Wow, this chapter was kind of hard to get out until I hit a certain point. Then, I was able to get it all out. Of course, once I got there, it just didn't really want the part I was working on to end so I could get to where I wanted the chapter to actually end, but I was finally able to do so. Of course, this chapter is now a lot longer than I previously wanted it to be, but, well, It just means that I should up on long I want each chapter than trying to keep it within a certain word count frame. I kind of just want each chapter to be close to each other in words, which is why I put a limit of how long they are, but I don't think I'll actually be able to keep it up like that much longer, if this chapter is any indication.

Anyway, this continues straight off from the previous chapter, meaning that it's the same day. Oh, and there's a surprise twist at the end that I hope people like.


A Finishing Conversation and Another Meeting


"My mother, Renée, took me away from here before I was even a year old," I said. "I never saw my dad afterward, up until now."

"Why?" he asked. "I mean, based on how he was when the news came, it's not like he didn't want to see you. I don't think there is a single person around who didn't hear news of your homecoming. He was ecstatic to know you were willing to come live with him for a while."

"My mother is the reason," I said, sighing. "She...well, she's a bitch, to put it bluntly. She apparently told Charlie that she'd let him know where we'd settle down when she left, only she never did. And, as I grew up and started asking about him, she told me, well, horrible things about him, so, eventually, I started not wanting to try and see him, much less talk to him."

"And yet your here..." he said. I gave a humorless chuckle.

"Yeah, I'm here," I said. "While it was only recently that I actually started thinking about it, I've known for a lot longer that what she said about him was wrong, subconsciously, at least. It's kind of hard not to when you think..." I stopped, not having meant to go that far. My trailing off was caught by him.

"Think about what?" he asked. I sighed. While I didn't owe him any answer, having started to talk about it kind of compelled me to continue.

"When you think about what she did to me," I said. Confusion showed on his face once more, with hints of worry, which led me to be able to have a hint of what he was probably thinking. I was proven right when he asked his next question.

"Bella, did she...abuse you?" he asked. I shook my head.

"I said she was a bitch, not an abuser," I told him. "While, to some people, there isn't a difference between the words, to me, there is. I think the best word to say is that she...was neglectful after a while. She apparently decided, not long after I turned six, that she no longer wanted to take care of a child." I was actually fibbing there a bit, since my mother had loved children at the time – a bit too much, if one took the way she tried to keep me from ever seeing Charlie. Still, the real reason for it was something that I wasn't going to be telling him at the moment.

"So she ignored you." He said it as an assumption, not a question. I guess, if you looked at it, he was partially right, though he wasn't fully.

"No," I said. "At least, not the way you're probably thinking. While she just stopped taking care of me at first, she came up with a better solution later. She ended up packed a bag of my clothes, gave me a bit of money, drove me through several cities in the state we were living it until she found a good place, handed me the bag, booted me from the car, and told me not to bother coming to look for her before leaving. She basically abandoned me."

He looked horrified at the knowledge. I shrugged, having gotten over it years ago.

"I wasn't alone long," I said. "I met my best friend – my, sister in all but blood, actually – not long afterward. And then we met Logan, who took care of us until we ended up at the Xavier school, where I met the rest of my friends, so, really, it wasn't that bad."

He looked as if he wanted to disagree with me, but didn't say anything.

"I would have thought that you would have come here sooner, then," he said.

"Yeah, well, like I said, I knew that she'd lied subconsciously. However, it took me a while to consciously think about. I was kind of too busy to do so before a few months ago," I said. "And, even with what she did to me, it was easy to believe her because he never seemed to try and look for us. I know why now, of course, but, at the time, I didn't."

"I see..." he said. I was curious as to what it was that he was seeing, if he understood what it was that made me the way I am.

"Do you?" I asked, needing to know.

"Probably not all that well," he admitted. "Your rather difficult to read, and I can't tell if what your mother did bothers you all that much or not."

"Most people say I'm rather easy to read," I lied. While I could be like an open book at some points, I was rather good and deceiving people, which served me well in the last few years.

"I find you rather difficult to read," he said. I realized then that he was mostly talking about how he couldn't get into my mind more than anything. I shrugged, choosing to answer the unasked question he mentioned

"As for if I'm bothered by it, not really," I said. "Her neglectfulness kind of kept it from hurting a whole lot when she did abandon me, and the rest of the hurt faded years ago. Now, I'm just glad that I didn't stay with her." I bit my lip, carefully censoring my words. "From what I remember of her, she was rather childlike herself, just barely able to take care of us. Had I stayed, I'd most likely had ended up the mother at some point, and be all motherly because of it. In fact, I'd probably be at a point where I wouldn't care to have my own child because of it."

"It was rather...unfair of her to do that to you, though," Edward said. "not just the abandoning you, but lying to you about your father and taking you away when she obviously couldn't take care of you two."

"Haven't you heard. Life isn't fair," I answered back, figuring that, if anyone, he'd definitely know this little fact. I saw it on his face his agreement over the statement, as he chuckled humorlessly.

"I believe I have heard that before," he said dryly.

"So that's it," I said. I became a bit...disturbed by the look that he leveled at me. I waited to see if he would say anything – maybe make an assumption that I wasn't as over it as I said I was – but he didn't. Maybe he saw something in my face or maybe my tone was enough, he I think he could tell that I truly meant what I said, that I wasn't hurt over her actions. And I wasn't.

