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Uneasily Detached

Summary:
This is the sequel to Without You! Laurent and Bella have been living a life of married bliss in France for three years. When shocking news hits a member of the family, how will they possibly go on? This is co-written with JacksonsWIFEY.


Notes:
I KNOW! I said I wouldn't write one... but I did :D
This, my friends, is the sequel to Without You.
It is co-written with JacksonsWIFEY over at fanfiction.net!


2. Knock, Knock

Rating 4/5   Word Count 1329   Review this Chapter

On the day that the Cullens were supposed to arrive, I was a jittery wreck. I had missed them, and if I went a few months without seeing them I got antsy. They were the only people I had that connected me to my old life, back in Forks.

“Bella, can you calm down? You’re making me nervous over here!” exclaimed Eleazar. He and Laurent were playing chess out on the balcony.

The castle that Uncle Louis had given Laurent and I was without a doubt the nicest house I had ever been in. When you walked in the huge front door, you were greeted by a welcoming foyer. The floors were made of marble, and the walls were painted a deep red. Against the opposite wall was a massive fireplace. It was operated by a switch, so none of us would ever get too dangerously close to the fire.

On the right there was a spiral staircase, one of many, which led to the upper floors of the house. The bedrooms, theatre, and indoor spa were up there.

On the left was a hallway which led to the huge kitchen and another smaller, more comfortable living room. It was there that we spent most of our time. There was a balcony connected to the living room where Laurent and Eleazar spent their days playing chess, making bets, and doing other competitive things that usually always ended in a nice arm-wrestle. The door to outside was always open.

“I can’t help it!” I exclaimed. “I am so excited!” I was pacing back and forth.

“Bella, please?” asked Laurent, his voice strained. “I am just about to win, here.”

I stifled a smile and went upstairs to get Carmen. I was so happy that they chose to live with us most of the time.

Carmen was almost always in the spa. Half of the time it seemed like that was the only reason she stayed with us. And because she thought it was hilarious to watch Laurent and Eleazar get into their little scuffles.

“Knock, knock!” I called, pushing open the door.

“Bella, darling! So you’re annoying the boys, are you?” she asked. She was sitting in the Jacuzzi, watching the TV mounted on the opposite wall.

I sighed. “You know how I get when it’s time for the Cullens to come and visit,” I admitted.

Carmen laughed. “It’s a shame that the boys are actually doing something, because I’m sure that Laurent could do something to distract you.”

I laughed and was secretly glad that I couldn’t blush anymore. “You know how he gets when it’s time for the Cullens to come over. He feels bad for stealing me and then he gets all apologetic, yadda yadda. I’m happy he has the distraction.”

I froze when I heard the sound of cars driving up the lane. “They’re here!” I exclaimed. I ran to the front door and flung it open. The purr of four expensive cars came to a stop at the same time as they parked in front of the house.

The first person out of her car was Alice. “Bella!” she shrieked. She ran towards me and all but knocked me over with the force of her hug. “I’ve missed you so much, and we have so much to talk about, and I really like what you’ve done with your hair, and Laurent and Eleazar need to go help with my bags. They’re in Edward’s car,” she said in one breath.

“I missed you too,” I laughed. When I pulled away from her hug, her expression changed for just a moment. She was nervous about something. She went inside before I could ask her what was wrong, though.

After Alice, I was swept into a massive hug by Emmett. “I’m just a little sad you aren’t as clumsy anymore. It’s so funny when you trip,” he said. I knew he meant it lovingly.

“I love you too, Emmett,” I giggled.

After greeting Esme, Carlisle, Jasper, and Rosalie, my eyes slid reluctantly to Edward. His entire car was packed with Alice’s luggage, and the rest of the family was inside, hauling it to her room. It was just the two of us.

He walked slowly, purposefully, to where I was standing. “Bella,” he said with a nod of the head.

I looked into his eyes. He was guarding his emotions and his thoughts carefully. He knew I saw something in his eyes the other night that he didn’t want me to see.

“If you keep staring like that people will get the wrong idea,” he said quietly. He smiled his damned crooked smile, and I could have sworn there was something sad in it.

“What are you hiding from me?” I blurted.

“Oh, Bella. It’s been quite some time since we’ve been together. Just because you knew me then doesn’t mean you know me now.”

“Well, what the hell does that mean?” I asked.

He chuckled. “Nothing. Nothing.”

“Bella, love!” called Laurent from the living room. “Your guests are dreadfully excited to see you, so would you like to come inside?”

I turned from Edward. I couldn’t even look at him anymore. He was patronizing me, and I hated it when people did that. I took a deep breath, wiped all the irritation from my face, and ran to the living room. My whole family was there, and I wasn’t going to let Edward ruin it for me.

I was grateful for the open floor plan of the kitchen and living room, because without it, the room would have been much too crowded. Emmett was in a heated conversation with Laurent and Eleazar. Carmen and Alice were talking about something fashion related. Jasper was leaning against the counter and started talking to Edward when he approached. The only person without someone to talk to was Rosalie.

“Hey, Rosalie,” I said, smiling. “Your hair is looking really good.” The first rule about talking to Rosalie was to always start with a compliment.

“Hi, Bella. Nice house,” she said, gazing around. “I’ve been thinking about getting a place like this for Emmett and me.”

I nodded. “There’s a spa upstairs that you would love.”

Her response was cut off when two more people entered the house. The Cullens weren’t used to Uncle Louis and Angelique always entering without knocking.

“I knew there would be a party today!” boomed Louis cheerfully. Angelique strutted into the room, and I saw Rosalie’s face darken instantly. Angelique, however impossible it seemed, was actually more beautiful that Rosalie.

Louis left Angelique to talk to Carlisle. He loved talking to Carlisle because he thought Carlisle’s job was the most fascinating thing ever. Anyone who could successfully refrain from devouring a profusely bleeding human deserved some adoration, in his mind.

Angelique scanned the room and settled on talking to Edward and Jasper. After a moment, Jasper left the two of them and found Alice.

Rosalie laughed harshly. “The poor girl.”

“What?” I asked, still staring at the two of them.

“Nothing. Anyway, I think Edward has some sort of announcement to make, don’t you, Edward?” she asked.

His eyes flashed from Angelique to Rosalie. If looks could kill…

Edward took a deep breath and then cleared his throat. “Everyone, if you could please sit down, I have something to tell you.”

I looked at the people in the room, and it was obvious which of the people there knew what he was going to say. Alice, Rosalie, and Carlisle all looked a little too unsurprised, in my opinion.

I sat next to Laurent and he took my hand.

Edward looked at every person in the room for a second. He wasn’t guarding his emotions anymore. In his eyes, I could see just how serious the news he was going to tell us was. He was scared. I stopped breathing.

When he looked at Carlisle, he nodded.

Edward took a deep breath. “I am joining the Volturi.”