Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

An Angel's Promise Chapter 36

"But I've been trapped in this fucking apartment since New Years Eve!" Kevin's voice could be heard all over the penthouse. He was pissed that he'd been told he and Adrian weren't going to the party tonight.
I snorted, taking a deep breath, grateful that my bedroom door was closed. I didn't want any part of that argument.
"Kevin, language! The soap threat is still in effect, humans and non-humans alike!" Esme yelled from some other part of the apartment.
I giggled to myself, walking from the bathroom to my closet, feeling eyes on me the whole way.
Edward had been in rare form ever since we returned from our hunt. It seemed my husband was feeling a little...naughty. Not dirty, which is a completely different level and wasn't allowed out when family was around, but just...naughty – and so very playful and adorable. But if he continued, we were going to be late, so my thoughts were completely shielded from him. No need to add fuel to the fire.
Grabbing a pair of his dark blue, but well worn in the thigh and butt jeans, a tight, white, long-sleeved t-shirt, and a black t-shirt with some sort of tribal design or dragon something or other on it – whatever it was, Edward looked hot in it – I stomped back into the bedroom, tossing his clothes at him.
"Stop watching me, silly, and get dressed!" I growled as softly as I could.
He grinned, not at all ashamed that he was completely naked on our bed, with still damp, tousled hair, looking completely lickable. Luckily, I was at least partly dressed, wearing underwear – not that, that had ever stopped him, but I found some comfort in not being naked.
He pouted a bit, asking, "Is that set new? If so, I have a story to earn it."
I looked down at the pale pink set with small white flowers on it, trying to remember if it was new or not. This was Edward at his distracting best, because suddenly, I found myself wondering what part of his history I wanted to hear. I groaned when I realized what he was doing.
"Edward Cullen, get dressed!" I snorted, rolling my eyes at him.
"Just knowing that's going to be underneath your clothes..." he started, practically muttering under his breath.
"Oh, God, Edward...please, just get dressed," I begged, but completely failing at fighting my laugh. I switched to thoughts. Because I will not be held responsible when I attack you and we are late for whatever agenda Alice is on...
He smiled, sighed, and stood up, pulling on his jeans and buttoning them up. "Better, sweet girl?"
"It's at least a step in the right direction," I mumbled, shaking my head at his deadly sexy chuckle.
Not that Edward wandering around in our room in just jeans – commando, mind you – wasn't just as tempting as him completely naked, because by God, it was. Hell, zipped up in a full Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man costume, he would probably still be sexy, but it wasn't on my list of must-sees.
I wandered back into the closet, still hearing the argument in the apartment.
Kevin's reasons that he should go were that he'd been stuck in the penthouse for a month, everyone was going – which included every member of my family, Marcus, Demitri, and Carina – and that it would be good for Adrian to acclimate himself. They were now communicating, and Kevin took that very seriously.
I knew we were protecting him, but damn, was it worth the fight? In all reality, I could just as well shield Kevin and Adrian while we were gone. And as long as they never left our sight or the club, they should be fine.
Alice's squeal of happiness rang throughout the house, and I suddenly realized that my decision changed everything, because the whole house came to a silent standstill.
"You'd do that?" she yelled just outside our bedroom door.
"If it shuts all of you up for five minutes, I guess so," I sighed, leaning in the closet door to see my husband's amused face.
"You're going to shield them?" he chuckled, and I tried my damnedest not to lick my lips at the sight of his flexing abs.
"Alice, how does it change things?" I asked her, shrugging at him
"It's perfect. They're perfectly safe, and Adrian has no bloodlust. I see everyone coming home."
"Fabulous, then I guess the answer is yes," I said wryly. "Now what am I..."
"Jeans, the tight, gray hoodie, and the black t-shirt," she answered my unfinished question without missing a beat. "And the black boots, Bells!"
"God, that was worth it all, right there," I snorted, turning back into the closet. "Thanks, Alice!" I sang, grinning with pure bliss that I didn't have to think about what to wear. I could dress Edward, but sometimes my own clothes were so many that it was daunting to look at.
"No skirt?" Edward whispered, leaning in the closet door, still shirtless, still so very tempting, but he looked like I'd taken away his favorite toy and set it on fire in front of him.
"Obviously not," I snorted. "You...behave, please?" I begged, because if he kept this sweet but naughty thing up much longer, we were going to be late. I was going to take him right there in our closet. I raised an eyebrow at him as I gathered the clothes Alice mentioned, brushing past him.
For once, my vampire speed came in handy, because I dressed quickly, trying to avoid just attaching myself to him like a limpet. I tugged on my jeans, pulling my t-shirt on over my head and looking up to see him still watching me.
I chuckled, throwing his shirts at him. "God, I love you, but get dressed," I sighed, rolling my eyes.
He laughed, pulling on the long-sleeved shirt and then the black t-shirt. "I suppose shoes, too, huh?"
"You are a hot mess tonight," I snickered, tugging my boots on. "And I give up. I'm leaving you to Alice."
With that said, I walked out of the bedroom with the blur of Alice passing me in the hallway.
"Edward Anthony, you aren't dressed?" she squawked, like she didn't know, like she probably hadn't heard me tell him a hundred times.
