They survived falling in love and having four (count 'em, FOUR) children. Now, Geekward and Nerdella are parents of teenagers. Say a prayer for them for they are in for a bumpy ride. Kyra is being a brat, displaying actions akin to her uncle who is nearing the end of his life on death row. Owen is a geek, like his dad. Then there is Mia and Masen, the twins. They're still cute and adorable. Well, as cute and adorable as twelve year olds can be.
Let's not forget Alice, Jasper, Adam, and Gianna (the Whitlocks), Justin, Alex and Demetri (the Volturis), Esme and Marcus (the Volturis), Tim, Rose, Ava and Lucas (the Napletons) and our antagonist, Jacob Black. Emmett will also make a brief appearance in this story, too. But he's not causing drama. His final goodbye, as it were.
Up next will be another Bella chapter. We'll get through the lunch with Tim (some possible drama while out with Tim); the introduction of Steve, Ricky's son (Ricky is one of the body guards from The Geek's Guide to Parenthood); and the first couple of days in LA with Rose for the meeting for her books to be made into a movie. We also may see some lemony goodness, too. Skype sex anyone? LOL!
Chapter Four: Lunch, Security Guards and the City of Angels
"Edward, you don't have to go with me to lunch with Tim," I chided. My neurotic husband was dancing nervously, wringing his hands while I got dressed for my lunch meeting for some foundation business. "You're supposed to meet with Jasper and Demetri for your quarterly report for the third quarter. Go to work, angel."
"But, Bella," Edward whined. "There's a psycho mongoloid on the loose and he could really hurt you."
"I'm going to be with Tim who is just as big as you, if not bigger," I mocked back. "Besides, couldn't you just track him using his cell phone at the office?"
"Only if the cell phone's on," Edward grumbled. "It's been off since he called. Or he got a new one. My guess is the latter. Fucking Jacob."
I teetered to him in my heels, smushing his cheeks together. "Edward, I will be fine," I said. He looked silly with his face all scrunched up by my hands. I giggled.
"Fissht idn't thunny, Thedda," he said against my hands.
"I'm sorry, what was that? I don't speak mush-mouth," I snorted, releasing his face.
He took my hands, giving me a stern look. It was his 'disapproving-dad' stare. "I said that it wasn't funny. This is serious! Have you seen a picture of your ex-boyfriend? He's a crazed, steroid-filled, emotionless monster with muscles on top of muscles and some fucking ugly facial hair. He could squash you like a bug, gorgeous. His hand could wrap around your teeny waist and he'd split you in two."
"First off, my waist ain't teeny. Having four children prevents my waist from ever being teeny," I said, arching my brow at him. "Secondly, I'll carry my handy-dandy can of Mace, my baton and rape whistle. Finally, need I remind you that, um, I'm going to be with Tim! Tall guy, has muscles of his own and is a few years younger than you Cullen."
"You wound me, Bella," he pouted. "I work out every day. Yes, my body isn't as fit as it was but I can still kick some ass. Just ask Jasper or Demetri."
"Angel, you and I both know that you are the hottest guy who is almost fifty, ever," I said, tangling my fingers into his thick, bronze/gray hair.
"Must you remind me that I'm getting close to the half-century mark," Edward growled. "I don't feel old. Yes, I may have gray-ish hair, but I'm not old."
"Sure, you geezer," I snickered.
"Ugh! You suck, Bella," he snarled, giving me a playful scowl. With a heavy sigh, he took my face in his large hands. "Please, please, please make sure that your cell phone is on at all times and don't go anywhere without Tim. I can't wait until you have someone with you permanently."
"When does my new bodyguard start again?"
"We meet with him on Sunday to go over protocols and he'll start officially on Monday," Edward answered.
"Please tell me that he's not going to hang out while I'm here by myself," I grumbled. "I'd feel like I have to entertain the poor guy."
"Sorry, baby," he frowned. "Steve is moving into the apartment above the garage, like Johnny, Ricky and Matthew. We've got a new tenant."
"Oh, goody," I said blandly. I pinched my bridge of my nose, a habit I picked up from my husband. "I thought we were past all of this bullshit. Emmett's in jail, awaiting his lethal injection. Why now? Why is Jacob choosing NOW to come back to make our lives hell?"
"I don't know, gorgeous," Edward said as he held me close to his still strong and muscular body. I snuggled against him, inhaling his fresh and soothing scent, gripping his dress shirt. "Are you sure that you don't want me to come?"
"I'm positive," I sighed, kissing his angular jaw. "I'll leave my cell phone on and make sure that I have Tim with me at all times."
Edward pursed his lips, seemingly unsatisfied with my response but he gave a wary nod. "Call me once you get to Tim's office, after you get to restaurant, when you leave the restaurant and finally, when you get home," he said, panic rising in his voice.
"Okay, Edward," I said, trying to stay calm. His anxiety was causing my own to escalate. But, I didn't want him to see me all upset, so I kept it together. He crushed me to his chest, pressing his cheek to my head. I eventually pulled back to finish getting ready. Edward sat in the room, watching as I put finishing touches to my outfit, ending with my wedding rings and necklace. We walked downstairs and I got ready to leave. However, the phone was ringing. I bristled.
"It's Mia and Masen's school," Edward said, looking at the caller ID. "Hello?...Masen's sick? Alright, I'll be right there." He hung up and gave me a sigh. "Masen's got the flu. He projectile vomited all over his science table and his lab partner."
"Oh, NO!" I snickered.
"Poor kid," Edward frowned. "Anyhow, I'm going to pick him up and take him to the doctor." His nose was wrinkled, obviously not enthused about picking up our vomiting youngest son. Edward could never, ever, ever handle puke. He'd be puking right along with the kids which made for a bigger mess for me to clean up.
"Here, Edward. Take my car. I don't want you to stress over Masen throwing up all over your car."
"Oh, thank you," he said as he swiped my keys from my hands. He peppered my face with kisses.
"You go pick up Pukey McPukerson and I'm going to my meeting. I don't think he'll need to go to the doctor unless it spans for longer than a day," I said. "We've got some Gatorade in the basement fridge and crackers in the pantry. Set him up in the family room with a garbage can."
