Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

An Angel's Promise Chapter 9

CHAPTER 9
BELLA
"Let's get him upstairs, Bella," Edward commanded.
"Not the hospital?"
"No time," he answered, flying up into the room and laying Kevin down on the bed. In a flash, Edward ran to get his bag and was back, already looking into Kevin's eyes. "Shield this scent, love, but will you put pressure here for me?"
"Already shielding it," I told him as Edward reached over took out a folded piece of gauze. "Will he be okay?" I lay the gauze gently on Kevin's forehead and kept my fingers there.
"He's most likely got a concussion," he said, his voice soft but firm. He tore open Kevin's shirt, his fingers tracing over each rib, each arm. "Cracked ribs," he murmured, probably to himself. Kevin's whole torso was nothing but cuts and bruises. Edward looked up at me. "I need to see the rest of him, Bella..."
He looked uncomfortable with that statement, but I understood. I needed to leave the room for a moment. Despite the emergency situation and Kevin's alternative lifestyle, Edward would never want me to see another man's body. It was for Kevin's privacy, and Edward's peace of mind that I stepped away from the bed.
"Sure." I nodded. "Just...take care of him, okay?" That boy lying in the bed had become important to me, Alice, and Rose. I was suddenly raging at whoever had done this to him.
"I'll do my best, sweetheart," he answered, looking at me with warmth and concern. "Alice is here, anyway."
I bolted down the stairs at the same time she and Jasper walked through our door. I flew into her arms, not realizing I was still covered in Kevin's blood.
"He never made any decisions, until he decided to come here," she explained, pulling me back to look at me. Her face was pained. "Is that his blood?" she asked, and I nodded slowly.
"Is Eddie taking care of him?" Jasper asked, his eyes raking over my ruined t-shirt. The Jasper I once knew would be suffering with just that much of the scent in the room, but at that moment, he just looked as concerned as Alice and I did.
"Yeah," I sighed, frowning. "God, he's a mess. I thought Em said he would take him home."
"He was already gone from the club when we went to look for him," Jasper explained, grimacing. He looked up the staircase.
"Yeah," Edward said softly. "Go ahead."
Jasper nodded, pulling out his phone. "Carlisle. You gotta come to Ed and Bells'." Quickly, the situation was explained and his phone put away. "He's on his way," he said aloud, though it wasn't necessary for anyone in the house.
I nodded, biting my lip and inhaling deeply. I reeked of human blood. The scent was starting to get to me. I couldn't shield it if it was actually on me.
"Come on," Alice smiled sadly, taking my hand. "Let's get you changed." Once we were in the bedroom, she eyed me warily. "Shower. Go."
By the time I was showered and changed, Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, and Rose were all there. I could hear Emmett and Jasper downstairs, but across the hall, Edward and Carlisle were having their usual one-sided conversations.
I leaned in the doorway, noticing that Kevin was a little cleaner and tucked under the blankets of the bed. "How's he doing?"
"He's comfortable," Edward sighed. He was not as messy as I had been, but he was still bare from the waist up. "He woke up for a moment, but I gave him something for the pain. His ankle is pretty swollen, he has a few cracked ribs, and I stitched that gash on his head."
"The ankle doesn't feel broken," Carlisle added, his brow furrowing as he prodded it with the lightest of touches, "but he's lost some blood, so he'll be a little weak when he wakes up in a few hours."
I looked between them. I trusted both of them with all that I had, but I could tell they were holding back. "What?" I practically growled.
"Bella," Edward winced, shaking his head.
Rose and Alice appeared in the doorway, their faces grim. Carlisle's head shot up from looking at Kevin's leg, and Edward closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
"We're not sure, but we think he may have been...assaultedsexually," Carlisle grimaced, his eyes tight.
"No," I gasped, starting towards the bed, but I was caught up in Edward's arms.
"Not now, love," he said, keeping his voice even and calm. "Let him rest. He'll probably ask for you girls as soon as he awakens."
"Tell me you're lying," Rose growled low, her face in shock.
"We can't." Edward shook his head. "Like he said, we're really not sure. He has bruises and cuts...everywhere. I'm sorry, girls," he said, cupping my face. He made sure I was looking at him when he spoke next. "You know you can hear him anywhere in this house, so please let him rest. I promise you, ladies, you can fawn all over him when he wakes up." His gaze left mine and turned to my sisters. We all nodded silently.
"He's really lucky," Carlisle mused, placing his fingers on Kevin's neck. "As bad as that beating was, there isn't any internal bleeding."
