Fire of Your Soul ~ Chapter Four

I know that we’ve been sending all of you on an emotional roller coaster. We’re grateful for all of the support of our readers. Thank you! Also, we’re not Stephenie Meyer … sigh …

And onto it …

Chapter Four

 

After his phone conversation with his mom, Edward called Uncle Eleazar and informed him that he needed to resign. It was the only option. He had to go home, which meant that he’d have to quit his job. He hated that he had to leave a job he loved, but family always came first.

“What’s going on, Edward?” Eleazar asked, concerned that something had caused Edward to relive the tragedy that forced him to give up firefighting. His nephew was one of the best fire investigators in the department. It seemed unlike him to just throw it all away. Not without a valid reason.

“It’s Mom,” Edward whispered, his voice cracking and tears threatening to fall.

Eleazar was immediately alarmed. What was wrong with his sister? “What is it, Edward?”

Edward steadied himself, willing himself not to break down and cry.  “Cancer,” he choked out.

Eleazar gasped. Cancer, my baby sister had cancer, Eleazar thought sadly. “What kind and how bad?” he asked.

“Ovarian cancer, stage two.  She’s already started treatment and she said that she has the best oncology doctor in Seattle. However, I want to be there and not just for a few days or a couple of weeks. I need to be beside her through it all and it’s time for me to face my fears.  Home is where I need to be,” Edward declared.

“I’ll make some calls, but it could take up to a few weeks before you could go,” Eleazar explained, knowing he would do everything possible to get Edward freed up and on his way to Seattle.  “Have you thought of what you are going to do when you get to Seattle, work-wise that is?”

Edward had not really thought a lot about it, but he knew that he enjoyed being in the fire investigation department, but the crux of the matter was Charlie Swan. Charlie Swan was the fire investigation unit in Seattle. Could he work with Charlie without being overwhelmed with the guilt? What would Charlie say when he found out that he was the one that killed his daughter? Could he face Charlie? Yes, I can. I don’t want to give up on my dreams. “I’m going to apply with the Fire Investigation Unit in Seattle.”

“Are you sure? I mean, are you prepared to work side by side with Charlie Swan?” Eleazar asked. “The man’s a legend and you can learn a lot from him, but you left Seattle because of him.”

“I need to grow up, Uncle El. I can’t hide here. I need to be home. Mom needs me,” Edward shrugged. “Look, I understand that I have to work, finish out my obligations to the department, but it would mean a lot to me if you could help expedite the process. I’m going to call Felix, too. He needs to be aware of my plans. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Your offer helped me heal and I feel like I can go back without completely falling apart when I see Charlie. I respect him, Uncle El and the way I acted … that didn’t demonstrate respect. I was a fucking coward.”

Fireman Edward

“Okay, Edward. I’ll do what I can, and as soon as I can, I’m coming out to visit Esme. It’s been too long,” Eleazar said, his heart stammering against his ribs and his mind was reeling at the prospect of his baby sister being so sick with cancer. “And you’re not a coward. You’re the farthest thing from a coward. You’re an honorable man.”

“I appreciate it, Uncle El. I’m going to talk to Felix and see if I can use my vacation time too, at least, get out there as soon as I can,” Edward said. “Love you, Uncle El.”

“You, too, kid,” Eleazar responded and ended the call.

Edward’s next call was to Felix, explaining what was happening and thanking him for teaching him so much. Felix understood the reason why Edward was quitting and returning to Seattle. He quickly looked to find that Edward had a little over three weeks of vacation time saved up and he felt sure he could speed up Edward’s time off and resignation.

“Edward, you are an exceptional investigator and I am sure that the fire investigation unit in Seattle will gladly have you as part of their team. I will write you a glowing letter of recommendation and have all your training, testing, and qualifications sent out there as soon as you let me know,” Felix said.

“Thanks, Felix. I am going to send my resume after I get settled. I need to help my mom with her treatments. I’m using up my vacation time before crossing that bridge.”

“Just let me know and I’ll send everything they’ll need. Please keep me up to date with your mom’s condition and if you need anything, I mean, anything, you call me no matter what time it is,” Felix implored.

“I appreciate it, Felix,” Edward murmured. They said their goodbyes. After he got off the phone, Edward began closing up his life in Boston. He spoke to his landlord, explaining that he needed to return to Seattle. With a little convincing, he was able to sublet his apartment for the rest of his lease. He was going to leave his second-hand furniture, only taking his clothes and personal mementos.

With Eleazar’s persuasion and Felix’s brilliant idea to use his vacation time, Edward had to work one more shift before he began his cross-country trek back to Seattle. He spent most of his time looking over the samples from the apartment fire. After revisiting the site, it was determined that it was an overloaded outlet that had a short circuit, causing a fire in the walls. The building was older, with a wooden infrastructure that was dry. The fire spread fast, enveloping the entire building. However, it was not intentional. Edward typed up his report, sending it to the battalion chief and the police, who were concerned about arson.

“We’re going to miss you, Cullen,” Felix said, leaning against Edward’s office door.

“Yeah?” Edward chuckled. “I’ll miss you, too. I wish I didn’t have to go, but I need to be there with my mom.”

Felix pushed off the door frame, handing Edward an envelope. “This is from the guys. It’s some cash for your trip back to the land of mountains and rain. El told us you’re leaving early tomorrow morning, as soon as you pack up your shit into your Bronco. We’d rather take you out to get drunk off your ass.”

“I can’t, Felix,” Edward said, shaking his head and giving him a smile. “I love going out with the guys, but I want to get to at least Ohio by the end of the day tomorrow. That’s a ten-hour drive. I can’t do that if I’m hungover.” He looked at the envelope, that was filled with over a thousand dollars. “Man, this is too much.”

“We’d easily spend that tonight,” Felix laughed but sobered quickly. “We will miss you. You’re one of the best investigators we have. I’ll pray for your mom.”

“Thank you, Felix,” Edward smiled, tucking the envelope into the back pocket of his cargo pants.

“And whatever you decide, if you stay or whatever, you’ll always have a spot here,” Felix said, walking over to him and holding out his hand. “Prayers, man. Lots of prayers.” Edward shook it and Felix pulled him in for a hug. They smacked each other’s shoulders. With a nod, Felix left.

Edward picked up the few photos from his desk, along with his books that he had purchased on different types of fires and accelerants. He knew he could get the information on the web, but he loved researching fires in the printed text. He was ‘old school’ that way. Digital copies were convenient, but it made it difficult to write down notes of his findings in the margins. Making sure he had his National Fire Protection Association 921 Guide, the handbook for fire investigators, describing various types of fires and explosions, placing it in the box and putting the lid on top. Looking around his office once again, he thought of the time when he first arrived and how broken he was. However, after five years he still felt responsible for Angela’s death, but he knew that he needed to be strong for his mom and to face the demons that had kept him away from home.

nfpa921-2017 (1)

When he got back to the apartment, he loaded up his Bronco with his luggage, boxes and such. Using some of the cash, he picked up some fast food and went to bed early. Waking up with the sun, he passed off his keys to his cranky landlord, who was pissed to be woken up so early. Ignoring the cuss words, he turned on his heel and climbed into his car, driving away from Boston.

ford-bronco-8

Unlike the drive to Boston, he took a more direct route to Seattle only stopping for food, bathroom breaks, gas, and sleep. Not needing all the amenities of large hotels, just a clean bed and shower, he found small mom and pops motels along the way. Finally, after over three thousand miles, he was driving through the “Welcome to Seattle” sign and thirty minutes later he was pulling in the driveway of his childhood home.

Edward climbed out of his Bronco, raising his arms above his head and stretched out the miles from his bones and joints. Deciding he would unload later, he walked up the sidewalk and used his key to open the front door.

“Mom, I’m home,” Edward called out, wanting to find his mom as quickly as possible. “Hello?”

“Edward, I’m in the den,” Esme said in a frail, weak voice.

Cancer Esme 3

Edward walked through the house, finding his mother wrapped up in blankets. She was so tiny, looking like skin and bones. Her long caramel hair was gone, covered with a scarf.

Edward rushed over to her side and dropped to his knees.  Taking her delicate hand gently into his large one and he looked into her dull, bleary eyes. “Mom, I’m here now and I’m not leaving your side until we fight and beat this cancer.”

Esme smiled a weak smile, brushing her fingers over his scruffy cheek. “Oh, my sweet boy.”

Edward took a closer look at her through his tear-filled eyes. She had to lost at least thirty pounds. Her skin was a sickly yellow color, stretched over her tiny frame. Her once bright green eyes now looked more grey than green. It was clearly apparent that this disease had ravaged her body. “How long have you know about the cancer?”

“A few months, but I wanted to get ahead of it before worrying you,” Esme said, her voice cracking. “As soon as we found out, the doctor at Fred Hutchinson wanted to start an aggressive treatment to prevent the cancer from advancing to stage three.”

“What do you mean? Aggressive?” Edward asked, staring into his mother’s weary eyes.

“The doctor, after running tests, felt that a complete hysterectomy would be the first step. I was scheduled at the end of the week. I spent the weekend in the hospital. After a couple of weeks, I began chemotherapy. So far, the doctor said that the preliminary results look positive. I’m tired from chemo. I don’t eat a lot and what little I eat tends to make a reappearance,” Esme quipped, giving him a sardonic grin.

“Mom,” Edward sighed, glowering at her. “This isn’t funny.”

“It’s not, but I spent enough time crying, Edward,” she murmured, taking Edward’s hands, rubbing her thumbs over his knuckles.

At that moment, Carlisle walked in the room with a tray with some herbal tea and gingersnap cookies. After some trial and error, they found that this combination was one of the few things that Esme could keep down. Dr. Swan also recommended a vegan powder for replacement meals, custard for sores in the mouth, and orange juice to prevent dry mouth. In small portions, she was able to keep that down, but they learned not to overdo it, no matter how hungry she might be.

Carlisle was surprised to see Edward so soon after Esme had called. However, he knew that Edward would move mountains to get home as quickly as he could and it was apparent he did. “Glad to see you home, son.”

“Hey, Dad,” Edward said, not moving from his spot.

Carlisle placed the tray on the table and poured some warm tea in her cup, handing it to Edward, who took it and brought it towards Esme.  Not knowing if she was strong enough to hold the cup. “Mom, do you need help with this?”

“No, I think I can handle it,” Esme whispered, taking the cup from Edward and bringing it up to her dry, chapped lips.  Sipping the liquid, she moaned at the relief of the warmth as it traveled down her sore, dry throat. Pulling the cup from her lips, she handed it back to Edward to hold.  “Can I have one of the cookies?”

Edward picked up on the cookies and carefully placed it in Esme’s hand.  Bringing it up to her lips she took a small nibble, allowing it to melt in her mouth before trying to swallow.  As the ginger spicy goodness slid down her throat and to her empty stomach, she waited to see if it would make a reappearance, but after a few moments, it seems to stay put.  After she had finished the whole cookie, Edward handed the cup back to her and she finished it as well, drinking it in tiny sips.

“Thank you,” she said.

“No need to thank me, Mom. Now, what else can I do for you?” Edward asked.

“Nothing at the moment. Seeing you is more than enough,” Esme smiled, a shaky hand caressing Edward’s cheek.

Carlisle knew that having Edward here was going to help Esme’s spirit tremendously. “Son, how long are you here for?”

Edward looked at Esme, taking her hands into his and giving her a crooked grin.  “I’m home for good. I’m not leaving, Dad.”

“How?” Esme asked, surprised by his admission. “You were settled in Boston, Edward.”

“Settled is a point of view, Mom. I think I was still living out of boxes in my apartment from when I moved out there five years ago. Anyhow, I resigned and with my family leave, vacation time, Uncle Eleazar and Felix’s help, I was able to pack up and move back home,” Edward explained, his heart settling now that he’d laid eyes on his mother.

“But, what are you going to do for a job? I mean, we know you don’t have to work. We know how much you love the fire department and the camaraderie of working with them,” Carlisle said, his brows shooting to his hairline.

Edward had a large inheritance from his paternal grandparents and would never have to work a day for the rest of his life while living comfortably. However, he was raised to work hard and make a difference in the world. All their boys worked. They donated their time and money to worthy causes locally, as well as around the world.

“Dad, it’s more than that. You know that,” Edward murmured, getting up and sitting down on a nearby chair. “I’m planning on speaking to the chief, working in the same department that I worked in Boston.”

“Charlie Swan is the head of the fire investigation department,” Esme said, blinking up to Carlisle. “He was promoted shortly after you left.”

“I need to face him, Mom,” Edward replied. “But, not any time soon. I want to spend some time with you. I’ll call him after I get settled and know more about your condition. I hope you don’t mind your mid-thirties son moving back home.” He gave Esme a charming wink.

“You’re always welcome, Edward,” Esme said. “You may be moving back home, but you’re still my baby boy.”

“No, that’s Jasper,” Carlisle snickered, taking Esme’s empty teacup.

“All of my boys are my babies,” Esme argued, her eyes drooping and smacking at her husband weakly.

“Get some rest, Es,” Carlisle said. She nodded and snuggled into the blankets. Almost immediately, she dropped off, her quiet snores filling the room. “Come with me, Edward. She sleeps on and off throughout the day.”

“She looks so small, Dad,” Edward whispered as they left Esme in the den. “How bad is it?”

“The doctor is positive. After the surgery, it was biopsied and the cancerous cells were focused in her ovaries and uterus. They never left, um, there,” Carlisle explained and gesturing to his lower belly. “She’s on a rigorous course of chemo and radiation therapy, meeting with the doctor at the end of next week.”

“Why not earlier?” Edward asked.

“Despite being sick, Mom is determined to still do her job as the first lady of Seattle,” Carlisle quipped sadly. “Renee Swan has stepped up.”

“Swan?” Edward whispered.

“Charlie’s wife. We’ve become close to the family after Angela’s death,” Carlisle explained. “Renee and Esme are thick as thieves and Charlie, he shares my love of a good scotch and fishing.”

Edward wrinkled his nose. He preferred beer to scotch and fishing was just boring. He’d rather spend his time at a sports bar, watching the game and flirting with the girls at the bars. However, hearing that his parents were friendly with the Swans shocked him, especially after his involvement in his daughter’s death.

“Edward, I can see your mind twisting. Charlie and Renee are very friendly. They struggled with Angela’s death. Not as much as their other daughter, though. From what I’ve heard, she’s … she’s a robot, completely detached from her emotions. Reminds me of someone I know,” Carlisle whispered, giving Edward a concerned look.

“Angela,” Edward said, frowning deeply.

“No, Angela’s sister, Bella,” Carlisle replied, shaking his head sadly. “I’m so happy you’re home, Edward. I know that your mother is over-the-moon thrilled that you’re back.” He stared at Edward, seeing how tired his middle son was. “Why don’t you go to sleep?”

“Dad, I’m fine,” Edward argued.

“How long did you drive today, son?” Carlisle smirked. Edward pursed his lips. “Come on. I’ll help you unload your bags and get settled. Then, take a nap, Edward.”

They went out to Edward’s Bronco and gathered up the first batch of luggage, deciding to leave the boxes until he had time to figure out what and where he wanted his things.  They trudged up the stairs and to the room that had been Edward’s as a child. Carlisle hugged his middle son. “I’m so glad you’re home, Edward.”

“I’m glad to be home, too, Dad,” Edward said as he opened the door. He rubbed his eyes, expecting to see his teenaged incarnation of his room with wrestling posters, half-naked women and light-colored furniture. His room, now, was completely different. “What happened to my bedroom?”

2-bedroom-club-balcony-1

“Your mom was on a renovation kick. Almost every room was touched by Renee Swan,” Carlisle laughed. “This was done just prior to her diagnosis. Do you like it?”

Edward stepped inside, looking around the room and smiling softly. The room was painted a soft beige with a wooden accent wall behind the king-sized bed which was covered with a white duvet cover and golden pillows. The windows that had been in the room had been replaced with some new sliders and a gorgeous balcony. “Wow, Dad. This is beautiful.”

“We had to get rid of the teenage boy mess,” Carlisle laughed. “So, you got an updated and elegant new bedroom. If there’s something you don’t like, we can change it.”

“Dad, it’s great. For now, I want to curl up in that very inviting bed,” Edward chuckled.

“Well, I’ll let you get settled. When you’re ready, we’ll get the rest of your stuff from the car.”

“Thanks, Dad. Wake me if Mom needs anything,” he said, yawning from the sheer exhaustion from the long drive, along with not sleeping well at night. That was due to the nightmares that still haunted him from that tragic night. It would be a long time before those nightmares would disappear completely, if ever.

Carlisle was worried by how Edward looked and hoped that a good night’s sleep would help with the dark circles under his eyes. “Sleep well, son. Your mom and I are happy to have you home.” Carlisle hugged Edward and left the room.

Edward looked around the room once more, before walking into the bathroom. He was welcomed by the site of a luxurious walk-in shower, with multiple shower heads coming from every direction.

Fuck that looks inviting.

Stripping off his clothes, he stepped into the shower and turned on the water. It felt so good to wash away the miles and allow the pulsating shower heads to massage his tired muscles. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw the body wash and shampoo was the type that he liked to use. That was so his mom, always hoping that he would return home. Over the years, he could tell in her voice, even though she was supportive of him living in Boston, she wanted him to come back.

Using the body wash, he began smoothing the liquid over his firm chest and abs. Working out was something that he did to take his mind off the fire. With each mile on the treadmill, he felt he was that further away from the memory. With each weight he lifted, it released the heavy feeling of guilt from his chest. There was no ounce of fat on his body, only rock-hard muscle.

The guys at the station were jealous of him and women that he picked up at the local bar loved it while they were in his bed. However, the women he picked up were just used for sex. It wasn’t about their bodies, but just a biological and physiological function. He loved the feeling of women but refused to even address the idea of having a relationship. He liked to fuck.

And, he was fucking horny. Placing some more body wash into his hand, he wrapped it around his shaft and began to pump. He closed his eyes, and flashes of women’s bodies sped through his brain – the soft curve of their hips, perky, supple breasts, and the sweet taste of a woman’s pussy.  The images played out in his mind as he continued to pump, increasing in speed and in the amount of pressure on his grip. Placing one hand on the wall, he felt his orgasm build and finally, it came with an explosion of long strings of cum all over the wall of the shower.

tumblr_nktcru02Qf1s64q4no1_400_zpsp9rcpi0d

FUCK THAT WAS INTENSE!

After he came, he finished up his shower, making sure he washed off the cum off the  walls. He didn’t want either of his parents coming in and seeing that. Stepping out, he took one of thick, fluffy towels and dried off. He looked at the semi-steamed mirror. He saw the black circles under his eyes and his brown-bronze hair was sticking out in every direction. He had given up on trying to tame it a long time ago, but he did need a trim before his mom got on to him about it.

Going back into the bedroom, he looked at the pile of suitcases and bags, wondering which one held the only pair of sleep pants he owned. Giving up hope that he would find them, he dragged his naked ass into the soft comfortable bed and as soon as he head hit the pillow he drifted off to sleep.

