A misconception kept them apart. A once in a lifetime experience might be enough to bring them together. Bella and Edward are about to learn some home truths about themselves and each other as they take a journey to Australia and find that things aren't always what they seem.
I know I said I wasn't sure if I would write another one but I couldn't help it. This was planned before I decided to help AnahyR bring her story ideas to life and I put it on hold. It keeps going around and around in my mind so I have chosen to just go with it and see how it pans out. I hope you enjoy.
Previous stories of mine you might be interested in:
The Heart is a Bloom: Is fame worth it? A different take on the characters of Twilight and how they met. Edward is a famous musician who has a past demon that is about to catch up with him. Unfortunately it is just as he has met the woman of his dreams.
No Choice: Edward returns to Forks to fight for a hurt and angry Bella. Not such an easy thing to do in this story. This is set after the Cullens have been away for quite a few months but before Bella makes the decision to cliff dive.
Loss to Love: Sometimes love just can't be denied - no matter how untimely it hits us. Sparks fly between Edward and Bella the very first time they meet; problem is that Bella is already committed to another. See how the two of them deal with their unspoken attraction and how a tragedy could bring them closer together or push them further apart.
Loss to Love was written on the basis of AnayhR's ideas.
EPOV - Guantlets Thrown
I was second guessing myself.....again. It happened way too regularly for my liking these days. I used to be so confident in myself; knowing my capabilities and accepting the things I still had to learn. That had changed though with one meeting with the girl who I would be seeing within minutes if I could just get up the courage to walk through those doors. Maybe doing this was wrong. I was putting us both in a situation where we would have to interact 24/7, not just the odd occasion when we were forced to be together for our friends sakes as we were now. My frustrated sigh echoed around me before I took a deep breath and with a determined action I opened the door.
This opportunity was too good to give up just because of one girl’s animosity. Bella was just going to have to accept my presence on a more regular basis.
The room was pretty much full at this stage but my eyes immediately went to where she was. They always did. She was like a magnet for me and I swore at myself for the millionth time that I could be so readily aware of her attendance when it was obvious she wouldn’t care one way or another about me being here. She was sitting on a table with her long legs swinging backwards and forwards nonchalantly as she laughed up at something Jasper was saying to her. Jealousy wormed its way into my chest; not because there was anything romantic going on between Bella and my cousin’s boyfriend. No.... purely because he could act naturally with her without the inevitable wall being thrown up, that she kept just for me.
“She won’t bite,” Emmett stated carelessly as he pushed his way from behind me. I hadn’t heard his approach so was taken a little by surprise with his sudden appearance.
“You don’t think?” I said tongue in cheek.
He laughed and looked me up and down before shaking his head. “Actually I will reword that. She won’t bite........me. You....now that is a completely different story and probably highly possible.” He grabbed onto my arm and pulled me towards the back of the room so that we could join our friends.
The enthusiastic greeting Emmett received from Bella was not replicated for me but I hadn’t expected anything different. Alice and Jasper were a whole different story, giving me their hellos through smiles and warm hugs or handshakes. I forced myself to look at Bella and spoke with a slight frostiness to my voice that came through months of practice.
She inclined her head and gave me a dispassionate look. “Cullen.” No sooner was the word out than she was turning back to smiling at Emmett. Alice gave her a resigned look of reproach but said nothing. The two of them had learnt months ago not to allow their respective relationships with me ruin their own friendship. It had almost happened and they had recognised their importance in one another’s life so they wouldn’t let it occur again. Alice attempted to cover up Bella’s rudeness with her own brand of enthusiasm.
“So are you excited Edward? I cannot wait until we are actually on our way. This is going to be the best thing any of us have ever done. I can feel it.” Alice smiled at all of us and it was hard not to respond positively to her assertions. Jasper gave her a quick hug and the loving look that passed between them was something I did not want to look at but valued anyway. Jasper was good to my cousin and I loved him like family because of it.
“Sure I’m excited. I am just glad I got accepted into this program.” That was entirely true. Even though I had been wondering if this was the right thing to do only moments before I truly wanted this opportunity and when I had been accepted I had been extremely happy.
“Why wouldn’t you be? We all know you are the golden doctor boy in our course Edward. As far as our professors are concerned you can do no wrong.” I spun around to find Angela Weber and Ben Cheney staring at me with amused smiles on their faces. I quickly hugged Angela and then shook Ben’s hand. It had been Angela speaking and I chose to ignore the scoff that came from Bella at Angela’s words because I knew Angela had spoken without any kind of rancour at all.
