Sometimes, you have to get angry to get things done.
*Twilight is the sole property of SM and her publishing company.*
Chapter 4- Anger Breeds New Friends
A gasp slipped from my lips. 'Mother Fucker!' I thought, 'this isn't happening to me!' I threw my arms up in the air in frustration, consequently frightening my poor mate. "Fuck me six ways to Sunday!" I bellowed.
"What the ever loving fuck? Goddamn it! The Cullens? Really? Those assholes left me to die, caused the deaths of one hundred and fifty-seven innocent people, and you want me to willingly subject myself to more pain? Well, you can shove that idea up your ass, Peter Whitlock."
His eyes grew wide as he watched me pace the small space, scrupulously pondering my words. With his perfect recall, it hadn't taken him but a few seconds to piece together the puzzle. Once he had the completed picture laid out in his mind, a feral growl slipped from his lips, a look of complete and utter fury washing across his face. I was vacillating between anger and terror, the latter taking residence in my chest.
Peter ground his teeth together and growled menacingly, tremors rocking his body. I took a hesitant step back, hoping to avoid his deadly outburst, only to back myself against the brick wall. Fuck! I stifled a whimper as he stalked toward me with a predatory gait, his liquid onyx eyes blazing beneath his long lashes. In the blink of an eye, I was pinned against the wall, hands boxing me in. I took a shallow breath, unable to take a full lungful as the unease swept over me like a heady fog.
My blond mate closed his eyes, trembling from head to toe as he attempted to reign in his inner vampire. The creature who was now aching to be unleashed from his cage. For several extraordinarily long seconds he was as still as the grave, but when he spoke his words were laced with pure venom. "Who, Isabella? Tell me!" he snarled, banging the palms of his hands against the wall. I closed my eyes as the bricks splintered under his fists, showering my hair and body with a light spattering of dust.
My lip trembled slightly, fear coursing through my veins as fast as my heart could pump the blood. Then recognition plowed into me like a freight train. He was inquiring about who had attacked me on my birthday. "It was an accident—"
"An accident? How the hell is nearly killin' my mate an accident?" he roared, promptly interrupting my explanation. "Damn it, Isabella! Who was it?"
I knew things were turning south quickly, and in an attempt to defuse his anger, I reached up and reverently cupped his cheek, projecting enough calm to choke an elephant. Too bad I wasn't an empath so I could knock him out! "You're frightening me a little. Take a deep breath and let it out. I don't want you to fly off the handle," I whispered, my eyes brimming with tears.
He forcibly pushed himself away from the wall and tersely mumbled an apology, looking rather abashed at his outburst. Then, he took a hesitant yet rigid step back and furrowed his brow, anxiously awaiting my reply.
"I want you to know that I forgave him the moment he lunged at me. How can I blame someone for his or her very temperament? It was fucking paper cut, for Christ's sake. Of course, his instincts dictated his actions. You have to understand, as an empath he was even more affected than the others were, practically drowning in their bloodlust. This coupled with his gift, tested his impeccable self-control. Should he truly wished to overpower the others during either incident, I have little doubt he would've been able to subdue them. I've never considered Jasper a monster, nor will I ever."
He stepped toward me, a low snarl slipping between his teeth, and he gently grasped my shoulders, looking deep into my eyes. "Please tell me it wasn't my own brother who took a snap at you." I nodded cautiously, hesitant to share the truth. "Damn it! I'm gonna tear Jasper apart piece by fuckin' piece and laugh as I roast him over an open flame like a damned pig. Only after I kick his ass all over New York. How dare he threaten what is MINE," he roared.
I felt the air whip past my face, as he once again pounded his fist against the brick façade of the alley. I closed my eyes and wrapped my arms around my head, my heart furiously pounding beneath my sternum. Another roar slipped from his lips, and I braced myself for another display of anger. Thankfully, it never occurred. I unfurled my arms and gazed around in the darkness, spotting him leaning against the dumpster, silent sobs racking his large frame. "You need to leave, Isabella. Get as far away from me as you can, before I accidentally harm you. I'm out of control. About five blocks from here is my blue Ford pick-up. It's unlocked. Just wait for me in the cab and lock the doors."
