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Twelve years ago Edward left Bella thinking she would be safe and happy away from the dangers of his world. She wasn't. How can he make it up to her?
Each chapter written from a different POV with some overlap as the same incident is seen from a different perspective. Some new characters of my own imagination.
You know, all the recognisable characters are not mine. They belong to Stephanie Meyer and I hope I've used them in the spirit in which she created them.
29. Edward - Beaming
Word Count 4337
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There was something going on at school that shouldn’t be. People’s thoughts were so chaotic and loud that it was hard to actually listen to any particular mind.
“Dalton Gaines has a knife and is threatening Miss Swann!” That was a voice, not a thought.
Everybody reacted. I wasn’t even noticed.
I got to Bella’s classroom just as the crowd outside screamed.
I pushed my way through and saw Bella fall to the floor, her hand pressed to her chest and blood leaking through her fingers.
“Bella! Bella! Are you alright? Bella!”
“Hello Edward. Yes I am fine. Listen, can you get a message to Masen for me please. No doubt gossip will do its magic and by the time the news gets to him it will be a blood bath. Tell him that my carbon fibre rib cage took most of the force so no fatal injuries. However, I will need some stitches. And Edward, please make sure that Alice doesn’t see me like this. You know how squeamish she is about blood. Edward, did you hear me?”
I looked at Bella and heard all she wasn’t telling me as well as what she did. I sat on the floor and put my hand over the cut to feel for myself that she was telling the truth and called Alice.
“Yes Alice, I’m with Bella and yes there has been an incident. Bella says you’re not to come here because she knows how squeamish you are about blood. Yes she is injured but fine. She wants a message to be passed to Masen to that effect, her rib cage saved her.”
I looked at Bella. She smiled her gratitude to me.
“Dalton Gaines, you are under arrest for the attempted murder of Isabelle Swann” and the police officer read Dalton his Miranda rights.
I took a quick look into the mind of Dalton. He actually wasn’t sorry that Bella didn’t die. For some reason he just wanted the knife to be taken into police custody. He hoped his father was going to sweat blood.
I immediately peaked into Mr Gaines’s mind. He was terrified that the police would run a lot of forensic tests on the knife. Who knew what traces remained?
“I think you need to do full forensic analysis of that knife in case it has been used in previous crimes” I said. “If the budget doesn’t allow for it, I know my family will pay the full cost.”
I looked at Mr Gaines letting him know that he was about to be caught for whatever he had done before. I got a quick glimpse of a woman, she was terrified. He shut down the thought before I could tell what he had done to her but I would find out.
The EMTs arrived and looked at Bella’s cut.
“Wow, you were lucky that it didn’t kill you” one said. “If it had slipped between your ribs that would have been it for you. It must be your lucky day.”
I looked at the man as if he were mad. Bella just laughed at him.
“Yep, who would have thought that I would ever be glad not to have ribs but an almost solid carbon fibre rib cage? The knife hit the cage and I think Dalton probably cut his hand as the arrested force made his hand slide down the knife.” She even sounded like she was sorry for the boy! As far as I was concerned, he was already dead; he just didn’t know it yet.
“Edward, can you collect all my things and, after school has finished for the day, drop them off at my house on your way home for me please? And if it’s not too much to ask, can you take a piece of fish out of the freezer so it can defrost before I get home from the hospital? Thank you, that would be a great help.”
I knew what she was doing and why but I was incensed. It wasn’t right that I should have to act all unconcerned when the woman I loved was injured.
I bent over and whispered “I’ll play it your way, love” so quietly that no one else would hear.
“If you speak to Masen, tell him that as much as I love him, he does not need to come to my rescue this time. Thanks Edward. Make sure Alice is alright please, and my stuff!” and she was wheeled away.
I looked around the class room. The Principal was looking lost. The police officer was putting the knife in an evidence bag and Mr Gaines looked devastated.
“I think you’ll want to call your wife Mr Gaines” I said in such a way that the Principal looked at me with approval for my attempt to be helpful.
