(Twilight theme by Stephanie Meyer)
Sequel to Chain Me Free. New Town, New Love, New Blood. Can the newest Cullens keep up?
It has been quite a while since I finished Chain me Free, but with the help of my trusty new Beta Nici91 The Cullens are back with their newest additions. This is chapter one of Re-Education and the story picks up with the Cullens as they return from Edward and Bella's wedding. The newlyweds are still on their honeymoon and this story will mainly be following the newest Cullens. I hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think by clicking the green button below. :D
To say that I am a confident person is a gross understatement, but suddenly being on my own for the first time since my… transformation? It just made me feel insecure, well, maybe naked was a better description. It was natural to feel awkward in a room with strangers, but these people are my family now. Jasper stepped closer to me and I felt a calming wave wash over me.
"I am just fine, Jasper. I appreciate the vibes though." I said trying to convince myself more than everyone else. I slapped him on the back before remembering how much stronger I was and he fell forward. "Sorry, I forgot." I offered my hand to him, but he was already up and had his narrowed eyes on me as Emmett's baritone laughter filled the room.
I needed to get a grip and just find some common ground with my new family. I was not used to having people to come home to, it was a very foreign concept.
I was pretty much on my own since I was 9. My mom was great on paper, but in action she was flaky at best, compared to my dad though, she was parent of the year material. He took off as soon as the pregnancy test turned blue. My mom spent the first 8 years of my life teaching me that I should not trust others to get what I needed. I am not sure what changed in her, but year 9 she just stopped caring. It took a few years before she got to the point where she was completely absent. Thank God her parents were loaded and it afforded us a comfortable lifestyle after they passed. I am not sure what I would have done if we didn't have that. She started coming home 'sick' and passing out on the bathroom floor. After a week of nothing, but school cafeteria food I decided to use the knowledge she painstakingly drilled into me at a young age. I did the laundry, paid bills and lied to get what I wanted.
When she wasn't passed out drunk she was beating the holy hell out of me. Why? Well apparently when she found herself at the bottom of a bottle it was not because she had finished the booze herself, it was because it had been stolen, by me. This started to be the case at age 10, she would get up in a drunken rage and I would hide outside my bedroom window until she passed out or left. That is how I met Bella Swan.
"Tristan, where the hell are you? You little shit. I know you took it." Mom said as she slurred her way up the stairs and I knew if I stayed around it would end up in more bruises and suspicion at school. I opened my window as quietly as possible and jumped onto an old trampoline in our backyard. My room was on the second floor and the fall always made the rusty trampoline springs make a very distinct screeching sound. Luckily for me, I would always have music or something on in my room to drown out the sound. The light in my bedroom flicked on and I could see her tearing through my things looking for Jack, Johnny, or maybe Jose. I hid in the bushes underneath my window until the thrashing stopped. I heard the banging of pots and pans in the kitchen as she threw the contents of our cupboards all over the kitchen floor. I went to the kitchen window to watch and make sure she would not hurt herself.
"Aren't you tired?" A small voice asked from behind me. I spun around not ready for the company.
"Who are you?"
"Bella, your neighbor…" She looked at me as if I were crazy. She pointed to the house behind her and I remembered seeing a moving truck, a week ago, I think. She looked like any typical 8 year old girl. She brushed her tangled brown hair out of her drowsy face and her big brown eyes looked up at me, nearly breaking my heart for some reason.
"You should get inside, before your dad gets worried." I advised her and shoved her towards her door. Most little girls would cry or something, but not Bella Swan. She shrugged out of my forceful push and walked towards my house, walking on tip toes to peer in the window to see what I was staring at.
"I don't live with my dad and my mom is at work. You want to come in? It is really late." She looked into my kitchen window and I realized that my mom had fallen asleep on the floor. I would need to clean up around her before school.
"No, I have chores to do. You should get home."
"Do you need help? I am very quiet." She said scrunching up; like the smaller she appeared the quieter she would be. It made me smile, but I didn't want her to come inside my house with me. It could be dangerous if my mother woke up.
"No thanks Bella. Are you going to school tomorrow?"
"Well, I will see you at recess."
That worked. She smiled and ran back inside her house, less than two seconds later I heard her come scrambling out again. "What is your name?" Her head was tilted to the side and her expression was completely confused. "Tristan."
"Good night Tristan, I'll see you at recess tomorrow."
"Good night Bella."
She was an adorable kid, and I found myself sneaking to the younger kids' playground at recess just to see her. I soon learned she was quite clumsy. The first day I visited her she ran up to me and scraped her knees pretty badly. She had odd bruises up and down her arms from random corners she would bump into. Despite her excitement when she saw me, I could tell the clumsiness really affected how she was around other kids.
