To all my friends/reviewers/readers : You know who you all are - You are the reason this is fun for me. Thank you for being so faithful to this story!

A BIG THANK YOU TO MY BETA, JEN! (LJ: bell12804 & FF: stargirl888) : I've never known anyone to have more patience than you. You're smart beyond your years,
and you really know how to explain certain situations to me so we can BOTH understand them. I'm learning a lot from you, so thank you very much!

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Chapter 13: An important Chapter. Merry Christmas Everyone.
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Officially rated M.

... And again PLEASE REVIEW!

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Disclaimer: I own nothing that is Twilight or Stephenie Meyer related. Just this little story, not the characters. [Robert Pattinson is hiding under my tree though, and he's only wearing a bow. ;)]

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For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.

Mark 8:36

Chapter 13: Truth And Baggage

I didn't want to leave the sanity of Edward's bedroom. I was so afraid of the emptiness and the loneliness that was going to inevitably creep up inside of me when I left him. I knew if I didn't go home and explain myself to Charlie, he'd have everyone in the vicinity of this town searching for me tonight.

I hadn't been home in almost two whole days, and there was no excuse I could give that would dig me out of the hole I've created for myself. Of course I don't regret one second of it, but I also knew that Charlie had an angry streak when it came to his daughter, so it'd be best if I didn't keep him waiting longer.

Reluctantly, I held my breath and turned the door handle. I knew he'd be sitting at the kitchen table, where he liked to inspect and work on his gun collection. I didn't even get inside the house before I heard him clear his throat.

"Where have you been, Bella?" His voice was steady but deep. Scary in a way, like a Father who is holding himself back from scolding his daughter for lying to him. Great.

I swallowed hard. "I went hunting. I had a close call in class the other day, and I knew it'd be best if I got out of there and had some fresh air, pulled my thoughts together." I walked slowly in the kitchen, but he didn't look up at me.

"Did you think it was something you might want to inform me of before you went?"

"I felt it was best to leave immediately, and that you'd understand."

Charlie looked up and squared his eyes at me. "Yes. Perhaps. If the need was urgent."

I nodded. "It was."

"Hmm." A few moments lingered on in silence, and right before I thought I was in the clear, Charlie slammed his hand on the square table so hard it caused it to crack down the middle. He shot out of his chair, throwing it backward to where it broke in a million pieces, and charged to me, pinning me against the wall.

"Don't you ever, ever scare me like that, ever again, Bella! Do you understand me! This was ridiculous, I was worried about you every second that you were away! Wondering what could have happened, if you slipped up and hurt yourself or someone else! You have no idea what I've been through!"

I nodded quickly, my lip quivering as I stood solid in my place. "I'm sorry, Dad. I panicked."

"I was worried to death, Bella!"

"I'm sorry."

He glared at me for a second, then reluctantly took a few steps back to calm his anger. He rubbed his chest for a few moments in thought, then looked back to me, shaking his head. His voice was almost faint when he spoke again. "You're all I have left in this whole world, Bella. It's just me and you, and I don't know what I would do if I lost you too."

"I know, Dad. Nothing is going to happen to me, though. You know that."

He shook his head. "I don't know that, Bella. That's just it. I can't follow you around and make sure you're doing what you need to be doing, and following the steady ground rules we've set to keep us here. So when I'm not around, you have to make the decisions for yourself. If what was best for you was to get away from temptation, then I would understand, but you could have easily found some way to let me know. Leave a note or something."

I nodded. "I will next time, I promise."

"Well," he cleared his throat as he adjusted his pants. "Hopefully there won't be a next time."

I exhaled deep. "I'm really sorry, Dad. I realize now that it was stupid. It won't happen again."

Charlie nodded as he took a different seat at the table. "I'm sorry I went off on you. It'd been building while you were away, I suppose."

I shrugged. "We needed a new kitchen table anyway. Just speeds up the process."

He smirked. "Yeah I guess you're right."

Charlie and I sat and talked for awhile. He told me how Jim Danielson from the County Police was bossing his team around, and really starting to piss him off. Apparently the murders in the surrounding areas are edging closer, causing everyone stress at the department. Charlie joked about how easily it'd be to trap Jim in a corner somewhere just to scare him and get him to shut up, which was quite amusing to listen to.

