I'm sorry, okay. I know I'm all kinds of fail at this, but we're almost at the end, only one chapter to go. And this is a huge chapter for me, like three times what you guys usually get.
If you need a reminder, becasue honestly I did:
Bella tells Rosalie the truth, that she is her daughter
No time for a joyful or horror movie reunion because Kate is mad as hell that Bella stole her man/vampire/mate and has recruited James and Victoria to hunt Bella.
Alice and Esme run with Bella while everyone else hunts for Kate and company.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them
As promised, Bella, Esme, and Alice had only spent two days in California and left for Arizona. Alice could still not see what Kate was up to, but her companions were in Kansas. Victoria had made a sudden turn from Washington to join James in Kansas, which annoyed Alice to no end because she did not know why they were there. She could only detect Kate sporadically.
They were staying in a hotel in Douglas near the Mexican border for the day when Bella received a phone call from an anonymous caller.
"Were you expecting a phone call?" Esme inquired.
"No," Bella insisted watching her phone for a voicemail, "probably just a telemarketer."
She rarely answered calls she did not know, unless she was expecting such a call. The first time the call came she did not answer; the second she was not close enough to her phone to answer it. By the third call in less than an hour, she was annoyed and irate.
"What?" she demanded, but she was met with a click and silence as the phone call abruptly ended.
The phone started ringing again before she had the phone an inch away from her face. Hitting answer she angrily said, "Hello?"
Again, the phone call was disconnected abruptly.
"My number is on the Do Not Call list, it shouldn't be a sales call," Bella grumbled. "Can you see who's calling me?"
She was met with a shake and the ringing of her phone again.
"Motherfucker, what do you want?" she yelled into the phone.
"Bella?" Edward replied, "What's wrong?"
Relief flooded her once she realized it was him.
"Nothing," she asserted shaking away the aggravation to focus on him, "just an annoying phone call. Where are you? How are you?"
"We're outside of Kansas. Bella, I'm sorry- we lost them. All three of them. Kate seems suspicious of us- she's careful to stay just far enough away that I can't hear what she's thinking, but she's gone now- it looks like she got on a plane. We think they are heading back to Tennessee to start over." I could hear Alice filling in Esme behind me, her quick words blurring together into a humming noise.
"What if they go to Forks? My dad?" Bella choked out.
"I don't see them there, and Charlie is spending the weekend in La Push fishing with friends- he'll be safe," Alice declared without any doubtfulness.
"How is he going to be safe in La Push?" Bella asked perplexed as to why her dad would be safe in a Native American tribe.
"It's a story for later," Alice claimed. "Just trust that he will be safe."
"You don't have to worry. They won't find anything at either place to lead to you. You just have to stay there and wait till we find them again," Edward assured her.
"What was Victoria doing in Forks?"
"Probably trying to pick up the trail. She's been all through the town during the night. Rosalie traced her through the airport, all the roads around town, the school...she's digging, Bella, but there's nothing to find."
"Are you sure Charlie's safe?"
"Yes. Rosalie will go back to Forks if Alice sees anything."
"I miss you."
"I know, Bella. Believe me, I know. It's like you've taken half myself away with you."
"Come and get it, then," she challenged.
"I have to make you safe first, but I will be with you soon. I'll come for you."
"I love you," Bella said.
"I love you more," Edward replied. "And I'll come for you soon."
"I'll be waiting."
As soon as the phone went dead, Bella turned to Alice who was bent over a table with Esme sketching on a piece of hotel stationary.
She drew a room: long, rectangular, with a thinner, square section at the back.
It looked oddly familiar to Bella, but she couldn't place it. She knew it was nowhere in Forks, and did not think it was in Tennessee.
"Something's changed," Alice declared. "James and Victoria are here waiting.
"Where is the room?" Esme asked.
"I don't know. Something is missing-another decision hasn't been made yet."
"How much time?" Esme requested
"It's soon. It all depends on Kate. They are waiting for something."
"What is Kate doing?" Bella questioned.
"She's tracing something, looking for something- in a bar."
"A bar?" Bella asked confused, "Is there anything else?"
