Yes, I couldn't resist another contest where I could get inside Charlie's head. I'm sure everyone knows he's my favorite by now :)
Thanks birdee18 for being an awesome beta. You keep all my commas and tenses in line.
Thanks to TheSpoiltOne and Mistresselektra for being great prereaders.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. Charlie totally owns me so I love to write his POV on events.
I sat in my chair staring at the television but not paying attention to the show. I was still upset over the fight I'd just had with Bella. I hadn't been upset at the thought of her visiting her mother in Florida. I was upset because that boy wanted to go with her. Bella didn't have a good track record when it came to leaving the state with or because of him. The first time she ended up falling through a window in Phoenix. The second time she disappeared for three days to Los Angeles, and I still have no details from that trip.
They were both obviously keeping secrets from me. That made me dislike Edward Cullen even more. Why couldn't she give Jake a chance? I knew everything about him and his family. No need to ever worry about secrets there.
Edward seemed a bit too anxious to get Bella away from Forks and me. I wasn't a complete idiot. I remembered what it was like when Renee and I were dating. Her mother didn't like me and did everything in her power to keep us apart. That only drew us closer together. I really didn't want to do things to bring Edward and Bella closer together.
It hurt tremendously to think back on mine and Renee's relationship. She was the love of my life. Even though we were divorced and she was remarried, I would always love her with all my heart. That thought made my heart stop. Bella considered Edward the love of her life. She was as stubborn as me. The more I fought her over Edward, the more she would cling to him. I sighed with resignation at this realization.
Bella would go to Florida with Edward no matter what I did or said. I just didn't like the thought of the two of them sleeping in the same house for two nights. I knew Edward had been home for some of Alice's sleepovers, but Carlisle and Esme were responsible, observant adults. I didn't trust Renee to keep the two of them apart at night. Hell, I could see her allowing them to share a room.
I remembered what it was like being young and in love. If they were going to have sex, then they would find a way to do it. Bella and Edward spent so much time together that it wouldn't surprise me if they were doing it right under my nose. I shuddered at the thought of that boy sneaking into the house to have his wicked way with my baby girl.
As much as I dreaded it, it was time for me to be a good father and address the issue of safe sex with Bella. The last thing my baby girl needed was to become a mother at her age. She had such a bright future ahead of her, and a baby would kill it. I also didn't trust that boy. I'd seen the way other girls looked at him. There was no guarantee that he wasn't sneaking off getting what he needed from them and coming back to my baby girl. I needed to make sure she was protecting herself in case he was cheating on her.
I took a deep breath when I saw the headlights of Edward's car as he pulled up to the house. They were back early. Please don't come in with her, I kept chanting in my head, hoping I could somehow communicate my wishes to him telepathically. I couldn't help but smirk when she walked in the house alone. The TV was loud, and she tried to sneak past me and up the stairs.
"Could you come in here, Bella?" I chuckled to myself as I heard her feet drag the five steps into the living room.
"What's up, Dad?"
I wasn't quite sure how to start the extremely uncomfortable conversation, so I started with small talk. "Did you have a nice time tonight?" I cringed as the thought of that boy defiling my baby girl along a back road popped into my head.
"Yes," she answered hesitantly.
"What did you do?"
She shrugged. "Hung out with Alice and Jasper. Edward beat Alice at chess, and then I played Jasper. He buried me." She smiled and that made me uneasy. Was playing chess a secret code for having sex? I couldn't imagine any game of chess that would cause her to smile like that. I couldn't put this conversation off any longer, so I reluctantly hit the mute button on the TV.
"Look, there's something I need to say." I knew I was frowning, but this was a conversation I'd rather not have. I glanced at Bella and caught her eyes for a second before dropping my gaze back to the floor. I couldn't bring myself to start the conversation.
"What is it, Dad?"
I sighed. "I'm not good at this kind of thing. I don't know how to start…" I trailed off, at a loss how to continue. I was surprised Bella was sitting so patiently waiting for me to gather my courage.
"Okay, Bella. Here's the thing." I couldn't sit still any longer. I stood up and started pacing back and forth, watching every step I took. "You and Edward seem pretty serious, and there are some things that you need to be careful about. I know you're an adult now, but you're still young, Bella, and there are a lot of important things you need to know when you"-oh God I didn't know how to say this-"well, when you're physically involved with-"
"Oh, please, please no!" Bella interrupted me, begging and jumping to her feet. "Please tell me you are not trying to have a sex talk with me, Charlie."
I flinched at the use of my name. I glared at the floor, too embarrassed to meet her eyes. "I am your father. I have responsibilities. Remember, I'm just as embarrassed as you are."
I was surprised to hear Bella's cool response. "I don't think that's humanly possible. Anyway, Mom beat you to the punch about ten years ago. You're off the hook."
