COMPLETE chapter 5! Enjoy! ^_^
Chapter 5: Switzerland
Bella seemed distracted as she drove back towards Forks, no doubt lost in thought about that mutt. She didn’t notice at first when my silver Volvo pulled up inches behind her bumper, but eventually she glanced in her review mirror, and her heart soared. She knew Alice had called, and she knew I was probably angry. I assumed that when she saw I was behind her, she would pull over, but she continued driving, purposefully averting her eyes from my stare in her mirror. She obviously wasn’t ready to face me yet, which was just as well as I had yet to get my emotions completely under control.
I followed her closely all the way into Forks, staring at her through her mirror the entire journey, willing her to meet my gaze. She never did. Eventually she slowed, and pulled up against the curb outside of the Weber’s home. Apparently today was the day she was going to help Angela with her graduation announcements, and I knew she would be grateful to grasp at anything that would buy her more time before having to talk to me. I sighed, and continued driving past her, deciding that now was not the time or place, and I’d be better off waiting for her at her house. She didn’t look up as I passed.
I figured I had at least a few hours before Bella would gather enough courage to go back to Charlie’s, so I decided to go to my own home. I had only intended to park the Volvo and quickly change clothes, as I was still dressed in what I had hunted in earlier, but of course Alice’s thoughts assaulted me the second I stepped out of the car.
Edward’s here, finally! I’ve been dying for details. “Hey, Edward.” Her tone was much calmer then her thoughts conveyed
“Alice,” I replied simply, turning to walk up the stairs to my bedroom.
What?! You can’t just leave me like that, Edward. I’ve been worried too, you know.
I sighed, turning around resignedly. “What is it that you want to know, Alice? By now you can see Bella at Angela Weber’s house, and you know I haven’t had a chance to talk to her yet. I have no details to give, and you’ll know what happens when we finally do get a chance to talk before I do, I’m sure.”
“I just wanted to know why it is that you haven’t spoken to her yet. I figured you’d all but pounce on her the second she crossed the boundary line.”
“I decided that it would be in everybody’s best interest if I got my emotions in control before speaking to Bella,” I explained. “Besides, if she isn’t ready to speak to me, I won’t force her to yet.”
Do you want me to get Jasper? He could probably help you calm down…
“No, Alice. This is one of those times when manipulated emotions would probably do more harm than good. Besides, I’m feeling much calmer now that I know she’s safe.”
“Well, good luck with the talk. And don’t be too hard on her, Edward. She really doesn’t comprehend the danger, it’s not her fault.” With that she danced over and lightly kissed my cheek. “Don’t worry, everything will go well. I just know it.” She gave me a slight wink and danced out the door, presumably off to find Jasper.
I turned back around and headed back to my room. I quickly changed and ran back down the stairs to the door, ready to run to Bella’s house. Before I could open the door, Emmett’s thoughts were calling to me from in front of the television.
Where’s the fire, Edward?
I sighed again, another distraction when I just wanted to get out of here. “I’m headed over to Bella’s house, Emmett, and I’m in a bit of a hurry, so…”
Sorry, brother. Alice said you didn’t get a chance to talk to Bella yet. I won’t keep you; I just wanted you to know that Jasper, Carlisle, and I are planning another hunt for this weekend. We’re leaving Friday. Northern California, that place you love with all the mountain lions.
“I don’t know, Emmett. After this last time, maybe I should skip the hunting trips for a while.” I really didn’t think my nerves could handle another day like today for at least a couple hundred years.
Come on, Edward, you have to hunt. You can’t tell me that you aren’t still thirsty, and the blood you had today won’t last you long. It’ll be okay; we can just kidnap Bella and lock her in the basement or something.
I scoffed at his attempt at humor. ”I’ll think about it, okay Emmett? I really have to go though.” I quickly left the house, cutting off any further discussion on the matter.