"Bella," Edward whined. "I hate vomit."
"He's your son…our baby," I snickered. "Just pray that he doesn't puke all over you."
"God damn it," Edward muttered. I pulled on his hand, pushing him into my car. "Don't forget to call."
"I won't. I love you and I'll see you when I get home," I whispered, kissing him quickly. He clambered into the car, backing out of the garage. With a sullen wave, he drove away from the house. I got into Edward's car, heading in the opposite direction toward my meeting with Tim.
A half hour later, I parked in the small office where Tim's business was located. It was a posh storefront with a gallery of all of his work, corporate, educational and residential. In the forefront were all of the original Cullen Children's Foundation from Chicago, Joliet and Schaumburg. Inside of the room, I sent Edward a quick text saying I was at Tim's. He responded and said that Masen wasn't the only kid he had to take home. Gianna was also sick and the office couldn't get a hold of Alice or Jasper. So, Gianna and Masen were currently on our family room couches, moaning as their bellies were revolting.
"Bella!" called Tim. He jogged out of the back office, hugging me tightly. "How are you doing?"
"I'm fine but my youngest apparently has the stomach flu," I snorted. Tim backed up comically, inspecting me for any vomit. "Relax. My poor son threw up all over the desk at school and his poor lab partner."
"Oh, damn," he laughed. "Poor guy."
"He's not the only one. Gianna is also being taken home by Edward," I snickered. "He's in agony."
"I don't blame him. I can handle being peed on and the shits, but puke…nasty!" he shuddered. "Now, let me just grab my book and we'll go to lunch. Italian okay?" I nodded and he darted back into his office, picking up his portfolio. We walked to Rosebud and were led immediately into a private dining room. We ordered some food and our meeting started.
Tim went into detail for three of the new foundation locations, updates on the buildings, permits and funding for the renovations. The newest locations included Lincoln, Nebraska; Tacoma, Washington and Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were also in negotiations for four other locations in Duluth, Minnesota; Portland, Maine; Jacksonville, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina.
"…we need to finalize our decisions for Tacoma location first since their opening is less than two months," Tim rambled as he pulled out a few samples for carpeting, wall colors and…Bella? You okay? You're spacing out."
"Huh?" I said, shaking my head slightly. My brain was half-listening to what Tim had to say. I was more focused on my sick child at home and the crazed ex who wouldn't leave me alone. "I'm sorry, Tim. What you were saying?"
"Are you sure you're alright? I haven't seen you this distracted since the drama with Emmett and Edward," Tim said as he put his hand on my forearm.
"I'm fine. I'm worried about Mase," I said, waving my hand dismissively. "I'll focus, I promise."
"This is more than just Masen being sick, Bella. We've been friends for how long? I know your 'tells.' You're upset and stressed about something," he said sternly, staring at me.
"I'm upset about Masen…and…well, um, Jacob," I said, wrinkling my nose.
"Jacob? The asshat Jacob?" Tim growled. "What's he got to do with anything?"
"He's been calling and harassing me," I whispered, idly playing with my napkin. "Edward's freaking out, of course and well, honestly, so am I."
"Are you going to get protection?" Tim asked, rubbing my shoulder.
"We have a new bodyguard starting on Monday. It's Ricky's son, Steve," I snorted humorlessly.
"Keeping it in the family, huh?" Tim pressed, his eyes crinkling. I blushed and nodded. Tim sighed, squeezing my hand. "I remember him when Rose and I started our allusive affair. He always watched you, possessively."
"I mean, Edward's possessive of you but it's stemmed from love and protection. Jacob's possessive nature was more the need to conquer you," Tim said, leaning back in his seat. "I could see that in the few times I was out with you and him."
"Edward's convinced he's going to hurt me, irrevocably," I said.
"I don't doubt it," Tim answered. "Normally, I'm one to think that Edward is slightly neurotic and over-protective but I agree with the bodyguard, especially with Jacob. There's something not right with that guy."
I pouted, twisting my wedding set on my hand. Perhaps I was being to blasé over this whole thing. If Tim is freaking out, then, I had every right to be scared or terrified. Besides, would Jacob go so far as to hurt my family? I hope not. My children are my world and if anything happened to them…Tears were running down my cheeks. Tim gathered me in his arms and hugged me tightly. Silently, I fell apart as I realized the severity of the situation.
While I was being comforted by my best friend's husband, my cell phone chimed from my purse. I picked it up, checking to see who had texted me. Secretly, I was hoping it was Edward, telling me that he needed me. As much as I wanted to have this meeting with Tim, the stressor of Jacob was now weighing heavily on my mind. However, the number showed up as 'unknown.' It was tempting to just delete the message without reading it. I couldn't though.
I dropped my phone as if it was hot to the touch. Flinging myself away from the table, I frantically looked around the restaurant.
"Bella? What is it?" Tim asked, shocked at my change in demeanor. I stabbed at the phone which he picked up. "'Tsk, tsk, Mrs. Cullen. Cheating on your hubby? I'm watching you.'" He glared at the phone. "He's close, Bella. He can see you."
Tears fell down my face, unabated. "I want to go home," I blubbered, feeling lost and out of control. "I want Edward."
"Okay, sweetie," Tim said as he put his arm around me. "I'm driving you, though. You're too upset to drive and I do not want to leave you alone." In a flurry, Tim got our food to go and paid the bill. Together, we walked back to Edward's car. Tim took the keys and helped me into the passenger seat. Stoically, I sat quietly as Tim sent a message to his assistant that he was leaving for the day. I don't remember the drive home. Tim was yammering on about something, but I couldn't tell you what.
Pulling up to our home, Tim had to drag me out of the car and into the house. I was shuddering uncontrollably when I walked inside, falling to my knees. "Edward! I need you!" Tim shouted.
I heard the sounds of Edward running to the garage entrance with the shuffle of Masen and Gianna behind him. "Bella?" he wailed, falling to his knees and taking my face in his hands. The dam broke and I launched myself at him. Edward caught me, cradling me in his arms. "Tim, tell me what happened. Everything."
"It's better you just see," Tim snarled, giving Edward my phone. I could feel my husband stiffen, growling lowly.
