Charlie couldn’t believe the man before him was the same young man that he considered his own flesh and blood. When he thought Tony had died in the house fire, it affected him profoundly. He never let Bella see how much he grieved over the loss of Tony. He had spent hour after hour in the forest behind their home contemplating and dealing with the grief and sadness. The day after the explosion he was helping Renee with some laundry and as he was taking clothes out of the dryer something dropped on the floor, and as he went to pick it up, he realized it was one the handkerchiefs that he had given to Tony for Christmas. He had them personalized with his initials and Tony had loved them. Putting it in his pocket, Charlie finished folding the clothes, and when he finished, he walked into the living room and got out the Swan family bible. Opening it up to where the lists of births and deaths of Swan family members, he placed the handkerchief between the pages, because in his heart Tony was a Swan.
“What happened?” Charlie asked.
“Charlie it is a long story, and I promise to tell you everything, but right now I need to get back to my plane and get back to Chicago.”
Charlie couldn’t stop looking at Tony, but then it hit him. Chicago. “Have you seen Bella?”
Fuck, Fuck, Fuck. Edward didn’t mean to say Chicago, but he knew that he couldn’t lie to Charlie because he could tell. “Yeah, but just recently.”
Charlie watched the expression on Tony’s face, however even in the low light from the flashlight he could tell that he was holding something back. Being a police officer for nearly thirty years, he had learned how to read not only people’s facial expressions but also their speech and actions. Why would Tony be sneaking in the playhouse in the dead of night for what looked like a DVD and now he has to rush away without an explanation? Then it hit him. “Bella is in trouble.”
This is what Edward wanted to avoid. “Charlie, my sperm donor is an evil man. My mother’s name is not Marie, but Esme and my name is really Edward, Edward Cullen, the only child of Carlisle Cullen of Chicago.”
Charlie thought for a moment because he thought the name Cullen sounded familiar. Carlisle was an unusual name, but so was Cullen. Then as if Charlie was struck by lightning it fell together, evil, Chicago, and Carlisle Cullen. “Holy hell, he is known to be in organized crime.”
“He is not known, he is the leader of the Cullen Crime Family,” Edward explained. He knew that he had to tell Charlie about Bella. “The reason I am here is to retrieve this DVD which has Carlisle killing three FBI agents in cold blood. It is my last resort in case I am killed trying to take him out and rescuing Bella.”
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN RESCUE BELLA?”. Charlie yelled.
“Carlisle kidnapped her, and I told him I would give him this disk if he would let her go unharmed, but I have to get back to Chicago by eight a.m.”
“I am going with you. This motherfucker messed with the wrong person,” Charlie growled, wanting to make Carlisle suffer tenfold for every ounce of pain he may have caused his precious daughter. When he found out what type of business Bella started, he wanted to fly to Chicago and demand her to come home; however, she was an adult, and she wasn’t breaking any laws. He knew that she was still suffering over the loss of Tony, but as much as he hated the idea, he remained quiet.
“No Charlie, it is too dangerous, and I won’t be following any laws,” Edward explained.
“I think I can handle himself and I will be leaving my badge here. This is personal, and I expect to get dirty,” Charlie replied with conviction.
Edward didn’t have time to argue. “Alright, we have to leave now.”
“Come on to the house, so I can change and leave a note for Renee.”
“We have got to go, so please don’t wake up Renee. We both know she will never let us leave in time.” Edward said. If they made it out alive, he would love to spend time with Renee.
They walked to the house and Charlie led him into the laundry room, where he had a pair of dark jeans, black long sleeve shirt, and the hook was the soft black leather jacket that Bella had sent him for Christmas. After changing he locked his gun in the safe, along with his badge and quickly wrote a note that he got a call from the Seattle PD to help with a case. This wouldn’t raise any flags because he had worked a number of cases over the years with them. He even stated that they picked him up, so he wouldn’t have to hide his cruiser.
Being in Charlie and Renee’s house, made all the happy memories come flooding back. They had and will always be his surrogate parents, and he loved them with all his heart. As he stood waiting for Charlie to change, he could almost smell the fresh baked cookies that Renee made for him and Bella. They would take containers full of the gooey goodness to their playhouse and spend the afternoon reading a good book while munching down on the cookies.
Once Charlie tied up the few loose ends, they were both out the door and cautiously headed to Edward’s vehicle.
“Smart move parking in front of Mrs. Waylon’s house. She lost her hearing aids last week.” Charlie said.
They jumped in, and Edward pulled out and headed back to the airfield. Once outside the city, Edward punched the gas, pushing the vehicle as fast as it would go. He glanced over at Charlie, thinking at any moment he was going to yell at him to slow down, but instead, he looked calm. “Aren’t you going to say anything about my driving.”
“Nope. You had a great teacher,” Charlie joked. Even though Edward was only fourteen, he took him to the cabin in mountain and in the fields surrounding it he taught him how to drive.
Edward couldn’t help but chuckle. He had missed spending time with him, but it was time to get serious. Pushing his hand’s free device, he called Jasper for an update.
“Yes, Boss,” Jasper answered.
“Give me an update,” Edward barked, as he fell back into the role of the future mob leader. This would be a conversation that he would have to have with Charlie.
“Esme is safely tucked away. No one has noticed that she has escaped and Ben is standing guard. JB has incapacitated Carlisle for the night.” Jasper answered.
“What do you mean incapacitated? He can’t let Carlisle and his men know that we are attacking them yet.” Edward protested.
“He didn’t because he was able to sneak turbolax into Carlisle’s salad. Carlisle was having oysters on the half shell because he wanted to make sure he was ready for his little prisoner.” Jasper disclosed.
Edward couldn’t help but growl loudly. The thought of Carlisle touching Bella made him so mad, and he couldn’t wait to make the fucker suffer.
“The turbolax worked like a dream. JB said that Carlisle has thought that he got some bad oysters and had been staying in the toilet all night. Bella is still tied up in the spare room and other than the guard checking on her, no one has been in the room. Did you get the disc?”
“Yes. Did you talk to Alice?” Edward asked.
“Yes and after some convincing, she is on board,” Jasper answered. He had gone over to Alice’s apartment and laid everything out. He told her about the family, his role in the family, and what they were hoping that they would be able to overthrow Carlisle and takeover, however, if their plan failed, then he needed her to take the disc to the FBI. Even if failed, Carlisle would still go down.
“Good. I am almost to the airfield.” Edward stated.
“See you when you arrive.”
After the phone call, Edward and Charlie remained quiet until they arrived at the airport. As soon as they pulled up, Malcolm was down the stairs waiting for them. They got out of the vehicle and walked to the plane.
“Malcolm, this is Charlie, and he is going with us. Are we ready to get in the air?” Edward asked.
Malcolm was shocked to see another person with Edward, and when he introduced him as Charlie, he knew that this must be Bella’s father the cop. He knew better that question Edward about why he was bringing a cop to Chicago, but he couldn’t help but wonder why. “Yes. We are fueled and ready for takeoff. I have checked the weather, and it should be smooth flying to Chicago and our projected arrival time is six-thirty a.m.”
“Good. Charlie, come let’s get to Chicago before it is too late.” Edward informed.