Bella Ramora, a common southern girl, claims to be the daughter of billionaire wife, Esme Cullen, wife of Carlisle Cullen, oil tycoon and president of C.E., Cullen Enterprise. Carlisle and Esme already have four kids: Edward(19), Emmett(15), Rosalie(17), and Alice(14). Rosalie is the same age as Bella, which causes the Cullen family to doubt Bella's claims. Will deep, dark family secrets unravel to bring light to Bella's claims or will she be cast out of her new life of privilege when family secrets reach the surface.
Chapter 8 Part 1 Half Truths
The next morning, when I woke, I couldn't stop thinking about Edward. I knew that something was very wrong with him. And, with what Carolitta had said to me in confidence, I also knew that the Cullens were hiding something, something that had to do with their son, Edward.
I got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. Alice, Rosalie, Lucie, Esme, and Carolitta were present.
"Where's Edward?" I asked, immediately. They all just stared at me. Carolitta glared at me with fear and caution. She shook her head at me. "What's the big deal?" I asked everyone.
"He's not a morning person," Rosalie said, as she hand fed Lucie. Their reactions scared me. I thought to never speak of him again while he wasn't present.
"Bella, May Carlisle and I have a word with you, in confidence, in his office, this morning?" Esme asked me. Her voice was monotoned and even. She looked totally serious and it made me feel like I had done something wrong.
"Sure," I replied. "What about?"
"Just follow me, dear."
Alice and Rosalie looked curious, but they didn't follow us. Esme and I walked into Carlisle's office and Esme closed and locked the door. Carlisle was dressed in a dark blue suit. He was sitting behind his desk, holding a white envelope up in his hand. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest. The Results.
"We have something for you, Miss Ramora," said Carlisle. He stood up and came around the desk. He leaned on the edge of the desk and crossed his legs. I stared at the letter still in his hand. "No matter what's in this letter, we've enjoyed your company and are glad to have met you. We're sure you are a pure person at heart and we hope you can move on with your life and find whatever it is you're looking for, Miss Ramora." He sort of smiled. I didn't know what to think of him, now.
"Please, call me Bella," I said, nervously.
"Very well," Carlisle, replied. "Bella." He proceeded to open the letter.
Esme was pacing, across from us. I could tell she was very nervous, maybe more nervous than me, but she hid it well. She wanted to be as confident as Carlisle, but she had some doubt on her face. I could see it clearly. As Carlisle was reading the results of the DNA test, his expression changed from cocky to disbelief. His eyes watered, and his lips formed a deep frown.
"What is this," He asked, in a low whisper. "This is impossible."
"What is it, darling?" Esme asked, in a shaky voice, as she rushed over and snatched the results from Carlisle's hand and read them herself. She looked conflicted and guilty. Her hands were trembling.
"You did this," Carlisle said.
"I did what, darling?" Esme asked as she turned back to Carlisle.
"Don't you darling me!" Carlisle shouted. "She's your daughter, and not mine."
"What?!" I broke in. I got the results from Esme's limp hands and read them. I focused my eyes to read the numbers. Yes, it was true. High up in the nineties, I was Esme's blood daughter. But, I had very low matches when compared with Carlisle. I was not his. What does this mean?
"Honey, please just calm down," Esme said. Carlisle wasn't angry, though. He didn't seem mad. He seemed... betrayed. Sadness washed over his face and he seemed to be staring at Esme with new, stressed, distrusting eyes.
"Carly, I love you."
"Don't you lie to me!" Carlisle said. "Why does it say what it says?"
"I don't know."
"You do know, Esme! You do know," Carlisle shouted, before dropping to his knees and sobbing. I dropped down by the wall. Now, it was clear. I had been lied to. It never crossed my mind before that I would have any ill feelings toward my natural mother if I ever found her. But, now that I have finally found her. All I want to know is... why?
I tried not to be angry at Esme. I kept telling myself there must be a logical reason why she gave me away and never told anyone about me. I slumped to the floor. What was I going to do, now?
I remembered tampering with the DNA the other day, which is why I couldn't really look at either of them, directly. This was my doing, but they are both my parents. They have to be. I can feel it deep down in my being that I belong to the both of them. I couldn't cope. I stayed in a vegetative state on the floor as they fought.
Carlisle rose from the floor with Esme's help. "How could you do this to me? My wife! My own wife."
"Darling, there must be some mistake. It is impossible for me to be that girl's mother. Ask her! Lexie Ramora is her mother and that's the truth," Esme said. Then she turned on me. "Did you hear that. Bella? Lexie Ramora is your mother. Now why don't you go back to her and stop ruining our lives. Stop ruining everything I've worked for, everything I've worked so hard for to keep," she yelled. She grabbed me by my shoulder and pushed me toward the door. "Get out!"
"Stop it, Esme!" Carlisle demanded. "Stop it, before you hurt her, and we end up with a lawsuit."
"Don't you see, honey," Esme said. "This girl is trying to destroy us. She was probably sent here from hell from the devil himself!"
"Esme!" Carlisle shouted. Esme let go of me. I slipped and fell in the chair, against the wall. Carlisle's face had softened. "It's so blatantly obvious to me, now," Carlisle said with nervous laughter.
"What is?" Esme asked. "Honey, what is?"
"You have the same eyes. My God, Esme, you even walk the same!"
Esme was shaking her head. She was in denial. Carlisle became serious. "I don't want to go there with you. I don't want to fight. But, I know I will, we will both have to face our reality sooner or later, and I want to be mentally and emotionally ready for when that time comes."
"Carlisle," Esme said in a soft, hopeless voice.
"Bella can stay, until we get this whole thing sorted."
"What will we tell the children?" Esme asked.
Carlisle took a deep breath. "The truth."
Chapter 8 part 2 and 3 Half Truths
Carlisle, Esme and I stepped into the living room. Baron was there talking on his cell phone.
“Baron,” Carlisle asked. “Could you round up the children? It’s important.”
“Of course, Dr. Cullen.”
Baron gave me a snide look as he passed me and went for the stairs. He hated me, but I didn’t do anything to him.
“I need to sit down,” Carlisle said.
“I’ll get you something to drink, darling,” Esme said. I didn’t want to be alone with Carlisle while he was in such a wounded state. I didn’t know what to do or say to him. I followed Esme into the kitchen. She pulled two tall crystal glasses from the cabinets and took out a bottle of chardonnay.
“Mrs. Cullen, let me get that for you,” Carolitta intruded, reaching for the bottle in Esme’s hands. Esme pulled back from her.
“No, Carolitta, I am capable of pouring chardonnay. I am not completely helpless,” Esme’s words were rushed and panicky. Carolitta backed off, and stared wide- eyed at Esme. “May I be alone with Bella for a moment…. Please.”
“Yes ma’am, Mrs. Cullen,” Carolitta whirled around and left us alone, to my dismay. I didn’t want to be alone with Esme.
“If you’re just going to attack me again…”
“I’m sorry. I should have never put my hands on you, but you have to understand I was very shocked and confused,” she said.
“Well, so was I, but Lexie taught me to keep my cool when things get roudy, something I didn’t learn from you. My real mother.”
Esme turned around to face me. She filled the glasses to their rims with chardonnay. Then, planted her palms on the kitchen counter and watched me.
“Why?” I asked. “Why’d you do it?”
“That’s personal and it’s my business . I don’t owe you any explanations, Ms. Ramora.”
My heart sank. I was disgusted by what I was hearing from her. But, I tried to stay nice. “I keep having to tell you guys you can call me Bella, and you keep choosing to call me by… my last name. I know this must be hard for you, but it’s okay.”
