I don't own Twilight or its characters. Stephenie Meyer does.

Cheryl, Noles, and Gabby, thank you for pre-reading, and April, thank you for editing. Any mistakes left are my own.

CH 24

"Thank you so much for doing this for me. I have taken so many days off work because of everything, I have no time left," Rosalie thanked me as she dropped off Shane.

The school was having a three-day weekend for the kids, making today, Monday, a Teacher's Workshop day. I was more than happy to watch Shane for her.

"It's my pleasure. The offer is open for any non-school days if you need someone," I proposed.

"I'm surprised you and Edward didn't have a honeymoon.," she commented.

"It will be a long while before I go on a trip like that with Edward again," I stated. I frowned, thinking of the outcome of the last time we went away.

"Right. Here's his bag." She looked around. "Shane?"

"Over here. Can I slide down this?" He pointed at the large, curved banister.

"No," Rose and I said at the same time.

"If it's alright with you, I was thinking of taking him to the a.q.u.a.r.i.u.m," I told her.

"Alone?" She looked a bit nervous.

I shook my head. "Not on Edward's watch. I will have at least Riley, if not Garrett with me too."

She nodded her head and smiled. "I hope you have fun. The only thing I ask is no more stuffies. He already has way more than he needs."

"No, problem," I agreed.

"Shane, come say goodbye to me," Rosalie called to him. He came running over and she knelt to hug him. "Have fun at the aquarium. Say hello to the otters for me."

"We're going to the aquarium, yay! Let's go." He made a beeline for the door.

"Hold your horses, kiddo. It doesn't open for a while. I also need to eat breakfast first." I ruffled his hair.

I led him toward the kitchen as Rosalie made her escape. He climbed up on a stool while I got things out to make omelets and handed him an apple. He munched on it while I cooked. Just as I was plating, Edward came down the stairs, tying his tie.

"Good morning," he greeted us.

"Good morning, your breakfast is ready," I told him as he kissed my cheek and took his plate.

Shane looked up at him with big eyes but didn't say anything. Edward took the seat next to him then glanced at Shane.

"Good morning, Shane," he said.

"Hi," Shane answered quietly.

Edward's brow furrowed, obviously out of his element. I was also surprised by Shane's shyness. I decided to help break the ice.

"Shane and I are going to go to the aquarium today. It has been a long time since I've been there, but I always enjoyed watching the otters. What's your favorite, Edward?" I looked at him.

Edward frowned. "I've never been. And I don't think you—"

"Edward, can I speak to you for a minute?" I interrupted him.

He followed me into the pantry and leaned against the shelves. I half closed the door so I could hear Shane.

"You've seriously never been to the aquarium?" I asked.

"No. And I don't think it's a safe idea for you guys to go," he said.

"Is there a known threat I need to know about?" I questioned.

"No, but—"

"I'm not going to go back on my word then. We will have security with us. We can't stay here, Shane would be bored out of his mind. Come with us if it bothers you so much," I suggested.

"I can't. I have meetings today," he refused.

"Please? I know it's last minute, but I think it would be a good bonding experience for you guys. Shane thinks you don't like him," I pleaded.

"I've barely talked to him." Edward crossed his arms.

"Exactly. You both barely know each other. Are any of these meetings so important that they can't be postponed?" I asked.

He sighed heavily and raked a hand through his hair. "I do need to meet with Peter…but maybe Jasper can do it. Or it can wait until later in the afternoon."

I perked up. "So you'll come?"

"Yeah. It's probably about time I see the sharks Emmett feeds." The corners of his mouth twisted into a smirk.

I was confused at first, but then I sensed I didn't want to know the answer. "It will be fun. You'll see," I promised, kissing him quickly.


A few hours later, we were making our second trip around the aquarium—slower this time, since the first time through Shane couldn't stand still long enough to really look at the tanks. At least, we got him to stay still so we were able to watch the sea otters get fed.

