A/N: Hello. So sorry it took so long to update. Been a bit busy with some things.
Anyways, wow. Already at Chapter 10. I'll be speeding up the pace a bit in the next chapters so we can finally get to some conflict hahaha
Edward and Rosalie immediately stopped arguing at the sound of Esme's voice.
"I expected better from the two of you," she scolded. "Now, since we've all quieted down, let's all discuss this in a more peaceful manner. That means no more shouting are we clear?"
Edward and Rosalie nodded.
"Why don't we all go discuss this in my study?" Carlisle proposed.
Once they all gathered, Carlisle started their family meeting.
"Now Edward, tell us exactly what happened," he said.
"If someone would have just let me explain first instead of yelling at me, I would have all informed you by now of the events that took place which lead me to exposing myself," Edward grumbled.
Rosalie frowned at the obvious jibe.
"I was out hunting when I tracked a bear. As I was closing in, I saw it cornering her. It was about to pounce and I just...moved," Edward explained. "As I pinned the bear to the ground, she just stood there and stared at me."
"She just stared? No screaming? Crying?" Emmett asked in succession.
Edward shook his head.
"I asked what she was doing out there. And do you know what her response was?" he asked his family. "'I didn't see anything'."
Everyone couldn't help but raise and furrow their brows.
"And then she just left."
"She just left?" Emmett was puzzled at what he heard. So were the others.
The room went quiet as they thought to themselves how weirdly Bella reacted. They chalked it up to her being in shock. She did almost get attacked by a bear.
Jasper nudged Alice, pointing at Edward. Alice glanced at Edward and saw how guilt was written all over his face.
"Oh Eddie," Alice called softly. She approached her brother and gave him a hug.
"I-I didn't mean to exp-"
Carlisle didn't let him finish as he also approached him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"I know you didn't mean to, son. In exchange, you saved a life," he comforted. "I applaud you for your actions."
"Carlisle's right. Thank you so much for saving Bella," Alice said, hugging him harder.
Edward felt relieved to hear that but it didn't completely erase the bitter taste of failure. As the oldest of the siblings, he felt that failure wasn't an option. He was supposed to be their role model. He had the most experience. He was the wisest and therefore should make the best of decisions. He could even read minds for fuck's sake. And yet, he was the first to expose himself when he promised himself he would do his best to keep his family safe. He cared deeply for his family (yes Rosalie included) because they were all he had in this immortal life, which he saw as his eternal damnation.
"I'm really sorry everyone," he sincerely apologized to all of them. "I hope you can forgive me."
Jasper approached and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, smiling at him. "It's alright, brother. All is forgiven."
Esme joined in and hugged her son.
"You did good," she said. "We won't hate you for that."
Emmett also took this chance and engulfed them into one big group hug.
"Cheer up, Eddie boy!"
And lastly, Edward glanced at Rosalie. She had calmed down from her earlier outburst and had been standing near the door with her arms crossed. She had an unreadable expression as she looked on at the picturesque family scene.
Edward's eyes widened at what he heard through his sister's mind. Before Edward had time to comment, Rosalie suddenly spoke up, verbally this time.
"So what do we do about the human?" Rosalie asked.
The question made the family break away from the group hug, everyone looking towards Carlisle.
"Honestly, Ms. Swan seems harmless," he confessed.
He glanced at his family.
"I know you may all feel scared and apprehensive towards her. However, as I've seen and as you've observed, she doesn't seem to be posing a threat to our family. Although, she does have an uncanny way of being in harm's way," he voiced out.
The others had wondered about that.
Bella Swan found herself in a town with vampires.
She had ties with the shifters in the reservation.
She almost got into a car accident recently.
She fainted and had an unusually high fever , which they were still not sure if it was Edward's fault.
And she was clumsy. Like really clumsy.
If there's one thing they'd associate with her, it would be bad luck.
Alice couldn't help but smile bitterly at that.
Carlisle continued to speak, "However, we can all agree that it's baffling she can block your gifts. That is why I have been reading and asking relatives of ours for information. I was rewarded with the knowledge that there are indeed records of rare humans who are gifted. Very gifted that there were cases of vampires purposely turning them and forcing them to join their coven," he said the last statement in a rather grave voice.