"Next to the desk, there's a phone number," Edward said authoritatively. "Dial it and bring me the cordless. Masen, I know you feel like crap, but I need you to call the police on your cell phone, asking for an officer to come here."
"Sure, Dad," Masen said, his voice filled with worry. "Is everything okay?"
"No," I sniffled, burying my face in Edward's shirt. His arms tightened around me.
"Gianna, can you get some comfy clothes for Aunt Bella? There are yoga pants in the dresser, middle drawer on the right side. Also, swipe a hoodie from the closet."
"The MIT hoodie," I croaked out, wanting to feel Edward's strong arms around me, even if he wasn't touching me. His hoodie would work in a pinch…
"Okay, Aunt Bella," Gianna replied, her voice sounding raspy and tired.
Edward stood up, causing me to freak out slightly. With a strength that he hadn't possessed in awhile, Edward swept me in his arms, carrying me to the office where Tim was talking on the phone. Edward sat down, with me on his lap, gesturing for the phone. I was curled up against Edward as he spoke quickly and quietly on the phone, arranging for Steve to come tonight to begin his round-the-clock security. Edward also arranged for another two guards for the kids. Ricky was ready to come out of retirement, hearing the desperation in Edward's voice.
Masen let in the police while Gianna brought me down some comfortable clothes. I told the officers about the harassment, showing them the text message and relaying all that Jacob said to me in our conversations. There wasn't much that could be done but we did alert the police. They had Jacob's name and photograph along with my complaint. After the police left, I changed into my comfy clothes, curling up with Masen and Gianna, who were very clingy due to their illness and my breakdown. I knew I was going to get the stomach flu, but I needed my son and right now, my niece, to keep me together while Edward and Tim finalized arrangements for security for me and the kids.
Edward sent Tim to pick up Owen and Mia from school. Kyra was working. We were hoping that Steve would be settled in with us so Edward could pick up Kyra from Taco Bell after she was done with her shift.
"Mom?" Masen croaked, clearing his throat. "What's going on? You seem so scared. I heard part of what was happening, but…"
"Someone that I dated in the past is trying to hurt me," I said, wrapping my arm around Masen's sweaty, heavy body. He really was feeling icky because he was never this cuddly, even as a little boy. He was always a stand-offish child. The only time he was a cuddle monster was when he was sick. It was like he was trying to get back into the womb. I pressed a kiss to his hair, resting my cheek on his unruly brown locks. "Anyway, this man, Jacob, we dated before I met your dad and we broke up."
"Obviously," Gianna snickered, sounding like Alice. "If you were still together, you wouldn't be with Uncle Edward."
"Right," I laughed lightly, holding her close, too. "When we broke up, Jacob was okay with it. He pushed me for something that I wasn't ready for in the relationship and when I decided to end it, initially, he was hurt but not psycho."
"Did something happen?" Masen asked, his hands clenching in anger.
"Unfortunately, yes. I lived in Phoenix when your dad and I first met. We were out at a club with Aunt Rose and a, um," How do I describe Rose's relationships? Crap… "a friend of hers. I ran into Jacob outside of the bathroom. He had seen your father and me dancing. Jacob was furious and he put his hands on me, bruising my arms and rattling me to the core. Your dad stopped him, punching Jacob in the jaw. I didn't see Jacob again until right before I moved out to Chicago, a few months later. He was okay and he wished me luck along with an apology for how he behaved at the bar, claiming he was drunk."
"Just because he was drunk doesn't mean you touch and hurt someone," Masen snarled, ready to attack. "What an asshole!"
"Language," I chastised. "Just because you're upset and sick, doesn't mean that I can't wash your mouth out with soap, my dear child."
"Please don't," Masen whimpered. "Puking up food is one thing but soap? I don't even want to imagine. Have pity on your sick, emaciated son."
I chuckled, tightening my hold on him. "You are not emaciated, Masen. You just have the flu. However, you're staying home from school until your fever breaks and you can eat some toast without throwing it back up."
"Kay, Momma," Masen mumbled sleepily, putting his head on my lap. He fell asleep quickly with Gianna close behind.
Edward was running around in the apartment above the garage before he came down with his Bluetooth clipped to his ear. "Thank you, Ricky. I've arranged for a limo for Steve and they'll be waiting at Midway upon his arrival. He's got his own place and storage for his weaponry…Me, too. We'll get together at some point…I will. Thanks again." He hung up the phone, tossing the Bluetooth onto the table, flopping down in the recliner. "Steve will be here in three hours. Ricky is shipping his weapons and I've pulled the old gun storage locker out of the basement."
"I thought the earliest he could get here was Sunday," I whispered.
"He was on vacation but when Ricky called him with the latest development, Steve made arrangements to come straight here. He was in Costa Rica on some sort of mission or something. He's got nothing appropriate for the weather."
"I'll go shopping for him," I said.
"No, with him. You are not going to be alone until this whole situation with Jacob is settled," Edward said, his voice taking on a deep, resonant tenor.
The door of the garage opened and the sounds of Tim, Mia and Owen filled the house. Edward hopped up, hissing for everyone to be quiet since Gianna and Masen were napping comfortably against my body. Edward dragged them both into the living room, explaining what happened during my lunch with Tim. Tim chimed in with some extra information. Owen was ready to kill Jacob for making his mother cry. Mia was worried and scared but Edward explained that we were going to have extra protection until this was all resolved.
Tim left shortly after that with Alice and Gianna. He had to catch a train to the city since he left his car in Naperville. Alice dropped him off at the train station on her way home. Masen and Mia went upstairs. Mia worked on homework while Masen spent most of the evening hovering over the toilet. Owen was nervously following me around while I made our dinner, freaked out that something could happen to me.
Dinner was quiet. No one really ate anything. Mia was a little green, obviously getting what Masen was afflicted with upstairs. I honestly wasn't feeling all that good either, idly pushing around my leftovers from lunch. However, my uneasy stomach was due to the events of the traumatic day.
Around nine in the evening, there was a knock at the door. Edward bristled and he walked to see who it was. Opening the door, Edward was greeting by a young man who looked like a younger and much more muscular version of Ricky. "Hello, I'm Steve. I'm looking for Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen?"
