Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

An Angel's Promise Chapter 8

CHAPTER 8
BELLA
"Yes, Kev." I frowned, looking over at him as we made our way out of our night class to the parking lot of the school. "The Halloween Party on campus is coming up. I'm well aware."
"Well, is Hot Doc gonna come or not?" he asked, stopping by our car.
"I have no idea," I shrugged, "but I probably won't even ask. His schedule has been shot to hell. In the last two weeks, I've seen him a total of twenty-four hours combined." My own voice sounded rough and bitter to me, so I couldn't imagine what my brother and Kevin heard.
Jasper's head snapped around from the driver's side of the car, and his frown could not be missed as he studied not only my face and posture, but my mood, as well.
"Well, it's supposed to be fun," Kevin said, smiling at me in sympathy and patting my shoulder. "It's okay, my Goddess. You can be my arm candy." I snorted, smiling, but nodded in acquiescence. "And they said we could bring anyone, so bring the whole family, huh?" His face turned to Jasper, who nodded with a forced smile, but he was still picking up my mood.
With a soft, sweet kiss to my cheek, Kevin turned and walked to his own car. "I'll call you later," he smiled, waving before diving into his car.
I closed Jasper's car door, feeling a brotherly wave of love envelope me. "Thank you, but before you ask, no, I don't want to talk about it."
"Bells..."
"Please?" I begged, looking up at him. "Just take me to the house."
"Yours?"
"No." I shook my head. "He won't be home tonight, so just take me home with you."
"Sure, baby sis," he said softly, cranking the car and backing out of the parking space.
I looked down at my phone when a text alerted me.
E: Bella, I'm so sorry. I'll be home later tonight...
B: I'll be at the Cullen house.
E: Yes, ma'am.
I snorted at that answer. He knew I was mad. "Yes ma'am" was his surrendering reply. I gripped my phone until it was snatched from my hand.
"Don't break it," Jasper frowned. "You need to hunt. You're about to drive me crazy, you're so pissed."
"I know," I snapped, but closed my eyes and took a deep breath. "I know. I'm sorry."
We were met out front of the huge house by a worried Alice. She eyed me with sharp, honey eyes, but they quickly softened. "I have a feeling you will need all the support you can get."
"Oh, what now?" I growled, allowing her to tug me inside by my hand.
"Just wait." She pointed to Demitri, who was pacing on the phone at the far end of the living room.
"Tell me what your command is, Marcus," he growled into the phone. "Alice sees her wavering decision on whether to leave that post."
"Oh, you're fucking kidding me, right?" I turned to Alice, my eyes begging her to tell me we weren't discussing Tanya.
"She keeps making random decisions," Alice said, nodding, her face repentant. "The last one was that she was tired of watching over the Russians, but Mark calmed her down. He's keeping her sane. I have to give him that."
"Demitri, don't do anything," Marcus sighed on the other end of the line. "Wait until the decision is firm from Alice."
"Okay," he said softly, looking up at me. "I promised them I would stop her, Marcus."
"We all promised Bella," Marcus countered. "Give her my love, and tell her we'll always watch."
Demitri ended his call, looking at me with a pained expression. "I...Bells..."
"Don't worry," I huffed, rolling my eyes. "I'm sure we all expect it. Alice will tell us for sure." I looked over to my sister, who was nodding before I even finished my sentence.
"Go hunt," Jasper urged, pushing me towards the back door. "Do you need me to come with you?"
"No." I shook my head. "I need...to think." With that, I quietly walked out the back door.
After hunting—brutally, I might add—I sat down alone in the middle of the woods. I closed my eyes, letting the misty rain flutter around my face.
Feeding took the edge off of my temper, leaving me with a slight touch of guilt and an all-consuming sadness. I missed Edward, and it totally wasn't fair of me.
The last weekend we spent together was the last quality time we'd had. We had played, laughed, made love countless times, but it had all come to a screeching halt.
Toby had developed a blood infection from some contaminated lines, and Edward had dove in, trying to help him. It didn't help that Dr. Wilder's wife had a death in her family, and they had left immediately for South Africa. So Edward was covering not only his own shifts, but Dr. Wilder's as well.
I knew all of this, and felt endless amounts of guilt for feeling deprived of Edward's time and attention. On top of that, Kevin, Jasper, and I had tons of work due at school, including major tests. I was suddenly wondering what the point of it all was.
The house was dark, quiet, but not empty when I returned. I could hear them in their rooms as I made my way upstairs to Edward's room.
Per my request, the room had barely been altered once the family had moved completely in. It was like stepping inside of Edward, stepping back in time. It was old, yet classy and subdued, looking like an old English inn.
The old radio that had been on the shelf by a nail-head chaise was now an expensive stereo. The tall bookcases remained, but his old roll-top desk had been replaced with a larger antique desk, the home to another laptop.
The bed, aside from the mattress, was the same—and my favorite thing in the room. It was dark wood, with round, carved posters, leading up to a masculine canopy. Thick, deep red curtains could enclose the bed when they were drawn. I loved it.
We didn't stay overnight here often, but I didn't feel like being home alone—and in all reality, I expected another emergency to keep Edward away from me. That was bitter, I know, but I missed him too much to think clearly.
