Stuck in fire - Justin Bieber/Selena Gomez Kapitel 17-40

En historie der blev slettet på et andet site, som min veninde og jeg følger med i. Bare ignorer den ;)


17. 33

"What ABOUT my father?', I felt a huge lump in my chest and my throat was clogging as Emmett stood there with his soft, sad brown eyes.

"I don't know everything.", Emmett said, glancing at the receptionist desk, "I told them I was Charlie's son so they'd get him right into surgery. I heard one of them say internal bleeding…"

I shoved by him and went to the front desk, cutting off another woman who was trying to get information about her husband.

"EXCUSE ME!", I almost yelled, "My father, Charlie Gomez, was brought in. I want to know how he is. He's in surgery, I think."

I want to know how Justin is, too, but he just went in there and was all alone, too. I pictured a few people in white all around my Justin, shoving tubes into his throat, sticking needles into him, ignoring his shouts and questions while they worked on him. He's had that enough in his lifetime. I hate that now, after everything tonight, he has to go through it again, by himself.

Internal bleeding. That's not good. I kept seeing him land on his back…on that table…so hard…I think now I heard a horrible cracking sound. Was that the table…or my father's spine? Was I just imagining that sound now?

"Just one minute, please, Miss.", the older woman with huge glasses put a finger up at me.

I huffed and spun my head towards Emmett and Jasper, who were standing at my right side. Alice and Rosalie were at my left, trying to comfort me. Alice was rubbing my back.

"How was he in the ambulance?", I asked Emmett.

"He was talking…", Emmett began, "He seemed alright. He was even joking, saying you were probably making out with Justin somewhere. And then he just…conked out and all Hell broke loose."

I spun back to the lady at the desk and she looked at me now, the other woman beside me gone.

"What's the name?", she asked, fumbling with some yellow cards in front of her.

"Charlie Gomez.", I stated loudly and clearly, "S – W – A – N."

"He's in surgery.", the woman said. Duh.

"I know THAT.", I frowned, "How is he? What's wrong with him? Is he gonna be alright?"

"I have no idea, Miss.", she shrugged, "I can't interrupt any surgeries. You'll have to wait until they're through. Have a seat and as soon as I hear anything, I'll call you."

"Yea, right.", I grumbled, turning slowly away from the desk and stumbling towards the seats in the waiting room, Alice holding my hand and Rosalie staring back at me with worry in her eyes.

"How's Justin?", Emmett asked as we all took a seat.

I was shaking, hating it. The two men I loved more than anything were each in hospital emergency rooms, fighting for their lives, without me. And all I could do was sit here and wait for word from Mrs. Stupid at the desk.

"I think he's alright.", my voice trembled, "But I don't know. They took him into the ER and wouldn't let me come."

"He'll be okay, Selena.", Jasper put a hand on my shoulder, "They'll both be okay."

I let out a deep breath that I'd been holding and Alice asked if I wanted some water or something. I think I nodded.

"Jasper?", I looked at him, whispering.

"Yea?", he looked back.

"Victoria's dead.", I breathed, very low, "I dropped the candle on the bar. I think she's dead. I looked back and the whole bar was on fire."

Jasper looked strange. He looked glad, relieved, and satisfied…but also concerned and worried.

Emmett leaned forward, looking at Jasper.

"Go check it out, Jazz.", Emmett gave him permission to go, "We'll stay here with Selena. Come back and let us know what happened."

"Yea.", he stood up, about to rush out but then he came back, looking down at me.

"Thank you, Selena.", he simply said, then made another cringe at the way it sounded, "I'm sorry. You know what I mean."

"I know.", I tried to grin at him, "Go on."

A few minutes later, all my questions were popping into my head. And poor Emmett. I was asking him everything. Some things he could answer, others he couldn't.

"When did Jasper find that cloth?", I asked, "And why didn't he say anything? We could've skipped this whole night!"

"Jasper has been pretending to be a dancer for a long time.", Emmett began, "I knew it a couple weeks ago but I never told Victoria anything. I used to think Victoria was okay…until I saw what she did to Justin. He was a cool guy, you know. That night I helped him, and brought him into the club…I liked him right off. He was honest…looked everyone right in the eyes…he was strong. He had an opinion. He smiled a lot. He would argue if he didn't agree with you. Once Victoria got him, I saw that change a little more every day. It's like she was sucking the soul out of him. Soon, Justin never looked me in the eye again. He always looks down. He can't hold anyone's eyes for long. And he never argues. He never relaxes. He's always afraid. He never laughs. Not for real. Well, until you came along, anyway."

Emmett frowned, and continued.

