Okay, so this is my first Twilight story. I have to admit, I never actually finished reading all the books, only the first three. Romance isn't really my genre and I only started because I wanted to know what the hype is all about (I do know the plot of the fourth book well though, thanks to Wikipedia). But Stephenie Meyer created a good world for fanfictions and that is something I can appreciate.
Alright, some facts you need to know when reading my story: Obviously, there was no imprint on Renesmee. Despite the fact that I don't much like the imprint idea, imprinting on a baby is just wrong no matter how you explain it. I'm also not a big fan of Edward and Bella and, while I don't believe in bashing, there is a good chance they might not come out looking the best.
This story actually came to my mind when I downloaded one of my favorite vampire series: Blood Ties, which was based on the Blood Books of Tanya Huff (that I've also read and loved). What can possibly be better than to put together a vampire and a former-homicide-detective-gone-PI? Absolutely brilliant! Unfortunately the show was cancelled after twenty-two episodes and five books (plus a short story collection). So consider this as something of a tribute to the Blood series.
I do not own the rights to either the Twilight series nor the Blood series, so if you recognize anything, it's obviously not mine and I don't make any money with it. Unfortunately.
Okay, enough from my side, just wanted to have that out in the open and I hope you can enjoy it anyway. Leave some reviews please.
Chapter 01: Arrival
Charlie checked his clock for the third time since he'd arrived at the crime scene. He should have been on the road five minutes ago. If he was lucky her flight had been delayed.
"You think it might have been another animal attack?" Charlie looked up at Dave Connery, one of Charlie's deputies and a long-time friend.
"I'm not sure," he answered honestly. The coroner just finished zipping up the black body bag, but Charlie could still see the mangled body in his mind's eye as if it were still lying there openly on the parking lot. The boy, Aaron Fletcher, had been a High School student in his senior year. Charlie knew his parents. The thought of having to tell them that their son was dead was nauseating.
From what they could tell Aaron had been attacked last night after closing hours (naturally there were no witnesses) and whatever or whoever it was that had attacked him had practically torn out his throat and bled him dry. The blood, however, was gone, with the exception of a blood spatter arced across the dirty asphalt, feathering out from a thick red stream to a delicate pattern of crimson droplets.
The boy's eyes were wide open and his face contorted into a mask of pure terror. Charlie didn't think that he would ever forget that expression again for as long as he lived.
"It could have been an animal. There are a few similarities between this death, Karen Higgins's and the ones from last year," Charlie said, reflecting on the series of 'bear killings' that had occurred frequently between September and April. Now, nearly an entire year later, there was another attack and at first Charlie had been certain it was the same… thing… that had killed all those hikers, but there were also differences in the cases he couldn't seem to get passed. The attacks from last year had all happened in the forest, far away from human settlements. This one had happened right in Forks, between the Golden Gate restaurant and Leppell's Flowers and Gifts, just off the main highway. Something about the neck wound, the horrified expression, also just didn't seem to add up right. He'd have to talk with Billy and Jacob. Maybe they knew more about this.
"Why don't you go? We can wrap this up without you, Chief," Dave said. Charlie hadn't even noticed that he'd checked his clock a fourth time.
"Thanks, Dave. I'm already late." With that Charlie got into his cruiser and made his way to the airport in Port Angeles. The closer he came the more nervous he became.
After Bella had married he hadn't expected to have another teenager in the house, though Bella had never been a very ordinary teen. Then, five days ago, he received a call from Social Services in Detroit. Charlie's sister, Miranda, who he hadn't seen in at least fourteen years, had been arrested for drug abuse. The word 'again' had fallen, too. Tomorrow she had to begin her two-month sentence of imprisonment. And Charlie had been contacted to take care of Miranda's sixteen-year old daughter, Alexandra. He had no idea what was coming his way. At least when Bella had come to live with him Renee had been able to tell him what to expect.
Once the plane finally landed Alex sighed with relief. The worst part of the trip was over. At least she wouldn't have to get on another plane for the next two months. At least Alex hoped so.
She threw one last look out the window but could only see her own reflection. A wild mane of light golden blond curls fell down just inches past her shoulders. Her eyes were gray, framed by long, thick, black lashes. Alex was sure she'd gotten her eyes from the father she'd never met, because no one in her mother's family had eyes like Alex. Her skin was also naturally a few nuances darker than was common in the Swan family, who had rather pallid complexions. She was tall for a girl at five foot ten with a slender, athletic build and long legs.
