Edward couldn’t believe that Bella had slapped him and called him a liar. Well, he did tell her his name was Tony, but that was for both of their protection. He felt his arm being pulled back and his mother stepped around him, placing her arms around Bella’s shoulders before he could even ask where she had been.
“Sweetie, is there a room we can go to that is more private to straighten out this situation?” Esme said, keeping her voice calm even though she was pissed as hell. Being the quick thinker she was, Esme had surmised that her son left this lovely young woman carrying his children and gave her his alias, Tony. She had raised him and his brothers better than this.
Bella nodded her head, tears running down her face and pointed towards the back of the room.
Once they were away from the crowd of people who were all staring and murmuring among themselves concerning the outburst, Esme turned and gave Edward a look that he had only seen a few times in his life. One of them had been when he had broken her treasured vase that her grandmother had given her. He had thrown a football in the formal living room, which she had told all them not to do, but he did it anyway and it struck the vase dead on, causing it to teeter, then crash to the floor. He deserved an ass-whooping, fully expecting it; instead, she gave him something much worse. Reaching down, she picked up the largest piece and with unshed tears, she gave him a look of disappointment. He swore that day that he would never see that look again; however, he had today.
He followed Bella and his mom down a hallway, wishing it was him that had his arm around her shoulders. The few moments that he had seen her face, the memories of their night flooded his thoughts and somehow, she was even more beautiful than he had remembered. When they got to the door, he noticed her name on a plate beside the door. Isabella Swan Curator. She had been worried that she wouldn’t find a job and here she was with her own office, planning huge events like tonight.
Esme opened the door and assisted Bella inside, once inside she saw a sofa against the one wall. “Bella, let’s have a seat and talk.”
“Alright,” she whispered, her heart heavy. For months she had looked for Tony, wanting to tell him about the babies and all along he was here in New York. Why had he lied about his name? Esme was such a warm, loving woman and Carlisle seemed to be caring as well, so how had Edward turned out to be so cruel. Damn it, had he done this with other women. How many other children were out there without a father and no means to support them?
“Bella,” Edward began but was quickly cut off by his mother.
“Blaigeard, duin do ghob,” (Bastard, shut the fuck up) Esme growled. Bella wondered what she said, though the tone told her it was not nice.
Esme sat down beside Bella wrapping her arm around her once again, pulling her close. “Bella, I promise you that we will be here for you.”
“You will?” Bella asked, sniffling and needing a tissue. She saw the box on the corner of her desk, so she stood and reached over. At the moment, she heard Edward’s intake of a deep breath.
“YOU’RE PREGNANT!” He yelled.
Bella turned towards him, giving him a better view of her protruding stomach. “No shit, you Irish dick.”
“Who’s the daddy? Some other guy that you picked up at the bar, where you picked me up?” Edward threw out the insult with no regard, his jaw taut with anger. She had allowed someone else to touch her and he didn’t like it one bit.
Bella was about to answer his extremely hurtful insinuation when she saw Esme jump to her feet, pull something from her bag and point it at Edward’s head. Shit, it was a gun. Why did Esme have a gun?
“One more word, toll-thon (asshole),” she hissed, pointing her Jessie James Unlimited engraved 45 caliber 8-shot handgun at Edward’s head. “She is five months pregnant with your twins.”
Edward looked between his mother and Bella. Could this be true? How did his mother know so much about her?
“A choroi (my heart), put the gun down,” Carlisle said, wheeling close to Esme. He knew that she wouldn’t shoot Edward, but Bella didn’t know that; from the look of confusion and fright on her face, she didn’t need this stress. He had been shocked to see what had taken place, but he could also see that Edward had feelings for this woman.
Esme had come back from the spa this afternoon relaxed and smiling. She had told Carlisle about the three young ladies she had met at the spa. It was apparent that she had already formed a bond with Bella when she had met her and her friends . Then she shared with him how she felt this overwhelming need to help and protect the girl. He had remembered his Seanmháthair telling him the tale of Anu, the Irish Goddess from whom all life emerged. She graced each good Irish mother with the ability to sense when their children or grandchildren would be in need of help. She had said she had witnessed it several times in her life. Looking at what was transpiring before him, he thought maybe it was true, and this is why Esme had felt this connection to Bella.
