AN: I'm starting to post for this story again. Remember this is the sequel to She Speaks Fear and Truth. That needs to be read first for you to understand.
Bella can talk and see ghosts. She met Edward through his late daughter Hayley who he thought was missing for a few years. After determining that she died by the hands of her mother who had manipulated Garrett (a boyfriend) to kidnap her, who died trying to save Hayley who fell in a river trying to get away from her mother.
Bella helped Edward comes to terms with Hayley's death, helped Hayley's spirit cross over, find her missing body and made sure Kate paid. Kate died because Garrett after learning the truth, pulled her soul and his into hell.
Oh and Kate tried to kill Bella by blowing up her house. Bella moved in with Edward and started to work with his investigation crew. They were headed to their first case when Jacob, a friend of Bella's that died years earlier, who crossed over after Hayley had chosen to return to Earth in the form of a Death Angel.
Those that will die in the next six months can only see him. At the end of She Speaks, Edward sees Jacob and Bella freaks out, telling Jacob to stay away from them, from Edward.
In the first two chapters, we have Rosalie Hale's case who has two children with strange sightings of a woman by her children and usual puddles of water showing up everywhere. Once Bella arrives, she determines the ghost haunting Rosalie is her dead ex's mother out for revenge because Rose reported his abuse and he was convicted where he later died in prison.
During the investigation, we see the ghost with the ability to manipulate water, pulling Bella into a river nearby and later spitting her out almost drowning her. The guys then decide to visit the ghost's grave and destroy the corpse and only succeed when Bella brings the one key ingredient in the spell.
We end with Bella and Edward deciding they want to make babies soon. It might be best just to reread. Lol. Sorry for the long note, won't happen again. Enjoy and thanks.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of my imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead, business establishments, events, or places are coincidental.
The Denver Paranormal Society
Chapter Three – Case No. 189
I groaned when I felt Rosalie's lips against mine, fighting to keep myself in control. I had to take it slow with her, because she was a mother and she'd kick my ass if I tried pushing her too hard. She simply wasn't ready to sleep with me, though I had tried several times to convince her.
I wasn't the "love 'em and leave 'em" type and she knew that, but she was still hesitant. Who could blame her? After that asshole of an ex-husband fucked with her head and hurt her, I knew winning her over wouldn't be easy. I couldn't forget that the asshole's mother tried to seek revenge from beyond the fucking grave.
So, slow and steady was what I was trying to do, but damn, the woman was like octane to my engine. She knew how to get me all worked up with only a damn kiss. And those sexy sounds of hers. Gah!
I cursed the center console of my truck, wanting desperately to feel more of her against me. I considered lifting the thing up and pulling her sexy body over. My hand had a mind of its own and made my wish come true. Now, with the console up, I pulled Rosalie closer.
"Emmett," she gasped as I nibbled at her neck. Fuck, she smelled so good. "Emmett."
"Yeah," I groaned and returned to her mouth. I couldn't stay away from that fucking perfection.
"Wait," she said suddenly, pulling back enough to look behind her, outside her window. "Did you hear that?"
Just as the question left her lips, my EMF detector started to whine in my duffel bag on the back seat. I always carried that thing with me, never knowing when a case would drop in our laps. Her eyes turned to me again as we listened closely. I pulled the reader out and adjusted the volume, watching as it reached the highest setting.
I looked back up at Rosalie, her eyes focused on her visible breath. It was normally cold during that time of year, but considering I had the heat at full blast as we sat on the usually deserted bridge, we shouldn't have been able to see our breath.
"What is it?" she whispered. Just as she asked the question, a soft whimpering cry pierced the night. "A baby?"
Oh fuck, better call the boss.
I felt Bella's breath skim across my jawline and neck, her arm draped along my stomach as she slept. I had no such luck in the sleep department as of late. Not because I wasn't used to lying beside her every night; that was the best part.
No, the problem was that, as time went by, the more it had become limited. For the past week, I'd been seeing more of those "Angel of Deaths" around. I hadn't mentioned it to Bella because it would only serve to make her more upset.
Jacob hadn't appeared to me again, not since that first time. I hoped, if I were to leave Bella, it would be him to lead me home. A part of me felt ready for what happened after death; yet, my heart knew that Bella wouldn't survive the loss. I didn't want to leave her. The time we shared wasn't enough, and I needed more.
