She Always Comes Back
They were all waiting outside the house when we pulled up. It made me that much more furious, but I burned quietly, stoically. I had nothing to say to any of them. Bella, being at the top of the list of heads I wanted to rip off, was smart enough not to coax me into speaking the rest of the drive. She got what she wanted, as she always did, the little brat.
"Bella," Alice cooed, as she opened the passenger door the second I pulled the SUV to a stop. She pulled the tear streamed girl into her arms.
I growled and shut off the engine.
Slamming the car door shut, I stomped up to the porch of the Cullen house. Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, Carlisle, and Esme stood side by side.
"Victoria," Carlisle greeted earnestly. "Your reluctance does not make you any less welcome in our family."
Alice coasted Bella to my side. Sniffling, she gingerly stroked my clenched hand with her fingers. I had to close my eyes to fight the urge to push her away – far away.
"I need to hunt," I whispered and sped for the metropolitan.
Only blood would take my mind off the chains I'd wedged my own wrists into. I was more upset with myself than I ever would be with Bella. It was just easier to openly hate her than it was to hate myself at that moment, just as it was easier to take my fury out on the young girls I drained that night instead of Bella.
"Are you hungry, Bella?" Esme's concerned voice broke through my nervous haze.
… She'd be back, wouldn't she? She said "our family." That meant us as one, together.
"I'm okay," I replied, answering the unasked question. Then my stomach growled in protest of my answer.
"Ha!" Emmett barked. "Make her pizza, Esme. She likes pizza."
"You mean, you like pizza," Alice accused.
Shrugging innocently. "I like the smell."
"Just don't attempt eating it again, Emmett," Esme teased.
Emmett made a face at the memory, and everyone laughed. Well, everyone who was in the kitchen.
Carlisle was called to the hospital. Jasper and Rosalie disappeared to "parole" the area for vampires that might be in the vicinity. The plan was to intercept any nomads that might intend on of entering Quileute territory. Alice said that they were taking shifts to secure the area.
I hate it when the Cullens' talk martially, like they're some sort of military echelon with tactics and formations. Even more, I hate that it is once again my fault that they're in a situation where they have are prepared for violence.
When she woke me early this morning to tell me of what happened with Victoria, the werewolves, and the treaty, Alice tried to persuade me to believe that the danger had nothing to do with me, but I am intelligent enough to see otherwise. Ever since I entered into their world, this family's been visited with nothing but danger and drama. If I never got involved with Edward... If I never forced Victoria to take me back here... If I just let go of the Cullen's when I should have, when Edward tried to do what was best for everyone, none of them – not the Cullen's, not Jacob, nor Victoria would be in this state. If I just took a hint and stayed where I belonged – a boring girl with a boring life in a boring world – then everyone would be okay.
Despite that I know this all as my fault, I wouldn't change any of it, even if it fixed everything. I need this, them, this world, Victoria like an addict needs her vice. I will suffer the guilt of Jame's death, Edward's absence, my father's constant stress, the Cullen's danger, Victoria's ire, and the threat against my existence if it means that I get to have some importance in the world, some relevance, and this love.
...She's going to come back. Every time she leaves, I worry she won't return, but she always does.
"Alice," I inquired for the fifth time that night.
She looked to me, sighed, and closed her eyes. I knew it was not fair to ask Alice to look. I couldn't even comprehend the horror Alice peeks into when she follows Victoria's future. It is a reality I work to ignore.
When Alice's eyes opened, they were darker. "She's still with... She's in Seattle, Bella. I'll tell if that changes. I promise. Trust me."
What she was really pleading was for me not to ask her to look in on Victoria again. It just seemed as if Victoria had been gone for days even though it has only been about four hours. The sky had just darkened.
After managing a few bites of pizza, I called Charlie to let him know that Victoria and I were at the Cullens', and might stay the night. Of course he asked questions that I answered vaguely, even tried my hand at lying. In the end, he just sighed, and accepted my apology for leaving so suddenly.
It's really amazing how much worry he can stand. It hurts me.
I stared ahead at the illuminated screen as Emmett battled animated dragons in his new video game. He sat to one side of me, and Alice to the other. She was scrolling through pages and pages of room décor on her Macbook, looking to transform one of the guest rooms into something Victoria and I would be tempted to occupy. Occasionally, she asked me what colors Victoria liked or what style of furniture she appreciated. Every question depressed me deeper. I couldn't answer any of them. I couldn't even remember her birthday, though I know she told me. Did she have a middle name? Were her eyes blue or green as a human? She had told me these things, I know! I just couldn't remember them.
Everything between Edward leaving me in the woods and seeing him again in Italy are dark, foggy memories of depression and disorientation. There are fragments of brightness and life and all of them surround Victoria, but the details are very dim and hard archive. Even I can see how pathetically human the fragility of my mind is, and if Victoria doesn't come back, I know I could slip away again.
