Monday, May 16, 2011

CBWR? Chapter 90

Author's Notes:
Don't hurt me, or I can't finish the story!!
It was from Bella.
Chapter 90:
I could hear a lot of yelling and screaming, and I felt my arms being released as I slumped down to the ground right before I blacked out.  I woke up in the prison infirmary feeling about as shitty physically as I already did mentally.
It helped, actually.
I opened my eyes and looked into a strangely familiar tanned face.
“Hey Edward,” he said, and the sound alone made my head feel like it had just spilt open and a yoke fell out of it.  “Remember me?”
He really did look familiar.  Fucking huge guy, too.  He was really tan, and had black hair and eyes.
“Yeah!”  He literally beamed from ear to ear.  That hurt my head, too.  “Don’t try to move or anything, okay?  You got pretty…um…beat up.”
“Yeah.”  I didn’t really care to have any further elaboration on the topic.
“Don’t worry, man,” Seth said.  “You gave me a job when I needed it, so I already made it clear to the rest of them – they don’t come near you, or they have to deal with me, ya know?”
It was coming back to me a bit – Seth ran guns for me four or five years ago, then became part of Alice’s pack after that.  He got himself caught because he couldn’t stop joyriding in expensive cars.  Alice got sick of bailing him out, and let him take the time for grand theft instead.  That had been eight months ago.
After two days in the infirmary, Seth pretty much stayed at my side wherever I went.  At nearly six and a half feet tall, and built like he did nothing but life weights all day, no one seemed too interested in messing with him.  I got the same treatment defacto.
Life in prison is weird when it comes to the relative nature of time.
Days absolutely crawl by – like, it takes about six hours for every minute to pass.  But at the same time, days and weeks just kind of magically disappear.  There’s so little to actually mark any change from one day to another that very small things tend to stand out.  When someone got a letter from someone who loved them on the outside, or maybe a visit from someone, everyone listened to it.  It ranked a lot higher than television.
In my first year of incarceration, I had exactly two visitors and one letter.
The first to visit was my public defendant.  He had a lot of paperwork for me to sign, including an annulment for my marriage to Isabella Cullen.  He told me the options were to either sign it, or they’d have to go through months or maybe years and possibly fraud charges against one or both of us to have it completely voided.  I didn’t want Bella to have to deal with that, so I just signed them and tried to pretend it didn’t make me grow even colder inside.
The second visit was from a Ms. Mary Brandybuck.  Ms. Brandybuck looked a lot more like Alice Brandon than a hobbit, but I guess that didn’t raise as much suspicion at the visitor’s desk.  I was brought to the visiting room and placed in a little cubicle with an orange phone hanging on the pegboard wall.  I picked up the receiver, and Alice did the same.
“I’m honored,” I said dryly.
Alice smirked and glared all at once.
“Just wanted to let you know everything’s good on the outside,” she told me.
“Got all the chips in barbecue flavor, I assume?” I asked, hoping I wasn’t being too cryptic.
“No problem at all,” she replied.  “Our mutual techie friend lives for that kind of shit you know.”
I nodded, and then I looked into Alice’s eyes, rimmed with heavy black eyeliner.  The flecks of gold in her hazel irises glimmered in the harsh fluorescents.  They were not the least bit friendly as they narrowed at me.
“I’ll have you know,” she said as she leaned in a little closer, “that from the very beginning of all of this, I fully intended to complete this job by ending you.”
I felt the blood drain from my face.
“But seeing you here now, I kind of think this is more fitting.”
I nodded a little.  Yeah, honestly, I’d take the bullet right now.  Alice leaned in even closer to the Plexiglas.
“You been fucked over yet?”
I looked up.  The glimmer was still in her eyes.  I nodded once.
She slammed the phone back in its holder, then stood up, turned on her heel and walked out of the room.
The letter though…the letter was different.
It was from Bella.
It came shortly before the calendar marked my first year in prison.  It had obviously been opened and examined and then sealed up again, but I didn’t care.
I wish I knew what to say to you, but I don’t.  I want to explain everything, but I don’t think it really makes any difference now.  I want you to know that I didn’t expect you to do this, but I think I understand why you did.
When I wouldn’t testify against you, everyone was so angry with me, especially my dad.  The prosecutor and another police officer kept yelling at me until my dad finally told them they couldn’t talk to me anymore.  I figured out they couldn’t make me testify since we were married, and it would take too long to get the whole marriage license revoked.  I thought it would mean they would have to drop the charged, but then they said you were going to plead guilty and I didn’t know what to do. 
I know everything that happened was my fault, and I’m so sorry.  I know they found us because I called home.  I know how stupid that was now, but I just couldn’t think of them going through that whole day thinking I was probably dead.  I couldn’t do that to them.  I didn’t really think they could trace the call like that, and I thought it would take more time to do it, and we’d already be on our way back. 
I wanted to see you, but no one would let me.  I had to actually sneak out of the hotel and walk twenty blocks to get to your hearing at all, and then when I got there it was too late.  I wanted to at least be able to talk to you before they took you away, but as soon as you were walked out my parents put me on a plane back to Washington.  I don’t have enough money for a plane ticket, and I’m pretty sure my truck isn’t going to make it all the way there.  I want to see you.  I want to talk to you – I really do.  I just haven’t figured out how yet.
Someone you know came to visit me while we were still waiting for your trial.  She used some funny little thing that looked like a remote control near my head, and said it worked.  I wanted you to know that.  I wanted you to know that everything you did for me worked out.  You saved me.  I know you did, and I hope you know it, too.
I asked one of the guys at my dad’s station about prison sentences and how long before you could really be out.  He told me you could be out in eight years.  That’s not really so long, is it?  I promise I will come and see you as soon as I can figure out how. 
Please be careful, and take care of yourself.
I lay down on my cot and held the letter next to my chest.  I could almost smell her on the paper, and hoped it would help me sleep.  It really didn’t, and even after lights out, I kept holding it up to try and re-read it in the green glow of the emergency lighting outside the cell, which didn’t work well.  Finally I lay back on the pillow with the paper underneath my head.  I took my hand and lay it against my cheek, slowly brushing stray hairs from my forehead and rubbing my own temple.
I could at least remember and pretend, right?
Chapter end notes:

