Disclaimer: The original characters and plot of the Twilight Saga are the property of Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. The storyline of A Family like Ours is mine.





A/n: Hi everyone – I just need to clarify something with regards to this story – THERE WILL NOT BE ANY CHILD ABUSE OR SEXUAL ABUSE OF ANY KIND! This is not that kind of story, kink yes, abuse, absolutely not! Also many of you asked where Larry was in the last story – short answer – he wasn't! Larry Calvino AKA DR EPHRAIM BLACK – is the whack imposter doctor who treated Bella for her prenatal depression! Edward reported him after Bella had given birth to Max and she was getting more dependent on a cocktail of drugs that Larry/Dr Black was exposing her to – that is why he hates Edward and is fixated on Bella – he also spent some time on the Quileute reservation and that's where he got the insane idea that he was a REINCARNATION of Chief Ephraim Black – he also feels that Edward is responsible for the death of Jacob, even though it was Bella who delivered the fatal blow.

I hope that this clears the confusion up and to give you a deeper insight into Larry, the first part of this chapter is from him.

One last thing: I am ALWAYS about the HEA – no matter what happens - you can rest assured that this story will definitely end with an 'and they all lived happily ever after…'


Larry Calvino sat in the dingy motel room staring at the screen of his laptop. He glared at the slightly distorted pictures on his screen as his fury rose.

There in front of him was the evidence of his team's incompetence! The fools had fumbled at every single task that he had set them!

Larry could feel the 'red fury' as he liked to call it taking hold of his emotions. He wanted to hurt someone. He wanted to squeeze the life out of someone – watch the lifeblood drain from their eyes as his hands tightened around their throats…

Larry felt his limp dick harden slightly. It had been months, maybe years since he had engaged in success sexual relations with someone, but the thought of killing, hurting, maiming, gave him so much satisfaction…

His gaze hardened as he stared at the photographs that had been 'leaked' to the media – what a load of shit! There was the 'big' man himself and his depraved wife, smiling for the camera, smiling at their family, their friends and their children! Larry felt sick to his stomach to think that Edward-fucking-Cullen had once again landed on his feet while he had caused so much misery and pain to so many people around him! The worst was that he didn't even care! He didn't care that his actions had caused the demise of a brilliant career!

Larry didn't grasp that the 'brilliant career' was his own fraudulent career that should never have begun in the first place, and it was only by his own evil and delusional actions that the 'illustrious' career of 'Doctor Ephraim Black' had been created.

Larry Calvino was born as an only child into a normal working class family in the small town of Charity, South Dakota. His father was a local high school teacher and his mother worked in the local hospital as a nurse.

Larry was considered very bright for his age, but his teachers had noticed some disturbing character flaws in his personality from an early age. He was an anti-social little boy with little or no ability to distinguish right from wrong. He was spiteful and underhanded and when caught out he showed no remorse whatsoever. There were a few incidents involving other children but no one ever came forward to accuse him outright.

A classmate had 'fallen' down a flight of stairs in first grade; a neighbor's dog had gone missing and later was found mutilated; feces had been smeared on a neighbors wall and Larry's own mother was terrified of him. When she was questioned years later, the poor woman could not articulate why she was so afraid of her son, all that she would say was that 'his eyes looked dead'.

When Larry was given a full scholarship to a university, he had not been able to cope as well as he expected to but he found that drugs helped.

Everyone had plotted against him to make him fail and that was the reason that he had not become a psychiatrist, although he knew what made people tick. He understood why people did what they did and he found that he could influence the outcome of a situation if he wanted to, by making people do whatever he wanted.

Larry was expelled from college for cheating and endangering the life of a student when a fellow classmate had exposed Larry for cheating and Larry had responded by trying to run the student and his girlfriend over.

Larry had licked his wounds for a couple of days before he decided to change his name and location and start over.

A year later, after a long visit to one of his friends on a Native Indian Reservation in Washington State he had 'found' his true spiritual self, and Doctor Ephraim Black had been born. Larry had embraced all of the tribal stories, especially those of resurrection, reincarnation and the customs surrounding those beliefs. He had especially enjoyed the tales of one chief of the Quileute tribe, Ephraim Black.

Chief Ephraim Black was the greatest chief of this tribe that was rumored to have descended from wolves. Their only natural enemy was the Cold Ones.

When Larry had met Edward Cullen, he had known without a doubt that he was a Cold One.

Cold, unfeeling, and out to destroy the reincarnated form of Ephraim Black, who was Larry's true Alto Ego. Once he had welcomed the great spirit of Ephraim Black into his heart and soul, everything had fallen into place – everything made sense.

The Cullen's were only out for evil and they had to be stopped – at any cost.

Thankfully, the Great Sky Spirit was watching over him and he had come across the name of a young lady that whose parents had been brutally murdered by the Cullen's years before, along with the grandson of the great chief himself.

Larry had wasted no time in contacting the young and impressionable Nadia Donaldson, whose real name was Nadia Denali.

After a few years he had found two more disciples, Peter North, a wronged one time friend and one time partner of Cullen and a young misfit, named Daryl White who was just crying out for some guidance. Daryl had surprised Larry with his intellect and knowledge of all things to do with IT, computers and such, which baffled Larry's brain at the best of times, and he was only too happy to 'coach' the youngster on surveillance techniques and how to blend in with the crowd.

Peter had been instrumental in getting Daryl onto the Rocking Horse Ranch and the rest was relatively easy. Once Daryl had reported that the very pretty, but pathetic Missus Cullen was frequenting a 'kink' establishment, Daryl had been able to hack into their system and he was able to use the company's quest for privacy against 'poor little Bella Cullen'. He was sorry that he had to keep a low profile, but Bella and Edward Cullen knew him only too well.