"I'm dressed, Alice. I just need shoes!" he growled, but his laughter filtered through. He knew it was his own fault.
Going out dancing for fun was one thing, but going to hunt was another. Not that my family couldn't have fun in just about any situation, but they took this seriously, especially since Marcus and Demitri were with us on this expedition.
The club could be heard a full city block away, which was where I stopped Adrian and Kevin, both of which were dressed so very well.
Kevin was accentuating his well toned body with a tight, dark red button down shirt and black dress pants, and Adrian was really handsome in some scruffy – artfully so – jeans, with a button down shirt under a blue sweater. The fact that his shirttails were showing just made it that much cuter.
As I stood before them both, I realized they were really just perfect together. Where Kevin was tall and handsome, just shy of twenty two, with light brown hair that was cut short and very dark blue eyes, Adrian was the opposite. Standing just a few inches shorter than Kevin, he was dark and mysterious looking, carrying his shy, quiet demeanor with a grace that in a few decades would probably rival Edward's. His hair was longer, falling in his now ochre eyes, but his face was boyishly handsome – boyish, because he was nineteen – and his immortality just made him all the more beautiful.
"Adrian, look at me," I said, glancing up the sidewalk to see that everyone had stopped to wait for us. There were humans passing us by, heading to the club. "I need you to tell me what you smell right now."
"Um," he sighed, his brow furrowing. "I smell concrete, alcohol, the couple that just walked by ten seconds ago," he said, grimacing, but continued, "car exhaust, sweat, and adrenaline."
I nodded, dropping my shield down over him slowly. "And now?"
"You." He grinned beautifully, and my whole family chuckled. "Just you, Bells."
"Good." I nodded, but went on. "Jasper says it can get a little disorienting being under my shield for a long period. You need to tell me if it does. It's the taking away of your natural senses."
"Yeah, okay." He nodded, turning to Kevin. "How will it work with Kev?"
"Like a leash," I huffed, raising an eyebrow at my human friend that opened his mouth to argue. "Don't start with me," I growled, ignoring my family's laughter. "You are here...with me. Period. My shield will keep you close. This isn't a night out, Kev. You're here because we could use Adrian. You're here because I swore to protect you. No playing. No running. No grandiose ideas as to leaving for another club. You got me?"
"Yes, my goddess," he said, nodding.
"Alice says you'll be fine, but I need you to remember what we've told you before. If any one of us tells you to do something, do it. No questions asked."
"Yeah, Bells."
With that being said, I spread my shield out to accommodate Kevin.
"Do you even feel any difference?" Edward asked, because most likely, he was now blind to their thoughts. He took my hand, linking our fingers together.
"No," Kevin answered.
"I didn't think you would," I chuckled. "I've shielded you before, and you didn't even notice it."
"Hey, no fair!" Kevin laughed, taking Adrian's hand as we followed the sidewalk up to the entrance of the club.
The place had no restrictions from what I could see, which led me to believe that it was illegal. I saw humans of all ages, including some faces from school that I recognized. As we were let in, I watched the taking of drugs, the passing of flasks, and the uninhibited sensual writhing of multiple partners all over each other.
Ecstasy was an interesting drug. I imagined it to feel like a mated vampire couple always does when they give in to their lust, or when I was having a moment, where every touch, every kiss just about sent you over the edge.
We already had a plan in place. Jasper had been able to get drawings of the warehouse, giving us an advantage. We were going to split up, but only where we could communicate silently or with our phones.
Marcus took the back hallway that led to the back door. Demitri and Carina took the bar, though they were going to make rounds throughout the club. Carlisle and Esme decided to play the loving couple taking a stroll for the evening, making a constant circuit around the block, their contact with us being through Edward and cell phones. Alice and Jasper took the far left of the dance floor. Emmett and Rose took the very back of the dance floor, near some sofas and tables. And in order to keep Kevin safe, Adrian kept him in the center of the dance floor, near enough to me that my shield would work. Edward and I were at the front of the dance floor, and we were the closest to the front doors.
However, we were leaning against the rail at the moment, surveying our surroundings, pretending to be lost in each other – though I wasn't quite sure that Edward's mood wasn't still effecting him.
With a sexy crooked grin, his hand caressed my face, slipping into my hair as he placed soft, sweet kisses to my forehead, cheek, and then neck. But while his hands touched me and his body leaned into mine, his words were completely on the task at hand.
"Sit up here, sweet girl," he said, lifting me up on the rail and stepping between my legs. "Tell me what you see behind me."
"Um—" I wavered, feeling his lips, his breath, and his tongue on the side of my neck. And his smile, damn it. "I see the dance floor. Marcus, Demitri, and Em are all in place."
"Good." He nodded, pulling back to cup my face. "I can hear Carlisle just fine. They don't see anything outside."
"Even with all of these people – you can hear him?"
"Yes, ma'am. His mind is almost as clear as yours is to me," he told me, kissing my cheek.
My eyes scanned the room, checking on a dancing Adrian and Kevin, that almost looked too intimate to watch. Alice and Jasper were already lost in a dance, but I knew my sister well enough to know that every scenario was flickering past her glazed eyes, despite the fact that she was wrapped in Jasper's arms.