Then we hunted together and I lied to him about me hanging out with Angela after school those few weeks before the accident, and that was why I hadn't been home as much. Charlie didn't necessarily approve of my friendship with Angela, but understood how lonely I was, so he accepted it after awhile. Angela has been a friend for a few years now, so he's pretty much gotten over the concern of my thirst.

After all, it wasn't like I ever drank human blood before. So it'd made things easier for Charlie to accept -- or live with, necessarily.

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I didn't like lying to him. It didn't feel good to know that I was keeping secrets from him.

I knew that once you lied, you'd have to keep lying in order to cover your tracks, and usually, I'm not very good at that. I'm surprised I got away with it this time...

I waited until Charlie was in his bedroom, filling out paperwork for his job. He called it "sleep time" so he wouldn't be disturbed. He never left the room, and he never asked for me. I knew I was in the clear.

Once it was three in the morning, I threw on a park of dark jeans, a white tank top, and a leather jacket. Overwhelmed in excitement, I snuck out the window and ran to Edward's house. I climbed in his bedroom window, but found his bed empty. I sighed and listened for any movement in the house. There was none, only a few movements in Emmett and Rosalie's bedroom from someone getting comfortable, and light snoring in a few other rooms.

Feeling anxious, I crept down the stairs, and through the kitchen, wondering if he woke up and wanted a snack. He told me a few weeks back that he normally couldn't sleep on an empty stomach. I thought it'd be cute to find him sitting at the counter eating some kind of disgusting cereal and looking half asleep with hair messy. But there was no Edward.

After a few bathroom checks, I finally found him curled up on the couch asleep in the living room with his hand dangling over with the remote slipping out of his hand. There was an infomercial about some sort of super glue playing quietly from the television. Jetson was curled up at his feet, laying on his back with his four paws up in the air. Edward looked so peaceful there.

I smiled as I walked over there and sat on the coffee table in front of him. His mouth was slightly parted and his eyelashes fluttered while he dreamt. My hand, having a mind of it's own, ran across his warm forehead and through his hair, smoothing it back. He inhaled deep and a small smile began to form on his lips, but then he relaxed and his smile drifted away as he fell back into his sleep.

I bit my lip, wishing I could somehow crawl in his mind and see what he was seeing... wondering what kind of magical land he could be living in at the moment... I couldn't remember what it was like to dream anymore, it'd been so long ago. But I did know that there was nothing like it, and I hated being woken up in the mornings. I remembered how my mother always joked around and flopped pillows down on me to wake me, but it rarely worked. I could sleep like a log.

I found myself mesmerized by Edward dreaming as I snuggled on the chair across from him, sketching nothings and falling in love with the bats of his lashes and the steady beat of his warm chest. Every once in awhile he'd turn a little or stretch his legs, but most of the time, he'd curl back into his fetal position on his left side and bury his face into the cover.

Before I knew it, almost three hours had passed and Esme was waking up. Carefully and quietly, I snuck upstairs to Edward's bedroom and hid on the opposite side of his bed, listening to the rest of the Cullen's waking up and starting their day.

I heard Emmett teasing Rosalie while he was taking a shower, shouting stuff like "Go, Ra, Shishck boom ba! I'm a cheerleader, just like Rose!" and then he'd yell because she'd run in giggling and flush the toilet.

Then I heard an electric razor as Jasper hummed to himself. Alice was in her room somewhere, throwing around something that sounded like clothes as she kept cursing lightly and saying she wished she could go shopping because she had nothing to wear.

I heard Carlisle kiss Esme on the cheek as they walked down stairs together. A few moments later, I heard sizzling coming from the kitchen, and Carlisle asking how Esme wanted her eggs. She chose sunnyside up.

I leaned my head back on the side of his bed, enjoying the conversations they were all having.

After about fifteen minutes, I heard Edward scream "Ow!" but when I jumped up, I heard Emmett snickering and telling him, "Get up. Jasper wants you upstairs, you fag."

"Fuck off."

"Not necessary. Rosalie took care of that for me earlier."

"What was that?" I heard Carlisle's footsteps softly enter downstairs, followed by an Emmett stuttering to come up with an excuse.

