Disclaimer: Same thing as the Prologue, it's all there.
I decided to upload the Prologue and first chapter today to give a small feel for the story. I'll upload the other chapters later on.
I woke with a start as I bolted upright in my bed. My body scrambled under the covers, trying vainly to throw the bedsheets off of me as I tangled my limbs in them. When I finally became mostly free I jumped out of bed and sprinted for the door, dragging what remained of the sheets around my ankle.
I grabbed the door and threw it open, my heart hammering wildly in my chest as my stomach churned. I took in deep breaths as I sprinted down the hall, my footsteps echoing around the house as I reached the bathroom door. I flashed my hand to the side, snapping on the bathroom light as I collapsed in front of the toilet, pushing up the lid just in time to vomit.
Everything that was left in my stomach flew out of my mouth into the water of the bowl that turned a revolting yellow, orange color. I coughed as I puked, holding my hair back with my thin fingers to keep it from getting tangled in the mess.
A hand suddenly grabbed my hair, holding it back for me as another rubbed my back in soothing patterns. They moved with me as I rocked back and forth slightly over the toilet, getting out every part of that vile that had rested in me.
Then, after a few minutes, I finally stopped retching. I took in a deep breath, feeling the vomit on the corner of my mouth and lips. I stared down at the gross contents of the bowl for a second as the pungent air hit me through my nostrils.
I rocked away from the toilet as the hands released my hair and back. One closed the toilet and the other flushed it. The water was turned on as I leaned against the bathroom wall, trying to regain my energy from the episode.
There was a small grunt as Charlie squatted down in front of me with a damp rag. He wiped at my mouth, getting rid of the vomit around my mouth and anywhere else. Neither of us said anything as he cleaned off the puke, readjusting the rag in his hand to make sure he was using clean sides.
After the last swipe, he looked into my eyes. "The medicine again?" he asked knowingly.
We had been on this rollercoaster many times before. Sometimes my medication just wouldn't let me hold down anything and I would throw up what my digestive track hadn't already taken. Sometimes it was at night and sometimes it was during the day; either way it sucked like hell.
I gave a small nod, rubbing my eyes with my skinny fingers. "It just kind of woke me up," I murmured. I looked down at my hands as they fell into my lap again.
I had lost almost fifteen pounds ever since I first started chemo two years ago. The first round wasn't horrible, and I was able to withstand it some, but after a while the symptoms started to set in. My appetite shrank and I would vomit whatever I had left right after a round.
My hair had stayed, though, and I was grateful for that. We had a good feeling about it staying as it didn't really go away much when I first went through chemo. It brightened my day up little when I was able to mess with it.
Charlie nodded and looked at the clock we had positioned on the wall in front of the toilet after several of these trips already. "It's a little past two in the morning. Do you want to go back to bed or stay up?" he asked.
I sighed. "I think I'll stay up for a bit until I feel better."
He nodded. "Alright," he agreed. He set the puke rag on the counter and grabbed my cold hands in his warm ones. He smiled and pulled me up. "Here we go."
He began to lead me back to my room. I leaned against Charlie, letting him support me. Charlie had been the one to take care of me this time. Last time Renee was the one I lived with for the treatment when I was seven back in Arizona. This time I lived with Charlie up here in Alaska.
We had stayed in Forks for a while, driving to the hospital in Port Angeles for my treatment before we would drive home. The cancer had lessened a little, but not enough while in Forks. We knew I needed better treatment, but it was too expensive for us.
Then, Phil had a moment. He met a guy on the baseball team-Tom-who had a brother that was a doctor up here in Alaska that specialized in my kind of cancer. He said that he wanted to help and he called his brother-Dr. Ford-and my new treatment was set up as a favor.
So, almost two years after chemo, Charlie and I moved up here to stay at Tom's vacation home for the new treatment. We had been here for a few weeks now, and had met with the doctor twice, and just had my first round of chemo here the other day.
Alaska was kind of nice. It wasn't too different from Forks, but it was the nice kind of different at the same time-almost like when you get a new room style that's more fitting to your personality than the old one was, but still the same room. I had too many memories haunting me back in Forks, and I think the move might have helped me with my optimism.
