Charlie didn't give much more than a grunt when he arrived home. He immediately collapsed on the couch after hanging his belt up and eyes closed. The sound of the football game played in the background, the sound muted by his heavy snores.
"I made dinner," she muttered. Bella watched him from the doorway, her face forming into a pout. Yes, she knew he worked ridiculously long hours and deserved rest but some more acknowledgment would've been greatly appreciated.
She placed the still warm fresh Cod in the fridge and placed a chilled beer on the table in front of him for when he'd awaken. It was the same every night. She couldn't remember the last time before she arrived that they actually sat down to eat together. But that was just the way it was. It was obvious he was stressed up to his eyebrows and she didn't want to make it any worse.
She sat in the empty kitchen, dishes piled in the sink to the top. Her mind going over the conversation earlier with Jacob. He was hurt. She was hurt. But could that pain drive him to… murder? She didn't know what to think. The boy before was desperate and in pain. He truly cared even if he had acted like an ass before. Of course, she couldn't rule him out, she couldn't rule anyone out but Bella was finding it hard to believe that Jacob could be the person.
Harsh frantic knocks suddenly echoed throughout the house. Bella looked up, startled, as she made her way to the door but Charlie beat her to it, now awake.
"Edward." she breathed. His lips had formed into a thin line, pressed together and green eyes narrowed into slits. If looks could kill then she'd be dead. Whatever she had done, she didn't know, but it was obvious she had done something.
"Is- everything alright here?" Charlie paused, looking back and forth between the two of them.
"Yes," they said simultaneously.
He quirked a disbelieving eyebrow, not moving from between them.
"I'm fine dad, really… we're fine," she said, her eyes flickering up his face.
"That's what you always say," he breathed, obviously not meaning to be heard.
"I'll be in the living room." he rolled his eyes and sighed. "Just don't argue too loudly. I'm in the middle of a game."
"Of course, sir." Edward never took his eyes off her. "We wouldn't want to disturb you."
No, we wouldn't. Her eyebrows furrowed as he came inside, shutting the door with a little more force than necessary.
"Let's talk in the kitchen," she suggested, sucking on her bottom lip. "We should have some more… privacy."
Of course. She knew what this would be about and couldn't help but roll her eyes. Of course, this would be about Jacob. Bella had quickly come to realize how jealous Edward could get. Where was the line that went from being a protective boyfriend to being a controlling one?
"You're not my keeper."
His jaw clenched and his eyes darkened. "I'm doing this for you Bella, I don't want you getting hurt. I told you to stay away from Jacob for a reason."
Bella couldn't help but scoff, completely fed up with the apparent lack of trust he held in her. "I'm aware I made mistakes in the past," she said through gritted teeth. "But I fail to see how I can't hang out with a person that I used to consider a good friend."
"He's not good enough for you-"
"Not good enough for me?" she scoffed.
Edward scowled and tugged anxiously at his spiky hair. "I'm just looking out for you. I don't want you getting hurt."
It's a little late for that. She thought.
"How did you even know Jacob was here?"
"I- I was in the neighborhood." he stammered.
"In the neighborhood?
How convenient and just like how Jacob also happened to be running through the neighborhood. There seemed to be a trend.
"It doesn't matter how I found it," he grumbled. "All I care about is your safety. I'm warning you, Bella, stay away from Jacob."
"I'll be the only judge of that."
Edward didn't stick around any longer than was necessary and she found herself somewhat relieved to be rid of his presence. There was always some problem between them, and not that she was defending her past actions, but if he was always this controlling, she could somewhat understand why she did the things she did.
"Dinner was good, Bells." Charlie walked in with an empty plate.
It would've been better fresh out of the oven. Bella didn't say that, instead she took his plate, ignoring his argument, and washed it by hand. It gave her something to do. Something else to think about other than Edward.
The days blended together and she had yet to have more memories. The police kept pressing her for more information but she had nothing to give them- wait but no, that wasn't true. She had a lot of thoughts and had begun to write down all her possible suspicions.
