Where did I put my need-to-know-only policy?
Charlie is going to visit the Cullens for christmas, just as he has done for the last ten years. But could this year be different? And how could a piece of horse meat change all his convictions?
The story is set ten years after breaking dawn. CPOV. *All the wonderful characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.*
2. Dinner time
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I didn’t even notice that Bella and Jacob had stopped. The only reason I stopped was because I had to pick up my jaw from the floor. In front of me was a Bentley Continental GT. It was beautiful, sleek, perfect- every line so flawless that it made me want to cry. I had to shake my head to get back to reality, it didn’t really work, but another one of Jake’s great big whacks did the trick.
“Charlie, tell Bella to give me the keys. She is a terrible driver, and this beauty deserves to be appreciated.” He ran his hand across the bonnet in a gentle caress. I tried to stop my hand from mimicking his movement but I couldn’t. The pull was just too strong.
“Dad, are you alright?” Bella asked, her face coming closer to mine to check if I was ok.
I blinked a couple of times. “Yeah, I am great. It’s just... well the car, it’s amazing.” I didn’t even try to hide my reaction- I was flabbergasted.
Bella looked kind of embarrassed, but managed not to blush. “Yeah, I know it’s a bit much but Rosalie is fixing my usual car, and you how Edward is: any excuse to buy something fast.” She opened the driver’s door, about to get in, but Jacob was having none of it.
“Why do you get to drive? You always do this. Why would you deprive your best friend of something he really, really wants?” Jacob scowled and crossed his arms. It seemed like this wasn’t the first time they had this argument.
Bella fished for her keys as she answered Jacob, paying him no attention. “I get to drive because it’s my car, and because my reflexes are faster than yours. You’re already lucky I allow you inside... it absolutely reeks when you get in. Plus, you don’t really, really want it. I can tell by your level of excitement that you only really want to drive it. One ‘really’ just isn’t enough.” I couldn’t fault her logic, and apparently neither could Jake. He just snorted and got in to the back seat.
The drive was unbelievable. Even though I still had my doubts about Edward, I couldn’t fault him when it came to his choice in cars- he had excellent taste. The car was gorgeous on the inside, and the cream seats were even more comfortable than my sofa at home, the tinted windows were a nice touch too...
“Isabella Marie Swan, slow down this minute!” I hadn’t noticed how fast we were going until I’d looked at my side window. A quick glance at the dash board and it confirmed my suspicions; we were going fast, really fast, at 180 mph.
“Err dad, its Cullen.” Bella gave me an enchanting smile before remembering the fact that I was still worried about the speed. “Don’t worry about it; we’re not going to crash. I’ve gone over 200 mph before without a problem, isn’t that right Jake?” She turned around to look at Jacob, which meant she wasn’t looking at the road.
“Oh dear lord, look at the damn road Bella! Don’t make me give you a ticket- I mean it young lady. I brought my badge with me... do I need to become Chief Swan so that you don’t get us killed?”
Both Bella and Jacob found this absolutely hilarious, but at least Bella slowed down to an acceptable speed. “Edward was right, driving slowly is just plain boring,” Bella muttered to herself.
The rest of the journey to the Cullens’ house was uneventful. Bella’s house was only a five minute walk to the Cullen’s mansion; it was definitely smaller but equally as secluded. As I entered I took in my surroundings: The walls were a light blue, it had big windows and an incredible view of the neighbouring forest. Nearly every surface of the living room was covered in books and CDs, it didn’t look messy or even cluttered- it just felt very homey.
“Dad, would you like something to eat or drink before we join the others? I think that Edward picked up some of your favourite beers,” Bella asked as she took my bag from me. Jacob was now sprawled on the sofa, flicking through TV channels.
“No honey, I’m good. Where’s my grand-daughter anyways?” I was really quite anxious to see Nessie, I missed her like crazy.
“Edward took Nessie shopping; she wanted to get Jake a present.” She gave a little smile before taking my hand and showing me to my room.
Even though I worried about Bella constantly, I was glad to see that Edward took good care of her. He gave her things that her mother and I had never been able to buy for her, not that it was really important, but I was glad that she didn’t have to worry about money problems. But I couldn’t help but wonder: was it enough? She had basically given up her entire life to be with Edward, she moved away from her family and friends, and she was now living a life that I didn’t understand.