"N-Nothing, dad. Just joking."

"Sure you were. Edward, you might want to start getting ready, it's six-seventeen. Emmett, you and I are going to talk after school, so don't make any plans, alright?"

"Sure, Dad."

I heard a light smack followed by Edward laughing as he ran up the stairs, followed by Emmett's loud steps behind him. Then I heard an "Ow, watch it!" come from Alice, then a scoff by Rosalie as they galloped past the boys and down the stairs.

I held my breath as the footsteps grew closer, worried that everyone would freak out if they found me in Edward's bedroom, hiding by the bed. But thankfully, they stopped on the second story and went into Jasper and Alice's room, which was directly under Edward's.

"What do you want, Jazz?" Edward asked, sounding like he wasn't fully awake yet. His voice was raspy, and really sexy.

I bit my lip.

"I was wondering if you could talk for a second."

Emmett snickered, followed by a flop as he jumped on Jasper's bed. "He was asleep downstairs on the couch and I dropped Jetson on his junk. You should have seen his eyes light up!"

"Yeah, you're really intelligent," Jasper replied to him sarcastically.

"I know. I never cease to amaze myself."

"Regardless!" Edward cut in. "What's up, Jazz?"

I heard Jasper close the bedroom door before continuing. "So what's the deal with you and Bella?"

"Yeah are you fucking her yet?"

"Shut up, Emmett!" Jasper and Edward were in unison on that one, causing me to laugh to myself.

"What? We all want to know, so don't try to deny it, choir boy."

"I wouldn't come right out and ask him like that though. Maybe it's private?"

Edward sighed and cleared his throat. "I'm not fucking her. We're together though. I'm in love with her."

Emmett snickered and then sighed loudly.

"Do you know her all that well? I mean, in order to make such a large announcement like that?"

Great, well that'd explain the look Jasper was giving me the other day. He was concerned for Edward. That maybe I wasn't good enough, like I didn't know that already.

"I know her more than anyone else, I'd say."

"And you're not fucking her yet? Do you not know how to use it or something?"

"You know what Em?" Edward said. "It's not all about sex."

"Says the virgin."

A few moments lingered in silence and then Jasper piped up again. "She's really gorgeous, Edward. I give you that."

"Yeah... she's really beautiful."

"Yeah she's got all the equipment," Emmett replied, "But she don't know how to put it together, if you ask me. I mean, she's got sex kitten written all over her tiny little curvacious body, but she doesn't spice that up at all. It's like she has no confidence."

"Maybe she's just shy?" Jasper mused.

"No. She's a virgin too. It's obvious she ain't had it stuck to her yet."

"Emmett." Edward's voice was stern. "Shut the fuck up."

"Edward come on dude! Lighten up!"

"Maybe you could help her with that?" Jasper said, making me swallow hard. "Like... you know, show her how beautiful you think she is."

"Or you could just give her the spunk."

I heard Jasper and Edward punch Emmett, causing him to shout, "Ow! Fucking dickweed douchebags!"

"I do tell her," Edward said. "but I wonder if it's not enough. I am working on helping her, but sometimes, it can be difficult. I mean, I think I've broken down some of her walls, proving to her how beautiful she is, and how much her worth is... but she always apologizes for every little thing, and she can hardly look at me in the eyes at times. It's as if she's afraid of me, and that makes no sense to me. Especially if you knew how our situation was."

"Edward," Emmett chimed again, obviously not learning his lesson yet. "I know you want to fuck her. Don't lie to us. I see how you look at her and lick your lips when she's not paying attention to you."

"No I don't."

"Yes you do!" Jasper replied. "You look at her sometimes like she's something you'd order on a breakfast menu."

Emmett laughed. "Thank you! Now he finally finds honesty! See, Edward? We've all seen it."

I bit my thumnail listening to Edward denying it.

"It's not about sex though, honestly. I want to be with her forever. I would give my life for in a heartbeat, with no questions asked."

"You're gonna have to be honest with her."

"Yeah, tell her you want to order her name off the breakfast menu." Emmett snickered.

Edward sighed. "She's not ready for that, guys."

