So here's another Bella/Dean story. I'd like to think it's more thought out than my previous one, and consequently shall be my (haha, only) finished story. The rest, as you may know (whether I told you or you guessed, I'm unsure) are on a temporary hiatus. I jumped the gun with those ones, but this story is relatively framed and has a strong structure. I have really big plans for this one.
And it's MUCH more logical. The timelines are perfectly coincided, to (hopefully) the last detail. I'm hoping you enjoy.
Please read and critique. As I check it over, my writing seems sub-par, so another set of eyes and some feedback would be lovely.
Have a nice day. :)
"Bella, you and I need to talk."
The trying events of today and the day before, and the injury I was currently trying to hide from him, made me slightly irritated at Charlie's beckoning as I walked in the door. I heard the low purr of Edward's Volvo as he swerved away, refusing to stay with me tonight, only adding to my salty mood. I tried to stay positive, remembering that after our talk, I could go upstairs and play with my new photo album.
"Yeah, sure Dad," I called back. I shrugged on my jacket once again, to ensure my wound stayed hidden. While I'd already fabricated a suitable lie, I could tell he didn't completely believe me, and I preferred to keep the bandages out of his sight and—hopefully—out of his mind.
He gave me a curious look as he spotted the coat. It wasn't particularly cold outside, and Charlie was the type of guy to always have the heat running. "I've got the chills," I explained, even though I felt like I was going to catch on fire from being so hot.
I perched on the couch, eager to get out of here and in my room, but Charlie's solemn look had me sitting back against the cushions. Had someone died? Was there a tragedy? His look seemed to hold serious news, and I couldn't think of anything else that would urge Charlie to want to talk. We weren't the 'chat about your day over dinner' type of family.
"Bella…" he sighed. "You know me. I try to be pretty honest with you. But there's some things about us…about you…that I haven't told you. A lot of things. Now that you're an adult, I think it's best you know."
His words confused and intrigued me. However, they left me feeling scared. There were few things my parents took effort in keeping from me, and anything that they had must have been big. I tried to ready myself for what he would say. Although, after a few minutes of silence, I looked up from my fixation on the floor to see my pose mirrored. He seemed to be searching the wood beneath his feet for words.
Feeling my eyes, his own snapped up. He gave me a slight grin, which was rare for me to see, and said, "Just don't know where to start."
I smiled back. "Try the beginning, Dad."
His grin fell. "Bella…your grandparents aren't dead. Your mom and I have siblings. A lot of what we've told you isn't the truth."
I sucked in a breath and held it. I'd long ago accepted that I had no one to bring to school on grandparent's day, and didn't have an aunt, uncle, or cousin to go visit. But I guess I had. I just hadn't known, because they'd kept it from me? That didn't make sense. Why would they do that? Was there something bad in the family? Something worth keeping secret?
"Your mom's dad married my aunt. That's how we met. We were fifteen and we fell in love. But we weren't…we weren't happy with our family. So we ran away. We don't know where your family is now, but we think they're still alive."
I smiled. This wasn't bad news. It wasn't really going to affect me. I started for my room. "Bella, no. I'm not done. I'm not even close."
His voice stayed as morose as it started, and I sat back down. I cleared my face of emotion and opted to just let him tell me, no matter how slow the story was.
"We came here, where we thought we wouldn't be found. For a while it was alright, but then we found out your mom…she couldn't reproduce." He gave me a hard look, like he wanted me to understand something, but I couldn't accept what he'd said. They'd reproduced. They'd had me.
"Bella…I wanna say this gentle, you know, but I don't know how. We adopted you. We wanted a little girl and we saw you and…well, here we are." He was gruff with his delivery, and I felt the urge to laugh. That was preposterous! I couldn't have been adopted. No. "We still love you, and this doesn't change anything, but we thought you should know."
"But…" I began to protest, but I knew Charlie wouldn't make this up. He would never pull a joke like that. I felt coldness creep into my bones. Suddenly, I was thankful for my jacket.
"Do you know who my real parents are?" I received a borderline mischievous look as he grabbed a yellow folder I hadn't noticed before from the table and held it out to me. I grabbed it and opened it up to see papers littered with pictures, addresses, names. I looked up to Charlie in awe.
"You know your mom. She wanted to know whose you were. She didn't leave it alone until she found them. William and Ellen Harvelle. We were amazed because we…we recognized the name."
My throat felt like closing as foreboding made my hair stand on end. Charlie's tone sounded as if some more big news was coming. Wasn't this enough? How could there be more?
