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Sunset

Summary:
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.


Notes:
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.


25. Bella - Getting Spoiled

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I awoke to the feeling of nausea not long past, the thick woolly not quite working brain. I’d had a real doozy of a headache in the night. Damn, they were going to be more convinced than ever that I shouldn’t be returning to school at the start of the semester. “Here, drink this, sweetened warm milk” Edward handed me a mug. “Thanks, what time is it?” and I took the milk. I was about to ask how he was able to have it ready at exactly the right moment when I saw the flask. That man really did think of everything. “Just after five. Bathroom?” “Please.” And I was lifted and carried to Alice’s sumptuous bathroom. Unsurprisingly Carlisle was waiting when Edward deposited me back in bed. “Far away, Edward. I don’t want you listening to my thoughts on this, but I have no problems if Bella wants to tell you everything herself. But I want it to be her choice, understood?” Edward understood. He bent to kiss my forehead and said that he would see me soon. Carlisle had a look of intense concentration on his face – no doubt making sure his thoughts were so boring that they didn’t matter if Edward did read them. “He should be far enough away that he’ll only pick them up if he deliberately tunes in, which he won’t. Bella, I want to talk to you about your headaches.” That surprised me a little. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want Edward there if all he was talking about was my headaches. “When was the last time you had one?” “Errm, back in September I thought I was developing one, you came round that day, but it went away. Other than that I think it was when I was getting ready for the move to Carcrix.” “Well that just about confirms it. I think they’re caused by stress. The one in September went away because you had given yourself permission not to stress out about Edward. Tonight’s happened because you are stressed about going back to work. Why is it so important to you that you don’t have any sick days, Bella?” “I have been a qualified teacher for over five years, not counting this job, out of the five years I have worked no more than three. I filled temporary vacancies, covered for sick leave anything; and I went all over the country. But although I have never had a sick day, always had excellent references, I was never offered so much as an interview for a permanent teaching post. I think I was only offered this job because I was the only applicant and even now, I have a full year’s probation when one or two semesters is normal. I have to prove to the doubters, as well as myself, that a disability does not make me a less than valuable human being, that I am capable of contributing to the world and that it is possible to get over depression so all those judgemental jackasses should just go and take a hike.” “But everybody takes sick days, Bella. Many do it when they’re not sick.” “And Daria Gaines would use it as the perfect excuse to look for my replacement and to make sure the school never looked twice at any applicant with anything dodgy in their past, no matter how far in their past. For my own self respect, I have to give her no excuse. I will not miss any school unless there is absolutely no alternative.” “Okay, I understand, almost, and I am working on it. What I have come up with so far will require me to talk to the Principal to get his permission for one or two things, nothing that will affect how much or how you teach so don’t be alarmed. If I need to, may I tell the Principal that you had major surgery and that in order to make sure you are able to fulfil your teaching duties I require that .... yada, yada, yada?” I wasn’t too sure that I wanted to agree to the Principal even being aware that I’d had surgery, but if it was the only way Carlisle would agree to signing me back to work what choice did I have? “Only if you think it necessary.” “Good. Now I want you to tell me, in what circumstances will you ask Edward to leave you?” Ouch, now that was something I definitely didn’t want to get into. And besides, what business was it of Carlisle’s? I was about to take that stance when I saw the concern on his face. It was his business because he cared. “If I think I am being too much of a burden to him or it is only a guilty conscience keeping him with me.” “Anything else?” I shook my head. “And in what circumstances would you leave him?” I was a little confused as to the distinction. Then I got it. “If I feel I am in too much pain to keep on going day in day out.” “And what will you do if Edward chose to leave you?” Carlisle was asking some really nasty questions, but I totally understood why