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War of the Heart

Summary:
Lieutenant General Charlie Swan moves his family to Forks while he and his sons our deployed to Iraq. Can the Cullens & the Hales help Bella survive while her whole family is on tour overseas? What happens when the only family member she can rely on runs away? Or when a brother is injured in a road side explosion? Thanks to XxBleedingSoulxX for the amazing banner :) NOTE!! I'VE GIVEN UP UPDATING ON THIS SITE, IF YOU WISH TO KEEP READING YOU CAN FIND THE STORY AT FANFICTION. THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE.


Notes:
Everything belongs to the one and only Stephanie Meyer.


16. Gift Of A Friend

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3377   Review this Chapter

Chapter Sixteen – Gift of a Friend

BPOV

Pulling into the driveway of my house, I noticed Jasper lugging his luggage out of the house and into the driveway. I jumped out of the car and attacked Jasper into a hug; I had missed him so much while I was away.

“Hey Darlin!” he exclaimed as he swung me around so my legs weren’t touching the ground, “Isn’t this a wonderful surprise, I wasn’t expecting you home so soon.”

“Jasper, what’s with all the luggage? Are you going somewhere?” I asked, as he put me back down on my feet and I eyed his suitcases behind him.

“Please don't be mad Bells, but I was lugging my stuff out to the driveway so it would be easier to load into Edward’s car when he got here. He’s helping me bring my stuff over to my dad’s-”

“What! Why?” I asked in a hurt tone, he hated the idea of living with his dad and step-mom, why would he move out now?

“Well-” he sighed, “I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen now that Austin’s home, so I thought I’d give you guys some space and move in with Rose and my step-mom, I don't want to intrude on your family time and all...”

“Jasper! That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth!” I yelled. “I’ve never once considered you a guest in my home; you’ve always been a part of the family. You’re practically a brother to me and I couldn't have been more grateful for your company while my family’s away. My brother won’t be able to move back home for a couple weeks and even then you belong here just as much as anyone else. So don't think that just because Austin’s home that you’re going to be kicked to the street. That would never happen!” I argued

“Are you sure Bella? I really don't mind giving you two some space...”

“Yes Jasper! Stop being so stupid! I want you here, and as long as you want to stay, you’ll have a room here to call home here. But hey! If you’d rather go stay with your bleach blond step-mom, then all the power to you!” I laughed, noticing him cringe in disgust.

“No thank you darlin,” he laughed. “I’ll take you over her any day. Plus your cuisine is by far a rare delicacy compared to that mush she calls food.”

“God! I knew you only wanted me for my food.” I laughed, giving him a playful shove.

It was nice to be able to just relax and take a break from reality for a moment. Austin was safe at the hospital and I was home once again, I don't think I laughed at all over the past few weeks.

He continued to laugh, before turning back into a serious tone, “Seriously Bella, I'm glad your home. We’ve all missed you and thought about you every day; we just didn't know whether or not you needed space to be with your brother...”

“Thanks Jasper, you’re the best.” I said, giving him a hug. “Now how about I help you bring these bags back up to your room?”

“Sounds perfect.”

*****

After I helped Jasper unpack his things, and make him swear on his life he wasn’t going to try moving out again, I decided to head to my room and catch up on some sleep. I was pulling back the sheets, when there was a knock on my door.

“Hey Beautiful,” Edward greeted as he entered my room. “Since Jasper cancelled his moving plans, I thought I’d bring Riley over so you could see him.”

“Riley!” I exclaimed, rushing over to take my little guy out of Edward’s arms. “I missed you so much boy, you look so much better,” I cooed, placing kisses all over his little head.

“The doctors said that he was doing really well and that we could probably bring him back in a few weeks and get his walking cast removed.” I sighed, that was relief. It was going to be hard enough helping my brother around in his cast; I couldn't imagine having to look out for Austin and Riley at the same time.

“Thank you for taking care of him, Edward” I said placing a chaste kiss on his cheek. “I really missed you over the past few weeks.”

“I missed you too Bella, my parents had to literally force me from not going to Seattle to be with you. I was so worried.” Seeing Edward now, I couldn't believe how much I truly had missed him over the past few weeks.

