So, as I said before, Harry Potter just came out and I already saw it five times! I'm crazy, I know, but my HP craze is slowly dwindling down to make way for Twilight! I found copies of the two scenes shown at Comic-Con and all I can say is WOW! Can't wait for November! And, another crazy moment, I came up with two more FF ideas. When will my brain stop coming up with new storylines that I shouldn't focus on right now so that I can come up with the end for this one? Maybe I'm just too creative for my own good… Well, here's chapter 12 and remember—I don't own anything!
Chapter 12: Taken
"Oh geez, the sun is coming up," Jasper whispered next to me, running his hands over his face wearily.
"Where could she be?" I groaned for the millionth time, leaning my head back against the couch, closing my eyes.
"Actually…" Jasper started. We both looked down at Alice and Bella who were curled up next to us, their heads resting on our laps. They were both clearly fast asleep so he continued in a quieter voice. "I'm worried that someone…took her."
"I was thinking the same damn thing," I sighed, stroking Bella's hair gently. My biggest fear was someone hurting or taking my girls away from me. Alice and Jackie were like sisters to me and Bella… I couldn't even fucking stand the thought.
"There was a lot of people at the bar last night," Jasper said, shaking his head. "I don't know why Alice let Jackie come."
"You know her," I said with a frown. "She just can't say no to her sometimes."
"Well, she should have this time," he said angrily. "It's one thing if you or Emmett are there to keep an eye on her, but to just send her off into the mosh pit without a care…"
"I know, I know," I said bracingly.
I didn't even need to tell Jasper not to mention any of this to Alice; she was so torn up already, no need to add to her guilt.
Once Bella got a hold of Alice, we raced over to her house to find her pacing the yard, her face red and blotchy. The moment she saw us, she burst into tears and threw herself at me. I couldn't understand a word she said and she refused to go inside to talk—she wanted to stay out on the porch to wait for Jackie—so Bella went inside to make tea.
Once we got Alice to calm down, she told us, between hiccups and sips of tea, about how the band had finished right on time and she had announced to the room that they were only serving one more round of drinks. Emmett helped the bouncer see everyone out and then helped Alice and Jasper clean up. It wasn't until they were nearly done that they realized that Jackie wasn't there. Emmett went outside to look for her, thinking maybe she was chatting with friends. When he didn't find her, Alice slipped upstairs to see if she was there, already asleep. After they tried calling her cell a few times and didn't get an answer, they knew something was wrong.
Right about then is when Alice dissolved into tears again. Bella put an arm around her but I could only sit there in a daze, no fucking clue what to do. Jasper came over soon after checking in with all of Jackie's friends and told us that Emmett was going to stay at the bar for a couple more hours, just in case she came back there.
It took some convincing to get Alice to come inside but once it started raining around two thirty in the morning, she gave in. She and Bella fell asleep about an hour later but Jasper and I were determined to stay awake for them.
"Have you heard from Emmett?" I asked after a few minutes.
"Yeah, he's on his way back," Jasper said with a yawn.
I could feel myself nodding off again and shook my head, blinking my eyes rapidly. Jasper yawned again, and that didn't help any, just made me yawn too.
"Cut that shit out," I mumbled, yawning widely; Jasper just chuckled sleepily.
The doorknob rattled and Jasper and I were instantly wide awake, but it was only Emmett. We both slumped back down as Emmett shuffled in, yawning and clutching a cup of coffee.
"No sign of her," he said quietly, flopping down into an empty armchair; Jasper and I groaned.
"Where the fuck is she?" I growled, burying my face in my hands.
I felt movement on my lap and looked down to see Bella stirring. I made shushing sounds and rubbed her back, trying to get her back to sleep but she sat up anyways and looked around blearily.
"What time is it?" she mumbled.
"Somewhere around six," I whispered, still rubbing her back. "Just go back to sleep, baby."
"I can't, I have to open at work today," she yawned. She looked around the room. "Still no word?"
"Nothing," Emmett said, taking a gulp of coffee. "I stayed at the bar all night, wandering the neighborhood every hour to see if she was…somewhere…"
Bella winced and I could guess what she was thinking: Emmett was looking to see if Jackie was hurt somewhere in the alleys.
