Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns Twilight and all recognizable characters and situations contained therein. All original content contained in this story is property of the author. Story is rated M and all chapters may contain graphic language, sexual content, violence, glorification of criminal behavior/activities, and mild drug use.
A/N: Just want to let everyone know I appreciate you sticking with this story! I know it's been a damn long time since I updated it! So I'm cycling through my stories, trying to update them all more evenly, this may mean shorter chapters, but more of them!
**The next morning Paul POV**
Bella puts down a plate of pancakes with 3 strips of bacon in front of me. We're both dressed to go into the shop, me in my baggy ripped jeans and Dixon-Black Auto Repair t-shirt, and her in black slacks that hug her curves and a fitted pink button down.
She fixes her own plate and sits down across from me as I put butter and syrup on mine. The atmosphere is tense, Bell looks skittish, like she knows what's coming. I take a few bites of my food before looking up at her seriously, "We need to talk about a couple of things Bell."
She winces, but her voice is calm, "Yeah? What's up?"
I sigh, "Look, are you ever going to talk to Charlie about what went on with him and your mom? Or are you just going to leave it unopened forever?"
She sighs, "I don't know… Chances are I probably won't ask. I really just don't think I want to know Paul. Can't you understand that? Aren't there things in your parents' history that you just don't want to know?"
"Fuck yeah there are, but the way Charlie talks sometimes when that subject comes up, I think I'd want to know exactly what happened." I reply.
Her fists clench, and she snaps at me, "Then you fucking ask him Paul. Look if you want to know you feel free to go and talk to my dad about it. I won't stop you. The only thing I ask is that you keep it to yourself."
Holding my hands up in mock surrender, I try not to push her too far, but I have to let her know what I'm thinking, "And if you have a sibling out there somewhere? Are you telling me you don't want to know about that?"
Her jaw drops, her whole face going slack for a moment as she looks at me with wide eyed shock, before exclaiming, "What? If I have a WHAT! How could that even be possible Paul? I think I'd know if my dad had been out running around after my mom left, and I doubt Renee would go out and have more kids after running out on me."
Sighing in exasperation, I let out some of my frustration, "Fucking duh, Bella! I'm not saying a YOUNGER sibling. What if you have an OLDER one?"
She takes a deep breath, I can almost hear her counting to 10 in her mind before she finally lets it out and looks back up at me, "Look just drop it, I don't want to talk about this, Paul."
Taking a frustrated breath, I run my hands through my hair before getting up and walking away, "Fucking fine, Bella. You stick your head in the sand the way you ALWAYS do about shit like this. I don't understand why you can never just listen to me! You're always sorry later, and you know it!"
I storm out the door grabbing my jacket and helmet off the hooks by the door, and calling back over my shoulder, "I'll see you at the shop, I'm going to take my bike!"
Taking the drop cloth off my bike, I toss it by the garage door, and put my jacket on before swinging my leg over the bike, and settling into the seat as I flip the ignition switch, and turn the key. The bike roars to life under me, the snarling fury taking me to a place of bliss.
I rev the engine, listening to her snarl with my eyes closed, I know Bella is next to me before she even says or does anything, the sweet smell of her perfume envelops me.
Opening my eyes I catch hers, noticing that she has her helmet, and her leather that Leah made her on, I look at her quizzically. She shrugs, "I love you, and you're right, I'm always sorry when I don't listen to you, and when it comes to the subject of my parents I am a stubborn ass, and I'm sorry. If you're going to talk to Charlie, I want to be there. Whatever I find out, it'll be worth whatever dismay it initially causes me if it helps us move past all the Renee shit."
Nodding I wrap my arms around her and pull her close, whispering in her ear, "Thank you."
**Time Skip One Week Later still PPOV**
Dinner with Charlie and my dad is turning into an almost nightly occurrence, I know for my Dad it's a chance to connect with us all, a chance to make up for all the time lost. For Charlie it's a chance to check in with Bella, I know he misses her living with him, and I know that someday one, or both, of them will probably live with us.
I've been biding my time, trying to pick the best time to talk to him, unfortunately with the difficulties my parents have been having, my Pack duties, and Bella giving me that nervous look all week I haven't had a chance. I want to talk to him, but at the same time, I just want a chance to take a breath.
Finally, as the last plate is cleared, and stacked in the dishwasher, my dad stands up, "Alright Son, I'm gunna head on out."
He gives me a one armed hug, and heads out the door. Charlie starts to get up, and I hold a hand up, "Pops wait. Bella and I want to talk to you."
