Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 22

"Family meeting!" Alice gasped, her mouth hanging open. We all stopped what we were doing, giving our complete attention to her. Carlisle and Esme came into the room. "Felix..." she breathed. "He's going back to Italy...he's rebuilding..."
"Damn," Demitri growled, shaking his head. "I guess he put it off as long as he could."
"This is good news, Alice," Carlisle sighed, looking around as we all gaped at him. "This gives us time, gives us a chance to breathe."
"Gives us a chance to work with Bells more," Jasper nodded. I sighed, looking out the window. I was so tired of training that I could barely express it in words. Edward looked at me in sympathy, taking my hand and kissing it.
"But there is a problem," Alice growled. "He's debating on sending someone out here again...out to the wolves to try and get information on where we really are."
"It's ok, Alice," I sighed, pulling out my phone. "I'll warn Jake...he can start patrols...reinforce the no camping warning that Charlie has put out." I sent a rapid text to my best friend, telling him just that.
"Yeah, but it's Jane!" She snarled. "He'll want to send Jane. Only you can stop her...it's pain she uses..."
"Damn," I sighed, feeling more tired than ever.
"Jane uses the illusion of pain," Demitri corrected. "You only feel like you're on fire..." He shook his head, frowning. "She's a little coward, though...she'll bring people with her."
"Good, the more she brings, the more we can get rid of," Emmett growled.
To be honest, I agreed with Emmett on this point. It would take most of a year to get newborns ready to be any good. If Felix kept sending his veterans, he would soon be alone. It was almost worth traveling to Italy to destroy him.
"No, Bella," Edward growled, "absolutely not. You let them come to us. If they want a war, they can start it...not the other way around."
"It was just a thought...not something I wanted, Edward," I frowned. "I don't want any of it!" I snapped.
"Bells, say the letter n!" Alice whispered, elbowing me in class.
"N," I sighed, getting a nod from Mr. Thompson. He turned back to the board to finish writing out the next problem. I copied it down, avoiding Alice's stare. She had been poking me through most of Algebra. She had had that vision a month into the school year. We were well into October, a slow routine settling around us.
The bell rang and we got up to head to lunch. We passed by the teacher's lounge, catching the sound of Mr. Fuller's voice. The principal rarely yelled, but he was doing it now.
"Mrs. Richardson, do you like staying after class every day? Because I'm getting calls left and right about students in your detentions that feel that they were undeserving." Alice and I stopped, unable to walk by such a wonderful conversation.
"These kids," she growled, "they're disrespectful and foul creatures. Of course they feel it's undeserving!"
"The Cullens?" He yelled. "Gladys, you are the only teacher that has a problem with that family. Every other member of my staff says they are brilliant students and totally respectful. Dr. Cullen and his wife have done an amazing job with them. Yet, I see you've put one or more of them in detention at least once a week since the start of the school year."
"Respectful," she scoffed. I could just imagine her waving her portly hand in the air to blow him off.
"Do you even know their history?" He growled. "The Swan girl was abused by her father...the Cullen boy saved her. The little Brandon girl...they say she doesn't even remember being institutionalized." I sighed, looking over at Alice. I kissed the top of her head. "Rosalie Hale...assaulted...Gladys, I'm warning you...give them a chance. So far, the parents haven't complained, but I am willing to bet it's just a matter of time."
"Yes, sir," she sighed.
"And why have you ordered another chair? The request came across my desk again this morning," he asked, his voice sounding exasperated. I had to chuckle. I had broken her chair three times in the last month. "This is the third chair, Gladys."
"They keep breaking, Mr. Fuller," she defended.
"Fine," he sighed, opening the door. We plastered ourselves against the lockers, trying to not be seen. "Try a diet," he mumbled, shaking his head.
"Ha!" Alice grinned, tugging me away towards the lunchroom.
"I guarantee one of the calls was Drew's parents," I sighed, sitting down at our table. "He's been in detention just about every week." Edward picked up my hand and kissed it, barely looking away from his book. I had thoroughly distracted him from his homework the night before. He smirked, looking up slightly and laughing to himself.
"He has," Jasper frowned. "And you're probably right, he was talking about it in class yesterday. His parents are willing to believe he may deserve one or two...he's a normal boy, but not once a week. And not by the same teacher. Why? What did you hear?"
We caught them up on the berating that Mrs. Richardson just took from Mr. Fuller. Emmett was ever so pleased.
"Nice...one more and I may send Mom down here," he beamed.
"I agree," I huffed.
"Not yet," Edward sighed. I looked over at him. It was a battle of wills with him and Mrs. Richardson. I didn't know how much more I could take. I sighed in frustration, folding my arms across my chest. "Bella," he started.
