So, none of this is mine. I wrote the first chapter for a contest and now, I'm expanding it. What I own … a condo and too many books. What I don't … Twilight and all its characters.

Chapter Sixteen


"Edward, come on!" Bella whined, her voice raspy and tired. She was on the mend from her second bout of pneumonia and was cleared to visit her uncle. He'd been released three days ago and was staying with my parents. My mom totally spoiled him, giving him a lavish suite, complete with a living room, a huge bedroom and modified bathroom, for his medical needs. Across the hall from his suite was a gym for his rehabilitation. All of the guys, at some point, had used it. I think I was the last person to actually make use of the rehab facility. I'd gotten grazed in the arm about a year prior to meeting my Bella.

"I'm coming, cara," I said, smoothing my button-down. I slid on my glasses, put on my gun around my ankle and swiped my wallet. Bella was in the living room, perusing some website on her tablet. She rolled her eyes when she saw me. "What?"

"You are such a girl," she snickered. "Did you coordinate your weaponry with your clothes?"

"Pssh, no," I said, grabbing my leather jacket. Okay, maybe? "I need to make sure that my baby's safe."

She narrowed her eyes at me. "You were coordinating your guns with your outfit. Come on, fashionista. I want to see my uncle. I made him his favorite."

"What's that?" I asked as I watched her pick up a plastic container.

"Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting," she smirked. "And because you took your sorry time, you're not getting any."

"Bella," I whined.

"Not attractive, Mobward," she cackled, tugging on a jacket and making her way toward the door, her cupcakes in tow. I scowled, following her and opening the door. We rode down to the parking garage. Jake was waiting for us in the bulletproof car. Driving to my parents' home, we arrived about an hour later. Bella snoozed, still tired from her relapse of pneumonia. I gently nudged her awake and she blinked sleepily. "Sorry. Did I drool?"

"No, dolce," I chuckled, kissing her forehead. "Snored a little."

"A little?" Jake deadpanned.

"No cupcakes for you, either, Black," she snarled. She picked up the cupcake container, sliding out of the car and stomping toward the front door of my parents' estate.

"Jake, if you want a girlfriend, you have to learn to lie," I sighed, scrubbing my face.

"She sounded like a fucking freight train," Jake laughed.

"That may be so, but no woman wants to know that. And you know she's been sick," I retorted, rolling my eyes. "I'm certain that the woman you want to be with will probably overlook your farting in bed if you lie about her snoring." I followed Bella into the house while Jake parked the car in the garage.

I found Bella in the living room, her arms around her uncle's neck and she was clinging to him. He was smiling softly, holding on to her just as tightly. "Everything okay?" I asked my mom, who was hovering near the entryway.

"It's so sweet," she smiled. "Physically, Jimmy was doing fine, but his entire face lit up when he laid eyes on her. They have such a close relationship." Mom turned, kissing me on the cheek. "Emmett's on his way with Garrett and his girlfriend. Alice is doing a final inspection of the rehab gym for Jimmy and Jasper is in the office with your father."

"Am I supposed to go there?" I asked.

"After you say hello to Jimmy, yes," Mom smiled. "And we're having meatloaf, with garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. It's Jimmy's recipe. He wanted comfort food. Bella's cupcakes are dessert. She explicitly said that you can't have one."

"There's still time. I'll have a damned cupcake," I muttered, walking into the living room.

Jimmy looked thinner than the last time I saw him, but he had just spent about a week in the hospital. His eyes were bright and he was sitting comfortably on the chaise, his legs covered by a blanket. "Hey, Jimmy," I said. "You look good."

"I'd feel better if I could pee standing up," Jimmy chuckled, shaking my hand. "But, it's all pretty good. I'm a lucky guy. How are you two?"

"We're okay. I freaked out," Bella said, shrugging one shoulder. "Your accident was a wake-up call."

"That's all it was, Bells. An accident," Jimmy argued. "A gas main leak." He blinked to me, arching a brow. "Now, Edward, I know you love my niece. I have wedding plans to discuss with her. You, being the groom, are not allowed. So, shoo!" He waved his hand dismissively. "Grab that iPad for me, Bells. I've got tons of ideas!"

"You heard the man," Bella giggled, coughing lightly.

"Okay, okay," I chuckled, holding my hands up in my defense. "Have fun and plan the lavish event."

"Damn straight. I may be blue collar, but nothing but the best for my niece," Jimmy beamed, kissing her temple. He shot me another look and I turned, leaving them to look at whatever it was Jimmy had on the iPad of his.

