"Alice, I am not wearing a scrap of material to school."
"Yes, you are," Alice growled as she threw the 'shirt' back to me.
I couldn't criticize anything Alice put me through; she did make the Cullen's come back to me. Well, four of the Cullen's anyway. Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett came back to Forks 8 months after HE made them leave.
May, I had just graduated Forks High School in an orange cap and gown. No one looks good in that much orange. Mike still wanted a chance and Jessica still though I was a lunatic. Angela promised to stay in touch, though she was off on a full scholarship to UW. Jacob had not spoken to me in 51 days, but I couldn't blame him after what I put him through. Charlie, Renee, and Phil were worried and argued constantly on the phone about what was going to happen to me when I didn't have school to keep preoccupied. I was valedictorian for class of 2009. I threw myself into school. I was okay, because I would read, study, and write every night until I collapsed on top of my work. Sleeping at the kitchen table at a 90 degree angle was not the smartest thing, but I aced Shakespeare. I had received several scholarships and acceptance letters from various colleges across the US, but had not responded to any.
Alice defied Edward and Jasper followed her. Rosalie grew tired of the Alaskan rough country and Emmett followed her. Alice told them that they should go to Dartmouth for a few years; what she didn't reveal was that she would be taking the long way around and collecting me. When I received the email from her to be ready to move, I was ecstatic and rapturous. At first I thought it was a cruel practical joke, from Lauren perhaps. I got a follow up email from Alice less than 10 seconds later. Charlie was apprehensive, but contented I got accepted into an Ivy League school and even at more of an advantage Edward wasn't coming along. Rosalie threw a paroxysm; Emmett was an animated child on Christmas morning, as only he could pull off, when they saw me with my arm linked with Alice's. Alice and Jasper, who looked like a jumpy kindergartner, knocked on my door May 23, 2009.
Alice in all her glory had applied for me to Dartmouth, had my scholarships forwarded, and bought me a new wardrobe. I was so deliriously happy to see them that I didn't fight over the amount of cash that was being thrown away. We arrived in New Hampshire four days later and I was even happy to see Rosalie's scowl of disgust.
I survived with the vampires and attended Dartmouth majoring in Pre-med. I adored living with them, getting to know them again, and laughing so hard I shed tears. One thing and one thing only could have made the experience superior, Edward. Carlisle, Esme, nor Edward knew who their family lived with. They knew the four vampires reside in New Hampshire and attended Dartmouth. They knew the house was white, and they knew it had 4 bedrooms. If Alice got a vision of one of them calling, I was promptly removed from the house for a few minutes. The heartbeat would raise questions, so I was told
Mostly Alice told me that Edward was drifting lost in the woods. She refused to give explicit information on him or his location, just that he was going through the same heartbreak that I was. I missed him, missed him dreadfully much. I knew it was unwholesome, but I still held optimism. Rosalie once told me that Edward was dishonest with me.
"He loves you enough to let you go. To keep you secure, he is making himself pay the ultimate penalty: staying away."
Yet, she still wouldn't give up the goods I wished for nor would any of them tell the others I lived with them.
"Let the douche bag come begging for you, not you begging him," Emmett said.
Alice was no longer my solitary best friend; I had 4 vampire best friends now. Jasper was the only reason I was sleeping more, he kept me tranquil at night. Rosalie and I were essentially friends, after we took the time to get to know each other. It took forever to gain her trust, but when it happened I knew she would never let me go. Jasper took just as much to come around. I begged and pleaded for him not to feel blameworthy over my birthday.
For my birthday that year, they bestowed on me a brand new Lexus Hybrid SUV, which Alice dared me to say anything about. I drove it 4 times in 2 months. Most of the time I rode with Emmett to school, I didn't want to drive my fancy car. Emmett was my comedy relief and profanity ridden guardian. He did a better job at lifting my hopelessness than Jasper did at times. Keeping vigil over the pathetic gloomy human was what my vampires carried out.
Alice, what can I say that would make sense? When I was sad, she let me ball all 68 inches of me in her 58 inches and cry. She made all the girls in my classes envious and desirous of my wardrobe and hair. While still making me feel contented in my own skin, I allowed her to play Barbie Bella.