The nightmares didn’t attack him as soon as he fell into slumber. He had a few erotic dreams, with moments of hot fucking with a nameless, faceless woman. However, the woman’s body was everything Edward ever enjoyed in a female. As he thrust into her, she turned around and he was shocked to see deep brown eyes and a heart-shaped face. He jumped back. The room was surrounded by flames. Edward was in his turnout gear and the woman was wearing her sleep clothes.

“This isn’t real,” Edward whispered, shaking his head in disbelief.

“No, it’s not,” she answered. “But, you live here, in this moment, Edward.”

“You know my name,” Edward breathed. “How do you know my name?”

“Again, you live here in this moment and I’ve been living here with you for five years,” she said, her voice soft and calming. “Do you know who I am?”

“Angela,” Edward replied. “I’m sorry about what happened to you. It’s my fault.”

She moved through the flames, which were licking at her skin, but not causing damage. She sat Edward down on a burning couch. It was hot, but the flames didn’t hurt them. “It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t my fault. It happened, Edward. Why do you blame yourself?”

“I wasn’t strong enough, Angela. I couldn’t hold onto you. I hated that I couldn’t save you,” Edward whispered, unable to look her in the eyes. “What makes it worse is that … Your father …”

“My dad was angry at you, Edward. He blamed you, too, but after reading the report he knew it wasn’t your fault. The explosion … not even Superman could hold on, Edward.” Angela took his hands, removing his gloves. “This limbo you’re living in … you need to move forward. Your family needs you. My family needs you, too.”

“I don’t understand,” Edward muttered. “What does that mean?”

“I forgive you, Edward. Do you forgive yourself?” Angela asked, brushing her fingers down his cheek.

“I’m trying.”

“Do or do not, there is no try,” Angela quipped. Edward snorted, a crooked grin ghosting on his face. “You do have one of those … ”

Dreamy Bella in pink

“What?” Edward asked.

“A smile,” Angela smirked. “It looks good on you. So, don’t wait so long to use it again. Changes are coming your way, Edward, and you need to open your heart and forgive yourself.” She stood up and the flames died away. She kissed his forehead, tracing her fingers along his jaw. “Be happy. Smile and open yourself up to new possibilities.” She drifted away, disappearing like smoke.

Edward’s eyes fluttered open. It was barely dawn. The bedroom was cast in a cool lavender light. He got up, sliding on his jeans. Padding out of the bedroom, he opened the doors to the balcony. It was raining, but what else was new. This was Seattle. He sat down at the table, overlooking the backyard and out to the Emerald City with Mount Hood barely seen through the misty, gray morning. He put his feet up on the opposite chair.

The nightmare, or dream, or vision, or whatever he had about Angela had left him unsettled. He had lived with that guilt for five years. He changed his career because of what happened. He missed fighting alongside his brothers and sisters in the fire department, trying to contain the demon that consumed everything that it touched. However, the fire investigation unit was where his heart was and couldn’t see himself doing anything else in the department. He was able to be a part of the brotherhood, even if he couldn’t actively fight fires anymore.

Looking out at the trees in the misty morning, the beginning of a new day, he thought of his mom, how strong she was and how she embraced life. Even now as she was battling cancer, she didn’t let it get her down. He thought of Charlie Swan and how the death of his daughter impacted his family. Charlie found a way to move on. It was time for him to stop dwelling on the past and face the facts that things in life happen. Sometimes those things are good and other times, things are bad. No matter the amount of training or how skilled you are, you couldn’t stop them. He needed to start living again, and not in the shell of existence that he had been subsisting in over the last five years.

Walking back into his room, he searched his bags for some clothes, wanting to see how his mom was doing today. Finding one of his BIU t-shirts and a pair of jeans, he got ready and headed out the door. As he got halfway down the steps, he could smell bacon coming from the kitchen. A home cooked breakfast sounded perfect. His dad was already spoiling him.

It’s good to be home.

Walking into the kitchen, he was shocked to see his mom at the stove and not his father.  “Fuck, Mom, you need to rest. Let Dad or me do that for you. Please, sit down.”

Esme turned from the stove and looked at Edward, then motioned for him to come closer. Edward stepped closer and when he was close enough, Esme whacked him with the spatula.  “Watch your mouth,” she quipped. “I didn’t raise you to speak like that, Edward Anthony.”

“I’m sorry, Ma,” he muttered, guiding her away from the stove. “But, you need to sit down. Where’s Dad?”

“He had a budget meeting. He left an hour ago,” Esme said, sitting down and sipping some of the special herbal blend. “I wanted to make breakfast for you, but I was feeling a little queasy with the smell of the bacon.”

Edward removed the bacon from the heat and drained the fat. “Mom, you need to focus on you. I’m here to help you. And I’ve been living on my own since college. I’ve been cooking for firehouses, as well. I can cook my own meal, though bacon and eggs are a bit heavy. Cereal would have been just fine.”

“I just wanted to do something special for you,” Esme smiled. “You’re home and here to stay.”

“Mom, I appreciate it, but let me take care of you,” Edward said, making some scrambled eggs and plating them. He leaned against the kitchen counter, staring at his mother. “What’s on tap for today? Do you have a chemo treatment or anything planned?”

“I had a treatment a couple of days ago. Renee is coming over today to help plan a charity benefit for underprivileged children,” Esme said. “We need to finalize seating charts, floral scapes, decorations and calling for donations for the silent auction. Oh, and you’re going, Edward. Do you have a tuxedo?”

“I do not have a tuxedo, Mom. I’m also not going,” Edward snorted. Esme arched a brow. “Mom, really?” Esme smiled wryly. “Fine, I’ll go. Only if you’re my date.”

“I knew you’d crumble,” Esme snickered, patting his arm.

A little while later, Renee and Alice pulled up at Esme’s home.  They tried to convince her they should wait for the benefit or they could handle it themselves. However, Esme wouldn’t hear of it, explaining she needed something to do to keep her mind off her chemo treatments.  Collecting the information, charts, and samples from the trunk, they walked up the walkway and rang the bell. Thinking that Carlisle would be answering the door, they were shocked to be face to face with a tall, young, good-looking man, wearing a tight t-shirt and a pair of jeans.

“Hello. We’re here to see Esme,” Renee said. “I think I’ve met you before, but I’m Renee and this is my assistant, Alice.”

“Hey, I’m Edward. Nice to meet you. My mom is in the den,” Edward replied, opening the door for the two women. “I just got here yesterday to surprise Mom. Come in,” he said, but he saw that their hands were full of bags and supplies. “Please, let me get those for you.”

“No, that’s fine,” Alice chirped.

“Please, I really don’t want to be on the wrong side of Esme Cullen,” Edward joked.  She had raised him and his brothers to be perfect gentlemen at all times. Taking their belongings, he led them to the den and announced their arrival. After that, he smiled at them. “Do you need anything, Mom? Mrs. Swan? Alice?”

“No, we’re good,” Esme smiled.

“Okay. While you’re planning world domination, I’m going to unload my truck,” Edward snickered. “If you need me, just holler.” Esme waved him off and he ducked out of the den.

“He’s gotten more handsome since I’ve last seen him, Esme,” Renee smiled. “And muscular.”

“All of my boys are handsome,” Esme nodded, smiling coyly. “Now, let’s talk about this charity event, shall we?”

~o~o~o~o~

“To the left, Dad,” Bella said, her eyes narrowing. “No, the other left, Dad.”

“Smart ass,” Charlie snorted. “We good?”

“Yeah,” Bella snickered. “That’s the last one for now. Mom and I are going to an art fair next month in Portland to get some more paintings. I think it’s perfect as it is.”

“It’s very sterile, Bells,” Charlie laughed. “You’ve got two pictures up and that glass thing.” He gestured to Alice’s installation. “But, I think we need to get these smoke detectors connected before we put up more paintings.”

“Dad, I have smoke detectors in every single freaking room,” Bella deadpanned.

“You do, but are the batteries working? Are they connected to the security system? Do you have a clear escape route?” Charlie pressed.

“You’re obsessed, Dad,” Bella snickered, rolling her eyes.

“I have to be, sweet girl,” Charlie murmured. “I’ve lost one daughter. I’ll be goddamned if I lose another. Let me be all protective. It’s a father’s prerogative. Do you have those batteries?”

“In the linen closet,” Bella replied.

“Can you go get them?” Charlie asked, smiling at his daughter. She nodded, disappearing down the hall. He stood on a ladder, checking on the first smoke detector in the main living area. They worked together, changing the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen. After speaking with the head of security, they verified that they were all connected to the main security office.

“Dad, this is overkill,” Bella snickered.

“It might be overkill, but necessary, sweet girl. We’re good, though,” Charlie chuckled. “I think it’s time for a beer. You have beer or do you drink that fancy frog water?”

“Frog water?” Bella laughed. “Dad, no one says that anymore.”

“Do you have a beer or not, Isabella Marie?” Charlie snorted.

“Nothing but the best for my old man,” Bella said, opening up her fridge and grabbing a can of Vitamin R, putting it onto the quartz countertop. She pulled out her own can, popping the tab. “Let’s go outside, Dad. It’s not raining and I’d like to use the fire pit. I know that with a firefighter, I’ll be safe.”

523ffdb8673351ea73cc74086a079634--seattle-washington-washington-state

They went outside and Charlie showed Bella how to start the fire pit. They settled down onto the chairs, watching as the flames danced over the wood. “I was always fascinated by fire,” Charlie murmured.

“That would be fitting since you’re a firefighter,” Bella said, sipping her beer.

“A fire investigator, smart ass,” Charlie sighed.

“Why are you fascinated with fire, Dad?” Bella asked.

“It’s beautiful. Destructive, but beautiful,” Charlie said quietly. “You have to respect that beauty and its ability to destroy.”

4R4A6952

“I do, Dad. You taught me that,” Bella said, her voice quiet and contemplative. “What’s going on?”

“I can’t believe that you drink Vitamin R,” Charlie said.

“Do you know how hard it was to find it in New York?” Bella asked, taking another slug of beer. “I had to order it online. I like it better fresh. It reminded me of home. Angela and I got drunk in the treehouse on this stuff. She hated it. I loved it. Angela preferred the ‘frog water.’”

“I thought you said that no one said ‘frog water’ anymore,” Charlie quipped. Bella just snorted, taking another pull from her beer. “Bells, I know that things between us have been distant since Angela died.”

“We’ve been distant because I lived three thousand miles away, Dad,” Bella quipped.

Charlie didn’t smile because the distance was more than the physical issue. “Bella, you’re a lot like me when it comes to emotions. You compartmentalize. It’s how you’re a great doctor. You’re able to shut off those emotions to help your patients,” Charlie whispered. “I’m so proud of you, Bells.”

“Dad …” Bella breathed.

“No, I need to say this. I’m proud of you and proud of the person you’ve become. I’ve always been proud of you. I’m so sorry that I pushed you away after the fire. I blamed a lot of people for that damned fire, including myself. Your mom, however, made me see that the only one who’s to blame is the asshole who started it,” Charlie growled. “And I still haven’t found him, either. Not that I’ve stopped looking, damn it.”

“Dad …” Bella whispered.

He continued, “We’ll never forget Angela, but it’s time we started living without her and embracing life, along with those we love. I love you both so much and I always have.”

“Dad, you’re not the only one who pushed away,” Bella said. “I left after Angela’s funeral because being here without her was too much. So, I went back to New York. I threw myself into work, trying to forget the pain.”

“What made you come back?” Charlie asked.

“I needed my family. I missed you. I missed Mom and I missed Angela. Even if she’s gone, I needed to be closer to her,” Bella whispered, idly playing with the tab of her beer.

Bella and Charlie were sitting in the silence of the evening, watching the flickering of the flames, while taking an occasional drink of their beer. “So, I guess since you love Vitamin R, the next thing will be you wanting to go fishing,” Charlie joked. “You want to go to the lake house?”

Charlie chapter 4

Bella just shivered at the thought of picking up a slimy, wiggly, worm and placing it on the hook. She liked catching fish, the serenity of the water, but not baiting the hook.

“You tell me that you’re a doctor, but afraid of a little worm,” Charlie laughed.

“They are so icky,” Bella grimaced at the thought of them. “Slimy and gross, Dad.”

worms on a hook

Charlie wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. “Daddy will bait the hook for you, sweet girl.”

Bella laid her head on his shoulder, soaking in the warmth and smell that only came from her daddy, her hero, her protector.

~o~o~o~o~

The weeks that followed, Edward saw a vast improvement in his mom. Her doctor had been so impressed with her last round of blood tests, that she wanted to cut back on the chemo treatments. At today’s appointment, Esme would be seeing her doctor so they could plan the next steps in her treatment.

Edward put on a pair of his best jeans and a button down shirt, even though he would have loved to be wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and his well worn jeans, with the holes in the knees. Edward was a man of comfort, not fashion. His mother, however, insisted he look his best. Slipping on his shoes, he headed down the stairs, where Esme was waiting, wearing a black and yellow floral skirt, a mustard yellow sweater, with a pair of black heels. Her head was covered in her new brown wig and she wore black onyx earrings and ring set, that Carlisle had giving her on her last birthday.

Esme

Edward walked over and put his arms around her, gently gave her a squeeze. “You look great, Mom.”

“Well, I feel great and I don’t want to run into any of your dad’s adversaries that would make some fucking comment that the Mayor’s wife was letting herself go.”

“Mom, you said fuck,” Edward laughed.

“So? Come on, I don’t want to be late,” she smirked. Edward rolled his eyes, helping his mom into the car. He backed out, driving to The Hutch and using the valet to park the car. Helping out of the vehicle and handing the keys to the valet, they walked into the lobby, then over to the elevators.

“My doctor is on the third floor,” Esme instructed.

Edward pushed the third floor button, while Esme held onto his arm for support. She might be feeling better, but still didn’t have the stamina that she once had prior to the cancer. They arrived on the floor and walked down the hall to the double glass doors that led into the office.

As Edward walked inside, he was shocked to see the office decor. Instead of the normal cold, sterile waiting room, this one had several comfortable high back, cloth chairs, other larger chairs that were recliners, a stone fireplace and a butter colored hardwood floors, covered my matching rugs. It more like a den in your home than a doctor’s office. Esme led them to the solid oak counter, where they were met by a smiling face woman with dark hair.

Bella office

 

“Miss Esme! My, don’t you look great,” Maggie said, then gaped at the extremely handsome man that Esme was holding on to. He was so handsome, with chiseled features, hair the color of a penny and deep evergreen eyes.

“I am feeling better, Maggie,” Esme chirped, then realized that Maggie was staring at Edward. “This is my son, Edward. He just moved back to Seattle from Boston”

“Hello, Edward,” Maggie giggled, with her cheeks blooming in a warm shade of pink. After a few moments, she came out of her trance and realized that she needed to do her job. “I will let the doctor know you’re here.”

“Thank you, Maggie,” Esme said with a smile.

Maggie picked up the phone, murmuring into the receiver. Edward and Esme walked over to the empty seats next to the fireplace and sat down. Edward was once again amazed on how comfortable they were and how the room seemed to have a wonderful calming effect. “I can’t get over how nice this waiting room is, Mom. It’s almost like a resort or a spa.”

Maggie

“Oh, Bella had Renee come in and redesign the entire office. I think it turned out very nice.”

“Renee Swan?” Edward questioned.

“Yes,” Esme answered.

“Miss Esme, you can come on back now,” Charlotte said, a petite nurse with an adorable pixie cut.

Edward stood up and offered his arm to his mom. They followed the nurse down the hall and she opened to the door to the exam room. Once again Edward was shocked. The room had two dark leather chairs, dark cherry woodwork, and the exam table looked more like a leather recliner than a table.

exam room

Esme sat down in one of the leather chairs, while Edward sat in the other. A few minutes later, the door began to open and Edward looked up. The doctor was wearing a long white lab coat, but her face was covered by her dark, chocolate brown curls as she had her head down as she was reading the chart. She looked up and Edward’s world collapsed around him. The woman of his nightmares had just walked into the room.

His mouth fell opened and he felt as if someone had ripped his heart out of his chest. Looking over at his mom, who was smiling at the woman and saying something, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying. The only sound he heard was the roar of the fire that was playing in his mind. He was thrown back to that tragic moment when he lost Angela.

He needed to get out of here, before he lost it completely. Standing up, he rushed past the ghost and out the door. He didn’t hear his mom call out to him. The only thing he heard the beating of his racing heart.

A/N: So, they met. Or rather, according to Edward, he met a ghost. Leave us some loving! Reviews are love! Pictures from this chapter are on our blogs. We’re also on Facebook, too – HeartForTwilight and Tufano79. Come find us!

Thanks for reading!

HeartForTwilight and Tufano79

Fire of Your Soul ~ Chapter 3

You still with us? We’re going through a time jump after chapter two. We don’t want our story to be a bajillion chapters long, reading  about every tiny thing our characters experience. It would be very tedious.

Now, again, none of this is ours. We’re not famous or anything. We don’t get paid for this. Sigh … On with it!

Chapter Three

Five Years Later …

Bella looked around her apartment with the sea of boxes that held her possessions from her life in New York, all except the silver frame that held the picture of her and Angela together.

Framed Twins

It had been five years since the horrible accident that took Angela’s life and in that time Bella threw herself into her medical training.  She had found that if she worked herself to the point of exhaustion, she wouldn’t think as much about Angela, or the emptiness of losing her twin. She also avoided making connections with coworkers. Bella refused to have her heart shattered again with the loss of someone she loved. She did, however, make sure that she called her parents on a regular basis, knowing that they were also dealing with the pain.

What Bella lacked in empathy for her colleagues, her peers, she made up for with her patients. They were only people who mattered in Bella’s mind.

Everyone else in the Swan family handled Angela’s death differently. Renee threw herself into her work, taking on many new clients and at one point she had to hire someone to help her out. Renee hired a recent college graduate, Alice Brandon, and she took the young girl under her wing.

Charlie dealt with his pain by finding out what caused the fire, almost to the point of obsession. After scouring every inch of the burnt-out building, he determined that it had been started by someone and that it was not a random accident. Whomever did it, was very thorough, not leaving any evidence implicating their identity.  They had used paint thinner as an accelerant in the maintenance closet located on Angela’s floor, across from her apartment. Charlie would never stop looking until he found the person who started that fire and make them pay for the death of his daughter.

After five years of living in New York, Bella was ready to go back to Seattle after she had finished all her training and was currently a well sought-after Gynecologic Oncologist. Sloane Kettering had wanted her to stay in New York City and offered her an excellent employment package to do so, but she really wanted to be close to her parents. She missed them and missed that connection to Angela. So, Bella applied at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, or The Hutch. Within few hours after submitting her resume and credentials, Dr. Victoria Howard called her.  Dr. Howard was the head of the gynecologic oncology department at The Hutch and was excited to see that someone as qualified as Dr. Isabella Swan would want to leave New York and come to Seattle. Bella’s reputation preceded her as being an excellent physician, not giving up on her patients, no matter how dire their prognosis.