Esme was backing away from me. She treated me like I was some disease brought upon her family. It made me feel like crap. I stopped. “If Carlisle isn’t my father, Esme, then who is?... I won’t leave it alone, so you might as well confess.”
It was a simple question, I was expecting her to shut down and close me off. Esme grabbed my arm and we went outside through the kitchen side door. I sat down in a cushioned chair and she sat down in the chair right next to me. The cold wind blew my hair back.
“I’m going to tell you something, something that I have buried deep inside my being and something that I expect you to bury as well, as in you will not tell anyone of this. This is… very hard for me. So, please, have patience. I was a very haughty young woman back when I first got married to Carlisle. I was a wildchild and I pretty much did whatever I wanted to do. I wasn’t thinking about anyone but myself. I was selfish and ignorant and I only cared about Esme. But, over the years I have fallen so deep in love with Carlisle and his gentleness that I cannot bare to see him hurt by something from the past, something that I caused.”
“Take a deep breath, Mom,” I said. She looked at me, hard. She didn’t like me calling her ‘Mom’.
“Anyway,” She proceeded. “I had an ongoing affair when I was a newlywed. It went on for months. His name was Clint and he was so charming and caring, just like his brother.”
“His brother?” I asked, my eyes burned into her.
“Carlisle and Clint are brothers and they were very close. Clint was showing interest in me long before I married Carlisle. But, I chose Carlisle. He never knew about me and Clint. He never suspected anything was going on between us. Carlisle only knew that he loved me and that I wanted to be with him. Clint wanted to tell Carlisle about what we were doing behind his back. He loved me, you see. And he was willing to risk a strained relationship with his brother to be with me. But I wouldn’t let him. Clint and Carlisle drifted apart anyway, but Carlisle didn’t know why his brother had become so distant. One day Clint came to me to say goodbye. He couldn’t go on like he was going. All the lies and secrecy was peeling years from his life. He couldn’t have me, and so he said goodbye to me and Carlisle and he moved to Paris. And I have grown up so much since then. My feelings have grown and matured. I love our children more than anything in this world.” Esme held my hand and squeezed it, tightly. She cried, and leaned her head on my shoulder.
“You’re saying that my real father is Clint Cullen?”
“If it’s not Carlisle, then yes, that’s what I am saying.”
“Oh Esme, then that means, Rosalie and I are… we’re..”
“No, that’s not possible. I only gave birth to one child 17 years ago on September 11.”
“Esme, that’s my birthday. Rosalie has the same birthday as me? And if I’m not Carlisle’s daughter, then neither is she.”
Esme slapped her hand over my mouth. “You will say nothing.”
I moved her hand away. “More lies?”
“No. This would hurt Rosalie and I don’t want that for her.”
“What about me? I’m your daughter, too!”
“Bella, you keep quiet. Don’t you even tell Carlisle about this conversation, about my affair, about twins, about any of it. Do you hear me. Because if you do, I will make sure your life is hell and I will make sure that you are so miserable that you’d rather be dead.”
My face went blank. “Mother, how could you say that to me?”
“I am Esme to you,” She said. “You don’t have the right to call me mother.”
“Mrs. Cullen?” Carolitta called, she peeked out the window.
“We’re coming,” Esme assured her. “Let’s go back inside.”
Carlisle’s reaction to Esme coming back into the room was understandable. He seemed to not know who she was anymore. Slowly, he began to treat her like a stranger. Lucie was left upstairs in her nursery. Alice and Rosalie sat down on the love seat. Edward was standing, leaning in the doorway, looking away from everyone. Baron poured Alice a cup of apple cider. Rosalie looked dignified with her head high and her legs crossed.
Esme sat next to Carlisle and she held his hand, but he wanted to pull away, but not infront of everyone, not while everyone was watching them.
“We have some devastating news to share with you all,” said Carlisle.
“Devastatingly good news,” Esme said, oddly cheerful. Carlisle scrutinized her. “It turns out that Bella here, is our biological child. She is your sister.”
Alice gasped, but to my surprise, she was happy about it, excited even. Edward was indifferent. Rosalie, I could feel something inside her cracking, crumbling.
She grabbed the platinum angel on her necklace. “We’re related to that piece of Southern trash?” Rosalie asked, without any feelings.
“Rosalie, I will not allow you to talk that way about Bella,” Esme said. “Why aren’t you happy? She’s your twin sister.”
It was a half truth. Rosalie and I were twin girls, yes, but we weren’t Carlisle’s twin girls. I watched him. She had made the decision to hide the truth without even consulting with him about it first. I could understand his silent suffering. I didn’t blame him for holding his glass so tightly that the crystal started to crack.
Rosalie fainted upon hearing the words ‘twin sister’. Baron and Carolitta rushed to her side. Carolitta fanned her forehead, while Baron tried to bring her back to consciousness.
“Rose! Rosalie Halley Cullen?” Esme said, her voice in a state of panic.
“It’s all right, Ma’am. The poor girl’s only fainted,” Baron said. He looked over at me and shook his head. When Rosalie finally came to, she wanted to be alone. She went up the stairs to be with her baby, Lucie.
“Not quite the reaction I was going for,” Esme joked. But, no one laughed.
“Now that that’s out of the way,” Carlisle said as he stood up. “I have work to get done. Edward, come with me.” Edward followed his father into his office.
“I need to lay down,” said Esme. Carolitta helped her off the sofa and went with her upstairs. Now, it was just me and little Alice, the Cullen’s adopted daughter and niece and cousin.
“Don’t worry. Rose ‘ill come around,” She said. How can she keep so content at a time like this. Whatever why, I was grateful that she could pull it off. I didn’t feel so alone now that I knew I had Alice on my side.
“I just wish we could have waited for Emmett to get back home before we told everybody,” I said. Alice’s face went stagnant and hard.
“What? What did I say? What’s the matter?”
“Nothing. We didn’t think you’d be here for long, so we didn’t tell you about Emmett.”
“Didn’t tell me what? What about Emmett?”
“Alice,” Carlisle said. He startled us and we both looked up at him. Edward was behind Carlisle and I could feel something was up. Edward looked scared. Alice had clammed up.
“I’m feeling tired,” I said. “I’m going to go to my room.” I got up and headed for the stairs. When I got to the top, I hid and I waited for Alice. When she came, I grabbed her and put her in my room.
“Hey, what’s wrong with ya?!” she yelled.
“Alright. I want to know what the heck is going on around here and I want to know now. You were about to tell me something about Emmett, but Carlisle and Edward came and you got scared and stopped talking. What’s going on? Are they hurting you?”
“What? No!,” she shouted. “What the hell is your problem? You find out you’re a Cullen and now suddenly you’re entitled to our business?”
“Alice, please. You guys told me Emmett was sleeping over at a friend’s house. That was three days ago. Now, where is he? I know you know.”
“Fine. But, you can’t tell anybody I told you.”
Alice started to shake. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Oh I don’t like bringing up bad memories. It hurts my heart.”
“It’s okay. You’re fine.”
“It was an accident. You see, Mom doesn’t like us walking around at night ever since Edward got hurt.”
“What happened to him?”
“We don’t really know. But, he says he was in a car accident. It was dark and he had to walk home and leave his car because it was broke. And he got attacked by the darkness.”
I pulled away. “The what?”
“Mom told us never to go outside at night. She told us that, but Edward… it wasn’t his fault he had to walk home, he had to!”
“Alice! Calm down. What are you trying to say? Did he get mugged or something and what does that have to do with Emmett.”
