Testing Faith – Chapter 18

As the sun began to rise the next morning, Edward awoke a new man. After Bella had left, he had to will his hard dick to calm down. After thinking about everything from baseball to having to tattoo Max’s dick, it finally softens up. Falling asleep, he dreamt solely of Bella;  not one second of his night was disturbed with the nightmares that he had since the accident. He felt so refreshed and determined to make the best of his new life with a disability. Getting up, he attached his prosthetic leg on and headed towards the gym. Finding several other patients working out, he looked around and found the piece equipment that would work on his upper body. Soon he was sweating and feeling energized. After his workout, he walked back to his room, took a shower, and changed into the clothes that Carmen had brought him. 

“Fuck, I have been an first class asshole,” he grumbled out loud. Edward knew he needed to apologize to Carmen and his brothers, hoping they would forgive him for lashing out at them. Picking up his phone, he sent a text to each of them, asking them to come to the rehab center when they had a chance. 

Carmen was still at Max’s home when her phone dinged that she had a text message. Rolling over, she picked up her phone and saw that it was Edward. 

“Max, I believe my boy is finally getting better,” she exclaimed, showing him the text.

“Hmm, I wonder if Angela had to break out the whip?” Max jested. 

“I don’t know, but if that is  what worked, I am all for it,” Carmen said.

Max ran his hand down her ribs, over her hip, onto her curvy ass, and once there slapped it lightly. “Do you want me to ask her for some tips?”

Carmen set down her phone and moved closer to Max. “Not you, my love,” she said with a mischievous grin. “But I might.”

“Fuck me,” Max gasped.

Carmen straddled him and propelled herself on his massive cock. Groaning as she took in every beautiful inch, feeling a glorious euphoria. “Gladly.”

After another satisfying round of sex, Carmen got up, showered, and dressed. She couldn’t stop smiling, knowing that Edward was starting to heal mentally. As she was finishing up her makeup, Max walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “Do you know how much I love you?” 

“Yes, and Yes,” she declared, hoping he would understand. She only hoped that she wasn’t too late.

It took Max a moment before he understood what she was saying. Turning her around and lifting her off the ground. “Yes?”

“If I am not too late?” She quizzed.

“Damn woman, I would have waited until we were both in our deathbeds,” Max proclaimed as he sat her down. “Hold on to that thought.”

Max ran from the room, and a few minutes later was back and dropped to one knee. “Carmen Lewis, I love you with every cell of my body, and it would be my honor if you would be my wife.”

With tears in her eyes, Carmen looked down at the stunning diamond ring nestled in a black velvet box. “Yes.”

Max stood and placed the ring on her finger. He couldn’t believe after all these years she said yes. “When do you want to get married?”

“Well, since we have to wait seventy-two hours, how about this weekend?” Carmen asked.

“FUCK YEAH!” Max yelled. “We can go to the courthouse after your visit with Edward.”

“Sounds like a great plan. All the boys are going to be there, and it will be a great opportunity to announce our engagement,” Carmen said.

Edward had returned from his doctor’s appointment with Dr. Branner, who was shocked by the improvement in Edward’s mental health. He couldn’t help but smirk at the cause of his newfound outlook.  It was evident that he had found his inspiration for getting better and getting the fuck out of the center. Although Edward and Bella could not expose their budding relationship, the patience he had demonstrated thus far had served him well.  Now it was time, and there were goals to be met; he could see the finish line. After two consecutive PT sessions, he showered again and changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. 

Sitting in a chair by the window, he waited for his family to show up. While most would have doubted that their family would forgive them for their horrible attitude, there was no doubt for Edward that his family would. The Cullen brothers had a strong bond that couldn’t be broken. Then there was Carmen, their mother since his parents’ untimely death, she didn’t deserve the abuse he had launched at her. She had sacrificed  her life to car for him and his brothers. He knew that Max had asked her many times to marry him. Even though he didn’t respond to Carlisle or Emmett when they told him about how they had found women who didn’t put up with their shit. Jasper had decided to propose to his girlfriend/submissive. It was time for Carmen to put herself first. 

“Edward!” Emmett boomed, walking in, followed by Carlisle and Jasper. A few steps behind was Carmen with a massive smile on her face. 

Edward stood up and walked over to them. “So glad to see you.”

“Edward,” Carmen cried, reaching out and pulling him into a hug. 

Wrapping his arms around her, he tried to pour all the love he felt  for her into the hug. “I’m so sorry.”

“I know, my sweet boy,” she murmured.

After a few minutes, they finally released wiping away their tears. Placing a kiss upon her head, Edward turned back towards his brothers. “I know I have been a fucking asshole, and I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I truly am sorry for all that I have said and done.”

“Ed, we are family, and we know that you really didn’t mean it,” Carlisle said, slapping him on the shoulder. “We are just glad that you are making strides to becoming your old self.”

“I am getting better,” Edward confirmed, smiling down at Carmen. Taking her hand and then he felt something on her finger. Pulling it up and finding a large diamond ring on her finger. “Finally?”

“Yes,” she confirmed.

“Where is Max?” Edward wondered.

“He is in the hall.”

“Well, get his ass in here so we can start the interrogation,” Edward joked.

“Be nice,” Carmen hissed.

Placing another kiss on her head, Edward whispered. “Oh, sweet girl, you know I am joking.”

As Carmen walked out of the room to get Max, Edward’s brothers looked curiously at what was going on. “Did you piss her off again, Ed?” Carlisle asked.

