Authors note: I've been very ill, so this took longer than anticipated. Enjoy. Beta'd by Frannie and all remaining mistakes are mine.




Edward left Josh with his parents and took a flight directly to Edinburgh, where he met one of the detectives he'd hired to find Bella.

He was briefed on the situation while they drove to the hospital. His gut was in knots. He was relieved to find Bella, but he was equally terrified at the changes this experience might have had on her. Had she been ill-treated? Would Charles go that far? Originally, Edward would never have believed that Charles was capable of hurting his daughter, but now, who knew what lengths he would go to? The thought of Bella suffering more violence made his blood run cold. She'd been through enough in her short life.

When they arrived, Edward was told Bella had tried to commit suicide but was now stable. That didn't sound like the Bella he had come to know; she was too brave and courageous to even think of ending it all. How could she think of leaving Josh?

When Edward got to her room, his way was barred by two very large and fierce-looking men. There was no sign of Charles. Where the fuck was her father? Did he even care that his actions had done this to Bella?

Edward was livid.

"Who are you?" The larger of the two men asked with an intimidating glare designed to make lesser mortals stand aside.

Edward returned his stare with a lack of anything resembling humor.

"I'm Bella's fiancé, Edward Cullen."

Something flickered in the hulking man's gaze as he stepped aside without another word. Kol knew only too well who this man was; he was all Bella had spoken of beside her son. He felt a surge of happiness for Bella - her man had come for her.

The door opened, and there she was.

After almost six weeks of separation, desperation, and longing, the sight of her nearly sent Edward to his knees.

She was deathly pale against the white bed linen; her dark hair was a deep contrast. The only colour on her face was her rosebud lips, which were still a soft pink.

The moment when her eyes opened stopped Edward's heart completely. It was like the first time he'd seen her all over again.

Bella didn't say a word; she simply held out her hands to him, tears glistening in her eyes.

She was so goddamn beautiful; he'd forgotten just how much she moved him in ways no one else had ever been able to.

Edward took her hands, and then, without quite knowing how he was hugging her tightly. Bella clung to him as if her life depended on it. She was trembling against him as a soft sob of pure relief escaped her.

"Oh God, Bella…." Edward said, his voice broken. "It's so good to see you; I thought I'd never see you again."

Bella shook her head, unable to speak, emotion choking her. She pulled his face down to hers and kissed him, wordlessly telling him just how much she'd missed him.

"Is Josh okay?" They were the first words out of her mouth.

Edward smiled, his gaze tender as he recalled the small boy he'd come to love.

"He's fine, apart from missing you."

"I knew he would be with you; it's the only thing that gave me comfort. I've missed him so much."

"You'll see him soon," Edward told her, pressing a kiss onto her forehead, breathing her scent in deeply as he did so.

As Bella told him her story, Edward was filled with a suffocating rage. He'd never felt so murderous in his entire life.

"Where is he?" He asked, his tone icy, even as he stroked Bella's fingers which were still wrapped in his.

"Kol tells me he stayed behind."

"Who's Kol?" Edward asked.

Bella nodded towards the door. "My guardian angel, you may have met him outside the door."

A smirk tugged at Edward's lips as he recalled the scary man built like a steam roller.

"Can he be trusted? He worked for Charles, doesn't he?"

Bella nodded, her eyes soft. "He's a good man; he saved me, and now he works for me. Kai, the other man, will also be part of my personal detail since my father will most certainly fire them both for helping me."

Edward raised his eyebrows in mock humor. "You have guards now?"

"I think I need them, Edward; I don't ever want to be taken advantage of again. I trusted him, and he betrayed me in the worst way possible. I don't want to be that vulnerable."

He knew she was right.

"What happened, Bella? Did you try to kill yourself?" He had to know; it was eating away at him that her life had nearly been snuffed out.

Bella sighed and shook her head, dark curls tumbling across her cheek.

She told him about the moment she'd told Charles she would never forgive him.

"I hoped he might let me go after that, but he didn't; he simply ignored me completely. It was then I realized then he was never going to let me go, and I had to do something."

Edwards stared at her aghast. "Do you mean you did this just to get off the island?"

Bella nodded, a flicker of laughter in her eyes. "I worked at a hospital for years, Edward; I knew that certain antidepressants caused convulsions if administered in large doses. I used his own medicine against him, quite literally."

"But you could have died!" He exclaimed, deeply appalled and angry when he thought of the lengths her father had driven her to escape his clutches.

"But I didn't," Bella said matter of factly. "I knew they would send for medical assistance, and when they found the empty bottle of medication, I knew they'd empty my stomach."

