Thank you to Robstenfanpire for being my beta on this story.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters in Twilight. I'm just borrowing them to have some fun.
Chapter 38 - Acting
I lie there alone listening to the sounds of the hospital. It's now six hours since I told Edward to leave me and the night is drawing in. My family stuck around for a while after he left, to keep me company and in an attempt to distract me from my worries, but now I'm here alone. And at the same time, Edward is out there alone. And I miss him. I want him back. But that can't be. Not until James is caught. Not until it's safe.
It was a mutual decision in the end. The one for him to leave me. It was the only course of action that would keep everyone safe. But I still hate having to be apart from him.
There was no way I could not tell Edward the truth. As soon as he walked in the room, accompanied by Charlie and Sue, it all came flooding out. Then I put forward my case for him leaving, knowing he wouldn't like it. He just stared blankly for a period, before abruptly standing up and going to look at the various monitors around my bed. I suppose with his dad being a doctor he'd picked up a thing or two. Every visit Carlisle had made to me in the hospital he'd studied my charts and the read outs, showing Edward how well I was doing, how my blood pressure was under control, reassuring him both the baby and I were safe.
"You're blood pressure is through the roof," he said, the stress evident in his words. "It was worse earlier, when he was here. Your heart rate spiked also, and it is still very high." He continues to talk, not really looking for a response. "I need to do whatever is going to cause you the least amount of stress. I can't risk you and the baby's health. I also can't risk Kim, Jared and Embry. If that means I need to go then that's what I have to do."
He looks at Charlie, "I know you need to catch this man, and believe me I want that more than anything, but she's not just at a direct risk from him, if she's anxious and worried it's going to push up her blood pressure to a dangerous level."
"You're both right," concedes Charlie. "Our first priority is to keep Bella and the kids safe." I know that the schools have already been alerted and Alec and Demetri are on their way to pick them up.
Edward nods and looks towards me. "But I'm going to arrange for more security. If I can't be here to keep you and the kids safe I need to know someone else is. I need someone here I can trust to do the job I pay them for." He once again looks towards Charlie as I cringe. I know he is mad at Felix, and I know he let us down, but I'd grown fond of him and I know he is as mad at himself as Edward is over what happened on his watch. "Do you know anyone local who can do the job," Edward asks Charlie. "I don't want to have to wait to get more of Alec's people up from LA?"
"I'll get it sorted, she won't be left alone," confirms Charlie with a brief nod. It looks like for once the two men in my life are on the same page. "I'll also get onto the force and see what undercover officers they can get working the hospital."
"Thank you Charlie, I'm trusting you to keep her safe." Charlie nods his agreement, and Edward looks back at me, "I want you to keep me updated. If anything changes I'll come right back."
"Make sure you look upset as you leave. If he's watching he has to be convinced I've broken up with you."
"I don't think looking pissed off and upset is going to be a problem," he replies.
After that things happened very fast. We all knew that James would be watching and waiting and so we had limited time. Edward and I both knew we had to say our goodbyes, but we seemed lost for words. After just looking into each other's eyes for a moment we kiss. It was a kiss that I hoped conveyed to him everything I couldn't say. My love, my desire to be with him, my regret over this turn of events and how much I was going to miss him. Neither of us held back, despite my dad being in the room.
And then he was gone. No further words being necessary. As he left I cried. Sue came and held me whilst my dad patted my back, his way of offering his support.
After arranging for a couple of his buddies, Mark and Roger, from the station to come down to the hospital, in plain clothes so as not to alert James if he was still watching, Charlie left to go and meet up with the kids. It had been decided if James was still hanging around it would be best for them not to come to the hospital, so Charlie was going to take them to Leah's.
Then he too was gone, leaving me and Sue alone.
She held me in her arms until a man in a business suit knocked and entered the room. He introduced himself at Dr Harold Greene, Chief of staff for the hospital. He started by apologising for James gaining entry to my room and insured me the staff were now on high alert and were getting a refresher on their security protocols. He told me Mark had arrived and was at the nurses' station, from where he could observe anyone entering the ward, and Roger was patrolling the entrance lobby.
