Beta'd by the lovely TwiDi
Story deals with themes of abuse and healing from that abuse, I try not to write in explicit details about the abuse, but the rougher chapters will have warnings on them.
For victims of domestic abuse you can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233).
If you need help or have questions about child abuse or child neglect, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
This story's chapters will be between 3500-6000 words, I don't write extremely long chapters, sorry.
Story Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
I got the call at eight in the morning.
"Charlie Swan?" A vaguely familiar female voice asked.
"Yes, may I ask who is calling?"
"This is Renee." Holy shit what was she doing calling after all these years? "Are you there, Charlie?" She was still a sarcastic bitch.
"Yes, Renee. And to what do I owe the pleasure of this call after over sixteen years?" I could be sarcastic when I wanted as well.
"Charlie last year I got married and we want to travel the world and have adventures. We can't do that with your daughter hanging around. I'm signing her over to you, Charlie. You're finally getting what you wanted all those years ago."
I let out a gush of air. My baby, girl the one I had seen only once in her whole life was coming to live with me. She'd be fifteen now, almost sixteen, the daughter I've never known. The one the cold harpy on the other end of my phone stole out of my life with threats. The fear of losing my son as well as my daughter is the only reason she got away with it.
"When?" My now parched throat cracking on the word.
"My lawyer is faxing all the paper work to the police station this morning. You'll need to sign a few things I'm guessing. However, she will be on a plane tomorrow morning heading to you. Her flight details will be included in the faxed information." I swear the woman's voice is like an ice cube.
"Renee, these papers are giving me primary custody or joint?" I had to know.
"Sole custody, Charlie, I'm completely signing her over. To be honest she's always been too much like you. Hopefully if Phil ever talks me into popping another one out, it will have a personality." I mentally berated her for talking so bad about my child. My little girl. "You are now completely responsible for her, I've signed away my parental rights."
"I'll be in the office in an hour and get the paper work set up. Let her know I'll be there to pick her up at the airport." With bells on!
"Whatever, Charlie, it's all in your hands now. I'm done with this shit." And she hung up.
I really didn't want to think about Renee right now, the way she came into my life. The way she ran out. And the way she has tortured me for years, with a child I've never know. A baby girl whose name I didn't even know. Oh God, I need to get to the office and get that paper work, get everything ready and then I need to tell my son his sister is finally coming home.
Isabella Marie Swan. At least Renee had given her my last name. Even though Renee had never taken it, she still gave it to my baby Isabella who would be landing at the small airport in Port Angeles tomorrow at seven pm. I need to get my lawyer on the line, get this paper work finished and then go talk to Emmett. Then clean up the spare room for my baby Isabella.
Three hours later I finally arrived home. Emmett's old beater jeep that he and Jake had put together piece by piece was parked in the driveway. Good. Things were going my way today. My lawyer, who also happens to be my son's girlfriend's father Nick Hale explained the paper work was clear cut. Isabella was one hundred percent mine now. And he got a laugh at the irony that once upon a time Renee did everything including blackmail to keep me from the child and now she is just handing her over. Gotta love old Nick and his sense of humor. Though he did promise to keep his mouth shut about the latest addition to the family. I really didn't want a house full of kids bombarding her when she first gets home tomorrow. And if I know Rosalie, she'd have a party ready and waiting here for Isabella.
"Em?" I called when I walked inside.
"Kitchen!" He bellowed. My son has no indoor voice, at all. I walked into the kitchen and he was there feasting on sandwiches and Dr. Pepper, "Hey, Dad." He grinned showing way to much of the food in his mouth for my liking.
"Son, I need to tell you something important." I started off.
"Dad, listen I'm sorry about that C in math. Edward has promised to tutor my butt in it. You'd never know Mr. Popular was also a smart fucker. Oh shit, sorry about the language." I grimaced. The kid cussed like a sailor.
"No, it's not your math, however, thank Edward for me. I got a call this morning from Renee." He tensed. She wasn't his mother but he had heard her name before. Emmett was eighteen and going to be a senior in high school in the fall. The last time he saw Renee he was four and she was screaming at me on our door steps that she would see me in jail before letting me know my daughter.
"What did the harpy want?" My son knows her nickname too well. He's heard it many times over the years.
"She got married and is sending your sister to live with us permanently. She signed away all her rights to me. Isabella is coming home." I smiled and he gave a short grin. I then went on to explain everything that happened today to him.
"Isabella? So that's my sister's name?"
"Isabella Marie Swan. And she will be here tomorrow. I want to get the spare room cleaned up, put all that storage stuff in the attic, then run to buy her a bed so she has something to sleep in for now. I figure she'll want to decorate it herself so we'll just get the rails and the mattress and box springs. We'll let her pick out a bedroom set and colors on her own."
