A/N: So ready for more? Read on!
Chapter-14: The Law
“I hope you know how foolish that was. You could’ve been made! You’re lucky they didn’t get a look at your face.”
I don’t answer to her; instead, I sit in my black leather couch with my head clutched in my hands. I feel a shudder roll down my body as I imagine what would’ve happened if I hadn’t gotten to her on time.
“Edward!” Esme calls out, sounding irritated. “Are you even listening to me? Say something!”
Unable to take her nagging anymore, I burst out. “What do you want me to say, Esme? That I’m sorry for jeopardizing my identity? That I shouldn’t have gone after her and should have called 911 and be done with it? With her? I’m sorry, Esme, but I’m not sorry.”
“But the Volturi Guards know your mask as Virtuoso’s. Don’t you think they recognized who the masked stranger was who saved Bella Barone?”
I yank at a handful of my hair, the burning of my scalp numbing my senses. “So what if they do? That’s more reason for them to leave her alone.”
“Really? Are you that dumb, Kid? Don’t you know how ruthless they are? They’ll be circling around Isabella now more than ever like a wake of vultures.”
I frown. “So you’re saying I’ve endangered her by saving her?”
“No, you endangered her by exposing your weak spot to your enemies.”
“Weak spot?” I repeat. Is that what she is? My weakness?
Esme chuckles. “Oh my dear boy! You really don’t know, do you?”
“Know what?” I ask dumbly.
“I sure hope she’s coming to that island with you because you’re falling, Ed … fast.”
Falling? For Isabella? Shit! What do I do?
After hanging up with Esme, I contemplate to sift through my feelings. It’s true that before, every person I met was just that … a person … a mere human being … nothing special. And then, I met her.
Isabella Barone is different … unique. As if in a group of tigers, she’s a lioness. She’s beautiful, I know believe me, I’m not blind to it. But it’s more than her beauty that calls to me. It’s just … her. She is what calls out to my heart.
Most people who see her might think she’s brave in a clueless way … like she doesn’t realize what she’s getting herself into. But I’ve seen her. First time was when she followed me to get her bag back and then tonight. Every time, she knew it was scary dangerous, but even then, her steps never faltered to face it head-on. She’s brave like a warrior, I realize. And that’s when I decide that maybe falling for my personal Xena wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Should I tell Dad?
He’ll make a huge fuss.
I’m not even harmed … not really.
I know that he’ll want to bring my abductors to the law, but if what I’m guessing is true then they weren sent by Jacob Black to find Rose. That means they have high connections. Should I even drag my dad into all this?
My train of thought is broken when Rosalie rushes into my room and runs to the window. I reach out just in time and yank her back before whispering severely, “Are you out of your mind? Don’t you know Jake Black has his men sniffing around for you? Why are you going to the window?”
Her face pales at the mention of the pig that is Black, and she carefully steps away from the window before mumbling, “It’s just … that man in outside.”
“What man?” I ask.
“The man you brought home.”
Mystified, I walk out of my room and down the stairs to find exactly who she’s referring to. By the time I reach the porch leading to dad’s café, I find dad and Eric crowding over a slumbering figure on the bench outside.
“Do you think he’s alive?” I hear Eric ask my dad with a contemplative expression on his face.
Dad leans down and takes a closer look at their object of investigation, then he nods. “He’s breathing. Maybe he’s just asleep?”
I decide to intervene and take a few tentative steps out of the door and that’s when I see it. A head full of penny colored hair. Tony!
“TONY!” I cry out and rush up to him, pushing through my dad and Eric. “Tony?” I call him again, softer this time.
He stirs a little.
“Anthony?” I call again.
He blinks open his eyes, they widen, and then he jumps up into a sitting position on the bench. “Ms. Bella!”
I reach out to place a hand on his shoulder to stabilize him. “How did you get here?”
“After I ran away, I didn’t know how to help you so I came here.”
“Then why didn’t you come inside?”
He looks sheepish as he answers, “I didn’t know how to face your father. I was supposed to protect you and I didn’t. Instead, I ran away like a coward. I’m so sorry.”
“No, Tony, it’s okay …”
I close my eyes and mutter a curse under my breath. Here goes nothing. “Dad …”
Dad holds a hand up to silence me. “What happened?” he asks Anthony.
Anthony blinks, apparently realizing that I hadn’t shared the events of the night before with my dad. “It’s nothing really … just …”
“What happened to my daughter, Boy?” Dad’s voice shakes a little with anger as he glowers at me and then back at Tony. “Tell me!”
I decide to step in before he makes poor Tony wet himself and say, “Jacob Black sent goons after me to try and find Rose’s location.” When dad’s eyes widen, I hasten to add, “Nothing happened though. I didn’t tell them anything and I was saved by the cops thanks to Tony here who had the presence of mind to call for them.”
For a moment, I think Dad is going to shout at the two of us for being so careless, but then the strangest of things happen. Instead of screaming his head off, he pulls us both … yes, both … into a fierce hug.
“Si-r …” Tony’s words are cut off as dad pulls away from us and then looks sternly at both of us. “I hope you know how lucky you were.”
Hanging our heads, we nod simultaneously.
“Carmen!” he calls for my mom and when mom comes down the stairs, he points to us. “Your daughter has found a sidekick,” he says accusingly.
Mom smiles encouragingly at Tony. “Good for her.”
“No!” he protests. “Now they’re both running into strange people and getting kidnapped.”
Mom’s mouth falls open as she whirls around to look at me questioningly. “You were kidnapped?”
I shake my head vehemently. “Not really.”
Tony clears his throat. “Technically, Ms. Bella …” I step on his toes to shut him up and exclaim loudly, “Have you noticed the time? We need to get going, Tony.”
“Not so fast, young lady,” dad says, holding a hand out to stop me. “What’s the law in Barone House?”
“Never skip a meal.”
He nods, steering me upstairs to the family dining area. “Up you go.”
“Um …” Tony starts, clearing his throat again. “I guess I’ll see you at work then, Ms. Bella.”
This time, dad grabs his arm to stop him. “Where do you think you’re going, young man?”
“Wo-work?” His answer comes out sounding more like a question.
“Breakfast first,” dad decrees, pushing him along with me. I can’t help but laugh at the thunderstruck expression on Tony’s face. Poor guy!
A/N: So … thoughts?
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A special thanks to Tarbecca for letting me know that Virtuoso has been voted as one of the Top Favorite Fic Dive Stories for March/April at ADF. It’s a huge honor to be noted for this little story of mine. 🙂
See you on Friday.
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