Warning: Contains Pagan overtones, angst, NON-sexual spanking of a minor, swearing and parental themes. Rated T as some of my views (and the views of this era) may offend.
Disclaimer: The Twilight world belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Thank you to Gaben for beta reading for me and making this easier for everyone to read. You are the best!
I recognised the scent immediately, they were our kind and once Bella was safely upstairs and covered, I blurred to the edge of our property where two silhouettes were clearly discernible in the moonlight.
"My name is Carlisle Cullen," I spoke clearly, pausing so as not to appear threatening.
"My Coven and I do not wish for trouble, only a peaceful life. What is your business here?" I enquired. The taller of the two figures stepped forward, scrutinising my outline.
"I am Isaac Romanus, and this is my mate, Eleanor," the tall man spoke in a thick Transylvanian accent. The pair blurred forward and then stopped at a safe distance. Although, it was not safe enough for Jasper, who dropped from a tree above, startling Eleanor, who upon my closer inspection, was clearly new born. Her red eyes matched the colour of her hair, and her skin was a deep tan of the Mediterranean. Isaac however, was whiter than the driven snow and appeared positively albino in comparison to his mate.
"Eleanor was statue still, yet appeared uncomfortable,
"I want the human; I can smell the child," she hissed while scratching at her throat. Isaac took her arm in a comforting gesture and met my gaze.
"She has locked on to the scent of a human girl whose blood sings to her. I followed her here to make sure there was no trouble in maintaining our secret," he explained.
Jasper growled, but I held up a hand.
"The child you speak of is my daughter," I clarified , garnering a shocked expression from the man and a warning growl from his mate.
"And for obvious reasons I cannot allow you to hunt her. Our Coven resides here permanently and I kindly request that you both refrain from hunting humans in this area.
"That is rather unhospitable of you, Carlisle; keeping all the humans for yourself," he tisked and shook his head, "very greedy."
I offered him a slight smile, but my expression was unyielding.
"We do not hunt humans, but live from the blood of animals; this is why we are able to reside in one place without arousing suspicion. You understand surely," I replied cordially. Eleanor scrunched up her nose in the same manner Bella did when I forced her to eat brussle sprouts.
"Animal blood, that's disgusting," she responded, looking to her mate as if waiting for him to validate my words.
"He speaks the truth," he said eventually, and I raised an eyebrow.
"You can sense fallacy?" I enquired knowingly, then smiling when he nodded.
Equally intrigued, the four of us spoke until Eleanor became too uncomfortable to remain without being physically restrained. Jasper suggested they head a few towns north and we both wished them luck. However, I had a feeling it would not be the last we saw of those two.
"You think she'll return for Bella?" Jasper asked me with concern.
I sighed, "It is hard to say. Come on, let us speak with Edward; perhaps he caught a glimpse into Eleanor's mind."
Ten minutes later, I instructed Bella to begin the lines in her bedroom, and once she was out of ear shot, began explaining the encounter with Isaac and Eleanor for Alice's benefit.
"The newborn was not thinking of Bella when she passed by, but that doesn't mean she won't change her mind," Edward stated, and we all turned to our seer.
Alice shrugged and looked despondent,
"I haven't seen anything yet." she admitted.
"Well, I propose we keep her home for a week or so just to be on the safe side. Perhaps Alice will see something in the meanwhile," Edward suggested, and we all agreed.
"I'll stay out and keep an eye on the perimeter," Jasper added.
I nodded. "Good idea. Edward, try concentrating on her mind, perhaps you will sense her in time to warn us if Alice is unable to see anything." I stated.
Jasper rose and headed into the kitchen planning to take out the rubbish on the way out, although barely a second later he returned, frowning. "It appears Bells has a talent for concealment," he smirked, holding up the bin to reveal an overturned potato castle, the bottom of which was pocked full of the vegetables Bella had said were eaten.
I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose: this child was going to be the death of me.
BPOV: It wasn't fair! I always have ta go when they talk about something good," I muttered, taking my anger out on the period after my last stupid sentence. The lounge room was under my bedroom and I could hear them talking, but couldn't make out any words, not even when I tried sealing my ear to the floor with both hands! I looked out my open door towards the stairs and started crawling. I was being real careful not to make any noise, but even from the top of the stairs, I couldn't hear anything but muffles. I really wanted to try for the top step but knew they all creaked and would give me away for sure. I heard someone pick up the rubbish and the sound of our front door opening, and then a split second later it was pulled shut again. More muttering. What are they talking about for so long anyway, I thought, craning my head over the banister only to pull it back and bolt for my room when I heard the bottom step creak: someone was coming up.
