If there were no monsters and no magic
What if Bella chose Jacob? Would she still get her happy ending?
10. Chapter 10
Rating 4/5 Word Count 3353 Review this Chapter
Hell. This must be hell. Nothing else could explain the torture I was enduring at that exact moment.
“Really, Bella, it isn’t that bad.” Alice said reproachfully.
“You could at least try to have fun,” Rosalie said.
“Fine,” I pouted. “It’s not like I have a choice anyways.”
“You two should be ashamed of yourselves. Bella doesn’t have to shop if she doesn’t want to,” Esme said and put her arm around my shoulder.
“See, Alice!” I said smugly.
“Alice knows your size, I’m sure she can just pick out something for you.” Esme continued with a smile.
Alice’s golden eyes started to twinkle with excitement.
“No, that’s okay! I can pick them out myself.” I said quickly before Alice could get any ideas. Alice’s ideas were always too much for me.
Alice turned towards me with a pout on her beautiful face. “Can’t I pick out one thing, Bella, please? It’s the least you can do. After what I walked in on last night…”
“Fine,” I grumbled. I knew they were only forcing me to come to take my mind off things while the boys tried to think of a plan. Not that it was working. Because how could I possibly think of anything other than what was going on back at the reservation. How many people had been killed… because of me? I should have let the Volturi have me when we were there the first time. Maybe I should just go there and meet them. At least that way no one else would get hurt – or killed. Especially Jake…
“Isabella Marie, if you think for one second that I am going to let you out of my sight, you are sadly mistaken.” Alice shot me a disapproving look.
I sighed. I forgot about Alice’s visions. “It was just an idea.”
“Not a very good one. You should be taking better care of yourself,” she said.
I glared at her. “Alice…”
“What is it?” Rosalie asked with a curious look on her face.
“It’s nothing,” I mumbled.
Alice, however, was practically jumping up and down. “Come on, Bella. They are going to find out sooner or later. Plus, we are shopping, and I want to buy some stuff…”
“Alice, don’t do it,” I pleaded.
“For the baby!” she squealed.
“Alice!” I hissed.
“Oh Bella, that’s great!” Esme cried.
I knew Esme would be happy, but what I didn’t expect was Rosalie’s reaction.
She threw her arms around me and pulled me in for a hug. “Bella, this is so exciting!”
The three of them huddled together and whispered conspiratorially for a few minutes while stealing glances back at me. If I had known what was good for me, I would have turned around and ran away right then. Even going to the Volturi would be a better choice than whatever it was they were planning, I was sure of that. They spent the next three hours dragging me in and out of store after store – never once leaving empty-handed. I would have protested, but I didn’t have the energy – or the heart – to discourage them. In all the years I’d known them, Rosalie never cared for me, really. She tolerated me to a certain extent when I was with Edward – for Emmett’s benefit mostly – but now, she actually seemed pleased to see me.
“Aren’t you happy?” she asked when we were driving back to their house.
“I guess. I haven’t really had much time to think about it, actually.”
It was true. With everything that had been going on, the baby was the last thing I was thinking about. When I first found out, I was excited – thrilled – really. I knew Jacob would be happy, too. It just seemed like the natural progression of things. Billy and Charlie were all too ready to be grandparents. I knew Renee wouldn’t be happy, but she hadn’t been happy when I married Jacob either, so that wouldn’t surprise me too much. If anything happened to Jacob though… I’m not sure what I would do. I must have looked worried because Esme put her hand on my knee.
“Don’t worry, Bella. We aren’t going to let anything happen to you.” She gave me a reassuring smile.
“I’m not worried about myself. I’m worried about Jacob and the pack… I just hope everything is going okay there.”
“I’m sure everything is fine. Don’t be anxious,” Esme said.
I sighed and stared out the window. We were on the road that led to the house. It was beautiful of course. Esme had been renovating it for nearly a year, but she still had some work to do on it. I half-listened to them ramble on about it, but my mind was busy thinking of what I could possibly do to help.
“Bella,” Alice warned as we started to get out of the car.
“What?” I asked innocently.
