A misconception kept them apart. A once in a lifetime experience might be enough to bring them together. Bella and Edward are about to learn some home truths about themselves and each other as they take a journey to Australia and find that things aren't always what they seem.
I know I said I wasn't sure if I would write another one but I couldn't help it. This was planned before I decided to help AnahyR bring her story ideas to life and I put it on hold. It keeps going around and around in my mind so I have chosen to just go with it and see how it pans out. I hope you enjoy.
Previous stories of mine you might be interested in:
The Heart is a Bloom: Is fame worth it? A different take on the characters of Twilight and how they met. Edward is a famous musician who has a past demon that is about to catch up with him. Unfortunately it is just as he has met the woman of his dreams.
No Choice: Edward returns to Forks to fight for a hurt and angry Bella. Not such an easy thing to do in this story. This is set after the Cullens have been away for quite a few months but before Bella makes the decision to cliff dive.
Loss to Love: Sometimes love just can't be denied - no matter how untimely it hits us. Sparks fly between Edward and Bella the very first time they meet; problem is that Bella is already committed to another. See how the two of them deal with their unspoken attraction and how a tragedy could bring them closer together or push them further apart.
Loss to Love was written on the basis of AnayhR's ideas.
I do believe we are losing it a little here, LOL. That just goes to show how addicted we are to your writing. I check every day for an update and I am saddened everytime I see nothing from you :(
If it takes this long for you to get it just the way you want it then I guess I can try and be patient, but just so you know, I'm pushing it, lol. Ah just messing with you. Hope to be reading something new soon.
Second that motion and the third and fourth and fifth and so on and so on, lol. Waiting ever so patiently-NOT! Squirming in my pants actually, hehe. Ooh, I know, how about a small preview to calm your crazed fans here? That sounds perfect. Anyone agree?
EPOV - Sight Seeing
I wasn’t playing the game anymore. My patience had officially been used to its capacity and I was no longer willing to be a part of Bella’s mind games. Her juvenile refusal to speak about this as adults and come to some kind of resolution not only annoyed the crap out of me but went way against what I knew of her personality and character. I couldn’t keep trying to work out what she was doing; it was driving me crazy and making me extremely infuriated with her. It was time for me to let go of the possibility of us ever being friends again. As she had so eloquently put it, I would get nothing from her……ever.
Why did that utterance leave me feeling so empty and dejected?
The two of us had returned to our friends and it was quickly apparent that she was going to hold to her word and be civil to me on the few occasions she had to address me at all. Everyone tried to ignore the white elephant in the room as we visited a couple of places around the Rocks and pretend that nothing untoward had happened between Bella and I at all. I was a little embarrassed that Bree and Sam had had to see our little altercation since they weren’t used to it, as the others were, but besides giving me a sympathetic look they left it as it was.
Finally the time came around for us to return to the hotel and collect our room keys so that we could get ourselves settled and maybe have some rest to counter the jetlag that was creeping up on us. Thankfully I found myself paired up with Emmett in our room which adjoined to Tyler and Sam who were also sharing. My day would have only gone from bad to worse if the expectation had have been that I share in some way with James. Poor Quil was the unfortunate guy who ended up with him and as they took their bags upstairs I hoped that Quil was not the sort who would be easily railroaded by such a cocky person as James. Jasper, Alice, Ben and Angela had manipulated their room assignments so that each couple was actually sharing which left Bella, Bree and Victoria sharing a triple. Even though I was positively livid with Bella right now I still felt sorry for her having to spend the next few days with the annoying Victoria. Luckily for her, Bree seemed to be a really nice girl and she would at least have a bit of decent conversation.
I shook my head in agitation; even when I was angry with Bella she still managed to get my concern. That was another thing that needed to stop.
“So what’s going on between you and the Swan chick?” Sam asked with curiosity as he sprawled across my bed and reached for the remote control that was lying on my bedside table. He and Tyler had finished unpacking and had come into our room to see how we were going. Emmett’s stuff was still haphazardly strewn across his own bed so it left only mine to sit on whilst we conversed.
“Nothing,” I answered bluntly and turned back to hanging shirts up in the cupboard.
“Come on. There is obviously something because there is some serious tension going on between the two of you. Is she an ex or something? That would have to be a hard situation to be in; travelling all this way and still not getting away from her.”
