AN: Sorry for the delay on this chapter, I wanted to give it to you guys on Halloween. But there were some technical difficulties. I will understand if you must take a whip to my back... on second thought I insist you take a whip to me. *winks*
I hope you like the chapter. Now go on, read it; you know you want too.
Chapter 12- Confrontations and Intrigue
A knock sounded through the house as I finished helping Edward get dressed. The jet black thermal hoodie he wore clung lovingly to his body. A pair of dark-wash jeans and black Doc Martens also adorned his lovely body, completing the look. I had to give myself an internal pat on the back; I knew how to dress not only myself, but Edward as well. But damn if I didn't want to tear those close off and have my way with him.
Another sound, this time the doorbell sounded through the house, causing me to sigh. "Shall we get that? Next thing you know, they'll be busting the door down." Man could Alice and Jasper just let me have a few more minutes? Another doorbell buzzer answered that question.
Edward chuckled while he kissed me, and then got up. "Yes, let's. I rather like that door." He shot me my smile and I conceded. I led him by his arm, while he held on to the railing, down the stairs. He had wanted to try to walk as much as possible. While that was best, I liked him riding on my back.
As we reached the bottom of the stairs, another knock sounded. I huffed and opened the door. "Alice, Jasper," I greeted them, with nods and a warm smile, while Edward leaned out and gave them both a hug.
They were both dressed phenomenally. Alice was wearing a glittery black slant-cut dress with a low dropping neck line that hugged her body in all the right places. Jasper was outfitted with leather chaps, black boots and a white oxford style button down, I couldn't help but think that he looked like a cowboy. Wow, did I feel under dressed now; all I was wearing was faded blue jeans, a dark purple polo shirt and my own pair of Doc Martens.
"Hello, Edward." Jasper gave him a brief hug before returning my greeting with a stiff nod. "Emmett." Jasper's jaw clenched, he looked like he was in pain.
Alice bit her lip and then exclaimed,"Oh my God, Edward, what are you wearing? We are going to a club not a bar!" She grabbed him by the arm. "Hey, Emmett, can you keep Jasper company? I'm going to go fix Edward's latest fashion blunder." I smiled and nodded, even though I thought the outfit that I picked was rather stunning on him.
Edward looked at me sheepishly and mouthed 'Sorry' before looking back at Alice and rolling his eyes, "You know I can actually dress myself, I am a full grown man, right?" Edward asked her as she dragged him up the stairs.
"Sure, sure." She said, obviously as a way to placate him.
I looked back to Jasper, some of his blond locks hanging in front of his eyes, his jaw still clenched. "Are you alright, Jasper? Do you want something to drink?" I asked him while I moved to allow him in the rest of the way into the house.
"Hmm," Jasper hummed. "Oh, yes, I'm fine. Nothing to drink, but I would like to have a smoke. Will you join me out back?" His jaw was no longer clenched, but the look in his eyes told me that it wasn't a question.
I nodded. "Sure. I mean I'll keep you company, but I don't smoke."
He led the way to the back door, opening it for me before following me out. As he shut the door, he took out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up.
"You know those things are gonna kill ya, right?" It was the first thing that came to my mind; I never did well with silent tension.
As he exhaled a stream of smoke he spoke softly yet with a stern voice. "Yes, but you will be dead long before they can kill me if you don't tell me the fucking truth."
He took a step towards me, putting no more than a foot between us. I was taken aback; the look in his eyes told me that he was not making idle threats. I found myself more than a little afraid of him; it was the first time I had been afraid of someone almost six inches shorter than me. But I was clueless; "Wha… What are you talk… talking about?" I tried to keep my voice steady but his gaze was harsh and I could not help the slight stutter.
He took one last drag off his cigarette before tossing it off to the side with too much force. "Yeah, that's rich! So you mean to tell me that it wasn't you, one Emmett Anthony McCarthy Cullen, born March eighteenth nineteen-eighty-four. Born to Carlisle and Esme Cullen in Las Vegas, Nevada at nine-fourteen in the morning at Saint Rose Hospital, that was convicted of drug trafficking after being caught with two kilos of meth hidden in the back seat of your 1995 Honda Accord!?"