“Dr. Swan?” Dr. Howard asked.

Dr. Victoria Howard

“Yes, this is Dr. Swan,” Bella answered, as she was taking a walk around Central Park, enjoying the early spring weather.

“This is Dr. Victoria Howard of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.  Do you have a moment to talk?”

“Of course,” Bella answered, stopping at a park bench and sitting down.

“I wanted to talk to you about the your resume that you submitted.”

“Alright. I hope I didn’t forget to put something on it,” Bella said.

“No, on the contrary, I was excited to see that someone of your exemplary qualifications would like to work at The Hutch,” Dr. Howard breathed.

“Thank you. I wanted to move home to be closer to my parents and I’ve only heard phenomenal comments about the center,” Bella explained.

“We really try to make it as comfortable for those who are battling cancer and with that being said, I would love to offer you a position. I think you’d be a great fit in our family.”

Bella was shocked.  She didn’t expect to get a call this soon, but to get an offer without an interview was unheard of.  “Don’t you want a face-to-face interview?”

“Dr. Swan, your qualifications speak for themselves and we would be honored to have you join our team,” Victoria said. Bella agreed, laughing nervously. Victoria went on to tell her the salary and benefits package.

Bella was shocked, at first, to hear the salary, because it was larger than she ever expected. They also explained that they would assist with moving Bella out to Seattle, covering the cost of movers, as well as a flight home. Hearing this, she smiled widely, over the moon at how things were falling into place. Before ending the call, Bella smiled and said, “I would be thrilled to work for you. I’ll need to give my notice and make arrangements to move from New York to Seattle.”

“Just keep me updated and I look forward in working with you.”

Once plans were solidified, Bella resigned from Sloane Kettering and dates were set in stone, Bella called her parents to give them the good news. They were extremely excited that their daughter was moving back home. Bella asked her mom to start looking for condos or townhomes near the hospital. When Renee asked at what price point she wanted to stay in Bella gave her a figure that shocked her mother.  She had no clue that her daughter could afford such an expensive home, but Bella assured her that it wouldn’t be an issue thanks to her hiring bonus from The Hutch.

Unlike many of her peers, Bella had an inheritance from her maternal grandparents to pay for both her undergraduate education, medical school, and her apartment that she lived in Tribeca, only having expenses such as her cable bill, electricity and a weekly grocery delivery service.  She had taken the money she had earned during her residency and fellowship, outside of her expenses, and placed it into a savings account, with a good dividend. That money, along with life insurance policy payment that she had been given from Angela’s death, was going to be used as a down payment on her future home in Seattle.

Bella had been floored when she had been contacted by the insurance company. Her twin sister had named Bella as her sole beneficiary. Bella didn’t even know when Angela had done this, but this was so her, always planning ahead, just like their father.  Angela’s spirit had been with Bella over the years and Bella knew that she would give her a sign which place would be the perfect home for her.

As Bella packed up her life in New York and finished out her time at Sloane Kettering, Renee went on several open houses and house tours, looking for the perfect place for Bella.  She would take a video of her tours, sending them to her daughter. That way Bella could get the feel of each place. Each location had it pros and cons, yet none of them seemed to be right for Bella. She didn’t want to worry about the upkeep of house and some of the condos were too masculine.

Well, that was until Renee walked into the condo on 2nd Avenue.  The condo Renee toured was in Seattle Point of View. It was high atop one of the most coveted buildings within the vibrant heart of the city.  The condo was a spectacular two-bedroom penthouse that was luxurious from the entryway to the outdoor living space. With a massive entertaining space on the second level that overlooked Elliott Bay and the Seattle cityscape from its private rooftop deck with a hot tub, TV, sound system, fireplace and BBQ. It was steps away from the Market, dining, retail district, museums and light rail.  The floor to ceiling windows allowed the rooms to be flooded with natural light and seemed to brighten the room, even on the rainiest of days.

Watching the videos and hearing her mom’s excitement, she knew this was the place. The other condos and townhouses seemed cold, impersonal, but as soon as she saw the first minutes of the video, she felt this warm, comforting, welcoming feeling and this was the sign from Angela. She was sure about this place.

She called the listing agent, making an offer on the place and few days later was the proud homeowner, putting down earnest money. Upon her arrival in Seattle, Bella would sign the paperwork for her new home.  Placing a call to her parents, Bella told them the amazing news about her getting her dream condo. She also asked if her mother could get going on turning it from a blank living space, to a home that fit her personality and tastes.

No expense spared.

This was her forever home.

As the movers came in to collect the boxes the few pieces of furniture she was bringing, Bella made sure to place the framed picture in her carry-on luggage for safe-keeping.  This was her favorite picture of the two of them together and she kept it in her office, so she could be close to it while at work. There were, of course, other pictures of the two them together, but this one was the one that captured, that even though they had different interests and future aspirations, in the end they were joined by their “jeans”.

“Dr. Swan, is there anything else?” the mover asked.

Bella looked around the now vacant apartment to find that all the boxes and furniture were gone, leaving only her luggage.  “No, thank you. Do you have the address for my new place in Seattle?”

“Yes, ma’am.  We should arrive in seven days.  We’ll call you when we get close.”

“Great.  I’ll see you on the other side of the country,” Bella chuckled, shaking his hand and signing the paperwork.

After the movers had left, Bella’s car service arrived, loading up her many bags to the car.  She would be checking all her luggage, except for her carry on, purse, and her medical bag. Her orange, leather medical bag with her name imprinted on the side had been a gift from her parents when she graduated from medical school. She was so excited that they had not selected the standard black or brown medical bag. It would be something that Ang would approve of as well, because she always wanted her twin sister to be a stylish doctor.

36654608_10217338531801930_4461165384845754368_n

The car service took her to the departure gate at JFK for her United nonstop flight to SeaTac.  One of the attendants saw the amount of luggage that she had and wheeled over a luggage cart to make it easier for her. She checked all of her luggage, paying the fee for the overweight bags at curbside check-in. With a smile, she took her boarding pass and made her way through security and to her gate. Settling into her seat, she propped her feet up on her carry-on and pulled out her cell phone.

“Hey, Mom,” Bella said.

“Are you at the gate, sweetie?” Renee asked.

“Just waiting to board. We may be delayed. It’s kind of rainy and shitty,” she responded, wrinkling her nose at the dreary weather.

“It’s rainy and shitty here in Seattle,” Renee quipped. “If you’re delayed, it’s no big deal. I’m off until you’ve moved in fully into your condo.”

“If it’s not too late, can we go over there today?” Bella asked.

“You have to finishing signing the closing documents, taking ownership,” Renee teased. “You don’t have keys, yet. But, yes, we can go after you do that. Jenks, our attorney, is meeting us at the title office.”

“Awesome,” Bella chirped. “Did you pick up the certified check from the bank?”

“Yes.  I nearly had a heart attack at seeing all those zeros,” Renee chuckled.

“I bet, but Mom I’m fine with the price and I’m able to afford this home easily.  I just hope that the interior designer’s bill is not too big.”

“Damn, I thought you were a doctor, but it sounds like you are trying your hand at a comedy act,” Renee quipped.

“FLIGHT 263 TO SEATTLE, FIRST CLASS IS BOARDING.” The attendant announced over the loudspeaker.

“Mom, I have got to go. They’re calling my flight,” Bella said, taking her feet down from her bag and sitting it upright. “I’m not going to be delayed after all.”

“Okay, baby.  I will keep an eye on the arrival times and make sure I’m at the airport in time to pick you up.”

“Grab a cart and meet me at luggage claim. Also, borrow Dad’s SUV.”

“Oh, let me guess, you used all the luggage you owned to pack?”

“Mom, the movers won’t be here for a week. I want to at least have something to wear and things to keep me going until they arrive.”

“Such a planner, Bells. Enjoy your flight and I will be waiting.  Love you, Bella and I can’t wait to have you home,” Renee sighed. “I’ve missed my baby girl.”

“Me too, Mom,” Bella said hanging up from the call.  Placing her medical bag on top of her carry-on luggage and placed her purse over her shoulder. She walked to the jetway, scanning her boarding pass and sat down in her seat. Holy shit, there was a lot of legroom, generous seating and no fighting over the armrests; she could get use to first class.

After the mandatory announcements, the plane finally taxied down the runaway and climbed to the cruising altitude, flying to Bella’s new life in Seattle. The six-hour flight provided her the opportunity to read a few articles in her medical journals. She also read for pleasure, getting lost in a trashy romance novel. When they plane landed, Bella left the book on the plane. It was so over-the-top with unbelievable sex and insta-love. “Nobody has that,” Bella muttered to herself.

Bound and Dangerous Teaser 14

Bella definitely didn’t have that. She was so focused on her job, only reaching out to some guys when she was ‘horny’. It wasn’t about romance, but about performing a biological function and getting off. She was emotionally closed off, even more so after Angela’s death. There were always a fine pieces of man meat that were more than willing and when they were done, she would dismiss them, having no need for leftovers. She poured her emotions into her patients. They needed her more than she needed the physical affection and love of a man.

Walking through SeaTac, Bella went down to baggage claim and saw her mother. She was waving excitedly, scurrying over to Bella and hugging her tightly. “Bella,” Renee breathed, rubbing her back. “I’m so glad you’re here, sweetie.”

“Me, too, Mom,” Bella said, kissing her mother’s cheek. “Did you dye your hair?”

“I wanted to try blonde,” Renee quipped. “So, I had my stylist add highlights. It lightened it up and affectively hid the grey. Double bonus!”

“I like it,” Bella smiled, looping her arm through Renee’s. “You have the skin-tone to pull it off. If I went blonde? I’d look like a corpse.”

“I guess you didn’t get much sun in New York since you spent almost all your time working. Maybe you can take a few days and go out to the bay and soak in what little sun we have. Dad went out and opened up the beach house a few weeks ago and did a little fishing.”

“Did he go alone?” Bella asked, worried that her father was spending so much time alone, thinking about Angela and who had set the fire. The beach house was only a small two bedroom cottage on the beach that they would go to every summer and enjoy. Angela and Bella would build sandcastles and when they got older, laid on the beach in their bikinis, much to Charlie’s dismay.

lakeside-home-plans-575-best-lake-home-exteriors-images-on-pinterest-of-lakeside-home-plans

“No, Carlisle went with him, wanting to get away from the city. He didn’t want to listen to people complain about everything for a few days,” Renee explained. Carlisle and Charlie had become close after the fire, as did Renee and Esme, working collaboratively with the various charities Esme chaired and using Renee’s unique design eye.

Carlisle and Esme had attended Angela’s funeral, which touched both Charlie and Renee’s heart. A few months later, they showed up at their door, with a casserole for them. Renee asked them in and if they would like to stay to enjoy the meal they brought.  At first they declined, but Charlie explained that they would enjoy some company. It was too quiet in the house and Bella had left almost immediately after the funeral, unable to take the pain of being home. So, she escaped as quickly she could, throwing herself back into work and shutting down emotionally.

That evening, Esme helped Renee with the setting up the food on the kitchen table, preparing a salad and uncorking a bottle of wine. They sat down and enjoyed the meal together. It was the first time since Angela’s death, that Renee and Charlie had forgotten, even for a moment that she was no longer with them.

That was the beginning of a close friendship. Esme and Renee became as close as sisters. Charlie was a tougher nut to crack since he knew something that Renee or even Carlisle didn’t. He was hesitant to build a friendship with Carlisle, since he was his boss, but Carlisle was persistent. After sharing a bottle of scotch and letting Charlie rage over Angela’s death, they became friends. Carlisle gave Charlie the chance to really let go since Charlie had to be strong for Renee.

Charlie and Carlisle

Renee looked at her watch.  “We need to shake our tail feathers if we’re going to make it to Mr. Jenks on time.  Traffic has been horrible recently. I will be so fucking glad when they get the new bypass open.”

2016-Hyundai-Tucson-SUV-pr-3-2016-Cars-II

“MOM, you said fuck,” Bella gasped.

“What?”

Bella just shook her head. There was no doubt where she got her colorful language from. They quickly found all her luggage, however Bella had to count them twice to make sure she got it all. Perhaps, I did pack too much, she grumbled mentally. Pushing the heavy cart through the airport and out to the short term parking lot, where Renee had parked Charlie’s SUV, they loaded up the stuff into the back. By the time they got all the luggage in, they were hot and thirsty.

“Mom, run by a Starbucks, so I can get a Iced Passion Tango Tea.”

Teavana_Passion_Tango_Tea_Lemonade_resized

“Don’t they have Starbucks in New York?” Renee asked jokingly.

“Yeah, about every ten steps, but nothing is like the original.” After a quick stop at the Starbucks in Pike Place Market, they were on their way to the title office, meeting Mr. Jenks’ there.

Pike_Place_Store_resized

Jenks, an older man who knew Charlie in high school, stood up and hugged Renee. He turned to Bella, his eyes wide. “Isabella? The last time I saw you, you were a little girl!”

“I grew up, Mr. Jenks,” Bella shrugged. “And I’m a doctor now.”

“Your mom and dad told me all about that, but I haven’t seen you since you were … gosh, fifteen?” Jenks breathed. The last time he had seen her was when Renee and Charlie changed their wills, when Renee was at her sickest. “Well, you’ve grown into a beautiful woman.”

He hugged her and they went into the office. With a flourish of paperwork, pens and a very large check, the condo was officially Bella’s within an hour. The keys were pressed into her hands. In a rare show of emotion, Bella was practically vibrating with excitement. With another hug from Jenks, Renee drove her daughter to the condo. Leaving her bags in the car, they went up to the penthouse and Bella smiled.

“You like it, baby girl?” Renee asked as she watched Bella move through the open space.

“It’s more beautiful than I could even imagine,” Bella answered, running her hands over the sleek quartz countertops. “I saw the video, downloaded the pictures from the realtor’s website and just stared at them. But, seeing it? Being here? It’s a dream come true, Mom.” She blinked to her mother, pressing her hands to her chest. “I feel like I’m close to Angela here.”

“You feel that too?” Renee asked, shocked by Bella’s admission.

Bella wrapped her arms around Renee and squeezed her tightly. “Ang always finds a way to let me know what she thinks and is with me when I need her most.”

Renee wiped the tears from her eyes. It had been so hard not having Angela around. However in her darkest times, when she felt so overwhelmed by Angela’s death, Renee could swear that she felt the delicate hand of Angela on her shoulder.  “I do, too.”

Bella pulled back, wiping her own tears. “Alright, let’s get home, so you can show me what you have planned for this empty space.”

“I’ll show you tomorrow at the office. You look exhausted and I want to cook you a home-cooked meal. When was the last time you had that, hmmmmm?” Renee asked, giving Bella a playful glower.

“Um, high school?” Bella giggled. “I don’t cook! You know that! I have my meals eaten on the fly or delivered, Mom.”

“It’s not like you don’t know how, Isabella Marie,” Renee snickered. “Come on, baby girl. I think that your favorite meal is on the menu.”

“Enchiladas?” Bella asked, her mouth salivating.

“Yep!” Renee smiled, guiding Bella out of the condo and back to the SUV. They drove home. Renee all but shoved Bella into her bedroom to take a nap while Renee began making dinner, chopping the vegetables and preparing the enchiladas. As she was putting the casserole into the oven, the garage door opened and Charlie walked in. “Hey, love. Catch any bad guys?”

“No,” Charlie snorted. “But, we determined what went wrong with that pizza place near Pike Place. The owner was so certain that it was foul play, but it wasn’t. Faulty wiring.”

“It wasn’t up to code?” Renee asked.

“Technically, it was up to code, but the rodents ate through the wiring, causing a spark,” Charlie smirked. “It was a health code violation which resulted in destroying that pizza joint and causing water damage to the shop next door.” He slid his arms around  Renee’s waist, kissing her lips. “Did you pick up, Bells?”

“She’s sleeping. Her day started early and she told me she was working double shifts until her last day,” Renee explained. “These next three weeks, while moving her into her condo and getting her settled, is like a vacation for her. She works too hard.”

“I wonder where she gets that from?” Charlie asked.

“From both of us,” Renee sighed. “And … I’m worried about her, Charlie. She’s so closed off. The only time I saw any sort of emotional reaction was when she signed the paperwork for the condo and when she told me that she felt like Angela told her to get the condo. Other than that? She’s …”

“We all handle grief differently,” Charlie snapped, his anger flaring. He was pissed off at the elusive arsonist, displacing so many residents and murdering his daughter. He was disappointed at Edward Cullen, who was the firefighter that tried to save Angela. Edward Cullen was the best and brightest. He should have been able to pull her to safety. He’d never tell anybody about his anger or disappointment. He kept it bottled up tight. The only person who saw his emotions was his loving wife. She shared them, but in a different capacity, but she understood his feelings. Charlie blinked to his wife, who was pouring some rice into a measuring cup. Her face was flushed and she was moving rigidly. “Nee … I’m sorry.”

“Charlie, I love you so much. I get your emotions. But, I worry about you, too,” she said, her eyes brimming with tears. “You think I don’t know? I know you’re obsessed with finding that monster. I also know you’re fucking pissed at Carlisle’s son. The middle one, who was a firefighter. Um, Edward? He was there at Angela’s apartment. You told me that. But, put it this way? How do you think he’s handling it? He never came back to work. As far as I know, he’s in Boston.”

“He better not be a firefighter,” Charlie growled.

“And what if he was?” Renee argued. Charlie shot her a look. “He’s not. He’s working in the fire investigation unit. From what Esme told me, Edward hasn’t been in active blaze since that night. He had night terrors when he stayed with his parents. He pulled away from his family because he felt ashamed that he lost Angela. He was there, Charlie. He watched her die. You be pissed all you want. Yes, we lost our daughter. She died unnecessarily, at the prime of her life. But, the Cullens? They lost their son. If I had to guess, Edward is going through the motions, just like Bella. Not living, just a shell in this nebulous limbo.”

“I never thought of that,” Charlie muttered, walking to the fridge and pulling out a beer.

“Have you ever asked Carlisle about Edward? You know all about Emmett and Jasper,” Renee said, popping open his beer and taking a sip before leaning against the island. Charlie’s cheeks reddened and she got her answer. “We had an unimaginable loss. We lost a child. Bella lost her sister. The Cullen’s had the same. Edward may still be alive, but he’s shut them out. From what Esme told me, he feels like he let you down. He respected you, Charlie, even considering you a friend, a mentor. And losing Angela? It shattered him in ways that you or I could never understand.” She kissed his cheek. “Watch the rice. I’m going to wake up Bella.  And don’t stare at her like she’s a ghost. It’s creepy.”

“It’s hard not to,” Charlie grumped. “She does something and it reminds me of Angela.”

“They are identical twins, Charlie,” Renee deadpanned. “And Bella doesn’t really look like Angela anymore. Her hair is longer and curly. She’s also really thin. So, be nice.”

