Thanks to everyone who reviewed: xxMarzbbyxx, Nayeli Davila, redwinggurl, footroza, MikasaMassacre, ju007, eye rule u dont, mickey160, EverIntruiged, redglasses, MissRe, Jagga-Love, Ali Edward Cullen, Angelwells, SHUbaby5182, LovesTwilightFanFics83, Mrs Cullen-Ackles, latuacantante4him, shaelove, x-DREAMING-x, twilier24-7and blackandivorykeys
Hey everyone! Sorry it took me so long to write this, but I finally got it all out! Anyway, I'm hoping to have No Other Path, No Other Way updated sometime soon.
I'm sorry that some of you are upset with Daniel, but maybe he'll be around a little longer then we think…Who knows?
EverIntruiged: The summary is part of the plot but there will be other things happening. However, Edward and Bella getting together is the main problem in this story for now.
Nayeli Davila: I think I can arrange your request for part of the story…Bella slapping Tanya would be fantastic…We'll see what happens!
Ali Edward Cullen: I'm glad I ticked a point off your list! I had no idea that us talking to you was such an awesome thing! That makes it awesome for me, so thanks for making my day :)
Shaelove: Hmm… I bounce your curls, but you unravel my eyebrows… Sorry, I couldn't think of anything else… I guess you win?
"Alice, did you remember to bring some dark clothes for Bella?" I glanced over at my shoulder at my sister who was walking next to Jasper. Their hands were joined and Alice was swinging them.
"Yes, Edward, for the hundredth time, I have clothes for Bella. But I doubt she'll need them."
The sun had set hours ago, but as we walked along the beach in the direction of Bella's house, I couldn't calm myself.
Emmett chuckled from next to me, "Relax, Eddie boy. Alice knows where Bella's balcony is. She climbed it earlier, remember?"
"I'm not worried about the balcony, Emmett. I'm worried about the idiot holding the ladder."
"It's not rocket science, Eddie. I can't let you fall to your death; Mom and Dad would ground me."
He was grinning into the darkness as we continued toward Bella's home. The ladder rested against the underside of his arms as we walked next to each other, carrying it across the beach. Emmett's other hand was dangling loosely by his side, until Rose grasped it tightly, "What are we going to do when Bella's parents report them as missing?"
I sighed as the ladder's rungs dug into my arm, "Bella swears that Tanya can convince Charlie that she and Daniel don't matter." I shifted the ladder, trying to relieve the pressure it was putting on my wrists, "So hopefully, she's right."
"That's an awful thing to wish for, Edward." Alice's normally chipper tone sounded clipped. She seemed angry that I was hoping for this outcome.
"What else should he hope for, Alice? Her parents don't care." Jasper dropped Alice's hand and changed his path, walking toward Emmett and I, "I can switch you places now, Edward."
We stopped and Jasper lifted the heavy metal from my hands, "Thanks, Jazz." He nodded as Emmett started walking again.
"Maybe this will make them realize how much Bella and Daniel mean to them."
I shook my head, "Alice, her parents don't care. You saw how they acted during dinner."
"Only enough to grunt out orders; he doesn't bother making noise unless he's asking for more food." Charlie's caveman attitude had made me wonder what had changed his demeanor. It wasn't as if Bella had endured his heartless exterior as a child.
"People don't just change, Edward."
"Do you really have to leave, Danny?"
My brother was standing at the edge of my bed, a bag slung carelessly across his back. He looked determined and I felt bad for trying to make him stay, but I didn't want him to go.
"Bells…we've been over this."
I smiled meekly, "Remind me?"
He sighed and gestured for me to scoot over. Daniel toed off his shoes and sat down next to me, "Bella, you'll be fine without me. It's not like I'm the only thing keeping you alive." I waited for him to add anymore to the end of his sentence.
"Just because I met Edward, doesn't mean that you aren't important to me. And I've only known him for two days. He could be a serial killer."
"Or worse, he could be the spawn of Tanya. God only knows how many men she's infected with her DNA."
I giggled, "Danny, she would know if there was a kid of hers out there."
"How do you know, Bella? Maybe she's secretly a man."
"Are you calling Charlie gay?"
"No, just misinformed."
He picked at a loose thread on my blanket, his eyes not meeting mine. It was obvious that he didn't want to leave, but he thought it would be best for me if he was gone.
"Once Leah and I are settled, I'll call you. But I'll be damned if you'll want to move by then."
"What's that even mean?"
"Come on, Bells. It's obvious that you're falling for Edward and pretty soon you won't want to leave his side." Daniel was smiling, but it wasn't reaching his eyes. He'd been the one guy in my life that I could count on…but things were different now.
