“You remember me,” Tanya cooed, crouching down and smiling at Lucy. “Do you remember me, Lucy? I’m your real mommy. Smella here is just pretending. She doesn’t really love you. I do.”
“No, you’re not,” Lucy snapped. “You gave us up. You …” Lucy growled, hiding behind Bella. “I hate you. Leave us alone!”
“Not happening, brat,” Tanya scoffed. “You’re the key to financial freedom. My financial freedom. You’re coming with me.” She reached for Lucy, her face twisted into an angry grimace.
“Over my rotting corpse,” Bella sneered, tugging Lucy further behind her body and shielding the little girl. “You’re not allowed to come within five hundred feet of the children, Tanya. You’re breaking the law.”
“And I bet that the chief is going to arrest my ass,” Tanya laughed. “Please! Your dad is a joke. Just like you’re a joke. Edward doesn’t love you. He’s only with you because he pities you. You’re a fucking prude.”
Bella felt her face flame, but she wasn’t going to let this woman bait her. A prude? Please. If only she knew, but I won’t even dignify that with an answer. She schooled her face into an impassive mask, but her blood was broiling.
Tanya laughed, a maniacal cackle, and continued. “Does that embarrass you? Little miss smut writer? You must have some pretty active imagination. No one could experience all what you wrote. Or, are you a slut? Fucking your way through Seattle? Jacob told me about your experiences with him. You broke his heart.”
“Lucy, come on. Let’s get out of here,” Bella said, picking up Lucy and trying to walk past Tanya, but she stopped her by slamming her hand on the wall and blocking the exit. “If you think you’re getting away with this, you’re sorely mistaken. There’s a cop here …”
“Johnson? Please! I sucked him off and he is in on this,” she sneered, reaching into her purse. “How do you think I got this so easily?” She wiggled a stun gun in Bella’s face. “Give me the girl and this won’t be used.”
“Mommy, NO!” Lucy wailed, clutching her. “I don’t want to go with her.”
“You’re not,” Bella said soothingly. She put her down and wiped her tears away. “I’m not going to let you go.” She kissed her forehead. “Stand behind me and if you can, run. Go to Miss Archer. Call for help.”
“Not without you,” she whimpered, tears streaming down her face.
“Shut up, you fucking brat!” Tanya screamed, flicking the switch of the stun gun. “I don’t want to use this, but I will.”
Bella stood up, clenching her fists and glaring at the disheveled, slutty and unhinged woman before her. “You have to get through me, first,” she growled. “You’re not touching my daughter.”