Draped over the back of the desk chair was one of Edward's button downs left from our last stay a few weeks back. I picked it up, closing my eyes and inhaling the scent I lived for. After a quick shower, I put it on over a pair of yoga pants, pulling the laptop to the bed.
Opening my email, I saw the usual stuff—updates from Anna and Jake on the kids, Sue's almost daily hello, and a few jokes from Seth and the boys of the pack. There were two that were different, though. One was from Edward, and the other was from Charlie's account at the station.
Edward always came first.
My beautiful Bella,
You have absolutely no idea how sorry I am that my schedule has been so erratic lately. I know the last four days were supposed to be my weekend off. If it makes you feel any better—and if you're still speaking to me—Dr. Wilder has promised me a solid week off to make up for having to take off so suddenly.
So as of tonight, you can yell at me for a full week. I won't even complain. ;)
I know this is tough for you, and I know the only answer I would get if I asked is that you're "fine." I love you so much. Believe me when I tell you that I know "fine" doesn't cover it—you don't fool me. I miss you more than I can possibly express in this email, my sweet girl.
It bothers me to know that you are hurting and the only thing that helps is me. I have no idea how to fix that, love. You're right when you say that I would drop everything for you, but you don't want me to do that. What do we do, Bella? What do we do when all you want is me, and I can't be there? You want me to tell you if the hospital makes me happy, and it does, but not when it affects you so. I don't want you to need for anything—even if that "anything" is me.
You're going through a really tough phase, my love. It's hard to find that "something" that keeps you going. Please don't let that darken your sweet, loving, bright spirit. There isn't a single one of us that hasn't felt the same way you do right now. You made me a promise that you would never regret this life, and it's my biggest fear for you. It would shatter me if that were to happen.
Here's what I want from my gorgeous girl:
1. Make plans for this week. And if you don't think I don't know about that Halloween party at your school, you're underestimating Alice again. ;) What are you going as, sexy girl?
2. You better clear a hefty amount of time away from everyone, Bella. I want to ravish you like you deserve. There won't be a spot on you I won't have marked as mine!
3. Get with Alice and make an outing for the whole family. They miss us. Both of us together, baby. It means so much for us to do things with them, okay?
And lastly, just know that I love you more and more everyday, and you aren't the only one that gets frustrated with my schedule. You really should explain to my nurses about my mood swings. ;)
I love you, baby. And I'll see you in a few hours.
My love, always,
Edward
I couldn't help the smile that spread over my face. My whole family had been telling on me. And true to my husband's sweet personality, he knew exactly what to say to make everything okay again—or at least to give me a light to focus on. I couldn't help but answer him.
Hey, Handsome,
A whole week? ;) Hmm...what to do with you... My options are limitless, Edward.
First...I'm not warning your nurses of anything. Maybe your mood swings will start to deter their crushes on you. They're on their own. However, I have complete faith in Helen. I'm pretty sure she could take you if you made her just mad enough.
As far as Halloween goes, well, I've never told you my costume before, so why would I start now? And since you are off for that event, then you are so going, mister.
I'll make plans, and I'll get with Alice. I wouldn't mind if we all went out. But as far as clearing time for you...all I want is us, at home, alone, no distractions. Period. And for however many days we can get away with it. I just want us, bumming around the house. I just want to watch TV, hear you play music, and feel your arms around me. I want to kiss you. I need to kiss you. I feel like I'll go mad if I don't soon. ;)
God, I love you...so much.
I really needed to hear these things tonight. I suppose it didn't help that I needed to hunt. And I did. But it's more than that, really. You don't have to "fix" anything, love. I feel lost when you're not with me. I feel off kilter. I don't know how else to explain it. It's not your fault. It's not even mine. It's just the way we are. And I'm okay with it all.
I'll admit to enormous moments of childlike disappointed pouting when your schedule changes. I can't help that. I'm selfish when you're with me, so it will probably never change. I don't ever really want to share you with anyone, especially now when it seems my time with you is limited.
But you're right. I don't want you to drop anything for me. Drop it for yourself, but never for me. Do you understand me? As much as this is a struggle for me, I would be hurt to know you quit for any reasons other than your own. Not for me.
I have one request of you for this upcoming week. Can we sit down with Carlisle, please? Together? Even if it's only for a few minutes...
And I can't yell at you for a whole week, Edward. I can barely yell at you for 60 seconds. Your pouting face would kill me anyway. ;) I love you—pouting face and all. Come to me at the family house when you're done. We'll talk about your captivity.
But know this...I am wearing one of your shirts. ;)
I love you...with everything in me, I love you.
Forever yours,
Bella
With a smirk, I hit the send button on the email, turning my attention to the last message in my inbox. My brow furrowed as I read an obviously rushed message from my dad.
Bells,
I hope I'm sending these files correctly. I wanted you to see them before Alice does, but she's damn quick with that vision of hers. So far, this is what I've been able to uncover about the asylum in Mississippi. It isn't pleasant, honey. In fact, it made me ill.
Hope you're doing well. Tell Edward hello from me. I miss you girls something fierce.