Okay - that's at least better than leaving you with the last one, right? 

I swear, things will start going uphilll now.

Stop by the forum and berete me -

CBWR? Chapter 89

Author’s notes:
Method to my madness…everything happens for a reason.  Trust.  Sometimes there is only one way to achieve absolution in one’s own mind.
I was numb, and the feeling was quite welcome.
Chapter 89:
All prison hallways should be referred to as gauntlets.
Various yells, comments, and even fucking singing were thrown out at me as I was led between two long rows of cells to number 242D. There was an electronic buzz, the door slid to one side, the guard released my wrists from the handcuffs, and I was pushed inside.
At least it was a single cell.
I sat down on the edge of the cot, rubbed my wrists, and stared at the cement floor. The ride from the city to the state penn had taken most of the day, and it was only ten minutes after I was placed in my new home when lights out was called, and I was thrown into darkness.
I didn't sleep.
I probably should have spent the night contemplating my missed steps in life to figure out just what I could have done to steer myself in the right direction, or some similar bullshit.  I didn't.  I didn't think of anything.  I didn't feel anything.
I was numb, and the feeling was quite welcome.
When the lights came back on, I was still on the same spot.  I blinked my eyes a few times, but otherwise didn't move.  One of the guards came walking down the aisle, taking and giving insults back and forth with the other prisoners.  The electronic buzz sounded again, and the door to my cell opened. I didn't move.
A few minutes later, the guard paused at my door.
"New guy!" he called out. "Cullen, right?"
I just nodded.
"Time for breakfast, Cullen."
I turned my head and looked him over.  He was about my age, a little shorter but very muscular.  I guess you would need to be.
"Do I have to go?" I asked.
The guard shook his head.
"You should," he told me. "It only gets served once."
I didn't really have any other grand plans for the day, so I followed the line of inmates to breakfast, avoided speaking to anyone, and tried to force myself to eat something.
It didn't work.
I spent most of the day in the courtyard not watching other guys play at basketball and hacky-sack.  What I really wanted was a smoke, but I didn’t know where to get one.  Finally, I saw the guard who had taken me to breakfast, and I asked him where some smokes could be obtained.  He glanced around the courtyard, then pulled one out of his pocked and handed me a match.  I found a bench that was off around the side of the yard, partially hidden from everyone else and sat back to smoke.  The sun was warm on my face, and I just closed my eyes while I sat there.
I had maybe smoked half of it when the warmth disappeared, and I opened my eyes to find a really, really big guy standing in front of me.
“Hey new guy,” he said.  His voice was menacing at the very least.  There were others coming up behind them – six others.
You know that little down in the pit of your stomach feeling of dread?  Yeah, I had that.
“What cha in for?” he asked as he tilted his bald head to one side.
“Um…”I stammered.  “A few things, I guess.”
I tried to shrug it off, but I knew…I knew it wasn’t going to work.  Three of the guys moved to my right, further blocking the view of the rest of the yard.
“Like what?”
“You know,” I tried to laugh it off.  “A little of this, a little of that.”
“I heard he likes fucking little girls,” one of the guys in the back piped up.
Oh shit.
I looked up to the face on the guy in front of me, though I couldn’t see him well with the sun right behind him.  I considered trying to explain, but there wouldn’t be any point.
“Is that so?” he said as he took a half step towards me.  I tried to remain as calm as I could, slowly inhaling my cigarette and not making it obvious that I was looking for some direction to run or the eye of a guard to catch.  I didn’t see either.
My cigarette dropped, burning the edge of my arm as he suddenly reached forward and grabbed my hair, using it to pull my head backwards and to the side.  His foul breath crawled over me as he leaned forward.
“I got a daughter, you sick son of a bitch,” he snarled.  “Get him on the ground.”
Even if I could have fought off this many of them, I knew this was going to happen.
My shoulders were wrenched down towards the cement, and I felt my cheek tear as it hit the edge of the bench and then the blacktop below.  As the pain ripped through me, all I could think about was Bella and what she had been through because of me.  Nothing I did – not killing Aro, or James, or any of the others could take that away from her memories.  I had raped her…guilty as charged.  Now I was being punished. 
An eye for an eye, right?
Chapter end notes:
I would not leave you here!  Next chapter coming VERY SOON!  Like…minutes from now.
Deep, cleansing breaths…

