Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 25

CHAPTER 25
BELLA
I got home and walked straight to Carlisle's office. "Bells," he smiled. I looked over at Demitri, who was sitting on the other side of his desk.
"I can come back...I just..."
"No, he's all yours, little one," Demitri smiled, standing. "I've monopolized his time enough. I'll see you when I get back from Denali."
"'Kay," I sighed, "thanks." I watched as Demitri closed the door behind him on his way out.
"What's wrong?" Carlisle frowned. "School's ok, right?"
"Yeah. Did you hear about that Halloween party?"
"Yes, I believe Mr. Graham is in jail...how's his daughter?" Carlisle sighed, sitting back in his chair.
"Well, I just was wondering if you could suggest someone for her to talk to...I think she could use it."
"You talked to her about your experience?"
"Not in the way you mean...I don't mention Jake...but the rumor got around that I was abused and Edward saved me. Thanks to Mrs. Richardson," I growled.
"Ah, the one Esme chatted with," Carlisle chuckled.
"That was not a chat," I snorted. "Anyway, Wendy...sees something in me...and I told her today that I used to and still do talk to you. She seemed receptive. If you know someone...maybe you could call Mrs. Warren...that's who Wendy's staying with."
"I'd be glad to," he smiled. "In fact, I'll call Dr. Davis when we are done to see if she has time." I nodded, sighing with one subject down. "What else, Bells?"
"Mr. Morgan wants us to write about our experiences...to help others. It would be anonymous and he said we didn't have to, but..." I looked at the floor.
"You're stronger than you give yourself credit for," Carlisle sighed. "You can do this. I understand if you don't, but you could."
"She's coming over this weekend," I frowned. "Alice promised her a makeover," I rolled my eyes and he chuckled, "and we planned on starting this article then." I sighed, looking into his eyes to try to find strength. I found more than I could possibly describe. "I don't know...how...to write this and not be angry. I don't know how to encourage someone to seek help. I would be a hypocrite. I put up with it for over a year."
"Is Wendy a hypocrite?" He countered, his face nothing but serene patience.
"No, she was five when her mother left. She knows nothing different," I shook my head. "I was eighteen when Jake first hit me. An adult. I knew I should have left or told or whatever...my father was a cop for God's sake..."
"Bella, your depression was so thick, you couldn't have made a rational decision if you tried. I'm not telling you that to upset you, it's a fact. So in turn, you didn't know better," he said, focusing on his hands and then back to me. "I spoke to Charlie when we returned. He said you were catatonic, immobile with grief. And Edward quit pacing outside my door!" He chuckled, shaking his head.
I snorted into a laugh. "Get in here, baby."
"Sorry," he mumbled and opened the door, running a nervous hand through his hair.
"Can't separate you for ten minutes," Carlisle teased.
"You want to hear this?" I asked Edward as he knelt beside my chair.
"Yes," he nodded. "I want to help."
"You help her more than you think," Carlisle smiled. "You two have an uncanny ability to know exactly what the other needs in times of distress."
"What should I do? Should I write it?" I asked, cupping my husband's worried face.
"Yes," he nodded. "Imagine how helpful it would have been to have met someone like Wendy before I returned. You might have put an end to it earlier."
"Edward," Carlisle frowned, "if you bring guilt in here..."
"I'm not!" Edward defended. "Just redemption," he sighed, turning back to me. "I can give the side of watching you go through it. You wouldn't believe the minds at school. Wendy's not the only one." His face was pained at the thought of someone else's friend, girlfriend, daughter going through what Wendy and I had.
"Please, don't say that," I growled, putting my face in my hands. Suddenly, I went from scared to pissed. "Fine," I nodded. "Maybe if one person gets help..."
"Good girl," Edward smiled, pulling my hands away from my face. He stopped, looking to Carlisle. "She won't accept it, but you can say it anyway."
"Bells, I owe you an apology. I realize that we have put a ton of pressure on you. I forget that you have only been with us a few short years. It feels like you've always been there...but...this was only your second move," Carlisle sighed. "It seems everything is getting to you these days. I'm terribly sorry."
"He's right, no apology necessary," I shook my head. "I'll get the hang of this silly ass family eventually." I laughed, squealing as Edward gripped my knee.
"You tell him, little one!" Emmett boomed from the living room.
"We have to stop," I growled, "I can't think about this shit anymore today," I sighed, shoving my fingers into my hair as Wendy abruptly quit typing. We had tried to get most of the article's outline done through the school week, but as we sat actually typing it, we were both messes. Jasper had tried repeatedly to keep us calm. Without him, I don't think we would have gotten as far as we had.
"We're almost done," Wendy sighed, pushing the computer back. "What I wouldn't give for chocolate," she chuckled.
"Hold still," I laughed, walking into the kitchen. There were things in our kitchen that would boggle the normal vampire's mind, but Esme kept them there anyway. I heard Edward chuckle from the living room at my thoughts. We had picked his brain already for the article, but he and Jasper stayed close by just to keep an eye on us.