"Ali and Jazz are good," I said, licking up Edward's neck to his ear and smiling when I felt his deep groan vibrate around me. "Adrian and Kevin are fine."
The music thumped around us with synthesized melodies as I tilted my head for him to kiss my throat, but his eyes were behind me. I giggled when his breath tickled the skin of my neck.
"Shh," he chuckled. "Behind you are the kids from school. I see...Tristan, Sean, Kimber, and Ellie..."
"Okay," I answered, pulling back to look at him. It seemed the place was clear so far. "This is the perfect setting for him, isn't it?" I asked him, reaching up to run my fingers through his hair, brushing my lips across his.
"Sinclair?" he clarified, and I nodded. "Yes, I suppose so," he sighed, his brow furrowing slightly. He stepped closer to me, his hands spread open along both sides of my ribcage as his thumbs caressed the underside of my breasts. "I saw his mind the night of the fight. He wants a young, volatile army. This is the perfect place to start. Young, impressionable, and from what I can see, inebriated." He rolled his eyes adorably.
I snickered, slipping my hands under his shirts just to be able to feel his skin. "Yeah, you can...smell it. It's strange. I knew alcohol left a scent on the skin, but not...pills."
He grinned and nodded. "It all gets...released through their pores, my love."
I watched the group of kids from school join up with a few people that I didn't recognize. The girls, Kimber included, were watching Edward and me.
"We're being...observed," I said, smirking up at him.
"Yes, Kimber." He sighed, rubbing the outside of my thighs roughly and then gripping my ass.
"Mmhm," I chuckled, wrapping my arms around his neck and pressing my forehead to his. "Though right now, they've found Jasper. Ellie's crush is still there, I see."
"It is," he snickered. "The best...is Tristan. He's completely enamored with Rosalie."
I laughed, my head falling back. I felt chuckling kisses to my neck as I thought poor Tristan had no idea what he was in for if he tried to hit on her. Emmett was one thing, but Rose could handle herself with ease and fantastic snarky comebacks.
"But it's poor, poor Logan I feel for, my beautiful girl, because he can't even speak when you're near."
"Oh, stop," I groaned. "He's harmless. He's not here, is he?" I asked, looking around. I sighed, when low and behold, he and Whitney stood over by a few tables, nursing what looked to be sodas. "Damn."
"Right. He's a genius, did you know?" Edward chuckled, pulling back to look at me.
"Tell me that you're talking about his IQ and not because he has a crush on me," I groaned.
Edward laughed, wrapping his arms around me and lifting me down to the floor. "Both, baby. Both." He started pulling me onto the dance floor, saying, "Demitri and Carina are taking our spots. Didn't you say you wanted a dance, love?"
"That I did, Mr. Cullen," I confirmed, grinning and linking our fingers together.
"Well, then far be it from me to deny my wife what she wants," he chuckled, pulling me into his arms.
I knew what he was doing. He was letting them watch us. He was doing what I'd done our first day at school – claiming what was his. Logan may have been a harmless, geeky little thing, high IQ or not, but I was Edward's, and that was...that. And Kimber may have stared at my Edward every chance she got, but he was mine. Their crushes just didn't matter.
We started dancing during the middle of some typical techno beat, thumping bass song, but it was the next song that caught not only my attention, but Edward's, as well, apparently, because the naughtiest, sexiest smile crept over his features. How he knew the song, I had no idea, but if Dirty Edward was allowed out in public, he would've sung this song. It would've been his theme song.
We lost ourselves in a momentary bubble of smiles, kisses, caresses, and gripping hands.
The Spanish beat of Enrique Iglesias' Tonight (I'm Fucking You) caused my whole body to lean into my husband's.
Is this Dirty Edward's song, baby? I thought to him with a grin and a swivel of my hips brushing against his.
He his only answer was a slow nod and a wicked, sexy ass smirk. I watched as his eyes darkened, his tongue dragged across his bottom lip, and his hips moved with just pure sensual grace.
I know you want me.
I made it obvious that I want you too
So put it on me
Let's remove the space between me and you
The best part was the words really were as if he were speaking to me through my fantastic friend, Dirty Edward. They were sweet, but just fittingly dirty, just like he'd been behaving all day.
Now rock your body
Damn I like the way that you move
So give it to me
'Cause I already know what you wanna do
Edward worked my body in ways that I could barely comprehend, much less explain. I was wrapped around him like a second skin, with his hands on my ribs and thigh, hitching my leg around his hip.
The next part slowed down just for a few lines, but Edward bent me back, pulling my shirt away from my collarbone, so that he could lave his tongue over it and up my neck. He left open mouthed kisses, suckling growls against my skin, all the while grinding my center up his strong flexed thigh.
Here's the situation
Been to every nation
Nobody's ever made me feel the way that you do
You know my motivation
Given my reputation
Please excuse me I don't mean to be rude
But tonight I'm fucking you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm fucking you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm fucking you
You're so damn pretty
If I had a type, then baby it'd be you
I know you're ready
If I never lied, then baby you'd be the truth
After the second verse, he turned my back to his chest, raising my arms up around his neck, so that when the song slowed down again, his hands were all over me. With open palms, he skimmed down my sides to my hips, only to grind my ass back into him. And damn, if he wasn't hard for me. A low, deep groan escaped me at the feel of his want for me.
