I don't own Twilight or its characters. Stephenie Meyer does.

Cheryl, Noles, and Gabby, thank you for pre-reading, and April, thank you for editing. Any mistakes left are my own.

Ch 2


My head was pounding, and my mouth had a terrible aftertaste. I groaned and tightened my eyes before burying myself under the blankets. I hadn't had a hangover this bad since college. I didn't miss them at all.

My mind drifted to the events of yesterday. It was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, but it ended up being one of the worst. As much as I hated Mike for cheating on me, I partially blamed myself. I had been second guessing the wedding for months. Something always seemed off not long after we got engaged. I thought I loved Mike but wasn't as ecstatic as other brides about planning a wedding, I seemed to be going through the motions. I didn't even mind when Mike suggested to take a break from sex after our engagement, so our wedding night would be more special. I probably should have minded, but the sex was bad. But silly me thought he was a good man so I could look past it. All I wanted was kids with someone who I had thought was stable.

Next time, I would wait for love…and good sex.

I groaned. I was never drinking again. I shifted and felt a familiar soreness between my legs and froze.

Oh. My. God.

Flashes of last night came back to me. Mostly of the handsome hotel owner. We had the hottest sex I'd had since I was teenager. Back then it had been with Quil in La Push. But it came to a grinding halt when my friend Jacob found out. Jake was pissed because he apparently had a crush on me. My feelings hadn't been mutual; however, Quil happened to be his cousin and felt guilty, so he ended it.

But, oh my lord, last night put that to shame. If I was remembering correctly, it was multiple times, starting with the hotel bar and ending in a bed. And possibly something about an elevator? I was half mortified I had one night stand and half wishing I had been sober enough to remember everything in more detail.

I rubbed my hand over my face and stiffened when I felt cool metal. I know I had thrown Mike's ring back at him…well, technically, at the slut. But I knew I didn't have it anymore. I shot up in bed, the covers falling around my waist. I brought my left hand up to examine a large diamond ring, surrounded by even more diamonds and with a metal band.

What did I do?

"Good morning, my bride." A rough voice behind me spoke.

My eyes widened as I looked over my shoulder at the handsome man in bed with me. Unlike last night, he had more stubble across his jaw. His deep green eyes seemed alert as he smirked at me.

"You do remember me, don't you? You didn't seem to be that much of a light-weight," he teased, raking his hand through his hair. He wore a similar band on his own hand.

More events rushed back at me from last night. The conversation we had after first round of sex while we ate and had more to drink. He told me his family's expectation of marrying soon but not finding anyone suitable. I lamented I wasn't going to have a baby anytime soon. He suggested since he needed a wife and I wanted babies we should get married. After a little persuading, I agreed, something I wouldn't have done while sober. Things were pretty foggy after that. I remember his brother and hotel manager coming back and the two of us exchanging vows under what should've been my wedding arch. The pastor was there too…oh my…

"I…um…remember," I admitted. "Excuse me."

I rushed off to the bathroom and locked the door. After splashing some cold water on my face, I decided I needed a real shower. I stayed under until I started to shiver. Unlike my hotel suite, in here there was personal shampoo and conditioner, not the standard tiny sample bottles—I didn't remember leaving the hotel. But at this point, I didn't trust my judgment anymore. I stepped out, then grabbed a large fluffy towel to wrap around me since I didn't have any clothes with me. On the small counter was mouthwash, I swished some to get rid of the terrible taste in my mouth.

I stared at myself in the mirror, at least I looked more alive than I did a few moments ago. Now for the hard part, hopefully Edward—God, I hope that was his name—would be in agreement that what we did last night was rash because we were both drunk. We could put an end to it before it was too late. We didn't even have a license, so it couldn't be valid…right?

I took the first step and pulled off my rings, I was slightly interested where he had gotten them on such short notice. After a deep breath, I left the bathroom. Edward was no longer in the bedroom but through another door to a living area, standing across the room on the phone. I took in the size of the room, it was massive, maybe even bigger than my apartment. There was another door and I wondered if it was another bedroom or possibly a kitchen.

