Chapter One - Guests
Inspired by a story I read called, Vampire Vacation by C.J. Ellisson. Also please note that this unbetaed and I like type ninety words a minute. So please be gentle.
AN: This will be a fic based on prompts from the Fictionista website, but not all the time. This is the 6/24/11. Prompt: Lodge
The weather outside the Swan Lodge was perfect for accepting guests. The clouds overhead were grey, dreary, promising snow. Though many of the lodge's unusual guests preferred the dark, most craved freedom to move about without fear of exposure.
Swan Lodge catered to many different species, all because of its owner, Isabella Swan. From a young age she'd been told that she was unique. Her grandmother had taken her as a child to many psychics, shamans and covens, only to learn nothing.
They were never able to get a reading on her, even as a child. The only one that offered some answers had given a warning instead. It had been dire, scaring Isabella's grandmother to act.
Many sorts of magic charms, protection spells and curses were performed upon the little girl with the warm brown, knowing eyes before she could even walk or talk. The moment words were on her lips, she was taught that same magic.
Despite all the protection thrust upon her, Isabella was a beacon. No matter where she lived or hid, she drew in those that were supernatural—good and evil. They all craved the light and power she held within her. However, try as they might, no one had been successful in obtaining it – her – through the years.
Not all of them that sought her were evil, many only wished to touch and see her, welcome her to the world.
As Isabella grew older, she rejected all ideas of leading a normal life. She couldn't, because those close to her lost their lives or sanity to the ones that sought her power. They were used as an attempt to have her. She'd come to resent herself for that very reason.
However, she learned to make the best of it.
That was how the Swan Lodge had come to be. For those that felt the call, they would have to pay a premium to be near her. It wasn't greed that had her turn to that solution, but a necessity. If someone couldn't pay, she'd have one less creature to worry about. For those that could pay, but wanted her for nefarious reasons, were turned away and unable to get any closer. Not with all the precautions she'd taken to ensure her safety and those of her staff. Most of her profits were given to various charities and foundations anyway, so she felt little guilt about her reasoning.
She missed her father terribly, a mortal, but it was for the best. Her mother had disappeared the night after Isabella's birth, which was why her grandmother had helped raised her and taught her magic.
Among Isabella's gifts, she had the ability to stop aging. Since her eighteenth birthday twelve years earlier, she hadn't aged a day. She wondered often if she should add a few years to her appearance, if only to be taken more seriously. However, a little voice in her head told her not to, and she learned early on to never doubt her instinct.
Isabella smoothed her hands over the fitted cashmere sweater, tugging its hem over the stylish skinny jeans she wore. She wanted to appear casual and not radiate the power, which only served to tempt those lodging there.
In the distance, she heard the small plane touch ground and the chattering of her first check-ins of the season. It was the first year of operation and she had a full house since she opened her doors in the spring. However, it was the winter season and that ensured that only a certain kind of clientele would stay. The ones that could survive the type of cold that they'd experience while at the lodge.
Most of them would be there for three months, while others would only stay for a couple of weeks. Isabella looked at her schedule, the Cullen family with seven members in all, would be the first to arrive. They were a unique family, especially among their own kind. Their accommodations included four rooms and they had requested proper hunting grounds, despite the access to human blood on the premises.
Isabella refused to put her human staff in jeopardy but they had all donated blood on occasion. They were compensated by a fantastic medical and dental plan, not to mention the seasonal bonus. Another perk of working at the lodge had been the pristine grounds and access to all its amenities.
She only had three rules: No sexual interactions with the lodgers of any kind. No blood, fluids or power exchanges with the lodgers. No stealing or asking for lodgers for spells or potions.
So far, she'd lost two staff members last month. Jessica and Lauren had fallen under a sexy fallen angel's spell and participated in a threesome with the handsome Raphael. He'd been asked to leave and never return, for not only had Isabella's staff disobeyed orders but so had he. He was less than pleased, because Isabella refused for the Swan Lodge to become a brothel. She wouldn't sell those kinds of services performed by her staff.
She had special rooms and cabins that would cater to some of the guests' erotic tastes should a companion or some cases, companions, accompany them. Of course they were welcome to become acquainted with other guests, but her all members of her staff were off limits.
