She shared her space with her accidents and only the wolf got fed on a regular basis because he could escape when the door opened when they needed her. The wolf. Sam. He was what kept her warm at night and in the winter, and had been her roommate for quite a number of years. He’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time, that was all.
Her other accidents were usually vampires, not those of importance, but those who came to join in on the experiments. They quickly died mainly because the wolf had reverted to do what he had been initially created to do; to kill vampires. The only downside was that their stingy venom was everywhere and she usually had to sit in a corner for days until someone came with the hose to wash it all away. With cold water. And of course using her as target practice.
It was alright, this was her life and she was fine with it. She didn’t know any different and was compliant in every way. She wasn’t sure why the wolf was being kept around, his brains were scrambled and he couldn’t shift back into his human form, he was a danger to everyone who opened the door even on a good day. It was likely he served as a reminder that she needed to be good. At all times.
And she wasn’t.
While Bella may have been content in her environment, the children that were being brought to their home weren’t. They thought of their loving parents. Warmth, good food and their toys and were always sad. In the beginning, Bella hadn’t understood why the children were with them, but she had overheard them talking about how special the children were and how more special they could make them. Like Bella.
But she wasn’t anything special. If anything, she spent most of her time in her room with the wolf, tucked away, unless the doctor needed her for something. For the experiments. No matter how strange the experiments were, sometimes it was the highlight of her day. Someone was playing with her and that made her feel good. She wasn’t sad.
But the children were, and Bella sometimes managed to get one out. And then got found out and punished, because Bella was costing them a lot of money. Yes, it was bad that she let children go, she knew that. But it was good for the children, but she was being taken care of, so why was it good for the children? Perhaps they’d have a better life here than at their own home, surely there was a reason for them to be brought to where she lived?
She didn’t do it that often; only those who really hurt and who had a clear image of who they belonged to. That they were stolen instead of bought or taken from a place with lonely children. But still, she always cost them a lot of money and that meant no food and only a bottle of water for a week, extra experiments and syringes and him probing her mind to see if she was a deviant. If she was defective. While he never found her to be deceptive on purpose, he always said that she was doing it due to poor training. And then she had to go back into the small room without the wolf for a very long time to remember what was important. Her loyalty to them was important and keeping the children was important too.
She never understood the children crying for their mommy or daddy, nor the images she saw of the children being held and comforted. She had been given birth to, and she existed, she was fine, what was it with the holding? The lips on their cheek? Even the lonely children from countries far away cried for someone who held them. It was a strange and confusing concept, and when she briefly asked Jasper once, he immediately closed his mind to her and left. He didn’t want to answer her question. And she shouldn’t be curious. Curiosity was a bad thing. She knew this. She didn’t need to know all the answers. She needed to be, and nothing extra, but she was able to slightly pick up on other people’s thoughts, why shouldn’t she be allowed to have them? Asking questions was out of the question.
She wished she hadn’t been able to pick up on someone else’s thoughts or feelings, even in the slight degree that she had this curse. It made her life complicated and difficult, because thoughts and feelings were redundant, according to her birth givers and trainers. And she wanted to follow the rules so badly, it was sometimes impossible. And then she was a bad girl again.
When the door opened, she looked up from her spot to see what was happening. She was certain that she hadn’t hurt someone else’s brain, and Sam had been fed the day before, what was going on? When a plate of her food was being shoved across the floor, she moved to take it, but Sam was quicker and licked her plate clean, which was a pity. She loved her water with oats. “You’ll have to be quicker next time, Bella,” her birthgiver said before grabbing the hose and started to hose her down. “We’re going on a trip and I’m going to need your help,” she said as she kept the cold water coming. “We are finally allowed to go after the children we’ve been wanting for years, we finally received the clearance, isn’t that great?”
“Yes ma’am…” Bella said softly as she kept her eyes closed and shivered as she was being hosed down. She needed to be relatively clean if her birthgiver needed her to come with, and it was likely that she was going to get her outside clothes, too. Sam, the wolf who sometimes thought he was a puppy, decided he wanted to play with the hose too and pushed Bella out of the stream of water as he jumped around. She nearly fell, but managed to remain on her feet, albeit a bit wobbly.
The hose was turned off and clean clothes were thrown into a dry spot. “Get changed, I’ll be back in five minutes. I’d prefer it if you had a little bit of energy inside of you, Bella, I need you on your best and I don’t want you to screw this up. You’ll cost us a lot of money and they might not be lenient this time.”
“Yes ma’am,” Bella replied as she started to strip out of her wet, sticky clothes and, whilst dripping wet, got into her dry clothes. She never liked her outside clothes much, they were too restricting, but her birthgiver wanted them to blend in with the people on the outside and that meant leaving her linen shirt and trousers at home.
