"Twisted Twilight Tales" O/S Contest
Fairy Tale Chosen: Beauty and the Beast
Title: A Stolen Heart
Word Count: 18,067
Pairing: Edward and Bella
Summary: Bella's father is sick with no hope of surviving. Bella is desperate for a miracle. When a strange girl tells her of a man who might be able to help her father she goes searching for him. Three weeks are the terms of her service in exchange for his help.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the characters involved.
Medical Disclaimer: The names of the diseases in this story are completely fiction. There is no illness named Pretellius or Mosterosous. Sequins49, who happens to be my little sister, helped me come up with the names. Please don't go googling them to find out more, because you won't find anything…at least I don't think you will.
I sat at my father's bedside holding his hand and crying while he slept. I wasn't even sure if he knew I was here. My dad had suddenly become very ill a few weeks ago. At my insistence, I took him to the doctor. We were bombarded with the devastating news he had an incurable blood disease. At the most, he had about six months left to live. The doctors at the Seattle hospital were doing everything they could to keep him alive, but there wasn't a whole lot anyone could do. I very rarely left his side at the hospital. I wanted him to know I was here with him.
"Bella," he whispered. "Go back to school. I don't want you to see me like this."
I shook my head. "I'm not leaving. You're going to pull through. We'll find something."
"Bella, please accept my fate. I don't want you to hold on to false hope. You need to let me go."
"I'm not giving up, Daddy. I will fight for you as long as I have to."
"You need to go back to school. I know how important being a doctor is to you. You can't give up your dream to watch me die."
"I'm not giving up anything. I'm taking care of my dad. It's not going to hurt me to take some time off from school for a while. Now stop arguing with me. You need to save your energy for more important things."
He gave up arguing with me and fell back asleep. I hated seeing him so helpless. I needed a miracle.
Just as I was thinking about needing a miracle, Jake, whom I have known most of my life, walked in the room. He had been a close family friend since I was a little girl. We grew up together and he was one of my closest friends.
"How is he doing?" he asked.
I sighed. "I don't know. Some days are better than others. The doctors have all pretty much given up hope. I've been looking into other hospitals and even foreign doctors. There has to be someone out there who can help us. I can't give up."
He placed a hand on my shoulder for comfort. "Bella, you can't do this to yourself. You're going to end up hurting yourself in an attempt to save him. You need to let it go."
I jerked my shoulder away from him in anger. "I'm not giving up," I said sternly. I stood to my feet and walked out of the room. I know he was only trying to help and probably worried about me. I just couldn't, in good conscious, stop everything and wait for my dad to die. There had to be something out there.
I went to the cafeteria and found a small table in the far corner of the room. I needed some time to think. I was reading through a large medical book, when a strange girl sat down across from me. I slowly raised my eyes to look at her.
"Hello," she greeted.
"Hi," I hesitantly said.
"Have you ever heard of Edward Cullen?"
"No, I haven't."
"He's my brother. He changed his name to Edward Masen, so we wouldn't find him. But I know it's him. I'm afraid to go see him, though. I'm afraid he'll turn me away."
"I'm sorry to hear that," I sympathized. I stared at her strangely. I didn't know why this strange girl felt the need to tell me all this information.
"That's actually why I'm here," she explained. "Edward Cullen is a genius, to put it mildly. He used to create medications and treatments for rare diseases. He was famous all over the world. It's not normal for a scientist to be seen like a movie star, but he was. Then after an accident involving his business partner, he suddenly fell off the face of the planet. No one has seen or heard from him for over five years."
"And why is this relevant to me?" I asked.
"He's nearby, Bella. He lives deep in the woods near Forks. He doesn't ever leave his house. Your friend Jake's company delivers to him."
"I still don't understand why you're telling me. How do you know my name and Jake's name?"
"I've been watching you for a while. I know about your dad. My brother can help you. I'm sure of it. I'm hoping if he helps someone again, then maybe he won't feel the need to hide anymore. Maybe you can be the one to bring him back to us."
"Do you really think he could help my dad?" I asked, excitedly. I didn't pay attention to the rest of what she said. It really wasn't a concern of mine if her brother was in hiding. All I wanted was my dad to get better.
She squeezed my hand, smiling at me. "I know he can." She stood from her chair and walked away. Inside my hand, she had left a folded up paper. I looked back up and she was gone. She was a strange girl, to say the least. I opened up the paper and on it was a map of where I could find this Edward Cullen or Masen person.
I went back to my dad's room and saw Dr. Snow looking over my dad.
"Any change?" I asked.
He looked at me regrettably. "I'm sorry Bella. The only thing we can hope for is a miracle."
I sat down next to my dad, sighing. "Have you ever heard of an Edward Cullen?" I wondered, nonchalantly.
"I have. Where did you hear about him?"
"I just heard of him in passing. Apparently he's some sort of genius."
"Yeah, he was. No one has heard from him in years, though. He disappeared after he killed his business partner."
"He killed his business partner?" I gasped.
He shrugged. "It's never been proven, but most people think he did. From what I've heard, he's an arrogant bastard. He wasn't easy to get along with."
The thought of him killing someone in the past made me a little nervous to meet him, but I was desperate. I would do anything at this point.
"Can I ask why you're so curious about Edward Cullen?"
"I just thought he might be able to help in some way," I answered.
He laughed. "Even if you knew where to find him, I doubt he'd help you. He's not interested in helping anyone, but himself."
I laughed it off, pretending like I didn't care. But I had to try.
The next morning, I got in my car and drove the three hour drive to the outskirts of a small town named Forks. The map the strange girl had given me was a little hard to follow. There were so many dead-end dirt roads. I kept getting lost. Eventually, I found the right road and suddenly came face to face with the largest house I had ever seen. I didn't even know something like this house existed in this small town.
I looked in my mirror, smoothing out my hair and reapplying my lipstick. I wanted to make a good impression. I stepped out of my car and walked up to his door. I rang the doorbell, once, twice, and a third time. There was no answer. I didn't come all this way to not get an answer. The girl I met said he never leaves his home. He had to be here. I walked around to the back of the house, noticing an open door. I walked up to it, calling out for anyone to answer. I stepped inside, looking around for any sign of life in the house.
"Is anyone here?" I called. Inside the house, it was really dark. There was very little light. All the windows were covered with thick curtains. I couldn't see anything.
I was startled by the slamming door behind me. Any light the open door let in was suddenly gone. Fear rushed through me as I noticed a figure standing by the door in the darkness.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, angrily.
"I… I'm looking for Edward Cullen," I answered, timidly.
"He's not here?"
"Then can I ask you what your name is?"
He scoffed at my request. "You break into my house and you want to know who I am?"
I sighed, realizing how rude I was being. "I'm sorry. My name is Bella Swan. I'm a medical student at the University of Washington. I'm looking for Edward Cullen. Is he here?"
"I already told you no. Now get out of my house."
"If this is your house, then you must be Edward. Please, I need your help," I pleaded.
"I can't help you."
"You don't even know what it is I need help with," I argued, taking a step closer to him.
He retreated to another room quickly. I followed.
"If you are Edward, my dad is really sick. I heard you were a great scientist and might be able to help me save him. I'm desperate. I'll give you anything you want if you can just tell me how to save him."
"I can't save him. I can't do anything for you."
"I don't believe you," I countered. "Please, I'll do anything."
I heard him sigh into the darkness. I walked closer to him, trying to see his face. He remained hidden in the shadows. I wondered why.
"What is it your dad is suffering from?"
"Pretellius. The doctors are giving up on him. They say there's no hope. But I think you might be able to help me."
"What makes you think I can help you?" he laughed, mocking me.
"I guess I'm just hoping you'll be willing to try."
"If the doctors can't do anything, neither can I."
"Please," I begged, on the verge of tears. "I'll do anything you want." At this point, nothing was beneath me to do. If he wanted my soul, I'd give it to him.
"You'll do anything?" he asked.
"Whatever you want," I agreed, seeing a glimpse of hope.
He thought it over for a moment. "You say you're a medical student. How far into medical school are you?"
"I'm in my third year."
"Fine," he concurred. "Here are the terms. It's not something I can do in a day. It's going to take some time to do research and find the right formula to help your dad; if I'm even able to do it. I'm going to need an assistant. You stay here with me for three weeks. You help me and do whatever it is I tell you to do, while I attempt to create something to help your dad. I'm not making any guarantees, though. There's a good chance I won't be able to help him."
"But you're willing to try?" I asked to clarify.
"If you agree to the terms."
"How am I supposed to visit my dad? I can't leave him for three weeks."
"It's a choice you'll have to make. I'm not forcing you to accept my offer. If you decide to accept, come back here tomorrow night."
He rushed through the door leading outside. I followed behind, hoping to get a glimpse of him. However, by the time I reached the door, he was gone. I looked all over trying to find him, but he was nowhere to be found.
I got back in my car and headed down the dirt path. My body was still shaking from the strange encounter I had with him. I really didn't know what to think of him. He frightened and worried me. How could I actually spend three weeks with this man I didn't know?
I drove back to Seattle, contemplating my decision all the way. Part of me was willing to do anything. But another part of me was saying to stay as far away as possible.
I got back to the hospital and walked into my dad's room. He looked so helpless, lying there. Even though every fiber in my body was saying not to do it, one glance at my dad made my decision.
The next day, I packed a bag, visited my dad one last time, and headed back towards Forks. I chose not to tell anyone where I was going, knowing if I had, they would have tried to convince me not to go. I had no choice but to go. This was my only hope.
I pulled up to the house just as the sun was going down. I took a deep breath, forcing myself to go through with this. I walked up the steps and rang the doorbell. The door slowly opened, but no one greeted me. I walked through the door, trying to see behind it. As soon as I was in, the door slammed behind me. Once again, I was surrounded in darkness.