“Edward? Will you stay with me? I don't want to be alone.” I said, patting the spot next to me in the bed. He got into bed with me and I snuggled into his shoulder, finally feeling at home.

*****

EPOV

I was sitting in Bella’s room, rubbing soothing circles into her back as she calmed down. I couldn't be happier that she was home; I had missed her terribly over the past few weeks. It killed me to know that she was hurting and that there was nothing I could do to help. I was just happy that my dad was able to get her brother transferred down to Forks, so that we could all be there to help Bella.

I continued to rub circles in her back, watching her bite her lip, mulling something over. Her face was so expressive and yet, I couldn’t imagine what she was thinking. I wanted to know very badly. “Tell me love, what you are thinking.” I asked seriously.

Her chewing stopped as the color drained a little from her face. Her eyes widened at me, triggering the realization that I was staring at her, trying to pry the thoughts from her mind.

“It’s nothing... I guess I was just wondering, who was that girl you were dancing with at Alice’s party a couple weeks ago?” She trailed off sadly.

“Is that why you took off so suddenly?” I asked as her cheeks reddened and she buried her head into my lap in embarrassment, causing me to chuckle. “Bella that girl was nothing of consequence; she was just a girl from my Chemistry class. I was humouring her with a dance because her boyfriend had apparently ditched her to hang out with his teammates or something. It honestly meant nothing, there’s only one girl who holds any importance to me whatsoever...”

“And who might she be?” she asked, looking up from my lap with a look of curiosity and, what could be jealousy?

I chuckled, “you know you’re cute when you’re jealous,” I said, lightly brushing my lips to the tip of her nose, causing her to blush in the cutest way. And for a while we just sat there like that. Just as Bella and Edward. No cares in the world. But after a while she started to grew tired and fell asleep.

“Come on up boy,” I said, leaning down and lifting him up on the bed between Bella and I. Riley twirled himself around a couple of times before making himself at home. Over the past few weeks, I found myself growing fond of this little guy. I think it was because I knew that it was Bella’s selflessness that saved his little life.

“Whenever I'm not around, it’s going to be your job to look after her boy,” I whispered, not wanting to wake Bella, as I scratched his head.

I stared in wonder at the angle lying by my side before continuing. “She may appear to be staying strong, Riles, but she’s gonna need us both to help her make it through this.” I sighed. Deep down, I knew that Bella was just trying to pull off the facade that she was strong and holding herself together, but I could see the sadness and fear in her eyes. She had a lot on her shoulders, and I made a promise to myself then and there that no matter what I would be here by her side, guiding her through it as much as she would let me.

I do think Riley understood what I was saying, as he let out a whimper before moving himself so that he was snuggled up to the contour of Bella’s body, with his little head resting gently on her stomach as he looked up at her with adoration. In Bella-like fashion, she saved him from being abused to death, and in doing so gained this little guy’s loyalty and love.

*****

BPOV

I was awoken from my best slumber in weeks, when there was a thrashing on my bedroom door before a fuming blond stormed into my room.

“Rose, what are you doing here?” I asked startled, tarring myself off of Edward and resting against the bed-frame.

“Hey Bells, just one sec-” she said before strutting over to Edward’s side of the bed and smacking him on the backside of his head “You!” she exclaimed pointing an accusatory finger at Edward. “That was a cheap shot sending Emmett over to keep me distracted from learning Bella was home!”

“I don't know what you’re talking about,” he said with a smirk as he sat himself up in the bed, beside me.

“Yea well your partner in crime ratted you out when I threatened him with castration.”

“Ugh! It’s so hard to find good help these days.” He said, causing me to laugh.

“Anyway, by the looks of things you had your fun, now get out; we’re having a girl’s night!”

“What! Why?” he groaned, rubbing the back of his head.

“Because,” she said simply, “you hogged her all afternoon and it’s about time she had some good quality girl time with her two best friends, now out!” she said, taking him by the ear before retching him from the bedroom and closing the door in his face.

“Welllll,” Rose said, turning her attention back towards me. “I know that you’ve been through a lot in the past few weeks, but figured you could use a girl’s night...”

