A/N: Hello, everyone! I know, I know, it's been forever since we've posted. If you're wondering what took so long, hop over to one of our profiles and check out Heroes in Latex. It features our favorite couple at Comic-Con and of course smutty goodness ;)
In other news, I finished Control! So if you're looking for a multi-chapter fic that is complete check out my profile over at TWCS.
Warning: there is a bit of violence in this chapter… if you've missed warnings on previous posts, this fic is not for kids or the faint of heart.
The Platt family.
The Platts are one of the five founding families of Seattle. Over one-hundred and fifty years has past since, but the Platt dynasty and their hold over the community is solid. That wouldn't be the case if it weren't for an article in The Seattle Times. In the late seventies, the article ripped the well-to-do family out of obscurity and into Seattle's most elite social circles. It didn't take long for the once unknown family to make connections, allowing their legacy to grow.
They are the untouchables—society's darling family, especially their sweet Esme.
How I abhor that woman.
I met Carl in medical school and the two of us quickly became friends. True, I always hoped it would to turn into something more, but by then he was with Esme. Had I known the horrors that woman was responsible for, I wouldn't have spent so many nights wondering why I didn't measure up. I would not have been envious of her and what she held.
It was almost a decade after his marriage to her that Carl told me the real reason he married her. It wasn't out of love like everyone believes. I could barely contain my disgust when Carl told me of his drunken fit. How he violated Seattle's sweetheart. How he married her out of obligation. It took many years for me to reconcile that the man I respected and held in such high regard could be responsible for such a heinous act.
I moved to Oregon, away from my close friend and having to see their "happy" faces smiling back at me from the front page of the society section. Despite the distance we still manage to talk on the phone every week. I should have known something was amiss. I should have picked up on the signs and signals he was sending my way that he was in over his head.
I agreed to meet with him in Portland to discuss something that was weighing heavily on his mind. He told me about the girls and what his sons were doing, and the first thing I did was slap him across his face for being a part of those atrocities.
He gave me a sardonic smile and said, "Tia, I deserve much worse than that."
I told him I was going to the police, that the girls his sons are hurting need help and that his wife needs to be stopped.
"And who will believe you, Tia?"
He was right. Even if I did manage to convince the authorities that Seattle's royalty was guilty of human trafficking, I knew their connections would protect them. It made me sick that Carl expected me to remain silent. He knew my silence wouldn't last and that was why he enlisted my help now.
By having me help his sons and the girls that they were infatuated with, he was making me an accessory to the crimes that were committed. I could have told him no and carried out my plans to go to the FBI. It wouldn't have mattered; the Platts would have come to Esme's defense and gotten rid of the "evidence," leaving their darling girl looking like the victim of misunderstanding or worse—they could find a way to pin everything on Carl. And with the ridiculous amount of guilt that has amassed over the years, my friend would undoubtedly take the fall for his dysfunctional family.
The most I could do is help Carl's sons and the girls that were taken. I would push aside my disgust over his sons' actions and remain neutral. I would help heal all of them and prey Esme hasn't damaged them beyond repair.
I would do this because this is my calling.
The air swirls through the darkness. I can see it with debris that has been picked up as it floats on the currents, dancing in and out of the light that shines from the porch. Sounds of wildlife and the buzz of the generator in the shed are all that I can hear. I let out the stuffy air from the cabin that Carl secured, including turning the generator on as well as the water. Other than that, the place is pretty well maintained. The pantry has been stocked and I brought some perishables for the kids. I received a call from Carl, telling me that the "package" should be there. I could only guess that meant he was being watched or his phone calls monitored.
I walk back inside the cabin to wait and close the door behind me. As soon as the door closes, a large SUV pulls up the drive. I look through the window and wait for them to get out of the car, but no one does. I decide to go find out what the problem is.
"Okay," I mutter as I make my way down the steps and slowly approach the driver side window. My intuition is screaming at me that something is not quite right. The driver doesn't give any signs that they've seen me, and I gently tap on the window. My weariness is well-founded when the window only opens a crack.
