Ever wonder why Edward has such issues with Bella's dear ol' dad? Hope this explains a few things : )


Charlie's POV

July 19, 2002

The call comes in from dispatch at 2:41a.m. MVA on Highway 101. Some poor dumbass hit a deer.

I arrive on the scene to find a silver Acura RSX with the carcass of a large buck molded into its mangled front end. My stomach sinks when I recognize the twisted license plate, and I realize who the driver is.

I just gave him a speeding ticket about two weeks ago. It's Carlisle's son.

Edward Cullen was a bit of a small town sports hero. He was the captain of the baseball team with a batting average that earned him a full scholarship to Cornell. He was basically a good kid. Other than speeding, I'd never had much trouble from him, aside from the time I'd found him parked and steaming up the windows with his girlfriend. The first warning to move along wasn't enough, and I wasn't very pleased when I found his car again that night, literally rocking back and forth. I was even less pleased with the smug expression he was trying to mask as I threatened to arrest him for indecent exposure if I ever caught him again.

Cocky little shit.

I waste no time getting to the driver's side. My mind is racing, and I'm consumed with worry at what I'll find inside.

ABC—airway, breathing, circulation. EMS should be here any minute. Please let the kid be okay.

As expected, I find Edward Cullen in the driver's seat, deflated airbag hanging limply from the center of the steering wheel. His face is bloody, and I suspect most of it's coming from his nose. I let out a huge sigh of relief when I see he's breathing and conscious.

"Don't move," I say carefully, worried about his neck. "You all right, son?"

"I…I think so," he answers shakily, his face unnaturally pale. He lifts his right hand, and I wince when I see his pinky is bent at an unnatural ninety degree angle from his hand. He stares at it for a moment, seemingly detached, before he rests it in his lap and looks back at me. "It just came out of nowhere. I don't know how it happened…"

Son of a bitch.

I can smell beer all over his breath.

I can feel my blood pressure rise…I have zero tolerance for the reckless stupidity of drinking and driving. Especially after my own best friend, Billy Black, was hit by some piece of crap driving home from a bar blasted out of his mind. That accident left Billy paralyzed from the waist down. I hate to admit that it ruins my objectivity, but I can feel the anger welling up inside.

"Been drinking tonight?" I ask, hearing the accusatory tone in my voice.

Edward was already shaken up, but now I can really see the fear in his eyes.

Good. He has every right to be afraid.

He opens his mouth to speak, but it takes a moment for the words to catch up with whatever is going on in his head. "I—I didn't really have much," he blurts defensively, avoiding eye contact.

I know damn well that if I breathalyze him now, there's no way he'd pass. And I want to, so badly. The kid doesn't seem to learn, and I guarantee he was fucking speeding down this deathtrap of a twisted highway.

But then I think of Carlisle and everything he's done for my daughter. He's the only doctor I trust to treat Bella, especially after the way he took care of her the time she almost drowned after diving off one of those cliffs in La Push. And she's no stranger to the ER. Broke her wrist in gym class. Sprained her ankle twice God-knows-how. And lately the damn kid thinks she's Julia Child or something…she seems to constantly be burning herself or slicing her hand open.

I swear that girl is going to be the death of me someday. She's lucky I love her as much as I do, because sometimes I want to kill her for worrying me so damn much.

We were just at the ER a few weeks ago to get her thumb stitched up. "Practicing her knife skills" again. I clearly remember Carlisle telling us how happy he was that Edward had decided to go to medical school. He was applying this year.

Carlisle was so proud.

I look at the bloodied, terrified kid in the car and wonder how a DUI on his record would affect those applications.

Goddamn it.

I've always seen things in black and white. Right and wrong. Good and bad. There's no gray area in my book when it comes to the law. You speed? You get a ticket. You steal? You get arrested. Murder is murder no matter how you slice it. No one cares if Mommy didn't breastfeed you.

As far as I'm concerned, you drink and drive, you pay the consequences. But that just doesn't feel right to me at the moment. I pull at my mustache with an unfamiliar feeling of indecision.

"An ambulance should be here soon," I mutter roughly. "Just don't move. I'll be back in a minute."

