THE DAY BEFORE YOU
Hi there I know you don’t know me, but I would like to tell you a story; it is a love story about a boy and a girl of pain heartache, hope, love, life and death. I have known everyone in this story at some point in time. I feel that their stories deserve to be told.
There once was a little girl named Bella, who had been left alone to grow up with her ill equipped, withdrawn and sad father, Charlie. Bella knew that he loved her, she could see it in the way he tucked her into bed at night, the way he held her hand as he walked her to and from school and the way he held her close as if she might disappear if he ever let her go. In truth Bella was the only good thing left in his life and she alone was what he lived for. As Bella grew Charlie would sadly watch as she left the house; he was always waiting for the day she left and never came home taking with her his one reason for waking up each morning.
Bella was a quiet lonely little girl who did not make friends easily. She had two friends Angela Weber and Jacob Black. Bella sometimes wished for a different life, not a better life, just a different one. She longed for a place where the sun shined bright and she could twirl with arms stretched to the sky. A place where it never rained and all she needed was a good book and the sun on her bare arms was enough to keep her warm.
Bella was the girl picked last for PE, home studying instead of attending the school football game or homecoming dance. She was uncoordinated and tripped over her own two feet. She didn’t play or understand sports. She was shy and tended to stay to herself and she was always the butt of the other kid’s jokes. Bella never took it to heart she knew they picked on her to make themselves feel better about their own faults and shortcomings. So this was Bella’s life.
She had one procession that she kept close to her heart it was a picture of her mother and father on their wedding day. She looked at it every night before going to bed. She would trace her mother’s smiling face with the tip of her finger and marvel at the way her dad looked at her mother. That look was one of pure joy, love and hope. She prayed every night before bed that one day she would find someone who would look at her just like that. She would then put the picture back under her pillow and drift off to sleep. She would float off to a land where the sun shined bright and she twirled with her mom and no rain ever fell.
Somewhere that could have been a million miles away but was really only an hour’s drive away; there lived a boy named Edward. He was a very beautiful boy, yes I said beautiful for there really wasn’t any other word to describe him. He had the face of an angel and the heart of the devil. He had bronze hair that constantly fell in his eyes. His eyes were a golden brown the color of warm butterscotch on most day s but then sometimes they would be pitch black like a storm on the rise. Then as quickly as the storm passed he could dazzle you with a flash of his crooked smile. When he had a good day he could blow you away with that smile and those indescribable sparkling eyes. Unfortunately his good days were few and far between. He sometimes felt as if he didn’t really fit in with his family. He often felt like the odd man out. He lived with Carlisle and Esme Cullen the parental figures of the family; they loved each other so much that you could see it and feel it in everything they did. Edward knew that if they woke up tomorrow and had only each other that they would be okay. Then there was his adopted sister Alice and her husband Jasper. They were amazing to watch as they knew each other so well that words weren’t necessary. They just had to look at each other to know what the other was thinking and it was as if no one else was in the room. It was truly amazing.
Lastly there was his other sister Rosalie and her husband Emmet. Rose was beautiful almost like a goddess. She was also self centered, selfish and rude. However she also had a love for her husband Emmet that ran so deep and true that you forgot her flaws. She had this undying love and loyalty for him.
Emmet was a huge beast of a guy who towered over everyone around him. At first glance everyone was terrified of him, until he smiled and his face transformed into a cuddly teddy bear. He was loud, rowdy and loved to have fun but above all he loved Rose faults and all.
Edward often felt out of place in his own home being surrounded by such happy people. He wondered if he would ever find someone he could call his own, someone who would love him above all else, someone who would complete him and make him whole. He longed to find a love of his to know what it felt like to be someone’s everything.
The chances of this boy and this girl finding one another, was one in a million but fate has a funny way of working things out. Somehow this boy connected with this girl and things just somehow seemed to work out.
Bella and Edward had met and fallen hopelessly in love. Things weren’t all roses and hearts but they weathered the storms that raged against them and came out better for it. Bella found her mother and finally seemed to have everything she ever wanted. Her best friends Angela and Jacob seemed to have been drawn together and seemed happy to be only with each other. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that but she really hadn’t had time to think about it yet. The only thing that seemed to be bothering Bella was telling her father about the arrival of her dead mother. She knew that they desperately loved one another but how would she ever get them together again? And how would she explain the fact that her boyfriend, his family and her mother were all vampires? And let’s not forget that her best friend was a shape shifter, Bella had a long road ahead of her and she had no idea how or where to begin her new journey.
It had been four months since she had been to Italy to save everyone she loved and herself from the Volturi. She had found more strength than she had thought possible and she with the help of her dead mother had defeated the powerful group of evil, blood thirsty and arrogant vampires. Well not really defeated they were still there and could get reinforcements and come back but that was something that they hoped would not happen for many years. Jasper was also making contingency plans just in case.
For the most part Bella was happy except that she hated lying to her dad. She knew he was trying to be more involved in her life but why now? Did he sense that there were things she didn’t tell him like her mom was here living with the Cullen’s and that her Edward and his family were not human? She wished she could tell him everything but would he understand? She wasn’t sure that he would be able to accept this underworld that seemed so unbelievable but was all too real.
So this is where our story begins. The story of such amazing love that no one would ever have imagined but were always meant to be. Bella and Edward, Renee and Charlie and Angela and Jake and maybe a few more thrown in; what will the fates have in store for each of them now?
