Previously, in Chapter Twenty-Nine...
"Don't be embarrassed, Sugar," I whispered, brushing her hair from her neck. "I can't blame him for wanting to watch you ride my cock. You're so fucking beautiful when you come, Sugar. You're so fucking beautiful all the time."
Chapter Thirty: Breakin' the Law
Blood is thicker than water,
but money is thicker than blood.
~Boss Hogg, Dukes of Hazzard~
(The original, of course).
"What are you doing, sweetie?" Esme asked, sliding up beside me where I sat at the bar.
The smell of fried okra and corn bread wafted through the air, causing my belly to audibly growl. I shifted on the barstool in some sort of silly attempt to mask the sound of my stomach gurgling. If Esme heard the embarrassing sound she didn't let on. She casually flipped over the book that lay open in front of me, saving my place with her thumb as her eyes skimmed over the title of the thin book.
"It's for my GED classes," I sighed. "I could just take the test, but I want to make a high score, so I signed up for the classes three nights a week."
"That's great!" she grinned, flipping the book back open to the section I was reading. "I'm so proud of you, honey."
"Thanks," I told her, feeling a slight blush to my cheeks.
Esme wandered back over to the frying pan, tugging her apron strings tighter, and carefully moved the okra around in the sizzingling fat. She had a slight smile to her pretty face and hummed a soft tune as she diligently worked at not burning supper. A knot formed in my throat as I watched that woman, counting in my mind the number of times my own mother, hell anyone for that matter, told me they were proud of me. I could count the number on one hand, and suddenly felt a little sorry for myself as I sat on that barstool in that hot assed kitchen.
"Esme," I whispered, willing the tears that welled up in my eyes to back down. "Thank you."
"For what, sweetheart?" she questioned, looking up at me with her eyebrows drawn in confusion.
"For caring," I told her, wiping the tears away with the back of my hands. "For taking me in. For not letting my family name get in the way of how I feel about your nephew ..."
"Bella, you don't have to thank me for caring about you," Esme scolded.
She turned the okra off, thank God, before scooting around the bar to scoop me up in a big hug. I hugged her back, only slightly embarrassed about the sudden display of affection. I wasn't one for hugging anyone, other than Edward.
Esme released me before things became uncomfortable. The timer to the oven dinged and she giggled as she practically glided across the kitchen. She slid on a pair of oven mitts and pulled the corn bread from the oven. Steam rose from the golden bread and filled the space between us with the mouthwatering aroma. Esme then placed it on an empty stove eye just as Carlisle entered the room.
"Do I smell un-burned food?" Carlisle wondered aloud as he entered the kitchen.
I watched with a smile as he pulled Esme into his arms and kissed each cheek. She gave him a sheepish grin as he tucked a strand of caramel-colored hair behind one dainty ear.
"Bella's teaching me to cook," she confessed, garnering me a slightly surprised, wide-eyed gaze from Carlisle as he released her from his arms.
"Hey, I'm a good cook," I defended with a grin, closing the thin paper book after tucking my pencil between the pages. "Who do you think kept Alice alive all these years? It wasn't from her own cooking. She can decorate a cake, but she sure doesn't know how to bake one."
Carlisle and Esme exchanged a quick glance before he gave me a short, stiff smile that I didn't quite understand. Esme avoided my gaze altogether, choosing, instead, to gather the food and quietly murmur for Carlisle to do the same. The couple shuffled into the adjoining dining room, leaving me sitting at the bar alone and confused.
"You okay?" a voice asked, just as I grabbed a platter full of fried chicken.
Rose entered the room with a concerned smile on her face. She practically glowed as she stood beside me, grabbing a bowl of boiled potatoes. This was a new thing for her, the glowing, that is. She and Em were practically inseparable since that first date several days before.
"Yeah, I mean, I guess," I responded with a sigh and a frown as she followed me to the dining room. "It's just … everytime I mention Alice everyone gets this weird look on their faces."
