Chapter 7 – School and Songs (BPOV)
We ended up having a long and random game of monopoly; which was very hard with Edward reading people's minds and Alice seeing people's moves. To be fair, I tried to even it up by shielding everyone, so Edward couldn't read their minds. He had shot me a disparaging glare when he realised what I had done.
By some miracle Emmett of all people had managed to win our absurd game, though I have a sneaking suspicion he cheated. That was later confirmed when I had taken down my shield and Edward started having a go at him till me and Jasper dragged him off.
So all in all, it had turned out to be a very interesting night and an excellent opportunity for Amile and my family to bond and it seemed to be going well. She was definitely more comfortable around us and people were no longer shooting her wary and cautious glances like she would explode at any time.
We actually had a great laugh, mostly at Emmett's expense of course. Carlisle and Esme seemed pleased at our interaction as well as they watched our fun with parental amusement.
"Come on, love," Edward whispered in my ear, "We need to go to school."
I groaned. "I can understand now why you guys always found school so boring," I moaned.
He chuckled and sent shivers down my back. "It's honestly not so bad when you have someone to share it with," he shrugged.
I really liked the sound of that I thought as I turned to face him. "I love you," I whispered pointlessly. He smiled softly and pressed his lips to mine quickly and gently before pulling away.
"We really do need to leave, love," Edward said, "Everyone's in the car waiting."
That made me start in surprise; were we really running that late? "You're very easily distracted," he answered as though he could read my mind and laughed musically. I sighed. He didn't know the half of it. "What were you thinking of?" he asked curiously.
"Monopoly," I said simply. He laughed again, probably picturing Alice's stunned face as she was trying to figure out how she lost and Emmett's little 'victory dance' after he had won. That memory made me smile and I pulled Edward after me as I led the way out of the house.
"Bye Esme, Amile. See you after school," we called at the same time, causing both of them to giggle.
Edward grinned at me and took my hand as he opened my door for me. I would've blushed if I were human. He still kept my hand in his in between the seats as we drove and I didn't miss Alice grumbling about us taking our time to get ready.
Renesmee and Jake met us in the car park when we arrived, Jake having arrived early to pick our daughter up. "S'up, Bells," he greeted me cheerily.
"Hey, Jake," I said. He engulfed me in a hug to rival Emmett's and I laughed as I wrapped my arms around him. "I'm pleased to see you too," I managed to get out.
He carefully placed me on the ground and Edward was immediately beside me, curling his arm around my waist. I rolled my eyes at him and looked at Jacob. "So how's the rest of the pack? You should invite them around, I'm sure Esme will be delighted to have more reason to practise her culinary skills," I offered.
I could see Jake's face light up at the mention of Esme's cooking and I remembered the wolves had a soft spot for her food. "I would sure love to and I'm sure Seth and Leah would too," Jake said, hesitating before he added, "Not sure about the others, though. You know that we had another new one phase when we were down La push our first day back and Quil and Embry had to stay home."
"Yeah, I remember," I said thoughtfully, "How is she by the way?"
"Still in shock," Jake admitted, shaking his head sadly, "I don't think she's left Embry's side once. Even Sam can't get her away."
"How many wolves are in La push now?" Edward spoke up beside me as we stood outside the building to our first class.
"Not that many," Jacob said, "Only Sam, Colin and Brady from the pack we left here when we left and a couple of new ones that phased with Angel. You'll have to meet them at some point so they can get used to your scents seeing as the treaty is void and you can enter our land now."
"We'll arrange it with Carlisle," Edward promised and with that we said goodbye and went to our class.
I could see Amile was obviously still very nervous, more so now than last night without all the company of the others. I gave her space to settle and didn't try to push her, though she looked so lost that all I wanted to do was comfort her.
"You really do have a wonderful home here, Mrs Cullen," she said suddenly.
I turned to her with a kind smile. "Thank you, dear. And please, call me Esme," I told her.
She smiled back at me. "Thank you, Esme," she whispered.
"You're more than welcome," I responded easily. "Do you like it here?" I asked, genuinely interested to see what she thought.
"Yes," she answered, "It's very peaceful; not at all what I'm used to." She paused then, seeming to think that she had perhaps said too much. There was so much I wanted to know about her, but I knew I couldn't ask.
