Special shout-out to BlueGirl98! My 50th follower! And thankyou everyone who has favorited/followed/commented this story.
The next morning I was surprised when I woke up. I couldn't remember falling asleep last night. Usually it was a conscious decision for me to retreat into that dream like state.
"Bella!" Renesmee shouted from the garage, "We need to leave!"
I raced downstairs and into my car, jerking on my boots as I started the engine up. Renesmee's eyes widened as she caught sight of my outfit.
"Please change clothes," she pleaded with me as I jerked the gear into reverse. "Bella, I am begging you. Please, please, please, wear a different outfit."
"There is nothing wrong with this one!" I shouted peeling out of the driveway.
"Yes, there is!" she screeched, as we arrived at school.
"Is not!" I returned, racing to class since we were late.
"Is too!" she whispered nonstop throughout our shared English class in second period.
Our little argument continued through the morning classes until we were sitting down to lunch and she slammed her book bag down on to the table.
"Please, change clothes, Isa," she pleaded. "I have another outfit in the truck. You know it'll fit you perfectly!"
I rolled my eyes, "Don't be so much like the Pixie, Renesmee. What the heck is wrong with what I'm wearing right now?"
"White wife-beater? Baggy, blue sweater? Black yoga pants? Ugg boots? Messy bun?" she hissed loudly. "You look like you crawled out of bed and came straight here! And don't call me Pixie!"
"You sure are acting like her," Ben and I muttered together.
"I am not!" Renesmee screeched. Several people turned to stare at her, and I could see, out of the corner of my eye, all of the Cullens watching us.
"Anyway," I said, "I did just crawl out of bed. I woke up late."
My family stared at me. Despite my power to force myself to sleep, I usually didn't need to sleep. The stress of dealing with the Cullens yesterday had worn my brain out and forced me into sleep.
"You slept in?" Ben asked, shocked.
"My reaction exactly," I said, taking a swig of the bottled blood I had brought to school with me.
"Back to your outfit," Renesmee stressed in a growl. "Will you please just change?"
"No, I am perfectly happy with the way I am," I joked, smug, and she snarled.
"I meant change your clothes! Jeez, Isa! This is why you can't get a boyfriend!" she quickly clapped a hand over her mouth, shocked at the words that had just left it. "Oh my gosh, Isa, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that!"
I smiled. "No, the reason I don't have a boyfriend is because I don't want one. I'm perfectly happy with remaining single after the last one."
Renesmee opened her mouth then snapped it shut. Her eyes bugging out. "No!" she breathed quietly and I closed my eyes.
I should have kept my quiet. I shouldn't have said anything. She had seen right through me.
"No, Isa, please. Tell me you're not... You're not still in love with him, are you?" Renesmee looked both disgusted and angered at the thought.
I stared down at the chocolate chip granola bar I was slowly reducing to crumbs.
"I'll kill him!" she growled. "I'm going to hunt him down and tear him to shreds!" Renesmee got up as if she was going to do just that, but Jacob grabbed her arm and hauled her back down.
"Killing him won't help her, Renesmee. Don't you think I would have done that by now if it would?" Jacob asked, his tone bitter.
"You know?" Renesmee hissed. "You knew she was still in love with him after all he did?"
Jacob shrugged sheepishly. "I know Bella better than you do?"
I sighed. "I suppose I might as well just start to go by Bella. It seems everyone is calling me that." I turned towards the Cullen table and found them all studiously engaged in a hurriedly started conversation. "The Cullens included."
"Sorry, Isa," Jake smiled grimly.
"Bella, now," I corrected amused.
"The way you two jump topics is ridiculous," Vern grumbled. "I thought we were talking about how Bella is still in love with him."
I rolled my eyes, "How do you know about that?" I asked for the game's sake.
"You sleep-talk," Ben answered; continuing the game. "You're always shouting the same name. 'Anthony! Anthony!'" she used Edward's middle name.
Wincing, I frowned at her. "Do I really talk in my sleep?"