I reached into the jar on the counter, grabbing a handful of Hershey's kisses. "Here," I smiled, laying the whole lot at her fingertips.
"It's the perfect pick-me-up," she laughed, tossing one in her mouth. "I don't care what they say." I wanted to tell her real kisses were a better pick-me-up, but thought better of it. Again, Edward's chuckle met my ears.
"What's left?" I sighed, turning the computer towards me. "Contacts and closing...not bad for an emotional rollercoaster of a day." I skimmed through it one more time. "You know, it's not bad," I nodded, turning the computer back to her. Since Mr. Morgan had given us permission to turn it in anonymously, we decided to write it as a letter to the paper.
"Yeah, we can finish it Monday at school," she smiled, popping another kiss into her mouth and saving our work to a thumb drive. She ate one more piece of candy, pushing her glasses up on her nose, pride overflowing from her. It was good work and mission accomplished. We both felt better about it.
"My turn!" Alice beamed, bouncing out of her room. "Makeover."
"Um...here," I winced, "you'll need all of these while you're in there." I shoved the rest of the chocolate into Wendy's hand.
"Shut it, Bells, just because it was torture to you..."
"Means it's torture to everyone...just go..." I laughed.
"Now, tell me about this Austin I keep hearing about..." Alice teased and Wendy groaned, the door shutting behind them.
Edward appeared, kneeling before me, his hands on my jean clad thighs. I cupped his face, drowning in his too deep bronze eyes. "You need to hunt," I sighed, leaning down to kiss him. "Do we have time?"
"Alice says yes," he smiled, tilting his head as I traced his features. "Come on, you look drained," he sighed, but I didn't let him up.
"I love you," I sighed, brushing the hair from his forehead.
"As I love you," he smirked, taking my hand and kissing each finger. He stood, offering me his hand and I took it.
We both hunted quickly – a bear for me and two stags for Edward. We walked back hand in hand, feeling a little better. "Last one to the shower," I laughed, shoving off of him and bolting into the house. I was tackled onto our bed with a deep growl and a playful bite at my neck. I squirmed under his tickling fingers, burying my face in his shirt. The tickling turned into groping and laughs turned into moaning kisses.
"Bells!" Alice growled from outside our door. "Get ready, damn it."
"Go away, Alice," we both mumbled against each other's lips.
"I'll get the hose," she warned.
"Damn, she will too," Edward sighed, his head hitting my shoulder.
"Esme will be pissed!" I laughed when his head nodded and a chuckle shook my body. "Ok, ok...getting ready...go away, pixie!"
Edward was dressed and ready before me as usual, heading downstairs to greet Demitri, who had just come back from Denali. Carina was staying with Marcus to keep him company and catch up. I think she looked to him like a father figure – like we did to Carlisle.
Instead of going on into the living room, I knocked on Alice's door, cracking it open slowly. "Wow, look at you!" I smirked, folding my arms across my chest. Wendy rolled her eyes, but fought her smile. "Austin will lose his mind."
"Not you too!" She growled, causing laughs to escape my sisters. "How do you know he likes me?"
"Oh, we know," we all snickered.
"The way he looks at you...come on," I smiled.
"I don't know..." She blushed, shaking her head slowly.
"Be still," Alice giggled, trying to curl her hair. "Well, he'll definitely look at you tonight. Who's coming?"
"Um," she sighed, "Pam, Ariel, Drew, Todd, Austin...I think even Britney and Rachel...but I'm not sure." Britney and Rachel were the other two girls that followed Pam around. I had remembered seeing them in the gym the day we registered for classes. They weren't in very many of my classes and never really talked much around us.
"We should bring Demitri," Alice smirked.
Rose and I chuckled, shaking our heads. "Why do you insist on flaunting him in front of Ariel?" I snorted.
"Is that the one she babbles on and on about?" Wendy laughed.
"You haven't met him?" Rose smiled and she shook her head no. "Well, we'll just have to fix that. You look good, by the way," she pointed up and down.
"Take a peek," Alice beamed.
"Whoa," Wendy smirked at herself in the mirror. "Damn, Bella, you were right."
"Told you," I sang, opening the door. "Come on...we should go soon."
"Demitri," Alice, Rose and I smiled when we came out of the room. Wendy's mouth hung open as his extremely handsome, tall form stood up from the dining room table to greet us. He had been sitting with Esme, who rolled her eyes at us. She knew exactly what we were doing. We couldn't help it; he was sweet eye candy.
"Ladies," he smiled, lowering his head in the slight bow he saved just for us. "And where are you beautiful girls off to this evening?"
"Movies, wanna come?" Rose asked, winking at Wendy. I bit back my laugh at the fact that her mouth still hung open.
"I have to decline this time, perhaps another time," he sighed, his Italian accent just rolling off his tongue like warm honey. When he turned to sit back down, I closed Wendy's mouth for her. She shook her head as if to clear it. I understood. Occasionally, Edward did that to me. I heard a deep chuckle from the other room and the piano playing softly.
"Now, I get it," Wendy breathed, following us into the living room. Rose chuckled a deep, evil laugh.
