AN: So, yesterday was my birthday, so that just about excuses any and all wrongdoing, lol! Let's keep this train a movin'!

DreamTeam, what can I say... you ladies are the best and I luv ya!


That's What Little Girls Are Made of...

Chapter One Thirty-Four


Sitting next to Jasper, I tried to wrap my head around all the fucked up shit that Eleazar Cullen had been involved in.

Maggie was right; this wasn't a matter for the fucking authorities.

The majority of those crooked bastards were employed by him. The body count was massive. And those were just the ones we knew about. There was no telling how many we didn't know about.

Every so often, my eyes would wander to the door that Em and Bella had walked through. They'd both given me a verbal ass whipping, and I must say; it was well deserved. In hindsight, I knew I'd fucked up royally and deserved everything they said to me, and then some. Running a frustrated hand through my hair, I sighed. Could I really live with myself, knowing that it was my fault that Esme and Carlisle were killed?

The answer was a resounding no!

Fuck no!

I would fucking kill myself before I had to look into the eyes of my friends and family, especially the beautiful girl I loved, and see their disappointment and hatred towards me.

"Cut it the fuck out, Edward," Jasper drawled, never taking his eyes off of the screen.

"What?" my mouth hung open, gaping like a fish.

"Don't fucking what me, man!" Jasper said, getting angry. "I know what you're doing, I can practically feel the self-loathing radiating off of you in waves. You fucked up, get over it already!"

Leave it to Jasper to not mince words. Always the quiet, level-headed one in the group, when he did speak, you fucking listened! Breaking me from my thoughts, Jasper continued giving me his unsolicited, but always welcomed, advice.

"Edward, if it's any consolation," he started, speaking a little less harshly this time, "you didn't do anything that the rest of us hotheads wouldn't have done." Finally taking his eyes off of the three computer screens set up before him, he regarded me with sympathy in his eyes. "Edward, you and I both know if it was Emmett, or I, in this fucked up situation, neither one of us would be able to see reason. That, my friend, is why we're here; it's why we're all here, to kick your ass when you fuck up." Smiling, he added, "And, for God's sake, don't ever underestimate that little filly you've got by your side. Bella may be young, but she's a hell of a lot more levelheaded than the rest of us. The girl's got your back, Edward, plain and simple."

Sucking in a lungful of air, I let it go with a whoosh. "Jasper, I have no doubt that every word you've just said to me is true, but I can't stop fucking up."

Weary from the stress of my situation, I let my head fall and my shoulders sag; never in my life had I felt so defeated. "How do I make this right, Jazz? How do I go from seeing Bella as the vulnerable, endearing little girl who stole my heart when she was only eleven years old, to the remarkable, confident young woman who leads me around by the cock and balls today?" Smirking, I waggled my eyebrows for good measure.

"Whoa... that's my fucking little sister you're talking about, E," Jasper visibly shivered. "I think I'm gonna be fucking sick now. Some things I don't need to know, Edward!" Jasper playfully punched me in the shoulder as he made gagging noises beside me.

For the first time in what seemed like hours, I laughed. I mean, I really laughed a knee slapping, gut wrenching, doubled-over-at-the-waist laughter. And it felt fucking good.

Truth be told, Jazz did look a little green around the gills. He wasn't lying about his feelings towards Bella. She and Jasper had gotten really close since last year. Sobering, I regarded my friend with a serious look. "All jokes aside, man, I don't know what to do," running a frustrated hand through my already disheveled hair, "I know that I need to find a balance. There's a time to be overprotective and then there's a time to back the hell off and let Bella be the strong, independent woman, she's grown up to be... my equal... my mate." Letting my head fall in my hands, I asked, "How do I know when to protect her and when to let her help protect me?"

"I don't know, Ed," Jasper shrugged his shoulders. "Why don't you ask, Bella yourself?" It was then that I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand and that familiar electrical pull I felt whenever Bella was in the room.

Wrapping her arms around me, she laid her head on top of mine and sighed. "Edward, there's no right or wrong answer for that, and, besides, now is not the time, we can talk about this when we get home."

Pulling one of the phones Maggie sent us out of her pocket, she said, "Maggie's supposed to be calling back soon so we can talk to Me-Me."

Just as she was speaking the phone began to buzz in her hand. Looking at me with scared, wide eyes, everything about my girl screamed, "Tell me what to do!"

Reaching an arm around, I coaxed her into my lap, hit talk, and placed the phone to her. Never taking her eyes off of mine, Bella hesitantly spoke into the phone. "H-hello?"

"Oh my God, Bella, is that you, Sweetheart?"

"Me-Me," Bella breathed before bursting into tears. I had to practically pry the phone out of my girl's hands she was holding on so fucking tight.

"Es, is that really you?" I croaked, getting choked up.

"Yes, Sweet Boy," she answered in the sweetest voice that I'd ever heard. "I hope that you've come to take me home and that you plan on kicking Eleazar Cullen's ass. Well, whatever I leave behind that is."

"You bet, Ma," I promised, letting the pent up tears of over a year and a half fall. "We'll kick his ass together, I promise."

Damn, it felt good to hear Esme's voice! Let me know what you guys think!