"Yes," my family answered together.
"Almost every night," Renesmee added, referring to the nights I choose to sleep.
"It gets annoying," Vern put in. Ben slapped the back of his head.
"Huh," I said, chewing gently on my thumb nail.
"And returning back to the original conversation," Renesmee suddenly growled. "How the heck are you still in love with him?"
"I thought the original conversation was about my outfit?" I asked sarcastically. I sighed when she glared at me menacingly. "I never stopped." I whispered after a silent moment. "Even after everything he said to me, I never stopped loving him."
"How can you just... accept that?" Renesmee snarled.
"I always knew he was too good for me," I shrugged.
"It's not fair!" she suddenly shrieked, her anger mixed with her pain for me. "W-what he did to you is n-not f-fair!"
"Hasn't anyone ever told you?" I joked half heartedly. "Life isn't fair."
I saw Edward flinch out of the corner of my eye. Those were the exact words I used forty years ago when he asked me why I had moved to Forks and I told him about Phil and Renee.
Renesmee sighed and glanced down at her mate's watch. "Ah!" she cried, jumping to her feet. "I almost forgot!" Renesmee ran from the cafeteria, throwing a quick glare at the back of Edward's head as she passed.
"Where's she going?" I raised an eyebrow at Jacob.
The big werewolf shrugged, looking just as confused as I felt. "I have no clue. Nessie doesn't tell me everything you know."
"She should," Vern pointed out. "Couples should tell each other everything. Secrets in a relationship can tear people apart!" We stared at him like he had grown another head and he hurriedly added, "Plus, she now has me fearing for my car."
He ran after Renesmee and Ben rolled her eyes. "What does he expect after he ruined her brand new Just Her bag?'
"That she's forget about it," I answered. "I have known him longer." I replied to her unspoken question.
The bell rang and I got to my feet. "Well, I guess I'll see you guys later. I've gotta get to Gia's fundraised." I had no actual intention of going, it was just an excuse to ditch.
"That's today?" Jacob asked, suspiciously innocent. "I forgot."
"Jacob..." my tone was both inquisitive and worried.
"Don't worry. I'll get pictures," he grinned wolfishly. "It'll be like you were here."
I sighed and shook my head, "They'd better be some darn good photos, mutt."
"Sure, sure," Jacob said waving as I walked past the Cullens who'd I'd been ignoring all day. I sped home in my car and flopped down on the couch.
"Alright there, Bella?" Gia asked, coming into the living room, her hands covered in flour.
"Stressed," I muttered into the pillows. "Cullens have been trying to talk to me all day - apologize for what the Leech did yesterday."
"But of course, you want him to be the one to apologize," she guessed.
"He's the one at fault," I grumbled. "He did the crime, gotta do the time."
Gia laughed gently at me. "Well, since you're here, why don't you help me frost these cupcakes and get to the bake sale?"
I giggled, following her into the messy kitchen, "I can't believe how quickly you find fundraisers and charities, Gia."
"Don't forget, missy, I've been here for over a month," Gia replied as she picked up a blue frosting bag and began to decorate the chocolate cupcakes. "And there were flyers for this bake sale all over town. Plus,... Esme Cullen asked me to help out."
I froze, my orange frosting bag hovering over a cupcake.
She and Carlos had known the Cullens were her. That he was here. And they had still brought us here.
I knew Gia. I knew she was completely incapable of purposely harming anyone of her children. So the fact that she had brought me here could only mean one thing.
Gia was nervously frosting pastries as I thought through things, waiting for my reaction.
"Thank you," I said quietly, finally starting to frost the cupcakes.
Gia looked up, surprised. "I thought you wouldn't-"
"No, I understand." I interrupted, knowing what she was about to say. "I never got closure for what happened. You and Carlos have given me a chance for that."
She smiled at me, "I was thinking more along the lines of 'revenge.'"
I burst into laughter. "You sound like Nessie!"
