I drove in contemplation to the hospital trying to decide what to do about Bella. I miss the ‘real’ Bella. The shell she has become since her attack is heartbreaking to watch. I want to see her smile again when I buy her pretty things. I want her to be comfortable when she serves me. I want her to want to touch me. I want to touch her without seeing fear in her eyes.
I thought back to this morning. I had made progress with her. She let me hold her and kiss her. Granted I couldn’t prolong it. I felt when her fear took hold again. I loved having her serve me breakfast. It was so hard to let her go. I knew she was distracting me. I want to resurrect Charlie, James and Paul and kill them all over again with my bare hands for the fear they instilled in her.
She was now afraid of all men- including Carlisle who only wanted to be sure she healed for me. I couldn’t believe the level of fear she expressed when I brought her to him, just to look at her. We only wanted to take care of her. I know Carlisle was angry at her overreaction; insisting I stay in the room with her. It shows just how traumatized she was.
I heard my phone ring and looked at the caller id. It was Jasper. Great, just the person I needed to talk to right now.
“Hey Jasper. How did you know I needed to talk to you?” I laughed.
“Hey Edward. I guess I just knew you’d need to pick someone’s brain right about now and figured I’d volunteer,” he replied.
“Well that was certainly cryptic. Care to elaborate on what you’re talking about?” I asked.
“I’m assuming you want to talk about Bella?” he replied.
I blew out a breath. “Yeah. I don’t know what to do anymore. I hate this feeling.”
“Look, why don’t you come by the club at lunch and we’ll talk.” Jasper offered.
“That sounds great. I’m running a little late this morning anyway.” I said.
“Did something happen this morning?” he asked carefully.
“Well I made a little progress with Bella. I had her serve my breakfast and I was able to hold and kiss her without her trying to run from the room.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone.
“Jasper? You still there?” I asked.
“Yeah Edward. I’m here. We definitely need to talk. I’ll see you around 12:30.”
“Thanks Jasper. I really appreciate any help you can give me.”
I snapped my phone closed. I didn’t understand the irritation in his voice, but I knew Jasper would be able to help me get Bella out of this funk she’s in. Alice seemed happy, and she’d been traumatized also.
I parked at the hospital and was walking through the parking lot toward the entrance when I saw Emmett’s jeep a few cars over. He must be here to see Carlisle. I decided to stop by Carlisle’s office to say ‘hi’ to Emmett before I started my rounds. I was surprised to see him sitting in the waiting area instead.
“Hey little brother.” Emmett said standing.
“Hi Em. You here to see Carlisle?” I asked shaking his hand.
“No, I’m here to see you actually. You got a minute?”
I looked at my watch. I knew I was running behind already.
“Well if you can give me about 30 minutes I can meet you in the cafeteria. You can buy me a cup of coffee. How’s that?”
“Sure, that’ll work. I’ll grab us a table and wait for you in there.” He said.
“Ok, talk to you in a few.” I said before heading off for my rounds.
I figured I’d check on my most critical cases first then meet Emmett before working on my rounds again before lunch with Jasper. I stopped by Mr. Owens room to check on him. He was 85 and we were only keeping him comfortable for now. His heart was giving out on him and he was too weak to undergo surgery. We knew it was just a matter of a few days at most.
I knew what I’d see when I opened his door; his wife, Maddie and at least one or two of their children and maybe a couple of grandkids. He had told me they just celebrated their 68th anniversary last month. There were always several family members in the room. He told me the kids were there to make sure Maddie took care of herself. He said she would spend so much time worrying about him that she would forget to eat or rest. He said he worried what would happen to her after he passed. They had been together since they were kids and other than when he was in the military, they’d never been apart.
“Good morning Mrs. Owens, how is George feeling today?” I asked. Like I thought, she was there with their oldest daughter and a grandson. I nodded acknowledgement to their daughter and grandson. I couldn’t remember their names. The Owens had a rather large family; 3 sons, 2 daughters all married with at least 2 or 3 kids each
“Dr Cullen, shame on you. How many times do I need to tell you call me Maddie?” she admonished.
