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Without You

Bella is on her own when she finds the clearing. When Laurent finds her there, her werewolf saviors are nowhere to be found. Is Laurent a good guy, or will his bad side overcome him? Thanks a jillion to MRSBellaCullenBlack for the wonderful banner!!! :D

So, I had this story on here for a little bit... but then I deleted it. I totally forget why, actually. So, if you've read it already, you don't have to review... until I put up new updates, that is :)

16. Cheater

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1174   Review this Chapter

I waited until five that night to call Jake. It'd be eight in the morning in La Push, and that wasn't too unreasonable. Knowing Jake, though, he would still be asleep.

Carmen and Eleazar watched me carefully. Carmen was leaning against the kitchen counter, and Eleazar was sitting on it. They both looked as relaxed as they could be. As I dialed, I had the horrid thought that it might be Billy who answered.

It turned out to be much worse.

“Hello?” answered Charlie. It didn't sound like a question. It was like he was exhausted, a zombie even. I instantly felt horrible, and I didn't know what to do.

“Dad,” I breathed.

“Bella?” he exclaimed, his voice suddenly brighter. “Bella, honey, is that you?”

I swallowed back tears. “Yes,” I murmured.

“Oh, Bella! Oh, we thought you were... Where are you?” he demanded.

“Dad, I'm safe. That's all I can tell you. I'm safe, and I love you,” I explained.

“Isabella Marie Swan, you get your little butt back here now!” he yelled. “You are so grounded, young lady.”

“I... I can't exactly do that,” I admitted.

Carmen and Eleazar were looking at me, concern all over their faces. Carmen reached out and put her hand on my shoulder.

“Are you okay?” she mouthed silently.

I nodded. It wasn't true. I mean, I missed my dad so much that it hurt. She knew I was lying, but she didn't push it any further.

“And why not?” he asked, his anger hardly contained.

“Dad, I'm eighteen, you know. I have the right to live where I want to. I admit, when I left it was under some... unique circumstances that you wouldn't even begin to believe, but it's not like I did anything illegal.” I hated myself for talking to Charlie like that after all I'd put him through.

It was quiet for a second. “Bella, I just heard from you for the first time in months... I don't want to fight. I'm so relieved you're okay. Can you just tell me why you can't be home? I need you here, Bells.” He was pleading with me.

I sighed sadly. “Dad, you don't want to know. Just remember that I'm safe, that I'm happy, and that you don't have to worry about me, okay?”

I could hear him swallow. “Why did you call here?”

I cringed. He would probably feel bad that I had called Jacob and not home. “I... I have to talk to Jacob.”

The phone was handed over, and it was only a second later that Jacob answered.

“Bella?” he asked quickly. He sounded worried.

“Hi, Jake. Can you do me a favor?” I asked reluctantly. I didn't know if he'd really like to do a favor that involved Laurent. “Oh, and can you promise?”

“Okay, Bella. I promise,” he laughed. It was much easier to talk to him than it was during our last phone conversation.

“My friend Laurent will be in Forks in a few hours... can you please, please, please not hurt him?” I begged.

Jacob was silent.

“Jake, you promised.”

“Fine,” he sighed reluctantly.

I frowned. “You would have if I hadn't asked you to?”

“Yes, Bella. It's my job.”

“Do you have to do that?” I asked.

“We're protectors, Bella. It's what we do,” he answered. “Now I have to go tell the pack.” He sounded irritated.

“Well... bye, then,” I finished lamely.

“Bye.” The line went dead.

I frowned and handed it back to Carmen.

“Are you okay? Do you need water, sleep, chocolate?” she asked quickly.

I smiled weakly. “No, I'm great. They aren't going to hurt Eleazar, so that's good.” I needed a subject change, and fast. I didn't want to talk about Charlie or Jacob. “Why were you guys so irritated before Laurent left?”

Eleazar grinned and hopped off the counter. “We just didn't know what we'd do with a human for a week all by ourselves. Laurent has always been with you. We didn't know how easy you'd be to entertain,” he explained.

I blushed. “I don't have to be entertained,” I muttered.

“Oh, I know,” he said. “Now how about that hike?”

I shook my head. “No, no, no. I don't hike.” I stepped backwards.

“Don't be silly, Bella! You went hiking with Laurent,” said Carmen, grabbing my arm.

Twenty minutes later, Carmen and Eleazar had taken me up one of the many surrounding mountains, and they were actually planning on watching my hike the whole way down. The sun was low in the sky, and I knew it was going to be dark soon.

The wind whipped my hair, and I glared at the two of them. At least they picked a trail instead of having me hack my way through the trees. It was beautiful, but not when I had to make my way out without hurting myself.

After five minutes, I could tell they were getting bored. I was walking extra slow in my attempt to avoid falling, and they were getting sick of following. I decided to ham it up a bit.

“Wow, I might actually like this hiking thing. We should do it more often.” Of course, talking took my attention away from my feet. I tripped over a rock, and was certain I was going to fall. Eleazar caught me, though.

“You're welcome,” he said cheerfully. Apparently my clumsiness was enough to entertain them for a few minutes. After Eleazar's fifth catch, though, they started to get bored again. I was just about to ask them if we could go yet, when Carmen's phone rang. It was Laurent, so she handed it over to me.

“Hello, love,” he said.

I smiled. “Hi.”

“So, what are Carmen and Eleazar making you do at the moment? They told me what they had planned... I'm sorry I had to leave you with them,” he laughed.

“We're actually on a hike right now.”

He sighed. “Bella, don't fall down. It'll give me a heart attack if I come back to find your in a hospital somewhere for two broken legs, a broken arm, and a concussion.”

“I'm not that clumsy!”

“Have you seen yourself walk?” he asked.

“You hush.”

“How about you hand the phone to Eleazar,” he suggested.

I did as he said. It was hilarious to watch Eleazar as he talked on the phone. His expression went from smug to disappointed in mere seconds. He shoved the phone back at me without saying a word.

“What'd you say?” I asked.

I could practically see the smile on his face. “Oh, nothing important. He'll just be doing whatever you tell him to do now. You don't have to worry about hiking anymore.”

“I don't want to know, then.”

“Well, I just called to see what you were doing... I miss you, Bella. You know, I've never been away from you for this long. I can't say I enjoy it at all.”

I blushed. I knew Carmen and Eleazar could hear. “I miss you, too.”

“Bye, Bella.”


When I hung up, Eleazar glared at me. “You big cheater.”