Title: Shadows of Another Life
Characters/Pairing: Edward/Bella, some Rosalie/Emmett, some Alice/Jasper
Rating: Overall M for Mature Audiences
Category: Romance, General
Spoilers: If you haven't read the books, you might not get some of it. This is Alternate Universe and is All Human.
Summary: Bella has just ended a long relationship with Jake. She has decided to start over in Cottonwood, Ca where her family, dad, Charlie, sister, Rosalie, and twin brother, Jasper have made home the past year without her. Can she settle in to the new town, her new career, and a new romance all while dealing with the tragic events that lead to the move?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I'm not SM. I'm just LJ, but most days I wish I was SM.
A/N: My hope is not to cause any more heart palpitations, but if you are on heart medication, please be warned. This chapter, like most of the other 18, has more twists and turns. So, please don't hold me responsible for any chest pains or difficulty breathing. You've been warned, so if you have to make a trip to the ER, don't send me the bill. LOL.
Now, the moment you've all been waiting for. Enjoy!
“Voice mail! Damn it, dad. Turn on your god damned phone.” Jasper must have thought that yelling at the phone would miraculously make Charlie pick up. He'd been trying every number he could think of for the past half hour as we drove out to Woodland. “I've got that detective's number. Should I call him?”
“No,” Emmett and I said in unison.
Emmett was driving his jeep with me in the passengers seat and Jasper yelling into his phone in the back.
“We have no idea what were walking into. We don't know how many of them there are. What if they have weapons?”
“I'm not calling the asshole who still thinks I did something to my wife. Why don't you try to get a hold of the girls. Maybe they have a number that you haven't tried yet.”
Jasper started dialing as my mind was racing with all of his questions. We didn't have any weapons, except our bare hands. Emmett and I could always hold our own in a fight. I wasn't too sure about Jasper though, but he was the guy that always seemed to diffuse the situation before it got that far. I really didn't care how many of them I had to rip apart, I was getting my Bella back that night.
“Rose. Thank god. You know where dad is?”
A long pause, with us all holding our breath, then relief. “Dad. We think we know where she is. We're heading out right now.”
Jasper launched into the story of the midwife. Once he rattled off the directions, he became deathly silent. I had no idea what Charlie was saying, but Jasper was listening intently. It was only a minute later that he shut his phone. I turned to see his face was as white as a sheet.
“What is it?”
“You're not gonna like it. You know that detective is still trying to dig stuff up on you.”
“Well, he found an account that was opened a few days after you got married. He's been trying to convince Dad and Rosalie that you've been planning this for months. Billy is making sure that if anything happens to her, it will all lead back to you.”
“Son of a BITCH!” I punched the dashboard then immediately realized that had been a bad idea.
“Hey! Don't hurt my baby.” Emmett patted at the dashboard.
“I'll buy you a new one. Let's just focus here for a second.” I took a deep breath while rubbing my sore knuckles. “What's Charlie going to do?”
“He's gonna get the SPD, then get a hold of the chief in Woodland. He said not to approach the house. We need to wait for someone to get there.”
All I wanted to do was go charging in head first into the house and beat the hell out of Billy Black. I had to be smart about it though. I had to make sure that when all of this was over, I wouldn't be the one to end up in prison. But if it came down to it, to get my Bella back, I would kill Billy Black with my bare hands.
“This is it.” Emmett pulled up in front of the long drive. From the road we could see three trucks and what looked like the van that had taken Bella from the garage.
“That's the van.” I could feel the adrenaline surging through my veins knowing my Bella was only feet away. I had a feeling it wouldn't be long until the police would get there, so if we were going to do something, it had to be now.
The three of us got out of the car. Emmett and I armed with only our bare hands and Jasper with a tire iron. We crept along the outside of the house, which if there hadn't been cars out side, we would have thought was deserted. The windows on one side were boarded up, but I saw some light peeking through one of them. I peered in. There I saw three very large dark skinned men. I could only assume they were part of Billy's tribe. No Jacob and no Billy.
