The three youngest members of the Sons of Ipswich sat at their usual table at Nicky's, waiting for the oldest of them to join them. Caleb had told the guys that he had some important news to tell them and all three boys were anxious to hear it. Reid was tapping his foot impatiently as Tyler drummed on the table and Pogue ran his hand through his long hair continuously. They finally saw Caleb enter the bar and he took his sweet time getting his food and joining them at their table. He sat down and started eating while the other three stared at him, waiting for something to happen. Caleb finally looked up and smirked.
"What?" he asked innocently.
"What do you mean 'what'? What's the 'big news' you had to tell us?" Reid said, annoyed.
"Oh yeah, Bella's coming home." He said bluntly.
"What?" they all asked at the same time.
"Bella's coming home." Caleb repeated slowly as if talking to children.
"Yeah, we heard you the first time; you want to elaborate on that exciting news?" Reid asked sarcastically.
"It's nothing really; my mom just wants her here for our senior year."
Bella Swan was the adopted daughter of William and Evelyn Danvers. She was technically Caleb's cousin, daughter of William's sister Renee. She was adopted by the Danvers at the age of five when her parents died in a car accident. She'd kept her last name as a way of keeping her parents with her. She had the same dark hair as Caleb, but with stunning green eyes that could captivate anyone. She might not have had the Power, but with her eyes, the power of persuasion came very easily. She was in the same grade as the boys, only a few weeks younger than Tyler and had been in Paris attending a high class boarding school since she was 13. She knew all about the power her cousin and his friends possessed, and her aunt and uncle weren't worried about her safety, but they sent her to Paris to get a better education. Bella was extremely smart, even by Spencer's standards and had grown into a brilliant young woman. Caleb and his family obviously saw her at every holiday, but they always went to Paris so Reid, Tyler, and Pogue hadn't seen her since she was an awkward 13 year old girl with frizzy hair and braces. Caleb had found out the other day that they were having Bella come home for their final year of high school, though Caleb and Bella both thought they wanted her there when he ascended.
"Okay, so when is she coming home?" Pogue asked, anxious to see the true baby of their group. Though she was a girl, and didn't have the power, all four boys had been very close with Bella. Especially Tyler since they shared the curse of being the babies.
"Her plane gets in at around ten tomorrow morning. I was gonna bring her here tomorrow night, so we'll meet you guys then." Caleb said, taking a sip of his soda.
"Dude, tomorrow? Why didn't you tell us sooner?" Tyler asked. He'd missed Bella the most, besides Caleb, they'd been the closest.
"Because I just found out last night. My mom wanted it to be a surprise, but I heard her talking to Gorman about it, so she finally spilled." They could tell Caleb was extremely excited to see Bella. Even though they were cousins, Caleb was her brother in every way, and she was the best and only sister he'd ever had, and wanted. They were extremely close and very protective of each other. When they were younger, people thought they were twins.
"So, does Bella know about…you know? You're dad?" Reid asked awkwardly, regarding Mr. Danvers's 'condition'. They last time Bella had seen him, he looked like a regular 38 year old man. Now he looked about 100, though he was only 44 years old.
"I mentioned he wasn't doing well when we saw her during spring break, but I don't think she knows the full extent." They all nodded, staying silent for a few minutes.
"Changing subjects. How's the brain been doing over there?" Pogue asked, trying to get rid of the silence hanging thickly in the air.
"Really well, she was at the top of her class. Spencer should be easy for her." Caleb said with a hint of pride.
"She still all frizzy and brace-faced?" Reid asked with a chuckle. Caleb smirked inwardly realizing his friends hadn't seen Bella for almost 5 years, not seeing how she'd changed.
"She's…recognizable." He answered cryptically.
"She hot?" Reid asked, Caleb shot him a warning glare and this time Reid actually backed off. He knew how protective Caleb was of Bella and she was off limits, especially to him. The guys continued to eat, the conversation generally veering off of Bella until they finally parted ways, heading back to their houses for the night.
Caleb waited anxiously with his mother at the gate, waiting for Bella to get off her plane. He finally saw her head of dark wavy hair running towards them and was hit by her full weight, being crushed by her tiny form into a huge hug.
"Caleb!" She yelled, not caring who was staring at her. Caleb laughed at his cousin's excitement and returned her hug with just as much force, lifting her off the ground in the process. When he put her down, she turned to her aunt, enveloping her in a slightly less intense embrace.
"Hi Aunt Evelyn." She said cheerfully.
"Hello dear, it's wonderful to see you." Evelyn said with a smile, it was one of her good days. Caleb had gotten her to stop drinking for the day, but she only listened because Bella was coming home.