“I am nice,” Charlie argued as he watched his wife ascend the stairs. “I just miss my baby girl.” He slugged back his beer and eyed the rice, stirring it every so often. Renee and Bella came downstairs. He noticed, almost immediately, the dramatic change in his daughter. Gone was the wide-eyed girl who left to become a doctor, only to be replaced by a waif with vacant eyes and gaunt cheeks. She smiled when she saw her father, hugging him tightly, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes.

It was true. Grief was an individual emotion. Some people drew strength in times of great sadness. Others? They wasted away, working the motions of life and never truly living.

After dinner, once the food was put away and Bella was back upstairs, Charlie ducked out and called his friend. “Hey, Carlisle,” he said, sipping his beer.

“Charlie, how are you?” Carlisle asked.

“Good, good. Bella’s home and she’s moving into this huge condo, starting work at The Hutch. She’s some big-time cancer doctor and …”

“That’s excellent, Charlie,” Carlisle said. “You must be so proud of her.”

“I am,” Charlie answered, taking another pull of his beer. “Um, have you heard from E-E-Edward? He didn’t come to the funeral and obviously …”

“I talk to him nightly,” Carlisle replied. “He’s living in Boston now. I can’t say if he’s happy or sad living there, but he’s doing okay. Why?”

“I should thank him for trying to save my little girl,” Charlie whispered, a few tears falling onto his cheeks.

“You know?” Carlisle whispered back.

“I knew when I read the file. I blamed him, Carlisle. I … I was  so fucking angry at him and betrayed that he’d …” Charlie hissed. He slammed his beer. “I’m sorry. I’m just … struggling. Seeing Bella …”

“I understand, Charlie,” Carlisle said. “Edward left Seattle because he felt like he let  you down. He couldn’t look you in the eye without feeling overwhelming guilt. Esme’s brother works for the Boston Fire Department, and got him a position in the Fire Investigation Unit. He’s one of the men in charge, now.”

“Good. That’s good. Um, if you talk to him, you tell him I’m proud of him. I, uh, gotta go. Talk to you later,” Charlie said, hastily hanging up the phone. He turned it off and pinched his nose. Finishing his beer, he went inside and up to the bedroom he shared with his wife. He needed her comfort, her loving arms and her quiet strength.

The next day, Bella and Renee drove to Renee’s design studio and showroom. Inside, there was a beautiful woman with long brown hair with golden highlights. She glided over to Renee, handing her a cup of coffee. “I finished the changes on the Sorrento renovation and sent them over proofs for their approval,” the woman chirped.

“Thank you, Alice,” Renee said. “Alice Brandon, this is my daughter, Dr. Isabella Swan. Bella, this is my right hand and kick-ass assistant, Alice.”

“Nice to meet you, Alice,” Bella smiled, shaking Alice’s hand.

“I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about you, Isabella,” Alice breathed.

“Bella, please. Whenever I hear ‘Isabella’, I think like I’m in trouble,” Bella chuckled.

“Apologies. Do you want some coffee?” Alice asked. Bella nodded and Alice darted to the back, to a swanky coffee bar and poured her a cup. “Here you go.”

“Mom, you’ve upgraded the studio,” Bella quipped. “A coffee bar?”

“When the first lady of Seattle has me on speed dial, I needed to posh up the studio for my swanky clientele,” Renee smirked. “Ali, can you pull up the plans for Bella’s condo?”

“The Seattle Point of View Penthouse?” Alice asked. Renee nodded. “Projected on the big screen or on your laptop.”

“Laptop, Alice. I love you, baby girl, but the projector is a pain in the ass.  I save that for big-wig clients,” Renee said, wrinkling her nose.

“I’m not a big-wig?” Bella teased. Renee rolled her eyes, opening her laptop and pulling up the presentation from Alice. “So, you’re going to use my existing living room furniture?”

“Couch, yes. That piece is timeless. We’re going to update the cocktail table and decor. And in the kitchen, we’ll put in some stools at the island to make it a more functional space.”

“I like this piece above this  seating area,” Bella said, pointing to a colorful hanging piece of artwork. “Are those lights?”

“No. Alice is an artist and she designed that,” Renee answered.

“They’re hand-blown glass pieces,” Alice chirped. “They’ll really add some color and warmth to the room. I also have a chandelier that you might like for the dining room. The existing one is a bit … um, well … dated.”

“I like that piece. Let’s go for that chandelier, too,” Bella said, giving Alice a genuine  grin. “I like your work.”

“Thank you, Bella,” Alice breathed. “Renee, she encouraged me to add some of my pieces to your condo in the hopes you’d like them. We have a similar style, she said.”

“Well, I do,” Bella nodded. “Very much.”

“There’s one portion that I haven’t tackled and that’s this bar/billiards area. Alice, can you come up with something?” Renee asked.

“Do you want it to remain a bar/billiards area?” Alice asked.

“Bar, yes. Billiards? Eh,” Bella shrugged. “I’d love a library.”

“I’ll get to work on that,”  Alice sang, darting to her computer.

“What about this outside area?” Bella asked. “I noticed that the furniture was still there.”

“It comes with the condo, along with all of the outdoor entertaining space, which includes an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, hot tub and television. If you don’t like it …” Renee said.

“No, I do,” Bella nodded.  “Now, let me see the bedrooms and bathrooms.”

By the end of the day, the designs for Bella’s condo were finalized. The furniture was ordered and what could be delivered would be arriving with the rest of her belongings inside of a week. Alice’s design for her new library would require some renovations, but Bella adored her unique take on what a home library should look like. The three of them went out for a late lunch/early dinner and Bella felt like Alice could be a friend. She was young, but was respected by Renee and her energy was a breath of fresh air. Alice and Bella exchanged cell phone numbers, planning on meeting up at the condo in a couple of days to meet with the building management regarding the proposed renovations.

With the blessing of the building manager, Alice reached out to one of the contractors used by Bella’s mother to get permits to demolish the billiards room as well as begin renovations for the library. They would not be done before she went to work, but the prospect of having a library made Bella happy. She also wanted to put a music stand in there, along with one of Angela’s violins.

A week after Bella’s arrival, the movers called her, saying that they were an hour away. She contacted the building manager and the freight elevator was ready for their arrival. By the end of the day, all of Bella’s belongings were unloaded and put into their respective rooms, using the second bedroom as storage while she unpacked. Renee and Charlie helped, along with Alice, who was a whiz at organizing things. It took two days to get all of Bella’s boxes unpacked, save for her books, which would be unpacked in her new library when it was completed.

At the beginning of the second week in Seattle, Bella purchased a car. She never needed one when she was in New York. She either took the subway or a car service, if it was late. Bella purchased a Volvo XC90, in a gunmetal grey. It was sleek and safe, which was a requirement, per her father. Once she had transportation, she called Dr. Victoria Howard, explaining that she was nearly settled in Seattle. With that said, Victoria made arrangements for Bella to come in early the following week to fill out her employment  papers for taxes, get her ID badge and get settled into her office. Victoria also wanted to get to know Dr. Swan, to see what made her so driven.

The two women met in the main lobby of The Hutch. “It’s nice to meet you  face-to-face, Dr. Swan,” Victoria smiled, shaking her hand.

“Likewise, Dr. Howard, but please call me Bella.”

“Only if you call me Victoria. Come, let’s have a tour of the facility. You’re not due to meet with HR for another hour,” Victoria smiled. She looked at Bella, seeing a small woman with a warm smile, but there was a hidden pain in her eyes. Victoria didn’t want to press it. She could see Bella becoming a friend, but for now, she needed to keep things professional.

While on the tour,  Bella marveled at the state-of-the-art equipment and the welcoming atmosphere of the facility. It was a research hospital, but obviously patient care was of utmost importance and  they didn’t spare any expense when it came to providing comforts. Nurses were compassionate, with a tender smile. Doctors actually listened to their patients as opposed to treating them like a lab rat.  It was an amazing building and Bella was eager to get started in her work.

“This will be your office,” Victoria said, gesturing to a large space, with warm cherry cabinets and matching desk. “You will be issued a tablet and all of your notes must be dictated before you leave for the day. Though, your supervisor from Sloane Kettering said you rarely left.”

“I’m determined to help my patients,” Bella said. “Even if I have to stay with them, I want to put them at ease. It’s an unbearably terrifying moment in their lives. I’m not giving up on them. Even if the prognosis is less than ideal, I’ll fight with them for as long as they want to fight. I’m not a quitter, Victoria.”

“I can see that,” Victoria smiled, but her face softened. “But, you can’t quit life, either.” Bella looked up at her with surprise. “I see a lot of myself in you. I’m in my forties, not married, only had the ‘flavor’ of the week to warm my bed when I wanted it. I was and still am dedicated to my job. But, I missed out on life. Hindsight is always twenty/twenty. I let the man who was perfect for me slip away because of my ambition for my job.”

“Victoria,” Bella said, her voice icy cold.

“I’m happy you’re here. You’re a stellar physician and your reputation precedes  you. That’s not always a good thing,” Victoria murmured, arching a brow. “Don’t quit your life.” Her pager went off and she glanced down. “HR is waiting for you. Let me take you down there.”

Bella nodded woodenly, following Victoria. The silence surrounding them was filled with tension. When they reached HR, Bella stared at her. “Why? Why did you say that about quitting life? You don’t know me.”

“I don’t, but I’d like to,” Victoria said. “But from your references, your dedication to  your craft, you seem … like a shell.” She gently patted Bella’s arm. “You have my cell phone number. If you want to talk, call me. If not, I’ll see you next week.”

Bella didn’t call Victoria. She felt that Victoria had no right to say those things to her. When Bella stepped into The Hutch that following Monday, the words that Victoria said to her were the furthest from her mind as she met her first patient. “Hello, Mrs. Cullen, I’m Dr. Isabella Swan. Your primary physician, Dr. Snow referred you to us because you’ve been experiencing some pain in your abdomen?”

“A bit like cramps, but I’ve been through menopause. It’s also focused on one side. He had me get an MRI and an ultrasound. He said that there’s something on the scans but he’s not sure. He sent me here for more tests. I asked for the best. Dr. Howard said you’re the best,” Mrs. Cullen sniffled, shifting in her flimsy paper gown. She blinked up at Bella, tears in her emerald eyes. “Please help me?”

“I’ll do everything in my power, Mrs. Cullen. I promise you,” Bella said, taking  the woman’s hand. “Now, let me examine you. I promise to be gentle, but tell me if you feel any discomfort.”

~o~o~o~o~

“Cullen, you’re needed over on Commonwealth Avenue,” Chief Holland commanded.

“What do we have, Chief?” Edward asked, reaching for his coat and walkie-talkie.

“Apartment complex fire.”

Edward’s heart skipped a beat hearing it was in an apartment building. Even after five years, he still thought of that night and the young woman.

Deep breaths, Cullen. Just breathe. It’s not the same apartment.

After his phone call from Uncle Eleazar, he began to think that maybe this was what he needed to do. He knew that he couldn’t go back to his department, with the possibility that he would run into Charlie. He knew that he needed to apologize, but he didn’t know how to start.

And the words ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Edward felt about Charlie, Renee and his family.

Even though he couldn’t go back to his firehouse, he also knew he didn’t want to leave the brotherhood the fire department. After talking it over with his parents, who told him that they only wanted him to be happy and healthy. They would miss him terribly, of course. After thinking it over, weighing his options, Edward took Uncle Eleazar up on his offer.

Esme and Carlisle helped him pack up his apartment into his Bronco, donating his belongings to charity. Edward decided to drive across country to Boston.  He would just buy new furniture for the apartment. He only needed his clothes, personal items, and pictures of his family.

He took his time driving cross country, stopping off and taking in the sights. When  he made it to the Grand Canyon and stood at the edge overlooking the vast magnitude before him, he had an epiphany. It was close to sunset the canyon walls display fiery red and golden hues, which reminded Edward of a fire. Then, they took on softer colors of blue, purple, and green, giving him a comforting feeling that something or someone was trying to make him feel better.

The rest of the trip he found himself time and time again with that same feeling, but couldn’t understand how or why it was happening.  By the time he reached Boston, he felt better not only physically, but emotionally. He was more at peace with what happened that horrific night, moving forward in his life.

Eleazar had got him all set up with a job and an apartment on Newbury Street.  He only needed to complete his qualifications and testing to become a certified Fire Investigator. He would be working with Felix Greene, who was a friend of Eleazar.

Felix had been with the Boston Fire Department since he was eighteen, working his way up through the ranks. As much as he loved fighting fires, he loved figuring out how or why they started. It was a puzzle to him. Eleazar had told him all about Edward and what had happened to him in Seattle. At first, Felix was concerned about Edward’s mental state, but after a short amount of time, he could tell that Edward was handling the grief. He got the feeling that Edward would never go back to being a firefighter. The few times that they had gotten to a site before the fire was contained, he could tell that Edward was uneasy and anxious about the blaze, watching the flames warily.

charlestown-boston-firehouse-7903435-o

Getting the exact address from dispatch, Edward grabbed his gear and hopped into the fire investigator vehicle, driving to the site. When he arrived, there was only one crew left, keeping an eye out for hot spots or any embers, that would cause a flare up.

“Cullen, good to see you working this one,” Peter said, shaking his hand.  He was one of the firemen from Engine 18.

“Do you have any information that would lead me the right direction?” Edward asked.

“The north-west corner was the hottest.”

“Thanks.  After this, how about meeting me down at O’Malley’s for a pint?” Edward asked.

“Fuck, that sounds good. Just let me have a chance with the hotties before you take them all,” Peter laughed.

“What can I say? I know how to use it to make the women scream,” Edward joked, even though he did have the reputation for only wanting a woman for one-night stands. He never wanted to open his heart to a woman. He wasn’t a manwhore, but he was not in the proper emotional state for a relationship.

“Funny, asshole. Call me when you get done,” Peter said.

Edward began his investigation, carefully going through the building and looking for signs of where the fire started. After taking several samples and lots of pictures, he was ready to go back to the office and begin to evaluate what he found. As he was driving back, his phone rang and he pulled over to see who was calling him.

“Hey Mom,” he answered.

“Hi, sweetheart,” Esme whispered, hating the reason for her calling him. She had debated when and how she would do it, but she knew he would be upset if she didn’t tell him at all. She wanted to wait until she started her treatment. That way, she could give him good news with the bad.

“Mom, what is wrong?”

“Are you somewhere we can talk?” Esme asked.

“Yeah, just sitting in the car.”

She blew out a breath, “Edward, I have been diagnosed with stage two ovarian cancer.”

Edward heart dropped and he tried to stop his hands from shaking. His mom had cancer. “W-W-When? H-H-H-How?” Edward began, but couldn’t seem to get a complete sentence out without stuttering.

“I haven’t been feeling well, so I went to Dr. Snow and he ran some tests. He found  something on the scans and sent me to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. The doctor there ran more tests, finding cancerous cells after a biopsy. After a long discussion, we decided on a form of action and I’ve already started a treatment.”

“Is this doctor any good?”

“She is one of the best in the country. We’re very lucky to have her here in Seattle. She believes that we will beat this and I’ll be fine,” Esme explained.

Edward didn’t know what to say. Esme was the best mom.  She always knew how to make him and his brothers feel better when they were sick, but now she was sick and he was in Boston. He was so far away from her and if she needed him, it would take him hours to get to her.

No, that just won’t do. I can’t … I need to be with her … he thought anxiously, wiping tears hastily from his face.

“Edward, darling are you okay?” Esme asked, worried that he hadn’t said much.

“Yes, Mom. Just thinking.”

“I know this is hard for you, but your dad and brothers will look out for me and I promise to keep you up to date.”

“Not good enough,” Edward said gruffly. “I’m coming home.” He knew he had to be there for his mom. It was more important than the ghost that kept him away for five years.

FIU2010

A/N: We had a time jump and we hope that you liked this chapter. Bella’s settled in Seattle and Edward’s moving back.

Anyhow, you can find us both on Facebook ~ Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction, HeartforTwilight Book Group, and HeartforTwilight Productions for manips made for the story. Come join our groups for exclusive teasers. We both also have blogs, too. Tufano79 is on twitter, as well … tufano79.

We’ll see you in a little bit with chapter four! If you liked what you read, please review! It means the world to us!

Thanks for reading!

Tufano79 and HeartForTwilight

Fire of Your Soul ~ Chapter 2

We hope you loved the first chapter of Fire of Your Soul. Thank you to all of you who took the time to review. We appreciate it so much! The next chapter, we’re warning you, will have some tissue alerts … Have some Kleenexes near by … just sayin’!

As always, this is not ours. We’re not Stephenie Meyer, nor will we ever be. We just like to play in her sandbox, with her toys.

Chapter Two

The ambulance roared toward the hospital with Edward sitting on the gurney, the oxygen mask over his mouth and nose.  Even with the oxygen being pushed into his lungs, he felt like he couldn’t breathe like an elephant was sitting on his chest.  The guilt he felt from losing his victim. The young woman who slipped out of his hand was Charlie Swan’s daughter. The very same daughter he had just boasted about just a few hours before playing at the concert, debuting with the Seattle Symphony.

Fuck!

Edward closed his eyes, but as soon as he did he was bombarded with the images of Angela as she looked up at him.  Her sweet, innocent face, so full of fear, begging him to save her. Why couldn’t he have just held on? Was he such a weakling that he couldn’t hold onto this small woman, just a few moments longer?  Was he even good at his job? Angela was dead because of him. Instead of saving lives, he was taking them. How could he look Charlie in the face again?

Angela Falling

The ambulance pulled up to the hospital and the EMTs opened the back, wheeling Edward into the emergency department.  As the gurney was pushed through the door, it was met by a worried Carlisle and Esme. Edward’s chief had called them as soon as Edward was put in the ambulance.

Over the years, the chief had seen what happened to firemen after they lost someone in a fire.  Some were able to take it in stride, but others would completely implode, blaming themselves for the loss of a victim.  The vacant, broken look in Edward’s eyes was the one that was about to implode, or worse, completely shut down. He knew that Edward and Charlie were close friends, with a great deal of respect flowing between the two of them, which made this even worse.  So, the chief called in reinforcements with Carlisle and Esme. Edward would need his family in order to get over the guilt of losing a victim, of seeing the daughter of a man who Edward respected die needlessly.

Edward was checked over and was attached to an oxygen mask for the rest of the night. The damage to his lungs wasn’t too bad, but his oxygen saturation was low. He was monitored while his hands were dressed.

Portrait of a man with an oxygen mask in a hospital bed

As Edward’s parents watched him while he was being checked out, Esme wanted to hug him, make his hurt go away. She saw the haunted look in his eyes and she knew something tragic happened. The battalion chief, when calling the mayor and his wife, had said that Edward would need his family. However, the reason for that need was left unsaid. She sat next to him, gently rubbing his arm as he slept fitfully after his wounds  were dressed.

Carlisle had gone to Edward’s apartment, picking up a change of clothes. When he arrived, he heard Edward’s angry but defeated voice yelling at his mother.