“No, but she has one hell of a surprise,” he confirmed as he walked over to them. He was surprisingly getting better walking on his new leg. The physical therapist had told him that the skin on his stump would callous over time, but he would always have to keep an eye out for any sores or cuts. Infection was a real threat and needed to be caught early to prevent any more damage. 

“You are walking really good on that leg,” Emmett marveled. 

“I am trying. Fuck two days ago, I fell every time I stood, and now I am walking. A little shaky at times, but not falling on my face,” he divulged.

Jasper smirked. “So how bad did Angela spank your ass to get you to wake up.”

“Funny dickhead,” Edward said. “She didn’t have to beat me to get me moving.”

“Then, who?” Carlisle asked.

“Nobody,” Ed lied as he didn’t want to let them know about Bella just it.

At that moment, Carmen walked back in with Max holding hands and smiling. “Damn, boy, glad to see you up around,” Max boomed.

“Thanks, now do you have something you want to say to us?” Edward asked, trying his best to look intimidating .

Max looked at each one of the boys and tried to judge their emotions. It was a skill he had honed  over the years of running a bar. “Yeah. As you well know, I have loved this woman for more years than I can remember and have never faulted her for putting your well being before me. It is one of her best qualities; however, since you guys have grown into hard-working, young men with the prospects of finding women who will be your everything, she has finally said yes to my marriage proposal. Carlisle, Jasper, Emmett, and Edward, I promise to love and take care of her, and my wish is that you give us your blessings.”

They looked at each other and, after a few moments, turned back to Max. “We know how you feel about her, and we know that you will take care of her. You have our blessings,” Carlisle pledged.

“Oh, boys thank you,” Carmen cried. “I love you so much.”

They came over and wrapped themselves around both Max and Carmen. “Welcome to the family,” they said together.

After the announcement, the topic went to the wedding. “We are going to the courthouse on Monday. We have to wait for seventy-two after we get our license,” Carmen explained.

“Hell no,” Emmett boomed. “Our mom deserves a proper wedding.”

“Oh, I don’t need anything special,” she said.

“Bullshit. We can have it at the home place. I bet Rose, Esme, and Alice would love to plan a small but elegant ceremony and reception,” Jasper remarked.

Carmen looked at Max, trying to read his mind on the issue. “They are right, you deserve the best. How long do you think it will take to plan?” He asked.

“Oh, knowing those girls, just a few weeks. By then, Edward will hopefully be out of the rehab center,” Emmett confirmed.

“Yeah, the doctor said I could leave by the end of the week and come back for PT or have inhouse PT since I have a full gym,” Edward explained. 

“Perfect. We will get started planning for two weeks from Saturday. Is that soon enough?” Carlisle asked Max with a grin.

“Yeah, but I think we may need to get some practice in for our wedding night in the meantime,” Max said, licking his lips.

The boys covered their ears. “Fucker, we don’t need to hear that shit.”

Carmen and Max laughed. They all sat down and began to plan the wedding. Emmett, Carlisle, and Jasper texted their girlfriends, asking if they could help. Seconds later, all their phones were ringing with squealing women excited about planning a wedding. Soon the men’s opinions were no longer wanted, and the women had taken over completely.

Hours later, most of the details were laid out, and plans were made to do some serious shopping. Carlisle handed Carmen the family credit card and told her to spare no expense. 

“Mr. Cullen,” Bella said as she walked into Edward’s room and stopped. She had not expected to see all these people. 

“BELLA BEAN!!!” Emmett yelled, rushing over and picking her up and twirling her around.

Bella hit him on the arm. “Put me down, you goofball.”

Sitting her down, he placed a kiss on her cheek, gaining a growl from Edward. Emmett turned toward him and smiled. “So, Dominant Edward is claiming his little submissive.” he thought. Turning back to Bella, he kissed her cheek once more. “Glad to see you, Bella.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t know Mr. Cullen had company,” she remarked. “I was doing my first checks.”

“Mr. Cullen? His name is Edward,” Emmett said, then lowered his voice and leaned closer to her ear. “Or, Sir.”

Bella gasped, blushing a dark shade of red. 

Edward saw the beautiful blush bloom across Bella’s face, and his dick came to life. Fuck, he couldn’t wait to see her naked on his bed and see if each delicate inch changed to that delightful color. But what had his brother said to her to make her blush? “Asshole, leave my nurse alone.”

Throwing his hands up in the air. “Fine.”

“Boys, it is time we leave Edward alone and allow Bella to do her checks,” Carmen said. She walked over and gave him a hug. “I will call you tomorrow.”

Wrapping his arms around her and squeezing her tight. “Thank you.”

After everyone left, Bella finally felt free to speak to Edward. “Wow, I didn’t expect to see all of them at once.”

“Yeah, they can be overwhelming if you are not used to them,” he chuckled.

Bella wanted nothing more than to be wrapped in Edward’s arms as he kissed her until she couldn’t breathe; however, she was his nurse, and that was a huge offense. “Is there any issue that I need to be made aware of?”

“No. I have had a great day,” Edward answered, loving professional Bella.

“Good. Please have a seat so I can inspect your leg,” Bella instructed.

He sat down, Bella got down on her knees and took off his prosthetic. Unwrapping his leg, she inspected for any sores. Rubbing her hand around and up to his muscular thigh.

Edward clasped her hand. “If you don’t stop that I am going to forget about you being on duty and fuck you.”

“Oh!” Bella exclaimed, blushing brightly again. After re-wrapping up his leg, she stood up and smiled. “Your leg looks great. Keep up the hard work.”

“I plan on it,” he smirked.