Alice shook her head.
"What does it mean?" Bella asked.
"It means the plan has changed. Someone has made a decision and they all three will elude all of us and end up in this room."
Alice and Esme tried to keep Bella occupied and in good spirits, but something ate at Bella's conscious. Something was at the tip of her tongue, but she couldn't put anything together. Something wasn't quite right with the information.
Why were James and Victoria in Kansas? Why was Kate tracking someone in a bar? Where was the room where James and Victoria were waiting - why that room.
Alice kept in touch with Edward and Jasper very often calling them with updates, but Bella could not understand anything she spoke so fast. And she would not explain anything to her, just that things were moving along.
It was just after two in the morning when Bella woke to use the restroom. She found Alice and Esme sitting on a couch while Alice sketched.
This time she was sketching a person while Esme looked over her shoulder.
Bella sat beside Alice for a closer look.
"Something more?" she asked.
"Yes. Kate has found whoever she was tracing, but it doesn't make sense. I don't know who the person is."
Bella watched as Alice drew a female with short dyed blond hair who looked to be in her mid-forties. Bella could barely remember the eyes that she watched come to life on paper.
"The mole goes there," she whispered, pointing at the drawn woman's left jaw.
Two pairs of eternal eyes looked at her.
Alice was already off the couch, phone in hand, dialing. Bella stared at the precise drawing of her adopted mother who had abandoned her so long ago. Esme drew Bella into her arms and held her.
"Why her? It doesn't make sense," Bella cried. "Why her?"
"I don't know," Esme answered.
Alice was in front of her in a flash stating, "Bella, Edward is coming to get you. He and Carlisle and me are going to take you somewhere, to hide you for a while."
"Edward is coming," Bella sobbed.
"Yes, he's catching the first flight out of Kansas City. We'll meet him at the airport and leave with him and Carlisle."
"Renee, they went for her. What are they going to do with her?" she cried.
"Bella, the decision has been made; Kate has spoken with Renee. I know what they are doing and how it fits."
"Renee and you went to Kansas City once when you were two or three. The room I drew was a meeting room next to a locker room. You were put in that room with a movie to watch you while Renee was doing something else," Alice explained with a look of pure disgust on her face, "You evidently left the room looking for something to drink and were still gone when she finally came for you.
Esme hugged Bella harder.
"He hasn't been tracking me at all has he?" Bella bawled, "He'll hurt someone I love won't he?"
"We will find them, Bella." Esme assured.
The only hope Bella had left she knew she would see Edward soon.
Only minutes had passed when the phone rang again.
They're boarding the plane now, they'll be landing at seven-forty-five," Alice explained.
"Get our things together and I will go check out," Esme announced.
"We aren't staying here?"
"No, we will be boarding a plane at eight," Alice stated. "It's too bad we don't have your passport; we could really use it right now."
As Alice packed, Bella tried to put together what was happening. Why Kansas and why Renee?
Her phone rang across the room and Alice answered on the first ring, "Hello? No, she's right here." She shrugged when Bella asked who it was.
"Bella? Bella?" It was Renee's voice, in an unacquainted tone. Frantic and pleading were new to Bella, she only knew cruel and flighty. It was the sound of panic.
Bella had not spoken to Renee in over a decade and did not know how to lessen the urgency of it. What had Kate said to her to make her call? How did she get her phone number?
"Calm down, Renee," she said in her most soothing voice and walked into the bedroom away from Alice.
"Renee?" Bella asked.
"Be very careful not to say anything until I tell you to."
The voice Bella heard was as unfamiliar as it was unexpected. She had only heard the voice in angry tones.
Kate spoke very quickly.
"Now, I don't need to hurt your mother, so please do exactly as I say, and she'll be fine." Kate paused for a moment while Bella listened in mute horror.
"Now," Kate continued "Repeat after me, and do try to sound natural. Please say, 'No, Renee, stay where you are.'"
"No, Renee, stay where you are." Her voice was barely more than a whisper.
"Are they in the room with you? Answer yes or no," Kate demanded.
"Good. Say, 'Renee, trust me.'"
"Renee, trust me," Bella pleaded.