"Just stop, Edward," I frowned, rolling my eyes. "You don't know what it's like watching her with you...don't..." I growled, grabbing my bag and leaving the lunchroom. I walked straight to the school paper classroom. We were starting our second printing today and I flipped the switch on to get started.
I pulled up all the files, set the margins and loaded the paper. I hit start and sat on the table next to the machine with a sigh. I smelled him immediately and looked up to see him leaning in the doorway. "I hate it, Edward...it makes me murderous," I frowned, looking down at my swinging feet.
"Tell me what to do then," he sighed, appearing in front of me.
"One more," I growled, looking up at him. "One more detention, one more foul word from that hag and I'm calling Esme. I'm not kidding." I looked back at my feet and he placed his hands on each side of my legs. "I love you too much to let this continue...if it were me..."
"I would have snapped her neck," he growled, nudging my forehead with his own. "Hey, look at me, Bella." I looked up at his beautiful face. "It bothers you that much?" I nodded against him.
"I want to hurt her for the way she talks to you...crush her skull," I growled, shaking my head. "It's amazing she can't read it on my face."
"She can," he chuckled. "She's just waiting for you to come to my defense."
"I will eventually...and that will be ugly," I sighed, looking out the window. The machine beside me beeped and I added more paper, hitting start again.
"That's most certain," Edward chuckled again, stepping between my legs. When he was that close, nothing else seemed to matter. "Ok...one more and you can call Mom," he smirked.
"Thank you," I sighed, leaning my forehead on his chest. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed the top of my head. I looked up at him, cupping his face and tracing his bottom lip with my thumb. "Come here," I whispered, squeezing him closer with my legs.
Our kiss started with slow licking nips. Edward slipped his hand into my hair at the base of my neck and turned my head. With a moan from both of us, we quickly forgot where we were. My stomach twisted with the things Edward was doing with his tongue. Suckling my bottom lip, my tongue, my top lip, he was rapidly sending me into a frenzy. I wanted his mouth on other places. Lots of other places.
"Mm, me too," he whispered against my mouth before delving his tongue in again. I groaned, slipping my hands inside his back pockets to grip his ass and causing him to press his hips into me. With a sigh and hand through his hair, he pulled away from me. "Wendy," he smirked, licking his lips just as she opened the door.
"Oooh, you started," Wendy smiled. "Hey, Edward."
"Hello, Wendy," he smiled, his eyes still not leaving mine. "See you in Biology, love."
"'Kay," I smiled, licking my own lips. Damn, that was cut way too short. Edward nodded and chuckled, backing out the door.
"Holy crap," Wendy giggled, waving a hand in front of her face. "My bad for interrupting."
"Forget it," I laughed, pulling the finished pages off the printer. We sat down and started to fold them.
In all honesty, I tried to keep my mouth shut in History. After seeing Bella so upset and knowing that if it were her in my place, I knew I needed to let my vendetta against Mrs. Richardson go. That is, until I realized that the conversation my sister and angel had overheard made the nasty woman that much angrier.
"Mr. Cullen," she snapped, "while your homework is fine, I feel I don't have your complete attention." I sighed, hearing Bella's and Jasper's frustrated growls.
"I apologize that you feel that way, Mrs. Richardson. I assure you that I am enraptured by your every word." Yes, it was sarcastic and yes, she was well aware I didn't mean a word of it.
"Humph," she squeaked, her mind wanting to find something wrong with my statement, but realizing she couldn't, she moved on. "Chapter 8...read it...no talking."
Bella sighed, watching the woman sit down at her desk. She rubbed her pen over the top of my hand, the only gesture she thought she could get away with. My angel's mind was thankful to me for not losing it on the "hag" as she kept calling her.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Richardson saw the whole interaction. "As romantic as I'm sure your story is, Miss Swan," she drawled, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Try to keep it out of my classroom. Mr. Cullen may have saved you from your father, but he can't save you from me."
Son of a Bitch! She had finally turned her attention to Bella and in a flash, Jasper and I were on our feet. "I don't think so," Jasper snapped, glaring at her.
"You won't bring this up in front of a classroom full of people," I growled, my fists clenching at my sides. This woman may not live to see the weekend.
"Sit down," Bella and Mrs. Richardson said, Bella tugging on our shirts. When we didn't listen, Bella turned her attention to our teacher. Here it comes, I thought, bracing myself. "Mrs. Richardson, I imagine what you know about me could fit inside a thimble and still have room to roll around. And while I'll respect your request, I will not have my personal business aired in public. As a minor, my records are private...and you just violated the law." Bella stood, grabbed her bag and stalked out the door
I'll be in the office waiting for Esme, she snapped. She was on the phone before she even left the hallway.
