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Enduring Love

Summary:
Story Banner Edward leaves more then just Bella behind during New Moon. Unbeknownst to Edward, he leaves Bella pregnant and in more danger then he could have ever dreamed possible. Now three years later a reunion is possible, will they finally be a family or will a new danger stop that from ever happening. Story Banner by Pixiefanpire


Notes:


7. Chapter 7

Rating 4/5   Word Count 6213   Review this Chapter

Chapter 7

(Bella’s POV)

I could tell you with absolute certainty that the first seventeen years of my life had been easy. Yes, I had a mother who was more childlike than parental, with a tendency to need me to be the adult in our relationship. I also knew that in my first seventeen years, I didn’t get to see my father nearly enough while I grew up, but the most painful thing I ever had to go through was the death of my Grandma Swan.

Unfortunately, the last four years have made up for my lack of troubled times as a child. In fact, in the last four years my life has been in a constant state of danger, heartache, loss and physical pain, but I wouldn’t change one thing … well I almost wouldn’t change anything.

When Edward had first come into my life, I felt as though I were living a dream; the best dream possible. I fell in love, and not like the typical hormonal teenage girl kind of love – the kind where the girl only feels “like” towards a boy and it lasts all of about ten minutes before moving onto someone else. No, I fell in love; it was the kind of love where you feel fireworks exploding, like your heart is bursting, you’re floating on air and you know you’ll never be the same. It was the kind that only comes along once in a lifetime.

When Edward and the rest of the Cullens left, for a long time I had difficulty comprehending how I was going to get through life without him by my side. I became a zombie; I didn’t sleep and I didn’t talk to anybody unless I had to.

When I finally comprehended the fact that I was pregnant, something inside me woke up. I realized that Edward wasn’t able to take everything that would remind me of him. No … he left me the best possible reminder I could have ever hoped for.

Being pregnant at eighteen wasn’t an ideal situation, but I wouldn’t have changed that for anything in the world. Granted, I would have preferred to have been blessed with a mother who would have stuck by my side.

Where the students I had gone to school with had an excuse of being young and immature, my mother had only herself to blame for her reaction to my news. Even finding out months later that her one and only child was classified as terminally ill didn’t have an effect on how she felt about me.

While I made my way to Drew’s room, I remembered when I first met him; even when he was sick he had a smile on his face that had the ability to take away some of the darkness I felt. Our schedules usually worked out that we wound up at the hospital for our chemo treatments on the same days, but that wasn’t the only thing we had in common.

Though he had only been twelve years old at the time, we had both had similar stories of abandonment. No, he didn’t have the love of his life walk away from him like I had, but we did both have mothers who turned their backs on us; we both also had stepmothers who made up for the inadequacies our biological mothers had. It wasn’t long before Drew became like a little brother to me. He’d tell me about the girl or girls he had a crush on, but he also told me how much he hated being treated differently by all of the students at his school because of his illness.

I helped him with all of the schoolwork he had missed so that he didn’t get held back, and he helped me learn how to listen to music again. He explained how at some point I had to get over my issues with music. I had told him as much as I could about Edward and why it hurt so much to listen to music since he had left, but he reminded me that I had two little babies that I had to think about. He convinced me that I could once again find joy in music, and if I found it difficult at times that I should remember my children and how they deserved the right to understand their father’s love of it. It felt like it took forever, but eventually with Drew’s help and a lot of baby steps along the way, I once again found myself able to appreciate music.

I had been so happy for Drew when he had gone into remission shortly after I had. It was especially impressive considering Drew had achieved his remission through conventional means; with the help of the chemo he was able to kick cancer’s ass, while I had attained mine in other ways.

By the time I reached his room, I thought I had prepared myself for what I would see; I was so wrong. As more tears fell down my cheeks I was shocked by the scene in front of me. Even though Drew was asleep, the bruises under his eyes made it look as though he hadn’t slept in weeks; he looked like a very broken, very sick young man.