The news traveled fast amongst the supernatural and though she had a few cancellations, she had just as many call for accommodations. Those that sought a semblance of peace found that the lodge would meet their needs, and then there were those curious of the lodge's elusive owner.
Isabella closed her eyes for a brief moment, checking in on everyone. The awed and beautiful voices of those walking up the cobbled stone walkway outside the lodge were easily heard as Isabella waited. In front of the desk, Michael, Tyler, and Eric all awaited her instructions. Angela, Melissa, and Lindsey stood near the stairs to show their guests to the rooms.
Isabella nodded and immediately Michael and Tyler walked toward the large double doors that opened widely to the lobby of her establishment. The moment the doors opened to allow a glimpse of those visiting, Isabella nodded for her staff members to move slowly back.
Though she hadn't been worried about the particular group of vampires coming in, it was best for her staff to be cautious of all off their guests.
As the exquisitely beautiful family filtered through, a pair of golden eyes met Isabella's, and confusion marred his angled features. She knew this face. His skin was pale, though there was some bruising under his eyes, likely from the lack of sustenance. Cheeks were high, his jaw a slash of sharp bone, darkened by a light stubble that would be forever permanent. His hair was burnished copper, sienna, and gold, rebelling against his constant attempts of flattening it.
It was the same face haunted her dreams for years. She composed herself quickly and pushed her thoughts about him aside for later.
Isabella had other matters to attend to first.
She bristled at the type of energy that pulsed from him though. That caught the attention of the curly blond vampire that Isabella knew had been part of the southern vampire wars she'd only heard of recently. There was still a lot she needed to learn and the multitude of guests helped her gather knowledge.
Isabella whistled and suddenly two hulking beasts–wolves–stalked closer to stand before the desk where she waited. A vampire, by the name of Carlisle stood as spokesperson before the group, nodded in greeting, but kept his golden gaze on her.
"What is the meaning of this?" he asked, confused by lightly growling wolves.
Isabella tossed her hair back and cocked an eyebrow. "Ask your son Edward?"
Carlisle turned to face his oldest companion but youngest son. "What is it?" Carlisle took in Edward's clenched jaw, obsidian eyes, and the fact that he wasn't breathing into account.
Bloodlust? Her? he thought, knowing Edward could read them easily.
"She's mouthwatering," Edward murmured, his eyes locked on Isabella. His hands clenched into tight fists, his body unnaturally rigid, coiled, and ready.
Alice, a dark-haired waifish woman stood beside her brother. "He won't attack you," she said softly, after she checked his future, using her gift.
"He wants to," Isabella said, closing her eyes for a moment. "But you're right, he won't."
"You can see the future, too?" Carlisle asked, taking a step forward. However, Isabella's guards growled fiercely, saliva dripping from their long canines.
Isabella whispered a series of sounds, an old language that she knew her guests would not know. The two werewolves sat, covering their teeth, but remained alert.
"Yes and no," Isabella replied. "My gift is a bit different of your daughter's." She smiled when it had become obvious that Carlisle was deeply intrigued by her. "Ah, I knew there was a reason that you came to see me, Mr. Cullen. I wasn't able to ascertain why from our calls, until now."
Carlisle dropped his gaze and sighed. "I don't mean to offend you, Ms. Swan."
She shook her head, shrugging once. "Mr. Cullen, every guest that visits here, in some way, however indirectly, has come to see me."
"That's awfully conceited of you," Rosalie, a statuesque blond vampire said.
Isabella simply smiled. "As for you, you came to see if I was as beautiful as all the rumors had made me out to be." Emmett, a dark-haired vampire, the blonde's mate, snickered beside her. Rosalie elbowed his side, none too gently. "As you can see, I am not, at least to you and your husband. I can offer you something during your stay."
Rosalie raised a beautifully arched eyebrow and waited. "Lindsey has given birth two months ago to a baby boy and girl. She needs assistance." Isabella gestured toward her staff member. "She would be glad for all the help she could get."
Rosalie's features softened, and whispered, "Babies?" One of her hands shook, taking Emmett's in hers.
"Emmett," Isabella said, smiling at his confused expression. "I know what you're looking for and I promise that I will be able to accommodate your silent request later in your stay."
