Sunday, November 3, 2013 | By: Drotuno

Fire & Ice Chapter 5 & Pics

Chapter 5
“Daddy’s mad,” Sammy whispered to me, his little brow wrinkling as he watched his father prep the chopper across the barnyard.
“No, baby. He’s just upset,” I promised him, scratching Load’s ear. He was standing vigilant by my son, his sharp blue eyes always watching.
“Wha’ happen’?” he asked, crawling up into my lap, still wearing his flannel camo pajamas.
I sighed deeply. It was too damn early, and Edward and I had gotten very little sleep, but I’d insisted, considering he was going to be flying. I also didn’t know how to tell the kids that not only were we leaving them, but Gamma would be arriving at Aunt Kate’s without their Poppy and that it was him that we were leaving to go find. At least, I hoped that we’d be able to find him.
Hugging my son closer, I nuzzled his soft, chubby cheek. Everyone was a little on-edge at the farm, because we’d lost Carlisle’s GPS signal. Once we’d verified that Esme was in the air and on her way to Anchorage, we’d monitored Carlisle’s signal for another half hour. It completely stopped outside of Moscow. From the coordinates, it was a small private airfield. We were also still waiting for Eleazar to call us back. Nothing, so far, had gone right.

Samuel waited patiently for my answer, toying with a lock of my hair.
“Poppy’s missing,” Bethy piped up from behind us, her green eyes as fierce as her father’s, and as usual, Lock was by her side. “Isn’t he?”
Sammy gasped and sat up, looking between me and his sister. His face was pure innocence and shock.
“Elizabeth Renee, come sit.” I pointed to the spot beside me on the front porch steps, glaring her way, but just like me, she barely flinched. Edward and I had created a strong little girl. “God, you’re too smart for your own good sometimes. Did you know that?”
She grinned crookedly, and I could only shake my head at her.
“It’s not funny, Bethy,” I sighed wearily.
“What’s not funny?” a smooth, velvet voice interrupted.
“Is Poppy really missing?” Bethy asked her dad incredulously.
“You,” I said, pointing to her, “stop talking and listen to me.”
I sighed, meeting Edward’s gaze. He’d been grumpy all morning, so I wasn’t sure how he’d take his kids knowing the truth, but the ice melted in his demeanor and his shoulders slumped a little.
Turning back to Bethy, I said, “What’s not funny is you just blurting stuff out there, Miss Ma’am.”
Edward seemed to come to some sort of decision, inhaling sharply, and then dropped to his knees in front of all three of us. “Fine, little sweetness,” he stated, nodding once, but he glanced between the two of them. “You’re right. Your Poppy is missing. Something went wrong on his business trip. Gamma will be here soon, but your mom and I have to go help him.”
Bethy, who’d been gung-ho about knowing the truth, read her dad’s mood, and now their faces were identical expressions of worry. “Why?”
“He needs us,” I answered softly, wrapping an arm around her.
“How long?” Sammy asked, but his eyes were on his father.
Edward’s eyes darkened, but he told his son, “I hope not long, buddy. But I want you guys to do Mom and me a favor, okay?”
“What?” they both asked.
“I need you to be good for Aunt Rose and Aunt Kate…and Gamma when she gets here,” he told them. “You’re both to do what they say. But keep good thoughts while we’re gone. We’ll call you as often as we can. Understand?”
They both nodded, but Bethy asked, “When are you leaving?”
“Pretty soon, baby,” he told her, locking gazes with me, only to turn back to his kids. “What do we say when we’re gonna be apart?”
“Be safe!” the two of them sang at him, which made him smile, the sweetest thing he’d done all morning.
“And?” I chuckled.
“Love you!” they both sang again.
“Good. Now, give Mom and me ’mooches,” Edward commanded with a soft laugh, practically having to catch Bethy when she flew at him.
Sammy curled to me, and I smooched his cheek until he giggled. He then went to his dad, who wrapped him up tight in a hug. With one arm around each of his kids, Edward looked to me.
