You Make Me Retch - Bella Swan is an ex thief, the daughter of a local medicine woman. One day, she decides she had enough and goes back to her old ways. Trying to escape arrest from the royal guards, she unknowingly runs into the royal garden, where King Carslie Cullen and his family rule. There she meets Edward, the mysterious prince soon to be king. From there, all hell breaks loose
Chapter One: Strange Beginnings
DISCLAMIMER I in no way own any part of the twilight series.
" Birth root... Birth root." Is what I was saying in my head for a good 2 hours. It was a gorgeous day, filled with sunshine and warmth, and what was I doing?
Going off and playing find the medicinal herb!
My name is Isabella Marie Swan. My mom was the prime healer in this huge town, a town filled with riches and exotic cuisine in every corner of the place. My dad was the head honcho guard at the palace, which was a good walking distance away making our town the prime source of trade...and thievery. Of course you couldn't blame me for being a rebellious kid. You see, my parents are way to good for their own sakes. My mom would never charge the full amount for the medicines she made, and sometimes she wouldn't charge at all, making our total profits 0 dollars and 0 cents. My dad was always at the palace, so I never really saw him since I was about 8 years old.
I'm 17 now.
I have a record of thieving on my list of other offenses. Stolen shoes, stolen clothes, heck, even stolen dishes. Don't get me wrong. Anything and everything I stole was for my mother and me. The way I saw it, they belonged to us. If we had just charged the people what they owed us, then we could've had the money to buy what we needed-not steal them. My father always sent everything he made to us, but like I said, this town was full of thieves. And the lot of them? At the palace. Most times, we never even got half of what he sent.
I guess I got caught way to many times, because the last time I got arrested I got a severe warning that if I got caught stealing again, I would be put in the dungeon for 8 years, get beaten, and/or get my hands cut off.
Hmmm...what a list to choose from.
I walked down the dirt road to the market place, scanning every corner for a herb seller. I knew my mother would kill me, especially since we had abosolutley no money to spend, but I thought if I was fast enough, I could pocket some of them quickly, enough for what she wanted to make. I walked by every corner of the place and couldn't find anything useful. That didn't surprise me, since selling herbs was a bit out dated at this lot. For some reason, the market Place seemed much more crowded then usual. There were people yelling, and woman whispering and scurrying around. I didn't understand. Was today some sort of festival?
To confirm my suspicions, I causally walked by some gossiping woman nearby and got an earful of whispers.
" Did you hear?
" No, what? Tell me what's happening!"
" King Carisle is finally stepping down and giving the crown to his son!"
" -Gasp- NO!!"
" Which one?"
" The youngest. Prince Edward."
" What? Why him? Why give it to the youngest?"
" I'm not so sure...but there is another thing!"
" Princesses and young respectable woman from every corner of this nation are coming into the palace today. It is to find a bride for Prince Edward!"
" YES! So dress up my dear, wear the best clothes in your wardrobe! It is possible one of us could be future queen!"
" Aiyeeee! But what do they look like? No one-at least no one I know- has ever seen them. What if they're deformed? Repulsive? Not only them, but the palace! No one has ever been in there and came out to tell."
" Very true. But a friend of my friend once told me that she saw a glimpse of the Royal Cullen's and almost fainted."
" With distress?"
" No my dear, with admiration! She said they were more beautiful then angels themselves in the good heavens! So beautiful, one look could bring you to tears."
" My goodness..."
" And today, the whole country can see them, once and for all!"
I turned away in disgust. Woman like them gave the rest of us a bad name. Marrying for money, yet still wanting something good to look at for the rest of their lives. Though I hated to admit it, my body burned with curiosity. The mysterious Cullen family. No one but a few people have ever seen them, and rumors of their looks spread like wildfire. In no time, however, so many rumors flew by that no one really believed in them anymore. This could be a good chance to see for myself...
No. I shook my head. I needed to stay on task. Birth root...Birth root...
I sighed. "Come on..." I cursed under my breath, shaking my head. Looks like I needed to get it the old fashioned way...
Birth root was a fairly new herb to me. I had never seen it before, and that was saying a lot, since the day of my birth I was taught to do nothing but live and breath everything that grew from the good mother earth. Supposedly, it was a heck of a powerful antiseptic, but it's sting was unbearably painful.
To make it more appealing, it could only be found on Dead Mans Cliff. Lovely name, don't you think? It got that title a century ago, when supposedly twenty men threw themselves off the edge, probably drunk or just crazy. People say that if you stay there past midnight, you could hear their frightful screams and a pair of invisible hands would push you off the edge.
... And of course, that's where I was to go.
It's no secret that I was the most gravity challenged girl in the nation. I could not walk two feet without tripping on something, and the idea of going to the edge of a cliff for a little flower was not far from insane. Renee had a heart attack just asking me for the task, but I promised I would be just fine and come back in one piece. I knew that she didn't believe me, but I lied the best I could. I felt a bit guilty, for there was another reason I wanted to get out of the house. It was to see a boy I was head over heels in love with.