A sob left my lips as I spun on my heel and sprinted down the alley, not sparing a second glance as he resumed his rage. I cupped my hands over my ears, wincing at the God-awful clamor that that arose as the dumpster tumbled down the corridor. Peter had me so confused with his hot and cold emotions. He was a walking/talking conundrum on two legs, and I was frightened that the fates tethered me to this unstable creature. And even more alarming was that I yearned to quell his anger. Hadn't I suffered enough at the hands of the supernatural world? Fuck my life!
As I rounded the corner of the alley, I spared one last glance over my shoulder as I sprinted down the sidewalk, which wasn't my strong suit. I was as wobbly as a newborn colt, constantly falling over thin air. According to Jacob, I stumbled out of my mother's womb and never got my sea legs. I smiled brightly at that memory. That was good day for us, sitting in the Rabbit, drinking warm Coke, and laughing about stupid shit that he and I never were able to accomplish. The kid was my bright and shinning star, my sunny retreat from the horrors of the supernatural world. He picked me up and brushed me off after Edward had so callously threw me away, always waiting in the wings for me to love him. I only wished I would've told him how much I cared before that redheaded wench stole him from me.
The moment I was out of danger from Peter's outburst, I found myself knee deep in another dangerous situation. While my head was turned, I promptly ran smack dab in the middle of a pair of marble arms. I yelped in pain, rapidly toppling to the ground in a tangled heap. Startled by my abrupt change in momentum, my eyes swept up and captured another set of crimson irises. My breath hitched in my throat, strangling a scream that ached to be released. Fuck! The leeches were out in full force tonight. In pairs, no doubt!
I frantically scrambled backward on the palms of my hands. My attacker bent on one knee and leaned in close, gazing deep into my eyes. I threw my arms up and pushed against his rock-solid frame, preparing to fight him off. Despite my uncharacteristic weakness in the alley, I wasn't a pathetic little girl anymore. If this vampire wanted a piece of me, he was gonna have to wrestle me to the ground and forcibly remove it from my body. Instead of the feral creature I expected, I received a breathtaking smile in its place.
"Well, aren't you the prettiest lil' thing this side of the Mason Dixon line," he cooed, his a thick Bostonian accent dripping from every word. I shuddered as he gently cupped my chin between his thumb and forefinger, tilting my face from side to side, as he scrupulously assessed me. Surprisingly, I wasn't all that disgusted by his touch. Somehow, it almost felt safe.
I blinked rapidly as my eyes swept over the vampire's handsome features. He was tall and lean with a broad chest and sharp jaw, darkened by a perpetual, but oh so sexy, five o'clock shadow. The vampire's pale skin and facial structure was framed by long, sandy hair, very lightly threaded with silver strands, which spilled over his shoulders in a cascade of waves.
The man was slightly older than Peter and possibly Carlisle, undoubtedly closer to his mid-thirties when he was bitten. Those bonus years weren't a detriment to his beauty, though. Unlike Peter, who had almost ethereal features, this man's rugged good looks gave him leg up on the younger vampires—like the Cullen kids, who, as a result, were hindered by their child-like youth.
A smug smile pulled at his lips when he realized I was ogling him. He was sure a cocky bastard. "Who ya' running from, Sugar Cane?"
His eyes rose, waiting for me to answer his question. "My m…mate, I guess," I stammered. "I've known him all of ten minutes. The man was two seconds away from killing me to enforce one of your laws, but once he looked into my eyes, he was a like a goddamned Neanderthal. Then, as if I wasn't terrified enough, he verbally staked his claim. He's in the alley pummeling everything this side of heaven because another vamp tried to take a bit outta me."
The blond wrapped his arms around his center and roared with laughter, the smooth tenor of his voice echoing across the expanse. "Oh, kitten! Aren't you a feisty one! Your man has his work cut out for him. Don't 'cha be too hard on your mate, though, even if he is acting like a complete jackass. He's just upset he couldn't protect you. I never have understood that whole mating nonsense. Monogamy seems rather ridiculous if you ask me. I adore woman, and they adore me. One-night stands are easy. After a night of raw passion, it's nice to just put on my pants and walk away with no regrets."
