Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, and no copyright infringement is intended.


The family bonding time was going far better than I could ever hoped. It was nice to be around people, again. I think that Edward felt the love, too. We decided to spend the day outdoors considering the weather held up nicely. There were very few people around, but the area was so secluded that we were lucky to see anyone, most days. I knew I didn't have to worry about Edward seeing people and feeling anxious. I think that's why Esme chose the house for the peace and quiet to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The guys decided to go out on Carlisle's boat; leaving us behind to have some 'girlie time' , as Emmett put it, with a roll of his eyes. They planned to BBQ that night with the pile of meat that we had stocked up. From what I saw, it looked like we were expecting to feed twenty people, not just us six. Then again, Emmett could eat enough for three or four people, at the best of times.

I spent the morning catching up with Rose and Alice, which was great. We planned to meet up and have lunch when we were back in the city. I think they sensed I was putting my heart and soul into being there for Edward and said I needed a break. There was talk of a spa day, but I wasn't sure about being away from him for that long. There were too many memories that associated with a day like that. Even now, it made my blood run cold.

We saw the guys come back from their outing, on the boat, but something was wrong... terribly wrong. Edward was walking ahead of Emmett and Jasper; his previously happy mood, appeared to have vanished. He stormed off upstairs, brushing me aside. His face was completely ashen.

Shocked, I looked between Emmett and Jasper, hoping for an answer to what happened to cause this drastic change in Edward. I was about to go after him, when Jasper indicated that he wanted to talk to me. He started to walk towards the beach, looking over his shoulder to see if I had noticed him. Emmett was so distracted by Rose strutting around like she was on a catwalk, that he didn't see either Jasper or me leave. At least if he did, he chose to ignore it.

I followed Jasper down to the beach where we walked for a few minutes before he broke the silence that hung heavily between us, "I'm sorry, Bella. I told him to leave it, but you know what Em's like when he gets something into that thick head of his."

I stopped dead, staring at him, "What're you talking about?"

Panic started to fill me. I knew how much, like a bull in a china shop, Emmett was when he set his mind on something. This wasn't going to be good and I mentally prepared myself. "For fucks sake, Jasper, what the hell happened out there on the boat? Whatever happened you need to tell me."

"Emmett... he couldn't leave it alone. He wanted to know that Edward was okay. He thought that he could get him to open up if it were just us three. He knows he's holding back and the counselling sessions aren't doing what they should. He just wanted to be the big brother and make it all okay. I told him it was a bad idea and that..."

I cut him off mid-sentence. "You have to tell me exactly what went on."

My stomach started to do somersaults. I had a very bad feeling about this.

Jasper turned to face me, taking both my hands, he looked into my eyes. It felt like he was searching my soul, gauging my reaction before he continued, "He asked him straight out what happened while he was gone. Edward flipped out and lost it. He tried to punch Emmett."

I felt my heart sink and a small strangled cry escaped my throat. I didn't realize that my knees had given way from under me until I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in a heap on the sand. This weekend was supposed to be about making progress, spending quality time together, not opening Pandora's fucking box. That lid won't close, once opened. I knew Edward would only talk about this when he was ready and not before. I had been given glimpses, a bit like seeing a trailer for a movie. You see the highlights, enough to get you gripped, but wanting more. I didn't really know if I wanted to see this movie, but it now felt like I had no choice. I was also concerned about what Edward was still hiding from me. There was something that he was keeping hidden. I just couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I knew him too well. I just hoped I would survive his revelations.

Jasper must've carried me back to the house because the next thing I knew, I was somewhat aware of, was an almost hysterical Alice. When she saw me in Jaspers arms, I heard Edward's voice. He sounded so angry, but there was also a clam edge to his voice. That's what scared me the most. "Jasper, if you're responsible for hurting her, I will end you!"

"Hey, calm down, you know I would never harm a hair on Bella's head. We were walking on the beach, talking and she collapsed. I had to bring her back somehow. I couldn't just leave the lady there." Jasper's response was quick, "Let me take her upstairs and check her over... please?"

Edward grudgingly moved aside, but was right at Jasper's shoulder as he carried me upstairs to the bedroom. He placed me gently on the bed before telling everyone to leave, giving me some space so he could do his thing. Edward refused to leave, which was no surprise to me, but as a compromise, he remained in the doorway, watching intently, monitoring Jaspers every move. It was like he was standing guard, waiting for him to do something wrong so he could pounce.