“Sorry ma’am.” I answered smiling. I picked up his chart and looked at his monitors. He was asleep. He rarely woke now.
“You know it won’t be much longer now, Maddie,” I told her gently. “Just a few days at most.”
She looked at her husband and laid her hand on his cheek. “I know,” she smiled. “He’s ready now. It’ll be today as soon as the rest of the kids get here.
He’s waiting for them to say ‘goodbye’.”
“Maddie you may still have a few days left.” I reminded her gently.
She shook her head at me. “No. It’ll be today. He was only waiting until he knew I’d be all right. Our daughter,” she turned to the daughter in the room, “and her husband have offered me a place to live. George didn’t like the idea of me being alone. I finally agreed to it last night.” She chuckled looking down at him. “I can be very hardheaded when I want to be. I think I only held out because I wasn’t ready to let him go yet.”
“Maddie, I’m sure you aren’t that bad.” I reassured her. How could she be? They obviously had a very successful marriage; 68 years. All their kids were married and lived within a couple hours of them. All their grandkids were decent kids from what I’d witnessed here at the hospital. That spoke success to me.
“Oh son,” she said laughing as she sat back down next to the bed holding his hand, “you should have heard the fights. I swear sometimes I rattled the pictures on the walls with my mouth.”
She must have seen the confusion clearly written on my face. I didn’t understand why he would have allowed her to fight him. He was obviously the head of his home.
“I take it you’re not married yet, Dr. Cullen?” she asked.
“No ma’am, although I have found the girl I’m going to marry. She will make the perfect wife one day soon.” I said with confidence.
She really broke up then. “Oh, honey. There’s no such thing as perfect. No perfect wife, or perfect husband for that matter. What makes perfection is the two combined into one perfect partnership. Each of you has strengths and weaknesses. A perfect marriage is one where you balance each other. See in our marriage, I’m the hot-tempered screamer. George is the quiet rational one.”
“Let me tell you,” she continued, “There’s nothing more frustrating to someone with a temper than to face someone who just calmly listens when you want them to yell and scream and lash out like there’s no tomorrow. In balance of this though, I was the penny pincher where George just had to have every new gadget that came on the market. We own a home because I handled our finances. George just doesn’t have a head for money.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This sweet, frail elderly woman was telling me she had a temper and that she handled all the family finances. I really needed to talk to my brothers now.
“Maddie, I’m sorry, but my brother is here waiting for me. I’ll check back in with you later.”
She got up and came over to me before I left the room. She held my face in both her hands and looked me in the eyes.
“Do not ever make the mistake of trying to make things perfect. It won’t work and you’ll just beat your head against a wall for no reason. Take her good with her bad, just like she’s going to take your good and your bad together. Be there for each other. Be each other’s helpmate. That’s a perfect marriage. I promise you’ll be all the happier for it.” She patted both my cheeks before releasing me.
“We’ll see you later Dr Cullen. I hope I get to meet this girl of yours one day.”
I turned and left the room hurrying to the cafeteria to see Emmett. I found him in a corner of the cafeteria furthest away from any other people. That was good for what I needed to talk to him about. He was staring thoughtfully into his cup like he was contemplating the universe. He looked up as he heard the chair slide out across from him.
“Hey Edward,” he said. He pushed another cup over to me, “It’s hot I just sat down a couple minutes ago.”
I took a sip. Ugh. No cream. I hate black coffee. “I’ll be right back Em.” I took my coffee over to the counter to put in my cream. I thought briefly again about Bella and our breakfast this morning. I was so glad she remembered how I liked my coffee. That was a good sign that she’s paying attention and learning what Esme teaches her.
“All right, Em,” I said sitting down again. “What did you need to see me about?”
