"It's the chief's son!"
"Strange... I've always thought that he had a daughter..."
"Girls, he is fine."
Bella thought that she could suffocate under the weight of all the attention. She could feel every pair of eyes on her like needles. The need to give in to her professional instincts was crawling on her skin like a million of little ants. Her trained ears picked up every single voice within her ten meter perimeter, quickly convincing her that Forks would be a nosy town.
She fleeted a glance at Luna. She looked perfectly relaxed.
Vexed, Bella blew a stray strand of hair from her eyes. Stupid wig.
"Be- uh, Darren?"
Sharply, she instantly picked up the words and swiftly turning around, her eyes searched out the man immediately.
Charlie Swan was dressed in a faded blue uniform, blending in the grey of Forks like a brush of blue. He had messy brown hair and a bushy moustache, and nervous brown eyes. Blue and brown. So... Bella tried to place the right word... so ordinary.
She sighed and inwardly rolled her eyes. It was his back luck that his daughter just had to be such a freak.
She headed Charlie's way. Luna followed like a shadow.
"Bella! No, Darren," Charlie struggled with his words, "You've grown, um, a lot."
Despite of herself, a small grin made to her face.
"Hello." She put on her best smile.
She could practically see the awkwardness fade from the atmosphere. Charlie stepped towards her, Bella's muscle tensed and soon enough, she was enveloped in a hug. If it were ants crawling her skin before, it was flames now. She squeezed her eyes in concentration as to not harm the man who had his arms around her. In her mind, she cursed Noah for making her like this.
Couldn't she even enjoy the intimacy between father and daughter?
Unexperienced, she patted his back a several times. When he finally let go, and Bella could see a hint of moisture in his eyes though he quickly turned away in order to hide it. She swallowed the urge to smile.
"This is Luna Amir." Bella introduced politely.
Charlie smiled at her and extended his hand, "Nice to meet you."
Luna hesitated, before returning the gesture. "Pleasure. I'm Miss Swan's-"
"Friend." Bella cut in. She couldn't bear the word 'servant'.
Shock ran through Luna like electricity. Friend? But the dark look that Bella sent her way immediately stopped her thoughts in their track. It was clear. We were not friends.
As if sensing the uprising sour taste in the air, Charlie cleared his throat.
"Let's get the luggages." Charlie was already reaching for Bella's bags.
"Careful," Bella started, "It's really-"
Charlie managed to lift the bag a feet of the ground before it smashed back down onto his feet.
"Heavy." Bella finished wearily.
Gritting his teeth against the pain, Charlie forced a tight smile on his face that resembled more of a grimace. Suddenly a thought flew through his mind and it was as if the temperature dropped by 50 degrees. Hesitantly, Charlie asked, "It's not weapons in here, right?"
"Not all of it." Bella replied carefully, gauging his reaction, "A majority of them are just books and papers."
Charlie visibly relaxed and reached for the bags again. This time, he wisely utilized the wheels.
The road that led them to Forks was long and narrow and winds along curves that hugs the mountains to give you a broad view of the ocean. Bella carefully watched and remembered every detail of this foreign city. She had rapidly adapted to the unvarying colours of the place. Green and grey. Dull and boring, in a very safe and tranquil way.
Bella grudgingly admired Noah's wise choice of location. There were a lot of trees and a majority of the city was made up of dense forests. It was the best escape and hiding place. The city was also dark, which made both offence and defence utilizable strategies. Only thing wrong was that it was too wet and slippery, and foot steps could be easily traced. But she hoped that she wouldn't have to use any of her analysis. She couldn't bear the thought of having those dangerous people ten miles near Charlie.
"How are you liking Forks?" Charlie asked.
Charlie was very quiet, he looked the type.
"It's very different." Bella replied softly.
He nodded attentively but his eyes were far away. Bella doesn't even need to look. She knew he was trying to imagine how life was like for her in London. He was probably thinking somewhere along the lines of James Bond and Mission Impossible. Resting her chin on her palm, Bella closed her eyes, she wished that it could be that straight forward.
Ten minutes later, they pulled up a driveway to a small house. The building was shabby compared what she had back in England. It really was a modest home, with its dirty eggshell white and paint peeling at the corners. In front of the building, standing before them in the driveway was a hideous orange truck.
Bella stared at it questioningly as she stepped out of the car. She knew that no one else lived here except for Charlie, if so, then could it be that...
"It's your welcome home present." Charlie said sheepishly, the edges of his voice were strained nervously.
Behind her, Bella detected a soft whistle from Luna.