"Come on Bells. Let's get your stuff so we can home and I can take you to Nicky's to see the guys." Bella jumped up and down excitedly and adjusted her large purse on her shoulder as they headed to baggage claim where Caleb was forced to carry three of her four suitcases. The ride home took about an hour which was filled with Bella's excited chatter about Paris and finally seeing the guys again. After lunch, Caleb decided to take Bella to see his father. She deserved to know what had happened to him and he could see the disappointment and question in her eyes when he wasn't there to greet her at the airport. They got into his silver Mustang (link on profile) and he drove to their old colony house where Gorman and his father resided.
"What are we doing here?" Bella asked after they'd parked at the fence.
"I want to show you something." Caleb said, his voice serious, his face grave. They walked through the typical Ipswich mist up to the old door, entering slowly. Gorman appeared at the top of the stairs with the usual frown on his face.
"What are you doing?" he asked sternly, not recognizing Bella.
"Relax Gorman, it's just me." Bella said with her usual cheery voice.
"Oh, welcome home Miss Bella." Gorman said gruffly.
"Good to see you too Gorman." She said sarcastically as he disappeared into his room.
"Come on." Caleb said, guiding her up the stairs and into a musty room. She saw a bunch of old bottles, and in the center of the room, a large armchair with an IV and a respirator next to it. From where they stood, she could see a grotesquely wrinkled hand resting on the arm of the chair. She looked to Caleb and he nodded for her to continue. She slowly walked around the chair to see an extremely old man, the respirator hooked directly to his throat. He obviously couldn't even speak and was almost unrecognizable, but his eyes opened and she saw the same eyes both she and her mother possessed. She gasped and looked at Caleb for confirmation. He nodded and Bella sank to her knees, taking her uncle's hand carefully into hers.
"What happened to him?" She asked, her eyes not leaving William's.
"He got addicted, used too much." She saw the sadness and regret in his eyes. She knew the effects of using the power too much, especially after you ascend. She'd heard about how addictive it was when she was growing up, but had never seen the effects up close. She felt a tear run down her cheek and William's finger twitched up, as if wanting to wipe it away. Bella smiled sadly and kissed her uncle's hand, not affected by its wrinkled state. William gave her his best attempt at a smile, showing the few remaining teeth he had.
"It's good to see you Uncle Will." She said, standing up and kissing her uncle's forehead. Caleb wrapped her up in a hug and she let the quiet tears run down her face. He led her back out to the car, keeping a hold on her hand as he drove back to the Danvers mansion.
"Please." Bella whispered.
"What?" Caleb asked, looking towards her blank face.
"Promise me you won't become that. I couldn't take it if I lost you that way." She said, her eyes filled with desperation. Caleb wrapped his arm around her as he pulled into the driveway.
"Don't worry Bells. I could never do that to you." He kissed the top of her head and let her go. "Now go get yourself pretty so we can meet up with the guys. I'll call them and tell them to meet us at Nicky's." Bella's face brightened and her usual joking personality returned.
"Are you saying I'm not pretty now?" she asked with fake outrage and Caleb couldn't help but laugh.
"Of course not. You're the prettiest girl in the world, now go get ready." He said, pushing her towards the house. She bounced up the stairs, returning a few minutes later in black skinny jeans tucked into black, knee high, heeled boots, an emerald green tank top and a black bomber jacket (link on profile). Her hair had already been done in perfect loose curls and she lightly touched up her make-up.
"Well don't you look all Paris chic." Caleb teased as she flitted back down the stairs.
"Shut up." She said, swatting his arm and sticking her tongue out at him. She skipped passed him and out the front door. Caleb laughed and shook his head, still not believing his clumsy cousin was skipping, in heels no less, and no tripping.
"Mom, we're leaving." He called, though he knew his mom was probably a few drinks in already. He walked back out to his car where Bella was waiting, impatiently tapping her foot. He laughed at her excitement and sped off towards the local bar. The guys weren't there yet, so they grabbed their usual table and got their food, waiting for the others to arrive.
Reid and Tyler climbed out of Tyler's new hummer to see Pogue pulling up on his bright yellow motorcycle. They nodded to each other, doing their signature fist bump before heading inside. They looked around, seeing Caleb at their usual table with a girl. Her back was to them so none could tell who she was. It couldn't be Bella. No way this leggy brunette was the little girl they'd seen last. But as Caleb noticed them and nodded, she turned around and the boys saw her brilliant emerald eyes and collectively gasped.
Let me know what you think :)