Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction using characters from Stephanie Meyer'sTwilight series. The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event. This story is for entertainment only and is completely made up from my head.
Hugs and kisses to my wonderful betas and pre-readers: EdwardsFirstKiss, Ellachanted and Tinsley. Special thank you to Payton79, and Mid. Hugs.
Thank you and loved reading last chapters comments. Very strong opinions regarding Esme. I'm behind in review responses, but I will get to each and every one soon. (See author note at the bottom)
This chapter is from Edward's, Carlisle's, Esme's and Bella's points of view. Some will be going back to moments before, during and after last chapter.
Chapter 26: The Far Side
"Dad, I need you to postpone the upcoming board meeting."
"Edward, what is this all about?"
"I'll explain later. And, could you stop Mom from snooping around this?"
Esme walked in, and I covered the mouth piece. "Give me a minute," I whispered. My assistant, Amy was behind her.
"All I'm asking is for you to steer Mom away from Charlie."
I looked as Esme busied herself around the suite in the other room while Amy spoke to her. "What's going on? Is he alright?"
"Just do it. Please."
"I have a right to know; and why can't you tell me?" I asked with a lowered voice. Esme was still nosing around.
I could understand why Edward asked me for help. That woman was a natural detective. She was still looking for evidence of other infidelities that haven't happened. I endured it solely because I couldn't breathe without that woman. She could be the most heartless person I know...yet, there was a time she wasn't like that. It was entirely my fault, and she would never let me forget it. "Son, if you need my help," I whispered discreetly. "You need to let me know how serious this...thing is."
"Aro just informed me that he would be calling a mandatory board meeting and Charlie can't make it."
I laughed. "Whatever he is doing or who he is doing can wait. This is about the vote. Bylaws state that-"
"Fuck. Dad! I need you to try to postpone this meeting."
Whatever he was hiding was serious. "Edward, whatever the reason, I will do everything I can to postpone it. But, I want to know why I'm about to go out of my way for the man who is trying to take our company away." He paused for too long. "Son?"
"I'm doing it for Isabella."
I knew that already. He had not been himself ever since she came into his life. From the beginning of the Swan's hotels take-over, Edward had been fascinated by the young executive who was making headway in the industry. She was one of the best, and it looked as if Edward had met his match. Unfortunately, Esme saw the girl as being the future cause of Edward's demise.
She had groomed Edward personally. He was her pride and joy. Her main focus was on him, after she threw me out, until Edward and I started to become closer again.
The moment Esme accepted me back into our home, my main focus was on trying to mend our marriage. It took me years to see that a part of her would never forgive me, nor forget. It didn't matter what I did. It was ultimately up to her, and she eventually chose herself. Not us, or me, but her.
It had always been about someone else for her. Her Mother was an alcoholic whose only purpose in life was to be adored by the people who were never her friends. Everyone around Esme and her mother were only around because of her asshole father. That man was Lucifer incarnate. He dangled his power and wealth like toys to be used for his pleasure alone. He was a heartless bastard, and as much as Esme tried to love him, the man was incapable of it.
Like father, like daughter.
Everything Esme said she wouldn't become, she had tenfold. Where her heart used to be, now lays a black and blue life-force. It would have spilled over to our children, if it weren't for Sue. She was the person who came to me – insubordinately - and told me to get my head out of my ass and be a father to my kids. "Carlisle, be the man who Edward can look up to, and the father that Alice admires."
That night was her last night working for us. The kids were heartbroken, but at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing. Esme took the wrath from the kids. She told me they had been disappointed by me far too much. Both of them were right. That's when I decided to focus more on my children.
"You can trust me, son."
"Charlie's in the hospital. He had a heart attack. I don't need to tell you what that means for the future of this company."
I leaned back in my chair, shocked that that had happened to Charlie. He and I were close in age. God, that could have been me. Forget the stress of my wife. Running this monster of a machine could kill the healthiest of us.
Edward didn't need to say more. Word of this would solidify the board's decision in my favor. Yet, what I wanted to know was, "Why are you doing this?"
"I told you."
"This girl is worth everything that you have worked to achieve? You're being given this company on a silver platter and you're not going to take it? All for a piece of ass?"
"Bella is not...if you ever refer to her as that again, you won't have to worry about what Mom will do to you. I'll complete the job personally."
I chuckled, amused and not surprised. "You're in love with Bella?"
"I told you my intentions concerning her."
"Yes. Yes, you did. I'll do everything I can. But are you sure she's worth it?"
"I wouldn't have asked you if she wasn't."