Kevin's heartbeat stayed steady but calm most of the night. Carlisle and Esme remained just long enough to make sure that nothing was going to change and left in time for Carlisle to have just enough time to get ready for his shift, but everyone else stayed.
Alice sent Emmett and Jasper out to the store as soon as we realized that Kevin was going to need something to eat. "You aren't exactly sporting a stocked fridge," she teased, looking at me and Edward with a wink.
"I'll make him something when he wakes up," I said softly, laying my head back down on Edward's shoulder. I had spent most of the last hour in his lap, letting his hands gliding up and down my back soothe my worries for our little friend. He had finally showered and changed, smelling sweet, warm, and clean.
The boys were still gone when, a little after sunrise, we finally heard him stir, his heartbeat changing from the steady thump of sleep, to a faster, heavier sound of stress. Edward stopped us all when Rose, Alice, and I just about jolted out of the room.
"Let me check him, then you can swoon over him," he chuckled, shaking his head at us.
I smiled, but he shot me a wink as he climbed the stairs at a human pace, making more noise than he usually did for Kevin's sake.
We listened as Edward lightly knocked on the door, cracking it open.
"How do you feel?" he asked, stepping into the room.
"Beaten and hungover," Kevin sighed, and from the sofa, I could smell the salt from his tears.
"You are, indeed, both of those things," Edward snickered softly. "Do you want something for the pain, Kevin?"
"Are you my doctor now?" Kevin teased, but I could hear it was strained.
"You did show up at my house in the middle of the night, bleeding and passing out," Edward shot back with a chuckle. "It's only fair of me to take you in."
"Thanks," Kevin whispered.
"Well, those three girls downstairs would have had my head if I didn't do something," Edward said, and I could hear him walking around the room. "Can I asked what happened?"
"Those two boys from the club mugged me," Kevin mumbled. "They used me, then took everything from me. We went to my place and...you know..." I winced at how uncomfortable Kevin was discussing this with Edward. "They were supposed to leave," he said, but I could tell he was fighting his tears, "but they changed their minds."
"Do you want me to call someone? Police? Family?"
"No. No police...and my family isn't here. Not that they would care..."
"Fair enough," Edward sighed. "Don't get up yet. You've got a pretty nasty swollen ankle and a few cracked ribs. Not to mention the thirteen stitches I had to put in your head. You'll need something for the pain today, Kevin. Don't suffer. You need to be relaxed in order to heal."
"Damn," he groaned. "Okay, in a minute. I need to..."
"Bathroom?"
"Yeah..."
"Shower, too? You'll probably feel better..."
"Okay."
"I'm sure Bella can find you something of mine to wear, Kevin, so don't worry," Edward reassured him. "Your clothes weren't...salvageable."
With that said, Alice and I stood up from the sofa and trudged upstairs to mine and Edward's closet. Kevin was just about Edward's size, maybe a touch thinner, but we found a pair of pajama bottoms, a t-shirt, and a brand new pack of underwear that Edward hadn't even opened. I also grabbed a pair of jeans and another t-shirt for later.
I heard Edward tell him a bath might be easier, and that he would check on him in a minute. The water ran in the tub, and I set the clothes on the bed of the spare room.
When I stepped into the hallway, Alice was there. "Em and Jazz are back with the food."
"Okay," I replied, following her back downstairs. We found a ton of groceries in the kitchen, and all the guys and Rose in a heated debate in the foyer.
"I'll find them," Emmett snarled, his arms flexing. He was pissed. "Let me go look, Eddie."
"Absolutely not." Edward shook his head. "As much as exacting revenge would be...fulfilling, we can't, and you know it. He doesn't want to press charges or call anyone. It's his choice, Em."
"Where did it happen?" Jasper frowned, folding his arms across his chest.
"At his own place."
"Damn it," I growled, shaking my head and walking into the kitchen. I started to put all the things away the boys had brought back. "I bet he lost everything, too."
"He did, sweet girl," Edward said, nodding as he leaned on the island on the other side. "I'm so sorry."
"Well, we'll just have to take care of him," Alice stated, shrugging one tiny shoulder. "He struggles on that scholarship..."
Edward smiled, shaking his head. "It seems we've adopted him," he said, turning to his brothers, who were chuckling.
"You've got that wrong," I huffed, pointing at my slightly amused husband.
"Yeah," Rose snickered, "Kevin adopted us."
"Rose is right," Jasper said, smiling, "but he's a little scared and hurting, Ed." His eyes shot up to the ceiling and back to Edward.
"Okay," my sweet man said, nodding. Taking a deep breath, he pushed away from the counter and walked to me. "I'll go give him something. But he's really wanting the girls. He's more comfortable with them. I make him nervous."
