Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chapter Two: Paved with Good Intentions

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BELLA

The first thing Bella did after she left the pawn shop was find a gas station. She put fifteen dollars worth in the tank, hoping that it would get her through the week at least. Once she was back on the road, she thought over the strange proposition and the even stranger man it had come from. Emmett was still a question mark. Bella didn’t think he was a ‘good guy’ or a ‘bad guy;’ he seemed to walk the line in between. However, even though she had been prepared to alter her morals slightly, she found it difficult once she was actually faced with it.

Alice. I’m doing this for Alice, she kept repeating.

She could do anything if it meant keeping what was left of their family together. Besides, she couldn’t really see anything illegal in what Emmett was proposing, but she was a cop’s daughter so she knew that when something seemed to be too good to be true, it usually was. There was no sense worrying about it now; she’d already agreed to meet Emmett’s “associate.” Imagine her shock when she learned it was Carlisle Cullen. She had never actually met the man, but everyone in Forks knew who he was.

Carlisle Cullen was the first staff surgeon at Forks Memorial Hospital, starting long before Bella was born. He had married his childhood sweetheart, Esme, and had two small children. One summer his family went on vacation without him and never returned. No one was sure whether something sinister had happened or if his wife had merely left him. After that, he dove into work with exuberance and made a name for himself throughout most of the state as the heart surgeon. He made the hospital, as well as the community a lot of money by bringing in big cases, but no one really knew anything about him. According to town gossip, he went to work, then went home. That was it. No one ever saw him at the diner, the grocery store, or church.

In the years before Charlie passed, he and Dr. Cullen spoke often and they had become unlikely friends. His job almost always found him at the hospital for one reason or another and they bonded over sutures and late night domestic disturbance calls. Bella always thought that part of her father felt guilty for thinking the doctor was involved in whatever had happened to Mrs. Cullen and the kids. The story was now their very own urban legend, and Bella would be meeting with the infamous doctor tomorrow morning.

Right now, she needed to focus on Alice and what would be done with her remaining eighty-five dollars. Some of it had to be put away for Alice’s school supplies. She could send in a few dollars to any one of the bills she owed, but it was figuring out what was the most important and even get them something good to eat for dinner since she knew there would be more money coming her way tomorrow. Emmett had called before, telling her what she needed to know, but she only heard the promise of more money.

“That was Doc,” he said, which was how he referred to Carlisle.

“He said that he’ll pay you two hundred dollars tomorrow just to come out to his place and talk to him for awhile.”

Bella was stunned. Two hundred more dollars just to talk to him?

“Seriously?” she asked, doubting him a little.

“Haven’t I proved my word is good?” he asked, referencing the money she’d already taken from him. “Besides, he said he recognized your last name and knows you’re trustworthy. He did ask that you bring your sister with you, though.”

“My sister? Why would he want that?” Bella found this to be a peculiar request.

“I have no idea. All I know is that he’s willing to pay you before you even agree to a thing. Look,” he said, concern showing in his eyes as he softened his voice, “I know him, he’s not a pervert or anything. Both of you will be safe. If it makes you feel better, I could
probably arrange to have someone go with you.”

“You would? Why?”

“Baby girl, you sure do ask ‘why’ a lot. Hasn’t anyone ever done anything nice for you? This is really important to Doc; he’s waited a
long time for it. He’s a good guy, and he’s not about to screw up now that he’s so close. Just go and meet him, bring your sister, make a
couple hundred bucks. No funny business, I swear. If you don’t like what he has to say, you’re free to leave—no questions asked.
Okay?”

“Okay,” she acquiesced.

Emmett gave Bella the address, and assured her that someone would be there, either himself or another “associate.” All he really said was that Dr. Cullen had lost something valuable to him and he wanted it back. After years of searching for them, he had a solid lead but needed a fresh face to help him out. Emmett insisted she would be perfect for the job and sent her on her way before she had a chance to form any concrete thoughts.

“Bells! Are you going to get out of the car?” Alice yelled from the porch. She hadn’t realized she was home already.

“Yeah, I was just thinking about something,” she said as she got out of the car.

“It must have been important, I called you three times.”

“As a matter of fact it was. What would you like to have for dinner tonight?”

“That’s easy: steak, potatoes, corn on the cob, and then chocolate cake for dessert,” Alice told her, practically salivating at the thought.

“Then that’s what we’ll have,” Bella said proudly.

“Don’t tease. That’s not funny, Bells,” she said, frowning.