"Yes, I'm Edward. Come in, Steve," Edward said. They shook hands and walked into family room. Owen eyed the newcomer warily. "Can I take your bag?"
"I'm fine, Mr. Cullen," Steve said formerly.
"Please, call me Edward," my husband said with a friendly smile. "This is my son, Owen and my wife, Bella."
"Nice to meet you all," Steve said with a nod of his head. "My dad briefed me on the situation and I hope I can help out."
"Just by being here, you're already helping," Edward sighed. "Are you hungry?"
"A bit. I had some foul airport food," Steve replied, wrinkling his nose. Edward quickly made him some food and we sat down in the kitchen.
"So, why don't you tell us about yourself, Steve? I'd like to know a bit more about the man who is going to take care of my family when I can't," Edward said.
"Of course, Mr. Cullen," Steve said, swallowing a bite of food. Edward arched a brow. "Mr. Edward?"
Edward heaved a sigh. "That's what your dad called us when he worked for our family fifteen years ago."
"I just want to be respectful, sir," Steve said quietly.
"Perhaps some of your manners can rub off on our daughter," I snorted. "Edward, can you pick her up? She gets off in a half hour."
"I'll leave in ten minutes," Edward said, checking his watch. He looked at the tall man, eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes at our kitchen island. His hair was light brown with a pair of shrewd and cunning blue eyes. He had a goatee and a sharp jaw line. The clothes he wore were indicative of where he was vacationing: a pair of cargo shorts, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a fleece jacket. Steve was also in killer shape. The definition of his body was clear as day underneath his t-shirt and his legs were muscular. "So?" my husband pressed. "Tell us something about yourself."
"Sure, Mr. Edward," Steve said, pushing his plate away. "I'm twenty-five. I enlisted in the army, only to be turned away due a heart defect that I was unaware that I had. So, I went to school for law enforcement after I had a pace-maker placed in my chest to regulate my heart rate. I was hired by the police force in my hometown but I didn't like it so I joined my dad's security company while I worked on getting my law degree. I hated the classes so; I focused mainly on the security company and have been there ever since."
"This heart thing?" Edward asked. "It's under control?" Edward's eyes were wary and he looked like he was ready to pummel Ricky for sending us Steve with a bum heart.
"Yes, sir," Steve said as he lowered his v-neck t-shirt, displaying a small scar. "I've got a pace-maker and it keeps my heart pumping normally. The wiring is just faulty and it needs a jolt every so often. My mom has the same thing but not as severe. She just had a pace-maker placed a year ago. I assure you, though, I'm perfectly healthy. I take care of my body and will do everything in my power to protect you and your family, Mr. Edward. I can see your fears in your eyes and I hate that."
"I like him, Edward," I said. "I like you, Steve. You've won me over."
"I'm glad, Miss Bella," he smiled.
"Have you ever killed anyone?" asked Owen, who was lurking in the corner.
"Not yet, Mr. Owen," Steve said with a frown. "And I hope I don't have to."
"I hope so, too," I muttered, patting Steve's arm. "Now, Edward you need to get Kyra and I'll show Steve to his new place to get settled in. I'm assuming you're pretty tired, right?"
"Yes, Miss Bella," Steve replied with an appreciative smile. "I had a late night last night with my buddies and had rolled in to our hostel around six in the morning. My dad called me at noon but I had spent most of the morning tossing and turning due to my friends using the bathroom like a rotating door."
"Not you?" Edward asked, still riding the hard line for Steve.
"No, sir. I never cared much for alcohol," Steve replied, wrinkling his nose. "I'd rather watch my friends turn into bumbling idiots while I walk way, smelling like a proverbial rose."
"Okay," Edward said, giving a definitive nod. "I'm going to get Kyra. We'll keep the kids home tomorrow and explain to them the situation and the reason for extra protection."
"Do I have to stay?" Owen asked. "I've got a test in Political Science and my teacher is a jerk who doesn't like to give make-ups. I already met Steve."
"When's your test?" I questioned.
"Fourth period," Owen answered.
"Fine. You can go," Edward replied. "But, I'll drive you to school and pick you up afterward. No one is to be on their own."
"Even Kyra?" Owen asked, his brows shooting his hairline.
"Even Kyra. We'll work around her work schedule," Edward sighed, picking up his car keys. "I'll be back in a little bit. Welcome to the family, Steve and I hope that this isn't something too permanent for you."
"Thank you, Mr. Edward," Steve answered, nodding his head in appreciation.
"Want to come with me, Owen?" Edward asked our oldest son. Owen nodded and they left the house.
I swiped a pair of keys from the junk drawer, turning to Steve. "These are for you. It's the house key and the key to your apartment above the garage, where you'll be staying. I'm certain Edward will go over the nuances of the place in regards to the security features but I can show you everything else."
Steve nodded and he picked up his carry-on bag. We walked to the garage entrance, climbing the stairs to the small one bedroom apartment above our garage. I unlocked the door, handing them to Steve. I flipped on the lights, displaying the relatively masculine and clean family room of the apartment. "We have a separate phone line for this apartment," I said as I handed him the cordless phone. "Don't worry about any of your bills. We'll take care of it all. The only thing we won't do is your laundry."
Steve snorted, giving me a wry smile. "Nor would I expect you to, Miss Bella."
"Speaking of laundry," I said, indicating to his shorts. "We'll need to get you some more appropriate attire for the weather."
"I can have my parents send me clothes," Steve said.
"Nonsense. You may be protecting our family, but you cut your vacation short and I want to help you out. If my children aren't puking their brains out, we'll go shopping to get you some clothes for colder weather. If not, Edward probably has some things that could work in a pinch until we can go shopping," I said, walking him to the kitchenette inside the apartment. "Um, I usually kick dinner and such, but if you want some alone time, we have a fully functioning kitchen here."
"I'm not much of a cook. I mean, I still live with my parents and my mom is the best cook in the world," Steve snorted.
"Well, I may give her a run for her money," I teased. "If you want, I can also show you how to cook. I taught all of my kids plus Edward's best friend, Jasper and no one has died of food poisoning."
"I may take you up on that," Steve snickered. "I'm twenty-five and when I'm not on jobs, I live my folks. I need to grow up, you know?"
