The black Mercedes was speeding down the interstate as Edward looked down the empty stretch of interstate 75 that they were currently driving down. They had been on the road for four solid days checking all properties from Idaho to Illinois and finding no trace or scent of any of the girls. His thoughts centered on Bella and the days with out her. Her face swam before his eyes and he was trying very hard to keep the others thoughts out as they drove towards a house that was located in Tennessee next to the Great Smoky Mountain national park. They were checking a house that Emmett and Rose had purchased for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Edward turned to look at Carlisle and he saw that his father’s usually busy mind was strangely quiet. Carlisle was looking out the cars window staring into the blackness.
“Carlisle?” Edward asked and Emmett and Jasper looked up from the laptop they were searching on in the back seat.
“I’m just…please…not right now Edward.” he then turned to look back out the window. Edward then looked at Jasper and his brother’s thoughts filled his head.
He is just blank there are no feelings right now. Jasper thought to him and Edward nodded once and he turned his eyes back onto the road.
“I spoke with the caretakers yesterday.” Emmett said as he looked up from the laptop. “They said no one had been there in a while.”
“We’ll see when we get there.” Jasper said as he continued to try to send calming thoughts out to everyone in the car it was becoming second nature to him as time passed.
“I think we’ll be there within the next hour or so.” Edward said from the driver’s seat. They all fell silent and turned to their own thoughts. The buzzing of Edward’s phone stunned them all as Edward’s instant reaction was to slam on the brakes causing the car to fishtail onto the side of the road as he practically ripped his own pants off trying to get his phone out of his pocket. As he quickly opened it he spoke one word into the phone. “Bella?”
“Oh Dad no I’m sorry it’s just me.” Nessie said as they could all hear her sorrow over the phone for accidentally causing her father pain.
“No it’s okay Ness, what can I do for you? Have you heard from your mother?” he asked as he pulled the car back onto the road and he switched his phone to speakerphone.
“I haven’t heard from her since her package arrived. But I’m sure that they are all safe. So where are you guys? We went by the house this morning, but it doesn’t look like you’ve been there in a couple of days.”
“No we’re checking houses to verify that they are empty and that we’re not just being lied to.” Jasper said and Ness laughed into the phone.
“Only your mind would go that much in-depth.” she teased as they heard Jacob laughing in the background.
“No Nessie I believe your mother currently is holding the title for the most in-depth plan. Do you have any help for us maybe.” Emmett said with one of his first big grins since this whole fiasco started crossed his face.
“No sorry, I’d call you as soon as I had any news, you guys know that.”
“We know you would Ness.” Edward said quietly.
“Grandpa?” Ness asked into the quiet
“I’m here Renesmee.” Carlisle whispered as he turned back to looking into car instead of out into the darkness.
“How are you doing?” she asked quietly.
“I’m still moving if that counts as soon as I can get back to your Grandmother I will be perfect. I still can not believe that this has happened. What is this going to do to all of us?” he asked quietly.
“I think you need to do as Grandmother said and look at what you want to keep and what you want to change about your relationships.” Ness said and you could hear the smile on her face. “Everyone knows that you all are soul mates and that this is just a new turn in life’s highway.” she teased and Emmett laughed as Jasper rolled his eyes at his brother.
“Well can you keep in touch please so if I hear anything I can get it to you quickly? Where are you again?” Nessie asked as her father then spoke up.
“We’re heading towards Emmett’s and Rose’s house in Tennessee to check it out.”
“Okay I love you all, talk to you soon I hope.” she said and the call was dropped before any of the males could reply.
“Did she just hang up on us?” Emmett asked and Jasper laughed at his stunned face.
“Yes, Em I think she did. Course any female we know is pissed at us right now.” Carlisle said from his seat in the front of the car. “And I for one do not blame them one bit.” he said as the phone rang again and Edward laughed as he said.
“There she is calling us back to let us say goodbye.” he pushed the button on the phone. “Do we get to say goodnight now Nessie?”
