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Your Future Awaits

Summary:
bannerThank you to the wonderful Oh, Mike how will I go on for this Perfect Banner!!! Go read her stories! Bella feels a strong pull towards the Czech Republic, always dreaming of a strange man on the Charles bridge that she can never reach. So when she graduates high school and gets a mysterious letter stating that her tuition to go to university in Prague has been taken care of, she follows fate towards her destiny. But once there, will she finally unravel her mysterious dreams and the stranger within, or the danger lurking beneath them? AU and yes this is a BxE, but with a few twists along the way... Rated Adult for Lemon's in the end.


Notes:


14. Banquet

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2797   Review this Chapter

"Are you ready?"

"No."

"Well your car is here, so it doesn’t matter."

"Alice, please come with me? I don’t want to go alone!" I begged.

"But Bella, you told me you didn’t want me to go." She reasoned.

"You can see the future remember, you should have seen me changing my mind!" I frantically said.

"You’re over exaggerating. It’s going to be fine. Besides, I did not put all this effort into making you look gorgeous just so that I can out shine you." She smiled wickedly.

"If it’s going to be fine then why do I feel like something bad is going to happen?" I asked.

"Bella, I’ve searched and searched for anything sketchy on your benefactor and he is squeaky clean! If something were to happen I would have seen it. I can see the future remember?"

"Ha. Ha." I said unenthusiastically. "Fine I’m ready. But if I text you ‘Purple Elephant,’ you have to come pick me up immediately, got it?"

"Got it. Weird choice of code word by the way."

"It’s the first thing that popped into my head, okay!"

"Have fun!" She yelled at me as I walked down to the car waiting for me. The driver opened the door and helped me inside, and I was thankful that I had let Alice get me that pea coat that we had seen earlier because it was freezing. I looked out the window as we drove through the city on our way to the Municipal House where the banquet was being hosted. The city looked so alive at night, with tourists lining the streets walking in and out of garnet and swarovski stores, locals sitting in pubs relaxing after a long day of work. It still felt like a dream that I was here at all. It felt like heaven when I remembered the fact that I had found Edward. The love I felt for him rivaled the feelings Juliet had for Romeo, Elizabeth for Darcy, and Cleopatra for Antony. Within a matter of weeks he had become my sun, the light to my dark world. I still felt a small feeling like I was missing something, but I figured it was just because I was becoming homesick. I missed my dad, my mom, even my few friends from school. I was sure that when I went back home to visit, with Edward by my side, I would feel completely at peace. Suddenly I was awakened from my thoughts by the car’s stillness; we had arrived at the banquet.

I slowly emerged from the car, dreading the nest 3 hours or so I was about to endure. I knew that once I walked through those doors, I would have to meet my benefactor, apologize for refusing his invitation, and make small talk with him, a total stranger, until the night was out. This was going to be a long night. I silently cursed Alice for not leaving my hair down tonight, but she had decided to pull it up in a loose side bun, close to the nape of my neck, with a lace flower pinned beside it. My bangs were pulled back slightly curled and pinned down, reminiscent of a 50’s wave; it was very pretty if I had to admit. But I felt so exposed, my neck and shoulders bare. I walked inside and up to the coat check, being forced to relinquish my pea coat, the only covering I had. I reluctantly gave it to the receptionist, feeling her eyes on my form. The dress that Alice had bought for me was a black, formfitting, vintage Chanel lace dress that hit just below the knees; and she had forced me into 41/2 inch stiletto Louboutin peep toe pumps. I looked like a mysteriously dangerous sexy woman that you wanted to talk to, but was too intimidated to speak to, as Alice had described to me. As I walked up the steps to enter the room where everyone was located, I could feel the stares of the people I passed. I was too nervous to look and see their reactions; I just hoped they didn’t think I looked ridiculous. At least my make up was simple. All I had allowed Alice to do was add a light shimmer to my eyelids, paint a dramatic line of black eyeliner, a faint pink to my cheeks and mascara. However, I did let her choose the lipstick, and to my dismay it was red, and I mean red. But I kept my mouth shut and let her put it on me.

