Bella sighed as she pulled her long, dark brown hair into a messy bun. Her bright, light blue eyes stood out in comparison to her creamy, pale skin. Bella rubbed the side of her neck and cringed as her index finger brushed against a barely noticeable scar on the side of her neck. To Bella, however, the scar was a constant reminder of that fateful night 50 years ago when her life was changed dramatically. The night when she said good-bye to her mortal like, to her friends, to most of her human family, and most importantly…him.
Bella clenched her jaw and squeezed her eyes shut, willing herself not to remember his face…his voice…his family…or his broken promise. She squeezed the edge of the bathroom counter and let a deep breath. She had a new family now. One that took her in when she had no place to go, one that saved her from certain death, and one that was helping to mend the pieces of her broken heart and soul.
" Bella?" A timid voice called from the open bathroom door.
Bella turned and smiled. There stood Mackenzie, her 6 year old sister, in her pink, knee-length nightgown, ever though she never slept. Her shoulder length red hair was in a messy side ponytail and her light blue eyes that mirrored Bella's sparkled with innocence, well as much innocence as a vampire could have.
" What's up, Big Mac?" Bella asked, making Mackenzie giggle at the ridiculous nickname.
" Since you don't have school, will you stay home and play with me today?" Mackenzie hugged her Teddy Bear to her chest as she walking into the spacious bathroom.
Bella tapped her chin in mock thought, " Hmmm, well the sun isn't supposed to be out today. How about we take a trip to the mall?"
Mackenzie smiled and nodded her head before running off at a speed only a vampire could reach, calling over her shoulder, " I have to change!"
Bella smiled again and slowly walked out of the bathroom towards the staircase. She walked down and to the living room, where the rest of her family, minus two, was lounging about.
Chase, having been changed at 20, appeared to be the oldest of the family. He looked up and smiled as Bella entered. He was sitting in the counter of their rounded couch, one leg stretched out on the cushions of the couch while the other leg was planted on the ground while he flipped through the channels on the television. His short black hair was spiked and his eyes were an extremely light blue, due to the previous nights' feeding, on animals of course. His muscles were large, almost larger than Emmett's.
Bella felt the familiar tear at her insides as she remembered her old friends, well practically her second family. She forced herself to look back to the living room and her eyes rested on a young boy sprawled out on the thick, beige carpet, studying from a thick textbook.
" Caden, why are you studying? You're already a genius." Bella called.
Caden smiled and glanced up before returning to his textbook, his shaggy, sandy brown hair covering his light blue eyes. Caden had been ten when he was changed, but was much older than everyone else, including Chase. He wasn't as visibly strong as Chase, but Bella knew he could put up a very strong fight, as Bella had witnessed whenever he wrestled with Tristan.
Thinking of Tristan, Bella looked to see where he was and found him easily. Tristan, having been changed at sixteen, was old enough to have achieved defined muscles, but young enough to still have the rounded face of a younger boy, which was frames by curly, light brown chin length hair. His bled eyes sparkled with intensity as he played his handheld video game.
Bella rolled her eyes, knowing that Tristan would be there for a couple hours and instead turned her attention to Abigail, her other sister, who sat on the floor filing her nails, her back resting against the couch. Her long, wavy blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders as her light blue eyes focused on her perfect nails. Abigail, or Abby, was fifteen when she had been changed. Although she could pass for a twenty year old if, and when, she wanted, Bella knew she was nothing but a sweet, vet vulnerable young girl on the inside.
The only person missing from the room was Damien, the kids' father whom Bella assumed had already left for work. Although Damien had only changed Chase and Caden himself, he took in the other three and raised them single handedly, until Bella came along. Damien had been the one to save Bella fifty years ago, and immediately took her in. When she had woken up a vampire, the younger children immediately began to see her as an older sister, and motherly figure who kept them out of trouble. Abigail, no matter how many times she tried to deny it, even looked up to Bella and would occasionally ask her for advice, secretly of course.
Bella was drawn back to reality as Mackenzie's stone-like body collided with her leg, " Bella, can we go?"
