A/N I had all good intentions of getting this finished before I started posting but I got impatient at myself! I have it all planned out and I have written the first few chapters.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, I'm just having fun with the characters!
Bella's Past catches up with her. Bella rushes back to Forks, straight into a trap. Can they find her in time? Aro's deadline for Bella's visit is also looming. Is Bella's life ever easy?
Continues on from Bella's Past. Edward and Bella, OOC stronger Bella.
Chapter 1: Return
Airports, I hate them. I stuck in Atlanta airport waiting, I hate waiting for planes. I've been stressed out to the nines since I got the message. Jake knows I got a message but I daren't tell him any more than we are needed back at home pretty quick, this definitely qualifies as an emergency.
Even Jake has had enough of my mood now. I'm the calm, easy going most of the time but he knows when I get stubborn it takes a lot to get me to budge. He stormed off and bought me a journal to write in. I started a new one when we left but I think he's right to separate our return from all the travelling we have done. It calms me to write so I'll start with a history lesson on my life, how I ended up stuck here waiting in such a panic to get home.
** Journal **
My name is Isabella Marie Swan, I prefer Bella.
My Mum and Dad, Renee and Charlie, had me young in life, I wasn't exactly planned for. They did the 'right thing' and got married but it didn't last. Renee wasn't happy as a 'stay at home mum' with a man married to work, in Forks; a wet, cold part of the country so far from home. She left Charlie and moved back with her parents back in Phoenix.
Gramps and Grandma were parents to both me and Renee. The difference being they learnt from their mistakes with Renee and kept me firmly grounded. Renee is such a scatter brain and has no idea of responsibility. Gramps and Grandma taught me responsibility in buckets. When they passed away it was me that kept everything running and I took over the job of looking after Renee.
I took over from my Grandparents and looked after half the neighbourhood without a second thought. Gramps's group of friends, Gramps's gang, watched out for me as I looked out for them, they became my closest friends in Phoenix.
I'm really lucky in some respects as I have two lots of people that treat me as family. Most of the neighbourhood in Phoenix treat me as family, Gramps gang are the closest to me. Up in Forks, where Dad lives, his friend Billy Black is of Quileute decent, living in La Push; Billy, his family and friends treat me as family too. Charlie fishes with Billy every chance he gets so when I'm staying with Charlie I got dumped with Billy's son Jacob, or Jake as I usually call him. He is a couple of years younger than me but we have such a laugh together, the little brother I never had. He always let me tag along with all his friends.
Keeping Renee happy involved keeping her occupied, so we did courses learning anything that piqued her interest. If you can think of a course, I have probably taken it. As she learnt that men took certain types of courses so our learning veered so she could find new boyfriends.
A combination of Gramps hobbies and these new courses set me off creating architectural metalwork as a hobby. A summer back in Forks visiting Charlie and helping out a friend at a cafe in La Push lead Jake and I to create some furniture from drift wood for the cafe and coming up with the name Swan Black Designs, our surnames combined, mine first as he was just the 'hired help', I came up with all the ideas and showed him how to construct it all. One thing lead to another and got totally out of hand to the point I now own a multi-million dollar company producing architectural wood and metal work. Oh yes, and selling a few paintings for ridiculous sums of money; did I mention I painted the said paintings as relaxation to get away from media pressure for Swan Black Designs.
I'm a private person so I tried to pretend I was just helping out with Swan Black Designs, but that didn't quite work either.
Renee's man hunting worked when she met Phil, a nice guy only a few years older than me but with enough of a head on his shoulders to cope with Renee. They married so I moved up to Forks to give the newly-weds their space and freedom, and to spend more time with Charlie.
I set up a new branch of Swan Black Designs in Forks and built a house for myself on the site.
I spent quite a bit of time with my Dad's friends in La Push and with a client's daughter that would be in the same school year as me. I started school in Forks, just wanting to be a normal teen doing normal things. I didn't get to stay normal very long but I did get a really good friend. Angela is the kindest, most genuine person I have ever met, I love that she sees me not all the chaos that can come with me
My move to Forks was when I realised my life had slid from strange and unlikely to weird and mythical. I learnt some of the Quileute legends are well and truly based in fact. Some of my surrogate La Push family, it turns out, are shape-changers that turn into giant wolves to fight vampires. The only vampires they don't fight they have a treaty with. They are vampires that survive on animal blood instead of human blood. My first customer in Forks, Esme, is actually one of the vampires that formed the treaty with the Quileute's. Esme is the mother figure of the family of vampire's, she and her family have become family and closest friends to me including one member that's my boyfriend.
