Chapter 4: Visiting Forks
Cordelia's eyes were like stars as she opened the bag. "You didn't." She looked to Bella surprised. "You said you didn't like shopping." Bella gave a one armed shrug, smiling. "I don't, but you've been eying these and I got them for you as a thank you. You've been helping me a lot, getting adjusted, martial arts."
She went to Angel next, handing him a brand new broad axe. "Since I broke your last one." She chuckled, blushing as he chuckled. "Thanks Bella. Have you told him yet?" Bella shook her head, a fond smile gracing her face as she looked at Connor who was busy admiring the small book collection she got him and the hunting knives. "Not yet. I won't be gone long. Few days at best." She stated, knowing he was probably too entranced to be listening.
"We'll take you by the airport tonight." Bella gave him a smile before heading over to the bench Connor sat on. "Hey. I guess you approve." She chuckled, sitting, her heart escalating as his arm wove around her waist. "I love it. Thank you." He shot her his adorable smile, eyes sparkling.
Bella kissed his cheek, finding it cute that he just seemed to freeze before giving her a shy smile. She took a deep breath, her fingers twirling around some of his hair. "I've got to go back to Forks for a few days. Grab sentimental items." Connor pushed a lock of her hair behind her ear, frowning before nodding.
"Okay. You'll come back?" He asked, staring deep into her eyes. Bella's heart lurched at the quietness in his voice, the vulnerability. "I can't imagine not coming back." Connor smiled, grazing his thumb across her cheek. "When do you leave?"
"Tonight. I'll call as soon as I get there." Connor leaned forward, hesitating. He watched her expression, paying attention to her body language. Bella grasped onto his shirt, meeting him halfway. His lips were soft and warm, his tongue grazing her bottom lip.
She parted her lips, opening herself to him, letting him gently explore her mouth. Connor pulled back slightly, a small smirk on his face. "I miss you already." Bella giggled quietly, resting her head on his chest.
The dreary town weighed heavily on Bella's soul, the dark clouds looming over her head. She already missed the city lights. It's been almost 3 years since she's been home. Charlie died not long after graduation, killed on duty. Bella barely had time to grieve before she was on the run, the wolves proving to be unprepared for the task, not that Bella could blame them.
They did their best, and Victoria actually gave Bella a chance to get away from Jacob. She loved Jake, but he never understood where she stood, he always thought he could change her mind. Her answer would always be no.
With Connor now in her life, she didn't need anything else. She chuckled to herself, her lips still tingling at the memory. She already had a cab waiting, the airport deserted as its was just hitting 3 in the morning. The cab driver didn't ask questions, except where to and when to pick her up in days time.
Her childhood home, the one where she spent the last few years of her life looked dead. The grass hadn't been cut in months looked like, the white paint peeling from the porch. Her feet were like gravel as she walked on the rocky ground, each step becoming heavier and heavier as she reached the steps. Putting one foot in front of the other was a battle within itself, and she lifted the mat, grabbing the only key she had left.
Turning the knob as the key clicked into place, the smell of stale air permeated her nose, the faint scent of Charlie's aftershave in the air. Tears sprang to her eyes immediately, and she took a deep breath to collect herself.
She felt even more tired than she did getting off the plane. She sat her bag by the front door, flicking on the lights in the living room, eyeing the furniture. She didn't have the heart to sell Charlie's things, and wanted all the furniture to stay in the home when she sold it.
She didn't plan on living here, and someone else could use the space. She walked forward, shoes softly tapping against the wooden floor. Running her hand along the leather chair brought back many memories of him yelling at the tv screen during one sport or another.
She looked in the direction of the kitchen, remembering how many beers she'd get him in Sunday's, or the fish fry he'd dig into like there was no tomorrow.
Her shoulders sagged, and she dropped to her knees, arms laying on the chair, her head in the crook of her elbow. Her shoulders shook with sobs, finally able to let go of the hurt that had settled over her heart, craving the comfort of Connor himself.
As if she had summoned him, her phone rang, jolting her from her position. She sniffed, wiping her eyes, blinking to get a clear view of who was calling. His name flashed on the screen, and Bella did her best to compose herself. She didn't want him to worry.
"Hello?" She winced at the clear crack in her voice, clearing her throat. "Hey. Are you alright? I wanted you to get your rest, but I just felt like I needed to.." Bella had to smile as he fumbled over his words. "Yes. I was going to call before I headed to bed. I'm..alright. It's just a lot. Being here." She whispered, sitting against the chair.
Connor was quiet as he listened to her quiet breathing. "Do you need me?" He asked, unsure of what to do with himself. It was quite boring without Bella. Dreary.
She sighed heavily, wishing he was next to her. "No, no. It's okay. I'll be home soon. I need to get through this." She couldn't hold back the shudder in her voice, her eyes closing tightly, the darkness surrounding her, weighing on her like shackles.
She sniffed again, unable to hold back her tears. Her heart seemed like it was tearing apart, and there wasn't anything that could replace the space her father occupied. "I just miss him so much."
Connor sat and listened for almost 2 hours as she rambled on about the many memories she could remember with her father. Her voice becoming lower and lower until she was just whispering. "You should rest." Connor suggested, caressing the phone as if it was her.
