A/N: Hi all. Thanks for all your lovely reviews last chapter. I know it wasn't quite what you were hoping for, but it needed to be done. Anyway, we're getting into it. Here we go.
Legs stretched and spirits raised, Bella was in the driver's seat of the truck.
Garrett liked how relaxed she seemed behind the wheel. "Well, doll face, it looks like you're all healed up. I guess you won't be needing your chauffeur anymore."
Bella smirked. "I guess you're right." She pulled into the parking lot of a bar and grill. "Get out."
Garrett looked at her genuinely shocked. "Wow, couldn't waste a minute, could you, you vampire-using, man eater?"
"Relax, Mr. drama queen." Bella turned the keys off. "Food time for the human."
As if echoing her point, a loud rumble came from her stomach.
"All right, all right. Wouldn't want you to start gnawing on my leg." Garrett jumped out of the truck and moved to hold open the restaurant door.
"Yeah, I'm obviously the one we need to worry about eating the other."
The restaurant was dimly lit. Everything was made of wood: the tables, the chairs, the bar. The other half of the room held a section of pool tables, speakers, and a dance floor. It was the type of place that served families during the day but attracted college kids at night.
Bella and Garrett picked a spot near the back and took a look at the menus. Bella noticed a waitress heading their way. The waitress's eyes were locked on Garrett, and Bella couldn't help but roll her eyes.
Garrett seemed oblivious and confused by her gesture.
"Same shit, different vamp," Bella responded to his unanswered question.
Garrett rose his eyebrows, but she just shook her head with a slight smile.
The waitress was tall and thin, with blonde hair in a sleek ponytail. She was wearing all black, just like the other employees. Placing her hands on the table in front of Garrett, she smiled and greeted him, "Well, hi there. What can I get for you?"
Garrett looked right through the girl in front of him to the slightly annoyed one behind her. "What are you getting, Bella?"
The girl reluctantly turned to Bella, but didn't say anything.
Bella didn't wait any longer for her to pay attention. "I'll have the steak special, medium-well, and a coke, please."
The waitress turned right back to Garrett. "And what about you, handsome?"
Seeing the look on Bella's face, Garrett couldn't help but come up with a plan. "I'll have the same. Extra-rare, please. Dripping, if possible."
The waitress remained hooked on his words, oblivious to the humour. "Anything to drink?"
"Bloody Mary. Extra bloody. Thanks."
The waitress left and Bella shook her head. "You're insatiable."
"Oh come on, cranky pants. I was just trying to make you smile."
The waitress returned quickly with their drinks but left with a pout when Garrett didn't pay her any attention.
"What a waste of food. You do know there are starving people in Africa, don't you?" Bella asked, picking the conversation back up.
"Well there's a starving vampire right in front of you," Garrett said with a wink. Bella looked at him disbelievingly as he continued. "I could go take care of some of those starving people. Make it so there is less competition."
"You're terrible. I can't believe I even know you."
Garrett smirked. "Oh, you know you like it. Don't pretend like you don't."
Bella shook her head but she couldn't say that he was wrong. As much as she would have thought otherwise, the idea of Garrett being a human drinker didn't really bother her as much as she thought it would. "You wouldn't anyway. You're too much of a big softy."
Garrett didn't like being thought of as weak, but she was right. He may be a cocky vampire who enjoyed a challenge, but he much preferred a skilled chase over a needless slaughter. He wasn't about to let the comment go though. "You really should learn to watch your mouth or I may have to prove you wrong. Besides, who are you to talk? You'd be drinking bambi if you were me."
Bella scrunched her nose slightly at his comment. "I can't say for sure, but I just don't think I'm going to be able to kill a person." Bella caught what she said and immediately blushed. She felt her heart quicken a little as embarrassment spread across her. "I mean hypothetically, when I used to think that I was going to..." But she trailed off.
The tense of Bella's statement didn't elude Garrett. He knew better than to tease her about this one though. His mind began to wonder. She once thought she was going to be a vampire one day. But what now.
The conversation slowed to more neutral topics and soon their food had arrived.
