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The Ripple Effect

What if Bella’s parents never divorced & she was a normal girl. Best friends with Jacob Black for all her life & suddenly the Cullen’s moved to Forks. Everything is Alternate Universe, Romance, drama and friendships galore.


16. Chapter 16, First encounters

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Chapter 16, First encounters

When Edward said, he wanted to meet Jacob it felt my world was crashing down. Like two parts of my universe colliding when they met. Jake was my light, he kept me human; while Edward was like my dreams, my hope and my future. He made me think of what I could be and not what I was. I wondered what it would be like to see these two parts of my life mix, if it would be oil and water.

I was due at Jacob’s any minute while Edward waited for us at the Diner. He decided to give us a chance to talk first. My boyfriend was excited, as if he was discovering a new part of me. I on the other hand was nervous, these two aspects of my life were about to meet one another. It was like one of those blind chemistry experiments, I had no idea what these two elements would do when mixed.

As I stopped outside of Jake’s house, he was waiting in anticipation in the driveway, with a wide grin plastered on his face.

“Where is he?” Jacob asked, I shrugged watching my friend hop into the lifted truck.

“We’re going to meet him there.” I said as he gave a quick nod and I kept driving.

“So best friend meeting the boyfriend huh?” He joked to my sigh.

“He wanted to meet you.”

“Oh HE wanted to meet me, did you not want us to meet?” I shook my head blushing.

“No, it’s nothing like that.” He laughed dryly shaking his head with too much amusement for my taste..

“Kidding Bella.”

“I know.” I laughed, looking back at the road as he sighed.

“You’re not nervous are you?”

“No.” I answered too quickly. “It’s just...” He turned to me.

“It’s just what?” Typical Jacob, he could see past my facade and deep down I was a nervous wreck.

“I want you two to get along.” I answered honestly.

“Oh, we’ll see.” He smirked as we past through the border of La Push.

“We’ve been friends since how long Bells?” He asked breaking the silence.

“How old are you again Jake?” I joked, as we both chuckled.

“Well my point is I get it, you’re serious about this guy, so I’ll be on my best behavior.”

“Great.” I whispered, as my best friend shook his head enjoying my nervousness.

We were to meet at Forks Diner and Edward was nervous, he wouldn’t eat and felt unsure how Jacob would react. As we pulled into the parking lot, Edward was waiting leaning on his Volvo smiling brightly.

“Wow Bella, you sure can pick em.” He laughed as I blushed again.

“Thanks Jake.”

“Where did you pick this one up, Abercrombie and Fitch?”

“Enough Jake!” I warned gritting my teeth.

“Just kidding, jeeze I can’t have any fun.”

As we both slid out of my Chevy Edward came to greet us. He gave me a quick kiss on the cheek, his lips barely grazing my skin before turning to Jacob holding out his hand.

“Good to meet you Jacob, Edward Cullen.” Jacob slowly shook his hand.

“Nice to meet you Edward, Jacob Black.” There was a seriousness to his tone as Edward gave me a glance, letting me know it was okay as we headed into the diner.

“So, Bella has told me a lot about you.” Edward said, smiling.

He was on his best behavior and I hoped Jacob would follow his example.

“Oh yeah, yeah she has told me a bit about you too.” Jacob joked.

“Yes.” Edward replied. “I hope it’s all good.”

Jacob shrugged as we took a booth in the corner of the diner.

“Well you know Bella; she hasn’t had a boyfriend before. So, I knew it had to happen someday. She’s picky, you know how girls are.”

I laughed embarrassed.

“So are you guys’ hungry?”

Edward shook his head. “Oh I’m sorry; my Mother Esme got a little excited after watching Emeril this afternoon, I’m still stuffed.” He rubbed his stomach for emphasis.

Jacob shrugged slightly as he glanced through the menu.

“How’s the service around here eh?” Jake asked as I laughed. We had eaten here many times and my friend loved to tease the wait staff.