He chuckled softly as she mumbled something, listening as she stood briefly before settling down. "Connor?" She asked sleepily, her eyes closed, not having the energy to open them.
"Hmm?" He asked, looking up at the ceiling. "Thank you." She whispered, her breathing slowly starting to even out.
The next two days Bella spent packing and tossing items, keeping what she thought was best to have and giving away whatever seemed to hold little value. Renee barely had the courage to return to Forks, letting Bella handle everything from the wake to the funeral.
She was in the midst of folding Charlie's old clothes before a knock sounded at the door. She uncrossed her legs, using the box as leverage to help herself to her feet.
She walked the short distance down the stairs and towards the front door, wiping her hand from the dust. She pulled open the door, the color draining from her face immediately.
"Bella.." His voice was velvety soft, his cold, hard arms embracing her as if he had every given right to. "You're alive." He breathed, pulling back to look at her.
Bella ignored the comment, peeking around him only to that he indeed was alone. "What are you doing here?" She couldn't even move, frozen on the spot. Edward looked down at the floor, rubbing the back of his neck. "I come by every year...to see if you..were still..." He swallowed tightly, his brow furrowing in frustration. "Alive." She finished for him.
He nodded, shifting slightly, a very uncommon action for a vampire. "Well you're a little late on that. As you can see I'm fine. Are the others with you?" She asked, hoping the answer was no. She didn't need another trip down memory lane.
Edward shook his head his face pained. "No. None of them can bring themselves to come back." Bella scoffed nodding. "Figures." She mumbled.
Edward gave her a confused expression, running his hand through his hair. "Are you staying?" He asked, sadly motioning towards the house, seeing as Charlie's things were in boxes. Bella glanced back, shaking her head. "I'm leaving tomorrow or the day after. This isn't home anymore." She leaned her head against the door, finger absentmindedly running along the knob.
"It could be." Edward offered, stepping a foot inside the home. Bella gave him an incredulous look, shaking her head. "Are you serious right now? I'm literally packing up Charlie's things, who is dead by the way. You were a part of my life a long time ago, but not anymore."
Bella made a move to close the door, until Edward's hand stopped it. "I lied." He admitted. Bella stopped, dread filling her stomach. "You what?" She asked, knowing exactly what he was talking about.
"I lied Bella. About what I said, when I left. I lied. I never stopped loving you. I was just trying to keep you safe." He explained, pleading with his eyes that she would understand.
If Bella's heart could break again into pieces, it would. She didn't care for Edward any longer that much was true, but the brutal knowledge that she went through so much hurt and pain because of him made her feel as if the last year she spent with Charlie was stolen from her. She couldn't blame Edward for her moping around as she could've straightened out, but didn't.
She had her regrets, and Edward Cullen was one of them. "I've moved on. You're too late. 2 years ago I would've given anything, anything to have you here, but you weren't. That's your price to pay."
Bella somehow managed to slam the door shut, and made it her mission to pack as much as she could, and get the hell out. She knew Jake would soon hear of her arrival or figure that Edward would be lurking around for some reason, and Bella didn't want to be around for it.
The Next Day
Of course she couldn't leave Forks unscathed because as soon as one monster arrives, here comes another. Bella had called Connor late in the evening to talk, and told him about Edward's return. While he trusted Bella, he didn't trust a vampire. They were sneaky creatures and had hidden agendas everywhere you looked.
Bella didn't want him to have to make the trip, but he insisted, not wanting to leave his girl there unprotected. He knew Bella could handle herself pretty well thanks to the daily training they did, and the sparring lessons from Angel, but she couldn't fight this kind of monster. Plus, he wanted to see her, help with whatever she may need.
She'd have a ride waiting with her address, and he was due sometime in the afternoon. She sighed in annoyance as Jacob was once again trying to convince her that Edward was no good, and that she should stay in Forks where it was safe.
"It's dangerous out there Bella. There's no where safer." Bella pulled her hand away, giving him a raised brow in response. "That's a lie. This is the last place you'd want to be." The yellow cab door slammed closed, a reserved looking Connor watching the scene with keen eyes, his eyes quickly roaming over Bella before eyeing both supernatural creatures.
"Connor! I didn't except you so early." Bella squeezed past the two, a smile taking over her features as she molded into Connor's side, his hands immediately sliding down towards her waist, pulling her close. "Yeah, I also paid the driver to speed it up a little." Bella laughed softly hitting his chest. "That sounds a lot like you."
He bent down placing a quick kiss on her lips before turning his attention towards Edward and Jacob. "I think it's about time you both left. I can handle it from here." Connor eyed Edward heavily, his instincts screaming at him to attack.
"And who are you?" Jacob asked, sneering in his direction. "None of your damn business. I'd heed kindly and urgently to what I just said. I'd hate to see you in bits and pieces." For the hell of it all, Connor lifted his shirt slightly, unafraid to show just what he was packing, and what he wasn't afraid to use. "You can't go anywhere." He chuckled, pulling on a long brown curl of hers.
AN: All Mistakes Are Mine