“I just wanted to see how you’re holding up?” he asked. “I know it’s got to be rough with Bella and all.”
I sat back in my chair and stretched my feet in front of me. “Yeah it is. I’m actually having lunch with Jasper today to talk about it. I just don’t know what to do anymore.” I looked at Emmett. “Maybe you can help me.”
“Sure. What do you want to know?” he asked.
“Well for starters, you said to be patient with her after James and Paul attacked her. It’s been over 3 weeks. I’ve been patient. I let her sleep in that disgusting t-shirt in our bed without me. I’ve been slipping sleeping pills in her drink before bed just so she will sleep and I can hold her through the nightmares. Otherwise she wouldn’t let me near her at all. She doesn’t talk to me other than to say ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘thank you’.”
“This morning was a breakthrough though. She actually said more than 3 words to me and I got her to serve me breakfast for the first time ever. Esme’s been serving me while Bella stands across the kitchen from me and waits.”
I leaned forward and ran my hand through my hair in frustration.
“How much longer do I have to wait? I’m not a patient person and this is driving me crazy.’ I ground out. “I can’t very well punish her for her behavior. It’s not her fault she was attacked.”
I looked at my brother across from me. He was leaning back in his chair with his arms folded across his chest. He was smirking at me. I knew he was enjoying my suffering.
“Well?” I asked completely exasperated with him and the whole situation. “Say something. Don’t just sit there staring at me.”
“Edward, I’m glad you’re a little frustrated. You’re always so somber and in control. It’s fun to watch you squirm some,” he chuckled. “Bella’s actually good for you I think. Not her attack, mind you. Since you made progress this morning, I don’t think it’s as bad as you make it seem. She’s obviously ready to move forward now. I think you should continue to tread carefully though. Keep treating her the way you have been. You have to walk a fine line with her for now. It’s probably going to be a while before she’s completely over everything. But you definitely need to move back into the bed. There’s no reason for you not to be sleeping in your own bed. You wouldn’t see me give up my comfortable bed. She still needs to know who’s in charge.
Just don’t expect to jump into training with her. She needs to see you differently than her experience at Charlie’s house. That’s going to be the hardest thing, to overcome the feelings about sex.”
“I never told you about how things were when I got my Rosie from Charlie, did I?” He gave me a measuring look.
“No you didn’t. What does that have to do with Bella?” I should have known I couldn’t get a straight answer out of Emmett.
He leaned forward glancing around to be sure no one was within earshot of us.
“Well, you see, I had to punish Rose a few times in the beginning until I figured out the best way to handle her. I punished her the day I got her for humiliating me. I felt bad about that one for a while. I realized later she was only trying to help, but she embarrassed me. “
“Emmett,” I interrupted getting frustrated, “Could you get to the point please?”
He quirked his eyebrow at me clearly irritated that I interrupted him. “Just shut up and learn little brother. Like I was saying, I punished Rose a few times in the beginning until I figured out that all I was doing was making her hate me. She was placing me on the same level as Charlie and James. We know we’re better than those perverts were. But not to her.”
“What? So you’re saying I can’t punish Bella ever? How will she learn? How am I to enforce rules to her if I can’t penalize her Emmett?” Why did I start this conversation with him? I should have just waited to talk to Jasper.
“Do you want Bella to love you Edward?” he asked.
“Of course, I do. She’s going to be my wife isn’t she? She will in time.”
Emmett just shook his head at me, laughing. “You’ve got a lot to learn about women Edward. Yes, you need to set rules for her and enforce them. You just aren’t going to be able to do it with punishments unless you want her to see Charlie or James when she looks at you.”
“Now let me explain what I’m talking about and just sit there and keep your mouth closed Edward. This story is hard for me and I’ve never told anyone about it.”
I could see he was remembering something painful to him. I nodded to him to continue letting him know I wouldn’t interrupt.
He blew out a breath and rubbed his face with his hands before continuing.