I collected all of Bella’s belongings and took them to Alice’s car where she was waiting for me. We didn’t wait for school to finish for the day, we just left.
“I only saw it about half a second before it happened. Why didn’t I see it earlier?” Alice was angry with herself and frustrated.
“Dalton Gaines was high. He probably didn’t know he was really going to do it until then.”
“Oh. When we get to your place you need to shower, change and destroy those clothes you are wearing. Is it not affecting you at all? It’s driving me nuts. I might have to get rid of the car.”
It was only then that I realised that my clothes were covered in Bella’s blood. The scent would linger in the air and in the leather of the car seats. But it didn’t affect me at all.
“I’m sorry, I’ll buy you a new one. You can use mine until it arrives.”
We got to my and Bella’s home and Alice called Carlisle for an update while I immediately did as she asked. I could hear Carlisle’s voice.
“She’s fine. It only bled so much because of the blood thinners. It’s a relatively small cut and needs only a few stitches. I’ll drop her off at her house on my way home so there’s no need for anyone to worry. The police will take her statement at the hospital so that I can monitor her heart during questioning.” Carlisle didn’t say, but I knew it was also so that the police wouldn’t see my personal belongings about the house, although Bella had made sure that everyone knew that there was a man in her life.
Alice called Esme to tell her what had happened and to explain why she wouldn’t be at home until after Carlisle dropped Bella off. Once again I heard the sub text, so that I wouldn’t be left alone and tempted into doing something stupid.
After I was showered and changed I burned my clothes in the fire. Then I remembered, Bella wanted fish for her dinner. I had to focus on the everyday tasks of life.
“She wouldn’t want you to do anything, you know.”
“I know. I’m telling myself that I can’t risk any action I take being linked to this attack on Bella or it will be harder for her. I have to do what’s best for Bella no matter how much I hate it. It was exactly like this after Port Angeles. At least this time I know the perpetrator is in custody.”
Alice flittered around the room making slight adjustments to where everything was placed so that it was all just so. “She won’t notice you know” I said to her.
“I know, and even if she did she wouldn’t care. But I can see that it wasn’t quite right so I am putting it right. Perhaps some flowers would be nice. Bella doesn’t have hay fever does she?”
“No she doesn’t. Here, take my car and go and get some” and I threw my new car key pad to her. “I promise I will still be here when you get back. I will just do some work on the computer to while away some time and will not leave the building.”
I could tell that Alice wasn’t sure whether or not to trust me. “Alice, you would see if I changed my mind. I promise I won’t.”
She still wasn’t one hundred per cent sure of me, but Alice decided to give me the benefit of the doubt and went shopping for some flowers to welcome Bella back with.
I got to work on the computer.
Four weeks ago a woman was raped and stabbed in Anchorage. The police were at a dead end. I hacked into the police computer system to get the identity of the victim. It was the woman in Gaines’s thoughts. So that was what it was all about. Somehow Dalton found out what his father had done and he didn’t know how to deal with that knowledge.
I now had to figure out a way to make sure that Gaines Senior paid for his crime.
Bella arrived home before Alice got back with the flowers. Where had she gone for them?
“Do not get all protective. Even Carlisle will agree that I am fine” Bella greeted me as I hugged her.
“Actually, this time she is right. There is no need for concern and she can go to school tomorrow with no extra precautions other than checking the wound” Carlisle agreed.
“See!” and Bella beamed at me.
“Okay love, I won’t go all protective and smothering if you will do me one big favour.”
“What’s that?” she was suspicious.
“Get showered and changed and let me burn those clothes before Alice gets back.”
“Goodness! Yes, of course. Carlisle, is the dressing water proof?”
“Yes, you can shower.”
I followed Bella to the bathroom. “I had to burn my clothes and Alice’s car stinks of your blood so I said she can use mine until I can get her a new one. It shouldn’t affect a human so I thought of suggesting she give hers to Angela or Lizzie. What do you think?”
