Punk'd: Cullen Style

One weekend. A big brother who loves to tease and play jokes on his favorite human/little sister. Another brother who happens to be the extremely protective fiancé of the human, and one visiongifted sister who may just be scarier than the fiancé when the safety of her little sister is jeopardized. Human tears, a hospital emergency room and two very angry vampires! It’s time for revenge. Watch out Emmett, you’re going to get punk’d…Cullen style!

Edward Cullen was in a bad mood, a very bad mood as he sped back to Forks in his Volvo. And a vampire in a bad mood is never a good thing. A vampire in love with a human (and obsessed with her safety as she happens to be a magnet for danger) is an especially bad thing to cross. And when something or someone causes tears and/or harm to this vampire’s human love, even unintentionally, well, that is something to be avoided at all costs. Carlisle was sitting in the passenger seat, throwing concerned looks at his extremely angry and worried son, wondering if his daughter Rosalie was going to still have a mate after the day was through. Jasper sat in the backseat, desperately trying to send out waves of calm towards Edward, but Edward’s fury was too strong to tamp down. His Bella was hurt, Emmett was involved and there was going to be hell to pay…

Chapter One: Plans for the Weekend
Edward’s POV Emmett had finally crossed the line. It was one thing for him to try to tease and harass me about everything from “being too old-fashioned and no fun” to “too bad you’re note getting any” comments concerning my relationship with Bella. He can act like an oversized little kid at times, but I’d been around him for the better part of a century and it was nothing that I couldn’t handle. Even when he teased Bella, I didn’t worry too much. Bella takes his teasing in stride, treating him like the older brother she never had, although at times his comments have embarrassed her. I step in immediately when I see Emmett headed in that direction. No one is going to make my Bella uncomfortable like that without paying a price. But when the same older brother makes my Bella cry, I see red. And when it results in Bella ending up in a hospital emergency room, I don’t just see red. I see vampire red. Blood red. Emmett is dead meat, I thought, or whatever qualified as the equivalent of dead meat for a vampire as I pressed down harder on the gas pedal, trying to coax more speed from the engine. I was so angry, I couldn’t even come up with the proper analogy for Emmett's soon-to-be state of existence, or more accurately non-existence! It all started when I left for a weekend hunting trip with Jasper and Carlisle. It had been a couple of weeks since I had hunted anything other than deer or whatever the nearby forest had to offer, but


none of these animals had been able to fully sate my thirst. I needed to hunt the larger prey and the only way to do that was to venture further away from our nearby hunting grounds. When Bella realized that my thirst was not being satisfied by what was nearby, which she could easily tell by how quickly my eyes would turn black again even after a recent hunt, and the purple shadows that would never fade, she basically ordered me to take off for the weekend to Goat Rocks. Alice had decided to invite Bella to stay over the weekend while I was gone which Charlie of course readily agreed to after having first confirmed that I would be nowhere near the house while Bella was in residence. Emmett decided that he was going to stay behind this weekend. I should have known something was up when Emmett declined an opportunity to play with his irritable grizzlies, but since he had just returned from a hunting trip with Rosalie I didn’t give it too much thought. I had no reason to believe that it wouldn’t be anything but a nice relaxing weekend for Bella. Of course she was going to have to be patient with Alice, as Alice had a full weekend of playing “let’s dress Bella” in mind. Alice was actually very eager to spend some quality time with Bella. Bella and I had pretty much monopolized each other’s attention over the past couple of weeks and Alice was missing her best friend. I felt a little guilty about that, and so I was agreeable to her plan to have Bella to herself for the weekend, if Bella was agreeable to the plan as well, which she was. Bella insisted that she would be fine. She said that she would feel better knowing that I would get a chance to lose myself in the hunt without having to worry about her being on her own. Plus the thought of me coming home early on Sunday and being able to spend the whole day and night together before she had to go back to Charlie's was more than enough incentive for her to endure whatever tortures Alice had planned for the weekend. My brave Bella! I thought as she lay in my arms the night before my hunting trip and I alternated singing her lullaby with soft kisses placed against her hair and neck. I trusted Alice implicitly with Bella’s safety while I was gone. My sister would never let anything happen to Bella. Which is why I was very surprised when Alice called me early Saturday afternoon to tell me that Bella was in the emergency room at Forks General…

Chapter Three: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Alice’s POV


I had such high hopes for the weekend. I'd looked ahead and all my visions were of a happy weekend with Bella. She was in a relaxed and light mood, hardly a complaint about the manicures, pedicures, make-up sessions and shopping that I had planned for the two of us. A small miracle in and of itself, but to me it was proof of Bella's love for me, that she would let me have my fun, and I loved her even more for it. The only thing I hadn’t foreseen was Emmett's decision to stay behind. A decision that changed everything about my weekend with my best friend and sister to be. I arrived at Bella’s house on Friday afternoon. Charlie was home from work early and so I parked my beautiful yellow Porsche behind his police cruiser in the driveway. I ran quickly up the steps (but not so quickly that it drew attention from any neighbors who might be looking out their windows), and knocked lightly before opening and popping my head through the door. “Hello? Charlie, Bella?” I asked. I knew they were both home but of course I had to keep up appearances. “Alice, honey, is that you?” I heard Charlie’s voice calling from the kitchen. “Hi Charlie, it’s me!” I cheerfully replied. I loved Charlie. He was always so kind. He was fond of me, ever since after the incident with James, when Bella came home in a cast and I was over here several times a day to help Bella maneuver around and assist her in and out of the shower. What sister wouldn’t want to help her sister out in the same situation? And I told Charlie as much. When he heard me refer to Bella as being like a sister to me, he was touched. And ever since that time he has treated me as if I were another daughter. He was very sweet. “Hey sweetie, good to see you,” he replied with a smile as he came over to give me a hug. It’s a good thing I was wearing a thick jacket…he would have noticed the chill from my body. “Bella's upstairs, sweetie, getting everything together for your weekend. So I understand that it’s going to be all girl stuff?” he said with a chuckle, no doubt imagining Bella’s feelings about a whole weekend of doing “girl stuff.” I giggled softly. “Yes Charlie, Bella and I are going to have a totally relaxing weekend. Manicures, facials, pedicures. We’re going to check out the latest Paris fashions on the internet and then on Sunday we’re driving to Port Angeles to see what we can find in the shops there.” I said enthusiastically, rocking back and forth on my heels. I was very excited about the weekend. “I’m so excited that Bella agreed to this. It’s been so busy the last couple of weeks and I’ve missed getting to hang out with my best friend!” Charlie started to laugh. “Yes, well, Bella hasn’t been able to talk about anything else all week, although I thought I heard a couple of “what will the little pixie do to me this weekend” thrown in here and there under her breath.” He laughed again. “Try to go a little easy on her, okay? I need her back in once piece.” “Sure thing, Charlie!” I said with a laugh. Oh, Bella! I think those comments are worth you having to trying on two extra outfits and you are going to let me buy you that beautiful blue top that will have Edward’s eyes popping out of his head! Somehow I didn’t that that last part would be a problem for Bella, as I giggled to myself.


“So, your brother is going to be out of town then?” Charlie was suddenly very serious as he asked this question, looking at me very carefully. Still having problems forgiving Edward for his “mistake” last fall, thought Alice, but at least he’s trying, for Bella’s sake. “Oh yes, he’s going to be with Carlisle and Jasper. They’ve decided to do a little hiking this weekend, up near Mt. Rainier, in the backcountry. Something about male bonding, chest beating and some other nonsense,” I said rolling my eyes. Charlie’s lips twitched as he struggled to contain his laugh at these words. “But my big brother Emmett is going to be around to make sure we’re safe, although if he knows what’s good for him he’s going to let us girls be girls and will make himself scarce!” At this Charlie laughed outright. “Alice, honey, I have no doubt you will be able to keep him, or any other male, in their place! Well, go on upstairs, go see if Bella is ready. I’m sure she’s eager to start the weekend.” “Thanks Charlie! We’ll be back down in just a bit,” I said as I started up the stairs, Charlie’s laughter fading in the background. “Bella!” I yelled as I neared her door. “The little pixie has arrived to take you away for all that "girl stuff" she has planned for you this weekend!” “Uh, what did you say, Alice?” Bella’s voice came from around the door, looking worried about my reaction to the "little pixie" reference. “Oh come on Bella, puhleeze!” I said exaggerating the last word and rolling my eyes. “As if I wouldn’t have seen you making those comments in one of my visions! Although this time you have your dad to thank for that little tidbit of information being passed to me.” “Charlie told you I said that?!” Bella said, shocked that her dad would rat her out that way. “What can I say, he loves me…” I said as I blew on my finger tips and polished them on my shoulder. This time it was Bella who rolled her eyes at me. "Okay, okay, you caught me. Actually, I'm looking forward to the weekend, Alice. We haven't spent much time together lately and I've missed hanging out with my best friend. So, I am willingly putting myself into your care and keeping. Please show mercy, some 10-15 minute breaks would be much appreciated!" Bella teased. "All right, all right, if you're a good girl. But don't think I'm not going to make you pay for the "little pixie" remarks. That's worth at least two additional outfits to be tried on, and you're going to let me buy this beautiful blue top..."said Alice, before being interrupted by Bella. Bella cut in. "No Alice, you're not spending money on me."


Time to call in the big guns. "But Bella, this top is so beautiful and it's in Edward's favorite color. I had a vision of you in this top. He couldn't take his eyes off you, or his arms, or his hands, or his lips..." Bella knew she'd lost this one, especially when Alice threw in the comments about eyes, arms, hands and lips. In fact, at this point she had no problem with Alice buying the complete outfit, which she was certain was going to happen anyway. But better to let her think it was a hard fought win. "Fine, fine, one blue blouse and two extra outfits to model, but that's it!" I could afford to be generous after winning this concession from Bella. "Deal! Let's go!" I said, excited for the start of our weekend.

Chapter Four: Who’s Scaring Who Around Here?
Emmett’s POV Oh man! I am in deep trouble! If it were possible for vampires to hyperventilate, I would be passed out right now! Edward and Alice are coming after me and I am scared out of my mind. Yes, me, Emmett Cullen, the all powerful, strong, fearless, undefeatable Emmett Cullen, all I can think of right now is “Please, dear God please someone, hide me!” If vampires could wet their pants, my pants would have the biggest spot spreading down the pant leg! Mr. Emo Vampire and The Vengeful Pixie are out to get me! I never meant for anything bad to happen to Bella. How could I have known that she would end up in the hospital emergency room the afternoon after she arrived at the house? I only wanted to have some fun with my little sister, and give her an opportunity to let loose, relax a little, not worry about the rules. Edward is so protective of her, he never let’s her do anything! Don’t get me wrong. I love my brother. I have the deepest respect for him and with Jasper there is no one else I’d rather have in a fight next to me than Edward. But he’s obsessed with Bella’s safety and I just wanted her to have a chance to let go without hearing Edward say “what if this or that happens” or “danger has a way of finding you.” With Edward it’s always “what if this” or “what if that” when it comes to Bella. But come on, like I would ever let anything happen to my little sister… Wait…epiphany happening here. Bella, self-described danger-magnet... My favorite human and soon-to-be sister Bella, danger-magnet extraordinaire… My favorite human and soon-to-be sister Bella who has no problem attracting trouble within a 10 mile radius, danger-magnet extraordinaire! I AM DEAD MEAT, or whatever is the equivalent of dead meat for vampires!


I should have listened to the little voice of reason in my head that sounded an awful lot like Carlisle and Jasper combined. It started out innocent enough. Bella was going to stay the weekend with Alice while Edward went hunting. Rosalie and I had come back from our hunting trip in Goat Rocks just a few days ago and when I found out Bella was going to be here I couldn’t resist staying behind. It’s rare to catch Bella without Edward nowadays, and vice versa, so I never get a chance to pull one over on her with Edward always catching the gist of my thoughts before I’m even able to attempt to pull a prank on Bella. Now that he was going to be gone for a whole weekend, there was nothing to stop me from targeting my favorite little human and having a few good laughs. Now all I had to do was not tip off Alice and her visions. She’d catch me for sure. But I knew that if I didn’t make any decisions until the very moment of playing the prank, she wouldn’t be able to stop me. In my mind I could hear a devious little chuckle sound off as I thought of being able to pull one over on my clairvoyant sister. Wait, got to be careful, don’t want to tip her off! Yes, my plans were foolproof. I pulled the first prank as Bella and Alice pulled into the garage Friday afternoon. I was already in the garage helping Rosalie as worked on my Jeep, so Alice wouldn’t be suspicious if she saw me hanging around in the garage. So far, everything is going perfect. Rosalie had left the garage to back to the house for an instruction manual that she’d left in our room. Alice stepped out the car, with Bella starting to get out at human speed. Alice's attention was distracted by a little dent she spotted on the back of her car. Keeping my thoughts and intentions completely clear and blank, I glided over to Bella’s side of the car and as she turned to shut the door I jumped out and roared, “BELLA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I have never seen a human jump as high as Bella did in that moment. Only Bella could jump and then trip in mid-air on her way back to the ground. She fell on her hands and knees before I could catch her, looking up at me with eyes that looked like they were ready to pop out of their sockets, the pupils fully dilated. Wow! This was turning out better than I had ever dreamed possible, figuratively speaking of course. However, a second later it suddenly wasn’t funny anymore. All the blood drained completely from her face as she became as white as a vampire, and then her heart stopped as did her breathing. Uhoh, not good!!! Human not breathing, human with no heartbeat! Oh crap, crap, crap!!! I thought to myself. “Bella, breathe!” I yelled at her. “Emmett! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” screamed Alice as she flew to Bella’s side. “Breathe, Bella, breathe, please, breathe!” said Alice frantically as she alternated gently patting and rubbing Bella’s back, easily lifting Bella from the garage floor and onto the nearby bench. No breathing, no heartbeat, nothing.


“Oh man, I killed her! I literally scared her to death!” I was frantically yelling over and over, as I circled around Bella like a dog chasing its tail. I’m dead, I’m dead, I am so dead! Suddenly Bella’s heart started beating again as she gasped for air and then the blood began to flood back into her face. Normally a simple thing like a human blushing can trigger a vampire’s thirst, but all I could feel at the moment was relief that she was breathing and my life, or existence, was safe for the time being. I was in for another scare when just a second later her heartbeat began to speed up, beating faster than was humanly safe. “Please Bella, I’m sorry! I didn’t think…” before I was interrupted by visibly angry Alice who was trembling in the effort to keep her anger in check over my prank. “Well, that’s what happens when you don’t think, Emmett!!! You practically sent her into cardiac arrest! And she still might go into one if we can’t get her heart rate back to normal!” she yelled as she slapped me upside the head. How can something so tiny be so loud? “Ouch, Alice, that hurt!” I said, rubbing my head. “I didn’t mean to scare her so badly. I just wanted to have a little fun with my favorite human. It was a joke…” “Oh sure, Emmett!” said Alice, still irate. “And how do you think it would be if I had to call Edward to let him know that you scared his fiancée to death? Tell me, do you think that you, me, Rosalie or Esme has the necessary control to safely bite Bella and start the transformation, since Carlisle and Edward wouldn’t be here to do it if she had gone into cardiac arrest!? Not to mention the fact that if her heart is no longer beating, how would the venom flow through her bloodstream? Did you think about that???” I was feeling pretty bad at this point. Bella continued taking quick breaths, trying to calm her breathing while holding her hand to her heart. “Bella, I’m really, really sorry.” I said again. “I honestly didn’t think that it would scare you that badly. I will never do that again, I mean it.” Bella looked up at Emmett, tears at the corner of her eyes as she started to calm down from the scare. “Emmett, it’s okay. Just give me a chance to get my breath back and my heart back to normal. I forgive you.” She gave him a tentative smile to let him know all was well, or would soon be. “I know my big brother would never intentionally harm me. I’ll be fine.” I breathed a sigh of relief as Bella carefully stood up and took a wobbly first step towards Alice. Alice shot me a dirty look as she put her arm around Bella to steady her. Once Bella had taken five more steps, each more stable than the last, she let go of Bella and followed her out of the garage and into the house. Man, I don’t know my own strength sometimes!


Chapter Five: A Cure for the Common Scare
Alice's POV I followed Bella into the house, moving at human speed since she was still a little off-balance and walking very slowly and carefully. I wanted to make sure that she didn’t stumble or fall down again and steered her carefully towards the kitchen where Esme was waiting with a glass of cold water. Esme had been in her bedroom, working on plans for Edward and Bella’s room in the Alaska house. She had heard everything that had happened in the garage and was trying to contain her anger towards Emmett. It took a lot to make Esme angry with one of her children, but Bella was like a daughter to her and Esme was especially protective of her, Bella being human and so fragile and prone to getting hurt easily. Esme thought it best to wait inside the house and had gone down to the kitchen to wait for us. I moved Bella towards one of the stools next to the kitchen countertop. She quickly sat on the stool and gratefully accepted a glass of water from Esme. I knew that water wouldn’t be enough to help settle her. Bella had had a shock and I was wracking my brain trying to remember what Edward had done for her after her near attack in Port Angeles. Damn that Emmett, he has me so distracted I can’t think straight! I muttered under my breath as I finally settled down enough to remember that Edward had made her drink a soda for the sugar. “Esme, can you get a soda out of the refrigerator?” I asked Esme. “She needs to drink something with sugar in it.” Esme pulled a soft drink from out of the refrigerator, and quickly opened and poured the drink into an ice-filled glass before handing it to Bella along with a straw. Bella drank deeply. She’s definitely in shock, I thought to myself, as she quickly finished off the drink. “Bella, are you feeling alright? You’re not feeling lightheaded or faint?” I asked softly, not wanting to startle her or do anything to get her heart racing again. “I’m fine, Alice, I feel okay,” Bella said as she placed the glass on the countertop. “Thank you, Esme; that was just what I needed.” “You’re welcome, dear,” said Esme, worry still evident on her beautiful face. “Are you sure you’re okay?” “Really, Esme, I’m good.” Bella tried to reassure her.


I knew Bella well enough to know better than to take that statement at face-value without challenging her. Bella would always say she felt fine, even if “feeling fine” meant she was lying in a hospital bed with a broken leg in traction, cracked ribs, dislocated collarbone and a concussion. This girl hated attention! I gave her my most stern expression and asked, “Oh, really, Bella? That’s what you always say whenever you’ve been hurt. I want the absolute truth! Are you okay?” Bella looked as if she were about to roll her eyes, but stopped when she saw the worried expressions on mine and Esme’s faces. I think it occurred to her that she wasn’t the only one to almost go into cardiac arrest. The two vampires standing in front of her (the ones with the dead, unbeating hearts) had also gotten the scares of their lives and wanted to be sure that she was truly fine. Bella seemed touched by our concern and she answered, “Okay, I’m almost fine. I’ve never been that scared, which is saying a lot considering this human regularly hangs out with seven vampires and will be marrying one of them soon.” She was trying to lighten the mood. “Really…I’m still here; the human’s heart is still going strong.” I looked at her again very carefully, and then closed my eyes to see ahead a bit. I could see she would be fine, if my idiot brother didn’t try to pull another stunt like that again! I was going to be keeping my “eye” on him! “Okay, Miss Swan, I believe you. But you’re going to march yourself right up to Edward’s room this instant and you’re going to take a nap. You’re still looking pale and I want you at 100% for the rest of the weekend. No arguments!” I said in my best authoritative voice. Bella looked up at me, and with a wink at Esme raised her right hand towards her face and swiftly saluted me saying, “Sir! Yes, Sir!” as if she were taking orders from her captain. I had to laugh at that, feeling much better knowing that if she was teasing me she would be fine. Esme also looked very relieved and followed us as we made our way up the stairs. Once we had made sure Bella was resting comfortably on Edward’s bed, I marched myself down the stairs at vampire speed, ready to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with my big brother!

Chapter Six: It’s What You Don’t Say That Counts
Alice's POV:


I made my way back to the garage and found Emmett standing next to his Jeep, handing Rosalie tools as needed. “Emmett!” I growled. He glanced up, looking very much like the little boy whose hand got caught in the cookie jar. “Alice, really, I’m sorry. I never dreamed she would have scared as badly or as easily as she did. If I had known I wouldn’t have done it. I swear I will never do that again. Well, at least not while she’s human,” he said holding up his hands in surrender and giving me his best impression of sad puppydog eyes. I was not amused. “Emmett Cullen, don’t even try giving me the sad puppy-dog eyes! That may work on Rosalie and sometimes Esme, but not on me! You better believe you won’t be doing that again. I mean it; I am putting my foot down. YOU LEAVE BELLA ALONE! I swore to Charlie that I would be bringing her back safe and in one piece. No more sneaking up behind her and startling her, no screaming “boo” or anything else that might scare her. No jumping out of bushes or shrubs or staircases or anything else. No pulling rugs or chairs out from under her, or doing anything to trip her up. No making her eat or drink anything that will make her sick or drunk. I swear Emmett, if you ruin my weekend with Bella there WILL be hell to pay!” Rosalie looked up from under the Jeep, having heard everything that had played out earlier, and my threats against her husband just now. She raised her eyebrows at this but wisely kept her mouth shut. My sister was fearless but she knew I was not one to cross when riled and she could see that I wasn’t in the mood to put up with her smart remarks. I could tell she was thinking back to the time I threatened to chop off her hair the last time she didn’t do as I asked. Emmett looked as if he was going to laugh, but one look at my cold hard eyes sobered him up quickly. I turned around and started walking out of the garage. Just as I reached the door, I turned around and said to him, “You’d better watch yourself, Emmett. I WILL be watching you; don’t even think of trying to pull one over on me again. Remember, you cross me and you will pay…” and with one last, threatening look I went back inside the house to wait for Bella to wake up from her nap. Emmett's POV I considered myself lucky to still be in one piece after Alice left the garage. She might be tiny but that sister of mine is still scary. I had no doubt that she would make good on her threat. Rosalie was watching me carefully as I thought about Alice's warning. “You’d better watch it, Emmett,” said Rosalie. “When it comes to Bella’s safety, you know that Alice is almost as bad as Edward.” “I know, Rosie, I know.” I said to her. “I just wanted to have a little fun. How was I supposed to know she was going to stop breathing like that? These humans are so fragile! Man, I can’t wait for Edward to change her.”


“Well, just be careful. Alice was pretty specific about what you can’t do and it would be wise not to cross her,” said Rosalie. I loved how she looked out for me. “Okay, well, I’m going to go inside and clean up,” she said as she made her way out of the garage. I sat down on the bench thinking over what Alice had said. Man, talk about spoiling my fun. I had it all planned out and then Alice has to go and take away all my fun! Sometimes her ability to see the future is a real pain in the…well, you where! Okay, Emmett, you’ve been warned, I said to myself. There goes the weekend. So much for having fun! I should have just gone hunting with the others. Alice's words came back to me: “No more sneaking up behind her and startling her, no screaming “boo” or anything else that might scare her. No jumping out of bushes or shrubs or staircases or anything else. No pulling rugs or chairs out from under her, or doing anything to trip her up. No making her eat or drink anything that will make her sick or drunk.” I sat there another couple of minutes, turning over her words in my head. Then it hit me. The loophole… Oh, man, I am a genius! I can’t do anything that she specifically mentioned, but what about anything she didn’t mention? I AM THE MAN! I AM THE MAN! I AM THE MAN! I chanted as I did a little victory dance. Little pixie thinks she can put me in my place. Thinks she’s smarter than me because she can see the future. I WILL be watching you, Emmett. I mimicked in her voice. Ha! I had a huge number of pranks in my repertoire. I didn’t even have to think about it! I could still have my fun and technically not cross Alice! I’ve gotta be careful, I thought to myself. Don’t want to tip her off until the very last second. Who’s smarter than whom now? Emmett Cullen, King of the Prank, is back in business!

