Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N1: I know, I know, I know! *shakes head in shame* Don't be mad, please. *lower lip trembling* I know I suck and I haven't updated in ages... it's just... *defeated sigh* you know, sometimes your brain just goes blah and you're unmotivated and kinda down and I really hate winter and the fact that the sun doesn't get up until, like, 9 a.m. and goes down at, like, 4 p.m. and I'm just really missing sunlight and going out without a stupid jacket and... yeah... I've been kinda doing shitty lately and my desire to write/update has just flown out the window. Anywho. This is me giving myself a kick in the ass. I'll really, really, really try to go back to a more regular writing/updating schedule. In theory, the next chapter should be up in two weeks. But I haven't finished writing it, so that might change. Again, sorry for the wait, the rant and the incredibly long A/N.
A/N3: Story Pimpage for this chapter... Go check out gemmabobella's Lost and Found, it's fabulousness and she's also writing the story in Edward's perspective in Amazing Grace. Actually, everything she writes is golden, I highly reccomend you read all her stories. Let's Get Physical is another great one from her (it's EmxB); it's funny and fluffy and a different beat. So that's that.
A/N2: Ok, so while writing this chapter I decided that I didn't want to think up or write about all the preparation that our counsellors have gone through in the two weeks before the kids arrive at camp. Instead, I'm focusing on developing relationships and setting up things for later in the story. Trust me when I tell you this: everything happens for a reason. I'm really trying to 'set the stage' if you will for things that will happen later on in the story. Any who, on with the chapter...
CHAPTER FIVE: ADVENTURES
Where are you, you stinking leech?! I repeated in my mind over and over again as I walked through the dense forest. I know you can hear me, so why don't you make this easier on both of us and just come out and face me? I continued to trudge on, thinking grumpy thoughts, calling out to him. Then the wind shifted and a burning scent flared through my nostrils, making the hackles stand up on the back of my neck. I can smell you, you filthy blood sucker... I jeered. I heard a soft footfall to my left and soon enough, there he stood, watching me silently. I guess, since I came out looking for you you're expecting me to speak first? I thought as I sat on my hind legs then absentmindedly raised my paw to scratch behind my ear.
Edward just nodded.
Care to explain why you were lurking in the woods last night?
He shook his head no.
Typical. Well let me tell you what it looked like then; looks to us like you were stalking your prey, leech.
"I was doing no such thing." was his first vocal answer.
Sure, you say that... But still there you were, waiting in the dark, hidden behind a bush, staring at Bella...
He merely scoffed and looked away.
And don't you bloodsuckers usually hunt in pairs? I asked, getting to the point that was nagging at me most.
"Alice and Jasper were getting on my nerves." he simply answered, sounding utterly bored. "Yes, I am bored with this conversation. Did you have any reason to pester me with your rowdy thoughts or was this just an attempt at annoying me to death?"
I scoffed. You're the mind reader, you tell me.
"No..." he answered slowly, studying me, and then rolled his eyes. "I was not on the prowl and I wasn't about to attack Bella."
Then why were you stalking her?
"I wasn't stalking her." he sounded defensive.
Sure you weren't. You just happened to stay within hearing range after you and your 'siblings' were supposed to have gone off to bed. And you just so happened to walk along the pathway to the dormitories keeping up with Bella's snail pace.
He seemed uncomfortable for a moment and I guffawed inwardly. Of course, it didn't go unnoticed to him.
"Oh stop being so smug, you mutt!"
I laughed again as another thought crossed my mind.
"No, I'm not interested in Bella." he snarled.
A little quick to dismiss, aren't we? I teased. This was turning out to be fun. Does wittle Edward have a wittle cwush on wittle Bella?
"Like you're one to talk, dog."
Yeah well at least I have a pulse. And if it's not an unnatural infatuation, what's your interest in her?
Edward furrowed his brows momentarily and seemed to be thinking really hard about something. Then he sighed.
"I can't hear her." he stated.
"I tried concentrating until I popped a vein but nothing."
Well so? You can't hear someone, what's the big deal.
"I've never been unable to hear someone." he said obviously ticked that Bella's mind remained a mystery to him. "Of course, that probably just means there's something defective about her."