“I’d had Rose for about 4 months and was taking her shopping at the mall one day. She’d been very good recently and I felt she deserved a reward. I decided to let her go into a store by herself while I went across the way to get something special to surprise her. I was only gone for 20 minutes. When I went back into the store where I told her to wait for me she was gone.”
I looked at him in shock. I couldn’t stop myself, “She ran away?”
He shook his head at me rubbing the back of his neck. I saw that this was hard for him to relive.
“That’s what I thought too. I was so angry with her for betraying my trust. All I could think of was getting my hands on her and punishing her severely. God, was I wrong. A couple of creeps had grabbed her and taken her out of the mall into an alley. They were slapping her around and getting ready to rape her. I got there just in time to stop them. I left them both in a bloody heap behind a dumpster and when I got to Rose-“ He stopped to be sure I was paying attention. “Do you know what she said to me Edward? I stop her from being beaten and raped and do you know what my wife says? I was holding her, comforting her, telling her I wouldn’t let anyone hurt her again, and she says, ‘How is what they were doing to her any different than what I did to her everyday?’ My wife was comparing me to two vulgar creatures that hurt her and were going to rape her!”
I was in shock at what he had just confided to me.
“God, Emmett. What did you do to her when you got home?” I was afraid to ask.
He gave me a look of utter disgust. What was it with my brothers only looking at me with disgust lately?
“You just don’t get it do you Edward? For someone so smart, you’re a complete idiot you know that? I didn’t do anything to her! She was right. The day I got her I punished her just because she tried to help me and fix my jeep when it broke down. If she burned my dinner, I punished her. If she talked back to me, I punished her. I did everything we’ve been taught to do to train my wife and she hated me for it, and thought I was a monster. I didn’t even realize it. I never paid attention to what was in her eyes when she looked at me. I never realized that when I made love to her that she only responded after I got her worked up. If I never touched her she would have been just fine. She hated sex. To her it was another form of punishment, especially when she responded.”
“So how did you handle it?” I was scared now. I don’t want Bella to hate me, but I’m certainly not going to not touch her either.
“Well, it wasn’t easy, but I learned to let her say what was on her mind. To a point, mind you. I’m still head of my home and she knows it. I’ve learned to let go of some things. Like I told you before focus on the things that are important and let go of everything else. I don’t punish Rose anymore. I found out that hot angry makeup sex is worth every argument we have. And best of all, she loves me now.”
He wriggled his eyebrows at me suggestively. I knew serious Emmett was gone now and the carefree, teddy bear was back. Emmett could only be serious for so long. It just wasn’t in him.
I sat there and absorbed what he was trying to tell me. I thought back to my visit with Maddie earlier. I was starting to feel like I was walking through a minefield without a map. I jumped as Emmett slapped his hands on the table bringing me out of my musings.
“Look man I gotta go. I need to head to the gym. I’ve got clients coming in about an hour and I want to get home to Rosie early. All this talk is making me think tonight would be a good night to pick a little fight with her,” he chuckled. “I’ll have to think of something to really piss her off.” He said standing to leave. An invisible light bulb went off and he exclaimed, “I know, I’ll get home earlier than she expects so she won’t be waiting at the door for me. I can tell her I told her what time I’d be home and she wasn’t paying attention.” He was rubbing his hands together in anticipation. “That always gets her.”
“Thanks for talking with me Emmett.” Shaking my head at him. I really didn’t understand his idea of fun and games, but I guess if it worked for him. We parted at the exit of the cafeteria.
“Yeah, bye Edward.” He grinned and waved on his way down the hall to the exit.
I could tell he was already distracted thinking of his hot angry make up sex as he called it. I took a deep breath and headed back to my patients. I needed to keep my mind focused on medicine for now. That was much easier than trying to make sense of what my brother had just told me.
Time flew checking on my patients. I got to stick my head in one more time to check on George. His son-in-law was sitting with him holding his youngest who was asleep on him. He was reading a magazine resting on his lap. He looked up at me as I entered.