“Oh I can’t tell you. I promised. I promised Mom and Dad. We all did!”
“Alice, I need to know. Sometimes, I feel really scared, being in this huge mansion. And Carolitta does, too, sometimes. Do you want us to be scared?”
“They’ll take him away. They’ll come and take my brother away if I tell and then I won’t have anymore brothers.”
“Alice, please. I’m begging you.”
Alice sat down on my bed. “Take deep breaths,” I told her. I, myself, was taking deep breaths.
“Emmett’s dead and Edward killed him.”
My eyes almost fell out of their sockets. My heart raced. I did not just hear this kid say that her brother murdered her other brother.
“It wasn’t his fault. It was the darkness. It’s hard to control. And we all have to be careful,” Alice said.
“What darkness?? What do you mean?” I pleaded with her.
“I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you. If I tell you, they’ll take my brother away. They’ll take him. I can’t lose Edward, too. We can’t lose him.” Alice was rocking back and forth. She seemed out of her mind. She kept repeating herself, and it was scaring me.
“They’ll take him. They’ll take him,” she kept saying. “They’ll take him. They’ll take him.”
“WHO?!” I shouted.
Alice stopped rocking and she was quiet. She just stared at me. She had shut down. I knew I wasn’t going to get anymore answers from her, ever.
Chapter 9 Let’s Prank Bella
“Alice?” I asked in a shaky voice. Her eyes slowly looked up at me. “How did Edward kill Emmett?”
“I told you before, I can’t tell you---“
“I know, I know. If you tell, they will come and take Edward away. But, who? Who are these people you guys are trying to protect Edward from. Is it the police?”
“I can’t talk about it. You’re not from around here, so you don’t know our town and you don’t need to know anything, really. I’m going to bed. I have a long day, tomorrow. Billy is bringing back Platinum Heart.”
“That’s good news,” I probed.
“Yeah, it is good news. Now, goodnight,” she said quietly coldly. Alice hopped off the bed and left the room. She closed the door behind her. As it got darker, it got colder. I had all the blankets that I needed, so I had no reason to be walking around at night. I could hear Lucie crying loudly through the walls. My door creaked open. It was Carolitta.
“I don’t mean to bother you, Miss Ramora.”
“Call me Bella, please,” I said, as I folded up a pair of jeans.
“Miss Bella, do you have everything you need?”
“Yes, thank you, Carolitta. You’ve been a big help, even though I can do all these things, picking up after myself , on my own.”
“I’m just doing my job. Goodnight, Miss Bella. Oh, and welcome to the family.”
“Thank you.” A tear rolled down my face. I was appauled that the one and only warm reception came from the maid with the exception of Alice. Carolitta seemed more of a parent than Esme or Carlisle. I put on my pajamas and slid into bed. I slept surprisingly well. There was no tossing or turning, and no bad dreams about Edward. I got dressed and joined everyone downstairs at breakfast.
I sat down across from Lucie and her highchair. Alice sat next to me. Esme and Carolitta were in the kitchen.
“Where’s Rosalie?” I asked. Just as I said her name, she appeared, with a sippy cup for Lucie. She set the cup on Lucie’s high chair table and then sat down next to me at the table. The atmosphere was tense. Nobody made any sudden movements. Everyone knew that Rose hated me.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about what Mom and Dad revealed yesterday. And, I figure, there are much worse things in the world,” Rosalie said to me. She put her hand on my shoulder. “Bella, I want you to be my twin sister. I think we could even be best friends. Welcome to the family, Bella.”
Alice’s jaw dropped.
“Rosalie, that is very big of you. I’m proud of you, darling,” said Esme.
“Thank you, Mommy,” Rosalie responded with a big smile on her face.
“Thank you for accepting me, Rose. You don’t have to---“
“Yes, I do,” Rosalie cut me off. “We’re family now. We stick together.”
“Something’s up,” Alice said, skeptically, as she studied Rosalie.
“Shouldn’t you be out practicing your riding?” Rosalie asked Alice.
“Yeah…” Alice said, as she got up from the table. She took her empty plate into the kitchen. Esme fluffled up Alice’s short dark hair.
“Mom, no… I had it how I wanted it,” Alice complained. Carolitta took her plate and tossed into the sink.
“So, there’s this party going down, tonight,” Rosalie said. I bucked my eyes at her.
“You’re inviting me to a party?” I said, in a cool voice. I didn’t want to get ahead of myself.
“Sure. Why not, sis.”
“But, who’s going to take care of Lucie?” I asked.
“Bells, I do have a life outside of Lucie. I’m not just a dumped teenage mother, right Mom?”
“We’ll watch Lucie while you girls go out,” Esme said.
“It’s settled. Wear something hot,” Rosalie said, before she got up and left the table. I looked at Esme, shocked, and she smiled at me.
“Rose is never nice for no reason,” Alice said. Esme pinched her. “Ow!”
“Have faith in Rose. I do,” Esme said.
“I’m going out to the stables. Bella, you want to come?”
“No thanks, Alice. Maybe later?” I said. I got up and rushed upstairs to my room. I started picking through my puny wardrobe, looking for something ‘hot’ to where to the party. Maybe I was being too eager, but I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time. I laid my black and red sequined dress across the bed. It was a sleeveless short dress that was red at the top and black at the bottom with black sequins running along the him and along the oval shaped collar. I wore it at a school dance in Texas. Lexie had got a good deal on it, but I was worried that it looked too cheap.
I thought about ripping the sequins off. They started to look a little childish the longer I stared at them, but I decided to leave it alone because I might end up ruining the entire dress. In the meanwhile, I would hang out with Alice at the stables.
I wore a big blue bubble coat over a navy blue sweater. I was that cold. I stood in the horse barn with Alice as she pulled Platinum Heart out of her stall. Now seeing her for myself, I understood why Alice was so excited about her. Platimun Heart was a tall, slim horse, very fit and calm. Alice walked her infront of me. I looked into Platinum Heart’s almond shaped light brown eye, and she swished her tail.
“What a gorgeous horse,” I said, in awe.
“I told you she was nice,” Alice said. She used a chair to mount Platinum Heart. “Billy snuck her in, last night. She’s all better now.”
Alice didn’t have a bridle on the horse or anything. She wasn’t even wearing a helmet.
“Um, Alice. I know you’re happy and everything to have her back, but I think you’re forgetting something very important.”
“I didn’t forget anything. Don’t worry, I’m good at riding bareback.”
“Bareback?” I bucked my eyes in fear. She had galloped off, heading for the wide pasture with no protection at all. I ran after t hem. Maybe I had nothing to worry about. She’ll be okay, I told myself. She seemed pretty good and I started to admire her. I watched Alice ride around in big circles, gaining momentum. As the horse picked up speed, I started to worry. But, Alice was smiling.
“Alice, be careful!” I yelled out. I watched from behind the wooden fence. She ignored me. I looked off and saw Jacob walking up the narrow bare path. “Jake!” I called. He reached me and tilted his hat. We smiled at each other.
“What’s up?” He asked, still smiling.
“Nothing really. Just enjoying some fresh, freezing air,” I replied. Jacob glanced at Alice on her horse, and his smile vanished.
“Alice, what the heck are you doing!” Jacob shouted. Her horse neighed and came to a complete stop. “Don’t you know how dangerous that is? Do you want your parents to kill me?” Alice flew over Platinum Heart’s head and hit the dirt ground on her back. She winced and arched her back. She was in pain.
“Alice!” I screeched. Jake and I jumped over the fence and ran to her side. Platinum Heart moved to be by the fence. She was looking for an easy exit, but the fence was closed. She paced there, nervously.
