Disclaimer: I do not own anything Twilight related

Thank-you to my lovely wife Cutestkidsmom, my pre-reader Pricana, and my beta Eternally Edward's Girl for their help and encouragement.

Chapter 16

I wake up the next morning refreshed, but my body aches. I guess this is what professional fighters refer to as "the morning after", where everything hurts after the adrenaline has worn off. Eleazar warned me about it, but the reality is much different than the textbook explanation.

I see a bottle of over the counter painkillers and a glass of water next to the bed. Good old Garrett. I swallow two and down half the water. I'm starting to think the drinking I did last night might have something to do with the pain I am experiencing.

I stumble downstairs after getting myself somewhat together and make my way to the breakfast nook. Garrett is there with a newspaper and a cup of coffee. Edward is digging in the fridge for something. I freeze at the doorway.

"All I'm wondering is how you managed to 'accidentally' shoot him in the one place you were guaranteed to kill him. I would have had a hard time making that shot. You had a number of other options that would have dropped him where he would be alive and we could have questioned him. Help me understand what happened." Garrett is not letting the murder of Alice's assailant go. I wonder if Edward has explained how it was he happened to even be there.

"Give me a break Garrett; he had something in his hand. I went for the paralyze shot but he twisted at the last minute when he fell over the shoe she kicked at him." Edward found what he was looking for and popped his head out from behind the refrigerator door. Spotting me in the doorway, he stops short, "Oh, hey Bella…"

Garrett looks over at me and frowns. "How's the hangover kid?" He nods toward Edward. "Edward make yourself useful and mix up a hangover cure."

"Hair of the dog?" Edward asks Garrett, and then lifts his hands up in surrender when Garrett gives him a look. "Just kidding, vegetable juice it is." He mixes some concoction together and adds a celery stalk. "Drink this, it'll help." He offers me the glass.

I sit down and drain half of it. "Is anyone going to tell me what all that was about last night?" I look at Edward. "Where the hell did you even come from?" I want answers and I'm done covering for Edward's little omissions.

"What do you mean 'where did he come from?' He was with you … wasn't he?" Garrett is looking at Edward. "Boy, you had better start talking right now before I take you outside and beat the truth and the piss out of you, in that order."

"What? I was in the area and I heard the commotion. I recognized the car, and when I heard Bella's voice yelling at the guy who grabbed Alice, I went to help. I ran into Garrett in the alley, shot the guy, and you know the rest." Edward is being too nonchalant for my liking about how he just 'happened' to be there. Garrett is not buying it either.

"You just happened to 'be in the area' huh? Both of you just happened to break out of my secure location, happened to steal a car, and elude your protectors. Then you just happened to drive to the same bar, in the same town, and be in the same alleyway, just in time to save Alice?" He sits his coffee cup down. "Wow, creative storytelling is not really your strong suit is it?" He walks over and gets in Edward's face. "Try again."

"Look, I told you what happened and … Hey back up off me man!" Edward makes the mistake of pushing Garrett backwards. He has about half a second to regret his decision before he is slammed face down on the kitchen counter, the offending arm hyperextended in three places behind him.

"Now I'm not asking. You will start talking now or this arm will be … relocated." He applies pressure on Edward's wrist and I hear his elbow pop slightly. I watch this in silence, amazed at the speed with which this has escalated.

"Alright, alright! I followed them, okay?" Edward knew when he was in a no-win situation at least. He gasps in pain as Garrett applies a little more pressure before releasing his arm.

"Okay, start talking. Why did you follow them?" Garrett sits back down and picks up his coffee cup like nothing had happened.

"I knew we were in lockdown for a good reason, so I followed them when I realized they might actually get out this time." Edward shrugs. "They never even knew I was there."

"I see …" Garrett finishes his coffee, "Next time, just say so, it will save us the unpleasantness." Garrett gets up and walks out of the room.

