Disclaimer: Beginning of Story
Sorry for the delay, guys! But here's the next chapter.
After I finished brushing my teeth, I returned downstairs with Tanya and Esme hot on my heels. Esme had been apologizing ruthlessly ever since she came into the living room and saw Charlie passed out on the couch. I had told her it was alright many times (she had kept me from vomiting all over the floor, after all), but she still felt guilty.
I tucked my hands into my pockets, glad I had some energy left in me, and walked forward to sit on the arm of the couch where Charlie lay. I was a little disappointed to see his tongue was no longer poking out from his mouth. I glanced from my dad to Carlisle crouched in front of him. "How's he doing?" I asked.
Carlisle shot me a comforting smile. "He will be alright. He's just recovering from the shock of everything is all," he said. He rose from the ground and moved to stand next to his wife. "He'll come around soon."
Esme ducked into his side and gave me another apologetic look. "I'm sorry, Bella. I should have thought instead of acted."
I shook my head and forced down a sigh. I appreciated her apologies, but they were unnecessary. "Esme, it's fine, I promise. It's not like you meant to make him pass out, after all." I pushed hair behind my ear. "Besides, at least we're past demonstrating for evidence."
She stared at me doubtfully, and Charlie grunted on the couch. He immediately had the attention of the entire room. His mustache twitched with his lip as he slowly began to come back to consciousness.
Sue sat down next to him and waited patiently. Everyone took the slightest step forward. Tanya stepped in behind and rested her hands on my shoulders. I could tell she was nervous as her hands slid from my shoulders to my upper arms and back again.
We waited in tense silence and watched as his body began to twitch and his breathing became shallower. Until, finally, he blinked his hazy eyes open. I bit my lip.
Sue leaned forward and tenderly touched his arm. "Charlie?" she called. He blinked again. "Charlie, are you alright?"
My father opened his eyes, focused on Sue for a second, opened his mouth…and began screaming. "FUCKING SHIT! FUCKITY FUCK!"
Sue jumped back in shock as Emmett let out a booming laugh (thankfully cut short by a sharp hit from Rosalie to his ribs). Charlie swung his head around wildly. Sue was scooped up by Seth before she was tossed off the couch from the man's flailing. "Holy shit! What the fuck?! Holy fucking shit!"
The supernatural creatures around the room widened their eyes in shock and pure panic. Luckily, I was well-versed in my father. "Dad!"
"How the fucking hell—?!"
He froze like a cartoon character. His mouth hung half open and his eyes stared at me in a weird mixture of panic, confusion, and even more panic. Twenty years in the police department really did come in handy at times.
I let out a breath of relief. At least the god-awful screaming was over…for now, at least. "Dad," I said, "I need you to calm down, okay?" I surprised myself with how calm my voice sounded; especially given my scared shitless induced vomiting a few minutes ago. "We'll explain everything. I promise."
Charlie blinked blankly for a moment and then slowly closed his mouth. His arms—which had been at weird angles from flopping around during his shouting—lowered to his sides as he took in several deep breaths. He fidgeted with the collar of his shirt as he cleared his throat. "Right," he breathed. "Of course."
I did my best to send him a reassuring smile as Tanya lightly kneaded the muscles in my shoulders. "It's alright if you need to take a few moments to yourself," she spoke up.
Charlie pursed his lips and ran his hand through his hair. "No, no," he said. "I-I'm alright." His throat cleared again. "I apologize. I…might have raised my voice."
Tanya smiled comfortingly. "It's alright. The entire situation is less than ideal for us, as well," she said. The coven leader tilted her head curiously as she eyed him. "What exactly do you remember?"
He finally took his eyes off the spot in the carpet he'd been staring at for the past few minutes, and looked at Tanya over my shoulder. He shifted in his seat. "I…I'm not entirely sure if I dreamed it or if I saw it, but…I remember Bella being here and then suddenly not." He shot me a look, and I ducked my head with a bashful smile.
Tanya nodded. "Yes," she said calmly, "you did see that."
I bit the inside of my cheek and prayed that he would not start screaming again. I needed—we needed—him to take this all in well. And I didn't know what we'd do if he freaked out and never believed us.
Charlie started to open his mouth—maybe to scream—and then snapped it close. He exhaled sharply and nodded. He honestly looked a little constipated. "Oh," he wheezed, and his voice was an octave higher than usual. "So…she did blur out of sight. That's…interesting. How, uh, how long has that been happening?"