It took less than five minutes to run from my house to Charlie’s, and I was surprised that he was home when I arrived. Tuning into his thoughts, I found him engrossed in a game on television, as usual. I swiftly jumped into the tree directly outside the window of Bella’s room and slid the window open, letting myself slip inside noiselessly. Bella’s scent radiated off of everything in the room, and seemed significantly stronger now that I had been away from her for a small amount of time. Although now all that scent triggered in me was love, not the overpowering urge to drink from her that had almost overtaken me when we had first met.
I looked around at the slightly untidy room that was so very Bella. The unmade bed, papers strewn across her desk, clothes carelessly tossed over the back of the chair. All of it gave off her extraordinary scent, the very essence of my love, and taking it in at that moment, I could almost forget about all my worries and anger. Almost. The shadow of what had happened today hung over my head like a raincloud, not letting me revel long in my fleeting feelings of happiness. I sighed and crossed the room, and lay across Bella’s bed. I closed my eyes, wishing that sleep could overtake me, let me dream, but it was impossible. I looked at my watch. It had been two hours since I had followed Bella to Angela’s house, which means she should be arriving home soon. I still didn’t know what I was going to say to her when she got here. Apparently asking her to leave the dog alone didn’t do any good, so I would have to find a different tactic.
I thought about the upcoming hunting trip my family wanted me to attend. I knew I should go, my thirst was hardly quenched, but I didn’t see how it would be a possibility. Suddenly Emmett’s suggestion of kidnapping Bella didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Of course, I wouldn’t actually want her kidnapped, but maybe Alice could arrange a sort of “girl’s night”, as she liked to call it, while I was away. And never let Bella out of her sight for a moment. It wasn’t a bad plan, and I was sure Alice would be all too happy to help me out, with the right incentive.
Just then my phone vibrated in my pocket. I looked at the caller ID. Alice, naturally.
“Hello, Alice.” I greeted her in a voice too low for Charlie to hear.
“Edward, I already know what you want to ask me, and I would be happy to hold Bella hostage for you!” she exclaimed.
I sighed. “Alice, please don’t call it a hostage situation. I don’t want Bella to be miserable. If you do this, I’m expecting you to make sure she has fun. And keep her out of trouble, of course.”
“I know, I know. Of course she’ll have fun, Edward, she’ll be with me! Oh, it’ll be just like a real human slumber party, I’m so excited!” she sounded genuinely happy to be spending time alone with Bella.
“Okay, Alice, you’ll need to convince Charlie to let her stay for the weekend,” I started.
“That won’t be a problem, Charlie adores Esme and me,” she stated. “You know I love spending time with Bella, and I would do it for free, but don’t you want to know what you’re going to give me for watching Bella for you, Edward?”
“What is that, Alice?” I asked, like I didn’t know.
“My Porsche! It’s beautiful, Edward, I love it! Thank you so much,” she gushed.
“Fine, your Porsche will be here tomorrow.”
With that she screamed into the phone, and I didn’t have to be there to know that she was jumping up and down excitedly. As I let her screams die down, I thought of something else.
“Alice, could you do me one more thing?” I asked.
“Already way ahead of you, Edward,” she replied. “I know where to get the perfect bed for Bella. I’ll order it and have it shipped here tomorrow.”
I smiled. Sometimes having a psychic for a sister made life much simpler. Suddenly, I heard Bella’s truck coming towards the house. She was still a few blocks away. “Thanks, Alice. I have to go.” I said, and hung up, knowing she would understand.
I got up from the bed and walked back towards the window, standing in the shadows beside it. As I waited for the truck to pull closer, the anger came back. Anger at that mutt, at myself, at the entire situation. Irritation that Bella would choose to sneak off behind my back to somewhere I couldn’t follow, somewhere I couldn’t protect her.
The truck pulled into the driveway, and I could hear her steady heartbeat as she entered the house. Charlie hadn’t noticed she was home until the door had slammed.
“Bella?” he asked from the living room.
“Hey, Dad,” she replied, sounding weary.
I know she saw Jacob today, Billy called. I wonder how that went. I bet Cullen won’t be too happy when he finds out.“So, how was your day?”