"Take my picture with the octopus. I want it to look like he's eating me." Shane ran over to the tank where the octopus was pressed up against the glass. He faced us with a wide open mouth and big eyes like he was screaming.

Edward took out his phone, chuckling while he snapped the picture. Shane rushed over to him so he could see the snapshot.

"Cool. Can you send it to my mom…and dad? I bet my dad will like it," he asked.

"Your father will get a kick out of it." Edward snickered.

"Can we go back to the dome room?" Shane asked.

I bit my lip, the room had made me dizzy earlier, and I wasn't too keen on going back. Edward placed his arm around my waist.

"I don't know about you, but I'm getting hungry. How about we check the actual food here," Edward suggested.

"Okay." Shane shrugged and started to take off.

"Shane, wait for us, please," I called after him.

We made our selections and took a seat on the outside patio since the weather was nice.

"There's something wrong with an aquarium serving fish sticks. What do they do, get it from their tanks?" Edward whispered to me as Shane was distracted, looking out at the bay.

"I hope not." I giggled.

"Look!" Shane suddenly stood on his seat and shouted. Riley, who had been sitting behind him, grabbed the back of his pants to keep him from toppling over the railing. Garrett and Edward were on their feet alert, as well as a few others who were looking around in concern.

"Shane, sit," I ordered. "What do you see?"

Shane sat down with a plop. "A cool ride. Can we go on it, please?"

I glanced at the Ferris wheel and pondered it. I didn't think I would be able to handle it without getting sick. Edward sat down next to me and shrugged.

"Maybe, but only if your uncle is willing to go on it with you," I told Shane.

"Uncle Edward, will you take me?" Shane asked, giving him puppy dog eyes.

"I'll take you if you eat your carrot sticks," Edward told him.

"All of them?" Shane wrinkled his nose.

Edward hesitated. "At least four."

"Okay," Shane agreed.

I raised my eyebrow at my husband, and he shrugged.

"It always worked for my aunt with Emmett," he said.

When we were done eating, Edward led us into the gift shop before I could stop him. I figured maybe we could get Shane a t-shirt and he'd be happy. Hopefully, Rose wouldn't mind that as much. I was trying to decide on whether to get river or sea otter stuffies for the babies when I heard Shane squeal in excitement.

"An octopus. Can I get that, pretty please?" He pointed to a large stuffie that was nearly as big as him.


"Yes." Edward beat me to answering him.

I grabbed his sleeve and whispered in his ear. "Edward, Rosalie told me no stuffed animals."

"She told you, not me. Besides, don't I have years of Christmases and birthdays to make up for?" He smiled devilishly.

"You're on your own if she gets upset." I shook my head, trying to hide my amusement.

"It will be fine. I know Emmett would be on my side." Edward reached up to grab it down from the top shelf and dropped it into Shane's waiting arms.

Shane nearly toppled over but was beaming. "Thank you!"

"Now it really looks like it's trying to eat you." Edward laughed.

Just over an hour later, Shane and Edward had ridden the Ferris wheel, and we all had gotten ice cream. I was helping Shane get into the backseat when Edward's phone rang, almost as soon as he switched it on. He stepped a few feet away to answer it.

"Is everything okay?" I asked when he got into the front seat with me.

"Peter never showed for the meeting, which isn't like him," Edward said, frowning.

"Do you think something happened to him?" I asked in concern.

"I don't know. I'm going to drop you both at home. Please, stay inside and make sure you have you know what on you. I don't like this," he said.

"Okay," I agreed, feeling slightly nervous. I glanced back at Shane, who was oblivious to us as he held the octopus on his lap and played with the tentacles.


Hours later, it was well after dark, and Shane had gone home long ago. I hadn't heard from Edward since he left us, and I was getting worried. After I ate a late dinner by myself, I decided to make myself comfortable in our bedroom since I was exhausted from the day.