"What do we do now?" Bella asked, looking from Emmett to Jasper to me. "Call the cops?"
"I tried and they just said to wait," Emmett snorted. "And then some shit about not being able to file a missing person report for twenty four hours."
"That's bullshit!" Bella spat; she turned to Emmett with wide eyes. "She's still a child! That makes no sense!"
"It was one of Jake's buddies," Emmett rolled his eyes. "He said she's a teenager, she's probably just out getting smashed and she'll come home eventually."
"But that's just…" I trailed off, shaking my head, at a loss of words.
"I know," Emmett said simply.
There was a soft knock on the door that somehow woke up Alice. She shot up so fast that she nearly hit Jasper in the face with her head. She looked around wildly, her short black hair sticking up in all directions.
"What's going on?" she asked, staring around the room.
"Just someone at the door," Jasper said soothingly, putting his arms around Alice who sank back into him, tears leaking out of her eyes once more.
Emmett got up to answer, setting his coffee on the floor by his chair as he went. He opened the door and instantly stiffened, crossing his arms across his chest and blocking everyone's view of the visitor.
"What the hell do you want?" he said menacingly.
"To help," the person said in a pleading voice; I recognized it immediately.
"Jacob? What are you doing here?" Bella asked quietly.
Emmett stepped aside and Jacob came in, already dressed in his uniform. He took off his police issued hat as he walked in.
"I told you, I want to help," he said and he actually sounded genuine—not that I really trusted the jackass. "I have some possible leads on Jackie."
Every one of us jumped to our feet and stared at Jacob.
"You better not be fucking with us, Jake," I growled, my hands balling into fists.
"No, I'm not, I swear," he said, holding up his hands, palms out. He turned to Bella. "Remember that day I pulled Todd off of you?"
Bella nodded her head slowly.
"Well, I looked into his background and—"
"Jake, he's clean, there's nothing there," Bella interrupted angrily, crossing her arms and raising an eyebrow. "And what does this have to do with Jackie?"
I tried to hide my smile but I loved how assertive she was being—as always, it was damn sexy to see her standing up to him.
"I'm getting to that!" Jake insisted. "But he did get caught for something. Just before that incident, he was arrested for drunk in public with some chick named Sarah. Did you ever hear of her?"
"Yeah, they dated for a bit, but now he's dating—"
"Victoria," Jacob finished for her. When we all, Bella included, looked at him blankly, he elaborated. "Victoria and her cousin Sarah are wanted for all kinds of things—grand theft, attempted burglary, assault—over in Florida, where they're originally from. They've been skipping around the states, wreaking havoc, and sometimes getting others involved. Thing is, if the person doesn't want to join or decides to ditch them, they disappear before they can get caught."
The room was utterly silent. Alice was the one to break it, speaking in a voice barely more than a whisper.
"I still don't understand," she said.
"One of the guys I work with was at the bar last night," Jacob continued, speaking a bit faster than before. "He said he saw Victoria there most of the night and just before closing time, Sarah came in. He thought they looked familiar and had heard rumors about them, so he tried to keep an eye out. They didn't cause any problems, so he just let it go.
"Before going home after the bar, he stopped by the office to look up a few things on them, to see if he needed to pursue. He told me that they're last charge…" Jacob paused, seeming to struggle with what he was trying to say. "Was attempted kidnapping."
It felt like someone punched me in the gut. I let out a gust of air but couldn't seem to bring anymore in. Jake looked at us in an apologetic way, spinning his hat in his hands nervously. Emmett swore loudly and slumped back into the armchair, his face covered in his hands. I heard a small squeak and turned to Alice. She was swaying on the spot, her eyes glazed over, and her face pale. Jasper quickly put his arms around her and lowered her onto the couch, where she sat with her hands lying limply in her lap, breathing fast.
Bella turned to me, her wide eyes swimming with tears.
"Edward," she whispered, her expression desperate. It was clear that she cared about Jackie just as much as any of us, despite the length of time she had known her.