"Mom?" Jasper smirked, still standing.
"Yeah," I laughed, nodding.
We both sat down, looking back at Mrs. Richardson. She was stunned, her mouth hanging open. She fucked up and she knew it. I smirked, folding my arms across my chest, waiting out the rest of the hour.
Jasper and I walked straight to the office when the bell rang. We flinched at the sound of our mother's raised voice.
"The kids told me they could handle it, Mr. Fuller, but obviously she's more abusive than I realized," Esme huffed. "You let a woman like that deal with children every day? Bella's records are sealed and this...woman just blurted it out in the middle of a class, because she has some problem with Edward. No one has ever had a problem with Edward. He's quiet and polite and a brilliant student."
"Mrs. Cullen, I assure you that I have spoken to Mrs. Richardson about your kids," the man backpedaled.
"Well, a lot of good that did!" She snapped. Jasper winced, fighting his laugh. "All you did was hand her ammunition against my daughter. She's frantic at the way your teacher treats Edward and Jasper. I won't have it. Edward saved her life...I won't have this woman come in and broadcast that all over the damn school."
"Oh hell," I sighed. "She's on a roll now." The receptionist snorted, hiding her smile behind her hand.
"Where is she?" Emmett growled, bursting into the office. "Alice said..." He stopped short, when I gave him a warning stare.
"What would you have me do, Mrs. Cullen?" Mr. Fuller sounded desperate now.
"I want her dismissed...or at the least...suspended. She has a problem, Mr. Fuller. I hear the stories my children come home with. I've heard stories from other schools. I can do homework too, you know?"
The receptionist's phone beeped. "Yes, Mr. Fuller?" She answered.
"Tara, please page Mrs. Richardson to my office."
"Yes, sir," she smirked, looking up at all of us. "You're loving this, aren't you?" She giggled, turning to the PA system. Her page sounded just a little too amused. Jasper and Emmett chuckled, nodding their heads. I hadn't reached amused. I wanted to see Bella and soon.
"Easy, bro," Jasper smiled, placing a hand on my shoulder. We all sat down, Alice and Rose joining us in the waiting room.
When Mrs. Richardson barreled her way into the office, she stopped at the sight of all of us. "What is it, Tara?" She sighed, breaking her gaze from us to glare at the receptionist.
"Mr. Fuller?" Tara asked into the phone. "Mrs. Richardson is here...ok...he said to go on in," she smirked.
"Bells, sweetheart, go wait in the waiting room. I'm pretty sure your siblings and Edward are frantic to see you," Esme sighed. "I'd be willing to bet they are pacing out front."
"Ok." Bella passed Mrs. Richardson without so much as a glance. She fell into my arms with a sigh.
"Bells, you ok?" Emmett whispered. Bella nodded, pulling back to look at him. "Did she really say that in class?" We all nodded. "Damn," he growled.
Rose shushed us, wanting to hear the next stage of this whole thing.
"She's my youngest...I'm allowed to baby her...After what she's been through, I'm allowed to cushion some things...her siblings are allowed to defend her...though I would have never thought they would have to do so against a teacher!" Esme growled. "And just what problem do you have with Edward?"
Bella giggled softly into my neck.
"Your son," Mrs. Richardson drawled the word out, "thinks he can skate by on his good looks, charm and bank account...he's sarcastic and snide."
"Now, Gladys, you're the only teacher..." Mr. Fuller started.
"My son can do whatever he chooses to do...his looks have nothing to do with it. His grades should prove it...and yes, we are fortunate to be able to hand all of our children whatever they want, but they've never had it held against them."
"He's too familiar with the Swan girl..." Mrs. Richardson sneered. "She's going to find herself in a bad way..."
"Bella...her name is Bella...Isabella if you want..." Esme said, barely under control. "And she can't have children...so their relationship is none of your business." Bella sighed, she hadn't really wanted that information out there, but she was trusting Esme to do the right thing. I kissed her forehead.
"It's ok, baby," I sighed, "Mom's got it all under control." Jasper chuckled, nodding in agreement.
"Jealousy is rolling off of you, Mrs. Richardson...is my son too attractive to you? Do we have a problem here?" Esme growled.
Tara squeaked in shock, covering her mouth and we all laughed. We just couldn't help it.
"I would never!" Mrs. Richardson gasped. "He's too much like my ex-husband...all fluff and no sustenance." The fact that she compared me to food was too much for my brothers, who laughed in silent hysterics. Bella smacked them both on their arms.
"Sounds like he was a smart man," Esme sighed. "Are we done here?"
The whole waiting room snorted into laughter, Tara included.
