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Written by Nashmeira S. W.

Edited by EstrellaGrace

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(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Chapter 11 ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ ~Mon~day Mon~day~ ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)

While I could shop, I chose to do so as little as I possible, and Alice brought a whole new meaning to the word. She was an absolute terror. As promised, Esme, Rosalie, and I had been forced into a car and taken to Port Angeles. I soon learned the folly of going shopping with Alice. I was her doll. Well, so were Esme and Rosalie, but I was the new doll for her shopping exploits.

I tried several times to say no, to which Esme just smiled, as Alice went off to find the next fashion I would be modeling for her. Esme said that I should just let it go and accept my fate, it was inevitable. As much as I tried, in the end, there was no way I could fight fate.

One good thing that came out of the adventure in fashion hell: Rosalie and I seemed to come to a better understanding. Or maybe it had just been the teaming up against our mutual enemy of a shopaholic Alice. Whatever it was, the death glares had stopped between the two of us, and we were making steady progress toward friendship. After all, she is Edward's sister and I doubted killing her would end well for me in the long run.

All in all, it was a good day. I had never really been an out and about shopping person, but it was fun even with all the Barbie Bella moments.

That night, Edward and I had some time together, and he played the piano for me for the first time; he was terrific. For a few minutes, it was like a dream. The melody he composed was beyond amazing, and it made me wish that I had taken more of an interest in playing music rather than merely listening to it. I had, feasibly, forever to learn and I had always had an urge to learn to play something, but I just never followed through with the feeling.

The way his hands danced over the keys of the piano was mesmerizing, and from where I sat and watched Edward, the art wasn't the song itself but was instead the masterful way he played it.

Unfortunately, the night had to come to an end. Tomorrow was school, so I had to be home at a decent hour. There was a silver lining: Edward had asked if he could drive me to school, which of course I said yes.

When I arrived home, Dad was on the couch watching sports highlights. We had small talk about our day, my shopping trip and his slow day at work. He said he should have the police cruiser back in about three weeks. It seemed that hitting your daughter, denting the bumper, and cracking the radiator took some time to fix. Go figure.

As I laid in bed, I ran through my thoughts of the past few days. Edward saved me, even if I didn't need it. Rosalie tried to kill me. Both my and the Cullen's' secret o them. This all leads up to me admitting the feelings I had for Edward.

As I closed my eyes and began to drift off the future and how meeting the Cullens had changed things for both of our families. Other than around Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Aunt Shayla, we stayed hidden, but now that wasn't the case. I think Dad's reasoning for spilling the beans on everything wasn't just a play at peace with the Cullens, but also because, like me, he wanted to reach out and make a connection. Billy was his best friend or the most recent best friend he had, and that was it.

One day Billy would die, and Charlie would be left to his own devices once again to either start over or stick around any recreate a life with a new generation that would start the cycle over again. But with the Cullens, things were different. We wouldn't have to hide our nature from everybody, and they were potentially going to potentially be around just as long as us. We didn't have to keep up human practices, and neither did they, and for that, I was genuinely thankful.

Dad was usually up before me, but today, it was only by about ten minutes. He caught on quickly that there was a little extra spring in my step. He gave me an appraising look as he came down the stairs in his uniform. I had already had time to make fried eggs, bacon, toast, and of course coffee.

"Morning, Bells. You're up early," Dad said as he came over to the table and took a seat. "You sure are upbeat this morning. What's going on?" he said, eyeing me critically.

"Nothing is going on; Edward is driving me to school today, so I wanted to make sure that I was ready in time." He rolled his eyes at my enthusiasm and took a sip of his coffee.

"Well that's nice, I guess." I leaned back against the counter, bringing my own coffee cup up to my lips as he spoke. "Bells, listen. I'm glad you and Edward have hit it off so well, and the family seems very accepting, which is great, but even so, I don't want you rushing into things. You've never dated before, and you haven't ever been given a chance to make friends your own age. All I ask is that you are safe and don't go too fast. Just take it one day at a time. There is no need to rush. You have all the time in the world." He took another drink from his coffee cup, and his eyes were downcast. "I just don't want you to go through what I went through after your mom."

I always hoped dad would move on and find someone that could make him happy. We have potentially forever, and that's a long time to be alone. Having so much time makes you take things in stride, you don't have to rush into anything hence why he didn't have kids till he was a millennium and a half old. Still pretty young compared to grandma though.

"Oh, and no sex. I just can't deal with being a grandfather yet." His downcast eyes suddenly disappeared, and a sly grin took its place. I could tell that his longing for the woman he lost was pushed to the back of his mind, as he cleared his throat before following up. "Did your mom have the talk with you?" He asked humorously.

I sputtered into my coffee.

"NO! I mean yes, she did. The talk is done so no need for that." I managed to get out, staving off that awkward conversation.

"Well good, one less thing to worry about. There is one thing you need to put some thought into, and it's going to happen soon." serious Dad was back again. "Your branding is going to start soon; you need to be careful, so when you notice it make sure to say something, so I can pull you out of school in time. If you have to leave, maybe get one of the Cullen's to help if you need it."

"It might be a few days or even a week, maybe-two" He moved to look out of the kitchen windows. "I know I don't say this enough Bells, but I'm proud of you," he is turning to me as a soft smile graced his face. I was quiet for a moment. Dad didn't get in the overly affectionate talks. His main affection was "let's go wrestle" which was code for "let's have a deep talk." Yet surprisingly that didn't happen.

"Well, I better get going, and so should you; don't want to be late to school," he said, clapping me on the shoulder as he passed. As the front door shut, a text popped up on my phone from Edward and I smiled.

- Outside in five min. XO -

Ever since Payusha had met Angela, she felt the urge to do whatever she could to make her happy, or at the least make sure she was not troubled. However, the troubles that weighed on her now were not those she could fix, not in a way her Angela would condone anyway. As the two spoke last night about their respective lives, it had occurred to Angela that she had been dating Ben. Now, however, Angela said that she just couldn't see herself with him, so she had made the decision to break up with him—ASAP.

Payusha looked over to the passenger seat as Angela fidgeted cutely, her brow furrowing in thought. Her own cool hand bridged the gap between their seats, taking Angela's warm one and bringing it halfway over the middle console. That succeeded in bringing Angela's attention to the vampires. Her head swiveled to the cold hand that held hers. A smile lit up her face.