I stared blank faced at him. How did he know about that? My dad had done all that he could to have that taken off my record. Also, how did he know damn near everything about me?
"So there must be another one of you, or maybe a twin that doesn't fucking exist that did all of that! I tell you this; you have one chance to tell me what the fuck is going on, and only one! Remember, we live in a desert; there are plenty of places to hide a body!" Jasper was yelling now and there was a vein in the middle of his forehead that was pulsing.
I could hear music in the house, so Alice must be in on this. "I- I had to." God, I had not talked about this in years; it was bringing back too many memories. "It was either that or…" I trailed off. I could feel the tears building up in my eyes. Just the thought of Demetri and everything that had happened, it was too much, I couldn't hold back the tears and they fell freely. Why was this happening? Everything was going great; I had put that part of my life behind me. I moved on, getting my shit together, I had not really looked back since. Everything was looking up now; not only did I have an awesome job; but mostly... I was with Edward.
"Edward…" I breathed barely above a whisper. It hit me just like that; if all that shit had not happened to me then I would not have met Edward. Gods only know where I would be. I didn't really have too much time to reflect on this as Jasper's voice pulled me from my reverie.
"I'm doing this for Edward!" I hadn't known that he had heard me speak his name. "Edward is like a brother to me and I will be damned if anyone ever hurts him again!" Jasper shook me, when had he closed the rest of the distance? "Emmett, you have to tell me the truth. What happened?" His voice had changed slightly, it was still stern and cold but there was another underlying emotion there that I could not place.
I brought myself to look into Jasper's eyes, something I had not been able to do since this conversation began. In those gray eyes I now saw the emotion that had slipped into his voice, hope. He didn't want me to be the bad guy, he wanted to believe me. Yet, he was also willing to eliminate anything that threatened his family.
"We- I… I told you before that I had nothing to hide…" I didn't think that I would be able to relive these memories but one thought helped to gather the courage to do so. Edward. So I looked into those gray eyes and steeled myself for what I was about to say. "But there are things in my past that I wish had stayed dead and buried, ghosts of a life that no longer seems to have been my own…"
Jasper kneeled down in front of me… when had I sat down? "Emmett, we all have skeletons in our closets. But if you keep them hidden away to long, it just eats away at you until there is nothing left but a hallow shell." He placed a comforting had on my shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, urging me to continue. Even though Jasper was trying to comfort me, I could still tell that if anything about me would put Edward in danger, he would do anything to get rid of that threat.
I sighed, "I was on my way home from work… and that's when I got a phone call…" Why was it so easy to talk to Jasper? It was like all my reservations of talking about this were slowly dissipating. "It was some guy… he told me… told me that if I did not go to… to some address and get something for him, that he would kill him…" My head fell into my hands as the anguish and despair from that day returned.
"Him?" Jasper prompted, not missing a beat.
I ran my hands over my face and through my hair, sighing. "Yeah… Demetri. My ex, I came to find out that- later on I found out that the guy on the phone was Demetri's dealer. Some slime ball named, Alex or Alec or something like that." I looked up into those gray eyes once again, and they had softened some, but his stare was still hard with the need to know more.
"Well, I didn't know what else to do… I went to the address that he gave me. Some drug house off of MLK. There were so many people there, just zoned out on their high… A sight I was unfortunately familiar with, since I normally found Demetri like that when I got home most days." God damn you Demetri! Why the fuck did you ever have to do any of that shit? "I got the package from some blond tramp, Jane, I think her name was." I could only hope that what I was telling Jasper would not jeopardize my relationship with Edward.
Jasper was silent, obviously absorbing the information and sifting through it all looking for anything that resembled a lie. "And as soon as I got the package, I got the hell out of there. I put in the backseat covered it up with my jacket and a blanket that I keep back there. Looking back now that was the stupidest thing that I had ever did, but what was I supposed to do?" Looking into Jasper's eyes I could see his understanding, but he was still silent, wanting me to continue.