I walked into my father's office and I saw Jasper, Garrett, Jacob, Seth and Emmett inside, along with my father, as well. "Sorry, I was saying hello to Jimmy. Has he settled in?"

"Very much so," Carlisle said. "Your mother completely renovated the south wing of the house for Jimmy. She was a madwoman, buying new furniture and widening doors for his wheelchair. But, Jimmy's comfortable. We have a nurse who helps him get in and out of bed, hired by Alice."

"My sister," Garrett supplied. "She works at Northwestern with Dr. Whitlock, but was asked to help with Mr. Swan's recuperation."

"What's your sister's name?" I asked.

"Emily," he nodded.

"If I see her, I want to thank her for her help," I said, sitting down after I poured myself some scotch. "So, Dad, what's up?"

"A few things. First, with your upcoming nuptials, we need to plan for you taking over the family," Carlisle said. "But, with Stephan and Royce acting like fucktards, I don't know …"

"I'm already a fucking target, Dad," I said. "We all are. No matter who is in charge, those idiots are going to try to take us out. But, we're prepared. We have support from Anthony and our local crew is well-aware of the feud."

"We also have the guys from La Push. Paul is itching for a fight," Seth snorted. "When he heard that my sister was targeted, he wanted blood." He laughed humorlessly. "Specifically, he wanted Royce and Stephan's heads on a spike outside his cabin."

"We may need him," Dad mused. "He's deadly and a fucking ghost. Anyway, I want to pass the leadership of the family to you on the eve of your wedding. I know, by our laws, you should be married prior to taking control, but I want this to be official. We'll also have your bachelor party after the ceremony, naming you as the head of the family."

"I talked to Mike Newton and Tyler Crowley. We can have the bachelor party at Bound and Gagged, the VIP room. They're going to hire out strippers," Emmett beamed. I smiled politely, not really wanting that, but it was a party for my groomsmen, Emmett, Anthony, and Jasper, as well as for me. "It'll be exactly what we need after your rise to the head of the family."

"Will Bella be there? She won't be my wife …" I asked.

"We'll make the concession for her to be there. She's a part of the ceremony, as well," Carlisle said. "Have you decided on who is going to be your capo? Up until Billy's injury, he was mine, but I've been using you as my capo, knowing you'd be my successor."

"I'm still deciding," I replied. Normally, we'd choose someone outside of the family. Billy was my father's capo. My grandfather's capo was a distant relative to Stephan's mother. I was toying with the idea of making my brother my capo, my right hand. However, Jasper was always my choice and I'd make Emmett my successor if something were to happen to me. I shook my head, clearing it. "Jasper will be my capo and should anything happen to me, I want Emmett to take over as my successor."

"Excellent," Carlisle smiled. "Emmett, do you have someone as your right hand?"

"Seth," Emmett answered. "Garrett, I know you work for me, but Seth's been my man for years. Yes, I was pissed at him for what happened with Rosalie, but she put him in a difficult position. You're my number two."

"Just as Jacob is my number two," I nodded.

"I'll make all of the arrangements for your ascension to the head of the family," Carlisle smiled.

"And I'll make all of the arrangements for your last night of freedom after ascending to the throne of our crazy mob family," Emmett smirked.

"Which brings us to our second item of business," Carlisle said, crossing his legs and staring at me. "You need a house."

"I have a condo," I said, arching a brow.

"Which is great for now, but when you are the head of the family, you need a showplace to entertain guests. Plus, a home is much more self-contained. The people we let in here are kept out by the electrified fence and gated community," Carlisle snorted.

"But, you don't have a fortress," I argued.

"It's above the garage, next to the apartment," Emmett answered. "Felix is there now, along with Demetri. There's also a smaller house near the entrance."

"I've stayed there before," Seth said.

"Me, too," Garrett nodded. "Boss, this place is incredibly safe. All that's missing is guard dogs."

"Don't think we haven't considered them," Carlisle deadpanned. "I think you should consider living close to us, but I know your mother has a few options …"

"I'll pick my own house, with my fiancé," I said, holding up my hand. "I like this house, but it's too far away from the city. I'd find something closer to downtown."

"I can respect that," Carlisle chuckled, but his face sobered. "Last item … the Swan Dive explosion."

"Was it a gas main leak or was it intentional?" I asked.

"It was intentional, Boss," Jasper said, handing me an iPad. "See those pipes?"


