Warning: Mention of being drugged and uh… manhandled.
When Bella woke up, she wasn’t in her own bed. In fact, she wasn’t in her bed at all, but lying on a cold, concrete floor in a dark room in her pajamas. Her head felt like it was trying to split itself in two and something else hurt, but she couldn’t quite put her finger to it. Finger. Hand. Her right hand.
It felt as if someone stepped on it, or if her hand got caught between the door, and then someone stepped on her fingers. The pain wasn’t that bad, but Bella also felt slightly woozy so she must have been injected with some shit to numb the pain and knock her out.
Fucking Lucy. It wasn’t hard to figure out that she had knocked her out and transported Bella to wherever she was. Bella’s home had been locked before she went to bed and Lucy had been the only one there to open the door or pull shit like this. It was likely that whoever was behind all of this was paying Lucy more for her loyalty than the Michaels had done.
Unless Lucy was dead. Or taken like Bella, but betrayal was Bella’s worst case scenario. In fact, she didn’t know what happened until she’d know what happened.
All that she knew was that she was cold. Her head hurt, her hand and fingers hurt and she was in her pajamas in the dark. She smelled blood and urine. Sweat. Her hair was sticky and feeling like straw at the same time. Her throat felt raw.
Looking at her situation from the positive side, it was great that she decided not to sleep naked while Neal was out of town.
Bella sat up and took a deep breath to remain calm and become more aware of the situation she was in but was surprised that she wasn’t tied up or something, but there wasn’t anything in her immediate surroundings that would allow her to open the door that she saw now that she was sitting up and her eyes were adjusting to the darkness.
It had been a while since she was in a predicament like this. She usually kept herself out of this kind of shit and had only experienced this in her training, in her teachings, especially after her brother Grant died. She wanted to be the best at escaping, and she was, if she had her tablet on her, showing her the best exit route and to avoid cameras. Locked rooms were quite an experience that would take her a few hours to get out of, if that was possible.
It was also very likely that she was now in the custody of The Volturi, her family’s friends or even mom and dad themselves, and seeing as the Volturi were sent after her, they likely knew about Bella’s skills.
Which would also explain why they had broken every bone in her most dominant hand.
Bella slowly rose from her seated position and tried not to feel her feet as they felt as if she’d been walking around in sharp glass or millions of bricks of lego. What the hell? Regaining her balance somewhat Bella made her way over to the door where she saw a little bit of light shining through the creaks. “Hello?” Oh, she knew that she should be afraid. Or panicked. Or whatever, but she wasn’t. This was a risk that came with the territory and, up until a few days ago, she didn’t even mind dying to atone for her sins committed against the family.
And that thought was incredibly stupid. She shouldn’t have to be punished for leaving her family in search of something else, that she either was away from them or with them, but not both. The target on her back was fine. Until it wasn’t, and she handed them over to the FBI. To the Suits.
It’s not like she’d wanted to do it, it’s because she’d needed to do it. It had been a quick fix. A knee-jerk reaction for the family sending Emmett to take care of her. For making her fall into a big, fat hole she almost didn’t make it out of if it hadn’t been for Neal and the Michaels.
But still, her current predicament wasn’t something she should fear. If she’d remain calm, keep her head and kept breathing, she’d come up with an idea of how to leave this place.
Her hand was really starting to annoy her though.
Bella heard some movement at what seemed to be the other end of the space this room was in, a door opening and closing. Quickly feeling the bolts of the door, she could tell that the door opened towards her, so there was no reason to try and rush the person coming as soon as the door opened. Smart.
She heard the door in the back open and close again. And again.
Footsteps heading her way.
Knowing that she couldn’t rush the person opening the door – which was a stupid thing to think anyway, whoever had her were likely bulldozers, she slowly backed away. Her feet dragging across the floor until she felt the wall against her back. There were holes in her pajama top. She felt around her torso and realized that most of her top was gone, and that her sleeves were only barely holding on.
It explained why she was feeling cold.
Bella started to pat herself down, trying to feel how her pants were and wished that she hadn’t. Her underwear was missing and she wasn’t entirely sure if her pants were on the right way. Oh, she really wished that she hadn’t.
The footsteps came closer, occasionally she could hear other doors open. Sounded like cells. Nobody was talking, just footsteps. Something looking like a flashlight, maybe. Gunshots at the end of the hall, people started yelling. Voices she didn’t recognize. She wasn’t going to call out again. Gunshots were usually a bad thing and while she could try to fight her way out, she wasn’t faster than a bullet.
Bella remained still against the wall, her eyes on the door that she could no longer see aside from the light coming through the slits.
She could feel her heart skip a few beats when her door was kicked open and someone was shining into the room with their very bright flashlight.
“Found her!” the man made his way over to her and switched off his flashlight so he could take off his jacket for her. “Bella? My name is NCIS Special Agent Christopher LaSalle and I’m here to get you home.”