The supernaturals in the room glanced at each other. "Well," Carlisle started, "it wasn't necessarily Bella's doing."
Tanya took in a breath and sighed. "We're going about this all wrong," she muttered. She squeezed my shoulder. "Charlie, I'm sure you've noticed some differences about us, right? Our cold and pale skin, gold eyes…so on?"
Charlie nodded. "Err…Yes, but I didn't really want to say anything since the boys have oddities as well," he said with a glance towards the Pack standing not too far away.
"Well, there's a reason we have them," she continued, "along with the tribe." She glanced at the wolves who nodded in consent. She gave the smallest nod back. "You see, Charlie, none of us besides you, Sue, Emily, and Bella are exactly human."
The room was silent and watched the man as his eyes grew bigger and bigger and bigger. His breathing picked up as the thought rolled through his head. He opened his mouth again, but closed it before taking in a breath. He slowly released it. "Okay."
I let out a breath of relief and I felt Tanya's body lose a lot of tension I hadn't noticed. Sam stepped forward for the Chief's attention. "I know this is a lot to take in already, Charlie, but can you please try to keep an open mind while we explain ourselves?"
My dad nodded slowly. "I can try," he said. "It's just…not human? How can you not be human?" He looked from me to Sue. "Did you two know about this?"
Sue nodded with a sad smile. "Yes, Charlie," she said, "since Leah and Seth are my children, I know about everything that's going on here. And Bella…" She glanced at me. "…well, she has been involved in this ever since she first came to Forks."
My father turned to me stunned. I smiled. "It's going to explain a lot of what happened, Dad. You'll understand some things better than you did before, but for now, you just need to know the basics."
He nodded and swallowed hard. He took in a deep breath, relaxed into the couch, and nodded. "Alright." He looked around the room. "If you aren't human, then what are you?"
"Well, really we are two different things," Sam explained. He motioned to himself and the rest of the Pack. "We're what you'd call shape-shifters. We can change into large wolves."
Charlie nodded. "Okay…" he said lowly. He cleared his throat, and his eyes flicked to the Denalis and the Cullens. "And…what does that make you?"
"Vampires," Kate said simply.
Charlie blinked and stared at her in disbelief before he shook his head. "Vampires…Like Dracula?"
I chuckled with the others. I remembered asking the same thing when I first found out. "Not exactly," I smiled. "The Dracula thing doesn't really exist in the vampire world. They do drink blood and all, but the Cullens and Denalis are one of the few vampire covens that drink animal blood in substitute for human. It's why their eyes are gold."
Charlie nodded and looked at each of the vampires and at every pair of golden eyes. He snorted and ran his hand through his hair. "So let me get this straight." He pointed at Tanya. "You are vampires, but don't drink human blood, and they are shape-shifters that turn into very big dogs?"
"Wolves," Paul corrected. "It sounds more awesome."
Charlie took in a breath. "Okay…Okay…" He took a second to process it all before, "So…What else do I not know?"
Sue chuckled and took his hand in hers. "A lot, Charlie, a lot."
"Okay, so…shape-shifters and vampires are originally natural enemies, but recently you have been coming together, because of your ties with Bella. Shape-shifters are the Quileute tribe members who have inherited the ability to shift into very large wolves, and because of it the shifters are very hot to the touch and eat almost everything along with being naturally strong. Meanwhile, the vampires don't have heartbeats and are cold and pale, because they essentially, by definition, are dead. Vampires that drink human blood have red eyes while animal-drinkers have gold, and together, you all have super strength, speed, hearing, sight and sense of smell. Did I leave anything out?"
"Venom," I smiled.
"Oh, yes, and they can change people by biting them, and their venom will eventually change that person entirely into a vampire after three days for the transformation to take place. Now, did I leave anything out?" Charlie looked around the room.
After the shock of everything passed, Charlie had eventually wound down enough to listen to everything with great interest. He actually took all of the information in really well, and was eager to learn more about something if it spiked his interest. The whole conversation had taken about two hours, and I was more than relieved he had taken it so well. He reminded me of how I was when I first found out about the Cullens and wolves. It was…strangely endearing and nostalgic.
Esme shook her head with a small smile. "No," she said, "that's everything we've told you so far."
Charlie nodded and rubbed his hands together. "I think I'm getting the hang of this," he said. He cocked his head to the side in thought. "But I do have to ask…" He looked at Tanya and me seated on the loveseat. "…is the thing with the wooden stake thing true?"