Did I care for her? No. Would I go back to her if she wanted me back? Not a chance. Did I hate her? Yes. Still, I was content with never seeing her again – or thinking about her, but I haven't really been able not to since dragging her from my past when talking with my father.

"Who's your 'sister'?" he asked, letting the topic go. I grinned at him.

"Elena," I said. "Elena Petrova. It was her town that Renée left me in. She had some trouble with her adopted parents, and ran away. I was more than happy to stay with her and have her company. When we were given the option to legally change our names, we decided to take the same one."

"How did you decide on 'Petrova'?" he asked.

"Before that, we did a family tree deal, and discovered that there was a problem in her tree," I said. "Turned out that one her ancestor's mother had been barren, but they still somehow had a kid. It struck her as odd, so she did some deeper digging, discovered that the ancestor's journal was put on displace somewhere, and read it. We learned that the ancestor was found on the parent's doorstep, and that the mother figured out who it was that had the child after seeing a supposedly dead girl leaving the town not long after finding the child."

"And she figured this, how?" he asked.

"The girl, Katerina Petrova, apparently drowned around nine months previously," I told him. "Between the mother seeing that, and seeing a painting of Katerina, it's kind of easy to see that they have some relation between them."

"How so?" he asked, sounding fascinated. I couldn't blame him – Elena's family history really was fascinating to learn, more so than mine ever was. I wondered what he would think if he knew what her ancestor had become. After all, while of a different species, they were both vampires. Of course, until, or, rather, unless, he found out that I knew what he was, I couldn't exactly mention that.

"They look a lot alike," I answered. "Almost like identical twins. In fact, the only difference between them, particularly once she hit the age that Katerina was in the picture, is that Elena's hair is almost pin straight and she also has a streak of white through her hair like I do. Plus, we also found the Petrova family diaries, and the father's even mentions that Katerina had gotten pregnant and that, once the baby was born, he brought it to the barren woman's doorstep. It took a lot of digging to find this all out, though."

"Sounds like it," he said. I almost expected him to ask what caused us to do all this digger, but Mr. Banner called the class to order then, and our conversation ended. I expected to be...uncomfortable having told Edward a bit about my life before being at Xavier's, but I wasn't. I wasn't completely okay with it – Edward was still a stranger to me, after all – but him knowing didn't bother me at all. As Mr. Banner showed, with transparencies on the overhead projector, what I'd seen easily through the microscope, I pondered over my strange acceptance of him knowing.

When the bell rang, I gathered my things, expecting Mike – who had also taken up walking me to my next class after this one just as he did for French – to come running over to me like the little golden retriever he'd begun taking on qualities of. I could even picture a wagging tail as he did so. However, I was surprised – but not displeased – when Edward offered to walked me there. Pretty much forgetting about the fact that Mike was indeed walking towards me, I gave Edward my permission to do so, leaving with him before Mike could get to my seat.

There was no talking as we walked, which was okay with me. I wasn't clamoring to talk to him some more, since I really couldn't think of anything else to say. Not having to try and think of answers for any question he asked – particularly if I had to hide the truth – like I did with Mike was a welcome change, and I found myself hoping that this would become a regular occurrence. However, before we got to class, a thought occurred to me.

"Hey," I said. "Can I ask you to do something for me? It's nothing to hard – at least, it shouldn't be too hard – to do."

"It depends," he said, his face guarded. I had a feeling that he didn't want to commit to doing something until he knew what I wanted – understandable, considering what he was.

"Could you, could you not tell anyone what I told you. I mean, about my mother. I don't want Charlie knowing," I told him.

"He doesn't know," he said.

"Not everything," I answered. "He thinks that Renée dropped me off at the Xavier school and just never bothered to come back for me. He doesn't actually know the truth of how she abandoned me. I don't think he could actually handle knowing that, since I get the feeling he hasn't completely gotten over her."

"I won't tell," Edward said, his face pensive as he thought of...something. I wasn't sure what – he was hiding it very well. However, I did wonder if, perhaps, he thought the fact that I'd lied to my father wasn't a good thing. Having arrived at my class right then, I wasn't giving a chance to ask what he was thinking.

I ignored Jessica's attempts to get me to explain why Edward had walked me to class, simply saying that he was being nice, and was kind of glad that class didn't seem to drag on because of it, as she wasn't excepting that answer. I managed, when the bell rang, to lose her in the crowd, and headed straight to my truck. Unfortunately, Mike's class was between mine and my truck, and, upon seeing me, he hurried over to me.

"Why didn't you wait for me back in biology?" he asked, his tone demanding an answer. I raised an eyebrow at him.

"I was unaware that I wasn't allowed to do what I wanted," I said coolly, my eyes narrowing. He flinched, realizing what an ass he sounded like. "Edward asked if he could walk me to class, and I let him. Simple as that. And, next time, don't demand anything of me, nor act as if I have to let you want me to classes, got it?"

He nodded quickly, hearing something in my voice that warned him that he was treading on dangerous ground at the moment. He frowned, thinking for a moment as if to get into a conversation that didn't end with me mad at him.

"So, wasn't that lab awful," he finally said, turning to the subject of our bio II class. "They all looked exactly the same. You're so lucky you had Cullen as a partner."

"Considering that I could have done the whole thing by myself without a problem, I really didn't need Edward's help," I answered back, rather stiffly due to his assumption that I couldn't do the lab. "In fact, I found it to be rather easy."