I smiled, looking up from the carton of eggs I'd just opened. "Nervous, how?" I teased, biting my lip.
"Hush, beautiful," he snickered, rolling his eyes. He kissed my head, smacking my bottom at the same time. "Just nervous. He's embarrassed at having shown up in the middle of the night. He's worried about going home to the mess, especially now that those men know where he lives. And he feels he's using us," he frowned. "He doesn't want to need anyone. It's not helping that he finds me...attractive. Them, too," he chuckled, pointing to my brothers. "He's really uncomfortable disclosing details to me. He's feeling pretty low, sweetheart."
"Well, that must stop," Alice huffed. "He's totally not using you. He was close. He just happened to remember how to get here."
"A miracle in itself, if you ask me," I growled. "You didn't see what he looked like. I'm surprised he could have even remembered his own name." I turned to Edward after cracking open two eggs in a pan. "Go tell him we'll be up with some breakfast. He'll be better once we're in there."
"Yes, ma'am," he told me, smiling sweetly. He turned to his brothers. "Stop! No more...either of you," he growled. "Don't make me tell Carlisle what you're thinking," he growled again, pointing to the both of them.
They pouted like children. "But..." Emmett whined. "Come on, dude...We could call Demitri and everything!"
"No," I sighed, shaking my head. "But maybe I can get him to at least report his place as robbed. Just...wait."
"I doubt it," Edward sighed, kissing my cheek. "He was pretty set in his mind, love."
We all looked up when the plug was pulled from the tub upstairs. Edward nodded, leaving us in the kitchen to head upstairs. I turned the bacon, popping two pieces of toast into the toaster. I opened the fridge and grabbed the fruit the boys were nice enough to bring.
Turning to them, I smiled. "Did you get enough food for the one human?"
"Yeah." They both grinned, looking quite proud of themselves. Alice and Rose snorted into laughter.
"We used to shop for you sometimes," Emmett beamed, puffing his chest out. I couldn't help but laugh at that. "Besides, who knows how long he'll be here..."
"He can't stay long," I sighed, shaking my head. "Unlike when I stayed with you guys, he needs to stay in the dark. He's not stupid. He'll start to see that we don't eat or sleep."
"True." Rose nodded. "You guys are awfully gracious about this man staying here," she teased with her hands on her hips. Alice and I laughed, waiting for the two boys to stop shuffling their feet and answer. "I bet if he was crushing on say...me, it would be a different story..."
"Well, he's not," Emmett chuckled, shrugging. "Aw, he's an all right guy, right, Bells? Jazz?" Everyone in the family depended on the others' extra senses. It was not uncommon for that type of question to be asked among us.
"Yeah," we both agreed, nodding.
I flipped Kevin's eggs onto a plate, putting a handful of bacon slices next to them. Pulling the toast out, I cut them in half and laid them on the plate as well. Alice was already there with the tray. Adding a glass of juice and coffee, we took his food upstairs.
When we got to the room, Edward was wrapping Kevin's ankle with an ace bandage. Edward looked up at Kevin. "I hope your hungry..."
He shot his eyes towards the door with a smile, and Kevin's face flickered with a thousand emotions at the sight of "his girls."
"Oh, sweetie," Alice sighed, plopping next to him, "are you all right?"
That was all it took for him to crumble. Tears flowed down his face as he nodded, shrugged, then shook his head no. I was wondering how he hadn't exploded on Edward yet, but he was waiting for us. I set the tray on the dresser, looking up at Edward as he walked past.
"He needs you, my sweet girl," he whispered, kissing my lips softly. "He needs to stay off that foot and keep it elevated." I nodded, kissing him again.
"Thank you," I sighed, smiling slightly.
"I would do anything for you. You know that," he chuckled, rolling his eyes and giving me his sweet crooked smile. With that, he walked out of the room, leaving us to him.
It took a few minutes of Kevin's tears and faltering story telling for us to get the whole thing, with my urging him to eat at the same time. Though I'm sure Edward had seen it all, it was Kevin's story to share.
Apparently, when Edward and I were lost in ourselves on the dance floor, Art and Rob made their move on Kevin. I'm sure that Kevin was no wallflower when it came to his sexual adventures, but going home with two people you didn't know just sounded fucking dangerous as hell to me. Once they saw Kevin's place, the two men decided that our friend's property was worth more than just the good time they had all shared. So they tried to restrain Kevin. What they weren't prepared for, was that he would fight back.
"Good for you," I growled, nodding one time. "But, honey, how'd you get here?"
