Chapter 6

'We really can't make a habit of this, Alec,' or 'We have to stop doing this,' was what she would tell Alec every time he swept her into an empty room and kissed her because he really was making a habit of it and it was whenever he wasn't busy. Trouble was every time she said one of those things, or anything along the same lines, she could feel her belief in it fade a little. She always fought back initially but always eventually gave in. It was like he was a drug that she couldn't resist: his kisses were intoxicating, his presence made her instantly happy and just his touch made where ever he had tingle. She had been falling for him when they were simply talking but now that she had him in a way, it was even harder because she knew she couldn't keep it up.

She had three options that she could consider: keep her job and a relationship with Alec in secret - it was dangerous but she got the boy she thought she was falling in love with and the money that her family needed to survive but this could only be kept up until his father forced Alec to marry the princess as he meant to; the second one, quit her job and be with him exclusively - that could only happened if he confronted his father about not marrying a princess and his father agreeing (unlikely) but if it did she got him … but then her family went hungry, it was a selfish idea which was one thing that Isabella Cullen was not; the third and final option was to keep her job, and therefore help her family, but it would break her heart and make her job torture.

For a few days, she tries to push him away going with the final option but the pain was crippling and she couldn't stand the hurt look on his face when she pushed him away from her and walked away. Hurting herself she could put up with but hurting her Alec - it scared her that she already referred to him as that - was too much.

However, her love life wasn't the only one that was struggling. Mary-Alice had taken a turn for the worse and Jasper was struggling badly. She had begged the stewardess to give her a day off, that her brother needed his family but she hadn't been going to until Alec, striding by, had told her that it was fine, they didn't need much staff that day, one maid off wouldn't make a large amount of difference. The stewardess had stared at him wondering if he was ill but he only had eyes for Isabella who was sending him the most grateful and relieved look he'd ever seen.

'Jazz!' Isabella called entering the house - the Stewardess had allowed her to leave straight away. 'Are you home?'

'Izzy!' her mother's voice sounded shocked from the stairway. 'What are you doing here, you should be at work?'

'I got off,' Isabella smiled over at the woman she felt she hadn't seen in weeks.

Her mother looked exactly the same of course. Same caramel brown hair that none of her kids had inherited was tied up in a scruff ponytail, the brown eyes that both she and Jasper had were wide and sparkled happily.

'Baby, what's wrong? Esmerelle had picked up on the strained tone her voice because she couldn't help that part of her mind was on her relationship or whatever it was with Alec.

'Nothing, Mum,' she said sweetly, not wanting to worry her mother about something else.

'Don't lie to me, Baby,' he mother pulled her over to that old sofa and looked over at her in concern. 'What's going on?'

'I don't know what to do.'

'About what?'

Isabella bowed her head feeling her nose begin to tingle. She hadn't told anyone about what was happening with Alec, not even her mother, because she honestly didn't know what was happening between them.

'It's a boy,' Rosalie's voice laughed just after the sound of the door opening sounded. 'Our little Izzy has boy problems.'

'I do not!' Isabella replied quickly but her boy centred sister didn't believe it for a second.

'Tell me everything!' she beamed, bouncing to sit on Isabella's other side but her left hand caught in the light as she did so.

'Rose!' Esmerelle gasped in excitement.

'Rose, is that an engagement ring?' Isabella yelped grasping her sister's hand when she sat down, her sister beamed and looked away. 'Rose?'

'Emmett asked me to marry him,' Rosalie beamed. 'Charlie even let him in to ask Daddy.'

Esmerelle raised her eyebrows it had been a long time since her daughter had called her husband "daddy" having matured and changed it to "dad" while Isabella fought the urge to flinch at the mention of her father. Esmerelle moved to kneel in front of her daughters as her elder daughter began gushing about her boyfriend, no fiancé, and how everything had happened. She and Isabella shared a look: it wasn't often Rosalie was so passionate about something. She could have gone on for hours had Jasper not walked through the door looking so miserable that even self-centred Rosalie was willing to drop what she was talking about and rush to him with her selfless younger sister and caring mother.

Isabella threw himself into his arms, half because of his heartbroken expression and half because she had missed him so much. His arms wrapped around her as well as he bent his head down onto her shoulder.

'She collapsed and won't wake up,' he whispered into the hair that cascaded over his sister's shoulder and he felt her body stiffen before her grasp on him tightened., letting him soak her hair and dress with his tears and his body began to shake.

They pulled him to the sofa and sat down with him. He began to speak, more than he had ever told them about the Brandon's before and the more he spoke the more Isabella wished they could free Mary-Alice from her step-mother and her illness. If only they had enough money, if only her step-mother would pay it, if only the price for the treatment wasn't so high, if only someone else would help them. Alec jumped into her mind but she knew she couldn't ask him to help her, she didn't want him to think that she only let him kiss her so she could ask for his family money. Maybe if their relationship was more stable, more known, more established because she wasn't even sure what they were now, then maybe she could have asked him and the idea that maybe she was after his money wouldn't even cross his mind but that was a whole lot of maybe's.

'I wish there was something we could do,' Esmerelle sighed, stroking her younger sons' hair softly while Isabella drew circles in his back.

'Mary-Alice says we do enough,' Jasper's voice was slightly amused. 'She's not happy with me giving her money for the treatment and you for allowing it - she thinks it's too much already. If we did any more I think she'd murder me.'

A few hours later, Charlie arrived jubilantly at the house, pulling his daughter along with him with Edward following behind, his own black haired, green eyed daughter on his shoulders.

'A breakthrough!' Charlie cheered and before anyone could even speak he was rambling off the news. 'Something didn't add up so I started at the beginning, trying to see if we had missed something and by golly we had. The person who killed Royce King was defiantly a left hander!'

Esmerelle jumped up, her hands to her mouth almost in prayer, 'Carlisle's left hand got caught a factory machine when he was younger, he couldn't punch someone with it'

'Exactly, King was beaten to death, there was no way he could have done it,' Charlie agreed and Isabella, Jasper and Rosalie leaped up as well. Edward was grinning broadly with Isla and Lillian at his side, they already knew for sure.

'You did it!' Isabella threw her arms around Charlie. 'You actually did it!'

She kissed him on the cheek dramatically, laughing giddily. She could feel her family celebrating behind her as her mother came and hugged Charlie tighter than Isabella had whispering "Thank you" over and over again.

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