“I’m not kidding, Ali. I got some money today, and we’re celebrating.”

“Really? What are we celebrating? Where did you get money? How much did you get?”

“I may have a job that will pay a lot of money,” Bella told her, deliberately answering only that question.

“That’s great, Bells!” Alice said and hugged her sister.

As Bella held her sister, she was glad that she came by this money. Alice was always thin, but Bella would bet that she’d probably be able
to wrap her arms around her slight frame twice. How had she not noticed this before? Of course, Alice never complained about food, she
was always happy to have her milk.

Well, no more, Bella thought. Tomorrow after we meet with Dr. Cullen, we’re going food shopping. And I’m taking that job with him no matter
what it is. I can’t let my sister slowly starve to death.


Bella made her resolve, content that she now had a plan, and knew that no matter what, she had to keep her sister healthy and safe. She would
start a very small savings account for Alice, too, this way she would have access to money should anything ever happen to her. It made her
sick to have to think like that, but after losing Charlie, and the way their mother left, Bella would make sure that Alice was taken care
of.

“C’mon, let’s go to the store now!” Alice said, excited to be given this gift.

They arrived at the grocery store, the same store where she’d applied a job the previous day, and began to walk up and down the aisles.
Bella was making a mental list for what she would buy tomorrow. She also made sure to grab a flier so she can see what was on sale.
Although they had the money right now, Bella was still judicious with her choices. She found the two cheapest steaks, the lightest potatoes,
and smallest ears of corn. The cake … that she splurged on.

During dinner they talked about Alice’s upcoming school year. It would start in two weeks, and she was excited and slightly nervous. Bella
assured Alice she’d do well, giving her the lowdown on all of her potential teachers. Alice was a bright girl, and very outgoing, and
Bella had no doubt she would do well both academically and socially.

That’s when Bella realized she’d have to have the talk with her sister.

Shit, how do I even bring that up? Oh my God, what if she came home pregnant? What would we do?

“Bella!” Alice chastised. “I’m talking to you. Seriously, where are you tonight?”

“Sorry, just thinking about you starting school and how grown up you’re getting.” And how you’re going on the pill. Tomorrow. There’s a
Planned Parenthood in Port Angeles, Jessica always said they were cheap.


“Well, since I have your attention, I’ll tell you all over again how, when school starts, I’m going to see if there are any babysitting jobs
around town, or if they need help in the office. This way I can start saving up for college or to even help around here. What do you think
of that?”

“I think you should be a kid and enjoy yourself instead of worrying. But it might not hurt to see if anyone needs a babysitter. As long as
you keep up your grades.” Bella didn’t have the heart to tell Alice what she was really thinking, which was without good grades, if Alice didn’t get some sort of scholarship, college was out. There was no way Bella would let that happen.

“I promise. Now tell me about this job,” Alice asked.

“Well, I’m not really sure about all the details but actually tomorrow morning we’re going to Dr. Cullen’s house.”

“What? Really? Dr. Cullen? Why am I going?”

“He asked that you come along. You know him and Dad were really good friends before we were born,” Bella told her.

“Yeah but that doesn’t explain anything. What would you be doing for him?”

This was where it got tricky. Since Bella barely knew any information, it wouldn’t be like she was completely lying. “I’m not sure yet, maybe just some personal assisting stuff? You know he’s written a lot of books and does some online lectures. Probably needs someone to set up those sorts of things and meetings. Boring stuff.”

“Oh, that does sound boring. But he’s loaded, and since he’s a hermit, he’ll probably pay really well.”

“Alice, that’s not nice,” Bella admonished.

“It’s the truth though.”

“Okay, it is, but please don’t say anything like that when we meet him.”

“I promise not to embarrass you. Or Dad,” Alice promised.

They cleaned up the dishes and ate the cake in front of the TV. When it was time for bed, Bella locked the house up tight. She took to propping a chair underneath the front door as a precaution. The next morning as she was finishing getting ready for her meeting, Alice called her from downstairs.

“Bella!”

“What, Alice?”

“Who do we know that drives a Hummer?”

“No one; this is Forks,” Bella said, just as she heard a car honk its horn.

“Then who just pulled into the driveway?”



EDWARD

“I knew you’d see things my way, Edward,” Aro said.

“Just as long as we understand each other.”

“Haven’t I always been a man of my word? After all, a man is only as good as his promise.”

“Is this all the information I need?” Edward asked, not wanting to get into a verbal pissing match.