I felt Bella stir against me, her thigh sliding up mine. "Emmett's gonna call," she mumbled in her sleep. She settled again after nuzzling my chest. I laughed, wondering what she was dreaming about and kissing the top of her head.
Before I managed to fall asleep a few minutes later, my cell phone on the dresser started to vibrate. "What the hell?" I whispered, not wanting to wake up Bella. A middle of the night phone call was never a good thing.
I rolled away from her gently and answered on the third ring. "Hey boss," a deep voice said in a husky whisper. I stilled when I recognized the voice on the line—Emmett. I looked down at Bella, who remained blissfully unaware in her slumber.
Had another "gift" manifested? It wasn't the first time I had noticed that something she said in passing or in her sleep actually happened minutes, hours, or days later.
I growled, "I've told you before, Emmett, to call me by my name."
"Did I interrupt some naughty Bella time?" He laughed, but I heard him cry out when a female voice chastised him. "Sorry, sorry. I'm sorry for calling so late."
I looked at the time and could see that it was well after midnight. "It's fine," I replied, pinching my nose from the sudden headache that emerged. "Is something wrong?"
"Boss," Emmett said, annoying me once again. He started to explain what happened and where his experience had occurred. "Well? Should I start a file?"
I cleared my throat and rubbed a hand down Bella's arm. The case would be centered near a bridge, but there was very little water in it, though. However, bridges and large bodies of water were things I wanted to stay away from because of how Hayley had passed. There was also the fact that I worried about Bella around water since she didn't know how to swim. She should be fine for this one, since it was a sand creek.
"Oh man, can you hear it?" I heard the excitement in his voice, and when he seemed to hold out the phone, I heard the unmistakable wail of a child crying. There was no denying what I was listening to over the phone.
When Emmett returned to the line, I asked, "Are you sure there's no one out there?" It wouldn't be the first time; there had been a few instances of similar reports before in the area, and other things that had little do with a crying child.
"Yeah," he said gruffly. "It was fucking cold, but I got out my spot light from the trunk and checked everywhere. We haven't even seen a car down this road for almost thirty minutes."
That explained why they were at that bridge. There wasn't much for privacy at his apartment if he had a date earlier, since Emmett lived with his younger brother, Riley.
"Get the file started. Investigate any stories or accidents centered on or near the bridge and area. Keep in mind, that bridge has been around a while. You may have to go back as far as you can."
"Got it," Emmett replied. "I'll get started when I get into the office first thing in the morning."
"What is the name of the witness with you? Will she be willing to give us a testimony?" I asked, pulling out a notepad from my nightstand. For a few moments, I thought the line went dead, until I heard a lot of hissing in the background.
"Emmett?" I tried again.
"Yeah, uh, the witness is Rosalie."
My breath caught at his confession. My first thought was, good for them. The next was all the complications that would arise. Damn it!
"We'll discuss this violation when I see you tomorrow," I responded, hanging up before he could say another word.
I sent a text message to Ben to remove all information pertaining to Rosalie's case on our website. Though we kept Bella's name and any videos with her were blurred, the case and testimonials were now tainted. Some in the field would consider them possibly falsified, now that one of the team members was dating the client.
A few seconds after sending the message, I received two. One from Ben, indicating he'd work on it as soon as possible. The other from Emmett: Sorry, boss
I sighed and returned to Bella's side of the bed, wrapping around her body comfortably. As I started to feel the lethargic numbness of sleep, Bella turned to face me, whispering in my ear harshly, "You need to hit me!"
I stilled, suddenly alert, and knew then, that sleep would not come to me that night. Was it another warning for the future?
Case No. : 189
Date: December 19, 2010
Client Name: Emmett McCarty and Rosalie Hale (witnesses)
Subject: The witnesses reported after driving down Quincy Road just outside the city of Aurora, Colorado, where they parked near the third bridge. While they remained in their vehicle, with the heater on, Rosalie Hale heard something just seconds before; Emmett's EMF reader started alerting them of a high EMF spike in the area. Both describe the sound of a baby, or possibly small child crying. After hearing this, they called me and explained the situation. During the phone call, I heard the same sound they described.
I paced the office downtown, waiting for everyone else to arrive for a meeting. It'd been three days since Emmett had called about his experience. Since then, Bella had slept worse than I had, and had been prone to jumpiness and a defensiveness I had never witnessed in her before.