He was normally so full of life. When I had seen him in June, he was excited about the cross country road trip they were going to take over the summer. Back then his body, though gangly from a recent growth spurt, still seemed strong. However, the sight that greeted me in that hospital room looked way too pale and skinny. He was so thin that if I didn’t know better I would have thought he was battling some kind of eating disorder.

I walked up to his bed and lightly brushed my fingers through his light brown hair. When he opened his eyes and saw who it was, he whispered, “Hi.”

“Hi.” I bent down and kissed his cheek before asking, “Why didn’t you call me?”

A lone tear slid down his cheek before he replied, “I didn’t want to upset you.”

“Drew … you have to know that I’m more upset about the fact that I had no idea you were going through any of this. I wish I had been told right away – I could’ve come to you. I would’ve tried to make arrangements for you to come live with me. I would’ve made sure you were getting the proper medical treatment.” My hand just kept rubbing his cheek and sobbed, “You’re my little brother, Drew – I love you.”

He sniffed, with his own attempts at stopping the waterworks. “I love you too, Bella. I’m sorry.”

He moved over in his bed enough so I could get into the bed next to him. Once I was on the bed I held him close to me as we both cried. “Shhhh! It’s okay … I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m scared,” he whispered.

“I know you are,” I responded and placed a kiss on his forehead. I could only imagine the fear and grief he’d dealt with since his parents’ death. I knew I wouldn’t be able to take away his fear, but I made a promise to try and relieve some of the grief he was bogged down with. “Dr. Lawson said you’ve refused treatment; is that right?”

He looked up at me and I saw the resignation in his eyes. “I don’t want to die being sicker than a dog because of the chemo. I want to be able to have some kind of peace at the end.”

The hot tears trailed down my cheeks at his words. I understood what he meant, and I knew there was no talking him out of it. “Okay, well … I can understand your feelings about that.”

He graced me with a half-smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “I knew you’d understand my feelings on this. Thank you.”

“There is no need to thank me for anything.”

He placed his tired head on my shoulder and I asked, “Is there anything special that you want?”

“Do you mean like a special meal or something?” he asked.

“Well that wasn’t exactly what I was thinking, but if you have something in mind just let me know and I’ll go get it.” I replied before I continued on with an explanation. “I want to make sure that you’re not alone, especially now. I thought … that is if you wanted … I don’t know … Did you want me to see if they would allow you to be released into my care? I could try to get a larger room at the hotel, or I could rent an apartment.”

He didn’t respond right away, and I wasn’t sure if he was thinking about what I had just asked or if he had fallen asleep. Finally, he answered, “Would they even allow you to do that? I mean even though I think of us as family, I know we’re not. I don’t know who’s responsible for me anymore.”

I thought about what he had said, and realized it may be near impossible to have him released into my care. “I guess I’m not sure. I can talk to Dr. Lawson about it; she may know if there is a social worker assigned to you. I can try. Would you like that?”

I felt the shoulder of my dress getting wet and realized he was crying again. “I would like that a lot,” he sobbed.

“It’s settled then. I’ll ask her as soon as she gets here.”

(Angela’s POV)

Just like the night before, we used the conference phone in the Cullens’ hotel room to find out what Jake had to tell us. In that moment I didn’t know whether to feel dread or fear when it came to what we would find out, but I knew from his tone when he had first called that it wasn’t good. When I looked around it was plainly evident on the faces of everyone with me that I wasn’t the only one concerned.

When Jake finally answered his phone I got started. “Okay Jake, please tell us all what’s going on.”

“I will, but can I go off topic for a minute to ask a question?”

“Go ahead, Jake,” Carlisle calmly answered.

“Which one of you followed Bella this morning?”

I was surprised by his question, but when I looked around I could saw that I was the only one who was unsure of what Jake was talking about.

“Alice and I went down to the underground tunnel,” Emmett answered quickly. “We wanted to see if we could get a glimpse of Bella on her way to the hospital.” Emmett looked as though he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “How did you even know that Bella had been watched?” he asked.

“You could say … Bella has developed a bit of a sixth sense,” I stated.

“What do mean?” Alice asked.