“Lizzie. It’s her birthday next month and we can give it to her then. It’ll make Jake so jealous.”
I agreed and took her clothes while Bella took a shower.
“Would you like to tell me what really went on?” Carlisle asked me.
And I told Carlisle of all I read in the Gaineses’ minds and what I found out since then.
“So that is why we are paying for a full forensic analysis of the knife, in case there is still trace evidence on it from the previous attack. Good work son. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help again” Carlisle said, referring to the time he helped with the legal apprehension of the man who was going to attack Bella in Port Angeles thirteen years’ previously, as he left.
I got Bella a fresh set of clothes out and realised that I wasn’t hovering like I would have done five months previously. Bella could manage to walk to the bathroom and shower unaided and I knew it. I felt very proud of myself!
She came into the bedroom wrapped in a towel.
“Do you mind if I look?” I asked.
“Given that you have been really good and not insisted on carrying me to the shower I think you deserve a reward.” There was obviously no fooling Bella.
The wound was only an inch long, a clean cut with no bruising. I could understand why she was so blasé about it. Given all that she had gone through in the past, it was nothing. I bent to give it a gentle kiss.
“In a few days time I’m not even going to know it’s there” I complained.
“It’s a good job you have an excellent memory then. But on the off chance that you do forget, I could always ask the police for a copy of the ‘photo’s they took.”
“That’s okay” and I told her that Carlisle had gone home and that Alice had just nipped out to get some flowers “To welcome you back, but I don’t know where she went to get them.”
Bella gave me one of those looks that all men recognise: the one that asks us if we’re sure we’re not mentally deficient. “What car is she driving?”
I got it. Alice was driving my new Porsche Dynamite. She had probably already picked up Jasper and they would be on their way to somewhere hundreds of miles away. I would be lucky if she remembered to come and collect us for school the next day.
I told Bella what I heard in the Gaines’ minds and what I found out since I got home.
“I knew that whatever was driving Dalton had something to do with his father. That poor boy. What must it have done to him to have that knowledge about the man he respected above all else. And I never thought I would feel sorry for Daria Gaines, but I do. Sooner or later it is all going to hit the fan and in a town this size she is going to become the most talked about woman ever.”
“Why am I surprised that you would take that stance. Sooner or later I am going to realise that if a normal person thinks one way, you are going to think the opposite. I suppose all that means I am not allowed to wait for all the furore to die down and go and kill Dalton?”
“You suppose right. I wouldn’t mind if you were to break his hand or something like that. But if you really want to administer justice, wait and see what happens to Mr Gaines legally and if it’s not enough, you can break both his knee caps, ankles, elbows, wrists and shoulders. That should hurt him for a long time.”
I couldn’t help it, I had to laugh. “I do like your sense of justice love, no blood, just pain.”
Then Bella beamed at me.
“I can’t wait. I need you now!” and I picked Bella up and carried her to our bed.
“Are you alright?” Bella asked me, piling on the guilt.
“What about you, Bella? My god! I was like an animal. I am so sorry. How can you ever forgive me? Are you very hurt? Should I call Carlisle?”
“I didn’t know you were into bragging. For goodness sake get over yourself. Did I at any time ask you to stop?”
Bella’s words, and her tone, brought me up short. She didn’t sound hurt or devastated. Perhaps she was going into shock. “Bella, look around you. I have practically destroyed the room. You have to be hurting.”
Bella looked around the room. “Damn it, I liked that dressing table. Can you repair it or make one the same? And why am I covered in feathers?”
“Forget about the dressing table woman! What about you? How hurt are you?”
“A minute ago, not at all, now very ‘coz you broke my dressing table and don’t care.”
I took a deep breath to try to calm myself. It didn’t work. I looked at Bella’s face trying to gauge for myself how bad she was hurt. The look on her face was priceless. She looked totally bewildered as she picked off feathers from her body.
“I’m sorry love. I think I got carried away and bit into a pillow.”
