Bella couldn’t believe she had forgotten her keys at the gym. She was almost all the way back at the apartment when she had to have her driver to turn around and take her back. Her only excuse she could think was the fact that Jacob had worked the hell of her. Self-defense was something she prided herself in, especially in her line of work. It was a requirement for each of her girls and guys to keep up with their classes. No matter how careful she was with her extensive background checks on clients, there was always a possibility that she could have missed something. As soon as they pulled up to the gym, she quickly got out and went inside. Walking up to at the desk, she noticed that Jacob wasn’t there, but Michael, who made her skin crawl with his innuendos and the way he seemed to always undressed her with his eyes, was.
“Well, it must be my lucky day.” He said, licking his lips and staring at her breasts.
Fuck, she thought. “Hey Mike. Is Jacob around?”
“Yeah, but he is busy getting beat up by Eddie.” He joked, pointing back to the boxing ring.
As she looked back, she could see him toe to toe with a guy who was, in fact, getting the best of him. Fuck, that was hot. Jacob had some great moves, she had experienced that in her training with him, but this guy countered every one of them. She could have stood there and watched them all evening, but she needed to get home and prepare herself for the event coming up in two days. “Did he happen to find any keys?”
“Well, hell, babe, if I knew they were yours I would have delivered them myself.” Mike leered, placing the keys on the counter. As Bella went to pick them up, he reached out and covered her hand with his hot, sweaty hand. “You know we could be so good together, because I can tell you like it hard, nasty, and rough.”
“I am sorry, Mike, but I have a boyfriend.” Bella said, gritting her teeth, wanting nothing more than to deck him. Turning quickly, she hurried off to the car. Fuck, she wanted to get home and scrub her hand. Not many men creeped her out, but, for some reason, Mike was one of them.
****** D ******
Edward felt better after going five rounds with Jacob. The fucker might have thirty pounds on him, but he was slow as Christmas. They were sitting on the bench, unwrapping their hands and drinking some much needed water.
“Fuck, Edward, you are a quick motherfucker on your feet. Did you ever box when you were in school?”
“No. I enjoy doing it to relieve pressure from my job and family.”
“Damn man, what kind of job do you have?” Jacob asked, unsure of what he had heard about what the Cullen family.
Edward knew he couldn’t tell Jacob anything. “Hell, man, I could tell you but I would have to kill you afterwards.” He said laughing.
Jacob just looked at him, and hoped he was just joking. “All right. I want a rematch, but you have to give a few days to recover.”
“Sure thing. See you next week.”
Edward changed his clothes and headed home. Tomorrow was going to be a very stressful day, and he needed to be refreshed and on his toes. Several times over the years, Carlisle had required him to go for days at time without sleep, to ensure he could always be alert for any possible dangers. He hoped that everything went smoothly because he really wanted to spend time with his mom. He wondered what other letters she would try to give to him. It had taken him months, fuck, almost two years before he realized his mother was trying to give him a message. Finally, he began to remember the quick letters she would draw on his palm as they held hands. She could only do two or possibly three before she quit. He knew she was trying to be careful not to get caught. So far she had given him, Under the fl. Tomorrow, he hoped to get a few more letters. There was no doubt that she had something important for him to find; maybe, just maybe, it would be useful against the devil himself.
As he was washing off the sweat from the gym, he rubbed the cloth over the tattoo over his heart. His mind went to Bella and wondered how she was? Had she found someone to love? Did she ever think of him? He knew he thought of her because his love for her never stopped. He hoped maybe one day, when he was able to take down Carlisle, that he might be able to see her once again. After his shower, he went to bed, with dreams of Bella still in love with him.
The next day went smoothly, and he was able to get to visit his mom. As always, Carlisle had several guards watching them intently as they visited. Thankfully, she had been able to keep out of Carlisle’s wrath. The first few years were the worst, but, finally, the men of the family had decided that she had paid for whatever sin that Carlisle had accused her of, and, actually, one of the men had fallen for her. Benjamin had never forced himself on her, and, over time, they had learned how to play the game for the camera, just in case Carlisle was watching.
Edward’s time with his mother went all too quickly, but she was able to give him three more letters. But, what did they mean? He was sure there were more and he couldn’t wait until their next visit.
When he awoke the next morning, he was dreading the evening already. Fuck, he didn’t want to go and he definitely didn’t want to have a date that he didn’t know at all. But, he had to put on his proud loving son of Carlisle Cullen appearance. He was glad that, at least, Jasper was coming and was bringing the chick he had been seeing. The fucker had fallen hard for the girl and he knew nothing about her. If this relationship continued, he was going to make Jasper run a background check on her.
