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A Second Chance at Love

Summary:
Bella dismisses Edward when he returns in New Moon. She moved on with Jacob, and promised Edward that he would find happiness and love someday. With the letter she wrote him in hand, he believes her and moves on with his life, in search of his love. Forty years later, he and the rest of the Cullens re-enroll in High school. Two new students throw his world out of orbit and he’s faced with the reality of the promise Bella made him. AU after New Moon. Edward is a little OOC because he doesn’t want to repeat history, otherwise, canon couples with the exception of Edward of course. Note: Jacob was a werewolf, but Bella wasn’t necessarily all human herself. Rated NC-17 for language and content in later chapters. Yes there will be lemons but not at first.


Notes:


7. Chapter 7: Now, this item, “Crunchy Frog”.

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4265   Review this Chapter

Edward POV

She called! She called! She doesn’t hate me! She said she loves me! Thank the gods of every religion; she loves me! I get a backpack and fill it with goodies that I have been slaving over the stove to make for her. With Esme’s supervision of course. Okay, she did a lot of the work but once I got the hang of it, I made some stuff. I pack a blanket and some beverages for her. I think twice about the heated blanket, as she said she doesn’t get cold. See? I’m remembering important things about my girlfriend. At least I hope she’ll still be my girlfriend after this. If she’s not too weirded out about me having dated her mother. Briefly. 40 years ago. Wow. This is some serious “twilight zone shit” as Emmett put it when we got home that day.

I set up the blanket, leaning against my backpack while I wait patiently for Arbie to arrive. Okay, I am freaking out on the inside, but externally, I’m exuding calm and patience. I think. A few minutes before our scheduled rendezvous, I hear her footfalls not far away. I’m amazed that she remembered how to get here. But then again, she’s not entirely human, maybe she followed my scent from a certain spot, or maybe she just is very attuned to her surroundings. Who knows? I know I hope to learn anything and everything about her.

“Hello Edward,” she calls as she breaks through the tree line. I stand up immediately, but don’t rush to her. I don’t want to frighten her away with being overtly affectionate, or “clingy” as Emmett said. She steps right up to me, stopping less than two inches away. I can feel her body heat emanating off of her. Her arms lift and wrap around my neck, and the next thing I know, she’s kissing me fiercely. “Yep, still feel that spark alright,” she says as she pulls away and sits down on the blanket. “I knew you’d think to bring provisions.” She reaches for a bottled soda and takes a few sips before returning back to look at me.

“Where shall I begin?” I ask.

“How did you meet my mother?”

“She moved to Forks as a junior in high school. Her father was the police chief. She decided to spend some time with him so her mother could travel with her new husband who was a minor league baseball player. Her mother was more the child and Bella the parent in that relationship, but that’s another story.

“When I first saw her, the only thing I wanted to do was kill her,” I admit. “Drain her dry. I’d never felt that strongly about killing a human since I was a newborn. I had no idea what came over me, but I fled the room as soon as humanly possible and didn’t return for a week. It angered me that one simple human could make me feel so weak. I’d worked decades to build up my immunity to human blood only to have her ruin all my effort.”

“Was she your singer?”

“My what?”

“Uncle Shasta told me a story once about how every so often, extremely rarely, a human will appeal to a particular vampire much more strongly than any other. They’re called singers because their blood practically sings to you.” She apparently knows more about vampire legends than I do. “Is that what it was like?”

“Yes,” I reply. “Every time I was near her, the monster would surface and try to take over. I didn’t want to be that monster, so I suppressed him. Over time I got to know her. Aside from her blood appealing to me, her silent mind intrigued me so.”

“Silent mind?”

“I can read minds. Hear thoughts. And no single human or immortal had ever been able to completely block me out until Bella. And she did it without even realizing it. I know now it must have been one of her dhampire traits. One that she passed onto you. Your mind is every bit as silent as hers,” I tell her. Her eyes widen. “I’ll admit that was one of the two things that sparked my intrigue with you. That and your eyes are exactly like hers. It reminded me of her so.”