I was now at the top of the stairs motioning to the doormen that was ready to enter. Slowly, just like the frame of a movie, the doors opened, and I was faced with a flight of stairs that I had to descend. There were groups of people everywhere, some dressed even flashier than I was, and some dressed more conservatively, which to my relief made me feel better. At least I was somewhere in the middle. I could hear the live band playing classical music on the stage, waiters walking around offering champagne and hour o'deurves to the guests. The bar was full of men in nice suits ordering martinis and the women were complimenting each others dresses. I recognized quite of few of the people in the room to my surprise, some being my professors, others being fellow students in my classes. I even recognized a few faces that I had seen on the side of a bus or flyer, and I assumed they were someone else’s benefactors. I descended the stairs, making sure I held the railing in case I tripped in these damned heels. I looked up as I was close to the bottom and noticed quite a few eyes on me, mostly from men; I couldn’t help the blush that escaped. It was flattering that they looked, but it still made me uncomfortable, especially since I was already taken. Just as I was on the second to last step, with my luck I managed to trip, my feel twisting in the carpet, sending my face towards the floor. But right before I hit the bottom, two strong arms enveloped me and helped me to my feet. Unfortunately, my near face plant gathered attention and a few people came to see if I was okay, and that was when I heard a smooth like butter voice saying that I was okay and I had not a scratch on my body. I was still righting myself, clutching this mans arms as I made sure my shoes were flat and I was stable. But in the fall, my right shoe had managed to slip off and I looked for it. I noticed it about 2 feet away from and I let go of his arms to hold the banister as I leaned down to get it, but the man lowered himself instead. I was still too embarrassed to look him in the face, so when he retrieved my shoe and gently slid it back onto my foot, as he stood I made sure to male eye contact and say thank you. But the moment we locked eyes, not a word escaped my mouth. I looked at him as if in a daze, this man that I had never met in my life yet his presence were as if I’d known him forever; he was intoxicating.

"Isabella…It is my greatest pleasure to finally meet your acquaintance." He purred.

"How…how do you know my na…name?" I stuttered. This was the second time in a month that an overwhelming feeling of deja vu came over me and it was freaking me out.

"Am I not allowed to know the name of the lovely woman I am putting through University?" he said with a sly smile.

"Oh…OH. You’re my benefactor?" I asked surprised, he looked awfully young.

"I am. Please, let us leave this crowd that has gathered here and sit." He said leading me to a nearby table. "I was rather disappointed to hear that you declined my offer to escort you tonight, my assistant had informed me of your hesitance because of the lack of my name."

"Well, being the police chiefs daughter teaches you not to go anywhere with strangers, however juvenile the may sound." I said straight forward.

"Very juvenile indeed…" he mused.

"Are you mocking me?" I asked a little offended.

"By all means no. I was just amused that despite the fact that you knew I was your benefactor, you still said no. Where you not afraid I would take offence and retract my scholarship?" he asked interested. He didn’t seem rude or mocking in any way, he was genuinely interested in my reply.

"No, well I was worried that I might have offended you, but the fact that you refused to give up your name forced me to refuse to accept your offer." I explained.

"Bravo Isabella, bravo," he clapped. It was a little weird. "To be honest, that was a small test of your character. Had you accepted my offer, despite my refusal to tell you anything, I would have seen that you were only after the money and the gain you would have received; but since you refused, even risking your scholarship, on behalf of your principles, you showed me that you are a woman worth my attentions."

"So that was test? Did I pass?" I asked.

"With flying colors," he smiled warmly. I couldn’t help but notice the effect his smile had on me.

Through out the night, we talked and joked about everything from the music to the odd head pieces some women were wearing. I felt so comfortable with him, like he and I were meant to banter this way with one another. Whenever I asked a question, I almost knew what he was about to say, almost as it I had heard it before. And his youth, it was breath taking to realized that this man had more money at his disposal than he could spend and he looked hardly older that 24.

"How old are you?" I asked him as the waiters left with our dinner plates.

"How old do I seem?" he asked.

"You look about 24, but your fortune makes me want to assume older." I said honestly.

"You’re right, I am older than 24." He said.

"Well…?" I pressed.

"Miss, would you like the crème brulee or the souffle de chocolat?" the waiter interrupted.

"She’ll have the soufflé, as will I," Victor said.

"How did you know that’s what I wanted?" I asked intrigued that he was correct. I hated crème brulee. It may taste good, but I thought torching the top was overkill.