Bella cut into her steak and took a bite. "Mmm."
Garrett watched her rather intently. "There's something erotic about watching a girl chew into a piece of flesh."
Bella dropped her fork onto her plate. "And there goes my appetite."
"You sure are back to your old, cocky self, aren't you?"
Garrett just grinned and took a bite out of his own steak. He swallowed it with a big gulp.
"What are you doing?" Bella asked as she leaned towards him, even though he would have heard anyway.
"You just hassled me about the starving kids. I didn't want to listen to it anymore. And besides, it's not half bad. The blood kind of masks the rotten taste."
He went to take another bite and she reached out to stop him. "Forget it. You can make a donation instead or something."
He looked like he was about to fight her when he suddenly raised his napkin and coughed as if there were a fur ball trapped in his throat.
"Maybe you're right."
Bella cleared her throat. "Excuse me, what was that you just said?"
"Don't get used to hearing that, sweetheart."
As they finished their meal, the place started to pick up slightly. Bella excused herself to make a trip to the bathroom.
She came back to see two beers sitting on the table. She looked at Garrett skeptically. "Looks like you're planning on having some fun."
He laughed. "All for show. At least this one." He slid the other across the table. "This one's yours."
Bella didn't say anything.
"Come on. Relax a little. Have some fun."
Bella took a sip. "Fine, but then you have to tell me some more about you."
"What do you want to know?"
"Tell me about your human life."
Garrett tried to tell her what he could. "I don't remember a whole lot. I lived somewhere in New England. My most vivid memories are of fighting in the War for Independence. I told you that's where I was turned. The last thing I remember is going on a mission with a small group of soldiers. I can't remember who exactly was with me. It was supposed to be a simple day though. No one was in danger, just doing some reconnaissance. But we were ambushed. I must have gotten hit, because I was knocked out cold."
Bella continued to nurse her beer, interested in hearing more about him. "And then you were changed? What was that like?"
Garrett looked contemplative. "Well, to be honest, I thought I was dead. Well, I guess I am. But you know what I mean. Everything hurt, burned. I thought I was in hell. I remember not being sure what I did to deserve it. Maybe the War, but I knew it was justified. All's fair in love and war, after all. Yet I couldn't escape the burning. It rushed through me; I don't know for how long. But I guess you know what that feels like." Garrett noticed Bella playing with her wrist at the mention of the burn.
"What did you do then?" Bella was curious, and she liked how he didn't hold back when he told her things.
"Well, at first I guess I took over where my makers had been. There were casualties everywhere because of the War. It was easy to feed. There was no hunting involved. I found it all rather boring."
Bella rolled her eyes.
"And you know the rest. Carlisle seeing something in me. Him saving me from the Volturi. My paying back my debt to him and ending up on this endless journey."
Garrett noticed that Bella's glass was empty, and he switched them. Bella sighed and shook her head.
"And what's in your future, Mr. Freedom Seeker?"
"Well, that has yet to be seen, hasn't it?" Garrett picked up her beer and held out his hand. "But for now, I think I'm going to school you in pool."
Bella laughed. "Oh you think so? We'll see about that."
They headed over and picked their cues and Garrett lined up the balls and broke. Garrett decided to play it cool, but he was very curious. "The question is, my dear, what does your future hold? Are you going to be an outlaw forever?"
Garrett didn't really want to bring it up. He didn't want to think about her leaving. But he had to know.
Bella lined up her shot. "Well, first I'm going to kick your ass." She sank the ball she was aiming for.
She realized he was serious and decided to continue. She wasn't about to repeat her earlier mistake though. "Honestly, I don't know. I miss Charlie. And I guess I have to finish school sometime. But it's just not what I want. I'm happy right now. Isn't that enough?"
Garrett nodded. "Yeah, I guess it is."
A few games and a handful of beers later, Bella was dragging Garrett by his shirt. "Come on. I know all vampires can dance."
Garrett placed his hand over her mouth. "Maybe you'd like to keep it down a bit, sweet cheeks."
