Her steps light and airy, hardly hitting the cold and hard pavement, her feet already sore and calloused. She didn't let any inconvenience stop her. Her fight or flight response was working in overdrive as the adrenaline pushed her forward, faster, harder and stronger. She hardly recognized any of her passing buildings but she could faintly hear the city sounds.
If she could make it to the open, she would be safe or elude him.
She knew he was following her, he was faster, this to him was a game that he could surely win. But she was determined, he was another part of her life, a faded memory, she wouldn't rehash a past.
One hundred yards.
She could make it, she pushed her tired limbs forward. She ignored her breathlessness and struggled to propel herself forward.
She would win this.
She could hear his faint laughter from the shadows, her already sped up heartbeat, beat faster. Adrenaline pumping she made her final effort. She could now see and hear his movements, she could feel his frustration and his amusement. It pushed her harder.
She could make it.
She stepped on stray rocks on stray debris, and while it made her wince in pain, she went forward. If she let herself fall, or let him win. She suppressed a shudder.
What she saw tonight.
It made her head spin.
Twenty five yards.
Almost home, she could do this. She could taste copper in her mouth, it made her gag, her throat was dry and her system was finally becoming aware of her condition and her surroundings. Everything seemed to slow down. She blinked furiously.
Forward, keeping moving forward.
Her limbs were slow, too slow. Why. Why. Why.
A soft chuckle, "I win."
"I've learned that periods of darkness can overcome us at any time. But I also found that I'm able to endure. Overcome. And in the process growing stronger... smarter... better. All is well in my little corner of the world." - Dexter
Isabella Marie Swan woke up in cold sweat, her head hitting the seat in front of her. She put a hand to her chest in a vain attempt to slow down her still furiously beating heart. She couldn't remember her dream, but she was in high alert. Her slightly darker surrounds made the hairs on her neck stand up.
It was nightmare, only a small nightmare.
She counted her blessings for not screaming in her dream. She didn't need to freak out the passengers or the flight attendants. It wasn't their fault they were traveling with a psycho that occasionally had night terrors.
What had she dreamt about?
She closed her eyes and concentrated, she tried to think back to any detail, anything. She tried to grasp at any stray straws, anything that could give her a hint. When it hit her, it hit her like a brick, the image so obvious, she struggled to get a breath.
Her mind whispered to her, she felt a thousand images flash before her. Memories long forgotten, their time together, Esme and Carlisle, Alice and her shopping adventures. Her heart clenched for a second as her dark time passed through, she let out her breath in her memory of Volterra.
She shook her head slightly to clear her mind.
It had been four years since he had last seen him, since she had last seen his desperate golden eyes as she told him her final decision.
Leaning her head against her small window, she let out a sigh.
She'd been in bed, it was past midnight, she had been chewing on her bottom lip, her heart clenching. She knew he would come, he always did and while she would usually rejoice in his coming and being wrapped in his cold arms...tonight was different.
She didn't regret saying no when he asked her to marry him. She was relieved as she spoke the words, seeing him in Volterra and on the plane ride home had put things into perspective. Her mind had been racing at the past few months - her dark period.
She was borderline psychotic with pulling her stunts, I mean cliff diving in nearly stormy weather to hear his voice? What had she come to?
Was love supposed to be that compulsive? It was after she had been dragged to shore that she felt it. She felt a new difference, she was different, something had broken inside of her, she could breath again.
It was as if the past few months she had been holding in a breath and she had finally been able to allow herself to breath. It was as if she had awakened from a dream, she felt like a new person. She would never be the old Isabella Swan, no, she had lived too much to be as naive, but she sure as hell knew what she wanted now.
Obsessing over a lost love wasn't it.
She no longer felt as if she was ready to take up that responsibility, to take up that much weight and all encompassing love. Because the love between Her and Edward was borderline obsessive. It scared her.
She still loved Edward, she would probably never stop loving him, but her love was no longer being in love. She loved him as a fond memory, as another chapter in her life. She was ready to move on, like he had told her from the beginning when he left her on the forest floor.
She was ready to take his advice.
Because maybe he had been right from the beginning.
And when he had slipped into her room that night and whispered, "hello love."
She had whispered just as quietly, "we need to talk."
"Please buckle in your seatbelts, we're landing at SeaTac in five minutes."
Isabella Swan blinked as she was brought down to reality, she had been so lost in memories, her heart beat in anticipation. She was once again starting over at the place where it all began. She was excited, she finally had her chance to work with The Seattle Times.
She looked out her airplane window, she would see them descent, she could make out the skyline in the bright Seattle morning hours, it was sunny. It represented her mood today, it was time for a fresh start.
She couldn't help but to let her mind drift again...to Edward and the Cullens. She knew that they had probably moved on, they never stayed in one place for too long but part of her couldn't help but to wonder what had happened to the family she had at one point considered her own.
Her palm pressed against the cool glass, the contrast of the coolness of the glass with the warmth of her hand sent chills up her spine.
She thought softly to herself, she would be closer to both Charlie and Jake now.
