Chris Argent forced both teens to sit down on the couch and keep quiet while he put some lights on in the house before taking his place in front of them, on the coffee table. He looked at Isaac first, glad that he was still in one piece and definitely looking better than the last time he’d seen him. He quietly observed Isaac, who was used to his scrutiny by now and then looked at Bella, who looked him straight in the eye with a bored expression on her face.
He was glad that the girl was still a human. The Quileute wolves had been afraid for her; that she’d be turned into a Cold One and that they might have to kill her. It would have meant that the vampires had broken the treaty that had been signed between the Quileutes and the Cullens and all hell would have broken loose.
In all honesty, he hadn’t been a fan of this treaty because all vampires were sneaky bastards and he had been more than willing to take out the entire Cullen family for the safety of the town. However, the Chief of the tribe had persuaded him to back off, that they had everything handled and that things had grown complicated because this girl, Bella Swan, who was basically a part of the tribe, had fallen into league with the Cullens.
He didn’t go after the Quileute shifters because they had been created by magic to defend the humans from the Cold Ones in the first place, but yeah, it had been a rather unsatisfying hunt and a waste of time seeing as Beacon Hills was infested with werewolves around the time he had to go to Forks.
“You should call your father.”
“I will do no such thing,” she said stubbornly, not breaking eye contact.
“Or Chief Black.”
Isaac looked between Bella and Argent, confusion all over his face. “So, when are you going to tell me how you two know each other?”
Chris ignored Isaac for a moment as he kept looking at her. “The wolves are looking after your father, he’s safe. He’s worried sick. The moment Billy called me that things were going awry and that you had run I wanted to go back to Forks and get rid of the problem, but he said they had it under control.”
“It’s not them per sé,” Bella replied as she relaxed on the couch. “There’s nothing you can do about it anyway, I only allowed Isaac to take me here because I have nothing to lose.”
“Oh, I got it,” Isaac said with a nod. “You were in Forks when Bella was there.”
“The problem is though, that not a lot is known about the Cold Ones. The other species of vampires have been chronicled about so many times that there’s an excess of information. I can’t help you until I know more.”
“And if I tell you more, you’ll be in danger.”
“Isaac, what did she tell you?” Argent shifted his gaze from the stubborn girl to the young wolf. Isaac could be a little bit sheepish at times, but he was an intelligent young man and an excellent observer.
Bella’s face turned even more sour as Isaac recalled almost every conversation they had had over the last few days, even remembering her mentioning the Volturi and the deal she had made with them in order to save the person she was running from. It was hard for the hunter not to verbally attack the foolish young girl for falling for the charm of a Cold One.
Argent sighed as he folded his hands behind his head and stretched himself when Isaac was done recalling the last few days. “How did you two meet?”
Isaac scratched his head. “She tried to get me drunk.”
“No, I didn’t. I paid for your drinks, you got yourself drunk because I was drinking.”
“You were flirting with me!”
“I wanted a fuck! And you’re hot and I thought you were human at first!”
“So if you would have known I was a wolf, you wouldn’t have come on to me like that?”
“I wouldn’t even care about that. I mean, I told you, my best friend is a werewolf. I don’t discriminate.”
Argent couldn’t help but laugh when he saw the dumbfounded look on Isaac’s face. At least it sounded that he finally got some help dealing with his daughter’s death. Even though he had his own tricks to deal with the death of his daughter – sadly ingrained in his blood as he came from a long line of hunters – he had hoped that Isaac would have found a way in France when he had left him there. If only it hadn’t been this girl.
He made a mental note of calling Scott first thing in the morning, the teenager was probably still asleep right now. He needed to alert him about Bella’s condition, he wasn’t sure if he should tell her or even tell Isaac. Chris needed to confer with Billy, the Quileute chief, first. This was something that even he didn’t want to explain to this volatile young woman.
“How about you two get some sleep, huh? We’ll talk more in the morning,” he eventually said. “Bella, you can sleep in my daughter’s old room.” The pained expression on Isaac’s face said enough. “Isaac, you can sleep on the couch.”