I got to the top of the stairs when I felt the hairs of the back of my neck become prickly. I glanced down into the dark wing where we rarely went. The last door on the left appeared to be opened a crack which was odd since they were always closed. I frowned and took a couple of steps backward. I glanced down the hall toward my bedroom, relieved everything looked normal.

I rushed into the bedroom and locked my door. My first thought was to get into the safe room, so I headed to the closet and placed my hand on the panel.

Nothing happened.

I slapped it several times and slid my hand around still nothing happened.

I bit my lip as panic started to fill my chest. I ran out and decided to go to the entrance on the first floor, in the library. I stopped in my tracks when I noticed the door at the end of the hall was now closed.

"This isn't happening," I muttered under my breath.

I pulled out my phone to call Edward, but it went straight to voicemail. Frustrated, I looked up Jasper's number then stopped before I hit the button. It was his father that was missing so I shouldn't be bothering him. I pulled up Emmett's number. It rang once before he answered.

"What's up, Della Duck?" he said cheerfully.

"Della who?" He distracted me.

"Della Duck. Mother to Huey, De—"

"I need you to be serious for a moment. Are you with Edward?" I asked.

"Not at this exact moment. What's wrong?" He lost the humor in his voice.

"I can't reach him. I might be overreacting, but I think someone is in the house and on the second floor. There's a bedroom door open that's normally closed. I thought I was being paranoid but decided to get to the safe room, but it won't accept my handprint in the bedroom," I told him.

"Where are Riley and Garrett?" he asked. In the background, I heard the slamming of a door then a squealing of wheels.

"I don't know, I haven't seen them since I got home. I know it seems like I'm being paranoid, but I thought using the intercom would be a bad idea. So, I'm heading to the library to try there. But the bedroom door that was open is now closed," I told him.

"You left your bedroom?" he bellowed.

"How else am I supposed to get to the safe room?" I demanded.

"Fuck…do you have a gun on you?" he retorted.

"Yes," I said.

"I'm getting to you as fast as I can. Sam is going to locate Edward. Keep the gun out and shoot to kill anything that moves," he ordered.

"Are you saying not to trust Garrett and Riley?" I asked, gulping.

He sighed heavily. "Fuck. Better safe than sorry. Stay on the phone with me until I get there."

"Okay." I took out the gun with a shaky hand. My stomach was churning, but I hoped that I could keep it down for now.

I rounded the corner at the bottom of the stairs and stopped short then screamed.

"Bella!" Emmett yelled in my ear.

"I've found Garrett." My voice broke. Garrett was flat on his back in a small pool of blood and wasn't moving.

"Is he…" Emmett couldn't even finish his sentence.

"I don't know. I can check—"

"No. Get to the safe room. If you can't get in there, see if you can get in the gun range. It's probably the second most secure room," he said.

"Okay." I was freaking out.

"Hey, if I need to channel Banner. You've got to channel Natasha," he told me.

"Who?" I asked.

"You know Black Widow," he hinted.

"What if I want to be Wonder Woman?" I asked, grateful that he was trying to calm me down with some nonsense topic.

"Can't happen. We wouldn't be in the same universe. Almost there," he said.

"Well maybe D.C. is better than Marvel," I taunted, entering the library.

"Bite your tongue," he ordered lightheartedly.

I pulled out War and Peace and hit the button. It failed to work. I cursed and tossed the book across the room. I heard a groan and my head snapped to my right. A figure was standing by the drapes and took a step toward me. He held a gun in his hand. I pulled the trigger quickly, losing my phone in the process. He cursed and dropped his weapon.

"Liam?" I questioned out loud.

He was clutching his right shoulder. He glared at me then bent down to retrieve his gun. I shot through his hand. While he screamed, I kicked his piece across the room. He tried to lunge for me, but I backed away, aimed the nozzle of my Glock to his forehead.

I knew Emmett said shoot to kill, but I wanted answers. "Why?"