Emmett and Jasper shouted as their footsteps jogged around the room.

"I knew it!" Emmett shouted. "You want her, you little horny bastard! Look Jazzhat, he's blushing!"

"No I'm not!"

"Yes you are." Great. Jasper confirming it.

"I just really love her."

"We can tell!"

"So what?" Edward shouted in defense. "Not that any of this shit is your business, but it doesn't matter because she's not ready and it's no big deal."

"Come on Ed, how long's it been? A year or some shit? It could be broken or something."

"Emmett, shut the fuck up."

"Look, Edward," Jasper said. "If you want to be with her for the long run, and you say you're in love with her, then don't you think Bella deserves to know how you feel about her, and your guys's relationship? Don't you think she deserves to know if you're ready for the next step?"

Edward sighed. "You guys are going to be late for school."

I heard Emmett booing Edward as he opened the door. He ran up the stairs, and I thought about hiding under the bed, but since I was temporary frozen from all the information that was just given to me, I panicked and froze in place.

Edward's door swung open and slammed shut behind him, and he stormed through his room and into the bathroom. His scent was everywhere, giving me the same affect a newborn baby gives to his mother. I wanted to just sniff and sniff until there was nothing left to inhale.

Common sense slammed me in the face when I heard the toilet seat being raised, and I covered my mouth as Edward peed. Then the water was running and I heard him brushing his teeth. I stood up unsteadily to climb out of the window, but right when I reached it, Edward came out of the bathroom with toothpaste on his bottom lip and the brush in his mouth, frozen solid as he saw me.

Slowly, he pulled the toothbrush from his mouth and turned around, walking back into the bathroom in silence. I heard him quickly rinse his mouth and clear his throat. Then he came back out. "Hey you." His voice was still a little raspy, and his hair was all over the place. He wore a black tee shirt and dark green silk pajama pants.

He looked like a sex God.

I swallowed hard. "Hey."

He studied my expression. "Love, have you been here long?"

I shook my head instantly. "Just got here. Is this okay?"

He nodded and relaxed his posture. "Of course." He walked over to me and wrapped his arms tight around my waist. "I missed you."

I smiled and hugged him back. "I missed you too."

His body was warm and he smelled delicious. I breathed him in and held him tighter.

"So what did you do last night? I thought you'd come back."

I sighed. "I had to give some face time with Charlie. He was worried about me, about where I had been."

Edward pulled away back a little to look at me. "What did you tell him?"

I frowned. "Just the usual. That I went hunting and stuff like that... I left him a note so when he'd get up, he'd know I went to school early."

Edward nodded slowly. "So when am I going to meet him?"

I pulled away and took a few steps back. "What?"

"I'd like to meet him, Bella."

I shook my head. "I don't think that'd be the best idea."

Edward arched his brows. "Why not?"

"I-I just think it's best to, um, wait a while."

His lips formed into a slight frown. "He doesn't know about me, does he?"

I shook my head, swallowing hard. "You're human, Edward."

Reality sank into his features and he nodded while he looked down. "I get it."

I bit the inside of my lip and looked around the floor for a few minutes. "...I'm sorry. I just don't think he'll accept us."

He nodded again and crossed his arms over his chest. "I understand."

"Thanks, I guess." I slumped my shoulders and sat on the edge of his empty bed. "So... what do you want to do today?"

He shrugged.

"Do you want to go to the meadow?"

He shrugged again, still not looking at me.

"You're disappointed, aren't you?"

Edward continued to stare at his feet. "It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does."

Edward slowly raised his head and looked at me. "You're not ready for me to meet him, and I'm willing to wait for you."

I sighed. "Again with the 'you're not ready' stuff."

There was silence in the room, followed by a "...What?"

Oh my God, did I just say that out loud?

Edward dropped his hands and took a step closer to me. "What did you mean by that?"

I shuffled my feet and looked down to my fingers. "Nothing."

"Bella, look at me."

Like a girl getting caught stealing candy, I slowly looked up at him.

He shook his head, seeing right through me. "Bella, why would you lie to me?"

I shrugged slowly.

"No. Please tell me."

"I-I don't know, I was afraid you'd get mad at me if you knew I was here earlier."