he wanted Edward away from me while we spoke of them. “The same as the other scenarios.” “Which is?” Damn, he wanted me to say it. “Put my affairs in order, say my goodbyes and kill myself.” “Then why do you need a job?” Now that, I was not expecting. It took me a few seconds to think about why I was so insistent that I keep my job. My head agreed with Carlisle, I did not need it. I had the money from the sale of Charlie’s house to see me through in the short term, and while I didn’t like people spending money on me, Edward had more than enough to support me, if I could bring myself to be totally financially dependent on my partner/mate. “I have to show them for the sake of my self respect that I am a worthwhile teacher. If, or when, I leave, it has to be my decision, not theirs. Nor could I see myself being financially dependent on Edward, not and still stay sane.” Once again Carlisle reacted in a way I was not expecting: he laughed. “You’re not. Now that you are officially Edward’s mate you are part of the family. Each quarter one eighth of the family income will be paid into your bank account. What you do with it after that is up to you. As Alice pointed out, in our world there is no such thing as divorce so you are stuck with us, and we you, so this arrangement will continue unless the family grows and the income is divided amongst more of us. Your income from your teaching is yours, just like my income from being a doctor is mine.” “What about my medical bills?” “While you are teaching at the school most of your medical costs are picked up by the State provided you’re treated at the County hospital so on those grounds I can see why it would be better to keep your job. But as I said before, I know who to approach and I could make sure that any bill you were actually presented with was well within your means if you didn’t have your job. Being Jamie Somers is a potential money saver if not spinner. And Bella, if you get your heart and lung transplant, there is no way you would be able to return to work for at least six weeks because for four of them you would need to be in hospital hooked up to so many machines you’ll lose count.” Carlisle had given me much to think about. So he wasn’t paying for all my medical fees, most of them were being paid by ... most of them. “Carlisle, you said most of my medical costs. Who is paying for the balance?” “I knew as soon as I said it that you would pick me up on it. I’m afraid I did. But if it makes you feel better, I won’t do it again and I will tell Esme to deduct the amount paid so far from next quarter’s money and give it to me.” I nodded my agreement to his suggestion. It was nearly six o’clock in the morning and I was having a deep and meaningful discussion and had just discovered that I was now well off if not rich. I knew tiredness and the remnants of the pain killer had dulled my senses but I had the feeling that I should be angrier at the way my financial concerns had been hi-jacked by this family. But it was nice to know that I was not being a financial drain on Carlisle and that I wouldn’t have to be in the future either. If Daria Gaines got to be a pain again, I could tell her what to do with her job, that actually might be quite fun. I would think about it all later, I was still very tired. “Come on love, it’s time to wake up. You need to eat and take lots of lovely tablets.” “Go ‘way” I mumbled. “I need sleep.” “No you don’t. You can have some of that later. Here, a cup of hot chocolate and a bowl of porridge are here for your consumption.” Edward was being annoyingly persistent, which meant that I probably did need to wake up. “Bathroom first” I said as I went to sit up. I should have known better and was swept up into his arms and carried to the en suite. I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked better than I thought I would given the rough night I’d had. Perhaps it was better for me to release the stress and worry. Husbands and wives supported each other all the time and there was no need for me to feel that I was being a parasite by letting Edward and his family support me. It’s not as if I would suddenly turn into a greedy bitch or they were going to miss it. It was also a relief for me to say out loud, make it official so to speak, that I was not going to leave Edward at the end of the school year, he wasn’t on trial anymore. I needed to tell him. I opened the bathroom door and Edward was immediately there to pick me up. “No, let me try to walk to the bed, please.” Edward nodded but stayed besides me in case I looked like I was going to stumble. But I made it. I sat on the bed with a huge grin of pride. “Well done. How are you feeling?” “Quite well actually. I’ll tell you all about it after breakfast. Well not all, because some of it is rather annoying and I’m cross that I didn’t think of it myself.” I