AN: Here it is! I hope you like it.
Thank you to RFM86 for prereading and mauigirl60 for fixing my mistakes.
Disclaimer: There are really bad monsters in this story. You've been warned.
Chapter 12: Off With Her Head
The call from Garrett was one Bella had never expected. Of course, she also had never expected that her life would be filled with werewolves, vampires and voodoo, so she really shouldn't have been surprised. Watching Garrett pressing a dish towel to his bloody neck made things even more frighteningly clear. The evil wasn't going to wait for them to stop it. It was coming after everyone she cared for.
Rushing over, Bella pulled Garrett into a hug. "What the fuck happened?"
"A nice girl tried to eat me." He looked over at Edward who was making an odd growling noise. "Why does your brother want me dead?"
Bang, bang, bang!
"You must mean Ben. I know Emmett has some serious issues, but..." Edward tried to defend his brother, but there was a nagging feeling that was just under Edward's skin.
A feeling that Emmett was just as deep as his twisted friend. The fog that had been surrounding Edward was lifted and he could see his brother as the selfish brat he truly was. Of course, admitting that aloud about Emmett was one of the hardest things he would ever have to do. Weren't brothers supposed to be as thick as thieves and support one another unconditionally? He'd thought he had that with Emmett, but it was a lie.
"Your brother sent that girl to use me as a chew toy!" Garrett cried out.
Several people, including Peter, looked over at Garrett. The banging in the back office began again. Bella knew she needed to do some damage control. "Okay, everybody out! It's inventory night!"
"Wait...it's not inventor..." Peter started to say, as Bella pushed a stack of paper coffee cups and lids into his hands.
"Hand these out, Pete. Listen up, customers! You can drink you coffee, but you can't drink it here! Take a cup and a coupon for a free cup of coffee for you next visit. No refills. Pass these out, Edward." Bella grabbed a stack of coupons and gave them to Edward. She started helping Pete pour customer's unfinished coffee into the cups.
Bang, bang, bang!
A young man gave Bella his cup and questioned, "What the hell is going on in the back?"
She racked her brain for an answer for the curious bystander, but Garrett came over with a reassuring and very fake smile. "I have a very enthusiastic auditor back there. She's going through our stock so quickly that I was the unfortunate casualty of a box attack. I got a massive paper cut."
"Accountants are so very passionate about their work," Bella said, grabbing the coupons from Edward and giving the customer an extra one. "Thank you so much for understanding about tonight's early closing."
Bella had never worked so fast in her life, but the coffee shop was soon cleared. The only problem that remained - beside the screaming and banging woman in the back - was clueless Peter. He said to Garrett with a grin, "I had a wildcat like that one once. She was a biter, I tell ya! It was crazy, because Gina was a vegan. Do you think lack of meat..."
"Pete, do you have your keys?" Bella interrupted him. "You get to leave now."
"My coat's in Gar's office."
"Shit!" She went over to where Edward's coat lay on the counter and tossed it to Peter. "You can borrow Edward's."
"Do you know how much that thing costs?" Edward complained.
"You'll get it back. It might smell like pot, but maybe you'll mellow out." Bella rolled her eyes. Then she saw Aro, Laurent and Victoria enter, carrying a large duffel bag. "Hey, guys! 'Bye, Pete!"
Peter had no idea what was happening, but the forlorn expressions on their faces made him want to leave immediately and get his buzz on.
Bella watched him leave as Aro went over to Garrett to examine his neck. "It doesn't seem too bad, dear boy. It's just a little more than a flesh wound. We aren't going to have to stitch you up."
That's when Bella heard the rumbling of a growl coming from Edward. His eyes were fixed on the blood that was dried on Garrett's neck, his whole body was tightly coiled and ready to spring out. Then she saw Edward lick his lips. Taking the pouch in her pocket that Harry made up, Bella sprinkled it into a water bottle.
"Oh, no you don't, Edward! We don't eat our boss. Open up! That's a good boy!" Bella pushed the water bottle to his lips and forced him to drink.
Edward swallowed it with a grimace. "This stuff is awful! I'm not a dog, by the way."
"Oh, Fido, you're a rabid puppy right now. Take your medicine, so you can be a nice one." Bella rubbed his head and he nuzzled into her. She was so close and he was twitching to hold her. She pulled away and added with a grin, "I'm kidding, but we need to be careful. I don't want you to hurt anyone. It would be hell on your conscience."
"You two are being gross," Victoria scoffed. "Where's the bitch, Buffy? Your slayers are here to take off a head."
Garrett watched in horror as Victoria pulled out an ax. He asked in a terrified voice, "What are you doing?"
"Garrett, hon, there's a vampire in there," Laurent said, trying to be comforting. "We have to kill it!"
"There are no such things as vampires. I can't explain why she did it, but…" Garrett tried to reason with them.