Dad
P.S. You can thank Anna for most of the work. She's a whiz on the internet.
I chuckled, shaking my head at that last line. Charlie wasn't exactly Mr. Technology, but I was surprised that he had found some things so quickly. Alice had only sent him her information just a few weeks ago.
I opened the files, scanning through them. My breath hitched when some of them happened to be photos of the very facility Alice had been held. They were black and white and grainy, but still the dinginess and dankness of each and every photo caused my heart to shatter for the human girl that my sister and best friend once had been. How could someone survive that place? How could someone let their child be taken there? And from there, how did she become the vampire that she now was?
It was awful and scary. There were pallets on the floor that may have been straw with a thin blanket over it. There was a room with a raised slab of concrete, with chains on every corner. There wasn't any natural light, just dim bulbs that hung from the ceilings of each room.
One of the files was Mary Alice Brandon's death certificate. The other, her birth certificate. She was the exact same age as Edward. One picture was of her grave. I couldn't help the soft sob that escaped me.
There was a soft knock on the door, and I looked up to see her standing there. Jasper was right behind her.
"May I?" Her voice was a mere whisper, and her face was almost tormented with a mixture of fear and curiosity.
"Oh, Ali," I sighed, glancing back down at my computer screen. I shook my head back and forth slowly, looking back up at her. "I don't know..." Jasper nodded once from behind her to let me know it was okay. "Sweetie, it's not much, but what it is...is disturbing." I grimaced, feeling the sting of venom in my unshed tears.
"I know," she said softly, sitting next to me without looking at the computer yet. "I was just hoping to remember something, anything..."
I nodded, looking at Jasper as he sat behind her. We were all crowded on the end of the bed, looking through everything that Charlie had sent. She had sent some information to him a few weeks back. He had made her no promises, but told her he would try. It had something to do with the dates and lost records, but apparently, he had found a few things. She had told him her real name, the state she was from, the name of her sister—Cynthia—and a few more details to help my dad along.
She studied the pictures with an eery stillness I wasn't used to seeing in her. Her gold eyes swept over each and every document, looking for anything that would trigger her memory.
"Alice, baby?" Jasper whispered into her ear.
I could feel his struggle. He wanted so badly to give her the memories, but he never wanted to see her upset or sad. The room was filled with a weird mixture of hope and calm.
"I'm okay," she sighed, frowning. "I was eighteen...when I was changed."
I winced at her voice. It wasn't like her to be so confused. She was so sure in her visions for others, but never in herself. "Do you remember any of it?" I asked, leaning over to kiss her spiky head. "And it's okay if you don't."
She took a deep breath and shook her head. "Just the dark room..." She froze for a moment, her eyes closing. She tilted her head slightly and said, "They cut my hair. I had really long hair, and they cut it."
I looked at Jasper, and he shrugged. Maybe this was a new memory for her. We gave her the moment.
I looked up when Emmett and Rose walked quietly into the room. Rose's concern for Alice was written all over her face. We truly felt for her. We all had most of our memories in tact. Even Edward, who had been sick at the end of his human life, could remember some things. Alice remembered nothing of who she once was.
Rose sat behind me, and Emmett was forced to squeeze in close to the headboard, but no one said a word. We just wanted to be there for her. She'd do anything for us, so it was our turn for support.
She quietly flipped through the pictures again, shaking her head once or twice, but otherwise kept her thoughts to herself.
"They called me a witch," she breathed, her brow furrowing as she looked at the picture that bothered me the most. In medieval times, it would have been called "The Rack." And I tried with everything I had not to view it that way, but all I could see when I looked at it was my tiny Alice's arms and legs chained to the four corners of a damp concrete slab. "I could see things—but it wasn't that I could see them...it was because they turned out to be true.
"I remember the feel of metal on my skin," she gasped, looking up at Jasper first, who kissed her cheek softly. She turned to me and then the doorway. "Metal on my arms and legs. But it was dark," she said to Edward, who was now standing with a concerned and dark look on his face.
"I see that," he sighed, dropping his jacket, keys, and wallet into the chaise to come kneel before her. His face was nothing but sympathy and love for his sister. "I like the pigtails, Ali," he teased, trying to lighten the mood. She smirked at him, but I could see she was sending everything she had in her mind to him. His eyes darkened slightly as he saw it all.
"Describe it, Edward," she growled, gripping his forearms. "Tell me how you see it."
He frowned, but nodded. She wasn't trusting her own mind at this point.
"They brought you into the room, chaining you to the table. But wait, Alice...what about prior to that? Anything?" he asked, but she shook her head. "Okay, so they brought you in and chained you down. They would leave you for hours at a time in the dark. You were quiet, though. The rest of the...facility wasn't, but you were. You could hear their screams from everywhere," he whispered, wincing at her memories. "The first time your hair tangled in the chains, they cut it." He frowned, his eyes flickering to Jasper and then to the rest of us. "Yes, it was pretty," he smiled, nodding. "And long."
"Shut it, Edward." She rolled her eyes as the rest of us chuckled softly at them.