“I would love a girl’s night, Rose.”

“Okay great, because I wasn’t leaving anyway.” She laughed. “Anyway, I brought all of the essentials!”

“Essentials?”

“You’ll see,” I could hear her smile in her voice.

“So how exactly did Emmett distract you?” I asked in awe, I knew Rosalie was a very determined woman, so it would take something big to keep her from rushing here at the first chance

“The big buffoon unplugged my battery and tinkered with me car, when I found out I gave him a good scolding before I supervised him reattaching everything that he messed around with.” She laughed. “Okay, so I wasn’t quite sure what you were in the mood for so I brought a couple different movies. I have P.S. I Love You in case you were in a romantic mood, The Proposal if you felt like a romantic comedy and Disturbia if you were in the mood for a good scare. I also have Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, so go throw on your comfiest pj’s while I start setting up camp in the family room.”

I stood there, stunned.

“What are you waiting for lil’ missy? Chop! Chop! We’re burning day light,” She laughed, clapping her hands before exiting the room.

I smiled tearily and ran into my closet, throwing on a plain pair of flannel sleep pants along with one of my dad’s old grey army shirts. When I came back down, Rose had set up blankets and pillows on the family room floor that she had found… somewhere. Rose looked somewhat comical wearing one of Emmett’s gym shirt’s that was absolutely huge on her along with a pair of pink cotton pyjama pants.

“So how exactly did you ditch Emmett anyway?” I asked, taking my seat beside her on the couch.

“Nothing to extravagant, I just convinced him he could see you tomorrow and left him home for a guy’s night in,” she laughed. “No one gets in the way of Rosalie Hale seeing her best friend,” she said, pulling me into a warm embrace.

“Thanks Rose, I think this is exactly what I needed tonight.”

We settled in and dug into the ice cream right away, taking giant spoons and eating directly from the carton. Every couple of bites, Rose would have us switch cartons so we could experience both flavours.

“This is really, really good!” I moaned in-between bites.

Rose smiled, “Every woman needs to give into a Ben and Jerry indulgence every once and a while, and now seemed as good of a time as any.”

I nodded in agreement as I scooped a giant bite into my mouth, letting it melt and soothe its way down my throat. “So when is Alice showing up?” I asked, taking another bite.

“Um... she should be here soon. She said she was going to drop off Jasper at her house to hang out with the guys, before grabbing something and meeting us over here.”

“Oh, Okay.” I said, before letting a silence take over.

“You okay, Bella?” Rose asked, noticing my silence and I suppose my dreary expression as well.

I nodded quickly, “Yea, yea. I’m… fine. Just a little exhausted from everything I guess.”

“So you and Edward looked mighty cozy together...” she smirked, “is there something I should know?”

I let out a nervous laugh and ducked my head as I felt my traitor blush creep across my cheeks “I don't know. I think there’s definitely something... but I just don't know if my something’s the same as his something, and I don't want to risk everything over nothing... make sense?”

“Not really,” she laughed, trying to make sense of my gibberish. “But I guess you two will figure things out eventually.” She sighed, picking Riley up off the floor, laying him on her lap.

Just when I was about to respond, a knock on the door broke the conversation, successfully saving myself from an ultimately embarrassing conversation about my love life.

“Knock, Knock!” Alice sang, as she skipped into the living room, not bothering to wait for someone to answer the door. “Bella!” she exclaimed, tackling me in a hug as soon as she spotted me. “I missed you so much! Never leave us again!” she cried.

“Thanks, Alice” I replied, letting out a shaky breath, “I missed you guys too, it’s been an awfully long couple of weeks without you.”

“I know, but now that your back, everything’s going to be so much better.” She sang before snatching Riley off Rose’s lap and making herself comfortable on the other side of me. “Now I brought lots of Chinese, so let’s sit back and relax and gouge ourselves on food!”

We watched a couple of movies while pigging out until we were ready to burst.

I felt the tears spill over once again at her act of kindness. She tightened her arms around me and I nodded, not trusting my voice.

“You ready to go to bed?” Alice asked a few moments after the last movie finished.

“Yea,” I whispered leading the way up to my room.