“She can sense when she’s being watched. She can also somehow tell if that person is somebody dangerous or someone she can trust.” I explained.

“This morning, when Bella was around half way to the hospital, she stopped and looked around. Emmett and I were hidden, so we didn’t think much of it,” Alice informed us. She looked towards the phone. “Did she think she was being watched by somebody dangerous?”

“No,” Jake answered. “In fact, she could tell that whoever was watching her hadn’t meant any harm, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t pissed. She hates being watched without being informed ahead of time. She made us promise her a while ago that we would never watch her unless we let her know first.”

I snorted, remembering what had happened the last time she was watched without her consent. Though I found it amusing, I knew very well that Paul still felt some resentment towards Bella, but I guess wounded pride could do that to a man.

Edward must have heard my thoughts about that day because the next thing I knew he was bent over laughing hysterically. Seeing his amusement at my thoughts triggered my own laughter as I once again replayed ‘Rambo Bella’ in my head.

“What’s so funny?” Jake asked.

“It’s … nothing … Jake.” I could barely get the words out I was laughing so hard. “Edward … just … saw … what … Bella … did ... to Paul.”

“Oh.” He said and snorted. “The pack likes to replay that little scene to Paul and Jared anytime their egos get a little too inflated.”

“You mean she actually did that?” Edward stopped laughing and looked at me amazed. “I thought Angela was just thinking about something Bella had wanted to do.”

I had finally gotten my laughter under control. “Oh, she most definitely did that.”

“Bella’s no pushover, and she refuses to be treated like a weakling.” Jake added.

“What on earth are you guys talking about?” Emmett asked, exasperated. “I really hate these private conversations you’re always having, Edward.”

“Sorry. The last time Jake and Seth had to leave the area for an extended time period, they had wanted the pack to check in on all of us while they were gone. Unfortunately, Sam went a little above and beyond. Instead of stopping by or calling the house to make sure everyone was okay he arranged for guard dogs to stake out her home.” I was cut off at that point by Jake.

“I resent the terms guard dogs, Ang.” Jake sounded a little annoyed.

“Sorry, Jake. You know I didn’t mean anything bad towards you, but at the same time you weren’t there, I was. Jared and Paul were acting like your typical guard dogs. They even growled at Bella when she stepped out the backdoor of her own house.”

“Yeah, I know they growled at her, but you also know that I chewed them out for that when I got home. If you put yourself in their situation, how would you have reacted if you watched the person you were looking out for come outside with a shotgun in their hands?”

At that Emmett laughed. “Wait, are you telling us that little Bella Swan pulled a gun on a couple of werewolves?”

“She may be little, but since Charlie found out about the kind of danger Bella had been in, he wanted to make sure she could handle a gun if it was ever needed. They go to the shooting range together probably once a week. In fact, he loves to brag to everyone he knows that he’s the father of the best shot in the state.” I could see looks of disbelief and amusement on the faces around me.

“Did Bella shoot the wolves?” Esme asked, looking concerned.

“No, but she sent them a warning shot that grazed the fur on the top of their heads.” Jake said, and I could hear the pride in his voice, and when I looked around I could see at least all of the men were equally impressed.

“When did you find out about this morning’s situation?” I asked, curious as to when it had come up.

“Well, she called and left a voicemail message for me. She informed me that she knew that you were keeping something from her, and that since she couldn’t reach Seth or me by phone she had a suspicion that it may have something to do with the pack. If her tone weren’t irritated enough when she told me that she became irate when she mentioned something about being watched and that if we’ve put another protection detail on her without her consent that…”

When he didn’t say anymore I looked around the room. Where Esme, Carlisle and Edward looked concerned about what Jake said, the others had a look of anticipation on their faces.

“What did she say?” Emmett asked with excited eyes.

Jake cleared his throat. “She said if we’d issued a watch over her with her approval that she wasn’t going to give a warning shot this time.” He cleared his throat and quickly said, “She would pump my ass so full of buckshot that it would take me a week to be able to sit down again.”

“That’s my girl!” I heard Emmett shout in glee, before he turned towards Edward. “Your girl has turned into quite the badass, little brother.”