"That's it?" he asked, making her look him in the eye. She nodded, taking a deep breath. "Well, that's a hell of a start, Alice." He stood in front of her, bending to kiss her head. "Good job."
"We're the same age," she smirked, looking up at him.
"Yeah?" he chuckled, his eyebrows raising. "Let me see," he smiled, sitting down when I moved to give him enough room on the bed. Not one of us had made a move to vacate that poor canopy bed.
Edward wrapped an arm around my waist, kissing my forehead as I pulled up the files for him. "Nineteen-oh-one," I whispered, pointing to her birth certificate.
"Charlie sent all of this?" he asked, and I nodded. "Ah, but my little pixie, I'm still older. By a few months, it seems," he chuckled, giving her a wink. Edward's birthday was in July. Alice's was in November. "Where's Carlisle?"
"The parental units took Demitri and Carina out," Emmett said softly. "Opera or some shit."
Edward smiled, giving his brother a funny look, and then turned back to Alice. "You okay?"
She nodded, a smile playing on her face. "Yeah, that's more than I've ever remembered."
"It was an awesome job," Jasper nodded. "More than I expected, really."
Edward rubbed my side as I laid my head on his shoulder. He read through each and every document, taking his time. "You 'died' the same day you were committed?" he asked almost to himself. "That can't be right..." Emmett stood up and knelt beside him, both scouring each word.
I could tell that having Edward home helped Alice. Jasper may have been the oldest sibling by physical age, but it was Edward that would always be the older brother. Their strong friendship went deeper than that. He was a suitable replacement, if not better, than having Carlisle here.
"I wonder if that's it," Rose mused, "if that's all he could find."
"Charlie said 'so far'," I answered, smiling. "If he had no intention of looking any further, he would have said so. He'll keep looking."
"Thank him for me." Alice smiled, the light in her eyes starting to show again.
"You thank him yourself. We'll call him tomorrow when it's not so late," I told her, kissing her head again. "He said he missed his girls."
Rose picked up the remote for the TV, turning it on, probably as just a distraction. It, too, was a new addition to the room. She flipped through the channels, stopping on Raiders of the Lost Ark. Even Emmett, who had been thoroughly enthralled by Alice's past, glanced up when all of us girls swooned. Yes, swooned.
"Seriously?" Jasper laughed.
"Oh stop," Rose chuckled. "There's just something about Indiana Jones. He's brave and smart."
"Not just smart—clever," I added with a smile. "He's a professor. He beats your MacGyver any day."
"Psh," Emmett rolled his eyes. He had some weird attraction to that old TV show.
"It's the fedora," Alice giggled, her head falling back. "When did men stop wearing those? The sixties?"
"Yes," Edward chuckled, shaking his head at all of us.
"It's the whip," Rose cracked up. "Did you know that's really Harrison Ford's?"
"No!" I whipped around to look at her. "Really?"
She nodded with a quirked eyebrow. "Yeah, he really learned to use it. So when he showed up to the set for that last movie, he hopped out of his helicopter with the damn thing strapped to his belt."
"Stop it," I chuckled.
"Nice," Alice answered, a crooked smile on her face.
"His helicopter? As in...he owned it?" Emmett asked, his mouth hanging open.
"Yeah," Rose nodded. "He's been a pilot for years." Rose was our source for all things celebrity gossip and news. She read magazines and scoured the internet for just about every star in Hollywood.
"I want a helicopter," he pouted, and there wasn't one of us that didn't laugh at our largest brother.
"Get a license," Jasper snorted, shaking his head. "I think we can find the funds for your lessons, doofus."
I snorted, shaking my head and turning to Alice when her phone went off. "Kevin." She smiled, holding it up. "I bet he wants us to meet him out tonight."
"Sweet," Emmett nodded, looking at all of us for agreement.
I looked up at Edward, who immediately shrugged. "Your plans, remember?"
I snickered, kissing his cheek. "Sure, let's go." After Alice's little episode and my rough mood swings the last few days, we needed to go have fun.
EDWARD
As I followed Emmett's Land Rover through the streets of London, I realized my wife was eerily still and quiet. I reached over, lightly touching her cheek with the back of my hand and tucking her hair behind her ear. Her mind was closed to me, and I wasn't sure if there was something bothering her, or she was just enjoying the few minutes of the comfortable silence in the car.
She took my hand in hers, linking our fingers together, but she continued to stare out the window. Once I parked the car, she turned to me, her face so very sad.
"What, baby?" I asked, cupping her face. "We don't have to do this. We can go home right now."
"Alice needs you," she countered, a sad smile on her face. "Those pictures, Edward..."
Now I knew she was just worried about our sister. The memories, the life Alice must have had, was heartbreaking to think about, especially since she was never upset, never dark. For her past to be so very nasty in comparison to the rest of us, aside from Rose's attack, it made me sick.
I leaned over, kissing Bella's forehead. "Back then, there weren't any...rules or guidelines, baby," I explained, tilting my head at her. She nodded, taking a deep breath. "People who were considered feeble-minded—that's what they called them—were taken to places that just hid them away from the rest of the world. It's not like now, where we know that there are chemical issues or even physical issues in the brain that causes certain symptoms of mental illness." I cupped her face, tracing my thumb along her cheekbone. She was truly worried for Alice. "It was barbaric and cruel, but was all done in ignorance, sweetheart."