Emmett guffawed and I glared at his smiling face.
“They’re not exes, just two people who can’t get their act together and admit that they have a thing for one another.” Emmett stated with way too much conviction. I chose to ignore what he was saying. Emmett was one of the few people who actually knew that I had asked Bella out and that she had originally accepted. He was also one of only two who had seen how badly Bella’s rejection had hit me along with the ongoing animosity she gave me; Jasper being the other. I was hoping he wasn’t going to come out and give away my secrets to two people I didn’t know well.
Tyler gave me a quizzical look. “Why not?”
“Why not what?”
“Why can’t you admit to liking Bella? She is way beyond cool. There are quite a few guys in our course who wouldn’t mind getting closer to her but she always keeps them at a polite distance,” Tyler’s words brought about an answering frown from me. This bit of information was not sitting so well with me. I chose sarcasm to hide my feelings about that particular topic.
“Well let’s just say that there is nothing polite about the distance she keeps from me. She can’t stand me.”
“Why?” Again with the why questions. Maybe I could pretend I didn’t hear him and get onto some other subject. Something on my face must have alerted him to my reticence to respond because he expanded. “There must be a reason. Bella does not come across to me as a person who dislikes people easily. I’ve known her for the few years we’ve been training and she has never spoken ill of anyone that I know. Which begs the question why doesn’t she like you?”
Well now that was the million dollar question, wasn’t it?
“I…well……I actually have no idea,” I was embarrassed to admit it. I had racked my brains for seven months now to figure out what I could have possibly done. I went through every little interaction we had ever had and wondered at what I had said or done that could have brought about such an aggressive response from her. I came up with nothing each and every time. All I could think of was that it had to do with outside forces; maybe a girl had said something unflattering about me, maybe a guy who was interested in her made out that I was less of a person than what I actually was. Whatever it was Bella was not willing to disclose and that left me with…….nothing.
Emmett looked at me sympathetically but it was Sam who spoke. “From what was said today she seems to think you’re some kind of player. Maybe that is a huge turnoff for her.”
“Um. I guess that is a possibility even though I am not so sure where she got that idea from. The thing is that Emmett would be more likely to be a player than myself and she knows all about his little rendezvous with a variety of woman but she doesn’t seem to take that information to heart. She is as close to him as ever. I have my doubts that the possibility of me being a player would have such a passionate reaction from her”
Emmett’s proud grin spread across his face. “That is true. We all know how much I love the women and the benefits associated with being single,” A lecherous quirk to his eyebrow had me throw a nearby shoe at him which he quickly dodged. “Need to be quicker than that Cullen but seriously ………Bella probably sees you as being a player in a completely different light to me being one. She doesn’t have feelings for me,” He burst out laughing then with his own thoughts. “But I have to say she isn’t very observant if she doesn’t realise that you are the furthest thing from being a player there is. Way too uptight with the whole all women should be treated with respect and there is no time to simply go out and have fun with a girl even if she throws herself at you.”
“Do we seriously have to do this? I get that you are disappointed in my inability to take up with every girl who even glances the right way at me and I understand that I am letting you down with my determination not to be happy with anything less than the right girl but that is just the way I am Emmett.”
“The right girl being Bella of course,” Sam said with complete understanding for a guy who knew very little of me.
“Um no. Bella and I….not going to happen. I am not waiting for her to be the right one. Not at all.”
“Great. So you wouldn’t mind if I had a crack at her. She doesn’t seem to have the same issues with me as she does with you.” Sam said with a calculating look in his eyes. My head whipped up and I was pretty sure my eyes were narrowed at the audacity of him even thinking that way about Bella. I was very close to telling him to lay off of her when Emmett’s laughter rocketed around the room and he thumped Sam on the shoulder.
“Good one Sam. You had him going there but I am going to put an end to it before we have a full on brawl in this room, as entertaining as that would be,” Sam laughed along with Emmett and I watched them confusedly. Tyler seemed to be as in the dark as I was.
“Oh you should have seen your face Edward. It was priceless. You are going to have to stop pretending you don’t care about her because it is over every action when someone dares to talk about her. Sam is teasing you. He has a girlfriend back home who he quite likes, I do believe.”
