Chapter 1: One

REVISED 4.2.2021

Author's Note:

I am so happy to see the reviews coming in, as well as the new followers and favorite-ers for this story. Please let me know what your thoughts are, I would love to hear more from you all. This story was first published back in 2012, as well as the rest of my Fanfiction stories; all of my stories are under construction, and updates will be more frequent. Thank you for following this far. – soup4mepapi

The sun shone down brightly upon the brown-eyed brunette, the bright environment a paradox compared to her mood.

She was seated on the rooftop of one of the houses in the neighborhood, glaring down at the ground beneath her. The white cat next to her, sensing her discomfort, meowed and rubbed its fuzzy head against her arm.

Her glare softened slightly as she turned to stare down at him, rubbing the spot between his ears. "I'm going away for a while, gattino," she murmured sadly to him, "And I don't think I'll be coming back until after a long time."

"I'm going to miss you." The girl whispered to her cat, her eyes growing teary. Her cat mewed nervously, not liking how close she was to the edge of the rooftop, knowing what she was about to do.

She exhaled, looking down at the ground from the high roof top she was seated on, scooting herself closer to the edge.

Feeling a strong gust of wind heading towards her, the girl inhaled deeply, closing her eyes in concentration. She extended her arms as the strong breeze approached, her cat backed away from the edge to avoid falling over, mewing at her one last time.

The girl let herself go, the strong breeze blowing past her a gentle push, speeding down towards the ground.

She opened her eyes mid-fall, reaching out her hands so her palms were facing the ground, exhaling loudly through her mouth and nostrils so the wind would come to her and elevate her momentarily to soften her landing.

She landed gracefully on her feet.

"Yes!" She whooped, punching her fist in the air triumphantly.

She looked up at her cat still on the rooftop. He hissed down at her, angry for being left behind.

The girl laughed. "Jump down too, gattino! I'm sure you'll land on your feet!" she teased, knowing how unusually clumsy her cat was.

He spat down at her, before turning his back towards her and walking away, disappearing on the rooftop.

The girl grinned mischievously before running deeper into the busy and crowded streets of Naro, Italy.

Weaving expertly through the crowds, she leapt into a somersault in the air as she arrived home, stomping through the door and into her small house.

"Isabella!" Renee snapped, clutching her chest from the scare.

Bella blinked innocently in response, she secretly loved giving her mom a good fright, but Renee's glare was serious.

Oh shit. Her stomach dropped as she realized exactly why.

Renee threw her hands up in the air, frustrated but her half-sister Alessa spoke up, "Bella, where have you been? We had to be at the airport a long time ago!"

"I'm going, I'm going-" Bella began, kneeling over to grab her suitcase but struggling to lift it off the ground.

"Come on." Alessa rolled her eyes, lifting Bella's suitcase in a single fluid motion with ease.

"Mamma, really, I don't think this is necessary," Bella tried to reason as they hurriedly loaded her luggage into Renee's small car. "I think that I've learned my lesson, truly."

"Whatever that lesson was supposed to be," She added under her breath, rolling her eyes but sobering as Renee turned to face her.

"Bella," Renee began carefully. She could see her daughter was still trying to convince her into letting her stay in Naro. She could see the anxiety all over her daughter's face, "You don't understand…" She paused, trying to find the right word. "The gravity of the situation."

Bella frowned, her chest feeling tight with guilt and her belly heavy with anxiety.

"Actions have consequences," Renee continued, her somber gaze fixed intently on Bella's face.

Observing her daughter's frown, Renee added, "What you did, although with good intentions, ultimately, was wrong. And dangerous, very dangerous."

Bella stared silently out the car window the whole ride to the airport. No one said a word the whole way there.

The small family was quiet still as they arrived at the airport, unloading Bella's luggage and lingering before it was time to depart.

They stood quietly until Renee extended her arms for an embrace.

Bella slumped her shoulders as she leaned into her mother's arms. "Be good." Renee choked out, not wanting to cry in front of her daughter.

"I will," Bella cleared her throat before pulling away and giving her mother a half-hearted cheeky grin.

"Ugh," Alessa rolled her eyes as she stepped forward to embrace her sister. "Say hi to Charlie for me," she sighed, trying to act casual as Bella hugged her tightly. "Please don't do anything stupid." She added quietly, her eyes beginning to feel warm and heavy with tears.

Bella let out a heavy sigh before stepping back to look at her mother and half-sister.

"Well!" She exhaled loudly, trying to be cheerful and not cry; trying to not show how hurt and confused she was about being sent away. "I'm leaving now." She gulped, turning and heading to catch her flight, blinking tears away now that they couldn't see her face.

The anxiety was starting to settle in, this was really happening.

Renee stared after Bella until they could no longer see her.

The Council and Renee decided to send Bella away to live with her father for a year, until she was of age.

They insisted it wasn't a punishment, but to Bella it might as well be.

Bella's parents had separated when she was ten years old and her father, Charles Castelli, moved away to the United States to some town named after a kitchen utensil.

There was no bad blood between Renee and Charles, really; having once been married and having Bella tying them together still, they simply preferred not to cross paths if possible.

Bella herself didn't have a preference of which parent she liked better. She had lived with Renee for the past seven years because Italy was where their Community was, the Council, the Headquarters, it was home, everything she had ever known.

Now, suddenly, her own mother and Council were sending her to live and train with her estranged father for a year.

Bella didn't mind having to visit her father, but it felt like she was being kicked out of her own home and being pushed to intrude into his life. She wasn't sure if her father accepted to take her in because the Council asked him to or because he truly wanted to be closer to her and help her.

Either way, Bella saw this as a reprimand and punishment for doing what she thought was right, for trying to protect her friend. The Council and her own mother were pushing her away from her home, her family, her cat.

The thing about Bella and her family is that they are Elementals, they are a race blessed by the Elements: Water, Air, Fire, and Earth.

Their kind was thought to be extinct, to have been wiped out by vampires, werewolves, werecats, and ghosts, to have faded away over time so they soon became nothing but a whisper, a myth.

To preserve their existence, Elementals created Communities so that they could continue to thrive, so their connection to the Elements could continue to be honed and trained.

The Communities each had a Council established who helped maintain order among the families, the Council instated "laws" that needed to be followed, and they were the judges; the Council was also responsible for reaching out to any "strays" with fading family lines to keep their kind from becoming extinct, they made sure every Elemental had a home and a family.

All Council members belonged to ancient families, Elementals of the oldest bloodlines. Bella and her family belonged to the Castelli bloodline, one of the purest and oldest Elemental families still in existence.

Isabella Marie Castelli Swan was a rare and special kind of Elemental, she was what the Council and Community referred to as the Elementalist, the one born every few hundred years with the blessed connection to all Elements of the Earth.

She was set to be the Leader of her Community and Council when she became of age, required to undergo strenuous training and mentorship until then.

What Bella had done to have the Council decide to send her away was that she used her powers to destroy a human man with powerful influence over her town, accidentally taking the life of almost a dozen others in the process.

Not only did her killing put her in danger of being hunted by this human mafia but it put all Elementals in danger of being discovered.

The Council's most important laws were: Do not expose your connection to the Elements to humans, and do not use your connection to the Elements for evil.

Bella was fortunate she was next in line to lead them or else the Council would not have been so kind to her.

Feeling lonely and hurt, Bella leaned her head on the neck-pillow Alessa had gotten for her trip and closed her eyes and slept.