"They were intentionally cut. At first glance, they looked like they were damaged when the place went up in flames, but after looking at them more closely, there were indications that they were cut. See the serrated pattern?" he asked, pointing out a few things. I nodded, my stomach churning. Jasper swiped the pictures, showing me a huge scorch mark. "This was where those pipes were located and this was where the explosion began. I found remnants of a small device, designed to ignite a flame, causing the place to go boom."

"And the arson investigator couldn't find this?" Emmett asked.

"The dude was fucking moron," Jasper snorted. "But, it works out better this way to say it was an accident. Jimmy will get a better pay out from his insurance company. Which, I've expedited. He's going to get about a million dollars for the destruction from the restaurant. Jenks also started a lawsuit for Jimmy to the city and the gas company due to their negligence. It's a sure-fire win for him."

"Even with this information?" I asked.

"Like I said, the arson investigator was a fucking moron," Jasper said. "He's so close to retirement. He saw an exploded building with clear indications that it was a 'gas main leak' and he went with it. It'll help Jimmy out in the long-run. The dude is going to be rolling in the dough when all is said and done."

"Do we have any idea who may have done this?" Emmett questioned. "Obviously, it's got to be someone associated with Stephan or Royce."

"And at one point, someone associated with Jimmy," Seth answered, scrolling a few photos on the iPad, showing a redhead, wearing big sunglasses and a floppy hat. "Vicky. She's the one who set this all into motion. We had some people following her and she met up with Royce's lieutenant a little over a week ago, a day or two prior to the Swan Dive's destruction."

"Why didn't you say something?" I asked, trying to keep my temper in check.

"Because, the last I'd heard, Vicky's keys no longer worked and she'd been banned from the restaurant," Jasper answered. "The new waitress, Maggie? She said that if she or Jimmy saw Vicky, they'd call the cops. This day? Jimmy was finalizing his order of fruit for the month at some local market and Maggie was home sick with the stomach flu. One of the part-timers didn't know about Vicky's ban, and loss of employment. When she came in, she put on an apron and started serving patrons. A couple of hours later, she left, pocketing her tips and planting the device in the kitchen. From there, we can assume someone snuck into the diner to do the damage to the pipes. We couldn't see who. The picture was too grainy."

"Have you seen Vicky?" I growled.

Seth grinned evilly. "Oh, yeah. She's being held at one of the downtown warehouses. Garrett was the one who ran into her, totally flirting with that old cougar."

"She seriously thought I was into her," Garrett said, shuddering. "I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit when she tried to kiss me."

"She is sloppy," Emmett shuddered. "What did Jimmy ever see in her?"

"Who the fuck knows? Maybe it was just convenience?" Jasper shrugged.

"When are we going to interrogate her?" I asked. "And we're not going to …" I trailed off, blinking over to Emmett.

"No, we're not. We may be a crime family, but we're not monsters," Carlisle said. "But, if she proves to be more trouble than she's worth, we will end her, but it will be a swift death."

"Okay," I breathed. "After dinner, we'll deal with the red-headed devil. Now, what about Rosalie? I know that she's no longer in our family, but that photo … the doctored photo made make her look like Bella?"

"As far as I know, she's still alive. Claire has been keeping an eye out on the morgue for women matching Rosalie's description and so far, so good," Seth said. "I don't know her condition, but she's alive."

"Proof of life?" Emmett asked, his voice was wooden and hollow.

Seth took the iPad from me and found a picture of Rosalie, dated from a couple of days ago. Her face was covered in bruises, but she was still very much alive. "See?"

"Thanks, Seth," Emmett sighed, getting up and leaving the meeting. I looked at my brother, worried about him. My father poured another glass of scotch and nodded to the door. I got up, leaving the rest of them to discuss whatever their plan was for Vicky. I went out to the deck where Emmett was sitting, staring at the fire. I held the glass of scotch in front of him. He took it, giving me an empty smile.

"Talk to me, Em," I whispered, sitting down next to him. "Are you upset about Rose?"

"No. I'm not upset about her. She made her decision," he sighed, slamming the drink. "It just pisses me off. She had it good here, Edward. I loved her. Truly loved her. I gave her everything. Was I just a patsy in her quest for money? For glory?"

"Well, now look at her? She's a whore for Royce King," I said, pressing my lips into a grim line.

