Disclaimer: The only characters that are mine are Leo, Ethan, and Sophie. (And Casey, but she's unimportant.) Also, do not kidnap children. It will not get you an Edward. It will get you arrested. I'm just looking out for ya!
If you haven't already, I recommend reading "Holding Out For You" by ObsessingOverEdward. It's what made me want to write a Daddyward. You can find it in my favorites.
I looked at the overflowing shopping cart in front of me. I had just gone in the grocery store for some milk, dang it. I knew who was responsible for this. "Leonardo Swan, get your ass over here." A little old lady gasped at my crudeness. "Sorry," I said.
A little shrimp with light brown hair came tearing around the corner with as many cereal boxes as his arms could carry. That was my seven year old heartthrob. He somehow found room in the cart for the boxes and grinned up at me. "I got everything on my list. We can go now."
"Let me see this list," I replied, holding out one hand while putting the other on my hip. It was my most intimidating Mom stance.
"Mom," he tapped his temple with his index finger. "It's all up here."
"Smartass," I grumbled.
He held out his hand, wiggling his fingers. I huffed and pulled a dollar out of my pocket and forked it over. We had a no cursing rule that was making my kid a fortune. "Thanks Mom," he said happily.
"Yeah, yeah," I replied. The shrill sound of a crying kid filled the air. "Time to go," I announced, pushing the cart towards the checkout lanes. We had just made it to the end of the aisle when someone crashed their cart into mine.
"Would you watch where you're going?" the bitch snapped loud enough to be heard over the screaming little girl in her cart.
I put on a shocked face. "Oh my God, that's a brilliant idea! Thank you!" Unlike cursing, sarcasm didn't cost me anything. "Let's go Leo."
"Excuse you," the woman replied, clearly offended and in need of a drink. She began ranting in a pitch so high I doubt dogs could even hear it.
I rolled my eyes and started to walk away, but my little one seemed to have other plans. He walked over to the woman's cart and offered the crying kid a lollipop. He always had one or two on hand. "Please don't cry."
She stopped, only sniffling a little as she took the candy. My kid had superpowers.
"Come on Leo," I said softly. This time he followed me. "You're a pretty cool guy; you know that?" I ruffled his soft hair. "Now help me unload all this junk."
We made quick work of unloading the cart, and with a swipe of my credit card, we were out of there. I lifted the cover on the back of my big monster of a truck and Leo helped me put all the unnecessary snacks in the back. Then I watched him closely as he pushed the cart to its rightful place.
"For the love of God, would you shut up?" The banshee and the poor crying girl were now outside.
"Don't talk to her like that!" A boy about Leo's size yelled back.
The witch rounded on the little guy with fire in her eyes. She dug her claws into his little arm. "You. Do. Not. Yell. At. Me."
"Let go," he whimpered. "You're hurting me!"
Leo came back to stand beside me, his eyes worried as he watched the scene, "Mom?"
"I don't give a shit. I want you and that little brat to shut up and get in the car," she practically screamed at the boy.
"Get in the truck," I told my son. He hesitated, but did as I told him.
"You can't tell me what to do. You're not my mother!" the boy shouted at the woman defiantly.
When she raised her hand to hit him, I was over there before she could even blink. "You hit that kid, and I'll kick your ass."
"This is none of your business," she snapped back. "Ethan, get in the damn car. I'll deal with you when we get home." She started putting her bags in the trunk of her luxury car like I wasn't even there.
Something in me snapped. I shoved her hard, causing her to shriek and fall over in the trunk. Then I grabbed the little girl and took Ethan's hand. He was too busy looking over his shoulder in shock to watch where we were running as I pulled him along. I put them both in the back seat with Leo.
"Buckle in! Buckle in!" The banshee was getting up, and boy was she pissed. I locked the doors and took off.
When we were safely out of the parking lot, the reality of the situation crashed down on me. I had just kidnapped a couple of kids! I was either going to prison or the nut house. For a few minutes there was complete silence. The kids were obviously as shocked about this as I was.
"Hi. I'm Leonardo Swan, and I'm seven. That lady who kidnapped you is my mom, Bella." Leave it to Leo. "What's your name?"
"I'm Ethan Cullen. I'm seven too," the other boy replied. "And that's my little sister Sophie. She's three."
