As you know, the great SM owns all things Twilight. Who knew a picture could put this crazy idea in my head. I just had to share it.
Thanks, as always, goes to my beta and good friend andromida1964 for catching the mistakes. She has some very interesting and different stories out there. Take some time to check them out. I also want to thank my WC ladies. You keep me writing and I truly appreciate it.
Chapter 2 - Could This Get Worse
As I left the station I had two very important calls to make. The first was to my dad to let him know what was going on and the second was to Bella. I told her that Sam, Jacob and I were going to work around the clock to figure this out and I would be home soon to explain everything.
I couldn't help but think this whole fucking mess was partially my fault. I knew Emmett was crossing the line that night and I should have stopped it sooner. I should have drug his ass out of the bar when I had to leave but I was so worried about Bella that I wasn't thinking straight.
I pulled the car to a stop half a block away from the house that loomed in the distance. Home was always a safe haven for me. Bella and I always made sure that our private life was completely and totally separate from my job. It was the only way we could live peacefully. Now, the job was forced into our lives because it involved our best friends.
I dreaded walking through the door because facing Rosalie was going to be hardest thing I'd ever have to do. She expected me to keep an eye on Emmett and I let her down. I had to make this right and I already put things in motion by speaking with my dad to ask for his help. He wanted to meet with me in person but I told him I needed to go home and check on Bella and the kids and Rosalie before I went to see him. He was going to use the time to call in some of his favors to get Emmett a good lawyer.
Exhaling heavily, I pulled the car back onto the road and drove the short distance to the house. I had to just man up and get this over with. Both Bella and Rosalie needed to know what we were facing and how serious this was.
I pulled the car into the garage and took a couple of deep breaths to gather the strength I needed to tell my wife and her best friend that the man they both loved could, at the very least, go to prison for the rest of his life.
Bella was at my side as soon I entered the house and closed the door. I held her for a minute fighting the urge to break down from the tension I was feeling.
"Edward, please tell me what's happening. Rosie is devastated and I can't help her because I don't know what's going on." A worried expression blanketed her face and I knew it was for all of us and not just Emmett and Rosalie.
"Give me a minute and I'll explain to both of you." She nodded her head and went back to Rosalie while I made my way upstairs.
I pushed open the door to Angie's room and she was lying serenely as she took her nap. I walked in and just watched her sleep. She had no worries in this world and it was my job in every way imaginable to make sure it stayed that way. I kissed her forehead, tucked the blankets around her like I always did and walked out of the room.
I made my way down the hall to the nursery. Standing there watching my son sleep, I thought about how I should be here day and night to help Bella take care of him. I wasn't going to be able to do that now and the feeling that I was abandoning my son was crushing me. I reached my hand in his crib and stroked his soft arm and wrapped his little hand around my finger.
"Hey little man, I'm sorry I won't be here to hold you and rock you to sleep. Mommy is going to have to do that for me for awhile. I promise you, I will be here as soon as I can. Your Uncle Emmett and Auntie Rosie need me right now and I can't let them down." The tears I wouldn't cry in front of Bella were falling now as I promised my son that I would save Emmett. I couldn't break that promise.
Bella's hand on my shoulder made me jump. I didn't hear her come up behind me and I rushed to wipe my face before she noticed. Bella, being the loving person she was, grabbed my hand and led me out of my son's room before pulling me to her. She wrapped me in her arms tighter than she ever had and I held on for dear life.
"Baby, look at me," she ordered and I took a small step away from her. She placed her hand on my cheek as she spoke. "Edward, please stop beating yourself up over this. You aren't Emmett's babysitter and whatever this is, as much as I love him, he did this…not you." She brought her other hand up so she had both hands on my face, forcing me to look her in the eye. "You, my dear husband, are the best detective they have. I know you and you will not rest until this is over. It's up to you, Jake and Sam to solve this case."
She saw the doubt and protest in my eyes. She knew what I was thinking and she called me on it. "Stop that, right now. You cannot feel guilty about leaving us here. This is your job, your best friend and Rosie's future husband. You're the only chance they have."
"But Bella, I have to…" I began but she placed a finger on my lips to keep me quiet.
"Edward, I'm a cop's wife. I knew what I signed up for when I married you and I won't have you using me as an excuse. I love you. I have faith in you and I want Emmett home. Please, for me, bring him home."
God I loved this woman. She had amazing strength and, as always, a level head. She knew she would be okay with the kids and she reminded me that Emmett needed me. I needed to be working on his case so I could prove he didn't do this.
I placed one kiss on her forehead before I kissed her lips. I hated the rushed feeling of it but we didn't have time for more right now. "Come on, Bella. I'm gonna need you when I talk to Rosie."
We walked down the stairs hand in hand and made our way to the kitchen where Rosalie was sitting, just staring at the table. She didn't move when we walked in and only acknowledged our presence when Bella touched her shoulder. She looked up to Bella and then to me. I don't know what my face looked like but it must have been projecting bad news because, as soon as she laid her eyes on me, she broke out in tears.
I was next to her in an instant and I pulled her into my arms. "I'm sorry, Rosie. I'm so sorry. I should have been there. He's in jail now because of me."