"I know today will be hard for you. Would you like me to pick you up after your lessons?" Angela seemed to ponder this for a moment before nodding.

"Yes, since I left my car at home I'll need a ride." Then Angela seemed to think better of her decision. "On second thought, as much as I would like that maybe it would be better if I get a ride from Bella. I promised to talk to her about what happened. Not the vampire part, but the excuse we came up with." Her smile fell as she spoke, knowing she was going to have to lie.

"We know this will be hard for you. You will make it through today's hardships and be stronger for it. We are sorry that you must mislead your friends and family." The red-eyed girl then grinned. "I am looking forward to meeting your parents," she said, hoping to lighten the mood. It seemed to work since Angela's face lit up and her grip tightened. Her heart fluttered, and she looked straight ahead before speaking.

"That might be a little way off. I'm not sure how my parents will take all of this," she said while raising their combined hands.

"Yes, well as you said we shall take it slow." The car rolled into the high school parking lot and after a moment came to a stop. Pausha's grip tightened ever so slightly, and she quickly planted a kiss on her lover. "May your day be well, my Danna. Should you need me, you have but to call."

"Thank you. I'll call you later. I promise." Angela gave one last smile before opening the door and exiting the car. The two made eye contact once again, both smiling at each other until Angela finally closed the door of the vehicle. The engine gave a sleek hiss and began to roll away. As soon as the car reached the road, it took off like a rocket.

Payusha didn't want to leave Angela, but both of them had things that require their attention. Angela had her primary education while Payusha had to attend to the original reason for being on the west coast.

(ノ^ヮ^)ノ*:・゚✧

Angela watched as the white car speed off, and she smiled. She was already missing the cold touch of her vampire. She gently sighed as the white car shot out of sight. She turned to enter the school to come almost face to face with a stunned Mike Newton. His mouth was hanging wide open, and Angela paled.

Did he see us? Oh no…, she thought.

"Ang was that… that a Pagani sports car?" Angela just shrugged, relieved.

"I wasn't paying attention to what the car was. It was white," she stated. Mike's expression was one of surprise.

"You weren't paying attention? Really Ang, what were you paying attention to?" Angela just blushed and began making her way up the stairs into the school. Hoping that would be the end of the conversation.

Edward was a maniac driver. I had never feared for my life, I am pretty durable after all, but even so, riding in a car that was going this fast was freaking me out. I think maybe it was the lack of control. I trusted Edward, but he was driving like a madman.

"Don't you think you're going a little fast? Maybe slow down a little." He just smiled.

"Bella, it's perfectly fine. You should know by now my reflexes are impeccable." I looked at him and scowled.

"As impeccable as they might be I would much rather you slow down. Also, if you didn't notice, my father is the chief of police. Getting a speeding ticket will not win you any brownie points." That seemed to do the trick, and we slowed down. He was still speeding, but 65 was less than 95. We would be at the school in less than a minute at this rate. Up until I realized how fast we were going our conversation had been pleasant. We are still in the very early stages of learning about each other. We were both alike in the sense that we have an interest in classical music, which my mother had gotten me into at a young age. I never understood all the songs she uses to sing; the language was hard to pick up and I only got about every other word. So she started playing classical music when she was zipping around the house or doing one of her projects.

We had just settled into to a pleasant silence when the next song started. Clair de Lune flooded through the car. It was one of my favorite compositions.

Edward had begun to slow down as we neared the parking lot when an exotic white car came speeding out of the parking lot. An instant later the high-pitched whine of the sleek car passed us. I don't really care what kind of vehicle I have, though I was becoming partial to trucks. Yet the car was so exotic that even I was watching at it as it shot past us.

Edward's head tracked the car as it passed and the smile on his face was replaced by a more severe frown as he finally pulled into the parking lot.

"What the heck was that?" I asked. The question was rhetorical, but Edward answered me anyway.

"A sports car," he said. I immediately gave him a no duh look. Seeing this he continued, "They're not very common. That model just came out recently. I saw it in one of Rosalie's car magazines. It is very odd that one would be here in Forks, of all places." He shook his head and smiled. "Well, I'm sure we're about to turn as many heads as that car does."

I hate being the center of attention, but I was looking forward to the school day. That was the day I made sure everyone knew that we were a couple and that Edward was mine.

(ノ・ェ・)ノ

Charlie walked into the sheriff's office with his usual grace, a friendly smile, and a flurry of morning greetings. He then made his way to the break room and got his usual cup of coffee: black with two sugars. From there it was to his office to look over the nightly reports from the night shift and read over any state bulletins that might have come through the mail. Taking a long drink of his coffee, he pulled up the first report.

This is what he loved about Forks. It was routine and straightforward, but the world had to change sometime. Just so long as it wasn't too often it was okay, he could roll with the punches.

The finishing of the last report Charlie looks to his now empty coffee cup. He stood stretched, then grabbed his cup before making his way to the break room for the second cup of the day. One cup of coffee with two sugars later, he was back behind his desk and picking up the phone to confirm another ritual in the life of Charlie Swan.

Four rings later a friendly" Hello" greeted him.

"Morning, Billy. We still on for the Seahawks game tonight?" Monday night football. Another ritual.

Billy's voice was low and rough as he spoke. "I don't know Charlie, are we?" Charlie blinked not expecting the coarseness of Billy's words. That was not part of the routine. It went something like, "I'll bring the beer," or, "pizza." Ether was fine with Charlie, but that was not what happened. Billy's tone made it very clear that something was not right.

"It's what we usually do on Monday nights. I mean, unless you have something else to do. I just thought, well you know." Charlie sputtered and stumbled over his words.

"Well, I wasn't sure if maybe you were going to be hanging out with your new friends. You know, the Cullen's." The venom in Billy's voice made Charlie wince. He could not understand why Billy had had a chip on his shoulder ever since the Cullen's had moved there. It seemed his ire extended to anyone that associated with them now.

"Look, Billy, I don't know what your deal is with the Cullen's, and frankly I don't care." It really irritated Charlie that Billy was acting like a spoiled child. That irritation was seeping into his voice. "I just want to know if you're coming over tonight or not." The silence lasted for a noticeable amount of time. Had Charlie not heard the breathing on the other end of the line he might have thought Billy had hung up.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'll be there." A light-hearted chuckle later, and he spoke again. "I'll bring the beer." Now that was better. Things were getting back to the usual rhythm. Just the way he liked it. The two chatted like they usually did for a few more minutes before breaking off and each returning to his day.