“I’d rather not,” Isaac replied. “If she’s really in this much danger, i prefer to stick with her.”
“She’s safe, Isaac. You came to me, remember?”
“No. Yes. But still, I’m going to stay with her.”
“Are you sure?”
Isaac nodded as he got up from the couch and pulled Bella to her feet. “Come on, I know where it is.” He took her upstairs and opened to the door to Alison’s bedroom. It was still as he remembered it.
The window where he had stealthily tried to get through to get into her room, only to be caught by Alison and thrown onto the floor. She had turned him around onto his back and shoved a knife against his throat. Or that other time where she had put electricity on her windows simply to fuck with him. Yeah, that had been fun.
He noticed that there was still a picture of him and her on her nightstand and quickly moved to hide it from Bella. He didn’t know why. Maybe he didn’t want her to find out that this was Alison’s room, the person he was mourning in France. Bella had saved him, in a way. It had only been a couple of days but… this was just fucked up. Why was there such a strong connection with Bella? It had taken longer to fall for any kind of girl before this and he simply could not explain this.
He opened the closet and Alison’s scent wafted in his face. Taking a deep breath, he pulled out some of her sleeping gear and handed it to Bella. Isaac was relieved that the scent didn’t hurt as much as he had expected it to. His brows furrowing in thought over this realization.
Bella had been watching Isaac’s movements the moment they set foot in the room, how he know where to move and how he looked at the window, almost as if he was remembering things. “Can I make a guess?”
“Are you really guessing when you say that or do you just know stuff?” Isaac retorted with a smile as he pulled back the duvet to make it easier for Bella to get into the bed. Why was he doing that?
Bella shrugged as she plucked invisible lint from the clothes he had given her. “My guess is that man downstairs is your dead girlfriend’s father and that this was her room.”
“If you really believed that, you wouldn’t even be here with me right now,” she smiled at him and gently caressed his arm.
He sheepishly smiled at her before walking towards the door. “I’m going to talk with Mr. Argent a little bit, okay? I have the feeling that I’ve missed a lot and I don’t want to be surprised when we run into my friends.”
“Your pack, you mean.”
“My pack and my friends. Well, Scott’s pack has wolves, humans and other supernatural creatures so… yeah. Pack is a good word, I guess.”
“It’s okay to use those terms around me, you know. I already know a lot of things and stuff.”
He flashed her a cheeky grin before disappearing through the door, quickly making his way down the stairs. “Uh, Mr. Argent, is it alright if I make us a cup of tea?”
“Of course,” he replied as he followed his surrogate son into the kitchen. “You like her, don’t you?”
“She’s something, yeah. Not sure if I like it,” he answered as he put on the kettle. “She’s nuts. She was high on the possibility to be completely free when I met her and then it changed the day after. I do know that she needs to be saved, to be protected.”
“Did you have protected sex?”
Isaac blinked at him. “That is so not an awkward question.”
“It’s a simple question. I know that Alison always made sure that you guys did it safe, she was like that.”
“She slept with knives, of course she made it be safe,” Isaac retorted with a snort as he grabbed two mugs and avoided looking at him while he searched for tea bags.
“Then at least tell me you did the responsible thing the day after?”
“She took off before I could!” Angrily, he set down the mugs on the counter and looked at Argent. “And then, when I did catch up with her again, I didn’t get the opportunity to do it because she was being insane. Paranoid. Black cloaks, vampires. And the day after… well, it was simply too late, wasn’t it?”
The hunter rubbed his hand over his face and groaned as he leaned against the wall after closing the kitchen door. “We need to talk.”
“I already know about the birds and the bees and I already got stung, thanks,” he scowled.
“Not about that. About the girl. How I know her.”
“Why? I don’t see why that’s important.”
“But it is. You see, a couple of years ago we got wind of a huge vampire uprising in Washington. I tracked it down to Seattle and then Forks. Some Cold One was creating others like her to go after this young girl and the Cold Ones she was running with because they killed her mate.”
