Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 39

"Tsk, tsk, Isabella," he sneered at me. "Now let's see if you scream like your mother did when I killed her."
"I don't fucking think so," I growled, realizing Felix was every bit the same size as Emmett. I had fought Emmett, beaten him even. It didn't take much before I was able to push my shield out and find myself on my feet again. However, Felix was just as graceful, just as quick as my brother was. He didn't give me a chance to protect myself. He launched again and we shattered through a large spruce.
"Now why should young Edward get to have all the fun with this?" He sneered, gripping my hair as the large tree slowly fell to the ground.
"You know," I chuckled without humor, "it's not nice to touch that what doesn't belong to you," I growled, hitting him multiple times in the face and squirming quickly away from him. "And I will never be yours," I growled, launching myself at him.
It was, by far, the hardest fight I had ever been in. I didn't know if he was telling the truth about my mother and Phil, but just the thought weighed on my mind, causing me to make mistake after mistake. My temper was out of control; my mind couldn't focus. And Felix was perfectly designed for fighting, for killing.
With a last ditch effort, I flipped over him, trying to land my teeth near his neck, but he caught my arm. A loud resounding crack wracked my frame, my arm now useless. I felt the sting of air hitting the venom that leaked from my wrecked left shoulder. I growled, writhing in the grass and hearing Felix stalk me like a cougar hunts a wounded deer.
"Too bad Edward's not here," he chuckled, "I would like to have seen his face as I shattered you in front of him."
He took a step closer, planting a kick to my back. I tumbled into a boulder, a large shard of it breaking off and hitting the ground next to me.
The fiercest of feral snarls exploded from my right and Edward, looking more like a feline than ever, landed on Felix. The ground gave way under them, digging a rut the length of home plate to first base on a baseball field. Felix dwarfed my husband, but Edward was so much faster. And was he ever pissed.
I rolled myself up into a sitting position, leaning back against the large rock. The fight in front of me was the worst I'd ever seen. And Felix was losing. With every thought he had, Edward countered it. Every spin, every punch, every kick, every lunge, Edward saw it coming. Felix was starting to look fearful.
"Oh no, you don't," my husband taunted, "You'll finish this, you coward. If you run, you have no place to go. Your army is destroyed. We killed them all." Edward's chuckle was Felix's last straw. He turned and ran, Edward hot on his trail, calling over his shoulder for me to stay put right where I was. Like I could go anywhere.
The further they got, the louder the fight became. I could hear trees snapping, masculine growls, Edward's taunting laugh.
"Bells," Alice gasped, falling to her knees beside me. "Shit, what the hell?"
"I think he tried to take my arm off," I sighed, frowning when I could no longer hear Edward and Felix's voices. I shielded Alice. "What do you see?" I begged, gripping her hand. "Please, Alice."
"Nothing," she shook her head. "There must be wolves around them."
"Don't move, though, Carlisle's coming," she sighed, but her frown matched my own.
Soon, I was surrounded by my family. I sighed a deep breath of relief with seeing them all. "Bella, let me see," Carlisle knelt beside me, gently picking up my arm. "What happened?" I explained my altercation with Felix up until Edward showing up.
"Is everyone ok?" I asked, looking at Jasper, who was kneeling at my other side, running a hand softly over my head.
"Yeah, I think so," he shrugged. "All family and friends are accounted for, but I'm not sure about wolves. I know Jake and Sam are fine."
"Seth was ok when he took off to protect me." I groaned, my head falling back to the boulder.
"Let's get you up," Carlisle said, reaching for me.
"Edward said to stay," I argued, frowning and shaking my head. "Just wait, please?"
"Ok, ok," he smiled, sighing and sitting back on his heels. "I'm just glad you're alright."
I nodded, closing my eyes and relaxing as Jasper's hand still continued to rub my head. He felt it the same time I did. "No," he whispered, his voice barely there, his head shaking back and forth in denial. His hand went to his chest at the same time mine did.
"Edward," I growled, folding in on myself. My chest felt like someone had cracked it open with a jackhammer. "No," I sobbed, falling over on the ground. I tried to wrap my arms around my chest, but my left was dead weight. "Alice, please...tell me," I begged.
"I can't," she panicked. "Jake must have followed. I can't see anything."
It was then that Esme burst into wracking, heartbreaking sobs. Her eyes were wide as they focused on a blue-ish gray column of smoke rising in the far distance.
"No!" I exploded into hysterics, scrambling to get up, but the pain in my arm combined with the hollow crack in my chest wouldn't let me. "No, Edward..." I kicked and fought everyone around me as they tried to hold me down. It finally took Emmett covering me on the ground to hold me still. All I could do was sob into his shoulder, gripping him fiercely, his own breathing ragged.
"Let's get her home, Carlisle," Esme said, her breath hitching.
"No," I whispered, "Emmett, don't let them. Edward said to wait," I begged, looking up at my big brother. I could see the struggle he was having. Should he listen to Carlisle or give his little sister what she wanted?
"Little one," Emmett sighed, scooping me up in his arms, "let's get you fixed up first, ok?"