"Edward," I smiled, walking behind him sitting on the piano bench. "We should go, love."
"Yes, ma'am," he smirked, leaning his head backwards. I snickered, kissing his nose. He stopped playing and closed the lid to the keys.
"Do all of those belong to you?" Wendy asked, gesturing to every instrument that the boys had on display.
"The drums are mine!" Emmett grinned.
"Yes, the drums belong to Emmett," Edward chuckled. "The guitars are mine and Jasper's...we share them and the piano is mine. Do you play?" He asked, watching her eyes glaze over as she stared at the piano.
"My mother taught lessons," she whispered, frowning. "I tried, but I liked hearing her play more than trying to learn."
I could see that he was hearing her thoughts, but had to ask the questions anyway.
"What songs did she play?" Edward smiled, trying to not let her get sad.
"She played classical to calm me down or put me to sleep...sixties rock to make me laugh...you know...like from Top Gun...Jerry..."
"Jerry Lee Lewis," Jasper smiled, picking up his guitar and flipping on the amp. A huge wave of cheerfulness floated around me. "Come on, Ed... Great Balls of Fire." Edward chuckled, opening the piano back up.
"Sweet!" Emmett beamed, hopping up from the sofa.
"Oooh, girl, my man's gonna sing," Alice smirked, tugging us all back to the sofa.
To see my boys just set the room on fire with music was rare, but they did it for Wendy. They fed off of each other, watching for key changes. When it came time for Jasper's guitar solo, Esme, Demitri and Carlisle all came to watch. Edward's hands flew over the keys, not one mistake that I could tell. He kept his eye on Emmett, because their rhythm was pretty similar.
I couldn't love any of them more in that moment if I tried. It was all to make someone feel better. A human. Someone that, in the past, they may have never put much effort towards. Esme had once told me that Carlisle enjoyed a good cause. I now saw it carry over to his sons. They cared because it meant something to me.
"Bravo," Demitri clapped. My silly ass boys stood and took a bow giving each other fist bumps.
"Nice," Wendy laughed, the sadness completely gone from her eyes.
"Now, we do have to go," I chuckled. "Come on, boys..." I held my hand out for Edward and he took it.
EDWARD
As I watched my wife laugh and joke with my sisters and the girls from school while we waited outside for the movie to start, I wondered if I would ever get used to the thoughts, the stares of other men. Aside from Drew and his friends, the thoughts around me were vile towards all of the ladies standing in the group. Bella had guessed correctly. I did like Drew. He had been polite and kind since we first saw him. He wasn't blind, I smirked, remembering how her smile had caused him to stop all coherent thoughts, but he didn't have a crude mind.
"Emmett's gonna wait in line for the tickets," Jasper sighed, sitting next to me. I nodded, but didn't say anything. I was enjoying one of the rare moments of being able to show my angel off. She was in safe company and looked absolutely stunning. And she was mine.
"Pride?" Jasper chuckled, looking over at me. "That's something you rarely exude in public. Normally, it's jealousy..." He chuckled and I nodded, laughing with him.
"It's been a rough week for her...reliving everything. I think it's helped her," I sighed. "I've watched her heal a little bit more."
"You like that Wendy girl...you feel protective of her?"
"Only for Bella's sake," I frowned, swallowing hard. "She's an innocent and they are good for each other through this."
"Yeah, but she overflows with hope when she watches the two of you." Jasper smirked, his eyes falling onto the group of girls laughing.
"I know...she needs something to hold onto...something that's not dark. Bella will never be dark," I chuckled.
"Definitely not," he laughed. "And now you aren't dark anymore." He smirked and I nodded. It was true. Bella was my sunshine, hardly allowing a dark thought to creep in.
"Is it trouble to get too close?"
"No," I smiled. "I listened to Bella's thoughts when we were playing music. She was remembering what we used to be like...ignoring all the humans. She saw us as slightly cold in personality. We acted like we didn't care."
"We didn't," he shrugged. "We can't save them all from each other. But we do interact more with humans with Bells around. She still acts like one of them. And her shield, she pulls the ones she likes to her."
"I know," I smiled. "The only thing changing her did was make her stronger...her personality is the same."
"And immortal." He smiled, but snorted into laughter again. "There's that pride again, my brother."
"Sue me," I chuckled. "How long have you been with Alice?" I asked, thinking I was allowed pride. I had only recently found what I needed in this life, and he had been with Alice for decades.
"Touché," he laughed, slapping my back.
Emmett walked up and joined us, the pile of tickets in his shirt pocket. "What's the deal with Demitri...why do the girls flaunt him?"
I chuckled, shaking my head, but it was Jasper that answered. "I'm pretty sure that it's the Italian in him. Alice told me it gives Edward a break from the crushes."
I rolled my eyes at their laughs. "It's true," I smiled. "Ariel," I pointed, "thinks he reminds her of a book character. Wendy...a movie star. In fact, that's the debate they are all having right now."