I caught on that if she had a vision of something that would upset me; someone removed me from the situation before it happened. She made me eat right, get enough sleep, and take care of myself. Within a month I was back to my normal weight range from the food she made me ingest. When I couldn't sleep she made Jasper heave enough tranquility at me to put out a dinosaur. I swear I saw Emmett yawn one time. Rosalie enjoyed feeding me alcohol, more specifically vodka.
He wanted me to move on, so I move on. With one night stand after one night stand. I refused to get to know them, I only wanted to love one, HIM. I didn't want to be attached to any male other than my two brothers and I didn't want a loving intimate relationship. So I picked up guys in bars, classes, libraries, etcetera and I brought them home. We had our fun then Emmett immediately ran them out while I showered. Most of them went the way I wanted: I get my rocks off, and then they leave.
Unlike one night misguided venture.
He wanted to spend the night and I wanted him to leave. He argued that I never let him stay and I argued he had a home. He grew louder and louder, then four very annoyed freshly fed vampires came through the door. He left without another word at that point.
"Do I need to feed him to Jasper? Emmett, go find him, now." I cut Rosalie off at that point.
"No, Rose, I'll be fine."
I could still see Rosalie's death glare as I did my nightly ritual. I brushed my teeth and hair then hopped in bed.
"Scoot over, Bella. I will lay with you tonight."
My vampires cuddled with me until I fell asleep. They used to lay with me all night due the nightmares. My first night, they all witnessed my night terrors; my second night all of them were in the bed with me.
I built my confidence and looked at Rosalie.
"I won't tell you where he is Bella?" She was ready for my questioning.
"I'm not going there tonight." She happily sighs.
"Do you think I will get over him and fall in love again?"
"Bella, don't worry over inconsequential things. You are young, beautiful, and smart. Enjoy this. Enjoy freedom, your body, and friends. Don't worry about the next twenty years."
I gave up; knowing Rosalie wouldn't let my self insulting go on long.
"Go to sleep, Bella"
"Are you out of your damn mind?" Alice asked the next morning as I chomped on Lucky Charms.
"You are not wearing pajamas to class, that is like a Class A Felony. Here are some pants, tank, and light jacket for today."
"Alice, I am not wearing a scrap of material to school."
"Yes, you are," Alice growled as she threw the 'shirt' back to me.
I gave up as always.
After breakfast for the human we all piled into Emmett's Jeep and were off to class by 8:15.
Alice and I were sitting in Shakespeare when she gasped and pulled out her cell and started typing. Of course she was the only person with a crystal covered IPhone.
Outside of class Alice and I met with Emmett for lunch. Alice grabbed a table while I seized a tuna sandwich and lemonade. Emmett had joined Alice and as I sat down I overheard Emmett, "I really wish I could fart, just let a big juicy one rip. I miss it. Bella are there certain foods that make you fart?" Cue the crimson blush.
"What did you eat yesterday? What you did in the bathroom this morning was malicious. I still have the stench in my nose."
I wanted to die of mortification as Emmett and Alice howled with laughter. Ten minutes later Rosalie and Jasper showed up, unexpected. Alice looked at me, then them. She said something so soft that I could not hear, but she looked worried, very worried.
"Alice, what is it?"
I heard a sigh from Alice but nothing else. Usually when she didn't tell me something in her visions it had something to do with me falling or seeing something that reminded me of him. I arched an eyebrow at her but still no response. I looked to Emmett, who could never keep a secret, and glowered.
"Stop, I'll tell you later." Alice squeaked.
"I have class, see you later." Rosalie sauntered off like a runway model.
Emmett got up to come with me to American Lit. Afterwards I was on my own for Calculus. It was atrocious to say the least.
Crossing the gardens to get to Emmett's jeep, I was spotted by the tracker.
Of course this one was not vampire, just aggravating. Greg was in my Calculus class and has gone around in circles of trying to ask me out since class started. I had openly dodged him each time.
"Hi Bella, can I buy you a coffee?" Do I reject him again or get a free cup of coffee. I'm in the mood for caffeine.
"Sure Greg, coffee would be nice." Greg ordered two medium coffees for him and me.
"So Bella, what have you been into?"
"Nothing much, classes are kicking my ass, how about you?" I took a sip of my coffee, and it tasted burnt.
"I was thinking that you should really let me take you out tonight. I thought dinner and a movie?" Seriously.
After at least 4 turn downs I thought he would get the hint.
"Maybe some other time, I am pretty busy tonight." I can find something to do.
"Doing what?" I am being entertained by vampires.
