Ok so I wasn't expecting this to turn into anything else, but I decided to write some more on it and I think I'll continue after this also, but only if you want me to.
We had a snowday today (it was 100% chance of snow) so all I did was play the piano and write a little on all of my fics. This kind of popped out of nowhere...
Anyway, enjoy! And please tell me what you think by reviewing, because that's like birthday cake for me! :D
....and I love cake.
I looked out of the big glass window. It was black outside save the dimly lit, flickering street light that sat in the parking lot that illuminated the dismal scene. The wind was blowing pretty hard and the rain continued to relentlessly pound against the panes. I was just thankful Bella and I had gotten out of the storm when we did.
It had been a long freaking week. I had been pushed to my limit too many times to count-emotionally and physically. On top of that, it was storming, we were 5 miles away from our house, and there was no way it was safe to go home-and that was not due to the storm, either.
Plus, I could barely keep my eyes open. I looked over at Bella and neither could she. She was adding more sugar to her coffee. I raised my eyebrow in question. She simply smiled and put in anotherpack of Splenda. The coffee I had was the only reason I hadn't passed out. Bella's eyes were drooping slightly, but her coffee was keeping her occupied I suppose.
We were still debating on where to stay for the night. We both needed sleep and we knew it. Dad had gone out of control on our little adventure that week. I don't know why we were surprised. It was due to come. Maybe it was because we had gotten so used to our almost normal life. Dad had actually let us go to the Cullens twice for dinner, although I think it was because he knew Carlisle would have gotten even more nosy if he didn't allow us to. Still, it had been quite peaceful for a while…
I closed my eyes and sighed, wincing slightly at a sharp feeling in my ribs. Bella shot me a concerned look. I remembered all of the make-shift bandages that we had under our clothes. I vaguely wondered how Bella's side felt. She had fallen onto a rock at some point that scraped her up pretty good.
The door jingled with a cheaply made bell on the top. My sister, who was sitting opposite of me, couldn't see the door open to the diner, but by the look on my face she could tell it wasn't good.
I gave her a mildly reassuring look. It wasn't Charlie or anyone sent by him.
She looked at me curiously.
Then who is it? I could practically hear her ask, though it was all in her tired, brown eyes.
Something clicked and I could tell the moment she realized who it was.
"Bella, Jasper what are you doing up at this time of night?" The man asked as he walked over to our table.
…I could have asked him the same thing. It was 2:45 am. Instead I answered, "Umm. Hey, Carlisle." I carefully avoided his eyes.
My bruised cheek probably looked terrible to him. Bella's hair was still dripping- we were both drenched. There was no way he could have missed the huge dark circles under our eyes. We probably looked a thousand times worse than we did the last time he'd seen us.
He was still wearing his work clothes, dressed smartly in blue dress pants, a dress shirt, and a matching tie. Of course, they were all wet, but he still looked as good as ever. Carlisle always looked good. He just seemed so- consistent, compared to what Charlie was. He could blow at a moments notice, and sometimes he was uncharacteristically calm. That's when it was scary.
Carlisle didn't say anything else. We heard him walk away and go to the counter. He ordered 3 number 4's and then just stood at the counter. There were no other customers besides us, and soft Christmas music played.
Bella just shook her head, eyes squinted in thought. Ours eyes met. I could do nothing but shrug. I couldn't see a way out of this inevitable conversation.
I wasn't sure what Carlisle was going to do until he brought a chair over from another table and sat it own on the end of ours.
Again he wasn't speaking. He just sat with his hands folded. I couldn't tell what he was thinking since I still wouldn't look at him. There was no telling what he would ask first. He would probably inquire about our whereabouts for the past week. Then what would we tell him?
The truth? A voice in my head asked, as it were the most absurd concept ever. Absolutely not.
We all sat in a tense silence until the only waitress in the place gave us our food.
"Thank you, ma'am," Bella and I said at the same time. I couldn't help but grin.
I glanced at Carlisle after he said his thanks and picked up his cheeseburger, taking a few bites. I scarfed mine down in record time and started in on my fries. We could deal with problems later. What mattered was eating. I could tell Bella thought the same.
No one talked as we ate. I bet everyone was thinking of their next move.
When Bella and I had polished off our cheeseburgers and fries, Carlisle had barely gotten through half of his burger.
I sighed and looked at Bella who just shrugged and stacked our plates.
"Why didn't you call me?" Carlisle asked, as he put his barely touched plate on top of ours. "I just want you to know that you can call me. That is why I gave you my number." He said, looking at me with these intensely caring eyes that almost scared me more than our father's raging ones.
"7659856," Bella recited, "It wasn't an emergency, and we would have felt silly calling you." She told him, combing back her frizzing hair with her fingers. She tried to sound casual about it, and then maybe he would believe us. It didn't work.
