The pictures stopped and Carlisle began speaking.
“Thank you for coming out today in support of Summit’s new film Midnight Dawn. I’m Carlisle Cullen. To my right is the star, Isabella Swan and her leading man, Edward Masen. Further down the line is Emmett McCarty, Tanya Denali, Esme Cullen, my lovely wife, Jasper Whitlock and Alice Cullen. Before we answer some questions, I want to tell you a little bit about the movie…”
Carlisle spent twenty or so minutes going over how the rights were bought from a famous young adult book and it was morphed into movie. He briefly spoke about the recasting of Daniel. I cringed at the memory, trying to keep my face impassive, but I knew I was failing. “Deep breaths, dolcezza,” Edward whispered in my ear.
“Why did he bring that up?” I asked, looking at my husband.
“He would rather face it head on than deal with questions later,” Edward explained. I closed my eyes, nodding slowly.
“Miss Swan? Were you upset when James was replaced by Edward?” asked one of the reporters.
“No. I was relieved, honestly. Edward and I had a long working relationship prior to the movie. Working with him made it so much easier,” I smiled, holding my husband’s hand under the table.
“And what about the alleged attack on you…?” asked the same reporter, but a large security guard grabbed the man’s arm. “Hey! What are you doing?”
“You read and signed the paperwork, stating that the ongoing investigation against Miss Swan was not allowed in the press conference,” the security guard growled. My eyes glazed over and I was immediately back at the wrap party, in a boozy, drug-induced fog…
“Bella, come with me,” Edward said, tugging on my arm. I could feel my stomach churn and my heart slam against my chest. “Dolcezza, please…” He helped me out of the chair and clutched me to his chest. I could hear Carlisle talking, but it sounded like the teacher from The Peanuts cartoons. Edward helped me out of the ballroom. Once we were outside, he swept me in his arms. Carlisle’s assistant was barking orders as we moved through the lobby. I was still deep in my panic attack, whimpering quietly. Back in our room, Edward lay down on the bed, his hand pressing my ear to his chest. “My sweet girl. Please be okay…”
“When will this nightmare be over?” I whispered.
“I don’t know, baby,” he said, kissing the crown of my head. “God, I wanted to strangle that reporter. Uncle Carlisle showed me the forms that they had to sign in order to come to the press conference. Questions about James’ dismissal were allowed, but anything related to your attack or anything following that was not allowed, due to it being an active police investigation.” He held me closely, humming quietly as I cried against his chest.