“There’s nothing you can do to make it better, Mom!” Edward snarled. “You can’t just hug me and it magically makes everything better. I fucked up. I lost someone. I watched a girl plummet to her death and there’s not a goddamned thing I can do about it.”

“But, baby, I just want to …” Esme said, her voice calm and reaching for his hands.

“I don’t deserve it!” Edward roared, pulling his hands away and turning his face away from his mother.  As he glared out the darkened window, he snapped, “You want to hug someone? Go help the Swans.”

“What do you mean, son?” Carlisle asked, placing his son’s clothes on the plastic recliner in his room.

“The girl who died? The one that I couldn’t fucking save? Charlie’s daughter,” Edward said, his voice cracking. “She begged me, Dad. She didn’t want to die, but I wasn’t strong enough. I let her fall.”

“No, Edward,” Esme argued. “It’s not your fault.”

“My job is to serve and protect. I’m a first responder. I couldn’t do that for her. I couldn’t help Angela,” Edward cried, tears streaming down his cheeks. He coughed, unable to catch his breath. “What’s the point? I … I …”

“Edward, son, you need to calm down,” Carlisle said, taking Edward’s hands. “Deep breaths, son.”

“I couldn’t save her, Dad,” Edward sobbed, falling onto his ass on the hard floor of the hospital. His breathing was still irregular and his heart rate was through the roof. Carlisle wrapped his arms around Edward’s trembling body. Edward clung to his dad, crying brokenly and struggling to breathe.

Dr. Mallow had been notified of Edward’s condition by the charge nurse and he was concerned that if he didn’t calm down soon, that he could do some serious danger to his lungs or even his heart.  Walking into the room, Dr. Mallow was shocked at how upset Edward was and knew what he had to do. Taking syringe filled with diazepam out of his coat pocket and walked over where Carlisle had Edward wrapped in his arms.

Carlisle looked up and saw that Dr. Mallow was next to Edward with a syringe; that he suspected was something to calm Edward down.  Nodding his head to Dr. Mallow, who then stuck the needle into Edward’s arm, pushing in the medicine. Edward was still crying and struggling to breathe, he didn’t even notice the stick.  Carlisle continued to hold onto Edward, who’s crying slowed to whimpers and he began to stop struggling to catch the next breath. He finally was completely out, his limp body leaning against Carlisle, who held him protectively to prevent him from falling onto the floor. He cradled his head in his lap, brushing his hair away from his forehead.

“Let me get some help, so we can get him back in bed,” Dr. Mallow said, then buzzed the nurse’s station.  “I need an orderly.”

Esme was softly crying, watching her son collapsed against her husband.  Edward had always been the strongest person she ever knew. Each of her sons had decided early on what their career would be when they grew up.

Emmett, the oldest of the Cullen boys, always enjoyed his Legos and building high rise buildings, so he took his inheritance from his paternal grandparents and built his empire as a venture capitalist.  He loved buying old, unused buildings in the city, upgrading them, and making them a desirable place to live or work in. Most of his buildings were on the cutting edge of technology, with the smart home and work features integrated into each apartment or office suite.  The few that had not been converted had been slated to begin their conversion over the next year. Even though those apartments were not smart apartments, he made sure that they were secure with the best alarm systems in the country and all physical security patrols.

Kellan-Lutz-short-hair

The youngest Cullen, Jasper, was a computer nerd. He created his first software program when he was seven and only progressed from there. He went to MIT, getting his degree in IT, focusing on software design and implementation. He worked closely with the police and fire departments, trying to streamline the dispatch protocols and have the two facets of the first responders work more cohesively. It was working very well in Seattle. Portland and several other larger cities in the Pacific Northwest were in contact with Jasper to have him implement the technology in their systems.

MV5BYTYzMTJjZGItZWRkYS00NzI4LTgzZmMtOTIxNGI5NDU5ZTI1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUzMTE1MzA@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1249,1000_AL_

Edward had wanted to be a fireman from the first time he saw a fire truck go speeding down the street.  Unlike most children, who hated the roar of the sirens, Edward loved them and would sit on the grass on his front lawn, waiting for them to come by.  He begged his mother to take him to the fire station so he could meet the fireman and take them cookies. Esme, at first, couldn’t understand why he was so fascinated with the fire trucks and firemen, but over time she understood that this was his calling.  Carlisle and Esme both understood the dangers of being a fireman, however, they knew that Edward wouldn’t be happier doing anything else.

openhouseboysprayingwater

After Edward graduated from high school, he went to Olympic College in Bremerton to get his bachelor’s degree in Fire-science/Firefighting.  Once he got his degree, he came back to Seattle took the two tests required: a written test and a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) test. The written exam consisting of around 100 multiple choice questions that covered spatial awareness, reading comprehension, mechanical reasoning, logic, observation and memory.

The physical exam was a rigorous physical fitness test. Edward had to perform a long-distance run in an allotted period of time, climb flights of stairs at a rapid pace and lift and carry up to 200 pounds.

5876b40e5a920.image

Once he passed his exams with flying colors, he had to then study and pass his EMT certification.  The EMT training consisted of 120 hours of classroom and practical work, then ten hours of observation at Virginia Mason Hospital.  Each step in the process made Edward more determined that this was he calling. Next up, Edward needed to attend Washington State Patrol Academy.  It was here that he got an accurate view of what it meant to be a real fireman. It was so much more than what was portrayed on television and in the movies. He felt, though, that this was his true calling and that he could make a real difference in people’s lives, being a first responder. He completed all the classes needed to become a fireman. However, he also decided to attend classes to begin his fire investigator certification.  Never knowing what the future holds, he thought it would be good to be prepared.

Edward applied to the City of Seattle for an open fireman position and was hired for level one firefighter in Station 17.  After enduring his rookie initiation, which he hoped he never had to live through again in his life, he was welcomed into the brotherhood.

Even though Edward had dreamt of being a firefighter most his life and completed extensive training, he still wasn’t prepared for a real-life fire. The first time he was on his own in a fire, he froze. He had his partner help him and he managed to get through the minor blaze that was self-contained in a rear-part of a home. But, seeing the unpredictability of the flames made his heart fall to his feet and his imagination runs the gamut of emotions. However, his training kicked in and he had the support of the other seasoned firemen. He was able to grow in both confidence and ability, becoming a valued member of the team.

Now, though, Esme and Carlisle were on either side of Edward’s bed, waiting for him to wake up. They were concerned about his emotional state. He’d never been this broken up about losing a victim. But, Carlisle and Esme knew how much he respected Charlie Swan and knowing that the victim was Charlie’s musically talented daughter was a knife to the gut.

In the waiting room, there wasn’t a seat available, because they were being taken by Edward’s brothers from the fire department.  No matter how tired they were, or that in a few hours they would need to be on duty, their place would be here, giving support to Edward, who was injured on the job, trying to save a life.  Their hearts were also heavy for Chief Swan and his family.

Losing a child was the worst pain in the world. No parent should outlive their child.

Ever.

Charlie Swan was a legend around the fire stations in the city.  He had started out as a rookie fireman and worked some of the worst fires in the department history.  Charlie was no stranger to losing someone in a fire or even having someone get severely burned, yet he was one to take it in stride.  This, unfortunately, was all part of the job. He worked his way up the ladder, working in many stations throughout the city until he found his love in the fire investigation unit. Like a bloodhound, he could sniff out the arsonist or causes of the suspicious fire that baffled even the most-seasoned investigators.

The brotherhood of firemen would stand by both Edward and Charlie, being whatever they need to get through this difficult time.  Some of the men understood what Edward was going through with losing a victim in a fire, but none of them had lost a fellow brother’s loved one.  This was going to be extremely difficult for Edward to get over. For Charlie? His world never be the same again.

Even though Edward looked like he was sleeping peacefully, it was not the fact.  He was being plagued with horrible nightmares. Each one had Angela dying because Edward couldn’t save her, each instance more painful and gruesome than the next. The sedative kept him in this awful limbo, unable to wake up and scream out in frustration.

Across the city, Charlie and Renee were huddled in a cold conference room. They were speaking with the doctor that pronounced Angela’s death. Renee was sobbing hysterically and she felt like her soul had been ripped out, trampled on and destroyed by this news. Charlie was just numb. He sat by his daughter as they rode in the ambulance to Harbor View Medical Center. He held her hand, which was so cold and still. It was so unnatural to see Angela so still. The doctor asked if they wanted to donate Angela’s organs, but Charlie and Renee were unable to give him an answer. Without pressing them, he asked if there was a preferred funeral home. Charlie just shook his head, in total disbelief that he was going to bury his child. Only a few hours before she was so full of life, playing her violin in front of a packed concert hall, laughing at his stupid jokes, and licking the ice cream cone after she’d performed.

Renee was shocked beyond words, but looking at Charlie she knew that he had shut down completely.  Charlie loved his daughters equally, but there was a silent secret bond that was between him and Angela.  Her characteristics and mannerism were so much like her father. Bella was more like her mother, with her ambition and humor.

“Bella. We have to tell Bella,” Renee sobbed. “She doesn’t know!”

Charlie just stared blankly at a picture on his cell phone that had been taken that evening by Carlisle and Esme. Angela was standing between her two parents, grinning brightly. “My baby girl,” he cried. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t save you.” He put the phone down and put his hands over his face, weeping brokenly.

Renee picked up the phone and pushed Bella’s contact.  Her mind was racing as she waited for Bella to pick up, thinking how she was going to tell her that her sister was dead. She knew Bella would be shattered. Angela and Bella shared a bond that not anybody understood. They had the ‘twin connection’. They created their own language and when one got hurt, the other felt it.

On the other side of the country, Bella was having a horrible time sleeping, waking up several times by horrendous dreams. They made no sense, but each one had a faceless person screaming as they fell out a window, through a thick cloud of smoke.  The voice of the person was what so haunting, so much like Angela when she screamed when she fell out of the clubhouse when they were ten. Thankfully, their dad had put old mattresses at the bottom as a precaution. Angela could have broken her leg, but instead she just sprained her ankle.

The last time she awoke, she decided to get up and fix a unhealthy breakfast for herself. Grease was always a welcome comfort food. Besides, she rarely had a chance to eat while she was on duty. She was frying up some bacon, watching the video that her father had sent her of Angela’s performance. It wasn’t her usual morning routine, but she felt like she had to listen to Angela’s concerto. As she finished with the bacon, her cell phone rang.

Tribeca Loft

“It better not be work. I’m not due in until …” Bella grumbled, picking up her phone. “Mom?” She slid her finger across the screen. “Hey, Mom. You’re up early …”

“Sweetheart,” Renee sniffled. Her voice sounded broken. “I need you to sit down.”

“Mom, you’re scaring me,” Bella whispered as she slid to the ground in her Tribeca apartment. “What happened?”

“Sweetie, there was a fire,” Renee muttered. “A fire at Angela’s apartment complex.”

“No!” Bella cried. “She fell, didn’t she? She fell to her death. Mommy, why?”

“She did fall, baby,” Renee sobbed. “She fell from a window and she’s gone.” Bella lost it, the phone falling from her hand. She cried, her heart shattering as her nightmares had become reality. Her sister was gone. Her best friend, soul mate and other half, she was dead. “Bella! Bella! Come back, sweetheart.”

Bella Crying

With shaking hands, she picked up her phone and pressed it to her cheek. “I’m coming home, Mommy,” she cried. “I need to be there for Ang. I have …”

“I know, sweetie. I love you, Bella,” Renee whimpered. “Come home.”

“Love you, Mommy,” Bella whispered back, hanging up the phone. She curled up onto the floor, clinging to the cell phone in her hand. If only she could back in time and be able to save her sister in her dreams. “Ang … I love you, Ang …”

Bella didn’t know how long she had been on the floor crying over the loss of her sister, her twin, her other half, but something inside of her gave her strength to get up and start making plans to head home.  Her first call was to her supervisor to tell him what had happened that she needed some family leave time to go to Seattle for her sister’s funeral. He, of course, told her that was fine and he was sorry for her loss.  He said to take her time and that her position would be waiting when she returned and to call if he could do anything for her or her family.

Next, Bella called the airport who at first said that all flights were booked until tomorrow, but after she explained that her sister had been killed in a fire and needed to get home, they told her to come to airport as soon as possible and they would get her on the first flight, flying on standby.  Rushing through her apartment, she packed a carry-on bag, not wanting to deal with checked luggage, making sure she had her phone charger and her laptop. She had one black dress, but it had seen better days, so she left it behind, deciding to just buy one in Seattle. The last thing was to call for a taxi to get her to the airport and hopefully she could get on a flight quickly, needing to get to her parents.

Thankfully, she got onto a direct flight an hour after she arrived at JFK. She called her mom to tell her about her flight details, but her mom didn’t pick up. While she waited for the doors to close on the airplane, she arranged for a rental car at SeaTac and settled into her seat. She plugged in her earbuds and played the video her father had sent on repeat for the entire flight.

united-airlines-other.0

“Miss, we are about to land,” the flight attendant said, placing her hand on Bella’s arm.

Bella pulled out her earbuds and wiped the tears from her eyes.  “Thank you.”

The attendant could tell that the young woman was very upset and when she looked down at the video she saw her playing the violin on stage.  “You are very good.”

Bella looked at the screen, then gently rubbed her finger across it, in a loving manner.  “That is not me, that was my talented sister, Angela.”

The attendant picked up quickly on the word was, no is, which means that the sister had died and by the way she was acting very recently.  “I am so sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you,” Bella whimpered, trying to keep the tears and sobs at bay.  The attendant crouched down, pulling Bella into her arms and gave her a few moments of comfort. Bella clung to the attendant, grateful for her sympathy, but empty and reeling from the loss of her sister. After a few moments, the attendant released her. Bella gave her a weak smile. She fastened her seatbelt and stored her laptop, as the plane began its descent towards the runway.  Once landed and taxied to the terminal, she waited to get up to get her carry-on, not wanting to fight the rush to get off the plane.

She was the last one to get off the plane, however as she began to step off the attendant who had been so kind to her stopped her.  “Dr. Swan, my name is Gail and I want to convey our deepest symphony for you and your family.”

Bella at first was shocked by the fact that she called her Dr. Swan, but she figured she just checked the flight manifest.  “Thank you.”

After Gail had seen how emotional Bella was, she felt compelled to find out more about the young woman if possible.  After doing a Google search for violinist death in Seattle, she was shocked to see the details of her death. As she read through the information concerning the fire and the tragic death of Angela Swan, concert violinist.  As she read on, she found out that Angela had a twin sister, a Doctor Isabella Swan of New York and her father was part of the fire department in Seattle. After reading this information, she knew she had to do something to help Bella.  As soon as they landed, Gail called for airport transportation and had a transport vehicle waiting to take Bella wherever she needed to go. “Actually Dr. Swan, I have arranged for you to have transport to anywhere you need to go,” Gail explained.

Bella eyes once again filled up with tears by the unexpected surprise.  “I don’t know what to say.”

“No need, it is the at least we can do.”

Gail took Bella’s carry on and helped her up the ramp to the waiting cart that would take her to get her rental car.  Before climbing in, Bella turned and gave her a tight hug.

charlotte-airport-electric-shuttle-cart_medium

Bella was taken to the counter for the car rental. They confirmed her reservation, giving her a bereavement discount and that the airport had arranged to have her taken to her rental car by private transport. When she got to her car she tossed her bags into the trunk, she slid into the driver’s seat and checked her voice mails. There were a few messages from coworkers, sending their condolences, including the resident she’d fooled around with a couple of nights ago. She sent a few texts, thanking them for their thoughts, but asked for time. The last message was from her mom.

“Bella, we’re home. I just saw that you called with your itinerary. Your father … he’s just … we all are … I love  you, baby girl. Please call me when you get this message. I need to know my daughter is safe.”

Bella heard her mother’s sadness, so lost and broken. Her mom was always upbeat, happy, even when  she was as sick as a dog with cancer. Angela’s death, however, was crushing her soul. I totally get it, Mom, Bella thought, turning over the rental car. As it cooled off, she dialed her mom’s cell phone.

“Hello?” Renee called, her voice impossibly sad.

“Mom? I’m in Seattle,” Bella breathed. “I’m about to head home. Are you and Dad there?”

“Your dad is … he’s at the site, determined to find out why Angela’s apartment burned down,” Renee sniffled. “I’m home. I’m tired. I haven’t slept …”

“Dad’s at the apartment?” Bella asked.

“He doesn’t know how to handle this. He’s shut down, Bella,” Renee muttered. “So, he figured if he could do his job and figure out why her apartment burned down, it would make sense.”

“It doesn’t, Mom,” Bella choked out. “It’s not fair. Dad should be home, with us. He should …”

“Give your dad a break, sweetie. He was there when she was …” Renee trailed off. “But,  you’re right. He should be here.” She was quiet, blowing out a heavy breath. “Just come home, Bella. I need to see you. I need to make sure you’re okay.”

“I should be home in a half hour. I do need to get a dress for Angela’s f-f-funeral,” Bella whispered. “I can’t believe she’s gone. I want to call her. I need to …”  She broke down crying, pressing her forehead to the steering wheel of the rental car.

“Baby girl,” Renee cried along with her. “Please, I know it’s tough, but get here. Take a few deep breaths and calm down, baby.”  They worked together to calm Bella down. “You better?”

“Not really,” Bella said, wiping her cheeks. “I can drive, though. I’ll be there soon.”

“Drive safe, sweetheart. Promise me?” Renee whispered pleadingly.

“I will, Mom,” Bella nodded. “I love you.”

“I love you more, Bella,” Renee choked out, hanging up the phone.

Bella did the same, pulling out of the parking lot. She drove away from the airport, toward her childhood home. Despite being away from Seattle for almost six years, it was so familiar as she made her way through the streets. It gave her some sense of comfort to see that her elementary school was still the same, with colorful playgrounds and cheery signs. She also smiled when she saw Mr. Brookes on the corner, as she turned into her subdivision, arranging his collection of garden gnomes.

With a sigh, she pulled into the driveway, parking behind her mother’s Lincoln. Grabbing her bags, she unlocked the door and walked into the house. It smelled the same, like cinnamon, sugar and spices. Bella blinked around the house and even though it smelled the same, looked the same, it was so different. Angela was gone and would no longer come home.

“Bella?” Renee called out as she walked into the foyer. Seeing her mother, Bella’s dam broke and she ran to her mom, crying brokenly. Together, they fell to the ground, sobbing over the loss of Bella’s twin. Aching and tired, they got up and dropped off Bella’s bag into her bedroom. They walked, like zombies, into Renee and Charlie’s room. Renee held Bella in her arms and they both fell into a fitful sleep.

A few hours later, Bella was awoken by another horrible dream of Angela.  Looking over at her mother who seemed to be sleeping soundly, she decided to slip out of the room and get something drink.  Quietly leaving the room, she walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. Pouring a glass of water, Bella walked over to the French doors and looked out to the backyard. Opening the doors, she stepped out into the dwindling sunlight. It was still very, very warm and quite uncomfortable. Bella wrinkled her nose as she stepped onto the back patio, making her way to the tree house her father had built for her and Angela.