"No, no, no," I shook violently in his arms, trying to get down, trying to get away. "He's just too far away," I argued, my own voice not even sounding convincing. "He has to be ok," I cried, turning to Jasper and reaching for him. "Please, Jazz," I begged. "Don't, we have to wait for him." I could hear my sisters and mother crying behind me. "He's too far, that's all," I sobbed, struggling and shaking. "He's ok...he has to be ok, please," I pleaded, my head falling back with my heartache. I could barely breathe.
"Em," Jasper sighed, "let me have her." Emmett set me gently down, leaning me into Jasper. "You need to relax, Bells, I can't feel your chest pain when you're in this state. Breathe, little one."
For the life of me, I couldn't calm down. With a sad look at Carlisle, Jasper shook his head. "I don't know," he sighed, shrugged. "She's too upset for me to tell what's panic and what's her connection."
"We're taking you home," Carlisle finally stated. "I can heal you quicker there. Emmett, go!" He pointed towards the gray pillar.
"No," I pleaded as I ended up in Jasper's embrace, gripping his shirt and sobbing hysterically. He was trying to send me calming waves, but I was too overwrought, too high-strung for him to succeed. "Please, put me down," I cried. "We have to wait. Edward said to wait," I snarled, fighting Jasper with everything I had.
"STOP!" A loud growl exploded from behind us.
"Edward," I sobbed, still trying to fight against Jasper, my energy was almost spent.
"Oh, thank God," Esme breathed, falling into Carlisle's arms.
"Let me have her," Edward growled. "No, Carlisle, I'll handle it and we'll meet you back at the house." Carefully, I was handed over, my sobs never ending. "Hey," he said, "look at me." I gripped his shirt as hard as I could with one hand, burying my face in his neck. "Bella love, please look at me." He forced my face away from him as gently as possible. "I'm ok, baby," he whispered, pressing his forehead to mine. "Ok? Please calm down."
I nodded against him, cupping his face with my right hand, but I was still shaking. "Are you sure you're ok?" I finally asked, my breath hitching on every word.
"Yes, my sweet girl," he sighed, reaching up to tuck my hair behind my ear, "but it's you we need to worry about. Can you hold on?" I nodded, laying my head back on his shoulder. I could tell he was running, but it was as smooth as if we were in a car on the highway.
When he stopped, I looked up to see that we were in our meadow. He sat down, still cradling me. "I need to fix this shoulder, baby," he said, his face apologetic. "It's really going to burn, love." He gently pulled my shirt off, slowly tugging one arm out, then my head, finally easing it down my hurt arm. "Close your eyes, Bella, focus on anything else, ok?"
"'Kay," I sighed, squeezing my eyes closed. He shifted me on his lap and I was able to press my forehead to his shoulder. The first swipe of his venom over my open wound shook my entire frame. He had to lick it in order for it to heal quicker. I gripped his shirt, my breathing ragged. I forced myself to focus on his scent, the feel of him practically surrounding me. He had just gone too far. He was ok. He was alive. He was right here.
"I'm all of those things," he said, but I could feel his smile against my skin. "Please relax, my love. The venom won't take long to seal this wound."
"'Kay," I growled, flinching when a stinging pain shot down my arm. Soon, the pain started to subside, and it was replaced with another feeling altogether. Edward's mouth stopped concentrating on one spot and started traveling up my shoulder. I couldn't help the moan that escaped me. I couldn't help when I rolled my hips over him.
"Mm, Bella," he growled against my collar bone, leaving open mouth kisses up my neck and gripping my hips. I turned my head, crashing my lips into his. Both of us groaned, deepening the kiss. Relishing the contact, we lost ourselves for just a moment, groping and pulling each other. We were trying get as close as we could. I whimpered as I broke away from him, closing my eyes as his mouth trailed up the other side of my neck. "I take it that you're feeling no pain now?" He chuckled darkly just below my ear.
"What pain?" I gasped as his tongue flicked out and up the shell. He chuckled again, his head hitting my shoulder. He wrapped his arms all the way around me, exhaling in relief.
"We need to let you hunt, baby," he sighed, pulling back to look me in the eyes. "You'll feel better, I promise." I nodded, flexing my shoulder and wiggling my fingers. Edward helped me stand, handing me back my shirt. I grimaced at the stiff feel of it touching my skin again.
I wanted to ask him what happened. I wanted to ask him about Renee and Phil, but hunting sounded so appealing at the moment that I couldn't fight him on it. Two deer just north of the meadow never even had a chance. I took them both down, shaking my head to clear it when I stood.
"I need to take you home, love," he frowned, leaning against a tree. "Carlisle wants to see us as soon as possible."
"Ok," I sighed, feeling better. I looked up at my husband's face and could see that he was hiding something. "Just tell me," I frowned, forcing him to look at me.
"I want to check something first," he sighed. "Can you trust me?"
"I just practically beat up every member of our family because you told me to stay put," I huffed a laugh, "I think I can trust you."
