Summary: Edward was a relentless killing machine, sucking the lives out of everyone in his path, until he met a boy named Charlie. Now that Charlie has a family of his own, Edward vows to watch over his daughter, Bella. OOC.
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me.
"Renee's pregnant," Chief Swan informed as we stood facing each other outside of the police station, underneath the street lamps.
"Yes, I heard," I replied. "Congratulations."
He scratched his chin and nodded his head. "Of course you have."
"Knew before you did," I confirmed.
"So what do you think?" I knew exactly what he was referring to. Even if I couldn't read his thoughts, I'd have known.
"The crime rate has been steadily decreasing," I answered "I think moving your wife and unborn child far away to a safe place would be a bit drastic. They have the chief of police and a creature of the night for protection."
"Yes," he agreed, "but I can only do so much, and the same goes for you. You've been slipping up."
"Temptations will always linger," I replied curtly.
"I've been trying for years to keep you on a strict animal diet." He shook his head.
"You can't change nature."
"Perhaps not. But I still have faith that there will come a day when you no longer look at humans as walking cheeseburgers and the thought of drinking their blood disgusts you."
"You can keep holding onto your faith, chief, but don't expect a miracle. That's the most confusing thing about you humans. You all cling onto faith and continue to pray for hope when a higher power has only shunned Earth's inhibitors."
"For a man with supernatural ability and immorality, you disregard the magic in the universe."
"Magic doesn't exist," I dismissed. "Only illusions."
"You haven't aged since the day I met you, and you don't believe in magic?"
"I'm a creation of the devil," I replied bitterly. "I believe in pain and malice. Look around you, Charlie. There isn't a single thing worth living for. The only thing you should be thankful for is the ability to die."
"I'm thankful for many things, Edward," he said. "But dying isn't one of them."
"Wait until you've lived a few more years, you'll be singing a different tune."
"The best thing about life," he started, "is that you make whatever you want out of it. I believe, and will continue to believe, that there is at least a sliver of good in people, and this town will see the light again."
For the past several years, Charlie and I had kept the town under control to the best of our abilities. He was one of the few non-corrupt police officers within miles and I was his vampire sidekick.
Forks had diminished from a small loving town filled with simple-minded people to one filled with violent crimes and heinous acts. Even I found the cruelty repulsing, and I ate people for nourishment.
For the first seven decades of my undead life, I hunted humans and drained them until there wasn't a drop of blood left. It wasn't until I met a little boy with curly brown hair and wide expressive brown eyes that my outlook was able to be changed.
A group of us, vampires, had been temporarily detained for several weeks, and by the time we were released, we went on a rampage - barging into houses and biting into the flesh of the first person we came across.
I had broken into the little boys house with two other vampires. He was hiding upstairs in his parents' closest and he watched as the others ate his parents alive. When I had arrived in the room, I ripped open the closet door, intending to have a little snack, but the thoughts that rushed through the boy's head halted my movements and captivated me. His thoughts brought me back to the memories from my human life, memories that I had thought were forever forgotten. Intrigued that he could posses that power over me, I kept him alive.
Everyday for the first year, I internally argued with myself over whether or not I should just rip the little boy up into shreds and drink from him, but I never worked up the courage. Every time I tried, those curious wide eyes would prevent me from taking another step closer. That didn't stop me from enjoying other humans, though.
As the boy grew, he tried giving me lessons about not killing. He'd say that instead of giving into my yearning and staying true to my nature, I should fight it and become something different.
I almost sunk my teeth into his neck the first time he tried giving me that little speech. But over time, the boy wiggled his way into my head and we made a bargain. I strayed from attacking innocents but continued getting my treat from the blood of criminals, or potential criminals.
I watched as the boy grew into a teenager, and then into a man. He never once faltered on his morals. He had an odd determination to get rid of all the evil in Forks. He wanted the world to be a safe and peaceful place. He was an odd soul, and he still is.
Months later, I found the chief pacing back in forth in the hospital maternity ward, waiting until Renee was ready to give birth.
