Many thanks as always to my dear friends for pre-reading and betaing this one.
I don't own the characters, but I like to play with them.
"Bella, I have a problem!" Edward groaned panicked in my ear.
"What?" I mumbled, barely awake. I stayed up too late last night and indulged Jake in a stupid Wii game.
"Did I wake you?" he asked worried. "Isn't it like noon there?"
"Yeah, but I came to bed around five. What did you want?" I stifled a loud yawn.
"I thought it would be nice to cook breakfast. The problem is that my pancakes get stuck to the pan."
"Seriously? That's why you called me? Duuuudeee." I fell back on my bed, rolling around. "Did you put butter or oil in the pan?"
"Esme told me not to put oil in this pan...it works without it just fine."
"You're a newbie in the kitchen. Just put some oil. There will be a miracle."
"You're a lifesaver!"
I laughed and stretched under my blanket, moaning.
"If I don't answer it means I fell back asleep."
"No, no. Stay awake, love. I need help," he begged me.
I chose to ignore his endearment word and asked why he was cooking breakfast when he clearly had no idea what he was doing.
"I lost a bet to Carlisle. Esme found Fluff."
"Here I thought you decided to surprise them with breakfast in bed. And who's Fluff?"
"Breakfast in bed is reserved for you...when we'll be alone."
My heart melted at his words.
"As for Fluff...well, she's Smoky's girl. She's also gestating...soon to bear her kittens. I couldn't say no when he brought her along a couple nights ago. Carlisle found out yesterday morning...and Esme last night while I stupidly took two bowls and a carton of milk with me."
"You're crazy, Edward! Another cat? Soon to be who knows how many... Jeez. Poor Esme."
"Don't tell me you would have shooed her away!"
"I wouldn't have taken Smoky in from the beginning. Besides, I'm a dog kinda girl."
"Of course, you are."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I snapped. He just managed to wake me up by irking the hell out of me. Awesome start of my weekend.
"Nothing. Forget I said anything. Listen...about these pancakes..."
Rolling my eyes, I guided him through the complicated process of putting batter in the pan with oil and flip the pancake when it turned light brown. By the time Edward was done, I had my coffee prepared and was on my way back to my room.
He said that he wanted to keep talking after serving breakfast.
"I'll be online...trying to stay awake," I promised before we hung up.
Because I felt mean, I opened the door of my room and decided to listen to Linkin Park—full blast. In no time, Jake appeared in the doorway glaring at me.
I beamed at him just as Edward requested me a Skype conversation. Great—video. I was too sleepy to type.
"Hi!" I waved to him.
I had to admit he looked delicious in just pajama bottoms and pancake batter stuck to his arms and stomach.
"Morning," he answered, though I barely heard him through the loud drum noises.
Bummer. I had to stop the music.
"Karma is a bitch, uh Bella?" Jake joked.
I had forgotten about him. I narrowed my eyes at him. "It's your fault I didn't get to sleep much!"
"Yeah, yeah. You had fun. Admit it. Anyway, say hi to your bloodsucker from me."
He turned on his heel, ducking around the corner to avoid my balled socks that were flying toward him.
"Asshole!" I bit my lip realizing Edward had been a witness to our fantastic friendship. Jake was really my best friend, but he could drive me crazy sometimes.
"Interesting...are you always so scary in the morning?" He chuckled.
"No, unless I don't get to sleep enough," I told him, smiling.
"I truly am sorry for waking you…" I watched as his hand went to his hair.
Ah, how I missed his little self-conscious actions.
"So…any plans for today?" I asked, sipping from my coffee.
"Talking with you," he answered softly.
My heart did a weird flip-flop at hearing that.
"How is this possible?" I muttered, frowning. "You can dazzle me even as a human…and so far away. Not fair."
"You look adorable when you pout." Suddenly, his head turned to the side and glorious smile appeared on his face. He disappeared momentarily from my view—then I had a small chocolate brown cat in front of my eyes.
"This is Fluff," Edward explained. He squeezed the cat to his chest.
