Disclaimer: I don't own Twiliight or the characters, but I do own this plot.
"Damn it!" yelled my father, who was up in his cabin. "Isabella! Come here!" I was in the kitchen, cleaning. I clenched my fists around the rag that I was using to clean the floors. I forced myself not to groan, annoyed, and headed up to his cabin, smoothing out my ragged dress.
I met my father in his room, sitting at his table by the window. I looked around and saw broken glass on the floor. I guessed that it was a wine bottle before it was shattered.
"Clean this up, Isabella!" ordered my father, standing up. He walked over the glass in his boots towards me. "And when you're done with that, wash my bed sheets. I'm going to have a few friends over tomorrow night, when we get to shore." I nodded, looking down at the floor.
"Yes, Father," I said, as he passed me. He stopped next to me, his knuckles on his hips.
"And also, wash my finest clothes. Make sure that they're dry before tomorrow night," he added, before walking off. I nodded, although he could not see me.
When he was gone, I shut the door of the cabin and started cleaning up the glass. My father, Charlie Swan, is the captain of the Renée. He named the boat after my deceased mother, Renée Swan, his wife. My mother died when I was little, because of Influenza. Therefore, I've been with my dad for most of my life.
My dad isn't what you would call the nicest person in the world. People would think that I get special treatment because I'm the captain's daughter, but it's the complete opposite. The cargo is treated better than I am. I think the reason my dad doesn't like me is because I look like my mom when she was my age. My parents knew each other since they were eight, so I guess it's hard on my dad because I look so much like her. I remind him of her.
I lived on the boat with my dad and spent most of my life on water. Swan bought the boat after my mom died and we were on the water all the time after that. And that's when everything I knew changed.
It's not all that bad, being on a ship. Or not being care for. I don't have to worry about getting yelled at for not being safe or anything. I could've slit my hand open with a knife and my dad wouldn't care. The few friends I have would care, but that's nothing. But I would get in trouble for not doing something right. For example, if I missed a spot on his floor when I finished cleaning it, I would get hell. I try to do everything right even though it is difficult.
After I cleaned Captain Swan's room, I went to the kitchen. One of my good friends, Mr. Black, was down there, cooking the crew's dinner. This was the last dinner that he had to cook for a few days, since tomorrow we would hit land. When we were on land, all the men stayed at the inns and whorehouses. Half the men that went to the brothels had wives and families back where they came from and what they did bothered me. What was so special about those places?
I watched and listened to Mr. Black as he cooked while I hand-washed my father's clothes and blankets. He was talking about kids who weren't really kids anymore. He had two daughters, they were twenty three and twenty eight. His only son was seventeen, older than I. Mr. Black said that if I wanted, I was allowed to marry his son. He always teased me about that. Every time, I got embarrassed and blushed. I'm only sixteen; I'm too young to be thinking of marriage. However, all of the women that I've met were married and had kids by the age of fifteen. I always thought it was crazy.
"So, what do you think of marrying my son, Bella?" asked Mr. Black. My head jerked up from the tub of clothes at the word "marrying". Here we go again... "He has a good head on his shoulders and knows how to treat a lady. He—"
"I know how he is, Mr. Black," I said, blushing as I looked down at the soapy water. Jacob, Mr. Black's son, and I grew up in the same town, so I've known him since forever. "You talk about him all the time. And plus, we grew up together. Don't you remember? Since we were kids." He laughed.
"Yeah, I remember alright. You kids were always together," he said. "It was a rarity to see you two apart. It must be killing you both to be away from each other right now."
I gasped, blushing. "No! I-I'm not—"
"But don't worry, Bella. Next time we go back home, he'll become a man of the water. Just three more months."
I sighed, giving up. We did this every time. And every single time, I would end up flustered and such. It was embarrassing, but I couldn't do anything about it. He knew how to embarrass me and he loved doing it. He told me once that I was his only entertainment on the ship since he couldn't fight anymore—he had lost his left leg a few years ago so now he only had a peg and one leg now. And that was the only reason I let him pick on me.
That night, I helped him serve dinner and then I washed my father's clothes and sheets. I went down to the kitchen where I could have the Captain's items dried by the stove. I couldn't have them dried on deck, like everyone else's because he liked the warmth when he put them on. He was the only one that was allowed to do that since he was the Captain.