"I'm glad you like it," I said honestly, "You should come the next time we have an extended hunting trip. The woods are quite beautiful. And the boys always provide enough entertainment with their mischief." I thought fondly of the play fights Jasper and Emmett were always getting into because Emmett kept trying to interfere with all of Jasper's hunts for some reason.
"Emmett seems to be a big kid at heart," Amile observed thoughtfully, "But still there's something very - I don't know - big brotherly about him."
That was a very good description of him. "Yes, he is," I drifted to where she was on the sofa and sat a careful distance from her to not exclude her but not make her nervous either. "He always like's to make sure his sister's are okay. When Bella was human, he was always helping her like that," I frowned, "Or at least he was when he wasn't making fun of her."
"Bella was human?" she questioned, suddenly more interested.
"She was when we found her. Edward changed her," I said, trying to answer her question without telling Bella's story. "If you want to know, you should ask Bella; I'm sure she'd be happy to tell you," I suggested.
"Of course," she said, looking away. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have intruded like that. It was rude of me."
"Don't apologise, sweetie," I said gently, "You're bound to be curious, it's perfectly natural."
Amile didn't seem consoled by that but she let it drop. "When I was…human, my sister and I did everything together," she barely whispered and she still refused to make eye contact.
I didn't like to see her struggling like she was, so I said, "You don't have to say anything until you're ready."
"I know," she said softly, "But you've done so much for me already and I feel you deserve to know something of the people living under you own roof." Her red eyes met my gold ones and I saw the sincerity there.
She wanted to say something so I decided to let her get it off her chest. Maybe talking to me would help her to accept what had happened. So I listened.
"She was my best friend and I didn't have many as it was," she took a deep, though unnecessary breath; "My mother wasn't exactly what one would call a dedicated parent. In fact, she was very much the opposite.
"I was always the odd one out and while my sister sat and talked with me my mother could never be bothered. Either that or she'd contribute to it," she snorted bitterly, "She was always putting me down, telling me how I was a waste of space and I should be more like my sister even though she thought she was a waste of space as well.
"Most people would be jealous or angry at their sister if they're always being compared to them, but it was never like that for me and Amy. We were closer than anything and we found peace and comfort in each other-" she broke off there with a sob and I instinctively pulled her into my arms.
"Shh, it's okay," I whispered. I was trying to hold back my sympathetic sobs while I was wondering how an earth a mother could treat her own children so disgracefully. My own motherly feelings were still very much strong after the death of my son and all I wanted right now was just to take away all her pain.
Soon after the outburst she calmed down but thankfully didn't pull out of my embrace, I already felt as though she were one of my children. "Thank you," she mumbled into my chest.
"Thank you for telling me," I pulled her back and held her face so I could meet her gaze. She didn't try to look away. "I know how hard that must have been for you and you have to know: we are all here for you, whenever you need it just let us know, okay?"
She nodded and I smiled, satisfied that she would. "I know I've not known you long, but I already feel as though you're a mother to me," she admitted and I could feel my heart swell with pleasure
A delighted grin spread on my face. "I already feel as though you're one of my own," I told her back and hugged her again which she gratefully returned.
"So the others go to school and Carlisle works?" she asked, confused and I think a bit uncomfortable.
I smiled gently. "Yes. It's to keep up the cover you see," I explained, "If we act like normal people we can stay in an area for longer, usually a few years, sometimes a little more."
She nodded thoughtfully, taking in what I had said. "That makes sense," she said slowly, "What will you say about me, if people find out I'm here? Because it's not like I can go to school just yet."
Hmm, she had a point. "We'll work something out," I assured her, "We can always say we only just adopted you and we wanted you to get settled in and get used to people first. You don't have to worry."
Amile seemed relieved and I was glad. Her gaze drifted around the room and I stayed quiet watching to see what she was thinking until she settled on the piano. As she studied it I asked, "Do you play?"
She swung her head back to look at me. "A little," she confessed, "I don't know much, though."
"Do you want to play?" I asked, noticing her longing look at the instrument, "You can if you want."
"You don't mind?" she asked astonished.
"Well, it's really Edward's, but he's a kind soul; I'm sure he wouldn't mind," I encouraged, all too eager to hear what she could do.
"Okay," she barely whispered as she left her seat beside me and walked cautiously to the piano bench, lifting the lid as she sat down carefully. Amile took a breath, her fingers lightly gracing the keys, stroking them. Then she began to play.
