Bella is almost a year old vampire. As her birthday aproaches she decides that its time to test the waters of the human world. Its a little bit OOC. I thought her transistion went way too easy. No worries though. Its not a blood and guts story. We wont find Edward yanking her off some ten year old. I just thought that maybe it should be a little bit of work. This is a little longer than my usual one shots so I divided it into a couple of chapters. As anyone who reads my stuff knows (and thank you for all that have) it will be lemony.
3. The Drive
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1638 Review this Chapter
It was an unusually cloudless starry night as we pulled out of the driveway of the big house and headed off to god knows where. I didn’t bother asking about the weather. We wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t going to cloud over.
I told myself from the moment we got in the car that I would do nothing but focus on the day and how I would handle it. I kept the memory of Charlie’s scent in my head. I thought about the dry burning sensation. Try to desensitize myself before we came across any humans. But as the minutes ticked, I gazed upon my husband in a medium grey suit with a crisp white shirt and silk tie, becoming distracted. It would be hard for anyone not to lose focus staring at something so gorgeous. I began to think about the pleasure we would both have of me showing him just how good he looked in that suit. I shook my head to chase the images away. It would not allow myself to think about that today.
Dutiful, I moved back on to my game plan, but soon other distractions began to encroach as well. Where were we going? All they would tell me was that it was a bookstore. I was highly suspicious. Bookstores I went to while I was human didn’t require Edward wearing a suit or me a dress. I gritted my teeth, annoyed and distracted from what I was trying to concentrate on as I would catch Alice looking at what she could see of Edward in the rearview mirror in silent conversation as he drove down the highway. I knew she was giving him pictures of possible choices that might be happening today. He would make subtle movements in response. A quick nod or smile for yes or shake his head slightly or grimace for no. She just sat there quietly, occasionally stifling a giggle or a pout. Finally, I had enough.
“Doesn’t this irritate the hell out of you Jasper?”
Jasper didn’t need to ask what I was referring to. “It used to. I’ve learned to ignore them. Give it twenty or thirty years, you’ll get used to it.”
“That’s unlikely,” I grumbled.
Alice snuggled up closer to Jasper. Edward took his hand off mine, pulled me over and gave my hair a kiss. Damn it. They all might have hated my old Ford truck, but at least it didn’t have bucket seats.
The sun was just beginning to rise when we stopped for gas in Salem. It was still clear but the sun hadn’t quite climbed over the horizon. I stopped breathing when we got off the interstate and pulled into a convenience. “Fifteen minutes.” Alice called out to Edward as he got out, came around to my side of the car and began to fill the tank. I looked questioningly at her.
“That’s when sun will peak over those trees” she replied.
A truck pulled up to the other side of the pump. A middle age man got out and began to put gas in it. As I watched him, I decided. Now was as good of time as any to test my self control. He noticed I was looking at him and smiled. I did my best to smile back, not wanting to make him uncomfortable. He seemed nice enough. That this might be the last moments of this man’s life weighed heavily on me. I told myself it was safe. I kept reminding myself of all the reasons I was here. The fact that Charlie was becoming fairly easy to be around, the fact that I was almost a year old, the fact that I wanted to do this for Edward as much as for me. These things all solidified my determination to go forward.
“You’ll do fine.” Alice said it as if it was a statement of fact. I never even opened my mouth. They already knew what I was planning. I could feel the others tensing around me. Edward reading Alice’s visions and Jasper’s take on my mood.
As I rolled down my window, Edward and Jasper looked at me. Alice closed her eyes again. I concentrated on not doing anything stupid and took a deep breath. My throat burned and I winced at the pain. Edward let go of the nozzle and stood between me and the man.
“It’s not too bad. The gasoline smell helps.” I whispered and they all relaxed. Edward bent down and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead.
I was please with my first attempt but still unsure. I wanted another test, one that was away from the pumps.
“Anyone need a bathroom break?” Alice snickered, having already seen where I was planning to go. Jasper rolled her eyes at her. Her door opened before mine did and Jasper went to follow. Edward was still filling the car. He looked up with questioning anxious eyes.
“We don’t need any help” Alice chirped to the boys.
“But…” they both said at the same time.
“No buts about it.” she cut them off. “We two girls can make it in and out of a store without your assistance.”
Alice grabbed me by the hand and nearly dragged me in. Jasper got out anyhow, walked around and leaned against the car beside Edward. I looked back at my husband and smiled the same way as I did for the guy in the truck, hoping that it would calm him down. Alice insisting we could go alone was such a confidence booster. In spite of the fact that Edward would have seen Alice’s vision and its apparent positive outcome, he still looked like he was on the verge of a panic attack…he was such a worrier. She and I walked into to the little convenience store and began to peruse the aisles, pretending that we wanted something. It was early and only a couple tired looking customers were in the place. As I passed by one of them, I prepared myself and inhaled another big gulp of air.
This truly hurt. After Alice’s phone call in the woods, Edward had me take two more elk down before we headed home. I wasn’t thirsty, but still, the fire and desire to squelch it was there in full force. I grabbed a hold of Alice’s arm to steady myself
“There’s no need to take such a deep breath, Bella. Just breathe normally.” She whispered into my ear.
I took her advice and I tried to breathe even and regularly, noticing how hard that was when you were concentrating on the act. We walked around for a few more minutes, passing by a couple more customers that had entered the store. It wasn’t so bad. Breathing shallow helped, so did the familiarity of the scent. My confidence grew. It was nothing I couldn’t handle.
“Time to go.” Alice said cheerfully, grabbing a newspaper. Wanting to look like I had something to buy, I snatched bright pink pen with feathers coming out of the top, tossing it up on the counter with the paper. The sales clerk rang us out; oblivious to the fact that she had just encountered my official re-entry into the human world as a vampire.
I walked out of the store, satisfaction emanated from every pore. Edward was beaming. Unable to wait for me to get there, he pulled himself off the car where he had joined Jasper and jogged over to meet us, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. I presented him with the lurid pen.
“A gift for you. A symbol of my first foray into civilization.”
“If it’s from you I will treasure it always.” He said with his lips pressed against my forehead.
“Time’s a wasting you two.” Alice complained. Edward reached out to mess up her hair. She easily ducked around his hand.
We hopped back on the highway. The sun was out in full now, but you could see the clouds coming on the western horizon. It was completely overcast by time we needed to stop for gas again in Redding. I made another trip into the store with Edward this time. Alice pouted when he said it was his turn.
We had driven over eight hundred miles in less than eight hours. We would have gotten here faster, but Edward had to slow down a couple of times for speed traps. It was about one in the afternoon as we got off the exit for San Francisco.
San Francisco? This wasn’t at all what I had in mind. “Are we stopping for gas again?” I asked hopefully.
“Yes, among other things.” Alice replied cryptically.
“What things?” I gulped already starting to think about the millions of delicious smelling people that live in San Francisco.
“Don’t worry Bella,” she said trying to reassure me. “We are going to a special bookstore. They have rare first additions and books that have been out of print for years. It’s kinda off the beaten path so foot traffic will be relatively light.”
I grimaced. I was beginning to understand the reason for the fancy clothes. We weren’t headed to some big box store were you could grab a good paperback for under fifteen dollars. This was going to be expensive.
Edward glanced over at my face, misreading it as worried rather than grumpy. He lifted our entwined fingers off the gear shift and kissed my wrist.
“Alice already saw it. You’ll do fine.”
“But how much are these books going to cost?”
All three of them started to laugh at the same time.