Bella sighs, "I think that's a bit of an overstatement, I'm just along for the ride."
She comes over and we all sit down at the table. He looks at me, "So, uh, what's goin on?"
I look pointedly at Bella, who sighs, before starting to talk, "Dad, I think it's time that you tell us what happened with Renee."
Pops' eyes bug out, "Bella are you sure? Once this is out, it can't be taken back. I just. I don't want you to hate me, Baby Girl."
Bella tears up a little, and she chokes out, "Daddy… I could never hate you. Not ever. It's just time, we've been dancing around it for years."
He nods, "Okay… Damn, I wish I could have a beer for this…"
Handing him a joint, I ask, "Will this do, instead?"
Pops shoots me a furtive grin, "Yeah, I guess."
Taking it, he pops it into the corner of his mouth, and lights it with his lighter. Setting back in his seat he takes a deep drag, holding it for a few seconds, and then exhaling in a rush.
He leans on the table, and starts to talk, "Well. You know that your mom and I, we met when her family moved here the summer before our sophomore year of high school. We were both 15, and we started dating in mid September. Things got heavy pretty quick, and by December she had skipped a period. We were scared to death, but determined to make it work."
Bella's face is carefully blank, Charlie stops to take a long, deep drag on the joint. He holds the smoke for almost 20 full seconds, and lets it out in long exhale, and starts again, "We snuck down to the clinic in Port Angeles, they told us she was only 6 weeks along, that she had plenty of time to decide what she wanted to do. She told them she already knew what she wanted to do, she was keeping it. God, she was so excited to be a mom…"
He takes a shuddering breath, and goes on, "We kept it secret as long as we could. It was winter so it wasn't like anyone questioned her heavy clothes. She was due in August, so we figured if we could just get through the rest of the school year we'd be home free. Well when spring rolled around and it started to get warmer I guess her mom started to become suspicious. Well one day in May, she had gone out, and Renee I guess was in her room admiring her belly the way pregnant women do, and her mom snuck back in, and caught her. It was our worst nightmare come to life."
Bella looks stricken, and Charlie is about white as a ghost, trapped in his memories. He puffs the joint, and continues, "Lynda dragged Renee down to the clinic in Port Ang, she demanded they 'take care of it'. Of course by this time Renee was about 6 months along, and they told her it was too late for that. Renee called me, and I showed up at the clinic. Lynda threatened to call the cops on me, report me for rape. We were both only just 16, she probably could have done it. She cornered me, told me if I went along with what she wanted that she wouldn't press charges. All I had to do was convince Renee to give up the baby. I tried my damnedest, told her I wasn't ready to be a dad, asked her how were we going to support ourselves? Let alone a baby!"
He breaks off again, taking a shuddering breath, puffing the joint. Bella has tears running down her face, I put my arm around her, holding her close, as Charlie goes on, "Well, Renee would not be dissuaded. She loved that baby so much already, she couldn't bear to think about not raising him herself. Lynda backed off only because the doctors told her that the amount of stress she was putting on Renee would likely kill her. In the end none of it really even mattered. Back then, well young girls who were pregnant in this area didn't have a whole lot of say in what happened to them and the babies they carried. We got through the rest of the school year, both of us barely managed to make passing marks. Renee thought Lynda was relenting, her dad still had no idea. And when Renee went into labor she called me, and we went to the clinic without telling Lynda."
Charlie looks like one of those guys having a 'Nam flashback, and I can't even imagine how he feels right now. He kills the joint, stubs it out in the ashtray on the table, and continues, "Well one of the nurses at the clinic called Lynda, and she got there about 20 minutes after the baby was born. She smiled, and Renee thought it was gonna be okay. She handed her the baby. Lynda looked at him, and then handed him to the doctor and told him, 'find him a good home. She's giving him up for adoption.'."
Bella by this time is crying, Charlie looks about there too, and even I feel tears pricking my eyes, as he continues, "Your mother started screaming, I tried to comfort her, and she looked up at me, tears streaming down her face, screaming at me, 'don't let them take him! Don't let them take him, Charlie! Please! Don't let them take our baby!'. Well, like I said, back then in this area a 16 year old unwed mother really didn't have much of a say. Lynda said she was giving him up, and so, she was giving him up. For 20 minutes Renee held that baby, bonded with him, and the loss of him nearly killed her. She had to be committed, she wouldn't eat, couldn't sleep, she had screaming nightmares. When she finally came back to school we were halfway through junior year. The teachers I guess had heard some of what had happened, and they passed her just on her trauma I guess."