“Over here!” Emmett had found another window and was peeking inside. Jasper and I rushed over and carefully looked in. Bella was sitting on the bed, squeezing Jacob's hand as he was stroking her back. I could feel the rage boiling over inside of me. The urge to rip the boards away from the window was almost unbearable. My knuckles were white from the way I was squeezing them so tight.
“Billy!” I heard Bella scream. Her voice was strong, but I could tell she was in pain.
That was the moment it all came to me. “This is what we're gonna do.”
Each minute felt like an hour. With every second, I continued to pray that Sue had gotten a hold of Jasper and that my family was on their way. The only way I was going to make it through the pain was to keep the thought of Edward holding our baby girl fresh in my mind.
I pretended to sleep while Jake was quietly sitting next to me. Every few minutes, I would hear a page turn. Billy must have been nice enough to give him something to keep him entertained. Every once in awhile, I would feel his hand rubbing up and down my side. His meager attempt at comfort I'd guessed.
My little one was making it increasingly difficult to relax. I felt myself panting after awhile which alerted Jake that I was no longer sleeping.
I grabbed onto Jake's arm, pulling myself to sit up beside him. “I'm fine. It's just indigestion I'm sure from all that crap Billy calls food.”
I saw a smile tug at the corners of his mouth. I couldn't help it.
“There you are.” That was the smile of my best friend. I could finally see the eyes of the boy I once knew. The boy that carried me ten blocks after I'd fallen off my bike and broken my arm. That boy who would do anything to keep me safe.
I let him lace his fingers through mine. He brought my hand to his lips, kissing my clammy skin. He wanted to speak, but I already knew what he would say. He mouthed “I love you.”
“I know,” was all I could say as a tear fell from the corner of my eye.
The sudden safe feeling was ripped away when a wave of pain tore through my body. It was a hundred times stronger than any pain I'd had before. I squeezed Jake's hand so tight, I thought I might have broken it. When the pain finally passed, I realized Jake was rubbing my back and kissing my hair. He glanced at the clock as we began to keep track of how often the pain was coming.
That was it. We concluded the pain was coming four to five minutes apart. I was definitely in labor. When the pain was becoming unbearable, I screamed for Billy.
“I think you'd better get that midwife back here.”
He came over to sit at the foot of the bed with a panicked look on his face. “She said, just today, it'd be weeks.”
I grabbed his hand and held it in a vice like grip. “Listen! I'm telling you, I'm having this baby. If you want to sit here and deliver it yourself, be my guest. I'm just telling you, she's coming now!”
Another wave of pain hit me as the door flung open.
“Quil?” I gasped for a few breaths. What the hell is he doing here?
“We've got to get out of here. The boys watching the hotel said Edward and his brother's took off about forty-five minutes ago. He thinks they're coming here. They lost them just before they hit town.”
“I'm not going anywhere.” I scooted back on the bed, holding onto the mattress for dear life.
Billy looked at Quil. “They could be here any minute, Billy.”
“Then let's get to the other house. We can be there in less than half an hour. I'll have Sue meet use there.”
I was grasping at Jake's arm. The pain was so intense, I was sure I was going to pass out. “I told you, I'm not going anywhere!”
“Quil, carry Bella to the car while I get Jake in his wheelchair.” He stood to go help Jake into his chair.
I let my leg slip off the bed and when Quil came to grab me, I flung it up as hard as I could between his legs. He stumbled back to the corner of the room. “I just want to help. Jesus Christ, Bells!” He was doubled over in pain as I heard a clicking noise beside me.
“We can do this the hard way you know.” I turned to see Billy pointing a forty-five caliber pistol at me.
“You're not gonna kill me.” I knew after every thing, the one thing he was desperate for was to keep me alive.
“Maybe not, but I can still make it incredibly unpleasant.”
Before I could move, he released a shot. The blood seeped from my arm where the bullet had grazed me. In a flash, Jake had ripped the sheet and tied it around my arm. He really just shot me, didn't he. The look on Jake's face was one I'd never seen directed at his father before, pure, unadulterated hate. Jake lunged at Billy taking him down to the ground.
