Carlisle never stopped looking for Edward and his bitch of a wife, Esme. He had often dreamt about how he would make her suffer for taking his son away. She deserved to die, but that would be letting her off too easy. Just like Johnny, who daily begged to be put out of his misery, Esme would beg for her life to end. Many different types of punishment were thought up, each one crueler than the last, but it wasn’t until he thought of what would she was had he decided what he would do when he found her. Pouring another glass of whiskey, he sat down and began looking over the books for his many businesses.
“Good afternoon, Boss.” Bobby said. walking into the office.
“Bobby B, any word?” Carlisle asked.
“No, Boss.” Bobby replied, hating he was unable to give his boss the news that he had waited so long to hear.
Carlisle frowned and gave a quick nod. “So, you are checking in before your trip?” He asked.
“Yes, Boss. I still can’t believe Janice is going off to school all the way on the West Coast. We tried and tried to talk her out of it, but she is as hard headed as her mother.” Bobby grumbled.
“Haha, you mean her fucker of a father. Bobby, your head is so hard it could knock down a stone wall with it.” Carlisle jested, as he held up his glass. “Pour yourself one and tell me about the school.”
After pouring a large glass Bobby sat down. “It is an art school. You know all too well how much she loves to draw.” Bobby chuckled, remembering the time when Janice was about five when she took a magic marker and drew stick animals in the journal that kept the totals of the lastest gun shipments. “Thanks for allowing us to take the jet. I don’t want to know how many bags she is taking.”
“Is she staying on campus or did she agree to the apartment?”
“The apartment. After she found out that it was across the street from an art gallery, she was all in.” Bobby said.
“Be careful and get back as soon as you can; we have a large shipment coming in at the end of week, and I want you there to oversee it.”
“I will get her settled and be right back. I just need to set up the cameras and install the bugs. You can’t trust those horny fuckers on the West Coast.”
Bobby downed his glass and headed out. He could tell in Carlisle’s tone that he was okay with him going, but he needed to get back as soon as possible.
Esme was more and more nervous the further away from Forks they went. She didn’t think that Carlisle would be in San Francisco, but she couldn’t help to be afraid. The years in Forks had been everything she had dreamed of in living a normal life. Edward had grown up to be a polite, honest young man; something that Carlisle knew nothing about. Esme never regretted a day of their hiding out in Forks, because she felt sure that, if they had stayed, Edward would be a totally different young man than he was now.
Looking back at him in the backseat of Charlie’s large SUV, he was smiling down at a sleeping Bella on his shoulder. Esme and Renee had noticed the change in Edward and Bella’s relationship over the past few months. They were still best friends, but now the look in their eyes was sparkling of love between a boy and girl. They had not voiced their new-found love yet, but Esme was sure that it was only a matter a time.
“Maria, are you okay?” Charlie inquired. He had noticed she was not her regular self. Every time they would stop, she seemed to be frightened to get out of the vehicle.
“I am fine; I guess I am little worked up about the show.” She answered, hoping that it would convince him. Over the last several weeks she had almost canceled the show a hundred times, but, as she looked at the pieces for the collection, the theme beamed through…DEFIANCE. Her defiance against Carlisle was in each painting, and it gave her the strength she needed to go on with the show.
They had planned to make several stops along the way and take in some of the sites. As they arrived in San Francisco, they were tired, yet excited about being in the city. Edward and thought and planned to make his feelings known to Bella on the beach at sunset. He had purchased a heart shaped necklace for Bella with an engraving on the back, T + B 4 ever. He only hoped that she would feel the same way.
They pulled into the Hyatt next to the waterfront. The hotel was close to the art gallery where Esme’s art show was being held. All her paintings had been shipped earlier in the month and Brandon had Skyped with her to get her feelings on where each piece should be hung. She would be spending most of the day tomorrow fine-tuning the setup before the opening in two days.
“Mom. Is it okay for Bella and me to go down to the waterfront?” Edward asked.
“But I thought we could go out to dinner and relax a little bit after that long trip.” Esme said, wanting to have a nice sit down meal and a long, hot bath.
