A/N : There! I'm sorry I haven't updated in...forever.


Chapter 20

11 Days

Bella's POV

My mind went overdrive and yet so blank at the same time. The envelope Peter'd given me was perched on the passenger seat. I glanced at it as I waited for the red light; I was half-expecting the brown paper to suddenly jump and scream on top of its lungs…Did it even have lungs? I shook my head at the clearly irrational random thoughts, my poor brain was failing.

The light turned green and I concentrated on the driving; I had to make it home in one piece. But then the yellowish rays of sunset touched my windshield and I was momentarily distracted.

11 days had passed.

It was …short. Less than two weeks, I'd trusted him and cared about him more deeply than I thought I could. In 11 days; I had shared my entire life-stories to Edward. Maybe it felt longer because we lived together, and I spent most of my time at home ever since he came along.

I sighed and rubbed my face with my hand. I was overwhelmed by this mafia thing, Edward's surprising past, and my own feelings.

Could I do this? Did I trust him enough…was he trustworthy at all?

I drove my car faster as I reached the silent and empty highway. In fifteen minutes, I'd reach my home and Edward.

There were so many fuzzy things. Peter couldn't confirm some information, seeing the person who held the knowledge was missing. But I could. I clearly had access to that missing person.

Edward.

I sniffled. Small tears were rolling down my cheek and I quickly brushed them off and controlled my breathing so they'd stop. I was partly afraid to hear his answers…If he answered at all.

Today had been a major wake-up call. I had openly accepted Edward, blindly putting all confidence in him, not knowing his past what-so-ever. I thought I knew him…how wrong I was.

I took a deep breath and blew the air in loud exhale, desperately trying to keep the tears in bay. To say I was reluctant to have this conversation would be a major understatement; I was terrified to death, knowing if my doubts, and Peter's, were true…means I had just thrown myself off the cliff. I had been fooled completely by the imaginary beautiful water beneath. I was more than naïve.

A tear slipped down and I brushed it off quickly.

Who are you, Edward Cullen?


Ben and the maids had said nothing as I climbed down the car and let them parked it. I could practically feel their worry as I walked to my house. I barely had any energy left, not from physical exhaustion but from great burden I had inside. From huge leap of faith I had taken, the leap that could be my downfall. My mind was numb, refused to think at all. My heart was just as frozen, not producing any hope or anything positive.

After staring at the front door for a minute, I pushed it open, it creaked quietly. The house was quiet, where was Edward? Maybe he'd left…if so, he'd helped me a great deal. I closed the door, and the automatic lock activated immediately.

"Evening, Bella." A soft voice filled the air as I walked further inside. Looking up, I saw Edward, leaning on the banister of the stairs, a genuine smile spread on his face.

He looked pleased to see me. The small part of my barely function brain came up with small reminder. We, Edward and I, had just admitted our feelings hours ago.

I had just admitted I was falling for him.

I had just accepted I cared great deal for him.

Then reality crashed in.

Suddenly it was too hard to breathe.

"Bella?" A soft hand caressed my left cheek. Somewhere between my trance, Edward was already downstairs and was standing before me, his emerald eyes were filled with worry.

Were they?

"Hey… what's wrong? You're pale, are you feeling sick? Bella?" He touched my shoulder when I didn't respond and I flinched away.

Raising my hand, I pushed his hand which was still on my cheek away. He looked confused, and a bit hurt.

Was he?

I couldn't believe myself. Just after receiving those information…even still unconfirmed, I had already begun to doubt every single thing about him.

"Bella?"

I didn't want see his face, didn't want myself to second-guess every expression there. I just couldn't…see him anymore. I put both of my hands on my face, desperately trying to erase all bad thoughts.

"Bella?"

I stepped back, ducking my head closer to my chest, eyes closed and my hands had moved to cover my ears, trying to shut everything away.

"Bella?" Even through my concealed ears, I could still hear his voice, calling my name over and over again, his worry increasing.

Was it?

"Bella!" His fingertips grazed my upper arm, and I flinched even further.

Trough half-blurry eyes, I could see he had froze, his left hand still stretched out and his face was wounded.

"I'm sorry." I rasped, meeting his eyes then ran past him, upstairs to my room.

