No Way Out
Edward left Bella and never came back, Victoria never came after her, but a monster of the mortal kind did. Now Bella is an NCIS agent trying to solve the most difficult case of her career.
16. Chapter 16
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1449 Review this Chapter
When I walked into the office the tension was palpable. I shot Tony an inquisitive glance and he told me that Gibbs was on the war path because we hadn’t made any leads in the case. I felt bad about that, but there was nothing I could do. I knew the Cullens were working on the situation when I was away from the house, and probably when I was sleeping, but they were not having much luck.
As I was trying to figure out where this was going Gibbs walked into the room and glared at us all before telling us to go down to the gym and get into our sweats. I mentally groaned. It was true that since joining up with Gibbs my balance and ability to protect myself without the use of a deadly weapon had improved dramatically, but if you took a look at the facts it became clear that I didn’t stand a chance against any member of the team.
Gibbs was an ex-marine, enough said, Tony used to take down drug dealers, and let’s face it, he was more muscle tan brains, Ziva probably knew about seven different ways to kill me by just looking at me funny, and McGee wasn’t exactly svelte. My hand to hand had gotten better after Gibbs had made Ziva give me private lessons, which I greatly appreciated, but if someone was really intent on doing me in I probably wasn’t going to come out of it alive.
As we traipsed down to the gym I pondered all the torturous plans Gibbs had for us. I was half-way t rough a day dream involving being speared with a piece of driftwood by Tony when Gibbs handed out blindfolds and said, “You’ll each be taking a turn in the middle of the mat wearing your blindfold. It seems that whoever our killer is has us running blind, so we’re going to practice fighting blind. McGee, you’re up first.”
I stifled a groan, knowing that I would be explaining several bruises and possibly a few head injuries to Edward later. McGee stepped into the middle of the circle we’d formed and Gibbs told us to begin. Tony started by stalking up to McGee and putting him in a head lock. Once he was down on the ground McGee tried to use Tony’s weight against him and failed. Gibbs nodded to Tony and told McGee to get up, and then he nodded to me. I quietly snuck up on McGee’s side, seeing he was well prepared for either a frontal or rear attack, but his left side was vulnerable. I slipped into a crouch, and then spun around kicking McGee’s legs out from under him. I quickly backed away, and as McGee tried t getup I pounced knocking him to the ground again, and effectively cutting off his air supply. Both Gibbs and Ziva proceeded to take McGee down.
Gibbs had Tony go next, and he managed to thwart McGee and I but Ziva and Gibbs both got the better of him. The only person who got Ziva down was Gibbs, and then it was my turn. I put on my blindfold with a sense of foreboding and waited for Gibbs to call the start of my exercise, but the call never came. What did come however was the distinct sound of McGee’s footprints on the mat, I tensed, but he just passed me by. A few seconds later I heard footsteps that I knew were Gibbs’s, I tensed again, but once more I was passed by. After Gibbs came Tony and Ziva, but neither attacked.
“Agent Swan,” Gibbs called out.
“Yes?” I answered.
“In what order did the members of your team walk by you?”
“McGee, you, Tony and then Ziva.”
“Very good Swan, you can take off your blindfold.”
I breathed a sigh of relief, but I was curious, “Why didn’t you have them attack me Gibbs?”
He smiled a bit, “Why would I do that Swan? I think it’s fair to say that you realize what your strengths and weaknesses are, and I think we both know that hand to hand combat is a weakness. You’re good with a gun, a knife, and your brain Swan, follow the rules, and you won’t need to use your fists.”
“But McGee’s a geek and you made him fight.”
“Yeah, but he’s a lousy shot.” Gibbs said before he walked away.
The rest of the day passed in a flurry of desk work. I’d never particularly enjoyed making calls, but it was even harder knowing they were pointless, just like the training had been. Out of my entire team the second best equipped to fight a vampire was probably Abby. At least she had a chance of distracting her a minute while she asked a bunch of pointless questions. Abby came up from her lab for lunch and revealed that she was no further along than we were. I hated the days like this with a passion, I knew that soon another girl was going to turn up dead, and there was nothing I could do about it, and of course Gibbs always made us feel grossly incompetent which didn’t help.
At the end of the day I got in my car and drove to my house to pick up a few essentials, like pajama’s that I didn’t find overly embarrassing, and sweat pants I could wear around the Cullen house, and proceeded to dive over to Edward’s.
When he saw me coming up the walk he rushed down to meet me with a fierce expression on his face.
“What happened? Why is there a cut on your cheek? And why are bruised?”
I laughed, “Training exercise.”
His frown deepened, “I really don’t like this Bella, and I hate not being able to protect you all the time.”
“Edward, we’ve been over this, I can handle the issues that result from humans. And while I will concede that I can’t do much about the vampire world, and I will allow you to protect me in those cases, you need to let me live my life at work.”
He mumbled something under his breath, but I didn’t feel the need to have him explain himself. When we got inside I found everyone just sitting around waiting for us.
“Uh is this an intervention?” I asked nervously, which got a couple laughs.
“No, more like a strategic meeting.” Carlisle answered, “We were hoping for some input from one of the locals.”
“Sure I said sitting down, what do you need?”
The Cullens grilled me for a good two hours about the patterns of human behavior in various areas where they thought Victoria might be hiding out, and the questioning probably would have continued if Edward didn’t insist that I eat something. The Cullens all looked embarrassed and apologized profusely while Esme jumped up to make me dinner which Edward promptly brought up to his room for me.
It was pleasant eating while chatting about insignificant things, but I knew there was a heavy question I had to ask Edward.
“You know how you promised not to leave again?”
“Yes, I’ll be here until you order me away, and even then you may need Emmett and Jasper to pry me away from you.”
“Well, I was just wondering what that promise extends to.”
“What do you mean?”
I took a deep breath, “Well, it’s just that I want to know if you still have the same reservations about keeping me for forever as you did when I was younger.” I looked down at the bed spread, but he put a long finger under my chin and pulled my eyes back up to look into his.
“No, Bella, I don’t have those same reservations. In fact I want nothing more than to keep you forever.”
I was shocked, “What changed your mind?”
“You did. I’ve decided that I cannot live without you, nor can I stand the idea of any man having you when I don’t. So I’ve realized that the only way to keep you with me for sure is to make you my own in every way, which brings up another interesting topic I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Well, I have a proposition for you. How about I change you, get to keep you forever, and you let me give you a gift?”
“What kind of gift Edward?” I asked growing wary.
“Well, I was thinking something along the lines of a ring.”
“Edward Cullen, are you asking me to marry you?”
“Well, Isabella Swan, that depends.”
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