I was sitting with Angela in last hour PE today was the day we got to listen to Ms Nichols, aka Coach T, talk about STD’s and how having premarital sex could only end badly. Angela and I rolled our eyes toward the ceiling wondering how she could stand in front of so many teenage boys and not feel completely stupid. I glanced at the clock on the wall and sighed in relief only ten more minutes and this torture would be over. Angela and I had made plans to go shopping after school for the homecoming dance. I really wasn’t that excited about the dance because I can’t dance but Edward seemed to be determined that we go. So here I was going shopping with Ang, Alice and Rose after school. The guys were going to go hunting and would probably not be home until Friday and today were only Tuesday. I hated it when Edward was away for that long but I knew it was a necessity. I was brought back to reality with the ringing of the final bell.
“Thank God that is finally over.”
I nodded my head in agreement with Ang as we began to stretch and work the kinks out of our backs from sitting so long.
“I know right. Okay so I am heading home and I know Jake will be waiting outside for you but please do not be late Alice will kill you. Be at my house at 3 no later than 3:30.”
“Why the extra 30 minutes?”
“Because Ali will have to redress me and you know she loses all track of time.”
We both started laughing as Ang took off running to go meet Jake outside.
I grabbed my back pack and headed to my locker to exchange my health book and The Benefits of Abstinences pamphlets for my battered copy of Romeo and Juliet. I was about to slam the door shut when I felt someone grabbing me from behind and pulling me close. I leaned into the embrace knowing that it was Edward.
“Hey you, how was Spanish?”
“Boring, how was sex Ed with Coach T?”
“Oh I learned a lot about why not to have sex, as if I had to worry about that.”
“Bella we have been through this before you know why I can’t even think about that.”
“Yeah I know and it’s ok, I think about it enough for both of us. I just wish I didn’t have to sit there and listen to all the reasons that don’t apply to me. Okay so when are you guys leaving?”
“Any minute I just wanted to walk you out and say bye and for the record I do think about you in that way too. Love there has never been anyone else and there never will be so I do understand how you feel, trust me.”
“I’m sorry for sounding so selfish and I know it’s just hard for you so let’s just forget about it for now.”
I took his hand as we walked down the hall. I couldn’t keep myself from staring at him from the corner of my eye. I still couldn’t believe that he was mine forever sometimes I would think that it was all some crazy dream or a cruel joke and one day I would wake up alone or he would tell me that he never loved me at all. I know I sound completely insane but bad things always seem to happen to me.
“Hey are you okay Bella?”
I blinked my eyes in surprise we had made it to my truck and I suppose he had been talking to me. I smiled and nodded my head yes.
“I ‘m good sorry I was daydreaming.”
I could see the questions in his eyes and an amused smile playing on his lips. I was lost in his gaze and had to focus to put two words together coherently.
“Well sort of but not really, anyways it doesn’t even matter. So what were you saying before I zoned out on you?”
“I was telling you how much I was going to miss you and to have fun with the girls.”
“Yeah I will except I am not looking forward to Bella Barbie.”
I could hear his deep laughter floating in the air. He knew how overzealous Alice could be when it came to fashion, hair, makeup and accessories.
“I’m sorry but it will be fun and you know it. So promise me you will be careful until we get back no sneaking around or meetings with werewolves?”
“I promise but Angela and Jake will be coming over some so don’t get all worked up. Jake is more calm now with Angela around he would never do anything to hurt her.”
I could see Edward’s forehead wrinkled in thought and worry.
“Yeah I am sure that was what Emily thought about Sam too.”
I knew Edward was right about that but the time; place and circumstances had been entirely different. I was sure that nothing like that would happen with Jake and Angela.
“Edward please don’t worry about me. I will be fine and if it makes you feel better I will ask Alice to come over while Jake is there.”
“Fine but promise you will take care of my heart.”
“I will if you promise the same.”
I could see Emmett and Jasper walking across the parking lot with Rose and Alice. I leaned into Edward and kissed him solidly on the lips while tangling his hair in my fist. I wanted to make sure he thought about me and missed me as much as I was going to miss him. As far as thinking about him, well he had the center stage in the deep crevices of my mind. I loved him and I found myself wondering how I ever got along without him. I reluctantly released my hold on him as I felt Alice pulling me away. I smiled at Edward as he flashed the crooked smile that melted my heart and took my breath away.
“Bella come on we have things to do and places to be so let’s get moving. I will follow you home and then you and Angela can ride with us to the mall. Hurry up.”
“Okay I am leaving. “
I waved at Edward and the guys as he was helplessly being pulled to Emmett’s jeep. I saw him manage to break free and run back to the open door of my truck, he leaned in and gave me a quick kiss the cheek and whispered in my ear, “I love you Bella, please be safe and take care of you.”
I held him for a second before Em and Jazz came back to drag him to the jeep. I laughed at the sight of the three of them making complete fools of themselves as if no one else was even around.
I had given no thought to Angela following me until Bella reminded me to slow down. I absolutely detested driving slow but under Bella’s watchful eye I eased my foot off the accelerator and let the needle drop to fifty five miles per hour. How do people drive like this without going crazy? I glanced at Bella and saw her smiling at me as we crept along at a snail’s pace. I graced Bella with my crooked grin.
“How do you humans drive at such unbearable speeds? It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes mortals to get from point A to point B. It seems like so much wasted time.”
