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 Whitlock's), 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 Thanksgiving to Christmas-ish. We're also going to hear from Emmett, too. He's due to be executed right after the first of the year and well, Edward wants some closure (next chapter will be an EPOV). Also, who would be interested in hearing from Kyra or Owen? Leave me a review with your opinion on that.
Chapter Six: I'm Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving
"Dad, is it wrong that I'm afraid to go to Aunt Alice's for Thanksgiving?" Masen asked as he shoveled the snow off our driveway. We were battling the second major snowstorm of the season. Bah! It's only NOVEMBER! Craptastic.
I snorted. "Why?"
"Have you had her cooking? My shoes taste better," Masen deadpanned.
"Yes, I've had her cooking. Aunt Alice is not the best cook but your mom and Nana will be there to help her out, I think. Thanksgiving dinner will be edible. I promise you, bud."
Masen sighed heavily. "Thank GOD. I don't think my stomach could handle raw turkey. Yours either, old man."
I nodded and pointed to the shovel he had in his hand. It was a few days from Thanksgiving and it had snowed again. I was so over winter and it hadn't even officially started yet. We were working on clearing the driveway. My other children were otherwise occupied. Owen was staying after school to get some extra help for the district festival which was taking place the following weekend. He was up for concert master of the district orchestra. He wanted as much help as he could get before the competition. Kyra was at work. Mia was at cheerleading practice. Bella was out with Steve, waiting to pick up our children while I worked from home. Casey was in the apartment, going over some security protocols. Masen came home on the bus and we had been tackling the driveway ever since. Well, mainly Masen. My back was hurting.
Getting old sucks, my friends.
"Your Aunt Alice may be a bad cook but that's because she doesn't know how to do it. We've tried to teach her. But, she doesn't want to learn. Uncle Jasper handles all of the cooking for their household. Not that he's much better," I said as I put my shovel back into the garage. "Now, Grandma Renee is a bad cook because she puts random ingredients together. It's nasty, I tell you. I always fake having food poisoning or the stomach flu to avoid eating at her place in Phoenix." I shuddered at our last visit to Renee's. Nothing…absolutely NOTHING was edible. Bella dragged all of us out to some barbeque place to feed our hungry bellies.
"Mom mentioned something that Grandma Renee made her eat deep fried bananas with tartar sauce?" Masen blanched. "That's disgusting."
"Imagine eating that on a daily basis," I chuckled.
"No wonder Mom is so skinny. I'd rather starve than eat that crap," he shuddered. Biting his lip, he turned to me. "Do you want to make dinner for the family? Do something nice for them? Make something edible?"
I smiled at my youngest child. He was such a generous boy. Ruffling his hair, I nodded. "I think your mom would love the night off," I said. "Let's raid the fridge and see what we can whip up."
"Awesome," he said as he bounded up the stairs into the mud room. We stripped out of our winter coats and went into the kitchen. We found the makings for chicken enchiladas. Masen began cutting and I worked on making the sauce. Masen had finished cutting the veggies and chicken when we began assembling the meal, putting it into the oven. Owen had texted while we were preparing dinner and said that they were on the way home. Masen started working on the Mexicali rice while I made some black beans.
The house phone was ringing. I couldn't answer it since I was watching the beans. Masen picked it up. "Hello? Cullen residence," he said quietly. "Um, hold on, okay?" He muted the phone. "It's the Illinois Department of Corrections. They have a prisoner who wants to speak to you, Dad."
Do I ignore it or actually respond to my brother?
"Watch the beans, Mase. I'll take the call in the office, okay?"
Masen nodded, handing me the wireless phone and I went into the office. Unmuting the phone call, I answered tersely. "This is Edward Cullen."
"Sorry to disturb you, Mr. Cullen. Emmett Cullen wishes to speak with you. Do you accept the phone call?" the man on the phone asked.
I scrubbed my face. "Fine," I spat.
"If you don't want to speak with him, Mr. Cullen, you don't have to," the man explained. "You can decline the call and Emmett will be informed that you do not want contact with him."
"No, I need to get this over with," I sighed. "Put him through."
"Hold please." The operator clicked over and I heard him speak to my brother. "You have twenty minutes, Mr. Cullen. You will be reminded when you have five minutes and again when you have one minute remaining. If there is anything that is deemed unsuitable in your conversation, the phone call will be terminated with no warning and you will lose your privileges. Any questions?"
"No, sir," Emmett said solemnly.
"Very well. Your twenty minutes starts now," the operator explained, clicking off the line.
"Hello?" Emmett asked quietly.