"Um Ethan," I started, not having a clue what to do. This was new territory. I had never kidnapped a child before. "Could you tell me who your parents are? I should probably contact them." That seemed like a wise thing to do.
"Our Dad's name is Edward Cullen," he answered.
Edward Cullen. Not ringing any bells. Of course Leo and I had only lived here a week, but it was one of those small ritzy towns where everybody knew everybody's business. I was obviously off to a good start.
"Do you know his phone number?"
Ethan called out some numbers, and I quickly punched them into my cell. This was going to be interesting.
After a few rings, I got his voice mail. "Um. Hi. My name is Bella Swan. I don't really know how to say this, but I have your kids with me, and I was thinking maybe you would like them back. So yeah… call me." I smacked my forehead.
The kids were quiet again as I pulled up to my house. The thing was way too big for just Leo and I, but all the houses in this neighborhood were. I was either surrounded by a lot of rich people or a lot of people in serious debt. The landscaping was beautiful regardless.
I thought Leo would run straight to his room, but he and Ethan each took a couple of grocery bags before going inside. Ethan was a cute little guy. His hair was darker than Leo's, and he had green eyes. Both he and his sister were dressed like little posh people, so I hoped Leo didn't get them too messy. I was going to be in enough trouble with their parents as it was.
Little Sophie was still standing in the truck; she was too short to get down on her own. I held out my arms, and she let me help her down without a fuss. She had the most adorable reddish curls, and her soft cheeks were stained with tears.
"Rough day, huh?" I grabbed the rest of the bags and motioned for her to follow me. "I think we could all use some ice cream."
I heard the boys chattering away as they ran from one room to another. Leo was giving Ethan a speed tour I supposed. I quickly put away the groceries before turning back to Sophie who was staring up at me innocently. I picked her up and sat her on the counter. "Well Miss Sophie, would you like some ice cream now?"
"Yes please," she replied in quite possibly the sweetest voice I'd ever heard. I gently wiped her cheeks with my thumbs before grabbing everything we would need. "Boys! Sophie and I are eating ice cream if you want some!" I heard their thunderous footsteps coming down the stairs.
They each got a couple of scoops that I let them decorate however they liked. There were sprinkles, gummy bears, whipped cream, and different flavors of syrup all over the place before they were finished.
"Mom, Ethan's dad builds stuff! Isn't that cool?" Leo beamed.
"Really?" I asked Ethan.
He nodded. "He and my uncles build houses and stuff."
At least they weren't cops. "That's awesome," I smiled, ruffling his hair. He froze for a second, but then smiled at me before getting back to his ice cream.
I pulled out the phone book and began flipping through the pages. Cullen Construction was listed in big, bold letters. "Alright kiddos, let's get you all sticky free and then go meet your dad. I'm sure he's worried sick about you." And preparing to kill me.
Leo and Ethan ran to use the half bath while I took care of Sophie's hands and cheeks with a damp cloth. She smiled at me. "Thank you, Bella."
"For what?" I asked.
"Ice cream, silly," she giggled.
"You're welcome. Maybe you can convince your daddy not to let the police take me away now," I smiled, picking her up. "Let's go guys!"
The ride was a lot less quiet this time. Leo and Ethan were apparently best friends now, and they were even nice enough to keep Sophie entertained. I followed the GPS's directions and pulled into the company's lot, right next to the police cruiser. Fantastic.
Before I could stop them, the boys were running inside. Sophie held up her arms for me to pick her up. "Ready to see Daddy?" I asked. She wrapped her little arms around my neck and nodded.
I didn't even make it to the door with her before it flung open. "You've got some nerve just waltzing up here, lady! Who the hell do you think you are?"
"You must be Edward. I assure you they were safer with me than Nanny Nutjob," I said calmly. The handsome red-faced man in front of me was obviously not happy.
"I'm not their damn nanny! I'm Edward's girlfriend!" The banshee was here too. Goodie. "That's her, Eddie! That's the bitch that attacked me and kidnapped poor little Ethan and Sophie." Her shrill voice caused Sophie to bury her face in my neck. I didn't blame her, so I held her tighter. "Arrest her, Jake!"
The large officer started to approach me, but the door flung open again. Seriously, it was like something from a soap opera. A gorgeous blonde stormed out, but before she could get too far, this huge bear of a man came running out after her. "Rosie wait!" He grabbed her arms.