He paled, realizing that he insulted me, but before he could say anything, I walked away, heading to my truck. I didn't feel like listening to him repeatedly bumbling in attempts to woo me when I wasn't interested in him, and had no desire to waste anymore time. I did have things to do, after all. Plus, with it raining and being rather chilly, I was anxious to get into the cab of my truck.

Getting into my truck, I turned the engine, pushing my hood back as the heater came on. I pulled my I-pod from my pocket, hooking it up to the radio to play, quickly selecting something to play. Then, I went to leave. However, before I did so, I felt someone's eyes on me, in an intense way that caught my attention. I looked up, out of the window to discover that, while leaning against his car, Edward was looking at me.

I looked away quickly, backing out rather quickly before driving off, eager to be away from that intense stare. After my quick stop at the store for what I needed – which, after thinking about it, included some drinks so that there was more than just water to be served – I got home, doing my homework before making sure that the house at least looked clean. I cleared off the long table against the wall in the living room, planning on using it to place the food on. I was beginning to become nervous, so much that I accidentally spilled some water onto my shirt. Frowning, I headed up the stairs, mentally telling myself that I really ought to calm down so I don't do something like this again.

Going through my closet, I grabbed the first long sleeved shirt my hand touch, which turned out to be a tunic that was white with images of black trees along the top that faded to being completely black towards the bottoms, save for the hem, which was a light gray with the black tree images as well. Heading back down, I started setting up the plates for the meats and cheese slices, placing them, covered, in the fridge so that they stayed cold. Once that was done, I had nothing else to do but wait until the guest and Charlie got here, so I headed back up to my room, picking up the clothes I'd left on the floor and putting them into my laundry basket before starting a game.

The doorbell rang two hours later, just as I had saved and was turning the game system off so that it had a chance to cool down. Standing up, I headed downstairs, noticing that it had gotten dark without my notice, and headed towards the door.

"Who is it?" I asked, calling through the door. It was probably one of Charlie's friends, but I wasn't about to take a chance that it wasn't.

"It's Billy, Billy Black," called a male voice. Turning on the outside light – for it was rather dark at the moment, I peered through the side curtain, revealing a wheelchair bound man, with a face that I recognized from a picture that Charlie had. His face seemed to overflow, with cheeks resting against his shoulders, creases running through the russet skin like an old leather jacket. His eyes were black, and seemed young and old at the same time, while his hair was long enough to be pulled back into a pony tail.

Next to him was a young man...no, boy, actually. He had some similar features to the man in the wheelchair, leading me to believe that they were related. The boy couldn't have been more than fourteen, maybe fifteen at most. His hair was long, tied in a ponytail with a rubber band to keep it out of his face. There was a childish look to his face, made all the more pronounced by the look on it, as if he was a child forced to do something he didn't want. Behind them, coming up the drive, were two more boys, though I couldn't see their features quite well in the light.

"Whose with you?" I asked. I hadn't bothered to figure out all the names of everyone coming, but I figured I'd make sure that everyone with him was indeed with him. I heard the boy next to him mutter something, and saw Billy's sharp glance towards him.

"This is my son, Jacob, and his friends, Embry Call and Quil Atera," Billy said. Satisfied, I unlocked and opened the door.

"Come in," I said, doing my best not to laugh when Jacob saw him. He looked a bit thunderstruck when he saw me, and his friends weren't any better. Now that I could see them better, I could tell that the one Billy had introduced as Embry was the tallest of the three boys, not by much, but just enough. He was the slenderest of the boys as well, with chin length black hair that was evenly parted down the middle, one side tucked behind an ear while the other was left to hang freely. The other boy, Quil, was burly, sporting a haircut that was almost like a buzz cut.

Billy wheeled his chair in, chuckling over the face his son was making, and holding out a hand towards me.

"It's nice to meet you, Bella," he said.

"Nice to meet you as well," I said. Then, I turned back towards the boys, who were still just standing there.

"Are you going to come in anytime soon?" I asked, as headlights turned onto the street and another car came pulling up to the house. Two males and one female stepped out as Jacob and his friends finally shook themselves out of their stupor and stepped into the house. I heard the older male who'd just arrived yell out "Hey, Billy," to which Billy answered back with a "Hey Harry, Sue," showcasing that they were the the next arrivals for this little soiree. The one boy who arrived with them bounded up to the house, entering it right behind Quil.

The boy looked a bit younger than Jacob, yet was tall and gangly. It was his face that seemed to give away his age, being more youthful than anything. His brown eyes were sparkling with excitement as he stopped right in front of me.

"Hi," he said to me. "I'm Seth Clearwater. You're Charlie's daughter Bella, right?"

"I'm the only girl in the house right now, so I do believe your right," I said, causing him to laugh. "Nice to meet you, Seth."

"Likewise," he said, moving into the house and Harry and Sue came up. Like everyone so far, they had russet colored skin. Harry had grey streaked black chin-length hair with dark brown eyes. His face was full like Billy's was, but looked a bit more wrinkled than Billy's was. Sue had a thin face, with black eyes and black hair that fell past her shoulders. There were laugh lines around her eyes, but, other than that, her face was wrinkle free.

Once everyone was in the house, I went to close the door, only to have two more cars pull up. The one I recognized as Charlie's cruiser; the other, I didn't recognize at all, but figured they were a part of the party based on how Charlie greeted them.