"What do you want, Emmett?" I said coldly. Yes, I was acting like a douche, but I didn't care. This guy, my brother, had pled guilty to several murders among other things. He was going to be executed in January. I didn't have time nor the feeling to be polite.
"Thank you for taking my call, Edward," Emmett muttered. "I wasn't sure if you would. All of my letters have gone unanswered or returned."
"There's a reason for that, Emmett. I don't want to talk to you," I snapped. I huffed out a breath, running my hand through my hair. "What do you want? Really? Money? An appeal?"
"No, Edward. I just want to talk. My execution date is set and I'm trying to atone for all of my sins," he said somberly. "I know I was a fuck up. I know I ruined your life, but I need to say this. But not over the phone, Edward. Can I meet with you?"
"I don't know, Emmett. Meeting with you is not really high on my list of priorities."
"Come January 16th, I won't be on this earth to make it right. Please, please meet with me?" he begged. His voice cracked and it sounded like he was crying.
"Let me check my schedule. I'm not making any promises, Emmett," I said sternly. "Things are busy at work and we've got a ton of stuff with the family and upcoming holidays."
"Thank you, Edward," he breathed. "It means so much to me that you're even willing to try."
"Willing to try but you'll have to see, Emmett," I retorted. "Look, I'm about to put dinner on the table. I need to go."
"How will I know if you're coming?" he asked, his voice timid and unsure.
"You won't. Be patient and if I come, I come. If not, then you'll have to deal with that," I shrugged. "Good night." I hung up the phone, slumping onto the couch in the office. "Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck, fuck!" My hands tugged on my hair, pulling painfully at the strands.
"Language," Bella chided as she leaned casually on the door frame.
"Sorry, gorgeous," I frowned. "I just got off the phone with my wonderful older brother."
"Emmett? What did he want?" she asked, her brows shooting to her hairline.
"He wants to meet with me," I scowled. I heaved a sigh, leaning forward on the couch and twisting my wedding ring nervously. "I don't know, Bella."
"It's up to you, Edward. Whatever you decide, I support you," she said, sitting on my lap. She tucked her head under chin, pressing soft kisses to my neck. I wrapped my arms around her tiny body and relished her comfort and warmth. "Now, I smell chicken enchiladas. Whose idea was that to cook?"
"Masen wanted to cook dinner for the family. I think he's panicking about Thanksgiving and Ali's lack of cooking skills," I snickered, nuzzling her soft hair. "His fear is that we're going to be eating raw turkey on Thanksgiving."
"That's my fear, too," Bella cringed. "Watch, we get salmonella or E-Coli from Alice's attempt at making Thanksgiving meal. I'll call the doctor's office early."
"I thought you were going to help?" I squeaked. My sister is cooking. Younger is going to kill us all with her lack of cooking expertise. Shit.
"Alice is insistent that she does this on her own," Bella replied, giving me a sheepish grin. I blinked at my wife in disbelief. Bella took my hands, trying to soothe me. "She was adamant on trying. I think Alice is feeling guilty about never helping out for holidays."
"There's a reason for that, Bella. That's because she has zero cooking skills, gorgeous. I mean, I'd rather eat some of that vegan shit that Alex and Demetri try to pass as food. Yummo," I said dryly.
"That says a lot, Edward," Bella giggled, poking my stomach.
"Please tell me that you're going to have…" I just knew that Alice's meal would be awful. I'm praying, praying that my wife has some sort of backup plan. She probably does because she's awesome like that.
"I already have a small turkey and all of the fixin's in the freezer," she giggled. "If Alice ruins Thanksgiving, you'll still get your tryptophan fix."
"That's great but I'm talking about your stuffing and sweet potato casserole," I pouted. "Not to mention the biscuits, salad, cornbread, and your homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice and Grand Marnier. So fucking good, Bella. OH! Let's not forget my mom's pumpkin slices, pecan pie and…"
"Okay, Edward," she laughed. "I get it. I'll definitely talk to Alice and ask to see if she needs help. Though, she's gonna say no."
"She better not say no. I need my food!" I pouted. "The one day I'm going to cheat on my no flavor diet."
"Sure, you do. Edward you're wasting away like a starving kid from Ethiopia," Bella deadpanned. "PLUS, I've been making food that's flavorful and good for you, Mr. High-Cholesterol." My pout deepened. She just laughed, kissing my lip that was jut out. "You're too cute, Edward. I love you, angel."
"Love you, too," I sighed, returning her soft kiss.
"Mom! Dad! Dinner's almost ready!" Masen yelled.