Chapter Seven: Emmett Strikes Again!
Emmett's POV


Heh, heh, heh, I laughed to myself as I set my plans in motion. Oops! Gotta keep that on the QT, I reminded myself. Can’t have Alice knowing just yet. I purposefully kept my mind blank as I walked back into the house. Bella was taking a nap in Edward’s room and Alice was nowhere in sight. Probably in her room, I thought as I made my way up the stairs. At that moment Alice walked out of her room. Her eyes narrowed as she started walking towards me while mouthing “I’ll be watching you.” I gave her my best innocent look, shrugged my shoulders and said, “What???” I watched as her eyes got that faraway look as she searched ahead to make sure I wasn’t going to do any of the things she had “forbidden” me to do. She was killing me here; it’s really hard trying to fake out the pixie but I did my best to think about anything that would throw her off: taking the Jeep for a spin, me and Rosalie going hunting later on this evening, watching the game on the big screen TV. Her eyes came back into focus; it would seem that none of her visions showed me doing any of the things on her “forbidden” list. But I knew she still didn’t trust me, because she brushed past me and gave a low and threatening growl as she continued down the stairs. It was times like this that I was really glad she couldn’t read minds like Edward. Breathing a sigh of relief I made my way to my room and sat on the bed. I needed a lucky break, something that would get Alice out of the way long enough for me to set up my prank, and hopefully watch it play out before the fireworks started. I listened to see if I could hear her anywhere in the house. Bingo! She was in the kitchen telling Esme that she needed to run out for half an hour and would be back before Bella woke. Am I the luckiest vampire on this planet or not? YES! I said to myself as I did the grown man version of that ‘Home Alone’ kid’s move, the one where he got down on one knee and pumped his arm while yelling “YES!” Yup, I am one lucky vampire… Jumping up I went over to the window and waited until I heard the sound of Alice's car starting, watching as she pulled out of the garage and made her way down the drive. Once I was sure she was gone, I used my vampire stealth to sneak up to Edward’s room, very quietly opening the door and peeking in to see if Bella was still asleep. She was out cold. I started chuckling to myself as I made my way over to the bed. She was breathing deeply, and then she started mumbling in her sleep. I had a hard time not laughing when I heard her mutter “stupid overgrown vampire” – clearly a reference to me. I puffed out my chest proudly, thinking God, she is funny! I had a moment’s panic when I heard Esme making her way up the stairs but then I heard her bedroom door close and knew I was safe. For a moment I thought she was going to peek in on Bella and that would have ruined my plan. I opened the door very quietly and once I was sure the coast was clear, I snuck down to the kitchen to grab the necessary ingredient for my second prank. Opening the refrigerator I searched the shelves for the can of whipped cream that Esme kept on hand for Bella. Bella loved strawberries and cream so Esme made it a point to always have a can in the refrigerator for her. There it was. Perfect. Very quietly I made my way back up the stairs to Edward’s room, shaking the can as I made my way up. Peeking through Edward’s doorway I saw Bella hadn’t moved. Good, still asleep, I thought to myself as I carefully took the cap off the can and placed a golf-ball sized portion of


whipped cream in her right hand. When Bella wakes from her nap the first thing she’s going to do is rub her face…smearing it all over her face! Man, this is gonna be good! I said to myself, trying not to laugh. Bella’s hand suddenly twitched, but other than that she stayed perfectly still, still sleeping soundly. I did the same to her left hand and leaned back to survey my handiwork. Nah, Emmett, we need something more, something really funny, I thought to myself. Got it! I very carefully drew a moustache and little goatee on her face, and around her hairline I made the outlines for one of those wigs that they make those barristers in England wear, the same type that George Washington wore when he was President. I quickly made my way to the door, looking back one last time to admire my work, and laughing quietly as I closed the door. Now, I knew Bella was not going to be happy waking up with whipped cream all over her face, hands and hair. What kind of big brother would I be if I didn’t have a solution for that problem? Of course, my solution was guaranteed to be fun…well… fun for me! Next, I grabbed the box of balloons we kept in the hall closet for those occasions when Jasper, Edward and I felt the need to pelt each other with water balloons. I filled three huge balloons full of cold water and carefully hung them above Edward’s doorway. I rigged my trap by attaching a clear piece of string to the balloons and weaving the line down the side of the doorway and then cutting directly across the door at the midway point. When Bella opens the door she’ll run into the string and then…SPLAT! The balloons would drop down on her and presto! No more whipped cream! Of course she’d be wet, but you can’t argue with the results right? So far, so good. I made my way to the end of the hallway, and hid myself as best as I could as I waited for the fun to start. Alice's POV I was a little worried about leaving the house for half an hour, but there was an errand that I needed to take care of and since Bella was napping I decided to go ahead and get it over with. I did not trust Emmett one bit, so when I passed him in the hall I reminded him of my promise to watch him, complete with threatening growl thrown in for good measure. I went into the kitchen to let Esme know I’d be back shortly and rushed out to the garage. She said she would listen out for Bella. I jumped into my beautiful yellow Porsche and backed out of the garage, racing down the drive. I wanted to get back as quickly as possible. I had so many fun things planned for Bella and me. Once she woke from her nap we could start having fun. I reached my destination when I got this funny feeling that something bad was going to happen. This funny feeling had Emmett's name written ALL over it. I snorted to myself, there is no way that Emmett could be so stupid that he would still try to prank Bella, not after my specific warning about what he couldn’t do. Oh no! He is that stupid! If it were possible for a vampire to get a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, that’s what I would be feeling right now. That stupid, overgrown gorilla is going to do whatever I didn’t forbid him to do!!! I let out a menacing growl as I looked forward into the future and saw that I was right. A chain of events was about to be set in


motion and I screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” Jumping back into my Porsche, I raced back to the house, knowing I was going to be too late… Emmett's POV I was killing time while waiting for Bella to wake, quietly humming movie theme songs. Right now ‘Mission Impossible’ was playing in my head. Appropriate, I thought. This was definitely a ‘mission impossible,’ fooling Alice, but here I was minutes away from success! I could hear Bella’s breathing change as she started to wake up. I poked my head around the corner, getting ready for the fun to begin. It didn’t take long. Almost immediately I heard a loud scream, and then a roar as Bella jumped out of the bed and tripped her way to the door, calling me every name under the sun and yelling out “Emmett, I am going to KILL you! I don’t care if you’re a vampire and indestructible; I am going to make you wish you had never been made immortal!!!” I was rolling on the floor…oh man, this is good! Esme heard Bella’s scream and I could hear her racing to her bedroom door. Before Esme had even stepped over the threshold, Bella pulled open the door and I got my first look at her face. The George Washington wig was still in place and now the moustache and goatee had turned into a white beard! With her completely red cheeks she almost looked like Santa Claus! Just when I thought it couldn’t get any funnier, she stepped forward, right into the trip wire and then the water balloons came crashing down on her. SPLAT! SPLAT! SPLAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One by one the balloons dropped down on her and burst open, drenching her in cold water and eliciting another scream of anger. Talk about looking like a drowned kitten; she was soaked! Oh man! I should have set up a video camera! This was worth a good 10 to 20 years of blackmail material! Rosalie had also heard Bella’s scream and had rushed back into the house. Her lips were twitching at the sight of Bella completely soaked. She closed her eyes briefly and then gave me a look that said “You know you’re dead, Emmett, don’t you? What did I say earlier about crossing Alice?” Oh come on, Rosie, don’t turn on me now! I thought to myself. Bella’s face went from red to this shade of purple. She looked around quickly, with a wild look on her face, and then her eyes narrowed as she caught sight of me at the end of the hallway near the stairs, laughing like there was no tomorrow. She started stalking towards me, looking like an angry, soaking wet cat. I swear if she were a cat her back would be arched and her hair and tail would be standing on end. The image made me laugh even harder. I held my hands up, slowly backing down the stairs. “Now Bella, it was just a joke. I couldn’t resist and you didn’t get hurt this time. You should have seen your face when you opened the door!” I said, hoping that her sense of humor would rise to the occasion. No such luck… She’s been hanging around Mr. Emo too long, I said to myself. Bella was not amused, nor was Esme as she started towards Bella.


“Oh, come on you two! You have to admit it was funny,” I said, trying to get them to see it my way. Rosalie shook her head at me as she tried to keep her face straight. Okay, I was on my own here. “No Emmett, it’s not funny when the human wakes up to whipped cream in her face, hands and hair, only to get water bombed when she opens the door!” yelled Bella. Wow, she was red AND purple now! Now, when one lives with Carlisle, Edward and Jasper for half a century there are numerous occasions when you find yourself the recipient of some little pearls of advice and it would probably surprise them to know that I actually remember some of these little pearls. One quote in particular came to mind. Jasper enjoys British history. He was reading a book of quotes by some guy named Benjamin Disraeli. I think he was like a prime minister or something, I thought to myself. There was one quote by this Benjamin Disraeli that was a favorite of Jasper's, one that he repeated to me many, many times; so many times that I had no choice but to remember it: “What we anticipate seldom occurs; but what we least expect generally happens.” Why, oh why, didn’t I remember this because I swear this quote had Bella written all over it! Not only is she a danger magnet, you can add “accident magnet” to her list of titles. Because, if it involves Bella, “what we least expect generally happens.” The water balloons had created a huge puddle that zigzagged down the hallway towards the top of the stairs. Bella being Bella, with nothing but a level floor and no obstacles in her path, tripped over her two feet and slipped at the top of the stairs, her feet coming out from under her as she landed hard on her behind and slid down one…two…three steps before coming to a stop. At that very moment the front door burst open and a very angry Alice flew up the stairs towards Bella. “EMMETT CULLEN!” she screamed. Not good… Esme and I were immobile from shock for about a split second, but quickly recovering we raced to where Bella lay sprawled on the steps. She was moaning with her arms flung over her face. Alice and Esme were furious, but right now their only concern was for Bella. “Sweetheart, don’t move!” said Esme. “You need to tell me where it hurts. Can you move at all? Can you feel your legs?” “I think I broke my bum…” she sobbed as she tried to ease the pressure off her backside. As funny as it sounded to hear Bella say her “bum” was broken, I wasn’t laughing. I was scared that she had hurt herself badly. I had thought my joke would be harmless, only good for laughs, but once again the unexpected happened with Bella. “Bella, you need to stay still,” said Alice. She looked at Esme and said, “Esme, please call Carlisle and see what we should do.” Alice gave me a dark look as she said in a low whisper I knew it was meant for me alone, “I will deal with you later, Emmett Cullen!” I cringed as I imagined what she was going to do to me. Oh man, in the doghouse again! I thought to myself. I had never seen her as mad as she was just now. I could only hope that she would buy my excuses and let me off on a technicality.


Bella just lay there on the stairs continuing to moan. “Oh Bella, I’m so sorry I wasn’t here. I didn’t see it. Someone,” she said as she glared at me again, “was able to keep his plans from me, again! I don’t know how he did it. I was only going to be gone for half an hour and you were sleeping soundly. I thought it would be safe for you!” Bella raised her arms from her face to look at Alice, trying to make a smile out of the grimace on her face. “It’s okay Alice, I was sleeping, and there shouldn’t have been anything to be worried about.” She too glared at me as she said this. I hung my head. Boy, it sucks being on Bella’s bad side. “I’m sorry, Bella. It was supposed to be funny, you weren’t supposed to get hurt,” I repeated again. Bella just turned her head away from me, stretching her arm towards me with her hand open, palm side facing me, the universal sign of "talk to the hand." Ouch! Alice smirked at me as she said to Bella, “Well, I’m sorry anyway. Esme’s gone to call Carlisle. It looks as though you’re just going to have a sore bum but we want to run it by Carlisle first, to make sure there isn’t anything we shouldn’t be doing.” “Call Carlisle?” asked Bella with a panicked look on her face. “Alice, really, it’s not that bad. You don’t need to call him. I can move everything; I’m just a little sore right now but I’ll be alright.” Alice glanced down at Bella and replied, “We just want to make sure, Bella, it’s no big deal.” Bella started going into full-on panic mode. “Alice, you can’t do that! Edward will find out! You know how he gets. If he finds out I’m hurt he’s going to want to come back home immediately and he needs to hunt! He can’t know! Please, please don’t let him find out!” “Bella, I don’t know if we can keep something like this from him. You could still be hurt badly and Carlisle will have to let him know.” Alice said doubtfully, her brows drawn together as she tried to see ahead. “Really, Alice, I’m just sore. Please! Carlisle can just tell Edward that it’s one of my usual trip and fall accidents; he doesn’t need to give Edward specifics!” Bella said quickly. She really didn’t want to tell him what had happened, a decision that I was whole-heartedly agreeing with right now. “I don’t know, Bella,” said Alice as she continued to shake her doubtfully, but then seeing how truly panicked Bella was she slowly nodded at her. “Okay, we’ll just tell him you tripped but are fine. Edward won’t like it, but he’ll buy it because he knows how accident-prone you are.” Bella looked relieved at this. I’m sure I looked more relieved than she did. “But…” Alice continued. “We wait to see what Carlisle says first.” Bella nodded in agreement to this as she put her arms back over her face again and waited for Esme to finish talking to Carlisle. Esme’s POV


I walked a short distance away and pulled out my cell phone to call Carlisle. I could not believe that Emmett had pulled another stunt. What is wrong with him? I asked myself. Wasn’t Alice's warning enough? Is he trying to scare Bella away? I growled inside as I considered this last thought. Ooh, if he messes this up for Edward, Alice will have to take a position behind me in the “Who Gets To Send Emmett to His Maker” first line! I sighed as I placed the call. Carlisle picked up on the first ring. I spoke before he had a chance to say a word. “Carlisle, is Edward nearby?” were the first words to come out of my mouth. Carlisle very quickly caught on that this phone call was going to be about Bella. “No, he’s off with Jasper right now. I’m supposed to meet up with the two in a couple of hours.” I was quiet on the other end of the phone, trying to think of how to word this. “Sweetheart, what’s wrong? When you call me and ask if Edward is nearby, it means you don’t want to him to hear, and if you don’t want him to hear then it means that it’s about Bella, or more specifically, about Bella being hurt. Am I right?” Carlisle asked quietly. My love knows me so well. I sighed into the phone and replied, “Yes, it is about Bella and I don’t want Edward hearing just now. Before you get too worried, she’s fine, or at least we think she is but we wanted to run it by you first, just to make sure.” I proceeded to tell him everything that had happened, ending with Bella sprawled on her back on the stairs. Carlisle sighed deeply. In my mind’s eye I could picture his expression. He loved all his children, including Emmett, but sometimes Emmett sorely tried Carlisle's patience. After I finished relating the events, Carlisle replied, “It doesn’t sound like she injured herself too badly, other than having a sore backside from how she landed. Go ahead and lift her carefully. She’s going to be sore. Sit her on the couch downstairs. Start off with an ice pack on the bruised area for about 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours; it should help with any pain or soreness. You can also give him some pain relievers. And have her use a pillow when sitting. She should be okay within a few days if it’s not too bad.” “Bella asked if you could keep the specifics from Edward. She says he needs to hunt and she doesn’t want him to overreact and cut the hunting trip short,” said Esme. “She’s asked if you would just tell him that it was one of her usual trip and fall accidents, nothing to be concerned about. No blood spilled.” I laughed weakly. Carlisle chuckled. “Bella, Bella, always thinking of others instead of herself. Tell her I’ll do as she asks, but if the pain gets worse she or any of you are to call me immediately and I’ll have to let Edward know. We will cut the trip short.” “Okay, my love, I’ll do that.” Esme said. “I miss you already. Come back to me soon?”


“Soon, sweetheart, very soon,” Carlisle said lovingly as they ended the call. Esme walked back towards the others and relayed Carlisle's message. Alice, who didn’t want Emmett anywhere near Bella at this point, gently picked Bella up and took her downstairs to start the ice packs. Emmett's POV This whole weekend of having fun pranking Bella was not going like I had planned. I wanted some laughs at my favorite human’s expense, but I didn’t want to see her hurt and that’s how both my pranks had ended. Well, Emmett old boy, I think we’re going to have to close shop on the pranks until my little sister is one of us. You just can’t guarantee the pranks are going to end up the way they are meant to, especially with Bella. I want her in one piece, and I don’t want either of my sisters mad at me anymore, or Esme. Okay, Emmett Cullen, King of the Prank, is temporarily abdicating his throne… I sighed heavily. I decided it would be a good idea to be out of Alice's line of sight (and line of fire), at least for a little while. She would be looking for me soon enough; I should enjoy what time I have left on this earth… Oops, spoke too soon! Alice's POV “Oh, Emmett,” I said in a sweet voice. “A word please?” And without waiting for him to reply I grabbed him by the ear and started running vampire speed through the forest, dragging him along for the ride…

Chapter Eight: Going to the Mattresses
Rosalie’s POV


I was looking out the window watching Emmett walk across the lawn, obviously trying to stay out of Alice's way. Suddenly there was a look of surprise on his face as a tiny black-haired blur flew past, dragging my husband along with her. Oh Emmett, didn’t I warn you? You’d better pray Alice goes easy on you, or at the very least let’s you keep your hair! I thought to myself, thinking of her previous threats to my own hair. I had no idea what Alice had planned for my husband. I knew he wasn’t in any real danger, but it wasn’t going to be pretty. Then I did what any concerned wife would do when her husband is caught in a trap of his own making after having ignored sound wifely advice. I laughed my ass off… Esme’s POV Alice had gone outside to speak with Emmett. I was a little worried about what Alice might do to him. But before I could think any more on it I heard Rosalie laughing somewhere in the house. She sounded like a little girl without a care in the world. I smiled to myself. Emmett must be fine; she wouldn’t be laughing like that if he were in danger… Alice's POV Now, I consider myself a rational creature. I never fly off the handle; I always get the facts before taking any sort of action. I don’t roughhouse or wrestle with my brothers. I don’t get into cat-fights with other females, vampire or human, not even those human cutthroat fashionista wannabes who mistakenly think they can outbid or out-grab me for the latest fashion find! I’m a lady, I’m above all of that…or so I thought. The time had come for me, Alice Cullen, the epitome of all that is graceful, ladylike and fashionable, to do as they say in the ‘The Godfather’ movie: we were going to the mattresses! Yes, it was war and my kid-white gloves were coming off. Emmett is going to learn why it’s a mistake to mess with the little pixie! Yes, this was definitely war, plain and simple, and I intended to come out the victor in this match! I found Emmett in the backyard. It was obvious he was trying to avoid me. Too bad. “Oh, Emmett,” I said sweetly, “A word please?” He didn’t stand a chance! Without waiting for him to reply I grabbed him by the ear and started running vampire speed through the forest, dragging him along for the ride… I made my way to a small clearing not far away. I’m sure it was quite funny, a tiny 4’9 inch female dragging a 6’4 male by the ear, making sure that he hit every bush, tree, and boulder along the way. I knew it wouldn’t hurt him; I just liked the idea of making him run into everything! I’m sure if I were watching the scene from a distance I would be laughing. I stopped suddenly and Emmett winced as I twisted his ear. “Come on Alice,” he shouted, “Let me go! I can explain!”


“Oh no, Emmett, I’m done with your explanations!” I calmly said to him. He tried wiggling his way out of my grasp. “Having a problem, dear brother?” I shook my head as if sad. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. You seem to have forgotten that your sister has a gift for seeing the future. And it sure comes in handy at a time like this. I’ve already seen each and every single move you’re going to attempt and I can promise you that I will counter each and every one of those moves. So, why don’t you just let me get on with it, okay?” I said in a sickly sweet voice. Emmett grimaced as he resigned himself to facing the music like a man…er…vampire. I kept my steel-like grip on his ear as I used my other hand to pull his arm behind his back. Oh Jazz, it’s times like this when I am so thankful you were a military man. All those hand-to-hand combat lessons, sweetheart, and I get to practice them all on your brother! I wish you were here to see, I said to myself before getting back to the job at hand. “Didn’t I warn you, Emmett?” I hissed into his other ear. “Did I not tell you to LEAVE BELLA ALONE?” And with that I flung him by the ear into the nearest tree. There was a loud crack as the tree snapped in half. Emmett was on the ground face down and before he had a chance to move I was on him again, digging my knee into his back while locking his hands behind his head and pushing his face into the muddy ground. I leaned towards his head and hissed once again into his ear. “You thought you could be smarter than me, didn’t you? You thought you could outwit me. I can pull one over on Alice; I just won’t make any decisions until the last moment.” With that I pulled him up from the ground and sent him flying through the air towards a giant boulder 100 feet away. CRACK! Still not done and still faster than Emmett could move I once again pinned him face down on the ground, bending his leg up towards his back and again pinning both hands behind his head. I applied some vampire pressure to his head before turning his face to the left so he could see me. “Emmett, my dear brother. If you want to make it out of this forest in one piece you are going to repeat the following sentences after me, do you understand?” Emmett's looked at me from the corner of his eye, sighed deeply and nodded, waiting for me to continue. “Repeat after me,” I said. “I, Emmett Cullen...” Emmett's muffled voice repeated, “I, Emmett Cullen…” Me: “Being obviously not of sound mind and with questionable intelligence…” Emmett: “Being obviously not of sound mind and with questionable intelligence…” Me: “And hoping to not lose an important body part my wife would miss…”


Emmett winced at the implication and then repeated, “And hoping to not lose an important body part my wife would miss…” Me: “Including the possibility of permanent hair removal, any hair, anywhere on my body…” Emmett: “Including the possibility of permanent hair removal, any hair, anywhere on my body…” Me: “Under threat of serious damages to my prized Jeep if I disobey…” Emmett: “Under threat of serious damages done to my prized Jeep if I disobey…” Me: “As well as being forced to eat human food, Bella’s choice, for one full week…” Emmett: “As well as being forced to human food, Bella’s choice, for one full week…” Me: “And swearing to become Alice's newest shopping buddy, i.e. whipping boy, for ONE YEAR if I break my oath…” Emmett: “And swearing to become Alice's newest shopping buddy, i.e. whipping boy, for ONE YEAR if I break my oath…” Me: “Do solemnly swear to leave my soon-to-be sister Bella alone, including no more pranks at her expense…” Emmett: “Do solemnly swear to leave my soon-to-be sister Bella alone, including no more pranks at her expense…” Me: “Until she has been changed and no longer needs the oath to protect her…” Emmett: “Until she has been changed and no longer needs the oath to protect her…” Me: “At which time she will be perfectly capable of KICKING MY ASS on her own!” Emmett: “At which time she will be perfectly capable of KICKING MY ASS on her own!” Me: “This is my solemn promise and vow…” Emmett: “This is my solemn promise and vow…” I released Emmett and stood up. “You see big brother, that wasn’t so painful, was it? You just make sure you keep your promise and all will be good. And just so you can’t claim ignorance or suddenly lose your “vampire memory,” I’ve recorded our conversation on this lovely little digital recorder hanging from the chain around my neck. This recording will of course be played at our next family meeting (which I will be calling for in the very near future), after which it will be taken to a secret and safe location, ready to be retrieved should you need a little “reminder.” I was grinning by this time. “Don’t think you’re completely off the hook, Emmett. I’m going to be watching you very closely from here on out.”


With that I walked a few feet away before turning back to face Emmett. “That concludes your lesson in…” I said each word slowly for effect, “…‘Reasons. Why. I. Should. Never. Ever. Cross. Alice.’ See you later, Emmett!” Waving goodbye to Emmett, I raced back to the house, laughing the whole way as I anticipated replaying the whole conversation for Bella and Esme. Emmett's POV I watched Alice run back to the house, leaving me standing there in a daze and thinking how lucky I was to still be here among the living…and in one piece! Another pearl of wisdom from Jasper came to mind: ‘It’s said that just before you die your whole life flashes before you.’ I can say without a doubt that it can also happen to those of us who are already dead! I needed to sit down. If it were possible I would be sweating bullets right now. Did that just happen? I thought. Did I just get handed a can of whoop-ass by my sister? By a female??? I was starting to feel sick as it sunk in. The feeling got even worse when I realized she was going to make sure Jasper and Edward knew I’d been taken down. I groaned, putting my head in my hands. My vampire life as I knew it was gone. My sister owned me now… I got up and started back to the house, head hanging down, and doing what every grown man does when he gets beaten by a girl: I started sobbing like a baby. Bella’s POV I was sitting on the couch, pillow tucked carefully under my bum along with the ice pack. What I wouldn’t give for Edward to be here right now, serving as my own personal ice pack! It brought a smile to my face. Somewhere in the house I heard Rosalie laughing. Wow, I’ve never heard her laugh like that, I thought. She sounds so happy. Emmett must have said something funny to her. Emmett. My good mood suddenly disappeared. What is wrong with him? It was like I had a huge bulls-eye on my back that screamed, “Get Bella! Get Bella!” Better yet, like I’m a Spanish matador holding a red cape and Emmett is the bull ready to charge. I was starting to have some serious doubts about spending the weekend at the Cullens’. I found myself longing to play Bella Barbie for Alice; it would have been less painful! I can’t believe I’m thinking that way! I was supposed to be here to relax so that Edward could relax while he went hunting with Carlisle and Jasper, knowing Alice would keep me safe. Too bad we didn’t factor Emmett into the equation. Maybe I should suggest to Alice we take this to my place? No, that might hurt Esme’s feelings and I’ve missed visiting with her. I'll just have to suck it up, I said to myself. But I can’t wait until I’m a newborn. Emmett, revenge will be sweet! I heard Alice's tinkling laugh as she ran into the room.


“Hey,” I said. “What’s so funny?” Alice's POV I sat down next to Bella on the couch, with Esme nearby. Rosalie had also come into the room and was standing near the window, probably waiting to see if her husband was going to be coming back with a full head of hair! I snickered at that. I started to tell the girls about the scene in the clearing. Better yet, I proceeded to replay, with the help of my wonderful little digital recorder, the entire conversation. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Emmett's POV I was nearing the house when I heard the laughter. Oh man, Alice spilled! They’re laughing at ME! I decided to head towards the garage instead.