Ha! The stupid bitch was beside herself when she had received the photographs of her husband and that singer and as for Edward, well Larry had been ecstatic at his response – until he realized that the two fools were clinging to each other instead of splitting apart.

Larry had only ever wanted to help Bella Cullen – from the very first moment that he had seen her, he had been enchanted with her, captivated by her beauty and fragility, he had wanted to help her to escape from the clutches of the Cullen's.

Everything about her was breathtakingly beautiful. And she was so tiny and vulnerable and that brute of a husband and her oaf of a father had been 'manhandling' her and almost forcing her into seeing him – not that he complained, but as the months went by and he had watched as yet another evil spawn grew in the woman's belly, Larry had grown to despise Edward Cullen and all that he stood for.

Money, wealth, power, good looks, and charm – the man seemed to have it all and Larry had never hated anyone more.

After the brat was born, the trouble started. Edward began to make a noise about the amount of drugs that Bella was on, while Bella herself began to rebel against his methods of 'healing'.

Soon the gig was up and he was in prison, and for the eighteen months, that he had been in there, he stewed in his hatred.

After a time, he had come to realize that the prison warden was trying to poison him and so he had begun to experiment with a cocktail of drugs that he thought helped to clear his mind and make his purpose clear: The Cullen's were evil incarnate and had to be destroyed at any cost.

It wasn't long after his release that he had 'found' his disciples.

Why was he always surrounded by incompetent fools? Why was everyone against him? Didn't they know who he was?

'Chief Black' took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down before 'The fury' took over. He was going to have to fix this mess that his disciples had created.

Bella and Edward Cullen would regret the day that they had ever done him wrong, he smiled as he thought about the upcoming plans, yes, all of the Cullen's would be wearing this year's latest fashion color – black, black was always good for a funeral…

Larry threw back his head as peals of laughter erupted from him. He couldn't wait – perhaps he would attend the funeral and pay his respects…

"Hmmm, what if there is a double or even a triple funeral, oooh that will be suuuuuch fun!"

The Chief rubbed his hands together as he picked up his phone.


Three days later and the Cullen's were gearing up for the birthday party for Alexis and Jackson.

Originally the party was going to be held on one of the public beaches, but with the threat to security, the venue had been moved to their own private beach and front shore.

Both Alexis and Jackson didn't want much of a fuss as they preferred to keep things casual, with friends that they had made in Lake Tahoe, a few friends from back home and a couple of their college friends that received an invitation. Besides them, the rest of the sixty people invited were made up by their family and extended family.

The only stipulation that the twins had was that no one under the age of twelve or over the age of thirty-five was allowed to attend. This conveniently excluded all of the 'older' generation as well as the minis.

The security team would be out in full force, with facial recognition scans at the gates as well as at the entrance to the beach party itself.

A large lunch was planned for the day of their birthday and then it had been agreed, reluctantly by the adults, that all the 'uninvited guests' would vacate the main house for the night.

Edward and Bella had called a meeting and everyone was gathered in the rec room in the basement.

Edward had asked Emmett, Marcus, Anderson and Brian to attend the meeting to go over the arrangements for the following evening. Edward clapped his hands and let out a loud whistle to get everyone's attention.

"Hey! Guys, settle down! We don't want to spend all day here, I'm sure you have all got far more interesting things to do…"

A few catcalls and sniggers accompanied this comment and Emmett turned to glare at his two oldest sons.

"Okay! Now, you guys already know the rules – but let me state the obvious: There will be no underage drinking, we don't care who your father is, or how much money you have…"

There was more laughter and Carlisle and Charlie stood up to stand on either side of Edward. After a moment, Jasper and Emmett joined them.

After a few seconds, the only sound was a couple of low grumbles and then an uncomfortable silence.

Edward nodded, "That's better. Everyone entering this party will be searched and checked for narcotics and that includes all of you."

Jackson jumped up angrily, "What? Oh come one Dad! This isn't a police state! What is the point of having a party if your spies are going to be sniffing around?"

Carlisle put a hand on Edward's shoulder as his face grew redder by the second.

"Let me answer that, Son." He said quietly before he turned to look at his grandchildren and their friends.

"First of all, this is still Cullen property and until such time as the deed is passed onto the next generation, Esme and I are still ultimately responsible for what happens here and let me make this clear to all of you, there will be no recreational drugs on this property – ever! You are all here by invitation, even my grandchildren, so please do not abuse the trust that Nana and I and Grumpy and Granny Sue have put in all of you. The security team will be on hand for the full duration of this shindig. They will have full access to every area of the grounds and the main house – unlike the rest of your guests."

Carlisle's blue eyes lightened to hard steel as he looked from one to the other, "There will be no open access to any bedrooms, unless it is your own. If your guests take advantage of that and they are caught, they will be asked to leave immediately, no exceptions!" Carlisle smirked as he glanced around the room, "Jack, Lexi, I hope that you will thoughtfully supply condoms for your guests, we don't want any unexpected 'surprises' landing on our doorstep."

The girls in the group blushed profusely and tittered nervously, while the guys guffawed and made a few 'blush-worthy' comments. It was the adults that responded with shock and horror.



Carlisle looked at his children and shook his head, "We may be old, but we aren't stupid, right?"

He ignored their disapproving glares as he looked back at the young people who all looked eager to get on with the exciting task of setting up for the party. The guys were going to be setting up a 'chill' area made up of extra large cushions, a couple of outdoor rugs and a pile of throw blankets in case the wind picked up, a few sofas all situated around a fire pit. In addition to that, the dance floor and stage that had been used for Edward and Bella's celebration had been moved to the grass area in front of the beach.

