Hello! New chapter... So, this story is reaching its end. There are two or three chapters left.
Thank you to my silent readers, to those who had reviewed, to those who had only added me to their alerts list.
OH, I have another fic on the workings. It's Paul/Bella in Eclipse. She had been having doubts about her relationship with Edward. At the same time Paul had been hot and cold towards her, effectively confusing her. Until the night the Cullens and the wolves meet to practice for the upcoming fight. That night changed everything for everyone. Paul fully imprinted on her.
CHAPTER 11: MENDING FENCES.
Laurent and Victoria were still out there, doing god knows what. Probably plotting their revenge. It was crazy, maddening, worrying.
Edward stiffened up as well. They needed to do something about that. Strategize, lure them out. He couldn't focus on Victoria's and Laurent's minds that day on the baseball field. He had been too worried with James and protecting Bella.
It would probably be a good idea to regroup and find out what are they up to. Alice hadn't said anything. Although, they had been too focused on Bella, and then Kieran with the news that he could recover or erase memories. It had been a crazy few weeks.
Bella sighed, bringing Edward back into the moment. He looked down at her. "We have to go back, don't we?"
He nodded also disappointed. "We need to speak about what to do with the nomads." Bella knew he was right, but she didn't want to move.
An idea formed in her head. They could spare a few minutes. She moved quickly, not giving Edward the chance to protest or to change his mind. She straddled him, kissing his neck, and his chest, effectively and immediately turning him on. She smiled wickedly at his trembling form.
The talk was effectively delayed.
Three hours later they decided that they had delayed the decision to talk about the nomads that had wanted her for a snack. So, they decided to walk back home.
Their clothes were not on the best shape, but it was enough to cover their bodies on the way back. They were hand in hand, enjoying the complicit silence that covered them like a bubble. They had never been happier.
A plan started forming on Edward's head, but he would have to enact it once they were settled in their new home. Unfortunately, he couldn't enact it in Forks. Someone could hear, or accidentally see them. Too many risks.
Once they were close enough, Alice was waiting for them. She handed them both some clothes and directed each of them to a different bathroom to clean up. "You have fifteen minutes. No more." She ordered seriously, but with a glint of mischief that didn't go unnoticed to Bella, who smiled a toothy grin to her friend before going to the bathroom.
She observed Edward jump up and through the window, and she focused her energy in doing the same. She still felt weird jumping through windows. She had the suspicion that that wouldn't change. Or at the very least, it would take a long time to get used to it.
With an amused smile she jumped into the shower, focusing intently on each task. She not only wanted to be done under the fifteen-minute deadline of Alice's, but she also didn't want to break or tear anything by mistake.
Emmett would never let her forget if she accidently broke something just days before the moving.
Fifteen minutes later, and not a second earlier, she was punctually on the living room, standing next to a grinning Alice. Edward joined them thirty seconds later.
"Now that you got it out of your systems." Alice started. "You wanted to talk to us about Laurent and Victoria."
Edward nodded. "I couldn't focus too intently on their minds because James was the most pressing threat. Victoria seems like an escape artist from what I was able to gather, but I'm not sure about Laurent."
There was a contemplative silence. "We can lure them out. Victoria might want to get revenge for James, he was her mate." Mate? As in soulmate? Bella thought. What does that mean? She didn't voice her doubts, they could be answered at another time.
"How do we do that? We're no trackers. They could be in China for all we know." It was Rosalie who shared Bella's thoughts.
She thought it was a bit of an overstretch to want to hunt them down. A waste of time and energy. She was more of the philosophy of acting according to whatever comes her way. She knew superficially that they all had some fighting experience, but it still made her uneasy to think about violence.
"Alice? Have you seen anything?" She instantly got a distant look on her face, a look that she saw once before. They day before she ran away from her and Jasper at the hotel. She had had a vision of the ballet studio.
When Alice's gaze returned to a more 'present-look' she seemed frustrated. "No. Bits and bits, but nothing certain. It's like neither of them had made a decision. I'm not sensing any threats from them anyway."