Sure. You're upset because you can't read her mind, and she's the defective one. Freak.
"Look, do you have anything else to say or am I just wasting my time here?" he asked exasperatedly.
Just say away from her, Cullen.
He rolled his eyes. "Don't waste your macho over protectiveness on me, Black. You're not impressing me."
I mean it, Cullen. And then I growled, just for added effect.
"Is this the protector speaking or the jealous teenager?" he jeered.
I growled again then stalked away. Stupid leech!
After my encounter in the woods with Edward, I had wandered through the forest for a while then had approached the dormitories silently, looking out to make sure no one was around. Then I phased back to my human form and dashed across the path to enter our quarters and get dressed. Next, I headed to the rec. room that was under the cafeteria where I was supposed to give everyone an orientation seminar; how to read a topological map and a compass.
"Well hello there ladies!" I greeted Bella, Zeelah and Angela when I stepped foot in the rec. room. "Are you ready to learn all about forest survival?" I asked, sitting next to Bella on one of the many couches that were littered over the room.
A couple of minutes later, Esme asked me to the front of the room where I started my seminar on basic survival techniques and how to use a map and a compass. After the lecture, I asked everyone to follow me outside in order to set up teams to take part in a survival exercise.
Jacob had us pick names from a hat to make up the teams. When it was my turn to plunge my hand in the hat, Jacob winked at me then quickly looked away. I looked down at the name on my paper and turned to my soon-to-be partner.
"Jasper." I called out, and then smiled at him.
Is it just me or does he seem a little apprehensive? I wondered when I saw his gaze flash to Alice in what could easily have been mistaken for a look of panic. But Alice just smiled and Jasper made his way to me slowly, smiling stiffly at me.
He kinda looks like he's in pain... I wonder if he's passing gas or something...
Somewhere behind me, I heard someone chuckle. I ignored it and turned to my partner.
"I hope you paid attention to Jacob's lecture because everything he said went in one ear and out the other." I teased Jasper, nudging him with my shoulder. Jasper visibly stiffened some more. Note to self: avoid physical contact with Jasper, it makes him uncomfortable.
"I think I can manage to keep us out of trouble." he deadpanned and I smiled back at him.
Twenty minutes later, everybody was paired up and Jacob gave us the signal to head into the woods. To avoid cheating, he sent each team in with a two minutes interval and Jasper and I were the last ones to go. I held the items' list and Jasper was in charge of the map and compass. I read the first coordinates to him and he started down an unbeaten path through the woods. He walked briskly and at first I really tried to keep up with him but after falling for the fifth time, I sighed in exasperation.
"Uh Jasper, do you think you could slow down a bit?" I called after him. "Not all of us have superhuman speed and agility!" I teased.
Jasper stopped dead in his tracks and he turned around to stare at me with wide eyes. At first I smiled but when the intensity didn't leave his eyes and his body didn't relax, my smile faltered and I laughed nervously.
"Is everything ok Jasper?" I asked my voice barely above a whisper and I doubted he could hear me.
He snapped out of his daze, "Uh? Oh yeah, sorry I just thought I saw something behind you."
I turned around suddenly scared but couldn't see anything.
"I was mistaken." he added almost as an afterthought.
Then he started walking again, more slowly this time and I was able to keep up. It turns out compass-wielding and map-reading held no secrets for Jasper and we made quick work of our list. We had just picked up the last item – a neon-orange security whistle – and were on our way back to the cafeteria when I tripped over a tree-root I hadn't seen and fell hands first. I landed on the palms of my hands but cut myself on a jagged rock that was on the ground.
"Shoot!" I mumbled under my breath.
Suddenly, I felt the air around me change; there was a definite tension and I looked around trying to understand what was wrong. I heard a low growl coming from behind me and the hairs at the back of my neck stood up. Before anything had time to register in my mind, Edward was beside Jasper, a hand thrown over his shoulders.
"Bella, camp is just back that way; go!" he yelled at me.
I stood there, frozen.
"Bella, go!" he screamed again.
"Edward? Edward, where are you?" I heard Jessica – his partner for the exercise – yell through the woods.
