A/N: WOW. I haven't gotten on the Demon City wagon for quite some time now. It's been too long since I've updated and I thought it was time to do so again. I hope you guys don't hate me too much for holding out for more than a couple of months. There are worse right? LOL. Probably not. But at least you know I haven't abandoned this one.
Now, enjoy my pretties! And review!
I do not own Twilight. Although Copward is pretty much my bitch. ;)
I was so lost. What would I do while Edward was working—away from me? I finally tore my gaze from his after he disappeared down the hallway, rubbing the back of his head in frustration. I gulped loudly. I hadn't realised how imperative he was to me now. That when he left me alone, it hurt. A lot.
I was like a heroin addict—feeling physical pain whenever I was deprived, then greedily devouring more and more of him when I got my fix.
I stared back at the Captain. He stood stoically, his eyes transfixed on Detective Whitlock. They were having a silent conversation, which obviously didn't involve Detective Hale—who was showing as much irritation about their secrecy as I did. I folded my arms across my chest. They broke their gazes and Detective Whitlock assumed a casual stance, turning to me with a warm, polite—yet still professional—smile. Detective Hale tapped her foot on the ground and stared pointedly at the captain.
"Care to include me in your conversation?" she enquired, her eyebrows raising and her lips pursed.
The captain just shook his head and chuckled. He seemed so slimy—I felt sorry for Edward, having a boss like him... Then again, no-one could be worse than Jacob Black, I supposed. Shoving those thoughts aside, I still didn't like him.
"Calm yourself, detective, it's nothing of your concern—"
"But if it has something to do with the case...?" she defended, indicating the 'case' by motioning with her hand toward me—like I was an object.
I sighed. This was going to be a long day. I watched their bantering, Detective Hale growing more and more exasperated.
"It doesn't have anything to do with the case." He said sharply.
"Enough." He ordered.
I stared wide-eyed, because he looked angry enough to strike at her like a cobra.
If you value your job, you will back the fuck down.
I told her silently with my eyes, she glanced at me, possibly noticing my warning. She turned back to her boss, sighing dejectedly and nodding.
"I'll take the first watch then," Detective Whitlock said suddenly, eagerly.
I frowned. I would have thought these people would be strongly opposed to baby-sitting, especially if it was a favour for Edward. I stared up at him, perplexed. Although he did seem a far cry from the captain—he also had a respectful air about him, he looked like he would bow down and kiss the captain's shoes.
Not like Edward, who hated being pushed around—he was a lone fighter...a vigilante who hated rules. He lived by his own authority. Which could be either construed as badass and hot...or irresponsible. Another sigh. I was already thinking about him obsessively. I snapped myself out of it, refusing to look incompetent. I could take care of myself. Shaking my head to dispel those thoughts, I glanced back at Detective Hale who looked defeated and irritated, even more so.
"Good, I expect you will take over Whitlock after his shift, Hale?" he asked, turning back to the blonde goddess.
She nodded once, stiffly. I shifted my weight, leaning it on my other foot. Detective Whitlock grinned then stared down at me. I felt oddly comfortable with him—it was just a certain vibe he radiated, like a glow. I smiled back timidly.
"I expect you to get back to your regular duties until your shift, Hale." The captain said, sounding bored now.
He turned around then and disappeared back into his office. My eyes fell to my shoes as I contemplated the next few hours with these people. I grimaced at the thought. They would be watching me like a hawk until Edward could come back to 'claim' me.
"Shall we?" Detective Whitlock motioned with his hand towards the exit, allowing me to go first.
I shrugged and obeyed—if I didn't cause trouble and kept quiet and polite, this would all be over sooner.
Besides, befriending more cops wouldn't be such a bad thing. I knew I had a few parking tickets I needed to explain...
"You can relax now, Bella," Detective Whitlock chuckled, misinterpreting my expression.
I smiled back weakly, scratching my head. He opened the glass door for me, his jacket opening slightly to reveal the leather straps over his shoulders and the gun it holstered. I peeked at it curiously, wondering if there was a standard issue—a type of weapon that all officers were required to have. His looked a little different to Edward's, although maybe that's another rebellious act Edward decided to take, purchasing a privately owned firearm and using it for work. To throw off the chains of systematic oppression...or whatever.