Daniel glanced over at me, before standing from my bed. I slid off the side, dragging my comforter down as I hurried after my brother. He peeled the curtains back and on my balcony, stood Edward.
"What are you doing here?"
Bella's hair was pulled into a rough ponytail. Her blue boy shorts rode up, as she stared out at me. The white tank top was tight against her chest and I couldn't keep my eyes from wandering.
Daniel raised an eyebrow. Apparently, my onceover hadn't gone unnoticed. His arms were crossed as he eyed me, trying to figure out my intentions.
I swallowed and kept my eyes glued on Bella's face, "Umm…I can leave?"
"No, Edward, I just don't understand why you're here."
"We've come to bust you out, Bella." I turned to see Alice standing behind me. My sister was smiling as if she knew how Bella was going to respond to her statement.
"See, Bells," Daniel gestured toward Alice and myself, "You won't be lonely without me. The Cullens can take care of you until I get back."
Bella's expression changed, her eyes shifting to look down at the floor. Daniel's departure would be hard on her, but she wouldn't come out and say that she needed him around.
"Daniel, we have room for you too. If you don't want to leave Bella." Alice spoke casually. I knew the plan hadn't been for Daniel to stay with us, but my family would never turn down a person in need.
Bella moved over by me and my arm wrapped around her waist. Alice smiled before searching Bella's room for anything that she deemed worthy to take with us.
"Actually, I'm meeting my girlfriend and we're leaving. I'm just glad you're taking care of my sister, but I do have one question." Daniel was smirking as he glanced at the three of us.
"How do you expect to get my sister down a ladder without her breaking something?"
I could feel the blush on my cheeks spreading down to my neck, "Daniel! Shut up!"
Edward chuckled from beside me, his arm tightening around my waist. Suddenly I felt uncomfortable; here I stood next to the man of my dreams wearing nothing but my underwear. He seemed to sense my discomfort because his arm slowly slid away from my body.
Daniel bit back a grin, "Relax Bella, I won't let you fall. I'll even go first just to make sure the ladder is sturdy." My brother adjusted the bag on his back and started toward the balcony.
I felt a nagging in my stomach as he walked away from me. I didn't want my brother to leave, but I knew he wouldn't be happy unless he went his own way.
Once his head disappeared from the window, I sighed and leaned back into Edward, "I'm sorry about before."
He shook his head and stepped away from me, "Its fine, Bella. I'll leave so you can get dressed." He spoke softly, but I knew it wasn't because my parents were asleep.
"Bella, just get dressed."
My bronze haired Adonis walked away from me, looking out at the beach behind my house. His hands rested on his hips and he didn't speak. I watched his back loosen and tighten as he breathed in and out.
"Come on, Bella, I'll help you get ready." Alice's chipper voice caused me to turn back and face her.
"What should I do?"
Alice smiled and handed me the purse she was holding, "Well, first you can put these on before you give Edward a coronary."
"I'm not having a coronary, Alice." Edward's tone was terse and when I glanced over at him, his hands were on top of his head, "But you need to hurry, Bella."
The pixie like girl spoke again, "Bella is there anything specific that you need?"
I nodded slowly, thinking about something I wouldn't want to leave. I never wanted Tanya's hands on my mother's things, "My mom's jewelry. It's in my top drawer."
As Alice dug through my drawers in search of the aforementioned jewelry, I glanced over to make sure that Edward wasn't looking before whisking off my tank top. When I slept, I had no need for a bra.
I hurried over to the opposite side of my canopy bed and reached up onto my duvet to grab the bag of my clothes that Alice had thrown together.
"Bella, I-" As Edward said my name, he turned toward me and I squeaked before ducking behind my bed, "Bella! Are you all right?"
He was walking over to me and the contents of the bag Alice had packed were strewn along my bed. He would be able to see everything, "I'm fine, Edward! Stop right there!" His expression remained concerned but he stopped, holding his arms up in front of him.
"Okay, I don't know what's gotten into you, but first you don't want me to touch you and now you don't want me near you."
"Edward, stop acting so dense!" Alice, who had finally found what she was looking for, spoke quietly, but her tone showed that she was serious, "She's changing her clothes and is obviously uncomfortable. Although I'm not sure why; she's gorgeous."
By that time, I was sure that my entire body was red as the two Cullens stared in my direction, "Could you guys look at each other and not me?"
"Don't worry, Bella. We'll climb down the ladder and meet you at the bottom, okay?"
I nodded, knowing this would give me time to finish putting on my clothes, "I'll call out before I climb. You might want someone at the bottom for when I start down the ladder. I'm dangerous when it comes to any activity besides talking."
After shaking my head, I stepped toward the balcony. Bella didn't have anything to worry about; I wasn't grossed out by what I had seen. Her body was amazing, but obviously she didn't feel that way. I understood; I'd be self conscious after living with Tanya for all of those years.