"Well, as you know, I got caught; I didn't know that the house was set up for a sting. The guy didn't kill Demetri; I just had to pay him the twenty grand that he lost from the package being confiscated. I didn't tell the cops about it; I was too afraid of what would happen to Demetri, so I shouldered the blame. My mom and dad pulled some strings, and I got off easy; a year of probation and a hundred hours of community service…" The thought of pulling my dad and especially my dear mother into this was heart wrenching, and I could not help the whimper that escaped my lips.
Jasper gave my shoulder another gentle squeeze before breaking his silence. "Emmett, I know this is hard for you, but I need to know what happened after that." He made it sound as if I was in a therapy session. I groaned inwardly, I didn't want to go through that again.
I gathered my thoughts for a moment before continuing. "Well, my dad paid to have my records sealed. Demetri was in the hospital for the injuries he had sustained. My dad made him go through rehab, but my dad didn't talk to me for more than a month. I felt like I was walking on egg shells around him. And with my mom, things only got worse. She was fighting a losing battle with cancer, and that wasn't helping her." Another tear spilled down my cheek; I was crying a lot today.
"About a month later, Demetri got out of rehab, and I thought that everything was going to be okay again; but I was wrong. About two weeks later, I came home and he was high again. I couldn't take it; I couldn't put myself or my family through that again. So I called an ambulance and left. I have not heard or seen from him since, I swear." My voice was raspy with emotion, and Jasper gave me a quick hug.
When he pulled back he looked at me with utter softness and understanding in his eyes. "I know that was difficult for you, but I needed to know. So please don't take this the wrong way, but while I do believe you, I am going to have to keep an eye on you, for Edward's sake. I hope you understand."
Max came up to us from inside the house, and licked my face affectionately. But before I could do or say anything other than pet him, Jasper's voice cut me off. "Well if Max is anything to go off of, I think that everything will be ok. He's an excellent judge of character." He offered me a kind smile and helped me up. "Now shall we go get our dates?"
I looked at him stunned, how did he know that he and Edward were going as each other's dates? He answered my astonished look with one word, "Alice." And turned to walk into the house, oddly enough that really did answer my question.
Edward's POV: 30 minutes later-
The car ride to the club was rather uneventful, just filled with idle chatter. The only conversation of any relevance was when I asked Jasper about helping Mike and Seth to which he readily agreed, leaving me extremely grateful. The best part was that I was cuddled up next to Emmett in the back seat. When I did that, Alice just gave us one of her all knowing grins and proceeded to embrace me by saying how cute we looked together and by sending me a text message saying, 'I want details.'
What had thoroughly confused me is when she had dragged me upstairs to my bedroom, proclaiming that my outfit was not up to par for tonight's events. She then turned the radio on, some dance music, and proceeded to go through my closet. In the end she had said that all I needed was my tight-fit dark crimson velvet jacket. While it did compliment the outfit nicely, I knew something wasn't right, when Alice said you needed to change your clothes she meant everything, nine times out of ten it even meant your underwear too.
That's when it hit me; Jasper must be talking to Emmett. I rolled my eyes at the thought, why had it not occurred to me then? I would have to ask Emmett about that later, Jasper can be a bit over protective at times. But as for right now, we were pulling up to the club.
It was overly posh for my tastes, but then again I was always one for a quiet night at home with a good book. However, these were two of my friends who were getting married; I wouldn't miss it for anything. Plus the look on Emmett's face as he helped me out of the car was priceless, it was obvious that he didn't go to parties like this very often. I was never one for big parties, so we were a good match.
Once I was out of the car, and arm in arm with Emmett, I saw Jasper hand the keys to the valet before returning to Alice's side. The bouncer asked for our invitations, which Alice gave to him. Once inside, I was taken aback by the sheer ambiance of it all. There were pulsing beats flooding the air; bodies were molding together in blurs of motion, swaying and jumping to the beat of the music. Male and female go-go dancers lined all four stages, their bodies covered by barely more than skimpy undergarments. Lights of every color imaginable flickered and glowed, giving the place an otherworldly hue.