Thoughts about what type of a father he'd be clouded his mind. He worried that he wouldn't be good enough. He was afraid that the baby would resent him, and when she became a teenager, she'd indulge in drugs and sex as rebellion. Personally, I thought he was going a tad overboard.
I placed a hand on his shoulder and urged him to relax. "Look, Charlie, I've known you for years and I think of you as a son," I said as a nurse nearby stopped what she was doing. She stared at us with a perplexed look. I suppose it wasn't everyday that she heard a seventeen year-old boy tell a man in his mid-twenties that he was like a son to him. "That kid will be lucky to call you dad."
He took a deep breath. "What if she doesn't like me?"
"Remind her that you gave her life. You're the reason for the air in her lungs and the beating of her heart."
He nodded his head, though not truly believing it.
"You remember what I told you when you were a little boy?"
He chuckled humorlessly. "You've said many things."
"I once told you that you're either the luckiest kid in the world, or the unluckiest. You were stuck with a grumpy and brooding vampire who was constantly restraining himself from eating you. And yet you're alive."
He looked at me carefully, his thoughts turning from uncertainty and worry to determination.
"Go to you wife," I said. "I have a few things to take care of in Chicago, but I'll be back in a couple days."
"Take care of yourself." He began walking backwards, towards Renee's room. "And don't eat anyone."
I smirked and made my way towards the elevators. "I make no promises," I called out.
The nurse that had heard me telling Charlie that he was like a son to me had also heard our last exchange. She had her brows knitted together and shook her head. Odd, she thought.
Days later, I returned to Forks, and the first place I visited was Charlie and Renee's house. I heard three separate hearts beating before I approached the door.
Renee knew about my…special state. When she had first met me, she was under the impression that I was Charlie's uncle. Since his parents were dead, he had been placed in an orphanage, but I would often visit him. When he became a teenager, he insisted on moving in with me because he couldn't accomplish his sneaky detective work when he had to be in bed by 9pm.
He met Renee and became obsessed with her. Since Charlie was a thorn in my side, I inevitably came into contact with her. She thought of me as a normal man, until the day I rescued them from a car accident and exposed my strength and speed.
She kept my secret safe, but she wasn't as accepting of me as Charlie was. She was still a bit wary whenever we were alone.
I knocked on the door and it flung open. Renee stood on the other end, wearing an oversized robe and her hair was disheveled. She looked exhausted. She stepped back to let me in.
"Tired?" I asked, although I didn't need to.
"Yes." She glared over at Charlie, who was speaking gibberish to his newborn daughter. I hadn't been introduced to the girl yet, but Charlie had told me that he wanted me to meet her so I could get a glimpse of her personality by her thoughts. He also wanted me to cheat and inform him when the girl was up to no good in the future. "He won't put her down and let her sleep," she grumbled.
Charlie's head shot up. "Hey, Edward," he greeted, noticing me for the first time. "And she's not tired." He directed the last part at Renee.
"She's been up for hours." Renee yawned. "She needs to sleep now."
"I think the mother needs sleep now," I muttered underneath my breath.
Charlie stood up with the baby and approached me. "Here," he said as he handed me the squirming pink child. "She's beautiful isn't she?"
I looked down at her as I cradled her in my arms. Her scent hit me full force. "Well, she does smell delicious."
Charlie smiled before he realized that comment wasn't normal. He did the shifty eye thing before reaching for his daughter. "I'll, umm…I'll just…" He grabbed a hold the girl and gently took her from my arms. "I'll just hold onto her."
I understood. He didn't want his baby to get eaten by his undead partner in crime. It was cool. No hard feelings.
It wasn't until a minute later that I realized something wasn't right. I bent down and leaned towards the girl in Charlie's arms. My forehead scrunched in confusion as Charlie looked at me like I had admitted to being a tap dancing ninja.
I pointed at the baby's head and then at my ear and shrugged my shoulders.
"What's he doing?" Renee asked cautiously.
