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Adieu, Mon Coeur

Summary:
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!


Notes:
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. :)


4. They Take What They Can Get

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1625   Review this Chapter

After Edward took me home, I fell asleep almost right away. It had been a very eventful day and I was more than ready to go to sleep.

The following morning, Charlie woke me up at the crack of dawn, as usual. I never slept late.

He knocked on my door. “Bella, are you awake?”

I sighed. “I am now.”

“We're leaving in twenty minutes so we can catch Jacob with the flour,” he said.

It only took me ten minutes to get ready. I was more eager than usual to see Edward today. I knew we only had a few days left, and I wanted to make the most of them. Once he was at the bakery, I knew he wouldn't have to leave until his classes started at ten. And after school, he'd come pick me up and take me to his house, where his mother wanted to go over wedding details with me.

I opened the shop quickly and waited impatiently by the back door for Jacob. I knew I'd have to catch him before he talked to dad. He told me that he was going to inform Charlie of my late night escapades with Edward.

When he walked in, however, I forgot about Charlie.

“Oh my, Jacob, what happened to your eye!” I exclaimed.

He swept past me and put the flour onto the counter. “Oh nothing, Bella. I just got into a little scuffle last night.” He hopped up next to the flour and swung his legs casually.

I put my hands on my hips. “Jacob Black, who did this to you?” I asked.

He paused. He looked like he was thinking about something. After a moment, he said, “Nobody, Bella. Don't you worry about it.”

I bit my lip. “I don't think I should believe you.”

He shook his head. “Bella, really. It was with nobody you know, I promise.”

Charlie entered, then, and told me to work the register while he and Jacob talked business. I was more than happy to oblige. It was almost ten.

I practically skipped to the front of the shop. I made sure to bring one of Edward's favorite pastries with me from the kitchen. I placed it carefully under the counter, where it would wait until Edward arrived. At five past ten, I started to get anxious. At half past ten, I put Edward's treat back in the kitchen and started to pace. He was just late... that was all. Maybe he slept in or something, and didn't have time to make it to the shop. I knew that nothing bad had happened.

During lunch, Mr. Cullen walked in. He was dressed in his usual suit and top hat.

“Hello, sir,” I said as sweetly as I could. “Should I get you the usual?”

He nodded and waited patiently as I went to the kitchen and got it for him. “I do apologize about the way I acted last night,” he said gruffly as I rang him up.

“Oh, it's okay, sir. I understand that I'm not exactly what you had in mind for Edward.”

He took the scone off of the counter and turned to walk away. He stopped before he left. “You are a lovely girl, though. I'm glad that you will soon be a part of the family,” he said quickly.

I nodded and he left in somewhat of a hurry.

I assumed that because Edward hadn't been by in the morning, he'd be by in the afternoon. When he didn't show up, I started to worry.

It would take something horrendous to keep me away,” he said before saying goodbye the night before. I didn't think that something horrendous would actually happen, but I was starting to fear that it had.

By the time it was five, I left the shop in a hurry. I didn't even tell Charlie where I was going. People were out, strolling the street nonchalantly, but I didn't pay them any mind. I ran right by them. I had the sinking feeling that something terrible really had happened to Edward.

When I got to his apartment building, I ran up the stairs. I knocked frantically on his door. Every part of me hoped that he would answer it, a smile on his face. He'd convince me that he had been terribly busy all day, and didn't have time to stop by before closing.

I wasn't so lucky. After knocking unsuccessfully for a few minutes, I got impatient and opened the door.

“Edward?” I called. I rushed through the living room to check his bedroom. Maybe he was to sick to come to the door and had to stay in bed. No luck, though. He wasn't on his bed. I was startled when I heard a groan from the living room.

“Edward!” I said again. I turned and ran to the living room. Edward was there, lying face down on the couch. I had ran right by him without even noticing.

“Oh, Edward!” I gasped. I knelt beside the couch and helped him turn over. He looked a mess. His shirt was ripped open and his torso was bruised and bloody. He had a black eye and his hair was matted with blood.

“Bella?” he whispered.

“Edward, what happened to you?” I breathed.

He still spoke perfectly, even though he was incredibly roughed up. Apparently whoever did it hadn't done anything to his face besides give him a black eye. He surprised me by laughing. “He didn't kick me in the face after all!”

Who didn't kick you in the face?” I asked, my voice rising in volume.

“Ouch... I do have quite the headache, love. Please don't shout.” He sat up a little bit. I got beside him on the couch to help, but he was already upright.

“Edward, what happened?” I asked again.

He frowned. “Are you sure you would like to hear? It doesn't paint one of your friends in a very... pleasant light.”

I froze. I knew who it was. Jacob had walked into the bakery that very morning with a black eye of his own. “Jacob did this to you?” I whispered.

“It was not just him. He and two of his uncle's friends found me when I was coming back from your house. Jacob told me to leave you alone, and I told him that I would not. They started hitting me... the last thing I remember is a shoe heading right for my face. He didn't kick me in the face, though!” he exclaimed happily. He flinched. “Although, I wouldn't be surprised if it landed somewhere in my chest.”

I couldn't speak. I was so infuriated that Jacob would even touch Edward. “Who is his uncle, and why did his friends decide that it would be okay to assist a teenage boy with assaulting someone?” I asked through clenched teeth.

“Nobody you have to worry about,” said Edward quickly.

“No, you are going to tell me,” I insisted.

He took a deep breath. “Massimo Mancini is his uncle, Bella.”

My hands started to shake. I didn't know what to say, what to do. Mancini was someone that you didn't get involved with. Ever.

Edward picked his arm up and draped it around my shoulders. “Don't worry. I will be fine.” There was something he was hiding, though. The tone of his voice gave it away.

“What aren't you telling me?” I asked, slightly franticly.

He kissed my forehead. “Nothing. I'll be safe. I'll be out of the country in a few days, anyway,” he assured me.

“If you can pass the physical,” I amended. “Speaking of, why aren't we at the hospital right now?” I gasped.

“Bella, no,” he said.

“Yes. I'm phoning your parents right now,” I insisted.

In a matter of fifteen minutes I was sitting with Edward and his parents in a hospital room. The door was open as the doctor examined him. Doctors were passing the door every minute or so, and the occasional patient wandered by sometimes.

After a thorough inspection, the doctor turned to us. “He will be fine after a few days rest. Just make sure he doesn't do any heavy activity, and he should heal nicely.”

“Thank you,” breathed Elizabeth.

Edward cleared his throat. “Doctor... I don't have a few days,” he said. “I'm being drafted.”

The doctor raised an eyebrow. “I don't think you'll have a problem with the physical, my boy.”

“And why is that?” asked Edward. “I was planning on acting as well as I could, but if you say there isn't going to be a problem...”

“It wouldn't matter if you were blind in one eye. They're taking as many as they can get over there.”

***

I walked by the patient's rooms slowly after my shift had ended. I hated going home when I knew that I could work for twenty-four hours straight without even realizing it. It was essential that I kept my cover, though. I was already working twenty hour shifts... but those hours I wasn't working were miserable.

I knew that the people in every room I passed would make it through the night. Something said in one of them, though, made me stop.

“I was planning on acting as well as I could, but if you say there isn't going to be a problem...” said the voice of a young man.

“It wouldn't matter if you were blind in one eye. They're taking as many as they can get over there,” said Dr. Roberts. He was right. The troops were desperate over there. Men were being injured, killed left and right.

It was then that it dawned on me. I would help those troops to the very end of my medicinal abilities. I was going to go to war.