Charlie was sitting on her couch, holding his head in his hands. “I’m blame myself, Edward,” he murmured.
I hung up her coat and mine. I sat down next to Charlie and furrowed my brow. “You didn’t do this to her, Charlie. James did,” I soothed.
“I should have said something. James was an asshole in high school. So was his father. I was called to their home several times for domestic violence,” Charlie said miserably. “I should have known…He broke my baby girl. I could kill him. I wanted to. Each day he sat in the courtroom with his smug grin on his face, I wanted to take my gun and shoot him in cold blood for what he did to her.”
“Charlie, Bella doesn’t blame you,” I said as I rubbed his shoulder.
“You have a daughter, Edward. You’d do anything to protect her, right?”
“I would,” I answered.
“If someone was hurting your baby girl, you’d kill for her. Make the bastard pay for what he did. I couldn’t even do that,” Charlie cried. “It was some stupid, fucking technicality that got James the sentence he received. Seven years is NOTHING for what he did. He should die in that prison. But he won’t. He’ll be out in three years to make some other woman’s life a living hell. Or he’ll come back after Bella.”
“Does he know that Bella’s here?” I asked.
“No. She moved after she got some threatening letters sent to the house. I contacted the prison warden about his behavior and James was moved to solitary for six months. She also couldn’t handle being in Forks. Everything there was a memory of her relationship with James. I hated that she moved so far away but I understand why she did it,” Charlie said sadly. “But I don’t feel so bad now. She’s got you and your family, Edward.”
“We love Bella,” I murmured.
“I know you do. My baby girl deserves love and happiness. You are the man to give it to her,” Charlie said with a smile. “I am sorry about earlier this morning…”
“Um…”I blathered. “Uh…”
“Edward, I’m a guy. My daughter is beautiful and I know that you two are attracted to each other. I also know that she’s had sex. We just had a memorial for her baby boy,” Charlie said wryly.
“Charlie, don’t get me wrong. I love your daughter but we weren’t doing that earlier,” I blushed.
“Oh! Well, shit. I feel like a moron,” Charlie said as he rubbed his hands in his hair. “Please be careful with her, Edward. She’s more fragile than most.”“I know, Charlie,” I said.