A/N: The angst continues….
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the characters and storyline that I created. This has turned into an obsession of mine. You could say that the story sings for me now.
:: Telepathic communication
** or italic is character thought
() Twin Link
"Thanks for coming to get us, Mike." Edward moaned, eyes closed, head lying back against the headrest of the front passenger seat. "The babies weren't appreciating the noise and aroma of the prom."
"I feel for you man…Huh, babies?" Mike shot a side glance at him, brow furrowed in confusion. "Since when? Jessie, Ang, and Mir are all about Bells carrying a girl. Andromeda. Right?"
"That's the spin Bella has been giving everyone, but I can sense even the tiniest of anomalies. Two distinct flutters where there should be one. Bella's bouts of nausea are also a sign; we're both being affected by this pregnancy. Boy's tend to affect their mothers, whereas girls their fathers. It's a Shining One quirk." Edward tried to focus on their conversation and not the nausea. "I also saw Bella's original sonogram. I'm a physician. I know what to look for. My memory is endless, having seen other sonograms; I know when sleight of hand is at play."
"Sleight of hand?"
"I startled my treasure enough to believe that I could not embrace the reality of another son. Evidently the entire family feels that, as long as Andromeda continued to hide Mason they saw no harm in delaying the inevitable." Edward opened one eye then closed it, as another bout of nausea hit him.
"You did lose it on Easter, Pal."
"Yes, yes, I know. I didn't handle what the boys did as smoothly as I should have…" Edward moaned.
"You showed limitless restraint is what you did. Hell, any normal father, mine included, would have chosen to tan their butts and grounded them from all privileges for a month."
"Violence isn't an all fire cure to reining in one's children. Technology these days is like the air they breathe so, I cut off their oxygen supply."
"I'd have gone with the ankle monitor for a year, but whatever works." Mike shrugged. "It is working on them, right?"
"From your mouth to the powers ears…" Edward muttered under his breath.
He shot Edward a look.
"Easter Sunday was a successful dry run. They feel stifled. Leashed. Other kids are driving mini-monster trucks, climbing Everest, sailing the world alone. If human kids on TV can why can't they? Children's cable television is a menace. If that isn't bad enough the two of them are being protective of Aurora because she's going away to Joffrey this summer. Their list of grievances is endless…"
"Well, they are triplets, even if they don't act like it…" Mike's pep talk was cut off by whimpering from the back seat.
"Oh, baby girl…no…no…no…you should've called me or daddy! I just got him on board with our other addition…he's going to…three…I never saw three…!?" Bella whimpered in her sleep.
Edward shot up straight as a board, eyes wide with sheer gut wrenching terror, as what Bella was seeing flashed in his head. "If all four start rebelling on us, I'll go out of my mind." With shaking hands, he dug out his phone to activate an app on it. "My Vanquish! Alice's 911!? Bella's Ferrari?!" He exclaimed in a hoarse voice.
"Cullen?! What's?! Oh, Christ Jesus! Is that?!" Mike swore under his breath eyes zeroed on the Vanquish.
"Aurora and my nieces in my car stopped for a red light. Michael Jacob and my nephews are a minute behind in the 911, with Anthony and Nikolai Petrov less than that in the Ferrari…" Edward raked his fingers through his disheveled hair, taking calming breaths as not to upset Bella still hopefully sleeping in the seat behind them. "Rosalie attempted to play peace maker between Rory and Petrov by inviting him to the house. Rory's bolting for Bella and I, meaning something happened to spook her into seeking our protection…"
"She jacked your car, Edward. That's beyond spooked…" Mike swore when the girls shot past them, followed by the two other cars. The Ferrari was now leading the charge with the 911 taking the rear. "I gotta call this in…"
"You do and Jessica becomes a widow!" Bella snarled from behind them.
"Oh, gods…Rose has taken care of that for us by catching the attention of Sheriff Lightfoot." Edward gritted his teeth. This would be the second time in less than two months that the County Sheriff was pursuing his kids. "Again…"
"He's not a hard ass, but Rose is doing eighty in a residential zone." Mike hit the lights, maneuvering his cruiser into the east bound lane. "I'll just…"
Sheriff Lightfoot's voice came over the police radio. "Mike, I can handle a pissed off wife. Rosalie isn't armed and dangerous, just driving off her fury at Emmett. Damn near gave me a heart attack when the boy went flying over her BMW's windshield. Boy's got reflexes of a cat like all of Carlisle's brood do…"
"It's a lot more complicated than that, Sheriff." Mike answered back.