"You know, when I was looking into your background I never expected to find a link between Rosalie and you. It's very interesting. Of course, now that Rosalie knows who you are, she has to be dealt with also. But no matter, I'm sure James and Victoria have very fun ideas, if not repetitive to Rosalie."
Tears flowed down Bella's cheeks.
"Now, listen very carefully. I'm going to need to need you to get away from your friends; do you think you can do that? Answer yes or no."
"Yes," Bella answered knowing that she could not, but not wanting Renee to be harmed.
"Good, I know it won't be easy, but you convinced a vampires you were the best for him, I'm sure you can get away from two," Kate's voice escalated to near pain. "And you must know enough about us by now to realize how quickly I would know if you tried to bring anyone along with you. And how little time I would need to deal with Renee if that was the case. Do you understand?"
"Yes." Bella's voice broke.
"Very good, Bella. Now this is what I want you to do. There is a deserted house five blocks away from you; remember this address- I won't repeat it. One-Twenty-Four Seventy-Sixth Street."
Bella scrambled to write the numbers down on hotel stationary as Kate continued.
"Get away from Esme and Alice and catch a cab and come to this address. It's important that you don't make your friends suspicious. I need you to think and plan that you'll do whatever Alice wants you to do. I would hate for James and Victoria to have to hurt Alice and Esme to get to you."
"He'll never forgive you if you hurt them," Bella whispered, hoping Alice didn't hear her or thought she was speaking of Charlie.
"Of course not, but it doesn't matter. I have royal plans for Edward, plans that some people won't let him refuse," Kate sneered. "Now, say, 'Thank you, Renee.'"
"Thank you, Renee." Bella tried to fight back tears.
"Goodbye, Bella. I look forward to seeing you again." Kate hung up.
Bella was frozen in terror, thinking of how to make Alice think she was going with her and getting away at the same time.
"Don't even think about it, Bella," Alice exclaimed.
Bella looked at her in dread as Alice stared daggers into her.
"I have to; she has Renee," Bella pleaded.
"Bella, listen, you won't save her."
"I have to try," Bella pleaded.
"It won't work," Alice assured. "Her plan is to kill you and have James and Victoria kill Rosalie, in the same way Royce killed her. They're going to sexually torture her and then rip her to pieces."
"No," Bella gasped.
"Yes, and she knows Edward will want revenge and will follow her. She is planning on leading him to Volterra where he will become a vampire slave to the Volturi because of his talent. He'll never get away from them, that is her punishment for leaving her."
Bella let the waves of dreadfulness wash over her.
"What do we do?" she murmured.
"We stop her." A familiar but unexpected voice stated. Bella whipped around towards the voice.
"Edward?" she sobbed as she was engulfed in his strong arms. She barely registered his clothes were ripped and tattered and muddy. His hair was more of a disaster than normal and he looked ravenous.
"Edward?" she cried unbelieving it was really him. "How are you here; you're not supposed to land for another hour." Awfulness washed over Bella when she realized Kate was probably in hearing range. "Oh, god, you can't be here, what if Kate hears you and kills Renee? You have to leave; you can't be here."
"Bella, calm down. Everything is fine, sit down and I will explain."
As Edward carried her to the couch Bella, she saw Esme had returned.
"I don't understand," Bella cried.
"Bella, I'm sorry, we lied to you," Edward offered, eyes looking directly into her, "I lied to you."
"What?" Bella asked.
"I tracked Kate here to Douglas and knew her plan, but Alice saw that we had to let her think she had the upper hand to stop her," Edward explained.
"What about Renee?" Bella asked.
Bella could see the hesitance and dull, dead look cross the three vampires. She didn't want to admit she saw the answer to Renee. She shook her head vehemently and sobbed, "No, no, no, no she's alive. She's not dead because of me. She's alive. I heard her voice ten minutes ago on the phone, and she's alive."
"Bella, listen," Alice began, but was interrupted by Bella. "NO, you're wrong. She did not die because of me," she yelled.
"No, she did not die because of you," Edward said in his most soothing voice- "but she has passed away."
"What are talking about?" Bella cried.