When the song slowed down again, Edward's hand ghosted back up my side, up my neck, and into my hair as he tilted my head, so that he could lavish kisses to the soft spot behind my ear, all the while our hips never stopped moving.
Here's the situation
Been to every nation
Nobody's ever made me feel the way that you do
You know my motivation
Given my reputation
Please excuse me I don't mean to be rude
But tonight I'm fucking you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm fucking you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm fucking you
Tonight I'm gonna do
Everything that I want with you
Everything that you need
Everything that you want, I want it honey
I wanna start with you
From the window
To the wall
Gonna give you my all
Winter n Summertime
When I get you on the springs
I'm gonna make you fall
You got that body
That make me wanna get up on the floor
Just to see you dance
And I love the way you shake that ass
Turn around and let me see them pants
It was with a wicked grin that he spun me away from his body, just to pull me back in so close that I could taste his breath on my tongue. He gripped my waist, placing his thigh between my legs and grinding my center up his leg. It was indecent, it was so very sensual, and it was very hot.
You're stuck with me
I'm stuck with you
Let's find something to do
Please excuse me I don't mean to be rude...
But tonight I'm fucking you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm lovin' you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm lovin' you...
When the song was over, I found myself bent back with Edward's lips on my neck, but I could feel his smile, and so very much more of him.
"Well," I sighed as he helped me stand up straight, "if that's the one dance I get...mmm, that was worth it," I snorted, smiling up at my laughing husband.
"I told you," he crooned in my ear so sexily, "that it's all in the leading, beautiful."
"Yes, but I'm not sure what you were leading with, Edward," I teased, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Hush, silly girl," he chuckled, kissing my temple and leading me off of the dance floor to see Adrian and Kevin giving us a round of applause.
"Thank you, thank you," I giggled, giving them a simple curtsy.
"Impressive and very hawt, Heavy E," Kevin stated with an exaggerated bow.
Edward snorted, "Thank you."
"My turn, my goddess," Kevin begged, grinning sweetly and holding his hand out.
I looked up at Edward, who was already shooing me out onto the dance floor. "Go, sweet girl," he whispered in my ear. "They know who you're with." His eyes flickered to the table with the kids from school, and I had to laugh at their open mouths and wide eyed stares. "Adrian and I will walk the building. I want to check in with Carlisle anyway, okay?"
"Not far, right?" I verified, gripping his hand.
"No, baby." He shook his head, kissing my lips. "Not far at all. Besides," he whispered in my ear, "that song we danced to...that's a statement, my sexy girl. I don't want you out of my hands for long at all tonight."
I grinned, a big silly smile, nodding. "'Kay." I turned to Adrian. "I'm taking my shield off of you, but just while you're gone," I told him, and waited until he nodded, before I lifted it.
He winced a little, but seemed to maintain just fine.
"Be careful," I said, looking up at Edward.
"Go, Bella. Have fun, but watch your surroundings," he told me with one last kiss to my lips, and I nodded as he left me and Kevin on the dance floor.
Adrian and I turned to look back one more time to the dance floor. I smiled as Alice joined Kevin and Bella. The two girls were dancing on either side of him, with happy smiles on their faces.
Adrian chuckled, shaking his head. "Now I get why he wanted to come tonight so badly," he snorted, rolling his eyes. "Stuck in that apartment for a month...it's been tough for him."
I nodded, holding the door as we made our way outside. "Bella would get cabin fever," I told him with a grin. "Her only escape was shopping trips with the girls. And for her, that wasn't an outing, that was torture."
Adrian laughed, but we both stopped dead in our tracks as a scent hit our noses – one that I instantly recognized. As I pulled out my phone, sending a quick text to everyone, Carlisle and Esme appeared at my side.
"Sinclair," Carlisle whispered low.
I nodded slowly, scanning the sidewalk to the north, while he looked to the south.
My phone vibrated with responses from everyone. Marcus was already out the back. Demitri and Carina were with him. Jasper and Alice had found the fire ladder up to the roof and were already looking down on the street below. Emmett was heading our way. Bella and Rose were staying inside with Kevin.
Edward...straight ahead. East, dude. Jasper's thoughts were crystal clear and completely correct.
As I looked straight in front of me, across the street, I could see a small group of immortals looming in the shadows. From what I could see, they were young.
"East," I breathed, looking at my family, but facing Emmett. "Text Marcus. Tell him east. The other side of the warehouse."
My brother nodded, pulling out his phone.
Carlisle sighed, and it sounded weary and exasperated. He looked up at me, using his thoughts only. We can try talking first.
I nodded, crossing the street with him. The thoughts from the small coven were jumbled, confused as to why we were approaching them – and only two of us, at that.
There were five newborns huddled in the shadows – two girls and three boys. They were young – in human years and as immortals – barely able to keep their attention on the issue at hand. The scent filled club behind us was calling them, because it was nothing but lust, adrenaline, and warm fresh blood pumping through veins. They wanted it. And they had been given permission to take it.