"Yes, Mrs. Cullen...Gladys, I'm afraid...due to your actions, I'm going to have to suspend you without pay for a month. In reality, I should fire you...allowing the personal information to be announced in class...I can't have it again. When you come back, all of your detentions will go through me first for verification...you'll be on a probationary period for the rest of the school year. Is that clear?" Mr. Fuller was done.
"Yes, sir," she sighed.
"Mrs. Richardson," Esme started, "when you return, if you so much as breathe wrong around any of my children or even their friends, I will personally see to it that you never teach again. I will come down here, straight to your classroom and haul you off of this campus. Mr. Fuller won't even know about it until you are packed and out of this state. Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear?"
"Yes," Mrs. Richardson mumbled.
"Go, Mama Bear!" Emmett laughed, shaking his head.
Esme appeared in front of us, fighting a smirk and her temper. The smirk was winning. "Let's go kids...your father's due home soon."
"Come on, Demitri, please?" Alice begged. "You have to go to the game with us..."
I fought my laugh. The only reason Alice wanted him there was to flaunt him in front of Pam and her clones. Ariel had been continuously talking about him.
"Really?" Edward smirked, his head shooting up from the computer. I laughed and nodded. "This is really good, Bella." He smiled, kissing my head. I was finally finished with Carlisle and Esme's story. Jasper was contacting J. Jenks to send it off under Marie Anthony. "What's next?" He asked, tilting his head at me.
"Ours...or Alice and Jasper's, I can't decide." His smile was brilliant, pride for me just radiated off of him. I sighed, hearing Alice still pleading. "Oh for crying out loud...Alice, does he say yes or not?"
"Yes!" She beamed, pulling him up from the couch. Demitri chuckled the whole way into his room as Alice pushed and shoved him. Carina just followed with a sigh and a smile.
Edward chuckled, shaking his head at the two of us. "Anyway," I sighed, "I'm not sure if I'm ready to sit down to either one, to be honest." Alice and Jasper's story, while simple, had some missing pieces. Mine and Edward's had huge areas of heartbreak. I would need Carlisle for counseling through most of it.
"I would help you," Edward frowned. "With ours, love."
"I know...I just...let me think about it?" I sighed, leaning in to kiss him. "Maybe I don't want to share it with the whole world. Maybe it's just for us...I don't know yet." I had originally thought about writing ours first, but it was raw and emotional.
"When and if you decide," he smiled, kissing my nose, "I want to help, ok?" There was more behind his pleas, his gaze.
"That..." I smiled, "sounds like a plan, baby." He studied my face for a moment. "It's not about the leaving, Edward...it's about reliving the abuse...I've forgiven Jacob. I've worked really hard to forget it."
"Don't write that part," Edward sighed, pulling me onto his lap. "Conclude it just after James...Prom!" He smiled.
"Oh, God, I love you." I couldn't stop myself from saying it, wrinkling my brow. He was too sweet, too cute. I had no resistance. "I don't know, Edward, seriously."
"Write it for me," he begged. "Your side...let me hear it. We won't send it off...we'll keep it just between us...please, Bella?"
"You never ask for anything," I breathed, "and this is what you want?"
"Please?" He sounded like he was in pain, he wanted it so badly.
"Is this what you've been waiting on?" I asked and he nodded, kissing me softly just to emphasize his point. He was killing me.
"Please, love?" He sighed, his palms on each side of my face. He rubbed my cheeks with this thumbs. "Please?" How could I possibly tell him no? After everything he'd given me, including the life that surrounded us, how could I deny him? All he ever asked of me was my love – nothing more. And with that last thought, I gave in.
"Ok," I sobbed, cupped his face and pressed my lips hard to his. "Ok, I'll do it...for you only." I closed my eyes, the venom burning and stinging. "Is this because you couldn't hear me?"
"Yes," he whispered, his own voice thick with emotion. "You've told me some things...I want to hear it all."
"You...you have to give me time, baby...to plan it," I sighed.
"Time we have," he smiled, kissing my forehead. "Thank you," he whispered, closing his eyes and pressing his forehead to mine.
For the next few weeks, I would find myself lost in a daze, trying to gather my thoughts. Flashes of our beginning would fly through my mind, catching me off guard. I kept a notebook with me, jotting down feelings and events. Some human memories were just too damn stubborn to come to the forefront of my brain.
My move from Phoenix, my truck, the first day of school, all the attention, black eyes, Mike, Jessica, Angela – the list was endless. I struggled to get the timeline correct.
"You can do this," Alice whispered in Algebra. I nodded at her and sighed. "But relax about it...Edward's starting to worry that he shouldn't have asked you..." She frowned, tilting her head. "Oh!" She smiled. "And enjoy your lunch," she winked as the bell went off.