"Anyway…", he sighed, "I told Jasper to watch out for Justin. He was in trouble, I told Jazz. I didn't know anything about him being there to avenge his brother. I thought he was an undercover cop or something. He didn't tell me much. I guess he didn't trust me yet. The other night, Charlie saw him hanging out, watching the club. He and I were keeping an eye on the place, making sure Justin was okay. We always do that, when Justin is in the dungeon. It's been a long time since he's been in there, being punished. He's usually very well behaved for Victoria."

"Charlie and Jasper soon figured out that they were on the same side. Charlie showed Jazz the sketch of his brother and Jasper…broke down a little. Charlie told him what happened to his brother. Until that moment, Jazz was hoping maybe his brother was still alive somewhere, maybe living like Justin was. But then he knew. And he kinda…went a little nuts. He wanted revenge. He didn't want to turn Victoria into the cops. He went along with Charlie, acting like he was in on the plan. But really…he wanted her dead."

"Jasper told me what was going on.", Emmett looked at his hands, "And we watched the dungeon like hawks. The one night, Victoria asked me to bring exercise equipment into the dungeon for Justin the next day. I had Jasper 'help me'. Justin was asleep, looking alright. He had a big goofy smile on his face. He looked like he was peaceful so I didn't wake him. Then Jasper unzipped the back of Vic's leather table and took out this cloth. It was all dry but red with blood on it. Jasper told me what it was and I told him we should bring it to Charlie. But he said no. He wanted Victoria dead and if the police got the cloth, he'd be the first suspect. He said it was his brother's blood and it belonged to him now. The police would only mess things up, Jazz said. He told me about this dinner Victoria was planning. He said it would be the perfect time to let her have it. Police could blame it on Sir Kevin, or James, or Raven…He said this way, he could take out a whole bunch of them. Get justice for his little brother. When he told me what they did to his brother, I kinda agreed. We swore we'd keep you and Justin safe. We would've been with you all the time, but then we found Alice and Rosalie in Victoria's office."

Emmett gave me a look then.

"Sorry.", I frowned, "You know, if you guys trusted us and told us what you were planning, we could've all got together and formed a better plan."

"Jasper wasn't thinking straight, Selena. I got so scared when Victoria poured her drink into Justin's mouth.", Emmett changed the subject, "I thought maybe Jazz poisoned her drink with something lethal. I ran back in there and almost screamed at him, asking him if he did that. He was smart enough not to try that, though, he knows Victoria feeds Justin things at these dinners. Even though he was nuts to get revenge…he tried to make sure you guys wouldn't get hurt."

"Revenge is a bitch.", I agreed, wondering if I killed Victoria for revenge…or to stop her from hurting Justin anymore.

It didn't matter.

All that matters now is Justin and Charlie. If they came out of this alright, I wouldn't care about all the rest.

"Selena?" Emmett touched my arm.

"Yea?" I rubbed my wet eyes, knowing it would probably be hours before I had some news on either of my men.

"Your Dad saved my life, Selena. I was cuffed but still fighting back pretty good. I head butted one of the guys and had the other one's neck between my legs, ready to snap his neck. Then the one I head butted sat up and aimed his gun at the back of my head. That's when Charlie attacked. He's really cool."

I'm glad he's using the present tense.

"Yea, he is.", I felt tears in my eyes.

My Dad is always the unsung hero, never wanting credit for what he does, never enjoying the spotlight, always applauding for everyone else except himself, always holding up another on his shoulders.

I had given him such a hard time during all this. I wanted instant justice, like Jasper did. I wanted fast results and I wasn't quiet about it when I screamed at my Dad. Maybe if I hadn't rushed him like I did…maybe this could've gone smoother.

Maybe he wouldn't be in surgery now. And neither would Justin.

Dad, God…I'm so sorry. I told you that a paid escort gave me more love and affection in two weeks than you did in my entire lifetime. That was so fucked up of me. And not true. I stuck a knife in your heart because I was so afraid. I almost thought that you wanted Justin to die, so he wouldn't be around me anymore. You've been there for me my whole life, Dad…in everything I ever did. And at the first sign of trouble, I turned my back on you…and worse…I lashed out at you.

I love you, Daddy.

Please God, give me the chance to say that to him again. Let me get a chance to say I'm sorry and see his dry smile as he forgives me once again for my stupid mistakes.

You saved us all. You saved Justin. You saved me.

When I closed my eyes, tears fell out of them and my head dropped into my trembling hands.

Then Emmett hugged me to him, whispering, "He's gonna be okay. He's a tough old guy. He heard about your sex games with Justin from the bug and survived. Although I thought we were losing him at that point. I thought he was going to team up with James and Vic and run down to the dungeon to finish you both off."

"Shut up.", I didn't want to smile or laugh but I nearly did.