Jacob and I got Alice off the ground.
“Ow!” she whined.
“Oh my God. Is something broken?” I asked, in a panicky voice.
“Please tell me nothing’s broken,” Jake was saying to himself.
“I’m fine. It’s your fault, Jake. You distracted me and you startled her,” Alice said. “If you hadn’t--- Ouch!” Alice bent over.
“You’re hurt!” I said.
“Let’s get you back to the main house,” Jacob said. “Bella, do me a favor and get Platinum Heart back into her stall.”
“Yeah, you. I gotta take care of Alice.”
“But, I don’t know anything about horses,” I protested.
“It’s not rocket science. Here,” He pulled a rope from his back pocket. “Use this. Lead her to the stalls and make sure you lock her in good.” I took the lead rope from Jacob’s hand. And, I stood there nervously. Alice was limping and holding her hand to her back. Jake put his arm under her shoulder, helping her stand up straight. But it seemed to do more harm than good, since she screamed out in pain. He gave up and finally picked her up off the ground.
“Jake, I don’t know about this,” I said, as I stared at the scared horse.
“I know you can do it,” He said. Then, he carried Alice off towards the main house. Now, it was just me and Platinum Heart. She was still. Her hooves were planted in the dirt. I threw the rope around her silver neck and tugged. She didn’t budge.
“Oh, please don’t do this to me,” I whined. I tugged harder. I didn’t know how to make her go. I walked to the opening in the fence and waited. “Come on, girl,” I coaxed. It was quiet. She was just being stubborn. “Come on, Platinum Heart.” Then, a little grey bucket tied to the outside of the fence caught my eye. It had carrots and apples in it. I grabbed a carrot and waved it infront of Platinum Heart’s long, silvery face. She was suddenly interested, and finally she took her first step toward me. I let her nibble on the carrot a little bit, then, I pulled it away from her. The more she walked, the more I let her bite. We found a mutual agreement. If you walk with me, I will feed you. And soon, we were back in the stables. She walked into her stall, willingly, and turned around to face me. She whinnied, wanting more carrot. I shrugged my shoulders and showed her my empty hands.
“It’s all gone. Thanks for your cooperation,” I said. I closed her stall and locked her in. Big Boy, the solid black thoroughbred, nipped my jacket and sniffed me. He smelled carrots on me. I pulled away from him and rubbed his nose. He sniffed my hand, the hand that I fed Platinum Heart carrots with, and neighed very loudly. I jumped.
“I’m all out, honestly,” I said. I pet him one last time, and headed back to the main house to check on Alice and Jake.
When I arrived, Alice was moaning. They had her on top of the kitchen table. Her boots were off, and Carolitta was administering an ice bag to her ankle. Rose and Esme were by Alice’s head and Jake was rubbing her shoulder.
“Bella, how did this happen?” Esme asked. I looked at her.
“She wasn’t wearing a helmet or a saddle or anything. She said she could ride bareback,” I said. Everyone, except Alice, looked at me, dumbfounded.
“Bareback? Are you crazy? She’s not experienced enough for that,” Rosalie fussed.
“We’re lucky her injuries are only minor,” Esme said. “How could you let her ride without a saddle?”
“Why is everyone angry at me?” I asked. “I didn’t know I was babysitting.”
“It’s not her fault” Alice said. “I wanted to ride bareback. I’m good at it. I know I am.”
“Alice, you’re laying on a table with a broken ankle and a dislocated shoulder and God know’s what else. You are not good,” Jake said.
“Bella, you’re a part of this family now. Alice is only 14 and even though she’s very brave and tough, she still needs us to lookafter her,” Esme said.
“I do not,” Alice interjected.
“Being in this family requires a responsibility to look after each other. And Alice is the youngest,” Esme said.
“I get it. She’s the baby of the family and she should be treated as such,” I said, snidely.
Rosalie was shooting me judgemental looks, but I tried to not let it bother me. Carlisle came in through the back door. He stopped and dropped his suitcase on the floor. His eyes bulged at Alice who was on the kitchen table.
“What’s going on in here?” Carlisle said.
“Alice fell off a horse,” Rosalie said. “It appears Bella doesn’t know that you’re suppose to be wearing a helmet and have your butt seated in a saddle before you take off on a big, strong horse.”
I couldn’t believe they were blaming me for something Alice did totally on her own. I started to feel embarrassed. Carolitta squeezed Alice’s foot. Alice winced.
“Better?” Carolitta asked.
“Nope. Still hurts,” Alice said, squinting.
“I’m sure she’ll be fine,” Carlisle said. I was surprised. I thought he was going to go off on me. “Everyone falls, sometimes.” Carlisle came over to the table.
“My back hurts, too, Daddy,” Alice said.
“I’ll take it from here, family.” He winked at Alice. “Doesn’t seem to be anything serious.”
“Just aches and pains, and my shoulder, I think I landed on it,” Alice said.
“We may have to call a doctor,” Carlisle said.
“You are a doctor,” Rosalie and Alice said in unison.
“I know. I was kidding,” He said.
‘I got to go,” Jake said. “ I have my other job I have to get to.” He grinned at me as he passed, and he playfully bumped into my shoulder. I laughed out loud. Everyone looked at me. Then, Jake was gone. Rosalie stared at me. I could tell she was feeling jealous.
Carlisle told Alice to stay off the horses for a while, until her whole body heals. “But, I just got my favorite horse back,” she complained.
“You should have taken that into consideration before you decided to be so reckless,” Esme fussed at her. I went upstairs. Edward’s door was open, and I wanted to peek inside.
“Edward?” I called softly. When I got no answer, I pushed the door open. “Edward?” He wasn’t in his room. I was tempted to snoop around. His room was pretty plain. The wooden floor was clean. His comforter was navy and his bedsheets were gold underneath. There was a keyboard on his desk, and a piano on the other side of the room. I stepped inside and looked at his opened spiral notebook.
I will never be normal, again. That is my reality.
I stared at the little message scribbled on the page, and tried to figure out what he was complaining about. He has a perfect life. I picked up the framed picture at the corner of the desk. It was face down. Edward and another boy were side by side in the photo. The other boy must be Emmett, the brother that Edward killed.
“What are you doing in here?”
Startled, I spun around and dropped the picture on the floor. I bent down and picked it up. It was just Rosalie, sneaking up on me, once again.
“I was just looking around,” I said.
“Invasion of privacy. Ever heard of it?” she said, rhetorically.
Shamefaced, I walked out into the hall.
“Did you want something in particular? Or someone?” she asked.
“Oh no. No.”
“I hope you’re ready for tonight. All my friends will be there.”
“Great,” I said, with zero enthusiasm.
“Let me see what you’re wearing,” she said. We went to my room and I showed her my red and black dress. I thought it looked good, but Rosalie turned her nose up at it. “Where did you get this? The 99 cent store?” She laughed. I was a little stunned.
“It’s the most decent party dress I own,” I said. “I think it looks nice.”
“Even with the red, it still looks like something you’d wear to a funeral. Bella, if you walk into tonight’s party with that on, you’re going to get laughed out,” Rose said. “I’m protecting you. Now, come on.” I followed her to her room. Rosalie had two closets. One for serious clothes: her suits and her riding outfits, boots, and helmets. The other closet was for her party clothes and casual wear. “I think you would turn heads in this one,” She pulled a strappy, silky red dress from her closet. My jaw dropped.
“It’s gorgeous,” I said.
“I know. It’s Gucci.”
“It looks like lingerie.”