Charlie guided me into my bedroom as he turned on the light, and bent down to grab what of my sheet had been torn from the bed. He threw it back onto the mattress and pulled to leave a space open for me to slide in. I settled myself on the bed, too exhausted to argue about "being fragile" like I usually did.
I got myself comfortable, moving my pillow to be propped up so I could read another book, or maybe play some more music. Charlie put the sheet and covers over me when I had gotten settled and looked at me. "Do you want me to keep you company?" he asked.
I shook my head and smiled. "No, go ahead and go back to bed, Dad. You need it," I said.
"You do too."
"I'll be fine," I assured, giving a small roll of my eyes to overlook his tone. I knew he was right-that I did need sleep-but I knew I wouldn't be able after the episode. Not for a while, anyways.
He gave me a small look, but nodded with a small sigh and began to back out of the room. "Alright, I'll go to bed, but if you need me come and get me," he said with as he fought off a yawn.
I nodded. "I will."
Charlie closed the door behind him as he slipped out of my room. He stood there for a second before he turned and walked down the hall. I listened to his retreating footsteps as they soon disappeared into his room. I gave a small sigh, resting my head against the frame of my bed. Charlie really had done a lot for me, and I was starting to feel like I was becoming a burden to him; more of a burden than I had been in Forks after the Cullens.
I closed my eyes for a moment, letting myself sit in peace and silence as I gathered my thoughts. It was kind of nice sometimes; being alone with my thoughts. It allowed my body to relax and process things when they became stressful-almost my own version of meditation.
This mediation, however, didn't last long when pale skin, golden eyes and various hair colors of blonde, brunette, caramel and bronze brushed against my eyelids. I snapped my eyes open. I shook my head, trying to clear my mind of the Cullens-that would result in keeping me awake for hours.
I sighed and looked around my room, deciding what to do. My eyes landed on the piano in the corner of my room. It was electric, not like the miniature grand piano I had back in Forks. I had taken up music as a way of therapy during my first few weeks of chemo. I became a little too involved in it, honestly, and played more often than I did speak for a while. The piano-in my own way-was my way of speaking. The music allowed me to express thoughts and ideas that I didn't have the ability to before. The tone, tempo and sound of the song expressed my mood, my deepest thoughts.
The piano became one of my best confidents, and the best thing about it, was that no one and nothing could hear what thoughts I had said to it.
I smiled a little and climbed out of bed. The cold air hit my legs harshly, sending a chill up my spine even though I had on sweat pants thanks to what little meat I had on my bones. Being 105 lbs. was hard to manage with my whole weight fluctuation, and more common than not I was under my minimum weight of 105.
I ignored the chill as I approached the bench and sat, causing it to creak slightly under my weight. My fingers expertly turned on the keyboard. I turned the volume down and hit the middle C to test the volume. When it still seemed a little too loud, I turned it down just a little more and then smiled.
I set my fingers on the keyboard and let the song Oceans begin to play from my fingertips. Unlike Edward, I had actually grown to learn songs that were more modern and recent along with classics like Clair de Lune. I wrote my own pieces as well, but most of them were improvised unless I really got stuck on a tune I couldn't get out of my head.
I smiled as I let myself go while I played the song, closing my eyes to let the meditative state take my body. It was almost second nature to let the music take me where it wanted me to-it sounded insane, I know-but it was a part of me. I understood that I couldn't play music how I wanted to play it, I had to play it wanted me to play.
Doing that, I could make whatever sound I wished.
It was the one place I could go to and just…forget. I could let go of everything around me and just play and lose myself in the world of music and let the peace of it take over and hold onto me in comfort.
It was my haven.
I smiled as I moved my body with the music, playing with as much feeling as I could. My brow furrowed slightly as I concentrated, playing the song by heart as my hands did the hard thumps, trills and swift movements that the song required.
I took in a breath as my soul seemed to mix with the music, letting my body relax for a moment and forget the stress I had been through. I let my mind wander into an oblivion; going completely and utterly blank as it lost control of my body.