"As much as I don't really like cats, I have to say she is cute." I nodded, staring at him amused.
I'd have never thought—not in a billion years that I'd see him with cats.
He smiled, stroking a hand over the cat's head. "Carlisle will call a veterinarian to come on Monday and see how far along she is, though I think she'll give birth any day now." He turned the cat around showing me her huge belly.
"Whoa!" I shouted in surprise. "There are going to be a lot of kittens!"
"Yes." His face fell. "Esme's already making calls to her friends to ask who wants kittens in a few months."
"It's for the best. Seriously." I giggled, leaning back against my pillows, crossing my legs next to the laptop. "Were you really planning on keeping them?"
Edward shrugged, making the most adorable face.
"Aw, but I think Smoky is enough."
"Smoky…." He scowled. "The little shit never stayed around, but now that he brought his companion over he's here all the time."
I laughed. "It was pure strategy!" I doubled over in laughter. "Getting under your skin then slowly taking over your life with his companion."
"Probably. He is smart."
"Honey, I'm doing laundry. Do you have anything for me?" I heard Esme asking from his side.
I tried not to laugh as Edward's face turned red.
"Esmeee!" he groaned, throwing me an apologetic look. "Hold on, Bella." He shuffled to the other side of the room and bent to pick a small basket filled with dirty clothes. Ah, he has a nice ass. He disappeared from view for about five minutes…probably helping Esme.
"Back!" He beamed at me. "Sorry about that."
"It's okay. Believe me, it's normal. I think I should do laundry, too."
"Now?" he asked, slightly upset.
"It won't take me long. I promise. Don't you have homework, or something? Or play with the cats." I winked.
"Yeah, I need to work on a project now that you mentioned it. And there's my Paper, too."
"See? You're busy. Don't mind me if you see me around here—I'll leave the Skype open," I told him, already carrying the laptop to my desk.
"Alright. Have fun!"
"Oh, I will," I promised as I stripped my bed of the sheets. "Jake! Bedding to the bathroom in five!" I shouted.
"Aw, damn, woman! I'm snoozing!" he yelled.
"Snooze somewhere else!" I yelled back.
"Laundry seems entertaining there," Edward commented, scaring me.
I turned to him and poked my tongue out.
After half an hour of tracking dirty clothes and stacking them in front of the washing machine, I realized I'd have to wash two loads—one with colors, one with the whites. Of course.
I started with the whites because they were more. Then I finally made Jake help with cleaning his pen—the place he called his room. I rarely entered there, it was scary.
When the living room was once again spotless, I decided to see if my room needed cleaning before I'd take a short break then prepare lunch. My eyes went to my laptop and I couldn't help but giggle.
Edward was juggling with two heavy books trying to push Smoky away from his desk…or his laptop more exactly because I could see his head in front of the camera.
He must have noticed me because he threw me an exasperated look over the cat's shoulder.
"I take my words back about him being all cute," he muttered, finally pushing the cat away. "Aw, look what you've done!"
"What happened?" I wondered, curiously.
"He just wrote a whole page of nonsense on my thesis. Crap. Get out of here!" I saw Edward picking Smoky then a door slamming.
I started laughing at this new side of Edward. He used to be the picture of calm. But vampires have unlimited patience…unlike humans.
On Wednesday, I was trudging my legs on my way home, too tired after both jobs.
"Bella!" I was hearing things. Jake couldn't be around because he was working until late every evening.
I was just a few feet away from our building.
"Bella!" I heard him yelling after me again. Surprised, I found him sprinting after me. He looked scared—something I hadn't seen before.
"What… you're early…" I mumbled, shocked.
"Bella. I saw her! Across from my garage! There's a bookstore!"
"What?" I frowned, not putting the pieces together.
"Victoria! I saw her!"
I choked on my spit as the blood drained from my head. I was woozy.
She was so close.
He realized I was faint and wrapped an arm around me, guiding me to our apartment. Once inside, he took me to the couch and brought me a soda.