"Is there a light I can turn on? I can't see a thing."
"There is a switch at the bottom of the stairs. Your room is the second door on the right."
I squinted through the darkness to make out the stairs. I walked across the room and flipped the light switch on. I turned back around to see him, but he was still hiding in the darkness.
"Do I even get to see what you look like?" I asked.
"Why do you need to see what I look like? Is it going to change your dad's condition if you can see my face?" he argued, with a hint of anger.
"No, I'm only curious. If I'm going to live here for three weeks, I'd like to know who it is I'm living with."
Slowly he stepped into the light. I narrowed my eyes, trying to make him out. He was tall, slender, broad shoulders, and bronze colored hair. But the thing I noticed more than anything was the scarring on his face. I gasped, bringing my hand to my mouth. I turned away, unwilling to look at him.
He grumbled, hastily running out of the room. I felt horrible for what I did. It wasn't like me to be so judgmental at someone's appearance. I was just caught off guard. I didn't expect to see the grotesque scar on him.
I walked up the stairs and found my room. It was like a fairytale. There was a 4 poster king size bed with crisp white bedding. There was also a matching dresser and vanity. In the corner was a marble fireplace. The carpet was plush and soft. I could literally fall asleep on the floor, it was so soft. On the walls were large landscape paintings. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling. On the right were two doors. One led into a huge walk-in closet and the other led into a designer bathroom, complete with whirlpool tub and separate shower. The faucets were gold as was the trim of the mirrors. The whole room was beautiful. I felt like a princess being in this room.
I quickly unpacked my stuff, wanting to get started as soon as possible. I didn't know what it was I had to assist him with, but whatever it was, I wanted to get started. The sooner I started, the sooner I could leave. I walked back down stairs, exploring the house. I wanted to familiarize myself with where I was. This place was huge so it would be easy to get lost.
"Dinner is ready," Edward announced from behind me, scaring me once again. I turned around and followed him to the dining room, which was only lit by a few candles placed on the table.
He held out my chair for me at the large table. I sat down, thanking him for his politeness. He carried out a plate and placed it in front of me. I looked down at the pasta dish with broccoli and beans. I'd never seen anything like it before, but I didn't want to be rude. I took a bite as he watched me. I was surprised how good it tasted.
I hummed in appreciation. "This is really good. Did you make this or do you have a cook?"
"Do you see anyone else living here?" he asked, rudely.
"I was only curious," I defended. "Forget I asked."
I went back to eating my meal, refusing to talk to him for the rest of the meal. When I was done, I went straight to my room. I took out my cell phone hoping to call the hospital to get an updated on my dad. Unfortunately, I didn't get service all the way out here. Great, I thought to myself. How am I supposed to go three weeks with no contact to the outside world?
As comfortable as the bed was, I couldn't seem to sleep. Something about this place made me nervous. Or maybe it was Edward who made me nervous. In the middle of the night, I walked downstairs, exploring the house even more. I was hoping I might come across a telephone. There had to be a way he had contact to the outside world. The girl said Jake delivered stuff up here. He had to have a way to make orders.
In the kitchen, there was a sliver of light coming from beneath a door. I walked over to it, trying to listen for movement. I could hear a lot of rustling of papers and glasses clinking together. I heard a large thud, startling me slightly. I was so curious as to what he was doing this late at night. I carefully opened the door and peaked through. The blinding light shined through the crack. It was the brightest room in the entire house. I looked down, barely able to make out his shadow on the wall. I wanted to know what he was doing. If he was working on a medication for my dad, I wanted to help.
I took a step in the room and slowly took a few steps down the stairs. I made it about half way down, when one of the steps creaked as I stepped on it. Edward froze for a second, before rushing to the bottom of the stairs. He looked up at me with anger burning in his eyes. My mouth went dry from the fear rushing through me.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded.
"I wanted to know what you were doing. I thought you might be working on a cure for my dad and I wanted to help. Isn't that why I'm here?"
"You aren't here to spy on me. You aren't allowed down here until I say so. Now get out," he shouted.
"You don't have to be so rude. I wasn't spying. I was only curious."
"You're curious about everything, aren't you? Curious about stuff that isn't any of your business," he said.
"Look, you have barely talked to me since I've been here and when you do you're rude and arrogant. Why am I even here if you won't tell me what I'm supposed to be doing?"
"You're supposed to be sleeping right now?" he ordered.
I crossed my arms in front of me. "I'll sleep when I feel like sleeping. I don't take commands from anyone, especially not you. Now, either you tell me what I'm supposed to do, or I'm leaving."
He glared up at me, taking a couple steps up the stairs. I could get a good look at the scar he had on his face. It was only on one side and mainly on his cheek and neck. It really wasn't as bad as I originally thought it was.
"Let's get something clear. You are a guest in my house. I will not take orders from someone in my own home. You are free to leave whenever you wish. I'm not forcing you to stay here. If you wish to stay, you will do as I say," he demanded.
I narrowed my eyes at him, clenching my jaw in anger. "I will sleep when you sleep."
He laughed. "What, do you not trust me? Are you afraid I'm going to kill you in your sleep?"
"Do you plan to?" I countered.
"No," he answered, coldly.
"Then, can you please tell me what I'm doing here? I want to help, but you need to trust me."
He stared up at me for a moment, looking deep in my eyes. I never removed my eyes from his. I wasn't going to be intimidated by him.
"I'll explain the plan to you in the morning. Now if you don't mind, I have work to do." He turned, and walked back to his work station. I followed him down.
"What is it you're working on?" I asked.
He slammed his fist on the workbench. "Do you not get the hint?" he shouted. "I don't want you down here. Get out." I didn't move. He grumbled in frustration, slamming his stuff on the table. He briskly walked over to me and grabbed my arm.
"Let go of me," I demanded. He pulled me up the stairs by the arm. I fought against his hold and yelled at him to let me go, but he wouldn't. He shoved me into the kitchen and walked back into the room. I ran back to the door to follow him, but he locked me out. I banged on the door a couple times, trying to get his attention.
"I told you I will explain things in the morning. Now, go to bed," he shouted through the door. I banged on the door a couple more times before I gave up and slid down to the floor next to the door. If I couldn't watch what he was doing, I was going to listen. I wanted to know what he was working on. I listened carefully to every movement, every bang, every sigh in frustration, and every fist hitting the table in anger.
I must have fallen asleep at some point. I woke up in the bed he provided for me the next morning. I didn't know how I got there, but I had a feeling he carried me up. The thought of him touching me disgusted me. I didn't want an ass like him doing anything nice for me. I would have preferred to sleep on the hard ground.
I took a long shower, enjoying the heat from the water. Once I was dressed for the day, I walked down the steps. At the bottom of the stairs, Edward stood waiting for me.
"Breakfast is ready," he announced. I followed him into the dining room and once again he held out my chair for me to sit down. I refused to thank him today. He placed the plate of scrambled eggs and thick toast in front of me. I picked up the bread, pulling a piece off roughly and sticking it in my mouth. It tasted fresh, which surprised me.
"Is this fresh bread?" I asked.
"I made it this morning."
"You made it?" I questioned, with a shocked expression.
He barely glanced up at me. "Yes, I made it. Do you think because I'm a guy I don't know how to cook?"
"I didn't mean it that way. It's just people don't typically make fresh bread anymore."
"I make everything possible fresh. Whatever I can't, I have delivered."
"What about the eggs?"
"I have chickens up on the hill."
"You have chickens?" I asked, excited. I loved chickens. "Am I allowed to see them?"
"Why wouldn't you be allowed?" he countered.
"You seemed to have a lot of rules last night. I'm just curious what exactly I'm allowed to do and not allowed to do."
"There you go again being curious about something you shouldn't be curious about."
"It's not okay for me to be curious what I'm allowed to do?" I countered. He glared at me, unwilling to answer.
"I've done some research on your dad's disease," he changed the subject. "I'm not sure if it'll work, but I have a plan. I'm going to need your help in the greenhouse today. When we're done, you're free to see the chickens if you really want to."
"Thank you," I accepted. He nodded his head once and went back to eating his breakfast.
"So, when do you sleep?" I asked. "You must have been up pretty late last night and if you made fresh bread this morning that must have taken some time."
His fork clanked against his plate in irritation. "You aren't here to ask me questions. You're here to help me."
"I'm only trying to make friendly conversation."
"I'm not looking for a friend."
"Whatever," I breathed.
We ate the rest of our meal in silence. After breakfast, he cleared the table and washed the dishes. He must have been used to doing things in the dark, because even in the kitchen there was barely any light.
After he was done, we walked out to the greenhouse. At least outside it was brighter.
"These are plants. We'll need specific ones for what I'm attempting to create," he explained.
"Don't talk to me like I'm stupid," I demanded. "I know what a plant is. I may even be smarter than you. I did have a 4.0 all through college and medical school."
He scoffed at my attempt to intimidate him. I distinctly saw him role his eyes and smirk. It only made me more irritated with him.
"Alright, if you're so smart, then why do you need me?" he countered. I glared back at him, but didn't respond. "That's what I thought."
The rest of the day, he made me care for the exotic and strange plants. Each type needed a different kind of care. As the day progressed and I kept my mouth shut, he actually seemed like a decent human being.
Once we were done in the greenhouse, he pointed me out to where the chickens were. I rushed up the hill to the small wood and wire building. Inside were half a dozen red chickens. I reached in the bin next to the coop and scooped out some food. I sprinkled it on the ground watching them peck the ground to eat. I laughed at the littlest chicken trying to fight its way in.