"Nice," Emmett chuckled. "And Pam?" He teased, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, well she can't decide what she wants," I sighed. "She's always liked Drew...and vice versa, but she sees me as the unattainable."
You are the unattainable, my wife's thoughts hit me. I looked up to see her sweet smile. She shot me a wink and turned back to the conversation. I snickered, nodding to myself.
"What happened to...If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with...huh?" Emmett chuckled.
"I hate that song," I sighed. "It's a terrible concept. And it never works out for anyone involved."
"We'll just scratch that one off the playlist," Jasper chuckled, pretending to mark something off on his palm. "You would know..."
"Speaking of playlists," Emmett smirked.
"Yes, we are all aware that it's your turn, when?" Jasper chuckled.
"Soon, I think Bells wants it," he smiled.
"Doting on the baby sister, are we?" Jasper laughed.
"Like you don't," I smiled. Jasper was ten times worse than Emmett when it came to the baby of the family. It was the friendship they had developed ever since she had been living under our roof. Hell, I think it started while she was still human.
"Yes," Emmett pouted. "She deserves it. She's been run ragged the last few months. With training and this whole Wendy thing...yeah, hell, yeah...I want to see her happy."
"She does, Em," I smiled. "And it's a good idea...you let us know when."
"I'll have to find a new place," Emmett nodded, "but maybe this weekend. Alice says no school Monday or Tuesday...sunny," he sighed.
"Ok," I nodded, opening my arms when my angel was walking towards me. "Hey, sweet girl," I smiled, receiving a kiss to my forehead.
"Everyone's heading down to the game store...just so you know," she smirked at my brothers, who immediately jumped up. "Forty five minutes," she reminded, stepping between my legs.
"You don't want to go?" I asked, unable to resist touching her perfect legs.
"No," she shook her head. "I just want to be with you," she smiled so sweetly, sitting down sideways on my lap.
"Well, I'm certainly not complaining," I chuckled, wrapping my arms around her. In one of those common moments, we lost ourselves in each other. Just being together created a bubble around us. I barely heard the thoughts of the middle aged man on the next bench wishing she was on his lap instead of mine.
What I did hear were the thoughts of my angel. She was overflowing with love and need. She was grateful for everything that we had done for her friend. And she thought I was irresistibly handsome. I couldn't help but chuckle, kissing her softly. "Thank you, but you dress me."
"To my own undoing," she giggled, running her fingers through my hair.
"And mine," I teased. "Between how stunning you are and your thoughts, this movie won't happen."
"I'm ok with that," she laughed, her head tilting back.
"They'll all be disappointed...they so want you here," I smiled, kissing her neck.
"I know," her brow furrowed slightly. "Is it wrong to want to run away with you?" She smirked.
"I should hope not," I smiled, "because I think about it all the time. Where would you steal me away to?"
"Someplace where we could be alone," she smiled, biting her bottom lip. "Where there wasn't someone that wanted to hurt us...no impending wars...no hate...no mean teachers...someplace where I could stay wrapped around you all day..."
"Neverland, then?" I teased, squeezing her close as she laughed. She buried her face in my neck, breathing deep.
"I certainly hope you mean Peter Pan's home and not Michael Jackson's," she cracked up.
"James Barrie was definitely on to something," I smiled, relishing her laugh. If my heart still thumped, it would have sputtered every time that beautiful sound escaped her.
"Where would you steal me away to?" She asked, still smiling.
"Hmm," I thought, feigning a serious face. She read through me instantly, folding her arms across her chest. "As tempting as Peter's home in the trees is...there's that whole Captain Hook situation..." She giggled, shaking her head at me. "I think I would like to take you somewhere I can only hear your mind, no one else's. Where I can shamelessly ogle you all day without getting caught by family or teachers. I, too, want no one to hurt you...some place safe where they can't find us."
"Neverland it is, then...Captain Hook would be nothing for you," she sighed, and I chuckled at her false despair. "If only we had some of Tinkerbelle's fairy dust...second star to the right and follow 'til morning," she quoted with a smile, cupping my face.
"If only," I sighed, losing myself in her eyes. She loved me more and more each day, a thought that made my whole body grow warm.
"Kiss me, Edward...I don't care who sees us," she breathed. My hand slid up her back and underneath her hair, weaving into her soft locks. I couldn't resist that request from her, ever. I cupped the back of her head as she tilted it, leaning into me. I took her bottom lip, allowing my tongue a teasing taste of her and doing the same to her top. She didn't want chaste. With a soft moan from the both of us, she opened her mouth to mine, her sweet tongue sliding along mine. There was no fight for dominance in this kiss – just the relish of taste, of love that completely sealed us off from everyone else.
Our lips brushed together over and around, gliding together wetly. I lost myself and where we were – something I normally didn't do, but my beautiful wife made it easy to forget everything but her.
"Forgive them, for they know not what they do," Jasper chuckled. Bella smiled against my lips, pulling back a little.
"Did he just quote Jesus?" She laughed, licking her bottom lip.
"I'm afraid so," I chuckled, shaking my head. Croons of the teenage girls met my ears and I sighed, meeting Bella's eyes.
