Sunday, October 2, 2016 | By: Drotuno

Six - Chapter 13

Six – Chapter 13
BELLA
Alaska
For a moment after Edward’s declaration, there was silence. Then it seemed like I was bombarded left and right with reactions. It was hard to distinguish one voice from another when they all began speaking at once. I could hear shock, support, anger, worry, and outright fear. I couldn’t imagine what Edward was hearing in his head. He winced and closed his eyes, rubbing his temple.
I reached over and touched his cheek. “You okay?”
He nodded, even as he winced again. “Everyone’s thoughts are a bit overwhelming at the moment.”
Frowning, I turned back to the room. Putting up two fingers to my mouth, I blew out a sharp, shrill whistle, bringing the noise to a standstill.
Edward released a slow breath, and I could almost feel the tension drain out of him.



Emmett was looking at me proudly, nodding his head once when I shrugged.
“Sorry,” I muttered when Tanya put a hand to her ear.
“Sorry, son,” Carlisle said quietly.
Shrugging, Edward said, “Let me explain further.”
When no one said anything, he continued.
“If we send Emmett and Rose to Seattle, they can scope out the area around VI and the employees and their routines. We need Rose to identify a male employee who she can later mimic – preferably someone in security. Later on, Tanya can keep that man occupied while Rose walks right in. She can get Jasper inside, and the two of them can scope out the inside – get us more info on locations, people… Whatever they can find.”
It was a good plan, and I could see from their expressions that everyone else felt the same.
“No more than forty-eight hours,” Carlisle said firmly. “I know they need at least a couple of shifts to see any sort of routine, but if they don’t learn something by then, they can come home and we can regroup.”
Edward nodded. “Bella can open a window for them somewhere hidden near VI, and we can set a time for them to be back in that spot.”
“They’ll have their emergency cell phones, too,” Esme said softly. “If they run into trouble or finish early, they can – they will,” she emphasized firmly, “call.”
Emmett and Rose nodded.
Carlisle looked at Eleazar, who nodded reluctantly. “Okay, then,” Carlisle said finally. “Give us half an hour and then meet back here.”
~oOo~
Thirty minutes later, everyone was gathered back in the living room. Carmen had printed off a map of Seattle, including images of the buildings, which were now tacked up to the wall. Eleazar stood near the map, pointing up at a spot near the middle.
“Bella, you said you’ve been to Safeco Field?”
Gripping Edward’s hand, I spoke quietly. “Yes. My mother’s boyfriend took us to a couple of games there right after they started dating.”
“So you could jump the others in there,” he concluded with a nod. “From the map, that looks like it’s about ten blocks from Volterra. Close enough to get to quickly but not close enough to jump in right in their faces.”
“What about places to hide and watch?” Emmett asked from beside Rose. “They know what Rosie and I look like – not that it’ll matter for her,” he said with a soft smile her way, “but it means I can’t be seen.”
“There’s a warehouse across the road from the entrance here.” Eleazar pointed to spot on the map across from the circled building that we knew to be Volterra Industries. “From what I could uncover, it’s not currently in use. There’s a sign up with a Realtor’s name and number on it out front. You should be able to hide behind it or even in it if there’s no security, which there very well might not be.”
Emmett nodded. “Then that’s where I can wait while Rose scouts out Volterra and where we can crash at night.”
“Yes,” Eleazar agreed. “VI is completely fenced in, as you can see from the photos, and according to the things I found online, it has CCTV surveillance and round-the-clock security. Rose, you can go back and forth in front of the place as many times as you want by switching forms. That would be good in order to verify the security and camera placement outside the building.”
“I can also get in,” she said quickly. “I don’t mean to do a lot of looking around, but if I change to a mouse or whatever, I can find a way into the building and check out the security setup right inside the front door.”
Eleazar hummed thoughtfully and looked at Carlisle, who nodded and said, “But only if you can safely do it. Don’t risk yourself at this point. Your jobs this trip will be to learn what you can so we can then go with that knowledge.”
She nodded.