I looked back towards the house catching Edward standing next to the greenhouse watching me. He quickly ducked his head and walked away. I stayed on the hill a little longer, taking in the fresh air. I watched the sun go down over the trees, enjoying the peace and quiet.
As dusk fell over the forest, I walked back to the house. I stepped inside, hearing Edward in the kitchen. I walked in watching him cook at the stove for a moment.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" I offered.
I walked out, sighing in frustration. I didn't know what his problem was. He was such a jerk all the time. He didn't know how to accept kindness or give kindness.
I sat down at the dining room table, waiting for him to come in. Whatever it was he was cooking filled the house with a delicious smell. He carried in two plates, placing one in front of me and sitting down with the other in front of him. I looked down at what appeared to be enchiladas. I cut away a piece, putting it in my mouth. Instead of the familiar meat inside, it was black beans, red peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini. It was different, but really good.
"Are you a vegetarian?" I asked.
His fork clanked against his plate. "Are trying to say you don't like the food?" he asked in an irritated tone.
"No, it's good. I was only… curious," I said, ducking my head. I knew he didn't like me being curious about his personal life. I bit my lip, cutting off another bite from the enchiladas. I tried to eat without talking to him. I didn't want to upset him anymore than I already had. I needed this medication. I believed if there was anyone who could create a treatment for my dad, it would be him. Spending time with him all day in the greenhouse showed me just how smart he truly was.
He dropped his fork on his plate, sitting back in his chair and sighing dramatically. "Since you're so curious about stuff, I'm giving you one opportunity to ask me anything you want."
He watched me, waiting for my questions. "Are you a vegetarian?" I asked, timidly.
"Why do you live in the dark?"
"I don't have electricity all the way out here. My house is run on solar panels and generators. I try to save as much energy as I can."
"Then why have all the curtains closed? If you opened them up during the day you could have a lot of natural light."
"I'm not in the house much during the day. There's no reason to open windows when I'm not here."
"Why do you live in such a large house if it's only you?"
"You can't answer a question with another question?"
"See, you did it again."
He sighed. "I bought the house as is. I didn't choose for it to be so large. It just had everything else I needed."
"Did it come furnished?"
"How do you survive up here all by yourself? I've heard you don't leave the grounds of your home. How do you get supplies or food?"
"Most everything I plant or make myself. Anything I can't, I order and have delivered. The delivery man knows not to come up to the house. He drops it off at the end of the driveway and I pick it up later."
I nodded my head in understanding.
"I take it you know the delivery man? It must be how you found me, since he's the only one who knows I'm here," he remarked. It was the first personal question he'd asked me.
"Yeah, I know the guy who owns the delivery service. One of his drivers delivers up here."
"I guess my non-disclosure agreement is null and void now," he said, speaking to himself.
I got a sudden twinge of guilt in my stomach. Had I just got Jake in trouble? "He wasn't the one who told me. It was someone else," I excused.
"Relax," he said. "I'm not going to do anything to him. I'll just need to send an email and make sure he's aware of what the consequences are if he breaks the contract."
I swallowed hard, feeling horrible for getting Jake in trouble. "It really wasn't him who told me," I repeated. He looked at me like he didn't believe me, though.
"Why don't you want anyone to know you're here?" I asked.
"Questions are over. Eat."
I didn't like him ordering me around, but I did as he said. I didn't want to get anyone else in trouble.
After we were done eating, he cleared the table and washed the dishes. I was about ready to go upstairs, but he called me into the kitchen. I walked in and the door leading down to the room he was in last night was open.
"Are you ready to get started?" he asked. I nodded my head, following him down to the room.
"What you see down here, needs to stay confidential. I don't need police breaking down my door thinking I have a meth lab. I have a degree in chemistry, biochemistry, botany, biology, and genetics. I know exactly what I'm doing."
"Who am I going to tell?"
"I need you to also pay strict attention to everything I say. One wrong move could make my entire house go up in flames. I don't want that to happen. Be careful and don't touch anything unless you're asked to."
"Okay," I agreed. As much as I hated the fact of him ordering me around, I knew he was right. I had to be careful in a lab. If he knew what he was doing, I needed to listen.
He nodded his head in acceptance, leading me closer to his lab. I didn't get a very good look around last night, but the sight of everything he had here was captivating. I've never seen anything like it, even in my classes at school.
He began explaining what everything was and what we would be doing. The whole room was in perfect order. Not one thing was out of place. After seeing the way his house looked, the way the greenhouse looked, and now his lab, I got the impression he was a little bit of a perfectionist and clean freak.
He guided me in making a simple formula at first. I thought it was something important, but when I was finished and he drank the liquid, I realized it was nothing more than a syrupy drink. He made me try it. It tasted a little like Kool-Aid, but Edward said it would give us energy. It did. This explained why he never slept.
The following days, were much the same thing. We worked in the greenhouse during the day. We ate our meals together, silently, and after dinner we would work in the lab. We didn't talk much and I did my best to only ask questions about the work I was doing and not anything personal.
One day it was raining very hard. The greenhouse echoed the sounds of the rain, making it sound much worse than it probably was. Personally, the sound sort of scared me. However, Edward seemed to take comfort in the sound.
At the end of the day, we rushed back to the house through the rain.
"The chickens," I gasped.
"They'll be fine. They're used to it," Edward assured.
"I didn't feed them today. I didn't collect the eggs either."
"Bella, you can do it tomorrow. They aren't going to die from not eating one day."
"I have to. I'll be right back." I ran out into the rain and headed up the slippery hill. I could hear Edward calling my name behind me, but I didn't listen.
I quickly went inside the coop, spreading out a scoop of food on the dry portion of the ground and gathered up the few eggs there were. I tucked the eggs in my shirt and ran back through the rain, down the hill. I screamed as my foot slipped underneath me and I landed on my back. The eggs in my shirt flew up in the air and landed on top of me. I had egg in my hair, on my face, all over my shirt. Egg was everywhere. All I could hear was Edward laughing in the distance. I tried to stand up, but quickly realized my ankle was hurt. I collapsed back on the ground, in agony.
"Bella?" Edward called. In a flash he was at my side, looking me over. I held on to my ankle, crying at the pain rushing through my leg.
"What's wrong?" he asked in a concerned tone.
"I think I sprained my ankle. It really hurts," I cried. He quickly scooped me up in his arms and carried me into the house. He sat me down on the couch and rushed around the house to gather things up. He came back in and wrapped a blanket around my shoulders. He placed my leg on a pillow and put an icepack on it. Then he took a towel and began cleaning me up. I watched him closely. The expression he had on his face was different than usual. He looked sincerely concerned.
"I'm fine, really," I assured. He ignored me, continuing to dry me off and wipe the egg away.
"Edward," I said, grabbing his arm to stop him. His body was rigid at my touch. "I'm fine."
He stepped back, retreating to the kitchen. I rested my head back against the pillow and closed my eyes. Moments later, I heard Edward walk back into the room. I looked up at him as he held a cup of tea out to me.
"It'll help warm you up," he offered. I took the cup and sipped at the hot tea.
"Thank you," I said. He smiled, nodding his head. He sat down in a chair across from me and sipped at his own tea. He kept looking over at me, with a smirk on his face. Occasionally, he would even chuckle under his breath.
"What?" I asked, getting irritated with him.
He shook his head, trying hard not to laugh. "You have egg yolk in your hair and it's making a strand of hair stand straight up," he laughed, unable to hold it in anymore.
I raised my hand to my head, feeling the hair covered with sticky yolk. I could feel my face heat up with embarrassment.
"Let me help you," he offered, jumping to his feet. He grabbed the towel, gently wiping the egg out of my hair. I could still hear him chuckling. "Watching you fly though the air, and all those eggs land on top of you, was probably one of the funniest things I've ever seen."
"I'm glad I amuse you," I said, in an irritated voice.
"You do actually," he admitted. "I don't quite understand why you went running through the rain to feed a few chickens, when I told you they would be fine."
"I didn't want them to be hungry. I like the chickens."
He sat back down in the chair across from me. "Why do you like the chickens so much?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "I guess because they're another life form out here in the middle of nowhere. I don't know. Maybe it's because I like animals."
He scrutinized me closely as I answered his question.
"You know, I didn't expect you to come back after that first day you came up here. I thought I'd never see you again."
"Did you want to see me again?" I asked. To me it almost sounded like it hurt him to think I wasn't coming back.
"I didn't say that. I just mean… I never thought you would come back. You're different than most people."
"My dad needs help. I'll do whatever I have to. I'm just grateful you agreed to help me."
"Why is it you want to save your dad so badly?" he asked.
I stared at him, surprised by his question. "Why wouldn't I want to save my dad?"
"It sounds to me like you're willing to give up your entire life to save him. Why would you do that for someone?"
"He's my dad. I wouldn't be here without him." I ducked my head, trying to decide if I wanted to tell him anything personal. In the end I decided to tell him in hopes he would understand how important his help was. "My mom died in a car accident when I was really little. I was in the car with her and I should have died too. There's no reason for me to be alive. But by some miracle I survived. The car we were in caught on fire. My mom was already gone by the time the fire truck and police arrived. Charlie says he could hear the faint cry of a child coming from the car. Even though it was against the regulations, he risked his life and went in the burning car and retrieved me from my car seat just before the car exploded. I don't know who my biological father is, and I had no other relatives to speak of. Charlie, being the police officer who I believe was the only reason I survived, took me in and ended up adopting me. He's all I have and has made sure I have as normal a life as possible. He's the reason I wanted to go into medicine. I want to be able to save lives, like he saved mine. If I lose him, I'll be all alone." My eyes filled with tears at the thought of my dad dying. I peeked up at him. He stared at me with a gaping mouth and furrowed eyebrows. I sniffled, brushing the tears away from my eyes. "I think my ankle is okay now. I'm going to take a shower."