"Don't worry about it," Rose told me, dropping her voice as we entered the dining room. "We just don't want you to worry about things that are out of your control."
"I know. I know she's okay with Jasper," I murmured, shaking my head at my ridiculous behavior as Rose carefully side-eyed me. "I guess old habits are hard to break … like being a worrywart when it comes to my sister."
Rose didn't respond. Instead she dropped the bowl of boiled new potatoes on the dining room table and avoided Carlisle and Esme's questioning eyes. The four of us gathered around the table, ready to dig in.
The space felt so foreign and out of sorts without Edward there. He left earlier that morning after dropping a kiss on my lips and leaving no explanation of his future whereabouts. I was getting somewhat used to it, but that didn't mean it still didn't drive me absolutely insane not knowing where he was. I refused to be 'that girl.' You know, the girlfriend who calls or texts five hundred times a day demanding her boyfriend's whereabouts.
That was so not me. I refused to subject Edward, or myself, to that level of clinginess.
Our bed felt so empty and cold that night. I stared up at the ceiling fan, watching as it made slow, lazy loops above my head and wondered if the occasional, lonesome night was something I would grow accustomed to.
I pulled the comforter up to my chin, tugging a strand of hair and wrapping it around my index finger as I thought of Edward. Turning on my side, I gazed through his window and stared at the huge, round moon glowing brightly through the pines. That was the last thing I saw as my eyelids eventually grew heavy and I drifted into an uneasy, restless sleep.
I awoke groggy and disoriented. Glancing around the room I noticed it was still dark outside. Warm, familiar arms wrapped themselves around me from behind as he curled himself against me, tucking his bare legs between mine. The soft hairs on his legs tickled against my skin as we lay flush against one another. A smile curled on my face as I felt his breath on my neck, washing over me as he peppered gentle kisses along my collarbone.
"You're back," I murmured, clearing my voice which came out low and throaty.
"I'm back," he replied, nibbling on my earlobe before sucking it between his teeth.
I hissed, arching my back involuntarily. I felt his erection press into my backside as I did so. He ground himself against me, our bodies only separated by our thin underwear.
I moaned as he lifted my leg and cupped my hot center in his hand. He found my clit through the thin cotton easily enough and began working one finger over it in slow, tormenting circles.
Things changed between us, sexually at least, since the night at the drive-in movies. The sex was more sensual, but somehow even better than before. It remained desperate and needy at times, almost as though we'd die without it.
We'd both experienced something different that night, different than anything I'd ever thought I'd enjoy, and it brought us closer together. It felt so good to do something so spontaneous and out of control. Before that night I felt like I was locked in a cage most of my life, acting and performing the role of Bella Swan; Alice's big sister and Renee's level-headed daughter. Edward made me compulsive, independent, and reckless that night, without the need of an alias name or identity.
He made me feel alive.
"What's making you so wet, baby?" he asked with a grin in his voice as he continued to circle my clit in excruciatingly light circles as I pressed myself firmly against his roaming fingers. "Is it just my touch? What are you thinking about?"
"That night at the drive-in," I confessed breathlessly.
"Mmm … what else?" he asked, tugging at my panties and pulling them down. He slid them from my legs and they disappeared somewhere in the darkness amid the twisted cotton sheets. "Anything else?"
"I don't like it when you leave," I continued, groaning when he teased my swollen clit between his index finger and thumb, giving it light little pinches. "I worry about you."
"Is that all?" he whispered, abandoning my clit to work two fingers deep inside me.
I moaned and began to pant as I desperately squirmed against his touch. The bastard was using his free arm to prop up on one elbow and enjoy the expressions crossing my face. There was a satisfied, amused grin pulling at his lips.
"Stop talking and just fuck me, Edward," I groaned, pivoting my hips for more friction.
"I don't think so," he tisked, removing his fingers to run them up and down my wet slit, from my clit back to my entrance.