The intercom on his desk phone buzzed, and then the voice of Miss Yeager came through. She had always been a perky receptionist and dispatcher. She was still the first in the office and getting coffee and reports ready for the day. She had already told Charlie that she planned on retiring next year so he would have to look for someone that could step into her shoes and hopefully come close to filling them. The office wouldn't be the same without her, but he'd just have to adjust.

"Yes, Miss Yeager?" He took another sip from his coffee cup.

"You have a call on line two."

"Nothing bad I hope. Did you get a name?"

"Sorry Chief, they didn't give a name when I asked. Said it wasn't an emergency though." She was usually more insistent in screening calls beforehand. Charlie huffed and looked at the blinking red light on the receiver.

"Okay then. Thanks, Miss Yeager," he said, hearing the older lady already welcoming someone into the lobby. He pressed a button and brought the receiver to his ear.

"Chief Swan speaking, how can I help you?" There was no answer on the other end of the line. He could hear shuffling followed quickly by a clacking sound. "Hello? Is everything alright?" It was starting to worry him now that maybe something had happened, and the call was no longer able to talk.

"Hello, Chief Swan," the voice on the other end said in a mocking tone. He knew that voice too well. There was a click, and he looked at the phone to see that the line was no longer connected. The call had been dropped, but suddenly the voice came back, but this time it wasn't coming through the phone. "It's been a long time, how have you been?"

Standing in the doorway to his office was a tall, female with very Asian features. However, the striking red hair and blue eyes told of a lineage not far removed from her likewise far eastern descent. The red, one-piece dress hugged every inch of her body, and her red hair was pulled back in a high ponytail with its length going well past her waist. She was grinning madly at the chief of police, who now after seeing her only sighed. Charlie gently sat the phone down on the receiver.

Charlie took a long drink of his coffee as he watched the woman cock her hips to one side, accentuating her curves. Her right, sun-kissed arm was propped on her hip, adding to the effect.

Behind her, one of the deputies stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes looking at the woman standing in the door to the Chief's office. Seconds later, another deputy ran into the first, knocking the both of them down with a "yelp" as they tumbled into a heap. After coming to their senses both scrambling to get off the other. All the while, they were doing everything in their power to keep their eyes firmly rooted on the redhead.

Gold bangles clanged at her wrists as she covered her mouth to stifle a laugh as the two deputies scrambled to the right themselves.

"Hello, Shayla-Shayla. Could you maybe dial that back a few notches? I need my deputies to have all their faculties to do their job." She walked forward, smiling like a fox in the hen house as she stalked her pry. Charlie for his part just rolled his eyes at her antics. "What brings you to Forks?"

"What? Oh Charles, do I need a reason to come by and see my big brother?" She grinned, stepping forward into the office and taking a seat at one of the chairs in front of the chief's desk.

Charlie's precious routine was now wholly shot for the foreseeable future.

(ノ・ェ・)ノ

Edward's day was pretty routine. When he and Bella had arrived and walked into school, he had thought it would be the topic of the day. However, he was surprised to see there was already a different matter at hand.

Talk of the exotic car was not at the forefront of the daily gossip. The car in question was the Pagani Zonda Cinque. Pagani was known for its exotic brand of vehicles, and they were always pricey. The reason that Edward remembered this one was because there were only five in the world and they had all sold for upwards of 1.8 million, each.

When images of the passenger that got out of the car started popping up in the minds of students, he was surprised. When he saw Mike Newton, he got the whole story from the surprise of the car being in the school parking lot, and then to top it off, seeing Angela Webber get out of the passenger side.

While Mike talked, it wasn't his words that Edward was focusing on, but the images that were flashing through his head since they were more informative. The car had come in the parking lot and come to a stop at the front door with its engine humming like the finely-tuned machine it was. The passenger door opened and out stepped a blushing Angela Webber. The windows were tinted enough so that Mike was not able to see the driver. Then Angela waved her final farewell to the driver and stood to watch the car as it drove off, waiting until it was out of sight before walking up the steps. Edward chuckled as he saw how Angela spoke with Mike briefly before she just shrugged off Mike's babbling about the car.

Mike had read the same article he had read. The question Edward had asked all through class was, who was the driver and how did Angela know them? From what the wolves had said, Angela had been taken by a vampire. Edward couldn't see any reason that a vampire would abduct a human and then let them go till they changed them or drained them.

The world was a hard place, but when the Cullens had received the news of Angela, the thought of losing someone so kind stung. Angela was such a kind soul, and in the two classes they had together, Edward found himself focusing more on her thoughts than anyone else's.

Angela had a pleasant mind to listen to. When Edward had first started listening to her, he had found her mind odd and somewhat irritating. It was like she had her own language that she only spoke in her head. Some of the words sounded like standard English, just backwards, and yet all of it was expressed in an almost lyrical, rhyming way. After a while, it had become a pleasure to listen to. It was like admiring a bird as it sang a happy tune, which was the best way he could explain it. Her mind wasn't always like that though. When speaking with others, she was just as easy to read as anyone else. It was the other times he looked forward to.

Right on time, Edward arrived at his last class before lunch. He sat at his usual desk as the rest of the class came in and took their seats as well. Angela finally came in and had a very sour look on her face. He began to weed through the other students' minds in the room, searching Angela out for that pleasant experience that he was accustomed to. He was also hoping to find out more about the owner of that sports car.

He finally found her mind, and when he focused on it, he found her in a sour mood. Yet there was also something else hidden. Her thoughts seemed quieter for some reason like she was talking, but very far away.

Angela's mind brought up the image of Ben. Her words were gentle, and she continually kept looking down and fidgeting as she spoke. She was becoming more and more emotional as she went on, apologizing profusely that it was her fault and she couldn't lie to Ben. So she just told him. She had met someone else over the weekend, she cared for Ben but could not be with him as his girlfriend anymore. Angela being the kind-hearted person she was didn't want to hurt him more than she already was.

Edward felt sorry for her. It had been hard on her to break off her relationship with Ben, but when her thoughts turned to this new person, she couldn't stop the feeling of excitement and joy.

