Disclaimer: I own nothing Twilight.
A/N: This is my reply to the recent news that has come to light. Take this, FF. *virtual finger*
Outside the Cullen Estate, 12:38 a.m.
He kept to the wood line on the walk from his car to the Cullen gates, to slide this in the ornate mailbox fastened to the stucco of the gate walls. He glanced down at the picture clutched in his hands, even though he couldn't really see it in the darkness around him, and felt that same sense of pride rise inside of himself. He wished he could be there to see whomever's face when they pulled his little bit of photography out of the little black box. How perfect his timing, how perfect that Emmett's giant head was in Texas for the next two days... thank God Vic had traced that from Alice's bank account, that she had purchased the two tickets to Killeen, to tie up loose ends in the act that he had committed, the end of Jasper Whitlock, and the end of the secret that had brought that little blonde-headed brat into the world. James bit the inside of his cheek, the old wound beginning to prickle again. When he handed off the dosage to Whitlock, Whitlock had promised him that he would have Alice after he had gotten the initial fuck. He remembered laughing at Whitlock, as the lanky bastard tried to fumble his way through explaining why he hadn't fucked her, yet.
"She has to be a fucking carpet muncher," Jasper had moaned to his secret friend, the one whom he never spoke to within the walls of Puget High. "I've tried everything: the dating, the listening, the eye contact, the chick flicks, and fuck the shopping! She'll let me get a handful of those perfect little tits, and then she pushes me away: 'no, Jas, I'm not ready', blah blah blah... fuck, J, can't a guy catch a break? We've been dating for ten months!"
"You're lucky you even get your hands on her tits," James had muttered sullenly, as he carefully weighed the powder on the digital scales in front him. "What I wouldn't give to just suck a fucking nipple! Your girl is something else, man."
Jasper grinned smugly, handing over the hundred dollar bill in exchange for the substance. "If this shit works, then after I'm done, I'll call you... you can have her before she comes to..."
James shook with rage at the memory. The shit had worked all right, and Jasper had spent the whole night fucking Alice in every position he could put the bitch into... Whitlock had made sure to brag on it, when he had come to thank James for such an awesome time... until five weeks later, when Jasper Whitlock told him with a pained face that Alice was pregnant... and it was no doubt his. If Whitlock had stuck around after the kid was born, James might have felt it was a fate well-placed. But as Whitlock tucked his tail and ran like the pussy he really was, James served justice in his way... for his Alice, but mostly for the fact that the call never came on prom night... and James had been ready to go.
He was still ready to go, nearly seven years later.
He heard the roar of tires on wet pavement in the distance, growing louder as the vehicle grew closer, and shrank a little further into the trees, hugging the dark in his black attire best he could. Though his car was parked on the side of the road some miles back, and this car would have passed it, no one would have reason to think it was anymore out of the ordinary than an unlucky driver that ran out of gas on a rural road. He watched it pass him, and keep going without so much as a flash of a taillight. He grinned a little more to himself for his skill in stealth and escape. Without those, and Victoria's computer genius, he would be wasting away in prison, and he would hate to see what the baddest motherfucker on the cellblock thought of his chiseled good looks. His ass cheeks clenched together at the thought, and he shook the visual from the forefront of his imagination, replacing it with the sight of watching Alice and Bella making out in the bed of Bella's truck the night he had left Bella the rose. He chuckled to himself. Whitlock was right about one thing: the bitch is a carpet muncher! He let that irony entertain him the rest of the short distance to the gates.
The lights were off by now, as the timer cut them at eleven-thirty, and it was now almost one, but he pulled his hood up regardless, well aware of the security camera pointing down at the entrance to the larger-than-life mansion that lay ahead. He knew his form would be caught, and he knew they would know it was him, but if they didn't see his face, there was no concrete proof...
He reached up and flipped open the lid of the mail bin, not paying attention to the drainage gutter beneath the sole of his boot, or the fact that the grate that covered it was loose, nearly caving in on one side. Tomorrow someone is going to see this, he thought to himself with a zing running through his body with the thought. He closed the lid, and shifted his weight onto his foot to turn and leave, and the pressure pressed the grate aside, opening the gutter, allowing it to swallow his boot. His ankle took the impact of the sudden loss of ground, and he landed on it hard inside of the twelve-inch-deep underground trough. And to make matters worse, the edge of the metal grate caught his black jeans and tore them up the leg a little, cutting into his flesh below the fabric. "Shit!" he hissed to himself, using the wall to regain his balance before he fell back. Once he felt secure, he tried to lift his leg out of the trough, finding that the hard landing had wedged the wide sole of his boot into the narrow space.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" he growled, pulling hard, and nearly losing his balance again when the boot didn't budge. He quickly untied the knot, and unwound the strings to loosen the boot enough to slip his socked foot free, but then he kneeled on all fours in front of the opening to try and pull the boot out, as well. He couldn't leave something so incriminating... those were the boots he'd worn on several scenes, including Whitlock's car, parked in that mud along the side of the road in Texas. But no matter how well he gripped it, twisted, and pulled, the boot refused to budge. He sat up, throwing his hands in the air, and by habit tried to tug at hair he no longer had. "Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!" he screamed his frustration to the dark forest around the walls, and tried once more, fruitlessly, to remove his boot from its prison.