could tell that Edward was relieved that I was going to tell him about my talk with Carlisle. “So what did you do while Carlisle was taking it upon himself to fill in for Charlie?” I asked as I was munching, if that was even the correct word, into my bowl of porridge. “Hmm, I wonder if I should tell you. You might be more than a little cross with me. But you might find out anyway so I may as well. I went to your old house to see if I could retrieve the stuff I hid under your floor boards. I couldn’t, your old room now has wall to wall carpet and there was no way I could lift up a couple of boards without someone noticing.” “But why? It’s not as if it is of any use. The ‘plane ticket would have expired years ago, I hated those photo’s of me and now have the real you so don’t need those ‘photos of you and you no doubt have a copy of the CD of your music.” “Because I loved those ‘photos of you. Why did you hate them?” “I hated to see how ordinary I looked next to you. I knew that by money, intellect, abilities and appearances you far outstripped me and everyone had to wonder what you saw in me, but for the most part I didn’t dwell on it. But seeing us together in those ‘photos really brought home to me how far out of my league you were. You don’t need to tell me how daft it was, it’s how they made me feel so when you said you wanted to leave me I was not surprised.” “Well, now I hate them too. You didn’t hate the pictures of us at the prom.” “Not all of them. I like that one of us dancing and we’re looking into each other’s eyes, and there were a couple of others that weren’t so bad but the one I gave you was my favourite.” Edward smiled “I like that one too.” All my food and medications were taken. Edward stripped off and got into bed with me. He turned me onto my right side so that my back was to him and he snuggled close, his cold chest cooling my bruised back and his arm my side and under my breast. “I know I can’t stay like this for too long, but it does feel good. Thank you” I sighed as I dosed off for a little longer. I woke again to the feel of his cold hands running down my leg – I needed to get them waxed again. That was one of the drawbacks of having a man in my life, I cared about making sure my legs were waxed. I would have to get Lizzie to do it since Alice wasn’t around. Soon I could feel his tongue on my knee. “As well as magic hands, you have a magic tongue” I whispered to him. “It’s such a shame they can’t show you exactly what they can do at the moment. Welcome back to the land of the awake. Are you ready for a snack? It is after ten.” “In a minute. Grief, I hadn’t realised I was that tired. Get back up here, I need to kiss you.” Edward’s tongue worked its way back up my body until it reached my mouth. A quick swipe and I was more than eager for his lips. It really was such a shame that we couldn’t do anything other than tease each other. He laughed when I said as much. “Just think of it as protracted foreplay!” “I think you should know that I love you, I won’t leave you or want you to leave me except in three circumstances. You’re not on probation, we will be together, but I still don’t know how I want us to live our life after the end of the school year.” I barely felt Edward’s sigh of relief. “Okay, but what are the three circumstances?” “If I think that you are only staying with me because of some misplaced guilty conscience; if I feel that I have become so much of a burden that I no longer want to live like that with you; or I feel that the pain I have to live in day in and day out becomes too much for me to bear.” I saw the way Edward looked at me. He knew what way out I planned to take. He was trying to think of a counter argument, but I knew he wouldn’t find one based on what I said because none of it was about how he felt about the situations, it was all about how I felt. “I understand. I don’t like what you just said, but I accept it. So this is what you and Carlisle talked about?” “Hmm. It was strange, but I had also talked about it with Lizzie when she came to stay, but I don’t think I was ready to accept it then. She said that it was my measurement as to how much pain I was in, but it should be your measurement as to how much of a burden to you I am. But I know you would never really tell me that I became too much of a burden for you. But it’s not how you would feel about it that I’m worried about, but how I would feel. I don’t mind being a temporary total burden but I don’t think I could take being one for too long.” “Okay, but just as long as you understand that my protective nature relishes looking after you. The more you need me, in some sick way, the happier I am.” I laughed at him, because it was sick in a way, but I did know what he meant and I also knew that the more independent I was able to be the happier he would be for me. We went