My eyebrows shot up at her, but she just left the room. I shook my head and followed after her only to see Edward leaning against the lockers waiting for me. I ignored the admiring looks he received, looking like a statue – a perfect, beautiful statue.
"Hey," I smiled. "You're walking me to lunch?"
"Something like that," he snickered, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. He kissed my head, his lips lingering longer than usual against my hair as he led me not to the cafeteria, but to the parking lot. A light misty rain fell on us. The sky was so overcast, it seemed like dusk in the middle of the day.
"Are we leaving?" I smirked, thinking the answer was no.
He chuckled, shaking his head and unlocking the Volvo. "Get in," he smiled, opening the backseat door. He glanced around the parking lot before joining me in the backseat. He slid forward, slipping the key into the ignition. He put a CD on and gracefully sat back down. It was darker inside the car, thanks to the dark tinted windows and the weather outside.
"Come here," he whispered, his brow wrinkling. I crawled up into his lap. "I just...wanted you alone," he smiled, tilting his head and looking at me through his long eyelashes. "If you are having a hard time...with our story..."
"No...I'm not, Edward," I stopped him, placing my fingers on his lips. "I want it right...I want it perfect...I want to remember it all..." I sighed when he kissed my fingers. "It's important to me...for you...to get it right." His smile was so sweet as he listened to me. "I'm having a hard time remembering some things...human memories. Is that why I'm out here?" I smiled, giggling when he shook his head no.
He reached up and ran his fingers lovingly through my hair, his head back against the headrest. "I need you," he sighed. "I've been thinking about you all day," he smiled, a huffed laugh escaping him.
"All day?" I teased, kissing his nose when all he would do was nod. "Anything specific?"
With a smirk, he let his eyes wander around the car and back to me. "I need your touch, love. I'm craving it," he frowned, his hands gliding up and down my arms.
"Tell me," I sighed, leaning in to kiss him. "I'll give you anything," I whispered against his lips.
"I want your beautiful naked form wrapped around me, over me, coming on me...Bella, I love you so much," he groaned when I crashed into him. My Edward was having a moment. I hadn't seen one of these from either one of us since we first moved away from Forks. Our love becomes too much for one of us to bear and spills over, making us ache and beg for each other.
The music he was playing didn't help, causing me to practically rip his shirt open. "Two is Better Than One" started and I moaned at the lyrics. The rain started to pick up, tapping the roof and windows of the car. It felt like we were cut off from the rest of the world.
Edward's hands ghosted under my shirt, lifting it up over my head. Finally releasing the last button, I pushed his shirt over his shoulders, leaning down to kiss his chest, laving my tongue from his nipple to his collarbone. I nipped at his neck. "God, your taste," I sighed, sucking the spot just below his ear.
My bra fell away, Edward gliding his hands all over my bare back, pushing my chest to his face. I fisted his hair as he licked each nipple, blowing cool breaths just to watch them harden even further. "You taste better," he growled, palming both breasts, pinching and rolling my nipples. My hips were rolling over him as he licked up my neck to my chin, crashing back into my mouth. "Lay back," he whispered against my lips, laying me on the seat.
He tugged my skirt open, pulling it off of me along with my underwear. "I need to taste you," he said, his voice husky. "This will only work one way in here," he panted, pulling me forward so that he could lie down. He practically dragged me up his body to kneel over his face.
"Oh fuck, yes," I gasped, my eyes rolling back as his tongue delved into me, twisting, taking everything I had. He licked, sucked at my flesh, his fingers joining in the delicious torture. He moaned into my core as I bucked against him. I had to brace my hands against the back window and the headrest of the front seat when his tongue slowly, smoothly dragged from one entrance to another.
"Holy shit," I gasped when he sucked my clit into his mouth, his fingers curling against my now clenching walls.
"You definitely taste better," he smiled, sitting up, only to wrap his arms around me again.
"It's not up for debate," I breathed, licking up his neck, along his jaw line and across his lips that now tasted like me. "That's good, but pure Edward is better," I smirked, reaching between us to flick open his jeans. His chuckle was just damn sexy and I could barely see straight as he brushed his thumbs roughly across my nipples.
He was so hard, so ready for me that his cock slapped his stomach once it was free from the confines of the denim. "Fuck," I panted, "that's the best sound I've ever heard." It was erotic and dirty, a fucking mouthwatering sound.
He guided me over him, a gasp escaping me as I took him all the way in. I watched as one side of his mouth twitched, trying to control himself. "Damn, baby," he breathed, "I've needed this all day..."
I reached behind him, using the back of the seat for leverage to ride him hard. He needed it, I wanted it. "I'm yours for the taking, Edward," I growled into his ear, taking his earlobe between my teeth.
