Final Chapter. And put up quite quickly, wouldn't you agree. It's mostly because, as the last chapter, it was rather easy to write. Hope you enjoy.
Bella's Point of View
"Thanks for helping out with my hair, Alice," I said, looking at the masterpiece of little braids and curls that she had created. She grumbled, still mad that she hadn't been able to change my mind about letting her have control over what I wore. It didn't help that the dress I had chosen went perfectly with me, being something that she would chose for me to wear. Since then, she had been rather upset with me.
I looked at myself in the full length mirror I faced. The dress that I had chosen was silver, with thick straps that crisscrossed along the back with another set of straps, this one being beaded. It had a sweetheart neckline, fitted torso, and a flowing train. I wore silver strappy heels with it, ones that I had relented and let Alice chose when I finally gotten tired of her grumbling – it wasn't enough, though she did stop for a few days. Brushing my hands over non-existent wrinkles, I turned towards her.
"You look nice," I said warmly. And she did. Where her girl's choice dance dress had been purple, this one was pink, with a modified sweetheart neckline, rose detailing, fitted torso that had beaded work, and a short bubble hem. She set it off with wide curls, pulled back from her face by jeweled pins. She also wore silver heels with it, though not as high as the ones I wore.
"Thanks," she said, giving me a small smile before leaving the room.
The last two months had been…rather normal, in all honesty. We'd gone to school, hung out, and basically did everything we'd been doing before James appeared. The only differences were the fact that Edward and I were often found lip locked when no one human was around, and Carlisle, having been given a challenge in discovering why Edward's eyes had turned green, had gone after the task with a vigor that surprised me. He was often asking me and Edward for a blood and venom sample, something that I didn't argue, but nothing was coming of it.
Of course, not long after he'd finally given up on such an action, Rosalie of all people asked a question that none of us had thought of: does it just turn eyes green or was there a reason for that color – the color that Carlisle had admitted to being Edward's when he was human – to show up again after a small amount of my blood in him? That insight had surprised us all, and I was once again asked to provide blood – as Carlisle had used the others so much that they were pretty much worthless at this point – and I watched as Rosalie, Emmett, and Alice, who had volunteered to be the guinea pigs for this experiment, drink the small amount of my blood they had been given.
The effects were pretty nice. Emmett's eyes were close to my color of brown, while Rosalie had the most interesting amethyst eyes – I had been expecting blue, what with her hair color. Alice now had an eye color to go with her human self – she too had green eyes, though not as nice as Edward's were. It had, in a way, helped Carlisle – though he didn't know why, it seemed that the result of drinking succubi blood brought back the eye color the vampire had as a human.
Another change that had happened was Rosalie. We were actually getting along now. It had happened when I finally had gotten tired of her dislike and asked her about it. Finding out that it was jealousy towards me, not only for the fact that Emmett kept wanting to break the Draw, and failing, which usually resulted in him attempting to kiss me, but because Edward wanted me when he didn't want her confused me a bit, until she told me the story about her life and how she ended up becoming a vampire.
While I didn't think it really excused her of her actions towards me, I really couldn't get mad at her. Most of her actions were what she was taught; her parents had made her feel like she was desired by everyone by their actions, she simply had the bad luck to being as pretty as the most in descript vampire. Knowing what it had led made me feel a bit sorry for her, though I didn't pity her – mostly because I knew she didn't want it.
What had really bonded us, though, was the fact that we both want the same thing: we had both wanted a child, and neither of us could have one. At least, we don't think I could have one – I've yet to have a period, and I don't think my body will be able to made the change that it would need to carry a child. Either way, the fact that we were in the same boat – wanting, but not able to have, a child – bonded us.
"Ready to go down and wow the boys?" Speaking of Rose – as she told me to call her. I looked towards the door, where she had just entered.
"Not going with the usual red?" I asked, taking in the purple, asymmetrical strap, mid-thigh length dress that I was sure wasn't really allowed. Not that it would stop Rose; plus, when compared to the dress she wore for the girl's choice, it was positively decent looking.
"No, I figured that I would surprise everyone. I always were something red, so I figured, for my last dance – this time around – I would surprise everyone," she said.
"Good idea; go for the shock value," I said,
"So, what's wrong with Alice? I noticed she was moping when I passed her," she said.