‘Who cares? Try it on,” Rosalie threw the dress on my face. I tried it on in her bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror and started to cry. I looked like a cheap girl in an expensive dress. I will never pull this off. I wiped my eyes and went outside to Rosalie. She studied me, quite satisfied.
“You look hot. Now, all you need is some black heels and a little make up to pull everything together.”
“You really think I look good?”
“Bella, you look awesome. I can’t wait for tonight. I haven’t been out in a while.”
After dinner, Baron drove me and Rosalie to her friend’s house where the party was being held. We showed up in a limo. I looked like crap standing next to Rosalie, who looked like a polished movie star. Her dress was tight, dark purple and her blonde, straight hair cascaded down her back and her shoulders. She grabbed my hand.
“Don’t wait for us, Baron. We’ll get a ride home from Tasha,” Rosalie said. Baron got back in the limo and drove off. We could hear the music from outside. The sound imploded in my ears when we entered the party. The house was huge.
“Karen’s dad is a senator. So, she’s going to have a stick up her butt,” Rosalie said.
“You know the type. Stuck up, think they’re all that and a bag of dorrito’s,” Rosalie said. I acted like I understood.
“Oh yeah… I hate those kind of girls,” I said, over the loud bubblegum pop music.
“Hi, teen mom,” three girls approached us out of nowhere.
“Hi,” Rose said. “This is Bella. Remember, I told you about her over the phone.”
“Oh yeah! Welcome, Bella. I’m Karen Carter. It’s so nice to finally see you.”
“Rose is my best friend,” Karen said. “Even though she went and got herself knocked up.”
Rosalie rolled her eyes really hard. “Just because I have a baby doesn’t mean I can’t have fun.”
“Spoken like a good teen mom,” Karen said. Karen looked like the brunette version of Rosalie. “Bella, I hope you have fun. There’s food everywhere and drinks. I need to borrow Rosie here for a moment.” Karen smiled big and went off with Rosalie. I lingered by the punch bowl and wondered if it was spiked. When the tempo of the music sped up, I remembered that I don’t know how to dance.
“Hi,” someone said. I looked over my shoulder to see who had spoken to me. I looked the tall, dark stranger up and down. “I’m Miguel.” He spoke in a thick Spanish accent.
“Hi, I’m Bella,” I said. I reached out to shake his hand, but instead of shaking my hand, he spun me around. I coiled up into his arms and looked up at his handsome face.
“Nice to meet you,” He said. I giggled. He led me out on the dance floor and I tried my best to keep up with him. “You rumba?”
“Here. I show you how,” He said, placing his hands on my hips. “You sway your hips like this.” He swayed his hips and I tried to copy him. “It’s hard to rumba with this silly music,” he said. But, we kept on dancing. I felt my foot coming out of my shoe and I had to stop to adjust it. We went to the food stand and he hand- fed me dorritos dipped in chocolate.
“Aw, Bella. You are so beautiful,” he said, seriously.
We went outside and sat on the swingset. Even though, the backyard was crowded, and the pool was full of people, Miguel tried to kiss me. I felt so many eyes on me, that I became uncomfortable. As his lips moved closer, I leaned back.
“Maybe we can go somewhere more private?” I suggested.
“Sure, sure. Whatever you want, you can have,” he said.
“I’m going to go grab a soda. I’ll be right back,” I said. I got up and went inside. I saw Rose dancing happily on the dance floor. She waved at me and I waved back. I grabbed a grape drink and went back outside. The swingset was empty and I couldn’t find Miguel. I looked for him, a boy with dark short hair. Dark haired boys were everywhere, but I was able to spot him. He was wrapped around some girl and they were making out on the couch. I stood over them, not knowing what I should do or say. They finally came up for some air and saw me.
“Bella! Meet my friend, Taylore,” Miguel said. The blonde curly haired girl smiled at me and said ‘Hi’.
“You make out with all your friends?” I asked, as I tried to keep calm.
“Only the pretty ones,” Miguel said. I was tempted to pour grape soda all over the back of his sleek , black shirt. I resisted the urge.
“Enjoy the rest of your night,” I said to both of them, and walked away. I was miserable from then on. It was getting late, and I looked for Rosalie. I asked around and someone told me she had left. I tried not to panic. I asked around about a girl named Tasha, a girl I heard Rose talking to Baron about. I couldn’t find Karen anywhere, either. They had left without me.
“How could you forget about me, Rose?” I asked myself. I thought maybe Miguel could give me a ride home, but I couldn’t find him. Every time I asked for a ride home, people said they didn’t know how to get to the Cullen’s mansion. I felt something weird was going on, some inside joke that I wasn’t made known to. People were snickering at me, and they didn’t even have the decency to snicker in private where I couldn’t see. I got tired of it and finally left Karen’s house. I realized I would have to walk home, but I was too scared to do that by myself.
I sat down on the porch in complete misery. Some guy came and sat down next to me. I looked and I was surprised that it was Miguel.
“Miguel!’ I exclaimed. “I never thought I’d be happy to you, again.”
“You looked lonely,” he said.
“Well, I’m not lonely. I need a ride home. My sister left me.”
“She left you? Rose left you? Oh…”
“I overheard Rosalie telling people not to give you a ride home, and she said I should dance with you because she said you liked me.”
“What?” I said, my teeth clenched shut.
“Yeah, yeah. She said you liked me,” he smiled.
“No, no. The first part. Rose told everyone not to give me a ride?”
“So, how does she expect me to get home?”
“Maybe she wanted you to be stranded here,” Miguel said. I stood up and pulled him up.
“Please tell me you have a car or something. I’m freezing and I don’t want to go back in there because people are laughing at me, and I don’t want to walk all the way home in the dark, freezing cold.”
“It’s okay, it’s okay. Calm down. Miguel to the rescue. I give you ride,” he said. I hugged him, even though he was a jerk to me earlier. He had a nice car and we listened to Spanish songs .He knew all the words and sang along. “Selena Quintanilla- Perez. She was a legend.”
“Awesome,” I said, although I had no idea who he was talking about. It was 3:45am, when Miguel pulled up to the Cullen’s property. “Thanks for the ride,” I said, as I opened the door.
“Tell Rose to call me,” he said. I rolled my eyes. Miguel sped away in his car. I walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. Baron answered it. I walked in, embarrassed.
Baron looked confused. “I thought you and Miss Rosalie were getting a ride together.”
“I thought so, too,” I said, grouchily.
“Goodnight, Miss Bella.”
I stomped up the staircase. I was angry as hell. I banged on Rosalie’s door. When she answered it, she looked sleepy.
“Bella,” she yawned. “You made it back.”
“Why?” I asked “Why’d you do it.”
“Bella, geez. Calm down. It was a prank. Surprise!” She threw up her hands.
“It’s not funny,” I said. I knocked her hands down. “Anything could have happened to me. I could have gotten mugged or kidnapped or killed.”
“You’re fine! You’re here. You’re in one peace. Get over it,” she said. She turned her back to me. “Who was stupid enough to give you a ride home, anyway?”
Rosalie laughed. “That immigrant probably thought he was getting something in return.”
“He said call him.”
“Like hell,” Rosalie went to her bed.
“He was nice to me when everyone else and my own sister treated me like crap,” I said, with watery eyes. Rosalie rushed over to me and put her finger in my face.
“You get this through your thick little head. We are not sisters. I will never claim you,” she said, angrily. She watched the tears stream down my face and didn’t blink.
“So, all that stuff you said this morning, about accepting me, it was all a lie. One big joke,” I said. “One big mean joke.”
