Chapter 26

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Disclaimer: This is Stephanie Meyer’s sand box. I’m just playing in it with my toys.

AN: Well it is finally here! The second to last chapter of WIT. Been through hell and back in RL and with these last 2 chapters but, nonetheless, here it is. Because it took so long I’m not gonna make you all wait for the final chapter! The next chapter will post sometime on Sunday (tomorrow). Despite the fact that I’ve unintentionally kept you all hanging, I hope you’ll let me know what you think and leave me some love in the reviews section! Huge thanks as always to my BFF Rita01tx. We made it GF!

Waiting in the Twilight

Chapter 26

Jasper POV

The pictures rolling in on my cell were beyond frightening. Victoria Sutherland had been hiding a massive secret room, in the center of which was essentially a shrine to Edward. A large bronzed statue of Robert the Vampire sat on a table surrounded by dozens of candles and various Twilight memorabilia. The officer on site said there appeared to be blood at the base of the statue. Cold sweat trickled down my spine when I saw she’d turned a Robert doll into a voodoo doll of Edward, its eyes and mouth sewn shut, a few withered roses tucked into its clothes, and God only knew what else. According to the officers, this was only the beginning.

More pictures began coming in, this time showing a huge wall smothered in photos of Edward from his teen years to the night of the LA premiere just 48 hours ago. She’d written words like “MINE,” “BELOVED” and “FOREVER” on several of them with a red marker while others had hearts drawn on them. Among the ones taken of Edward and Bella together at the LA portion of the promo tour weekend, Bella’s image had been scratched out with a nail. In others, her eyes had been gouged out or she’d…she’d stabbed a knife through Bella’s picture into the wall and left it there. If my fear for Bella and Edward had been severe before these photos, it had just shifted to extreme when I saw Bella circled in red marker with a line drawn across her throat. And still, there was more.

“Till Death Do Us Part” was spray painted in red at the top of a second wall in Victoria’s hidden room. The paint had been allowed to drip so heavily it looked like dripping blood. Beneath the words were manips of Edward I’d never seen before, progressing from the average manip to sexually explicit manips where she’d photoshopped herself next to Edward. From there, they changed to wedding pictures of her and Edward, returning to sexually explicit photos of her as dominatrix and Edward as her submissive. They grew sickeningly explicit, drifting into violent, torturous, masochistic madness. Manips of her cutting Edward open and licking his wounds, literally eating his heart and…other cut off parts.

It was making me physically ill to see them yet, to my horror, more photos were sent to me, only not from Victoria’s photo gallery this time. Oh, no… these were far more frightening. The officers began sending pictures of a third wall where various BDSM toys were displayed next to what appeared to be a tattoo gun, above which ownership tattoo designs could be seen. Beside all that…dear God, rows of stainless steel knives and surgical instruments, plus several vials of liquid I could only assume were sedatives to be administered through an IV hanging from its pole.

The fourth and final wall in the massive room was a 20 square foot iron cell with shackles on one half of the wall. A beautifully made 4-poster bed graced the other half. On each post of the bed, a set of handcuffs lay open and waiting for her victim. The bed was made up with an expensive looking bedspread and an excessive number of pillows, the most prominent of which was white and heart-shaped, hand embroidered with the words, “Edward Loves Victoria.”

Victoria Sutherland was one sick fuck and my family was in deep shit!

EPOV

“I really should punish you for being so late,” the red haired woman pouted, slapping my chest lightly, almost playfully. Who the hell is this psycho bitch?

“Hell yes! Let’s punish the shit out of him!” Hunter shrieked with delight. Making sure I was watching, he darted back to Bella, propped her up with her back against his chest and stuck his hand down the top of her nightgown. He grabbed her breast roughly, all the while keeping the gun and his eyes trained on me as he slowly licked the side of her dirty, bloody face. The bastard was waiting for me to lunge, to attack him, but I refused to give him an excuse to get rid of me so he could hurt Bella even more. My mind raced to find a way out of this as I watched her grimace in pain, shutting her eyes tightly while tears rolled down her cheeks. She was shivering violently, whether from fear or the bitter cold, I wasn’t sure. Probably both.

