Welcome to Camp Cullen
Bella takes a vacation with the Cullen's during the perfect summer after her junior year. new chapters are up, and more on the way. Thanks for reading. ")
This story takes place during the summer between Twilight and New Moon. It is light and hopefully amusing, I was aiming to ease off the angst and portray the characters "happy". There will be some conflict, and it wouldn't be Edward without a little angst remission,so look for that in future chapters
2. Chapter 2
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Edward’s brothers and sisters had already left for Seattle, taking Emmett’s monstrous Jeep and all the “gear”. By “gear”, they mostly meant food for me. Something they’d never had to take camping before. They were meeting us at the hanger where the plane Carlisle had chartered was being prepped for our arrival.
Once gathered we boarded the plane together, the porters having stored all of the luggage < and with Alice and Rosalie going there was a LOT of that> and waited for take off. Edward sat next to me holding my hand a face-splitting grin of anticipation curling his mesmerizing lips, and I was momentarily distracted by the overwhelming urge to kiss him. I met his gaze and blushed to the roots of my hair when I read equal desire in his eyes. He leaned close, our faces only inches apart and his sweet scent enveloped me, made me dreamy and somnolent. My eyelids slid closed involuntarily and he whispered…
I sucked in a needed lungful of air.
My eyes shot open and found him grinning at me smugly. I shoved against his chest and grunted, “Ughhh. I hate it when you do that.”
He chuckled and kissed my cheek in penance. I couldn’t be angry with him, so I smiled back automatically. Across the aisle Emmett made a gagging sound and rolled his eyes,
“I said, DON”T LOOK BELLA…but it was too late, she’d already been DAZZLED”.
Everyone laughed, and though I knew I was scarlet in color, I laughed too.
The flight took only 2 hours and we were circling the airport in Boise before the conversation had even died down. I gazed down at the city, a sea of green surrounded by low brown hills dotted with sage and gorse and chaparral. The trees stretched away to the east and west for miles and lapped against the foothills like shallow waves. Oaks and elms and willows, vast lawns of emerald green, marked the numerous parks and greenbelts. I had never been here before, but I instantly liked it. It didn’t hurt that the sun was shining and that it was 80 degrees.
We landed and taxied directly to a hanger where not one, but two smaller planes awaited us. Carlisle explained that the runway near the camp wasn’t long enough to accommodate the larger plane and we’d have to go bush to reach our destination. A moment of apprehension gave me pause as I realized we were “flying in” to the camp, which meant it was remote. Of course, that only made sense, they’d want to go somewhere where they could be alone and be themselves. Knowing my predilection for accidents, I was fervently glad we had a doctor along.
I have to be honest; I was ridiculously pleased to see that none of the Cullen’s was going to be piloting our planes. Not that I didn’t think any one of them capable, and not that I didn’t trust them implicitly, but judging by the speeds they drove, I literally shuddered to think what acrobatics they would perform with a plane. The very thought made me a little green around the gills.
To my immense relief, two very responsible, competent looking men wearing mirrored aviator glasses, sat behind the controls. Emmett, having seen my expression, eased around me to enter the first six seater plane and growled as he passed me,” Had you worried there for a second, didn’t we baby sister?”
I met his gaze squarely replying haughtily, “Not a bit. Edward and I are going to ride with Alice and Jasper, she’d know if we were going to do any creative flying.”
Emmett chuckled ruefully, “You got me there baby sister,” he replied and brushed past me to usher Rosalie onto their plane. Esme stepped to my side and whispered,” Good girl, don’t give him an inch.” She smiled warmly and pressed a cold kiss to my reddened cheek, “We’re all so glad you’re coming with us Bella. You’re a brave soul to subject yourself to…. all this teasing.”
I smiled back and turned my gaze to Edward, the adulation I felt, shining unguarded from my eyes for just a moment before I schooled my expression into nonchalance,
“Oh….there are compensations,” I replied airily. Esme laughed softly, following my gaze and letting it rest on her favorite son. “Yes,” she replied with a hint of sadness,” He’s definitely worth the trouble.” She stared at me knowingly for just a second, then turned to Carlisle and said brightly, “Ok, let’s head ‘em up, and move ‘em out shall we?”
