A/N: So who doesn't love the awesomeness that is Charlie Swan. I know I certainly love the man and his mighty mustache. These is no smut here, which is odd for me I know. Maybe one day I can write a smutty Charlie fic. In the meantime, enjoy this one. Thanks to my beta team SweetT129, abbymickey24, idealskeptic, and my fic wifey stephlite for going over this.
All things Twilight are the property and ownership of S. Meyers. I make no money from my obsession.
Summary: Charlie Swan has been gracious long enough. Hurt his daughter and there is no edge of the world he will not search to find you. "Didn't anybody ever tell you not to mess with a cop's daughter?" NM, AU, Vamps, Humans, and one pissed off cop.
For Bells' Sake
I knew I was being stupid, letting her date that Cullen boy, but what's a dad to do? I admit that I was trying hard to get her to like it here in Forks. I wanted her to stay, and if dating Captain Frilly Hair was what it took, then I would allow it. I would allow that boy into my house, let him be near my only child - near my daughter - even though I knew what he really was; a damn leech.
Bells went off to live with my ex-wife, Renee, in Phoenix the minute the divorce was final. She was only four, and never understood why her dad couldn't be there. Of course, I saw her holidays and summers, but having her back in Forks with me for good has been a treat. I've got my family back; she's the better part of both Renee and Mama Swan.
And then... That boy… That creepy, lurking, stalking, no good, trifling vampire had won my baby's heart.
I knew all about the 'Cold Ones,' or the Cullens. Yeah, them and their 'Oh I got yellow eyes, so I'm better than you' attitude. I'd take a red-eyed vampire any day. At least then you knew what you were dealing with. You didn't have to worry if they were going to forget to play human and fall off the wagon. It ain't natural denying oneself like that. That blonde-haired boy sure looked like he was about to snap any minute, and I wouldn't want my Bella on the receiving end of that.
I had heard those stories from Billy for years but it wasn't until I stumbled upon Sam Uley vibrating and then exploding into a huge, black wolf in the middle of the forest that I started believing them. I listened more at the bonfires and took note of things that were out of place from that point on.
When the Cullens showed up in Forks, my gut started telling me there was something off about them, so I looked for all the signs. They weren't wolves like the tribe; they had weird-colored eyes and were cold to the touch, they never ate in public, and drove faster than anyone I've ever seen -that took great reflexes. It all added up.
Would I ever be able to defend myself against one of these vampires? Sadly, I learned I couldn't, but I was determined that I'd go down fighting - I had found me something special that I couldn't wait to use on dear old Edward. It's amazing what you could find down on the rez.
At first, I didn't know they were "gifted," but it was amazing what that internet at the Forks Library could pull up. Things like mind reading, body manipulation, and mind control. I didn't know which was real and which was fiction, so I decided to just keep my mind clear and focused, and hoped I could block them from any type of control.
I felt silly at first, but then I noticed how quickly Bella had become so close to them, and my "preparation" didn't seem so paranoid anymore. I wasn't sure if she was under his control or just dazzled by him, but I kept a close watch.
Since her birthday party, he had started acting weirder than usual. He was planning something, and I was damn well going to be ready for it. So when the rumors spread that the Cullens were moving, I raced home as fast as I could. He would not take my Bells from me. She was mine to protect until a suitable - and living - man came to take over the responsibility.
It wasn't just about protection though. I wanted Bells to have what I didn't. I wanted my baby girl to have love. Love that would keep her warm at night, help her to raise her children, guard her heart and soul, and tell her that she's pretty. That's what a woman needs - to feel loved and appreciated - and my little girl was growing into a fine woman. I'd be honored to walk her down the aisle someday.
I slowed my cruiser and parked it on the corner before slowly making my way to the house. The hair on the back of my neck was standing on ends. Something was wrong. I saw the note that was supposedly left by Bells. Psft! I knew her chicken scratch; this was too perfectly done. Liars; that's all they were, with their sparkling and romancing. They just hid behind their tricks to lure you in. Hmph. Good doctor indeed. I balled up the note and tossed it to the ground, then grabbed my shotgun from my gun case and headed out on the trail to find her.
I heard it then, off in the distance. It was her voice, calling that boy's name and getting farther and farther away. No, please. Don't take my daughter. I picked up my pace and saw her when she tripped. It was getting dark, and I could barely make out her figure, but I knew it was her.
"Bells! Bella!" I screamed.
I found her huddled into herself on the ground. I looked around quickly to see if that boy was still around, but he was gone. Did he hurt her? Was he after her? I rolled her over to face me, and she was crying. I tried asking her if she was hurt, but her whimpers got louder and louder. I found no blood or bruises, and that's when I realized what I was dealing with. This was a broken heart. This was something I wasn't sure I could fix.