"She's still upset that I didn't let her chose what I was going to wear tonight," I told her.
"I don't think it's only you. I usually let her chose my dress as well, but I decided to take a leaf out of your book and chose my own," she said. I snorted.
"So, not only did she not have the right to dress me, but you ruined any chances of her dressing you," I said. "No wonder she's mopey. Of course, it's an act."
Rose looked at me.
"She might be good at making herself look like it, but her emotions scream her true feelings," I explained as I began to walk to wards her. Annoyance danced on my tongue. "And she's annoyed at me now for informing you of this, since she knows that I, unlike Jasper, won't be willing to hide what emotions she really feels."
Rosalie snorted at the growl Alice let out.
"Well, at least I know to get a second opinion from you if she ever looks at me with her puppy dog, heartbreaking look," Rose said, walking out ahead of me.
"Better hope I'm nearby or not otherwise occupied, because I will not be happy," I said, walking down the stairs as I looked around. Alice was already there, standing next to Jasper, who was favor a basic black suit with a dark read tie. Emmett stood next to him, wearing a charcoal grey suit. Rose passed by me as she headed towards him. My eyes moved over to Esme and Carlisle, who were acting like excited parent, ready to take pictures of anything and everything to do with us.
My eyes finally found Edward, who was standing just to the side of Carlisle. He too wore a charcoal grey suit, but with silver colored dress shirt underneath it.
"Come on, Bella. We need to get some pictures taken before you leave," Esme said, acting a bit like Alice as she jumped up and down in place. I just favored her with a smile as I walked over to Edward, who took me into his arms.
"You look wonderful," he said, lightly kissing me.
"Thanks," I said. We posed for several pictures, some group, some only girls, most being couples. I managed to get the camera away from Esme to take a picture of her with the boys, and of her and Carlisle, having fun before handing it to Carlisle to get a picture of me with Esme.
It wasn't until we used up the entire memory card before we were allowed to go, though Esme, who wanted more pictures of us, handed all of us cameras that had full batteries and an empty memory card that would hold up to two hundred photos, making us promise to make good use of it. We agreed, mostly because I could tell that saying no wouldn't be smart. Esme was in full mother mode; to say no would result in something scary.
Edward guided me to the garage. I looked at him, confused, until I saw him stop in front of a car that I hadn't noticed before.
"What's this?" I asked as he pulled the door opened and guided me in.
"My special occasion car," he said with a smile before closing the door. He was in the car himself and closing the car door just as I was pulling my seatbelt on.
"So, why is this the first time I've seen it?" I asked. "Especially since this is the first time I've seen it. Was the girl's choice not a special occasion?"
"More like I was distracted by what you made me think about that I just drove the Volvo because I wasn't thinking about it," he said. I pouted; he was supposed to get flustered. He saw the look on my face, and chuckled. I stuck my tongue out at him before letting a smile out.
The Prom Committee had managed to get a lodge inn somewhere near Port Angeles for the prom, so it was going to be a bit of a drive there. I messed with his stereo, throwing in one of the CDs he had gotten me that had most of my favorite songs to listen to at the moment.
It was just as we were leaving Forks that his cell phone rang, and he answered it. I could hear my father talking to him, but, out of courtesy, I tried not to listen in…for all of two minutes before I became curious as to why he was so amused. I waited until he hung up before laughing out myself as Edward chuckled.
"I take it you heard that?" Edward asked. I nodded.
"I wonder where Mike and Tyler got the idea that I wasn't going to Prom with you," I said. "I mean, I know we never actually said we were going together at school, but anyone looking at us would know that we're going together. And I know that Lauren and Jessica heard me talking about how I already had my dress when Angela proposed going dress shopping again."
"Didn't you go with her still?" he asked.
"Of course I did. I wasn't going to subject her to Jessica and Lauren's spitefulness. I figured she should look her best for the Prom, and that neither of the other two girls would let her," I answered, then snorted. "I can't wait until you see what Lauren and Jessica chose to wear."
"What do you mean?" Edward asked.
"Apparently, neither of them were willing to trust my judgment. Instead, they trusted each others, and chose the most horrible dresses for themselves. Well, actually, I shouldn't say the dresses were horrible, well, they were in my opinion, and… They could have done better."