"You know how I'm kinda, sorta dating the girl there…" He started saying softly.
"Yes. Vanessa." I nodded. My hands were shaking.
I hoped nothing had happened to her.
"Well, I ran there once I saw Victoria leaving…and Vanessa told me that there had just been a strange woman in her store. She had asked of a petite brunette, mousy looking."
I snorted despite at how wound up I was.
He cracked a small smile, too.
"Anyway, Vanessa told me that she told Victoria she didn't know anyone like that, to which the leech answered that she'd keep looking in every bookstore from Seattle. I think you should quit."
"I'm calling Carlisle," I told him. "We know she's here. He can send the Volturi," I reasoned.
Jake nodded, seemingly agreeing with me. So I took my phone out and dialed Edward's number, biting on my thumb.
"Answer, dammit," I muttered when I got his voicemail for the third time.
"Maybe he has classes," Jake told me.
My eyes widened. "Oh. Shit."
I really tried to think of something else, to distract myself by cooking dinner, but all that happened was a very burnt chicken breast and undercooked vegetables. Jake was a good sport and said it tasted okay.
I couldn't stomach more than a few bites.
I was tense and slightly sick.
When my phone buzzed from the living room, I gratefully left the table.
"Hi! Finally," I told Edward.
"I'm really sorry, Bella. I was with my thesis professor, discussing."
I felt like a jerk. "She's here," I blurted out.
"Sorry? Who's there?" he asked, confused. Then he gasped. "Vi-vic… Victoria?"
I gulped the bile. "Yes. Jake saw her at the bookstore across from his garage."
"Your bookstore?" His voice rose.
"Not mine. But she's going to search…until she finds me."
"Hold on. I just got home," he told me seriously. "Carlisle! Victoria found Bella!"
"Not true," I mumbled.
"It's a matter of time, love," Edward whispered softly. "Please, can you talk to Aro? We know where she is."
I stayed quiet, listening to Edward talking with Carlisle.
My mind was spinning.
I truly hoped they'd get her this time.
Exactly a week after Jake saw Victoria and the plan to bring the Volturi for her was set into motion, I was at the bookstore.
The whole week I was skittish and avoided every woman with red hair. It seemed that they appeared to be so many suddenly.
The bell jingled announcing someone entered the store.
My heart rate picked up for the unteempth time in the past seven days.
Slowly, I peeked around the corner of the shelves I was restocking to see a smallish blond girl dressed in black jeans and a long sleeved, turtle neck red sweater, black shades on her nose.
I breathed a sigh of relief and approached her. "Hello, welcome to…"
My words died down when she lowered her shades just a fraction.
"Fuck," I hissed under my breath.
"Don't worry, little human. I'm here to let you know the problem has been solved."
I frowned, trying to settle my heart.
I couldn't take my eyes off her red ones. "What?"
She sighed. "Victoria, ring any bells? We took care of her."
"Oh. OH!" I beamed at her. "You're with the Vol…"
"Shut up, now!" she snapped making my blood run cold. "It was stupid of them to divulge the secret to a stupid human. Anyway, they're finally no longer a threat."
I realized she was speaking of the Cullens.
"You can go back living your fleeting human life with your usual drama. Don't worry about that stupid Victoria." With that, the girl turned around and left.
I saw her putting a large hat—like the beach ones—on her head then getting lost in the crowd.
It was sunny today, after all.
I still couldn't believe what just happened.
On one hand, Victoria was no longer a threat.
On another hand, they sent a vampire—one that fed on humans—to give me the news.
I found myself clapping like some silly girl, which I might as well be.
We could go on with our lives without her looming threats following us.
Drama out of the way. Now, bear with me...I'm sort of stuck so I don't promise to update next Monday as usual. Chapter 7 is written...almost. :)
I don't plan on dragging this story, so I'm not thinking of more than 20 chapters. Now, to write them, huh?
Until then, watch out for my Twilight outtakes. I pulled all my original Twilight related stories, and I'm going to post them as a single story (from pre Twilight to post Breaking Dawn.)