AN: Thank you so much for taking a chance on this twisted, little fairy tale. Your reviews have been wonderful and I've enjoyed hearing you theories. This story is going to one wild ride.
Thanks to RMFM86 for pre-reading and being an amazing friend. A big thank you goes to Mauigirl60 for being a wonderful beta. Finally, thank you to cutestkidsmom for being not only a supporter of this story and me, but truly being a great friend.
Here's your disclaimer…this story is twisty and dark. The characters are not at all canon, so just put away all your images of Twilight canon. Nothing is quite as it seems. Be strong, dear readers!
Chapter 6: The Amazing Clan of the Lost Girls
The room had become stifling from the tension. Tiny Jane felt her skin grow hot and quiver slightly. She had always felt that she was different, a bit odder than her peers. A beautiful girl at the age of twelve, she was not yet a teenager and somehow avoided that awkward time of life that afflicted those of her age. The girl looked icy with eyes as cool as glaciers and hair a pale gold, but there was a fire underneath, pulsating to get out.
A large hand took hold of her shoulder and rubbed it soothingly. "Baby girl, it's all right."
"You know it's not, Mama." Jane looked up at her mother/father, Laurent. Tonight, he was her mama, but tomorrow he'd be her daddy. It was the nature of the duality that lived in the man. He was feminine and masculine deep into his soul. Laurent had these aspects of his personality battling it out for supremacy, but this night, he felt a change in the air. It was as if he were becoming complete, which was scary but invigorating.
Jane was as light as Laurent was dark, but she was his child even without the sharing of DNA. It was ten years ago; he had just finished a tribute to Etta James at the club and needed a break. Going into the alleyway in his sparkly gold gown to have a smoke, he had spotted the dirty toddler, whose skin was marred by cigarette burn marks, crawling toward him on the filthy ground. It was as if it were kismet. The little girl looked up at him like she saw her fairy godmother. Her blue eyes lit up, full of love. He grabbed that small child and hugged her tightly. Laurent knew he should have called the authorities, but instead, he dialed Aro's number. He named her Jane, since she'd had no identification. It was the best decision he'd ever made.
Laurent was about to try to reassure his Jane, when Victoria walked over to them, a stern look on her pretty face. "Why the glum faces, my pets? It's our Bella's big fuckin' night! Put on some happy faces, please."
Victoria was a fiery redhead who had lived hard, before Aro found the prostitute lying in a ditch, on the verge of hypothermia. He'd brought her back home and Lidia nursed her back to health. They'd put her delicate hands to use by teaching her to create wonderful glass sculptures. Using heat and air combining to create works of beauty was a comfort to the woman. Victoria liked to joke that it was nice that she finally put her blowing skills to good use.
"Don't you feel it, Vicki? There is something happening!" Jane squeaked, clutching Laurent tightly.
Victoria fluffed her curls. "It's probably the flu making you all feel shitty. Charlotte's over there whining about a headache. Seeing spots and saying she's all floaty. She's a weird kid."
Charlotte was the newest 'sister'. She was a sweet, but nervous kid who was beaten savagely by her parents, until she was rescued by the benefactor of them all.
Laurent grabbed a glass of wine from a waiter and looked around the crowd. "All of the family is acting off. Look at our Ali over there. She's all flirty with that man-meat. I don't know about this development, my babies. I've seen that boy at the club and he'll leave with anything."
"I'll put a stop to this!" Victoria growled. She was very protective of the quiet Alice. Like all of the others, she had been orphaned by those who were supposed to protect her. If Lidia didn't discover a tiny Alice locked away and plagued by visions in the mental hospital, there had been a very good chance that she wouldn't be alive today.
Charlotte stumbled over, clutching her head. "Why are you looking at Alice?"
"She's talking to some asshole. I need to end this." Victoria scowled at the couple. "Go sit down, Char. You look like you need to fuckin' hurl."
She still had the manners of a surly trucker.
"Don't, Vicki! Their colors match!" Charlotte's eyes widened and turned a brighter green. A smile grew on her delicate face. "It will be lovely."
"You're a fuckin' nut job, kiddo!"
Laurent stepped in. "Let's all be ladies now!"
"So says the one of us with a pecker, Luscious Lauren!" Victoria teased. Laurent jiggled his fake breasts in her face, making Victoria giggle in delight.
Bella walked up, clutching Aro's arm, as a worried-looking Garrett following behind. "What's going on, kids?"