Treehouse

“Ang,” Bella whispered, running her fingers over the initials they’d carved into the tree’s bark. “I don’t know how I’m going to do this, Ang. I need you with me. You were always the stronger of the two of us.” She traced Angela’s initials over and over again before walking to the ladder to the tree house.  She climbed up the ladder, sliding into the house that her father had built for them.

sampfb31fbb865141faa

Charlie loved his girls, but had yearned for a son. Thankfully, despite being girly, both Angela and Bella enjoyed outdoorsy activities, like camping and fishing. After some time at a Girl Scout Camp, they loved sleeping outside, but didn’t like sleeping on the ground. Charlie decided to build the tree house so they could enjoy ‘camping’ but without fears of ‘icky bugs’ getting into their sleeping bags. The tree house did have some amenities, such as working windows with screens and an electrical connection for a fan or CD player.

Looking around the tree house, Bella’s lips turned down into a deep frown. It was like their childhood had been preserved in the tree house. Shelves filled with their favorite books lined the walls, stuffed animals and dolls strewn along the room and there were bean bags haphazardly tossed in the corner. Angela’s bean bag was blue while Bella’s was purple. Crawling to the blue bean  bag, Bella snuggled onto it. She picked up Angela’s doll, a stuffed cat that looked a bit crazed with some funky-looking eyes. She hugged the doll and closed her eyes, tears streaming down her cheeks.

71yws-85hkL._SY679_

“Ang, what am I going to do without you?” Bella cried into the air. Suddenly a breeze blew through the door and a paper flew off the shelf and into Bella’s lap.  She picked it up and it was a school report that Ang had written. It was about her.

My favorite person in the whole world is my sister Bella.  She always gives the best hugs and make me laugh, even when I am drinking milk and make me blow bubbles out my nose.  Whenever I am sad she makes me laugh and she is the strongest person I know. I love my sister and no matter if we live on different planets we will still be close, because we share jeans with each other.

After Bella read the note and she knew that somehow Angela was reaching out to her to let her know that she would never be alone.  Smiling at the thought, Angela had been right they did share ‘jeans’ with each other and that bond couldn’t be broken, even after death.

~o~o~o~o~

The days that followed the fire, Edward was able to be released from the hospital.  Physically he was better, but emotionally he was still damaged, tormented with nightmares of losing Angela.  Esme and Carlisle were concerned about their middle son. After hours of talking to Edward, they were able to convince him to come home to stay for a few weeks, until he felt better, emotionally and physically.

Edward was sleeping in his childhood room, but even the happy memories of growing up in this house, couldn’t keep the monsters away every time he closed his eyes.  Several of his crew came by to see him and see how he was doing. They tried to engage him into conversations concerning coming back to work, but each time Edward would cut them off.  He didn’t want to even think about going back to work. He was just absolutely shattered about what had transpired, forever changing his career path.

Do I even want to be a firefighter anymore? He thought sullenly.

The men went back to the station and informed the Chief what had happened and he became very concerned.  This was not the Edward Cullen he knew. Edward Cullen loved being a fireman and loved being part of the brotherhood, always exceeding in every task that was given to him.  The Chief had even started grooming him to one day in the future to take over as Chief. The chance of losing someone was just part of the job and as much as it hurt, you need to deal with the grief and move on.

Edward was sitting on the terrace, mindlessly staring out across the yard.  His parents had gone to the funeral for Angela. They asked if he wanted to go and to support the Swan family, but he couldn’t even think about facing Charlie as he buried his daughter, because he wasn’t strong enough to save her.

Suddenly, his cell phone rang and as he looked at the screen he saw that it was his Uncle Eleazar from Boston.  He was his mom’s brother, who worked for the Boston fire department as a liaison officer between the department and city hall.

807full-christian-camargo

“Edward, how are you boy?”

“I’m okay,” Edward muttered.

“Doesn’t sound like you are,” Eleazar said.  Esme had called him to get his advice on how to help Edward.  After discussing all the options, Eleazar suggested that maybe a change of scenery would work.  He contacted his boss, who pulled some strings, and got Edward a position in the Fire Investigation Unit in Boston.  Edward already had the schooling and credentials, which made it easy for them to offer the entry level position to him.  Eleazar just now had to talk Edward into it. “I know you are going through a lot right now, but you and I both know that you love the fire department.  And it just so happens a position has opened up for a entry level investigator here in Boston and it is yours if you want it.”

“Did you ever lose someone, Uncle El?” Edward asked.

“I never worked out in the field. I was always a pencil-pusher,” Eleazar chuckled. “But, I’ve known men who have lost victims. Sometimes, they can  bounce back, no problem whatsoever. Other times, they need some help. Have you spoken to a shrink?”

“If I want to go back to the Seattle  Fire Department, I’ll have to be cleared by the department psychologist,” Edward sighed. “I don’t know if I can ever forget her screams, her pleas.”

“Look, I know you’re struggling. Why don’t you come out to Boston? Use some of your time off and just get away from Seattle. I know your Aunt Carmen would love to  see you. It’ll give you a chance to clear your head. Esme, love my sister to pieces, but she hovers,” Eleazar laughed.

“She does do that,” Edward snickered. “She looks at me with such pity. I hate it.”

“It’s not pity, son. It’s concern,” Eleazar said. “You can come out, spend time with us and perhaps meet with my boss to discuss a change in location and  position. Don’t give up your dream. Not yet, Edward.”

Edward thought about what Eleazar had offered.  If he went to Boston he wouldn’t have to be a burden to his mom and dad, but also he wouldn’t have to look Charlie in the eyes and see the pain he was going through.  Eleazar was right, he did need a break and maybe being on the other side of the country would be far enough away, that the nightmares wouldn’t follow him.

Across the city, on a frigidly cold day, which was a stark difference from a week ago, Charlie, Renee and Bella stood next to an open grave.  Laying on top of the grave was a slate gray casket with a spray of blue hydrangeas, white roses and calla lilies. It was a beautiful floral arrangement, but it represented something so awful. Angela Lillian Swan was inside that casket, never to see another sunrise again, or to laugh at a joke or play another concerto.

BWT-1d-16071714502

Alistair Meyers, the conductor, handed Renee a violin, his violin, to be placed into Angela’s casket, as hers was destroyed in the fire. Just before they closed the coffin, Renee placed the violin inside, along with a note. Charlie stood rigidly, tears falling freely down his face as he stared as his beloved daughter, taken too soon from this world. He refused to say goodbye to her, only vigilantly searching for the cause of the the apartment fire.

lg_7f0aeac729d96a4702c4689cfd490487cover-large_file

Bella held two items in her arms as she approached her sister’s casket. The first thing was the wacky-eyed doll from the tree house. “He’ll keep you company, Ang,” Bella whispered. “You carried him everywhere.” Blinking down, her vision was clouded with tears. The second item was the sheet music for the concerto she’d played the night she died. It was in her locker at Benaroya Hall, complete with her hastily scribbled notes and circles, indicating accelerandos, ritardandos and comments about bowing. She hugged it to her chest before tucking it next to Angela, underneath the violin. “I love you, Ang. I know you’re with me, always. We share the same ‘jeans’ and I hope I make you proud,” Bella said, leaning forward and kissing Angela’s cold forehead. As she pulled back, a sob ripped from her lips and she stepped to her mother’s side.

Now, standing next to the gravesite, Bella’s tears had stopped falling. She stared blankly at the floral spray as Angela’s casket was lowered down. Every inch further down was another wall that was being put up around her heart. The pastor said his final benediction and the families began leaving the gravesite, heading to Angela’s favorite restaurant, Il Terrazzo Carmine,  for a luncheon to ‘celebrate’ her life.

brawer1123jpg-a548e9fb944fd8e5_large

Bella felt nothing.

She had no more emotions to give, to share.

She was just a shell.

Without her twin, the feelings of joy, sadness and everything in between were lost on Bella. Having Angela in her heart is not the same as being able to talk to her, but she’d keep Angela safe in her heart. Never giving it to anyone, with the walls securely protecting her.

A/N: Here’s our second  chapter. It was a doozy, to be honest. Emotionally  charged, for certain. I (Tufano79) was crying as I was writing the last part. We probably should put a tissue warning at the beginning of the chapter.

Anyhow, you can find us both on Facebook ~ Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction, HeartforTwilight Book Group, and HeartforTwilight Productions for manips made for the story. Come join our groups for exclusive teasers. We both also have blogs, too. Tufano79 is on twitter, as well … tufano79.

As always, we welcome any comments! Leave a review, please! We’ll see you with the next chapter, which will be less of a downer.

Thanks for reading!

Tufano79 & HeartForTwilight

Fire of Your Soul ~ Chapter 1

In the blink of an eye, your world can change. You can experience the greatest happiness … or succumb to the world’s worst pain, losing someone that had no reason to die …

Edward Cullen, a decorated fireman, after losing a woman in a deadly apartment fire, left his life and family in Seattle, trying to escape the ghost of the beautiful woman, the concert mistress of Seattle Symphony. He stayed away from Seattle, living in Boston, working as an arson investigator until his mother called him, informing him that she had cancer. Without a second thought, Edward moved home to help his family.

Dr. Isabella Swan, a renowned oncologist, specializing in women’s cancers, went through the paces of life. Her mother, an ovarian cancer survivor, was her impetus to become a doctor. However, she was closed-off and had been for many years … since the death of her twin sister, Angela, in an apartment fire. Bella focused on her job, working to forget the empty pain of losing her soul mate. Even eight years after her death, Bella was profoundly broken because of it. She never let anyone in … Until … a handsome, sexy man and a son of one of her patients … Edward Cullen …

 

Everything in her mind told her it was wrong, but in the blink of an eye, your world can change. You can experience the greatest happiness. Your life can come back to life, especially when you find your new soul mate … the Fire of your Soul.

 

Fire of your Soul

 

A/N: None of this is ours … we’re both just pervy  women who like to play in the land that Stephenie Meyer created, making Edward and Bella have a realistic sex life (none of this fade to black shit). No copyright infringement is intended. Thanks for reading!

 

Chapter One

 

Pulling up to his fire station, Edward sat in his vehicle enjoying the last few moments of air conditioning before stepping out in the oppressive heat.  Unlike the cool, rainy weather that he had been accustomed to living in Seattle all his life, it had been hot, low humidity, and extremely dry. The forecasters predicted that they wouldn’t see rain for at least another week, possibly two and the daytime highs would be reaching into the nineties, which was an oddity in the Pacific Northwest.

Fireman Edward

 

The arid conditions had been the catalyst for several fires throughout the city.  Edward’s fire station had been out on so many fires that all the men were exhausted and this was very dangerous.  The reality of making mistakes could be life-threatening. Firemen needed to be refreshed and alert when fighting fires because a moment of distraction could lead to a disastrous outcome and that is why Tyler was out of action for at least six to eight weeks.  They were fighting a house fire, when he stepped through a hole, breaking his ankle. Being down one man on the team, meant that everyone had to pick up the slack.

DSC_0549EC-C-WMr-RED

Stepping out of his 1969 Ford Bronco, Edward was hit by the oppressive heat, along with a strong hot breeze.

ford-bronco-8

Fuck, this was going to make the dry conditions even more dangerous, he thought, shouldering his duffel bag.  The only thing he was thankful for was that he was called in the evening, covering for another man on his crew and he wouldn’t have to be out in the blistering sun for a majority of his time at the station.  Walking in, he saw the crew was putting away the equipment after they had returned from a call. They were covered in thick black film, mixed with sweat and water, that came from fighting a fire in a closed in place.
“Damn, you all look like hell,” Edward said.  “Where was this fire?”

 

“House fire on Lake Washington and it was insane.  The winds picked up and the flames were lapping in all different directions,” Mike explained.

 

“Were there any injuries?”  Edward asked.

“No, thankfully the family had smoke detectors.”

“Now if everyone in the city would have them, it would make our jobs a little easier,” Edward said wryly as he walked to his locker, placing his duffel, car keys and wallet inside.  When he turned, he saw Chief Fire Investigator Charlie Swan, coming out of the office. Charlie walked up to Edward and slapped him on the arm.

“Edward, good to see you,” Charlie boomed.

“Same here.  Are you working a case?”

“No, just checking in with the Commander.  I am off to get my monkey suit on. Angela has her concert tonight,” Charlie bragged, a proud grin spreading over his face. “She’s got a solo with the Seattle Symphony. Some German composer. Mendelblah? Renee knows the piece, but all classical music sounds the same to me. I don’t know that shit.”

“Mom and Dad are going tonight.  They like that same German composer, but I agree with you –  it all sounds the same,” Edward joked, grinning crookedly. “I’m partial to alternative music … guitars, drums, barely understandable singing. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Collective Soul,  Muse … I love them.”

“You sound like Bella with the music, Edward. She’s into the same bands.” Edward shrugged, knowing he was product of his home town, the birthplace of grunge. Charlie sighed, thinking about what Edward had said. “Damn, with the Mayor there, it will be a madhouse,” Charlie grumbled, scrubbing his face.  He hated crowds, but would do anything for his girls, who were his pride and joy. When the doctor had told them they were having twins, he almost fainted, but when he found out that they were girls, he nearly had a heart attack. The thought of one girl and what it meant to be a father to protect her from the world and dick-head boys.  However, to have two of them was damn scary. However, he wouldn’t trade his girls for anything in the world, because they both were his world.

“My dad has heard about this amazing soloist and he used his mayoral pull to get tickets,” Edward smirked. “While you are enjoying a very expensive nap, I’ll be here, trying not to sweat my balls off.”

“Can’t nap, this time around, I am responsible for the camera to record the concert, so Bella can see it in New York.”

“New York?” Edward asked.

“Bella’s a doctor. She’s a second-year resident at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,” Charlie explained. “Angela is a brilliant musician, playing the violin and is the concert mistress at the Seattle Symphony. She studied at Juilliard, offered any number of spots in world-renowned symphony orchestras, but she was homesick. She came back to Seattle. Bella tried with the musician thing, but she didn’t have the patience. She’s my analytical child, becoming a doctor, an oncologist.”

“Damn, I keep forgetting you have two daughters.  How many guns do you own?” Edward snickered, knowing that if he was the father of girls that he would chase all those pecker heads as far away as he could.  Boys think of sex ninety percent of the time and no zit face fucker was getting his dick anywhere near a daughter of his, well if he ever found someone that would put up with him.

“Not nearly enough. My girls deserve nothing but the best. I lucked out with my ambitious girls. Bella doesn’t really date and Angela has had a long-term boyfriend, Ben, since she started playing for the Seattle Symphony. He’s in charge of the business end of the concert hall and he loves her very much,” Charlie said, his smile wistful. However, his cell phone ringing on his hip broke his reverie. “Shit!”

“Mrs. Swan?” Edward asked, wriggling his brows.

Charlie scowled at Edward as he tugged out his cell phone. Blinking down he saw it was Renee, a much sought-after interior designer in the Seattle area. Grimacing, he answered. “Yes, dear?”

“Don’t you ‘yes, dear’ me! You were supposed to be home by now, Charlie! Did you pick up the spare battery for the camera?” she asked.

“Damn it!” Charlie grumbled. “I had to stop at a fire station, discussing something with the commander on duty. I’m on my way, though. I just need to change, sweetie. I think you’re more nervous than Angela.”

“I am! This is her first solo performance as a professional,” Renee said. “I love you, hon, but you’ve got to skedaddle!”

Charlie put his phone back in his pocket.  “Damn, I have got to run.” Charlie rushed out of the station, making sure he stopped at the store to get the battery.  He didn’t want to disappoint Bella by not being able to film the entire concert.

Arriving home, Charlie ran into the house and up the stairs.  When he came into the room, he saw the love of his life, his soulmate, his wife, Renee.  She always look stunning, but tonight she glow in her long purple gown, but for his taste the neckline was too low.  Those tits were only for his enjoyment and for no one else. Then, the horrible memory of when Renee found that lump in her breast and the scary aftermath of her battling and beating breast cancer twelve years ago. Renee had mastectomy and reconstruction, with her nipple tattooed onto her recreated breast. It was Renee’s battle with breast cancer that led Bella into becoming a doctor, focusing her attention on women’s cancers – breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer.

RenéeBD

Stepping up to Renee, Charlie wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close.  Loving the fact that she was wearing her hair up, so he could have access to her neck, where he placed kisses from her smooth shoulder up to the back of her ear.  Fuck there was nothing like the taste of her skin on lips. Even after almost thirty years of marriage, he yearned for his wife in more ways than one.

“Charlie, we don’t have time to do this,” Renee moaned, leaning back against him.

“I know, but I wanted a little taste and I will get the full menu when we return home,” he said. “Is that so bad?”

“Never, Charlie. I love you,” she said, turning around and brushing her lips against his. “Now, we’ve got a nervous baby girl who’s about to make her debut as a soloist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. We need to pick up flowers on our way to the concert hall.”

“I’m so proud of her,” Charlie breathed. He grinned, patting Renee’s ass. “And I love you, too, Renee. Be ready for some celebrating tonight. I want to hear you scream my name, love.”

“Charlie,” Renee whimpered.

“That works, too,” Charlie laughed, his fingers gliding down her arm and twining his hand with hers. Bringing her hand to his mouth he places a kiss on the back of her hand and pulled it to his chest.  She and their daughters was his life, his world.

After Charlie quickly changed into his tux, they were on their way to the Benaroya Hall, the concert hall for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.  They made one quick stop at the florist to pick up a bouquet of blue hydrangeas.

mini_hydrangea_bouquet

Angela hated roses of any color, but loved the look and smell of hydrangeas.  Pulling up to the front of Benaroya Hall, Charlie quickly exited the car and walked around to help Renee out. Handing the keys to the valet, he offered his arm to Renee and proceeded up the red carpeted steps.

Charlie was surprised to see the amount of people who was entering the hall.  He had no clue that so many people came to things like this. Walking past several people, they happened to come upon Carlisle and Esme Cullen as they made their way up to the reserved seats in a private box, courtesy of their talented daughter.

Carlisle Cullen’s family had been residents of Seattle since the foundation of the city in eighteen-hundred and fifty-one.  Having the charisma of a Kennedy, he was a man that everyone wanted to be around. Deciding to run for public office the first time, he won by a landslide and also the subsequent elections, culminating in being elected as the mayor of Seattle three years ago.  The city of Seattle loved having Carlisle Cullen as their Mayor and it didn’t look like he would be losing any elections any time soon.

Elizabeth-Reaser-Peter-Facinelli-cracked-up-Twilight

Carlisle’s wife, Esme, was also well known in the city.  She chaired many charities and foundations. Her heart was in helping children to achieve their dreams, no matter their social standing.  She was also known for her beauty, grace, and sophistication, but she was down-to-earth and ready with a warm grin or a smart comment. Women wanted to be her and men wanted to have her, however she was a devoted wife to Carlisle and a loving mother to her three boys, Emmett, Jasper and Edward.