She would be starting fresh once again, at the age of twenty one Bella had grown, she was getting a minor position for The Seattle Times but it was a start, she was fulfilling her dreams, her goals on being a journalist and that thought alone helped her settled and calm the nerves that were suddenly springing up.
She let out an easy breath as she navigated through SeaTac, her mind had one goal in mind - to get out. She was suddenly glad she had allowed her furniture to go the week prior, she was sure most of it was set up, it would make her unpacking much easier.
The cool Seattle air burned her lungs, it was November and she could feel the chill down into her toes, she walked with an air of confidence towards her rental car the Toyota Camry would do until she got back her VW Jetta. The interior helped her relax and forget about the rush that came with going through the airport.
The Seattle Streets were surprisingly empty but then again it was only seven AM in the morning. The Toyota purred as she flew by the streets and turned corners, she felt her excitement grow as she got closer to her little Loft. Traveling between Jacksonville and Seattle had really paid off, she had her apartment and most of her essentials unpacked.
All that was really left was going to see Charlie and Jack and possibly find out what happened to the Cullens.
Her heart skipped a beat as she thought about them.
She shook her head and parked in the garage. As she stepped out of the car a new feeling invaded her body, it was strange, it was a mixture of paranoia and a growing headache. She couldn't explain it, but she felt herself looking around. It was a new feeling, as if someone was suddenly being able to watch her.
Fuck, did that send chills up her spine.
It made her tremble slightly and walk faster towards the elevator. When the metal doors shut and she felt the ascent, her body began to relax.
What had happened?
Maybe it was just jetlag or the flight finally catching up to her.
Maybe the new feeling of being out on her own finally caught up to her.
She didn't know.
But it felt so strange, almost as if someone was now peeking into her life. It sent her system into overload just thinking about it.
Was moving back to Washington a great idea? Hell even the mention of it should have sent her packing her bags in fear, with her given history here one would think she'd never want to set foot in the state that changed her life forever. But then again, she'd always been different, always been a danger magnet and always had a knack for attracting the supernatural.
Denying Washington would have been like denying her life.
The elevator dinged and it shook her out of her thoughts, she held her breath as she walked out and opened her apartment. It was what she had wanted after all, the apartment was modern and spacious. The loft was what she had wanted, and she didn't regret letting Sue redecorate with the help of Leah...
Speaking of...she did have phone calls to make.
Hey you've reached Renee Dwyer, I'm not in right now but please leave a message and if this is my darling daughter Bella, what's taken you so long to call me? I'm worried sick. I mean you said you'd be there five hours ago. Gosh. Love you, kiddo."
Bella rolled her eyes, Renee was always the one for over dramatics, she would make the message small.
"Hey Renee sorry for not calling earlier, I just got to my loft, so far everything is good...I guess. Its weird being back in Washington. So there, I've called you back, you can stop freaking out and as I recall, I said the flight would be five hours long. Goodness. Make a new voicemail. Love you, Mom."
She sighed and ran a hand through her hair, it was a little past eight, she had a meeting with The Seattle Times at ten, she had time to take a shower and call Charlie and Jake.
She decided to call Charlie first, his voice was gruff but she could tell he was happy to hear from her.
"I can't complain so far, I landed a little over half and hour ago, I'm still getting settled in but it feels good to be home."
She heard him chuckle, he knew he just smiled, "okay well, I'll be down this weekend to help you settle in, will you be stopping by more often?"
Though the Chief was a man of few words and few emotions it warmed her that he cared, "That would be great, just tell me what time, and I guess that I will be seeing you and Sue more often now."
"Good to hear Bells, I'll call you later to set up the details, I need to get back to work."
"Okay, bye Charlie."
"Bye Bells, don't get into any trouble."
She laughed until she heard the click on the other end of the phone, she really had missed Charlie. She was already happier that she could be closer especially since he had been shot a couple of months back, 'its only a flesh wound, no need to come and see me, Bella."
That had put many things into perspective for her.
She needed to enjoy her Dad.
She sighed and picked up the phone once more, perhaps the one she was most excited to talk to was Jake. Perhaps he'd been the most helpful during her dark time, even if she had used him, she winced as she thought about it, he hadn't deserved it. Sure they were on great terms now and she had apologized, but sometimes regret filled her. He'd always been her rock even if he had been over three thousand miles away for the past few years.
She ran a hand through her head as she waited,
"Hello?" She grinned as she heard his gruff voice answer the phone, he was obviously still sleeping.
Wolves. She thought with a small snort.
She could nearly imagine him perking up, "Ah hey Bells, are you finally here in Washington?"
"Yes actually, did I wake you up?"
"A little bit, yes, thanks for that. I needed it actually, the guys and I were supposed to be meeting up at the first beach for a tribe thing, I think Sam has some important news, I don't really know."
"Yeah well, I just called up to check up on you and such," She carefully said she picked tapped her fingers against her thigh.
"There's always a reason for your calls, always, there's only rarely a 'check up' talk and thats when we haven't talked in two weeks, and as I recall we talked two nights ago? So whats up?"
"Actually..." she sighed and tried to control her now fast beating heart, why was it so hard to try to talk about the Cullens?
"Sorry, I was wondering about the Cullens."