"Unfortunately, my dear boy, vampires are among us and it's our duty to neutralize the threat," Aro stated sagely, patting Garrett on the shoulder. "Maybe, if we talk to the woman rationally…"
"Are you kidding me? That thing in there will eat you alive, Aro!" Victoria scoffed. Then she gazed blankly at a wall. "You just shut up, Running Chickadee! I'm not putting away the ax!"
"Who is she talking to?" Garrett looked at Victoria as if she were crazy.
Bella took Garrett's hand and ignored Edward's glare. "Vicki sees ghosts. There are werewolves that I think killed my dad and friend. Edward is a vampire."
Bang, bang, bang!
Taking his hand, Garrett pressed the bandage on Bella's neck. "He did this to you, didn't he?"
She couldn't look Garrett in the eye. He stood up quickly and rushed to Edward, pushing him in the chest. "How could you? It's Bella! You promised me that you'd protect her!"
"I love her!" Edward cried out. Bella's eyes watered and Laurent pulled her into a hug. "I will never forgive myself for hurting her! I was out of control. It was like I was possessed…"
"Kate was like that before she attacked me. She wasn't the sweet person I know. She was seductive and cruel. I had no idea who that woman was." Garrett sat down looking overwhelmed. "Are we going to become vampires, too?"
"No, I don't think we are." Bella patted his hand, then asked, "Wait…is that the accountant in there?"
Garrett nodded, as Edward added, "How does she know my brother?"
"I have no clue. They were both in here the other day, but she had no recognition of who he was at all."
Edward frowned, because now that the fog had lifted, he knew for certain that his brother was involved in a big way. "I have an idea. Bella, make up some more water with that nasty powder to give to her. I think it might calm down whatever that evil is inside her. It worked for me. I'll go in and give it to her."
"It's not safe," Laurent protested, as Bella started making the pungent brew. "I'll go in with you."
"I'm like her now and you'll just smell like a snack. Let me try to get her back to herself. If it doesn't work, then you can play the Red Queen and off with her head." Edward took the bottle from Bella. "Wish me luck."
She kissed him with all her might. She loved him too.
"Come back to me," Bella whispered.
Edward felt her love fill him with confidence and he entered the room to see a barely-clad woman, lounging on Garrett's desk. The messy office now looked like a war zone with broken furniture and papers strewn all over the floor. The woman snarled, "Where's Garrett?"
"Hi there, Kate. I brought you something to drink." Edward held up the water bottle.
She wrinkled her tiny nose. "If it isn't Garrett, I don't want it!"
"Don't say something you'll regret later. Just take a little sip." He moved over to her slowly.
She sniffed the air. "You smell like me."
"I do. It seems my big brother Emmett used the same voodoo on us," he admitted. "I don't think you want to be like this."
"Let's go out there and feast on the weak humans!" she cried out. Then giving him a wink added, "I'll make it worth your while…umm…who are you?"
"Edward Cullen. How about you drink…"
Kate stood up and went over to Edward and stroked his face. "You're very handsome. I'm supposed to be seducing you. I would like to seduce you."
"Why?" Edward questioned, unmoving.
"Emmett likes your girlfriend. He has plans for her."
Fueled by anger at the thought of Emmett touching Bella, Edward quickly forced the bottle into Kate's mouth, making her choke down the water. She fell to the floor and shook violently. Then she was still. Edward leaned in close to make sure Kate was still alive. Her eyes flew open and she gasped, "Where am I?"
"You're at the coffee shop on Frontage Street. Garrett…"
"Oh, my God, is he okay?" She cried. She looked down at her state of undress. "Where are my clothes?"
"Garrett's fine." Edward looked around and saw a dress on the floor by his leg. "This must be yours."
"I would never wear that!" she exclaimed, but used the scrap of fabric to try to cover herself.
Edward stood and offered his hand to help her stand up. "Garrett has extra clothes back here. We can find you something more comfortable."
"Thank you," she said, and her face looked worried. "What happens next?"
"We figure out a plan. It's all we can do."
Kate wore a pair of Garrett's sweats from his college days. They were way too big, but the warmth of the fabric and his hand holding hers made her feel comforted and safe.
"Can you tell us how this happened?" Bella asked. She wasn't aware when it happened but at a certain point, her hand was holding Edward's, their fingers intertwined.
"I'm starting to remember, but it's still blurry. I guess I should start at the beginning…"
Kate began the tale of how the quiet life of Katherine Scott, CPA had been changed forever.
The blindfold was tight, as she was led up rickety old stairs and into a warm room. Kate could smell the smoke of a fire, as Alec complained, "I was so hungry; at least you could have shared!"
"She was a tiny thing. It was like a kiddie juice box. You didn't miss anything," the big one, Emmett, had retorted.
"What about that homeless guy? If you let me eat him, then we still wouldn't have a witness!"
Emmett groaned, "Man, he was rank! You wanted to eat that disgusting thing? Be glad I snapped his neck!"