"Haven't a clue," Charlie replied, equally as bewildered.
"Your baby is broken," I blurted.
"What?!" Renee shouted, her heart pounding furiously. She quickly glanced at her baby, and once she heard the little girl coo, her heart rate calmed down and she breathed a sigh of relief.
"What the hell's the matter with you?" Charlie scolded.
"Chief, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there isn't a single thought swarming through that child's mind. There's something off about her. It's like her brain is mush. It doesn't work right."
"What are you taking about?" he asked, worried.
"I think you need to get a refund," I replied. "Trade her in for a new one."
"Edward!" Charlie nearly shouted.
Renee spoke at the same time as him. "There is nothing wrong with my Isabella. She's perfect."
"Or at least get her repaired," I continued. "I'm telling you, chief, a baby that doesn't think isn't a good sign. Usually they're thinking about the strangest little things…or breast-feeding. And I haven't been able to get one good look at your wife's boobs 'cause that one there," I pointed an accusatory finger at the child, "doesn't think about anything."
Renee's mouth dropped open while Charlie was torn between putting on a show and telling me to behave myself, or giving me a little glimpse of his wife's breasts because he was quite fond of them. He had the decency to feel ashamed for that last thought.
"I wouldn't object," I told him honestly.
His face turned beet red as Renee cast a look in his direction. I sensed a confrontation coming on so I slowly backed out of the house.
"What are your thoughts on vampirism?" I asked Charlie as we walked side by side on along the street. There was a light drizzle and the sky was pitch black. Even the clouds hid the moon.
"It's unfortunate, but you've been given eternal life," he replied. "Why not spend that time committing yourself to good deeds?"
"You've forgotten that my deeds will not be paid off in the end. I'm here until the world explodes. But even then, I may still be around. Perhaps I'll float around in space when the planet is gone."
"A hero doesn't save lives for a reward."
"I'm not a hero, chief, not even close."
Charlie sighed. "Why do you insist on calling me chief? If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were doing it to be condescending."
"You've earned the title," I answered. "So back to vampirism, would you consider it?"
His eyebrows rose high up on his face. "Would I ever want to be a vampire?"
I nodded my head.
"No," he said simply. "Not unless an antidote is invented so I could turn human again if I didn't like it."
"If you find that antidote, then give me a call. I'd be first in line to get a shot." We walked around in silence for several more minutes. "How's fatherhood?"
"Good, it's good," he answered quietly. "She's growing up quick."
It had been years since I had direct contact with Isabella. I had to stay away from her and everyone else in Forks, except for Charlie. If people saw me, they'd realize that I hadn't aged. I only came out a night when most of the town was asleep, or hooligans were destroying property or conjuring up a worse crime.
"Renee enrolled her in ballet classes, the poor kid hates it, but you know Renee, she's relentless. Bella turns nine this Sunday, and she's going through some sort of tomboy phase. She hates dresses and anything that is remotely girly."
I chuckled before something caught my attention. "Bella?"
Charlie grinned and nodded his head. "Yeah, she won't answer to Isabella anymore. It's either Bella or she'll ignore you."
"Stubborn child," I said.
"She reminds me of you." He cast a sideways glance in my direction.
"Well if Renee tried to make me partake in ballet, I'd probably pout and cry too."
Charlie and I rarely spoke about his personal life anymore and he kept his attention focused on the tasks we were accomplishing for the past few years, so I hadn't been up to date on Isa…excuse me, Bella.
The last time I saw that her, she was wobbling around like a miniature drunk person. She spoke gibberish and was able to say momma and dada, so apparently her brain wasn't mush after all. But her head was still silent, and that was very unusual.
After several more minutes of small talk, we arrived in front of Charlie's house. As we were saying goodnight, movement from the upstairs window caught my eye. I glanced up to find a little girl staring at us. Her breath caught in her throat when our eyes locked. I grinned at her.
"Cute kid," I commented.
"Hmm?" Charlie asked before following my gaze up to the window.