"I don’t know, it just seems over the top to torch a desert. Besides, nothing beats chocolate." He smiled.

"I completely agree! It’s such overkill to torch the top." I laughed at my ridiculous reasoning, as did he.

"So your last name is Scarling? That’s a very unique name, does it have a meaning?" I asked.

"It does actually. It originates from the Latin word scarnos, which is the smallest mark on your heart left by the healing of a severe injury, like a…"

"Like a broken heart." I finished.

"Just like a broken heart." He said. I could see sadness in his eyes as he said it, and it felt like he was somewhere else for a second, remembering something. Then the buzzing of my cell phone broke his daze. "Is everything okay?" he asked as I checked my text.

"Everything’s perfect." I smiled as I replied to Alice’s text. She had sent me a text if I needed purple elephants yet, and I replied that all was okay. Our desert had arrived and we both had begun to dig in, seeing as how amazing it tasted.

"So how have you been enjoying your stay in Prague? Was the apartment to your satisfaction?"

"Its wonderful, thank you for the opportunity to be here. And the apartment is beautiful, I can’t believe the views of the city I have from it. Thank you." I said, squeezing his arm. "I do want to know however, how did you know that this was the school I wanted to go to?"

"I am very connected here, and I searched through applicants that had been turned down for financial aid and chose someone I felt deserved the scholarship, and your application stuck out at me. Your essay describing your attraction to the city and feeling as if fate were leading you here captivated me, and there was no way that I would allow you to miss your destiny." He said. The way he explained himself so passionately, almost made me swoon.

"Oh…okay." I said simply, still blown away at his revelation.

"Would you do me the honor of allowing me this dance?" he asked, raising from his seat and extending his hand to me.

"Su…sure," I stuttered, nervous to be dancing in these heels. I think he understood my hesitation, because as he led me to the dance floor where other couples were dancing, he whispered in my ear, "I will not let anything happen to you Isabella, I give you my word," I nodded and followed his lead in the dance. It was slower music, it was almost as it the band had taken a Michael Buble cd and covered the entire thing.

"So where is your date tonight?" I asked him.

"Dancing with me," He said simply making me blush.

"Don’t you have a girlfriend or wife that you could have brought?" I asked looking for answers.

"No wife or girlfriend."

"What about your assistant?"

"What about him? His job is not to be my date," He laughed.

"You’re a young, attractive, wealthy guy and no date?" I asked incredulous.

"You think I’m attractive?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

"You know you are. But that still doesn’t answer my question. Had my boyfriend Edward been in town, I would have brought him," I noticed a flicker of sadness cross his eyes, before it was replaced.

"To be honest, I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time. My heart was broken long ago when I lost the love of my existence in death," he said sadly. I felt the sadness that he kept inside and I hurt for him. He was so kind and I didn’t want to see him hurting the way I knew he hurt. It tore me up inside.

"I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry," I said.

"Its okay, you actually remind me of her." He smiled.

"Really?"

"Yes, very much so. Dancing with you, it is almost as if she were never gone. It is quite soothing," he said closing his eyes. "So tell me of this Edwin? The lucky man who has stolen your heart," I thought I noticed a slight wince when he mentioned my heart, but I tossed it out of my mind.

"Edward. He’s amazing, he understands me more than I understand myself. He is everything I would have ever imagined I would have wanted in a man, and more. On our first date, he recited Shakespeare to me in my ear, and he set up the most lavish romantic date for me on the Charles

Bridge, it was beautiful. Actually, his mother and sister are the reason he and I met," I explained, "His family has quickly become my own and I love them."

"And does he love you?" Victor asked.

"I think so. I mean he’s told me that he does, and he’s proven that he does, but someone like him deserves an angel, and I sometimes cant believe that I was meant for him. He is entirely out of my league," I admitted.

"Oh Isabella, you are not out of his league, or anyone else’s, for they are out of yours. You are worth far more that any woman here, than any diamond on this earth, than any heroine in a novel. You do not see your worth clearly." He argued. I blushed yet again at his compliments, no matter how untrue they were. "I am beginning to adore the color your cheeks turn when I praise you," he whispered.

"Excuse me, may I cut in?" I heard a velvety voice say. Oh God.