"My place isn't that far, Bells," he sighed, shaking his head. "At first, I thought about finding the police, but I just kept going. I think I was delirious, honestly." He huffed a laugh and wiped his face with the back of his hand. "When I saw your street, I came straight here. I'm so sorry," he sobbed, looking up at me, the tears flowing again.
"What on earth are you apologizing to me for?" I gasped, handing him a tissue.
"For showing up in the dead of night. I should have listened to you about them. And I'm sure Edward's hating having a freeloading patient in his guestroom."
The girls and I laughed at that last statement, making a smile smile flit across his features.
"Um, he's fine, Kevin," I chuckled. "You're no ten-year-old, but he's still a doctor. Carlisle checked in on you, too, sweetie."
"Damn," he blushed, shaking his head. "Two hot docs, and I wasn't exactly looking my best." There was the Kevin we knew and loved. His wry smile came through the tears.
"Kev, what are you gonna do about this situation?" Rose asked, tilting her head at him.
"Oh, my Diva," he groaned. "Don't say anything...to anyone."
"You should report this," Alice urged.
"We would go with you, honey," I added, nodding with my sisters.
"Fuck, those guys know where I live!" he gasped, his hand covering his mouth.
"Okay, first," I said, taking his tray away, "you're staying here for at least another night. At least—and then, we can report this, change your locks, or find you someplace else to live."
"I can't stay here, Bells," he sighed, shaking his head. "You guys never see each other as it is. It would be imposing."
"Well, smart guy—" I rolled my eyes, setting the tray back on the dresser and putting my hands on my hips, "—if you think you can walk out of here, then go ahead." I gestured to his wrapped ankle laying on a pillow, raising an eyebrow at him. "My stairs are damn steep, Kev."
Alice chuckled, turning to look at Kevin. He smirked for a moment, trying to fight his smile, but he failed and nodded in acquiescence. "Fine," he sighed, shrugging. "I'd be terrified at home anyway."
"Good," we all blurted out with a nod.
He laughed, shaking his head. "Thanks," he whispered, wincing when he tried to shift in the bed.
"Did Edward give you pain meds yet?"
"No, I told him to wait, but..."
"It's time," Rose nodded, taking the tray. "I'll send him back in here." She left the room, with Alice following her.
A minute didn't go by before Edward strolled back in.
"Needle?" Kevin baulked.
"Oh stop," I sighed, sitting next to him as Edward smiled. He picked up Kevin's arm and swabbed it with a cotton ball. "Look only at me, and it will be over."
"'Kay," he nodded, but he squeezed his eyes closed anyway.
"Done," Edward said, placing the cap back on the needle.
"Yeah?" Kevin opened one eye to look at his arm and then up to Edward. "Damn, Hot Doc, you're good."
I laughed, shaking my head.
"And you're going to be sleepy, so get some rest, okay?" He chuckled, rolling his eyes.
"Thanks," Kevin murmured as I helped him settle under the covers. He was asleep before Edward and I closed the door.
EDWARD
"Hey," I smiled, knocking on the door. Kevin had slept through most of the day and way into the night, missing Carlisle's second visit completely. "Carlisle brought you these." I leaned a pair of crutches next to the bed.
"Oh, thanks." He smiled, but his hand went to his ribs.
"Sore?" I asked, and he nodded. I urged him to lie back so that I could feel his abdomen. "The girls went to look at your place."
"They shouldn't go alone."
He winced when I applied pressure to a more sensitive spot. He really was worried about his flat, seeing the men again, which in turn, made him fret over the girls' safety. In reality, it was Art and Rob that truly should watch out. The girls probably wouldn't think twice about punishing them.
"If it makes you feel better, they took Emmett with them," I reassured him, smiling, "and he's looking for a fight."
"Why?"
He honestly had no idea that his feelings of familial warmth were returned by those girls. And whatever our girls' cared for, my brothers and I would guard with all that we had. Kevin, in my opinion, was a very caring and smart man. He had a lot of heart, but he was looking to give it to all the wrong people. Art and Rob were a prime example of that, though they were just supposed to be a fun, one-time thing.
I chuckled, pulling the chair in the corner closer to his bedside. "Haven't you figured it out?" I smiled, tilting my head at him. "Those girls really care for you, Kevin. And Emmett has an enormous big brother complex when it comes down to bullies and people who take advantage of others' weaknesses."
"Oh." He frowned like he didn't believe it. "Aren't you working?"
"No, I have the week off."