However, they were under a control of some sort, because they were told to wait for instructions on exactly who they could feed from and who Sinclair wanted for his own.
As we stepped up on the sidewalk in front of them, they all shifted. One boy stepped to the front, but the rest crouched like we would attack them.
"Easy," Carlisle crooned. "We just want to speak with you."
"Jimmy, he didn't say there were others," one girl said to the boy in front. Sinclair's face flashed to the front of her mind, but I also saw...Tanya. I took a deep breath, keeping that information quiet for the moment.
Jimmy nodded, but turned his crimson eyes on Carlisle. "We only mean to hunt."
"Not tonight," Carlisle ordered. "At least, not here. Where's Sinclair?"
"He's waiting," Jimmy said, his hand rubbing over his mouth as his eyes drifted past us to the club activities behind us and the group of giggling human girls that drifted past the end of the alleyway.
Jimmy was thirsty.
Movement caught my eye from behind the group, as Marcus, Demitri, and Carina blocked the other end of the alleyway. The girl that had spoken spun around, a feral growl escaping her, as Demitri left the other two and closed in on the five newborns.
Demitri caught my eye, his thoughts a command from Marcus. Marcus wants information on Sinclair, and then he wants them destroyed.
I'd figured that had been the plan. The group in front of me could destroy a small town in days, and that was without help from the ancient one.
However, I had a feeling that the five in front of me weren't the only ones on the hunt tonight, because the fire alarm went off behind me at the club. We all turned around to see humans scattering into the night.
Jimmy took the opportunity to try and run, but his mind was too clear, too open to get away with it. Ducking his swinging punch on me, I spun, grabbed his throat, and pressed him into the wall behind him.
"Sinclair. Tell me where he is, and you might live to hunt another day," I growled, squeezing my fingers around his throat, his immortal skin starting to slowly shatter under my grip.
"The club. He's in the club," he rasped, and my eyes shot up to Demitri, who rushed to me.
"Go, Ed...Bella, Rose...Alice and Jasper. They're all still inside!" he growled.
I shoved Jimmy at him, not even flinching when the sound of a cut-off scream met my ears before I'd even crossed the street.
I rushed to Emmett, grabbing his arm, but turned to Esme. "Go to Carlisle. Finish them. Marcus wants them gone."
She carefully dodged past running humans as the fire alarm was still echoing throughout the desolate warehouses.
"Em, Sinclair's inside. Let's go," I said, trying to avoid the panicking humans, but Adrian growled, shaking his head.
"Adrian, help Marcus. You can't go in here like that, it's too much. I'll find Kev, okay?" Emmett snapped, using his huge arms to catch an onyx-eyed Adrian. "You gotta trust Bells to keep him safe, dude."
When humans panic, their blood becomes infused with adrenaline, making their scent all the more tempting. My family and I were much more used to it. This had been Adrian's first attempt. And it was poor circumstances to continue to test himself now.
Adrian shook his head, but turned to me. "Please?"
"We've got this. Go...there may be more in the alley."
As we pushed our way in as the humans were trying to get out, my sweet girl's mind hit me hard.
Edward! Sinclair's on the roof with Alice and Jasper. He's trying to take her!
"The roof," I growled, pointing to the far back hallway.
As I stepped over spilled chairs and tables and avoided the last few humans, I saw movement by the bar. Rose and Bella were handling three newborns, pushing them and shoving them toward what looked to be a storage room.
Baby, we've got this...Go help Jasper!
I snorted, shaking my head and suddenly feeling sorry for the short lives that my sister and my wife were about to end.
"Fuck, that won't be pretty," Emmett chuckled, grabbing the fire ladder and hoisting himself up.
"No kidding," I sighed, following right behind him.
The sight on the roof made my still heart plummet to my stomach. Sinclair had Alice in his grip, her head tilted in a dangerous angle. It looked like just one simple shift of his arm and her head would be severed. How he'd gotten her, I had no idea. She was hell to catch.
Jasper's face was filled with fear, fierce hatred, and complete panic all at the same time. Those same emotions wafted around the warehouse roof as he stood utterly still. When he saw me and Emmett come up out of the hatch door, his relief was palpable.
"Oh look, more little animal drinkers," Sinclair taunted, twisting Alice around like a rag doll.
I locked eyes with my sister; the communication that we'd always shared was perfect for this situation.
Wait for it, Edward. He dies right here. And please don't let Jazz panic...he has to stay calm.
I nodded, turning to Jasper as Emmett slowly stepped to the right. We were surrounding Sinclair at a snail's pace.
"Calm, brother," I said to Jasper. "She said so."
He flinched, his eyes looking up at me, but his thoughts were heartbreaking. She's...everything, Ed. He made her...but he wants to take her...
For the first time, I recognized my own fears in my brother's face. When it came to Bella, and all of her run-ins with immortals, my face must have carried that same tortured, pained expression. Our mates meant too much. They caused you to lose reason for even the briefest of moments.
"Easy," I whispered, making my way to the left and giving my attention to Sinclair. "You're outnumbered, Sinclair. In fact, your newborns are gone, too."
"I don't believe you."
"Look," I said, pointing to the side of the roof. "You can see the alley from here."