Edward just shook his head and grinned, while the rest of the group wore a mixture of amused and shocked expressions by Bella’s threat to Jake, especially Alice and Rosalie, who were sitting on the couch giggling over the entire situation.

After everyone was done finding amusement in what Edward called Bella’s tiger-kitten routine, Alice decided to say something. “Angela, it sounds like being a bad liar is something that both you and Bella have in common. She was never able to lie convincingly.”

“Actually, that’s all changed. She seems to have gotten really good at lying…” Jake trailed off before he added, “She lies so well that I was completely caught off-guard by what I just found out.”

“What do you mean, Jake?” I asked.

“When I spoke to Bella a little bit ago, she became too upset so Dr. Lawson got on the phone to tell me what was going on. She told Bella not to worry, she would handle the explanations that needed to be told and she sent her off to be with Drew.”

“Who is Drew?” Edward asked.

“Drew … well in the simplest term to use when describing Drew would be …” I trailed off trying to find the right way to describe their relationship.

Jake picked up where I left off said, “Like a favorite little brother.”

I nodded at Jake’s terminology and continued, “Drew was twelve years old when they met at Bella’s first chemotherapy treatment. It was almost like they recognized a kindred spirit in the other person.”

“Was it something in particular that they recognized in each other?” Carlisle asked me.

“Abandonment,” I said quietly, and noticed Edward cringe. “No, Edward. It wasn’t over the abandonment that she felt when you and the rest of your family left. It was the abandonment of their mothers.”

I saw shock in all of their faces.

“Stupid, good for nothing, bitch.” Jake muttered on the other end of the phone.

“What happened with Renee?” Edward asked, while he looked at me with a very serious look on his face.

I tried to think of other things; I wanted to keep Edward out of my head as long as humanly possible. “Nothing good is what happened with Renee.” I looked at everyone before I continued, “I’m not sure if you’re aware, I don’t even know if you all have even met her, but Renee and Bella are complete opposites.”

“That’s an understatement,” Jake muttered. “But if you ask me that is a good thing. Bella is kind, dedicated to the ones she loves and has a tendency to be far too forgiving, while Renee is childish and extremely selfish.”

“But that fact is something that both Bella and Drew have in common. They will both, if given the opportunity, bend over backwards to help somebody they care about.” I shifted in my seat and looked at Edward. “Drew had the misfortune of having a mother who was incapable of dealing with the fact that her five year old child was diagnosed with leukemia. Within a month of his diagnosis, she left both her husband and Drew and signed over all legal rights of her child to Will.”

“What mother would give up their rights for the child they had raised since birth?” Rosalie asked, with a fierceness I wouldn’t want directed at me if I could ever help it.

“Unfortunately, in these kinds of cases – meaning someone with a terminally ill child – it’s usually a long standing immaturity on the parent’s side.” Carlisle explained in a soothing tone. I had a suspicion that a soothing tone wouldn’t really help with Rosalie’s temper.

“Immature is exactly what I would use to characterize both Renee and Drew’s mom,” I whispered.

“When did Renee abandon Bella?” Esme asked. I could tell that she was conflicted, like a part of her didn’t want to know that it wasn’t only her family that had devastated Bella, but at the same time I could see that she wanted the full story.

“Renee … well she disowned Bella when she found out about the pregnancy.”

I heard Edward growl before Jake cut in. “It wasn’t exactly the fact that Bella was pregnant that caused Renee to abandon her.” I could hear Jake’s temper try and get the better of him, and when he continued his voice dripped with his anger. “Renee disowned her, because Bella refused to abort the pregnancy.”

At this Esme hissed. “She wanted Bella to terminate the pregnancy? What kind of mother would turn their back on their child, just because their daughter didn’t want to do that? I mean, Bella was eighteen; she was a legal adult; she should have been allowed to make her own decision regarding something like that.”

“I can tell you what kind of mother would do that,” Jake said angrily. “Renee would. While Bella was growing up Renee never once thought twice about telling her that she’d made a huge mistake getting married and becoming pregnant with her at such a young age.”