"Earth to Tristan." A white hand darted out to wave itself in front of me.
"Sorry, what?" I said coming back from an intense flashback.
"Where did you just go? Your eyes are all glazed over." Emmett said messing up my hair.
"Everything is so intense in these new eyes, I just forget sometimes." I said rubbing my eyes.
"You know that memory is one of the perks we get right?" He rolled his eyes and went to move his boxes into his new room.
I chose the room furthest from the room that Alice was setting up for the newlyweds. I had been next to Emmett and Rosalie's room in the old house. This new hearing was way too powerful and the thought of Bella 'getting it on' in the next room would probably drive me crazy. Part of me had to laugh at that thought; usually she was the one complaining about my late night escapades. That memory reminded me that I would be the only one in this house abstaining, is it abstaining when you are doing so against your will? I probably couldn't even go number 3 in this house without someone knowing… (Yeah I said number 3, figure it out.) Now I remembered why I didn't have roommates once I moved to college. I have at least a month before Bella and Edward come back from Isle Esme, I need to use that time to get to know these people. I still had the urge to bolt and get on my new feet by myself, but I know that Bella loves these people and I need to fit in or this will unravel quickly. I was obsessing about the problems I would have living in this house and I needed a more positive outlook if I was going to survive.
"Alice?" I called and quick as a flash she was at my door.
"Yes Tristan I would be more than happy to go shopping with you."
"That is still hard to get used to."
"You will learn to love it." She beamed and pulled me towards the garage. "I have purchased a whole new wardrobe for Bella and for you as well."
"Well, yes you were able to dress yourself better than the newest Mrs. Cullen, but jeans and t-shirts were dominating your closet. Trust me; I will make you look good." She added like 5 O's to good, which put me at ease around her.
"Honey, I make me look good. Clothes are just the wrapping." I answered back with my most cocky tone.
"Oh my, I should return those hats I bought you. They will never fit around your ego inflated head."
We spent the afternoon shopping for music, and soundproofing supplies. It was amazing how much this woman could spend. Anytime I picked something up she would grab it from me and pick up its more expensive counterpart. When it came time to pay she sent me out of the store to prevent the first vampire heart attack. I sensed it was the same thing she would do with Bella.
Bella and I were the only two who grew up doing the books in our house and living on tight budgets. The way the Cullens', spent money made us uneasy. All of our savings had been absorbed into the monster that was Cullen Inc. It was odd having so much extra money at my disposal, but I was not about to start buying crazy toys like the rest of them did just yet. Well, I did buy a car, but in my defense they had killed off my baby. I needed a replacement.
I had been able to purchase a broken down 67' GTO body and miscellaneous parts online for a pretty good price. They were being delivered to the new house this afternoon and I was happy to have a project to keep me busy during the awkward evenings. When I started college, I would stay up for days if needed and when asked if I was tired I would simply reply that I would sleep when I was dead. Ironic huh? Now I would give anything to sleep and skip a few hours of each day.
I was going to be stuck at home for the next few months since my eyes were still blazing red. I thought with all the animal blood that it would have at least become a bronze-orange, but no every time I pass a mirror it is just these horrible crimson eyes peering back at me. The only reason I am out today is that I am wearing contacts and dark sunglasses. Alice has not noticed that the contacts are melting away within minutes rather than hours. My venom seems to be extra acidic or something. Bella was having the same problem, but no one noticed when we changed the contacts. I think it had to do with her ability to shield; she can distract people into over-looking the tiny details now. I noticed that our abilities were more like reflexes than the others. They know what they can do, but I am not sure if they know how much more they can do if they put a little effort into it.
I have started to sense things about people, I have always been able to sense their intentions, but now I can sense their abilities and other characteristics as well. If I concentrate on a person I can literally expose every aspect of their ability or potential. While on the flight to Rio on the way to Isle Esme for Bella's wedding, I tested it out and had Bella shield my findings from them.
Edward is a very insightful person to begin with, but his ability lets him listen into people's immediate thoughts. If he worked on his control he would be able to pick out pieces of information without the person thinking about it.
I found Alice's ability to be the most interesting. She can see the future based on the decision of others, but she has the potential to act as a 'what-if' machine. She could make her own predictions based on the options a situation has.
Emmett is pretty damn strong and if he used his mind half as much as his muscles he could locate a foe's weakest physical point.
Esme is the most loving person I have ever met and she has not yet discovered that she can use that love as a matchmaking tool.
Carlisle is living up to his potential. He is able to use his compassion to practice medicine and literally bathe in blood without giving in to his natural instincts.