I blindly pushed the door and thrown myself to bed, sobbing uncontrollably. I curled my body, hugging myself, making me as small as possible, almost like I tried to hold myself together.

I knew I wasn't being fair. Maybe Peter was wrong…maybe I was wrong. But the tears just wouldn't stop. My thoughts were jumbling together with my emotion, with my fear.

I hugged my knee tighter, burying my head as I shook uncontrollably.


"A mafia? Are you being serious?"

"Yes, I called a few friends and after some digging, I stumble upon something disturbing. There's something going on in La Tua Cantante, but apparently whoever did or still do it, they have a strong, very strong power. Rumor has it, mafia is involved. And after the singer, Victoria Daelyn died mysteriously…"

"Wait, Victoria Daelyn? Who was she?"

"She was a singer, a new but was very famous. Eight months ago, she was found dead in La Tua Cantante Hall, like Mr Aro. But she shot herself; two gunshots wounds."

I gasped, "But I…I've never heard that. Surely it must be a big tragedy." Even if I didn't read newspaper religiously, that kind of news must being spoken by people and I'd picked that up.

"It was never been reported. The owners of LTC worried about how it'd affected their business and image, so they covered it pretty well. As far as public know, Victoria Daelyn had committed suicide. No place or details were entailed."

"And how does this murder have to do with Edward…I mean, the bronze-haired killer?"

He paused, "Edward Cullen was the one who found her body and also called the emergency."

"So…he was a suspect too, before this?"

"No, he was a witness. He found Victoria and unconscious Jane McQueen. Jane found Victoria's dead body first, and then passed out. The three of them had practice of upcoming concert but Edward was running late and when he arrived, he found the two of them lying on the floor."

"So, he's only a witness then?"

"Yes. Not long after the incident, Jane's little boy was killed by hit-and-run driver, causing Jane's mental conscious started to fall. She screamed and cried everyday, also had severe depressed episodes. So, she was admitted to mental hospital, until now. She hasn't given any formal statement, so no one truly knows what happened that day. But Mr. Cullen is believed to hold some important information."

"Why?"

"The last person Jane talked to was Edward, she'd requested time alone because she was traumatized and police respected her wish. The only person she was willing to talk to was Edward."

I failed to see something Peter obviously dwelled. "So? It's common. She was in shock and Edward maybe the only person she trusted."

"Some of my…colleagues are still questioning the validity of this case. It was too abnormal to be just suicide."

"So what then? A covered murderer? You mean, someone killed Ms Daelyn and camouflaged it as a suicide? But how did your …sources take that conclusion?"

"One bullet was pulled from her heart, the cause of her death and another one was from her shoulder."

"Shoulder?"

"Exactly. The angle of the shot couldn't possibly self-produce…And on top of that, Ms McQueen seemed to know something, but kept silent. After her son's death, it was clear that she knew something."

"What? What did she say?"

Peter squirmed uncomfortably, looking me very seriously, "Miss Bella, why are you deeply interested with Edward Cullen?"

"W-What?" I shuttered a bit, taken back by the sudden turn if topic but quickly forced my brain to spit out something, "I knew Edward Cullen, not much, barely acquaintance, but he seemed like a very decent person when I met him long ago and let's just say, I…"

Peter nodded, and I assumed I didn't have to continue. "Yes. Jane kept screaming the same thing over and over, 'I didn't tell' and 'she didn't do it. He did' everyday. Sometimes, Mr Cullen's name was mentioned too."

I was silent, not knowing what to ask. How odd indeed…

"Victoria was pregnant." Peter suddenly pronounced.

A gasp escaped my mouth, my hand collided with my mouth, "Oh my God…that's..."

"And it might be the reason someone killed her."

Piecing the puzzles together, my jaw dropped, "Don't tell me…"

Peter nodded, "Yes, Edward Cullen was her boyfriend."

Not paying attention to my reaction, Peter went through a stack of papers he'd just given me.