We got on the plane with Alice and Jasper, all of us seemingly lost in our own thoughts for the duration of the 40-minute flight into the sawtooth wilderness. Somewhere east of a tiny town called Graham and deep within the forest our pilots began to descend. We passed over a series of connected lakes and alpine meadows, wildflowers waving in the breeze. Groves of aspen and birch and towering lodge pole pine bristled from the fringes of the verdant glades, but not a single structure. I had not seen so much as a tent for 20 minutes. This is what they mean when they say, “the sticks”.
The pilots headed for a very short runway, bordered by a solid wall of trees and I knew a moments unease when the plane dipped forward, dancing a bit in the cross wind. However, there was nothing to worry about, theses guys had obviously flown this route before, and were completely at ease. We dropped lightly to the plowed dirt and taxied to a gentle halt only feet away from two huge fully restored Willy’s trucks. One was John Deere green, and the other fire engine red, and they gleamed in the bright sunlight like they were standing new on the showroom floor. I eyed them appreciatively, and then noticed the woman leaning casually against the fender of the green one.
She was probably in her late forties or early fifties. Her sun bleached hair, silver at the temples and streaked with silver throughout, was cut short and framed her face. She was deeply tanned < obviously human, I surmised > and had merry hazel eyes. She was shorter than I was, and slim, wiry I suppose. Her LL Bean denims hugged her hips, a dark blue chamois shirt was tied at her flat midriff, and the sleeves were rolled up to reveal strong, lean arms. A wide brimmed Stetson was tilted back on her head, casting a shadow over her expression, but her body language exuded confidence and ease.
I watched with interest as Carlisle disembarked in full sunlight, his body glittering like crystal and strode directly towards the woman who held her arms wide, a huge smile on her face. Carlisle embraced her enthusiastically, and Esme was right behind him. Emmett roared, “LIVVY!” and lunged for the woman, engulfing her in a bear hug and lifting her off her feet while she laughed good-naturedly and swatted him on the shoulder, for all the effect it had.
I shot Edward a questioning look and he laughed. “That’s Olivia Turner. She and Carlisle met some 30 years ago when Carlisle was a small town doctor in Montana. He helped her save her prized stallion when he went through a fence, and they have been friends ever since. She takes care of all the properties Carlisle owns in the Northwest.”
I glanced out the window again as we began to leave our seats and exit the plane. “She knows about you…your family?” I asked, surprised but already knowing the answer.
“Yeah,” he replied, sounding a little puzzled himself, “After Carlisle left Montana, he and Livvy didn’t see each other again for 15 years, until Carlisle bought this camp. When they met up again, Livvy took one look at Carlisle and said,” I’m not going to ask you a single question Carlisle, I’m just gonna remember what a good friend you’ve been to me over the years, and leave it at that.” Carlisle said, “ And if I want to give you an explanation?” and she replied, “ If you want to tell me something, anything, you can be sure that even the horses won’t learn of it from me. However, you don’t owe me any sort of explanation you aren’t comfortable sharing. You’ve never given me a reason to doubt you, and that’s all there is to it for me.”
I smiled as we made our way down the stairs towards the trucks, “So he told her?”
Edward grinned, “Yeah…we took a vote on it and decided that she needed to know who she was working for. Besides, I’d read her mind and she’d figured it out for herself and wasn’t all that concerned about it. I admit I was pretty curious.”
“How did she take it?” I asked before I realized I was talking out loud.
He chuckled,” She wanted to see proof. Emmett offered to bite her. However, Carlisle had a better idea and so Emmett, Jasper and I had a tree climbing competition. She was the judge. I won. When we all came down we gathered around her in a loose circle and she looked us each up and down, as if she was measuring us. Then she nodded and smiled and said,” Well, there you have it”
“She wasn’t frightened?” I asked, surprised again.
Edward threw his head back and laughed sheepishly, “I asked her about that later. I’d never seen any human react like that before, just taking it in stride like she had and in reply, she pointed at Mt. Regan and said, “I nearly lost my life up there last year. In Wyoming four years ago and twice in Montana I eyeballed death and I’ve gained some perspective on life. When it’s my time, I’ll be going, whether you take me, or that mountain does. It’s all the same.