"Bells, I need you to get up." I tried, speaking softly. She only whimpered more.
"Bells. C'mon now. You have to get up," I tried again, but she just kept crying. That was it. I'd had enough.
I grabbed her face gently and turned her head to look directly at me. She was going to listen.
"Isabella Marie Swan… You get up right this instant. Swan women don't sulk, and neither do those crazy Dwyers. So get up right now, young lady!" I said, a little bit harsher than planned.
It worked though. She blinked her eyes and whispered my name, then launched herself into my arms and proceeded to cry. I patted her back and comforted her as best I could, butI was still angry. I wanted that boy's head roasting in my fireplace.
I asked her if the Cullen boy was still around, and she shook her head. That meant they already had a head start. It couldn't be much more than a half hour, though, so I grabbed Bella up and walked her back through the forest. I put her in the cruiser and ran back to the house to grab that cell phone I kept for emergencies. Rushing back out to the car, I snapped my shotgun in place, and hopped in the front seat. I began the drive to the Cullen's house, knowing I needed to start there. Maybe they hadn't left yet.
When we got there, I noticed all the cars were gone and the house emptied. I got back into the car and slammed the door hard. They could be headed anywhere. I had failed my girl again. I looked at her sullen and broken expression. It was a look I knew all too well - I was like this the day Renee left and took Bella.
From the beginning, I had stayed in this town and let it eat away at my marriage - Renee was a free bird, and I was set in my ways. I liked my hometown and the stability it offered. She left while I was at work, and her note was simple and heart-shattering: "We knew it wasn't going to last much longer. I need to be free and I can't be here with you." It took a while after she left before I came to realize that I wasn't the one for her, but I still should have gone after her and given her a piece of my mind. My Bells, however, was going to get her say. I would not let her give in and give up.
I knew the Cullens couldn't have gone far, but I had no idea which way to go. I tapped my steering wheel, trying to remember anything I'd heard, but I came up blank. And then it clicked… Bella would know.
"Bells, I need you to tell me where they went," I asked her, only to be met with sniffles amidst the silence.
So I waited.
"It doesn't matter. He didn't want me. It was all a game," Bells mumbled.
"Let me tell you something. You are all I got left in this life, and I am not going to let some vampire punk think my daughter is a toy," I growled.
I heard Bells gasp. "How did you know?"
"Oh, you'd be surprised. Now tell me everything."
And that she did. I have never wanted to rip someone to shreds before, but I sure as hell did now. She told me what really happened in Phoenix and at her birthday. But what had me grinding my teeth was what he had said to her just hours before. I couldn't believe that Alice had left too. I thought she was different. She was what made me give that Edward a chance.
Now I knew where they were headed. We figured they'd go to Alaska, someplace cold enough to match their dead hearts. I knew all the possible roads they could have taken to head in that direction - they wouldn't go the Ferry route through Port Angles. Knowing their cars, they'd head back to Seattle and take the 5 - it was nothing but highway 'til Vancouver. If I reached them before the border, I was good.
I pulled the car out the driveway and pushed the pedal down quickly. I was going to catch up to them, no matter how fast they were driving - never doubt my cruiser. I floored it and headed out. This would be the first time I'd actually get to push this car to 100. Bells was looking shocked at my driving and quickly tightened her seatbelt.
"Bells, we are going to confront that boy, and you are going to tell him that Swan women are worth the sun and the stars. That you are every bit stronger because of this. Do you see how he has treated you? Controlling you? What happened to my Bells? That girl that would tell me to buck up? You never let anyone walk over you. Why him?" I asked her. I really wanted to know.
"It all seemed too good to be true. So when he said he loved me, I felt like I needed to do anything to keep him," she whispered.
"Was it worth it, Bells? Giving up who you are? Your friends and your family?"
"No. Not now," she said, more defiantly.
"I would have been okay with you being with him, if he was your forever. I would have said goodbye if he loved you enough," I said to her.
Bells reached over, grabbing my hand and whispering her thanks. I was being honest - I would never deny anyone their happiness, even if that meant my own daughter would be one of them. God knows you can't help who you love. Take me, for example: I have been in love with my best friend's wife for years now - there would never be another for me. Sue Clearwater was the one. However, I think Harry would mind if I went off confessing my feelings about his wife. Because of my love for her, I let her continue to be happy with Harry and don't interfere. It's the same for Bells - I'd take a bloodsucker as my son-in-law, but only if he proved worthy.
I had to stop for gas in Sequim, and was worried that they were too far ahead. They had at least an hour on us. Once back in the car I turned on the radio, hoping for congestion or something that would hold up traffic. Thank God, there was one just outside Sequim, before Seattle. It would buy me the time I needed.