He had girlfriend? Of course he did…he was gorgeous. But he never once mentioned about Victoria, he never told me someone close to him was recently died…and their baby…

"I speak based on logics, Miss Bella. If Ms Daelyn was aware of the night-practice, why'd she choose the worst time to commit suicide in such unlikely place? The way she shot herself, it was bizarre, who shot one's shoulder when they do suicide? None. And after going through her stuff, the police found nothing that could indicate depression-state. Besides, why did Ms McQueen, important eye-witness, who unfortunately suffers from great grief and trauma kept saying, 'I didn't tell' and 'she didn't do it. He did' and Mr Cullen's name everyday?"

"You're saying that…"

"There's a very high possibility that Ms Daelyn was killed by Mr Cullen, because of her pregnancy. There were rumors saying Mr Daelyn was seen with other guy, so maybe it caused an ugly fight that night. Again, it was hypothetically speaking."

I was at lost, "Could Mr Cullen that cruel? I mean…if he did kill Victoria and now Mr Aro, wouldn't people notice his strange behavior?"

"Like I'd said Miss Bella, something is going on in LTC. Maybe Mr Cullen isn't as innocent as he seems, maybe there's skeleton in his closet." Peter leaned closer, "If mafia really is involved in LTC, and if Mr Cullen is one of them, then he must be very skilful at acting."


There were holes everywhere, I knew. It was hypothetical; It could be true, it could be wrong. There were too much possibilities and not enough information.

No. Edward couldn't kill anyone. He just couldn't. If he truly was in some black-organization, why didn't he run to them for help? Why he came to my house instead, no one of importance?

My cry halted, as my parents' word came to mind.

" We're very success and famous, there're a lot of people might intended to harm you since you are our daughter."

I felt like I'd bang my head against the concrete wall just for suggesting such idea. Way to mixed and created drama, Bella.

Weirdly, the random idea my brain had conjured, helped me gain some calmness. I was no longer sobbing and the tears had stopped.

Maybe I was just tired and overwhelm that my thoughts went haywire. Pushing my head more comfortably to my blotchy pillow, I regained some composure.

A small sound of knocking cut my thoughts. I sat up, knowing it was probably Edward.

"Come in." I answered in hoarse voice.

Edward hesitantly walked into the room. He looked so beaten...and sad. He approached me slowly, and I studied his face.

"…he must be very skilful at acting."

I didn't know to a great extent of his past. But If I was being honest, I knew he never faked anything to me, he always smiled sincerely and his eyes were always open.

Even so, I had to ask him. I needed to know.

He stopped at the edge of the bed and I offered him my hand, which he took. I tugged his hand and he sat.

Silence filled the room, of course he didn't know what to say, I was the one who had mood-swings and created this situation.

"I'm sorry, Edward." His head snapped and he looked at me intensely, "I was overwhelm by…something and I just…I'm sorry."

He rubbed his thumb on my hand comfortingly, "You can always talk to me, you know that right?"

It's now or never….

"Edward, I have to tell you something. It's really important and it concerns you."

He sat up a bit straighter, nodding.

"I hired a private investigator." His mouth went open in shocked, "it's company investigator, he's trustworthy and I didn't tell him anything. I couldn't do much you Edward, but he might find something that could help you."

"I…" He trailed off, "You needn't have to, Bella. I've complicated your life even further and…"

"Who's Victoria, Edward?" I threw the question without no introduction.

He looked stunned…and pained. My heart ached at the sight; Edward released my hand and clasped his hands together, hiding his face.

"So you know about Victoria." His voice were muffled as he bent, using his elbow to support his body, one hand rubbing his forehead.

I nodded mutely. Edward gripped his hair and pulled them. He looked upset and his posture showed how much the memory it affected him.

"Victoria was my ex-girlfriend." He sighed, "March 25th, I found her body. Her lifeless body. We were supposed to have rehearsal together that night when I…"

"Did you know she was pregnant?" I asked in low voice.

"I do. And it wasn't mine. I'd never been intimate with her and we'd broken up months before the…incident." Edward rubbed his scalp, pulling his hair.

"What about Jane?"

He stopped tugging and twisted his body towards me, "You know about Jane too?"

I nodded, "I just need to hear from your perspective and I…"

He studied my face as I looked down to my lap.

"My perspec- You think I killed Victoria?"

I didn't respond. And he threw his head back. "Of course! That's what everybody thinks. That's why the police are so eager to catch me. Of course they think it was me too."