"She's his punching bag, whore and whatever else." He was quiet, staring at the glass in his hand. With a heavy sigh, he continued, "Ed, if she came here, asking for help, redemption, would you turn her away?" he asked, his voice uncertain and filled with confusion. "If she apologized … for everything she did?"

"I wouldn't turn her away. I'd help her, but I sure as hell wouldn't trust her, Emmett," I answered. "Has she contacted you?" He shook his head. "Do you think she will?"

"I don't know, but seeing those bruises and that photo … she's being abused. She may realize that she's in over her head," he shrugged. "I don't know … I don't know what I'm saying." He got up and blew out a breath. "I'm going to … fuck …"

"Really?" I asked dryly.

"Pssh, I wish," Emmett snorted. "My dick is so underused, but that's because I'm afraid to use it."

"I'm assuming you're clean?" I muttered, pissed that my ex-sister-in-law had exposed my brother to whatever.

"Yeah, thankfully," he said, wrinkling his nose. "I'm going to beat the shit out of a punching bag. I need to do something. Call me when dinner's ready, Edward. Thanks … thanks for checking up on me. I love you, bro."

"I love you, too, Emmett," I smiled.


"You are obsessed, Jimmy," I said, as he showed me pictures on his iPad. "Dude, you are like the king of Pinterest."

"Esme got me hooked. All of the recipes, ideas for your wedding and …" he trailed off. "Look, Bells, I spoke with the police and The Swan Dive is gone. It's a hole in the ground. With the investigation and clear claim that it was an accident, I'm taking the insurance payment, giving my employees a healthy severance package and using the rest for you and your wedding."

"Jimmy," I frowned. "You need that … what are you going to do?"

"In addition to the insurance payment, I spoke with Jenks, an attorney, and I'm suing the city and gas company for negligence. I'm going to be fine. I loved my job. I loved what I did as the owner of the Swan Dive, but this accident put everything into perspective. There's more to life than work, Bells," he said, taking my hand. "I've lived half of my life. My parents are gone. So is my brother and best friend." He stared at me, smiling softly. "I see so much of Charlie in you, Bells."

"Not the mustache," I quipped, smirking.

"Thank God," Jimmy laughed. "I see his compassion, his drive and his love. Despite Edward's occupation, he'd like him. He probably would say that just prior to arresting his ass."

"True," I chuckled. "Edward is a good man. He's just been forced to do bad things."

"Well, I like him. He protects you, loves you and he'd give you fucking anything, baby girl," Jimmy chuckled. "Anyway, once I'm over being a gimp and dealing with court cases, I'm going to … well, I'd like to, if it's okay with you …"

"What?" I asked.

"I want something with Sue. We've been talking. A lot," he blushed. "She's been keeping me sane. I can only imagine the phone bill. Hours on end, I swear. And Leah? She's such a sweet girl. Just a few months younger than Alice, it would seem."

"You deserve to be happy, Uncle Jimmy," I smiled, taking his hand. "And from what I've heard, Sue is pretty smitten with you, too. Do you know why she's away, though?"

"Seth told me," Jimmy answered. "Those are some fucked up individuals, looking to harm an innocent girl."

"They harmed me, too," I said, wrinkling my nose.

Jimmy stiffened, looking at me. "What the fuck do you mean, Bells?"

"Remember when I quit coming to work for you?" I asked. "I was attacked, just outside the library on campus. It wasn't an accident like I said. They asked if I knew about Edward. I got beat up when I denied it and I raced home, only to find my apartment trashed. I called Edward. He was the first and only person that I could think of to keep me safe."

"Wow," Jimmy breathed. "Bells, did they …?"

"No, Jimmy. I just had the snot beat out of me," I snorted. "I've only ever been with four guys. One of whom is Edward. And always by my choice. Does this change how you perceive Edward?"

"A little, but I know he'd move mountains to keep you safe, baby girl," he sighed, scrubbing his face. "Do you know who attacked you?"

"Some thugs in a rival family," I answered. "Or families. That's why I moved in with Edward and why Jacob followed me around."

"And why I had some random guys in my diner, constantly harassing my waitresses," Jimmy snickered, giving me a wry smile. I blushed. "You think I didn't notice beefy guys sitting in the corner? I thought they were there for you."

"No, they were there for you, Jimmy," I whispered. "You were a target." He nodded. "Are you mad?"

"Bella, I could never be mad at you. I'm grateful that Edward had someone staying at the diner to protect me and I know that he loves you," Jimmy smiled, kissing my temple. "You can't change the past, only learn from it. So, my lesson is that I'm done slaving away at work. With the insurance policy, the lawsuit and your support, I'm changing my focus."

