'God how I hate airports.' I thought as I walked to baggage claim. I hated most enclosed spaces to be honest. Especially malls, ech! Anywhere with a lot of people in on place sends me to near palpitations, Matt was the same.
We collect our bags quickly and headed through customs. It didn't take long; we didn't bring much, I want to make a new start. We brought the inheritance we were allowed to have (the rest we could only have when we were eighteen, one more year) with us so we could buy ourselves new stuff.
We reached the gate quickly, 'only took half an hour,' I thought sarcastically, and took a deep breath, I've never actually seen my half sister but I had seen heaps of photos of her from before her wedding, which was over twenty years ago, but only one from after and she looked very different, paler, prettier, skinnier and also in other ways but after that there was nothing. She only resurfaced this year to claim us so we wouldn't have to be fostered out. I looked around for my sister's brown hair (which I had also inherited, god knows how) I couldn't spot it, but I did see a head with beautiful bronze curls, like Isabella's husband, Edward's so I walked over to her, dragging Matt with me and when she looked over at us recognition lighted in her brown eyes, the same shade as my sister's, this was who we were looking for. She looked about my age, maybe older.
She was pale and was attracting a lot of stares from the males in the vicinity, if you get my meaning, "Sam, Matt?" she asked in a ringing voice.
"Yeah, that's us" Matt said, holding out his hand.
She took it smiling and said, "I'm Nessie, your niece" I looked down, blushing, I was embarrassed so easily, I don't even know why I was, I expected it anyway.
"Would you like me to take your cases?" she asked us and I shook my head no.
She led us out of the airport and I let out a sigh of relief in response. We walked up to a bright, red Ferrari and I was at a loss for words, I had known that my step family was rich but it was another thing entirely seeing it.
Nessie opened the boot and I put my bags in there, there was another person in the car, a man with dark, russet skin and shaggy black hair, he held out his hand and introduced himself, "Jacob," in a husky voice, "And you must be Sam." I took his hand and nodded with a small smile, "And Matt, I presume," he said to him. Matt nodded, smiling.
Nessie got the driver's side and brushed her hand across Jacob's cheek, I was a little shocked; he looked older than her by at least a few years. Jacob shook his head with a smile and Nessie rolled her eyes, neither of them had been looking at us but I felt that the exchange had been related to us somehow.
Nessie managed to get us out of the car park and on the highway in less time than it took for me to get out of the airport, which was surprising, considering that airport car parks, well, no need to explain really, but even though she drove faster than anyone else I knew we still only stopped every couple of hours.
The first time we stopped was Jacob's choice.
"Nessie, stop here I can't go further without food!" Nessie rolled her eyes and I resisted the urge to giggle, Matt chuckled quietly. In the three hours I had known Jake we had almost been laughing for the entire time, these kids were a crack up.
We stopped at a small diner, nothing for me to be fussed about, I ordered some hot chips and a coke whereas Nessie eyed my food with a wrinkled nose and Jacob ordered enough food for the two of them, Matt bought almost as much as Jake.
When we had finished we were straight back on the road and I was beginning to wonder whether we would ever get where we were going when we approached a change in the road, it turned into a dirt road with orchards and vineyards on either side.
I felt free for once in my life. I had always been oppressed by the city scape of Florida, even as loose as it was, but this was so open, I loved it, I heard a muted gasp beside me and I knew Matt felt the same.
We stopped again after a while because Jake needed more food, 'where does it all go?' I thought, and I needed a bathroom. It had me wondering why Nessie didn't need anything.
Nessie relieved my qualms about the long car ride by saying "It should only be about half an hour more." I sighed happily but Jacob's lips were a straight line and he looked out at the sky, a clear blue, which made me wonder about what his problem was.
At the end of the road was a wall of dark green. At first I thought I was going nuts but as we got closer I began to distinguish trees a house, a really big house at that, it was the size of three of my old houses. I drew in a sharp breath and met Jake's eyes his expression was now amused.
I also saw another smaller building, but still about the size of my house. As we pulled up a long drive i noticed that it was a garage and Nessie pressed a button on the dashboard of the car and a large door opened showing the inside of the massive garage. What was inside made my jaw drop.
There were at least five cars in there, more even. One yellow Porsche, one red BMW, one silver Aston Martin, one monster Jeep, one black Mercedes, one very impressive motorbike and a red Volkswagen which was really quite pitiful compared to the rest.