He shook his head, his mind convinced I was tricking him. "If you come any closer, she's ashes." With that, he pulled out a lighter, flicking the flame into life.
"Fuck," Emmett growled low, looking up at me and then Jasper.
"Why? You made her," I reasoned. "I thought you wanted to take her with you. Why destroy her?" I asked him, hoping I could just distract him long enough for him to lose his concentration.
"She won't come with me. She was supposed to be the best creation I'd ever made."
"She is...an amazing creation," I countered. "But you can't change her free will, Sinclair."
"She was supposed to be a gift back to me."
I froze, reading his thoughts, shaking my head in disbelief. "No...she wouldn't..."
"What?" Jasper growled, looking like he was barely holding himself together.
"How?" I growled, my only focus being on Sinclair.
"I ran into Tanya in Russia on my way here. I was going to see the old ones, Vladimir and Stefan, but they were deep into that sleep state. She was there, to guard them, feed them, she told me. We told stories...we exchanged...grievances," he sneered, his eyes blackening to pitch. "She told me about your family. She told me that my little future seer had been taken in by...what do you call yourselves? Vegetarians? She told me that if I helped her get to you...the whole family, then I could have Mary Alice back..."
"Are you fucking kidding me with this?" Emmett snarled, taking a step but freezing when Sinclair shifted Alice's head again.
"Tanya did this?" I growled low. "Not you. All of this...all of New York is her doing?"
My eyes snapped to Alice when her mind hit me again. Edward, she's here...in New York. That's why I didn't see this. Mark's ability stopped this vision.
Sinclair laughed, jerking Alice around like a poor tiny ragdoll, and even though she was letting him, it was pissing me off. "We did it together. But she knew...she knew that if we made a big enough army, that you'd come. She knew that your leader has a small hero complex and would want to help Marcus of the Volturi. Hell, she even knew that you'd stay in New York after Central Park."
"Shit," Emmett breathed, eying Sinclair as he inched towards the edge of the roof. Ed, he's gonna jump.
I needed another tactic with this immortal. He had no fear, no remorse for anything that he'd done. I glanced up over the rooftops, watching as the warehouse next door flickered into a huge blaze.
I smiled slowly, turning back to Sinclair. "Your newest recruits are ashes, Sinclair." I jerked my chin with a chuckle.
"We have more," he countered. "She's turning a dozen as we speak. In fact, they should be turned by tomorrow." He laughed maniacally. "And you won't find her. The one that travels with her has an amazing talent..."
I frowned, watching Sinclair's mind. The first thing I noticed was the he didn't call Mark Tanya's mate. He was completely committed to taking Alice, if only to dispose of her for not wanting to be with him as his "creation." And he wasn't exactly friends with Tanya. In fact, he held a touch of fear of her. He'd seen her moments of insanity. He may have been older than her, but he was convinced her mind wasn't sound.
That was my in...
"Sinclair, if you hand over Alice, we'll help you. We'll get rid of Tanya for you," I lied smoothly. "We're aware of her weaknesses, her hatred of us."
Both of my brothers snapped their gazes towards me, but I gave them nothing. If I let anything slip, we could lose my sister, and that couldn't, wouldn't happen. Sinclair wouldn't live to see another sunrise as far as I was concerned, but I needed him to loosen his grip on Alice, and soon, because I could hear sirens in the distance.
"God, she's insane. You have no idea," he groaned, stepping closer towards Emmett. He wasn't paying my brother any attention. Emmett, however, was completely absorbed in how close Alice was to his grasp.
"Oh, we know," I sighed. "Let us help you," I pleaded.
"She uses her succubus powers to get what she wants. She used it on the young one, Mark. He had a latent power, and she knew it. She convinced him he was her mate, and now holds him to her..."
My mouth fell open when I saw why the girl, Megan, had become a player in this huge set of events. She was truly Mark's mate, and now Tanya was using their love against them. It wouldn't have surprised me if Tanya knew about Mark when he was human; she'd probably used Eleazar to get a read on him. Everything about Mark and Tanya's relationship was false, because of her. Every death, every immortal in New York was Tanya's doing.
For a split second, I thought about Bella. She was just going to destroy her for this, and I wouldn't blame her one bit.
Despite the tense frustration that was surrounding me by everyone on that roof, I needed to ask one question. "Where is she?" I asked, trying not to growl in hatred.
"Near...that's all I know," he growled, shifting Alice again, and this time, she was almost close enough for Emmett to touch her.
The sirens got louder, and he started to panic. "Tell her goodbye. I'm not leaving without her."
"She doesn't want to go with you, Sinclair," I stated, taking a step closer to him at the same time Jasper did. "Ask her. It's not that she didn't appreciate what you did," I said carefully, "but she's mated. She's been with us for eighty years."
That's when I felt Jasper's power kick in full force, a fierce love mixed with an apologetic feeling. Then it switched to doubt, which he sent towards Sinclair. And that was when he moved.
Sinclair swirled Alice away from Emmett to hold her forcefully by the shoulders. "It's not that you hate me? You're...okay with what I did? Your potential was too much to let end in the short life span of a human..."