"There was still a grave danger to you. Anything could have gone wrong!"

"It was worth taking that risk to see you and Josh again. Edward, if my father had his way, I'd never have seen you, and if that were the case, then I'd rather have died."

She touched his cheek, and Edward held her hand there, savoring the feel of her soft skin. Something was missing.

"Where's your ring?" He asked.

Bella bit her lip, her eyes filled with anguish. "He took it. I couldn't get it back."

"I'll get it back for you," Edward said grimly.

She eyed him; concern written on her face. "You're going to see him?"

"I have to, Bella. I can't let him get away with this. We can't press charges because we don't want this to be public knowledge - I won't allow you and Josh to be dragged through the gossip columns - but he must know that if he ever comes near you again...I'll kill him."

Bella stared at him, stunned.

Edward sighed. "I know he's your father, but..."

"No, Edward, you don't understand. I don't care about him, I barely remembered him, and now - he's damaged my memories so much that I never want to see him again! But he has ways, men who do his bidding; I'm terrified of what he might do to you! The ring isn't worth your life. Its just a ring, can't we buy another?"

"We could buy another, but that one was specifically made for you. Besides, it won't come to that, I promise. I'm only going to talk to him."

Edward spent the night in the chair beside Bella's bed. She had been kept overnight for observation. He barely slept, his gaze on her face. He couldn't believe she was here. Safe. He never wanted to let her out of his sight.

He spoke to the men who had rescued Bella; their allegiance to her was obvious, although Kol seemed to be more devoted to her than Kai. Kol readily shared the coordinates to the island with Edward, advising him on the best course of action concerning Bella's father.

"He's not an easy man." Kol warned, eyeing Edward meaningfully, "Watch yourself."

Edward decided to take Bella home first before he made any attempt to see Charles Swan. She needed to see Josh and just be with them, together, as a family.

Bella clung to Edwards's hand almost the entire way back to London, and he had no objections. He loved the way she walked beside him; her delicate fingers wrapped in his. He had been deprived of her presence for so long that he couldn't have her close enough. She wore the dark clothes Edward had brought for her and a pair of sunglasses. The two men who now made up her personal protection detail walked behind them everywhere they went.

Bella seemed happy with this arrangement. Edward had offered both men a job, which they had readily accepted. They now wore suits and almost unnoticeable wires along with hidden firearms. Their job was to protect Bella and Joshua once they were in London.

This made Edward feel somewhat calmer.

Just as they were leaving the airport, a sneaky paparazzi photographer took numerous snaps of them before Kol and Kai blocked their view and ushered the couple into the waiting limousine.

Bella looked a little upset, but Edward smiled at her to put any worries to rest. He would have his publicist deal with it in the morning.

The flight home took little time, and soon they were stepping through the front door into the spacious lobby of their home.

"It feels so good to be back," Bella said softly, looking around her with a smile.

Mrs Knotts rushed towards them with uncharacteristic excitement. She broke all protocol and pulled Bella into a hug, which she returned immediately.

"Welcome home, Miss Bella!" She said, regaining her composure almost immediately.

There was the sound of small running feet, and suddenly Josh appeared at the top of the stairs. He ran towards Bella with a squeal of happiness, running down them two at a time until he collapsed into her arms, his face buried in her neck.

"Mommy!" He gasped, his voice thick with tears. Edward felt his own throat tighten with emotion as he watched Bella and Josh reunite. Mrs Knotts ignored the lapse in Joshua's name for Bella; he usually called her Bella, because to everyone else, he was her baby brother. But Mrs Knotts had long suspected that Josh was, in fact, Bella's child, only she didn't know the details, and to her mind, it wasn't her place to know them.

Bella pressed kisses onto Joshua's face while he giggled softly. "I've missed you!" He said, almost choking her in a tight hug. "I'm so glad you're home."

"I am too, Josh," Bella told him; rising from the floor, she took his little hand in hers.

"Don't leave ever again," Josh told her sternly.

"I won't leave without you, I promise." She said, pressing his hand.

They had dinner together in the library; Josh curled up into Bella's side on the sofa while Edward sat beside them.

Bella seemed very tired, which was to be expected after her ordeal. They talked of frivolous things, which made them feel lighthearted. Edward couldn't recall feeling happier.

It was clear to him now that he not only wanted Bella in the physical sense, he also needed her. He felt complete when she was there, satisfied.

He watched Bella and Josh whispering together, their dark heads touching, and his heart swelled with overwhelming emotion.

They had become his home. The beautiful mansion was empty without Bella and his life even more so.

He was going to make sure no one took that away from him ever again.