Emmett's dark eyes widened, as a smile spread, his dimple coming into play in his left cheek. He was a charmer with that smile. His dark curls were a perfect backdrop to that mega watt smile.
"You?" he said with a little doubt in his tone.
Isabella only winked in response, earning a laugh from the very large vampire.
Seconds later, he and Rosalie followed Lindsey, firing questions about the newborns. Isabella knew that Emmett would be satisfied for the moment with his wife's happiness. She'd worry about his request when they had gotten to know each other a little better.
Isabella blew a breath of relief, causing one of her guests to growl menacingly. Edward really needed to get used to her proximity, especially considering their future together. She banished the thought away before it exposed her emotions.
"Jasper, you and your wife's room is on the top floor, in the southwest corner. Your accommodations include an enchantment so that you won't be susceptible to the emotions of our other guests during your stay."
Jasper closed his eyes, mumbling something under his breath – a prayer. It would be the first time he'd have some peace in years. Alice smiled excitingly, clutching her husband's hand, going on and on about the interior of their little piece of paradise for the next three months. Alice's truest desire would have to wait until another time, and for the moment, she wished for Isabella to keep it between them. She was the only one within the group that the lodge owner loved to make dreams and wishes come true.
Isabella nodded at Alice and Jasper as they left, and then asked for Carlisle to step up to the desk. She handed him some paper work for him to sign and turned her attention to his beautiful mate, Esme.
"We have an extensive indoor greenhouse and garden that is still under construction. If you'd like, when you have time of course, I'd love your opinion."
Esme nodded and smiled up at her husband. "She makes us feel useful, needed or peaceful." Isabella smiled at the description and looked up Carlisle.
"I'm afraid I don't have any patients here for you to care for, but it's nice to know that there is another healer on hand should some emergency arise."
Carlisle's eyebrows rose in question. "You have a doctor on the premises?"
"In all likelihood we'll be trapped on the mountain when the weather becomes too much for our pilots to fly in and out safely. I thought it would be best to…" she cleared her throat, "…have a doctor on staff."
Carlisle nodded, though Isabella could sense that he had questions. It wasn't the time yet for that.
"I will do my best to answer what I can. However, I will not allow you to extract blood from me." She knew he wanted to exam her thoroughly, though only in a scientific capacity.
"I…again, do not mean to offend you," Carlisle said, bemused. Esme patted his arm affectionately. "Do you have special accommodations for my son?"
"Yes, much like the Mr. Whitlock's," she said, watching the young vampire closely. "However, given the circumstances I think it best that I provide him with a cabin."
"I assure you, Ms. Swan," Edward hissed through clenched teeth. "I can control myself."
"If in the next twenty-four hours you show that you can, you can remain within the lodge for the duration of your stay." Edward nodded and walked along side Angela who would show him his room.
Ms. Swan, your room is right beside his, Angela stated in her thoughts.
Ms. Swan realized then that she should've mentioned to her staff that there was a mind reader amongst them. She mentally noted to put on charms on all her staff members, both to protect them and to give Edward some peace while he wasn't in his room.
Edward turned swiftly and groaned, "That is not advisable."
Isabella smiled. It seemed that despite his reassurances, he wasn't so sure after all.
"It might help you acclimate to my scent, Mr. Cullen." Edward looked indecisive and then determination filled his dark, unwavering gaze. He simply nodded, turned on his heel and ran up to the room, refusing to wait for the human.
Angela smiled sheepishly at her employer. "I'm sorry." After Isabella excused her and the remaining staff, including her guards, she showed Carlisle and Esme to their room herself.
They climbed one of two large staircases, each leading to separate wings of the lodge. Esme commented on a few of Isabella's paintings. It was only until they heard Edward enter his room that Carlisle spoke up, internally.
I want to assure you that my son is strong enough to control himself, he thought, hoping to reassure the beautiful innkeeper.
"I am not worried," she said before leaving the handsome couple to themselves. She wasn't, if something were to happen, she would be able to handle the vampire. Minutes after leaving Carlisle and Esme, she stepped on the landing in the lobby. Alice appeared in front of her, but she wasn't surprised. She was expecting it.
"When are you going to tell him you're his mate?" Alice asked, blinking slowly and ignoring the startled gasp from a room above.