“From the floor plans we found, it looks like there’s a warehouse setup on one end of the building and an office area on the other.” Eleazar scoffed. “Of course, I highly doubt they’re holding the sixxers in either of those areas. They won’t be someplace easily accessed by the general public or even most of the people who work there.”
“As far as the public knows,” Carlisle interrupted, “Volterra Industries is an umbrella company with its fingers in a lot of different pies. They have known labs inside the building that are doing genetic research, and I’ve heard rumors of bio-weapons research, which would be helpful if Aro is indeed doing what we expect with sixxers.”
“Right,” Eleazar agreed. “So, once Rose has figured out a good security guard to target, get back here so we can plan our infiltration.”
It didn’t take long for the family to get Rose and Emmett ready to go. Emmett was carrying a bag with a blanket, flashlight, binoculars, and whatever else Esme had deemed were the essentials. Both held up their emergency cell phones to show Carlisle they had them.
Carmen stepped up to Emmett and handed him a small stack of bills. “Take this cash. You can’t use your bank card, obviously, and you’ll need to eat while you’re there.”
Emmett and Rose thanked her, and then she moved away, letting Esme go up in her place.
Esme had a few quiet words with them, and when they nodded, she leaned in and gave them each a hug and kiss on the cheek, telling them fiercely, “Be so, so careful.”
“We will,” Rose assured her, taking Emmett’s hand.
“Ready?” I asked, looking to them once everyone had said their good-byes and good lucks. When they nodded, I thought back to the games I’d been to with Phil and my mom. I’d had to use the bathroom a few times, and I figured that would be as good as place as any to jump them. Opening a window, I took a quick look and made sure it was empty before gesturing to them. “Woman’s bathroom closest to the entrance. Go while it’s empty.”
With a wave, they stepped through, and I let the window close behind them.
~oOo~
“Pretty girl, come sit,” Edward said, reaching out a hand for me as I passed him. “You’re making me nervous.”
“I know,” I said with a sigh. “I’m sorry. I’m just worried.”
It had been almost twenty-four hours since Rose and Emmett jumped to Seattle. We hadn’t heard from them yet, although we hadn’t expected to, but still, I was getting antsy. For the last few minutes, I’d been pacing back and forth in the living room of the small cabin I shared with Edward.
I took Edward’s hand and let him pull me down to his lap.
He ran his hand up and down my back in a soothing gesture. “We all are. But they’re smart and will stay safe. We have to trust in that.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything, unable not to fidget.
“Want to go for a walk or something?” he suggested. “Burn off some of that nervous energy?”
I started to nod, but then a different choice popped into my head, something I’d been thinking about for a few days. “Can we go… I mean, if you want to…”
He raised an eyebrow but waited patiently for me get out what I wanted, even though I knew he could hear it in my mind.
“Can we go visit my dad?”
Edward’s eyes softened and he reached up to rub his thumb down my cheek. “Would you like that?”
“Yeah,” I quickly answered. “Visiting him gives me…peace.” I shrugged. “I know it’s weird. I mean, it isn’t like he’s there, really. It just—”
“Hey, hey… It isn’t weird, Bella. It’s perfectly normal. If that’s what you want to do, we can do that.”
When I nodded, he smiled and gently pushed at my hip to get me to slide to my feet. Then he stood and took my hand again. “C’mon. Jump us to the big house so we can let the others know we’re leaving.”
Carmen and Esme were the only two in the living room when we appeared, and after a brief look of surprise, they smiled warmly.
“Hi, kids,” Esme said in a sweet voice. “If you’re hungry, we made some snack mix earlier. It’s on the counter.”
“No, thanks,” Edward told her. “Bella wants to go visit her dad, so we just wanted to let you know where we’d be. We have our phones.”
Carmen frowned. “Is Forks safe to be?”
Shrugging, Edward tapped his temple. “I’ll hear them, and we’ll keep our eyes open.”
Carmen nodded, but Esme still looked worried.
“Okay, but don’t stay gone too long,” Esme said firmly. “Two of my children are already off without me. I don’t want two more gone for long right now.”