“Bella and I can grab something, and take it to the water. I really want to see the sunset over the water.”
“You can go tomorrow evening.”
“Please, Mom. I need to do this tonight.” Edward pleaded. He couldn’t wait another day before he confessed his love to Bella. The whole trip, he couldn’t think of anything else.
“Why is it so important?” Esme asked.
Lowering his head and kicking at the floor with the tip of his shoe, he tried to get the nerve to tell his Mom. “Damn it.” He thought. If he couldn’t even tell his Mom, how the hell was he going to tell Bella?
“Tony, you know you can tell me anything, right?” Esme encouraged.
“I know, Mom.” Pulling from all his courage he had within himself, he started, “I want to give Bella a present. You see… you know that Bella and I have been friends for what seems like all our lives, but, recently, I have felt something more for her.”
“Tony, you love her.”
He nodded his head yes. “How did you know?”
Esme walked over to the couch, and patted the seat beside her. Edward walked over and sat down. “Mothers can sense these things. I am sorry your father wasn’t around for you to talk to about these things.”
“No, Mom. You have been the Mother and Father a child could ever hope for.” Edward declared. “I have dreamed of confessing my feelings for her at sunset next to the water.”
“Then you shall. Do you have something to give her?”
“Yeah. I saved my allowance for months and bought her a necklace.” Edward said, then stood up and reached into his pocket to pull out the blue velvet bag. Pulling the necklace out, he handed it to his mother to look at.
“Oh, Tony, it is beautiful.”
“Not as beautiful as she is, but I wanted her to have something to think about me.”
“She will love it. Go and have fun; make sure you take your phone with you.”
“I will, Mom, and, Mom, I love you.” Tony said.
“As I love you.”
Edward left to go get Bella, and Esme decided to order food in, and just relax. The trip had been trying on her nerves; with being away from her safe cocoon, and the upcoming show, she was at her breaking point. Some quiet time was what she needed.
Edward rushed next door to Bella’s room and knocked on the door. She opened it, and Edward noticed she was wearing a lovely pink flower dress and her dark hair down.
“Are you ready to go?” Edward asked.
“Yes.” Bella whispered. She was excited to be spending some time alone with Tony. They had been friends forever, but, over the last year, her feelings for him had changed. He was no longer her best friend, she now loved him like a woman loves a man. Everyday she hoped that his feelings for her would change as well, but he never said otherwise. However, over the last few months she had noticed him looking at her differently. “Maybe, just maybe.” She thought.
Edward felt bold and took her hand. “Come on.”
They walked out of the hotel and down the sidewalk toward the waterfront. Along the way, they picked up some food from a street cafe and continued on. They walked on the sand and laid the large beach towel that Edward had brought along. Sitting down, they ate their dinner and talked about all the sites they wanted to take in while they were here. As the sun begun to set, Edward turned toward Bella and took her hand once more.
“Bella, you have been my best friend for all my life. There is not one memory that I have that you are not part of, and now I hope and pray that this memory will stand above all those.” Edward proposed as he steadied himself for the next part. “Bella, I have fallen in love you and I hope that you will accept this necklace and be my girlfriend.”
Bella gasped. “You love me?”
“Oh, Tony, I love you.” Bella exclaimed, throwing her arms around his neck and knocking them over, causing them to both bust out in laughter. They sat back up and Edward pulled out the necklace and showed it to Bella. “It is beautiful.” She cried.
“No, you are beautiful.” Edward confessed. “May I?”
Bella nodded and picked up her hair so he could place the necklace around her neck. Once it was latched, he looked at the shiny diamond glisten off the setting sun. The overwhelming joy of seeing around her neck, confirmed their proclamation of love of each other. Looking up at her face, he wanted to seal it with a kiss.
“I know you have kissed me once, but I really want to kiss you now.” Edward stated.
“We were five, and I would love for you to kiss me.”
Leaning in, he placed his lips onto her soft lips, and, as the sun set, he knew that he would never want to kiss another woman. Bella Swan held his heart and soul until his last dying breath.