I am very sorry for the delay but a lot has happened. Personal matters and I moved house which meant i was without the internet for a while.
This is only small and unbeta'd but i wanted to give you something and let you know i haven't forgotten this story.
Bella sighed, her face in her hands and tried to block out her thoughts. Briefly she wondered if this was how Edward felt. Or at least had felt when his telepathy had first manifested.
"Do you want my opinion?"
Alice's melodic voice drew Bella's attention and she shrugged. At this point what could it hurt?
They'd returned to the Cullens house several minutes ago and were with Lucas and Jasper in the lounge. Likely everyone else was listening close by but at least they weren't loitering.
"Go and tell your father exactly how you feel. Don't hold anything back. You need to let you emotions go."
It was actually very good advice. Had it been given to anyone else who was going to be reunited with their estranged father it would have been perfect but Bella knew this was going to be the most delicate situation she ever had to handle.
Bella was going to have to look at this from all angles before deciding what to do. One slip and the man could vanish again.
"He wanted to be found."
Lucas looked up from his phone at her and frowned. That hadn't occurred to him before now.
"My grandmother spent years searching for him and nada. You spend what, a few weeks looking and you get a location? He wasn't hiding."
"Maybe he got sloppy."
"We don't get sloppy."
It was very true. When your life was in danger day after day you didn't get sloppy otherwise you'd be dead.
"Could he have been trying to find you?" Jasper asked.
"But not out of the question?"
Alice desperately wanted to find some positive in this. Bella didn't have the heart to tell her it was pointless.
Carlisle walked in with Esme. Bella no longer tensed when they entered a room, a small improvement and it would have been easy to wonder why she'd ever felt uncomfortable around them.
"Can we talk with you for a moment please?" Esme closed the distance, gently taking the girls hand.
Alice and Jasper slipped from the room almost unnoticed. Bella sat down and Lucas moved closer, a silent show of support.
"We want you to know," Carlisle glanced to Esme, "that if and when you decide to seek out this man, Michael Swan, we will give you whatever assistance and support we can."
Lucas could almost see the moment those words registered with Bella. Her mind seemed to freeze like a computer that couldn't quite process the information it was being given. He reached out and squeezed her shoulder, trying to bring her out of her trance.
"Umm, thank you." She swallowed, shifting in her seat.
"You haven't had very long to think about it, I know, but do you have any idea what you would like to do?" Esme enquired.
"I think she knows."
Carlisle didn't look surprised when Lucas said that. When people assessed things very clinically and without emotion they made decisions quickly and he was certain this was how Bella was thinking.
"I'm going to see him."
"Would you like us to accompany you?"
Had it been Carlisle that asked rather than Esme, it would have been easier to say no. Bella, for some reason she couldn't understand, found it difficult to reject her offers of help.
"This is something I need to do by myself."
Esme nodded. She'd been expecting this answer and gave her a small smile.
Bella didn't want to do this at all but she knew that if anyone else went to try and talk to him, it was very likely to go badly. At least this there was a slightly decreased chance of violence.
"I can't believe we're stuck spending another summer in this town."
Rosalie's icy tone barely registered to Bella anymore but for some reason Lucas found it very amusing. Perhaps he missed the bitchy teen girls from Manhattan.
"You're really not a morning person are you?" He asked with a smile.
"Lucas..." Bella caught his eye and shook her head.
She wouldn't put it beyond Rosalie to snap and throw him through a window in a moment of anger. It wouldn't kill him but would likely stir her blood lust.
Emmett gave him wife a pleading look which caused her to turn and leave without saying anything. Bella had a feeling he would be paying for that later.
"You know I could just... go to a hotel."
The glare Alice gave her silenced anymore suggestions like that from Bella. It didn't really matter as she was planning to leave for Wyoming in the morning.
"Right, it's time to focus."
Lucas clicked his fingers, walking over to sit down across from her, a notepad in his hand.
"What are you doing?" Emmett asked.
"Well she's off to Wyoming and someone needs to hold the fort here. Make sure the wolves behave and what's his name doesn't burn this town to the ground."
"Rafé?" Bella asked
"That's the one."
"No. Stay away from him, Lucas. He's off limits."
Her tone left no room for argument. It was even more severe than usual and Lucas could see he was going to have is work cut out with her this time.
"Off limits? Since when do we do off limits?"
"Since right now. This isn't your problem it's between me and Rafé."
Lucas frowned. Did she not remember that this man was the key player in a series of murder that they were trying to get to the bottom of. A man who had tried to kill her several times.
"That guy is a psycho. You're giving him too much credit."
Bella smirked. "Well he was smart enough to have you clean up is mess."
"What do you mean?"
"Joe Mallory didn't kill those people purely out of choice. It was Rafé. He made Mallory do it somehow, influenced him."
It was then that Lucas and the vampire began to understand the kind of manipulation that Bella dealt with. No wonder she was second guessing everyone's moves no matter how small.
"Rafé told you this?"
Bella nodded. "Seemed pretty damn proud of it as well."
"When he told you this, was it before or after he gutted you and buried you in a coffin?"
"Would you let that go."
Bella stood and started to head out to go and pack. She paused though and looked back to Lucas. If she was going to leave him in Forks he had to know everything. Well, nearly everything.
"Oh and another thing, Charlie knows."
Lucas's eyes widened. "He knows?"
"He definitely knew who Rafé was and I think he knows that I know."
"Does he know that you know he knows you know?"
Bella had just zipped up her little holdall when a hand shot out and picked it up off the bed for her. She wanted to leave and be on her way to Wisconsin before she lost her nerve.
"I'm coming with you."
Objection was imminent he was sure of it. She was hardly just going to go along with his plan and go on a road trip with him after everything that happened.
"I think you could do with someone to watch your back."
"Because of course, you have nothing but my best interests at heart."
Edward was becoming use to getting nothing but cold or deadpan responses from her but this was strange. There was no hate in her voice or contempt. Not even any sarcasm.
"Yes. Despite what my recent actions may indicate I have only ever wanted to see you safe and happy. Please Bella, don't shut me out."
"Fine. But I'm driving."
Thank you to anyone still reading.