AN: I apologize for the delay in the chapter. I am presently suffering from a very bad ear infection. Also one of my wisdom teeth has decided to make an appearance so it's difficult for me to concentrate at this point in time. I wanted to thank everyone for the reviews. I loved them all.
The Pillars On Which We Built A Family.
Chapter Three: The Joy In Simplicity.
As soon as I knew where Isabella was, I took of at full speeds, running down the corridor to Sophia's room. Her door was slightly ajar and I quickly entered the room only to be stopped dead in my tracks as I felt my breath leave me.
There cradled to the chest of an angel, my daughter lay sobbing.
"It's alright, darling. I'm not mad. Why would you even think that?" Isabella cooed to Sophia as she stroked her hair. "I just want you to get better and then everything will be alright." She said again, oblivious to my presence.
Not wanting to interrupt their bonding, I quietly snuck further into the room and took, what was now my designated seat and observed Isabella. When Jenks first showed me her picture, I was stunned. I never thought that it was possible for one woman to be that beautiful but now as I looked at her, I could not deny how truly beautiful she was.
Her waist length, coffee brown hair, fell down along her back in gentle waves. Her skin looked like porcelain without a blemish or mark. Her lips were pink, soft and inviting but her eyes were what drove me mad. Framed by her thick eyelashes, her eyes, a grayish-green in colour, seemed to smolder you.
Silence soon fell as Sophia fell back to sleep. Isabella detangled herself from Sophia and then made her way over to where I was sitting.
"Thank you, Jasper." She murmured as she sat.
"How do you know who I am?" I questioned
"Jenks… and CNN." She laughed quietly; her voice reminding me of wind chimes.
"Oh." I responded; still dazed by her laughter. "What? What can you possibly be thanking me for and how did you even know that I was here?" I asked a bit stunned.
Smiling softly she looked over at me before responding.
"I saw your reflection on the window when you walked in and I'm thanking you for taking care of Sophia for the last four years. Jenks told us everything."
"Isabella, you have nothing to thank me for. I, however, should apologize to you. I had no idea what Alice had done. Had I know, I would have looked for your family a long time ago." I said softly.
"You are not to blame. So please don't carry around any unnecessary guilt. And please call me Bella. I'm only Isabella when I'm in trouble with the parental units."
"Well then Bella are you staying with us for a while?" I asked as I discreetly switched off my phone; not wanting to be interrupted.
"I am but so are my parents. I hope you don't mind. It's just we can't bear to part with Sophia now that we have her back in our lives." She said quietly as sadness seeped into her voice.
"Bella, can you tell me something?" I asked softly as I turned to face her.
"Off course." She responded raising her head to look at me.
"Why didn't you all come before this? Alice told me you all were dead and I foolishly believed her but why didn't you all look for Sophia?" I asked the one question that had been burning in my mind.
"We looked and we tried to come but Alice hired a guy, James Nomad, I think his name was… but anyway he beat us at every turn. A couple months ago, my dad came to Seattle to see if he could get to see you. He actually scheduled a meeting with you and all your family members so that if he could get through to you, he may be able to talk to your family. James got wind that my father was in town and then the next day we get a call saying my dad was in the hospital. We sent letters. We tried calling. We sent fax. Everything. And nothing worked. The police here were no help. They would all tell us the same thing. We were the extended family members. Alice was the legal parent. There was nothing we could do."
"James Nomad as in blond hair, blue eyes, pale skin?" I asked; a bit angry by what I was hearing
"Yeah, why?" She asked softly.
"He works at the company. He's actually the head of our legal department. His wife is my secretary."
"Well that would explain the phone calls that never went through and the fax and emails that went missing as well as how he knew when my father was in town." Bella nodded.
"But it doesn't explain why he would work for Alice in the first place." I pointed out.
"Can we not talk of those things now?" Bella asked quietly, looking at me through the corner of her eye.
"Off course. I apologize. It's just…"
"You've been wronged and you want to get to the bottom of it. I get it. Its just talking about the many ways that Alice has hurt my family….our families is not on my list of topics I would like to spend my day talking about." Bella smiled.