There was a long pause, she could hear him sighing, "They moved three years ago, occasionally will catch the scent of one of them, they always seem to just be passing through, they never circle back or stay long. The longest we've been able to catch their scent for two hours tops, then they disappear. Its odd really...the scent always goes back to your house. I don't know, its weird, it kind of creeps me out. Sometimes we'll scent them out and your scent is carried along with theirs..."
He paused, "Have you talked to them since you...you know?"
She stared out her window, her mind struggling to process what was said, "No, I didn't and they haven't tried to contact me. They didn't even see me off on my plane to Florida not that I blame them..." She felt the same feeling of paranoia creep on her again.
She shook her head, why did the name make her so jittery, she absentmindedly rubbed her left arm with her right one, trying to protect herself from the cold feeling that was slowly creeping up on her.
"Bella are you okay?"
"What? Y-yes, yeah. I'm fine, tired I think...jetlagged maybe, I'm not sure. All I know is that I have a meeting with The Seattle Times in an hour or so, I don't know, I'm just out of it."
He chuckled but it was tense, he could feel her nervousness, maybe her being back wasn't a good idea.
"Look Bella, I doubt they'll be around if thats what you're wondering, I haven't scented them out in six months now. You'll be fine, don't expect them to wander through, you're a new and stronger person. You own't fall under their spell again, okay?"
"Right, yes. Thanks Jake. Really. I'll call you in a couple of hours."
"Alright, or maybe I'll call you, will you be in town soon?"
"Maybe next week, Charlie is coming down Saturday or Friday to help me get settled and totally unpacked you can come if you'd like, hell you could bring the pack."
"If I brought them, we'd clean you out for at least a month, alright well take care Bella."
"Yeah you too." She told him softly.
She absentmindedly looked out her window at the Seattle Street below, they were like small ants just milling about. If only she could mill about without being bombarded with five hundred thoughts all at one time. Ugh, at the time when she'd made her decision to come back and the position for advice columnist, it had been such a great idea.
But now, with all of these feelings her at once. Maybe it hadn't been so wise. She didn't have time to regret, not right now. She'd made her decision and she had to live with it. Besides, why was she so hung up on the Cullens? There really was no reason for her to be.
She sighed and headed to her bathroom, she'd need a shower before she officially started her day.
Golden eyes blinked as she came back to the world. If her heart still had a beat, she was sure it would be racing one thousand miles per hour. She looked at the face of her husband - Jasper. His worried eyes inquired her.
"I'm fine, really." She gripped his arm for support. Her hopes rising with every passing second. She struggled to contain a squeal.
Her face split in a wide smile, "Edward can stop searching Jasper, I've found her, our Bella, she's come back home to us. She's in Washington. We can finally be a family again, can you image it Jazz? We can finally use all those clothes that have gathered in her's and Edward's room for these past few years."
"I'll call Edward, you tell the family, we need to arrange their room."
She could see his mind at work and working out the kinks.
A thought hit her, "Do you think she'll want to live with us?"
Jasper shook his head and hugged Alice, "Of course, we always knew this would happen. She'd always come back and we'd always be waiting for her. I think she'll be be flattered that we saved so many of her things. Besides if anyone would understand the family dynamic - its her. She loves us like we love her. Time would never change that."
He felt Alice grin against his chest, "Of course, I'm just being silly. I just want my sister back, I want her big wedding with Charlie walking her down the aisle and Edward waiting for her. We can finally be the family we always wanted to be with her in it. We can help her hunt and you can help her control her blood urges. Can you picture it?"
Jasper kissed the crown of her head, "Of course I can."
They smiled at the other one last time before they parted ways. Alice headed downstairs to inform the family of her new discovery.
Jasper stayed behind and looked around the room, pictures hung on the wall, of their wedding day, of the family and of Bella. He walked over to the pictures and smiled back at her beaming face.
"Finally you've come back home, we've missed you, Bella. And we'll make sure you never leave again. We'll take good care of you, little one."
He picked up his phone and dialed the all too familiar number. It was answered in a beat.
"You can stop tracking, we've found her, Edward, she's come back home to be with our family."
He could hear the excitement in his voice, "Alice had a vision, it seems the cloud that seemed to be hanging over her finding Bella finally lifted, she says Bella is back in Washington. We're alerting the family now, but get home quick. We want to furnish ya'lls room to ya'lls liking."
"Thank you, Jasper, I'll be flying out of Miami tonight."
Jasper heard the click and new the call had ended. He looked at Bella's picture again, his forefinger running light on her cheek.
She'd come and fix the family, she'd make them whole again, she'd bring back life. The family had accepted their wishes and given her freedom, now it was time for her return and to face her responsibilities to them.
They'd never let her out of their sights again, to keep their family whole and flowing with happiness they needed Isabella Marie Swan soon to be Cullen. Nothing would stop them. She belonged with them.
End Chapter Une.
Read and Review
So what do you think?
Personally I'm nervous...its my first darker based story. But updates should be once or twice a month, if you have any questions just message me. And yeah...
Its my adopted story that took forever to post, sorry about that.
May was just the busiest month I've had this whole year. It was shocking - really. RL Sucks.