I blushed furiously. He chuckled and held out his hand again, wiggling his fingers. "The name's Garrett Dennison. I'm a vamp of all trades. I'm proficient in many things, including but not restricted to- rescuing damsels in distress, eradicating the miscreants of society, and offering my services in the bedchamber. I'm better than one of those vibrating sex toys. More interactive, too! Would it impress you if I told you I could make a woman come in less than a minute?"
Stifling a giggle, I held out my hand, and he enveloped it within his large palm, gently hauling me to my feet. Then, he placed a small kiss on my back of my knuckles before placing it gently at my side. "Isabella Swan. But you can call me Bella. It's a pleasure to meet you, Garrett. And no, I'm far from impressed. If you could make a woman orgasm with a just a kiss, then I'd be in awe of your talents."
Garrett wiggled his eyebrows and held out his elbow in a courteous fashion, wishing to escort me down the sidewalk. I took it without a thought, wrapping my tiny hands securely around his large arms. It had been years since I'd been amused by anyone. I hadn't had the chance to live my life to the fullest. Running from a sadistic killer is hell on your social life. "Is that a challenge, Miss Swan?"
"I think not. You, Sir, are far too charming for your own good. I think if you tried hard enough, you could get a nun to shimmy out of her habit. I think in an alternate timeline, you would've had me at the kiss. Alas," I sighed dramatically, throwing my arm across my forehead in a very 'Gone with the Wind' sort-of gesture. "It seems like I have a mate whether I want one or not. I'm not even sure I like the bastard."
He chuckled, shaking his head. "Now, now, Sugar. I wouldn't count the bastard out just yet. Give him a chance to redeem himself, and then, if you're so inclined, I'll kick his ass to the curb for ya' and we can run off into the sunset together. Kissing and everything."
I snorted and slapped his chest. "You're a conceited ass."
Garrett laughed at my non-witty retort. "Miss Bella, I've been told I have the nicest ass this side of the Rio Grande. Would you like to see it up close? Maybe take a picture and post it on social media? I'm telling you, it would go viral."
"Aren't you just a piece of work? I like that about you, though, and that's a feat, in and of itself. I don't form relationships with people. Being my friend is dangerous. But you seem the type that can handle a bit of danger."
"I can handle anything you throw at me baby! Just one thing, though. Where you headed when you tried to cop a feel?"
"Under no circumstance was I 'coping a feel'!" I snapped, ripping my hand out of the crook of his arm. "I was rather clumsily running toward my mate's truck when I ran into you. He told me to wait for him there until he cooled down. But to tell you the truth, I just wanna jump in my own truck and drive like a bat outta Hell and drive so far away that nobody'll find me."
Garrett tipped his head to the side and scowled. "Who you really running from, kitten?"
I ignored the question and asked my own, desperate to avoid the Victoria issue all together. I didn't want to scare off the first potential friend I'd found in nearly a decade. "So, what were you going to do for Christmas? Do you have a coven?"
"Well, I don't rightly know, little Bella. Tonight, I just popped into town to grab a bite to eat. Lucky for me, the holidays bring out the crazies. I fancy myself a vigilante of sorts, only feeding off the scum of the earth—rapists and child molesters. Disgusting people who deserve to die. Outside of dinner, I wasn't planning to do anything, as I have no coven of my own. I'm a nomad. Why do you ask?"
I looked up through my lashes rather shyly and bit my lip hesitantly. "Well, I was hoping that if you didn't have any plans, that you'd me accompany Peter and me to his family's house. I desperately need a buffer between him and the assholes who ruined my life. Plus, I'm hoping that I can keep him from killing his brother. Will you do it? Please?" I implored, batting my eyelashes for effect.
The smile that crossed Garrett's face made me think his porcelain skin might actually crack under the strain. "Darlin', I might actually take you up on that offer. It's been a while since I've been invited to any family functions. Hell, it might be fun. I know most of vampires her in the States, quite a few covens, as well. Who are we visiting?" he said, patting my hand.
