Thanks for all of your wonderful reviews and well-wishes. I truly have the best readers on FF! Special thanks to Tobey, Autumn, and Mynxi for all their help on this chapter!
Also a super big thanks to kryswalt, mynxi, and rubiconqueen for their cat names! Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions, and I hope you enjoy the ones that I have chosen. Leave me a review and let me know! I wonder if you'll understand the meaning behind the last one. . .
The rest of the ride home was quiet, both of us lost in our own gloomy thoughts after Betta's outburst. It was another three days before she opened up to me again.
"Are you going to help me name them?" she asked as she petted the meowing monstrosities.
"Sure. We can name them Odor, Smelly, Stinky, and ShooShit," I told her with a chuckle. She laughed and mock slapped my arm.
"They aren't that bad. Especially since you installed the kitty door." Ah, the damned kitty door.
Let me just tell you now, my vampire senses plus a smelly litter box equals a very unhappy Peter. We were only home thirty-two minutes before I figured that shit out. Thankfully the mother cat wasn't a complete idiot because when I relocated the shitty box to the backyard and then punched a hole in the bottom of my back door, the cat happily ran right outside and used it. Betta, however, wasn't quite as pleased with me. She insisted I go to the store and buy a kitty door.
Does one lose man-points for having a kitty door? Because the man at Lowes sure thought it funny when I asked him where they were located. Well, until I growled at him, that is. And, yeah, shitting yourself in public loses a lot more man-points than buying a kitty door.
"Pretty Peter?" Bella said softly, drawing me back to the present. I was sitting on the floor in front of the couch, Betta in my lap with a cat-bed full of meowers in hers. I sighed exaggeratedly.
"I'll name one of them if you name the other three," I finally told her, looking away from the big brown eyes that she knew how to widen just-so to get whatever she wanted from me. I could practically feel my balls shriveling up, falling off, and jumping onto a silver platter with Betta's name on it.
"Thank you," she whispered, leaning up to place a kiss to my cheek. I smiled as I felt her warm lips linger on my cool skin. Balls be damned, this was so worth it. She finally pulled away, a blush igniting her face. She glanced back down at the kittens and pointed to the black and white one.
"You can name the boy." I grimaced at the reminder of what she'd done to find out their sexes. Even I had to admit that it was strikingly clear that 'ol blackie was indeed a male. I let out a dark chuckle as I came up with the perfect name.
"Rodzilla," I said with a smirk. My Betta blushed and shook her head, muttering what sounded like, "Ain't that the truth." She smiled up at me beautifully.
"Okay, so he can be Rodzilla. I think I'm going to name the momma cat Twilight. And this little one," she continued, pointing to the almost solid black girl, "this one I'm going to call Eclipse."
"Let me guess, the solid white one is going to be named Dawn?" I chuckled. She turned a very cute scowl towards me and shook her head.
"No, she's special. She's already been pushing her brother and sister off the nipple. She's going to be a little hellion," Betta informed me tartly, and I tried my damnedest to ignore my inner-teenager that wanted to squeal like a fangirl because Bella said the word nipple. "I also think she has multiple personality disorder. She can go from sweet and loving to biting mean in seconds." I groaned loudly, all former nipple thoughts dissuaded. My Betta was truly crazy.
"So just what do we name the handicap kitten?" I asked cautiously. No doubt my human girl would surprise me.
"Norman," she said simply, reaching down to pet...Norman, the white female cat. I snorted, loudly.
"Norman? Are you serious?" She scowled at me and I couldn't help but chuckle at her. I was just about to ask her how on Earth she came up with the name, when she completely blind-sighted me with her next words.
"I refused chemo," she murmured, not meeting my eyes. I will admit that it took even my capable vampire mind a few seconds to comprehend the abrupt subject change.
"Err...what?" The words slipped out before I could stop them. Eloquence, thy name is not Peter.
"You asked me in the car what happened to make Jacob and Renee abandon me. I refused chemo. The doctors told me that it could possibly extend my time by six months to a year, but I still refused. Jacob and my mother couldn't come to terms with my decision. My mom even tried to force them to do it, but since I'm eighteen, she had no grounds to stand on.
"They looked at it as a betrayal to them, like I actually wanted to be sick and die. They simply couldn't understand that I didn't want to spend my last weeks sick and weak. It seems like I've been weak all my life and I just couldn't fathom putting myself in a position where I'd become even weaker just to live a few more days."
"That sucks," I finally said, leaning down and placing a soft kiss to her neck. She chuckled and leaned back onto me more.
"Yeah, it did. Me and Renee had a big fight and she basically washed her hands of me. She told me that she was pregnant again and that she would be sure and do right by her new kid so it wouldn't turn out like me. I know that she really didn't mean it, but it still hurt. She apologized several times for the comment, but once something like that is said, it can never really be unsaid, ya know? "
"Want me to go eat her for you?" I growled playfully, even though I was quite serious with the offer. She smiled and gave me another kiss, this one just to the left of my lips. I couldn't help the small growl that escaped me, or the sudden saluting of my soldier. Bella blushed, but made no move to leave my lap.
"No, no eating the kinfolk," she said with a mock glare. "We made up the best we could, I suppose. I ended up growing extremely close to my father during those months, which I am truly grateful for. Before I left, I pretty much said my goodbyes to everyone who still meant anything to me. In a way, finding out that I had cancer was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It snapped me out of the 'poor me' mood I was in and helped me to see that I still had people who loved and cared about me in my life. It's kind of ironic when you think about it; finding out that I was dying gave me the will to want to live again."
