Saturday, April 23, 2011

CBWR? Chapter 52

Author's Notes:
Doh!!!  That's the second time I posted a CBWR? chapter on my regular blog, then realized I had it in the wrong place and had to delete it and move it.  Hehe - sorry about that.

Jumping ahead a bit in this chapter...gotta move along now. :)\
I know some people (myself included - ha!) have been having issues with the email alerts.  Sorry I can't really do anything about it.  They do seem to come...eventually.  You can always follow me on twitter or check the Twilighted thread - I usually inform everyone in both of those palces when it's been updated.


And it scared the shit out of me.

Chapter 52

It was still really early in the morning, and the summer air was still cool as I stepped out the sliding screen door and onto the little cement patio in the back of the cottage. I dropped down into one of two small plastic chairs and lit up.

Four weeks.

We hadn’t left the cottage except for quick stops to the local market for food. Even then I made a point of making sure we wore hooded sweatshirts and dark glasses. I wasn’t going to take any chances of some random security camera catching a glimpse of us.

Back in the states, Rosalie and Jasper worked on trying to deactivate the chip. One of the slaves had apparently found a doctor willing to try removing it, but it didn’t go well at all. She didn’t make it – died right on the table. I didn’t tell Bella about it, but I would if she ever pushed to find a doctor willing to do the surgery to remove it. No way in hell was I going to let her take that chance. The last report I got from the Hales was some success with EMPs stopping the signal for a while at least, though it seemed to come back after a day or so.

It would be better than nothing.

During the day, Bella tried to learn a little German by watching television and quizzing me on common words and phrases. I had done a lot of my legitimate business in Germany, and I knew enough to be able to hold a conversation and watch the local news, which was more than adequate for my needs. Other than being able to pay for groceries and whatever, I didn’t plan on holding a lot of lengthy, deep discussions.

At night she slept in bed with me, and when she had nightmares I held onto her until she calmed down enough to sleep again. I never said anything apart from reminding her that it was a dream, and that she was safe. If I had learned one thing during any of this, it was to shut the fuck up about ninety percent of the time. Anytime I wasn’t sure exactly what to say, that’s what I did instead. Sometimes I still had to answer one of her questions or something, but otherwise I stayed quiet.

Bella talked.

Bella talked a lot.

I took the last long drag of my smoke, stubbed the butt out in the ashtray, and lit another one. I did my best to get all my smoking in while Bella was either asleep or otherwise occupied. I could tell it really bothered her when I smoked, though I didn’t understand why. She kept saying it was bad for me, but really – who would give a shit if I keeled over from lung cancer, really? Regardless, I had cut back quite a bit just due to the circumstances, and tried my best not to smoke right in front of her, even though sometimes when she started talking about her childhood, I really, really wanted one.

Bella talked about her parents and her friends at school. I was a little surprised to hear she still had a year left of high school, since she was obviously really smart. I didn’t know why she would have started late or been held back or something, but I didn’t ask either. I also didn’t ask why she never mentioned what her father did for a living, though I could probably guess. Part of me wanted to call her out on it, because she talked about her mom’s job as school principal quite a bit, but never talked about Cop Daddy.

I guess if I was in her position I wouldn’t have mentioned it either, but it did make me wonder if she realized that I already knew. I figured that she didn’t, which is why she wasn’t brining up his career. Then again, she was obviously bright – she had to have picked up on me not asking what he did, too. I guess that kind of put us at an impasse of sorts.

I had found enough articles on the internet to reassure Bella that he mother was fine, and had recovered from most of her injuries. That had served to keep her from asking me about calling them every single day. I had taken to sleeping with the phone. I also found plenty to tell me her parents were completely distraught, and had pretty much put their lives on hold to search for her. I didn’t show such things to Bella, though I felt bad that I was kind of deceiving her. We were half way through the stretch now – in another month, she could call them. It would be hell on them all in the mean time, but at least by then I could make sure she was safe and it wouldn’t happen all over again.

I wanted to get her back her parents.

But I sure as hell never, ever wanted to meet her dad.

Something told me Cop Daddy would not take too kindly to the guy responsible for his daughter’s kidnapping and enslavement. Nope, pretty unlikely, despite what the same guy might have done to get her out of it. Yeah, I was not going to be invited to the Policeman’s Ball or Christmas Dinner or whatever the hell cops did to raise money for whatever the hell they needed to buy. Or was it charity for something else? I had no freaking idea.

I’d probably donate anyway, if he’d let me.


Because over the past four weeks, I got a look into the way a family was supposed to be, and I had never known anything like it before. Bella told me about trips to the zoo the three of them took, and how her dad held her hand when she got scared going through the Nocturnal House and she saw the vampire bats. I heard about Bella cooking weird food with her mom, and the way her dad would try to eat it, even when it was awful. I learned about bedtime stories, holding on to the back of the bicycle, and swinging a baseball bat at tennis balls.

I had never heard of any of this before.

For the first time in my life, I figured out the way other people had lived, and how different it was from the way I grew up. Part of me figured I should be angry about it – I mean, no one ever did any of that shit for me – but I just wasn’t. If anything, I felt more dead inside than I had before.

It reminded me about some of the shit Jasper said to me out on the balcony. I didn’t know how to deal with people, he had said. What the fuck was that supposed to mean, anyway? I knew how to deal with people, didn’t I?

All right, fine. I didn’t.

I just wasn’t sure what difference it made.

But now…now I was starting to understand something else. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but I knew…I just knew that it should make a difference. I should want to know how to cope with people. If not people, a person. One person in particular.


Because ever since we danced on our wedding night, if you could call it that, I could not get her out of my head. The more she talked about her life, the more I wanted to know. I didn’t know if any girl I had ever met or dated before had ever talked about their past – I really couldn’t remember. If they had, I didn’t listen because I didn’t care. But listening to Bella was like crack or something – I couldn’t get enough of it.

And it scared the shit out of me.

I stubbed the cigarette out as I heard the bedroom door open and Bella walked sleepily into the kitchen to make breakfast. She always cooked breakfast as soon as she got up – usually just eggs and toast, but sometimes it was something more elaborate, depending on what we had to the kitchen. Yesterday she bought blueberries so she could make blueberry pancakes.

I was pretty sure I had never had blueberry pancakes before.

Her gaze met mine through the screen door, and I knew by the look in her eye that she was on to me and my early morning nicotine fests. I gave her a bit of a smile and a shrug before I went back inside, slipped past her in the kitchen and went to take a shower and get the smoke scent off of me.

At least she didn’t have to smell it, right?

Chapter End Notes:

I just send my hubby to the store for blueberries.  Its bad when what you're writing starts influencing your real life like that, isn't it?  Or as long as I stick to blueberries all is okay?

Working on the UC Outtake for Fandoms Fight Tsunami relief the rest of the day.  Unless I get stuck on that, I probably won't end up posting again until tomorrow, but you never know. :)