After we had ordered, Jacob and Edward eyed one another and I knew I had to make some small talk.

“So is everyone’s Christmas shopping done yet?” I winced at the absurdity of my question.

It was bad enough that the Cullens had spent their nights searching for the rogue vampires, we didn’t need anymore anxiety. But this was good, this was something normal, boyfriend meeting the best friend.

“Yeah, sort of.” Jacob answered as Edward leaned back.

“Yes, yes of course.” Edward answered a tinge if nervousness slipped through.

“So, you into sports?” Jacob asked, and I was glad that they could do the male bonding thing and I could just sit back.

“Some, yourself?”

“Yeah some, whatever?” Jacob nodded.

“Play anything?” Edward countered.

“I’m not really an organized sports kinda guy you?” Jake laughed, turning to watch the server prepare our meal.

“The same.” Edward countered honestly.

When lunch was served, Edward sipped his water slowly as Jake dug into his platter.

“So how are your grades coming along?” I asked, Jacob swallowed, shrugging.

“Fine not bad, I mean things can always be worse.” He smiled half-heartedly.

“How’s your family, the girls?” He chuckled, popping another fork full of his food into his mouth.

“They’re home, just got done with their finals.”

I gave a quick nod taking a bite of my veggie burger.

“Are things still weird?” I asked after a few silent minutes. Jacob tensed slightly eying Edward before answering.

“A little.” He finally answered, annoyed that I asked the question in front of Edward.

“Sorry to hear that.” My boyfriend said, with an apologetic smile.

“How’s the food?” Edward finally inquired as Jacob took a break.

“You haven’t eaten here yet Cullen? How long have you lived in Forks now?”

Edward tilted his head. “No, we don’t go out much for food. My mother she’s big into home cooking.” He smiled, lying with ease I wondered if I would ever be that good.

“Yeah, mine too. She’s more into baking though, but I get out enough.” He shrugged laughing.

“So you have two sisters, Bella was telling me.” Edward baited.

“Yeah twins, they’re off to college thank God so now I can actually use the bathroom.” Jacob added, laughing at his own joke.

“Ah, yes I understand. I have two sisters as well...”

“Oh yeah.” Jake asked wiping his mouth.

“Yes, my adoptive parents, Esme and Carlisle they adopted us all.”

“Oh no kidding.” Jacob closed his mouth, chewing carefully on his food looking to me. “Bella never told me that.”

I shrugged. “Doesn’t really matter I guess.” Edward nodded smiling.

“So Bella tells me you’re into cars? You did wonders with the Chevy, I’m surprised it’s still going.”

“Right.” Jacob beamed. “My Dad had that for years, I couldn’t believe he wanted me to get it ready for Bells. But, it does the trick and it’s a tank so there’s no possibility of her getting hurt right?”

Edward laughed and I was a little annoyed, they were making fun of me now.

“So,” I interrupted. “how’s the rabbit coming along?”

“Pretty good, pretty good, you know collecting parts here and there.” My friend stuffed some french-fries in his mouth, Edward looked away letting him eat in peace.

It seemed like lunch had gone without a hitch. When Edward said goodbye I was actually surprised. I felt like I had been holding my breath the entire time. As I drove Jake home, he had nothing bad to say.

“He’s a pretty nice guy.” Jacob mused. “Not like the stupid legends. You can’t believe anything like that, like we’re descendants from wolves, wolves. Sometimes I wonder...”

“Wonder what?” I asked tilting my head towards him.

“Traditions, stories and legends, and you have this whole thing with Sam.”

“Yeah?” I turned onto the highway hoping for my friend to continue.

Something in the woods made Jake stop, as he turned towards the night sky.

“He’s acting weird, Paul too now.”

“Weird how?” I asked

Jacob shrugged. “I don’t know, like he’s above it all, he’s not even going back to school. And he’s huge.”

“Well there’s something in the water down at the reservation you guys are huge.” He shrugged off my comment, still lost in thought.

