For the few of you that actually review, thank you! You're the ones that keep me going. If you're reading this, I'm asking for even a period. Just a quick "." That way I know you're reading it. Even if you have nothing to say about the chapter itself. I know they vary in length and this posting once a week/or so isn't making the story go very fast. I also know that most readers enjoy reading Completed works. I hope you're enjoying the story regardless of the pace. Thanks!

The Tacho casserole was baking by the time she sat at her desk to write a few scenes for the latest novel. The fae were about to enter a war with another race. Siberia's cruel winter was upon them, and they had to scour the lands for more help, or they were doomed. Once the timer for dinner had sounded, she could hear Charlie moving around in the bathroom and she shut her laptop off for the night.

Her mind had finally calmed.

"How come I couldn't get ahold of you today, Bee?" Bella winced slightly at the nickname that only Jake and Charlie used for her, a stab of anger jolting through her as she thought of her 'friend', that didn't go amiss by her father. "Whoa, what happened." He stated more than asked, immediately going into Cop Mode.

Bella snorted a laugh, brushing her anger away to enjoy this evening with her dad. "Oh, Jake's being an a-hole, but I made a new friend. I finished the war scene though." She shrugged as she pulled the casserole out of the oven. "I made Tachos. Taco nacho casserole. I hope you like it." Charlie sniffed appreciatively as his stomach growled and Bella giggled at her father. "Like father, like daughter."

"About that." He said as they sat down with large plates of food and dug in. He waited to speak again until his mouth was empty. "When are we finally going to go on a hike?"

Bella's eyes lit up happily. "I was hoping you'd ask! I didn't want to bother you. I know you work so much -"

Charlie cut her off, "Like you don't?"

She pointed her used fork at her father and used his favorite line, "Touché. Anyway, how about this weekend? We can go anywhere you want!"

She was thrilled.

They hadn't been on a hike yet together and she was excited. When he had picked her up from the airport and caught his first glimpse of her in almost 6 years, she could tell he knew something. He had waited patiently until she finally admitted to him what had happened to her, hinting that he knew. Once she'd finally gotten the nerve, he proved to her that he completely understood her plights. She had been sad at first that she wasted so much time in Arizona feeling lost and insecure when her father had been able to understand for years. Sadness had turned to anger, thinking she wasted all that time alone, thinking she had no one and her dad knew everything! He didn't tell her. He never confided in her. She had hated him for a hot minute, and she ran out of the house in an emotional tizzy, spending the next couple of days hiking alone to try to get her head on straight. Charlie had found her, searched the entire time for her, and they talked. Really talked. They went home together with a newfound trust and companionship between father and daughter.

"I will take Saturday off work. You sure your agent will let you leave the book that long?"

"Of course! I just have to check in twice a week and I've done that already the last two days." She said, chuckling. Her agent loved how attentive she was to her work. She definitely wouldn't object Bella taking a couple of days to herself.

"Well, alright then. How about we go out to Wahoo?" He asked with a curious tilt to his head.

"Nebraska?!" Bella asked excitedly. At Charlie's happy nod, Bella squealed and hugged her father. "Yes!"

Bella hadn't seen Aunt Shirley since she was about 11 years old, and she knew they missed her as much as she missed them. They had kept in touch sparsely through the years via email but that was never enough when it came to family. Aunt Shirley is Charlie's cousin, but Bella had always called her 'aunt' and considering Shirley's daughter, Kollie is Bella's 2nd cousin, it seemed apt to keep up the nickname even after she got older. In Bella's mind, anyway. Kollie was in medical school and engaged to be married to a man on the reservation not too far from Wahoo, over in Omaha. Bella had only heard of him a couple of times, but he seemed to be the love of her cousin's life, so she was happy for her. Charlie called Shirley and plans were made for that weekend. Bella bid her father goodnight; grateful this was only half a week of school due to Labor Day. She was itching to get out of the house this weekend.

Emmett met her at the front door of the school and introduced her to Rosie, his stunningly beautiful girlfriend.

Like, holy crow.

The blonde was almost as tall as Bella, just a couple of inches shorter and looked as if she belonged on a runway with those legs and sun kissed, shoulder length hair. Of course, Bella had already noticed that Emmett and Rosie both dressed to the nines, always looking and smelling their best, though his girlfriend didn't seem to like Bella very much, paying her very little attention, making the taller girl feel slightly uncomfortable. She mumbled a quick goodbye after introducing herself and getting a curt hello in return and scurried off to her locker. The rest of the day dragged on as Bella dwelled on the introduction, wondering if she had done something to offend the beautiful girl. Emmett had seemed a little put off at the way his girl had behaved but Bella knew that they would be fine. He looked at Rosie like the sun shined out of her ass. At least he had made an effort to include her in his relationship. She hoped Rosie wasn't jealous of her. There was obviously no competition - both with the way Emmett seemed to love his girl and the fact that she was a thousand times more beautiful than Bella could ever hope to be.

It wasn't that Bella wasn't pretty. Her long dark hair hung straight and smooth to the tops of her thighs. She usually kept it pulled back in a low ponytail, small wisps of hair hanging around her face. Her large eyes, framed with thick, long lashes, made her look innocent even though she practically had a permanent scowl on her heart shaped face. Her body was tall, lean, and lithe from all the hiking and her really good genes, though her hips flared out just a little, giving her some curves and a nice rear end. She wasn't ugly, no, but she wasn't Rosie beautiful, either.

During phys ed, Bella did her best to make light conversation with her new friend but couldn't help but wonder if he would end up pulling away now that they both knew Rosie didn't accept their friendship. Perhaps it was Fate that Bella was to be such a loner.

I feel like I don't need to say this more than once, to those who do tend to pick apart the story. AU. If you don't know what that means, Google it. Google comes in very handy for lots of things. :)