"They can't help it," she giggled. "You're incredibly handsome...and they die with every sweet thing you say to me. By the time we graduate, their expectations will be so high no man will be able to meet them," she smiled, poking my stomach when I rolled my eyes. She sighed dramatically, "And I can't help it if you're all mine."
"Completely," I chuckled, setting her on her feet and standing. "Come on, love...let's see this movie before I get Demitri to track Tinkerbelle down." She smiled, shaking her head at me. We followed everyone else into the theater, her fingers linked with mine.
I stood in the doorway of our room, just taking in the sight of my Bella. Her mind was closed off to me as she frowned at the computer in front of her. She was stretched out on her stomach, again torturing me in one of my own black t-shirts, her sweet bottom barely peeking out from the edge. She was wearing a sweatshirt-gray cotton pair of boy shorts and I could hardly stop from just ravishing her.
"Hey, baby," she beamed up at me.
"My sweet girl," I smiled sitting next to her as she closed the computer. "I know you girls are going shopping today...Emmett wants to check out a club in the city and then go hunting on the coast, do you mind?"
"Why would I mind? The next few days will be sunny, we'll be trapped in this house." She laughed adorably. "I don't own you, Edward...well," she giggled, "I own you, but you don't answer to me."
I chuckled at her phrasing. "Oh, you own me, but I just want to make sure, love."
She crawled up into my lap. "Yes, I miss you terribly when we're apart...see where I am right now?" She giggled when I nodded, swallowing hard at our closeness, "this is where I always want to be...but it's not reality," she sighed.
"Will you please keep your phone on?" I begged, wrapping my arms around her. "Just in case..."
"Always," she smiled. "I promise not to panic if you won't..."
"Yes, ma'am," I chuckled, burying my face in her neck, "I promise."
We were both well aware that once we reached a certain distance, the pain would kick in. Bella on more than one occasion had allowed that to cause her distress. Jasper had learned to deal with my pain, feeling it almost as strong himself. Alice tried to keep Bella occupied with something else. Our family was learning to cope with what Marcus called completi l'anima. They knew we were connected, but wanted us to be able to function normally. They were ever so patient and willing to help. All of them.
"Edward?" My love whispered, pulling my face up so she could look at me. "Tell me you love me and go have fun with your brothers."
"I love you," I smiled, kissing her nose. "Wear that shirt...all day," I winked, setting her on the bed as she laughed at me.
"Only if you promise to remove it tonight," she teased, leaning back on her hands and crossing her legs.
"Mrs. Cullen, you just made a deal," I laughed, heading back downstairs.
BELLA
"You're shitting me with the t-shirt and jeans, right?" Alice growled as we got in her car.
"Shut it, Alice," Rose laughed. "Leave her alone...it's hard enough they are separating today..."
"Oh shit, sorry," Alice winced, "I forgot."
"Wish I could forget...hurts like hell," I mumbled, settling into the backseat.
"I know, sweetie," Rose sighed. "Jasper explained the feeling..."
"He said Edward's pain is different than yours," Alice said, backing out of the driveway. "His is a dull throbbing pain...while yours is a sharp, hollow pain."
"It's definitely hollow," I sighed.
It didn't take long, the boys had left before us to head into Washington. They were checking out Olympia and then running west to the coast to hunt. I felt it coming and fought it for awhile, but suddenly I knew Edward was far away. The breath whooshed out of me and a whimpering sob escaped me before I could stop it. I clutched my hands to my chest, squeezing my eyes shut. Alice parked the car at the mall, diving into the backseat with me.
"He's fine, Bells, I promise," she crooned, pulling me into her tiny arms. "He's feeling it too...but Jasper's helping, ok? They just got out of the car in Olympia...they were walking to the club to see if they had openings tomorrow night."
"Ok," I groaned, trying to take the deepest breath I could. I closed my eyes and could almost see my husband running a frustrated hand through his hair. The vision of him behind my eyelids helped relieve some of the pressure.
"You promised him you wouldn't panic," Rose said, taking my hand. "Let's get out of the car, maybe walking will help." I nodded, letting them guide me inside the mall.
Alice started babbling away about all the things she needed and I let her sweet voice soothe me. I knew she was trying to distract me, so I let her. While the pain was a constant throughout the day, I made a determined effort to ignore it.
We were about to head home, when Edward called me. I smiled not only in gratitude, but sympathy. "Edward," I sighed, closing my eyes.
"Hey, beautiful," he sighed, sounding just as frustrated. "We're about to head to the coast, I just needed..."
"Yeah...me too," I smiled, my chest loosening just a bit at his chuckle. "We'll be home in a little while."
"Done with shopping so soon?" He teased, and I could hear my brothers gasp in shock in the background.
"Tell them to shut up," I laughed. "Yeah, we're done. Hurry home, baby."
"I will," he said, ending the call.
I missed his voice instantly, but pocketed my phone and walked back into the store that Alice and Rose were in. I hung back, not really feeling like trying anything on. Alice had said that this was the last store. I was glad, hoping to be home surrounded by Edward's scent in our room to ease the pain until he walked in, hair windblown and eyes on fire.