"I'll call Alice after dinner, okay?" Bella said, twining her fingers through my hair. She kissed me sweetly before she got up, dragging me with her. "And don't stress out over Emmett, Edward. He's made his bed…"
"I know, I know," I replied.
xx STTD xx
"Guys, we've got to go! We need to be at Aunt Alice's in a half hour!" Bella yelled. With a huff, she added under her breath, "I need to try and salvage our meal."
"How bad, gorgeous?" I asked.
"She didn't defrost the turkey," Bella said, wrinkling her nose. "Esme had the forethought to pick up an additional turkey. It's currently in the oven but unfortunately, we won't be eating for a few hours. Possibly closer to seven?"
"We were supposed to eat at three," I frowned.
"Why do we need to go now, then?" Kyra asked, walking into the kitchen.
"Because Aunt Alice can't cook," Bella replied. "You know that. So, Nana and I are going to help. You're also going to help, my dear."
"If it comes to making mediocre Mexican food, I'm all good. Cooking an oversized chicken? Not so much, Mom," Kyra smirked.
"No Mexican food but you can help with the mashed potatoes and the stuffing," Bella said, smoothing Kyra's hair. "You look really nice, sweetie."
"Thanks, Mom," Kyra replied, hugging Bella. "I used part of my paycheck to get this dress for Thanksgiving. It was on sale. Though, I should change my shoes if I'm going to help with the cooking, right?"
"Probably," Bella replied. "Those booties you got at the beginning of the school year will be perfect."
"Kay. I'll rally the troops," Kyra smiled. She started to walk toward the stairs.
"Kyra," I began, shooting a look at my wife. She gave me a smile, nodding slightly. "We've really noticed a difference in you. Things have definitely improved with your behavior. As far as your restriction is concerned, you are free as a bird." Her golden eyes sparkled excitedly. "However, if we see the same bratty behavior from before, then you will be back on restriction faster than a blink of an eye."
"Got it, Dad," she answered, kissing my cheek. She hugged Bella tightly before she bounced away, yelling for her siblings.
Steve and Oliver walked in, talking to each other quietly. Casey was home with his family while Steve and Oliver protected us from Jacob over the Thanksgiving holiday. Jacob had been quiet since we'd hired the security team. He must have realized that we weren't going to take his bullshit laying down.
"Mr. Edward," Steve called, a frown ghosting over his features. "We have to discuss something with you and Miss Bella before we go over to Miss Alice's."
"Everything alright?" Bella asked, twining her fingers with mine.
"Not really, Miss Bella," Oliver answered. "Yesterday while the kids were doing their various activities and you were running errands, we think that there was a security breach near the rear of the property."
"Security breach? Is Jacob on our property?" Bella asked, her face becoming flushed.
"No, Miss Bella," Steve said. "However, there were some indications that someone tried to break through the fence near the southeast corner of the backyard." He handed me a picture, showing some pried loose boards, cigarette butts and clear shoe imprints. "As a result of this development, Oliver is going to stay here at the house in case Jacob decides to try and break in while you're over at Miss Alice's."
"What else do you suggest?" I asked.
"You've already got a state of the art security system and us," Oliver said. "There's not much more you can do until Jacob actual trespasses on the property. Then, you can call the cops."
Bella was trembling beside me. I pulled her to my side. "It's okay, gorgeous," I cooed against her curled hair.
She pulled back and glared at me angrily. "It's NOT okay, Edward. Jacob is…is fucking with our lives. What right does he have to do this to us?! I mean, we can't leave the house without a protective detail. We even have to have a protective detail on our home! It's not safe anywhere and I'm sick of it." She turned on a heel, stomping out of the kitchen. I could hear her climb the stairs, slamming the bedroom door shut.
"Shit," Steve muttered under his breath. "I never thought…I'm so sorry, Mr. Edward."
"You were just doing your job," I said, running my hand through my hair. "Your timing leaves much to be desired but we needed to know."
"Should I go talk to Miss Bella?" Steve asked uncertainly.
"No. I'll do it. If you could warm up the SUV, that would be great, Steve," I said, squeezing his muscular shoulder. As I walked up the steps of the house, I was nearly barreled over by my four children. I barked for them to get ready to go and load up in the SUV. I walked to my bedroom that I shared with my wife. The door was closed and Bella's sniffles filled the hallway.
Jacob made my girl cry. Bitch is going down…
I knocked on the door before slipping inside. "Gorgeous?" I called out.
"I just want to be alone, Edward," she sniffled from her spot near the window.
"Too bad," I said as I closed the door. "We need to talk, Bella, because we need to combat this head on."
"Why?" she asked, her voice sounding dead.
I frowned. Reaching into my pocket, I dug out my phone. I sent Steve a text, explaining that I wanted him to take the kids to Alice's house and that we'd be there as soon as we were able. His response was immediate and I heard the garage door close.