"Why didn't they trust your judgment? Besides the fact that you don't like the two," Edward said.
"It's a girl thing in a way. Girls like Lauren and Jessica seem to think that everyone so jealous of them that they would do anything to sabotage them, even giving bad advice about clothes. So, they tend to only trust those just as idiotic and vicious as them, and, because of that, they don't realize that their supposed friends are the ones who give them bad advice about things, mostly to boost themselves," I said.
"They tried to do that with Angela, too," I added. "Luckily, Angela's smart enough to realize what they were doing when I said that she looked fabulous in the dress she chose after they said the opposite. I think saying that Angela trusts me more than them goes without saying."
We'd arrived by now, and I let Edward have his fun in showing me inside. I immediately snorted when the first thing I saw was Lauren ad Jessica being given a wide berth by the other students, and noticed that their dates didn't look exactly glad to be near the two. I could understand; Laurens overly shiny dress was very blinding, and didn't fit her properly, and Jessica's…well, her dress looked like it would fall if she moved her arms from her side, and, while I was sure that most guys wouldn't mind, it would cause more trouble than needed.
"I can see what you mean about their dresses," Edward said, wrinkling his nose in disgust.
"Come on. Lets go find Angela; I told her I would sit with her and Ben," I said, pulling him with me as I followed the flavor of her emotions. No longer being completely starving had made it so much easier to separate people by their emotions in a larger range. When I wasn't around a vampire, I could find my father's emotions in a crowd…several streets away from him. Of course, I was always unable to completely escape vampire emotions; I had to get as far as Port Angeles before I would start loosing even one of them, and, so far, I've yet to get far away enough from Edward to lose him completely – I think it might have something to do with the fact that's he's my main dish.
"Bella," Angela said as we came into view. I smiled at her as we hugged. "Edward," she greeted politely.
"Hello, Angela. May I say that you look lovely," he said smoothly, and I could taste his sincerity.
"So, what's up with Lauren and Jessica?" I asked her, motioning towards the two as Edward began to talk to Ben. There was something wrong with the DJ equipment, so everyone who had been here before us was just sitting around talking while they waited for the music to come back on.
"Oh, nothing except the fact that Alan, Lauren's replacement date, called her a slut, and Donald, Jessica's replacement date, is disgusted with her obvious regard for the possible flashing that might occur," Angela said. "Of course, the two are mad because both Mike and Tyler ditched them when they arrived, and the minute they heard that you might not be coming here with Edward – something Lauren started, in fact – they both left."
"Oh, don't I know," I said, and then told her what Charlie had called Edward about. She laughed out loud at my words. We were joined then, by Alice and the others.
"Why isn't anyone dancing," Rose asked.
"Something's wrong with the –" started Angela when the music started again, on some popular hip-hop number.
"Ooh, Jasper, I love this song!" squealed Alice, finally out of her mopey funk. "Let's dance."
She pulled him onto the floor before he could even think of protesting – not hat he was planning too, over course. Rose and Emmett followed. I looked at Edward.
"Shall we?" I said as Angela and Ben headed to the dance floor as well. Edward just chuckled, but stood up, and pulled me to him.
"Not remember, no letting anyone else dance with me, unless it's someone we trust," I said, having the feeling that Alice would suggest we switch partners at least once – it seemed like something she would suggest, a way for her to dance with her brothers at least once. I didn't know if the offer extended to Ben and Angela, though I doubted Edward would be willing to isolate my friend, simply because I wouldn't allow it.
As the dance wore on, I turned out to be right, as Alice did insist we change partners for at least a dance each. I had to admit, dancing with Emmett and Jasper was fun – Emmett and I did swing-dancing, a rather funny think to dance to a rock song to, while Jasper and I did a tango; we stole the floor with that, and I had the feeling that Edward would have been jealous if he hadn't know where my – and Jasper's – hearts belonged. It was just easier to have eye contact with someone who the Draw didn't work on for that dance.
It was just as I was getting back into Edward's arms that a sudden barrage of negative emotions coated my tongue.
"You have got to be kidding me," I whispered, my face slightly scrunched up.