If that isn't freaky enough, another customer is also a vampire. I found out he collects vampires with talents. It seems my mind is safe from vampire talents. He has informed me that he wants me to visit him, I assume to add me to his 'collection', I have tried to dissuade him to no avail. I've got a visit to him penned in my diary for later this year; did I mention he is a human drinker, equivalent to Royalty for Vampires and won't take 'No' for an answer.
A few unfortunate events in my life lead my wolf family to work with my vampire family, to rescue me. Each event made all of them more and more protective of me. Having a mythical being with me at all times becomes overwhelming.
It's bad enough having a Police chief for a father going into over-protective mode but ridiculous when you add Quileute wolfs that are Protectors for their people and vampires that are extremely territorial, to the death type extreme, of their 'Mates'. Edward, my vampire boyfriend considers me his 'Mate' and vampires mate for life, take into account they are immortal, that's a very long life! Their possessiveness seems to be related to the potential duration of the union. Stifled by the protection is an understatement.
I love Edward with every fibre of my being. I believe he is my soul mate, my other half. He has issues about vampires, he doesn't believe he has a soul and thinks of himself as a monster; he doesn't want to condemn me to that. I love him and want to spend forever with him, he wants me to live a human life, have (safe!) human experiences then he will kill himself when I die a natural death. To say this has caused discord between us would be a huge understatement! He also seems to forget that a certain Royal Vampire by the name of Aro is involved in the equation.
I was kidnapped and bitten by a sadistic tracker vampire then had the venom sucked out. Since this was the second kidnapping, the first being a disgruntled (human!) customer. After the first kidnapping the level of protection was frustrating, I realised the level of protection following this latest threat would prevent me from having any life so I made plans to disappear.
I graduated from school a year early. I set up fake identities for myself and a trusted friend. I realised I would still need protection but I also need to get away and follow Edward's wish of getting as many 'human' experiences as I could.
More than anything I want to be with Edward but he can't go most of the places I want to visit. Vampire's problem with sunlight might only be a sparkle (trying very hard not to giggle at the threat of this 'scary' side effect) but that is enough to cause a spectacle which is against the rules. Wolves don't have that problem and they can protect me, I hope! Edward fears for my safety when I'm with the wolves as they are so volatile; it can be a bit unnerving when they transform in temper but I'm fine, I trust them. Edward fears for my safety if I sneeze never mind anything else, but I'm getting off track!
Planning my escape was difficult to say the least. Did I mention some special vampires have extra abilities; super speed, strength, beauty, and eternal life not being enough for some! Having a mind reader and a physic trying to stop you, to keep you safe, complicates matters, fortunately I didn't see much of the empath so one less complication. My mind is the only mind Edward can't read so discussing my plans was troublesome until I realised he still avoids La Push even though the treaty has been modified to afford me more protection. Fortunately Alice, the physic, has a blind spot when it comes to the wolves so she had assumed I will be accompanied by a wolf for the foreseeable future, wow that phrase takes on a whole new meaning since meeting Alice!
It was that very blindness that gave me the idea to travel with a wolf. Sam and Jared are out of the question as they both have commitments here. Paul is too much hard work with his attitude and temper. So I bided my time until the gene kicks in with others in La Push.
I did all my planning with Billy Black, I trust him completely to look out for my safety yet he doesn't suffocate me with protection like the others do. Billy understands I need to live and make my own choices. I've always been his little grown-up so he gets why all this wrapping up in cotton wool is too much for me. The fact I cook for him while planning has definitely confirmed the way to a man's heart is through is stomach!