I went back outside and took in the night sky. It was beautiful beyond words. The way the sky sparkled with the stars was amazing. Staring at the sky was something that my mom and I used to do when I was young and when Father was away with work. We used to stare at the stars and make wishes and she used to tell me stories about them.
She told me the story about the river of stars in the sky. Renee told me how there was a giant snake made of crystal. Everyone praised the snake except for one. The Moon. The Moon was jealous of how everyone praised the crystal snake and not him. One night, the Moon was so angry, he threw a giant rock at the snake, causing the crystal snake to shatter into little pieces. And that was how the river of stars was made.
That was the only story that I remembered of hers. That's the only story that I could remember. The other stories were faded in my memory. I couldn't remember them because they were all told before Renee got sick. This story was the last story she told me before she died. I don't remember her looking in pain or sick in her last days. I remember her being happy and healthy. It was because I blocked those memories away. The images of her being happy and healthy were from the past. I just switched my memories around so I wouldn't have to remember the pain of the last few months of my mother's passing. I did it so I didn't have to suffer more than I already had to.
I sat on the wooden floor and tilted my head up to the sky as I closed my eyes. The memories started flowing back to me but I pushed them away, back into the dark corner of my mind. I didn't want to remember the pain and suffering that me and Father went through. It hurt too much just to think of it.
One memory came back to me. I don't know why, but this memory was the strongest out of all of my memories Renee. We were lying out in the field behind our house, watching the white clouds drift by, without a care in the world.
"Bella, sweetheart," said my mother. She was laying on her back, her hands on her stomach. Daddy—as I used to call him—was on the ship, working hard. "When you grow up, will you get married?"
I was lying next to her but when she asked me that, I jumped up. "Yes! Of course, Mommy! I want to get married and be like you! Stay home and read and have kids!" I twirled and fell over my feet. My bottom hit the ground, a little hard.
Mom lifted her body on her elbows to look at me. Her smile was gone and was replaced with a mask of sadness. I sat up and saw her forehead crease with a single wrinkle. "Bella."
"Mommy," I said, crawling over to her. "Don't be sad. I'm alright. I just hit my bottom."
She smiled slightly and pulled me into her arms, her mood quickly changing. "Are you sure, my little Bell?" she asked, tickling my sides. I giggled and squealed as she attacked my sides. "You fell really hard, my monkey!"
I screamed with laughter, tears of joy falling from my eyes. "Mommy! Mom! Stop it!" I cried. "Mom!"
Our laughter stopped after a while and we were back lying on the grass, staring at the sky. This time, though, my head was on my mom's bosom and her arms were wrapped around me. We laid there, in complete silence.
"When you grow up, Bella," my mom started. I tilted my head up to see her. She didn't look at me. She kept staring up into the endless sky. "Travel the seas, travel the world. Do more than just sit at home and be a mother. Okay, my love?"
I agreed without thinking about it. If my mother wanted that, then I'll do it for her.
I was awaken by sunlight hitting my face. I opened my eyes, squinting into the light. The light was coming from the window in my room. I sat up, the blanket falling from my body. I was on my cot, in my room.
I yawned and stretched. I flopped back onto my pillows.
Then I remembered that I was outside, on the deck, thinking about what the stars reminded me of. I guess I had fallen asleep, but I know I didn't bring myself to bed my room. Someone probably brought me back to my bed.
I figured it was one of the crew.
I got out of bed and decided to wash up and change since we were going to be on land soon. I pulled on my corset and asked Mr. Black to tighten it. He was a single parent to two daughters and one son so he had to learn how to tie corsets. I had asked my father once to help me, but he refused so I was stuck to the help of doing it myself or using the help of the kind lady across the street. However, since I've been on the ship, I don't have to wear corsets since I'm just surrounded by a bunch of boys. I only have to wear them on land since I had to look presentable.
We hit land midday and the men on the ship except for the Captain and Mr. Black had to move all the cargo off the ship. I had to follow the Captain around town all day until he finished what he was doing that involved his business.
I was busy for three hours, following my father around, acting like a lady. Head up, back straight, hands folded, eyes hooded. I looked everything like I was supposed to and was in pain. The corset was painful, but I only had to worry about it for the rest of the night and then I could take it off. I think I was going to stay inside all day tomorrow so I don't have to put up with it. If I didn't go out, I didn't need to wear the bothersome corset.