I rearanged my expression as Matt formed a statement, "That's quite a collection of cars you've got," he said, breathless.
"There not all ours, silly, they belong to the whole family." Nessie answered him in a matter of fact tone.
He merely nodded in response. It was only dawning on me now just how rich these people were.
The door closed behind us and we all hopped out.
"Ness, I'm gonna go check up on Seth and Embry, 'kay" said Jacob.
Nessie nodded her head with a smile and said "say hi from me Jake" as he was walking out.
"Bye Ness, see ya Sam, Matt" was his parting comment.
After that we turned back to the cars. "Do you really need that many?" Matt asked, "I mean eight, come on."
Nessie rolled her eyes and walked to the first car, the Porsche. "This one's Alice's," she walked forward, her hand brushing the bonnet of each car as she walked past, "Dad's," the Aston Martin, "Rosalie's," the BMW, "Emmett's," the Jeep, "Carlisle's," the Mercedes, "Jasper's," the bike, "and Jake's," the Volkswagen. "And this," she nodded at the Ferrari, "is Mom's." I nodded slowly, that was just about a car for every person in the family.
"Come on, lets meet the family." She led me out of the garage by a small door to the side.
Once outside i began to see the full expanse of this place. There was a small forest in the backyard, huge fields to either side, and wide empty spaces basically as far as the eye can see all around.
"How much of this is yours?" Matt asked.
"Well the western border is over there somewhere." she said, pointing back towards the garage, "The southern border is back that way," she pointed back the way we came from the airport, "the eastern border is that way," she pointed past the house, "and the northern border is at the start of the wood, all considered it's about 5% of a square mile of land maybe more." Once again my jaw dropped and I wondered what they had to pay for that.
"Wow," Matt said breathless.
"We don't own the wood but we use the area sometimes." I nodded, how could you not.
We began to walk to the house but halfway Nessie stopped us.
"Guys," she said slowly, cautiously. I was instantly more alert, Matt too. "My parents don't want you to know this but, well," she drew a deep breath and her forehead wrinkled "we're different."
What a surprise, I thought sarcastically.
Seeing the look on my face she was instantly defensive. "I mean it Sam, we are..." she seemed at a loss for words. "Okay, I'm going to do something and I don't want you to be scared." She drew another breath and reached her hand out to ours which we held together.
"Nessie don't!" I heard a yell coming toward us.
Jacob was running from the house at Olympic speed, but Nessie's hand continued to reach for mine.
'To hell with the world' I thought and grabbed Nessie's hand.
My head was filled with images, memories that were not my own.
They repeated over and over. First was Bella, she was my age. Then Jacob standing with her. Then with Edward and Jacob as well and Bella was holding an approximately three years old Nessie. Next Nessie was standing, about ten years old, with her parents and Jake again.
Last there was a picture of about ten people, I spotted Nessie, Jake, Edward and Bella, but there were others, three other women and five other men, two looked more like Jacob than the others.
I noticed that each of the images were framed and against a background.
Nessie's hand was wrenched from mine in the middle of the forth round but it was too late, the damage had already been done.
"Jake!" Nessie complained.
I realised that I had closed my eyes and quickly opened them. I was strangely calm considering.
Jacob was standing in front us, Nessie was glaring at him and he was glowering right back.
"What did you show her!?" Jacob demanded.
"Family photos," Nessie replied icily.
"Which ones?" Jacob sounded resigned now.
"You and Mom and Dad, Mom, you and me, then again with me older and then everyone.
"Oh Ness," Jacob sighed, his mood hard to place. I decided it was a mix of disappointment, sadness, resignation and frustration.
"Hey, we couldn't just send her in unprepared, could we?" Nessie defended.
Matt hadn't seen the 'photos' so he looked very bewildered.
I was tiring of this conversation but I decided that I would sit it out, literally, I sunk into a cross-legged position and crossed my arms over my chest, Jacob looked alarmed, probably thinking that I had collapsed. But Nessie let out a stressed laugh when she saw patient expression.
"Just like Bella," Jacob muttered under his breath. I rolled my eyes and Matt helped me up and we began walking toward the house again.
Of two things I was sure, one nothing here had changed for a long while (except Nessie), and two this was going to be very different from Jacksonville