"God, Bella," he growled, wrapping his arms around me. "I'm so sorry about that. Why did you panic, sweet girl?"
"You were too far," I mumbled into his shirt, "and then we saw the smoke. The pain in my chest didn't go away, Alice couldn't see you. I couldn't stop it."
"Alice couldn't see me, because Jake was with me," he smiled, pulling me back to cup my face. "And Felix was heading back to his boat...or what was his boat," he smirked, raising an eyebrow at me.
"Jasper couldn't tell what was panic and what was connection," I sighed, shrugging, "it all kind of snowballed."
"It didn't help that you were in pain already," he frowned, tilting his head at me.
"No," I sighed, shaking my head. "And Esme fell apart."
"Ok," he smiled, "let's go. They'll need to fawn all over us, I think."
As we ran back to the house, I realized that he had successfully distracted me from the answer about my mother and Phil.
Esme flashed out the back door, flying into my arms. "Are you two..." She started, pulling away from me and into Edward's arms, "Are you two ok?"
"Yes," we sighed.
Edward's head snapped around as Jake came trudging out of the house. "Really?" My husband asked, his brow wrinkling. Jacob nodded, a smile of relief on his face. "Love," Edward grabbed my shoulders, "Renee and Phil are ok. Felix was lying. Charlie just called them."
"Thank God," I sighed, shaking my head.
"You weren't sure," Esme said, looking up at him.
"No," Edward shook his head. "I was listening for Bella, but when Felix told her about her mother, I couldn't concentrate on it long enough. I was dealing with two newborns."
"Some faith you have," Jake teased, poking my shoulder. "Didn't you tell me to watch out for him? And then you go and freak out?" I nodded, flying into his arms and thanking him.
We walked up to the back deck. It looked like an infirmary for mythical creatures – mainly werewolves. Everyone was there, it seemed. And they all looked the worse for wear.
"Bells," Seth sighed, trying to get up.
"Sit still," Carlisle chided. "That leg hasn't healed yet. Not that it won't take long, but still."
"Will you live?" I asked my step brother.
"Yeah," he smiled widely, "the jackass made a tree fall on me, but not before I ripped his head off." I shook my head at him, smiling. "You better find those brothers of yours. They were about to lose their minds when they got back here."
"Oh hell," I sighed, turning towards the doors, but before I could reach for the knob, Emmett was out and I was in his arms.
"Shit, Bells," he growled, ruffling my hair, "you scared the fuck out of me." He looked me over, flipping me around and turning me over as if I weighed nothing. "Did Eddie fix you? Are you all in one piece?"
"Yes," I cracked up, "put me down."
"'Kay," he sighed, setting me on my feet. "What the hell happened?" He looked between me and Edward. "She flipped the fuck out."
"I went too far," Edward sighed, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. "But Felix is gone," he smirked. His confident smile was too adorable. Pride at finally ridding ourselves of Felix radiated from him.
"Oh Edward," Esme sighed, "we didn't know what to think. And then the smoke," she shook her head.
"I know," he frowned, kissing my head. "I'm sorry. I would have called, but," he pulled out his phone and it was practically cracked down the middle.
"That's why I couldn't get you," Alice growled. "Damn it!"
"I'm sorry," Edward chuckled, sounding amused, but still managing to sound sincere.
"I just think you wanted a new phone," Jasper teased, tugging me away from Edward. "You ok?" He whispered and I nodded, letting him send cheerful waves over me. "So," he smirked, "my theory with the Firestarter worked."
"Oh God," I grimaced, "that was the worst sound I have ever heard." I sighed, sitting down next to Jake, who was getting his forearm looked at.
"Don't bother with stitches, Carlisle," he grumbled. "It will be healed in mere minutes."
"Fine, fine," Carlisle chuckled, moving on to Embry. His shoulder was dislocated. "Edward, come hold his body steady." We all flinched with the loud pop that came from Embry's arm.
"That was nasty," Jake snorted looking at me. "That giant flame thrower was just awful."
"It wouldn't have taken so long if he didn't have Renata touching him," I frowned. "Brandon and I couldn't touch him."
"Felix knew that," Edward said, looking up from Quil's injuries. His collar bone looked broken. "Which means, someone told him," he growled.
"Jane?" I asked, thinking she could have figured it out.
"I don't think so," Edward shook his head.
"Jane met a nasty demise," Rose chortled, shaking her head. "I've never seen Edward move so fast."
"Oh," I winced, "sorry, love. I didn't have a choice. I had her and I had to catch one of those fireballs."
"No worries," he chuckled, standing up. "Don't move for a few, Quil." He turned back to me. "You owe me sneakers, though," he smirked. I snickered at his melted soles.
"And a phone, apparently," I smiled, leaning into his lips as he kissed my forehead with a sweet, soft laugh. He pulled back and gave me a wink before he went to look at the rest of the pack with Carlisle.
"You and those fireballs were impressive," Jasper chuckled, "just when I thought I needed to duck out of the way, they would snuff out overhead."
"I could feel the heat through my shield," I sighed, "it was weird."
