30.

"Last chance, Edward. Are you ready?"

I nodded. I was tired of the secrecy and the lies. I needed to know what the hell was going on.

"You have to understand that Carlisle isn't the man you think he is. He might seem like the upstanding citizen, with his charities and pro bono cases, but underneath that façade, there's a very calculating man ‒one that I didn't know about until it was too late‒ and he got exactly what he wanted."

"And what is that?" I asked, not missing the fact he called his father by his first name

"Money and power. That's all he really cares about. Did you know Carlisle and my mom got married when she was two months pregnant with me?"

I shook my head, unaware of that fact.

"A shotgun wedding pushed by my grandparents. You didn't know this, but if it wasn't for my mom's family's money, Carlisle would've never gone to med school. Her parents paid for everything: tuition, rent, transportation, their expenses… Everything. But when they passed away, all that money went to my mom. Carlisle couldn't touch it. He was getting a pension from my mom through his residency, and it wasn't until he became an attending that he could finally afford some of the luxuries he now enjoys."

"But the house—"

"—is my mother's and was left to us. It's on mine and my siblings' names. He lives there because Em is still underage. Dad only got the cars and some stocks. The rest is ours."

"And Alice? What does she have to do with everything?"

Jasper smirked. "The trust fund."

"I don't understand."

"Under only two specific circumstances could the trust fund be released, depending on which happened first: when the trustee turned 25, or when the trustee got married."

I sat back, understanding what he was saying.

"You were going to marry her."

He nodded. "You see, as long as Em, Birdy, and I lived under his roof and remained in his care, he'd get a pension, a hefty one, which comes from our trust funds. That sum would've been reduced by a third had I married Alice. Remember, five years ago, Carlisle had just opened his clinic. He couldn't afford to have his pension reduced, so he scared Alice away."

"But you found her."

He nodded. "And I also found Uncle Garrett."


Author's Note: Thanks to all of you still reading. Thanks to my beta MariahajilE. I truly appreciate your help.

You can find me on twitter: Riv3rBoy84. I post tiny teasers over there.

-JR