Thank you for all the lovely reviews! I am so, so, so excited to be getting such a positive response for this story!
I would like to say this is probably my proudest chapter. I put in some witch elements that I thought up on my own, and I really like the way they turn out.
Work, Work, Work
"Eleanor?" a voice called. Through the haze of my careful measurements, I pulled myself out of focus and back into relative reality.
"Yes, Edward?" I asked as I turned to my half-open door. "Bella?" I acknowledged.
"What are you doing?" Bella asked casually as she nodded in the direction of my mortar and pestle, various glass bowls, and tiny glass vials.
"Making serums and drops."
"What are drops?" she continued. I pursed my lips in contemplation and turned to dig around in my black hole of a kit. I produced a glass vial and held it up for her inspection.
The sapphire blue liquid swirled around in its container, almost pulsing with life. This particular form of drops could give the effects of being high to someone, without addictions or side-effects…well, relative side effects.
"Want to try some?" I asked lightly. Most drops were used medicinally, which was why I was making them, as a numbing agent. The sapphire-blue ones, however, were purely recreational.
"What are they?" Bella asked curiously as she took a seat on my neat-as-a-pin bed. I hated messes when I was working; I found it impossible to concentrate.
"Drops," I answered simply.
"What will they do?" Bella asked curiously as I handed her the small bottle. She turned the container around carefully in her hands, examining the moving liquid inside.
"Try them or not; I don't care," I shrugged and turned back to my measurements.
"No thanks," she sighed. I glanced over and caught the tail end of Edward's firm head shaking. I bit back my smile and took the small bottle back from her to tuck back inside my kit. They lapsed into silence as I resumed measuring my ingredients out carefully before I mixed and mashed them together. They had to be left outside overnight to cure before I could finish them off. The serums were more difficult to make, but had a bigger effect; they sealed up cut wounds and healed anything and everything beneath the skin within two hours.
"Did you need something?" I asked as I finished up what I needed to do for the drops. The ones I had made for the pack could probably knock a grown human man out for days, if not kill him instantly. Shifters could not only take more; they needed more to gain the full effect.
"Not anything in particular," Bella admitted as she examined some of the personal items I had placed around the room. She studied the framed photo of my Nana and me, the fist-sized crystals lined up along the windowsill, and lastly, my small dreamcatcher that I had hung on a small pin in the wall over the headboard of my bed. "Do you have nightmares?" she asked softly. I arched an eyebrow.
"Not right now," I explained, nodding at the dreamcatcher. Bella blushed, and turned around, searching wildly for Edward. "He left after you agreed not to take the drops," I informed her softly. Bella sank onto the bed, sitting with crossed legs. I pursed my lips as I watched her face change from a normal expression to a pained one. "Why are you so worried? Don't you have confidence in them?" I hedged, sinking onto the soft mattress beside her. Bella looked up with wide eyes, surprised by my question.
"Well, I know that they're well trained; Jasper seems to know what he's doing. The others, though…" she trailed off. "They're so young and…human."
"Bella," I laughed, amused. "They're anything but-they're shifters." She glared at me doubtfully and I held up my hands in defense. "Their bodies were made to fight this way. If you have faith in the Cullens, you should have faith in the pack."
"It's not about faith," she protested.
"Then what is it about?"
"They're strong, and fast…Victoria is vicious."
"So this is about your fear," I clarified. Bella stood up and paced to my door and back.
"Yes…no…I don't know." Her face fell into her palms.
"It's okay to be afraid," I told her softly. My tone was tender, and I schooled my face into a gentle expression. Bella's wide brown eyes looked at me, filled with her troubles and inner turmoil. "It's okay to be scared," I repeated. "It's not okay to let your fears get the best of you. You have to face what upsets you and find a way to either diminish or eradicate the fear. Bella, you have so many wonderful people in your life that are ready and willing to protect you. They even called me in to help with the entire production! No one is going to get hurt, and the battle will play out just fine. Do as Jasper and Edward ask of you and everyone will be fine."
"You don't know that," Bella protested weakly. I could see the acceptance in her eyes, though; she was letting my words sink in.
"I wouldn't lie to you," I argued back softly.
Bella wandered around the room for a little more and I set to work on the serums. When she wandered out of my room, shutting the door behind her, I lit a few candles and began the ritualistic preparation of the serums.
Hours later, I was tired, slightly sweaty, and definitely ready for a nap. As I was stepping out of the shower, Alice intercepted me to hand me the phone on my way back to my room to get dressed.
"Hello?" I asked once I had pulled on my clothes.
"Hey, Ellie!" Jacob said cheerfully over the phone. "I was just wondering if you were hungry, some of the guys are meeting up at Emily's for dinner and we wanted to invite you!"
"You mean Paul wanted to invite me?" I clarified dryly.
"Well, um…" Jacob hesitated, not wanting to out Paul, but not wanting to lie to me, either.
"Did he put you up to this?" I demanded, holding back a grin.
"It's okay if he did. Yeah, I'll come tonight. Does Emily need me to bring anything?"
"Just yourself," Jacob answered, just as cheerful as before.
And I cut it off there because the next chapter will launch right into dinner at Sam and Emily's.
Any questions for me so far?
I have some questions to anyone who would like to review:
How are the witchy things? Too far-fetched? I know they're a little science-y with measurements and those weird plant names...
Are the characters pretty much canon?
How does the atmosphere of the story/Eleanor's mind feel? Are the descriptions accurate enough? Is she detailed enough?
Are there any things you are hoping to read more about?