Seeing that Charlie was now here, I figured I could abandon my post as door hostess at this point. Heading into the kitchen, I started pulling out everything that I'd set up earlier out form the fridge. I was distracted, however, when the crystal I'd enchanted heated up, alerting me to the fact that someone not quite human had walked through the door, freezing, and resisting the urge to grab my wand, I was startled when Charlie entered the room, calling my name.

"Bella," he said, causing me to jump. "Oh, sorry."

"It's okay, I said, turning around. Behind him stood two more people, a male and a female. I could see the male clearly, for he was facing me, while the female was turned, looking back behind her. She was also carrying something in her hands, a dish of some sorts. I looked at the male, seeing that he was a tall male, quite muscular, and had an air of seriousness about him. He wasn't quite as old as Billy or Harry were, but he was definitely older than Jacob, Seth, and the other two boys.

The woman, from what I could see, was rather pretty, with a sheen of shiny black hair falling halfway down her back. The side of her face I could see showed that she was definitely a beauty, an exotic one at that. Then, she turned to fully face me, and I had to bite back a gasp. The entire right side of her face was scared from hairline to cheek by three thick, red lines, one line pulling down the corner of her almond shaped eye, another twisting the right side of her mouth into a permanent grimace.

The seriousness of it wasn't what surprised me. I'd seen worse scars than that – Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody, our fourth year Hogwarts DADA teacher immediately sprung into my mind. No, what surprised me was that I recognized the type of lines those were. They weren't exactly like the scars of Bill Weasley or Morgan, but they were pretty close to the ones of Professor Lupin, the only person I actually knew who had been attacked by a fully transformed creature. Her's had actually been done by an animal, and, with the shape looking were too close to the ones Professor Lupin had, they had to have been done by a wolf.

I realized I was staring, making her uncomfortable, as she looked down. I saw the guy next to her glare at me a bit for doing so, and quickly looked to what was in her hand.

"You brought something?" I asked, regaining my barings.

"Oh, yes," she said, holding out the dish to me. I took it from her, seeing that it was simply a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

"Thank you," I said. "And sorry about the staring."

"It's okay," she said, though I could tell that she wasn't comfortable about it.

"Oh, I'm Emily, and this is my fiancé Sam," she said, motioning to the man next to her.

"Hi," I said.

"Hello," he answered back. The two turned around, heading back out to the rest of them, clearly not all that comfortable being around me. I felt a bit bad about my staring, and Charlie looked confused at me.

"I guess I should have warned you not to stare," he said. I frowned, not liking that he was blaming himself.

"I should have known better myself," I told him. "I know several people who are self-conscious of their scars. I shouldn't have to be told or warned about it. It was rather rude of me to do so with her." I shook my head. "Anyway, help me bring this out? I cleared off the table behind the couch so that people didn't have to come into the kitchen to make their food. It would get pretty crowded in here otherwise."

"Okay," he said, grabbing a platter. I directed him where to put it, and heard the sounds of people 'mmming' at the sight of the food.

"I take it that we just have to make our own sub?" Jacob said, salivating at the moment. I had the feeling that he was imagining just what kind of combinations he could make.

"Yes, but do be conscious of everyone else. At least try and not hog one of something," I told him.

"Can't promise anything," Jacob said. I rolled my eyes, moving out of the way so that everyone could get something. As I did so, I noticed that Billy and Charlie seemed to exchange a look that made me immediately suspicious. I really hoped that Charlie wasn't attempting to set me up with his friend's kid – I'd have to make something up about why I wouldn't date him if Charlie did. After all, it wasn't like I could actually say that dating him would have to endure a touch free zone unless I wanted him to end up unconscious and unlikely to ever wake again.

Once I was sure that everyone had at least gotten one sub, I fixed my own, taking a seat near Emily. I wasn't comfortable in a setting like this. Everyone wanted to know something about me, whether I had liked the schools I'd gone to, to who my friends were while there. It didn't help that Jacob and his two friends were looking at me in a way that showed obvious interest in me, more interest than I was comfortable with. I was glad when Charlie – who seemed to tell that I was getting uncomfortable – finally shifted the conversation away from me, giving me a chance to finish eating and leave.

I knew that Charlie wouldn't begrudge me for doing so – he'd even mentioned that having this meet and greet here at home meant that I could escape at any time I wanted. And I had stayed long enough so that it wouldn't appear rude for me to leave at the moment.

Heading up the stairs was easy. No one seemed to have notice me not returning to my seat after I got up to put my plate in the sink, stealing the cookies while in the kitchen. I hoped no one would mind me not sharing them – they looked too good to do that, though I would be nice and save Charlie at least two...or one, if I remembered to. As I was heading up the stairs, I heard someone – not sure who – cheering at something on the screen. I shook my head at what seemed to be such typical male behavior, as every male I knew seemed to do that when watching sports and their team won. Even Harry was prone to do that from time to time, only his preferred sport was Quidditch – the only sport in the wizarding world.

As I was about to close my door – thinking of what I'd be doing up here, as I wasn't sure of what to do – I realized that Jacob, his friend, and Seth had all followed me.

"Is something wrong?" I asked them. Jacob shook his head.

"No, we were just wondering what you're doing," he said.

"I hadn't decided yet," I said. "I might throw on a movie, I might call one of my friend, or I might even check my e-mail, since I haven't done that yet..." The last bit was said quietly, as that thought only occurred to me just now, especially since I hadn't done so the previous day either – in fact, I hadn't logged onto my computer since the day after my first day of school. I really hoped that no one really needed me the last few days.

