Eala Chapter 14
I rub my temples at Alice's incessant ranting at the poor sales lady for not having something in her size. The day has been an interesting one. I learned a lot about the Cullen women and how they came into the family.
Esme and Carlisle met when he was eating lunch at a diner she worked at while she was attending college for a business degree. He kept coming back to learn more about her. He lavished her with gifts, which she hated at first. Esme didn't find out about Edward and Carlisle's first wife until after she was already pregnant. She really didn't talk much more about what happened during that time, just that she forgave him and raised Edward as if he was one of her own. He needed a lot of love.
Rose and Emmett met when she was eighteen. They had the same freshman courses in college. I guess you can say the rest is history.
Alice, on the other hand, wasn't forthcoming with her story but was all about wanting mine.
"Alice, we have other places to be, let's go," Esme firmly tells her as she pulls on her arm.
I stand in shock as I watch Alice stomp her foot before being lead away. I turn to Rose who rolls her eyes.
"It happens all the time, Alice has to be the center of attention. I think it has something to do with her growing up in the system."
I don't reply as we walk out of the store and into the black SUV that has been escorting us all day. We also have one behind us and in front of us and each vehicle has four guards in them. I almost argued over the excessiveness of the security, but I decided that it wouldn't be wise considering the climate right now.
Carlisle called a meeting with the Russians for this upcoming week, and they have contacted more family leaders in New York, Chicago, and Boston preparing for possible war.
As we drive I play with my ring, a small smile forming on my lips.
"When is Edward getting you a real ring?" Alice asks, not even looking up from her phone.
I narrow my eyes at her. I catch her ring out of the corner of my eye, which is very extravagant and way too much for my taste.
"He did, and it's on my finger." I try very hard to keep the temper out of my voice.
She lifts her eyes and her nose scrunches up like something stinks.
"It's not even a real diamond," she says, disgust coloring her tone.
My fingers twitch. "I'm going to ignore you now before I have to decide between punching you or shooting you."
Her eyes widen, and her mouth falls as she gasps at my threat. Rose covers her mouth and Esme pats my hand. I turn my eyes to the window, calming myself down. Last thing I need to do is start a family argument.
We reach our destination and I can't believe what I'm seeing. I look over at Esme with my brow raised.
She smirks. "It doesn't hurt to take a look around."
I snort. "You must have some connections because this is an appointment-only boutique."
She shrugs nonchalantly. "The Cullen names gains us some privileges."
Our driver opens the door and offers to help each of us out of the car. He doesn't touch Esme or myself, but the gesture is there.
I walk in feeling out of place just like the rest of the stores we have been in. I'm wearing jeans and a black tee with chucks. And of course I have both handguns and a couple of knives on me. Alice keeps her distance from me when we enter, whereas Esme loops her arm with mine and Rose is on my other side.
My eyes sweep the store and I can just feel the expense coming off the racks. A tall woman with glowing dark skin comes from the back with a big smile.
"Esme, darling, I was delighted to get your call." Her African accent is faint.
She and Esme exchange air kisses on each cheek. "Yes, I couldn't wait to call you when my oldest boy Edward announced his engagement." She pulls me forward. "This is Bella, the bride to be."
Her eyes sweep over me. "I can see the attraction. I'm Zafrina."
Alice scoffs. "Yeah, sure."
"What are you looking for in a dress?" she asks me, choosing to ignore Alice's rudeness.
I pucker my lips, unsure. "I want something flowy, and I want to be able to include my weapons. I should say, have access to them."
Her eyes widen. "I'll pull some things and we can see what style you like, and then I will make you something from scratch."
I smile, already liking her. "Thank you."
Esme and Rose start chatting about color schemes and pros and cons of different seasons for weddings. Alice is on her phone, but she keeps looking out the glass windows for something.
I look around, noticing most of the guards are missing. My guts twist and my instincts kick in.
"Zafrina, where are your dressing rooms?" I call, keeping the worry out of my voice as I begin to plan.
"They are this way in the back for more privacy," she answers, confusion coloring her voice.
I nod my eyes, scanning for signs. "I think you four need to head that way."
All eyes are on me, but I see someone out the corner of my eye peeking in the front window from the corner of the building where the glass and brick meet.