“All true Edward. Sorry I couldn’t resist. Emmett is right. You have a thing for this girl and you need to work out what to do about it. I don’t know her from a bar of soap but Tyler does and he seems to think she is a decent kind of person. Emmett loves her to death and hasn’t attempted to hit on her so she must be special.” Emmett thumped him for that comment but nodded at the same time. “If she is worth it you would fight for her and make her tell you what is wrong.”
“You don’t think I’ve tried that? I’ve given up. As of today Bella can have what she wants and I’m going to stop asking. You can’t fight for something when one half of the equation is so adamant that you are a monster of sorts. I have better ways of spending my days. So if you all don’t mind I kind of feel like a teenage girl here sitting down and gossiping about feelings and the ‘she said, he said’ and I would prefer if we just let it go and act like self respecting adults again. There’s a whole new world out there and I say let’s go and explore it.”
“Done,” Stated Tyler, which I very much appreciated. Sam looked reluctant to let the conversation go but Emmett gave him a warning glance and he merely shrugged his shoulders to suggest he would go with whatever the general consensus was. Before I knew it the four of us were grabbing light jackets and heading down to the foyer to decide what we wanted to do next. I pushed Bella to the back of my head and tried to relax into a couple of hours of bonding with new friends in a new city.
How long my determination to keep Bella out of my thoughts would last, I had absolutely no idea.
A flurry of activity filled the next few days. A harbour cruise, visits to museums, a climb to the top of the Harbour Bridge, splurging at the casino and wandering the streets, pubs and restaurants of Sydney kept us all busy and made it easier to give Bella only limited attention.
Which was kind of a problem because whilst I was busy convincing myself that she didn’t mean anything to me, James was making sure she had all of his attention and even though she didn’t appear to be falling hook line and sinker for his false charms, she was still being friendly with him in a way I could only ever hope for.
Needless to say it had put me in a bad mood and I was a little short tempered in any of the interactions Bella and I did have with one another. She no longer took the bait though, as she would have before our altercation in the park. No she was holding to her word and being completely civil to me so that we didn’t make the people around us feel uncomfortable. Me, however .......I was acting like a sullen spoilt brat who didn’t get their way and she simply arched her eyebrow at me to let me know she wasn’t impressed and would then continue on as if nothing had happened.
Well at least until the Bridge Climb which was both parts awesome and disheartening, if that was even possible? All members of the group going to Windarooh were placed together to climb Sydney’s most notable bridge. The whole time we were preparing for the trip up I had to endure a close look at James attempts to seduce Bella. Every opportunity he had he would find a way to touch her or pretend that he was actually interested in her as a person and not just as a possible conquest. It didn’t help that after any mildly successful attempt he would search me out and grin at me laconically. I began to wonder if his interest in Bella was solely to get at me and if that was the case he was slowly winning the battle. Up until now all of his efforts to get one up on me had been annoying but easily brushed off because realistically they hadn’t meant too much to me. I didn’t care if he beat me in a test; it didn’t worry me if he made himself out to professors that he was the shining star within the course and that his medical observations were all his rather than an entire groups. I ignored his attempts to embarrass me in front of women and men alike whenever we were in the same vicinity. No, none of that mattered but now he had taken the unforgivable route of rubbing Bella’s dislike for me in my face and possibly harming her in the process of making out that he actually cared about her.
Everything inside me was fighting to hold back from just decking him and being done with it.
“Seems that your Bella has a fan over there, my friend.” Sam whispered conspiratorially as he stood beside me whilst we both awkwardly put on the unattractive grey overalls that all climbers must wear. I shrugged at him as if I didn’t care but his snort told me that he knew differently. “I can’t imagine that I would appreciate a man like him moving in on the woman that I cared about. I get the impression that he wouldn’t be the kind to treat her right.”
In agitation I looked across at Bree, Bella and James as they laughed at each other’s appearances in the drab suits. Sam’s words were way too close for comfort and I wanted to ignore the image of James and Bella laughing together in easy comradeship. “It’s her business who she decides to get friendly with,” My voice sounded flat even to my own ears.
Sam shook his head. “I don’t think it would be a risk I’d be willing to take. There is something seriously wrong with that guy. I guess Emmett and I can do the whole big brother thing if you’re not willing to step up to the plate and help her out.” Bella had obviously worked her magic on Sam because his protectiveness was kind of amusing after such a short time of knowing her.
