Chapter 42's issues ... Please READ!
Hey guys, as I'm sure you've read on the MoMH blog and FFn, there were issues with chapter 42's post. After trying to fix it all morning, I was finally successful. But, to save you time, I'm posting the conversation in the study between Edward, Carlisle, Aro and Caius. It is the most critical part of the chapter and the part that happened to be the most effected by the issues. So here you go...hopefully this will help clear up your questions and confusion!
Chapter 42. Every Promise - Conversation excerpt.
Chapter 42. Every Promise - Conversation excerpt.
"There you are." Aro complains. "Where did you go?"
"To say hello to my mother." I answer before settling into the chair across from my father.
At the door, two men I hadn't seen before suddenly appear and shut us in.
"Now we can get started." Aro grumbles. "Gentlemen, this is my brother-in-law and business associate, Caius.
Sitting beside him, a silver haired gentleman dressed impeccably in a slate suit nods his head in greeting.
"Caius has some information vital to your cause." Aro suddenly shifts his eyes between me and my father. "Although it seems improbable someone would go to this much trouble for a woman, his source is reputable."
My eyes lock on Caius as he clears his throat and leans forward in his chair.
"Gentlemen. It seems you're having a problem with The Vestige Corporation," Caius states plainly. "And I'm here to tell you, I can make all of your problems with them disappear, faster than you can say industrial espionage."
Liking his lips, Caius stands to his feet and gestures to one of the boys near the door holding a briefcase. I can't help but notice what a tool the guy looks like. Sporting a buzz cut and a suit bursting at seams from his steroid induced muscles.
The thug in question suddenly steps forward and pops the clasps on the briefcase, revealing an accordion file. Caius reaches inside and pulls it out before ushering the meathead away.
"This, is the only evidence you'll need to end Vestige, once and for all."
Setting the dingy brown folder on my father desk, Caius sits back down in his chair and smiles smugly. "That my friends, is everything the feds need to indict those fools. In that folder, is every name, every account, every deal they've had turned sour."
"What?" I shift uncomfortably and stare blankly at my father, who has a serious but angry expression on his face.
"This isn't what I asked you for, Aro." My father states calmly. "I'm not going to start a war with them and I certainly don't want anything in my home that links me to anything illegal."
"Suit yourself." Aro reaches for the folder. "However, it's only a matter of time before that little twit son of theirs discovers your sons new bride," Aro stares my father down. "And when he does, how do you think he'll handle that news?"
"That really isn't any of your concern." Dad leans forward and stares menacingly at my Uncle. "My son is more than capable of keeping his wife safe."
I've never seen my father so deadly before and as I watch the confrontation unfold in front of me. I can't help but wonder what the hell is going on.
"I wish that I could agree." Aro seems to be bating him suddenly. "However, the evidence points to the contrary." He taps the folder with his long fingers.
"What evidence?" I search Aro's and then my fathers faces.
"There is no evidence." Dad growls from behind his desk.
"Don't be a fool Carlisle!" Aro snarls, jumping to his feet. "Do you have any idea what Caius uncovered when he pulled his contacts? Before you make you choice, you need to examine the evidence more closely."
"I'm not going to play your bullshit games Aro. We asked for your help in uncovering their illegal underhanded dealing against our company. I never asked for you to start digging this deep."
"Oh but what if I hadn't delved this deep?" Caius is suddenly looming an intricate weave at the back of the study. "Does Edward know what they have planned for his young bride?"
"What are you talking about?" I hiss, now growing impatient at the game of cat and mouse.
"What Caius means to say, Edward." Aro fixes his icy eyes on me. "Is that just a week ago when they attacked your father's car in front of your seaside mansion, they had planned not to kill Isabella, but to kidnap her."
"Kidnap her?" My voice sounds puzzled.
The thought had crossed my mind for a brief time, so it wasn't as far fetched as I was making it sound. I knew that they had some type of plan, but up until now I had thought it involved killing her had they been presented with the chance.
"Yes." Caius steps forward again. "Your undercover agents failed to inform you that the weapon they recovered at the scene was not a handgun, but a tranquilizer gun with a dart filled with enough paralytic agent to put down a small elephant."
I whip around to my father, who is staring openly in shock at this newest revelation.
"That makes no sense. Everyone knows you can't use something like that on a human being without killing them." I spit. "What makes you think they were willing to inject her with a lethal dose of barbiturates without thinking they would kill her?"
