"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 on a lot more than normal people's do. While it could be useful, at times like this, it could also be a nuisance.
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 picked up the words and swiftly turned around, her eyes searched out the man immediately.
Charlie Swan was dressed in a faded blue police uniform. 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 just his bad luck that his daughter had to be a trained killer. She wondered how that was going to work out: a killer under a policeman's roof. She also wondered about Charlie's reaction to her ridiculous disguise. She fumed at Noah's diabolical arrangement; there was no doubt that he did this just to torture her.
She headed towards Charlie and Luna followed like a shadow.
"Darren," Charlie struggled with his words, "You've grown, um, a lot."
"Hello dad." She put on an award winning smile.
Luckily, the awkwardness slowly seeped from the atmosphere. Charlie stepped towards her, Bella's muscles tensed and soon enough, she was enveloped in a hug. She didn't know what to feel. Maybe there was affection and comfort somewhere in that split second emotional whirlwind but the instilled and overwhelming need for self preservation mostly overrode everything else.
And she knew exactly who to blame for this.
Unexperienced, she patted his back a several times. When he finally let go, Bella saw a hint of moisture in his eyes though he quickly turned away to hide it. Once again, she had no idea what to feel.
"This is Luna Amir." Bella introduced politely.
Charlie smiled at her and extended his hand, "Nice to meet you."
Luna smiled respectfully and shook his hands. "Likewise. Thank you for letting me live with you."
Charlie smiled awkwardly and gestured towards exit, "Let me handle the luggage." He said, reaching for Bella's bag.
"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 that looked more like a grimace. Charlie coughed and looked way but he reached for the bags again. This time, he wisely utilized the wheels.
The road that led them to Forks was long and narrow and curves around 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 was good for both offense and defense. The 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, Noah's threat still hung fresh in her mind.
"How are you liking Forks?" Charlie asked.
"It's very different." Bella replied softly.
He nodded but his eyes were far away. Bella knew he was trying to imagine how life was like for her in London. Charlie knew about Renee's heritage when they first married and he was aware of the riskiness of their marriage given the intense disapproval from Renee's family. He wouldn't leave her though, not for the money because there was no way that Noah Dwyer would give him a single cent, but because he loved her. In the end, they still didn't work out and Renee left him before Bella learned how to say "momma".
They spent the rest of the ride in contemplative silence. Green sceneries flashed by until eventually, they pulled up to a small house. The building was shabby compared to what Bella had in England. It was a modest home, with eggshell white paint peeling at the corners. 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, could it be that...
"It's your welcome home present." Charlie said sheepishly.
Behind her, Bella detected a soft whistle from Luna.
Despite of the truck's monstrous appearance, Bella was touched. She had received plenty of presents in the past, but they were all bargains. This man had no intents or purposes, yet he still went to the trouble of buying her a gift.
"You shouldn't have." Bella said sincerely.
"Well, I guess you should, you know, get to know 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 and two bathrooms. 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 signs that pointed to the fact that they were straight from IKEA. With a suitcase in hand, Bella wondered through the musty hallways, feeling 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...
She felt her chest tighten.
Finally she ended up in her room, next to Luna's. 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 a small swiss knife under the pillow. Looking around, her gaze fell on the window beside her desk. She stared at it for a while before walking towards it and gently pulled the handle down to an unnatural angle.
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 thoughtfully as it slowly slid down the lengths of her index. Without thinking about it, she 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 super killers in pink aprons 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 whirled in messy mixture of shock and confusion. Isabella Dwyer cooking?
"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. The truth was, it was likely that 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 was going to kill.
Noting the moisture gathering on Luna's forehead, Bella's curiosity flared. Did she really pass off as such an intimidating figure in the agency?She appraised Luna pensively. Why not find out?
"What do you think about the drug trading?" Bella leaned closer.
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 deal with?" Luna said carefully.
Bella grinned. For a moment, Luna wondered how pretty Agent Dwyer would look without the boy makeup.
"That's what's so strange about it." 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."
"Still, what does this have to do with us?"
"Confidential. I don't know much about it myself." But she had a few theories.
Outside, the rain tapped steadily on the window in a hypnotizing rhythm. Bella watched clear droplets of water slide down the panel, leaving slick tracks in its path.
"There is definitely a bigger scope to this situation. Some higher authorities must be trying to conceal the trade for some unknown reasons that's important to Noah."
Bella casually reached for the gun which she 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. Was that what she was to her? A devil? It bewildered her that an agent trained to face death head on would be so afraid of her. It made her feel...oddly enough, it made her feel lonely.
"Luna. Look at me."
The girl looked up at her reluctantly.
"If we're going to work together, it means that I have no desire to hurt you. Keep that in mind please."
She offered her a sad smile.
Isabella Dywer did not understand.
There weren't a lot things in this world that could stump her, but being a human, there were things that went beyond her comprehension. Human fear was one thing. She knew fear, even though it was from a distant memory.
She felt fear when Noah had took her from Renee on 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 when she 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. Nobody in the agency was innocent, so why did she stand out so much?
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.