Chapter Nine: Someone Call 911…
Alice's POV The rest of the evening passed uneventfully. Emmett had come back inside the house looking properly chastened. He immediately walked over to the couch, again making his apologies to Bella. Bella had thoroughly enjoyed my little digital recording and felt Emmett had gotten his just desserts, so she accepted his apology…again. After watching Bella yawn for the tenth time in the last 15 minutes, we decided it was time to get her to bed. The ice had seemed to do the trick but I decided to carry her up the stairs to Edward’s bedroom and got her settled in for the night. I went back downstairs to chat with Esme while we waited for morning to come and Bella to wake up. I was excited! Finally, Bella and I could start having fun. Bella’s POV Sunlight was streaming through the glass windows and I woke up feeling pretty good considering that Edward was not here, and in spite of yesterday’s events. I had high hopes that today would be the peaceful, relaxing fun-filled day promised to me by my best friend, and so I gingerly sat up,


testing my mobility. My ‘broken bum’ didn’t hurt as much today. I said a little “Yes!” before making my way to the bathroom for my ‘human moment.’ After a delicious strawberry waffle breakfast prepared by Esme (no whipped cream in sight, thanks to Emmett!), Alice and I headed up to her “parlor” to get started on our ‘girl fun.’ I had to admit it was relaxing. I was having fun. While we waited for our nails to dry we talked about the wedding, about our men, about Alice's smack-down of Emmett. It had been a long time since I’d laughed so much and it felt good! It was about 11:00 in the morning and we’d been holed up in Alice's room for about 3 hours. My newly healed bottom had decided it had had enough sitting down, so Alice and I decided that a nice long walk would help loosen me up. I was wearing capris today, and threw on a sweater and some comfy sneakers and headed outside with Alice to take a hike alongside the river. Esme had packed a light lunch for me so that I could enjoy a nice picnic. Alice made sure that I stayed clear of any rocks and didn’t wander too close to the river. We weren’t going to push my luck today; she didn’t want to take any chances and for once I wasn’t complaining. I wanted to get through the day in one piece too. Things were going good, too good, in fact. I should have known it wouldn’t last. Alice's POV Bella and I were having so much fun! Not once had she complained about anything this morning. Unbelievable! Even if I had looked ahead and seen how well the morning would go, I still wouldn’t have believed it! We talked non-stop all morning, chatting about everything and everyone, laughing easily. I was so happy to see Bella finally looking relaxed. Esme was happy as well. She had popped in a couple of times to chat with us as we waiting for our fingernails to dry, and was pleased to find Bella in good spirits this morning. I noticed Bella shift to her side and asked if everything was okay. “Bella, are you still hurting? Do you need another ice pack?” I asked solicitously. Bella grimaced before answering, “I’m fine, Alice. But I think I’ve been sitting for too long in the same position and my bottom is starting to get a little sore again. Maybe if I stand, stretch my muscles and walk around it might help. I think I need a little fresh air too. Maybe we can take a walk outside?” she suggested. I agreed right away. “Okay, how about a little hike along the river? Nothing strenuous and we’ll just take our time. In fact, Esme can pack a lunch and you can have a little picnic before we head back. It’s early and we still have most of the afternoon for our facials and pedicures before heading to Port Angeles.” Bella surprised me again by readily agreeing to the plan. Will miracles never cease? We headed out on our hike, Esme’s picnic lunch in hand, and made our way along the banks of the river. It was a beautiful day. The skies were clear and Bella was enjoying the warmth of the sun as


much as I was. She kept looking over at me and smiling as I sparkled in the sun. It was wonderful not worrying about Bella seeing us in the sun. She loved how our skin sparkled, saying it was beautiful. Another reason why we loved her so much… We crossed to the other side of the river towards a small meadow visible through the trees, picking a spot where Bella could eat her lunch. The day was going well, too well. I had that funny feeling again. Closing my eyes I looked into the future…and in my vision I saw Emmett walking towards us by the river. And then… Emmett's POV I thought it best to stay away from the house for most of the morning. I was determined to be on my best behavior, tired of being on the bad side of the Cullen females, human and vampire! I had decided to go for a run in the forest, not making my way back until the sun was high in the sky. I decided to come back by way of the river. It was a nice day. The sun was shining but there were no humans around to see me sparkle so I took my time walking back. I heard voices in the distance and quickly hid behind the nearest tree, but as the voices drew closer I recognized it was Alice and Bella. What are they doing out here? I said to myself. I thought they were going to stick around the house and then head out to Port Angeles. I didn’t want to take the longer route back to the house so I stepped out from behind the tree and made my way over to the girls. Just be cool, Emmett, show them you’re on your best behavior. “Alice! Bella! What are you two doing out here?” I said as I came up to the girls. Alice and Bella looked at me suspiciously, trying to see if I was up to no good. I held my hands up in surrender. “Come on girls, I come in peace. Trust me. I was out running in the forest this morning and was on my way back to the house. I didn’t expect to see the two of you out here. I just want to get back to the house and Rosalie.” Alice and Bella looked at me carefully, as if judging my sincerity. I sighed and said, “What happened to the days of ‘Emmett, we would trust you with our lives,’ or ‘Nice to see you again big brother.’ Come on, I promise, I am on my best behavior.” Bella was the first to respond, sarcastically I might add. “Oh, I’m SO sorry Emmett. You’ll have to forgive me for being a little suspicious when you start saying ‘I’m on my best behavior.’ If only I had a buck for every time you’ve said that to me this weekend, I’d be on my way to being a rich woman!” Alice added, sarcastically as well and fluttering her eyelids. She was mocking me! “Yes, Emmett, forgive us if we find it hard to believe that your intentions are innocent. It’s going to take more than ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I’m on my best behavior’ to make us trust you!” Bella nodded her head vigorously at that. “Okay, okay, I’ll prove it to you.” I said. “I’ll walk back with you to the house and you’ll see nothing is gonna happen. We’ll all arrive in one piece and not one prank on Bella. Please, will you let me walk back with you?”


Alice gave me another hard look and then slowly nodded. “Okay, Emmett. If Bella agrees, you can accompany us back to the house. But you’d better keep your word: back in one piece and no pranks!” I clapped my hands, happy to be on my way back into their good graces. “Yes!” Bella still looked unsure, but she seemed determined to let it go because she nodded her head again and said to both Alice and me, “Okay, I agree. Let’s go back.” With that we all turned and started walking slowly back to the house. Bella’s POV I don’t know why I agreed to let Emmett walk back with us. I suppose I was just determined to let it go, let bygones be bygones. And he had promised (again) that he was going to behave himself. I let it go. But why were my “Spidey-senses” tingling again? I just had this awful feeling something bad was going to happen… Alice's POV I could see the worry on Bella’s face but she looked determined to let it go and we started walking back to the house with Emmett in tow. We started talking about non-consequential things and the banter was flowing back and forth. I kept skipping ahead to the future to see if anything was out of place but all looked well. I was afraid it was going to be a split second decision on Emmett's or Bella’s part before all hell broke loose again. Oh please, please let us make it back with no problems. Bella was starting to get tired. Maybe we had done a little too much walking, watching as she was gingerly started rubbing her backside again. We were still a long way from the house. Maybe she’ll let me carry her back… Emmett's POV Things were going really well. We were laughing and joking and everything seemed to be going back to normal. I was feeling a lot better. It wasn’t fun being in the doghouse with those two. It was nothing in comparison to being in the doghouse with Rosalie, but I’d say it was a close second. Looking over at Bella I noticed she looked uncomfortable. She was rubbing her backside again and we were still a distance from the house. I could see Alice glancing at Bella as well. It looked like Bella was going to need some assistance getting back to the house and big brother Emmett was here to save the day! Great! I thought to myself. I can carry her back to the house. Bella won’t have to walk and I can get her back to the house in minutes. I’ll be a hero again! And with that I pulled Bella onto my back, making sure she had a tight grip around my neck before racing off towards the house at top speed. Bella’s POV


Oh no! Oh God, please, no!!! Emmett!!! I screamed as we went flying down the river trail. Alice's POV I was trying to think of a way to convince Bella to let me carry her back to the house when a vision suddenly appeared in my head. A decision had been made and the events were playing themselves out before me. Oh no!!! I came out of the vision but before I had a chance to utter one word, Emmett was pulling Bella onto his back, wrapping her arms around his neck. I saw the look of surprise, and then absolute terror on Bella’s face as Emmett took off in a flash towards the house. “EMMETT! STOP!!!” I screamed, running after the two and knowing I was going to be too late... Emmett's POV I raced down the river trail, with Bella on my back. Yes! I was going to have her back to the house in no time. Why is she screaming? I turned around to look at her and saw she had squeezed her eyes shut. “Hey Bella, don’t worry. Everything will be fine. I’m just going to get you back to the house quicker than if we walked at your human pace. You're going to thank me later, trust me.” Bella opened her eyes to look at me, and they suddenly went wide as she screamed, “Look out!” I faced forward again and narrowly avoided the tree directly in our path; unfortunately I couldn’t avoid the vines with green and bright red leaves hanging around the nearby branches. They were starting to brush up against us, but I was able to push most of them out of the way. No problemo. It looks like a few had brushed up against Bella’s arms and shoulders, leaving little scratches on her hands and neck, but fortunately there was no blood so we were good. I made a quick turn to the left to get back onto the trail, not realizing there was a small creek hidden by the low-hanging tree branches. I landed in waist high water which was dark and muddy. Yuck. Okay, we can handle this. Bella’s going to be a little wet, but it’s warm out and she’ll dry off soon enough. It’s all good. Stepping out of the water I got us back onto dry land. I needed to jump over to the other side of the river and taking a great big leap I soared across the river, landing on the other side next to some small bushes. Small bushes that were hiding a skunk, a very surprised and frightened skunk. And now it was a very angry sunk that started hissing at us and aimed its tail in our direction. Oh man! Gotta move NOW! I darted away but not before hearing the sound of spray coming out of the skunk’s tail. I could feel some of it hit me from the back and knew that Bella probably got some as well. Whew! Man, what a stink! I heard Alice yelling in the distance but we were almost to the house and Bella appeared to be fine, still holding on tight, so I kept going. Alice would catch up and once she did we’d be back at the house, all good and all in one piece. I’m a genius. We’d made it to the edge of the property with one last hurdle for me to clear, a small boulder which I easily cleared. Piece of cake, I said to myself as I landed. It was at this point that Bella lost her grip and went flying, face first, into small patch of mushrooms near one of the trees. I ran over to


her immediately to make sure she was alright. She raised her head, her mouth crammed with small mushrooms that she immediately started to spit out. I sat her up and gently patted her back as she continued spitting out the mushrooms. At that moment Alice ran up. Damn, she does not look happy. Alice's POV “Emmett! You idiot! Stop!” I was yelling but he never slowed down. I could see him racing down the trail with Bella. I watched as he nearly hit a tree while turning back to look at her. I heard her scream, “Look out!” and he’d turned, avoiding the tree trunk but not the poison oak hanging around the low-hanging branches! I saw the vines and leaves brush against Bella's shoulders and arms as Emmett pushed them out of the way. I was desperate to catch up to them, anxious to prevent the next thing from happening. Oh no! Too late! Emmett and Bella dropped out of sight for a minute before reappearing on the trail. What I didn’t see with my eyes, I had seen in my vision. Emmett had dropped down into waist-high, muddy water. Muddy water full of leeches. Leeches that loved blood. Leeches that were currently attaching themselves to Bella's bare legs not covered by the capris she was wearing. Bella has the worst luck! I groaned. I continued to race down the trail, hoping to catch Emmett before he made the jump across the river and into the path of the skunk. Too late! Direct hit! I watched as Emmett reached the edge of the lawn where he jumped over a small boulder. Bella lost her grip on Emmett and did a face-plant into a patch of mushrooms near the base of one of the trees. Mushrooms that were mildly toxic and could make a human sick. The very mushrooms she was spitting out of her mouth… Bella’s POV I was in a daze, having hit the ground hard. My mouth was filled with dirt and mushrooms which I started spitting out as fast as I could. Ugh! I think I swallowed a couple of them! Alice had finally caught up to us and told me to stay still. “Bella, I don’t want you to be alarmed but I think we need to get you over to the emergency room at the hospital as soon as possible.” “What are you talking about Alice?” I said stupidly, still in a daze. Alice looked at me sadly. “Bella, I swear you have the worst luck in the world! The vines that you and Emmett brushed up against, near the tree that he almost hit? Those vines and leaves were poison oak. They brushed up against your shoulder and arms. It’s a good thing you're wearing that long-sleeved sweater, but there’s still a chance you may have gotten some on your exposed skin.” I groaned. Great, just what I need, an itchy red rash. How can it get any worse? I said to myself as my heart started to beat faster. It’s me we’re talking about, of course it can get worse!


Alice continued. “Do you remember the waist-high water that Emmett accidentally jumped into?” she asked. “Trust you to attract anything that loves blood, Bella. You have some leeches on your legs.” “WHAT!?” I screamed, looking down at my legs and seeing several inch-long bloodsuckers clinging to my lower legs. I yelled, “Get them off me now! Get them off!” “I’m sorry Bella, I can’t!” Alice said miserably. “If I pull them off your legs, there is a chance you will start bleeding. We can’t take that risk.” I was starting to not feel very well at this point, when I noticed a smell. A really bad smell. “WHAT is that smell?” I asked as I pinched my nose. “Well, when Emmett jumped over the river he landed the both of you right next to some bushes where a skunk was hiding. The skunk was startled and he aimed his spray at the two of you.” Alice answered again. “I’m sorry, Bella, but it was a direct hit.” Why me??? I asked God. But Alice wasn’t finished yet. “Bella, one last thing. Those mushroom you landed in? Well, they might be mildly toxic. We won’t know for sure unless you get sick.” “Mildly toxic? What do you mean 'unless you get sick?' Can't you tell if they're poisonous?" I screeched. And suddenly, just like that, I snapped. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted the weekend to be over. I didn’t want to be anywhere near Emmett. I had reached my limit. I can put up with a lot of things but this was it, the final straw. I was so angry that I did what I always do when I’m angry: I started crying, harder and harder by the second. Alice was kneeling down next to me, brushing my hair out of my face, wiping at my tears and trying to comfort me. “Alice, I want Edward,” I sobbed hysterically, over and over. “I want Edward right now; I want him to take me home. I don’t want to play anymore.” I couldn’t stop the tears as I sat there on the ground. I could hear a car pulling up the drive, hoping it was Edward but instead hearing what sounded like Charlie's voice. Before I could think any more on it my stomach started to cramp and I barely had time to turn to the side when my lunch reappeared. Alice's POV Oh Bella, I am so sorry. She was a mess. She looked like she was developing a little rash near her neck, the leeches were going to town on her legs, and she smelled horrible from the skunk! And now here she was, crying hysterically, asking for Edward and saying she wanted to go home. I’d never seen her so upset, and I had never felt so bad in my life! Emmett looked stunned, seeing that his good intentions had turned out so badly. A part of me was extremely angry with Emmett but the other part knew that this time it hadn’t been on purpose.


However, once again Emmett had failed to consider the consequences of his impetuous actions and once again Bella was paying the price. I could feel a version of a vampire migraine starting in my head as I continued trying to comfort her. I failed you, Bella, and Edward, I thought miserably. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. I turned my head at the sound of a car coming up the drive and saw Charlie's cruiser pulling up to the house. Oh no! How did I not see this? Why is he here? For once I was completely clueless. Charlie got out of the cruiser and looked in our direction and recognized the three of us at the edge of the lawn. The look of recognition quickly turned into panic as he realized Bella was sitting down, crying hysterically, with Emmett standing nearby and me kneeling down next to her, trying to comfort her as she cried. “Bella! Bella!” I heard him shout as he came running towards us. “Alice, what the hell happened to her?” he said before noticing the smell of skunk and pinching his nose. I thought very quickly about what kind of story I needed to give Charlie. Emmett, you are going to owe me big time…AGAIN! I said to myself. “I’m sorry, Charlie. This weekend has not been going as planned,” I said as I shot a dirty look at Emmett, who had the good sense to look ashamed. “We wanted to get out of the house for a bit and decided to go for a little hike through the woods. Bella got tired and Emmett thought he could be helpful by carrying her back to the house. Unfortunately, Emmett's way back to the house was through the mother of all obstacle courses and here are the results.” I finished. Bella just continued to cry where she was sitting. Suddenly she grabbed her stomach and turned to her side, heaving up the contents of her stomach. “Alice, what’s wrong with her?” Charlie asked in a panic as he forgot about the smell of skunk and kneeled down next to his daughter. “Ah, Charlie?” I said. “I think we need to get Bella to the emergency room right now. Bella did a face plant into a patch of mushrooms.” I pointed over to the ground next to the nearby tree. Charlie's realized what I was saying as I continued, “Yes, the mildly toxic variety. She spit most of them out, but I’m sorry to say she did ingest a few and they’re making her very sick right now. Not to mention the poison oak and some leeches on her legs.” Charlie closed his eyes, shaking his head. Poor Charlie, he wasn’t even surprised anymore by the things that happened to Bella. Now it was all about damage control. He opened his eyes again and then looked over at Emmett. I couldn’t quite make out the look he was giving Emmett, but I could tell it wasn’t good. It was very similar to the look he reserved for Edward. Nope, not good at all for you Emmett, I said to myself as I chuckled darkly. “Can you carry her to your cruiser, Charlie? It’ll be quicker than calling 911 and waiting for an ambulance.” I said as I thought how much faster it would be if I were the one driving Bella to the hospital.


We carefully pulled the sweater off Bella so that Charlie wouldn’t be unnecessarily exposed to the poison oak. He lifted her gently and started running towards the cruiser. I ordered Emmett back to the house to let Esme and Rosalie know we were on our way to the hospital with Bella, and telling him that I would be the one to call Edward. Then I ran after Charlie, climbing into the backseat where he gently placed her next to me. He quickly ran around the car to the driver’s side, got in and raced down the drive with sirens blaring and lights flashing, on our way to another emergency room visit for Bella.

Chapter Ten: Can You Point Me To the Emergency Room?
Charlie's POV I raced down the Cullen’s drive with my cruiser’s lights flashing and sirens blaring. Poor Bells… why do these things always happen her? I was no longer surprised when something happened; now it was all about damage control, just making sure she was put back in one piece. It’s a wonder she’s still alive! That thought made me cringe…I didn’t even want to think of what life had in store for my little girl; I wanted her around for years and years, but it felt as if she was living on borrowed time! How did she make it to Forks in one piece? How many close calls were there when she lived in Phoenix with Renee? Was Renee even aware of how many times Bella might have been in danger? Probably not, since Bella was too busy taking care of Renee instead of her mother taking care of her. In just under two years, she had been injured so many times I was beginning to wonder if moving to Forks hadn’t been the worst decision Bella ever made. It pained me to think this way, because I wanted my daughter here with me. But here I was, Charlie Swan, Chief of Police, and I couldn’t even keep my daughter safe! Instead I had to watch him, Edward, come to her rescue time and again; he was her protector. It was my job, not his! No, wait…that wasn’t true anymore. It’s not your job anymore, Charlie, I thought to myself, she’s chosen someone else to be that protector now and I have to accept it. Yet I had to admit that Edward would risk his life to protect my daughter. Except for that time last fall, he had always been there for her, had always come through for her. How many times had he saved her from catastrophe, times or occasions I knew nothing about? Someone was going to have to call him to let him know what had happened. I didn’t even want to think about what he would do to his brother when he found out his brother was responsible for Bella's latest emergency room visit. Wait, maybe I wanted in on it. This was strange, placing myself on the same side as my future sonin-law. Bella was still crying in the backseat, telling Alice that she wanted Edward…she wanted HIM! A part of me ached as I listened to her calling for another man because I was her father, she’s my little girl; she’s supposed to need ME! But no, she’s not a little girl anymore. I had to start accepting this fact. No matter, Bella would always know that I was the man who loved her first and I would love her to the last. She’ll always be my little girl.


Looking into the rearview mirror again, I could see Alice tending to Bella. She looked almost as miserable as my daughter. Poor kid, she looks like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. None of this is her fault! But, it was Emmett Cullen’s fault. What to do, what to do? When Bella first told me she was dating one of the Cullen boys, I immediately thought of him. While I think the world of Carlisle and Esme, and their foster kids are well-behaved and have never caused trouble, there was NO WAY I was going to let my fragile daughter date that giant! When Bells told me it was the youngest Cullen she was going out with, I breathed a huge sigh of relief because this was one instance where I was going to put my foot down! And now I find that it was because of this guy that my daughter was in her current state. There is more to this story than I’m being told and I’m going to get some answers! But first, get Bella to the hospital… Alice's POV Riding in the backseat of Charlie's cruiser, I was thinking only one thing: Emmett, there is going to be hell to pay when Edward finds out, which will be approximately 45 minutes and 23 seconds from now, and when he does I am going to do everything in my power to help him come up with the best way to teach you a lesson you will never forget. I could see Charlie looking into his rearview mirror, anxiously checking on Bella’s condition and it made me feel so bad, seeing the worry in his eyes, and knowing that I had failed him. I hadn’t kept my promise to return Bella to him safely. I had to let him know how awful I felt. “Charlie, I’m so sorry. I feel like I really let you down, both of you,” as I looked down at Bella who was still crying softly in my lap and holding her stomach. I brushed her hair back from her face, trying my best to soothe her. Charlie said to me, “Alice, sweetie, it’s not your fault. I know you did your best and I know that these things happen to Bella.” He was so sweet, trying to take away some of my guilt. He paused before continuing, “What exactly has been happening since yesterday? The only time I’ve ever seen Bella anything like this was last fall, you know, when your family left town. I need details. Your older brother is involved and I want to know how.” I sighed. The look on Charlie's face told me that he wasn’t going to let this go. Now I know where Bella gets her tenacity! Not only was Charlie her father but he was also a law enforcement official and he wanted to get to the bottom of the story. The only problem is how I give him all the details without exposing any of our secrets. “Yes, Emmett is involved but it hasn’t been in an intentionally harmful way,” I replied. “Charlie, Emmett loves Bella, he thinks of her as his little sister and he’s very protective of her, but like all big brothers he likes to tease and prank his little sister. This has been more a case of high-jinksgone-bad. Unfortunately, when you take Emmett and his love of pranks, combined with Bella’s propensity for attracting trouble the results are what you saw this afternoon.” I was hoping he would let it go right there…nope, no such luck.