Then, as the song slowly came to an end, I felt myself slowly slip back into my body to come back to Earth. I took in deep breaths, letting my body remain calm and easy as I slowly came back to the present from my euphoric state.
On the last note I slowly opened my eyes to see the wall of the bedroom in front of me. A smile pulled on the corners of my mouth and I closed my eyes once again.
Now that my body was relaxed, I let my fingers move along the keyboard in any way they wished. The sounds that came from the speakers were beautiful and I let myself go once more.
I woke to the gentle shaking on my shoulder. I gave a small grunt, furrowing my brow as I blinked my eyes open at the gentle voice, "Bella, it's time to get up."
I rolled over onto my side to see Charlie standing above me in his usual plaid shirt, pants and boots. He gave me a small smile as he looked down at me. "Come on, Bells, we need to get you ready for the doctor."
I nodded groggily with a small yawn and held out my hand. I had forgotten that our appointment had been today. The havoc last night had left me a little lazy in the head, apparently. Charlie took my hand and pulled me out of bed-not that I wasn't capable of getting up, he just knew I was that lazy-and from under the covers.
I rubbed my eyes as I stood, taking out the sleep in my eyes before I walked to the bathroom. I closed the door behind me and began my routine. I started with washing my face, waking myself up further than I was already. I then showered, cleaning away the invisible grime that had clung to my body throughout the night.
I dressed myself in a casual outfit, but it did show me off a little. Over the years, I had discovered that while I may not like shopping, it was nice to have clothes that at least complemented my figure. It was kind of a nice way to cheer myself up. It was also my way of showing people that even in this situation I wasn't going to let it stop me from looking good.
When I walked down the stairs in my dark skinny jeans, burgundy long sleeved pink shirt and gray Vans, Charlie was in the kitchen getting some food ready for me. I would admit that Charlie had gotten a lot better in his skill of cooking. It still wasn't great, but it was better.
I smiled at him as I came down the stairs. "Hi, Dad," I said.
He smiled. "Hey, Bells. I thought we could try some eggs today. I know that syrup doesn't set well on your stomach after a round," he said, turning his attention back to the pan where he was scrambling eggs.
I nodded. "Thanks," I said, walking to the small bar. I sat on the stool that had the glass of V8, napkin and fork in front of it. One of the major goals in my chemo was to make sure I kept myself fed on healthy food-even if it was difficult. V8 did help a little with the vegetable section, but it didn't do everything for me-hence why keeping a healthy weight was difficult when you had the appetite of a bird.
Charlie lifted the pan off of the stove and tiled it sideways over the plate, scraping the scrambled eggs off onto the plate with the spatula. He tapped the flat end on the plate to get the remaining eggs off before he set the pan and spatula on the opposite end of the stove to let them cool.
He grabbed the plate with a satisfied smile and walked to me. He set the plate in front of me. "Here you go."
I smiled. "Thanks, Dad."
He nodded. "Of course, Bells," he smiled. The awkwardness between us had disappeared over the years. We had to go through so much together, do a lot together, that it really wasn't awkward any more. Charlie supported me after Edward broke my heart, he took care of me during the cancer and he had made sure every boy in town knew that I had cancer, but I wasn't up for grabs.
It was a little funny to see him interrogate Mike Newton when he "subtly" tried to ask me on a date that pretty much implied sex. Mike got so red and scared that he practically held doors open for me, held out my chair and practically apologized for every mistake he made for a month.
It was an enjoyable to watch him squirm.
I picked up my fork and stabbed the eggs on my plate. I lifted a bite to my mouth, chewed and swallowed. Eating faster helped me eat more than eating slower-which was probably good with Charlie's cooking. I reached forward and took a drink of my V8.
"So," he said, "we're supposed to meet Dr. Ford at elven-thirty, but it might be later because of how he is." He meant that in a good way, though.
The reason Dr. Ford was such a good doctor was because he would stay as long as he needed to. Instead of just watching the seconds tick by as he half listened to your story, he watched you and would end the meeting when you were done. He would listen to your problems, ask you in detail questions about them and would make sure he knew everything before it was over. It was a little annoying with having to wait so long, of course, but the work he did was remarkable and completely worth it.