CBWR? Chapter 88

Author's notes:
Sorry, this is pretty much un-edited.  I thought I'd better get this out before running to the school band concert, for fear there would be people with pitchforks on my lawn if I made you wait any longer.
FYI - I kept the state where Edward lives annonymous on purpose, so I can decide what the laws are.  Artistic license, anyone?

It’s not for you, fucker.
Chapter 88
Garrett Milton sat next to me and flipped through a bunch of documents, grumbling under his breath the entire time.  The prosecuting attorney, Phil Dwyer, shuffled in the door and plopped down across from me, followed by his assistant – a little dark haired guy with dorky glasses and an armful of paperwork.
I knew him.  We’d been in court a few times before, but I had always been exonerated.  He hated me with a passion, and the feeling was definitely mutual.  The look in his eyes was nothing more than sheer glee now that he had his sights on me again. 
Garrett immediately started going through the list of charges and going on about how there wasn’t enough evidence for this and that, and how he basically suggested dropping everything and calling it a day.   Dwyer looked at me as he spoke to my attorney, and spouted a bunch of bullshit about how much evidence they had, testimony from the victim’s parents, the PI’s report…blah blah blah.
I took a cigarette out of my pocket.
“There’s no smoking in here,” Dwyer informed me.  I looked into his eyes while I lit up.
“Fucking sue me.”
He just glared at me and leaned forward with his elbows on the table.  He was about to speak, but I beat him to it.
“What do you really want, Phil?”  The man hated having defendants call him by his first name.  It was his own little power trip, and I could read the shock in his assistant’s eyes that I could possibly be so bold.
He glared at me some more, but didn’t respond.
“Come on,” I prompted, “just spit it out.  You want me behind bars, right?”
“I would very much like to see that,” he admitted with a nod. 
“Well,” I said as I blew smoke right into his face, “now’s your chance.”
“Edward-” Garrett started to say.
“Shut the fuck up, Garrett.”  I didn’t look at my attorney, but kept my eyes on Dwyer.  “I’m going to offer you a deal you can’t refuse, because you know there isn’t really enough evidence against me, and your only real witness is refusing to testify.  High profile case, election year – you can’t afford the loss of votes if I’m set free.”
“I’ve got pictures of you with holding a teenage girl against the wall with your fingers shoved in her,” he snapped.  “I’d say that’s evidence.”
“She was over eighteen, and I bet she’s already told you that was consensual.” 
He didn’t respond. 
“So here’s the deal,” I said.  “I plead guilty to rape in the second degree, you drop everything else.”
“I need a moment with my client,” Garrett suddenly called out.
“No.” Dwyer and I said at the same time.
“Plea bargaining, Cullen?” he snickered.  “What’s the catch?”
“No catch,” I told him.  “I go to prison, which is what you want, you get your votes, all other charges dropped.  Everyone’s happy.”
“There’s no way you’re just giving this to me,” he said.
It’s not for you, fucker.
I didn’t respond out loud, but I did blow smoke in his face again.  He leaned back to get away from it, but still ended up coughing while I smirked at him.
“It’s the only way you are going to get me,” I said softly.  “You know the chances of me getting off completely are there – you don’t have enough to tie me to anything other than a firearms possession and maybe the lame-ass transportation of a minor bullshit.  That’s what?  A year?  Maybe?  A little extra community service?  You won’t even be able to get those to stick if I decide not to let you.”
“There’s plenty against you,” he insisted.
“Whatever,” I replied.  “Take it or leave it.”
“Cullen,” Dwyer said as he leaned forward on the table to look at me over his half-moon glasses.  “I’ve been trying to put you away for years.  I can’t say this is exactly how I thought this would go down, but I’m going to take what I can get.”
“I need a moment with my client…”
“Fuck you,” I growled back, finally looking over to Garrett.  He was obviously livid.
“Edward, we’re not-”
“You’re fired.”  I said.
About four minutes of tense silence ensued before Garrett Milton stood up, tossed his papers in his briefcase and walked out of the cramped little office.  Dwyer’s assistant was filling out a bunch of paper, which he then handed over to his boss.  Dwyer gave them the once over, and then signed his name at the bottom before pushing them across the table to me.