We walked out onto the street. The kind detective opened his car door for me. Standard issue vehicle of course. I noted the red and blue lights on the dash, the radio and the Perspex divider between the front and back seat for when they picked up a criminal.
He opened my door for me, smiling very chivalrously.
I smiled back, grateful.
"Why, thank you detective." I grinned up into his sapphire eyes.
They seemed to sparkle hypnotically. He laughed lightly.
"Please, Bella. We need not be so formal anymore. Call me Jasper."
I nodded 'okay' before slipping inside the car. It smelt of leather and coffee. I was wary of getting in here, worried it might smell like...pee, or blood...something along those lines that would link with felons the cringe-worthy task of arresting drug dealers, users, pushers, drunks, burglars, etcetera.
He briskly entered his side of the car, putting it into gear before peeling out of the parking spot. A car that had been stalking us quickly took our place. The ride back to Edward's was...uneventful. I was already pining after him only having just been rid of his presence mere minutes ago.
I couldn't even think straight!
He reminded me of some parasite—the good kind, of course—eating away at my brain. It was like he was always there, in every damn thought I had. It was enough to drive a girl insane, especially once she'd had a test drive of said merchandise. I licked my lips unconsciously, unaware of what I was doing.
Edward had taken me to such pleasurable heights, none that I had ever been to before. I didn't just want him, he was vital to me.
I sighed dejectedly at this little conundrum, drumming my fingers against the door as we sped through town. Jasper was an excellent driver, weaving through the cars expertly. I assumed that was another part of training they had to cover in the academy. In the event of a car pursuit, they'd obviously need to know how the fuck to handle a car.
Maybe I should just enrol for that part of the course. I needed to get some o' the skills down pat. I was a pretty helpless driver. I was so rough.
Rough. I wanted to be rough with Edward.
I rubbed my forehead with my fingers. If I didn't stop thinking about him or subjects that would inevitably lead to thinking about him, I would never retain enough sanity to live throughout the day.
We were back at Edward's apartment in no time. I walked up the stairs first, Jasper followed behind. I got to the door, unlocked it with the key Edward had given me and entered, holding the door for my new friend.
At least I didn't get Rosalie first up. I was in no mood for any bitch antics. By the end of her shift, I probably would have shoved her head in a blender, but then again, I'd feel sorry for the blender. I dropped the key on the coffee table in the living room before plopping down on the sofa—time for some quality re-runs.
I turned the T.V on, Jasper found a seat beside me, propping his feet up casually. I smiled, but kept my eyes on the screen, channel surfing.
It was an awkward silence. I found myself fidgeting being in his company, rather than being placated as I had originally thought I would be. He looked too comfortable. At least Rosalie would have taken this too seriously, scouting the fucking apartment for bugs—I glanced around nervously, noting what other activities Edward and I performed that could be caught on tape—and keeping watch at the windows for snipers or some sort of craziness.
At least then, I could actually feel comfortable, what with her mind busy with a task, not bothering to be nice or spend time with me. I kind of liked the solitude, much more than the weird silences between strangers where neither of them knew what to say or do.
I was hating every minute of this!
Why did Edward's douche wad of a Captain have to take him off of the damn case?!
Okay, so, maybe he hadn't acted completely professionally. I'll be the first to admit that besides him. But, people have been let off with a warning for much more. I ground my teeth together. The Captain probably had it out for Edward. To me, it seemed to purely stem from jealousy. James knew Edward was a better cop than he is or ever was; that must piss him off to no end. And this week I had come to realise Edward's cocky side. That would only add fuel to the already huge fucking fire that was their bitterness for one another. The Captain also knew, like I knew, but Edward didn't know, that he would soon and so easily make a better Captain than Hargold.
I sighed, absently picking at the arm of the sofa as I studiously ignored the black and white slasher film that was playing on cable. Jasper chuckled beside me, a low throaty sound. I glanced up at his amused expression, my cheeks flushing in embarrassment.
"What?" I asked defensively, curling in on myself.
He shook his head.
"Nothing. It's just...you don't look very comfortable. Am I making you a bit nervous, Bella?" he asked, smirking.
I quirked an eyebrow at his presumptuousness.