“Love you,” I sighed, leaning in to kiss him. I wrapped my arms around all of them in a big family hug. Pulling back a little, I cupped Bethy’s and Sammy’s faces. “Okay, I’m sure Aunt Kate has breakfast. Go eat. We’ll see you two before we take off.” When they didn’t move, I repeated, “Go.”
They ran back inside the house, leaving us alone, but Edward abruptly stood up, offering me his hand.
“Come, sweetness,” he sighed wearily. “I need to give you something before we take off.”
We silently walked hand in hand all the way to the barn.
He stopped me, pulling me to him roughly. “I’m sorry, love. I’ve been a shit this morning. I don’t mean—”
Grabbing his face, I kissed his lips. “Stop. Don’t even apologize. You’re worried, and justifiably so. I’ve got your back, Edward Cullen.”
His smile was shy and sweet, almost embarrassed. “I-I kn-know, B-Bella. I-I j-just… I need you to promise me something,” he said, going from my stuttering sweet man, to my in-control flyboy.
“Okay,” I said with a light laugh, thinking I’d promise him the world. I trusted him with my life.
He took a deep breath and let me go, spinning to Aunt Kate’s storage room. He unlocked it, propping the doors open. The supplies and weapons had already been taken out and loaded onto the chopper, so what we were there for, I had no idea. He stepped in, making his way to a smaller safe in the far corner. Once it was opened, he snatched out a manila envelope, handing it to me.
“What’s this?” I asked, opening it.
“Plan B, Bella,” he stated firmly.
I dumped the contents out on the counter of the storage room, my eyes glistening with tears at what was spread out before me. There were two sets of false identities – one for me and one for Edward.
He poked at them, but made me meet his gaze. “This… Baby, this is to get back here. Understand? We’re both going on this mission, and I’m not stupid enough to think that nothing could go wrong, but if something does happen, then my priorities are you and the kids. That’s it. If something happens to me, then the crew is already instructed to send you home…here.” He pointed to the ground. “The fake ID will get you here undetected, no matter who is looking for us. I-I…I-It w-works th-the o-other w-way a-around, t-too, s-sweetness.”
“So the crew will send you home…to our kids…if something happens to me?” I surmised, but it came out like a question.
He nodded, yanking off his baseball cap and running a hand over his head before pulling the hat back on.
“I-I d-don’t l-like th-thinking th-that w-way, but dammit, baby, I don’t have fucking choice!” His voice got a little louder, and he flinched a little. “I can’t have my kids without at least one of us. So…this,” he said, pointing to the envelope. “This is nonnegotiable. Am I clear?”
“Who’s to make sure you come home?” I asked him.
Nodding, I stood up on my toes and kissed his lips briefly. “Okay, Edward. Plan B.”
I tucked the passports and credit cards back into their envelope and stuck it in my back pocket. Looking up at Edward, I was pretty sure I’d fallen in love with him all over again. His kids, his family…me, we’d always come first. To go into this mission knowing the dark possibilities had to have been killing him. But I couldn’t stay behind, either. Something inside of me had cracked as I’d watched my father-in-law, my godfather, the man I’d come to love like my own dad, get shocked, zip-tied, and a bag put over his head, only to be tossed into the back of a van like a piece of fucking garbage, all while he was thousands of miles away. While I knew Carlisle was probably stronger than all of us combined, I just couldn’t not help, and my husband had seen it written all over my face.
Edward kissed my forehead, not saying anything for a moment, but finally whispered, “I’m not waiting for Eleazar much longer. If he’s out of contact or undercover, he can’t be of any help anyway.”
My nose wrinkled at that, but it was the truth. “Fair enough. Let’s get the rest of our stuff, Edward. And I want you to eat before we go over last-minute shit in the office. Okay?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he agreed, taking my hand and linking our fingers together.
Edward barely chewed his food, much less tasted it, but he was so damned focused that he’d stopped talking. I hadn’t seen him this angry, this vengeful, since Bethy’s kidnapping. Back then, he’d been downright scary. He was pushing close to that now. However, we let him stay quiet as we went over everything in the computer room. We knew him, respected him – and Carlisle – so we understood his anger.
