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Different

Summary:
Bella and Edward take a completely different path from the start. Bella's first day of school in Forks doesn't end at all well and things go downhill from there.


Notes:
I wrote this quite a while ago and finaly got around to finishing it. I wanted to explore some alternatives but found myself coming around to the same conclusion every time. There are 4 Chapters in the finished story and I will get them posted as soon as they are approved.


3. Chapter 3

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1708   Review this Chapter

The next months passed quietly. Bella continued to work towards finding some kind of inner ballance. She spent much of her time with Esme learning and developing her talents. As her human memories began to fade she took the time to record a life history on her computer to cement images into her mind. She quickly relearned all the basic academic subjects of a human life and went on to develop an uncommonly broad educational level that most humans couldn't have attained in a lifetime. She practiced languages until she could converse fluently in several. She took any courses available over the internet that she found appealing. She spent time with her new companions getting to know each of them better. While she still avoided Edward she was unable to avoid the impression of respect and love that held Edward in high regard with his family. Bella watched Edward, trying to see him through their eyes. She couldn't get past the image of the gloriously beautiful creature that could suddenly turn vicious and snatch her life from her. They were all beautiful, and on the outside Bella knew she blended right in with them, it was the extent of the darkness inside that left Bella feeling like an outsider.

When Bella returned from hunting, she was suprised to find a package from her mother waiting for her on the table in the snug little guest house where she kept her few things. Alice had intercepted it before Charlie could find it. This would be the breaking point in the whole ruse that had held up for almost a year. Rene would expect physical proof in the way of pictures. There wasn't a way around it, Bella would have to "visit" Charlie and pretend to decide to give Forks another try. Getting back into the life of a normal human and going back to school would be an exercise in self-control but she would have Alice at her side in all her classes and between the two of them they would do their best.

Bella arrived at her father's home in a taxi during the evening when she knew he would be home. Between make-up and contacts she was a passable version of her former self. The unforeseen problem arose immediately in the form of a vehicle parked behind Charie's cruiser. Alice hadn't mentioned any visitors so Bella took her luggage and walked in the front door.

Something smelled horrible. That was her first impression. The next was of the mixed reaction of the men in her father's living room.

Charlie looked thrilled, he was quickly up out of his seat to greet her and take her bags. A father overjoyed to see his grown and very beautiful daughter come to spend some time with him. Over his shoulder Bella could see the look on his visitors faces, Billy Black, her father's friend, a dim memory from Bella's past life looked horrified, frozen in his chair and stunned into silence. The other face in the room was one Bella didn't recognize, a young man, tall and well built, his age was hard to determine, he looked anywhere from 18 to 25, young-ish features but an oldness to his eyes. He was visibly trembling and from the stricken glances Bella saw Billy throw back and forth between her and the trembling young man she knew something was about to go horribly wrong.

Faster than Charlie could see, Bella palmed her cell phone and hit the button for the ring tone to sound loudly. At a more human speed she pretended to cheerfully answer the ring and then asked her father if he minded if she took the call outside. With a bemused expression Charlie nodded and shrugged his acceptance.

Bella was out the door slightly faster than a normal human would be but she had heard the sound of the arriving footsteps that no human would have been able to pick up. Outside, half of her family was appearing out of the trees. Alice had a stricken expression on her face that changed to one of relief when she saw Bella. Edward's expression mirrored Alice's. Jasper's arrival brought with it a sense of calm as he worked his brand of magic on everyone.

From inside the house Bella heard Billy loudly exclaim over having spilled his drink and then ask someone named Jake, the young man Bella assumed, to go see if he had an extra shirt in his truck.

Jake appeared suddenly in the doorway, still visibly trembling and with a murderous look on his face, Bella danced back away across the front lawn to give him some space.

Edward was between Bella and Jake faster than the eye could follow. Bella was surprised by his movement when their attacker was only a young angry human.

"I'm not going to hurt him." Bella snapped out.