The girls were going to be busy with the enormous amount of snack platters that had been made. A barbeque would be catered later in the evening, but the adults knew only too well how much food teenagers could pack away in one sitting.

"Well, I think that we can leave you kids to it, so from Nana and I – have a wonderful birthday, Alexis and Jackson!"

Everyone let out a cheer and there was a lot of shuffling around as the youngsters quickly cleared the area.

Edward saw a movement out of the corner of his eye and he swung around to glare at Rio who was chatting quietly with Alexis.


Lex looked at her father, and she wasn't really surprised to see that he looked pissed as he looked at how close she and Rio were standing.

"Yes Daddy?" she asked in a soft tone as she looked at her father from under her lashes.

Beside her Rio shifted uncomfortably as he tried to hide his snort at her 'little girl' tone. She was a sneaky one, and he was going to have to watch her antics, he thought to himself.

Edward rolled his eyes at her, "Okay, okay, I get it! You aren't a teenager any longer and this" he waved his hand at her and Rio, "this is between you two, but I hope you heard what Papa C said. I don't want you wandering off tonight, okay?"

Alexis blushed as she glanced around at her uncles and Mario's bosses and she glared at her father and took a deep breath.

Alexis shook her head at Edward as she stared at him, "Daddy, that was uncalled for and you know it! And as you know, Mario is working tonight and keeping us safe is his first priority! I hope that you are going to give the same lecture to your sons and nephews in front of their friends!" She spat out before turned around and walked out of the room.

Anderson, Brian and Marcus were uncomfortable in the thick silence that followed and it was Emmett that spoke up, "Santorini, can you see if the latest electronic sweep was clean?"

Mario nodded and he didn't bother to look at Edward as he left quickly. He was so furious at the way that Edward had spoken in such a manner to his daughter in front of everyone. He didn't care about himself, he had dealt with tougher characters than Edward Cullen and he was not intimidated by him or the rest of the family or the size of their bank accounts, but he had seen how embarrassed Lexi was by the comment and he wanted nothing more than to punch the older man in the face! Smarmy bastard!

Anderson turned around and looked at Edward, "Jeez Edward, what the fuck is wrong with you? Santorini has never been inappropriate while he was on duty; in fact he has an impeccable service record both in the forces and on our staff! Now, I'm sorry if you don't like the fact that an older man is dating your daughter, but you don't have the right to embarrass them or us like that!"

Edward glanced sideways to see that Jasper, Carlisle and Emmett were all looking at him with disappointment and he shifted uncomfortably as he rubbed the back of his neck.

"Fuck! Okay! I get it! And I'm sorry but when I see them together, I just want to…Aaagh!"

Edward gripped his hair in frustration and failed to see his wife almost fly down the stairs until her voice sounded like a ricocheting bullet.

"Edward Cullen! You ass!"

Edward spun around and stared at Bella guiltily, "Baby…"

Bella held up her hand, "Don't 'Baby' me, you asshole, just stop being such a baby about this, Edward! Now this is her birthday and you will not ruin it for her, so go and apologize and you had better pray that she forgives you or else you are going to have a very lonely month sleeping on the sofa!"

The men watched Bella walk upstairs and Emmett turned to Edward with a smirk, "Shit, Bro, I think that she just took your balls and put them in her pocket."

It would have been funny if everyone wasn't thinking the same thing, including Edward, so he ignored them as he followed behind his wife slowly.

It took a while but Edward finally tracked Alexis down at the beach where she was helping to string tons of LED fairy lights across bamboo poles that had been set into the sand.

Alexis flicked her long hair over her shoulder as she pointedly ignored her father as he stood at the base of the ladder that she was standing on and it would have been effective too, had she not overstretched and slipped.

Luckily Edward reached up and caught her in his arms.

"Oomph! Damn Pumpkin, you need to be careful! I don't want to have to drive you to the emergency room on your birthday!" Edward exclaimed as he held her securely against his chest.

He heard her friends giggling at his actions but Alexis glared up at him, unimpressed, "Let me go, Daddy!"

Edward pulled her closer as he shook his head, "No, not until you listen to me apologize for being an idiot and upsetting my sweet girl on her special day."

His smile faded as he stared down at the young woman who looked so much like Bella and who had captured such a large part of his heart.

"Please Lexi." Alexis wanted to slap him, but those damn green eyes got her every time!

Alexis bit her lip as she gave him a short nod. Instead of putting her onto her feet, Edward turned and smiled at her friends, "Excuse us girls; we need a father, daughter moment."

As they walked away Alexis heard her friend from university giggle and say quietly, "I'd love to give you a moment, Mister Cullen!"

Alexis snorted as she glanced over Edward's shoulder before she looked up at him and linked her hands around his neck, "I am so telling Mom!" she teased.

Edward laughed, "Believe me Honey, right now, Mom couldn't give a damn."

Alexis frowned, "Is that why you came after me?"

Edward stopped walking and he slowly lowered Alexis to her feet.

"No Honey, I knew that I was being a colossal ass as soon as I said what I did, and I was going to find you, but Mom was like a wild lioness and she almost took my head off!"

Alexis laughed softly at the mental image of her mother ripping her father's head off, but then she looked up and she could see how upset Edward was.

"Oh Daddy, please don't be so blustery and puffed up! You need to chill out and just let Rio and I find our way. You can't go around attacking his character or his work ethic just because you don't like the fact that we are seeing each other." Alexis chided gently as she gently tugged on his arms that were crossed over his chest defensively.