“Hello, I just wanted to check on George one more time before I left,” I said.
He smiled and glanced at his father-in-law in the bed before turning back to me. “Mom’s down the hall talking to the grandkids. She wants to prepare them to say ‘goodbye’ today.”
“I told her she may still have a few days with him, but she’s convinced he’s going to pass today.” I said shaking my head.
“I know.” He smiled. “She would know better than anyone though when dad’s going to go. I swear she’s got a sixth sense or something. We offered 2 weeks ago for her to stay with us. She just kept refusing. I think the idea of leaving the hospital this time without him is really hard on her.”
“She told me they’ve been married 68 years.” I responded.
“Yeah, can you believe it? You know when I first met Sandy I thought I knew what love and marriage was. Boy, was I wrong.” He glanced down at the sleeping child in his lap. “Mom and Dad have shown all of us by example what real love is. I’m so lucky to have been blessed with their daughter and now our children. I only hope I continue to live up to the example they set for all of us.” He started laughing quietly, more to himself now. “Of course, with mom living with us if I don’t, she’ll slap me upside the head to be sure.”
I really didn’t have a response to that. Women don’t tell us what to do or express displeasure in our family. Well, other than Rosalie with Emmett I guess.
“Well you have a beautiful family. Tell Maddie I stopped by again. I’ll come by first thing in the morning to check on him.”
“We won’t be here, but thank you,” he replied. “You’ve taken great care of dad for us and we all appreciate everything.”
I turned to leave. I couldn’t get over the faith this entire family put into one woman and her feelings, her hunches. I knew he’d still be here in the morning.
I drove to Jasper’s club mulling over what Emmett had told me. I hoped Jasper would be able to give me the answers I needed. He was always so level headed. He approached everything he did with clear, precise planning. I pulled up to the club and trotted in. It was quiet other than a couple of employees stocking the bar for the evening crowd. It was the weekend and they’d be packed tonight.
I’d need to bring Bella one evening. I’d love to feel her dancing in my arms. To feel her body sway with mine to the beat of music… as my hands slid down her hips to pull her closer to me.... I shook my head to clear my thoughts. I was going to need to do something about Bella soon or I was going to explode.
I found Jasper in his office pulling Styrofoam containers out of a bag. He looked up at me coming in.
“Hey Edward. I picked up Chinese. I hope that’s ok with you?” he said as he sat down.
I picked up the package of chopsticks and grabbed a container. I saw shrimp lo mein, my personal favorite. I smiled at Jasper.
“I haven’t had Chinese in ages. This is great. Thanks man.”
As we ate we talked about inconsequential things, not really ready to broach the subject that was coming. It didn’t feel right talking about Bella casually over a meal. When we were finished he left to get us a couple of drinks while I threw everything in the trash. He came back and handed me my drink before sitting down.
“How is Bella doing?” he asked casually.
I guess that was one way to start the conversation, easing the tension. I proceeded to tell him everything I’d told Emmett, about her not speaking to me, her nightmares, me not sleeping because of going back and forth between the sofa and bed. How hard it was for me.
“It’s been a rough few weeks. She walks around like a zombie. I just don’t know what to do to snap her out of it. I want to go forward with her. Hell, I need to move forward. Having her this close and not being able to touch her or have her touch me is making me crazy. Tell me what to do. You said Charlie and James traumatized Alice. What did you do to get her over it?”
Jasper just sat there, staring at me. It seemed like forever, he was just… watching me, making me squirm. As I stared back, his expression altered drastically, from being neutral to fury and disbelief. He finally spoke.