“Do what you feel you need to do. If I tried, it would probably only serve to push her straight into his arms,” I admitted with a quick tug at my hair in annoyance that that was precisely what would happen if I showed Bella that her friendship with James was worrying me.
A round up call from our guide interrupted the conversation and we both moved forward to join up with everyone else for final instructions. Before too long we were chained to the rails of the bridge and making our way to the top where the views were entirely spectacular. Trying to live in the moment and not allow my negative thoughts of Bella interfere with this amazing experience I took in our surroundings with as much observation as I could. We had chosen the twilight tour because it would give us the opportunity to see Sydney in a completely different light; at the end of a day when colours took on an ethereal glow and it almost seemed like time was suspended until the darkness overtook. The choice was a perfect one. The hues that swamped the city and the harbour gave everything we could see a more enhanced appearance. It felt like we were suspended on air as we watched from above all the goings on of a city at its day’s end. I was blown away with the whole thing and as I looked at the others I could tell they were feeling the same way. Everyone was in high spirits and enjoying this time with their friends, or in Alice, Jasper, Angela and Ben’s case with their partners. The arrow of disappointment that I felt go through me at seeing Bella and James sharing their observations was quickly quenched by my desire not to ruin this moment. I determinedly gave my attention back to the views and for a brief moment conversed with the tour leader Nick about the different places we could see from so high up. He eventually moved onto other people’s questions and I was left alone to contemplate this unforgettable adventure.
“It’s breathtaking, isn’t it?” The rich and honeyed tones of her voice as she quietly asked her question made my pulse quicken immediately. The surprise I had on my face that she was even talking to me was missed by her as she had all her attention on the city below us. Bella finally looked up at me when I didn’t answer her question and our eyes met in confusion. Both of us knew this was not our standard interaction. There was no way she would normally seek me out alone to say something.......meaningful. My forehead furrowed with my attempt to work out what I should do. She was still watching me intently as if she expected me to respond regardless of how things really were between us.
“Um. Yes it is pretty much one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.”
Her exhale of breath was audible because she was standing so close to me within the steel confines of the bridge. “Me too. It is one of those things you want to file away forever in your memories and always have to look back on.”
And you wanted to share that with me? What are you doing Bella?
“I would have thought I would have been the last person you would want to have taint those memories,” I said despondently, completely unsure of what had made her approach me. When she lifted her head once more for my perusal of her face, sadness was etched there and all I wanted to do was pull her to me and tell her that it would all be okay; that whatever she had against me could be sorted out; that she didn’t have to have this whole ice princess front with me.
“I don’t know,” She whispered uncertainly. “Just for this moment can we pretend that we are friends? This.....” she waved to take in the vista before us “...this deserves to be shared with.......” A slight shake of her head. “......never mind......I have no idea what I was even thinking.” She went to unclip the chain that linked us to the bridge so that no one would fall whilst moving around but I put my hand over hers to stop her completing that action.
“Don’t go.” She halted and stared at the place where our two hands were suddenly connected. Her reaction made me briefly wonder if she could feel that flash of feeling that crawled along the inside of my hand where we were touching. I slowly let out the breath of panic I had when I thought she was going to leave. “You know that as far as I am concerned we are friends. You’re the one who has the problem with me Bella, remember?” Before she could speak and allow the anger to overcome us once more I rushed to counteract the accusation. “Let’s forget it for this moment okay. Let’s agree to disagree once we get off this bridge but for right now let’s just enjoy what’s in front of us.”
With a nod of her head she silently agreed to my suggestion, before stepping back to the spot where our arms grazed one anothers as we went back to taking in the atmosphere of twilight moving into night. All around us lights began to flick on and not a word was spoken as we watched the changes with a quiet sense of awe. The city was truly beautiful but it was the girl next to me that made this experience all the more satisfying. I was totally aware of every little movement she made, the feel of her arm warm against my own, the manner in which her breathing was just that little bit accelerated even though her face showed onIy calm. My resolution not to let her affect me had been broken already. I knew it was a long shot but she had finally reached out to me and if I could only somehow make her see that this was how things could be between us, maybe she would forgive me for whatever she felt I had done to her.