"Wait! The meal!" Bella shouted, stumbling toward the door. She tripped over the area rug in our bedroom and started falling toward the floor. I ran toward her, catching my wife before she face planted on the ground in our bedroom. She started hyperventilating, sobbing uncontrollably. I swept her in my arms, cradling her against my chest. "Why?! Why?!" she screamed. "WHY NOW? It's been twenty fucking years! Why does he choose now?"
"I don't know, gorgeous," I said, my heart breaking at the anguish in her tone. "Maybe it's a game to him? Some kind of conquest to prove to himself that he can get you back? Maybe he believes you still love him but he's delusional?"
"It's not like he's seen me," Bella sobbed brokenly, clutching at my shirt. "We haven't gone to Phoenix for a few years…"
"Perhaps he saw one of the advertisements for the Foundation. We are national with our ad campaign and our faces are pretty recognizable. I'm not sure."
"Well, then, I'm not going to make any more press conferences or allow our pictures to be used in the campaigns anymore. It's not worth the trouble," Bella retorted, cradling her right wrist.
"What's wrong with your wrist, Bella?" I asked.
"Nothing," she responded, holding it close to her chest and fresh tears falling down her beautiful face.
"Isabella Cullen," I growled, gently prying her hand into mine. It was already swollen. "Baby, this isn't good. Your wrist could be broken."
"I caught it when I fell, just before you stopped me," she cried, nuzzling my chest. With a grimace, Bella tried to move it in a circle. She hissed as it cracked. "OW! Mother fucker!"
"Come on, love," I said, as I scooped her up. "I'm taking you to the hospital. We'll talk there."
"But, dinner," she scowled.
"Will be there when we're done. Your health is paramount as is this conversation, Bella," I said sternly, giving her my Dad-glare. She huffed and scrambled out of my arms. "Why? I wanted to hold you."
"I can walk," she said, her voice pointed and sharp.
"Are you mad at me?" I asked as I wrapped my arm around her waist. She shrugged out of my hold and walked to the door. "Bella? Why won't you let me touch you?"
"I'm not at you, per se. I'm mad at the situation," she said curtly. "Just give me some space, okay?"
Her tone hurt me. I get that she was pissed off. Hell, there were times when I was dealing with the Emmett thing so many years ago, I wanted to tell everyone to go fuck themselves, but I didn't. I just smiled and nodded.
Space. Give her space…great. I just want to comfort her. Damn. It.
We walked down to the kitchen, the tension thick around us. Oliver was using his laptop to check our security cameras surrounding our property. "Oliver, I'm taking Bella to the hospital. She fell upstairs and I think she may have sprained or broken her wrist."
"Do you need me to come with you?" he asked.
"No," Bella said sharply. "We'll be fine."
"Okay, Miss Bella," he said quietly, chided by her tone. "Will you be joining everyone at Miss Alice's afterward?"
"Depends on how long it takes for us to finish up at the hospital," I answered. "I'll call Steve and my sister to let them know."
"Are you sure that you don't want me to come with you?" he asked, arching a brow.
"We'll. Be. Fine," Bella snapped, grabbing her coat and stomping into the garage. The door slammed, causing the walls to shake slightly.
"Shit," Oliver muttered. "Is she mad at us?"
"She's mad at everyone," I sighed, sliding my own coat over my shoulders. "The unknown reason why her ex decided to be stalk her now is weighing on her. We're going to talk at the hospital."
"I feel for you, Mr. Edward. Miss Bella…um…I'll shut up. I like my job," he rambled, turning back to the computer.
"Smart man," I snorted. "I'll keep you appraised. I'll ask Steve to bring you leftovers, if there are any." I picked up the keys to my Volvo and went outside. Bella was already inside of the car with tears flowing down her cheeks freely. She was cradling her arm against her chest. With a sigh, I got into the car and backed out of the driveway. As I did so, I looked around for any indication of being followed. Thankfully, saw none.
Fifteen minutes later, I parked the car at Central Dupage Hospital. Bella let me help her out of the car but distanced herself from me as we walked to the entrance to the emergency room. There was no wait inside and we were led to a treatment room right away. There was some paperwork that she needed to fill out but she scowled. "What's wrong, gorgeous?"
"I can't write," she said quietly. "It's my right hand."
I took the paperwork from her and filled out the necessary information. Once I was done, I handed the pen back to her to sign, which looked more like a scribble than her usually frilly scrawl. A nurse came in and asked what was wrong, triaging the situation. With a brusque nod, she said a doctor would be in shortly and left us to wait.