Tanya snorted. "Hardly," she chuckled with her family. "We can only die if we are ripped apart and then the pieces are burnt."
Charlie stared at her dumbstruck, his mouth slightly agape, and I completely understood. I was sure that if I hadn't been full of adrenaline when I found out how they were killed, I would've had the same expression. "Well that's a hell of a way to go."
I smiled. "It's all a little unbelievable, huh?"
He snorted. "One way to say it." A few smiles were cracked around the room while Charlie once again fell silent to think. "Alright…I think I got it now, but I do need to ask one more question." He looked at me. "How exactly are you mixed up in all of this?"
I glanced down at Tanya's and mine's joined hands in my lap. Tanya tightened her grip on my waist and snuggled closer. "Well…" I looked up with an awkward smiled. "I'm pretty sure you already guessed it involves me dating Edward in high school, right?"
He nodded. "That's a given."
"I suppose," I smiled. "Anyway, like you I noticed some odd things about the Cullens, but since I was already kind of getting involved with Edward, I tried to figure out what was different about them. It wasn't until after Edward saved my life from the car crash that I really started to get involved with it."
"Also by tricking me into telling you a story," Jacob muttered and gave me a side glare.
I blushed and ducked my head as the Pack huffed. I still felt bad about that. "Sorry," I said. "If it helps, you were a pretty good storyteller."
Paul snickered. "I think it's just funny you managed to make him tell it." He smirked. "Then again, he did have a small little puppy crush on you, so…"
I winced with Jacob while the others raised their brows. That little puppy love thing had disappeared not long after we had spent more time together working on the bikes and he shifted. After spending more time together, I was pretty sure we both realized there wasn't really any chemistry between us when it came to the romance area, and it died out pretty quickly.
However, just because it had died out between us, didn't mean that it had died in the Pack. "Aw, little Jacob's crush you mean?" Leah sniggered.
I rolled my eyes as Jacob scowled. "Oh, shut it, Leah."
The woman curved her brow. "Shut it on what? The whole 'Bella is so pretty?'" Her voice dropped an octave to imitate him.
Seth grinned. "'I wish Bella would come over.'"
"'Wish Bella wouldn't come over,'" Sam smirked. He shrugged when Jacob turned around to glare at him evilly.
"'Maybe I should call Bella.'"
"'Maybe I should follow Bella around the entire beach.'"
The wolves burst into laughter. Jacob rolled his eyes and shook his head. Tanya tightened her grip on me possessively and put her mouth next to my ear. "Was there something between you two?" she asked lowly.
I knew it was mostly her instincts driving the reaction, but I still found it kind of cute. I shook my head and turned my face towards her. "No," I said just as lowly. "He's like my brother."
The blonde nodded shortly in understanding and pressed a small kiss to my temple apologetically for her doubt. I smiled fondly and turned back to the bickering Pack.
"Anyway," I interrupted, "after I had Jacob tell me the story about the treaty, it really didn't take a long time to put two and two together. Edward confirmed my suspicions of them being vampires and after that I was introduced to the family."
Charlie nodded and a look of understanding dawned his face. "Is that why you left suddenly to Phoenix after you played baseball...If that's even what you did." He muttered the last part.
The Cullens stiffened and looked around the room awkwardly. The Pack shifted around the room and glanced between the Cullens and myself—having heard the story from me a hundred times—to see if there was any reason for them to intervene. The Denalis—who were still not completely over the incident—shot the Cullens glares, but didn't speak.
I pursed my lips and nodded. "Yes," I said. "It's one of the things I was saying would make more sense after you understood." I shifted in Tanya's hold as he raised his brow at me quizzically. "Do you remember all of those mysterious killings, Dad? The one that involved Waylon, and was blamed on animals?"
Charlie's face twitched a little. He knew exactly what I was talking about, because he still didn't believe the killings had made any sense; especially, his friend Waylon being in the mix of it all. It had been something that always itched at him, but he couldn't do more than he already had so he had been forced to leave it be. It wasn't exactly a secret he still wanted to know more.
"Vividly," he grumbled.
"I'm afraid it wasn't animals at all," Carlisle said. He looked at Charlie sympathetically as he knew Waylon had been a close friend to the man. "It was a coven of nomadic vampires. Human drinkers, to be precise."
Charlie's jaw ticked and a look of anger briefly flashed in his eyes before it turned to shock. His eyes immediately snapped to me. "Is that why you left? Because of those vampires?"