“You have to realize that until I met Scott and until Alison convinced me that not all monsters are bad, I’d kill without even thinking twice about it. Fortunately, this happened last year, but unfortunately, it was a mistake.”
“What do you mean?”
“Some Native American tribes have legends of mighty warriors turning into wolves or bears to protect those they love or deem worthy to protect, ordinary humans, for example. There’s a tribe in Forks that had its teenagers turning into wolves, shifters, after a family of vampires came to town. More teenagers of this tribe turned when this girl started to hang out with this vampire family a bit too much for their liking.”
“Are you talking about Bella and her best friend Jacob?”
“Indeed I am. Bella’s father and Jacob’s father have been best friends for as long as they both could remember and Bella spent most of her summers at the reservation when she was visiting her father. When she permanently moved to Forks, the bond between her and Jacob got stronger, much up to the point where he even got jealous that she was dating a Cold One.”
Isaac scowled. There was a possibility that once this was all over, she’d go back to Forks and to her best friend. She kept talking about him non-stop anyway, he should have seen it coming. Maybe he’d kill Jacob first. Yes. What?
“Anyway, I went to the reservation to talk to their chief after finding out that some of his tribe shifted into werewolves. Yes. I know I said I’d shoot first, ask later, but blame Scott for that. I was more curious than trigger happy. I couldn’t say the same for the chief, Billy, who’d rather have shot me on sight, saying that they didn’t need outside-help and that they had everything under control.”
“At that time, it seemed like they did, even temporarily forging an alliance with the Cold Ones to defeat the army of newborns,” Argent said with a nod. “But when I met with the chief, Bella was there, with Jacob. The chief explained that he understood my feelings of duplicity; knowing that I would have shot everyone on sight. The wolves were created to kill Cold Ones and yet, they were only making sure the treaty wouldn’t be broken, not kill them on sight. When I asked why, Billy pointed to Bella and told me her story.”
Isaac ran his hand through his hair as he poured the boiling water into the mugs with his other. “There’s a reason why the Cullens and the Volturi are so interested in her, isn’t there?”
“Of course. The main traits what sets a Cold One apart from a regular, Dracula type of vampire, is that they’re even more elitist, arrogant and obsessive. From what I heard is that the Cullens are a coven of gifted vampires, such as telling the future or reading minds.”
Isaac snapped his fingers as something connected in his head. “Bella told me about that. It’s based on decisions. She’s been allowing me to make them for the last few days as not to paint a bigger bullseye on herself, but that I had to be careful as by now we’ve probably been seen together.”
“Great,” the other man replied, somewhat irritated. “That means we probably don’t have long until they’ve tracked you down.”
“But what do they want with Bella? I mean, she’s awesome and a tiny bit crazy but who wouldn’t be after what she’s been through?”
“Now here it starts to become interesting,” Argent said as he leaned against the counter top and looked at the werewolf. “She doesn’t know what I’m about to tell you and I’m not sure if she should, I’d have to ask permission from Billy Black first.” he then thought for a moment. “Let’s wake up Scott, having him get his ass over here so I can tell the story once.”
“He won’t like it.”
“Bella’s a human who’s in trouble, he’d want to help because you brought her back with you,” he pointed out as he grabbed his phone and dialled Scott’s number.
While Argent was calling Scott, Isaac brought Bella’s tea up to the bedroom, she had already settled in bed, but was staring at the ceiling instead of trying to sleeping. “Not tired, are you?” he said with a small snort as he set the mug on the nightstand and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“I don’t think this is a good idea,” she said as she looked at him. “They’re going to find me here and they’re going to kill everyone who’s in their way. I have to keep moving.”
“See, that’s what I don’t understand about you,” Isaac caressed her hair out of her face. “At one point, you seem to have given up and given in to the idea of you dying or turning. You don’t want me to help you and you certainly don’t want to take a stand and fight. On the other hand, you keep running and you’re scared. You don’t want to die.”
