A new story I couldn't stop thinking about and just had to write! Nothing is mine, as usual.
"I cannot believe he fired me!" After throwing my briefcase down into the chair behind my desk, I turned to find Jacob closing my office door. "Those kids belong with their father! It was the right thing to do!"
Silently, he closed the distance between the door and my desk while slowly pulling at the tie around his neck. Once he had sat down in one of the chairs across from me, he spoke. "Regardless of how you feel, Bella, their father wasn't your client. Divorces are ugly, you know that. We don't always represent the client that is 'right'."
"Right and wrong aside, you know just as well as I do that she is an unfit mother. Everyone seems to be forgetting that!"
"Bella, you have to see that-"
I yelled over him. "Don't try to talk me out of this! She doesn't deserve those kids!"
"You broke attorney client privilege! Your client told you, in confidence, that she was having an affair and you brought it into the court room!"
I took a slow, deep, breath. "There is no proof that I-"
"Proof or not, I know-Hell, everyone knows that you were the one to give Lancaster the details on the guy she was sleeping with!"
"A guy that happens to be a known child molester, Jacob! If those girls had gone home with her, there is no telling what would have happened to them!"
The air between us became thick with silence and anger. Both of us stared in opposite directions, trying to defuse the situation that was quickly escalating.
"I'm going to pretend that we never had this conversation, Bella. Since I have absolutely no desire to be implicated in any of this."
Turning my head back to look at him, I tried one last time to make him understand. "Could you have let those two innocent girls go with her? Regardless of who our client is, regardless of who our client's father is and how much money he threw at this firm to handle any of this, could you really have sat there and watch those kids go with her? Jake, you know I'm right."
His eyes hesitantly met mine, and the second he started shaking his head, it was like I had no idea who he was. He wasn't the guy I'd met when I first started at Cooper, Stiles, and Wilkins that helped me dig through boxes and boxes of documents to find one letter that we'd needed for a trial. He wasn't the same guy I'd become friends with, my first friend in Arizona. He wasn't the friend that turned into a boyfriend. I'd felt his lips on mine, felt his hands on my body, knew what his mouth tasted like, but now… now I had no idea who he was. It made me sick.
"You were hired to represent that woman, not to be a vigilante for her two kids that you don't even know. And now, you've been fired and might even be disbarred. All because you let your emotions overrule logic! That isn't right!"
Who the hell is this man? How had I been in a relationship with him for four years?
"Bella, come on. Be reasonable about this."
"I think you should leave, Jake. I… I need to pack up my office and… to be honest with you; I don't want to be around you right now."
Not ever again.
He held his hands up and said my name again, using that stupid calming voice that he usually reserved for pissed of clients or anxious witnesses. "Just stop for a second and listen to me."
"Get the fuck out of my office!"
A shrill beep from the telephone on my desk interrupted our arguing and my, now ex, secretary wearily said my name over the intercom. "Miss Swan, your dad-"
"Take a message, Courtney." I hung up the phone, not waiting for a response, and then motioned to the door. "Leave Jacob, I'm not kidding."
"Stop acting like I-"
Courtney interrupted us again. "Bella, he said it's an emergency."
Keeping my eyes glued on Jacob, glaring at him for not understanding why this wasn't something I had a choice in, and picked up the phone. "Dad, this really isn't-"
"It's about your mom, Bella."
I couldn't help but be a little taken aback. My dad and I didn't discuss my mother, ever. It was a silent agreement between the two of us. He hated her for being a lying, cheating, manipulative bitch. I hated her for… well for making eighteen years of my life a living hell. So for him to call me, in the middle of the day, to talk about her… it was unnerving.
"What about her?"
My dad sighed into the phone, and I could hear the whiskers from his mustache rubbing against the mouthpiece. "Bella, she died. She's… gone, honey."
"Oh." I had no idea what else to say.
"The cancer, she just couldn't fight it off. At least that's what Carlisle said when he called me."
"Yeah…" I stared at the file folders that were spread out against my desk, trying to figure out what I was supposed to say or do. Other than my Nana passing away when I was seven, I'd never had someone close to me die. And I wasn't exactly close to my mother; I hadn't talked to her since I was twenty years old. "Well, I'm… I'm glad you called to tell me yourself."
"You just workout whatever plans you need and let me know, Sue and I will meet you in Seattle to bring you home."
"Home?" I asked, slightly alarmed. It was then that I noticed Jake had moved from the chair to standing right next to me. He mouthed are you okay? And what happened? I waved a hand at him, telling him to go away, before turning my back. "Dad, I can't…"
"I know you don't want to. But you are going to have to come home and take care of some things."