"I know," she sighed, leaning into my touch. "You had good timing tonight. Your presence made her more comfortable."
"She wasn't trusting her own mind," I admitted. "I was hoping that she wouldn't remember the...bad things. I was hoping for more familial memories for her."
"Me, too," she agreed. "She's the only one of us that can't remember her family."
"We are her only family. Never think that isn't how she feels." I smiled, tracing my thumb across her bottom lip. "She wouldn't have it any other way." For a brief moment, I lost myself in the warmth and concern of my sweet girl's eyes. "She's not worried about it, my Bella. In fact, she's yelling at me to get out of the car and to tell you to stop fretting over her." I chuckled, shaking my head and looking towards the front of the club.
Without shame, Alice was standing there, hands on her hips, tapping her tiny foot. Her mind was urging us to hurry up.
Bella's sweet giggle brought me back to the situation. She looked up at me. "Fine. Kiss me, and then I can share you with the rest of the club goers."
"Come here," I breathed, weaving my hands in her hair and bringing her closer. I pressed my lips to hers, sighing at the relief the contact brought. Two weeks of long hours and hard cases at the hospital, of filling in and solving problems, of hearing my angel push back her anger, disappointment, and heartache, of seeing her fight so damn hard not to beg me to stay home—I was ready to give her anything at this point, just to hear her laugh and see her smile.
We pulled apart, and I leaned my forehead to hers. "We have about thirty seconds before Alice sends Kevin to this car, baby."
Bella laughed, closing her eyes and licking her lips. "He's gotta be drunk as hell at this time of night."
"I couldn't tell you," I chuckled, kissing her softly and getting out of the car. I walked around and opened her door for her. "Without your supervision, there's no telling what he's gotten himself into."
"True." She smiled, taking my hand.
"It's about time," Alice huffed, shooting Jasper a sharp look when he snorted behind her. "I was pissed when I saw both of you consider leaving."
"I see that," Bella laughed, rolling her eyes. "How much trouble has Kevin gotten into?" she asked as we walked in through the doors.
"Tons," Alice giggled.
The music was blaring inside the small club, but it was good. The various minds hit me like a slap in the face. Wincing, I forced most of it to the back of my mind. In these types of situations, there was just about only one thing on everyone's mind—sex. How to achieve it? Who to achieve it from? Would it be good? The list was endless, repetitive, monotonous, and sometimes quite disturbing. Humans were single-minded when it came to sex. It was afterwards that they usually ended up regretting everything from the night before—alcohol not withstanding.
Bella and I followed Alice to a few tables that Emmett had already pushed together. Kevin was with him, making him and Rose laugh hysterically.
"My Goddess!" Kevin beamed, launching himself into Bella's embrace. "You..." he gasped, spinning her in front of him, "are just flawless, woman." He turned his attention to Alice. "Princess, I'm glad you came. I have a dilemma," he sighed. "Rob or Art?"
"Are those hobbies?" Bella snorted.
"I'm sure hoping so," he beamed. "No, silly. Look...double the trouble..." He pointed to two men leaning against the bar. One was blond, the other raven's black. The blond reminded me of James, and I instantly disliked him. But I would withhold my opinion unless I felt it necessary to share.
"You've been busy," Rose chortled.
"Yeah, but the hottest has arrived, right Dr. Heavy Equipment?" Kevin shot my way with a wink. He only did it to see Bella's reaction. "Promise me a dance, handsome."
"Not happening, Kev," Bella chuckled, shaking her head. "That dance card is filled."
"Fine," he conceded with a dramatic sigh, looking around the club. "Now...just what in the hell... Hot Doc, who's the bitch staring you down?" He growled, putting his hands on his hips.
I looked in the direction he was staring. "Brooke," Bella and I said together.
"Who's Brooke?" Emmett smirked, looking over and back to us.
"One of the nurses?" Rose chuckled evilly, looking between us.
"Yeah," I sighed, rolling my eyes as they all laughed.
"I smell cat fight," Kevin smirked, quirking up an eyebrow.
"Please," Bella scoffed, chuckling and rolling her own eyes. She turned to me. "Are you okay being here with her? Is that any sort of...I don't know...fraternization?" She giggled, leaning into me.
"Silly girl," I chuckled into her ear. "I'm fine. She's nervous around me, anyway."
"Good," my love beamed, kissing me fully on the lips.
"Okay," Kevin huffed, folding his arms across his chest. "Besides my Goddess, no one stares at you but me."
"While I appreciate your...mmm, protection, Kevin," I laughed, "I'll be fine."
"He's used to it," Bella smirked, squeaking when I tickled her sides.
The song changed, and Kevin lit up like the sky during a lightning storm. "Ooh, my ladies. We have to dance to Britney. Come with me. Be my entourage."
My brothers and I laughed as he led our girls out onto the dance floor to dance to Break the Ice by Britney Spears. They encircled him, and he relished the attention. Who could blame him? He was gay, and he still thought they were stunning. Every last one of them. Bella was his Goddess, Alice was his Princess, and Rose was his Diva. I couldn't help but chuckle at them.
