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.
19. Chapter 19
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1667 Review this Chapter
We didn’t talk much on the way home, I could tell Edward was deep in thought about something, and a few years ago I might have pushed him to tell me what was on his mind, but now I thought it was better to just let him tell me when he was ready.
Or at least that’s what I thought I would do, but after sitting in his room for two hours without talking I finally had to ask, “What’s wrong?”
He looked over at me with a crooked smile that did not reach his eyes, “Nothing love, just thinking about something.”
I rolled my eyes, “Edward, I know that there is something wrong that you’re not telling me about, so just spill.”
He let out a labored sigh that I’m 90% sure was for dramatic effect, “It’s just that there is so much about you I don’t know, at least not anymore. I mean, when did you learn to speak French?”
“The semester after Italian, but before Russian.”
“Bella, I’m serious.”
“So am I Edward, my minor was in international relations so I had to pick up a couple of languages.”
“A couple is two Bella, three is not a couple.”
“Actually I speak Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, so technically it’s five.”
He just stared at me for a moment, “You speak six languages Bella? See, this is the sort of thing I was talking about, I don’t know anything about you anymore.”
I sighed, I wondered how long the angsty Edward would be in hiding, “You still know all the important stuff Edward. Does it really matter how many languages I speak? I mean, you never told me how many tongues you’re fluent in.”
“Twenty-Seven,” He said, still looking down at the floor.
“Notice How I’m not getting angry or depressed about this at all. I’m very happy that you speak a variety of languages, and I’m not in the least bit depressed that you didn’t tell me at an earlier date.” I said attempting to get a smile out of him.
He sighed again, “It’s not the same Bella, I left you, and you didn’t make the decision to lose several years of our lives together by being an idiot.”
“Alright, fine. But I feel as if you’re forgetting something important.”
“YOU ARE IMMORTAL!” I shouted, then in a quieter voice, “What are a few years in reality?”
He finally looked in my eyes, “See, there’s another thing that’s changed, you used to think that a few years was the end of the world.”
I resisted the urge to scream, “Yes, I also used to think that Santa was real, the Spanish Inquisition was a game show, and that cotton candy was made of clouds. I’ve grown up a bit Edward, besides, my real issue back then was that you were obstinate about not changing me and my teenage hormones were telling me to take no prisoners and make fairly unreasonable demands.”
He didn’t respond for a moment then he finally said, “You thought cotton candy was made of clouds?”
He was laughing, and I became defensive, “It’s not the most unreasonable thing for a five-year old to think Edward.” He just kept laughing. “Fine,” I said, “I was going to let you ask anything you wanted to know about the last four years, but obviously you’re much too busy so-”
He immediately stopped laughing, “What made you decide to go to college on the east coast?”
I had to think about that for a second, “After you left Renee came to take me to Florida, but I held on to Forks for dear life. I couldn’t let you go, and I thought that if I left that the entire town might disappear and I would have no way to remember you. But when I was deciding where to go to school I could see how much it was hurting Charlie to have a zombie daughter around, and I thought I would go as far away as I could so I didn’t hurt him anymore. Also Georgetown gave me an awesome scholarship.”
He nodded but looked pained, “Bella I never meant to hurt you…”
“Edward, for the eightieth time, I know! I didn’t tell you that to make you feel guilty, I told you that because you asked. Now, what’s your next question?”
He shot me a pained look, but he asked, “Do you remember the day I asked you all those questions in Forks?”
“Well, have any of your answers changed?”
“Let me think… well, the current CD in my car is a mix CD from Abby, it’s interesting, I tried the pet thing again, with a beta fish, but it was an epic fail, and although I used to hate horror films, I now watch them for comedic value.”
“You think scary movies are funny?”
“Well, once you’ve actually been chased by a vampire intent on killing you Jason doesn’t look so bad.”
He shook his head in apparent disbelief, but wisely chose not to make a comment on my new found opinions on horror movies. “What do you do for fun in DC?”
“I don’t actually have much time for fun. Sometimes I hang out with Abby, and about once a week the team goes to the bar together sans Gibbs, but my job takes up a lot of my time and until very recently I thrived on that fact.”
“Why did you like it so much?”
“Because when I’m actively hunting down a serial killer not much else is on my mind, and until you came back I didn’t like to be alone much. I saw no point in dating other men although I’d go out with whoever Abby or Tony set me up with, but no one could compare to you so no one lasted more than an evening. On the rare occasions I was alone and had free time I’d read just like I always used to, so not everything has changed.”
Edward kept asking questions until I looked over at the clock. It was 8:30, long past my usual dinner time, and my stomach was coming very close to making its displeasure known. Thankfully Edward looked at the clock at the same time saving me the trouble of having to remind him of my human frailties.
“Hungry?” He asked.
“Yes actually, give me two minutes and I’ll go downstairs and grab some cereal then I’ll be right back.” I started to get up, but before I’d unbent one knee Edward was holding me down.
“I’m not going to let you eat cereal for dinner Bella, we’re going out.”
“Edward, we can’t, if anyone from the team sees us-”
“We’ll tell them that I insisted on taking you out as a thank you for bringing my father and myself in for the case,” he could see that I was about to protest, “or if you think that won’t work I can run into the coat room the instant I hear any member of your team coming, and I’ll stay there until they leave, it’s not like I’m going to be eating anything anyway.”
I really wanted to protest, but I could tell by the look in Edward’s eyes that I was not going to win this argument, he may be willing to let me make calls when it came to being seen together out in public before he’d come into the office, but now I had no hope of reining him in.
“Fine,” I finally agreed, “but we have to go somewhere close to my house so that if any member of the team comes in they don’t wonder why I’m eating dinner by myself miles away from where I live.”
He agreed presumably thrilled to have me agree to something. Once we pulled up in front of the restaurant Edward had chosen I knew I should have added the stipulation that I would be able to get an entrée for under a hundred dollars, but my frown seemed to make him even more pleased with himself.
“Well, you’d better hope that no one from work shows up, because they all know I could never afford this place on my own.”
“Didn’t you tell Ziva that you’d come into some money from a dead friend?”
“It doesn’t matter they all know I wouldn’t blow as much money as I know you’re planning on spending for one meal.”
He laughed, but put his arm around my waist and drew me into the restaurant. I have to admit the place was gorgeous, it was decorated like a Parisian restaurant complete with menus entirely in French, of course there were no prices on the menus, so my plan of ordering the cheapest thing available no matter what it was promptly shot to hell.
We had a waiter and not a waitress for which I was grateful. I no longer feared Edward leaving me for another woman, but I had a tendency to get a bit jealous. Edward ordered a bottle of wine with a stiff expression and shot him a questioning look.
“It’s nothing love, I just don’t particularly care for what that man is thinking about you.”
I laughed quietly, I sometimes wondered if Edward made up the thoughts of other men to give me a confidence boost, but tonight I decided I didn’t care. Edward continued to question me during the meal, but he seemed to relax more and more as he realized I meant what I said about not changing that much. In many ways I was the same girl I had been in high school, just a little bit better equipped to protect myself.
The evening was lovely and no one from the team showed up, for the three hours we were in the restaurant I could pretend Victoria didn’t exist, the dead marines didn’t exist, the entire world consisted of me and Edward and I was more than thrilled.
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