Chapter 12

"Get him out of here." Edward went ahead and assumed that this was the voice of Carlisle Cullen. There wouldn't be anyone else that Isabella would have this much fear around.

Jay tugged on his arm and with rough motions, Edward was pulled from the room.

He despised being in the dark, literally. The blindfold was tied too tightly around his head, and being unaware of his surroundings made him even more uneasy. He hated being this weak, this unprepared and disadvantaged.

"Come on, Jay," Edward huffed when he was pushed into a room.

"Don't say anything."

Edward could hear the direct warning in Jay's voice, but he couldn't figure out if it was Jay trying to help him or a threat. Edward really didn't know anything anymore. He knew that running sure as hell wasn't worth the mess he was in now. If he could go back, he would. He would give back every dollar, take back every woman, and refuse the vow of protection he gained when he made the deal with Marcus seven years ago.

He would go back, change it all, leave this life for a whole new one.

He wasn't kidding when he said to Riley earlier that he wanted out. He wanted to be clean, normal.

He wanted to live a life that was worth living.

But really, in that moment, he just wanted to stay alive.

Edward could make out someone yelling, but the voices were muffled and then completely gone as a door was slammed shut.

"Sit," someone commanded, and Edward was pushed back into a chair.

"Can we lose the blindfold, please?" he begged. "I already know what you look like, and I'm clearly not going to do anything." He held up his bound hands.

There were a few moments of silence before the band was lifted from his eyes. Edward had to blink multiple times as his eyes adjusted to the bright lights, and he took the following seconds to take in the room he was sitting in.

The walls were painted a cream color and old paintings of different people in large dresses and top hats hung above the bed to his left and the table right ahead of him. It was the largest bedroom Edward had ever been in, probably the size of Riley's apartment alone. A chandelier dangled above him, looking like it was going to fall and shatter into a thousand pieces, burying Edward with it, at any second.

The man that had accompanied Edward, Jay, and Isabella—Edward was personally glad he knew her name so he didn't have to call her Boss—since the meeting in the alley took the blindfold and used the material to tie Edward's bound wrists to the right wooden armrest of the chair. In the light, he could notice the dark curly hair and the brown eyes that matched. His arms looked about the size of Edward's thigh, and he felt the strength they contained as the material was tied so tight into his arms that his fingers were starting to numb from the lack of blood flowing to them.

"He's not trying to run, Mac, no need for the amputation," Jay remarked, coming over and retying the knot.

"It's your head then, not mine," Mac said, going down to sit upon the red comforter on the bed. "How long you think we have to wait?"

"It doesn't matter," Jay said. He stood by the window, looking out into the night.

"You think Boss is alright?"

"Mac, enough."

"You saw the look in Cullen's eyes. I've only seen that look twice and that was when—"

"Mac!" Jay's head whipped towards the bed. "I know," he said much more softly.

"We should go check—"

"And do what?"

Edward was surprised at the new, different set of knots that set in his stomach. Would they hurt her? Was Cullen cruel enough to harm one of his own? Why, though, was Edward so concerned about this woman? He didn't even like her….

"Jay—" Mac pleaded again after a minute.

"We can't help her."

Mac stood to his feet. "We have to."

Jay spared a glance at Edward, then to the door, before resting his gaze back out the window.

"No," he said finally, watching as Mac sat defeated on the bed. "We wait."

Edward pictured her long hair, the brown eyes that detailed her face, her hands that never seemed to shake. Without drawing attention to himself, he wiggled his wrists, testing the knot.

Checking that he wasn't being watched—Jay's eyes still out the window and Mac's head down, resting in his hands—Edward used his long fingers to pull and pinch and untie.

And then, with one final movement, the black tie fell to the floor.

He was free.

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