Chapter One: The Hell House

Song: Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback


Bella POV:

Beep, Beep, Beep. Ugh, just five more minutes please, I begged my alarm clock. I seriously hated that thing; it only reminded me about how much my life sucked. I quickly rolled my head over to look at the alarm clock and it read the ridiculous time of 4:00 am. Oh, how much I wished I was like the average Forks High School student and woke up at 6 am instead of 4, but, yet again, I wasn't any average student, or kid for that matter. No, I was Bella Hale, the proud and ever so silent step daughter of Lawrence Aston, the famous lawyer of the Sampson murder trials.

"Bella, are you awake? Rosalie sent me up here to check on you," whispered my youngest and only brother, Jasper, through a crack in the door.

"Yeah, I'm awake. I'm just moving a little slower today," I whispered back as I struggled through the immense pain I was feeling to get up into a sitting position on my mattress.

"Oh Bella, I'm so sorry. I really tried to stop, but I couldn't. I'm really sorry, Bella. I should've stopped him," whispered Jasper as he lowered himself to the floor to sit next to me.

"Jasper, it's not your fault. You couldn't do anything. Please don't blame yourself for what happened."

"I know but…I can't help myself. I am the man of this family. I am the one who is supposed to protect you, Rosalie, and Aoife. I am supposed to take care of you, not let you get hurt," he whispered through his hands. Jasper always beats himself down when he is unable to stop us from getting hurt.

"Jasper," I said in a very stern voice as I pulled his hands from his face and looked him straight in the eye, "stop blaming yourself. You couldn't have stopped any of this from happening. Now, help me get up so I can get dressed. Did you guys clean the living room, bathroom, and kitchen yet? And did you guys wake Aoife yet? I want to get her up before Lawrence does so he doesn't get mad that she is still sleeping."

"No, me and Rosalie didn't get a chance to wake her up, but I did get the bathroom cleaned and half of the living room. Rosalie cleaned the kitchen and is currently making him breakfast. "

"Good. Jasper, why don't you go and take a shower? I'll finish the living room and wake up Aoife. You guys have done so much around here and it makes me feel guilty for not helping out enough."

"Bella, you do enough around here. Stop trying to be the perfect big sister. We all need to share the chores. But, since I don't want to waste anymore time arguing, I'll just go take a shower," he stated in a loving tone before he kissed me on my forehead and left. Jasper was truly a great younger brother. I couldn't survive living here without him.

I quickly glanced at the clock and was shocked by the time, it was 4:30 and Lawrence woke up around 6, I had to get moving. I gingerly got myself off my mattress on the floor and ran to my closet. I hurriedly grabbed a pair of black skinny jeans and an oversized dark blue sweatshirt and threw them on my bed to change into after I got done cleaning the living room.

I quietly walked past Lawrence's room and into the bedroom at the end of the hall. The room looked bare and empty, as if someone just moved out instead of living there for three weeks. The room had two queen sized mattress pushed up against the opposite wall with two white pillows and a navy blue comforter folded at the end of each bed. The far left wall was a portable play crib with a small sleeping child cuddled underneath a soft pink blanket in it. I walked slowly and quietly over to the sleeping form and looked down at her. She was as adorable today as she was when she was first born. Her soft, heart shaped, pale face was beautifully framed by her auburn colored ringlets. She looked like a little angel sleeping there. I could've watched her sleep for hours upon end, thinking about what she was dreaming of, but I had to sadly wake her up to get ready for school.

"Honey, it's time to wake up and get ready for your first day of kindergarten," I whispered to her gently in a sing-song voice as I swept aside the hair that fell into her eyes. She slowly turned her head to the side and yawned so big that her little soft pink lips formed a perfect "O". "Come on, Aoife. It's time to get dressed and ready for school," I said in a little bit louder voice hoping to get her up faster. She slowly but surely did get up as her big chocolate eyes, identical to mine, fluttered open and a small smile formed on her face. "Good morning, honey. Are you excited for your big, first day of kindergarten?" I asked her as I picked her up and out of the play pack and set her on Rosalie's bed.

"Yep! I can't wait to meet new friends to play Barbies with, momma," She squealed excitedly as I grabbed a deep purple dress with neon green flowers bordering around the hem, along with matching long sleeved turtle neck shirt and stockings out of a box labeled Aoife's clothes next to the play pack.

"That's great to hear, sweetie. But you remember the rule right?" I asked her in a stern voice as I put on her black dress shoes.

"Yep, momma. I can't call you mommy outside of this house," she repeated as if she had said this for the millionth time, which was surprisingly true. We had to remind her every time she left the house so that no one found out our secret about Lawrence's abuse and the way she was conceived.