After a moment of silence they heard Bella’s voice ask, “Edward?” The sound of squealing tires filled the night as Edward’s body just shut down the moment he heard Bella’s voice, his foot went to the brake so quickly that Emmett and Jasper were thrown against their respective doors and the sound of shattering glass sounding as Emmett’s head went thru the glass window as Edward tried to control the car after he’d slammed on the brakes. Carlisle was breathing deeply as he closed his eyes praying the next sound to be Esme’s voice.
“Edward are you there?” her silken voice cut thru the silence as Edward finally got the car stopped on the side of the interstate.
“Bella, love, please.” he started and then found that there were no words he could get out of his mouth and he looked to Carlisle.
“Bella?” Carlisle asked and they heard the small gasp thru the phone as she heard the pain in his voice. “Bella, please is Esme there? I just need to hear her voice for a second please Bella.” he begged and they then heard a radio cut on and the phone being held up to the speaker.
“Carlisle?” they all sat back in their seats as Esme’s voice sounded on the phone. “Are you okay? Bella thought that you all wrecked.”
“No, love, Edward is a good driver. Most days.” he said as he stared at the phone. “Esme, I am so sorry I forgot what the date was. It was not intentional. Please believe me.” he pleaded thru the phone line.
“I know, but I believe that we have all fallen into a rut and we just need a little while to ourselves. It will make us appreciate each other more. Correct?”
“Yes, Esme you are right as always.” he whispered. “I love you.”
“And I love you.” Esme’s soft voice filled the air. “Boys?”
“Mom.” they all three whispered. “We love you.” Her soft laugh covered them all with its warmth and even though they were apart right now they knew that this was just part of their punishment and that soon they would all be back together.
“Is Rosie and the midget with you?” Emmett asked and they heard shrieks thru the phone. “I love you Rosie.” Emmett said with a huge smug smile as they heard a growl from Rose.
“I love you Alice.” Jasper said quietly and he knew in his heart that Alice knew his feelings.
“Okay, here is the deal. Bella will be helping you all figure out the clues to where we will meet you. I don’t know exactly where that will be yet. So the faster you figure this out the better. I’ll give you back to Bella. Do you know what today is boys?”
“Its September 13.” Carlisle said and Edward gasped.
“Happy Birthday love!” he yelled into the phone. “I love you.” Bella’s laughter filled the air and Edward closed his eyes.
“I love you too, Edward and I love you all. But my only message to you is to return to where it all started for Carlisle and Esme. I will be leaving a package there with your clues in it.” there was silence for a moment as if she had muffled the phone to her body. “And Edward don’t blow up the Mercedes, Esme likes that car still. See you guys soon. Bye.” and the phone was silent.
“The number track the number!” Jasper suddenly yelled from the back seat as he grabbed the laptop from Emmett and he started logging in to their phones accounts to track the latest calls. Edward was scrolling to his previous calls and the number was blocked, showing as unknown.
“What the hell.” Emmett said when Jasper slammed the laptop closed and tossed it back into his lap.
“It’s a prepaid phone, I can’t trace it because it’s not on. This sucks, your wife’s mischievous little mind is getting on my last nerve.” Jasper threw out his frustration to Edward and he grinned when Edward swung back with his fist and missed Jasper.
“We’ve got to get to Columbus, Ohio. NOW!” Carlisle said as he realized what Bella had been telling them. “Back to where it started where I met Esme! Go Edward as we get closer you’ll know where to go.”
“Clues finally so help for my over fried brain.” Emmett called from the back. “Are we sure that the brakes still work. And what about all this glass?” he asked as he motioned to the window. “I can fix it if we can find a piece to fit it.”
“Let’s get as far as we can before the sun is up.”
“Shoot it’s only about 300 miles from here. We can be there in a couple of hours.” Edward said as he quickly cranked the car and after a quick turn across the median of the interstate and a few more squealing tires they were off in the direction of Columbus, back to where Esme and Carlisle started their romance.