I'll Be Watching You
Companion story to Keeping Up Appearences. You don't have to read the first to understand this one. What happens when Charlie decides to keep a closer eye on Bella? How will Edward and Bella overcome this latest challenge in their relationship? Enjoy!
1. I'll be Watchin' You
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2130 Review this Chapter
I appreciated being able to be in Bella’s house without supervision again. Charlie had recently lifted Bella’s stringent curfew to something a little more reasonable. Having known what it was like to live without her for those hours, I loved this added time together all the more.
“Come on. Let’s start our homework.” Bella urged.
Going up to her room, I pulled out my books. In minutes, I was done. I watched as Bella slogged through hers. She was so cute when she had to concentrate. Her forehead creased, and her lips puckered as she bent her head over the notebook. She brushed away a stray lock of hair; utter perfection had been attained in this girl.
Just as I was about to get lost in daydreams, I felt my phone buzz in the pocket of my jacket. The caller ID read “Alice.” Why had Alice sent me a text? She and Jasper were supposed to be hunting.
I flipped my phone open. The message read:
Charlie installed a security camera in Bella’s room on his lunch break. I haven’t had time until now to tell you. If you stick to your usual routine tonight, the future won’t be pretty. Be on your guard. What do you want to do? Text me back.
Trying to control my anger, I concentrated on breathing evenly. “Was that a text?” My love asked.
“Yes. From Alice. She wants to know if you want to have a sleep over tonight. Apparently, she has some new nail polish that needs to be used. “This plan would be easier than anything else. If Bella was away, we could come up with a plan.
“Do I have to?” She asked.
“Alice would really appreciate it.” I turned, gazing directly into her eyes.
“Sure. I guess.” Bella conceded, dazzled.
“Is there another reason for the invitation?” She asked suspiciously.
“I think she is also designing our wardrobe for the fall. She wants to know if you prefer Armani or Prada. Nothing too difficult. “
“Sounds like torture to me.” Bella laughed.
“How about we finish your homework?”
“I can think of something that is more fun than homework.” She said invitingly, raising her eyebrows imperceptibly.
I hadn’t kissed her for exactly one hour, thirty-seven seconds, but I knew that Charlie would have a heart attack if it was caught on video. This camera was a real thorn in my side. “Finish your homework, Bella.”
She pursed her lips, upset. “I could do that, I guess. My idea sounds like a lot more fun though.”
“Bella!” Alice yelled from the Volvo. She had and Jasper had come back from their hunting trip early, so she could play with Bella.
We climbed into the car. Charlie had reluctantly approved of tonight’s plan, but he wasn’t happy about it. Only after a very sweet phone call from Alice had he finally been convinced.
Speaking of Charlie, he had been less than cordial during dinner. It was obvious that the feed from the bedroom was live. I gathered from his thoughts that he didn’t like the idea of his daughter wanting to make out with me. To tell the truth, I didn’t either. It was too close to my venom-coated teeth.
“Alice!” Bella screamed back, mocking our sister’s excitement.
“Are you ready to have fun tonight?” Alice continued, undaunted by my love’s sarcastic tone.
“Sure. Whatever.” Bella replied.
As soon as I parked the car in our remodeled outbuilding, Alice pulled Bella from the car. “Come on! We’re going to watch a movie, and paint our nails. Oh, it’s going to be such fun! I bought every sort of chocolate concoction on the way home from school. The stuff looks disgusting, but smells alright, considering it is human food. Have you ever had chocolate coated espresso beans?”
I followed behind them at a respectful distance. As we reached Alice’s bedroom door, she turned, “You. Out! This is a girl party. No boys allowed.”
Before I could protest, she slammed the door in my face. Walking up the seven stairs to my room, I sat down on my black couch, waiting for the “girl time” to finish.
After a few hours of Pride and Prejudice, red nail polish, and thousands of products, Alice was finally finished. She opened the door, and Bella ran into my outstretched arms.
“How was it, Love?” I asked, admiring her blood red nails.
“Absolutely awful.” She replied, a smile escaping her lips.
“That’s all very nice. Now that my fun is over, on to business. Edward, what are we going to do about Charlie?” Alice asked seriously.
“What about Charlie? Did something happen? Has he found out…about us?” Bella asked, growing more worried by the second.
“It’s nothing to worry about, love. Alice, would you like to explain?” I asked, trying to alleviate her worries.
“Charlie installed a security camera in your room. He thinks you’re sneaking out at night to see me. He decided to see if his suspicions were correct. He’s looking for a reason to kill me anyway.”
“How dare he?” She asked, outrage coloring her tone.
“He is your father. He thinks he’s doing what is best for you. “
“All of this is well and good, but we need to come up with a solution. Edward, this is going to require use of the vampire bat cave.” Alice declared.
“Vampire what?” Bella confusedly asked.
“The vampire bat cave,” I explained, “is a secret room out back full of electronic equipment that won’t be seen for decades. In our spare time, we tinker with creating technological advancements. It’s also a precautionary room. If we ever have to leave in a hurry, we can store our things in the bunkers down there.”
“Why haven’t I ever seen this room?” She asked.
“It’s not very interesting.” I replied. “Just a bunch of batteries and empty rooms.”
“Back to the subject now.” Alice interrupted, “Edward, you are going to go hunting with Jasper tomorrow night. Bella is going to sleep alone. We’ll work our computer magic, hack into Charlie’s feed, and replace it with ours. If we can pull this off, I see the situation ending in our favor.”