downstairs only for me to realise that everyone bar Embry was missing. “Leah and Nahuel went to the reservation to talk to Jake and the Council” Embry said. “Oh, and what else have I missed while I was asleep?” “Esme and Tanya took Huilen hunting while Carlisle operated on Quil’s rib. You missed Quil, Claire, Jake and Lizzie being here. The Doc thought it best to do it while Huilen was out of the house and you were asleep so he didn’t need to try to get you out as well. Claire, I have to tell you, laughed uproariously when she heard that the smell of blood made you sick given how many operations you’ve had over the years. It actually didn’t take long. Jake only needed to donate half a pint this time and it was all over in about twenty minutes. They only left half an hour ago but Lizzie asked if you could call her.” “Where is Carlisle?” “He took Quil home and is talking to Claire and Jake about after care. He won’t be long. So Bells, how are you doing? It sounds like your surgery wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.” “It wasn’t, but I’ve had worse and my spine is straighter so other than the bruises and the soreness from the operation I actually already feel better for it.” “You do actually look like you’ve grown an inch or two and your lie in appears to have agreed with you.” I called Lizzie for a chat. I told her that my legs needed waxing and she offered to come over some time to do it when she could leave the kids with Billy. I suggested she bring them over, Embry and Edward could keep them entertained in the forest. I wasn’t sure how Jake would react to his children being in the care of a vampire, but he had to trust me and Embry enough to know that we wouldn’t let any harm come to them. Carlisle came back with Lizzie and Charley and Clint. Charley wanted to see my latest operation and was fascinated by the bruising and scar – the longest yet given how it twisted and turned. Clint declared that it was silly because there was no blood and it was only interesting if there was lots of blood. Embry and Edward did take the children out into the forest. Edward wasn’t sure it was a good idea but Embry persuaded him on the grounds that when you were with a couple of kids, it was the perfect excuse to act like a kid yourself. I don’t think that Edward had acted like a kid in over a hundred years so I guessed that he was going to struggle. “If Edward gets too stuffy, look at him with your big sad eyed look and let the tears flow. He’ll be putty in your hands after that” I told them quietly, knowing that Edward would hear. Carlisle took the opportunity to give me another check over, which only proved that I was fine and he carried me upstairs for Lizzie and me to have our girl time. “It’s a good job Jake isn’t here to hear me scream with you doing this or there would be hell to pay” I panted after Lizzie tore half my skin away, or at least it felt like that’s what she did. “You have surgeries that make this seem like a little tickle so stop complaining.” I knew there was a flaw in her argument somewhere but I couldn’t think what it was as she tore another strip away. But at least my legs were almost as smooth as a baby’s bottom by the time she had finished. “Are you and your monsters staying for lunch?” I asked wondering if I would prefer that they did or did not. “Yep, so I hope you have enough food in. They eat almost as much as Jake” and she went to the door to say “If anyone is there can you come and carry Moaning Myrtle downstairs please?” Carlisle was the only one in so he obliged again. Lizzie didn’t wait for anyone else to get back before she ransacked the kitchen to see what was available and started to amass ingredients to make omelettes, bacon and toast. She had the table laid for seven “In case Leah and Nahuel get back,” the bacon grilling away and the coffee percolating before I even thought to try to help. “My god! I’ve become spoilt! Totally and utterly spoilt! There is no reason why I can’t break the eggs into the bowl, but I was quite happy to sit there and let you do all the work. I am awful. Here, you must let me do that!” I really started to feel mean. Lizzie was a guest in my family home and I was letting her prepare the meal and lay the table. How could I have let myself get so spoilt as to allow that to happen? I was breaking eggs into a large mixing bowl when Edward and Embry returned with the children. They were all smiling so clearly no harm had been done to any of them. “Mom, Edward and Embry throwed us across the river and catched us!” Charley declared. “That’s nice” Lizzie responded placidly as if it was an everyday occurrence. “And we even did a high five once when we nearly met in the middle” Clint added. “We tried to do it again but we kept missing.” Without saying a word Edward walked up to me and just swept me into his arms and passed