Chapter Twenty-Three

“Excuse me, did you just say you got married?” Rose asked. There was no way her level-headed friend got married to a man she just met.

“Yes, Rose, Edward and I got married,” Bella answered.

“This is crazy, Bella,” Rose snapped. “You are here for my wedding, not yours.”

“Rose, watch your tone,” Edward said, his temper flaring. “I will not have you speaking like that to my wife.”

Bella placed her hand on Edward’s arm. When he looked down at her, she gave him a smile. “Let me handle this.”

He didn’t like it, but he would do anything to make Bella happy. “Okay,” he whispered, placing a kiss on her forehead. “Though if she gets out of hand I will handle it.”

“Thank you and I love you,” she said, then turned towards Rose. “I see we upset you, but Rose, I am happy. I love Edward and he loves me. No, we are not interfering with any of your plans for your wedding. Neither of us wanted a big wedding, so we decided just to have a small ceremony in front of a judge.”

Esme couldn’t hold it in any longer. With tears in her eyes, she rushed over, wrapping her arms around both of them. “Well, I will admit that I am a little upset that I didn’t get to plan a wedding. However, I am thrilled over the fact you two are married. Sometime after Rose and Emmett’s wedding, we will set down and plan a large reception. Do I make myself clear?” she stated, with no room for argument. 

“Yes, mom,” Edward answered.

“Bella?” Esme asked, her one eyebrow raised. “Remember, my speech from earlier today.”

Thinking for a moment about the speech, she suddenly remembered what Esme had said. Tears formed and ran down her face. “Yes, mom.”

Esme reached out and pulled Bella into a tight hug and whispered into her ear. “I am so happy to hear you call me that.”

Edward didn’t think he could have been happier, but seeing the two women he loved hugging each other sent him to a different plane of happiness. When they broke apart, he watched as they wiped their tears off each other. He turned towards Maggie and Richard, to see they too looked as if they had been crying as well. 

Carlisle cleared his throat as he fought back his own emotions. “I think we need champagne to toast Edward and Bella’s nuptials.”

“Dad, I have placed a bottle of 1959 Don Perignon in the wine cooler,” Edward instructed. He had slipped it in early this morning before the party and hoped Maggie wouldn’t find it.

“Perfect choice,” Carlisle said as he walked towards the kitchen, with Richard following. A few minutes later, the pop of the cork sounded and moments later Carlisle and Richard carried trays with champagne flutes filled with bubbly goodness. Once everyone had a glass in their hands, Carlisle walked over to stand beside Esme.

“Edward and Bella, as parents, we always hope and pray that our children find love. It is very clear to all those who look at the two of you together that you are the real deal. May your love and happiness continue to grow. Raise your glasses, to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen,” Carlisle said.

“Edward and Bella,” everyone said, even Rose.

Once everyone had taken a drink, Carlisle cleared his throat once again. “Oh, and just to let you know, my ‘grandfather clock’ is ticking, so get busy making us some grandbabies.”

Edward and Bella broke out in laughter.

“I just wish we could have been there,” Esme said.

“Oh, we have a video and pictures. Sam and Felix documented the wedding,” Edward said.

“Where did you go?” Carlisle asked, knowing there was a three-day wait in Massachusetts. 

“We went to Rhode Island,” Edward answered.

“Aro?” Carlisle asked.

“Yes.”

“Why the hell didn’t he call me and tell me? I am going to give him hell,” Carlisle growled, pulling out his phone to call his friend.

“Dad, wait, we asked him not to call you,” Bella said, not even thinking about what she just called him.

A huge smile broke out across Carlisle’s face as he put his phone back in his pocket. He loved his sons, but he often thought about what it would have been like to have a little girl. Closing the distance between them, he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. He leaned down and whispered into her ear. “I love hearing you call me Dad.”

Fighting back a sob, Bella could barely keep it together. She missed her parents terribly, yet today Esme and Carlisle had shown her the love and support she had always gotten from Charlie and Renee. There was no doubt they would have been friends with the Cullens. Just as she thought she was going to lose it, she felt the warm, loving arm of her husband wrap around her waist. She turned to her husband and felt his gaze encompass her whole being. There was no doubt Edward was the love of her life and she was so glad they began it together as husband and wife.

“Are you okay?” Edward asked, brushing a piece of hair away from her face and behind her ear.

“Yeah, I”m good. Just missing my parents and overwhelmed by the love I am feeling from your mom and dad.”

“Ours, not mine,” he stated. 

A bright pink bloom broke out across her alabaster face. “Yes, ours.”

“Everyone, dinner is ready,” Maggie called out. 

Each of the Cullen men offered their arms to the women in their lives and escorted them into the dining room. Edward sat at the head of the table with Bella to his right and his father to his left. Esme sat beside Carlisle and before Emmett could sit down beside Bella, Rose slipped into the seat. Once she sat down, she reached out and took Bella’s hand.

“I’m sorry, Bella. I am truly thrilled for you, for both of you. It’s just, well, the news caught me by surprise,” Rose said. “But I can see how much he loves you and how much you love him.”

