Bella was wide awake and mad as hell. She had tried for hours to get out of the ropes around her wrists. Every time she heard someone turning the doorknob, she would close her eyes and pretended to be asleep. Each time, she thought it was the creep Carlisle coming to force himself on her, but, each time, she was surprised and happy that it wasn’t. In the wee hours of the morning, she finally heard the reason why; when the guard came in to check on her, she overheard the moaning and groaning, which she soon realized came from none other than Carlisle. As she listened harder, she heard him yell out for someone to bring him more toilet paper. It took everything inside of her not to bust out laughing at the thought of Carlisle moaning in pain on the toilet. She always knew he was full of shit. After the guard checked, she would go back to try and get free from the ropes, and, with each passing minute, she was able to loosen them. Her thoughts were on Edward and if he was okay. She wanted to get free and get to Edward before he came in with guns blazing and could possibly get himself hurt or, even worse, killed.
Malcolm had taken off, and they were on their way back to Chicago. Edward and Charlie had settled in the cabin while the plane rose to cruising altitude and, once they had reached it, Charlie unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned forward with his elbows on his knees looking straight at Edward.
“All right, you are going to answer my questions,” Charlie commanded.
Edward had been expecting this; he knew it was time to lay everything out on the table, whether it be good, bad, or ugly. “Ask away.”
“Why did the guy on the phone call you Boss?”
“Because he is loyal to me. Charlie, let me tell you what happened leading up to today.” Edward implored. He told Charlie why Esme had ran away with him and how she hoped to protect him against Carlisle’s evil plans for him. Then he continued with how they were found and what happened when they were back in Carlisle’s clutches. “When I take Carlisle out, I will become the leader of the family.”
“Couldn’t you just dismantle the family and walk away?” Charlie asked.
“Yes, but the issue is that a rival family will step in and take over our turf. The leader will want to remove anyone who had anything to do with the Cullen family. They would come looking for me and any family that I might have. As much as I hate the idea, the safest place for me to be is Boss. Charlie, I hope that even though I will be on the wrong side of the law, you won’t think ill of me, because, in my heart you, are the only father I have ever had.” Edward explained.
Charlie stood up and paced up and down the narrow path behind the seats. With each step, he thought about what Edward had said; he wondered if he knew a way that would get Edward far away from this life. But, as hard as he tried, he couldn’t think of one way, so he had two options. He could turn his back on Edward, which meant he would turn his back on his daughter as well because he knew that they would be together no matter what. Or, he could stand by Edward and help him to turn the family into something that he could live with. He and Renee knew that Bella was never coming home. They had discussed that, when he retired, they would move to Chicago to be closer to her. He had thirty years behind the badge, upholding the law and as he looked at the young man who was, in his heart, his son, he knew that he couldn’t turn his back on him. Hell, he had walked the straight and narrow for so long, maybe it was time to see what it was like to walk on the dark side. Walking back to his seat, he sat back down and turned toward Edward. “So, are you going need some help running the family? Because I happen to know a guy who knows his way around a gun.” Charlie chuckled.
“Charlie, you don’t want to be part of this,” Edward said.
“Edward, family sticks together. I know that it is a matter of time before you and Bella get married.”
“Whoa, wait there, I haven’t even asked her yet.” Edward stuttered.
“Do you love her?” Charlie questioned.
“Can you imagine her married to anyone else?”
“Fuck no. I would kill any motherfucker that tried that shit.” Edward growled.
“So, that is your answer. You love her, and you can’t imagine her married to anyone else, which means you want to marry her. You have mine and Renee’s permission, and we can’t wait to have you as our son.”
“I have always considered you my father, but are you sure you want to be part of this life? You have been a cop for so long.”
Charlie reached over and patted him on the leg. “I am doing this for my family, you, Bella and Renee. You have stated that, if you walked away, you would be in danger and I know that if people are ruthless enough to go after you, they would go after anyone you care about. Let’s get to Chicago and take this motherfucker out, along with all his followers.”
A few hours later, Malcolm announced they were on approach to land. As the plane came to a stop, Malcolm opened the door and went down the steps, looking around the area for any potential security issues. When he saw Jasper, along with several other guards, he motioned for Edward and Charlie to disembark. Once Edward was on the ground, Jasper was ready to meet him.
“Hey, Boss,” Jasper said, then looked at the man behind him.
“This is Charlie, and he is here to help,” Edward explained.
Jasper looked the guy up and down and wondered how the hell was this old man going to be any help. Fuck, he would probably be killed in the first few minutes. “What is he going to do, drive the car? I mean, you can drive a car or do you need a horse and buggy?”
Charlie reached out and grabbed Jasper by the neck and lifted him off the ground. “Listen here, you prick; I was killing assholes when you were still in diapers.” Then, he gave Jasper a shove, causing him to land on his ass on the ground.
Edward couldn’t help but chuckle. “Jasper, this is Bella’s dad, and I wouldn’t piss him off.”
Jasper couldn’t believe the old man was able to get the upper hand on him, but, when Edward said he was Bella’s father, he remembered that he was a fucking pig; of course, he had some training. Jasper climbed to his feet and dusted off his clothes. “Boss, can I have a word in private?”
Edward didn’t have time for this shit. “Jasper, whatever you have to say, you can say in front of everyone. We have to get to Carlisle’s estate and take him fucking out.”
“Edward, he is a fucking pig. How can you know that he isn’t here to take you down once he witnesses you breaking a damn law?” Jasper ranted.
“Because, he is and has always been my true father,” Edward barked. “So are you still with me or not?”
“Of course, Boss, I was looking out for your best interest. However, if you trust him, then so do I.”
“All right, now, let’s go get what is mine and take out the trash.”
Everyone got into their vehicles and headed toward the estate. As they drove along, they made sure their weapons were loaded and ready for war.
Bella was still playing like she was asleep when the guard came in, but, as soon as he shut the door, she wiggled her hands from the ropes, which had finally loosened enough to get her hands free. As soon as she was free from the ropes, she rushed over to the sheer curtain draped doors, and, as she pulled back the curtains, she was excited to see that they led to a balcony. As quietly as she could, she opened the door and slipped out onto the balcony. Staying close the wall and out of the light as much as possible, she made it over to the edge and cautiously looked down. Fuck, it was a long way down, but she needed to get as far away as possible. Looking around as best she could, she finally decided to climb over the edge and try to climb down the tree that was next to it. Fuck, she hadn’t been in a tree for almost fifteen years, when she and Edward would climb the tree next to the playhouse and hang out. She began her decent, carefully placing her feet and hands on the most secure position possible. Hell, she just might do this without breaking her leg, or, worse, her neck, but, just when she thought she had it made, the limb she was holding onto cracked and before she could find another, broke away, sending her towards the ground. Just as she thought she was going to hit the hard ground, she was instead caught in a massive set of arms. Looking at the man that caught her, she tried to remember her defense moves.
“Hey, little lady. Boss is going to be glad that I caught you,” he said with a smirk.
“Let me go you asshole or my boyfriend will make you suffer even more.”
“Oh, I don’t think so, because the Boss likes me.”
Bella was confused by his comments and more she looked into his face, the more he didn’t look like he wanted to hurt her.
“The name is JB, and I am loyal to one man, and that is Edward Cullen.”