When Bella noticed her dad looking up, she gasped and quickly backed away from the window. Charlie sighed and shook his head.
"Take it easy on her," I told him. "She was merely curious."
He looked at me. "Can you hear her thoughts now?"
I concentrated on the movement in the house. I could hear her scurry back to her bed, but no thoughts. A girl who had just been caught out of bed way past bedtime was sure to be worried and thinking about possible punishment. But there was nothing.
"Doesn't seem like it."
"Hmm," he said. "Maybe she's just immune to your powers."
"Or maybe she's still broken," I countered.
He gave me stern look. "There's nothing wrong with that little girl up there."
I chuckled at his defensiveness. "Goodnight, Charlie."
"Take care of yourself, Edward," he said before he walked up to the front door.
"What's eating you?" I asked the chief, sensing his bad mood.
He sighed. "We have that function to go to tonight and it's mandatory for me to be there, but I don't want to go without Renee."
"Why wouldn't Renee go with you?"
"Bella's sick." He sighed again. "She has the flu and we can't get a babysitter because our regular won't risk the chance that she'd get sick, and we can't find anyone on short notice."
My brows furrowed in confusion. "Isn't she thirteen now? Why does she need a babysitter?"
Charlie looked at me as if I were an idiot. "Have you stepped outside recently? This town is falling to pieces. I won't ever let Bella be by herself. Not in this town. Not even in her own home."
"You really don't want to go your event alone?"
"Definitely not," he replied gloomily.
"Well, you know I can always keep an eye on her."
His head shot up. "What?" he asked incredulously.
"What's the matter chief? Don't trust me?"
He shook his head. "That's not it, but what would you do? Stake out in front of the house?"
"Not exactly. I could play babysitter for the evening."
He scoffed. "A teenage male babysitter?"
"Eh, why not?"
His thoughts circled around the idea. He desperately did not want to be alone, but he was also uncertain if I could handle the job.
"I fight bad guys for a living," I said, interrupting his thoughts. "How hard could it be to look after a kid?"
He looked at me long and hard before he relaxed. "Okay."
I followed Charlie home and he ushered me inside. He had called Renee and told her to finish getting dressed because he found a replacement babysitter. She was excited until she heard that I was the replacement. She was worried that she'd come home to a bloodless Bella, but she pushed that fear aside and put her faith in me.
Bella was lying on her back on the couch, her eyes glued on the television.
"Bella," Charlie called over to her.
She did a double take when she saw me, her eyes lingering on me. She looked older, not much older, but just a little bigger. She still had a child's face and innocent eyes.
"Bella," Charlie repeated. "This is Edward. He's going to watch after you tonight."
After Charlie and Renee said their goodbyes and left the house, I moved over to the loveseat, near the couch.
"I've seen you before, you know," Bella said as she curled up on her side and looked at me.
She nodded her head. "A few years ago. You were outside talking to my dad." She studied my face for a minute. "You still look the same."
She nodded her head again. "I've dreamt about you before."
"I must've made quite an impression during the entire ten seconds we saw each other."
She shook her head. "No, I had dreams about you before I first saw you."
That shocked the hell out of me, and it was rare to surprise me. I was a mind reader, after all.
"I always thought you were just a part of my imagination," she continued. "But when I saw you four years ago, I knew you were real. I must've seen you before then, maybe when I was younger."
"Maybe," I said.
"Do you wear makeup?" she asked. "Or is it skincare products? Plastic surgery?"
I stared at her, confused.
"Your face, you look so young. Just a few years older than me, but that can't be possible. You would've been smaller when I first saw you. But you don't look a day older than you did in my dreams."
"Skincare," I answered.
She didn't look convinced. "Do you think it means something?"
"My dreams," she clarified. "I don't dream about everyone I meet. Maybe it means something, because you did come back."
"Or maybe you just thought I was really cute," I joked.
She blushed and averted her eyes. I was kidding, but apparently I was right on the money. I guess not even thirteen year old girls were immune to the vampire charm.