“And that would make you the golden girl Angela? I have never heard any complaints about your abilities.” I shot back at her because we both knew that her abilities as a doctor had never been questioned. She was a class A student and we all knew that too.
Angela laughed. “Of course. I am kind of awesome you know.”
I laughed alongside of her and the feeling was good. It was nice to have the air around us lighten up a bit after having to deal with Bella’s less than happy greeting. Angela and Ben were an integral part of our group and they often managed to alleviate some of the negative feelings that seemed to follow us when Bella and I were in the same vicinity. No one spoke of it but I knew it must be frustrating for them as well, seeing two of their friends at loggerheads and not being able to do anything about it.
“I guess that makes you and I second best, hey Jasper,” Ben deadpanned and Jasper grinned appreciatively.
“Kind of takes the pressure off so it’s a place I am more than willing to be in,” Jasper drawled and then smirked when Alice hit him on the shoulder and told him that he wasn’t second best at anything.
Emmett’s chuckle interrupted our teasing interactions. “Well all I can say is that I am glad to be a mere engineering student at this point. With the four of you in the mix as doctors extraordinaire I would have had no chance in getting a place if I’d had to compete with any one of you.” He punched me good naturedly in the shoulder and I tried not to blanch at the strength behind his innocent hit.
His words drew my attention away from our little group and towards the rest of the people who were milling around the room. Some I knew and some I had never met before. The university had started this program to get a range of students interested in doing something outside the box in terms of the career they had chosen. Jasper, Ben, Angela and myself were all doctors in training and along with two other chosen students we would be working in outback Australia to help man hard to resource medical units and hospitals. It would count as part of our internship and was highly sought after by those students who wanted to experience life a bit differently.
Along with the six doctors there would be four teachers, two engineers and six nurses; all working in areas that needed assistance over in Australia. Bella and Alice were keen to be teaching in a completely different environment to what they were used to on their regular pracs and Emmett had been lucky enough to get a position as one of the engineers who would be offering his assistance in rebuilding some of the more hard hit areas of recent natural disasters. I recognised some of the students and as some of them caught my eye I gave them a general nod of the head and small smile. Generally though the people I was with right now, were the ones who mattered the most in my life and I was happy that we were going to experience this together.
“I wonder where we will be placed and who with?” Bella mused pensively. Our small group of friends had discussed this on previous occasions and we were all more than aware that we could be split up during our time in Australia. One group would be heading to Windorah and another would be heading to Barcalmine. Alice had been adamant that we did not need to worry about it but I guess it was on more than just mine if Bella’s comment was any indication.
“I guess we are about to find out,” Jasper whispered as people began to take seats around the room and a hushed silence pervaded as everyone’s attention was centred on the front where the project leader was standing.
“Good afternoon ladies and gentleman and welcome to the beginning of what I hope will be a successful and enjoyable year ahead for you all. As you are most probably aware, I am Dr Carlisle Cullen and I am the man that you will probably be cursing during some stage of your trip.” He grinned to show that he was only partly joking and Alice and I gave each other a look to say ‘what a nerd.’ We could do that, considering the man in front of us was family; Alice’s dad and my uncle. “I know that it was outlined in your information package but I would just like to reaffirm that this trip will not simply be a sight seeing tour. You will be working hard in rugged and poorly staffed areas. You will be dealing with weather, customs, conditions that might not be what you are used to and you will have to survive because that is our expectation of you as the chosen students. This opportunity is not something to be taken lightly and I want you to walk out of this room today fully committed to what you are about to do, knowing that you will make a difference and that what you will learn will be beneficial to your chosen careers in future years.”
A slight buzz was heard throughout the room as people took in Carlisle’s words before everyone quieted again to listen to him more. After a brief summary about accommodation, conditions, the things we should expect and how we would be representing our university Carlisle moved onto the part that everyone was waiting for with bated breath; where we would be placed for the next year of our life.
“Okay, as you know we will be splitting this group into two ensuring that the towns you will be working in will be adequately staffed. The following people will be heading to Windarooh. Victoria Howard, Quil Aterea, Bree Tanner, Emmett Mccarty, Sam Uley, Tyler Crowley, Bella Swan, Alice Cullen,” That produced muted squeals from beside me as Bella and Alice hugged one another and then gave Emmett a thumbs up “ Angela Webber,” Another squeal. “Ben Cheney, Jasper Hale.” The boys were fist pumping one another now. Yes we were meant to be on the verge of being professional doctors but that didn’t stop the celebrations and I was suddenly nervous that I was going to be left off the list and sent to the other town away from my friends. Away from Bella. “James Hunter and Edward Cullen.”
