Sunday, September 25, 2016 | By: Drotuno

Six - Chapter 12

Six – Chapter 12
I knew my cheeks were pink when we jumped back to the field in Alaska. I’d kind of made a spectacle of our leaving, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We hadn’t been gone long – long enough to have an amazing first kiss, I thought, which made Edward grin my way – but it seemed like we hadn’t truly been missed either. Rose and Emmett were working together against Jasper on the far end of the field, while Kate stood off to the side with Garrett and Alice and watched. When they noticed our arrival, Garrett stepped our way, along with Eleazar and Carlisle.
“Bella, Ed… I’m sorry,” Garrett apologized, looking contrite. “I wasn’t going to hurt you, but Katie gave me a good smack to the head and reminded me that accidents happen.”
Squeezing Edward’s hand when he grunted, I smiled Garrett’s way. “I know you weren’t. We handled it, and it was good practice for what we might face later.”

“Yes, well…” He shook his head. “I still apologize.”
I raised an eyebrow at Edward, who sighed and stuck out his hand. “Forgiven,” he told Garrett, smirking my way. “It all worked out for the best anyway.”
“Yes!” cheered Alice, who clapped and grinned. “I knew it!”
Edward and I laughed, even as my face warmed.
Eleazar choked a quiet laugh and then called out for everyone to gather round. Once everyone had made their way to us, he said, “Well done, everyone. We’ll continue to practice, but I’m impressed with the way you’ve all begun to learn to work together. I want to work more with Bella and Edward together, as well as Bella and the rest of you—” He grinned when I groaned. “But not today. Go get showered off. I think Carmen and Esme were making cookies while we practiced this afternoon. We’ll pick this back up tomorrow.”
He didn’t have to tell us twice. All of us jumped at the chance to go back to the cabins and clean up. Jasper picked up Alice and ran, flying by us in a blur. Emmett walked up and stopped beside Edward, and Rose in her white dog form plopped her butt down next to him.
“Windows?” I offered, grinning.
“I think we’ll walk it,” Carlisle said with a shrug, looking at Eleazar, who nodded. “We didn’t get the exercise you all did.”
The rest of them nodded, so I opened three separate windows – one to the big house for Garrett and Kate, one to Rose and Emmett’s cabin, and one to the living room of the cabin I shared with Edward. We agreed to meet up at the house in a while, and then the six of us jumped, leaving Carlisle and Eleazar alone in the field.
The window had barely closed behind us when Edward had me pressed up against the door of the cabin. My soft moan was smothered by his lips as he kissed me like he’d kissed me only minutes before. I wound my arms around him, clenching tight to the back of his T-shirt as I leaned into him.
He hummed deliciously as I deepened the kiss, feeling his tongue slide along mine, tasting, teasing, until we broke away, panting. His forehead touched mine, and I laughed brokenly, still trying to catch my breath.
“Wow,” I teased, giggling when he snorted.
“You can say that again.”
Edward’s lips met mine and cut off the rest of the word, making me laugh when he finally pulled away.
“Go, pretty girl,” he teased. “Take a shower before I decide I’m not the gentleman Esme taught me to be.”
I laughed softly, shaking my hips and loving his playful growl as I made my way to the bathroom to shower off the day’s workout.
My muscles aching, I stepped into the cabin and leaned back against the door, hearing nothing but the sound of the water from Edward’s shower. He’d been covered in mud from head to toe after practice, so I’d told him to take the shower first while I walked back, needing the few minutes of peace and quiet. We’d been in Alaska for a full week. Though we were still working to develop and strengthen our talents, we’d also begun learning hand-to-hand combat from Garrett, who was apparently a master at some forty-three forms of martial arts. Maybe it was only three… The way my body felt, I would swear it was more than that.
I looked up, startled, at the sound of Edward’s voice. He was standing in the doorway, a smirk on his face. I was quickly distracted by the fact that he had on a pair of sweatpants…and only sweatpants. His chest was bare, and the play of muscles as he used a towel to finish drying his hair had my girly parts clenching. He’d missed a drop of water on his shoulder that was slowly making its way down his chest, and I wanted to follow its path with my tongue, tasting every bit of hi—