Bella was on her way to meet up with Angela for drinks after her first week back at work. It had been challenging to control her lust around Edward, and her vibrator had gotten quite the workout. However, he had been released this morning, and he had called and texted her a dozen times, telling her that he couldn’t wait to see her. They planned to go to dinner tomorrow evening, which meant she wanted to find a new dress. She called Rose, Esme, and Alice asking for their help in shopping for one. Tomorrow morning they were meeting for brunch, shopping, and a quick trip to the spa. Bella hadn’t kept up with her weekly waxing, and she wanted to be ready just in case.

Parking her car in the parking deck, she had begun walking towards the bar. She hated walking alone after dark, but she couldn’t find a parking place closer. Walking down the dark sidewalk, she had an eerie feeling that she was being watched. Looking around, she didn’t see anyone. Picking up the pace, she finally arrived at the bar and rushed in.

“Oh, my beautiful Isabella. I have missed you so much and can’t wait until you are mine.” the man in the shadows vowed.

Testing Faith ~ Chapter 17

Bella and Angela were preparing for their plane landing back in Plano. The last two weeks had been filled with one interview after another with Detective Johnson and her staff. Bella told them everything she remembered about the community, down to the littlest detail. 

“Bella, I want to thank you for all that you have told us,” Detective Johnson said, shaking Bella’s hand.

“I hope that it will be of some good.”

“I do too. Are you heading back home?” She asked.

“Yes, our flight leaves in a few hours,” Bella explained. 

“If I have any other questions or receive any information that might be prudent to you, I will call,” the detective informed. 

“Thank you, and if I think of anything else, I will reach out to you,” Bella said.

Angela and Bella packed their luggage, making sure the items that Bella had picked up at her old home were carefully packed for their journey to Texas. The only thing that wasn’t packed was the wedding bands that now hug around Bella’s neck on a new gold chain. She wanted to have a little piece of her parents with her at all times, but she also wanted to give their rings a place of prominence on the beautiful necklace. 

“Ladies, we are about to land, please be seated and put on your seatbelts,” Seth announced over the intercom. 

They put on their seatbelts and waited for Seth to touchdown on the airstrip. Just like the landing in Utah, the landing was smooth as silk. Damn, he was a great pilot. No wonder Emmett spoke so highly of him. Then it hit Angela, she had not told Bella about Edward’s accident. FUCK! She would have to tell Bella when they get home, but she needed to call Emmett for an update. Damn, she was a horrible friend for not calling and checking on Edward.

Bella unbuckled her seatbelt and began collecting the items that she had brought into the cabin. By the time she got down the steps, the ground crew had unloaded their luggage onto a cart. 

“Bella, I will go get the vehicle,” Angela announced. 

“Okay,” Bella confirmed as she turned on her phone and logged into her work website. They had been so considerate, giving her as much time off as she needed. Bella sent a message to her supervisor to notify her that she was back in Texas and could start again on the next available shift. 

While Angela walked to their vehicle, she called Emmett.

“Angela, don’t you know that it is against the law to make calls during a flight?” Emmett asked, chuckling.

“We have already landed,” she answered.

“I know. Seth sent me a text.”

“I am so sorry I haven’t called. How is Edward?” Angela questioned with sincere regret in her voice.

Emmett ran his hand through his hair, a habit he had picked up from Edward. “Well, his body has healed. The doctors have given him his prosthetic leg; however, he refuses to wear it on his own. When they make him wear it, he falls with every step. The doctors believe that he can walk with it, but his mind is preventing it. That is the issue that we trying to help him with. He’s been in a deep depression, Ang, he’s angry with everyone, but most of all himself,” Emmett said.

“Oh, Emmett,” Angela sighed. “Is there anything I can do to help?

“Actually, Dr. Branner believes that Edward’s Dominant personality is trying to come out, but is being stifled by his regret of the accident,” he said.

“Do you mean he thinks the accident was his fault?” she asked.

“Yes. Dr. Branner thinks that if Edward’s mentor was to push him that it would make his Dominant personality to come forward and take control.”

“That makes sense. When do you need me?” 

“We are waiting for his breaking point, which would be any day now,” Emmett informed.

“I’ll keep my phone by my side at all times. Thank you for the update, I need to tell Bella about Edward before she goes back to work,” Angela stated.

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that.  I’m telling you Angela if she feels as much for him as he does for her, it is going to be very difficult for her. But she can’t coddle him. She’ll need to be his strength,” Emmett said.

“I know. Emmett, she is the strongest person I know, and even though she has had to face the awful news about her parents, she was able to help the police with information concerning the cult. I am so proud of her, and they belong together, not only as Dominant/submissive but as a couple.” Angela confessed as she neared her vehicle. “I have to go, but I will look forward to your call.”

“Thanks, Angela.”

Angela got the car and drove towards Bella. She was talking to Seth when she pulled up. Seth helped them get all their bags in the back and gave each one of them a huge hug. 

“Call me anytime either of you need to take a trip. Emmett has okayed it, and it would be my honor to fly you again,” he said with a wink. 

The ride home was silent, neither one saying anything. The trip had affected both of them deeply. It took them several trips once they got home to get all their luggage into the house. Once they had everything in, Angela turned to Bella.

“How about we sit down and have a glass of wine before unpacking?” She asked.

“That sounds nice,” Bella replied.

Angela went to the wine cooler and selected a bottle of their favorite wine. Uncorking it, she poured two glasses and went back to Bella, who had taken her shoes off and was sitting on the couch. Angela handed her a glass and sat with her on the sofa. They both took a large drink and sighed.

Angela knew it was time to tell Bella about Edward. “Bella, I have something to tell you about Edward.”

“Edward?” She quizzed.

“Yes. The night that we found out about the fire, Edward was in a horrible accident on his bike,” Angela began.