My plan kicked into gear when Billy noticed Jakes first indicators that he would join the wolf ranks soon. He hadn't phased yet but it wouldn't be long according to Billy. The direct contact with vampires seems to accelerate the trigger of the gene that causes the change. I spent a few days doing a last round of visits and finalising details, packing bags etc. I wrote letters to explain my dissapearance. My letters were written and passed to Billy to deliver. Billy filled Jake in on the plan, his eyes danced in excitement when he realised not only were the legends true and he would soon be able to phase into a wolf but he would also get to be my protector and travel with me on my world sight-seeing trip. I teased him so much about his squeals of excitement and how much he bounced round the room once he realised we really weren't teasing him.
Jasper is my go to man, well male empathic vampire, when it comes to communications. His military mind grasps communications, computers and programming; he has ensured I can't be traced or tracked when I contact everyone at home. He didn't find out until I had left the country, quite why and how much I needed his assistance but he has kept me safe but in contact. I was friends with all my vampire family before I left but I learnt so much more about each of them in our conversations as I travelled. Their pasts weighed heavily on each of them in their own way.
We went to an isolated ranch house in Australia first until Jacob phased. We knew anger triggers the transformation, cruel person that I am I had great fun winding him up enough to get him angry for his first phase. We have all the negative traits of siblings; we know exactly what buttons to press to wind the other up the most. He knew what I was doing so didn't take any of the anger out on me even after his change, walkie-talkies came into their own that day, teasing him from a distance! We stayed long enough to give him time and space to learn control. I think he had the advantage of knowing the legends were true before his phased for the first time unlike the others so he got the hang of it very quickly.
We only had one accident while I was teasing him; we were play wrestling with him in wolf form and got a bit carried away. I now have 2 sets of bite marks on the same arm; one set from a vampire, one from a shape-changer. Jake was mortified when it happened. The accident improved his control more than anything, his guilt each time he saw the scars reinforces the control. No matter how many times I forgive him and tell him it wasn't his fault, I can see that guilt and sorrow in his eyes.
Having spent time with Paul I was used to keeping eyes up and carrying spare men's shorts in my bag for emergencies. I love Jake dearly but not that way; he really is a brother to me and eughh, I don't want to see him naked!
During his early phasing I realised he needed something better than tie his clothes to his leg like the others do. I modified a backpack so the straps extend enough to stay round his front legs and the pack sit on his shoulders through a phase. Velcro holds it together allowing it to expand when needed and fastens back after the phase. We went through a lot of straps and backpacks until we fine tuned the design but at last we have something that holds clothes, passport, money and phones even if I do tease him how funny his wolfie self looks, 'pack wolf'.
We globe hopped from there, a week here, a couple of weeks travelling there. We spent most time in the hot, sunny countries but we wanted to go everywhere apart from the poles and Italy; the poles are far too cold for a human me and Italy is a no-no since Aro lives there. We used different names until I find it hard to remember what name I'm supposed to be using today. We went on tours, the fun ones aimed at our age group; Contiki, Suntrek and Trekamerica to name but a few. They were whirlwind tours of countries but it made it easier to decide where we wanted to see more of. We visited people we had met on our travels. We found our own route most of the time.
I could give you my other Journal of all the places we visited, all the people we met and all the crazy things we did. The things that I enjoyed the most were my early morning runs when we were in rural or wilderness areas or just sitting enjoying nature. When I was stuck in built up areas I loved people watching trying to see what enjoyment others got out of life. We met a wide range of people during our travels the friendships may only last for the ten minutes or week we happened to be together but I was fascinated how similar people are yet the national differences were fun to work out! The foods we tried, some eye wateringly bad causing hospital visits, some so mouth-wateringly good we pigged out 'til we felt we were going to explode. We took thousands of photos in each country, the postcard type ones as well as the idiots on holiday ones. We had a go at everything from Camel rides in front of the Pyramids to skydiving, hot air ballooning to deep-sea diving, bungee jumping to body rafting and white water rafting to jungle treks.