He heard the sound of tires coming again, this time with a roar of an engine that could only be from a large vehicle, and tried to melt into the side of the wall. He couldn't leave this spot until he had both boots on his feet, and the spot he was crouched in was far enough away from the road that a passing car's headlights wouldn't sweep across him, revealing his position. So he sat still, waiting for the car to pass before trying to get his boot again, only as the car approached, it seemed to be slowing down. His heart began to thump wildly in his chest as his watery blue eyes began to dart around, searching for an escape route, if he should have the need for one. But what made this predator's blood run cold was the sight of the top lights of a jacked up Jeep Wrangler, and the sound of the Emmett's yell from inside the cab as the headlights fell on a scared and cowering James, who could not overcome his shock enough to run.
"WHAT THE FUCK?"
I heard Emmett's roar, jerking me violently from a nice nap I was having on the way home from the airport. When I bolted upright in the passenger's seat and looked around, I couldn't get a grasp on what exactly was going on, I only heard the engine of the truck roar as loud as Emmett just had and then felt a jerk forward as Emmett clearly pressed the gas pedal as hard as he could, but then we came to a screeching halt, so hard that my entire body lifted from the seat and went against the seatbelt, and slammed back down on stopping. Had I not been buckled up, I would have easily gone through the windshield. Then the Jeep was in park, and Emmett was gone, the driver's side door left open to the night, and something in my head clicked with one word:
Fully awake and coherent now, I quickly unbuckled my seatbelt and transferred over to the driver's seat of Emmett's Jeep, scooting the seat up and putting my cell phone to my ear simultaneously. I gave a quick scan of the dark outside the open door as Rosalie's cell phone rang on the other end of the call I was putting through, and spotted Emmett's white dress shirt disappearing directly down the middle of the dark road. I shut the door, and put the gear stick into reverse. If James wanted a game of cat and mouse, I would give it to him... only not in the roles he'd intended.
"Where are you?" Rosalie said in an irate tone when she answered, but I didn't give her the chance to keep complaining about her impatience.
"Get Bella and get to the main house now, and check on Mom, Dad, and C.J.! That bastard was just now here, and Emmett and I are chasing him down. We're going to get him!"
My adrenaline was pumping now, and all I could think about was how free I would be after this bastard was a grease stain on this Washington road.
"What? Oh my fucking—Bella! That fucking psycho is out there!" Rosalie screeched to Bella. "I'm calling the cops, Alice, just in case he manages to get away from you guys... if they canvas, we'd have a good chance at catching the slimy fucker."
Everything important being said, we hung up our call, and I caught sight of Emmett ahead, locked in a physical fight with James, trying to get his arms around him to wrestle him down to the ground, making it impossible for me to run the son of a bitch down. I slammed on brakes, and had just shoved the parking brake down when I saw a flash of silver in James' hand glint madly in the beams of the headlights, and in the next half second, I saw him jab my big brother in the side quickly, two times. I was confused at first as to why Emmett suddenly let go of James, and why James was now free and fleeing to a parked Toyota that I had just noticed, and why when I looked back at Emmett, he was on his hands and knees in the middle of the road as that bastard got away again...
...Until I saw the bright colored patch of red spreading up the side of my brother's white shirt, and watched as my hero crashed to the ground.
The engine of my truck roared to life as Rosalie babbled on her cell phone to whatever dispatcher was on the other end of the line, and though she was sitting right beside me in the cab of my truck, all I could hear was her steadily rising tone, I couldn't distinguish individual words. She had said three things in the apartment that had shut down all other coherent thought process: "Alice", and "fucking psycho". Past that point, I was on autopilot as we careened down the mile long driveway to the closed iron gates. I hit the button on the remote clipped to my sun visor, and the gates motors sprang to life, creaking as the metal barrier squeaked apart and I inched my way through them as they opened, impatient and worried for Alice, not caring about breaking something to get to her.
Headlights appeared behind me as I screeched tires into the open roadway, and instinctively I knew that Esme was right behind us, as that had been the first thing Rosalie had done after Alice's phone call was to call her mother-in-law, checking on the occupants of the main house. I'd already had my keys in my hand and was half way out of the door before Rosalie was right beside me, then dialing the police.
