Chapter 8: Who We Are


Money is gone. I don't give a shit what I look like, I am dancing tonight. I can't ask for any more loans – the Freak fucked that up – and I still have to repay the one I took last week. It is fucking dead in here and my tips are shit. I see Emmett, but he looks right through me, like everyone else. He doesn't look pissed. He doesn't look curious. He just looks right through me. I wish he were pissed.

None of my regulars are here and I am trying to make the scattered few feel welcome. There is a man with a coat who looks loaded. He's a little creepy and a little odd, but there's a smile in his eyes when I am on my elbows and arching my back; putting my ass and thighs in his face.

He slides a hundred-dollar bill onto the stage, but holds onto it when my hand tries to take it. He wants more than a dance and I want to sleep inside, tonight. His tie is in my hands as I lead him towards the back and he grips my hips roughly when the door closes. I am breaking all the rules I was taught and know it. You never take a John into the back alone. Never.

I try to play nice and ask him what he wants, but my face is pushed into the wall and he is digging his jagged nails into my skin. I try to act like I like it, but instead of playing along, he grabs a hold of my hair and won't let my face leave the wall. I feel and hear him unbuckling and then his pants fall. There is only one thing I don't do and it's the only thing he wants.

"Wait, wait." I am freaking out and feeling his flesh on mine. I am suffocating and he's choking me with fear. I could scream, but I don't. No one will save me. It is pointless to scream. He kicks my feet apart and grunts something in my ear, but all I hear is my pulse and ringing. He calls me by a false name and I close my eyes and pray he'll just do it quickly and be gone, but as more of his flesh touches mine, my body acts upon its own instinct to defend and preserve and I fight against him. I hate the begging my mouth is doing and the weakness I am showing.

I want to tell him my father will kill him when he finds him, but no one will save me.

I want to tell him Emmett will kill him when he finds him, but no one will save me.

I want to call Edward and have him walk in and stop him, but no one will save me.

My noises are strangled and animal-like. My face is going to look hideous. He is slamming me into the wall and I am kicking, but get no where. There is hair stuck to my tears and I cannot see. My body falls to the ground and feels two-hundred pounds lighter. I only weigh a hundred. I am gagging and sputtering and sniffling and there is a commotion going on behind me. I try to see through blurry eyes and they must be foggier than I thought. Red and pale skin are blending together, becoming purple and swollen and I have to stop him before he kills him.

"Emmett! Emmett!" I am tugging and prying and on his back, but he doesn't stop. "Stop!"

He is no longer human, no longer just a simple human man. He isn't married, he isn't a father and he isn't civilized. He is a child who watched his mother get a rifle-butt to the head, an open hand across her cheek and a fist in her eye. He is a teenager who learned how to become a man from street thugs. He is the person who cuts your lawn and trims your bushes and you don't even know his name. He is a green a uniform and a, "Good Morning, Mrs. Newton," and someone you talk about with your tennis friends because he has a body like a God and your husband fucks other women.

Women he protects.

And someone who saves me.

I crawl between his hands and the man and he stops, fist in the air and breathing hard. I am looking into his eyes and watching him come back to reality. He pushes me aside and fists the man's coat, hoisting him to his feet. The man slumps, but Emmett's arms don't show the strain. He is checking the damage on me and looking like he is sorry, but his mouth will never say it. It isn't his job.

"Don't you ever fucking talk about my shit again." And I nod and he is more than human, more than a man and the only person, who will ever save me.


I stare in the mirror and know what I have to do. It is not right, but fair.


I can't wait until Friday. I'm too broke and it's too cold. I pull the card from my bag and try to remember what part of town this street is on. I have enough change for the bus and ride it as far as it will go. A few blocks of walking and I find it. My heart is hammering as I tug the door open and step inside. It smells clean and looks welcoming. There is an older woman at the desk and she smiles. I walk up to the counter and see the same blonde woman from the park. She must be Emmett's wife. No wonder he never strays. She is too perfect looking for words. She doesn't see me and keeps typing; doing her work.