“You’re the only joke around here, Bella Ramora,” she emphasized my last name. Something inside me couldn’t walk away, this time. I pulled her sleeve and yanked her back towards me where I could see her face. I pulled my fist back and let it fly forward as hard as I could.
“Ouch!” Rosalie covered her face and fell on the floor. She got up and we started fighting and yelling. We ran over her lamp and it crashed to the floor. She dragged me out into the hallway, and I kicked her in the stomach. The lights came on one by one. I heard Esme screaming at us.
"Stop it! Stop it!" Esme screamed, trying to get between us, but she couldn't. We were rolling on the floor and we rolled into a wall, where Carlisle cornered us and he drug Rosalie off of me. She was reaching for me. I opened my fist and saw that I had pulled out a big chunk of her blonde hair. Baron pulled me off the floor.
“I demand to know what the heck is going on here!” Esme yelled. Alice and Carolitta looked shocked. And I noticed that Alice was leaning on a pink cane decorated with stickers.
“She punched me, Mom,” Rosalie said. “She hit me. This is your fault for letting her stay here. She’s dangerous and she obviously has some issues.”
“Issues?” I yelled. “You’re the one with the issues, Rose. I didn’t ask to be related to you!”
“Don’t you dare call me Rose. You are not my sister. You are not even my friend,” Rosalie said. Her voice was icy and her words cut me like a knife.
“… So, that’s how it’s going to be,” I said, meekly. Carlisle was holding her back. She shook him off.
“I’m going to go check on my baby,” Rosalie said. The noise Rosalie and I were making had drowned out Lucie’s crying, and I just started to hear her.
Esme put her hand on my shoulder. “What happened? Why were you fighting?”
“Ask Rosalie,” I said. I went into my room and shut the door.
Chapter 10 Jacob
The next morning, things were pretty tense. Rosalie pretty much ignored me at breakfast, and Alice didn't speak to me. I think it's because she was afraid of Rosalie. Carlisle and Esme seemed upset and a little angry. Edward wasn't at breakfast. I thought I'd stick it to the whole family by talking about Emmett. No one, except Alice, knew that I knew the truth about Emmett.
I cleared my throat. "So, when is Emmett getting back from his friend's house?" I asked. You could have heard a pen drop. That's how quiet it got. "Did I say something wrong?"
Rosalie shook her head. Alice looked scared. She was the one who told me what Edward did to Emmett. "It's been days, now. What kind of sleep over is he into?"
"Emmett will be home soon," Esme said, bringing over a platter of more waffles. It was sad. They weren't being honest, or maybe they were just in denial.
“Carlisle?” I asked. “what do you think? Will Emmett be home soon? It’s been over three days.”
Carlisle didn’t answer. He was turned away from us. He pressed his hands on the kitchen counter and seemed to be thinking really hard about something.
“Anyone?” I asked.
“Bella, please,” Esme snapped. “No more. He’ll come home when he’s ready.”
Alice, slowly, began eating again. Rosalie was staring at me really hard from the corner of her eye. I must have struck a nerve.
“I’m not hungry anymore,” I said. “I’ll be out in the stables.” I got up and Carolitta took my plate. She didn’t like that I didn’t eat all the food she made. I went and grabbed my jacket and then I headed out to the stables, alone.
The horses were growing on me. They didn’t mind me being in their presence, either. I spent the most time outside of Lady Killer’s stall, admiring his beautiful spotted coat. And Looking into his rich brown eyes. Someone had came in.
“Jacob,” I said, surprised.
“Did I scare you?” He smiled.
Jake was wearing a dirty white tee shirt, jeans ripped at the knees, and brown boots. “Good morning, Bells.”
“You’re up early.”
“So are you.”
“It’s my job,” he shrugged. “How’s Platinum Heart?”
Jacob did his rounds, giving the horses breakfast, checking their feet, and brushing their coats. I was kind of in his way, but he didn’t mind me being there looking over his shoulder. He opened Eggplant’s stall and set a water bucket in the doorway. He soaked a spunge with soap and washed down the brown horse with white splotches all over him. Eggplant was a paint horse with a light blue right eye, and a rich brown left eye. I watched Jake work from outside the stall. I stepped forward, and tripped over the soapy bucket. I held on to the stall’s door to keep from falling over. Jacob laughed. I was embarrassed that I had spilled all the water he was using.
“I am so.. sorry,” I said. Jacob helped me stand up straight.
“It’s okay. It’s just water.” He fixed my jacket, buttoning up the blue buttons. I stared at him as he did this. He was looking down the whole time. I followed Jake out to the well where he was going to get more water for the horses’ baths. I grabbed a bucket and invited myself to help.
“So why are you out here so early?” he asked. “Last time, I saw you, you didn’t seem like that much of a horse lover.”
“Rosalie and I had a fight. She’s not talking to me,” I said. We were back in the stables. I bathed Rookie Blue, a dark brown Mustang mare, while Jacob washed Heavenly Rose, a pretty tan Palomino mare.
“That sucks. What happened?” Jacob asked. Water splashed on me from his side of the room.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said. And I didn’t. It was too painful to even think about what Rose did to me last night. I realized I was acting like a victim and that’s not me. But, what Rose did really hurt. No one has ever hurt me like that before or put so much effort into making me look like a fool.
“Maybe it will help you feel better if you talk about it,” Jacob said, looking over his shoulder at me.
When we bathed all the horses, we dried them off the best we could with towels because of the cold weather, even though the Cullens had heated stalls. One of the mares, White Hot, was pregnant. White Hot was a grey American Quarter horse. She had her back to me, and she was looking out the window of her stall.
“When is she due?” I asked.
“Any day, now.”
“Yep. Look at her. She’s about to pop!” Jake said. I laughed.
“I think it’s really great what you do here,” I said.
“It’s nothing,” he said, modest.
“That’s not true. These horses would die without you, Jake. The Cullens are lucky to have someone like you around.”
“Thanks, Bells. That’s nice to hear, sometimes.”
“They don’t thank you enough?”
“Oh no, they do. Just not with words, but with a hefty check. I make a pretty good living here,” he said.
“Are you around horses, even when you go home?”
He chuckled. “Yes. I’ve been around horses all my life, ever since I came out the womb. My mom and dad raise horses, and take in unwanted ones. It takes a lot of money, something we don’t have a lot of. My parents own Black Creek Farms. It’s not much. It’s nothing like Lion Heart Farms, the Cullen’s horse farm. But, our farm isn’t used for raising race horses, like the Cullen’s. We’re more like an adoption agency. We take in horses, try to find them good homes, and keep the ones that can’t find good homes. Horses are my life.”
Jake went into the tack room and started polishing saddles. I stood in the doorway.
“Anything I can do?” I asked.
“Can you ride?”
I laughed, nervously. “I told you, already. No.”
“I can teach you.”
“Why not? Are you scared? What are you scared of? Falling off?”
“No. I’m just not a horse- riding kind of girl,” I insisted.
“No way. Anybody can ride a horse.”
“I’m not saying I can’t. I won’t.”
“I don’t know,” I cracked. “Okay. I guess I am a little scared.”
“Of falling off?”
I nodded. “I’m more afraid of breaking something fragile, like my bones.”
“You got to get over that fear, Bells. Fear gets you nowhere in life,” he said. I had a sour expression on my face. I hated what he said because it was true.
“It’s not easy for me. I wish I was more like you.”
“Don’t ever say that. Don’t ever wish you were someone else. There’s nothing wrong with you. You just got to get up on that horse.”
I shook my head. “I’m not ready.”
“Well, when you’re finally ready, I’ll be here. You know where to find me.”
“Yeah, Jake. I do.”