I didn't need to ask her why she climbed into that cab. She was going for the same reason I was: her Cullen was out there.
Not thirty seconds into the drive, my beams fell on the taillights of Emmett's Jeep, parked nearly sideways in the road, the driver side door open, but no one in the vehicle. I slammed on brakes and swerved my truck to the side of the road, jamming the thing into park before practically falling out of the cab. The Jeep was still running, despite its apparent abandoned state, and it wasn't until I heard the cries for help from the other side of the monstrous vehicle that my heart left the pit of my stomach. That was Alice's voice.
I ran around the Jeep, and spotted Alice crouched over Emmett, whose face was scrunched up into a grimace, and Alice was shirtless, wearing her bra and a pair of black slacks in the rain, but she had her shirt balled up and pressed into a dark red stain at Emmett's side... "Oh no," I moaned, realization kicking in. "No." I fumbled for my phone, but Alice shook her head.
"I've already called them, just please come help me keep pressure on this!" she sobbed, giving me a pleading look. "It's still bleeding a lot, and I don't know how deep it is."
"I t-told you, it's f-fine, it's j-just a scratch," Emmett said through clenched teeth, opening his eyes enough to glare at his sister briefly before a loud gasp filled the silence after his growl, and his gaze fell on Rosalie, standing by the back of the Jeep with her mouth open in shock. He didn't say anything, but his chest heaved that much harder, and I saw the tears gather over his eyes.
She was kneeled beside him in a flash, knocking Alice and I both to the side, both of her long, doll-like hands pressed firmly against Alice's sacrificed chemise. His eyes did not close again, despite the effort it took him to keep them open when he was in pain like that, and they maintained their silent eye contact as I pulled Alice to me, and let her bury her face into my t-shirt. She was safe, and she was here in my arms, those were all good things... but one of my best buddies was lying on the ground, bleeding because of this psychopath obsessed with Alice, and obsessed with me. This had to stop, it had to end somewhere, and there was no time left to play this guy's game. He had breached territory, gotten past all defenses... It was time to finally get this guy, and make it final once we had him.
I tightened my arms around Alice, angling my face so I could press a kiss on top of her messy spikes, thankful in the most selfish of ways that it was not her in the puddle of blood on the pavement, but wishing like hell that it wasn't Emmett in her stead. I heard Esme's truck, and I closed my eyes at what her reaction to this was going to be, remembering all too well the way she had blown up that day on the way to the gym.
"NO!" Despite my efforts to steel myself for the inevitable from his mother, her anguished cry still was like searing pain to my heart, and I flinched at the same instant that Alice whimpered in response to her mother's voice.
"He's fine, Esme," Rosalie said in a firm, clear voice. Her light blue eyes did not trail away from the dark blue set into the boyishly handsome face of her husband. "Alice surely called the ambulance—didn't you?" Rosalie broke her gaze from Emmett long enough to fix my girlfriend with an accusatory glare, as if daring her to answer anything but an affirmative.
Alice had her mind enough to be affronted, pulling her tearstained face from the front of my t-shirt to glare back at her best friend. "Of course I did, what the hell is the matter with you? That's my brother!" she said in a low, hoarse voice, managing to sound harsh through her tears.
"All of y-you are g-going on about n-nothing," Emmett said from the ground, attempting to sit up, but Rosalie gave a firm push on his shoulder with one hand to keep him still.
"Don't move," she said, shaking her head. "You'll bleed that much more, and I think I have it somewhat under control."
Esme moved forward, her eyes wide and her hand over her mouth, to hide her quivering lip, I was sure. She slowly dropped to her knees when she reached her oldest child's side, and instead of trying to take over Rosalie's position, she reached for his hair, and began to run her fingers through his dark curls. "How big was the knife, son?" she asked in barely more than a whisper.
"I d-didn't see it," he panted, wincing a little, but managing to keep his mother's gaze. "D-didn't feel t-too big, d-didn't go d-deep. H-hurts like a b-bitch."
"Okay, that's enough," Rose said softly, and I looked away after that moment, because there was a tenderness to her voice that I'd never heard, and I felt like I was intruding.
Alice was huddled into me, but her head was tilted sideways, and she seemed to be concentrating on something. "I think I hear the ambulance," she said after a second, and I listened, but didn't hear anything at first. I didn't say so, and was glad, because it was then that I heard the faintest sound of the sirens.
"Nice ears, babe," I said with a dry chuckle, not at all amused with the situation.
"F-freak," Emmett said, attempting to be light-hearted, but Rosalie growled at him to be quiet, and he winced again, though I think it was more his wife's tone than the stab wounds inflicted to his side.
"Another news flash," Alice said angrily, pulling away from me to pace in the rain. "Guess who the creep at the club last night really was?"