The teacher came in to start class and caused Angela's mind to change gears. She was settling into her sing-song pattern of thought; her mind flowing at a steady rhythm, but then suddenly it stopped. Her mind brought up images of her drive to school. In her thoughts, she suddenly looked down at her hand and found that it was intertwined with a light mocha-colored hand. The hand was obviously female. Angela then looked up at the person that it was attached to and the joy she felt was staggering. Edward mentally fumbled coming back to reality as he saw the face of the driver.

He could not believe what he had seen. The driver cracked a smile as she looked over at Angela with a pair of bright red eyes.

(ᗒᗨᗕ)

The day was dragging on for forever. I was actually falling asleep listening to Mr. Grady going on and on, so when the bell rang, I was out of my chair and on my way to lunch as quickly as possible. That was until I realized that Jessica was going to grill me about Edward. Along with some car, Mike had been going on about how Edward and I were a hot topic.

I had decided earlier that it would be best to sit with the group today, and mostly because I wanted to talk with Angela about her call, also about her arriving in that car Edward and I saw on the way to school. With how fast it had been going we only saw it for a few seconds, but it looked like it was expensive.

After grabbing a tray of food (it was a pizza day), I made my way over to my usual table with Jessica, Lauren, and Mike. Angela, oddly, was missing from the group, so I took my seat as the usual greetings took place. I had just taken a bit of my pizza when Lauren started the interrogation.

"So, Bella, what was up with you riding with Edward today?" She eyed me appraisingly. "Like, are two an item now?" I rolled my eyes.

"Maybe, we're taking it slow. He offered to drive me to school today," I answered simply.

"I thought you two hated each other?" Jessica supplied.

"We had a misunderstanding that we worked out. We actually have a lot in common." I took another bite of pizza, hoping to dissuade any more questions. It didn't work. The Cullen's walked in at about that time, and no doubt added more fuel to Lauren's fire.

"Well it looks like someone is showing up the Cullen's in the privilege department if Angela's ride to school this morning is anything to go on," Lauren said with a smirk. I knew Lauren was a bitch, but now she was just being petty. But there was a good point brought up about Angela.

"Speaking of Angela, where is she?" I said. Mike spoke up for the first time since I had sat down and looked sullen as he pointed toward the door leading outside from the cafeteria.

"She's been on the phone with someone since we all got here."

Angela was talking very animated to someone, smiling and laughing as she did so. She was blushing, and the grin on her face was like looking into a sun. Angela was always smiling, but this was different, I had never seen anyone that vibrant and happy.

I was so intent on watching Angela that I missed the cold hand snake around my shoulders. I turned to find a smiling Edward beside me. The other faces around the table had a nice "deer in the headlights" look to them. Seeing as the Cullens were an anti-social group, the fact that one of them now was interacting was like a once in a blue moon event.

"How has your day been?" Edward asked. Jessica and Lauren were stunned. Mike was staring at us with an open mouth. For a moment I thought we broke him, but a few blinks later he came around.

"Boring, the day is just creeping along," I said as Angela returned and plopped down in the chair between Mike and Edward with a pleasant smile on her face. Edward was giving her a very appraising look and even flinched at one point. "Hi, Angela?"

"Oh." She seemed to sober up once I spoke to her. "Hello, Bella. Mike, Lauren, Jessica." She glanced around the table, acknowledging each of us, but when she came to Edward, she stopped. She blinked a few times. "Edward."

Lauren chimed in. "I know, it surprised us as well, but it seems Bella has brought out the socialite out of some of the Cullens. Well, Edward at least," Jessica said smugly. For some reason, I didn't think that was the reason why Angela was so surprised. Edward had stopped breathing, and his arm had tightened around me. "So, Ang, Mike says that you caught a ride to school today with someone in a fancy sports car."

"Yeah, it was a really nice car," Angela said merely.

"Are you kidding me Ang?" Mike began. "That was a Zonda, and I'm pretty sure it was Cinque. They were, like, on the cover of Sports Car Magazine a few months ago and all you can say is that it's really nice?" Mike was dumbfounded at Angela's ignorance on just how removed from other sports cars this one was. Truthfully, so was I. I mean it was a nice-looking car, but nothing I would ever drive.

"Well, I guessed it must be a good car," Angela answered honestly. "Payusha said she had another one at home and its sea blue."

"Two! Ang there are only five of those cars in the world, and I think the article said they sold for over a million dollars." Angela seemed to start getting the idea just how out of place the car was.

"About 1.8 million was the starting price," Edward added. "I read the same article."

"Angela, who is Payusha?" Jessica asked. Angela a blush brightened her cheeks. There was something there. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and what it might mean. "Are you blushing? Wait! I heard you broke up with Ben. Is it true?" It seemed that Jessica was making the same connection I was. I chanced a glance at Edward, and as our eyes met he nodded slightly.

The flush on Angela's face was gone as she looked down at her lap.

"Yes, Ben and I broke up," she said timidly. "It was I that broke everything off… I met someone else. She's really special." Her head snapped up, and her eyes widened as she realized what she had said at the end. She had spoken just above a whisper, but it was loud enough for everyone at the table to hear. Both Jessica and Lauren looked like two lions and eyed Angela as if she was the lamb.

I suddenly wished that Edward and I had remained the topic of the day. To gossip-mongers like Lauren and Jessica, this was the holy grail of small town, teenage gossip. Everyone in town would know that the reverend's daughter was gay by this time tomorrow.

"So—you're gay?" asked Lauren.

To Angela's credit, the worried expression was gone and replaced by a mask of indifference. She then fixed Lauren with a dark glare. The temperature in the room suddenly felt like it dropped a few degrees. The gentle Angela we all knew wasn't anywhere to be seen, and the next words out of her mouth had a bitter coldness that was surprising.

"For Payusha, yes I am. I would ask that you don't spread that around right now, but asking the two of you to not gossip would be the same as asking you to stop breathing." Angela stood, never breaking eye contact. "The bell is about the ring. Bella, Edward, Mike see you in P.E.." Angela grabbed her bag, turned on her heel, and left.

There were no words that described what just happened. The sweet, kind, and collected Angela that I had come to know had transformed into another person. If looks could kill, Lauren would be a smoldering husk. Even Edward appeared stunned as he looked to me incredulously. I had not envied his talent to be a mind reader until this moment.

It was Mike that finally broke the silence.

"Did that just happen?" he said, looking around at all of us. "Was that really Angela Webber?"

