Once I got home, I put away the groceries first then headed upstairs to my room. I looked around my boxes and found my sheets. I already told Charlie I'll be using the guest room for tonight since I still needed to paint my room. I placed new sheets on the bed, changed the pillow cases, and laid down my blanket.
I checked on my art room since Charlie called me while I was out that he had finished. I smiled in appreciation because Charlie did a good job painting primer over the walls. Checking my phone, there was still time before I needed to prepare dinner.
I went back to the guest room and laid there for a while.
[Looks like our stay won't be so boring. Who knew?]
I don't get why you're not panicking. Aren't they your enemies?
[I guess. But, it also depends. They might not be.]
What does that mean?
[Even though I have bad history with them, I'm trying not to quickly write them off as enemies. They were strangely pretty friendly.]
One of them was.
[Hahahahaha. Who knows? Maybe they could become our friends.]
[I had a vampire friend once. It was a very long time ago.]
You were friends with a vampire?!
[Don't be too surprised. It was before the big war. Hahahahaha I kinda miss what's her face. I really liked sparring with her.]
So then...what do I do? Sooner or later, won't they find out about me? They won't be so friendly then.
[You're right, lass. It will be hard to hide in such a small town. For now you're safe, but come the next moon you'll be in trouble if you don't hide well.]
That really is a problem. It's not like I can suddenly up and leave all of a sudden when I just got here. What would I say to Charlie?
[Won't your father understand?]
What do you mean 'understand'? It's not like I can just tell him about all this. Even I still can't believe you're real. I'm more inclined to believe I'm suffering from schizophrenia.
[Best believe it's all real, lass.]
So what am I supposed to do?
[Hmmm...it's a gamble but, for now we just observe. There's still time.]
I finally got up and went downstairs. Charlie told me he was going to pick up the Blacks from the reservation. I had more than an hour or so before they arrive.
I started prepping for dinner. I was craving for something a bit spicy so I decided on making a bit of chicken curry and cooked some rice to match. Thinking about the boys, I decided to do steaks cooked in garlic and butter to add more flavor. Soup also sounded nice so I made some creamy mushroom soup.
Just as I heard the front door open, I was almost done with my vegetable stir fry.
"That smells amazing, Bells," Charlie said as he walked into the kitchen.
"Thanks, Charlie. Do you mind setting up the table?"
"Sure. No problem."
Not long after, I finished and turned off the stove. I then started bringing the food to the dining table, thanking Charlie as he finished setting up the plates and utensils. Charlie then called over the Blacks.
What is it now?
[I'm not yet sure.]
"Hello, Isabella. Do you still remember me?" a man in a wheelchair asked me.
"Billy! Of course I do," I said, as I leaned down to give the man a hug. "I go by Bella now by the way."
I remember going to the reservation when I was a kid and stayed with the Blacks a lot. Billy was like that 'favorite uncle'.
"How about me? Still remember me?"
I looked behind Billy and saw a tanned guy around my age with long hair.
"Jacob! I remember," I said with a smile. "Thanks a lot for fixing up my truck's engine."
He seemed delighted.
"No problem. It was a fun project. But I'm still an amateur so it'll be better if you have someone else look at it."
"Hey, it runs. That's great already. So how much do I owe you? You put a lot of work in it for it to be free."
"It's really fine. They were just spare parts lying around. Treat it as a welcoming present from us."
"Thanks. I really like the gift."
We moved on to the dining table. They looked really surprised and seemed to like my cooking (thank god). I was content just listening in on their conversation, answering when they asked me questions.
[I can understand why you like cooked meat so much, lass. You should cook more often.]
You say it like you've never eaten it before.
[I have had a taste of it on occasion. But I've been in hiding for such a long time and I try to avoid human settlements as much as possible.]
Why is that?
[I don't want others getting involved in my business.]
He went oddly quiet after that.