me off to Embry. “Put her somewhere safe will you?” and took over my role in the kitchen. “See? This is my problem. No wonder I’m getting so spoilt, I’m not allowed to do anything!” “Why should you when you have me to do it for you?” “Because I’m getting, no scrap that, I’ve gotten spoilt, that’s why” I wailed. “Mom says I’m getting spoilt” Charley said complacently. “Yes, but you have no excuse, you are fit and healthy” Lizzie said sternly. “I know, but I am beautiful with a gorgeous smile” Charley was even more complacent. “And Bella is also beautiful, inside as well as out, with a gorgeous smile so I’m afraid she’s still got you beat. Now the pair of you, go to the bathroom and get ready for lunch” Lizzie was stern. When they disappeared she added “And I’ve got to speak to Jake about the way he is ruining that girl. It won’t do as she gets older. She already uses the fact that she is the Chief’s daughter to her advantage. She is going to come a cropper one day.” A giant tomato omelette and piles of bacon with toast was placed on the table and while the five of us cleared the plates Edward was making a giant cheese omelette. I was no longer amazed at how much the pack could put away, but I was still shocked at how much Charley and Clint could eat. They each easily ate more than Lizzie and me put together! Jake arrived with Leah and Nahuel. “Have you eaten?” Edward asked them cordially. “Erm, no, but you ...” “I’ll just put on another omelette and some more bacon and toast. Sit at the table. Bella, I’ll allow you to get an extra set of silver ware out for Jake.” I grumbled as I did as Edward suggested. Fancy being ‘allowed’ to take out one knife and one fork and carry them all of five feet to the table. “Daddy, Edward and Embry throwed me and Clint across the river and catched us. It was like flying! And Aunt Isabelle says she’s getting spoilt like me coz Edward does everything for her and she’s not allowed to do anything ‘cept carry the knives and forks!” I could see that Jake wasn’t happy with Charley’s artless prattling. Embry and Edward were going to get an earful when Lizzie had taken the children home. And, judging by the look that Jake directed at his wife, he was planning on giving Lizzie an earful too. I just hoped he thought better of it by the time he got home or he would surely regret it. “I don’t think you’re spoilt, I think you’re just perfect” Jake said in loving tones to his daughter while Clint looked at Jake with tremendous hurt in his eyes which naturally Jake didn’t see because he only had eyes for his daughter. “You threw my daughter across the river! That precious little girl who could have been seriously hurt, you threw her across the river!” Jake was furious, but the good news as that he had learned to control his anger. “Jake, if you don’t stop and listen to yourself you’re going to end up losing your son” I began to tell him. “Didn’t you hear Charley say that both she and Clint were thrown or don’t you care what happens to him? You make your preference for Charley so blatant that he is dreadfully hurt by it and you just don’t seem to care about him except as a potential member of the pack. Frankly, you don’t deserve such a wonderful little boy. And if you think that Lizzie would let anything happen to either of her two precious children you don’t deserve such a wonderful wife, nor do you deserve a brother like Embry if you think he would let anything happen to them. They were both perfectly safe so put a sock in it and go and let your son know you love him and stop spoiling Charley before she turns into a horrible little madam.” Jake looked at me as if he couldn’t believe that I would say such things to him. It didn’t help that the other times I had tried I had been a timid little mouse but at least I could quote some examples if he dared to try to suggest that I had never said anything before. “If you really believed that why have you never said anything about it before now? It’s because it was your precious Edward involved isn’t it? That bloodsucker can do no wrong in your eyes can he so you’re just trying to deflect, I know.” “Can you remember what I told you about Clint in July? I said that he knows you love Charley more than him and he doesn’t understand why. You tried to brush me off, but you know I said it. I pointed out ages ago that it wasn’t fair to either Lizzie, Clint or even Charley in the long run that whenever Lizzie says ‘no’ to Charley you give it to her. So don’t you dare try to turn this on Edward or me. Go with Lizzie to one of the parent teacher meetings about Charley and find out what she’s like at school. I tell you Jake, you had better open your eyes to what you’re doing to your family because I would hate to see it irrevocably damaged.” Jake looked at me like I had kicked him in the teeth. I should have done it sooner. Jake