"Hell, it's nice to be doted on by your parents," I said, thinking fondly of my own mom. "Though, my mother couldn't cook to save her life. Dinner was always a science experiment. A favorite for her was deep-fried bananas with a side of tartar sauce."
"Ew, really?" Steve squeaked.
"I had to learn how to cook so I wouldn't starve," I snorted. Turning, I led Steve to his bedroom. "If you don't like the décor, we can change it up for you."
"No, it's fine," Steve said politely. "I like the color blue. It's very calming."
"Bathroom's just through the door and across the hall is security central," I giggled. "That's Edward's domain."
Steve brushed past me and into the security room. He quickly appraised the bank of monitors, whistling lowly. "This is a lot of technology."
"My husband is quite the tech geek," I said dryly, arching a brow at Steve. He replied with his own smirk. "Anyhow, I'll let you be. If you need anything, the home phone is programmed into the cordless."
"Thank you, Miss Bella," Steve said. "I just want you to know that I will do everything to keep you and your family safe."
I nodded, patting Steve on his shoulder before turning to go. I dragged my body back into the main house, turning off lights and locking up the doors. I dragged my tired body up to my bedroom, making a detoured stop in Mia and Masen's rooms. They both were running fevers with garbage cans next to their beds. I called into school, saying they were sick and would be out for the rest of the week. I also called in Kyra, too.
I finally went into the bathroom, stripping out of my clothes and into the shower, allowing myself to crumble completely. The stress of the day had caught up to me. I was on the floor, sobbing brokenly and clutching my stomach in fear of what Jacob was capable of, how close he was, what his intentions were.
I hadn't even noticed that Edward had come home, slipping into the shower with me. His strong arms were pulling me into his lap, holding me as I fell apart. The water had begun to run cold and I felt Edward pick me up. He wrapped me in a fluffy towel, setting me on the vanity. He wrapped a towel around his slender waist before he began gently rubbing me dry. I looked up at him and saw tears streaming down his face. Tentatively, I cupped his cheek. He stopped his methodical drying, looking down at me. "I can't lose you, Bella," he whispered brokenly. He crushed me to his chest, holding me so tightly that it hurt but I relished it, wanted it. "Jacob won't touch you, baby. I promise you."
"I know," I said against his wet, warm chest. I wished I believed him. However, I had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that just wouldn't go away. Even with the addition of Steve and the other security guards that we were hiring, I still felt exposed. Why couldn't Jacob just have left me alone? Left my family alone?
One thing I was sure of as I tried to crawl inside of my husband's body was that I hated, no, abhorred Jacob Black.
xx STTD xx
"I still can't believe that the mutt is stalking you," Rose said from her seat in first class of the non-stop flight to LA. "But at least you got some delicious man candy to guard your body."
"Rose! Stop it," I hissed. "Technically, I could be his mother."
"So? Your body guard can guard my body any day," Rose said, shooting a look behind us and smirking at the man who was in charge of my protection. He was reading a book and listening to his iPod, wearing a smart dark gray suit.
"You're married, Rosalie Hale," I snorted, elbowing her in the ribs.
"Whatever, Bellini," she said, waving her hand. "Tim knows I love him and that I wouldn't do that to him. However, it doesn't mean that I stop looking."
I rolled my eyes, picking up my copy of the script that the movie production company sent over a week ago. Rose and I were going through the script with a fine-tooth comb to make revisions for the first movie of the trilogy of her Charmed series called The Charmed Ones. We were nearly done with the revision and were meeting with the production company about finalizing our decision for a director, casting decisions and setting up a production start date. We were going to be in LA for four days.
It had been two and half weeks since I got that text from Jacob. Things at the house became kind of hairy for the first few days he was there with the entire house coming down with the stomach flu thanks to Typhoid Masen and Mia. Once we all recovered from the flu, Edward finally met with the rest of the security crew who would assist in watching our family. Casey was assigned to Mia and Masen. Oliver was assigned to Kyra and Owen. We also had a swing member named Henry who filled in whenever anyone needed a day off. Oliver, Casey and Henry were all local, staying in their respective homes. Steve was the only member who lived with us. However, every so often, we'd open up the guest bedroom for a security member who had to stay overnight due to a late assignment.
Edward had been amazing each night as I fell apart; upset at the lack of control I didn't have in my life. He held me, telling me he loved me and that no one would hurt me. I started having nightmares starring Jacob and he methodically hurt my family, starting with my children and ending with me. Each night, the nightmare was the same. Each night, I woke up in a cold sweat, panting heavily that the nightmares would come to fruition.
I prayed that didn't. I wouldn't survive it.
"Bellini, snap out of it," Rose chided, tugging on my ponytail. I blinked away a few tears, looking at my best friend. "Hey, it's going to be okay. I've got a stiletto with Jacob's name on it." She put her arm around me, kissing my head.
"I'm just afraid," I whispered, wiping my face. "I thought we were past all of this bullshit, you know? I mean, Emmett is due to be executed just after the first of the year. That's one chapter of our life that will be closed. Our family is healthy, happy and thriving. Then, Jacob gets this bug up his ass to try and find me, turning into psycho stalker-man."
"How long are you going to have Steve?" Rose asked.
"Until Jacob does something stupid enough to get caught or…I don't know," I answered honestly. "I like Steve but I hate the fact that I have a 5'10" shadow following me everywhere."
"At least he's a handsome shadow," Rose quipped. I lightly smacked her arm, turning my attention back to the script. The rest of the flight was a non-event. We landed and were ushered into a limo that was going to drive us to our hotel. The company was paying for us to stay in the swanky Chateau Marmont. Rose got a premier suite while Steve and I had smaller suites just down the hall.
Our only item on the agenda today was having dinner with the studio execs at Spago in Beverly Hills. Rose told Steve and I to take a nap and dress it up a lot for the meeting. I groaned, knowing full well that I'd have to wear heels and some sexy dress. Blah.
We checked into the hotel and had nearly four hours before the limo came back for the meeting. Steve rolled my luggage and did an inspection of the room I was staying in. He was in the room adjacent to mine. We could easily travel between the two rooms through the door the connected them. However, unless I needed to do so, I'd be on my own.