After dinner, we all gathered in the living room. The boys watched some sports. I wasn't really into sports so I had Jacob explain to me what was happening. I tried my best to keep up and could only smile at their excitement as they cheered at the players on the screen.
As they were about to leave, Jacob turned to me.
"When do you start school?" Jacob asked me.
"On Monday. I figured I should come earlier to unpack during this weekend and get used to the town first."
"Then wanna come hang out at La Push tomorrow?"
La Push was the name of the reservation where the Quileute tribe, which the Blacks were a part of, lived. I looked at Charlie for permission.
"Go ahead. Just come back before dinner," Charlie said.
"Well then, meet you tomorrow. But I still have some things to do so I'll probably swing by around the afternoon."
After exchanging goodbyes, Charlie drove them back to the reservation. I went up to my room and grabbed a towel. I took a relaxing warm bath then changed into my pajamas, an oversized shirt and plaid boy shorts.
My hair was still damp and usually I would use a hair blower but I forgot to bring mine from Phoenix. It also slipped my mind to buy one earlier. I glanced at my window and contemplated for a moment.
After hanging my towel, I went to open the window. I looked outside, checking if anyone was outside to see me. After confirming that the coast was clear, I got one of my extra blankets, folded it up and anchored it between my neck and right shoulder. Carefully, I stepped outside into my window and climbed to the roof.
Old me probably would have slipped and cracked my skull. But, it's different now and I managed to succes-
My hand slipped on a tile.
[Hahahaha be careful now, lass. Although, you won't die from this height.]
Yeah but it's still gonna hurt.
I quickly regained my grip and pulled myself up on the roof. I sighed in relief. I laid down my blanket and sat on it.
The night was cold but I didn't mind. I breathed in the cool air.
The fresh air is nice.
It really is. So much better than the polluted city air. That's one of the upsides to living in Forks. I leaned back and enjoyed the night sky. I appreciated the fact that you could actually see plenty of stars compared to the big city. As I hummed a tune, my ears perked up.
I sensed something. I turned my head towards the woods near my house. I didn't see anything but my hearing told me otherwise. I heard movement but it was gone in a flash.
Was that...a wild animal?
I shrugged it off and lied back down. I spent some time on the roof, air drying my hair, scrolling down through my phone, and listening to some music, before retiring to my room and enjoying a good night's rest.
The next day, I got up very early.
Ever since the events a week ago, my body has been exuding plenty of energy recently. That's why I've started jogging in the morning, finding it refreshing and helped shed some of the pent up energy I got going on now. I was vaguely familiar with the town, relying on my memories from my childhood, but I didn't want to risk getting lost so I just ran in a straight line just in case.
I was a mile in when I finally felt my legs give out.
[Don't overdo it, lass. Exercising is good but you should consider your limit. You aren't fit to begin with and your body is still in the process.]
Yeah. Sorry hahahaha I got a bit too excited I guess.
[That's alright. Catch your breath, cool down, and do some stretches.]
I walked to the side of the road and followed his instructions.
On my way back, I leisurely walked and took in the sights to familiarize myself. I found that some houses and structures were still the same. Forks really hasn't changed that much in these past few years.
I heard my stomach growl. Looking around, I saw a diner. I remember it's the same diner Charlie and I used to go to when I was a kid. I enjoyed their food based on what I can recall.
As I pushed open the door, the cliche sound of bells chimed, announcing my entrance. I saw a few people inside, enjoying a cup of coffee and breakfast. I sat myself on one of the stools facing the counter. A man wiping the counter looked up, seemingly surprised at the sight of me.
"Well well well, aren't you the famous daughter of Chief Swan?"
I smiled politely and nodded.
"I'm not sure about that 'famous' part."
"What? Practically everyone in Forks has heard about the chief's daughter. Charlie wouldn't shut up about you.
"Do you still remember me? You were still small when I last saw you."
I laughed nervously and looked apologetic towards him.