I hopped back in the car and Bells was staring out the window. "Do you want to keep going?" I asked her.
This wasn't about me, I realized. Maybe I should have asked this sooner.
"Yes. I need to say what I already should have when he said all those things to me. I just need to know," she said, her voice stronger than before.
"It still hurts. Right?" I half-smiled at her.
"Yeah, it still hurts," she said before turning to look back out the window.
We hit Seattle and jumped on the 5. We were just passing Martha Lake when I saw that damn shiny silver Volvo. Four cars were in front of him, each weaving through traffic and going extremely fast. Bells must have saw it too, because she perked up and I saw in her face that little girl that had begged me to push her faster on her bike so long ago.
"Faster, Dad! I see them!" she screamed, grasping onto the dashboard.
My heart warmed a little. She had this look of glee and mayhem all rolled into one. It was probably matching the one currently on my face.
"Sure, Bells," I said with a grin, flooring it.
"Thanks," Bells said as she flipped the sirens.
Yes! My Bells was coming back. I knew that she was almost a woman, but I still saw the little girl that would love for her daddy to turn on the sirens and capture imaginary criminals for her. This one wasn't imaginary, though.
The Cullens did slow down a little as they heard the sirens, but I think they were too far ahead to really be affected by it, because they began to pick up the pace again. Well, they will hear this… I grabbed my walkie-talkie and flipped on the bullhorn.
"Edward Cullen! Pull over!" I screamed.
He would be a coward if he didn't pull over. Edward didn't slow down, but the leading car did, and then, one by one, they took the service road exit.
Good. I wanted some privacy.
I pulled up behind them and was about to park the car. I looked at Bella first, worried that she'd back down, but she was out of the car before I could fully stop. I quickly followed, bringing my shotgun with me, and went to stand beside her.
Carlisle and Esme got out of their car, followed by Alice and her boyfriend, then the big guy and the blonde girl. Last but not least was the jerk in question.
Each of them tried to speak, except him. He just looked down. Guilty. I opened my mind and let him see what I found: my daughter chasing after him, lying on the ground, feeling like nothing. He grabbed on to his car and dropped his head lower.
I had never been as proud of my daughter as I was in the next moment. She started with the parents; asking why they let a spoiled seventeen-year-old boy lead them, lie to them. Mrs. Cullen tried to speak and reach out to Bells, but my girl held her hand up to stop the woman I knew she had become so attached to. Carlisle just pulled his wife back to him.
"Bella, we thought this was what you wanted," Carlisle spoke. I could see he was confused.
Bells sighed and shook her head. She told them all that Edward had said to her, word for word. It did nothing but anger me more. Then she went to her best friend, Alice, and laid into her. She told her that she could have at least said goodbye. Bells said the same thing to the big guy, Emmett. She turned to the hungry-looking one, Jasper, and said she forgave him. Honestly, I did too - their way of life ain't easy, I would presume - but I still flinched when she hugged him and told him to be true to himself. Bells went to Rosalie next and asked her why she had always been so mean.
"Because Bella, you deserved a life. Not one like ours. Eddie was going to continue to be a pussy about not tell you things, so I figured you two weren't meant to be. I thought you'd be better off if I scared you away. This life isn't all kittens and rainbows," Rosalie replied.
Bells nodded and thanked her for her honesty. She was moving towards Edward next, but Emmett beat her there and punched Edward in the jaw. He slammed right into his Volvo, leaving an Edward-sized dent in it. He called him every dirty name I knew and some I didn't. I liked this guy…a lot. Why couldn't Bells have chosen him?
Bells called out Emmett's name and he stopped. Emmett asked for her forgiveness, telling her that Edward told the family she wanted a clean break; that she didn't want to say goodbye. Eddie boy had lied to them all. Alice then stepped up and said that he even urged her not to see into her future. I gasped at that, causing everyone to tense. They could do that as well?
"It's okay, he knows. He always knew," Bells said.
"And you still let this idiot date your daughter?" Rosalie asked.
"I'm a father that loves his daughter, even when she makes unwise decisions," I replied.
Bells then made her way over to the idiot in question. She told him how he made her feel, how his choices had ruined the possibility of something great, and how his deceit was damn near unforgivable. She expressed herself with the poetic genius that was her mother. Renee always had a gift for words- she knew every way to say I love you, and just about as many ways to say she couldn't stand you.
Edward wouldn't look at her when she spoke. Why couldn't he be a man about this? Bells got angry, stomping her foot and screaming at him to look at her. His eyes quickly made contact, and even I took a step back.