“There are a few more things that you’ll need. They’ll be here momentarily.”

The door opened and an attractive older woman came into the room carrying a duffel bag. She walked towards Aro, smiling at him adoringly.

“Ah, Renee. Thank you, my dear,” he said, taking the bag from her and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

“You’re welcome, Aro. Is there anything else you need?” she asked, glancing towards Edward with a small smile. He noticed she had the darkest brown eyes he had ever seen, and they would have been beautiful if they weren’t so void of feeling.

“No, you’re free to go,” he said, dismissing her.

When she passed Edward, he made sure to get a good look at her. She gave Edward a smile and left the room.

“As I’ve said, all my resources are available to you. This is a sort of starter kit. I expect daily reports.”

“Of course,” Edward said stiffly. He knew the rules, he’d help create some of them, but it didn’t mean he had to like it.

“You may leave now.”

Edward took the bag and was making his way towards the door when Aro’s voice stopped him.

“And Edward? Don’t do anything foolish. I’d hate for any accidents to happen.”

OoOoOoO

Edward paced around his apartment in between his bouts of packing. He would be leaving first thing in the morning. Knowing Aro, it was best
for him to leave as soon as possible. Since he had no intention of returning, Edward decided to pack the few things that were irreplaceable, and would call the landlord while he was on the road to tell him he could sell the rest of his stuff and rent out the apartment. There was the slight possibility that it would take a few weeks before Aro discovered Edward’s duplicity.

He was sure that Aro would be more concerned with watching where Edward went rather than where he had left from. Maybe if he played this by the book, things would go smoothly. Checking the contents inside the duffel bag, he was not surprised by what he found. There were the requisite fake documents, a few disposable cell phones, cameras, and enough high-tech gadgets to boggle MacGyver’s mind.

Edward closed the blinds and made sure the door was safely locked before he pried open a floorboard in his bedroom. This was where he kept his weapons, real documentation, extra money, unsent letters to Jasper, as well as anything else he didn’t want found. He cleaned it out, adding the items to the bag.

Edward thought about what Aro had said to him, about going back to school, and what his dreams were. All he wanted at this point was to get out of the game. He was sick of being Aro's puppet. Maybe if he could really get free—and he had every intention of doing so—he would get to see his
brother again.

Jasper would be almost sixteen now, and Edward often wondered what he was like. When Edward left home, Jasper was still a little kid, who looked up to his older brother and followed him around all day long. Did he turn out to be a baseball player like he’d always talked about? Was he a brainiac? Or did he fall in with a bad crowd and turn into a delinquent like Edward had? If Edward had been around, how would it have affected Jasper’s life? This was something that he thought about at night when he was trying to fall asleep. Everything he did now was for his brother.

It was nearing midnight, and Edward was emotionally spent from his meeting with Aro. After making sure the apartment was locked up tight, he crawled into bed, hoping that tonight he’d sleep through the night. Just one night was all he asked for. The sounds of the city below helped lull him.

Tonight his dreams changed. The demons became angels, damnation became salvation, and despair became hope. However, the secrets still remained.






read more of Wytchwmn75 on her Fanfiction page or her blog.


NEXT AUTHORS UP:

CH3 KiyaRaven
CH4 coolbreeeze
CH5 Delandora
CH6 LolaShoes

7 comments:

Mrs. The King said...

Great job, baby! Loved it. Of course, Emmett is so damn sexy. Thank you so much for participating. ~MTK

carminnemain said...

Excellent addition!
I am glad I read the first chapter this morning.

The anticipation in the story is wonderful!

Carola said...

This is such an amazing idea. The first 2 chapters have been great and I am soooo intrigued by the whole thing. Cant wait to read more.

Delandora said...

Really good job on the 2nd chapter. Definitely looking forward to 3 and 4 before I write 5. Can't wait!

yogacat said...

Awesome. I love how Renee popped up. This is so much fun. I hope you guys enjoy writing it too.

lisazj said...

Carlisle's family? Is that what they're looking for? But that would mean that Aro had a hand in them disappearing, and doesn't want Carlisle to find them again?

Friggin Renee. Her being in the picture certainly complicates Bella being involved.

Edward thinks he has a few weeks before Aro discovers his "duplicity". Can't wait to find out what that is. Great chapter!

rebadams7 said...

Ah Renee
Cold brown eyes say it all

Nothing good will come of her, and those girls are dans le mileu!

dark before the light, but there will be light!
someday

Reb

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