All too soon Nick was letting us know it was time to go back down and the quiet reflection Bella and I had shared together came to an abrupt end. Bella turned without a word but a small nod of acknowledgement and headed over to Alice and Angela so that she could walk down with them. I didn’t miss the curious looks they were casting my way but Emmett drew my attention away from them with a jingle of the chain I was attached with.
“So you owe me big time big fella.” His constant smirk was there again. He didn’t even wait for me to ask why before the explanation fell out of his mouth. “....because if it hadn’t been for me your little ‘moment’ with the fair Bella would have been ruined by James himself. He was hard to keep away, let me tell you, and it was quite apparent that Bella and your little display of sudden friendship and oneness made him a whole lot of mad. I imagine that he is going to be a lot more attentive to her from here on in, on the basis that he does not care to see you happy and beating him at something.”
I could feel a slow smile begin to take shape on my face, even though I knew that I now had to deal with James being even more dogged about Bella. “Do you know what Emmett? I think to have that moment with Bella might have just made it worth it so thank you.”
“My pleasure bro. You know I always have your back.”
The few moments of reprieve on the bridge were not duplicated and Bella remained distant and cool with me again. Every now and again I would catch a glimpse of her watching me with a puzzled look but it would quickly melt away into aloofness if she noted my own scrutiny.
As for James, Emmett had been correct in his assumptions that James would become even more attentive and he was almost always by Bella’s side. Bella did not seem to have any great love for him but was her usual polite self which was not enough to get him to leave her alone if that was indeed what she even wanted. I held myself back from making it clear that I did not like his advances, in the hope that he would rethink that she meant anything to me and maybe give up on his childish games. Didn’t happen, much to my frustration and the two of them seemed to be getting closer and closer as friends.
My other problem was Victoria. Her initial overtures towards me had magnified once we arrived in Australia and even more so since the Bridge Climb we had all participated in. I was almost of the belief that James had given her the task of distracting me so that he could have a clearer run at Bella. She was constantly seeking my attention and ensuring that whenever we needed partners or small groups that she was with me. It didn’t matter how I tried to ensure that didn’t happen, she would manage to get her own way. Her touch made my skin crawl and it was hard not to grimace when she got to close to me. Emmett and Jasper found it quite amusing and did nothing to help me get her off my back. Alice was my only ally but she was often caught up with the other girls and couldn’t always be there to save me.
So it was for this reason that I found myself sitting beside, and listening to, a very self satisfied Victoria in a full bus as she rattled on and on about subjects that had no appeal to me whatsoever. I would nod at inconsistent intervals before I thought more seriously of the possibility that I might inadvertently agree with something that I would later regret. That stopped that little evasion tactic very quickly and I forced my mind to take in what she was saying even as I watched the all too close interactions of Bella and James who were sitting a couple of rows up ahead of me. The couple of hours it was going to take us to get to the Blue Mountains were not going to be a comfortable ones for me.
On arriving at the first stop of our Blue Mountain tour, the Three Sisters, I let out a sigh of relief; for both the possibility of getting away from Victoria and her constant touching and also for stretching my legs after being so cramped up for so long. The whole lot of us meandered down to the lookout so that we could see the unusual rock formations that made up what was locally known as The Three Sisters. I ensured that I was with Sam and Emmett the whole time so that I wouldn’t have to deal with Victoria. She seemed to get the message for once and went to spend time with some other poor, unsuspecting person. It gave me the opportunity to really listen to the Aboriginal Legend of the Three Sisters. Of course it revolved around a romance gone wrong ( or in this case three romances gone wrong) and how the Elder of the local indigenous tribe had turned the three sisters into rock to help protect them. Unfortunately the Elder was killed in battle and the three sisters were not able to be turned back to their human form and had to live until this day as huge rocks overlooking the Jamieson Valley. It was a popular tourist attraction and our guide let us know that for those of us who wished to do so later we could descend into the valley by using the staircase down the side of the sisters themselves. There was also the option of doing a camping expedition over night in the valley and it was something I was definitely keen to do although that would mean a more strenuous hike and it would start in a different place.