His groan pulled me back to myself, and I felt my cheeks warm.
“Sorry,” I said with an embarrassed laugh, realizing he’d heard every thought.
“I’m not…” He grinned salaciously and made his way toward me, reaching out as if to pull me into his embrace.
Shaking my head, I put my hands out to ward him off. “You, clean,” I said, pointing to him and then to myself. “Me, dirty.”
He raised an eyebrow suggestively. “If I get dirty again, I’m sure I could be convinced to get back in the shower…”
I gave that some serious consideration before shaking my head again. We’d been taking things a little more slowly than either of us would have liked, but after talking it over the first night in Alaska, we’d decided that neither of us wanted to jump into bed. That didn’t mean we’d stopped kissing and touching. But I knew if we showered together, all bets were off, especially with him looking as dangerous as he did at the moment.
Looking reluctant, he stepped back with a nod. “You’re right. Naked, wet Bella is too much of a temptation,” he said with a grin. “But don’t think you’re getting by without a kiss.”
“Heavens, no,” I teased, leaning in for the kiss he gently placed on my lips.
I snagged the towel from where he’d thrown it over his shoulder and took it with me into the bathroom to hang it up to dry.
After a good twenty minutes under the hot spray, I finally stepped out, feeling almost like a new woman. The muscles that had felt like they’d had knots with their own knots had smoothed out, leaving me loose-limbed and relaxed. I’d scrubbed mud from places I wasn’t at all sure how it had gotten to. Once dry, I started to pick up the clothes I’d brought in with me, but I noticed Edward had left a clean T-shirt of his on the counter – most likely the one he hadn’t put on after his shower. Picking it up, I put it to my nose and sniffed. It smelled of the detergent we were using while in Alaska, but I could still catch a hint of just…Edward. Casting a glance at my own clothes, I shrugged and then pulled his T-shirt over my head. I paired it with the boxers I’d stolen from him our third day in the cabin and called it good. I’d add a pair of sweats before heading to the main house for dinner.
When I stepped into the living room, Edward froze, and then a wicked grin split his face.
Oh hell… You have no idea how sexy you are right now, do you?
The thought pushed its way into my head, and I felt my cheeks warm, but I simply shrugged and made my way over to him.
“My shirt, Bella?” he asked as he pulled me down onto his lap. When his hands slid up my legs as I straddled him, he dipped his fingers under the edge of the boxers, brushing them along the soft skin there. “And my boxers? Like a fucking dream come to life,” he muttered low, as if to himself.
His words, the heat in his gaze, and the way his hands were caressing the skin of my thighs were more than I could handle. Reaching up, I tangled my fingers in the hair at the base of his neck and kissed him. Soft, sweet, gentle little kisses soon turned into more. He caught up to me quickly, moaning into my mouth when I rocked against him. I opened to him when his tongue slid between my lips, searching, seeking, gentle but demanding. The feel of it made me ache deep inside with a longing, a need, to feel more of him.
“Please,” I whimpered against his lips. I didn’t know what I was begging for. I just knew I needed more.
He nipped at my lips, and my breath caught at the slight sting. When I gasped, he took that as an invitation and delved back into the kiss with a strength and passion that had me shaking. He slid his free hand up and over the fabric of the boxers, and he cupped me, pressing gently against me as he continued helping me to rock above him with the other.
And then he froze.
His hands stilled their movement, he jerked his head toward the door, and his eyebrows rose when he frowned.
“E-Edward?” I asked, looking between him and the door. The tension he was throwing off had me moments away from opening a window to jump us out of the cabin and far away from Alaska.
He must have heard the thought, because he looked back at me and shook his head. “Company,” he said, “but not VI. We’re okay.”
“Who is it?” I asked as I scrambled off his lap, still looking worriedly toward the door.
Edward winced and stood, reaching for my hand. “Let’s get dressed. We need to meet them up at the house.”