"I'm sorry. I don't really remember."
He shrugged and chuckled at my response.
"It's fine, kid. I was pretty much working back in the kitchen all the time so you might not have seen me a lot. I'll just introduce myself," he said while holding his hand in front of me. "I'm John Weber."
"Bella Swan," I said back and shook his hand.
"Nice to meet you again, Bella. I have a daughter the same age as you. Don't know if you remember her either."
"I think I do. I think I remember Charlie introducing her when we came her when I was younger."
"That's good. I'd thought you could use a friend. You'll meet her sooner or later," he said. "I could ask her to show you around Forks if you want?"
I smiled at that.
"Thanks, Mr. Weber. But I don't wanna trouble anyone. Besides, I'm gonna be living here anyways so I have time to know my way around eventually."
"Now listen here, missy. I'm too young for that Mr. Weber nonsense. Just call me John," he said in a mock scolding tone.
"John it is then," I said with a grin.
"So what can I get you, kid?"
I ordered some buttermilk pancakes and bacon for myself with a glass of orange juice.
"Oh. And could you please add-"
I stopped because I wasn't sure what Charlie would want.
"Does the chief still come here a lot?" I asked instead.
"Always. The man lives off of my food," he said with some pride.
I guess this is the diner he usually gets takeout from.
"Then can I get a takeout of what he usually orders?"
As I waited for my food, I could feel some stares shot my way.
[Looks like they're all curious about you, lass.]
Ugh. I hate unnecessary attention.
[Calm down and don't pay them any mind. They're just curious.]
I know. Just...I feel conscious.
[Well, can't blame them for staring. You're a new face and a pretty young lass at that.]
Pft. No, I'm not.
[*Sigh* It'll become harder for you to find a mate if you're not confident.]
My brows rose to my hairline.
Stop right there. I am very much happy being single.
[Hahahahaha it won't always be like that.]
It was ominous the way he said it. I shrugged it off.
John came back not long after with my order. As I bit into my pancakes, I couldn't help the groan that escaped my lips.
John laughed at my reaction.
I nodded as I took another bite. He left me alone and tended to the other customers. I finished quickly but I didn't feel full yet. Usually, that amount could already fill me up. I attributed it to the fact that I just exercised. But then I remembered what he said.
[Just eat some more. You'll be eating twice that amount in no time.]
Oh god. All my money's gonna go to food, isn't it?
[I'd say that's money well spent.]
I waved John over and ordered another stack of pancakes, much to his surprise and delight.
"Coming right up, missy."
After breakfast, I rushed home to give Charlie his breakfast. Just in time too since it looked like he had just woken up.
"I was wondering where you got up to."
"I went for a jog," I explained. "I got you some breakfast on the way back."
He looked surprised and happy when he saw what was in the doggy bag.
"John sent his regards," I told him.
He nodded and quickly dug into his breakfast.
"So what will you be doing today?" he asked as he ate.
"Paint my walls, unpack, and then meet up with Jacob later this afternoon."
"Okay then. I'll be heading to work after breakfast. Just call me if you need anything."
"Yeah. Thanks, Charlie."
I then left him alone and went upstairs to take a shower. Once I finished, I heard Charlie yell goodbye and drove off to work. I quickly changed into some old clothes I didn't mind getting paint on. I first started with my room. I made sure to cover my bed and other furnishings in my room to avoid getting paint all over them.
Unlike my soon to be art room, my room already had white walls so I didn't bother with a primer. I began working and managed to finish painting in over a little in an hour which could have normally taken me two. But, since I didn't get that tired easily anymore, it made me work faster. I then resumed to begin painting my art room.
I managed to finish two coats of paint in both rooms just in time for lunch. I opened all the windows and turned on the ventilation fan to help with the smell.
I was relatively hungry so I made sandwiches which were easy and quick to make. I made those my lunch and after I finished eating, I checked on my rooms which still smelled of paint so I postponed unpacking my boxes.