Bella smiled down and her and smoothed Mackenzie's hair with her hand, " Sure. We're going to the mall guys. Does anyone else want to go?"
The only answer Bella received was a snort from Chase, so Bella shrugged her shoulder's and took Mackenzie's cold hand in her equally chilled on before leading her off to the garage. Bella opened the door and smile. Te her left was Chase's Blue, Toyota FTX truck, right next to his Silver Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Next to the Porsche was an open space, where Damien's White, Lexus LS460L usually parks. Next to the open space was Tristan's bright yellow, Hummer H3. To the far right was Abigail's silver, Chrysler Crossfire Convertible. Next to that were Bella's babies. Her silver Bentley Continental GT and her red Ferrari 360 Spyder. Bella quickly decided on driving the Bentley and helped Mackenzie get buckled into the backseat before climbing into her seat. Bella put the key in the ignition and turned it, the engine purring to life. With a satisfied smirk, Bella easily maneuvered the car out onto the gravel driveway and through the forest.
As she drove, the scenery next to her changed from a dense forest to a small town. As Bella waited patiently at a red light, her heart skipped a beat, or would have if it still beater. Through her dark sunglasses she saw a familiar, silver Volvo parked next to the hardware store.
Bella froze, 'Get a hold of yourself, Bella. It's been 50 years. There's no way it's him.' Bella though and shook her head.
" What's wrong Bella?" Mackenzie asked in a musical voice from the backseat.
Bella drove off the minute the light changed, " Nothing, Mac. I was just thinking." Bella chewed her lip as she turned onto the highway, heading for the mall, unaware of the eyes that watched her.
" Are you sure? You seem destructed." Mackenzie asked.
Bella smiled despite her worries, " No, I'm fine, but I think you meant to say distracted."
" Yeah, that's what I said. Distracted." Mackenzie insisted and Bella shook her head slowly, smiling to herself.
XXXXX In the Hardware Store XXXXX
" Sir?" The old cashier asked uncertainly as she held out the change to the beautiful teenager in front of her, " Your change?"
The teen looked back to her, his light brown eyes blazing with curiosity, " Who was that girl?"
" What girl?" The old woman asked, slightly confused.
" The girl in the Bentley ?" The boy asked impatiently.
" Oh, a Bentley, you say? Well then that must have been the Owens girl!" The woman looked to be deep in thought, " Oh, what's her name? Sweet girl, I'll tell you. Her father, well adoptive father works down at the hospital, Damien Owens. He's a doctor."
The teenager smiled patiently, " Mine, too. We just moved here. Now, her name…please?"
The woman just continued to talk, " That girl was a blessing for poor old Damien, if you ask me. He raised five kids, all adopted, by himself. When he adopted that girl, he said she became the mother those poor young kids never had." The woman shook her head sadly.
The boy's face fell, " Oh, so they just adopted her a while ago, huh?"
" Oh, heavens no!" The woman exclaimed, " They adopted her a few years before the moved here. The just moved in about two years ago. Wonderful family…filthy rich wonderful family."
The boy's eyes sparkled, " What's her name?" He demanded.
The woman thought for a second, " Stella?…Oh, no that's not it. I'm horrible with names, hmmmm. Let's see…Ella? No that's not it now--"
" Bella?" The young man asked eagerly, cutting the old woman off.
" Yes! That's it! Bella Owens. Do you know her?" The old woman asked but the teen was already out the door, " Strange young man."
The cashier watched as the handsome young man started his silver Volvo and drove away, headed towards the hospital.
XXXXX At the Mall XXXXX
After five hours of spoiling her little sister rotten, Bella decided to head home, despite Mackenzie's protests.
" This is so unfair! I was a good girl, I didn't even think about biting anyone. Why can't we go back?" Mackenzie whined as Bella drive up the gravel driveway to her house.
" You were a good girl, Mac. But don't you want to show off all your new clothes to Abby?" Bella asked and when she received no answer, she knew she had won the small argument.