“Come on Alice, it’s me you’re talking to. What exactly happened? I get the general idea of what happened today, but you also mentioned your brother was having fun at Bella's expense. I want details…this is my daughter we’re talking about and I need to know.” Charlie said quietly but forcefully. I was going to have to rat out Emmett. Wait a second. Alice, you are about to be brilliant! Telling Charlie might work to our advantage later on. I was already coming up with payback ideas to go over with Edward and I had a very strong hunch that telling Charlie everything was going to pay off when we made our move against Emmett. If we could get Charlie in on this, Emmett would never know what hit him! “Okay Charlie, I’ll spill. I’ll tell you everything that happened, starting with yesterday when we arrived at my house. We had just pulled into the garage and Bella was getting out of the car when Emmett snuck up behind Bella and…” Sorry, Emmett. No, not really… Emmett's POV Oh man, what was Charlie doing here at our house? Did Alice tell him about yesterday? Or was it Bella? Was that why they were laughing when I came up to the house yesterday??? Aw, man, now I’m getting paranoid! Charlie had given me this strange look and if I didn’t know better I’d say it was the same “look” he gives Edward every time he sees him. Wait…it IS the same look. Shoot! I am in trouble. Running into the house I called out for Esme and Rosalie who were downstairs in a flash. I won’t go into details but when I told them that Charlie and Alice were on the way to the hospital with Bella, I didn’t have to be Jasper to feel the anger rolling off Esme. She was practically shooting daggers from her eyes, straight at me! I swear I saw steam coming out of her ears! And then that feral look in her eyes; I only saw it when we were hunting our prey. No, wait…it was like in those nature programs where the parents eat their young. Oh, not good! And Rosalie didn’t look much better. Just standing in front of the two women, I saw my life once again flashing before my eyes. Whoosh! There it goes! Yes, it would appear that I am a dead man, again. Rosalie’s POV Why, Emmett, why? God helps those who help themselves but you…you’ll help yourself alright, right over a cliff! Way to go, babe. I warned you. I asked you to listen to me. Now Bella's hurt. Again! Esme and Alice want to skin you alive. Again! And I don’t even want to think of what Edward is going to want to do to you when he finds out! I started to get angrier and angrier by the second. You totally blew me off, your own wife! Did you stop to think that I might want you to stick around for eternity? Instead, you have a death wish, and it’s highly possible you won’t see another sunrise once Edward arrives. Alright, fine! You need to be taught a lesson, Mr. Cullen. A lesson I know Edward and Alice are going to make sure you receive and I want in on it this time! Esme’s POV


When Emmett came running into the house to tell us that Charlie and Alice were on taking Bella to the emergency, my first thought was my poor Bella. I’m on my way sweetheart. I’ll be there soon. Nothing was going to stop me; I was going to give what support I could to my daughter. Alice had told Emmett to let us know she was going to call Edward and tell him to get back to Forks right away. That was fine by me, but I needed to call Carlisle as well, so that he could prevent my eldest son from doing anything he might later regret. Oh Bella, Edward. Those two just couldn’t get a break! My second thought was of wild animals and the parent eating its young. I wonder what could possibly have triggered that idea, I thought sarcastically to myself. I don’t know the details of what happened this afternoon but it had Emmett written all over it. I was going to find out. It was time to put an end to it. Charlie's POV We arrived at the hospital in minutes and I raced through the parking lot, parking near the emergency room entrance. Bella was still curled up in the back seat of the cruiser, clutching her stomach and crying. It looked like that poison oak had brushed up against her neck; it was turning red. And those leeches were doing a number on my daughter’s legs as well, but she was too miserable to notice. Gently lifting her out of the cruiser I quickly walked to the emergency entrance. Alice followed us and after I had set Bella down on the sofa in the waiting room I asked her to stay with Bella while I found a doctor and took care of the necessary paperwork. What I wouldn’t give to have Carlisle treating her right now! Alice's POV Charlie asked me to stay with Bella while he searched for a doctor and completed the admissions paperwork. As if I would ever leave my sister again! There was no way I was leaving Bella from this point on! I wasn’t going to let anything else happen to her, and once Edward arrived and we got Bella treated, he and I were going to have a long discussion about what I was now calling “the Emmett-situation.” Edward was going to read my thoughts and I wasn’t going to hold back. I wasn’t going to leave anything out…he was going to see it ALL! Just in case, I’d better have Jazz nearby to calm him down. After all, what fun would it be to have Emmett destroyed when it’ll be so much more fun pranking him? I turned back to Bella and saw her sadly looking up at me. My poor little sister. Now she was asking to use my phone. PERFECT. Let’s have Edward get the news from Bella herself. I immediately pulled out my phone and dialed Edward's number before handing it to Bella. This was going to be good. Bella’s POV Charlie had gone to find a doctor and complete the paperwork to have me admitted to the hospital… again. Alice had stayed with me and I had curled up next to her as we waited for an examination room to open up. I couldn’t help but be touched by her loyalty and love. I loved her so much too. She’s always looking out for me…and that’s why I felt bad seeing the miserable expression on her


face. I could tell she was feeling really bad about the day, about the whole weekend so far. Oh Alice, it’s not your fault! I wanted to tell her but I couldn’t stop crying. I needed Edward now. Only he could me feel safe, only he could keep his idiot brother away from me! Carlisle and Jasper would be with him as well. I didn’t want anyone but Carlisle treating me. He had a way of calming me down and I could almost forget I was in a hospital, with needles, blood, everything. “Alice,” I sobbed. “I need Edward now. I want him with me and I want Carlisle to treat me. Please, let me use your phone, let me call him.” Alice didn’t hesitate. She immediately pulled out her phone and dialed Edward’s number. I knew I could count on her. I wanted so badly for Edward to be here right now; I needed him. I couldn’t stop crying and he was going to freak out, I was sure of it. I just hoped I could say the words I wanted to say before I started crying again. I know Alice won’t let me down; she’ll pick up wherever I leave off. All I care about is hearing his voice. I had to let him know that he needed to come back to me, right away… Edward answered almost immediately and hearing his beautiful voice on the line almost made me start crying again. He thought it was Alice calling because he immediately said, “Alice, is everything alright?” Suddenly I choked up and started sobbing into the phone, “Edward. Edward, I need you to come home. Please come back, please come home to me.” I could see his beautiful face in my mind’s eye, the love and tenderness in his eyes, and then I heard the panic in his voice as he replied, “Bella, love, what’s wrong? Where are you, sweetheart? Are you hurt? What’s happened?” I answered in between sobs, “Your brother…he’s been pranking me all weekend and I don’t want to play any more.” I started crying even harder when suddenly I gasped, dropping the phone before clutching my stomach and crying out, “Oh, God, I’m going to be sick!!!”

Chapter Eleven: Calling Down the Thunder
Edward’s POV


Racing through the forest to meet up with Carlisle and Jasper, I let my thoughts wander to Bella. Who was I kidding? I’m always thinking about Bella, every moment, every second, every minute of every day! Alice had promised Bella a nice, relaxing weekend and as long as my Bella was having a good time, I would be satisfied. A relaxed and happy Bella equals a relaxed and happy Edward, I thought to myself with a smile. She was safe with Alice and the others. I had no reason to think otherwise as Alice is as protective of Bella as I; she would never let harm come to Bella. Thinking about Bella made me anxious to return to Forks. We’d only been apart for a day and a half and yet the ache from being separated was intense. She’s a part of my soul, my other half; she’s what makes me complete and when we’re not together I feel as if the better part of myself is missing. But this hunting trip had been necessary. It was what kept me safe for her, safe to be around her because while I no longer thirsted for her blood there were other things pulling me towards her, making it hard for me to resist her and it was vital that that I never lose control. I could never take a chance with her safety. Soon, very soon, I would not have to be as careful and we would never be apart again. We would be together for eternity. My thoughts went back to Carlisle and Jasper. We had gone further north than intended, quickly finding an abundant supply of bears and mountain lions, the perfect prey to satisfy my thirst. I was feeling much better; better that is, until “the call.” The Volvo was parked in a nearby clearing and I was almost there when my cell phone went off. Looking at the caller ID I was surprised to see it was Alice. This can’t be good. Immediately I opened my phone and spoke into it. “Alice, is everything alright?” Instead of Alice I heard the most beautiful sound in the world, the voice of an angel… my Bella. I would travel to the ends of the earth and back, do anything she asked, give her anything her heart desired, just to hear that voice. Suddenly my angel started to cry. “Edward. Edward, I need you to come home. Please come back, please come home to me.” What was going on? Was she in danger? Had she been hurt? I was anxiously asking myself these questions. In my mind's eye I saw her beautiful face and those glorious brown eyes I lose myself in every time I gaze into them. I was now picturing those beautiful eyes filled with tears. Bella wasn’t given to crying, unless she was angry…or upset. Trying to sound calmer than I felt I answered, “Bella, love, what’s wrong? Where are you, sweetheart? Are you hurt? Did someone hurt you?” Bella was still crying, struggling to speak. “Your brother…he’s been pranking me all weekend and I don’t want to play any more.” Emmett…I growled to myself. What the hell have you been doing? Before I could respond I heard her gasp and then cry out, “Oh, God, I’m going to be sick!!!” before dropping the phone. “Bella! Bella!” I yelled into the phone, no longer pretending to be calm. I could hear her in the background, sounding as if she were throwing up. Alice was trying to comfort her. What was happening? If I didn’t find get some answers soon I was going to go mad! I needed to get Alice's


attention so I started calling her name knowing she would hear me with her sensitive vampire hearing. After what felt like hours but was only a few seconds I heard Alice's voice on the line. “Edward, you need to get back here immediately. Charlie and I just brought Bella to the emergency room.” “WHAT??? Alice, why the hell are taking her to the hospital? She’s supposed to be having manicures and facials with you, not making emergency room visits!" I snarled angrily, "What did Emmett do to her?” “Edward, don’t you start yelling at me! Yell at that stupid, overgrown idiot brother of ours!” she shouted back at me, before continuing in a calmer voice. “Please, just get back here as fast as you can. Bella's been crying for you for the past hour.” I could hear the concern for Bella in her voice and I winced, feeling bad for having yelled at my favorite sister. “I’m sorry, Alice,” I said, speaking more calmly. “I didn’t mean to yell at you, but you know how I get where Bella is concerned. I can’t bear to see her hurt or crying.” I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to remain calm. “Tell me, how badly is she hurt?” I asked, afraid to hear the answer. Alice sighed heavily into the phone. “Nothing life-threatening, Edward. But she’s in shock and has been crying non-stop for the better part of the hour. Racing heartbeat, no breathing, heart stopped for a minute, slipping down the stairs, poison oak, leeches, skunk, poisoning…” I exploded again, “NO BREATHING? NO HEARTBEAT? POISONING??? WHAT THE HELL HAS HE BEEN DOING TO HER?" And with that any calm that I had managed to hold onto disappeared. I was going to kill him! “Edward, do you want me to tell you what’s happening or not? Stop interrupting me!” Alice said before continuing. “The no breathing, no heartbeat, racing heart and slip and fall happened yesterday. The poisoning is from mushrooms, the mildly toxic kind, that were near a tree at the edge of our property. Bella took a fall and landed face first in them. She got a mouthful and started spitting them out, but unfortunately she swallowed a few, just enough to make her sick.” I started rubbing my face before pinching the bridge of my nose, a habit of mine when I’m trying to calm myself. It wasn’t working. Alice continued. “There are also leeches on her legs, which of course is not surprising considering this is Bella we’re talking about and her blood is damn near irresistible to any creature that drinks it! You just need to get here as soon as possible!” “Okay. I'm meeting up with Carlisle and Jasper.” I replied as I ran into the clearing. “Please tell Bella I love her and that I’m on my way.” “I will,” replied my sister. “And Edward, tell Carlisle I said to fill you in on the details he left out yesterday when he told you about Bella’s ‘trip and fall’ incident. Don’t be upset with him; we were under orders from Bella and since she wasn’t seriously hurt we agreed to her request, but I think


you should know the details. The rest I’ll fill you in on when you get here.” And with that Alice hung up. I stood there with the phone in hand, taking deep breaths, desperately trying to stay in control. I needed to calm down. I needed to focus. I needed to rip Emmett to shreds. I put my fist through a nearby tree before ripping it from the ground and throwing it across the clearing where it struck another tree, splitting it in half. I reached for another tree, and another. Next was a large rock which was reduced to dust after I hurled it at a larger boulder in the distance. With each object I sent flying I could feel my anger growing, not lessening. I didn’t care about the noise I was making. I had to find a way to release the anger that was threatening to burn out of control. Carlisle's POV Jasper and I were running through the forest and had almost reached the clearing where we were to meet Edward when my cell phone rang. Esme. I knew this wasn’t going to be good, and it wasn’t. She was calling to let me know that she and Rosalie were on their way to the hospital. What was that? I thought to myself. She didn’t go into detail; all she said was that it involved Emmett…again. Whatever had happened this afternoon, it had sent Bella to the emergency room and Esme was asking me to hurry back home and to “prevent our eldest son from doing something he would regret.” She also mentioned that Alice would be calling Edward shortly. Jasper was listening to the conversation and he nodded his head, understanding that we needed to get to Edward quickly. We started running again in the direction of the clearing and were only a few miles away when we heard a loud, thundering crash echo through the forest. I glanced at Jasper. “Too late,” Jasper said, “He knows.” I have never seen Edward lose control completely. Not when he left Bella, not when he started tracking Victoria, not when he thought Bella was dead and made the decision to go to Volterra. Even when he argues with his siblings, he never loses control, never becomes truly angry. His anger was reserved for enemies, for any threat against our family, and more specifically, any threat against Bella. But what if that anger was unleashed against a brother? What then? Emmett, what have you done? Jasper’s POV As we ran into the clearing I suddenly stopped, almost knocked off my feet by the intensity of Edward’s anger. It was like the storm clouds that roll through Forks: Dark, angry, dangerous… deadly. In all the years I’ve known Edward I have never seen him this angry. Only one thing could send him over the edge like this: Bella was hurt or in danger. I was desperately trying to send waves of calm towards Edward. His eyes met mine and I could see he knew what I was doing but the anger was still there and it was increasing! Oh man, Emmett, what have you done? Edward’s POV


“Edward!” I heard Carlisle yell as he and Jasper quickly made their way towards me, surveying the damage to the clearing as well as my currently unsettled state of mind. Carlisle put his hand on my shoulder. “Edward, what’s wrong? Is Bella okay? Did something happen to her?” Carlisle’s and Jasper’s thoughts told their deep concern. However, Jasper was also alarmed by the intensity of my anger and was trying to calm me but I was too angry for it to have any noticeable effect. “Carlisle, we need to get back to Forks, now!” I stepped out from under his hand and ran to the car, jumping into the driver’s seat. Carlisle and Jasper quickly followed, Carlisle getting into the passenger seat with Jasper sitting in the back. Throwing the car into reverse, I quickly backed up and turned the car around before racing towards the main road, desperate to get back to Forks. Carlisle spoke first. “Edward, tell us what happened.” I let out a growl. “Well, apparently my idiot brother decided that this would be the perfect weekend to prank my fiancée. Whatever he did today resulted in her being rushed to the emergency room. She called me on Alice's phone, Carlisle, in tears! She was pleading for me to hurry back to her, telling me she needed me! We have to get back now.” I growled at the last. Remembering Alice's last words I turned to look at Carlisle. “Alice said there were some details you neglected to mention yesterday regarding Bella's “trip and fall” incident. Now would be a good time to fill in the blanks, Carlisle.” Carlisle proceeded to relate the missing details of his conversation with Esme. Listening carefully, I could not help thinking how unbelievably stupid Emmett could be! Didn’t I warn him to leave Bella alone? How many times have I reminded him to be careful around her, to remember she’s human and still breakable? And because he had not listened to my warnings, Bella was at the emergency room, hurt and in tears! I was seeing red. Blood red. Vampire red. Glancing at my hands, I noticed I that I was causing cracks to appear in the steering wheel, causing me to ease my grip slightly. Carlisle and Jasper continued shooting worried glances in my direction. Jasper was now feeling very uncomfortable, making me feel bad that he was taking the brunt of my emotions. Edward, brother, you have to calm down. Please let me help you. I glanced at Jasper in the rear-view mirror, acknowledging his efforts, but I just couldn’t let go of the anger. Only Bella could make me calm. She needed me; there was no question about it. I had to get back to her. I had to make sure she would be okay. And then I would deal with my brother! I stepped down harder on the accelerator, trying to coax more speed from the engine. From the corner of my eye I could see Carlisle glancing at me. His thoughts showed his worry for Bella, and for Rosalie. Rosalie? Why would he worry for her? His next thought answered my question. He was worried Rosalie would no longer have a mate before the day was over. I looked at him and gave him a short nod. When I next saw Emmett there would be no stopping me. Alice's POV


Ending the call with Edward, I turned back to Bella to let her know Edward was on his way and that he said to tell her he loved her. It seemed to calm her as we continued to wait. Charlie kept glancing over at us, helpless to do anything to comfort his daughter. Fortunately someone had finally arrived to take Bella to one of the examination rooms. How could a weekend that started out with such high hopes turn so bad? The answer to that question soon appeared in the doorway. Emmett. He had just arrived with Rosalie and Esme. Emmett's POV I wasn’t sure if I should stay behind or go the hospital with the others. Part of me felt as if I needed to be there. Bella was one of us and wherever the Cullens were, that’s where I would be. I was sorrier than I could say for all the trouble my little pranks had caused over the last two days. But there was also the other part of me that said I should stay at the house. Bella was very upset and I knew I was the last person she wanted to see right now. Of course I would be the first person Edward would want to see after Bella…so he could tear me apart! Esme and Rosalie weren’t sure what Edward’s state of mind was going to be like when he arrived and felt it best that I stay out of his line of sight, at least until he’d had time to cool off. But I needed Edward to hear my thoughts, to know how sorry I was for all that happened, to know I hadn’t meant for any harm to come to Bella! They agreed to let me come with them but the moment I walked through the emergency room doors I knew it had been a mistake. All eyes turned to look at me. Charlie gave me the “Edward look” again, glaring at me until I was the first to look away. Yup, big mistake… Esme’s POV We arrived at the hospital just as they were taking Bella into one of the examination rooms. I walked over to Charlie and told him how sorry we were for all that had happened to her, but Charlie assured me that it wasn’t our fault and that we shouldn’t feel guilty about anything. Those reassurances, however, most definitely did not extend the son standing nearby. Charlie was glaring at Emmett and the look he has always reserved exclusively for Edward was now directed at Emmett. It was almost laughable to see the human man stare down the vampire in front of him. Almost…because I knew that this was nothing compared to what a vampire male, Edward, would do when he saw his brother… Rosalie’s POV Esme and I had just arrived at the emergency room entrance, with Emmett in tow. I’m the first to admit that in all my years as a vampire I have never been interested in what any human thought, said or did. I’ve always ignored them. But seeing the misery on Bella’s face, the worry on Charlie's, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. Charlie caught sight of Emmett and from the look on his face I knew that we should have made Emmett stay at the house. What was going to happen when Edward saw him? Carlisle's POV Edward had driven at top speeds and we very quickly arrived at the hospital where he pulled into my reserved parking spot, bringing the car to a screeching stop. We quickly ran to the emergency


room entrance and were met by Charlie, Alice, Esme and Rosalie, with Emmett standing quietly to the side. I greeted everyone, shaking hands with Charlie before quickly excusing myself to take over the examination, as I’m her primary doctor. Edward, I’m going to see how she’s doing. I’ll get you in as soon as possible. Edward nodded in agreement when suddenly he stood still as a statue, the expression on his face changing from worry to anger. He had spotted Emmett and was now stalking towards him; the predator had found his prey… Charlie's POV One of the hardest things about being a parent is watching your child suffer. It doesn’t matter if they are young or grown up. You want to do everything you can to protect them from all harm. The second hardest thing in the world is being forced to stand next to the cause of your child’s suffering. It happened when Edward returned to Forks after his and Bella’s seven month separation, a separation which caused Bella to fall apart and become a shell of the person I loved with all my heart. There was now a feeling of déjà vu as I watched his brother step into the room. Emmett…the cause of my child’s suffering. The look I’d always reserved for Edward had found a new target. I glared at Emmett, pinning him to the wall with my stare, glad to see that he was the first to look away. Bella was finally taken to one of the examination rooms and I settled in for a wait, hoping we would get word quickly. The emergency room doors opened and Edward came rushing into the waiting room, followed by Carlisle and his other brother, Jasper. He quickly nodded at everyone and walked up to me, shaking my hand. Carlisle also stepped up and shook my hand and then started to excuse himself, saying he was going to find where they had taken Bella and would assist with her treatment. I was more than a little relieved. Carlisle had been treating Bella for various injuries the past 2 years and there was no one I trusted more with her care, except perhaps the young man standing across from me. How could I have ever doubted his love for her? The fact he had arrived so quickly was proof of that, the worry written all over his face as well as the love and tenderness in his eyes when he said her name, all of it communicated his love and devotion to my daughter. Edward looked at me and nodded; it was as if he knew what I was thinking and wanted to assure me of his feelings. His lips turned slightly upwards. Charlie, you’re tired, you’re imaging things. But then I saw Edward’s stance grow rigid and his expression become angry as his gaze landed on Emmett. He started towards his brother and I had to decide if I would be arresting or assisting my future son-in-law… This was going to be a tough one; I was leaning towards “assisting.” Alice's POV Jasper made his way over to me and wrapped his arms around me. Normally we aren’t openly affectionate in public but he sensed my need to be wrapped in his love and support and I gratefully accepted. He whispered in my ear, “What’s been going on?” Knowing it was going to be a while before we saw Bella, I started to pull him towards the door so we could go outside and talk when suddenly I had a vision. Edward had just spotted Emmett and was moving towards him... “Wait, not yet. Edward’s going to need us.”


Edward’s POV In what seemed like an eternity but was a very short time we arrived in Forks and made our way to the hospital. I broke about a hundred traffic laws, exceeded speeds of 100 mph, weaving in and out of traffic and avoiding any law enforcement, but we were here without incident. Arriving at the hospital I quickly pulled into Carlisle's reserved parking spot, bringing the car to a screeching halt. Jumping out of the car we raced towards the emergency room entrance. I was the first through the doors, glancing around wildly until I saw Charlie, Alice, Esme and Rosalie sitting in the waiting room. “Where is she? Where have they taken her?” were the first words out of my mouth as we ran into the room. I quickly scanned the thoughts of everyone in the room, their thoughts telling me that Bella had just been taken to one of the examination rooms for treatment and they were now settling in for the wait. I walked over to Charlie and shook his hand, followed by Carlisle. Charlie's thoughts ranged from worry for Bella, relief that Carlisle was now here to treat her, and most surprising was his approval of me. His thoughts were telling me he couldn’t believe he had ever doubted my love for his daughter, approving the fact that I had arrived so quickly and the emotions he saw on my face and in my eyes as I said her name. He finally sees how much I love her! I looked at Charlie and nodded, smiling slightly when I heard his next thought, that it seemed as if was reading his thoughts. At that moment my eyes caught sight of the cause of Bella’s latest hospital visit and I froze, my stance rigid and my eyes narrowed in anger. I could hear Emmett's thoughts, his remorse for all that had happened and his plea that I understand he never intended for Bella to get hurt, but I blocked those thoughts as I started stalking towards Emmett, the predator in me ready to pounce on the prey, ready to go for the kill, ready to punish the one who had harmed my mate. Before I could go any further Carlisle stepped in front of me, reaching out and placing his hand on my shoulder to remind me of where we were and that Bella’s father was watching the scene unfold. I glanced at Charlie and had to fight the urge to laugh. Carlisle, if you only knew. Charlie's debating whether or not he should assist me! But I knew my father was right. This was neither the time nor the place for retribution. First I had to see to Bella and then I would deal with Emmett. Once again I nodded at my father who squeezed my shoulder and quickly left the room to locate Bella. Jasper and Alice were next to stand in front of me. Jasper was monitoring my emotions as I listened to Alice's thoughts. Edward, I know you’re angry but this isn’t the time or place for what you want to do to Emmett. We need to talk and I promise I will fill you in on everything that’s happened. Once you’re calm and you have all the facts, THEN we’ll decide how to deal with our wayward brother. But right now Bella needs you and she needs you to be calm. Can you do that, for her? Could I do that for Bella? I would do anything for my angel and if it meant giving up my anger for the time being then I would do it without hesitation. I nodded at Alice and allowed Jasper’s calming influence to settle me down. Yes, when the time came we would give Emmett what he deserved. My Bella would have her justice. I looked back over at Emmett and said in a low and threatening voice, “Soon Emmett, very soon…”


