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Twelve years ago Edward left Bella thinking she would be safe and happy away from the dangers of his world. She wasn't. How can he make it up to her?
Each chapter written from a different POV with some overlap as the same incident is seen from a different perspective. Some new characters of my own imagination.
You know, all the recognisable characters are not mine. They belong to Stephanie Meyer and I hope I've used them in the spirit in which she created them.
17. Bella - Moving In
Word Count 4037
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“You did what?!” I couldn’t believe what I heard. “No way! Oh my gosh!” and although it was mean, and potentially dangerous for me, I laughed.
Embry just waited patiently while I got over my hysterics. It wasn’t long before I had to stop – I was in severe pain.
“As you can imagine it’s caused a big stir with the tribe. It was bad enough that they had to tolerate the Cullens moving into the area, now a vampire can roam the reservation at will. Tanya is protected.” Embry sounded like he also saw the funny side of the situation.
“Does she know that she must never bite you?”
“Yes, just as I can never bite her. It’s been quite an interesting couple of days I can tell you.”
“How did she react when she found out?” I didn’t know whether I wanted her to have been pissed, or equally besotted.
“She wasn’t happy, especially when I told her that the only way she was going to keep me away from her was to kill me. Irina said that she was sure the others would help on that front. I knew I would win when Tanya said that she didn’t want that because she always preferred her men to be warm and soft, but humans just don’t have the staying power she requires in a mate!”
“So, have you consummated the relationship yet?” Yes, I knew that was an incredibly nosy and personal question to ask but since everyone seemed to know the details of my sex life I thought there should be no reason for me to know theirs.
“You tell me about your sex life Bells and I’ll tell you about mine.”
I did wonder if he thought I didn’t have one, so I decided to shock him. I told him a little about what Edward could do. He was shocked. “Now you tell me about yours” I demanded.
“Well! I wish I had kept my mouth shut. That was definitely more information than I needed to know and you do realise that the next time I phase the pack is going to know too?”
“Damn! I had forgotten about that. Why didn’t you remind me earlier? It’s a good job I’ve kept some of the details back but try not to think about it. So fair’s fair. It’s your turn.”
“Yes we have consummated the relationship. It’s every man’s fantasy to have a passionate woman who can keep going all night. The problems come when I need to sleep.”
I laughed again. “No doubt she’ll ask Edward what he does when I sleep. Now tell me about Quil. How is he?”
“The Doc could only get one pint of blood from Jake at a time to transfuse so he had to administer a beta blocker to slow Quil’s heart right down. That, and the fact that he had no anaesthesiologist to help, meant that it had to be a local. Claire was not impressed at the time. The Doc had to call on Tanya to hold the clamp with the rib that was pressing on his heart as still as possible while she held her breath and looked at the ceiling, Claire to hold the skin retractor, me to operate the suction and Lizzie to keep a check on Jake and Irina. Tanya could leave once that rib had been sawn off. The Doc then reshaped the other ribs so that they’re a bit wavy now rather than break and reset them. I tell you, you went right up in Claire’s estimation when she heard that was how you had all your surgeries. Once Quil was sewn up again, the Doc did a blood test on Jake and decided that he could take another half pint and said that with the blood in the suction that could be recycled there would be enough for him to do the arm, but he was warned that it would be painful, even with the use of a local. Quil’s arm was broken and the trapped nerve released. There was some permanent damage, so he can still not do the fine motor skills, but he has full gross motor function which is an improvement on what we thought would happen and physiotherapy might help in the long term. At least he can run. Claire has decided she is going to be a doctor now so that if it happens again we won’t need to wait until Carlisle can get to us.”
“That’s great Embry. I’m really glad that Quil’s going to be fine. Is Tanya here with you?”
“No, she’s at Denali telling the rest of her family. She’s coming up at the weekend and then we’re going back there. We haven’t decided anything after that yet. Carlisle suggested that we could have the Cullen house at Forks if we wanted, but we said we would wait to hear what the Council had to say about that.”
“So if you have to wait until the weekend to see Tanya, what are you doing until then?”
“Don’t know exactly, just that it will involve hanging around with vampires of all things. Anyways, now that we’ve had our little talk, and apparently you’re not to mention it to anyone else until Tanya tells the others herself at the weekend, Doc wants to have a look over you, check your shoulder and see how your rib cage is holding out. So come on, let’s pick up the keys to your apartment so you can introduce me to your old downstairs neighbour.”