"We come from a strange family, Bella. An ancient bloodline. There are four other families like ours—now only one. Your mom and I are the last of the Swans, we think, and we've stopped dealing with the…the family business. There's one more family out there that I know of, the big family, and as far as I know, they're still in business. They're the Winchesters." I wanted to sarcastically point out that apparently I wasn't a part of that bloodline, but I refrained, trying to keep my composure. My thoughts went hazy. Winchester. Wasn't that a gun? I gulped and shut my eyes, feeling cold needles prickle all over me. "What's the family business?" My lips felt numb. This was a lot to take in.
"We were hunters, Bella. A long time ago our ancestors looked in dark places for dark things, then destroyed them. Your Edward, for instance." He paused and gave me a cold, intense gaze. I hadn't ever felt ashamed in front of Charlie, but something in the look he gave me made my cheeks turn red and my eyes fall to the floor in embarrassment. But what about Edward? Hunters? What was special about hunters?
"I don't know what he is, Bella, but I know he's not human."
The cold feeling intensified, and my heart halted in my chest. He knew? He knew about the Cullens? Had he known all this time?
"H—hunters? Of what?" I opted to ignore what he'd said about Edward.
"Ghosts, demons, werewolves, vampires, to name a few." Jasper's snarling face flashed in my mind.
I wanted to laugh, call him nuts, and go to bed. But I knew I couldn't. He knew, he knew about Edward, and he most likely knew that I knew. I couldn't pretend to not believe him, or laugh it off. But there was something bothering me…well, everything was bothering me. But something specific. He had said that they destroyed these creatures. Edward was indestructible. That was how vampires were. But Charlie had said he didn't know what Edward was. So had he never seen a vampire?
"You've…you've killed all of these things? Ghosts?" He nodded. "Demons?" Again, a slow nod. "Vampires?" I received yet another nod. "But you can't kill vampires! Humans can't!" My outburst was unexpected, to both him and I, and I clapped a hand over my mouth in surprise.
His eyebrows rose. "So you did know Edward wasn't human? And he has you believing he's a vampire?" There was a twitch of his lips in dry humor.
"Well…yeah," I responded lamely.
"Bells, vampires are easy to kill. Like I said, after seeing all of what the Cullens can do, I know they aren't vampires. I just don't know what they are, and I really don't care. They keep Forks safe as long as they're here, and they don't hurt anyone. As long as it stays that way, I don't really need to know."
I swallowed hard. "What about Mom? Does she know?"
His eyes fell, once again, to the floor. "Yeah, like I said, her dad married my aunt. She grew up a hunter too. But we wanted to start a family, to get away from the life, so we ran away and got married. I conned my way into a job and she stayed home with you."
I ignored the part about conning into a job and asked a pressing question. "Why did mom leave?"
I'd asked before, but I'd never gotten a straight answer. Instead I got reassurances that no matter what, they still loved me. Not why they no longer loved each other—well, why Renee no longer loved Charlie, because being honest, Charlie had never gotten over her—or what had caused it.
He sighed. "We'd left hunting. Came here, built a house—but when you were about six months, there were some weird things going on. Electrical storms, blackouts…signs of a demon, and a big one too. I didn't realize it until another hunter burst into our house…" he trailed off, his voice growing raspy. Shock bolted through me like lightning as tears rolled down his cheeks. "I don't know why to this day, Bella, but there was a demon in your room. This hunter tried to stop it, but it ran off and left you there, blood in your mouth. We got to talking, and he said that it killed his wife and set his house on fire…we couldn't figure out why, or what it was up to, but I let him stay for a while. Me and your mom argued like no other—she wanted to give up the life for good, and so did I, but she wanted me to throw him out. He mighta saved you, Bella. I couldn't kick him out on the streets, especially not when he had kids."
He paused. The pause was long and stagnant, and I let the information digest. It was hard to fathom—I'd accepted vampires…or whatever the Cullens were…but all of this? It was impossible. However, I knew it wasn't. This was no joke—Charlie wouldn't do that to me.
"That was the only time a Swan and a Winchester came together. We'd always been aware of each other, but never anything more than civil. It didn't last long, though. Renee left and took you, and John moved on to another job." He seemed to be finished at last, and I bit my lip in concentration, trying to order my thoughts. However, what startled me was that they were clear. I understood everything—it was shocking, but not confusing. Somehow, it made sense. And now it was calling to me.
I was doomed the moment I picked up that yellow folder. As I looked at it, a longing washed over me, and I knew what I had to do. School, Edward, Charlie—that didn't matter. I had to see.
"Dad…Charlie…you said the name was familiar?"
He smiled at me. "Irving's Town, a few miles north of Kearny in central Nebraska, a bar called Harvelle's Roadhouse. I've got some cash you can use."
I smiled back. Love swelled inside me. He wasn't my biological father, and he'd been absent much of my life, but I loved Charlie. "Thank you. I just need to meet them. Something inside me needs to know…" I looked away, my smile fading.