Chapter Twelve: The Lion Returns to His Lamb
Carlisle's POV Entering the examination room I was greeted by the sight of my future daughter-in-law lying on the examination table, looking so small, so fragile and utterly miserable, bravely trying to hold it together. Esme and I have always known Bella to be the bravest, most kindhearted human we’ve ever met, and it tugged at my cold, dead heart to see her tear-stained face. For the first time I felt anger towards Emmett for what he’d done to my soon-to-be daughter. Yes, Emmett would need to be taught a lesson. Bella caught sight of me and tried to smile as tears started falling from her eyes. “Carlisle…” she whispered as she tried to put on a brave face. “Where’s Edward? Please, Carlisle, I need him.” I quickly went over to her and gave her a gentle hug. “It will be alright Bella. Edward is in the waiting room with your father and the rest of the family. He’s very anxious to see you and as soon as we finish up here we’ll have you moved to a private room and I promise you he will be the first person I allow in to see you, okay?” Bella nodded and closing her eyes she quietly lay back on the table to allow us to get started. I turned towards Dr. Smith, the on-call emergency room physician. “Dr. Smith, I hope you don’t mind but I would like to take over. Bella, as you know, is engaged to my son, Edward, and I’m also her primary physician.” “Not a problem, Dr. Cullen. I’ll let her family know that you’ll be attending her.” And with that Dr. Smith left the room while I turned back to Bella. Sitting on the stool next to the table I reached for the medical chart. “Okay, let’s see what we have here.” I quickly scanned the chart. “Poison oak rash, leeches, and mushroom poisoning.” Trying to lighten the mood I teased, “Just another typical day in the life of Bella Swan, wouldn’t you agree?” Bella opened her eyes, the expression on her face a cross between a grimace and a glare before she realized I was teasing her. I was able to get a little chuckle out of her before turning back to the issues at hand. “Bella, I’m going to start by treating the poison oak rash. You’re very that it’s a very mild case. Alice said that you were wearing a long sleeved sweater which obviously protected you from further contamination. It was also good that Alice and Charlie removed the sweater as quickly as they did, otherwise you may have risked spreading the poison oak to other parts of your body.” I looked to see how she was taking the news. She seemed calm, but I knew what I was going to say next was going to make her nervous. “Bella, even though the rash is mild and confined to a very


small area of your neck, you’re going to be uncomfortable for the next couple of days. I’m going to give you a steroid shot for the swelling and the nurse is going to apply Benadryl cream to the rash for the itch. I’m sorry, but it’s the best I can do; you’re just going to have to let the rash run its course.” Bella cringed as she saw the nurse hand me the needle, turning her face to the side and squeezing her eyes shut as I administered the steroid shot. As I was doing this the nurse started to apply the Benadryl cream to Bella’s neck. I looked up when I heard Bella say my name. “Carlisle, do you think you could remove the leeches next? I don’t think I can stand it another minute…” “Sure, Bella, I can do that. Let’s see what we have here,” I said as pulled the gown up above her knees. I cringed as I counted the number of leeches on her legs. There were a total of eight leeches, happily feeding on her blood. Knowing Edward would be able to hear me I quietly said under my breath, Edward, I know you can hear me. It should comfort you knowing you’re not the only one who finds her blood irresistible! Edward’s reply was a sarcastic “Thanks Carlisle, that’s very comforting.” Turning my attention back to the leeches I started removing them one by one, using my fingernail to push the leeches’ sucker in a sideways motion to break the seal it had on her leg and stop it from feeding, then carefully pulling it off her leg. Once I had removed the final leech the nurse left the room to dispose of them properly while I cleaned and applied a sterile dressing over the wounds. The entire time Bella kept perfectly still, not opening her eyes until she heard me speak again. “Okay Bella, all finished. The only remaining issue is the mushroom poisoning which fortunately is not too serious but I’m going to have you take oral charcoal to prevent further absorption of the toxin and I’m going to start you on an IV to make sure you don’t become dehydrated. I know you’re not going to like this but I want you to keep you here overnight as a precaution, just so that we can monitor the situation. The nurses are going to wheel you into a private room and get the IV started while I bring Edward to you.” Bella silently thanked me through her tears. It was time to get Edward. Edward’s POV Tuning out the thoughts of everyone except for Carlisle, I heard him speaking softly to Bella, trying to reassure her as he proceeded with each treatment. When he started removing the leeches he couldn’t resist teasing me, in a whisper too low for humans to hear, Edward, I know you can hear me. It should comfort you knowing you’re not the only one who finds her blood irresistible! My reply was a sarcastic “Thanks Carlisle, that’s very comforting.” I looked across the room and saw Alice and Jasper motion for me to step off to the side with them. Alice didn’t have to say a word as I listened to the thoughts going through her mind. She filled me in on everything that had transpired over the last two days, from their arrival at the house to Bella’s phone call to me this afternoon. Alice left nothing out, allowing me to see in crystal clear clarity everything that had happened to Bella. I started to get angry again, before feeling Jasper’s calming influence. It also helped when Alice allowed me to see her next memory, her smack-down of Emmett in the forest yesterday. I had to chuckle at this one. Jasper and I were going to be able to


hold this over Emmett's head for decades! Jasper could feel that I was amused by something and he raised one eyebrow questioningly. What is it Edward? Your mood suddenly changed from anger to amusement. Whatever she showed you, it’s gotta be good! He looked over at Alice to see if she would elaborate, but she only smiled and said, “Later Jasper, I promise I’ll tell you later.” Edward, we have to get back at Emmett! I know you want to, don’t tell me you don’t. Nothing too drastic but it has to be something he won’t ever forget! I can see it already. Everyone is going to want in, including Charlie and Rosalie. What do you say? Can we? By this time Alice was practically bouncing up and down on her heels. Knowing that Emmett would be able to hear even if I spoke low, I silently mouthed my response to Alice and Jasper, knowing they would be able to read my lips. Yes, Alice, it’s what I want too. But it’s going to depend on what Bella wants to do. I’m going to leave the decision up to her; whatever she wants to do, or not do, it’ll be her choice. Alice beamed and nodded her head in agreement. Yes! Of course it’ll be her decision, Edward, but don’t be surprised if you find she wants a little Cullen style revenge. She’s going to want to teach him a lesson that he’ll never forget. I nodded at her before moving to stand near Charlie again. I was surprised when I heard Rosalie’s voice in my head. Edward, I feel really bad about all that’s happened to Bella this weekend. I warned Emmett to leave her alone. I practically begged him to behave himself. But you know Emmett. I want in on whatever you and Alice are planning to do. Rosalie’s offer surprised me. Before I could react she went on to explain. “I want in for two reasons: to teach Emmett a lesson for not listening to me, his wife! Now this was the Rosalie I knew. Of course she would make this about her, not Bella. But then her next thoughts surprised me. I can see the skepticism on your face Edward, but I’m really sincere about this. I want to do this for Bella. I still feel bad for how I treated her when she first came into our lives, but she’s going to be my sister and I want to prove to her that I accept her and that I will always be there for her. She deserves her revenge, even if it’s against my Emmett, and I am more than happy to help her get it. I want to help in whatever way I can. Just let me know what you need me to do and I’ll do it. I could hear the sincerity in my sister’s thoughts, as unbelievable as it was, and nodded my agreement to let her know if and when the time came. She smiled at me before turning back to talk to Esme and Emmett. Time seemed to be moving slowly and I was starting to get restless, anxious to be with Bella. I needed to see her, make sure she was okay, and have her safe in my arms again. A few minutes later Carlisle stepped back into the waiting area, walking up to both Charlie and myself. “Bella’s going to be fine but I want to keep her here overnight, just as a precaution. I don’t want her becoming dehydrated as the mushroom toxins make their way out of her system, so I’m going to put her on an IV to keep her hydrated and the nurses will be checking on her throughout the night to make sure there are no complications.” Charlie was relieved but I couldn’t feel the same, not until I was able to see her for myself. I couldn’t wait any longer. “Can we see her now, Carlisle?”


Carlisle turned to Charlie. “She’s being taken to a private room and the nurses are hooking up the IV. Charlie, I know you’re Bella’s father but she’s been asking for Edward. Will you allow Edward to see her first, before we let everyone else in?” I glanced at Charlie, my eyes silently pleading for his permission. I was surprised when I quickly agreed to Carlisle's request. “It’s alright with me, Carlisle. Edward, you can go in first. The poor kid has been asking for you since I first arrived at your house. We’ll give the two of you some time together first.” “Thank you Charlie, you don’t know how much I appreciate it,” I said as I again shook his hand. Carlisle and I walked down a long corridor to the room where Bella would be staying. I opened the door and got my first look at my poor sweetheart. Bella’s POV Carlisle had arranged for me to be placed in a room at the end of the corridor, and as he left he told me he was going to get Edward. I was still trying to control my emotions. It wasn’t like me to cry like this but these past two days I had received one shock after another and had finally reached the end of my endurance. I finally snapped. Edward was the only one who would be able to stop my tears, the only one who could make me feel safe again. I needed to feel his arms wrapped protectively around me, his tender kiss on my face, his fingers running through my hair, his words of love and reassurance. I needed him. Since I had arrived at the Cullens yesterday morning I had been on edge and only Edward’s arms could make me feel safe and calm again. Before I knew it the door opened and Edward was standing in the doorway. Our eyes locked and I started crying again, relieved and happy that he had come back to me when I needed him so badly. “Edward …” was the only word I could get past the lump in my throat. He rushed to the bed, carefully scooping me into his arms, cradling me protectively and softly kissing my forehead and brow before placing the sweetest of kisses on my lips. “My love, I got here as fast I could. I’m here now. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to let anything else happen to you. You’re safe.” He kept crooning as he held me tightly. “I’m sorry, Edward, I don’t know why I can’t stop crying. It was awful! Sometimes I just don’t know about your brother. I know he didn’t mean any harm but he just doesn’t know when to stop! Alice and I were so happy when we first arrived at the house but everything quickly started to go downhill.” I couldn’t stop the tears as I told him everything that had happened over the last two days. When I finally reached the end he gently wiped the tears from my face and kissed me again, holding me close. My tears were finally stopping; I knew it had everything to do with the man holding me in his arms. I felt safe, loved, protected. I was whole again. Edward looked me over carefully, taking note of the rash on my neck, the bandages covering the wounds on my legs and finally the IV that I was hooked up to near the bed.


Edward looked at me sadly. “I’m so sorry, Bella, for not preventing everything that happened to you this weekend. I should have been here to protect you. When Emmett turned down the chance to go to Goats Rock I was a little suspicious; I should have known. I just should have stayed…” I couldn’t stand to hear him blame himself for something that wasn’t his fault! I stopped his words by putting my fingers against his mouth. “No Edward, don’t you dare blame yourself for what happened! It was your brother’s fault, plain and simple.” “But Bella, I wasn’t here to protect you. I hate that you didn’t have me here to do that. Instead my idiot brother terrorized you and I wasn’t here to prevent it!” He snarled angrily, his hands tightening on my arms before he realized what he was doing. He loosened his grip and started to pull away when I stopped him. “No! I am not going to let you feel guilty about this! You’re here now, that’s all that matters to me. Okay, so I snapped. But deep down I knew all I needed was you to make everything right again. All I could think of was seeing you and being in your arms again. You are the one who makes me brave. With you I feel like I can do anything.” He pulled me close and kissed me again, pouring all his love and devotion into the kiss. I ran my hands through his hair, holding him tight to me, not wanting to ever let him go. But all good things must come to an end and Edward started to gently pull back. “Careful love, we don’t want your father to walk in on our little love fest,” he said teasingly. “Especially now that he’s seen the light and is convinced that I love you. I’m on his good side now and that’s where I want to stay!” He smiled at the shocked look on my face. “Apparently he’s found a new target to dislike…Emmett.” “Really? And how do you know that?” I giggled as I thought about Emmett being on Charlie's bad side. “Well, do you remember the look he always gives me when he sees me, what everyone in my family calls the “Edward look”? Now he’s giving it to Emmett. He keeps glaring at him. You should see Emmett right now. He’s squirming in his seat like the boy who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.” Edward was openly laughing now which made me laugh. It felt so good to be able to laugh after the tears and stress of the past two days. Gradually our laughter died down and he took my hands in his, bringing them up to his lips and kissing them. He took a deep breathe, exhaling slowly. “I am so angry with him right now, Bella. I have to admit after Alice ended our call I lost control in the forest. I practically tore up the clearing where the car was parked. And then when we arrived at the hospital and I saw Emmett it was all I could do to stop myself from tearing him to shreds. Carlisle had to step in front of me and remind me that we were in a hospital and that your father was watching.” Edward started laughing again. “I’m sorry, my love. It’s just that I was listening to your father’s thoughts when Carlisle stopped me from going after Emmett in the waiting room. Charlie was thinking about how he could assist me in whatever I was planning to do to Emmett!” That made me laugh again, thinking This is going to take some getting used to, Charlie taking sides with Edward! But just as quickly I stopped laughing, thinking of how badly it might have turned out


if Edward hadn’t been able to stop himself from going after his brother. When a vampire’s mate is in danger, or if the mate is injured or killed, there is nothing the surviving mate won’t do to avenge them. As Edward’s injured mate, he would have gone after his brother without a second thought. His own brother! Edward has told me time and again that I am his life and here was absolute proof! But as much as the thought warmed me, I didn’t want to be the cause between him and his brother. What I love most about the Cullens is that they are a real family. They have their squabbles like any human family, but no matter what there is always love, always devotion, and always loyalty to each other. I couldn’t live with myself if I was the means of destroying that. Gently placing my hands on Edward’s face I pulled him closer to me, touching my forehead to his and looking deeply into his eyes. “I know you’re angry. I’m angry too. But he’s your brother and more importantly think of what it would have done to your family. I couldn’t bear if I were the cause of a rift in your family…” Edward looked as if he was about to interrupt so I quickly continued. “That being said, I don’t recall saying that he could go unpunished.” Edward affectionately rubbed his nose against mine. “So…my little lamb has teeth after all?” He started waggling his brows up and down, with a mischievous glint in his eye. “Are you saying you wouldn’t be adverse to a little Cullen style revenge?” I looked at him, pretending to be shocked. “Edward! You know I’m not the type of person that thinks to get back at someone who’s harmed or crossed me! But…I never claimed to be a saint and after what your brother put me through I think he needs to be taught a lesson. I think it’s time for the self-proclaimed “King of Pranks” to be taken down a notch or two, wouldn’t you agree?” I saw my favorite crooked smile on Edward’s face, the one that made me weak in the knees. I shivered as he lowered his head to my neck, softly kissing his way up to my ear while growling, “This lion likes his lamb with teeth! Okay, my love, we’ll do it your way. Tomorrow, after you’ve been released from the hospital and had some rest, we’ll start making our plans.” He turned his head towards the door. “It sounds like the family is making their way down the corridor. Are you ready to receive your visitors?” I nodded and Edward gave me one last, wonderful kiss before we made ourselves ready to greet the family.

Chapter Thirteen: The “Emmett Situation”


Edward’s POV I spent the night with Bella at the hospital, refusing to leave her side. Surprisingly it was Charlie who agreed that it would be alright for me to stay with her. He understood why Bella didn’t want to see me go. The tears were gone and she was starting to look herself again. He knew it was due in large part to my presence. There was no way I was going to let anyone disturb her tonight. Since there were going to be nurses coming in throughout the night Charlie felt it would be safe to leave us alone. I asked if I could bring her home in the morning, which he agreed to as well. Sitting in a chair next to her bed, I didn’t take my eyes off her all night. I held her hand in mine, watching her sleep. As I sat there I thought back to yesterday when the family had finally been allowed to see Bella. She was happy to see everyone, but the moment Emmett came into view I felt her tense. Charlie saw this and noted how quickly she relaxed when I put my arms around her, wrapping her in my protective embrace while glaring at my brother. I could hear nothing but approval in his thoughts. Gone was the “Edward look” and in its place were looks of gratitude and respect. I watched Emmett carefully as he offered his apologies to Bella. Bella graciously accepted, and while I knew he was sincere I wasn’t going to let him off the hook that easily. I continued to glare at him until he and Rosalie made their excuses to leave, saying they had things to do before going home. As the visit progressed I listened to the thoughts in the room and noticed there seemed to be a general consensus that Emmett deserved some payback. Nothing drastic but good enough that he wouldn’t be tempted to pull any more pranks on Bella, at least not until after she was changed. Surprisingly, Charlie's thoughts also indicated he wanted some sort of payback on behalf of his daughter. Interesting… Bella was still sleeping when Carlisle arrived at the hospital in the early hours of the morning. He made his way over to the bed, asking me how she’d slept during the night. I was able to tell him she had been sleeping peacefully, no complications. Satisfied, he told me that he was going to his office to start on the release papers and asked if I would let him know when she woke so he could check her over one last time. Alice and Jasper arrived shortly after Bella woke up. Carlisle had already been in to check on Bella and seeing that she was doing well he left the room to sign the papers allowing her to leave. Alice and Jasper had decided to ride back to Bella’s house with us and waited with Bella at the hospital entrance while I brought the car around. Helping Bella into the passenger seat I couldn’t help but notice how tired she still looked. Bella saw my concern and reaching out she twined her fingers with mine. “Edward, I’m fine. Really, I’m okay, just tired. I just want to go home. All I need is a little rest and I’ll be back to my old self.” I looked at her carefully. There was nothing but truth in her eyes and I gave her a quick smile. “I’m sorry, love. I can’t help but be worried. Let’s get you home. I’m going to make sure you get plenty of rest, no disturbances.”


I pulled our joined hands up to my lips, softly kissing her fingers and then her ring before putting the car in gear and driving in the direction of her house. Jasper’s POV As we made our way to Bella’s house I made sure to keep tabs on her emotions. She was calm but I sensed fatigue as well. I did what I could to help her relax. Apparently she had noticed because not long after she turned in her seat to look at Alice and myself and silently mouthed “Thanks.” I could feel her love and appreciation for us which touched me deeply. It wasn’t always easy for me to be around Bella, although it was much better than in the past. I knew that I wouldn’t be completely comfortable around her until after she had been changed and the temptation of her blood no longer stood as a barrier between us. Yet, in spite of everything, I felt a certain kinship with Bella, because in a way we were both outsiders struggling to fit in. She was my wife’s best friend and my brother’s mate; there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to help her any way I could, which is why I was here with Alice to offer my support in the “lesson” that was soon to come. Over the years I too have been on the receiving end of a prank by the self-proclaimed “King of Pranks.” I’ve won some and lost some, but the one constant was we were equals, both vampires, indestructible. While I had no doubts Bella would be able to hold her own against Emmett when she was turned, the truth of the matter was that right now she is not a vampire. She’s human, fragile and breakable. And it was up to her mate and her siblings to help her take her revenge on Emmett now rather than later. The challenge of pulling one over on the “King” was just too good an opportunity to pass up. If we pulled it off, we would own Emmett for a very, very long time! Yes, Emmett my brother, you are going down! I chuckled to myself as we pulled up to the house. Alice's POV I kept glancing at Bella, thinking how very tired she looked. But I was also relieved to see she was not jumpy or nervous after everything that had happened and I smiled thinking that all it took was having Edward back at her side to make everything right again. Jasper and I had decided to accompany Edward and Bella back to her house for two reasons. The first was we felt it would help her feel more secure on the way home, not just having Edward by her side but also knowing I would be able to see anything coming and Jasper would be helping to keep her emotions calm and peaceful. It was working since Bella turned around and silently mouthed “Thanks” to the two of us. The second reason was the “Emmett situation” that I wanted to discuss with Edward and I knew he wouldn’t be leaving her side any time soon. I had seen their decision to teach Emmett a lesson and it was important that we start putting a plan together as soon as possible. Bella's house was the perfect place for this conversation as it was the last place Emmett would dare show his face! During the night while Rosalie and Emmett were out hunting I had a long discussion with Carlisle and Esme about the weekend and its effect on Bella. As much as we love Emmett, sometimes the only way to get through to him is to give him a taste of his own medicine. I told them that I had


seen Bella and Edward's decision that it was time for some Cullen style revenge and asked if they would help. Esme agreed without hesitation. After watching what Emmett had done this weekend, she had lost all sympathy for him and her strong protective instincts for Bella made her decide that she was going to help teach Emmett a lesson he would not forget. Carlisle also agreed that the time had come to deal with Emmett. I asked them to meet us at Bella’s house later in the afternoon, once Bella had had a chance to rest after coming home from the hospital. I had also spoken with Edward on the phone while Bella was sleeping and he told me that Rosalie wanted in on whatever we had planned for Emmett. Sometimes that sister of mine surprises me! I quickly sent her a text message letting her know that the rest of the family was going to be at Bella’s house this afternoon and asked her to keep Emmett occupied until we returned, telling her I would fill her in on all the details later. Her return text simply read, “Copy. Will await further instructions.” Now all we needed to do was get Charlie to agree to help. This was going to be a piece of cake! Emmett was Enemy No. 1 on Charlie's list right now and I knew he wouldn’t hesitate to help! We would have to be careful not to reveal any of our vampire secrets to Charlie, but I didn’t see any problems there. I already had some ideas as to what role Charlie would play and were they good! Charlie wouldn’t be able to resist and Emmett would definitely be blindsided when it happened. We pulled up to Bella’s house and I started to organize my thoughts and ideas. Carlisle's POV There appeared to be a general consensus amongst the family that Emmett needed to be taught a lesson. Normally I stay out of the little pranks and arguments that occur between my children, understanding that they are adults and can work things out on their own. It’s what human families do and it was one of the things that made us feel human. But after seeing Bella yesterday afternoon and knowing the cause of her misery, I knew this was one time I needed to be in on whatever was coming. Alice came to Esme and me in the evening to discuss what she called the “Emmett situation.” She wanted to let us know that Bella and Edward had decided to teach Emmett a lesson, and she and Jasper were going to help. She asked if Esme and I would agree to be involved. Without hesitation Esme said “yes.” My wife is the kindest, most tenderhearted woman I know, with a deep and fierce love for all her children including Bella, but after seeing her youngest and most defenseless child being terrorized at the hands of her prankster son, her protective instincts came forward and she was determined to teach the son a lesson he would not forget. That’s my girl, I thought to myself with a smile. I told Alice that I was in as well. Alice started jumping up and down before settling down and asking us to meet them at Bella’s house in the afternoon. I’m sorry son, but this is a lesson you need to learn. I was certain that everyone, including myself, was going to enjoy this one. Esme’s POV


I wasn’t surprised when Alice approached Carlisle and me about being involved in the planned “lesson” for Emmett. Truth be told, after watching Emmett terrorize my poordaughter, nothing was going to stop me from being involved. Oh Emmett, son, you’ve crossed one too many lines and now it’s time to pay. Rosalie’s POV I received Alice's text message while hunting with Emmett in the early hours of the morning. He’d gone off to play with a grizzly so I was by myself when I read her text message. It said the family was going to be meeting at Bella’s house this afternoon to discuss the “Emmett situation” as everyone had taken to calling it and she asked me to keep Emmett occupied until they returned. I quietly laughed to myself as I typed in my response, “Copy. Will await further instructions.” Edward must have told her about my wanting in on the plan. So, my job was to distract Emmett while the rest of the family worked out the details. No problem! I’ve had plenty of practice “distracting” my man! It would be fun for the both of us. Some might ask what kind of wife am I to be thinking about playing a prank against my husband, but I had to do it for Bella. It was going to be fun watching him squirm! Oh, babe, this is a lesson you need to learn and in the process you will learn to never again disregard a little wifely advice! Bella’s POV We arrived at my house and Edward came around the car to open the door for me, putting his arm around me as we walked slowly to the door. Charlie was waiting for us to arrive and was standing in the doorway to greet us. “How are you feeling, kid?” he asked as he pulled me in for a quick hug. I winced but gave him a quick hug in return. “Better, but still a little tired. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go upstairs and rest for a little while.” “Go on up Bells. I wanted to talk with Edward any way. I’ll keep him entertained until you’re ready to come back down.” I had to shake my head at the complete 180 degree turn my dad’s attitude had taken towards Edward. If there was any good that came out of this whole experience, it was that it was bringing my two men together. I would take it any way I could get it. Edward gently squeezed my waist. “That’s fine, Charlie. I wanted to talk to you as well. I’m going to get Bella upstairs and tucked in and I’ll be right back down, if that’s alright with you?” “Sure, go ahead. I’ll visit with Alice and Jasper here and then we’ll talk.” Charlie moved towards the living room, inviting Alice and Jasper join him.


Edward lifted me into his arms and carried me up to my room. It felt so good to be back home, safe from Emmett! I only wished Edward could stay with me but Charlie was expecting him downstairs and the sooner I rested the sooner I could be with Edward again. “Will you hum my lullaby to me and stay until I fall asleep?” I asked him as he gently placed me on the bed and started to pull the covers around me. His eyes were soft as he lay next to me, pulling me into his arms. “That’s something you never need to ask me to do, love.” “Edward, what does Charlie want to discuss with you?” I was starting to feel drowsy but I needed to know what was going on before I could sleep. Edward started laughing quietly and I opened my eyes, silently asking for an explanation. ‘I’m sorry sweetheart. Your father wants to talk to me about what I plan to do to my brother. Apparently Alice ratted Emmett out and now Charlie wants some justice on your behalf.” I started laughing too. “Are you kidding me? Is this Charlie Swan we’re talking about? Charlie Swan, Forks chief of police, wanting to take matters into his own hands?” Edward started laughing. “Yes, my love, one in the same.” “Well, in a way I’m glad all of this happened.” Edward stopped laughing, waiting for me to elaborate. “I like that the two most important men in my life are of one accord now. I like that you’re both on the same side. I’d say this weekend has been worth it.” Edward shook his head with a slightly baffled expression on his face. “Bella, just when I think I have you figured out you do or say something to surprise me. You’re always able to take a negative and turn it into a positive. It’s one of the things I love most about you.” I gave him a soft kiss on his chin and tucked my head into his neck. He pulled me closer and pressing his face into my hair inhaled deeply. He let out a contented sigh. “Bella, I think you should know Carlisle and Esme are going to be coming over later this afternoon, after you’ve had time to rest, to discuss the “Emmett situation.” It seems everyone wants in on this one.” “Are you serious, Edward? The whole family wants in on this?” Edward immediately knew who I was referring to. “Yes, Bella, the whole family wants in, including Rosalie. She really is very sorry about what Emmett has done and she wants to help. She says she wants to be there for you like a sister would be. I could hear it in her thoughts, love; she’s sincere. Her contribution today is to keep Emmett occupied this afternoon while we’re meeting here to discuss the situation.” “Wow. I have to say I never thought I’d see the day when Rosalie would take my side over Emmett’s.” I was quiet for a minute as I processed this piece of information, before suddenly remembering Charlie. “Edward, what about Charlie?”


“Don’t worry love. It’s one of the things I’m going to discuss with your father while you’re napping. Alice and Jasper are going to stay as well as Alice wants to talk to Charlie. We want to get Charlie's agreement to participate, and you know he can never say no to Alice!” He started to gently run his fingers through my hair in an effort to relax me. It was working; I was starting to get sleepy again. “Now, what I want you to do is rest. I’ll be downstairs and when you wake up everyone will be here and then we’ll make start making our plans. Now sleep.” Edward started humming my lullaby again and soon I drifted off into a deep and dreamless sleep, feeling safe and content once more. Edward's POV Bella's breathing deepened and I could feel her body relax as she fell into a deep sleep. I carefully moved off the bed, taking care not to disturb her, tucking the blankets around her securely and brushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear. She was so lovely. Every time I see her sleeping I’m struck anew by how much I love her. I made my way back downstairs to the living room where Alice and Jasper were sitting with Charlie. Alice's thoughts told me that she had been discussing the situation with Charlie and that he was going to be receptive to the idea of a little Cullen style revenge on Emmett. I went back downstairs to the living room and sat down in the chair across from Charlie. “She’s asleep now. I think she’s going to be out for a while.” Charlie looked in the direction of the stairs. “Poor kid, she’s been through hell this weekend. We were talking about what happened over the weekend. If Alice hadn’t assured me that Emmett is actually protective of Bella and loves her like a sister, I would have been over there with my shotgun, ready to hand out some good old fashioned Western-style justice!” All of us started laughing at Charlie's comment. The thought of him taking a shotgun to Emmett really was laughable. I could imagine the look of shock on Charlie's face when he saw that his shot merely bounced off Emmett, no damage whatsoever. Jasper commented, “Well, there’s something to be said for justice, Old-West style. I’d bet the ranch on it! It was pretty effective in its day.” Alice and I shared a smile at this; if anyone were to know it would be Jasper! “I can’t say any one of us would have tried stopping you Charlie if you had done that.” I paused as I considered what to say next. “I guess the real problem is that Emmett doesn’t know when to stop, which he proved this weekend. The question now is what to do about it. There is no doubt in my mind that Emmett has to pay. Bella is my life and I will protect her in any way I can. No one can do what was done to Bella and get away with it, not even my own brother. The question is, are you adverse to a little Cullen style revenge?” I then sat back and waited for Charlie's response. It wasn’t long in coming. Charlie snorted at the question. “Young man, the only thing I’m adverse to is not getting my hands dirty while you have all the fun. Bella may be your future wife but she is always going to be my little girl and when someone hurts her, they are going to have to deal with me. I’m in.”