“But why would you do that?” she asked.
“So that I didn’t bite you perhaps. Come on, let’s get us and this mess cleaned up.”
“I am not cleaning up any mess. You made it, you clean it up. It will take me forever to get all these feathers out of my hair!” And she tried to pick feathers out of her long hair.
I couldn’t help myself, I had to laugh at her. “Let me help love” and I started to pick feathers out for her. “I do love you Bella. You bring me so much joy.”
Bella’s disgruntled expression softened. “And I love you. You bring me such joy too. Let me see if I can find my hairbrush out of what’s left of my dressing table to help with the feathers.”
As Bella stepped off what remained of the bed she squealed “Ouch! That hurts!”
“What is it Bella? What hurts?”
“My foot. How could I have hurt my foot?” and she fell back onto the mattress and lifted up her foot. I immediately saw what the problem was.
“I’m afraid you have a splinter in your heel, quite a large one. I’m sorry, let me get it out.”
“Can you get the Jacuzzi going so that I can get in it as soon as you’re done, please?”
I went to the bathroom and set up the Jacuzzi and returned with the first aid kit. As soon as the splinter was out I carried Bella to the bathroom and set her down in the tub with her hair flowing over the side. In no time at all I had all the feathers out.
“You relax while I try and clear up the bedroom. I don’t know how I’m going to do it though.”
“Try the vacuumer. If that doesn’t work, give me twenty minutes and I’ll come and help” she contradicted her earlier statement.
Luckily for my peace of mind the vacuumer did work and I soon had all the feathers and small pieces of wood in the garbage disposal. The next thing to worry about was the bed, one of the bedside tables and the dressing table. I would have to build a complete bed frame again, and ask Esme to make another dressing and bedside table or make them myself. For the time being, we would have to put the mattress on the floor.
“Are you ever going to join me in here?” Bella shouted.
“Not if you want me to get this room tidied. It’ll have to be a quick shower for me I’m afraid.”
“What else was there other than the feathers and the dressing table?” she sounded resigned.
I walked to the bathroom “You’ll see” and had my quick shower.”
“Why are there no fat looking vampires when you can have skinny ones?” Bella asked me, seemingly out of the blue.
“There are, you’ve just never met any of them. There’s just not that many of them. I expect it’s because of the condition of the heart of overweight humans.”
“Hmm. Why are you all gorgeous?”
“I told you this before, to attract ...”
“... your prey. I remember now. I just didn’t link it to the fact that I find you irresistible, but I’m not at all attracted to the others despite being able to aesthetically appreciate their beauty.”
I was rather pleased at that.
To show how much progress Bella had made since I started giving her physiotherapy, she was able to get out of the tub herself with no assistance from me. She didn’t usually have to unless I was away hunting and this was the first time I had seen her do it. She wrapped herself in a large towel and beamed at me.
“It was that smile that got you into this mess in the first place” I said and she beamed even more. “I’m not destroying any more furniture so get that look off your face” I mock scolded.
Bella walked to the bedroom and stopped still at the door. “What did you do to my bed? You destroyed the whole bed and not just the headboard? What got into you today? I mean I enjoyed it, very thoroughly enjoyed it in fact, but still.”
“It’s worse than you think. The mattress is pretty torn up too so we’re going to need a whole new bed not just bed frame.”
“It’s a good job you can afford it then isn’t it?”
I really did love that woman.
Then she dropped her towel and turned to get something to put on from the closet.
“Oh my god Bella!” I was shocked at what I saw. It was bad.
“What now?” she didn’t seem to be at all concerned.
“Your bottom, Bella. It’s a mass of bruises. My hands!”
Bella just raised a brow in puzzlement and went to a mirror to try to see what I meant. For a second she looked horrified, then she burst into laughter. On each of her bottom cheeks was the imprint of one of my hands.