I sighed with relief as I took in the happy faces around me. Carlisle continued reading out names for the next group but I didn’t take them in. Apart from one blaring problem within our group, and I wasn’t talking about Bella this time, I was more than happy about how things had turned out.
“Well that seems to be it then,” Carlisle finished. “I will be checking in on your progress with your respective supervisors and expect nothing less than glowing reports on each and every one of you. Other than that, please enjoy this experience. That is all for today. Check in time on Friday is at nine thirty am for your flight to Sydney. Please read over the contents of your information packs carefully so that you are fully prepared for all scenarios. Now you might like to take the time to meet in your two groups and introduce yourselves to the people you will be working and living with over the coming months. Thanks for your attention.”
Carlisle was instantly engulfed with people who wanted to ask individual questions and the rest of us began to converse excitedly. The relief that seemed to engulf our group was palpable. We would have accepted not being together because this was after all a job we were doing and at some point we would be eventually distancing ourselves in our lives but it seemed that we did not have to worry about that yet and the thought was comforting. Alice was sprouting off about how she had known we would all be together; she’d just had that feeling. I personally wondered if she had nagged at Carlisle until he had given her her way about who should go where. He would never dream of giving either of us preference in the actual applications to get into the project but he might have folded a little about where we were placed. I wasn’t going to ask and just allowed myself to feel happy about the eventual outcome.
“Hi Tyler.” Bella’s voice brought me out of my thoughts and I saw a tall, deeply tanned, brown haired guy walking towards us. He was grinning madly at Alice and Bella so I could only assume that he was the third teacher in our group. Bella’s introductions to everyone proved me correct and his introductions were followed up with more when Quil and Bree hesitatingly approached us and we all tried to make the nurses feel as comfortable as possible given that we were a friendship group and we didn’t want them to feel left out at all. A friend of Emmett’s from his course joined us also named Sam Uley and I vaguely remember meeting him at some parties we had been to with Emmett. As we all got to know one another I felt a small prick of wariness, knowing that there were still two missing people and one of them was someone I had very little regard for. No sooner than the thought went through my head than the man himself materialised next to me, along with a tall red headed woman who was regarding me with interested eyes.
“So Edward. There will be no rest in our competition whilst we are away, I see,” James drawled with a touch of derision. James was one person I intensely disliked because of his arrogance, lack of ethics and his near obsessive need to beat me at every little aspect of our university life. He treated the people around him like they were something on the bottom of his foot unless there was something he felt he could gain by befriending them and the way he treated woman was beyond callous. The fact that he would be accompanying us on this trip was the one truly negative aspect of accepting to join this project. It didn’t help that I was aware of Carlisle’s fury when he was told by the university board that James Hunter must be given a spot regardless of the usual processes put into place to choose the correct candidates. I had overheard him talking to Aunt Esme about how unethical it was to give someone a position just because his father was contributing a whole lot of money to the university. He had complained that he had done everything by the book with regards to his own family so that Alice and I could not be seen as getting in only because of our relationship with him and then he had had to turn around and give some spoilt brat a position even though his grades and references were nowhere near the standard he expected. In the end Carlisle and the other three professors who had made the choices submitted to the universities demands, but they had made James an addition rather than replace someone who should have deserved it in the first place. Therefore for the first time in the five years since Carlisle had instigated this project, seven doctors would be representing our university, rather than the usual six.
I chose to ignore his immature dig at me, merely giving him a look I hoped conveyed for him to grow the hell up. He smirked and it was quite apparent that he had so much more to say. Before he could continue baiting me Angela stepped in and introduced James to the rest of the group and I watched with rising anger as he made a perusal of all the girls, no doubt considering who would be his next conquest. My fingers became embedded in the palm of my hand when I noted his eyes flick over Bella in his usual ogling manner. He was so not going there; I didn’t care how much she hated me, she could not be involved with such a creep and come out unscathed. The way I was holding my body must have alerted him to my anger and he gave a calculating look between myself and Bella and his grin widened ever so much. My reaction had just told him everything he needed to know. He had just found a new way to get to me.
“Bella.......as in beautiful.” James whispered as if completely enthralled. He took Bella’s hand and raised it to his lips. With every bit of strength I had in me I held back from pouncing on him to stop him from using that crap to charm her. “How absolutely appropriate. I imagine that your boyfriend must be devastated about you leaving him for a year, Bella.”
Bella pulled her hand away from him and with a slight sense of joy I saw that she subtly wiped her hand on the side of her jeans to get rid of his touch. Her face exuded confusion as she responded to his question.