"God, I just love that guy," Emmett snorted, looking back at me. "Does that shit bug you? All that flirting?"
"No." I shook my head. "He doesn't mean it. Well, he means it, but he wouldn't hurt Bella for the world."
"It's only attraction," Jasper clarified. "For all of us, but his love for them..." He pointed out to the dance floor. "That shit's for real. He would hurt someone for messing with them."
"And the other way around. They are super protective of him," I agreed. "Speaking of..." My eyes followed the two men that Kevin had been interested in as they walked by our table. Their thoughts were of darker things. They were interested in Kevin, but only for the night. "He needs to be careful," I frowned, shaking my head.
"Rosie said he wants love so badly," Emmett said, turning to watch the girls again.
"He does," Jasper and I said together. Jasper added, "But this is the wrong place to look for it, I think."
"Hey, Eddie, your nurse is heading this way. Do I need to get Bells?" Emmett teased, looking at her as she stood at our table.
"Hey, Dr. Masen," she crooned, and it took everything in me not to kick both of my brothers' asses for snorting behind her. "This is a good way to start that week off, huh?" Her face reddened with her blush and the amount of alcohol she had consumed.
"Yes, Brooke," I smiled politely. "Tell me you aren't driving tonight."
"No, sir," she giggled drunkenly. "I'm with my friends." She pointed to another table that was filled with girls about her age. "Christy is driving."
"Good." I nodded, smiling as the girls and Kevin came back to the table.
My shameless girl practically ran up to me, beaming like a sunny day. I pulled her between my legs as I sat on the tall stool. "Sweetheart, you've met Brooke, right?" I asked, leaving my situation completely in my wife's capable hands.
"Oh, yeah," Bella smiled, leaning into me. "We've met. The first time was on like your second day, right?"
"Yes, Mrs. Masen," she answered, nodding.
"Bella...just call me Bella." My love smiled sweetly, slipping her arm around my waist. "Have you met everyone? I'm sure we've all been up there at one point or another. This is Alice, Edward's sister, and her husband, Jasper. Their cousin, Emmett, and his wife, Rose. And this is our friend, Kevin."
"Hey." She waved shyly, her mind now realizing that everyone was watching her. They all waved back, smiles playing on their faces. My family was enjoying this way too much. They were waiting for Bella's reaction.
Bella picked up my left hand, linking our fingers together, and I suddenly realized what she was doing. With every lean into me, every arm wrapped around me, every touch—she was marking her territory. I suddenly squeezed her closer.
"Edward," my love whined adorably. "Don't sit here all night...come dance with me." I chuckled at her adorable, yet put-on pout. And I wasn't the only one that saw right through it. Kevin huffed a laugh and turned away from the table.
"Yes, ma'am," I smirked, slipping off the stool but keeping my girl pressed against me. "Brooke, enjoy your night and be careful going home."
"Okay." She nodded. "And you have a nice holiday. It was nice meeting you all."
Bella tugged me out into the middle of the dance floor, her smile too cute for words. "Before you say anything, tell me about Kevin's men. You've been eyeballing them." Her face sobered up as she looked at me with complete and utter trust. My nurses were an ongoing joke. Her friend's safety wasn't, especially not to Bella.
"I don't like them." I frowned. "They aren't what he's looking for, baby. Keep him away from them."
"Will do," she said firmly. "Thank you." She wrapped herself around me, practically melting into me.
"You're welcome," I answered, burying my nose in her hair. The song was slower, and I was able to just hold her, keep her close, and forget everything for just the three and a half minutes of the song.
BELLA
I sighed in utter contentment as my arms wrapped around Edward's neck. We were away from the table, away from Brooke, and all I wanted was to breathe him in. The song was too short, but I wasn't ready for a fast song yet. It was blissful holding onto him.
"Come on," he chuckled, wrapping his arms tightly around me. I giggled as he dragged me back to the table and swung me up onto a stool. I gripped his forearms, not wanting his touch to leave mine. "All week, my love," he whispered softly into my ear. "I'm all yours, okay?"
"Yes...with instructions," I teased, referring to his email.
He chuckled, winking at me. He gripped my hand in his and sat on the stool next to mine, kissing my head sweetly.
I looked out over the dance floor, watching them all "get low." I snorted as Alice was driving Jasper crazy. Edward and I both cracked up when we caught sight of Emmett, who was pretending to spank Rose from behind. She turned around and smacked him on his chest.
"Halloween, Bells," Kevin growled, coming back to the table. "It's later this week. Hot Doc, are you going?"
Edward chuckled, shaking his head at Kevin's lack of shame. "Actually, yes. It's the last day of my week off. I was told today I had no choice anyway."
I laughed, leaning into him.
"Ooh, the things I could dress you up as..." Kevin mused, shaking his head slowly back and forth, his finger tapping his chin. "Like a walking, talking Ken doll..."
I crumbled into laughter, knowing I had been calling him that for years. I had to cover my face to keep from looking at Edward. I swear to you I didn't tell him that, I thought to him.
"What?" Kevin asked, shrugging. "It's true."