"I'll always support you, Uncle Jimmy," I smiled, hugging him.

"Good, because I need you to support me while I piss in a bottle," he laughed.

"Ugh, there are things I don't want to see, Uncle J. Your dick is one of them," I said.

"So, you're not going to wipe my ass when I'm incoherent and incompetent?" he snickered. I gave him a scowl, disappearing to find Alice or the nurse that she'd hired to help with Jimmy's care. I found Alice and she helped Jimmy go to the bathroom in the bottle, which was under the cocktail table.

That's gross, man.

After dinner, Jimmy asked to talk to Edward and I was pretty much pushed out of the living room. Esme and Alice helped me choose the invitations for the wedding. Though, I was more concerned about the conversation my fiancé was having with my uncle.


Jimmy was giving me the stare down. It was a bit comical, watching a man with a scraggly blonde ponytail and two broken legs try to give me the death glare. "She told you, didn't she?" I asked.

"About how her attack? Yes," he replied, still glowering at me. "Why did she lie? Why did you?"

"We lied to you, to protect you," I answered. "There were a lot of unknowns, Jimmy, at least at the time. We know more now, but we had to keep you in the dark. I'm sorry, Jimmy. I know you know who I am and what I do for my job."

"I do and I understand why you kept me in the dark, but was my diner going kaboom because of Bella's association with you?" he asked.

"If you want to win that lawsuit Jenks is preparing for you, I can't answer that," I muttered. He nodded. "Jimmy, I know that I'm not the guy you probably want to marry your niece."

"I beg to differ, Edward. You're handsome, well-educated and you treat Bella like a queen. Your occupation leaves much to be desired, but I know my niece is protected," he whispered. "That she's loved. Fuck knows that I love her more than my own life. I gave her as much of a childhood as I could, but she took care of Charlie for so long and her mother … what a cunt. I'm surprised she hasn't made her presence known. Renee has a unique knack of attacking Bella while she's down."

"We had a private detective look her up," I said. "She's married to some minor league pitcher and living in Jacksonville."

"Heh. She's got a new gravy train," Jimmy laughed. "So, maybe she'll leave her daughter alone. Bella's better off without her incubator."

"What's her mother's deal? Bella doesn't talk about Renee," I muttered.

"Renee is the most self-serving, spoiled, bitchy woman you'll ever meet," Jimmy growled.

"Eh, I could come up with someone else who's pretty bad," I argued. "My brother's ex-wife."

"Bella told me about Rosalie and she's a kitten compared to the evilness that is Renee Higginbotham Swan. It was always about her. She didn't care about her daughter and made Charlie feel guilty for spending time with his child. When Bella was younger and had to visit her mother, Renee wouldn't change her plans and would leave Bella unattended. When she came back, I think Bella was eight or nine, with a huge burn on her hand from trying to cook herself dinner, Charlie went to the courts and tried to get full custody. The judge refused to allow Charlie to have full custody, but amended the agreement so Renee would have supervised visits," Jimmy sighed, shaking his head.

"Why would the judge not …? That makes zero sense," I growled.

"Old-school judge who believed that the woman was the best option for the child. However, the fact that Renee didn't have a job and refused to get one, and that played in our favor," Jimmy explained. "Bella still had to see Renee, but it was under the supervision of a social worker. She played into the social worker's good graces."

"Let me guess, the social worker was a guy?" I deadpanned. Jimmy wrinkled his nose and nodded. "And she blew him or fucked him …"

"Correct on both counts," Jimmy retorted. "The supervised visits stopped after six months and Bella was back to spending time with Renee, unsupervised. She never came back with burns or bruises, but she was always withdrawn when she returned from Renee's. And it got worse after Charlie got sick. It takes a lot for me to hate someone, but I hate Renee. Hate is even too kind. She doesn't care. She doesn't care about Bella, Charlie or anyone but Renee or ways to PLEASE Renee. So, her getting remarried to some poor sucker is probably for the best. Though, I'd keep an eye on her. She may, once her latest hubby realizes that she's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, come back to wreak havoc on Bella."

"Duly noted," I sighed.

"Regardless, you and Bella work well together. You dote on her and she adores you," Jimmy said. "But, you cheat on her, I'll shove a knife up your ass."

"Never, Jimmy. She's it for me," I smiled. "She's all I'll ever want."