I don't even wait for his answer as I stalk back to my squad car.

I scroll through the numbers in my cell until I find the one I'm looking for and press the call button.

It rings and rings. I feel terrible because I know how late it is. I'm about to hang up when someone picks up.

"Hello?" the familiar voice answers, groggy with sleep.

"Carlisle? It's Charlie Swan. I'm so sorry to bother you at this hour."

There's a pause before he replies. "No—no bother at all. Is…is everything all right?"

I hear the nervousness in his voice. It makes me feel even worse. I immediately want to reassure him. "It's Edward. He's been in a car accident, but don't worry, he's okay. He doesn't seem to be hurt badly."

"Oh God. What happened?" he chokes out. I can hear his wife, Esme, in the background, though I can't make out what she's saying.

"He hit a deer and totaled his car. I think the airbag prevented any serious injury, but it looks like he probably broke his nose and his hand."

I hear a low, "Thank God," on the other end, and I hesitate a moment before I tell him the rest.

"He's been drinking, Carlisle."

A low sigh is followed by nothing but silence. My insides twist a little bit more.

"EMS will be here shortly so he can get checked out at the hospital," I say finally.

Carlisle clears his throat. "I'm going to head there now," he says, and there's now shame in his tone. "I'm so sorry about this, Charlie."

That's the moment I somehow start thinking like a father instead of a cop. That I decide maybe there are some slight shades of gray in the law. That maybe the right thing to do at the moment may not be the right thing in the long run. That maybe the right thing to do is take care of Carlisle's kid the way he's taken care of mine.

That's the moment I decide to leave the breathalyzer in the car. For now.

"Don't be. I'll see you there." I hang up and stare blankly at the crushed car several feet in front of me, collecting my thoughts before I make my way slowly back to it.

I stand next to the driver's window as Edward looks down in his lap. "Do you have any idea how lucky you are?"

"Yes, sir," he mumbles meekly.

"No, I don't think you do," I hiss, leaning closer to the car, watching him grow more uncomfortable by the moment. "I would think that someone who's bright enough to get a scholarship to Cornell would have the brains not to get behind the wheel when he's been drinking."

"But I…I'm not—" he begins defensively, but I cut him off immediately.

Stupid fucking kids. They think they're invincible. Immortal. They don't understand the disastrous and even lethal consequences one stupid lapse of judgment can cause.

"Just shut your mouth, because I have no interest in what you have to say. Driving in the condition you were in tells me you're a worthless, reckless piece of shit with no regard for life. You're beyond lucky that you didn't kill yourself or someone else. What if it wasn't a deer you killed? What if it was one of your friends? Or someone's parents? Or a kid? Did you think of that before you got in the car after you'd been partying all night?"

His eyes are wide, and he's sweating. And I'm pleased. Because I don't want him to forget this night. I want to make sure he'll never, ever put himself in this position again.

"Now listen carefully, boy. Once they're finished patching you up in the ER, you're gonna take a little ride down to the station with me to file an accident report. You better pray to God that you pass the breathalyzer, because if you don't, your life as you know it is officially over."

Just then the ambulance pulls up, the bright red and white lights illuminating the night. I turn to face him again. "One more thing I want you to remember, you little punk. You better not fuck up ever again. Because if I ever so much as catch you running a stop sign, I promise you're gonna wish you were never born. And if I ever catch you behind the wheel of a car after even one drink, I'll lock your ass up on whatever trumped up charge I can think up. Are we perfectly clear?"

I watch his Adam's apple bob as he swallows anxiously. "Y-you can't do that," he croaks out shakily. I can practically feel the fear rolling off of him.

"I can do anything I want. I'm the Chief of Police." I lean closer with a sinister grin. "I could make you disappear, and then lead the search party that, sadly, never finds you."

The kid is gaping like a fish as I step back to let EMS do their job. I smile to myself as I slide back into my squad car. Edward better be praying that his father brings him a change of underwear, because I think he's gonna need it.


Usual disclaimer applies.

A/N: This chapter is specially dedicated to Pennyloafer and Beccagold. Thanks as always to wonderful Prettyflower, NKubie, and mc101180.

xoxo