After hanging up, I noticed that Esme was standing over me, staring. You could see the wheels turning in her head.
"How can I help you, honey?"
"I stopped by to go over these figures. What was that about?"
Ah, she wasn't paying attention to Amy. I should have known. "Nothing." Shit! "Edward needed something." Saying nothing would only stir her curiosity more.
She continued to stare at me, and I knew what she was doing. "What is it, Carlisle? What are you keeping from me?"
"It's nothing." I reached for the folder in her hand.
"Don't lie to me! I told you if I find out that you hid something from me again, I would leave for good. If this has to do with our son, I demand to know."
"You also need to trust me."
"We're not having that discussion again, husband dear."
"Our son can't just ask for help?"
She raised her brow. "Edward never asks for help."
"Fine," she said as she walked out.
There was nothing out of the ordinary about her storming off. But, when Edward called shortly after, cursing me out for telling her, I was at a loss; until she opened my door and slammed it behind her.
"You are a pathetic ass! What more did the boy have to do besides lay Charlie's body at your feet."
"He told you? He would never have-"
"I called him. Told him that I was concerned with what he had confided in you. I did have to ad-lib a while until he filled in the gaps."
"You tricked our son?"
"If he trusted you, he has to be desperate."
I leaped forward. "You evil bitch!"
"Ah, ah. Names could hurt."
Then I did something I had never done before. I grabbed a hold of her tightly and gave her what would be our last kiss. Every waking moment, I had tried to find a hint of the girl that I had fallen in love with. I realized that I was searching for something that would never return. She stood in front of me, cold as ice. And, when I looked into her dead eyes I said, "I want a divorce. I cannot do this anymore."
Esme began to laugh uncontrollably. I stood before her as she fought to catch her breath. Yet, when she did, there was nothing humorous about what she said. "We both know you are not going anywhere. What will you do? Be a manager somewhere? Go back to working on cars? That would be a sight to see. You walk out on me and you walk out with only the clothes on your back."
"Those things mean nothing to me, Meme."
Her eyes flickered for a split second at the pet-name I had once used for her. "I'm not done with you-"
"What more do you want? I already gave you all of me. There's nothing left. I would offer my soul, but even that wouldn't be enough for you. I have done everything-"
"But honor our vows! Stupidly, I almost gave up everything for you. When you told me I was the only woman you would ever need, I believed you! You lied that day at the altar to me, and to God. Do you deserve to walk away and be happy? No! You told me that you had made a mistake, and would spend the rest of your life making up for it. Sadly, I believed you again. But again, you lied."
"Yes! I'm a fucking asshole that slept with a woman other than my wife. I have spent every damn moment trying to atone for my sin, but no more. You cannot do or say anything else to me."
"Is that so? Who is going to take care of your mother? It would be a shame to take her out of the nursing facility and place her in a state-run one instead. What about your children? I could give Alice everything. What then? Edward can have the whore that he says he loves and they can be poor and happy together. Poor Isabella. How would she keep up with Charlie's medical bills after I take everything from them?"
"You would never do that to Edward."
"I would rather burn this company to the ground than see that little tramp and her country bumpkin father take my daddy's company from me. If Edward takes your place, she'll find a way to manipulate him, and he'll just hand it over to her. So, husband dear. Walk out, and you will be bringing several people with you." I said nothing. "That's what I thought. Now, take a seat. We have some planning to do."
"So, we are in agreement. Call the meeting for tomorrow?"
Aro took a sip of his tea before stating, "Your wish is my command. Although, Carlisle may have an issue with this."
I sat back in my chair, eyeing him from across my desk. "Carlisle does what he is told. Ever since that trashy whore acquired the software, the board is leaning towards the Swan's. We need to persuade them now."
"Well, Isabella has increased the growth of our shares substantially. That is something the board is not going to look over lightly."
"They are not going to want their stocks plummeting because of Charlie's illness either. The board will fully understand the significance of this new discovery. The fact that they tried to hide it will only make them more wary."
"That may be true, but Edward might have issues with this as well. He did ask me to wait."
"Let me handle Edward. Soon, he will see that little tramp for what she is. I didn't mold Carlisle to be CEO, to have the Swan's take everything that my father has left to me. It's bad enough that the board wanted a man to run my father's company. Yet, they are allowing a stupid girl to control the reigns. When they voted against my taking over after my father's death, I chocked it up to ignorance. And you knew that I wasn't going to take that lying down."
"Even then, I saw something change in you that day. I may have been new to the company, but I saw that spark in your eyes."