"Then, we cool. Now, can you give me a beer?" he pleaded.

"Not while you're on pain medication, Jimmy," I laughed. He scowled. "How about we watch the Cubs?"

"Without beer?" he whined.

"Without beer," I snickered.


A couple of days later, I went to a pulmonologist for my relapse of pneumonia. Alice wanted me to be checked for any permanent damage. She was an excellent doctor, but with such two horrible bouts of pneumonia so close together, she wanted me checked out by a specialist. Thankfully, after several chest x-rays and a harrowing test in a tiny tube to check my lung function, I was deemed okay. I was given a rescue inhaler and was told that I'd probably more than likely to get bronchitis when I got sick. So, I had to take care of myself.

Easily done.

I never wanted to experience pneumonia. Ever. Again.

The only residual issues I had were a cough and a slight rasp in my voice from said cough. But, that was waning with each day that passed.

After work, Edward came in and he sat down next to me, holding his laptop. I'd completed my two papers, submitted them and was spending time just being a slacker in the condo, but still planned the wedding. He was still dressed in his suit and looking all smexy. I wonder if we can have some naked fun time tonight. I miss him.

"I see you looking at me like a steak, cara," he snickered. "Not yet. Alice said another week and we can resume our bedroom activities."

"Damn it," I grumbled. "What's up, though? You look like you're planning something."

"Not planning. Thinking," he smirked, twining our fingers together. "When we were over visiting Jimmy, my dad mentioned something about when he would hand the reins over to me. I can't exactly run the family in a condo. He said that he wanted us to purchase a house, in the same neighborhood as theirs."

"I like where they live, but it's far from the city," I said, wrinkling my nose.

"Exactly," he laughed. "So, seeing as I have a real estate agent at my fingertips – Emmett – I asked him to pull together some options that were in gated communities, but close to the city with land for an extra property for the 'Fortress.'"

"And? What did he find?" I asked.

"Not much," he sighed. "There are four or five properties that meet the criteria that I gave him, but they are not as close to Chicago as I'd like." He opened up his laptop and there were four tabs open on the web browser. "Oh, and they're all in dire need of renovations."

"So, nothing is move-in ready?" I frowned.

"Nope. All of them are channeling their love wood paneling, shag carpeting and venetian blinds," he deadpanned.

"The fact that you know what those are scare me, Edward," I snickered, looking through the properties and there was nothing redeeming about any of them. The first property was too big. Who the fuck needs twelve bedrooms? The Cullen Estate had six, plus an apartment over the garage. The second property was just ugly and overpriced. The bones of the home were not that great either and it would be too much to take on. "Oh, honey. This third place? No one should ever use avocado green on every flat surface."

"And from what Emmett told me, they had a lot of cats," he shuddered. "He sent a junior associate and she reported that it smelled like cat piss. She also said that there was astroturf in the dining room instead of carpeting."

"No," I said, my eyes wide. "Who would think that is an appropriate design choice?"

"Someone who is clearly still living in the seventies," he snorted. "The last one has nice curb appeal, but the inside is haunted, supposedly."

"I'm vetoing that on principle," I grumbled. "Are there any homes in your parents' subdivision?"

"I knew you were going to ask that," he chuckled, kissing my temple.

"None of that chaste crap. Give me a real one," I said, poking his side. He smiled at me softly, caressing my cheek and brushed his lips against mine. I nibbled on his lower lip and he groaned, pressing his forehead to mine. "Why are you groaning?"

"Because I want to fuck you," he answered simply.

"What's stopping you?" I pouted.

"I don't want to jeopardize your health. One week. ONE WEEK and I'll fuck you stupid," he vowed, crashing his lips against mine and plunging his tongue into my mouth. I moaned, grasping his lapels. Too quickly, he pulled back. "You're a fucking siren, Isabella." He kissed me again and took the laptop from my hands. "These are some options that Emmett found in my parents' subdivision and another, more affluent neighborhood just north of there."

I looked at the pictures and they all seemed like decent options, all unique but move-in ready, thank GOD! After discussing it with Edward, we decided that we'd go up to visit Carlisle and Esme. Emmett, acting as our real estate agent, would show us the four options. It also worked out since Esme needed my help in finalizing the guest list. It was not like I was inviting many people. Everyone that we'd be inviting was from Edward's side of the family and that was a lot of fucking people.

