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Adieu, Mon Coeur

It's 1917, and an extra year on his birth certificate is all Edward needs to get into the college of his choice. He feels like he is on top of the world. He has love, an education, and an indepenence he's never had before. It was that one extra year on his birth certificate that would change his life forever. It starts all human, anyway. Edward/Bella And thanks a million, jillion to MRSBellaCullenBlack for the banner!

I've been thinking about doing this story for quite some time. All our pals from the series are in it... well, the ones that were around in 1917, anyway. Bella and Charlie (and even Jacob) live then, too.
I'd like to give a big ol' heaping thanks to Ghostwriter71 for helping me with all the historical bits.
Just you wait, folks. I've had more fun planning this story than I've ever had before. :)

3. Friends

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1562   Review this Chapter

“Edward,” breathed my mother. “Is it true?” She stopped fussing with Bella and froze. The look of horror on my mother's face made my stomach drop. She had been afraid of the draft ever since it had been created...

I looked at my feet. “Yes.”

“Well, my boy, you get to go overseas!” boomed my father. He strode across the room and clapped me on the back. “You get to serve your country!” He was smiling.

“I sure do,” I mumbled. Under different circumstances, I would have been just as excited as he was. Going to war was sure to bring even more honor and respect to the Masen name... but things like honor and respect didn't seem to matter much anymore. What mattered was Bella, and being away from her was going to be agonizing.

“I knew that changing your birth certificate would be a bad idea!” exclaimed Elizabeth. She pointed at Father. “You promised this wouldn't happen!” she exclaimed.

“Elizabeth, you are being irrational! He's going to be a hero! What's better than being a rich hero?” my dad chuckled.

You are being irrational!” said Elizabeth. “You have heard the horror stories.” She looked down at her feet and seemed to sway a little bit. Bella took her arm to keep her from falling. “We need to go now,” she whispered.

Father nodded, took Mother's hand, and walked out of the apartment without so much as a goodbye. It was silent for a moment, as Bella and I looked at each other with utter confusion on our faces.

“Edward?” whispered Bella. She seemed to go pale, and I was at her side in a moment.

“What's wrong?” I asked, brushing the hair out of her face.

“What horror stories were your mother talking about?”

I led her to the couch and sat her down next to me. She put her head on my shoulder. I didn't answer her question. She didn't need to know about what went on, about what the press didn't cover.

“What kind?” she insisted.

The stories flashed into my mind. Trench foot, shell shock, the ordered charges into machine gun fire... the mere thought of telling Bella made me sick. If she didn't know now, she would never need to know. I did not want to make my leaving any more painful for her than it already was.

I put my arm around her. “Nothing, Bella. Mother was just being dramatic,” I insisted.

Bella knew when to change the subject. “She seemed excited about our engagement.”

I laughed. “She's wanted me to get married since I was sixteen. I already feel sorry for you. By the time she's done with you, you will be wearing two times your weight in lace and pearls.”

Bella sighed. “I don't know how I'll be able to walk... I already have enough trouble as it is.”

“When would you like to have the wedding?” I asked.

She shrugged. “When would you like to have it?”

“I think after I come back. Planning the wedding would give you something to do while I'm away,” I suggested.

Bella giggled. “I can imagine all the things that Elizabeth is going to cook up. I don't think I'll be doing much planning at all!”

“You're probably right,” I agreed, chuckling. When my mother started a project, she tended to go very over the top with it.

We didn't talk for a few minutes after that. Both of us were content sitting there, just being with each other. There didn't have to be any words. We both knew that we didn't have much time left...

Bella yawned.

“Would you like me to walk you home, love?” I asked.

She sighed. “I suppose. It wouldn't be very good for either of us if I fell asleep here.”

“Your father would hunt me down and kill me, I think,” I admitted.

She giggled and stood up. “He wouldn't kill you... he just wouldn't sell you any pastries anymore.”

“Well, we better get you home right this minute, then!” I exclaimed. “I can't have him keeping anything from me!” I pulled her out of the room by the hand.