She focused on the television until she worked up enough courage to speak to me again. "Are you hungry, Edward?"
I looked over at her. "No, but thank you for asking," I replied.
"Are you sure?"
"Are you thirsty?"
"Are you cold?"
I chuckled. "No, I'm good."
"Are you a cop?"
"What's with the questions?"
She shrugged her shoulders. "Are you afraid to answer them?"
"Not at all."
"Okay," she said, "so are you a cop?"
"How old are you?"
"You seem older than seventeen."
"Thank you. I think."
"I mean, you look seventeen, but there's something about you that appears older."
"I appreciate your perception."
"How do you know my dad?"
"We go way back."
"How far back?"
"Pretty far back."
"Give me an estimate."
"Before you were born," I replied honestly.
"So, you were like a toddler when you met my dad?"
"Sure," I said nonchalantly.
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
"Don't want one."
"Girls ask too many questions," I answered with a grin.
She blushed again. "Sorry."
"So how about you?" I asked.
"What about me?"
"Do you have girlfriend?"
She laughed. "No."
She shook her head. "Boys don't like me that way."
She shrugged her shoulders. "I'm not pretty enough, I guess."
"Eh," I said, "boys are idiots at your age. Trust me, I would know. You're not missing out on anything."
"I know," she said, "I like older guys anyway."
I raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?"
"Mm-hmm." Her cheeks inflamed even more.
The topic was getting a bit uncomfortable for me so I decided to change it. I didn't want Charlie to lecture me about his young teenage daughter's infatuation with me. I'd never hear the end of it.
"So what are we watching?" I asked.
"I don't know," she answered. "I've been talking to you."
Bella eventually fell asleep and I left minutes after Charlie and Renee arrived back at the house. Well, the girl definitely didn't seem brain damaged, but there was something blocking her thoughts from me. A part of me wanted to dig deeper and figure out how she was able to keep me out of her head. Whatever it was, it'd been with her since birth. Maybe the doctors delivered her wrong.
"Isabella Marie Swan!" I heard Renee's voice from somewhere upstairs. "You take that outfit off right now and put on something that doesn't reveal your cleavage."
"Oh my God, mom," Bella replied, exasperated. "I'm sixteen years old. I think I'm old enough to decide what to wear."
"Bella, if you dress like a tramp, you're going to be treated like a tramp."
"Thanks for the advice, mother," she snapped, "but this shirt hardly reveals anything. You know I'm not the type to seek attention, so I don't know what you're freaking out about."
"I don't want you going out tonight." Renee's tone was stern.
"Oh, geez." I could practically hear Bella roll her eyes.
"I'm serious, Bella. I don't trust those people."
"Those people are my friends," Bella replied, offended.
"Yeah, well, they're bad friends."
"You think everyone is bad."
"You're not going out with them."
"Yes, I am."
Charlie sighed and shook his head in front of me. "Sorry about that." Even he was able to hear them from the basement. "Those two have been arguing nonstop for weeks."
"She's hitting the rebellion stage." It was average at her age. I'd heard it all before. All I had to do was walk down the streets in a populated neighborhood.
"She's going to sneak out tonight," Charlie stated confidently, "whether or not we let her go out, she'll find a way."
"I'll keep an eye on her," I assured. "Follow her. Make sure she keeps out of trouble."
Charlie nodded his head. "How long has it been since you've seen her?"
"She was thirteen and half in love with me." I laughed.
Charlie shook his head again. "Thanks for that, by the way. Because of you, I had to constantly answer her questions about why you weren't coming around the house."
I chuckled. "Does she still ask about me?"
"Nah." His eyes darted up to the ceiling. "She doesn't say much of anything anymore. Not since she became friends with those kids."
"The Newtown boy, the Stanley girl, and few others. They're harmless as far as I know, but God only knows."
"I'll let you know for sure," I promised.
"Thanks," he mumbled before we continued going over our plan about stopping a local gang from their next attack. I was more than happy to dispose of them in my stomach, but Charlie disapproved.