"Mine," he groaned, his head falling to the back of the seat. He played my body better than he played any instrument, his long, strong fingers grasping and caressing, gripping and pulling. I was slowly coming undone over him. He gripped my ass, grinding me against his pelvic bone and I could hold back no longer.
I held onto his neck, pressing my forehead to his as my body lost control, our eyes never breaking our gaze. "I love you," I gasped, shaking all over as my orgasm sent him over his own edge.
Our breathing was heavy, but we didn't say a word. I tilted my head, pressing my chest to his and suckling his bottom lip. He took my top, his tongue snaking out to touch mine. I kissed his cheek burying my face in the crook of his neck.
His fingers traced my spine as mine twirled his hair. "We're going to be late, sweetheart," Edward smiled against my shoulder, placing a sweet kiss there.
"'Kay," I smiled as he chuckled at me. I made no effort to move from where I was. I could stay in his arms all day.
"Me too, love, but we have a test in Biology and you have an article to write," he sighed.
"Fine," I groaned, pushing back from him. "We're dissecting that frog today, aren't we?" I asked, my nose wrinkling.
"Yes," he laughed. "You'll survive, I'm your partner..."
"In every way," I smiled, kissing him quickly for just being him.
I barely made it to the school paper on time, the bell ringing just as I opened the door.
"How was lunch?" Jasper chuckled.
"Delicious," I bit back my laugh, flicking on the computer and pulling out my notes.
"Hmm, I bet..." He smirked. Leaning to my ear, "It's still coming off of you in waves...and I'm not talking warm and fuzzy."
"Damn," I laughed, hiding my face in my hands. "Shut it," I growled, smacking his arm.
"I understand," he chuckled, kissing my head. "He had been driving me crazy all day...perhaps, I should be thanking you."
"Perhaps," I snorted into laughter.
I typed my article on school food complaints – what the students wanted changed and what could be changed – adding it to Jasper's fantastic, although disgusting pictures. It was complete by the time the bell rang.
Wendy waited patiently as I shut everything down and grabbed my bag. We had developed a nice habit of walking to Biology together.
"I really, really don't want to operate on Kermit, can I confide that in you?" She chuckled, looking up at me with a pained expression.
"Me either," I sighed, shaking my head. "Though Emmett was telling me he has to do a pig or a cat in Physiology...that's just...wrong. Of course, he could be lying," I mused, shrugging to myself.
"Does he do that often?" She laughed, stopping at her locker.
"Lie?" I snickered. "No, but he does like playing tricks...and you can bet him to do just about anything...well, you saw that with the whole Mrs. Richardson thing."
She stopped in mid-stride, doubling over with laughter. "That was...really freaking funny...we had been making fun of the way she ate forever...like a pig at a trough. Oh..." She rummaged through her bag, pulling out a few envelopes. "Which reminds me," she rolled her eyes. "Pam's parents throw a Halloween party every year. I'm supposed to give these to you guys..." Her expression showed a slight touch of trepidation.
"She's planning something..." I guessed.
"Yes," she sighed, gripping my shirt. "Don't let her..."
"Wendy," I smiled. "I don't have to do anything...Edward isn't going anywhere."
"God, I wish I could find someone that looks at me...the way he looks at you," she sighed, pushing up her glasses. "It's different...it's deep and sweet. All those things he calls you...sweetheart, beautiful..."
"Love," I sighed.
"Yes," she whined, laughing at herself. "It's nice to see that it's real...that it does exist."
"Come on, you silly romantic," I snickered, opening the door. "Time to kill Kermit." She groaned. "And I'll pass these on," I shook the envelopes and she nodded.
"Hi, beautiful girl," Edward smiled, his eyes flicking to Wendy and back to me.
"Eavesdropping?" I teased, setting my bag under the table and sitting down next to him.
"Not really," he sighed, a feigned look of boredom on his face. He picked up one of the envelopes. "Are we going?" He smirked.
"We'll put it to a vote," I shrugged. "I can't imagine what Pam will try."
"It doesn't matter...like you said, I'm not going anywhere," he smiled.
"Eavesdropper!" I laughed, leaning into him.
Mr. Carter came in, unlocked the refrigerated cabinet behind his desk and took out several trays. "This is gross," I sighed.
"Killing Kermit?" He laughed, his tongue licking his bottom lip. "He was just a puppet."
"Muppet...there's a difference," I pointed at him. "Ask Emmett," I huffed. More than once had my big brother and I lounged on the sofa, watching the Muppets. They were hysterically funny.
"How about this...I cut, you identify, hmm?" He asked, sitting up and taking the tray from Mr. Carter. I peered into the tray, shaking my head at the poor, pale thing lying there lifeless.
"Deal," I sighed.