“Bella never mentioned anything like that to me,” Edward said quietly, yet his eyes smoldered with his own temper. It was as though he had to fight to get each word out without unleashing the vampire within. “She only ever mentioned how she felt like the parent in their relationship. How she had to be the one to make sure there was food in the house and that the bills were paid on time.”

“Yeah, well, Bella’s special. She loves her mom, no matter how cruel or immature Renee acts; to this day she still hopes that they will be able to mend their relationship.”

“Did Phil have anything to do with Renee’s reaction to Bella being pregnant?” Edward asked.

“No. In fact Bella and Phil talk on the phone all the time.” Jake said.

It really irritated me how Phil had to hide his phone calls with Bella, but that’s just how it was. “They usually talk while Phil is at work, because Renee would blow a gasket if she ever found out.”

“That’s awful,” Esme whispered. “So, not only did Bella have to deal with us leaving, being pregnant, finding out she was seriously ill, and being in danger from Victoria, but she also had to deal with her mom wanting nothing to do with her?”

“Pretty much,” Jake said.

“And that was one reason why Bella and Drew became such fast friends. They bonded over the fact that they both knew what it was like to have their mothers turn their backs on them,” I said. “They also knew what it was like to find the kind of love they were both missing from a mother when their fathers remarried. Emily was a godsend for Drew and she has cherished every minute they’ve had together.”

“Sue has pretty much been the same for Bella,” Jake added. “Sue understands what it’s like to lose somebody she loves. I know Bella didn’t lose Edward because of a death, but it doesn’t mean she still hasn’t had to deal with her own type of mourning over the last few years. Sue knows what it’s like to suddenly lose someone you love, someone you hoped to share your whole life with.” Jake’s voice became quieter and I knew he was remembering Harry. Much like Charlie had always been, Harry was like another father to Jake and it still made him sad to think about what had happened to him. “Charlie may know what it’s like to lose somebody he once loved, but he still had a verbal contact with Renee; there was no way he could’ve understood what it felt like for Sue or Bella – losing all ability to see or speak to the person you loved.”

When I remembered another thing Sue had been helpful with I smiled. “Sue also understands what it’s like to have children who are special.”

Alice took Jasper’s hand and said, “Then I’m glad that Bella was able to find that relationship. She has been through too much heartache as it is.”

“It’s only going to get worse…” Jake whispered.

“What did Dr. Lawson tell you, Jake?” I asked.

“She told me a lot.”

He was stalling, and the longer he stalled, the shorter I found my patience getting. “Jake, what did Dr. Lawson tell you about Drew?”

“Drew’s at the Mayo.”

“Well I figured he had to be there when you mentioned Bella handing the phone over so she could go see him. Is he in town for a check-up like Bella?” I asked.

“Drew is a patient at the Mayo clinic, Ang – his cancer’s back,” he whispered.

I could feel my heart jolt with that news. How was that even possible? The last time we’d seen Drew, he was a typical teenager, full of life.

“Why didn’t Will or Emily call Bella when they found out the cancer was back?” I asked.

I looked at the faces of the Cullen family. They all looked concerned – whether it was for Drew or for what this was going to do to Bella, I wasn’t sure. I only knew that they seemed to be just as concerned as I was in that moment.

When I heard Jake sigh I felt my anxiety triple and knew that whatever he was about to tell me, it wasn’t good. “They didn’t call Bella because they were killed in a car accident two months ago.”

“What?” I asked.

“After Will and Emily were killed in the car accident, Dr. Lawson believes he was unable to even think of whom to call. All he knew was that his world had been turned upside down.” He paused for a moment. “Dr. Lawson didn’t even find out about this until two weeks ago. As soon as she found out she began pulling as many strings as possible to get Drew transferred to the Mayo so that he could be under her care.”

“What’s his prognosis?” Carlisle asked.

“Dr. Lawson said something about the cancer having moved into his liver and spleen.”

From the look on Carlisle’s face, I knew it was bad.

“Has he started treatments?” I asked.

“No. Drew has decided he’s done fighting.”