"A holiday? I screwed up yours and Bells' holiday?" He groaned, covering his face. He was mortified with the thought of messing up any plans. "Please tell me you didn't cancel flights or cruises or whatever..."
"There were no plans, Kevin," I laughed, standing up. "Now, Bella left you some more clothes. Get dressed and call when you're done. She wanted you to get out of the room for a little while, so Jasper or myself will help you down the stairs."
"'Kay," he agreed, wondering what for.
He was feeling a touch depressed and missing the girls a bit. He really hadn't seen them this morning—but my sweet girl kind of sensed that he would feel that way, and left me strict instructions not to let him wallow in misery alone. Besides, she wanted to change the bed, and bring over Esme. Bella said that Kevin could use a mother right now, and I had to agree with her.
I stayed in the room just long enough to make sure he could use the crutches, so when he made it safely into the bathroom on his own, I left him to clean up.
I walked downstairs to see Jasper, of all people, making Kevin's lunch. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"What?" he growled, looking offended. "I cooked for Bells once or twice. It's not that hard, you know."
I laughed, my head falling back. "Yeah, but don't burn the grilled cheese. I did that more times than I'd like to admit. The first time, I threw four away before Esme would let me serve it."
"See?" He laughed. "Grilled cheese I can handle. I have no idea how Mom made full-blown gourmet meals for the baby girl."
"Me, either," I snorted, shrugging. "But Bella loved everything any of us made. It didn't matter, and she never complained."
I heard the door of the bedroom open, and I went to the bottom of the stairs. "Do you want my help, or do you want to try it?"
"Just catch me if I fall, Hot Doc," Kevin teased, smirking when Jasper laughed. "I'm fine. I broke my leg when I was twelve. I remember how to work these things."
Slowly but surely, he made his way down to the landing. It wasn't the stairs; it was having to use the crutches with his ribs hurting him. He was practically panting with the pain by the time he made it down, his brow covered in sweat.
"Here," I said, pointing to the kitchen table. "Eat, and I'll give you something for pain—but no more shots. Something over the counter should take care of you now." He nodded, falling down into the chair with a grunt. "When you're done," I said, pointing through the music room door. "We're in here. Leave the dishes. We'll get them later."
"Should we wait for Emmett?" Jasper called over his shoulder as he studied our wall of guitars. Finally deciding on one, he pulled it down, sitting on the edge of the sofa.
"Probably." I grinned, sitting down to the piano. I barely got the lid lifted, before the ruckus that was my wife and family came bursting through the front door.
Esme took over Kevin's lunch, sitting with him immediately. "Oh, dear," she sighed, taking his hand in hers. "How are you feeling? Is Edward taking care of you?"
"Hey!" I growled, looking into the kitchen. "I am in the room." Esme laughed, her head falling back.
Kevin chuckled, giving me a wink. "He's great. Everyone's been great."
"Good." She beamed with pride. "I'd like to think my kids behaved themselves."
"Well, don't go assuming too much, Esme," Bella chuckled, walking into the music room. "Hey, baby," she sighed, sitting next to me.
"My beautiful girl." I smiled, kissing her quickly, but as deeply as I could, considering our house was full.
"Mmm," she smirked, raking her tongue along her bottom lip. I snickered, kissing her nose. "I was supposed to tell you something..."
I chuckled, shaking my head. "I cleared your memory entirely with just one kiss?" I beamed, puffing out my chest.
"Right." She nodded, kissing me again. "Oh, Kevin's place," she said softly so Kevin wouldn't hear her. "It's trashed." She frowned, looking up at me. "They took everything of value. The place is covered in his blood—he must have really fought back hard."
"We got some of his clothes," Alice said, walking up to the piano, "but there isn't much else."
"So what's the plan for him?" Jasper asked, looking up from the sofa.
"I say we help him get something new," Emmett said, watching the door to make sure we were still not being listened to. "A new place, some furniture...all his shit is done for."
"Me, too," all the girls said at once.
I smiled and nodded, but turned to my wife. "Take care of it. Do it. Set him up with whatever he needs, love."
"He won't take it like that," Alice frowned.
"Then let him pay it back, if it makes him feel better," Bella countered, turning back to me. "You're sure?"
"Yeah," I shrugged.
"We've spent more on a trip to Atlantic City than we're about to spend on him," Jasper rationalized, causing us all to chuckle.
"True," Rose laughed.
"Okay." Bella nodded, standing up. She reached over, brushing my hair from my forehead, and left a long, slow kiss. "Are you guys gonna play for a while?" she asked, looking at my brothers, who were nodding. "Good, I'll be back. I'm gonna clean Kevin's room. Those sheets are..." She shivered, grimacing. They were stained with his blood, but he'd been too weak to move the first day.