Bella slowed down and expertly maneuvered her car into her designated parking space in the garage. She got out and smiled when she saw that Damien's Lexus was in it's parking space as well. Running as fast as she could, Bella gathered her shopping bags, ran to her room and dropped the off. Then she put Mackenzie's packages in Mackenzie's room before running down to the living room.
Bella smiled as she recognized Damien. His straight, shoulder length black hair was pulled back into a low ponytail at the nape of his neck. His muscles were perfectly tones and he sat gracefully on the couch, biting his nail. Bella's smile fell when she saw the worry in his light blue eyes and the creases in her perfect skin caused by his furrowed eyebrows.
" Damien? What's wrong?" Bella asked as she sat in her favorite, red suede, overstuffed armchair.
" Oh, Bella. You're home. Hold on, let me call the others. Chase? Abby? Tristan? Caden? Mackenzie?" Damien said in a normal voice.
In a matter of seconds the entire family was gathered in the living room. Chase sat on the couch, resting his elbows on his knees. Abby sat on the floor next to Chase's legs, her back resting on the bottom of the couch while Caden sat Indian style by her feet. Tristan sat next to Damien, leaning back into the couch.
" What's the matter, Daddy?" Mackenzie asked as she climbed into Bella's lap.
Damien smiled slightly, " I guess I should start at the beginning. This morning, I, uh…I sensed more vampires in the area, but I just figured they were passing by."
Bella nodded. Damien had a gift. He could sense the presence of other vampires near him. It came in handy when they needed to find other vampires who hoped to come in secret, potentially blowing the Owens' cover.
" When I got into work, I could still sense them. Worse yet, I could smell one…near me. Then I saw another one, a young girl. She came into the hospital in a rush, asking for some doctor…I don't remember who." Damien explained, rubbing his forehead.
" What do you need us to do?" Chase asked, determination written all over his face.
Damien thought for a second, then sight, " Nothing…yet. They're like use, the drink animals, I mean. Just…just keep an eye out and watch each others' backs."
" You got it, Dad." Caden smiled and everyone nodded in agreement.
Bella sat still in her chair, her eyes wide as she tried to calm herself down, 'It wasn't him, It's someone else.' Bella repeated in her head over and over again. Mackenzie frowned as she looked up at Bella.
" Bella!' Mackenzie whined, " You're destructed again!"
" Distracted." Caden corrected.
" That's what I said! Distracted!" Mackenzie huffed in a matter-of-fact voice.
Bella forced a small smile don her face, " I was just thinking Mac. How about we play some games tonight? I finished my homework Friday night."
Mackenzie smiled and raced off, returning a few seconds later with six board games piled in her arms, " Let's play!"
XXXXX The Next Morning XXXXX
Bella parked her Ferrari next to Chase's Porsche. She smiled at Abby, who sat in the passenger seat, " School, how fun."
Abby smiled at Bella's sarcasm and stepped out of the car as Tristan, Caden, and Mackenzie piled out of Chase's Porsche. Bella caught a reflection of herself in her car and smiled. He school had required uniforms, so, of course, she and her family had altered theirs. Instead of the normal, knee length, pleated red plaid skirt, Bella had hemmed hers so that it barely reached mid-thigh. Her fitted white blouse had the top two buttons undone and her black tie hung loosely around her neck. She held her fitted black blazer in her hand and wore 4 inch, black Stiletto boots that reached just below her knees. In this school, shoes were the only clothing article that the students had a choice on. Bella and Abby found that the more revealing they dressed, the easier they got their way in school.
Bella slung her black backpack over her shoulder and grabbed Mackenzie's hand as the family walked to their 'spot', passing by both girls and boys giving them appreciative and jealous glances. The high school and elementary school were right next to each other, separated by a large parking lot and a courtyard. In front of the high school were about thirty randomly placed picnic tables, all having at least a twenty foot radius in which no other tables were. Next to the largest tree was the table the Owens had 'claimed'. They always got to school early and would rest by the table talking.
Bella plopped onto the grass and lay down flat, crossing her right ankle over her left. Her left arm lay perpendicular to her body while she covered her eyes with her right forearm, blocking out the sight of the cloudy, overcast sky.