“What do you mean he’s done fighting?” I yelled, my nerves finally getting the better of me. I didn’t understand – that just didn’t sound like something Drew would do. It was as if my mind didn’t want to accept what Jake had just told us.

“There is little hope, especially now, that he would even make it through this time around, and the truth is…he just doesn’t have it in him to fight anymore. Think about it, Ang. Put yourself in his place. You’ve just lost your parents in a devastating accident, and you find out your cancer is back. Not only that, but it’s worse than it’s ever been before.”

I understood what Jake said, but I still didn’t want to accept it. “He could have called Bella; she would have been by his side in a nanosecond.”

“I know she would’ve, Ang – that’s not the problem. The fact is that he was already so sick and so distraught over the accident he couldn’t think straight.”

“Did Dr. Lawson say how much longer Drew has?” Alice asked. I hadn’t even realized until I felt a cool arm wrap around my waist that Alice had moved next to me. I was so grateful we had stumbled across the Cullens. If this was as bad as Jake said it was Bella would need their support to get through this.

“The doc says he doesn’t have long. She said it could be a day, or it could be a couple weeks. It all depends on how much fight is left in Drew.”

I wiped some tears away and felt somewhat comforted with Alice next to me, but when I thought about what Bella must have been going through in that moment I felt my heart clench in my chest. This was going to break her heart.

“You said Bella was with him right now?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m sure she'll be with him as much as possible right now.”

I saw sadness in Edward’s face, but I wasn’t sure if it was because Bella was losing someone she considered family, or if it was because he was jealous over Bella’s relationship with this young boy.

Edward looked at me and whispered, “It’s the first one, Angela. My heart aches to think of the pain Bella must be going through right now. If I could, I would give anything to take that feeling away for her.”

“What else did the doc tell you?” Emmett asked. He seemed anxious to find out what else Jake may have been told.

“After Dr. Lawson told me about Drew, she told me that she knows about the pack and that she and her family would like to help us identify the vampire.”

I felt myself stiffen with shock. How on earth could she know about the pack? Better yet, how did she know about vampires? I was seriously confused. “How does she know about any of that?” I asked.

“Is she a she-wolf too?” Emmett asked with a bit of a smirk on his face, earning him a punch in the arm from Rosalie.

“No, she’s not a wolf,” Jake replied. “Actually, it appears she was Bella’s resource on half-vampire, half-human children.”

“Are you telling me that she’s like Renesmee and Masen?” I asked, astonished. I had met her a few times, and I knew for a fact that she wasn’t a vampire.

“Yes. She and her younger brother Henry are just like the twins,” Jake confirmed.

“So that’s how Bella knows what to expect when the children are full grown?” Esme asked.

“Yes. In fact, you’ve met Dr. Lawson’s brother Henry before.”

“I have?” I had no clue when I would have met him.

“You know him as Henry Jones.”

“You’re telling me that the man who sells Bella’s art work is Dr. Lawson’s brother?” This just got weirder and weirder.

“Yes.”

“Why is he going by a different name?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Jake admitted. “Maybe it’s the same reason why Bella uses a different name on her artwork.”

I guess it made sense. Bella at one time mentioned how anonymity was very important in the vampire world. Many vampires will have a couple of identities they use as a way to keep themselves safe from discovery. I looked up at the Cullens and wondered if that was something they had to do as well.

“Is Bella friends with the entire family?” Esme asked.

“I would assume so, but we didn’t really talk about it.”

“How are they planning on helping the pack?” Edward asked.

“It sounds like Henry is planning on driving up to Forks sometime tonight. He’s going to see if he can identify the scent.”

“Will that work?” Rosalie asked.

“It’s worth a shot. She mentioned that if Henry can’t identify the vamp, they could have their mom travel to Washington to see if she knows the scent.”

“Where is their mom?” Edward asked, Jake.

“I don’t know exactly, but they didn’t want to startle the pack with too much vampire activity in the area, which is why they figured it would be best if Henry goes first.”

“And none of you had any clue Bella’s doctor or her brother was like the kids?” Jasper asked. “Jake, have you ever met either of them before?”