"Hi Dad," I said, trying to sound like I wasn't doing anything I shouldn't, but when I saw the rubbish bin in his hand I wasn't feeling so brave anymore. He didn't look mad, but he was quiet, real quiet... and that's worser than mad. I didn't know what to say, so I scooted back on my bed and continued to stare at him until I couldn't stand it anymore.
"Aw, c'mon Daddy, they're yucky, even the potato didn't wanna eat them, look; it spat them out too!" I pointed to where half the vegetables had been 'regurgitated' from the bottom of the potato castle into the base of the bin and folded my arms; my point made.
"You were deliberately deceptive. You lied to me, young lady!" he told me in a grumpy voice and put the bin down, walking to my bed.
I started to sniffle 'cause I knew what was gonna happen. "No Daddy, I'm sorry," I cried, scrambling over the other side of my bed and scooting under it.
"Isabella, come out from under there this instant," he growled.
I shook my head. "Nah-uh, you're gonna spank me," I whined. I could see his shoes and wondered if he would get me if I tied his laces together and then made a run for it. I didn't get to think about that for long though.
"Enough of this, if you are not standing in front of me by the time I count to three, not only am I going to pull down your underdraws and spank your bare bottom, I'm going to give you another one tomorrow. One!"
Uh oh, I didn't want him to get to three, but I didn't wanna come out either!
"Uh! Daddy, please no! I won't do it again. I promise I'll never be bad, ever!" I heard him sigh, and then I heard the sound of a cufflink and ring being placed on my wooden dresser.
"Three! Right," he said, and I wish I'd been brave enough to try the shoelaces idea, 'cause there was no way I was coming out now. 'Sides, I knew he couldn't fit underneath here and I could probably live under my bed forever, or at least until he's not mad anymore. But what if I have to do a wee? or worse, a number two! It was then that the bed lifted into the air. I clung to the underside, but he took my arm and pulled me into his hip. I struggled and squirmed trying to get away, but he swatted the back of my thigh.
"Owee! Dad no!" I protested, and was still rubbing at the sting as he put the bed down and carried me towards my desk chair.
"What is the punishment for lying?" he asked, lifting me to stand between his knees as he sat on my chair.
"You know what it is, why do I gotta tell you," I sniffled, but just got another smack, this time on my bottom. My thin sleep shirt and under draws offered little protection from his hand and I jumped up and down on the spot, "Owww, Daddy!" but he grabbed my hands so I couldn't rub.
"What is the punishment for lying?" he asked me again.
Sniffling, I tried glaring at him but my eyes were all stingy and blurry. "But Daddy, I don't wanna get a spankin'!" I said, trying to cover my bottom with both hands but he grabbed them again, pinning them to my sides.
"I know, Sweetheart, but I am afraid that is entirely the point, otherwise it would not be an effective punishment," he said as he reached to pull up my sleep shirt. I tried to grab his hands but he pinned them to my sides again, this time holding his finger up at me.
"You do that again and you will spend your free time tomorrow doing chores for Jasper," he warned.
I really didn't want that; Jasper always came up with the worst jobs whenever Dad sent me to him for extra chores. So, I tried to stand up straight and kept my hands by my sides. I started crying when he pulled down my pants, I didn't want to be spanked on my bare bottom, it hurt plenty bad enough through overalls.
"Do you understand why I am punishing you?" Dad asked, and I nodded, crying harder as he lifted me up and bended me over his knee. The next thing I knew both of my hands were pinned to my back and loud smacks started setting my bottom on fire. "Stings!" I howled, kicking and crying. But I got spanked anyway.
"Enough of the histrionics, or I will give you something to really cry about," he scolded, his voice wasn't mean, but he grabbed me a little tighter so I couldn't squirm off his knee.
"Noooooo! Daddyyy," I wailed, but this time kept it softer; but it was real hard when my bare bottom was getting smacked and I couldn't touch the ground; it hurt so bad. I got ten good smacks; all of them were real hard and loud! Then I had to lay there forever, my bottom burned and stung and I wanted to get up, but daddy wouldn't let me.
"Daddy, lemee up!" I cried, swiping at the mess of snot and tears with my sleeve.
"No, you will stay where you are and think about how you ended up in this position, and how you will change your behaviour so you do not end up here again," he said harshly over my cries.
"I didn't wanna think about it. All my blood was in my head and all the crying was making my eyes feel like they were gonna pop out. After what felt like forever, he lifted me up and made me stand between his knees again.
"Well, what did you come up with?" he asked. I tried pulling up my pants and wriggling out of his hold, but he wouldn't let me do either. I crossed my arms, jiggled my legs and pouted at the floor.