"You are one of a kind." I said smiling at her.
"How so?" She asked as she tucked a stray strand of hair behind her head.
"A rational person would be hunting her down now." I commented.
"True but I am a mother. My place is here." She said with an air of finality. "You may agree with me when I say that blood doesn't always make the bond."
"I agree." I said softly. "Did she tell you what happened?"
"She gave me a brief overview. She knows that I don't think very highly of underage drinking. I always tried to put the fear in her mainly because my mother did the same thing to me. In my home lying and theft is a greater sin than murder. My mother always said that is I am ever charged with theft or perjury to never call her. She would leave me in jail but if it was murder then call. It might have been a mistake." She laughed.
"That doesn't make much sense." I commented with a raised eyebrow.
"Doesn't it? As decent human beings we all know murder is wrong and even fear the consequences of an action like that. Not every one likes the idea of being given the chair. So now take another act…like underage drinking. If you, as a parent hold an even higher belief on some like that then a decent human being is going to fear the consequences of that action even more than the consequences of murder. So they would never do it. Get what I'm saying?"
"I know explaining it is kinda hard but you see the remorse she felt for her actions tonight. She won't be doing any underage drinking again." Bella stated before her stomach growled loudly.
"Hungry I take it?" I said as I smirked at her.
"Famished but I can't pull myself away from her." She sighed.
"What if I get us some food? Would that be okay?" I asked softly.
"That could work." She smiled, "but do you think that you could get something for Sophia too. She'll be hungry when she gets up."
"No problem." I said as I stood to walk out the door only to run into Carlisle.
"Son, I was now going to talk to you. Is Isabella with you?" He asked softly as he ran a shaking hand through his already wild hair.
"Yes. I was now going to get us some food. Is something wrong?" I asked turning to look at his very troubled face.
"No. I just wanted to know if you all wanted some food. Your mother ordered from Carlinto's. I'll bring some back for you. "He said with a smile.
"Oh and could you bring some back for Sophia. Bella demand it."
"Bella?" He asked with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.
"She demanded that too." I smiled as I walked back into the room. "Food's on its way.' I said to Bella as she looked at me with a raised eyebrow at my sudden reentry. "My godfather and Sophia's doctor, Carlisle said he would be bringing some for us."
"Oh. That's kind of him." She said with a smile.
"Yes it is. So Isabella, while we wait can I ask you some questions?"
"Like twenty questions. What is this high school?" She laughed beautifully.
"No." I chuckled out my own response, "but I'd like to get to know you." I said softly.
"Okay. Fire away Mr. Whitlock." She said as she sunk down into her seat; pulling her feet to her chest.
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Hot and heavy pretty fast." She smirked. "And no." She said simply before Carlisle walked in with the food. "Oh and game over. That was pretty fast." She chuckled as Carlisle neared us.
"No this is intermission." I said flashing her a smirk of my own.
"Chicken all round. I hope that's alright." He said holding out the bag to me.
"Thank you." Bella said as she stood. "Not for the food but for taking care of Sophia."
"Ah Isabella…." the older man said in compassion. "You are truly a breath of fresh air. A mother through and through. There is no need to thank me, deary. Sophia will be alright. You have some food and get some rest. I know you won't leave so I'll have two recliners brought in for the both of you." He said as he made to leave. "Enjoy your dinner."
"He's nice." She commented as she sat back down. "Oh thank you." She said opening the box of food that I had just passed to her.
"He is." I said as I inhaled the deep aromas of some good Italian cooking and moaned causing Bella to laugh.
"Is there a problem, Ms Swan?" I asked as I started to eat.
"No." She replied softly but before she could even take her first mouthful of food, Sophia got up.
I then looked on as Isabella, ignoring her own hungry, lowered her food back down to the table, picked up Sophia's and made her way over to her. Knowing how hungry Bella was, I was amazed by what I saw. I looked on as Bella settled down onto the side of Sophia's bed and with a genuine and heartfelt smile on her face, she began to feed Sophia.
Soon my own food joined Bella's as I took in what I saw. I saw my daughter smiling and for the first time since I meet Sophia four years I ago, I saw my daughter smiling with her mother.