She waited by the door to make sure Sam wouldn’t do anything if it opened again and quietly stepped outside when Emmett opened the door. “Good girl,” he said as he grabbed her arm and started to pull her with him. “Edward, Alice and I are coming with, it’s going to be difficult to get the children we want,” he said as he dragged her along the long corridor of rooms holding sad children, or numb children and even children she couldn’t quite get a read on because they were too far away from her. “A handful of the shifters are coming with too, and you’d better behave, they still can’t forgive you for what you’ve done to Sam.”
“Yes sir,” she said softly as he took her up the stairs into the reception area. Emmett, Edward and Alice were vampires made out of marble and cold to the touch. She had learned from Jasper that once they had been vegetarians, feeding off animals, but it had become the law that every vampire should feed on humans to make sure they were strong enough to do the Volturi’s bidding.
Sometimes they were allowed to have a sip from Bella, especially when she’d been a bad girl. Her body was so used to the vampire’s venom that they couldn’t turn her, it merely took some time for the venom to pass through her system and for the wounds to close. She didn’t mind them drinking from her, despite knowing that there’d be gaping holes on her when they were done due to the fact that unlike Sam, the vampires didn’t have fangs and had to rip her skin apart.
And strange enough, she prefered this as a punishment over those of Doctor Carlisle, as he liked to cut her open with sharp knives, or inject something from a syringe that made her feel funny. “The wolf ate her food,” Edward noticed. Bella could feel him poke around in her head, she needed to stop thinking. Shut down. “We need her fed.”
“She won’t let us down,” her birthgiver said as she opened the door to the backyard where a private plane was waiting for them. “Will you, Bella?”
“No ma’am,” she replied and didn’t even wince when both Edward and Alice jabbed her with a syringe filled with whatever. There was no doubt that there’d be more to come. Such was always the case when going outside, dulling her thoughts and her ability to hurt people. They were fearful of her in tiny spaces, even her birth giver was. Bella found the vampires and werewolves more dangerous than her.
As they strapped her into her seat, she could feel Edward poke around some more, more intensely somehow. Had she slipped up? She was sure everything was hidden. Looking outside, she focused on the building and not anything else. She’d been locked away with Sam for too long, she wanted to stay out. She was a good girl.
After the plane landed, they still had to walk a little while to get to where they needed to be; some school tucked in the woods. Edward was annoyed because Bella was walking on bare feet over the leaves, twigs and stones and she was bleeding. “Couldn’t you have given her shoes?”
“I forgot to buy new ones for her,” her birthgiver responded. “The ones she had were eaten by the wolf. How was I supposed to know we were going to take her out?”
“It’s your job to know, Renée,” Edward spat as he decided to walk on the other side, up wind, to make sure he wouldn’t smell her as bad as he did now. “This is torture.”
Emmett sighed and lifted Bella up, placing her on the back of one of the bigger wolves. “Sorry Jake, my brother is a sissy.”
Jake let out a growl and sped off, causing Bella to fall off his back, right in a pile of leaves.
Emmett laughed as he plucked the girl out of the leaves and pushed her to continue to walk. “You’re not making friends, Bella, you should change that.”
“She’s fine the way she is,” Renée spat at the vampire. “She’s a handful already. Her only worth is that she can truly protect us when we go on these high risk snatches.”
“She’s your daughter,” Emmett pointed out.
“She’s a monster and a failure. This is not what we expected to happen,” she shot at him, pointing at Bella. “She’s defective and the Volturi don’t even want to come to collect her because they’re afraid she’ll fry their brains, too. Or worse. It’s already bad that the other vampires think that Bella’s killing them while she’s with us at all times. Besides, Charlie and I need her for the sympathy votes when he runs for mayor or if there’s a charity function.”
“She’s no killer,” Edward said as he wrinkled his nose, still smelling her blood intensely. “We could always try to turn her into one, that must be entertaining. Even Carlisle would be interested, would it have an impact on her personality?”
“What personality?” Emmett countered. “There’s nothing in there. She’s a good little drone, that’s it!”
“If she’s a good little drone, nothing should change, shouldn’t it?” Edward said wickedly. “Bella, I want you to come with us to the building and kill the first adult you see.”
“Yes sir,” Bella replied quietly.
“No, she’s not,” Renée growled. “Belay that order, Bella, you’re not going anywhere.”
“She’s not a fucking toy, Edward!”
“Still, certainly something to discuss with dear old dad,” Edward mused as he looked at his sister, who had definitely picked up on something. “They know we’re coming. Someone must have warned them.”
“What!” Emmett growled. “I thought we had plugged that leak!”
“Well, apparently not!” Edward hissed as he instructed the wolves to circle the school building. “I will have to interrogate everyone again. Ugh. Do you have any idea what ugly things people think about? Lewd things, even?”