“This is different; he won’t even talk to Leah...”

“He won’t even talk to her?” I winced, wondering what was going on.

“Nope, she just follows him around like some love sick puppy. He barely acknowledges that she’s there. It’s like he’s shut down.”

“I’m sorry Jake.” I patted his hand as he shook his head.

“Nah, it’s okay, what am I going to do? She’s head over heels for him, no skin off my back. Just strange stuff.”

“Well, maybe you can still enjoy the holidays?” I surmised after sighing.

“Bella has a boyfriend.” He laughed shaking his head in amazement. “Well I guess I’ve seen everything huh?”

I stopped outside of his house as he laughed again at a silent joke.

“Well hurry home Bells, there’s a storm coming I’ll call you later.”

“I will.” I smiled, before thinking of something else. “Jake, have you heard any new about those killings?” He tensed slightly.

“No, but it’s weird right? They’re saying it may be some animal or something. They keep having meetings here about it. Dad’s convinced it’s not an animal...” He stopped lost in thought.

“What do you mean?” I asked, wondering how much they knew on the Reservation.

“I don’t know.” He shook his head changing the subject. “Well good night Bells stay out of the woods.”

“I will” I shook my head, smiling as he closed the door.

I wondered if the Quileute’s had any idea about the rogue vampires. And if they did, what could they do about it? I couldn’t imagine, shuddering at the thought.

I watched Jacob walk towards his house and then stop right in his driveway. The sudden jerk of his head made me wait as a large figure walked slowly towards my friend. My heart pounded as I saw Sam flanked by Paul. The two boys were unrecognizable. While Jacob was having a growth spurt, these guys who were just 19 years old or so looked well into their twenties. I shivered as Jake stood his ground, my first instinct was to stand with Jacob. I cut the engine and slammed my car door, all three boys turned my way.

“It’s alright Bella.” Jacob reassured me as Sam and Paul turned their heads as if I smelled.

“We’ll talk to you later Black.” Paul warned as he followed Sam back towards the other houses.

“What was that about?” I finally asked as Jacob’s fists were shaking with anger.

“They think they control everyone and everything around here now. They asked who I was with today. As if they have any right to know my business.” He laughed sarcastically, shaking his loose black mane in frustration.

“How long has this been going on Jake?” I couldn’t help but inquire as Jacob walked away from the spot he was standing in a moment ago.

“Ever since that first meeting with the Elders, Sam’s been trying to come at me. Listen to your father, stay on the reservation don’t hang out...” He stopped himself looking at me for an instant before shaking his head.

“Don’t hang out with me?” I asked finishing as Jacob shrugged.

“He just doesn’t think it’s safe for us to be off the reservation together, not with everything that is going on.”

My friend stood motionless, I watched him wondering if this all had to do with the Cullens. If somehow Sam knew the legends were true, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Sam’s disappearance had changed him for good.

When I got home, I knew Edward would be waiting, wanting to talk.

“So, how did it go?” He asked sitting in my room as I flipped the light on.

“I think he likes you.” I smiled, sitting across from him on my bed.

“Maybe.” He smirked tilting his head.

“I asked him about the killings, if they know anything.”

“Bella.” He said sternly.

“I just wanted to make sure they’ll be okay.” I stammered.

“The Quileute’s have always survived.” He answered, seriously.

“You mean like the legends?”

He gave a quick nod. “They know how to handle themselves, you would be very surprised.”

“What do you mean?” I asked shaking my head. The looks Sam and Paul were giving Jacob still burned in my memory.

“I just mean, that they should be okay. We will find them, whoever they are.”

“But you haven’t found them yet.” I answered, exasperated.

“They can only run for so long, maybe we should enjoy ourselves a little more.”

I laughed. “Edward Cullen thinks we should relax?” He shrugged.

“I did not say relax, I just said maybe to enjoy ourselves more.” I laughed again as he stood up.

“I have to go.” He announced.

“You just got here.” I smirked eyeing him.