"Your room is all clear, Miss Bella," Steve said as he helped me inside. "If you need anything, just bang on the adjoining door to my room and I'll be here in a heartbeat."
"Thank you, Steve," I said, smiling at him wearily. "I'm going to lie down before our dinner. I suggest you do the same. It was an early morning."
"Indeed it was. What time do you need to be up?"
"I can set my alarm," I answered. Steve nodded and ducked out of my room. I double locked the door, pulling the chain before I stripped out of my clothes, down to my underwear. I picked up my phone, dialing Edward as I crawled between the crisp white sheets.
"You're there," Edward breathed.
"I'm here. Tucked in my bed, wishing you were with me, curled around my body," I said sadly.
"If I could, I would be there, gorgeous," he whined. "But, we're launching a new version of the tablet on Friday and I need to be there for the unveiling. Steve's with you."
"Steve doesn't give me orgasms," I quipped.
"He better not. I'd fire his ass and we'd have major issues," Edward growled.
"Edward, you know I'd never cheat on you. You're my soul mate," I said simply. "The mere thought of another man touching me sickens me."
"Bella," he whispered over the phone. "I'm sorry."
"Why are you apologizing?" I asked, burrowing further into the pillows. "Anyhow, I wanted to let you know that I'm here and safe."
"Any plans for tonight?"
"Meeting with studio bigwigs at Spago at seven," I answered. "I have time to take a nap; hopefully not have a nightmare and then get ready."
"They're getting worse, aren't they?" Edward asked.
"I'll be fine," I sighed, rubbing my face. "The true nightmare is Jacob. Once he's caught or whatever, I'll breathe much easier. You know?"
"Yeah, I do know," Edward said, his voice full of understanding. "Speaking of which, I got another letter from Emmett today."
"He's begging I see him before his execution," Edward snarled. "I don't know if I want to go. I mean, I've said my piece…"
"Maybe he wants to say his," I suggested. "Atone for his sins." Edward huffed over the phone. "Just consider it. Contact the prison board and make arrangements. You can always NOT go but at least you'll have the opportunity to listen to Emmett."
"Perhaps," he said petulantly. "I miss you, Bella."
"I miss you, too," I whispered. I desperately wanted my husband. I felt vulnerable without him. Steve's presence helped but he wasn't my Edward. Tears began streaming down my cheeks as I clutched the phone to my ear.
"Don't cry, Bella," Edward soothed. "I hate it when you cry."
"I'm so scared, Edward," I choked out, curling up in a tiny ball. "I don't know how you handled the bullshit with Emmett without losing it. My emotions are all over the place."
"Trust me when I say that I lost it. You just never saw it," he muttered. "Jasper did. So did Demetri but I had to keep it together for you and Kyra. Bella, I know you're scared. You are the strongest woman I know and Jacob will not hurt you. Steve and the rest of the security team vow that."
"Be that as it may, my mind thinks otherwise," I sniffled, my tears still falling down my face. "The nightmares and lack of sleep…" As I said that, my eye began to droop. "I'm so tired all of the time because I can't sleep."
"Bella," Edward said sympathetically. "I wish I could do something."
"Me, too," I whimpered.
"Try and sleep, my gorgeous girl. I'll stay on the phone until you nod off," he whispered. "Nothing will happen to you."
"I promise," he answered. His deep voice began humming and my body just gave up. Within moments of his singing, I was down for the count.
When I woke up, my cell phone was on the nightstand and an envelope placed on the pillow next to me. My heart began stammering. However, on the envelope, I instantly recognized Steve's barely legible scrawl. I tried to calm myself but my heart was still slamming against my chest. With a shaky hand, I picked up the envelope, opening it up.
Miss Bella, this is from Mr. Edward. He wanted me to check on you and give you this. Also, I know you're scared. I heard you crying from my room. Jacob will not hurt you. I promise you that. I take my job very seriously and have never failed in a mission. Besides, my dad would kick my ass if something happened to you or Mr. Edward. He thinks of you as family. So do I.
I opened up the card from my husband and saw a long, sweeping love letter from my husband. Okay, dirty letter from my husband, describing in detail all of the thing he wanted to do to me once I came back from the business trip. He also included instructions for a day at a spa for some complete relaxation and a card saying that I had something special waiting for me at Harry Winston. I had an appointment for Saturday at two. I pursed my lips, mentally admonishing my husband for spending the money unnecessarily. Whatever was at Harry Winston won't make me feel safe. Though, I did feel slightly spoiled.
My cell phone beeped on the nightstand. It was Rose, telling me to get my ass in gear. I heaved my body out of the bed and to the shower. I quickly washed my body. I changed into some more risqué lingerie before I curled my hair and applied my makeup. I finished putting on my makeup and went to slip on my dress. It was a cream dress with a black design. I kept my jewelry simple with just my wedding band, heart necklace and a pair of diamond studs that Alice got me for my fortieth birthday.
I knocked on Steve's door and he opened it up, giving me a sheepish grin. I breezed into his room, plopping down on one of the couches. "Seeing that note on my bed gave me a heart attack, Steve," I said.
"Sorry, Miss Bella. Mr. Edward called me and said that you were snoring and wasting your cell phone battery," he chuckled. "I just hung up the phone and deposited the note. I didn't mean to scare you. I'm sorry."
"It's okay," I sighed. "You clean up good."
"Thanks," he replied, brushing down his lapel of his black suit. "You and Miss Alice really decked me out in some really nice clothes. I don't even think I could imagine trying to pay you back."
"It's part of your salary, Steve. No payment necessary. Besides, Alice needs a new person to shop for," I snorted. "Well, besides her children, her husband, me, Edward and our children. She tried to dress Rose, Tim and their children but Rose gave her the Hale Look of Ice. Alice stopped after that with Rose."
Steve shook his head and clipped his gun to his belt. "Is Miss Rosalie coming to us or are we meeting in the lobby?"
"Lobby," I answered. I checked my cell phone. "Like now."
"Does the studio know that you are bringing extra protection?" Steve asked.
"Yes. You'll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, promising you won't share any secrets about the film and blah, blah, blah…we all will."
"Oh, okay." Steve offered a hand, helping me off the couch and we went down to the main lobby where Rose was chatting with one of the studio executives.