It started with Alice. She was angry with her- no- it was a deep-set hatred that must have been bubbling up for years. Bella cheated on her brother several times and had a brief affair with Jasper- though nothing serious-serious happened. Was that reason enough for her to want her dead? Though the girl was tiny in size, she had no doubt she was as strong as Emmett.
Next was Jacob. They were together numerous times from what she understood and it got her pregnant. Jacob was a partier and a drinker and from what everyone said not a good person to be around. Yes, that may be one part of him but she didn't see that the other day. He was an emotional boy, angry at her betrayal. He did not ask for fatherhood but his viewpoint was very clear that he would've tried. He would've been there for her. Or perhaps he was duping her. Perhaps he was so angry that she went to Jasper instead of them that he was overcome with rage?
She knew someone was hiding something. The police told her that whoever did this, it was personal for them. They wanted to cause as much pain as possible. They were hurt. Angry with her.
Bella called the only person she knew would help her. This probably wasn't the right way to go about it but she wanted to see. She had to know. The ringing stopped and immediately heard background noise on the other end. It quieted and now was silent.
"Bella, what's wrong?"
She could hear the weariness in her voice.
Bella gulped, praying to god this was a good idea. "C-can you drive me to where I was found? In the woods?
It was quiet on the other end, the only sound was her heavy breathing. This was a bad idea. She shouldn't have asked. She shouldn't of-
"When do you want to go?"
Her mouth fell agape. "A-are you serious?"
"Do I sound like I'm kidding?"
"N-no!" she immediately responded, her face flushed. "C-can you pick me up in like ten minutes? I'd like to do it before Charlie gets home."
That was enough for Rose and true to her word showed up on the mark. The only thing she didn't count for was Emmett's huge jeep and him in the driver's seat.
"Don't pout, Bella." he hopped out of the jeep, coming around to the back door. She was able to stand up on her own but he had to lift her by the waist into the car, still too weak to pull herself up.
Rose turned around, delicately raised an eyebrow, knowing what she was going to ask. "The jeep will get us through the woods far better than mine could. This was the only option besides hiking and well… that's kinda not an option."
The car started, Emmett back and they drove off, no noise but the voices on the radio.
If Rose was uncomfortable at the sight of her in Emmett's arms, pressed up against his body then she didn't comment. They'd driven to the spot where she was found, made public by media coverage, and it was too difficult for her to use the wheelchair here. She was curled up against his chest, her legs swung over his arms which were underneath her knees.
"Is this what you imagined?" asked Emmett.
Her eyes scanned the woods, finding nothing out of the ordinary. Bella didn't know what to expect. Her heart raced, waiting for that aha moment but it never came. It was like any other day. That made it even eerier. She turned her head to the right, hearing the sound of rushing water.
"Put me down," she ordered. "I want to go down to the water."
"No way," he snorted, shaking his head. "You're a danger magnet, Bells. You trip on air and your dad will kill me if you get any more hurt."
"Sorry," he apologized. "Poor choice of words."
"I don't care." Bella huffed. "Put me down-"
"Listen to her, Em."
They both looked up at her, surprised.
"This is obviously important. We didn't drive out here to stand around all day."
"She's right." Bella shrugged.
It seemed the ladies had outvoted Emmett and so he reluctantly put her down. She held onto his hand as they maneuvered their way down the steep slope to the edge. Rose stayed at the top, looking slightly green.
Bella sat down, on the wet leaves, not caring her jeans were dirty. She stared at the water that never seemed to slow down, never pause. She wondered how the hiker had found her. It was a pretty tough spot to get to.
Emmett sat down beside her, jolting her from her thoughts. "How are you not terrified?"
"Are you?" she asked.
He shrugged. "When I think about what happened to you… yeah."
"I don't remember." she simply said. "So I have nothing to really be scared of."
In a way that was a lie because she still was afraid, waiting for the person to turn up and finish the job. It was the unknown she worried more about, was something she couldn't control.
"Just wondering… how long are we going to sit here?"
The corners of her lips turned up as she tried to hold back the smile. "As long as we need. I have to remember."
Hey everybody! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, it means so much to me! I'm sorry for how long it's been but I promise to try to update again soon! Answering someone's question… no, Rose doesn't know who the dad is but has some guesses.
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!