“I’m watching you… Don’t think I won’t tell Edward.”
“Tell me what?” he asked coming up behind us.
“It’s nothing. Alice can’t mind her own business.” I glared at her.
Now it was her turn to act innocent. “Me? That hurts, Bella, it really does,” she sniffled and jutted her lip out. That was low – even for Alice! She knew I couldn’t stand to see her sad.
“Okay, okay. I’ll be good.”
She closed her eyes for a minute. “Yes, you will, but you won’t be happy about it,” she said with certainty.
Whatever Edward saw in Alice’s vision must have been amusing because he was grinning as he began pulling the bags out of the car. “Alice, did you leave anything n the stores at all?” he asked with a smile on his face.
“Of course, but it’s not my fault. Blame Bella! All of her stuff is absolutely hideous, really,” she exhaled dramatically.
“It’s not that bad. I didn’t even pack all my stuff,” I said, trying to defend myself.
“Bella let you buy her stuff… voluntarily?”
“Not exactly voluntarily, but yes I suppose I did.” I clarified.
“I guess some things change,” he mused, his velvet voice sounding unsteady.
“Let’s go Bella!”
“Go where?” I frowned, dreading the answer.
“See if I can do something about your hair. Honestly Bella…”
My eyes widened and I groaned.
“Come on, Bella,” she pleaded. “You know I don’t have any human memories... let me have my fun!”
“Fine,” I grumbled. “But you can’t use that again for an entire year.”
She squealed and dragged me towards the house. Why did I suddenly feel like going to the Volturi would be better than going upstairs with Alice?
I heard Edward chuckle as we entered the house. “Some things, however, remain the same.”
Everything was going on in slow motion. I was running, but not fast enough. I’d never be fast enough to out run them. They were just too fast.
“Jacob, help!” I called out to him, but he couldn’t hear me; he was too far away.
A hooded-figure stepped out from behind a tree and blocked my path.
“Bella, we meet again!” the musical voice said casually – like we were old friends, instead of enemies.
“Aro,” I said, not meeting his gaze. His cold hand reached out to grasp me. I shuddered as he touched me.
“Still nothing… well, perhaps that will change soon. I do appreciate you bringing her to us, Edward. I wouldn’t want any harm to come to your wonderful family. Please send Carlisle my love.”
“Of course,” Edward said and smiled my favorite crooked smile. He walked towards me.
I turned to run, but I hadn’t taken two steps before two other hooded figures grabbed me, their hands icy cold – like the hands of a corpse.
“There’s no point in running, silly girl.”
I looked at Aro and back at Edward. I was too shocked to speak.
“Sorry about this, love,” Edward said, his voice honey sweet. “Nothing personal of course, it’s just business.”
I struggled against the two men, but their hold was iron-clad, I had no hope of escaping from them.
“Please, Edward, don’t do this,” I pleaded, my voice breaking.
He kissed me on the neck and then I felt his teeth pierce my skin. I looked at him – shocked. I opened my mouth to beg him to stop, but the fire begins to rage, and the only thing that would come out of my mouth was a scream.
I was still screaming when I woke up. Edward’s anxious face hovered inches above me, his sweet breath fanning across my face.
“Bella, Bella. Shhh. It was just a dream,” he said as he stroked my hair.
Just a dream. It was just a dream, I repeated to myself as I struggled to get my breathing under control.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
I shivered as I remembered the cold hands grabbing me and holding me while Edward’s teeth sank into my neck…
“I’m fine,” I lied.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked.
“Not really.” I said and turned over so that my back was against him. I was suddenly very aware of the fact that he was next to me in the bed, and after that dream, I was terrified of him – terrified of him like maybe I should have always been, like he’d wanted me to be in the beginning. Not to mention the fact that if I continued to look at him, I wasn’t sure I could resist the urge to touch him… or worse yet, to kiss him again.
Kiss him… even the thought was enough to make my heart race. I allowed myself to remember how his lips felt against mine when I’d kissed him the first night I was here. How he’d moaned my name… how it seemed that I’d finally managed to break through all of the carefully placed boundaries that I remembered so well. If Alice hadn’t interrupted, I wasn’t sure what would have happened.