I kept silent and he noticed, "Bella. Look at me." When I didn't, he swiftly grabbed my chin, forcing me to look up.

"Listen, Victoria and Jane were important friends of me, I'd never harm them. Okay? Whatever people might come up with, I didn't do it. You've to trust me, Bella."

His eyes were dark with emotion and I sniffed as I saw honesty written all over his face. I nodded and pulled him to me, hugging his neck. He reciprocated and pulled me tighter.

"I'm sorry…I wanted so much to trust you, but I was…overwhelmed by everything and I…"

"Hush, Bella." He rocked me, shushing me. I didn't realize I was crying. "It's ok, love. Please stop crying."

He loosened his embrace and I lied down to the bed, taking him with me. I rested comfortably against his chest, and he kept his arms around me.

I looked up, and he ducked his head down to nuzzle my cheek.

"You know that Victoria didn't commit suicide, don't you?" I finally brought that topic around again.

He nodded and rearranged his position so that we lied side by side and in eye level. "She was ecstatic about her pregnancy; she couldn't stop talking about it. So the possibility of her taking the baby's life was out of the window."

"Who was the father?"

He shrugged, "I honestly have no idea. She never answered and I didn't push. Jane knows, she was her best friend and I thought since she'd confided in someone, then it's fine."

"Edward, what happen with Jane?"

Instead of answering, Edward brought my hand to his lips, kissing each knuckles. "What if I don't want to tell you? You're already too deep, Bella. I just don't want to add more additional burden."

"But I need to know, Edward. Since I've already fallen, don't you think I should enjoy the wind?"

He sighed, defeated. "Jane called me two days after the incident. She told me, someone'd been threatening her. I knew something was up, she was so gloomy and jumpy ever since that day. She saw him shooting Victoria, from behind the curtain. She said he was about to kill her too but her heard me coming so he ran, after threatening her.

She had a little boy, the most precious possession she had. So she kept silent, but, she knew it was unfair for Victoria's family and Victoria herself so she told me."

He stopped for a while, drawing in a big breath, "then her son was killed. Hit-and-run, the message was clear. I'm not that dense; I knew that person had found out."

"Who was 'him'?" I murmured.

He contemplated for a while. I kept staring stubbornly at him and he finally caved. "It was Marcus Rebagio."

The air left me, "The owner of LTC? Wasn't he killed in car-crash?"

"Actually Jane never told me any name, she only said Victoria was killed."

"Then, how did you find out?"

"When she was admitted to the mental hospital, I was the one who supply her clothes and one day, I stumble upon her diary and a letter. She kept it hidden on her coat. The letter was written for Vic, saying how sorry she couldn't reveal the truth…and she wrote that name."

"Did you tell the police?"

"No, when I found that letter, Marcus was already passed away. I wish I knew why he killed Vic. They weren't close at all, so I'm lost."

"Maybe he's the father of the baby?" I timidly asked.

He shook her head, "I don't know, Jane didn't mention anything about the baby's father and since she is now…"

I rolled to my back, "Geez, it's really maddeningly complicated."

Propping himself up, Edward looked down at me, "Just give it a rest, Bella. Marcus is gone, so it's probably no use to think about it. Right now I'm just worried about you." He caressed my cheek with his fingertips softly.

I reached up and put my hand on his neck, bringing him down to me. He kissed my lips slowly, savoring the moment.

"Thank you for telling me. I'm sorry I over react." I breathed when we pulled apart.

"Thank you for accepting me." He pecked my nose.

He smiled widely at me, as I gripped both of his cheek on my hands. The way he looked at me was touching, like I was the most precious thing in his world.

My heart ached again. He was so handsome and kind and talented…he was everything. He deserved so much, not this kind of life.

"I wish I could do something. I wish…I wish I could do more."

He brushed my hair from my temple, "You already did. You're my more."

He leaned down and I closed my eyes as our lips met again.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid. I was, more than anything. Edward could be taken from me anytime. I knew we couldn't stay in our bubble forever…and we had so many things to investigate.

But right now I was more than content. I had him. And he had me.


A/N

I just wanna say thank you for all the readers for reading, for the reviews, alerts, favs and supports. They motivates me to write. You guys motivate me. :)