"I want to know how Felix found us on that ridge," Brandon growled, plopping down next to me. His shirt was torn in two places, but otherwise he looked fine. "We made sure not to leave a trail from his entry point."
"I don't know," I growled. "And how did he guess my shield may not have worked against Renata?"
Demitri and Marcus walked out the back door. Carina was right behind them, her face pure rage.
"I think I might have that answer, Bella," Marcus frowned, his eyes drifting to the far end of the deck. Tanya sat with Mark. They were holding hands, but he looked furious. Tanya looked a little singed around the edges. Her clothes were blackened, her skin burned in some places.
"No," Edward, Brandon and I growled. Brandon and I were on our feet before anyone could blink. It took two werewolves, both my brothers, Demitri and my husband to hold us back.
"You stupid, vindictive bitch," I snarled. Tanya leaped to her feet, backing slowly away. "We could have been killed," I growled, struggling against them all.
"That's treason," Marcus said quietly, walking towards Tanya, "punishable by death," he sighed, shaking his head. "Let them go," he ordered. "The law rests in their hands. Let Brandon and Bella decide if she dies."
"No," Carlisle argued, shaking his head and stepping between all of us and Tanya and Mark. "Wait," he held up his hand at everyone holding on to me and Brandon. "My family won't be your executioners."
"Speak for yourself," Brandon growled low.
"Brandon," Carlisle warned, "wait, please."
"Let me get this straight," Jake growled, standing slowly. "One of your own, someone I've been watching out for, let them get by just to get to Bella?" His body started to shake, his muscles rolled under his russet skin.
"Jacob," Edward said, holding out a hand, "trust me, I know how you feel, but wait."
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Jake snarled, suddenly my best friend looked just as menacing in human form as he did in his wolf form.
"Let me go," I struggled against everyone. I couldn't even tell who was holding me and who was holding Brandon. There were just large forms all around us.
"Marcus," Demitri growled, still struggling to hold us, "perhaps killing her isn't the answer. However, there is some punishment required, but we don't have to go back to the way Aro ran things."
"I don't want to kill her," I sneered.
"We just want to beat the shit out of her," Brandon finished with a dark chuckle.
"Both my children," Esme said softly from the side and everyone turned to look at her. Edward sighed, shaking his head and closing his eyes in his frustration. "I almost lost them both today because of you," she pointed to Tanya. "Bella and Brandon could have finished it all from that ridge, but you wanted vengeance for whatever crazy notion you have in your head." She growled, stepping closer. "We thought we lost Edward," she snarled, getting angrier by the second. But Tanya did the one thing I had told her ages ago never to do. She rolled her eyes at Esme.
"That. Is. It," I growled, throwing my shield out as hard as I could. I launched at Tanya, breaking through the rails of the deck and landing on her hard. I heard my name being called. I heard Brandon fighting to join me. I even heard Jacob change into wolf form. But nothing stopped me. I left my shield down, hoping to hell she fought back. And she did.
"I told you never to roll your fucking eyes at Esme," I spat, holding her down by the shoulders. Our fight raged out through the yard and into the forest. "Look who's been cheating," I teased as I slammed her into the closest tree. "My, my, crimson eyes, Tanya," I snarled, throwing her through the trunk. "Anyone I know?"
"Actually, yes," she sneered. "I think you go to school with them...Portland," she grunted as I punched her jaw.
"You drained children?" I snarled, ducking her swing and tackling her to the forest floor at the edge of the yard. Suddenly my mind filled with my friends from Portland. "Who? Who the fuck was it?"
"I didn't get names," she laughed, reversing my hold and pinning me into a bed of ferns. "I just wanted strength. And to piss you off."
"Your mere presence pisses me off," I growled, finally surrendering to my gift and wrapping my shield around her. "Tell me why I shouldn't snap you apart? Tell me!"
I threw her into what looked to be a hundred year old tree, raising her up a few feet off the ground and constricting my shield around her. "I could have lost my family today. I thought I lost Edward. Why shouldn't I just set this whole tree on fire and hold you here until you're nothing but ashes?"
"Bella," I heard behind me. I turned, still holding Tanya where she was to see Mark looking forlorn. "Please don't," he begged, "you know what it would do to me."
"You," I pointed, "will never have with her what I have with Edward." I was shaking with rage, but Mark's face was slowly smothering it. "She'll never allow it. She's never going to be worthy of you."
"I know," he nodded. "You...it's different, I know, but won't you please listen?"
"No," I shook my head, turning when Tanya called his name. "Shut. Up." I pulled her away from the tree and slammed her back just to hear her head hit the trunk. Several large branches snapped off and hit the ground. Turning back to Mark, I said, "You will – with every fiber of your being – keep her away from me and my family. If, and I'm not kidding, if she comes near me – and I don't give a flying fuck what country we're in or what fucking decade it is – I will kill her. Do you understand me?"
"Yeah," he nodded, "yes, Bells, I get it."
I turned back to Tanya and snapped her arms off, letting her fall to the ground. "You," I pointed to Mark, "can put her back together."