She met up with Charlie after getting her two suitcases, filled with nearly everything she owned. Alex recognized him from an old picture her mother used to have in her bedroom. There was very little resemblance between Charlie and Miranda. Miranda was blond and very tall as well. Pictures showed that she'd once had her daughter's build as well. Charlie, though not small, was fairly average for a man, only a few inches taller than Alex. He had a mustache and curly brown hair. The only thing Charlie did have in common with her mother was the chocolate brown eye color.
"How was your flight, Alex?" he asked as he packed her luggage into the trunk of his police cruiser. Somehow she always seemed to end in police cars.
"As far as flying goes I guess it wasn't bad."
Charlie chuckled. "Yeah, I don't much enjoy flying either."
The drive was pretty uneventful. Charlie wasn't a big talker so they remained silent for most of the drive. That gave Alex time to have a look at her new surroundings. Nearly the whole area was covered in forest. And everything was green. She had to admit that it was actually quite beautiful. She was looking forward to exploring the forest on her afternoon runs. February in Detroit had been very wet and cloudy this year so the dark sky overhead really wasn't so big a change. At least in Detroit the sky would be blue again by the time she returned.
"I moved my shifts around a little so I can bring you to school in the mornings," Charlie said as they drove into Forks. It really was a tiny town. She rolled down the window as Charlie drove down the highway. The air here was much cleaner than in Detroit and she took a deep breath of it, filling her lungs to capacity.
"You don't have to drive me, I can walk," she replied, trying to memorize the locations of places she might need to go to while staying here; a diner, a grocery store, a pharmacist and it never hurt to know where the hospital was (not that she planned on needing it).
"I want to drive you. Besides, it's two miles to school."
"I'll manage," Alex said calmly. Two miles were a bit far, but she was sure she could handle it. It wouldn't take her more than forty minutes on foot, less if she ran.
"Well, you might have to sometimes in the afternoons. Sue volunteered to pick you up when she can, but she might not always be able to," Charlie said, pulling up to the brick driveway in front of his small, two-bedroom house.
"Sue Clearwater. She's… a friend." Alex caught the slight hesitation. So she was that sort of friend. "You'll meet her tomorrow night. She and her kids are coming over for dinner."
"Sounds great," Alex just said.
Charlie led her into the house and up the stairs, past a tiny bathroom that they would have to share and into a small bedroom at the west side of the house, facing out over the front yard. It had a wooden floor, light blue walls that she personally found a little cold, a peaked ceiling, a bed, a desk, an old pine dresser and an old rocking chair. It was clearly Bella's old room.
"It's not big, but it should do for the time you're here," Charlie said.
"It's fine." Alex decided not to tell him that she was used to sleeping on the couch of a smelly, run-down, two-room apartment barely larger than his living room. This was definitely a step up. She couldn't remember the last time she'd slept in a bed and she was pretty certain she'd never had a room of her own before.
"I'll leave you to unpack then." He left the room a little awkwardly. Alex didn't know if it made much sense to fill the dresser with her clothes only to pack them up again in two months. Then again, two months were a long time to live out of the suitcase. Deciding to just go with it she packed her clothes into the dresser. Bella had left some of her old stuff that she wouldn't need any more with her rich-ass husband. The pants would definitely be too short, but some of the longer shirts and sweaters might fit. She'd have to sort through them later on.
Charlie had made some space in the bathroom for her to store her appliances in. Sharing the bathroom would be alright. She'd shared bathrooms with families of four and more, or ten to fifteen children of varying ages in the orphanages and foster homes they'd sent her to when her mother had one of her break-downs.
Once she was done unpacking, Alex went downstairs again, inspecting the kitchen, yard and living room. The family room had a small fire place above which was a sequence of her cousin as she grew older and Charlie's wedding photo. She took the most resent-looking picture of Bella down from the mantle to inspect it more closely. Her cousin was wrapped around an unusually pale looking boy, no doubt that Edward Cullen she'd married. She supposed there was something very handsome about him, but he wasn't her type. He was too poised and elegant for her taste. Too perfect.
"Alex! Dinner's ready!" Charlie shouted. She went into the kitchen where Charlie was sitting by the old, square oak table on one of three miss-matched chairs.
There was a plate on the table for her with a huge portion of chicken casserole, more than she was likely to eat. She sat down and took a few bites.
"This is good, thanks," she said.
"You don't have to thank me, I didn't make it. Sue cooked it and brought it over this morning. But I'm pretty good with the microwave," he replied, grinning. Alex chuckled.
"Do you cook?" She wouldn't mind doing the cooking, though she really didn't like standing in the kitchen. She guessed since he allowed her to live here she should do some work in return.