Mike didn't know it, but that was the exact same question we were all asking ourselves. The bell rang as Angela predicted, signaling the end of lunch. I, personally, was glad for it. The list of revelations over the three days was getting really long. Jessica and Lauren were already complaining about Angela's bitchy behavior. Angela was right though about the Lauren and Jessica, and the rest of us knew it. I only hoped that the fallout wouldn't be so bad for Angela.

(。⌒∇⌒)。

"So…. that was an interesting lunch. I had readied myself to be the topic of the day, so what just happened?" Edward didn't say anything immediately.

"Her clothes had the scent of a vampire on them, and then there were her thoughts." I could feel the color drain from my face. "I didn't quite get the whole story. I can hear Angela's thoughts, but she has a very odd way of thinking."

"An odd way of thinking?" I asked.

Edward puzzled how to answer that question. "She tends to think in… song. It's hard to explain. I get a few images here and there from her. One of them was her ride to school this morning, and the driver of the car was a vampire. The red eyes were a dead giveaway. Angela and the vampire were holding hands on their way to school."

"Does she know what this Payusha is?" I wasn't sure if it would be a good or a bad thing if she did know, but even if she didn't know, was there anything we could possibly do?

"I'm not sure, but I think she does. When she first sat down at lunch, she started comparing me to Payusha. I didn't get everything, but she drew a lot of parallels between us. I think it's safe to say she has at least a very good idea." That could be bad. I, like Edward, knew a thing or two about keeping secrets. I was homeschooled till it was time for me to go to high school because I might kill someone on accident. The Cullen's, just like me, took their secrets very seriously. A good example being Rosalie trying to kill me last week.

"I'll talk to her during P.E. Nothing too direct. I am going to talk to her about that call on Friday even though I already have an idea of what happened." I said as the teacher came in calling the class to order. I knew Angela had something going on, but I never expected that she would have met a vampire and was still alive. This was going to be a long class.

〜(^∇^〜)

I never liked P.E. since I always had to hold back so much that I would screw up. It would be funny if I didn't come off as the most uncoordinated person in the world. When I got to the gym, I made my way to the girl's dressing room to find all the girls standing outside.

"Why is nobody going into the dressing room?" I asked the crowd as I made my way through them to the door. Then I got my answer from none other than Jessica.

"Hello, Bella. We're just waiting and giving Angela time to finish dressing." I knew that Jessica was shallow and a bitch, but this was going too far.

"Why would I need to wait for Angela to finished getting dressed?" I said. Lauren spoke up this time, like a good henchman.

"You heard her at lunch. She's gay. She likes girls. Do you really want to undress in the same room with her learning at you?" I had never really put much into defining what love was to me. I sort of took the stance that Grandmother did. If you find someone you love, then you love them. To me, it was that simple. While I was tentatively with Edward that didn't mean I mind looking at the other sex or the same in some cases. If you got it and were proud of it why wouldn't you show it off a little?

But this was too much; this was just being a bitch.

"Well I want to get dressed, so move," I said, waiting for Jessica and Lauren to move, but they held strong. They didn't even flinch, which was a mistake on their part. A smug look from the two of them and I had had enough. I stepped into their personal space, putting my hands between them then began to move them apart as gently as I could. "I wasn't asking," I said, stepping in between them and through the door.

Jessica scowled. "So that's how it is. Maybe you're just as much of a pervert as she is." I stopped and looked over my shoulder with a sly grin.

"If you didn't notice, I'm dating Edward Cullen. Remember the boy that you couldn't get even when you threw yourself at him?" My voice dropped to a sultrier tone, and for emphasis, I slowly ran my tongue over top lip before going into the dressing room. "But if you ever want to walk on the wild side, let me know."

The minute I came around the corner in the room I could hear the soft sobs in between words. Angela was only wearing a tank top and shorts. She had a cell phone pressed to her ear speaking softly. While I could not hear as well as Edward, the room was quiet enough that I could hear bits of the conversation.

"…no you don't need to do that," said Angela.

"If that is your wish, my Daana. We are sorry that the news to your friends causes you pain," came a smooth musical voice.

"It'll be okay, but maybe I can take that ride after all?" asked Angela.

"We would love to, but it will take some time."

"No, it's okay. I'll see about getting a ride with Bella if she doesn't hate me too. I was going to ask at lunch, but things got out of control," Angela spoke while sniffling and wiping her eyes. I wasn't really sneaking around, so when I got close enough, she turned, giving the person on the other end a swift goodbye and promising that she would see the caller later tonight.

Her right hand quickly came up, wiping her eyes again.

"Hi, Ang," I said, walking over and sitting down beside her. "Are you okay?" That was such a dumb thing to ask at a time like this. Her eyes were red and still swelling with unshed tears. When I looked her over, my eyes lingered on her right arm. Just above her wrist was a silver bracer. It was inlaid with a number of elegant symbols and scripts all leading in a circle with a large red jewel in the center. I reached over to put my hand on her shoulder and gave her my best smile.

"I'm sorry about Jessica and Lauren being such bitches. Angela, it's okay if you're gay. They're just shallow human beings. You know, the kind of girls that peak in high school." She grinned at the last statement.

"I know, it's just… I wanted to wait. Tell people on my terms, you know." She sniffed again.

"Yeah, letting those chuckle-heads know was not the best thing that could have happened." Angela took a deep breath and a smile finally graced her face. "What's she like?" I asked. This was the perfect chance to maybe find out more about the mystery woman.

"Well, we met Friday. It wasn't quite the best time since I was in the middle of something really important, but she just kind of showed up. Well long story short, I over exerted myself and…" She trailed off for a moment as her left hand idly stroked the scarlet jewel in the silver bracer. "I over exerted myself and was really tired. She offered me a place to rest. I sort of fell asleep. Later when I woke up, I called you. After that we just talked; I had dinner as she told me some stories about her life."

"She must really be special."

"She is. The funny thing is that I had never considered being with another girl. I don't think I could be with another girl. Just her. I think she is the only one." The dreamy smile on Angela's features was a nice change from the doom and gloom of a few minutes ago.

"Well, I'm happy for you. Not that I was trying to listen, but I heard that you needed a ride home today. I didn't drive, but I got a ride from Edward this morning. I'm sure he wouldn't mind you catching a ride with us."

Angela seemed to roll the idea around in her head for a moment before she said, "That should be fine."