"Edward, what the hell?" I yell once Garrett is gone. "Are you crazy? You could have just come with us you know." I'm furious with him for putting me in this position.

"What? Don't flatter yourself Bella, I was concerned for the rest of them, I don't even fucking know you." Edward walks to the door. "Why do you think they were never able to escape before? I never let them; I knew they would get into trouble. Then you come along and … well, you know what you did." He leaves me there alone with my thoughts.

I run to my room, I can't believe that I am surrounded by people who have secrets within their secrets. I can't trust anyone, not even Garrett.

Once inside the perceived safety of my room, I slam and lock the door. I notice a metal box on my bed. It's longer than a shoebox but otherwise about the same dimensions. I see the numbers '1128' etched on the top and sides. A key is taped to the top with a note. I open the note and it simply reads "Found it, Garrett".

I recognize the key. The last time I had seen it was when Garrett was tossing it on my kitchen table saying it wasn't needed for our journey. It was the key my mother's lawyer had given me to her safety deposit box, but no one knew where the box was housed. It seems Garrett had found it and brought it to me.

I unlock the box and after a few tries, manage to pry the lid open. A little rust falls off the hinges indicating to me that the box had not been opened in a long time. Garrett never opened it, I think to myself before looking inside.

Inside is a manila envelope, the discoloration indicating it is very old. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand. There is a date written on the front of it 'November 28th, 1998'.

"1128," I whisper, double checking the box number with the date; I don't believe in coincidences anymore. I open the envelope and there are two documents inside. One is a list of names; I recognize some of them as current members of The Gentlemen. Is this a member list from 1998? I scan the list; all the names are familiar with a few exceptions. Someone named James Witherdale, who is listed as the former head of the Blue Collar faction, has a star next to his name.

One name catches my eye. Seth Young, the name has a star next to it as well, and the bottom of the list indicates the star is a signifier that the member was "terminated during the insurrection crisis".

"What the hell does that mean?" I flip to the other document which is a file on the 'insurrection crisis', and skim over it. It details an attempted coup within The Gentlemen by James Witherdale. It seems Seth Young joined James in his attempt to seize power. He was killed in a firefight inside the Boardroom where I had been inducted into the organization.

The person credited with the kill was one Garrett Parrott. Parrott? He is listed as the personal bodyguard to one Charles Swan. It explains the tension between the Young's and Garrett. James Witherdale was killed too; the person credited with that kill was a traitor within his own ranks; Rosalie Hale, or Rose as I know her.

Garrett clears his throat from the doorway, I hadn't heard him come in. "Find anything interesting?" he asks me.

"All kinds of things, Mr. Parrott …" I tease him. His face falls, he is not amused.

"I hate that name. First off, it rhymes with my first name, who does that to a kid?. Second of all, it sounds like a wussy name." He is not at all pleased that the secret of his last name is out.

"Don't worry Garrett; your secret is safe with me. No wonder you are so tough though, growing up with a name like that." I am trying to suppress a grin.

"Personally, I always wanted a tougher sounding name." Garrett walks over to me and sits down on the end of the bed.

"Like what?" I can only imagine the tough sounding names that he has in mind.

"Domingo Flamingo." Garrett cracks a grin.

I laugh.

"Seriously though, what is all this stuff about? Insurrection? You killed one of the Young's?" I show him the papers.

"Yes, Emily's oldest son Seth, he joined up with Witherdale's 'new management' ideals and tried to recruit your father. When Charles refused Seth tried to kill him, I … intervened."
Garrett has a level of sadness in his voice.

"So that's why Alice and Emily don't get along with you?" I already knew the answer to this. I have gotten a few very large pieces of the puzzle and the big picture is becoming clear.

"Yes, it's no big secret. The Board cleared me of any wrongdoing; Emily wasn't allowed to vote due to her closeness to the situation. The vote clearing me was unanimous, save one." Garrett doesn't look thrilled to be sharing all this.