With that, I took a few steps back, folding my arms across my chest. I needed to find Alice. Turning around and running back to the house, I was caught up in Edward's arms. "It was Matthew, love," he growled. "She found him in the woods just outside the school with his friends from Los Angeles."
"No," I whispered, letting him pick me up. I wrapped my arms and legs around him as he walked me away from the house. I shook my head, "No, baby, but his sister...his parents."
"I know, sweetheart," Edward sighed, tilting his head up at me. "It was the worst thing she could have done. He wasn't my favorite, but..." He paused, frowning and shaking his head. "They are calling it an animal attack," he said, touching my face, his brow wrinkling. "Jasper just looked it up."
"Poor Erika," I whispered. I didn't like Matthew, but to lose a loved one is terrible, especially one so young. "And everyone else?"
"Are just fine, sweet girl," he smiled softly. "Wendy, Drew, Pam...they are all just fine, baby."
I sighed with relief, burying my face in his neck.
"I wish humans healed as quickly as the wolves," Carlisle chuckled, sitting back in his chair. We were still out on the deck. Most of the pack had left, except for Jake and Seth. Esme was happily feeding them anything they would eat or drink. As big as they were, I wondered if it was quite possible for them to empty the cupboards.
"It is nice," Jake nodded with a smile before popping a potato chip in his mouth. "So what's the deal with Marcus? I mean, is he just going to start over in Italy or what?"
"Yes," Demitri nodded, sitting forward and resting his elbows on his knees. "He's extended an invitation to me and Carina to help him reestablish order. He wants Carlisle there as well. Actually, he wants the whole family."
Carlisle locked gazes with me, his mind full of questions. In what capacity would he want us? Are his ideals going to change? Or will he start where Aro left off?
"Bells," Alice growled, "shield me from Jake for just a second." Bella lifted her head from my shoulder with a nod, waiting for Alice to tell her when to stop. Alice's face went from skeptical to passive, ending with a slight smile. I couldn't see the vision, but my sister's face indicated that things would be ok. Or at least, I hoped. "Thanks," she smiled. "Marcus has decided to change things. He's seen what the change in diet can do. And he understands that this lifestyle should be offered as an alternative, not ostracized. If we helped, he would want Carlisle there on an advisory basis. But he wants the rest of us for different reasons."
"Like what?" Demitri sighed.
Alice's vision replayed as she locked gazes with me. I nodded, saying, "He would use each of our strengths to gain control back, reestablish the laws. The Russians got away today, so he would want Alice and Demitri to find them. Garrett never showed, but Marcus wants to question him. He'd use me for that. And he's absolutely sure that there would be rebellions, so he would want Emmett and Bella for protection."
"I'm not a bodyguard," Bella huffed, not even bothering to lift her head back up from my shoulder. I chuckled, kissing the side of her head.
"No, Bells," Demitri smiled, "nor would he force you to be. He's mentioned asking all of you to come with him, but he knows how this family works. He's witnessed it. He respects it. Although, don't be surprised if he does ask for your advice," he said, raising an eyebrow at Carlisle.
"I have no problem with helping him, but I won't be a member of the Volturi again," he frowned, shaking his head. "Even if it's under a new ideal."
"The only thing he may ask of you is for help when he goes back to Volterra," Demitri shrugged. "He needs help making sure the castle is clear of all traitors."
"I thought he didn't leave anyone behind," Bella said, looking over at Alice.
"There are still servants and vampires that actually run the facade of the tourist attraction. Not to mention the humans employed there, they are well aware of what the place is," Demitri answered.
"We would have to take that to a vote, Demitri," Carlisle frowned. "I won't speak for everyone. Let Marcus know we'll get back to him, but that I understand his concern."
"Definitely," Demitri smiled, patting him on the shoulder and standing.
"I have no problem helping Marcus," Rose frowned, "but I don't want to live there, be an employee, as it were."
"I agree," Bella added.
"But I don't want him walking into a trap, either," Emmett sighed, "I like the guy."
"It wouldn't hurt to walk in with him," Jasper mused almost to himself. "It also wouldn't hurt to give vampires this alternative lifestyle."
"And that's what I would be doing," Demitri smiled. "Carina and I plan on maintaining our diet once we move back into the castle."
"Good for you," Carlisle smiled.
"Ok, well," Demitri smirked, "I better go. Carina wanted to hunt before we followed Marcus back to Alaska. And I have to make sure Mark put Tanya back together correctly," he snorted, raising an eyebrow at Bella.
She huffed a laugh, looking out over the yard. "Keep her away from me, Demitri," she growled, her eyes meeting his. There was absolutely no humor there whatsoever. In fact, her eyes were black with fury. Her mind swirled with thoughts on how she felt when she thought she lost me. How Felix had told her that he had killed Renee. All of it could have ended on the battlefield, but Tanya told him exactly where Bella would be.
"Easy, little one," Jasper frowned. "No more today, ok?" He chuckled, sending her a wave of calmness.
"Whatever," she sighed, still angry. "I'm not kidding," she mumbled, staring back at Demitri.