Jasper's ability to control emotions could control people, using their emotions against them. I think I will try and get him to use my control around humans as a way to block out the cravings of others.
Rosalie's beauty can glamour humans into thinking or giving her what she wants, of all of them, she is the furthest from realizing this.
Maybe if I taught them how to improve their abilities, then we would grow closer…
Alice came bouncing out of the store causing me to fall back into consciousness. I need to change contacts again soon. I could see the plastic growing thinner with every blink.
"You are right your room is going to be amazing. I am a little jealous I did not think of it." She mused as we started to walk to the car.
"So Alice, how is the honeymoon going?"
"If you just pick up the phone when she calls you, you would know wouldn't you?"
"Yes, that would be easier, but if you were Edward would you really want to hear my voice on your honeymoon?"
"Very true… Well, they are fine and they might be staying longer than we originally thought."
"That is really gross…" I said out loud before realizing it.
"No, it is beautiful. You just need to settle down with someone."
"So far the only vampire girls I have met are taken or completely insane. Unless you know any good singles bars?"
"It is not that easy Tristan."
"So I should start hanging out in high schools across the country and make a mate?"
"Be nice, I like you, but I will always like Edward better."
"Good to know, but I think that once you get to know me you will have trouble sticking to that statement Tinkerbelle."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, can I drive home?"
"Why not?" I threw her the keys and we sped down the highway. Despite my snippy comments about the Edward /Bella situation she seemed to really enjoy my company.
We spent the rest of the day and a good part of the evening putting my room together. We soundproofed my room and set up some instruments. She told me about how she and Jasper met and I told her stories about how different Bella was growing up. She found the stories about Bella and my ex-girlfriend Jennifer to be the most interesting.
Bella had just started high school and Jennifer was very similar to Alice with shopping and girly activities. At first Jen was only being nice to Bella because she knew that if Bella did not like her that our relationship would not last. Bella had ever veto'd any of my girlfriend's, but I enjoyed having them suck up to Bella so I made it seem like she had some power. Eventually they did create a solid friendship which really brought Bella out of her shell. Jen even convinced her to go to the spring formal her sophomore year. It shocked the hell out of me. She looked great and Renee had a whole bunch of us over for pictures before the dance. I am sure Bella had those pictures hidden in a box at the back of her closet somewhere. She tries to downplay the night, but I knew she had a lot of fun. When my relationship with Jen fizzled out Jen took it pretty hard and refused to talk to Bella or any of my friends. Almost overnight Bella's girly phase was over and I liked her better that way, she was more familiar and I never had to wait for her to get ready when we went out.
"Now that I know she has the experience somewhere in that plain Jane head of hers I will need to use it."
"Good luck, I think she buried it pretty deep."
"I am an expert."
I stepped back and looked around my finished room. "Yes, Alice you are some sort of expert." We had sprayed the inside of the walls with industrial foam to limit noise and the walls had additional soundproofing on them. When I had my apartment I had one room which I staple gunned dozens of those cardboard cup holder things you get from the fast food drive-thrus' on the wall. It cut down the noise so much that I could rock out at 2 am and no one could hear me. I briefly thought about doing that with the new room, but Alice's horror filled expression was too pathetic and I knew I would just come home to replaced soundproofing. I picked up my guitar and hooked up the amp to test out the sound quality.
"Play me something." Alice commanded before throwing herself onto my new couch. She laid out as if it were a fainting couch in an olde timey movie. I had been working on something ever since Volterra and I figured this was the best time to unveil it. I made my way to the middle of the "stage" area as I was calling it. I picked up just a guitar, but I could hear the drums, bass and another guitar in my head playing along me. "Prepare to feel special, you are the first one to hear me play in my new form. This is Audience of One…"
We ran like vampires from a thousand burning sons
but even then we should have stayed
but we ran away
now all my friends gone
maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved
but what are we running from?
A show of hands from those in this audience of one
where have they gone?
My voice did not have that raspy quality I used to love, but I admit it made me feel normal again to play an instrument. Alice seemed to get really into it, I never took her for a rock music enthusiast. She actually picked up the bass and we played until dawn when Jasper finally realized we were too quiet and came to investigate. He seemed genuinely surprised when he opened the door and the music came bursting into the hallway. After a few moments he whisked her down the hall to their room and just like that I was alone. Really alone, for the first time in my vampire life. I was tempted to call Bella, but I knew that would ruin Edward's honeymoon. Instead I immersed myself in writing new music. It was the only therapy I knew and it would help me think about how to win the rest of the family over in the next few weeks.
(A/N: Title and above lyrics by Rise Against. Thanks for reading.)