Esme’s heart was still racing with rage over her son’s callous words to Bella. Nonetheless, Carlisle was correct and she lowered her gun. Looking back at Bella, who was currently staring intently at her. “Bella, dear, sorry about this. My Irish temper gets the best of me sometimes.” Sauntering back to Bella, she motioned for her to sit down. Once they had, Carlisle motioned to Edward to sit, by the look on his face, Edward knew to hold his tongue.
Bella opened and closed her mouth several times before the words finally came. “Why do you have a gun?”
Esme glanced over to Carlisle, who gave her a slight nod. Only people who were or would be part of the family were to ever know the truth. Bella was carrying the next generation, he was sure, for that fact, she had the right to know.
“She has it for protection,” Carlisle answered.
“I don’t understand,” Bella replied, looking between Esme and Carlisle. She had only glanced at Tony, no Edward, since he had sat down. The anger she had seen when he had noticed her belly was gone and its place was a look of what looked like worry.
“What I am about to tell you, you can’t tell anyone else without permission from Edward,” Carlisle began.
“Why, Edward?” Bella questioned, her brows knitted together.
“Because he is the Captain of the family,” Carlisle explained.
“Captain? Are you part of the Navy or a boat club?” She asked.
Esme couldn’t help but giggle over the comment. The Irish mafia family had different names for their members than the greasy Italian bod ceanns (dickheads) that were idolized in the movies and tv shows.
Carlisle smirked. “No, Bella. Do I have your promise not to reveal to anyone what you are about to learn?”
Bella thought for a moment, deciding that she was already tied to this family because of the babies. “Yes, I swear.”
“Good. Edward is Captain of our family, as I was before I passed the duty to him, like my father, his father before him and so on. Now know that from this day forth, you will be protected, as will our grandchildren that I am sure you are carrying,” Carlisle began, then took a deep breath. This next part was going to be the hardest. “The Cullen family is part of the mafia. We control New York and New Jersey, running guns, racketeering, gambling booking, art theft, and rare car theft.”
Bella’s mouth fell open. There was no way this could be happening. The Cullens were the biggest benefactors to the museum. They weren’t gangsters and murderers. Looking over to Edward, she stared. Was this the reason he had given her a false name? Maybe, though, it didn’t excuse him for leaving her without even a goodbye. They had shared something special, she knew this with all her heart. Searching his soulful green eyes for any sign that she hadn’t just imagined the feelings between them, she thought for the briefest of moments that she saw the man she had spent that special night with.
Esme placed her hand on top of Bella’s, giving it a squeeze. “Bella, do you have any questions?”
“Only about a million,” she murmured.
“Just know that even though we make a living a little differently than most people, the main thing to remember is that family comes first in all things,” Carlisle noted.
“Bella,” Edward said, his voice cracking. “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you.”
“Sorry? Really?” She snapped. “All you had to do was to wake me up that morning or leave me your phone number.”
“I left a note,” Edward replied.
“Yeah, stating that you would call me,” she scoffed.
“I didn’t realize that I didn’t have your number until I was able to think straight after the accident. By then, I tried to find you, but you had already graduated and moved away. The only address the university had was the one in Washington State. I did have one of my men go and snoop around, but they only found your parents at the address we had. “ he shared.
Bella gasped. “They talked to my father?”
“No,” Edward answered, then ran his hand through his hair, thinking the best way to say the next part without hurting her feelings. “From the information, I have received, your father is…different.”
“No, shit. The man is an egotistical, religious zealot,” she retorted.
