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Mad Season

Summary:
Bella has returned to her family to heal
Edward is at a personal crossroads
With everything working against them will they find happiness with each other? AH, AU, OOC rated for mature themes, violence, and lemons in some of the chapters. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


Notes:
Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight world. Stephanie Meyer does. I just get to play in her playground.


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2261   Review this Chapter

Bella
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After my little talk with Esme, I am just hyper aware of all the watching that is going on. I try not to act like I notice, but I am sure I am failing. My family is a little too perceptive for their own good, and the fact that no one wants to upset me just makes the air a little too thick to breathe normally. I am going to have to do something soon, for them and me.

I sit on the porch waiting for the horde to start trickling home. Jane and Alec were the first ones to reach the house. Their smiles lighten up my mood immediately. Regardless of what was going on in my life my little brother and sister are just happy I am here.

Jane jumps into my lap throwing her arms around my neck hugging me so hard it is painful. "You're still here!" her voice full of surprise and happiness.

"Is that a bad thing?" I chuckle as I start to unlock her arms from my neck. I wince a little, as her little body seems to hit my sore spots. She couldn't possibly know the reason for my discomfort.

"No," Alec answers not looking at me. "We just didn't know when He was going to come get you."

"He?" I look at my little brother, and smile. I don't need to read his emotions to know what he is thinking. It's a good thing he is only ten, because comparing Alec’s temper to that of Jake’s was like comparing a hurricane to a foggy mist. When Jane gets older she won't have a fighting chance at all of escaping his ever-watchful eyes.

"You know who I mean," he spit's the words out with an angry snarl, and his eyes refuse to look me in the face.

"He means James," Maria injects as she rolls her eyes.

"I know who he means, and no, he is not coming to get me. Not this time." I got up off the step and walk to my brother. I cradle him in my arms and his reaches around me to return the hug.

"For real?" Alec’s large brown eyes finally connect with my own.

"For real." I try to reassure him, but I know that I have not convinced him completely. Time would have to prove me right. "So, aren't you two in college yet?" I ask them playfully as I ruffle Jane’s hair.

"Fourth grade!" they answer in unison with exuberance.

"Well excuse me!" I answer laughingly. "Do you guys have homework? Or is Mom going to get mad if we mess around for a while?"

"Can we go for a ride in your car?" Jane asks as she runs over to the metallic blue Porsche sitting in the driveway. Her small hand smoothly runs across the metal. She turns back to me with a twinkle. "Please?" I look from Alec to Jane, and the same plea radiates from both of their faces.

"What's going on?" A voice spoke from behind. Without turning around, I knew immediately that it is my sister, Angela. "You two aren't begging for a ride, are you?" Her voice took a scolding tone to it, and I realize this particular request had been addressed before, and not with me. "What did Mom tell you two little monsters?"

"We weren't supposed to beg Bella for a ride in her car." Speaking in unison the twins could not hide their disappointment.

"Don't worry, guys, after dinner maybe we'll go get some ice cream or something in my car if it's okay with Mom and your homework is all done." I wink at them, and they cheer as they run into the house.

"Well, at least we won't have to fight them on their homework today." My tall lanky sister, Angela, smiles at me, but it does not reach her eyes. The concern takes over everything despite her best performance in front of me.

"No cheerleading practice today?" I ask her trying to avoid her scrutiny.

"No, I quit the squad last semester. I just couldn't take all the cattiness anymore." I wonder what kind of look was on my face for her to add, "I was just a little too honest and upfront for the likes of cheerleaders."

"Oh," I respond. "So, what are you up to now? Any boyfriends?" She rolls her eyes at me.

"Not all of us need a man, Bella."

"At your age they aren't men, yet." I got her to laugh "Tell me, kiddo, how bad is it, my being here?" Her face took on a serious expression, and I try my best to not read her. "Be honest, now."

"They're all just worried." She says as a sigh escapes her lips. "Last time you and James had a fight we had to visit you in the hospital."

Her words brought back the memory of the last contact I had with my family. I was in a car "accident". My family found me in the hospital with some broken ribs, a cracked skull, and a third trimester miscarriage. James had decided that I belong to only him, and that together in death was better than waiting for me to disappear. I was only alive because he decided at the last minute that he wanted to live.

"Why are you here?" Her voice cannot conceal the anger laced threaded in her words. "If you are just going to go back, then why did you come here? We can't stop you, and we all are sick with worry all the time. It's killing dad, you know, and I won't even get into what it's doing to Jake. The man is already crazed, and you're making it worse for the rest of us."

"I am not here to make you life miserable, Ang. I really did leave. I am not going back." This is going to be tougher than I thought. I am defiantly going to have to get out of here soon, and try to get to a normal state in my life.

Angela stares at me her long straight black hair hanging a little in her face. I can see she wants to believe me, but I understand the difficulty in that.

"Well, then can you do me a favor?" she asks.

"Anything" I reply quickly. There wasn't anything I would not do for my mob of a family.

"Can you get Jake to calm the hell down, and back off?"

"What are you talking about?" Why did I even ask? I know what she is talking about.