She seemed on high alert; yet, unreasonably scared. I had found her in catatonic state twice and that scared me. Since our experiences with Hayley, Bella hadn't had such a severe reaction to spirits nearby. Her dreams since had been forcing her to wake up screaming, yet with no memories of them. We both worried that it had to do with the case we were going to work later that night.
After I had a chance to sleep on what Emmett had told me of his experience, I realized I remembered something about the area the following morning.
As a history buff, especially western/native eras, the area was the location was near the Hungate Massacre of June 1864, also known as The Sand Creek Massacre. Allegedly, an Indian raiding party had attacked and murdered a young family there. It was all inconclusive since records of that period were incomplete due to a flood in Denver and some were contradicting about the series of events that led to the murders.
Since then, the area had been prone to eyewitness accounts of several things, including the cry of a baby or child being heard down most of the road, especially near the bridge. There were a few reports of a man riding on his horse crossing the bridge, even the sound of horse's hooves galloping and its hard breathing, and several of beating drums, too.
One thing was certain; the cold weather would shorten our time on the investigation at night. We decided to spread it over two nights instead. Either way, it was going to be uncomfortable.
Bella emerged from the bathroom, looking refreshed, makeup covering the darkness under her eyes. She offered me a shy smile as I held out my hand to her, pulling her against my chest. "I don't like this," I murmured as I kissed the top of her head.
"You never do," she whispered, looking up at me. Her dark eyes stared back at me, the fear within them overpowered slightly by her determination. She wanted to help the child cross over to the light. She hated when children remained tied to the Earth when they could find peace elsewhere.
"You haven't been sleeping well, baby," I said, fingering a loose curl and smoothing it behind her ear. "I can't help but worry about you."
She nodded, understanding where I was coming from. "I know that and I appreciate it. I don't like feeling this anxious about a case, either. If I can't handle it, you will be the first to know."
My eyes narrowed, trying to see if she was being truthful. She was. "Damn straight, you'll tell me right away if you need to leave." She whispered a "yes," hugging me tightly.
"Hey, boss," Emmett said, clearing his throat behind us. We turned to see that Rosalie was beside him. "I thought it would be a good idea to bring Rosie along with us. She heard the baby way before I did."
"If you don't mind, of course," Rosalie added, looking nervous.
"We don't mind at all," I stated, shaking her hand after reluctantly releasing Bella. "It's going to be a cold night, though."
Rosalie's eyes widened. "I'm freaking out a little, but…" she looked at Emmett, holding out her hand for his, which he took immediately. "I want to know what he does and that he's safe when he's out there with you guys."
I nodded. "We don't purposely antagonize just to get a reaction. That's not what we're there for. The only reason we're working this case is because of your experience, and depending if we capture anything, we might not put up anything on the website."
"Good idea," Ben said as he entered the conference room with his laptop in hand. He was our soundman that worked with Jasper, but we also found out he was great with web design, blogging, and computers in general. He now managed all of that for the team and our network; he was a jack-of-all-trades. "The last thing we need is to have a ton of people doing drive bys in the area, causing traffic accidents or something. If we have usable footage, I could edit out what would disclose the area."
"You know how I feel about editing video of evidence," I said firmly. If someone erased seconds here and there, it could mean they tampered with what was on the film, too.
Ben put his laptop on the table and proceeded to type away, flipping the screen around for us to see after a few seconds. "Not sure if you were aware that someone claims to have caught video footage of the horseman."
"I didn't know," I said, my eyes drawn to the screen. "I heard of eyewitness accounts, but not actual footage."
"Yeah, not sure if it's real," Ben huffed and rolled his grey eyes. "You know how I feel about eighty percent of these kinds of videos on YouTube."
I snorted, completely agreeing with him. Bella and I watched as the video started to play. The picture was grainy as best, yet, there was no mistaking the horse on the screen. The picture jumped around, which meant it was a hand held. The sound of galloping hooves lasted for only a few seconds, coinciding with the horse's movements as it fled. The rider was more translucent than the horse, his clothing appeared to be period clothing, stiff shirt, rolled up sleeves with a vest and cowboy hat on the figure's head. Bella remained quiet but asked Ben to replay it.
I watched it again; the whole video was only forty-three seconds long, and the voices in the background sounded like young men, most likely drunk, too.
"Try getting a hold of the man that uploaded the video and see if he's from the area," I said, rubbing a hand over my jaw, thinking. "Maybe he can join us tomorrow night."
Ben smiled up at me, looking smug. "Already done, he'll be joining us tomorrow on the condition that his identity remains a secret."