Alice and Jasper both smiled, Alice bouncing on the sofa in her excitement. Charlie smiled affectionately at her before reaching out to shake my hand. Bella was right; her two men were in accord and I was going to make sure that it stayed that way. “Okay Charlie. Carlisle and Esme will be stopping by this afternoon and once Bella wakes up we’ll get to work. Let’s call it, “Operation: Revenge.”

Chapter Fourteen: Countdown to Operation: Revenge!
Edward’s POV Carlisle and Esme arrived an hour after Bella fell asleep and we all settled in to start going over ideas. Alice started first. “Okay everyone, we’re all in agreement that Emmett needs to be taught a lesson, and I think I've come up with the perfect way to do it. There is a television show that Emmett absolutely loves. The show is called Punk’d.” Alice looked over at Charlie, not sure if he understood. “Charlie, Punk’d is a hidden camera practical joke show, kind of like a cross between “Candid Camera” and “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes.” Being “Punk’d” refers to having a prank played on oneself. It’s time for Emmett to star in his very own episode on what we will call “Punk’d…Cullen Style.” I have ideas for the pranks we can play on him, but first I think we should listen to Jasper’s idea for the mode of attack.” I already liked the direction this was going. I looked over at Jasper and motioned for him to speak. “All of us who know Emmett will agree that he’s not an easy man to pull a joke on. He has an uncanny talent for spotting a prank a mile away, which is why I think that our plan has to involve a certain amount of subtlety, finesse if you will. We would break it up into two parts. The first part would involve a series of minor pranks designed to start putting him on edge. He’ll know something is not quite right but there won’t be anything concrete to prove it. The second part will be the main prank, the one that puts the nails on his coffin, so to speak.” Charlie turned to Alice. “Alice, you said you had some ideas for the first part. Can I ask what those are?” “I thought you’d never ask!” Alice said to Charlie with a wink, earning her a fond smile in return. “It’s actually a series of pranks that will start simple, with each successive prank becoming a bit more involved until the final prank at the end. All are guaranteed to mess with Emmett's head. I’m calling it “5 Ways to Make Emmett Cullen Think He’s Losing His Mind." Each prank will be


designed to make him think he’s hearing things, losing things, or making him afraid of the reactions of certain members of this family, namely, Rosalie.” Intrigued, everyone leaned forward to listen as Alice went into detail about her ideas. Once she had finished all I could think was, Clever, Alice, very clever. These pranks were so subtle Emmett wouldn’t suspect any one of us. Jasper took the floor again. “We’re going to set up video cameras where the pranks are to occur. I’ll handle the set up and filming of each prank. Knowing Emmett as well as I do, I’m sure he wished he had a video camera on him when he played his first pranks on Bella. So it’s only fair that we consider doing the same to him. After all, we’re not doing anything that he wouldn’t consider doing himself. The beauty of it is he’ll have no idea he’s being filmed...well, he won't until after we've played it back for him at a later date!” This set off a round of laughter as we all imagined Emmett's expression when he saw the tape. It was my turn to jump in with my own addition to the plan. “I have an idea for the main prank. Bella and I will handle this part, with supporting help from everyone else, in particular you Carlisle. I think we all agree that this weekend has been stressful for Bella. From the heart-stopping scares to the physical suffering she’s endured, one might think it may have affected her health in a bad way, wouldn’t you agree, Carlisle?” I pointedly looked at Carlisle and saw his eyes light up in understanding. He understood where I was going with this. “Yes, Edward, I would have to agree with you. The stress to her body could make her prone to certain conditions that might be serious enough to warrant special “medical” treatment. As her doctor I would need to carefully monitor any changes in her health. I would hope that it wouldn’t turn into anything serious.” “Yes, if Bella were to mysteriously start fainting for no reason, one might attribute it to the stress of the weekend’s events. Emmett would feel incredibly guilty knowing the role he played in all of this.” I looked to see if everyone else was starting to understand where this was headed. Apparently they did because the smiles grew wider, including Charlie's. At first he had seemed alarmed by what I was saying, but now that he understood my idea I could tell he was intrigued. But he did have one concern about the plan, or rather, Bella's role in the plan and I waited for him to share it. It didn’t take long for him to voice that concern. “Alright, Edward, I see where you’re headed with this, but I think you might be forgetting one key detail. I know my daughter, and my daughter cannot act to save her life!” Everyone laughed at this, including me. It was true; Bella is not a good actress, but with the proper motivation and the chance to get back at Emmett for all he had done to her this weekend, I knew she would be able to pull off the performance of a lifetime. “Charlie, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I have no doubt Bella will be able to pull this off, and she’ll have me to help her with her part. Trust me, Charlie, she will nail it.” I was proud of Bella and I wanted Charlie to understand how much I believed in her, just as she believed in me.


For the next three hours we continued fine-tuning the plan as we waited for Bella to wake so we could fill her in on the details. Alice's POV While Bella was sleeping we had been tossing around ideas, taking care not to reveal any information that we didn’t want Charlie to know. I had come up with a list of pranks to play on Emmett, while Jasper had come up with an excellent plan on how to execute the attack. Combined with Edward’s idea for the second part of the plan, I could see success on every level! It’s a tough job, being devious and clever but someone has to do it and it might as well be me! As for Bella, I wanted her to be involved as much as possible. After all, we were doing this for her. The chance to help her pull one over on Emmett was too good to resist; there was no way any of the Cullens would not want to be involved, including Rosalie. Edward was discussing his plan with Charlie, Carlisle and Esme. I waited for him to pause so I could catch his eye. Edward, as soon as Bella wakes and we let her in on everything I will contact Rosalie and let her know her part. Then Jasper and I are going to go home to start setting everything up. Edward nodded in agreement and turned back to the others. Yes, Operation Revenge was going to be the mother of all pranks. Coming at Emmett from all angles, he most definitely would not know what hit him! Jasper’s POV I was pleased with the way my idea was received by all in the room. As a former military man, when planning an attack I look at the plan from all angles, checking for weaknesses, utilizing the element of surprise, or covert operation where the enemy wouldn’t know you were there until it was too late. With Emmett, the only way we would be able to pull this off would be to attack from all angles, but so subtly that he wouldn’t be able to tell if it were real or just a figment of his imagination. And to get it all one film, well, that would just be the icing on the cake. Unbeknownst to Charlie, I had a secondary role to play as well. Not only was it going to be my job to set up the video cameras and film the action, I was going to be manipulating Emmett's emotions so that his reactions would be more intense. Everything from panic, confusion, nervousness, sorrow, guilt…he was going to feel it all in amplified form. When we pulled this off, the king would rule no more! Charlie's POV People usually think of me as a no-nonsense kind of guy. I’m the chief law enforcement official in this town, a job I take seriously. I don't play games and I don't like when people try to play them with me. That's not to say I don't have a sense of humor. I do, and in my younger days I had a wild streak a mile long so I can appreciate a good joke. And when the joke was going to be on someone who’s messed with my kid, well, more so the better.


I was especially going to enjoy the part I was going to play in this game. Emmett Cullen wouldn’t even see me coming until I was there. Yes, I was looking forward to this very much. Carlisle's POV As the head of my coven I take my responsibilities seriously. But is it wrong for me to feel a sense of pride in how devious my children can be? Maybe it’s because it involves Bella, and Esme and I are very protective of her. Maybe it’s because I know that Emmett can handle being the butt of a joke. At any rate, I was looking forward to playing my part. Esme’s POV My roles were going to be minor in comparison to the ones everyone else would play, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t take great pleasure in playing my part to the full. I was going to enjoy it thoroughly. Bella’s POV I woke from my nap and lay still for a moment, listening to the voices downstairs. Looking at my clock I saw it was after 2 p.m. I’d slept for almost four hours and surprisingly felt very good. It’s amazing what uninterrupted, terror-free sleep can do for a person! Getting up as quickly as I could I headed downstairs, anxious to join the discussion. I wanted to hear the ideas the others had come up with, and maybe add a few of my own. Edward had heard me and met me at the foot of the stairs, giving me a quick kiss and a whispered “Did you sleep well, love?” before taking my hand and leading me to the living room. Carlisle and Esme had already arrived and were sitting with Charlie and the others, making small talk. Edward sat in the last available chair across from my father and pulled me down onto his lap. As usual I started to blush, this time because I knew Charlie was in the room, but all Charlie did was smile at us and go back to talking to Carlisle and Esme. Wow, he really has come around! I thought to myself, shaking my head. This was really going to take some getting used to! I greeted everyone in the room and then asked the million dollar question. “So, what’s the plan?” I was really curious to know the ideas they had been tossing around. The Cullens were the cleverest people I had ever met and I would never bet against Alice when it came to payback, especially not after what she’d done to Emmett in the forest. I laughed to myself as I remembered what Alice had told us girls about that day. Edward looked over at Alice who nodded at him and then she proceeded to address the room. “Well, Bella, while you were sleeping we tossed around different ideas. You know that Emmett likes to think he’s the “King” when it comes to pranking so whatever we do has to be good because he can usually spot a prank a mile away. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s going to be a challenge for all involved to pull it off…” I noticed at this point that everyone glanced in my direction. Why is everyone looking at me? I asked myself. Before I could think on it any further, Alice continued, “Emmett loves to watch “Punk’d” so I thought, why not have him unknowingly


star in his very own episode. But this will be Punk’d…Cullen Style. Jasper actually has a great idea for how we should make this play out. Jazz?” I looked over at Jasper and he exchanged a glance with Edward before turning towards me. “Bella, my idea is actually quite simple. The plan is to break it up into two parts. The first part would involve a series of minor pranks designed to start putting Emmett on edge. He’ll know something is not quite right but there won’t be anything concrete to prove it. We’re going to mess with his mind a little. I can sense he’s already feeling a little paranoid, wondering if we are planning anything behind his back. So, we’ll just encourage that feeling. These pranks are going to be handled by your father, Alice, Carlisle, Esme and myself.” Alice jumped in. “It’s brilliant, Bella! I’ve already come up with a name the first phase: '5 Ways to Make Emmett Cullen Think He’s Losing His Mind.'” She was so excited she was clapping and bouncing around as she said it. Everyone started laughing at this point, including me. I couldn’t wait to find out what those five ways were going to be. Jasper continued, “The second part is actually Edward’s idea. It will be carried out by the two of you, with supporting help from the rest of us, in particular Carlisle. And this is where acting skills are going to come in.” The minute he mentioned acting skills my face fell and I realized why they had all looked at me. I could see it on Charlie's face; Bells can’t act to save her life! Ouch! Thanks a lot, Charlie, for the vote of confidence... I could feel myself starting to panic, my heart racing. Edward immediately knew what was happening and started rubbing my back while throwing a look at Jasper who started to send small waves of calm towards me. Alice had also seen the panic on my face and knew exactly what to say. “Bella, call it a hunch, but I can see success. Right now Emmett is more nervous about not crossing Edward and your dad; he’s going to believe anything you say or do.” I turned my face into Edward’s shoulder as I thought about what they were saying. I whispered in his ear, “Do you think I can do this?” Edward pulled back so that he could look me in the eye. “Sweetheart, I know you can do this. Yes, it’s going to take excellent acting skills on your part but I am absolutely certain you can pull it off. I will be with you every step of the way. We can do this, together, you and I.” He pulled me in for another hug. I could feel his confidence in me and I started to feel it in myself. I sat up straight and with my chin held high I turned to look at Charlie. “Okay Charlie, I can see it on your face. You don’t believe I can pull this off, do you? Well, after what Emmett did this weekend, I want payback. I will be so good, after this is over you’re going to be giving me an award for my Oscar-winning performance!” Everyone started laughing, including Edward who squeezed my waist and whispered in my ear, “That’s my little lamb, show me those teeth.”


Alice came over to hug me. “Oh Bella, I knew you wouldn’t back down from a challenge, “Alice said. “And that’s why it’s going to work. This is your chance to show Emmett that he should never, ever underestimate you.” Edward nodded in agreement with Alice. “Bella, Emmett really believes it’s impossible for anyone to pull one over on him. He is so sure of it that it’s made him arrogant. There is a saying everyone is familiar with: Pride goes before a fall.” Jasper started laughing again. “That’s right, and what a fall this is going to be!” I had laugh at that. Looking over at Carlisle and Esme I saw they were smiling and laughing with everyone else, but I wondered what they were truly thinking. “Esme, Carlisle. Are you okay with all of this? I don’t want to do anything that’s going to adversely affect the family.” Esme spoke first. “Bella, I don’t want you to worry about anything. Carlisle and I are in. It’s time Emmett was taught a lesson. You already know that I think of you as a daughter; no matter what we will always be there for you and this is one of those times.” Carlisle waited for Esme to finish before adding, “Bella, I agree with Esme. You are a member of our family and we feel protective of you. It’s time Emmett learned some self-control and we’re only too happy to help.” I got up and went over to Carlisle and Esme, hugging them tightly and thanking them for being there for me. The mood in the room was light as we settled back into our seats and went over the plan some more, including who was doing what and how. Starting tomorrow, Operation Revenge would commence. Alice's POV Our little party broke up after another hour of discussion. Carlisle and Esme were going to stay a little while longer to visit with Charlie and Bella, while Jasper and I headed home to start setting everything up. When we pulled up to the house all was quiet. Emmett and Rosalie were not yet back. Perfect…this would allow us to set the cameras up in the house. When they returned I would have to find a way to get Rosalie away from the Emmett so I could fill her in on the plan and her role. She didn't know it yet but her M3 was going to play a role in one of the pranks, the one Rosalie would be involved in. She was going to object but once she understood how it was going to play out she would agree. I had already seen it. Rosalie’s POV I kept Emmett away from the house all afternoon before we decided to head home. It had already turned dark when we reached the river at the edge of the property. Everything was quiet. I could hear Carlisle and Esme talking upstairs in Carlisle's library. I didn’t see Jasper and Alice but knew


they would be home. And Edward would be spending the night at Bella's, just like he did every night. As we were making our way across the lawn I saw Alice motioning to me from near the garage. She put one finger to her lips and pointed to Emmett, gesturing for me to get rid of him and to join her. “Emmett, I think I’m going to go to the garage and work on the M3 for a while. Why don’t you go into the house and see if Jasper is ready for that rematch you've been talking about all afternoon.” “Are you sure, Rose? I can come to the garage and help you. I don’t mind.” Emmett put his arms around me and started steering me towards the garage. I pushed him away lightly, giving him a little slap on the arm while batting my eyelashes. “Emmett, I’m a big girl. I think I can make my way to the garage all by my little old self.” He loves it when I tease him like this. Just as I suspected, it worked and he laughed and let me go. “Okay, babe. I’ll go see of Jasper’s free. But don’t be too long, okay?” “Oh, don’t worry; you know I can’t stand to be away from you for long.” With a final batting of my eyelashes I gave him a little pat on the behind, causing him to growl and waggle his eyebrows at me before heading towards the house. I went towards the garage where Alice pulled me through and ran with me out the other door and into the forest until we were far enough away that Emmett would not be able to hear our conversation as she started to fill me in on the plan. My only hesitation came when she mentioned my M3. That vehicle is my pride and joy and no one touches it without risking life and limb. But when she explained the role it was going to play, I knew I had to do it. Everything was set to start tomorrow and I was looking forward to it! Emmett's POV Have you ever had the feeling that something is off, but you just can’t put your finger on it? Rose and I had been away from the house all afternoon and it was starting to get dark when we decided head back and see what everyone else was up to. I still wasn’t too eager to be near Alice or Edward, but knowing I couldn’t keep avoiding them I followed Rose home. As we neared the house, my “Spidey-sense” started tingling. This can’t be good. If I wasn’t so sure I could spot a prank a mile away I would think that something was in the works. Something just didn’t feel right. I could hear Carlisle and Esme talking in Carlisle's library. It was late so Edward would be at Bella’s where he spends all his nights. I couldn’t see Jasper or Alice but the lights were on in their room so they were in the house somewhere. Rosalie wanted to go into the garage and work on her car for a while so she told me to head to the house and she’d see me later. I started back to the house to see if Jasper was up for a rematch. But there was that tingle again. I looked around, checking to see if I could see anything coming. Nothing.


Emmett, old boy, you’re starting to let your imagination get away from you again. Cut it out. Yeah, I hope that’s all it is, my overactive imagination…

Chapter Fifteen: Operation Revenge (Part 1)
Edward’s POV Today was the day, Operation Revenge. Bella slept peacefully through the night, not a sound coming from her except when she murmured my name or said she loved me. My favorite time of the night…I thought as I watched her slowly start to stir, rubbing the sleep from her eyes before sitting straight up in the bed, wildly looking around the room before focusing on me with a smile and asking, “Is it time?” I pulled her back down to the bed, growling that I wanted just a few minutes more with her before our day started, and began kissing up and down her neck, slowly working my way back up to her mouth for our first kiss of the day. “Yes, my love, it’s time. Are you ready for the fun to begin?” Bella laughed, pulling me into a tighter hug. “I’m way past ready, Edward! I want this so bad. I want to see your brother squirm, to see him on the receiving end of a prank instead of me. It’s time he had a taste of his own medicine!” “Thanks my girl,” I said as I pulled her up and out of the bed. “Go get changed. I’ll bring the car over and then we’ll get this show on the road.” I didn’t need to be Alice to know this day was going to be perfect. It was going to be a day none of the Cullens would ever forget! Bella’s POV It felt nice to finally get a good night’s sleep. When Edward was with me, I always felt safe. I knew nothing could harm me while I was in his arms. I was rubbing my eyes, trying to wake up when suddenly I remembered the day. Today was Operation Revenge Day! YES! I sat straight up in bed, wildly looking around the room before focusing on Edward who was lying next to me. I smiled at him and asked, “Is it time?” Edward pulled me back down to the bed, growling that he wanted just a few minutes more with me before the day started. Who was I to argue with that reasoning? I sighed as he started kissing up and down my neck before making his way back up to my lips for our first kiss of the day. “Yes, my love, it’s time. Are you ready for the fun to begin?”


I couldn’t help laughing as I hugged him as tight as I could. Of course I was ready! I wanted this so bad, to see Emmett squirm as he found himself on the receiving end this time, instead of me, and I told Edward this. Edward pulled me up out of bed and after telling me to get changed he went home to get the car so he could drive me to his house. Finally, I was going to have my revenge and I was going to enjoy every single second of it! Charlie's POV This was it, Operation Revenge Day. I could hear Bella moving around upstairs, getting ready for the day. Edward was going to come by early to take Bella over to the Cullen house where the first of the pranks was to occur later this morning. Those Cullens, all of them were early risers, and with the dark circles always visible under their eyes it was almost as if they never slept! I shook my head, wondering where that thought had come from. I was going to be involved in Prank #5 which was going to happen until later this afternoon so I decided to head down the station. I would wait for Bella and Edward’s call letting me know when it was time. That Alice, such a sweetheart but what a devious mind! I was going to enjoy playing my part. I yelled up the stairs to let Bella know I was leaving for work, shouting out a final “Make me proud, kid” as I walked out the door. Your old man is going to give his own Oscar winningperformance later on this afternoon. Yes, I was looking forward to it! Carlisle's POV We had to maintain appearances so Emmett wouldn’t become suspicious. This meant I was at the hospital, in my office, currently tackling some of the never-ending paperwork sitting on my desk, waiting until I received the call letting me know when my participation was required this afternoon. I had only one part to play this morning. I needed to phone Jasper and give him the excuse he needed to disappear for a few hours without Emmett becoming suspicious at not seeing him around the house. Operation Revenge was about to begin. Esme’s POV I could see Alice flitting about the house, a nervous ball of energy, waiting for Edward and Bella to arrive so that we could get started. Today was the day, Operation Revenge, and we were anxious to begin. Rosalie’s POV Oh, Emmett, my poor baby. Totally clueless as to what’s going to happen today. And it was my job to make sure it stayed that way! Sorry babe, judgment day has arrived. Jasper’s POV


It was my job to lull Emmett into a false sense of security so I had spent most of the night playing video games with him, letting him win more games than he lost. It was all part of the plan to make him feel relaxed and calm. Last night I could tell he was feeling nervous about something. Emmett would say it was his “Spidey-sense” but I called it his “sixth sense,” that feeling he got when there was danger nearby or when a prank was in the works. The only activity that relaxes him, other than playtime with Rosalie (I’m not going to go there), was playing video games. We had just finished another game when my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID: Carlisle. It was time. “Carlisle, what can I do for you?” I said into the phone, nodding at Emmett to give me a moment. Carlisle asked if I would make some phone calls on his behalf regarding some of our business interests in New York. He knew Emmett was nearby and would be able to hear the phone conversation. I told Carlisle I would do it right away since New York is 3 hours ahead of West Coast time and after ending the call I excused myself from the game, telling Emmett I would be in Carlisle's study for the next couple of hours. As I started up the stairs I heard Edward pull into the driveway. Whoa, Bella! Gotta cut down on the caffeine! She was much too nervous, so I sent a blast of calm in the direction of the car. It worked because I heard a whispered “Thanks Jasper” come from Bella. Much better. I continued up the stairs but instead of going to Carlisle's study I quickly detoured to my chosen hiding spot on the second floor landing where I had set up one of the video cameras that would be used today to capture the action as it unfolded. Looking into the viewfinder I panned out so that I could film the whole room, from the entrance to the living room and then the stairs. Camera ready…check. Emotion manipulation skills ready…check. Operation Revenge Begins…CHECK! Alice's POV Finally! Today was Operation Revenge Day and I couldn’t keep still, flying up and down the stairs, practically bouncing off the walls. It’s a good thing this is the way I am 95% of the time, otherwise Emmett would have been suspicious. Esme was watching me with a smile on her face. I knew she was just as excited as I but she‘s able to contain herself. Me, no way! As soon as Edward and Bella arrived we were going to start and I couldn’t wait to help Bella take her revenge. Jasper had completely lulled Emmett into a false sense of security. This was going to be so much fun! Operation Revenge, Part 1 was about to commence, starting with ‘5 Ways to Make Emmett Cullen Think He’s Losing His Mind.’ This is going to be so good! Hurry up Edward, hurry up Bella! Edward’s POV As we pulled into the driveway and I parked the car, I could hear Alice's thoughts telling us to hurry up and I laughed quietly at her impatience to begin. I whispered in Bella’s ear, “Alice, she’s waiting for us, impatiently I might add.” Getting out of the car I quickly ran to Bella’s side to open her door. “Are you ready, love? It’s time to start working towards that Oscar-winning performance you promised Charlie.” Bella raised herself up on her toes and gave me one last kiss. “You just watch me!”


