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From The Heart

Summary:
Eight year old Bella Swan ignores her parents’ rules and goes exploring in the woods next to her house in Forks, Washington. Wandering too far into the forest, Bella comes across a homeless “dog”. Having always wanted a dog, Bella somehow manages to lure the “dog” out of the shadows of the forest to get a better look at him. Her new found pet is over six feet tall, and one and a half tons of predator. She names him, finds a way to convince her parents to keep him, and automatically makes him her best friend.
Nine years later, Bella meets Edward, and beings to learn some strange things about her pet “dog”, Rohan.


Notes:
Will be Bella/Edward so no worries. You will have to use your imagination and just accept the fact that a 8 year old can convince her parents to keep a Wolf/Grizzly Bear looking animal without screaming bloody murder, shooting it, and then calling the cops. Whatever you recognize belongs to Stephanie Meyer.


3. A New Identity

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1668   Review this Chapter

I amaze myself with my stupidity sometimes. You’d think, that by now, I would have learned. I really should have just kept moving, that would have been the smart thing to do. But no, I had to not only stop, but go up to her. Wow, I am stupid. I was on my way to Canada, I should have just turned, and kept going.

What the hell was a little girl doing in the middle of the forest all alone to begin with? I told myself I was ready for a change, sick of this place and the life I was living. Hiding in shadows and sulking in darkness was really getting old. I figured I would spend some time in Canada, and then catch a freighter headed for South America, or maybe Africa. Some place with a little more wild and a little less suburbia. Well, I screwed that plan up big time. Now I’m a dog, the pet of an eight year old girl.

I guess what surprised me the most was that this little midget of a human was not scared. Sure, she was nervous, the last time I checked I ain’t no pomeranian, but compared to other people’s reactions on encounters during my travels, hers was pathetic. It was my fault though, I enabled. I should have scared her, I could have barked, growled, pulled the rabies bit. Nope, not me, I have to approach and investigate, and then she’s petting. Then, within five minutes she has managed to claim me, name me, and wrap me around her little finger. God I am such a sucker.

This will be the first night I have slept indoors in over a half a century. Her mother says I’m fat, and I smell. Which I am, and I do. At least we can fix the smell pretty easily. I have a feeling the diet of dog food I see in my future is not going to be fun. Bella is this tiny, little girl who is just ecstatic that she has a dog now. She reminds me of my little sister, bold and determined. She is absolutely beside herself that I have to sleep in the garage tonight, so she brought me a blanket, which she spread out on the floor, a bowl of water, and three ham and cheese sandwiches. Oh, regular food! How I’ve missed cheese and carbs! Sure, raw meat is great, and filling, but I haven’t had pizza, or a chocolate chip cookie in what feels like a lifetime. I scarfed my sandwiches down gratefully, and attempted to curl up on the little throw quilt she brought for me, finally settling with my head and front paws on it. After checking for the twentieth time that I was comfortable, Bella finally settled down next to me, leaning against my shoulder. Burying herself in my fur, she looked so happy, so content.

“I love you Rohan.” She whispered in my ear.

Rohan, my new name. I have no idea what it means, according to her it’s some Roman artist. Hey, it’s better than Fluffy or Buddy, and pretty damn intelligent for an eight year old, and I have been without a name for so long, it’s kind of nice to have something to be called.

But I am not staying here. After she goes to bed I’ll leave, continue onto Canada. I had a plan and I intend to stick to it. Move on with my life, somewhere more remote so encounters with little children in forests are less frequent. A small noise filled the air in the garage. I lift my head to get a better look at the little girl curled up against my shoulder. She is so scrawny and pathetic looking. Her brown hair reaches the middle of her back and is wildly unruly. She has cuts on her palms, my guess is from falling in the woods. There is something so innocent about her though, like she almost needs to be protected, or rescued from herself.

She’s sleeping so content already, snoring quietly, almost oblivious to the fact that I can rip her in half without a second thought if I wanted too. Great, she’s attached already. Out of the corner of my eye I see the garage door open slowly. I tense my body, readying myself for danger, but it is just her mother. If I am going to stay here I need to learn how to loosen up a little bit. Forks is a nice little town, very quiet and peaceful, there is nothing dangerous here, well, except for me. But I am not staying. I can’t, I cannot stay.

