Welcome to a new story!
This one is going to be a slow burn, not entirely sure how slow but I'm currently on chapter 5 and Bella has yet to meet Tanya. While vampires finding mates is still a thing, Bella is going to be resistant.
Also, if you're waiting for the Total Eclipse of the Heart sequel, please check my profile for a poll.
"Bells," Charlie said gently shaking me awake. "We're landing."
I jerked up in the uncomfortable seat. I could hear the pilot talking about our landing in Fairbanks but I wasn't listening.
I glanced out the window and all I could see was a light dusting of snow. We managed to make it to Alaska before the heavy snow started. The sun was starting to set and we had a two-hour drive before we reached our new home.
It wasn't my choice to move to Alaska. No, that was Charlie, my dad. I know how much it pained him to leave. Forks was his home. He grew up there and worked at the police station since he was 21. It wasn't all bad though. Charlie was now Chief of Police in the small town of Denali, Alaska. With that came a big pay raise.
No, it was my fault we were now in Alaska. Charlie couldn't stand how depressed I had become how… quiet. His hope was that by starting over I would heal better. I wanted to tell him he was wrong, that nothing could heal the pain I felt but no words came out.
No words ever came out.
I shook away the thoughts and focused my attention on my dad. "There's a diner in town," Charlie continued oblivious to my thoughts. "The guys say it's pretty good. I figured we could try it when we get to town."
I shrugged, letting him know I didn't care. Food held no appeal to me I ate mostly so Charlie didn't worry. Because of that I had lost over twenty pounds in the last couple months.
The plane landed and I grabbed my bag with my few carry on items. Most of what we owned was already shipped to our new house. We each had a carry on and one suitcase. My Ipod and headphones were tucked away. I grabbed my whiteboard and marker. I stuffed my marker into my pocket and held onto the whiteboard.
The whiteboard was how I communicated with Charlie and everyone else. Charlie bought it when he realized I wasn't speaking to anyone. I hadn't spoken since 'they' left.
The airport wasn't crowded when we go off the plane. I was grateful for that. I didn't want to deal with people more than necessary. I got used to being in a small town and I missed it.
We made our way through the airport to the parking lot. The man that had given Charlie his job had helped him get a new car. The car was currently in long term parking and Charlie had the key in his pocket.
My truck had been shipped last week. I was grateful for that. I loved my truck.
"Just two hours until we're in Denali," Charlie said pulling out of the parking spot.
I forced myself to get comfortable and closed my eyes. I wanted to get to our new home as quickly as possible. The sooner we got there, the sooner I could get settled.
It felt like minutes later when Charlie was shaking me awake again. "Bells, we are at the diner," he said.
I rolled my neck, wincing at the pain from sleeping at such an awkward angle. I stretched my muscles and sat up.
It was now dark outside. The lights from the diner and the street lights did little to illuminate the surrounding area. We walked through the small parking lot to the front of the restaurant. Charlie held the door open for me.
The restaurant was surprisingly busy for eight at night. Still, it was easy for Charlie and I to get a table. We sat in the back away from everyone. That was okay with me. I wasn't ready to deal with people.
"Welcome to Denali Diner," the waitress said. "I haven't seen you two here before."
"We just arrived to town tonight," Charlie told her. "I'm Charlie Swan, the new Chief of Police. This is my daughter, Bella."
"Nice to meet you both and welcome to Denali," the waitress said. "I'm Jenny. What can I get you two to drink?"
"I'll take a coffee," Charlie said. "Bells?"
I quickly looked through the drink menu and point to the iced tea. I scanned the rest of the menu. It was a typical diner menu. Nothing overly exciting. Nothing appealed to me which was nothing new. I picked out the chicken tenders, something small and basic.
The waitress returned with our drinks so she could take our orders. Charlie ordered a burger, no surprise there, he was predictable. He should really eat something healthier. She turned to me and I pointed at the chicken tenders.
She didn't say anything about me not speaking but I could see she was holding herself back.
It wasn't like she was going to get those answers anyway. It wasn't any of her business. That was why Charlie got me the whiteboard. So, I could communicate when needed.
"What do you think Bells?" Charlie asked.
I grabbed the marker from my pocket and Charlie sighed. He still hadn't given up hope that I would speak again.
The diner or the town? I wrote.
"Either," he said with a shrug.
The diner's nice. The town… I tapped my chin with the marker. I don't know. Haven't seen much but it looks nice so far.
"Good," he said as the waitress returned with our drinks. Charlie was really hopeful that I would like Denali. His biggest fear was me wanting to go back with Renee. I wish I could tell him that would never happen. I liked living with Charlie. "I think you'll like it here Bells."
I tapped the whiteboard with my pen, debating on if I wanted to ask my next question.
Can I get a job? I wrote. I showed the whiteboard to Charlie. He frowned.
"Are you sure that's a good idea Bella?" he asked. I had no doubt he was concerned with my lack of speaking.
Can I at least try? I scribbled.
Charlie glanced at me and sighed. "Okay. I'll let you find a job."