looked at Embry, inviting him to say it must be hormones or something affecting me. Embry said nothing, just gave one emphatic nod of his head. Edward didn’t warrant so much as a glance. Jake just stormed out and I hoped he calmed down before he got home. “We all should have tried to say something sooner Bells. We could all see it, but we thought we were just being harsh and assumed she would grow out of it. We didn’t think about the effect on Clint. Sorry that we let it get to the point that you had to antagonise him.” I told Embry not to worry about it. There was nothing we could really do except still be there for all of them as friends and family. Leah and Nahuel were looking at us as if we were mad since they had missed the look Jake directed at us at Charley’s prattling. “So, what have you two been up to today?” I changed the subject. “We needed to talk to Jake and the Council about our long term plans” Leah said. “Nahuel and I will probably go with Embry and Tanya to Denali for a while with Huilen, but we want to make our home near to the reservation for the medium term. Carlisle said that there was a small cottage on the land in need of restoration, but we could live in that if we wanted since it is almost half way between the main house and La Push. Esme already had plans prepared since she was planning on doing it up when you all left in a hurry.” I thought it would be nice to see a restoration project from the start. Given that Leah would not want vast sums of money spent on her home (especially if the donors of the vast sums were vampires) I expected that everyone would be carolled into helping with the crafting. That is everyone but me since I was a danger to everyone within a ten mile radius when tools, even tools as small as sewing needles, were placed in my hands. Although I could knit, slowly, and it was good therapy for my hand; so I would knit some cushion covers! Esme, Huilen and Tanya didn’t return until early morning. Even before I called it a night Embry started looking outside waiting for Tanya. It didn’t matter how many times he was told not to expect her before five, it didn’t stop him waiting for her. I settled to sleep with Edward keeping me calm, cool and happy. It wasn’t until I was about to dose off that I suddenly remembered the presents Carlisle said that he had got me. I was a little miffed that he chose not to give them to me but didn’t doubt for a second that there was a good reason. Well actually there wasn’t. The first thing I did when I got up was to ask Carlisle why I was presentless and his reply was a total shock. “Actually, I forgot!” Everyone looked at him in surprise. A vampire forgot something! No one had ever heard of such a thing happening before. “It must be all the extra work you’re putting me to that’s making me have to put certain things aside while I concentrate. I suppose I should thank you, Bella, for giving me this new experience, but somehow I can’t quite bring myself to feel grateful to you!” I wasn’t the only one who laughed at Carlisle’s baffled tone. But he did go and get my gifts. “As promised, a new back support. This should make life a lot more comfortable for you, plus a few extra tops so that you can vary your wardrobe a little. I don’t know if you’ll like any of them, I just took what the company rep gave me.” I looked at the six tops that came with my new support. Two I liked, one was alright and the other three would only be worn if I was desperate. I put on one of the tops straight away with the new support and I could feel the difference immediately. My back felt so much better. My second gift was a step. A very low step that was made with two pieces of wood that had a lever so that the gap between them could grow and the step become higher. “I thought it was time we started getting you to take steps without having to use rails with both hands and being in pain. It is a long term project with Edward in charge of progress so do not hassle him. It will not be quick but there should be progress over each couple of months. Note Bella, measurable progress over months, not days or even weeks, months.” The step was placed on the floor. It was so low I didn’t think that it really qualified to be called a step. Edward and I stood facing each other with the step between us. Holding both my hands, but only so that if I stumbled he could support me, Edward told me to lead with my right foot and step onto the step keeping my back and shoulders as straight as possible. I was surprised at how much it hurt. Then, leading with my right foot again Edward told me to step down, going forward. That hurt even more. The sadist then told me to step back up the step, once again leading with my right foot, and then to step down backwards. I was no longer surprised at the pain. He had me do that five times and then repeat it leading