I looked back to Edward and Jasper and I could see the blonde struggling against the brunette.
"GO!" Edward screamed fiercely at me and I got so scared by the expression on his face that I took off in the direction he had indicated.
I was so terrified that I wasn't even sure I was going in the right direction anymore. But my legs couldn't stop running and it was as though my brain refused to give them the order to stop. My heart was pounding and I fell, the air getting knocked out of me when I failed to break the fall with my hands and I hit the ground chest first. But I didn't even take the time to feel the pain; I got up again and started running like the devil was hot on my heels. This didn't make any sense but my body was acting of its own accord.
When I finally slowed down, I had no idea where I was. The grey sky overhead was making things under the canopy of trees dark and gloomy. I stopped and tried to recall what Jacob had droned on about when he gave us the lecture on forest survival and orientation. He mentioned something about walking around... but I can't remember if he said it was good to walk around or not...
Instead of walking around, I opted for turning around in a circle, trying to get my bearings. The only thing I achieved though was to get dizzy and eventually, I let myself sink to the ground and wrapped my arms around my legs while I buried my face in my knees. I was starting to get cold; I was only wearing cargo pants and a t-shirt because the temperature at the beginning of the day had been pretty warm. When I had donned my "I Only Date Superheroes" t-shirt this morning, I had thought it was pretty comical – even though it had earned me curious glances from the guys from the rez. and the Cullens – but now I wished I had instead topped it off with at least a sweatshirt.
The sun had started going down while I ran and now the grey skies and late hour of the day meant the forest was getting dark really quickly. I was about to give in to despair and start crying when I thought I heard my name being called. I listened closely but didn't hear it again, so I thought that my fears were making me hear things.
"Bella?" I finally heard again after what seemed like an eternity.
"Hello?" I called back sheepishly, hoping I wasn't answering the voices in my head.
"Bella?!" the voice called again, more excitedly now.
"I'm here!" I answered, for now I knew I wasn't imagining it. My heart started beating faster as the overwhelming joy of being rescued took over.
"Bella!" finally, the flash of a flashlight broke through the underbrush and I heard footsteps coming closer along with my rescuer's voice.
"I can see your flashlight!" I informed excitedly.
And finally, the spot of the flashlight was shining in my eyes and I could see someone's silhouette behind the blinding light. I raised my hand up to protect my eyes from the harsh light and tried discovering my saviour's identity. It was too early to recognize people only by their voices yet.
"You scared us!" a voice, a different one this time, accused. This voice was female.
"Do you need a hand getting up, Bella?" a third, enthusiastic voice asked and I nodded.
A clammy hand wrapped around my outstretched one and the owner tried pulling me up. Tried being the operative word. But my legs were jelly from the emotions and I didn't get off the ground.
"Here Mike, let me." the original voice suggested and I thought I could detect an ounce of annoyance directed at Mike because of his inability to pull me up.
"No, I've got it." Mike retorted in a snappy tone and once again, he tried pulling me up but failed. I wince as the pressure on my hand made my wound hurt.
"Look, my legs are pretty wobbly right now and I'd really like to keep my shoulder in its socket." I finally intervened and Mike let go of my hands.
"You're freezing, Bella." the first voice noted and I realized I was shivering.
A warm hand snaked under my knees and around my back and soon, I was being carried away bridal style. I looked up to see in whose arms I was and was met by a dazzling white smile. Even without the light of the flashlight, I could clearly see the smile through the darkness and I felt soft hair tickling my nose.
"Jacob?" I ventured.
"Hey Bella! Told you I wouldn't let anyone get lost in the woods on my watch!" Jacob stated cheerily. "Although, you did almost make a liar out of me!" he laughed good-naturedly.
"I'm so sorry! I don't know what happened!" I started babbling. "One minute I was walking, then I fell and cut my hand open on a rock, then there was this weird growling noise that came from the woods, then Edward was telling me to run and..." I trailed off.
"Edward said he told you which way camp was." the female voice interjected.
"Who said that?" I asked to the darkness.
"Alice." she identified herself.