"That's awesome, bro." Emmett laughed and patted his back. Poor Ben, with his five-seven stature but solid body, couldn't withstand the hit and tumbled into the table with a grunt. I sighed. Sometimes, Emmett had no idea how strong he was.
Rosalie asked to watch as I pulled Bella away from the group. "What do you think?" I asked, pressing a soft kiss to her cheek, taking her hands in mine. They were cold, her fingers a little stiff.
"Not sure yet," she said softly. "The video doesn't show enough for me to form an opinion of it."
Her eyes lifted to meet mine, a corner of her mouth lifting. "You know me too well."
"Of course," I said, tugging her against me again. "Now tell me."
"The figure is familiar," she said quietly, her head resting on my chest. "And I got the strangest sense of déjà vu watching that video."
"It could be something from your dreams."
She sighed and her arms tightened around me. "Maybe, we'll see."
Case No. : 189
Date: December 23, 2010 2:32 am
Client Name: Emmett McCarty and Rosalie Hale (witnesses)
Update Entry: Cry Baby Bridge, as the case has been named, seems appropriate. It was our first case that we had to endure such extreme weather, where the entire investigation had to be outside. After tomorrow night, it will be our last. It was simply too cold to conduct a through investigation. Temperature gauges of the area were useless because of the wind, and at the time, some of our other equipment was unresponsive due to the cold.
It wasn't until four hours into the investigation, everyone too cold to continue much longer that something happened. We heard almost three full minutes of the baby crying and about an hour later, drums. According to the women in our group, the crying was probably no older than three to four years old. We were able to hear it for approximately one-mile stretch of the road. It nearly echoed, and we did get a few fluctuations on the EMF readers, but the digital recorders barely picked up anything. Ben is going to work on them from his own sound equipment and the recorders to see if he could clean them up a little more.
Our medium within the group said that she mostly felt residual levels of high anxiety and fear, then finally, rage. Another outside party joined us for the evening and she felt the same emotions that our medium had, but on a smaller scale. She also indicated that she would likely never join us again.
We hope that tomorrow night will be better, though I cut my group by half. It will allow us to take turns and warm up when needed. Tomorrow's team includes myself, our medium, Emmett, Jasper on camera, Ben on sound and another eyewitness.
I finished typing up my entry and turned off the computer screen, sitting back to pop my neck a few times. My muscles still felt stiff from the cold. I rose from the chair and locked up before I headed upstairs. I stopped at the door of our bedroom, but detoured to Hayley's, across the hall.
Early on, Bella insisted that the door to her room always remain open. She didn't want the smell of stale air or the feeling that it was unused to happen. I agreed and didn't mind at all; it made sense. Sometimes, I would find her sitting on the flower shaped rug near Hayley's bed, reading one her bedtime stories. I had a harder time entering the room, but managed to play my piano more often.
I spread my hand across Hayley's pillow, wishing the scent of her shampoo still lingered, but it had slowly disappeared since her abduction. "I miss you, baby," I whispered. "Good night, sweetheart."
Seconds later, I was in our bedroom, my eyes quickly adjusting to the dark. The bathroom door was slightly ajar, light filtering through and across the room toward the bed where Bella lay. She was beautiful. I was a lucky man, watching as she shifted beneath the blanket, her leg sliding up against the other. Despite the cold, she hated wearing socks to bed but she had on leggings that looked incredible on her.
I slipped out of my jeans and shirt, throwing on a pair of pajama pants. My fingers curled around the familiar square box that I had bought weeks earlier. Hidden behind old t-shirts that I hardly wore, I lifted it out of the drawer and flipped the lid open. Nestled in black velvet was the ring I hoped to see on Bella's finger soon. Putting it away, I joined her in bed.
She grumbled as she curled up against my chest, "What took you so long?"
"Sorry," I said, kissing her forehead and slipping my arms around her shoulders. "I decided to write my report already, while it was still fresh."
"You work too hard," she whined softly, her hand scratching gently over my abdomen. My lips curled up into a smile, her little gesture a telltale sign for what she wanted. "I'm still cold." The sleepiness in her voice replaced with desire.
I ran a hand down her back, warming her and the other cupped her bottom, pulling her on top of me. She smiled down at me, shaking her head and all her silky hair. I pulled her mouth to mine and kissed her. One touch of her beautiful lips had my blood sizzling, my body heating and my desire spiraling.