"Bella!" she squealed. "This is Roger, one of the producers of the film. Roger, this is my best friend and agent, Isabella Cullen and her bodyguard, Steve Burgess."
"Nice to meet you, Bella," Roger said, shaking my hand. He turned to Steve, smiling at him genuinely. "Have either of you been to LA before?"
"I have," I answered, fondly remembering the last time I was in LA. Edward surprised me when I discovered I was pregnant again with Owen. "It's been awhile, though."
Roger nodded and led us out to a sleek white stretch limo. Conversation on the way to the restaurant was polite, asking about our families and lives in Chicago. We also learned about Roger, who was a native resident of Los Angeles, living with his long-time girlfriend, Frankie. She was going to be one of the costume designers for the film.
At the restaurant, we were seated in an open dining room on the patio. We were introduced to another producer, Gerald and the writer of the screenplay, Missy. I was ready to have some words with Missy since she butchered the screenplay but that would wait until tomorrow, Thursday. In addition to Roger, Gerald, and Missy, two of the hopefuls for the director job were at the dinner, David and Michael, along with the head of the studio, a shrewd woman named Louise.
Dinner ended after a few hours of good food, a lot of alcohol and conversation about our upcoming meetings. The studio execs wanted to go out but all of us were still on Chicago time. It was eleven in LA but our bodies felt like it was one in the morning. We declined the invite out and went back to the hotel.
The next morning was spent in meetings with potential directors and distributors for the film. With Rose, we decided on David as the director. However, we needed to do some major revisions on the script. After lunch, I pulled out my heavily marked and abused version of the script. Missy looked absolutely livid with me at the changes I had done to her 'masterpiece.' I stood my ground and explained that the soul of the book was taken with the script. Rose was shocked at how fervently I spoke about the changes I'd proposed but she was also smug about it, too. Roger and Gerald loved my changes and wanted to list me as one of the writers of the screenplay. I was hesitant but Rose answered for me. "Give Bella top billing for the screenplay. She fucking salvaged it."
Missy quit after that.
And Missy's name was not going to be tied to the film at all since we now decided to scrap her script and start from scratch. It meant pushing the filming back a few months while I re-worked the script but we were hopeful that by Halloween of the following year, we'd have the first film of The Charmed Ones in the movie theaters. At the end of the afternoon, I had a strong outline of the script and would begin writing it tomorrow before my appointment at the spa. My goal was to have at least a rough draft of the script before we left for Chicago on Sunday.
Rose was going out with executives tonight while I stayed back in the hotel room, working on the script. I didn't really want to go out, especially with a psycho ex-boyfriend following me. Besides, I was exhausted from all of the yammering during the meetings today. My head honestly hurt and all I wanted to do was drink a few glasses of wine, work on the script and possibly Skype with my amazing husband.
Steve and I ordered room service, chatting about the meetings before I kicked him out to do my work. Despite our age difference, Steve had an old soul and was proving to be a pretty solid friend. Plus, he rivaled Edward in the protectiveness category. When Missy was calling me every foul name in the book, Steve got in her face demanding that she calmed down. She slapped him but he coolly walked over to me, standing in front of me, guarding me from her ire.
After Steve left, I pulled out my laptop and loaded up the outline for the new script for The Charmed Ones. I also loaded up Skype, waiting for my hubby to ping me. I'd take a break once he called me. I worked for nearly two hours when I heard the ping on the computer. I saved my work, opening up Skype. "Baby," I breathed, seeing the handsome face of my husband on the screen.
"Hi, gorgeous," he smiled. "How were the meetings?"
"Long, tedious, monotonous," I grumbled. "But, I've been asked to rewrite the script since that screenplay writer butchered it. I was working on it before you called."
"That's amazing, my love," Edward replied, pride coloring his tone. "My wife, a Hollywood screenplay writer."
"Eh, anything had to be an improvement from the drivel Missy wrote," I snorted. "How are you doing? The kids?"
"I'm fine. Mia is working on her cheer routine for her try-out. Masen is practicing the piano and butchering some piece by Debussy, I think. Owen is sleeping, dealing with a nasty-ass migraine and Kyra is in the shower since she just got back from work," Edward answered. "They're all happy, healthy and protected. Oliver is staying in the apartment overnight while Steve is with you."
"And you, angel?" I asked. "How are you?"
"Lonely, horny, and hungry," he snorted.
"Interesting combination," I giggled. "Hungry?"
"I cooked dinner for the kids but got wrapped up in something for launch tomorrow that when I went to eat my meal, the food was gone. Our sons, also known as the bottomless pits, inhaled the entire pound and half of spaghetti and pasta sauce leaving none for their dear old dad," he frowned. "So, I ate a yogurt cup and some granola because I was being a lazy ass."
"So, the hungry thing is all on our children and your lazy ass," I laughed. He rolled his eyes and settled back on our bed. He was delightfully shirtless, wearing a pair of sleep pants that displayed the perfect 'v' pointing down to my favorite part of his body besides his warm eyes and loving heart. I moaned quietly, watching his body shift on the bed.
"You okay over there, gorgeous?" he quipped.
"I'm feeling lonely and horny, too," I breathed wantonly. I was wearing a black silken robe and a blue camisole and thong underneath that left little to the imagination. I loosened the robe, displaying my lingerie underneath.
"Holy hell," Edward croaked, staring at my body. "Don't move. I'm going to lock the door because if we're doing what I think we're doing, I do not want to be interrupted." He hopped out of the bed. The computer moved and I heard a quiet crash. Edward cursed but he returned quickly, rubbing his side.
"I'm fine. I tripped over the bedding and ran into the dresser. I'll have a lovely bruise on my ribs, but it'll be worth it if we get to have some hot Skype sex," he purred, sitting on the bed. "But, be ready when you get home for the real thing, baby. This is a sad approximation of what will be done to you on Sunday night."
"I look forward to it, Mr. Cullen," I smirked. "Now, what shall we start with?"
"I don't know," he chuckled darkly. "Personally, I think you're wearing too many clothes."
"What? You can totally see my nipples through this shirt and these aren't panties, they're dental floss," I replied, moving the computer back to display my barely there thong.