Her expression and sweet words were going to make me cry if I wasn’t careful. For Esme to include me as one of her children was a comfort that I so desperately needed at the moment.
Would she be okay if I gave her a hug? I asked Edward in my head.
His thought was pushed quickly back at me as he smiled. Oh, pretty girl. I think you’d make her day.
I dropped his hand and moved to her, quickly sliding my arms around her when she stood. “Thank you,” I whispered against her shoulder when she hugged me back.
Cupping my face, she shook her head. “No need for thanks, sweetheart. You became my child the moment you stepped through our door looking for help.” Glaring over at Edward, she repeated, “Not too long. And be careful.”
He chuckled and reached out a hand for mine. “We will.”
I opened a window to the hidden corner of the cemetery, and then we stepped through, leaving Alaska behind.
Instantly, we were surrounded by green. I loved jumping to this spot precisely because of that. The trees formed a gap just large enough for the two of us, and unless you knew it was there, you couldn’t see it.
Edward immediately held a finger to his lips in a gesture to stay quiet. I didn’t hear anything, and after a minute, I assumed he didn’t either, because he smiled. “It’s clear,” he agreed, tapping his temple.
I carefully led the way out of the trees and to my father’s grave, taking a moment to brush off the headstone before sitting in my customary spot. When Edward looked at the ground beside me, I nodded.
Once he was settled, I took his hand and then spoke quietly. “Dad, this is Edward. Remember, I told you about him? He’s…important to me. He and his family have been great. They’ve helped keep me safe, but more importantly, they’ve made me feel like part of the family.”
“You are,” Edward said quietly. Then, looking at the headstone, he continued, “Mr. Swan, I promise I’ll do everything I can to make it so Bella never has to run again.”
A breeze rustled the leaves of the trees, and I couldn’t help but smile.
After a moment, I swallowed hard. “Mr. Jackson… Volterra killed him, Daddy. They were trying to find me, and he protected me. Even when they were hurting him, he didn’t tell them where I was. And then they beat him until his heart gave out.”
Edward reached over and swiped a tear away that I hadn’t even realized had fallen. I squeezed his hand in thanks before continuing.
“And now, Daddy, they’ve taken a little girl. She’s only eleven! Not even a teenager, for God’s sake. She’s got an amazing talent, but that didn’t give them the right to take her from her father. So…we’re going to get her back. It’s dangerous, and scary, and I don’t know if it’ll work, but we have to try. We can’t just leave her there in that place.”
I bit my lip, worrying it between my teeth for a minute. “Daddy, look in on her if you can. Help her realize she’s not alone and that we’re coming for her.”
At that, I was quiet, leaning against Edward’s shoulder for support as I watched birds flit from tree to tree and listened to the chirps and other sounds of the small animals in the woods surrounding the cemetery.
After a while, Edward kissed my temple. “We’d better go, Bella. I don’t want to push our luck and have someone spot us.”
I nodded. “Yeah, okay.”
He stood and gave me a hand up.
Reaching out, I touched the headstone once more. “Love you, Daddy.”
With a quick glance around, I opened a window to the cabin in Alaska, and then Edward and I jumped.
~ooo~Six~ooo~
EDWARD
Stepping back into our cabin, I pulled my phone out just to let Esme know we were home safe. She thanked me, telling me there was still no word from Rose or Emmett.
Bella and I hadn’t stayed in Forks long, but the peace that washed over her from going to her father’s gravesite was a complete change. Tears or not, her thoughts were calmer, easier, if not a bit sad. She would’ve loved to have introduced me to Charlie Swan – the easygoing police officer that she remembered in her mind. Her memories of his perfect acceptance of her sixth sense made me respect the man I’d never meet. Bella thought he’d have found my talent fascinating.
Grinning at that thought, I knelt in front of her as she took a seat on the sofa. “You okay?” I asked her, cupping her face and wiping away the rest of the moisture left by her tears. “Feel better?”
She nodded, smiling a little and leaning in to kiss my lips briefly. “Yes, much better. Thank you.”