It was on the way through the parking lot, back to Alice's car, that a vision struck her so hard that she dropped everything in her hands. "Fuck," she sobbed, packages falling at her feet. "The boys," she breathed, her eyes squeezing shut. She said the one thing that kicked Rose and I into action. "Jane," she groaned.
"Shit," Rose growled, grabbing up bags and throwing them in the backseat. "Keys, Ali...let's go..." I shoved everything over, letting Alice have the front seat. "Talk to me, Alice, where are they?" Rose asked, peeling out of the parking space.
"Take the five to the twelve west...that's where they were heading," I said, leaning forward to see Alice's face. Her eyes were closed, willing the visions to come to her.
"Jane's not alone," she frowned.
"Call Carlisle, Bells...now." Rose sighed, pushing the little yellow car to its limits. "And Jake...may not be a bad idea..." She mumbled.
I called Jake first. He was closer to the guys.
"Bells..." Jake sang.
"Jake! Where are you?"
"Bells, what's wrong? We're just outside Forks, why? Where do we need to be?"
"Further south down the coastline, Jake, please. Head towards Aberdeen...Edward and my brothers went hunting, but Alice just saw them with Jane."
"We're gone...Sam, Paul, Seth...let's go!" He yelled to them, covering the phone. "I got him, Bells, don't worry. How far are you?"
"Just now leaving Portland," I said, rubbing my chest.
"We'll call you when we know more. Let me know if the vision changes, 'kay?"
"Yeah, Jake." I hung up and dialed Carlisle only to get his secretary. "Carlisle's in surgery," I groaned.
"Demitri," Alice and Rose both said. I nodded, glad that they could think straighter than me. My chest felt like it was bleeding under the pressure.
"Bella?" Demitri answered.
"Demitri, Jane...she's here...Alice just saw her with the guys..."
"Weren't they hunting today...towards the coast?"
"Yes!" I growled, my breath hitching. "Take my bike...head that way, ok?"
I actually heard it start in the background. He had the same thought I did. Mine and Edward's bikes could go almost two hundred miles per hour. In all reality, he could catch up to us. "Already on it, Bells..." He hung up.
Sending Demitri was actually the smartest thing. He could track anyone. If he set his sights on Edward or my brothers, he could catch the "flavor of their mind" – as Edward once put it – and find them faster than we could using their scent.
EDWARD
"Come on, Eddie," Jasper smiled, slapping my back. "We can head back."
"I'm ok," I sighed, watching the water roll into the rocks down below. "Bella sounded ok when I called. They were heading home." I was sitting on a cliff, reliving the memory of falling back into Bella's life. She had sat, staring out into the water just like this. She had said that if she emptied her mind of everything, the pain didn't go away, but dulled slightly. She was right.
"Does it work?" Jasper chuckled.
"A little," I shrugged, smiling. "Where's Emmett?"
"Changing shirts," he laughed at my eye roll.
I stood up from the cliff, dusting off my jeans. We had been the only ones in the area for miles. I had tried to ignore my brothers' minds, but a new mind entered the picture. "We need to find Emmett...now," I frowned. "There's someone out here."
Felix said to avoid the wolves...come in further south...use Chelsea to get Carina back...my brother...
The rambling thoughts hit me. "Jane," I turned, looking for her. "She's got Chelsea with her."
"What?" Jasper growled.
"If Chelsea gets us, we can't fight her, Jazz...without Bella, we'll follow her where ever she tells us. She warps the mind, changes your loyalty," I growled.
"Let's go," Jasper frowned, his eyes widening when we heard Emmett growl in pain.
BELLA
"Edward knows..." Alice gasped. "He's heard their minds..."
"Who's with Jane?" I asked, willing the car to go faster.
"I..." She started, her face petrified with fear. "Bells...Chelsea's with her..."
"Fuck," I sobbed. "They can fight Jane, they can't fight her!"
"I know, sweetie," Alice cried with me. "Only you can stop Chelsea..."
"Is that the one that can make you switch sides?" Rose growled.
"Yes," Alice and I both answered.
Rose took the exit for the twelve almost a little too fast, the tires squealing on the pavement below us. She almost wrecked the car when Alice breathed, "Shit Emmett!"
EDWARD
From the distance, I could see Emmett in a heap and a small figure standing over him. Jane was small like a child, almost frail looking. I held Jasper back from running to our brother. His instinct, like my own, was to save him. Demitri explained that Jane doesn't actually hurt someone physically, but sends the illusion of pain into your mind. As much as I wanted to stop her, we needed to stay hidden.
I scanned the area. It was Chelsea I was worried about more than Jane. Pain I could handle; I could fight it, survive it. Leaving Bella behind without an explanation was not an option. She wouldn't be ok. She wouldn't handle it at all. In protecting myself, I was protecting her.