"Let me go Emmett! I'm gonna kill the bitch!" she screamed
This was getting ridiculous. Poor Sophie was clinging to me for dear life, so I rubbed her back gently.
"Just calm down Rosalie," the officer replied. "I'll take her in."
"I'm not talking about her!" she yelled, fighting to get free. "I'm talking about Casey!"
Well, that got everyone's attention.
"What are you talking about, Rosalie?" Edward asked, his voice deadly.
"Ethan has claw marks on his arm. He said Casey grabbed him and was about to hit him when the other kid's mom cut in," Rosalie said through her teeth. It looked like the heat was off me for a moment.
The banshee shrieked. "Eddie, surely you don't-"
"Get in your car and get out of my sight," Edward growled. It was kind of hot. "Now!"
Another shrill scream and tires were squealing as the psycho sped out of the lot.
Sophie waved, "Bye-bye." I loved that kid.
Crap. All eyes were on me again. "So," I cleared my throat. "If you take your kid, I'll get mine, and we'll just get out of your hair." Sophie tightened her hold on my neck again. Guess she liked me.
"I appreciate you helping my children," Edward said begrudgingly, "But you could have let me know. Ethan has my number. There's no excuse."
"Check your voice mail, genius." I saved his kids from the she-devil, albeit I also kidnapped them, but I really wasn't the bad guy here.
I swear steam came out of his ears, but I didn't care. I pushed past him and marched inside, "Leo!" He came tearing around the corner. "It's time to go."
"Yes Mom," he pouted and headed for the car with me close behind him.
Ethan ran out after us. "Bella? Where are you going?"
Shit. "Honey, I've got to get home." That was when I realized Sophie was still on my hip. "Oh." I set her down. Now they were both looking up at me with sad faces. Double shit. "Look. Here's my phone number. I would kidnap you again, but there's a huge cop outside that might arrest me. You guys be good, and I'll see you later."
I made a quick getaway, passing the huddle of arguing adults and jumping in my truck. Leo was already strapped in and grinning. "That was so cool, Mom! Can we kidnap them again tomorrow?"
"Where is that damn cell phone?" I lifted the papers on my desk, shifting them around in my search. I had it when I came in this morning, then at the meeting with Emmett. It was probably still in his office, so I headed down the hall and reached for the doorknob.
"Ungh! Oh God… Emmett!… baby!"
My hand jerked away from the door. I would need to bleach my brain now and possibly buy a new phone.
Apparently little Nathanial was with Nana Esme because his mommy and daddy were working on baby number two in Emmett's office. I shouldn't be surprised. My brothers did enjoy fun times at the office. Jasper was usually doing the same thing up until recently. Now he was busy rushing out to take care of my bedridden sister-in-law's latest craving.
I went out to the front desk. We needed to hire a new secretary, but I didn't have the patience to deal with it. Being the only unmarried Cullen had its disadvantages. I had two kids, but that did nothing to stop the single and looking.
After enough time for Rosalie and Emmett to finish their quickie, I decided to head back up and get my phone. However, I was stopped when Casey ran through the door without my children.
"Eddie!" She threw her arms around me, whimpering into my shirt.
"Casey, where are the kids?" I asked, taking her by the arms and pushing her back a little. I would have been more caring with her, but those kids were my life.
"Eddie, some crazy woman at the grocery store attacked me. I tried to fight her off, but she crashed into me with a shopping cart and shoved me into the trunk of my car. I didn't even see her coming," she rambled hysterically.
"Casey, where are my children?" I asked slowly.
She closed her eyes and shook her head. "She took them. Babe, I'm so sorry. Sophie was screaming; Ethan was yelling. It was so horrible."
"EMMETT!" I grabbed the phone and called the police.
Emmett and Rosalie came running down the hall. Casey managed to tell them what happened while I talked to an officer. He said they would send someone right over.
I dropped the phone and collapsed against the wall. My children had been kidnapped. Casey tried to comfort me, but I shrugged her off. I didn't want to be comforted. I wanted my kids. They were probably so scared, and I wasn't there for them.
"Jake's here," Emmett said softly. I knew he was upset too.
The more Jacob talked, the angrier I became. He asked Casey and I question after question about what had happened and who might want to hurt them. We were wasting time; I wanted to be out there looking for them. Who knew what that psycho was doing to them? This had to be about money. I would pay anything to get them back. I just needed them back.