"Well, out with it son, I haven't got all night…"
"You know that tonight's prom, right?"
"I'm well aware of it, Deputy."
"And proms have chaperones…"
"Get to the point…."
"She was, well, she and Emmett were watching the kids…"
"Hells Bells! Again?! What are they?! Little Houdinies?"
"Prodigies with excellent recall…" Mike cleared his throat, "anyway, that's why she hasn't stopped…"
"How the hell do they even know how to drive?! Did they watch and commit it to memory?!"
"Yeah, uh, pretty much. Listen, we can sort it all out at the Country club…"
"Why in heaven's name would they wanna hightail it to where their parents are chaperoning the prom? Cullen's gonna skin them, ground them for life, ship them off to military school, or all of the above, for upping their antics to Grand theft…."
"The youngest daughter got spooked and bolted for her parents…the boys gave chase…"
"Charlie's little 'dances on air'? That daughter…"
"That's the one. It all centers on her and this boy…"
"They grow up fast these days…He's an out-of-towner from Chicago, but his aunt teaches ballet here in Forks. Kid's thirteen and his parents are directors of this fancy ballet school in Chicago…"
"Sure, sure, Joffrey. Charlie's got me up to speed on our last fishing trip. His folks came down here to watch her dance and both times she and the kid clashed…."
"Yeah, well, Rose tried a little détente…invited him to Castle Cullen where the kids were all camping out…it went south…"
"Enough, we'll sort it out after we get them all safely from behind the wheels of those vehicles…." The Sheriff felt a major migraine coming on.
The convoy had come to a halt in the Country Club parking lot. The Vanquish, 911, and Ferrari had no problem parallel parking into their spots. The two cruisers and Rose's BMW blocked them in.
Nik vaulted out of the seat making a dash for the driver's side door of the Vanquish. "Are you mental!? It was a dance in a goddamned Video game, Aurora! Yeah, it got weird. I get that, but jacking your Dad's wheels because you got spooked is off the scales freak the freak out insanity times infinity! We're going to lock up because….you…the most down to earth girl that I have ever met…couldn't deal with getting caught up in the dance! If every little thing is gonna make you flight or flee then they're gonna chew you up and spit you out at Joffrey!" He roared down at her, after nearly ripping the door from its hinges.
"Them I can handle! It's you that has me freaking out! Rory glowered up at him.
"Me?! What the hell did I do, ptichka!?" Nik narrowed his eyes down at her. "I'm the one playing peacemaker!"
"You made me see the other side of you that's what you did! You've ruined everything now!" Rory burst into tears.
"You've lost me, Aurora. How can us being friends…that you and I clicked…be a bad thing?" Nik threw his arms up in frustration. "I mean, why would you want me to be a jerk?"
"Your mother had you read Bella's Saga, right?" Julie got out as did Ally and Mia.
"Yeah, yeah, Marie Lawson's torn between …Anthony Mason and Jackson Wolfe…"
"Exactly our point…" Ana growled.
"Rory's an empath, a conflict like that…." said Mia.
"…seeing as she's nice to a fault. Good through and through, a conflict like that would tear her to pieces." Ally gently patted Rory on the back.
"Huh?" He blinked at the girls in confusion. "Just because Rory and I click doesn't mean that us being friends or dancing partners is gonna ruin anything." He raked a hand through his hair. "I mean, Wilder is going out with your big sis and she seems fine with that…"
"They needed each other. He's like Jacob is to Momma. They're best friends, as close as siblings. He loves her, but not the way the public perceives them to be…" Rory sniffled miserably.
"And Jacob is okay with the situation?" Nik found that hard to believe.
"Of course, Collin is a member of his pack. He's Jake's little brother, so he trusts him implicitly…" Rory wiped the tears from her eyes.
"Well, I was nearly a member of Wilder's other pack," Nik knelt down in front of her so that they were at eye level. "Trust me when I say, dance or no dance, us being close friends was gonna happen no matter what."
(Yeah, Rory, it's like the opposite of Mom and Jake.) MJ remained behind the steering wheel. He wasn't about to budge, not with two police cruisers and their Aunt blocking them in. Worse yet none of the adults were getting out of their cars.