It was very strange being in the know about something when others didn’t. Edward, Carlisle and I could share the joke while Alice and Esme were left out. Usually I was the last to know something. But I thought Lizzie was right, Embry and Tanya’s imprinting definitely suggested there was more to the imprinting malarkey than had previously been thought. There was no way their union could strengthen the pack gene pool. But as I thought about it, Seth Clearwater and Angela were not going to strengthen it either: they were going to add wisdom, compassion and diplomacy. Perhaps the long term purpose of the pack was evolving.
Carlisle checked me out and decided I was healing nicely. He complimented Edward on his realignment of my shoulder and warned me that it could happen at any time until I had my operation in December.
“I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to break something when Embry told me” I said. “It is just so funny. I wish I had seen Jake’s face when he realised.”
“And you didn’t get to see Tanya’s face when she heard about it” Carlisle chuckled. “At first she thought he was winding her up, then they spent the night together. I don’t know who looked the most love struck the next morning! I had to warn Jacob that I didn’t trust Irina, though. It would be madness if she were to attack again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. At least Embry is safe, Irina will not physically hurt Tanya’s mate.”
Thursday and Friday at school went very much as I expected. Embry came to carry me to Alice’s car on both afternoons.
“The Doc said you should be up to walking next week” Embry told me quite cheerfully making sure he was loud enough for others to hear. He thought it was highly amusing that I had no reputation left and was quite happy to feature as my latest conquest.
Friday afternoon, shortly after Alice and I got back to the house, Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie and Tanya arrived.
There was no need for a big announcement. Tanya saw Embry and asked him to take her back to where he was staying and they left, holding hands. The message was clear. Even Emmett understood what it meant. The looks on their faces was hilarious.
Rosalie was the first to find her voice. “This is beyond ridiculous! Edward and Bella is bad enough, but Tanya and a dog!”
“As bad as Emmett and a bitch?” I asked mildly, incensed on my friends’ behalf. How dare she be so derogatory over the pack when the pack had been nothing but kind and welcoming to me?
It took me a second to realise that everyone was looking at me with a mixture of shock and awe – except for Rosalie who looked outraged.
Alice burst into laughter. “Oh Bella, who knew the mouse could roar so much? First Carlisle, then Jasper, and now Rosalie. When are you going to tell a few home truths to the rest of us? Rose, Bella’s right, stop being nasty. We all love who we love. Admittedly Embry wouldn’t have been my first choice for Tanya, but he wouldn’t be my last either and as long as he makes Tanya happy, they should go for it, I say.”
“Jacob was not pleased either. Tanya has the freedom of the reservation and is untouchable unless she harms another pack member’s mate. Luckily both Embry and Tanya think it best that they not make their home there, but have not decided what they should do. No doubt they’ll get around to discussing it at some point.” Carlisle was still amused by the unlikely pairing.
The next big event for the weekend was Edward and I moving into our house.
My clothes and school things were all packed in about three minutes. I just watched the whirling dervishes do all the work. I wasn’t even allowed to pack my toilet bag!
Alice and Jasper emerged from their room just in time to wave us off.
Edward and I travelled in one car, Esme and Carlisle in another. Edward parked his car in a purpose built garage behind the main car port so that it was out of sight. I hadn’t thought of that, and was grateful for his discretion. Edward came round and lifted me from my seat then carried me to the front door. There waiting for us were Carlisle and Esme with Scoot.
“Thresholds are, I believe, part of my job description” Edward said as he opened the door. “Welcome to your new home, love.”
I couldn’t work out what, but there was something different about the house compared to Wednesday. I avoided looking at the piano as I tried to work it out. I had to ask for help.
“Flowers, a painting, your stuff. It’s home now rather than a potential home” Edward clarified for me. And I could see that he was right.
“I love it, love it, love it. Thank you so much Esme. I know you put so much work into it.”
“Well I had help from Edward and Embry to finish it off” she demurred modestly.
“Embry? You let Embry loose with tools? Please tell me he was closely supervised.”
They all laughed at my panic. But they hadn’t seen the damage Embry could do when left unsupervised with tools. He was a bigger menace than I was!
“No he did mainly digging. We want to have a conservatory come greenhouse attached at the back for next summer so you can grow your own fruit and salads. As we find more glass panels we’ll build more” Esme reassured me.
I thought it was a lovely idea for me to be able to grow some of my own food.
The kitchen was complete with the appliances. I was very pleasantly surprised. I had thought that Edward would go overboard and buy top of the range stuff, but he hadn’t. I expect he took into account the limited use we would get out of them and was a bit more sensible than usual when it came to spending money.
