I was sitting in the family room, working on the final edit for the last movie in the Charmed series. Edward told me to just relax, but I needed to work. It kept my mind occupied. My mom also helped. She was spoiling me rotten. At least, she was attempting to. “Bellini, you need to eat,” Mom said, putting a tray of food on the cocktail table. “You’re wasting away.”
“Let me try and get this dialogue right. It’s not flowing,” I said, my fingers flying over the keyboard. Mom shut the lid of my laptop, pulling it out of my grip and glaring at me. “Mom!”
“No, now,” she said, putting the laptop on the recliner and placing the tray on my lap. “The first movie is not even out yet. The editing for the final movie can wait.” She sat down next to me, spearing some food on the fork and bringing it up to my mouth. “Open wide.”
“Mom, I’m forty-four. I can feed myself,” I said, taking the utensil from her hand.
“Could have fooled me,” she smirked. “Bella, you’ve lost so much weight since you’ve returned from your ordeal.”
“I’m not hungry,” I shrugged. “I can’t really taste the food, Mom.”
“Doesn’t matter. You need to eat to get better,” she chided, pointing to the plate. “Do I need to make your favorite?”
“No, Mom. Ewww. I do not want deep fried bananas with tartar sauce,” I shuddered. “And that’s never been my favorite.”
“I know that,” Mom winked. “Eat up, Bellini. Afterward, we’re going to go for a walk. You need to get out of the house. Doctor’s orders.”
“What doctor?” I quipped.
“Doctor Dwyer, Mom MD,” Mom snickered, pointing to my plate. “Eat! I’m going to check on my other patient, Oliver. The poor man is helpless with that cast. If you don’t have at least half of that meal gone by the time I get back, I’m force feeding you.”
“Okay, okay. I’m eating,” I said, picking up the fork and tentatively chewing on a bite. Mom smiled, moving toward the entrance to the apartment with another tray for Oliver. I forced the food down my throat. I felt strangely lost today since Edward had to go into work. He didn’t want to, but the company wasn’t going to run itself and with Jasper being on medical leave, Edward had to step up.
Shockingly, I ate most of my lunch. I was putting the plates away when Rosalie breezed in. “Thank God you’re out of those God-forsaken pajamas,” she said dramatically. “I know you’re in a funk, but fuck Bella!”
“It’s been only a few days, Rose,” I deadpanned. “My psycho ex-boyfriend freaking abducted me. I think I’m allowed to be in a funk.”
“Bells, we all knew that Jacob was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, but nothing like this,” Rose said, taking my hand. “Now, he’s gone and will never hurt you. The cops in that bumfuck town in northern Illinois made sure of that. All of that hunting must have paid off. They got him dead in the middle of the eyes. I only wish I could have been there to slice off his balls and stuff them down his throat. Fucking mongrel.”
I bit my lip, trying not to laugh. Rose really had a way of mincing words. This is why she’s a writer. Rose looked at me, smirking and her eyes twinkling. “You can laugh, Bella. It won’t kill ya.”
“I know,” I snickered, a small giggle escaping my lips. “I’ve needed you, Rose. You could always get me out of whatever cloud of doom I was hovering in.”
“That’s why Edward called me,” she said, kissing my good cheek. “Now, shower and get dressed. I’ll put on some makeup for your cheek. We have to go shopping for a dress for the premier of The Charmed Ones. You and your family are still coming.”
“What? I forgot. Rose, I can’t,” I said, gripping her wrists.
“Tough shit. You are. You can’t let the dog dictate your life,” Rose said gently, her eyes softening.
“He’s gone. Say it with me. The dog is gone.”
“The dog is gone,” I repeated.
“I don’t believe you,” Rose said, her perfectly groomed brow arching cheekily. “Say it again. The.
Dog. Is. Gone.”
I glared at my best friend. “The dog is gone,” I growled. Rose prompted me to say it again and I did, repeating it over and over again until I was panting heavily. Jacob was gone. Never would he torment me, my family or my friends. He was lying in some Podunk town’s morgue, with bullet holes in his body. He was dead. Dead.
“Good. Now, get your smelly ass upstairs so we can find you a gorgeous gown for the premier,” Rose said, giving me a knowing smile.
“I do not smell,” I argued.
“Sorry to say, but you do. I love you, but get your stanky butt up the damn stairs,” Rose laughed.