AN: Thank you all for your kind words. There are more scary happenings are on the way.
More thanks to RFM86 for pre-reading and mauigirl60 for fixing my numerous mistakes on this one. I really appreciate it!
Disclaimer: Hold on. It's going to be a bumpy ride until the HEA.
Chapter 14: Shattered Glass Slippers
The foil wrapper of the candy bar felt awkward in Rosalie's fingertips. It was the generic brand you would find at the mini mart at a gas station. She immediately thought it was poisoned, but the eager and smiling face of the man, Embry, made her feel less suspicious of its toxicity. He had been surprisingly normal when he entered, but that didn't make her less nervous around him.
"I'm sorry it isn't like those Godivas like they have at the mall," Embry apologized. He looked down in embarrassment. "Sam doesn't like us to go too far away from the house, so..."
"No! This is great. Thank you." Rosalie gave a tiny, reassuring smile. The last thing she wanted to do was to make the man angry. It was in her opinion that the monster came out when they were upset.
Embry sat on the floor across the room from her in torn jeans and a paint-splattered t-shirt. He watched her intently as she opened the package and took a tentative bite. She said quietly, "It's good."
"I would get you more, but Sam is fuckin' crazy right now. It's easier when he isn't around. The guys are calmer. I'm calmer. I feel more like the old me. Not so shitty." He rubbed his temple. "I'm really tired of these headaches. Ever since Sam made us take those fuckin' pills, my head feels like it's gonna explode."
"I'm sorry." Rosalie didn't know what to say to this man who was obviously suffering.
He looked up at her with tight eyes. He was in considerable pain. "You're real pretty but nice, too. Why did people think you were a stuck-up bitch?"
"Umm...my stepmother made me act that way, I guess," she admitted. "What a person will do to get some love, huh?"
Charlotte Hale was obsessed with fame and fortune. Her step-daughter had been used as a pawn. If she'd performed as Charlotte demanded, Rosalie was an asset and given a small amount of affection. If Rosalie had tried to disagree, she was a hindrance and Charlotte would discipline her accordingly. If only people knew what had happened behind closed doors, Rosalie thought that they would be shocked. Just because a person's life looked perfect with glitz and shine didn't mean that it was always the case.
"I would love you," Embry admitted sadly. He looked at her shyly. "I know I might have scared you before, but it's always like that when Sam's around. We all get obsessed with that mating thing, but the more I can think with a clear head, it sounds pretty shitty."
Rosalie took a deep breath. There was more than meets the eye with this situation. She wrapped the musty blanket more tightly around her shoulders. Tentatively, she said, "You don't know me."
"I know, but I would like to." Embry played with the rip in his jeans. "No matter what, I'm going to try and protect you. Sam has this pull but I think with Leah's help, I can control it."
"Leah is a wonderful person, but do you think she can make you..."
"Not turn into a snarling wolf out of The Howling? The fuck if I know for sure, but if anyone can do it, she can," he admitted.
"Where is Leah?" Rosalie had been worried about her. She normally brought in her lunch, not Embry.
He stood up and ran his fingers through his floppy, black hair. "You're getting a roommate. The missing preacher's wife has been found and her hubby is fuckin' pissed."
"Benjamin," Rosalie stated in fear. "He isn't going to hurt her, is he?"
Embry wouldn't look at her. "He needs her for somethin'. It sounds like the fuckin' mess that Sam got me and the boys into."
Her fingers tightened on the blanket. That poor woman must have gone through so much living with Ben Cheney. Rosalie remembered Emmett making jokes about how Ben would mock his wife. Blindly accepting of everything that came out of Emmett's mouth, she would just nod with a blank expression on her face. What had made her do that? The images of Mrs. Cheney from the art exhibit filled her mind. Rosalie had thought distractedly that she was beautiful, but her sad eyes were heartbreaking. It was in that moment that Rosalie made the decision that she would protect her with everything she had.
"You need to help her," Rosalie pleaded. "Don't just worry about me, but..."
Before she could convince Embry of assisting her, the door burst open. Ben had a bound and gagged Angela by the arm, followed closely by a fidgeting Sam and a morose Leah. He threw her down on the bed next to Rosalie. "What the hell is she still doing alive? I told you to take care of it!"
"Fuck, Ben, I can get a fuckin' load of cash for her! I'll get it done, but shit...give me some time!" Sam said, sniffling.
"Can you wean yourself off the crack, Samuel?" Ben questioned. He took a good look at Rosalie. "I guess I can take her back to the lodge for the boys."
Embry gave a low growl and Leah placed her hand on his shoulder to calm him.
"If you want Sam and the boys to do your dirty work they should be compensated for it," Leah chimed in.
