Murder in Forks

DISCLAIMER: the author of this fanfiction does not, in any way, profit from the story and all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).

A/N: This story is set a few weeks after Edward rescues Bella from James and well before New Moon.

Bella's P.O.V

I smiled as I felt my lion's cold arms wrap tighter around my waist as I awoke. I turned towards his gentle eyes and was taken aback by their darkened color.

I shifted away from him cautiously, this was not at all what I had been expecting to see.

"Edward...your eyes, I thought you went hunting..."

"Shhh, It's alright sweetheart I won't hurt you. I didn't go hunting last night." He soothed drawing me closer for a cuddle.

"Why?" I asked still unsure, he made it clear only yesterday that it was nearing his time to hunt and that he would be leaving in the early afternoon with Jasper and Emmett to avoid one of them loosing control and taking a snap at me.

I didn't like the way he hesitated before answering my question.

"Alice had a vision..." he began.

"Victoria and Laurent aren't back are they?" I couldn't mask the fear in my voice at this terrifying notion.

"Edward?" I clung to him when he didn't answer.

"Alice predicted that there would be three murders in the Forks area last night and ...she was right."

"Murders, who?, what?, was it anyone we know?" I gasped. I was starting to become panicky, It had only been eight weeks since James had attacked me, I'd only had the cast removed from my left leg two days ago, and I was sure I wouldn't be able to handle it if his two buddies decided to take out revenge on me or the family of vampires I was so close to.

"Breath Bella" Edward lightly cupped my face and stroked my cheek gently.

"No, it was nobody familiar to us. They were hikers camping in the woods. Charlie's out investigating right now. I will see no harm come to you my Bella, that's why I came home to you early, just in case."

"But you said it was a really important hunt for you, and what about Jasper? Will he be OK? I know he can't control himself as well as you."

"Silly Bella only I came back, Jasper and Emmett should still be chasing grizzles. They'll be fine. I'm sure two thirsty vampires can look after themselves, and I did manage a mountain lion, so I can restrain myself for a few more days at least."

I smiled softly at his reassurances. Edward always seemed to know what to say, maybe he was lying when he said he couldn't read my mind, but then, my Angel would never lie.

"Anyway, I'm sure Charlie will have it all sorted out soon. You had better go do your human routine, Alice will be here to pick us up soon, she predicts a sunny day and wants to have you around the house to amuse her." He spoke teasingly lifting me to my feet and placing me back down on the floor by the bathroom door.

"I'll wait for you downstairs."

"OK" I replied.

Once under the warm shower I began to think through what Edward had just told me. Murder in Forks was rare but three in one night? This was really frighting stuff. I tried to calm myself some what by reasoning that it couldn't be the work of Jame's friends, they wouldn't dare risk going after me again would they? Surely not while the Cullens were so protective of me? No I told myself, its probably just some regular wacko and Charlie would catch him soon. I was fine. I had Edward and his family looking after me.

Finishing with my shower I started down the stairs. I only got half way because Alice suddenly had me in an enthusiastic hug.

"Wow you got here quick." I gasped once she let go.

"I just couldn't wait to play dress ups with my favorite doll!" she beamed.

"Oh no Alice, I haven't even eaten breakfast yet!" I whined.

"You can feed at our house, Esme and I went shopping for you." She said, taking my hand and leading me outside towards Edward's Volvo. He was already in the drivers seat waiting patiently. Once we were all inside and I was firmly strapped in the back seat behind Alice, I asked "Esme didn't have to go to any trouble did she?"

"Oh Bella, of course not! We had such fun, she picked out these cute little juice boxes and I got you one of every candy they had, because I didn't know which ones were your favorites."

"She's not having candy and a juice box for breakfast is she?" Edward interrupted incredulously.

"Well of course not, I'm not stupid, Esme had me reading through the nutritional information for hours, Carlisle made us a check list before he went to work this morning. We've covered everything she needs." Alice concluded mater of factly.

I lent back into the cars plush upholstery and silently listened to Alice and Edward talk. We had just crossed over the bridge at the Calawah River and were following the winding road northwards. Soon I would see the familiar thick forest and unpaved drive way that lead us to to the Cullen's mansion.

As Edward an Alice continued to whisper quietly to one another I couldn't help thinking why all the Cullens would go to such trouble for me. It's probably all just a show for Edward. And: I'm sure they'll tire of me soon, I'm just a clumsy little human after all. Were some of the possible motives that clouded my mind.

I sighed, why do I always have do this, why can't I just accept a little kindness however short lived it may be? I thought to myself.

A light tapping on my side window startled me from my thoughts.

"Coming inside Bella?" Alice asked loud enough so that I could hear through the glass.

"Oh sorry, must have dosed off, didn't realise we'd stopped." I mumbled, knowing she would hear.

"Are you feeling alright Bella?" Edward spoke opening the car door swiftly to reach for my hands.

"Fine." I forced a smile as he helped me from the car.

Once we were inside I was instantly assaulted by the gorgeous aroma coming from the kitchen.

"Mmmmm..." I said, closing my eyes and breathing deeply. I blushed when I heard my stomach growling.

A sudden booming laugh made me jump, my eyes shot open "NO!" I cried "Edward help!"

His cold, hard arms encircle me around my waist instantly.

Who had made that loud booming sound? Was it James? Was he sill alive and coming to get me?

I heard the echo of soft foot falls as someone hurried towards me.

"Emmett! What in heaven's name have you done?" A soft female voice spoke in alarm.

"You've terrified her, I can feel it!" Snarled a male who's voice sounded familiar to me.

"Jasper?" I felt my voice shake as I looked up into his warm golden eyes. He stared back at me, tilting his head to the side slowly. I felt a calm, soothingly warm sensation wash over me and I was able to think clearly enough to realise Edward was growling softly. I looked up at him. He was glaring savagely across the room. I followed his gaze.

"Emmett?" I asked. "Was that you who made that sound?"

"I...just found it funny, the way you responded to Esme's cooking. I didn't mean to...upset you. Who did you think I was?"

I blushed at my stupidity. I didn't want to answer so I just looked at the confused faces around me. Alice was looking from me to Emmett and then to Jasper who had crept closer, she obviously had not foreseen this.

Esme stepped forward to break the silence. "Who did you think Emmett was dear? You know none of my boys would ever hurt you."

"I thought he sounded James." I whispered.

Emmett gasped in horror and I felt a tear slip from my eye. "Oh, Emmett I'm so sorry, Esme, I'm sorry! I just can't forget what he did to me." Edward buried his nose in my hair and rubbed comforting circles along my back.

Jasper came forward again and rested his hand on my shoulder gently. I felt calmer immediately.

"Bella, I'm not upset with you sweetie. Edward let me take her for awhile." Esme soothed, gently prying me free from his grasp. His growling started again almost immediately.

"Edward, for goodness sakes let me talk to her!" Edward ceased his growls at once and slowly removed his arms from around my waist. Jasper went to stand with Alice who was still gazing from me to Emmett quietly.

Esme took my hand and lead me into the kitchen closing the door behind us, leaving Edward and the others alone in the hall way.