DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property to the respective author. The original characters and plot are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
The news was still running our story the next day as we were leaving. Phil was painted as an innocent man who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was ambushed by his own stepdaughter, one he raised since she was nine, and was assaulted and robbed by her criminal boyfriend. The footage was pretty convincing. It showed Phil, with a gun against his head, throwing money at Edward. We didn't take that money, but through crafty edits and manipulating, it illustrated a very different story.
The fact that the media was blowing this whole thing out of proportion, making into some huge spectacle, wasn't all that surprising to me, but how could the law warp the truth like that? I knew Phil was in good with the Sheriff. They were golfing buddies, but I never imagined that the Sheriff would help Phil create this outrageous lie.
It infuriated me.
"We should just go up there and tell them what happened, Edward," I ranted as he put our bags in the trunk.
The sun was barely coming over the mountains in the east, and it was still dark outside. We were making an early morning getaway, but not in the way I thought we would. Before we left this morning, Edward knocked on Emmett and Rose's door and told them goodbye. I'm not sure if his words registered with them, but it was said, and that was all that mattered to him.
"They won't believe us, kid," Edward said, closing the trunk. "You were convicted of an assault and battery charge on Phil, and me, I am just a worthless piece of shit with a criminal record that is a mile long. We're fucked."
"And what about a lie detector test?" I asked, following him around towards the front of the car. "If we took it, they'll see that we're telling the truth."
He laughed. "Baby, those motherfuckers just doctored a video—actual fucking footage of what went down. What makes you think that they'll play fair with a fucking lie detector test?"
My shoulders slumped as his words sunk in. He was right. We were screwed. No one was ever going to believe us. They'll continue to hunt us down until we were safely behind bars.
Taking a step into him, I slipped my arms around his waist and rested my head on his chest. I sighed. "This sucks."
He hugged me tightly. "Welcome to my side of the law, kid."
I groaned, frustrated. "It just makes me mad that they're lying about what happened. They're making him look like the good guy, Edward…and it makes me feel…it's like he's won again. All those years I lived in that house afraid of what he was going to do, I just…I just wanted him suffer and pay for his actions for once. That's all."
It wasn't fair that a person like Phil was continuing to get away with such evilness. How long would he live before karma swung back around and bopped him on the head? And when it did finally catch up with him, how many people would he have hurt by then? The countless lives he'll destroy by his sick and twisted selfishness.
I got away before he could ruin me. I was lucky...but would the next girl he set his sights on be as lucky?
That was what worried me the most.
It'd been silent for a long time. My eyes were closed, and I was listening to each breath as Edward's chest rose and fell. It was nice and serene, but soon his hold around me grew tighter and tighter until I was wincing in pain.
"Oww," I croaked, tapping my hand on his back.
"Fuck," Edward said, releasing me from his death grip and pulling away. "I'm sorry, baby. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay," I said, tilting my head to the side. "Are you okay?"
There was this far off look in his eyes, intense and brooding. The muscles in his arms were strained as he closed his fists. He was clearly on edge now, and I'm not sure what exactly it was that made him change from his once relaxed demeanor.
"Come on," he said, gesturing for me to get in the car.
"Okay," I said, slightly confused by his sudden urgency, but I didn't question it.
Getting into the car, I fastened my seat belt and looked over at Edward. He was searching through one of his duffel bags that he placed in the backseat. He pulled out a gun, turning back to face the front, and took out the clip. It was fully loaded—not that surprising—and he put it back into the gun. He set that gun on my lap, and then, without saying a word to me, reached over and opened the glove box. He was getting out his Custom Colt. He unveiled it from the white cloth and checked the clip, making sure it was loaded with bullets.
He sat up and tucked it into his back waistband. How that was comfortable to have jamming into his back while was driving was beyond me, but he didn't seem to mind. He did it all the time.
"The suspense is killing me, Edward," I said, jutting out my lip in a mocked pout. "What's going on? Are we going to rob a bank or something?" Of course, I was only joking, but when he didn't answer me, I got worried. "Are we?"
He laughed, shaking his head. "No, we're not going to rob a bank."
"Then what are we doing? Why are we packing heat?" I asked, lifting up my gun and waving it at him.
He scowled and covered his hand over mine, shoving the gun back down into my lap. "Jesus, kid, you can't just go flashing that shit."
"Fine, I'll be more discreet with my gun from now on, but you gotta let me in on your plans. Because despite what you may think, I can't read your mind," I said.