"Thanksgivings and Christmas is gonna be an especially fun time for all you guys.", Emmett smirked.

"Stop.", I tried to hide a grin, picturing Charlie and Justin exchanging Christmas gifts by the tree.

Emmett hugged me tighter, and I let him. I never had a big brother before. It felt like I had one now. I needed one now. So I hugged him back.

This has been Justin's one true friend through some horrible fucked up years. He made sure Justin was fed and warm on nights when no one else cared or bothered, even Justin himself. He was the shoulder Justin leaned on, his protector, his teacher, the rock he clung to.

He is family.



I'm not sure how much time had passed when a doctor finally came out and called, "Justin Bieber's family?"

I was already on my feet, along with Emmett and the girls behind me.

"Yes!", I held myself together, holding my stomach as the 35-ish man with tussled black hair and fair skin stood there, in his blue scrubs.

"You're all related to him?", he raised a brow, not stupid by any means.

"I'm his brother.", Emmett said blankly, stating it as truth. It was the truth.

The doctor gave a nod and began.

"Justin is very lucky.", he said as my stomach unclenched, "It was a little tough for awhile, we couldn't make the bleeding stop. But then we got a miracle. We sealed up the nicked artery. Justin will be fine. But he lost a lot of blood. We're trying to locate some …"

"His blood type is the same as mine, O.", Emmett said straight away, "I'll give him some right now."

"Oh, okay, great!", the doctor looked pleased and surprised that Emmett would just know this and also have the same blood type.

I love you, Emmett…so much.

"Come with me, then, and we'll get you set up.", the doctor offered.

Emmett turned to me and hugged me again, muttering to me, "It comes up every time we have to get ourselves tested."

"Thank you, Emmett.", I squeezed him so tight, tears in my eyes again, "Thank you."

"No thanks needed.", Emmett smiled, "I told you, we're brothers. My blood is his blood. I'll be right back."

Emmett was going and the doctor with him when I stopped them.

"Wait!", I shouted, feeling bad right away, since we were in a hospital, "How is Justin now? Is he alright? Is he in any pain?"

"Not at all.", the doctor smiled at me assuring, "I gave him something and he's asleep now. He's fine. I promise. Later, when he wakes up, you can all say hello."

"Can't I just see him now?", I let a tear fall, not caring, "Just for a second? I won't wake him up, I just need to."

"Selena, he's okay.", Emmett ran a hand down my arm, "Let him sleep a little. He's had a rough week."

"You're Selena?", the doctor grinned at me.

"Yea, why?", I frowned.

He smiled a little more. "I was given lots of messages for you while I was trying to work on him. I don't remember them all, but let me see. There was I love you, Selena, I'll always love you. Then there was – tell Katie I love her, too. Tell her I've always loved her. Tell her I'm sorry I wasn't there for so long. I kept telling Justin he wasn't going to die, but he still kept giving me messages. That's when I decided to put him to sleep. Down to the last second, he was talking. The last thing he said was weird. He said, 'Tell them I died free…and happy.'"

"That's our Justin.", Emmett smirked, "Always the optimist. Mr. Overthinker."

"Luck isn't usually on his side.", my weepy voice said to both Emmett and the doctor.

"It was today.", both Emmett and the doctor said at the same time and laughed at each other.

I even had to smile. He would be alright. If I could right now, I'd fly up to space and back again, howling and laughing all the way. I was crying and smiling at the same time when the doctor glanced behind him and said, "Come on, Selena. You can have a minute. Just don't tell anyone on me."

"Oh God!", I sobbed gratefully, "Thank you!"

"Shhhh…", he grinned, taking my hand and shrugging his head at Emmett to follow us.

Before getting to Justin's room, the doctor handed Emmett off to a nurse, telling her to how much CC's of blood to get from him. I wasn't listening much. I was almost jumping up and down waiting to see Justin.

"Thanks, Doc.", Emmett went down another hallway, his eyebrows dancing suggestively at us with the pretty red-haired nurse while the doctor took me to the left.

Room 43. He opened the door slowly and whispered, "Be very quiet, okay? There's another patient asleep inside."

"Okay.", I agreed in a whisper, adding, "Thanks again."

He nodded and walked off as I went inside.

The walls were a nice soft yellow and the lights were dim. It was still dark outside I noticed and guessed it was in the wee hours of the morning, no sunrise yet.

A curtain was pulled so I couldn't see the patient next to Justin but I didn't need to see anyone else. I couldn't pull my eyes away from the deep reddish brown hair that refused to behave…and the even fairer white face of the sleeping, peaceful angel a few feet away.