"Because, Edward," Caius speaks slowly. "Counted among the items recovered at the scene, was a small case that included the counteractive antidote to the mixture in the dart itself. It seems they planned to incapacitate her, while keeping her painstakingly awake of what was going. They wanted to keep her immobile. My guess, is so they wouldn't have to deal with her putting up a fight when they moved her from one location to the other."
"There was a short note found on the body of the assailant as well." Aro speaks up from the corner of the room. "I won't go in to all the gory details, but it was a detailed list of tasks that would need to be carried out once Isabella was in his possession."
"And nothing on the list suggested Isabella's death." Caius concludes Aro's thought.
A wave of anxiety followed by rage sweep over me. "Where's the paper?" I bite out. "I want to see it."
"It's in federal custody." Aro explains calmly. "No doubt under lock and key with your God Father." Aro shakes his head as if clearing a thought. "It doesn't matter. What does matter is how you handle the situation from here, Edward."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about taking your first step in the direction of being a protector and a strong husband." Aro inches toward me.
When I'm silent, Aro and Caius look to each other with twin smirks.
"Are you ready to assume your role as provider, Edward?" Aro stares at me.
"Now wait just a minute." Dad is suddenly snarling behind his desk. "You will not come into my house and play on Edward's emotions. I asked for your professional opinions and for you to provide a necessary service. I never asked you come here and connive Edward and I simply won't tolerate it." In one swift motion, Dad is up and looming over his desk. "And I know my wife will tolerate this behavior even less."
Aro stands from his chair. "You expect me to just stand by and watch this unfold as it has?"
"You have no business throwing your weight around. I asked you for information that the United States government can't seem to come by on their own accord."
"Is someone going to explain what the hell is going on to me?" I jump to my feet, fuming but trying to calm myself. "Gentlemen, you're going around me in circles here. In order for me to make any choices regarding my wife and my future, I'll need to go on a little more than hearsay and speculation."
From the corner of the room, Caius speaks up again, commanding the rooms attention.
"The substance found in the dart, is one similar to a project of yours." Caius steps toward me with a serious expression. "There were high traces of Atenolol. That should clear up the question in your eyes."
"What?" My voice catches in my throat.
For a moment, my mind races. Atenolol slows the heart down. It was a primary ingredient in our project for the governments experimental heart drug. The atenolol's effect on the heart reduced the need for oxygen, while the other active ingredients did their job to put the patient into a state of immobility, while using a local anesthetic associated with the other active ingredients to block the nerves of choice in the body so that the doctors can carry out their treatments. Whether it be cosmetic surgery, or something more extensive - the patient could be awake and aware during their treatment. This special project for the government would do wonders for soldiers in treatments in the field, as well as the private sector.
We were in the final stages of perfecting the drug, but it wasn't perfect. It was flawed. We were still working out the kinks, adjusting the strengths of the combinations of active ingredients. After our clinical testing, we were still having patients becoming aware toward the final stages of their surgeries.
I can't help my reaction, stumbling back into the plush leather chair in front of my fathers desk, I sink my head into my hands and pull at my hair in fistfuls.
What would they want with Bella? To test their own version out on her?
"We believe this is a prototype of their own." Aro speaks up. "Something they wanted to test. To me, it looks as though they'd planned to kidnap Isabella and use her as either a hostage for information to better their prototype or-"
"Or, a lab rat for their experiment." Caius cuts Aro off, voicing my own fears.
Looking up, my eyes meet my fathers from across the desk. Anger is rolling off of him in waves.
"Edward," His voice is curt, almost strangled. "I've asked Josef to look into these theories. Until we can uncover their validity, I'd like to remain stoic."
All I can do is nod as I stare at him. I can tell by his expression, he's well aware of the intense fear flowing through me right now.
"Gentlemen," Dad stands from his regal leather high-backed chair. "If you'll excuse us, I'd like to speak with my son in private. I believe my wife has a dessert and refreshments in her sitting room." Dad steps over the threshold of his office door and directs the four men to my mothers tea room, just down the hall.
Once they're out of sight, he turns back to me and closes his office door for our privacy.
On trembling legs, I stand as he reaches arms out to me for support.
"Dad?" My voice shakes as I cling to him.
My world feels like it's crumbling beneath my feet.
"It's all right, Edward." Dad holds me. "Nothing is going to happen to you or to Bella. I wouldn't let it." He promises.
"Do they know the that woman I'm seeing is Bella?" I ask desperately.
"I don't think so. No evidence points to it." Dad tries to calm me. "I think they do know, that you're serious about the woman your seeing. That's where their information ends. Josef gave me no reason to believe that they know it's Isabella."
Relief washes over me only for a moment. I know I have to do everything to protect Bella and her identity, at least until I have more information.