Edward nodded slowly in thought. "So you heard my conversation with Emmett and Jazz?"

"Yes."

He sighed and sat on the bed next to me. "I'm sorry you had to hear that, Bella."

I shrugged again. "'S okay. I mean, I shouldn't have been listening."

He smirked. "Yes, well you know what they say about eavesdroppers."

I nodded, still ashamed.

"Are you upset with me?"

I shook my head. "No, I just wish you would have asked me before you assumed stuff."

He arched his brows and tilted his head to me, resting his hand on mine, which sat on my leg. "How do you mean?"

I shrugged again, finding it easier to communicate with gestures instead of words. "M-maybe because I am ready now?"

Edward froze. "Ready?"

I swallowed hard. "Yes."

"For ...sex?"

I nodded again.

Edward thought for a few minutes to himself. Then, his words made me angry: "I don't think you are, Bella."

I snapped my head up and glared at him. "Why do you keep thinking that?"

He snickered. "Bella, you can't even look me in the eye!"

I stood up and thrusted my hands on my hips as I continued to glare at him. "I'm looking you in the eye now."

He smirked. "Because you're pissed."

"No!" I sounded more like a three year old throwing a tantrum, so I pulled my voice together better. "I'm looking at you because I'm ready!"

Edward shook his head and sighed. "You look quite sexy when you're pissed, I give you that."

That made me more frustrated. I walked over to him and stood between his legs. "I. Am. Ready. For. The. Next. Step."

Edward, being the dominant sexy soul that he is, stood up and looked down at me, face inches from mine. "Prove it."

That threw me off guard and my eyes strained away from him for a brief second, but I stood my ground and looked back up him. Then I unzipped my jacket and yanked it off of me.

His lips parted slightly, but Edward didn't remove his eyes from mine.

Keeping my stride, I unbuttoned my jeans and smiled at him.

Edward shook his head and inhaled deep. "What are you doing, Bella?"

I walked over to him and wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling his face down to mine. "Isn't it obvious?"

Edward smirked as I grabbed his hands, wrapped them around my body, then behind me, and planted his hands on pockets of my jeans. Then I stood on my tiptoes, holding his hands on my ass, and kissed him. I had to lean my chest on him so I wouldn't fall forward, but I didn't mind. I drew his bottom lip into my mouth, sucking on it lightly. He tasted like mint toothpaste and goody freshness, and his breathing hitched as I pushed it with more fire.

I gasped as his hands squeezed me with his warm and firm touch, and smashed my face to his once more.

Edward pulled his face away and dropped his hands from my body. "Wait, wait a second."

I shook my head, sliding my tongue in his mouth. His breathing stopped as he matched my kiss, battling me with passion. His warm breath surrounded me, and his sweet tongue had the power to make my entire body fall on the ground in weakness. I tangled my fingers in his hair, pulling him down to me as I lightly moaned his name in his lips.

His warm arms wrapped around my waist, picking me up from the ground. I felt his heart pound through his chest onto mine, and smiled in our kiss, knowing I was winning.

I threw my legs around him, but he pulled me back quickly, sitting my feet back on the ground.

I arched my right eyebrow, not having any of that. "Do you want me to undress you too?"

Before he could answer, I pushed his black shirt up his chest, waiting for him to raise his arms.

He didn't do it though. Just continued to smirk in silence with his own thoughts.

"Okay." I shrugged, then ripped his shirt down the middle and pushed it off his shoulders.

He snickered and shook his head, stepping away from me. "I am not going to have sex with you so you can prove a point, Bella."

"I'm not trying to prove a point. I want to be with you."

He shook his head.

I felt my skin begin to tighten. "You said to prove it, so I'm trying to prove it!"

"Bella," he snickered. "I didn't mean prove to me that you want to have sex with me. I meant, if you're ready for us like you say you are, then take me to meet Charlie."

I titled my head to him. "Are you high, Edward?"

He shook his head again. "You said you were ready for the next step."

"You're not playing fair here. I didn't mean that next step."

"I'm not going to sleep with you before I meet you dad, Bella."

I swallowed hard. "Don't you want me though?" My voice came out shallow as defeat washed over me.