It had been over a year since I had a human snack and Charlie was determined to keep me away from human blood from that point on. But I was bound to slip up one of these days. At least I wasn't feasting on innocents, and that was something to rejoice about. Sober from innocent human blood for thirty years. All thanks to my pal Charlie.
Just as expected, Bella crawled out from her bedroom window, grabbed onto a tree branch and climbed down until her feet hit the ground.
I followed her until she was near her friends. I was close enough to hear their thoughts. They had something illegal planned, something Bella was unaware of. And I wasn't about to let her be apart of it. So I did the only thing I could think of doing.
"Hey!" I called out.
Bella froze on the sidewalk. She slowly turned around towards me, confusion and worry evident on her face. At least until she got a good look at me underneath the streetlamps.
"Edward?" she asked incredulously.
"'Tis I." I approached her and stood less than six inches away.
"Wow, I never thought I'd see you again. You look…well, you look exactly the same." She was speculative. Curious about what I was.
"Still using the same skincare line," I said.
She was not convinced about that. "Or maybe you're still seventeen," she mused.
"Or maybe not."
"I figured out that I had in fact met you before the window incident." She folded her arms across her chest.
"How did you do that?"
"Pictures are amazing that way," she replied. "I found one. It was taken when I was just a baby, and you're in it. Not completely, just the side of your face. But it's definitely you. And you look exactly the same."
"Very, very good skincare products." I knew she wouldn't believe me, but I wasn't about to tell Charlie's daughter that he'd been hanging out with a vampire for the past thirty something years.
"Very, very bad liar."
"I caught you sneaking out of the house." I needed to change the subject, steer the topic away from me.
"Yeah, I'm totally walking on the wild side now." She rolled her eyes, knowing she wasn't anywhere near as wild as the majority of kids her age.
"That you are. What were your intentions when you came out here?"
"Do a little of this, do a little of that," she answered vaguely. "Why are you following me?"
I raised my shoulders, looking innocent. "Wasn't. You just happened to be going in the direction I was headed in."
She squinted her eyes. "I think you're lying."
I wasn't in the mood. "I think you're correct," I finally admitted.
"Knew it," she muttered.
"Yes, you're a genius," I replied dryly.
She shot me an annoyed look. "Are you going to try to bring me back to my house?"
I feigned a gasp. "Look at that, her intelligence just keeps escalating."
She scoffed. "Whatever. Tell me why you don't age. Did you swallow some weird chemical or something?"
She pointed a finger at me, growing excited. "Ha. So you do admit it."
"I haven't heard a confirmation coming from my mouth."
She shrugged. "I read in between the lines."
"How very splendid for you."
"So what are you?" she asked. "I know you're different from me."
"Indeed," I confirmed. "You're female and I am not."
"Your observational skills astound me," she retorted. "You know that's not what I meant."
I sighed, making it seem as though I were about to come clean. "I'm an alien from a galaxy far, far away."
"Cool." She smiled. "Can you beam me up into your spaceship the next time you head back to your home planet?"
"Sorry," I replied regrettably, "but you don't have a green card."
"So marry me." She gave a little shrug. "We accept foreigners when they marry one of our citizens."
"I have a confession to make," I whispered secretively.
She leaned in. "And that is?"
I glanced around, making sure no one was within listening distance. "I'm not really an alien."
She gasped. "Oh my God. No way! I like totally believed you and everything!" Sarcasm dripped off of each word.
"All right," I said, becoming serious. "It's time to get you home now."
"I have an idea." She took a step closer to me. "You go ahead and go to my house, sneak into my room, crawl into my bed and pretend to be me when my parents check on me, and I'll just," she jerked her thumb over her shoulder, "be on my way."
"I have a better idea." I closed the distance, towering over her. "I'm going to take you home, you're going to get into your own bed, and when your parents check on you, you'll be fast asleep like a good little girl."
She snorted. "Kay. Let's see how you manage to pull that off."
