was at and I finished getting dressed.

I got into my silver, 2003, Ferrari Enzo and blasted the radio to full volume, enjoying the high I get once I got my new target. I arrived at the club shortly after, the bouncer let me in without hesitation, and walked through the crowd to the VIP section. I scanned the bar and found her chatting up the bartender.

“Hey, V, anyone worth my while?” I said, taking her glass of champagne.

“Always, but none are for you,” she said, grabbing the glass out of my hands.

“I can still play, we’ve only been on one date,” I said, taking the glass and chugging it down.

“Renee won’t like this,” Vanessa warned.

“Come on, we always do this each time we start a job. The version I’m playing is turning out to be very frumpy,” I said, leading her to the dance floor.

“Let’s do this,” she screamed.

We danced with a few guys, did a few body shots, got plenty of free drinks, and we even got a few drunken proposals. Once the club was about to close, the guys we had been dancing with begged us for our numbers but instead we got theirs instead. The men we were with were the usual type of guy we would go for and I thanked God that Edward was different, far more interesting than any of the schmucks I partied with. We got home around four in the morning and we went to bed.

After that my partying with Vanessa would have to end, the risk of running into someone I knew was far too big. The dates with Edward continued and Vanessa was still on the prowl for a potential target.

Edward was just too perfect. He was falling hard. According to James he had stopped going out to clubs and bars and spent most of his time at home sleeping, working, or with me. I was almost starting to feel bad, almost.

With each new relationship, I learned to control every situation, in order to avoid all contact with the outside world. Yet, here was this Doctor who just didn’t fit the normal criteria, but it was what I wanted after all. Edward was similar to most of the men I scammed but so unique at the same time. I didn’t meet him the way I usually did with Vanessa in tow to see who he liked more, in order to manipulate him.

I must admit I had personal reasons for wanting to keep him all to myself, Edward was so easy to be with that I actually wanted to be with him on a daily basis. He was smart, charismatic, caring, and devoted. He didn’t insist too much about my life but he would ask me a few questions and I tried my best to keep it simple. That was the usually the reason why lies didn’t work because they were too far fetched to keep up with.

Like many men, Edward enjoyed being taken care of so that’s what I did. He was too busy to ever really learn how to cook, so I used that as an opportunity stay in his life. Renee had taught me many tricks of the trade and cooking lessons had been included.

He lived the womanizer’s life and yet he stopped all his ways once he met me. He was rich but didn’t flaunt it or let it control his life. He saw it just as any other part of his life. Most of the men I dated felt meeting the parents was too big of a commitment and the irony was they were usually the type to propose early. Edward Masen was truly one of a kind and it annoyed the shit out of me.

Our time together usually consisted of conversations on his couch. Sometimes we would sit and watch TV, never really talking and sometimes we spent our time talking.

“How was work yesterday?” he began, like he usually did.

“It was ok, a little slow, you?” I asked, always veering away from topics about myself.

“Fine, it’s overwhelming sometimes, but I love seeing my patients recuperated… How did you get into bartending?” he asked, always fishing for information.

“My mom taught me, she used to bartend, do you want to watch a movie?” I said, jumping up and searching the DVD’s.

“Sure,” he responded, with heavy sigh.

He was patient and understanding with me both emotionally and physically.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to sleep with him, but Renee had yet to decide on how to con him, so if we slept together our plans would be ruined. Our original plan had faltered when I mentioned I had a sister named Vanessa, because we couldn’t use her as bait anymore.

Of course this caused another barrier between us, so I had to come up with a sob story to ease the tension.

Our night began on the couch again, we were making out, and I was close to losing control. I felt Edward’s hand go under my shirt and give my breast a tight squeeze through my bra.

His other hand began to slowly make its way to my pants, and he began to unzip it. I was too distracted by the way he was teasing my nipple and kissing my neck, until I felt his cool hand on my clit.

I pushed him off, and slipped my pants back on. Edward was in shock, I had never really told him no before with the exception of when we first met.

“Edward, I’m sorry it’s just ….” I hesitated. I didn’t have a reason not to have sex, it hadn’t come up, so I thought of one quickly.

“It’s just, I’ve had a bad experience with sex, and I promised myself I would never have sex until I was married, because then I would be sure about our love. I’m sorry,” I said, helping him up.

“Does this have to do with the reason why you’re so closed off?” he asked, cupping my chin, forcing me to look at him.

“Yeah, kind of… Things haven’t been easy for me and I’d rather try and move on and live in the moment the best way I can,” I said, without hesitation.

“I understand, whenever you’re ready, I’ll be waiting,” he said, giving me a soft kiss.

Things were moving on quickly; past my normal schedule, much to Vanessa’s dismay. This required some extra time remembering who I was, especially since I would be meeting his parents soon. When Edward told me we were having dinner with his family I wanted to slap him. He really was driving me insane.

Renee was not pleased when she found out that I had let some of my real life information leak into my fake one, so she created a character profile to avoid anymore confusion.

“Ok, Bella Dwyer, you are 24 years old. You have one sister, your mom is remarried and happy, your dad is out of the picture and you have no other close relatives nearby. Got it?”