"I'm scared, Edward," Bella said quietly, nervously twisting her wedding band on her left hand. "This unknown of Jacob is freaking me out. I don't understand…"
"I don't either, Bella," I said, covering her left hand with mine. She was so cold. "Can I hold, Bella? You're shivering."
She looked at me, biting her lips nervously. "You're not mad at me?"
"God, baby. Never," I said as I helped her off the examination table and into my lap. Enfolding her in my arms, I cradled her against my body, trying to warm her up. "I know what it's like to feel scared and out of control. This situation with Jacob is so out of the blue and confusing, I don't blame you for feeling the way that you do."
"Regardless, it doesn't excuse my behavior," she said bitterly. "I've been horrible to our security guys, cranky with the kids and I've treated you like shit. I'm a horrible person, Edward."
I tightened my hold on her, kissing her soft hair. "You're not horrible, Bella. Just stop that. Look, your attitude has been a bit much, but it's understandable. It can't stay that way, though. You have to realize that the security guys and all of this is to ensure your safety." She nodded and moved closer to me. My beautiful wife was still shivering uncontrollably and crying. It killed me to see my soul mate be so frightened. I was irate at Jacob for causing her to fall apart. Why couldn't he well-enough alone?
No, he had to terrorize our family because he got some random bug up his ass to torment my wife.
"Mrs. Cullen?" called a young female doctor.
"Yes," Bella croaked, looking at the physician standing before us. She looked as young as Kyra. I arched a dubious brow. This kid is going to treat my wife? Really?
"I'm Dr. Torres and I'll be your physician today. In your paperwork, it said that you took a fall?" she asked, giving Bella a concerned look.
"Yeah. I tripped over a rug in my bedroom, trying to rush to cook Thanksgiving dinner and I fell, catching myself on my wrist. My husband caught me before I could do any further damage but I still did something to my wrist," Bella replied.
Dr. Torres shot me a suspicious look. "Can I examine Mrs. Cullen, sir?" she asked tersely.
Bella looked at the doctor. "Look, I fell. Don't be thinking my husband hurting me. I'm not a victim of domestic abuse. He wouldn't hurt a fly. Get it out of your head or I want another physician. You hear me?" Bella growled.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly. "I never meant to insinuate…"
"Look, it's Thanksgiving and I want to spend it with my family, not explain my relationship to a doctor who looks as old as my seventeen year old daughter," Bella snapped. "Shall we finish this and move on with our lives?"
"Of course," Dr. Torres said, her face flushing in embarrassment. "I apologize. To both of you." The rest of the examination was spent in an uncomfortable silence, save for a few questions about Bella's fall. Dr. Torres felt that Bella had broken her wrist but was possibly a hairline fracture. We needed to get x-rays to make sure. When she left with an orderly, I sent a text to Alice, Steve and Kyra, explaining where we were and what we were doing.
Steve was pissed that we didn't have protection with us. What am I? Chopped liver?
Alice was griping that dinner was not turning out as planned and that she needed Bella to finish the meal. Tough titties, Younger. She ain't doing much if her wrist is, indeed, broken.
Kyra was the only one who was concerned, relaying her sympathy from her siblings and my mom. This is my sweet girl that I remember…the one who would climb into my lap as a little girl, begging for story time from Daddy.
I closed my eyes remembering a sweet moment that I had with principessa. I had brought her to work with me when she was four and completely adorable. I was working in my office, typing on the computer with my angel on my lap. She was playing with her doll as I held her to my chest. Her sweet voice broke me away from whatever I was addressing on the computer.
"Daddy, you're my hero," she said softly with a slight lisp. "You big and strong and you make Mommy and Wan smile. I love you lots." She cuddled against me, putting her head on my shoulder.
Tears sprang in my eyes as I looked down at the cherubic angel in my lap. A perfect child made from the love of both Bella and me. Whatever I was working on the computer was not important. My first born was. "Daddy loves you, too," I choked out, holding her tightly. "My principessa."
"I am a princess," she giggled, kissing my cheek sloppily.
"Well, princess, you and Daddy are going to have a date," I declared, saving my work. "We're going to have lunch and then you get to pick out something very special at this store just for princesses like you."
"Really?" she squealed, standing on my lap and stepping right on my junk.
I left the office and took her to American Girl Place, eating in the very girly dining room with her new 'Kyra' doll, made just for her. I was the only man there but I wanted to spoil my baby girl since she made my heart melt. Since that day, her doll sat on her bed and it was well-loved. The reddish hair was tangled and the specially made golden eyes were dull, but she loved it all the same.
"The doctor will be back to go over your x-rays, Mrs. Cullen," said the orderly who pushed her in the wheelchair to the radiology suite. I got up and helped her back onto the bed. With a nod, the orderly left.