"Your father," I started, "is a good man. He loves you more than you'll ever know. He has enough on his plate dealing with the crime in this town, he doesn't need to stress himself out by wondering if you're safe or not. He brought you into this world, show him some respect."
"You know, for a man stuck at seventeen, you're even more annoying than most adults."
"Cool," I replied absentmindedly. "Now let's go."
She rolled her eyes. "Fine. You win this time. Only because I'm feeling kinda tired."
I motioned for her to lead the way and walked beside her as we headed towards her house.
"So are you ever going to tell me what you are?" she asked.
"Will you keep popping up at random moments as the years pass?"
Once we reached her house, I made sure she really went to bed, and after she fell asleep, I went back to where her friends were to thwart their plans.
I leaned against the railing outside of the Swan house as Bella opened the screen door, laughing and talking animatedly. She stepped out onto the porch with two other women behind her, also laughing and talking.
Bella suddenly froze when she saw me standing off to the side. The others stopped a moment later and looked from me to Bella.
"Edward," she greeted with a smile. "Well, look at that, you did show up again."
"I told you it was a possibility."
"You did." She still looked stunned.
The girls looked at each other before one spoke to Bella. "We'll wait in the car. Don't be too long." The girl winked.
Bella rolled her eyes before turning back to me and stepping closer. "How have you been?"
"Ah, you know, doing a little of this, doing a little of that," I said, stealing her lines from the last time I saw her.
She smiled and stood beside me, leaning against the rail as well. She tilted her head to the side, so she could see me. Her perfume and minty breath washed over me as she spoke. "It's been awhile."
"Awhile for you, seemed like days for me."
She laughed. "Two years for me."
I looked her over, noticing how she carried herself with more confidence. "You seem different."
"I am," she confirmed. "I'm eighteen. I'm older. I'm an adult. I can't believe how much I've grown between then and now. I was so…annoying, immature."
I chuckled. "That's normal."
She nodded her head and glanced over her shoulder, at the women in the car. "I know." She turned her head back to look at me. "So how long are you staying this time?"
I shrugged a shoulder. "As long as your dad needs me."
"That's right," she said, "he's supposed to bust some big operation going down tonight, right?"
"Yep," I answered. "So how have you been?"
"Great." She flashed her perfect, straight white teeth. "I just graduated and I'm supposed to head off to college in the fall."
"Where are you going?"
I raised my brows and nodded my head, impressed. "Very good school. Congratulations."
She was genuinely proud of my appraisal. "Thanks. I worked hard for it."
"I'm sure you did." I sincere.
"Well." She pushed away from the railing. "I should probably join my friends now. It was good seeing you again." She paused and gave me a very similar look, one I had seen since her father was a boy. "Take care of yourself."
She definitely had a lot of him inside her. I couldn't help but laugh loudly.
"What?" She stared at me cautiously, confused.
"Nothing." I shook my head still laughing.
"Tell me," she insisted with wide eyes.
"It's just…that's what your dad always says to me each time we part. 'Take care of yourself'. It's not really that funny, but you remind me of him."
She grinned and shrugged a shoulder. "Yeah, I picked up a lot of his habits."
"Oh yeah?" I asked. "What else?"
She laughed and shook her head. "I'll tell you what, you come by to visit me after you and my dad finish doing whatever it is you have to do tonight, and I'll tell you."
"You got a deal." I flashed her a crooked grin.
She returned the smile. "All right. Well, I really gotta go now. So, see you tonight?"
I nodded my head. "Until tonight."
She turned, skipped towards her friends and jumped into the car. I heard them squeal and ask who I was, and if we were going to go out.
She replied with, "He's just a friend of my dads." That comment didn't satisfy her friends, so she added, "and I guess he is really cute, so we'll see."
I smiled to myself. Her father would kill me if she pursued me.
"Bella's grown up a lot," I told Charlie as we crept up to the warehouse, which was housing over twenty criminals.
He nodded. "Oh yeah. You can't imagine how much pride I have in her."