When we returned to the bus Emmett actually felt sorry for me and took his place next to me to stop Victoria from doing so. She huffily moved to another seat and I thanked Emmett under my breath. I wondered idly if someone could do the same thing for Bella so that I didn’t have to watch James so close to her but it wasn’t to be and they took their original seats. Luckily our next stop was not far and we were soon out of the bus again to be herded into the next tourist attraction, Scenic World. This was not the part of the day I was looking forward too; natural endeavours being more my forte but I did have to admit that I thought riding the steepest incline railway in the world was kind of cool and the rainforest we ended up in was very much to my liking. The fact that Bella sat between myself and Jasper and that at one stage the almost vertical drop made her close her eyes tightly and forcefully hold onto both of our knees was an added bonus. Thank god she had not been next to James for that little involuntary reaction. I laughed outright when I noticed that Jasper was copping that from both sides with Alice doing the exactly the same thing to his right knee. Unfortunately my amusement brought Bella back to what was happening and she realised she was touching her enemy so she quickly snatched her hand away as if I had burned her. I shook my head with a frown. She could never completely relax with me it seemed.
Lunch in Katoomba was preceded with a cable car ride across the valley with more panoramic views of beautiful bushland. I was beginning to enjoy myself immensely alongside of my friends and was becoming excited about the prospect of camping out overnight in one of the campgrounds that were scattered amongst the bush we had been looking at all day.
“You guys are camping tonight, right?” I asked Emmett, Jasper and Sam who were currently scoffing down food like it was our last meal. Emmett nodded enthusiastically without even attempting to talk through the mouth full of food he had but I was disappointed to hear that Jasper wasn’t intending on joining us because of Alice.
“She’s coming down with something; probably just a cold but the temperature out there during the night isn’t going to be too conducive to her getting rid of it before we head up to Windorah to work. We’re going to stay in the motel for the night.” Jasper’s explanation couldn’t be faulted so I only responded with a ‘fair enough’ and looked at Sam to find out what he was intending on doing.
“I am definitely up for it although Jasper is right; the weather is going to be ridiculously cold during the night so we’ll need to make sure we have some thermals happening. I don’t want to just look at the bush from the top…I want to get down there in amongst it.”
My thoughts exactly. I loved the outdoors and wanted to do the regular hiking gig and sit around a fire tonight with the sound of nature surrounding me. I wasn’t sure how many people would be joining us but I wasn’t going to forgo it for anything.
“You talking about the camping tonight guys?” Angela came forth with a number of the rest of our group. “Ben and I are in for sure.”
“No can do for me,” Alice said through a sniffle but turned to Jasper quickly to let him know that he didn’t have to hang around with her if he wanted to go camping with the rest of us.
“As if that is going to happen Ali. You know I will be right by your side. There’s no way I would leave you alone when you are feeling sick,” Alice gave him a relieved smile that told me that even though she would have happily let him go off with his friends that she would appreciate his company tonight.
James spoke up and I hoped against hope that he was going to say he wasn’t coming with us. His questioning of Bella made me realise that he was going to do whatever she chose and I had to reconsider that I would prefer them both to be with us where I could keep an eye and them, rather than them being alone to entertain themselves for the night.
“What about you Bella. Are you a camping girl? Are you going camping tonight?” Bella looked between all of us with an uncertain expression. Suddenly her eyes centred on Emmett and I.
“Are you two going?” She questioned quietly and I noticed her eyes flicked a little towards James before they came directly back to us. I answered with a simple nod but Emmett had finished eating so he gave her a verbal affirmative that seemed to relax her. “Then sure. I will go camping. It should be a bit of fun and we’re here to experience all things Australian.”
Emmett flung his arm around her shoulder and she relaxed into him almost with relief. “A whole lot of fun Bella B. We will be right there with you.”
“She will need that Emmett. We all know how clumsy Bell can be,” Alice said lightly so that Bella knew she was not meaning any great disrespect. “I’m surprised that you want to go Bella.” If I wasn’t so attuned to Bella at all times I probably would have missed the meaningful glance she sent James way and the answering tilt of Alice’s head in recognition. What did that mean? Was Bella trying to find a way to get closer to James or away from him? If it was the latter she was going to be poorly disappointed because James frowned a little at the close proximity between Emmett and Bella but quickly shook it off and then let us know that he would be attending as well. Unfortunately Victoria took that as her cue to give her affirmation that she would be hiking and camping with us too and my eyes closed against the visual of her trying something on me whilst we were in unlockable tents. It sounded kind of presumptuous of me but the fact was I wouldn’t put anything past Victoria in trying to get what she wanted and for whatever reason, right now that was me.
