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Good Graces

Summary:
After New Moon, Charlie is concerned about his only daughter. He's seen her fall once because of 'that boy', and when a certain group of people try to get Edward off the hook, it only adds to his suspicions. Photobucket


Notes:
Alright, yes, another one-shot. I seriously am addicted to writing these. Anyway, this takes place right after New Moon and before Eclipse.


1. Concerns

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2118   Review this Chapter


My ball-point pen hesitated on the transcript I was filling out. I sighed, deeply, staining the clean air around me with the murky scent of black coffee. I scribbled out the line I had been writing, a form on a speeding ticket, and hastily grabbed another sheet.

Life was hard these days. Of course, the job would never be. Forks never really got too much of a criminal life. I was just still so concerned over Bella and that boy. Yes, he seemed nice and polite, and his family sure was too, but after what he pulled last fall I could never fully erase my hatred toward him. He had hurt my baby girl.

The bell rang quietly overhead as someone stepped into the office. I glanced up from the file, wondering who could possibly be coming to the Chief of Police in a town like Forks. I did a double take when I saw who it was.

Emmett Cullen and Jasper Hale.

I really almost laughed at the irony of it.

Emmett was bending over, his eyes scraping over the brochures for the local attractions in nearby cities while Jasper stood hesitantly in the doorway. He had a thoughtful look on his face, almost like he was concentrating on something. I instantly felt a calming pressure soothe its way up my body. Strange. I shook the feeling off before I took too long to dwell on it.

"Anything I can help you boys with?" I asked, trying to sound casual and hide the curiosity. Emmett looked up and his hand recoiled. I had to laugh at that, he wore the expression of a little boy getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"Hey Chief Swan! How ya doin?" I watched Emmett jaunt up to my desk and lean on his elbows while staring at me. I resisted the urge to flinch back from his strange ocher eyes. It was a color no man could get used to.

"Well, alright I guess. And how about you?" I pushed the papers aside, knowing this couldn't just be a visit on their take.

"Fine, fine. Just got back from Newton's. We had to buy some new hunting equipment." The man in front of me smiled, his perfect teeth glinting from the light above while making his boyish face look threatening. I nodded, not really knowing one bit about hunting. Fishing was my one and only expertise.

"Emmett here is convinced that we supposedly need 20 knives for each of us. I'm starting to think he knows no skill in math at all," Jasper mumbled as he absent-mindedly went through the flyers about speeding laying on the top of the desk. I nodded, wondering if 20 knives was really an odd amount. Or maybe it was too little. Like I said, I really knew nothing on hunting.

"Hey, Jasper, I wouldn't talk. You and your redneck business can get on my nerve," Emmett bit back. Oh God, I really hoped I didn't have a fight about to brew in front of me. There was no way I could break these teenagers apart without bringing out my gun. Jasper tensed, looking at Emmett with challenging eyes. I gulped, oh please don't start a fight.

Then, to my relief, he just rolled his eyes.

"So, we came here to talk to the one and only Chief Swan," Emmett exclaimed grandly as he smiled. Jasper nodded while politely smiling. Then I remembered that he was the one that was supposedly in a relationship with Alice. I narrowed my eyes, taking in his lean form and kind eyes, I guess he was alright. Though in my opinion, both Bella and Alice could do much better than the boys they were currently with.

"Oh, and why may that be?" I mumbled as I grabbed the stapler and stapled two files from an old case together. Jasper stepped forward and rolled his eyes insultingly at Emmett who didn't even notice. Oblivious. It was a silly concept.

"Well, Chief Swan, we're worried about Bella," Jasper concluded with a Southern charm on the end of his voice. He smiled sincerely as Emmett nodded in agreement. I narrowed my eyes at the two suspicious young men in front of me.

"Bella? Why? Is something going on between her and Edw-" I was about to say Edward, but Emmett cut me off before I had the chance.

"Oh no Chief Swan! You have it all wrong! Bella and Edward are great! Perfect couple if ya ask me," He added, a twinkle glittering in his eyes. Jasper smiled briefly in agreement before looking absent mindedly a the calendar for upcoming Forks events. My mind tried to rack through the possibilities of why these two men would be worried about my daughter. Did they even really know Bella?

"Can I ask you two boys something?" I asked as I stared into each of their eyes long enough to let them know I was being serious.

"Of course ya can, Chief! Anything at all!" Emmett smiled broadly, slapping the desktop. I could have sworn I heard a light crack slice through it.

"Well, I don't mean to be blunt, but how close are you two to Bella?" I tried to hide my true emotions from seeping into my voice, but Jasper's hard stare made it seem like he already knew. Emmett's eyes widened as he looked at Jasper.

"Ha! He really wants to know, huh?" He asked his adoptive brother skeptically. I could have sworn I saw a mischievous look cross his face.

"It appears so, brother." Jasper responded dully, seeming like he wasn't interested one bit.

"Well! My oh my! I'll give ya your answer, Chief! See, Jasper and I are incredibly close to Bella. We love her to death, sir! I like to think of her as my own little sister. And I'm sure Jasper here thinks the same." I gulped at his response. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. He can't be serious.