I reached behind me, threading my fingers through his hair and tugging desperately at the strands, my silent way of askinghim to give me what I needed. When his fingers left my body and the mattress shifted beneath me, I knew I was about to get what I wanted.
Edward lifted my leg a bit more, lining himself at my entrance before slowly pushing himself in. I took in a sharp breath at the sudden pressure, throwing my head back and allowing him to give me a brutal, hungry kiss. Gentle, deep thrusts and wet, roaming kisses devoured me as I met him thrust for thrust.
Edward tossed the comforter from our bodies just as the early morning light filtered in. Then he twisted slightly, to where my body was mostly laying on top of him rather than on my side.
"Look," he demanded, tilting my head down for me so I had a good view of him as he entered me. "Help me make you come, Bella."
Thrills shot through me at his words. His thrusts became harder as the two of us watched my hand trail between my legs as my fingers found my swollen nub. My breathing increased as I began slowly circling my clit, my eyes never breaking away from the sight of his thick cock thrusting in and out of my body.
When I came I came violently, biting my bottom lip to the point of drawing blood. Edward pulled me fully on top of him at that point and I found myself with my back facing him as he thrust upward in rapid succession with the movement of my own hips. He came hard as well, digging his fingers in the soft flesh of my thighs and pulling me back flush against him, his cock still deep inside me. We fell asleep that way, wrapped in each others arms as the morning light danced on our bare flesh, savoring the feel of just being lost in one another's arms.
It was a week later, but felt like a lifetime, when Makenna finally slipped us copies of the keys she had made to our Aro's construction business.
Emmett brought them by on a Friday, dropping them in Edward's hand so casually. Edward stared down at the keys and then glanced up at my cousin. My boyfriend's face was lit up with happiness. You would have thought Emmett had just handed him a million bucks or the keys to the kingdom.
What he handed him was worth so much more to Edward.
The plan was already set in motion.
We … Edward, Emmett, Kate, Garrett, Makenna, and I, had discussed it at length. Garrett and Emmett were to stash their cars in the woods, one near the exit to the off-ramp of the highway and one on the opposite end of the road where our family's construction business was located. At the off chance of any sign of our uncles, the boys were to call or text Edward's phone in warning.
Edward tried to convince me to stay behind, but that was so not happening. My father had been murdered as well, and I had as much right to search for the evidence as Edward had to search for information regarding his father's murder. He eventually caved, after lots of begging and persuading on my part.
One favor that Kate had called in from a friend and we were off.
We left the Cullen driveway in the dead of night in Kate's borrowed Eight Mile car. As soon as theold, bald tires hit the bridge that separated our two towns my stomach began to roll. I stared down over the railing, searching for the muddy waters, but my search was in vain. Even the brightness of the moon was snubbed out by the inky black night. All that lay beneath that old bridge was a blank void of nothingness. It gave me chills deep down to my very bones.
Swan Construction wasn't just an office downtown. No, it was a warehouse in the middle no-fucking-where, surrounded by a chainlink fence with barbed wire roped across the top of it. We parked half a mile down the road, nudging the old car into an old off-road that adjoined the property. The road was practically grown over with thick weeds, and the branches hanging overhead provided a good canopy to hide under. Edward cut the engine and we were met with nothing but the stillness of the night.
Edward shot me a twisting grin before popping open the glove box and tossing a black ski mask my way. I rolled my eyes at his exuberance as the two of us pulled the masks on in sync. After that he called Garrett and then Emmett, confirming their location and our safety. He ended the call within seconds, shutting his phone, putting it on silent and slipping it in the back pocket of his jeans. We exchanged one breathless kiss before the two of us pulled on our gloves, and slipped quietly from the old car.
It was a little terrifying, leaving that car behind to trek through the woods, hand in hand. The idea of fleeing from Aro and my other uncles crossed my mind, and I wondered how easy it would be to escape their office and make it back to the car before being caught and possibly murdered. The very idea had me using my free hand to nervously curl my hair around my index finger to the point of pain.