He jumped to his feet. "Do you need any help?"
I shook my head. "I think I'm okay. Thank you, though."
I hobbled across the floor, slowly making my way up the stairs. Instead of taking a shower, I drew myself a hot bath. I soaked in the warm water for a long time, relaxing all my muscles and washing all the egg and dirt off my body. I stepped out of the tub and wrapped my robe around me. Sitting at the end of my bed was a tray with a dome lid covering the plate. I simple red rose was placed in a vase at the corner of the tray. I walked over to it and smiled. It was really sweet. He brought me dinner, so I didn't have to hobble back down the stairs. I sat down on the bed, lifting the lid from the plate. Underneath was a large bowl of a hearty vegetable soup along with some fresh bread. I ate every single bite. I lay back on the pillow, relaxing and settling my stomach. There was a light knock on my door after a while. I sat up, calling for him to come in.
"I just came up to get your tray. I hope it was okay I left it on the bed for you."
"It was fine. Thank you," I said.
He picked up the tray, placing the vase with the rose on the nightstand next to the bed.
"I'm making chocolate cake. Would you like a piece when it's ready?" he asked.
"You're making chocolate cake?" I asked, in excitement.
"It's sort of my own recipe. It's Zucchini Chocolate Cake. It's good, though. At least I think it is," he explained.
I smiled. "I'm sure I'll love it. Chocolate is a girl's best friend," I teased. He laughed.
"Can I get you anything else?"
"No, I'm fine."
He nodded his head and carried the tray out of the room. I took out one of my medical books and began to study, while I waited. Even though I was taking some time off from school while my dad was in the hospital, I still needed to keep up on my studies.
About an hour later, Edward tapped against my door, before entering. He carried a plate with the chocolate cake. The minute he entered the room, I could smell the chocolate. My mouth watered in anticipation. I think he could see my enthusiasm. He had this pleased smirk on his face, like he was so proud of himself.
He placed the plate on my lap. I looked down at the square piece of cake with a chocolate drizzle over the top. I picked up my fork and took a bite. I moaned in enjoyment. It was so good. I knew there was zucchini in it, but I couldn't tell. All I tasted was chocolate.
"Aren't you having any?" I asked.
"I will. I wanted to bring you your piece first."
"Well, go get a piece and join me. I don't want to eat all alone."
He smirked, before heading down stairs to retrieve a piece of cake for himself. Moments later he walked in with a piece for himself. He sat at the edge of the bed and ate his piece of cake.
"This is really good," I said.
"I can tell you're enjoying it," he teased. I blushed again at his words.
"How is the ankle?" he asked, changing the subject.
"It's feeling much better. I think by tomorrow I'll be fine."
"Good," he said. "I should let you get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning."
He stopped at the door and turned back to me. "Goodnight, Bella," he said with a smile.
The next morning, I walked downstairs and noticed all the curtains in the house were open. The house was so bright and welcoming. I didn't know why he did it, but it was nice. I found a plate of food in the kitchen. I only ate a few bites, before heading out to the greenhouse. When I got to the greenhouse he wasn't there. I didn't know where he was.
I looked all around the property and all through the house, but he was gone. I decided to do what I normally do in the greenhouse, in hopes he would show up eventually. In the late afternoon, when he still hadn't shown up, I began to get worried. It wasn't like him to disappear like this.
I went in the kitchen to try and find something to distract me from worrying. I found a ball of dough in the fridge marked pizza dough. I could make pizza. I rolled it out on the counter and searched his fridge for other ingredients. I found some pizza sauce in the fridge, which looked fresh, as well as some mozzarella cheese, green peppers and mushrooms. I placed all the toppings on the pizza and stuck it in the oven. While it cooked, I walked around the house, looking out every window, in hopes he would somehow appear.
I was startled when I heard the fire alarm going off. I ran to the kitchen. I opened the oven getting smothered with smoke. I pulled out the pizza and placed it on the counter. Thankfully, it wasn't burnt. Some cheese had leaked off the side and hit the heating element, making it smoke. I opened a window, and fanned at the fire alarm.
"Bella! What happened?" Edward exclaimed, running into the kitchen. He started opening more windows to let the smoke out, before I could even explain what happened.
"I'm sorry," I apologized, once the alarm stopped. "I was trying to make dinner. Some cheese caught on fire."
He walked over to me, looking me over. "Are you okay?" He sounded out of breath when he spoke.
"I'm fine. I didn't get burned or anything, it was only a little bit of cheese," I assured. He sighed in relief. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay." He walked over to the oven, peaking inside to see the damage. It was still smoking and a cloud of smoke surrounded him. He started choking and waving his hands in his face.
"Maybe we should sit outside, while this clears out." I grabbed the pizza and the pizza cutter and followed him outside. We sat down on the small table on the back porch overlooking the mountains. I cut the pizza and picked up a slice, as did Edward.
"Where have you been?" I asked.
"I went on a hike up the mountain. There's a certain type of moss, which grows on the side of the rocks. I had to go get it," he explained.
"You didn't think to tell me or at least leave a note letting me know?"
"I would have taken you with me, but since you sprained your ankle, you couldn't come."
"It would have been nice if you could have let me know somehow. I was worried about you."
"You were worried about me?" he asked, shocked by my reveal.
"Yes, I was. Is it not okay to worry about your well-being?"
"I've never had anyone care about my well-being before."
"I can't believe that. Where are your parents and family?"
"I don't know."
"What happened to them?"
"I haven't talked to my parents in almost ten years."
"I just got busy with my own life and never looked back."
"Do you think they're looking for you?" I asked. I was very tempted to tell him about his sister. I thought he should know he had people out there looking for him.
He shrugged, looking down at his pizza. "I don't know. They probably don't want to talk to me anyway."
"Why wouldn't they want to talk to you?"
He took a deep breath, taking a defensive stance. I knew I had asked too much. He wasn't going to share anymore.
"Forget I asked. You don't have to answer."
I took a bite of the pizza and remained silent for the rest of the meal. He did the same. After we were done, he cleaned up the kitchen and cleaned the oven while I watched. I don't know why, but I liked watching him work; whether it was in the kitchen, or in the lab, or even the greenhouse. He was fascinating to me. He was like this unobtainable mystery. I was still trying to figure him out.
"Can I ask you something?" he asked, breaking me from my thoughts.
I nodded my head.
"Why haven't you ever asked?"
He pointed to his face, silently asking why I've never asked about the scar.
"You don't like it when I ask personal questions. It's really none of my business anyway."
He laughed. "You ask questions about everything else, but you don't ask the one question I expected you to ask."
"If I asked would you tell me?"
"No, probably not," he admitted.
"Then why should I ask?"
He chuckled as he went back to cleaning up the kitchen.
Once he was done, we went down to the lab to work.
"Pour half of this in the beaker," he ordered.
I did as he asked, watching the chemicals mix together.
"What are we creating?"
"If it works properly, a blood thinner," he replied.
"Will this cure my dad?"
"No," he answered, shaking his head.
"Then, what will?" I asked, angrily. "I've been here for two weeks now and I don't feel like we're doing anything to help my dad."
He placed the beaker down on the counter, staring down at it with a concerned look.
"Come with me," he requested. I followed him up the stairs to the second level of the house. We walked through a set of double doors and he flipped on a light. I was taken aback by the shelves and shelves of books he possessed. I've never seen so many books other than at a library. He walked into the room and over to the desk. I followed him. He picked up a book, staring down at it with a worried look.
"The day you came, I looked up your dad's condition. I ordered the best rated book on the illness to find out exactly what it is I needed to do." He held out the thick, heavy, book towards me and placed it in my hands.
"You read this whole thing?" I asked.
"Yeah, I read it in a night."
I stared at him with wide eyes. "You read the whole thing in a night?"
"I'm a fast reader. I've read all these books."
I stared at him in awe. "You read every single book in here? It would take a lifetime to read all these."
"When you read as fast as I do and can obtain the information without trying, it's really not hard."
"I'm not as fast a reader as you are. It would take me a long time to read all these," I informed.
"You're welcome to read anything you want. I don't mind."
"Thank you," I accepted with a smile. I could probably get lost in here for days if I wanted to. I loved to read.
"So… what is it you found out about my dad's condition?" I wondered.
He took the book I still held, placing it on the table and opening it up. He took a deep breath, before speaking. "I want you to read the parts I highlighted."
I stared at him in confusion. Why did I need to read a book on my dad's condition? I only wanted the medicine to save his life. I didn't need to know what the details of his illness were. I did as he asked and began to read the book. As I continued reading, I got more and more sucked in to what it had to say. It talked about when it was first discovered and what doctors all over the world have done to treat it. There were parts where it talked about people in the past who have had it and what they experienced. It turned out to be a very interesting book. I spent all night reading it. I was fully aware of Edward in the room, watching and waiting for me to finish.
As the sun rose, and I had only read about half the book, I broke down in tears. I understood now why he wanted me to read the book. He walked over and sat down next to me.
"There's no hope, is there?" I asked, through my tears.
He shook his head, regrettably.
"Then, why am I here? Why did you ask me to stay? I could be spending this time with my dad, but I came here because I thought you could help me. You lied to me."
"Bella, I didn't know until after you were already here. I wanted to tell you, but I didn't know how. I'm sorry."
"Then, what am I supposed to do now? If he dies, I have nothing left." I sobbed into my hands, realizing there was no reason to be here anymore. "I need to go." I stood up, rushing down the hallway to pack my stuff.
"Bella," Edward called. "I wanted to help."
I ignored him, trying to pack up my stuff as quickly as possible. The tears were streaming down my face. I could barely see what I was doing.