I watched as her forehead creased and her smile began to fade into a frown. I waited for it here it comes, “For your information we humans drive at normal speeds it is you who seems to have a death wish already stamped across your forehead.”
I was trying to keep a straight face and not dissolve into laughter but the look on her face was priceless. I loved teasing Bella just so I could see the blush creep up her cheeks. I loved everything about her even if it meant I had to drive slowly. I began to chuckle as she sat stiffly in her seat with her arms crossed over her chest.
“Relax love, I was just teasing you. I would walk at a human’s pace to get to wherever you are, so I think I can handle driving at human speed. Bella you know I was kidding right?”
I watched as she fidgeted in her seat and turned to face me. Her face was turning into a deeper shade of red as she gave me a weak smile while nodding her head. I was starting to feel really bad I hadn’t intended to hurt her feelings. I had only wanted to lighten the tension that seemed to be radiating off of her in waves. I guess I should have realized that she wasn’t herself tonight. I knew she was under a lot of stress and worry over Renee and Charlie not to mention Jacob and Ben. I reached across the gear shift and took her hand in mine. I raised her palm to my lips and gently kissed her soft flesh.
“I know and I was kidding too. I can’t help but wonder what else is going to go wrong tonight. I guess I let my emotions get the best of me and I took my frustration and worries out on you. I’m sorry Edward, please forgive me.”
I squeezed her hand and smiled at her. I watched as she leaned back into the seat and tried to act as if she was okay. I knew she was taking the weight of everything on herself and I wasn’t sure how to stop her.
“Bella there isn’t anything to forgive. I should have realized that you were walking a very thin line and that the slightest bump would send you spiraling down. I am sorry for not being more aware of your needs. I was really joking and it wasn’t the right time or place. I want you to take a deep breath in and out, then relax and close your eyes and envision whatever it is that makes you happy and brings you peace.”
I could see her with her eyes drifting shut and her shoulders beginning to relax as she was thinking of happy thoughts. I wondered what it was that brought such a calm peacefulness to her entire body and demeanor.
“Okay now I want you to remember this time, place or whatever it is that relaxed you and brought you back to this level of peace.”
“Silly Edward it’s you all I see is you. When I stop and close my eyes and dream it is always of you. It’s the way you gently caress my face, the way I breathe you in and just your touch and smell bring me such peace. It’s your crooked smile that melts my heart, the way your hair shines in the light and the love I see reflected back at me when I look into your eyes. I find myself smiling and wishing that things could always be so perfect. You help me put things into perspective and I know that as long as I have you everything will fall into place.”
I was stunned by her soft spoken words. I couldn’t think of an appropriate response for how she saw me. I had never thought that anyone would look beyond the monster that I had become to see the man I wanted to be. I sighed and shook my head how had I found this amazing girl?
“Bella you never cease to amaze me. I can’t even put into words what I feel for you. I want you to remember that I love you and if you get scared or nervous just look at me. I promise you Bella that I love you and my first priority is keeping you safe and happy. I will do whatever it takes to keep the people you care about safe.”
I could feel Bella tighten her hold on my hand as she smiled at me. I felt as if I was looking at an angel she was so perfect and beautiful. I had no idea how or why fate brought us together but I was so glad that it did. I knew deep inside that I had never really been whole until Bella came into my life, she was what had made me complete.
“I love you Isabella Marie Swan.”
‘And I love you Edward Anthony Masen Cullen.”
I pulled into the school parking lot and parked in the back of the lot. I walked to Bella’s side of the car and helped her out. We watched as Angela and Jacob parked and walked to meet us. I scanned the area looking for Alice, Jazz, Rose and Em. I thought I saw them at the entrance to the gym. We began to walk to the door. I was keeping a close eye out for our young friend Ben. I would not let him get hurt but how was I going to keep Jacob from losing it in front of him? Oh well I suppose I would have to deal with that when the time came. I knew it would happen and I was hoping it would be when we were prepared. As we reached the door to the gym Alice came bouncing in front of us with a goofy smile on her face.
“Hey party people what took you so long?”
I rolled my eyes at her as she danced around us linking her arms with Bella and Angela. She was way too happy and I wondered if she had seen a vision that had alleviated some her worries.
“Some of us had to eat and others had to pretend to eat.”
I could hear Alice’s laughter floating around us as Bella explained what had happened at the restaurant. I watched as my family laughed and chatted with Bella about our nice cozy little dinner and our unexpected guests. Alice and Rose were rolling with laughter as Angela related the details of Lauren and Jessica. I listened as Alice explained how she and Rose had to sneak out of Bella’s room so they didn’t interrupt Renee and Charlie who according to the girls were getting along famously. I was glad to hear it maybe now Bella would relax a little bit; she deserved to have fun tonight. I glanced around looking for Ben but I didn’t see him anywhere. Oh well the night was still young so maybe he hadn’t gotten here yet. I began to walk toward the door and everyone fell into step behind me. I stopped inside the door and scanned the crowded gym and tried to find Ben but again no luck. Em and Jazz checked the bathroom while I listened for his thoughts but again no luck.
“Well it seems our Ben hasn’t made it yet so we can relax and have a bit of fun.”
I knew that Angela and Bella were not going to relax until this was over but I was sure that we could keep things under control. We split up into four groups each couple on one side of the gym facing the entrance we would know when he arrived.
As a slow ballad began to fill the room I pulled Bella into my arms and led her to the dance floor. I could still see the entrance and I needed to have her close to me. I could feel her stiffen and knew she was afraid of falling down and embarrassing herself in front of the whole school.