A tense silence filled the air.
Similar thoughts were running through their heads.
'Bella Swan has the worst luck in the world.'
"I've come to believe Ms. Swan is one of those rarities. As for Edward having exposed himself, for now we'll be cautious and observe what Ms. Swan plans to do with such information. We may also opt to confront her directly but I'm afraid we might scare her. She may even feel threatened and become antagonistic towards us. As we already know, she has contact with the Blacks from the reservation."
"I vote for the former!" Alice exclaimed. "I don't wanna scare her away."
She looked pleadingly at her family.
Jasper held her hand and comforted her. "I as well," he spoke.
"I vote for the latter," came Emmett. "I don't think she'd scare easily. After all, she didn't run away from Edward, did she?"
"She must have been in denial and wasn't sure how to act at that time," Rosalie rationalized. "I vote for the former. I think it's better to be cautious."
"I don't want to scare her." Edward heard her thoughts. He pretended he didn't hear and chose to keep that to himself.
Edward also voted for the former as well.
Esme voted for the latter.
Everyone once again looked at Carlisle. They would be tied if he sided with Esme and Emmett.
"It's 4 to 2," he said as he smiled apologetically to his wife and Emmett. "For now, act like you normally do. I would also not be opposed to you befriending Ms. Swan. Though it might come across as calculating, it would be better if she saw us as friends rather than enemies. It would be easier to speak with her then when she starts asking questions."
The other nodded.
"As much as possible, do not antagonize Ms. Swan," Carlisle warned his family before he ended the meeting.
Rosalie was the first to leave their meeting. She had a lot on her mind.
Well...maybe just one person really.
It annoyed her to no end how Bella Swan was starting to get more involved with her family. She felt frustrated.
Clumsy awkward Bella Swan can't seem to keep herself away from trouble.
And just earlier, she thanked Edward and he probably heard it too. She frowned at that.
She had felt a strange feeling of gratitude towards her brother for saving the human. Somehow, all anger had subsided the moment he told them what had happened. She hated to admit it, but she was feeling protective.
Was it pity? Like the feeling of protectiveness towards a puppy?
"As much as possible, do not antagonize Ms. Swan."
Was what Carlisle told them.
Her tone and demeanor had come off as nothing but unfriendly. She can't help it if Bella irked her. Bella seems to keep finding herself at the center of everything. That was not good.
"Maybe it's because you care about her more than you think," came Edward's voice. He was standing by her door. "Before you say anything about knocking, you left your door open." As he entered her room, he closed the door behind him to avoid the others eavesdropping. Esme had thought it was a great idea to design all of their rooms to be sound proof. It helped give each of them the privacy they needed especially for Carlisle and Esme and Alice and Jasper whom shared a room together.
"Stop getting in my head, Edward."
"You know I can't help it."
"Just go away. Problem solved."
Edward didn't move and continued to say, "You're mind is usually guarded around me, most of the time with one of those annoying songs." Edward couldn't help but cringe. Rosalie would have 'Barbie Girl' playing in her head whenever she was near Edward. Or she would scream every thought she had which would sometimes make Edward's head hurt. "Tonight you were 'quieter' than usual and even said 'thank you'."
"Is it an apology you want from me?" Rosalie snapped. "I'm sorry for yelling at you. Now, leave me alone."
Edward stared at her for a moment.
"For now," he left after saying that. He didn't forget NOT to close the door, knowing it would annoy her sister.
True enough it did.
Rosalie quickly slammed her door shut hard enough that it resounded throughout the Cullen house.
Now where was she again?
Clumsy and awkward Bella Swan.
Low self-esteem Bella Swan.
Oblivious to Mike Newton's flirting Bella Swan.
Has an eyesore of a truck Bella Swan.
Almost always dying Bella Swan.
Bella Swan who drew her during Art class.
Speaking of, she eyed the unfinished sketch pinned to her wall courtesy to Alice who sneaked it inside her room. As to why it was still there, she reasoned it wasn't worth the trouble to tear it down. She'd also rather not get a lecturing from Alice about it because she knows she checks on it every day.