"Just watch out. They don't get a particularly friendly crowd in there."
The phone seemed to ring forever. He sounded surprised when he answered at last, "Bella?"
"Hello Carlisle," I responded slowly. "I need help. I know you have to have some connections with the airports, or someone with a plane, right?"
There was a brief, silent pause. My heart beat faster. Had he hung up on me? "I do. Can I ask why you're asking?"
"I…I need to catch a flight to Nebraska. As soon as possible."
Again, there was a pause. "Does Edward know?"
"No," I rushed. "No…I won't be gone long, but I haven't told him yet. Do you think you could tell him to come over for me, please?"
"He's not with you?" he sounded surprised.
His answer confused me. Edward said his family needed him at home. "He's not. I thought he went home?"
"No, we haven't seen him."
A cold hand touched my shoulder, and I yelped in surprise. Edward was not a foot away, to my left, just as silent as he had been since my disastrous birthday party the day before. I sighed in relief. "Never mind Carlisle, he's right here. Can you still help me with that issue?"
"Of course, Bella. I'll begin making calls."
"Thank you," I responded, hanging up and turning toward Edward. His expression was pained. My heart dropped.
"You've been here the whole time, haven't you?"
"Charlie has known all this time?"
I licked my lips. "It seems like it," was my eloquent response.
"You're going to leave," he was emotionless, in a monotone, as he said it.
I looked up at him. His face was blank, but carefully so, as if he was hiding from me. "Only for a little while, I'll be back and we…"
"Isabella…" he began. He knew I hated my full name. My reprimand died on my lips, however, as he stepped back, toward my open window. "Now seems to be the perfect time to tell you that we, too, are leaving."
I smiled. "That would be great. I need someone to help me greet them." But I realized how bad of an idea that was. "No, if Charlie knew them, then they're probably…hunters…too. They'll know you're not human."
"I never said we were going with you."
A small chuckle slipped from my lips. "What are you talking about? Where else would you go?"
"We need to move on, Bella. Carlisle is supposed to be in his thirties, and people are beginning to question. We can no longer stay in Forks."
I took this in quietly, eyes trained on the floor. I yearned to look up, but I feared that blank look I'd been receiving all day. "Okay. Where?"
"You will not come with us." Each word was blunt, precise, and hurtful.
"What do you…?"
"I mean, Isabella, that this has gone on for far too long. I am not human, and you and I do not belong together."
I scoffed. Of everything I'd heard tonight, this definitely did not make sense. "What are you talking about?" It clicked a moment later, as his blank gaze stayed silent and trained on me. "This is about yesterday, isn't it? Edward, that was nothing. Nothing even happened. I'm fine!" I felt panic growing inside me, spreading through my body like a disease.
"It's not about what happened, but what could have. You could have died. You don't deserve that."
"Edward, it's my decision." I stood straighter, hoping to emphasize my point. "I want you, no matter what."
"I do not want you," he said slowly, as if he was hoping for me to understand. And, sadly, I did. I'd known all along that I didn't deserve Edward. I knew from the beginning.
And yet…it didn't hurt as much as I expected. I felt numbness start to tingle in my toes, along with an itch to pack my things and leave. Something was pulling me toward Nebraska. I had to get answers. At best, I felt mildly annoyed at his stubbornness.
"Edward," I also spoke slowly, hoping to make him understand. "I love you. I want you. You're saying this to protect my soul—but I don't want a soul, not if I have to give you up to keep it. I'll gladly give it to you…as soon as I get back."
I knew, somewhere deep inside, that I should have been devastated. I had the feeling that I would be. But at the present time, I could only hope to get to Nebraska. My heart leapt when my phone buzzed.
"Bella," I sighed with relief at Carlisle's voice. "Will a midnight flight do?"
I smiled. "When?"
"Thank you!" My smile grew ever wider. "Carlisle, that's perfect!"
"I'm only glad you're happy," he responded sincerely. I glanced at the clock—it was about six. "It's been paid for. Just tell them your name and you'll be escorted onto the plane. No security checks."
I gasped in surprise, and delight. I always hated the wait. "Is that possible?"
I could hear the smile in his voice, and an underlying meaning to the words, "When you're a Cullen, Bella, anything is possible. Goodbye."
"Bye, Carlisle." I hung up the phone, turning back to Edward, only to find him gone.
I made up Irving's Town, for the sake of placing the Roadhouse somewhere. It's widely speculated that it's in central Nebraska, so I went with Kearny, which is in the middle of the southern half of the state.
I can clear up anything that you're wondering about, unless I plan to reveal it later on, in which case I will simply tell you so. Thanks for reading! :)