Disclaimer: Nope, still don't own a thing. :(
A/N: Thanks to every one of you, who has reviewed, favorited, put on alert or simply... read TPL.
Chapter-14: A Light In The Darkness
I feel Edward place a soft kiss on cheek as he surreptitiously wipes away a tear drop from my cheek. I cannot make my lips move to thank him though. I only squeeze his hand tighter as we all hear my old friend, Rosalie, tell her story.
"Jasper, they took Leo." Those are the words she manages to say the moment she sees Jasper before bursting into tears.
"Rose, please, tell me what happened. Who took Leo?" The desperation in Jasper's voice makes me realize that whoever this Leo person was, he must be very important to them.
"Who's Leo?" Alice asks from my side.
Emmett, who looks confused by the reunion taking place before us, replies, "Leo is Rosie's son. Do you guys know Rosie?"
I nod in response. "Yeah, we used to be friends in high school, but lost contact with time," I say for both Emmett's and Edward's benefit. "Rose is Jasper's twin sister."
Emmett sighs and walks back to Rosalie. He places a hand on her head and says in a gentle manner, "Rosie, they are all your friends. You need to tell them about Leo. They can help."
His words make Rosalie take a heaving breath as she starts to speak. "I don't know what they were, but I know that they took my baby boy. I saw it with my own eyes."
She looks at Jasper and continues, "It was the day after you left, Jazz. I was out in the backyard, reading a book with Leo strapped in his stroller beside me. He was such a happy baby!"
The memories of her son make her let out another sob, and I walk up to her, hoping to be able to calm her down enough to get the truth.
Placing a hand on her shoulder, I say, "Rose, hey, tell me who took your kid and we will get him back."
"Bella?" she asks as she looks at my face closely, and when I nod, she throws her arms around me.
"Shh … tell me, Rose," I implore her again.
Slowly, she calms down enough to tell us her story. "I was about to take Leo inside to feed him when I heard a noise behind me. At first, I thought it was the neighbor's dog, trying to get into our house. However, when I turned around to look at it, I found a dark figure standing there."
"What did it look like?" Edward's question makes us all look at him.
"Like a demon," Rosalie replies in a disgusted voice. "There was some kind of tentacles coming out of its head and its eyes …"
"What about the eyes?"
"They were red … like it was a vampire or something. I don't know …" She stops and shakes her head, as if trying to clear the horrible vision from her mind.
Softly, I ask her, "What happened then, Rose?"
"I … I don't know what made me do it—basic instinct, I suppose—but the moment I saw that figure in there, I unstrapped my baby and tried to scoop him up in my arms. But before I could do so, I felt someone stand before me. I looked up and saw another figure standing in front of me, looking directly at my son."
She stops to take a breath and then says, "Before I knew what was happening, I was surrounded by five figures like that. They were all looking at Leo. I tried to grab him and make a run for the house, but the first figure raised its hand at me and I felt jolts of electricity go through my body."
She lets out a sob and covers her face with her hands. Immediately, Emmett rushes in to wrap his arms around her and starts whispering soft words to calm her down.
Jasper looks pleadingly at the man rocking his sister in his arms and asks in a hoarse voice, "Do you know what happened to my nephew?"
Emmett nods sadly. "Yeah. Those things made her lose her consciousness and took her kid right from her arms before taking off."
"Shit!" The sound of the curse makes us all look up, and we freeze. Because there, standing behind us all, is the man who tried to stop Jasper from bringing us here—a guy he had introduced as Seth Clearwater.
We all stand there holding our breaths, hoping against hope that the guy didn't hear anything as he walks up to us.
He looks at Jasper and says, "Captain, I'm sorry. I came here thinking that you were harboring fugitives or something, but looks like you are doing the right thing."
When we all simply look at him in confusion, he gives Jasper a short salute. "I heard your sister's story, Sir. Officer Clearwater reporting for duty, Captain."
Finally Jasper cracks a smile and reaches out to shake hands with him. "Thank you, Seth. It's good to have you here, man."