"Betta..." I hesitated, not really wanting to risk her closing up again. In the end, though, I still had to ask. "What happened to your father?"
"Victoria happened," she finally answered, sixteen minutes and thirty-three seconds later. I silently held her, hoping she'd say more but not willing to push her anymore just yet.
"I told you that the wolves were trying to protect me from one of your kind. Her name is Victoria. To say that she doesn't like me, is like saying the Titanic was a dinghy. Her hatred of me knows no bounds. She blames me for her mate's death. She'd been trying to get to me for months, every since Ed-" she stopped there and a strange look overtook her face before she shook her head and continued. "Every since Edward left, but the wolves stopped her every time."
I did a mental fist pump. I finally had the bastards name. Edward. I filed it away to think upon later, since she was still speaking.
"When I think about it, she really was an idiot for a while. When she finally wised up, it was my Dad who payed the ultimate price. You see, the wolves always caught her because they patrolled the woods around Forks. No one ever expected her to steal a car and drive right up to my house, but that is exactly what she did..." Bella trailed off, closing her eyes as tears trailed silently down her face.
"I'm sorry," I murmured, tightening my hold on her and pressing her even closer to me. I racked my brain, trying to think of something, anything, to lighten the mood.
"I made the Lowe's worker shit himself after he questioned my man-card," I finally blurted, watching as Bella's eyes widened as she stared up at me the best she could with us being so close together.
"You didn't," she breathed, trying to hold back a laugh. I smiled down at her.
"I did. I believe my last words to the man were 'Kitty door trumps shitting yourself for man-points anyday, fucker.' I will admit that I got quite a few odd stares after that statement. I might not have spoken it as quietly as I could have."
"Oh Peter," Bella groaned, finally losing the battle and letting out her chuckles. After a minute she quieted and we just sat together in silence, aside from the occasional meow.
"I was in school. Charlie was only home because he'd forgotten something there and went to get it. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Victoria killed him and the wolves had to stage it to make it look like a bear attack."
She paused for a moment before saying softly, "And then the bitch came to his funeral and described to me, in exquisite detail, just how she murdered my father."
I started to growl lowly, surprised when Bella had absolutely no reaction to it at all.
"She showed up at his funeral and there wasn't a thing that I could do about it. Most of the pack was there as well but, then again, so was most of the whole town. Too many witnesses, so we were forced to endure her, I was forced to let her stand beside me as they lowered my father into the ground.
"The whole time she was quietly telling me how she tortured him, how he used his last breath to beg her not to hurt me. I must admit, she was quite...creative," Bella said in an emotionless voice, clearly trying to distance herself from her own words.
My steady growl grew louder, and I wanted desperately to say something to comfort her, but I honestly had no words. All I could do was tighten my arms around her and kiss the top of her head, silently offering comfort the only way that I could.
"She hugged me after the service, whispering in my ear the whole time. She told me that she was going to create an army of vampires and wipe the whole county off the map, La Push and the wolves included. When I gasped, horrified, she only laughed and told me that I could stop it if I wanted to...that I could save them all. All I had to do was leave Forks and everyone that I knew behind. She said that she was alone now because of me, so I should be alone too. It was only fair.
"She told me that since she was such a nice person, she'd even give me a few weeks head start before she hunted me down. Oh, but she warned me that every single person I talked to, or came in contact with, would die by her hand. Stupid bitch didn't know that the cancer was already killing me." Bella let out a bitter laugh and then sighed.
"So I packed a small bag, grabbed all the cash that I had, got in my truck and just...drove. The evil bitch was standing by the Forks sign when I drove out of town. She waved at me, just fucking smiled and waved as I drove away from everything and everybody that I had ever known.
"That's how I ended up in Oklahoma and why I figured breaking down by the gun show was fate. I had always planned on killing myself before she found me. There was no way that I was going to give that bitch the satisfaction of being the one to do it. I figure I'll go out on my own terms, not hers."
By that point, my continuous growl had turned into a low roar. My Betta didn't seem to mind, even though she was actually bouncing a little bit in my lap. She just snuggled in closer to me, despite the fact that I had turned her into a human vibrator.
The momma cat had long since taken off, leaving her kittens to fend for themselves against the hostile growling vampire. Bella really should have named her Renee. And even though I was trying my damnedest to focus on the pussies, that damn elusive pull had kicked in once again and it was demanding that I either go find the Victoria bitch and kill her oh-so-slowly or sink my teeth into my Betta's beautiful neck and fix the little fragility issue of her being human.
"Bella," I said through clenched teeth, "I really, really need to go kill something." She looked up at me and I was surprised to see nothing but understanding in her big brown eyes. She untangled herself from my lap and stood up, which only caused me to growl louder with every step she took away from me. The kittens were going batshit, and in all honesty, I wasn't much better.
I forced myself to stand slowly and jerkily made my way to the door. I truly hoped my Betta wasn't a tree hugger, because there was going to be quite a few less of them standing in a couple minutes. I had just opened the door when my human girl spoke.
"Come back to me," she murmured softly. I turned around and saw her standing there, all three kittens in her arms, looking oddly uncertain. I tried my damnedest to give her a grin, but I suspect that it looked more like a grimace.
"Always," I told her seriously, holding her gaze and hoping desperately that she could feel all the emotion packed into that one word. "And always is a very long time for a vampire."
Has anyone else ever watched Twilight and wondered why Icky Vicky didn't just nom-nom on someone with an suv and then drive her skanky ass to Bella's and munch down? Don't get me wrong, that would have totally disrupted the story, but still...