We both glanced at the clock. We still had to wait. Despite the late hour, I doubted sleep would be something to come right away. Bella’s thoughts were on Emmett, having to be patient as Rose did what she needed to do. She liked my largest brother; his calm, quiet nature, his instant acceptance of her, and his happy smile were what endeared him to her. But it was his gentleness despite his physical strength that mesmerized her. Dichotomy was the word she used to describe him. She was worried about Rose as well, but the others in my family were all on her mind. She liked Jasper, thinking he was silly and sweet, fun-loving, even though he’d been in the same homeless situation as she’d been. Alice was the friendship she’d been denied for so long. I got the impression Bella had been a fairly popular girl before her father was killed in the line of duty, and then her life crumbled beneath her.
Family.
It was a simple thought. That one word echoed in her mind, and I nodded. “Yeah, real family, pretty girl. I meant what I said to your dad. You are family. You are a part of this…this whole thing. I learned a long time ago that family means more than just blood related. I told you, Bella, things have a way of circling around.”
Bella’s nose wrinkled adorably, and I couldn’t help but smile her way, even though her thoughts had turned to the not-so-great parents we all seemed to have in common. She worried about her mother, and the need to check on her was daily, but she also knew her mother had made her choice. And that fucking hurt.
Studying her beautiful face, I braced myself. I needed to do this, but I’d been procrastinating like a damn pro. Placing my hands on either side of her sweet face, I brought her forehead to my lips.
“I think it’s time to meet the Masens, Bella.” My voice was filled with dry, ugly sarcasm, and she laughed a little but shook her head.
“You don’t—”
“No, I do,” I countered before she could finish that sentence. “We don’t need to go anywhere for you to see them.”
Her brow wrinkled in confusion as I stood up and walked to the nightstand where my laptop was.
I brought it back to the coffee table, setting it down. “Hell, I don’t even think I need to go online.”
I sat down next to her, opening the computer. A few clicks, and a file folder opened up. Shaking my head, I turned the screen her way. “Meet Edward and Elizabeth Masen Sr.”
I watched her assessment of my birth parents through her thoughts. The very first thing that caught her attention was the fact that I was giving her their police records and mug shots, not a family photo. I didn’t have any fucking family pictures. I rolled my eyes at that fact but focused back on Bella.
“You have your mom’s eyes…and hair color.”
Chuckling, I nodded. “I do. And my dad’s nose, I suppose.” I shrugged a shoulder. “They figured out when I was two that I was answering their thoughts, not their verbal questions. By three, I was opening the cabinets in the kitchen with my mind to take what I wanted – candy, cereal, snacks, whatever. My mother’s parents thought it was something from the devil.”
Bella’s eyes narrowed dangerously for a moment. “You’re joking.”
“No, pretty girl.” I shook my head. “My dad, however, thought it was funny at first and then later, very, very useful.” I smiled ruefully, kissing Bella’s temple before opening another file. “I didn’t exactly come from the best part of town. It was a rough neighborhood. My dad changed jobs all the damn time – construction. My mother was a waitress. Money was a constant struggle, resulting in loud fights. My dad liked to drink, so that just made shit worse.”
I sighed deeply. “They tried to keep my talent a secret. Though occasionally, I’d pitch a fit about something and inevitably break some shit.” I smirked Bella’s way when she laughed softly, but she was waiting patiently for me to show her what I’d pulled up on the computer. “My dad started to test me, push my abilities to see just how far I could go – opening locks and doors, taking someone’s wallet without them knowing, and pushing a distracting thought to the guy at the grocery store so Dad could shoplift whatever he could fit in his pockets. By the time I was ten, my mother had joined in on it, because…you know…money.” I smiled sadly and shook my head again. “And we were pulling off bigger jobs – robbery, car theft, check fraud.”
I turned the computer toward Bella again to show her newspaper clippings of unsolved crimes.
“These are just some of the things they made me do. I have no idea if they ever pinned any of this shit on them, but still…” I let her scroll through the headlines. I didn’t need to read them; I had them memorized. I never wanted to go back to that shit again.