"How could that not have been an emergency?" He asked, clearly frustrated, though he kept his voice low, "You were missing for 4 days, off running around with daddy dearest God only knows where, doing who knows what." Carlisle said. His eyebrows were knit together with worry and concern, for us I knew. It was odd having someone care.
"He took us to a cabin he owns in Montana. It wasn't that bad. This happens a couple of times every year. Really, it wasn't that bad." I said, lying through my teeth. So we were in a cabin, but he didn't own it and it was a living hell…minor details.
"Why are you lying to me?" Carlisle asked, staring me straight in the eye. "Do you not trust me?"
"It's easier than reliving the truth." I said, rubbing my face in exhaustion and shaking my head. Carlisle just had to question everything.
It was easy to shout back a "yes, sir" or "no, sir." That was always cold and unfeeling, but when Carlisle asked them personal questions like how they felt about things and what their motives were, it was just unnerving. No one ever asked them their motives. Bella and Jasper just did what they were told.
"He lies because that's what we're trained to do." My sister said, looking at me with a peculiar look in her face like she just realized that we had, indeed, been taught to lie about basically everything. "But I guess I'll be honest with you. We really need a place to sleep tonight. And I know it's always really busy at your house and all, but we could sleep in the living room or even a garage would be-"
"Don't even think about me making you sleep in a garage. I would give up my own bed before I let that happen." Carlisle said.
He shook his head and reached out to feel my face. The bruise there was dark and hurt like hell. I doubted he could do much to help.
"It just makes me angry how you two are treated. I don't care what Charlie calls it. It's abuse." Carlisle sighed. He ran a hand through his blonde hair and pulled out money from his wallet. I felt bad for stressing him out. "But we'll have this conversation later."
We all stood up. I glanced at Bella. She looked like she wanted to say something very badly.
Steeling herself, she reached out and grabbed his hand. "Thank you so much for caring." She told him.
Then she blushed, of course, like my sister always does.
Carlisle flashed her a smile and pulled her into a hug, which she was clearly not expecting. "Come on, guys. We should go home." He said and opened the door for us.
I don't know if he saw the tears on her cheeks.
I don't remember ten seconds after we got into Carlisle's car. All I knew was that I was safe and so tired that I couldn't even buckle my seatbelt. It felt like I had only closed my eyes for two seconds, even though we were about 10 miles from the Cullen's house.
I was so exhausted that I didn't feel Carlisle over me until my seatbelt was unbuckled (he must have fastened it) and I vaguely remember him picking me up, but I don't remember at all going into the house or being changed or being put in a huge bed.
When I woke up there was a small figure sitting beside me. My eyes adjusted quickly, as they had been trained, and I leapt from the bed. I had barely brought my fists up before I really recognized who it was. Guilt slammed me in the chest as I pulled my fists down and buried my face in my hands. This was Alice. We shared Gym class together! What was I thinking? Had I been thinking? Of course I had that's how I'd survived as long as I had.
"I'm sorry," I blurted, blushing madly "I'm so sorry!" I took in my surroundings. I'd never been in this room, but it was definitely at the Cullens'. I was in a large bedroom, and I saw a bathroom attached on the other side. It had oak chests and a comfy looking chair in the corner. I tried not to gape at how clean it was or the fact that the carpet looked like it cost more than our entire house. I looked down at myself. I was wearing a big pair of striped pajama pants and a smaller t-shirt. I wonder who changed me.
Alice stood up and hugged me.
"Hi Bella! I thought you would never wake up, but dad said I couldn't because you were exhausted." Alice beamed, as though I hadn't just seconds before been prepared to beat the crap out of her if I had to. "I bet you're still tired. I missed you in class all week, but good thing it's Saturday, so I can stay with you, and maybe you can spend the night again-"
"Alice, dear, I think that's enough." I heard a voice say. Esme. She was wearing jeans and a white button up blouse. She also had on an apron that almost looked like a dress- Alice's doing I was sure. It was black and white striped and tied in green and white polka-dot ribbons around her waist as well as her shoulders.
I didn't even think there was an apron in my house.
"Hello, honey," Esme said and walked over to me. "I'm so glad to see you again. Jasper is downstairs. Do you want to come down and have some breakfast?" She asked and rubbed my shoulder.
"Umm, yeah. Thank you." I said, still nervous of her hospitality and….well, feminineness. There wasn't ever much of it in our house. Well, maybe it wasn't so much the feminineness as it was the maternal vibes she was exuding constantly.
"I hope your clothes are okay. I was slightly worried, but when Jasper spoke briefly with Carlisle he came out with a pair of pajamas for you from Carlisle. He changed you. I wasn't sure if they would fit- you know guys." She said, laughing.