“Go on,” she presses. I’ve upset her somehow. Her lips are in a flat line, her jaw set.

“One day, she was nearly squished between her truck and a skidding van. I ran across the lot at top speed and knocked her out of the way. She saw everything. I panicked, and began acting like a semi-stalker. Well no, full on, I should say. At first, I convinced myself that I was only paying such close attention to her because I was doing recon for my family. I had to know if she’d said anything about my saving her life or if she knew what I was. At night I would lurk in the bushes near her house until she fell asleep, and then would crawl through her window to watch her sleep. She talked in her sleep, which peaked my interest even further. God, I sound like a crazed lunatic repeating all of these things out loud. Please know, I’ve never done that with you.” She nods, and indicates for me to continue. Her face is a serene, blank mask. And as usual, I have no idea what’s going on in her mind. I’m quite positive I’m digging myself into a deeper hole with this ridiculous story.

“After a while, I realized it wasn’t just about her scent, or her silent mind, or making sure she was staying silent. I was falling in love with her. I felt jealousy for the first time in my immortal life when other boys were asking her out. She turned every one of them down, but that didn’t quell the feeling. Finally when she said yes to me, I was the happiest I’d ever been at the time. We courted for a short while, chastely, like I told you before. We’d discuss books and history, she’d allow me to hold her at night while she slept, we’d share innocent kisses.

“Then one day, the ‘shit hit the fan,’ as Emmett would put it. We were playing baseball in a clearing near our home in Forks, Washington when Victoria, her mate James and their confidant Laurent entered the clearing. Bella was pale and beautiful, able to pass as one of us provided they never caught her scent. She stood perfectly still behind me, and they were about to leave when the wind picked up, blowing her enticing scent right into James’ nose. He was a tracker, obsessed with the hunt, and a lover of a challenge. My family’s protectiveness over Bella provided such a challenge for him. He nearly killed Bella when he lured her into an empty ballet studio in Phoenix, where we thought we were successfully hiding her.

“We, meaning Carlisle, Alice and myself saved her life, and then we killed James. I always thought that if Victoria was going to seek revenge on anyone it’d be me. Now I can see that she saw it as a mate for a mate situation.” I choke back a tearless sob as I realize how much I’d failed her.

“Alice said Bella broke up with you. Did she do it after that happened?”

“No. Bella was positively the most selfless person I had ever known. She went to that ballet studio willingly to save her mother. James had tricked her into thinking he had her, and would kill her if she didn’t show. She literally would have rather die herself than her mother die at James’ hands. When she awoke at the hospital, I tried to convince her that she needed to stay away from me. That I was too dangerous. She wasn’t having that, and her body was so weak, I didn’t want to cause any more stress on her poor human heart, so I left well enough alone.

“A few months later, on her eighteenth birthday, Alice threw her a party. Bella hated parties, hated being the center of attention, but not even a hurricane could stop Alice.” Arbie giggles slightly, nodding in agreement. Alice had yet to subject her to the complete terror of her ways, but she’d gotten a small glimpse in New York. “She was opening her gifts when she cut her finger on the wrapping paper. It seems silly that a simple paper cut sparked the beginning of the end, but that’s the way it was. All of us smelled her blood, and Jasper, being an empath, sensed the bloodlust in all of us, especially me. It set him off and he attacked. She wasn’t bitten, but that event made me realize how dangerous my world was for her. I couldn’t risk her humanity. I had refused to turn her, with my belief that doing so would take her soul.

“She deserved a chance at a normal, human life. A chance to have children, raise a family. Grow old with someone. She couldn’t do those things with me. So a few days later, I left her. I told her it would be as if I never existed, and I walked away without a trace. I told her that I didn’t want her, that she was nothing more than a distraction. Which was the worst lie I had ever told.