"Good, I just want-"

"She just wanted to make sure you knew the rule, honey," Jasper said in a high, mocking voice from the door that made Aoife laugh and gave me a heart attack. I seriously thought it was Lawrence for a second. "Hey Aoife, how bout you and me go downstairs and get you some frozen Eggos from Auntie Rosie and let your mommy get dressed?" he asked with a big goofy smile that he only showed off for his beloved little niece. Aoife quickly nodded before running to him and clinging onto his outstretched hand. She smiled brightly up at him and swung his hand back and forth at his side, looking more adorable than ever. He chuckled lightly before turning to me. "Oh and Bella, I cleaned up the rest of the living room for ya."

"Jasper, you shouldn't have. I would've done it. You should've told me!" I exclaimed loudly while glaring at him. I was so mad at him for not letting me clean the living room and doing it himself.

"Relax, Bella. I thought I would let you have some mother/daughter binding time with Aoife," he explained with a small smile etched upon his face." And if bothers you that much, I will let you make supper tonight."

"Deal, and don't you go and change your mind at the last second, or I will have to kill you. You understand me, Jasper Thomas Hale?" I threatened as I glared at him with my finger pointed at his chest in a do-not-fuck-with-me-or-I-will-tell-Rosalie-that-you-were-the-one-who-ripped-off-her-dolly's-head-when-we-were-eight manner.

"As clear as crystal."

"Good, now go feed Aoife. I need to get ready," I stated in a matter-of-fact tone as I marched out of the room, but not before remembering to tell Jasper that we were taking my car to school today.

"But why?" Jasper complained in a whiny voice that could compete with Aoife's.

"Because," I stated as if it was obvious, which it should be, "its Aoife's first day of school, ever, today and I want to get a family picture with her in front of the school."

"Oh…,"

"Yeah, oh. Now go feed Aoife so she doesn't have to go to school on an empty stomach," I ordered before leaving for my "bedroom" or what I like to call hell. I rarely slept in there. Instead I slept with Rosalie, Jasper, and Aoife on the two queen beds, that we pushed together to create one large, super bed. It just felt safer to us, to be together like that. I quickly arrived into the room and looked around, checking for Lawrence in case he was in there. When I knew and felt that it was safe to enter, I quickly grabbed my clothes off the mattress and ran to the bathroom. I quickly pulled on my jeans first, but took my time to put on my sweatshirt. The bruises and scratches that racked all over my torso looked horrifying and felt tender to the touch, but they weren't the worst ones I ever had.

After finally getting dressed, I ran down stairs into the kitchen to see Rosalie doing the dishes and listening to Aoife jabber on and on about the littlest things while she ate her frozen waffles. Aoife was a talker, or at least when Lawrence wasn't around. She would usually just clam up and hide behind Jasper or Rosalie, but never me. And that was because of that one night. That one horrifying night when-

"Bella, Bella, Earth to Bella. You there?" Rosalie said as she snapped her fingers in my face. Rosalie was my youngest sister and Jasper's twin. She was gorgeous, tall, and had incredibly long blonde hair with ice blue eyes.

"Sorry, what did you say?"

"I said that Jasper got Aoife's toddler booster in your car and that we are ready to leave," Rosalie said in a rather slow pace. She looked very confused, because it was rare for me to space like that.

"Yeah, let me grab a granola bar and then we can go."

"Ok. I'll be in the car with Jasper and Aoife." I just nodded and ran to the cupboard to grab a granola bar before running out to the driveway. When I got there I saw Rosalie grabbing something out of her Mercedes. Lawrence liked to show off his wealth and make sure that we looked taken care for so he bought Jasper a custom painted black Shelby Cobra, Rosalie a red Mercedes, and me a blue Range Rover. I always laughed in my head every time I saw this. If people want to see how we are really treated, they should go upstairs and look in our rooms. No, better yet, they should look at our extensive medical records, I thought bitterly. I walked around to the passenger's side of my car and climbed in. I didn't want to drive because than I couldn't look at Aoife and `ee her face light up when she saw the school. She was too precious to me for me to miss out on this important day. Just two more years, Just two more years than you could legally adopt Rosalie, Jasper, and Aoife and get them out of that hell house.

"Okay, I got the camera. Let's go, chicas and chico," Rosalie emotionally as she smacked Jasper's arm to go already after she got into the car. She seemed just as excited about seeing Aoife go off to school as me. Jasper just rolled his eyes and backed out of the driveway.

We road in complete silence for a while, and it was actually quite nice, but that didn't last. Aoife insisted that we turn on the radio, and since it was her first day and I was too happy for any annoying little kid song to bother me, I let her. I was, however, not expecting the song that did come on the radio.