“No, YOU just got here, I have been here for over ten minutes, the Chevy is quite slow.” He smiled, but his face fell as he watched me take a steadying breath.

“What is it Bella?” He asked watching every reaction trying to compensate for his gift that was useless on me.

“Nothing, it’s just I saw Sam and Paul back at the reservation.” Edward stiffened, turning away from me for a moment before forcing a smile for my benifit.

“And?” He asked trying to hide the emotion in his voice.

“And the way they’re treating Jacob...” I shook my head annoyed for my best friend. “Something is going on in La Push and Jake is getting it from both sides first it was just his father and now Sam and Paul...” I sighed looking up at Edward, a pained expression spread across his face.

“You have to go hunt?” I asked.

“Yes, and I also have to track down some leads, some new scents. You are going to be okay.” He answered pushing some hair away from my face.

“I wouldn’t go out tonight, it’s going to snow you know.” He warned, looking to my lips as if he wanted to kiss me. I hoped he would, but he just turned away pained.

“I’ll see you later.” He finally said, I nodded solemnly.

I wasn’t sure if he came that night, I was fast asleep. I spent the night helping Charlie sand and salt our driveway; we were for a big snowstorm. Being from Washington we were pretty used to the snow, but today school was canceled.

I heard Alice’s voice drift up the stairs as she laughed at some joke. I quickly got dressed, before descending the stairs. Alice smiled up at me while I took the last two steps carefully.

“Bella, are you ready for a day off of fun?”

“Oh no.” I groaned, wondering what she could mean.

“Oh yes, I brought Emmett’s Jeep, everyone is going out today.”

I wondered if she meant today was the day of vampire baseball. Of course, no snow storm could stop them, not this time.

“Sounds good to me.” I said defeated, sitting down to a plate of waffles next to my friend.

“Eat up, Alice makes great waffles.” Renee laughed as my friend beamed at me.

“Charlie already gone?”

“Oh yes.” My mother answered as I looked at the clock.

Today had to be a good day, maybe it’ll be the day that something good happens. How wrong I was.

I followed my friend up to my room after getting in three waffles; Renee waved us away as Alice beamed walking into my room and towards my dresser drawers.

“What exactly are we doing today Alice?” My friend pierced her lips.

“Oh no, I promised Edward, and Emmett.” She laughed as I shook my head.

“And Emmett?” I questioned.

“Oh yes, he’s just as excited to show off as the others are.”

“Show off?” I caught her as she looked down bashfully.

“Well yes, you see we’ve never played for humans.” She laughed at the last line.

“So this is about vampire baseball.” I pried.

“It’s just baseball Bella, baseball with a kick.”

“And how are you going to play in the snow?” I asked, playfully.

“That my friend is the challenge.” She looked to me smirking.

“And with zero visibility...?”

“More of a challenge.” She shrugged.

“Charlie was very impressed that I had the chains on the jeep this morning when I came to pick you up.” She mused.

“Of course he was, I bet he was also happy that I didn’t have school today and wouldn’t be driving.” I joked, dryly.

“That’s probably true.” Alice sang as she handed me another layer.

“Edward will kill me if you’re not bundled up correctly.” I felt like the little brother from ‘A Christmas Story.’

“I think I’m good.” I finally admitted, worried that she would try to fit another layer on me.

“Okay.” Alice beamed, leading me down the stairs. Renee looked impressed at Alice’s pre-emptive attempt to keep me warm.

“Have fun girls.” She called as I groaned closing the door. I strained to get into the Jee, until Alice gave me a quick push.

“Another rule broken Alice?” I asked, as we hopped into the Jeep. Driving with vampires that was against rule number one, a new rule Edward had made for our relationship.

“He made an exception just this once, it was either that or he’d have to carry you himself.” She giggled before turning the engine on.

“So where’s Edward today, I thought he might have come along to pick me up?