She admits the sketch wasn't too bad. It wasn't ugly to look out so she let it be on her wall. She did wonder how much better it would turn out if it was finished.
Rosalie thought back to her interactions with Bella. Nervous and awkward which was nothing new. She smirked just thinking how these humans reacted towards her.
She then remembered that one time she could hear how fast Bella's heart was beating despite how confident her approach was. Now that she thinks about it, it was always like that with her.
"Does she like me?" she wondered.
It was a possibility.
Somehow, the idea of Bella Swan liking her didn't make her gag like the knowledge of all those hormonal teenagers lusting over her all day.
Now that thought terrified her.
Rosalie quickly brushed those thoughts away. As far as her vanity goes, she's not gonna assume based on her few interactions with the human.
"Maybe I scare her," she reasoned again. That seemed more plausible. After all, she's been nothing but unpleasant towards her.
Rather than spend more time with her thoughts, Rosalie decided to change into her less expensive (but still expensive) and older clothes she didn't mind getting dirty. She walked towards the garage, turning on the lights to reveal the line of well-maintained vintage and modern cars.
She walked towards the end of the line of cars where a dismantled truck was parked.
"Looks like it's just you and me again tonight," Rosalie said, smiling as she rolled her shoulders.
I woke up surprisingly early even though I slept late last night. I went for a quick jog and did some morning stretches and light exercises. It surprised me how much lighter my body felt. I wasn't as tired as before either despite the distance I ran. Once I got back, I took a shower and changed for school.
I cooked breakfast for both Charlie and I. Charlie came down just in time as the coffee finished brewing.
We ate in relative silence, enjoying our food and sipping on our coffee.
He then only spoke to ask me, "Are you really fine to go to school today?"
"Yeah. I feel fine. Don't worry," I assured him. "I'll tell you right away if I feel weird."
Charlie still looked concerned. I then stood up and did some jumping jacks as if to prove it, earning me a laugh from Charlie.
"Alright I get it. I'll just take a quick shower and then I'll drop you off at school," Charlie relented.
Just then, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I checked and saw a message from Alice.
Tiny Ali: DON'T MOVE
Tiny Ali: On our way to pick you up
Tiny Ali: Emmett's driving
Tiny Ali: He says hi
"Looks like I already have a ride," I told him.
It didn't that take long before we heard a car honking from outside.
"And that must be my Uber," I joked, as I quickly got up to get my bag.
"A friend?" he asked.
"Alice and Emmett Cullen," I answered.
He nodded as he sipped on his cup.
"Drive safe! And tell them I said 'thanks' will ya?" Charlie called out as I walked out the house.
I only took a couple of steps outside when I got the wind knocked out of me.
The tiny vampire had rushed towards me so fast and I almost lost my balance. She clung tightly to me.
Sighing, I tried to free one of my hands and awkwardly patted her head.
"Good morning to you too," I greeted.
"I'm so glad you're okay."
"I'm glad I'm okay too."
Suddenly, I felt her pinch my sides.
"What was that for?!"
She untangled herself from me and pouted.
"That's for scaring me! I thought you were going to die, Bella."
I rolled my eyes.
"It was just a fever. Stop exaggerating."
"I am not! Carlisle told me your temperature rose to 39℃!" she exclaimed. "That's way too high for humans!"
'For humans' she says.
Her brother got out from his jeep and came walking towards us, ruffling Alice's hair as he reached her.
"That's enough, Tiny. Don't pester her too much when she just got better," Emmett suddenly chimed in. "How are you feeling?"
I smiled at Emmett's interruption.
"I'm feeling fine. Thanks for asking," I told them.
"That's good to hear. We should get going then," Emmett announced. "I don't think the Chief will appreciate us making you late for school."
I looked back at the house and saw Charlie nursing his coffee as he leaned against the door frame, watching us. He nodded at us. I waved at him before following Emmett and Alice in his jeep. Alice sat with me at the back while Emmett drove. I took this chance to express my gratitude.
"Thanks a lot for taking me to the hospital the other day. Charlie says his thanks as well."
"You're welcome!" Alice chirped.