“Good,” she replied. “They didn’t need me at work, so I went down to La Push.”
Better not make it a big deal. She might get mad. “How’s Jacob?” he asked nonchalantly.
“Good,” Bella answered casually. She knew I was most likely listening to this conversation, and she wasn’t about to elaborate right now.
“You get over to the Weber’s?”
“Yep. We got all her announcements addressed.”
Good, she’s finally taking my advice. She’s finally spending time with other kids. I’m proud of her. “That’s nice. I’m glad you spent some time with your friends today.”
“Me too.” She said, and I heard her making her way to the kitchen. I assume she was looking for something to take up time, not wanting to come up here and see me. There were a few long moments of silence, but then I finally heard her sigh, and her heart rate increase slightly.
“I’m going to go study,” she called to Charlie, not hiding the dread in her tone.
“See you later,” he replied, once again engrossed in his game.
She shuffled up the stairs much slower than usual, and stayed facing the door as she closed it. She took a deep breath before turning around and locking eyes with me. She wasn’t surprised to see me here. She cringed when she saw my face, which I assume was tense, but she didn’t say anything. We stared at each other wordlessly for a long moment.
“Hi,” she finally said. I didn’t reply. I continued to glare at her, not knowing what to say. I wasn’t really angry at her, more at her actions, but I didn’t know if I would be able to convey that to her.
“Er…so, I’m still alive,” she stated, and a growl escaped my chest at the thought of her being anything but alive. “No harm done.” She shrugged.
Did she honestly believe that? Yes, physically she was fine, but there was hardly no harm done. She really had no sense of self-preservation. She never truly understood the danger she willingly put herself in time and time again. I realized then that I was pinching the bridge of my nose with my fingers, a habit I tended to do when I was stressed.
“Bella,” I said, keeping my voice low so Charlie wouldn’t hear. “Do you have any idea how close I came to crossing the line today? To breaking the treaty and coming after you? Do you know what that would have meant?”
She gasped and my eyes snapped open, meeting hers. She looked panicked. “You can’t!” she yelled, too loud, and adjusted her volume before continuing. “Edward, they’d use any excuse for a fight. They’d love that. You can’t ever break the rules!”
“Maybe they aren’t the only ones who would enjoy a fight.” The words flew out of my mouth before I could stop them.
“Don’t you start. You made the treaty – you stick to it.” She was angry.
“If he’d hurt you –“ I started.
“Enough! There’s nothing to worry about. Jacob isn’t dangerous.”
I rolled my eyes at the thought of Bella making a decision about danger. She practically threw herself in harm’s way every chance she got. “Bella, you aren’t exactly the best judge of what is or isn’t dangerous.”
“I know I don’t have to worry about Jake. And neither do you.”
I ground my teeth together to keep from saying something stupid. It was laughable to think that I didn’t have to worry about him. I knew how dangerous werewolves could be when they lost control, and this boy thought he was in love with her. My fists clenched automatically at the thought. All he had to do was lose his temper once, and Bella would be dead, whether he meant to do it or not. I felt Bella’s eyes on me, and then she took a breath and crossed to where I was standing in the shadows. She slowly wrapped her arms around my waist, and I felt her warmth cover my skin.
“I’m sorry I made you anxious,” she said, in a voice barely above a whisper, and the anger disappeared from my body at her touch.
I wrapped my arms around her and sighed. “Anxious is a bit of an understatement. It was a very long day.”
“You weren’t supposed to know about it,” she said, as if that was supposed to make it better. “I thought you’d be hunting longer.” She studied my eyes then, and gave me a disapproving frown, noticing the too-dark tint to my eyes.
“When Alice saw you disappear, I came back.” I shrugged.
“You shouldn’t have done that. Now you’ll have to go away again.” She frowned deeper. I would never leave if she didn’t want me to.
“I can wait.”
