Chapter Thirty-One

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"You ready to head home?" Edward asked.

"Is Alec going to help?" I replied. Edward nodded, kissing my temple. "Why was he frowning?"

"He was worried about leaving his mate, a human male, unattended. He doesn't want his mate to be collateral damage. But, Alec is brutal with a broad sword, able to stop the minions' attacks upon the legion," Edward explained. "He's going to come. After meeting you, he wants to help. He says your heart is one of the purest ones he's ever met."

I blushed, ducking my head. Edward reached over, threading our fingers together and kissing my knuckles. We drove back to Forks, stopping at the police station before heading to the house. Charlie took us to the diner, so happy that we'd stopped by. He couldn't stay because there was an accident involving one of the logging trucks. Edward and I finished our meals before driving back to his house. Alice and Esme were there, waiting for me and hugged me excitedly when I told them that I'd gotten the position at the school district in Bellevue. With a knowing grin, Esme pulled me aside, ducking us into the bedroom. "Are you okay?" she asked.

I blushed, knowing why she was asking. "I am. I feel more centered. He gave me what I should have had from the beginning, Esme," I sniffled. "I'm grateful for him, for his patience and his freely given love ..."

"Have you said it back?" she pressed. I opened my mouth, clamping it shut and shaking my head. I had showed him, but saying it was still too much and instilled so much fear in me. Would he change? Would I? Esme hugged me and kissed my forehead. "I'm certain he knows. You show him with your care, your gift of your body and by trusting him."

"You probably think I'm a selfish bitch by always taking from him," I pouted.

"No, Bella. I don't. I think you were the unknowing victim of an abhorrent crime, by both the social workers and by God. We should have been there for you," she whispered. "But, please know that we all love you. You've brought back Edward and Charles, erm, Charlie. You've united the legion. We would rather die than have anything happen to you." She smiled, but she blinked up, her eyes glazed over.

"Esme?"

She blinked again, her eyes clearing. "It's nothing, sweetheart. I thought I saw something," she replied.

"Saw? You're in my bedroom. Our bedroom. You were staring at the bathroom door," I said, arching a brow.

"I have the gift of foresight, as does Alice, but it's not terribly accurate. We get feelings or see glimpses of what is to happen," Esme explained, hugging me tenderly. "What I saw was a glimpse of someone, but it was very hazy. You needn't worry about it. If it's something troublesome, I'll get more pictures or more hints."

"Are you sure?" I questioned. "Could it be Riley screwing with you?"

"He doesn't have that power," Esme said, nodding abruptly.

"But, his powers have been changing. Remember my ex-boss/ex-landlady? She was under his control but didn't have the black eyes like Edward described. She looked normal, a little cold but she looked like Rosalie," I shrugged. "Haven't your powers gotten stronger as time went by?" Esme pursed her lips but didn't respond. She hugged me and said if I wanted to talk, that she'd be there for me. She scurried out of the bedroom and I saw her almost sprint to the back patio, spreading her wings and disappearing immediately.

Edward came inside, his brows furrowed. "She shot out of here like a bat out of hell," he chuckled. He walked over to me, rubbing his hands on my arms. "What is it?"

"She had a vision or whatever she has," I said. "But, she blew it off like it was nothing. Then, I questioned her about could Riley/Lucifer's powers being changing? I don't know. I'm confused." He sighed, wrapping his arms around my body.

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