Edward hung up when I entered the room "Feeling better? I ordered us some breakfast; it will be up shortly. I also had your things brought up from your suite, they're over there." He pointed to a small couch by the windows. "If anything is missing or you need anything let me know."

"Thank you," I said politely and went over to my suitcase. "So, we're still in the hotel?"

Edward gave me a smirk, looking devilishly handsome. "Yes, in my penthouse suite."

"Do you live here?" I looked around.

"I stay here some nights when I work in the city. We have a house on Bainbridge Island," he said.

We…I guess this was my opening.

"Edward, I'm not so sure either of us were thinking clearly last night. I mean our marriage isn't even legal."

"I had Jasper file the papers this morning," he told me.

"How? They take three weeks to get?" I questioned not only how this was possible, but also his sanity.

"The more money you have the faster things can get done. I called in a few favors." Edward shrugged.

"We did this on a drunken whim. Don't you want a prenup or something?" I was bewildered that he seemed okay with everything.

"My family doesn't believe in divorce. It's 'til death do us part, so there's no need for one. Having doubts, my bride? Remember I told you, you were playing with fire." He tilted his head, and his face was blank.

"What if this was a huge mistake? We barely know each other. We aren't in love. Don't you want to be married to someone you love and who loves you?" I asked.

He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't believe in love. And you already told me you weren't sure you loved Michael. You wanted babies and were settling for a stable man. What's the difference, other than I can provide better for you than him and give you as many babies as you could ever want? Besides, we already know that the sex is good. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a baby or two in you already." He winked at me.

"I'm going to jump in the shower. The food should be here any second. It's already paid for. Then we can discuss a possible honeymoon." He headed for the bedroom.

"I have school on Monday. Michael said he couldn't get the time off, and we could possibly get away this summer," I told him.

Edward turned in the bathroom doorway. "Newton is a bigger idiot than I thought. And you're quitting your job, effective immediately."

As soon as the door closed, I rushed to get dressed. I had bitten back my response because in a matter of moments I was out of here. There was no way I was quitting my job because he told me too. Who did he think he was? This guy was a lunatic and no matter how handsome he was, I couldn't be married to him. It was too sudden, and it weirded me out he was so okay with being married to a stranger.

I finished dressing and looked around for my wedding dress, but it was nowhere in sight. Finally, not wanting to waste any more time, I wrote a quick note and left the rings on the nightstand next to his cellphone and wallet. I grabbed my things and headed out of the room.


The hallway was empty and deserted, in fact there was only one other door on the floor and an elevator. I went straight for the elevator doors and saw there weren't any buttons, only a card slot.

"Crap." I ran my hand through my damp hair.

Maybe the card was in his wallet, and I could get it. I glanced back at his door and saw the same card slot. I was officially stuck in the hallway until someone came. Hopefully, the food service person would take pity on me.

The elevator dinged, but it wasn't a worker with a food cart. It was a tall woman with auburn hair dressed elegantly. When she saw me, her eyes narrowed, and her nose crinkled in taste.

"Emmett or Edward," she snapped.

I flushed bright red. He had said he wasn't married, but maybe he had a girlfriend. "Excuse me? I uh…oh God this is embarrassing." I had no clue what to say in this situation.

"How much will it take for you to go away?" She tapped her foot and reached into her purse.

"Seriously? Nothing, it was a drunken mistake. I promise you this is very unlike me. I just want to go home and forget this ever happened." I was pissed she offered me money.

She was quiet for a moment before she nodded sharply. "Well, I must agree, you don't look like the normal type…for either of them."

She handed me her card. "Drop it on the floor and I'll say I lost it. Take a left when you get out then your second right. It will lead you to the side entrance to a small alley."

"Thank you so much." I smiled at her.

"Mhmm." She looked unimpressed.

The air was a bit chilly when I stepped outside, it was overcast but thankfully not raining. I found my cell and noticed it was off. I turned it on to see a ton of messages from Alice. Before I could call her back, my phone rang.