After calling Emmett, setting up a time to meet him at the first property, we ate dinner and then spent time relaxing in the living room. When we went to bed, I did manage to convince Edward in letting me give him a blowjob. He was still rock hard after our little make out session on the couch while deciding on where to purchase our home. It took very little convincing and to be honest, his jizz felt good on my slightly sore throat.

The combination of hot, salty and sticky … does a body good, hmmmm?


"You know, you could have done this yourself. You have your own real estate license, Edward," Emmett said, chuckling quietly, as we walked into the first of the four houses. This one was in our parents' subdivision and looked eerily like their place.

"I know, but I want to be the buyer and not the agent, buyer and everything rolled into one," I grumbled.

"But, baby, you're going to be the head honcho of the family in a few short months," Bella quipped.

"Exactly. I'm going to have enough on my plate. I don't need another layer of bullshit. Besides, think of your commission, Em," I said, giving my brother a shitty grin.

"Good point," Emmett snorted. "Do you want me to give you the guided tour, earn my money, or do you just want to poke around?"

"We'll poke around in this one. The one I really want a guided tour is the A-frame in the other subdivision," Bella cooed, her nose wrinkled. "It smells old in here."

"A bit musty," I said.

"This place has been on the market for a year," Emmett shrugged. "It's overpriced and anytime that someone puts an offer in, the sellers scoff when it's below asking. This is not worth five million dollars. If I had to guess, maybe a million, million-five?"

"Even that's too much," Bella muttered, looking at some of the damage to the home. It wasn't as bad as the placed that Emmett found within the city. Just mainly wear and tear. The wood floors needed to be resurfaced, the walls were yellowed and the carpeting definitely had to be replaced. "Okay, I misspoke. This kitchen is gorgeous."

"Apparently having a Viking stove and quartz countertops means you can ask an exorbitant amount of money. You can't shine a turd," Emmett laughed.

"True," Bella said. "The rest of the place is a bit of a dump. The bones are good … open floor plan."

"But, the bedrooms are small," Emmett said and we went upstairs. I was shocked at how small they were. Even with opening them up and rearranging, it was not ideal. "So, this is a no?"

"Hell no," Bella giggled.

"Let's go to the other neighborhood. Those homes are newer," I said, twining my fingers with Bella's. We left the house and drove a few miles up the road to the newer neighborhood. It was also gated. We had to be escorted by their own private security force, which I liked. We went to the first house in the neighborhood. Emmett gave us the tour, but we knew right away it wasn't for us.

Too ostentatious.

Yes, I was going to be the leader of one of the largest mafia families in the world, but I didn't want to live like King fucking Midas. I wanted my house to be a home. Not a castle.

The second option was the one Bella wanted to see. It looked like a rustic cabin, that was three stories tall. The center of the house was essentially an A-frame home, but it was beautiful. Every inch of it was decorated exquisitely. It felt like home. Bella loved it. I loved it, but I didn't like the price, nor the location.

It was too expensive. Emmett agreed. Plus, the location was too exposed with very little land. Emmett said that he'd try to get the price down if this was the option we wanted, but the locale was a deal-breaker for me. Bella tried to give me the puppy-dog eyes, but unless this was pushed back and hidden more, with five times more land, I'd jump on this in a heartbeat.

The final stop was right on the waterfront, but hidden from the road. It had a long and winding driveway, with a gate. Once we got to the house, it was a beautiful, but large, stone cottage. It had a three-car garage, brick-paver driveway (which I was told was heated) and exquisite landscaping. "Oooh, this is pretty," Bella whispered.

"How many bedrooms?" I asked Emmett.

"Six bedrooms, six bathrooms," he replied. "All completely renovated and gorgeous inside. The architect personally built this house for himself, but decided to put it up for sale when his mom got sick. All high-end finishes and tight, tight security. It's got the Fortress above the garage. Whomever you have with you full-time, Jake or Jasper, they'll have their own apartment."

"Not Jasper," Bella said. I frowned. "He's married to Alice. They need their own space, Edward."

"Good point," I sighed.

"There's a smaller house for sale next door, also owned by the same person. Maybe we can get a two-for-one deal," Emmett snickered.

"How much for that?" I asked.

"Let me check," Emmett said. "You guys … do your thing. Don't fuck in there. You don't own it. Yet."