I stabbed another bite of my eggs. "Probably, it's okay though. I've been working on a book for a while anyways, and I was hoping to get it done," I said with a shrug.
He smirked. "You mean Wuthering Heights? As in the book that you've read only five times already?" he asked.
I blushed slightly. "Only four…" I murmured.
I shoved the bite into my mouth and quickly swallowed it down after the other. "Don't judge me," I said. I then raised a brow. "And you can't say anything since I'm pretty sure you and Sue will be writing each other love letters the whole time."
The blush immediately went from my face to his. "Well…" he mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck. After the Cullens left and I had started chemo, I had discovered about the other supernatural side of Forks-the shifters of La Push-when Paul accidently shifted in front of me.
Generally, the Pack would have tried to make me forget it happened, but since I knew about the Cullens, had connections to the Pack already and the condition I was left in, they welcomed me with open arms. Jacob and I had always been good friends, and having a shifter that was familiar with you and trusted you got you on their good side quickly. I got to know the imprints really well along with the tribe's legends and Elders.
However, I also got protection. During that time, Victoria had decided she wanted revenge for the Cullens killing James. She was going to "…take a mate for a mate," Laurent had said. He had visited me during the beginning of my cancer trial and-well let's just say he was too tempted by my blood-the wolves showed up before he could kill me.
They guarded me for months after the incident, keeping at least two wolves with me or around me at all times. During that time, Victoria had killed Harry Clearwater-Seth and Leah's dad whom was married to Sue-and it was enough to make the wolves even more set on killing her.
One day-while Seth and Leah were my protection-I had gone to the store to grab groceries. Both were doing a perimeter run of the place when she pounced, cornering me in the back of the store where there were little witnesses. Victoria gave a speech about how she had planned on killing me, how she had been so clever to wait until the wolves were distracted, how she would make me suffer for getting James killed: how she would make the Cullens suffer.
It was during her speech that she seemed to realize something was off. She had just stared at me for a moment, trying to figure out what was different when I suppose she smelt it. I had just been at chemo the other day and hadn't been able to shower. I smelt like hospital, drugs and wolf-the wolf having probably masked the other scents and delayed her reaction.
She had taken a step back and said, "You aren't healthy."
I had shaken my head. "No," I admitted. I told her I was going through cancer, that I had first had it when I was a child and how I had found out it had come back days before the Cullens left. Victoria hadn't seemed sure whether to believe me or not, but she had listened to my story.
I didn't expect her to really be sympathetic, or forgiving, but she paused for a second. She thought about the situation and then thought about the Cullens. After a moment, she had said, "You are dying already, then."
I had nodded.
She thought, took a step forward, and said, "You've suffered more than I could ever make you, and I personally think that emotional and physical trauma together are killers in themselves. I won't torture you, no, but I will kill you."
Before she could, however, Seth, Leah, Jacob and Sam appeared in the store and grabbed her. They drug her outside before she could get away, not wanting to cause a scene and killed her in the forest. While they had wanted to torture her, she had taken pity on me and I took pity on her. I made sure her death was quick and fast, and while she didn't say it, I could see the thankfulness in joining James quickly in her eyes before she died.
So, strangely, the cancer had been a good thing for me. I had seen that there was a humane side to Victoria when she took pity on me. I had received another bond of family and closer friends. I was closer to Charlie than I ever thought I would be, and I was-really-happier than I had ever been with myself.
Not to mention-as I had started this whole thing out with, but somehow got off topic-Charlie and Sue found a relationship in each other. Leah and Seth were a little weirded out with Charlie and Sue being together, but they soon got over it and supported their mom like I did my dad.
In a strange way they were cute together when they acted like teenagers involved in their first real relationship.
I smiled at Charlie at the thought. "It's okay, Dad, I get it." I shoveled the last of the eggs into my mouth and climbed off the stool. "Let's go. We'll get there around eleven-twenty if we leave now."