"How was it?" I asked.
"It hurt," she frowned. "Did you call Alice?"
"I sent her a text. Same with Steve and Kyra, too. Out of the three of them only one actually expressed worry and concern for you," I said dryly. "Guess who?"
"Alice?" Bella replied, wrapping the icepack the orderly left for us around her right wrist.
"Third time's a charm," I chuckled.
"Kyra was actually concerned?" Bella asked, arching a brow. "What about the other two?"
"Alice is stressing about the meal, convinced that you'd be able to fix it. Fat chance since you've probably got a broken arm," I said. "Steve is pissed at us since we don't have protection. What am I?"
"Edward, our protection force is easily fifteen to twenty years younger than you and in much better shape," Bella said, poking my stomach. It was still flat. No beer belly for me. Was it as toned when I was younger? No. But, you could still see the outline of my six pack, thank you very much.
"Not helping my fragile ego, Isabella," I snarled playfully, folding my arms over my chest. "How dare you insinuate that I'm out of shape! I still run five miles each morning and eat that bland, nasty shit that you try to pass as food since my cholesterol is too high. I love you, but you can't even help egg white omelets, or dry chicken breasts. I'd rather take the meds and be able to eat all of the greasy cheeseburgers I want, damn it."
"Talk to your doctor," she shrugged. "Will you remember to take your meds?"
"I take my vitamins every morning. I can easily add a cholesterol pill," I said, arching my brow.
"Mrs. Cullen?" Dr. Torres called nervously.
"Yes," my wife answered icily. Apparently, she hadn't forgiven the doctor for her faux-pas about domestic abuse. "Do you have my results?"
"I do," she said as she put up the x-rays. "You do have a hairline fracture. Right here." She pointed to a tiny fissure in the bone. "It's not too bad. You can get away with just wearing a brace, not a full cast. BUT, you have to take it easy for six weeks. What do you for a living?"
"I'm a writer and I do a lot of philanthropic work," Bella explained. "Will I be able to type?"
"With your left hand," Dr. Torres replied, wrinkling her nose. Bella's jaw dropped and she looked nervous. "Let me get that brace for you, Mrs. Cullen." She turned on her heel, darting out of the treatment room.
"Six weeks?! I have to finish the script. I've got about until January first to get it done," Bella wailed.
"Relax, baby. I'll help you. You write. I type," I said. Wiggling my fingers in her face, I smirked. "I can type roughly a hundred words a minute."
"But…but…I use the time on the computer to be truly creative," she whimpered.
"What do you have left to do?" I asked.
"The ending needs to be tweaked and I need to edit it," Bella said. "I could always ask Rosalie."
"Am I not good enough for you?"
"Baby, you're great. Fantastic but you didn't write the book," she replied. I pouted dramatically. Bella giggled, running her left hand through my hair. "If it means so much to you, you can help me. What about the company and the foundation?"
"We have no openings for the foundation until after the first of the year. I'll just need to go into the office a few times to go over some financial things and meet with Jasper, Charlie, Matthew and Demetri about our plan for next year. I'll be able to help you easily, gorgeous. I'll always be there for you and the kids first. You know that, right?"
"I do," she smiled, kissing my lips. "I am sorry for being such a bitch before, Edward. You didn't deserve it. Neither did Steve or Oliver. The whole thing is a clusterfuck and I lashed out at the wrong people. The person responsible is Jacob. But, the biggest question is why in the hell is choosing now to stalk me. Or whatever he's doing. Really? It's been twenty years, Edward. The last time I saw him was right before I moved out to Chicago. There was no animosity. Just…I don't know, resignation?"
"Do you want me to do some digging?" I asked. "Get some more information about Jacob?"
"Yeah," Bella said, biting her lip. "How will you do that?"
"Charlie still has some friends in the police department and we can definitely get Ricky involved, too. He offered," I said, giving her a timid smile.
"Do it," she said quietly, putting her head on my shoulder. "There has to be something that triggered Jacob's sudden infatuation with me."
"It's done," I replied, kissing her hair. I'd make that phone call tomorrow. It was Thanksgiving. Time should be spent with their families, not hunting down information about insane ex-boyfriends. Well, I guess I could talk to Charlie. He was with his wife, Sue, at Alice's home, probably getting food poisoning.
"Here's your brace, Mrs. Cullen. You have to wear it at all times except when you shower," Dr. Torres explained, putting it on Bella's wrist. "I've also prescribed a pain killer, Tylenol-3, for any residual pain. I would follow up with an orthopedic doctor within the next week. I've provided you with a list of some excellent physicians in the area, if you don't have an orthopedic physician."