I found myself smiling with her. It was contagious.
Since I'd eaten dinner with them before, I was only slightly surprised at the size of the breakfast. Everyone else was already awake. I blushed shyly and sat in the seat between Jasper and Alice.
"Bella," said Carlisle when he walked in wearing casual clothes- jeans and a black and gray sweater. It was so Carlisle-ish. I'd never seen him not wearing his work clothes. Even when he was in the diner, he had just come from work. "I didn't think you'd be awake. Did Alice wake you?" He asked, shooting his daughter the look.
"Oh, no, sir she didn't wake me up!" I exclaimed. For a split second I imagined my father two nights before, when he had accused Jasper of stealing his alcohol. Jasper had been too weak so I took the blame. He had only stolen it so that we could clean our wounds with something before we bandaged ourselves.
I shook my head. Was I really getting images of my father when I looked at Carlisle? How was that even possible?
Esme's breakfast was wonderful. We usually enjoyed the luxury of peanut butter and jelly at my house. Not only was the food amazing, but everyone was so pleasant that it was almost freaky. Emmett took a playful stab at Edward whenever he could, and Alice and Rose were just so nice to me. I could barely wrap my wind around it. There was no demanding about technique or form or threats of laps. They just talked like a normal, happy family.
By the end of the meal I was full. It had been more than we'd eaten in the last 3 days put together. After Esme cleared the plates and we thanked her for breakfast, Jasper caught my gaze. His look was questioning. No one else had inquired about what happened, even though they could clearly see that Jasper and I weren't in the best shape. Carlisle must have told them not to pry. I must say, I could only be thankful.
"Bella, come with me! We can pick out clothes for you!" Alice said smiling hugely. By "we" she meant "I".
Rose disappeared upstairs, for she seemed dreadfully bored. I'd seen her like that a lot. I had asked Jasper if I was boring, after I first suspected that of Rosalie. He told me I wasn't, but he was supposed to do things like that. He was my brother. What else would he tell me?
"Jasper should come play some Madden with me and Eddie Boy." Emmett suggested and clapped Jasper on the shoulder. "Well, actually Eddie's not that great-"
"Stop calling me that, please." Edward said. It was the only thing he'd said in his own defense all morning. He had previously been ignoring Emmett's childish antics.
"Whatever, you're just mad cause you can't play the game." Emmett said, smirking.
"Fortunately, Emmett, it seems like I have evolved more than you and, therefore, have more useful, competent skills." Edward said.
"Yeah well, I can tell you where I have more useful competent skills…in bed!" Emmett roared, laughing at his own joke.
I think I heard Carlisle chuckle from across the table.
Edward only scowled.
"Oh, lighten up. Just messing around!" Emmett said his hands up in surrender.
"Well, if we're just messing around then I'm sure it's okay for me to call you Smellgood right?" Edward said, turning to face him fully.
I didn't get the jibe, but obviously it had meant something, because that's when Esme butted in.
"That's enough boys!" Esme chimed as she floated around in the kitchen. "No hits below the belt, please."
"Your mother is right, please stop bickering for five minutes, and sorry Alice you can wait to do that. As their doctor, I would like to look Jasper and Bella over before they do anything else."
"Okay," She moaned, "I guess Rose and I can just pick out her clothes. Oooh! We can do Jasper too!" She squealed suddenly, eyes suddenly glowing.
I caught Esme shoot Alice a warning look. Why was I slightly scared?
"Thanks, Carlisle. " Jasper said, offering a smile. I looked at my brother. He seemed better after sleeping, but there was still that bandage on his arm and his ribs. I hoped Carlisle could work some miracles like he usually did. My mind almost started wandering off to when we had to go back to Charlie...it would be bad... but I shook those awful thoughts away and brought myself back to present time. Worrying about him would not help at all.
"Why don't we go to my study?" Carlisle suggested.
I smiled at him, suddenly remembering that hug he had given me yesterday. I'd never been hugged like that before.
Jasper put his arm around my shoulders. I'm sure he looked the same to Carlisle, but after many years training with my brother I could tell he was really asking me a question.
Are you okay?
I nodded. "You're study's fine. Unless you have some human brains in jars or something up there, I think we'll be okay." They both chuckled as we headed upstairs. I was surprised by my joking. Emmett must have worn off on me some…and we only had one class together. Jasper gave me a questioning look. It was usually him that joked. I just shrugged because I had no answer for him.
"Why don't I check you guys out and then we can discuss…other things." Carlisle suggested with another one of his dazzling smiles.
I nodded, grasping Jasper's hand out of habit, yet knowing that I felt more safe with Carlisle Cullen than I thought I'd ever felt in my life.