What little clothes we wore, disappeared under urgent need, but gentle hands. She was beautiful in her pleasure, rapture on her sweet face as she pulled back enough to take me inside her. My hands ran over her gorgeous legs, and once again, I wondered how I could be so lucky to have her.
Mutual groans escaped us both, filling the air. Her hips rocked and rolled, her hands reaching for mine, pulling them up to cup her breasts. I groaned, unable to keep my eyes off her. I sat up and kissed her after her next moan, captured the following whimper as she fell over the precipice with a whisper of my name. I rolled our sweat soaked bodies, intertwining our fingers and pulling her arms over her head.
Her dark eyes met mine, lips quivering as she moved along with my strokes. "I love you," she whispered, her body arching as I touched a finger between us, to her slick, hot skin. She cried again as I skimmed my tongue around her pink nipple. At the tight hold of her around me, I let go with a groan of her name and the echoing words of my love for her. Sated and exhausted, I kissed her softly before rolling us once again, pulling her against my side.
Minutes passed before she said something that made my heart racing once again. "I'm ovulating tonight."
A few weeks earlier, we agreed that we wanted children and we would let nature take its course. Bella stopped taking her birth control pills the day after. We also discussed marriage that night and we already decided we'd get married the following year. The only thing that stopped us from setting a date was the fact that I couldn't seem to surprise her to pop the question.
On the two occasions I had planned to, she seemed to know what I was about to ask, and I would chicken out. It rather sucked when your girlfriend seemed to have some precognitive abilities and knew what was about to happen. She never seemed disappointed when I failed to ask, which I was thankful for, since I hated the idea of hurting her. In a way, she seemed to think we were playing a game. I was determined to catch her by surprise and she was trying hard not to reveal she knew it was coming.
It really wasn't fair.
"Oh really," I said softly, brushing some hair off her face and kissing her lips. "Give me about twenty minutes, let's double our chances." She giggled sweetly, pressing tiny kisses over my face, genuinely happy.
"I'll understand if I wore you out," she teased, her fingers tracing a pattern down my chest. I growled playfully, smacking her bottom and pulled her beneath me again. She grinned brightly as her hands wrapped around my neck. "Or maybe not."
It was just before midnight later that night, and everyone was cranky and cold. We rotated the teams every twenty minutes, giving everyone a chance to warm up. Even Jasper and Ben took breaks, and at those times, we had use hand held cameras while they remained in one of the warm vans.
"What the hell are we doing out here?" Emmett groaned. Another man that joined us, the owner of the video footage of the horse and figure nodded in agreement. He refused to share his name, having us call him Chuck, instead. He also insisted on wearing a ski mask to hide his face from the cameras. Since we couldn't see his face, I insisted that Emmett search him for weapons; I wasn't going to let someone armed near Bella.
I didn't blame him for wanting his role in the investigation to be private. Many people could not accept the idea of lingering spirits and even less accepted those that could see them. He was only being cautious, but his curiosity of what happened that night he and a few of his friends encountered the apparition had remained with him since. He simply wanted answers and some assurance that he wasn't insane.
"Let's head to that tree," Bella said, pointing to a lone tree near the west end of the bridge where Emmett had heard the baby crying. As he held up one of the hand held cameras toward us, Bella stated, "According to one of the reports from 1864, while the husband, a ranch hand, was out because some of their cattle was missing, he returned along with his employer to find his wife and two children had been killed during an Indian raid. His employer had gone for help while the husband sought those that killed his family. He was later found dead a mile from home."
"That's right," I replied. "That's one of the accounts, there are others that contradict it and claim that they came upon some of the Indian cattle thieves, killed a member or two, which later, prompted the tribe to attack the ranch."
"There was nothing else in the records?" Chuck asked.
I shook my head. "A flood claimed the area and any other reports were lost, there was no printing press for a while for newspapers, though there were various ones in neighboring towns, but just more accounts of the same event."
Chuck said, "The raiding party might explain the drums people say they hear."
"Then why the baby?" Bella asked, rubbing a gloved hand over her face. Her cheeks flushed from the cold.
"There was a car accident that killed a mother and child here," I mused and looked around us. The landscape was sparse, wide and covered with snow. Only a few rocks jutted out and there were a dozen trees or so. "The baby died at the scene."
"And the mother later," Bella said slowly, "On route to the hospital."
"How did you know?" Chuck asked the same question on the tip of my tongue first.
"It might explain why the child's spirit is still here," she indicated. "If the mother isn't around, we might not able to resolve this overnight."