"We've got four children, all of them clumsy in their own right. We've got one," I snickered. "Actually the first man on your list is our doctor."
"Excellent, Dr. Sendt is an excellent choice," Dr. Torres smiled.
"How long do I need to wear this thing?" Bella asked, wrinkling her nose in distaste.
"Six weeks. Your doctor might adjust that if he wants you to have physical therapy or if surgery is needed," Dr. Torres responded.
"Surgery?!" Bella and I blurted.
"There's a possibility," Dr. Torres said. "Highly doubtful but the possibility is still there. Here are your aftercare instructions and discharge papers. You should still be able to enjoy Thanksgiving." Dr. Torres handed me the paperwork after she signed it with a flourish. "Again, I'm sorry about the confusion from before. Have a good day."
An orderly came in shortly after Dr. Torres left, beckoning my wife to sit down. With a scowl, she sat on it and went to the exit of the ER. I went and got the car while the orderly waited with Bella. I pulled up the car and assisted my wife into the front seat. Pulling away, we drove toward Alice's house.
Thanksgiving was mediocre, at best. The turkey was dry, the gravy was lumpy, and EVERYONE was cranky, especially Bella. Her wrist hurt and she really couldn't eat with her right hand. I had to cut up her food and yeah, she hated that. She drew the line at me feeding her. She struggled eating with her left hand, getting a fair amount of nibbles on the floor.
Suffice it to say, this Thanksgiving was not too high on the list of the 'best Thanksgivings' ever. More like on the bottom of the list.
To make things even more troublesome, Kyra and Steve were talking quietly during dessert and it looked far too intimate.
Do I need to have a conversation with Steve? She's still in high school. It's not even legal. My daughter is seventeen.
Bella must have noticed me glaring at Kyra and Steve. She pinched my arm with her left hand, hissing at me to knock it off.
I'm still going to talk to him…She's my baby girl and I don't want to have him arrested.
xx STTD xx
The weeks following Thanksgiving were a flurry of activity. Owen had his district festival and was chosen to be the concert master for the district orchestra, plus he was chosen as the concert master for the All-State Honors orchestra as well. We had to make a trip down to Peoria the last weekend in January for the All-State festival for all of the music teachers.
Bella had gone to see Dr. Sendt and he concurred with Dr. Torres with the brace. No surgery was needed. She was crotchety because she couldn't work and needed help doing the simplest things, like washing her hair, brushing her teeth and even going to the bathroom. I helped Bella as much as she would let me. She drew the line at the bathroom. I did help her finish up the script for the movie. She was currently working on edits with Rose.
Kyra worked like a maniac, saving up money for her dress for the winter formal. One of her friends, Thomas, asked her and they were going with a big group of friends. I still think that there's something going between Steve and Kyra. Bella won't let me talk to Steve. I need to trust my daughter and Steve.
Even Owen was going to the winter formal with a girl from another school who he had met at the district festival. She played the viola.
Mia and Masen were busy with their activities. Mia cheered at each of the boys' basketball games for her school. I went to a few games to watch my girl. The games themselves were pretty sad. Even I could play better than the boys on the court and I suck at basketball. Yes, I was tall but my coordination was seriously lacking. Running is more my sport. Table tennis. Golf. Online computer games. Yeah, I like that. Online computer games…I have to log in soon. I may be losing my advantage.
I'm such a nerd.
Forty-nine and still playing online computer games, competing against punk-ass kids that easily the same age as my children.
Alice and Jasper decided that after the Thanksgiving debacle that they were going to completely re-do their kitchen. It didn't flow right and that's why the dinner was so lackluster. No, it's because you can't cook, Younger. There was a reason why I always cooked when we lived together, sister mine. If I didn't, I'd be a skinny nerd.
The last thing in our flurry of shit going on was Emmett. I contacted the prison he was in and asked about possibly meeting with him. The warden said that I could meet with him the week before Christmas. I tentatively set up the date and now, I was waffling back and forth about going to see Emmett.
I was sitting in my office at Whitlock Technologies. I was working on a software update for the tablet when someone knocked on my door. Eric must be at lunch. "Come in," I called.
Charlie poked his head inside of the office and gave me a smile. "Hey, Edward," he said gruffly. "You got a minute?"
"Always for you, Charlie," I said, saving my work. "What's up?"
Charlie walked in and handed me a file. "A friend of mine in the police department just sent that over to me. It's information about that man who's obsessed with my daughter."
I opened it up and saw the same information that had been shared with me previously. He was divorced and had a permanent restraining order against him from his ex-wife and children. He had several priors for domestic abuse and domestic violence but his wife didn't press charges, in exchange for a divorce and Jacob signing over his parental rights. He agreed.
