AN: Alright, the moment you've all been waiting for! Well, almost. ;-)

If you haven't listened to the song yet, I highly suggest listening to it towards the end of the chapter. It really is a great song and I think it says so much about Bella and Jack's relationship! Just a reminder, it's called Parachute by the group Train.

As always, every single reviewer will get a teaser on Monday for the next chapter! Sqeeeee!

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June 11, 2010

...

Charlie cast his line out into the lake, watching Jack out of the corner of his eye. It was obvious that the boy had a lot on his mind.

"Well, kid," Charlie started, "you look like you need someone to talk to. That's why we're out here. Nothing like the peace and tranquility of fishing to help clear your mind. I come out here a lot more now that you and your mom moved into your own place."

Charlie noticed that Jack flinched a little when he mentioned Bella. Jack sighed and continued to gaze out over the water.

"Will she?" he asked. Charlie raised an eyebrow.

"Will she what?"

"Will she still be my mom if we go to Chicago to meet my family?"

When Jack turned towards him, Charlie's heart broke at how the boy's eyes were filled with sadness. He cleared the emotion out of his throat.

"Of course she will. Bella will love you and consider you her son until the day she dies. One thing you gotta learn about us Swans, Jack, is that when we love, we love forever, just like the actual birds. You'll always be a part of our hearts."

Charlie blinked back tears as Jack let his drip down his face.

"I don't want to leave you or mom, Pops. Please don't let them keep me!" he cried.

Charlie reached out and took the boy in his arms and held him tightly. He cleared his throat.

"Don't worry, kiddo, we won't let anything bad happen to you. We'll fight tooth and nail for you, Jack, if that's what you want."

He felt Jack's shuddering breath as he tried to calm himself. He pulled out of Charlie's arms and rubbed his face. He looked up and smiled, the red rim around his eyes made them look greener than they ever had before.

"I'm done crying over this," he said firmly. "No matter what happens, I'm coming home with Mom. Even if I have to hide myself in her suitcase."

Charlie laughed lightly and ruffled the youngster's hair.

"Ha, you sound just like your mom. She said almost the exact same thing when we went to visit her grandmother in Portland, when she was about your age. Grandma Swan joked around about keeping her and she quickly said no thank you. Later that afternoon, I found her hiding in my suitcase, saying that she was making her getaway and that Grandma couldn't keep her because she belonged to me. I don't think I had laughed that hard in years."

Jack smiled. He loved it when his Pop told him stories about when Bella was younger. They really were a lot alike.

"Speaking of your mom," Charlie started, "why don't you give her a call and let her know that we'll be having fish for dinner? I'm sure she'd love to hear your voice."

Jack quickly nodded and pulled his Firefly(*) out of his pocket and gave Bella a call.

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Later that night, Bella sat on the couch with Jack's head resting in her lap. She was running her fingers through his hair as they sat and discussed their travel plans with Charlie after dinner.

"So, what's next, baby girl?" Charlie asked, taking a swig of the iced tea he was holding. Bella thought for a moment before she responded.

"Tanya gave me the number of one of her 'guys'," Bella laughed and shook her head, using her fingers to make quotation marks in the air. "I called Mr. Jenks a little while ago and left my number for him to call me back. He's a private investigator and he can get me the exact address and location of the entire Cullen family in Chicago, according to Tanya. My idea right now is to just find out what I can. I'd like to see if we can make arrangements to go out there next week, after Jack's last day of school."

Charlie tugged lightly on his mustache, thinking things over.

"Are you sure that's a good idea? What are you going to do? Just show up on their doorstep and knock?"

Bella nodded and he looked at her incredulously.

"This is something that they should find out in person. It feels so cold to just have my lawyer contact them and set up a meeting. His family didn't willingly let him go. They looked for him and it had to have broken their hearts."

Charlie shook his head and sighed.

"If that's what you feel is best, then I'll support your decision. Just make sure you wait until Jasper can double check that your I's are all dotted."

Jack turned his head and gave Charlie a confused look.

"What does that mean?" he asked. Bella smiled and continued to scratch his head lightly.

"It means that we need to make sure that we know as much as we can, and to make sure that we don't do anything wrong," she replied.

"Oh, okay. Why didn't you just say that, Pops?"

"Eh, it's just an expression, sheesh," Charlie grumbled good-naturedly.