"Want me to call Edward and Jasper over to help get that stuff up there tonight?" Emmett asked.
"The help would be nice… but to be honest with you, I don't want your sister bombarded with people when she gets in tomorrow. I want her to settle in. This can't be easy on her. Think, Em, the only parent she has ever known is throwing her away just by signing away all her rights; and now is sending her to the father she'd never known. And heaven knows what Renee has tried to tell her. You've heard about the lies she used to keep Isabella away from me." He nodded.
"I'll call the guys over but tell them to keep it quiet for the moment. What time is she coming in tomorrow?"
"Seven in the evening."
"How about we get it emptied and cleaned tonight and we pick up the bed in the morning. I'm sure it needs to be vacuumed and maybe even get the carpet-cleaned." My son might act like a goof but he can be weirdly logical at times.
"Sounds good, you get the boys and I'll go pick up the cleaning supplies from the store and some boxes in case we need them for storing that stuff." We smiled at each other and took off to handle our business.
I jumped in my jeep and headed over to the Cullens' house, I knew that Jazz and Edward were there since we were supposed to be having a Rock Band tournament this afternoon. Shit, I hope they don't crack my nuts for asking them to give it up to clean of all things.
Jazz's mustang is parked beside Edward's 'grandpa' car in the Cullen driveway. I swear, who needs a five-car garage and three floors for a house? Though I guess it should be four floors since the basement was actually renovated into a kick ass game room with dart boards, pool tables, big squishy sofas and three different gaming systems. The Cullens are loaded big time, but they are so cool despite that. A lot of rich people get a rep for being snobby or dickwads. Not the Cullens though. I walked into the house announcing my arrival. I haven't knocked on this door since I was seven or eight years old.
"Emmett, dear, I'm just finishing up the snacks for you boys." Esme smiled and gave me a hug as I came in. She is the sweetest woman and to be honest I like to pretend she's my Mom since I've never had one. She's the ideal Mom. Sweet, awesome cook, she's so pretty and she never judges but she can give you a look if you're being bad that makes you feel like you're nuts shriveled and fell off.
"Thanks, Esme." I felt bad she has cooked and I'm going to steal the guys away. Should I tell her? Shit. Dad might want to do that.
"Hey, Em." Alice greets as she comes flouncing up the basement stairs. I assume she was down there bugging the guys. Little bit has a thing for Jazz, only she's just getting ready to go into her sophomore in high school and he's going to be a senior. And if he even tried to move on that, Edward would kill him. Edward is a laid back nice guy, but don't fuck with him or his sister, cause he can become a majorly scary mother fucker.
"The guys are down there?" She sighed.
"Yes, Jasper was going to let me join you guys, but Edward said no." She pouted and turned her pretty green eyes on me. Oh, hell no.
"Sorry, kid, it's guy bonding day." Plus if she found out about Isabella, she'd be all over that with a party and wanting to go shopping. My unknown sister would be overwhelmed. Unless she is into that kind of stuff. I wonder what she is like? I ponder this as I say goodbye and head down into the game room.
"Hey." They say in unison giving the universal guy grunt of hello.
"Dudes, I got a huge-ass favor to ask of you." I gathered them close so I could whisper.
"Ok, what?" Edward asks.
"Well, you know how I have this sister I've never met?" They both nod and they looked puzzled.
"Yeah, man, Mom still can't believe what that woman put your Dad through." I smiled at Jasper.
"Well, she is striking again. Seems she's gotten remarried and no longer wants to play Mommy. So, she has signed over the daughter and shipped her off to live with us. I mean, completely signed her over, like gave up all rights." They looked stunned.
"When did this happen?" Edward inquired.
"Dad got a call at the butt crack of dawn. The harpy sent the paper work by fax to his office and Isabella is going to be here tomorrow night."
"That soon?" Jasper questioned looking really shocked.
"Dude, Dad showed me the paperwork. This woman literally has done all of this in a week. Now the poor kid is being kicked out of her home and sent to live with strangers. Dad's worried about her being overwhelmed, so he doesn't want to involve the girls until after Isabella is here. He wants to get her settled before we unleash the women on her." The guys laughed.
"Yes, my dear baby sister will probably want to take her shopping and probably would want to have a Welcome Home party." Edward laughed.
"So, what's the favor?" Jasper asked me.
"Well, we have that third bedroom that just became a junk room over the years because Dad and I were too lazy to move things up into the attic. We were kind of hoping you wouldn't mind coming over and helping us move it there. Also, we want to clean the room up. Dad is going to get her a bed tomorrow and he wants to let her decorate the room herself."