Bella’s Mother approaches me slowly, hesitant to get too close. She is a very attractive woman, Bella looks a lot like her. She stops a few feet in front of me.

“Hey big fella.” She whispers. My absence of a response seemed to unsettle her, I need to read up on proper dog etiquette.

Renee slowly kneels down in front of me, watching me intently, testing to see if I have personal space issues. Obviously because Bella is practically sleeping on top of me I don’t, but adults don’t have as much trust in the unknown as kids do. I stare back, observing her behavior as she scoots forward a few more inches. Then, I remember that staring right at someone is threatening, so I break eye contact quickly and busy myself with sniffing the garage floor. I have been without social interaction for a long time, my manners are rusty. My Grandmother would have scolded me for being so rude. Renee cautiously lifts her hand in an attempt to pet me, but decides against it at the last minute. She begins to return her hand to her lap, but I intervene by moving my head forward so her hand makes contact with my forehead. Renee gasps and jerks back quickly. Great, I scared her, not what my ultimate goal was. I make eye contact with her quickly to try to read her face, she doesn’t seem very frightened. She must know how to hide it well. She tries again, this time making contact herself. Slowly scratching my head, I feel her studying me.

“Rohan huh? It fits you well.” Her voice is soft and caring. It comforts me, just like my mother’s used too.

“You have gorgeous eyes.” She moved from my head to scratching behind my ears. Humans always find the best places to scratch. She traces my neck down to my chest, raking her nails through my fur.

“Where did you get that scar boy? Get in a fight with a lion?” She chuckles quietly.

Oh, if she only knew, but somehow I think answering her would not only blow my cover of being a dog, but also scare the crap out of her. Thankfully, that’s one question I will never have to explain. I made sure they were long gone before I moved on, and I haven’t caught wind of them again. She ran her hand along the large, jagged scar that runs from the bottom of my neck to the lower part of the right side of my chest.

“Oh, it’s as cold as ice!” She pulls her fingers back, startled by the strange temperature of my scar.

If only my stupid hair was a little longer, no one would even know it was there. It least it doesn’t sting anymore, it burned for years after it first happened. Now, it’s just an ugly reminder of my horrible past. The garage fell silent for a few moments. Renee continued to scratch my neck absent mindedly while watching her daughter sleep.

“She loves you.” She stated, like a fact you would read out of a book. “She’s wanted a dog for as long as I can remember.”

I turn to look at Bella, her face is buried in my shoulder, sleeping soundly like we have been together forever. Inhaling deeply, I turn back to Renee and carefully lay my head down in her lap. I am such a pushover.

“You’re a good boy, such a good dog Rohan.” She whispers, staring into my eyes.

Dog, great, now even she’s convinced. I really can’t go anywhere now. I should leave, I really should. But now, I don’t know if I want too. I am such a sucker! Sighing again, this time in defeat, I raise my head so she can stand.

“You can sleep in the house tomorrow, after you’ve had a bath, and I guess we should take you to the vet too. You’re going to need a check up and shots, and then Bella is going to want to take you to the pet store to get a collar, and we need to get you food too.”

I grimaced involuntarily, dog food. Blech.

She pats my head, and stands quickly, “You better get a good night’s sleep, you have a busy day tomorrow.” I watch her intently, taking in her body language. She is still nervous, and guarded, but not terrified, like when I first came out of the woods, that’s a good sign.

“You’re a pretty smart boy, huh?” Does she expect an answer from me? I really don’t know. Carefully, she scoops up sleeping Bella, who only protests the loss of my warm fur for a moment, before falling back into unconsciousness. Walking to the door, Renee pauses to turn back to me.

“Please don’t go anywhere Rohan, it would break her heart.”

Well...shit, thanks a lot. Guilt trip me into staying. Now I have to stay. I lay my head back down on the blanket, sighing loudly, I look at her with the best ‘not going anywhere’ look I could manage.

“Thank you,” she smiles at me, and walks out the door, closing it tightly behind her.

I am officially a pet dog, and tomorrow is going to be very interesting.