"We're making a short pit stop before we leave, and I think its best if we go in prepared," he said, starting up the car.
"This short pit stop of ours," I stated skeptically, "where exactly is this place?"
He glanced over at me and smiled sheepishly. "I was kind of hoping that you would give me directions."
It didn't take me long to surmise what his sudden plans were. It shouldn't have shocked me as much as it did, considering how rash he was when it came to protecting me, but it knocked the air right out of me.
"We're going to see Phil and Renee? Are you crazy?"
"What?" he asked with a simple shrug of his shoulders. "You said so yourself, Bella, they think they've won. Fuck that. I'm not going to sit here and watch you be distraught over that fucker. We're just going to go there, shake him up a bit, and leave. It's going to take five minutes, and we'll have pancakes afterwards."
"Edward, this is not what I wanted," I said, throwing myself back into my seat. "I just wanted him to…"
"Pay?" he asked, raising his eyebrow.
"Yes, but through the law. I wanted him to rot in jail and be held accountable for his actions."
"Well, baby," Edward said, rubbing my leg, "I'm sorry to say, but the law ain't on our side. If you want that asshole to pay, we're going to have to do this shit ourselves."
I shook my head, knowing that he was right. The police weren't going to investigate Phil or pay attention to what I had to say. They made up their mind about me long ago. Apparently, I was a runway and a criminal, who had assaulted her stepfather a year ago and then robbed that man blind outside a police station. They had it all on tape to prove it. So, I guess it was time to assume the role that they had given me.
"You're going to need to get on the 202 and head east," I said, tucking the gun into the front of my pants.
Edward grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me to him, giving me a brief kiss on my lips. "That's my girl."
It was around six in the morning when we pulled up on my old street. It looked the same, and I shuddered as the horrible memories came flooding back. How many times had I walked this street to school, grateful that I'd managed to dodge another advance from my stepfather? The only thing that seemed different was me. The last few months of being homeless and meeting Edward had left a deep imprint on me. It forced me to evolve and become a stronger person.
"I think we should park here and walk the rest of the way," Edward said.
We were two blocks away from Phil and Renee's house. It was a short distance, but Edward didn't want to have his car parked out front of the house. If the neighbors saw it, they'll be able to identify it to the police. He was being safe, and I completely understood his logic...
This was going to be so much more than just a shake up.
"Okay," I said.
He narrowed his eyes at me. "Baby, if you don't feel right about doing this, you can always stay in the car."
"No, I want to come. I want to do this," I said.
"Alright," he said, caressing the side of my cheek. "Just follow my lead."
He leaned over and kissed me. It was powerful and deep, giving me the courage to face my parents for the last time. When he pulled away, I was breathless and dizzy.
"Let's go," he said, opening the car door and getting out.
Gripping his hand tightly, I followed close behind him as we walked down the street. The neighborhood was quiet and only a few birds were chirping, signaling in the new day. The house was within my view now, and I saw that both cars were in the driveway. It was a Monday morning, and Renee would be up already, making Phil some coffee. Their routine was predictable, and that worked in our favor.
We walked up to the door, and my heart started to race. I squeezed his hand, feeling my anxiety heighten with ever step we took. My eyes blurred and focused continuously as the blood pumped through my veins, leaving me with a mixture of uneasiness and excitement. Whatever happened next was going to determine how the rest of my life was going to be. Not too many people recognized that point in their life where they came across that fork in the road and still chose the path least traveled.
Standing at the door and Edward's finger hesitated over the doorbell. He glanced down at me. "Do you trust me?"
"More than anything," I said.
He smiled, pushing his finger down and ringing the doorbell. "Good."
The high-pitched chime echoed throughout the house, and I could hear Renee's feet shuffling on the tile floor. She was wearing those God awful slippers, the ones that were pink and fluffy that only five years old should be wearing.
The door swung open, and Edward reached for his gun. Renee was standing there before us with shock and revulsion written across her face. It wasn't until Edward stepped up to her and pointed the gun at her head did she realize what was going on.
"Bella?" she whimpered with wide and scared eyes.
She was silently beseeching me to help her, and that angered me. It was an insult to expect me to come to her rescue now. Where the fuck was she when I needed her help?
I smiled back at her coldly. "Hello, Mother."
A/N: Dun dun duuuunnnnnn ;) See ya tomorrow.
To my pre-reader, Brina *mwah*