Unexpected Changes and Broken Promises
Edward leaves Bella at the beginning of New Moon. Bella then moves to the East Coast to escape her past. As she takes the final steps to heal completely, the past, both hers and others, comes back to find her.
A huge thanks to Project Team Beta. Without them I wouldn't be here. I owe them more than mere thanks. This is my first fanfic ever so goes easy! Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
5. Skeleton in the closet
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“Wait? What? But you said? How?” I was at a loss for words. How was he here? Why was he here? I must have been dreaming. First, Alice showed up in my writing class, and now Edward was in my driveway? This was some sort of dream, or maybe a hallucination. Either way, I must have been tripping on some pretty good drugs. Funny, though, I didn’t remember smoking anything since Saturday night, and I hadn’t eaten any funny tasting foods either. Maybe all my illicit drug use in the past five years had finally caught up to me.
I guess drugs really were bad. I knew they were “reckless.” That was their appeal. Edward had made me promise to be safe and yet he himself had broken so many promises. I felt it was only fair that I do the same. I knew he would hate that I was smoking pot and eating the occasional mushroom. That was part of the draw. Every time I took a hit, I could almost hear him yelling at me. It was the only way I knew to keep him close to me in the beginning, every time I broke that promise not to do anything reckless, it was like I could hear him. Now the drugs had become a part of who I was, not that I was an addict. I felt like they were a natural part of college. In fact, there were months when I didn’t go near anything like that. I didn’t actively seek them out, never actually paid for them, but if they were offered, I never refused. I guess I was rationalizing, but hey, they kept the men in the white coats away.
Sean was a different story. Sean and pot went hand in hand. I guess he was what people referred to as a “stoner”. With Sean, weed was a necessity. He wasn’t always high, but when he wasn’t, his anger got the better of him, a lot. The weed calmed him down, a lot. Pot was how Sean and I had met, funnily enough. Stef had dragged me to yet another frat party down at URI, and I was bored. I went outside to get away from the grabby pledges, and Sean was there smoking a joint, blissfully unaware of the party raging in his house. That night was magical for me; it was the first time, in years, that I didn’t hear Edward’s voice when I did something stupid. I didn’t feel guilty about breaking any of the promises that I had made him the day he left me. It was the first time in years where I was able to go more than a few minutes without thinking of him. I actually went all night without even a whisper of a memory. Sean was able to make me forget, and being with him was so easy. I guess he was what you would call the rebound guy, although it took me four years to have one of those. It wasn’t until recently that the shine wore off of Sean, and I had begun to see some of his character flaws.
I was lost in my thoughts, back to that first night with Sean, back to the first time I allowed myself to move on. It was such an amazingly simple time. It was early April, and we had had an unseasonably warm day. It had reached the mid eighties, and the heat wasn’t supposed to let up until the next week. We just sat and stared out at the ocean watching as the sky turned from blue to orange, not really talking, just enjoying each other’s company. As the sun set, it began to cool off, but before I could so much as shiver, Sean had his sweatshirt wrapped around me and his fingers laced into mine. I had never given it back, and it had become an ongoing “fight” for us. One neither of us really wanted to win. My mind drifted to our first kiss. His breath laced with peppermint and so warm against my mouth, it was nothing like the white hot fire I had once felt, but it was close. My stomach did flips for Sean; my body definitely reacted to him almost as it had to Edward. Edward. I almost forgot that they were still here; I had been so wrapped up in my daydream. I forced myself back to the present, back to Edward and Alice.
“This cannot be happening right now,” I said mostly to myself. The insanity was trickling in, seeping into all of me. I couldn’t let myself believe him. I felt my “flight or fight” response kick in. I had to get in the house, and they had to leave. I needed time to process all of this. What if what Alice had said was true? And Edward? My head was spinning, I was an emotional wreck, and I needed to break down in peace.
“I need to get in. I need you both to leave. We’ll finish this in the morning?” I wasn’t sure if they would agree to this, but I had to try. Besides, it would be a good test to see if what they were saying to me really was true. If they came back, it would be a step in the right direction. I went to leave the truck, but Edward was still there, blocking my exit. “Edward, please. I have a lot to do and it’s late.” I still hadn’t met the gaze I could him burning into me.