He asked me for a description of James that he could pass onto the hospital's own security staff who had already been put on alert. He assured me the surveillance videos for the time around when James was in the hospital would be made available to my dad, Leah and the rest of the Forks PD. All in all he was very efficient and set my mind at rest that he was doing everything he could to keep me safe.
When my dad returned from leaving the kids with Leah, I spent some time talking to them over Skype, reassuring them. They were understandably worried, having been pulled out of lessons early and taken to their aunt's. I didn't want to over worry them, but I also needed them to know to be on alert. Leah helped to reassure them we were all safe, but that we needed to look out for one another and not go anywhere on our own until the situation was resolved.
I then did my best to keep their minds occupied. I listened to their news from their day at school. Embry told me about how Alex was under pressure from his dad to quit the band and stop playing the drums after getting a bad result on a Math test. I ask him their plans, and being the sensible boys they are, they have decided to cut back on practices for the time being. Embry is going to help Alex with his math instead so Alex can get a good result on his next test and they can go back to normal. Kim talked about a new project they'd started in Art, recreating cave art, tying into their current topic looking at pre-history. Jared filled me in on the compliments he'd got from teacher over a piece of writing he'd done on his family history where he'd gone into depth on the Quileute legends. He'd always loved his dad telling him the old stories of the cold ones and the wolf-men. I made a mental note to ensure their grandfather, Billy, handed onto them the stories from that side of their heritage in the future.
While I'm talking with the kids, Charlie has been with Mr. Greene going over the hospital surveillance tapes. He returns after about an hour letting me know they were able to trace James' movements all the way up to my room, so have the definitive proof of him violating his restraining order. Charlie lets me know the warrants are out for his arrest and they have contacted Seattle PD to be watching the airport. He lets me know they will be paying particular attention to anyone who appears to be following Edward when he arrives there.
At around five, Mark comes in to take a statement from me, getting as many details as he can while it's still fresh. I describe to him how James had me help him make his escape, forcing me at gun point to call Felix into the room. As he did James emerged from his hiding place behind the door and hit him over the head with butt of the pistol, knocking him out cold, before giving me a final warning that he would be watching and waiting, and then leaving.
I show him my belly where James had pushed down on me. As I suspected a bruise is forming and after asking permission he takes some pictures to provide further evidence.
And then he, Sue and Charlie leave and I am on my own. I try to relax, knowing I have to keep my blood pressure down. I try to read, but after covering the same paragraph at least four times and still having no recollection of what it said I give up and start to play mindless games on my phone as my thoughts wander. I wonder what Edward is doing. Has he reached the airport yet? Is he driving safely? I think about my kids and all they've been through over the last year. I worry about James. Is he still hanging about in Forks, or has be followed Edward to the airport? Would he really carry out his threats? How much is his sister Victoria involved? Does she know the extremes he's going to in order to make her dreams come true? Does she condone his actions? Does she really believe if I'm out the picture Edward will go back to her? The thought of them together makes my blood turn cold.
I'm just running over all the ways I could make Victoria and James pay for what they are putting my family through, my most favorite involving a dark cellar, handcuffs and a heavy hammer, when my phone rings. I recognize the tone instantly as Edwards. I quickly glance at the time before answering. It's about six o'clock and by my calculations this is when I was expecting him to get to the airport.
I answer quickly.
"It's so good to hear your voice, Beautiful," he says. His voice sounds tired and strained.
"Where are you?" I ask. "You're not where anyone can overhear?" I would hate for our subterfuge to be discovered after the torment we're going through to make it work.
"I'm still in the car. I'll go and check in momentarily. I just needed to hear your voice, to know you were okay, before I go out in public." He sounds so sad. I hate I'm putting him through this, pushing him away again. But at least this time we know it's only temporary. Just until James is apprehended.
"I miss you," I whisper, after a brief silence.
"I miss you too," he replies. "Have there been any leads?"
I fill him in on what's been happening and the security precautions we have in place and it seems to put his mind at rest. He lets me know about his flight details. He should reach LA at about ten thirty this evening. He assures me he will try and call when he lands, but if he can't get anywhere private he will at least text and let me know he's arrived. We say goodbye with whispered words of love.