"No, but he has every intention of doing his best to kill you." Edward hissed back at her.

The low growls coming from both Edward and Jake were getting loud enough for human ears.

"You two have to calm down," Alice gave Jasper a significant look, "Charlie is about to notice something is going on."

Jake and Edward launched into a staccato one-sided conversation, clipped and angry on Edward's part, consisting of monosyllable answers to Jake's unspoken questions. Jake's teeth were bared in a snarl of hatred as their conversation came to an abrupt conclusion and Jake launched himself at an inhuman speed towards the trees, part-way there he exploded into a flash of fur and skin that resolved into the form of the largest wolf Bella had ever seen. So far, this was the biggest surprise of Bella's vampire existence.

At vampire speed Alice sent Bella back to smooth things over with her father, to inform him that one of Jake's friends had stopped by to pick him up and to see if Billy could get a ride home from Charlie.

Billy's tight expression let Bella know that he was somehow aware of what was going on. When Charlie and Billy left a few minutes later Bella left the house at a run, following the trail her siblings had left behind them.

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"Fine then, if you want to stay in that form you'll have to bark or wag your tail or something if I don't get the translation right." Edward's voice was tense and angry.

Bella could see her entire family had gathered ranged in a line facing another similar line of large canine forms.

"They accuse us of breaking the treaty." Edward's voice was hollow.

"Yes, I realize that this breaks the treaty we had with your ancestors but we were under the very clear impression that none of them were left and that there had been no activity along the treaty line for decades. Our numbers have increased in that time, as have yours." There was still sharpness in Edward's tone but the calm radiating out from Jasper had everyone relaxing their tense stances.

"When was Charlie's daughter turned into a cold one?"

"That happened almost a year ago." Edward's voice was suddenly soft and a little bit sad. "The circumstances surrounding that change were on the extreme edge of probability; you don't need to be concerned that it will happen again."

This statement was met by angry barking and a few howls cut off quickly at the look of the largest wolf, who then yelped in Edward's direction before sprinting into the woods.

"We'll wait."

A moment later a large man loped out of the trees clad in only a pair of shorts.

"I'm Sam. I lead." he said by way of introduction. His tone was stiff and the wolves to either side of him shifted their stances slightly in his direction as a show of defense or support, Bella couldn't tell which.

Carlisle shifted slightly, "I'm Carlisle, I am the head of our family. I was here when the last treaty was organized and I would like to achieve that level of tolerance with your pack again."

"Fine. We'll renegotiate."

"Are the terms of the previous treaty still acceptable?"

"Yes. We've kept them."

"We understand and appreciate that. We apologize for our breach of the agreement during your absence."

"We weren't here, Chief Swan's daughter was lost, we reluctantly accept that, but we do not forget." Sam's fierce glare was turned on Bella. "We'll be watching you."

Sam and some of the wolves began to back towards the trees but the Jacob wolf remained.

Edward's voice was pained as he answered an unspoken question, "I did, I changed her, if I could take it back I would."

Edward turned to Bella, "He wants you to know that Charlie is someone important to him and that his father spends a lot of time with Charlie. He says he loves them and will do whatever it takes to protect them, treaty or no treaty."

The Jacob wolf snarled and bared his teeth at Bella.

"He says to tell you that a soulless leech," Edward sighed, and then continued, "could never understand what that means but he would take any risk to protect the ones he loves. If he starts to feel that Billy or Charlie are in danger he would make a point of hunting you down and..."

"You'll have to go through me dog." Edward's voice was quiet but sincere and deadly. "If I think your kind are coming after her I'll make sure that none of you are left to so much as sniff at her shadow."

In answer to an unspoken question Edward closed his eyes and softly declared, "Yes, I love her."

Bella was running before she could think, top speed, away from them all. She heard Sam's voice in the distance say, "I don't think she returns the feeling, leech." then nothing from that direction as she hit her stride and raced away from what she couldn't face.