“Um, nice to meet you James and ah.....there is no boyfriend to devastate so.......”
“Good to know,” James winked at her and an embarrassed flush inked her skin. If it wasn’t for the cause of the blush I would think it was absolutely adorable but right now I was too busy seething at what James was trying to achieve and the horrible thought of Bella actually falling for his act.
Emmett stepped in closer to Bella and placed his huge arm around her shoulder earning a smile from Bella and an inner fist pump from me. “Bella is single because she has impeccable taste and only the best will do. Isn’t that right Belles?” Emmett stared James down and with that one look I knew that Emmett had seen what I already knew. James was not a good person and Emmett did not want him to be chasing after the girl he regarded as his kid sister. He might as well have been saying ‘and you are not the best,’ James lifted his eyebrow but didn’t back down from Emmett’s glare. Stupid boy. You did not challenge or cross Emmett when it came to his family or his friends unless you wished to be living in fear for the foreseeable future. I had learnt that the hard way when Bella first started giving me the cold shoulder and Emmett and concluded that I had done something terrible to her. It was only after much convincing that he finally relented on me and realised that I honestly had no idea what I had done to deserve her hatred. Given that Bella would not make any of her own disclosures he had accepted that it was something he could not fix by beating the crap out of me and left Bella and I to stumble along as we saw fit.
James shrugged his shoulders and gave me a pointed look of cockiness. “I wouldn’t disregard me as the best. What say you Edward? Do you think the lovely Bella should get to know me better?”
“I am standing right here you know,” Bella angrily stated as Emmett let out a quiet growl from beside her. “And I don’t know why you would be asking him because he and I can’t stand each other so his opinion means jack to me.”
I calmly looked at Bella, even though on the inside I was fuming. Her outburst had reminded me that I was getting myself worked up and all protective over a girl who had no regard for me.
“Bella can make her own choices James. It doesn’t matter one way or another to me.” If that was hurt in Bella’s eyes she quickly hid it and gave me a look of restrained aloofness. People were shifting uncomfortably around us but I couldn’t drag my eyes away from her and so I noticed when her eyes narrowed and the aloofness turned into anger. At that precise moment I felt an unknown touch to my arm and realised that the red headed girl was now simpering next to me.
“James will do what James wants to do,” She said as she ran her fingers up my arm and I shuddered at the invasion. “This conversation is getting boring. You, however, look anything but....tell me Edward Cullen are you available also?”
“Edward is as available as they come if you want to be one of his many and you’re not interested in any kind of commitment.” Those words came from Bella and my mind went into overdrive. What on earth was she accusing me of now?
“What?” I said in a strained voice. “Bella, I......just .....what?”
A quick glance around the group let me see that the majority of us were flabbergasted by the turn of events since James and Victoria had come over to join us. Angela, Quil and Bree all had their mouths gaping open in shock and Alice was looking between James, Victoria, Bella and myself with chagrin. Emmett’s arm was tighter around Bella’s shoulder now and Bella was looking at Victoria with evident hostility. Jasper appeared to be amused but totally calm at the same time whilst Ben, Angela and Sam did not know which way to look. James face was showing glee at my discomfort.
Victoria literally purred at me to get my attention away from the others. “Well that would seem perfect to me. Seems like you are a man who takes opportunities as they arise, Dr Cullen and I admire that in a person. I guess I should have known that since you obviously worked hard with your uncle to get here today.”
I tugged at my hair, not sure how to react to this whole ridiculous situation. “Um, did you just insinuate that I got my place on this project because of my connection to Carlisle?”
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all do what we have to do to get what we want. Why wouldn’t you use his pull to get here. I would have if I was in your shoes.” Victoria stated as if it was the most reasonable thing possible. Gasps could be heard around me but I concentrated on Alice only as this was as much of an insult to her as it was to me. Jasper held her back so that she wouldn’t become involved and I was thankful because this was not how this trip was meant to start; with us all fighting. I turned back to Victoria.
“I’m not even sure I want to.........” I began but I was interrupted by a harsh voice that I hardly even recognised even though it was always in my thoughts.
“Well I am pretty sure I have something to say and you Victoria are way out of line. Edward might be a Cullen but he earnt his place here, the same way we all did. He did the applications, he did the interviews, he showed them what an amazing asset he would be and he is an incredibly talented doctor who deserves this chance. How dare you suggest that he is anything less; that he could possibly use his uncle in that way,” Bella had stepped closer to us and I fought the urge to step backwards away from her because she looked so incredibly angry .....and more than a little hot right now. “And don’t even get me started on the slur you just gave to Dr Cullen who has given you, yes you Victoria this opportunity also. Dr Cullen would never ever give preference to anyone in his family when it came to something like this. You owe Edward, and apparently Alice because after all she is in the family too, an apology and maybe if you put more effort into thinking about what you say rather than pawing all over complete strangers you would be better off.”