After a few minutes of silence in the group, Bella propped herself up on her elbows and sighed. Caden, as usual, was sitting at the table pouring over a college textbook he had borrowed from the library. Mackenzie sat in the grass, humming a song while she played with the ends of Bella's long hair. Chase was leaning against the large tree, his eyes closed. Tristan sat on the bench of the picnic table. His legs were extended in front of him while his back and elbows rested against the table. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes, knowing the effect he was having on a group of giggling girls that sat a few tables away. Abby sat a few feet down from Tristan on the opposite bench of the table watching Tristan, who didn't seem to notice. Her eyes narrowed and she looked away, fuming on the inside.
" Why don't you put that book down, Caden?" Chase said opening his eyes, " All you ever do is study."
" Yep, and my grades reflects upon that. Unfortunately for you, your grades reflect on your study time too, or lack of it I should say." Caden stuck his tongue out as the family laughed.
Chase widened his eyes in mock hurt at Mackenzie, " Are you laughing at me, Mac?"
Mackenzie giggled, " No, silly. I'm laughing with you, your just not joining in!"
" Oh, yea?" Chase glanced around innocently before leaping up and tickling Mackenzie, who rolled on the ground laughing.
" Bella! Help!" Mackenzie giggled, but Bella just laughed, unaware of the eyes that watched her.
XXXXX Parking Lot XXXXX
" And now, we come to the uh…the…c-courtyard. Yea." The tour guide stuttered as she led the five, beautiful new students on their tour, " Everyone p-pretty much hangs out h-here."
" Wow." The blonde said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.
" Don't be rude, Rosalie." The boy with honey brown hair scolded before turning his smoldering topaz eyes onto the young tour guide, " Please, continue."
The girl blushed and started pointing out different groups of people, " W-Well, those are the jocks…you know, the football and baseball teams and stuff…o-over there are the…uh…the cheerleaders. Um, those are t-the punks…and those are the band kids…t-those--"
" Who're they?" The same boy with the topaz eyes asked as he heard a musical laugh.
The girl turned in the direction her was pointing and frowned, 'Of course, he notices the Owens. Greeaat, just another fan boy for that, that…that SLUT!' The girl thought and noticed the boy raise his eyebrows, 'Did I just say that out loud?'
" Are you going to answer him? We don't have all day, you know." The blonde snapped, while the boy with the beautiful eyes glared at her for a second.
" Um, sorry." The girl mumbled, blushing, " Those are the Owens. Their Dad works at the hospital and adopted them all. Everyone here likes them, especially her." The girl said resentfully and noticed that the boy who had stood up to her was trying to get a better look, " Butt they don't date anyone! Tristan and Abby are together. I'm not too sure about Chase, but I think he's with B-"
" Is this tour over yet?" The blonde asked impatiently as the dark haired girl elbowed her hard in the ribs.
" Uh, yea. Sure. We just need to get your scheduled. What're your names again?" The girls asked.
" Cullen." The teenager with honey brown hair answered, " I'm Edward, this is Alice. That's Emmett. He's Jasper, and she's Rosalie."
" Ok, follow me." The girl said, smiling.
Edward continued to stare with curiosity at the Owens, his eyes resting on the dark haired girl laying on the ground, whose face he couldn't see. Her musical laughter floated to his ears as the boy with black hair stopped tickling the little girl and turned on her instead.
" Edward? Are you coming?" The tour guide asked, following his eyes, then though, 'Greeeat. Another guy trapped in that little tramp's spell. Ugh.'
Edward smirked, " Yep. I'm coming." Edwards walked off as the first bell rang.
XXXXX With the Owens XXXXX
Chase stopped tickling Bella when he heard the bell echo through the courtyard. Bella stood up and wiped the grass off her clothes.
" Ok. Caden, will you drop Mac off?" Bella asked but Caden was already walking across the parking lot to the elementary school, Mackenzie's small hand in his.
" Well, let's go!" Chase exclaimed, throwing an arm over Bella's shoulders.
The four walked off to their lockers, smiling.