Was he insinuating that I was attracted to him? Or that the reason I felt uncomfortable is because it was of his presence and that I was thinking about him?
"Um, yeah...I'm uncomfortable—around strangers." I corrected, making sure to throw a bucket of cold water over that fire before he got too cocky about himself.
He smiled warmly, losing the smugness.
"I'm sorry." I apologised sincerely.
"I can't...I mean, I know...uh..." I struggled to spit out a sentence.
I heaved out a deep breath, shifting in my seat. I crossed my legs under me and faced him, there was a cushion between us so it didn't feel too intimate.
"I miss him." I blurted out, my cheeks growing hotter.
Jasper's eyebrows shot up to his hairline and I wished I hadn't confessed.
"Well," he said; contemplative.
He cocked his head to the side, staring past my shoulder.
"I'm sorry he got taken away from the case. But, Cullen can be a little too...exuberant. He...doesn't know where the line is sometimes, it blurs in his eyes. And he doesn't understand why people—cops—can't just cross that line without thinking." He explained, watching me.
"So, the line was me?" I asked, pondering, if not slightly offended.
He opened his mouth to say something...but what? Because that was exactly what he meant. It may have been written on paper that Edward was suspended from this investigation because of not properly informing his superiors over what was happening—but really it was because of his infatuation with me. One that everyone he worked with seemed to know all about now.
I scrunched my face up.
"So, everyone knows then?" I asked, a small glimmer of hope present that I still had some privacy.
He shook his head, trying to keep from smiling.
"Argh!" I grumbled, my face falling into my hands.
Jasper's finger encountered my chin, lifting it up gently. I frowned slightly but didn't swat his hand away, no matter how awkward the gesture was. His eyes were soft with concern, concealing a hidden emotion behind them.
What was he sorry that my incredibly inappropriate, barely even two day old romance was public?
My hands fidgeted, linking together and wringing against each other as he still held my chin in his hand.
"Don't be upset, Bella. It doesn't matter." He reassured me.
I rolled my eyes, sceptical.
"It's okay, Detective—" he eyed me pointedly. "Jasper," I corrected myself.
"I'm not upset." I said, smiling tightly and trying to manoeuvre out of his grasp. He seemed to notice my unease with the contact, slowly lowering his hand back to his side. I smiled again and decided to avoid anymore weird happenings like that one. I went to bed.
Of course I didn't sleep.
It was too early in the day, obviously. My body thought it was peculiar to be resting at this time. It just wouldn't let me slip into a doze that easily. I also wasn't that tired...physically. Mentally was another story.
As I lay under the covers—still unwashed, still smelling potently of Edward and our...together-ness—I stared at the ceiling, pondering over everything that happened over the past couple of days.
I found myself missing Alice—fiercely. She had been so important to me. A sister, really, more than just a friend, or even best friend. If it weren't for the perceptible differences in our features, anyone would think we were of a blood relation. Even with our separate appearances, some people mistook us for cousins. We had been so close...
Tears streaked down my face. I hugged one of Edward's pillows closer to my face, inhaling the smell—yeah, maybe it was creepy but it helped calm me down a little.
In spite of the loss of Alice, there was also the gain of something else—it pained me to even admit it, but it was definitely more strong and profound—with Edward.
Or, maybe it wasn't that it was stronger, just different.
Different because Alice was family already, she belonged with me, as a friendly companion—she was kind and selfless, putting me first all the time even when I didn't deserve it. Alice would push me to strive, and be there if I failed. Or kick my ass for giving up.
Edward wasn't like that. I had yet to find out what he was like, only having known him for such a short time.
I was going to need to talk to him about everything. Where did we both stand? When all this was finished—would we stay in contact? My chest tightened as I put it all into perspective. Nothing was ever concrete, everything was ephemeral, temporary. Something, like a relationship—I wasn't even sure if we were in one at all—was placed on such a precarious precipice, one wrong move and it could all slide down hill in a spectacular 'shit-hitting-the-fan' type fiasco. A lover's quarrel that would only end in heart break. Of course, then there was the consideration as to what we should label what Edward and I shared. It was more than just fucking—to me. To him? Well, I couldn't read his mind—how could I be sure it wasn't simply carnal pleasure that he sought from me, a willing recipient?
