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I was a zombie. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Even Edward. I knew he felt horribly, but he gave me my space. I was curled up in the rear of the plane, listening to some angry instrumental music. I was trying not to cry, but failing miserably. This whole thing was a fucking nightmare. I was scared, terrified that anyone in my family was going to be hurt. My brother was broken because Rose was being a bitch.
She’d blocked both of our numbers, sending a harsh email.
Any residual sisterly love I had for her dissipated when I got that email.
Bella and Emmett,
I know you’re both going through a tough time, but so am I. I’m okay, but I don’t need a million texts from either of you asking me for proof. I hate to be a bitch, but I’m going to be. Your numbers will be blocked and I will not respond anymore to any texts or emails (as this email address will be deleted, as well). I think a clean break is needed.
If I saw her again, she’d get a swift kick in the ass. Bitch was an understatement of the century.
I was crying for the danger we were in, for the loss of Rosalie’s friendship and just the ardent fear I had. It was making me sick. I couldn’t stop throwing up.
“Hey, Bella,” Alice said. She sat down across from me and handed me some tea. “It’s peppermint. It’s supposed to settle your stomach. Edward said you were sick, had an upset stomach.”
“Thanks,” I muttered, taking the tea and inhaling deeply. The scent was calming.
“Emmett told me about Rose’s email. What a bitch and a half,” Alice said, chuckling quietly.
“Yep,” I replied. I sipped my tea. “Alice, I know what you’re trying to do, but I really don’t want to talk. My throat hurts from being sick this morning and I have to sing tonight. Plus, I just want to be alone.” She pouted. “Don’t pout. I’m fucking terrified and I have to figure out how to hide that.”
“Okay, Bella,” she murmured. “If you want to talk.”
“Thanks,” I said, leaning against the window and staring at the passing clouds. Alice got up, leaving me to my rumination. Now, I felt like a bitch, but I couldn’t handle her. I couldn’t handle all of this. I wanted to take my anti-anxiety medications but it was in my checked bag, plus it made me exhausted. Perhaps, after the concert tonight.
The plane began to descend about an hour later, landing at a private airstrip just outside of San Antonio. There were a fleet of black SUVs waiting for us. We’d be staying in the same private residence, but there would be decoy cars to throw James off our scent. Supposedly … whatever that meant.
Edward was being respectful of my need for solitude, but I could tell he wanted to hold me close. I wanted to feel his arms around me. They always made me feel safe. I had to get my head wrapped around this madness. Usually, in Edward’s arms, I forgot my problems and focused on him. Or rather, losing myself in him.
“We’ve got a private mansion, in a gated community, for our stay in San Antonio,” Kellan explained. “I know that some of you want to hit some tourist attractions, like the Alamo, but with what’s going on, it’s probably not the best idea.”
“Damn it,” Jasper grumbled. “I’ll have to show you the Alamo another time, Nia.” His accent was very thick, reminding me that Jasper was from Texas. I’d forgotten. His southern drawl was almost nonexistent, until he came back to his home state. Then, he was all lazy drawling and laid-back. I was jealous about that. I was as nervous as a whore in church. I was terrified of being out in the open. I was trembling and my heart was about to stammer out of my chest.
“Cantante,” Edward whispered, his hand sliding into mine and tugging me to his chest. I was stiff, at first, but then melted against him. “Shhhh, I’ve got you.”
“I’m sorry,” I whispered brokenly.
“Let’s get you guys settled at the house. The show is set to start at eight. You need to be ready to go by no later than six,” Kellan said. “With dinner and getting ready, you have about two hours to relax once we get to the house.” He looked at me sympathetically.