(What's meant is meant, you just have to juggle what the fates throw at you, and not let it get to you every time things don't go your way. For now we've got to find a way to spin this so it doesn't seem like blatant rule breaking. Your bolting for the 'rents and us giving chase might just get us out of groundation central.) Tony eyed the adults warily. The Sheriff was popping two aspirin. Mike was handing a couple of bags to someone in the front passenger seat and whoever was in the back. He couldn't get a good view, seeing as they were slumped down in the seats, meaning that he had been in the process of taking in two intoxicated people back to the station to dry out. Rose was talking to Emmett on her phone. No purse, no license…but after being launched out of the front seat and then battling a small kitchen fire Emmett wasn't being sympathetic.
"Collin's vulnerable right now, because he's in conflict about me going off to Joffrey. You in general have him gnashing his teeth. You're attitude mostly that and the aftermath of our dance duels are bringing out the protective side of him. He doesn't trust you with me. I never get sick or hurt like I did when I pushed myself past my limit. Collin never left me either time and he held you responsible." Rory felt like kicking herself for choosing the Country Club to flee to instead of La Push. Collin was here and she wasn't entirely sure how long she could block him out, not to mention Nessie and her parents. She felt them strongly, but none of them had come rushing outside yet.
"The Iceman's rarely, if ever vulnerable, unless it's all part of his brand to appear unshakable? Sort of like I am at Joffrey, it's my way of controlling the situation around me. It cracks if something major goes down or when I'm with family or my friends." Nik found it hard to believe that he was enough of a threat to Wilder that his idol had flipped out over him being in Forks.
"The two of you are more alike than you know; now move while I take full responsibility for this entire mess. For once the boys had nothing to do with this and were chasing me out of concern for me and our cousins' wellbeing's. Granted, their fondest wish did come true, they did get to drive one of the super cars in the family collection…." Rory took a deep breath and left the sanctuary of the Vanquish.
"Princess, you do not want to take this kinda heat…" Nik frowned down at her determined face.
"Yes, I do. I got spooked, took my father's car, which caused a chain reaction of blatant rule breaking to follow." Rory brushed past him and walked towards the police cruiser.
Nik, her brothers, and cousins were not far behind her to lend her support if needed.
Mike got out and stood next to his cruiser. The Sheriff also got out to join him. She gasped in surprise, eyes as big as saucers, when her father got out of the front passenger side of the vehicle and gingerly rounded the front of the car to stand next to the other two men.
"Keys," Growling hoarsely, Edward held out a hand for the items in question.
Three sets of keys went flying into the hands of each of the men.
"Daddy, you look dreadful. Did something that you ate disagree with you? Is momma alright? Did she tell you to have Mike come to collect you?" Rory forgot the trouble that she was in and was focused on her disheveled father.
"I'm well aware of my current state of appearance," Edward frowned down at her. "All of you are in serious trouble. Those are not your property to take under any circumstances. If you were distraught or needed to reach one of us we were a phone call away…" He reached down to tilt Rory's chin up with his finger. Tears, flushed face, miserable eyes, and she was shaking like a leaf.
"I know, Daddy. I'm sorry that I panicked after Nik and I finished our game…" her breath hitched. "I was sitting in the Vanquish because it felt safe. MJ and the others were trying to talk me down, but when I heard Tony and Nik outside the hanger my flight or flee instinct kicked into high gear. I was already sitting in the driver's seat, the keys were there, so I through caution to the wind. The boys gave chase because of concern for the three of us. I've had a crazy emotional rollercoaster of a day. This new twist, in an already precarious situation, had me overly distraught so much so that there was no way that logic and reason was going to override the turmoil raging inside my mind." Big fat tears spilled down hot flushed cheeks, she sniffled miserably, as she tried to keep her composure.
"Nikolai called the house while she was resting. The boy seemed genuinely distraught over hearing that she wasn't feeling well, so I invited him over for this evening's camp out and to maybe clear the air between them. He told his side of things, which cleared up a lot of things for Rory. She'd caught him on a bad day. He'd been offered a spot on team Lonewolf-storm and then he saw Rory dance, changing everything. To surmise, the situation was not unlike you with Bella. The two of them eventually took it outside, which brought back fond memories of Bella and Jake for Emmett, only Nik countered by challenging her to a dance duel using the game that Jazz made for her birthday. She met his challenge head on…" Rose showed him footage from the digital recorder.
"I'll take this as exhibit A." Edward flipped the digital recorder closed and pocketed it. "Is that all that the defense has to offer?"
"The phone rang. Dad was checking in, so Emmett went to get it. I had cookies going in the oven and dashed inside to rescue them…Emotions and our Rory don't mix, so in the five minutes we left them alone chaos ensued." Rose concluded.