"No problem. I'll treat it as another one of my heroic deeds," Emmett boasted, grinning at me through the rearview mirror.
"Well, you Cullens definitely have Charlie on your good side after what your family has done for me."
"Oooh friends in high places. You think he'd let me go over the speed limit?" Emmett asked.
"Don't push it, dude," I chuckled as I replied at his joke. "He told me to tell you to drive safe."
"Are you like besties with the Cullens now?"
Jessica greeted me at lunch with that question. I had barely entered the cafeteria when she dragged me to our table and sat me down. She then sat next to me where Angela usually sits.
"You can't tell me it's not true. Lauren's cousin's sister told her they saw you shopping with Alice last Friday at Port Angeles. The other day, people saw Emmett and Alice take you to the hospital. And then this morning, you came to school in with Alice and Emmett in his jeep."
I blinked again.
It might seem comical to some at how she was holding my shoulders and shaking me for answers. I was slightly amused at her desperation. At least she's asking and trying to confirm the gossip.
Just then, Alice came skipping over to our table.
"Bella, have lunch with us today," she said. Turning to Jessica and the others, she smiled, "You don't mind, do you?"
It may be because of the shock because everyone just nodded dumbly.
Alice beamed at them as she pulled me away from Jessica. Just as I was about to let Alice take me away, I turned around to answer Jessica, "It's true by the way. We're best friends."
I slung my arm over Alice's shoulders for good measure. I smirked at Jessica's gobsmacked face. Alice grinned up at me and hurriedly led me over to the "VIP table". At first I didn't think much of it but then I felt my nervousness rush in as we got nearer their table. I wasn't exactly on good terms with them except for Alice and (maybe) Emmett.
"Sister Bear!" Emmett greeted me. He surprised me when he stood up, picked me up from the ground and engulfed me in a bear hug.
"You're crushing...me," I managed to say.
He laughed, giving me one last squeeze before putting me back on the ground. I heaved a big sigh as I filled my lungs with air.
I arched a brow at him.
"Sister Bear?" I questioned. "What? Are we the Berenstain Bears now?"
Emmett burst into another fit of laughter.
"Good one! Why didn't I think of that?" he asked himself, looking disappointed at himself. He quickly recovered and grinned at me. "So, Sis, wouldn't this make us family now?"
My eyes widened at the word 'family'.
"Oh! Carlisle and Esme would love to be called Papa and Mama Bear," Alice added.
"You're getting way ahead of yourselves," Edward remarked.
Alice didn't hear and continued. "But what about me and the others? You already took Brother Bear and Sister Bear," Alice pouted as she said that.
"Tiny Bear, Grumpy Bear, Emo Bear, and South Paw," Emmett pointed at Alice, Rosalie, Edward, and Jasper, respectively.
This earned him scowls.
I was confused.
"South Paw?" I questioned him.
"That's because Jazzy over here's from the southy," Emmett informed. "He also plays southpaw when he pitches during our baseball games."
"You guys play baseball?"
"Just a family past time," Emmett replied. "Maybe you could join us one day."
His other siblings turned to stare at him which I translated as them asking if he just lost his mind.
I shook my head at him as the idea terrified me. Me joining in would be a disaster.
"I'd rather not. I might hit someone by accident," I explained. "It happened...a few times."
They all eyed me and gave me a look that said they weren't surprised. I shrugged.
Five pairs of golden eyes snapped towards my stomach.
I gave them a sheepish grin.
"I haven't had lunch yet," I said.
Alice quickly sat me down. I got squished in between Alice and Emmett. They then began piling up the food from their trays in front of me.
"You can have ours. We're not that hungry," Alice said.
"Don't be shy. Just go ahead and eat," Alice urged.
They took the chance and dumped their food on me, huh.
[Rejoice, lass! We have free food!]
"If you don't mind, can you have mine as well?" Jasper surprisingly spoke to me.
"Shouldn't that be my line? I'm the one eating your lunch," I replied.
"Then I don't mind you eating my lunch."
And so my pile of food grew.
Edward glanced my way and slowly pushed his tray to me.
Curious if she'll do the same, I turned to Rosalie. She caught my gaze. We kind of stared for a while before she also followed her siblings in shoving her food towards me.