“Don’t I always, Bella?” waggling my brows as I grabbed her hand and we started walking towards the front door when suddenly I hit upon a way to help my favorite actress get into role. Bella’s POV As we pulled up to the Cullen house I had a sudden attack of nerves. How in the world had I agreed to do this? I was so nervous I was bouncing in my seat, feeling like I’d had six cups of coffee. No, I was bouncing around like Alice on a normal day! Where’s Jasper when you need him? Jasper must have felt the nerves come off me because the second the car stopped I felt this intense wave of calm hit me and I completely relaxed. Breathing a sigh of relief I quickly whispered “Thanks Jasper.” I noticed Edward quietly laughing to himself. He leaned in to whisper into my ear, “Alice, she’s waiting for us, impatiently I might add.” He got out of the car and quickly ran to my side to open the door. “Are you ready love?” he asked as he helped me out of the car. “It’s time to start working towards that Oscar-winning performance you promised Charlie.” I knew we weren’t going to have much time to ourselves today so I quickly raised myself up on my toes and gave him one last kiss. “You just watch me!” Edward started waggling his brows and replied, “Don’t I always, Bella?” which got my heart racing. He grabbed my hand and we started walking towards the front door when he suddenly stopped and turned towards me. He stared deep into my eyes and leaned in, softly exhaling, his wonderful scent washing over my face. What is he doing? As usual I started to blush, my eyes began to glaze over and my knees were turning to mush. I whispered to him, “Hey, stop dazzling me! I’m trying to get into role here and you’re making me weak in the knees!” He chuckled as he said, “Silly Bella, isn’t that what we’re aiming for?” before kissing me senseless! Hmm, my vampire does have a point. I was dazzled AND unsteady on my feet. What teamwork! Edward pulled away and waved me into the house as Emmett looked up from the TV, waiving from the armchair he was sitting in. “Hey guys, what’s up?” “Hey Emmett,” I said as Edward turned to close the door and hang our coats on the coat-rack. Here we go, I said to myself as I started forward, still wobbly from Edward’s dazzling technique. I decided to go with my normal reaction and as I took another step forward I thought back to a few moments ago and let myself feel dazzled all over again. Just as I was passing the armchair where Emmett was sitting, I came to a sudden stop and started swaying on my feet. “Edward?” I whispered, raising my hand to my head as if I were feeling lightheaded and then I slowly started to sink down towards the floor. Edward and Emmett both yelled “Bella!” at the same time as they ran towards me. Edward caught me before I hit the floor while Emmett kneeled down on the other side of me, shouting, “Edward, what’s wrong with her? Bella, are you okay?” “Bella! What’s wrong sweetheart? Are you ill?” Edward asked as he held me in his arms, running his hand over my check and brushing the hair off my face. Oh my gosh, he is good! Stop it Bella, stay focused on the situation! Out of the corner of my eye I could see Emmett starting to look a little panicked. Could it be a guilty conscience come back to haunt you, Emmett? I started rapidly blinking my eyes, letting them


roll slightly before lightly shaking my head as if trying to clear it. “I think so,” I whispered. “I don’t know. I feel lightheaded and shaky.” Edward gently picked me up from the floor, holding me close to his chest. “Bella, you just came out of the hospital. I’m not surprised you’re still feeling some of the effects of your ordeal.” He glared at Emmett, showing he hadn’t forgotten the events of the weekend. Emmett received the message loud and clear, if the apologetic look on his face was any indication. “Love, I’m taking you upstairs right now and you are going to lie down for a while. No arguments.” “Alright,” I responded in the weakest sounding voice I could manage. Emmett was watching us and as Edward made his way up the stairs I turned my head to look back at Emmett and gave him a small smile and wave, playing up the “I don’t feel so great” act. Emmett looked worried but he smiled and waved back at me. Was he buying it? I didn’t have to wait long for the answer because Edward looked down at me and gave me a small wink. Yes! I’d done it! Together we had planted the first seed in Emmett's mind that something was not right with my health. I couldn’t wait to continue my performance. But, first, there was a little matter of Alice's “5 Ways to Make Emmett Cullen Think He’s Losing His Mind” plan. Instead of going to Edward’s room, he made a quick detour to Alice and Jasper’s room. Inside were several monitors Jasper had set up so we could watch the action. Edward set me down and we looked at each other, huge smiles on our faces. This was going to be the best reality TV ever! Emmett's POV I watched as Edward and Bella headed up the stairs to his room, unable to keep the worry off my face when Bella looked back to wave at me. To say that she’d given me a scare would be putting it mildly. She practically passed out in front of me! It freaked me out because I was still feeling guilty over my actions this weekend. And she had forgiven me so easily. It was one of the things our family loved so much about her, her capacity to forgive, even after we had basically abandoned her last year. She welcomed us back with open arms. I was constantly amazed by how forgiving she was, time after time. This, of course, compounded the guilt I felt having pranked her so badly this weekend. Now, Edward was a different story. I knew he was still angry because the glare he gave me told me he hadn’t forgotten this weekend, but apparently Bella had told him to let it go because he was making an effort to be nice and let bygones be bygones. Since Jasper was going to be making phone calls for the next couple of hours, I decided I was going to continue playing video games. As I bent down to pick up one of the wireless controllers, I heard a noise coming from behind me. Rip… It sounded like cloth tearing…it sounded like my pants had ripped! I turned around quickly, checking to see if this was the case but everything seemed fine, no rips whatsoever. “Weird.” I muttered to myself. I went over to the armchair to sit down and as I bent my knees to sit down heard it again. Rip... What the hell is going on? I quickly stood up and checked again to see if my pants were okay. Nothing. I looked around the room, checking to see if anything was out of place or if there was someone else in the room trying to yank my chain. There was no one in the room but me.


I started shaking my head. I must be losing my mind, or my hearing! Maybe I just needed to step away for a while, talk to Rosalie, give myself a break before playing some more games. Yeah, that’s it. I dropped the controller and made my way to the stairs. Reaching out to grab the banister I heard the sound again, but louder this time. RIP! I quickly pulled my arm to the right to see if my shirt was torn. Nothing! I started running up the stairs, anxious to get to my room before anything else tore…er, I mean before I heard any more noises in my head. Alice's POV One of the many advantages to being as small as I am is that I can easily hide myself, which was what I was doing right now. I watched as Bella acted out her part perfectly! Yay, Bella! Emmett had taken the bait like a starving trout! Not surprising, since anyone within a 10 mile radius would be able to feel the guilt still rolling off him. And then there was Edward’s clever use of his dazzling technique to help Bella get her role. I gave a mental shout-out to Edward for his and Bella’s performances. I watched as Edward and Bella took a detour to my room to watch the scene unfold on the monitors that Jasper had set up last night. While Jasper had been setting up the video cameras, I had placed a wireless monitoring camera in the living room where Emmett would not be able to spot it. The camera was exactly like the ones used by human parents to monitor their babies (appropriate, I thought, considering Emmett is like a big kid who’s never grown up!). It had an extra wide viewing angle and could be wirelessly connected to one of the monitors in my bedroom so that Bella and Edward could see the action from my point of view. It was perfect! And now it was time for me to get into the act. It was time for Prank #1 in my ‘5 Ways to Make Emmett Cullen Think He’s Going Crazy.’ Time to start messing with your mind, big brother! As soon as I saw him bend down to pick up a wireless controller, I pulled out the little scrap of cloth I’d been holding in my hands and started to tear it down the middle. Rip… Emmett's head shot up and he turned around quickly, looking to see if the ripping noise had come from his pants. Sorry Emmett, not your pants, but you keep checking. It’s making for great television. Emmett shook his head and muttered “Weird” before heading over to his armchair. As he bent his knees to sit down, I ripped another small piece from the cloth. Rip… Emmett quickly stood up, checking the back of his pants again. No rips, Emmett. You must be hearing things. Emmett started scanning the room, obviously looking to see if anyone else was in the room. The look on his face was priceless. That’s right Emmett; maybe you’re losing your mind! Emmett dropped the controller and started to make his way to the stairs. Now, when Emmett takes the stairs he always reaches for the banister. So the instant he grabbed for it, I ripped the cloth again, only this time it was louder. RIP… Emmett stopped in his tracks and grabbed at his arm, pulling it to the right to see if he had torn his shirt. Aw, Emmett, did you rip your shirt or are you still hearing things? Emmett started running the rest of the way up the stairs to his room. I held my hand to my mouth to keep from laughing out loud before stepping out of my hiding spot and giving a thumbs-up sign to the camera. Prank #1 was a success. Jasper’s POV


Watching Emmett as he kept turning around, looking to see if his pants or shirt had ripped was one of the funniest things I’d seen him do in a long time. Alice worked it perfectly! I had to keep myself from laughing as I zoomed in on his facial expressions. I could feel no suspicion coming from him, just confusion which I did my best to exaggerate. He ran to his room and I watched as Alice came out from her hiding spot, looking up at the camera and giving me the thumbs-up sign. Prank #1 successful. I stayed in position as we prepared for Prank #2. Bella’s POV Oh my god. I have never wanted to laugh so hard in my life! Edward and I were literally shaking as we tried to keep from laughing out loud, watching as Emmett turned around again and again trying to see whether or not his clothes were coming apart. At one point Edward had to put his hand over my mouth, I was that close to laughing out loud. Alice was a genius! If this was one of the simple pranks, I couldn’t wait to see how the more complicated ones played out. Edward’s POV Bella and I were shaking in our efforts to keep from laughing out loud. There was a point when she looked like she wasn’t going to be able to keep it in and I had to put my hand over her mouth. But I was happy to see her enjoying this. It was definitely worth it. Prank #1 was a success and now on to the second. Esme’s POV It was now my turn. Prank #2, the mind games continue. As soon as I heard Emmett close the door to his room I went into the living room and removed all of his game cartridges from their cases, replacing them with a series of children’s video games. I didn’t recognize any of the titles, not that I recognized the ones that Emmett and Jasper usually played, but Alice assured me that Emmett would definitely be thrown for a loop. When I had finished I looked up towards the hidden video camera and gave the all ready signal to Jasper. Prank #2 was about to begin. Emmett's POV I had gone up to my room to talk with Rosalie before remembering that she was in the garage working on her car. There’s another thing to be worried about! Not only was I hearing things, but I was also forgetting things! Maybe I really am losing my mind! Not sure what to do next, I paced back and forth for a while before deciding I would give the video games another shot. As I made my way back down to the living room and the TV, I carefully bent down to pick up my favorite video game, still in its case, and praying I wouldn’t hear another ripping sound coming from behind or to the side of me. Ah, nothing! I breathed a sigh of relief as I opened the case to remove the video game. Wait a minute… I did a double take as I read the title: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel? What the…? I grabbed another case. ScoobyDoo First Frights! I started going through the remaining cases. Pikachu, Super Mario Brothers, Lego Indiana Jones, SpongeBob’s Truth or Square? First I was hearing things, then forgetting things and now I’m seeing things? What is going on? I rubbed my eyes, praying when I opened them I would see all my video games back in their cases.


Cautiously I opened one eye and saw the kid’s titles on display. Damn! It’s real, I’m not imagining it! I started breathing heavily. If a vampire could hyperventilate that’s what I would be doing right now. I dropped the cases and stepped back from the TV. This can’t be happening. This has all the makings of a prank…but it’s impossible! I would know if I were being pranked! Rosalie. I need Rosalie. She can tell me I’m not going crazy, that my mind is not playing tricks on me! I ran as fast as I could to the garage. Esme’s POV As soon as Emmett ran out to the garage I quickly removed the children’s video games and placed Emmett's original games back in their cases, before going upstairs to join Bella and Edward where they were watching the scene play out. Not two minutes later Emmett was back inside the house, with Rosalie at his side. Grinning at each other we settled in to watch the show. Rosalie’s POV Emmett didn’t know this, but I had been standing outside the living room window, watching the scene unfold. So when I heard him start mumbling my name I ran back to the garage and rolled myself under the car, pretending I was changing the oil. Not 5 seconds later Emmett had come rushing into the garage, yelling about how someone was trying to mess with his mind because all his video games were missing, replaced by children’s games. I rolled myself out from under the car, pretending to be confused and sporting a slightly irritated look on my face. “Emmett, what are you talking about?” “Someone is playing games with me! I don’t know what’s going on but you have to see. Come on!” He grabbed me by the hand and started running towards the house. He pulled me over to the video game cases lying on the floor by the TV and started opening cases one by one. All had the original games inside. “No, this is not possible.” Emmett was saying as he shook his head. “I swear, Rosalie, there were kids’ games in these cases not three minutes ago and now they’re gone!” “Emmett, baby. Are you sure that’s what you saw?” I asked in the most solicitous, wifely voice I could manage. Emmett looked at me with a confused expression on his face. “I don’t know anymore, Rosalie. I could have sworn that there were kid’s games in the cases and they’ve been switched back!” “Well, sweetie, who would have done it? Esme is not a practical joke player and neither is Carlisle. Besides, he’s at the hospital right now. Esme was in the garage earlier and told me Jasper is in Carlisle's study making business calls. Bella and Edward are in his room and Alice is probably in hers, most likely on the computer checking out the latest fashions.” Emmett started shaking his head, like a human trying to wake from a bad dream. “I don’t know… maybe I really am imagining things.”


“Why don’t you just sit down and watch TV instead? No more video games, just regular TV. How does that sound?” I asked sweetly as I pushed him backwards until he was sitting in his armchair. I sat on his lap and started running my fingers through his hair. He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths as I tried to sooth him. Looking up in the direction of the camera I mouthed to Jasper: Ease up on the anxiety, Jasper! “Now, I’m going to go back to the garage and finish up. You stay here and I’ll check up on you in an hour, okay?” He nodded, keeping his eyes closed and rubbing his face. I went to the TV and turned it on, taking the remote control and setting it on the table next to the armchair. Looking up at the camera I gave the thumbs-up signal before I left the room. Time for Prank #3. Jasper’s POV In between filming the second prank and amplifying Emmett's feelings of confusion and anxiety, I was hard pressed not to lose it completely. This just kept getting better and better! After silently telling me to ease up on the anxiety I was sending Emmett's way, Rosalie gave the thumbs-up signal for the start the third prank. I hope Alice was in place because the fun was about to begin again. Emmett's POV Rosalie went back to the garage and left me in front of the TV. Maybe she was right. Maybe I just needed to be quiet and watch a little TV. I leaned my head back against the armchair and started watching the ball game. Just as the game was starting to get interesting the channels started changing. I grabbed the TV remote control from the table next to my chair and started pushing buttons, trying to return to the channel I had been watching. Nothing. I shook the remote and pointed it towards the TV again. It wasn’t working. Yet the channels were still changing by themselves, and now the volume was going up and down by itself as well. I dropped the remote. What is going on? I need Rosalie again. I know she’s going to be pissed but she needs to see this! I ran out to the garage again. Alice's POV This was working out even better than I had foreseen. Emmett was thoroughly confused; he had no idea what was going on! As soon as Rosalie had given the thumbs-up sign I grabbed the universal remote and ran outside to the living room window, taking care to stay out of sight. Unbeknownst to Emmett, I had placed a very thin piece of black tape over the signal on the TV remote so Emmett wouldn’t be able to change channels or adjust any of the controls. With the universal remote I would be the one in control, changing channels and making the volume go up and down, whatever I wanted to do. I pointed the universal remote at the TV and got to work. Emmett was sitting in his armchair in front of the TV, watching the ballgame when, oops! I changed the channel! I could see him grab the remote next to his chair as he tried to change it back


to the ballgame. Sorry, Emmett, that’s not going to work. I kept changing channels, going up and down. Then the volume, up, down, up, down. Emmett shook the remote control and pointed it back towards the TV, while I kept changing channels, raising and lowering the volume. Try the black tape over the signal, Emmett; that might be the problem! Hehehe… I quickly ran to the side of the house, and not two seconds later Emmett came running out, headed towards the garage and Rosalie. He was going to drag her back into the house so she could see for herself and once again he was going to be disappointed. I quickly went back inside the house and picked up the TV remote, removed the thin black tape covering the signal to the TV, and put it back where Emmett had dropped it. Another thumbs-up sign to the camera and I was on my way upstairs to join the others. Jasper’s POV Oh man, Emmett. If only you could see yourself on camera. This footage is so good we should send it to the producers of the real “Punk’d” television show! It was time for Prank #4 so I left my hiding spot and quickly grabbed the remote video surveillance camera. I would be able to film the action from the location of the next prank and the others would be able to watch on the monitors here at the house. Avoiding the garage I headed towards one of the outbuildings where I had parked mine and Alice's Ducati’s. Rose was going to join me as soon as she set Emmett up for the next prank. Rosalie’s POV Emmett ran back into the garage with both palms in the air facing me, in the universally recognized “Don’t shoot, I’m unarmed” pose. “Rosie, don’t be mad but you have to come back into the house and see this. I don’t know what’s going on but after you left me sitting in front of the TV watching the ballgame, the channels started changing on their own. I wasn’t even touching the TV remote and they just started changing! Even the volume was going up and down!” I acted like I was annoyed at the interruption. “Emmett, I don’t have time for this. I just finished up with the M3 and I wanted to do a quick oil change on your Jeep. You keep interrupting me and I’m never going to finish!” “I know, Rosie, but this is really important! I think I’m losing my mind here and you’re the only one who can make me believe I’m sane. Please!!!” It was the please that did it. “Alright, I’ll come in but you better not be fooling around!” I huffed as I wiped my hands on a rag and followed him back into the house. Emmett had bent down to pick up the remote and handed it to me. “Here, you try changing the channels. I tell you, the TV remote is not working but the channels were changing by themselves!” I took the remote and pointed it at the TV, changing channels and making the TV volume go up and down. Emmett stared at me, an incredulous look on his face.


“I don’t understand. I swear, that remote was not working!” I heard him repeating under his breath, “I’m not going crazy, I’m not going crazy.” Oh my poor baby, you’re not going crazy, not yet at least! “Emmett, I believe you, but the truth of the matter is the remote is working now. I think you need to get out of the house for a while. I have an idea. Why don’t you take my M3 to the gas station? She needs her gas tank filled and while you’re doing that I’ll get cleaned up and when you get back we’ll take the M3 for a drive, just you and me, okay?” I gave him a quick peck on the cheek and waited for him to respond. “Yeah, that sounds good. Maybe I should get out of the house for a while.” He started checking his pockets for his keys. “Where are my keys?” “Just take mine.” I smiled at him as he took the keys from my hand. “What would I do without you, Rosie? You’re always there for me, always watching my back.” He had pulled me into a tight hug and I felt a pang of guilt he said I always watched his back, but then I remembered why we were doing this: to teach him a lesson. “That’s right sweetie, I’m always watching your back even when it doesn’t feel like it. You know that everything I do is for your own good, don’t you?” “I know, Rosie, I know. I’ll be back shortly.” He gave me a quick kiss before running out to the garage. I heard him start the M3, pulling out of the garage and speeding down the driveway towards town. The minute he was out of view I ran to one of the outbuildings and found Jasper waiting for me with Alice's Ducati. We were on our way to set up Prank #4.

Chapter Sixteen: Operation Revenge (Part 2)
Bella’s POV The minute we heard Emmett take off in Rosalie’s M3 we all started laughing. I couldn’t believe how well this was going. I’d never seen the Cullens in action like this; it was brilliant! And to think I was now a part of this family. I turned to Edward and Alice, who was currently rocking back and forth on her heels like she does when she’s super-excited, and asked the both of them, “So, what’s next?”


Edward only smiled. It was Alice who answered, “Oh, Bella, it’s going to be brilliant! You know how Rosalie is about her M3, right? Emmett is the only one she trusts to drive her car. He knows how precious it is to her and he would never let anything happen to it…well, at least not willingly. With just two sentences on a piece of paper, we’re going to make him think something has happened to the M3, without anything really happening to it.” “Are you serious?” I asked disbelievingly. How were they going to do that? Edward answered, “Just watch love, you’ll see. But first, I need to make a quick phone call to Emmett.” I watched as Edward pulled out his cell phone and called Emmett. “Emmett, it’s Edward… Yeah, she’s resting… No, she’s not any worse but she says she’s still feeling a bit lightheaded... Listen, Rosalie said you were taking her M3 to the gas station... There’s a mini-mart across the street from the gas station. Do me a favor and pick up some orange juice and crackers for Bella. She’s not hungry but I want her to at least keep drinking fluids… Yeah, just orange juice and crackers… I checked the kitchen and we’re out of both… Okay, thanks, I appreciate it.” As soon as Edward ended the call I asked him, “A diversion, Edward? Get Emmett away from the M3 for a few minutes while a super fast Cullen commits the dastardly deed?” “That’s right, love. Rosalie is going to be the Cullen committing the “dastardly deed.” There will be no damage to her car, but the note Emmett finds on the windshield is guaranteed to send him into a state of panic, the likes of which we haven’t see in decades, am I right Alice?” Alice started nodding excitedly. “It’s going to be perfect. He will be so scared to face Rosalie!” I started to imagine the look on Emmett's face when he realized he had to tell Rosalie something had happened to her beloved M3. Too funny! Alice sat down next to me. “Jasper will be there filming the whole thing with a remote video surveillance camera so we’ll be able to watch it on the monitors here.” Excellent! Emmett's POV Rosie was right; I just needed to get out of the house for a while. I could feel my head starting to clear as I rolled down the windows and let the wind flow through the car. I was just pulling into the gas station when my cell phone rang. I saw it was Edward calling. Please don’t let it be anything involving Bella! I thought to myself as I quickly answered. “Edward… Is Bella okay? She’s not feeling worse, is she? Yeah, that’s right, Rosalie asked me to gas up the M3… You want me to go the mini mart across the street and pick up orange juice and crackers for Bella? Yeah, sure, no problem…” Ending the call I got out of the car and started to fill the M3’s gas tank. Once finished I locked the doors and quickly jogged across the street to the mini-mart to pick up the orange juice and crackers.


If I had known what was going to happen next I would have never left the car. Jasper’s POV We hid the Ducati’s in some brush about 100 yards from the gas station and mini-mart, not wanting Emmett to see them. I found the perfect vantage point in a tree not 20 yards from where the M3 was parked and got ready to start filming Prank #4. At this range I would be able to pick up every look, word, and sound that Emmett made! Rosalie made her way to the back of the gas station, waiting for Emmett to run across the street to the mini-mart. The moment he was inside and out of view, Rosalie ran around to the front of the M3 and placed small piece of yellow colored paper under the driver’s side windshield wiper. This innocent looking piece of paper contained only two sentences, including a name and phone number, but it was guaranteed to get a reaction out of Emmett. Rosalie quickly ran from the car and climbed up the tree where I was hiding with the video camera. We got ready to watch the action unfold. Rosalie’s POV When Alice first approached me about using my M3 in one of the pranks, my first thought was “NO WAY.” I imagined scenes where my beautiful car had been broadsided, or hit from behind and resembling an accordion. I wouldn’t let anyone do that to my baby! But when she explained her idea I changed my mind. Jasper and I had hidden the bikes in some bushes about 100 yards from the gas station, not wanting Emmett to catch sight of us. Jasper had found a good vantage point in a tree about 20 yards from where the M3 was parked and as he positioned himself to start filming I quickly ran to the back of the gas station, waiting for Emmett to run across the street to the mini-mart as per the plan. I saw him lock the car doors (good boy!) and then jog across the street. Once he was inside the store I ran around to the front of my car and placed a small piece of yellow colored paper under the driver’s side windshield wiper where Emmett would easily spot it. On it were just two sentences with a name and phone number. I couldn’t believe how brilliant it was. So simple, yet Emmett was going to panic when he read the note. I quickly ran from the car towards Jasper’s hiding spot and positioned myself so that I could watch everything unfold. Emmett's POV I was in a rush to get back to Rosalie so I quickly paid for my purchases, heading back across the street to where Rosie’s M3 was still parked. As I got closer to the car I noticed there was a small piece of yellow paper under the driver’s side windshield wiper and after tossing the grocery bag inside the car I lifted the wiper blade and pulled out a note with just two sentences that read: Sorry about the dent. Call me so we can swap insurance information. Mr. U. Binhad (559) 441-4141


I did a double take and read the note again. As the sentences finally registered in my brain I knew I must have looked horrified. If I were human you would have seen the blood draining from my face. HELL NO! THIS IS NOT HAPPENING! I frantically circled the car, looking for the dent referred to in the note. I didn’t see anything, but that wouldn’t matter because this is Rosalie we’re talking about and she can SMELL a scratch on her baby. She would spot the dent the second I pulled into the driveway and then she would kill ME! I kept running around the car, bending down, standing up, and checking again from all angles. WHERE IS THAT DENT? I was starting to draw the attention of some of the local townspeople as they watched me running around the car. Even I could see what they were thinking: Oy, look there. One of those reclusive Cullen’s has finally lost it. Didn’t I tell you it would be the big one? Why is this happening to me? Why??? I knew I was going into full panic mode here, but dammit, what else was I supposed to do? This car is Rosalie’s baby, her pride and joy. I’m the only one she trusts to drive it. Come on Emmett, breathe! You’ve got to calm yourself down! Why can’t I calm down? Oh, right, I have to face the wrath of my wife, the one person I NEVER want to make angry. Oh man, I’m dead! Not knowing what else to do I got back into the car and started driving back to the house. I was going to get the car back to the garage and pray that Rosalie would have mercy on me. Jasper’s POV Okay, the other pranks were funny but this one topped them easily. My wife is a genius! Emmett was frantically running around the car, looking for the dent referred to in the note. Sorry you’re not going to find it, bro. I’d never seen him in such a state of panic. It was time to amplify the feeling. A pinch of panic, a dash of hysteria… and presto! Vampire on the verge of a breakdown. Did I mention my wife is a genius? As soon as Emmett got back into the car and headed home, Rosalie and I jumped out of the tree and ran for the bikes. Rosalie was on her way back home while I was heading towards the scene of the 5th and final prank of the day. I’d hired some professional actors to play a part in the next prank and they were going to be filming some of the action in a way that wouldn’t make Emmett suspicious, but would be highly entertaining for us! I laughed loudly as I sped off on the Ducati. Rosalie’s POV Jasper and I were watching as Emmett read the note. You could see the panic start to set in as he ran around the car looking for a non-existent dent! I had been concerned about the name we used on the note but Alice said Emmett wouldn’t catch the play on the name: Mr. U. Binhad = Mr. You’ve Been Had.