"We should ask what's going on with you, baby girl. Why the glum face on your big night?" Laurent questioned, his big brown eyes penetrating Bella's.
Garrett put his hand around Bella's waist in comfort. It felt so very nice, but not quite right. Aro frowned, knowing that Bella's mind was on another.
He gently pulled her away from Garrett and said, "Openings are always stressful, children! We've all been there."
Bella gave him a very big and fake smile. She was thankful that he was able to move her away from Garrett, so she wouldn't hurt his feelings. Her mind was filled with confusion. Tonight was one giant mind-fuck and she knew it was a necessity to be strong for her family. When she was at her lowest, they pulled her up and embraced her. A memory of the first time she'd met Aro came back to her.
"Don't be nervous about meeting my father. He's wonderful! If it weren'tt for him..." Alice said quietly.
She opened the large oak door of the brightly-colored Victorian house that stood at the end of a lane on the outskirts of the city. Inside it was a mausoleum of beautiful artwork and crystals shimmering through the windows. It was lovely and mysterious, and most importantly, it felt like home. Bella knew she couldn't stay and felt bereft.
Bella just gave her a gentle smile. "It's not necessary, you know. I would've been just fine."
"It's freezing out there, Bella! You could have died!"
Alice had found Bella sleeping in an old truck that Bella had driven up from Phoenix. It had barely made the trip, but somehow, that old hunk of junk found the will to get her close to where her beloved father was laid to rest. Her mother had drank away most of Bella's inheritance, but she had a kind boyfriend named Phil Dwyer, who was able to save some of the money that she ultimately used to purchase the truck. That rusty red beast got her the hell out of Dodge. Bella had plenty of blankets, but what Alice had said was true. The temperature was dropping rapidly. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to get out of the cold for one night.
"Who is this charming girl, my sweet Alice?" An older man sang out the question in a deep baritone. He had a full head of shockingly white hair and deep brown eyes that made Bella feel at peace. He wore a sweater that looked as if it were woven from pieces of a rainbow. She was mesmerized.
"Father, this is my dear friend, Bella Swan. She needs a place to stay." Alice gave the man a hug.
Bella disagreed, "I have a place..."
"No, child, I don't think you do." Aro took her hand. He closed his eyes for a moment and smiled. "Isabella, I believe you see things more clearly than others. Do you enjoy photography?"
"I did," Bella answered, with a frown. She'd had to hock her camera to purchase food for her journey north. "I can no longer afford that luxury."
Aro gave her a big wink and started to talk rapidly. "We have plenty of cameras here, dear girl! We must get your transcripts to the university. Alice, darling dear, go see Mama and find out which room shall be Isabella's."
"Why are you doing this? You don't know me!" Bella was wary of anyone's generosity.
"Because, Isabella, you're my daughter now. It is one of those wonderful cases of destiny."
Bella smiled at her recollection, but it quickly turned into a frown as she saw Ben walking through the door, pulling a glum-faced Angela with him. Her arm was in a sling. "What the fuck!"
"Whoa, little girl, calm down now," Laurent began to say, but then he saw Ben. "Why is that crazy motherfucker with Angie? Jane, baby, get Mama a seltzer from that fine Dante behind the bar. You too, Charlotte, honey."
Charlotte looked offended. "I'm almost seventeen, I know things!"
"But, Mama..." Jane tried to stay put, but Laurent guided the girls toward the bar. Jane took Charlotte's hand.
"Babies, trust me. Get some Shirley Temples and look at some of Bella's pretty pictures. Stay where I can see you though!" The girls reluctantly walked toward the bar. "Aro, that man is here to cause trouble. Kick him out!"
"That man is Angela's husband," Bella explained with narrowed eyes. She was sure Ben was the reason for the cast Angela was now wearing.
"The minister? Well, honey, he wasn't sharing that when he was getting in my pants. I should have done his tarot cards, before going away with him. He's one sick piece of work. We need to get Angie away from him."
Laurent was still regretting the night he had gone to the club for a night out. Dressed as himself, without his armor of a wig, heels and fake boobs, he felt somewhat naked that night. Little Jane was staying with Aro and Lidia. It was the first time he had gone out in a long time to enjoy the nightlife without being the entertainment. If he knew now what depravity lived in Benjamin's soul, he would have never gotten into that sleek black car.
"Did he know it's you as Luscious Lauren? Where you live?" Bella asked, a plan formulating. "I need to get her away from him."
