“Dr. Masen, this is Eric from Keeping your Family Safe Security Agency. I’m calling to inform you that we will no longer be able to protect your family. We’ve been threatened by the feds that if we don’t vacate the premises immediately that we’ll be arrested and that our business will be shut down,” Eric groaned. “I’m sorry, Dr. Masen. We hope that you find Renee soon. We truly apologize.” Before I could respond, Eric was gone and I was met with a dial-tone.
“I can’t believe you would do that,” I snapped, scowling at Agent Goss. “My family is in danger and you’re taking away the one thing that I can control. God knows that the police aren’t protecting them and I’m certain that you won’t sit outside of my family’s house, watching and waiting for Renee.”
“Your family is safe, Dr. Masen,” Agent Goss said smugly. He stood up and left my office.
Agent Jones gave me a worried look. “I’m sorry, Dr. Masen. If I were in your position, I’d be wanting to do the same thing. His logic makes zero sense,” she said. She slipped me a card. “This is my personal cell phone. If you see anything, anything out of the ordinary, call me first. I know I’ll probably get in a lot of trouble, but you and your wife seem like really nice people that should have to deal with this bullshit.”
“Thank you,” I said, barely keeping my mounting temper from exploding at this poor woman, forced to work with such an unreasonable man. She scurried out of my office and I thrust my hands into my hair.
“Dr. Masen?” came the sweet voice of my secretary. “Don’t forget, you have the meeting with the department heads to discuss the budget at two.”
Fuck! “Thanks,” I said flatly. She left me in my office and I could feel my blood pressure rising. Breathe, Edward. Just because Agent Jackass is taking away your security, doesn’t mean that Bella and the kids are in immediate danger. As I mentioned Bella’s name, my heart-rate spiked. Irrationally, my anger lashed out at my wife. It was her mother that was causing us all this grief. Not my family. Bella’s mother. It was Bella’s actions that garnered Mike Newton’s involvement. Yes, she was protecting me from her psycho ex-husband, but she didn’t have to shoot to kill him. I composed myself and the impassive mask went on my face. However, I was stewing underneath my calm façade. Bella and I would be having words once I got home.
I was worthless in my meeting about the budget. So worthless, that I asked the department heads to come up with ways that they could trim their individual budgets by five percent on their own and to email me their recommendations by the end of the week. In my office, I stewed some more, angrily typing on my computer as I read an article Ren sent me about children with autism. I wasn’t paying attention to the words on the page. I wanted to calm down, but it wasn’t happening.
“Fuck this,” I snapped, shutting down my computer and leaving for the day. I didn’t need to be anywhere since I was unable to focus on my meeting so I just drove aimlessly. I ended up on the summit where Bella and I made love in my Vanquish while we were still dating. The spot where I gave her ‘the moon’ and her star from the International Star Registry.
Sitting down on the edge of the lookout point, my brain mulled over everything that had happened over the past year. Hell, the past six months. My life was in a tailspin. I felt so out of control. I was pissed off at my wife, indifferent in regards to her blasé attitude to this whole situation. I know that she was trying to downplay it for the kids, but her mom was crazy. Not to mention, in the back of my mind, I was terrified that Bella was going to turn into that raving crazy bitch like her mom.
Stop it. You can’t keep thinking that. Bella is not a psycho lunatic like Renee. She’s got her own issues, but being a few crayons short of box is not her thing. Your wife is more insecure and needs to be supported.
I snorted derisively, tossing a rock over the edge of the cliff. My mind was in turmoil. My body was in knots and I just wanted to scream. So…I did.
“ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!” I yelled.