"Hurry, Bells," Emmett told her, grinning as he plopped down at his drum set.
"Yeah, you might miss something," Jasper teased.
She chuckled at both of them, but turned to me. "I love you." She smiled and left the room. Play something for me, Edward. Her thoughts hit me as she trudged up the stairs. I smiled, looking down at my hands.
BELLA
I laughed softly as I got upstairs on the landing of the second floor and heard Edward begin to play Angels by Robbie Williams. If I stood really still, I could close my eyes and visualize everything going on down below.
I heard Esme help Kevin into the music room, where Alice and Rose settled him onto one of the sofas. I could hear the tapping of Emmett's foot counting down to when he needed to join in, and I could hear Jasper humming along to Edward's beautiful voice singing the sweetest words that I knew were just for me. I even heard Esme move back to the kitchen to clean up after Kevin's lunch. Vampire hearing was fantastic. I huffed a laugh to myself and proceeded into Kevin's room.
The scent of blood still lingered in the air of his room, not too bad since it was dried, but it made me realize I needed to hunt soon. The burn in the back of my throat was there, but manageable.
I pulled the sheets, throwing them in a pile in order to just throw them away. Some things just weren't salvageable. Since everyone was downstairs, I used a little extra speed to finish his bed and move on to his bathroom.
It was the chorus that Edward's feelings came through more than the rest of the song. Turning off the water in the sink, I paused just to hear him.
And through it all, she offers me protection, a lot of love and affection, whether I'm right or wrong. And down the waterfall, wherever it might take me, I know that life won't break me when I come to call. She won't forsake me. I'm lovin' angels instead.
After setting fresh towels in the bathroom, starting his laundry, and running down to Rose's car to get what we had been able to save from Kevin's flat, I grabbed a small bag and headed back downstairs. I handed it over to Alice, who smiled and gave it to Kevin.
"There were a few surprises, Kev," Alice smirked. "We were able to save a few things."
He took the bag and peeked inside. "Holy hell! My phone." He beamed, pulling it out. "I thought for sure they'd smashed it. It was in my pocket. Hey, my wallet, too!"
"No." I shook my head. "We found them under the bed, honey. They must have fallen."
I walked around the piano bench and wrapped my arms around Edward's shoulders. I need to hunt soon, love, I thought to him, kissing the back of his head. Cleaning those sheets made me realize...
Edward turned, pulling me to his lap. "Okay," he whispered, nodding slightly.
"We should go out," he said, just loud enough that Kevin could hear us. "Tonight?"
"Yeah." I nodded, turning to Kevin.
"If you even think of asking if I'm okay if you and Hot Doc over there go out on a date..." Kevin chuckled, shaking his head. Edward and I laughed as he waved us away. "Go. I'm a big boy. I'll be fine."
Edward turned to me with a sweet smile. "We'll make sure he has everything, and then we'll go later, okay, baby?" I nodded, smiling back at him, because he was just so damn cute. "Later...I'll show you cute," he growled low enough in my ear that only I could hear him. I giggled, leaning into his kiss to my neck.
Jasper chuckled at us, with a raised eyebrow for us to behave, picking up an acoustic guitar. "Beatles, Ed..."
"Go ahead, then." Edward smiled, keeping me on his lap. "It's all you, man."
Jasper started with a soft melody, Emmett keeping the time on the sole of his shoe with a drumstick. I didn't know the song, but Edward whispered in my ear, "Blackbird."
Jasper began to sing:
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Edward joined him beautifully on the chorus.
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night
I smiled, leaning my forehead to Edward's temple when the song finished and looking over at Alice. We loved their voices together. "Pretty, baby," I crooned, kissing his jaw. He smiled, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.
"Okay," Emmett pouted. "Something stupid or fun."
"Hey, Piano Man," Kevin chuckled, giving Edward a wink. "Do you know Styx?"
"Hell, yes, he does," Jasper and Emmett nodded, scrambling around the room at a human pace. Emmett dove back to his drum kit, and Jasper hung up his acoustic guitar, trading it for an electric. We all laughed at them. They could be so silly. I felt myself be lifted from Edward's lap down to the bench.
"Who's singing?" Jasper looked around.
"I will," Kevin smirked. "Go on. Come Sail Away."
Edward paused for a moment, pulling his electric keyboards to his other side. "If we're going to do this song, we might as well do it right," he chuckled, giving Jasper a fist bump.
"You have it all recorded?" Emmett asked, beaming.
"Yeah." Edward nodded. "Ready, Kevin?"