Jasper and I were trying hard to not laugh, but this really was the funniest thing I’d seen in a long time. Emmett would never, ever again disregard anything I said. All I would have to say is “Prank #4” and he’d be walking the straight and narrow line for the next century. Oh this was good! As soon as Emmett got in the car and started on his way back home, we jumped out of the tree and ran for the bikes. Jasper sped off towards the scene of the 5th and final prank of the day while I went straight home. I wasn’t concerned with making it back to the house before Emmett. I know my husband and he never confesses to anything right away. He would be hiding out in the garage for a while, trying to work up the nerve to come into the house to face the music. And I would patiently wait. Edward’s POV It was a good thing only Esme, Alice, Bella and I were the only ones in the house because it would have been impossible to keep Emmett from hearing our laughter. Even Esme was clutching her sides, laughing as hard as I’d ever seen her laugh while Alice and Bella were doing the same on the bed. Tears were running down Bella’s cheeks and for some reason this set us off even more. Hearing Bella’s laugh is my second most favorite sound in the world (I’ll let you guess at the first). She sounded so happy and it was in this moment I realized I was happy that I didn’t destroy Emmett as had been my original intention when I returned to Forks. This was much better! We were going to hold this over his head for decades to come. And it was going to buy my Bella a break from Emmett's never ending teasing and pranks, at least until after she’d been changed. I had no doubt in my mind she would be able to handle him when the time came, but I was extremely pleased that we were helping her exact some revenge now instead of waiting until after the change. “Alice, that was absolutely brilliant!” Bella said, sitting up on the bed as I reached over to wipe the tears from her eyes. “Mr. U. Binhad! I can’t believe he didn’t get that one! Did you see the look on his face when he got to the word “dent” in the note? And then he started running around the car looking for it!” That set Bella off on a new round of laughter which the rest of us gladly joined in. Alice sat up on the bed, bouncing on her knees. “I know! I wish I could take credit for the idea but it was one I saw on the internet when I was trying to come up with ideas for practical jokes to play on Emmett. The only thing I added was the name of our other party. Emmett's going to beat himself over the head when he realizes the note basically confirmed he was being pranked! Seriously, Mr. U. Binhad!” Esme congratulated Alice on the success of Prank #4. “That was truly inspired, Alice. I can’t remember when I’ve laughed as much as I did this past half hour. I’m going to phone Carlisle and tell him about it. Even he won’t be able to keep himself from laughing when he hears this one!” Esme gave Bella and Alice a quick hug and left the room to call Carlisle. “Okay, sister of mine. Are we all set for Prank #5?” I asked Alice who was still giggling with Bella. “Ready to go when you are!”


Bella moved to sit on my lap. “Is this the one where Charlie gets to play his part?” Her eyes were sparkling, from the tears or from anticipation I couldn’t tell. What I did know was that she was happy, and that was good enough for me. “Yes, my love, it’s time for Charlie to take center stage. Would you do the honors?” I asked as I handed her my cell phone so she could phone her dad. She quickly dialed his work number. “Hello, Dad? Yes, we just pulled off the 4th prank and it was a success. I’ve never laughed so hard. I can’t wait for you to see the video!” She paused as Charlie started speaking on the other end. “Edward asked me to let you know that your part is coming up. You know the plan, right? As soon as they get the Jeep to the agreed upon place Alice will call you to let you know when to head down there, okay?” I listened as Charlie asked her a couple of additional questions before she handed the phone to me. “Yes, Charlie, we’re getting ready to roll... Alice will call you when we’re ready for you to show up… Oh, don’t be surprised if you see other “professionals” at the scene. It’s all part of the plan. Just play along with whatever they say, okay? You’ll understand once you see them… Yes, sir, will do.” I put the phone back in my pocket before turning to Bella. “Your dad says he’s glad this is working out so well and that he wants me to keep you out of harms way.” I had to laugh at the little glare she gave me as I passed along the message. Ah, Bella, you don’t realize how irresistible you look when you’re irritated or angry. It’s all I can do to keep myself from running you up to our room and having my way with you! I satisfied myself with one kiss to the lips instead. “You know he just wants to make sure you’re safe, Bella.” I stood up and turned towards my sister. “Alice, do you have the photos and the letter?” Alice jumped up and started heading for the door. “I’ve got everything right here in my hands. Let’s go!” Bella stood up and put her arms around my waist, placing her head on my chest. “Are you sure I can’t come with you? I can help.” I held her tight to me. “Sweetheart, I need you to stay here. Remember, Emmett needs to think you’re here at the house and not feeling well. We still have the 6th and final prank to act out and it’s the most important one.” I loosened my arms and leaned back so I could look her in the eyes. “Besides, you once accused me of driving like a maniac and that’s the way I’m going to be driving this afternoon. Are you really that anxious to be sick? It wouldn’t be the same as my “dazzling technique” that helped you get into your role this morning, would it?” Just as I hoped, Bella started laughing again. “No, I think I prefer your “dazzling technique” for getting me into the mood.” She blushed as she realized the double meaning of her sentence. I just laughed, happy to see her relaxed and having fun. “Don’t worry, Bella,” I said, kissing the top of her nose. “We’ll be back before you know it. And don’t forget, you won’t miss any of the action because Jasper’s still going to be filming and you’ll be able to watch it on the monitors.”


Bella looked puzzled. “I thought Jasper wasn’t going to be filming this one.” “He’ll be filming Emmett's arrival at the agreed upon location until your dad arrives at the “crime scene.” Jasper’s hired some professional actors to play a part. When they arrive on the scene they’ll start filming your dad and Emmett in a way that won’t make Emmett suspicious. Then Jasper will finish filming the end of the prank. Once your father is finished playing his part, Alice and I will bring the Jeep back to the house and then we’ll start setting up for the final prank.” I watched as Bella took it all in and then I quickly leaned down to kiss her. “The sooner we do this, the sooner I can have you back in my arms where you belong.” Alice and I headed towards the garage. It was time for the Jeep to disappear before Emmett returned with Rosalie’s M3. Alice and I had decided that the 5th prank was going to be different from the others. It was going to be the only prank where Emmett was going to know he was being pranked. We wanted Emmett to know who it was that was going to beat the King of Pranks at his own game. I jumped into the Jeep, backing it out of its spot while Alice left in its place a plain white envelope addressed to Emmett. Alice hopped into the Jeep and I raced towards the back of the property to a little used trail that would take me back to the main road without coming across Emmett when he returned the house. The trail was extremely narrow and treacherous. Only an off-road vehicle like Emmett's Jeep could make it through the terrain. We reached the main road and I sped off in the opposite direction of where Emmett would be coming. We had a prank to set up and we had to hurry before Emmett started chasing us down. Charlie's POV Bella had just phoned to let me know that the 4th prank had been a success and it was almost time for me to play my part. She sounded so relaxed and happy. I could hear the laughter in her voice and when she told me she had never laughed so hard I couldn’t hold back the big smile that appeared on my face. I loved that my kid was happy, that she was having fun, and that her ordeal was turning into something that she would be able to laugh about for a long time. And I had Edward and Alice to thank for it. Yes, the Cullens were good for her. I couldn’t ask for a better family for my daughter. I asked her to put Edward on the phone so I could ask a few questions. “Edward, is everyone ready to roll?” He confirmed everything was set and that Alice would call when it was time for me to arrive on the scene. Then he said, “Oh, don’t be surprised if you see other “professionals” at the scene. It’s all part of the plan. Just play along with whatever they say, okay? You’ll understand once you see them…” What the hell did that mean? I hated surprises as much as Bella did, but she trusted Edward completely. I realized I was starting to trust my future son-in-law as well. “Alright Edward, I’ll play along. I trust you. Just do me a favor, would you? Keep Bella out of harms way.” I heard Edward laugh on the other end as he said, “Yes, sir, will do,” before ending the call.


Okay, Charlie Swan, your moment is close at hand. Time to show the kids you’ve still got what it takes! Emmett's POV This had to be the worst day of my vampire life. How could one person have this much bad luck in one day? Wait…I take that back. Bella could have this much bad luck in one day and it would still be considered a normal day in her life. Let me rephrase: How could a vampire have this much bad luck in one day? I pulled into the driveway and headed towards the garage, wondering how I was going to break the news to Rosalie. The yellow note was still in my hand, my only proof that it wasn’t me who had caused damage to her car. I was going to hang out in the garage for a while and try to work up the nerve to go inside and face the music. All thoughts of facing the music flew out the window the moment I pulled into the garage and noticed that my Jeep was missing. What the hell? How much worse could this day get? I jumped out of Rosalie’s car and ran to the spot where my Jeep was normally parked. In its place was a plain white envelope with my name written on it. Oh, man this is not going to be good. Opening the letter I removed two items. The first was a letter which read: Emmett, You thought you would get off easy, didn't you? That I’d let you off the hook without making you pay? Do you remember what I said to you in the hospital when Alice and Jasper kept me from dealing with you the way I wanted to in that moment? I said, “Soon Emmett, very soon…” Well, my brother, “soon” has arrived. You had your “harmless” fun at the expense of something very precious to me and now I’m more than happy to return the favor, with the assistance of our favorite sister. It’s time to play “Let’s Find Emmett's Jeep.” It’s quite simple. Attached is a photo of your Jeep. It’s your job to find its current location based on the landmarks in the photo. You have exactly 4 hours to retrieve your vehicle and return it to the Cullen garage without being detected by any outside parties. If you should fail to retrieve and safely deliver the Jeep within the allotted 4 hour time frame, again without outside detection, the winner (that’s us) gets to determine an appropriate form of punishment of their choosing. Your 4 hours starts at exactly 1:00 P.M. today. May the best vampire win…trust me, it won’t be you! Edward


I don’t fricking believe this! They stole my Jeep and now I have to find it and return it to the garage within 4 hours or suffer a punishment of their choosing? Are they crazy? Do they know who they’re dealing with? I’m the King of Pranks! And just like that I forgot about this morning, forgot about Rosalie’s M3 and the dent I couldn’t find. There was no way anyone could prank me without me knowing it, just like there was no way they would beat me at MY game! I looked at the clock in the garage which currently read 12:58 p.m. The second item in the envelope was a photo of my Jeep. Looking at the photo I noticed the landmarks in the background. Ha! My Jeep is at Forks High. What do they take me for, an idiot? This was going to be so easy. Taking off on foot I made my way to Forks High, ready to show those two who the master of this game was… ME! When I arrived at the high school I realized this might not be as easy as I thought. I looked at the photo again…I’m in the right spot, but no Jeep. There was another envelope placed in the spot where the Jeep had been photographed. I tore open the envelope which contained another letter and photo. The letter read: Hey Emmett, It’s your favorite sister here. Did you honestly think we’d make it that easy for you to find the Jeep? If it were MY choice I would have had you running all the way up to Denali and back, but since we’ve given you just 4 hours to complete the task I was forced to keep it within the area. Enclosed is another photo of your Jeep, this time at its most current location. Take a good look at the photo. You’d better hurry; you don’t want to take too long. Who knows how long your Jeep wants to stay put? Have a nice run! Your sister, Alice Have a nice run? I looked at the photo. The Jeep was parked in front of Bella Italia in Port Angeles - the scene of Bella and Edward’s first “date.” It was a 56 mile drive from Forks, but of course to a vampire on foot I’d be there in a flash. Off I went, hoping to get there before Edward and Alice moved the Jeep again. No such luck! The Jeep was gone and in its place another photo. This photo showed the Jeep in the parking lot of Newton’s Olympic Outfitters. Glancing at my wristwatch I saw that it was almost 3:30 p.m. I needed to hurry. It was getting close to the 5:00 p.m. deadline and I was not going to be the loser! I raced back to Forks and Olympic Outfitters. Charlie's POV


This was it. Alice had just phoned to let me know Emmett had arrived at Olympic Outfitters parking lot and was currently trying to pick the lock on his Jeep. Jasper Cullen had hired an actor to portray my “assistant deputy.” Unless you looked closely you wouldn’t be able to tell that his “patrol car” was not officially a Forks Police Dept. patrol car, nor was his uniform or badge. I had been very specific with Jasper, telling him that although I was willing to take part in this prank I didn’t want to compromise any of my people by having them involved. He had quickly agreed and assured me the actor would only look the part and that he would say or do nothing that would compromise the department. And he was true to his word. The actor was currently sitting in his “patrol car” waiting for my signal. I nodded at him and jumped into my cruiser, the other “patrol car” following close behind me. As I got closer to Olympic Outfitters I turned the sirens on and raced into the parking lot. Emmett Cullen, here I come! Emmett's POV Eureka! I had just arrived at the Olympic Outfitter’s parking lot where my Jeep was sitting all by itself, Edward and Alice nowhere in sight. HA! They’re probably trying to come up with another spot to hide the Jeep. Won’t they be surprised when THEY find the Jeep missing? Teach them to mess with the King of Pranks! I’d have it back to the garage in no time! I ran to the Jeep and reached for the door handle. Oh man! Locked! And I didn’t have my keys on me since I’d been using Rosalie’s keys when I returned to the house. It was bad enough I still had to explain that unseen dent described in the note, but to add to that by destroying the door lock on my Jeep would put her over the top. I was going to have to pick the lock instead. I’d had plenty of experience with this over the years so it would be a piece of cake, and there was no one around so I wouldn’t draw any suspicions, as long as I played it cool. I pulled a small pin out of my wallet and started jimmying the lock until I heard a little “click” telling me it had unlocked. I was feeling pretty good about my talents but before I could pat myself on the back I heard sirens in the background and they were getting closer. Much closer… This can’t be good. Before I had time to decide whether or not to just get the hell away from the Jeep, two patrol cars came screeching to a halt about 20 feet away. Oh crap! I said to myself. Please don’t let it be who I think it is, please, please, please… This has got to be the unluckiest day ever for me! Charlie Swan, father of my soon to be sister, the man who looked at me as if I were the replacement for the hated Edward of old. I am so screwed… Okay, I’m a Cullen. I can do this. I’ve B.S.’d my way out tight spots before. Just be cool; I can do this. Charlie ran around the Jeep to where I was standing and yelled, “You, step away from the vehicle! Turn around and put your hands in the air where I can see them!” I turned slowly, hands in the air, and faced Charlie. “Hey, Charlie…I can explain.” I said with a sheepish look on my face. If I thought that line and look were going to get me anywhere, I was wrong.


“Well, well, well. Emmett Cullen. You’ve been a busy person of late, haven’t you? You spend the weekend terrorizing my daughter, sending her to the hospital emergency room and now it looks like we can add grand theft auto to the list. What a lucky break for me that I happen to be on duty today, but not so lucky for you I would say.” Charlie had an evil grin on his face, like Christmas had just arrived and he’d gotten his Christmas wish. Yes, I was so up a creek without a paddle. “Charlie, I can explain all of this. This is MY Jeep, you know that. You’ve seen me in it before!” I said, still trying to talk my way out of the situation. “First of all, I think you’d better refer to me as Chief Swan. This is an official investigation and we have found you at the scene of a crime. Second, you’d better think long and hard about what you want to say because this could land you in a heap of trouble for a very long time!” At that moment the assistant deputy came round to where we were standing. “Sir, I checked the vehicle. It looks like someone picked the door lock to open it. Also, the license plate is missing as is the vehicle registration. The vehicle matches the description of given by a tourist who reported the theft of his Jeep as he was passing through town,” said the deputy. Oh man, I am screwed… “Charlie… Chief Swan. I swear this is my vehicle. I didn’t steal it. My family is playing a prank on me, to get back at me for what I did to Bella. You’ve got to believe me. It’s Alice and Edward; they’re the ones who set me up!” I was trying to convince Charlie but the man didn’t even blink. “Well, young man, if this is your vehicle where are your keys? Why are the license plate and registration missing?” Charlie asked. Damn! “Ah…I don’t have my keys on me, they’re at home. But this is my vehicle. I don’t know how the license plate and registration were taken from the Jeep, but I’m telling you this vehicle is mine!” I said as I continued trying to convince Charlie of my innocence. Charlie was having none of it. “You know, when you try to pin the blame on someone as nice as your sister Alice, or your brother Edward who would defend you with his last breath…well that’s just sick. You can tell it to a judge. I’m placing you under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?” I couldn’t believe it; Bella’s father was reading me my Miranda rights! My Miranda rights! He was arresting me! I looked on in total disbelief as he placed my wrists in cuffs and started steering me towards the patrol car. God, Carlisle is going to kill me! There was no way I could get out of this without making the situation worse. Just go along with it, I said to myself. Just cooperate and Carlisle will clear this mess up. It can’t get any worse. Oh man, spoke too soon again! It did get worse. As we got closer to Charlie's patrol car a vehicle came screeching to a stop in the parking lot, and I watched with a horrified expression on my face


as it became apparent this wasn’t just any vehicle. It was a television news van and there was a reporter running up to us with a cameraman hot on her heels. Microphone in hand she was already speaking to the camera in a British accent. “This is Rita Skeeter, special correspondent for News America, live at the scene of an arrest in progress in the small town of Forks, WA. According to police frequency scanners I’ve learned that the person apprehended may be a possible suspect in a rash of vehicle thefts reported by tourists visiting the Olympic Peninsula area? Sir, sir, please. May I have your name and a comment?” said the reporter addressing Charlie. Charlie replied to the reporter without breaking stride as he led me to the patrol car. “My name is Charlie Swan and I’m the Chief of Police in this town. I can confirm this person is a suspect and we are taking him in for questioning. He was apprehended while in the process of trying to enter this vehicle behind me. The vehicle’s license plate and registration are missing, but it appears to be the same vehicle stolen from a tourist passing through our town, a Mr. U. Binhad. It’s our duty as responsible law enforcement officials to see that this case is investigated to the fullest.” Charlie replied, looking in my direction as he led me to the cruiser. Holy crap! Mr. U. Binhad? That was the guy who left the note on Rosalie’s M3! The Skeeter lady turned to me and asked, “Sir, are you the perpetrator of these crimes? What have you to say about the very serious charges which have been leveled against you?” “I say that I am 100% innocent. That is my vehicle. I didn’t take it, it was taken from ME and I’ve been trying to chase it down all day long!” I said, desperately trying to proclaim my innocence. Rita Skeeter turned back to Charlie for his response. “Chief Swan, how do you respond to that?” “Yes, well isn’t that what they all say? The suspect will have his day in court and then we’ll see if he’s telling the truth or not. I hope for his parent’s sake it’s not true. They are very well respected and prominent citizens in our community and it would be a shame if their son has decided to walk a different path than his parents,” said Charlie. “Well, thank you very much, Chief Swan, for your comments. And good luck to you young man. This is Rita Skeeter reporting from Forks, WA. Now back to the studio.” Rita Skeeter turned to Charlie. “Thank you again, Chief Swan. We’ve got to rush if this is going to make the national news tonight! What a story!” NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! I don’t believe this! National television! What would happen if the Volturi find out? Scratch that, what happens when Rosalie gets wind of it? She’s going to kill me herself! We’re going to have to disappear! Edward’s going to kill me because he’ll have to change Bella right away. She won’t have time to say her goodbyes! This was turning into a nightmare and I wanted to wake up! Charlie placed me in the backseat of the cruiser and shut the door. As we drove off to the police station, all I could think was I get one phone call, I get one phone call. And I knew who I would be calling to help me out of this mess. The only one who could help me: Carlisle.


Carlisle's POV It was almost time. Esme had called me earlier to describe how the first four pranks had gone. It’s a good thing the door to my office was closed because I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Emmett was getting it good. I had no doubt in my mind that once this was over, he was going to out of the pranking business for a while. I sat back as I waited for the next phone call. The call from Emmett asking me to come bail him out of jail. Jasper’s POV I had just one word to describe the events that had just unfolded before my eyes: WICKED. Edward and Alice had left the Jeep in the parking lot of Olympic Outfitters and made their way over to my hiding spot as we watched Emmett run up to the Jeep and start picking the lock. The look on his face when Charlie pulled up and started grilling him was hilarious. And then when the “news crew” arrived and started filming the arrest, we could barely contain our laughter. I didn’t have to induce panic or any other emotion where Emmett was concerned. He did it all on his own. We had to duck down when Charlie's patrol car passed near the spot where we were hiding. Once they had passed we came out of our hiding spot and ran across the street to where the “news crew” was waiting for us, tape in hand. “That was fantastic, well done!” I was very pleased with their work and let them know it. “Thank you, Mr. Cullen. I’m glad you were pleased with our performance,” said “Rita Skeeter” as she handed me the tape. Rita Skeeter was a name I had chosen from the Harry Potter books. It seems we Cullens were all determined to use a name or play on name that should have let Emmett know something was going on. Alice was still laughing. “Oh, we’re beyond pleased. That was truly one of the best performances I’ve ever witnessed. Emmett was totally blindsided by Charlie and then when your crew came on the scene, well, you pulled off the impossible. Our brother was speechless!” That set off another round of laughter as we thanked them again and I discreetly handed the actress a thick envelope containing their fee plus a very, very large bonus for the excellent job. Edward put the license plates back on the Jeep while Alice returned the vehicle registration papers to the glove compartment. Edward started the Jeep and headed back to the house, with Alice and me following behind on the Ducati. This had been the best day ever for the Cullens. Too bad Emmett couldn’t say the same! Charlie's POV We arrived at the police station and I opened the back door of the patrol car to help Emmett out of the car. He seemed unusually subdued and had been very quiet on the way to the station. I smiled to myself as I escorted him to the booking area where my “assistant deputy” was at the typewriter, ready to complete the paperwork.


I sat him in the chair opposite my “assistant” and started asking the usual questions: his full name, his age, etc. Once that was done I took the mug shots and fingerprinted him, and then handed him a list of the charges including bail amount and informed him he was allowed one phone call. I went back to my desk as Emmett was handed the phone by my assistant so that he could make his phone call. I already knew who he’d be calling: his father, Carlisle Cullen. Carlisle's POV Ah, the phone call I’d been waiting for. I picked up the phone receiver on the second ring. “This is Dr. Cullen, how can I help you?” I heard Emmett's voice on the line. “Carlisle, it’s Emmett. I need your help. I’m at the police station right now. I need you to come down as soon as possible.” Here we go. “Emmett, may I ask what you’re doing at the police station?” I didn’t have to wait long for an answer. “Carlisle, I’ve been arrested for breaking into a vehicle, my own, and possible grand theft auto! I’m innocent but Charlie still hauled me down to the station. ” I could hear the strain in Emmett's voice and it was I could do not to laugh. After a short pause I spoke into the phone again. “Your mother and I will be there shortly. Don’t answer any questions until we get there, do you understand?” I could hear the relief in Emmett's voice as he replied, “Yes, Carlisle, I understand. Thank you!” I hung up the phone and started laughing. When I could control myself I called Esme. “Sweetheart, I need you to meet me at the police station. It seems Charlie Swan has arrested our son!” “You’re joking, Carlisle,” was Esme’s response. “Why would Charlie Swan arrest our son? He’s an angel.” I could hear laughter in the background and knew our children were listening in on the conversation, which threatened to set me off again. “Esme, stop or I won’t be able to pull this off. Seriously, meet me at the police station. We’ve got to “bail” our son out of jail.” With that I hung up the phone and went to the nurses’ station to let them know that I would be leaving early to attend to some personal matters. This was definitely turning into a day that none of the Cullens would ever forget. Esme’s POV I walked into Alice's room where Bella and Rosalie were sitting. I could see the two of them had been laughing, telltale tears in Bella’s eyes and Rosalie holding her stomach. Behind me I heard Alice, Jasper and Edward making their way up the stairs, also laughing. Bella flew to Edward, who held out his arms and picked up her, twirling her in the air. “What did you think, love? What do you think of Cullen-style revenge?”


Bella’s eyes were shining. “I love it! I have never seen anything so funny in my life. The look on Emmett's face when my father arrived on the scene! Sorry Rosalie, but you have to admit it was funny!” Rosalie just smiled. “I never said it wasn’t, Bella. In fact, I think it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in all my years, even it was my own husband!” My cell phone started ringing and everyone quickly stopped laughing. I looked at the caller ID. I mouthed “Carlisle” to the room and opened the phone, putting him on speakerphone so Bella would be able to listen in on the conversation. “Yes, dear?” “Sweetheart, I need you to meet me at the police station. It seems Charlie Swan has arrested our son!” “You’re joking, Carlisle,” I replied, sounding as if I were shocked he would even suggest such a thing. “Why would Charlie Swan arrest our son? He’s an angel.” Everyone burst into laughter, no longer trying to keep it in. I knew Carlisle would be having a hard time as well, which he confirmed when he said, “Esme, stop or I won’t be able to pull this off. Seriously, meet me at the police station. We’ve got to “bail” our son out of jail.” He quickly ended the call and I turned to face my children. “Well, children, I’m off to meet your father at the station. It’s time to free our poor little Emmett,” I said, setting off another round of laughter. I quickly made my way to the car and drove to the Forks Police Department to meet Carlisle.


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