“NO!!” Bella cried. “Is he dead?”

“No, but he sustained a life-altering injury to his right leg,” Angela said.

“What type of injury?”

“The doctors had to remove his leg from the knee down,” Angela explained.

Bella sighed deeply, trying to prevent the tears that were threatening to flow. “Why him?” 

Angela patted her leg. “It was a horrible accident that killed two people, he is lucky to be alive.”

“Where is he?”

“They have moved him to your rehab center. But Bella he is having a hard time coping with the loss. I spoke with Emmett earlier, and he said that Edward was in a deep depression and very angry,” Angela informed her.

“That is all part of the process. I have seen it many times with patients. Is there a plan to get him to snap out of it?” Bella inquired.

 “Yes. His doctor, Dr. Branner, believes that his Dominant personality is trapped and needs some nudging to emerge. They want me as his mentor to do an intervention,” Angela said.

Bella thought for a moment and nodded. “Dr. Banner is outstanding, actually the best. If he believes that this plan would work, then it just might. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Yes. As much as you might want to, you must not coddle him.”

“That is going to be hard,” Bella admitted.

“I know, but you must be strong for him,” Angela said.

Bella thought for a moment and knew that she had to do it for the man that had her heart. “I will.”

“When do you go back to work?” Angela asked.

“Tomorrow evening. I am working the four to midnight shift for the next few days until I can get back on my regular shift.”

The rest of the afternoon was spent unpacking, doing laundry, and placing Bella’s mementos around the house. Angela received a call from Carmen asking for her help. She prepared a bag of tools and planned her attire. After dinner, she had Ben come over to help her get in the right mindset and to release the emotions that had been building during their trip. Time with Ben in her playroom was what she needed along with the sweet lovemaking afterward. 

Angela came back from her intervention the next day with a massive smile on her face.

“You were able to get through to him?” Bella asked.

“Yes,” Angela beamed. “We even had a nice long walk around the floor. The old twinkle in his eyes was back.”

“That is wonderful. I am sure everyone will be ecstatic with the progress. I will keep an eye on him tonight because trauma patients are the most vulnerable while they sleep. It will take some time for him to return to some semblance of normality both physically and mentally,” Bella explained.

“Damn, girl, you need to go back to school and become a doctor,” Angela exclaimed.

“No, I can be better for the patients as a nurse. Doctors come in for just a few minutes, while we are there for quality time, both bad and good. The center is known for their nurse to patient ratio,” Bella explained. I checked my schedule, and I have only three patients and five after nine p.m. Edward’s nurse is leaving at nine and I’ll pick him up for the remainder of the shift.”

“Remember what we talked about,” Angela urged.

“I do, and I promise to be strong,” Bella said.

Angela gave Bella a hug. “You are the strongest person I know, I love you,” Angela murmured. 

“I love you too,” Bella declared. “Thanks for always being there for me.”

Bella received a warm welcome back for all the staff. Each one gave their sympathy for the loss of her parents. She was very appreciative of their thoughts and concerns. She began her shift by getting detailed information on each of the patients under her care for the shift. While each was different, they were all people who needed the best care she could give them.

“Oh my God, Bella. You haven’t seen Mr. Cullen. Talk about a dreamboat. He has the dreamiest green eyes and the sexiest tattoos. I have had to start carrying new panties to work,” Lizz swooned. 

Bella smiled as she listened to Lizz. Little did she know that she was very aware of how incredibly sexy Edward Cullen was. “I am sure I will see him later on.”

The early evening went by quickly, and before she knew it, was nine-thirty. Most of the patients were already asleep, and Bella was doing her rounds, checking on each of them. She had not seen Edward since Lizz had him until nine. As she neared his room, she heard him shout out.

“NO! GOD NO! I AM SO SORRY!” Edward cried.

Bella rushed into the room to find Edward asleep but most definitely having a nightmare. “Mr. Cullen, it is okay. It is just a bad dream.” Bella said as she shook his arm.

“I am sorry.” He cried.

“Sir, are you okay?” She asked, her submissive knowing that a Dominant was near. “Sir. Can I get you something? Are you in pain?” 

“More than I can say.” He said, looking up at her with his emotionally filled green eyes. 

“Mr. Cullen,” Bella began.

“No, don’t call me Mr. Cullen,” he instructed, his voice smooth and husky.

“Sir,” Bella whispered, her heart beating like hummingbird wings. 

Edward reached up and brushed his fingers along her jawline and down her throat, causing her to break out in a soft red blush. Licking his lips, he eyed the view of her lace-covered breasts as she bent over him. They looked like they were perfect for him. “Does this blush go all over your tight little body?”

“I believe so,” Bella whimpered.

“I believe so, what?” Edward questioned as he stared into her soulful brown eyes.

“Sir,” She wheezed.

“Do you know how long I have wanted to talk to you?” he asked.

“No, Sir,” Bella answered.

“Since that day I helped you in the door at the club,” Edward admitted. “Until today, I never thought I would not be able to go back in my playroom; however, I want to so badly with you.”

“Me too, Sir.”

“It might take me a while to get to that point. Are you willing to wait for me?” Edward questioned.

“As long as it takes,” Bella proclaimed.

Edward reached up and pulled Bella’s face towards his. “Kiss me.”

“I am on duty,” Bella said.

“Are you my nurse?” 

“Yes,” Bella answered.

“I am in pain, and the only relief for it will be for you to kiss me,” he smiled.

Bella rolled her eyes and chuckled. “Fine.”