I watched him make the first cut flawlessly, with a precision that only a surgeon's hands could make. Once he pinned the poor thing open, it no longer looked as nightmarish as I had assumed, but exactly like the illustration in the book. We got through the test without one mistake.
Mr. Morgan was our substitute teacher when we walked into History, Mrs. Richardson was still out on suspension.
"Bella, that article was perfect...I looked at it when you left," he smiled, looking up from the book on the desk.
"Of course...my pictures made the whole thing," Jasper bragged, leaning back in his chair.
Edward chuckled as I debated on whether to tip him over or not.
"Yes, Jasper, try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back," Mr. Morgan sighed, rolling his eyes.
"I'll try," he smirked.
"Edward," Mr. Morgan smiled. "You're the only one in the family I don't teach...I hear good things."
He must be trying to make up for all of Mrs. Richardson's mistakes. Edward squeezed my hand.
"Thank you, sir."
As students trickled in, Mr. Morgan stood. He was an easy teacher to deal with. He wasn't stern, but his patience was endless. "Ok, ok...settle down...you all know you need to read chapter fourteen and answer the questions. You don't need me to enforce it, just keep the noise down to a dull roar, ok?" He chuckled, taking his seat again and opening a laptop.
"Oh, Jasper, Bella...I want you to cover the track team tryouts for our next issue," he said, looking up quickly.
The laugh escaped me before I could help it. "Not a chance," Edward chuckled in my ear.
"Come on, Ed, you're kinda fast," Jasper chuckled.
"Enough," Edward snorted.
"Yes, enough...otherwise he'll enact the other part of that...and it's not happening," I teased. Edward's smirk was firmly planted on his face, his eyes growing a touch darker. "No way," I laughed, biting my lip. If he tried out for track, I had to try out for the cheerleading squad. I'll dress up for you anytime, but not in front of the whole school!
"What's the other part?" Jasper asked, a smiled spreading over his face. When I didn't answer, he just kept asking. "What is it? Huh? Huh?"
I finally slapped my hand over his mouth. "Get used to disappointment." I raised an eyebrow, ignoring Edward's laugh. Jasper licked my palm. "Ew!" I gasped, wiping his venom on his own shirt. "Now...you'll never know!" I growled, sitting back in my seat and pulling my notebook to me.
"I don't know, Carlisle," I sighed, stepping over a fallen tree. "I want to write this for him, but some memories just aren't coming to me...they aren't clear."
"You're fighting it," he sighed. "What are you afraid of?" I shrugged and Carlisle waited patiently.
I needed his help. We were out hunting, a rare moment where I got him alone. I was willing to write the story of Edward and I, but my mind would lock up when I would try to organize my thoughts. I debated on letting it go for a while.
"That he'll hate the things I was thinking then," I sighed. "That he'll hate himself for leaving again once he sees I was just as attached. It isn't an issue anymore and I don't want it to rise to the surface."
Carlisle stopped me and turned me to face him. "He's got what he always needed, wanted. The past won't change that. My son is happy...and that's thanks to you." He paused, looking up into the canopy. There was a slight breeze, causing a soothing rustling sound. "I'm not a writer...I leave the arts to you and Edward...and Esme," he smiled, "but I think...and this is just a guess...that if you start at the very beginning and just start writing, it will all come to you."
"You mean...no notes, no outline...just start with what I remember. Like the day I moved into Charlie's..." I was speaking to myself mostly.
"If that's where you want to start...but it's your story...no one will know it better than you...just let go when you start with the first sentence. Let your mind relax. Forget that Edward will be reading it, forget that there are some unpleasant things."
"Thanks," I sighed, smiling up at him.
"I so rarely get you alone..." He chuckled. "You've come so far..." He looked around, a smile spreading over his face. "Bears," he snickered. "Poor Emmett will be very disappointed."
We each took down a bear, sitting down by the edge of a clearing. I sniffed the air, taking in the smell of fall, crisp and clean. "Carlisle...there's someone out here," I whispered.
"I know," he frowned, standing. "Unshield your thoughts from Edward, now...get him out here. Tell him to bring Demitri and your brothers."
I nodded, lifting my shield. Edward, you need to follow our scents. Now. There's someone out here with us. Carlisle said to bring all the guys...hurry, baby.
"North," Carlisle whispered. I turned my head to the right, scanning the edge of the trees and movement caught my eyes.
"Just one?" I asked, verifying that I wasn't crazy.
"Seems that way," he sighed, looking at me. "Shield us both...all of us when the boys get here. Until I know who we're facing, we need to use the utmost caution." I nodded, tucking my hair behind my ear.
We weren't too far from the house, so I knew it wouldn't be long before the guys would meet up with us. Carlisle and I stood motionless as the newcomer approached us.