The crimes ran the gamut. Stolen cars, which were sold to the thugs who chopped the damn things up. ATM cards bled dry. Store robbery, purse snatchings, bank hold-ups – all of it was there. All of it had been accomplished by my dad’s planning and my talents. I could open locks, doors, windows. I could yank a purse from an old woman and set it right into my father’s awaiting hands. I could hear when the grocery store clerk was reaching for a gun or a phone or a panic button. And then…I could push the entire event out of the victims’ minds like it never even happened.
I didn’t look, but I waited until Bella had just about finished flipping through the clippings. The very last article was the last job, the one that had put my parents in prison and me in the mental hospital until Carlisle came to find me. Her gasp made me smile a little, but it wasn’t in humor. Glancing over her way, I could see her shock at the headline.
ATTEMPTED BANK ROBBERY FOILED BY FAULTY GAS LEAK EXPLOSION
“I was eleven,” I started softly. “The plan was tight – perfect, really. But I was done. Just so fucking done, Bella.” My nostrils flared in anger, and the cabin shook a little as my talent vibrated around me.
Bella set the computer down onto the coffee table, cupping my face. Eye to eye, she whispered, “You tell me. I’d rather hear what happened from you.”
Nodding, I sat back on the sofa and brought Bella to my lap. My brow wrinkled as I tried to find the words, but I couldn’t. Instead, I opened my mind to hers.
“Maybe I should just show you.”
~oOo~
Chicago, Illinois – Ten years ago
“Everybody, get down on the ground, keep your hands where I can see ’em!”
I stepped out from behind my father, my mind filled with a cacophony of noisy, fear-filled thoughts. My temples throbbed, but they’d been throbbing for days. This whole plan was annoying and tiresome. We’d been hiding out at different hotels for almost a year. I barely saw my friends at school, and my parents had become obsessed with more, more, more.
Using my talent, I slammed the security guard against the wall, pulling his radio away. He had no weapon. All the tellers were instructed to back up to the wall behind them. Next, every window at the bank counter, despite its thickness, ripped away and fell to the floor with a crash. Lastly, I yanked the gate leading to the vault clear off its hinges.
The pounding inside my skull was so painful that I could barely see straight. But in spite of all that I was pushing out at the moment to allow my parents to empty cash drawers, one thought caught my attention.
He looks so sad.
My head spun toward the girl on the floor. She looked about my age, but I wasn’t sure. Her eyes were piercing blue, her hair the color of corn silk. She was scared, her thoughts worried that the man with the gun would hurt her or her mother, who was the grownup version of the girl who had caught my attention. The girl’s thoughts were all over the place, but she’d been excited about Christmas shopping until we’d stepped in and ruined it. Her father was sick, and all she wanted was for him to be able to open presents on Christmas morning. No thoughts of toys or clothes or anything material. Just for her dad to be okay. Her memories with him came quicker, faster, from as far back as she could remember. Dancing, laughing, pure happiness – all of it foreign to me.
It finally hit me, though, as I studied her tears, her mind, and the way that her mother had a protective arm around her – that was how family should have been.
I glanced at my mother, who was guarding the door and the tellers. Then I watched as my dad laughed maniacally as he stepped out of the vault area, lugging the duffel bag with him.
I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to steal, didn’t want to take from old ladies who only got a tiny check every month. I didn’t want to take from the deli around the corner, because I liked the funny owner from India; he’d always been kind to me but hated my dad. I wanted my headaches to stop. I wanted to go to school and play sports and watch TV like a normal kid.
When my mother’s mind flickered to what she’d buy with this take, my temper shot out of control. The walls shook. The table that people used to fill out bank slips snaked across the lobby of the bank until it was protecting the few people on the floor. I pushed the radio back to the guard and tugged a teller back to the counter.
“Push it!” I yelled at her. “Push the alarm! Do it!”
She was shocked, but she did as I’d said.
“Eddie!” my mother called out, but I yanked her from her spot in front of the door, pushing her into my father. Once I had both in the vault, I slammed the gate closed.