“Good evening, Mayor and Mrs. Cullen,” Charlie said, as he placed out his hand and shook Carlisle’s.

“Charlie, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Carlisle, when not in the office,” Carlisle joked, shaking Charlie’s hand.  Turning to Renee, he hugged her and kissed her cheek. “Renee, you must be extremely proud this evening.”

“I am, well we both are, Angela has worked so hard to get to this point,” Renee answered. “We were also blessed with a strong musical history. My mother was a classically trained singer before she had children and my brother also played violin, acting as Angela’s first teacher.”

“Oh Renee, I have only wonderful things about her and we can’t wait to hear her play,” Esme gushed, laying her hand on Renee arm and patting it.

“Shit, sorry, I almost forgot, Edward wanted to me to tell you hello if I saw you this evening,” Charlie said.

“Damn boy lives five miles from the house, has a damn cell phone, but can’t pick it up to call us,” Carlisle grumbled.

“Now, Carlisle you know that his work schedule has been really rough lately with this dry weather,” Esme interceded.

“Is it that bad out there Charlie?” Carlisle asked.  He had seen some reports of the amount of fires, but didn’t know if this was something he should be even more concerned about.

“Carlisle, it is extremely dangerous right now.  The conditions are ripe for a continuation of these fires and also even bigger fires, if we don’t see rain soon,” Charlie explained. “And with the amount of fires, the crews are not getting the rest they need. They’re exhausted. Exhausted firefighters could equate more fatalities, civilians and firefighters alike.”

“Damn, never thought I would be wishing for rain,” Carlisle said.  “Call me tomorrow and we will discuss this more.”

“Certainly.  Have a good evening, Carlisle,” Charlie said, shaking his hand again. Esme and Renee hugged and they went their separate ways into their boxes. Ushers handed them programs and they settled into their seats. “Holy shit!”

2981f3e1-ad83-4605-83c2-05ea1afe6538-960x660

“Language,” Renee hissed, smacking his arm.

“Look at the crowd, Renee,” Charlie said, his eyes bugging out. “There’s not an empty seat in the house!”

“Well, they’re playing popular pieces tonight,” Renee said.

“I’ve never heard of any of these pieces,” Charlie snorted. “Okay, maybe I heard of the music of John Williams, but the rest of this shit?”

“Do I need to wash your mouth out with soap, Charles?” Renee asked, arching a dangerous brow. He blanched, shaking his head. “Angela’s performing in the first portion of the concert. She’s the soloist for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64. After that, we’ve got the New World Symphony by Dvorak. You’ll like that one. It sounds like music from Pocahontas.”

“Oh, okay,” Charlie said, rolling his eyes.

“And the final portion of the concert is a tribute to John Williams, which is a medley of all his music,” Renee said, turning to the page in the program with the biographies of the soloists. “Take a picture of this and send it to Bella. Angela looks so beautiful in her photo. My baby girls are both growing up too quickly.”

“I know,” Charlie sighed, taking a photo of Angela’s biography. He sent a text to his other daughter, who was buried, head-long, in her residency.

Check out your sister’s debut as a soloist! You’re in there, too! Love you, baby girl ~ Dad

Why would I be in Ang’s biography? I just shared a womb with her. LOL. She looks great … so elegant. Love you, too, Daddy. Send my love to Mom and Ang. You better send me that damn video ~ Bells

As soon as I get home, I’ll send it to you, Bells. The  lights are going down. I’ll talk to you soon. Save lives! ~ Dad

You, too, Daddy ~ Bells

He slid his cell phone into his tuxedo pocket and took out the camera. Technically, it was against the rules to record performances, but Angela had asked the conductor and music director to bend the rules so her twin could hear her debut. He begrudgingly agreed to the recording. So, Charlie began recording as Angela walked out on stage, bowing to the audience. She was dressed in a black, lacy gown and pearl earrings. With a confident smirk, she nodded to the oboe player who played an A for the orchestra to tune. Once Angela felt the orchestra was tuned, she sat down and the conductor, an older man named Alistair Meyers, strode out onto the stage. He bowed and stepped onto the podium.

Violinist Bella

Angela stood back up, lifting her violin and gazing at Alistair. With a sharp downbeat and a flick of Alistair Meyers’ baton, music filled Benaroya Hall. The sweeping sounds of the orchestra danced around the audience members and Angela’s fingers danced along the neck of the violin, moving gracefully and creating a gorgeous line as she introduced the first theme of the concerto. Her eyes were closed as she lost herself in the music, moving with each caress of her bow on the strings of her violin.

seattle-symphony-ludovic-morlot_gu4juv

“Charlie,” Renee whispered, tears welling in her eyes. “Can you believe this? She looks so beautiful, so mature. And I’ve never heard her sound so amazing.” Charlie reached over, taking Renee’s hand in hers and kissing her wrist.

“Pride doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling, Renee,” Charlie whispered back, blinking back to his daughter.

He never understood instrumental music, but with Angela performing, moving as gracefully as a dancer, he knew the love she felt for her music. She caressed the strings with a lover’s touch. The violin was truly an extension of her body. It was never just an instrument, but another way for her to convey her emotions, her joy, her anger, her sadness. It was no doubt why they made her the concert mistress of the Seattle Symphony – the youngest one in history.

On top of being a stellar musician, she was also a consummate professional, treating her responsibilities as concert mistress with the utmost care. She respected her coworkers and was respected in kind, save for the older man who was skipped over for the concertmaster job when the previous one had retired. He felt that Angela had no right to be concert mistress. She didn’t have the experience or talent, but as she stood in front of a packed house, her violin creating the most elegant and beautiful sounds, there was no doubt she deserved her position.

As one movement transitioned to the next and then to the final movement, it seemed like a blink of an eye that the concerto began. With a flurry of fingers and a gradual crescendo as the orchestra grew to the end, Angela ran her bow over the strings with surprising speed and accuracy. Her chocolate-colored curls moved with each stroke until she slowed down, looking up at Alistair, following him like a stellar musician she is. Confidently, she pressed down her fingers for the double stops prior to the ending of the concerto, holding out the final note triumphantly. Alistair lowered his hands indicating the end of the concerto, Angela pulled the bow away from the strings, tucking her violin under her arm, blinking out to the audience with a shy smile.

Charlie and Renee stood on their feet, applauding fervently as the rest of the crowd joined them. Angela reached over to Alistair and shook his hand. He stepped off the podium, kissing both of her cheeks and they took a shared bow. Alistair gestured to Angela and she took a step forward, bowing deeply before leaving the stage with Alistair on her heels. The orchestra got up as the lights went up for the first intermission.

“Renee, our baby … can you believe that?” Charlie asked, tears streaming down his cheeks. Yeah, I need my man-card revoked. But, he couldn’t find it in his heart to care. His daughter performed a flawless performance in front of thousands of people, making them feel what she felt. “I … I’m speechless!”

Renee nodded, moving over to Charlie and sitting in his lap. They hugged each other, talking about Angela’s stellar performance and sending her a text, expressing their pride and happiness. She didn’t respond since she kept her phone off during performances, but she would when she checked her phone after the show.

The rest of the performance went by in a blur. Angela, who had changed into a simple black dress after her solo, sat confidently in the first chair closest to Alistair. The symphony was beautiful and it did remind Charlie of the movie, Pocahontas. The final piece was pure fun, featuring several soloists from the orchestra. The concert ended with a flourish and the lights came up.

“I can’t believe our baby girl,” Charlie whispered. “Both of our baby girls. We are so lucky, Renee.”

“We are, Charlie,” Renee smiled, kissing him gently. “Now, let’s meet our baby girl. She said that she would be down in the lobby after the concert.”

“She probably wants her ice cream,” Charlie snickered.

“You started that tradition,” Renee laughed as Charlie packed away the camera. Looping the camera bag over his shoulder, they left the box and ran right into Carlisle and Esme. The latter had tears in her eyes. She hugged Renee tightly. “I take it you loved the concert?”

“Very much so,” Esme sang. “Your daughter is exquisite! So much feeling in her performance. You must be so proud!”

“We are,” Charlie answered.

“We’d love to meet Angela,” Carlisle said, sliding his arm around Esme’s waist.

“Of course,” Charlie smiled. “We’re meeting her in the lobby and then  going to get some ice cream.”

“Ice cream?” Esme asked, laughing quietly.

“After Angela’s first concert, we went for ice cream. It was essentially a bribe for our other daughter to come to the concert. So, we went to a local ice cream shop and after that, it became tradition,” Charlie answered. “Angela wanted it more than Bella.”

“Does Bella play any instruments?” Carlisle questioned as they made their way to the lobby.

“No,” Renee replied. “Bella appreciates music, but she’s into more alternative music. She thinks all this music sounds the same.”

“I’m with Bella,” Charlie snickered. “But, she’s a resident in New York, training to become an oncologist. We had to record the concert for her. I’ll send it to her once I get home.”

They made their way down the lobby, which was packed. Angela was standing in the center of the lobby, surrounded by people and exclaiming how wonderful she did. She smiled and accepted her praise, along with numerous bouquets of flowers. When she saw her father, she graciously made her way toward her parents. “Daddy!” she breathed, hugging him closely. “Did you like it?”

“Like is an understatement, Angela,” he smiled, kissing her cheek. “You were phenomenal. I’ve never been so proud.” He handed her the floral bouquet of blue hydrangeas. “For you, sweetheart.”

“Thank you, Daddy,” Angela breathed.

“I’d like you to meet someone,” Charlie said.

“After I give my child some loving,” Renee chided, kissing Angela’s cheeks before hugging her tightly. “Okay, now you can introduce her.”

“Angela Swan, this is Mayor Carlisle Cullen,” Charlie smiled, guiding her toward Carlisle. “Carlisle, this is my younger daughter, Angela Swan.”

“Mr. Mayor, it’s an honor to meet you,” Angela breathed, shaking his hand.

“Nonsense about this Mr. Mayor thing. Call me Carlisle,” he grinned, kissing her cheek. “You were marvelous. I’ve heard great things about you and I had to come see you.”

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor … um, Carlisle,” Angela replied. “I’m so glad you were able to hear us. We’ve never sounded so good. I think it was the magic of the audience.” With a coy grin to her father, “But, all that playing has made me hungry. Ice cream, Daddy?”

Ice Cream

“Come on, kiddo,” Charlie laughed. “Would you care to join us, Carlisle? Esme?”

“Not tonight,” Carlisle said. “I’ve got a budget meeting early.”

“It’s past his bedtime,” Esme quipped. “You sounded beautiful, Angela.”

Angela blushed, burying her nose into the hydrangeas in her arms. She quietly murmured her thanks. With hugs and handshakes, Carlisle and Esme left Benaroya Hall. Angela handed the flowers to her parents before she ducked back to the rehearsal space to grab her violin and say goodbye to Alistair. Heading back to the lobby, Angela, Charlie and Renee made their way out to the car, a sleek black Lincoln MKZ, driving to a nearby ice cream shop, to get Angela’s favorite ice cream cone, which was vanilla.

2016-lincoln-mkz hybrid-front-angle3_10431_089_640x480

They chattered about the concert and about Angela’s new apartment. She’d recently moved into a two-bedroom apartment and was finally settled. She loved her new home and the freedom of living on her own. It was, at Charlie’s insistence, a secured building, with a doorman and close to a fire station, in case something happened. They finished their ice cream and drove Angela back to her apartment. Angela rode to the concert hall with Ben that day.

In her apartment, Angela changed out of her dress and hung it up in her closet. She showered, settling onto her couch and relaxing as the television played quietly. She was watching one of the late-night shows when her computer rang. It was a Skype call. Angela recognized the caller and answered it. “Bells,” Angela breathed. “You look like shit, girl.”

Cu5Y-ZRUsAAV7sr

“I haven’t slept in thirty-six hours, Ang. Of course I look like shit,” Bella snickered. “You look great. And you fucking sounded amazing! Dad just sent me your video. I haven’t heard all of it, but Ang … I have no words!”

“Really?” Angela asked. “The second movement was such a struggle for me. I flubbed several parts in that.”

“Seriously? It sounded so good, Ang. I wish I could play like you,” Bella laughed, sipping some coffee and yawning. “Anyway, I wanted to call you before I went to sleep. I’m back on at the hospital tomorrow afternoon.”

“And yet, you’re drinking coffee,” Angela deadpanned.

“It’s herbal tea, smartass,” Bella snorted. “Some sleepy-time blend.”

“Good. You need to take care of yourself, Bells. You work too hard,” Angela said, frowning at her twin. “You need to have fun.”

“I have fun,” Bella scoffed indignantly. “I had fun with that new resident three times last week.”

“Not fucking, Bells,” Angela chided. “You need a relationship, sweetie. When was the last time you had a relationship? Jake?”

“Fucker,” Bella growled. “But, yes. I’m sorry, Ang, but he raked me over the coals with his cheating bullshit. It’s going to take time before I trust someone again. For now, I’ll enjoy fucking the new resident. His cock is small, but he makes up for it with his tongue.” She yawned again. “Okay, Ang, I’m off to bed. I love you … to the moon and back.”

“I love you, too, Bells, until the end of time,” Angela smiled. She pressed her fingers to her lips and touched the screen. Bella did the same and she ended the call. Angela shut her laptop, making her way to the kitchen. She sipped some water before padding to her bedroom. Slipping into her queen-sized bed, she set her alarm clock and snuggled into the comforter. Her eyes fluttered and she drifted asleep.

~0~0~0~0~

“Engine 17, Engine 437, Wagon 12, Ladder 6, Ladder 17, Battalion 42A: Respond to an automatic fire alarm, 17328 Boysenberry Drive off of Kettleson Road ….” the dispatcher said after the sounding of the alarm.

Bunk Room

Edward jumped from his bed in the bunkroom of the fire station.  As he swung his legs over the bed, he placed his feet into the boots and pulling up his turnout pants by their suspenders over his broad shoulders.  Running to his cubby, where his jacket, gloves, and helmet were stored, he quickly finished getting dressed, before rushing to his engine.

giphy-downsized

Climbing in the truck, he turned on his portable radio and listened for the details from dispatch.  It was a structure fire at a five-story apartment building on the west side of the city. Fire and smoke were billowing from the top two stories.  Next, the dispatcher gave the weather update, which concerned Edward the most. The winds were picking up from the east and the relative humidity was in the low teens with a temperature still hovering in the low eighties.  Fuck, this was a combination that all firemen hated to hear. His engine roared down the street, with lights and sirens blaring through the dark streets of Seattle. As they turned the corner, the night sky glowed in bright orange and reds from the fire that was slipping out of the top of the apartment.

HairyMammothArctichare-size_restricted

Other fire stations and crews were on scene and as soon as the engine stopped, Edward was out the door and picked up his ax.  He went over to the chief in charge and listened to the game plan for fighting the fire. After telling different crews to handle different parts of the fire, he turned to Edward and the team from Station 17. “Station 17, we need to you to go to the top two floors and look for anyone who may be trapped there.  We don’t have a lot of time men, so get in and get out as soon as possible,” the chief said.

Edward looked at Marcus.  “Let’s get in there.”

Putting on their self-contained breathing apparatus, which only holds thirty minutes of air, they walked up the steps and through the doors.  Stepping into the thick black smoke, they went to the stairs and headed up. They would go to the fifth floor and work their way down.

fireman

Edward placed his hand on the door before opening it and even though it was warm, it was not hot, which indicated that a fire was on the other side, but not enough to cause a backdraft.  Pushing open the door, Edward and Marcus walked into the hallway.

“You take the left and I will take the right.  Keep in contact,” Edward commanded.

Edward and Marcus made quick, but safe checks of the apartment, yelling out that they were firemen and to scream if they trapped.  It was hard to hear anything over the roar of the fire, but that didn’t stop them from trying. Edward had reached the end of the hall, he tested the door and busted it in.  The room was engulfed in flames, lapping up the walls to the ceiling, dancing in a glowing, deadly dance.

“Fire department! Call out! I’m here to help you,” Edward yelled.  Listening carefully, he heard a faint cry coming from the back corner of the building.  He took off towards the sound and when he got there, the doorway was fully engulfed in fire.  Looking into the room, he saw a young woman standing by the window, trying to pull it open.

“Miss, don’t do that,” Edward yelled, but it was too late.

The woman got the window open, which allowed the wind and oxygenated air to rush into the room, causing the fire to become an inferno.  The wind blew around the room and the fire blasted around the room towards her, pushing her out the window by its force.

Edward barged through the fire, not even thinking about himself, only the woman who needed his help and ran to the window, catching her hand before she fell.  “I’ve got you,” he yelled.

Fireman Edward

“Don’t let me die, please,” she cried hysterically, scrambling and trying to pull herself up.

“I am not letting you go, but you need to give me your other hand.”

The young woman tried to reach up with her other arm, but she didn’t have the strength to do so.  Suddenly, there was a violent explosion on the floor below causing the building to shake. Edward lost his firm grip on her hand and was only hanging on by her fingers.  No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t regain the stronghold he had before, but she began to slip, inch by inch. “Please! Please!” she screamed.

Edward looked into the tear-filled eyes of the young woman, his grip failed and she began to fall through the smoke and fire.  Her cries and scream echoed above all the noise of the fire and her shrieks of terror burned onto Edward’s heart with their pain.  He turned, running back through the blazing doorway, and through the apartment to the hall wanting to get out of the building to find the young woman.  Maybe, just maybe she survived.

Marcus had just finished his side of the floor when the explosion happened.  Fuck, they needed to hurry this up and get out of this building. When he looked down the hall, he saw Edward come running towards him.

“A girl fell out the window, we have got to go help her!” Edward yelled.

Rushing down the stairs and out of the building, which at this point was totally engulfed in flames, Edward tore off his breathing apparatus as he ran around the side of the building where the young woman would have landed.  When he got there, he found the body lying over a pile of rubble from the explosion. Blood was coming from a gash on her head, her legs were in unusual position with blood pouring out where the bones were protruding out, marring her pale skin.

Edward crawled up the rubble, ripping off his gloves, he began to take her pulse and access her condition.  Not getting anything from her wrist, he placed his fingers on her cardiac artery on the neck and once again he felt nothing.

“GET THE EMT OVER HERE NOW!!” Edward screamed, as he picked her up and took her off the pieces of the sharp concrete, to a flat surface where he could begin CPR.  Normally, he wouldn’t move a person without securing their neck, but with her not breathing or no pulse, there was no time for it. Edward was as careful as he could with her neck while he carried her away from the building. Gently, he lay her down on the grass, beginning chest compressions.  With each compression, he prayed that this would work and that she would open up those beautiful eyes and look at him once again. Stopping to feel her pulse, checking if her heart had begun again, but finding that it hadn’t, he once again started back with the life-saving CPR.

“Cullen, move! We’ll take over now,” the EMT said placing his hand on Edward’s shoulder.