"Well, can we join you?" Jacob asked. I paused, thinking about it for a moment. Having them in the room would seriously cause me some problem, especially if I wanted – or even needed – to call one of my friends, for I would have to be careful not to let them hear things that they shouldn't hear. And if I tried to check my e-mail, they might try to peak over my shoulder to see what I was doing, and read something they shouldn't.

However, it would be extremely rude of me to say no when I made it clear that I wasn't doing something that would require privacy.

"Is something wrong with staying downstairs?" I asked, to buy me some thinking time.

"We just don't want to hang out with the older folk," Embry said. I snorted at his blunt comment.

"Well, all right. Come in," I said, having a thought as I did so. I might just be able to at least do my e-mail without trouble if this plan coming into my mind went well. Based on the sounds of awe coming from my room as the boys caught site of my entertainment area, I got the feeling that it wouldn't be too hard for it to go well. Seth coming to me and asking if they could play my Wii pretty much sealed that option.

"Okay, but I don't have many multiplayer games," I warned them. "I also only have two remotes."

"That's okay, we'll take turns," Embry said.

"What multiplayer games do you have?" Jacob asked.

"Um, I can't think of them off the top of my head," I said. "The games are there, though." I pointed to one of the shelves next to television. "They're on the middle shelf, to the right."

"That's not a lot of games," Quil said as he studied them. "Most of these are one player."

"I tend to only like certain things," I answered. "And I'm usually the one playing them, so it's not like I have need of having a lot of multiplayer games."

They nodded, satisfied with my answer, before grabbing one of the games, and setting it up. The wound of Mario Kart Wii filled my room as I grabbed my laptop, and set myself up on my bed, letting Seth – who was one of the ones playing right now – have the chair at my desk. Embry – who was playing against Seth at the moment – stood while Jacob and Quill all sat down, focused on the game. Glad to know that they wouldn't wonder what I was doing, and attempting to look over my shoulder. I sat near the wall so that I'd have something to lean against, logged on, and immediately went to my e-mail.

Luckily, there weren't too many things on there. I had a few messages that simply said 'hi' and were mostly their comments on how my first day went from Aura, Hermione, and Clarissa. Kitty, Tristelianna, and Azure all wanted to know what Edward looked like, something that had me rolling my eyes. I doubted Edward would be comfortable with me taking his picture to send to my friends. As for Morgan, well, she was curious to know which type of vampire Edward was, and also sent and update of her own status, letting me know that she had successfully settled into an apartment, once that was above a quaint little shop called Practical Magick. She also sent several pictures of her new place. I had to admit, the shades of red were rather beautifully done.

Finally, I clicked on Elena's message, which had been sent two days after our conversation.

Bella

Sorry I haven't message or called you yet. I've just been a bit
busy. If your wondering, I have indeed been allowed to settle
into the boarding house. Of course, there was a little problem at
first. But, I'll tell you about that later, because there is a bit of
information that is more important to say. What information is
it, you're probably wondering. This: the owner of the boarding
house and his brother are vampires.

Yes, just like you, I to have run into vampires here in Mystic
Falls. Of course, unlike you, I was kind of expecting it, considering
what a hotspot for vamps Mystic Falls is. But what really gets me,
and makes me feel so dumb for no having thought about it, is
the fact that they're vampires we've heard about. Remember
when Professor Lupin mentioned those brothers known as the
Salvatore brothers? Turns out that they're the brothers who own
this boarding house, and that they're actually from this town. I don't
know why I didn't think or even wonder if they might be related.
I mean, there's nothing that points to it, but still...

And how do I know that they're those brothers? The rings they
wear, for one It's a dead giveaway to any witch like us (and the
servant witches, who, apparently, have a sort of base in this town).
I can actually see the protection rune glowing on it. The other
thing that gives them away is their names. I mean, how many
Salvatore brothers out there are named Damon and Stefan?
I don't think there are that many.

But the biggest thing that gives it away is the way that they
acted around me. Remember, it was Katerina who turned the
two of them – I still think that was a bitch move from her, though
not as much as I used to, now that I've seen what they look like.
Well, considering that I'm her doppelganger in almost every way,
you can guess a bit on how they reacted when they saw me. I
kind of pretended not to notice it, but both of them looked a bit
stunned to see me, and I know for a fact that Stefan called
me Katherine, the name Katerina took upon coming here to
America.

I have to admit, it's kind of interesting to meet people turned by
my own ancestor, in a strange sort of way. I'm sure that, if I
said that to anyone, they'd look at me weirdly, but you have to
admit...

Anyway, the main problem that we had was, for the most part,
Stefan. He was so against me moving in here, I'm not completely
sure why, either. I mean, the way he was acting actually almost
ruined my chances of getting a room here, for Aunt Jenna had
been very uncomfortable with me being around someone who,
in her own words, was obviously crazy. Luckily, Stefan's girl-
friend, Caroline – the sheriff's daughter – came by then, and
he left, so, after some sweet talking to Damon, I was able to
get a room here.

And it's so lovely. It has it's own sitting room, a bedroom, a large
bathroom, and a little room off to the side that I can turn into an
office or mini library. In truth, it's more like a suite that a room.
I got the feeling that this room was probably the master's room
before the house was turned into a boarding house. I mean,
there's really no way for it not to be. At least, that's what I think.