"Dad!" My head snapped up as Ethan ran in with another little boy. "This is my friend Leo. He just moved here from Washington."
I quickly swept him up in my arms. "Oh thank God." I squeezed him tightly. "Where is your sister?"
"Dad," he whined, embarrassed by my display in front of his friend. "Calm down. She's outside with Bella." I handed him to Emmett and rushed outside, not caring who followed me.
The psycho woman was holding my little girl, and I was beyond angry. "You've got some nerve just waltzing up here, lady! Who the hell do you think you are?"
"You must be Edward. I assure you they were safer with me than Nanny Nutjob." She was out of her damn mind.
I heard Casey screaming, but I was too upset to focus on anything but that woman. How could she be so damn calm after kidnapping two innocent children.
Rosalie's vicious words got through to me. "Let me go Emmett! I'm gonna kill the bitch!" she screamed. I felt the same way, but Jake tried to calm her down. "I'm not talking about her!" she yelled, trying to get out of Emmett's grasp. "I'm talking about Casey!"
My blood ran cold. "What are you talking about Rosalie?"
"Ethan has claw marks on his arm. He said Casey grabbed him and was about to hit him when the other kid's Mom cut in," she explained.
Casey? Casey hurt my son? She was a fucking preschool teacher, but Ethan was not a liar. I knew I was shaking now. She needed to get out of here before I killed her myself. No one hurt my kids.
Casey froze next to me. "Eddie, surely you don't-"
"Get in your car and get out of my sight. Now!" I clinched my fists, trying to control myself. I couldn't go to prison for murder, but it was tempting. I wished Emmett would let Rosalie go, so Casey could at least get her ass kicked. When she was gone, I felt myself relax a little. I turned back to the woman with my child. Funny, she didn't look so psychotic now that I knew the truth.
"So… if you take your kid, I'll get mine, and we'll just get out of your hair," she said, and Sophie surprised me by hanging onto her.
"I appreciate you helping my children, but you could have let me know. Ethan has my number. There's no excuse." What was she thinking? She had no idea the horrible scenarios that had been playing in my head.
"Check your voice mail, genius," she snapped before storming past me.
I turned to go after her, but Rosalie caught my arm. "Are you crazy? That woman stopped your children from being abused, and you're being rude to her? What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Look, I'm sorry. I know… It's just… God, Rose. I thought someone was out there torturing them. I couldn't find my phone, so I never got the message." I grabbed a handful of my hair out of frustration.
"Oh," Emmett cringed. "Sorry about that, bro. Your phone is in my office." He flinched when I glared at him. "Dude, don't worry. We put it in a drawer before we-"
"I know what happened next, Emmett; I heard." I needed to stop snapping at everyone before I got decked.
I heard tires squeal again as the woman's truck sped away. Well, that was just great. She left before I could thank her. "Daddy?" I dropped to my knees and took my two little ones in my arms. "I love you two so much." I pulled back to look at them. They both looked a little sad. "Ethan, buddy I'm so sorry that Casey hurt you." He never liked any of the women I dated, but there was nothing he could have done to deserve that.
"She was screaming at Sophie," he whispered. "She was just crying because we were hungry."
I hugged them again. "I'm so sorry. She'll never hurt you again." I stood up, holding them both. I was happy that Ethan let me hold him even though he was getting so big. "Are you guys still hungry?"
"Bella gave us some ice cream," said Ethan.
"With sprinkles," Sophie smiled.
"Can Leo come over sometime, Dad? He showed me his room. I want to show him mine. Please," said Ethan. Leo must have been Bella's son.
I took the kids inside. "We'll see, okay? I'll have to talk to his mom first."
"Okay," he conceded. "Thanks Dad."
Rosalie eventually convinced me to let the kids go. She took them with her to pick up Nate and then visit Alice. Since Alice couldn't leave the bed, she insisted that her nephews and niece come over for pajama parties to keep her sane.
"Here's your phone," said Emmett, setting my Blackberry on my desk and grinning like an idiot. "You've got a missed call."
I threw a book at him as he ran out of my office. I sighed and picked up the phone, dialing voicemail to hear my one new message.
"Um. Hi. My name is Bella Swan. I don't really know how to say this, but I have your kids with me, and I was thinking maybe you would like them back. So yeah… call me."
I let out a snort. Then a chuckle. Before I knew it, I was laughing loudly. Bella Swan was insane, but for that, I was eternally grateful.