She was tossed onto a couch and the blindfold was removed. It appeared that she was in an old hunting lodge. There was a large fire in the stone fireplace. The heads of dead animals on the walls for decorations, along with the plaid couches, were the type that men would pick for their masculine domicile way from the womenfolk. There were several young men on the chairs around her watching a basketball game on a big screen. They were all handsome but their faces were cruel, and she shivered as one winked at her.
"Welcome to our home away from home, Katie girl!" Emmett grinned. He motioned to a table covered with beer bottles and medical bags that were relatively empty except for the blood drops that clung to the side. "Excuse the mess. Tanya, get that perky ass down here! We need a cleanup on aisle three!"
Alec shoved Emmett, before plopping down in a soft easy chair. "Don't make my woman clean, asshole! She wants to be with her man."
Kate watched as a thin and tired looking woman came down the stairs in a short dress that was far too inappropriate for the cold winter weather. She would have been considered the picture of beauty at one time, with her light red curls and green eyes, but it was apparent that she was a mere specter of her former self.
Tanya sat right on Alec's lap and moved her hair to the side. He nuzzled and kissed her neck, placing a hand on her breast. "I'll be as gentle as I can, baby."
Kate screamed as he bit down and started to suck hard. Tanya just whimpered and clung tightly to Alec's shoulders.
The man who winked at her placed a large hand over her mouth. "Don't be scared, honey. They've been sweethearts since high school. She'll become like us soon enough. Tanya just needs to learn a little lesson about dating outside the group. Alec ripped that punk to pieces. I like you. Maybe after this we can go somewhere more comfortable…"
"Riley, Katie is a lady! You woo the ladies. I do see a love connection here, once Katie gets rid of Garrett and distracts Eddie. You just have to wait your turn!" Emmett looked wistfully at Tanya and Alec. "That's what I want with my Bella."
A sad-looking man who was standing in the corner announced, "We should let her go."
Kate felt a ray of hope fill her.
"Really, Jamie, because I think you need to run out in the woods and eat more animals, you pussy," Emmett growled. "I would hate if something happened to that ex-wife of yours and the baby."
Jamie shuddered and was silent. Kate's hope was gone.
"What the hell, you idiot!" A man came out of a kitchen area, wiping his hands on a dish towel. "Who is this girl?"
"Bennie, this is sweet Katie and she's joining our tribe, so get your mojo working!" Emmett grinned.
"You'll ruin everything, Emmett! I have limited time to get Angela back and if you let me get rid of the mouse, we can make everything perfect," Ben snarled. "If you're ruining things for that bitch, Bella Swan…"
It was if Kate was watching an evil Superman fly through the air, as within seconds, Emmett had pinned Ben to the wall. His large hands were squeezing Ben's neck tightly. "I warned you never to talk about my girl that way. I promise you this, I'll kill you and find another magic man to get me what I want. Now what I want, Bennie, is to make sweet Katie like us."
Alec stood up, blood caked on his face, and picked a sleepy Tanya up, announcing, "I'm letting you boys have fun. I'm taking my girl to bed."
Tanya giggled tiredly, as Alec popped a pill into her mouth. Kate felt sick and wanted to rescue the woman and shake some sense into her.
"Felix, grab Katie's legs; Riley, you can hold her shoulders down. That way you can gaze into those pretty eyes," Emmett said, clapping his hands together. Kate screamed as she was forced to lie on the couch. "Settle down, Katie, or we're going to have to handcuff you to the table downstairs."
Riley whispered in her ear, "I'm going to take good care of you."
Tears ran down Kate's eyes, as Ben's cold face looked at her. A large knife covered with odd markings glinted in the firelight as it was used to rip open her shirt. "It will only hurt a bit."
The knife sliced her skin, as Kate watched Ben's eyes become pitch black. Ancient words danced off his tongue, and then there was nothing.
"That's when I woke up, wanting to rip someone's throat out," Kate admitted, as Garrett pulled her close.
"You are safe now, my child!" Aro pledged. "You can stay with my family. We will protect you."
Victoria looked at the wall again. "The shirtless Team Edward over here suggests we stay in groups. No shit, Sherlock."
"I just love that you talk smack to ghosts," Laurent admitted with a laugh.
"Screw you, Queen." Victoria gave him the finger.
Edward looked at the table. Bella squeezed his hand and asked, "A penny for your thoughts?"
"They threw a party and were pouring liquor into me. I passed out." He looked at Bella. "That has to be when it happened to me."
"I bet it was a similar situation with the Tanya pictures," she stated.
"I'm such a fool," he said, burying his face in his hands.
Bella pulled them away and said, "We've all been fools, but we'll face this together."
She decided to break the rules that she'd placed on herself when discovering what happened to him. Bella kissed him hard and looking at his surprised face asked, "Will you move in with me?"