Summary - "Bella is an average girl, struggling with her homosexuality and her life at home. Can the love of not one, but three vampires help show her that she shouldn't be afraid? A/B/R/V".
A/N: Re Edited
Rating - Older Teen to Mature (For later chapters)
By WDG and Hollowgo (Who Helped with the First Chapter and is going to help Beta)
The Garden of Four - Chapter One - Beginnings
The scent of fresh rain filtered into my nostrils as I stared longingly out the window, watching the droplets pouring down on the surrounding landscape. I was currently inside a dirty little gas station, waiting for my father to come and pick me up because apparently the bus I'd taken didn't go all the way to where I lived. So I'd been forced to retreat here instead.
I sighed. I knew the reason why Charlie was taking his time to get here. And to be honest, I was scared out of my mind for when he did. I wished that I had a car of my own and enough money to buy my own place, because I sure as hell wouldn't be staying with him if I could.
I bit my lip and started tapping my fingers on the windowsill nervously, glancing around the store for nothing in particular. There was only one other person in the store aside from me, that being the girl working behind the cash register. Then again, I wasn't sure that what she was doing could be considered "working".
The girl, whose name tag read "Jenna", was also smacking around the pink bubblegum in her mouth, which I found to be utterly obnoxious. She was about my height, with light blonde hair curled into a neck-length ponytail, sitting slanted in a chair with an iPod blaring in her ears and her attention drawn to a magazine in front of her face.
She was sitting sideways with an obvious "I don't want to be here" demeanor. I noticed that part of her shirt had ridden up, exposing a sliver of her midriff, which my eyes locked on to. I felt the urge to touch her silky skin nearly overpower me, but I pushed it away and forced my attention back to the window, knowing full well the repercussions from doing so.
After what had seemed like centuries, I finally spotted Charlie's police cruiser pull up into the gas station, slowly pulling close to the entrance. Jenna somehow heard it and glanced out the glass door to see it and practically fell out of her chair.
"Oh shit!" she cursed, ripping the ear-buds out and panicking.
"It's my father," I said softly, walking solemnly over to and out the door.
I pulled my hood up and sauntered over to the police car, keeping my eyes glued to the door as I pulled it open and speedily sat down. I could feel the tension the moment I got into the cruiser and gulped as I closed the door and buckled up. This wasn't going to be good.
Charlie didn't speak a first as he pulled out of the gas station. I took a chance and glanced at him to see that his brows were furrowed, his eyes narrowed and his jaw was tight as he stared forward, not even acknowledging that I was there.
After a few minutes, Charlie finally spoke, clearing his throat beforehand.
"Bella," he began, his voice emotionless. "I got a call from your mother before I left."
I swallowed the lump in my throat. "What did she say?" I asked quietly.
Charlie's lips pursed. "She said that…" He paused. "She said that you were getting into some, er, funny stuff over there." He stopped at a red light and actually looked at me then, his weathered eyes full of confusion and uncertainty as they stared me down.
I shifted slightly in my seat. "I, uh…I don't know what she means."
"Bella," he said again. "You know exactly what she means. All of this…I can't even begin to describe what she was talking about. It didn't sound right, I know that much. What the hell were you thinking? I mean…are you sick or something? I realize that this is probably a phase of some kind, but I don't like the sound of it."
I licked my lips. "Can we not talk about this?" I asked pleadingly. Memories of my mother's shouting, yelling, anger, and disgust flashed through the back of my head. I cringed. "I really just want to go home and lay down."
Charlie frowned. "Fine. But we will discuss this eventually," he replied, sighing. "Look, Bella, I just want to make sure that you're alright, you know? I don't want to find out that there's some kind of disease or something."
I couldn't help but gape at him. Did he really think what I had was a disease? Then again, I didn't know what my mother had told him. The way she talked, it probably was some kind of disease, so it only made sense that he'd think that way.
That saddened me. I felt a few tears starting to form, but I pushed them back. I couldn't let him see me cry, for fear of how he'd react to that. I just wanted to be home, in my bed. That was the only thing I was looking forward to.
We got home thirty minutes later. I bounded inside once Charlie had unlocked the door and ran up the stairs, nearly tripping and falling as I did. I winced when I hit my shoulder, but I kept going until I was in near the steps leading up to my room. I didn't bother washing up, because I honestly didn't even care about it. I just wanted to be alone in my bed.
"Hold it, Bella," Charlie called.
I turned slowly to look at my father. He moved around me over to the table in the kitchen and sat down at it, a grim look on his face as he appraised me. Our eyes met and I shuddered slightly at the look behind them. I knew that look all too well. Charlie motioned for me to come forward, so reluctantly I did so and moved to sit down at the chair directly across from him. He sat with his arms folded as he stared down at the table, trying to find the right words.
"I think we need to talk about this now," he said.
"Do we have to?" I asked, biting my lower lip. I didn't want to do this, damn it.
"Yes," he replied. "We do."
"There's nothing wrong with me," I said softly. "I'm fine, honestly."
Charlie scowled. "That's not what I heard from your mother. She said that you were into some...sick things. I want an explanation for that, young lady, and I won't let you go to your room until I get one."
I just stared at him. "What do you want me to say?"
"Is it true?" he asked, looking almost pleadingly at me. "Is what she told me true, Bella? Because if it is, you really need some help, dear. It just isn't right, the things she told me. It scared me. I don't want you to be chastised at school for it and I certainly don't want it to come with you as you get older. I've seen that type of thing before, Bella. It doesn't end well, trust me." Getting up from the table I ran to my room with tear's filling my eyes.
With haste I tore off my clothes, found some old pajamas, slipped them on and dove into the covers, just as the tears began to leak from my eyes. Images from all that had occurred before I'd left for Forks flooded through me and it just made more tears fall.
I cried into my pillow, hugging myself tightly as I did.
I was a lesbian. I knew that. And I had certain…interests. But my mother, my own flesh and blood mother, had discovered them and turned on me. She called me names, lashed out at me both verbally and physically. I'd never seen that side of her before and it broke my heart because I used to love her so much and look up to her.
All that had disappeared in an instant. The leftover scars wouldn't, though.
And that hurt the most.
I sobbed into my pillow until I felt the pending haze of slumber begin to take effect. I managed to dry my face up and stared up at the ceiling as darkness overtook me. I only had one thing on my mind as I fell asleep, and it was something I thought to be fairly small.
I just wanted to find a place where I could belong.
The End of Chapter One