At some point, I dozed off, nestled against Alice's cold shoulder. It was the loss of its chill that woke me.
"I was worried," Alice's voice filtered through me sleepy mind. "You disappeared for a few minutes. What happened?"
I opened my eyes a crack, and off to the corner of the room stood Rosalie and Jasper. They'd returned.
"The chief dog chewed us out for one of his puppies bad behavior," Rosalie answered.
Jasper's tone was of the same frustration as Rosalie's. "They were upset that we did not communicate that Victoria was with Bella, not us."
"What does it matter," Esme's voice entered.
"It doesn't," Jasper claimed. "Bella's dog friend risked discovery today, and, instead of finding fault in their pack's control, they're blaming us."
"Douche bags," Emmett called from somewhere upstairs.
"We can't be too upset with them," Esme reasoned. "We were unclear on Victoria's business here, and they must feel that the lives of their people, Charlie's friends, were put at risk. Victoria is traditional in her appetite, and so their frustration is understandable. We should have told them."
"Speaking of Victoria's appetite," Jasper cut in coldly. "She's not making a mess in Seattle is she?"
A deep sigh was taken. "I've counted four," Alice's voice whispered.
The room was silent for a moment.
"I'm sorry, sweetheart," Jasper soothed. "Do you need to hunt?"
"I'm okay... Esme, does Carlisle really believes that she can change? I don't see the slightest diversion in her future. It makes me worry for Bella."
"In the end it is Victoria's choice," Esme replied. "As it will be Bella's."
"I won't live with barbarians," Rosalie spat, suddenly furious.
Jasper gave a humorless chuckle. "What do you think we are, Rose? We were all rogue at some point."
"Speak for yourself," Rosalie bit back. "Can you even recall how many you drained?"
"Rosalie," Esme admonished.
"Esme, you can't deny it! I thought this family had values. Jasper raised an army that massacred. He was barley able to go a week without killing when he showed up with Alice. Now, Victoria is with us, and she has made no commitment to our lifestyle. If Bella wishes to be a murdering monster, do we allow that?"
The atmosphere of the room became acidic.
Jasper growled. "Don't play holy, Rosalie. Murder is still murder, no matter the method."
"Jasper!" Alice chimed.
"What is that suppose to mean, Whitlock?"
"How many men did you kill seeking vengeance on your fiancée?"
"At least I didn't kill children, bastard!" Rosalie snarled.
I jumped up out of my "sleep" when I head the clash.
"Baby!" Emmett had Rosalie about the waist.
Alice stood in front of Jasper, both of her tiny hands on his panting chest. "Control her, Emmett," he roared. "She obviously can't control herself!"
"Out! Both of you," Esme demanded in the loudest, most aggressive tone I'd ever hear her possess. "Now!"
Emmett disappeared with Rosalie and Alice with Jasper.
Quiet re-entered the house. It was eerie.
"I'm sorry, Bella." Her voice was as sad as her pristine face.
I couldn't reply. I was in shock. I'd seen tiny, almost childish disputes between sects of the family, but, a personal and physical attack was an event I'd never even heard of.
"Is that normal?" It was all I could think to ask, and at that moment was my honest curiosity.
"Occasionally," she sighed, and grew grimmer. "Usually its between Rosalie... and Edward."
"Oh..." He's not here anymore. Where did he go? Where would he go?
Esme gracefully placed herself next to me on the couch. "Don't think too much about it, dear. It has just been a difficult last year."
"I'm so sorry," I whispered. "I don't mean to cause so much trouble."
At this, Esme wrapped her arms around me in a motherly embrace. "You're a blessing, Bella. Not a trouble."
"But I am," I protested. "We are – Victoria and I. We don't have to stay. It would make things so much easier for everyone."
Esme pulled away from me, and looked searchingly into my eyes. Her golden irises were so warm that the anxiety I felt about what had just happened began to melt.
"Please don't ever think of that, Bella. We love you. This family needs you. It is your decision, of course, but never feel pushed away. You're one of our own."
Her sincerity made my eyes dampen. This woman was made all things kind and loving. "But, Victoria..."
She gave a soft smile, and even chuckled. "While, at times, especially today, it may seem like Victoria is less than loved in this family, it is not true. Victoria is a vital member now, and always will be... just as Jasper when he slipped, and Rosalie when she bloodied her hands. Just as Edward will always be a Cullen, and you my daughter. Building a family is like building a home. You can't add bricks and then take them out when it displeases you or the walls will weaken until they crumble. Give it time, Bella. Victoria is mature enough to realize what we offer her."
With that she kissed my cheek, and cuddled me.
She'd be back... She always comes back...
A/N: Haven't had a chance to edit it yet, but I just really wanted to get it up today. Again, sorry for the delay. Between finals, marathon training (I've got 3 weeks left), and college, I hardly have time to sleep. I hope you like this. I wanted to give a different perspective to it all. I hope it is not to cheap. I'll update soon. Promise.