"What the hell am I going to do? How am I going to explain this to Bella without scaring the shit out of her?"
"Don't explain anything right now, not until we have the facts."
Before he can even finish his sentence my head is shaking frantically back and forth.
"I can't do that." I disagree. "I don't keep anything from Bella, Dad. It isn't right, this isn't how I want to start a marriage. I've told Bella that we're in this together. I promised no more secrets. I won't go back on my word."
"That's how it should be," Dad pulls back and grasps my shoulders, pride evident in his eyes. "If you want to tell Bella, then you should. I'm sure she's aware of how safe she'll be with you." A smile touches his lips lightly. "I'm proud of you, Edward. You're a smart man and I trust your judgment. You should do what you think is necessary to protect your family."
At his obvious emphasis on family, my eyes begin to fill with tear, because Bella is my family now. She's my wife. My wife, who I vowed to love and protect.
"Fuck," I hiss, wiping at my eyes as I'm over come with emotion. "I have no idea how I can tell her something like this. She's scared to death of James." I reach up and pinch the bridge of my nose. "She's been having intense nightmares."
"Have you given her anything for them?" Dad touches my shoulder.
"No." I grunt. "Beside my fears of prescribing her something that will counter act with the twelve other medications she's taking right now, I've already talked with her about it." Hanging my head, I rub the back of my neck as I continue to think. "She doesn't want to take anything that's going to inhibit her, and I couldn't agree more. Especially after what we've just talked about here."
"Have you tried herbal remedy?"
"Yes and no. While we were away I used herbs and oils in her baths without really telling her what I was doing. I wasn't trying to be deceptive, I just want her to relax without having to tell her I do. It seems like every piece of information I give her lately brings more anxiety. The only way she sleeps fully without interruption is if I'm right there next to her."
Dad seems thoughtful as he rubs his hands together.
"Keep up what you've been doing then. If the two of you have decided on no medication for her night terrors, then all you can do is treat it the way that's working best until it passes." He sighs and wanders over to his desk before flipping a blue file open that sits in the corner. "How is everything else going? Has Bella begun to come to terms with the loss of your child?"
"In a way, I suppose." I close my eyes and breath deeply. "It's still so surreal to me. I'm trying to help her as much as I can, but I don't know how much good I'm doing. She's only spoken to me about it a few times, and each time she seems to be more relaxed than the time before. I know that she's frightened about the future and her ability to get pregnant again, but she hasn't exactly voiced those concerns either. Right now I'm more concerned with take the steps to heal her, in and out."
"That's wise." Dad agrees, but shift and takes a seat at his desk. "But you should understand son, Bella may never get over this loss. You mother still mourns the loss of our first child every day. As do I. There isn't going to be a day that passes that either of you won't think of it, or remember. However, you can help each other to heal. You can move forward together and make new memories."
"I know that." I stare past him out the big plate glass window behind him, noticing for the first time a blanket of dark clouds that are rolling in over the water. "It hadn't crossed my mind, to maybe have Bella talk with mom about her feelings..." I stammer. "I know she's having a difficult time relinquishing her guilt, whether she think I realize it or not. I know there are somethings I can never help her with. Maybe talking to mom would help her?"
"I think that's a good idea. I can mention it to mom tonight. I know she'll be more than willing to help with Bella." Dad seem thoughtful for a moment s he stares down into a pile of papers on his desk. "It is important that she speak with someone. Seeing a therapist in the near future might be helpful too."
"I think so too." I keep my eyes locked on the brewing storm in the distance. "I just don't want to overwhelm Bella. She's going through so much right now, and we're about to go through so much more."
Dad frowns and continues looking at the page in front of him. "When is the service for Lauren?" He asks softly.
"It's tomorrow afternoon. Her family wanted a short church service followed by the burial."
"Is there anything your mother and I can do?"
"No," I scrub a hand over my face and up into my already wild hair. "I've already taken care of everything."
He suddenly looking up at me with a quirked brow. "Everything?"
"Yes, everything." I roll my eyes. "Lauren's family didn't have the means to give her a proper service and burial. And since I'm responsible for this, it's the least I could do."
"Is that what you think?" His eyes fill with remorse. "This wasn't your fault Edward. People make their choices in life. Some are worse than others."
"No," I argue. "If it hadn't been for her relationship with me, they never would have gone after her to begin with. Why do you think I'm so terrified for Bella's safety?" I ask incredulously.
"Does Bella know how incredibly negative and overly critical of yourself you're being about this?" Dad shifts.
