I know it has been a really long time since I've updated and I'm so sorry about that. Longer AN at the bottom. Enjoy.
Echoes of Silence
Chapter 17: Betrayed
"What are we going to do?" Edward asked, breaking the heavy silence.
"We're going to intercept them at their hotel." Carlisle explained slowly. "Arrest them before they can get to Bella."
I nodded numbly. I had a sick feeling that it wasn't going to be that easy.
"We get them locked up then what?" Emmett asked stiffly. I glanced at him and noticed his knuckles were white, his fist curled against his thigh.
"We're going to make sure they get what they deserve." Clark said gently.
"They deserve to die!" Emmett yelled, standing up. "They deserve every torture of hell for touching my sister. They don't deserve to sit in a cell while their lives wastes away. They don't deserve to be let off that easily." He roared. I could see the angry tears in his eyes, and felt my own tears, brimming on the edge. I stood up silently and moved to him, wrapping my arms around his large waist. Automatically his arms came around me, crushing me to him.
"Emmett, I can't let you take revenge out on them." I said against his chest. "I know you want to, trust me, I know you do, but Em you'll get caught." He started to protest when I cut him off. "You will get caught because you're not thinking clearly and then they will take you away Emmett. They'll take you away from me and I can't lose you Em. You're my family, my only blood family left. My rock. I can't lose you, not again." I whispered, my tears starting to blur my voice. Emmett was silent a moment before hugging me tighter.
"I'm sorry Bella, I just," he sighed, hugging me tighter and letting a silent sob rock through him. We were in an impossible situation, and poor Emmett was stuck between a rock and a hard place, terrified.
We stood there a moment while Emmett cried and we held each other. No one said anything, as far as I knew, they had all left the room. It didn't matter because right now, I needed my brother, and he needed me.
I knew I had been all for locking them up in jail to begin with, but now, the thought of them getting off so easy was making me sick. I hated them more than I could have ever imagined.
Bella kept on hugging me, her tiny arms a vice grip on my waist as I cried out my anger and frustration. This wasn't usual for me. My anger usually ended up in a punched wall or busted window. I never cried it out.
But Bella was there, like always, helping me through it. She was the best sister I could have ever asked for and I felt so guilty standing there, weeping like a blubbering mess while my sister, the rape and abuse victim, comforted me.
"Emmett," she said gently, her voice muffled in my shirt. I pulled away, just enough so she could speak to me clearly. She looked up at me and one of her hands came up to my cheek, wiping the tears away. "I love you Emmett. I know how strong you are. We're going to get through this." She whispered. Another wave of guilt hit me. I should be the one telling her that.
"Bella I'm so sorry." I whispered. She shook her head and hugged me again.
"It's okay Emmett. It's going to be okay." She whispered back.
I heard the doorbell ring in the distance but ignored it, clinging to Bella for all I was worth.
A familiar voice carried from the front room and I looked up, as did Bella. Lt. Smith was here.
"We have surveillance on the woman Victoria." Lt. Smith was talking to everyone as Bella and I entered the room. "Unfortunately we can't arrest her for anything yet, but we've got guys watching her round the clock. We didn't see a man with her." She said slowly. I felt Bella shake, her body tensing. "We're searching town now, but no one has seen anyone out of the ordinary. Are you sure he was with Victoria?" Jacob nodded solemnly. Lt. Smith nodded. "Alright, well, we'll keep on the look out, but in the mean time, I want you all to keep alert. Call me if you see or hear anything suspicious." She said turning to Carlisle. "Carlisle, Esme, you have my number right?" They both nodded and Lt. Smith smiled gently. "I'm hoping it doesn't come to it, but call me on that if you need me." She looked over at Bella and smiled gently. "Don't worry Bella, you've got the whole town behind you." Bella's eyes instantly started to tear up and she smiled gently.
"Thank you so much Jenny." Esme said giving her a hug. Lt. Smith nodded.
"It's the least I can do." With that she bowed her head to us and walked out of the house. I looked over at Emily and Clark who were both busy at work, Emily on the phone and Clark typing away furiously on his laptop.
"They are building the case." Rose said gently, stepping over to my side. I nodded mutely and watch as Bella walked over to Edward, sinking into his arms. "Don't worry Emmett. I've gotten my tenacity from my mom. She's not going to rest until James and Victoria have three life sentences with no chance of parole." I smiled and kissed her gently.
"Thanks so much for this." She nodded and smiled gently.
"Hey, I'm planning on being apart of your life as much and as long as possible. I want it to be happy." She said smiling. I smiled back at her.
"Good, because I don't want you going anywhere."
The next few days passed slowly. Every moment was tension filled and none of us left the house alone. Bella hadn't been out of the house since we'd picked up everyone at the police station and I honestly couldn't blame her. I was furious that James was somewhere out there, lurking in the shadows. More than my fury though, I was scared. My girl was so vulnerable right now, though she did a good job of trying to hide it; I could see it in her eyes. I hated seeing her like this and hated more that I couldn't do anything to help her and that scared me.
"I need to go to school." Bella told me the next morning. We were up ridiculously early, which wasn't too uncommon for us. Bella hadn't been sleeping well the past few days and I had been forcing myself to stay awake for her in case she needed me.
"Love I don't know if that's a good idea." I whispered. She shook her head.
"I can't hide out forever." She said quietly. "Plus if I'm out in the open, maybe that will draw James out of hiding."
