Bella was in a meeting with Marcus, his client, Jacob Black and his daughter, Nessie. She felt her cell phone vibrate on the table. Picking it up, she recognized the number and the handsome face that went along with it. I miss you ~ E. She smiled softly, running her fingers down the picture of the most handsome man. “Is that your boyfriend?” asked Nessie.
“A friend,” Bella replied. “A very good friend.” She smiled at her young client, running her fingers through her dark, chocolate hair. Turning back to the phone, she responded. I miss you, too ~ B
“Bella, are we all set for our meeting with Mrs. Black with the mediators?” Marcus asked.
“Yes, Marcus. Nessie and I discussed at length what she wanted. I told her that she had three options. The first one was to stay with her grandparents in La Push while her parents figured out what was best,” Bella said. “But, their age and disabilities are significant challenges that can’t be ignored.”
“I don’t want to go there. It smells in their house,” Nessie grumbled. “Old and nasty.”
“The second option was to stay with her mother,” Bella said. Jacob growled at that. “Nessie said no to that, too. She told me about what happens at her mother’s house and I don’t feel like it would be an appropriate placement.”
“Mommy’s boyfriend looks at me funny,” Nessie shuddered. “Like he wants to kiss me.” Nessie was seven and clearly afraid of her mother’s boyfriend. Bella did not feel comfortable sending her into that environment.
“And the third option is to stay with you, Mr. Black,” Bella explained. “That’s what Nessie wanted, but I also prepared another option if your wife raises a ruckus. Nessie could stay with a friend of mine in Forks. It’s close to your parents in La Push and near your place of employment in Port Angeles. My friend, Esme Cullen and her husband, Carlisle, are upstanding members of the community. They have a teenaged daughter that just turned sixteen. They are registered foster parents with the state and have fostered children before.”
“I want to stay with you, Daddy,” Nessie pouted. “But, Miss Bella said that if Mommy is being mean, it could be a … What’s the word?”
“Compromise,” Bella laughed. “We know that your wife is also spinning some sort of sordid tale to get Nessie back in her care. As Nessie’s lawyer, I think that this could be the best for all involved if that is thrown out there as a compromise. In regard to visitation, you can see her any time, no stipulations on when. For your wife, her boyfriend cannot come and the visitation will need to be supervised.”