Despite of the truck's monstrous appearance, Bella was touched. She has received plenty of presents in the past, but they were all bargain trades. This man had no intents nor purpose, yet he went to the trouble of buying her a gift.
"You shouldn't have." Bella said sincerely.
"Well, I guess you should, ya know, get to known some normalcy." Charlie muttered, embarrassed.
The model of the car suggested that it definitely had a history dating back somewhere in the late eighties or early nineties. In both cases, Bella had no desire to look at the engine.
"Awesome." She nodded.
Minutes later, Charlie had finished giving them the tour around the house. It was a small building with two floors, two bathrooms, and six pieces in general. A crowded living room, kitchen, office, two bedrooms and a guest room where Luna would be staying. All the furnitures had faded colours and had indications that implied that they were straight from IKEA. With a suitcase in hand, Bella wondered through the musty hallways. Something was eerily familiar about the house. Bella felt like that she was taking a stroll down a hazy memory lane.
Charlie had clearly put a lot effort into cleaning the place up for her, but evidences of a bachelor for more than a decade still popped up all over the place. Such as the stained rims of coffee cups on the glass table, or the stacks of empty pizza packages from pizza hut, or the smell of dirty laundry in the air...
The only extravagance in his house was the photo frames that stood above the fireplace. Bella carefully studied the photos and she realized with a start that they were pictures of Renee and herself. The her back then possessed a sort of innocence that she didn't realize she could have.
Bella felt like someone was squeezing her heart.
She spent thirty minutes unpacking and setting security devices around her room. Next door, she heard Luna do the same. Her room was small and furnished with light purple. It had a bookshelf and a wooden study desk and a twin sized bed pushed to the side. She hid her pistol, Polish P-83 Wanad under the bed and her knife under her pillow. Finally, she preformed a security precaution by the window by setting the handle at 80 degrees horizontally and slipped a small sheet of paper between the cracks of the window.
Then she sat down on the bed and booted up her PowerBook. Ten minutes later, she felt a presence outside of her door. Luna. She ignored her and seconds later, she heard Luna move away.
At 7 pm sharp, Charlie called them down for pizza and dinner was spent in a comfortable silence. As she munched on the greasy food, Bella felt a pang of strange guilt. She watched the grease staining her finger tips, and slowly sliding down the lengths of her index. Without thinking about it, she suddenly blurted out.
"Maybe I should cook from now on."
Charlie froze in mid chew and Luna started to choke on the pizza that was half way down her throat.
"Um, Darren, are you sure?" Charlie asked carefully. Did they teach cooking at a spy agency? He had no idea, but the thought of a bunch of super killers in pink apron cracked him up.
Unable to take back her words, Bella nodded curtly and went back to eating.
Eventually, Luna was able to close her gaping mouth. Her thoughts whirls in messy mixture of shock and confusion. Isabella Dawyer cooking? Noah was going to kill her.
"I'll wash the dishes too."
Luna dropped her pizza.
It was 9 pm.
Bella had invited Luna into the room and the two of them were pouring over her laptop. Noises of baseball games floated through the floor board of from the TV and Charlie's shouts and cheers topped over the noise.
Bella was describing Noah's new task.
"He wants you to aide me on this one." She pointed to the file on the screen. "According to a reliable source, in Port Angeles there's been a commotions among an unidentified group that has been smuggling illegal weapons and drugs-" Suddenly, Bella paused and glanced at Luna wearily, "Why are you standing so far away?"
Luna flinched, and shuffled closer. All the while, the palms of her hand were sweating like there was no tomorrow. She couldn't even describe her shock when Isabella called her over into her room. She didn't know what she had expected. It would seem more appropriate that the legendary Isabella should be more of a recluse, more cold. But no one would have thought that she could be a person with such morals and dignity. But a decade of rumours on Miss Chompbox couldn't be shaken in under one night. Besides, Isabella had too many secrets and Luna had no knowledge about her. Zero, nada.
The truth was, no one has ever been this close to Isabella before, except for the people that she had killed. Luna shuddered. Except for the people that she had killed.
Noting the moisture gathering on Luna's forehead, Bella's curiosity flared. "Do you really think that I bite?"
She cocked an eyebrow.
"No Miss." Luna stammered, her heart felt as if it was running a marathon.
Even though her original intentions were to ignore this girl, Bella found herself intrigued by Luna's nervousness. Did she really pass as such an intimidating figure at the agency?
Suddenly, her eyes took on a calculating look and she appraised Luna with a pensive look. Why not find out?