"Do you want to skip today?" Angela looked at me like I had sprouted another head. "You know, like, skip P.E.? I'm sure whoever is on my team will be grateful." She chuckled at my self-proclaimed clumsiness. "I've heard that skipping is good to do every so often. Builds character, I think. Come on, we can go out the fire exit. I'll text Edward." I pulled my phone from my bag texted Edward who responded with an affirmative. "Let's go. Edward's skipping too."

We gathered our stuff, not bothering to change out of our sweats, and headed through the fire exit. Luckily, the fire alarm had never actually worked, so no one knew we left. Angela still seemed a little on guard when we got in the car, and during the ride, so I tried to direct the conversation to get more information from her. Hopefully, Edward would hear a thought that might give us more about Angela's vampire.

(〜^∇^)〜

The ride home with Angela didn't bare any new fruit. Thankfully, Edward mostly kept to the speed limit. Before she got out of the car, I promised Angela I would call her later, and she did the same. Her parents, thankfully, were not home, and once Angela was gone, Edward and I laid out what information we had. Which was nothing. She was still apprehensive about Edward, but the V word never came up, not even mentally.

I did tell him about what was said on the phone and that they were going to meet tonight. Edward thought it might be best to just confront the other vampire tonight before she made it to Angela. I made him promise not to hurt the vampire no matter what. Angela really was taken with her and as much stress as she was under, we didn't want to compound it.

Part of me wanted to go with him, but it would look strange for a human to be there. There were secrets to protect after all.

As we got to my house, I thought back to what Mike had said at lunch. I was starting to believe he might be onto something. Sitting beside the SUV police car in the in the driveway sat a shiny red Ford GT40. Unlike this morning, I not only knew what kind of car it was but also who the driver was. My truck was pulled off to the side to make room for the nicer vehicles.

"I think Mike might have been right," Edward stated. I looked at him oddly.

"Did you read my mind just now?" He shook his head.

Edward crossed his arms as she inspected the sports car. "Since when are there so many sports cars in Forks. That a Ford GT40." I nodded.

"Yeah, I know," I said with a smile. Edward quirked an eyebrow. I had not seen her since the holidays, but I'd always liked her when she was around.

"You do?" he asked quizzically. I grinned at him as he pulled into the driveway behind the SUV.

"It's my aunt's car. Dad's younger sister. Younger being a relative term. Would you like to come in and meet her? She's a very unique person, and my family is kind of like a band-aid. It is better just to pull it off and be done with it." He just chuckled as he took my hand in his.

"Not that I have had much experience with band-aids, but I know of the concept. I would love to meet her." Edward smiled.

Edward parked behind Dad's SUV, and we got out of the car. When we walked in, Dad was sitting in the recliner, a trusty can of beer in hand, and he gave the two of us an appraising look. Then went back to some sports show.

"I'm guessing that the GT40 in the driveway isn't an early birthday present?" Dad's eyes narrowed at me, holding up his beer to accentuate his next words.

"I'm already four deep, and it's not even three PM. What do you think?" He took another drink of his beer. "She's in the kitchen."

Right on cue, a tall redhead walked around the corner with a beer in her hand, a warm smile gracing her face. She tossed the beer back, chugging it before letting out a howl of joy.

"Gods Charles, how do you drink this horse piss?" She followed her statement up with yet another long drink from the can of beer. Once she came up for air, she saw Edward and me standing just inside the house.

Her arms were around me in the blink of an eye. I had always liked Auntie Shayla. She liked to tease Dad merciless, and though he complained about it, I knew he loved when she and Grandma came to visit. There was one subject she was kind enough to try not to bring up around me, and that was the subject of my mother and father.

Looking around the house, it was easy to see that while my mom moved on, Dad did not. There were still some photos of them around, and they were showing no signs of being removed any time soon.

Auntie Shayla finally pulled back from the hug, keeping a hand on my shoulders and looking me over.

"Look at you growing up so fast. It seems like yesterday you were this tiny little thing and now look at you. You're going to have to beat the other boys and girls off with your bare hands." She let go of my shoulders and stepped up to Edward. I felt slightly nervous. I could see the predatory look in her eyes as they focused in on Edward.

"This must be the vampire I have heard so much about. Charlie told me a little so I wouldn't do anything…. rash," she said, pouting her lips and extending her hand to Edward. "It's so lovely to meet you."

"It's always nice to meet more of Bella's family. So, you're Chief Swan's younger sister?" Edward said as he took her warm hand in his own cold hand. "It's nice to meet you."

"Not only younger, but better traveled, and I'm also not an old fuddy-duddy like Charles." The two broke their handshake as Shayla giggled at her own joke. Dad just rolled his eyes and took another swig of his beer. "Bella, you sure found yourself quite a looker. A lot of spirit in this one." She turned to me then. "What's he like in the sack?" I was mortified. If Edward had any reaction to her gibe, he didn't show it.

The commanding voice of my father jumped in before I could even formulate words. "The answer to that, Isabella, had better be: I have no idea, and it will be a long time before I find out."

"Charles, you're so repressed," she said while she walked to the couch and plopped down on it. Dad gave her a look that ended the conversation and Shayla blanched. "You're no fun, Charles. I sometimes wonder if you're really my brother." Edward and I joined them on the couch. Shayla literally poked my father trying to get a rise out of him, but he didn't give in to her childish antics. So, she soon turned her attention back to Edward and me.

"So, Edward, you're a vampire, correct?" Shayla asked. I really wish she wouldn't be so nosy, but there was no stopping her once she started. "Is the biting and turning humans thing like in the movies. There is just something provocative about the way the movies portray it.

"Yes, our bite is venomous. If I were to bite a human and not kill them the venom could spread, turning them into a vampire. It's excruciating you feel like you're burning alive for a few days." There was a haunted look in Edward's eyes for a moment, and I put my hand in his to give him support.

"I see, and you don't sleep, ever?" Edward answer with a shake of the head. "So, you don't get tired?" Again, shake of the head. "Well good for you, Bella you got a real winner here he can go all night and day."

"Damn it, Shayla!" Charlie roared. "Enough."

The redhead apprised her brother before continuing. "Well, I won't beat around the bush too much. I have a showing in Seattle on Wednesday night, and I was hoping I might convince my big brother into being my date for the evening."

"Is that really why you're here?" asked Dad.