"I have a thousand loads of laundry, lots of Calculus, and two very upset parents that I have not called in a week. It will probably take hours on the phone." He looked wounded, then lit up like a sale at Bloomingdale's.
I internally groaned.
"What about tomorrow night?" I almost gave in to his begging. It's not like Greg wasn't a nice guy, but something about him just felt off.
"I'm feeding myself to a vampire, thanks for the coffee."
I turned and walked in the other direction, the long way around the parking lot. I was the last to arrive to the Jeep, but instantly knew something was up when I saw everyone's smirk.
"That boy just does not know when to give up, does he?" I groaned at Rosalie's remark.
"So Bella, are you up for a challenge or fight tomorrow?" I tilted my head at Emmett in confusion.
"What are you talking about Emmett?"
Alice looked at me from the back seat,
"We are going to have visitors tomorrow."
I could think of a few I didn't want to see and a few I wanted to desperately see.
"Who is coming for a visit?"
"Carlisle, Esme, and Edward are coming tomorrow. Esme wanted to come today, but they had to wait for Edward. She has begged him for a month to come visit and he has finally relented."
I immediately perked up about seeing my love, then break down again realizing he doesn't want to see me. Jasper eyed me as he felt my charade of moods at that moment.
"How will they react when they find me with you?"
Alice pondered for a second.
"I don't know. I just don't know…."
Alice later saw that Edward would not give into Esme, he refused to visit. Alice came up with a plan. She said after finals in two weeks we, including Carlisle and Esme, were going to Isle Esme. I was told about the Isle once, an anniversary gift from Carlisle, but everyone enjoyed it. Jasper and Alice stayed there for two months after my disastrous birthday party.
Alice assured me, "Esme and I will drag Edward there if we have to, and he won't refuse Esme face to face with her."
She still couldn't tell me how he would react to me staying with them, but Carlisle and Esme would still have their eternal open loving hearts.
I didn't have any classes one Thursday afternoon and decided to go see Avatar with Emmett, who also had afternoon off.
"I have a thing for blue people", Emmett explained. "Did you ever see the second X-Men? I watched it just for Nightcrawler and Mystique. Fascinating, just fascinating, don't you think"
After the three hour movie, I was hungry for more than the extra large popcorn that Emmett tried to make me eat after the box of Milk Duds and Hershey bars. Food consumption is also mesmerizing to Emmett.
"Do you realize the amount of food and liquid you gulp down on a daily basis transformed to blood is enough to satisfy all four of us for a week?"
"Do you realize I urinate and defecate on a regular basis?"
"Don't play stupid Bella, you don't urinate and defecate. You piss and shit. Do you realize you fart when you piss? That is why I laugh when you are in the bathroom near me. It might be silent to you, but to my sensitive ears and nose it is loud and deadly."
Cue the crimson.
The next day Bailey my counselor decided that since I liked to write and lived with four "friends", she wanted me to write a paper on friendship and love. I tried to politely decline, but she adamantly refused.
"I have a dinner I am hosting, only 200 guests at the Marriott on January 15. Themed friendship, write me a paper."
"You have 200 friends?"
"210 friends including whoever you are going to invite."
"You have 20 times the friends that I do and you want me to write a paper."
"Friends, acquaintances; baked potato, fried potato."
"Which one am I?"
When I arrived home, Alice was at the door.
"Oh, you'll do great Bella. I have seen the rough draft of your paper and cried and laughed at the same time."
"Thanks, Alice, but I have no idea what to write about friendship and love. You guys are my only examples. I can just imagine what the audience will think when I talk about vampires and werewolves!"
Emmett jumped in at that.
"Tell me you didn't just put vampires and werewolves in the same sentence as friendship and love." As Emmett said werewolves he lowered his voice in disgust.
"Get over it", I said as I stuck my tongue out at him.
The next two weeks flew by with finals and the speech on friendship over my head. Of the four finals I had, three I was sure about, and Calculus I was sure I dreadfully failed. Alice assured me that I did not actually fail anything.
"How do you think you are going to get into med school with failing Calculus", Rosalie asked after two days of my worrying. It shut me up.
We arrived at Hanover airport at 530 in the evening and flew into Dallas then Rio de Janeiro. In Rio we stayed for a couple hours in a hotel due to the sun, and then at twilight we took a boat to the isle. Carlisle and Esme were going to meet us at the isle in 2 days with any luck bringing Edward with them. Alice kept seeing him change his mind.