"Who are you?"
Through the small space I can see it's a young man, one of Carl's sons. By his slight accent, I know I am dealing with Jasper.
"My name's Tia. Carl told me that you'd be showing up here tonight—"
"Who the hell is Carl?" he asks, cutting me off.
I resist rolling my eyes. Knowing that an early establishment of trust is vital, I carefully say, "Carlisle... your father. I've always called him Carl. I knew him before he became so uptight."
Jasper narrows his eyes when he sees my smile and says, "Bullshit."
"Excuse me?" At this point I can't help the amusement in my voice and the smirk on my face. I knew the kids had issues. Hell, no one could have left that house without some form of trauma done to their psyches.
"The old man's always been uptight, and I ain't never heard anyone call him Carl before," Jasper spits, eyes narrowed even further, trying to detect any dishonesty.
Knowing I'm treading in thin water, I say, "We can discuss this inside. I'm sure you're all exhausted from the trip."
I slowly tip my head to the side and I'm surprised to see one of the girls in the passenger seat. She's covered in filth, incredibly tiny, and deep asleep in a curled position. As I wonder how she's able to sleep comfortably sitting in an upright fetal position, Jasper's face blocks the girl's figure. His jaw is clenched tight, and I get the feeling that the tiny girl is Alice. Apparently his trust isn't easily earned because he's not talking.
"Were you coming in, or were you guys going to stay in the car all night? The girls might be more comfortable in a bed," I say, knowing from the detailed files Carl gave me that his sons are strangely protective of the girls they terrorized.
He turns his head forward, and I get the feeling that he wants both me and Alice in his peripheral vision. On one hand he wants to look at her, but he doesn't want to risk taking his eyes off of me.
So quietly I almost miss it, he says, "Yeah, beds."
"Did you need help?" I ask, jutting my chin in Alice's direction.
"I got it," he hisses, his eyes forming slits.
Arching an eyebrow, I decide to say nothing and head for the passenger side of the SUV. After opening the door, I struggle in vain to find some logical explanation for the scene before me. There is a young man passed out and tied to one of the seats. His fly is open and his privates are hanging out with dried, white stains on his shirt. I can only surmise that it is his own semen. Buckled in the seat next to him is a girl not much bigger than Alice. Her shirt is wrapped tightly around her torso, and I suspect it has something to do with the boy next to her. There is another boy in the back seat, his head laying in the lap of the third girl. Judging by his size, I know he is Emmett which means the girl is probably Rosalie. Her head is slumped down slightly, but I'm still able to see her cheek is discolored and swollen.
"I said I got it."
I jump at Jasper's voice in my ear. I hadn't realized he joined me on the other side. He tries to use his body in an intimidating way to get me to back away from the Suburban. Instead of backing away, I raise my hands in a calming way and say, "Alright. If you don't need any help, I'll go inside. One thing first."
Jasper needs to know that while I'm here to help them, I will in no way be bullied by him or his brothers. I do not wait for his permission because in this instance I don't need it. Without taking my eyes off of the young man before me, I say in a loud clear voice. "Everybody up!" Hearing the sounds of stirring in the backseat, I say to Emmett and Rosalie, "You guys come on in. I'll explain everything then."
I hear their whispering voices and smile while I head back inside. The cabin is not cramped like the outside appearance leads you to believe. It opens with a large living room and a small office jutting off the side under a set of staircases. Past that is the eating area which leads to an open kitchen. There is an archway on the other side of the kitchen that leads to some sleeping quarters. There is a total of four bedrooms—two upstairs and two downstairs. Two of them have two queen sized beds while the other two rooms have a single queen sized bed in them. It is my hope that the girls will bunk together in one room. I take a seat in one of the comfortable armchairs and wait patiently for the six of them to join me.