She leaned down and placed her lips to his. Time stopped when his lips met hers, but the flutter only intensified. Bella’s heart pounded in her chest as her knees got weaker. She could only focus on how soft his lips felt against hers, how addictively he invaded all her senses. Wanting this feeling to last forever, but knowing she had to pull away. Standing up, she ran her hand through his hair. 

“God woman what you do to me,” Edward said, blowing out a breath. 

“I feel the same,” Bella said.

“You’re giving me something to work for, and I promise you that I will work as hard as I can to reach my goal,” Edward promised. “But I don’t just want you in my playroom, I want to date you and get to know you better.”

“I would like that as well.”

“Then let us begin,” Edward declared.

Testing Faith ~ Chapter 16

Edward was sick and tired of being in the rehab center. Every day was the same thing, pushing him to accept that he could be the same as before the accident. Yeah, right. He was missing a fucking leg, that was a huge difference. If it wasn’t the assholes pushing for him to walk, it was the fucking head doctors trying to fix is head. He didn’t need his head fixed, he needed his leg back. However, that was one miracle that wasn’t going to happen. He was going to have to live with the fact that he was a cripple.

“Well, he didn’t have to live,” he thought again.

“Edward, I brought you some fresh clothes,” Carmen announced, walking in the room with a small suitcase. 

“What fucking for? I’m not going anywhere,” Edward growled.

Carmen had been patient with Edward’s foul mood, but it was time for him to stop feeling sorry for himself and begin living again. She set the suitcase down and walked over to his bed. She looked at him, dead in the eyes. “I am sick and tired of hearing you whine about your fucking leg. It is gone, but it doesn’t mean that your life is over. You have your health, your business, and your family.”

“FUCK YOU!! GET OUT!!” Edward screamed.

“I am not leaving you,” Carmen consoled.

“I DON’T WANT YOU HERE!! LEAVE ME ALONE!!”

One of the nurses walked in after she had heard the yelling. “Carmen, I think Edward needs a little bit of time alone.”

“But,” Carmen began, but the look on the nurse’s face told her that she was in a losing battle. “I am leaving, but I will be back.”

“Don’t. I am not worth the time,” Edward grumbled, turning towards the window with his back towards Carmen. 

Once Carmen was in the hall, the tears began to flow. Emmett and Dr. Branner had warned her that Edward’s moods would be hurtful, not only to himself but to others. However, it still hurt to hear him in such pain. It was time for the big guns to come out. Carmen took out her cell phone and placed the call to the one person who might break through to Edward.

“I think it is time for your intervention,” Carmen said.

“Alright, I will come over tomorrow afternoon. Make the staff aware of my appearance.”

“I will. Please do your best to get through to him. I think he has given up hope, and I don’t like the look in his eyes,” Carmen conveyed. 

“He has allowed his dominant personality to hide. It is time for it to be woken up and take control. I will call you tomorrow after our little talk. Oh, and make sure he has his prosthetic on for my visit,” the voice said with an evil little laugh.

Carmen smiled at the laugh, it was one of the few that she had since the accident. She went to the nurse’s station and told them who was coming in to do an intervention with Edward. The nurses had already been advised by Dr. Banner that someone would come in at some point and not to interfere no matter what they heard or saw. They made notes on his chart that all the nurses were aware of. Carmen thanked them and left the rehab center.

Once she was in her car, she felt lighter with the thought that someone was going to help Edward. Driving down the street, she looked ahead and saw the light at Max’s on. “Damn, I deserve a drink.” She pulled into the parking lot and found a space. Locking up her car, she walked to the front door. Country music was pumping, and the lights were dimmed, allowing the lanterns on the table to give the room a warm glow. Looking towards the bar, she saw the one man that she had allowed in her heart. 

Max Dalton was the sexiest tattoo god on two legs. She thought she would never trust another man, other than her boys, but Max won her heart and trust. He had been patient and understanding about her not wanting to commit fully to him, when she was dedicated to the Carlisle, Edward, Jasper, and Emmett. However, it seemed that they were finally dating women that were a marrying kind, not just a piece of ass. The only one she was worried about was Edward, but for some reason, she had a feeling that he was going to find his missing part, and she didn’t mean his leg.

Deep in thought, she didn’t see or hear Max walk up beside her, placing his large muscular painted arm around her and drew her into his massive chest. “Damn, woman, do you know what you do to me?” He whispered hoarsely into her ear. His hot breath sending chills down to the spot that needed what only he could give her.

Not even looking around, Carmen slowly lowered her hand over the massive bulge so prominent in his 505’s and rubbed from its base to its glorious nine-inch tip. Turning her head towards him, she licked her lips and gave him one of her special smiles. It was the smile that she had when she was either extremely aroused or satisfied after a long night of lovemaking. “I do.”

Max wrapped her up in both arms and bent down to place a hot, needy kiss on her lips. When they were both fighting for breath, they parted, their lips were swollen, and their eyes black with desire. “Come, let me buy you a drink.”

“Damn, I do need one, actually make it a double,” Carmen proclaimed.

Max went around the bar, grabbed a bottle of Black Label Jack Daniels and two glasses. He directed Carmen to the corner booth, where they could enjoy each other’s  company without being too interrupted. Pouring the amber liquid into the glasses, he handed one of them to Carmen. “To us.”

“To us,” Carmen repeated.

After taking a large drink, Max placed his glass back on the table. “How is Edward?”

Carmen frowned. “The same, no worse. I have never seen him so depressed and angry.”

“Have the doctors given him anything for it?” Max asked.

“No. They don’t want to give him anything that will mask his feelings at this point. I called in support this afternoon, and they will be there tomorrow. Everyone seems to think that this is what Edward needs to knock him out of this depression and whip him back into shape,” Carmen explained.

