Chapter 17

CarlislePOV

I was going to talk to Chief Swan today. I hated to see my Angel so upset about losing her father and with the limited time she had left to see him before she turned into a vampire, I made up my mind to do anything to convince him to speak to Bella again.

As soon as the sun was hidden, I jumped in my Mercedes and drove straight to the station. I could hear the whispers about Isabella and myself as soon as I got out of the car and one young woman had the audacity to come up to me and accused me of 'robbing the cradle' and that I should be ashamed of myself for 'taking advantage of Chief Swan's innocent daughter'.

I ignored them all and went up to the front desk to see the receptionist looking at me with scorn. I sighed under my breath. It was such a shame that a small town can go from respecting somebody to hating at the flick of a switch just because of a few rumors. "Could you please inform Chief Swan that Doctor Cullen would like to see him?"

She rang through and I could hear the anger and frustration in Charlie's voice when he informed her to let me through. She relayed the message and I walked towards the office at the end of the corridor. I knocked and waited for the invite in.

I heard the Chief call out gruffly, and I hesitantly walked into the office, realizing that I should probably have thought about what to say before coming here. I sat down across from him but before I could start, Charlie interrupted me.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't shoot you in the head right now." He glared at me.

"Apart from making a mess in your office, it would break Bella's heart if you killed me." I said softly, despite knowing that if he did shoot me I would just get a small crack on my head. He was silent for a moment, just looking at me, before nodding at me to continue.

"Chief Swan, I love your daughter with all my heart. Over the past couple of months she has become my whole world. I never meant to fall in love with Bella. After my divorce with Esme, I believed that I would never be graced enough to find someone amazing to love again. I certainly didn't expect to love Bella in that way. I must admit, when Edward first introduced her to us, I felt a connection with her. I ignored it and became a friend and confident to her. And try as I might, I just could not see her as a daughter as the rest of my family was expecting. When I returned, I immediately felt that connection with Bella again, and slowly, over the weeks, our friendship became something more." I took a deep breath before continuing. "I want to tell you that while I am sure you would love to order me to stay away from Bella, the only person that can do that is her. All she ever wanted is your approval Chief."

I waited a moment to see if he would say anything. When he stayed silent, I got up to leave. I had reached the door when he cleared his throat.

"Cullen. Before you go. All those sleepovers with Alice...?" He trailed off awkwardly and I smiled slightly, immediately understanding what he was asking, before fixing my face so he didn't see it.

"Just sleepovers with Alice, I assure you. I would never disrespect you or Isabella like that." He nodded, with a hesitant look in eye and I left.

I received a text message from Alice when I got to my car.

~Good jobCarlisle. He and Bella will be reunited by Graduation at the latest. Quite possibly sooner but I can't tell exactly when.~

I smiled a little before frowning. Graduation? That was months away! I hoped that Alice was right in her guess that it would be sooner. Bella needed as much time as possible with her father before she was changed after college.

I decided to text Bella but just as I started to, she text me.

'HeyCarlisle. The rumors have been spread all over already and everybody seems to be talking about it. I wish they would just leave us alone.'

'I know Angel. I have been in town and I too have been asked the same things about us. It is rather invasive of our privacy.'

'I miss youCarlisle.'

'I miss you too,miaBella. I should be able to meet you at school once you finish if you wish?'

'I would love that but isn't it too sunny for you to come out?'

'Not anymore. The sun went in about half an hour ago. It should be fine.'

'In that case I would definitely love that. The bell is about to ring for class so I will see you later. I love you.'

'I shall see you later and I love you to Angel.'

I wasn't too happy about people questioning Bella about our relationship as I knew that teenagers in particular can be quite mean and vicious. We both knew that it was going to happen but that didn't make it any easier. Especially as she did not have Alice with her at school today to help her out. I checked the time, and seeing that I had a couple of hours before Bella finished school, I decided to go to the hospital to get some paperwork done.

The hours flew by quickly and before I knew it, it was time to pick up Bella. I pulled up to the school not long before the final bell rang and leaned against my Mercedes, scanning the crowds for my Angel. I spotted her, looking for me eagerly. As soon as she spotted me she bit her lip and blushed. I felt my heart swell with love for this young woman. How could I not have noticed her like this before? It seemed impossible to me now.

She walked over to me, far too slowly may I add, and I swept her up into my arms eagerly, planting a firm kiss on her delicious lips.