I glared at her. "You want to use yourself as bait?" I growled. She wouldn't meet my gaze.
"I just," she paused and took a deep shuddering breath, squeezing her eyes shut against tears. A moment later her eyes opened and she looked up at me. "I want it to be over Edward. I can't live like this anymore. I want to be able to move on." She whispered. My gaze softened and I pulled her into my arms, holding her against my chest. She clung to me tightly and I sighed.
"I can't let you put yourself in danger like that." I whispered. Bella shook her head.
"You and Emmett will always be there with me." She reasoned. "There is no where safer than with you two."
I felt my resolve waver and Bella gave me a small smile. "Okay." I said finally. Bella grinned and leaned over to give me a sweet kiss before clamoring off the bed and dancing into the bathroom. I heard the shower start up and flopped back on the bed. Despite Bella's reassurances, I couldn't help but worry. She was putting herself out on the line today and I was going to do my best to make damn sure nothing happened to her.
Emmett, of course, adamantly refused to let me go to school. He blew up and started screaming and yelling and swearing and not even Rosalie could get him to calm down. I tried to keep a level head, knowing it would aid me more to do so and told him that I was going to school and he could either come with me or stay behind.
After about thirty minutes of arguing, Emmett finally gave in.
Neither Emmett nor Edward were technically in my first class, but Edward walked in anyway and sat with me. When the teacher completely ignored his unusual presence, I knew something was up.
"Did you call the school?" I asked quietly. He shook his head.
"No but mom and dad have been in contact. The teachers know that something is going on and either Emmett or I will be with you in all your classes." He explained.
"But what about your classes?" I argued.
"Love we take the same classes, just at different times. It'll be fine." He promised. I frowned at him but when he gave me his beautiful smile I couldn't stay mad.
Our classes were surprisingly dull and boring and while I was a little restless, I was thankful for the lack of activity.
In English about ten minutes until lunch, a student came into our class carrying a note for me to go see the principle. Edward stood to go with me but I shook my head.
"Stay here. I'll be fine. I'll meet you at lunch okay?" I asked quietly. He looked like he wanted to protest but when Mr. Mason asked him to take a seat, Edward sighed and gave in. I sent him a small smile before dashing out the room and heading down to the principal's office. I wondered vaguely if they had any word on Victoria and James. I couldn't really think of another reason I'd be called down there.
A door on my right opened and I looked up in surprise. "Oh I'm so sorry to startle you Miss Swan, I didn't see you." Mr. Laurent, my French teacher said giving me a small apologetic smile.
"It's okay." I mumbled in response.
"Are yeah headed to the principle?" He asked curiously. I nodded. "Do you have a moment real quick. I just want to give you your project back. I returned them earlier this week but you were absent." He said motioning to the classroom. I nodded and followed him in. "Have you been alright Miss Swan? I've been quite worried about you." He said moving over to his desk and ruffling through his bag. I shrugged.
"I'm fine." I said quietly. He glanced up at me and gave me a small smile.
"You know, if you need to talk about anything, I can be quite a good listener." He offered kindly. I gave him a small thankful smile and he pulled out my report, moving around his desk to hand it to me. "It was very well done Miss Swan. I was quite impressed." He said kindly. I took it in my hands and gave him another small smile. He stared at me a moment then sighed and looked down at his hands. When he looked back up at me, my heart started beating erratically. His face was no longer kind, but determined.
"Mr. Laurent?" I asked nervously.
"I'm so sorry about this Miss Swan. Please don't make this any more difficult than it needs to be." He said stepping closer to me. My heart froze in panic and I hesitated a second too long before trying to run. He caught me easily and wrapped a hand around my mouth to stop me from screaming. "I am really sorry about this my dear." He said yanking me out of the room. I struggled in his grasp and he sighed, pulling out a capped hypodermic needle from his pocket. "You can stop struggling or I can drug you. Take your pick Miss Swan." He growled. Immediately I stopped struggling. Whatever was going to happen to me, I wanted to be alert. "Good, now keep up. We're almost there." He said quietly. He dragged me out of the school and back behind it so we were out of view of anyone passing by. We walked several yards into the line of trees that edged the school and come across a small unused service road where a light blue car sat waiting for us. The front door opened and my heart slammed against my chest as I tried to rip free from Mr. Laurent's grasp. No no no!
"Well hello Isabella." James said coolly. "You've been a very difficult to find my dear." He looked up at Mr. Laurent and smiled at him. "Thank you so much for your assistance John."
Mr. Laurent huffed and tossed me towards James. I tried to scramble away but his big hands wrapped around my arms and gripped me so tight I knew I'd have bruises.
"My debut to you is paid." Mr. Laurent growled. "I no longer owe you anything and this," he gestured between the two of them at me. "Never happened."
James nodded in understanding. "Yes of course. Thank you so much for helping me get my dear girl back." James said curling his fingers around me. I opened my mouth to let out a scream but James' hand clamped down over it before a sound could be made. I stared at Mr. Laurent, my eyes wide and pleading. Please don't leave me with him.
Mr. Laurent stared at me a long moment then looked down ashamed and turned away. Without another word he disappeared back into the trees leaving me at the mercy of James.
I know it wasn't very long and I left you on yet another cliffy, however, I finally found the document that I'd been working on so I have the rest of the story mapped out. I should be able to post it pretty regularly now I hope. Thank you to everyone who stuck through all this with me. I love you all!