“Good.” I replied.
“Let’s get to work team!” Alice declared enthusiastically. And with that, our plan was put set in motion.
Leaving Bella was bittersweet. I knew that I had to leave for her own good, but it was hard. I hated reliving the consequences of my choice last September. Leaving her for any amount of time was the quickest way to bring those feelings to the surface of my mind. However, I needed to hunt…badly.
Jasper and I didn’t go far. There wasn’t time enough for that. Alice was watching outside of Bella’s house. After all, Victoria was still on the loose. My muscles stiffened at the very thought of that particular vampire.
“Edward, loosen up. You’re giving me a headache.” Jasper declared suddenly.
“Sorry. “ I tried to calm down. It was harder than I would care to admit.
“I know your struggle, Edward. I can’t imagine how I would feel if Alice were human, and a vampire were after her. I’d probably go crazy.”
“It’s very hard to keep from hunting Victoria. Only Bella’s wishes are more important than keeping her safe. If she didn’t need me here, I would be off in an instant, tracking that vile redhead until she was nothing but a pile of stinking ashes. You don’t know how it has tortured me, Jasper.”
“I know. I can’t imagine someone hunting Alice. I’d probably be having the same internal conflicts you are experiencing. I’m there for you, brother. Whenever you need to talk, I’ll listen.” There was an awkward pause, “I smell a herd of deer up ahead. Let’s go.”
“How was your evening, love?” I asked Bella as I picked her up for school the next morning.
“Lonely.” She replied. “I couldn’t sleep without you. Your lullaby helped a little, but it wasn’t the same. How was hunting?”
“It was normal.”
“Snag any mountain lions?” Bella giggled.
“One. A stray crossed my path. Was it strange sleeping while knowing that a camera was watching you?” I asked.
“You watch me all the time. I was fine. It wasn’t the same, but if I can sleep with a vampire next to me, a little camera is no problem. Your absence kept me awake more than the camera did.” Would this girl ever cease to surprise me with her way of thinking? I had no reply.
We arrived at school. Classes were redundant as usual, yet they were made somewhat pleasurable because of the angel that held my hand through the ordeal.
Alice had skipped school, choosing to reconfigure last night’s recording. Thanks to the best technological lab in the world, she was able to take one video recording, and transform it into a thousand nights of sleep, all believably different.
I owed her, and she knew it. We both knew it. I was going to have to pay well for her help. Last time she had helped me get out of a scrape of this magnitude, I had been her shopping companion for five years. It was a fate worse than death.
Getting home, Bella checked her email. I had begged her to let me replace that dinosaur of a computer, but she was determined to keep it. As she wrote an e-mail to Renee, I watched her slender fingers peck at the keyboard. It was enchanting.
“All done. “ Bella declared cheerfully, “Renee is taking hot yoga classes. Apparently, they are quite healthy for the soul.”
“Ah.” I commented. A few minutes of comfortable silence elapsed. “Charlie is pulling into the driveway. Do you want me to help you with dinner tonight?”
“No. We’re having tacos. It’s easy.”
“Too much chopping, Bella. I’ll do it. You can cook the hamburger.” I didn’t enjoy the idea of my future fiancée around sharp…or dull knives.
“You baby me too much.” She sighed, giving up. We had both learned to pick and choose our battles carefully.
She heated the hamburger while I cut the tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. This kind of quiet companionship was comforting. Somehow, the menial tasks of human life only brought Bella and me closer together.
After dinner, and watching a baseball game with Charlie, I left. After a few interim hours at home, I ran through the woods, back to Bella’s house.
I climbed through her window. Seeing Bella hold her arms out for me, filled my long-dead heart with joy. Curling up together, Bella was soon asleep. How nice it was to be able to rest like this, again. I didn’t know how precious this time with Bella was until it had been taken away from me.
At dawn, I left the house, needing to get ready for the day ahead. The next few weeks were stressful for Bella. Apparently, college application essays were found in one of the circles of hell. I didn’t want to leave again –I could see what it did to her – but it was absolutely necessary.
“See you soon.” Bella said as I prepared to climb into my Volvo.
“I’ll be thinking of you every second I’m away.” It was true.
“Me too. Have a good time.” She paused, “It might be nice to sleep without someone or something watching me.” She laughed.
My responding chuckle was off, but I didn’t know if she heard it. “Goodbye love. See you in forty-eight hours.” We kissed. Just as the venom was rising in my throat, Alice honked the horn impatiently.
“Bye.” My wonderful Bella waved as I pulled out of the driveway with Alice in the passenger seat. We were off
Around midnight, I pulled out my iPhone. Turning it on, I saw Bella peacefully sleeping. Satisfied, I locked the screen, and looked around for Alice.
“Are you ever going to tell Bella what happened to the live, night feed from her room?” She thought.
“I’m not planning on it.” I replied aloud.
“What happens when she finds out? You know she’s going to find out, Edward.”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” I declared evasively.
“Alright. I’ve had a vision about the outcome of that conversation. It doesn’t look good. Esme and I are
I smiled in response. Pulling the phone out of my pocket, I once again made sure that Bella was doing alright. She was safe.
Be safe, Bella. I thought, sliding the phone into my pocket again.
“Don’t worry; she’ll always be safe with you watching her like a hawk.” I only hoped Alice’s sarcastic thoughts would be true. Maybe I should check on her once more….