Eala Chapter 20
I find myself staring out the bedroom window, thinking about the last few days. Edward came to our rescue with an army. I really wouldn’t expect anything less from him.
I manage to get to Aro first and hit him in the back of the head with my gun. I don’t want him to die that easily, and the look on Edward’s face tells me that was exactly what was going to happen. But I should have been more careful, more cautious when I heard the sound of gunfire. When Edward was busting in and all hell was breaking loose and guns were blazing, Carlisle and I ran towards the noise. That was my mistake. If I was doing what I had been raised to do I would have seen that we were in a warehouse by a river, not on a boat.
“Leanbh,” Edward murmurs as he pulls me into his chest.
I pull away, still extremely sore from the wounds on my body. A couple of broken ribs, severe malnutrition, a broken nose and bruised eye sockets. That’s not including all the knife wounds that had to be stitched up along my torso and legs, or the whip marks on my back that had already healed enough that they didn’t see the point in stitching them up.
“He’s going to live.” He kisses my head, which feels wrong without my hair.
Seeing Edward across the room, he and his men swarming with Aro’s guys, makes me lose focus. I just barrel in and Carlisle ends up taking a bullet for me.
I scream and start killing everyone in sight. I never would have thought Carlisle would put himself in harm’s way for me.
“I know,” I murmur back to Edward.
When the dust settles and Edward really looks at me, his face is ashen.
He still hasn’t really looked at me. I wonder if it’s out of disgust for me or himself. I’m sure he’s blaming himself in some way. Even though it has nothing to do with him or his family, not directly anyway.
Esme, Rose, and Alice have all been trying to get me to wear a wig, but I refuse. I feel as if they’re trying to hide what happened.
“Maybe you should get more rest, gra.” His voice is gentle and kind, but it just angers me more.
“I need to see him.” I walk slowly away from the window and towards the secret door that leads to an underground tunnel and a secret bunker that just happens to have an incinerator.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.” Edward’s voice is hard.
I turn to him; his jaw is set and his eyes are on the ground. His whole body is rigid.
“Well, good thing that your opinion doesn’t mean squat right now,” I spit angrily at him as I open the door and climb down the steps.
It isn’t long before I’m in the same room as the man who tortured and killed my father and kidnapped and tortured me.
I feel Edward’s presence behind me as I walk further into the room. There are many men here, including Viktor, Stefan, Jasper, Emmett, and now me and Edward.
Everyone quiets down as I walk closer to Aro. I can see they’ve already begun to work him over. He’s dangling from the ceiling, and he’s been stripped down to his boxers. Blood is dripping from his face and stomach. I spot a chair in the corner of the room. I walk over, not allowing myself to display the pain I’m still feeling.
I pull the chair directly in front of Aro and take a seat. Our eyes meet, and the room around me fades as many scenarios play out in my mind.
“I think you’re overdressed compared to how you had me.” My voice is devoid of emotion. His eyes turn to slits at my statement, and I turn to the men behind me. “Could someone please fix that?”
They turn to Edward, seeking permission.
“Fuck that,” I snap, and pull a knife from my belt and slice his boxers off. As they fall to the ground, I don’t look down, instead keeping my eyes on his face. I hate this man and everything he has taken from me. I walk away and take the cigarette Stefan is smoking. He doesn’t say anything, but his wide eyes give away the shock from my actions. I walk back over to Aro with the cigarette in my hand.
Without warning I put the cigarette out in his right eye.
He screams and tries to pull his head away from me, but I grab the back of it and keep him in place. I hear whispering behind me, but I don’t care what they’re saying. I keep my focus on Aro as he writhes in pain.
I let him go and his head drops, positive he passed out from the pain.
I turn to everyone else. Viktor and Stefan are smirking, but Emmett and Jasper look wary of me. Edward’s face is blank.
“Do not kill him.” My voice is steady with warning as I walk past them and back up to the house.
I find myself in my room staring at nothing.
I feel him before I hear him enter the room.
“I’m worried about you, leanbh.” His voice is soft and caring.
I feel the wetness in my eyes as he comes closer to me. “I want him to suffer.” My voice cracks.
He tugs on me gently until I find myself face first into his chest.
“Is breá liom tú, everything is going to be okay.”
I begin to sob into his chest, letting everything go.
Aro’s death isn’t special or delayed. I visit him for four days straight and just watch him. I tell him how my dad is the one that brought him down. I cut him and hit him with a bat, finally just putting a bullet between his eyes to be done with it.
It’s been a month since I’ve been home, and Christmas is around the corner. I haven’t even been shopping.
I find myself hiding out with Carlisle in his recovery room. We don’t say much to each other, just watch TV. Occasionally he’ll tell me a story about my dad, and about the McSuaine family.
Edward comes and goes; he’s been working hard cleaning house, vetting Caius as an ally, and discussing new territory with the Russians since the Italians won’t have anybody left once Edward is done with everything.
He spends lots of time with me. He cuddles in bed holding me so tight as if I’m going to disappear from his arms. We haven’t had sex; it’s not that I don’t want him, I just don’t feel attractive with my hair gone and scars everywhere. The farthest we’ve gone is grinding into each other, but I become frustrated when he handles me gently, bringing on my insecurities.
“Cá bhfuil tú, Bella?” Carlisle’s soft voice breaks my reverie.
“Tá mé anseo.” I turn to him.