As we entered my room I just had to ask: “Bella... honey, are you happy?” I tried to control my voice, her answer was extremely important to me.
I could see that my question surprised Bella, of all the things I could have asked that one had been the one she least expected. “Of course I’m happy dad, I’m beyond happy. I have everything anyone could possibly want- I won the lottery: I have the world’s most wonderful husband, an incredible daughter, and a family that I couldn’t love more. I don’t think I can put into words how lucky I am, dad. I’m surrounded by love every day, what more can I ask for?” She gave me a brilliant smile and squeezed my hand.
I nodded, “I’m glad, Bells.” I’m more than glad, honey.
As soon as we set my luggage on the bed we went downstairs. Jake was still sprawled on the sofa, but he was no longer flicking through the channels, instead he was sound asleep, snoring so loudly that I couldn’t understand how he didn’t wake himself up. Just before I could sit down Bella took hold of my hand again. I looked up and she put a finger to her lips, nodding towards Jacob.
She led me outside and softly closed the door behind us. Edward was pulling into the drive way. I could see Nessie in the front seat, jumping up and down with excitement.
She opened the passenger door quickly, barely allowing Edward to park the car, and ran towards me with her arms extended. “Grandpa, I’ve missed you soooo much.” Nessie’s hug wasn’t exactly dainty like her mother’s; her hug actually reminded me a lot of Jake’s.
“Geeze kid, it’s only me, no need to get so excited,” I said laughing. I missed you too, sweetheart.
Edward took a step towards me and shook my hand. “It’s nice to see you Charlie, glad you could make it.”
Edward hadn’t changed a bit, not that expected him to, but it was nice to see that he was still devoted to my daughter just as he had been ten years earlier. After he shook my hand he went directly to Bella and gave her a kiss, it wasn’t the type of kiss that would make a father look away. No, it was a kiss that showed how much he loved her, how much he still cared even after all these years together. How could a parent object to something like that? It was in these moments that I was happy that Bella chose Edward instead of Jacob; I don’t think that Jacob could have looked at Bella ten years on with the same amount of love that Edward showed. My little girl had made the right decision.
Edward tried to hide a smile; I didn’t know what he was smiling at. The boy was just so confusing; he always reacted to nothing, it could be absolutely quiet and he would smile or scowl, or something. I always thought that he either had an over active imagination or he wasn’t all right up in there; you know, had a few wits missing. But the last theory was improbable, he seemed very intelligent.
After Edward unloaded the shopping bags from the car and we left for the Cullens’ house. Both Jake and Nessie stayed behind. Jacob was still sleeping and Nessie wanted to get all her wrapping finished before he woke up.
The Cullens’ house was decorated to an inch of its life. There wasn’t a crook or cranny that didn’t have green and red things dangling from it. Alice must have had a lot of fun. The thought made me chuckle.
“What are you laughing at dad?” Bella asked as she led me through the entrance.
“I was just thinking about how Alice must have had fun decorating.”
“Are you talking about me Charlie?” Alice looked great, a Christmas pixie, she skipped over to me and gave me a tiny hug.
“Sure was kid, how are things?” Before she could answer both Emmett and Rosalie came to greet me.
I loved all of the Cullens. Emmett was great, you couldn’t ask for a better guy to watch football with- the comments he made about passes and the players had me laughing for hours. Rosalie was just a doll; she always wanted to take me for a drive and showed me all the cars she was working on. Carlisle and Esme were two of the best people I knew, they really were kindness personified, I was glad that Bella had great in-laws. And of course there was Alice, who didn’t love Alice? She was so much fun, and she clearly loved Bella. The only one that I was never really close to was Jasper; he always seemed to isolate himself, at least when I was around, but from the few times I talked to him I got the impression that he was a deep soul, it was just his quietness that made him seem distant, it wasn’t intentional.
We had all assembled at the dining room table; I hadn’t even sat down before a huge plate of food was shoved in front of me. I was the only one eating- the others no longer pretended to eat, nor did they make excuses.