“Bella this is not the life ending disaster that you are envisioning; dancing is all in the leading and I am an excellent leader. Love, hold your head up, stop slouching, look at me and forget that anyone else is here.”
She looked up and gave me a half hearted smile, “Okay Mr. Cullen but it’s your feet.”
I laughed at her skeptical expression as we began to sway to the soft music. I was swept away by the very essences of the things that made Bella who she was. I could hear her erratic heartbeat, the feel of her skin against mine, the smell of her hair as it tickled my nose and the warmth of her chocolate brown eyes. I gently lifted her just a fraction of an inch off the floor as we continued our slow waltz and her very presence was doing incredible things to my equilibrium. I had to remain focused on the entrance and Ben’s arrival but being here like this with Bella pushed up so close to my chest was making rational thoughts impossible. I glanced around the room and saw that Rose, Em, Jazz and Alice were showing off their fancy foot work for an amazed crowd of students and teachers. I laughed at the spectacle they were creating, what a way to blend in. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and looked up to see Jacob and Angela beside us.
“Hey Edward I think maybe we need to switch partners here. As long as I am holding Ang there’s no way I can stay focused on that door or entertain any thoughts about Ben.”
I had to agree with him because I too was in a similar state of mind. I released my hold on Bella and accepted Angela’s out stretched hand.
“This might work out better anyway, because I have a hunch the first thing Ben will do is look for Angela. Jacob it may be best if you guys hang back out of sight.”
“Look I am trying to remain calm about this ridiculous situation but you can’t expect me to hide from this kid. I will not stand back and act as if Angela means nothing to me. I mean come on really what can he do to me?”
I could see Bella put her hand on his shoulder and try to calm him down, “Jake this isn’t about you acting like Angela isn’t the most important thing in your life. This is about doing the right thing and keeping you, the tribe and the secret of your heritage safe.”
Angela walked back to stand in front of Jacob and placed both her hands on his chest while looking into his eyes. I could see unshed tears glistening under the millions of twinkling lights, “Jake please I am asking you not to do anything stupid here. I don’t care what anyone else thinks because I love you and I know you love me.” I watched as she removed one hand and motioned to the hundreds of people standing behind us, “Who cares what any of these people think? I don’t in a couple of minutes the show would be over and they would have moved on to something else to gossip about. Jake these people aren’t even on our radar and in a couple of years we won’t even care who they are; but you I will always care about So please for me just this once listen to Edward.”
“Yeah, yeah okay. I will try not to engage in conversation with the little nuisance but I can’t promise what will happen if he finds me and starts acting crazy. I will not deny my love for you or let anyone doubt what I feel for you. I love you and I don’t care who knows it, hell I want everyone to know it.”
I was feeling as if something big was going to happen and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be good or bad. I was leaning toward the bad but I still hadn’t seen or heard anything from Ben. I scanned the room again and everything appeared to be okay. I was sure that a storm was definitely brewing yes this was the calm before the storm.
I watched as Ang and Cullen began to move fluidly to the music. I envied him but I knew he was right. I looked at Bella and smiled, “So do you want to try this?”
“Jake you know I cannot dance.”
I laughed as I took her hand and twirled her around in circles. “Bella can’t never did anything and it didn’t look like you were doing so bad out there.”
“Trust me it was all Edward.”
I drug Bella to the dance floor and pulled her up onto my feet. I began to move slowly letting Bella trust that I was not going to let her fall.
“Jake I am way too heavy for this and when did you become so graceful?”
“Bella you haven’t been paying attention. I am a god of grace, lithe and brute strength.”
I could feel Bella relaxing and a soft laugh escaping her lips. I was glad to see her having a little fun however I wasn’t fooled I knew it was Edward that she was thinking of. I could see her watching him every time he floated by. I knew she loved him and in all honesty he seemed like a good guy all except being a blood sucking leech. I had been lost in my own thought s and hadn’t noticed the tempo change or the fact that a rather brooding guy with shaggy blond hair was staring at us.
Bella and I had made our way off the dance floor and were watching everyone else having fun. I was laughing at the Cullens as they made sure that everyone was paying attention to them. I felt Bella stiffen beside me at the same time I heard a deep male voice, “Well if it isn’t Jacob Black fancy meeting you here. I guess Bella traded Cullen in for an older model.”
I watched as Bella’s eyes narrowed into to slits and she was about to unleash her bottled up fury on an unsuspecting Mike Newton. I managed to wedge myself in between them and step up to him toe to toe. I towered over him and looked down on his surprised face. I don’t think he had noticed how big I had gotten since the last time I saw him. I pushed Bella behind me and continued to stare down at him. I had been so afraid of losing my temper over Ben had not given any thought to Mike and what a jerk he was, had always been to Bella. I would not stand by and let him insult her or myself.
“Well if it isn’t Mike Newton what’s it been like three years? I have to say the time hasn’t really done you much good you still look like an insignificant jerk. I think Mr. Newton that you should turn around and walk back across the room and join your friends. I know you have this crush on Bella but she really isn’t interested and it would be better if you left before Edward sees you even looking at his girl.”
I knew Bella was livid as she tried to get around me to speak for herself but I was not letting that happen. I stepped back from Mike and took Bella’s hand firmly in mine and together we looked at Mike waiting for an intelligent response.