I flipped him off and we went inside. Where the cabin house was rustic, this one was warm and felt welcoming. The colors were neutral, with a pop of color here and there. The kitchen was gorgeous and Bella about had an orgasm over the layout. She practically crawled on top of the island, wanting to claim it as her own. In the basement, it was finished and it opened up to a beautiful backyard overlooking the lake. It had an intricate brick paver patio with lights, a built-in fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. To the left, there was a hot tub. "I think we also get a slip for a boat," I said. I pulled out my phone and pulled up the details. I snorted. "And a boat."

"What the fuck are we going to do with a boat?" Bella laughed.

"Have sex?" I retorted.

"Now?" she pleaded.

"No, dolce," I laughed. "We're not going to copulate in a house that's not ours."

"But, from the look in your eyes, you want it to be," she smiled.

"Let's check out the bedrooms," I replied.

"Is that wise? We're both horny," she giggled as she threaded our fingers together.

"I'm in control. Are you?" I quipped, blowing a raspberry into her neck. Her giggles turned to shrieks as we went up the stairs to the top level. There were five huge bedrooms, plus an open loft with bookshelves. On the opposite side of the house, we saw the master bedroom. It was large with two massive walk-in closets. In the closet closest to the bathroom, there was a hidden panel. I opened it, finding a cavernous room. It could be used as a panic room and storage for weaponry.

"Edward?" Bella called.

I slid the panel back where it should be and followed her voice. She was inside of a gorgeous bathroom, with marble floors and elegant quartz counter tops. "I can see it in your face, cara," I laughed.

"I want to marry this house," she whispered. She climbed into the huge tub and sprawled out. "I could do laps in here!"

"You could," I laughed. She sat up, tugged my hand and dragged me into the bath tub. "Really?"

"Really," she snickered. "I loved the cabin house, but this one? I can see us having a family here."

"A f-f-f-family?" I whispered.

"You do want that, don't you?" she smiled, her face so open and beautiful. "A family? Children?"

"If you asked me six months ago, I would have laughed in your face," I answered honestly, but I pulled her over my lap and held her to me. "But now? I want babies. I want babies with you. I want to fill these rooms, Bella."

"Then, let's make an offer," she breathed, kissing my lips and wriggling her hips over me.

"EDWARD? BELLA?" Emmett called. He burst into the master bedroom and screamed like a girl when he saw us in the bathtub. "THE FUCK?! You're fucking in the bathroom?" He covered his eyes, moaning loudly.

"No, you idiot," I said, standing up and getting out of the tub. "We were talking."

"In the tub?" Emmett asked, spreading his fingers and seeing we were fully clothed.

"It was an important discussion," Bella snickered. "We want the house."

"Okay!" Emmett beamed. "And the house next door is for sale. Do you want me to put an offer in on it as well?"

"Is it as nice as this one?" I asked.

"Similar finishes, but about half the size," Emmett answered. "And there's room for a clinic in the basement. Jasper, who was hanging out by the car, said that Alice didn't really care, but he liked it."

"Then, yes. Put in an offer," I nodded. "Quick close, if possible."

"I know the deal," Emmett said, using his phone and hopping up onto the counter top. He spoke rapidly and professionally with the seller/owner. When he said cash offer, quick close, I knew that we'd gotten both properties. "Excellent! I'll send over the paperwork and we'll meet up with your attorney early next week to sign the houses over to my client. It was a pleasure …"

"We got it?" Bella squeaked. "Like that. No worries about a mortgage or whatever?"

"Bella, we have billions in various offshore accounts. None of this mortgage shit," Emmett cackled. "I'm going over to Mom and Dad's to send over the contract. Congrats, kids. You just bought yourselves two new houses!"

I pulled Bella into my arms and I sighed contentedly. "Welcome home, cara," I whispered, kissing her forehead. "Welcome home."

A/N: So … kind of a filler chapter. Not all of them are going to have lemons, drama and explosions. But, there will be lemons, drama and explosions, eventually. I also planned out the ending of the story. I had a massive bout of insomnia on Tuesday and I started planning out a new story, plus figuring out the ending for this one. Bonus for me!

I can also tell you that there will be a SEQUEL to Married to the Mob. Title, to be determined, but I'm not done with The Boss and Dolce. Anyway, pictures of the houses that Edward and Bella toured (minus the janky ones) are on my blog. Also, thank you to my members of my FB group for helping me pick the final house that they chose. Pictures of the interior will come with the next update, along with pictures of Jasper and Alice's new digs, too.

Up next will be them moving into their new home, some drama involving Edward and The Boss coming out to play. Leave me some support. Thank you for reading!