Edward pouted, "When did you get so smart, Kiddo?"

Lexi grinned, "I take after my dad."

Edward shook his head wistfully, "You take after your mother. You are just as beautiful, compassionate, intelligent, loving and kind as she is." Edward tucked a strand of her long hair behind her ear, "I am trying to get used to this um, relationship, and I promise that I will try harder."

Alexis nodded, "Are you going to apologize to Rio?"

Edward's temper flared slightly but he pushed it down – now was not the time to blow up, so he swallowed and nodded, "I will. I'm really sorry Alexis."

Alexis reached up and kissed his cheek, "I know that it's difficult for you to accept that I'm a grown woman, Daddy, and we are trying not to parade around in front of you and in any case, Uncle Andy and Uncle Brian keep him so busy that we only have a little time here and there to even see each other."

Edward nodded, "Yeah well, once the party is over, I think that we should have Mario over for dinner," at her look of horror at the prospect of her boyfriend meeting her six siblings, Edward quickly amended his offer, "or we can go out to dinner, just the four of us before we introduce him to the 'circus'."

Alexis smiled broadly and nodded, "That sounds much better, thank you Dad. Well I'd better get back there. Who knows what Tiffany, Maggie and the twins have done."

Edward grimaced and they walked back to the beach where he left her with her friends and he made his way back to the main house slowly.

Andrea and Elizabeth were spending the night with their 'BFF's', Rebecca and Kirsty, Kate and Garrett's daughter and they were all having a sleepover at Kate and Garrett's cottage, while Max, Isabelle and Casey were spending the night at Seth and Jesse. Even though there was three years between Casey and Max, the two boys got along like a house on fire and neither of them minded playing with little Isabelle.

As Edward walked around the side of the house, he saw one of his employees from the ranch on a cell phone. From the distance he was, Edward couldn't hear exactly what he was saying but it was obvious from his hunched shoulders and stiff frame that he was upset.

For some reason, Edward slowed down and moved into the shadows of the tree lined circular driveway.

"… I know that, Pete, but I'm telling you, he is not just talking about some prank here! He is getting worse…"

Edward felt a feeling of looming doom settle in the pit of his stomach.

Pete… could it be…no! Surely not, there was no reason that Darryl White would or should know Peter North, but it was just odd that he had been thinking of his old friend just earlier in the day.

Edward shook his head, no, he was being ridiculous, he told himself and he was just about to make his presence known when Darryl White said something that stopped Edward in his tracks.

Darryl had been pacing more and more frantically until he stopped suddenly quite close to where Edward stood in the deep shadows.

"…WHAT? Peter, you are joking, right? That is crazy! No, I don't think that it's a good idea and just remember something…" the look on Darryl's face made Edward's heart beat faster because what Darryl was trying to hide beneath his false bravado was fear.

Pure and simple fear was almost seeping out of him even as his voice became low and threatening. Edward had won enough awards for acting to know acting when he saw it and Darryl White was trying to act away the fact that he was terrified either of the other person on the phone or of what that person was saying to him.

"Listen to me, you stupid, fucking asshole, if anything and I mean anything happens to any of these kids… Yeah? Well, I'm telling you, if anything happens to any one of them, this entire fucking house of cards is going to come down around your heads – you, that fucking nut job, the 'chief' and that crazy fucking Denali girl… No! I don't give a flying fuck about myself, the Cullen's have never treated me with anything but decency, when no one else gave a shit about me!... I only scared him to keep him quiet and it's worked! You don't have to do anything to him – the kid hasn't said a word to anyone!" White gave a hard bark of laughter, "I know that because if he had – you, the chief, the crazy chick and I would either be dead or rotting in jail! ...Yeah, right! You only offered to keep me happy and doped up so that I could do your dirty work for you and he…" he turned away from Edward slightly, "well, when you get here, just steer clear of me – just act as if you don't know me!"

With that Daryl snapped his phone shut and let out a growl of anger and frustration. Peter had phoned him with more half assed and wild plans and something inside Darryl had just snapped.

He had watched the Cullen's closely over the past few weeks and he had not seen anything like the evil that Peter and Larry said that they were capable of. Edward and Bella Cullen had even personally invited him and the rest of the staff to help themselves to food and refreshments in the main house and on the night of their vow renewal, everyone on the compound had been invited to enjoy the buffet that had been set up for the staff in the main staff quarters. Darryl tapped his phone against his thigh.

"They are decent people… nothing like they said… I can't do this, but what the fuck am I going to do?" he stared down at gravel as he scuffed his work boot.

After a moment his walkie-talkie crackled to life and with a sigh Darryl turned and strode away, talking into the mobile unit.

Edward stood in the tree line for a few minutes. His stomach was churning and his heart was beating like crazy and he knew that he needed to calm down.

What the fuck had he just overheard? What was going on? It was obvious that whoever Darryl had been talking to had some sort of hold over him and was trying to coerce him to do something to someone, one of the members of his family!

Edward moved into the forest and sat down heavily on a fallen tree.

What was he going to do? If he confronted Darryl, who knew whether he would talk and Edward knew that it was vital that they knew who else was involved in whatever scheme they were planning.

Obviously he should tell someone but what was he going to say? Nothing was definite, nothing was clear – he just needed to try and figure out who he could trust and what to do.


Edward thought over what he had heard as he tried to puzzle things out. He didn't know how long he sat there for, but his phone rang in his pocket and he saw that it was Bella.

"Hey baby,"

"Edward, where have you been? You've been gone for almost two hours, honey! The others are going to be here soon to pick us up." Bella said impatiently.

Two hours? How had he zoned out for that long?