What the fuck...
"Thanks for the free food I guess," I thanked. "Maybe I should eat lunch with you guys more often," I joked.
"We don't mind!" Alice quickly remarked.
Emmett readily agreed. No surprise there. Jasper was her boyfriend so it was expected that he'd be partial towards Alice. But shockingly, neither Edward nor Rosalie disagreed either.
Curious. Very curious.
I was sure they disliked me.
[I'm not sure either, lass. Very suspicious.]
Gossip about me and the Cullens spread fast around school.
I should be used to it by now, right?
I ignored Jessica's texts asking - interrogating - me about my relationship with the Cullens.
Jessica: Are you dating Emmett?
Jessica: Is he cheating on Rosalie with you?
Jessica: When did all this happen?
Jessica: YOU BETTER ANSWER ME BELLA
Yikes! I turned my phone silent for the rest of the day. It was a temporary solution. But, sooner or later, she's going to come find me but at least that's still at a later time.
During P.E., the coach made us run around the track. Unlike a lot of my classmates who groaned at the idea, I find myself smiling. I wanted to see how much my body has improved.
Emmett suddenly came to my side.
"Race you?" he challenged.
I haven't said anything yet.
[Oh come now, lass. It's nice to have a little competition to make things more interesting.]
"What's the winner gonna get?" I asked.
Emmett's smile widened.
Uh-oh. I don't like the look he's giving me.
"Simple. The loser owes the winner one favor. Anywhere and anytime, the winner can cash it in."
I pursed my lips at that.
"Tempting. We should probably set boundaries."
"The favor shouldn't be anything life or death. Also, the loser can decline the favor if they give a convincing enough reason," he said. "Agreed, bro?" he asked, raising his fist toward me.
"Agreed, sis," I answered, bumping my fist with his.
He smiled at the term.
"To keep things fair, I'll give you a 10-second head start," he told me.
[Do you think he'll let you win?]
Nope. I bet he's gonna go easy on me then win at the last moment. But, I'm gonna surprise him and go all out from the start. He can't go too fast to catch up or else it would be suspicious.
[Remember that you can't run too fast either, lass.]
The coach seemed to have caught on to our little competition and volunteered to signal for us. After stretching first, we got in position.
"On your mark…Get set…"
I sprinted the moment I exhaled. I ran as fast as what could be considered humanly possible from the get go as planned.
I smirked. I didn't have to turn to know Emmett and the coach must be sporting shocked expressions. I confidently ran along the track, feeling like I was almost flying as my legs and feet carried me. I was almost halfway around the track when Emmett started. He was closing in fast. Looks like he's taking me seriously.
"She must be here to see Emmett."
"Let's slow down."
That's the conversation I overheard from the two guys in front of me, smirking at each other before looking over at the bleachers. Curious, I looked towards their line of sight.
Rosalie Hale in all her beautiful glory.
I think I might have just choked on air while I was breathing. Was that even possible?
Since I wasn't looking in front of me, I didn't see the empty water bottle someone must have left behind in the middle of the track.
I slipped on it (of course) and rolled on the ground Sonic the Hedgehog style. I ended up on my butt, groaning as I watched Emmett ran past me. He took the time to look at me over his shoulder and smirked at me.
[This is hilarious. I can't stop laughing, lass. HAHAHAHA.]
Can't you at least comfort me? We just lost.
"I win!" Emmett cheered as he continued to run towards the finish line.
I sighed in defeat.
"Aren't you tired of always falling on your ass, Swan?"
I glanced towards the origin of the voice.
Rosalie had walked down from the bleachers and was leaning over the railings. She was smirking as she looked down at me.
"I was...distracted," was my reply. I wasn't about to confess the real reason.
She arched one of her perfectly manicured brows at me.
At that time, Emmett came jogging towards me. He even did a silly dance as he gloated in front of me.
"Looks like I won, bro."
"Yeah yeah. A deal is a deal, sis," I replied back. "Help me up?"
He grinned. He lent me a hand, which I grabbed, and pulled myself up.
"Hmmm you switched genders?" Rosalie asked as she watched our interaction.