I stepped into the tack room and picked up a shimmery helmet cover. It was covered with hot pink rhinestones.
I noticed all the different colored ribbons hanging on the walls of the tack room, and the trophies piled up in a stack. “Those are Alice’s and Rosalie’s awards. But most of them belong to Rosalie.”
“What do they win them for?”
“Dressage,” Jake shrugged.
“They must be pretty good.”
“They are. My sister is pretty good, too. Except she does barrel- racing, and cross country. Her name’s Rachel. My other sister, Rebecca, is terrified of horses, though, kind of like you.”
“When Rebecca was ten, she felt the power of a skiddish horse’s kick. It was bad. She was in the hospital for days, but she survived. She doesn’t ride, anymore. Ever.”
Jake and I sat on the floor in the tack room and took a break. He pulled a chocolate bar from his back pocket and split it with me.
“I love chocolate,” he said.
Jacob stared at me for a moment. He reached out, suddenly, and cupped my cheek. I looked into his eyes, nervously. I tried not to look away when I heard footsteps in the stables. The horses were neighing and being disturbed. I closed my eyes and shut out all the noise. As I leaned into Jake, he leaned into me. Then, I felt his soft lips gently pressing against mine. He tugged on my jacket. Then, he started frantically undoing the buttons. I kissed him, harder. Then, I heard the sound of someone clearing their throat. Jacob and I paused, then we slowly looked up. Rosalie was standing over us, with her arms folded. She looked angry.
“Mom said I should apologize to you,” she said. We got to our feet, and I buttoned up my jacket.
“Jake and I were just,” I started to say.
“Save it,” Rosalie cut me off. “I don’t care what you do with my ex- boyfriend.”
“Rosalie,” Jacob reached out to her. She backed away from him.
“I’m sorry about last night, Bella. I’m sorry that you can’t take a joke,” Rosalie said. And with that, she turned on her heel and left the stables.
Jacob turned to me. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Jake. Don’t worry about me.”
We stood before each other, quite anxiously. He fixed my jacket. “I got to get home,” Jacob said.
He, shyly, pecked me on the cheek with a kiss. Then he left me in the tack room. I looked around at all the ribbons and trophies, and tried to picture myself winning one, one day.
I made out with Jacob, and it had me feeling all fluttery inside. My stomach was filled with butterflies and I wanted to see more of him. I thought about him as I walked back to the mansion.
Alice was in bed, nursing her twisted ankle and her other injuries she got from falling off of Platinum Heart. I wanted to tell her about my kiss with Jake. But, then I decided to keep it to myself. It felt more meaningful that way.
I went to my room and opened the door, and got a shock. My room was not how I left it. Some of my things had been thrown around. I immediately came up with Rosalie. How childish of her to come into my room and touch my stuff. I shrugged it off, and looked for Lexie’s note. It was the only thing left of her that I owned, and when I have it, it’s like she’s still here with me. Lexie was my rock.
I specifically put the note in my middle dresser, under my bourdoir. When I couldn’t feel it, I became a little frantic. I pulled the drawer out and tossed out the clothes. I went through all my pockets, but I never found the note. Then, I smelled something in the air. Smoke.
I looked into the waste basket, and there it was. Lexie’s note. Halfway burnt to a crisp. I became hot with anger. My heart sped up and I could feel my body heading into a panic attack. I picked up the waste basket and flung it across the room, with all my strength. Trash flew through the air and lightly fell on my bed.
I wondered if Rosalie had any idea of how much that note meant to me, or if she didn’t. She had to have known because she only did it to hurt me.
I banged on her room door. She made me wait a long time before she finally answered it. Rosalie opened the door. We were face to face.
“You heartless witch,” I said, with tears in my eyes.
“Oh Bella, what did I do, now?” She taunted, making her eyes wide and innocent.
“That was my mother’s note. The very last thing I had of hers.”
“No, wait. I thought Esme was your mother,” she said.
“You know what I mean,” I said. “I have done nothing to you.”
“Well, that’s not true,” she was coming at me, and I was backing away as she spoke. “You came into my home. You disrupted everything with your lies.” She laughed. “I don’t know how you did it. I don’t know how you suddenly became Mom and Dad’s long lost daughter, but I’m going to find out.” she backed me up against the wall. “You’re lucky your little note is the only thing that got torched.”
“I hate you.”
Rosalie backed away, and went into her room. She slammed the door, and then Lucie started crying. I went into the nursery and picked her up. I tried to calm her down by bouncing her up and down and walking around the room with her in my arms. “Rose is evil,” I told myself. I had better start thinking of ways to fight back, before she kills me.
Love it! Urgh, I still hate Rose though... lol
hey, Envy!! thank;D
Interesting story with many twists and turns. Rose is definitely not happy with her new sister! She definitely has some anger and jealousy issues! Please keep me updated!
thank you. i hope you will keep reading. =)
Chapter 11 Jasper
Lucie stopped crying. I continued to pat her on the back. She was going to sleep on my shoulder. I put her back in her cradle and covered her up with her soft, yellow blanket. Before I knew it, it was dark. I took a shower, and decided to go to bed. But, I couldn’t sleep because people were downstairs arguing.
I put on a robe and went to the edge of the stairs. I could hear Carlisle and Esme fighting. I slowly descended the stairs, so that I could hear better.
“You don’t have to do this,” Esme said.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Carlisle responded.
“But, we don’t know anything about her.”
“We know enough. She’s a part of this family, now, so she deserves what the other children have.”
“You really think giving Bella a trustfund at this time won’t upset Rose?” Esme said.
“Rose can get over it. I’ve never seen her act so petty,” Carlisle said. “I did not raise her that way.”
I crouched on the bottom of the staircase. Esme had backed into view. She was holding a glass of wine to her chest. Tears were falling down her face.
“Darling, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“Why not, Esme? Is there something I should know? Is there more you’re keeping from me? Because I don’t know you, anymore. And why would you want to deny your own daughter what’s rightfully hers? You’re right. We don’t have to give Bella anything, but that’s not how I do things.
We told the children that Bella was ours. But, you and I both know that that’s not entirely true,” Carlisle said.
“Carlisle, please. I don’t want to get in to that right now,” Esme sobbed.
“Why not?” Carlisle snapped. “What else are you hiding from me, Esme? What other lies have you kept from me all these years? Because I need to know who I married!”
Esme was on her knees, sobbing, and bunching Carlisle’s pantleg in her fists. “Please, darling!”
“I have no more secrets, I swear to you. Now, please, let’s just go to bed,” Esme cried.
“Are you lying, again?”
Carlisle leaned down, and lifted up Esme’s chin. “Because if you are, you and your little brat can find someplace else to live.”
My heart dropped down into my stomach. I was the unwanted, illegitimate child.
“Okay. Okay,” Esme said. Carlisle helped her off the floor and they went into his office. I ran across the hall to the kitchen and grabbed my keys from the key rack. Then I went outside. It was pitch black. I scurried to my Cadillac and drove away. I needed to clear my head. I wasn’t leaving or going back to Texas, though Rosalie would love that. I had turned these people’s lives upside down.
The night road was icy, and slippery. I almost skidded off the road when I made a simple left turn onto Pine Street. I kept going. I ate my tears, and let out all the crying I had been holding in.