My feet clung to the rungs on the ladder as I climbed down before Alice. I wasn't too excited about letting Bella climb down last, but if she needed to get dressed and was uncomfortable with mine and Alice's presence, it would only make sense.
When I finally reached the grass, I glanced to my left to see Emmett and Daniel talking to each other. That explained why Jasper was holding the ladder.
"So, do you swear to look out for my little sister while I'm gone and uphold the standards that I set for her?" Emmett's hand was up, his palm flat as he appeared to be taking an oath.
"I so swear."
"And if Edward does anything that would upset you if he did it to your sister, do you promise to reprimand him in the ways that I have set before you?"
"Good, I now pronounce you the caretaker of Bella Swan. You may continue your duties." I could see Emmett grinning through the darkness at Daniel. I rolled my eyes and stood by the edge of the ladder, grimacing up at the light that shone through Bella's open window.
"Move over, Eddie, there's a new sheriff in town." Emmett sidled up beside me, "It's my job to protect Bella now."
Just as he was speaking, I heard Bella call out to us, "Okay, I'm coming down. Would you please make sure the ladder is sturdy?"
Emmett shook it gently before smirking up at Bella, who was staring down at him with wide eyes, "Its sturdy, Bella. Don't worry, I won't let you fall."
She lifted herself off of the balcony. I could tell she felt hesitant but once her first foot settled on the top rung, I let out the breath that I'd been holding.
Bella continued down the ladder, her fingers squeezing the sides. I could see the white knuckled grip as she clenched the ladder until her leg caught on a loose rung and she fell backward. My eyes were wide as I watched her fall, unable to do anything as I stood below her.
I watched as Emmett braced himself and Bella tumbled into his arms, her arm smacking along the metal of the ladder as she fell, "Easy, little sis. Daniel would kill me if I let you fall to your death."
Bella's teeth were clenched as Emmett smiled and set her on the ground, "Ya, thanks Emmett." She was cradling her arm, as she stepped away from my older brother.
"Bella, are you all right?"
"Yes, Danny…I think it's just a sprain."
"Nothing is ever just a sprain with you, Isabella." Daniel's tone was concerned and that alarmed me. Was Bella really injured and trying to hide it?
"Bella, if you're hurt, just let us know. Our dad can look at it once we get home."
I contorted my face trying to control my emotions. Pain was rippling throughout my arm and the feeling crept into my bones, "I might have your dad look at it. Do you think he'd mind?"
Edward pushed the hairs that had fallen from my ponytail away from my face, "No, love, he wouldn't mind."
Daniel cleared his throat, "I think I'll go with you just in case Bella needs me."
I sighed, and shook my head, "No Danny, you can go. The Cullens can take care of me now, right? And what would Leah think if you didn't show up? I don't want her to hate me if you stand her up."
"I'll just call her, Bella. She can meet us at the Cullen house, and that will give me the time I need to get to know Edward. He might be a serial killer, you know."
"Edward doesn't like cereal…he likes oatmeal." I giggled as Emmett glanced at the three of us thoughtfully, "He's a health nut. No sugar for Eddie, he goes ape shit."
Daniel smiled at Emmett and clapped him on the back, "I knew I chose correctly when I asked you to protect my sister."
Edward's brother smiled, "Should I carry Bella back to our house?"
"No, Emmett, you don't have to." I tried to protest, but Daniel had other plans.
"Sure Emmett, lift away."
So! This chapter was slightly uneventful, but don't worry, the next chapter will include some Cullen-y fluff! And what will Charlie do when he finds out his kids are missing? Will he care or will he ignore it and continue on with his life?
Who knew that Bella was going to fall from the ladder? I did! Haha :)
I'm glad everyone enjoyed Esme's protective side in the last chapter. I love writing Carlisle and Esme which is why I started a story with her and Carlisle :) I'm going to give you guys a little snippet just to see what you think.
Would you rather fall from a ladder and be caught by Emmett or change your clothes in front of Alice and Edward?
P.S. Here's the snippet!
"Just get out and take the boy with you."
The man before me was merely a ghost of the man he used to be. His eyes were glazed, blue irises darting around as he tried to stop seeing double. Unable to concentrate, Charles staggered forward and threw the dish. "I said get out!" He spat and stumbled as the dish shattered above my head, china littering the mantel above the fireplace.
Our suitcases were in the car and Alec was nestled safely in the backseat. I prayed that he was sleeping. Regardless of his father's actions, I'd never want Alec to witness the suicidal, angry side of his father.
I glared at my husband, who stumbled backward into the leather recliner. I couldn't take it anymore. "Fine. But when you wake up and realize we're gone, don't bother looking. You won't find us."