Disclaimer: Only the plot is mine. Anything else you recognize from the Twilight Saga belongs to Stephenie Meyer. The song belongs to Action Item.


I don't need nobody else to feel alright about myself
So yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm just fine; I'm just fine without you
Well look at that sun still shining down, still shining down, here
And I'm never gonna let you bring your clouds, back around, here

~Without You, Action Item


Chapter 16:

Bella

"Look," I whispered, "We're all smart, capable girls, right? We can figure a way out of this." Ben had locked us in the bedroom, ironically the site of our refuge only a few minutes before. The girls looked far worse than I had ever seen them—I was close to losing it myself. Thank God for small miracles like my overprotective father signing me up for multiple self-defense classes, teaching me not to lose my head in situations like this.

"Bella, I just can't deal with this!" Di burst out. "Not with the bathroom and Ben and mmmphhh—" I slapped a hand over her mouth.

"Di, you can't!" I hissed, smiling sardonically towards Ben's malicious glare and gun. "We're not going to give him any advantages!"

She sighed in defeat, tears sparkling in the corners of her doe eyes. "I know, Bells, but I'm not like you! Not anymore; we've all changed so much from high school."

"Tell me about it." I tried to find a logical way out of this, all of them coming to dead ends. "I mean, right now, we're locked in a bedroom at gunpoint, by the guy who was voted 'Best to Take Home to Meet the Parents' senior year."

Alice let out a small giggle.

"Shut up!" Ben growled. "I gave you ten minutes to tell me where the hell she is! And you lovely ladies have two left! Or, I start getting answers the easy way!" He stroked his knife the way an old lady might stroke a loyal kitten. It made me sick to my stomach. Angela must have heard the break in, there was no way she would be in the bathroom this long. I could only hope that she had run, instead of trying to play heroine.

To my dismay and my hopefulness, I heard a floorboard creak.

Ben's head snapped up. "Who was that? Is there anyone else coming over?" He pointed the gun at Alice. She shook her head, eyes squeezed shut. "Tell the truth!" he threatened. She shook her head harder.

"Well fine," he sneered. "We'll just add whoever it is to our little, ahem, soiree, shall we?"

The door opened. Angela stood there, armed with a sturdy pan. My heart went out to her—as much as I loved her for taking a stand against her greatest fear, I knew the pan would be no match for Ben's gun.

"Angela." He lowered his gun a few inches, which was currently pointed at Di's head. "So nice to see you."

"Can't say the same to you." Her voice wavered, but she held strong against his gaze.

"Move, and she's dead." He nodded towards Di.

"Ben, I only wanted to talk," she said, slowly stepping towards him. "We still can have a future—we'll run away and never come back."

Ben turned all of his attention to her. Thankfully, Ang could still work the doe eyes.

"Please?" she asked, taking another step. "You're not a killer. I know you aren't. Don't you want to go and live the life we've always imagined? Don't do this."

"Ang, I can't not," Ben said. Though his voice was gentler, it still held a tone of corruption. "They know too much. I have to get rid of them so we can be happy. Don't you want to be happy?"

"Yes, of course I do honey!" She was close enough to touch him, placing the pan within Rose's vicinity and reaching out to stroke his cheek.

Ben's attention was entirely focused on Angela—she took a breath, and pulled his head down to hers before he had a chance to do anything about it, kissing him hard and long.

Rose had picked up the pan in the moment they kissed, and without missing a beat, brought it down hard upon his head.

Angela pushed him off of her, and in that moment, a bubbling feeling rose up in me; one of satisfaction and happiness, but most of all, an incredible relief. We were safe. Di pulled us all into a hug, sobbing.

"Yuck," grimaced Angela, "I cannot believe I kissed him. I'm going to be brushing my teeth for weeks!"

Half sobbing, half laughing, I pulled her into another hug. "And we all love you for it," I said. "How about we treat you to a surprise after all this?"

She smiled. "All I want from you guys are monthly girls' out nights, because I know I made some amazing friendships tonight. Not even he could spoil that."

"Ok, guys, we have to do something about this before he wakes up," I said, my common sense kicking in. Alice snapped into action.

"Here, take the curtains," she said, "Tie him up in that chair."

"I'll call the police," Di said, wiping her tears and dialing.

Satisfied, I looked around. We were safe, thank God, and the police were on their way. What else could go wrong?

We heard knocking on the door downstairs.

"I'll get it," Rose volunteered. "You guys stay up here and guard him."

"I'll go with you," said Di, "I don't think any of us really want to be alone right now."


Edward

Thankfully, the guys had been receptive when I called them, raring to go. We were outside the house now, and I was knocking on the door with Jasper and Emmett in the bushes.

"Why do I have to be in the bushes?" Jasper complained, "I'm getting things stuck in places they shouldn't be!"

"Because," I answered patiently, "they know I'm here, and you would be an unfamiliar face! Just let me do this my way, please." For Bella, I added silently in my head.

The door creaked open, showing a miniscule bit of person—rather, persons. Rose and Di were there, peeking cautiously out.

A wave of appreciation rushed over me—if they were safe, Bella had to be too!

"Where's Bella?" I demanded, pushing the door open.

"Upstairs," said Di, "Calm down, buddy! The police are on their way, everything's fine."

"Edward?" Her voice floated down the stairs, music to my ears. I saw her, standing there, safe and beautiful and Bella. She hurried down the steps, looking beautiful as ever, though I saw the worry in her eyes.

Rose showed Jasper and Emmett inside. They were grumbling, Jasper brushing off bits of bush. Emmett embraced Rose, and Jasper was directed upstairs to find Alice.

"So, where's Ben?" were the first words that tumbled out of my mouth. "Has he broke in yet? Because, you know, I saw him here, not that I was spying on you, just looking out, and—"

"Shh," said Bella, breaking me off. "He's upstairs. Don't worry, Alice is guarding him, and I'm sure Jasper will make sure he doesn't do anything."

"But how—"

"Edward," she said with an admonishing glare, "It's okay. We're all safe, and right now I really don't want to talk about it. The girls and I have been through enough tonight to last a lifetime. Right now, let's just focus on waiting for the police to get here."


Bella

The word 'thankful' could not encompass all of the gratefulness I felt at our safety. Although I was…appreciative, seeing Edward, Jasper, and Emmett only made me feel like I was some kind of damsel in distress to be saved from the villain. I was proud to say that we ladies had fought him off ourselves—proud that we had fought him off by ourselves.

I just wanted to make sure he understood that.


A/N: I don't need to tell you all how long it's been- let's just say I was inspired to start writing again by the illustrious and amazing Sarah Kay, I would recommend checking out her TED talk. So inspiring, enchanting, mesmerizing- I can't praise her enough. I'm done with the Twilight fandom, but I owe it to my readers to finish the stories I started. As an avid reader, fanfiction and otherwise, I know how aggravating unfinished stories and waiting for the next book in a series to come out are.

So, love always, feel free to PM me- so many things have changed!3