Charlie had made a concerted effort to be more in Bella’s life. However, I could tell that he was very upset at not being able to walk Bella down the aisle. While I was out drinking with Emmett and Carlisle, I overheard him talking to Eleazar about my fiancée and her decision to have Aro walk her down the aisle.
“How are you enjoying Palm Springs, Charlie?” Eleazar asked, sipping his scotch.
“It’s beautiful. And so relaxing,” Charlie replied.
“It is. Me and my wife come here every couple of months just to unwind,” Eleazar chuckled. “Perhaps you can join us one time?”
“Perhaps,” Charlie said, taking a swig of his beer. “Have you heard anything about Bella’s case? About those guys?”
“Nope. My daughter works for the LAPD and they’ve been on the lookout of them, but it’s like the disappeared. The only connection we have to them is Rosalie Hale. She was arrested for violating her restraining order against your nephew, Emmett. She’s in custody and she’s insisting that Jacob, James, Royce and Victoria are closer than we think. Security is tight for the wedding and will be even tighter for all of the premiers for Midnight Dawn. Even Edward and some of the guys are going to be carrying.”
“Edward has a license to carry?” Charlie asked, clearly shocked.
“He started out as her bodyguard. He protected her from some sticky situations with Michael Newton while she was on the road for Metropolis. Aro was so ashamed at Mike’s behavior. He had the kid blacklisted. He can’t even get a job as busboy in this town,” Eleazar snorted.
“Aro, what a douche,” Charlie muttered.
“Why do you say that?” Eleazar asked, his anger barely contained.
“He’s walking my daughter down the aisle. It should be my job,” Charlie spat bitterly.
“If I recall correctly, you and Bella were estranged, right?” Eleazar asked. I didn’t hear a response, but I assumed that Charlie nodded. “She felt abandoned by you, Charlie. She needed a parent and you weren’t there. Aro, along with Carlisle, Esme and Edward, were with her every step of the way as she recovered from her attack. I don’t think you know how bad it was. The girl wouldn’t eat, she was afraid to leave the house, she washed her skin to the point where she was covered head-to-toe in a rash and the nightmares were awful. The fact that she has come so far that is having this wedding, walking down the aisle to Edward is a miracle. Now, your behavior in ignoring her when she needed you the most is abhorrent and the fact that she invited you to the wedding shows what a good heart your daughter has. You should be grateful for being here. I know that there are some folks who aren’t happy with your presence, but are willing to accept it because Bella wanted it. Don’t ruin it for your daughter. She’s been through enough anguish in her short life. Get over yourself, enjoy your free vacation and be happy for your daughter.”
Eleazar shot up and stormed out of the bar. Carlisle and I shared a look, equal parts shocked and proud. Charlie followed him shortly after, hanging his head shamefully. I was afraid that he was going to book a flight back to Seattle after Eleazar’s tirade. The next morning, when all of them were going golfing, I was surprised to see Charlie show up. He steered clear of Eleazar and kept to himself, but the angry glares at Aro didn’t go unnoticed.