Edward looked at Alice, stood up, and walked with Bella into one of the bedrooms.
"Lie down with me?" he asked.
Bella wanted to get out of the room… to find Kate herself… to do something, but she was broken. Someone had died because of her. Someone who had abandoned her when she was child, someone who had wanted nothing to do with her, but someone she had loved regardless.
"She died because of me, Edward," Bella urged.
"No, she didn't," Edward countered as he picked her up and lay her on the bed. "You did not play any role in her death. You had nothing to do with it."
"Tell me what happened from the beginning," she demanded.
"We traced Kate to Kansas City two days ago. She was searching for something, but she was clever and only thought, 'her', she never thought a name or thought of what she looked like."
"You didn't know she was looking for Renee?" Bella asked.
"No, I did not. We were all confused as to what she was looking for; until yesterday when she asked someone about a Renee Dwyer."
"Dwyer?" Bella wondered.
"Renee had married a Phil Dwyer, years ago apparently."
"The baseball player?" she asked.
"Yes. Kate was directed to an old landlord who told her Renee was currently in a hospital. She looked around in her apartment and found an old video of her looking for you."
"That doesn't make sense; her voice was different. It was smokier, raspier," Bella said.
"It wasn't Renee's voice you heard-it was Kate imitating what Renee sounds like in the last video of her she found," Edward explained.
"So, she's not here at all?" Bella asked.
"No, she was in an Intensive Care Unit in Kansas City yesterday. When Kate made her decision to come find you, Rosalie and I went to see Renee while Carlisle watched Kate look through her apartment," Edward said.
"How did she know I was here?"
"We think someone was tracking Alice or Esme's credit card and found you here, but we are not sure."
"You and Rosalie went to see Renee?" Bella asked.
"Yes. Renee was on very powerful pain killers and antibiotics. I read her chart; she had Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis of the liver. She was in and out of consciousness and her doctors had given her less than forty-eight hours to live the day before."
"Cirrhosis is from alcohol and drugs, right?" Bella inquired.
"From what I could tell from the landlord, she didn't live a great life; she was only diagnosed with both last year. It had been severely advanced by the time she went to a doctor," Edward informed her. "Bella, I'm sorry."
"Don't be," Bella said. "I'm not; she made her choices. I didn't want her to die because of me, as selfish as that is; I didn't want to be the cause of her death."
"It's not selfish to think like that," Edward preached. "It's selfless; you were willing to save her from Kate. That is not selfish, Bella, that is brave."
"Brave?" Bella laughed. "Is bravery willing to meet a vampire to possibly save someone you don't even know anymore?"
"You were never going to be meeting Kate or any other vampire," Edward voiced looking hard at her, "but, yes, it is brave to want to save someone, no matter who that someone is."
"So, what happened next?" Bella queried.
"Rosalie wanted to kill Renee herself, but I assured her that she wouldn't be living much longer. I hadn't seen that much rage in Rosalie since she had woken up a vampire. I had told Rosalie the basics of Renee and Charlie while tracing Kate," Edward explained.
"Is that how Kate knew to locate Renee?" Bella inquired.
"No, we weren't within hearing range of Kate when I told her. I think Victoria learned of Renee in Forks and located her information for Kate. Kate read some texts that didn't make sense until she found Renee."
"Are they after Charlie too? Where are James and Victoria?" Bella pleaded for information.
"She was originally after Charlie also; when he went to La Push last night, she was run off by the Quileute tribe," Edward said.
"How did the Quileute tribe run off a vampire?" Bella wondered.
"Another story all together, but Victoria turned towards Arizona. James or Victoria slipped and the decisions were put in place and Alice could see what they had planned. Kate didn't make her way to Arizona until last night before I called you. Alice had already sent me the plan, but saw we had to let Kate think she had us fooled," he said.
"So, you lied to me," Bella said.
"I'm sorry, but yes; we didn't know if Victoria was somehow close enough to you to hear us, so we…" Edward called and changed "…I lied to you."
Bella nodded. She could understand why they had lied. She was prepared to lie to Alice and Esme to get away from them.