He seems a lot lighter since Edward has taken everything over and has gotten the family in the best spot since the nineties.
Carlisle hums. “How are the wedding plans coming?”
I snort. “Esme, Rose, Angela, and Alice have been nagging but I haven’t been into it.”
“Do you not want to marry my son anymore?” I can tell by his voice that he’s just curious, but it sparks something inside me.
I glare at him. “Of course I fucking do.”
Carlisle just smiles. “Then plan the fucking wedding.”
I growl, “Fuck you, old man.”
He chuckles, and I want to slap him.
I turn away, playing with the necklace Edward gave me. I’m thankful that Aro didn’t get rid of it when he stripped me of everything. They found it in his room along with my ring. I have never been more grateful than when Edward put the ring and the necklace back on me. I could feel some of myself come back to me.
Alice walks past the room carrying some laundry. She’s been better since her confession, staying here at the house helping Esme as she and Jasper reconnect. They have been going on dates and even brought in a therapist; vetted first, of course.
I know she buried James and hasn’t looked back. I like her this way, because she’s actually funny. It’s like something lifted off her shoulders and she can be herself.
Carlisle and I are sitting in silence when Edward comes walking in with bags. He looks carefree as he sets the bags down and walks over to me, giving me a passionate kiss.
“How are you today, gra?”
I’m in shock at his affection and general carefree attitude. My answer comes out as more of a question. “Okay?”
He chuckles. “Da, how are you doing today?” Edward addresses his dad but keeps his hands on my hips.
Carlisle raises his eyebrow at his son. “Just another day. It seems like you have had a successful day.”
Edward chuckles again. “Everything is set in stone; the territories are divided and contracts in place. I can finally breathe as every last traitor has been taken care of. And tonight, we celebrate with the Russians for a successful business venture.”
I tense as he mentions dinner. I’m not ready to be with so many people.
Edward must feel my reaction under his hands because he kisses my head. “Viktor is looking forward to speaking with my most trusted advisor and soon to be wife,” he mummers against my skin.
I sigh. “I’ll be there, but only because I don’t want them to think I’m weak.”
I can hear his chest rumble. “You are not weak, never have been. He can see that, fuck, everyone can see that, leanbh.”
Upon hearing about the dinner party, the women in the family decide that we need a girl’s day out to go to the spa and buy fancy dresses. I’m dragged out by force by all of them, including Angela.
“Bella, this is good for you. You’ve been stuck in the room with your daddy in law since you came home,” Angela lectures from her chair next to mine.
I roll my eyes. “He took a bullet for me, Ang, I want to make sure he’s taken care of.”
I feel her eyes on the side of my head, but I refuse to look at her.
“We need to book a venue for the wedding, dear, where are you thinking?” Esme speaks up from her chair, changing the subject.
I would rather run out of this goddamn place naked before talking about my wedding. I feel ugly and just not worthy. I can’t even be intimate with my fiancé.
“Bella,” Angela’s gentle voice pulls me out of the dark hole I’m heading down.
I look over at her before addressing Esme. “Sorry, I was thinking of whether or not we can manage it. I would like it to be at your house; there’s plenty of yard and space for everyone, and it will be easy for security to keep things in order.”
Esme smiles but her eyes show the worry she’s hiding. I can’t blame her. Even though what I said about the location is accurate, the truth really is that I don’t feel comfortable having it anywhere else because I don’t want to have to look at a bunch of places.
All the girls begin to talk about color schemes and decorations and food. They try to bring me in, but I have no interest at all as my anxiety is beginning to peak the closer we get to dinner time.
We buy our dresses from Zafrina, who tries to question me about my wedding dress, but I skillfully ignore her questions and leave her shop to head back to the house to finish getting ready.
Edward is waiting for me in his childhood room, where we’ve been staying since I got back from Aro’s warehouse. He looks amazing in his dark blue power suit and tie; he radiates pure power. He walks over to me and kisses me with passion that makes me grind up against him. He pulls away, leaning against my forehead.
“Is breá liom tú, tá tú gach rud chun do.”
His declaration makes me sigh, smiling gently. “Is breá liom tú freisin,” I assure him.
He pecks my lips, leaving me to get dressed.
There is soft music playing and the caterers are walking around with drinks. There's so many people here, and many of them have come up to me and showed me respect and honor. Edward is so happy and proud to have me at his side, I think he’s going to shit rainbows.
I hear the clearing of a throat in a microphone, so I turn my attention to where it’s coming from. Edward is smiling as he looks at me. I am going to kill him.
“I want to thank everyone here for coming to celebrate a new era for all of us. I want to raise my glass to my wonderful fiancée for being who she is and never wavering.”
Everyone turns to me and raises their glasses in salute to me. I try to keep my face neutral as I raise my glass back to them, but inside I’m touched and honored.
As the party winds down, Edward asks to take me for a drive.
“Where are we going?” I ask, trying to keep the impatience out of my voice.
He chuckles. “Not far, gra.”
He isn’t lying; five minutes later we pull up to a gated lot. He enters a code and we pull in, and I gasp at the sight before me.
“What is this?”
He grabs my hand. “Your Christmas present.”
Is breá liom tú~ I love you
Cá bhfuil tú, Bella?~ Where are you, Bella?
Tá mé anseo~ I am here
tá tú gach rud chun dom~ you are everything to me
Is breá liom tú freisin~ I love you, too.