I had no fucking idea. That just added an extra ten pounds of angst-ridden thought onto my mind in addition to my already half insane internal banter. I sighed, rolling over to my side and staring at the dark drapes that covered the sunlit windows. Dust motes floated in the air, stirring as I moved and breathed.
I distantly wondered what Jasper was doing—if he was bored out of his mind...watching T.V. without me, and having a wonderful time, or if he just left after seeing no threat. He could be doing anything. How that must be liberating for him. I was couped up in here, nobody to talk to—well nobody I wanted to talk to—nothing to do, really. I sat up, feeling stir crazy and restless. I scanned over the room to find something that could entertain me for the rest of the day until Edward came home...
A book case!
I excitedly leapt off the bed towards the small wooden structure at the far right corner of the room. It was clean but definitely not neat. The books were piled haphazardly on top of each other, some stuffed in crannies so everything would fit. He certainly didn't take proper care of his literature.
My eyes grazed lazily over the titles. He read mostly non-fiction, not to my surprise. True stories of crime. Even the fiction were crime novels. I rolled my eyes. If he worked in such a profession, why would you want to come home and read about it? Wouldn't you want to escape? Just for a little bit? But that was Edward, I supposed. It looked like if he was involved in something, it consumed him entirely with no room for a side habit or other interest.
So, I supposed that could have been another explanation as to why he hadn't acquired a girlfriend...
He couldn't share himself among his career and a personal life over that. However I wasn't one to talk. I criticise him for being unable to interact or create relationships with people, yet hadn't I been dodging men for years?
Well, until now...
There was another hard backed book in there, the embroidery, the texture and the size told me it was not an actual book...but a photo album.
I bit my lip—this should be interesting if not utterly hilarious. It would also help the time go by.
I grabbed it from the shelf and propped my back up against the head board, settling in.
I opened the front page and smiled. There was a picture of a woman, young-ish, probably around twenty-five years old, beautiful, standing next to a man—tall, handsome and blonde around the same age. They were crouching behind a bronze-haired little boy. Now, that had to be Edward.
He would have been around five years old.
He was gorgeous, even as a child. His green eyes bored through the picture and straight into my soul. He was sat atop a little red wooden stool with his parents holding him close, smiling delightedly up at the camera. By the looks of it, they were in their back yard, on the grass. There were toys strewn over the ground, a BBQ area and a fence in the background.
I turned the page and almost died.
I snorted then quickly covered my mouth with my hand to smother the sounds. I squeezed my eyes shut but couldn't help peeking at the picture again.
Edward. About sixteen years of age. Halloween by the looks of that costume.
I wonder if he chose that one and wore it willingly or if he was forced by people unknown.
A naughty nurse costume? I was tearing up, it was just too much. He even had the hat with the little red cross on it. The picture wasn't even that funny—just the thought of Edward like that, so different, carefree, in another element.
It was adorable and like I had hoped, hilarious. Looking through the photos of Edward's past sure did clear my mind of all the bullshit. I wonder why he didn't have these in frames over his house? Some of them were completely decent, wonderful photos of his family, his parents.
In the short space I had known Edward, he seemed like the family type. Despite his antisocial behaviour and his demeanour, he came across as a very loyal person. And wouldn't that denote his family, too?
So, why keep such happy memories locked away?
I managed to occupy myself with the album for more than a few hours.
Time got away from me, but I was glad it did.
I decided to check on Jasper to see if he was still awake being stuck here without much to entertain him. I closed the book and set it on the night stand.
Out in the hallway, I could hear his gentle snoring. I crept backwards, moving stealthily into the kitchen. My stomach growled impatiently, knowing what I was up to. I rummaged around in the refrigerator for something decent.
Milk, water, energy drinks...a lettuce...
Is that it?
Looks like I'll need to restock if I'm going to be staying here any longer.
I shut the door of the fridge, frustrated with the lack of choice and made my way over to the cupboards.
There was pasta, pasta sauce...two minute noodles, canned fruit, canned everything...cereal.
I sighed, looking at my options.
"Eh, fuck it." I mumbled, grabbing the Count Chocula from the top shelf.
I hope Edward won't mind me eating him out of house and home. But by the looks of it, he won't even notice it's gone. I doubt he eats much from his own home, ordering everything from the Italian place.