The day went by too fast, and, before he knew it, it was time for him to leave for the event. It was being held at the Ed Paschke Art Gallery. The who’s who of Chicago were going to be there, and, the only reason Carlisle was going, was because he needed to be the center of attention. Also, he needed to let the powerful people in Chicago that he was ultimately in charge.
Edward put on his tuxedo, and drove his prized sports car to the gallery. Carlisle had texted him and told him to text him as soon as he pulled up. His date hadn’t arrived, but was expected at any moment. He made it to the gallery, and pulled up to where the valet parking attendants were standing. One of them opened the door, and, once Edward stepped out, he gave the attendant a hard cold stare.
“The name is Edward Cullen and that should tell you how I want this car taken care of.”
He barked, channeling Carlisle into his tone.
“Of course, Mr. Cullen, sir.” The valet said as his hands shook with fright.
Edward began to walk up the stairs in the sea of flashing lights and reporters.
“Mr. Cullen, this way, Mr. Cullen!!” They screamed.
He had gotten used to this. In the beginning, he couldn’t believe they wanted his photograph, however, now, it was the norm. After stopping several times, he finally made his way into the gallery. Pulling out his phone, he texted Carlisle. A few minutes later, he arrived with a huge smile and a drink in his hand.
“Glad you made it.” He said, placing his arm around Edward’s shoulder and giving it a squeeze.
Edward knew this was all for show, and, he knew if he didn’t play along, there would hell to pay. “I am so happy to be here, Dad.”
“Your date texted; she has just pulled up.”
“Great, Dad.” He said, then he heard the outside erupt in a long roar. Whoever was walking up the steps, must be widely known by the press. Outside, he heard the same name being yelled. “Miss Masen, this way!!! Miss Masen, who are you wearing?”
As the minutes ticked back, Edward started to look around, since it seemed his date caught up with whoever was the attraction for the press. He wasn’t impressed with the pieces he saw from where he was standing, so hoped he could sneak out early.
“Ah, here she is. Miss Masen, may I introduce you to your date? This is my son, Edward Cullen.” Carlisle boasted.
Edward turned, and, when he did, his heart fell. Before him was Bella. How? Why?
Bella was prepared to meet her date, but, when the guy turned, she nearly fainted on the spot. This man was a dead ringer for Tony; however, that was impossible. “Hello Edward.”
“Hello Miss Masen.” He murmured softly.
As soon as Bella heard his voice, she began to shake and heart started to race. That was her Tony’s voice. Edward Cullen was her dead love. What the fuck?
Edward could tell by the expression on her face that she was about to lose it and he couldn’t have that around Carlisle. He needed to get her alone, and find out how she was here. “Thanks, dad. I think I am going to take Miss Masen and get to know her better before we make our rounds.”
Carlisle smirked. “Of course. I will see you much later.”
“Miss Masen?” Edward asked, holding out his arm for her to take.
Bella didn’t know what to do. She was so confused, because this guy was calling Carlisle dad, when Tony’s father was dead. However, when she looked into his sparkling green eyes, the eyes that she loved so much, she knew she had to find out what was going on. She took his arm as he led her through the gallery and out the side door. The door had led to the parking deck. He was able to get his key to his car. Once they were in, he sped off to find a secluded spot so they could talk. The tension in the car was unbearable. Turning off to the docks, he pulled over and got out. He began walking back and forth, tugging his hair as his mind was running wild.
Bella stepped out of the car and watched Tony, or Edward, pacing back and forth. She still couldn’t believe that he was alive and had been alive all this time. Finally finding her voice, she broke the silence. “Why?”
Edward head whipped around. “It wasn’t my idea.” He growled.
“What the fuck? You have been alive all this time. Do you realize what you have done to me?” Bella questioned.
“Do you think I haven’t been hurting as well?”
“Hurting? Fuck you. When you died, my heart died; I could never love another person because I had no way to do so. I have lived in a continual darkness with no chance of daylight.” She cried.
Edward couldn’t believe that Bella was here, then, it hit him. Carlisle had hired her to be his date. “So you become a whore because of that?”
Hearing him call her a whore, caused the rage inside her to boil over. Taking a step forward she decided that he needed to feel the pain that she had to feel. The fucker was going to sing. Taking her tightly bound fist, she hit him hard in the stomach, stomped on his instep, the heel of her palm made a quick jab up to his nose, and, lastly, she brought her knee up to his groin. He screamed out in pain and fell to the ground.