Alice stayed silent verbally, but mentally, she was ready, preparing me to attack. She was waiting for his next decision to move, and just as his hands lifted from her shoulders, she spun towards Emmett, letting him pull her away so quickly that they looked like a blur.
Jasper and I launched, my brother going high and my arms wrapping around Sinclair's torso.
"No..." Sinclair's voice was cut off as Jasper removed his head cleanly, landing in a crouch with it still in his hands.
I removed the ancient one's arms and legs, pulling out a lighter. I looked up at Jasper, who seemed to be stunned. "Jazz, it's done. Go to her," I said, setting the immortal's pieces on fire.
Jasper tossed Sinclair's head on the flame and was instantly in Alice's embrace.
"Let's go!" Emmett growled. "We've started this, and the firetrucks are close."
We didn't bother with the ladder, but jumped from the roof hatch down into the now abandoned club, and I smelled my girl instantly.
"Bella," I called, and she came out from the bar storage, wondering if she could set the store room on fire yet. "He's gone, baby. Go ahead."
Rose and Bella smiled, lighting the end of a liquor bottle with a rag stuck in it, and they threw into the back room to burn the newborns they had destroyed. After a high five between them, they joined us at the door.
"Where's Kevin?" Emmett asked, looking around worriedly.
"Outside with Esme," Rose said. "He was brilliant. It was Kevin that set the fire alarms to get the humans to leave. We told him to hide in the bathroom, and on his way by, he grabbed the alarm."
"Nice," Jasper and Emmett chuckled.
I scooped Bella up into my arms, and she wrapped herself around me as we walked out onto the sidewalk. "You okay, sweet girl?" I asked, brushing her hair away from her face.
Her soft smile told me she was as she cupped my face, but she said, "Yeah. Is Sinclair gone?"
"Yes, ma'am." I nodded, looking at Alice's almost blissful face as Jasper held her close, whispering in her ear.
"He is?" Carlisle asked, looking at all of us.
"Yeah, and there are some...things we need to talk about," Jasper growled, looking up from Alice's gaze.
"Well, let's get everyone home," Esme said, her arm wrapped around Kevin.
I looked around, and I couldn't see Marcus, Demitri, Carina, or Adrian. But my mother's mind was calm.
Don't worry, son. Adrian is with the others, making sure that we got them all. He said he would meet us back at the penthouse.
I nodded, turning back to Bella, whose mind was filled with sweet curiosity about what had happened on the roof. "It seems we all have stories to tell, baby. Let's go home."
"It seemed like the second Edward and Adrian went outside, all hell broke loose," I sighed, looking to Rose as she nodded in agreement. I linked my fingers with Edward's as I sat in front of him on the piano bench.
We were all back at the apartment, going over what we had all seen and learned.
"No shit," Rose snorted. "Apparently, there was some sort of side door that wasn't on the plans that Jasper got, and that's where the newborns came in. Kevin spotted them come from behind the bar and told Emmett."
"Once we received your message," I said, turning to Edward, who nodded and kissed my temple, "everyone shot off to where they were supposed to. I told Kevin to get somewhere and hide."
"I told him the bathrooms," Rose said, "because I wasn't sure how to get the humans out, and I didn't want him hurt."
"Fire alarm, ladies," Kevin sang, quite proud of himself, causing everyone to laugh.
"That was perfect," I chuckled, shaking my head. "It got them out, that's for sure."
"How did you know they had Alice?" Edward asked from behind me.
"I saw Sinclair climb the ladder after she and Jasper got up there, so I followed and heard him tell her she was coming with him," Rose growled. "But I couldn't leave Bella to three newborns. They were wicked strong. You weren't long behind, Edward," she told him. "What the hell happened up there?"
Edward's smooth, calm voice recalled what he and Emmett burst in on – that Sinclair was holding Alice hostage, that he was edging closer and closer to the roof's edge, and that he had admitted to them that he was working for, not with Tanya. He said there were more newborns being turned at that very moment, and that the only thing that he relied on was Alice's calm visions.
Poor Jasper must have been out of his mind with worry.
Edward patted my leg lightly with that last thought, silently telling me that I was right.
"Well, I still see Megan approaching Bella at the school. Same time, it looks like," Alice sighed from across the room. She was perched on Jasper's lap, who looked like he wasn't going to let her go anytime soon. "If we're truly going to stop this army, then it's Tanya we have to stop now."
Carlisle sighed, deep and weary, looking around at his family. "I need...to speak with her sisters, guys. I am at a loss with this one. As much as she's done to my family, as much as she used to be considered an extension of this family, and as much as I know how the rest of you feel about her, I must show respect to Kate, Irina, and Eleazar. I must tell them about this."
I could see his gaze slip past me to Edward, who hugged me closer as he said, "I can understand the respect you show them, Carlisle, but it will not stop me when it comes to Tanya." I heard the controlled menace in my husband's voice, and I couldn't blame him one bit.
"I know, son," he said, standing up and pulling his phone out of his pocket.
"I don't blame you, Edward," Rose and Alice growled at the same time.
Esme snorted, but folded her arms across her chest and nodded.