"As long as they followed my puppet, all was well in the world." Carlisle did make an excellent dummy. "Edward...he's been a bit harder to control."
"By the looks of things, it seems Ms. Swan is able to control that bull."
"Humph. Not for long."
The next day in the meeting, no words could describe the feeling I had when I saw Isabella's face in that boardroom. It was perfect. To my surprise, it all worked out brilliantly. Not only would she be losing her company, but Edward as well. I knew he had tried to keep all of this from her.
Not only will she be forced to bow down with her head between her legs, but by the look she was giving to Edward, Isabella won't be requesting the company of my son anymore.
It wasn't the sting of that bitch's hand that I felt, but the knife from my ungrateful backstabbing son. "Don't you dare go after her!" Isabella had just left the room, and Edward was on her heels.
He then turned and stalked toward me. "Do you have no heart? Her father is in the hospital and you think this is the time to go after them? Dad could have won the votes on his own merit."
"My merit. You dare turn against your family? I have given you everything."
"You keep telling yourself that mother. Maybe if you were any type of a mother-"
"How dare you! And don't even bring up Sue's name. You will not blame me for protecting my family-"
"Against who? We went after the Swan's remember? Your idea! After I told you Isabella could be a force to reckon with, you still went after them. You are to blame for handing over this company."
"If you did your job!"
"I did my job! I have always done what you have asked of me. God knows legal or not, it gets done, but you have gone too far."
"Please, stop with the bleeding heart for your whore-"
He stepped closer to me. "Don't ever call her that! I told you what she means to me."
"You have no clue what love is."
"That would all be because of your doing, Mother."
My eyes squinted at the ungrateful brat of a man. "Ah, that's right. Blame me and not your father."
"I have watched that man try to give you the love that you truly don't deserve. Sadly, you two are perfect for each other. It was only my fucked up luck that I came from two fucked up people."
Then, coldness washed over his face as he said with an uneasy tone. "I am warning you. If you pursue this further, you will leave me no choice."
"I'm not going to allow that...that...girl and her father to take this company from me."
"If you continue this, that girl will be the least of your worries."
"Are you threatening your own Mother, Edward?"
"There's no need to threaten you with something that will happen. I have given you several chances."
I laughed. "Oh, son. I would gladly accept the challenge, but I taught you everything you know." He had grown into a determined man. Something I was proud of. Maybe something good has happened from him being with that bitch.
"And like every exceptional student, they exceeded their teacher. The only difference is," he leaned over and whispered, "I don't mind getting my hands dirty." Then, he kissed me on my cheek before walking out the door.
"I need you for a project."
I laughed to myself. "Less contact. I'll send you the details."
"Yes, Sir." He sounded disappointed. Maybe I'll make up for it and hand Carlisle over to him to work up.
Even though my father had explained what my Mother had done, I wasn't going to let it go without consequences. He was still hiding something, and I was certain my mother was the reason for it.
My mother...she was right. We were more alike than I cared to admit. Be damned to those that got in our way. The drive and fire inside of her, was something that I admired. She clawed her way through the bullshit to get to the top - a flash of Isabella crossed my mind - and then I thought, if anyone could take her down, it would be Bella.
Isabella...that woman infuriates me, yet can make me fall to my knees with one look. The fire in her eyes each time she looks at me...she doesn't even know they beg to be fucked. With her touch alone, it's hard to control myself. All I want is to feel her wrapped tightly around my cock as she begs for mercy. Watch as the curves of her body twist as she writhes in pleasure, taking everything that I give her... Every time she comes is like the first time, with each one that follows growing more and more carnal.
The first time I saw her was in an article and my dick instantly wept. Then, when I read about all that she had accomplished...fuck, just thinking about how smart she was unified my mind and body together for the first time. I had experienced pleasure unlike any other, as I got myself off to one of the strongest self-induced orgasms of my life. I could still feel that shit.
I knew right then that I had to have her...before I stole her company, of course.
Yet, it was not in the cards, and a few times I thought that I would never meet my nemesis. She was based in Europe at that time, and Carlisle was the face of the merger.
I would never forget that night when I told my mother that the Swan's had managed to take the balance of the holdings. She had lost her controlled demeanor, and called me every name in the book. She had trusted me to handle everything. She mocked me for not being able to handle Isabella and her father. But more than anything, she was furious that she would have to share her company with the likes of them. The Swan's wealth was new, first generation and now second. Whereas our wealth was old money. Our wealth was based on generations on which my mother based her own self-worth.