"Bella, hush," Edward chuckled. "And thank you, Kevin, but I can figure something out."
"Although, Ken is a little lacking..." Kevin mumbled, his brow wrinkling.
"Kevin, enough," I snorted. My smile faded when one of the two men that Kevin had pointed out earlier motioned for him to dance. "Don't." I shook my head. "I don't like them."
"Bells, if you can't share, then I have to find my entertainment somewhere," he sang with a smile, walking away.
"Damn," I sighed, looking up at Edward, who was frowning. "I know he's an adult, but he's just such a child when it comes to getting attention."
"I know, baby."
The song changed to Cyclone by T-Pain and Baby Bash, and with amazement, I watched Edward's eyes darken. "Really?" I chuckled, my brow wrinkling. "Do tell...come be...mmm, nasty on the dance floor, Edward."
Rarely did club music effect my husband. He liked the rhythms and the beats, but the songs were usually crass or too blunt for him. So when he pulled my body to his, gripping my hips and grinding me against him, I let him take over. When he started to quote parts of the song, that's when I couldn't help the low, lustful growl that escaped me.
She moves her body like a cyclone, and makes me wanna do it all night long. Growing hard when they turn the spot lights on, because she moves her body like a cyclone...a mighty cyclone.
The problem was that we were dancing next to Jasper. Edward was kicking up so much lust that Jasper couldn't help but shift it out all over the club. Soon, the entire club was grinding on the dance floor. If I could sweat, I would have been drenched with it. We were surrounded by people, but I only had eyes for Edward. And to hear him utter words like, "Shortie got looks, and shortie got class. Shortie got hips, and shortie got ass..." I was done for.
Our movements, our gripping hands became rougher and more sensual. They grasped at hips and fisted hair. Small, evil smiles crept over our faces as the friction caused both of us to purr. It rumbled between us as he turned me around and pulled me back to his chest.
He pressed his face into my neck, his voice deep and husky when he finally spoke. "Damn it, baby. I'm so glad we live close. I want you."
I tilted my head so that his mouth could nip and lick at my neck. I couldn't speak. It had been a rough few weeks, with his schedule going haywire, and to have his usually calm demeanor fade into something almost feral—in public, at that—I was coming undone.
My hips shifted back, gyrating against his now very prominent erection. He growled low, and it vibrated through his chest and against my back. I reached back, slipping my fingers into his hair and holding his head so that I could ravish his sweet, but currently very dirty lips. His taste was like coming home and only fed the need I was feeling. Edward's hands fisted the material of my skirt at my hip and pressed against my stomach, slipping just under the hem of my shirt. We were losing it. Quickly.
I shifted my hips again, moaning wantonly at the feel of him pressing into me. My eyes rolled back as I turned again in his embrace, wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling his forehead to mine when the song ended.
"Edward," I groaned, my brow wrinkling. "Home. Now." I was never more grateful that our house was in the city as I was at that moment.
"Yeah," was all he breathed, nodding slowly against my head. His eyes closed as he panted, his hands twitching at my waist. "I've missed your touch, my beautiful girl."
I shuddered, fighting everything within me not to ravish him right there in front of everyone. There wasn't an inch of space between us when we made our way back to the table. Edward swept my hair from my shoulder in order to place a long, slow, wet kiss up my neck. He was losing his control, but I really needed him to focus for just a minute.
Turning in his embrace, I brushed his hair from his forehead. "Patience, Edward. Please. I need to make sure Kevin gets home safely, okay?"
He nodded, taking a deep breath, but his eyes were still pitch, ravenous. "Bella," was that he could say, and even that came out slightly broken and husky.
"I know," I nodded, cupping his face. Emmett and Rose joined us, my big brother smirking at the sight of Edward. I raised an eyebrow at him, but asked, "Will you please make sure Kevin doesn't drive himself? He's too drunk."
"Sure, Bells," he chuckled, shaking his head.
"Where are Alice and Jazz?" Rose asked.
"I don't know," I shrugged, feeling Edward shift slightly behind me. He was trying with everything that he had to maintain. "Maybe they're with Kevin." With that said, I picked up Edward's hand and tugged it, guiding him to the front doors.
At the car, Edward walked around to open my door for me, and I found myself suddenly pressed into it instead. His hands were planted on either side of my head, his mouth on mine. I couldn't stop myself if I tried. My whole body reacted to him—my arms wrapped around his neck, my leg hitched around his waist, my hips pressed against his.
Edward was silent as he ravished my mouth. It wasn't until I moaned, turning my head to deepen the kiss, did he purr low, pulling his hand away from the car and placing it on my ribs. His palm was flat, his fingers spread open like he was trying to feel as much of me as he could all at one time. When his thumb brushed the underside of my breast, my breath left me in a rush, and my head fell back.
"Edward, home...please," I begged, but his mouth never left my skin. Alternating between soft, wet kisses and heavy, nipping ones, he assaulted the soft spot behind my ear. My eyes rolled, but I still pushed at his shoulders, finally grabbing his face on both sides and pulling him up to face me. "Home, damn it," I panted. He just wasn't listening. And as adorable as he was at the moment, I truly wanted to have my way with him in our own home. "You can do whatever you want...when we get home."