I went to check into an inn that I was going to stay in for the new few days while we were on land. As much as I loved the sea, I hated the living conditions. The cot I slept on was small, filled with scratchy, rough hay and the bed was just overall uncomfortable. I hated it, but I loved the ocean. I put up with it because of my taste of adventure. The water was amazing.
The inn didn't cost that much. Just about ten shillings. Like everyone else on the ship, I got paid, but not as much as them. Yes, I did work, but apparently not as hard as the men did. While the boys got seventy-five per month, I only got fifty shillings. It wasn't that bad, I suppose. I was making more than an average working girl my age.
I looked around the room, seeing what I got for my ten shillings. A bed, a small table, and two chairs. The room was pretty nice. Much better than what I had been used to on the Renee.
Before I decided to go down to a local tavern for dinner that night, I wanted to test out the bed. I lay down slowly, expecting the rough hay, but instead was met with amazing cotton. I squealed in delight. It's been too long since I've slept on cotton.
I rested for a bit and started debating if I should skip dinner or should I go to a tavern to see what type of food this town had. I wanted to eat something other than the normal horse-meat stew with mashed potatoes. Even though Mr. Black is an amazing cook, I was getting tired of the same thing every night.
I weighed my pro and cons.
And the next thing I knew, I was at the tavern. The people there were singing, dancing, and having a good time. I smiled at that as I sat at the bar. Maybe I wouldn't stay in my room the whole time I'm here, I thought, grinning. Maybe I'd put up with the stupid corset just to have fun while I was here.
"What would you like, dearie?"
The bar lady stood in front of me, leaning on the counter, with her cheek in her hand. Her dress was a simple thing. The skirt was black and so was the vest but the part that covered her breasts was white. Her hair was big, curly and pulled up into a messy bun on the top of her head. She was really pretty.
"The best you have, ma'am," I replied. She smiled, nodding, and shouted orders to the back room where I assumed they cooked everything.
She, then, gave me a cup of a clear liquid. "What's your name, kid? And what brought you here to this town? I know you're new in town, because I know everyone here," she said, smiling.
"I'm Bella. I live on my father's ship and we just came in town today," I said, taking a sip. It was gin. I put it down, but swallowed. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but can I just have water? I can't drink." I couldn't hold my liquor at all. It was really pathetic, actually.
"Of course." She took my cup and replaced it with water. "Call me Lucy. Being called ma'am makes me feel old." I smiled, agreeing.
"Where's your husband, Bella? Is he working?"
"No, I'm not married yet," I said. "I'm too young, Lucy." I took a sip of the water. She looked shocked as she walked back to get my food. She returned and put the food in front of me. It looked like a miniature pie.
"Here's your food, hon. It's a meat pie with mashed potatoes at the bottom. It's popular here," she said. I nodded and cut into it. I took a bite and was in heaven. She smiled at my response. "How old are you, love?"
She watched me eat the delicious pie for a few before she said something else. "You are not too young, Bella. I was married before your age." She shrugged, sighing. "Oh well. I guess if you want to keep travelin' with your father, you shouldn't get married any time soon. Some men want their women to stay home. If you're stuck with the wrong guy, you'll be one of the many women that are stuck at home. Choose carefully."
My smile went from carefree to sad as her words sunk into my brain. My mother didn't want me to become one of those women. She wanted me to be more than that.
I simply shrugged at her words. "Yes, I suppose I shall."
I continued to eat and talk to Lucy. Her husband owned the tavern. His name was Todd. She said that they don't have any kids yet, but she was three months pregnant with their first child. They were extremely excited about it.
"Oh hon', look at that dearie that just came in," she whispered, pointing past me. "If you weren't thinking of marryin' any time soon, I think you'll change your mind once you see this man. Look!"
I laughed at her excitement as I turned around. My laughing stopped as soon as his large green eyes—no, they weren't green, they were emerald, like the stone—met with my boring brown. My face headed up as he smiled at me.
"Ah, lovely, he's smiling at you! He's Edward, and he, too, lives on the water," she continued saying. He continued looking at me and I kept looking at him. I cooking look away. "He's quite a looker, eh? He's not married either, Bella. If I wasn't married and a few years younger, I would do anything to get in his trousers..."
He finally released me from his gaze as a girl wrapped her arms around his waist. She had brown hair similar to mine and a pretty face. Much prettier than mine. From where I could see, she was thinner than me and so much more than me. I was saddened by the fact that Lucy lied to me. He did have someone.
