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Welcome to Camp Cullen

Summary:
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. ")


Notes:
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


6. Chapter 6

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1743   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER SIX

I was still chuckling to myself as I left the cabin and walked back towards the main lodge. I had half-expected Edward to be waiting outside for me, but he must have run straight back to the safety of his family. It was good to know I still had the ability to surprise him.

I pushed the front door open and was assaulted by the sound of all the Cullen’s speaking at once. There was no anger in any of the voices, but there seemed to be a heated debate going on nonetheless.

I followed the hubbub down the hall and into the kitchen, where I found all of them gathered. Livvy was sitting at the long breakfast bar, a half-eaten sandwich in front of her. A covered plate sat at her right elbow, along side a tall glass of lemonade. She lifted an eyebrow at me as I entered, and indicating the plate, motioned for me to join her.

I sat down, pretty much unnoticed as the conversation swirled around me. My eyes wandered from person to person, looking for one in particular, but he didn’t seem to be present. I leaned to my left and whispered out of the corner of my mouth,” What’s all this about?”

Livvy snorted,” Seems they’re trying to decide what to do first. This always happens….they don’t sleep, so they try and fill every moment with activity….” She sighed and picked up the half eaten sandwich, taking a big bite,” They exhaust me just listening to them; let alone trying to keep up with them.”

I nodded sagely, picking up my own sandwich,”Yeah, I’ve noticed they don’t really go in for “leisure” activities. They’re all about the extreme sports and going hair-raisingly fast in whatever conveyance they happen to be in”

Paying no attention to the bickering Cullen’s, Livvy enquired politely,” How’s your sandwich?”

I grinned at her nonchalance, “It’s good, thanks for thinking of me.”

She tilted her head marginally,” As the only humans in the bunch we gotta look out for each other, it’s easy to get overlooked at mealtimes.” She paused, realizing what she had just said, and burst out laughing,” I guess with this group, getting overlooked at mealtime, is a good thing.”

I chuckled with her, and nodded again. “Where’s Edward?” I asked innocently, but it was wasted effort. She glanced shrewdly at me, taking another bite of her dwindling sandwich before replying,” He came flying in here like he’d been set on fire, raced upstairs and changed into swim trunks and headed down to the lake for a swim.” She shook her head in disbelief, ”Water has to be just above freezing, chilly even for a vampire,” she looked at me out of the corner of her eye,” Don’t know why he didn’t just take a cold shower….”

I choked on the bite I had just tried to swallow, her assessment of the situation far too intuitive for my tastes. She laughed, thumping me on the back until my airway cleared enough for me to draw breath. My eyes streaming, I caught her watching my reaction, and I had the grace to blush. She chuckled, shaking her head, “That’s what I thought.”

While we’d been having our lunch, the debate had raged on, but not without results, it seemed. Emmett and Jasper were taking the ATV’s out for a spin, Alice wanted to go sort out her closet, Rosalie and Esme wanted to take a hike and Carlisle said he was going up to the stable. Livvy and I decided to go with Carlisle, while the others split off to do their own thing for a few hours. I got up and gathered the plates putting them in the dishwasher and gulping down my lemonade before following Carlisle and Livvy outside.

The two old friends fell into step beside each other and chatted casually as we made our way across the lawn towards the stable. I lagged behind, my thoughts on the missing Edward. I was beginning to feel a bit ashamed for my stunt earlier. Clearly, it had bothered him, and I hoped that he wasn’t so upset that it marred our time here. I hadn’t really meant to cause him distress….

As we passed the cabin we were sharing, the man in question emerged from within. His face, as his gaze-met mine, inscrutable. I smiled hesitantly, his only response a narrowing of his beautiful golden eyes. I dropped my eyes from his sadly and kept walking; obviously, he hadn’t found my exhibition, humorous. But what did he think I would do with that sort of challenge hanging in the air like that?

My eyes on the ground, I felt a flush begin to rise from my chest, burning its way up my throat until my face was ablaze. With the mild shame, came anger. He could dish it out, but he sure had a hard time eating his share. I glanced back towards the cabin surreptitiously and he was nowhere to be seen. The anger flared, fueled by disappointment and tears pricked at my eyes. Fine, if that’s how he wants to play it…

I glanced up from my internal rant to find that we had reached the corral. Carlisle and Livvy had taken flanking positions to get out of my way, as I marched past them distractedly. I was about to walk right into a fence post face first when a hand at my collar stopped me abruptly.