"What?" Edward asked before stiffening. "Oh." He turned to look at the doors as I did to see Jacob Black standing there, looking awkward but determined as he searched around. It became clear who he was looking for when he spotted Edward and I. Groaning, I pulled Edward off the floor with me as I headed out another set of doors; I didn't want there to be a chance of this being overheard.
Jacob was irritated that I had moved, I could just taste it underneath the acid and ashes taste he always seemed to carry whenever I saw him; I did notice that it was also heightened compared to before.
"What do you want, Black?" I said, hostile. He paused for a moment, seeming to gather his courage, before saying, "Could I talk to you…privately?"
I motioned with my head for Edward to leave us alone for a moment, knowing that he would hear anyways, but giving Jacob the semblance that what he was saying was private.
"Okay, what?" I said, crossing my arms. Jacob shifted uneasily in place.
My dad," he finally said. "He…he paid me to come here and convince you to break up with your boyfriend."
I scoffed. He just doesn't give up, does he? While I was upset with Jacob – he was attracted to me, and was hoping that I would break up with Edward – the fact that he actually didn't want to do this – be the messenger – saved him from my ire…for the most part.
"And why exactly does he want me to break up with Edward?" I asked, wondering what he told Jacob.
"Well, you know how I told you that he was superstitious… Well, he heard from Charlie that you had gone down to Phoenix with a Cullen named Esme, and that you had gotten hurt –" Damn. I had forgotten that Charlie had seen the bite mark on my arm, though not enough to tell what it was – "and he thinks that Edward had something to do with it, as he was convinced that you didn't go with this Esme woman."
I knew he was lying about that last part; the way he spoke said that he knew I hadn't been with Esme somehow.
"Well, he's both right and wrong. I didn't go to Phoenix with Esme – she was simply a cover since I was gong to go alone anyways, but I figured that Charlie would prefer I have an adult with me. I went with Alice. And, my arm where I had gotten hurt happened when someone pushed me into a sharp corner at the store while Alice was getting some more boxes. She wasn't anywhere near me when it happened."
He at least believed me on that – after all, what reason did I have to lie to him about it – and I hoped he would get Billy off my case.
"Is that it?" I asked.
"No," he muttered.
"What's the rest?" I said, waiting. He sighed.
"He said – oh this is going to sound so lame – he said to tell you, no, warn you that – and this is his plural and quote, not mine – 'We'll be watching.'"
It the words hadn't pissed me off, I would have laughed at how bad mafia movie it sounded.
"Okay. And you can tell your father that, as of now, I am his worst enemy," I said, so serious that not even Jacob could say I was joking. "I told him what I thought about his demands his last visit; what he just had you say is going too far. So, when you go back, I want you to tell him – and make sure you quote it – 'Someone like him shouldn't try to dictate and control what another person does until he stops putting prejudices over lives.' Do you understand, Jake?"
He nodded, swallowing harshly, before he turned and left, a hasty 'bye' being thrown over his shoulder. It took me several deep breaths – and Edward's arms wrapping around me – for me to calm down.
"Shall we go back in?" I said. He shook his head.
"No, let's talk," he said.
"Is this about what just happened? Because I'm not going to change my mind about it. I've told Billy several times now that it wasn't his business about what I did. In truth, declaring myself his enemy was coming, even without this," I said. "I don't know what made him think he had the right to ignore all of my warning – you would think that my basic banning him from my house unless Charlie was there would have been a clue not to push things. Obviously, he doesn't listen," I ranted, breathing heavily by the end.
"Well, I was going to ask you if you were sure you wanted to declare Billy Black as an enemy, but apparently, you are, so…" he said. "However, I also kept you out here to dance."
I didn't say anything as he led me further away from the lodge to a gazebo.
"How are we going to dance? The music's a bit too faint here," I said, only for me to be proven wrong when Alice flitted around us, and one of me favorite soft songs began playing.
"You set this up, didn't you?" I said. He looked at me unashamed. I just smiled, wrapping my arms around him as we slowly danced.
"So, what do you think of the night so far," he asked.
"It's been good, save for that one stain," I said, scowling lightly as I remembered Jacob's visit.
"You know, I'm still not sure you should have said that you were Billy's worst enemy," he said.
