Chapter 21: Bella
If I never shopped again it would be too soon. Once Alice had a clear vision of me starting school, she had begun a rash of shopping: school clothes, supplies, shoes, accessories, and anything else she could think of. We made our last stop at the Apple store, where I used my shiny black card for the first time to buy myself a laptop and an iPod. Alice and I grabbed our bags and started walking out of the store.
"Tomorrow after school, we have to drive to Olympia. They have a much better selection of stores." Alice said.
"No more shopping please! I can't take any more." I said.
We piled all of the bags into the trunk and I turned toward the passenger side door, looking up to see a man in dark sunglasses approaching the car. I knew immediately that he wasn't human. He was a vampire. He removed his glasses and I recognized his eyes; red and beady, filled with blood, I gasped. It only took me a second to recall where I had seen those eyes before. I backed away as I started to remember.
A flash, a breeze. I looked around, but saw nothing. Suddenly, I was on the ground. A heavy force was above me, holding my body down. There was pain starting from my neck. What was happening? My limbs started to tingle and I opened my eyes to a large figure, lifting its nose into the air and taking a deep breath. He looked down at me for a moment. His eyes were red, like blood. He was gone before I could even scream.
It was him, the one who created me, standing a few feet away. I was frozen and unable to break my stare. I felt Alice by my side, and she stepped in front of me.
"Can I help you?" She asked.
He smiled and leaned back, looking past Alice, right at me.
"I have been looking for you," he said with a smirk.
"And now you've found her and she doesn't want to be bothered. We need to get going, if you'll excuse us." Alice said, motioning for him to move. He raised his hands, moved back, and was gone in a flash.
"Bella, get in." Alice commanded. I stepped into the car and Alice closed the door behind me. She drove off in a frenzy towards Forks. She didn't speak during the ride home; her gaze was fixed on the road, but I could tell she was in deep concentration. My thoughts drifted back to his eyes, he must have just hunted, and the sight of his deep, blood-filled eyes scared me.
"Alice? What are you seeing?"
She shook her head no. "It's not clear yet. I'm not sure what is going to happen, and don't even think about using your shield on me right now."
"Please, Alice, I want to see." I pleaded.
"No. Not yet. I promise I will let you see, when it firms up," she said quickly as she pulled into the driveway. She parked in front of the house and flew out the door and inside.
"Carlisle?" Alice called. Without any hesitation, she flew through the living room and leapt out the back door. I followed her to the yard, where she was already speaking to Carlisle. His expression was one of caution. As I approached them, Alice stepped back.
"Bella, don't." She said. She knew what I wanted to do; my shield had already begun to stretch toward her. "Please wait until he makes up his mind. It keeps changing."
"Why don't you want me to see?" I asked, but she wouldn't answer. My shield was firmly around her now; all I needed to do was touch her. I jumped over and touched her arm. She pulled away quickly, but as I closed my eyes I saw him. All I saw was a quick glimpse of him running through the forest of Forks, breaking through the trees, and he came within sight of the house.
I gasped and stepped back. "He… he's coming here?"
Carlisle and Alice were both at my side.
"He hasn't made up his mind, Bella, the visions keep changing. Come on; let's go get our things from the car."
"He's hunting with Jasper and Emmett; they didn't go far," Carlisle replied.
"They'll be back in twenty-six minutes." Alice said as she took my hand and led me back into the house.
We brought everything inside and Alice continued to talk to me about school, trying to keep my mind preoccupied.
"Remember to keep it slow, but don't stay in one position for too long. Fidgeting is good; you could play with your hair or something."
She rattled off more things for me to remember, but the only thing I could think of was those inflamed red eyes. Alice's vision played in my head over and over. He was running, he came to this house, he was looking for me. I didn't care if his mind hadn't been made up. He was considering coming here and that made me nervous and Alice said the visions were changing. What else had she seen?
"Am I worrying over nothing?"
"Yes, now which outfit do you prefer, blue or beige?" She asked as she held up two outfits. I pointed to the blue, and she winked. "I knew it."
Alice rummaged through the closet and picked out my clothes for the whole first week of school. I sat on the bed and started setting up my new computer. As I closed up the laptop, I heard Emmett's voice down stairs, then his footsteps in the hall.
"Knock Knock," he said, poking his head in the door.
"Come on in, Em."
"Hey, Bells, I heard about your secret admirer." He sat down next to me and reopened the laptop. "You have to get some games for this thing."
He closed the laptop and looked at me. "Come on! Don't tell me you are scared of this guy?" He said, jumping off the bed. "In case you haven't noticed, there are eight of us and one of him. Besides, I could take him out myself."
He rolled up his sleeves and flexed his biceps. "I am unstoppable."