"Tanya suggested that we rent a hotel room for a week or so to see how things go. If they are good, then she knows a guy who can rent us a house to stay in for the summer." Bella rolled her eyes at the thought of Tanya and her "guys."

Charlie's eyes widened.

"So, you could possibly be gone for the whole summer?" he asked as he swallowed back his anxiety. He hadn't gone more than two weeks without seeing Bella or Jack for the past five years. Even then, most of the time they were only about a two hour drive away. Two and a half months suddenly seemed like an eternity to him.

"I don't really know what we're going to do yet. We're playing it by ear. I was hoping that you and Sue would come out and visit us a time or two, once we get to know the Cullens. Maybe we'll fly back for a weekend or something. Of course, that's if we even end up staying there. I'm not sure how this is going to play out yet, Dad."

"Well, whatever you choose, I've got your back, baby girl," he said, nodding.

"Thanks, Daddy," she smiled. "I think Jack and I will fly out there and rent a car. Jasper mentioned that he and Alice would like to come with us at first, to help smooth things over if we need it. I think it might be a good idea. You know how easily Allie wraps people around her finger and Jazz's presence as a lawyer might be helpful. I was thinking about asking him to drive out with my Aston and then they can take over the rental. Jazz has been dying to get his fingers around Nevaeh's steering wheel."

"I still have no idea why you named you car that," Charlie chuckled.

"It's Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backwards. I figured it was a perfect name for her," Bella smirked as Charlie tipped his head towards her in agreement.

"Well," Charlie started as he stood from his seat, "I'm gonna head out. Sue should be getting home from work soon. She sounded pretty excited by the thought of a home cooked meal waiting for her. Thanks again for packing her up a plate, Bells."

Jack got up and walked over to Charlie, hugging him tightly.

"Thanks for taking me fishing today, Pops. I enjoyed the peace," he smiled. Charlie squeezed him before letting him go.

"Any time, kid. You're a natural," he winked.

Bella walked into the kitchen and grabbed the plate she had made for Sue. She took it back into the living room and handed it to her father and then reached around to hug him from the side.

"Thanks, Dad. And don't mention it about dinner. I'm happy to be able to give Sue a break now and then."

Bella and Jack stood in their doorway and watched Charlie drive away. Jack looked up at her and smiled. He reached out and squeezed her hand.

"It'll be okay," he said with conviction in his voice, "I promise you."

Bella smiled back and they stood together watching the stars for a little while.

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June 14, 2010

...

"Hello, Odds and Ends, this is Bella. How may I help you?"

"Ms. Swan? This is Jenks. I've got some of the info that you requested from me on Friday."

Bella felt the butterflies in her stomach start to flutter.

"Sure, Mr. Jenks, just give me a moment to go up to my office," Bella replied before placing him on hold.

"Laurent!" she hollered as she walked away from the front counter.

Steve poked his head out from behind a stack of books that he had been shelving.

"Yes, boss lady?" he laughed.

"Keep it up, Mr. Laurent and I'll have to find a new manager," she tried to say sternly, but failed in capturing her giggles. Steven Laurent was a hard person to be mad at. His personality was sweet and he was always friendly. He was also very handsome, with a light brown, almost a tan skin color and sea green eyes. She hadn't had a boyfriend since the Jacob fiasco and only went out on a few dates. Steven asked her a couple of weeks ago and she declined because she was his employer, but now she was considering changing her mind after they returned from Chicago. She was a 23 year old virgin and was starting to feel lonely. Jack could only fill up so much of her heart. There was still a space that was empty.

"I've got a phone call to take up in the office. I'm not sure how long I'll be, so can you keep an eye on the counter?"

"Sure, Bell, not a problem," he smiled.

Bella walked into her office and flopped down into her comfy chair, before picking up Jenks' call.

"Sorry about that Mr. Jenks."

"No problem, Ms Swan," he replied, "and please call me Jay or Jenks."

"Only if you call me Bella," she laughed.