Of course, the best thing about this room isn't the fact that it's
just so big, but what's next to it. I'm pretty sure you can guess,
but, as this is e-mail and not the phone, I won't know what your
guess is, so I'll just say it. Damon's room is right across from it,
to the point that, if the doors are left open, I can see into it. I'm
really hoping that, at some point, he'll leave it open so that I can
watch him undress, and, if this wasn't you, I'd feel really embarrassed
to admit that.

Anyway, now that I'm done being a completely pervert – and the fact
that I'm doing that should tell you exactly why I'm not half as mad at
Katerina anymore – I suppose that I should tell you some other, less
exciting news.

I may end up killing Jeremy. Why? Because the little idiot decided
that, as I was born a Gilbert, I should take part in the Miss Mystic
Falls competition, despite the fact that I told him I didn't want
to be in it when he asked. I think he's getting back at me for the fact
that I was kind of rude to his girlfriend. It wasn't on purpose, I just really
didn't like her. And I do have a good reason for not liking her – she's
playing him, and part of the reason why he's doing drugs.

I can't get out to the competition. Even though I mentioned that I am
no longer going by the Gilbert name, the arguments that Jeremy used
are kind of hard to dispute, so I'm stuck in it. I have about three months
– the main part of the competition is during spring break – to find an
escort, find the appropriate dresses, and learn what I'll need to do
in order to make it through this. Hopefully, I won't win. I really don't
think that it would be fair to those who want to win if I did, since I
don't want to be in this.

But, when I get the date of when this thing is, do you think you might be
able to make it over here? It would be a relief if you could. I'd love to
see you, and I know that you'd enjoy seeing Aunt Jenna and meeting
Caroline and Damon. You could even bring your dad – I'd love to meet
Uncle Charlie.

Oh, I started school today, which is also why I'm sending this. It was
okay, like any day at school is. I met a few people though. I already
knew Caroline and Stefan, and they invited me to sit with them, so
I met their friends Matt Donovan – my brother's girlfriend's brother –
Tyler Lockwood, and Bonnie Bennett.

I have to admit, I'm not sure I really care for Bonnie all that much.
She just rubs me the wrong way, and she's way too intrusive.
Remember when I mentioned that the servant witches have a
base here? Well, she's apart of them, and I'm on her list of
people to distrust because I kept her from getting a read on
me.

Oh, here's some pictures. The first one is Damon. God, I'm
hoping that he's open to having a girlfriend, because I so would
like to be it. And I think it would be safe. I mean, he is a vampire,
but then, it's not like it's been tested before...

The second picture is Stefan and his girlfriend Caroline, and the
third is Jeremy and his 'girlfriend' Vicki. The fourth is Vicki's brother,
Matt and Tyler. The dark-haired guy on the right is Tyler. The fifth
picture is Jeremy's history teacher, Alaric Saltzman. I have to admit
I can see why she wants to date him. He's kind of hot, if you're into
older men like that.

Anyway, that's the update here. How is everything over there?

Miss you,
Elena

I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. I didn't want to attain the attention of the guys in the room, because I got the feeling that if I did, they'd ask what I was laughing about. Still, I found her message to be completely funny. I also wasn't surprised that she was being pervy. Between the two of us, she actually was the more daring one, willing to date other mutants who knew about her ability, and were willing to take the risk. Those relationships didn't last long, and they were few and far inbetween, but she still had them.

I was a bit surprised that she was actually meeting some vampires who'd been turned by Katerina, and didn't want to kill her. That was a big surprise, especially considering that, since she really started looking like Katerina, it seemed vamps with a beef towards Katerina were popping up all over the place. Of course, I got the feeling that, because of why the Salvatore brothers turned to begin with, was the reason why they didn't want to kill her. And, thinking about that, made me worry for Elena.

Shaking my head as I made the decision to call her the next day to talk about that, I decided to save the pictures for another day, though I just had to see what was so special about Damon's picture, and opened it. My eyes widened, and the first words out of my mouth were "Yummy." I immediately blushed as I caught the attention the game players, who paused in order to look at me.

"What's 'yummy'?" Jacob asked.

"Nothing to interest you," I said, giving him a glare that said not to continue asking. He shrugged as he turned back to the game, but still looked suspicious. I grabbed a cookie off the plate next to me – having almost forgotten about them – and went back to look the picture. I immediately saw why Elena was interested in him. He was handsome. He wasn't quite as handsome as Edward, but definitely among his league. He also looked like a Prince of Darkness, wearing all black. His hair was dark colored, going just past his earlobes and arranged in a casual way. But it was his eyes that caught my attention. They were such a intense light blue that just promised a good time to any lucky lady.

It made me worry even more after seeing that, because, again, I didn't want to see Elena hurt.

Clicking out of the picture, I wrote a quick e-mail to Elena, mentioning that I'd call her after school the next day if I remembered – I didn't know if something would come up or not – and power down the laptop just in time to see Seth kicking Jacob's ass at the race they were doing. Standing up, I announced that I would play the winner next race as Seth won his race.

Taking the controller from Jacob and unhooking the nunchuk from it and set about choosing my character. I chose – as I always did since unlocking her – Rosalina, who was paired with one of her motorcycles. I looked at Seth, a challenging look on my face. He returned it, and we both looked at the screen, going for what was supposedly the hardest track in the game, Rainbow Road.

It was pretty easy for me to do this track. Being my favorite and most played track, I easily outran him, though he did put up a fair fight. He pouted when he lost as I powered the game system down, returning everything to their correct place, including the controllers, and then shooing the boys out of the room. It turned out that it was just the right time, for Emily was coming up the stairs.