"Why?" he spat through gritted teeth. "It just proves how little the family thinks of me, that they didn't ever suspect me after pushing me away for years. I always thought I would get back in when Edward married Margret. But then you came along, and we were once again, tossed away like trash. After years of loyalty—even after my brother was killed."

"Why go after Shane if you wanted Edward?" I asked, not lowering my gun.

"Leverage. Emmett was our second best option, and I couldn't let the blonde slut get in the way." He hissed.

"Bastard!" Emmett's voice made me jump.

I glanced at him, not taking my aim off of Liam. Emmett's pants and shirt were torn, and there were dirt and cuts on his face and arms. His eyes were filled with rage.

"I know you said shoot to kill, but—"

Emmett stalked forward and grabbed Liam by the neck. "Bella, get out! I need to deal with him."

I scurried out the door, and I leaned against the wall, trying to catch my breath. The noises I heard made me cringe and reminded me of a fight scene in a movie. I slowly slid down the wall toward the kitchen. I froze when I heard footsteps approaching. I raised my Glock once more and prepared to shoot this time. Edward appeared in the doorway, holding his own.

I sighed in relief when I saw him and rushed into his arms. "Oh, thank god."

He held me stiffly. "My bride, are you hurt? Why aren't you in the safe room?"

I shook my head. "I'm not hurt. I couldn't get in the room. Garrett was shot and is by the stairs, I don't know if he's alive or not. I also don't know where Riley is. Emmett is taking care of Liam in the library."

"Liam?" I heard Jasper ask.

I nodded. "It was him this whole time. He was upset about being pushed out of the family. He wanted Maggie to be married to Edward or Emmett. I didn't get much more out of him before Emmett decided to take care of him.'

"You interrogated him?" Edward sounded amused.

"Not before shooting him twice," Emmett entered the conversation. "He's no longer a threat. The security system wouldn't let me in, I had to climb the gate then crash through a window in the dining room."

"It wouldn't let us in either, luckily Jasper was able to override the system and reboot it," Edward explained.

"I feel like an idiot for not seeing Liam as a threat. He is or was our top tech person, so it does explain how he got in and changed everything on us. We should've suspected him as soon as we knew we were tapped. It continued even after Paul was gone. Did he say anything about my father?" Jasper looked irate and concerned.

"No, sorry." I gave him an apologetic look.

"We won't stop until we find him. We did find Riley, he's in bad shape, but alive in the garage. I want you two to check the house before we get Carlisle over here. My bride, you aren't to leave my sight." Edward kissed my temple as he gave his orders.

"On it. I already sent Sam upstairs," Emmett told him.

"Wait…here." I handed off my Glock to Emmett, like it was a stinky diaper. "I'm not sure what you want to do with this."

"I'll take care of it," he promised, taking it from me.

Emmett and Jasper left as they went to check the house. Edward still held me tight to him, but his posture relaxed.

"Are you sure you're, okay?" he asked, tilting my head up so I was looking at him in the eyes.

"Yes. A little shaken, but physically I'm fine," I told him.

"I'm so sorry, my bride. I want my uncle to check you out. And we'll call your doctor first thing in the morning." He smoothed my hair. I could see he was as shaken as me.

"This wasn't your fault. The babies and I are good," I reminded him. "The only danger the babies are in, is from their uncle naming them after Donald Duck's nephews."

"I already told him, not happening." Edward chuckled, then his eyes softened. "I love you."

"I love you, too. I tilted my head, asking for a kiss.


So this chapter started off with a real high of Edward bonding with Shane. Then it took a drastic turn.

I don't think anyone guessed Liam was behind everything. At least not in a review. He was upset with being replaced in the family and then further blocked when Maggie was passed over. I will confirm now that Elizabeth while a bitch had nothing to do with the threat against Bella or Shane. She's only guilty of getting rid of her husband.

Side note: A guest reviewer wanted to know what happen to Yorkie. Emmett took care of him in Chapter 21 in detail. It was when Em and Edward yanked Yorkie like a wishbone. The Em used him as a target for lawn darts.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.