“I’ll kill you!” Dad snarled, fighting the metal gate that I had now locked right back into place. “You useless piece of shit. Let me out now, you asshole!”
“Useless?!” I grinned at the insult, knowing he’d never have gotten away with half the jobs without me. “Let’s see about that.”
My head throbbed again, so hard that I could feel a nosebleed trickling down my face. Ignoring it, I focused my temper on my father. It was as if a bomb had exploded. The ceiling tiles crumbled and fell, but the table over the people on the floor protected them. The desks, tables, and chairs in the lobby shot back to the wall, cracking the drywall, and every single window pane in the bank shattered.
Turning to the people we’d scared shitless, I yelled, “Run!”
Tellers, patrons, and the guard all scrambled for the door, and I could hear the sirens coming down the street, not to mention the curses coming from my parents, who were still behind the vault gate. Once the innocent people were out of the bank, I sank to my knees, my head throbbing so hard it was making me dizzy.
Once the police stepped inside to see the destruction, they assumed I was innocent.
“Damn, kid. Someone set off a bomb?” one asked me, assessing my bleeding nose.
“No, I did it!” I said, but he smirked, shaking his head. “They made me.” I pointed to my parents, and they sagged in defeat. “I don’t want to do it anymore.”
~oOo~
Denali, Alaska – Present day
Bella’s hands were warm and gentle on my face and through my hair as I came out of that memory. My brow furrowed as I gazed up at her; she looked so worried.
“They didn’t believe me,” I explained in a whisper. “I kept telling them over and over that I’d caused all the damage, but no one believed me.”
“Did you show them?”
“No.” I shook my head, toying with her fingers. “My parents were arrested, and they didn’t even try to deny it. They were caught with every bit of money anyway. They had me evaluated, but because I kept telling everyone I’d pretty much destroyed a bank, they put me in the mental hospital. Delusional, pathological, and sociopath – those were just a few things tossed around about me. My headaches were bad for a while after, and that was their other excuse for putting me there.” Smiling ruefully, I took a deep breath. “I arrived at the hospital the same day as Alice. She’d been tossed around a few foster homes, but because of her blindness and her strange ability to predict shit, they put her in Brookside. Better to put her someplace the doctors could monitor her. Anyway, the second we were in the same waiting room, I knew. I saw her mind, her visions, and our friendship. She knew she’d meet someone with a different ability and we’d keep each other’s secret. And we did.”
“And Carlisle and Esme?”
I kissed her lips softly. “Carlisle was drawn to Brookside because of Alice and me. Alice had fallen when some kids were teasing her, and I got there too late. Carlisle was volunteering in the clinic. He came back later, taking us out of Brookside. Apparently my parents only needed a big enough paycheck to sign over their parental rights. Well, that and a long lecture about their shitty parental morality from Dr. Cullen.”
Bella’s temper was sharp. Her dark eyes were so warm, though, as she trailed her fingers over my eyebrow and along my jawline. “And where are they now?”
“A medium-security federal prison. Pekin FCI in Illinois.” My voice held no emotion for that answer because the Masens had continued down the same path, only they hadn’t done as well without their sixxer son to fix it. “I’m not sure they were out of jail a year after I was adopted before they tried to pull another robbery; only this time, someone got shot. Now they’re doing twenty-five-to-life. Though, there’s always hope for early parole.”
Bella’s mind reeled, and I chuckled a little bit as I answered each quick question that swirled around in that beautiful head of hers.
“No, I never saw them again. No, I don’t want to, and no, I can’t imagine my life without Carlisle and Esme.” Grinning at her sweet giggle, I nodded my head at her last question. “Yeah, pretty girl. That’s exactly what I meant when I told you I couldn’t judge you for doing whatever it took to survive.” I cupped either side of her face, bringing her lips to mine. “God, you were so scared and hungry and…and…I knew that feeling firsthand. I couldn’t get you out of my head. You were so beautiful and embarrassed, and I wanted to tell you that I understood it, but… Poof! You were gone.” I laughed at her silly grin, but my smile fell quickly, my mind still open to hers.
And then I realized in order to keep you, you had to want to stay.