The yellow blanket looked soft and clean and was tucked under his arms. They were straight at his sides and his bed had his head raised slightly up. He looked so stiff and mannequin-like, like a ken doll, nothing like the curled up god he usually was while he slept.

As I moved closer, I saw they had an IV injected into the top of his hand, a white piece of tape over the spot the needle entered.

I felt my chin trembling as I wept, trying to keep it quiet, my hand covering my mouth tightly.

His lips were in that cute little ducky pout I first saw when I woke up next to him that first morning after. His lips are so deep red.

I couldn't really make myself say words right now. I moved my fingers, ghosting them, really, over his lips, moving softly over his eyebrows…then his eyelids…the backs of my fingers gliding down those deep cheekbones, both sides…I gently kissed those sweet little boy lips, unable to stay away. Then I kissed his hand where the IV was poking into him, as if my kiss could cure that, too.

Love is the best medicine for a broken heart.

He was wearing a blue hospital gown with white trim and that just made his skin appear more transparent to me. He looked terribly pale. That scared me. But then he needs blood. Emmett is taking care of that now. I'm sure they have more blood around here, too, somewhere.

I could see thick bandages over where the gunshot was over the space between his shoulder and torso. I'm sure there was more on the back of him, where the bullet entered. It was then that I realized the bullet had passed through him. It's a miracle it didn't hit me then. I didn't even think of that before, in all the chaos. My eyes widened as a thought began to creep in.

Did it hit my Dad? He was right beside me.

I had to get back out there in case they had news about my Dad, but how can I leave Justin alone now?

A couple more minutes, I told myself.

Sniffing, I wiped my red, swollen eyes and took a deep breath.

Don't leave me, Selena…he had said to me in the ambulance.

I don't want to leave you. Ever.

I would be in this bed now, if it weren't for you, I mentally told him as I touched his hair, moving it upwards with my careful fingers. I like it wild, up and disobedient. Just as he had been tonight when he saved my life. Just as he was when he fought for his freedom.

"You are the best partner ever.", I whispered, feeling another tear fall, staring at his still eyes…hypnotized by the very tiny but long black eyelashes. I had felt badly about my joke earlier, saying I wanted Jasper for my partner. I never want to say anything that hurts him, even in the slightest, ever again. He'd had enough hurt for one lifetime.

Only you, Justin, knowing all the greatest pains in the world, would have the heart and the guts to throw yourself into a bullet to keep it from me. You are my protector now. You are my man. Forever. I could never feel anything but complete love and pride for you. You have never been a slave in my eyes, Justin. You could never look weak or helpless to me…even when you're chained up naked right against me.

"I love you so much, Justin.", I whispered right into his ear, bending over and cradling his face in my gentle hands, kissing his nose and then his lips very, very carefully, "Love's too small a word for what I feel for you."

"My little ducky lips.", I smiled down at that mouth…so adorable, "Before you know it, you'll be back in my bed, cuddling with me. I can't fall asleep unless you hold me now. You spoiled me rotten."

I gathered up the blanket and eased his hands underneath it, laying them over his waist, bringing the golden cotton up around his neck, under his chin, the way he liked it.

"There you go, baby.", I breathed, smoothing the blanket over his chest, not going near where the bandages were, "Sleep now. Dream sweet dreams. I'll sneak a cherry icee in tomorrow. I think you've earned it."

The patient next to Justin on the other side of the curtain coughed then. My head spun at the sound of it.

Coughing. Smoke inhalation?

It better not be. Not in the same room. God isn't that twisted, is she?

I was at the curtain in two steps and I paused…shivering. Then I tore it open in one hard yank.

Would it be James? Sir Kevin? What would I do if it was?

A little old man jumped as I stood there, staring at him, the curtain in my fist. He coughed again, a couple thick blankets over his little body.

"Sorry.", I offered as he covered his mouth, "Are you okay?"

God, I am paranoid. But then, I have reason to be.

He nodded and I saw there was a pitcher of water and a few plastic cups at his bedside.

I poured him a glass and handed it to him. He might have thought I was a nurse in this dim light and he slowly sipped his cup as I slowly moved the curtain back into place.

"Just making sure you're safe.", I said to Justin as I came back quickly, "We're partners, remember?"

I cautiously let a tiny sliver of my butt sit on the edge of the bed, not wanting to do anything to hurt him or disturb him now.

I ran my fingers over his and tried not to cry right now. I didn't want him to hear me sad, not after all we'd done to get to this moment.

I slipped his friendship ring off my finger and held his finger, sliding it onto his pinky, the only finger small enough to fit inside it.

"Will you marry me, Justin Bieber?", I whispered, almost to myself, smiling and letting tears fall.