A boy named Jacob Black.
Jacob was my partner in crime since I could remember. We were the best of friends, and I secretly harbored a crush on him for a good eight years. I loved everything about him. From the way his dark hair swept over his face, the way his body was perfectly toned from working the whole day, and how his dark eyes always seemed to be laughing. I thought about him whenever I could.
But something strange had been happening in the past three weeks. I had barley gotten to see him, and when I did, he seemed different. More grown up and cold. Not to mention the increase of thievery in the market. Something told me he had a part in it.
I kept walking down the path, to the spot where he and I had planned to meet. Soon, I had stopped in front of a decent sized oak tree. A tree me and him had planted together oh so many years ago.
Before I could recollect my thoughts, a pair of strong arms lifted me at the waist and twirled me around.
A big smile found it's way to my lips and a huge laugh escaped my throat.
" Haha, Hey Bells! Didja miss me?" he yelled eagerly as he set me down. I laughed again, and for some reason I couldn't stop smiling. That happened a lot when I was with Jacob.
When my feet touched the ground I wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his chest. It was sweltering warm.
" I missed you more then you could imagine, you big ape!" I joked as I released him. We stared at each other for long time, just smiling like a pair of idiots, and if I could, would stare at him the whole day.
His eyebrows wiggled mischievously, a habit of his which I had grown to love.
" Ape, huh?" he suddenly said with fake boredom, " Very original, but you can do better then that."
I pouted. " I happen to think that ape fits perfectly. You're both hairy, slightly intelligent, and love the outdoors."
His arms suddenly grabbed me at the waist, pinning me there. That was another thing that had changed about Jacob. He had grown more bold, more daring. A few weeks ago he would never have touched me so intimately. Sometimes, his cocky attitude drove me crazy.
I blushed against my will as his face came dangerously close to mine. His eyes stared into my chocolate colored ones as he whispered," Ape? Heh, Come on Bells, look at me. Do I look like an ape to you?"
My heart started pounding. Stupid, stupid reflexes!
" Ya..." I tried laughing, "Maybe you're right. At least monkeys have manners. You're more like a dog. "
He laughed, a nice low chuckling sound. It was very warm. He smiled.
" Close...very close." he whispered under his breath, but I caught it.
" Hmmm?" I looked questioningly at him, but he shrugged it off.
" So...let's go get that birth root." he said sternly, all smiles from his face replaced with a fake frown.
" Yes sir!" I laughed, as I saluted him. I could tell this was going to be a good day...
How wrong I was.
" Carisle, this is completely insane! Why would you ever propose something of this magnitude without my consent?"
I stared at my 'father' with as much control as I could. He had a lot of explaining to do.
Carisle sighed, running a hand through his hair.
" Edward-" he said, trying to use his calm voice in a vain attempt to settle me, but I wouldn't have it.
" An ENGAGEMNT?!" I bellowed. " Have you lost your mind? How can you see this as a solution for this predicament?"
" As if giving ME the crown would do anything. We had made an agreement on YOUR part, many, MANY years ago that we were never to show our palace or our faces to the people. It would be safer, you said, too many questions would arise, you said. And now you're giving a free-for-all to the whole nation! Completely absurd!"
And it was true. The Cullen family was far from normal-or safe.
We were vampires.
The eternally damned.
My mind was going crazy with thoughts and memories as I was filled with nothing but complete and utter rage. A rage I had not felt since I first met Carisle and his dreams of ruling a nation without war, without violence. Something that was completely unknown to our species. We could never age.
We could never sleep.
We could never eat...except the blood of humans and animals.
Ruling a nation was hard enough. Keeping questions about us unanswered was even harder.
Why we never revealed ourselves to the people.
How we never needed food to be brought into the palace.
How a man who is supposedly over a century old could look like a man in his late 20's, dammit!
" Edward, if you would just listen-"
"NO! Carisle, we had agreed that I would not take the crown from you. We agreed on that on my part, and equally on yours...and to change the subject to an even more vial matter, how can I POSSIBLY keep a wife? Have you forgotten what we are? An idea such as that is from a mad man! The moment I take her hand she will have lost an arm. What were you thinking?- Never mind. This can easily be undone. The news might not have spread very far...send the guards! Take down the posters and send a representative to the town square and make an announcement that the engagement search is annulled, do to unexpected problems-truth being you found your senses- and everything will be fine."
I panted, my sudden outburst and racing thoughts strangely tiring to me. Perhaps it's because I haven't done it in such a long time.
After a moment, I stared back at Carisle with a triumphant smirk on my face, sure that I had won the battle.
But a cloud of doubt hung over me. Carisle was one of the very rare people that my mind reading abilities had no affect on. Give me anyone, anywhere, and I could tell you exactly what they were thinking. It came in handy quite often in court. I could tell who was lying, what was being left unsaid, if a person had other motives then he would let on...etc.
