After the lovely review Catti-brie wrote for "Beyond Time" by TKegl, here's a new fic I bet you'll enjoy! The story is complete!
Summary: Isabella Swan grew up as the best friend of Alice Cullen, younger sister of Edward Cullen, who was never nice to Bella despite her being an "honorary Cullen." Everything changes when Edward is sent to prison for the murder of Bella's mother. AU-Human
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Every time I stumbled upon this story, I was intrigued by the summary so one day I decided to give it a try. I was completely hooked since the very beginning and I couldn’t stop reading.
The story begins with a nine-year-old Bella who is spending the summer in Forks. She’s at the beach with Charlie when the Cullens appear: Carlisle, Esme and their three kids, Emmett, Edward and Alice. Alice immediately goes to talk to Bella and since that day they become best friends.
We learn very soon that Edward is not very nice to Bella and that he’s a troubled guy. The first chapter of the story covers several years. You’re not going to like Edward very much in this chapter (I didn’t) but don’t let that stop you from reading.
In the second chapter we see that some years have passed and we find Bella packing her things because she’s going back to Forks after graduating. We learn what the story’s summary told us: Edward was accused of Renee’s murder and he’s in prison. And Bella dreads her coming back to the place where everything happened:

Now she was concerned the nightmares would return. She hadn't had one in months. Once she got into a routine at school, everything about Forks and Renee's murder became easier to not think about. She sought counseling from the school's resource center at the encouragement of her adviser, but she eventually stopped going once the nightmares subsided.

She'd had nightmares for weeks. The Swan house was a crime scene, and neither Bella nor Charlie was allowed to be there. They stayed in La Push at Sue Clearwater's house, and every night, Sue or Charlie would rush into the room she was sharing with Leah and try to calm her down. Leah never complained about her new roommate, and Bella was glad to have the girl to lean on given that she no longer had Alice.


Bella sighed as she walked across the street to the hotel. She missed Alice the most. It wasn't just Renee who Bella had lost, it was also Alice. Bella cried herself to sleep many nights after the initial shock wore off. She missed Alice, and Emmett, and Carlisle. She missed Esme, who had been like a mother to her on so many levels.

Immediately after the trial, Bella went back to school. She returned to Forks once for the sentencing, and then it was back to Berkeley, never to return. Until now.”

After having a glimpse of Bella’s life, we have a glimpse of Edward’s. He has changed a lot during his time in prison. His imprisonment tore the Cullens apart and his family has basically abandoned him. The only one who still visits him often is Emmett.
One day, Bella is arranging some things in the attic and she comes up with a box full of letters written by Edward that Charlie had kept from her. She decides to go visit him in person to tell him to stop writing her. She didn’t expect what he tells her:

"I'm surprised you came," he began.

"I wasn't going to," she interjected, perhaps a little more icily than she meant.

Edward frowned, his brows creasing. "Then why are you here?"

"I don't know," she said softly, studying a chip in the glass, as if someone had tried to break it to get to the other side. "Did you get my letter?"

He nodded. "I didn't think you were getting mine."

This conversation is going nowhere fast, he thought. I'm wasting time. She's really here and I'm screwing it up.

"I wasn't. Anyway, I guess that's why I'm here. To tell you to stop writing me. In person."

"Isabella, will you just listen to me? Please?"

She said nothing, lifting her eyes to his. There was a resigned sadness there, and it was easy to see that he was defeated. He looked ten years older, not like the youthful Edward she knew.

"I didn't know what else to do," he started. "I wrote to you every day. I didn't send every letter. Some of it was just rambling. But I wanted to reach out to you, to try and make you understand that I didn't kill your mother. You know me, Isabella. I know I treated you like shit, and you have no idea how sorry I am for that, but you have to know I could never kill someone. I don't know what the hell happened in Forks to make people think I did that, but something happened, and here I am."

Bella is a journalist and her curiosity has been piqued. What if Edward is telling the truth and he’s in prison for a crime he didn’t commit? She decides to start digging around and she soon notices that some things are highly suspicious. She gets help from Rosalie who is a detective.

This story is very well written and has a little bit of everything. The suspense is really good. It keeps you invested in the story and you really want to know what is going to happen next. The story alternates the present day with flashbacks of the past so we get to know what happened in a very detailed way. Another thing I love about this story is how the author has developed the characters. It’s really interesting to see how Edward and Bella get closer and how their relationship develops. Bella is the only person that has believed in him when his own family didn’t. Everyone’s lives were inevitably altered the moment Edward was accused and then sentence to life imprisonment. You keep wondering if there’s a way they will be able to fix all those broken relationships. I really love this story and I enjoyed it immensely. If you want to read an amazing mystery, check out ‘A Thousand Leaves’. You won’t regret it.

Thank you, Catti-brie!

If you read this fic, please don't forget to tell the author that "My Reading Lounge sent you" and say "Ciao!" from me! Thanks!  
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