The afternoon passed with arrangements being made for those of us who were taking the overnight trip. Besides Emmett, Sam, Bella, James, Angela, Victoria, Tyler and Ben, a few of the people from the other group had decided to come with us and the rest of our tourists were set up in motels and shown what other things they could do within the Blue Mountains until we saw them again the following afternoon. Emmett and I were keen hikers so we carefully monitored what the tour guide gave us and assured him that we would be able to read his map to get us to the Ruined Castle Campground and the surrounding lookouts that we were interested in. After reiterating how cold the night would be, the many safety issues that were important in our walk and observing that we would all have to carry our own water and equipment the guide dropped us off at the Golden Stairs with a cheery farewell and a demand for us all to be sensible and careful. We all assured him that we would be and set off down the steep stairway to begin the first part of our bushwalk.
The journey to the campground marked on our map would take us about 3 hours at a fairly moderate pace. Besides Victoria, who was constantly whinging about anything she possibly could, everyone appeared to be enjoying being in amongst the bush and looking at the flora and fauna of a different country. Tyler had been studying a little about the native plants and birds that might be found in our travels so he was able to often identify things that the rest of us really didn’t know about. Although Bella’s clumsiness was on the odd occasion very evident she never once slowed her pace or whined about the long walk or minor scratches she was inflicted with. She seemed as happy as the rest of us and I loved hearing her quiet chuckles or the lilt of her voice as she exclaimed over something new. Overall the walk was quite pleasant if I simply ignored Victoria’s constant entreaties for someone to take her backpack, or her complaints about sore feet and the lack of anything to see. I found it entertaining to note that everyone else was ignoring her along with me until I finally got so annoyed that I grabbed her bag and added it to my own load with a grimace.
“Anything is better than listening to that noise,” I whispered to Emmett when he gave me a look of surprised disapproval as Victoria simpered about what a gentleman I was. “Besides my mother would be mortified if she thought I wouldn’t help a woman when she needed it, no matter what my feelings were for the said girl.”
With a mounting sense of pride I observed that both Bella and Angela never relinquished their own bags for someone else to take for them, even when one of the boys offered to.
“After all we knew what we were getting into when we decided to come on this walk,” Bella said a little scathingly with daggered looks at Victoria who was now walking freely without anything to encumber her and yet was still finding something to gripe about.
Victoria recognised the barb and answered in turn. “Maybe you’re just upset that I have someone who cares enough about my comfort to want to help and you don’t,”
My mouth gaped at what Victoria was alluding to and I watched as a flash of indignation crossed Bella’s face before she carefully hid it. That comment there was almost enough for me to throw Victoria’s backpack onto the ground with very little consideration. I was frozen in indecision when James brought himself into the conversation.
“I care enough to carry your backpack if you’d like me to Bella,” He drawled and stepped towards her as if he would take it off her back. She stepped backwards away from him and answered with a whole lot of attitude, which for once was not directed at me.
“Um, no. I am more than capable of looking after myself thanks. I don’t need a guy to carry my things for me.” With a last withering look in James direction and then a look of reproach towards me she pushed past us all and continued on down the track, falling into step with Tyler who had not been aware of what had just taken place. Emmett and I watched her straightened back and determined stride and I could tell that Emmett was as proud of her as I was; either of us would have helped her in a heartbeat if it is what she needed but we loved her independence and her strength so her putting both Victoria and James in their place made us more than a little happy. James stared at Bella’s retreating back with a touch of malice that made me feel very uncomfortable. He was not used to women telling him how it was and wouldn’t have appreciated her rejection of his help in such a public way. Victoria’s hatred was not well hidden at all and the shackles went up as I began to worry about what the two of them could do to make things difficult for Bella on this trip. It was obvious to me that James and Victoria had some kind of strange relationship going on and that their attempts to befriend both Bella and I had a hidden agenda. With those thoughts racing around in my head we all followed Bella’s lead and continued walking but when I found Victoria by my side I couldn’t help but put her in her place for what she had said to Bella.