Shayla seemed looked hurt from his comment. The last time we were all together for the holidays, she and Dad got in an argument about Mom breaking up with him. It eventually ended with a brawl through the house that Grandma and I came home to after going to the grocery store. Some very expensive antiques and a few holes in the floor later, Grandma threw them outside, through a wall. She told them to stay out until she decided they had earned the right to join civilization again. They had spent the night on the veranda. Neither had spoken in almost a year.

Shayla put an arm around me. "Well, I wanted to see my dear niece as well. Finding out about other unnatural beings was just a fun, little side note. I'm going to have to keep a better look out for your kind, Edward."

"I would be cautious of that," he warned. "Most vampires are not as understanding of their secret being brought up by a human as we are. My family is something of an exception to the rule." She nodded.

"I'll be sure to act with discretion. Back to your question Charles, yes that's why I'm here. I wanted to see you and Bella. When I spoke to Mother she said that Bella had moved in with you, so two birds with one stone. The gallery has been in the works for months, so I was planning to visit anyway. I just decided to surprise you."

"Well, I was certainly surprised," he mumbled taking one last drink of his beer.

"So, would you like to escort your dear sister to her gallery opening? We haven't had any brother-sister bonding in so long." He gave her a sidelong glance. The last bonding, they had almost destroyed Grandma's house.

"Fine, I'll go with you," he said, standing and heading to the kitchen.

"If you two would like to come as well, I can put your name on the list as well. You'll have to dress up, of course." I blanched at the idea. A beer can popped open behind me.

"You don't mean, like, tuxedo dress up, do you?" asked Dad from behind us. Shayla turned and looked at Dad for a moment than me.

"What is it with the two of you and your aversion to dressing up and looking nice? Yes, Charles. It's a black-tie affair and it is very important to me. The gallery is going to have some of my newer works in it. It's called being social, getting out into the world will be good for you. Forks isn't exactly a bastion of enlightenment and sophistication."

Edward let out a chuckle. "Your family has as Alice too," he said, grinning. I laughed too as the correlation kicked in. "They could be a terrible par if they ever got together."

"Then we will have to make sure that doesn't happen." I smiled.

We all talked for some time after that. Dad finally relented to wearing a tuxedo to the gallery and Edward and I were undecided as to if we would go or not. He was mostly leaving the decision up to me. I told Auntie I would sleep on it and let her know tomorrow. The rest of our time was spent listening good-naturedly to stories of Shayla's most recent travels in Africa.

We all lost track of time before we knew it was five o'clock. The mention of food was brought up, and Dad said it was game night. That was a code word for pizza. The mention human food was also the signal that Edward was going to make his exit.

I walked with Edward to his car, we were both hesitating not really wanting to part. He brought my hand to his lips in a gentle kiss. "I'll call you later if that's okay?"

"Sure. I'll be doing the family thing for a little while, but I should be able to get away at about eight or so." I said as our fingers parted as he opened his car door and sat in the driver's seat.

"That sounds fine. We'll talk soon. Bye for now, my Bella." I was so acting like one of those girls again. A goofy grin and all. I stood in my driveway until his car was out of sight. It had been a long day, and I was glad the drama was over. I must have completely zoned out because when I turned around, there was an old Chevrolet truck pulling into the driveway.

I saw that truck just about every Monday night since I had moved into Forks. I crossed my arm and gave a warm smile to Billy Black and Jake. The truck pulled into the spot that Edward had just left moments ago. The door of the ancient vehicle opened, and Jake stepped out.

Jake hadn't been around for the last few weeks when Billy had come over. It was only a few weeks, but Jake was noticeably bigger and taller. No one got that buff that fast.

"Hi, Jake?" He gave me his trademark mark grin, and I knew then it had to be him. It didn't lessen the shock though. "You look, wow. Are you on steroids or something?"

"Hi, Bells," he voiced, but as he came closer to me, the smile turned into a frown. Jake's jaw tightened, and he seemed to be shaking.

"Jake!" Billy called from the other side of the truck. Jake turned around to face Billy, who had a cautious look on his face. "A little help here, please." I watched Jake's fists clenched a few times before he walked over to help Billy out of the truck and into his chair.

The two had shared a few words that I couldn't quite make out before Jake wheeled Billy over to me. Billy seemed to be in good spirits, but he and Jake both were giving me a critical look.

"Hello there, Bella."

"Hi, Billy. I guess you're here for something sports related?"

"You know it. Monday night football." Billy smiled as we moved into the house.

°˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

"So, Charles. What do you think about the vampire?" Shayla asked from her seat on the couch. Charlie just took another drink of his beer as his face morphed into a grin.

"The kid's stuffy," Charles remarked.

"What!" Shayla let out a howl of laughter. "You are calling someone else stuffy. What's the saying, the pot calling the kettle black? Please do go ...on."

"Well, they claim to be vampires. They're fast and pretty strong too. One of the kids, Emmett and I had an arm-wrestling match. I won. Didn't see them drinking any blood nor to I want to." Another swig from the bottle.

She giggled. "I'm legitimately proud of you Charles. They try and kill your daughter, my niece, and you decided to have a talk with them. At their house, no less." Shayla kicked her feet up onto the coffee table.

"World's a different place now. The days of taking a pound of flesh and an eye for an eye is over. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved nothing more than tearing them apart for thinking they could kill Bella, but I would have done the same thing in their place." Charlie upended his beer, finishing it off. "I was driving home when Bella landed in front of my car. I hit her, but she was fine of course, the car not so much. I was ready for blood for someone hurting my little girl. I was ready to make someone regret being born, but when Bella told me what happened at school and at the hospital. It hit me that there were a lot of secrets getting out of hand.

"The roles could have just as easily been reversed. If it hadn't been for Bella talking me down earlier that day and asking me to trust her, I probably would have done the same thing. I'm good, but a seven on one fight, or even seven on two… well, the odds wouldn't be in my favor. I would have gone in just about as blind as they did." Charlie shook his head and went to the kitchen, Shayla right on his heels.

Shayla knew that for all his strength Charlie was a good man,but as life had taught the two of them, there was more than one version of good. What might seem good to one, was not the same to the other. Values were a choice, and not everyone shared the same ideals.

Charlie reached into the fridge producing two beers, one he handed to Shayla as she came over.

"Well you handled it differently than Mother would have," said Shayla as she popped the tab of her beer. Charlie laughed, doing the same.

