Summary: After her parents are murdered, Bella and her brothers flee to the protection of their Godfather. When Bella discovers information that puts her life at risk, her only choice is to marry a man that she hates. Edward is a hard man, one that wants nothing to do with his reluctant bride. Can this pair ever learn to love each other...before their enemies destroy them?
AN: Special thanks to my beta, toocute24.
AN: Yes, you're seeing correctly. I have decided to put ALL of my stories back on FFN. I'll apologize now for the overflow in your inbox.
Disclaimer: As always, I own nothing but the plot.
Left Without a Choice
Growing up, I was always Daddy's little girl. I wasn't spoiled, but my father did dote on me. I think he was trying to make up for the fact that he worked so much and was hardly around. He was an accountant for important people.
My godfather was one of those important people. I wasn't sure who or what he did, but I knew that Carlisle Cullen was not a man to be crossed. Whenever we visited New York, we stayed with his family. I used to play with his daughter, but that had been a long time ago. My brothers now worked for Carlisle, doing what, I had no idea.
My brothers grew up differently from me. Jasper and Peter were five years older and were always protecting me from the imaginary monsters—and the not so imaginary. I never understood why I would need any kind of protection until four months before I graduated high school.
Upon walking into the house, I ran straight for the mail that Sue, our housekeeper, always piled up next to the telephone. I sifted through it until I came to the envelope I had been hoping for—NYU. I let out a squeal when I felt the thickness, immediately ripping into it.
Dear Miss Swan,
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to New York University. Enclosed, you will find all the information necessary for your partial academic scholarship.
"MOM! DADDY!" I shouted as I ran from the kitchen, the letter gripped tightly in my hand.
I ran down the hall and toward my father's office, but stopped when I came upon them. The letter in my hand fluttered to the floor, landing in the pool of blood that surrounded my parents.
I didn't scream, I didn't cry—I just went numb. I'm not sure how, but I managed to stumble out of the house and sink down onto the cold concrete of my front porch. It was February in Washington and I wasn't wearing a coat, but in my current state of shock, I didn't notice the cold. I was still there when my brothers arrived home.
I pulled into the driveway after a long flight from NY and noticed my little sister sitting on the porch without a coat, rocking back and forth. I turned to my twin brother. "Something's wrong, Peter. You get Bella and I'll check it out."
"Okay," he agreed, and we climbed out of the car, sprinting to our house.
I ran inside while Peter tended to our sister. Pulling my gun out from behind my jacket, I slowly made my way through the living room and to the hall, where I found them—my parents. Carefully, I moved around and looked at their injuries. Both had been shot in the backs of their heads. I returned my gun to my back and said a prayer over their bodies. It was then I noticed the papers that had been dropped and become saturated in blood. I knelt down slowly and carefully picked them up. It was Bella's acceptance packet to NYU.
"Oh, God." My stomach rolled at the realization that she had discovered their bodies. Standing up, I carried the bloody papers with me and threw them into the garbage, then gathered the bag from the can, carrying it outside.
"Get the car started, put her in it, and then come help me pack us some bags. We have to go. NOW!"
Peter followed my instructions, and within a half hour we were packed and heading back to the airport. I quickly texted the one person I knew could help us, and then we boarded a private jet and set off for New York.
I was in a meeting with the managers of my various businesses when I felt my phone vibrate against my hip. I stood and motioned for Edward to continue while I stepped outside.
Something went wrong. Me, P, and B on our way to you. -J
"Fuck!" I quickly returned to my office and put an end to the meeting. "This meeting is over, gentleman. I want you to find the mother fucker that is skimming and bring him to me. Now get out!"
Once the room was cleared, I walked over to the bar and poured myself a drink.
"Dad? What the hell is going on?" Emmett, my oldest, asked.
"The Swans are on their way here."
"All of them?" Edward wanted to know.
"No." I turned and looked at my sons. "Charlie and Renee are dead."
"What!?" my boys yelled.
"I don't know. Jasper texted me and said that they were on their way. I don't know what happened, but he said that something went wrong." The boys shared a look when I said 'something went wrong,' knowing that was our predetermined code for 'murder.' I took a long drink of my beverage and felt it burn a path down my throat. "Edward, you need to call for a clean up crew and get them on standby. As soon as we find out what happened, we'll send them in."
The boys nodded, and we quickly gathered our things before leaving the office and walking to the waiting car. "We need to get back to the house and let your mother know that we are expecting company."
The flight was silent. Normally I would relish in that, but not this time. This time, I was begging for my sister to speak. She hadn't moved since Peter carried her on board.
"Bella? Come on, babygirl, I need you to snap out of it," Peter cajoled. He looked at me and shook his head. "What are we gonna do, Jaz?"
I glanced at my brother. "We'll figure that out when we get to the Cullens."
Peter nodded and went back to trying to snap Bella out of her funk. He was the gentle one of the two of us. I was the one that always had the plan. And Bella, she was the princess. But don't call her one. Sure, Mom and Dad had doted on her, but she wasn't spoiled by any means and knew how to shoot a gun. She wasn't sure why Dad had taught her, but she learned just the same.
I felt the plane dip as it began its descent, and braced myself for the landing. It was the only part of flying that I hated. Once we were safely back on the ground, I helped Peter get Bella off the jet and we quickly got to the car that Carlisle had sent for us.
The ride to the Cullen Estate was just as quiet as the flight. I really needed Bella to snap out of this. I needed to know if she had seen anything.
Esme opened the door when we arrived and looked at Bella in my arms. "The poor dear. Come on in, Jasper, Peter. Carlisle and the boys will be down in a minute. Let's take her into the sitting room."
I followed behind her and placed Bella on the couch that she indicated.
"How long has she been like this?" Esme wanted to know.
"She hasn't spoken since we found her. So about five hours or more. I don't know how long she sat outside before Pete and I got home."
Esme nodded and went over to the bar that was on the other side of the room. After pouring a finger of brandy, she walked back over. She put the glass in Bella's hand and made sure that she had a hold of it before letting go. "Drink this, Sweetie."
I was aware that I had been moved, but I wasn't aware of where I was. I heard the muffled tenor of voices, but couldn't have told you who was speaking. When a cold glass was pressed into my hands, I knew that I was supposed to hold on to it, but after that, I wasn't certain.
"Drink this, Sweetie."
It was a woman's voice that spoke, but I knew that it wasn't my mother's. I would never hear her voice again. Never see her smile or feel her arms as she hugged me. A tear escaped my eye and then I started…