He studied her face for a moment, his mind completely agreeing with her. "Don't worry, Bells," he smiled, "Marcus has plans for those two. Something about Siberia and snow and no contact with others. Their fate rests in your hands. Marcus will do whatever you tell him to do."
"Just don't ask me today," she growled, standing up and giving him, Jake and Seth hugs. "I need a shower," she sighed. "Take care and give Carina a hug from me." Without looking at me, she answered my confused expression. I'm ok, love. I just...I had my heart shattered today and put back together. I saw things today I never want to see again and I need to wash it all away.
Every mind on the deck wanted to know if she was ok. "She will be," I answered softly, sitting up and staring at my hands.
I bid farewell to Demitri, Jake and Seth. They left, telling us to let them know what the plan was.
"Edward," Carlisle stopped me before I reached the door. "In the morning," he sighed, shaking his head, "we'll all sit down to discuss the future of this family. We'll put it all to a vote, son." I nodded, taking another step. "In the meantime, I think taking one night off might not be a bad idea. Everyone meet back here by dawn," he said, looking around at the deck. In his mind, he was kicking everyone out. I had to fight my smile. He was giving Bella a break.
"Yeah, sure," Emmett nodded, taking Rose's hand. "Let's go, baby."
Carlisle and Esme decided to run up to the Canada border to a place just off the coast. Rose and Emmett went back to the Portland house. Alice and Jasper wanted to stay close, so they opted for Seattle. Bella and I were alone at the Forks house. Instantly, they were all gone.
I walked upstairs, hearing my love in the bathroom. The shower was running, the steam flowing out in clouds out of the open door. I leaned against the wall, staring unabashedly at the artwork that was my Bella through the frosted glass doors of the shower. Her form was blurry through the glass from the steam, water and the pane itself. Her back arched as she ran her hands through her hair under the stream. The profile of her was too much for me to resist.
"Are you joining me? Or are you content to watch, Edward?" She smirked, sticking her head out of the door and eying me wickedly.
"Oh, I was quite content to watch," I chuckled, "but if you're inviting..."
"Get your handsome self naked and in here," she said, rolling her eyes. I barked a laugh, shrugging out of my shirt. Seconds later, I stepped in behind her. She turned me around, allowing the warm water to flow over me. I reached over, grabbing her bottle of shampoo, pouring some in my hands. "I've done that already," she snickered, but allowed me to work it into her hair.
"Yes," I sighed, frowning behind her, "but I haven't." She wanted to wash off the day. I was going to do it for her. I worked the soap into a lather, massaging her scalp down to the ends of her hair. I stepped back, pulling her under the water to rinse it out. I repeated the process with her conditioner. She leaned her back into my chest as I reached for the body wash. I started at her shoulders, rubbing down her arms to the tips of her fingers. I placed a kiss on her cheek as I soaped each breast, paying specific attention to her nipples. It elicited a beautiful giggle from her.
"I didn't realize they were that dirty," she snorted.
"Filthy," I chuckled, kissing her neck and slipping my hands down to her stomach. "Turn around."
I knelt before her, placing a kiss to each hip before I applied soap to her skin. I washed each leg, each foot, each toe, rinsing her off under the water. I stayed on one knee, turning her around again. I gripped her hips, pressing my forehead to the small of her back.
Her mind was killing me. It was replaying the emotions of the day. To have heard her mind as I ran to her after destroying Felix, I thought my heart would shatter. No one in our family could calm her. Even Alice's mind had thought the worst. She had been in such pain, such turmoil. I couldn't get to her quick enough as she argued to stay, even though she thought I might not show.
"I'm so sorry, love," I said, my breath hitching. "I'm sorry you were scared."
She turned in front of me, dropping to her knees. She grabbed my face, her breathing ragged. "Thank you for coming back, thank you for saving me." She cried, pressing kisses to my face. "Could you hear me?"
"Yes," I nodded, closing my eyes and leaning into her hands, "it was torture not to be able to get to you quick enough, to set your mind at ease. I don't think I've ever ran that fast. I saw them," I sighed, looking up at her. "I saw them try to help, but they couldn't," I shook my head. "I saw you beg them to stay, to wait. For me. But I saw your heart break."
"I thought it would," she whispered, kissing my forehead, cheek, and lips.
"I never want to hear you sound like that again," I begged, cupping her face. "I can't bear it. I never want to see you that sad, understand?"
"Only you can cause that," she breathed. "My happiness depends on you, Edward."
We were now both on our knees, water cascading down upon us. My eyes traveled every inch of her face, my lips just barely touching hers. "It killed me to see it, Bella," I sighed, finally giving in to my desire. A whimper rushed into my mouth from hers as she gripped my hair. She turned her head, raking her tongue across my lips. I growled, sitting back on my heels and grabbing her hips. Pulling her to my lap and raising her over me, I slipped her down. "We're home alone, love," I whispered, "I want to hear you. I want to hear my name come out of those lips when I make you come," I panted, grinding her over me.