"Of course I do, but not like this. You're conflicted and frustrated, and it's not fair to either of us. I want you to be rational, Bella."

I nodded, backing away from him.

He frowned. "You still love me?"

I nodded again while I picked up my jacket and put it back on. "Yes."

"Then please, Bella. Let me meet him."

"He could get really upset, Edward. Like... furious."

"I'll protect you."

I scoffed and shook my head. "You can't protect me from everything. You're human, and Charlie is a vampire. I can't even run from him."

Edward walked over to me and wrapped his arms around me. "I'll do whatever I can. I mean, who knows, maybe he'll like me?"

I sighed, feeling defeated again. "Yeah. Who knows."

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Edward showered quickly, and then dressed in a black sweater and jeans.

We waited until nine in the morning, when Carlisle finally got paged to go to the hospital. Then we climbed in Edward's volvo and he drove us into town.

My mind was working non stop, trying to think of all the ways I could get out of this situation. I knew Charlie would be angry with me, but felt the best way to save our identities and Edward's body was to do it out in the open, at the police station, so Charlie couldn't overreact.

I almost ran out of oxygen on the way over there, but Edward remained calm and collected. Like he didn't care that he was about to meet another Vampire.

Shaking, I led Edward up the ramp to the police station. Dad's friend Robert was sitting on the front desk on the phone. He waved me forward and I pulled Edward along. "Ahh, Miss Swan. How are you doing today?"

I forced a smile. "Fine, is Dad here?"

"Sure. I'll go get him."

I nodded and Edward pulled me to take a seat next to him. He remained calm while I bounced on my toes, biting my fingernails.

"Are you okay?" He whispered as his hand gently squeezed mine.

I cleared my throat. "I guess."

"Nothing is going to happen, Bella. He loves you too much. We just have to be honest with him, I think it's the best way."

I nodded too quickly. "I know."

I heard a throat clear and dropped his hand immediately, standing up to face Charlie. Edward stood up too, chin raised, tall and proud.

"Hey Bella," Charlie said wearily. "What are you doing here?"

I inhaled deep and gathered my voice. "Dad, I want you to meet someone." Slowly, I turned to Edward and patted his arm. "This is Edward... Edward, this is my father, Charlie."

Edward held out his hand and smiled sincere. "Hello, Chief Swan. I wanted to formally introduce myself. I'm Edward Cullen."

Charlie shook his hand, not removing his eyes off of me. "Nice to meet you, Edward... Are you guys classmates?"

Edward nodded. "I moved here this year."

"Cullen is your last name? As in Carlisle Cullen?"

"Yes Sir. He's my father. Well, he adopted me."

Charlie finally directed his gaze to Edward. "You don't say?"

Edward beamed proudly. "He's a wonderful man."

"Yes. He is." Charlie looked at Edward and me for a few moments, then stared back into my eyes. "So, Bella... Why aren't you in school?"

Edward and I froze instantly, dumbfounded that we forgot about school today.

"U-Um, it's a long story, Dad."

"It's my fault, Sir." Edward seemed so strong, it overwhelmed me. "I got into a fight the other day and unfortunately was suspended for two days for my behavior."

Charlie arched his brows. "A fight?"

"With Mike Newton," I replied, stepping between Edward and my father and widening the space. "Mike was being cruel to me, like always, and Edward was just trying to protect me."

"I realize this is unacceptable, Sir."

Charlie studied Edward's expression for a few moments, and then looked at me. "Edward, would you mind if Bella and I spoke alone in my office?"

"Of course not. I'll wait here."

"Thanks."

I felt like I was walking on broken glass as I followed him into the office. Charlie pulled down the white blinds on the window to his door, then stuck his hands on his hips.

I fidgeted nervously.

"A human, Bella? A suspended human?"

"Dad it's not like that."

He gritted his teeth, trying to maintain a low voice. "Oh really? Then tell me what it's like, Bella! Tell me why there is human boy standing there wanting to meet me? Tell me why he is suspended over Mike Newton? Tell me why you're with him, and most definetly, tell me why in the hell you've been lying to me!"

I shrugged my shoulders. "We're in love, Dad."

Charlie took a step back, his eyes growing furious. "What did you just say?"

