May 24, 2013
A little Author’s Note before I start. This is a short entry, just to give people an idea about what went down with Charlie. I might post another entry today/tonight if I can. Please don’t be mad at me if I don’t. I was going to post this and the next entry as one chapter, but it was too long. Literally. Long. Like really long. So, you can think of this as part one and the other one as part two! I’m going to stop babbling now. Enjoy!
Bella came home somewhere around afternoon the next day.
Even in her eternal, ethereal beauty, I could tell she had had a hard day. The frowns on her forehead were distinct, and she looked tired, not physically, but mentally. I knew everyone wanted to ask her how it went, but they kept their distances.
As soon as she walked in through the door, I wrapped her up in my arms, planting on her lips a scorching kiss. Any day seemed long without her, and that was my way of telling her that.
“Have I told you how much I love being welcomed home this way?” she smiled against my lips.
“Many times, love.” I nodded, grinning like a fool. “But come on, we need to escape before the family accosts you.”
I heard a few protesting groans from inside, and a chorus of ‘Ew’. I paid them no heed, and slipped out of the backdoor to our meadow, with Bella by my side.
Atlin hardly had any warm days. No matter what time time of the year it may be, there was always a nip in the air. If you looked hard enough, you could see the fog rising up as your breathed out.
Bella and I walked silently, hand in hand, blending into the atmosphere of the Great White North. I could tell, from the grip of her hand, that she was itching to say something. I almost wanted to coax it out of her, but I let her take the lead.
“Edward? Did you hear?” I heard Bella say, and I looked up to see her brow frowning in confusion.
“I asked you how everything was back here? Did Nessie say something?” she clarified.
I realized instantly why she was confused. Bella had not met Katherine yet, and she had obviously been trying to get me under her shield.
“Oh, love, I didn’t tell you. We have guests.” I smiled at her softly.
“I figured as much. I thought I smelled a human.” A hint of recollection hit her face.
“Yes. A couple: Mark and Katherine. They’re here because they need our help. She’s pregnant.” I wiggled my eyebrows, and Bella’s eyes lit up.
“Really? Wow.” she chuckled, probably realizing why they—Mark and Katherine, that is—needed our help.
“Yeah. And apparently, she is some sort of an . . . antidote, you could say. Our powers don’t work anywhere in a two mile radius of her,” I told her, still in awe that a human mind could have that much potential. Frankly, the only one of her kind I had ever met was Bella. Her mind had been completely closed off: shielded even to the most potent of mind penetration, except, well, Nessie.
“Oh my . . . is that even possible? I mean, that has to be the mind of the century, or something like that. Imagine that, huh. And here I thought you were thinking about something else.” Bella nodded in awe.
“Maybe. Carlisle wants to look into it. I do too, but I think we should ask her first. I wonder how much more powerful she will be once she’s been changed. I would have told you sooner, but we have more pressing matters on our hand, don’t we?”
The awe faded from Bella’s face and was replaced by anxiety as she recalled the real reason why we were here. We were almost at our meadow; I could hear the stream that bubbled nearby.
“Well, one thing’s for sure,” she sighed, “Charlie hates you. He still thinks you slaved me into this relationship.”
As much as I wanted to defend myself, I had pretty much expected that response from Chief Swan. We were both no strangers to fatherhood. Therefore, I understood where he was coming from. I knew I would hate to see Nessie go off with a guy who struck me as a monster. Hell, I would rip the guy a new one, because I could do that.
Bella and I had reached our meadow by now, and I took her by hand and led her to the center of it. Once there, I sank to the ground, pulling her with me and onto my lap. She looked at me for a few moments with exhausted, disappointed eyes, and then resorted to picking flowers and shredding the grass on the ground.
“I just wish he’d understand,” she sighed despondently after some time. “He told me I would be better off with someone else than with you. I can’t bear to hear that, Edward. I am not compatible with anyone else, never was. It was just not in the cards for me. He knows that.”
“Bella,” I coaxed her face up, “It can’t be helped. We are together. You’re stuck with me for the rest of eternity. He knows that, yes. But, he has the right to express his opinion about his daughter’s future.”
“I know, I know,” she said and went back to shredding the grass again. “But that doesn’t mean he’s going to make preposterous assumptions about our life.”
“It’s his job, darling. It’s what he’s supposed to do. God forbid if something happened to you. He would die thinking that he couldn’t do anything for his daughter.” I didn’t want to put it that way, but it was true, even if it was morbid.