"You got that right. Mother wouldn't have even considered giving quarter. She would have gone in like some avenging angel and putting heads on pikes for show so that everyone would know to never mess with the blood of Ifurita, the demon of the desert." The two grinned at each other then broke out into a fit of laughter. Shayla almost doubled over as she tried to get out her next words.

"Then she," she stifled another laugh. "Then she would have salted the Earth for good measure to make sure nothing ever grew there again." The siblings laughed even harder then. Charlie spoke up, wiping a tear from his eyes.

"I think her best line was, oh how did it go… Oh yeah. Kill them all and let their respective deities sort them out!" The maniacal cackling was never-ending. They didn't say it, but they had missed this. They may have had different fathers and most friends came and went, but they always had each other.

They both knew all the jokes they made were true, Ifurita would have taken her time planned it out, then dropped the hand of God on, not only them but on their family and their family's family too. With time, she would wipe out every trace of a family line. Ifurita's family was the most important thing in the world to her and wow be anyone that hurt what was hers.

Charles had been the only witness to one such event. It was a sobering experience for the two siblings to see what she had done after Shayla father was killed. The two had seen the wrath of their mother in horrifying detail. Shayla had still been too young to really understand why her father wasn't' coming back. Too young to understand why her mother had left their home in a rage shouting in an odd tongue or why she came back later covered in red dye. Then finally, why they left the next day and never returned to Aksu province.

Shayla hadn't understood it at the time. She did when she got older, but it affected her for years after that. When their mother had begun explaining to them what they were when she released her band and explained to her daughter the history of their blood. It was also one of the times that Charlie had seen his mother break down. Losing Shayle's father Lin had hurt her, the body count made that fact all too clear.

But when her daughter said that she would rather die than grow up to be a monster like her, it had broken something in their mother. She became more pragmatic and didn't fly off the handle at things as much. It was a sobering time for all of them.

Charlie had seen his mother being violent before; he had seen her kill before. He had killed numerous people over the years, after all, if you lived long enough, you're going to get blood on your hands eventually, but that night in Aksu province was eye opening to what he could be if he just decided to forgo his humanity and moral code. Men, women, children, dogs, cats, it didn't matter; the streets were red with blood.

It was the one time that Charlie actually thought that the humans might have been right. Maybe they were demons.

The two began to calm down, and a more genuine smile graced Charlie's face as he looked at his sister. He had missed this, and so had Shayla. After Bella was born, she had mellowed out noticeably.

She had started to call the two of them more and drop in on their lives more than just once or twice a year. She held a deep disdain for what Renee did to her son, the only saving grace was that Bella would miss her or she would have been ash scattered to that winds she was so proud of. Both of them knew this, and Shayla was on her mother's side. Maybe she didn't call for Renee's death, but a good ass kicking maybe.

The two siblings were just making their way back the living room when the front door opened, and Bella entered, followed close behind by Billy being wheeled in by Jacob.

"Ha Dad, Billy and Jake are here..." Bella trailed off seeing the two. "I'll be back in a minute. I'm going to grab my mobile." The two siblings parted, letting Bella by as Charlie focused on his best friend and his son.

Unsure of what he was seeing, Charlie blinked a few times. He was rendered speechless for a moment when he looked over Jacob, wondering if this was the boy that he had known his whole life. He hadn't seen the kid in over a month, but to bulk up that much.

Shayla, however, had never met the boy and instead thought he might scratch an itch she had just nicely. So, she did what came naturally to her and poured on the charm, pulling up some subtle changes that would be more enticing to the copper-skinned hunk.

"Damn, Jacob. Billy, what are you feeding the boys down at the rez?" he asked, looking to his oldest, living friend. Billy seemed to ignore him for a moment, looking past him then he caught himself.

"He sure has been packing on the pounds in all the right places, hasn't he?" Billy leaned to the side, looking at something behind Charlie. "Who's your lovely lady friend?"

Charlie smiled sheepishly as he looked to his sister. Then dead paned when he realized she was again laying it on pretty thick. He gave her an accusing look before turning back to his best friend and his son.

"She's not my lady friend. Billy, Jacob, this is Shayla-Shayla, my younger sister." Two pairs of shocked eyes looked back and forth between the two. Then there was only one pair of eyes comparing the two, the pair of eyes from the young were now firmly fixed on the redhead. "Before you ask, yes I am serious, and since you're a nosey, old man, we have different fathers," he said good-naturedly to Billy.

Billy took the initiative and wheeled over to extend his hand to her, and she reciprocated the gesture. "Well, it's nice to meet you. Charlie never spoke about you. Ever," Billy added, eyeing his best friend of more than twenty-five years.

"Charles and I haven't seen each other in a while. We were estranged for some years, and we're working through our family stuff," she said deflecting the conversation.

"It's a long story and one for another time. The game is starting, and I need to order the pizzas still." Billy was a little disturbed with Charlie's attitude. The woman was just too much, she was very attractive and exotic. So far removed from anything that was Charlie Swan.

Charlie stepped passed, Billy ending the conversation. He placed his hand firmly on Jacob's shoulder, effectively pulling him out of his daze as he looked at Charlie.

"You okay, son? You kind of got a thousand-yard stare going on there." Jacob only nodded dumbly, turning back to his sister.

She was laying it on too thick and had no idea that regardless of what he looked like, the kid was only fifteen. Charlie sat down in the recliner and grabbed the phone, ordering several pizzas.

Shayla followed suit, giving Jacob an inviting grin as he followed her to the couch like a puppy. Shayla and Jacob began a light conversation about nothing and Charlie rolled his eyes, seeing his sister work. She fell into the act so easy.

Bella returned a moment later with her copy of Worthington Heights and her mobile, switching between texting and reading the book she had already read a hundred times over.

Charlie and Billy bickering about which team was the best and criticizing every call the coaches made. It was turning out to be the usually Monday night at the Swan house.

(´∇ノ`*)ノ

Thoughts? I would really like to know your thoughts on this chapter, well everything so reviews are always appreciated and make me happy to hear from you.

Next chapter up in just a min. ;3

Q&A

HopeStreet : Why does Payusha keep using We rather than I. I think I mentioned this before, its been a while. But she is using as a Majestic Plural, it is the use of a plural pronoun (or corresponding plural-inflected verb forms) to refer to a single person who is a monarch.

Please feel free to let me know what you thing in a review, later o/