I sighed. "I was afraid you'd say that," I groaned. "This is a case we might-" I stopped when I heard something come from the quiet road about three hundred yards from where we stood. Bella hushed us all and we quickly made our way toward the bridge. My radio squawked on my hip, and Bella pulled it off to answer Jasper.
"Yeah, we hear it, too. Hurry your asses up." After a second, she rolled her eyes and added, "Over."
"Already heading that way, Little Bird."
"Damn," Emmett hissed, trying to get up through a snowy embankment while still holding the camera up. Chuck kept up with us, excitement shining in his bright blue eyes.
As we made it to the bridge, the sound of a galloping horse was louder than before. It almost seemed like the animal was right on top of us. It huffed loudly, its breathing harsh, as was the agonized cry from a man. Bella stood beside me, her hands clamped tightly around my arm.
"He's a residual spirit," she whispered gravely. "He's not aware of us or his surroundings."
"Can you see him?"
She shook her head and the beanie she wore started to fall. I captured it and pulled over her hair again. Her gaze met mine as she whispered, "He's not associated with the baby."
"Hey, loca," someone said behind us.
Emmett cursed and jumped back, Chuck looked around for what spooked him, and Jasper pointed the camera toward Bella and Jacob.
"Fucking hell," Bella hissed, slapping Jacob's shoulder. "That's for scaring me."
Jacob laughed, dressed in a dark trench coat and suit, contrasting against the brightness of the snow around him.
"Who the hell are you talking to?" Chuck asked, looking thoroughly confused. I sighed, clapped a hand over his shoulder, and asked the others to join me. Whatever the reason that Jacob decided to pay Bella a visit, it wasn't something that the cameras needed to record, or have an outsider see.
As we walked onto the road, I asked who was able to see Jacob. Chuck was the only one that could not. That meant that Jasper, Emmett, Ben, and I could all see an angel of death. What that meant exactly, I had no idea. The day we'd seen him for the first time, Lauren saw him, too.
Chuck threw up his hands in frustration. "Will someone tell me what's goin—" His words died in his throat as something invisible and large brushed by all of us, almost knocking us off balance. "What the hell was that?"
It was exactly what I wanted to know, as I ran further down the bridge, the others right behind me. On the east end, was a beautiful horse, white on white, yet its features were clear to the naked eye. His front legs pawed at the ground as it tossed his head from side to side, its breath billowing out from his nostrils. His rider wasn't as clear as the horse, but I was able to discern that his height about just below six feet tall, a hat sat precariously on his head before he cried out in anguish, looking toward the wide-open space past the road.
"Tell me you're getting this," Chuck murmured. Emmett only nodded and Jasper grunted softly. With a wild cry from the horse, it reared on its hind legs before it took off and disappeared into the night, leaving no prints in the snow.
"Go, go," I hissed, "Go make sure the entity left no physical evidence behind." They all ran ahead and I was grateful for a few moments alone. I turned and ran back toward Bella, only to find her cradled in Jacob's arms.
"What's going on!" I growled as he handed her over to me.
"I apologize," he said softly, raising a dark eyebrow. "I needed her to connect to the mother of the child spirit here."
"And?" I ran a gloved hand over Bella's forehead to find it beaded with sweat. "I thought she said it was residual."
Jacob looked toward the bridge. "The man and his horse are residual, as are the drums you probably captured on your equipment." I hadn't heard any drums.
"I don't understand how the baby's spirit stayed behind. I thought that was your job," I said, feeling bitter that he asked Bella to do something that put her at risk.
"It's hard to explain."
"Try," I insisted. "I want to know what has so many of you around suddenly."
"Of course, I have. Bella has, too," I whispered as Bella started to stir. "There are more of you."
"Let's just say there was a change in management a few centuries ago and some spirits remained here on Earth because an angel wasn't there to guide them to the other side. Now, we're under new management."
"Are you serious? Are you telling me that heaven had some form of damn budget cuts?" I couldn't believe what I just heard. "What about the baby and mother?"
"The mother's spirit is keeping the baby's here."
"Oh, that was a tough one," Bella said softly as she clutched me tightly. "She's here."
Before I could ask what she meant, I felt the sudden drop of temperature, despite the bone deep cold I felt for the past few hours. "Where?" I cursed internally when I realized that I didn't have a camera with me. It was then that I heard the guys coming up behind us. "You better go, Jacob."