"All this time, you had me believe we were actually creating something to help my dad," I cried. Edward stood in the doorway watching me pack. "You've lied to me this whole time."
"I'm sorry. I don't know what you want me to say."
"Why don't you start with why you lied? Why did you make me believe there was a chance, when you knew all along there was no hope? All this time I've been here, I could have spent with my dad. I don't even know if he's still alive. I could go back there and find out he's already gone and I never got a chance to say goodbye. How could you be so cruel? How could you hurt me like this? No wonder you hide up here, away from society. I understand why now. Who would want to associate with a monster like you?"
He stared at me with a hurt expression. I knew what I said was hurtful, but he hurt me so much worse. I rushed down the stairs and out the front door. It was raining once again, but I didn't care. I threw my bag in the back seat and started up my car. I looked back at the house, only once seeing Edward standing on the porch, watching me pull away. I hastily put the car in reverse and began to back down the driveway. I was going too fast and could barely see through my blurry eyes and the rain. I slammed into a tree, making my airbag pop out. I screamed at the impact.
Moments later, Edward was opening my door and pulling me out of the car. I yelled at him to leave me alone, but he wouldn't listen. He picked me up in his arms and carried me back to the house. I was so exhausted I had no fight left in me. He carried me up to my room and placed me on the bed. He removed my shoes and pulled the blankets up around me. Edward sat down in a chair next to me.
"Please, just get some sleep before you leave. I'll take care of your car." I didn't respond. All I could do was cry. "I'll do everything I possibly can, Bella. I'm not giving up." He stood up and walked out of the room. I cried even more after he was gone. My whole world was crashing around me.
Eventually, I fell asleep. I didn't wake until the sun was going down. I walked in the bathroom, looking at my red, blotchy, puffy face. I splashed some cool water on my face and brushed my disheveled hair. I walked downstairs and straight to the lab, where I knew Edward would be. He was busy working at the table. As soon as he noticed me, he stopped. I saw him swallow hard, taking in the sight of me. He wouldn't speak.
"I only have one more question?" I began. "I want to know what it is I've been working on all this time, if I wasn't creating something to help my dad."
He hesitated, before answering. "Come here," he ordered. I shook my head, unwilling to do what he asked. But alas, I gave in and walked over to him.
"I'm working on a blood thinner to give your dad more time. This is what we've been doing. I'm still trying, Bella. Just because the book says there's no hope, doesn't mean it's the end. If this works, then it'll give me more time to find another solution. I'm doing everything I can."
"You're still trying to find something, even though all the experts say nothing will work?"
"Just because they're experts, doesn't mean they have the final say. There's always hope. I promise I'll keep fighting to find something to help your dad."
I gasped at the promise he'd given me. I was so mean to him that morning when I thought he was trying to tell me he was giving up, when all he was trying to do, was make me understand how hard he's working to find something. I threw my arms around his neck to hug him. I didn't even get my arms wrapped around him, before he stumbled backwards. His breathing became erratic, like he was having a panic attack.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean any harm. I just… never mind." I rushed up the stairs and ran outside. I needed the fresh air to clear my head. Plus, I didn't think Edward wanted me around at the moment. I obviously did something to cause him to be afraid of me. After what I said in the morning, he had every right to be mad at me. I sat on the steps of the porch, looking up at the stars beginning to come out.
"Twilight," Edward said behind me. I turned around, looking up at him standing by the door. He sighed, walking over and sitting down on the step next to me.
"I'm sorry about what happened. I just haven't been touched by human hands in a long time. I panicked."
"Bella, I want to tell you something. I've never told anyone else this, but I want you to know."
"Okay," I accepted, waiting for him to begin.
He hesitated, trying to find the right words. "Growing up, I was considered some sort of savant. I was too smart for school. The teachers couldn't find enough for me to do at times. I skipped grades. I started taking college courses at fourteen. My only focus was science. It was my passion. As an adult, I began working with a fellow scientist named James, in creating new treatments and medications for diseases. We were world famous for all we did. It wasn't normal for two scientists to be famous, but for whatever reason we were. We rubbed elbows with movie stars on a daily basis. We met the president and world leaders all over. Everyone wanted to meet us. I had a different girl on my arm every night. There was one girl I fell head over heels for. I thought she loved me in return."
"There was one particular discovery James and I were involved in. We were told it was going to be the biggest discovery ever. I was looking at being the youngest person to win a Nobel Prize. It was guaranteed to bring us fame and fortune, even though we already had it. Unfortunately, we both got a little greedy and wanted more. We wanted the recognition for ourselves and not as part of a team. It became this full-on war between the two of us to see who would make the discovery first. Guess who won?" He paused for a moment, looking down at his hands. I waited for him to continue. "James was furious with me. He claimed I stole the formula from him. He said there was no way I created it on my own, because I wasn't as smart as he was. One night, he came to my house and we got in a huge argument over it. We fought and punched each other a few times. We were in the lab when it happened. Somehow something caught on fire and within seconds my entire lab was blowing up. James was closest to the fire and ended up… he died in the explosion." I watched him speak of what happened. He looked physically pained telling me this story. I could tell it upset him.
"I was scarred by the fire, but I survived. If I hadn't been so selfish and greedy, he'd still be here. I could have let him make the discovery. I was still young. There was bound to be even bigger and better discoveries I could have made. But my greed got in the way and I lost my best friend because of it. At times, I wish I would have died in that fire with him. Afterwards, everyone blamed me for James' death. I was responsible for his death, but not the way they accused me of. The media claimed I purposefully killed him to hide the fact I didn't create the formula myself. I had to go to trial and answer so many questions about what really happened. In the end, the case was dropped because of insufficient evidence. But most people still blame me. Even the girl I was in love with and had every intention of marrying someday left me. I was no good to her without the fame and fortune. She couldn't even look directly at me when she told me we were through. The scarring on my face made everyone turn away. Eventually, I couldn't take the staring and ridicule I got everywhere I went, so I moved here. I haven't left my home in over five years. It's easier for everyone to not be reminded of what happened. I can't look in a mirror anymore without being reminded of what I've done. There's no reason to put anyone else through the same pain I deal with everyday."
I placed my hand on his. He tightened up at first, but slowly relaxed to my touch. "It was an accident, Edward. You shouldn't blame yourself for what happened."
He turned, staring at me with confusion. "Why don't you look at me, like a monster? Everyone else who has ever seen my face has. You don't."
"I don't look at your face. I look at who you are. I see the man who is willing to help someone out he doesn't even know, when he knows there's no hope. I see the man who has shown more kindness and compassion to a stranger, than any other person has. Everyone else has given up, but you haven't. You aren't getting any recognition for what you're attempting to do for me, yet you're still doing it. You aren't a monster, Edward. You're my savior. Maybe in some way you survived, because you needed to be the one who can not only save my dad, but so many others too. You have a gift and you shouldn't hide it. I'm not saying what happened to James is excusable, but was he after fame and recognition or was he after helping others? You're different. You only want to help."
He let out a strangled breath, listening to me talk. I could faintly make out the tears building in his eyes.
I slowly raised my hand to his cheek, gently tracing my fingers across the scarring. He closed his eyes, leaning into my hand. His warm hand rose to press against mine. I leaned forward, gently pressing my lips to his. He froze when I did and jerked away. We stared into each other's eyes for a long time. Hesitantly, he brushed his fingers across my cheek, moving closer to kiss me. I didn't pull away from him. I wanted to kiss him.
I wrapped my arms around his neck, moving closer to him as our kiss lingered. I brushed my fingers through his hair, making him moan into my mouth. His hands ventured down my sides, resting on my hips. I pulled away, standing to my feet. Edward stared up at me, confused why I stood up suddenly. I put my hand out for his. He took it and stood to his feet. He followed me up the stairs to my room. I shut the door behind us and turned off the light. The only light in the room was from the full moon outside.
He stood in front of me, breathing nervously. I pulled off his shirt, tracing the scars from his cheek all down his side. He hissed. I don't think it hurt. It was more because he hadn't been touched in so long. I'm sure he had many different emotions running through him. I placed gentle kisses all along the scar on his chest and neck. His breathing was erratic and labored. I could hear his heart beating quickly. He brushed the hair off my shoulders, running his fingers down my arms. I wrapped my arms around his torso, pulling him closer to me. I stood on my tip-toes and kissed his lips passionately. Considering he hadn't kissed anyone, let alone touch anyone for five years, he knew what he was doing. His hands tangled in my hair, holding me close to him. In a quick movement, I removed my shirt and pulled him to the bed. He hovered over top of me, kissing my lips, my cheeks, my forehead, my jaw, my neck. I closed my eyes, reveling in his kisses.
I unbuttoned his pants. "Bella, what are we doing?" he breathed, nervously.
"I want to, Edward. Don't you want to?" I questioned.
He looked down at me with nervous eyes and a shaky breath. "Are you sure?" he asked.
I nodded my head, placing my hand on his cheek. I leaned up, kissing him gently on the cheek, before whispering in his ear. "Make love to me, Edward."
In an instant, his lips were on mine again in an urgent kiss. I pulled his pants down, but he finished pulling them the rest of the way off. His fingers laced around the hem of my jeans. I lifted up off the bed enough for him to pull my jeans off of me. He stood above me, taking in the site of my naked body laid out in front of him. I reached out my hand for him, pulling him down on top of me. He came willingly down on the bed over top of me. I wrapped my hand around his neck, kissing him deeply. Our tongues gently brushed against the others. He rubbed his fingers against my pert nipples. I arched my back, taking in his touch.
"Edward, please," I begged.
"I don't have anything for protection. I have no use for it," he worried.
"It's okay. I'm on birth control, it'll be fine."
"Bella, I don't know if I can."
"Why?" I asked.