Slack jawed expressions of shock were pretty much evident on all out faces as we took in Bella’s fury. Victoria seemed unable to come up with anything clever momentarily and Bella took the time to try and calm herself down.
“What?” She questioned angrily as she noted that we were all staring at her in surprise.
Angela was the one to break the stupefied silence with her wary observance. “Honey. Hell just froze over.”
“What?” Bella’s voice held lingering anger but now a whole lot of confusion.
“Bella. You just defended Edward!”
And damned if that wasn’t the best thing that had ever happened to me!
All I can say is you are an amazing group of very, very loyal friends on this site. I was overwhelmed at how many of you commented on this story and how you have come with me from other stories. I so appreciate your ongoing support and love the fact that you enjoy taking this ride with me.
Love ya all.
:O........I'm happy that they get to be together for the trip and the last part especially made me gasp and cheer Bella on. xD
First off Victoria seems like.....well not a nice word ;D And James is a slimebag. Made me laugh when Bella wiped her hand, I would have done it openly, hahaha.
Angela made me laugh when she said, 'Honey. Hell just froze over.' I cannot believe she defended him....well I kinda can cause she seemed jelouse when Victoria was all up on Edward, haha.
I think this is going to be a very long trip......for everyone, hahaha. I cannot wait for more and to see what everyone does with what has just happened.
On another note when I saw your email I literally squealed with delight, -.- Haha, I was that happy. (:
And I love being your ongoing supporter.....or fangirl. :D
You made me smile with all the little things you said about teh story and characters. Thnaks for taking the time to do that. It will be an interesting trip for all involved and I think they will all get a surprise about the things they do and don't know about one another ;)
Thanks for enjoying so much - it really does make my day to hear it
I ahve chosen real places but will probably make them a little different than what they are in real life. The reason you probably don't recognise them is because they are towns that are in the far western area of Queensland and you spent most of your time in the NT. James will play a pretty big part in the story and he will always be trying to be a thorn in Edward's side - in saying that I will not be making him as violent as he was in The Heart is a Bloom - he was a madman there.
Edward being in the second grouop really wouldn't have worked for the story ....hahha
Bella's prejudice definitely needs to be worked on - but she showed that she sees the good in him even if she doesn't want to.
I shall poke when the next one is up. Have not had a chance to read your chapters yet as I am organising a trivia night at the moment for my sons school and it is taking up so mich time. ugghhhh
Thanks for reading and commenting. Chat to ya soon
yey, another amazing story from you!! I'm so happy, and so guilty at the same time. you should have told me you had something in mind and wanted to write it, it seems like an awesome story,
I know i get repetitive all the time with the amazing and awesome adjectives i use for you or your work but is just not any other way!!
I loved it, I'm sorry I haven't commented but I've been on a missionary trip that was awesome, lol
(I guess I need new adjectives)
You ahve absolutely no reason to feel guilty. I loved writing Loss to Love and it was nice to be putting someone elses ideas into a story so no bad feelings there. Glad you enjoyed the little bit I've put up so far. Also glad that you enjoyed your missionary trip - it sounds like an amazing opportunity :)
Thanks again for always supporting what I write.
I thought it would be a little bit different to get them over to Australia - it is hard to write about a country ( USA) when you don't know their systems etc and I thought it would be fun to ahve them in the outback. I am not fond of Victoria or James either ( can you tell from all my stories??lol) They will make this story a little intense but might also help our favourite couple get their act together???? Who knows. I enjoyed Bella giving Victoria a piece of her mind :)
Oh My Lord Michelle, lol. I am so fascinated with this story. I don't get too addicted to many stories, but you just managed to do so without much of an effort. I'm just...enthralled as all get out, lol. I cannot wait to get busy on the next chapter. I have to go to work tonight and I'm trying my hardest to read as much as possible before then because I know my state of mind will be focused not on work.
Bella is so spunky, lol.
Oh and also, I absolutely love stories that venture to the other countries. Have you been there?
LOL!!! this was really good
i really liked how in the end Bella stood up for Edward......i wonder why is she so prejudiced 'bout him?
and Edward (as always) so charming and gentleman.
waiting for more.......post ASAP