"I've seen this before," I explained, flipping through the file.
"You only saw the most recent occurrence of this behavior," Charlie said. "Here." He flipped a few pages to an older police report. This one was much more gruesome. "It was sealed because the victim was underage."
"What?" I hissed.
"He was twenty-seven, about a year after Bella left to move here. He met up with this girl at a coffee shop. She said that she was nineteen but was really sixteen," Charlie explained. "She was a runaway, trying to get away from her parents. She latched onto Jacob and they fell into a very unhealthy relationship."
"What was the damage to this girl?" I asked, staring at the bruised face of the girl. "She barely looks human. Why wasn't he put into jail?"
"Technicality," Charlie said grimly, his mustache twitching angrily. "Some evidence was not properly tagged or something and he was released due to a mistrial. That girl killed herself two days after that."
"Fuck," I spat. "Was she…raped?"
"In her examination, there was evidence of long-term abuse," Charlie blanched. "He was brutal with her. And this was a result of her saying no. Whatever Jacob wanted, he took and took violently."
"So, Jacob is a fucking scary guy who can cause a lot of damage to my wife, your daughter," I whispered brokenly. "My biggest question is why now?"
"Last page, Edward," Charlie said with a grim look on his face.
I flipped to last page in the file. On the papers was information about a baby boy who was put up for adoption by Jacob's ex-wife. She was pregnant when he attacked her and she gave birth to a baby boy. Jacob had found out just prior the phone calls started. Coincidentally, it aligned with the national campaign we launched for the foundation. Seeing the pictures of my wife with me and our 'fake children' (we'd never put our real children on the advertisements for the foundation) triggered Jacob's infatuation.
"She gave up her son for adoption. A son that Jacob didn't know about?" I asked.
"His only boy," Charlie said as he sat down. "That was the straw that broke the camel's back, Edward. He's determined to get that back and he wants it from Bella. The only woman who got away from him before he became violent."
"He was violent with her, Charlie. When we first met, he put his hands around her arms, leaving bruises," I spat. "He was drunk and I managed to punch his lights out. Granted, it was nothing compared to this." I gestured to the pictures of his ex-wife and dead sixteen year old girl who had fallen into his clutches. "What should we do? Should I tell Bella?"
"I think you should," Charlie said, running his hair through his graying hair. "I've also sent this information to Steve, Casey and Oliver. They are going protect your family until Jacob is caught. Personally, I think you need protection, too. Yes, Bella is the focus of his infatuation, but you're in his way. He could try and get you. You know?"
"Charlie, I'm fine," I said, arching a brow over my reading glasses.
"Edward, this man is dangerous. He can easily kill my daughter. He can easily kill you. Get the protection. I don't want my daughter to be a widow at forty-four," he said sternly. "Your kids need their dad."
"Fine, when I go out, I'll arrange for protection," I sighed, rubbing my face.
"Did you drive or take the train?"
"Train," I answered.
"Well, I'll drive you back. Call up to my office when you're ready to go," Charlie said as he adjusted his suit coat. Underneath, I saw his old shoulder harness and gun. "I'm prepared to protect you now. Do you still have your weapon from the Emmett ordeal?"
"Charlie, this is…"
"Fucking necessary," he hissed. "My family is in danger and I refuse to let this assface hurt you, my daughter or my grandchildren. Got it?"
"Yes, sir," I said, slightly afraid at Charlie's stern voice. Detective Swan came out in full force.
"I'll be in my office," he said curtly, turning on his heel and leaving me in silence. I blinked a few times, staring at the door he just left. Then, I looked down at the file. Charlie was not overreacting. His fear was real. He saw this all of the time when he was cop. This was bad.
Like, I wanted to take my family and run bad.
A/N: I had every intention to get to Christmas and include the Emmett meeting in this chapter but it just didn't seem to gel. So, that will come up later. Up next will be a chapter in Kyra's point of view (it'll start with Thanksgiving and go to the winter formal). What is cooking between her and Steve? After that chapter, we're going to go hear from Bella as Edward tells her about Jacob's impetus for his stalking, plus leading up to Edward's meeting with Emmett in prison.
I do have some pictures for this chapter on my blog (link in my profile). You can also find me on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation or on twitter: tufano79. I do apologize for the sporadic updating schedule. RL is crazy. This coming week is tech week for the spring musical (I'm the director) and I'm not getting home until nine, ten, eleven at night. The last thing I want to do is write. I just want to sleep. It's a hot commodity and I'm not getting nearly enough of it. I promise, promise, that I will improve my updating schedule after this week. I'll be able to get home at a decent hour and actually write for more than an hour or so.
Leave me some…