A/N: Thanks for all the reviews! They made me smile…
And it really encouraged me to keep writing and to update faster.
Okay, so I bet you all thought the story was coming to a close. And truthfully, I did too. Until I had an idea last night.
What a plot turner this will be.
I felt like I had been out for hours, but in reality, it had been a few minutes.
"Bella, are you okay?!" Edward was cradling me in his arms, shaking me lightly. But the minute my eyes opened, all the worry that had been etched in his face were gone. "Don't scare me like that again!"
"Sorry." I mumbled, forcing a smile. My side was aching and I struggled to regain my breath. I looked down at my vest and pulled out the bullet that had become lodged into it. "Thank goodness for these, right Edward?" I teased lightly, tugging at my vest as Edward helped me stand.
My wince as I put pressure on my left side didn't escape Edward's notice. He steadied me and kept an arm around my waist, his eyes watching me carefully. I always hated getting the wind knocked out of me. My face was probably all red and I probably looked like a mess.
"Bella! You're alright!" Mr. Combs rushed over to me, grabbing one of my hands in his. "I was starting to get worried! If you had been out any longer, we could have assumed some internal damage had been done from the force of the bullet."
"I'm fine, really. But…oh! Tanya! Is she okay?! What about Vladimir?" I searched the room frantically, to notice it devoid of any bloody bodies. I was probably the most battered up person in the room…
Mr. Combs left go on my hand, his eyes downcast. Edward's arm pulled me against his body, almost roughly. "Vladimir got lucky. He got her in the chest. But with her body already weak and begging for air, there was no way she could have survived it."
She had been in my arms before she was killed. I was the last person to speak to her. The last one she saw! I could have saved her! If only I had just moved faster…
"There was nothing we could do, Bella." Edward whispered in my ear, as I felt a lump in my throat.
I spun around swiftly, ignoring the sharp pain as my body protested against my movement. "Tell me. What made her innocent? What's the real story?"
Edward sighed deeply, composing himself. "Tanya was in California when Vladimir got a hold of her. They found illegal drugs on Vladimir and Mark both, so the FBI could only assume that they drugged Tanya, took her keys, got the files, then brought her here."
"But we saw and spoke to Tanya! She would've said something!"
"She would've…unless they were blackmailing her with something. Or someone." We were both silent. Then I remembered.
"Alice! Edward, did you talk to Alice?"
"I did. She was fine, telling me not to worry. I offered to stay with her for a week or so, but she refused. I know I shouldn't be worried about her, but she's my baby sister, you know?" Edward's eyes bore into mine, begging me to understand.
"I don't know. I'm an only child, like I told you on the airplane. But I do know what it's like to have someone I care about being threatened…" As soon as I realized what I said, my eyes grew wide. "Nevermind. But I do understand, Edward." I hugged him, hoping he wouldn't ask about the mysterious 'someone'. I had almost told him I cared about him! But, well, I do care about him…
But we aren't even a couple! We only work together…
I started to pull away, but Edward stopped me by bring his face down to my ear.
"What…?" I started, but his soft, velvet voice broke my train of thought.
"Don't worry, Bella. I care about you too. More than you know." And then he pulled away from me, winking. I blushed, as we both headed back to the FBI building, to get our tickets home.
Edward and I had both gotten our stuff together and were waiting at the airport, side by side. His airplane left a good hour after mine did, but he insisted he be there when I boarded my plane home to California.
"It was a pleasure working with you, Edward. I'm really glad we solved this thing. I was never really told, though. What did they do with Vladimir's body? Was he dead when Mr. Combs and the rest arrived?"
We continued to walk slowly toward my terminal, trying to savor each moment together. Corny, yes I know.
"Yeah, he was dead on the scene. Last I heard was, they put his body in a morgue. As soon as I left, Janet called me just to tell me 'good job' and 'case closed'."
"So it's all really over?" I asked. I couldn't hide the sadness that leaked through my words.
"I thought you would be happy. No more sharing a bathroom." His voice was masked, as he tried to keep the mood light. I just shrugged.
"You weren't so bad. You cleaned up after yourself and you didn't snore." I playfully nudged him in the arm and he just smiled.
"How's your side doing? What did the doctors say?" We had reached my terminal, to find they were just about to board.
"It's fine. The doctor just said I had only bruised my side and that I should heal up nicely in about a week."