“Oh it was very hard to keep him away.” She mused. “I had to win three games of chess in a row to come alone. Plus I don’t believe Charlie would have been as happy to see you go off with Edward, in his Volvo.” She laughed, hitting the gas as the Jeep lurched forward the snow barely hindering the drive.

“How far away are we going anyway?” I asked finally.

“You’ll see.” She smirked.

The ploughs in typical Washington fashion were over compensating, pummeling the roads with salt and dirt, despite the snow covering up their work. Alice turned off road after a few miles and we were in the middle of the state forest. The Jeep maneuvered over rocks and ice for a few minutes and then we stopped, completely covered in a canopy of trees and snow. I wasn’t sure how far we drove into the woods but when we finally came to our destination, I could see a few figures in the far off distance.

In a clearing the size of a football field, snowflakes fell so fast I felt we were being shaken inside a snowglobe. The Cullens were waiting; all dressed like it was a gorgeous spring day. They were wearing uniforms with blue pin stripes, barely acknowledging the freezing temperatures. Edward was quick to find his place at my side, as I smiled to his welcome.

“Well you look beautiful Bella.” He grinned as I shrugged.

“I look fat.” I said dryly. “And I think I’m even sweating.”

“I just wanted to make sure you were warm.” Alice chimed in, taking a layer of clothing off me as she ran back to the jeep.

Edward threw a slight glance to his sister as she shrugged.

“It’s better for you to be a little sweaty, than for you to get a cold and then I’d never hear the end of it.” She surmised her hands on her hips.

“But you would know if I got a cold before hand Alice.” She tilted her head thinking.

“That’s true.” She said comically before running to Jasper's side.

“All this because you lost a few chess games?” I asked feigning annoyance.

“I tried Bella.” He smirked holding me by the waist as we walked towards his family.

”So what should I do exactly?” I asked, as we all gathered in a circle. Rosalie and Emmet were play fighting as Jasper and Alice checked the equipment.

“You could just watch, right Esme?” Edward asked looking towards his mother.

“Sure, or she can help me, whatever you want Bella, you are our guest.” She smiled warmly as I gave a nod checking with Alice who grinned in excitement.

”Same teams as always?” Emmett asked already heading out to the field.

“Of course.” Carlisle answered as the vampire family spread out, I stuck to Esme like glue.

Everyone waited for Alice’s signal and finally she gave a quick nod as thunder clapped loudly above us. It wasn’t unusual to have a winter storm with thunder, but I finally understood why the weather was so important. With every crack of the ball, the sound couldn’t be distinguished from the bats to the sky. The sheer force of their swing made me clap my hands to my ears every time Alice wound up a pitch.

I wasn’t one for sports, most of the time I watched ESPN with Charlie because he liked it so much. However, this was more of a show than a game, I couldn’t see the ball half the time just the players. Their movements were fluid; it seemed like a ballet in the snow. At one point, I thought I caught a glimpse of a play only to hear Esme call an out. Rosalie was one of the biggest competitors. It was obvious she didn’t like to lose, she would steal a base whenever possible and argue with Esme on any calls she disliked.

When it was time for Edward’s team to be at bat; I had no idea what the score was, but it didn’t seem to matter anyway. Rosalie took the mound and Alice was up. Before my friend could pick up the bat she froze. Her head turning towards the woods.

“Oh no.” She exclaimed as Edward froze, his ears perked up like a cat’s.

“Bella.” He called before encircling me. His family followed as Carlisle shook his head.

“They’re coming now Son, it’s too late.” I stood there behind my love as three distinct figures emerged from the woods.

I had no idea what was going on, but it seemed Edward was right all along, the three vampires were tracking the Cullens. And our little game had led them right to us.

Edward kept me at his side, but didn’t hide me, hoping my heartbeat wouldn’t attract too much attention.

“It’s lucky they can’t smell her huh.” Emmett commented very quietly. Jasper smirked, before pulling Alice to his side.

“Greetings.” A tall vampire said, the moonlight reflected off his blood red eyes as he bent his head.