“Thanks for coming over tonight, guys,” I whispered, laying down in my bed.

“That’s what best friends are for,” they whispered back with smiles.

*****

“Bella. Bella. BELLA!”

“What!” I hissed, trying to go back to sleep.

“Wake up, were going to go for a run.” Rose said as she continued to try to shake me awake.

“Are you serious?” I groaned, rolling over to face her, “why are you trying to kill me this early in the morning?”

“C’mon Bellaaaaa-” she whined. “Volleyball season starts after Christmas, and you promised back in September that you’d try out with me. We have to start getting in shape if we’re going to make the team.”

“But is it absolutely necessary to start right at this moment? If you hadn’t noticed I sort of have a lot on my plate right now...” I pouted.

“Yes! And you really need to start taking care of yourself, too! You’re going to be no good to Austin or anyone else if you’re sick.” She scolded.

“Fine!” I growled, rolling out of bed. “Wait! Why aren’t you making Alice run too? I'm sure she could use some physical activity.”

“Honestly Bella, do you really see Alice as a runner? Besides, she gets her physical activity from running around the malls. Which reminds me, here-” she said, handing me a shopping bag. “A new workout outfit courtesy of Alice.”

“Er, thanks...” I said, before sluggishly making my towards my bathroom to get changed.

*****

After our hour long excursion, Rosalie and I returned home to find Emmett’s and Edward’s cars parked in my driveway. I little warily, I entered the house to find Alice barking out orders as the guys were making a gigantic breakfast feast.

“What are you guys doing?” I asked astonished, as I walked in the kitchen to find mountains of food and the kitchen set all fancy.

“Well you’re always cooking for us love, so we thought we’d do something nice for you and cook you breakfast before you head back to the hospital to sit with your brother.” Edward said, as he came over and let me lean into him as he kissed my forehead.

My eyes filled with tears, I couldn’t fathom how I became so lucky to find friends like this, friends who would drop everything to help a friend in need. I wondered if they realized just how much their kindness means to me.

“So Rosalie’s running trip was just a distraction?” I asked, trying to distract myself from crying.

“Ah, no.” Rosalie said from behind me, “You really do need to start looking out for yourself.” She said, instantly bursting my bubble.

“Ugh!” I groaned into Edward’s shoulder, causing everyone to laugh.

“Hey Bella, can I talk to you for a sec?” Emmett asked, already pulling me out of the kitchen into the living room.

“Do I really have a choice?” I laughed.

“Here Bella” Emmett said, handing me a gift bag.

“What’s this?” I asked sceptically, eyeing the brightly coloured bag.

“I wanted to do something special for one of my favourite girls, so Rose took me shopping, but I picked it out all on my own.” He said with a proud grin.

I opened the bag apprehensively, fearful that something might jump out at me, but wad relieved to find a giant tan teddy bear. “It’s an Emmy-Bear,” Emmett said proudly, “It’s to keep you safe when I'm not around.”

I was overwhelmed by his kindness and sincerity. “It’s perfect.” I gasped, letting out tears as I embraced Emmett in a warm hug “Thank you Emmett.”

“It’s nothing much, really. It’s more of a token than anything else.” He sighed.

“Don't belittle your gift, Emmett,” I scolded, smacking him in the arm. “It’s one of the most sentimental gifts I’ve ever received.”

“Come on you two, breakfast is getting cold.” Jasper laughed from the kitchen.

Emmett threw me over his shoulder, causing me to shriek, and lead us to the kitchen, sitting me down in the seat beside him. Alice and the guys had done a great job at making breakfast. They made scrambled eggs, toast and bacon. It was nothing fancy; but at the same time, absolute perfection.

“I told you she’d love it, Em” Rose said, as she took the seat on the other side of him and leaned over and kissed his cheek.

“Oh, by the way Bella, while you and Rose were out running, a flower arrangement was dropped off.” Alice said as she hopped off Jasper’s lap and ran over to the counter.

“I put the flowers in your room, but here-” she said handing me a card, “this was the note that came with it.”

I took the letter from Alice and tore open the envelope to find a card with a short hand written message.

Bella, Stay strong

Take Care of Austin

Be Home Soon

- Jack