"Are you trying to make the entire female population of Forks spontaneously combust?" She asked me dryly, and I assumed that she was talking about the leather jacket that I was wearing, the same one that I knew she loved from our date. "You do know that everyone is looking at us and is bound to be talking about us, right?"

I grinned mischievously and bent down to whisper in her ear, "Well then, why don't we give them something to talk about then Miss Swan?" With that I spun her around and pressed her back to the car and kissed him passionately. I pulled away smiling happily at her flushed face.

Bella grabbed at my hair and tried to pull me back to kiss her again but I just kissed my nose sweetly and helped her into the car. "Later," I whispered to her before I shut the door.

I saw her glance over at me as I got in the car, not noticing that I was smiling happily. "Somebody is in an awfully good mood today." She commented when I pulled out of the car park.

I grinned triumphantly at her and shocked her with the next words I said. "I spoke to Charlie today."

I glanced over at Bella's hopeful expression as I drove us home. "What did you say? What did he say? What happened?" She got out in one breath.

"I assured him that my intentions towards you were pure and that I never set out to fall in love with you or to make you fall in love with me. I also had to convince him that every time you had a sleepover at my place with Alice, that they actually were just sleepovers." My lips twitched a little at that. True, Bella did sleep in our bed, and I did stay with her all night, but nothing untoward happened. So I did technically tell him the truth.

"And?" Bella asked impatiently.

"Alice said that you should both be on good terms again within the next couple of months. By graduation at the latest." She closed her eyes and smiled in relief.

I pulled up to the house ten minutes later and was immediately on alert. I quickly got out of the car and flashed to Bella's side. I helped her out of the car and placed myself in a defensive position just in front of her. "Bella whatever you do, stay close to me or one of the others."

"Why Carlisle? What's going on?" She started to panic.

"We have another guest." I replied shortly.

I walked in the house hesitantly, Bella following closely behind. Part of my mind noticed that the scent was familiar, but I was primarily focused on keeping my mate safe. The entire family was in the sitting room, including Peter and Matvei. The former was standing at the unused fireplace, his arms wrapped around a petite blond woman. They all looked up when we walked in.

"Carlisle, I'm sure you remember my mate Charlotte." Peter said.

I relaxed immediately. "Ah yes, of course. How are you Charlotte? I'm sorry for being so tense. With Bella still being human and there being so many threats to her safety I am sure you understand." I moved forward to shake her hand.

"Of course Carlisle, I understand completely. The rest of your lovely family, have just finished filling me in on what has been going on. I am must congratulate you on finally finding your true mate, and in such a beautiful young woman too." She said in her soft southern twang.

"That she is!" I said proudly, and pulled Bella round to stand next to me instead of behind me.

BellaPOV

I was still blushing from Charlotte's compliment when Carlisle pulled me in front of him.

"It's nice to meet you Charlotte." I said, holding my hand out, but she swept me into a hug.

"Call me Char, hun. Everyone does." She drawled.

"Char, then." I stuttered awkwardly.

Char walked back over to Peter before facing us again. "As I'm sure you know, over the past few weeks I have been getting back in touch with my contacts in Texas. I figured out that Maria has been sending newborns to Victoria instead of destroying them."

Jasper cursed under his breath and started pacing the room. "Why?"

"From what I figured out, about three months ago, Victoria was travelling through Texas when she met Maria. She was sprouting off her tale to everybody she met. About how the Cullens had destroyed her mate, unprovoked. Maria recognized the name and knew that Jasper was living with you. She would like to have him back in her Army but not so much to stage an attack on you herself. She figured that she would give the newborns that she had no use for anymore to Victoria, hope that she would have weakened your Coven enough to get Jasper back or perhaps even kill Alice in the hope that Jasper would go back to her willingly." She sighed. "Either way she doesn't car who of you lives or dies or whether she gets Jasper back or not to be honest."

"So basically Maria is not a threat?" Carlisle reiterated.

"That is right. She isn't even sending anymore newborns to Victoria, apparently she has sent over a hundred to her but they just keep on killing each other." Charlotte smiled.

Carlisle turned to face Emmett next. "Em, how many did you and Rose count out in Seattle?"

"She had nineteen newborns newborns a week ago but she could have got a few more since then from Maria." He looked over to Carlisle eagerly. "Does this mean we get to kick some ass soon?"

"Yes Emmett." Carlisle smiled wryly. "I think the sooner the better in the case."