Edward looked up and reluctantly stood up, stepping to the side.  He wanted the best for the young woman and the EMTs were that. He listened as they began to work on the young woman for any chance that they could bring her back.  After what felt like an eternity, the EMT looked away from the young woman and towards Edward.

“I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do.”

“NOOO!” Edward cried.  “You must try harder.”

“She is gone, Edward. According to the EKG, her heartbeat is asystole. There’s no pulse. You can’t bring that back,” the EMT said, his eyes swirling with concern.

Edward closed his eyes, willing the tears not to fall.  Lowering his head in utter defeat, he trudged away from the woman and back towards his crew.  Each step heavier and than the one before.

Edward Defeated

The chief had been informed what was happening, so when he saw the defeated Edward walking towards him, he knew.  “Edward, go get checked out at the hospital,” the chief commanded.

“I am fine, Chief.”

“I don’t care if you think you are fine, go get checked out.  That is an order,” he barked.

Edward nodded and proceeded to the nearest ambulance.  As he sat down on the edge of the back of the ambulance, heard a voice that he knew so well.

Limited edition Final-L

“Has anyone seen my daughter?” Charlie cried out. He was still wearing his tuxedo from the performance. His eyes were crazed.

Edward watched as Charlie ran up to the chief, who at first shook his head, but then the EMTs brought the body of the young woman around the side of the building, covered with a white sheet.  Charlie ran over to the cloth covered body and pulled it down from the face and let out a horrific cry, falling to the ground.

“MY DAUGHTER, MY BEAUTIFUL ANGELA! NO! NO! NO! Not my baby girl,” he sobbed, falling to his knees. The EMTs helped Charlie to his feet, whispering in his ear. Woodenly, Charlie stayed by Angela’s body, holding her hand in his and clambered into another waiting ambulance. The doors closed, with a sharp click and it pulled away.

Charlie

Edward watched in shock. As Casey, another EMT put an oxygen mask on his face, his heart shattered seeing the anguish of Charlie sobbing brokenly over the body of his daughter. “Cullen, you’ve got smoke inhalation and deep cuts on your hands. You need to get those stitched up,” said Casey. “Cullen?”

“Whatever,” he whispered, looking down at his torn up hands. “They couldn’t save her, Casey. I couldn’t save her. What’s the point?”

“Don’t, man,” Casey muttered. “You did everything you could.”

“Did I?” Edward snarled. “I couldn’t save her …”

AN:  As the curtain falls on this first chapter, we hope you love the connection between the characters, but also our writing style together.  We are not writing separate sections, but writing the chapter together. This first chapter is a monster with over 6000 words, but we wanted to lay the firm foundation for the story.  Our characters are energetic, loving, caring, and surprisingly funny in parts.

You can find us both on Facebook … Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction, HeartforTwilight Book Group, and HeartforTwilight Productions for manips made for the story. Come join our groups for exclusive teasers. We both also have blogs, too. Tufano79 is on twitter, as well … tufano79. Come find us! We’re fun!

To feed our drive to write, we need something from you the reader and that is a review.  A review is like a piece of warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream to us. Until next time.

Lots of Love

Tufano79 & HeartforTwilight

All Tied Up in Love – One Shot

Summary:  You never know where you might find that person who is everything you need or desire.  Thanks to my Beta: Princess07890/RAH07890.  Written for the All Tied Up In You Contest.  Thanks for all the wonderful reviews I received during the contest.

“Why are you here, pet?”

Looking at the submissive in a perfect waiting position, with their head down, they didn’t answer.  What a good little pet.

“You may answer.”

“To serve you.”

“Do you trust that I will follow our contract that we have to each other?”

“Yes, your pet does.”

“Do you give yourself completely to me?”

“Yes, your pet gives themselves to you completely.”

“Do you know your safe words and promise to use them if needed?”

“Yes, your pet does and will.”

“Then let us begin.”

 

It was hard to believe, but this was their ten year anniversary of the first night in the playroom.  It felt like only yesterday that she had started working at Cullen Design Company.  She had been hired as the executive assistant to Edward Cullen, CEO and founder of the company.  He had built it from the ground up to be one of the best architectural design companies on the West Coast.  He was known for being a tough as nails, take no prisoner type of guy.  Other CEOs, hated him but wanted to be him.  Edward had been on the society pages, with a new girl each time and was considered the most eligible bachelor in Seattle.

Bella had been warned that Mr. Cullen, which he wanted to be called at all times, was very particular about everything, whether it be a design or a simple memo.  She had lost count how many times she had to correct a letter, because of something simple that would have been fine in any other office.  For three months Bella had held her tongue and complied with every one of his demands.  It also didn’t help that he was pure sex on legs and she had lost track of how many times she had been woken up in the middle of the night with her hand on her pussy after dreaming of him.

 

It was a beautiful sunny day in Seattle, Bella was at the office to finish up the project that she had been working on for two weeks.  She had gone over it more times than she could count and was confident that it was perfect.  She walked into Mr. Cullen’s office at four o’clock with the project bound and ready for him to review.

Laying it on his desk, he looked up and stared at her with those striking green ‘fuck me’ eyes and those plump lips, that she had imaged sucking her clit as he used his long fingers to fuck her pussy.  Fuck, she was wet again.

“Here is the report, Mr. Cullen,” Bella said.

Edward reached for the report and tried not to look at Bella.  From the first day she walked into the office, he was aroused.  She wore skirts that showed off her toned legs, blouses that emphasized her generous tits, and those fuck-me high heeled shoes.  He had lost count how many times he had to jack off in his bathroom, screaming her name as he came.  Bella’s work had been extraordinary, but he used his petty excuses of mistakes just so he could see her more.

“I hope this meets my standards,” Edward growled.

Bella stood in front of his desk, waiting for him to review the document.  This was one of his many commands that she was required to do.

Moments later, he looked up at her and pushed the document back towards her.  “You missed a comma in the fourth paragraph.  Fix it.”

That was it.  She had kept her true nature away from work, but this man needed to be put in his place and if it meant her job, so fucking be it.  Bending over and placing her hands on his desk, she looked deep into his eyes.  “Mr. Cullen, if I had my whip with me, I would bend you over this desk and turn your ass red.  I have taken your constant criticism, but no more.  It is not in my nature to take it and I refuse to do so anymore.”

Edward was shocked.  How had she found out his secret?  He had been so careful to keep his professional life and his private desires separate, however, here stood the woman of dreams, saying things that he desired.  He had found the community while he was in college and, over the years, had been in several contracts with Dominatrices, but never longer than the contract date.

Lower his head.  “How did you find out?”  He whispered.

Bella was shocked.  She noticed that Edward was now in a submissive stance.  Fuck, how had she missed this?  Standing up, she straightened her blouse and walked over to the door and locked it.  Walking back to the desk, she came around and rubbed her hand up his back.

“Stand and take off your jacket,” she demanded.

Edward quickly stood and removed his jacket, keeping his head lowered.  He was so aroused, that he thought his cock would bust through his zipper.

“Do you have a ruler in your desk?”  Bella asked.

Edward opened his mouth to answer, but remembered she had not given him permission to speak.

Bella couldn’t help but smile.  “You may answer any of my questions.”

“No, Mistress.”

Bella looked around the room; on his drafting table was a long wooden yardstick.  Oh, the possibilities.  “Drop those pants and lean over the desk,” she said.

Edward quickly unzipped his pants and was thankful for the relief from the tight material.  Pulling his pants and underwear down, he leaned over the table as Bella demanded.  His heart began beating so fast and his breathing was shallow with the thought of what was about to happen.

Bella walked over and picked up the yardstick.  She turned to see that Edward had done as he was commanded.  Slapping the stick down on the desk, the sound echoed around the room, causing Edward to jump.  “Look at me.”

Edward turned his head and looked at Bella.  She began to slowly unbutton her blouse and allowed it to slide down her arms and onto the floor.  HOLY FUCK! She was wearing the sexiest bra he had ever seen.  The thin material wrapped around her plump tits but allowed him to see her hardened nipples.  He watched as she reached behind her and unzipped her skirt, then watched as it fell to the floor in a pool of material.  In his dreams, he had imagined her like this, but it was nothing like the real thing.  She stood before him in a thong, garter belt with black stockings, and those fuck me high heels.

“Your safe word is red.  If you want me to stop you need to say it, do you understand?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Excellent, turn your head back to the desk,” she said.

Edward did as he was told and waited for her next command.

“I am going to give you ten strikes with this stick. Do you know why?”

“No, Mistress.”

Bella smacked his bare firm ass with her hand.  “It is because you have made my life a living hell.”

“Sorry, Mistress.”

“You will count each hit and thank me, do you understand?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

Bella picked up the yardstick and placed the first strike on his ass.

“One, thank you,” Edward groaned.

Oh, what a good little submissive.  Bella continued her punishment, increasing the pressure of each hit, but making sure that she didn’t do any damage.  When she was finished, she placed the stick on the desk and walked into the bathroom, hoping to find some lotion to smooth on Edward’s red ass.  On the bathroom counter was a large bottle of lotion and a box of tissue.  Giggling to herself, she imaged what Edward had been doing in the bathroom.  Grabbing both she walked back in the office, to find Edward still bent over the desk.  Sitting the bottle and tissues on the desk, she pumped a significant amount of lotion into her hand and began to rub it over his ass.

Edward almost moaned out loud when Bella began rubbing the lotion on him.  His cock, at this point, was beyond hard.  If she had continued with her punishment, there would be no way he could stop his orgasm.  He had to use the techniques that he had learned over the years to stave off impending premature ejaculations.

“Get up and turn around,” Bella said.

Edward got up and turned around to find Bella sitting in his chair completely naked.  Her pussy was completely bare and he could see the faint glistening of wetness.  He watched as she took her finger and circled her nipple, then pulled it hard, causing her to moan out loud.

Bella looked up at Edward as she continued to play with her nipple, as she moaned, he licked his lips and his pupils were almost entirely black.  When she looked at his cock, she almost came.  HOLY FUCK, HE WAS HUGE.  Not only was it long, but it had an ample girth.  Damn, that was going to feel fucking great in her pussy and, hopefully soon, in her ass.

“Get on your knees and make me come with your tongue.”

Edward dropped to his knees and rubbed his hands up her smooth legs, spreading them farther apart and pulling her ass closer to the edge of the leather chair.  Licking his lips, he leaned in and took a whiff.  She smelled so fucking good that he wished he could bottle it up and keep it with him whenever he wanted to smell her.  Flatting his tongue against her mound, he took a long lick to gather all the wetness that was there.  He continued to lick and took her clit into between his lips and sucked hard, causing her to moan.

“That is it, little pet, I am fucking close.”

Edward smiled at her pussy and continued his attack on it.  After a few more licks on the outer lips and into her pussy itself, he took her clit between his teeth and bite down hard.

“FUCK, I AM COMING!”  Bella screamed as she came.  When she finally came down from her high, she looked at Edward, who was, once again, waiting in his submissive position.  “You did very well, so well in fact that I think you deserve an orgasm.  Put me on the desk and fuck me, HARD.”

Edward stood up, swiped the desk knocking everything onto the floor, turned and picked Bella up and gently laid her on the desk.

“Are you ready, Mistress?”

“Fuck yeah.  I hope you know how to fuck with that cock as good as you did with your tongue.”

Edward lined his cock up to her pussy and, in one hard thrust, pushed his way into her hot, wet, tight pussy.  He almost came immediately, but he wanted to be able to make her come again before he did.

Bella grasped the edge of the desk, to prevent from being pushed off the desk, by his powerful thrust.  She had never been this full before and he ruined her for any other cock.  She lifted her hips slightly, which cause his cock to go even deeper.  With each powerful thrust, she became closer to coming again.  Looking at his face, she could tell he was doing everything possible to holding off his own orgasm.  “I am close.  Come with me.”

Edward pounded three more times into her pussy and felt her walls clamp down on his cock, which caused him to come, shooting a long stream of hot cum deep inside of her.  When he finally stopped, he gently pulled out and collapsed in his chair.

It took a few moments for Bella to calm down, but, once she had, she went over and got two bottles of water from the wet bar on the one wall of his office.  She handed Edward one of the bottles, who took it and chugged down the ice cold liquid.

“How long have you been a submissive?”  Bella asked.

“Five years.  How long have you been a Dominatrix?”  He asked.

“Five years as well.  You are terrific.”

“Thank you and you are the best I have ever seen or been with,” Edward admitted.

Bella crawled up on Edward’s lap and brushed the hair that had fallen against his eyes.  “Would you like to continue this relationship in a more formal matter?”

“Yes, Ma’am, very much so.”

After that afternoon in the office, Bella and Edward entered into a Dominant/submissive relationship.  In the office, Edward was still the boss, but during their time of play, Bella was in complete control.  Their contract was up in a few days; however, Bella didn’t want it to end.  She had never experienced anything like this with any other submissive and she couldn’t even think about him being with another woman.  Actually, she couldn’t think about not having him in her life and not only as her submissive, but as the man she had fallen in love with.  There had been several times she almost blurted it out, but she was scared that he might not feel the same way.

 

Edward was in heaven.  He had the best assistant in the world in his office and a woman who controlled him in the bedroom.  Bella was everything he could ever want in a woman and more.  But he afraid to tell her his feelings for her.  He was so in love with her that he couldn’t imagine being with another woman the rest of his life.  She had ruined him for all other women.  Bella had asked if he wanted to come over to her house for dinner and talk.  What if she allowed their contract to end?  How could they work together every day and not be in some type of relationship?  He arrived at her house, carrying two dozen red roses and a heart full of love.

Bella answered her door and gasped at the sight of Edward wearing her favorite Armani suit and holding a bouquet of roses.  “Edward,” she sighed deeply.  “They are lovely.”

Edward leaned down and placed a sweet kiss on her lips.  “They are not as lovely as you.”

Bella’s heart fluttered.  “Please come in.”

After Bella had placed the roses in a vase, she poured Edward a glass of wine and sat down beside him on the couch.  Taking a generous drink, she set the glass on the coffee table, then turned toward Edward.  “As you know, our contract is up on Friday.”

“Yeah, it doesn’t feel like it has been three months already,” Edward said.

“I know, but I don’t want to sign another three-month contract,” Bella stated.

Edward’s heart stopped.  His worst nightmare was coming true.  “Why?”

Bella was shocked by the defeated look on Edward’s face, then she replayed her last comment and then it hit her.  “Oh, Edward it is not like that.”  Moving closer, she placed her hands on either side of his face and looked deeply into his eyes.  “Edward, I love you.”

Edward gasped.  Had he heard her correctly?  She loved him.  “You love me?”

“Very much,” she cooed.

Edward pulled her into his arms.  “I love you, too,” he declared and proceeded to seal his declaration with a kiss.  Not just a kiss, but a kiss that was full of love and passion.

Bella was so overwhelmed, not only by Edward’s proclamation of love, but the powerful kiss that they were exchanging.  “Take me to bed.”

Edward picked her up and took her to her bedroom.  This was the one place that he had only seen once.  He had his own room that he stayed in when they played.  Stepping into the room, he was welcomed by a king size canopy bed with sheer white curtain encasing it.  He put her down next to the bed and began to kiss every inch of skin that was visible.  Edward found the tie that held her dress together, and slowly pulled the ribbon.  The dress fell open, giving him a full view of her magnificent, creamy breasts, heaving with her deep breaths.  “You are so fucking beautiful.”

“Please, Edward,” Bella begged.

Edward smirked, it usually was him that was begging, but to hear her was the biggest turn on.  Leaning down he took her rose-tipped nipple into his mouth and began to suck as he gently kneaded and stroked the other.

Bella’s head fell back and she moaned out.  “Oh, my God, yes.”

Edward pulled away from the nipple and slipped the dress off her shoulders and quietly undressed, as Bella watched.  When he pulled off his pants and underwear together, his long, thick cock bounced against his rock hard abs.  Mistress Bella required him to work out four days a week and to do yoga twice a week.  She needed him in peak shape and flexible.

Bella sat on the bed and Edward got to his knees, grasped the edges of her panties and pulled them down her long, toned legs.  Throwing them over his shoulder, he began to kiss up her ankle, to her calf, behind her knee, up her thigh, but stopped short of her wet, soft mound.

“Move back, please,” Edward said.

Bella moved back to the center of the bed and Edward climb over her.  Taking his thumb, he caressed her cheek and lips.  “Close your eyes and open your heart to me.  I need you to open your soul to me, touching you, needing you, loving you, every second of every day.  The only thing I want in return is your love.”

“Yes, Edward.  You have my love and undying devotion only to you.”

Edward eased himself inside of her and they both cried out in pleasure.  Over the last three months that had countless hours of sex, but this was different, this was their souls joining together in a beautiful dance of love.

“Bella, I need you to come for me,” Edward cried.

“I am so close.”

Raising his hips to a different angle, he thrust deeper than before, sending Bella over the edge.  She exploded into a thousand pieces, clamping down time and time again on Edward’s cock.  His orgasm quickly followed in the longest, hottest release of his life.

Not wanting to crush her, he rolled them over, still connected, but with her now on top.  Their bodies were hot and sweaty, but completely satisfied.

“I love you,” He declared with all his heart.

“As I love you.”

 

After that night they took their relationship to the next level.  They were not in just a Dominant/submissive relationship, but also a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship.  They knew they couldn’t keep their loving relationship secret, because it was evident with every look they gave each other, so, after discussing it, they decided to announce it to everyone.  Almost everyone was excited about the new couple, but only a few were jealous of either Bella or Edward.

Two years after their declaration of love, Bella and Edward were in Vegas for a conference, when they decided they would get married in a small chapel off the Vegas strip.  It was just the two of them and the officiant; however, it was perfect for them.

Two years after that, their first child was born and, it was at that point that Bella decided to quit and be a full-time mother.  They still had playtime but had to be creative with the timing.  The years past and today was their ten year anniversary.

“Come with me,” Bella commanded, walking to the one wall.  “Stand right there.”

Edward stood where he was told, his head lowered waiting for his next instruction.

Bella went over and pulled out one of her white silk blindfolds and wrapped it around Edward’s head, covering up his stunning green eyes, which she loved so much.  Taking a silk tie, she wrapped it around his wrists behind his back.  Tonight, Bella had told him to wear a pair of well-worn jeans, no shirt, and no underwear.  Stepping in front of him, she ran her fingernail from the apex of his neck, down his chest, around each of his nipples, down his abs to the button to his jeans.

“You are doing so well, my pet,” Bella said.  “Hmm, I wonder if my cock is ready for what I have planned for it.”

Unbuttoning the button and slowly unzipping the zipper, she saw that his cock was, as always, hard, with a pearl of cum at the tip.  Just as she began to remove his pants, a cry came across the baby monitor.

Bella lifted up the blindfold.  “Looks like we will have to pick this up later, my love.”

Edward smiled.  “My body, my mind, my heart, my obedience, and my love, will always be waiting for you.  I am all tied up in love and will be until my last, dying breath.”