Seth nods and then looks at Emmett. "Sorry I locked you up in here. I should have listened to what you were trying to say to me that day."
Emmett glares at him and says dryly, "Yeah, you should have. Too bad you didn't."
"Well, we all want to hear what you want to say, Emmett," Edward tells the angry man, patting him on the back. "We really want to help you … all of you."
"The figure I saw was just like the one Rosie described," Emmett starts. "I was about to be killed by a student I busted for selling weed that day. He—Paul, my student—confronted me when I returned home from my afternoon jog. I think he was going to kill me when the figure appeared behind him."
"Did it take Paul like it did with Leo?" Edward asks.
"No," Emmett replies. "What it did to Paul was just horrible. One minute Paul was there, waving a gun in my face and the next minute, a creature had crawled out of its head and jumped on Paul. It … it tore into his neck and got inside his body."
I gasp at that and then ask, "Then?"
"Then what? You think I waited around for it to get me?" Emmett says. "I ran like a bat out of hell and landed on this charming little place."
As we all listen intently to Emmett's recounting of the event, I notice the other people gather around us. They all look like they want to share their stories with us.
When Emmett stops talking, several of them try to talk. Edward holds up a hand and says in a loud voice, "Guys, calm down. Let me introduce ourselves to you and we'll listen to all of you, all right?"
As the murmurs die down, he holds his hand out to me, and I take it instinctively. He tugs on my hand and makes me stand beside him. Then he wraps an arm around my waist and addresses the crowd.
"I am Edward Cullen, a scientist working on extraterrestrial communication. This beautiful woman beside me is Isabella Swan, a journalist. The other girl is a photo journalist, Alice Brandon, and these two gentlemen," he stops and gestures toward Jasper and Seth. "They are members of the U.S. Marine Corp. We all believe that you're all being wrongly held here and we want to help you."
"Thank you for believing we are not crazy," a girl says as she steps through the crowd. "I'm Jessica Stanley. I run the local animal shelter."
"Nice to meet you, Jessica," I say with a smile. "Will you tell us what happened to you?"
She shrugs. "Pretty much what happened to most of us here. I had a boyfriend who was cheating behind my back. I found out about it and tried to confront him. He was having an affair with a coworker and since workplace relationships are prohibited in his organization, he tried to scare me into silence with a knife. The figure came and electrocuted him before doing the same it did with Emmett's student."
"It crawled inside your boyfriend as well?" I ask in shock.
"Yeah. He was a creeper, and then a creeper got inside him. That's circle of life, don't you think?" Her nonchalant words make me wonder if she is still in shock from watching that happen or not.
I feel Edward look closely at Jessica as he asks, "Did you also ran like Emmett? How did you escape?"
"I didn't," she says. "I sort of stood there with my mouth hanging open and the thing just turned around and left … with Percy in its tow."
Edward's eyes widen at her words. "Wait, your boyfriend went with the thing?"
"I dunno really," she grimaces. "I think Percy, my ex-boyfriend died after the thing tore through his neck. I saw him fall down on the street and scream in agony for what felt like hours. Then suddenly, he quieted down and stood up. When I looked at him, I saw his eyes flash bright red just like the other one's. His head was starting to swell and he just drunkenly walked toward the way the first creature had walked off to."
"He joined the first creature," Edward mutters softly before looking around. "Did the attacks you all see happen in the same way?" he asks the rest of the crowd.
"Well, no. Not every one of us had boyfriends you know," a guy says with an eye roll.
"No, no," Edward says, shaking his head. "What I'm asking is if all the people you saw being attacked were taken toward the attacker."
Murmurs of affirmatives come from the people around us, and when I look at Edward, I see him rake a hand through his hair.
"Hey," I say, taking his free hand in mine. "What is it, baby?"
He lets out a harsh breath and says, "They're alien hosting."
Emmett's words make us both turn and look at the confused expression on his face.