Gia joined in my laughter. "Seriously though, Bella," she said when we sobered. "Make him pay for what he did to you, but... I have to ask that you leave Esme out of it all. She seems to genuinely be upset about you."
"You told her?" I asked, panicked.
"No," Gia answered, finishing the last of the cupcakes up. "We were talking about our 'children' and I mentioned how 'my daughter Bella' likes to cook. Esme nearly started crying - if vampires could cry. I asked her if she was alright, and she said she had a daughter named Bella, but she had died when she was still young. Obviously she was lying about the death part, but the pain was still real."
I smiled slightly, "Maybe I will go to the fundraiser with you. Just to see Esme."
"I'm sure she would like that," Gia smiled warmly.
We packed the cupcakes into boxes and loaded them into the trunk of Gia's Mercedes. She drove carefully - actually keeping within the speed limit for the first time in her vampire life - through town to the city hall where the Benefit for Children's Dreams charity bake sale was taking place.
"I'll take these right here, if you'll just grab the last of them," Gia said, picking up four of the nine boxes of cupcakes.
"Got it," I gathered the last five boxes up and they nearly covered my face - leaving only the top half of my face visible.
"Follow me," Gia led me up the steps into the Grand Ballroom where aisles and aisles of tables were set up to bear the weight of the dozens of cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, and various other sweet treats that were for sale.
"Gia!" a familiar voice called to my mother, delighted. "You made it!"
"Hello, yes. I said I'd be here," Gia answered. "Where can we set these down?"
"Over here," the voice answered and I followed the sound of their footsteps over to a table already buried in pastries.
"And who's this?" the voice asked as I set my burden down/
"This is my oldest daughter - Bella," Gia introduced me before disappearing to help others unload their wares, knowing that Esme and I could handle this table.
I set the boxes down and turned around to find Esme gaping at me.
"Hello," I smiled politely at her.
"Oh my," Esme whispered quietly. "Bella?"
"Um, yes?" I asked, feigning curiosity.
Esme shook her head quickly. "I'm sorry, you just look like someone I once knew, but you can't possibly... could you?" her voice was so hopeful, so pleading, I almost gave in and told her the truth. But that would mean telling her children also - including Edward, who deserved to deal with the pain he put me through.
"I don't think so," I smiled apologetically. "I've never left New York until we moved here."
"Oh, of course, my mistake," Esme quickly apologized before frowning again. "Pardon me for asking, but Gia doesn't seem old enough to be your mother, nor do you look anything alike. Why is that?"
"Oh, I'm adopted," I replied cheerily as we began to unpack the cupcakes. "My mother died giving birth, my father and grandparents died over a year ago. I was actually named after Gran. Speaking of names, I don't believe I caught yours."
"Oh, I'm Esme Cullen. My husband Doctor Carlisle Cullen, one of the doctors up at the hospital."
"Esme?" I repeated, feigning delight. "Gran knew an Esme once. In fact, my sister Renesmee was named after her!" I wanted Esme to know that, no matter what Edward had put me through, I still loved her like a second mother. "Pass me the scissors please."
I took the scissors from her and the sound of them clipping the string off the last box was the only sound at our table.
K, so a couple of people keep asking me about my update schedule and the answer to that is... I have none. I try to update about once a week (especially since there's so many people following this) but it doesn't always work out that way - I travel a lot during the summer.
Also, for those of you following the Goldeyes, I swear I'm still going to write that, but a friend of mine begged me to focus on this one, so I probably won't update that for a while...
Um, thirdly, I kind of have an idea as to what the pictures of what Bella's family does while she's at the bake sale, but I think they're kind of lame, so if you have a suggesting just leave it in the reviews or drop me a PM. Also, I'm only going to have Bella laughing at pictures of the events that took place rather then switch points of views since that drives me nuts when authors do it (hence why I dislike the second Olympians series).
Oh, and fourthly, the person who keeps reviewing just as "A"... are you who I think you are? Put the name of my fake boyfriend in your next review if it is because I'm dying to find out, and if not, y'all just think I'm crazy.