Edward, on the other hand, was in his element. Beneath the black ski mask he wore were a set of mossy green eyes, sparkling with excitement and mischief. I wondered if that was how it was for him all the time, when he went out for the day for hours on end, doing whatever it was that he did to come home with a wad of cash. Did he thrive in the thrill of it all? Did he live for the moment, for the chase, for the chance of being caught?
My thoughts were interrupted by the sight of the warehouse looming ahead of us. The building was massive, made of blue and grey metal, and surrounded by the same, tall, chain-link fence I remembered from my previous visits. Just inside the fence,the large, ghastly machines sat scattered about the property in eery silence, as oppose to their normal clang and clamor.
We broke free from the woods and approached the property slowly, our hands dropping from one another. My skin suddenly felt clammy and alone without the comfort of Edward's clasped so tightly in mine, and I shivered at the feeling of loss. I wrapped my arms around my torso and peered curiously around the property, cringing at the sound of rocks crunching beneath my sneakers as our feet hit gravel.
A thick chain and a heavy lock hung ominously from the gate. Edward slipped the keys Makenna gave us from his pocket and slid one in, turning it this way and that, until a satisfying click sounded out, silencing the crickets and frogs that began their encore once we emerged from the woods.
Edward gave the gate a good push and it creaked open. He made a grand sweeping gesture with his hands, eyes still twinkling beneath the moonlight. I rolled my own eyes and shoved past him onto the property, listening carefully for the sound of guard dogs. There was none, however, and it really didn't surprise me. Aro and the good old boys were cocky. Their half-assed attempt at securing the premises was unsurprising. They'd gotten away with so many things over the years, why start worrying now?
Once we entered, Edward situated the chain and lock back in place, making it appear as though the lock had never been disturbed. A shiver ran through me, causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. Although he didn't snap the lock into place I still felt confined; trapped. There was no means of escape, other than through that front gate. I began second guessing our plans, but Edward quickly eased my troubled mind.
"Garrett and Emmett are on opposite ends of the road," he reminded me as we quickly approached the warehouse. "If anyone comes down either end they'll call. My phone is on vibrate. Stop thinking so much about getting caught. Focus on finding the evidence, hard evidence, we need to prove once and for all that they murdered our fathers."
"It'd be easier if we just murdered them … or made them disappear, like Liam and James," I murmured.
"Liam and James didn't disappear," Edward argued, twisting a key into the lock on the door and grinning once the door stood wide open. "They're dead. I've told you time and time again, when bodies start piling up, people get suspicious. We're already four bodies in..."
"You didn't tell me anything about Liam," I whispered as we entered the warehouse, blinking once Edward shut the door behind us and turned on a dim flashlight. "You never explained James either. You just told me he was dead. It was him in the casket. Who's the fourth body?"
"Bella," he hissed, turning to me and giving me a stern look. His narrowed eyes, paired with the ski mask shrouding his face, gave him a particularly, menacing look that I was unfamiliar with. "I've told you over and over. Why can't you comprehend what's happened?"
"What?" I huffed. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Nothing," he grumbled. "I'll explain it later. There's no time for discussion. We have to find the filing cabinets, look for the evidence, and get the hell out of here."
I nodded, leading him through the warehouse to Uncle Aro's private office. I silently pointed to the door once we arrived, crossing my arms over my chest and tapping my foot impatiently as he tried key after key, pressing each one into the lock without luck. Finally, down to the last key, the door popped open. The two of us exchanged grins behind our masks before moving stealthily into the office, quietly closing the door behind us.
A long row of black metal filing cabinets rested against the far wall, beyond Aro's desk. The beam from the flashlight bounced from lock after lock on each cabinet.
"This is where things get … tricky," Edward whispered, pulling some sort of small tool with a red handle from his jeans.