"Oh, hey Alice," I greeted weakly. "Well, yeah, he did tell me which way camp was but for some weird reason I got really scared and I just... ran, my feet were on autopilot and I didn't notice which way I was going." I explained lamely. Then, something clicked in my mind, "Is Jasper ok?" I asked, concerned when I thought back to Edward's arm wrapped around his shoulders protectively.
"Yes," Alice answered quickly. "He's just really sensitive to the sight of blood. It makes him... sick." she explained.
"Oh." I nodded, even though she couldn't see me through the darkness.
"Hey, did Edward ever say how he just happened to be there when it happened?" Mike asked speaking for the first time since Jacob had picked me up.
"He was just behind Jasper and Bella." Alice answered. "He saw her fall and then saw she was bleeding."
"Really?" I asked, surprised. When Jessica had been calling out his name, she had sounded really far away. But I didn't question it. "Well, I'm really glad he was so close by. I don't think I would have known what to do with Jasper if he had gotten sick. He was the one that was in charge of getting us around; I would never have known how to get back to camp when he got sick."
By then, I could see light filtering through the trees and guessed we were close to camp. When we finally came out of the woods, there was a large group waiting for us, Esme and Carlisle at the forefront. I wondered briefly how they knew I had been found. Alice walked ahead of Jacob and handed back a black CB to Esme then and I understood. I hadn't even noticed she had used to radio to tell them I was ok.
"Bella!" Angela separated from the throng of people along with Zeelah and my two friends walked up to greet me.
"Don't ever scare us like that again, girl!" Zeelah said, laying a hand across my forehead and trying to read my eyes. "Are you ok?" she asked.
"Well, before these three showed up, I was pretty cold, but now I'm ok." I started. "My right palm is throbbing though..." I finally realized, holding up my hand to look at the wound that had brought all of this on.
"Here Jacob, let me take Bella to the infirmary and take care of that injury." Carlisle was now standing beside Jacob and I, his hands extended as though he wanted to be handed a child.
"No, that's ok, I've got her." Jacob opposed, pulling me closer to his body.
"Really Jacob, you've been carrying her for a while, I'll take over from here." Carlisle insisted, a slight edge to his voice.
"I'm fine; I can stand to carry her to the infirmary. I'd really like to stay with her while you check her out." Jacob stood his ground.
"I'm not sure that would be a good idea." Carlisle objected to this new request.
"I just want to make sure she's ok. Now that I've found her, I feel a certain responsibility." Jacob was being extremely stubborn.
There was a strange, tense silence as Carlisle – our boss! – and Jacob stared each other down.
"Jacob." a calm voice called out. I looked around and saw Sam walking up to us. "Carlisle can't let you be there when he checks out Bella, you're not a relative or anything." he explained and looked pointedly at Jacob, as though daring him to object.
"Fine." Jacob relented bitterly.
He was about to hand me over to Carlisle – I kind of felt like a football or something – but I put a hand on Carlisle's forearms in protest. I shivered as my hand made contact with his cool forearm; he must have been out in the cool night air for a while.
"I think I can manage to walk to the infirmary." I objected.
"I would really prefer to carry you Bella, you're probably pretty weakened by the lack of food and the cold." Carlisle debated.
I rolled my eyes. "Fine." I accepted ungracefully.
While Carlisle carried me to the infirmary, Esme dispersed the other counsellors but Zeelah and Angela followed after us, saying they'd stay out of the room while I was being examined but that they wanted to stay with me. Carlisle didn't object and we were soon in the brightly lit infirmary and I was laid down on an exam table while the physician busied himself, pulling out a manila file and a sheet of paper.
"Ok Bella, so it says here you aren't allergic to anything," Carlisle stated, looking down at what I saw was the health questionnaire I had filled out at my 'interview'.
I nodded and he looked up from my file. Then he proceeded to clean the wound on my hand, commenting that I was lucky it wasn't any deeper or else it would have required stitches. He applied some sort of ointment on the cut before fixing gauze to my hand with clear skin tape. Then he checked my vitals and said that everything was fine but he still wanted me to eat something before letting me go off to the dormitories.