"She's my bro," Emmett stated.
"He's my sis," I also stated.
We both grinned at each other like fools. Looks like we've agreed on something.
"So no more bears?" she asked.
"I think I prefer this one. What do you say?" Emmett asked me.
"Me too. It's shorter." I agreed. "But you're still my Brother Bear," I said in a rather endearing tone.
"And you're still my Sister Bear," he said back to match with me, wrapping around his thick arm around my neck and pulling me close.
Rosalie rolled her eyes at us.
"Both your silliness aside, I came here to give you this," Rosalie spoke to me.
She threw a piece of paper at me. I patted myself on the back when I managed to catch it. It contained a number.
"What's this?" I asked.
"It's the total cost of fixing up your truck," she answered.
I felt a sudden rush of happiness.
"You're really going to do it?!"
Emmett gave a snort.
"She already started," he told me. "She was even working on it all night."
My eyes widened at that bit of information.
"You worked on it all night? I don't mind if it takes time to fix it. I know it's a lot considering its state. I can wait," I earnestly told Rosalie. Then after thinking for a bit, I spoke again. "Actually, maybe I'll try finding someone else who can fix it. I don't wanna trouble you, Rosalie."
I felt bad that she was sacrificing her time to fix up my truck. I also felt guilty since she looked reluctant to do it in the first place.
Rosalie stared hard at me, confusion and annoyance etched on her beautiful face.
"I have time to spare."
Those were her last words before she walked away.
"Don't worry, bro. Trust me when I say my girl's the best mechanic there is!" Emmett said proudly.
"Honestly, I'm not worried about that. Just...it feels like I'm imposing."
"Nah. You're not I promise. Like she said, she has time to spare. She wouldn't have accepted otherwise."
I ended up just nodding my head.
[Vampires don't sleep anyways.]
Oh? So no coffins?
[Hahahaha. Negative on that one.]
[Doesn't work. You humans and your lores are quite funny. Then again, I bet it was those vampires who did well in tricking your kind with such false information.]
Damn. Guess Hollywood needs to revamp their vampire films. Get it? Revamp?
Oh come on. Not even a small laugh?
The coach came up to me and asked if I had any interest in joining the track team. I quickly declined and made a show of acting all haggard and out of breath. I even told him I would probably trip in the middle like I did earlier. Seeing as he couldn't convince me, he gave up but told me the offer still stands and I could speak to him anytime. Thinking he'd let me go quicker, I agreed. He looked hopeful. Too bad I wasn't planning on changing my mind any time soon.
We did a few more exercises in the field before the coach finally told us to hit the showers. I was tired but not exhausted which was such a foreign feeling after so much physical activities.
After changing, I checked my phone which I remembered I put on silent mode. I cleared all of Jessica's texts one by one on my notifs, my finger only stopping at a familiar name. I quickly typed a reply.
El: you out yet?
Me: out what?
El: is school over?
Me: in a few minutes yeah
El: meet you in a few minutes then snow bells ;)
I scrunched my brows together in confusion. What did she mean 'in a few minutes'?
My eyes then slowly widened.
It can't be, right?
[What is it?]
I...I'm not sure yet but maybe...
A/N: So next chapter, I'll be introducing a temporary character. She's just visiting.
responding to some comments:
justareader21: sorry you feel that way. it's okay. we all have our tastes. still thank you very much for reading up 'til chapter 9 tho :))
SH4D0W44: i enjoyed noblesse too! i'm kinda disappointed how it ended.
GypsySoul05: thank you. i appreciate the fact that you find it interesting thank god
YuukiAsuna-Chan: you're right. it is a bit weird and even intrusive that someone else is residing in her mind. but, i assure you, he tries to avoid intruding on her thoughts as much as possible and only responds when needed. maybe i can explain it in future chapters
orchidluv: yeah i get what you mean about it being awkward reading the 'hahaha's. i thought of using *chuckles but it also sounds weird when i read it. i also for opted for using 'hahaha's so it would seem like a friend group chat between the two. just like in chat's i thought people wouldn't necessarily read it as is but just read it as someone laughing. anyways, yes i will decrease the 'hahaha's so it won't be awkward