“Okay, okay, okay,” Alice chanted, setting a black duffle down onto the table. “Pay attention,” she commanded, taking out equipment. “I’ve taken the liberty of uploading Igor onto everything you’ll have. This will insure that you’ll have info at your fingertips at all times, and considering the time difference, I don’t want you to have any issues. There are three tablets in here, two of Aunt Kate’s satellite phones, and plenty of radio earpieces. I’ve also put in a few remote cameras, a few extra GPS trackers – though, we need to talk about those in a second – and a couple of little toys, in case you need them.” She glanced over to Mickey after having said that. Leaning her hands flat on the table, she gazed back at Edward. “I’m giving you everything I have, Edward. You could essentially take the fucking country over with what I’m handing you, and that’s not including the scary shit my husband loaded up into that helicopter.”
His lips twitched at that, but he nodded. “Thanks, Alice.”
I shot her a wink, but reminded her, “GPS…talk to me.”
She nodded, pointing to the screen behind her. “As you know, I chipped Carlisle and Esme.”
A glimpse at the monitor showed Esme’s green dot traveling. She was still in the air. The view of Carlisle’s was frozen at the point at which we’d lost him.
“There were a bunch of places I could’ve chipped Carlisle. The watch was simply one of them – though, he hated that I fiddled with his precious Rolex,” she snorted, rolling her eyes. “Unfortunately, it was the Rolex that we lost. I originally wanted the watch as a backup. I wanted to embed one under his skin.” She held up a tiny thing between her thumb and forefinger. It looked like a small capsule or pill, but so much smaller. “I want to implant it into each of you.”
Edward’s head shot up from the flight plan he’d been flipping through, his gaze sharp and scary. “Say that again…”
She nodded, but didn’t let him intimidate her. “I can take it out as soon as you’re back, but this will help me track all of you. This one is untraceable, but the one in Carlisle’s watch had to have been found. When they were with Carlisle and Esme every step of the way through the hotel, I knew someone had to be tracking him at the same time I was, so they had to have scanned him at some point. At one of the meetings, a visit from this Sergei guy…something, which means they removed it as soon as they could.”
That statement landed in the room like a brick.
“Um, pixie?” I asked, glancing over at Edward before going back to our resident genius. “You want to inject us with that thing?”
“It’s perfectly safe, and it’ll hurt just about as much as if you had a vial of blood drawn,” she stated.
“Yeah, okay, but…where?” I asked her, thinking she’d officially flipped, especially when she slapped down a handful of syringes – one for every one of us who were leaving.
“Preferably fatty tissue,” she replied.
“You wanna shoot that in my ass,” Alec surmised, wearing a slight hint of amusement.
“Yes. Or arm…or thigh,” she countered, shrugging a shoulder.
Edward sighed deeply, standing up. “Fine, do it. Just…get it over with.”
The rest of the crew who were going on the mission glanced at one another, but didn’t say anything. They merely stared at him.
Rubbing his face, he waved us all on. “Look, we don’t have time to argue, and she said she’d take them out when it’s over, so…just do it. I’d rather her track us this way than the possibility of something going wrong, like with my dad’s. Okay?” he urged.
That seemed to make sense, so when she waved everyone over, all the boys quickly stripped their shirts off, flinching and hissing when she stuck them.
Mickey pulled her waistband down just enough for it to go into her upper butt cheek. With a grin and a wink, she said, “Now you really are watching my ass.”
Alice laughed, her head falling back. She patted Mickey’s shoulder. “I always have!”
When it came for my turn, I took Alice to the bathroom down the hall.
“I’m not a big fan of pain, pixie, so you’re gonna use scar tissue to do this,” I told her, lowering my pants. I ran a thumb across the long, thick scar down my thigh. “There’s no feeling here, so just…do it fast, okay?”