"Yes, Miss Bella. Now, getting down to business. I've come across some information for you. I'm going to fax you a copy of everything, so don't worry about writing it down. Victoria Preston-Cullen currently lives in downtown Chicago, in a penthouse that her father, Marcus Preston owns. He is a very powerful bank president. I wasn't able to get a home address for Edward Cullen, only his business address, which is also in downtown Chicago. Cullen Corporation is not the largest Acquisitions Firm in the city, but it is the most lucrative. Apparently after their divorce in April of 2006, Mr. Cullen disappeared off of the map, unless it was work-related. In the six months between Jack's disappearance and their divorce, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen spoke with various media outlets in Chicago and a few in Phoenix. The police were working under the assumption that the child was abducted for ransom because of his wealthy parents. They were sure that the kidnapper would bring the child to Chicago and try to blackmail his parents. As the months went by and no word or clues were ever uncovered, a police officer suggested to Mr. Cullen that they make peace with the strong possibility that their child wouldn't be returned. That was the end of the Cullen's relationship with the Chicago P.D. in regards to Jackson. They turned to private investigators, who also turned up nothing."

He paused for a moment.

"If I may interject my opinion for a moment, Bella, I find myself agreeing with the suggestion that Mrs. Cullen was with another person. A person who knew how to cover their tracks extremely well. After obtaining the flight records from the date that Victoria Cullen supposedly left Chicago in September of 2005, I could find none. My assumption is that she traveled under a fake alias to avoid getting caught going to where ever she was heading."

"Aren't the airport security measures supposed to be very tight? How could she have gotten through with fake identification?" Bella asked.

"Like I said before, Mr. Preston is a very powerful man, as is Mr. Cullen. Being tied to both of them, Victoria had access to the best of anything she wanted. She easily could have had perfect fake documentation, not to mention a vast amount of money to grease anyone's palm who questioned her."

Bella shook her head angrily. The more she thought about Victoria Preston, the more she wanted to claw her eyes out.

"What about the rest of the family? Did you find out anything on his grandparents?"

"Yes, indeed. I have an address for as Esme and Carlisle Cullen. They live about 45 minutes outside of Chicago, in Highland Park. He's the Chief of Staff at Children's Memorial Hospital and she owns an Interior Design company. She's also very well known for her work with various charities. They have another son, Emmett Cullen. He and his wife, Rosalie own Cullen Customs, located in the Edgewater area. They build custom cars, as well as restorations."

Bella let out a large breath.

"Alright then. Anything else?"

"Nothing at the moment. I'm working on getting a hold of any other useful information regarding acquaintances and family friends. I'll keep you posted."

"Thank you, Jay, I appreciate it."

"No problem, Bella, that's what I get paid for," he laughed lightly.

Bella hung up the phone after saying goodbye and fired up her computer. Jack's last day of school was in two days, so she was able to book them a one way flight to Chicago on Friday. She booked a room for her and Jack, as well as reserving one for Alice and Jasper, who were planning on getting into Chicago sometime on Monday. She was very thankful that they would be bringing her baby, Nevaeh, so she could drive her over the summer. Jasper was just excited to be able to take a road trip in her.

She closed up the computer and gathered her things to get ready to pick Jack up from school. She planned on telling him about their leaving on Friday over dinner. She was curious as to what his reaction would be. He was hard to get a read on over the weekend. On one hand, he seemed excited to see them again, but on the other he was reserved and quiet about the whole thing. She understood how he felt though, she was feeling the exact same way.

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June 18, 2010

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Bella needn't have worried about Jack's reaction. He was both excited and nervous about how everything was going to work out. He was in total agreement about leaving as soon as possible to get it over with, good or bad. Jasper assured them both that even if the Cullens were going to be forceful about the situation, Bella had legal and binding custody since Jack had been turned into a ward of the state. They could choose to take her to court and then it would be for a judge to decide. Both Jazz and his father were of the mind set that the worst case scenario would be that Bella would be relegated to visitation, but they decided to worry about it if the time came.

The night before their flight, Bella and Jack got into their first real fight. Tensions were running high and both were nervous about the next day. After making sure her bags were packed and ready to go, she went in Jack's room to check on his. He had had his skateboard shoved into the middle of his suitcase and Bella told him to take it out. She and Jack argued back and forth until they realized how stupid their fight was and started laughing. They hugged each other and Bella turned it into a tickle fight, falling onto his bed.

"I'm sorry, Mom, I'm just worried and excited and nervous about tomorrow. I didn't mean to yell at you," he apologized, after they settled down.

"It's okay, Little Bit," she kissed him on the forehead, "I feel exactly the same way. How about a compromise? I'll pack your board in Nevaeh along with our other clothes that Jazz and Allie are bringing for us?"

