Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters…
A/N: So this is my first Twilight story... I'm a recent Twilight convert, and by recent I mean I was only introduced to the goodness that is Edward Cullen. Anyways, I would love to hear what you think about the story so far so please feel free to leave me reviews so I know if I should keep going with it!
Baby You Can Stop Running
If someone had told me that I would someday return to Forks, I would have told them they were crazy, that there was no way I would ever step foot into that small town, riddled with so many memories that I only wanted to forget. Then again, I hadn't been expecting the phone call that woke me up at two in the morning telling me that Charlie was in the hospital either. Emmett had sounded overwrought and although he told me that it wasn't necessary to come home, I knew that was what I had to do; I couldn't leave him to care for Charlie alone. Therefore, like any responsible daughter, I shot out of bed, called an airline to find the first flight out of San Francisco International to SeaTac, before proceeding to stuff a suitcase full of warm clothes. I was likely to freeze when I got there, even though San Francisco wasn't the warmest place in California, it definitely wasn't like Forks.
Unlike the rest of my graduating class, which consisted of less than one-hundred students, I was excited about leaving and when Stanford offered me what basically equated to a full ride, I jumped at the chance and did all I could to pick up extra shifts at the Newton's store to save extra money. While the rest of my classmates took weekend trips to La Push or Port Angeles, I stayed behind taking care of Charlie and saving the fruits of my labor. Emmett would have given me hell if he had known, I was sure of that, but thankfully, he had shipped himself off to the University of Washington in Seattle, and at least it was one extra person off my back.
So now, here I was sitting in a plane, taking me back to Forks. Emmett had agreed to pick me up even though I told him I could manage. Renting a car wasn't exactly something that would have been hard, but he had insisted. And, although I wasn't looking forward to going back, I was excited to see my brother again. I knew how hard it was on him when I told him that I wouldn't ever come back, though he understood as he knew and respected my reasons. He had come down to visit occasionally, I promised him that I would always have a spare bedroom for him, but San Francisco wasn't his kind of place. He seemed to agree more with the small town life that Forks provided for him, whereas I relished it, loved that I could go to the store and not worry about running into someone I knew.
Emmett and I were always so different from each other: he was graced with well, grace and strength and stunning good looks that he seemed to inherit from our father's younger days. I on the other hand was the world's biggest klutz, a running joke between Emmett and I, as well as pretty much anyone I ever got to know, and when it came to looks, well I considered myself plain: dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes that only seemed to make me look even more like a ghost thanks to my pale skin. Emmett always teased, saying I looked like a doll, like one of the ones Renee use to buy me when I was younger, before she and Charlie had split, before she moved on and married Phil, before she moved to Florida.
But that was basically ancient history, right now my mind was focused on one thing; avoiding Jacob Black. Emmett had assured me that he wouldn't be around, that I wouldn't have to worry about him, he rarely left La Push. But still, Forks was a small town, surely word would have spread that I would be making the two hour flight back to the town, back to visit my ailing father. Jacob knew me better than that, knew that I wasn't the kind of girl to not come. Had Charlie been anyone else I was sure the news never would have reached La Push but being the police chief and a very, very close friend of Billy Black, Jacob's father, I knew he would be expecting me.
I walked into Charlie Swan's room and looked around. I had been expecting to find Emmett, his son who always stopped by in the early hours of the morning before going to work. Glancing at the clock on the wall I saw that it was indeed eight in the morning, although his tall, intimidating frame was nowhere to be found. Resolving to look for him later, I picked up the chart that hung on the bed and looked over it, checking his vitals that the nurses took every hour or so. No change.
He had survived the surgery, and I myself considered it one of the most successful surgeries of my career. The bullets were deep however, and I knew that it had caused a lot of trauma to his body. A shooting in Forks, even thinking about it I tried hard not to laugh, after all, someone had been killed and now Charlie was fighting a thin line between life and death. Still, it was one of the last things anyone would have ever expected to hear about, at least, in a town as small as this one. My internship in New York had prepared me for this, and, the only reason why I bothered to take the offer of doing my residency in Forks was because I was tired of big city life.