Edward shook his head, "Sorry B, I'm coming up the drive now."

"Okay, but hurry."

Edward hurried onto the gravel path and took the front steps three at a time.

Bella was standing in the foyer when he walked in and her keen gaze quickly looked over him.

Usually Edward loved how she would check that he was okay, but now he wanted to hide the truth from her – he was far from okay, so he ducked his head as he rushed by her, "Just give me ten minutes to shower!" he called over his shoulder as he raced up the stairs.

Bella stood staring after his disappearing form – what the fuck was that about? She wondered.

When Bella had spoken to Alexis earlier, she had assured Bella that the talk with her father had gone well, but perhaps it hadn't gone as well as she thought – clearly he was upset.

Bella wanted to go after him, but she pushed the impulse down and decided to let him sort his emotions out on his own. She walked upstairs slower to get ready for the evening ahead which should be a lot of fun because they had reservations at a new five star restaurants and club and they were all looking forward to blowing off some steam.

Carlisle, Esme, Charlie and Sue would be babysitting until the adults got home.

Bella heard the shower shut off just as she stepped into the master suite. She walked into the large walk in closet and slipped off her robe.

"Now that is a sight for sore eyes," Edward's voice rumbled behind her.

Bella felt a shiver of desire run down her spine at the sound of his voice.

She glanced over her shoulder as she reached for her new dress hanging on the rail.

"Hmm, you aren't so bad yourself, Mister Cullen." She was glad to see that Edward's earlier somber mood appeared to be a thing of the past.

Edward stood in the doorway lightly scratching his chest clothed only in a small towel that hugged his hips like a lover and hid nothing.

The atmosphere between them changed – thickened – became almost pregnant with lust as Edward's eyes darkened to black when he spotted the dress that Bella had slipped into.

"Is that..? Fuck Baby Girl, you can't expect me to keep my hands to myself tonight if you wear that!" he spat out.

Bella smirked as she looked at the dress in the mirror while she smoothed the material over her hips.

The dress itself with deceptively simple, a white strapless sheath that ended a couple of inches above her knees. But it was the black length of fabric that began as a single shoulder strap that wound diagonally across her chest and twisted over the should before the fabric wound around the dress – and her body – almost like rope that twisted around her body and ended with a twist at the bottom of the skirt.

Bella had fallen in love with it from the moment that she had seen it. It reminded her of the way that her master work Shibari ropes over her body and when Bella met Edward's pitch black eyes, she knew that he was thinking the same thing – imaging the same thing – her standing before him as he twisted and worked the silky black rope over and under her breasts… down her sternum, twisting here and there so that the knots were strategically place to torment her and bring her to a slow boil… until…

"Isabella!" Edward growled as his fingers tightened on her hips, pulling her back against the very prominent evidence of his arousal.

Her eyes flew up to meet his in the full length mirror. His nose traced the line between her bare shoulder, up her neck to the sweet spot behind her ear.

"Isabella" he growled again,

"Master" Bella felt her stomach tighten as she uttered the word.

Edward's hands tightened on her skin.

"Later?" he asked as he sucked the skin behind her ear.


Bella wasn't ashamed to beg.

When Edward looked at her in the mirror, Bella was shocked and thrilled to see that his eyes were black and stormy.

He took his time as he ran a finger down the curve of her neck and along her bare shoulder as his eyes smoldered into hers.

Bella's heart stuttered as she stared up at him with wide eyes.

"Later, Isabella."

Her breath caught in her throat and all she could do was nod blindly.

Edward smirked as he dropped a peck onto her shoulder before he turned away and dropped his towel. Edward knew that Bella was watching as he slowly scratched his chest. He half turned so that she could see how hard his dick was.

He hummed a tune as he brought one hand up and casually stroked the hard length as he looked at his trousers hanging in his closet.

"Baby? Is this thing casual enough for a pair of dark jeans or what?" he asked.

Behind him, Bella was unaware that she had stopped breathing as she watched him touch himself, but his voice brought her out of her lust induced haze and she gasped, coughing a little as she caught her breath.

"Wha – what?"

Edward schooled his face into a concerned mask, "Are you okay, Baby?"

Bella nodded before her eyes narrowed, "Why you little tease! You did that on purpose!"

Edward laughed, "Nothing little about me Darlin'!"

Bella rolled her eyes, "Whatever, 'Stripper-pole Sue', just get some pants on before your brother arrives, because you know that he will just barge in here!"

Edward laughed again as he quickly dressed in a pair of dark washed jeans, a black button down shirt and black boots.

Bella checked her make up in the mirror one last time just as someone banged on their door and the next minute it flew open.

"Cover up your nasty little bits bro, we're coming in, ready or not!" Emmett boomed as he strode into their bedroom with Jasper, Alice and Rosalie following closely behind him.

Emmett and Jasper looked a little disappointed when they spotted Bella and Edward in the middle of the room fully clothed.

Bella looked up at her husband and grinned, "I should have put money on that," she said as they chuckled.

"Money on what? Money on what? What are you talking about?" Emmett still hated being kept out of the loop.

Bella walked over to her brother in law and reached up to give him a noisy kiss on his cheek, "Nothing Em, now let's go! I am so ready for some adult company!"

Alice squealed as she snatched Bella from Emmett's side, "Mine!" she said as she threaded her arm through Bella's and Rosalie's and pulled them out the door, "Let's go girls!"

"Alice, you do know that we are not girls any longer right? We can't go around acting like teenagers." The men heard Bella say.

"Oh bullshit and dust, woman! Age is just a number, bitch, so speak for yourself!" Rose growled.

"Watch it, Rose! I almost tripped!"

"Like that's any different!"