His lips just curled up more, looking slightly stubborn now, like he was pouting. His breathing was so deep and calm now…it soothed me.

"I know, you're the man, it's your job to ask me, huh?", I teased.

I took a breath and said, "We have a lot to do. A lot to learn. A lot to say…I know. I want this to be good. I want this to be happy. I want this…forever. It's going to take a lot of work. But I'll do the work. I'll do anything. For you. You are my life now. My life always."

I hope he still feels the same way about me now. I hope he doesn't think he just left one murderess for another. I hope he still thinks I'm different than the other women he's known. I want to be.

The doctor peeked inside a moment later and I stood up, not wanting to abuse the gift he'd given me.

"Coming.", I said to the doctor and he waited a second as I bent over my sleeping prince one more time.

"I'll be back soon, Thumper.", I smiled, kissing the little dent in his chin and pulling myself away before I'd never let myself go, adding, "Be good."

It took all the strength I had to walk away from him but I managed to do it…only so I could go back to the waiting room and wait some more to hear more about my father. The doctor who cared for Justin said he'd try to find out what was going on with Charlie but that was hours ago.

Rosalie and Alice were watching The View on TV while I stared at my shoes, still wearing Raven's stolen dress. I wish I had some nice comfy sweats and a t-shirt…some warm cotton socks.

Emmett's cell rang and he stopped eating his snickers bar, flipping it open.

"Jazz!", Emmett almost yelled, frowning, "Where the hell have you been?"

A series of yeas and uh-huhs came out of Emmett and then he sighed and said, "I know."

Then Emmett told Jasper that Justin was fine and was getting his blood transfusions now and that we still hadn't heard about Charlie yet.

"Yea, she's here.", Emmett said, "Hold on."

He handed the phone to me and Alice looked a little hurt that he asked for me over her first. But she was watching me and listening intently.

"Jasper?", I answered.

"Hi Selena.", he said, "I'm at the police station. I would've called before, but I had lots to tell these guys, you know."

"I know.", I said, feeling afraid that the police would know that I killed Victoria.

"So, when are they coming to arrest me?", I asked, half kidding, half not.

"Why would they arrest you?", Jasper asked, "Sir Kevin is the one who killed Victoria."

I squinted and asked, "What?" The lack of sleep and the worrying was making me a little dumb at the moment.

"Sir Kevin and Victoria were fighting over Justin.", Jasper informed, as if it were fact and he was remembering it, "A candle fell over and they both went up in flames. Sir Kevin didn't make it, either. His head lit up right away, since he was covered in alcohol."

I let out a breath and whispered, "Thank you, Jasper."

I imagined Justin waking up and finding out I was in jail for murder. My father didn't have that kind of money for a brilliant lawyer and I'd never want to put him or Justin through some year long trial.

Justin would need to get to his daughter as soon as possible. I wouldn't want him sitting in the first row behind me all that time while I sat there at the defense table in my orange uniform. I knew he would, but I would hate every single day of it.

That would kill both of us.

Not to mention, Justin on the stand, lying, trying to save me as he told countless tales of the things Sir Kevin and Victoria performed on him. Then the inhuman stripping Justin would endure as the state's attorney got up and tore him to shreds, calling him a willing whore and Victoria's submissive boyfriend. They'd make him look like a sleazy villain, not a victim. I didn't like seeing him as either of those, but that's what he'd seem to be, as each side presented their cases.

The news would be all over it. Ben and Angela would hear all about it. Katie would, too. Justin would be on the news and on the front pages of all the papers, microphones shoved in his face as he tried to leave the courtroom everyday, saying 'No comment.'

Katie's classmates would probably tease her everyday about it. It would have ruined all of us. It would've destroyed our love.

It would have destroyed ME.

And in the end, I'd be convicted anyway. Because I did do it. And I would never be sorry for it. I couldn't see myself sitting there, enduring all of that, and not leaping to my feet and confessing it all, proudly.

"James and Raven have been arrested.", Jasper said next, "I told them all about James. They listened to the stuff Charlie recorded in the dungeon. Victoria wrecked the bug when she took it off you, so they just heard everything up to then. They heard James' plans for you, Selena. They heard Victoria saying that she'd keep Justin, using you to keep him quiet. They know she shot Justin and your father. They'll be coming to the hospital later today to get statements from all you guys. I gave them the cloth and told them about my brother. They're talking to James now, trying to find out where the body is. And how many more bodies there are. He's not talking yet…but I think he will."

Alright, I told myself simply. Victoria DID die. And so did Sir Kevin. I still didn't know much about that man but I saw that he scared the shit out of Justin. I'm sure he hurt Justin, too, in some way. I hoped I was wrong about my suspicions…but I don't think I was. Sir Kevin liked Justin, he had told me last night. Sir Kevin…had…been with…Justin. I'm sure he was forced, unless Katie or I were threatened again. He told me he was Justin's new master. And it did look like he was caring for Justin's wounds after he was shot.