My mouth watered, even though it was just mere cereal. I was starving actually, It was around three o'clock in the afternoon—Edward would be home soon. Maybe I could wake Jasper up? I spooned a mouthful of Count Chocula and shovelled it in hungrily, milk dribbled down my chin.
Man, what kind of Neanderthal was I?
Not a very neat one.
I nodded to myself, grabbing a napkin from the counter.
I headed back out into the living room. I took another bite and chewed ceremoniously, moaning at the taste of such a lacklustre food—but still savouring it. I placed the bowl down on the coffee table, knowing my history of bowls and floors.
I swallowed the rest of my mouthful, assuming that Detective Whitlock wouldn't be particularly pleased with me if I spat soggy cereal all over his unsuspecting face. I'd probably get some on his suit too, and I bet he wouldn't be too happy about that, either.
Without being too rough, I nudged him in the shoulder—he was still sitting up, his head lolled to the side and his face slack. I leaned a little closer, poking my fingers against his rising and falling chest.
He didn't budge.
I sighed and decided it was time to bring out the big guns.
It would be rude not to ask him if he was hungry. I'd be happy to make some coffee for him if he was this exhausted.
Not to mention, he had been kind enough to take the first boring shift of the day.
I grabbed both of his shoulders, leaning down to get into his face.
"Jasper!" I hissed, whilst simultaneously shaking him.
"Jasp—" His lips pressed to mine, my eyes bulged out and my heart rate picked up.
I gasped, pushing against his chest to escape; his response was to shove me backwards.
The piercing sound of shattering glass erupted around me.
The pain came just a split-second after that. He had accidentally shoved me out of surprise, landing me back-first into the glass table.
"Ow!" I cried, sobbing in pain.
I couldn't feel much else other than a searing sensation up the backs of my arms and the back of my knees and thighs.
I felt like I had been put through a paper shredder.
"Shit!" Jasper exclaimed, leaning down to pick me up from the puncturing shards.
"I am so sorry, Bella! Fuck!" he cried out, remorse clear in his eyes.
I fought back more sobs as he gingerly grasped my shoulders to sit me up so he could wrap his arms around me to get away from the glass pile underneath me.
He managed, only just.
He tore his jacket off after sitting me on the edge of the sofa. My hand clutched the arm rest, feeling very faint. Was I losing blood?
That was when we heard approaching footsteps. Edward was home—and it was either great timing, or the worst possible timing. I wonder who would get into more trouble.
He opened the door. I couldn't see him because my back was to him, but I could hear everything.
His gasp of shock and then his purposeful footsteps as he came to me.
"What the fuck happened?" he demanded.
Jasper looked so guilty.
"I..." he shook his head, trying to find the words.
"It was an accident," I sobbed out, my voice strained.
"I tripped and fell—" I gasped as Edward touched me.
"Ow!" I winced. I felt a sharp sting shoot through my back, close to my spine, but far enough away that I knew I shouldn't be worried about being paralysed.
"You have a hug fucking piece of glass in your back," Edward informed me, his voice not hiding his horror.
"Oh, god," I sucked in a shuddering breath. It hurt quite a bit, although I couldn't really feel the glass shard at the moment, the shock of it all and the small but painful scrapes and abrasions all over my arms and legs gave me something to cry about.
"You couldn't even manage to take care of her for one day!" he barked at Jasper.
Jasper's jaw tensed.
"She. Fell." He said through clenched teeth.
He couldn't really use that as a defence. It was lie.
One that I made up to save his Southern ass.
He could at least say sorry...again.
Edward stood up woodenly, his fists clenching angrily. I was hunched over slightly, my hands on my knees. I was rocking a little, but careful not to disturb the glass protruding from my skin. I didn't want it to tear up completely and do more unnecessary damage.
"You could have caught her," he growled.
I groaned, scrunching my face up. My head felt like it was swimming. I could feel a warm sensation on my back...blood probably.
If Edward had touched the wound then that may have made it worse. I was bleeding and growing faint.
"Bella?" Edward said, moving towards me again.
I was breathing heavily, trying not to think too much about the blood...or lack thereof.
I swallowed loudly.
"Hospital," I managed to whimper.