"You let your girlfriend tell me what to do?" Ben arched a single eyebrow and it made Rosalie shiver in fear.
"Naw, man, but fuck it, she's right! Give me a week or two!" Sam started to shake harder.
Ben gave a sickening smile. "I'll give you your time, but I want you jumping through hoops for me."
The men went into a corner and started talking, but Rosalie was more concerned for Angela's well-being. Her face was streaked with tears and her eyes were bloodshot. Rosalie put her arm around her and stroked her hair. She knew how Angela felt and wanted to try to comfort her. Leah came over to them and gently removed Angela's restraints.
Angela, in the meantime, was terrified. Ben had done something horrible to Laurent and if she lived through this, it would haunt her nightmares. She didn't know if Laurent was still alive or, for that matter, sweet Jane or Victoria. She had seen Vicki run in, as they had driven off. The fire had been intense and quick. It would be a miracle if there were any survivors.
Ben slowly walked over to the women and gave Rosalie a wink, as he crouched down in front of Angela and placed a hand on her stomach. Angela started quivering in fear. He rubbed it slowly. "You're going to be an amazing mother soon, my Angela. You'll prove your love to me by springing forth a child that shall bring down nations, but make us all powerful. You, my lovely wife, are the perfect vessel."
"I'm not having your baby," Angela whispered with a panicked look on her face. Rosalie hugged her tighter.
"It's not my baby you're having, sweetheart," Ben sneered, kissing Angela's sick-looking face. "Our master wants to join us and, sweetheart, you're going to make that happen."
Bella had one hand on Victoria's burned arm and the other on Laurent's comatose body. The monitor made a steady beep, beep, beep.
"It's beginning to feel a bit better, Nurse Ratched." Victoria said with a tight smile. "This group is definitely from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest right now."
Bella shot her a nasty look.
Edward stood in the corner, leaning against a wall watching Bella desperately trying to make Laurent wake up. It was almost the saddest thing he had ever seen, her face tight with concentration and the melancholy expression that appeared when it wouldn't work. That, however, was nothing compared to the weeping Jane on Lidia's lap. He wished he could help them in some way.
Aro was pacing back and forth. He looked at Victoria. "The house was in flames and Jane was encased in flames?"
Victoria groaned. "I told you the same thing ten times! Then Polly the Headless Wonder entered her body and made her walk to the door as I pulled out Laurent."
"I made it burn!" Jane cried out. "The smoke monster came out of the bad man's fingers and into Daddy! I got scared and made everything burn!"
Everyone in the room turned to look at Jane, shocked looks on their faces. She hadn't muttered a word, but had only cried until just then.
"What smoke monster?" Aro questioned.
She squeaked, "He came out of Angie's mean husband."
"May God have mercy on all our souls...it's Caius." Aro sat down on a plastic chair with a thud. "I need to call Harry. We need to go through the ancient books."
Charlotte sat next to Lidia, her head resting on the older woman's shoulder. "Who's Caius?"
"A demon with a desire for world domination."
Lidia looked at her husband solemnly. "He needs to be born in this world."
Bella turned ashen. "Angela."
"Well, isn't this a fucked-up turn of events, Bella boo!" Laurent announced with a giggle. Both Bella and Victoria jumped as they looked upon a ghostly version of Laurent, standing next to his earthly form lying on the bed. "Now, don't you let go of the chain, ladies, or you won't be able to see me."
"Queen, you aren't dead!" Victoria shrieked. The rest of the individuals in the room turned to gaze at them.
"No, my sweet Trailer, I'm still with the living. That black evil has pushed me out of my fine body for the time being." He looked down at his body on the bed. "Damn, I'm still one hot piece of man, even in a hospital bed."
Bella rubbed Laurent's hand. "Can you feel this?"
"No, I can't, Sugar," he stated sadly. "I'm stuck out here until you can get rid of Bennie."
Bella groaned. It was another reason to have to kill that man. It made her sad that it had to come to such violence but after Charlie and Jacob, that was what her life had become.
"Listen, I can only talk to you for so long. Please, make sure my baby knows she didn't do anything wrong. There is a mighty power in her body, but Harry Clearwater can help her channel it." He looked at Jane wistfully. "Make sure she knows that her daddy loves her and will be back with her soon."
"We will, you annoying Queen," Victoria stated, as she kissed his limp hand. "I know you can't feel it, but what the hell."
"I'll see you soon! Tell everyone I love them!" Laurent's image shimmered and disappeared.
Bella looked at the group. "Laurent sends his love to everyone. Janie, he wants you to know how much he loves you and to not feel bad. Grandpa Aro's friend, Mr. Harry, is going to help you learn how to control it."