I looked away and finished the last of my meat pie. I wanted to finish as soon as possible so I could go hide in my room and soak in my embarrassment alone because I foolishly thought I had a chance with someone so perfect.
"I'm gonna head back to my inn," I told Lucy, looking down into my purse to pull out money to pay for the delicious pie. When I took out two shillings, I looked up to find that she wasn't even paying attention. "Lucy."
She looked at me, smiled, and then looked back at the person she was talking to. I looked at the person she was talking to and realized that it was the man that I was just ogling at a few minutes ago. My breath stopped again.
"Edward, I would like to introduce you to my new friend," she said, interrupting the God named Edward. She leaned onto the counter and nodded towards me. "That's Bella. She's in for a few days, too."
He looked at me again and my heart stopped this time as a crooked smiled formed on his perfect lips. "Hello, Bella. I'm Edward," he told me in his velvety voice. He took my hand and kissed my knuckles. His lips felt as good as they looked. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
All I could do was nod. He kept smiling.
"Would you like a drink?"
"I... uh..." He let go of my hand and I dropped it to the bar. "I was... actually... just leaving..." I responded, embarrassed that I could barely form a sentence.
"Please. Let me buy you a drink," he pleaded, running his fingers through his brown—ah, that wasn't just brown, it was bronze—hair. I suddenly wondered what it would be like to run my fingers through his hair. My cheeks turned a deep red.
"Sure..." I couldn't argue with him.
He asked Lucy for one ale on the rocks and one gin and she provided him with both. She smiled at me and walked away. I wanted to call her back so I wouldn't be alone with him. I didn't want to end up saying something stupid.
Edward pulled out my chair and I sat down, smiling slightly at him. Slowly, I was gaining control of my body again. It was embarrassing. But as the night wore on, the more I got comfortable around him. I knew it was thanks to the alcohol, and I stopped taking drinks after the second and just took water. I didn't want to lose my control.
We had fun talking. He told me about his family and friends. He had an older brother, Emmett, who was a really big guy and from a distance looked terrifying, but if you knew him, if you looked into his eyes, you could tell that he was a really great guy. Edward told me that Emmett was carefree and always knew how to make people laugh. He also had a little sister, Alice. He called her a "small, energetic pixie." She loved clothes and shopping. He said that they made a lot of money by their family business so she had the luxury of buying and getting whatever she wanted. He said that she was the baby so she always got what she wanted. I could see how much he loved his family as he told me about them.
I never really told any of the friends that I had outside of the Renée about my mother or how my family was, but I told Edward. I told him about how my mother died of Influenza and how my father is very cold to me. I told him how he ignored me and such. He seemed truly troubled about how my father was, but he didn't say anything. He just touched my cheek in a loving guesture and told me that he was sorry that I couldn't have a family like his. I smiled at him when he told me that. I wasn't looking for pity, but I enjoyed that he worried for me.
Close to midnight, he asked me if I wanted to dance. I laughed and declined. "I'm clumsy. I can't dance," I told him. He took my hand and I felt sparks. He must have felt it too because he let go, suddenly.
"Nice to meet you, Clumsy, I'm Edward, now lets dance," he said, smiling, taking my hand again. I giggled at his stupid remark. "Bella, don't worry." There were sparks, but he ignored it. I did too. "I'll help you." He stood and pulled at my hand.
I shook my head. "No, no. Edward, I can't!" I laughed, as he tugged gently. He insisted. "Ah, Edward, I don't want to get hurt or hurt you."
He laughed at that. It was a jolly sound. I loved it. I wanted to hear it again. "I won't. Trust me. I'll keep you safe." And with that, he pulled me up and led me to the dance floor.
He pulled my hand on his shoulder and put his hand on my waist. Edward then started twirling me. I didn't know the steps and he told me just to follow the music. I did and we danced for a few songs.
Edward walked me to my room after we danced for five songs. His arm was wrapped around my waist, holding me close to keep me warm. This kind gentleman had already given me his jacket since I didn't have one, so we stood close together to stay warm. I didn't mind at all; he smelled wonderful.
"Thank you for this wonderful night," I said to him, as we stood outside my door to my inn. "I haven't had this much fun in a long time." Edward smiled, brightly, showing most of his teeth. They were bright white.