Jasper enters, carrying a shirtless Edward into the living room. He dumps him unceremoniously on the floor before heading back outside. When he reaches the door, he takes a step to the side to let Rosalie and Emmett inside. The first thing I notice are the fresh bruises on Rosalie's face along with a busted bottom lip. The second thing I notice is the tight grip Emmett has on the hem of her shirt. All of which are signals that there was an altercation during the trip which led to Emmett reverting to his younger persona.
I am barely able to see that Rosalie has violet colored eyes because they are nearly swollen shut. I nod to the couch and the two take a similar position they were in in the SUV—Emmett's head laying on Rosalie's lap.
Jasper walks back in the room, a couple of plastic bags in one hand and two duffel in the other. He has Isabella draped over his forearms and deposits her on the other side of Rosalie and the bags next to the couch.
I use the time it takes Jasper to unload the Suburban, to study the girls. They are filthy and their clothes are stained. Isabella looks dirtier than Rosalie; her hair is greasy, stringy, and dull, hinting to a lack of bathing and nutrition.
She is the girl I will have the most difficult time helping. In the file he sent, Carl mentioned the possibility of a drug addiction as a result of his son's penchant for drugging her before forcing himself on her. If that is the case, not only will I have to see her through her detox, but I will need to address it in her therapy and keep vigilant for signs of self-medicating.
It does not escape my notice that Jasper moves Alice from the car only when everything and everyone else has been removed. He has her cradled to his chest with one final duffel bag in his hand. He moves to the other armchair, and with more gentleness that was shown to either Edward or Isabella, he places Alice on the soft cushions. The corners of his mouth twitch up as he watches her squirm into a more comfortable position. When he sees that I am observing his behavior, the hint of a smile vanishes, his features totally masked.
"You had something to say?" he prompts.
I smile softly at the boy that was forced to become a man and say, "Have you all eaten dinner?"
"We've been snacking during the trip."
I open my mouth to ask if they would like something for dinner, but a groan from Edward stops me. He tries to sit up but is unable to, and slumps over to his side. "Where... What happened?"
"You climaxed to thoughts of nuns," Jasper mutters. "Then passed the hell out."
"Maybe you should tell me what happened, Jasper," I suggest.
"How did you know my name? I don't recall introducing myself to you," he responds, his guard right back up. "Just who the hell are you?"
I hold in the sigh that wants to escape and instead say, "My name is Tia, and I'm here to help you."
"You mean, with the cooking and cleaning?"
My teeth grate and I'm starting to see Jasper's misogynistic view of women. Whether it was planted in his head during early childhood or later encouraged with his time in Carl and Esme's care is yet to be determined. I quickly decide not to hold his ignorance against him and say, "Actually I'm here to help counsel all of you. The six of you will be equally responsible for the 'cooking and the cleaning'. For the most part I will be stopping in for your sessions."
Jasper is shaking his head and finally says, "No. No, this isn't right. This wasn't part of the plan. Carlisle said his therapist friend was a man."
"Yeah, he said we were meeting with a guy," Edward chips in.
"He told you exactly what I told him to tell you. Suppose you were unsuccessful in your escape. Now suppose Esme convinced one of you to divulge the specifics of the escape itself. Carl doesn't have too many female colleagues in Oregon. Esme would easily know that I'm the one helping you. Seeing as how she's never been my biggest fan, she would have no problem using her status and money to not only bury me, but my family and friends as well."
"Don't take this the wrong way, ma'am, but I don't think you'd be able to help us," Jasper says.
"Young man, I graduated Summa Cum Laude at the University of Washington with and M.D. in psychiatry and, I might add, a higher GPA than your father. I've been working in the psychiatric field for twenty years. If you can find someone with credentials better than mine and someone who won't turn you over to the authorities, by all means."
"Why? Why are you helping us?" I turn to face Rosalie who has decided to join the conversation but her attention in not on me – it's focused on Emmett.