"Alright, what do we need to do?" I asked in a commanding voice; someone had to take over.
"I have a few things on them—the car they're driving, where they are seen most—the simple shit," Jacob said, instantly transforming into cop-mode. He took out a small spiral notebook and flipped it open. "What I need from Bella is a clear description of the girls and the last time you saw them, either of them—"
"Last night!" Bella exclaimed. Jake and I looked at her in surprise. "It was the red-head, Victoria! She came in for Todd, just before we closed."
"Did either of them say where they were going?" Jake asked, scribbling furiously.
"No, but I know that Todd usually goes to a lot of bars," Bella said, sounding uncertain. "I know he drinks… I could only assume…"
She trailed off hopelessly, looking up at me. I smiled in encouragement.
"Okay, good," Jake said, closing his notebook and looking at Bella seriously. "Do you work today? Does Todd?"
"Well, I do, but I'm not sure about him," she said with a grimace.
"Do you feel safe going to work today?" Jake asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Shit, good point," I said; Bella looked at me in confusion so I asked her, "Wasn't Jackie at work with you last night?"
Bella's eyes got wider and she gasped, covering her mouth with a shaking hand.
"Yes!" she cried. "And Victoria… She gave me this weird look on her way out…"
"What kind of look?" I demanded.
"She smiled at me," Bella said slowly. "Or rather… leered at me, I suppose."
I groaned and ran my hands through my hair. I could see where this was headed and I did not like it one damn bit.
"You're not fucking going," I said simply, shrugging my shoulders.
"But Edward, I can't just skip work," Bella snapped.
"The fuck you can!" I spat at her. Her eyes widened in alarm. I sighed and spoke more softly. "Bella, I can't let you go. I don't want anything to happen to you. And if that bitch looked at you like that, I just… I can't."
Her eyes started watering again and she bit down on her lower lip, chewing nervously. I brushed my hand down her arm, grabbing her hand when I reached it. I held it tightly, gazing into those deep brown eyes that I loved so much.
"Just let me call my boss," she said quietly, her voice quavering. "I'll tell her I'm having a family emergency."
"Thank you, baby," I sighed, enveloping her in a tight hug. I kissed the top of her head before I let go.
"I just need to run by my house, get a change of clothes," she sniffed, wiping her eyes. I ran a finger down her cheek and tugged her chin up.
"Quickly?" I asked, pulling up the corner of my mouth. She gave me a watery smile and nodded.
"Uh, Edward?" Jasper called. "I could use your help over here."
I gave Bella a quick kiss on the mouth and hurried over to Jasper.
Alice was sitting absolutely still; I couldn't even tell if she was breathing or not. Her eyes were still looking straight ahead, not focusing on anything in particular. Jasper was kneeling next to her, trying to get her attention but she wasn't listening.
"Alice?" I said, crouching down on the other side of her. "Alice, look at me."
She didn't react in any way so I firmly grabbed her face with both hands and turned her to look at me. Her eyes were still glazed over.
"Alice!" I said loudly. "You need to stay strong. For Jackie."
Her sister's name seemed to snap her out of her trance. Her dark eyes darted down to look into mine and I could see the determination forming in them. She pressed her lips together in a tight line. She nodded once and turned to Jasper.
"I'm going to go take a shower," she said in a slightly shaky voice.
Alice stood and walked stiffly to the bathroom. Jasper and I sunk down on the floor, our backs against the couch, and both let out a long breath.
"Shit, I think I'd rather take her crying over being a zombie like that," Jasper whispered, shaking his head.
"Same here," I agreed.
I looked around and saw that Jake and Bella were gone. Hopefully, that asshole would be smart enough to follow Bella home. I didn't really count on it and sure enough, moments later, he walked in the door. I jumped to my feet.
"Why the fuck didn't you follow her home?" I demanded, stepping towards him.
"She wouldn't let me," Jake snapped, jamming his hat back on his head.
"You should have anyways, you dipshit!" I yelled incredulously.
Jacob stared at me blankly.
"You care about her that much?" he said slowly, disbelievingly.