“I’d rather you don’t put it like that,” Bella grimaced at me.
I smiled at her sadly, and shut up for a minute so she could get herself together. She laid her head on my shoulder and closed her eyes, breathing in and out deeply. Stress didn’t sit well with her; she worried herself to the point of extreme even over little things. She was usually too proud to ask for help, but she always turned to me when it got too much, like it had now. For me, it was nice to know that she needed me as much as I needed her even when we were indestructible, not that I ever doubted that.
“So, what did he say to you?” I asked after some time.
“That’s what I am thinking about,” she answered. “He didn’t . . . I mean, not after what went down here. I think he is more angry at the fact that he was kept out of the circle and not in it, especially when everybody, even Sue, knew about us. He feels that we should have told him.”
“Bella, no sane person would believe what we tell them about us. Did you tell him about the Volturi?”
“Yes. In fact, I told him everything: how I found out about your true identity, why you left when you left, and even James and Victoria. I tried to explain the matter with the Volturi to him, but I thought he’d had enough. Plus, I thought he’d have a coronary if he realized that his tiny little town had, at one point, housed an entire army of vampires. I just told him what the Volturi would do if they found out that he knew.”
I knew that would have changed Charlie’s perception. We were constantly hanging between an abyss and an inferno. We couldn’t tell people about our identity, and we couldn’t always protect it. When it came to the latter, decisions were hard to make.
“You told him why I left? How did he react to that?”
“He was angry, obviously. He kept saying that incidents like that were the reason why he was so worried. It was too dangerous. I told him it wasn’t my fault, or Jasper’s. It’s inherent in us. We can’t fight the blood lust, Edward. I don’t blame Jasper.” She shook her head.
“And . . . what did he say about Nessie?”
I got a genuine smile at that.
“He’s a little freaked out at that. But he’s not angry at Nessie. He’s not angry at anyone when it came to her: said we’d given him the best gift of his life in his granddaughter. You might even have a chance of redemption at that,” Bella mocked, and I smiled with her. “He did say that she is fast approaching the age when I got married. Told me I should look out. Apparently, getting married early runs in the Swans.”
Both of us laughed at that.
“So, it’s okay? We’re okay?” I brushed her hair.
“Yeah, it’s fine. He said it would take some getting used to, but he might be all right.” she nodded happily.
“See? I told you it would be all right.” I kissed her once again, and this time, she responded enthusiastically.
“How was Nessie? Was she okay? She was pretty shaken up the night Charlie left . . . .” Bella chewed on her lip, as if she knew exactly what had happened.
“She was . . . distraught, to say in the least. She’s like you: underestimating herself every time. She thought it was her fault Charlie left. But I talked to her. She’s okay now, don’t worry.”
“Excuse me? What do you mean ‘she gets that’ from me? Please, that has you written all over it. I seem to recall a certain man who thought of himself as a monster for the better part of our relationship.” Bella narrowed her eyes at me, clearly angered by my inadvertent accusation.
“And I seem to recall a certain woman who thought of herself as, and I quote, ‘nothing’ and a ‘plain human’.” There, darling, I wasn’t backing down.
I knew she wanted to do it. I could just feel it in my bones. She resisted for some time, though. She grit her teeth, and shook in a fury that no hell hath. Her nostrils flared, and I was almost sure she wouldn’t do it.
But she did.
She stuck her tongue out at me.
And, like the imbecile I was, I laughed, which earned me a good smack in the head, and an order to shut up. It seemed it was time go home.
“Oh, and by the way, if Black Beauty sheds on my couch, I am serving it up as dinner,” I warned as we got up and started walking towards the house as the sun set.
“You know, the Hell’s Bells that you and our daughter call a pet.”
“Edward!” Bella protested, but I could see the starting of a smile on her face.
“And no chewing, gnawing, grinding, mewing, rubbing, licking, stomping, running, bringing kills into our house, and eating like a savage. And absolutely no sleeping on the bed. If I see paw prints on the bed, I am going to cut his legs off.” I had a mental list even longer, but I thought it would be so much more fun to start Cat Wars with Darth Shedder.
“He’s a cat, Edward. And he’s sweet, okay?” Bella giggled.
“He’s not! He ran all over the carpet yesterday! And it doesn’t help if Alice fawns over him, dressing him up as the feline version of Men in Black.”
“Maybe he loves Alice.”
“Maybe he’s just gay. Anyways, I am going to have to put my foot down.”
Just you wait, you kitty, just you wait . . .
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