I could feel his ocher eyes burning a hole into my back and knew he was trying to figure out what I was thinking about. “I’m fine.” I lied again.
“That might be convincing if you could say it to my face, or if I had not listened to you scream for most of the night.”
“It was just a dream – just a nightmare.” I whispered, trying to convince myself. Edward would never do that, I knew that, but the dream was too vivid – it felt too real. My hand involuntarily flew to my neck where Edward’s teeth had pierced the skin. Nothing was there, of course, it was just a dream, a dream.
“Bella, please, please look at me,” he pleaded. I could not stand to hear the anguish in his beautiful voice, so I turned around. He looked horrified.
“Are you frightened of me?” The agony on his face spoke volumes to me. He thought I was afraid of him – he really did.
“No, Edward, I’m not. It was just a dream,” I insisted.
“Bella, I would never ever hurt you.”
“I know that.”
“Listen to your heart flutter,” he murmured with a sigh. He lowered his head to my chest and listened to my heart. “You should go back to sleep. We’re leaving in the morning, and you need your rest.”
“I’m not tired,” I said. “I just want to lay here with you.”
I ran my fingers through his messy hair and neither of us spoke for several minutes.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked him finally, breaking the silence.
“The future,” he murmured after a moment.
“Really?” I asked, trying to keep my voice even, though I’m not sure why I bothered since my heartbeat had tripled. “What about the future?”
He placed one of his cold hands on my stomach.
I hesitated. “Does it bother you?” I was afraid to hear the answer. So much was riding on this one answer. Would he accept me if I chose to have this baby – not just any baby, but a baby with Jacob, his sworn enemy? Because I’d been thinking about the baby ever since returning from the shopping trip, and I realized I wanted it – possibly more than I’d ever wanted anything else. Even if Jacob and I could not be together, this baby was proof of the love we once shared.
“Breathe, Bella,” he said with a smile in his voice.
I hadn’t even realized that I was holding my breath! I exhaled impatiently.
“Does it bother you?” I repeated.
“Bella, of all the things I’ve ever wanted for you to have, a family was the one thing I knew I could not give you. I never thought I would be able to be a father or to have a family, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t imagined what it would be like if we could.” His fingers traced patterns on the skin of my stomach sending a chill up my spin.
“So, you would still want me if I decided I wanted to have this baby?”
“Bella, you are utterly absurd. Of course I’d still want you, you silly oversensitive girl.”
He moved himself where he was hovering just above me, being careful not to put the slightest weight on me, then he pressed his lips to mine. At that moment, we heard three shrieks of excitement from downstairs.
“I should probably warn you,” he said as he rolled onto his back beside me. “Alice may have suspected this would happen, and she may have gone a little overboard on a nursery.”
“Well, it’s Alice. I would expect nothing less than overboard.”
I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I tried to stay awake, but I couldn’t. All I could think about was that I had to stop these damn leeches so they can’t go after Bella.
“Aro, I thought you might be interested in this,” an angelic voice nearby me said.
“Yes, dear one?”
“He keeps mumbling something about Bella. Perhaps he knows something that might be of use to us,” the angelic voice continued.
I felt an icy cold hand grab mine; it was so cold it burned my skin. I screamed out in pain.
Aro laughed. “Jane, you are such a comfort to me. Jacob, is it? You will be coming with us. I’ve thought of a very good use for you.”
I was snuggled up against Edward’s chest the next morning when I realized we weren’t the only people – well, figuratively speaking, of course – in the bed. A tiny black-haired vampire had made herself comfortable at the foot of the bed.
“Alice,” I growled, closing my eyes again.
“Do you love me?” Alice asked, her lower lip jutting out.
“No, go away.” I said turning my attention to Edward.
“I was thinking that we should go to a day spa or something while we’re running! You really do need a makeover.” Alice continued as if I hadn’t said a single word.
“Alice, leave Bella alone.” Edward said with a smile on his face.