THANKS. I wrote.
I was considerably happier when the food was dropped off. Now I just had to find someone willing to hire a girl that didn't talk.
The chicken strips were better than I expected, better than the diner in Forks. I ended up eating three of out of the five strips and about half the fries. If nothing else Denali was better for my appetite.
When we finished eating Charlie paid the bill, with a generous tip, and we left.
Moving at night wasn't the best idea. It made it difficult to find the new house. Charlie's eyes were scrunched up as he tried to read the various street signs. "Ah, here it is," Charlie exclaimed triumphantly.
He turned down a road that looked like it might be a driveway. My heart clenched. The driveway surrounded by woods was too familiar. I closed my eyes and pushed back the nausea I felt. This was my chance to start over. I couldn't let those memories ruin this.
When I opened my eyes, we were in front of our new house. The house was nice. Bigger than the house in Forks. It was three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Why we needed a third bedroom, I didn't know but not sharing a bathroom with Charlie was worth it.
"You can pick out your own bedroom," Charlie said as we got out of the car.
The key to the house was tucked under the welcome mat. Charlie's new coworkers had helped with the arrangements. He opened the door and we stepped through.
The house was similar to our old house. Two story, with the stairs right by the front door. I wondered if Charlie did that on purpose to make it easier for us to adjust. I followed Charlie up the stairs. "This is the first room," Charlie said pushing the door open.
The room was filled with our boxes. It looked nice, definitely had potential. It was larger than my room at home. It looked like the walls were freshly painted.
I followed Charlie to the second room and I instantly fell in love. The room was empty except for a queen size bed, not even a box inside. The walls were a cream color. What drew me in was the balcony attached. "I knew you would love it," Charlie said, pleased with himself. "That's why I had all the boxes put in the other room and your bed in here."
Thanks Dad, I wrote on my whiteboard. Sometimes I underestimated how observant Charlie was.
"I figured you would enjoy reading on the balcony," Charlie continued, rubbing the back of his neck. "Anyway, the guys at the station got us beds. We'll have to get the rest of our furniture tomorrow. Is that alright?"
I nodded. Charlie left our old furniture at the house. He wanted to get new, updated furniture here. A new start, he said. School? I wrote.
"Monday," Charlie answered. "That will give us both time to settle in. We'll have to stop for breakfast in the morning. We can go to the grocery store on our way home. But for now, we don't have anything." We stood there awkwardly for a moment. "I'll let you get settled. Your things are in that other room. The guys were nice enough to make sure you had your bedding and bathroom stuff handy."
Thanks Dad. Goodnight.
Charlie kissed my forehead. "Goodnight Bella. Sleep well."
I made my way to the extra bedroom. I dug through the many boxes in search of my bedding and toiletries. I had some of them in my suitcase but not everything. The first box I opened was books, of course. I had more books then anything else. I glanced at the book on top. Wuthering Heights. It was my favorite book but now I wasn't sure how I felt about it.
I closed the box and moved onto the next one. I was pleased to see it was my bedding. I grabbed it and went back to my new room. I quickly made up my bed. Once I was finished I grabbed my toiletries and pajamas from my suitcase and went to my new bathroom. It was bigger than the one in Forks, not that it mattered. I didn't have to share unless we had people visiting.
I quickly brushed my teeth and washed my face, wiping my wet face on my shirt since there were no towels. When I finished I put my things away in the cabinets and went back to my room. I flipped off the light and climbed into bed. It took only minutes before I was fast asleep.
I woke up the next morning to the sound of the front door shutting. I looked around. For a moment I forgot where I was. I stretched out in my bed. This bed was far more comfortable than my old one.
"Bells," Charlie said knocking on the door. He pushed it open, knowing I wouldn't respond. "Did you sleep okay?" I nodded and reached down for my whiteboard.
Who was here?
"One of the guys from the station," Charlie answered. "He wanted to check in. He told me about a furniture store in town. Do you want to get ready so we can go?" I nodded. "Alright. I put some towels in your bathroom so you can shower."
It took less than thirty minutes before we were back in Charlie's new car. "Do you want to eat first or shop?" he questioned.
Shop, I wrote. Charlie frowned but didn't comment. He must have hoped my appetite would be better.
"Fine. We'll get our furniture and then eat. Deal?" I agreed, not that I had much of a choice.
The furniture store was nice. It was rather large for such a small town. But that was okay. It meant less stops for us. I was able to find a nice dresser, desk, and nightstand in the same dark brown color as my bed. I even found two patio chairs and a small table for my balcony. Charlie found his own furniture in a light grey color.
While Charlie paid and worked on the delivery details, I doodled on my whiteboard. I had half the whiteboard covered by the time Charlie was done.
"Furniture will be delivered late this afternoon," Charlie informed me. "That will give us plenty of time to finish our shopping. It will also give you some time to decide where you want everything before they bring it in."
Charlie drove to the café for breakfast. It was moderately busy when we arrived. "Just the two of you?" the hostess asked.
"Yes," Charlie answered. I hugged the whiteboard close to my chest.