“I was broken hearted, and I had no one to piece me back together. She did. She had Jacob. Your father. At the time, they were best friends, but that grew into so much more. She realized that with Jacob she had true love. When I did go back to her, to check on her, and beg for her forgiveness, she sent me away. She told me she had moved on and that this time it was me that she didn’t want. A few months later, I received a letter.” I produce the letter and hand it to Arbie, to allow her to read her own mother’s words. See her own mother’s writing.

A single tear falls from her cheek and hits the paper. “She didn’t have very good handwriting, did she?” she jokes. “What was her maiden name?” she asks.

“Swan,” I reply. “Isabella Marie Swan. Born September 13th, 1989. Daughter to Charles Swan and Renée Dwyer.”

“Okay, okay, I don’t need her biography just yet,” she stops me. “So, she sent you this letter, and then what?”

“I was on my own for a few years. I needed time to collect myself, to decide what I wanted to do with my life. For a while, I was convinced that she was wrong, that I was now going to be alone for the rest of my life. Alice stopped being able to see Bella’s future for some unknown reason, so I couldn’t even check on her that way. I never brought myself to look her up, or call her or anything after receiving that letter. I went through the usual stages of grieving. Denial, anger, regret, and finally acceptance. I reached that stage not long before I met you, Arbie.”

“I have a question, and I need you to be totally and completely honest with me,” she says.

“Of course,” I reply reaching across the blanket to take her hand. She squeezes mine affectionately. “I will always tell you the truth.”

“Is the fact that I resemble my mother the only reason you’re with me?”

“Heavens no!” I reply quickly. “I’ll admit that’s what got my attention at first. Your eyes, facial features and your silent mind. You’re smart like her, witty, and genuine. But you’re also very much different. Bella wasn’t known for her grace, in fact she was downright clumsy. I found it endearing. Most of the time.

“But you, you’re graceful beyond anything I’ve ever seen. You’re outgoing, talkative, and you stand up for yourself without the need for help from anyone. You’re strong willed, you definitely don’t have any problems with self value, and you see yourself nearly as clearly as I see you.”

“Bella wasn’t that way?”

“No. she never saw herself clearly. Every boy in school, save my brothers, wanted to be with her. They all thought she was ‘hot,’” I say, using air quotes. “She was absolutely stunning. But she thought she was ordinary. A plain Jane. I think her inordinate clumsiness took a hit on her self esteem. No matter how I tried to convince her otherwise, she never saw herself as I saw her. There was a girl at school who would say mean things to and about Bella, and she never stood up for herself. She said the girl wasn’t worth the breath to talk, which was true, but I always found it interesting that she never once stood up for herself. But she would definitely stand up for others.”

“Thank you for telling me about her, Edward. I can tell it’s hurting you.”

“What hurts is that because of all this, I might lose you, Arbie. I don’t think I can survive that.”

“Whoa. At what point did I ever say I was going to leave you?” she replies. “I’ll admit, if you had said the only reason you were interested in me is because of my resemblance to her, then yeah, that might be a deal breaker, but I believe you when you say that’s not it.”

“I care so much more deeply for you than I did for her. It feels weird to say that, especially when I thought I’d never love another the way I thought I loved her. But loving you, I know that what I thought was love truly was infatuation, just like she said in her letter. She was remarkably wise for one so young. My only regret is that I wasn’t there to save her from Victoria. She’d still be alive today if I had. You’d love her. I’m sure for the short time you were with her, that she was an amazing mother.”

“From what you’ve told me about her character, I’m sure that’s true. But then, we might never have met,” she replies. “I’m a firm believer in fate. And Edward, that’s what brought us together. Not that I would have given up my parents for your love, but I can’t say that I’m upset that this whole situation brought me to you.” She has to be the most amazing woman on the planet. Bella accepted me for who I was right away. Arbie has done the same, even knowing about my nature long before I had planned to tell her. We have found out that her mother is the same woman who stole my heart so long ago, and it has hardly fazed her. Taking two days to collect her thoughts is hardly considered too much time in my book. I thought she would take months or even years. Which if she’s immortal like she thinks, then that would be an easy thing to do, as time would not change us at all.