The girl sniffed and hugged Lidia close.
A nurse carrying clean linens burst into the room. Her salt-and-pepper hair was pulled tightly into a bun, her mouth pinched into a tight line. Taking a look around the room, her gaze was disapproving. "Only two visitors at a time. You'll need to leave!" she demanded.
Alice had been as quiet as a church mouse, gazing out a window at the snowy ground below. She heard the woman's cruel voice and decided she'd had enough. Walking slowly over to the woman, Alice said sharply, "You will be turning around and head back to the nurses' station. We will be leaving in approximately ten minutes. You will return at that time with a smile on your face and a much-improved disposition."
Closing her eyes, Alice breathed deeply, as the woman's eyes glazed over. It was as if a wind pushed the nurse backwards out the door, which shut firmly behind her.
Edward gasped, "What was that?"
"Stress release," Alice said simply, walking back over to the window and gazing down at the city streets below.
Bella was at the kitchen counter, chopping carrots quickly. Her mind wandered to what could be befalling Angela at that moment. Here she was, fixing dinner, while one of her best friends was in danger. What if Ben succeeded? Would Angela be forced to carry a demon baby…would it kill her? Tears started to flow, making her eyes blurry.
"Hey, hey, hey, now…Bella, sweetheart, it's going to be okay," Edward consoled her. He wrapped his arms around her. "Laurent's still alive and we can help him!"
"I know, but it's Angela that I'm worried about," she admitted. "I'm making shepherd's pie. I know it won't be as bloody as you would..."
Her eyes were still filled with tears, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that the knife slipped on the hard carrot and nicked her skin.
Edward took a deep sniff and his eyes turned a bright red. He moaned, "Oh, my, sweet, sweet girl...just a little taste."
Bella froze and stiffened as she felt his nose nuzzle her neck. Gripping the knife tightly, she whispered, "Did you have any potion?"
"I was meaning to."
Oh, fuck, Bella thought.
"I love you so much, baby. Show me how much you love me with letting me have a little sip," he leered. The monster had taken over. Internally, Edward was trying to regain control, but it was a losing battle.
Bella felt his teeth grazing her and with all her might, forced her body to squirm around. She moved her neck away and plunged the knife into his shoulder and pulled it out quickly. "No!"
Edward stumbled back and the monster roared, "How dare you defy me!"
"I'm so sorry!" She looked into the wild eyes and realized Edward wasn't there. He threw one of her glass vases at the wall. "Edward, control this! You need more..."
He lunged toward her, as she tried to run away. She stumbled over the coffee table and fell as he grabbed her ankle and tried to pull her toward him. Her head hit the corner of the table, making her wince at the pain. The knife was dropped and it skidded across the floor and went far under the couch, out of Bella's reach. He yelled, "Mine!"
Bella managed to flip her body around and kicked Edward in the gut. His body flew backwards and into a wall. "Calm down, Edward!"
Forcing herself to stand, she stumbled over to the small kitchen island, grabbing a large plastic bag of Harry's mixture. She turned around to find him looming over her. He sneered, "Edward isn't in here anymore."
Grabbing her waist, he picked her up and placed her over his shoulder, carrying her to the dining room table. He pushed the dishes onto the floor where the china crashed into pieces. The monster in Edward's body placed Bella onto the table and climbed on top of her. He stroked her face. "The boy loves you, pretty one, but I'm so hungry. It looks like dinner is served."
Bella felt the plastic bag still clutched in her hand, as Edward's mouth opened to bite. Quickly wrapping her legs around his waist, Bella flipped over, so she was sitting on top of his stomach. His mouth was still open wide, this time in shock, as Bella poured the undiluted herbs and blood mixture down his throat. Edward immediately began to convulse and foam at the mouth.
Then the doorbell rang. Falling off the table and onto the floor, she stumbled to the door and looked quickly through the peephole. She began to cry as she opened the door.
Jared looked at her and then around the room in worry and fear. "What the hell happened here, Bella?"
"The monster came out." She clutched Jared's shirt. "It's going to get worse. We need to stop Ben!"
Jared looked at the twitching Edward. "We need to get rid of him. Do you have something sharp?"
"No!" Bella yelled, letting go of Jared and moving over to Edward. He was slowly opening his eyes. "Don't you dare move, Edward!"
"What happened? My shoulder hurts," he said. His eyes looked normal again, but he took in the bruise on her head and her tear-streaked cheeks. "Are you okay?"
"No thanks to you!" Jared scoffed. "Let me end him!"
Edward sat up slowly. He took her hand and he began to weep. "Bella, I love you! Oh, God, how will this end?"
"We kill Ben," Bella stated, kissing his forehead, as she said a silent prayer for strength.