He then called Zeelah and Angela in and asked them to take me upstairs to get something to eat. My two friends obliged and soon I was sitting alone with them in the cafeteria in front of a bowl of steaming soup with two slices of bread and a carrot muffin set out. They too asked me what had happened in the woods and I explained it to them, suddenly feeling drowsy after being thoroughly warmed up by my soup and having my stomach filled. The girls helped me back to the dormitories and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell in a deep dreamless sleep.
The two weeks of preparation were flying by quickly; we would be heading back to Forks High the day after tomorrow. Throughout these two weeks, I had realized my first assumption about Lauren was right; I did not enjoy working with her at all. She never pulled her own weight, always had people do what she was supposed to be doing for her. Most of the time, she got guys to do things for her by shamelessly flirting with them. And although her attitude got on my last nerve, I couldn't help but be disappointed in the guys that succumbed to her 'charms'.
The only guys who didn't seem to be affected by Lauren and her tricks were Emmett, Jasper, Edward and the Quileute boys. It was as though all of them had super senses that enabled them to see through her scheming.
Trying to divert my thoughts to more pleasant things, I looked at my fellow counsellors that didn't get on my nerves: Alice was talking animatedly with Zeelah and Angela was just smiling while she listened to the two of them. I really got along fantastically with the three of them and was really glad that at least Angela and Alice would be attending UW. Zeelah would be heading off to California at the end of the summer but had sworn she'd keep in touch via e-mail.
"Good morning everybody!" Esme greeted as she walked into the cafeteria that morning.
Esme and Carlisle were also part of the people I loved at camp; both were so down to earth and concerned about our well-being and happiness at camp that it was hard not to think of them as surrogate parents.
"So we thought we'd all head out on the lake today to practice our canoeing techniques!" Esme continued cheerfully.
I shuddered slightly. I wasn't the best canoe-er in the world; my lack of natural balance and hand-eye coordination made for poor results when I boarded a canoe. More than once when we had our crash courses on canoeing with Mike did I feel really happy that we were obligated to wear our lifejackets because I fell out of the canoe often. Each time Lauren made it a point to laugh until Jacob threatened to lead her into the woods and leave her to fend for herself if she didn't stop laughing.
I mentally reviewed all the technique we'd be taught as we all made our way down to the canoe beach and Mike and his helpers brought enough lifejackets and paddles down.
"Hey Bella, wanna be my canoe buddy?" Alice asked as she skipped her way to me.
"Sure Alice," I started, then out of kindness, I thought I'd give her an out, "but are you sure you want to partner with me? I'm kind of a klutz and I might get us to topple over." then after consideration, I added, "multiple times."
She laughed, all bells, and put a reassuring, albeit cold, hand on my shoulder, "Oh Bella, don't worry, I've got your back!" and there was a knowing smile on her lips.
With that settled, we walked down to the edge of the water and donned our lifejackets and Alice straddled the end of the canoe while I made my way to the front, my paddle set out in front of me, perpendicular to the canoe, resting on its edges while I stepped on the center line of our embarkation. Then I kneeled down and rested my butt on the bench, just like Mike had taught us to do and waited for Alice to push our canoe out.
And it seemed my worrying had all be for nothing because it seemed practice did make perfect; we were scheduled to paddle out into the lake for an hour, have lunch on one of the islands and then come back to camp and when we finally reached our destination, I hadn't fallen once in the water. It seemed every time I started losing my balance, some unknown force righted my body and the canoe and I wouldn't fall into the water.
Lunch was a quick, unceremonious affair, consisting of sandwiches and powdered juice and granola bars and apples for dessert. Then we all set back out and once again, my technique –or maybe it was just luck – assured I stayed dry. But then, when we were about ten minutes away from the island we'd had lunch on, things started to change.
It all happened so suddenly; I turned around to say something to Alice and when I turned back to face the front of the canoe, the sky was a menacing dark grey and the wind was blowing furiously, causing the surface of the water to swell and foam dangerously. A small gasp came from Alice and just as I whipped around to ask her what was wrong, a strong wave hit our canoe from the side and sent us barrelling sideways.
I was so shocked when I hit the cold water that I swallowed a mouthful of liquid and started spewing when my face broke the surface. Once again, I was glad to be wearing a lifejacket and brushed the water out of my eyes, trying to see which way to the shore, all the while wanting more than anything to find Alice.