I learnt many unexpected things. Camels smell to high heaven and stuck out in the sun in front of the pyramids is extremely hot and uncomfortable. Going water skiing, falling backwards without letting go gives nasty inside leg burns; trying to go horse riding the following day is a bad idea – it hurts! Lying about your horse riding ability to get a livelier horse is also a bad idea when the horse gets spooked by a rattlesnake, rears and sets off. The sail boat capsizing in a storm was a low point but sailing through the calm blue waters and snorkelling off the boat had been fantastic. A couple of failed mugging attempts and a few men that tried to come on too strong kept both Jake and I on our toes. The spider that took a taste of my arm while we were sat in a restaurant didn't seem a big deal until my arm swelled up like a balloon, the rolled remains of a black spider with red markings in Australia didn't trigger any panic until after we mentioned it to the nurse. Jake found it hilarious that every biting insect or creature made a beeline for me, the jokes got old real fast. We tended to leave those sorts of 'adventures' out of our reports home.
Jake kept me busy for virtually every waking hour; he claimed I got to depressed missing Edward otherwise. Let's go see..., let's go do..., let's go eat... fun, yes; restfully, no way! I got into trouble for the amount of time I spent on the phone to Edward, I needed to contact him even if it was only verbal to keep at bay the hole in my heart; I left my heart with Edward and it hurt every day being away from him. Jakes distraction techniques helped but I'm getting weaker every day, the pull to return to my other half is getting harder to resist.
We have kept luggage to a minimum; just a backpack each. I dread to think how much I have spent in postage sending all the souvenirs, gifts and purchases home. Alice kept 'seeing' this fantastic pair of shoes, handbag, dress etc. arriving in the post. Would I pick them up for her? I get so confused by her visions, a real chicken and egg scenario.
Sat in the airport now it feels like it was all a dream, a mad crazy fun dream, but not part of this life, my life!
Since I got the text message from Angela's, phone I have been a nervous wreck, "If you want her to live come home now. Details of where to meet me to follow. Tell anyone and I will torture her and kill her slowly."
I phoned Angela only to get her Mum telling me she was out of town for a long weekend, a last minute trip to a university campus with friends. I had spoken to Angela only a couple of days ago and she had no plans then. I knew the only option was to head home but I hated walking into a trap blind.
Do I, don't I? I have been weighing the odds since I got the message. If it's a vampire that has Angela I have no way of saving her by myself, I'll need help otherwise we will both end up as a tasty snack. I sat wavering between do I follow the instructions and keep quiet or tell someone, but whom? I daren't call Edward as he will just go over-protective and stop me from doing anything. No point in telling Jake as he will try and stop me from going home and try and act 'big man' on me, I can't cope with that from a kid brother. Angela is only in danger for knowing me; I won't allow any harm to come to her over me if I can prevent it. I need help in case it's a supernatural threat; I do have a sliver of self-preservation!
I got out my emergency phone and switched it on for the first time. I sent my tactician genius, Jasper, a message on our emergency line. He set up so many emergency plans for different scenarios as soon as he realised my travel plans after I 'disappeared'. I think I have spoken more to Jasper since my disappearance than I ever did back in Forks; I suppose the lack of blood lust over the phone simplifies things no end!
I give a whole new meaning to the idea of an emergency phone! I gave him all the details of the threatening text and our travel plans along with strict instructions that I wanted to ensure Angela's safety so I would be following along with the instructions and not to let on that anything was amiss. I switched the phone off and hid it in my bra as per his strict instructions on how to use the phone if it became a requirement, good thing it's a tiny phone! Well his instructions were hide it on my person, I haven't any pockets in this outfit so my options are limited.
While Jake was off wandering about the airport I wrote a note and shoved it in his backpack in the 'for emergencies' pocket with his mobile phone; not that we had talked much about contingency plans or anything!
Okay, Jasper knows and Jake has the information if the unexpected occurs. Have I done enough or too much? My stomach is still in a knot, I'm not sure if sharing the message lightened the pressure or made it worse. Only time will let me know if I did the right thing.
My location finder, activate in emergency, jewellery had been replaced before I set off on my journey; I'm grateful to have the reassurance of it now. I sat fiddling with the charm bracelet hoping I wouldn't need it. The injuries from having the last set ripped off had long since healed without leaving many scars but the memory remained as I absently rubbed my neck where the cuts had been deepest.
At last they called boarding for our flight to Seattle. I had left my personal jet there all those months ago in case any trackers tried to follow me; I hoped my scent would be confused and lost in the busy terminals. It's strange to be returning home; at least I could fly us home in comfort rather than having a long drive to look forward too.
Rush then sit and wait, it's always the same with air travel.