We were led to the second floor to our private balcony. It was decorated in vibrant reds and luscious greens. Several couches were positioned around a center table. Alice and Jasper went and claimed one and Emmett led me to the one opposite them. Up here the music was at a level that actually allowed for conversation.
Looking around I noticed that there were several other unoccupied couches, which raised a question in my mind. "Who all else is showing up tonight?" I had to speak a few decimals louder than normal to be heard.
Jasper grinned while Alice answered, "It's a long list, but in short everyone that was your party. With the exception of Mike and Seth, God we need to get them some fake IDs or something…" She trailed off as all of us looked at her with surprise, "What?! I'm just saying!"
Emmett chuckled. "I think your hanging around Jake too much." That let the flood gates of laughter opened while Alice glared mockingly at Emmett.
Alice's mood peaked up when the waitress showed up in her scant clad miniskirt and halter top. We all placed our drink orders, me and Alice being the only one to order alcohol. What can I say, I love my martinis. She scurried off with a stimulating wink to both Jasper and Alice.
I looked up at Emmett as I nestled into his side, "Em, not that there's anything wrong with it, but why don't you drink?"
He looked at me with those glistening pools and smiled before saying, "I just don't like the feeling of being intoxicated, one too many frat parties helped get drinking out of my system." He gave me a gentle squeeze. Everyone chuckled at that, all of us knowing how college parties could be.
We fell into idle chatter till the curtain was thrown back and we were join by the others, with one new addition; a tall statuesque blond woman who was holding on to Jacob's arm. "Hey guys," Jacob greeted as they all took their seats. "This is Rosalie." He introduced the blond to the rest of us.
"Oh, please call me Rose," she said, her voice conveying her excited mood. "I've heard loads about all of you. I hope you don't mind Jakey bringing me tonight…" She trailed off as she obviously started to feel like she was intruding.
Before anyone else could say anything to the contrary, I spoke up. "Not at all, any friend of Jake's is a friend of ours." I gave her a reassuring smile.
She smiled back at me in return, "Thanks. I would hate to intrude or anything. And yes, to answer the question I know you all must be thinking. Jake and I have been dating for about a month."
Alice scoffed, "What? Why didn't you tell us Jake? That's awesome!" She gave Rose a slight squeeze of the hand. "I keep telling them that this group feels like a testosterone-fest!" She, Rose, and Lauren fell into a fit of laughter, while the guys all groaned.
Everyone fell into their own conversations. The waitress came back and gave us our drinks and took the new orders, before slipping Alice a piece of paper with a giggle. I just pushed that out of my mind that was their business. Emmett and I got to talking to Rose and Jacob.
"So Rose, tell us how you met this mutt?" Emmett chuckled out. Jake just rolled his eyes.
Rose smiled politely, "Well it was actually because of a couple of mutts that we met. One of my four Pit Bulls caught something, so I took him into Jake's clinic. I was frantic; I mean none of them had ever been sick, I didn't know what was wrong. But, Jake here," she paused as she lovingly patted his arm, "he calmed me down, and took a look at all four. Turns out Emery just had a cold. Thankfully it hadn't passed over to Quil, Leah, or Jared."
Jacob picked up from there with a chuckle. "Yeah, I gave her the prescription for her little brood, and she unscrupulously asked me for my number." He eyed her with feral grin that normally would have made most people nervous, but Rose merely blushed and smiled sheepishly.
"What can I say, I like my men like I like my dogs; big, brawny, and with a heart of gold." She laughed at Jake's obvious blush, which with his deep tanned skin was no easy feat. She then looked back towards me and Emmett with a fond smile. "And what about you two, how did you meet?"