“I do, Rose, so much.”

“For as long as I can remember, I always wanted you as a sister and now you are or will be when I say I do to this big guy,” she chuckled, nodding her head towards Emmett who was busy stuffing a roll in his mouth.

“What?” Emmett mumbled through the roll. He loved Maggie’s rolls, hell he loved everything Maggie fixed. He started contemplating ways in which he could convince her to come work for him and Rose after the wedding. 

“Nothing, dear,” Rose said, giving him a wink. 

Dinner was delicious, as always. Richard and Maggie cleared off the table as the family sat around talking about the upcoming events and Edward and Bella’s ceremony.

“Why don’t we go into the den and watch the ceremony?” Edward suggested, wanting his family to see them exchanging their vows. 

“I would love that,” Esme said.

“Great,” Edward exclaimed, and just as they were getting up from the table. Bella’s phone rang. She had put it in his pocket, not having a pocket on her dress. When she picked it up, she looked confused at the name of the screen. 

“Who is it?” Edward asked.

“Boston Police,” she answered.

“Put it on speaker,” he instructed, worried Billy might have made up a lie concerning her.

Bella pushed the speaker button. “Hello.”

“Is this Isabella Swan?” a male voice asked.

“Yes, but my name is now Isabella Cullen.”

Edward couldn’t help but smile with pride at hearing her using his name. 

“Cullen?” the man repeated.

“Yes, I am Edward Cullen’s wife.”

“Okay, Mrs. Cullen, this is Officer Tyler Miller of the Boston Police Department. I am calling to inform you that your condo has been broken into.”

“Excuse me,” Bella exclaimed.

“Your neighbor called us about a disturbance. When we arrived to investigate, we found someone had kicked your apartment front door in.”

Edward couldn’t remain silent. “Officer Miller, this is Edward Cullen, Isabella’s husband. Was there any other damage?”

“Mr. Cullen,” Officer Miller said, his voice a little shaky. He knew who Edward Cullen was and the power he held in Boston. “I hate to admit it, but there is a substantial amount of damage throughout the entire condo, but the worst damage was in the master bedroom.”

A gasp and struggling cry escaped Bella’s mouth. Edward reached out and pulled her onto his lap, wrapping his arms protectively around her. “What kind of damage?” Edward asked as he stroked his hand up and down her arm.

“The bed was stripped of its bedding and it looked like the intruder made slices over the middle section of the mattress. Also, the word ‘mine’ was spray painted on the wall behind the bed. Do you know of anyone who holds a grudge against you, Mrs. Cullen?” Officer Miller asked.

“Officer Miller, we really can’t speak about this matter over the phone. Is it possible for us to come in tomorrow with the paperwork we have and explain the problem Isabella has with a person of interest from her past?” Edward asked. He knew about the agreement between Bella and “him and he didn’t want “his” family to have cause to come after her for breaking the contract.

“What time would you like to come in?”

“How does eleven sound?” Edward asked, seeing Bella was in no shape to make decisions. This was his first big test as a husband to protect her and he would do everything in his power to ensure she was safe, both physically and mentally.

“That will be fine. We have secured the residence and will have officers patrol the area,” Officer Miller stated.

“Actually, I will have my security team come and stay at the residence. Mr. Sam Uley will be contacting you soon to make the arrangements,” Edward informed him, not giving the officer any room to protest.

“Of course, sir, here is my direct line extension,” Officer Miller replied, then rattled off his extension. He didn’t need a man like Edward Cullen upset. 

“Thank you and we will see you tomorrow,” Edward said before ending the call. When he looked up, his parents looked up at him with confused expressions, while Emmett and Rose looked concerned. He would explain everything, but first he had to make sure Bella was okay. Her small body was shaking and her eyes were darting around. “Baby, look at me.”

Bella couldn’t believe that “he” had broken into her home. What had he destroyed? All of her personal possessions were there, including the priceless items she had kept that had belonged to her parents were also in her condo. They couldn’t be replaced. Had this been what “he” talked to Billy about? 

Edward was getting worried about her when she didn’t respond to his request. “I promise to explain, but right now I need to comfort my wife.”

“Of course, son,” Carlisle said. “We will be in the den waiting.”

He placed her arms around his neck, then stood cradling her in his arms. Leaving the room, he knew where he had to take her.

She was not responding to her husband, but maybe she would respond to her Dominant. The man she solely trusted to take care of her. He rushed up the stairs and then down the hall to his playroom. Punching in the code, he opened the door, and the lights came on. Kicking the door closed, he walked to the middle of the room, where a pillow was on the floor. Placing her to her feet, he looked at her face to find she was still in shock.

“Isabella,” he said, but she didn’t look at him. “Isabella,” he called out again, but this time the tone of voice was that he used in the playroom. It was stronger, more demanding.

Bella felt as if she was in a dark abyss. He was going to get her, and this time she knew “he” wouldn’t stop until she was dead. She tried to find a way out, but all she saw or heard was “his” voice. Then she heard it. The voice of her Master, calling her name. She blinked several times and looked up to see she was in the playroom and her Master was in front of her. Without hesitating, she dropped to her knees and bowed her head. She was safe because her Master would protect her.