He nodded his head in recognition. "Ah, yes. Carlisle and I go way, way, way back. A least a century, maybe more. I don't rightly recall the year we actually met. It doesn't matter, really. So, one of the Doc's precious protégées tried to make a snack outta you? Please tell me it was Ginger Cullen? I've been aching to kick his ass for years. Smug son of a bitch, anyway"
"Nope," I said, emphasizing the 'p'. "It was Jasper. And like I told Peter, it wasn't his fault. I sliced my finger on some wrapping paper and he lunged at me.
I forgave him the moment it happened, because it's in his nature to crave blood."
He unnecessarily cleared his throat, stifling a laugh. "Are you telling me you're Peter Whitlock's mate?" I nodded. "The Major and the Captain squaring off? An empath against his antidote. The Major will actually have to fight fair. Outta be a damned good fight. We could sell tickets to this shit and make a fortune. Well, hell! I wouldn't miss this fight for all the tea in China, so you've got yourself a traveling companion." He held out his hand and we shook on it. "Now, let's hurry up and get you to Peter's truck before he rips my head off and sticks it on the antennae pole."
Garrett and I made quick work of the last three blocks to Peter's truck, laughing like two drunken idiots on their way home. Surprisingly, I felt safe with him. He and I were like two peas in a pod, both as sarcastic as two different species could've been. Being in his presence felt like stepping through the front door of Emily's house, surrounded by a half dozen sweltering bodies who passed me around as though I were two year old child, radiating love and family.
It began to pour down rain the moment we stepped off the curb. I grabbed the door handle and swung it open, squealing as the cold water pelted my skin. Garrett grabbed me around the waist and hoisted me into the cab. I clambered into the seat, my hair dripping all over the upholstery. Once situated, I scooted over to make room for my vampire friend, but a flash of blond in my periphery caught my eye. A giant crash rocked the cab and the door crashed closed. I screamed for Garrett as the silence erupted in a cacophony of snarls and crashing bodies.
I gingerly swung my legs over the seat and forcibly wrenched opened the back windows just in time to see Garrett in a headlock. I panicked, screaming at Peter to let him free. When he didn't listen, I slithered my small frame out of the tiny window and fell to my belly in the bed of the truck. I drug my body over to the wheel-wells and pulled myself up to my feet, glaring daggers at my mate. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! I will tan your hide if you lay one hand on him, Peter Whitlock. He wasn't hurting me one bit!"
Peter growled at him and tossed him against the bed of the truck, inciting a round of raucous laughter from my newest vampire friend. The movement of his body connecting with the vehicle knocked me off balance, and I tumbled over the side. Luckily, vampires have excellent reflexes and I ended up on my feet as opposed to my head, dodging the whole blood fiasco that would've ensued had I connected with the pavement. Because, as I recall, the smell of my blood and the enigma of my silent mind enticed young Edward enough to seek me out, causing a snowball effect of epic proportions. Fuck, it was more like an avalanche. So much death!
Garrett pushed himself away from the vehicle and straightened his sodden clothes. "Don't get your panties in a twist, O'Capitaaan. I wouldn't hurt your mate. You know I don't feed from women. Besides, little Bella and I were keeping one another company while you got your shit together. We hit it off so well that she invited me to the Cullens for Christmas. I'm sure Carlisle won't mind. And I sure the hell won't mind if the 'cousins' are visiting. I've been a little lonely."
I snorted. Obviously, my new friend was thinking with his other head. Edward had told me about the infamous 'Denali cousins'. According to him, they were gorgeous creatures with a veracious appetite for sex, preferably 'human' men. But as they were constantly attempting to ensnare Edward, I thought that they'd bed just about anyone. I expect to hear about Garrett's escapades. Whether it was just one sister, or all three, considering he was such a man-whore. Extra circular activities were on his list of things (or women) to 'do'. Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!
Peter furrowed his brow. "Why does Garrett get to address you by your nickname? I'm your mate," he said rather petulantly.
"Maybe she just likes me better, Whitlock?"
My mate growled at Garrett and socked him hard in the gut. "Fuck off, Dennison!"
"Hey, don't be rude! Maybe I allow him to call me Bella because he didn't try to kill me two minutes after he met me."