It must have been recently that Sir Kevin entered Justin's life. Justin had told me in our sessions that he'd never had a man before. And then I wanted to tear my heart out. I let him go back there. I just let him walk away, going to a place where he was raped by a man. That was his punishment for caring for me in front of Victoria. That was his punishment for me attacking her that night.

I knew without being told…that's why the bug was lost so soon. Justin wanted Charlie and I spared that, even if he wouldn't be spared it. He could've said his word and ended the whole thing right then. But he wanted to be a member of the team, he wanted to get real proof against Victoria so she'd never bother us again. He gave himself up so we could have a future. He sacrificed his body once more…for us…for his daughter.

And he says he isn't strong.

I want to go hug him some more now.

"Raven will most likely be released with bail.", Jasper said, snapping me out of my thoughts, "She didn't really do much of anything. She offered you a contract as a sub with her, that's not illegal. And you said yes. I don't think she'll be any danger, even free. Her father is a big deal, owns a corporation. He has to come bail her out with his lawyer. No doubt he'll ship her off to Puerto Rico so she won't embarrass him or cost him any business with this scandal."

I swallowed and thought of her for a second. She might not seem dangerous to Jasper but I've seen her work on Justin's body. She is demented and has a major crush on Justin. But I don't really see her doing anything like coming after Justin or something. She might just move away and start over, finding some other poor bastard to be her slave. One thing is for sure. There are broken hearted people in every country, every city. I wondered how many Justins there were out there, waiting to begin their Hell, as Justin was just finishing his time there.

I want to save everyone. I want to heal all the broken hearts out there, before they become victims or slaves…or corpses.

I want to be a doctor now more than ever. I have to be a psychiatrist. But did I have to stay here to do it? Could I? I had built a whole life here…I had loved it here. I adored New York. It had everything! Forks had nothing new, ever. New York could be different every day, it was always changing and surprising me. I saw myself living here forever, just three weeks ago.

Now, I kept seeing myself in sunny Florida, covered with sunburn, but happily holding Katie's hand as Justin held the other, and we were walking along the crowded beach, searching for a spot to claim with our umbrella.

Would Katie like me? Would she push me away? Was it right for me to be there? Katie had waited for her Daddy for so long…and now she'd have him…but I would probably take the joy out of that, horning in where I wasn't wanted. Daddy's new girlfriend. She'd probably think that I'm the one who took him away from her all those years. And we couldn't tell her the truth as to where he'd been.

They deserved time alone together. Ben and Angela would always be there, but Katie needed Justin all to herself, to discover him again, to see that he still loved her and always would, and that none of this was her fault.

Would she get to experience all that if Justin was always upset, telling her to give me a chance?

I did not want to be the third wheel, trying to analyze every thing Katie said or did. I could not be Dr. Selena for Katie. And I didn't want to be. I don't want to be a new Mommy for Katie. No one could ever take her place. She still hadn't dealt with losing her mother yet, from what Justin told me. He had to deal with it, too, and hadn't yet.

I want to be Katie's friend. If I had any chance of being that…I couldn't show up on her doorstep holding Justin's hand the day he came back to her. That much I knew.

"Selena?", Jasper asked, hearing only my pained breathing on the line.

"I'm here. Sorry.", I snapped out of it, pushing away the image of Justin's face as I told him I couldn't go with him.

You said you wouldn't leave me. Ever.

I could hear him saying the words, hurt thick in his voice.

"Everything will be alright, Selena.", Jasper said with confidence, "I want to thank you, too, for how brave you were last night. My brother thanks you, too. I probably won't be seeing you guys for awhile. They're putting me and my parents in witness protection. I'm trying to decide now if I want my hair black or red."

I had to chuckle at that, although I hated the idea of Jasper being placed in witness protection. But it made sense. Victoria's family would probably want some kind of revenge…or to get rid of the witnesses so James couldn't be convicted of anything. I wondered if they'd try to get Justin and I, Charlie, and even Emmett, Alice and Rosalie to join it too. Did we have to do it? Did we have a choice? How would Justin be with his daughter then?

"Wait!", I almost leapt to my feet, "What about Justin's daughter? Is she safe?"

"Alice found Justin's kid's address in the computer. She wiped out a lot of Justin's information, but who knows if James or his family know where Katie is. They have Florida police watching out for them now. They'll definitely be offered the witness protection deal, along with Justin."