"Tricky?" I mimicked. "What is tha … hey!"
Edward ignored me as he took the tool and snapped a lock in half.
"What?" he grumbled, pulling the lock from the cabinet and tossing it carelessly to the ground.
"What the hell do you think you're doing!" I squeaked as he pulled the drawer out.
"Bella, your cousin couldn't get the filing cabinet keys. How did you think we were getting in?"
"They'll know we were here!" I gasped in paranoia, glancing over my shoulder at the open doorway.
"No, they'll know someone was here," he corrected, pulling file after file from the drawer and tossing them on Aro's desk. "How about you stop talking and start helping?"
"Fine," I grumbled, snatching a few files of my own from the drawer.
Then I plopped my happy ass down in my uncle's, comfy leather chair and glanced over each file name. Edward had chosen the drawer with the 'C' files and I briefly wondered if he choose that for himself, Cullen, or for my father, Charlie.
There was no time to ponder, and I wasn't sure if I really wanted the answer to my inner question anyway. I thumbed through each file in vain, as did he, finding nothing about Charlie or Edward Senior.
"Fuck!" he hissed, stacking the files together and sliding them back in the drawer. "What now? Go through them all?"
"If we have to," I replied, standing and pulling open another drawer after he popped the lock.
The second drawer was the 'S' drawer. Again, we thumbed carefully through each file finding nothing but construction contracts and other legal forms that had nothing to do with either one of our fathers' deaths.
I let out a heavy sigh and lifted my eyes to meet Edward's. I wondered if my own looked as forlorn and despondent as his. I reached out, grasping his hand in my own and opened my mouth to give him some sort of words of comfort, but the words froze in my mouth at the sound of his cell vibrating in his pocket.
Edward jumped slightly at the unexpected interruption. He pulled himself together quickly enough, then slid the phone from his pocket.
"Go," he barked, shoving the phone in his pocket and pulling me to my feet. "Now!"
"What about the files?" I asked, stupidly gesturing to the mess of paperwork scattered about.
"Fuck the files. Aro just pulled off the highway. He'll be pulling up in ten minutes. Let's go," he rushed, practically shoving me from the room.
We fled the building into the darkness of night. The moon hanging overhead did wonders for lighting our path, and it was a good thing too, because somewhere between the gate and Aro's office, the flashlight fell, smashing open and spilling the batteries onto the ground. Edward never looked back, tugging me behind him by my shirt as we approached the gate.
He easily opened it and we darted through, ducking into the woods, leaving the gate wide open behind us. I don't know how he knew the path to the car, but he did.
I registered the sound of Aro's old truck speeding through the night, racing along with my heart as it chugged down the dusty, back road. We made it to the car just as headlights in the distance beamed through the branches and leaves. We both instinctively fell to the ground, landing on the bracken and soft earth.
"How did he ..." I began.
"I don't know," Edward replied, helping me up as the truck sped by without faltering. "We have to crank it up quick, and get the hell out of Dodge, before he parks."
Although we were both tittering on the edge of danger, Edward still opened the car door for me, but didn't wait for me to enter, choosing instead to practically shove me into the car. He quickly joined me and turned on the engine. Thankfully it turned over on the first attempt. He backed out onto the road so swiftly my head jerked, swinging around and stomping it, sending me screaming as we spun through the night with no headlights on, balling like the Dukes of Hazzard.
Little did we know we wouldn't make it very far … wouldn't make it very far at all.
Thanks to Jonesn for pre-reading and Sunflower Fran for beta'ing while Ali's camping (an excuse to drink Mead and smoke old people cigarettes).
Anyone confused by anything in this chapter? I hope so. Maybe all will be answered in time.
So, what's next? Will they get away? What do YOU think? ;)
Don't forget the Dirty Talkin' Edward contest that Jonesn and I are entering! Put it on alert!
Reviews = lurve/hate/whatever
I lurve you all!