“James, stop that!” the redhead commanded. James cackled and walked away from Bella, returning to me. Cold steel pressed to my forehead once more and, for a moment, I expected him to shoot me where I stood.

“Shoot me! Go ahead!” I snarled.

“NO! Please don’t hurt him!” Bella screamed. I wasn’t trying to scare her, I just wanted their attention on me instead.

“I don’t give a fuck! You got a problem with me? Fine! Let’s have at it but be a man and fight me! Don’t hurt an innocent woman! That just makes you a fucking coward!” I shrieked. Anger and raw hatred flared in his eyes. Why he hated me so much, I had no clue but what I saw in his eyes went far beyond what had happened at the premiere. James shoved the gun harder into my forehead, gearing himself up to blow me away.

The red haired woman casually reached up and took the gun away from James with no resistance. He seemed startled at first, but his expression changed quickly from hatred to acceptance. She handed him a rope and turned the gun on Bella, perceptive enough to realize that, while I cared little for myself, I would fight to the death to protect Bella. Having a gun pointed at her was all it took for me to submit to the inevitable.

Moments later, I was roughly tied up, sitting on the ground against a tree several feet away from Bella and wishing like hell I’d gotten a gun from Emmett the moment I learned James Hunter was involved. My whole body tensed as I saw him pull a bandana from the back pocket of his jeans and a small brown bottle from his jacket pocket. He poured a few drops of liquid from the bottle onto the bandana and started towards me.

“NO!” the woman yelled, jumping in front of James to stop him. “Not yet,” she whispered softly. He looked confused for a moment but put the bottle away. She patted him gently on the chest. It amazed me to watch him follow orders from a woman with a child’s voice. Just when I thought they were going to kiss, the woman turned away from him.

I stole a quick glance at Bella who was shivering violently and looking terribly frightened.

To my astonishment, the woman came straight over to me, straddled my upper thighs and sat down, laying the gun on the ground beside us.

“Hello, sweetheart. Are you comfy?” She looked me in the eyes and frowned, the frown turning to a pout. “Oh, no! Your poor head!” she exclaimed. Stretching around behind the tree, she grabbed what looked like a muff that matched the immaculate white fur coat she wore and placed it behind my head.

“There, now. Is that better, dearest?” she asked, using both hands to stroke my hair away from my face.

“What kind of sick game are you two playing, huh?” I asked, looking back and forth between them.

“Oh, it’s no game, Cullen. You’re…”

“Shut up, James,” the woman said as nonchalantly as if she’d said thank you. She caressed my cheek with the backs of her fingers and looked lovingly into my eyes.

“It’s been such a long time, my darling! Oh, how I’ve missed you!” she crooned. Leaning forward, she placed her head on my chest and actually snuggled me. What the fuck?! These two whack jobs were total opposites. James was dirty, grungy and smelled like he hadn’t bathed in weeks, as if he’d been living out here in the woods twice that long. This woman, however, looked and smelled like she’d just stepped out of a high-end shop on Rodeo Drive.

“Do…do I know you?” I asked, completely baffled. If I could get her talking, maybe I’d get some insight into whatever it was they were up to as well as buying us some time until Emmett and his search party showed up. By my calculations, I probably had an hour lead on them. Although I’d had a general idea of where to go and I’d been running, it stood to reason they’d be walking slowly, looking for clues. I had no idea how long it would take them to get here but I had to try. James stood a few feet away, his back to Bella, watching this woman and me, amusement, confusion and anger alternately flickering across his face.

“Aww, now you’ve really broken my heart!” she pouted, raising up to look at me, her bottom lip protruding like a petulant child’s. Smiling brightly, she tucked her hands together under her chin and giggled, “I suppose I can’t blame you, dearest. I have changed quite a bit. It’s amazing what money can buy.”