Edward didn't answer, as the flight attendant starting calling off rows.
"Oh! That's me, Edward." I spoke softly, as rows 8 and 9 were called. No first class this time.
We stood facing each other awkwardly. I shifted my bag up onto my shoulder.
"Well, I guess I'll see you around…" Then, surprisingly, Edward pulled me to him, crushing my lips against his. His lips worked expertly against mine and it felt as if my own lips were on fire. A small moan escaped my throat, causing Edward to chuckle and pull away.
"I'm sorry I waited so long to do that, Bella." He stroked my cheek lightly, before my row was called once more. I could feel the curious stares of the other passengers, as Edward stepped away from me, allowing me to go.
"It was worth the long wait, Edward. Don't worry." And then I boarded the plane, hoping I would get to see Edward again.
I couldn't help but let a tear fall down my cheek. I had wanted so badly to get this job over with in the beginning, but now I really didn't want it to end. Ever. Despite all the hurt and death I've had to experience.
My phone vibrated in my pocket, almost as soon as I had gotten seated.
"Hello?" I didn't recognize the number.
"Bella, I just wanted to say that I'm not going to let you get away with jumping in front of that bullet for me, okay? I'm the guy, I should've been the one to save you. Not the other way around…"
I laughed. "Don't worry, Edward. You'll get that chance. I promise." There was hope in my voice. I was really going to have to call Janet after this…
"I'm going to really miss you, Bella."
I could hear his breathing on the other side of the phone.
And then he sighed. "Goodbye, Bella."
"Bye, Edward." My voice was soft and I doubt he heard me. But I closed the phone anyway.
I saved his number.
It was around ten o' clock when I walked into my small apartment in Sacramento, California. I threw my suitcase on my bed and headed to the bathroom when I heard it.
I froze in my tracks, my eyes growing wide. I bolted back toward the bed and dug through my bag. I thought I had turned the phone into the FBI agency! I was almost sure I did!
I opened the phone, my hands shaking, only to find that there was a new text message. One that had been sent at exactly 10:32 in the morning. About 30 minutes after Vladimir had been pronounced dead.
I opened the text message, trying not to make any noise. The silence closed around me as the small, bright screen lit up my face in my dark room.
Did you think your Thriller night is over?
Think again, Isabella.
It has only begun.
I assume you haven't forgotten about 'Little Miss Alice',
Because it would be tragic if you did.
I almost dropped the phone. Vladimir Anton was dead! He was in a body freezer in a morgue! Mark and Tanya were both dead too! He couldn't have escaped. There was no way…
He was dead, for goodness' sakes!
I fumbled for my own phone and redialing Edward's number.
"Edward!" The panic in my voice was clear and my eyes were watering. This could not be happening.
"Bella? Are you alright?"
"No! Edward, call Alice right now!" And then I hung up. I paced around the room, debating on calling Janet or Mr. Combs. How would I explain the phone in my bag? I would get in serious trouble for withholding evidence. Even though I clearly gave it to a CSI agent. I even watched the car drive away with the phone in it!
Ten minutes later, Edward called. "Bella! What is going on? What do you know?! Where is Alice?"
I chocked back a sob. "Edward, Vladimir is still alive."
"Impossible! I saw his dead body in pictures! There is no way on earth that he could be alive! Mr. Combs told me himself he was going over to the morgue after we left! Bella, is this some sort of a joke?! I called Alice's cell phone, home phone, and even her work phone! No answer! She never doesn't answer..." I hung up, only to have my phone start ringing again. No doubt it was Edward, calling to apologize and to perform the Spanish Inquisition on me or something.
I flipped open my laptop and researched 'Vladimir Anton', trying to keep myself calm. My gaze kept flashing to the lone, lack phone on my bed. There was no name for who sent the message. All it said was it was from 'A Thriller Night'. I scrolled down, reading each link headline. Most of the stuff was about the capture and death of him, but what caught my eye was a biography on him.
I scanned it quickly and gasped. I reread it once more, before leaning back in my computer chair and picked up my still ringing cell phone.
"This can't be happening." I groaned, before answering my phone. "Edward, calm down and listen to me! You are not going to believe this..."
I'm a terrible person. I know.
Another cliffhanger you all have to endure…
But my battery on my laptop is dying so I have to hurry. So please, review!
I gotta go charge my computer now... xD