"I am. I'm tired of him butting into my life as if he has any right. I mean, he's automatically assuming you had something to do with getting hurt, not even finding evidence to support his theories – not that there is any. He can't prove that Esme was or wasn't with me – at least, not in a way that would make Charlie doubt me, especially since it was clear that I did go there and come back with stuff, and the house was pretty much packed while we were there," I said.
"He's just concerned –" Edward said, trying to defend him. I smiled at him. Despite the fact that Billy was basically trying to make his life hell by getting me out of it, he was defending him. It was something I loved about him.
"And, while I could understand that, he's only concerned because of prejudice, not fact. He doesn't know you – he pretty much refuses to get to know you. I'm not going to trust someone like that – I wouldn't do that even if I was human. I would just be a bit nicer to him if I was human," I said. "Plus, I've been looking at things about them, specifically in the time area you arrived in the area. Did you know that a woman named Emily Young was apparently mauled by a bear about two months before I came here. Yet, there's no evidence she ever went to a hospital, like she should, simply because Carlisle worked there, even though, on the day this happened, he had the day off."
"How did you find all this out?" he asked, sounding amazed.
"I listened," I said. "Jessica, while not the nicest person, is a gossip, and really doesn't know when she should keep her mouth shut, mentioned seeing Emily and how horrible her scars looked. I asked Angela about it, then my father, and then I looked it up at the hospital to see if I could find more, then I realized who I was looking for, and then I checked to see who might have called out, which was how I realized that your father wasn't there that day…they didn't call for help, by the way."
"You seem to be taking this way too seriously," Edward said.
"Well, I want to make sure that, if needed, I have insurance in case Billy tries to go to more…demanding channels. I wouldn't put it past him to try to convince Charlie that you're no good for me, and lie about why," I said. "If I have information that could be…damaging to them – I'm not sure Billy would appreciate it being known that someone almost died because of his actions – then I can keep him at bay."
"And how would the fact that someone almost died because of his actions be damaging?" he asked.
"It would make him appear untrustworthy, and I know that Charlie would probably look closer into their actions if he heard about that; Charlie doesn't know that Billy has the Quileutes boycotting the hospital, and he definitely won't be happy to know that it could have led to someone's death," I said. "Charlie knows about the dislike Billy has for your family, but that's all he thinks it is, dislike and that nothing dangerous will come of it. To know otherwise…well, the only reason why I'm not going to tell Charlie unless I am forced to is because I no doubt that the knowledge would destroy their lifetime friendship.
"Anyways, let's not talk about it anymore," I said. "I just want to enjoy this night. I never thought I would like to go to Prom, or any dance, really. I usually ignored anything that had to do with it in Phoenix, not that it really mattered; no one ever asked me to go anyways. Probably the only think I was thankful for when it came to being ignored.
"Anyways, I could get used to this, so long as it's with you," I said, before he could comment about my last statement – he had made it clear, days ago, that he couldn't understand how no one had noticed me before, even without me being a succubus. He had seen some pictures of me before the accident, and had mentioned that I hadn't changed much.
"So, if I asked you to next years Prom…" he said, trailing off.
"I'd say yes," I said. "Though, I do wonder why you'd want to go. I mean, with how often you end up repeating high school, I would think that you would be bored after a while. I mean, this is my first one, but I really don't see myself going every junior or senior year I end up having to do now, especially since I'm most likely going to be staying with your family…if that's okay with you, of course."
"It's fine with me, and I know that Esme and Carlisle will enjoy having you," he said, before lightly sighing. "I usually don't go to the dances unless Alice drags me to them, which, while it happens more often than naught, I'm usually able to leave after I dance one dance with her and Rosalie. This is, in truth, the only time I've actually enjoyed myself, and I do believe that, so long as I'm with you, I think I'll always enjoy it."
"Even if I turn into Alice, and demand going every time," I said.
"Even then," he answered, dipping me down. I let my head fall back, and his cold lips pressed against my throat.
The End…For Now.
As the last part says, this is the end of this story. The for now part basically goes for the sequel that I want to write, though, at this moment, it won't be happening for a while. Anyways, I wasn't quite sure how to end this, so I just wrote what came to mind and ended it. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed this story.
Please Review, I would love to hear how you thought about the ending.
Hearts In Strangeness