I wasted time by watching random videos online while lying down on the couch. I checked the clock after some time. There was still time before I had to meet Jacob. I shot him a text this morning stating I'd come around 2 to 3 PM. I took a quick shower and decided to drive around Forks before going to La Push. I locked the house and quickly got in my truck. I sent a quick to Charlie telling him I was going out.
I drove around for a while before stopping by the gas station. I blew a low whistle when I saw a yellow Porsche parked on the other side. As I got out of my truck, I sensed someone watching me. I turned around, my gaze directly towards the tinted window of the Porsche. My gaze stayed there for a while before turning around as I shrugged off the feeling.
I walked inside the gas station to pay first. Upon opening the door, I instantly smelled something sweet.
[They just keep popping out everywhere.]
In front of me were two vampires, a male and female, holding hands. The female was shorter than her male companion, had hair styled into a pixie cut, and her clothes were particularly very stylish (and expensive). The male was taller than her, had a good physique, and blonde wavy hair.
She was talking animatedly to the male vampire, concern obvious in her voice. I saw the male seemingly have a pained expression distort his handsome face, his voice a low timbre with a southern accent as he spoke to the pixie girl. They were both very beautiful in the same way I found Rosalie and Esme beautiful.
Though Rosalie still stands out.
[You should have taken a 'photograph' with your 'mobile phone'.]
Why do you have to say it like that? You're just making yourself look really old. And we call it a 'picture' nowadays.
[I don't really see any point in learning all things new.]
You need to get in with the times, dude. I already have Charlie to worry about.
[Hahahahaha I admit you humans have progressed a lot since my last visit to any human settlements. I've seen what you can do with your 'mobile phone' and this thing you call 'internet' is a treasure trove of information and I find it very interesting.]
*Sigh I'll make sure to read and watch videos for you.
As he finally quieted down, my attention was back on the two vampires. The female vampire was the first to notice and shot me a smile.
"Hello!" she greeted.
I couldn't help the quirk on my lips. She was quite cute and her smile was infectious.
"Hi," I greeted back.
"Haven't seen you here before. Are you new?" she asked.
"Umm yeah. I just got here yesterday," I answered.
Her eyes widened as if she just realized something.
"You're Chief Swan's daughter!" she exclaimed. "Isabella, right? I'm Alice and this is Jasper."
I looked at the male vampire, Jasper.
[I sense his thirst but he's keeping it at bay.]
Isn't that dangerous?
[It is. Better to get away quickly. Your blood must be enticing him.]
Get out right away. Got it.
"Nice to meet you both. I prefer Bella actually," I spoke politely. She seemed about ready to start a whole new conversation so I quickly said, "Sorry I can't stay and chat. I need to go somewhere."
"Of course! Here, go ahead," she said and stepped to the side to make way for me.
I quickly paid for my gas and added in a chocolate bar and a pack of gum. I gave the cashier my card and waited for him to print out my receipt. In that moment, the entrance suddenly opened. Another sweet scent entered my nose. This one I'm already familiar with.
I looked back.
It was Rosalie .
"What's taking you so long?" she asked them with a frown.
"Oh! We were just about to pay," Alice answered.
At a voice silent enough no human ears could perceive, Alice continued to say, "I was trying to calm Jasper."
"Then he shouldn't have joined you," Rosalie said.
"I'm sorry," Jasper said.
"You don't have to be sorry, Jazz. You're trying your best," Alice said.
So she is with them. I thought I felt someone watching me earlier from behind that car's window.
[Oooh. Your senses are getting better.]
Yeah. I'm noticing that too.
I was feeling amazed I managed to hear all that. Of course, I pretended not to hear. Once I got my purchase sorted out, I turned to leave.
Thinking I could just slip by the three, Alice suddenly turned to me.
"Will we see you at school?" Alice suddenly asked me.