Tears welled up in her eyes, and she shook her head. “I’m not going anywhere.”
She was too much – too beautiful, too warm, and way too close – for me to resist kissing her. We were tired, and we’d ridden an emotional rollercoaster all damn day. So when I sat up, our lips met hungrily. It was instant fire and heat and want. My hand slipped into her hair to hold her head where I wanted her, and her thoughts urged more – more kissing, more touching, just…more.
Rolling us, I found myself between two gloriously strong legs, with chocolate locks spread out on the pillow I slept on. It would be so easy to lose myself in her. Falling for her had been so simple and instant. Gazing down at her, I opened my mind, letting her see she was safe with me, that I’d do my damnedest to protect her, and holy shit, how amazing she felt beneath me.
Her eyes darkened, and her hands slipped into my hair and underneath the back of my shirt to pull me in. We were still dressed from having jumped to Forks, but I wasn’t sure my jeans could contain just how fucking hard I was for her. Everything connected – hips, lips, and tongues.
Bella’s talent and mine started to shift. The electricity that Bella’s windows usually carried crawled across my skin and down my back, making the hairs on my arms and neck prickle. My own talents wobbled under my control. The coffee table shook, a picture fell from the wall, and the sound of ringing met my ears. We were working ourselves up into a frenzy that I wasn’t sure wouldn’t completely level that cabin.
Breaking from her sweet lips, I kissed along her cheek and down to her neck. Her imagination of what could be made me moan aloud. It was things I’d been fantasizing about since the damned beginning.
“You’re killin’ me, pretty girl,” I breathed against her skin. “You have no idea. I want all that…and then some.”
“Okay,” she retorted breathlessly, which made me grin against that sweet spot just below her ear before I opened my mouth to taste that amazing patch of soft skin.
I was pretty certain I could suggest anything at that point and she’d be willing. Pushing up, I braced a hand by her head, cupping her cheek with the other. Studying both her face and her mind, I sighed deeply at the truth. It wasn’t the right time, and nothing drove that point home more than the sound of the phone ringing on the coffee table.
Both of us jumped, and my forehead fell to her shoulder for a moment. I willed my dick to cooperate, to settle the hell down, because I needed to focus.
“Edward…”
“I know, I know…” I let out a groan, pushing away from her, and we both sat up as I grabbed the phone.
“Yeah,” I answered.
“Bring us home. Now!” Emmett yelled over the line. “We’re back at the baseball stadium.”
“Got it.” I turned to Bella. “Emmett’s ready.”
Bella stood up from the sofa, focusing on the front door of the cabin, and a window opened soundlessly. Emmett stood in the restroom of the baseball stadium, holding Rose in his arms bridal style. He stepped through the window quickly and set her down on the sofa.
“She’s okay. Just exhausted. But…she found a way in. We need Dad,” Emmett rattled off, looking to Bella. “Rose found the kid – Maggie – and a shit-ton of other sixxers. She kept switching forms until she made her way down to the basement.” With wide eyes, he looked back to me as Bella opened a window to the main house, calling for everyone. “She said… Rosie said… That whole place is full of us…hooked up to machines.”
Big brother, I heard Rose’s mind, and I knelt beside her. We have to stop them. I saw…everything – schedules, security, and an airplane hangar-sized room full of sixxers. They’re being drained for whatever they’re using our blood for… Edward, we have to stop them!
I could see that Rose had changed forms so many times that she’d worn herself out. I saw her point of view as a squirrel, rat, spider, and even a fly at one point. She kept switching until she could get down below, even riding in on someone’s clothes. But her memories were splotchy due to her exhaustion.
“Rest, Rose. We can’t do anything until you have your strength back.”
I stood up to face everyone stepping in through Bella’s window. I met my dad’s gaze and then Liam’s worried expression.
“Rose found Maggie. When she’s rested, we’re going in.”

1 comments:

Kristi said...

Rose is a major factor in this reconnaissance mission. Good thing she found ways to stay incognito.
Wondering how they will recover all the Sixxers that are being tortured for their gifts?

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