They could hear the women bickering all the way down the stairs.

Emmett looked from Jasper to Edward with a grin, "They never change. Shall we?"

Edward smirked, "Damn straight!"

"Let's blow this pop stand!" Jasper retorted.

As Edward closed his bedroom door, he thought about what he had overheard that afternoon and he made a mental note to speak to Emmett the following day.


The birthday party was in full swing as Jackson, Jared, Joshua and Stephen stood around the wet bar talking.

"So, little Cuz, just a year away from being 'legal'! You angling to get some pussy tonight?" Jared asked with a laugh as he tapped his paper cup to Stephen's.

Joshua snorted as he finished the last of his beer and reached over to help himself to another. As he rolled back up he met Marcus' steady gaze. Joshua held his bottle up in mock salute and rolled his eyes as Marcus smirked and looked the other way.

"Good man," he commented as he passed a beer to Jackson.

Marcus had pulled the guys aside earlier and in spite of the instructions from Edward and Carlisle, Marcus had told them that his team was not there to enforce the 'no underage drinking law' that Edward and Carlisle had ordered, because he knew that it would be futile. He had stressed that the guys were to drink responsibly and that the security team wouldn't hesitate to intervene if things got out of hand.

Jackson looked around at their friends, drinking, dancing and having a great time and shrugged, "I'm not like you Jared; I don't dip my wick into any pot that presents itself to me. I've got a little class, you know!"

Stephen burst out laughing as Jared mock glared at his cousin, "Fuck you, asshole! I double bag my shit up! You are just way to picky, man! Look at all that pussy out there!"

He winked at a pretty blonde girl who was swiveling her hips like a professional pole dancer. The girl gave a little squeal of excitement and giggled with her friend.

Joshua rolled his eyes before he met Jackson's amused gaze, "Numb Nuts better double-bag that shit because if he comes home with a knocked up honey pot, Ma is going to go 'Kill Bill' on his ass!"

Jared straightened up and patted his wash board abs under his white wife beater.

"Whatever bitches, let Uncle Jared show you how it's done!" he said before he sauntered across the sand to where the blonde was now licking her lips in anticipation.

When Jared reached her, he began to move his hips as he snaked one leg between hers. The girl looked ready to pass out as Jared smiled and slipped an arm around her tiny waist.

Stephen shook his head, "He really has no scruples, does he?" he said with a mixture of reverence and horror.

Jackson put his beer down on the counter, "Thank God that he is going to become a lawyer, at the rate that he's going, he is going to need to be a fucking great one to dodge the paternity lawsuits that are going to be filed against him."

Jared laughed, "Stop worrying about him, Bro, go and have some fun – it's your party for fucksakes!"

Jackson smiled and he pushed himself forward to where a group of people had gathered around the fire pit.

He spotted his twin off to one side with Mario Santorini. Jackson thought back to the day before his parents vow renewal ceremony.

He had sensed that something was up with Alexis for a few days, but had not been able to spend any time with her until that morning.

They were packing up to return to the house when Alexis walked into the guy's tent. She looked relieved to find it empty, except for Jackson who was doing a last minute check that the guys had packed everything.

"Hi," Alexis said as she walked inside.

"Hey," Jackson smiled as he walked over to Sam's locker. He mumbled something as he pulled out a T-shirt.

Alexis checked under Max's bed and around it. She grinned as she picked up Leggo® blocks, a few small cars and an 'army' man.

Alexis sat on the side of the camping bed as Jackson packed the last few things into his bag.

When he was finished he looked up to see his sister staring at him as she nibbled her thumb nail, a sure sign of her nervousness. He was about to ask her what was wrong when she lifted her wide brown eyes to his.

Jack didn't say a word as he sat down opposite her and took her hand gently out of her mouth.

"What's the matter, Sissy?" he asked gently.

Alexis felt unexpected moisture gather in her eyes as she stared into her twin's eyes. They were so different and yet they were two halves of a whole. Ying and Yang, black and white. Opposites and yet the same. No one in the world knew her the way that Jack did. No one understood every nuance of every mood like her twin brother. There was no one that was more of a champion, more of a defender and a protector than he was for her.

And it was the same for Alexis. As siblings her parents had brought them up to be strong, independent individuals and they had never forced Alexis and Jackson or Elizabeth and Andrea to be 'twinny' or the same as each other. Bella, Edward and the rest of the family treated them as siblings but not as siblings that were joined at the hip. Although Alexis was two minutes younger than her brother, she was no less protective, supportive or adoring.

But now, Jackson sensed that his twin was vulnerable as he gently brushed his thumb over the slightly ragged edge of her thumb nail.

"What's going on?"

Alexis gave a small shrug, "I've um, I've met someone," she whispered.

For a moment Jackson felt a stab of jealousy. It was almost as if his heart knew that he was being replaced as the most important person in his sister's life and more importantly, her heart.

His brow crinkled, "What?"

Lexi licked her lips, "I've met someone." She said a little louder.

"Do I know him?"

"I'm not sure, you may have seen him around. It's um, it's, shit, why is this so hard?" Alexis shook her head in frustration before she took a deep breath and slowly let the air out, "It's one of the security team, Mario Santorini? Do you..." she began but Jackson cut her off.

"I know who Santorini is, and no disrespect to either of you, but what the fuck does he want with you, Alexis? He is what? Thirty-five… forty? Is that what you are into? You got some sort of 'daddy issues'?" His voice was harsh in the tent.

Alexis glared at her brother and jumped to her feet, "Stop it! Don't be an asshole, Jackson!"

Jackson rose slowly to his feet as they glared at each other.