He smiled and nodded.

"Thanks, Ma," he said while snuggling next to her on his bed. "I love you," he whispered as his eyes drifted closed.

Bella laid her cheek on his head and let her eyes close as well, reveling in the comfort that holding him gave her.

The next morning, they gathered up their bags and stowed them into the back of Charlie's truck, before hopping in while he drove them to the airport. He hugged and kissed them both and promised that he would be out to visit them sometime over the summer, if they decided to stay. The flight itself felt like it lasted a blink of an eye. As they stepped off of the plane at O'Hare, they made their way to pick up the few pieces of luggage that they brought and then went in search of the car rental.

Once they were all situated in the black, Volvo XC60, Bella and Jack drove in search of food before plugging the Cullen's address into the GPS. An hour and a half later, they both found themselves with their hearts beating erratically as they passed into the Highland Park area.

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I wanna take you with me

To life with no more yesterdays

We can start again awake and so excited

And change the way we always push We always pull

...

I'll open up and be your parachute

And I'll never let you down

So open up and be my human angel

And we'll only hit the ground

Running

...

And when the world gets sharp

And tries to cut you down to size

And makes you feel like giving in

Oh, I will stay, I will rain

I will wash the words and pain away

And I will chase away the way we push

The way we pull

You're beautiful

...

I'll open up and be your parachute

And I'll never let you down

So open up and be my human angel

And we'll only hit the ground

Running

...

And if it feels like we might drop

It will stop

So don't look down

It wouldn't be the same without you

This life is too good to give up on

...

I'll open up and be your parachute

And I'll never let you down

So open up and be my human angel

And we'll only hit the ground

And we're gonna hit the ground

Running

...

Parachute ~ Train

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Taking a deep breath in through her nose, Bella pulled over to the side of the road, just before a long driveway. Glancing in the rear view mirror, she gazed at her eight year old son. His leg was bouncing, as he stared out of his window, a nervous trait that he had picked up from her. He ran his hand through his mop of unruly brown hair, which had bronze highlights running through it. His emerald green eyes flicked towards hers quickly, before glancing back out of the window. She knew the kid like the back of her hand. He was her best friend, after all.

"Jack? Are you okay?" Bella asked quietly. He nodded swiftly.

"Just nervous, Ma, you know?" he responded, glancing back at her.

Bella nodded, understanding. More than halfway across the country was so far away from home. Here, just miles outside of Chicago, was a family that Jack hadn't seen in over five years. Neither of them knew what to expect since she had been too nervous to call and speak with anyone. This whole trip had been on the spur of the moment. As soon as the private investigator that was hired, Jay Jenks, had found the Cullens, Bella had booked their tickets to Chicago, not thinking things through throughly. Now she was riddled with doubt.

Maybe it was better left alone, she wondered. Jack was her son. There was no way to prepare for what might happen when they knocked on that door. Could she share him? Could she give him up?

Bella's heart instantly started hammering in her chest and knew that the last one wasn't an option. She couldn't survive without him. He was her life.

Turning the ignition and putting the car back in drive, she was tempted to just turn back around, head to the airport and fly them right back to their little, cozy three bedroom house near Seattle. Bella knew that she couldn't do that and that Jack deserved to face his past and reconcile it with his present. She turned up the mile long driveway and pulled up to the front of the enormous three story house. With another deep breath, Bella turned off the car and unhooked her seat belt, as did Jack. After climbing out of the driver's seat, she walked over to where her boy was already standing by the rear passenger door.

He reached out blindly for his mother's hand, not being able to take his eyes off of the house. She wrapped his small hand in hers and started to walk forward and up the stairs that lead to the porch, which was large and held a swing on either side. The house was white with blue accents. It had a very Southern feel to it.

"Are you ready?" Bella asked as she looked down at Jack. He nodded nervously.

"I feel like I'm going to puke though," he groaned lightly. She chuckled, thankful for the small break in tension.

"Here we go," she whispered and she pressed her finger to the doorbell.

This was the beginning. Their lives would change drastically after this, she was sure of it. Bella just prayed that it was for the better and not the worse.

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AN: (*) A Firefly is a type of phone geared towards kids. Parents have control over it's incoming and outgoing calls, if they choose.