Raking a hand through his hair, he takes another breath, and goes on, "The school had orders to keep Renee and I apart. We were never to even be in the same room together. Her mom dropped her off, and picked her up every day. Finally, I caught her in the hallway and we skipped the rest of the day. We went down to Billy's, he and Harry were the only friends I had left. We were both close to 17 by this point, and when your grandmother threatened to call the cops on me I told her to go on and do it if she wanted, it wasn't going to stop me from seeing her. Your grandfather I guess got her to back off, she wasn't about to tell him what she had hidden from him, so she had no real argument. The man had no idea what had happened to his daughter, and he wanted to see some life back in her eyes, and so he put his foot down."
He takes another pause, and I get up and get him a glass of water, he drinks half of it before continuing, "Our relationship was slow getting back to any semblance of normalcy, we loved each other, but your mother resented me for allowing her mother to take our baby. She didn't trust me at that point. We stuck it out though, and eventually things evened out. May of Senior year we found out she was pregnant again. This time though, we had a plan. She didn't go to a doctor, she bought over the counter pre-natal vitamins from a drug store in Port Angeles, and after graduation I enrolled in the police academy. I turned 18 in June, and the day Renee turned 18 in August we went down, and got married at the courthouse. There was no way that I was gunna take any chance of your grandmother interfering this time. Billy and Sarah were married by this time and the twins were about a year old. They gave us a place to stay until I could afford a place of our own. My parents helped us out a little, but her parents refused to talk to us, and soon after you were born they passed away in a car accident. Your mother… she did love you Bella, she just, she was so afraid to get attached to you, afraid that someday someone, or something, would come along and take you away too. She never got over the loss of our first baby. Even though he's out there somewhere, and he probably has a good life, she just couldn't accept that he wasn't with her."
He breaks off, and drinks the rest of the water, before continuing, "She didn't leave us, because she didn't love us, Bells. She left us because she just couldn't stay here anymore without going insane from her own grief… it was killing her, Baby Girl. It was never you, it was just her own fear and her own grief that drove her away. Do you see? Do you understand now, why I can't stand to hear you hate her?"
Bella nods, her head still down, wiping away her tears, "Is that why you took Paul, and the guys under your wing?"
He nods slightly, "Partly. My son is out there somewhere, and hopefully he has a good father, someone who loves him even though he isn't biologically his. I figure the best Karma I can put out there for that is to look after other men's sons and care for them even though they aren't mine."
Charlie looks at Bella, "Are you okay? Do you hate me?"
Her head snaps up to look at him, "Daddy I could never hate you. Not ever. You didn't have a choice, neither did mom. I'm so sorry that you both had to go through that."
The testament of how much Charlie's story affected her, is the fact that for the first time since I've known her, she voluntarily calls Renee 'mom'. She gets up, and goes over to him, sitting lightly on his lap and wrapping her arms around his neck, telling him, "I love you, Daddy. Thank you for telling me."
He holds her tightly, whispering, "I love you too, Baby Girl."
They sit like that for a while, leaving me to my thoughts. Could Emmett be the son that was taken from Charlie, and Renee? The odds are so slim it's not even funny. If he is, what is he doing here? Is he looking for them? Or is it just coincidence?
Normally, I would stay out of Bella's family trauma, but this has to do with The Pack now. On the other hand I don't want to bring this to Charlie and not be sure. He gives Bella a squeeze, and she stands up, "You getting ready to head out, Daddy?"
He nods, "Yeah, I got some stuff I have to take care of before I go on shift."
He gives me a nod, "Son. See you tomorrow night."
Nodding back, I reply, "Sure thing Pops. Have a good one."
Charlie leaves. I lock the doors, and set the alarm, before going to sit down in my recliner. Bella comes over, and I pull her down onto my lap, nuzzling her neck, "Are you okay?"
She wraps her arms around my neck, "Yeah, I'm okay. It's just so sad, what they went through. That they lasted through that mess is fucking insane. They never really had a chance though, Paul. It was only a matter of time…"
I hold her tightly, feeling her tears on my neck, whispering in her ear, "I love you, Bell."
She clings tighter, whispering back, "I love you too, Paul. Always."
Holding my girl, I formulate a plan, first step, get to know our newest prospect…see what his story is. If he's adopted I can go from there. If he's not, then I know it's not something that I need to think about anymore, and I can put those weird feelings to rest.