I inhaled, trying to take in as many scents as possible. Jasper's mind was begging me to help Emmett, but I shook my head no. I pointed to the north. Moving silently through the brush was the pack. They were yards away but I could hear the pack mind working in sync to stay downwind from Jane. She was aware we were out there. Our scents were clearly identifiable, but she couldn't quite figure out what the wolves scent was. She was baiting us by hurting our brother.
Fuckin'-A! Jasper's smile met mine. My wife rocks, you know that? They probably saw this coming a mile away.
I saw Jake's russet head lift up, sniffing the air. Edward! Bells is coming...she said there's more than one...that tiny one...Jane? I nodded, knowing he could see me. And the one that was here before...at your house. She said to stay away from her if you can.
The pack mind reported back mine, Jasper's and Emmett's scents as an all-clear. They also reported back that to the northeast, two young male vampires were sitting in wait. I heard Emmett growl in pain again. Jane wanted to know where Carlisle was. He didn't answer her, just writhed in pain on the forest floor.
We have to help him, Jasper growled low.
I nodded, hoping to hear through the pack mind where Chelsea was. I waved Jake to me, pointing towards the clearing that Jane and my brother occupied. He sent part of the pack in a wide circle formation around us as we walked forward. I saw in Jake's mind that the two male vampires just off to the northeast were completely covered and they had no idea. One word from Jake and they were done.
When we came into the clearing, Jane turned to us, an evil smile playing on her lips. "Edward Cullen," she sighed, her voice just as childlike as her body. "Maybe you can answer a few questions for me..."
I heard the growls snarling around me from my brothers and the pack, but all I could feel was blinding pain – sharp, molten fire pin pricks all over me. I found myself in the fetal position on the ground, but I would not give her the satisfaction of hearing me scream.
BELLA
I'd never been so glad to see the Volvo in my entire life. I bolted from the car, hearing my bike engine rev behind me. It skidded to a stop as Demitri launched himself from it.
"North, Bella...girls, let's go," he growled low. We followed him, knowing he was picking up everything with the tracking talent he carried. We crested a hill overlooking a small clearing and the cliffs. I inhaled, smelling the pack instantly.
A huffing snort sounded from my left. "Seth," I sighed, closing my eyes as he nuzzled my hand in his wolf form.
Demitri turned to me. "Bella, look...to the right of the clearing...the pack has those two covered." Seth nodded with him. "It's the clearing, Bells..."
A childlike voice met my ears. "Tell me, Edward...and the pain stops..."
I couldn't help the feral snarl that escaped me. Hands grabbed me, Seth's head was against my stomach – all trying to hold me back. "Slow and quiet, Bella," Demitri begged. "The pain's not real," he whispered in my ear. "He only thinks it's hurting." I nodded, trying to cling to that thought.
Demitri turned to Seth. "Get rid of the two...take them out." Seth nodded and an almost wolfy grin spread over his face. As we moved silently towards Jane, screams and shrieks rang through the misty afternoon. All movement stopped in the clearing.
I shielded my thoughts from Edward, separating myself from the rest of my family. Demitri nodded, seeing what I was planning and leading them away. He pointed to where he wanted them and Rose and Alice obeyed instantly.
Seth stayed with me. Whether out of fear or protection, I had no idea. We moved around the edge of the clearing, staying just out of sight. Not that they were paying any attention to us. The screaming of her friends had set Jane a little on edge.
"Harris? Barton?" She growled, calling for the friends that were no more.
"I think your friends met an untimely demise," Edward snarled, standing to his feet. He looked shaky and wary of her, but not scared. Never scared. Emmett shifted on his feet and Edward shook his head as Jasper growled low.
"They aren't my only friends, Edward," Jane sneered. "Come on out, boys," she sang.
Over a dozen vampires came in from the south side of the clearing, spreading out around my husband and brothers. "Shit," I breathed, moving to a safer location. I shouldn't be seen. I wanted Jane, but I wanted Chelsea more. The thought made my hands twitch and my venom flow. I could feel my instincts kicking in.
I had to smile when Edward's chuckle met my ears. It wasn't in humor, but in a smug way that made Jane growl. "I have my own friends, Jane," he smiled, again not in humor. "Jake..."
Seth snorted softly as his whole pack showed themselves. He shifted on his feet, but held his ground with me. I tried to count how many, but lost track at twelve. I recognized Sam, Quil and Embry.
"All I want is Carlisle," Jane sneered and Edward hit the ground. "Move and he dies," she snapped when all the wolves and my brothers flinched. My heart caught in my throat watching my beautiful, strong guardian angel writhe in the dry grasses.
It's only the illusion of pain, Demitri had said.
Seth growled, leaning into me and trying to give me support the best way he knew how.
Walking slowly, as if none of this made any difference, Chelsea strolled into the clearing. I noticed she avoided coming anywhere near the wolves, skirting around them.
I turned to Seth. "Tell Jake...if Edward's loyalty shifts...the pack answers to me. Got it?" He nodded, a shiver shaking through him. He was itching to get in there.
"Call them off, Edward," Chelsea crooned, helping him stand up. My chest shattered, he was hers for the moment.