The next few seconds were all in slow motion. The two of them writhing on the ground. The sound of crashes coming from the other room as Quil ran out. Then, the shot.
I looked down just as Jake was rolling off of Billy. Blood pouring from his chest, dripping from the corner of his mouth.
I rushed to Jake's side as Billy slid across the floor. The noises were getting closer and louder, but Jake was all that mattered at that moment.
I tried to put pressure on the wound, but there was just too much blood. His enormous brown pools were brimming with tears. He knew. He brought his blood soaked hand to my cheek. My eyes were flooded, my chest was heaving in pain.
“Jake, I forgive you. Please, please, don't die on me.”
His voice was less than a whisper. “I love you, Bella.” His hand fell slowly to his chest, his eyes closed, and he was gone.
I turned to see Billy pinned against the wall, the gun still trembling in his hand.
“Look what you did! He's gone.” I stood up trying to wipe away the tears and ignore all the sounds around me. All I wanted to hear at that moment was the sound of my fist meeting Billy's face. I reared my hand back and swung as hard as I could. I'd never punched anyone in the jaw before, but I could tell from the blood spilling from his nose, I must have done it right. I continued pounding on him, punching as hard as I could until he dropped the gun. I went for my first instinct and went straight for it.
“Please, what? Let you live? After everything you've done, they'd give me a medal for killing you. You just killed YOUR ONLY SON! How does it feel knowing the one thing you've been fighting so hard to protect is dead by your hand?”
I saw Quil being thrown down the hallway and a large crash. I assumed it was the wall falling under the weight of his body as the house shook. I turned my eyes back to Billy and held the gun between both of my hands. I felt my finger tapping on the trigger. I wanted to squeeze.
“Bella, put down the gun.”
I threw one of them down the hallway, smashing him through the drywall. When I stepped in the doorway, Bella was holding a gun on Billy and Jacob looked to be dead on the floor.
“Bella, put down the gun.” I tried to sound as calm as possible. I knew I didn't want her to kill him, but I wouldn't blame her if she did.
Her head turned to me in one sweeping motion. Her eyes met mine and I saw that beautiful smile my heart had been craving.
“AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHH!” She doubled over in pain as she let the gun drop from her hands.
I grabbed her while pulling her up to the bed. Billy slid down to the floor as I heard him to sob uncontrollably.
“It's alright. I'm here now. The police are on there way.” I held her in my arms, swearing never to let her go.
“She's coming Edward.”
“She'd coming now?”
All she could do was nod as Jasper barreled into the room.
“Oh, shit.” He dropped to his knees to feel Jake's pulse. He shook his head from side to side.
“Every thing's gonna be fine. Jasper, call and make sure an ambulance is on it's way. Bella's in labor.” I heard him start dialing as I pulled back to take in all of my Bella.
“What about him?” She sent the most evil glare I'd ever seen to where Billy was sitting.
“I'm sure the police will take car of him.”
Her eyes still locked on him. “He needs to pay for what he did to Jake.”
With Jake at her feet and the gun in her hand, I assumed... How could I be so stupid. “Billy shot Jake?”
She turned to me with a nod when I realized blood was seeping from her arm. “My god, Bella. He shot you too?”
Her glare went back to Billy as she nodded.
“Ambulance should be here in a minute,” Jasper said as he shut his phone.
“You better tie him up, 'cause if I get my hands on him, I can't guarantee he'll leave this room alive.”
Jasper was eager to reply to my request as I turned my attention back to Bella.
Only a few minutes later and I could hear the sirens. Within two minutes, we were in the back of an ambulance heading to the hospital.
“Oh, no,” Bella uttered as we were tearing out of the drive.
“What is it?”
“I think my water just broke.”
“She was waiting to know it was safe.” I kissed her hand as the EMT was checking her over.
“Yep, looks like it finally broke. We must have got to you just in time. You're already a five. Now that your water's broken, it should go pretty fast.” The EMT got on the radio to relay the information to the hospital. I blocked it all out as Bella pulled me down to her lips.