"Let me guess, Esme ?" I ask. Garrett nods.

"She said that the group could not sanction an in-house killing of another member without prior approval no matter what the circumstances. It was a smoke screen though, she was making a statement." Garrett gets up. "That happens a lot around here."

"So, what about the rest of this stuff?" I gesture to the papers on the bed. "Why did my mother even have all this anyway?"

"I don't know kid; you might want to discuss that one with your father." He looks at his watch. "I've got to go but I can get him a message to come by later if you want." He moves toward the door as he speaks.

"Yeah, sure …" I'm not sure how mad he still is at me.

"Okay, see you later kid. By the way, I'd keep this to myself if I were you." He gestures to the papers.

"Oh course." I put all the papers away in the box and lock it. I hand it to Garrett but pocket the key. "Do you have a safe place for this?"

"Of course." Garrett takes the box and walks out. "Don't hide up here all day kid, people will start to talk." Then he is gone.

I wait for the hangover cure to kick in before wandering out of my room. We are still on lockdown so it is as good a time as any to explore the mansion.

I explore a few rooms before I get curious about the boys side of the house. I quietly wander toward their side. It is very similar to my side of the house, it's just decorated differently. The wing is abandoned, or so it seems. I hear a commotion coming from one of the bedrooms. I creep down the hall to investigate, and see one of the bedroom doors open a crack. I peek inside and stifle a gasp.

Demetri is lying naked on the bed and a beautiful woman is giving him what could only be described as the most enthusiastic blowjob I have ever seen (not that I was an expert.)

She has long brown hair with red highlights, and enormous breasts for such a small frame. Her nipples are both pierced and have little charms with Celtic symbols on them; they jingle as she continues to bob her head up and down on Demetri's penis. An elaborate tattoo of vines snakes around her waist and up her back as well as between her legs. It is amazing to look at, she is beautiful.

I am quite taken with the sight of Demetri lying on the bed being serviced by this woman. As her lips travel the length of his shaft I am impressed at the sheer size of it. I'm no expert but it looks pretty big to me, its girth stands out in sharp contrast to his lean, yet well-muscled frame.

I watch, mesmerized by this woman performing the most erotic of acts on Demetri. He is pushing her head down, urging her to take all of him, she eagerly complies. Demetri is moaning as he erupts in her mouth, I gasp and instantly feel moistness between my legs as I watch her swallow all he gave her. But she isn't finished yet, looking up she catches my eye at the doorway.

She smiles and winks at me and then straddles Demetri, facing away from him while looking directly at me.

Lowering herself slowly onto Demetri's hard cock, she starts grinding her hips; slowly at first, then faster. She is playing with her fantastic nipples. Pulling and twisting the charms as she takes her pleasure, my own hand moves to my moistness and I began to rub it slowly as I take in the sight before me.

It isn't long before I can see she is about to climax. She is moaning and panting as she picks up her pace and starts slamming harder into Demetri, she is taking what she wants; she is in charge. There is no love here; this is pure animal lust and I begin to understand the difference between making love and fucking. This was the latter, and I enjoyed watching it.

I realize she was talking to him, but also performing for me. It was shocking to hear the things that came out of her mouth; but arousing as well.

"Do you like it? Do you like my tight pussy on your big cock? Mmmmmm, it's so big. Fuck me, fuck your little whore …" She is enjoying my presence as much as I am transfixed with the show she is putting on for me.

"Bella! What are you doing?" I hear Alice whisper from down the hallway. I snatch my hand away from between my legs and turn to see her standing there. Dammit, how long has she been there?

"Nothing, just exploring." I hear the muffled cry of Demetri as he has another orgasm. I suspect he is pumping her full of his seed, and I'm disappointed to have missed the big finish.

"Don't go down there, Demetri is probably fucking Shenani, those two are always going at it." Alice walks away and I breathe a sigh of relief.

I hear the door open behind me and freeze. I hear the familiar jingle of the charms and come face to face with the woman whose privacy I had just invaded.