"Sure," he blushed, "but don't judge me. I haven't sung in a long time."
"There are no judges here," Esme chuckled. "Just play, Edward."
Edward smiled, starting a song that, in reality, sounded like the beginning of a music box. When Kevin's voice joined him, Alice, Rose, and I stood up to watch, leaning on the piano.
I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board, I'm the captain, so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try to carry on
There wasn't anything that would have prepared us for his talent. His voice was pure, full, and rich. I looked over to Edward, who raised an eyebrow in question or shock—I wasn't sure which. Jasper's mouth hung open as he waited to play. Emmett beamed with pride as he began to play softly for the next verse.
I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on
Edward had turned to the keyboard, starting the string sounds and adding the electric piano at the same time. As Jasper joined them with a heavy sound, it was damn hard to decide on who to watch. Emmett was playing better than I had ever seen, Jasper was insane on the guitar, Edward had completely switched to the keyboards, making the song sound just like the original. But Kevin's voice was just fucking perfect.
A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said
They said come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
The boys sang the chorus with him, and I heard Rose huff an astonished laugh next me. "Fuck," she snorted. "I totally wasn't expecting that."
"No shit," Alice cracked up.
"Nice, Ed," Emmett chuckled, as Edward added the most ethereal sounds to the song. "Damn." He shook his head.
It built up to a huge wave of rock and roll. Jasper's fingers flew over his strings.
I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
When they were finished, the three of us just said, "Whoa."
"Hot damn," Emmett chuckled. "That rocked!"
"No kidding." Jasper smiled. "Hey, where did you learn to sing, dude?"
"Back home." Kevin blushed. "I used to be in theater, but I dropped it for art."
"Where was home, Kev?" Esme asked, sitting next to him and helping him adjust the pillow under his leg.
"New York." He smiled. "I miss the city, but London's a damn close reminder."
"Yeah." I nodded, sitting next to Edward. "I'd like to go back. We went once."
"You would?" Edward asked, kissing the side of my head.
"Mmhm," I said, nodding again. "You showed me a lot, but there is more I'd like to see."
"Okay." Edward smiled, nodded, and kissed my lips. "Let's see what we can do about that, sweet girl." I chuckled, rolling my eyes. I only needed to mention something I wanted, and he was ready to hand it to me. "That's right," he chuckled against my cheek.
Kevin talked about his home, but we all noticed that he didn't mention his family. He spoke of Central Park and Times Square, Broadway, and what it was like living there on September 11, but not one word about parents, siblings, or friends. Esme didn't probe, and Edward followed her lead. He may have heard it, but she heard more in the lack of words than if Kevin had explained his childhood situations. And she was right in doing so. If he wanted us to know or felt comfortable enough to tell us, he would.
He told us stories of community theater, laughing at himself in some strange role or costume. He said that the group he performed with were the first to accept his homosexuality. They encouraged him to be...him. Again, he seemed close to mentioning his family, but changed course quickly.
When Esme saw the time, she left us to go home to meet Carlisle. Alice had to cover Kevin's shift at the store, and Rose and Emmett told Kevin they were going to look for a new flat for him. When he started to protest, Emmett just crossed his giant arms and waited until Kevin shut up, pouting slightly and looking to me.
"Nope, won't work, Kev," I chuckled, shaking my head. "You're on injury reserve. Do you really want to push Emmett on this?"
"Oh, the baby girl with the football reference!" Jasper laughed, giving me a fist bump.
"I'm so proud," Emmett chuckled, pretending to wipe away a fake tear.
"Like Charlie didn't rub off on me," I snorted, rolling my eyes up to Edward, who wrapped an arm around me and kissed my lips softly.
"As much fun as having Emmett restrain me would be...not today," Kevin teased, giving Rose a wink. He grimaced, holding his head and rubbing it lightly.
"You're probably due for your meds, Kevin," Edward frowned, standing. "It's been a long day, and I want to check your stitches. Do you need help getting upstairs?"
"I got him, Ed," Emmett nodded, picking up Kevin's crutches and holding them out for him.
With endless patience, my big brother helped Kevin up my staircase, one by painful one. Kevin's heart was thrumming by the time he got upstairs. Edward told me that it was his ribs that hurt more than anything, and that the problem was, there wasn't much he could do about them but let them heal on their own and keep him comfortable.
Once Kevin fell, exhausted, on the bed, I started his dinner. Alice, Jasper, Rose, and Emmett all left us. As I put the tray together, I realized poor Edward never got a break. He was on his week off, and he was still having to take care of someone.