His breathing was heavy as he stared at me, and then around the parking lot. He pressed into me again, but this time, his head hit my shoulder and his touches were sweet, soft, comforting. "I'm sorry, love."
"I'm not," I giggled, running my fingers through his hair. "And I encourage you to totally finish this, but not here."
A deep, breathy laugh emanated from him, and he placed a sweet kiss to my collarbone. "Two weeks was too long," he explained, his voice muffled into my shirt.
"Who are you telling?" I chuckled, squirming against him when he fingers dug into my sides. "And maybe going out wasn't the best of plans after that length of time. Edward, take me to our house."
He nodded against my shoulder, pulling back. His eyes were still dark, but warm and sweet, and almost repentant for his behavior. "Yes, ma'am," he sighed, a small smile gracing his perfect lips.
He stepped away from me, opening the car door and letting me in. We were in our driveway in what seemed to be the blink of an eye. Edward had the front door unlocked and me pinned against it just as quickly. This time, I laughed, my head falling back to the wooded door with a light thud as he chuckled sexily against the skin of my neck.
Reaching down, he cupped my ass and lifted me up. "Here," he growled. "Bella, I want to fuck you right here. I won't make it upstairs." He rolled his hips into me, and I moaned wantonly, my fingers digging into his shoulders. He took that as my answer as to the affirmative. Our clothes never stood a chance. They were ripped and shredded on the floor at our feet at lightning speed.
"Are you wet for me, my love?" he purred in my ear, shifting his hips again, but this time, his arousal slipped through my folds. I nodded, licking up his neck and taking his earlobe in my mouth. I sucked hard on it. "When I was working, did thinking about me make you this wet?" he asked, his hips shifting again.
"God, yes," I confessed, my eyes rolling back as the tip of his cock brushed against my swollen nub. I was throbbing in need of him. I rolled my hips, using the door as leverage, just to feel him again. "Did thinking about me make you this hard, Edward?" I countered, smiling when he growled low.
"You have no idea." With that, he pulled back, locking eyes with me. He lifted me up slightly, guiding me down over him. "I live for this moment...right here." The last two words came out through gritted teeth, his eyes fluttering closed for a brief moment.
He took me hard against that door. He took me so hard that the door gave an eery crack, and he pulled away from it, collapsing on the stairs with me. As I wrapped my legs higher around him, I was met with an evil, but adorable smile. He pressed his forehead to mine. "I don't want to be away from you that long, Bella," he panted, his sweet breath engulfing me.
My whole body pulled him in closer. I twitched hard around him. "I know, Edward."
"I won't let it happen again," he vowed, his face almost pained. He reached between us, his thumb brushing lightly over my clit. "Come for me, baby. Let me feel what I do for you."
I slid my fingers into his hair, holding his head and gaze. "Together. I've missed you."
He nodded against my head, his thumb applying the perfect amount of pressure in the perfect spot. He knew my body better than I did. My hips raised up as I came hard. It had been too long since we had been together, losing it together. Quickies between his hospital shifts and my classes weren't cutting it. Not seeing him, not holding him for hours as we talked and laughed was killing me. But I couldn't ask him to quit. It wasn't about me. He was right; two weeks was too damn long with that kind of routine. We needed time in between to recharge with each other.
"Fuck," he breathed, his eyes squeezing closed as his rhythm started to falter. With a rumbling growl, he came hard, thrusting into me as deep as he could go. With his arms braced on the step that my head was resting, we stared at one another. "I love you," he grinned, shaking his head.
"As I love you," I giggled.
"I'm not done with you yet," he chuckled, placing the sweetest of kisses to my forehead. "But I want to hear your voice. Come, tell me about what I've missed." He scooped me up, carrying me upstairs and crawling into our bed.
For the next hour or so, we just talked as he laid beside me. Our touches were soft, sparking the occasional kiss.
I was telling him about Demitri's call with Marcus, when we both heard the doorbell. I looked over at the clock on the nightstand, and it was almost 3:30 in the morning.
"Kevin," he said, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.
"He might have been too drunk. We're closer. He can sleep it off in the guest room, yes?"
"Sure, sweetheart," he smirked.
I stood up and quickly tugged on a pair of shorts and one of Edward's t-shirts. "I'll settle him in. Don't move," I growled, pointing at my still naked and utterly sexy husband.
He chuckled at my thoughts as I left the room.
I expected a drunk and somewhat rowdy Kevin when I opened the door. I most definitely didn't expect my friend to be covered in cuts and bruises. He was barely standing.
"Kevin," I gasped, catching his arm as he lurched forward. "Edward, get down here."
I had to shield myself from the scent of his blood. It was too close, and it was suddenly all over my hands. "Kev, honey...what happened?" I asked as Edward appeared, wearing just a pair of jeans.
He just looked up at me, tears welling up in his eyes. "Bells..." he rasped, completely going limp into a faint.
Edward caught him before the fall to the floor could inflict any more damage. I shook my head, knowing my little friend hadn't listened to my warning. I just hoped Edward would be able to help him.


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