“That’s ridiculous. I mean, I know she couldn’t see me with Jacob, but you should have known –“
“But I didn’t,” I interrupted her. “And you can’t expect me to let you –“
“Oh, yes, I can,” she broke in, knowing my thoughts without me having to voice them. “That’s exactly what I expect you –“
“This won’t happen again,” I stated, hoping to end the conversation. No such luck, as her stubbornness had taken over.
“That’s right! Because you’re not going to overreact next time.”
“Because there isn’t going to be a next time.”
“I understand when you have to leave, even if I don’t like it –“ she tried, but they were two very separate issues.
“That’s not the same thing. I’m not risking my life.”
“Neither am I.”
“Werewolves constitute a risk.”
“I’m not negotiating this, Bella,” I said, the anger rising again as my hands clenched back into fists.
“Neither am I,” she stated. “Is this really just about my safety?”
“What do you mean?” I demanded, preparing to take the defensive.
“You aren’t…” she trailed off. “I mean, you know better than to be jealous, right?”
She said it in a tone that sounded like she thought the idea was preposterous. I remembered those feelings of jealousy and how they had risen in me when thoughts of Jacob Black and Bella together had entered my mind. I wondered what she would say if she knew I had been feeling some jealousy. “Do I?” I asked.
“Be serious,” she said, exasperated.
“Easily – there’s nothing remotely humorous about this.”
She looked at me, and I could almost see the ideas forming themselves in her mind. “Or…is this something else altogether? Some vampires-and-werewolves-are-always-enemies nonsense? Is this just a testosterone-fueled –“
I cut her off sharply. “This is only about you. All I care is that you’re safe.” I stared at her intently, willing her to believe me. I never wanted the thought to cross her mind that it was ever about anything else but her.
“Okay,” she sighed. “I believe that. But I want you to know something – when it comes to all this enemies nonsense, I’m out. I am a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures. Jacob is family. You are…well, not exactly the love of my life, because I expect to love you much longer than that. The love of my existence. I don’t care who’s a werewolf and who’s a vampire. If Angela turns out to be a witch, she can join the party, too.”
I stared at her, my face composed. It would be almost comical, her ranting, if not for the subject at hand.
“Switzerland,” she stated, apparently feeling the need to emphasize her point.
I sighed, knowing this was getting nowhere. “Bella…” I sighed, but stopped. I hadn’t noticed before, but the horrible stench of werewolf was all over her, and I wrinkled my nose.
“What now?” she asked, warily.
“Well…don’t be offended, but you smell like a dog,” I stated, giving her a crooked smile I knew she loved.
The fight was over, for now, but I knew it was going to come up again eventually. I was sure Bella would be less than thrilled when she found out Alice was kidnapping her for the weekend. I decided to make it up to her by leaving a day early, so that I could come home and spend a quiet night at my house together before she had to return to Charlie’s. I was hoping I could use that night to get her to forgive me for holding her hostage.
I didn’t tell Bella the plan to leave a day early, letting Alice surprise her by being the one to pick her up after work. Alice’s Porsche had arrived that morning, exactly like the one she had driven in Italy, and I talked to her as she admired it for the hundredth time that day.
“Are you sure you can handle this without going overboard, Alice?” I asked. “I want Bella to be safe, but I also want her to have fun, not be tortured by you giving her multiple unnecessary makeovers.”
“Don’t worry about us, Edward. We’re going to have a great time! I’ve been researching human sleepovers, and it’s going to be the most fun I’ve ever had!” Her enthusiasm didn’t make me any less uneasy.
“Well, just make sure that Bella is having a good time as well. And that she doesn’t go anywhere near La Push.”
“Will do! Now stop worrying, and have a wonderful time hunting.” With that she turned and ran into the house, leaving me in the garage alone.
The prospect of leaving Bella alone this weekend terrified me. A million different scenarios ran through my head as I waited for the others to get ready, none of them ending well.
“Let’s go, Edward!” Emmett called, already jumping in the Jeep.
I sighed and turned to follow, knowing that all I could do now was put it in Alice’s hands and hope for the best.