Isabella was an admirable foe - I could admit that. But, when my mother accused me of slacking off and only thinking with my dick...insulted wasn't quite how I had felt. Enraged, was more like it. I had earned my place in the company with blood and sweat. Even so, my efforts were sometimes disregarded or unappreciated. This company would not have been where it is today without me.
Yet, my mother's words haunted me. I threw Isabella some of my best maneuvers. And despite what my mother thought, I just didn't hand this company over to her. I knew the moment Isabella called me out on the bribes, in front of the board during one of our conference calls that the woman was indeed a force to reckon with. Unfortunately for us, I underestimated just how far she would go.
The Swans were known for their integrity and loyalty. Yet, when I started putting pieces together as to how they were able to find out about the bribes, I realized that Isabella didn't mind lowering her holier than thou halo. As I had walked in the front door, the woman had snuck her way out of the back door with deals of her own. She could play dirty, while she kept her hands clean from any improprieties of her own. Isabella was a woman after my own heart. A vixen in disguise, and I knew that I had to have her. If she thought that I was going to let what happened come between us, she truly didn't know me.
The moment I heard her in the boardroom today, I saw her strength overpower her pain. Yet, when she looked at me...there was a moment of doubt when the hidden pain in her eyes turned to rage.
She was right, I should have told her.
There was nothing I could do to erase that mistake, but I was prepared to fix it. I told her as much, when I spoke to her. I was relieved that she finally answered my calls-after the twelfth attempt. She made sure to reach below the belt as she called me every name in the book. After she was satisfied, she hung up. I would call again, and she would continue where she had previously left off. This went on several times, until I heard the exhaustion in her voice. That was before Sue went over to check on both her and Charlie.
The initial plan had been for Charlie to recuperate at my place, giving Isabella time to rest. I knew she wasn't prepared to have him sent to his place, so I had arranged for an around the clock nurse. I had asked Sue to check up on them as well. I really didn't have to say anything when I arrived home. She took one look at me and asked what had happened.
She had listened, and it pained me to see the disappointment in her eyes. "You need to fix this," she said, as she stood up and kissed my forehead. She collected her things, along with the chicken soup she had made for Charlie, and summoned the driver to take her to Charlie's place.
That night was one of the longest nights of my life. I was used to Isabella not being in my bed on a daily basis, but the empty space beside me was vacant for another reason. I called her. I didn't care if I was being a selfish bastard. I needed her, and when she picked up the phone, I knew she still wanted me. She needed me to be there, and I wasn't. I laid in bed listening to her breathe until each breath became softer and harder to hear. The next morning, the moment I heard the click and then the dial tone, I knew that I wasn't going one more night without Isabella next to me.
I made another call. "Jenks, I need you to take care of it, tonight."
I wasn't surprised that Edward was at the door. I wasn't even upset when he barged in and pushed me up against it. He just stared at me. He was waiting for a response that was not going to come. "I only thought of you."
I blinked a few times, trying to clear the moisture away from my eyes. "I know."
There was a gleam of hope in his eyes. "I love you."
He stood waiting...while I stood pondering. I loved Edward with every fiber, but the power he held over me had me drowning in fear. I was unable to protect myself from the unexplainable force that Edward had over me. At times, I thought I was losing my mind. Love was supposed to feel pleasant, at the least. Not gut wrenching agony that turned your mind and body into clay that seemed to only be molded by him. I was Isabella Swan dammit! Yet, Edward Cullen owned my soul.
"I know you love me," he interjected.
"I do." The moment those words escaped, you could see his shoulders relax.
I looked up, holding the pool in my eyes from pouring out, as I stood trembling in both anger and defeat. I had let my guard down, and allowed Edward to take what was left of me. He had my heart, to do with what he willed. From the first moment that I had seen him, he had owned me. I looked back into his eyes. Searching for something I knew I wouldn't find; the reason for all of it. I looked for the reason why this man was able to take the last of me, and why I was so willing to let him take it. "It's not enough."
He stood now wide-eyed, staring at me for a moment before finally saying, "We can work this out together." I shook my head as I watched the turmoil in his eyes unfold before mine. He looked back and forth from my eyes and breathed out, "I won't." Then, he suddenly grabbed a hold of me planting a firm, yet passionate kiss on my lips. I surrendered, while he took his time, as tears released from my soul, with each lapse of our tongues. My chest grew tighter as he pulled me in closer. I could have died alone by the pressure of his grip as he pushed me harder against the door. When we came up for breath, he said, "I will not let you go." I said nothing, choked by the lump inside my throat, until he said, "Bella...look at me." My body did as he always commanded. "I will find a way to make this right."