“Edward,” I growled softly, tugging his hand so he stopped and turned to face me. “What’s going on?”
“Eleazar’s friend, Liam… His daughter was taken by Volterra.”
The very second the word Volterra left my mouth, I regretted it. Bella’s fear overrode anything we’d just been doing, which had been fantastic and had pushed my limits about taking our time. The first thought she had was to run, to take me and just fucking go.
“Bella, stop.” I sighed deeply, pulling her to me and wrapping my arms all the way around her. Bending to her ear, I whispered, “No more running, pretty girl. As much as escaping somewhere alone – just the two of us – where no one can find us sounds pretty fucking awesome, we’re needed. Both of us. Together we’re stronger, more protected.” Pulling back, I cupped her face and waited until her beautiful eyes met mine. When they reluctantly lifted, I opened my mind to hers. If you go, I’ll follow you, Bella. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to find you. Know that now.
I pressed a kiss to the middle of her forehead when her eyes welled up. I squeezed my eyes closed as her thoughts settled a little, going from panic to guilt and then finally to trust. She trusted me – something I’d never, ever take for granted – but she knew no one had ever given a shit about her since her father. Her last thought was that she needed to pry herself off me and get us to the main house.
Chuckling, I nodded. “Yeah… As much as I love seeing you in my clothes, we need to get dressed and get over to the house.”
“Okay,” she conceded softly, lifting up on her toes to press a soft kiss to my lips before grabbing some clean clothes and stepping into the bathroom.
As I tugged on a T-shirt and hoodie and grabbed my sneakers, I could hear the thoughts from the house. Liam, an old friend of Eleazar’s, had lost his wife, Siobhan, in childbirth, and he was raising their daughter on his own. Maggie was only eleven, and that reminded me of my own past. I couldn’t imagine being taken at the age I’d met Alice, at the age Carlisle had found us. What I couldn’t see at the moment was Maggie’s sixth sense. Eleazar just kept thinking “extraordinarily powerful.”
Bella was so quiet in the bathroom that, if I couldn’t hear her mind, I would’ve guessed she’d left, but she was all over the place in there mentally. Someone had been taken by the same monsters who had taken her. She wanted to go back in time to just a few minutes ago, when we were wrapped around each other, where kissing me had felt like the most perfect, most unbelievably natural thing to do. And she’d felt more in that kiss than any other in her life. My head spun to the bathroom door, and all I wanted was to tell her I understood that, but then her thoughts took a different turn. She hadn’t been with a man in some time, and that was why we were taking things slow.
There had been the boyfriend in high school before her mother took her away to Seattle and one guy in college, which was a short-lived relationship, considering Bella had had more on her plate than just college and boys. She’d had a mother plummeting into a downward spiral of addiction.
Shaking my head, I sighed at her assumption that I had some sort of expectation or limit on how long I’d wait.
“Shit,” I heard her whisper. You heard all that shit, didn’t you?
I barked a laugh. “Yeah, pretty girl.” I looked back at her blushing face when the door to the bathroom opened. “C’mere.” When she stepped between my legs, I placed my hands on her hips to pull her closer. “We’ll talk about this again, but you need to know I have no agenda here, Bella. I don’t want you nervous or…or thinking you need to do anything other than whatever is okay with you. You’re also not alone in how you feel.” She blushed again, glancing down between us, but I tilted her head back so I could see her eyes. “I know it’s a pain in the ass that I can hear this shit. Really, I do. I wish I could give you that privacy, but…”
Bella was shaking her head before I trailed off. “No, no…” She grinned, huffing a light laugh. “Hell, maybe we’ll skip some of the awkward stages of most new relationships. You’ll just…know.” Her last thought on the topic was maybe it would only be fair if I allowed her into my mind more often.
Grinning, I nodded and stood up in front of her. “Maybe…to both.” I kissed her briefly. “Now, Miss Teleporter… If you’d be so kind as to get us to the main house.”