While she’s rereading Bella’s letter to herself, I pull out the food I brought and present it to her. She takes a caramel apple and munches it quietly. “Jasper, our resident historian as you know, did some research on your mother’s heritage. We knew her parents, but not much beyond that, so he dug up the records. If the photos are any indication, your dhampire status is confirmed,” I say as I hand her the file Jasper put together.

“So most of the vampire world thinks dhampires are a myth?” she asks as she starts to page through the papers.

“It appears that way. Jasper and Carlisle know the most about the mythology because of Jasper’s love of all things historical, both fiction and non-fiction, and Carlisle’s status with the Volturi.”

“His status?” her tone took on a panicky edge to it.

“Yes, he lived with them for a time. Only a few decades. He couldn’t condone their diet and lifestyle, and they refused to even consider his as a viable option, so he left. But not before being considered the ‘fourth brother.’ An unofficial member of the Volturi leaders. You look like you’re about to bolt, what’s wrong?” I ask, seeing her form tense, her eyes widen and her pulse spike.

“My family says that the Volturi are tyrants that will kill Jeb and I if we’re discovered. They’ll think we’re humans who know about vampires and won’t think twice.”

“You don’t have to worry about that,” I reassure. “I will never let anything happen to you. I promise. And besides, you’re neither vampire nor human, so you don’t technically fall under their rule.” I reach across and brush a few fly away hairs behind her ear. My fingers run through her silky tresses a few times before I pull my hand back.

“I could always just let my fangs and claws show and they’ll know I’m not all human,” she jokes, though she actually has a valid point. “I’ve been practicing with that these past couple days. I grow about 4 inches when it happens, my cheek bones become more defined, my jawbone extends 1.5 inches. My arm muscles double in mass, my legs as well. My abdominal muscles are more defined as well. And of course there’s the claws and fangs that are obviously hard and sharp enough to tear apart vampires.” Fascinating and terrifying at the same time. She turns back to the folder, paging through, looking at photos. I added the photos that were supposed to have been sent to Renée that fateful September day that I left her.

“You seem so hollow in this picture,” she observes, staring at the last photo taken of Bella and myself. I truly was hollow. I was a shell of myself that day. Riddled with guilt and sorrow over what had happened and what I was about to do.

“That was taken just after I’d made the decision to leave her,” I explain. “It was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

“If you ever try to do that to me, I will harm you, I hope you realize that.” She said, using that same tone she did when she threatened the Sharpe twins. “Unless of course you decide you truly don’t want to be with me anymore, then I’ll let you go. But if it’s a situation like that, where you’re feeling guilty over something, and you decide to leave because you think it’s for my own good… then I will harm you.” I am partially glad she clarified, but it was still irrelevant.

“Irrelevant,” I say, echoing my thoughts. “I couldn’t leave you if I tried. And nothing could make me want to try.” She nods at my reply before closing the distance between us and straddling my lap. She presses her lips against mine, while pushing against my shoulders to get me to lay down. I do just that and she adjusts herself on top of me, her heated core right on top of my now growing erection. “Arbie, what are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” she replies seductively, starting to unbutton her shirt.

“Don’t you think we should wait?” I say, realizing I’m totally being the girl in this situation. “I mean, there are a lot of emotions that we haven’t discussed. You’ve hardly even looked at all the information in that folder. I… I want you to be one hundred percent sure of me before we go any further.”

“Okay fine,” she relents, sliding off of me in a most seductive way. I almost say hell with it and pounce on her. She opens the folder again and starts looking intently at each page. Jasper was able to get a hold of Bella and Jacob’s birth certificates, copies of their driver’s licenses, Bella’s passport, and even Arbie and Jeb’s birth certificates. She gawps at the birth certificate. “So my birthday isn’t anywhere near Halloween.” Her birth certificate indicates May 24th.

“I guess not,” I reply with a tiny giggle. “We could celebrate both, if you like. Or you could pick one, or stick with what you know.” She finds a photo of her grandparents on their wedding day. A photo of them with baby Bella before Renée absconded with her to Phoenix. “Renée must have had a short-lived hobby of posting family photos to a photo sharing website, because they stop at about age 10 for Bella.”