"What do you think about the drug trading?" Bella leaned back on the chair, swirling around so that her whole body faces Luna.
Like a dear caught in the headlights, Luna's thoughts were sent into a whirl. Was this some sort of a test?
"Shouldn't this be the kind of things that the police should deal with?" Luna said carefully.
Bella grinned. Caught off guard, Luna blinked stupidly. For a moment, she wondered how pretty Isabella would look without the boy makeup.
"That's what's it's strange about this whole ordeal." Bella slipped into a thoughtful tone, "I did some research and found that there's no record of the organization in the police database, even though the dealing movements aren't small."
"None?" Luna blinked in surprise. Her fears momentarily were cast aside.
Bella shook her head. Illegal dealings, though are common occurrences, shouldn't be taken lightly. And Bella had a feeling that this organization had a larger range than most.
"Are you saying that the authorities are ignoring the trades?" Luna said incredulously. She was surprised by how bold her voice sounded, but even more oddly, she couldn't bring herself to care.
Hm, not very sharp are you?
"No." Bella said immediately, rolling her eyes. "The police couldn't afford to be caught with such ignorance. Besides, they have no reason to."
Outside, rain tapped steadily on the window in a hypnotizing rhythm.
Tap, tap, tap.
The sky was an unforgiving shade of pitch black that shrouded the city in an ominous gloom. No stars, no moon.
Bella watched clear droplets of water slide down the panel of the window, leaving slick tracks in its path.
"There is definitely a bigger scope to this situation than we think there are. Some higher authorities must be trying to conceal this drug trade for some unknown reasons."
Bella didn't voice her concerns, but a nagging feeling was becoming more and more permanent in the back of her mind. There is something big lurking under the surface.
The tick tock of the clock rang loudly in the room.
"Miss Dywer? Miss Dywer?" Luna wanted to wave her hand before Isabella's face, but she was afraid that she might bite her hand off.
Bella rubbed her eyes. "I'm listening Luna."
"Oh." Heat shot up Luna's face. Crap.
Bella casually reached for the gun which she had taken out beneath the bed and had placed on the desk. Through her thick frame of lashes, she saw Luna instantly freeze.
"The members of the group are actually normal people with normal jobs." Bella fidgeted with the gun, flicking the safety catch on and off, "One of the dealers owns a flower boutique in Port Angeles."
She paused to look at the clock. It read 9:10 pm.
"We're going to take a look there tonight, as soon as Charlie falls asleep."
Then she cocked the gun loudly. Luna yelped.
Bella could see the fear in her eyes, and it was written all over her face. She was scared even though she tried not to show it, no...she was terrified. Bewilderment overtook Bella's mind momentarily. All the agents under Noah were die-hard warriors who put their lives as second prior to their job. All of them were taught to never show fear, even if they were looking at death right in the face. But Luna was shaking as if she was looking at the devil itself.
Was that what she was to them? A devil?
Bella heaved a sigh and looked out the window wearily.
"Go get ready." She told Luna softly, no hint of threat in her voice.
Luna didn't need to be told twice. She was by the door in under a second, but before she could cross in the hallway, Bella's voice stopped her.
Swallowing the huge lump in her throat, Luna turned around slowly.
"Yes Miss Dywer?" She asked carefully.
Casually, Bella tilted her head to lean against the palm of her hand.
"If we're going to work together, it means you're not endangered by my presence. Keep that in mind."
She offered her a sad smile.
Isabella Dywer did not understand.
There weren't a lot things in this world that could stump her, with her IQ and photographic memory, but unavoidably, there had to things that went beyond her comprehension. Human fear was one thing. Of course, she could quote from the Oxford dictionary, but she couldn't understand how it worked.
She knew fear, though from a distant memory.
She felt fear when Noah had took her from Renee the morning after New Year's Eve, 1997.
She felt fear when they had taken her to a complete new country and ran tests on her. The foreignness had frightened her. 1997.
That was the year which she had learned what fear was, and after that year, she had slowly ceased to feel anything at all.
However, her fear was justified. Luna's and the rest of the agency's didn't make sense.
She understood the rumours about her, because they were based on facts. She had killed so many people that she could ran several baths from all of their blood put together. But was that the reason why people feared her? It made no sense. Nobody in the agency was innocent, so why did she stand out so much?
People just couldn't seem to understand that the girl whom they are calling 'Bloody Mary' was just another kid who had grown up too fast, too alone and too bitter.
There was going to be more, but I decided to split it into two chapters. Sorry, the next would have an immediate update.
Next up: Edward and Bella's first meeting~~~ though might not be what you would imagine.