“I’ve met the doc, but not her brother. I would have to say that they are just like the twins; they don’t smell like a vampire.”

“But the twins don’t smell human either,” Esme mentioned. “Well at least their blood doesn’t smell like human blood – it just smells like perfume.”

“That’s probably due to the vampire gene,” Carlisle speculated. “It probably has a camouflaging affect to their blood supply. That element probably protects them from other vampires.”

“Did you discuss anything else during your phone call?” Rosalie asked.

“No, not really … she mentioned there was more to tell, but it was up to Bella to tell us. She’s very grateful to Bella for keeping their secret, and said that anything else we may need to know would have to come from Bella. She said it wasn’t her secret to tell, and that Bella will tell us when she’s ready.”

What more could there be? I had a difficult enough time trying to grasp what we had just found out about Bella’s doctor. To think that there could be more information…

“Have you made arrangements to get here?” Jasper asked Jake.

“Almost. Seth has been checking the airlines to find the earliest flight available, but it looks like it wouldn’t be until eight o’clock tonight. I think it’s some kind of red eye, because we won’t get into Minneapolis until around two or three in the morning,” Jake grumbled.

“Are you going to need a ride from the airport?” Carlisle asked.

“We’ll need to figure out some kind of arrangements to get down to Rochester. I just don’t know if I can afford to rent a car on top of the expense of the plane tickets,” he admitted. He had a valid point; even with Jake working as a mechanic and my small salary through the county, we didn’t make enough to cover a lot of extras. The only reason I was able to come to Minnesota with Bella was because she covered the expenses as a thank you for watching the kids. “If it comes down to it, I guess Seth and I could always phase and run the rest of the way, but I don’t really think there’s enough tree coverage to hide two enormous wolves.”

“Don’t worry about the expense, Jake.” Edward looked at me then back at the phone before he continued, “You’re coming here to help protect Bella and my children, so I’ll cover any and all expenses you have for this trip. After everything you’ve done for Bella over the last couple of years, it’s the least I can do.”

“We couldn’t possibly…”

“Please let me do this?” Edward asked quietly. “Please … I want to … I need to do this. In fact, how easy do you think it would be to convince Charlie and Sue to come along with you and Seth?”

“What are you thinking, son?” Carlisle asked.

“I just think with everything that is going on right now; Bella could use the support of her family. If Charlie and Sue came with … I’m not positive, but I would think she would appreciate having their support.”

“I’m sure she would, Edward.” Esme smiled at Edward.

“But what will Charlie do if he finds out we’re here?” Rosalie asked. “How much does he really know about us?”

“I’m sure Charlie will be a bit upset. I mean his daughter’s heart was broken when you all left; of course he’s going to be angry. What father wouldn’t be?” I said, and noticed out of the corner of my eye how Edward flinched when I brought up his departure. “And in regards to your other question, Rosalie, I think Charlie figured out what you are a couple years ago, you know during the whole Victoria-wants-to-kill-his-daughter situation. He’s never right out and said the word vampire, but he knows the legends and he understands that his grandchildren are only half human. I’m sure he’s put all of the puzzle pieces together and has come to the right conclusion.”

“Yeah, I mean, he is Bella’s dad. Where do you think she got her inquisitive nature from?” Jake commented. “You don’t honestly think Bella got that trait from Renee, do you?”

“I guess you’re right.” Rosalie looked a little upset about that, but it looked like she would deal.

“Regardless of how he feels about me or even what he knows exactly my only concern in all of this is Bella, and I think it would help her out if they were here,” Edward explained.

“If you really want me to, I’ll ask them,” Jake said. “I’m sure as soon as they hear about Drew they’ll want to do something to help out.”

“Good. Jake, if you ask them and they are okay with all of this, let me know and I will make sure all of the travel arrangements are taken care of.”

“And if Charlie wants to call and give you the third degree?” he asked Edward. “Are you prepared to answer for your actions from three years ago?”

“I’m prepared to do anything, as long as it helps Bella in the long run.”