"I should have chosen The Nutcracker instead of Act II of Cinderella, sir. I, In my attempt to burn off some of her fury towards me with a more challenging level, didn't take in account her day and sensitive nature." Nik spoke up.
"Baby doll, you're too young to be worrying about boys and all that entails. Don't let mixed feelings about letting a new friend, boy or not, send you bolting. You can't have too many good friends and this young man, seeing as he's trying to take partial blame for your impulsive urge to flee, seems like good people to me." Sheriff Lightfoot now had a clue about what triggered this current mess, a blasted video game and a fledgling friendship between Rory and Tiana Laski's nephew. None of it screamed blatant rule breaking like the other incident. Hell, they could handle a vehicle better than any of his men, so public endangerment wasn't an issue either. There was also the matter of Edward Cullen's state of being. The man looked like death walking and was he was seriously contemplating calling an ambulance to take him to county for a thorough looking over.
"We only wanted to protect our baby sister." Tony put a hand on her shoulder.
"We borrowed the cars, so that we could be there for her when she finally stopped running…" MJ mirrored his brother.
"She was coming to see us, not joyride around the county. Chasing her like you did could have made things worse. Instead of taking matters into your own hands you should have gotten Rosalie and Emmett, whom as you can clearly see would have seen to her safety." Bella gingerly got out of Mike's cruiser and hoarsely voiced her take on the matter while clinging to Edward for support.
"Newton, were you taking them to county before all of this went down?"
"No, I was taking them both home. Bella's suffering from acute morning sickness and Edward's got PMS…."
"Pregnancy Male Syndrome, Sheriff." Mike scrubbed at the back of his neck trying to think of the right words.
"It's simple. The husband shares in his wife's pregnancy. The guys in our family all suffer from it when we're expecting. It's worse on the father-to-be if we're carrying a girl. The opposite is true if we're carrying a boy. One of each and we suffer the same reactions to the pregnancy, as is the case here with Edward and Bells. Dad's come up with some medicine for it, but that happens to be back at their place and not here at the prom." Rose took pity on Mike and explained what was what to him. "Misery being acute morning sickness…"
"Severe dehydration is not something to shrug off and these two look in need of immediate medical care. Especially, if Bella's carrying two instead of the one that Charlie's been bragging about." Sheriff Lightfoot was far from convinced. "Mike, you go on and take them to the ER. I'll handle getting the kids and their borrowed hotrods back to Cullen Central."
"Dad, Mom, you really look…" MJ saw a light at the end of the tunnel and raced towards it.
"Like death walking…" Tony nodded, mouth grim, eyes filled with concern.
"It can't hurt anything if Grandpa checks you over…" Rory had never seen her parents so deathly pale and disheveled.
Before her parents could reassure them, more family members arrived courtesy of Emmett.
"Paul, Sam, Jared, pick a car." Logan growled out orders.
Jace nodded to the Sheriff. "We've got this handled. Sorry for the drama, Holt."
"911." Jared grinned, catching the keys from Mike.
"Ferrari." Paul smirked, easily snagging the keys the Sheriff tossed him.
"Vanquish is fine by me," Sam hardly let anything phase him these days, none of them did. "Check out Bells and Edward…looks like Garret wins the pool…"
"None of you win a dime. Rory bolted for us, the boys gave chase, and no premeditation was in play…" Edward tossed Sam his keys. "No one hacked Kora…"
"Every last penny in that pool gets donated to stocking the food pantry. You got me, boys?" Bella narrowed her eyes at them.
"Easy, Baby sister, it was all in good fun, no harm was meant. The wager was that Dromi was hiding a brother or sister, not about the kids jacking the cars. We were all leaning towards another girl, because Edward's been diving for the crackers more than you've been…Garrett figured one of each." Sam held his hands up in peace.
Jared zeroed in on Nik, :So that's why Collin's got his hackles up. Petrov's invaded Forks.:
"Paul arched a brow, :The kid's facing the lion and lioness, could be some rivalry for Rory in the mix…:
:Poor baby isn't ready for that kind of drama…no wonder she jacked Edward's wheels…: Sam frowned, eyes narrowed at Nik.
:Here we go again…: Jared rolled his eyes at his brothers, heading for the Porsche.
:Shit…that's the last thing we needed.: Paul grumbled, stalking towards the Ferrari.
:Jake's back now, he'll deal with it.: Sam growled, walking to the Vanquish.