When he saw her drop to her knees, he knew she was coming back to him. He placed his hand under her chin and raised her face to him. “What do you need, my pet? Tell me.”

What did she need? She needed to give herself completely to her Master, allowing him to control her body. “You, Master.”

“Stand and strip,” he commanded.

Bella stood and removed her dress, bra, and finally her panties. People who weren’t in this type of relationship would feel vulnerable at this, however, she felt confident. This was why she loved being a submissive. A true Dominant made their submissive feel strong, not weak. 

Edward walked around her, inspecting every glorious inch of her body. He began tracing her curves, which he loved so much, softly with his fingers. He loved everything about her body, the feel, the taste, the smell.

He couldn’t wait any longer. He had to be inside her. “Go to the bed, lie on your back, and don’t close your eyes.”

Bella moved over to the large four-poster bed, covered in red satin sheets, climbed upon it and laid down in the middle of the bed. The cool, slick satin material rubbed against her naked skin and she couldn’t help let out a slow, drawn-out sigh.

Never taking his eyes off her, Edward watched as she followed his commands without hesitation. He knew she was still on edge and he needed to bring her back to him. Stripping off his clothes, he walked over to the edge of the bed and admired his submissive. God, how he loved this woman. There was no doubt she had been made just for him and he would protect her with his very life. Climbing onto the bed and over top of her glorious, sexy body, he braced himself on his forearms. He looked deep into her brown eyes. “Isabella, who owns this body?”

“You, Master,” she said with hesitation. 

“Who owns your heart?”

“You, Master.”

“Who do you trust to keep you safe?”

A large lump formed in her throat as her emotional dam cracked. She had put up the wall when she heard what “he” had done to her bed. The description which the officer had given was eerily similar to the knife scars on her chest. If she had asked how many cuts there were, she bet it would have been twenty-one. Then the word was written over her bed. The word “he” used all the time, warning her she was “his” and “his” alone. 

“Isabella, don’t make me punish you,” Edward said, his voice more authoritative. “Whom do you trust to keep you safe, Isabella?” He needed her to come back from wherever she was in her mind. Putting all his weight on his one arm, he reached up and stroked the side of her face. 

Bella blinked several times. In a voice which was only barely a whisper, she answered. “You, Master.”

“Who do you obey?” Edward asked.

“Only you, Master,” she said, strong and confident.

He couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief. Wrapping his arm under her back, he rolled them so he nestled her into his side, her head resting on his chest. His cock was hard, and he wanted to be buried deep inside of her hot pussy, but this wasn’t about sex. This was about her soaking in his warmth, his security, his love, to pull her back to him.

She raised up and looked at him, giving him a smile. He knew exactly what she needed, which was his dominance. Instead of making her feel inferior, his words and actions made her feel strong and confident. The look in his eyes was almost too much to see. Strong, unbridled love beamed out of his green orbs. “Thank you, Master,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion.

“No need to thank me, darling. I will do anything to make you feel safe.”

“I don’t know what happened to me. One second I was listening to the officer tell me what “he” had done to my condo and the next I was in this black void.”

“I think it is much like subspace. Your brain must have shut down to protect itself. Thankfully, you recognized your Dominant and came out of the trance you were in,” he said, stroking his hand up and down her naked back.

Bella laid her head back down onto his chest, listening to the calming thumping of his heart. The steady, rhythmic beat calmed her nerves.

As much as he would love to stay here, Edward knew they needed to get back to the family and tell them about “him”. “Baby, we need to get back downstairs.”

“Shit, I forgot we had company,” she exclaimed. “They must think I have lost my mind.”

Edward sat up and wrapped his arms tight around her. “No, they are worried about you and confused about the phone call. Now, let’s get dressed before I say fuck it and lock us in this room for the rest of the night.”

“Hmm, that idea has some serious merit,” she groaned.

“Don’t worry, we will be in here tomorrow,” he advised with a smirk.

She had forgotten tomorrow was Friday. With all the activities and them getting married today, it just slipped her mind. Yet now, she was getting aroused thinking about what her Master had planned for her. She watched as he slipped out of the bed and couldn’t stop looking at his fantastically toned body.

With a smirk, Edward stood in front of Bella and watched as she openly stared at his naked body. He couldn’t resist but teasing her a little bit, so he ran his hand down his chest to his abs and finally to his hard cock.

“Do you see something you like?” he asked.

“Yes, Master,” she moaned, as she licked her lips.

He leaned over and placed a quick kiss on her wet lips. “Tonight, we are going to make love in our bed and tomorrow, your Master will demand your complete submission.”

“Fuck me,” she groaned.

With a wink, Edward stood up. “Later, but now we need to get dressed and head downstairs.”

As much as she hated not having his cock buried deep inside of her, she knew they needed to talk to their family. She would not let “him” ruin this new life she was building with Edward and the Cullens.