"Alexis, what do you know about him?" he asked softly, as he tried a different tactic.

Alexis snorted, "What? Only you know your own mind and what you want? Only you are allowed to make decisions about your life and your future? Just because I wasn't looking or planning on falling in - falling for someone, it doesn't mean that I'm opposed to it."

Jackson hadn't missed the slip of Alexis tongue and he wanted to find Santorini and punch his pretty face! However when he looked up, he saw something in Alexis' eyes that made most of his righteous indignation fade away.

"Look, Jack, I'm not saying that this is it, but …" her large expressive eyes told him otherwise, "I really like him and he likes me. I just need you to support me. I know that this isn't a typical situation, but then again, who in our family is 'typical'?"

Jackson took a steadying breath and let it out slowly. She was right; he needed to support her. This wasn't about him liking or even approving of Mario. This was about him standing beside his sister and supporting her decision, no matter what. She had been there for him through all of his crap and now it was time to step up for her.

"You are right, Lex. I'm sorry for the knee jerk reaction there. You kind of sprang it on me, you know? Of course I'm on your side." Jackson ran his hand though his messy hair.

"Thanks, that's all I ask."

Jackson held his arms open, "Come here."

Alexis flew across the small space and she let out a sigh of relief as her brother's arms closed around her. Few people could make her feel as safe as she felt at that moment. Her father, Jackson and of course, Rio. The first time that he had hugged her, Alexis had been shocked at how 'at home' she had felt.

That was the first inkling that this man was different.

Jackson pressed his lips to the top of his sister's hair, "I love you Sissy."

Alexis' arms tightened around his trim waist, "No one will ever take your place, Jack, not ever."

They had savored the moment before the sounds of their family broke them apart.

Alexis had introduced Jackson to Mario when they had returned home and after spending a short while in the older man's company, it had become obvious to him just how infatuated they were with each other. That hadn't stopped Jack from seeking Mario out later that evening.

"Mario! Can I have a word with you?" Jackson had asked.

"Sure, what's on your mind?" Mario had guessed just what Alexis' twin wanted to say to him and he had even told her that he was expecting to be cornered by one or all of her siblings.

Jackson ran a hand through his unruly hair as he formulated his thoughts.

"Look, I can see that you are quite 'taken' by my sister, but you have to understand that this is really sudden and she hasn't been in a serious relationship before…" Jackson let out a sigh of frustration, "what I'm trying to say is that Alexis is my baby sister, even though she is only two minutes younger than me, she is my baby sister and I love her more than anything and if you ever intentionally hurt or upset her, you are going to have to answer to me."

Green eyes stared hard into hazel as Jackson made sure that Mario could see just how serious he was. After a moment of silence Mario held out his hand, "I wouldn't have it any other way, man. Your sister has blown my socks off and I know that the age difference is going to throw people and I am glad that you are here to look out for Lexi. If I ever hurt her, Jackson, I would expect you to head the queue to kick my ass."

The two men had shook hands as an unspoken agreement passed between them – Mario was to treat Alexis like a princess and Jackson was going to make sure that he did so.

Jackson was brought back to the present by Sam who bumped his shoulder, "Yo! Dude! Are you asleep on your feet?"

Jackson looked at Sam who was grinning broadly. Jack noticed that the younger teen's arm was around Sadie's shoulders. Sadie was smiling up at Sam adoringly and Jackson let out an impatient sigh, was everyone hell-bent on finding a mate this summer?

"You'd better watch that hand, bro, Riley will nail your ass, and as for you Miss Sadie, you'd better make sure that your daddy doesn't see anything more than friendship between you two, or else it will be a cold day in hell before he lets you out of his sight again!" he said, only half teasing.

Sam huffed as Sadie giggled delicately, "You sound like Grumpy, Jack! Jeez, you are only twenty, not a hundred!"

Sam steered Sadie towards the dance floor with a shake of his head.

Suddenly Jackson felt like the odd man out. All of his best friends and family were here.

His peers.

He should be laughing and joking around and finding a piece of pretty ass for the night, but he didn't want to.

Jackson had always had the ability to remove himself from his surroundings. He wondered if it had anything to do with his desire to control everything around him.

Jackson thought about his conversation with Damitri Conti a few days before. Damitri had listened patiently to him as he had stammered and stuttered his way through the reason for his call.

Eventually, Damitri must have felt sorry for him, because after Jackson had flopped around like a fish out of water, Damitri had taken over the conversation, asking questions without getting too personal or probing.

He had immediately asked for a secure email address and had cautioned Jackson to create a new one that did not have any links to his own email address or identity. He suggested that any and all correspondence to do with his lifestyle be channeled through this 'anonymous' address.

After Jackson had created his new email address and Skype account that was untraceable back to himself, he had emailed his details to Damitri and over the next hour and a half, they had gotten to know one another via Skype.

His uncle and father had been right; Damitri knew hundreds of people who mentored novice Dominants and submissive's all around the world. Damitri chuckled as he described himself as a 'matchmaker' of all people BDSM.

Besides matching trainee and teachers, he and his wife, Jane also took great pride in matching up suitable Dominants with their submissives and Jane had jumped in and added that she was willing to go on a personal quest to set Jackson up with the 'perfect' submissive as soon as he was ready.

Damitri had gently chastised his wife's over enthusiasm as he had explained that it would be some time before Jackson was ready to undertake the 'privilege' of having his own submissive. Jackson had liked Damitri from the start because of his similar views on BDSM to what Jackson believed the lifestyle to be and he liked the fact that both his uncle and his father seemed to share the same philosophy.