"Hmmm, well. Yes. I would have to agree. We really do love and treat Bella like one of our own." Jasper flashed me a dazzling smile as he leaned against the desktop next to his burly brother. I looked at the blonde, mysterious figure in front of me and I would bet my whole retirement that I saw some kind of remorse in his eyes. Some slight sliver of pain and sorrow. Before I was sure of it, it had flashed away as quickly as it had come.

"Well, in that case, please continue. Why are you so worried about Bella?" I narrowed my eyes at the two of them, wondering what secret they were sharing between them. Apparently, Jasper decided to give me the blow.

"You see, we know Bella spent quite a bit of time with a certain Jacob Black when our family was away. And we're concerned for her, sir. We don't think she should be spending time with him at all. He's dangerous, you see, and-" I quickly cut him off before he could continue.

"Jacob Black? Jacob Black? Well, yes, she has been spending time with him, but I really don't think that's of your concern. He's a perfectly respectable young man and I think if she was to spend time with anyone around this town, it should be him. He's a good role model to look up to." If they thought I was going to listen and watch as they ranted negatively about someone who I considered family, they were damn wrong.

Jasper looked cautiously towards his brother who just gulped in response. The both seemed to tense immensely when I mentioned that they should look up to him. And they should, I can tell you right now that Jacob would never get one of his friends to come to me and tell me that the Cullens were dangerous.

"You don't quite understand, Chief. Jacob Black can have a violent side to him. Just recently he lashed out. If I had a daughter, I would certainly try to keep her away from such a disturbed young man such as him." I could tell by Emmett's tone that he was trying to win me over with his sweet voice, his impish grin, and his wide, innocent eyes.

I knew I was wrong, but just by looking at his eyes you almost got the sensation that he had seen so much more than you. They seemed to glitter with knowledge, and it was disturbing.

"No, Emmett, I think you don't understand. Jacob is a very nice young man who I like to consider family. He's always been great towards Bella, and I think he's a terrific person. And, let me tell you, if we're talking about the same Jacob Black, he does not have any violent part of him what so ever. He's a very gentle young man," I stiffly said. Jasper's eyes widened in response and he glanced at his brother.

"Chief Swan, just listen for a moment. You may know Jacob as a caring young man, but we know him as someone else. A violent, angry person who can't be controlled." Jasper's calming voice reached out, desperately trying to convince me. I shook my head. I had had enough of this crap.

"Well, if you would let me be the judge of that, I would appreciate it. Now, I think you boys have gotten your message across. You can both run along." I grumbled as I stared at them, expecting them to bite back with a response. Instead they both sighed.

"Alright, if you really think that, Chief, I guess we can't argue. Just be careful. We wouldn't want to see get injured from an angry adolescent." Jasper bowed his head in respect before sulking his way to the door.

Emmett hung back, his head shaking lightly. Before he turned around and walked to his brother, I could have sworn I heard him mumble something.

"Your funeral."

Then, with a swing of the door, they were both gone. I sighed, some boys just never fully learned that some things were their business while others were not.

And, sadly, I had a very strong assumption as to who set this up. I just knew that both Emmett and Jasper had been sent here to get their brother's presence in my good graces. And they were sent here by the one and only Edward Cullen, their brother.

***

Later that night, as I ate a delicious meal of spaghetti, I pondered over all that had happened today. Such strange behavior for two men. I was seriously wondering if they were both serious about their brotherly feelings for Bella. I sighed, glancing up from my meal to my daughter, who sat there with her eyes glued to the clock. Waiting for Edward no doubt. I was dreading the day he wouldn't show up at exactly 7.

"Guess who stopped by the office today?" I asked, her brown eyes flickered to me, her head tilting to the side in curiosity.

"Who?" She responded, genuinely curious.

"Emmett Cullen and Jasper Hale," I answered gruffly. Her mouth swung open, in happiness, revulsion, or shock I couldn't tell. She dropped her fork and it landed on the ground with a loud clambering sound.

"You're kidding. What did they want?" Her eyes glittered with a look of bliss that I noticed appeared anytime someone in that family was mentioned. I was worried about her, she was so attached to all of them. And if those two boys were telling the truth with their feelings about her, it would be that much harder for her when and if they left again.

"Well, one thing's for sure, they don't want you around Jake," I mumbled, waiting for her reaction.

"Emmett and Jasper? They don't want me around Jake?" Her doubting tone made me question my own insanity. I was starting to think I had made the whole scene up.

"Yea. They said they were worried about you." I said stiffly as I picked up her dropped fork. Her mouth snapped back shut as a look of tenderness glittered in her eyes. I sighed, that wasn't what I was hoping. I wanted at least a bit of anger, but instead she seemed touched that they cared.

"Oh. What else did they want?" Her brow puckered but her eyes still shined with the look of someone loved.

"They looked at some speeding forms." I shrugged, remembering how Jasper had looked through the driving manual for all citizens of Forks. Bella's eyes bugged out as she burst with laughter. Her whole frame shook as she erupted into a fit of giggles. My brow furrowed. What was so funny?

I had a feeling I would never know.