“Look Jacob I have no problem with you , so calm down. I really just wanted to ask Bella to dance, no hard feelings”
“Well Mike I think it would be best if you stay as far away from Bella as possible.”
We all turned around to see Angela and Edward standing behind Mike. Mike began to step to the side and walk backwards away from the fury that was evident on Edward’s face.
“For future reference I haven’t traded Edward in he is a person not a car. I love Edward and Jake is still my best friend. Jake was never my boyfriend , I only let you think that because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings and tell you to take a flying leap off the nearest cliff; but I don’t care anymore you are the most insufferable annoying pain in my ass that I have ever encountered and you can go find that cliff anytime now.”
We all looked at Bella in shock as she unloaded all of her feelings on Mike. I had no doubt that she meant every word but I also knew if she hadn’t been so stressed out she never would have said any of it out loud. We watched as a red faced Mike slunk away without another word. We all remained silent unsure of what to say or do.
“Bella that really wasn’t necessary I would have taken care of Mike.”
I could see Bella look at me and Edward at the same time and knew we were next on her hit list. She stood up straight and squared her shoulders, “Look guys I love you both and I appreciate your concern and the need you feel to protect me but I am capable of speaking for myself. I am not a child and I do not always need some big strong guy to take up for me.”
She paused for a minute and her face began to turn a dozen shades of red. I think she realized exactly what she had done.
“Okay I don’t need your help when it comes to Mike but I really do appreciate the thought.”
We all relaxed for a second and then decided that maybe it was time to go outside for some cool air. We seemed to be the focus of everyone’s attention now. We crossed the gym and walked out into the crisp cool night air. In all the bedlam that had just taken place we had all forgotten about Ben. We were talking quietly when Alice came busting through the door calling my name when at that exact moment I heard my name coming from behind me in a soft deep voice.
“So Angela I take it this is Jacob Black.”
I slowly turned to see the enraged face of Ben glaring at me. Well here we go where we stop nobody knows. I looked at Angela and pulled her to my side and waited for Ben to make the first move.
I wasn’t sure if attending the homecoming dance was really my smartest decision but what the hell did I have to lose? I had already the lost the most important thing in my life, Angela. I really didn’t care about anything else at this point, not even my own well being. I was sick and tired of everyone telling me how ‘these things happened’ or ‘it will be alright’ and the classic ‘she wasn’t good enough for you anyway’. The thing was she was always too good for me and I knew she would realize that and move on; I just hadn’t expected it to happen so fast. I had almost thought that she really loved me and that maybe things would work out after all, then Jacob Black had ruined everything. I just wanted to make the heartache and pains go away but how was I supposed to do that when I saw Angela everyday and she was always alive in my mind? I couldn’t run away from my memories and they haunted be night and day and even in my dreams. I was going to this dance to have my say and to let Jacob Black know how things were. I had been sitting in my car for at least half an hour now and had debated just going home but then I saw them. As I watched the school entrance I saw the Edward, Bella, Angela and him coming outside. I opened the car door and got out. I stood for a moment and watched as they laughed and talked as if nothing was amiss, as if my broken heart didn’t matter at all. I felt the anger and rage boiling inside and I wanted to make him hurt as badly as he had hurt me. It never occurred to me that he didn’t know me and that he had no idea of my feelings all that mattered was that he was here. I began to walk quietly across the lot and was standing close enough to smell Angela’s unique scent lavender and chamomile. I took in a deep breath and felt my hurt bubbling to the surface as I saw him put his arm around her. I made my way closer as I saw Alice Cullen running out the door calling his name at the same time I did. They all turned at the same time and stared at me with wide eyed amazement. I walked closer to the intimidating group. I looked at Angela and then back at Jacob Black. I wished I was bigger, stronger or crazier but no I was small, scared and weak, no wonder Angela left me. I squared my shoulders and walked up to Jacob, he really was big.
“So you must be Jacob Black.”
I could see a smirk on his chiseled face, he looked as if he was made of stone and his stare was just as hard. I looked into his black eyes and had to make myself not flinch at the look of hatred that seemed to be pulsing from his very being. I swallowed and took another step closer.
“Ben, I think you should come with us. This is really not the time or place for this.”
I looked at Edward as he tried to be the voice of reason. He always seemed so strong and sure of himself no wonder everyone seemed to follow his lead. I would never be like that, sure I was smart but all in all I was a geek and no one would ever follow me anywhere. I could hear Angela begging Jacob to leave she was clutching his arm and trying to pull him away with as much luck as pulling a tree out of the ground.
“Angela I didn’t come here to fight. I just want to talk to Jacob besides look at him and look at me, now do I look stupid.”
I could see Jacob starting to get angry and realized my words had come out all wrong. I had to clarify this situation before it got out of hand.
“What I meant was he would wipe the lot with me and I don’t feel like dying today, maybe tomorrow but not today.”
I heard Angela’s shaky laughter at my attempt at humor. I really didn’t want to fight this guy he looked like a giant next to me.
“Look Jacob I think you owe me one conversation and then we can leave it at that.”
I watched as he made his way closer to where I stood. I noticed that all of the Cullen’s had joined our group and they didn’t seem to be leaving. They had formed a circle around me and Jacob. I had no idea what was going on maybe they were hoping it would turn into a fight and they wanted front row seats. I had to get this over with and if I had to bear my soul in front of them then so be it. I loved Angela and I didn’t care who heard what I had to say.