The notes floated in the air: bright, happy and hopeful. They painted vibrant images in my mind as I listened for several minutes before they drifted softly to a close. Her breath hitched once she finished and she stayed staring blankly at the black and white keys in front of her.
A loud excited squeal shocked the silence and Amile jerked round to face the new arrivals only to be smacked into by an overly hyper Alice who was the source for the loud noise.
"Alice," Jasper hissed from where he stood next to a slightly disgruntled Edward. Oh dear, I thought, frowning worriedly.
"Isn't she perfect, Jasper?" Alice asked, dismissing his rebuke. "That was beautiful, Amile." Again she squealed.
"I didn't think you'd be one for classics," Edward commented, seeming calm now. Hopefully that meant he wouldn't give her any trouble for using his precious piano. Hearing my thoughts he inclined his head to me with a sly glance to Bella, who was looking slightly smug.
Amile looked surprised at Edward talking to her about it and she answered quietly, "My sister and me love that song. She was never any good at playing so I learnt it instead so we could sit together at the piano in our dining room and listen to it. Took me forever to learn it, but I did it for her – for us."
"You love her," Bella stated.
"Yes," Amile mouthed, "Very much." She set her mouth in a way that said she was determined not to talk anymore and we took the hint.
"Hey, Amile," Emmett bounded over to her, barging past Jasper and pulling Alice away from her, resulting in a very pissed looking pixie. "Come play video games with me and Jasper. Edward isn't allowed to play with us because he cheats." As he said this he sent a glare in said cheater's direction and Amile giggled at the serious look on his face.
"Emmett, you messed up my clothes!" Alice suddenly exploded, scowling with her eyes glinting dangerously.
"Sorry, little sis," Emmett tried to apologise, backing away with his hands up but Alice just growled at him. He looked imploringly at Jasper who rolled his eyes and came to his brother's aid.
"Calm, Alice," Jasper said, a hand on her shoulder to unleash the full force of his gift.
"Jasper," Alice whined, shooting a playful glare at him to which he just smiled easily and Alice weakened, giving him a peck on the lips.
"NO PDA!" Emmett yelled, reaching around to cover Amile's eyes with his hands.
Alice snarled. "Don't think I have forgotten what you did to my clothes. You will pay," she threatened. Emmett laughed.
"Umm, Emmett?" Amile asked, sounding unsure, "Could you please remove your hands?"
"Oops," he quickly moved his hands behind his back with a guilty look on his face.
"Thanks," Amile laughed.
"Come on, Amile," Alice said, snatching her hand and dragging her upstairs, "I've got to show you your new clothes."
As they disappeared into her room Bella said, "I'm just glad it's not me."
"I HEARD THAT!" Alice shouted. "IT'S YOUR TURN LATER!"
"Damn," Bella muttered, "Guess I should've thought about that." Edward chuckled beside her and she whacked him and dragged him outside. "We're going for a run," she called as she closed the door.
"Hey," Emmett whined, "Alice. Amile was going to play with us." He ran upstairs alone after Jasper had made it clear that 'he was no part of this and he didn't want to get between Alice and something she wants'.
There was a growl, some muffled cursing and scuffling and then Emmett tumbled back down the stairs, followed by Alice and Amile's tinkling laughter. "I warned you," Jasper shrugged as he walked to the games room.
"Stupid pixie," Emmett mumbled, rubbing the back of his head.
I sighed; just another average day in the Cullen household.
Author's Note:Hi guys! So sorry for not updating in god knows how long. I quite liked this chapter, you finally get to see something of Amile's history, though there will definitely be more revealed later ;D. If anyone cares to know, I slways imagined the song being played by Amile to be Bach's Prelude I. (This is a very awesome song, for those that like the kind of classical music. I used to play this on the piano; it's one of my favourites).
For those who read my other story 'Gentle Touches' I am again so sorry for not updating as promised, but I will make a promise to update next Friday, May 28th, as it's my 18th birthday and I like to udate to celebrate ;D.
I hope there are people still reading this and that you are enjoying this as I am enjoying writing this. I will probably nmot get this, but could we try and reach, say, 8 reviews for this chapter before I update again? Thanks to all my readers and all those who review, add to story alert, story favs, author alert, etc.