“Fine, Bella. But don’t get mad at me if you’re stuck with split-ends and bad nails…” but she never finished the sentence because Edward snarled at her and let out a hiss of words too fast and low for me to understand. Her bottom lip quivered and I felt sorry instantly.
“I promise once everything is taken care of with the Volturi and Jake, I’ll let you make me over.” I told her. Her face brightened immediately. “Speaking of the Volturi, what’s the plan?” I turned towards Edward.
“Nothing you need to be concerned about. I think I’ll go speak to Carlisle now.” Edward said untangling himself from my arms.
“Don’t get up yet! Five more minutes,” I pouted, and he planted a kiss on the top of my head before leaving the room.
With Edward out of the room, I could think about Jacob without feeling guilty. We still hadn’t heard a word from him. What if something had gone wrong? What if he was dead? What if the entire pack was dead? What if Charlie was dead? What if… and then I was hit with a cloud of relaxation.
“Jasper!” I said irritably.
“Sorry!” he called from downstairs, but he didn’t sound sorry at all.
Alice was staring at me with her hands on her hips. “Let’s go.”
Go where? Alice was always one second ahead of everyone else. Sometimes it could be very annoying.
“Esme made breakfast!” she squealed and pulled me downstairs.
Ten minutes later I was picking at the food on my plate with five vampires staring at me.
“Look at her; she’s so going to puke.” Emmett said.
“Want to make this interesting?” Jasper said, arching a blonde eyebrow.
“Hell yeah! $100 says she does.”
Jasper looked at Alice who nodded. “You’re on!”
“That’s not fair! You can’t use Alice, that’s cheating.”
“Both of you stop being ridiculous,” Rosalie said.
I scowled at them. Luckily, Esme entered the room then and all talks of betting were over.
“Is anybody going to tell me where we are going?” I asked.
“Denali!” Alice exclaimed.
I shivered. “Great. Alaska. More cold weather, just what I need.” I muttered.
“If I can’t take you to the spa today, can I at least pick out your clothes?” Alice pleaded with me.
I nodded. There was really no way to get out of it anyways, I might as well give in.
Thankfully my cell phone rang before she could try to coerce me into doing anything else. I practically flung myself across the room to answer it, nearly tripping in the process and sending Emmett into fits of laughter. I glared at him again and answered the phone.
“Hey Bells.” It was Jacob! He sounded hoarse like he’d been crying, but he was very much alive.
“Jacob, you’re okay! I was so worried.”
“Yeah, I’m okay, but Bella… it’s your dad.”
Something heavy dropped into the pit of my stomach. “What about Charlie?” I asked, wary of the answer.
“He had a heart attack, Bells. You need to come home.”
“I’m on my way.” I promised. I hung up the phone and flew up the stairs to get my stuff as fast as my legs would take me which – unfortunately – wasn’t fast enough to beat Edward.
“Bella,” his voice was strained, his jaw clenched. He was furious.
“What?” I asked widening my eyes.
“You can’t go back to Forks right now. It’s not safe. What if you were attacked?”
“Alice said herself the Volturi is on their way here. Jacob wouldn’t tell me to come back if it wasn’t safe. It’s my dad, Edward. I have to go.”
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“This isn’t a negotiation. I’m going. Now, if you want to come with me, you are more than welcome to. In fact, I want you to come with me.”
“Won’t you at least wait for Alice to see Charlie’s condition?” His eyes were closed, and he was pinching the bridge of his nose.
“What’s the point of that? She wouldn’t be able to see him if Jake is there with him. You know she can’t see werewolves.”
“I am aware of that, Bella, all the more reason for you to stick to the original plan.”
“I’m going, Edward.”
“Bella, be reasonable.”
I laughed. “Funny, I was going to say the same thing to you. It’s Charlie. He’s my dad, Edward. I’ve put him through an awful lot the last couple of years; I owe it to him to go make sure he’s okay! If everything is fine, we’ll leave from Forks, and you can take me to Timbuktu for all I care.”
His face softened, and he pulled into his arms. “Of course, Bella, I understand. I’m sorry. You’ve only just come back into my life, and I don’t want to lose you.”
“You’re not going to lose me, silly. Everything is going to be fine.”