“Am I making you uncomfortable? Good, because brother, you are a fucking asshole, you know that!? I cannot believe you! Those bastards, they, they,” he was searching for the right word to put it, “… brutalize Bella, and you’re upset because she isn’t healing fast enough for you. What about her?! It’s always about you Edward, isn’t it? You expect her to just snap out of it when you think she should. Let me tell you something, you’ve got a lot to learn and I pity Bella. Of course for everything that she’s been put through, but mostly because she is stuck with you! If you don’t get your head straightened out fast, and I mean really fast, it’s only going to get worse. It’s already started, and you just keep feeding it with your nonsense.”
Jasper put his head in his hands, clearly trying to control his outrage. He looked up, but this time I saw shame in his eyes. Maybe he would apologize for his outburst.
“Do you remember when I met Alice for the first time?” he asked, still looking anguished and afflicted. He obviously wasn’t apologizing I thought annoyingly.
Great, another fun trip down memory lane. I didn’t know if I had the patience for another story after Emmett’s. I just wanted someone to tell me how to fix Bella.
“Yeah, she spent three days in the hospital because she took a nasty fall at Charlie’s when she was coming down the stairs. It was the day you were getting her. What about it?” I was clearly irritated.
“If you weren’t my brother Edward, I think right now I’d belt you.” He growled at me.
“I lied. And not some little white lie, brother,” he spat out, “She didn’t fall down the stairs. She fucking jumped out of a second story window. She wanted to get away from me. She was trying to kill herself. She attempted suicide because at that point, death would have been better from what those lowlifes did to her. She thought
I was there to hurt her also, she thought I was just like them.”
I sat there. I was just… stunned by his revelation, and the first thing that came to my mind was that my brother did not cuss. He was seething with anger remembering. He took a gulp of his drink before continuing.
“Alice wasn’t a virgin when we married. James and his friends mangled her. They raped her repeatedly during the time she was with them. The day I met her, and no I never “got” her, she’s not some toy to be purchased, contrary to your twisted beliefs. But anyway, that day was the worst. James had several of his friends at his house. And Alice knew them; they were her classmates in high school. He was showing how pathetic she was to him and everyone else. He let them all have their turn to abuse her; of course there was a price though. He charged them to torment my sweet Alice any way they wanted. She was covered in bruises and cuts when I saw her for the first time. The second time she was unconscious, lying on the ground.”
He was watching me carefully now as just stared at him. I had no idea it was that bad.
“Do you know I didn’t touch her at all for 6 months? I still won’t touch her if it makes her uncomfortable. We’ve been in counseling for over a year, and our therapist is still trying to get Alice to connect the word sex with pleasure, and not pain. You’re worried about 3 weeks! When Alice first woke up in the hospital she wouldn’t talk to me at all. She was so afraid of me, and with good reason, I was nothing but a monster to her. I was the sole reason she was put in that position in the first place. I picked her. I told Carlisle she was the girl I wanted and he made the call to Charlie to get her for me. No thought about whether she might want me in return, no thought if she wanted to lead a different life. I sat there,” Jasper was choking up, I swear I thought he was going to breakdown, “… And listened, I listened to Carlisle haggle over price with Charlie and the time frame for her training. She was there for over 3 months before I met her for the first time. All I got were progress reports and pictures of her. I didn’t comprehend what was really happening to her. I couldn’t have. Have you ever even thought about what they go through with Charlie and James? Has the mere thought of what happens in that hell hole crossed your mind?”
He was looking at me now. I just shook my head. I was afraid I didn’t want to know what he was going to say next.
“Charlie and James had a sick game they liked to play with the girls they imprisoned. They stripped their identities and brainwashed them through torture and humiliation. And it’s not just psychological, it’s physical too, they attacked all forms of protection, all layers of defense. They were treated no better than a slave. Worse, actually. There was no kindness bestowed on them. They kept them bound to furniture while they violated them or took out their punishments on them. And those punishments-they were beaten, repeatedly. In Bella’s case it was the worst.”
I looked at him questioningly. I didn’t understand how it was worse for Bella. She wasn’t there for that long.