"I don't mind, baby," he chuckled, going in the freezer for an icepack.
"You're sure?"
"I swear," he smirked, kissing my forehead. "Plus, you're a damn sexy nurse." He chuckled, giving me a wink before heading back upstairs.
"Interesting idea for Halloween, Edward," I teased, knowing he could hear me, and I could have sworn he tripped going up the stairs. I laughed hysterically, bracing my hands on the counter. He was way too easy.
"Bella!" He huffed a laugh, but he didn't say anything else as he went back into Kevin's room.
I still had the giggles by the time I walked in the room. Edward's dangerously raised eyebrow as he checked over Kevin's stitches only caused me to laugh all over again.
"It's a damn good idea," I shrugged, feigning innocence. "It's not like we haven't talked about it."
"Just...no," he huffed, shaking his head and fighting his smile. "Anything in public but that, Bella. I'm begging you."
"Fine," I sighed, turning to Kevin. "We were just discussing Halloween costumes."
Kevin studied Edward's face and then mine. "Damn, what's got you so hot and bothered, Dr. Heavy Equipment?"
"I know when she and my sister get together," he pointed to me, laughing, "that they can take the simplest of costumes and torture me with it all night. Don't shake your head, Bella."
"Oh ho!" I gasped, smiling back at him and setting Kevin's tray across his lap. "Mr. Innocent over there. He likes to keep his secret. If you think just taking him to a club gets attention, you should have seen the heart attack he gave to two girls showing up in a full blown Top Gun get up."
"Mmm, damn, I bet," Kevin laughed. "Bomber jacket and all."
"Hell, yes," I huffed, sitting next to Kevin on the bed and folding my arms across my chest.
"You won a hundred dollars over that," he countered, but snorted into another round of laughter.
"I like my idea," I teased again. I wasn't at all sure that was the costume I was going to choose, but Edward so rarely let things shake him, that this was way too much fun to resist.
"God, baby, please?" Edward groaned, running a hand roughly through his hair and then over his face.
"Then you pick his, and he should pick yours," Kevin shrugged, taking a bite of mashed potatoes.
The evilest of smiles crept over Edward's face as he leaned back on the dresser, folding his arms across his chest and crossing one leg over the other. I chuckled, shaking my head. "I take it you like that idea, baby?"
"Yeah." He nodded slowly, still smiling. "I do. What do you say?"
"Okay." I nodded, looking at him warily. I knew Edward, he would find loopholes in everything. "Rules. I want rules."
"Fine." He nodded once. "Later, though. I'm gonna get a shower."
I snickered at his playful face. "I'll come change in a minute."
Before he got to the doorway, he turned and pointed. "I'm claiming Alice as my helper."
"Shit!" I laughed, but stopped and looked at Kevin. "Oh, I'm so taking Kevin."
"Oh, can I get a hell, yeah?" Kevin sang with an appraising look up one side of Edward and down the other.
"I'm a dead man," Edward sighed, shaking his head and leaving the room.
Kevin and I fell into a heap of laughter. "What are you thinking?" Kevin asked.
"Oh no." I shook my head. "He's evil, and he can hear things when you least expect it, so this conversation is for later." Kevin chuckled and nodded, taking another bite of his steak. "What will you do while we're out?" He shrugged. "Well, there's TV, books, or music."
"TV is fine," he sighed, pushing his tray away from him. I got up, getting the remote and handing it to him. "You guys don't have to do all of this..."
"Please don't," I said softly.
"He's really good at his job, isn't he? I mean, I bet the kids adore him." He smiled, looking up at me.
"He is, and they do."
"He's just kind, but I don't think he likes to show it all the time. When he's taking care of me, he's very calm, and I can barely feel his touch. Has he ever taken care of you when you're sick?"
I smiled, nodding. "Well, when we first met, I would go to Carlisle. I was just more comfortable with him as a doctor, but I got the flu once." I smiled, biting my lip. "It was a few months before we were getting married. Carlisle and Esme were out of town. I felt just gross and stuffy, with puffy eyes and a fever. He was so sweet and never left my side—then again, it was me. He would stop the world from turning for me."
"I can tell." He smiled. "Go. Have fun. I've been cock-blocking long enough." He grinned, raising his eyebrows up and down. I laughed, shaking my head at him.
"I'll check on you when we get back." I nodded, picking up his tray. I turned back to Kevin, and said, "Oh yeah...and think...heroes."
Kevin beamed, nodding and laughing as I made my way back downstairs. What he didn't hear was Edward's growl from the shower in our bathroom. This Halloween was going to be interesting.


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