At the mention and the sight of my scar, her face turned sad, but she nodded. She stayed quiet as she pinched the scar, jabbed the needle in just under the skin, and pressed the plunger. Handing me a cotton ball, she gestured for me to hold it there for a moment. It didn’t hurt, but I could feel the tiny thing just under my fingers. Alice merely kissed my cheek before leaving me alone on the bathroom vanity.
The door cracked a little after a minute, and I smiled at Edward’s worried gaze when he saw me.
“I’m okay,” I said with a slight laugh. “I just…” I pointed to his shoulder. “I was too chicken-shit for anywhere else.”
His smile was sweet, but he shut us in the bathroom. Walking to me, he gently took the cotton ball away, leaning down to brush his lips across my scar. “I’m sorry, love,” he sighed against my skin. “We’ll take it out when we get back.”
Placing my hands flat on either side of his handsome face, I lifted him up to meet my gaze. “S’okay,” I whispered, shrugging a shoulder. “Maybe I’ll leave it. You know…future bullshit.”
“You’re not a tagged dog, Bella,” he argued, “but I just didn’t want any problems going into this.”
I giggled at him, kissing his lips. “Well, you’d know where I was all the time, Edward.”
Grinning, he shook his head. “I don’t need to, sweetness. I trust you and love you, but this…this shit’s important. If these help, then I’m all for it.”
“I know, sweetheart. That’s why no one is arguing with you on any of it,” I said, trying to keep my voice soothing. Reaching up, I took his hat off, setting it down on the vanity beside me. I ran my fingers slowly through his hair, if only to calm him down. “Edward, baby, look at me.”
Deep, dark green eyes gazed up at me through long eyelashes as his thumb continued to soothe my old scar, like he could swipe away the history of how I’d received it.
“Do you remember when Bethy was taken?” I asked rhetorically. “We both kinda lost our minds a little?” He nodded, looking contrite, but I went on. “Okay, well, we can’t do that here. The person that usually leads this type of thing is the very person we have to find. We have to stay calm, focused. We have to work together. I know you’re angry. But Edward, I’m scared for him.”
His eyes softened at that, and his forehead fell to mine. “I-I kn-know y-you a-are, b-baby. I am, too. I just wish I knew what they fucking wanted from him, you know?!” he raged, but it came out in a gushing whisper.
“I know,” I said, emotions getting to me a little. “But your dad, he wouldn’t want us to panic. He’d tell us to focus on what we know and use it.” I cleared my throat a little. “They obviously need him alive, or they wouldn’t have taken him the way that they did. This isn’t about business. This is something else. And I fucking promise you, Edward, we will do our best to find out what it is.”
Edward cupped my face, one hand sinking into my hair as he stepped closer between my legs. “With all this shit, I haven’t asked you. Are you okay? Is this shit bothering you?”
“I’m okay when I have to be, Edward. You know that. But I’m not sure I could let you go without me. I’m not okay with that. I just…can’t. Watching him get taken…hearing Esme…”
“Shh,” he hushed me, his lips brushing against mine so softly, I could barely feel them, but my heart practically burst. “Breathe, sweetness. It’s not the same, but I understand, okay?”
Nodding, I took a deep breath and let it out. I met his soul-searching gaze and nodded that I was okay.
“You should stay, but I need you. I need this,” he said, tapping my temple. “We’re better together than apart, but Plan B isn’t to be forgotten, you hear me?”
I nodded, finally just giving in and kissing him. It was simply the way we worked, the way we sealed promises to each other, and if we hadn’t been short on time, I’d have probably ravished him right there inside that bathroom. As it was, he was all things claiming, hungry, and possessive.
We came apart like we’d been busted when a heavy knock pounded on the door. Edward’s grin was hilarious, his cheeks a touch pink as he shot a wink my way at our reaction.
“What?” he asked gruffly.
“Ed, get out here. El’s on the phone,” Jasper said on the other side of the door.
“It’s about fucking time,” he muttered, helping me down from the bathroom counter and waiting for me to pull my cargo pants back up. Once I was all put together, he kissed my temple. “Let’s hope he can help.”