with my left foot. I was panting with the effort to hold in the pain by the end of it. I was once again swept up into Edward’s arms and carried straight through to the Jacuzzi. This time, bearing in mind that I was wearing a custom made top, Edward took care when removing my clothes before placing me in the water. “That bloody hurt! How the hell can it hurt so much when it was barely two inches high?” “Because most of the work was being done by your legs and not your arms. Do you want to persist with this? You don’t have to you know. I don’t mind carrying you everywhere.” “I know, but I don’t like the idea that we will be limited to where we live, what we do because of how I would cope while you’re out hunting or whatever.” “Good point. Okay, we persist with the slow job of getting you to be able to walk up and down a small flight of stairs pain, if not discomfort, free.” It was a sensible target. I would never be able to do stairs totally without discomfort. I doubted that I would ever be able to walk across a flat stable surface without a degree of discomfort. When I returned to join the others Leah was looking at me with more respect than her want. How could the fact that she saw me sweating and panting after stepping up and down something that was only a couple of inches high induce respect? I didn’t get it, but then I never got most things that people thought. “Why are you in so much pain?” Nahuel asked, not wishing to be rude, just seeking information. “Because every muscle on my left hand side suffered greatly when the bits of my shattered bones had to be picked out of them, and that includes my spine. There was also damage to the muscles on my right side, but not to the same extent.” I tried to reply matter of factly, without emotion to cloud the issue. I think it helped other people if I could do that, they felt able to talk about it and not consider it to be the elephant in the room. “Oh. Are you going to get better?” That, I thought, was a very good question. “I will improve, but I will never be completely better. There was too much damage. But if I were to have a new heart and lung I would be able to keep trying for longer which would speed up my improvements and Edward is helping me enormously.” “Why do you need a new heart and lung?” “They were both damaged, my left lung so bad that the doctors had to remove it.” My answers seemed to satisfy Nahuel. I wondered if he would think about what I said and come up with some new questions for me later. “Nahuel, are you going to become an American citizen? Do you have a passport?” I thought it was time I asked some questions of my own. “I do not know. I think I must since I am staying with Leah. But how can I get a passport? Will Huilen need one too?” “This is where Edward and Jasper come in handy. You and Huilen decide what details you want on your passport, Leah can help you with the sort of information you need, and give it to Edward to sort out for you. When he has done all his stuff, you can apply for a passport. Flying to places is easier than running if it’s over a long distance.” I was actually quite pleased with myself for thinking of the necessity. Edward said that Alice, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie would all turn up on the thirtieth and would each put in a day or two’s worth of work on the cottage for Leah and Nahuel. Rosalie, of course, wasn’t happy about it, but the others were glad to do something to help Nahuel if not Leah. Even though Edward didn’t say, I got the impression that Esme would be very glad to have her family about her again. I dreaded to think what they would make of the fact that they had all lost their rooms, even though it was only temporary and they didn’t sleep anyway. I hadn’t heard from Jake or Lizzie since the previous day. I decided that enough was enough and called Lizzie. Her face looked awful. “What the hell happened to you?” I almost shouted. “Jake didn’t like your home truths, and when he tackled me about them he liked mine even less. He threw a chair not realising that Clint was there and I had step in front of it to protect Clint.” “I’m sorry Lizzie. Why didn’t you call me? Where’s Jake now?” “It’s not your fault. Because I didn’t know what to say and I don’t know. He switched his ‘phone off. Quil said that he’s not a wolf so he doesn’t know where he is. I have to admit, I’m worried.” “Right, does Edward have your permission to come onto the reservation if he comes with me?” “You don’t need to come here. I’m okay.” “I’m coming. Can Edward come too?” “Yes, of course.” When I had finished my ‘phone conversation I called Edward, Embry and Tanya. I told them that Jake had gone missing as a man and that the vampires needed to follow his scent - vampire senses being even better than the wolf’s. Embry should accompany them because Jake would need his brother.