Sorry for the short delay I've been really busy at work lately and preparing to go back to school. I've only really found time to update my other fic, "Wide open spaces", because of the huge demand. I'm going to try really hard to get back into the swing of things and updating both daily. Please keep reviewing with your thoughts. It helps me stay on track!
I pace the living room, walking back and forth. My eyes every now and then look down to Bella who appears so tiny, curled up in the arm chair, within her robe. I see her tuck her fists into the garment so I cover her with a blanket that was resting over the back of the adjacent couch.
Esme and Carlisle are standing near the window having a conversation about politics. It's uninteresting because they often agree too much to make the debate get heated. Jasper and Alice are taking their sweet time getting down to the family meeting, I just called. I supposed the watery fun was too much for the two who were extremely overdue on alone time. Thankfully my concern with Bella's health makes it easy to divert my attention from the sounds of furniture squeaking and the two moaning.
Emmett finally comes down the staircase and gives me a shrug, "I can't find her anywhere; I suppose she went hunting."
"Well, well, big surprise there," I grumble and glare at Emmett's angry expression.
"What are you accusing my wife of?" Emmett looks furious.
"Don't you think it's just a little coincidental that I call a family meeting to discuss the possibility that someone in this house may be playing games with Bella's mind and the only person we cannot find happens to be the same person who holds contempt for Bella?" I cross my arms.
"Jasper and Alice aren't here too, you know," Emmett defends Rosalie.
"They're here," I mutter and cross my arms staying silent. Emmett tilts his head, listening for a short moment then laughs.
"What's funny?" Bella finally speaks after being deep in thought for a long while.
"Jasper and Alice are having a … conversation," Emmett smirks, "a deep conversation."
I shake my head and watch as Bella's cheeks turn my favorite shade of pale pink.
"That's enough, Emmett, I think I have all the answers I need to determine what is going on by the attendance," I reach my hand out for Bella and she takes it pulling herself up off the couch.
"Why would Rosalie do such a thing?" Bella asks and I hear Emmett growl.
"If you accuse my wife of playing head games with Bella then you don't know anything about her. Regardless if you can see inside of her mind," Emmett scowls at me and I only roll my eyes.
"Don't you think for one moment that I am just going to let this slide; the next time I see that blonde mop I am going to teach her a lesson on playing fair," a growl rips through me and Carlisle is between Emmett and I in a moment before either of us can react.
"Edward, there is a system. It is called innocent before proven guilty. I'd like to presume that Rose had nothing to do with what happened before we condemn her," Carlisle says calmly.
I wrap my arms around Bella and draw her into my chest, protectively, "fine, have it your way. From now on I don't want Bella alone in this house, she is moving out of that wing," I say and shoot Esme a glare at her disapproving thoughts.
"Oh! Excellent idea," Alice bounces down the stairs and giggles. I raise my brow at Jasper who just smirks to himself, satisfied.
"What idea?" Bella asks.
"You can move into me and Jasper's wing!" she giggles, "It'll be so much fun!" Alice hops up and down in one spot. Jasper's smirk melts away.
"I'd prefer it if she'd stay with me," I grumble to Alice, too low for Bella to hear. I don't want her out of my sight and the fact that Jasper will be so close does not bring me much comfort. He's snapped before, there is nothing stopping him from doing it again.
"No she can stay with me! Don't worry about Jasper; you boys can have a wing to yourself and all the girls will have a wing. It'll be like a slumber party!" Alice giggles.
I feel Bella's arms wrap around me tightly, "save me," she says hiding her face in my chest.
"Bell doesn't want to, Alice. Stop pushing her, it's always games with you," he growls strictly.
Alice pouts and crosses her arms; Jasper is by her side in a moment and wraps an arm securely around the little vampire, "What's wrong with you, man?" Jasper gives me a cold stare.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap. I'm just stressed out because Bella is so fragile right now-,"
"Oh cut it out!" Bella yells, her voice is still gruff. "I am so sick of everyone treating me like I am breakable! I'm not! I should just let you guys change me and get it over with!"
My eyes look down her rosy face, is that what she really wants? It is why I went back to Forks. It was to change her so I could keep her forever. So we could have each other forever.
"Is that what you want, Bella?" I ask her softly. Everyone stays quiet. No one's thoughts produce any inkling of disapproval, not even Esme's. In fact, Esme's thoughts are somewhat sympathetic toward me now. Her thoughts read like a picture book, all of us living under one roof, everyone equal and no one being carful not to break the human. There is less edge in the environment of her prediction for the future.
"I don't know. It just seems like it makes sense. You're all my family," she whispers softly. "I don't feel like I can possibly be here much longer if I'm not on equal playing ground."
Equal. I am taken back by the use of that word. It is almost exactly the same way that Esme's thoughts put it. I look down to Bella, my love, she is not the same girl who I left in Forks almost two years ago. She has changed, I don't know if it was because I had left her alone of if it was because she spent so much time putting her own interests aside to take care of her deteriorating father but there was something different. She spoke wiser and her eyes were softer.
"Are you sure Bella?" I ask her softly again.
"Yes, what else do I have left to do in this life?"
"Bella if we do this—there is no going back."