"The process of taking over the bodies of the habitants of a planet after killing them," Edward explains. "It's called Alien Hosting. And if this continues in this rate, they might as well take over our earth after some time."
"Hold on!" Alice says from behind us. "Don't you all see a pattern here?"
She waits for any one of us to answer her and when no one does, she continues, "These aliens are only taking control of bodies of the criminal types. Laurent Grissom, James Maddison, Emmett's student, Percy-what's-his-face … they all have one thing in common—they were all bad guys. Maybe these things are only going for the criminals."
"Then why did they take my Leo?" Rosalie snaps at Alice. "Are you trying to imply my three months old baby boy was devil reincarnated, Alice?"
Alice flushes bright red and quickly tries to soothe Rosalie. "No, Rose, of course not. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking …" She hugs Rosalie cautiously and lets our old friend cry on her shoulder.
As I stand beside Edward and look in on the scene before us, I feel my heart breaking for Rosalie. After her husband's death, she was about to lose her only child as well.
"She has got a point, you know?" Edward whispers to me.
"What?" I ask, scrunching up my eyebrows in confusion.
"Alice. She's right. All the bad guys they took, they killed them before taking, but the baby—they didn't kill him. They just kidnapped him."
"Why do you think that is?"
He looks in my eyes and says in a troubled voice, "I don't know, baby. I don't know."
As I lie there, in the uncomfortable as hell hospital bed, I feel how my life is changing. If someone told me a few weeks ago that I would be here, waiting for dawn to get into the fight for the survival of earth, I would have laughed my ass off at them. But today, that is exactly what I was doing.
A soft creaking sound makes me look away from the window where I could see a sliver of the night sky, and I see the door slowly open to the hospital cabin I was trying to get some sleep in.
"Edward?" I hear my Bella's sweet voice ask from the doorway.
Lifting my head, I look at her. "Hey, baby, can't sleep?"
She shakes her head and walks into the room before closing the door softly behind her. "Alice dozed off the minute her head touched the pillow, and I just … I wanted to be with you."
Her words make me smile, and I hold out a hand to her. "Come here, beautiful girl."
She smiles back at me as she walks up to me, and when I hold the end of the blanket up, she slides into the bed beside me. "Sorry this bed is uncomfortable at a stiff board," I tell her.
"What are you talking about? I love this bed and my personal pillow," she says back as she lays her head on my chest.
Wrapping my arm around her, I run my hand up and down her back. She lets out a soft humming sound and lifts her head to find my lips with hers.
At first, I kiss her softly, adoringly, but the moment she licks my lip, I give in to the urge I always feel around her and kiss her passionately, bringing her closer to me.
"Edward," she whimpers against my mouth.
My gasping response makes her pull her head back just a little and look right into my eyes. "I wanted to do this after all this fucked up situation got straightened up, but seeing Rose like that today made me realize that I need to take the moment instead of waiting for it to come to me."
I bring one hand up to run it along her cheekbone and ask, "What are you talking about, Bella?"
Taking a deep breath, she weaves her fingers in my hair and asks me, "Edward, I know what we've been through this few days has been hell, but it's also the most alive I've felt in a long time. I would have chalked it up to the adrenaline junkie in me, but I can't. Because, I feel it in my heart that it's all because of you. You're the one who has made me feel like this. So …"
She stops, making my heart stop in the process. And then she continues, making my heart swell with a feeling I had yet to name … for her. "Edward Cullen, will you be my boyfriend?"
I stay completely still for a moment before swooping in and kissing her hard. "I'll take that as a yes, then," she whispers against my mouth.
"So, I'm your exclusive boyfriend now?" I ask cheekily.
"Yep, all mine," she says with a grin as she moves to sit up and straddle me.
I watch in awe as she whips up her blue T-shirt over her head and drops it on the ground. As she leans down to take off my shirt, I cannot help but sit up a little and take one of her nipples in my mouth.