I turned towards the garage door, fumbling for my keys with shaking hands, when I felt stone arms around my waist and that white hot electricity course through me. My body reacted before my mind did, and I found myself entwined in Edward’s embrace. Just as I was reaching up to kiss him, I heard a car door slam and break me from the magic. It was at that moment that I saw the familiar lines of Sean’s Maxima. Shit. This was going to be problematic.
“Bella, what the hell? Who the fuck is that? Is this why you haven’t answered any of my calls?”
The volume increased after he asked each question. Sean stood before me accusing me of cheating on him. More than ever I wanted to run and hide. I hadn’t answered his calls because I had never turned my phone ringer on from the weekend. Totally innocent. Not so believable. It didn’t help that Edward hadn’t released me from his embrace. In fact, he had shifted me slightly behind him, like Sean was a threat. My past and my present were staring each other down, and it was becoming dangerous quickly.
“Sean, go in,” I said as I handed over the key to the garage door. “I’ll be there in a minute to explain, to explain it all.” He gave Edward an icy stare before turning the key in the lock to start the door. I couldn’t help wondering what thoughts he was subjecting Edward too. Edward was staring at Sean with a look I had only ever seen him give James. I decided that I didn’t want to know what either of them was thinking. Sean didn’t wait for the garage door to completely lift up before ducking underneath and bolting into the house. It didn’t take a mind reader or a psychic to figure out that he was pissed. My stomach sank and my palms moistened, the conversation ahead of me was not going to be fun. I had a feeling that I may just have to give that sweatshirt back, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do that just yet.
“Who was that?” Edward asked in a nasty tone while he stared daggers at the garage door.
“Who do you think?” I matched his inflection. “That is Sean, my very angry boyfriend. Hopefully, still my boyfriend.” Edward’s face fell, but at that point he wasn’t my main concern. “Like I said, we will continue this tomorrow. Right now I need to get in there and explain things to him. So, please, leave.” I turned into the garage and pressed the button to close the door. I slowly made my way into the house to face the inevitable argument that was about to ensue.
When I got into the living room, Sean was pacing and his face was red. Great. This was going to be bad. The last time I saw him like this I had to spend the next eight hours arranging his bail, and the next six months after those making court appearances with him. And that was just a bar room brawl with a guy who got too grabby with me. This? This was worse. Much worse. This time I was the only one here to be on the receiving end of his anger. Not that he had ever so much as raised his hand to me, but I also had never done something to provoke it. I had seen him in rages, and they were not pretty. Most of his furniture in his apartment was from Wal-Mart because he broke it so often. His anger was always there simmering just under the surface. Sean always had managed to control it though, at least around me, except when he was drinking. From what I had heard from his roommate, the drinking was becoming a regular habit.
It was at that moment, as that thought had crossed my mind, that I noticed the now empty vodka bottle. How he managed to drink a fifth of Grey Goose in the short time it took me to say my goodbyes was beyond me. This talk had to happen quickly, or there was going to be trouble.
“Sean, listen, what you saw was nothing. It was nothing.” I started to explain as I saw his face cloud over.
“Don’t tell me that was nothing, Bella. I saw the two of you. I saw you in his arms. Tell me, how long have you been fucking him? Is that why you wanted to live alone? Why I have been invited here only once and by Stef no less? Oh God, does she know? Are you all playing me for a fool? Shit, Bella! Now you’re making me sound like a girl!”
The empty vodka bottle was torturing me, and I was regretting finishing off the handle of Captain on Saturday. At this point, I needed a drink. I knew it would be a matter of minutes before he was truly and utterly drunk. I didn’t know if he would become a raging lunatic in that time or if he would listen. And, did he really think I was that easy? My blood pressure was rising, and I could feel the warmth rushing to my face. I needed to calm down and get this out before we had World War Three on our hands. I began to tread carefully into dangerous waters.
“Sean, do you want to hear what that was all about or what? Because if you can sit there and hear me out, and hear some things I never wanted to ever tell you, then we’ll talk. Can you handle that?”
“Who were they?” The venom in his voice scared me. The only other time I had been this scared was back in my old ballet studio in Phoenix. That time the threat had been a vampire, and I was saved by the one that I loved. This was a human, this was my boyfriend. He looked like he was ready to hit someone, and I was the only person in the room. I couldn’t believe that the Police Chief’s daughter was about to become a statistic.