Renee handed Bella a bottle of water with herbs in them. “You’re going to stay here while we are going to get as many children as we possibly can. We’re going to bring them to you and you’re going to keep them safe. Have I made myself clear?”
“And I swear to God, Bella, don’t screw this up. It’ll reflect badly upon all of us when you do, and there is no way we can repay the Volturi if the children are lost.”
“Yes ma’am,” she replied again, standing still next to a big tree. She removed the lid of her bottle of water and started to drink it. She never liked the concoctions her birth giver gave her. They always tasted strange, but in other ways it made Bella feel good, strong. If she was going to be a good girl, she needed her strength.
She watched as the vampires and Renée headed towards the house, and Bella was surprised by the amount of noise coming from the direction. Explosions, yelling, strange words she had never heard and yet, the first one to come back, albeit a little bit singed around the edges, was Jake, carrying a girl on his back and dropped her off in front of Bella. ‘Shield up, killer,’ he instructed her and she did as she looked at the girl. The girl looked straight at her in return, no sign of anxiety or stress. She was fearless. Exactly the type of child they would want.
“My name is Hope,” the girl said as she kept her eyes on Bella. “And once my dad finds out what you’ve done, he’ll come for you,” she said daringly and removed her bracelet, stuffed it in her pocket and tried to pierce through Bella’s protective bubble. With her magic.
Bella hadn’t seen real magic before, and the girl was strong, she had to give her that. The girl kept casting spells and eventually Bella reached out to her. ‘Please stop, I can’t let you go.’
“Yes, you can! I’m supposed to be safe here! And here you are, not making me safe!”
‘I can’t let you go,’ Bella tried to strengthen her shield as it had been quite weak, but it didn’t quite work. The continuous assault of Hope’s magic on her shield was painful. ‘Please stop, please, I don’t want to get us both in trouble.’
Hope stopped and looked at Bella, fury in her eyes. “Oh, you’re going to be in trouble alright, if you don’t let me go!”
‘I will get into trouble if I let you go, please stop,’ she repeated before staggering against the tree when Hope blasted another spell at the shield. This young girl seemed to be extremely powerful, it was no wonder that they would want her. All Bella could do was to try to keep the girl within the bubble, and then be in a lot of trouble when she couldn’t.
Hope then squeaked as she turned around and grabbed hold of Bella “Don’t be scared, but I’m going to turn us invisible. Your shield will protect us, right?”
Bella blinked at the girl before slowly nodding. It was then when a loud explosion could be heard from the direction of the school, and debris were flying far into the forest, some bouncing off of Bella’s shield. How did the girl know?
“My two best friends are very powerful witches, they send a message that they were going to make things go boom and scare the intruders off, we’ll be safe,” Hope said as she watched the wolves run past, a smile on her face. “Because, you see, my dad will want to know who you work for and what attacked our school and now, you’re linked to me, unless I unbind us.”
When Renée and the vampires jogged past, Bella tried calling out for them. “We are here!”
“Save your breath, they can’t hear you. I made your little bubble soundproof,” the girl smirked as she started to pull Bella along with her. “Come on, you’re going to give my dad some answers. There is no doubt that he’s already on his way here.”
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Did the little girl just kidnap Bella? Was that even possible to link someone to someone? What would happen if Bella would just let the girl go? ‘I’ll let you go.’
“Great! But I’m not letting you go! Attacking a school filled with children, magical children, you and whomever you work for must have lost their minds.”
‘Let me go,’ Bella put a sense of urgency behind her words. ‘I’m sorry for what they did, but if I don’t return, I will be in trouble. Let me go.’
“And stop speaking to me telepathically.”
Whatever Bella tried, she couldn’t get away from the girl, nor drop her shield. And while the girl pretended everything was normal, that she got away from her abductors, Bella still couldn’t leave. Even the girl’s caretakers, Caroline and Alaric, were assured that Hope’s father would be on his way. They were merely glad that nobody got hurt and that the explosion had been merely an illusion followed by some of the loose dirt.
Bella needed to go home. Surely her birthgiver, the vampires and the wolves would have noticed her not being on the plane and would come back for her? Then again, Bella had failed. Or had she? She had listened to the instructions. She had waited at the spot, and had protected the child. And the child had turned the tables on her. Bella had never been left alone this long, and she was now in unchartered waters. What was going to happen to her?
Bella hadn’t failed. She had been taken and they weren’t going to come back for her. She’d be punished for trying to take the child out of her life. She could say that the vampires and wolves worked for her. That she was the mastermind. So that her people would be safe. So that they could continue their work.
Yes. That was Bella’s purpose now. To protect her people. Like she’d always do.