"I'm sure she's got an idea." I rebut with annoyance.
"No need to get defensive." He holds his hands up. "I'm just trying to make you see reason here."
"And I appreciate it." I admit. "But it was my responsibly to take care of her arrangements."
"I'm not sure about that," Dad looks puzzled. "I know that she meant a great deal to you."
"It's not even that. I cared about her, but i didn't love her if that's what you mean. I've never loved anyone. Not until Bella."
"Which brings me to my next point," staring at me intently for a moment, he searches my expression for a few moments. "Is Bella aware of what your doing for Lauren and her family?"
"I haven't told her yet"
"Did you intend to?" He quirks a brow at me in question.
"Yea, I jusy haven't found a way to bring it up. I mean, how do you tell your wife; 'Honey, I'm taking care of my ex mistresses funeral arragments and other various expenses-"
"She was a mistress? And there are more expenses, what expenses?"
"Mistress is the best term I could use to describe her." I answer awkwardly. I'm not going to get into my varied sexual preferences with my father. I wouldn't even know how to break that to him. "Our relationship was physically driven. We never really had many conversations. And the expenses are just her loose ends. Her medical bills-"
"Edward." Dad shakes his head and brings his fingers up to his nose, pinching the bridge in frustration. "Those aren't just small potatoes. Does Bella know what you're taking on?"
"Dad," I groan with frustration."It's done. Already handled. I can afford it."
"That isn't the question."
Dad seems to be getting visibly upset with me. I can't help but wonder what this is really about, so I ask.
"What's the really about? You've never be this adverse to helping others in the past. What's the problem with me helping Lauren's family? I have the means, they don't."
"The problem is that I don't want to see you get taken advantage of." Dad growl, looming over the desk. "The problem is that you're newly married and you have your own problems to deal with. Isabella is going through a tremendous amount of emotion, Edward. Have you even considered how something like that would make her feel?"
"Bella isn't like that, dad. She would want me to help Lauren and her family."
"Maybe so, and I'm not saying your wrong for helping, but you're part of a team now Edward."
"I know that."
"I'd just hate to see Bella have a different sort of reaction to new like that, especially when you hadn't consulted her in the first place. I know Bella is very selfless Edward, but you have to think about what she's going through right now and how much that could alter her perspective of her importance to you. You have to realize that she may react differently that what you expect. Her emotions are going to be out of whack for some time. I'm speaking from experience, personal and professional. I don't want to see your marriage suffer for it. "
I'm dumb founded as I stare at him. "I hadn't thought of it that way."
"It's understandable though." Dad sighs. "Whether you like it or not Edward, these are issues you'll both have to face. Better to face them sooner than bottle them up." He smiles lightly. "Take it from someone who's been married for a long time. I know what I'm talking about."
I chuckle lightly, the tension starting to break up in the room at the small jab.
"Speaking of which," Dad rises to his feet, closing the folder he'd been looking at a few seconds before. "I think I'd better go save your mother from your uncle."
I stand there for another moment as he rounds the desk with the folder in his hand and stops right in front of me.
"Not that it's really something I want to ask but since I'm Bella's acting physician, I feel I must." The teasing tone in his voice and soft gleam in his eye immediately tips me off to the direction this conversation is heading in.
"Dad," I smile, holding my hands up in defense before I feel a warm blush begin to rise up my cheeks.
"Wow." Dad's laughter booms throughout the small space of the office. "Whoever would have thought it. I haven't seen you blush since you were thirteen and I caught you with Kelly McKenna in your room."
"My relationship with Bella is far more...developed than it was with Kelly, dad."
"Fair enough." He smirks, but then gets serious. "Have you to engaged in any sexual-"
"No." I hold my hands up cutting off his question. "We kiss and touch, but we haven't had any intercourse." I smile.
"Do you plan on-"
"Dad," I practically whine. "Do we need to have this conversation? I do happen to hold a PhD in medicine myself."
"Yea, and I remember you saying something like that to me before...and then suddenly-"
"Not gonna happen again." I hold my hands up, stopping him again.
"If you say so, son." Dad winks before laying the folder in my hands. "These are Bella's charts. Her labs and results are in here. Look them over before you get carried away again please." With a light smile his eyes dance as he turns to me. "I'll let you decide when the two of you are ready to engage in a physical relationship. You know the precautions to take. Make sure you think with your big head this time." I can tell by the set of his mouth he wants to laugh at my gaping expression, but instead he throws a wink at me and without another word, dad opens his office door and bounds strait down the hall toward mom's tea room like he's on a mission to save the day.
That's it. Sorry for the confusion!!