"Ummm, hi," I say awkwardly.

"Hi yourself." She is still naked and I can see large globs of semen on her breasts and stomach. I can't help but stare. "I know right?" She laughs as she sees me staring. "He loves to cum on my tits, I suppose it's the least I can do for access to that fat cock." Her hazel eyes twinkle. "Did you enjoy the show?"

"Um, sure. That is, I was just …" I trail off when she laughs.

"You must be Bella. Don't worry sweetie, I like to be watched." She extends her hand. "I'm Shenani Whatagans."

I shake her hand, what a fantastic name, it suits her perfectly. "Nice to meet you." I'm not sure how else to respond.

"Well I'm headed to the shower, care to join me?" She isn't teasing I can tell.

"Thanks, but I think Alice is looking for me." I retreat down the hallway.

"Okay, some other time then." I hear her musical voice carry down the hall.

That evening I meet with my father. We play our customary game of chess which ends in a stalemate. I am disappointed that there is not a winner, I don't mind losing to a superior opponent but a tie feels like a waste of time.

"So Garrett told me you wanted to talk to me?" My father is still not happy with last night's escapades, but he hasn't mentioned it and I wasn't about to bring it up.

"Yes, I don't know how much he told you but Mom left a safety deposit box behind when she died, it had some very interesting documents inside." I don't think Garrett had told him anything but, just looking at him I can't be sure.

"I know Bella, it was actually my box. I gave her the key for safekeeping and instructions in case something happened to me. It was supposed to be an insurance policy of sorts." He was edgy, like this is a taboo subject. "How much did Garrett tell you?"

"Why don't you just tell me? What happened?" I am learning to not volunteer information and my father smiles his approval at my response.

"It's not so much a secret as it is a subject no one really talks about. A man named James Witherdale, who was head of the Blue collars back when this happened; decided he wanted to become the head of the Board. He had support, but not among the higher-ups, and made a power grab. Unfortunately, Emily Young's son Seth got caught up in it and regrettably left Garrett no choice when it came to dealing with him." My father has the same sad look that Garrett did when he had told me the same thing. "It was a bad time for all of us."

"And James Witherdale?" I knew the answer but I wanted to hear the whole story.

"A Red Collar trainee, who was in a relationship with him at the time, betrayed and murdered him soon after as he slept. For performing this service, all of her crimes against the organization were forgiven, and she was allowed to retain her membership within The Gentlemen. You have met her I believe, Rosalie Hale?" My father studied my face as I reddened a little at the mention of Rose's name.

"Rose, yes I know her," I reply.

"Rose? She has a much different nickname among the Board members." My father sounds bitter.

"Oh? What would that be?"

"Šárka. According to Czech legend, Šárka was a maiden who joined other women in declaring war upon men. She tricked the men by having herself tied to a tree, and, after they came to her rescue, she would service them and offer them mead laced with a sleeping potion. After the men fell asleep the other women would slay them." My father leans back in his chair. "We accept her presence, but no one who was here during those times trusts her. That's why it bothers us that Esme has placed her so high among the Reds, be careful of her Bella." My father stands up. "I hope I have helped you understand somewhat; now if you'll excuse me, I have a flight to catch." He kisses my forehead and leaves the room, leaving me to consider his words.

No wonder Rose had befriended me; no one else would give her the time of day. I feel bad for her and strangely want to see her and let her know she had at least one friend. On the other hand, I have the nagging feeling that there is also the possibility that she is exploiting the fact that I am new and not tainted with the knowledge of the past. I want to believe what we shared was real but I can't get rid of the doubt I now feel. I sigh.

Nothing is ever easy anymore.


Fic Recommendations - Please check out Salacious and Because of a Boy by Cutestkidsmom (my darling wife) and Love Through Another's Eyes by EternallyEdwardsGirl (My beta). Also check out this weeks FOTW winners on TLS!