“Just for the record Victoria, I am only carrying your things because I couldn’t stand listening to your complaints any longer. Caring had nothing to do with it.” Not very gentlemanly of me but I had a strong urge to reinforce what I really thought. “When it comes to my friends, I will always put them first. Always. If Bella needed me I wouldn’t even have to think twice about it; her bags would be on my shoulder before I even considered yours. Luckily for you, Bella is strong enough to handle things on her own. Have I made my message clear enough?”
Victoria reddened and then scoffed at my words. “You two aren’t friends. You can’t stand being anywhere near one another and all she does is ignore you when you are. I wouldn’t do that to you Eddie. Leave Bella to James and think more about what I could do for you.”
“Well that just goes to show how much you know about me Victoria because as far as I am concerned Bella and I are most definitely friends. Appearances can be deceiving. I have no wish to fall into whatever plan you and James have concocted,” I saw her stance suddenly change and worry was very much evident in her face. Aha I hadn’t been wrong in my assumptions that James was putting her up to something. “Report that back to James if you wish but understand I will not allow either of you to hurt her.” With a curt nod I lengthened my stride so that I could walk with Emmett and Sam and put Victoria behind me.
I was beginning to think that I was going to need reinforcements in ensuring that James and Victoria did not make Bella’s time in Australia a misery and since Bella would not appreciate my assistance in any shape or form, I was going to have to rely on Emmett to be the one who came to her aide when it was needed...........
.........which I very much believed it would be.
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle
Now I'm beginning to like Bella, but I was going nuts trying to figure out her change of heart though it was little, it was still evident. I really wish she would just come out with what he did wrong, but a story isn't a story at all unless it has its mystery and the unknown answers that we all crave, so I will sit tight and try my hardest not to bug you, but I must say that with each chapter, it is proving to be difficult to restrain myself from doing so, lol.
Once again, your writing is superb and I am officially addicted to the writer and the story. I cannot wait for more of course. I know everyone wants to know what he has done to make her so repelled by him, but keep to your plot and we will all find out soon enough. No reason to change it to please our hungry minds for instant answers. Although I would love it, I would rather get them at a steady pace and not quick.
Be advised that I will take every precaution to not go nuts and pull my hair out while waiting for another chapter, lol. You have no idea how this crazy dancing fool looked like when I saw another chapter added.
Great Story Michelle
Until the next chapter...chow.
Bella's change of heart was not voluntary and she will be musing on that at a later date so you will get an idea of what she was thinking when she approached Edward. I love that you are so interested in what happened to make her go against him and you are right - a story is not a story without at least a little biit of mystery in it. Don't worry it will come out eventually.
Your comments really do make me smile with their enthusiasm for this story. I love them!!!!! Thanks for all the lovely things you have written about my writing - it makes me feel better when I look at the way I write and think it isn't good enough - at least I know some people are getting enjoyment out of it.
Thanks for reading! Bella and Edward did have a moment and it went right against what we expected of them. James and Victoria do have a plan to keep the two of them apart for very different reasons but I am sure Edward won't let that happen. The camping trip will be interesting and let's just say that Edward is going to lose it big time with James. Hope to post soon.
Hope all is well with you! Thanks for thinking it was interesting. I hadn't thought of Victoria being bitten by a snake but it has credit :) Do you know what there are apparently a lot of poisonous snakes here but I think you need to be pretty unlucky to run into one. I almost stepped on a snake once on my grandfathers farm but we were miles from anywhere and the snake was just as frightened of me as I was of him. My little boy went on an excursion last week and his teacher just gave me a photo of him holding a snake around his shoulders - obviously not a poisonous one or I would be worried about what the teachers were doing to my child :)
Your idea about Bella, Jessica and James could be close to it????????
Thanks again for your support.
Im getting really excited! i loved their little moment! sooo cute:) anyways thanks again for keeping this going! it means so much to all of us!
<3 always, Morgan
Glad you are getting excited! There will be little moments thrown in all over the place I think because deep down they can't help themselves :) I will most definitely finish the story, don't worry about that because I can't stand it when stories are started and not finished and we as the readers are left up in the air. I have to admit that I am getting sick of writing about human Edward and Bella though - I think I want to write a vampire Edward next - that would be cool. I love him as a vampire -all untouchable and strong and......well you know what I mean.
Thanks for reading.