"May I help you, Dear?"

"I need to speak to Edw…Dr. Cullen." My voice sounds so much louder than I wanted it to be. I look around and no one seems to notice.

"Your name?"


"Take a seat. I'll see if he's available."

"It's kind of an emergency," I whisper.

She smiles and nods. "Take a seat."

I do as she asks and I see her pick up the phone. Her voice is too low and I can't hear what she is saying, but he appears and looks confused, but relieved and disheveled, but dignified in his white coat and shiny shoes. I stand up and walk clumsily towards him. He looks over his shoulder and then to the waiting room and leads me down the hall without a word. In a small room, he closes the door quietly and faces me.

"What's wrong?" He asks.

"Did you mean what you said? At the bakery?"

His face crinkles. "About?"

"Helping me."

"Yes," he nods and his eyes are on my face, where the purple and scratches are. "What happened to your face?"

"I told you; I'm clumsy."

He nods again. "Walk into many closed-fists, do you?"

I huff and look to my feet. "It's just some creep that got out of line the other night. It's no big deal."

"Uh-huh. Is that why Emmett has swollen knuckles and is telling Rosalie he's allergic to grass clippings all of a sudden?"

"I didn't come here to talk about that. Or to get the third degree."

He is annoyed - pissed – but walks over to the stool and takes a seat. "What did you need me for?" His tone tells me he is close to not wanting to know and I blurt out my words.

"I need you to take the parasite out of me."

His eyes are looking at me like I have two heads. He thinks for a moment. "Like a tapeworm?"

"No you idiot, the…" I breathe in and out. "The fucking thing." He is still not understanding what I mean. "The damn...the baby."

He is silent. He is taken aback. He is stunned. I look around the room. I am anxious. I am nervous. I am wanting resolve. Slowly, he speaks.

"You…want an abortion?"

"I want it gone."

There's strain in his jaw, hurt in his eyes. "Why ask me?"

"You said you'd help me."

He shakes his head. "I can't do that."

"You're a doctor, you can do it."

He is still shaking his head. "I make sick children better; not kill them."

"It's not even alive," I argue.

"I'm sure it's heartbeat would disagree."

I take a deep breath and ball my fists. "You said you would help. This is how I need your help."

He pinches the bridge of his nose and sets his clip board aside on the examining table. "Bella, even I wanted to, I couldn't. I might be a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor and just because I know how the procedure is done; doesn't mean I am capable of performing it."

Defeat is sitting on my chest. It is solid and it is suffocating. I close my eyes and hide my desperation. "Please. I just want it to go away. I need it to go away. Just…please."

It's quiet and when he speaks, it is soft, but strong. "Bella?" He waits for me to open my eyes. "I can talk to my father and get a few names of well qualified physicians, if this is truly what you'd like. That is all I can do, though."

I nod and he sighs. "I need to go back to work. I'm sorry." He is apologizing and I feel like shit for coming here in the first place. He stands and scoots the stool back into place. "Meet me at the bakery tomorrow, okay? At noon."

I am just nodding numbly and I expect him to go for the door, but he walks towards me; to the counter. He pulls open a drawer and I can only hear him rustling around for something as I stare at the wall. He steps back and suddenly his finger is coming towards my face. I shun away from it and he holds it up for me to see.

"It's just cream; to help the swelling." I let him touch me, even though it is awkward. He is too gentle and focused and I don't know where to put my eyes while he does it. I glance at his face and he is done. He offers me the tiny tube and I take it so I don't piss him off or offend him. His hand goes in his pocket.

"Candy?" He offers it to me like a child and I want to laugh, but there's nothing funny about candy. I shake my head.

"I don't eat candy."

He smiles and unwraps the one in his hand.

"Yeah," he pops it in his mouth. "Neither do I."