I had only seen that look on one other's face…Mama Swan. Marie didn't take any crap and had quite the sassy mouth. To see it on my daughter made me even more proud. Bells told him he was a coward and that she couldn't understand how she ever loved a man like him.
"You shouldn't have! That's why I left! To save you and give you a better life!" he screamed at her.
"And that's your damn problem, Edward. You see that man over there," she said, pointing at me. I kept my face cool, but strong. "That man is my father. He is the one that gets to make choices for me when he sees I am unfit to do so. Charlie damn Swan. Not Edward Cullen. You do not have the right to take away my choices," she yelled at him.
Rosalie came closer to Bells as Edward got angrier. I loaded up my shotgun and everyone but Bella and Edward turned to look at me. I felt their eyes on me, wondering if I had lost it, but I didn't stop loading. Once done, I cocked it and pointed right at him.
"Didn't anybody ever tell you not to mess with a cop's daughter? Now you need to back up out of her face or you are going to lose yours," I said calmly.
Edward and Bella stopped their stare-down to look at me. Jasper walked closer to me, but I did not waver. He sniffed the air and smirked at me, then called for Emmett and advised him to sniff the air too. Emmett smirked as well and stood to the side of me with Jasper.
"Rosalie babe, you might want to stand closer to Bella," Emmett said, smiling at me.
Yeah, I really liked this guy. Jasper didn't seem half bad either. Rosalie shook her head, but stood closer to Bella.
"Look Bella, I love you, and did what was best for you," Edward whined.
"What's best for me? You wouldn't know what was best for me if it slapped you in the face!"
Just then, she grabbed Rosalie's hand and used it slap Edward. I was quite sure Rosalie assisted in the force because Edward's face jerked to his right. Rosalie had a sinister grin on her face, but Bells was still pissed. Now that was her showing her inner Charlie Swan. Always be resourceful.
"I'm going back to Forks. But know this, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen. I may still love you, but the hurt and pain you have caused me are too much to forgive right now. You need to grow up and realize you are not the end-all, be-all. You can't govern people's lives. My life is my own. Mine. I can't promise to wait…"
"Thank God!" I interrupted.
"Like I was saying," she said, glaring at me. "I can't promise to wait, but I have faith in you. Our love couldn't have been a lie," she whispered.
He came closer to her in attempt to touch her, but she flinched.
I raised my shotgun again. "Don't even think about touching her," I growled.
"You do know guns don't hurt us?" he asked condescendingly.
Emmett then coughed out 'werewolf,' and coughed again. Edward's eyebrows rose in shock, and he took a step away from Bells, who gave me a look that definitely meant we'd be talking later.
Then she turned back and said goodbye to Edward and thanks to Rosalie. She went into the open arms of Carlisle and Esme, who hugged her close, just like Renee and I used to. Esme whispered something to Bells and kissed her forehead; Carlisle did the same. Jasper and Emmett walked back over to her, and she hugged them both and told them to behave.
Bells then stopped in front of Alice. They grabbed each other tight, and Alice handed her something. It was a cell phone. She told Bells to stay in touch, and then walked her back over to the car and wrapped her arms around me. I still did like Alice. She was like another daughter to me.
"Take care of her Charlie," Alice said.
"Always will, Alice," I replied.
I turned to Edward. I had one last thing to say to him.
"Do not, I repeat, do NOT stalk my daughter. You approach my house like the decent young man I know Carlisle and Esme have showed you how to be. Do not creep into my daughter's window and watch her. Think I didn't know…hmph. When she is ready to contact you, she will. No letters, phone calls, emails, text messages, carrier pigeons, or smoke signals. No contact unless she initiates. You hear me?" I asked sternly.
I didn't care if he was actually old enough to be my grandfather. He acted like a child, and was going to get talked to like one. I started to go back towards the car, but quickly thought of one more thing and turned back toward him.
"And for the love of God, get a haircut," I said waving at the crazy mop of hair on his head.
I opened the door for Bells and then walked around to my side of the car. Bells waved at her friends and I nodded at them. I locked my shotgun in place and got into the cruiser beside her. I watched as the Cullens converged onto Edward, yelling at him, as we pulled out. I shook my head at the scene, hoping they could talk some sense into him.
I pulled off the service ramp and back on the highway to take us home, and then reached over and squeezed Bells' hand. We both gave a brief smile. She knew I was proud of her. Heck, I was even a little proud of myself. I stared down seven vampires and lived. I protected my daughter, and hopefully got some confidence stored up in her. Isabella was becoming a good woman.
"So Charlie… What's this about werewolves?" Bells asked looking at me sternly.
"Oh… Uh… Crap!"
A/N: Captain Frilly Hair! Oh Eddie, you are so in trouble. Thank you for reading and I hoped you enjoyed our chief in action.