"Where have you been? I was about to start calling hospitals to check their morgues," Alice demanded.

"Dramatic much, Alice? I'm still at the hotel, can you come pick me up?" I begged.

"Fine. Then we are going back to my place and we're going to have a drink to celebrate the louse being out of your life. Then you're going to explain your disappearing act. I'll be out front in two minutes, I'm just around the corner."

"I'm never drinking again." I looked around to where the alley came out. "Actually, come around to the east side of the building. I came out of the alley across from a cigar shop."

She was quiet for a moment. "You have some explaining to do Bel…la," she sang, trying to sound like Desi Arnaz.

"Your accent sucks, and I will, but not until I have caffeine and something greasy to eat," I told her.

Alice pulled up a few moments later in her old, beat-up Toyota Camry. I placed my bag in the back and got into the car. Alice lowered her sunglasses to look at me.

"Oh. My. Gawd. Isabella Marie, are you taking the walk of shame?" Her eyes were wide as saucers.

"Shut it. You owe me for how many bailouts? I deserve at least one," I responded. "Please tell me you have some pain killers."

"Hung over too." She playfully tsked then pointed to her bag. "In my purse."

"Alice, please don't start. I feel like crap," I told her.

She started to drive away. "I know where there's a Taco Bell. Best hangover food ever, my treat. And I'm only teasing you about a one-night stand. You deserved to let loose last night. Was it at least good?"

"Good…amazing," I admitted.

Her squeal made me wince from volume and pitch. "Sorry." She gave me a sheepish grin. "Cute?"

"Probably the most handsome man I've ever met," I answered.

She wiggled in her seat but didn't ask anything else. I knew she wanted more details but was trying to be patient, but I knew it wasn't her specialty.

"I'll tell you more after my head stops throbbing," I promised her.

Several minutes later, we were sitting in her car with a bag of food between us and a large Mountain Dew. I'd finished one taco and started a second, and my stomach was already feeling better.

"Well?" Alice asked before taking a large bite out of a burrito.

I sighed. "Fine."

I told her everything from when I left her last night up until she picked me up outside the hotel. She listened silently and, surprisingly, didn't interrupt me once. When I finished, she took a large sip of her slushie before speaking.

"Wow…just wow. You're married. You're a runaway bride." She shook her head.

"I'm not a runaway bride, because I'm not married. At least not legally. The guy is crazy to think it was real. You can't get a marriage license just like that." I snapped my fingers. "It takes weeks. No matter how much money you have."

"I don't know, Bella. It's Edward Cullen. If anyone can get it done, it would be him. They say he has ties to the Masen family." Alice started to frown, looking worried.

"So, he's a rich businessman. That doesn't mean he can bend the law at will," I scoffed.

"It can if you're a mob boss," Alice whispered.

"A mob boss? Really, Alice?" I snorted.

"Shhh…:" Alice hissed then looked over her shoulder into the parking lot.

"You're nuts. The mafia isn't around here today, it died out with prohibition. Not to mention Masen and Cullen aren't Italian names," I told her.

"Oh poor, sweet, naïve Bella. You are in over your head. Of course, the mob is around and they're more of them than the Italians…Irish is another one. How do you not know this? Your dad was a cop." Alice gave me an incredulous look.

"Of Forks, Alice. You've been there; the biggest crime was…" I stopped short as tears filled my eyes thinking of my dad.

Alice's face softened. "I'm sorry."

I shook my head. "How do you know this?"

"My family is from Boston. My grandparents were taken advantage of by Whitey Bulger. Huge crime boss out there," she explained.

"And you think Edward Cullen is in the mob?" He may have seemed crazy, but he wasn't a bad guy.

"You could be dancing with the devil you know." I recalled his words.

"He has been in the news. You gotta watch more than children shows," she teased.

"I have to stay current for my kids." I managed a weak smile. "You have to be wrong about him."

"Well, I hope for your sake I am. Because if I'm not, then you are married and maybe even pregnant. Did you use protection?" Alice asked.

"Umm…I don't think so." I bit my lip.