“No shit and pretty soon we’re going to be rolling in it!” James laughed.

“Shut up, James.” Again, she said it like she was agreeing with him rather than giving him an order. She never took her eyes off mine as she spoke to him. Still straddling my lap, she began preening and fluffing her hair as though she expected me to tell her how lovely she looked. I started working at the ropes with all I had. I was known for my long, wonky fingers and being double jointed. Maybe I could make it work to my advantage.

“I’ve never left you, you know? Even when they put me…well, never mind about that.” She stroked my face and throat as she continued. “But I’ve been with you all along, sweetheart. I’ve been there at every public appearance…you just never once noticed me in the crowd despite how I know I stood out among all the other… Oh, but dearest! You were so beautiful and wonderful with all of them, just like you always were with me. I knew all along this day was coming and that you’d come to me.”

“You…never left me?” This woman was nuts, acting like we were old lovers or something! I caught movement from the corner of my eye and risked another glance at Bella. She’d struggled upright using her arms and managed to pull my jacket on. As she shifted her weight I noticed a pulsating glow from my cell emanating from my jacket pocket. I hoped she had found the cell and had been able to text Emmett or Jasper.

“Victoria, what are you doing?” James whined, sounding irritated and confused.

“Shut up, James.” Victoria scooted closer until she was straddling my hips. I cringed as she rubbed her hands up and down my chest. “Yes. Even though you left me all those years ago, I knew we were meant to be and that destiny would bring us together again.”

“Victoria!” James shouted at her. She completely ignored him and began unbuttoning my shirt.

“Victoria, I’m…” I was going to ask where we’d first met but she cut me off.

“Oh! Say it again, darling! It’s so much better than what you used to call me. Say it again,” she pleaded, exposing my chest to the chill air.

“What I used to call you?”

“Vic,” she said, slapping me so hard across the face I felt my teeth rattle. “Say my real name,” she demanded. I wracked my brains trying to remember anyone from my past named Victoria, Vicky, or even anyone I’d ever called Vic, but drew a blank.

“Um,…Victoria?” I said. Apparently she was under the delusion that we meant something to each other. Looking into her eyes, it was like the lights were on but no one was home. When James had spoken, and when she’d said I’d called her Vic, there’d been a flash of something dark and sinister in those eyes.

“VICTORIA! You’re not following the plan! We have to dump the bitch and get on the road with him NOW!” With the two of them arguing, I worked even more frantically at the ropes and knot trying to loosen them. I’d managed to untie one of the knots but it felt like there were at least three more.

“Shut up, James,” Victoria said, her eyes glued to mine as she started stroking me through my jeans.

So that was their plan! They had done all this to get to me for money.

“Don’t tell me to shut up again! What about the money? The ransom? Remember? Get him away from his entourage and ditch the bitch then ransom him for mega bucks?”

“That was your plan not mine ,” she spat. “Why would I care about a ransom when I have millions?”

“Wait! Millions? You have millions?” James asked stunned. It was obvious his little weirdo girlfriend here had been keeping James in the dark.

“Of course, stupid! For a so-called journalist, you don’t do much research, do you? All I wanted was a way to get close to Edward and you gave me that. I don’t need you now. You can go. Just make sure you take that whiny little bitch over there with you.”

“You fucking slut! You…”

“I said, shut up, James! Victoria snarled. Picking up the gun, she put a bullet in his forehead without even flinching.

James stood frozen for a moment, as if his body hadn’t registered the fact that his brain no longer inhabited his head. Gurgling sounds escaped his throat before he finally dropped face first to the ground.

Victoria mocked the sounds escaping from James and then giggled madly as his body lay twitching. The whole scene made my blood run cold.

“God! I hate it when people don’t know when to shut up! He totally ruined my mood!” she whined like a spoiled brat who’d just been told she couldn’t have her way. “Now I have to get rid of whiny ass over there all by myself!” To my horror, she turned the gun on Bella and my heart lunged into my throat.