"NOW!" I holler.
Esme grabs Rose and Alice and hightails it to where I told them to go. Zafrina looks at me in confusion, but follows suit.
I pull out my phone and text the name of the shop and 911 to Edward. Then I pull one of my guns, slowly backing away from the front of the store, waiting for the person or persons to make their move. It isn't long before three armed men stormed in the door, trying to rush me. I shoot the closest one in the knee before I run for cover around the corner where the dressing rooms are.
I lean against the wall trying to see where the intruders are. I glance behind me at Esme, Alice, and Rose huddled together. I give Esme my other gun just in case someone gets by me. Zafrina is standing tall with her own gun.
I really wish we didn't go shopping today.
I wait silently, listening for footsteps.
"Noi eravamo supposto solo afferrare sua," a deep voice hisses about ten feet away from where we're hidden. It's hilarious that they thought I'd be easy to grab, but I'm not laughing.
"Fanculo questo, dobbiamo andarcene," another guy says. Smart move.
I listen to their steps retreat, but I keep us hidden until I hear my dathúil yelling for me.
"Back here, Edward!" I call back.
I keep my guard up until I physically see him.
His hair is a mess; his hand holds his gun and his eyes hold fire.
"Leanbh," he exhales, crushing me to his chest. I hear Rose, Alice, and Esme all get the same greetings from their spouses.
"What the fuck happened?" Edward growls.
I put my gun away and take the one from Esme. "I don't know. We had been shopping all day, and when we came here I noticed the guards were missing. I told the ladies to hide back here. I waited, and three armed guys came in, bull-charging toward me. I shot one in the leg and then hid." I pause, looking into his eyes. "They spoke Italian. They said they were supposed to just grab 'her'."
I knew who they wanted to grab; me. I knew it in every fiber of my being.
His eyes grow dark with anger as he comes to the same conclusion.
I am currently staring out Edward's balcony window, fuming. I need to go to Eala and work on my books, get bands lined up, and I need to place orders. Angela has been working nonstop as my manager for well over a week.
But instead, my fiancé thinks it's too dangerous and wants me holed up in an ivory tower with hundreds of guards.
"Bella, you have to understand…"
I cut him off, "Oh, I get it, you still don't think I can protect myself. You think that someone will attack my club with all the people there, my security, and my cameras." I face him with my eyes narrowed, trying not to lose my temper.
His beautiful features are contorted. "I love you, if something happened to you I could not live with myself."
I sigh, walking up to Edward and cupping his face. He leans into it, closing his eyes. "I love you, too, but I have to continue with my life. I have to work. If it makes things better I will have suit man handle my books, and I will hire more workers and managers and such so that I won't have to be there as often."
He wraps his arms around my waist, pressing his forehead to mine. "I want Seth with you all the time, also."
I roll my eyes. "I think I can live with that."
He kisses me silly then drives me to Eala.
We're at our capacity and there's a line for people to get in. I quickly make my way in through the back. I see Angela working her ass off at the bar, and I can also see we're short staffed. It makes me feel like shit. I should have been here.
Angela looks relieved to see me. I dive right into helping her out at the bar and slowly make my way to the floor and back to the bar. This is the pattern I keep up for the next couple hours.
A few hours later we close and lock the doors. Angela follows me to the office. In there I tell her everything I can about what has been going on. She squeals at the engagement.
"That is amazing, Bella. I am so happy for you."
"You are, of course, my maid of honor."
She gives me a teary nod.
I clear my throat. "Okay, work related. I'm going to need your suit man to help me with our books and we need to hire more managers and workers because for obvious reasons I will be away from the pub more."
Angela looks relieved with this information. "Thank God, because I love you, but you need a life outside this place. And I can't be you."
I smile, knowing what she means.
We clean up, and I take all my paperwork up to my apartment, or I try to.
"Miss Swan, Mr. Cullen said to have you escorted back to his apartment when you're done." Seth is tall and lean, and a scary scowl is permanently on his face.
I raise my brow. "He did, did he?"
He gives me a firm nod.
I huff. "I have a few choice words for him," I grumble.
Noi eravamo supposto solo afferrare sua~ We were supposed to just grab her
fanculo questo, dobbiamo andarcene~ Fuck this, we need to leave