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Living a Lie

Bella realizes she can't go on trusting Edward, not with his parting words ringing in her ears.

-After New Moon- Drama/Humor

6. Chapter 6

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1172   Review this Chapter

“Oh! We have visitors.” I turned to see three vehicles sitting in front of our house. I didn’t recognize any of them. Chris and I walked up to the house. At the last minute I slowed to walk behind Chris; I didn’t want any new acquaintances to think we were together, because we weren’t.

“Good idea. There might be some nice singles in there.” Chris whispered, just loud enough for me to hear, as he opened the front door. I almost ran back out when I saw my past staring back at me.

“Bella?” Chris tapped me on the shoulder. I couldn’t move; my eyes were wide, my mouth hanging open, and I didn’t care. What the hell are they doing here? Was I glad or angry? Then I saw Edward. At first his face was absolutely dead, but when he heard Chris call me Bella his face looked much like my own. Did I look that different? Hell yes! I’m the hot one now, and I’m going to lead this situation.

“Hello, Cullens.” I smiled and sat beside Rachel and Samantha, who were bravely entertaining seven houseguests on their own. Most of the family was out hunting. Everyone was looking at me now.

“Bella? Isabella Swan is that you?” Esme asked. I nodded my head. Six vampires were suddenly piled on top of me in some weird hug.

“Hey, hey, even though I don’t have to breath I like to!” I finally screamed at them. Alice had gripped me so hard around my waist I thought I might snap.

Everyone backed off to return to their original sitting positions. All of them were still smiling like maniacs, except Edward. His face displayed all the pain I had been holding in twelve, almost thirteen years. My heart ached for me to go comfort him. Damn it! Why’d Jasper have to be here? What if I-

Chris had come to sit next to me and I leaned against him. His arm automatically came to rest on my shoulder. When we were close like this it was nothing more than a gesture of our friendship, but to anyone outside of our family it looked quite different.

Almost everyone’s face dropped. Edward, however, just looked outraged. He glared at Chris with so much hate. Luckily Chris was awesome; he just winked at him. Edward almost broke the leather chair he was sitting in. I felt bad for Rachel and Samantha; they were totally lost. Edward just appeared crazy to them.

“Bella, Chris, Samantha, Henry called thirty minutes ago. He wanted you guys to go help him arrange some things. Now that you two are back I think all three of you should go.” Rachel was desperately trying to stop a fight from happening. I don’t even think Henry was doing anything, unless he needed help arranging a bear to the ground; that was very unlikely.

I swiftly got up, pulling Chris behind me. Samantha gave me a weird look.

Edward POV:

Who the hell was Chris? Why in God’s name was he touching MY Bella like that? I thought I was going to actually jump up in some strangers’ house and strangle that son of a- Did HE just wink at me? I delved into his mind. I was bombarded with a replay of his earlier activities with some girl... I almost gagged when I realized that some girl was my innocent angel, Bella.

Alice POV:

I knew we would be seeing Bella again, but I did not see Chris. Had she been serious about not loving Edward anymore?

“Well…umm… Would you like to have a tour of the first floor here and the general grounds?” Rachel smiled sincerely. She was obviously this coven’s Esme by the way she had spoken about her “children” earlier. Carlisle accepted. I was nervous now. I’d only seen Edward that angry once; it resulted in James being torn into a bunch of tiny pieces.

My family slowly got up to follow Rachel’s slight figure. She was walking down the main hall when I noticed a very particular wall. Across the top it read ‘The Wall of Dissatisfaction’ and below that names were spaced evenly. It read Bella, Chris, Ray, Samantha, and Thomas, and below that were pictures of random vampires. Chris’s was filled almost all the way to the bottom, with dozens of snapshots or drawings of rather gorgeous vampire girls. Bella’s had a little over a dozen pictures, all photos, of… particularly attraction male vampires under her name. The rest, except for Samantha, had five or less. What in the world could this be?

“Excuse me Rachel, but may I ask what is this?” I pointed up at the wall.

“Oh… well, okay I guess because you all are our new neighbors… It may seem odd to you, but we keep tract of past… partners. Whenever one of them brings home a “possible” and the relationship fails, we put their picture up on the wall. It’s to remind them about the reasons why those past relationships failed and what they can change next time.” Bella had had that many men?

“Chris’s photo is under Bella’s name and hers under his. Aren’t they together?” Edward meant it to be inconspicuous, but he was obviously wondering about Bella’s… availability.

“Oh heavens no! Sorry, but that’s just too funny. They are not technically together. Think of them as… friends with benefits. They are together in that way, but there’s not a time when they aren’t dating someone else. It’s like their backup, I suppose.” Rachel had actually burst out laughing. So, Bella was sleeping with Chris, but they were just friends. That made no sense to me.

“I’m sorry I don’t mean to be rude, but you approve of your children doing… that?” Carlisle was astounded; He was three hundred years old, though. Wait, I’m half that age, can see the future, and am still shocked.

“No, I do not approve of it at all! That would be quite… wrong of me to do so, but you must understand my two… very special children.

“Chris… Well he admits that he will probably never find a woman that ‘will hold him,’ as he says, but he also assured me that if he found her he would not hesitate. At first he had thought that girl was Bella, but they became good friends, best friends. Their romantic relationship dissolved almost instantly, but they kept their… physical bond. Now they even critique each other’s dates and so on.

“Bella is very different. Her relationships are usually a few months long, while Chris’s will last a week. She’s also always has companionship in mind when she chooses her boyfriends, or so I like to think…” Rachel seemed very doubtful about that last statement. The words wouldn’t sink in. This was not the Bella I had known. Just how much had she changed?