She didn't say anything but I could feel her shaking her head. It was a few minutes before I felt her push away from me a little. She kissed my cheek as she sat back in her chair. I grabbed her hand and didn't let go. Bella was on the other side of the table just letting us work though this moment before the hard discussion started.
"Why did this happen, Edward? Emmett couldn't kill anyone." She was begging for answers.
Blowing out a deep breath, I tried to gather what strength I had to tell Rosalie the one thing that would crush her. "I know he couldn't but there are several details going against him right now."
"Tell me." The shift in her demeanor was visible as she steeled herself to hear the truth.
"It was the night at the bar. Emmett was drinking too much and…" I hesitated. I had never been the one to have to tell her before.
"And he found another girl, right?" I expected anger or sadness in her tone but there was no emotion in her voice at all.
"Yes." My eyes fell to the table. I couldn't look at her. "I tried to get him outta there but that was the night Bella had the baby. Sam and Jake tried to help after I left but he fought with them to stay. There was a bar fight and they lost him."
"Look at me, Edward," she demanded. "Why do they think he killed someone?"
I looked at Bella for courage and then back to Rosalie. "The woman from that night…" I had to stop. This was so hard to tell her. I looked to her tear-stained face and told her the truth. "She was found dead in her home this morning."
Bella's gasp caught my attention. Her hands were covering her mouth, she was shaking her head and I could hear the muffled "no" she repeated over and over. It broke my heart to see that look on my wife's face. She loved Emmett and I knew she couldn't believe my words. I looked over at Rosalie, who was sitting motionless. Her eyes were wide with disbelief, her mouth hung open and she lost all color in her face. She was white as a ghost.
I had to continue. "I don't know much yet but I do know that she had been dead for more than twenty-four hours and his prints were found in her room. Sam and Jake caught the case so it's…"
"Oh God!" She was out of her chair and bent over the sink throwing up.
Bella and I rushed to her side. Bella had Rosalie's hair in her hands while I was rubbing her back and resting a hand over hers. When she was done, she stayed leaning over the sink for support. Bella grabbed a washcloth, soaked it in cold water and ran it over Rosalie's cheeks, forehead and the back of her neck.
"Honey, are you okay?" Bella asked.
The tears started again and the pain in her voice tortured me. "How Bella? How can I be okay? The man I love doesn't love me enough to be with me and only me and now this?"
"You can't think that Rosie," I pleaded with her. "I saw him before I came here and the only thing he's worried about is you. He loves you and he is so very sorry." I was left to defend him now. "It's the alcohol that changes him. If I could've stopped him from drinking that night or if I would've gotten him out sooner, none of this would be happening. I let you down, Rosie and I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault, Edward." She tried to smile and reassure me but there was just too much pain there. "After everything, I don't blame you. It's Emmett." Her voice had no life to it as she spoke. "He'll never change."
I wrapped her in my arms again. I couldn't think of anything to say to her. I knew she was probably right but I didn't want to think Emmett couldn't change.
"I don't believe that, Rosie, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to give him the chance to prove it to you." I stepped back from her and grabbed her hand and Bella's. I looked at them both and gave my word. "I promise both of you now, I will find out who did this. I will bring Emmett home." I looked directly at Rosalie as I spoke my last sentence. "I will make sure the man you love is worthy of you."
"Edward," she paused, "I don't know if I can do this anymore."
Bella pulled Rosalie into a hug and held her while the sobs racked her body. "Rosie please, let Edward do what he has to and we'll figure everything out when this is over."
I loved Bella's faith in me and I was going to live up to it. I really hated to leave Rosalie in the state she was in and leave Bella to take care of her so soon after having the baby but I didn't have a choice. I hugged each one of them one more time before Bella walked me to the door.
"Don't give me that look Edward Cullen." She knew the anxiety I was feeling and she actually smirked at me causing me to smile. "We'll be fine here. You get out there and do what you do best. I love you and the kids and I will be here waiting with open arms for you to come home."
"I love you, baby. I don't know what I did to deserve you."
"You're just lucky I guess."
In the midst of all this mess, the smile on her face now seemed out of place, but that was my Bella. Her smile always gave me strength. I pulled her to me and kissed her. "I wish I didn't have to leave you but I have to find out what magic my dad has up his sleeves. I'll call you as soon as I can."
With one last kiss, I ran out the door, jumped in my car and sped toward my dad's house.
My dad never ceased to amaze me. He said he would call in his favors but I didn't really believe his connections reached that far. In a matter of hours after Emmett was arrested, my dad had the top criminal defense attorney in the state standing in his living room.
I had more than a few reservations about him wanting to take on this case. Yes, he was the best and his reputation was impeccable…his record was near perfect. This man, however, did not like me and he had a serious hatred for Emmett. He had, on many occasions, called us arrogant, cocky and egotistical. He had even accused us of tampering with evidence to arrest certain suspects without a full and proper investigation. To add to all of that, one of Emmett's prior indiscretions was with this man's wife.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" I glared at him.
"Now Edward, that's not the way to greet the man who's going to get your partner out of jail." His voice was full of venom as he spoke.