"No, fucker, I love her!" I shouted and then stopped short. I hadn't meant to say it and apparently Jacob hadn't expected me to either. We both stared at each other with our eyes wide and our mouths hanging open. I looked around and even Emmett had uncovered his face to gawk at me.
"But… you never…" he said quietly.
"Are you serious?" Jacob spat out, his eyes narrowing.
"Yeah, I am," I said slowly but as I said it, I was more convinced of myself. I stood a bit straighter and crossed my arms, quirking my eyebrow at Jacob, threatening him to challenge me.
"I don't get you, man," he said with a shake of his head. "You've changed over the years."
"And you haven't," I shot back at him. "But you need to. It's time to grow up, Jake. For everyone's sakes."
Jacob looked like he was about to say something but he snapped his mouth shut and turned to Emmett for help. Emmett glared at him, his arms crossed like mine. Jacob sensed defeat; his shoulders slumped and he sighed.
"I'm going down to the station," he said in a low voice. "I'm going to dig up all the shit I can on these chicks."
"Thanks," I said shortly and Emmett nodded. Jake nodded once and left quickly.
I swore under my breath and pulled out my cell. I brought up Bella's number and pressed the call button. I wasn't that worried until it rang half a dozen times without an answer. It went to voicemail so I hung up and tried again, hoping maybe she just didn't get to it in time. It rang twice but she didn't answer right away.
"Bella?" I said into the receiver; I could hear light breathing on the other end. "Bella, are you okay?"
I heard a quiet giggle and then a new voice spoke.
"Gotcha," said a high girly voice before giggling again and hanging up.
I stared at the phone in horror, my worst fear confirmed: Bella was in danger again.
I was surprised that I actually managed to fall asleep but I was exhausted. I took solace in the fact that I could feel myself physically touching two of the most important people in my life right now—my head resting on Edward's lap and my feet touching Alice's where she was curled up next to me. It felt like seconds later that I was woken up, though, as my internal clock chimed. I didn't want to get up but I had work.
The air in the room felt more desperate than when I had fallen asleep. Emmett being there with no news made things feel worse. And then came the odd surprise of Jacob wanting to help. It actually gave me some relief but not much.
I didn't want to leave, so I was actually glad that Edward insisted that I stay with them, but I knew I'd feel a bit better if I changed my clothes. As I made my way out the door with Edward behind me trying to console Alice, I could sense someone walking behind me.
"Bella, wait," Jacob called.
"What is it, Jake?" I snapped without stopping.
"I need to talk to you," he said, reaching out and grabbing my arm. He spun me around and didn't let go.
"I have nothing to say to you," I growled, trying to wrench my arm out of his grip. "I still haven't forgotten what happened at your apartment."
"I want to talk to you about…" he said quickly, glancing back at the house over his shoulder. "About what you're getting yourself into."
"I get it, you want me to pick you over Edward," I said icily. "Fat chance."
"You haven't heard the reason why I think so," he said through his teeth, gripping my arm tighter. "Has he even told you about his past relationships?"
"That's the past," I winced, the pain in my arm growing.
"Did he tell you he was engaged once?" Jacob said with a wry smile.
"What?" I said blankly.
"Yeah," Jacob said shortly, letting go of my arm now that he had my attention. "He was engaged to my cousin."
"Yeah, and?" I said, trying to keep the curiosity out of my voice but he could still hear it and smirked at me.
"They got as far as planning out everything—and I mean everything, the church, the dresses, the flowers, the guests," he said, counting them off on his fingers. "But just a few days before the wedding, he got cold feet. He came to me and I tried to talk to him about it but all he could say was that he felt like he was making a mistake. And then he said it—that he didn't even love her."
"So it wasn't the right time to get married," I said, throwing my arms up. "Big deal, it happens. I'm sure your cousin got over it."
"But that's not it," Jacob said, closing his eyes. He heaved a deep sigh and opened his eyes again. "He admitted to trying before. He said he'd been engaged three other times but that he didn't love any of them. After that, he disappeared for a while. When I talked to my cousin, she told me that he was so protective, that he was always saying he never wanted anything to happen to her. He couldn't even stand being away from her for a night...