"Carl is a friend of mine. He needed my help. All of you need my help. I can't in good conscious turn my back, let the boys fall into the system, and let you receive substandard mental health care from services provided by the state."
She doesn't say any more so I turn to Jasper with an eyebrow raised. The ball is in his court. I can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped; it doesn't work that way. That does not mean I can't pester them until they finally decide to open up about their problems.
Instead of challenging me again, he sighs and sits on the arm of the chair Alice is sleeping in while telling me about their eventful journey. When he gets to the part of the botched sedation I head to the office, telling Jasper to continue while I pull out my small medicine bag. I make my way to Isabella and lift her eyelids to see how her pupils react to the small beam of light I shine. Satisfied that her reaction to the drug will only be temporary, I turn my attention back to Jasper who looks uncomfortable, talking about Anthony's inappropriate behavior. His eyes keep darting to Edward and I have a feeling all of them usually walk on eggshells around him in fear of triggering his other personality. Properly medicating Edward will be my first task.
"If you guys are still hungry, there is food in the kitchen. This is your temporary home. I want you to feel safe and comfortable here, but I do want to lay down some ground rules," I say, leveling all of the kids that are awake a serious look.
"Ground rules," Edward asks still on the ground.
"Look at them more as guidelines. One: none of you are prisoners here, but I urge you not to leave. This house is in the middle of nowhere, and you have a greater chance of getting lost and dying from nature and the elements than you would finding help. It rains so much that all of the paths are hard to find and have a tendency to move. Next, please refrain from sexual activity. Girls," I say looking at Rosalie, "it is not your responsibility to service the guys anymore. You will not be punished or hurt if you refuse."
I turn back and look at each of the guys and say, "Is that understood?"
All of them nod their heads but Edward is the one in deep thought. Perhaps he is wondering if he can talk for both him and Anthony.
"There are four bedrooms. Two of them are upstairs while the other two are back, past the kitchen. I think it best if the girls bunk in one room while the guys take the bedrooms on a separate floor."
As soon as the words are out, Emmett starts thrashing his head and saying, "Na-uh. I'm sleeping with Mommy tonight. You can't take her from me. No."
I am surprised at the hostility in the glare that Rosalie shoots me, and she defiantly takes his hand and heads for one of the bedrooms in the back. Knowing that their relationship is far more complicated than the others, I let it go for now and turn back to Jasper.
"If you're not hungry, will you help me put the girls to bed?"
He nods his head and lifts Isabella before heading for the stairs and directly to one of the bedrooms. The two bedrooms have a queen size bed each, a bathroom, and an armoire by the corner. I help him pull back the covers from one of the beds and watch as he places her down in the middle of it. Without so much as a second glance, he walks out of the room. I make a move to remove her shoes, only to realize that she is barefoot. The bottoms of her feet are dirty and calloused. I pull the blanket up to her chin as Jasper enters the room with Alice in his arms. We repeat the same process, only he lingers with her and refuses to allow me to help in any other way.
I make a noise to remind him of my presence. He turns to look at me with a glare and huffs as he walks away. Just as he reaches the door, a noise coming from Alice's side stops him. He looks surprised as Alice moves away from the bed and joins Isabella, pulling the covers over their heads completely. It's apparent to me, that Alice is protecting Isabella. Jasper makes a move to come back, but I stop him with glare of my own.
"Good night, Jasper," I say, in the most authoritative voice I can muster. Instead of waiting for a response, which I know I won't receive, I usher him out and close the door behind me while waiting for him to walk down the steps.
I wait upstairs and listen to all the sounds around me for the all clear. The girls are all in bed and sleeping, and the boys are too. Instead of taking the second upstairs room for myself, I make my camp on the largest sofa in the living room.