"Oops." Bella giggled. "Please." She gave him big puppy eyes.
"All right, but you should know I'm not really a dancer."
"Me neither. Normally I hate dancing." She was giggling.
He couldn't deny that he liked the idea of her body against his. But he could see her swaying a bit. The waitress came by, and he decided to ask her to settle up.
They went to the bar to get change. Garrett watched as Bella had her arms up and swayed to the music.
Bella saw Garrett turn towards the waitress as she felt someone right behind her dancing. It was getting a little crowded so she didn't think much of it at first. But when she felt hands on her hips, she pulled away to get off the dance floor.
The hands on her hips tightened though. She tried to pry the fingers off, but she was just pressed tighter into someone. She felt breath on the back of her neck and she managed to turn around. "Get your hands off me!"
She finally got a look at the guy. He wasn't terrible looking, tall with brown shaggy hair. He was obviously pretty intoxicated though.
"Relax, baby," he said with a slur.
Bella had her hand on his chest, unsuccessfully trying to push him away. As the arms around her tightened, Bella heard a terrifying growl behind her. The loud music kept most of the dancers around them from hearing, but a handful turned at the frightening noise, including Bella and the guy wrapped around her.
Garrett took a deep breath before speaking. "I believe the lady asked you to step away."
The guy did as he was told, but only so that he could step closer to Garrett. He was a bit slouched in his drunken state, but he still had a few inches on Garrett. Nonetheless, the fire in Garrett's eyes made him seem seven feet tall. No one was backing down though.
"Why don't you mind your business asshole." The guy said as others starting turning, anticipating a fight.
"You're both very smart and very dumb," Garrett replied. "She is my business. And I am very much an asshole, as you will soon find out if you don't remove yourself."
The guy began to laugh as he put an arm around Bella and tried to pull her away. "Let's get out of here."
Garrett placed a very stern hand on the guy's shoulder as he walked away. "I warned you."
Bella looked to Garrett, worried that he was about to do something stupid.
Garrett's attention was elsewhere though as he easily stepped away from the brown-haired boy's swing. The guy immediately fell onto the ground as Garrett crouched next to him, letting his red eyes shine. "You will not get up until we are gone. You will not follow us. You will go home and thank whatever God it is you pray to that I have spared you your life."
Bella didn't hear the conversation but she noticed the fear in the guy's eyes.
Garrett grabbed Bella's hand and walked her out of the building and to the truck. He opened the door and put her inside before going to his side. He slammed the door and peeled away without a word. Bella looked at him and noticed a look on his face that she couldn't quite place. It was tight, without any trace of humour.
He didn't say a word.
Bella wasn't used to him being quiet. She was getting nervous. "Hey, I'm fine."
They didn't drive very far, just to an isolated area where he parked the truck. This time Bella got out and opened the driver's side door. "Come on. Let's go into the trailer."
Garrett followed behind her wordlessly. He took a seat at the table and placed his head in his hands. Bella kneeled in front of him. "Hey, it's okay. I appreciate you coming to my defence. I was fine-."
Garrett looked up with fire in his eyes. "I could have killed him."
Bella smiled. "I know. It's okay though. He was harmless."
Without another word, Garrett grabbed Bella's face between his hands and kissed her passionately. It was intense and full of need. Bella climbed onto his lap, kissing him back. She ran her tongue between his lips, asking for entrance into his mouth. Garrett happily obliged and let his tongue intertwine with hers. Their tongues wound around each other, tasting.
Garrett let himself be pushed down against the bench so she could climb on top of him. After the past few hours, weeks even, they both needed it. Garrett knew he wasn't going to be able to stop himself soon, and as he tasted the beer on Bella's breath he realized he had to.
He stopped their kiss, and Bella looked down at him longingly. "What's the matter?"
"I don't want to do this when you're intoxicated." When Bella looked rejected, he continued. "Believe me, we will. But not this way. Besides, we should make sure you're safe first."
From behind them, they heard an exaggerated sigh, and they both turned to see a flash of red. "Oh boo, and here I thought I was going to get dinner and a show."