“Ok let’s have it, what do you have to say to me Ben.”
I walked up to Jacob until we were standing mere inches from one another. I looked at him in the eye and began to talk.
“Here’s the thing I love Angela.” I could hear a low growl coming from the back of his throat, but I continued on. “I can see why you fell for her she is smart, beautiful and the most amazing person I have ever met. I really can’t blame you for falling in love with her. I just thought it would be fair to warn you that I will always be here for her, if you ever hurt her, leave her or do anything she doesn’t like I will be here to help her get over you and even if you are bigger and stronger than me I will hurt you.”
I could see what looked like amusement in his eyes at first but then as I spoke the laughter faded and his eyes became hard as stone. I could see his clutched fists at his side and his entire body was shaking. I had no idea what was happening but I heard several things at once. The Cullen’s grabbed me and whirled me around and began to lead me away from him. I could hear Chief Swan’s voice telling Jacob to calm down. I could hear Angela and Bella crying and begging him to stop. I had no idea what happened next because suddenly if felt as if I was flying and I was no longer at school but in the woods surrounding it. I shook my head trying to remember what had happened but it was as if my head was full of cob webs. I blinked several times and finally focused and saw Edward, Jasper and Emmett Cullen staring expectantly at me.
“Ben are you okay? Ben can you hear me?”
“Edward what happened and how did I get here? Where is Angela?”
I could that something was bothering them, they all looked like they were in deep pain.
“Ben you took off running away from Jacob. We followed you to make sure you didn’t get lost or hurt. When we made it here you had fallen and hit your head on a rock. Do you remember anything?”
I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying but I knew they were lying. I had no idea why they felt the need to lie to me but I would play along for now.
“No I just remember being here. Is Angela okay?”
“Yeah she’s fine. Bella was going to ride home with her and make sure she was okay.”
“Okay will you tell her that I am sorry and that I will talk to her at school on Monday?”
“Sure Ben, I’ll tell her. I think we need to get you home. Why don’t you let me take you home and Jasper can follow us in my car.”
I was still a little disorientated so maybe I shouldn’t drive. I felt myself nodding and slowly began to follow the guys out of the woods and to the school parking lot.
I sat across from Renee and stared at her honey brown eyes and wondered how this was even possible. She looked so different but she was still the same sweet, caring woman she had been even as a vampire. She looked at me in the candlelight and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I loved her there was no doubt in my mind about that but how could this ever work? She seemed to sense my questions and she spoke softly.
“So I guess you have some questions.”
I nodded my head and watched her perfectly chiseled face across from me waiting for the interrogation to begin. She looked so nervous as if I might not approve of who and what she was now. I didn’t think I had it in me to walk away from her; I had waited too long for this moment to waste it.
“So Edward explained a little about how you sustain yourself on animal blood and that you are immortal but that’s all I really know. So what exactly does being a vampire mean?”
“Well I’m sure you’ve already figured out that we don’t age, whatever age we are when we are transformed that is the age we will always be. We have unmatched strength, speed, agility and beauty. Some of us have gifts Edward reads minds, Alice sees visions of the future, Jasper is an empath he feels what others around him feel as well as can make people relax in his presence and I have certain abilities that I had as a human but have been enhanced as an immortal.”
I was suddenly very conscience of the fact that all this time Edward had been able to read my mind. I tried to remember what things he might of heard oh well he’s a vampire he could’ve killed me if had wanted. As this these thoughts ran through my mind I realized that he really did love my little girl but what did that mean? She was human and he was immortal, how could they ever be together unless I couldn’t even think it so I pushed it to the back of my mind. I looked at Renee as her eyes shined in the warm glow of the candlelight and I loved her as much as I had all those years ago. I cleared my throat and brought my mind back to the here and now.
“So you have a gift?”
Renee nodded her head and smiled a little sheepishly at me. “My mother had several gifts that she passed on to me and my brother. I passed them on to Bella. We are both empaths but we have the unique ability to tap into others psychic abilities.”
I was a little confused this. “Are you trying to tell me that there are a lot of people with gifts as you call them?”
Renee laughed a bell like laugh. “Yes Charlie, everyone has some form of psychic ability but most don’t know how to tap into and use. I suppose most people think when something unexplainable happens it’s a fluke or just some unexplainable once in a lifetime thing but really it’s always there. When Bella and I come in contact with these people we can tap into their abilities and use them as our own. We also are connected we can communicate with one another through our thoughts. When Bella was a little girl I used to visit her in her dreams and we would have these dream walks together; of course she always thought they were simply dreams and when she got older I stopped visiting her. I always watched her but I stopped talking to her for I wanted her to have a normal life. Bella is a very strong and gifted young lady.”
Renee’s words hit me like a ton of bricks, if Bella was able to feel the emotions around her then she had been swamped with my grief her entire life. I dropped my head into my hands as the weight of the world feel on top of me and I realized I had been a complete failure as a father.
“So Bella has felt my every emotion all of her life?”
Renee looked at me with sympathy in her golden eyes. “I’m afraid so but no worries Bella is a strong young lady and she loves you very much. Now I have a question for you Charlie.”
I leaned back in my chair and nodded for her to continue.
“You didn’t really seem that surprised at the fact that there are vampires in Forks why is that?”