“Ah, so that’s where Jeb got it,” she says. I give her a questioning glance. “Jeb has a lot of hobbies, but he’s not an expert at anything. This semester it’s shop classes, and as soon as he’s bored with it, he’ll move on to something else. We may very well see him in aprons taking Home Ec. classes next semester, learning how to make the perfect cupcake.”

“Yeah, that’s from Renée, alright.” I laugh out loud, thinking about the traits that they both may have inherited from their parents and grandparents.

“Are any of them still alive?” she asks.

“Unfortunately no, and the sad part is they all died under mysterious circumstances nearly 40 years ago, which has Victoria written all over it.”

“She was one sick and twisted vampire,” Arbie says. I nod my head agreement. “Your family killed her mate after he attacked you, so it’s not like you killed him in cold blood. So her vengeance is kind of unfounded. Secondly, as you have illustrated, you and Bella were not mates, and neither were she and James. I wonder if she had some kind of mental illness as a human that didn’t go away when she was turned.”

After paging through a few more documents she asks about the wolves. I tell her what I remember from the first time we encountered them. The treaty we made that prevented us from venturing onto their lands and from hunting humans, what the wolves looked like. I tell her what I remember about her father. I had only met him a couple times, but I knew that Bella cared for him, and he her. She sits in silence, a contemplative expression on her face after I finish my retelling of all that I remember from our years in Forks.

“Let’s go there,” she says, standing up abruptly as if she’s ready to take off on foot right now. “How soon can you be ready?” she asks.

“To fly to Forks?”

“No, we’ll teleport there,” she says sarcastically. “Yes, fly. I can have my plane ready within the hour.”

“You have a plane?”

“Bentley,” she condescends. Oh right. That. She pulls out her cell phone and dials who I assume is her pilot or flight coordinator. For all I know she’s the pilot. “Just two of us.” She apparently wants to go alone, unless she means her and Jeb, but why would she ask how soon I could be ready? “No, my brother will not be accompanying me. The other passenger is my… boyfriend.” I hear a loud squeal coming from her phone. Apparently she is quite close with whoever she’s speaking with. I distinctly hear an “well it’s about bloody time” in a cockney accent. “Thanks Eve, you’re the best. I’ll see you in an hour.” Wow. “Plane will be ready in an hour, let’s go,” she says as she throws everything I brought back into the pack and starts off running for my house. She’s nearly as fast as me, and we make it there in a few minutes time.

“No time to explain,” I say to the family as we enter through the back door. “We’re going to Forks. She has a private plane. Leaving within the hour.”

Are we invited? Carlisle asks me silently. I shake my head.

“She wants it to be just us.”

“I hope you don’t mind. I just don’t think it would be a good idea for the whole coven plus me to suddenly appear in Forks. There may be some people that remember you. And it’ll be much easier to fall under the radar with just the two of us. If we discover that the coast is clear, I’d love your help with this. Thank you for all you’ve done already.”

“It’s no trouble at all, Arbie. You’re with Edward. That makes you family,” Esme says, pulling Arbie in for a warm embrace. Alice descends the stairs throwing me a duffle bag full of what I assume are my clothes. She throws a matching one at Arbie, who gives her a confused expression.

“I took the liberty of buying a few things for you when we were in the city. Things that could be left here should you ever stay over. They’re packed and ready for you.” Rosalie tosses Arbie the keys to her Bugatti.

“It’ll get you there faster than any of our cars, that’s for sure,” she says.

“You can drive us to the airport, if you like, Rosalie,” Arbie offers. Rosalie lights up at the chance to get behind the wheel. “I’ll leave her in your care while we’re gone. Just let Jasper drive it once or twice,” she says with a wink in Jasper’s direction.

With that we pack the car and zip down the driveway. Within a half hour, we’re on the plane heading towards the pacific northwest. A place I thought I’d never return to in the rest of my existence.