"ALICE?!" I called out, turning around in the water to find her. "ALICE?!" panic was now evident in my voice.
"BELLA!" I faintly heard her calling back and I turned in the direction of the sound.
"ALICE!" finally I spotted her and tried swimming to her but my lifejacket was making things difficult.
"BELLA!" Alice's hand clamped on my shoulder and she started swimming while towing me along. "We're almost at the shore, don't worry!" she called and I could faintly see land ahead though I was sure we weren't heading for the canoe beach back at camp.
Ten minutes later, Alice was helping me up and out of the water while I wrapped my arms around my torso, trying to warm myself. The harsh winds were making me shake with the cold and my teeth were clattering. I walked in a straight line and dove into nearby bushes, relieved that the greenery was cutting some of the wind's bitter edge.
"It all happened so suddenly, I didn't see it changing!" Alice cried out and she seemed to be talking to no one.
"It's ok Alice." I patted her on the back. "It's not like you can predict the weather!" I laughed and it felt good to laugh, even though – or maybe because – our situation seemed pretty dire.
"Where did the canoe go?" I finally thought to ask. If we were going to get out of here when the weather settled, we'd need our canoe.
"It drifted away." Alice answered. "It was either getting to you or getting to the canoe." she added.
"Well, I'm glad you chose me instead of the canoe." I answered through chattering teeth.
"Oh my god Bella, you're freezing, you poor thing!" realization dawned on Alice. "Here, let me start a fire."
And to my utter bewilderment, she did! In no time, she had a small fire going and I edged closer to it to feel some warmth. After a while, as though as an afterthought, Alice also joined me next to the fire and extended her hands out to the flame to warm herself.
"Well, it's probably going to be a while before they can set out and come and get us..." Alice broke the silence that had settled. "If I remember correctly from your introduction, you're going to be an Art major next fall?"
And just like that Alice got a conversation going and every time I tried to steer it away from me and onto her, she'd masterfully reverted back to me again. After my first five attempts at getting her to open up about herself failed, I gave up and just answered her questions and probes without thinking. I got to telling her about my life with my dad, why I lived with him instead of with my mom; I revealed things to her that even people I considered my friends back home didn't know about me. It was nice to be able to talk about Charlie to someone who didn't know him as 'Chief Swan' and about 'that-heathen-woman-that-ran-out-on-poor-Chief-Swan' as people in our town often referred to my mother as.
"Bella, may I ask you a question?" Alice eventually politely asked, almost looking sheepish.
Like you haven't asked me thousands already... I joked to myself.
"Why do you always refer to your home as 'Charlie's place'?" she astutely asked.
I felt my cheeks grow warm and looked into our small fire, "I guess... It's probably because I still don't feel completely comfortable living there..." I truthfully answered.
"But haven't you live there for a while?" she asked again.
"Yes, years." I answered. I sighed heavily and thought of a way to explain it to her so she could understand. "It's probably really silly..." Alice nodded to encourage me, "It's just that my dad hasn't changed anything around the house. Ever." I added. She didn't seem any more enlightened than before. "My mom left my dad when I was about two months old and he hasn't made any changes to anything she did in their house. It just feels like I'm living in the 'Charlie and Renée Swan's newlyweds' house', if that makes any sense at all. Everything in the house belongs to a pre-Bella era."
I still didn't think it made any sense to someone other than me but somehow Alice nodded and I wasn't sure if she was just pretending to understand to placate me or if she really did understand. Either way, I dropped the subject and so did she and we sat in a comfortable silence.
Eventually, Alice sat up straighter, looking over her shoulder to the shore and smiled, "They'll be here soon."
"Bella, Bella wake up!" I must have fallen asleep because Alice was shaking my shoulder. "Look," she added, pointing out to the lake and I could see a form getting nearer and nearer but still wasn't able to make it out.
Wow, I should probably get an eye doctor appointment before I start school because I can't see what's got Alice so chirper.
"They'll be here in a matter of minutes." Alice beamed at me.