"I can." I tapped my temple.
He rolled his eyes. "Of course."
We approached the entrance and glanced at each other. "You ready?"
"Ready as I'll ever be," he whispered.
"Now don't get cocky once we're inside." We had this conversation before, but I wanted it engrained in him. "I can't get injured, but you can."
"I got it," he said, anxious. "Now let's get going."
We snuck inside. Charlie had a gun in his hands, ready to fire when need be. I didn't have any weapons. I was a weapon myself. I could probably take out all of the men myself, but Charlie insisted on tagging along. He was still the chief of police and demanded to be present when something as big as this was about to go down.
We agreed to take different ends of the warehouse. He went his way and I trailed off, wandering to my section.
The first guy didn't even see me coming. I pounced on him and snapped his neck before he could blink. Then I went to the next guy, and the next, and the next, and the next.
I barely registered the gunfire erupting on the other side of the warehouse, but when it finally dawned on me, I killed the last guy on end of the warehouse and was at Charlie's side in an instant.
My eyes went wide and I nearly collapsed to my knees. Charlie had gotten a few shots in and even killed some of them, while most were just injured badly. Time seemed to have frozen as I watched a gun being aimed towards Charlie, the trigged being pulled and the bullet speeding through the air. In less than a second, the bullet pierced through Charlie's stomach and blood spurted out. Charlie stumbled backwards before collapsing onto his back before his wobbling legs gave out.
My fists clenched and I growled. My head ripped to the side, glaring at the men left alive. Without thinking, I attacked each of them. I was relentless. I snapped their necks, cracked their spines and threw them against the walls, successfully ending each of their lives.
When I finished, I rushed over to Charlie and bent down beside him. His chest heaved up and down and it became apparent he wouldn't last much longer.
"You were wrong," Charlie said breathlessly. "When you told me that I was the reason for the air in my daughter's lungs and for the beating of her heart. You got it all backwards. She was the reason for the air in my lungs and the beating of my heart. She was my life. There wasn't a thing I wouldn't have done for that girl." He coughed and a small amount of blood seeped between his lips and rolled down his chin. "Now you listen to me." He grasped onto my bicep, gripping me as tightly as he could while growing weaker with each second that ticked by. "You take care of her, you watch after her and make sure she grows up properly." A hacking cough vibrated his body. "You hear me?"
"I hear you," I croaked, my voice filled with emotion. Strained from the tearless sobs.
I watched him grow from a boy into one hell of a man. The best man I'd ever come across. I'd tear my limbs off and light myself on fire if it could give him another life.
There wasn't a thing I could do for him. He was on the verge of death and all I could do was watch. No doctor would sow him back together again. And because of his earlier wishes, I could not change him into what I was.
His once beating and vibrate heart weakened until it stopped completely and he took his last breath. I sat there, my dry cries wracking my body.
I managed to pick myself up an hour later and carried Charlie's body to the town morgue. I looked over him as the memories of his life flashed in my mind's eye. When I first saw him, as I watched him grow up, when he fell in love with Renee, their marriage, the birth of their first and only child. His love and affection for both of his girls. The events that led up until tonight.
He was a good man. He was a rare man.
I growled and ran outside, kicking garbage cans and ripping large branches from the bark, throwing it as far as I could.
I didn't stop until I found myself outside of the Swan house. A voice inside was happily talking on the phone. The woman was seated on the same couch, in the same spot as she had been when I saw her at the age of thirteen.
She was unaware of the recent events, so I knew I had to be the one to tell her. She was going to be upset and she might even blame me. I calmed myself down before I trotted up the walkway and knocked on the door. She said a quick goodbye on the phone before she got up and opened the door. There was a smile on her face until she took in my appearance. The smile wavered and she looked frightened.
As I stood there and stared at her, I knew that she was going to age. She was going to live and she would die. There would be days when I'd be in her line of sight and other days when I'd hide in the shadows. But for as long as she was around, I'd be her guardian angel.
Author's Note: This will have a part two, then it's over.