"No way," I said automatically, taking a step back. It couldn't have been, I had speculated it, but it was so far-fetched that I had pushed it from my mind. How could he have the audacity to stroll into La Lune Bleu after all the shit that had happened since that night months ago? And then to make physical contact with my Alice, violating her the way he did, disrespecting her the way he did, in words and action? I felt my blood rise with anger at myself that I hadn't done more than punch him a few times, when I had been that close to him, and I reached up and touched my bruised eye, doubling the bubbling lava filling my gut.
"In-fucking-deed," she replied sourly, not ceasing the little path she was making in the beams of Emmett's Jeep. She seemed to disregard the fact that she wasn't wearing a shirt, and I started when I remembered the numerous hoodies accumulated behind the seat of my truck. I needed a moment alone to process that thought, anyway.
"I'll be right back, I am getting a sweat shirt for you," I said to her, turning around and walking briskly towards the truck in the dark. Esme had parked behind my truck, and also left on her emergency lights, which was more than I had thought to do.
James. He was slick, he was an idiot... he was a slick idiot. How did that even fucking work? He couldn't spell "girl", but he could slip into disguise and infiltrate things like a nasty, disease-ridden cockroach in the dark? What the fuck else did this guy get up to? Or did I even want to fucking know?
I found a decent smelling hoodie after two tries, the first smelling like gym shoes, and shut the driver's side door of the truck a little harder than necessary, lost in my internal rant on this piece of shit. I was still going on in my head when I came back around the Jeep to see headlights coming from down the road towards us, the tires slowing as they approached, and immediately recognized the unmarked squad car that squealed to jolting halt fifty feet from us, blue lights flickering madly in the dark. The driver's side door slung open and then Garrett appeared, running straight to his comrade. "I heard the call through dispatch and got here as fast as I could... I passed the ambulance it's on the way. What the fuck happened? Is it that motherfucker?"
"Y-you know it," Emmett grunted, and then I looked up to see the ambulance coming around the bend in the dark, followed by a fire truck, and yet another squad car.
"I am going to shoot that son of bitch on sight, fuck protocol," Garrett seethed, and I thought to myself how James had all of us wanting his life, even this happy-go-lucky cop that I had grown to really like.
The medics clamored over to Emmett with a stretcher and began to take his vitals as they loaded the giant man onto the narrow board, and Rosalie reluctantly loosened her grip on Emmett's make-shift tourniquet, and let the trained EMTs take over. Esme pulled her daughter-in-law into her embrace and held her, and I saw Rosalie's eyes fill with tears before she turned her face away from Emmett, as if she didn't want him to see what I saw. "Ride with him," Esme said to her, and Rose nodded, gently detaching herself from Esme. "I'll follow."
I looked at the tiny girl in my own arms, and she shook her head at my silent question. "I have to stay with C.J.," she said softly. "I don't like leaving him with Edward because I don't know when his phone is going to chime and he is going to just fucking evaporate."
"Then I'll stay with you," I whispered, and she tightened her grip around my waist.
"Okay," she said, pulling away from me, but not before giving me a soft kiss. "Mom?" she said then, catching Esme's attention. "Bella and I are going to stay in my room in the main house tonight. Is that all right?"
"Fine, sweetheart," Esme said distractedly, pulling her middle child to her and pressing a kiss to Alice's rain soaked raven locks. "I'll keep you updated. Try to get some rest, and I am going to ask Garrett to spend the night... I don't think he would come back tonight, after almost being caught, but I don't want to be too careless. I love you."
"I love you, too, Mom," Alice said, swallowing hard. "Stay calm, okay? Em doesn't need to see you or Rose freak out."
Esme nodded, then looked at me and opened her arms for one of her warm hugs. "Take care of my little girl," she whispered to me, and though I felt a sense of trepidation in her words and tone, I ignored it and just nodded.
"Of course, Esme. Always," I replied in a whisper, and she pulled back, laying a hand against my jaw.
"You're a darling girl, Isabella. Mary Alice chose her life-partner well."
My heart swelled then for this petite woman, who was the much older version of her beautiful daughter. It was the highest praise I had ever received. Then I watched her turn and make a slow trek over to Garrett, and after a brief exchange of words I couldn't hear, he nodded emphatically, and Esme stood up on her tip-toes to kiss Garrett's rough cheek.
Esme was being very strange... and I seemed to be the only one who really noticed.
A/N: If this story is deleted, then I will be reposting it elsewhere, and I will be sure to let everyone know where it will be continued. Sorry for the wait, and this was originally intended to be longer, however I wanted to post this as my personal opinion of distaste at the censorship coming to light on FF. Plese read and sign the petion posted as chapter 19, and spread the word that FF admins have lost their Constitutional gourds.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH ISN'T JUST A SAYING!