"Why me?" I asked. "It isn't like she ever loved me. Honestly, I doubt she would even want me there. She hated me, dad."
He sighed again before answering me. "You are her only surviving family, Bella."
I wanted to mention that if you counted all of her ex-husbands then I wouldn't be, but that comment could also be considered an insult towards my father, and I couldn't, wouldn't, ever do that.
"Come home, baby. It's time."
Closing my eyes, I reluctantly agreed and promised him that as soon as I knew my flight schedule that I'd let him know. He hung up, and I just let the receiver I was holding fall to the floor.
This couldn't be happening. After all this time, and after all the promises I'd made to myself that I wouldn't, I was going back to Forks. I stared out at the Phoenix skyline through my window, and slowly shook my head.
"Are you alright?"
I'd completely forgotten that Jake was even in the same room. I took a deep breath to steel my resolve and then turned around to face him. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure? Bella, talk to me."
Dodging his hand that was reaching for my shoulder, I grabbed the framed picture that sat on my desk, one of me with my dad and Sue, and shoved it into my briefcase. He watched, silently, as I pulled my keys to the office out of my purse and tossed them onto my desk and, after I'd slung my purse over my shoulder, asked me where I was going.
I yanked my University of Washington diploma off the wall, along with my Arizona and Washington State Bar certifications, and then headed towards the door.
As I walked away, I heard Jake ask me again, where I was going, this time he was louder. I stopped, next to Courtney's desk and turned to look at him. "I'm going home."
Eight hundred dollars on roundtrip airfare later, I was exhausted, annoyed, and extremely anxious while standing in line at the rental car counter. It had been six years since I'd left, because of my mother, and now here I was, back in Seattle, because of her. The irony wasn't humorous at all.
While the attendant moved at a snail's pace with the customers in front of me, I watched through the windows as people got in and out of cabs waiting by the curb of the airport. Past them, if you looked at the horizon beyond the buildings and parking garages, you could see vividly green trees and mountains. They both seemed so alien and foreign, which was strange considering I'd grown up surrounded by the exact same scenery.
My name being yelled scared the absolute crap out of me, and on instinct, I'd accidently grabbed on to the man standing in front of me. Once I realized that the person calling for me was my father, I apologized, profusely, and then moved out of line, pulling my suitcase behind me.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, once I'd reached him. "I thought I was going to get a rental and meet you at the house."
"Rental cars are for tourists." He laughed, once I'd reached him, and pulled me into an enormous hug before swaying both of us side to side. "There she is! My baby's come home!"
My father wasn't always an affectionate man. Growing up, he'd made it a point to make sure that I knew he loved me, but physical affection was few and far between. It wasn't until he and Sue had come to visit me in Phoenix that I'd really been showered with affection. Now, any time he saw me, I was given hugs, kisses on top of the head, and pats on the back, even hand holding once in a while. When I'd asked him about it he said it was because he'd missed me, but I still believe it was all Sue's influence. She was the best thing to ever happen to my dad.
"Now now, Charlie."
Looking over my father's shoulder, I smiled when I saw Sue standing there grinning at both of us.
"Let me get a hug in before you squeeze her to death!"
I was passed off, willingly, and enveloped into the closest thing to a motherly embrace that I'd ever had. "I'm sorry, Bella. I know this can't be easy."
Nodding, I hugged her tighter, knowing she wasn't necessarily talking about my mom, but also the fact that I was on my way back to Forks. "Is Dad alright?" I whispered, making sure he couldn't hear me.
She squeezed me one more time before nodding. "You being here makes it easier."
My dad loved Sue, whole heartedly, but my mother had been his first love. He'd had a crush on her since third grade and the summer that she'd come home from her first year in college, he'd managed to talk her into a date. And then, for a glorious three months, they'd been inseparable until she'd gone back to Portland and he'd gone back to his part time job at the lumberyard. And to my grandparent's relief, that was that. That is, until she'd found out she was pregnant with me. Dad saw it as his dreams coming true, my mother saw it as being trapped in a life she never wanted. And I was reminded of that every day that I lived with, or saw my mother. But, regardless of the hurt, the affairs, and the lies, my dad still loved her. And he always would.
"How was your flight? Did you hit any turbulence?"
I tried to take my suitcase back from my dad, but failed. "It was alright, got stuck next to a Chatty Kathy that wanted to know my whole life story, which was fun."
Sue laughed before taking my hand and the three of us walked out of the terminal. Maybe coming home wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. Although, seeing my dad and Sue wasn't what worried me.
It was seeing everyone else that scared the absolute shit out of me.