“Well I have kept a secret of my own for over twenty years. Do you remember that summer that one of the Quileute girl went missing? Well it turns out that was Billy’s cousin Lily and one day I went over to check on him and as I walked around the house I saw him shift into a russet colored wolf and run into the woods. I never told him and I suppose that maybe I blocked it out but I remember the legends about the cold ones and the shape shifters.”
Renee looked at me thoughtfully. “I remember that summer did they ever find Lily?”
“No and I wonder now if it was the presence of nomad vampires that trigged the change in Billy.”
Renee looked thoughtful for a moment. “Maybe but that seems highly unlikely but the Cullen’s were nt here then so I suppose it is possible. I wonder what happened to Lily.”
“I don’t know they never heard from her and we spent that whole summer scouring the woods and surrounding area for her.”
I watched the way Renee smiled sadly across the table and I felt my throat go dry. She looked so enchanting and beautiful watching me in the dim light. She was like every dream I had dreamt in the last sixteen years. I found that I was happy for the first time in years I was actually happy. I was about to say something when I noticed Renee’s face had suddenly changed as if she wasn’t even in the same room with me. She blinked her eyes and focused on my.
“Charlie are you ready to see how I travel?”
She was on her feet pulling me along with her out of the house. She stopped at the perimeter of the forest and looked at me. “Charlie we have to go Bella needs our help at the school Jake is in trouble. just climb on my back and close your eyes and we’ll be there in a minute.”
I wasn’t sure how I felt at this moment it was as if everything was surreal. I was hanging on to my dead wife who was now a vampire as she ran at the speed of light through the forest. It was if every fantasy and nightmare I had ever had was coming true. One minute I was standing in my back yard and then in the blink of an eye I was stepping out of the forest at the high school. I wasn’t sure if things could get much weirder than that but then Renee started telling me what was going on across the lot. I was speechless and had to force my feet to move. I quickly regained my senses and followed her to the front of the gym. I was surprised to hear several voices at once. I wasn’t sure who or where to look at first. As we rounded the corner of the school I saw Alice frantically calling out to Jake at the same time Ben walked up. I was looking from one stunned face to the other and everything seemed to happen at once.
I could see Jake starting to shake uncontrollably as Ben kept pushing his finger into this chest, not a good idea. Then the tension grew so thick you could cut it with a knife. Edward and his brothers grabbed Ben and took off in a flash across the lot and into the woods. I saw Alice, Rose and Renee grab Jake and head in the opposite direction out of sight. I heard a furious growl and a howling so loud it made my ears hurt. I was now standing under the street light with one arm around Bella and the other around Angela. I could see the tears silently falling from Angela’s eyes as Bella looked from one side of the lot to the other. I hoped that no one had seen anything but I could hear whispers and murmuring behind us. I carefully looked over my shoulder and saw a group of students gathering. They all seemed to be trying to figure out what all the commotion had been about and where the loud howling had came from. I knew that I had to break up the growing crowd before things got out of hand and we had a riot on our hands. I patted the girls on the back and made my way to the perplexed students.
“Okay guys let’s break it up and get back inside. There’s nothing to see out here.”
I could hear questions coming from the crowd, “Chief Swan what was that loud howling? It sounded like a wounded or angry animal.”
“We need to help it.”
“Look guys I have the situation under control. If there is a hurt animal I will take care of it. Now please go inside and have fun.”
Slowly the kids began to disperse and make their way back into the gym. I waited as they filed inside before heading back to the girls. They hadn’t moved or uttered a word.
“So are we ready to go home?”
I saw Bella look at me and give me a small hint of a smile, “Well Chief it looks like you’ve had quite a night.”
“Yes ma’am it does and it also seems I am not the only one good at keeping secrets.”
I could see questions flashing in Bella’s eyes. I began to walk the girls toward the parking lot. I hoped to get them gone before the guys showed back up.
“So Bella why don’t you drive Angela back to our house and I will join you later?”
“Dad what exactly are you going to do?”
I wasn’t really sure but I knew it was safer for the girls to head home. I scratched my head as I tried to come up an answer she would believe.
“Bells, I think it would be best if Angela wasn’t here when Ben comes out of those woods and it would ease the stress and tension if Jake and Ben end up here at the same time. We’ve all witnessed what that was like. You know as well as I do what a temper he has, so let’s not push our luck here. You girls go to the house and as soon as I find Jacob and the girls I will be right behind you.”
I could see Bella trying not to laugh at me as she covered her mouth with her hand. I had no idea what was so funny. I waited and raised an eyebrow at her. She finally straightened up and composed herself enough to talk.
“Dad, mom and the girls along with Jake are already at the house.”
“How do you know that?”
I saw her tapping the side of her head and I remembered their unique gift of communication.
“Right, she told you with her mind. I have a lot to get used to.”
I could hear the girls laughing at me as we made our way to the car. I got in the driver’s seat as the girls piled in the back. I was a little worried about Angela she hadn’t said a word and she looked so upset. I knew she had to feel horrible about the chain of events that had led to this moment but it really wasn’t her fault. I had known Angela her whole life and she was a good person it just wasn’t in her to be mean. I could see Bella holding her hand in the rear view mirror I could see the boys coming out of the woods behind us.