Glancing at the clock, I frowned. I’d wanted to be long gone from Aunt Kate’s, but Eleazar had changed everything. We’d closed the computer room, put him on speakerphone, and told him everything that had happened to his sister and brother-in-law, as well as what our plans entailed. At the end of it all, he wanted in, and he had the resources and connections that we didn’t, so we had no choice but to sort it all out.
“Edward, I’m going to send Felix straight to the hotel in Moscow to get some answers,” he stated over the line. “He’ll comb the room, talk to the hotel management, make contact with the Moscow police, and get back with us. You follow that flight plan up until the last fuel-up. I don’t want you guys near Moscow just yet, just in case we need the element of surprise. Those coordinates that I gave you will bring you to a farm in Central Siberia. It’s a safe house in the middle of no-fucking-where and one of my own personal contacts. They’ll take care of you – both fuel and otherwise – until I get there. They’ll be waiting for you. You’re to stay there until I arrive.”
“Ten-four,” I muttered, glancing over the new flight plan Alice had reworked for me. “El, before you go…what do you know about these mines my dad was dealing with?”
“A lot, son, and I promise we’ll go over it, but not on the phone. Got me?” he replied. “Let’s just say that Norilsk has been eyeballed before.” He sighed deeply, but went on. “However, I have to agree with Bella. They need your father alive, or they would’ve shot them both right there in the hotel…or out on the street. They had plenty of time to kill him with all those meetings, but they didn’t. They were either biding their time, or something has changed. But they do need him alive for whatever it is they have planned.
“Ed, I know you’re in a hurry to get shit started, and I understand, but you’re gonna need more than just a crew and a few weapons and toys. Please trust me on this,” he begged.
“I do, El. But the more time we fucking waste, the farther he could go. The trail will run cold. I can’t afford to lose any advantage I can fucking get my hands on. I promised Esme,” I argued, glancing around at my crew. They were all at the ready, every last one of them – even the ones staying behind.
“Your father is important and high-profile now, kid. Bear that in mind. Which means he’s a helluva lot more valuable alive than dead. It also means that someone may contact you. If they want something bad enough, then they’ll ask for it in exchange for your father. In fact, I’d have his office report him missing…like today – as soon as we hang up. It’ll put a little pressure on them, make them make the move.”
“And Boris Zukov?” Bella asked, narrowing her eyes at the speaker. “Esme said we should find him first.”
El laughed humorlessly. “He’s one of your father’s old mercenary friends. He has the capability to disappear in the wind, but again, we’ll talk when we see each other, because his disappearance after your father called him really is fucked up. I’m not stupid enough to think that crew of yours isn’t gathering every single bit of intelligence. I’ll never underestimate Alice,” he said with a light laugh, and the pixie in question smirked without slowing down on the computer. “But I don’t want anything over this line. Bring everything you have with you. Get going. I’ll be right behind you.”
The call ended, and I sat forward, rubbing my face before standing up. All eyes were on me. “Okay, listen up,” I said softly. “We’re moving out in thirty minutes.” I turned to Makenna. “What’ve you found?”
She tsked, shaking her head. “Not much. Every man inside that hotel has come up empty,” she stated, holding up one finger, “except this guy.” She pointed to a face on her screen. “His name is Nicholas Gruber. He tracks back to England. London, specifically. Not a lot of history on him, except that he spent time in Krasnoyarsk prison. And yes, before you ask, that’s the same town where MCC is located.”
My eyebrows shot up at that little piece of information. “What was he in for?”
“Theft,” she stated, scrolling through the file on her screen. “I’m currently searching the prison for any matches on other names – you know, employees of the mines, Twi Tech, even past jobs of your dad’s.”
“Excellent, thank you,” I praised her before turning to Alice. “Alice, when Esme arrives, I want you on his cell phone and laptop ASAP. Break them down, scan them for tracking devices, and I want to know who he’s talked to, emailed, and what information was so goddamn important that he sent it with her. Okay?”
“I’d planned on it,” she told me, but we all turned around when the computer room door opened.