She gasped, her mouth hanging open, her lids heavy with lust and a touch of relief from being one with me. I could feel the hot water start to run out, but the temperature didn't make a difference. It cascaded down over us, and I couldn't resist, licking the beads from her shoulder to her neck. I wrapped her legs around me, gripping her ass as she gyrated against me.
"Edward, more," she growled, biting at my neck. "Pick me up," she grunted, gripping at my shoulders.
I cupped her bottom, standing up and pressing her into the cold tile. She wrapped her arms around my neck, bringing me in so close that I could barely tell where I ended and she began. I moaned when she squeezed her legs tighter around me, her tiny body shaking with the effort of trying to get closer.
My arms snaked up around her, grasping her shoulders from behind as I took her against the shower walls. I was not gentle. I was not careful. In fact, the slate tiles started to crack slowly behind her. I needed to claim her, make her mine. I had heard what Felix's plans were. He wanted her, wanted to own her.
"Open the door, love," I growled, pulling her away from the wall. She reached over, sliding the door open. I dropped her to the bathmat, never parting from her, never letting go.
We dripped water everywhere, but I couldn't find it in me to care. "Tell me, Edward," she gasped, her head flying back. "Tell me I'm yours," she growled, her eyes pitch black and filled with need. Sometimes, I swore she could read my mind.
"You are mine," I growled biting at her neck and trailing my lips to her scar. I sucked the skin of my eternal mark on her hard, eliciting a beautiful growling purr from her. "You have always been mine."
Her whole body arched up, vibrating and pulling me in tighter. My name fell from her lips with hitching breaths as she triggered my own undoing. I didn't want her on the floor, so I picked her up and laid her gently on the bed. I pulled the covers up around her, running back to the bathroom to shut off the water and bringing her brush and towel with me. "Sit up," I whispered, turning her so that her back was to me. I ran the towel over her hair, taking as much of the dampness out of it I could and proceeded to brush her hair.
"You've missed your calling," she teased, turning slightly to look at me. I chuckled, kissing her wet head. "You're very good at that," she sighed, tilting her head back for me.
"I just want you to feel good," I smiled, laying my forehead on her shoulder when I was done. I wound my arms all the way around her, pulling her back flush to my chest.
"Well then, my turn," she smirked, turning around in front of me. She took the towel and with a sweet giggle, ruffled my head hard. I chuckled, holding her hips as she situated in front of me to brush my hair. "You know," she snorted, "when it's wet, I can actually tame it."
"Funny," I sighed in false indignation. Her smile finally met her eyes as she cupped my face and kissed both my cheeks and my nose. "You ok, my beautiful girl?" I asked, my brow wrinkling and my head tilting.
"Yeah," she nodded. "When I was human, I used to have dreams that I lost you. The reality of it was far worse," she sighed, tracing her fingers under my eyes, up my jaw line, finally over my lips. "It seemed like reality, anyway."
"I know," I sighed, leaning into her touch. In her mind she blamed Tanya for most of the heartbreak of the day. "Would you have killed her?" I asked, just following her train of thought.
"Yes," she stated with a nod and her mouth set firmly. "You know," she sighed, looking around the room and back to me, "I didn't care that she hated me. I didn't care that she and I could never see eye to eye. But to have almost lost you..." She stopped, her growl filling the room as she shook her head slowly, "Well, she went too far."
"She didn't think that way," I murmured.
"She didn't think," Bella snarled, closing her eyes to calm herself. "We were so fucking lucky today, Edward. We could have lost everyone. She sent him to me because she hated me, but she didn't think that pulling me away could stop everyone's protection."
"I love you," I stated simply, frowning and pulling her to me. I laid us down face to face. "And I'm so sorry that I scared you," I whispered, pressing my forehead to hers.
She wrapped her arms around me, melting into me and burying her face in my neck. She breathed deep, her fingers playing with the hair at the back of my head. "You are my life," she mumbled into my neck, using the words I told her so long ago. They made more sense to her now.
"And you are mine," I sighed, trying to pull her even closer. I couldn't help my body's reaction to having her naked and in my arms. I couldn't help my moan or my eyes rolling back as my arousal slipped between her folds. And I damn sure couldn't stop my hands from touching her.
With my palms flat, I gripped her ass, pressing her against me. The friction was delicious and I wanted more. She pulled me over on top of her, lifting her hips and opening her legs wider for me. Without words, I worshiped her. Our gazes never broke, nor did our lips leave skin. My goal was to see how many times I could make her come, make her gasp my name. I lost count before the night was over.
"Family meeting, sweet girl," I sighed, unable to stop myself from picking her up and wrapping my arms around her. She smelled sweet, clean. And she looked too cute to resist in my t-shirt and a pair of her jeans. She smiled, almost as if she knew what I was thinking. She reached up, running her fingers through my hair. "They're waiting for us," I whispered, smirking at her.
"They. Can. Wait," she growled, fighting her smile, but lost when the chuckles drifted up from the living room.