"Alice you said that you and Esme may have to drag him here, is he that close?"
"Yes, he is in Rio right now. He was in Brazil then came to Rio to meet up with Carlisle and Esme. Esme told him she would not leave until she saw him and could see with her own eyes what kind of condition he is in. The indecision lies in Edward coming here or not, but I have no problem going and dragging him here. Even if I have to swim and drag him the fifty miles here, I will."
The next 24 hours we all played in the water, Alice dutifully applied sunscreen on me every time she got a vision of me smoldering from the sun. Emmett tried his best to drown me in the bath like warm water and Rosalie put us all to shame with the tiny bathing suits she frolicked around in. I took several naps in the hammocks that hung within the palm trees. Jasper tried to grill out steak for me, but I couldn't eat a rare steak. I took over and showed him how it was done for a medium rare steak. He did wonders on the salad though, chopping vegetables fast enough to put Emeril to shame. It was in the middle of me eating when Alice gasped and everyone turned their heads.
"They'll be here in 10 minutes."
"They," Rosalie asked.
"A day early," Emmett asked.
"Carlisle and Esme and a reluctant Edward. He looks even worse now that he sees the pain he has caused Esme. It is quite sincere how he is sad about hurting her. He hasn't fed in weeks and still has the same clothing on that he had on at your birthday party. Torn and shredded of course. Wait, what is that? That is where that came from. Bella, do you remember the first time we got your hair cut in Hanover and the hairdresser said that it looked like someone had cut a 10 inch piece of your hair out. All of your hair was the same length except one 2 inch section. Edward has your hair. I didn't see him do that. Well, it is a good thing I brought him some clothes, all he has with him is his wallet, phone and charger, and your hair."
That wasn't right. The Edward I had in my mind was still perfect, an Adonis, and not sad, torn, and depleted. Was I ready to face that Edward? Sure, I looked like I was content to an outsider due to Alice's make over, but to my vampires I was broken with a puncture in my chest. A puncture only Edward could fix and I didn't know if he would want to fix. Why was Edward in the same clothing? Why did he have my hair, and why was he not properly fed?
Emmett, Rosalie, Alice and Jasper were all talking, but I couldn't hear a word. I was in my own world until all 4 sets of eyes looked towards the front of the house, out to where the dock was. Silence was all I heard for 60 seconds.
Rosalie was the first to break the silence, but spoke so softly I had to strain to hear her.
"Alice, will they be able to smell her around the dock?"
"I don't know."
I could hear the boat engine at this point, but I couldn't see due to the darkness of the evening. Alice suddenly grabbed my arm and put one of her tiny hands over my mouth. "Let's all go out to the docks and welcome them. I'll be out in a moment, I have something to do."
Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie got up and walked at a slow human pace outside. Alice towed me towards the back of the house and gently threw me in the blue room where I had slept the night before. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote so fast I could barely see her hand move. She handed me the piece of paper, put her finger up to her mouth to shush me and dropped her hand. The piece of paper read:
Stay in here and do not come out unless I call for you. I can't see how they are going to react. Edward is seeing you in Emmett's thoughts now. Emmett isn't hiding his thoughts. He wants Edward to know. Edward still thinks you are in Hanover.
When I looked up, Alice was no longer in front of me. Exactly 2 seconds later, I heard yelling from several vampires.
The first voice I recognized was Edwards. An ear-piercing angered Edward, but Edward nonetheless.
"Alice what were you fucking thinking? Why the hell did you go along with this?"
I then heard Esme's soft firm voice. "Edward, please try to stay calm, this might be for the best. Look at you, you're a mess." She was immediately interrupted by an angel's voice.
"I don't care. You call her and tell her you will not be back, make sure she has everything she needs, trust fund, housing, whatever. Tell her you're sorry and you will never be back," Edward demanded to someone.
I felt the hole in my chest stretch and burn. It burnt worse than what James' venom ever did. Nothing could compare to that. It was disheartening, Edward didn't want me. He was demanding they leave again. He was demanding they exterminate my soul again. I didn't know if they would follow his directions, if they would pack up and leave suddenly. I prayed they wouldn't. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run away. I wanted to run off this island, off this continent. I was on the perimeter of a nervous breakdown and falling into the depths of my personal hell. The worst part was I was dong it 50 feet from the only person that could save me. Their voices were getting closer and not so diluted. They were in the den now. The lions den.