Emmett and I shared a fleeting look of mirth before I smiled back at Rose, "Well I was in a car accident, and I needed to learn to walk again…"
Emmett cut me off, "And when I first saw him, I couldn't take my eyes off his emerald gaze,"
I could feel the blush that was coloring my cheeks. Pushing past my embarrassment, "I didn't want to use my wheelchair to get to the car, so he offered me a piggyback ride; it was rather sweet, actually."
I felt Emmett bury his face in my hair, more than likely to hide his blush. "It was kind of awkward being attracted to my patient." He kissed my head and it sent a shiver of excitement down my back. "But once we got passed that self-conscious stage, things just fell into place, you know what I mean?"
Rose and Jake both smiled wide, "Oh that is so adorable!" Rose exclaimed. The waitress came back then and handed out their drinks. And we all feel back into conversations about everything and nothing.
A few minutes later the curtain to our private balcony was thrown open to reveal the ladies of the party. Lady Kitty, I really need to find out their real names some day, was wearing her hair loose; letting her shoulder length auburn hair flare out around her. Her dress was an odd mixture of classical elegance and modern decadence. She wore a strapless bridal white floor length gown, but the top was covered by a blood red corset. Silky white gloves rose to just above her elbows. She looked every bit the lady and mistress that she was.
Now as for Mistress Mischief, she was never one for dresses. She was adorned in tight leather chaps, not unlike Jasper's. Four inch faded black heeled boots snaked around her calves, adding to her already tall frame. Her loosely fitted crimson blouse hung off her shoulders, giving her a regal look. Her dark midnight hair clung around her face, telling everyone that this is not a woman to mess with.
I attempted to stand but failed and almost fell, but Kitty reached out to catch me before Emmett could. "Eddy-kins, please be more careful, falling down is the wrong type of pain you know." She offered me a kind smile before pulling me into a gentle hug. "Oh, I've missed you! I am so glad that you're okay."
I felt a hand on my back and I didn't have to look to know it was Emmett. I opened my eyes to see Mischief standing behind her. "You gave us a bit of a scare, pet." It took a while to grow accustomed to their nicknames for me, but I knew they only held affectionate meanings.
Before I could even form a response, Emmett spoke up. "Yeah, I bet he did. But he is doing very well in his therapy." I looked over my shoulder at him and saw him smiling fondly.
"Oh, where are our manners?!" Kitty exclaimed. "Everyone here knows us but you two." She gestured to Emmett and Rose.
"Do accept our apologies," Mischief asked. "I am Mistress Mischief and this is Lady Kitty. And please before you ask us our real names, just know that no one has yet to get an answer on that question." Rose bit her lip and smiled. Emmett just blushed as he leaned his head on my shoulder.
"Thanks for the invitation," Rose said.
"It's not a problem, dear; Jake has told us all about you. You really should come by the shop; I have several ensembles that would look rather ravishing on you." Kitty spoke with fondness in her voice. For Kitty to give you a compliment like that, that meant a lot.
After the initial introductions, they settled into our group for awhile, talked about where their honeymoon would be. Everyone but me, Alice, and Jasper, was surprised when they said Romania and Tokyo. We had always known that they liked the finer and odder things in life.
Some time later they excused themselves; they had many other guests to see. They had rented out the entire club, so they had to a lot of people to talk to; the place was packed. Alice excused herself along with them.
I sipped my drink as we all fell back into our conversations. "They're nice, I'm really glad that you have so many people that care about you." Emmett whispered in my ear before kissing me on the cheek.
I blushed furiously as I turned to deepen the kiss. Our tongues mingled briefly before someone cleared their throat.
Alice had poked her head in, "Eddy, I hate to interrupt but I was hoping that I could speak with Emmett for a moment…" She pulled back out of the curtains, as I sighed.
I shushed Emmett before he could protest. "You might as well go; we both know how persistent she can be…"
He gave me one more peck on the lips before getting up. "I'll be right back." I watched as he stepped beyond the balcony's curtain.
Lauren and Rose excused themselves a few moments later. I looked at the rest of the guys and said,"Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" They all smiled sheepishly, we all knew how women were in groups.