And sure enough, a minute later I could make out the shape; it seemed to be an aluminum motor boat that was obviously heading our way. I scrambled to my feet and ran to the water's edge, waving my arms over my head enthusiastically even though there was no way they could see me from so far away. I waited quite impatiently until I could finally make out three figures that eventually turned out to be Emmett, Sam and Embry. I smiled stupidly at them when they were about twenty feet away from the shore.
"Boy, am I glad to see you!" I called out, my voice bubbly with my happiness that we were rescued.
"Are you ok Bella?" Sam asked anxiously. "You're not hurt?"
"We're fine," I started, smiling back at him. "It's a good thing we were wearing our lifejackets because I'm not sure I would have been able to keep afloat with the waves. Alice basically had to tug me along until we reached this island." I beamed back at Alice, glad that she had been there with me.
"But you're ok? You're not hurt?" Sam insisted.
"No, I told you I'm fine. Maybe a little cold, even though Alice did manage to start a fire."
That seemed to put Sam's mind at ease and he helped me into the boat as Alice jumped in easily. She sat on one of the benches and smiled at me while Embry handed me a thick grey wool blanket and I took it gladly. I sat next to Alice, offering her to share the blanket but she assured me she was fine. I shrugged and Emmett, who was the one working the motor, took us back to camp.
"Alright guys, we'll see you all on Sunday morning back at Forks High!" Esme called before stepping off the bus.
It was late on Friday afternoon and we were heading back into town for our weekend off before the start of the first camp. I was a little sad to be leaving camp, even though my first two weeks of work had been eventful, to say the least. But I was looking forward to reassuring Charlie that I loved my job and that we were taken very good care of so that he wouldn't worry all summer about me. I was also looking forward to taking a very hot long bath instead of a quick shower in the communal shower of the dormitories. I was also looking forward to being able to decide what I'd have to eat during the day, not having to eat what was decided on by other people.
I was sitting next to Angela again on the bus while Zeelah sat next to Jacob in the seat behind mine. These two were like to peas in a pod; their temperaments were so close that they got along famously. Their extraverted, laid-back personalities were in stark contrast with mine and Angela's calmer demeanours and Zeelah and Jacob balanced Angela and I well.
"So you guys wanna check out that movie tomorrow night?" Zeelah asked, referring to the latest sci-fi movie Angela and I had both expressed an interest in seeing.
"Sure, why don't you guys leave me your numbers and I'll check the schedules and call you two up?" Angela asked and we agreed.
"Am I invited or is this a girls' night out kind of thing?" Jacob asked playfully.
I looked at Zeelah and Angela to see what they wanted to do.
"I was actually thinking of bringing Ben along..." Angela trailed off as she blushed lightly.
"Well then I guess it'd be ok if you came," Zeelah told Jacob, "And how about you ask the other guys from the rez if they're up for it too." she suggested.
"Sure, sure." Jacob answered.
And so, the next night, our group met at the theatre and I was glad that I was able to hang out with these people outside of work. It was strange to me how back home I'd always been somewhat of a social recluse and that in the space of two weeks, I had made new friends easily and now knew more people than I had ever before. I laughed the entire night and thought that this was definitely going to be the greatest summer job ever if things continued like this. When we parted ways after the movie I was really looking forward to the next day, to meeting the kids that would be under my responsibility and to really starting to work.
A/N: Before any of you give me grief over this chapter, let me explain a few things that might put everything in perspective. After reading, if you still feel the need to disagree with what happened during the chapter, please feel free to tell me in your reviews.
First, although I absolutely loved the series, I always thought that Bella was let in to the whole 'secret-vampire-world' waaayyy to easily FOR MY TASTE. Personally, I would think that since the only rule there is for vampires is to keep their existence a secret, she was let in on the Cullens' vampirism too easily.
Also, I wanted my fic's Bella to have a little more sense of self-preservation. This is why she ran away scared shitless in the woods when Jasper got all thirsty when she fell and injured herself. Her instincts just took over and her body reacted.
Now, please go review and I'd really appreciate if those of you who have camp stories/anecdotes could share them with me. Maybe it'll help me get back in the spirit of CC or Csquared as my beta called it once. Psychic cookies to those who review!
Mrs. Captain Peroxide.