Well, there goes the dreams about Florida. They'd probably move Justin and his family to the other side of the world, in some nothing little town like Forks. So, if I didn't join the program with them, they'd be gone, hidden in plain sight, to a place I'd never be allowed to know. I wouldn't even be able to join them later on, after Katie had some time with her Dad. I'd never be allowed to know where they went or how to reach them…ever. I'd lose him.

So much for a happily ever after.

I felt my knees shaking as I tried to think of something profound to say as he was telling me goodbye…but that's when a doctor finally came out and called, "Charlie Gomez?"

I had to rush a "Gotta go, Jazz, my father! Talk to Emmett!"

I leapt up before thinking about it and tossed Emmett his phone. Sorry, Jasper. You deserved a nicer goodbye than that.

"I'm his daughter, Selena.", I almost ran into the older doctor who was balding with a salt and pepper beard, Alice and Rosalie beside me.

"Your father just came out of surgery.", the doctor informed, a glum look on his face, "He had multiple, multiple injuries, I'm afraid. We took care of the gunshot in his leg and abdomen. It was a miracle his back wasn't broken, considering the fall he took. But his leg, the leg that was also shot, was completely shattered…everywhere. And then, trying to retrieve the bullet out of there…was impossible. Miss Gomez…we had to amputate your father's leg. It was either that or he'd have bled out. It wasn't salvageable. I'm sorry."

He must have landed on that leg when he fell. My head was spinning. Charlie lost his leg. They already cut it off! He'd be in a wheelchair! He'd need a prosthetic leg! He could never be a cop now! He would lose his job! Being a cop is everything to Charlie!

"No. Wait!", I felt so angry at the doctor suddenly, rational thought gone, "You…chopped off his leg?"

"We had no choice, Miss.", the doctor repeated, "We would've lost him. We worked all through the night, hoping we wouldn't have to do it. But five of us, finally had to agree. There really was no other way."

"But he's a COP!", I shook all over, "A police CHIEF! What is he supposed to do now?"

The doctor looked uncomfortable as Emmett was behind me now, rubbing my arms supportively, trying to calm me down.

"I'm very sorry.", the doctor said, looking down, turning and walking back down the hallway.

"Yea, fine, just WALK AWAY!", I yelled louder, getting the attention of all the people in the waiting room, "Can't fix it, then just CHOP IT OFF! Fucking incompetent-"

"Selena.", Emmett turned me away from the hallway, "Come on, let's look on the side of – your father is alive."

"You don't KNOW Charlie!", I cried, "This will kill him!"

"Come on…sit down.", Emmett sat me down gently as the girls stared down at me, looking sad for me.

"Listen, Selena.", Emmett began, "Your father is a cop. He's known all his life, that saving others…could mean he'd get hurt in the line of duty. Every cop knows that. They accept it. Losing a leg won't make Charlie less than what he is. I promise."

"This is my fault, Emmett!", I grabbed at my hair, "I made him come here, I made him help us! He'd be safe at home in Forks right now if it weren't for me!"

"Then I'd be dead now.", Emmett informed, clearing things up for me, staring right into my eyes, "Justin…would be dead now. Remember who shot Victoria's leg, just as she was about to shoot Justin in the head?"

I just cried, hating it that I couldn't regret asking my father to come here to help us. He had played major parts in this whole thing. Maybe he wasn't some Rambo type, but if it weren't for him, it's true. Emmett would definitely be dead. Justin would 90 per cent probably be dead, too. Who knows what else could've happened if Charlie hadn't been part of it all?

"It's okay.", Emmett kissed the top of my head as I hung it in my hands, "Go ahead and cry. It is fucked up."

Emmett soon took me outside, to sit in the nice morning breeze while I bawled.

It did feel much nicer than being in that awful waiting room, everyone staring at me, whispering about me.

I began to see just how nice it was to be comforted and cared for by Emmett and for a second, I wondered if Emmett thought I was a big a pain in the ass as Justin probably had been for him the last few years. I knew he didn't mind but I also promised myself I'd find a way to repay him for all he'd done, not just for me…but for Justin. He is this big, scary looking guy at first. But then, when he touches you, he's a giant teddy bear. I was so grateful for Emmett today.

Or maybe he was trying to thank Charlie for saving his life by taking care of me.

Either way, it was very sweet. But I hated it that I would rather have Justin here, holding me, kissing me…whispering supportive things into my ear. I also knew he would be very upset hearing about my Dad, and would probably do just what I did…blame himself. At that point, I'd have to bring Emmett in to give him the same speech I got.

I liked it best when he didn't say anything. He didn't fill up the void by talking and giving me all kinds of cute little platitudes. He just let me cry. I pictured Justin…naked and crying while Emmett just sat there at his side, letting him do it, not letting him do it alone.

