The next nine days were spent in relative silence when it came to James. There was nothing on the radar. No word, no nasty notes, no threatening phone call. It shocked me, shocked all of us, to be honest. We never sent him the money. You’d figure he’d throw some sort of fit.
However, I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, damn it.
It was generally quiet, thankfully. We had extra time since we were flying from city to city and we were able to catch up on our sleep. The concerts were the best we’d had since our first few concerts in New York and Boston. Unfortunately, we had frayed nerves. The lack of communication put us on edge. The threat was very real and in the forefront in our minds.
A couple of days before Bella’s birthday, we arrived in Las Vegas and checked into the Wynn hotel and staying in the suites. Bella wrinkled her nose, hating staying at a hotel. We’d been spoiled by staying in large private homes, filled with food for home cooked meals. Bella cooked, making enough to feed an army. When she wasn’t cooking, Jasper took over the kitchen or Nia.
“So, we made some plans,” Alice chirped as we settled into the living room.
“I thought we were going to keep a low profile?” Bella asked, arching a brow.
“We will be keeping a low profile,” Alice said soothingly. “We’re going out under assumed identities.”
“Nope. The only thing I want to do is celebrate my birthday. Nothing else,” Bella replied, crossing her arms over her chest. “We’re still dealing with a psycho out on the loose. The fact that we haven’t heard from him? I’m not running the risk of … It’s not happening. The party at Intrigue? That’s going to happen, but nothing else. If you want to go out, have at it. I know that living in fear is not healthy, but I refuse to …” She got up and went into our suite, closing the door.
“She’s right, Alice. Even with the precautions you suggested, the touristy things would be too much,” Ryan said. “We’re keeping the club safe and that’s because we’re able to control every aspect of it. We’ve run background checks on the employees, had them sign NDAs, and even have control on the food, drinks and anything else.”
“I agree with Ryan, too,” I nodded. “Alice, I appreciate the thought behind this, but until James is caught, we’re just going to celebrate Bella’s birthday at the club. You guys can go out, but Bella and I are going to work on edits for the soundtrack that Larry sent to us.”
“You’re not going to win, Alice,” Kellan snickered. “We’ll go out, but don’t push Edward and Bella.”
“Or the rest of us,” Emmett said, tugging on his hair. “I don’t think I should go out either. I don’t want tempt myself in Sin City.” He got up, grabbing a water bottle. “I’m going to head to the gym. I need to work off some of this excess energy.” He went into his room and emerged a few moments later in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt cut close to his body. Greg got up and left with him, acting as his protection.
Alice made a face, narrowing her eyes at me. “This sucks.”
“It does suck, but it’s our reality at the moment,” I answered. “I think we’re going to use the couple of days to do work that we need to get done and hopefully move past all of this.” I got up, kissing Alice’s cheek and heading into my room. Bella was working on her laptop, working on the score, presumably. “You okay, beautiful?”
“I’m fine,” she answered, tersely.
“Bella,” I said warningly.
“Okay, I’m not fine,” she replied, frowning and sighing deeply. “I’m frustrated. I know Alice wanted to explore Vegas, but with everything that’s happening in our lives, it’s not right. I feel to exposed. With the threat of James and all … I don’t know. Maybe I’m overreacting.”
“You’re not, Bella. We’re all on edge and understandably so,” I murmured, sitting next to her and holding her hand. I kissed her palm. “Ignore Alice. And if you want to explore Vegas, I’ll take you back. We’ll do it the right way, with no constraints of the tour, security guards or our fear.”
“I’d like that, but a long, long time from now,” Bella laughed, pushing the computer to me. “I started working on the changes that Larry suggested. What do you think?” I played the song, listening to the changes and made some minor tweaks before saving the work. I closed her computer, guiding her to the bed. “One-track mind, Edward.”
“No, I’m tired,” I snorted. “I want to snuggle with my wife. That’s all.”
“Is snuggling a euphemism for sex?” she deadpanned.
“Most of the time, but today? Not so much,” I said, pulling her into my arms. “Sleep, snuggle. That’s it.”