“Hello.” Carlisle answered, Edward tensed pulling me closer. Two vampires stood next to one another, leering at us.

“A beautiful night don’t you think?” The woman sang, her voice was high and light she tossed her strawberry blonde hair to one side.

“It is if you’re territory isn’t being threatened by others.” Jasper answered, his southern drawl filled with warning.

The other male vampire, the shorter one who stood closest to the girl eyed Jasper, before turning his gaze to each and every one of us. He was studying us, taking us all in. I thought for a moment he was sizing us, down seeing if he could destroy us.

“We had no idea. I am Laurent.” The tall one answered as Carlisle stood his ground nodding.

“This is my family I am Carlisle, and yes there are many humans looking for you. Perhaps it’s time you moved on.” Carlisle hinted, motioning towards the north for inflection.

“I’m not sure.” The other vampire said, his eyes now fixated on me. “The game around here has just begun.”

“James, please.” Laurent chided as an older brother would when interrupted.

The blonde one, James took a big whiff of the air but frowned as he stood tall in his full height. I heard them talking to one another, but couldn’t make out anything they were saying. Their voices were so quiet and fast before the woman’s eyes met mine, her nostrils flaring as she too took in a deep breath.

“We hear a heartbeat but, funny there isn’t a sent of human for miles.” Laurent smirked looking my way, I wished my heart to stop beating wildly, but that only made it thud harder.

“There are lots of game in the area.” Carlisle smiled, “Perhaps your senses are tricking you.”

He tried to be playful, but it just made the blonde scary male growl.

“James please.” Laurent chided, holding his hand up.

”It is not just humans who have took notice by the way, there are others who will come for you, I think it’s in all of our best interest for you to move on.” Laurent gave a solemn nod as he turned to his two companions before back to us.

“We’ll leave, Carlisle sorry for troubling your coven.” He smirked, giving a quick bow before turning from us. Edward growled slightly as James turned slowly, his eyes on me wondering. When they were finally out of sight, Edward looked to his sister.

“Are you sure Alice?” Alice nodded.

“They’re leaving, heading north as Carlisle suggested.” Edward sighed, shaking his head as he rubbed my arms, willing the heat into them.

Emmett bounced, shaking the snow from his hair.

“We could have taken them; I was going to call the tall one.” He laughed as Edward locked his jaw.

“It’s James we should be wary of.” He answered pulling me close, as we walked towards Emmett’s Jeep. “He has unusual senses; he could hear Bella’s heartbeat better than the others.”

Carlisle nodded. “Well they are gone for now.”

As I sat in Emmett’s Jeep, I began to wonder about the Vultori.

“Will they come still?” I asked. “Now that the danger has passed?”

Edward shook his head.

“I do not believe so, as long as those three keep moving and hunting the Vultori will keep out of it. When vampires linger Bella and feed from a less populated area like Forks, it causes too much attention. Even Seattle wouldn’t be a good choice.”

He shook his head annoyed at himself.

"I should have seen this coming, but my reaction... I tried to control it as much as I could Bella what he was thinking.... he sensed you. He was looking for a fight, a challenge and any slight hint that there was a human with us he would have..." He looked towards me starting the Jeep as he pulled through the snow, barreling down hills as if they were nothing.

"But you didn't react Edward, and he's leaving Forks." Edward tightened his jaw, shaking away the ugly images that were still flooding his brain.

"We can never be too careful Bella, I trust Alice but I do not trust this James. He is unpredictable; the way I held you he was so sure you are human. He may turn around and go off his instincts of which are unparalleled."

The way Edward spoke sent chills down my spine; I had a bad feeling about the blonde vampire myself. Other than his blood thirsty eyes which were a shock to me, he seemed to be challenging the Cullens and I hoped we had fooled him long enough to make it far, far away.

“Where are we going Edward?” I asked as he took the highway heading north away from Forks.

“I want to double back a little; the others are doing the same. The last thing we want right now is for those three to find us or you.” His grip tensed on the steering wheel, as my hand covered my mouth in fear.