I nodded and smiled at him sadly. "I had to," I said. "They heard the Cullens playing baseball and decided to introduce themselves. And—as you'll find out from more stories—because my blood is apparently so appealing to vampires, my scent attracted the attention of the leader of the coven. He liked to play games when he hunted, and he wanted to hunt me since the Cullens were involved."
"We had to get Bella out of the state," Alice continued as she looked at Charlie imploringly, "or else he would have killed her. Jasper and I took her to Phoenix in hopes it would throw them off, but…he found her anyway."
"It's not your fault, Alice," I sighed and looked over at the pixie. "You and Jasper had no idea that he would trick me."
She shook her head. "But I should've known after that vision," she insisted. "Why else would he have gone somewhere you knew? Somewhere in the exact same city as us?"
"Your visions are based on decisions," I said, "and for all we knew, he was just retracing my steps to find somewhere that held meaning to me. On top of that, you were watching his decisions; not mine. You had no idea I would choose to give myself up."
Alice frowned, still not convinced with the idea. The two really did carry a lot of baggage when it came to me being hurt, it seemed. From the incident with the nomads to the birthday party, the two had been in the center of it all. And time was apparently what it was going to take to get the burden off their shoulders.
Charlie sat up. "Wait. What?" His brows almost disappeared in his hairline. "Give yourself up? What the hell does that mean?"
I winced. I'd forgotten we hadn't told him that part, yet.
"He tricked her," Jasper said. "He used a recording Victoria—one of the vampires—stole from Bella's home in Phoenix of Renee looking for Bella. He made it sound like she was being held hostage and told Bella that unless she gave herself up, he'd hurt Renee. And Bella—being the idiotic and selfless person she is—"
The soldier gave me a small from the corner of his mouth. "—she went to save her mom only to find James had tricked her. All the injuries she had were from him before we arrived."
Charlie blinked, stunned. He stayed silent for a few seconds and stared blankly at the ground. Then, slowly, he took in a breath. "That's just…fucking sick."
I snorted. "He was."
Tanya tightened her hold on me immediately. I wasn't sure if it was meant to comfort me or her based on the topic, but either way, I leant back into her hold. Tanya rested her head on my shoulder and it a small nuzzle of affection.
Charlie ran his hand through his hair and shook his head. "Damn," he muttered, "it all makes so much sense now."
I chuckled despite the heaviness. "Told ya."
Charlie took in another breath and leaned back into the couch. "Just…wow." His hands dragged down his face in a disbelieving laugh. He snorted. "I'm actually tempted to applaud you for keeping this shit hidden from me for so long."
Emmett puffed out his chest. "Well, of course we could," he boasted. "If we couldn't that would just put a terrible looking dent in our awesomeness."
Paul snorted. "Says the walking cinderblock."
"You turn into a giant puppy."
Carmen leaned forward. "Despite how well we've kept the secret," she said, "my question is whether or not you want to continue talking about this or take a break, Charlie?"
It was a good question to ask, and I knew I wasn't the only one who thought that with all of the nods that passed around the room. Charlie pursed his lips, rubbed his hands together thoughtfully, and nodded. "I think I'd like to take a small break," he said. "My head needs time to adjust to everything before it explodes."
She smiled. "Understandable."
Kate stood up. "You want a beer, Charlie? I ran out with Irina earlier to get them for you."
Charlie nodded and actually looked a little relieved at the sound of alcohol. "Please." It took only the blink of an eye for Kate to stand in front of him with an opened beer in her hand. Charlie took a second to register it before he hesitantly took the beer. "Thanks…"
She nodded. "Yep!" I shook my head with the others as Kate blurred out of the room and then reappeared after throwing away the bottle cap.
"Must you be so dramatic, Katrina?" Eleazer drawled as he eyed the energetic Denali.
She nodded completely unaffected by his glare. "Hell yeah," she grinned. "I didn't get to do this with Bella after we found out she knew. I need to take this chance and show off all of my moves." She did a standing back flip to punctuate her meaning.
Emmett grinned. "Let's arm wrestle," he said.
Kate moved to start the game when Carmen called out and latched her wrist. "Later, you two," she said and glared at both of them from the corner of her eyes. "I don't need to clean up something else you've broken from a game getting out of hand." Emmett pouted, but she ignored it as Kate rolled her eyes and sat down in defeat. "Besides, I don't think you need to rush into every little thing you can do yet. You still have a while to do that."
"Meh," Kate grumbled.
Charlie took a good, long, giant swig from the beer, and I had a feeling he'd need more than one during the remainder of his visit.