"No," Carlisle breathed. "But, he's supposed to be dead..."
I looked at him and back to the man walking at a human pace. He seemed weak and uncertain in his steps.
"Marcus?" Carlisle squinted, taking a step closer. We matched step for step with the man heading towards us. When we were within yards from him, he stopped and swayed on his feet. "Marcus...it is you."
"Carlisle," he gasped, his voice raspy, thick. I took a look at the man. Marcus was injured, venom leaked from open wounds. There were places on his arms that were black, burnt. "Aro, Caius...Carlisle, they're gone..." With that, he sank to his knees.
"Marcus, how did you get here?"
"Stowed away...on a boat..."
"He needs blood...and venom to heal these wounds, Bells," he said, kneeling next to Marcus and looking up at me. His eyes traveled passed me as the guys ran up. "Boys, let's get him back to the house."
"Marcus?" Demitri knelt before his old superior. "He needs to feed first. Marcus, you won't like it...but we have no choice."
"Emmett, Jasper...go get...anything..." Carlisle pointed back to the woods. They both nodded, taking off in a sprint for the trees.
"Demitri...Felix...he killed them all," Marcus gasped, gripping Demitri's sleeves. "You were right, he was plotting the whole time...we should have listened."
"Not now, Marcus...let us help you," Demitri said, rubbing the injured vampire's tense hand.
"Let me die..." He begged.
"No," Demitri and Carlisle said in unison.
Edward walked up behind me, placing his hands on my shoulders and kissing the top of my head. We stepped back together when Emmett and Jasper returned with a female deer. It was a struggle for him to drain it. Marcus hated every draw that touched the back of his throat.
"Better?" Carlisle asked, helping him stand.
"That would take a long time to get used to," Marcus shuddered, grimacing. We all chuckled, seeing he was slightly of better mind. He looked at who was standing around him.
"Marcus, this is some of my family," Carlisle smiled. "Emmett, Jasper, Edward...and Bella."
His eyes locked on Edward and me. "That's the strongest connection I've ever seen." He stumbled towards us with Carlisle's help. "Does it hurt...ache to be apart?"
"Yes," Edward frowned and I nodded.
"Completi l'anima," Marcus breathed, the words rolling beautifully off of his tongue.
"Complete soul," Carlisle smiled. "Is that what they call it?"
"Yes, nowhere have I seen one so strong...not even mine with Didyme," he sighed, shaking his head. He wiped his face, venom dripping along his temple.
"Come on, Marcus, let's get you cleaned up and healed," Carlisle said, walking with him back towards our house. "Then you've got some talking to do," he chuckled.
I turned in Edward's arms, looking up at him. "Marcus sees the connections between relationships," he started, watching them all walk away. "I can't believe he's alive."
"What's he thinking?"
"He's happy he found Carlisle...surprised that Demitri's here. He's been out of touch, so he wants an update on what we know. But he really wants to talk to us," he smiled, looking down at me. "Apparently, completi l'anima is as rare as Carlisle said."
"Complete soul, huh?" I smirked. "And you thought you didn't have one."
"I do," he chuckled, "you." He lifted me up and tossed me over his shoulder, running to catch up with everyone else.
All of us poured into the house, taking Marcus straight to Carlisle's office and laying him down on the couch. "Who hurt you?" Demitri asked, helping Marcus with his shoes and shirt.
"Felix," Marcus sighed. "And then wolves..."
"Oh hell," Carlisle sighed. "Sorry about that, Marcus, they are our allies. They help with protection from Felix."
"He's been here?" Marcus winced when he tugged his arm from his sleeve. He was covered in burns and gouges.
"Yes, his new goal is to take down the largest of the covens."
"You?" Marcus growled. "We've never intruded on what you do, Carlisle. Aro respected your conviction. I envied your family."
"I know," Carlisle smiled. "But Felix has a new vision for the Volturi, it seems."
Marcus turned back to Demitri. "Sweet Carina, he has her," he frowned.
"No, he doesn't," Carina smiled from the doorway. Demitri chuckled as she rushed to Marcus' side.
"Sweet child," he smiled, gripping her hand. "I tried to stop him, I swear."
"Shh," she smiled, "let Carlisle take care of you." Carlisle came back in with a bowl and some gauze.
"Everyone out," he instructed.
"Demitri, stay," Marcus begged. "We must talk. I fear we must go to war."
We all looked at each other, not in surprise, but almost in confirmation. We knew it would happen, that it would only have been a matter of time. But what we didn't know was if we were ready.


Rondell Garcia said...

MARCUS!!!!! Yes!!!. One of my favorite characters. Time for War. Enough of carlise wait and see. Time to go to work!!!!!. IM listening to a war anthem while is write this. LOL.

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