"Fuck, baby! That feels good," she hisses as she somehow gets my shirt off of me. Knowing what we both needed, I sit up completely and help her with getting our pants off. When we're both open to each other, I slide back down to lie on my back and watch her as she rubs herself on me.
This time, I groan when I feel just how wet she is for me. Dragging my hands over her thighs, I move them toward her breasts and cup one in each hand. As I run my thumbs over her already hardened nipples, she arches her back, leaning into my touch even more.
When I cannot stand being apart from her anymore, I glide my hand downs her back and rest them on the either sides of her hips.
She must either see the hazy look on my face or realize that I am about to blow my load without even getting inside her. Whatever the reason, she moves before lowering herself on me slowly, allowing me to savor the feeling of being with her.
As she starts to move, I move with her—creating a rhythm that is purely us. When I reach down and touch where we're connected, she kisses me hard, trying to drown out her screams as passion takes over her.
I try to silence my own groan of release in her hair as I join her. When I can breathe again, I tell her, "When all this shit is over, I'm gonna love you so good that you won't be able to silence your sounds of pleasure, baby."
She gives me a bright smile and kisses me once again. "Who says I'll want to be silent when I am finally alone with my man?"
I grin in the darkness because I like her words … a lot. If being her man is what I am going to get after fighting off the aliens, I looked forward to it.
"I'll just have to save the world to get alone time with my girl then," I tell her with a wink, making her giggle.
Around 3 a.m. I hear a soft buzzing sound come from the table beside the bed where Bella had left her cell phone. I check to see if she is still sleeping and then carefully, answer the call.
"Are you done with the thermodynamics?" The irritated voice from the other side of the phone makes the tops of my ears heat up.
I quickly try to cover Bella as much as I can with the bed sheets and then answer, "Yeah. Why? Were you spying on us again?"
"No. I know a lot more about thermodynamics than you do. No offense," he says in a bored voice.
I roll my eyes at his bragging and reply, "Good for you."
"I thought I would give you a head's up. Jacob Black is about to make a move … a big one. And this might be the chance for you to get the upper hand," he says quickly. "And you need to look out for Bella."
"What? Why?" I ask, panic gripping me at the thought of Bella being in any kind of danger.
"It will be an emotionally challenging day for her and for all of you really."
"What can I do to help her?" I ask again.
"Just be the man who you are. She needs the support you provide her more than she knows it." Before I can say anything else, he continues, "I will contact you tomorrow." And then in true Carlisle, the friendly E.T., fashion he hangs up.
As I lay back down, Bella snuggles into my arms, letting out a humming sound when I hug her to my chest. And in that moment, I realize that no matter what I had to face, I will do anything to protect the woman in my arms because she is everything I need.
I slam down the bottle of whiskey on the table in front of me and turn to look at the asshat I call my right-hand man.
"What did you just say, Brody?"
Brody, the asshat, gulps and mumbles, "We lost Cullen and Swan. I sent out search parties for them but we couldn't find them."
Letting out a breath, I try to calm myself down. "How long has it been since they made a run for it?"
He looks down at his feet and replies, "About two days now, boss."
"Did you find any unusual news in any of the media?" I ask.
"No, sir," he reports quickly. "I have my guys watching every news channel and newspaper and even online news blogs. So far nothing."
I nod as I take another swig of the alcohol, feeling it burn my throat as it goes. "We don't need to worry about the newspapers. I have people there. And if the other medias are silent as well, it means Cullen and his girl is in hiding."
"We can keep the search going …"
"No," I say and stop him with a wave of my hand. "Cullen always was a pussy. We'll make our move tomorrow. He and that bitch he has with him won't be able to do jack after tomorrow night. That is, if they survive at all …"
Taking a long pull from my drink, I reach for my cell phone. I have some call to make.
A/N: Who wants to kick Jerkob's ass with me?
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The song rec for this chapter is Riptide by Vance Joy. I felt it spoke of Edward's feelings quite well. :D
Thanks for reading.
Watch out for another new story from me—my first period fic—and one more Over The Counter Outtake in the coming week. ;)