“Yes, ma’am, my boss still had a favor open for your brother,” Christopher said as he put his coat around her shoulders and lifted her into his arms. “He’s upstairs shooting people.”
“I don’t have a brother,” she let out a groan as she was lifted up. “Let go of me.”
“You don’t have a say in the matter, ma’am, I need to get you to safety.”
Bella pushed against LaSalle’s chest with her good arm and managed to roll out of his arms, grabbed LaSalle’s gun from his holster before ungraciously falling on the concrete floor. She scrambled to her feet and tried not to think about how much they hurt and how she had hurt herself by getting free of the man. She managed to take the safety off the gun and pointed it at LaSalle. “Even if I did have a brother, he’d know better than to send a cop. Who the fuck are you!”
“Christopher LaSalle, you stole my ID,” he put his hands up in a protective manner. “Woah, I’m friendly, don’t shoot.”
“I borrowed it and I returned it,” she said, not removing the gun from him. “And you could have had that information from someone. Did you torture one of my friends for that information?”
Bella startled when someone came up from behind her and swung around and nearly shot the person. “Neal?”
“Hey,” Neal smiled at her. “Why won’t you put the gun down?”
Wait a second, Neal was in Texas. She was hallucinating. Was she also hallucinating feeling like crap and cold? And her hand broken? “No. No wait… you’re in Texas. You’re not real.”
“I promise you, I’m real, but you have to put down the gun, Bells,” Neal pleaded with her, slowly coming towards her and motioning for LaSalle to stay away. “Henry and I came back as soon as Cole called. We’ve been looking for days.”
“Days? Neal, I was asleep and I just woke up, it hasn’t been days,” she bit at him, waving her gun a little. “So try again. Because right now, I’m still thinking you’re not Neal and just someone who’s playing tricks on me.”
“Okay,” Neal nodded. “I’m going to get my phone out of my pocket and I’m going to call Liam. If I weren’t myself, I wouldn’t know about Liam, would I?”
“You would. He’s quite known in our world.”
“Yes, but he can validate that it’s me. You trust him, don’t you?”
Bella nodded as she quickly looked over her shoulder to see LaSalle’s shadow leaning against the wall and then then focused back on Neal who had dialed a phone number and she could hear it through the speaker.
“Hey Liam, how are you doing?”
“Neal! I’m good lad, how are you? How’s Bella?”
“We’re good, Bella’s a bit banged up,” Neal replied as he looked at her. “Hear that? That’s Liam and he called me Neal.”
“Good to hear your voice, lass, I heard ya got yaself in a bit of trouble, was about to come to the US myself. It’s a good thing your boy found ya.”
“He’s Neal? My Neal?”
“Yes lass, you can relax now. Let them take care of you.”
“Okay, good,” she let out a breath and put the safety back on the gun before dropping it and stumbling a little. “Because I’m not feeling too hot,” she admitted and Neal was fast enough to catch her.
“Thanks, Liam, will call you later,” Neal said as he disconnected the call and lifted Bella into his arms. “You had me worried,” he whispered and planted a kiss on her forehead. It wasn’t as dark in the hallway as it was in all the cells that he and Christopher had passed, but from what he could tell was that she was in a rough shape.
“You teleported out of Texas?”
Neal let out a snort as he followed the NCIS agent through the hallway. “You were gone for a few days, sweetheart, Lucy took you to Carlisle and Esme. Took us a while to figure out where they took you, I’m sorry.”
He started to walk up the stairs with Bella in his arms. “Listen, I know you don’t like hospitals but there’s an ambulance waiting for you when we get out of the building.”
“It’s not safe.”
“It will be,” Neal assured her. “After we learned about your disappearance, we called Peter and gave him the remainder of your second list and the Michaels called in favors to track down the remaining Volturi. There will be members of Peter’s team outside your room at all times.”
“You don’t have a choice in the matter I’m afraid,” Neal replied as he navigated a small corridor. “You look like shit and it would really make me happy if you’d just go to the hospital.”
“Will you be there?”
“Of course, I’m not leaving your side ever again after what you’ve just been through.”
Bella didn’t like it, but she was really starting to feel like crap and Neal would be happy if she’d go to the hospital and have herself checked out. Maybe she’d figure out the confusion by allowing him to take her to the hospital. In a shiny ambulance. The lights were pretty. Her hand hurt. Her head hurt. Her throat was dry. She felt slightly warmer than she had felt before. And Neal smelled nice, he always smelled nice no matter what he did.
She was in the hospital under her new alias that Mingus had created for her. Emily Morgan, but she still wanted to have all of her files on her health with her, and off the hospital server. Of course, they wouldn’t give it to her, so she made a mental note of hacking the hospital when she’d be home and erasing the records from the server anyway.
Her right hand was pretty much damaged and while the doctors did the best they could do, she couldn’t help but overhear that some of the bones had shattered and cut into nerves and blood vessels. She had had surgery on her hand to remove as much fragments as possible and patch things up, but they weren’t certain she’d ever regain full functionality over her right hand and fingers.