I glared back at him. "We're in love. He wanted to meet you because he felt it was the right thing to do... He got into a fight with Mike after he accused me of being a whore and saying hurtful stuff about me and that Edward or anyone else wouldn't want to be with me unless I was screwing them... I'm with him because he doesn't make me feel like an outsider. Dad, Edward accepts me. Whole heartedly. Without equivications. He knows about us and he hasn't told anyone, and I know he never would. He doesn't care about it... A-and I lied to you because I was afraid you wouldn't understand me."

Charlie shook his head in silence for a long three minutes. "I cannot believe you did this, Bella."

My chin quivered as the words continued to gush out. "I tried to not let it get this far, Dad. Believe me, I tried to stay away from him. I even went with you in the mountains, remember? A few months back? But it happened and I cannot change it now." I inhaled deep, but continued on. "He's the best part of me, I think. He has had similar pasts, we've both lost our mothers... We've both had heartbreak. Dad, Edward protects me and he loves me, he just wants what is be-"

Charlie cut me off. "He protects you? Protects? Bella, tell me how in the hell he protects you?"

I swallowed hard. "He just does."

"Oh, I see." Charlie threw his hands in the air, his frustration growing. "So you're telling me that young, fragile, human boy in there could stop me from hurting him if I was trying to get to you?"

"Yes."

He shook his head and swung his door open. "Well, let's go find out."

I took an unsteady step toward him. "Dad, no. You wouldn't do that."

Charlie glared at me before storming out toward the front of station.

I ran after him and stood in front of him, but Charlie suddenly didn't look upset as he stared at Edward.

He looked broken.

After a few seconds, I stood to the side, so he could shake his hand. But I brought my hand up to Edward's chest, just in case.

Edward smiled. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Sir."

Charlie kept his mask on as a few cops watched the meeting. "Likewise, Edward. And thank you for putting Newton in his place."

"I wished it could have turned out differently, Sir, but at the time, I was out of options."

"I understand what it is like when your limits get crossed, Edward. You did what was necessary to protect her."

This puzzled me as I looked at Charlie in amazement.

"I would do whatever it took to keep Bella safe, Sir."

"Call me Charlie."

Edward smiled. "Charlie."

They quickly discussed a few common subjects, such as The Cullen's, Edward playing baseball, what classes we took in school, and how we met.

Then Charlie took a glance at his watch as Jim's voice came over on his radio, asking him to meet him in his office pronto.

Charlie sighed. "I have to go, but Edward, you should come over tonight for dinner. Bella can cook for..." His voice stopped as he took in the onlookers in the station. "... us."

Edward smirked at the inside joke. "I'd love to."

Charlie stared into Edward's eyes, then caved in once he realized how genuine he was. "She sure seems to love you a lot."

Edward beamed. "I feel the same way about her."

Charlie nodded. "Let's hope so..."

They smiled at each other for a few more seconds.

Then Charlie directed his gaze to me and furrowed his brows. His voice was a mere whisper, barily enough for Edward to make out, and impossible for anyone else to hear. "...Because Victor is back, Bella. He's around here somewhere. I think he is the related to my case... So if you were wondering why I was so worried about you earlier, now you have a better idea."

I swallowed down the sand paper feeling and nodded, before pulling Edward out of the station.

Every bone in my body felt like it had broken.

Victor.

My father's former best friend.

The man who had killed my mother.

He was here.

Suddenly, everything changed and it wasn't for the better.

----

So there we go, Chapter 13! Keep the reviews and compliments/suggestions/positive feedback coming in!! They are always welcome. Stay tuned!

ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS/RESPONSES:

-- Firstly, thank you to everyone who's continued to be faithful with their reviews per chapter, their positive feedback, advice, and their constructive critism, etc. It's been amazing and so enjoyable to come home from a long day's work and see the number rise from people who enjoy the story just as much as I do! You're the best!

A lot of people have asked me what are my favorite FanFiction stories, so I am going to create a list on my LifeJournal site here
in a few days and link it in my profile page so you all can see. It should be done here in a few days, I'll keep you posted.

-- IF I MISSED SOMEONE'S QUESTION, I TRULY APOLOGIZE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL ANSWER IT ASAP!

Sincerely, Angela.