“I knew you'd find me.”
“I'm never leaving you again.”
They rushed us from the ambulance straight to the labor and delivery floor. They had a surgeon stitching her arm as the OB was checking the baby's progress.
They got out the ultrasound machine to check the baby's position. “She's ready to go. I think we're gonna have a baby in a few minutes.”
The doctor introduced herself as Dr. Weber as the nurses got her gowned and gloved. There was a table with twenty different instruments that I didn't even want to know what they were for. They rushed in a baby incubator with oxygen and a huge machine attached to it.
“We're just taking every precaution. You're little one is coming a little early. We just want to make sure we have everything in place if she's having any trouble in her new environment.”
I just nodded. I was so nervous, but that was nothing compared to what Bella was going through. They started an IV on her and gave her some pain medication.
“I'm sorry, Bella, but there is not going to be time for an epidural. You think you can start trying to push?”
“Yes. Yes, I'm ready.”
I squeezed Bella's hand as she held in her breath and pushed down.
She was so beautiful, so strong. She didn't scream. She didn't cry. She just concentrated on breathing and pushing.
“Okay, Bella. The head is right here. One more big push.” Bella squeezed her eyes shut as Dr. Weber's mouth dropped open. It turned into a smile as my daughter finally made it into the world.
Not a sound, not even a whimper. Dr. Weber cut the cord. She handed her to another doctor and three nurses. They all started working on helping my little girl to breathe.
“What's wrong? Is she okay?” Bella was trying to sit up to see them working on her across the room.
“They're going to clear out her lungs and get her some oxygen. Looks like she swallowed some fluid.” I went over to Bella, kissing the tears from her cheeks.
God, please don't do this. Not now.
That's when I heard my daughter's first cry. I was never so grateful in all my life to hear a girl I loved cry her little heart out. Bella let go of my hand as the nurse waved for me to come over.
I stepped to the tiny space where she was lying. “Sweetie, here's your daddy.”
I hadn't really felt it until that moment. I was a dad. She had her perfect ten little fingers and ten little toes. A small tough of my bronze colored hair on top of her head. She wrapped her tiny little fingers around my pinkie as she breathed in the oxygen from the mask she was wearing.
“Five pounds, six ounces, and seventeen inches long. She's a big girl for only thirty-four weeks,” the nurse commented as they were wiping her off.
“Did you hear that? Five pounds, six ounces.”
Bella's face was beaming. She blew our daughter a kiss then I laid one on that perfect tough of hair. She finally opened her eyes to me, an amazing shade of pale blue. I'm sure that would change soon. I was hoping for the dark brown I'd grown accustomed to.
“Hey there, little one. Daddy's right here. Thanks for waiting till I could be here. I'm so proud of you.”
The nurse put a diaper on her and swaddled her in a blanket. “So, is she just sweetie or does the girl have a name?”
I looked to Bella. That was exactly what we were deciding when we were getting out of the car the other night. “You can't make me wait any longer. You have to tell me.”
She smiled as she wiped a tear from her cheek. “Carly. Carly Marie Cullen. What do you think?”
“It's perfect.” I looked down on my Carly. “Welcome to the world, Carly Marie Cullen.”
A/N: Wow! That was really hard to write. Not as hard as chapter 4, but still really difficult. I knew from the beginning that Jake was going to meet a bad end, I just didn't know how. I think since Billy took him hostage too, he let go of all of his anger and just wanted Bella to be alright. He gave his life to protect her. I cried like a baby and I was the one writing it!
I know I didn't really explain the boys kickin' ass and takin' names, but I tried to imply it. Let's just say that Quil and his two buddies won't be up and around for awhile. Emmett will give a little commentary on it in the next chapter. That's right I'm not done yet. So keep reading and commenting.
If you're interested, I just posted some of my first original fiction on fictionpress.com. Pictures for the "Redemption" characters are in the banner on my journal. I'll be posting a seperate journal entry on my lj with a summary later. I would love to know what any of you have to say.