Jasper spoke in a very calm voice, reassuring me. "You're going to be okay, Bella. You're completely exhausted. Please let me give you something to help you sleep."

Sitting upright, quick as a flash, I managed to say, "No! I'm fine... I just need to rest. I don't want anything." He gave me a knowing look. He knew I wouldn't accept any drugs, but he had to ask.

From his facial expression, I could tell he knew there was more to this than from what I was saying. "Okay...Um, rest here for a while." He glanced over his shoulder toward the door where Edward stood. "Edward, if you wanna stay, that's okay. You need to let her rest, no further stress."

Edward stepped back into the room, sitting on the edge of the bed, brushing my hair back out of my eyes. He looked at me with a look of pure love and concern on his face. The tables were turned now; it was usually me that wore that look as of late.

As Jasper left the room, I manage to say, "Always handy to have a doctor in the family. Thank you, Jasper."

This made Jasper chuckle before he turned, doing his trademark bow saying, "My pleasure, Ma'am."

I laid back on the bed, not realizing how tired I felt. I was in Edward's arms... my safe haven. I was afraid to look into his eyes. I was afraid of what I would see, looking back at me. I knew in my heart that he was brooding over this, trying to work out the details of who was to blame. How he would react scared me. Tiredness washed over me and I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and I fell asleep.

I woke up alone, Edward had left me and I felt hurt that he wasn't with me, but I could hear voices from downstairs. The best I could hope for is that he had made amends with his brother. I couldn't bear the tension to continue.

I made my way downstairs, seeing him and heard how normal everything sounded, so I made my way over to him, slipping my arms around his waist, leaning my head against his back.

He turned to face me and asked, "You okay, baby? We're gonna cook up a storm here, so I hope you're hungry."

I smiled back at him before I answered, "Starving."

He smiled at me and with a glint in his eye, said, "Angel, we have visitors."

He motioned towards where Esme & Carlisle were sitting looking out over the lake, lost in conversation with each other. I was thrilled to see them, and rushed over. After hugs and kisses, we sat down together and discussed what was happening with me at work and what we had been doing up here. I obviously edited, heavily, missing out today's incident. There was no point worrying them more than necessary.

After we had eaten, we were all lounging around outside. The night was warm, but the fire pit was lit to give us extra warmth while we sat and enjoyed our drinks together. Something had been bothering Edward. He hadn't said anything, but every now and again he frowned almost as if he was arguing with himself in his head. I wouldn't push this. If he wanted to talk to me, then he would. I knew he probably needed time to adjust to being back home. He was also probably fighting a war within himself, so I concentrated on enjoying the time with his family.

He suddenly went to get more drinks despite the fact that we had a supply in an ice bucket near us. It put me on edge, wondering what was going on with him. When he returned, I could see that something was definitely bothering him, but he wouldn't look me in the eye as he started to speak addressing us as a group. "Ladies, I'm not sure if you want to stay to hear this, but if you don't then I understand. I need to do this, though. I feel that it's time for me to tell you exactly what happened to me while I was gone."

I looked around the group to gauge their reactions. Carlisle gave him a smile before getting up and patting him on the back to show his support. Everyone else said they wanted to stay. Rose and Alice both said that if it got too much, they'd go inside. Esme made it clear she was staying, no matter what. Emmett gave me an encouraging grin. As for me, I certainly wasn't leaving him.

Edward looked at us all one at a time whilst he spoke, "This is something that you all need to know about. This may be extremely painful for Bella, but part of this story she already knows. This all starts well before I was taken, and I know now, this is directly linked to my abduction." I began to panic. This was going to drag up some rather painful memories for me, although, I could only imagine what it was going to do to him.

He walked over to me, whispering in my ear, "I'm so sorry, baby. Are you okay with me revealing this?"

Pulling back from me, he placed a kiss on my forehead. I knew he had to do this. It might as well be here, on his terms, with the love and support of his family around us. I nodded my agreement at him.

He looked at us all, again, one by one. This unnerved me as I felt like he was trying to remember what we looked like before he left us. I watched as he took a large swig of the beer he was holding in his hand.

Once the bottle was resting at his side, once again, "Right, here goes."


Authors Note:

Beta'd as always by the fabulous DreamofRob10 – loves ya.

There is more to come from this, there are several chapters all pre-written from when I stripped these out of the story Taken and reposted that soley as EPOV. If you want to know what is going on in Edward's head – check out Taken.