I couldn’t help but smile as Sammy quietly wound around everyone, searching out Bella. He scrambled up into her arms, snuggling in. Bethy was right behind him, along with Caleb and Abby. The latter sought out Alec, and he immediately scooped her up into his arms. Obie walked in with Kaitlyn, handing her over to Mickey, who lovingly kissed her cheeks.
“What’s all this, causa?” Alec asked Abby, smiling when she kissed his cheek and snuggled closer.
“Bethy says Poppy’s in trouble, that you guys are gonna help,” she answered him softly.
My dad was every one of the kids’ Poppy. The thought made me smile and broke my heart at the same time, but it was Obie that spoke to the heart of the matter.
“They wanted to wish you luck,” he said, smirking at Caleb, who launched himself at Emmett. “They were asking how long you’d be.”
Gazing down at Bethy, I cupped her face and kissed her forehead. “We don’t know, little sweetness, but we’ll do our best to hurry. And I told you earlier, we’ll call as often as we can.”
Alice stood up, saying, “C’mere, my little minions.” The term of endearment she had for the kids made the whole room chuckle. “All of you, actually. Come look.”
Bella stood up with Sammy, and we all gathered around a single monitor.
Alice pointed to the screen, where several different colored dots were grouped together. “This…this is everyone leaving. Bethy, Sarah, Caleb…I know you guys can read, so what do you see?”
Bethy, being the closest and the most outgoing, piped up with, “Names. Oh! It says Bella, Edward, Kurt, Alec, Emmett, and Jasper! It’s them!”
Alice grinned. “Exactly.” She cupped Sammy’s face. “My handsome man, you know your colors, and I know you wanna know. Purple is your mom, and green is your dad. Okay?” She pointed to the dots on the screen. “Whenever you guys want to see them, you just come to me. I’ll show you anytime. All right?”
Bella leaned over and kissed Alice’s cheek. “Thanks, Ali,” she whispered, looking to Sammy. “Does that help, Sammy?”
He nodded, smiling a bit. “Yeah.”
Bethy was in front of me, and I bent her head back so she was looking at me upside down. “Feel better, baby?” I asked her with a smirk.
She spun, holding up her arms for me to pick her up, and I did.
“You’ll come see Alice when you’re missing us.”
Bethy nodded, but grabbed my face. Her eyes narrowed on me, looking just like her mother when Bella did that same thing. “Who’s gonna be your co-pilot?”
Grinning, I shot a look to Alec, who was fighting his smile. “Uncle Alec is temporarily taking your place, little sweetness.”
She eyed his oh-so-falsely innocent face, but looked to me. “I guess that’s okay. Make sure he watches your fuel and your horizon.”
Fuck me, I loved her. My heart hurt at the thought of both Bella and me leaving, but I truly needed us all. I couldn’t deny how proud I was of her and how her loving flying with me meant so fucking much.
Swallowing thickly, I hugged her close. “I tell you what… Why don’t you help with pre-flight checks, hmm?”
Bethy grinned, biting her bottom lip in a way that looked like Bella. “Yeah, okay!”
Keeping her in my arms, I glanced at the clock. “Guys. Twenty minutes, and we load up.”
A loud, metallic clang caused my eyes to snap open. A quick assessment made me realize I couldn’t move. My wrists were bound behind my back, my legs were tight together, with one restraint around my knees and another around my ankles, my legs straight out in front of me, and I couldn’t see shit. From what I could tell, there was a bag over my head, and what little light there was just barely seeped in through the weave.
My mouth was dry, my lips cracked, and when I licked them, I tasted blood. I shifted, testing everything as quietly and nonchalantly as I could. I wasn’t sure if anyone was watching, but I wanted to know where I fucking stood. I was bound by what felt like zip-ties. They were unforgiving bastards and were cutting into my skin.
Closing my eyes, I leaned back against a cold, rough wall. Concrete. The air was stale, cool – almost cold – and there was dirt underneath me. There were echoes coming from every direction, something sounding like machinery or industrial equipment.