"Uhh yeah. I start Monday."
"Oh see you then! Have a nice day!" she called out to me as I slowly walked backwards to the door.
"You too," I replied. I then turned my gaze to the blonde woman. She returned my gaze with her frown I'm beginning to realize must be permanent. It must be stupid because I had the courage to smile at her and said, "It was nice seeing you again, Rosalie."
I saw surprise cross her face but it was gone in a flash.
As the door closed behind me, I heard Alice and Jasper asking Rosalie how I knew her. I didn't bother stay any longer to hear what else they had to say. After finishing filling up my tank, I quickly drove towards the reservation.
I met with Jacob who met me at the entrance. He climbed into my truck and gave me a quick tour around the reservation. We talked for some time, telling each other what we've been up to since the last time we met. I quickly warmed up to Jacob. He seemed like a cool guy I can see myself hanging out with. After we arrived near the beach, we decided to leave the truck and take a walk.
As we were walking by the shore, I heard the sound of loud splashes. I looked towards the direction of a cliff.
"Are they...cliff diving?!" I exclaimed.
It's not my first time seeing someone cliff dive. However, I wouldn't be this shocked if not for the fact that they were jumping off from a pretty high cliff.
"Yeah," Jacob mumbled. "Why don't we go-"
Just then, a bunch of topless guys with six packs wearing jean shorts emerged from the sea. I noticed Jacob moving to stand in front of me, blocking my view of them.
[So that's why I smelled something familiar from your friend and his father.]
"What is she doing here?" a man who seemed to be their group leader practically yelled in Jacob's face.
He stared down at Jacob, oozing with authority.
"Sam, she's a friend. She's Chief Swan's daughter who just moved to Forks," Jacob explained with unwavering eyes.
"I asked you what she's doing here?" he growled.
"I'm just visiting," I answered for myself.
Jacob flinched. He then turned his head to look at me over his shoulder.
"It's best if you go home, little girl," the Sam guy said to me.
I suddenly felt myself twitch. I could feel a growl rising up my throat but I reigned it in.
[Is that wolf shifter trying to assert his dominance?]
Wolf shifter? What?
[Like I said, wolf shifter. They transform into wolves.]
[No. I'll explain later. It's best if we get out of here for now. They don't seem too happy having an unfamiliar person in their territory. They're a very...temperamental bunch.]
Okay then. I just don't like how he's speaking to Jacob. How he's speaking to me.
[Hahahaha that's probably because to you it sounds like a puppy barking at an adult hound.]
Are you sure I'm not the puppy in this situation?
Not wanting to cause a scene in their territory, I looked at Jacob.
"I'll see later then, Jake," I said to him.
I saw disappointment flash in his eyes. But, he nodded and lead me towards my truck. I couldn't help but look back for a moment and glared at the pack of wolf shifters. I saw one of them growling and stepping forward but was quickly stopped by the others.
[Told you they're a temperamental bunch.]
I see that now.
I told Jacob to take care and to text me if he wanted to hangout again some time. I watched from the rear view mirror as he waved goodbye.
[Are we going home?]
I guess. I should continue unpacking and prep dinner while waiting for Charlie.
[Okay. Then, while you're at it, I could explain to you about the shifters. Though, my knowledge is limited.]
That's better than nothing.
Once I arrived in my room, there was still a faint smell of paint left. I worked my way through my boxes, and slowly unpacked them all the while, I listened to his explanation.
[Vampires naturally predated on humans for their blood. Fearing for their lives, the humans allied themselves with our species. However, due to the war, we couldn't protect the humans all the time. The humans found themselves in danger once again and started looking for ways to protect themselves.]
Witches are real too?
[Hahahahaha you best believe it, lass. Anyways, a group of humans made a deal with a witch which turned them into shifters. In exchange for their lives, their bloodline will have the ability to morph into wolves in reaction to a vampire threat.]
Why wolves though?