I turned in Edward's arms on the bench, giving him a quick glance, and then snuggled into his embrace with my face in his neck. I needed to remain calm when it came to the subject of Tanya, because I knew I became irrationally pissed at the mere mention of her. I needed to let Edward make this decision, because I trusted him completely when it came to this. He hated her just as much as I did, though I was beginning to think for different reasons. But in his arms, surrounded by his scent, I was calm, letting my mind communicate with him over nothing, yet everything. And I stayed that way, with his fingers gliding up and down my back soothingly, his sweet voice humming softly, and his lips pressing to my temple occasionally, the entire time we listened to Carlisle's phone calls.
The first one was to Marcus, who stated that they'd gotten the rest of the newborns in the area, but had lost Tanya's trail, much to Demitri's fiery ire. He hated that he couldn't track her. Marcus also requested that we stay in New York just a little while longer, but gave us the choice, as always.
The next call was to Eleazar. He explained that he had been snowed by Tanya as well, but did admit to telling her when he first met Mark that the young man might have a talent once he was changed. He had been pretty sure that it was a masking talent, and had confirmed that theory when Mark and Tanya showed up for Kate's wedding. He said it was like my shield, in the way the he could block thoughts, visions, and tracking, but different, because he couldn't use it physically like I could. Whereas I could block physical scents, contact, and movement, Mark could not. It was a mental talent only, but a useful one, as it would seem.
"That's because Bells rocks," Emmett whispered, causing Edward to chuckle at my giggle.
"You're leaving this to me, sweet girl?" he asked in a whisper.
I pulled back to look at him with a slow nod and then a shrug. "I...am not capable of making a smart decision on this, Edward," I sighed, my brow wrinkling.
He reached up to gently try to rub it away.
"He isn't, either," Jasper chuckled, shooting me a wink when I turned to look at him. "But in all honesty, I can't say that I blame you...either of you." His gaze turned back to Alice on his lap, and I could tell that the Sinclair threat had been scary for the two of them.
"Me, either," Emmett grumped, folding his massive arms across his chest. "She sounds like she's gone nuttier than a fruitcake, so what's the big deal..."
Kevin yawned widely, blinking with watery eyes, but before I could tell him to go to bed, he spoke. "This is the bi – oops, sorry..." He gave Esme an apologetic smile. "This is the...witch that tried to take Heavy E? The same one that did it again later? The very same one that gave away your location to the enemy during a big fight?"
We all nodded.
"And this is a debate, why? Kill her; you'll all feel better..."
With that, he stood up, a smirk planted on his face at our laughter. "I'm heading to bed. Tell me what we're doing about all this...crap in the morning."
"Night, Kev," we all called, turning our attention to Carlisle, who was finally on the phone with Kate.
"Oh God, Carlisle," she sighed on the other end. "I knew it was bad, but not how bad. Let us come to you. Let us try to help you find her. I can have all of us there within a few days."
"That decision is up to you, Kate," Carlisle conceded, "but I'm not sure I have...control over her fate anymore." His eyes flickered around the room, landing on Edward. "If she's caught, I cannot promise her...survival."
"Edward?" she asked, and you could almost see her wincing.
"Well, Kate...it seems all of my family feels betrayed by Tanya, including myself, but you haven't even considered the destruction she's done to the city of New York." He paused, swallowing thickly. "It's hundreds of young people, both turned and drained. It's reckless, it's disturbing, and it's irrational. But yes, Edward and Bella feel most opinionated when it comes to her. She almost got them killed in Washington during the fight with Felix." He paused again, closing his eyes, before he said, "Marcus is calling for her death, Kate. I'm sorry."
I heard a deep sigh on the other end and another voice join the line. Irina.
"She's not the same Tanya she used to be, even a few decades ago," she said, her thick Russian accent so very beautiful. "She has changed..."
Kate's voice came over the line. "Let us come to you. We'll help you find her."
"Again, that's up to you, but I felt I should call you," Carlisle told them. "And as always, you're welcome in our home any time. Tell us when you arrive."
"We will, and Carlisle... If she's done these crimes, then she has fallen far from our beliefs. If she's started a newborn army, killed humans, then there isn't much hope for her. The Volturi has always had zero tolerance..." The sound of sadness that reached my ears was heartbreaking.
It wasn't that I felt sorry for Tanya, because my hatred for her was set in stone, but I did feel for Kate and Irina. I had two sisters that I loved wholeheartedly, and would be devastated if something happened to them – whether it was their fault or not.
Carlisle ended his call, pacing slowly for a few minutes. It seemed the whole lot of us were on pins and needles, waiting for his decision, except for Edward.
"There isn't a vote needed," Edward said slowly through gritted teeth, almost disrespectfully. "We're here. If she's found, then she dies." I looked up at my husband, and his eyes were pitch as he watched his father pace back and forth.
I cupped his face, stroking his cheeks with my thumbs in order to calm him. It barely worked.
"Alice?" Carlisle whispered, closing his eyes in frustration, but ignoring Edward's attitude.
"If we're to catch her, then we have to stay, because we have to wait until Megan approaches us," Alice said simply. "Every time you think about going back to London, the army gets bigger, Carlisle. When you decide to stay, the vision of Megan and Mark talking to Bells becomes clear again."
Carlisle stopped pacing, looking up at Esme and then Edward. "Fine...we stay."


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