“Edward,” he growled, “they’re her family! She was being tortured by her own brother and father. For Alice, Rose and every other woman, Charlie and James were just demons living in this world, and they were dealt an unlucky hand by stumbling across them. There’s no coincidence for Bella, no mistake, they’re required by law to protect her always. And it shouldn’t even be a question of law! She was his daughter, his sister, it really makes you wonder how incredibly twisted they both were for being able to make it through the night. Did you ever stop to realize what this entire experience has been for her? She was in a car accident just a few short months ago that took the lives of her mother, and the only father she’s know for 10 years. Can you imagine how hard it must be to lose her protectors? Straight from that, she is sent to Charlie and James only to be informed that she’s been chosen, at the age of 17, to be your wife. She is forced to perform acts for her father and brother that are illegal on so many levels. There’s a reason why incestual relationships are forbidden, can you take a minute to comprehend just how sick that is? She hasn’t been given the time to mourn. Have you even talked to her about them? Asked what they were like, if she has any fond memories. Have you asked anything at all? And no, Edward, requesting that she serves you breakfast doesn’t count, I mean it’s not like you don’t have the skills to pour yourself a damn cup of coffee.”
“So don't come here and ask me when she'll snap out of it. I don’t want to hear your selfish insignificant needs. She probably never will snap out of it, not with the way you treat her. Edward she needs therapy. She needs professional help. You can't do that. She sees you as an enemy, not an ally. You scare her. Accept it. You better get used to her flinching every time you go within a 10 foot radius. Yeah, I’m going to guess she already does that, and she can’t help it. You’re going to slowly kill her if you don’t change your behavior with her. I've lived it with Alice, and I barely saved her. I wasn’t her lover immediately, it took so long for her to see me as her husband. It's been two years, and she still isn't over it, she just has ways of coping now.”
“If I could, Edward, I swear I’d take Bella from you and hide her far away from you and our family. She’s so innocent, and her life has barely begun, and you’re ruining it. She doesn’t deserve this. No girl does.”
I couldn’t move, I was processing. I was churning inside with so many emotions I didn’t know what I was really feeling. I was shocked by what he told me happened with Alice. She didn’t deserve that, she’s such a good person. And then… Bella. I felt guilty for not thinking about her loss, the car accident, god that must have been scary. I’ve seen so many car accident victims, they are always so messed up, why didn’t I ever connect it, realize that Bella was one of those victims? And then there was the whole training thing. I didn’t want to think about it, it was too hard. Then the anger set in motion, Jasper. How dare he threaten to steal Bella from me? She was mine! I threw back the last of my drink and stood.
“Thank you for lunch. And thank you for sharing your opinions on Bella with me. I’m sorry for what Alice had to go through, but I can take care of Bella just fine. She just needs me to help her get past this, and I will. You’re right that I didn’t consider the fact that she just lost her mother. I’ll correct that right away.”
I put my hands on the back of my chair gripping it firmly to control my anger.
“But let me make one thing clear brother,” I snarled. “No one will ever take Bella away from me. So don’t threaten me. If you ever try to take her from me ever-I will find her. She’s mine and I refuse to let her go. Ever.”
“Correct it? What the hell is wrong with you Edward?! This isn’t some equation, this is her life, her wellbeing! You’re in such denial, it’s crazy. You are way worse than Emmett was. You just don’t get it do you?” Jasper said standing and coming around the table. He gripped my shoulder with his hand. His eyes were conveying so much passion, “She’s already so lost, she’s so close to just… disappearing before your eyes. You need to change your thinking. Please, just try and think about what you’re doing, I know you Edward, you’re a good person, you’ll recognize how wrong this is.”
I shrugged off his hand and stormed out of his office slamming the door on the way. I didn’t want him to follow me. I got in my car and drove out of the parking lot trying to block his comments from my thoughts. I heard my phone ring and checked to see who it was.
Just great. Just what I needed after the day I was having. Carlisle.