I barely looked at them before I signed.
“We can set up the sentencing hearing for two weeks from today,” Dwyer said.  “You’re still under surveillance based on the terms of your bail, so don’t be stupid and try to skip out on me now.”
“I know that.”
He stood up and his assistant followed suit.  I stayed right when I was, finishing my cigarette and not really having anywhere else to go, anyway.
“I assume you will find another attorney to represent you?”
“Yeah, sure,” I mumbled.  He nodded.
“I have to ask,” Dwyer said to me as he was leaving, “why now?  After all this time, why are you now pleading guilty?”
I just looked at him, not willing to give him a response even if I had a reasonable one to give.  I probably could fight this, and he knew it.  I could probably walk out of here with a hung jury, but I wasn’t going to.  I couldn’t stand up in a courtroom with her there and plead innocent to what I had done to her. 
I just couldn’t.
I knew Garrett Milton would be pissed when I offered the plea bargain, which is why I didn’t tell him before hand.   He was already so sure he could get me off.  I figured I had already gotten off more than my fair share of times.  Pun not really intended, but it did turn my stomach.  I didn’t puke again – you have to be able to eat to have something to throw up. 
The rest of the day I stayed in that little office and tried to get another attorney, only to find that my bank accounts had pretty much disappeared.  All of them.  There were only about four people who could have gotten access to that info, and considering all my other businesses were now apparently being run by McCarty, I had a pretty good idea what had happened to them.  The tech company was still in my name, but the assets had been seized pending investigation. 
Every phone number I tried was no longer in service.
So two weeks later I found myself in the courtroom with a public defender, which was pretty much a joke.  I didn’t care though.  I didn’t care how much time I did.  It would never be enough.  Nothing would ever be enough.
My eyes never left the table in front of me with its little bottle of water and manila envelope filled with copies of the papers I had signed.  The public defender stood up at the appropriate time and entered in my guilty plea.  I barely listened as Lee Stephens took the stand, followed by Bella’s father and mother.  They all told their stories to the judge in hopes of getting me the maximum sentence in this state.
Right as the judge made me stand as she pronounced sentence, I heard the soft creek of the door in the back of the courtroom.  I didn’t have to look – I knew it was her.  I could feel her eyes on me, and my breath was gone again.  I wanted to turn around and look at her – just to see her and know she was okay – but that’s when the judge said my name.
“Edward Anthony Cullen,” she stated.  “You have been found guilty of second degree rape.  Considering all the other information provided by the testimony here today, I am not inclined to offer you any leniency.  Therefore, you are hereby sentenced to ten to fifteen years in the federal penitentiary, the maximum sentence allowable by this state.  Your sentence will begin immediately.”
The bailiff walked over alone with two other armed guards.  They turned me around to place me in the handcuffs, and that is when I saw her.
She was so, so beautiful, and so, so young.  She wasn’t in the dressy clothing she had worn all the time she was with me, but in a simple pair of jeans and a hooded sweatshirt with her hair pulled up in a ponytail on the top of her head.  She looked very much like the high school student she was.  Her eyes were wide, and her head was slowly shaking from side to side.
All I could do was stare at her as they pulled me away.
The pain in my chest, which had remained pretty constant since the day I understood what I had really done to her doubled, and the pressure was enough to make me stumble against one of the guards.  She deserved so much out of life, and I had fucked that up beyond belief.  She was everything, and she deserved to see the man who raped her punished for what he did. 
She had to know that I did it for her, right?
Chapter end notes:

Reminder!  It still ain't over!  Bear with me a bit...or a lot.