"That's fine, I don't mind helping, you'd do it for us." I smiled at Edward.
"I'm in. We can just tell the girls we're spending time with the Chief, not like it's a lie." Jasper informs me with a sly grin.
"True. Thanks." I told him laughing a little.
Four hours, way too many trips up and down the narrow flight of steps and the room was cleared. Right now Dad was cleaning the window and I was using a broom to knock down dust and shit on the wall. Jasper was on vacuum duty and Edward won the carpet cleaner. He loves a carpet cleaner. I think he gets off every time he dumps the dirty water tank down the drain. He makes everyone come and see just how fucking dirty that area was. Right now, he is downstairs chomping at the bit to get it going. We made him wait downstairs because he was driving everyone nuts about us not being done yet so he can start the cleaner. He claims it's because he was worried it wouldn't be dry in time. We all know the truth though… the carpet cleaner is his secret lover.
"What bed size are you going with, Charlie?" Jasper asked my Dad.
"I was thinking full sized. It would still leave her room in here for other things like a desk and dresser. Plus, girls need lots of stuff, right?" Dad asked. Poor guy he was getting an instant teenage girl to raise. He was so fucking lost.
"I have no clue, Charlie. I just have my older brother Garrett." He laughed, "But if Alice and Rose are anything to go off by, then yes, teenage girls need lots of stuff and a lot of shopping to get said stuff."
"True!" I agreed. Rosie and Ali were always shopping.
"Rose and Alice have taken on curing the slumping economy themselves. One mall trip at a time." Edward joked coming up the stairs with his carpet cleaner.
"We're not ready for that yet." I told him.
"Yeah, yeah. I just was bringing her up so she's ready to go." Sadly I think he's caressing the handle bar.
"Ahh…" Jasper said trying to hold back his laughter.
"Guys, I just thought of something." Edward gets all of our attention, "If she's decorating the room herself, are you taking her shopping after you pick her up or later in the week?"
"I was thinking this coming weekend. Give her time to settle." Dad informed him.
"Well, won't she need sheets and blankets before then?" Logical bastard. Of course she will.
"True, because both of our beds are queen sized, so they are too big for a full. We had to get queens for us, my butt was too big for full and Dad just likes space." I threw out.
"I'll pick her up some cheap ones tomorrow to make it through until the weekend. It's June, so she doesn't need a comforter or anything big, just a light weight blanket and sheets would do. Maybe pillows." Dad thinks out loud.
"I agree, Dad. Maybe we could run into Wal-Mart there in Port Angeles."
"Hey, Charlie, we have that extra ceiling fan at the house from when Mom remodeled the living room, it's standard white but I'm sure Isabella would enjoy having it." Dad smiled at Jasper's offer. The rest of the house has ceiling fans, one in the living room, kitchen, my room and Dad's room. It's nice to get that air circulation on a hot night.
"Are you sure, Jasper? Tell your Mom I'll buy it from her."
"Let me call." Jasper walked out into the hall and Edward motioned that he'd be right back.
"Dad, what grade is school is she?"
"All I know is she'll be sixteen in September." Dad looked so sad, "I know you're going to be a senior as well as Jasper and Edward, but do me a favor and look out for her, Emmett."
"You don't even have to ask, Dad." It's true. I'd do anything for my Dad and I know if Isabella was hurt at school or something happened there he'd be crushed.
This just brings more good out of being left behind in fourth grade. I was out sick for over half the school year so the school board and Dad decided just to hold me back. It was great for me though. I met Jazz, Edward and my Rosie all because of that infection. And now instead of being off at college I would be home for a year with Isabella to help her get settled. Edward being a summer baby and early start kid is turning seventeen this month, Rosie will be eighteen in March and Jazz will be eighteen in October. I'll be the old fucker at nineteen in January.
Shit. Sixteen! I wonder if we'll have to have one of those sweet sixteen bashes. I know Alice has been planning hers for a while. I swear that thing is going to cost more than most peoples' wedding reception and the guest list is like three hundred people to attend it in early November. That's a huge portion of the population size of Forks.
"Hey, Charlie, I called my Mom and asked her to keep it hushed but she says instead of wasting your money buying her cheap crap for a week she's going to run some stuff over for Isabella to use. Mom has a lot of stuff laying around, she's getting Dad to load up and bring over. Don't ask what it is all I know is some full sized sheets and blankets are included." Dad laughed.
"Thanks, Edward. I'm sure Isabella can put that money to better use."
"Charlie, Mom says you can have it and if you offer her money for it she is going to pop you upside the head." Jasper came in behind Edward. Momma Whitlock would hit him too, "Also she says don't cook she will make a casserole or something and bring it over so you can just reheat it. She says that and I quote… 'Baby girl will need a real meal to welcome her home'." I think I did a happy dance because Momma Whitlock aka Brenda Whitlock is an awesome cook. Not as good as Esme but way up there.