"Oh, Bella, don't you ever listen to the lectures you give me?" Alice scolded.

I scowled and tossed a cinnamon twist at her. "By the way, nice shiner you gave the hotel manager."

She giggled. "Not my fault, he should've let me hit the slut. Too bad he ran off; I could've played nursemaid. He was cute."


The rest of Sunday passed without too much fanfare. Never once did I hear from Michael or Edward. I admit I was slightly disappointed about not hearing from the latter. But it was for the best. I chalked it up to the sex dream I had about the handsome devil.

I managed to get a hold of my landlord and talk him into letting me re-sign a lease. He hadn't found a replacement for me, so I lucked out. But he did raise my rent for the inconvenience I caused him.

Monday morning, I kept my head down and tried to stay in my classroom as much as possible. I didn't feel like answering a thousand and one questions about my failed wedding. Thankfully, I had planned on keeping Swan until the end of the school year, so I didn't confuse my kids.

During my free period, I was called down to the office. When I entered both secretaries, Cora Smith and Shelly Cope looked up with huge smiles.

"Look at the gorgeous flowers your new hubby sent you." Shelly pointed to a huge arrangement of flowers.

My eyes widened as I took a closer look—they screamed expensive. I stepped closer and plucked the card out and read the front, Bella, my bride. I sucked in a breath, they were from Edward.

"What's wrong, dear, you look sick?" Cora asked in concern.

I sighed and knew it was going to come out sooner rather than later. "I actually didn't get married this weekend. I caught Michael cheating right before the ceremony."

"That worm, so they're groveling flowers. Would you like us to throw them out?" Shelly asked.

"No, don't do that. I'll bring them to a nursing home or something on my way home," I told her. "Can I leave them here until after school? One of my kids is allergic to flowers."

"Of course. I'm so sorry, Bella, but you deserve better than that man. I hope you won't fall for his groveling, once a cheater, always a cheater. I have a nephew if you're interested," Cora suggested.

"I'm not interested in dating at the moment. I think I need to regroup first," I answered her.

"Well, I have news that may cheer you up. A very generous benefactor contacted Principal Greene today. He offered to donate Chromebooks for every single student here to keep and use at home. He also wants a list for any student who may need help with getting internet in their home," Shelly gushed.

"Wow, that's great. I know at least two of my students who could use the help for internet service." I was amazed by the generosity.

"I'm not even done. All teachers will get upgraded laptops, and if you have any wish list items for your class, submit it and they will get it for you," Shelly added.

"This is beyond unreal, who is this benefactor?" I asked.

"Well…" Shelly exchanged a look with Cora.

Cora shrugged. "You know what I think. I don't believe all the hogwash on the news. If the family was so shady, then why would they be helping the little guy?"

"Guilty conscience," Shelly muttered then turned back to me. "It was the Cullen foundation."

I froze. "Like Edward Cullen?"

"The one and only." Cora nodded.

"Well…this was very nice of him." I forced a smile. "I need to get back to my class before they get there. Excuse me."

I walked fast back to my class. Edward had obviously found me, and I wasn't sure what that would mean. I never expected him to follow me. I opened the card and read it.

My bride,

Enjoy your flowers, and I will see you soon.

Your husband.

I bit my lip nervously, trying to think how to handle this situation. As I entered my classroom and was about to go to my desk to prepare my last lesson of the day, I noticed the man of the hour, sitting in my chair.

He stood to greet me. "Hello, my bride."

A/N: Bella did run, because what is a story without some drama. She doesn't believe they're married(at least not legally) because it takes two weeks to get a license in Washington state.

Edward's whole backstory hasn't come out yet but since it's been mentioned I will explain since it's not really going to be a secret. Although Edward is from an Irish mob, he won't have a strong Irish accent. Mainly due to the fact he's at least second generation born in the U.S. and attended U.S. boarding schools. He will at times use Irish slang like eejit. Also, he says Mother and Father on purpose. (More like rebellion.) Emmett uses the traditional Irish Ma and Da because he doesn't have the same issues.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.