“Oh my gosh. This is so funny!” and she turned to look at the other cheek. “You’ve branded me. It’s a good job no one sees my bum. Well, aren’t I in for some very nice aftercare as a result of that?” and she continued to find it humorous.
“Doesn’t it hurt at all?” How could it not hurt, she must have been in agony.
“Now which answer will do me the most good? I suppose it will have to be the truth. I can feel them, but no they don’t hurt. So do I still get my after care?”
I felt so guilty that I didn’t know what else I could do except agree to her outrageous request. Outrageous because the deliverance of such aftercare would usually result in more of the same, except a lot slower and gentler.
“Later, I need food and to do some marking. And I suppose I ought to find out what happened during my missed lessons”. Bella wondered out to the living room without putting something on.
I grabbed a robe for each of us and followed her.
Bella was doing her school work and I was playing the piano, with the ear plugs, when a car drove up. It wasn’t one I was familiar with but I recognised the mind of the driver. I quickly switched off the power and taking my ear plugs with me hid in the bedroom, closing the door behind me.
“Principal Skerrit! This is a surprise. Come in” Bella said when she opened the door. I only hoped that there was nothing of mine in the room that clearly belonged to me as opposed to potentially any male.
“Hello Isabelle. I just wanted to come and see for myself that you were alright.”
“I’m fine. Carlisle stitched me up and it will soon be completely unnoticeable. I’m glad you’re here. Could you tell me what happened with my lessons that I missed?”
“All lessons were cancelled for the rest of the day. Nobody was in the mood to concentrate. Your classroom has been cleaned and hopefully all the blood is out. You worried me, you seemed to lose so much blood.”
“As you know I have a seriously damaged heart and without blood thinners it wouldn’t be able to pump blood to all my extremities. It’s only because of the blood thinners that it took so long to stop bleeding. It really isn’t a serious wound because my rib cage prevented the blade from penetrating below the skin.”
“Oh, good. How did you know there was a problem with Dalton? No one else noticed?”
“I think some of the pupils did. But my last school was in Harlem. Drug misuse was a common problem there and all the staff learned to recognise the signs.”
“Oh. I never thought it would be an issue here though in Carcrix. How could he get them here? I’ve never heard of the town having a drug problem before.”
“I expect he got them from Anchorage. And I hate to burst your bubble Principal, but I could tell that some of your older pupils have also experimented, it’s just that, at a guess, it was always at the weekend so that it wasn’t a problem in school.”
I could read the Principal’s thoughts and he was devastated at Bella’s statement. He was so sure that his perfect school in this perfect town would have none of the problems of a big city. It was a blow to realise that the problems were there but it probably took an outsider to spot them.
“Well I’ll let you finish your work. No doubt you’ll be taking a couple of days off. Do you think you’ll be back by Monday?”
“I won’t be taking any days from work. In the grand scheme of things, this little cut isn’t even worth remembering. I’ll be back at school tomorrow.”
I could tell that the Principal was thinking about the other times Bella had been injured and thinking that if being stabbed was barely worth remembering perhaps he ought to have been a bit more pastoral in his care for his staff. He particularly remembered the time when Bella had been kept standing in his office. He wasn’t sure how to manage someone like Bella. I enjoyed listening to his mental floundering.
I called Esme and asked if she would be kind enough to make Bella another dressing and bedside table. I didn’t say why Bella needed them but I’m sure Esme guessed when I said that I would have to build a new bed frame.
“How is Bella after the incident at school?” Esme may have been subtle, but I still realised she meant how is Bella after a bout of wild sex?
“The Principal was just here and was surprised when Bella told him that she would be in school tomorrow and that the little cut was barely worth remembering given everything else that had happened this year.”
“Hmm, Carlisle did say it was only superficial and that he hasn’t even had to increase her pain medication.”
I was pleased that Esme was reassured that I had done no undue harm to Bella in my passion. I didn’t think that a bruised bottom and a splintered heel counted, although the bruised bottom might turn out to be painful over the next couple of days. It’s a good job that Bella could stand more than she used to!