"Thank her for me, Jasper." Dad kind of blushed.
It was now almost ten at night. The carpet has been cleaned and Dad got out his stash of Shammies and we sucked up a ton of the water off the floor. It was now almost completely dry. Before we started it, Jasper's dad, Jackson, had come over and installed the ceiling fan. It was now turned on helping to speed the drying along. Esme was due in the morning and Edward was spending the night since he was passed out on the sofa. I think the bliss from using his carpet cleaner wore him out.
I texted back and forth with my lady. Nice dirty things that I'd like to do to her body. She wanted me to come over, but I told her that Eddie was camping out for the night and she understood. Jasper had gone home. His Mom had made brownies and he wasn't missing out on them. Garrett was home from college for the summer and it was war in that house to get food.
Dad went to bed a few minutes ago with this goofy grin on his face. The man was so happy that his daughter was coming home. I just really hope she isn't like her Mom. That would break the old man's heart. And to be honest, mine too. I have this secret dream of a sweet kid sister like Alice that I can hang out and be friends with. I also have a nightmare where I have a screaming shrew of a sister who is always telling us we aren't good enough to be in her life. I pray my sister isn't a harpy, shrew and a bitch like her Mom.
I woke up earlier than I would want to on my summer vacation, all thanks to an over excited Esme, dragging poor Carlisle behind her. Along with enough stuff to furnish most of this house. No really! She had a small U-Haul outside.
"Mom!" Edward groaned and I had to laugh. Dad went to get the door.
"Good morning, Esme. Carlisle." He took in the U-Haul and looked back at us and winked, "I'm guessing you got tired of Edward and decided just to move him in over here?" Carlisle started laughing.
"No, I'm quite fond of my first born. However, if you want to take on the my daughter planning a sweet sixteen that cost more than my car, you can have her." He joked and Esme smacked them both lightly on the shoulders.
"Don't be silly, I need Edward around to lift the heavy things since Carlisle is getting so old." Ohh burn Daddy C.
"Ha, Dad, Mom told you." Edward joked.
"But seriously, Charlie, that poor girl I know she is going to need furniture and I get so many samples sent to me at the shop for me to display that I have to rotate them and just put photos of the extras in books. Well, I just brought a couple sets home yesterday and they have been photographed so I can still sell them and they were completely free to me. So, I know you wanted her to fix up her room herself, but I was thinking this nice off-white pine set that would look good in any girl's bedroom." Esme pulled us out to the U-Haul, opened the door and it was nice. It has that very feminine feel and very classic. She was right, it would go in about any room.
"Esme, I can't accept this. I mean if I did you'd have to let me pay you for it." Poor Dad! I mean there is even a full sized bed still in plastic wrap back there.
"Charlie, since the whole thing cost me nothing, that wouldn't be fair. However, if it will make you feel better you can lend us your son to unload it." She smiled. I had to laugh, she knew I'd help anyway.
"Really, Charlie, you'd be doing us a favor, the pool house is like a furniture warehouse. She keeps all this stuff until she can give it away." Carlisle insisted. And even Dad knew their pool house was almost as big as our house.
"Do it for Isabella, Charlie. Think how welcome she'd feel coming into a room with everything she needs, all she has to do is pick out colors." Esme tossed out.
"It honestly cost you nothing?" Dad was starting to waiver.
"Truly. Charlie, people from all over the world seek me out to decorate their homes and furniture designers try to sweeten the pot by sending me their best collections. In fact, if there is anything else she needs just let me know and we can go through the 'furniture warehouse' that is in the backyard." She glared at Carlisle for picking on her make shift storage.
"Seriously, Carlisle, did you load this thing up this morning?" I asked.
"No, fortunately last night my darling wife called some of the guys who work for her to load this up." I laughed.
"I texted Jazz, he's on his way over to help us unload." Edward told me.
"Thanks, man." Dad and Carlisle went into the house to get a measuring tape to see if we'd have to take the door off its hinges. And I looked over at Esme, "So, tell me, Esme, how did there just happen to be a full sized bed thrown in?" I joked.
"Well, maybe a certain son of mine mentioned a trip today to buy a bed of that certain size; and since there happens to be a store down the road from my shop that gives me a killer discount… I may or may not have gone ahead and bought it. Though, as far as your Dad knows it was part of this display." She looked and me pointedly and I agreed.
"Si, Momma C." She laughed and two seconds later Jazz pulled up and the fun day of getting this huge furniture into the house began. Looking down at my watch I smiled nine more hours till we go to get Isabella.