"Ten years ago you didn't have a boyfriend," I reluctantly admitted. Ten years ago she should've only been concerned with mud pies and skinned knees. What in the world was Renee thinking talking with Bella about sex when she was eight? It was killing me to talk about sex with my baby girl, but it had to be done. Thankfully Bella was standing a few feet away with her back to me, staring at the floor. I would never survive this conversation looking at her face. I knew she had to be as red with embarrassment as I was.
"I don't think the essentials have changed that much," she mumbled. I could hear the mortification in her voice.
"Just tell me that you two are being responsible," I begged.
"Don't worry about it, Dad, it's not like that." I wasn't blind. I could see the way they looked at each other. If I wasn't constantly around when he was here, I just knew they would be all over each other.
"Not that I don't trust you, Bella"-it's that boy I didn't trust-"but I know you don't want to tell me anything about this, and you know I don't really want to hear it. I will try to be open-minded, though. I know the times have changed."
Bella let out an awkward laugh that shocked me. "Maybe the times have, but Edward is very old-fashioned. You have nothing to worry about."
I sighed. "Sure he is," I scoffed. If he was feeding her that line of bull, then he was definitely off getting his needs fulfilled elsewhere. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot that boy and bury him on the rez if I ever found out he was cheating on Bella.
"Ugh! I really wish you were not forcing me to say this out loud, Dad. Really. But…I am a…virgin, and I have no immediate plans to change that status."
I cringed at hearing her say virgin. She was too uncomfortable talking about the topic, and I knew it had to be true. I relaxed, realizing the joy of her revelation. That boy hadn't touched her. There was still hope for Jake.
"Can I go to bed, now? Please."
"In a minute." Now was the best time to remind her about balance and hopefully Jake.
"Aw, please, Dad? I'm begging you."
"The embarrassing part's over, I promise." Bella's glance told me she wasn't too sure about that. I sank into the sofa and let out a sigh of relief. The rest of this conversation would be a piece of cake.
"What now?" she whined.
"I just wanted to know how the balance thing is coming along."
"Oh. Good, I guess. I made plans with Angela today. I'm going to help her with her graduation announcements. Just us girls."
I smiled. Angela was a good kid. Bella definitely needed to hang out with her more. "That's nice. And what about Jake?"
Bella sighed. "I haven't figured that one out yet, Dad."
What was there to figure out? Jake was there for her when he wasn't. He left her broken, a mere shell of the girl she was before he left. Jake was the one who brought her back to life. He deserved better than to be cast aside just because that boy came back. "Keep trying, Bella. I know you'll do the right thing. You're a good person."
I knew it was a low blow but I was pulling out all the stops to help Jake. All she needed was a little bit of time with Jake away from Edward to remember the fun they had together. I would even bet it wouldn't take but a few weeks with Jake for Bella to start to question her feelings for Edward.
"Sure, sure," she said sarcastically. I grinned at the phrase. Jake said that all the time. Her time with him affected her more than she liked to admit. Satisfied with my success, I picked up the remote, turned the sound back on, and sank further into the sofa. The game was just getting started so I would be up for quite a while.
"See you in the morning!" she yelled as she sprinted for the stairs. Hmm, I needed to remember that. The quickest way to clear the teenagers out of the room is to talk about sex. That information could come in handy later.
About five minutes after Bella ran up the stairs, I was shocked to hear her tearing back down them. I turned around to see her wearing her jacket with her keys in hand.
"You care if I go see Jake tonight?" she asked, wheezing for breath. "I won't stay long."
He shoots, he scores. The little guilt trip worked like a charm. I tried to hide my smug grin, but it was too hard. "Sure, kid. No problem. Stay as long as you like."
"Thanks, Dad," she said as she rushed past me and out the door.
Charlie Swan, you are a sly devil. This night couldn't have turned out better if I had planned the guilt trip ahead of time. Jake still had a strong pull on Bella. Why else would it only take five minutes for the guilt to set in and force her into action? I would need to play Bella's guilt in my favor more often.
I was pulled from my gloating by the sound of the front door slamming. Bella stomped through the room. "What's wrong?"
"Truck won't start," she growled.
"Want me to look at it?" Surely it would be something simple I could fix and get her on her merry way to LaPush.
"No. I'll try in the morning," she said, defeated.
I needed to take advantage of this desire to see Jake. It was time to pull out the big guns. "Want to use my car?"
"No. I'm tired," she grumbled. "Night." She stomped all the way up the stairs.
I was surprised when it sounded like she slammed her window shut. What was her window doing open? I shrugged off the thought of her open window and grinned once again at my success. It wouldn't be long before she was sneaking away from Edward more to go see Jake. Before too long she would be free of him and back with Jake where she belonged. The game didn't hold my attention for long, and after a few minutes I drifted off to sweet dreams of a future with Bella and Jake living happily ever after.