I attempt to rest, but how can I sleep without him here with me, knowing James is still out there and I have no guarantee the people I love will remain safe. The noise of the machines bothers me, and our daughter is sitting very uncomfortably. I get up and take a walk around the room, visiting the bathroom, hoping the movement will shift her to a more comfortable position. I get back into bed, but can't find a position that works.
Grabbing my pillows I make a nest for myself in the recliner that sits in the corner, my feet up on a plastic chair. The more upright position helps, and with the support of the cushions around me I eventually get into a position that is semi comfortable.
I have my phone lying in my hand, as I rest my head back against the pillow behind my head. My eyes feel heavy and it looks like the excitement of the day is finally catching up with me. I know I'm exhausted and my body and mind could really do with rest. However, just as my eyes close my phone buzzes. I answer it, my mind a little groggy from sleep, to an excited Charlie.
"Bella, are you there?" he asks.
"Of course, dad, what is it, what's happened now?" as I ask the door opens abruptly and Deputy Mark bursts in, followed by Alec.
"Bella, good news. They've got him. James has been arrested!" Mark announces with no preamble.
I hear dad laugh in my ear. "He's right, Bella. Seattle PD picked him at the airport as he tried to board a plane back to LA."
"Wait, wait," I interrupt, "let me just talk to one of you at a time. Actually dad, let me put you on speaker."
I put the phone down in front of me. "Go ahead," I say looking at Mark, "what happened."
"It would appear he followed Edward to the airport," fills in Mark. "They didn't spot him at first, but then his name got flagged for a later flight and they were waiting to arrest him as he tried to board. Seattle PD have him in a cell and they have enough to charge him and keep him locked up for some time."
"That's great news," I sigh, as all the tension leaves my body. "So Edward can come back. I have to let him know."
"Has he landed yet, Bella?" asks my dad. I've not received a text so I suspect not. I check the time and it's still about half an hour till I expect him to land.
"No, not yet," I confirm. "What are the next steps?"
Dad and Mark fill me in on the cross state operation that's taking place, with Victoria being picked up by the LAPD for questioning to determine her part in the operation. They also assure me that James, having broken his restraining order, and the terms of his bail over the harassment charge, will be unlikely to be released before a trial and that a custodial sentence is almost guaranteed once the trial is over.
Once I'm off the phone a wave of euphoria surges through me as I text Edward to let him know the good news. I know he won't be able to pick it up yet, but he'll hopefully read it as soon as he lands. I'm still feeling uncomfortable so I make another trip to the bathroom, before taking a long shower. The cascade of warm water falling over my aching back helps to ease the soreness I'm feeling.
I've just finished drying and dressing in my night clothes, consisting of one of Edwards t-shirts and a pair of sleep pants, when my phone buzzes again. Looking at the clock I realize it's probably Edward and I answer it excitedly.
"Beautiful." His excited voice sounds jubilant over the phone. "Is it true? Have they caught him?"
"It's true," I reply, smiling. "It would appear he believed your acting and really thought we'd split up and you were leaving me to return to LA. Apparently he was shocked I'd alerted the authorities. He thought he was getting away with it."
"Well acting is what I do for a living, although on this occasion it didn't take much to look sad and angry at having to leave you. But now I can come back, right?" he asks for conformation.
"Of course, as soon as you can, CM. I miss you so much."
"I'm on my way to see if I can get a seat on the next flight back to Seattle now. If there's room it looks like there's one out of here at about midnight, which means I should be back in Forks by the time you wake up tomorrow morning." He sounds ecstatic about the idea of getting back to me, and I feel exactly the same. We'll have been apart for less than twenty-four hours, but it feels so much longer.
"Keep me informed on your progress, I love you Edward,"
"I love you too," he mutters.
I'm about to say goodbye and hang up when a strange sensation washes over me and I get a feeling of dampness between my legs.
"Oh!" I exclaim.
"What is it, Beautiful, are you okay?" Edward sounds worried again.
I look down and touch the dark wet patch on my pants.
Oh shit. I think my waters just broke.
A/N: Many of you were cross that she wouldn't tell Edward what was happening, well she did, and James has been arrested. But it looks like the baby is on the way. More next week. Let me know what you think. Good or bad, it all helps me improve for the future.