“Yeah,” I said, annoyed at the unplanned training session.

“You grew up in a small town called Forks, here in Washington, we all moved here after Vanessa finished high school to seek out better opportunities. You live with your sister, you’re a bartender and she’s a waitress.”

“Ugh, Forks? Where is that?”

“When people ask you that just say it’s near Port Angeles, okay?”

“Whatever, anything else?”

“Yeah, when they ask you about your future just respond that you’re happy where you are. Stay in character, they may not like it but Edward will know something is off if you say otherwise,” Renee said.

“I’m going to come off as some sort of free spirited hippie!” I retorted.

“No you won’t, don’t be so dramatic. About your hobbies, what have you told him?”

“Nothing much, I told him I like to read and that I love my job. I keep the conversation going in his direction,” I responded, shrugging my shoulders.

“Bella, you know I don’t like that. Just because we didn’t have a chance to create a profile doesn’t mean you can lag it! Think about what you like and find a way to incorporate it,” Renee said.

“Alright already I know, we’ve been through this before, I know what I’m doing,” I said, my blood boiling.

I really hated when Renee acted like a condescending bitch. Obviously, I knew what I was doing, if not we wouldn’t have the amount of money we have.

“Bella, this guy isn’t your typical guy. James has been keeping me informed and I don’t like it. You’ve already screwed up by giving him your real name and mentioning you had a sister and he may not play his role like we want him to and then it would mean initiating plan B, and you know I hate plan B,” Renee said.

The dreaded plan B. Plan B wasn’t much of a plan but more of an escape plan. If things didn’t work out as expected we would have disappear and cut our losses. We had never been forced to go through with it but the idea of giving up large quantities of cash was unsettling.

“Yeah, I know,” I responded. “Can I go and work on this at home. I seriously doubt his family will care what kind of music I listen to,” I said, grabbing my purse and keys.

She waved me off and I left.

I hadn’t admitted to Renee that she may have been right, not because he came from old money but because he changed when he was with me. He wasn’t the guy I thought he was, making him more difficult for me to influence.

Renee had always taught us to avoid family and friends as much as possible so that they would not be able to interfere in our plans. Most times, I didn’t even meet them until we announced our engagement. I worked hard to create this illusion of the perfect couple that only needed to spend time with one another, making it easier to get the poor sucker to propose.

Meeting the parents this early on would be difficult. If they liked me it meant spending more time together which was not something I enjoyed. If they didn’t like me they could easily influence him into dumping me, especially in such important families, where they could easily investigate your life and put your whole charade to shit.

Thank god for Jay!

But I was ready to play my role of Bella Dwyer, the hard working girl who’s been down on her luck, rough around the edges, clumsy, graceful at times, and street smart. It wasn’t a hard role to play. I sometimes needed to exaggerate my clumsiness and my damsel act but this Bella was me. It was a strange feeling, being myself but not really being myself.

The interrogation was not anything new for me; it always consisted of the same types of questions. They asked me about my future, my commitment to Edward, and about my past. It was all easy enough. I did, however, get flustered when they asked about my future because I didn’t want to give the wrong answer.

Luckily, Edward answered for me and eased the tension I was feeling about the future. When he mentioned marriage I knew I had achieved my goal, and it would only be a matter of time before Edward would propose.

I was ecstatic of the revelation, things were going according to schedule and he was really falling for me. Just then I got this funny feeling inside my stomach that didn’t go away the rest of the night. Every time he gave me his crooked smile, gave me a kiss, held my hand, or looked at me with those beautiful green eyes, I would feel the butterflies.

The butterflies remained throughout the rest of the evening as we had coffee and chatted some more. The night was coming to end soon and I decided to go to the powder room and send a quick text to Vanessa.

Hey bitch, meet you at home, let’s go out, we’ve got some celebrating to do.

I was exiting the powder room after our meal when Rosalie stopped me and dragged me into the study.

“I know your kind, Bella. I’m not fooled by your little act. I hope you’re serious about Edward and don’t break his heart,” she spat at me.

Shit she knows who I am? I mulled it over giving her a once over. She looked like she really cared and was probably just trying to get a feel for me and I didn’t want to disappoint.

“What kind of girl am I?” I teased.

“The type of girl, who isn’t able to commit, who isn’t honest, who enjoys playing with people’s emotions, and the girl who will never be a part of this family,” she responded.

“Technically, you’re only Emmet’s girlfriend so you’re not really a part of this family either. As for the type of girl I am, you know nothing about me. I’m sure your intimidating skills work on other girls but I’m not one of them,” I responded.

“Oh please, your intimidating skills are not as great as you think. Be careful, Bella. Edward is like a brother, if he gets hurt, I hurt you,” she said, walking away.

I caught up with her and stepped in front of her, she was not going to get the last word, “Rosalie, I’m not they type of girl who shies away from a challenge, and I’m the type of girl who knows what she wants.”

I started walking away, when I decided to turn around, Rosalie was still standing there, stunned and angry.

“Oh Rosalie, if you haven’t guessed it, I most definitely want Edward,” I said, walking away.