"Same here, Bella," he said, taking my hand to kiss my knuckles. I blushed as his lips lingered on my hand. I wanted to know how they would feel against mine. "I'm a happy man since I've met you."
"Edward," I said, as he added to my blush. "You don't..."
"It's the truth, love," he said, lowering our hands from his mouth. He still held my hand, smiling. "But now, I must go. You need to sleep."
He stopped me by pressing his finger to my lip. A smile formed on his own. "Bella, you need to sleep. As do I, even though I don't want to leave you."
"Please, Bella," he said, stopping me again. I sighed, nodding. I looked into his eyes, a frown on my mouth. He smiled. "You're so beautiful. And that pout is cute." He started getting closer to me, leaning into kiss me.
I froze. I never kissed anyone before.
I squeezed my eyes shut and let him kiss me.
But he never had the chance.
"Hey! Edward!" boomed a loud voice. I jumped, opening my eyes. I turned to the voice and saw the biggest man on Earth. He was tall, thick with muscles, and would have looked terrifying, but he was smiling. His smile just made him look like a giant teddy bear.
"What the hell, Emmett?" demanded Edward, his arm still around my waist. He turned to Emmett and the look on his face was a mix between annoyance and anger. "Why the hell are you yelling? People are sleeping."
"Ah, sorry, bro." He paused and looked at me. He grinned widely. "I didn't know you came up here with a girl, Edward. I just saw your ass walking into—"
Edward stopped him. "Did you want something?"
"Yeah, well, Dad wanted to talk to you about... some stuff," Emmett said, his eyes jumping from Edward to me every few seconds. He looked like he was trying to tell Edward something without saying it aloud. I was confused, but I didn't think much about it. It wasn't my business. "Now."
I heard Edward sigh, heavily. "Alright, I'll be there in a minute," he said, turning to look at me. Emmett walked away. "That's my brother, Emmett."
I smiled a little. "I could tell. And you were right. He does look intimidating, except for that smile."
A chuckle escaped his lips and I felt my mouth break out into a bigger smile. "Yeah, that's Emmett for you." His laughter died and he became sadden. "I have to go. I'm sorry. May I see you tomorrow night again?"
"Really? You want to see me again?"
"Yes, of course," he told me, stepping away from me. "After all, I will need to retrieve my jacket."
My smile shrank into my sad smile that I wore often. "Um, Edward," I said, looking down at my hands. "You can just take your jacket back now if you want." I wasn't going to make him come see me again if he didn't want to. I wanted to see him again, of course, but it was no good if he didn't want to see me.
"Do you not want to see me again, Bella? If you don't, then you can just say so. I won't—"
"What? No! Of course I do!" I said, quickly. I said that a bit too loudly but he smiled at me. I lowered my voice. "But I just figured you didn't want to see... me..."
"I just told you I did, love," he said, titling my head up so I would look up into his eyes. His eyes were piercing. It was amazing. "I'll just come see you later today, Bella, since it's already tomorrow."
My smile brightened up. "Okay, that sounds... nice."
"Bella." I closed my eyes as he leaned to me. I braced myself for a kiss, but more relaxed than last time. "Today is my last day on land here. I plan on spending it with you." His lips were at my ear and then they were at my forehead. They pressed gently against my forehead and pulled back. He smiled at my look of disappointment. "Don't pout too much. Your face will get stuck that way." He brushed his thumb over my lower lip and stepped away.
"Bye Bella." He placed a light kiss on my lips and left quickly.
I was shocked at first, but it all faded away and was replaced by pure bliss. I smiled like a fool and went into my room to wait for the day to come.
A/N: Thanks for reading. This is my new story that I've been thinking about for a while. I've had the first page and half on microsoft (think I spelled that wrong) just rotting away on my computer for a few years so I decided to do something with it. At first, it wasn't a fanfiction, but it just seemed to fit so I wrote it. I hope you liked it. So please, please, review and review. Tell me if I should continue or not. Please, please, please.
A/N: Happy Holidays! Happy whatever you celibrate! I hope you have fun! If you have snow wherever you are, then enjoy it. I have bunches of snow in Washington and I love it! It's the most snow we've had for more than 10 years. I'm excited to play in it.
BTW: To those who know of my other story, Seasons of Change, that story will be put on hold. I'm sorry to those who enjoyed that story, but it had to be done.
Happy holidays to all. **LoveEmmettCullen