“Victoria! Honey!” I shouted, trying to get through to her before she shot Bella, too. She hesitated, but didn’t lower the gun.

“Aww, baby! That can wait, can’t it? It’s not like she’s going anywhere,” I crooned. Slowly, she turned to face me, confusion and something akin to hope flashing in her feral eyes. The gun lowered slightly but remained pointed in Bella’s general direction.

“Victoria, don’t leave me hanging, baby,” I smiled, gesturing with a nod to my crotch. The thought of her touching me again made my flesh crawl but it was the only thing I could think of to pull her attention away from Bella. She cocked her head to one side and looked at me until, at last, she laid the gun back down and stroked my cheek.

“Where were we, dearest?” she cooed.

“Untie me and I’ll show you,” I told her.

“If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not see my brother’s junk, you freak show!” Emmett’s voice came from the darkness seconds before I saw his boot make contact with her face. She went flying backwards off me, landing a few feet away. Damn! Emmett sure packed a wallop! Blood gushed from her nose but, surprisingly, it hadn’t knocked her out.

“Who the fuck is she?” I asked as Emmett untied me.

“Her name’s Victoria Sutherland. She’s from the UK,” Emmett said, lifting her off the ground by one arm. He tried to call Quil with our location but the cell phone had no signal. I jumped to my feet and I kicked the gun away.

With no thought or concern for what anyone would think or say, I started ripping Victoria’s warm fur coat off of her body so I could wrap it around Bella. That’s where I made my mistake. As I tried to pull the coat off the arm Emmett was holding, he was forced to let go. With more speed than I thought possible, she whirled out of the coat, dashed across the clearing and grabbed Bella from behind. Unable to move or react in time, I could only watch as she whipped a knife from her boot and held it at Bella’s throat.

“Buncha fuckin’ pussies! You think that fuckin’ kick was enough to take me down? HA! I loved it! When I’m done with Edward, you and I should get together, big man! I’ll show you the joys of true pain.” She licked her lips salaciously, looking at Emmett with newfound respect.

“I’ve got a clean shot, brother,” Emmett murmured under his breath.

“NO! You might hit Bella!” I hissed in a panic.

“Let her go, Sutherland! You ain’t getting out of here alive if you don’t!” Emmett yelled. I could see in his face he was about to take the shot. I had to do something, so I stepped in front of his gun. Even though I couldn’t see him, I could sense him moving into a new position but, with me in the way, he wouldn’t take the shot now unless he had to.

“Wait! Sutherland? From the UK? Why do I know that name?” I asked, once more trying to buy time.

“Barnes Theatre Company,” Victoria spat. “I was a set designer.”

“Yes! Of course! Victoria! Sweetheart! We were so close. But then, just when I took on Twilight, you vanished! Where’d you go? I came back for you only no one would tell me what happened to you.”

“You…came back…for me?”

“Of course I did! You look so different, now. Just so beautiful. I didn’t recognize you.”

“You think I’m beautiful?” she asked. Again, she cocked her head to the side like a curious dog. She still had a grip on Bella but her hold had relaxed.

“I always did! I was just too young, dumb and self-conscience to say anything. But I never forgot you…” She’d lowered the knife and stood up, dropping Bella like a wet blanket. I’d seen how fast she was and, until that knife was out of her hands, I wouldn’t feel safe. She still stood between me and Bella and, although Bella knew not to say anything, Emmett wasn’t so smart.

“Edward, move! I’ve got the shot!” he yelled, stepping to the side so I’d be out of his line of fire.

“I said, shut up!”Victoria screamed. Before I could blink, she threw the knife at Emmett with incredible precision, stabbing deep into his shoulder. He dropped the gun as he fell. The way she stared at him with such hatred, such insane malice in her eyes, I wondered how she’d functioned at all in the real world. As far as I could tell, she was unarmed now but I wasn’t stupid. She was obviously crazy and I had no idea what she was capable of. At the moment, my only thought was to get her away from Bella.