Edward let out the breath he was holding. Jared had come back, giving him a detailed report on Pastor Charlie Swan. He had attended a tent meeting, secretly videotaping the sermon that Pastor Swan had preached. The shit that came out of his mouth about women and how they were the downfall of mankind from the very beginning with Adam and the evil Eve. God commanded that women were to be chattels, subservient to their husbands. Never to speak their thoughts and to always obey the commands of their husbands. Edward couldn’t believe that the woman he had met in a bar had been raised in such a stringent life. Bella had been so open, so full of life, and had given him her virginity so freely, telling him that she knew he was special.
“Yes, he is,” Edward chuckled.
“Bella, the reason Edward left the way he did was because I was shot that night. There was a hit made on me, putting me in this chair,” Carlisle explained. “It doesn’t excuse what he did, but I wanted to let you know the reason why he left you.”
“Thank you, Carlisle,” Bella declared. “Be that as it may, where does this leave me now?”
Before anyone could answer, she heard a voice outside her door.
“Out of my way. My daughter is in there and you are not stopping me,” Robbie growled.
Edward stood and went to the door, opening up to find Robert Hale standing toe to toe with Riley. “Mr. Hale, what are you doing here?”
“What are you doing in my daughter’s office?” Robert growled, trying to look around Edward. “Bells, are you okay?”
“Bella is your daughter?” Edward asked, then looked back at Bella. “I thought you said your last name was Swan. Did you fucking lie to me? What else are you lying about?”
Robert began to reach out to grab Edward but was quickly wrapped up in the massive arms of Riley. Bella jumped to her feet and rushed across the room.
“Let him go NOW!” She yelled.
Riley looked at Edward, who gave him a nod. Once Robert was free, he dashed to Bella. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine for the most part,” Bella answered, giving Edward a look that could kill.
“Do you care to explain?” Edward growled.
“Not to you, asshole,” she fumed. “Robbie, come to meet Carlisle and Esme.”
Bella went back to where they were sitting. “Carlisle, Esme, this is Robert Hale or Robbie. He is my best friend’s father, who adopted me in a way. Without his support, I really don’t know what I would have done.”
“Robert, good to see you again,” Carlisle stated, holding out his hand, which Robert took and shook.
“Mr. Cullen, a pleasure as always,” Robert declared. “Mrs. Cullen it’s a pleasure to meet you finally.”
“Robert, what did I tell you? Call me Carlisle and this is Esme. Please have a seat.”
After Robert sat down beside Bella, he handed her her purse. “What you wanted is inside.”
Bella opened her bag, pulling out the chocolate bar. “Thank you so much.”
“Go ahead and eat it, dear,” Esme urged. “We wouldn’t want our grandkids to be deprived of their urges.”
Robert gasped loudly. “Grandchildren?” He wondered when and how Bella had found the asshole who got her pregnant. Then the realization hit him, the father of her children was part of the mafia.
“Yes, Bella is carrying our grandchildren,” Esme beamed.
“Who is the father?” Robert asked.
“I am the father,” Edward acknowledged.
“You are nothing but the sperm donor,” Bella hissed. She had enough of his two-faced attitude. One moment he was the sweet man that she had made love to and the next, he was a fucking bastard.
“THOSE ARE MY CHILDREN!” Edward yelled. “You can’t keep them from me.”
Bella stood, stepped in front of Edward, and looked up into his eyes. “You want to try me because I assure you that I won’t be bullied into anything I don’t want to do.” She asserted as she crossed her arms over her chest, then turned back to Esme and Carlisle. “Carlisle, Esme, it was a pleasure, please leave your number with Robert, I have to leave before I do something I will regret.”
Robert handed her the purse. “I’ll text your driver. Text me when you get home, please.”
“I will,” she replied. Taking one last look at Edward, she couldn’t believe she had wasted so much time trying to find him. Stepping around him, she proceeded to her door.
Edward couldn’t believe what was happening. So much had happened this evening. He had found her, she was pregnant with his children, and now she was walking out on him. No woman had ever stood up to him like she had. They needed to talk, to work this all out because there was no way he was not going to be the father to his children. Just as she was about to open the door, he called out to her in a pained voice. “Bella.’
She didn’t look around or stop, knowing that if she did, he would see the hurt in her eyes.