"So, Bella, please tell me this," he continued desperately. "Has he ever said anything like that to you?"
I crossed my arms and tried to keep my face impassive. Jacob kept his eyes locked on mine, not giving up, and I started to squirm. I didn't have to confirm what he was asking of me. My discomfort made it obvious that yes, Edward had said something similar to me. Jacob grimaced and shook his head, breathing through his noise angrily.
"Right now, I couldn't give a shit if you didn't take me," he said, his voice shaking with anger. "But please… don't choose him."
"I have to go," I said shortly and turned away, marching towards my car.
"At least let me follow you there," Jacob called after me.
"If you know what's good for you, you won't!" I shouted back. I unlocked my car and got in without looking back.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before starting my car and pulling away as fast as I could.
My brain just couldn't process what I had just heard. The one thing that kept repeating itself over and over again, though, was that Jacob said that Edward hadn't even told any of those other women that he loved them. I was allowing myself to get closer to Edward than I ever had with anyone else. My guard was completely down around him, I trusted him with my life, but if he was like this with all those other girls, then what made me different?
My head ached from the lack of sleep and the bombardment of information. I was so distracted that I nearly ran a stop sign. I gasped and screeched to a halt. I closed my eyes, rubbing them with both hands, and then looked both ways. It was clear so I slowly pulled forward.
Out of nowhere, a car came screaming to a halt in front of me. I turned the steering wheel as hard as I could to avoid hitting the side of the shiny blue car, slamming on the breaks again. My head whipped forward and back, hitting the headrest hard.
Rubbing the back of my head, I looked up at the very familiar looking car. It was a convertible with dark tinted windows.
"Bridgette?" I whispered in confusion, climbing out.
Just as I reached the door, it flew open and Bridgette stepped out, smiling radiantly at me. I stopped, my brow furrowing. She didn't seem upset at all about our near accident. In fact, she looked ecstatic to see me.
"Wow, Bridgette, are you okay?" I asked and her smile grew.
"Oh, I'm perfect," she said in a low voice as the back doors of her car opened.
My eyes widened as out stepped Sarah and Victoria. I took an unsteady step backwards as they slowly sauntered over to me. I looked down at Victoria's slender hands gripping a bottle of some sort of chemical and a small folded towel. My eyes darted to Sarah as she came around from the other side of the car. In her hands she carried a length of rope
I didn't even bother jumping back in the car. I turned and bolted, tripping after only a few steps but managing to catch myself just before I hit the ground. I could hear three sets of feet slapping against the asphalt behind me, quickly catching up.
Alice's house was just out of sight but I could still see Edward's EMT van that he had driven there parked on the street. If only I could get within sight of the house, I'd be okay.
Suddenly, something wrapped around my ankles. I fell spectacularly, my face and hands hitting the pavement, instantly getting scraped and bloody. I twisted around to see my feet tangled in the rope that Sarah had been clutching. I reached down to free myself but I wasn't quick enough.
Bridgette caught up first and threw herself onto the ground, grabbing my hands and tying them to my ankles. I pulled and struggled against the bonds; Bridgette laughed and slapped me hard across the face, making me fall back to the ground with my cheek stinging.
"That's for stealing my man," she said viciously.
"Good throw, Sarah," Victoria said appreciatively, looming over me. "Hey, there. Remember me?"
Before I had time to even draw in a breath, she pressed the cloth over my mouth and nose. It was damp and smelled wrong. I tried to hold my breath as I thrashed around on the ground but that only made her press harder. Soon, the need to breathe was too much; the chemical made me cough and made my head instantly cloudy.
As my vision started to fade, I realized I should have let Jacob follow me to safely. He really did only have my best interests at heart.
"Sweet dreams," Sarah said in a mocking voice just before everything went black.
*Ducks from flying objects* Please don't hurt me! I know, I know, poor Bella just can't seem to catch a break anymore. But don't worry- I got plenty stashed away in that crazy head of mine! Oh and never forget… reviews are always welcome!