Outside, the rain had just stopped. Our footsteps splashed lightly on the sidewalk, and the air was colder than it had been just an hour earlier. Summer was quickly turning into fall in Chicago... I wasn't going to be there to experience it, though.

We stopped when we were in front of her house. I pulled her into a tight embrace. “I expect that my parents and I will be here tomorrow to talk with your father,” I murmured in her ear.

“Great. And is it safe to assume that you'll be in tomorrow morning for the usual?” she asked.

“Of course. It would take something horrendous to keep me away,” I laughed.

“Good.” After a quick goodnight kiss, she slipped inside the house.

I sighed as I watched the lights go out. Bella was my everything. I was just happy that my mother had accepted her. I knew it would take some time for my father to be willing to let her into the family, but after spending time with her, I was certain that he would be just as happy as Elizabeth.

I turned and started the short stroll back to the apartment. I could probably make the walk in my sleep if I had to... but I only got a few houses away from Bella's when I heard someone bark, “Masen!”

I spun around. I knew who it was. Only one person would be mad enough to wait up all night for someone he had no chance with.

“Black, how splendid it is to see you,” I muttered with every ounce of sarcasm I could muster. “But it's very late, and I think I'd like to be getting home.”

He stepped out of the shadows, and I saw he was not alone. “I don't think you'll be going anywhere soon,” he said.

I cocked an eyebrow at him and the other two accompanying him. All things aside, I knew that Jacob was a good kid. He was just jealous. I never really hated him, he was just a slight annoyance. What I didn't know until that point was that his jealousy might cause some... problems for me.

“You don't really expect me to be afraid of you clowns, right?” I asked.

Jacob ignored me and stepped closer. “I have some... some friends, Masen. They won't be happy when I tell them what you've done.”

I laughed harshly. “And who would these friends be?”

Jacob grinned. “You may have heard of Mancini.”

I paused for a second, losing all of my confidence then and there. Massimo Mancini was the most dangerous mob boss in the city. If you even happened to accidentally bump into him on the street, you knew you were a dead man.

“What about him?” I asked quietly.

The two men on either side of him cracked their knuckles. I wasn't a bad fighter, but I knew I would not stand a chance against three people.

“Mancini is my uncle. Yeah, I'm good old Uncle Massimo's favorite nephew... he lent me these two for the night,” boasted Jacob.

“Why? I've not done a single thing wrong!” I exclaimed. Truth be told, I may have been the slightest bit hysterical... nobody usually lived to tell the tale of their run in with Mancini. I wished that there were people around, even just a few. Jacob and his “friends” probably wouldn't do anything if the streets were filled with people.

“Oh, that is where you're mistaken. You've done everything wrong! Bella and I are supposed to be together, do you hear me?” he yelled. “You've taken her from me, from a life filled with a warm, caring family, and thrown her into something she's not used to.” I decided it wouldn't be prudent to tell him that joining a mob family wasn't warm or caring. “I have loved her since we were children! And then you come and take her from me. You've stolen something from me, Masen, and I don't take very kindly to thieves.”

“It's what she wants,” I insisted. I took a step backwards. “It's what makes her happy.

“She doesn't know what she wants. She's not given me a chance to make her happy! But she will... I'm going to give you two weeks, Masen.”

“Until?” I mouthed. My heart raced in my chest.

“Until I let my uncle deal with you. But I think I'll give you this now... just so you don't forget.” He snapped his fingers, and instantly the two men stepped forward.

I took another step backwards. “Does it really have to come to this?” I said. “Can't we just talk this out like two, civilized people?” I suggested.

Jacob glared. “Oh, we could... but at the end of the day, after our little chat, you would have Bella and I wouldn't.” He paused, scanning me over. “Get him,” he commanded.

I didn't even have time to turn and run. Punches hit me left and right, and it was only a matter of seconds before I was on the ground. Kick after kick hit me in the stomach. The last thing I saw before passing out was one leather shoe heading straight for my face.