She slowly circles the man, lying on the ground in a puddle of his own blood. She's wearing the sophisticated sundress that she was wearing on the society pages the day I decided to leave Seattle. I recognize the tiny office they are in. It is one I spent hours in, discussing politics and plans, making love on the desk, or simply being held in the arms of the man that she is now taunting. I would recognize Eli's cluttered office anywhere. People said our divorce was unnatural, that we shouldn't still meet up for coffee or call each other when we have both good news and bad. How could I not have him as a friend? Eli understands me in ways I can't begin to explain, and after years with him, I stopped looking for words to define our bond. To this day I still love him, but it wasn't enough.
The soft yellow of the flower print dress makes me sick when I see the blood that is splattered there. He reaches a hand out, desperately trying to reach the telephone. The demon bitch sees it and a cold sick smile spreads across her face as she takes the phone and base and brings it crashing down on his skull. Over and over again, and there's not a damn thing I can do but watch. Watch as she brutally kills one of my best friends—my soul mate.
I gasp, my belly tight and sore at how quickly I wrench my body in an upright position. Surprisingly, the sun has made its way through the canopy of the forest and infiltrates the living room. I'm in the cabin, away from the office where I saw Eli's death.
It wasn't real.
"Trouble sleeping?" I turn and see the owner of the voice is Jasper. I can only nod my head and he goes on to say, "She'll kill us if she finds us."
"Most of us. Yes," I say, agreeing with his statement. I have never been one to sugar-coat things and I refuse to do so now. Jasper knows just as well as I do the lengths Esme Cullen will go through to get what she wants. Deciding to move past the nightmare I'd just had, I say, "Can you go wake up Edward. I'll get Rosalie and Emmett."
"I'll ask Rosalie to take care of both Alice and Isabella." Seeing that he is about to protest, I raise my hand and say, "You and the guys have another task to worry about."
"Task?" he asks, as if the concept is foreign.
"Yes, task. Now go wake up Edward. You'll have time to freshen up later so meet me in the kitchen."
I wait for him to walk away before I make a move to stand up. I place my feet in my usual slippers, and while I walk to the rooms behind the kitchen, I place my hair in a ponytail. I can hear Jasper argue with Edward, trying to convince him to get up as I pass their room. I finally reach the last room and knock four consecutive, loud knocks. I gently pry the door open a slot and give them a warning that I'm about to walk in. They will soon learn that privacy will not be a possibility.
I open the door, and first thing to catch my eye is the ripped blouse on the floor. I hesitantly look at the occupants in the bed, not wanting to see any naked flesh. A bare-chested Rosalie is lying in the middle of the bed with the sheet up to her waist. Half of Emmett's body is on top of hers with his mouth attached to one of her nipples. Thankfully, he's on top of the sheets and completely dressed. They are both still asleep. This will be an issue that will have to be addressed. I make a mental note to ask Rosalie how long she has been breast-feeding Emmett and the name of medication she is taking. Her file indicated only the possibility.
I make my way to their bed and gently shake Rosalie's hand. Her eyes snap open and widen when she sees me standing near her. I place my arms in a surrender notion, and say, "Good morning. I need for you to wake up Isabella and Alice for me; I don't want to scare them. You girls take your time and shower. Everything you need is in the bathroom's storage cabinet. There is also new clothing in the armoire as well as undergarments. When you guys are done, meet us in the kitchen."
Her small nod is the only indication she makes that she understands. I clear my throat and with my eyebrows raised, I pointedly look at her chest. "Make sure he goes directly to the kitchen."
Her eyes widen when she realizes that Emmett has begun to suckle her breast in his sleep. She hastily reaches for the covers and pushes Emmett off her chest at the same time. I leave the room immediately after that. When I reach the kitchen, both Jasper and Edward are already waiting for me. It takes another five minutes for Emmett to join us; he avoids eye contact with me and sits next to his brothers.
"Do any of you know how to cook breakfast?" I ask. When they shake their heads no, it takes great effort for me to hold in the sigh. Not only have they been psychologically abused, they have also been domestically repressed, no doubt by Esme being over-bearing.
Yep, they are in for a rude awakening.
A/N: Was it who you were expecting? What did you think of Tia?