"No, baby, I'm not that naϊve. He has no clue about Casa Luscious. Hold on a minute..." Laurent pulled out a sparkly pink phone. "Hector, darling, I need you...not for that, sugar... Baby, just come to Aro's gallery and pull into the alley...yes, I have a package. Toodles!"
"Lauren, are you sure?" Aro questioned.
"I'm always sure when it comes to my girls, Daddy! Get that look off your face, Vic. It will be fine. Hector and I have rescued injured young ladies before. Bella, give me a two-minute head start and get Angie to the bathroom." Laurent smiled at Victoria. "You in this, girl?"
"Fuck, yeah!" Victoria grabbed a glass of red wine off of a tray and linked her arm around Bella's.
"What can I do?" Garrett asked, eager to help.
"Stay pretty." Victoria grinned. "Nah, we might need you for muscle. Come on."
The trio walked up to Ben, who was scowling at a photograph of Angela as a mermaid. Sea foam surrounded her and Angela's skin shimmered in the sunlight. Ben looked at Bella with a frown. "You made my wife look like a whore. Does this seem proper for a minister's wife?"
"Absolutely." Bella looked at him with a frown. "You should leave. Angela, what happened?"
"She tripped. Angela has always been a clumsy cow." Ben gave Angela an ugly look. "I want this porn removed. It isn't pleasing to God."
"You're one to talk you, fornic..." Bella began to say.
Emmett came up and placed his arm around Ben. "Hey, man! Good to see ya! Checking out your hot-ass wife?"
"Yeah, Emmett, checking things out," he said, searching his old friend's face for a sign of his mood.
"Bella, Bella, Bella...look at your pretty pictures. You're amazing, sexy lady." Emmett leered at her, glancing at a looming Garrett, who stood close to the women.
Victoria didn't like it one bit. She needed to help her friends. She tripped over Garrett's feet and red wine sloshed over Angela and Bella. "Aww, fuck! Sorry...I'm the clumsiest! Let me get these two cleaned up!"
"Angela stays here," Ben demanded.
Garrett moved his body to block the men before him, as Victoria began to shepherd her friends toward the long hallway that led to the bathrooms. "They'll only be a minute."
"No problem, man. We'll wait over here." Emmett pulled Ben away from the threatening posturing of Garrett. "Dude, my mojo's failing!"
"No shit, Emmett. I can't get Angela to behave. My usual lovers are running scared. It's fucked." Ben looked around the room and saw something he certainly didn't like.
Standing under a picture of Alice in a flowing gown, Jasper stood with his arms around that very same girl. Ben was transfixed one the scene before him. The anger he felt pulsated through him. As Jasper's lips touched Alice's gently, his rage engulfed his pitch-black soul.
He looked at Emmett and continued, "We need a virgin to perform the ceremony. I have the perfect person."
Ben smiled evilly at the clueless Alice.
"Hells no, Benny, we aren't doing that shit again. We need to promise something bigger this time and I don't know if it's worth it." Emmett wanted it all, but whatever mess Ben had gotten himself into needed to be a last resort. "Listen, I have a plan to get Bella and remove a thorn in my side. Then, I can help you. If it doesn't work, we go to your Plan B."
"Bella can fuck off. She's a bitch!" Ben exclaimed.
Emmett grabbed his throat and pushed him behind a pillar. His large frame blocked Ben from the view of the other people in the room. Emmett smiled, watching the way Ben's eyes bulged as he squeezed. Just like those stupid frogs when they were young. "Watch your fucking mouth about Bella. Give that stupid Indian drug dealer a call. We have plans."
Emmett pulled out his own phone and Ben asked in a raspy voice, "Who are you calling?"
"Alec. I have a job for him."
"Hector, take Angie to Charity's house. I'll pick her up in two hours." Laurent wrapped a blanket around Angela's shoulders. "He's a good man and an even better Cha Cha Lovebug."
"You know it, baby! I miss my lashes and go-go boots. For you, I do this, Luscious!" Hector agreed in his squeaky voice. He stood next to a hidden door that was in the farthest stall of the ladies' bathroom. "I'll take good care of her."
Angela looked at them with frightened eyes. "Are you sure about this? Ben has lost it more than usual."
"He'll kill you. I cannot lose you, Angela Weber," Bella stated. She kissed Angela on the forehead. Angela's arm felt slightly better. "I'll see you soon."