She took a deep breath and let it out, opening a window in front of the door. We stepped through hand in hand right into the main living room. While Eleazar, his family, and my parents had been expecting it, Liam hadn’t been, and he just about jumped clean over the sofa.
“Easy, Liam,” Carlisle soothed him. “This is my oldest son, Edward. And this is Bella, the one we were just telling you about.”
He nodded vehemently, but he was trying to get his heart rate back down. “Well, that explains how she escaped, I suppose.”
There was a lilt of an accent in his voice, not to mention some sadness and sarcasm. He had no sixth sense to speak of, but he lived with a sixxer, so he accepted talents quickly. I expected Bella to stay quiet. She usually did in tense situations or when meeting new people, but she spoke up to Liam.
“I only escaped when someone made a mistake. Otherwise, I’d still be there.” She smiled sadly at him.
Frowning at that, I gazed over at her as we took a seat in the loveseat. The thought of her still there, the idea of never having seen her, finding her, bringing her home, had me shaking my head. I couldn’t imagine it. It had me lacing my fingers with hers and squeezing gently. Slowly, everyone was coming into the large sitting room. Alice had told Jasper, Rose, and Emmett they needed to get to the main house, so they’d scrambled to get up there.
However, as introductions were made to Liam, I saw myself and Bella through someone else’s eyes – the way we touched, the way we looked at each other, and the way we communicated. It was different, and Tanya could see that. Her thoughts were filled with jealousy – not really hurt – but she was trying to understand it. It had taken the two of us years to get to some sort of relationship, but Bella and I were a little over two weeks at knowing each other, and it was completely obvious there was so much there. Tanya felt rejected, even though she’d been the one to stray, and I closed my eyes to calm my temper. Now wasn’t the time for such bullshit, especially such trivial and egotistical bullshit.
It all boiled down to Tanya’s personality. She was spoiled, and she didn’t like to be told no. It wasn’t about any lasting feelings or even any need for physical satisfaction – Tanya could get that from whomever she wished – it was simply the realization that my ex couldn’t have her cake and eat it too. And for once, she was sorry, and the fact that she quite possibly had hurt me with her infidelity had her feeling ashamed because at one point and time we had been very good friends.
Meeting her gaze, I raised an eyebrow her way in a silent gesture that said now wasn’t the time. She smirked back, shrugging a shoulder, her thoughts somewhat apologetic but also along the lines of “not my problem you can hear me.”
Snorting, I rolled my eyes, looking back to Bella, who had caught our exchange.
Big brown eyes looked up at me. She hates me.
Keeping our communication silent, I opened my mind to hers. She’s mad at me, Bella. And she’s mad at herself. Both of those I can live with, so don’t worry.
Bella’s face never showed we’d communicated at all, except for a barely there nod and one thought that made me chuckle silently. Good. Her loss…my gain.
“Good girl,” I whispered in her ear, giving the side of her head a soft kiss.
Everyone was seated, and Eleazar turned his attention to Liam. “Why don’t you tell us what happened to Maggie?”
Liam nodded, his thoughts all over the place, trying to figure out where the beginning actually started. He sat forward, setting his elbows on his knees as he glared at the coffee table in front of him.
“Maggie and I live in San Francisco. I thought with the bigger city, we’d be safer – more people, more sixxers, more places to hide – but they found her anyway.”
We all nodded knowingly, especially my family and Bella. It was the same reason we’d been living in Manhattan and Chicago before that.
He huffed a humorless laugh, one bordering on hysterical, but he pulled himself together enough to continue. “I swore to her mother that I’d keep our daughter safe, protect her, but… I don’t think even my wife knew how…how…powerful Maggie would turn out to be. It’s ironic, you know? Siobhan died bringing her into this world not even knowing that our daughter would turn out to be a healer.”
My eyebrows shot up at that. When Eleazar kept thinking about how powerful she was, I couldn’t quite see what her sixth sense was, but a healer could be crazy powerful, depending on just how much she could do.