We drove home in silence, no one knowing what exactly to say. I mean what was there to say? My werewolf boyfriend and my human ex-friend hate each other and my best friend’s vampire boyfriend and his family tried to safe him? Oh and don’t forget the fact that vampires and werewolves are immortal enemies. Yeah okay how did I end up in this land of make believe? Oh yeah my wife died and became a vampire. I knew I was freaking out a little bit here but what the hell else was I suppose to do? In all honesty I think I was handling it rather well. The one thing I hadn’t let myself dwell on was Bella and what exactly all this meant for her. She was in love with a vampire and in my heart I knew that could not end well. I couldn’t let myself start down that slippery slope, not yet it was too dangerous. I think I’ll keep my head buried in the sand for a little while longer. I suppose the bigger question is what was to become of me and Renee? I loved her. I had always loved her and I knew that no matter what she was that would never change. I realized that we had made it home and that I had to focus. I pulled up to the curb and killed the engine.
“Okay girls we’re here.”
I had no more than got the keys out of the ignition before they were clamoring out of the car and running full steam ahead to the house. I saw Jake sitting on the porch and Angela running into his arms. I could see Alice and Rose slip quietly into the house. I took Bella’s hand and we walked to the back door unnoticed into the kitchen. As we stepped inside I smelled the rich aroma of fresh brewed coffee. I thought I must be dreaming because I hadn’t had fresh brewed coffee in years. I had suffered through with instant coffee. I looked at the counter and there was a fresh pot of coffee and my old cracked coffee mug from my time at police academy. I looked at the table and saw Renee sitting there waiting for us.
“Hey you didn’t have to make me coffee.”
I heard her laugh and it sounded like soft sweet bells on a crisp Sunday morning. I had missed her more than even I had realized. It seemed almost perfect the warmth in the kitchen, the fresh coffee and her beautiful laughter filling the air. I could almost see what our lives could have and should have been.
“Charlie, I may not drink coffee anymore but I still remember how to make it. Besides I know you probably need it after everything that you’ve seen tonight.”
I had to smile she remembered me so well. How many nights had I come home with the weight of the world on my shoulders and all it took was a pot of coffee and Renee to listen for everything to fall back in place?
“Thanks, no one makes coffee like you.”
I could hear her laughing again as she walked to the counter and poured the hot liquid in and added a touch of sugar. She made her way back to the table and sat the cup down as she pulled out my chair. She motioned for me to have a seat. I hung my jacket and kicked off my shoes.
“So how’s Jake?”
I watched her face as she sorted out her reply. I was worried about Jake and hoped he was okay. I felt bad for the kid what must he be going through. As I thought about that I wondered what Billy had been through over the years. I had always thought I was such a good friend but I had hid the truth inside all this time when I should have been there to help him through all of this. I wasn’t such a good friend after all. I looked at Bella and realized that my daughter was a far greater person than I would ever be. She was so compassionate, loving and loyal. She didn’t turn around and run from her fears she met them head on. She had stood by her friends and never let her love for them falter. I had a lot to learn from my little girl.
“Jake is a typical teenage boy who is in love and dealing with an equally typical teenage boy who is in love with his girl. The only difference is that Jake is a werewolf and he has some anger management issues.”
I knew how ill tempered Jake could be but I also knew he was a good kid. There had to be some way to help him deal with this in a constructive manner. I just wasn’t sure what that was.
“Maybe he needs some anger management classes.”
I could hear Bella laughing at my suggestion. She was trying to keep a straight face but failing miserably.
“Dad, I don’t think they have anger management classes for werewolves.”
I knew she was right I could remember when Renee had died the grief counselor had told me to write a letter. I was suppose to write questions, all my feelings down and put it in a bottle and throw it in the ocean. It was suppose to help rid me of my anger, yeah right. I could almost see the counselor telling Jake to release his anger one minute and the next the room would be torn apart with an angry wolf thrashing around, oh yeah did I mention a huge gigantic wolf trashing around. I suppose anger management classes were out.
“Okay I get your point but there has to be something we can do to help him. I mean he can’t just go around shift every time he gets upset or angry.”
“I think this is something he is going to have to do on his own and until then we can only try to keep him from exposing his secret in public. He seems to be able to keep his temper at bay unless he feels Angela is threatened. I think maybe now that Ben has confronted him and had his say things will be okay. Ben isn’t really a fighter so I don’t see him doing anything else.”
I hoped that Bella was right but I had my doubts. Jake was just a kid with the weight of the world on his shoulders. I had known him his entire life and he had never had it easy. He was stuck at home taking care of Billy while his sisters were out seeing the world and leaving all the responsibilities at home behind. Jake had taken his mother’s death harder than his sisters but he was the baby and he had needed her more. I wish that I could do something to ease his burdens and make his life easier but I had no idea what I could do. If all that weren’t enough now he had to feel like a freak that shifted into a werewolf, like being a teenager wasn’t awkward enough.
“Bella maybe you should go check on Jake and Angela.”
I watched as Bella nodded and headed to the front of the house. I waited until I heard the front door open and close. I wasn’t sure what to do at this point and I hoped that Renee was more equipped for whatever came next.
“So where do we go from here?”
I asked her with one eye brow raised. She had always laughed at my sad impression of James Dean. She didn’t disappoint me and within seconds her musical laughter was warming my heart. I had waited so long to hear laughter in this house again. I wasn’t sure what was happening in my so called life but for this one moment in time I was happy again.
love it love it love it
I feel your pain Ben! And Renee if that's true then could you give me a lesson or two please?!
Lol I love love love (1 million 2thousand 3hundred and 45 loves later) It!!!!!
Post soon Sarah!
Thank you so much for reading and I am so glad you liked it. Renee charges a lot for lessons LOL!