A deep sigh issued from behind me, and the hand released my collar when I squirmed.

I spun around, a retort seething behind my teeth that faded to a whispered “ohhhh”, when our eyes met.

He was wearing that crooked grin, his expression apologetic and sheepish all at once. His wet hair was spiked in all directions, which made me smile involuntarily, and my eyes were drawn to his bare chest that glittered in the bright light, casting dancing prisms of color all around like a flight of fairies. It took my breath away, and any lingering anger melted when his cold hand cupped my blush warmed cheek.

Struggling for coherency, I asked the first thing that popped into my blank mind, “nice swim?”

He arched an eyebrow, a smirk forming on his mouth and he took a step towards me even as I retreated. He backed me up against the corral with only his unwavering stare, and I was having a hard time dragging air into my lungs. His lips quirked, “Let’s just say it served its purpose.”

I swallowed convulsively. Unable to raise my gaze to his for fear of suffering the numbing brain freeze again I stammered,” so…uh…we’re…that is, everything’s...umm…” I trailed off lamely.

His chuckle brought my chin up and our eyes locked. Only then did I relax. The warm and teasing Edward was back, and we were fine. Grinning he looked over my shoulder and said,” I think we have an audience.” Strong hands spun me around and I found myself being regarded intently by a pair of deep brown eyes only inches from my own. I gasped softly and the black ears swiveled. The big black head bobbed, and a gentle snort issued from a muzzle than looked soft as velvet. “Bella,” Edward’s gentle voice whispered from beside my ear,” meet Aries.”

The horse was magnificent. Standing 17 hands, he towered over me, but his eyes were gentle and curious and he reached toward me his lips brushing my cheek. He nickered when Edward said his name, and his breath smelled of warm hay as he nuzzled me. “He likes you,” I could hear the smile in his voice even though I couldn’t see his face.

“What’s not to like?” I quipped, offering the big black a sugar cube, which he plucked daintily from my palm.

“Indeed”, came Edward’s amused rejoinder.

“Is he yours?” I asked, stroking the stallions black face experimentally. He responded by lipping my shirtsleeve and then dropping his head so I could scratch his ears.

“On paper, yes,” Edward replied ruefully. I glanced up curiously and he grinned over his shoulder at Livvy. “Legally, I own him. But he’s really Livvy’s horse. No one gets as much out of him as she can.”

“Do you ride?” I asked, voicing the question that had occurred to me earlier in the day.

He smiled again,” Sure, we all can. Jasper is especially adept, considering his background. But we try and give the horses a few days to get used to our smell again before we attempt to ride. Livvy has trained them well, and they’ll accept us on their backs. But if we go too fast it stresses them out, so we give them time to acclimate.”

I nodded, it was much as I thought and my admiration of Livvy increased ten fold. It was quite an accomplishment to get horses to allow a “predator” to get close enough to touch them, much less ride them. I felt more confidence about getting on one now.

Edward dropped his hands to my shoulders and squeezed gently,”I could saddle him if you like,” he offered,”Aries would be fine with you.”

My eyes widened and my head was shaking a negative before my mind could form an answer, “I don’t think so,” I chuckled shakily. “I’ll look; I’ll even pet, but no way I’m getting on HIS back.”

“Don’t know why not,” he grinned down at me mischievously,” You got on MY back, and I’m a whole lot more dangerous than he is,” he indicated the horse.

I rolled my eyes at him,” So you keep telling me….ad nauseum…I have yet to see the evidence to support your claim Mr. Cullen, I therefore reject it out of hand.”

I glanced over at Carlisle when I heard a muffled yelp from his direction, to find him standing with a hand each clamped over his and Livvy’s mouths to smother the laughter that gleamed in both their eyes. But there was something more in Carlisle’s gaze besides amusement. It looked like pride, and….encouragement. That made my heart swell a little, and I grinned at him and winked.

When I looked back at Edward his gaze shifted first from mine to Carlisle’s and Livvy’s, before returning to me. He stood silently, his face troubled for a moment and then his visage cleared and he smiled ruefully. “I give up”, he muttered.

“Finally,” I replied.