“Whip?” Max laughed. “Damn, a woman that was a good one.”

Carmen giggled. “Yeah, I guess it was.” Taking a look around, she finished he drink and put the glass down. “Do you have to work today?”

“Nope. That is the beauty of being the boss. What do you have in mind?”

“Hmm. I thought something along the lines of you and me tangled up in the sheets all night long,” she suggested.

“Fuck, yeah!! Give me ten minutes, and we will get out of here,” Max boomed. It had been a while since they had all night sweat sessions, and his dick was weeping at the thought. Eight minutes later, he had his leather jacket on and his arm around Carmen’s shoulder, walking out to his truck. He loved his Ford F350 King Ranch club cab dually with retractable running boards. Helping Carmen into the truck, he rushed around and jumped into the driver’s seat. Bringing to life the diesel engine, he placed it into gear. Tearing out of the parking lot, he headed towards his home. 

Carmen sat back in the buttery soft leather seats and let the country music flow around her. The sun was setting on the horizon, and its red hues blended with the yellow, violet tones to cast a crimson glow. Carmen’s spirit soaked in the beauty, allowing the richness to ease her troubled heart. Tonight she would put all her worries aside and enjoy her night with the man she loved.

~~

The heels of her mile-high stilettos clicked a somewhat snappy tune as they carried Angela, dressed in a pair of skin-tight leather pants and an off the shoulder red sweater, towards her target. She carried a duffel bag full of tools that would hopefully snap Edward out of his depression. After multiple conversations with Edward’s family and Dr. Branner, she was prepared for what she was about to walk into. It was the conclusion that Angela needed to walk in the room in full Dominatrix mode and hopefully tap into Edward’s dominant side. There was no doubt he was a Dominant, but at this point, he was second-guessing himself. Angela would push Edward to the breaking point where his Dominant side would break free from its restraints. 

Angela had done some research on Dominants and submissives in the community who had disabilities. She was shocked at just how many people there were with all different types of disabilities. Several even had the same kind as Edward and still were able to enjoy their playrooms as a Dominant. She made some phone calls to those, and all were willing to talk to Edward. This was just another reason why Angela was proud to be part of such a wonderful community of Dominants and submissives.

She walked past the nurse’s station, without even a glance and headed towards Edward’s room. Pausing for a moment to submerge herself into a Dominant mindset, Angela took a deep breath and opened the door.

Edward heard the door open. “It is about fucking time you came in here and took this damn leg back,” he growled. 

Angela sat the bag on the floor, straightened her back, and stood tall. Much like all other Dominants, she had a distinct voice when she meant business. “Stand,” she commanded.

Edward’s head whipped around and was shocked to see Angela standing in his room in one of her outfits strictly worn when she was in her playroom. 

“Stand,” she said again, but this time a little louder.

Out of pure instinct, Edward stood without any effort. For the first time since wearing the prosthetic leg, he didn’t even think about it. He wasn’t a Dominant, he was a submissive doing the bidding of Angela. 

Angela unzipped her bag and took out her flagger, knowing that Edward had enjoyed learning to use it this tool. Looking back over to where he was standing, she was pleased to see that he had lowered his head. Dominants never forget how submissives are supposed to behave, because they all had to go through the submissive stage when training to be a Dominant.

“Come over here,” Angela commanded, pointing to a spot in front of her.

“I can’t walk,” Edward growled.

Angela slapped the flogger against her leg. The slap echoed around the room. “Did you growl at me Edward?  I Said Take One Step!”

“I CAN’T!!!” Edward screamed.

“YES, YOU CAN!! GIVE ME ONE STEP!” Angela yelled.

Edward was so mad. Couldn’t she see that he was permanently disabled? Glaring at Angela, he would just have to show her that he couldn’t walk unless he had a fucking walker. Taking a step forward, expecting to fall on his face, he was instantly shocked when he didn’t. “Wait, I am still up.” he thought. 

Angela could see the surprised look on Edward’s face, and as badly as she wanted to run over to him and give him a hug, she knew she must remain where she was, and continue in her Dominant demeanor. “What is taking you so long?”

Edward gritted his teeth and took another step. It was a little shaky, but he was still upright. With each step, his confidence built, and soon he was standing in front of Angela with a smile. “I DID IT!”

“Never doubted that you couldn’t,” Angela beamed.

Edward then fell into Angela’s arms and cried. It had been the first time since waking up that he allowed himself to release the despair and pain. Not only over the loss of his leg, but also for the death of someone that he knew. Jessica had been his first submissive, and even though they didn’t work out, she would always have a special place in his heart. After a while, he pulled away and looked into Anglea’s eyes. “Thank you.”

“You are very welcome, however,” Angela said as she slapped Edward’s ass with the flogger. “I will come back with my Cat O Nines.” 

“Fuck that shit,” Edward laughed. Damn, it felt good to laugh. 

“Alright, let us take a walk around the floor,” Angela instructed. 

Edward nodded, still worried that he couldn’t do it; however, with Angela’s strength, he felt that he just might. Angela placed the flogger in the bag and opened the door. They began at a slow pace with Edward concentrating on every step, Angela started to tell him about how everything was going at the shop, and he soon was walking without thinking. She also explained that there were many Dominants in communities across the country that had disabilities and still enjoyed their playrooms. 

The nurses had heard the yelling and screaming, but when Edward walked out of the room, they were impressed. Whomever this woman was, she was someone that they wouldn’t want to have mad at them. They all thought Mr. Cullen was an extremely handsome man, but now that he was laughing and smiling, he was breathtaking. None would admit, but they all were aroused when they took in his crooked smile and sparkling green eyes. And then there were those tattoos, which just accentuated his badass body. 