[Well naturally, the humans thought it best to shift into something similar to the vampires' enemies.]
[As I was saying, they react to the presence of vampires. They become physically stronger than your average human and develop heightened senses. They start acting more on their instincts which explains how territorial they were earlier. And as we've encountered, there are vampires in this town which must be the reason for the presence of these shifters. One of their ancestors must be one of those humans who made a deal with the witch.]
So basically, those ancestors exchanged their lives to put a curse on their children?
[Hahahaha when you put it that way…In the end, it was all for their survival.]
Still, those shifters looked like total frat douchebags with their six pack abs and jean shorts.
[Wolves do come in packs after all. That Sammy boy must be their alpha.]
Then earlier...was he trying to dominate over me?
[I'm sure he was just trying to intimidate you. But, the current you would never yield to him.]
That's nice to hear.
[Now then, that's pretty much all I know about the shifters' history. And just letting you know, lass, that Jacob boy might become one of them.]
[There's a possibility since it runs in their blood.]
So he's gonna turn into like them too? Damn. I'm gonna be friends with an Abercrombie model.
[Most likely. Just wanted to give you a heads up. Like I told you, they're very temperamental.]
I wonder if they'd agree to attend group therapy for anger management.
[Hahahaha. Best not to provoke them.]
I managed to unpack all my personal belongings. There wasn't much since I only bought with me the necessities. All that's left to unpack were my art supplies. But looking at the time, I had to quickly make dinner for Charlie and I. I felt my stomach rumble at the thought of food.
"Time to feed the beast soon," I sigh.
"So how was it?" Charlie asked.
"How was what?"
"Your 'hanging out with Jacob'."
Uh-oh. What is he implying?
[Hahahaha. Answer the question, lass.]
I cleared my throat.
"It was alright. Got a tour around the rez but I had to leave early."
"Why is that?"
"We met up with a bunch of Jacob's acquaintances. Tall muscular dudes. They didn't seem too happy I was there so I left early," I explained with a shrug.
Charlie frowned at that.
"I think I know who you mean. I'll have a word with Billy when I see him."
"It's fine, Charlie. We'll hang out outside the rez instead."
"But that still ain't right. You didn't do anything wrong, did you?"
"I don't think so. We were really just walking along the beach and they suddenly showed up."
Charlie seemed visibly upset so I tried to calm him down.
"I'm really okay. They must have been in a bad mood is all," I added.
He didn't seem easily convinced but he relaxed a little. I then chose to change topic.
"By the way, do you know the Cullens?" I asked.
"Cullens? I do. Why?"
"Oh, I met some of the Cullens yesterday when I went shopping and today too when I went out for gas."
"Good family those Cullens. I'm familiar with Carlisle Cullen. He works as a doctor and has done a lot of people good in this town ever since they moved here last year. His wife, Esme Cullen, does interior and also works as an architect.
"And their kids?"
"Nice youngsters. Never caused anyone trouble."
[Hmmmm. Ask about disappearances or dead bodies.]
Uhh let's not ask about dead bodies.
"Has there been any like disappearances around Forks lately?"
"Disappearances? Well, about 3-5 hikers go missing every year. Usually we'd find them having been attacked by a wild animal. Why?"
"Nothing. Just wondering about the dangers in the area."
"Oh. Don't worry about it too much, kiddo. The most dangerous encounters you'll probably have are bear attacks in the woods and those happen rarely as long as you don't go far off the trails. Forks is a relatively safe."
With all these vampires and wolf shapeshifters? It sure is a "relatively safe" place.
[Hahahaha. You unlucky, lass.]
We continued to chat as we enjoyed our dinner.
"I'm really happy you're here, Bells," Charlie told me with a bit of embarrassment.
"Me too. Thanks for having me, Charlie."
"You don't have to say that. You're always welcome here anytime."
I smiled at him. At the same time, I internally sighed.
Was it a mistake to come here?