I answered his question hoping to buy myself some time and began my explanation into the world of the Cullens, leaving out some of the major details, like the whole vampire thing and especially the mind reading. He still had to pay for the sex comment. If he and Edward were ever in the same room again, and Sean had some impure thoughts of me in front of Edward, well Edward had some making up to do as well.
“So, is there anything else?” C'mon Sean, just ask me what you are dying to know, I thought to myself. Exactly when did I lose my virtue? You never did ask how many guys I slept with. I never did tell you it was exactly two, you being one of them. Jacob was a one time mistake. I was a little too grateful and too excited for him fixing my truck and assuring me it would make the cross country trip. Besides, I never planned on seeing him again, and I had only planned on kissing him, but one thing had led to another. It was awkward and messy and effectively ended our friendship. I had seen Jacob exactly three times since that day and had only spoken to him twice. Seeing him brought back uncomfortable memories of a ruined friendship.
I braced myself for the hardest question I would have to answer. Although it was not the question I was prepared for. “Are you in love with him?” he asked. I was floored. Okay, not what I was expecting. At all. So Sean was not in a good state of mind and this was going to hurt him. I debated on whether to tell him the truth or not. ‘The truth will set you free.’ Whoever said that wasn’t worried about what would happen to them next. And definitely didn’t have an angry drunk for a boyfriend at the moment.
I decided to lie. It was all I could do. I had seen Sean’s temper and knew it would only get worse if the truth came out. He would find out but just not now. This house wasn’t exactly mine, and most of the stuff in it belonged to other people. How would I ever be able to pay for his temper? I knew he needed to hear the truth, but now was not the time to tell him.
The truth was that I had always been in love with Edward. That would never change. I didn’t feel the same way about Sean. I loved him, I was attracted to him, but I was in love with someone else. Life had just somehow gotten in the way of that, and Edward left me when it became too much to handle.
“Sean, I love you. Edward was my past. I never thought I would see him again. I didn’t plan on Alice being in my class. I never brought it up because I honestly never felt the need. So, are we done here? Because I’ve had a really long, hard day and I need sleep.”
I went to head towards the stairs and was suddenly pulled back into the living room. Sean turned me around to face him. He looked livid, and I was terrified. What the hell had I done? Nothing, that’s what, absolutely nothing. I hadn’t broken his heart. I hadn’t admitted my true feelings, and I had managed to only sort of lie. I had done nothing wrong. So what was with him?
“You never answered my question. “ He was gripping my wrists so tightly they were going to bruise if I didn’t do something fast. I tried to free myself from his grip, but that only seemed to make him angrier. This was not my “Sean”. I had never seen him like this before. He needed to calm down. As confused as I was, I had to find a way to free myself from his grip. I thought about kissing him, but realized that may only make things worse.
“You need to answer me.” His voice was low and menacing. I was suddenly questioning the last year of my life. How had I not seen this before? Colin had never liked Sean; I now realize what a good judge of character Colin was.
His grip got tighter as I struggled against him. He had me against the wall. The corner of the mantel was poking into my shoulder blade. I thought of going for the fire poker but realized that if I managed to not hurt myself, he would probably use it on me with the way he was acting. He continued ordering me to answer his question. His grip had finally relaxed and with that so had my tension. That was until my phone started ringing, the song seemed to set him off. Although, how Steve Miller Band’s ‘The Joker’ could do that was beyond me.
“You will answer me. Now.” Again he said that in a low, cold voice. I hope he never drank around me again. If I were to ever let him near me again that is. My hands were starting to throb from the pressure Sean had on my wrists.
“Please.” I felt the tears of pain escaping my eyes. I couldn’t hold it back anymore, I had no idea how this would end, but I knew it wouldn’t be good for me. “Please, you’re hurting me,” I managed to squeak out before I felt my hands being freed. I was pushed down into the couch and shut my eyes. Whatever was coming next I just didn’t want to know. This was not my Sean, this was the vodka talking, and I never wanted to see him this way. If I kept my eyes shut I could think of him as sober Sean and maybe with time we would forget about this night. That is if I survived this night, which I was suddenly not so sure I would.
It was then that I heard the shuffling of feet and a door slam. Then, I heard Sean screaming from the basement. What the hell? I let all the tears I had been holding in flow freely. I was terrified. Who had gotten in and what was next?