Finally, at about noontime, I found myself brave enough to come back to the waiting room. I told my friends to go home and get some sleep. They were still in their little dresses, in their bare stocking feet because they'd kicked off their high heeled shoes hours ago. They went, only when I said I needed a comfortable pair of jeans and a t-shirt, socks and sneakers. They promised to be back in about an hour.

Emmett stayed with me, getting me to venture downstairs into the cafeteria. It was only then that I thought maybe I should call his parents…or maybe Joseph and Katherine. But did Justin want them to know? What if the police said something to them about what happened? No, Emmett and I decided. Justin could decide if he wanted someone else to come here and visit him.

I thought of calling my mother about Charlie but I decided against that, too. She was on the road with Phil, a minor league baseball player. I didn't want to call her and ask her to leave to come here and stare at Charlie, her ex husband, who barely could talk to her anymore, let alone want her seeing him with no leg. She'd be sure to ask what happened. And I didn't want to explain it to her, either. Not now.

Emmett made me take a little walk with him around the hospital, now that we had the news on both Justin and Charlie. He wanted me to take a little time away from sitting in that waiting room. We walked by the maternity ward and almost wanted to stop and run the other way.

But Emmett was so excited to be there and see the babies. That surprised me. But after he'd been so great to me, I didn't protest.

We were looking through the glass at the little clear boxes they called cribs inside. Babies names adorned each crib and every little bundle had a pink cap or blue on snugly wrapped around their tiny, soft heads.

We pointed out the cute ones to each other. Then we pointed out the strange looking ones to each other. I found myself laughing at this one, Jennifer. She wouldn't stop crying. She looked cranky and her little bottom lip kept curling out, pouting. This reminded me of Justin's lips.

"I love babies.", Emmett confessed, then glanced at me, slightly embarrassed. But I was smiling back at him, so he let that go.

I could see Emmett being great with babies. He'd make a sweet father.

"They haven't made one mistake yet.", he tilted his head as he looked at one, "They could be anything…DO anything."

Dr. Selena was back, knowing why Emmett liked the thought of a blank slate. I'm sure his life with Victoria was no picnic, either. And I wondered how many times she'd hurt him, too. I was so focused on Justin's pain, I didn't think of all the rest of theirs. I'm sure she shared her sickness with every man who worked for her.

"You're free now, too, Emmett.", I crossed my arms, looking at him with a small smile, "What are you gonna do now?"

"Well…", Emmett smiled wide, the realization dawning on him that he had a clean slate now, too, and could do anything…go anywhere.

"First I want to tell the cops everything I know.", Emmett began, "I want James to rot in his cell and I want to see him in there, even if it's for a minute. It'll be great to see him on the inside for once."

"Alright, after your duty is done, then what?", I dug a little more.

"Hmmm…" he grinned, looking at the babies again, "I never even thought about it. Weird. I know I want to work outside – I don't care what weather it is, I want to be outside. Maybe work with animals. I like farms."

"Farms?", I smiled more as we both chuckled together.

I understood him right off. After being cooped up in these dark, smoky places it made sense he'd want to be out in the open air, bundled up in the rain and snow, not minding the cold after all he'd endured. And it was nice that he wanted to care for animals. No doubt people looked less attractive to him now after all he'd seen them do than innocent animals, who never meant to hurt anyone. And liking farms…Emmett wanted to grow things, where once there was nothing. He wanted to see thins bloom and open up instead of watching people like Justin shrink inside and close themselves off. He wanted to dig in the soil, feeling clean inside at the end of the day, instead of feeling dirty all the time, inside and out.

He wanted the total opposite of what he had before.

"I've never been on a farm," Emmett shrugged, "But I think I'd like it. I don't know."

He was so adorable and shy all of a sudden. I didn't feel bad at all, here, watching the babies, like I thought I would. This was nice. I really like Emmett. I'm glad Justin had this great brother watching out for him while he lived at Fire. It just proves, even in our private hells, sometimes God sends us an angel to watch out for us.

"I think you'd be a great farmer.", I said, "You're big and strong…and you'd look wonderful in those denim overalls and straw hats."

We were both laughing. And it was wonderful.

I took his arm and leaned on it, rubbing his back now. And we watched the babies some more. I hoped Justin would be awake soon. The nurses promised to let us see him when he woke up. It shouldn't be much longer but I felt bad wishing he'd get up so he could be sore and uncomfortable and troubled by the news of Charlie. A big part of me wanted him to keep resting, to enjoy his happy place in peace.

"Come on, Selena.", Emmett put an arm around me and we were walking again, "I'll tell you the story of how Justin earned the name Thumper."



"I'm glad you're not dead."

"Gee, thanks."

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