He looked my way, taking my hand for the first time in what seemed like an eternity.

“No sense in following those rules anymore Bella.” He smiled, I felt every cell in my body ease with his touch.

It was still cold and hard, but the smooth surface of his skin kept my mind off the world. He drove aimlessly for an hour, before stopping outside of my house. Edward leaned back on his seat, our hands still intertwined.

“Perhaps Emmett was right, we should have killed them right there.” He sighed shaking his head as I watched him contemplate.

“Would that have helped any?” I asked finally after a minute of silence. Edward chuckled looking to me as his free hand cupped my chin.

“Carlisle would not have it, not unprovoked, and of course we are not allowed to provoke.” He smiled before wincing, his thumb ran over my bottom lip.

I could feel all the heat in my body travel to my lips and cheeks as Edward smiled to my flush.

“You are amazing do you know that?” He remarked shaking his head in reverie.

“Why?” I asked shaking my head slightly, not taking my eyes from his.

“Because even after what we just went through, you want me to kiss you.” He replied with a sly smile.

“I always want you to kiss me Edward.” I retorted as he leaned down so gently, our lips grazing for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime.

His breath took, as Edward pulled away slightly. He licked his lips before coming closer again. I didn’t move, I wanted to keep him as comfortable as possible, afraid any slight movement would break the spell. His lips caressed mine again and I waited to reciprocate. When I finally began to kiss him freely, Edward pulled away quickly.

“Alice?” He called as I frowned laughing dryly.

“Alice?” I asked annoyed. A knock on the window made me jump slightly, as Alice’s face came into view.

Edward rolled down his window, his body now full of tension at the sight of his sister.

“How long do we have?” He asked, and I knew they were talking through their minds; which could only mean something bad.

Edward gave a quick nod looking to me his eyes were full of sadness and fear.

“Go inside with Alice she’ll explain everything.” I opened my mouth to protest but, my fried was already opening my door and helping me out of the jeep.

“What is going on Alice?” I asked as my friend walked with me in anticipation.

“Edward is going to want you close by, they are coming back.”

My heart began to pick up speed, pounding in my chest as Alice smiled kindly to my parents while they welcomed us back. I let my friend speak for me as she shielded me from my parent’s watchful gaze.

“I was wondering if we could borrow Bella for a few days, we were planning on going camping you know.” She said.

Renee and Charlie smiled a bit relieved, as they looked to one another caught in Alice’s spell.

“Well I don’t see why not, we have good news whatever animal that was killing those hikers is heading North. We tracked them as far as our jurisdiction allowed, I contacted the other counties who verified the same.” Charlie looked happier than I had seen him for weeks; I couldn’t bear him the pain of knowing those he spent so long tracking, were on their way back as we speak.

I gave appropriate nods when it was needed and smiled fakely as Alice led me upstairs into my room.

“Here sit, I’ll pack a bag.” I sat down slowly, while Alice flitted here and there about my room. I couldn’t focus on her for the first few minutes, until she smiled zipping up a overnight bag.

“Where will we go Alice?” I asked as my friend shook her head, taking my hand.

“Edward wants you at our house, he’ll have a few of us watch over your parents but his main concern is for your safety. It is you they are after Bella.”

I knew when Alice said those few words that this was real, she couldn’t see the outcome. It was the first time that I felt Alice was taking care of me, that she was really a hundred year old vampire and not my seventeen year old best friend. She seemed so assured of herself, as I let her lead me out of my house and into the Jeep where Edward waited for us.

“We’re taking you to our house, everyone’s already there. We are going to figure this out Bella.” He took my hand as Alice drove us.

I wondered if Edward was right, if this would all be okay. I knew he was saying it for my sake but in the bottom of my heart, I hoped it was true. If James and the others were coming we needed to be prepared. From what Edward had told me, he wasn’t any normal vampire his quirk was one that could be deadly, even lethal for me.