"Oh," she said when she noticed that all of us were coming out of my room. "I was just coming to get you all. It's time to go."

We headed down the stairs, saying bye to each other as they walked out of the house. Charlie, who'd called bye to them so that he could just ignore the fact that Jacob was the person who'd be driving the truck, waited until I closed the door.

"So, what did you think?" he asked.

"They seemed nice. A bit intrusive, but nice," I said.

"What did the boys do up there?" he asked.

"Played my Wii," I told him. "I mostly read my e-mail before wiping the floor with Seth. After that, we started heading down here."

He seemed indecisive for a moment, then seemed to decide to take the plunge, and I got a curious foreboding feeling that made me feel like I should turn and head straight up to my room before he could ask his question..

"What did you think about Jacob?" he asked, and I realized why I felt the need to run. My father was indeed going to try and set me up with Jacob. Oh, how I wanted to laugh. Me, date Jacob? Yeah, he seemed nice, but he was not my type at all. First of all, he was human, which meant a probability of going into a coma with bare skin contact between us, and next, he was younger than me, by just a few too many years. I have nothing against women who liked to date younger men, but I prefer, if I did date in general, that those I dated were either closer to my age – like, only a month or two younger than me – or older than me. My mind immediately flashed to Edward at that, for some reason, and I mentally shook his image away.

"Jacob?" I said, thinking fast. "He's nice, but I'm going to have to nip his attraction for me in the bud before any friendship could be had."

Charlie looked a bit taken aback at my words.

"Um...why? Is there something wrong" he asked, sounding surprised.

"I don't date guys younger than me, at least, not that young," I said. "He's what, fourteen, fifteen at most?"

"He's fifteen," Charlie said.

"Yeah, meaning he's no where near the range of guys I'll date age if they're younger than me," I answered. "I'm very picky about the guys I date." I prefer then mutant or knowing that I'm one and not disliking it, and, oh yeah, preferable able to stand my ability without them going into a coma. I didn't add that last part out loud, knowing that Charlie would get confused. Again, like with the whole Renée think, he didn't know about my abilities or the fact that I was a witch. I didn't know why I didn't tell him yet, except for this little fact: Renée had rejected me after learning of my mutant abilities. I didn't want to chance that Charlie would do the same.

"Anyway," I said, yawning. "I'm going to get ready for bed. Night."

"Night," he said, still looking a bit shocked at my blunt confession that there would be no Jacob and Bella dating in the future. Hopefully, that would make sure that he knew I wasn't kidding, and not to attempt to try and set me up on any dates with Jacob. I'd hate for Jacob to be hurt emotionally by me because our fathers decided to attempt to control our love lives.


The next morning was different. It was the light, which appeared much brighter than I'd seen so far, though it wasn't quite pure sunlight. Excited at the idea that I could ride my bike today, I hurried to the window. And groaned when I realized that, sometime during the night, all the rain from yesterday had frozen over, making the roads pretty treacherous to drive through. There would be no way I could drive my bike in this.

Frowning, I went through my closet, choosing a black shirt that had long sleeves and was was cold shouldered as well, with a picture of a Franken-bunny-bear on it. There were two thin silver chains over the open part in the shoulders on each side. A pair of elbow length gloves went on before it, of course, and then I pulled on a pair of regular blue jeans, my knee high heeled boots being hidden under the flared legs, the hems of which just barely kept from touching the ground.

Charlie was still there when I went down stairs, my bag in hand, though he was near the door, getting ready to leave.

"Good morning," he said.

"Morning," I told him.

"I'm probably going to be late getting back today. I'm heading down to Masen Country. A security guard down there got killed by some kind of animal," he said.

"An animal?" I questioned.

"You're not in New York anymore Bella," he said. "Don't worry, though. I don't think it'll get close to town. When things like this happen, multiple search parties are set out to keep it from happening again."

I nodded, though I wasn't fully convinced that it would be safe. Still, in all honesty, this was actually something that he was probably used to doing, and I doubted he wouldn't have a group with him, as it would be stupid if he didn't.

"All right, then?" I said. "What time should I expect you home, then?"

"Probably around dark," he answered, walking to the door. "Bye."

"Bye," I said, heading to the kitchen to get something to eat. It was still pretty early, but I wouldn't be able to drive my normal speed because of the ice, so I'd have to leave earlier than I usually did.

Heading out with a Pop-tart in my hand, I gave my bike a mourning glance before getting into my truck. I slowly made my way to the school, not having much trouble driving the icy road. I turned into the parking lot and found a spot, about three cars down from Edward's Volvo. As I got out of the truck, something on my tire caught my eye, and I leaned over to see what it was. It was some snow chains. Charlie must've put them on. I felt my tears begin to sting my eyes at the unexpected sight. I hadn't expected Charlie to do that. I mean, who knew what time he actually got up to do it, since I doubted this was an easy thing. I wasn't completely used to an older male caring for me like that who wasn't Logan.

I shook my head to keep from letting the tears fall down, beginning to walk away as I thought of how to repay him for doing that. I had just caught sight of Angela, and was about to head on over to her when a horrible screeching noise pierced my ears. Everything seemed to slow down for a moment as I looked around. I caught sight of Edward with his sisters and brothers, all looking calm as Rosalie and Alice grabbed a hold of Jasper and began herding him away. Then my eyes caught a blue van – one that I recognized as being Tyler's – skidding across the parking lot after hitting a patch of ice way to fast. Following it's path with my eyes, I felt horrified when I realized that it was going to hit a tan car, and that Angela was frozen between them.

