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No Way Out

Summary:
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.


Notes:


17. Chapter 17

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1645   Review this Chapter

I was beyond shocked. I trusted that Edward would not leave me, but I hadn’t expected him to propose after only a week or so. Apparently I was taking too long with my response because Edward interrupted my thoughts, “It’s alright if you don’t want to of course. I understand that we’ve just gotten back together, and this is all very sudden. I just thought that you might want to… I mean I just want you to know that I have no reservations about this. I want to keep you forever Isabella Swan and I just figured we could make it official.”

It was the closest I’d ever seen Edward to flustered, and had to restrain myself from laughing out loud at his explanation. Now he was talking about how in some cultures it was customary to wait until you were on your deathbed before marrying, and I had to stop him.

“Yes.”

“I mean the Mayans … what?”

“Yes. Yes Edward Anthony Masen Cullen I will marry you.”

He stared at me for a second and then I was on my back and he was kissing me senseless with reckless abandon. I got involved as well and to my surprise he didn’t pull away like I thought he would…. until I stopped breathing, and then he had to intervene.

I laughed once I caught my breath, “If this is the reaction I get I should agree to things more often.”

He grinned at me, then jumped off the bed and came back with a little black box which he handed to me. I opened it and was greeted with the most beautiful piece of jewelry I’d ever seen.

Edward misread my shocked silence and launched into an explanation, “It was my mother's, I know it’s old, but I thought you might like it anyway. But if you don’t we can always go ring hunting this weekend, you can pick out whatever you want--”

I cut him off by kissing him again, which lasted quite a while before something occurred to me. “Edward, I love the ring, but I can’t wear it. I want to, I really want to, but if I’m at work people are going to wonder why I’m engaged to someone they never met.”

He smiled, “I thought of that,” he said and pulled out a long thin chain that matched the ring perfectly, “I thought you could wear it under your clothes at work, and if anyone noticed you could write it off as a family heir loom.”

It was a brilliant idea, and I told him as much. We spent the remainder of the evening discussing details for the wedding. I wanted to have it after I was changed; claiming that I would be far more likely to remember it, but Edward wanted it before hand. He told me that we’d have to wait a few years after I got changed to have a wedding and no one except his family would be able to come. He also told me that he would marry me as many times as I wanted, so one before my change shouldn’t be a big deal. We agreed that we wanted to have our wedding as soon as possible. We were discussing themes when Alice burst into the room.

“Now Bella,” she began, “I like to think I’m a patient person.”

“Think whatever you want Alice, it doesn’t make it true,” Edward interjected.

Alice frowned at him, but continued, “However, I have my limits. It has been two hours, 32 minutes, and 17 seconds since Edward proposed to you, and you have yet to tell me of it! I mean really Bella, I thought we were close!”

“Umm, Alice,” I began, “I knew you could hear. I mean, I’m in a house full of vampires, I knew you could all hear everything going on up here, so I really didn’t think I needed to run down the hall and inform you of my decision to marry your brother.”

“That is not an excuse Isabella Marie Swan! I need to be informed in a traditional manner about these things! How am I supposed to plan the perfect wedding if I’m not involved in the couple’s decisions! I mean really!”

I looked at Edward for help, but from the laughter in his eyes I could tell I was on my own with this one, “Er, Alice, I don’t even know how big I want this wedding to be, let alone how I want to go about planning it. Besides, I’m sure I’ll just want to do something simple that will require hardly any effort at all. It will probably take fifteen minutes to plan.”

“I’m going to pretend that you didn’t just say that. Bella, the simplest wedding takes the average human at least three months! Now, I’ll admit, it won’t take me half as long, but if we’re going to do this right it’s going to require a huge commitment from you, now are prepared to give me that commitment!”

I was suddenly struck with a bought of giggles. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep for a good four months, maybe it was the fact that it was now two in the morning, or maybe it was the fact that I had just agreed to marry a vampire, which was presumably going to be the biggest commitment of my life, and my four foot ten inch soon to be sister-in-law was questioning my dedication to planning the very simple wedding I had in mind.

Alice did not seem to think it was as humorous as I did, “BELLA! THIS IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER!”

“I’m sorry Alice,” I said through tears, “I’ll tell you what, once we’re done with the Victoria issue, we can sit down and talk about this for real.”

She let out a labored sigh and said, “Fine, but I will be holding you to that!” And Alice left me alone with Edward.

I turned to glare at him, but his face was a perfect mask of innocence, “Oh don’t give me that look!”

“What look?”

“The one that makes it seem like you had no idea what Alice was going to be doing! I don’t buy it Mr. Mind reader! I’m way too tired to get into this now, but in the morning, you are so on my list!”

Edward just laughed and said something else, but I was too far gone to comprehend whatever it was.

The next morning I woke up and had an epiphany. I turned to Edward who looked down at me.

“Good morning,” I said, “How would you feel about coming into work with me this morning?”

He looked mildly shocked, “I’m going to have to explain the concept of punishment to you aren’t I? Las night you were fuming and this morning you want to spend extra time with me.”

I laughed, “I really do need to work on that don’t I? This isn’t your punishment Edward, I just figured out how to get you, and possibly Carlisle or Jasper in on the case.” I proceeded to tell him my plan, which revolved around Gibbs letting me use them for bait. The idea was that if someone was trying to frame the Cullens, the Cullens would be able to identify who it was, and the killer probably wouldn’t be able to resist setting them up again. Of course my real motive was to get Edward access to Victoria, but Gibbs had no idea about that. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of my family getting involved with rouge vampires again, but I’d come to be even less thrilled with the idea of innocent people getting killed just so Victoria could pursue some kind of screwed up revenge mission.

“Works for me love, let me see if Carlisle would like to come into your office with us.”

Carlisle was more than agreeable to the idea of coming in, and he expressed an interest at meeting Ducky.

We drove together in my car, and I would be a liar if I didn’t admit that I got a kick out of being the driver with two vampires in the backseat. Edward grumbles and tried to insist on driving, but I gleefully informed him that this was his punishment for not rescuing me the previous night.

When we entered the team’s area all activity stopped as if they were a movie that someone had clicked pause on. “Bella, can I speak to you for a moment.” Tony asked.

I went over by the stairs with him, “What’s up Tony?”

“Bella, I realize you haven’t been here as long as the rest of us, but I thought you were smart enough to know not to bring suspects to work with you. It’s just not a good plan.”

“True, but I think they’re being framed. And in my very limited time here I’ve also realized that Gibbs likes it when we take initiative and follow our instincts. Also, I’m still a probie and even if Gibbs can file a report, he can’t just outright fire me, he can only get me reassigned, so I figure now is the perfect time to try whatever I want.” Tony looked mildly stunned and walked back to the teams area where Ziva and McGee were still making shifty eyes at each other in an attempt at silent communication so that Edward and Carlisle either wouldn’t notice or hear, which I found ironic.

“Guys, cut it out, Gibbs is going to be fine once he hears my reasoning,” I said.

“Oh am I Agent Swan? I can’t wait to hear this reasoning,” Gibbs said directly behind me. He gestured for me to follow him, and after sneaking a glance back at Edward I went with him.