“Victoria! Baby, now that no one stands in our way, come to me, love. It’s been so long. I want to hold you in my arms,” I pleaded, holding my hand out to her. She ignored me, still staring, literally seething at Emmett lying on the ground.

“Victoria, Victoria,” I said softly, lovingly. Her fists began to unclench. “It’s okay, now. There’s no one left to stop us.”

“Stop us?” She looked over her shoulder at me.

“No, no one can stop us. Take my hand. Let’s go someplace warm.” She turned to face me.

“Someplace warm?”

“Yes, you and me. Just the two of us.” At last, I had her full attention. “Come,” I said, holding my hand out to her expectantly. She looked at me for the longest time. I thought she was going to take my hand for a minute but she hesitated. She was confused by the way I spoke to her which gave her pause and I was sure she wasn’t buying it. My mind raced. I had to think of something else fast. Then I remembered her words to Emmett!

Victoria! Come! Now!”I commanded angrily. She walked over to me, took my hand and, to my surprise, knelt down before me and bowed her head. Holy crap! It actually worked! I’d guessed correctly that she was into the whole Dom/sub thing.

“Forgive me, Master,” she said. I was so stunned, I hesitated for a split second. In that moment, Victoria began to raise her head to look in my eyes.

Do NOT look at me!” I growled. Her head bowed back down immediately. I glanced over my shoulder at Emmett. He was sitting up holding his shoulder, blood oozing between his fingertips. He stared at Victoria, surprise written all over his face. I silently motioned for him to grab the fur and get to Bella to protect her. Just as he reached her, he stepped on a twig and it snapped. Victoria turned towards the sound with shock in her eyes. Still on her knees, she looked at me open mouthed, betrayal written in her mad green eyes.

“It’s called acting dearest. I’m quite good at it,” I sneered down at her. She was beaten and she knew it. Emmett had wrapped the fur around Bella and knelt before her with his gun trained on Victoria.

Her whole body shook with rage and, like the flip of a light switch, her eyes flashed fiercely up at me. She literally growled as she opened her mouth wide to bite me in the groin, no doubt with the intention of removing my manhood with her teeth! I jerked backwards but not quickly enough. Her shockingly sharp teeth sank deep and fierce into my upper thigh. I screamed in agony as she tore at my flesh through the tough denim and blood began to gush down my leg. I grabbed a fist full of her red hair trying to pry her loose from my thigh.

Emmett was trying to get a clear shot at her but with her face buried in my groin he would be taking a chance of shooting me.

She released her grip on my leg and jumped to her feet in one swift move. Her hands and long red nails formed into claws. She lunged at my face with fury and hatred, managing to claw my face, one nail scratching the corner of my eye.

Dodging her claws, I wrapped my hands around her throat and began choking the life out of her, all the while pushing her backwards to keep her off balance until I had backed her against the tree. This was all her fault. She’d encouraged James. She’d twisted his mind against me. She was responsible for Bella’s broken ankle, her kidnapping and her current condition. She was responsible for killing James and stabbing Emmett.

Her eyes were wide with fear, her face turning bright red as she gasped for air that would never come. Her long nails dug into my hands, piercing the skin in deep, half-moon cuts as blood trickled down the backs of my hands but my anger was so great I was beyond feeling pain. Her feet began to give way beneath her and she slid slowly down the tree, her resistance growing weaker and weaker by the moment.

“Edward…”

Bella’s voice. It was weak but I heard her. I glanced in her direction.

“Edward, don’t do it. She isn’t worth it,” she said, holding her hand out to me. My grip around Victoria’s throat loosened as Emmett approached and handcuffed her. She crumpled to the ground coughing and sputtering. I turned from her disgusting sight and never looked back.

AN: Boy! Victoria was a psycho bitch wasn’t she? hehehe One more to go and we will hit the Complete button! Stay tuned till tomorrow! Reviews are deeply appreciated! XOXO

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