I knew he would. I was sure he had already come up with an idea. I, for one, wasn't against just killing the bitch, but I only thought about Charlie. Then, I laughed to myself. He would have thought the same thing if the tables were turned. Edward pushed off of me, and stared at the fact that I was just laughing. So, I asked, "Even if I kill your mother?"
He gave me a crooked smile. "You'll be standing in a long line, beautiful." We stared at each other for a few more moments before he asked, "How is he?"
"He's sleeping. It may take a few weeks before he is at full strength."
"I'm guessing you didn't tell him?"
"That's what your mother wants: to put him in the grave."
His hand glided up and down my arm. "Let me take care of you tonight, and we can strategize in the morning."
"No," I said abruptly. "I think it's best if we take some time apart."
"That's not going to happen."
I glared at him. His tone was harsh. "If I say that I need some time then-"
"You can say whatever you like, Isabella. But I'm not going anywhere."
"The hell you won't!"
He pressed against me. "You don't want that any more than I do." He looked at me daring me to say I did. The ass was right. "You can punish me all you want, but you will not push me away."
"You have no choice-" I felt his hand sliding up my leg. "Cullen! Don't even think about it. You can't always finger fuck me and think that will make me submit." He pressed harder against me, and I felt exactly what was on his mind. My body instantly started to pulsate everywhere as my thighs squeezed tightly together trying to control the throbbing ache between my legs. Edward's chest brushed against my rock solid nubs, and the look in his eyes said he knew exactly how wet I was.
"I've hired a nurse to look after Charlie."
"I will be here-"
"He needs a professional for a while. She cooks as well, and will make sure he eats proper meals. Sue will be over tonight to stay with him."
"No. I didn't ask you for this."
He ignored me. "She will be here at seven. The car will pick you up then. You're staying with me tonight and-"
"Are you fucking serious? I'm not going anywhere-"
"Then we stay here. But, either way Isabella, you are staying with me."
I inhaled deeply, while I tightened my thighs. "You fucking think that I'm going to sleep with you after what you did? You're lucky that I'm even talking to your dumbass."
He chuckled, which only annoyed me further. "No, like I said. I expect to be punished for what I did. But tonight, I plan to start making up for that mistake. Bella...let me take care of you...of this."
I stared into his green eyes as they willed for my submission. "...I'm perfectly able to clean up the mess that you have created."
He stepped closer, moved a strand of hair off of my face and said. "Very capable."
I knew that Edward loved me, but did he love me enough to watch me destroy everything he had worked for? "We're at a crossroad," I said more to myself. "It's not fair," I whispered under my breath. Our time had been short, and the thought of losing Edward...I didn't want to think about the future alone with him not being there. When he started to wrap his arms around me, I stepped away. "We need to end this now..." my voice cracked. He stepped closer, as I took a step back. "...Please..I can't." Closer, then back. "Nothing good will come from this."
Another step closure, and he breathed out. "Tell me to go...tell me that you never want to see me again." He then took a hold of my hands, and stared into my eyes before stating. "Did you think I walked into this blind? Not weighing in all of the facts? I knew what loving you would mean. When I said I would fight for us, that's to the end."
"It's your family."
His eyes darkened, as he stood looking through mine. You could tell he stopped himself from saying something as he composed himself. "And they will always be my family."
"Until they find out what you're up too." I knew his calculating mind was hard at work.
"It's time for a change in government."
"And you're willing to cross your Mother on my behalf?"
"Our behalf." He raised our clasped hands to his lips, as they brushed over the back of my fingers. "The question falls to you, are we in this together?" He knew the answer before even asking me. The confidence on his face was clear. "Say it."
"Yes." Even though I sounded a bit hesitant, he looked assured. To my surprise, a bit relieved. He wasn't the only one.
"The car will pick you up at seven. Dress for dinner."
"I'm not in the mood-"
"You're going. We need to be seen in public, and I know of the perfect place."
"What are you up too?"
He grinned, as he leaned in to kiss me. "You'll see."
Hopefully, some things were filled in from this chapter. Let me know what you think as usual :)
Thank you all for your patience on this one. I will need you to be a bit more patient while my RL is uprooted. I'm in the middle of relocating for a job, and will be commuting back and forth from two states. I'm heading south ya'll.
I also have some deadlines that need to be fulfilled so, this little baby will be updated sporadically. I still plan to update during this time, but really don't have a schedule to when. I will keep you updated on my blog and in the facebook group. Links found on my profile page.
Thank you for your patience while I make some life adjustments.
Fic Rec: Just started this and wow!
Balançoire By: gemini13me