"It's been so long since I've been with a woman. I'm not any good."
"Edward, all I want is you. I don't care if you don't last long. I just need you."
Giving in to my request, he slowly slid inside of me. He felt so good, filling me up. I thought I would combust just from him entering me. I moaned in pleasure as he began to move in and out. I let out a strangled cry of ecstasy. He suddenly stopped all movement.
"Are you okay," he asked, out of breath.
"I'm fine, Edward," I assured, placing my hands on his shoulders. "Don't stop. Please, don't stop."
He continued to move in a slow pace, only speeding up right at the end. He yelled as he released inside of me. I whined, letting the orgasm overtake my entire body.
After our lovemaking, I laid against his chest, twisting the hair on his chest around my fingers. He drew lines up and down my back and played with my hair. Neither of us slept. We lay in each other's arms, completely content for hours.
"Bella," he began. I hummed in response. "Would you ever consider staying here with me?"
I thought it over, only for a moment. I already knew my answer. "Yes."
He kissed the top of my head a few times, before intertwining our fingers on his stomach. I looked up at him, moving up slightly to kiss him on the lips. He pulled me closer to him, wrapping his arms around me. We fell into another session of lovemaking, which finally exhausted both of us. We fell asleep in each other's arms. I knew, despite everything, he was my future. In some strange way, we were brought together, and I fell in love with him.
The next morning, I woke up in the bed alone. Before my eyes opened, my fingers searched the bed for him. Realizing he wasn't with me, I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. I could hear him down in the lab. I walked through the kitchen and down the stairs to where he was. I walked up behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist from behind. I stood on my tip-toes, placing soft kisses along the back of his neck. He twisted in my embrace, coming face to face with me. He had a pleased smile on his face. He took my face in his hands and gave me a long passionate kiss.
"Good morning," he cooed.
"Morning," I said in return. "Where were you this morning? I wanted to wake up in your arms."
"You know I don't sleep much. I woke up with a theory and I wanted to try it out."
"What's your theory?"
"Your dad has a rare blood disease, which causes his blood to clump. If we use the blood thinner to thin it out, I can make another medicine, which will break up the clots. This way we can prevent him having a stroke. I'm still working on a formula to take out the poison attacking his blood. But this is a start. This will definitely give me more time."
I let out a sigh of relief. I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him in appreciation. He chuckled, pulling away for a moment.
"Would you like some breakfast?" he asked.
"No," I replied, shaking my head.
"What do you want then?"
I leaned into his ear, licking and biting gently on his earlobe. "You," I whispered.
He let out a ragged breath, before assaulting my neck with kisses. He grabbed my ass and lifted me up on the work table. I giggled at his forcefulness. He pulled the robe off, leaving me completely exposed in front of him.
He hummed as his hands explored my naked body. "Do you have any idea how incredibly sexy you are? You have got to be the most beautiful woman on this earth. I've never seen such perfection in the female body."
I laughed loudly. "You are incredibly misguided."
He shook his head vigorously. "Not in the slightest. You don't see yourself clearly. The moment I laid eyes on you, I thought you were beautiful. To be honest, it's the only reason I agreed to help you. I just couldn't let you walk out of my life and never be able to set eyes on you again. But as time went on, it wasn't your beauty on the outside I admired. It was the beauty you had on the inside, for everything you came in contact with. Even the chickens were granted the inner beauty of Bella Swan."
I smiled, taking in his words. I brushed my hands against his cheeks and ran my fingers through his hair.
He hummed. "It feels so good to have someone touch me who actually wants to touch me."
"Do you have any idea how it feels to have you touch me?" I asked.
We kissed again, holding on to each other tightly. We would have gone further, but a buzzer went off, alerting Edward something he was working on was ready. He broke away from me and quickly went back to work. I slipped my robe back on and stood next to him, watching what he was doing.
"I wish I knew how my dad is doing," I said, talking more to myself than to Edward.
"Do you want to call him?" Edward questioned, turning towards me.
"How?" I wondered. "You don't get cell service out here and I've never seen a phone anywhere."
"I have one. I've never used it, but I keep it for emergencies," he explained. "Would you like to use it?"
"Please," I gasped. He walked over to me and took my hand. We walked up stairs and into a room I'd never been in before. I assumed this was his bedroom, but I wasn't sure. Inside was a small flat screen TV on the wall and almost the same furniture I had in my room. He opened a drawer and pulled out a landline telephone, placing it on his bed.
"I'll be down in the lab if you need me." He walked out of the room, giving me some privacy to make the call.
I dialed the familiar hospital number, with anticipation of getting an update on my dad.
"I'm calling to check up on my dad. His name is Charlie Swan."
"Is this Bella?" the receptionist asked.
"Yes, it is. Can you tell me how he's doing?"
"Where have you been? The whole country has been looking for you. Where are you? Are you okay?" she asked.
"I'm fine. Why is everyone searching for me?"
"It wasn't like you to disappear so suddenly. Everyone thought something horrible must have happened to you. Jacob Black has been questioned and as far as I'm aware he's still a person of interest in your disappearance."
"Wait, Jake is being accused of my disappearance? Nothing happened to me. I'm just fine. I went searching for a cure for my dad. I had to leave for a while, that's all."
"So, you're safe? You aren't in any trouble?"
"No, not at all," I laughed. I could see why everyone was concerned, but it still seemed a little odd. And accusing Jake of being involved was preposterous. I've known Jake most of my life. He'd never hurt me.
I heard her sigh into the phone. "I'll need to call the police and inform them of where you are. Where are you, by the way?"
"Um, it's not important. All you need to do is tell the police you talked to me and I'm perfectly fine. I should be back soon."
"I hope it's very soon. Your dad isn't doing well. He's had some huge setbacks since you've been gone. I think it might be a good idea if you came back. He's only got a short time left."
"But I thought the doctors said he had three to six months left? It's only been a couple weeks."
"Doctors aren't miracle workers, Bella. They can only do so much and give you an estimate. It depends a lot on the patient and how much their willing to take."
I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. "I'll be there as soon as I can. Please, if you can, tell him I'm coming. Tell him to wait for me," I begged.
"I'll have a nurse tell him right away."
I hung up the phone and hastily ran downstairs. Edward stared at me with concerned eyes.
"He only has a short time left. I have to go see him," I cried.
He nodded his head. In an instant he wrapped me in his arms and held me tight to comfort me.
"Take this," he said, handing me a bottle of a bluish liquid. "I don't know what good it'll do, but it might help."
I held the vial in my hands, thinking about how I was about to leave Edward. There was a good chance if I left, I'd never see him again. "Come with me," I pleaded.
He shook his head. "I can't."
"Yes, you can, Edward. My dad would want to meet you. I'll be with you. I'll help you."
"I'm sorry. I can't."
My shoulders dropped in defeat. I knew he would never agree, but I wanted him to.
"I want you to take my car," he offered. "Yours has a big dent in the back. I don't feel comfortable with you driving it all the way to Seattle. I'll go get it out of the garage."
He pulled away from me and ran upstairs to get the keys. I followed him out to the garage, I didn't even know he had, and came upon a black, sleek looking car. It looked expensive and far more car than I could handle. I was bound to get in an accident driving this thing.
"I can't drive this. I'll probably crash it."
"Don't worry about it. This car will keep you safe. Just go. Take care of your dad."
I sighed, looking up at him. As much as I wanted to see my dad, it killed me to have to leave him. I wrapped my arms around his neck, holding on to one last moment with him.
"Thank you for everything you've done. I'll never forget it."
"Goodbye, Bella." He gave me a simple kiss on the forehead, before heading back to the house. I got in the car and backed down the driveway. I looked back, seeing him standing on the porch, watching me leave. A part of me didn't want to leave, but I had to for my dad.
I got to the hospital in record time. I rushed to my dad's room, seeing his emaciated body lying in the bed.
"Bella," he called, with barely a whisper.
"I'm here dad. I'm right here."
"I've been waiting for you."
"I know. But I have something, I think might help you. That's where I've been. I've been working on a treatment with a very special person. He's come up with a couple things to help you."
"You look different," he noticed, brushing a finger down my cheek. "You look happy."
"Daddy, I am happy. I'm going to help you get better. Edward Masen is going to find something that'll work."
"Edward!" Jake shouted, coming through the door. "Is that where you've been? This whole time you were with him?"
"Jake, he's been helping me. He's already given me a couple things he thinks will help."
"I get accused of doing some horrendous thing to you and all this time you were with a psycho? What were you thinking?"
"I had to try something. And he's not a psycho. He's brilliant."
"Are you okay? Did he hurt you in any way?"
"No. He offered to help me if I stayed there with him for a few weeks and work as his assistant. Just leave it alone. It doesn't matter where I was, I'm here now."
I made him drop it from there. I didn't want to discuss where I've been or what I've been doing. I just needed to talk to the doctor and get my dad the treatment. However, no doctor would agree to give him the medicine I had brought. They said since they didn't know what it was or what the side effects were, they legally couldn't do it. I was furious with them. I insisted I would find someone who would. I left the hospital, with Jake, only to be bombarded with reporters shoving microphones in my face and asking questions.
"Is it true you were kidnapped by Edward Cullen?" one of them asked.
"What? No," I answered.
"No one has seen or heard from him in over five years. How did you know how to find him?" another asked.
"Can you tell us where he is?"
"Did he hurt you when he held you prisoner?"
"Were you in any danger? We've heard he's a dangerous man. What was it like to be trapped by him?"
"What did he do to you, while you were with him?"
Question after question came spewing out of these intrusive reporters. I was so confused by all their questions.
"I wasn't trapped or kidnapped," I insisted. "Edward was nothing but kind and giving towards me. He's not like what everyone believes him to be. He's the most incredible man I've ever met."