"Right this way," she said. She led us to a table in the crowded dining area. "You wouldn't be Charlie Swan by any chance?"
Charlie frowned. "That's me. Why?" he asked suspiciously. We sat down and took the offered menus.
"Hank, my husband, works at the station," she explained. "He mentioned the new Chief was moving out today. Denali is a small town. I didn't recognize you, figured you had to be him."
I watched as Charlie relaxed. "Hank's a nice guy," Charlie said. "He's been helping me with the move and getting everything set up before I arrived."
She nodded. "He's excited to have you here. We all are. Now, what can I get you two to drink?"
"Coffee," Charlie answered. I pointed to the orange juice.
"I'll be right back with those," the hostess said before heading to the kitchen. It seemed the hostess was also a waitress.
I flipped through the menu and settled on the southwestern hash. Charlie picked out pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and hash browns.
You should eat healthier, I wrote when the hostess left with our food orders.
"I eat plenty healthy," Charlie protested. I raised an eyebrow at him. "Fine. How about, at home when you cook, I'll eat whatever you want me to? But when we go out I eat what I want."
I tapped the marker to my chin. Fine. I wasn't going to get a better deal and once we had everything unpacked and food in the house we wouldn't be going out to eat all that often.
Another waitress delivered our food a few minutes later. "Where do you want to stop first?" Charlie asked. I shrugged. There were a few things I wanted but other than that I didn't really care. What I really wanted was a laptop, something better than the old computer in Forks. But laptops were expensive and I wasn't about to ask Charlie to spend even more money. After all, it was my fault we were here in the first place.
"Do you need any clothes?" he asked me.
No, I wrote. I'm good for now. But when winter rolls around I'll need some things.
"Alright. We can go clothes shopping another time," he agreed. "Why don't we head to the grocery store? We can go home and unpack and then figure out what else we need to buy."
Sounds good. I was happy. Less shopping was always a good thing. Hopefully I would have time to get a job before I needed winter clothes. Although I didn't have much time before winter came. It was already the end of September and it was getting cold, especially at night. Actually Dad, can I get an electric blanket?
I tapped the table to get his attention. He looked up and read the whiteboard. He swallowed a mouthful of bacon before saying, "That's a good idea Bells. I should get one too."
The hostess came by to check on us once we were done eating. "Breakfast is on us today," she told Charlie when he asked for the check. "As a thank you for what you will be doing for us."
Charlie thanked her, though it pained him to do so, because he preferred to pay. I knew he was going to leave a rather large tip. Sure enough, once the waitress was gone Charlie dropped two twenties on the table and we left before she could notice.
Our second to last stop was a department store just outside of town. We picked out our electric blankets and made our way to the check out. There was a help wanted sign on the door but I wasn't sure I wanted to work here. It was a little too far from the house for my liking.
"To the grocery store?" Charlie questioned. I nodded.
The trip to the grocery store was the longest trip of the day. We had nothing at home so we had to buy everything all over again. I started with the basics like seasonings, milk, eggs and butter. Then I branched out and picked out stuff for meals. Charlie also picked out some beer.
I made sure we had plenty of meats, cheeses and bread for sandwiches. Mayo and mustard were also picked up. I grabbed some chips for Charlie. I probably wouldn't eat them but I knew he would. I also grabbed bacon, sausage, bagels and pancake mix. I grabbed some fresh fruit and veggies and enough foods to have at least a weeks' worth of meals.
I grabbed my whiteboard and quickly jotted down my question for Charlie. What do you want for dinner?
Charlie read the whiteboard and frowned. "What about your enchiladas?" he suggested.
I nodded and we gathered everything I needed for the enchiladas, including the ingredients for a side salad to go with it. Our cart was filled by the time I added the ice cream. The ice cream was mostly for Charlie but I did enjoy it on occasion. Or I did. I hadn't had it since… he left.
Charlie paid for our groceries. We loaded up the car and drove home. Charlie offered to unload everything so I could organize the kitchen the way I wanted. It made sense since I was the only one that actually cooked.
It took over an hour to get everything organized the way I wanted. Charlie finished unloading everything, grabbed a still warm beer, and headed to the living room to connect the TV that was shipped days ago.
That was the nice part. All of our stuff arrived before us. There were a few things we left behind for the people that bought the house. Our beds and furniture being among those things. Charlie wanted to give me a chance to pick out my own furniture this time since he picked them out for me when I moved in.
Once the kitchen was organized to my liking I grabbed my new electric blanket and went upstairs to my room. I added it to my bed and tossed the trash into the corner for the time being. When I went back downstairs I would take it with me.
I laid down on my bed and closed by eyes. So much had changed in the last twenty four hours and it was all starting to hit me now. I never wanted to move away from Forks but I didn't have much of a choice. It was either go to Alaska with Charlie or Jacksonville, FL with Renee and Phil. Now if they returned they wouldn't be able to find me. Would they assume I moved on? Or would they try to find me?
I wasn't sure and a part of me didn't want to know the answer.