Edward was exhausted after the long walk, but he also felt so much lighter. He would forever be changed, but it didn’t mean that he couldn’t live a full, happy life. Still unsure about going back into his playroom, but sure that he could start life anew with his family and his shop. By bedtime, he was exhausted. Taking a shower, he put on the clean pajamas that Carmen had brought yesterday. He knew he needed to apologize to Carmen and his brothers for his horrible attitude. They didn’t deserve the shit that he had yelled at them as they tried to show him that he was still loved. 

Taking off his prosthetic leg, he climbed in bed and quickly fell asleep. His dreams soon began. 

“RED! Master RED!” Jessica screamed. “Help me, Master.”

Edward tried to get to her, but he couldn’t move his leg. As he yanked and pulled, he didn’t move an inch.  

“Please, Master, it hurts so bad.” 

Edward looked towards the scream, he saw that she was trapped in an overturned vehicle which was on fire. The flames were nearing her quickly.  

“Master, please. HELP I AM ON FIRE!!! Master, why aren’t you helping me. You promised, you promised.” She cried.

“I’m trying, I truly am.” Edward wailed, as he tried to move but still was trapped.

He saw the flames engulf her body, her screams echoed loudly, and then a deafening silence. 

“NO! GOD NO! I AM SO SORRY!” Edward cried.

“Mr. Cullen, it is okay. It is just a bad dream.” Bella said as she shook his arm.

“I am sorry.” He cried, then he heard a calming voice saying it was okay. As he finally opened his eyes, he saw an angel standing next to him.

“Sir, are you okay?” She asked.

Hearing the angel call him, Sir caused something to stir inside of him. She was a submissive, and there was no way she would desire him. 

“Sir. Can I get you something? Are you in pain?” 

“More than I can say.” He confessed. But as he looked into her dark brown eyes, he wanted to try with her and her alone. She would be his saving grace, and testing faith with her made him feel that he could be a complete man and Dominant again.

Testing Faith ~ Chapter 15

Not as it Seems

As the sun rose the next morning, Bella stood on the balcony of their hotel room and watched as the massive red ball of fire crested the horizon. This brought back happy memories of when she didn’t know that she was living in a cult. 

Her family would be up before dawn, starting their daily chores and devotions. The work was hard; however, the time spent with her family was priceless. Renee not only taught her how to cook, clean, and sew, but also how to love unconditionally. Charlie was always the leader of the house, governing not by strength but with a steady belief in treating others like you would want to be treated. 

“Good morning,” Angela said as she walked from the room with a steamy cup of coffee in both hands. Handing one to Bella who took it and drank a bit, savoring the hot creamy goodness. “How are you feeling?”

Bella shrugged her shoulders. “I’ve been better.”

Angela reached out and grasped her hand. “I will be with you every step of the way.”

“I know,” Bella whispered but turned back to the rising sun. “But they won’t be there.”

“No they won’t, however, we both know that they are looking down from heaven on us. You are giving them a voice and just maybe giving some insight into the workings of a cult that would help authorities help others who have been trapped by a snake charmer,” Angela explained.

Bella turned tears in her eyes. “Really?” She asked, hoping that Angela was right. Bella never wanted another family torn apart because they were tricked into a bogus religion. 

“Yes, really.”

Bella squeezed Angela’s hand and gave her a weak smile. 

An hour later, they were both dressed and in their vehicle following Detective Johnson and the other officers to the Solar Temple Compound. Pulling through the gate, Bella saw that nothing had changed since she had left, well except as she looked towards the middle of town on the hill where the chapel once stood and seeing the charred remains. 

The vehicles came to a stop and Detective Johnson got out and walked back to the vehicle where Ms. Swan was sitting. “Bella are you ready?”

Bella looked at Angela, who gave her a small nod of reassurance. “Yes, I am.” She got out of the vehicle and began walking down the street, telling Detective Johnson and the other officers about everyone who lived in the community. She gave a detailed account of each family and where they lived. When she reached the home that she had once shared with her parents, her heart skipped a beat.

“This was my home with my parents Charlie and Renee Swan. May I take you inside?” Bella asked, hoping to go inside and find her parents sitting around the kitchen table drinking their morning coffee.

“Not now, but after we tour the entire compound, I will allow you to go in,” Detective Johnson advised. She didn’t feel that there was any danger, but she would make sure that Ms. Swan would be accompanied by an officer.

Bella took another long look at the house before starting back down the street and continued her detailed accounting of the residents who lived in each home. They neared the remains of the temple and the home of the self-proclaimed leader of the Solar Temple. Unlike the other homes in the community, Aro’s home was lavish and stately. He had told his followers that because he was pure of heart and a true believer that he was awarded vast riches. After Bella left and got her head clear of the brainwashing that Aro had imposed all those years, she realized that Aro was nothing but a crook. However, she also knew that there was no way to convince all his followers to that fact. 

“Ms. Swan, who’s home is this?” Detective Johnson asked. 

“This is Aro Volturi’s house,” Bella answered.

The detective scrolled through her tablet and once finding a picture she turned to show it to Bella. “Is this Aro Volturi?”

Bella looked at the photo. The man looked like he was in his twenties or early thirties. As long as she could remember, Aro was older, but maybe that was just a disguise. “Yes, but he was much older looking.”

“This is Albert Valentino, aka Archie Venice, aka Andrew Vanpelt, and it seems likely Aro Volturi. He has been charged with bank fraud, identity theft, credit card theft, insurance fraud, confidence tricks, sexual battery, and many other offensives. He disappeared around twenty-five years ago and never showed up on any police radar until the fire,” Detective Johnson explained.