Peter looked up at me with a pained expression painted across his handsome face, and I felt like an utter asshole for reminding him of his near deadly folly. Unfortunately, it was the truth, and I couldn't bring myself to take it back. "Oh, Isabella, sweetheart—"
I sauntered forwarded and jabbed him in the chest with my forefinger, promptly cutting him off. "Don't Isabella sweetheart me! It's Miss Swan to you, old man! Remember…fifty years."
"Ugh," he groaned, pacing back and forth on the sidewalk, muttering how I was an infuriating woman. Garrett and I snickered. "Is there a reason why we're cartin' his sorry carcass to New York?"
"Little Bella hoped that I would mediate the confrontation, being a neutral party and all. Perhaps keep you from tearing your brother limb from limb, while you talk it out," Garrett retorted. "Besides, I kinda like the kid. She's sweet and funny, an all around charming little gem. I'd hate to see her get hurt."
"Just…both of you get in the goddamned truck," he snarled. Garrett smirked and I stifled a giggle with the palm of my hand. "I swear to God, if I get a call from a certain pixie askin' where the hell I am, I makin' ya'll speak to her and tell her why we're late. It's both your fault."
I scoffed. "No way, Jose. There's no way I'm talking to that lying, backstabbing…That clairvoyant bitch, Alice, deserves a tongue lashing in person, preferably while I'm dousing the items in her closet with some sort of accelerant and a match."
Garrett roared with laughter. "Aren't you a feisty one, tonight?"
"The woman is incorrigible. She needs to simmer down a bit."
"Now, tell me the truth, Whitlock. If the fates had gifted you a demure, wilted flower, instead of this fiery tigress, you'd been disappointed."
"Reckon you're right. But, this little princess ain't nothing but T.R.O.U.B.L.E with a capital T," he retorted, sauntering toward me like a hungry predator. He flashed that trademark panty-dropping smile, and swept me up in his arms, sopping clothes and all. Then, he tossed me over his shoulder like a Neanderthal. I struggled in his grasp, pounding on his back, and demanded me to let me down. He growled and told me to simmer down. I refused to comply with his demand and he swatted me hard on the ass twice. I couldn't help the moan that escaped my lips. He chuckled and smacked me on the ass again for good measure. It stung like a son-of-a-bitch but it was oddly erotic at the same time. I rubbed my thighs together, growing wet with want. Peter drew in a ragged breath and let it out. That bastard could smell it! Damn vampires!
"I had a mare like you once. Stubborn as all hell, throwing her head about and fighting that bridle n' bit like I stuck barbed wire in her mouth. Finally, I had enough of her and sunk my spurs into her side. Then, I wrenched her head against my boot and kept spurin' her 'til I sent her into a dizzin' spin. After about a half hour, I eased up on the reigns, hopin' she'd learned her lesson, but like a goddamned mule, she went right back to fightin' me. It took me days to wear her down, but I finally broke her. Can I tame you, Isabella. Shall I wrangle up a bridle n' bit for ya'? I'm always up for a little role play."
"You bastard!" I wailed, swatting him so hard on the ass that my hand stung. I admit that I left my hands on those gorgeous hams a little longer than necessary but hell... He startled a bit and chuckled, tossing me in the backseat of the truck and swinging himself in.
I leaned in and brushed my lips against his ear. I smiled like the Cheshire cat when Peter moaned like a whore in the backseat of a car. Hmm. Guys obviously enjoy that, as well. "Nah, Pete. We don't need any bridles 'n bits, no spurs or saddles, although a whip and a lariat seem like a necessity. Just sayin'. After your little display in the alley, I think you need a thorough whoopin'!"
Peter whipped his head toward Garrett, mouth opening and closing like a fish. "Did you hear that, man? The woman is threatenin' me bodily harm. What the fuck did you do to her? You spent all of ten minutes with my mate and you corrupted her!"
"I certainly did no such thing. While I did offer my specialized service in the bedroom, she politely declined. You can't learn anything from me in ten minutes. I like to savor my meal, if you know what I mean."
Shit. This could turn out really good or really bad.
Well, what'd ya think? Review are greatly appeciated!