And that hurt.
Her job was all about being able to type fast, ten finger blind, her fingers gliding over the keys of the keyboard as if her life depended on it. Her hobby also required the use and strength of both hands, without it, she’d have to do things slower. Differently.
But it was too early to tell. She had a long road of recovery ahead when it came to her hand and fingers. Bella was going to fight for it.
Bella was relieved to hear that she wasn’t sexually assaulted. They’d found some glue residue on her legs and torso and it was believed that she was being monitored while being drugged and tortured. Or maybe used to give her some shocks.
It was strange to hear the extend of all of her injuries, it was like a puzzle to hear, and also very unlike her father. He was a doctor, not someone who’d torture so much. But, then again, Bella left the family, she got Emmett killed and she talked to the FBI about her family and it resulted in everyone being arrested, except for Carlisle and Esme.
There was now a very good reason to arrest them and lock them up forever.
In some ways it was a blessing that Carlisle had drugged her so badly and often that she didn’t remember a thing of her ordeal, but it also made it a little bit difficult to come to terms with the fact that she went to sleep in one piece in her own bed and woke up hurt and confused in a completely different building.
They made her stay in the hospital for a week. A slow, agonizing week where they monitored her injuries, her vital signs and her mental state. Peter’s agents only allowed Neal to come in, but she really needed to get home so she could be there for Neal. She rarely spoke to them, unlike Neal as they were his friends, because they were still Suits, but for now, she trusted Neal’s judgment because she was feeling like crap.
Home was a better place. More entertainment.
Have her friends to talk to. Maybe talk to her brother about this, because if she had to believe Neal, her brother took her disappearance harder than anyone, and she was surprised by that, seeing as Grant had made it clear that while they were related by blood, they weren’t siblings. She was also lead to believe that there was more to the story but Neal wouldn’t tell her, so Bella hoped that Grant would.
And she was tired of hospital food.
To be fair, she was a terrible patient and she was released from the hospital only after signing a mountain of paperwork that she was aware that she shouldn’t have left the hospital and that if anything would go wrong, the hospital wasn’t liable.
She just wanted to go home.
“You know Peter’s only agreeing to let you go home because your home is a fortress, right?” Neal said as he helped Bella get dressed into her own clothes. “There will be agents in front of the house.”
Well shit, the Suits knew where she lived now. “There’s no need.”
“I knew you were going to say that,” Neal laughed, shaking his head. “But the thing is, until everyone’s put away safely, until all the trials are over and the FBI is sure that you’re going to be safe, we’re going to have to deal with them. It’s that, or WITSEC.”
Bella scrunched her nose. No, she wasn’t going to have that happen. Not again, not willingly.
“Thought so. So, you’re just going to have to deal with it. Nick and Cole agree with having the FBI outside your house and in the Quarter to make sure you’re safe, seeing as their own supposedly security team has proven to be corruptible and have been let go.”
“I liked Nathan.”
“He feels so much guilt towards what happened to you. Lucy was his girlfriend and he didn’t see it coming,” Neal said as he helped her with her shoes. “But he agrees that his team shouldn’t look after you anymore. Not that he thinks anyone else is compromised but he can’t guarantee it.”
“Well that’s stupid,” Bella sighed as she nearly hit Neal in the head with her cast as she moved. “Whoops.”
“Careful,” he replied playfully as he helped her to get off the bed. “Ready to go home?”
“Yes please! I can’t wait to wash the hospital stink off of me.”
She happily took a bath and kept her cast dry with some plastic wrap, into her comfortable clothes and Neal made her settle on the bed, which she didn’t mind at all. Her home was nice and warm, her bed was comfortable and, better yet, Neal was with her. In bed. “Is it wrong that I’m feeling guilty for being in bed while I just got out of the hospital?”
“No,” Neal shook his head. “You’re right where you belong and if you feel you’re up for visitors, then you’re up for visitors.”
“Tomorrow’s fine,” he agreed as he kissed the top of her head. “Or the day after, or the day after that… you need to take your time to heal.”
“I know, but that’s also what makes me feel guilty. The only things that need healing are my hands and my body. I-I admit that my brain has slowed down significantly too so maybe that’s also something that Carlisle broke but I feel fine otherwise, I don’t feel that I earned it.”
“But you did. You don’t need to be on high alert anymore. Everything’s being taken care of. We were doing things your way, and when you disappeared, Henry and I made the decision to hand everything over to the FBI before anyone else would get hurt. What’s important is that you’re still alive and back with us,” he gently squeezed her shoulder. “And allow me to take care of you.”
“I helped you in and out of your clothes today,” he ran his finger up and down her arm. “And I’m going to make one of your favorite meals later. But other than that… we’re going to keep things simple. We could watch some mind numbing television, I mean… the hospital didn’t have Netflix, but there’s only so much daytime soap opera one can handle.”
Bella chuckled. “Netflix sounds great.”