Before my parents passed away, before Carlisle and Esme had taken me in, I lived in Chicago. I can't remember all that much about those times, I know that I was happy, but sometimes I wonder if that had more to do with my parents than being in the city. When I was ten my parents were in a fatal car accident while driving home from a charity event on June 10. That night was the coldest night that summer. I had been home with my nanny, and when she woke me up at eleven with the news and I felt like my world had come crashing down on me. Looking back on it now, I suppose I never really recovered from it. True, I was luckier than more orphans were; my dad was a doctor and had known Carlisle for years, both having met while doing their internships in Los Angeles and he and his wife had agreed to take me in, so I went from being Edward Anthony Masen, to Edward Anthony Cullen. I should clarify, they never insisted that I take their name, but when I moved in with them, I realized that I didn't want to answer all the questions that came with moving in with a new family. It was easier that way, easier to become a new person than to explain who I was.
Charlie stirred as I put the chart back down and walked to the monitor to read the charts that were constantly printing. I felt my eyebrows pull into the v that my body so often created when I was concerned and I did all I could to stifle the sigh that was aching to be released, the last thing I wanted was to frighten my patient.
"Dr. Cullen?" His voice spoke roughly. It made sense; his body was still weak, even speaking wasn't easy for him.
"How are you feeling this morning Mr. Swan?" I turned to watch his face intently. One of the things that Carlisle said had always made me such a good doctor, even at my young age of twenty seven, was my ability to read my patients. For example, Charlie was a tough man, on the outside at least. He hated to show his physical pain, a trait that I assumed he had picked up from years on the force, a macho behaviorism that seemed to go hand in hand with his profession. But I knew that there was more to him than that. It was the look in his eyes that told me that, the pleading with Emmett to bring home his daughter from wherever she had run away from. The man was broken inside, and I knew what that felt like, it was probably one of the reasons that I took to him so much, why I had made him unofficially one of my biggest priorities.
"Better than yesterday." He lied and I smiled politely, picking the chart up once more and ticking off one of the boxes that I realized the nurse had failed to do.
"Well that's good to hear." I responded, putting the chart down once again. "I was hoping to speak to Emmett this morning, do you know where I might be able to find him?"
Charlie looked confused for a minute before I saw the wave of relief spread across his face. Had I been able to read his mind I would have guessed he was afraid that like his daughter, Emmett too had run off, no longer wanting to deal with him, no longer wanting to bear the burden that seemed to stem from being around him. I watched as a small smile played on his thin lips. "He went to pick up Bella this morning from the airport. My baby girl is coming home."
I had never heard him speak of his daughter so fondly. I knew that he missed her, that he loved her, but I also knew how much he resented her leaving and rarely keeping in touch. He blamed himself, that much I was certain about but from Emmett's reactions each time her name was brought up, I knew it was more than that.
"That's wonderful. I'm sure you're excited to see her."
"I am." He smiled as his eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep once again.
I snuck out of the room and went to my office, sinking down into the chair. My shift was officially over but I wanted to stick around to talk with Emmett, and seeing as Charlie was under the impression that he would be around later this morning, making a drive back to my house impractical, it wasn't like I'd have to be back in the afternoon, I actually had a weekend off, though I was certain I would stop by to check on Charlie a few times, just to be certain, it's not like there was much else to do around the small city.
"Bells!" I heard the voice shout across the other side of the luggage carousel, causing me to look up from the carrier belt and smile wide. I abandoned my spot and began to walk over towards my brother who was standing there, his large frame sticking out amongst the others. I must not have been paying attention to my strides because the next thing I knew I was on the floor, the cold linoleum just inches from my chin and I heard his loud laugh billow through the air, my cheeks turning bright red as I noticed that everyone was now staring at me. Good job Bells… Way to bring attention to yourself. I should have been expecting that to happen, I had managed to get from my apartment in San Francisco to here without any mishaps, well, until I managed to trip over my own feet in my attempt to make it towards my brother.
"Oh Bells…" He laughed reaching down and pulling me to my feet. "Are you okay?"
"Except for the fact that I've drawn more attention to myself than I'd like I'm great."
"Not this time." I smiled and put my arms around his waist, hugging him close to me. "It's so good to see you."
"It's good to see you too Bells." He responded hugging me tightly back.
"Can't breathe!" I gasped for air as he laughed and released me.
"Sorry… I forget how breakable you are sometimes. Let's get your things and we can drop them off at the house before we head to the hospital." He said and I could see the look in his eyes, the one that told me he wasn't sure that Charlie would come out of this…