"You want to know what he did?" Jake asked, answering the questions. "He manipulated her into thinking he could save her dad, so she would stay with him. He's a deceitful and evil man. He has no right to be called a scientist."
"Jake," I cried. "How could you?"
"I'm only stating how I see it," he answered. "He has you so twisted around you don't even see what it is he did to you."
"He didn't do anything to me. You have to stop this, Jake. You don't even know him," I argued.
"Will you be pressing charges against him?" a reporter asked, interrupting my conversation with Jake.
"You bet we will. He's going to pay for what he's done." Jake wrapped his arm around my shoulders, placing a chaste kiss on my temple. I was so stunned by what happened I couldn't even speak. "I know where he is. We will be talking to the police shortly and having him arrested."
So many more questions were thrown at us, but I was so angry at Jake and what everyone was saying, I walked away and got in the car. Jake followed and got in the passenger seat next to me. I stared at him in disbelief. I didn't know what he thought he was doing.
"That was fun," he joked.
The reporters surrounded the car, taking pictures through the windows. Jake leaned over, kissing me on the lips. I pushed him away, and drove out of the parking lot before anything else happened.
"I can't believe you did that. How could you Jake? I trusted you."
"Oh come on, Bella. It's all just a game for the media. They'll run with anything and make it out to be so much worse."
"And you gave them all the ammo they need. You just destroyed his life. If the police go to his house and arrest him, he's going to be devastated."
"Maybe they should arrest him. Think about what he's done. He's held you captive at his home for over two weeks. He's made you believe some magic potion is going to heal your dad. He's a sick and twisted man. He shouldn't be allowed to be a scientist."
"He's not sick and twisted. He's much more than you'll ever be. He's the man I love."
"What?" Jake shouted in disbelief. "See, now we really need to press charges against him. He has you believing you love him? How demented is this guy? How could you possibly love someone like him? You know what he's done, right?"
"Yes, I know what happened. He told me everything. He's not crazy. He didn't do anything to me. He's only tried to help me."
"I think he gave you some sort of drug to make you think you're in love with him. It doesn't make sense for you to love him, when you have someone like me."
"Someone like you?" I gasped.
"Bella, I've always loved you. I've been by your side through this whole mess with your dad, waiting for it to be over, so you and I can move forward. I want to marry you."
I pulled over on the side of the road. I turned to look at him. He had an amused look on his face. He moved closer, attempting to kiss me. I pulled away, preventing him from touching me. "I would never marry a man as hurtful and unsympathetic as you. Get out of my car and don't ever come near me again."
"Bella," he laughed, not taking me seriously.
"I said, get out!" I shouted.
"Where are you going to go? As much as he wants you to believe he can save your dad, he can't. No one can. He's going to die and you need to accept that."
"Edward and I will save him. We will find a cure. I don't need your help or anyone else's. I just need Edward."
"I will come after you. I'll be sure he's charged with something to get you out of his grasp. I will have you as mine eventually."
"I will never be yours. And I should remind you of the agreement you have with Edward and what will happen if you break it. Now, get out of my car." He got out, laughing at me. I've never been so mad at him in all my life. I had never seen this side of him. He was the monster, not Edward.
I sped back out on the road, spraying mud all over Jake from my back tires spinning. I was so angry with him. I couldn't believe he'd done this to me.
I had planned to go home and start calling every doctor in the phonebook until I found someone who would be willing to try this medication Edward had given me, but instead out of fear for my dad and for Edward, I went back to the hospital.
I went to his room and got all his stuff packed up. I was trying to lift him up and attempt to walk him out, when someone stepped into the room pushing a gurney. "Need some help?" she asked. It was the same girl I had met in the cafeteria and claimed to be Edward's sister. She pushed the bed over to me and began to help me with my dad. She never said anything or asked what I was doing. It was almost like she knew. She was dressed in a nurse's uniform. "I can get him out. Go get your car and meet me in the back alley."
I didn't know if I could trust her, but she was my only hope. I did as she requested and met her in the back alley. We quickly got my dad in the back seat and climbed in the front to drive away.
I took my dad to the only place I knew we'd be safe; to Edward. My dad slept the entire way there. I didn't talk much to the girl who drove with me. The only thing she told me was her name was Alice and she wanted to see her brother. I drove up the dirt road and parked in front of the house. Edward walked out on the porch, scrutinizing me for a moment. When I looked up at him with pleading eyes, he walked out to the car to meet me.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
"They won't give my dad the medicine, because they don't know what it is. I took him from the hospital and came here. I didn't know where else to go."
He nodded his head and helped me get my dad out of the back seat. The moment Alice stepped out of the car and his eyes fell upon her, he froze.
"Hi, Edward," she cried.
"Alice?" he asked, giving her a quizzical look.
She ran around the car, throwing herself in his arms. "I knew I'd find you. I knew Bella would be the one." I watched their exchange with confusion. What did she mean, "I'd be the one"?
After they hugged for a few minutes and looked each other over, the three of us walked my dad into the house and up to my room. We laid him down on the bed and within minutes he was asleep.
"I need your help, Edward. He needs the treatment."
"I have the supplies. We'll take care of him." He walked out of the room, leaving me all alone with Alice, only to reappear a few minutes later with a handful of stuff. He had towels, needles, syringes, Band-Aids, alcohol, a bag of fluids with an IV, and a few other things.
"I don't have a whole lot of supplies like a hospital would, but I have a few things. Do you know how to start an IV?" he asked.
I nodded my head, taking the supplies from him. I went to work, placing the IV in his arm and stringing the bag of fluids above the headboard.
"I'm going to need some blood work. Can you fill up these vials?" he asked. I took the vials from him and filled them up with my dad's blood.
"What are you going to do with the blood?"
"I can study it. I can find out exactly what this illness is doing to him and hopefully how to help him," he explained.
"Should I give him the medicine you gave me this morning?"
"Yeah, it won't hurt him."
I pulled the small vial out of my pocket and filled up a syringe, before inserting the needle into the IV line.
"Please, make this work," I whispered to myself.
During the moments Edward and I worked, I didn't notice Alice watching us. She still hadn't talked much to either of us. I think a part of her was still in shock to see her brother again.
"I'll be down in the lab if you need anything," Edward informed. Alice followed him down. I felt like they probably needed some time alone to talk.
I sat with my dad for a long time, praying he would pull through. Late in the night, I walked down to check on Edward and to see if he'd come up with anything.
Before I could even make my presence known, he started asking me questions. "Who told you your dad had Pretellious?" I looked around the room, noticing Alice sitting in a corner watching Edward work.
"The doctors in Seattle, why?"
"I don't understand why they think he had Pretellious. There's nothing in his blood work indicating he has Pretellious."
"Then, what's wrong with him?"
"From what I can tell, he has Mosterosous. Has he gone to any other country recently?"
"He went to Brazil about a month before this happened. What's Mosterosous?"
"It's an insect, kind of like a tick. It embeds in your skin and feeds off your blood. It'll lay thousands of eggs and over time, the thousands of bugs living inside you will suck you dry of blood. This makes you weak and it appear as if you're dying. What's in your dad's blood is not clots, it's bugs. Didn't you read that section in the book I gave you?" he asked, almost happy about this.
"No, I don't remember that part."
"Most doctors who aren't familiar with this insect misdiagnose patients with Pretellious. If it's not caught, they will end up dying from this insect. But if it's caught, it's a simple procedure. We're going to need to locate the nest on your dad and remove the majority of the bugs. Then I can give your dad something, which will make him even weaker, but it'll kill all the remaining bugs and eggs in his blood. Eventually, they'll be washed out."
"Are you saying there's a chance he can survive?"
"It all depends on you, Bella. Are you willing to do surgery on your dad?" he asked.
My mouth became dry and my eyes widened. "Are you serious? Edward, I don't know how to do surgery. I can't do it on my own. I'm only a medical student. I don't know what I'm doing."
"We don't have time to make it to a hospital that can do the surgery."
I was breathing so heavily. Fear was rushing through me. I didn't think I could do it. I'd never done surgery on anyone yet.
"Bella, you can do it. I have faith in you."
"Me too," Alice interjected. "I can help you. I'm a nurse at the hospital. I've helped with numerous surgeries."
I took a deep breath, nodding my head in agreement. He rushed around the lab, collecting everything we would need. The thought of what I was about to do consumed my mind. My entire body felt numb. Edward took my hand, obviously seeing my fear, and led me upstairs. Alice followed close behind.
"We need to find out where it is first. It'll look like a large purple bruise," Edward instructed. I was still frozen as Edward and Alice began searching my dad's body. I was shocked, when right there on my dad's back was the bruise, Edward found. He was right. "Do you know what to do?"
"No," I cried. "I can't do this. What if I do something wrong? What if I kill him?"
"Bella, it's a simple procedure. You can do it. You've gone to school for this," he assured. I was still hesitant. "What happened to the girl who said she was smarter than I was?" I sighed, remembering what I said to intimidate him, realizing how stupid I was. "Come on, Bella."
I walked over to my dad, giving him a quick kiss on the forehead. I grabbed the rubber gloves from Alice and put them on. She handed me a bottle of iodine and a gauze pad.
"I don't have any anesthetic. Your dad is going to feel everything. He's going to scream and probably try to move away. I'll hold him down, while you two work. But you need to not stop. Just keep going until it's all out," Edward warned.
This information made me even more nervous. But I had to do this. I picked up the knife, bringing it to my dad's back and carefully cut into the purple bruise on my dad. He started screaming in agony and tensed up. Edward held him as still as possible as I continued to cut across the bruise. Instantly, little pink bugs began to fall out. I almost puked at the site of them.