"Edward, I will not leave her again no matter how much you beg and demand. She is broken enough. She was basically dead when I showed on her doorstep. She was a zombie, a shell of a person. She was going through the motions to appease everyone. She didn't have the luxury of crawling into a ball in a rat infested basement in Brazil to mope by herself. She had to face every person and everyday. She had to face reality, unlike you. Charlie didn't know what to do anymore and he was scared he was going to have to plan a funeral soon. She had lost 10 pounds and didn't have a will to live," Alice stated.
"I've seen two day decaying corpses look better," Rosalie added.
"She will eventually move on," a less angered Edward argued. I thought I heard a bit of sorrow is in his tone, but that couldn't be true with what he was demanding. Jasper took dominance then. When he started speaking he sounded like a general at war preparing for the battle of his life.
"It took months for her to sleep more than 3 hours without screaming and pleading for someone. Not even someone, she was screaming for you, Edward. She cries for you. You shouldn't have doubted her human emotions because the pain you're emanating has nothing on what she felt and very much feels now."
"We're not leaving her." Emmett finalized.
Carlisle was trying to take control, but I couldn't take anymore screaming about me. I curled onto the sofa and closed my eyes. I surrendered and allowed Jasper to pacify me to sleep.
My dreams were and all out assault, invasion of massive WWIII fights. Edward kept telling me he didn't want me, didn't love me, and didn't care if I died without him. His eyes were an uncomfortable solid black and he was dressed in that same suit from my birthday. He was menacing, cruel, inhuman and barbaric. Jacob told Edward how we had had sex. He told him all the vulgar and painful details. Edward said, "I always knew you were a whore." Jacob exploded into a merciless wolf and lunged at me screaming uncivil bloodsucker and broken treaty while Edward stood back and laughed with gratification.
The next moment I pried my eyes open and was staring at Alice. Someone had moved me to the bed and changed me into my pajamas. She looked between murderous and heartbreaking. I took this as a bad sign. Edward had left. Tears welled up and Alice enveloped me in her tiny but safe arms. As I started shaking with sobs the door opened and Esme came in carrying a mug. She looked at me like I was the most pitiful thing on earth.
"You do look broken, more mangled than your cohorts have explained. I didn't want to believe them. You look more broken than should be allowed in this life." I couldn't find my voice to respond. Esme handed the mug of coffee.
"He's still on the island, Bella." Alice informed me that Edward had sat outside my door sobbing. When he figured out that I was in the house and not some 2000 miles away, he had calmed a great deal.
"He just sat propped against the door with his face in his hands and chanted, 'I'm sorry.' He barely kept himself together and outside the door from you. I've been with you all night. When you started to fight sleep he said he couldn't face you right now, he ran to the other side of the island with Carlisle and Jasper behind him. They're at the cabin, the one Emmett showed you." Emmett showed the cabin yesterday while we were exploring the island. They used it for "private time." It was a small two room cabin with a bed and bathroom and nothing much else. Esme embraced me and I felt every grain of love she had pouring into me.
"Bella, have a shower. I'll fix you breakfast and we will go from there. Would you like pancakes or something else?" I tried to assure her I could handle my food situation myself, but she heard nothing of it. In the massive bathroom I took in my reflection and groaned. My eyes were bloodshot and dark gray circles were under them. I stood under the hot water for what seemed like hours before I could move to finish. I was scared to face what the day was bringing.
After I had eaten enough to satisfy Rose, Emmett came in with a grim smile on his face.
"Say the word and I'll castrate him. You can replace Jim with a vampire dick. It would be much more powerful and no batteries needed. I've seen Edward naked, it would be enough. Not as much as me, but enough." I gave him my best fake giggle and real blush.
"Who is Jim?" I automatically blushed exponentially more at Esme's inquiry.
"Shut up, Emmett," I interrupted.
"Esme, I'll tell you later", Rosalie laughed out.
Alice said that since it was cloudy everyone was going to the mainland for shopping and some entertainment. Not wanting to argue with her I stood to get my shoes, but she stopped me.
"You're not going."
"You two need privacy and time."
Carlisle came into the room.
"We can hear everything from everywhere on the island. Every heartbeat, breath, and whisper he can hear from anywhere on the island. Talk to him. He needs to know anything and everything. He wants to know every pain, everything he has done to you."