"Renee?" Bella asked.
"She passed away yesterday as Rosalie and I were leaving," he stated, but Bella felt he was leaving something out.
"Is there anything else I should know about your visit?" she begged.
"You may not like it," Edward warned.
"Just tell me," she pressed.
Edward sighed and hugged her harder to him.
"Like I said, she was going in and out of consciousness. She was coming to when we were there. I wanted to leave, but Rosalie refused. She knew what could happen if Renee came to enough to recognize her."
"She recognized her, didn't she?" Bella hinted.
Bella thought Rosalie may have scared Renee or maybe throttled her for doing what she had done to Bella.
"She woke up and saw me first. She was confused; she barely recognized me. But when she looked at Rosalie, she knew immediately who it was," Edward admitted. "She was scared, terrified. We were both hungry and our eyes were completely black."
"I can't imagine being her spot," Bella commented.
"Between hunger and anger, Rosalie barely kept control of herself. She snarled and growled at Renee. She thought we were demons come to take her to hell," he admitted. "The panic of it put too much stress on her and she had a heart attack. We left when her monitors alerted her nurses. She passed before we left the parking lot."
Bella nodded her head. "She wasn't my adoptive mother anymore. She gave up her parental rights to me years ago."
"She was still a big part of your life," he argued.
"She did more bad than good," she countered.
"I love you," he announced.
They heard the door to the hotel suite quietly close a few moments later.
"Where are they now?" she asked.
"All of them, Kate, James, and Victoria were in Douglas. All of them were waiting for you," Edward said sternly.
"Were?" Bella asked.
"They weren't expecting Rosalie, Jasper, Emmett, Carlisle, and me to show up," he said.
"But you're here with me, not with them," Bella inquired.
"I was within feet of Kate when she was talking to you," he hesitated, "She was going to torture you for hours, until I could find you. I tried to talk to her, get her to stop, but she wouldn't understand. When she realized I wasn't alone, that it was a disadvantage on her part, she lunged for me. Rosalie grabbed her. I made sure everyone was okay. Rosalie and Carlisle and I took care of Kate and Victoria quickly. Jasper and Emmett..." He didn't finish, just shook his head.
"What?" she asked.
"Nothing for you to worry about; they're fine," he assured, but she insisted she wanted all of the information.
"What are you not telling me?" she asked.
He sighed and told her, "We knew what James had in store for Rosalie; you can guess what Emmett and her reactions were."
He continued reluctantly, "We rarely get to use our full strength. Play fighting can only go so far even with us; even we have to ease up at some point. Fighting James, Jasper and Emmett don't have to ease up. Their playing with him; it could go on for hours, if not days."
"Wow," Bella offered.
"I shouldn't have told you that," he complained.
"No, I want to know everything."
"Esme and Alice have left to go buy everyone clothes, so we can leave," he said.
"Leave?" Bella asked terrified they were leaving without her.
"Well, we do have a summer semester to start next week and other things to contend with," he said.
"What about Kate's family? Tanya?"
"When Tanya found out Kate's plans included Rosalie and dragging me into slavery with the Volturi, she..." He shook his head from the memory. "She's devastated it had to end this way, but she knows Kate would have never stopped. She would have never forgiven me. She would have killed you eventually and I would have killed Kate."
"So, it's really over?" she asked.
"It's over," he assured.
"No more Glaring Kate?" Bella asked.
"No more," Edward promised.
They cuddled on the bed for a few minutes soaking in everything that happened.
"I bought a box of condoms," Bella suddenly announced.
"Rosalie's just a floor down and can hear us," he said. "She'd like to speak with you."
"Let's just cuddle for a few more minutes, until Alice and Esme come back."
"Okay," he laughed. "You need a nap from what I hear."
Bella leaned up away from Edward.
"Thank you," she said leaning back down to kiss him.
"For what?" he asked against her lips.
"Thank you for saving me, again," she yawned and snuggled into him.
As Bella slipped into unconsciousness she heard Edward say, "I'll always save you, Bella."
Thoughts? Bella and Rosalie reunion and what's to come next. I'll try to get it to you within four weeks.
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