"Not unless you sign a claim that I can't be held responsible for any bodily harm you might suffer when eating my cooking." Alex had to laugh again. Charlie seemed to be a pretty great guy. Maybe this would turn out to be a rather nice stay.
The next day was a Sunday so Alex could sleep in and recuperate from the trip. The day passed calmly. In the afternoon she went for her parkour run for about an hour, taking a forest path. It was drizzling, but she didn't care. She ran in every weather short of Blizzards (and probably tornadoes, but luckily she'd never had to deal with that). After her run she spent another hour on her exercises.
Once she was done with her work-out Alex sat down with Charlie, watching some College football. The Washington Huskies were playing and Charlie was cheering them on loudly. She cheered along in solidarity, but Alex was a dedicated Michigan Wolverines fan. Charlie agreed to a pact that they would cheer along for both their teams and when the teams should play against each other the loser would pay for lunch at the diner. Charlie didn't much like the idea of having to cheer for the Wolverines, but he seemed pleased that they had a shared interest. Bella, he told Alex, wasn't all too keen about sports of any sort.
They didn't even notice the passing time as they argued about the best teams and players so when the doorbell rang both jumped a foot in the air.
"It's seven already?" Charlie asked startled, checking the clock above the television. It was. "Well, I guess we'll have to postpone the conclusion," he said. Turning towards the door he mumbled, "Washington wins anyway."
"I heard that!" Snickering, Alex followed him to the front door.
"Hello Charlie," a woman greeted when he opened the door. She was very pretty, with raven-black hair, dark brown eyes and copper skin. She must have been from the reservation.
"Hello Sue. Hey Seth. Dear God boy, you get bigger and bigger each time I see you." A boy walked into the house or at least she thought it was a boy. His features were still round like a child's and his build was rather gangly. But he was very tall. Alex wasn't accustomed to having to crane her neck so much to look someone in the face. Was he a basketball player or something?
"You must be Alexandra," Sue said, pulling her into a tight hug. For a moment Alex was too surprised to react. Once she got over the initial shock she returned the embrace a little awkwardly.
"Just Alex. It's very nice to meet you, Mrs. Clearwater."
"Please call me Sue."
"Then it's nice to meet you, Sue." Alex turned to the boy, who was smiling at her brightly. She'd rarely met anyone with such a radiantly happy presence. His smile really did seem to light up the room and she immediately liked him. Alex guessed that it was near to impossible for anyone to dislike Seth Clearwater.
"Where's Leah?" Charlie asked as they went into the living room.
"Oh, she still had to… uh… take care of something. She'll come by a little later," Seth answered, sitting down beside his mother on the couch.
They talked for about an hour before Sue made her way into the kitchen to work on dinner. Alex thought it was rather odd that Charlie would invite her over only to have her do the cooking, but then Seth explained that his mother always cooked for Charlie and sometime they'd just tag along. So this wasn't so much a dinner invitation as it was a routine.
When the doorbell rang again Alex jumped up. "I'll get it." When she opened the door a young woman stood on the other side. Her black hair was cropped short and wet from the rain outside. "You must be Leah."
"Yes and you're Alexandra?" She looked Alex up and down, apparently sizing her up.
"Alex," she corrected, letting her eyes travel over Leah herself. Leah was taller than her, which was as surprising as the giant fourteen-year old in the living room. She was very beautiful with her soft-looking copper skin and the thick eye lashes surrounding her dark brown eyes.
"You don't look at all the way I pictured you," Leah suddenly said.
"How did you picture me?"
"Bella II," she answered flatly, her eyes darting over Alex's curls.
"Sorry to disappoint." Alex wasn't quite certain yet if not looking like her cousin was a good or a bad thing.
"Oh, I'm not disappointed," Leah said, grinning slightly. The way she'd said that sounded as if someone else was or would be.
The evening with the Clearwaters turned out great. After some hesitation at first Alex even got along well with Leah. Apparently not being like her cousin was a good thing from Leah's point of view.
As she lay in bed her stomach made a bit of a turn as she thought about having to go to school tomorrow. She'd hoped that Sue's children might go to Forks High School, but Leah was already done with school and was currently attending classes at the Peninsula College in Port Angeles and Seth went to the school in La Push.
It wasn't the first time she'd been forced to switch schools for a while, but it was the first time that she'd go to a school that small. She didn't know what to expect. In the huge public schools in Detroit a new student just disappeared in the crowd, but in a town like Forks everyone knew everyone.
It took Alex a long time to fall asleep that night…