I didn't think, my reactions immediately reverting to those I'd developed during the blood war last year. I didn't bother to remember that I was trying to keep a low profile, and that I shouldn't do what I was going to. All I knew was that I couldn't let Angela die. I liked her, and she didn't deserve to die because of idiot who thought driving fast on icy roads was a good idea.

Using a mutant ability I'd borrowed and kept from one who could run real fast, I launched myself at Angela, reaching her before the van did. I wrapped my arm around her waist, practically throwing the two of us away. However, it seemed the van was, for some reason, wanting to still hit Angela as it hit and bounced off of the tan car, one end still swinging towards us. Without thinking again, I held out a hand to stop it, bracing Angela up so that she didn't end up hitting her head against the ground. I felt her eyes on me as the van hit my hand, stopping it's movement as a dent formed in the metal.

As what I'd just done caught up to me and I looked at Angela's face, seeing her surprise as her eyes darted to the dent in the van where my hand was still laying. Then, she looked at me, and what I'd just done began filtering through my mind. How was I going to explain this to her?


All right, there you go. Now, first off, I know that the rest of the conversation between Bella and Edward was probably not what you were thinking. I know I probably made it sound as if it was going to be dramatic in the last chapter, and I'm sorry for that. I hope that you like the insight to the way I'm making Renée in this fic. I haven't decided if she's actually going to show up or just continue being mentioned yet.

The meeting with Billy and that gang was the hardest for me to write, mostly because I just wasn't sure how to go about it. I wanted it to show that Jacob got an instant rush on Bella, and how Bella feels about that. I do not plan on having Bella flirt with Jacob at all. She will get along with him - as I am going to be a whole lot nicer to the wolves in this fic than I am in my Burn For You one - but there will be no crazy triangle like in the series. Oh, and how many people figured out which Quileutes were going to be visiting?

The e-mail from Elena was the part that just didn't want to stop. Well, more like I wasn't sure when to stop it. I'm hoping that, as you can see, it gives a hint as to where in the VD universe everything is happening. I mean, Vicki's still alive, Tanner's dead, and the Miss Mystic Falls has not happened yet. Since they don't really give out dates of when everything happens - at least, I really haven't seen a date for it - I'm mostly deciding my own dates for when certain things happen, and rearranging things so that some actually don't happen at all. Also, as you can see, I'm setting up having Bella go and meet the VD gang at some point in time. Oh, and what did you think of Bella's reaction to seeing the picture of Damon? For those who think it was a bit OOC, sorry, I just couldn't get it out of my head when I thought about it.

Oh, and when I refer to Katherine Peirce, I tend to call her by her actual name Katerina Petrova, so, if your wondering who Katerina is, that's who. I don't know why, but I prefer to call her Katerina instead of Katherine. It's just sounds prettier, and, being her real name, I guess I just want to use it over Katherine.

And now, for the end part. What did you think of the twist? Did you like that it was Angela who was almost crushed, and that Bela was the one who saved her? I will admit that doing that was actually an idea that hit while I was thinking about what to do about the van accident. I was originally going to keep it the way it happened in the book at first, but then realized that there was no point in doing it like that, because I feel that was just another cog in getting Bella to wonder what Edward was, and showing her that he wasn't human. Then I thought about doing it where both Bella and Edward hold out hands to stop the van and letting Edward know that she wasn't quite human, but that sounded familiar to me, and I realized that the reason for that was that it happened in another story, and I wasn't going to steal the idea of that, so that idea got scrapped. Of course, when that happen, I realized that I wanted it to be a reverse thing, where Edward is in Bella's place of realizing that the other isn't as human as they'd thought.

I decided to change it to Angela when I realized that because...well, I can't say right now, but when I realized it, I decided that Angela would have a bigger part in this than originally planned. And then, of course, the idea of Bella having a human friend knowing that she's a mutant - the witch thing probably won't come up yet, I don't know - and that she doesn't have to hide from someone as much, well, that interested me quite a bit. So Angela became my van victim, and, though her mind, Edward will know what Bella did, though he won't have his answers, as Bella will, upon finally talking to Angela, shield her mind from him so that he doesn't learn yet.

Oh, and the blood war mentioned in this chapter is the war from Harry Potter. I'm not sure if it's actually called that or not, but I'm deciding, for this series, that it is. And it's mentioned because I kind of needed a reason for Bella to feel a need to save Angela without thinking, and, well, having reflexes that drive her because of the blood war was the only thing that worked in my mind.

Anyway, mutant powers revealed in this chapter:

Bella - Super Speed (Borrowed Power) and Super Strength (Borrowed Power)

Playlist for this chapter.

1. Let Me Go - 3 Doors Down
2. Respect - Aretha Franklin
3. You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
4. Losing Grip - Avril Lavigne
5. Unwanted - Avril Lavigne
6. Anything but Ordinary - Avril Lavigne
7. Happy Ending - Avril Lavigne
8. Nobody's Home - Avril Lavigne
9. I Remain - Alanis Morissette
10. Uninvited - Alanis Morissette
11. Awakening - Celtic Women
12. Black is the Color - Celtic Women

Next chapter will follow immediately after this one, as this one did to the prvious one. I will be working as hard as I can on it, and I hope that people will like it when I do get it out.

Please, Please, Please Review, I really want to know what you thought of this chapter.

Hearts In Strangeness