"Apparently," I teased, kissing her neck and playfully biting at it. "Come on," I purred against her sweet skin, "I'll make it up to you later." She squealed as I tossed her over my shoulder, smacking her ass as we walked downstairs. She pretended to pout after I threw her on the sofa. Carlisle chuckled at us both, but his mind was grateful she was feeling better.
"We need to decide," Carlisle started. "Do we move? Do we help Marcus when he goes back to Italy? Do we stay here?" He sighed, looking around the room. "Does anyone have objections to the move to London?"
We all shook our heads no. Except for Bella.
"It's time to leave Charlie, Bells," Carlisle sighed. "He's aware of it. He's prepared for it. And he can visit any time. But we can't stay."
"I know," she nodded. "I'm not objecting. I'll miss him, but this time it's different. At least I can call him." I picked up her hand and kissed it.
"Ok, good," he smiled. "Now, Marcus."
"I say we go with him," Emmett frowned. "I don't want to stay there, I don't want to be a permanent member, but he deserves to walk in safely."
"Yeah," Jasper nodded. "I'd hate to think of Demitri and Carina walking into a trap. They've been there for us. I'd go more for them than anyone."
"Definitely," Alice and Bella nodded.
"If we go to Italy," I started, "there should be a time limit. Rules. I don't want to be there for too long. Just enough to help out. I was never comfortable with Aro's requests of me and Alice. Being there would feel strange."
"I agree," Carlisle nodded. "As much as I respect Marcus, I just hope that Demitri can keep him in line and not let the love of power go to his head like his brothers did."
"I don't want to be used," Bella frowned. "I have no problem helping, but not without knowing I have the freedom to leave at my leisure."
"Exactly," Rose nodded.
Carlisle's gaze locked on mine. "How do we do this?" He asked, looking from me to Alice.
Alice answered before me. "We move," she stated with a shrug of her tiny shoulders. "If we go to Italy first, we can stay just long enough to make sure everything's fine, then move on to Europe."
"Yes," I nodded, "that would have been my suggestion."
Alice's eyes glazed over for a moment. "He won't keep us," she smiled. "He won't even ask how long we're staying. He respects us too much."
"Nice," Emmett smiled. The whole room lightened up after that.
"Bells," Esme said, causing the whole room to stop. "Your house was closed on yesterday. I was going to surprise you with it, but..." She shrugged with a smile.
"Cool," Bella beamed. I couldn't help but chuckle at her. She was really looking forward to just the two of us living together. And she made me really happy by accepting the house as a gift.
"We'll decorate it when we get there," Esme laughed.
"Sure, sure," Bella giggled, looking up at me. I actually can't wait for that, she smiled.
"Good," I nodded. "That's what I wanted."
So plans were made and Marcus was called. I could hear him thank Carlisle over and over on the other end of the line. He truly had been worried that something could go awry once he set foot back in Volterra. He would need every talent in my family to ensure that he was safe.
To guarantee our arrival at night, we chartered a plane for Rome, opting to drive to Volterra.
Bella's mind flickered over the last few weeks as we cuddled together in the large seats. She wasn't as sad to leave Charlie this time as she was the last. For this time, she knew that she would be able to call him or bring him in for a visit if he wished. Which he did. He wanted to see another country.
Both houses were packed and shut up, cars put into storage. My love was sad about leaving her Ferrari behind, yet another gift she had taken gracefully. However, she gave her Mercedes to Anna and Jacob. They needed the SUV for the kids and Bella had almost stopped driving it. She said it only made sense.
As I sat reading the book she gave me of our story, she smiled and looked up at me. "You're going to wear it out," she teased.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," I sighed, turning a page. She giggled adorably at me. "You know, you could just publish this one..." I hinted, raising an eyebrow at her.
She sighed, rolling her eyes. The whole family had bugged her about our story. They had all read it, borrowing my copy or reading it from her computer. Every last one of us told her it was the better story, that it would be the biggest seller.
"Don't start," she warned and then sat up to face me. "Wouldn't it bother you? To have everyone know our story?"
"Really? Because it seems so personal," she sighed, frowning slightly.
"So take a few things out here and there and un-personalize it," I suggested. "Change it from truthful to a little mythical and you're good to go," I laughed as she rolled her eyes again. "Love, I would wear a neon sign, telling the world I loved you if I could get away with it. A fictitious story about a beautiful girl that has an oblivious vampire fall in love with her won't change that. Or change the truth as we know it," I smiled, holding up her book.
"We'll see," she smirked, still not giving in.
The captain came over the speakers, telling us to prepare for landing in Rome. To keep up pretenses for the flight attendants, we fastened our seat belts. "As of this moment, Mrs. Masen," I smirked, loving the soft purr that came from my wife at the sound of her new, but true name, "no more separations. No more time apart, love. No more pain."
"I love you, Dr. Masen," she sighed, leaning over to kiss me sweetly. "And I couldn't agree more."


Rondell Garcia said...

Wow 'T', betray all your family and friends over a delusion MUCH???. Should've lost more than arms in that fight.

Its nice that they are going aid Marcus in the transition. That's the way I see it playing out.

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