Laurent gave Bella a hug as they watched Hector help Angela out of the building and into the car. "Victoria, please go out and get rid of Ben."
"How? He's going to be looking for Angela. He's a mean-ass fucker!"
"Baby girl, we just tell him she felt nauseous and left. There are too many people out there for him to make a scene." He grabbed Victoria's hand. "Ready, Vic?"
"You can take the trash out of the trailer, but you can't take the trailer out of..." Laurent grinned mischievously at his friend.
"I'm loud and proud trailer trash, you hooker!" Victoria laughed as they left.
Bella looked in the elegant silver-framed mirror. With a sigh, she stared at her reflection. She was tired, so very tired.
Taking a deep breath, Bella turned and opened the door to see Edward, leaning against the wall staring at her.
"Hey," he said quietly.
"What do you want?" Bella started to move away, but Edward gently took her arm.
"Can we just have a conversation?" Edward pleaded. His expression was pained. "I really ruined things! Except, Bella, I really don't know why I did those things. I can't figure it out."
Bella felt a need to comfort him and to slap him. She decided to be rude. "I know why. You're an ass, Cullen."
He pushed her gently up against the tiled wall. The shimmering blue and green tiles reminded Edward of the ocean. They used to sit at the beach watching the waves come to the shore. He was at his happiest then.
"Let me go," she begged. "Garrett is waiting for me."
Edward shook his head. "Can't you feel it? It's back. The electricity between us drives us closer together. It's like a fog has lifted."
He pressed his lips to hers passionately.
Bella started to drown in the feeling of his kisses. The way his hands pressed into her hips felt amazing. She ran her fingers through his hair. It was if she was hovering between the pure bliss of heaven and the smoldering agony of hell. Bella Swan felt whole.
She pushed him away in anger. "I won't do this again! I'm not that type of girl! You hurt me, when I needed you most. I really don't care if you slept with Tanya, but my dad..."
"You mentioned Tanya before, Why? There was nothing between us!" Edward couldn't figure out how she got such a preposterous idea. Even in his sadness of her supposed betrayal, he couldn't have retaliated in that way.
"She brought pictures of the two of you into school the week before my mother took me to Phoenix. I saw you having sex with her! I have to leave." Bella stormed out of the room, leaving Edward dumbfounded.
This situation was getting more twisted. Edward knew that he needed to find out why his relationship with his love was targeted. His quest would have to begin with Tanya Denali and Michael Newton.
Bella didn't last much longer at the gallery. Avoiding the glares of Carlisle Cullen, the odd sympathetic looks from his wife, Emmett's leers and Edward's mournful smiles was difficult. The blonde woman who was with them had disappeared earlier, but they didn't seem to have noticed.
After Garrett dropped her off with a sweet, but confusing kiss, Bella decided to sort through her mail. An official-looking letter stood out and without glancing at who sent it, she tore it open. Bella gasped and sat on the couch in a daze. It read:
Dear Miss Swan,
My name is Seth Clearwater and I'm innocent of the crimes against your dad and Jake.
I can help you. Please come see me. Visiting hours are from 9:30-12.
I beg of you. This is urgent.
Her heels made a loud clicking sound on the pavement. She imagined the quiet stillness of the night air had made them louder. She couldn't believe that Emmett's creepy friend Alec left her at this dump.
Truth be told, Rosalie Lillian hated to be alone. Being alone made her think of the unpleasant way her life had turned. Magazines with images of fake smiles were lies and she was the biggest liar of them all.
She didn't know why Emmett had his friend drop her off at this dark storage unit. He didn't need to take his parents back to the hotel. They had Eddie. Emmett could have easily accompanied her. She couldn't imagine why a gift would be located in such a place. Rosalie knew she should end things with Emmett. There was something off about him and she was finally seeing the light.
A gust of cold air hit her face, making her shiver uncomfortably, which was when she noticed the shadows of three large dogs. Rosalie was about to run, when a voice called out, "Baby, you wanna play?"
Rosalie began to run in her deadly heels. Her breath was ragged as she went down the street. She thought she could lose the men pursuing her. Unfortunately, she tripped over a glass bottle and landed face-down onto the cold ground. She felt pain from the scrapes on her knees and hands. The metallic smell of her blood made her queasy.
A furry body pushed her further down. As hot saliva dripped down her neck, Rosalie could swear she heard it growl, "I can't wait to get my mouth on you."