I tuned out a bit while everyone started making plans for going to Seattle. I started to worry, not just about Carlisle, but about all of my family. Newborns were supposed to be really strong weren't they? At least that was what everybody had been telling me. Jasper, Peter and Charlotte were the only ones with actual hands on experience with newborns. What if somebody got hurt? What if somebody got killed?! Oh God! What if Carlisle was killed?

Suddenly, somebody was gripping my shoulders and shaking me slightly. "Bella! Bella, breath with me. Slowly. In and out, in and out." It was Carlisle. I hadn't even realized that I had started to hyperventilate. I started to match my breathing to his. "There we go. Are you alright? What was all that about?" He asked in concern.

"You'll be careful won't you? You'll come back to me and won't get hurt?" I looked around the room frantically. "All of you will be careful right? I couldn't cope if anything happened to any of you because of me."

"Oh Angel." Carlisle sighed. He sat on the settee next to me and pulled me onto his lap. "Look at me." I did. "We will all be fine. Jasper and Peter have been training us for this. Emmett and Matvei are strong enough to protect us and we have Jacobs pack. We will be fine."

I tried to relax, knowing that I was just being irrational. "I know, I guess I'm just worried about you all. It's stupid I know but..."

Carlisle interrupted me. "No, it's not stupid. You are a caring and loving person and the people you care about will be in danger so no, you are not being stupid." I turned around to apologize to everybody only to find that the room was empty. "They left a little while ago to hunt. It was decided before you had your panic attack that we will go to Seattle tomorrow. Esme, Charlotte and Seth are going to stay here to protect you. Alice won't be able to see you so we need a wolf here for the constant communication in case anything happens." I nodded distractedly. "I promise you. Even without the wolves we would have had a good chance at winning. With them and our training, we are almost guaranteed to win."

I bit my lip nervously. I wanted to be with Carlisle, I wanted that reassurance that he would come back to me. I never wanted to lose him and he was going to be in danger tomorrow because of me. I pressed my lips to his and tried to deepen the kiss. He acquiesced for a moment before pulling away gently and resting his forehead against mine. "What was that for Angel?"

"It's later now." I mumbled against his lips, kissing him again. He looked slightly confused for a moment before remembering our short conversation from earlier.

"Oh" He chuckled and kissed me again. I wrapped my arms around his neck and laced my fingers into his soft hair, something that I loved doing and did every chance I got. He had one hand on the back of my neck and one on my waist. I was eager for him to move it, either up or down, I wasn't really bothered, so I shifted a bit but his hands stayed still. I remembered from the weekend, the girls had told me that he would never make the first move; he was too much of a gentleman. While I usually loved that about him, it really irritated me now. I decided that if I wanted this to go anywhere I would have to make the first move, so I brought my hands from the back of his head, down to the bottom of his shirt.

I tugged it out of his slacks and started to undo his buttons. He let me as I had done this plenty of times before. It was only when I started to reach for my own top that he stopped kissing me and held my hands still.

"Angel, what are you doing?"

"I want you Carlisle; I want to be with you." I kissed him again.

"Bella, sweetheart. Listen to me. I want you too. Really bad." I grinned because I knew that and wiggled about on his lap for a minute before he stopped me. "Like I was saying, I want you too and you doing that is making it really hard for me to stay a gentleman." He grinned at me and kissed me on my nose. "But I want our first time together to be special, not just because you're scared of losing me tomorrow. I don't want the threat of Victoria hanging over our heads. You understand don't you?" He asked me.

"Yeah I do. I know you are right too." I thought for a moment. "If everything goes alright tomorrow, can we go away this weekend? Just you and me?"

"Of course. Now if we want to that you should probably get your school work done so that you are free for the weekend. I have just the place to go and I'm sure that you don't want to be stuck inside doing assignments all weekend." Carlisle suggested as we stood up and he fixed his shirt.

"Sure, I guess." We walked up the stairs to our room where I preferred to do my school work. It was calming in there and it helped me to focus. "But the other won't be back for a few hours..." I trailed off and he grinned at me.

"My little temptress. Whatever shall we do?"

I grinned back at him. "I'm sure we'll think of something!"


(A/N) Meh! And there we go1 New chapter up much sooner than I had thought! In case anybody gets confused by the last couple of lines... NO! They are not going to go there; they will just be kissing and stuff... For now... Please please please review!