"I need to guide the mother and child," he said, shrugging. "I won't show up on camera, anyway."
"That's not creepy," Bella whispered and turned away from all of us. "Hello. Do you hear her?" At her words, the sounds of a child crying seemed to surround us. "Don't be scared. It's her."
She was helping join mother and child. As she did her thing, Chuck was sort of freaking out. The sounds of a baby crying out didn't help.
I'd concluded that no one new would be joining the team. Bella wasn't ashamed of her gift, but too many people knowing might prove to be a bad thing.
Already, Chuck wanted to ask about his grandfather. "He's supposed to have had this coin collection…" I ignored the rest of his words as his harsh voice whispered behind me.
"Shut up," I hissed at him.
Warmth seemed to emanate from nowhere, shocking all of us into a stupor as we stared toward the direction that Bella did. The wind that picked up swirled around us, warm and fragrant of baby powder and gardenias. The wail of a child's cry abruptly ended as quickly as it started.
Jacob's dark gaze met mine. He nodded, and as he turned, he disappeared.
"What the hell?" Jasper said, choking on his words. "What the hell just happened?"
Bella turned to look at all of us. "I would say that was a successful investigation."
"I would say so," I replied and pulled her to my side. "We'll reconvene in the morning at the office and meet up with Chuck after the holidays. That should give us enough time to gather everything we need from all the equipment."
I turned away from their confused faces, hating that I had to be an asshole. Bella and I weren't ready to tell them about everything they'd seen, but we would tell them. They had the right to know…or did they?
It would be a decision Bella and I would make together.
As we drove home, I realized that life was short. The small family recently reunited had been on the way home before they died. There was no reason to wait for the things I wanted. I no longer cared if she could somewhat predict future events. It didn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
"Are you all right?" I asked her, taking her hand in mine.
"Yes," she said softly. "That felt good and Jacob was very relieved."
"What do you think about what he said?"
She shook her head. "I hadn't seen him since that night we went to check out Rosalie's house. The last time, he was very cryptic and gave little away. He gave us more information, but left us with more questions."
"We should log these experiences with him and the others," I indicated, and then pointed to the glove department. Confused, she opened it to find a journal I had been keeping of sightings of others like Jacob.
At first, I hadn't noticed that he looked different. It was almost if he was out of phase; from one angle, he looked perfectly normal, but from another, he looked transparent, distorted.
Bella looked thoroughly horrified as she went through the six pages of the sightings. Tears started to form in her eyes and fell after fighting them for a few more minutes. I didn't know what to say to her, not with everything we had learned about Jacob and his kind.
Absentmindedly, she reminded me as she always did, not to take Potomac Drive into Aurora as she stared blankly out of her window. I followed her instructions. It was also a reminder that I needed to ask the crew to do some research on the ghost that haunted that stretch of road.
The second we arrived home, I insisted on a fire and bath. Together, we decided the best way to tell the others, was of what could be coming. As she sat back against my chest, her wet hair clinging to her shoulders and breasts, I slipped her engagement ring on her finger. Her body stilled as her eyes remained on the shiny diamond before she turned in my arms. Tear-filled eyes met my own in the same state.
I held her face in my hands, cheeks flushed from the warm water. "I love you so much, Bella. I know that tomorrow or years from now, I'll still want more of this. Sitting by a fire, sharing a book, or talking about how our day was, and waking up beside you every morning is the best feeling in the world to me. I want to be able to do this forever. Will you marry me, Bella?"
She smiled, tears slipping down her cheek and onto her lips. I swept them away with my thumbs and laughed as she nodded in answer, unable to say a word. Her mouth fitted over mine as she whooped in delight, giggling as she tightly wrapped her arms around my neck.
"We're going to have babies and get married."
"Uh, I was hoping we'd do that the other way around."
She nodded, still grinning. It was her "I have a secret" smile. "As long as we get married before the end of this coming summer, we should be good."
Did that mean she "seen" the baby already?
My eyes widened, and after a few shocked seconds, I waggled my eyebrows. "See, this old man still has it going on," I teased, making her throw her head back laughing.
It was a small reprieve before we faced the realities of the following day. Sometime in the next five months, most of my team was supposed to die. I shook away those thoughts. It wasn't the time to dwell on them. Instead, I focused on my Bella, my fianceé, the love of my life.
AN: This story will be betaed by kyla713, besides the note above and this one, you won't see many more unless I have a question. Send me your ghosts stories, thanks!