Eala Chapter 12
I wake up snuggled against something warm and I can smell dust in the air. Bitter cold hits my lungs as I breath in deeply.
"How are you feeling, gra?" Edward's hoarse voice in my ear causes my eyes to open.
His question is valid; how do I feel?
"I'm not really sure," I admit. I feel his lips press against my temple.
"We didn't bring much to eat in our bags," he mumbles as my stomach growls.
I smile. "That's what you think. At the bottom of my bag is a cooler with tuna, and some chicken salad, and everything else for a few sandwiches."
Shock etches his features; apparently, he's forgotten I'm a survivalist. I untangle myself from him and dig everything out of my bag. When I reach the bottom, I pull out the cooler, setting it out for us to make something to eat.
Edward listens to me talk about my dad and all things we used to do together. He smiles and brings me up against his chest. I tell him how for two years the only contact I had was a woman from the local Indian tribe who would bring groceries and anything I might need every two weeks. Her name was Sue, and I never did figure out how she knew me and my dad.
Edward plays with my hair, asking questions and kissing the top of my head. He is everything I need.
"Leanbh, do you want to open the safe now, or tomorrow?" He hums into my hair.
I look over to the black safe. It's almost as tall as me, with a large white keypad. I know the combination; it's burned into my brain, waiting for me to use it.
"I want to leave tomorrow, since we really didn't bring enough for a long stay. We should probably do this tonight." My chest tightens at the thought of what's inside.
"Together, gra." His simple gestures are what are going to get me through this.
I stand up and walk over to the safe, punching in the numbers. I feel Edward behind me as I open the heavy door. It's filled with piles and piles of folders and two boxes, and on top of it all is a crisp manila envelope that has my name written on it in my dad's familiar handwriting.
I suck in a breath as I pull it out, my hands shaking as I open the envelope. A thick pile of documents along with a DVD slide out. I flip through the packet, seeing that it's my dad's will. He left everything to me, and gave me instructions on how to access his accounts and the different properties in Ireland, New York, Australia, holy shit, we even have a place in Switzerland.
I pick up the DVD and turn to Edward. "I think I should watch this first, before we dig into everything else."
He nods his head and follows me over to the TV and DVD player. As I push the DVD into the slot, the TV comes to life and my dad's face pops up on the screen. I can't help but gasp.
"Hey, cailín leanbh." His brown eyes are surrounded by dark circles. "If you are watching this, then, well, it means the Volturi found me, and only me, and that they killed me. I am sorry Bella, I tried really hard to fix the mistake that lead them to us, but it was too late."
He takes a deep breath, and tears fall down my cheeks. Edward wraps himself around me, holding me together.
"I have thought about everything that I want you to know, that I should have told you, but it was too hard for me to say it at the time. I'll begin with our family. McSuaine is our original family name. I was raised to be a killer, a spy; essentially, a mercenary. We were taught to investigate while staying in the shadows. How I raised you is how I was raised, how every man in the family is raised. The women are married away instead of taught to defend themselves." His nose bunches in disgust.
"Each generation, the best of the bunch was assigned to the don of the Cullen family to be whatever they needed. My father before me, and my grandfather, all had been picked for the Cullens. I was eventually picked for Carlisle; we were introduced when I was sixteen in order to start building trust. He was a good guy, not the smartest, but he had a good head on his shoulders. Too trusting in my book, but we're raised to be paranoid.
"I met your ma in a little town outside Dublin; Malahide. She was vacationing with friends and her guards."
His eyes become unfocused on the screen. "She was so beautiful. I'd never seen a woman like her. She didn't have a care in the world, and her mouth got her into so much trouble." He laughs.
"Her name was Renée Volturi."
I can't help but gasp, and Edward holds me tighter.
"I drove her mad chasing after her affection. I knew she wanted me, I could see it in her eyes. When her brother Aro come into the picture… " His head falls. "I knew I shouldn't have been pursuing her because it was against the family rules to be with an Italian, but I didn't care, and when her brother tried to shut it down she became angry. We fled in secret and came back to America so I could start working with Don Carlisle as his enforcer. We married in secret, and she took on a pseudonym."
He smiles wistfully. "Your mammy got pregnant with you and she was over-the-moon happy. I was, too, because we had been trying since we tied the knot. We bought the place here in Forks to keep us hidden. Aro already had a clue that Renée was with me, but we couldn't ever let him know about you."
He eyes darken on the screen, and I feel like he's truly looking at me. "He is a sick man, one that I wanted to put down, but he was your mothers' brother. So instead, I was going to take him down another way.
"Your mam died while giving birth to you, and that's when everything changed. My own da found out, it just trickled through, and I was no longer a part of the family. Carlisle decided to keep using me anyway, and I raised you the only way I knew."
I'd never seen tears in my dad's eyes, but now I watch them fall.
"I'm sorry I couldn't give you more, I'm sorry that I didn't give you tea parties and sleepovers, but I think I gave you something better. I hope," he mutters, roughly wiping tears away.
"I did a lot of things while still trying to bring down Aro. He had no idea how to find me as I gathered information on him. Not until Carlisle decided to get paranoid and dig into my past.
"I have to give him props, remembering what Renée's name was.
"I know by now you want to kill him, cailín leanbh, but don't waste your energy on him. He isn't the problem. I have been worried about a leak coming from the top guys in his circle for some time, because Aro seems to know more than he should. He had the paperwork so well-buried on the Russian wedding I had you take pictures of, that I almost didn't find it."
He shakes his head, leaning back in the chair he's sitting in.
"And the fact we had been found in Forks, well, that just tells me a whole lot. But I can't risk you, hell, Carlisle doesn't even know you exist. Everything in the safe can go to him; he needs it to get in bed with the Russians, and hopefully it'll help him kill Aro.
"I know I'm going to die, it's only a matter of time. I'm sorry you're going to live alone in this world. I'm sorry I won't be there to walk you down the aisle, or to hold my first grandchild, to threaten your future husband, or be there at the grand opening of the pub. But know this: I love you, Bella.
"I am so sorry for this life you've been thrust into. I'm sorry I put you in that position."
The TV goes dark, and a sob escapes me.
cailín leanbh~ baby girl