The bed, however, was sensational. Although he had built the frame, the mattress was one of those that bent to support the back or raise the feet. The right side, the one closest to the door and the side I always slept in when we shared a bed had a new heat and massage pad, better than my old one “That way your other one is ready to be taken anywhere” he said when I queried the need for a new one.
But the best of all was the bathroom. There Edward did get everything top of the range and I didn’t have the heart to complain given how everything else was what I would have wanted. There was a steam cubicle combined with an ice chamber with multi use programming, a huge power shower with three jets that could be used in any combination and a Jacuzzi most decidedly designed for two. Next to each appliance was a heated towel rail loaded with fresh fluffy, huge towels. It also had the boring, but necessary, sink and commode stuff. With strategic but decorative handrails dotted all over the place, the bathroom had most certainly been designed with all my possible needs in mind.
How could anyone doubt that I was at the centre of the thoughts of the person who put this house together? Everything about it was for me, designed by someone who knew me as well as I knew myself. I started to cry.
“This is our cue to leave” Esme said thinking they were tears of joy. She kissed me on the cheek and gave me a quick hug.
But Edward knew better.
“What is it, love? Please tell me what’s wrong. I’ll fix it, I promise” he said once we were alone.
“You are a big jerk! How could you know me well enough to put this house together so perfectly, yet not know me well enough to know I would not be able to survive without you?”
The stone arms wrapped around me as he murmured words of apology trying to offer comfort. When I had calmed down a little he said “Twelve years ago I was a big jerk, love. I am learning. I know we can never get back the years we lost because of my jerkiness, but I hope that we have enough years together in the future that those lost years become a matter of sadness rather than this intense grief.”
How could I argue with that? I did grieve for the lost years. The twelve years in which I aged more than twice that. But did that excuse me throwing away the next twelve?
“Come on love, Carlisle said you are perfectly fit to resume normal duties, as long as you take reasonable care. I take that to mean that you are also perfectly fit for me to resume some of my duties, as long as I take reasonable care that is” and Edward lifted me up and carried me to our new bed.
For the first time Edward and I made love fully, together. And for the first time since we met up again I told him that I love him. “That does not mean I forgive you for being such a jerk, or that I trust you not to leave me again” I added belligerently.
“I know love, just give me the next twenty years and I’ll do my very best to make up for the past twelve, and then if you still don’t forgive me or trust me I’ll do whatever penance you decide is appropriate.”
Edward had just laid me in the Jacuzzi when my ‘phone rang.
“Can you answer that for me, please? It’s Jake. Tell him I’ve died and gone to heaven” I said as I wallowed in the hot, fragrant bubbles.
“Hello, Jacob. Bella asked me to tell you that she’s died and gone to ... it’s a joke Jacob. She’s relaxing in the Jacuzzi. Hold on a moment, I’ll take you to her.” Edward entered the bathroom. “Jacob didn’t think much of the joke about you dying. Here, dry your hand” and he passed a small towel to me.
“Not funny Bells, not funny at all” was Jake’s opening sentence. “What on earth are you doing in the Jacuzzi at this time of day, and why is he wandering around with no shirt on?”
“We’ve just moved into our new house, christened the brand new bed and were both about to get into the Jacuzzi and maybe, if we had remained uninterrupted, we might have christened this too. Just be grateful that you couldn’t tell that he has no pants on as well as no shirt.”
“Ha, ha Bells, very funny. Your sense of humour really needs some work. As if you and the bloodsucker could have sex.”
“Why is it that people think they have the right to comment on my sex life? I’m living with a guy, Jake, of course we’re having sex. Remember when you and I lived together? No different.”
I could see that Jake was shaking. I hadn’t seen him look like he was about to lose control in years but he looked like he might then.
“Now calm down Jake and tell me why you rang” I said authoritatively hoping that my best school teacher voice would work over the ‘phone.
“Tell me you’re kidding Bells. You and the bloodsucker? For crying out loud, Bells, he could kill you. He’s probably at least busted you up but you just don’t know it yet. Call that Doc and get him to look at you, please Bells, you might be going into shock!”
“Jacob Black, you listen to me. Edward has never hurt me as a result of our intimacy, never. The furniture does not always fare as well, but I am in the best of health, for me. So get your nose out of my business and tell me why you called.”
I was starting to get angry. Why did everyone seem to assume that Edward would physically hurt me? He never had, even when he had ample reason and opportunity to do so. I had always known that he never would, never could.