So you’re a predator. Well, these mountains are full of those, and I’ve been close to death from all of ‘em. Hell…. There isn’t a day goes by that I’m not doing something that could kill me.
I’ve got plenty of respect, but I’m sure not afraid.”
” I like her already,” I said smiling at him, though there was a bit of trepidation as well. Though she is tiny, she be fierce I thought silently as Alice and Jasper stepped away so that we could approach. I was admittedly intimidated, but curious as well, and stepped up next to Edward as he greeted her.
She looked up at him with a gentle smile, “Hiya Edward,” she said in a voice that was warm and smooth as 60-year-old scotch, “Good to see you again.” She opened her arms like she had for each of the others, and he embraced her affectionately. “It’s great to see you too Olivia,” he hugged her tight then released her, pulling me forward, “Livvy, this is Bella,” he said. I blushed a bit at the proud, proprietary note that had entered his voice, and Livvy’s eyes widened perceptibly
She gazed at Edward speculatively for a second before her regard shifted to me and then she smiled. “I see,” she said softly, the hand that still held Edwards forearm gave him a squeeze, but that was the only overt show of surprise, and if you’d blinked you’d have missed it. “Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you Bella, welcome to Idaho.” She smiled at Edward with all the fond familiarity of a doting aunt, “Anything that makes my melancholy Edward smile like that is ok in my book.” She grinned when I blazed crimson and poked Edward in the ribs, “She’s a keeper Edward.”
He pulled me to his side with a big grin, which softened into tenderness when he looked down into my eyes and replied, “Tell me something I don’t know Livvy.”
She turned from us briskly, and clapped her hands together, “Well are we ready? We’re burning daylight and we’ve got a ways to go yet. “
Emmett surged forward, his eyes on the red Willy’s truck with its winch and massive tires and asked, “Can I drive Big Red, Livvy?”
She seemed to think about that for a moment then gazed at me, “ See…” she explained, ”the truck really belongs to him,” she pointed at Emmett severely, a scowl on her face. ” But last time he drove it, he didn’t show the truck proper respect, and I spent a couple of months trying to fix it so’s it’d run again. He’s been 86’d from driving it for 5 years,” she grinned, “That was my fee for getting it track worthy again.”
She turned back to Emmett who was twitching with impatience; I sniggered into Edward’s shoulder, it was funny to see a tiny human woman exert such control over the strongest vampire I’d ever met. Finally, after several taut seconds she inclined her head towards the truck and said,” Go ahead…just remember, I can always change mind.”
Emmett gave a whoop of excitement and bolted for the cab when Livvy cleared her throat and he froze with his hand on the door handle. He turned his head to look at her and she grinned, “Just checkin’,” she said motioning for him to go ahead. He climbed up in the cab and Edward tugged my hand to lead me over when Livvy stopped him,
“ Uh….Edward?” he turned to her expectantly, “ You know Emmett…even though he’s promised to be good, you know he’s gonna take that truck places that would stand MY hair on end….maybe Bella ought to ride with me?”
He stood, our clasped hands stretched at arms length between us as he looked wistfully from me, back to the truck. He was torn between two desires and I laughed at his hesitance. “Go ride with your crazy brother,” I said pushing him towards the open door,” You know I like a more….sedate pace.” His eyes softened and he smiled warmly at me, “You sure you don’t mind?” he asked.
I grinned, “I don’t mind. If he crashes that thing, the worst that’ll happen to you is you get dirty. I’m just going to take Livvy’s advice on this one. Go on…I’ll meet you there.”
He grinned happily and dropped a quick kiss on my lips, surprising me yet again. His eyes smoldered for a moment when Emmett hooted in appreciation. We had of course kissed before this, but never in front of his family and never with such ease and normalcy. My heart climbed up into my throat and choked off any reply I might have thought to make. Instead, I gave him a weak, lopsided smile and a push to send him on his way. It wasn’t until he was in the cab that I remembered to breathe.