Alice rolled her eyes and then looked toward the door. "Be right back."
"Thanks, Em. You can stop flexing now."
"OK, but seriously, stop worrying. Come on." He held out his hand. I grabbed on and we made our way downstairs where Carlisle, Edward, and Alice were sitting in the living room. My eyes went to Edward immediately. He sat on the love seat; his body was casually strewn on the oversized chair. His eyes were light and he was smiling at me. There was no doubt that either Alice or Carlisle had filled him in on what happened, but he didn't look worried at all. Witnessing everyone's calm demeanor soothed me. Edward moved his arm up and reached for me, and I jumped over to him, putting my nose to his neck. His scent caused a wave of ease to pass through my body.
"I missed you," he whispered before he kissed the top of my head.
Alice came over and stood next to the chair, holding out her hand.
"Go ahead. Take a look," she said confidently. As I touched her hand, it took almost no concentration before I could see him running again. He was standing where the forest broke in sight of the house, and then I saw him run in the opposite direction. I let go of Alice's hand and looked at Edward.
"You have nothing to fear, Love. We think he's just curious about you, but I will find out for sure," he said. "When he's close enough, I'll just need to listen to his thoughts and then we will be certain of his intentions. You saw Alice's vision. He will not be staying long."
I breathed a sigh of relief. "I feel better now. Sorry about that. He just kind of freaked me out."
Emmett laughed. "Silly girl! Once he gets a look at me, he will be the one that is scared. Maybe I'll chase hi-"
Carlisle interrupted him. "Emmett, you will do no such thing. If anything, I will speak to him."
Edward tugged on my shirt and looked over to our room. Before I could even say a word, he picked me up and we were behind the closed door of our bedroom. He placed me down, but kept his hands on my hips as his eyes dragged down my body.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Distracting you," he answered.
"How do you plan to do that?"
"I have a mission. I am going to kiss every part of your body." He began at the top of my forehead, taking his mission very seriously. His lips touched all of my face, neck and shoulders. It was hours before he started on my collar bone.
"I'm sorry, but we need to take a little break," he said and I groaned, trying to pull him back toward me.
"He's here." Edward said as he sat up on the bed. "I need to listen for a while, and then I will continue. I promise that before the sun comes up, I will have kissed every inch of you."
He stood behind the glass doors and looked out. I curled myself up in bed and waited. Edward stood as still as a statue, his gaze fixed on the forest. "Can you see him?"
"No, but I can hear him." He replied. After a few minutes, he sat next to me.
"His thoughts aren't threatening in any way. He is curious about you, maybe even fascinated by you, and he is proud of himself for finding you." He hesitated for a moment. "He's a tracker. His name is Victor."
Edward stood and in a flash he was looking out the window again. He drew the curtains down. "I can see him. Carlisle is getting anxious. He's going to go and speak to him."
I rose and stood by Edward. "I'd like to listen."
"Of course." Edward sat down in the chair by the window and placed me in his lap. I let my shield cover him and I put my head on his chest.
Carlisle was just leaving the house. He walked slowly toward the edge of the trees and he held his hands out in a gesture of peace. "I mean no harm. I would simply like to speak to you."
He must be the leader, Thought Victor
Victor took a few steps back and Carlisle leaned against a tree. He made sure that he appeared relaxed and natural.
Victor started thinking of our family. Edward, Emmett, and Jasper had made sure that Victor had seen them. He was feeling slightly on edge.
"I told them to stay back at the house. I will have no violence in my home. I simply wish to speak to you," said Carlisle. A small smile broke on his lips.
Victor stepped closer to Carlisle and he too leaned on a tree, his focus still on our home.
"You are the one who created Bella?" Carlisle asked.
"I am." I still can't believe she is alive… I thought for sure that the wolves would have taken her.
"May I ask why you are here?"
"I wanted to see her," he said.
I did this. She lives as an immortal.
"I never meant to do this. I have never created another…"
"Bella is a part of my family now. I think your presence is making her uncomfortable. May I ask how long you plan to stay?"
"I'm leaving now."
I had to make sure she existed. I had to make sure that she knows the rules at the very least. It is my obligation.
"I don't want any trouble. I wanted to make sure that she knew the rules. I can see that she does not need me here. I will leave now. Please send my apologies. I didn't mean to scare her."
"Thank you, and I would like to ask you to refrain from hunting in the immediate area. We maintain a permanent residence here. We don't want to raise any suspicion. I hope you understand." Carlisle said.
He nodded his head in acknowledgement. A permanent residence? Interesting…
With that, he raced in the opposite direction, just as Alice had seen. I looked up at Edward. He was looking down at me and began to kiss my collar bone.
Now, where was I?