My shoes were back on, but loose, my watch was gone, but my wedding band was still on my finger. No wallet, no belt, no gun, no knife. They’d stripped me of everything, including the GPS chip that Alice had put on me.
Taking a deep breath, I let it out slowly, forcing myself to stay calm. I’d known coming to Moscow had been an iffy situation. I’d known that Sergei was dicking me around, but it wasn’t until my son had reported Boris missing that alarms had gone off in my head.
Edward. The thought of my son, my grandkids, and Bella made me bang my head against the wall once. I’d raised my son to be sharp, to assess everything, and to always suspect every-fucking-body outside of the small crew we knew. His gut instinct was better than mine, better than I’d ever imagined. Despite his career change to something a lot less dangerous, he still took everything into account. While I’d thought it over-the-top when he’d tried to stop me from flying to Moscow, now I understood why he’d been so damn cautious. It was also why Edward hadn’t even batted an eye while trying his fucking best to get us somewhere safe. And he’d done a hell of a job.
My eyes closed, and my chest hurt. The last thing I’d seen before I’d been knocked out was my wife hightailing it out of those hotel bay doors. I had faith in my son, my crew, and I was pretty fucking certain Edward had kept his promise to me and my wife was now someplace safe. I had to believe that, or I wouldn’t be able to keep my wits about me, and considering I was in some pretty deep shit, I needed to stay fucking sharp.
I froze at the sound of footsteps. I knew just enough Russian to know they were about to check on me, but it changed to rough English when a door slammed open.
“Stop pretending, Cullen. I know you’re awake,” a deep, gravelly voice snapped.
Sitting up a bit, I braced myself. I could see shadows moving through the fabric, coming farther into the room as shoes stepped closer, step after gritty step. They echoed off the walls, which told me my new holding cell was empty, that there was nothing to absorb the sound.
A swift move made me brace myself even more, and the punch to my face made eyes water and my jaw ache, but I took the hit. Suddenly, my bag was snatched off, and my eyes squinted at the light in my face. It was bright, blocking out the face of my attacker.
“You know, the least you could do is show your fucking face,” I snapped, sneering toward the shadow that was moving just out of my line of sight. “You obviously need me alive, or I’d already be six feet under, so what the fuck do you want?”
A deep laugh echoed around me, and I rolled my eyes. “In due time, Mr. Cullen. I’m fairly certain that you’re important enough that…oh, someone will come looking for you. See…” he went on, continuing to pace behind the spot light. “I know what you are, Cullen…or were. And I also know that you’re not as retired as you like to lead people to believe. You play the over-paid, over-fed American businessman, but I’m pretty sure there’s some…power left in you. That son of yours, for instance…”
When I shifted at the threat he so subtly sent toward Edward, the bag was slapped back down over my face and another punch rattled my head.
“You stupid bastard,” I snarled. “You leave them—”
A third punch cut me off. “Shut the fuck up,” he growled, not close enough that I could feel the heat from him. “Trust me when I tell you that I want your son to come this way, along with the rest of your old crew. Taking you the way I did insured that I get what I want.”
I snorted humorlessly, shaking my head. I opened my mouth to flex my jaw. It wasn’t broken, but the asshole was damn well trying. “You really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into…”
“Trust me, Cullen. If you want to see that pretty wife of yours again…if you want to hug your grandchildren again, then you’d better hope to fucking God that your son, Edward, cooperates,” he threatened in a low tone near my ear. “I’ll be contacting him soon. You can bank on it.”
Barely moving, I pulled back and sent my head forward, head-butting the bastard across the bridge of his nose. I grinned behind my mask, having heard the sickening crack of cartilage, before I pulled back.
A string of curses in English and Russian met my ears, but the order of, “Shut him up,” was the last thing I heard before several hands were on me. Punches, kicks, and slaps rattled my teeth with force and vengeance.
The last thing I felt was a pinprick in my arm. Everything went blurry...and then black.


OcSickGirl said...

I'm all over the fucking place reading this!!! GAH!!!!!!!

You are killing me.....LOL.

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