Considering how the vampire asked the question aloud, Isabella smiled and laughed, she knew exactly what Alice was doing.
"Don't you think it would've been best for Edward to come to that conclusion?" she asked instead of replying.
Alice looked thoughtful for a few moments and shrugged. "He'd take forever, though."
"We have all the time in the world."
"I guess you're right about that," Alice replied, threading her arm through Isabella's. "Now why don't you tell me what you really are?"
Isabella laughed softly, throwing her head back. She knew the moment that Alice had made the accommodations months ago, that they'd become fast friends.
"We must all have our secrets and the answer to that is mine." For now, she thought.
Hours later, Isabella stood on her balcony, facing the northern sky. All the guests had arrived on schedule and the rotation from the kitchen staff went smoothly. Every cabin and room was filled with all sorts of creatures for a grand total of fifteen guests, including the Cullen family.
She thrived on the power and magic that filled the air. There was potential for so much more because of one of her guests. Her thoughts centered on one of her guests.
Closing her eyes, she thought back to the first time she had dreamed of the young vampire. A dozen years earlier, she had been running from a true werewolf, determined to mate her, thus controlling her power. She'd been near Ithaca, NY when she lured the beast toward a coven she had felt was nearby and would assist her.
When she was within their hunting grounds, she determined it was not the right time to meet them and had taken a detour. However, the werewolf had crossed the path of two of the family members. The wolf was dead before she reached the state border.
She had captured Edward's scent there and it helped her determine where her future would lead. Taking a deep breath, she awaited his arrival. She knew he'd come. She heard the quiet footfalls of his feet touching the tiled floor beneath them.
"I heard what my sister said," Edward whispered, standing as far as the balcony allowed.
Isabella felt proud of his continued control on the call of her blood. There had been countless others that wanted to feed on her power, but nothing like what he felt. Bloodlust was what drove him to seek sanctuary in his room earlier. Something else had him coming to her now.
The desire she felt from Edward, was for blood, body and her mind. It intoxicated her.
"As I'm sure she intended," Isabella replied, still watching the flakes of snow fall lightly to the ground. "Are your accommodations to your liking, Mr. Cullen?"
"All right, Edward, please call me Bella."
Edward hummed softly, yearning to step closer, but he didn't dare. He didn't trust himself. An internal battle warred inside him. He wanted her blood, the all-encompassing peace of her mind, and to touch her soft ivory skin.
In essence, he knew deep down what he truly wanted. And that was all of her.
"Yes, the room is excellent. It smells perfect." Edward took a deep breath, taking in her decadent scent inside him. Venom coated his tongue and slid down his parched throat. "But it's too quiet now." It had been, until her heard her descend the stairs to their floor. They were the only two occupants on it.
Had she placed him near her because she knew what she would come to mean to him? Because she knew that she was his? And undeniably he was hers?
Bella laughed as she turned to face him. "Concentrate on the heartbeats throughout the grounds. That may be enough to make you feel better."
Edward had hoped she would answer the questions that had plagued his mind since he heard the conversation his sister and Bella had downstairs hours earlier.
However, he could not deny the truth behind her words. The music of her heart had been what kept him in his room while she worked. The rhythm was a soothing balm to his chaotic thoughts since they arrived.
"It helps, a little," he said, nodding and stepping forward. He had expected that she would retreat. Instead, she remained composed and stood very still. Another two strides toward her and she was within his reach. A tentative hand lifted to her face where he luxuriated on the feel of her soft lips with the smooth pad of his thumb.
Her answering moan and the trusting closure of her eyes had him moving even closer. Taking her face in his hands he begged breathlessly, "Don't move."
"Please," she whispered. "I've dreamed of this for so long. Edward, kiss me."
Though he wanted an explanation, he wanted something much more.
"Bella," he murmured as his cold lips touched upon her warm ones. It felt as if his long dead heart flipped in his chest. She was delicious, her taste exquisite and perfection, eliciting a flash fire down his throat. Instead of taking more, he only pressed his lips against hers once before pulling away, wanting so much more.
What he wanted, he was unsure. Two desires warred within him, yet before he could determine a winner, all hell broke loose.
AN: This story will continue using the prompts to inspire the chapter, though I reserve the right to come up with something else if a prompt doesn't work to further the story. Thank you.