"I knew I should have stayed back at Castle Cullen!" Collin, having had his fill with the prom, zeroed in on what was going down in the parking lot. Eyes narrowing to slits at the boy standing beside Rory and her brothers. *Petrov?! What the hell is going on down there?!*
"Hold up, Baby Bro. That scene in there was intense. I know that you need to clear your head. Here take the keys to the Zagato." Jake easily caught up with him.
"Nah, that was all staged for our adoring public…" Collin snarled under his breath, systematically cracking each knuckle one by one. "Now it's about to get real."
Jake narrowed his eyes on where Collin was glowering down at, swearing under his breath in their native tongue. :No shifting, Collin. This is Nessie's night and nothing is gonna spoil it. Take the keys to my wheels and go clear your head. She's fine. They've got it handled. The kid isn't human, little brother. He's got strength, speed, magic ability not unlike a pixie that and he's a martial arts black sash Kung Fu student. Add it all up and he's no light weight…: He had a firm grip on Collin's shoulder. The kid was shaking with fury and about to go off at any second.
:Jazz, Em, Van, Jace, Garrett, and Uncle Josh all taught Brady and me self-defense and battle strategy, we're black belts. Petrov's got nothing that I can't handle. Why are they all here anyway? How did they swing it this time with Emmett on the offensive? Not just two, three, meaning Rory's in it as much as her sibs and cousins. She's front and center too like she's taking the heat for it and Edward isn't off the scales either at any of them. Petrov and her little brothers are beside her too like for moral support while the others are hanging back.: Collin focused on Rory, but came up against a wall. Rory was shielding her mind from him. "What the hell?!" He clinched his fists at his sides in pent up fury. "She's doing a Bella on me?! She never does that!"
"You went ape shit this afternoon over his imminent arrival, enough to cause her migraine and send her to bed for a few hours. Now he's here and she isn't capable of dealing with your emotional baggage. Christ, Edward and Bells are so wiped because of the babies reminding them of their presence that neither has their guard up. Rose tried to play peacemaker. Invited Petrov to the campout without cluing in any of the key players. He told his side of it…Uncle Josh offered him a golden ticket right before he met Rory…" Jake ignored Collin's low growl.
"Like hell…the team's family only…."
"Petrov's a distant cousin of Edward and Bella. His clan lost big on that dark day in Europe…looks like the Guardians of the Light and his kin go hand and hand…"
"If he really did get offered a spot on the team then why the hell did he chuck it?"
"Rory. Seeing her dance reawakened his…I guess thirst for dancing again."
"Thirst?" Collin snorted under his breath, rolling his eyes. "Dancing isn't a drug."
"Yeah? Like shredding isn't a natural high for you and the boys?" Jake arched a brow,
"We fly." Collin muttered. "It's not the same…"
"Seriously? Have you ever even watched skilled dancers in action? They aren't running on first, they go all out. The endorphins flow just like when you shred, only a dancer is doing leaps, turns, splits…"
"Splits…" Collin winced.
"They're like human rubber bands. How do you not know this?"
"Ballet is Rory's gig, not mine…"
"Unbelievable…no wonder you're going mental over Petrov…"
"I go to her recitals…."
"Yeah and sleep through them…"
"Your deal…Pathetic. And completely clueless ta boot. Imprintee or not, you can't rely on that link alone. Dancing is going to be her life. Get with the program. She doesn't sleep while you train does she? She's cheering you on in spirit and person at your competitions. Supporting your dreams and career. It goes both ways, Collin. Petrov if light-years ahead of you in that department. Think of this as reverse what went down between Bells, Edward, and I." Jake spelled it out for him.
"She sings for Petrov?!"
"He's here isn't he? He willingly braved Castle Cullen on foot to clear the air with her. His side of it has her brothers, the cousins, Rose, and Em…Hell even Bells and Edward willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Rory's freaking out because he isn't what he portrays himself to be. Do you see him running in terror, Collin? That's not a kid who flakes out on someone when the going gets tough. He isn't going away either, so the ball is in your court now, baby brother. Petrov is gonna be her friend, most likely like Bells is to me. What's is gonna be? Your ego or Rory's happiness, because it can't be both." Jake put both of his hands on Collin's shoulders so that they were both locking eyes.
"Give me the fricking keys." Collin gritted his teeth, holding out his hand. "I've got some thinking to do."
"Scratch it. You die." Jake set the keys in his hand.
"Friends…." Collin snarled under his breath. "With Petrov…" He took off running down the green. "Frickin hell…"
"Life sucks, kid. Get used to it." Disaster averted, Jake headed back to Ness.
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