“Oh, my God!” Angela gasped. She knew that Aro was evil; however, she didn’t realize how depraved he had indeed been. What if Charlie hadn’t sent Bella away?

“Thank God he is dead!” Bella murmured as she thought back at the girls that had been made to become his wives. Aro had commanded that his wives we’re not to be spoken to unless he was present. 

Bella then recalled a spring day when she was hanging a load laundry she looked up and saw Bree walking down the road and without another thought she waved and said hello. Bree looked shocked, but a small smile broke out on her face.

“Hi, Bella,” Bree said happily. It had been so long since someone said anything to her. She missed the interaction between others. Aro never spoke to her in a friendly matter. Her life had been a living hell since the moment that Aro announced that she was a chosen one, the one whom the Almighty has blessed to be the wife of the spiritual leader. Her parents had been so delighted that their daughter was going to be the wife of the leader. It didn’t matter that she was only fifteen. She had been dressed in a pure white gown and given to Aro in a ceremony before the entire community. During this time, Aro was kind and gracious, however, that all changed when they were alone in his home. As soon as they walked across the threshold, Aro’s real personality came out.

“Strip that fucking dress off,” he ordered.

Bree’s mouth fell open in complete surprise and when she didn’t do as he commanded, he hand came hard against the side of her face. The piercing pain caused her eyes to water and her face to burn. As she looked up into his eyes, she saw pure evil and her heart began beating rapidly, like the scared rabbit that she was.

Aro couldn’t believe she had not complied with his demand. No one denies him, ever. Grasping the neck of the dress, he ripped it from her body, leaving her only in a white cotton bra and panties. “You will never wear undergarments again. Do you understand?”

Bree nodded her head, as her body shook violently from the attack. Why was this happening to her? She had been a good girl, always obeying her parents. They were so proud that she had been chosen, but did they know what she was facing right now? No, her parents loved her, that she knew for sure and never would allow anyone to strike her as Aro had done. 

Aro was tired of waiting, he needed to take what was his and this body was his to do anything he saw fit. Grabbing a hand full of her long brown hair, he dragged her across the marble floor and toward his rec room. His dick came alive as she screamed out in pain. “Oh, what a sweet sound. I can’t wait to hear you as I claim every inch of your body as mine,” he thought. Opening the door, the automatic lights came on, illuminating the equipment that he used to find enjoyment and pleasure. 

Bree’s head was throbbing where Aro had drug her; however, when he stopped, she looked up where she was and gasped. There were chains and long leather straps hanging from the walls and ceiling. In the middle of the room was a sawhorse, yet it was covered in leather with buckle cuffs on all four corners. On the far wall was a giant cross made of wood beams with the same type of handcuffs. What did he use all of this stuff for? 

Aro had allowed her to look around, but that time was over and it was time for her first lesson in pleasing her husband.

Aro took not only her virginity but also her soul and spirit that night. Every day after that night was filled with more degradation and humiliation. He had been following Bree down the road when she said hello to Bella Swan. The demon roared to life. How dare her to speak to anyone, she knew the rules. However, she would never make that mistake again.

Bella never saw Bree again after that day. A few weeks later, Aro made an announcement that the Almighty had come to him and that Bree had tarnished her position as wife to the leader. She had been removed from the community to prevent someone else from being affected by her diseased soul. 

“Miss Swan, we have not found any evidence that he is alive,” Detective Johnson said but didn’t say that there wasn’t any evidence that he was dead either. There was something about the chapel where the fire had been that was suspicious. All the doors were locked from the outside with padlocks. All the doors. 

After Bella explained everything she knew about the community, she and Angela were escorted back to her old home. The officer made them wait outside as he went inside to make sure it was safe for her to enter. When he was sufficiently satisfied that it was safe, he opened the door and allowed them to enter. 

Angela walked in first and Bella took a deep breath before walking in. Stepping through the door, she noticed nothing had changed since she had left. All the furniture was the same as well as the smells. It had been against the rules for women to wear perfume; however, Renee always placed drops of vanilla behind her ears. Memories of the smell danced around her mind and for the first time since setting foot back in the community property, she smiled. 

Walking over to the kitchen table, she ran her hand across the shirt that was draped over the back of the chair. It was her father’s plaid shirt that he wore almost every day when he was doing his chores. Pulling the shirt from the chair, she cradled it close to her chest. 

“I want to take some things with me,” Bella said to the officer.

“I don’t think that is a problem, Miss.”

Bella and Angela walked through the house and collected items that had the most sentimental value and place them in a basket that they had found. The Swan’s never had anything of actual value but these were priceless to Bella. The last room that Bella went into was her parent’s bedroom. 

The room was neat and clean, as it always had been. Bella walked over to the dresser and looked down at the little dish which always sat there. In it was two simple gold bands. Why were they here? Charlie and Renee never removed them from the strings that hung below their clothing. Aro didn’t allow jewelry, but they couldn’t give him the bands that they gave to each other on the day of their marriage. 

Picking up the rings, she stared down at them and a distant memory came back. 

She was sitting in her room a few days before she had to leave. Renee and Charlie came into the room to kiss her goodnight. As they bent over, the strings fell out of their shirts, the gold rings glistened in the lamplight. 

Charlie put his hand around his band and smiled. “Bella, we follow the rules of our community in all things except with this. These simple bands are as much a part of our body as our legs and arms are.” Then his face became serious. “If one day something bad happens and you find these rings, know that everything is not as it seems.”

“Not as it seems,” Bella whispered out loud.