"Very well," he said sounding tired, and before I could start talking my way out of it, I was looking at the floorboards again.
"Nooo, Daddy, no more please, I'll tell you, promise!" I begged, but tightened up my bottom just in case I was too late. Luckily, Dad didn't swat me, but nor did he let me up. So I started talking.
"You smacked me because I told a lie about eating my vegetables, and you said that I was being aceitful. I won't lie or be aceitful again, I won't." I must have said something right, because I was back on my feet only this time he took my chin in his hand and made me look at him.
"Correct, you lied to me, you were deceitful AND you disobeyed me when I told you to come to me. None of this is acceptable behaviour and you know it. Had you come to me when I told you to, we would be finished now. However, as it is, you are going over my knee again tomorrow morning before breakfast. Is that understood?" his voice didn't sound grumpy, but it wasn't exactly happy, either.
"Aww nooo, Daddyyyy, not another one," I cried but he just shook his head and reached forward to pull up my under draws.
"You were warned. Perhaps next time I tell you to do something, you will do as you are told," he said and stood, taking me with him and hugging me into his chest.
"I love you, Isabella, and I will not allow you to become a spoiled, deceitful little girl that nobody likes to be around."
His words hurt my heart and I started to cry again. "I'm sorry, I don't want people not to like me. I won't be a bad kid anymore," I promised.
"Aw, Sweetheart, you are not a bad kid, you are just naughty sometimes. That is all part of being a kid. Unfortunately for you, having your bottom spanked is one side effect of being naughty. Come on now, let's get you cleaned up then it's off to bed for you."
Dad helped me wash my face and brush my teeth and hair, then put me in a clean sleep shirt that wasn't covered in snot. It was still half an hour before my bedtime, but I didn't argue. I turned over to close my eyes when I felt my bed creak again. I looked over to find Dad with a thick book of fairy tales and a smile on his face.
Apart from getting spanked again the next day, the next week was fun. I liked being at home! Dad was a much better teacher and I liked listening to his stories about all the famous people and things they had done.
Jasper was a good storyteller to, and he told me all about being in the military when we went running. He showed me the best tricks about defending myself and we were just starting to learn tumbling, I loved tumbling!
Edward was patiently teaching me how to play prelude on the piano. He never got grumpy when I didn't get the right notes and even though one of his eyes would crinkle up every time I missed one, he just moved my finger to the right key and I got to start over.
Alice let me help make a jumper and showed me a design for a skirt that had pants underneath. It looked like a skirt, but I could still play, run and jump around without anyone seeing my draws.
But the best day of all was Friday, when Dad's surprise showed up. It was the beautiful gelding from the fair.
"Oh Jasper, he's beautiful! Do you think he will like living here with us?" I asked, holding my hand out flat, just like Jasper showed me so I could feed him an apple.
"I'm sure he will, littlin' but you'll need to take real good care of him to make sure he stays happy. I am going to teach you how to care for him. I will help you at first, but when you're a little older he will be your responsibility."
"I will, I promise, I'll take really good care of him," and I meant it too. Jasper swung me onto his hip as we exited the stable, swiping an old rag on the way out to clean the horse slobber off my hands. We sat down on the woodpile outside.
"Well, have you decided on a name yet?" he asked, swiping the now wet towel over my hands and face.
"Nah, he hasn't told me yet. Uncle Jasper..." I asked hesitantly. Hey, you can talk to him, can't you? So, would you ask him what his name is for me?"
"'Oh so it's 'Uncle Jasper' now, and to what do I owe the honour?" he asked me, and I felt all embarrassed.
"Well, you're older than Edward and, older than Alice, and ..." I blushed, I didn't know how to explain why, it just felt right. I think Jasper sensed how hot my face felt, so he didn't tease me anymore.
"Well, I wouldn't say I can talk to him per say, but I can tell you he has a wild spirit and a cheeky nature, just like someone else I know," he smiled and tossed the rag aside.
"There is no rush to find a name, take your time. I'm sure he will let you know soon enough.
And just like Jasper said, the following week he did!
Preview Next Chapter:
"Jasperrrrrr! C'mon, you said we could take Bandit out, but it's gonna be dark and then Dad won't leme go," I complained, plonking into the kitchen chair in frustration. I would go myself, but one of the rules was that I wasn't allowed to go near Bandit without Jasper. Apparently he's still learning to get along with us all and gets spooked still when one of the others accidentally gets too close to his corral.
"Hold on to your britches. I have to finish this first or Dad will have my hide," Jasper shouted from the bathroom upstairs. He'd been working on that sink for over an hour now and I was getting bored.