"Jake, it's fine...back off..." he said, sighing. When he rubbed his chest, I knew it was time. Even through the hold Chelsea had over him, he was still connected to me.
"Now, Seth..." I said, bolting through the trees. I shot my shield out at Jane, pinning her to a tree. But I landed on Chelsea with a snarl, wrapping my shield around her and severing her connection to my husband. I felt a kick to my midsection, sending me tumbling through the grass. Snarls and growls surrounded me. I barely registered Edward landing on the man that had kicked me.
I lost my hold on Jane and lost sight of her, but Chelsea was running away. With a smirk, I shot my shield around her legs, dropping her to the ground. All hell had opened up around me. There was nothing but screams and growls, ripping and tearing. Somewhere to my left, Emmett's laughter reached my ears.
I walked up to her, picking her up by her shirt and slamming her into a tree. "That's the second fucking time I've had to stop you...I promise you it's the last," I growled, practically choking on my venom. I felt someone coming up behind me and I wrapped my shield tight. They bounced off, landing right into the jaws of Sam.
I smiled at Chelsea. She had to die – there was no other alternative. My bloodlust was all consuming. "Run," I chuckled, letting her go.
"Please..." She begged. She was about my size and age, but she had caused more trouble for my family than I cared to remember. Killing her would be for Carina, for Demitri...for Edward. No one interferes with my family.
"Run," I snarled. She took two backwards steps from the tree and turned. She wasn't worth getting my hands dirty. My shield was still around her and I twisted it. Hard. Chelsea snapped like a dry twig into five pieces. Her scream echoed through my ears.
"Eddie!" Jasper growled, sending me calming waves. I couldn't feel a thing as I watched him start a fire through a hazy vision. "Get every piece," my brother told one of the wolves.
I turned, looking for Edward and finding him in a battle with a large male vampire, a few wolves wanting in on the action were circling around them.
With a thick English accent, the vampire taunted my husband, "You're whole family, mate...we'll end them all. No coven can be bigger than us," he chuckled.
From the corner of my eye I saw Demitri and Alice tear apart another vampire. There was some part of me that was slightly shocked at seeing Alice's tiny hands tear the head off of the man. I launched my shield around the Englishman, wrenching him to me. "I don't think so," I growled, twisting my shield again. He sounded like tearing metal, a car wreck as he snapped apart at my feet. He never uttered a sound.
Honey, sunshine and linen hit my senses like a slap, knocking me out of my bloodlust almost in the blink of an eye. I looked up to see Edward watching me carefully.
"Edward," I breathed, running to him. He caught me with a sigh of relief. "Are you ok?" I sobbed, pulling back and brushing his hair from his forehead.
"I am now," he sighed.
"I lost Jane," I gasped, twisting in his arms, but he held me firm.
"She's gone, baby," he crooned, tucking my hair behind my ear. "We got the rest, though," he smiled, looking around us.
I refused to leave his arms, but turned, taking in the sight. I watched as Rose and Emmett snapped apart the last vampire. Jasper and Demitri were working with the wolves to carry every piece to the fires. Sweet, thick smoke met my nose and I wrinkled it.
"There she is!" Emmett boomed, tugging me from Edward's embrace. I squealed as I was tossed up on his shoulder. "I told you that you could do it," he chuckled, setting me on my feet. Demitri, Jasper and Jake walked up followed by my sisters.
"I lost Jane," I frowned, leaning back into Edward. "When someone kicked me..." I sighed.
"I tried to catch her, Bella," Demitri shrugged, "but she hit the water." He pointed to the cliffs.
"Wow, Bells..." Jake smirked, walking up in his human form. "Remind me never...and I mean never...to piss you off."
I snorted, shaking my head. Edward chuckled, wrapping his arms around me. "It is terrifying," he teased, tickling my sides.
"No shit," Emmett and Jasper sighed together.
I rolled my eyes at them all, walking to the cliffs. I stared out over the water, willing my eyes to see her, but I didn't. For a moment, I wondered when she would be back and if she would be bringing Felix with her.


1 comments:

Rondell Garcia said...

YEssssSsSS!!!. ExceLLent Battle. LMAO. Now this is a fight I can respect bella for!. But, she needs to keep in mind to keep her shield on herself at all times, because next time won't be a kick to the gut, it could easily be a bite to the neck.

But YESSS. Gr8 stuff. I KNOW Em is stoked to how this day played out. LOL. Got himself into a good rumble. lol.

I don't know why Bella did snap shield everybody but hey. W.ev's lol. [Too giddy to complain]

I knew it was only matter of time till she crush someone with her shield, that would have been my first tactic to master.

I have to admit, you scared the S.ugar H.oney I.ce T.ea out of me when you told chelsea to 'run'. I was like. Get the F' outta here. But tada. lol.

Felix is gonna be pisssseeeddd. lol.

But, Chelsea should've been dead like 20 chapters ago. If she was normal sure, but letting her go; doing what she does, was beyond stupid on edward's part.

Now let me get back to RL, before I lose my job.

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