"Catch them in the tray. I don't want any of them finding another food source," Edward instructed. "You're going to need to scrape the inside of the pocket clean and kill off anything else and seal it off by burning him.
"You didn't say I was going to need to burn him," I shouted. "I can't burn my dad."
"It's the only way, Bella. You have to get it all."
"What about infection? Won't what I'm doing cause him to have an infection and a huge scar?"
Edward looked down, regrettably. I realized what I said and felt horrible about it.
"What do I do?" I asked, trying to change the subject.
"Just like I said, scrape it clean and burn the inside." I did everything he told me to do. It took all my willpower to keep my composure. I wanted to cry every time I heard my dad scream. Alice stayed right next to me, helping me with everything I was doing. My dad cried out in pain and begged me to stop, but Edward kept pushing me on. It was torture being pulled in two different directions by them. I didn't want to hurt my dad, but I believed Edward when he said this would help save his life.
After I was done, I walked to the bathroom to clean up and fell to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably.
Moments later, I felt Edward scoop me up in his arms and carry me to his room.
"I need to stay with my dad. What if he wakes up and needs me?"
"You need to get some sleep. I'll watch over your dad. If he wakes up, I'll come get you," Edward informed. I nodded my head, accepting his plan. He laid me down on the bed and pulled the covers over me. I curled up in his blankets and fell asleep.
The next morning, I awoke early and rushed to my dad's room. Edward was sitting next to him, just like he said he would.
"Any change?" I asked.
"He hasn't woken up yet, but he's doing better. I gave him an antibiotic in the middle of the night to prevent infection," he explained.
"Where's Alice?" I wondered.
"She's in a different room, getting some sleep."
"I hope you're not mad at me for bringing her up here. She's the one who's been helping me all along. She helped me sneak my dad out."
"I know. She told me everything," he assured. "It's actually really good to see her. I didn't realize how much I missed her. She wants to bring my parents up here, but I'm not sure if I'm ready."
I walked over to him, wrapping my arms around his shoulders from behind. He tensed up at my touch and pulled my arms away from him. He stood to his feet and walked into the hall. I followed him out. "Edward, what's wrong?"
"I saw," he answered.
"The news," he clarified. "I saw you on the news and what happened."
"Oh God, Edward. I'm so sorry. I didn't tell them where you were or how to find you. I defended you as best I could, but they don't want the truth, they only want some scandalous story."
"It's not what you said to the reporters. It's what your boyfriend said."
"My boyfriend," I gasped.
"What happened between us shouldn't have happened. I didn't ask you to stay here because I was expecting some sort of sexual favor from you in return for my help. I didn't want anything from you."
"Edward, what exactly did the news say?" I asked. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't have a boyfriend and I never looked at what happened between us as a sexual favor. I wanted to make love to you, because…" I paused, trying to find the right words. "Because I fell in love with you."
He stared at me with a blank look on his face. "How can you possibly love me, knowing what I've done and what I look like?"
"I already told you, Edward. I don't care about your looks or what happened in the past. All I care about is who you are now. You are the only one who hasn't given up on my dad. You're one of the most caring and giving men I've ever met. You've been the only one I can depend on through all of this."
"I don't want you to love me just because I helped your dad."
"I don't. I love you for the man you are. I love how strong you are. I love how determined you are. I love how much you've given me during the time I've spent with you. I love how you've shown me so much about who I want to be. I love how you're always here for me when I need you." I stepped a foot closer, placing my hands on his chest. "I love how you don't hide anything from me. I love how I can be completely comfortable with you and know you'll still look at me with love." I heard him swallow hard, letting out a raspy breath. I looked up at him, and placed a hand on his cheek. "Most importantly, I love you for always being so kind and gentle towards me." He still remained rigid to my touch. I stood on my tip-toes, gently pressing my lips to his. It took him a few seconds, but eventually he kissed me back and wrapped his arms around my waist. He held me tight against his body as our kiss deepened.
He broke the kiss, leaning his forehead against mine. His hands held my face. "You're too good for me." I tried to dispute by shaking my head, but he wouldn't let me interrupt in any way. "You're so much more than what I deserve. I shouldn't want you the way I do. But I can't help it. I love you." I smiled up at him, leaning forward to kiss him again.
We were interrupted by Alice moments later. "You two are so cute. I knew she'd be the one."
We both turned to face her, still wrapped in each other's arms. "What do you mean when you say you knew "I'd be the one"?"
"The one who would break the self-induced spell my brother brought upon himself. I knew he'd fall in love with you. I knew you would be the only one to love him for who he really is," she explained.
Edward chuckled, reaching over to pull her into our embrace. I liked Alice already. I hoped we would have more time to get to know each other.
Suddenly, I heard my dad start calling out my name. I looked between Alice and Edward with joy all over my face. My dad was awake. Edward gave me one last kiss on the cheek, before shooing me towards my dad's room. "Daddy," I cried, running to his side. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm feeling much better. My back's a little sore, but I'm hungry more than anything. Where am I?"
"I brought you to Edward Cullen. He's an amazing man, Dad. He saved your life."
"He did?" he asked, sounding a little confused about what was going on.
"All the doctors gave up on you. Edward didn't though and he saved your life. You aren't going to die."
"No. Edward's a genius. He knew what was wrong with you within a few hours and what to do to help you. I had to do surgery on you."
"You did surgery?" my dad asked, with a shocked expression.
I laughed. "Yeah, it really wasn't much, but you screamed a lot. I was scared to death."
"Who is this Edward guy?" he asked.
"He's our savior. You're going to love him Dad. He's so sweet and caring," I informed, with a smile.
He nodded his head and smirked at me. "It looks like someone has already fallen in love with him," he observed. I giggled, biting my lip to hide my enthusiasm.
Suddenly, I heard what sounded like cars coming up the driveway. I ran to the window, seeing a bunch of news vans and police cars pull up in front of the house.
I opened the window, watching to see what was happening. Edward walked out on the porch, to meet them.
"I need all of you off my property," Edward ordered.
"Where are Charlie and Bella Swan?" a police officer asked. "We know they're here."
"What makes you think they're here?" Edward argued.
"That is the car Bella was driving yesterday," he pointed out.
"Search the house," Jake shouted, suddenly appearing from behind one of the cars. "He probably has them trapped in his basement."
"I don't have anyone trapped in my basement."
"Then where are they?" Jake asked. "What have you done to them?"
"Edward Masen, you're being charged with kidnapping and quite possibly murder, if Charlie Swan isn't found alive."
"No," I cried, from upstairs.
"What's going on, Bella?" my dad asked.
Seconds later, Alice came rushing out of the house, pleading with them to leave her brother alone.
"Edward's being charged with kidnapping and murder," I informed my dad.
"Murder? Who did he murder? Who did he kidnap?" my dad demanded.
"Why would he be charged with my death? I'm perfectly fine."
"Jake is doing this. When he found out I was here with Edward the last few weeks, he was upset. He spread a bunch of lies and everyone thinks Edward held me captive. Now they must think he took both of us," I explained.
"Well," he began, pulling himself out of bed.
"What are you doing?" I worried.
"I need to go save this boy from getting arrested don't I?" he offered. "Now help me up, so I can go meet this boy."
I laughed. "He's not exactly a boy, Dad."
"He will be a boy, until I approve."
I laughed again, happy to finally see my dad back to his old self. I helped him out of the bed and walked him down the steps. As we walked out the door, I could hear everyone shouting at each other. The police already had Edward in handcuffs and were walking him to the car. Alice was screaming and pleading with them to let him go.
"Wait a minute," my dad yelled. Everyone froze. "There is absolutely no reason to arrest this man. He's done nothing wrong. According to my daughter, he saved my life." I looked at my dad with a smile as he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and squeezed.
"Mr. Swan, someone took you from the hospital. We can't let that go," the police officer pointed out.
"I'm the one who took him from the hospital," I admitted. "I brought him here, because I knew Edward would be able to save him when everyone else had given up."
"Are you better then?" Jake asked, looking at my dad.
"Yeah, I'm just fine," he answered. "That man right there and my daughter saved my life. I have no plans to press charges. Now, let him go."
"Charlie, don't tell me he has you confused too," Jake worried. "This is ridiculous."
"I've heard nothing but good things about Edward. If I'm out of bed and talking again, then I have no reason to believe he's done anything wrong. Now, I insist you let him go," my dad demanded.
Reluctantly, the police officer removed the handcuffs. I looked up at my dad, who tilted his head towards Edward, giving me the okay to go to him. He braced himself on the brick wall and let go of me. I ran out towards Edward, falling into his welcoming arms. He held me close, sighing into my hair.
"Come on," I ordered, taking his hand and leading him back to the porch.
"I think all of you need to leave," my dad ordered. "Unless you have a search warrant, you are trespassing on this man's property and I will encourage him to press charges unless you all leave right now."
Slowly, but surely, everyone began to retreat back down the driveway. Jake didn't look too happy about it. He glared up at us the entire way down. But he did leave. I worried whether it would be the last we would see of him. It made me really upset he turned out to be someone I couldn't trust. I thought he'd always be someone I'd depend on. I guess things change when you find the one you love, though.
"I think I'm going to need to put up some better security gates now," Edward said. I laughed, wrapping my arms around his torso. He pulled me into his arms, holding me tightly.
Alice joined us up on the porch, helping my dad keep his balance.
"Edward, I want you to meet my dad." I turned towards my dad and introduced them.
Edward shook my dad's hand vigorously. "Thank you, for what you did, Sir."
"I think I should be the one thanking you. Not only did you save my life, but you've stolen my daughter's heart as well."
I turned towards Edward with a bashful smile. "No," he disagreed, looking down at me with loving eyes. "She's stolen mine."