But with Carisle...it was different. He was always very careful with his thoughts around me. He would never think of anything that would help me confirm and idea or thought I had. It was very frustrating. But this time, I thought I had gotten him. That my common sense at our survival would have gotten to him. I waited for his reply.
" Are you finished?" he asked calmly, no hint of change in his voice.
I waited, nodding slightly.
" Very well then. Alice had seen something."
My body tensed. With no reason other than instinct, every hair on my body stood up, ready for battle. This was not good. My sister, Alice, much like me, had an impressive ability.
She could see the future.
This came in handy more often then my skill, and was much more of an asset. In fact, it was the main reason we had been able to keep in power for so long in peace. Any thoughts or plans of over rule or rebellion she would see, and we would stop it before it happened. But she rarely shared with us what she would see in her visions. If it was not of utmost importance, she wouldn't bother alarming anyone. The simple fact that chose to share this, especially with Carisle, meant she felt threatened.
" Calm down Edward." he said composed, much like before, " Let me explain before you decide to attack the furniture."
I rolled my eyes, and very slowly, put down my defenses. My snarl, however, could not be helped. It stayed where it was.
Carisle continued. " Alice saw the rival group of our kind edging closer to our borders. In no less then a month, they will break through and come for us."
I contemplated what he said. This news was not new to me. Alice had told us about them a while ago, and we were putting up our best defenses. "We'll be ready by then." I said smugly, full of confidence, " In a month we can easily prepare for battle. There has not been a foe yet we haven't conquered."
Carisle seemed unfazed by my confidence." That's not the only danger she has seen."
My eyes narrowed. What else could there be? What else was there that we could not handle?
" ...she has seen a new pack. Something that she can't define as anything yet, but they are neither human nor vampire. They are of a different species."
I paused. "Does she feel they are a threat?"
The room was silent for a moment, not a sound penetrating the walls as Carisle stayed perfectly still thinking to himself. I mentally groaned. I knew I shouldn't have, but as always there was an invisible wall of other thoughts around his mind.
Thoughts, I shuddered to myself, involving a big yellow ball and bath water.
" No..." he finally whispered, his answer uneven but confident, " She said they're not a threat... quite yet. But we should look out in the near future."
I opened my mouth to say something, but he interrupted me.
" And now to answer you're earlier questions."
Anything I was about to say, I shut my mouth.
I waited, impatient.
" You must find a wife."
" YOU MUST FIND HER IN A WEEK. Having a wife will stop any questions about me stepping down from the throne. I must step down because I will be gone in the next month or so to our allies in the north. Of course, we will be able to think of a more dramatic reason then that, I'm sure. Humans seem to like distress better then the truth. I will explain our situation and persuade them to help us. This should not be a problem, but while I'm gone, I need someone I can trust to fill in my place-temporarily of course."
My eyebrows raised. " Why must I have a wife-a human one at that? And why must I be your successor? You have two more sons Carisle, I'm sure you realize."
A smile tugged on his lips. " Very observant Edward." he said unusually smug, " I wouldn't put it past you to think of reasons to excuse yourself. You must obtain a human wife to win the trust of the people. If there does happen to be a war between the rival tribe and us, we cannot have the court rebel against us on top of that. I'm sure you understand that to be a successful King you must at least attempt to keep your people alive."
I rolled my eyes at his response. True, some of it made sense. But...
" Why does it have to me?" I asked, annoyance in my voice, " Jasper and Emmet have Rosalie and Alice. They practically are married-just make it official. The people might have more trust in a royal engagement then a forced one."
Carisle was quick to answer back. His tone was sharp. " I have more trust in you, Edward. Next to me, you are the oldest in this family. True, to the human eye you are still young, but you have years of experience. Your mind is much more mature and strategic then that of Emmet and Jasper. Also...you have the most control."
I winced. Over the last century, Carisle and I had honed our skills in controlling our burning thirst for human blood. The rest of our family was not far behind us, but still prone to a slip up here and there. It made sense that I would be the one chosen for such a task. A murdered queen sucked dry would make quite an interesting headline.
" So you see Edward, there really is no other choice. The news of your bride search has most likely reached the ends of the nation by now. At no later then 5pm today, there will be lines of woman lined up for you. All you must do is find the one you think you can live with for a month."
Carisle's voice shook me from my thoughts as I shot an icy glare at him. I didn't care what his reasons, or if they were right or not. I was not going to sacrifice everything we had worked for in a matter of a month. Could he not see how vastly different we were to the humans? How whichever girl I chose would surely know something was at odd with our family? He had not weighed out the pros and cons of his decision, but I certainly had.
" No matter what your reason.." I trailed off, eyes piercing into his venomously, " I will not consent!"
In a blink of an eye, I was gone.