Bella didn't know what creeped her more, if Alice's visions, or that low intonation. Bella had never seen Alice consciously look for the future, so it was an experience. No traces of her chirpy personality, or her mischief from half an hour ago. It also disturbed her. And made her feel guilty, because it reminded her again of that time she ran away from her and Jasper. She made a mental note to apologize to them for running away. They didn't deserve it. Especially Jasper. She made him believe that she needed him to keep her calm. She regretted her actions, not only because she ended up hurt and almost dead, but because they trusted her and she abused their trust.
Only Jasper seemed to notice her internal turmoil. Her emotions did not match the topic that was being discussed. Her emotions were always intriguing to him. Is this how Edward felt about her silent mind?
Bella decided to tune out the discussion. She was worried about the two nomads being out there, but she wasn't worried about them coming anytime soon for her. And honestly, the ideas that Emmett was throwing out there were enough to make her stomach turn. How could someone so happy be so…gruesome?
"Emmet, enough. We are not doing that." Bella missed another of Emmett's great ideas, but Esme hadn't judging by her intonation and her horrified look.
"Just saying." He lifted his arms in surrender, not apologetic or regretful.
Rosalie rolled her eyes.
"So, we just bide our time? Prepare ourselves, and let them come to us, right?" It was Jasper who spoke.
She liked that plan better.
Carlisle seemed relieved that they had chosen a less violent and bloody way of solving that conflict. Esme seemed equally as relieved. Bella hid her humor. She hadn't been the only one disturbed my Emmett's imagination.
"Bella?" She looked at Carlisle. "What do you think?" He wanted to know her opinion because as part of the family, this affected her as well. It was no longer about only her. She knew that, and she knew that Edward knew it too and that's why he had wanted to discuss it with the whole family.
"I agree with Jasper. If they hadn't made a decision yet, we have time." She didn't elaborate more, but they understood. "Besides, I really want to be able to leave the house. So, just waiting here for them seems like a waste of time."
Carlisle nodded. "It's unanimous then. We move and continue with our lives. If they decide to come after us, we'll know, and we'll be prepared."
After that they all dispersed around the house. For the first time they all stayed inside. It seemed like everyone wanted downtime at the house. She fidgeted with her fingers for a few seconds before gathering her courage and marching to Alice's and Jasper's room.
When she was outside their room, she raised he fist, but Alice flew opened the door, startling Bella on the process. Her chirpiness back. It made Bella feel better. She didn't like seeing Alice serious. It was antinatural.
"Everything ok?" She asked making space so Bella could come inside. Jasper was perched up against the headboard of the bed, barefooted, and legs crossed at the ankles. He was the image of nonchalance.
"I wanted to talk to you both, if you're not busy." Jasper nodded, not moving from his place.
"Of course. What do you want to talk about?"
"I want to apologize to both of you." She started. Jasper and Alice exchanged a confused look. What the hell? "That day at the airport. When I ran from you, I know now that it was stupid, I should have trusted you. James had no idea of knowing that I was going to tell you. You trusted me to behave, and I made you think I was nervous about Edward and all that. I'm sorry for causing trouble for you." She fought the urge to downcast her eyes. Instead, she passed her gaze from Jasper to Alice.
Jasper was the first one to react. He rushed to her. "You're too adorable, darlin'" He hugged her lightly and quickly before letting go. "We knew you were plotting something." Alice nodded, agreeing with her husband. "But we failed you as well. I knew your emotions were not matching your actions, but I chose to overlook it. I think we all did some things wrong that day. Don't worry about it." He winked and went back to the bed.
Alice only hugged her tightly, holding onto her, and resting her chin on her shoulder. Alice was a talkative person, always letting you know what she thought. She had only seen her serious a few times, but apparently, she also knew how to speak without words. Her hug was so full of trust and emotion that had she been human, she would have felt her eyes tear up.
"Don't worry about it." Bella smiled at Alice and left the room feeling more at ease.
Alice and Jasper looked at each other again and smiled amusedly. Bella would come to know them more deeply in the time to come. She would get to get the hang of their gifts.
Edward was waiting for Bella in his room. He had felt warmth in his chest at her words, and at their siblings' words. Jasper was right. They all had made mistakes that day that weren't anyone's fault exactly.
Hs kissed Bella's cheek when she sat next to him. The only furniture left in his room was the empty shelves. Even his black couch was gone. However, he had extended a thick and plushy comforter on the floor and had his laptop in front of him.
"I thought we could watch a movie, if you'd like."
She smiled and nodded.