Time, is going by, so much faster than I
And I'm starting to regret not spending all of here with you
Now I'm wondering why I've kept this bottled inside
So I'm starting to regret not selling all of it to you
So if I haven't yet, I've gotta let you know

It was Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback. Oh god, I can't listen to this. I can't but, yet, I can't make my hand move to change it.

You're never gonna be alone from this moment on
If you ever feel like letting go, I won't let you fall
You're never gonna be alone, I'll hold you 'til the hurt is gone

And now, as long as I can, I'm holding on with both hands
'Cause forever I believe
That there's nothing I could need but you
So if I haven't yet, I've gotta let you know

You're never gonna be alone from this moment on
If you ever feel like letting go, I won't let you fall
When all hope is gone, I know that you can carry on
We're gonna see the world out, I'll hold you 'til the hurt is gone

This was the song I would sing to Aoife in the hospital when she was born and every time I tucked her into bed, but I stopped when she saw-"We're here! We're here!" Aoife screamed from the back of the car, snapping out of my flashback. I smiled and just watched as my little girl's face glowed in excitement and anticipation more and more as we got closer to school. "Momma, why are you crying?" Aoife asked with a confused, yet adorable expression on her face. I raise my hand to my face and realized that they were wet form tears.

"Oh, I'm just so sad. You are growing up so fast. Too fast for my liking," I stated as I wiped my eyes. I quickly glanced over at Jasper, he always knew when I was lying, and this was one of those times.

"Momma, don't be sad. I'm still your little angel," Aoife said as she leaned forward to hug me. Aoife was always very mature for her age and showed through her actions, this was one of those times.

"And you will always be my little devil?" Jasper asked in a joking manner, trying to lighten the mood.

"Yes, Uncle Jazzie! Always!" she exclaimed with so much emotion that she almost jumped out of her seat.

"Aw, that's not fair. Does this mean you won't be my little shopping buddy anymore?" Rosalie fake pouted. Aoife obviously didn't realize this and quickly turned to comfort Rosalie.

"Of course I'll be you little shopping buddy, Rosie,' she said in a comforting tone with such a stern look on her face that made the whole car erupt in laughter.

"We are here!" Jasper sang as we arrived in the school parking lot. Aoife was jumping in her seat so much it, that I was afraid that the seat belt couldn't even contain her.

As soon as we parked, I got out of the car and ran to Aoife's door to help her out. She was so excited and happy that she jumped out to me unexpectedly, but thankfully I caught her.

"Okay, now before we go to school, Uncle Jazzie and Auntie Rosie got a surprise for you," I told Aoife as the two twins came around from the back of the car with their gifts. Jasper got her a very cute and adorable purple corduroy back-pack with a large green butterfly on the front, while Rosalie got her a matching polka doted yellow and lavender lunchbox and thermo. Aoife was thrilled with her gifts and squealed when she got them. I just smile down at her and took a picture. My siblings and I would do anything to make Aoife happy and take every chance we got because most of her life, she hides in fear.

"Okay. Now, let's go," I somehow choked out through tears. "Aoife, take my hand and Rosie's. And you remember the rule, right?" she nodded her head up and down. "Okay, let's go." We carefully and cautiously crossed the crosswalk together as a family and were surprised to see all of the families gathered up in front of the school. I quickly scanned around looking for someone to take a family photo of us, but saw no one, which didn't surprise me.

"Hey Rosalie, Jasper, can you guys go find someone to take a picture of us?" I asked in a rather nervous voice, being in crowds by myself with Aoife with male strangers scared me. They nodded yes in a very cautious way before taking off. I decided to take this time to talk to Aoife one on one.

"Hey, pumpkin, how do you feel about your first day of kindergarten now that we are here?" I asked in a comforting voice I rubbed her arm. She looked at me kind of frightened.

"I don't know, Belly. I'm kinda scared. All of these boys scare me. Are they like Law?" She said as she scooted closer to me. I was afraid of this. I was deeply afraid that living with Lawrence, or Law to her, would make her feel like this.

"No, honey. They are not like Law. They are very nice, but if they ever touch you in a way that makes you feel icky, go get a teacher. Okay, sweetie?" She nodded her head slowly and leaned forward to hug me. I closed my eyes and rubbed soothing circles on her back while humming Clair de Lune to her.

"Hey, Bella, we found someone," Rosalie and Jasper screamed at me. Aoife quickly tore away from me and ran to Jasper. I quickly got up from my kneeling position and brushed off my knees and pushed back my hair before I finally looked up. And what I saw, I couldn't believe.

Hey,

So what do you guys think so far? Hate it? Love it? Please review! And if you do, leave any suggestion and I might add it to my next chapter. So please again review.

Amber

P.S. Aoife is pronounced EE-fya and it means beautiful and radiant in Scottish, Irish and Gaelic.