"He yanked me out of a car last week when I was making out with Jared in the Denny's parking lot; he always seems to show up at the movies, the mall, or wherever I happen to be, and now I can't even get a date for the prom because all the boys treat me like I have a disease. He is ruining my life." A smile crosses my face. I know the situation well. "Come on, Bella. You're the only one he listens to."

"I will talk with him. I have a few issues of my own to hammer with our big brother." Her face stops being so serious. "Is he coming over tonight?"

"Not unless we call him. He said something about a Guy's Night Out as an intervention. One of his friends is turning into a vampire student."

"Vampire student?"

"Yeah, always studying, never hanging out, never seeing the light of day, you know, vampire student." She explains.

"I get it. Do you know where they're going?"

"They're probably over to the Golden Ram by the university. It's a loud, noisy, and the easy girls like to hang out there."

"So, Jake is looking for an easy girl?" This may work out to my advantage.

"Naw, I think he is the designated driver. The easy girls are for the vampire student." Angela looks at me closely. "What are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking I might crash Guy's Night Out to talk to Jake. He can't get too worked up if there are witnesses."

She lets out a heavy sigh. "Don't make him any worse."

Her words fall on deaf ears as I go back into the house. A night out with my brother may be just what I need. It's not as if he is going to scream at me when his friends are there. Okay, I won't stay too long, and I can go to a movie after our talk. It has to be better than hanging out here with everyone watching me waiting for me to fall to pieces. Now what am I going to wear?

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Edward
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"What are you doing?" Emmett shrieks from behind me.

"I am watching the game and eating chips. What the hell does it look like I'm doing?" I answer, surprised by the tone of his question. I take a beer out of the six-pack in front of me and hold it out to him. "Beer?"

"You idiot, we're going out tonight, remember?" Emmett shoots me an incredulous look, like I grew another head out the back of my neck or something. "Go change! You can't go like that. You're going to ruin it for the rest of us." I take another swig of my beer. "Get up, you retard, and at least change your shirt. Jasper and Jake will be here soon. Embry is going to meet us at the Golden Ram."

"Jake is coming?" I ask with surprise. Jake is a great guy, but I hadn't seen much of him these days. His sisters seem to keep him busy. Poor guy.

"Yeah, Jasper says he is really uptight because of something with one of his sisters. Poor bastard really needs to get out and loosen up. Not that I don't envy him. That guy has some fine ass sisters." I can see where his mind has gone with that statement. It is written all over his face. Then he shakes his head trying to rid himself of the images floating through his thoughts.

"Don't let him hear you talking about his sisters like that. He's likely to lose it on you." I got up from the couch and head towards my room. I guess I should change out of my ratty t-shirt and stained jeans.

"Do I look crazy to you? I am not saying nothing about his sisters in front of him, but you got to admit their daddy should have his Johnson bronzed for producing such gorgeous pieces of female anatomy." He calls after me, and I can tell he is letting his mind wander with the possibilities.

"So which one is it this time?" I inquire as I pull on a pair of black jeans.

"What?" Emmett answers breaking free of his little fantasy.

"Which sister is giving him a problem this time?" Ruffling through my closet I decide to wear a long sleeve gray t-shirt. "Did he find Angela making out in the Denny's parking lot again?" Jake is going to have to realize that at sixteen making out in a parking lot is a totally okay thing to do. Of course when you looked like Angela trying to keep it from going too far at any age is a little too much to ask from any man.

"No, I don't think so."

"Well it couldn't be Alice. I mean she's married and all, isn't she?" Where did I put that cologne?

"Alice’s husband shipped out to Iraq after the baby was born. She's staying with her parents until he comes back. I don't think Jake is too worried about her."

"Who does that leave, Rosalie?" I ask coming out of my room and walking into the bathroom still looking for my cologne.

"I don't think so. Rosalie is still living at home, and last I heard she switched sides."

"Too bad." Not finding any cologne I put on some more deodorant. I spy air freshener on the shelf over the toilet.

"No shit." Emmett says in sort of a whisper. I can tell he is visualizing the possibilities still. I take a close look at the can of air freshener. Misty Meadow, huh, doesn't smell bad.

"Who does that leave? Angela, Alice, Rosalie...isn't there a Jane?" What the hell, I can't find my cologne. The air freshener will do. I spray myself generously with the inoffensive smelling aerosol. Grabbing my comb I walk back to the front room combing my hair.

"Yeah, but I think she is like six or something. There's Charlotte, but I think she is at MIT or some engineering school on the East Coast. There is another one, but I can't remember her name. Jake doesn't mention her much, although I think she got into some sort of car accident last year." Emmett peeks through the curtain in the front room. "Come on, Edward, they're here."

"I'm coming; I'm coming." I say putting the comb back in the bathroom. I think about it for a second and grab a light jacket from my room.

Emmett is waiting by the door. I grab my keys, and put my wallet in my back pocket before following him through the door.

"You ARE going to have fun tonight, Edward," He insists as I am locking the door.

"Yes, master!" I answer sarcastically with a grin on my face.

"You're such an asshole!" He throws at me as we walk out to the car where Jasper and Jake are waiting for us.