“When Maggie turned three, I got her a kitten. The little bugger got loose one rainy afternoon, and she was out in the yard calling for him. About the time we saw the wet, tiny thing across the street, a car came roaring down the road at the same time that kitten decided he’d had enough of freedom for one day.”
Bella shivered, shaking her head a little, as she seemed to guess where this story was going. I wrapped an arm around her to pull her close.
“Maggie lost it. Like completely lost her mind right there. And she started running toward the road. The kitten was barely breathing in the ditch, but my baby was in hysterics. She…she picked that thing up in her arms, repeating ‘no, no, no,’ over and over.” He snorted, looking up at Eleazar. “Next thing I know, that cat was licking at her face and playing with her pigtails.” He shook his head slowly. “There wasn’t a damn scratch on him. No broken bones, not a spot of blood, nothing.
“At first, I thought we were just damned lucky. That the kitten had just been stunned, but not long after that, I cut my finger making breakfast one morning, and she simply reached out, touched her finger to mine. It was like the cut didn’t even happen.” He smiled sadly, glancing around. “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how scary and overwhelming it can be to have an extra power. I also don’t have to tell you what would happen should people find out just what you can do. So I hid her, taught her to keep it secret.”
The guilt he felt was immense. He loved his daughter fiercely; she was the perfect reminder of the love he’d shared with his wife, and the fact that Maggie looked just like her mother made him all the more protective. He was proud of her, too, which was where the guilt came into play. He wanted to show her off, proclaim to the world just how amazingly powerful she was, but at the same time, he knew just how she’d be exploited. From scientists to religious zealots, she’d have become a freak.
“You did the right thing,” I said without thinking. Meeting his gaze, I added, “Hiding her power was for her protection.”
“Yeah, well, what good did it do?!” he snapped, immediately regretting his outburst. “Sorry, son.” When I waved his apology away, he sighed deeply. “They found us anyway.”
“They’ve found all of us at different times,” Alice piped up, her white gaze landing on her lap, where her hand was entwined with Jasper’s. “I can’t see how they’re doing it.” She tapped her temple. “But they can find us anywhere.”
Liam’s brow furrowed, so I answered his silent question. “My sister is a seer. ESP, if you will. She has visions of decided futures.” When he met my gaze, I added, “And I’m telepathic and telekinetic. So yes, I can hear your thoughts.”
Liam nodded, accepting that just fine. “Maggie liked healing people who didn’t even know they were sick. She could…could…sense what was wrong with them. Um… The homeless man with mental issues, the lady at the grocery store with undetected breast cancer, the little girl down the street who fell and broke her arm… All done without saying a word, merely a handshake or a light touch. And they were fine, never even knowing what she’d done.
“I visited a coworker at the hospital once, and I thought my daughter would lose it. She was shaking with the need to just…help.” He looked around the room. “I rarely took her to the doctor. It was torture for her just to sit in the waiting room.” He grimaced, shaking his head. “Hell, I didn’t know there were others until I met you, El. I just…”
He fell silent for just a moment, but he was thinking about how Eleazar had been in California for a trip with Irina’s senior class. He’d felt Maggie’s talent at the same museum, known instantly just how powerful the little healer was, and at the time Maggie had only been nine. It was pure luck they’d been at the same place at the same time. Eleazar had been unable to stay away from the father and daughter, and they’d kept in touch ever since. Liam was grateful for the friendship because he’d felt utterly alone raising his sixxer daughter.
Liam took a deep breath and continued. “Maggie wanted ice cream after school. So we stopped. Outside the place was an old homeless man asking for spare change. My Maggie reached into her pocket, took out whatever she had, and placed it gently into his hand. She smiled at him, saying, ‘I hope I helped.’”
“He was sick,” Carmen and Esme both guessed at the same time.