Damitri had agreed to take Jackson under his own wing for the time being until he could arrange a meeting between Jackson and a couple of prospective Dominant trainers. He cautioned Jackson that the road to becoming a great Dominant meant that he would have to 'apprentice as a submissive' for a number of months before his Dominant training would begin.

Jackson had agreed after he had read through the contract that Damitri insisted on sending him. He felt the thrill of anticipation as he thought about his first assignment that he was waiting for him in his inbox.

"Hi, are you Jackson?"

He looked down at the sweet voice that had spoken his name and almost gaped. The young woman could have only been about five feet three or four inches tall, but her exquisitely beautiful face almost knocked Jackson to his knees.

She was smiling up at him quizzically with her perfectly arched eyebrows reminding him that she was waiting for a response.

"Um, yes! I mean, yeah, I'm Jackson."

Jackson inwardly cringed at the crackle in his normally melodious voice and he cleared his throat nervously.

The woman let out a giggle that had Jackson's toes curling into the soft sand.

She held out a delicate hand to him.

"Hi, I'm Bonnie Applegate. I'm friend's with Alexis." She said.

Bonnie's voice was bubbly but instead of being annoying it sounded beautiful and fitted her perfectly.

Jackson reached out and he could not suppress the shock on his face as an electrical current shot through him at the contact.

They stared at their hands for a moment before Jack reached out again and took the small hand in his. The electricity was not unpleasant and Bonnie felt her hand tightening within his grasp.

"Hi," Jack said quietly.


They stared at each other as everything around them seemed to disappear.

"H-happy Birthday," Bonnie whispered.

"Thank you,"

Without either of them being aware of it, they had moved closer together so that their hands were almost trapped between them.

"You know my sister?"

"Yes, she is one of my best friends at UCLA."

Jackson was excited that this woman was friends with his sister, but he felt deeply disappointed that she went to school on the opposite side of the country to him.

"You are at Johns Hopkins in Balimore?" she asked and Jackson was thrilled to see disappointment in her expression.

He nodded before his hand tightened on hers.

"Are you going to be a Junior?" he asked.

She nodded, "Yes, I'm studying to become a Theatrical teacher."

Jackson pursed his lips, "So you aren't trying to be the next Hollywood 'big find'?" he asked. He knew that it was unfair, but coming from the family that he did, he had to know what this woman's motivation was in seeking him out.

Bonnie shook her head and her long dark chocolate hair flew around them, "No, goodness, that would be ridiculous! I just love kids and when I was younger, I was really shy, I mean shy to the point of hiding in my room for hours if we had visitors! Anyway, one of my teachers suggested that my mom enroll me in a community theater group in our town and I loved it. Over the years, I discovered a way to channel that shyness and that just inspired me to want to teach other young people to overcome their insecurities with theater! It's a wonderful medium and it teaches kids of all ages to relate and find some communality with each other!"

Jackson was captivated by Bonnie as she spoke about what was obviously her passion. Her dark, almost black eyes sparkled with enthusiasm and her cheeks became flushed and pink. Jackson was fighting an urge to dip his head and touch the pulse that was beating at the base of her throat with his lips.

He shook his head free of these thoughts. He couldn't do this now, he thought to himself.

The silence between them became almost uncomfortable and Jackson watched as uncertainty clouded Bonnie's face.

She took a step back and gently tugged on her hand, "I'm sorry, I tend to get carried away about teaching. I didn't mean to bore you… I'm sorry," she said quickly.

Jackson felt the tug on his hand and was shocked by the uncomfortable tug inside his chest.

Without thinking of the consequences he tightened his grip on her hand and used it to pull her closer until they were almost chest to chest.

He dipped his head so that his mouth was almost brushing her ear, "Don't go! Don't leave… me."

Bonnie's eyes were wide with shock and the pulse in her neck began to beat wildly.

She closed her eyes tightly as she felt electricity hum between them. She didn't know this man and yet just the thought of walking away from him was almost painful!

"O-okay," she whispered as she turned her face upwards so that she was almost nuzzling his neck, "I'll stay… with you."

That was all it took before Jackson swiftly turned around and with his arm clutching Bonnie to his side, he led her to the far side of the beach where there were a few beanbags and cushions surrounding a small fire pit. Thankfully the space was empty and without missing a beat they lowered themselves onto the cushions, still joined and just stared at each other for long moments before Jackson spoke.

"Tell me all about yourself Bonnie Applegate and don't leave anything out."

Bonnie, who hadn't blushed in years, felt her skin heat up as she stared at the impossibly handsome man.

"Okay, but then it's your turn!"

Jackson laughed as he nodded, "Well, I need to warn you, I'm a little boring."

Bonnie threw her head back and laughed, "I doubt that very much, Jackson Cullen!"

Jackson felt his insides melt at the sound of Bonnie's laughter.


Rio looked over to where Alexis was staring with a satisfied smirk on her lovely face.

"What's got you looking so smug, my love?" he asked.

Alexis nodded in the direction of the far end of the beach.

"I knew that Bonnie was going to hit it off with Jackson. He needs someone special in his life."

Rio checked the time on his watch. After much discussion and a stern warning not to let his guard down while on duty by Marcus and Anderson; he had been given an hour off to spend at Alexis' party as her guest and his time was almost up.

"Now Tesoro, what makes you think that your brother wants someone in his life right now, hmm? Especially as he has a long way to go before he qualifies as a doctor."

Alexis snorted, "You'll see. A lot of people say that I'm like my aunty Alice, you know – I just know things and I know my brother."

She looked over at the couple again to watch as they moved even closer towards each other.

"Yep; I think that Twin is going to be just fine." She said quietly.


A/N: I hope that you liked this chapter.