I could see that Jake was making an effort to get himself under control again. I was sure I would soon get a call from Lizzie to ‘talk some sense’ into me.
“It’s the bloodsucker Irina. She’s back. She hasn’t attacked yet. But if she does, we’re not going easy on her again. Who’s the best person for me to talk to about her?”
I looked to Edward to answer the question. He mouthed ‘Tanya’.
“Speak to Tanya. Embry is probably with her, try his number. And tell Lizzie she’s gotta get a load of this bathroom. ‘Bye Jake.” I hung up without giving him the chance to respond.
Edward took the ‘phone smirking as he went to put it down.
“So we might have christened the Jacuzzi as well as the bed, huh?”
“Admittedly that might require a bit more planning, but I’m not ruling it out. Do you object?”
“If you had asked a few days ago I would most certainly have done so. Now, I have to say that I’m intrigued and wonder what sort of planning you might have in mind” he added with a smile.
“When I’m not too busy soaking and feeling totally soporific I’ll put my mind to it” I said as I closed my eyes and relaxed back into the tub.
I really should have known that I would not be allowed to go to school the next day as if it were a normal day. There was a present waiting for me. It was a very practical present, but still one that had cost money.
This is to make sure that you don’t pull any muscles unnecessarily.
He had written on a note left on the bag that now housed all my school paraphernalia. It was on wheels! And what was worse, he had got rid of my other school bag and was gone for the day. I didn’t see any way around it, I had to accept the gift.
I wasn’t going to let him get away with it though. I had to plan a sneak attack.
I returned home before Edward. I only had to travel through the town, he had to travel from Anchorage where he was doing his course in physiotherapy.
I didn’t want to touch his piano, but I couldn’t think of anything else that would grab his attention to the same extent. I gingerly opened the lid and saw what I was looking for. I altered about twenty random strings just slightly. I doubt that I would have noticed the difference, but I was positive that Edward would.
I dropped a note inside the piano:
Don’t steal my property!
He never commented on the fact that I had detuned his piano, but when he woke me up on Tuesday morning, he made a point of telling me that he had had a very frustrating and boring night. I was well pleased.
Three days later we got the news that Irina had attacked the pack, going for Quil, the known weak link, again. This time they took her legs and burnt them. Irina begged pack to put the rest of her on the fire as well. Jake asked Tanya what she wanted them to do. Tanya agreed that Irina should be killed as per her wish. She thanked the pack for trying to save her sister.
Tanya and Embry went to Forks to collect Irina’s ashes and returned them to Denali for scattering over their land.
Tanya, Kate, Carmen and Eleazar were naturally upset, but they had known it was going to happen. Irina had said that she was going to get one of the wolves if it was the last thing she did. Nothing any of the others had said was able to dissuade her. Even Embry had tried to tell her that it would be her end. He had found out and told her all about Laurent’s victims, the hikers that they knew that he had murdered, but Irina still insisted that Laurent should not have been killed. She would not even consider that the pack were duty bound to protect me. All that time and effort by Carlisle to put her back together was for nothing. At least Jake knew that he had given her the opportunity to live and had not taken her life for no good reason.
And, surprisingly, it brought the others closer to Embry.
“Have you christened the Jacuzzi yet?” Lizzie asked as soon as I answered the ‘phone.
“Jeez, what is it about my sex life that makes it so interesting to everyone else?”
“The fact that you have one when everyone assumed that would be the last thing you would do. So have you?”
“Not quite all the way. Still one or two details of logistics to work out since we don’t want him to gauge big holes into the tub. But we’re having fun in the meantime. So tell me about your sex life. What have you and Jake been up to that I could either copy or envy?”
“From what Jake tells me about yours, nothing. Trust me, two children and a father in law all within ear shot do not make for an exciting sex life.”
I began to pity Lizzie; then I remembered the vampires. “And just imagine what it’s like in a house full of vampires. Their hearing is excellent compared to the two children and the father in law. Not to mention the fact that they all try to cosset me to the extent that three of them came into our room to have a go at Edward for the fact that we have a sex life!”
“Good job you’ve got your own home then isn’t it. Speaking of which, when can I come up to see it? Will the weekend after next be okay?”
I didn’t really have to think about it. Our diary for the weekends was completely free. I knew Lizzie really wanted to come and give Edward the once over, form her own opinion about him. I wondered what Edward would make of Lizzie. Unlike the rest of us, he would be able to read her mind and know what she was thinking. I couldn’t wait.