Esme trusted me with her secret affair. But I wondered if Carlisle knew the truth, that things would be easier. No! Why would they be easier? She cheated on him! Things would be worse and everyone would blame me for being born. It would be all my fault! I decided to head back home. I turned the car around, but I couldn’t slow it down. I skidded on the road. Something was wrong. I slammed on the brakes really hard, but nothing happened. “Oh my God,” I said to myself. I couldn’t stop the car. I kept kicking the brakes with my food, but the car kept moving forward. I was panicking. I was going to die. I turned off the road, hoping to run my car into something soft or something that would cause as little impact as possible. But all I could see with the headlights were trees and more trees. The Cadillac rolled down a hill, and finally hit one of the trees. The airbag blew up in my face.
Luckily, I was able to remove myself from the car with little injuries. My head was throbbing, and my right leg was sore and leaking blood. I sat on the ground. I leaned my back against the busted car door and checked on my leg.
There was light snow on the ground, about 6 inches of it. My blood mixed in with the snow. Wolves were howling and owls were hooting. I struggled to my feet to see if I could still walk. I took tiny steps. My hip was hurting, and there was this enormous explosion of pain in my right leg, whenever I stepped on my right foot.
I gave up walking and plopped down on the ground. I tried to figure out what happened. Then, something flashed past me. I soon heard giggling. My ears perked up and so did my fear. I tried not to breathe so loudly. A figure appeared to me, from behind an oak tree. It was a little boy.
He was so still, and made quick movements, too quick for my lazy eyes to keep up. He climbed up a tree, inhumanly fast, and watched me from there. I became alarmed. This kid wasn’t normal. I turned around and helplessly headed back to the Cadillac. As I was crawling on the ground, a foot stepped out infront of me. I looked up and it was another boy, a much older one.
His eyes were red, and his expression was menacing. The younger boy crawled down from the tree like a monkey, and came over. The older boy grabbed me by my hair. I screamed.
He opened his mouth, revealing rows of white, sharp teeth. Terrified, I was shaking so badly. I couldn’t get away. It’s like I had been paralyzed. He covered my face with his icy, cold hand. I shivered. I felt his teeth grazing my neck, in a teasing way. I was sure he was going to penetrate me with those tiny, sharp, teeth. But, instead he gasped and fell over. I sat up on the ground. The little boy looked at me, shocked and upset.
There was an arrow through the older boy’s chest. He was dead. I backed up into some tree roots as the younger boy was coming at me with his mouth open. Same razor sharp, shark- like teeth as his dead friend. He screamed. I screamed. Then, something grabbed him. I closed my eyes and the child was screaming even louder. I covered my ears. The screeching, high- pitched cries were making my ears bleed.
I peeked. A man was wrestling him to the ground. The man snapped the little boy’s neck.
Then, the guy was panting, and inhaling big gulps of air. He got to his feet, and looked at me, as I was huddled up in the tree’s tangled roots.
“Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to go wondering around at night?” he asked. He went and yanked his arrow out of the dead teenage boy’s chest. Then, he stabbed the little boy in the chest with it. The kid coughed up blood, then, he was dead, too. The guy wiped the blood off the arrow with the bottom of his jacket.
“Actually, yes,” I replied, breathlessly.
“So, what are you doing out here?” He asked, angry.
“Someone cut the brakes on my car,” I said. He had blonde hair, and light green eyes. “Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Jasper. Jasper Whitlocke.”
He reached out his hand, and I grabbed it. Sharp pain shot up my leg as I was brought to my feet. “Aah!” It felt like I had lava running through my leg, instead of blood. I limped to my car and leaned on the trunk.
“What were those things?” I asked, my head spinning from the pain in my leg.
“Vampires. Damn fast ones, too. They’re hard to catch. It’s a good thing I’m just as fast,” he said. I stared at him, in complete disbelief.
“Vampire?” I almost laughed.
“I know you got a good look at those teeth.”
“Vampires tried to kill me,” I said, astonished.
“Now, you’re getting it.”
“Vampires are real?” I bucked my eyes. Jasper shook his head and rolled his eyes. He walked away from me. I followed him. I figured it was the only safe thing I could do right now.
“I’m a vampire hunter. There’s not very many of us.”
“Do people know about vampires and you?”
“Everyone knows. No one talks about it, though. It’s like taboo or something. Or maybe people are just scared silent.”
“How do you hunt something like that. They were so… fast… and… quick.”
Jasper turned around to look at me. “Takes one to know one.”
“You’re a vampire?” I shouted.
“I’m a stage one vampire. That means I haven’t tasted human blood. With any luck, I never will. Those guys that I killed, they’re stage two vampires: they’re sensitive to sunlight and they stalk humans at night. They can only be killed by driving a wooden stake through their heart. A level three vampire is something even I don’t want to mess with. They’re extremely hard to kill, and it doesn’t help that they can fly. They’ve got bat wings, and tough skin. A wooden arrow like this would just bounce off their chest.”
I was speechless. He continued.
“I’ve never seen a stage three vampire in person. I’ve only killed stage ones, and stage twos. The government pays me to do it. All that money helps keep my mind off of becoming a full- blown vampire, and helps me to resist human blood. I’m not the only hunter, and we’re constantly looking for help, freshly bitten humans. Only stage ones can hunt. No humans. A human doesn’t stand a chance against any vampire.”
“You saved my life.”
“Um. I really need to get home,” I said.
“I’ll take you home. Where do you live?”
“At the Cullen Mansion.”
Jasper paused. He glared at me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You live with the Cullens? That couple with three kids and a baby?”
“Yes. That’s what I said. Is something wrong?”
“We’ve been watching that place.”
“We’re not sure, but we think they’re vampires.”
My jaw dropped. “No. The Cullens are not vampires,” I shook my head. “I can promise you that.”
“Are you sure?” he leaned closer. “Maybe, they’re just really good at hiding it.”
A chill crawled up my spine.
“No,” I said. “Just take me home, please.”
“Either they’re vampires, or they’re hiding vampires in their home.”
“Now, why would they do that?” I asked, outraged.
“There is one Cullen, in particular, that is especially interesting to me. We’ve been looking for him ever since he got turned. Edward.”
“Maybe, you can lure him out for us?”
“Edward’s not a vampire,” I said.
“He got away from us. We need to know how he’s doing, if he’s drinking human blood, if he's turned his other family members into vampires. We need to know what stage he is in. It’s extremely difficult to stay in stage one. It takes a lot of willpower, something that being bitten can easily take away from a person. It takes a strong individual to survive, and not succumb to darkness, blood, and evil.”
“Edward… is not… a vampire,” I said, grinding my teeth.
“We’ll see about that,” Jasper said.
I stared him down. And he stared me down.
“His family is protecting him, aren’t they.”
I shook my head.
“You know the truth. Has he killed anyone, yet?”
I covered my ears.
I turned around and glared at him. “How do you?... I never told you my name.”
“I told you, I’ve been watching that house since before you showed up. Only a matter of time before he kills someone else. Maybe, next time, it will be you. You never know.”
“Shut up, Jasper. Just, shut… up!”
“You owe me.”
“ I don’t owe you anything!”
“I saved your life!”
“And you’re going to repay me, by delivering Edward Cullen to us.”
“Who are us?”
“The Fledglings, a vampire killing society.”
It was that thing that Alice couldn’t tell me about. She was so afraid to talk about the Fledglings because Edward was a vampire. I understood why the Cullens would want to protect Edward, but he was a dangerous vampire. He killed Emmett, for Christ’s sake!
“Okay. I’ll help you,” I said.
Jasper smiled, his teeth reminded me of Edward’s. “Good.”
thanks, Annette. and yes i will be posting more. i have 19 chapters.
Very interesting! What will Bella do now, and what stage is Edward in? And what will Jasper decide to do about him? All this together with all the family drama and intrigue! I can't wait to see how all this turns out!