"Fuck," Edward croaked out.
"Little hard to do that over Skype, angel," I said as I sat back on the pillows, spreading my legs apart so Edward could get a nice view of my pussy. I idly ran my fingers on the insides of my thighs. "Besides, you're covered up, too."
"Problem solved," he barked out, pulling down his pants to reveal his rock hard cock. With a wink, he made his arousal twitch. I giggled moving my one hand to my breasts, toying with my peaked nipples. My other hand was moving closer to my core. "Bella, I need to see you."
"Top or bottom?" I asked. I knew I'd be naked before the end of our tryst on the computer, but he had to choose what he wanted to see first: my breasts or my pussy.
"Bella," he whined.
"Choose, Edward or I will stay clothed and you see nothing," I chuckled, twisting my nipple.
"Bottom," he pleaded. "I can see how turned on you are through your panties and I want to see how wet you are." I bit my lip, closing my legs to pull off my panties. I tossed them on the edge of bed before I spread my legs again. "God, I wish I was there, Bella."
"Hmmm, me too," I cooed. "You're so much better at making me come with your fingers and tongue than I am. Unfortunately, I left my vibrator at home." I snaked my hand between my legs, running my fingers along my folds. Edward's eyes were trained on my hand. "Tell me what you want me to do, Edward."
"Touch your body, Bella. I want to see how wet you are. Show me your finger after you caress your pretty little clit," he growled, wrapping his hand around his cock. I blushed, circling my fingers over the bundle of nerves. I moaned when I pulled my hand away, desperately wanting to continue that feeling but Edward wanted to see my wetness. I was drenched. "Fuck, baby. What I wouldn't give to bury my face between your thighs and lick you until you scream?"
"I fucking love your tongue," I snarled as I moved my hand back to my pussy, circling the nub quickly. "I love when your tongue pushes inside of my body, caressing the inside of my pussy."
"Yessssss," he hissed as he pumped his hand on his cock. "You taste so fucking good, Bella. I never imagined tasting something so succulent. So sweet and perfect, baby. It's even sweeter when you come all over my face, Bella." He grunted, bucking his hips. His hand was twisting over his arousal. "Put your fingers in your mouth, Bella. Tell me how you taste. Is it sweet?"
"Hmmmm," I purred, removing my hand from my slick folds. I slid my fingers between my lips, staring at my sexy husband. "So sweet, Edward. I can see why you like licking my pussy, baby. Though, you do taste better." He growled lowly. His animalistic sound caused the wetness between my legs to increase.
"Baby, can I see all of you?" Edward begged. "I love seeing your pussy but your whole body is so beautiful."
I nodded, tossing my camisole off my body, revealing my naked body. "I'm naked and open for you, Edward. Tell me. What do you want me to do?" I said in a slightly husky tone.
"Slip your fingers inside your pretty pink pussy, gorgeous," Edward choked out as his pumps became jerkier. "Curl them and make yourself come."
"I'll try," I cooed, moving my hand back to my core. My eyes rolled back in my head as my fingertips grazed over my clit before I dipped my fingers inside of my entrance. "Fuck!" Edward growled lowly as I languidly thrust my fingers in and out of my drenched folds. "Edward, talk to me. Tell me what you'd be doing to me if we were making love."
"Oh, baby, I'd slide between your thighs and inside of your tight body," he crooned. "Your silken walls would be hugging my cock, quivering with anticipation. Fuck, Bella, you feel so amazing when we make love." I moaned as I rocked against my own hand, desperately wishing it was Edward inside of me. "That's it, baby. Fuck your fingers."
"Come with me, Edward," I pleaded, staring at my husband's handsome face. "Please, baby."
"Oh, my Bella," he moaned. "I'm right there with you. I wish I was inside of you, feeling you squeeze me and hold me close. I love you so much, baby. So much."
"Edward!" I shrieked, my orgasm building at my own hand with the help of my husband's voice. "Oh, Edward! I'm…"
"Me, too, gorgeous," he panted as his hands moved over his own twitching arousal.
Together, we came, chanting each other's names as our bodies reacted to our self love. After a few moments of gathering my senses, I sat back up, pulling a t-shirt I had placed on the bed over my body. Edward had walked back, wiping off his stomach of his release. "You so planned that," he chuckled.
"Why else would I be wearing barely there underwear?" I snickered. "I hate butt floss but I know it turns you on."
"No, seeing you come turns me on," he said. "That helped with the horniness. I'm still lonely and now even hungrier. I see a midnight snack in my future."
"Make sure it's healthy," I said, pulling my hair into a ponytail.
"Yes, dear," he snorted. "God, you're in LA and you're still nagging me."
"I am but you love me," I said.
"I do, Bella. More than you ever will know," he said, brushing his finger on the computer screen, presumably to caress my face. "As you love me, right?"
"Edward, the love I have for you consumes my whole heart," I said, hugging the pillow to my body. "I mean, I love our children but what I feel for you is…more."
He smiled crookedly, looking younger than his nearly forty-eight years. His face was still fairly youthful with minimal wrinkles. The only ones you could see were around his eyes and his mouth from his constant smiling. His hair was mostly bronze with a touch of gray at the temples and littered throughout his entire mop of hair. He was still in impeccable shape just not as toned as he was when he was younger. However, behind his golden eyes was fear. I could see his blinding fear that something was going to happen to me or to our kids because of Jacob. I hated that. I hated that my one and only ex was causing this much pain for me, my family and my husband.
It further solidified my abhorrence of Jacob Black.
He just needed to go away.
A/N: What a beast…ten thousand words. There's no way I could ever write drabble. I'm such a wordy girl. *Snorts.* Anyhow, we are getting into the thick of things with our favorite mongoloid, Jacob. He's closer than you think. But, the family is well protected. We've met Steve Burgess, Ricky's son, who is in charge of Bella's protection and his two associates, Oliver and Casey (pictures are on my blog). We also got to LA and got some Skype sex (LOL). Up next, we're going to finish the trip to LA. There's a surprise in there for our favorite nerdy family but you'll have to wait until the chapter to find out what that is.
Check out my blog (link in profile) for pictures and such from this chapter. Also, find me on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation or on Twitter: tufano79. Leave me some!