“Oh, yeah,” Liam answered with a nod. “She told me inside that he was really sick – not only did he have some mental problems, but his lungs were weak. She took it all and then ate a chocolate ice cream cone as if it was the most normal thing.” He grinned, but it fell quickly. “They got to us when we were walking back to the car. There were four of them. Two teenagers and two grown men. One was…powerful. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t see. And then…the pain!”
“Felix and Demetri,” Bella breathed, looking to me.
“Yeah,” I answered, wrinkling my nose. “And the other two are Jane and Alec. The latter blinds you, while the girl hits you with pain. The two large men are the muscle and sixxer hunters.” I looked to Eleazar. “I saw them through Felix’s mind at the hospital when we went to get Carlisle. They’re frighteningly powerful. The kids are used as a weapon, a threat.”
“When I could finally stand up, they’d taken her,” Liam finally finished. “I tried to report her missing, but there was no evidence. They dragged me through the mud, thinking I’d done something to her, but most of the people who know us – and even the witnesses at the ice cream shop – told them there was nothing funny going on. She’s only eleven. I just… I didn’t know where else to turn.”
Fuckers are getting way too bold. Emmett’s thoughts hit me hard. His temper, while rarely something he lost control over, was on a razor’s edge. He met my gaze. She’s just a kid, big brother. I know Carlisle thinks they were taking homeless and runaways, but this shit… This shit is wrong. They’re pulling sixxers right out of their family’s hands. We need to do something to these bastards. His grip on the sofa arm was starting to break the wood frame inside.
“Easy, Em,” I soothed him, looking to Carlisle when he stood up.
My father started to pace, his thoughts grim, and scenarios started to form in his mind. He wanted information, intel on the enemy. He wanted to know just how many of us VI had taken. He shook his head when one plan seemed to be too dangerous.
“No, it’s not. We could do it,” I answered him, and when he spun to face me with a curious expression, I gestured to the people in the room. “Look at who’s sitting here, Dad. Seriously. You have every weapon and talent at your fingertips. You think Aro wouldn’t think twice about doing the same to us? You’re lying to yourself if you think any different. He’s already seeking out sixxers in plain sight of witnesses and with no concern whatsoever of the consequences. Which may mean he’s got more sixxers or talents working for him. For all we know, he may know where all of us are at any point. Which is how they were tracking Bella, how they located Maggie, and how Alice and I were approached so long ago. And he has zero problem using it to his advantage. You think your plan is dangerous, but eventually, the running will have to stop. We might as well find out exactly who is hunting us and for what reasons.”
“And just how do you suppose we do that?” Carlisle asked, but he already knew the answer.
I looked around the room. Rose, Emmett, Jasper, and Tanya were staring at me. When I met Bella’s worried gaze, I knew exactly what we needed to do. When Alice started nodding, her visions playing out scenario after scenario, I smirked.
“Alice, does it work?” I asked her, and she continued to nod.
“Yes, but you have to be specific as to who goes,” she answered softly, her head tilting a bit as she turned her face my way. “Rose, Tanya, Jasper, Bella…and…you. Anyone else, and it goes badly.”
I looked to Liam, who was a little lost, then to Eleazar, who was simply waiting for us. When I met my dad’s gaze, I said, “If you want information on Volterra, we can get it.”
“How?” he asked, but he already knew the answer and was shaking his head slowly.
Smirking, I squeezed Bella’s hand. “We go into the lion’s den to get it.”


LoLo-50 said...

Holy Shit they are going to VI ,Thank gawd for Alice's visions cause I'd be pissing my pants waiting for the next update.I know to have faith in her.

trbuie said...

Holy shit is right! If I was Bella, I'd be panicking to hell and back right now. I still don't trust that Tanya won't pull some shady shit though.

Cheri said...

I agree with LoLo! Never bet against Alice!

Unknown said...

Well, I have to agree with terbuie, after the angel saga you can't feel shady about Tanya ;-P

Kristi said...

Gutsy move going into the lion's den.
They need more training as a team before they set out to retrieve Maggie.
Will this be the big battle or will this act just be enough to really anger Aro and send the goons after the Cullen family?

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