"Yeah, like you could be objective, Demetri. This would be the perfect case for you. It wouldn't cost you much to lose. It would be small hit to your win/loss record. Then by taking that loss, you get your revenge on the man you claim ended your marriage."
"Do you really believe I couldn't be objective? That I would tarnish my reputation by losing a case on purpose? Please, get over yourself, boy."
The minute I heard the word "boy" I was in his face. My chest slammed into his, knocking him backwards. My fist was clenched and ready to go and I would have let it fly if my dad hadn't stepped in my line of fire. I knew the asshole was trying to provoke me on purpose and I was ready to play his game. I'd been waiting to get my hands on this son of a bitch for years.
"Edward, please. You need to think of Emmett right now."
"Do you think Emmett's gonna have a chance with this motherfucker doing his best to make sure he goes to prison?" I spoke each word through gritted teeth as I fought with everything inside me not hit this smug bastard.
"Fuck you, Cullen. I don't need to deal with your bullshit. I have better things to do with my time." The asshole turned to leave. "I'm sorry Carlisle but you couldn't pay me enough to put up with…"
"Demetri, you owe me and you aren't going anywhere." The forcefulness of my dad's tone surprised me. "Edward, come with me now." He literally pulled me out of the room like I was a screaming child who needed discipline.
I yanked my arm away as we entered his study. "What the fuck? Why would you treat me like that in front of him?"
"First of all, you will watch your mouth. I am not one of your friends that you think you can speak to any way you damn well please. You will respect me, this house and any guest that walks through the door." The harsh tone of his voice gave way to a softer one, showing his concern. "Second, this is for Emmett. It has nothing to do with you. You know Emmett is like a second son to me and I will do whatever I have to on his behalf."
"But dad, objectivity is something he doesn't have where Emmett's concerned."
"Demetri will keep his opinions to himself and work on this to the best of his ability. He may hate Emmett for what happened with Cassandra but he is a professional and you know he's the best. I will not sacrifice anyone because you can't get over your own prejudices against him."
I would accept his decision…for now. "Fine. I'll work with him on this but, be warned, if I get the slightest impression that he is giving less than his best. That man will pay."
The lights of the city flew past the window as I placed my call. The phone rang three times before it was picked up. "Detective Black."
"Jake, Sam is there with you right?"
"Yeah we're working the timeline. Where've you been?"
"I had to go home and talk to Rosie. She's torn up. Listen, I just left my dad's house and I'm on my way in. You and Sam need to meet me in the tomb. We need to talk to Emmett?"
"What's up, Edward?"
"Emmett's past is gonna bite him in the fucking ass…hard. I'm five minutes out." I hung up the phone. This shit couldn't get any worse.
I walked into the station on a mission. Emmett needed to know exactly what he was up against. Just as I was about to make my way down the stairs, the chief stopped me.
"Cullen, get the fuck in here now!" His voice was loud enough to hear through his closed door and across the room where I was.
"Fuck." I thought I would have more damn time before I had to explain. There was no need to knock because he called me in. "Chief, I was just about to…"
"I don't care what the fuck you think you're doing. Would you like to explain to me why one of my best detectives is crying like a little bitch downstairs in my fucking cell, accused of fucking murder?" This was a new level of anger for him and his voice was loud enough that I'm sure Emmett heard him.
"That's what I'm trying to find out, Sir."
"You aren't finding out anything and you know it. Black and Uley have this case."
"What? You're sidelining me on this?" He couldn't keep me out. "With all due respect, sir, that's my fucking partner down there. You're not stopping me." I ripped the door open and headed for the holding area with the chief on my fucking ass.
"Demetri fucking Alexander! Are you fucking kidding me?" Emmett punched the wall and the blood instantly covered his knuckles. "Why not just put me in line for the electric chair now?"
"Oh fuck!" Jacob and Sam said almost in unison. They knew what this meant.
Emmett tried to shake the pain away from his hand. I wouldn't be surprised if he broke the damn thing but he obviously wasn't worried about it. He was thinking the same thing I was. I couldn't let it get that far. There was no way I was letting them take me off this case.
"Emmett, cool your shit. Let me work this out."
The chief's voice echoed in the room. "Cullen, I already told you…you're off." Sam and Jacob looked at me while he looked to Emmett. "What's the deal with you and attorney?"
"Nothing." Emmett turned his back on us and almost punched the wall again.
"McCarty, I don't have the time, energy or fucking patience to deal with your bullshit. If you have a problem with the attorney hired to represent you, then I need to know."
Emmett sat on the bed and put his head in his hands. I guessed it was up to me. "He hasn't been completely faithful to his girl in the last several years. One of the many women happened to be…"
"Tell me you weren't the one fucking the man's wife, McCarty. I heard he was on a warpath when she left him. Does he know?"
"Hell yeah, he knows. The smug bastard is trying to play it cool for my dad's sake. I think he'll fuck Emmett the first chance he gets."
A/N: Thanks to everyone who has read this story and added it as one of your favorites. That makes me proud.
I will do my best to get these chapters out weekly. So keep your eye out next Tuesday for another update.
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