“I thought I was free, then I realized I wasn’t.”
“Yes, you are free. You’re free to do whatever the hell you want, give those Cold Ones the middle finger and throw your head in the wind. Who cares?”
“So, does that mean I can go?”
“No, because I do care,” it was out before he realized it and shrugged when he saw the look on her face. “I don’t like it when people are in trouble. I like to cause trouble, that’s a whole other thing.”
Bella huffed. “You and I are going to get into so much trouble tomorrow. Not in this house. That would be weird.”
“Definitely. Glad we understand each other. Go and try to get some sleep, I’ll be downstairs for a bit longer and then I’m coming to join you, okay?” He got up from the bed and looked at her. “Please don’t leave, give me a chance to make this right for you.”
“Still here. Not going anywhere.”
“Good.” He could already hear the front door opening. It was typical of Scott to rush towards new things that he could fix whenever he wasn’t too busy, but even this had been a bit too fast. He was probably spending the night at Kira’s, she only lived a few blocks away.
As expected, Scott was happy to see Isaac again and after catching up – the cliff notes, mostly, Argent started to tell the story of Bella as told to him by Chief Black.
“Bella’s parents were divorced and on occasion, Bella would come to Forks for a few weeks. Mainly during the summer holiday. Seeing as Chief Black and Bella’s father Charlie are close friends, she got to spend a lot of time on the reservation to play with Billy’s son, Jacob.” Chris grabbed himself a beer from the fridge as he continued. “When she was ten years old, she spent a couple of days as some sort of sleepover because Charlie had a police function he had to go to. Bella, Jacob and some of the other kids decided it would be fun to go to the woods at night.”
“Somehow I doubt I will like where this is going,” Isaac muttered as he took a sip of his tea.
“The kids were attacked by a werewolf. Seeing as the Quileute boys already had the shifter gene, they were unaffected – back then told it was a miracle and a gift from the ancestors, but Bella was affected and the following day she started to exhibit strange behaviour.”
“A ten year old became a werewolf?” Scott said incredulous. “That Alpha must have been seriously deranged to go after kids.”
“She’s a werewolf?”
“The Quileute shaman, a gifted and powerful man, bound her werewolf side with a spell. Like you said, a ten year old girl to be a werewolf was simply too dangerous for everyone around her.” He took another swig from his beer. “With the binding, he also took away the memory of being in the woods and bitten.”
“Not that I’m not agreeing, but when she finds out, she will be pissed,” Isaac offered. “Because this means that outside forces have been messing with her for longer than she realized.”
“I think that she simply needs an Alpha to make sure that things won’t turn into one gigantic mess,” Argent said, nodding to Scott. “Which brings me to the next portion of the story. The spell cast on Bella can be broken.”
Isaac’s face lit up. If she was his kind of werewolf and going to hate the Quiletes for protecting her, it meant that he still had a shot. He cursed himself for even thinking like this but he couldn’t help but feel a connection with her and now it started to make sense. “How?”
“Seeing as they’re rare, the shaman thought it would be a good idea to only have the spell being broken by a true Alpha, in case she’d run into other Alphas. A safety, of some sort.”
“Oh great, so if the tribe doesn’t agree with you telling her, we’d have to keep her away from Scott, one of the people who can help her.”
“Not necessarily,” Argent replied. “The way I gathered was that the spell gets broken when the true Alpha uses his power over his submissives.”
Scott grinned as he slapped Isaac on his back. “That means not to getting angry beyond no point of normal return.”
Isaac rolled his eyes at Scott. Yes, he had an anger problem and yes, Scott had always been the only one to get him out of that even when Scott hadn’t been an Alpha. But surely, it would be safe for Bella to hang out with them?
“The full moon is in a few days, thought of that, Isaac? I’ve seen the way you look at her, how you care. Do you think you could control yourself when she’s around you, knowing what you know now?”
“I have to, don’t I? For her sake, I hope that those vampires show up so we can tear them to pieces.”
“Dude, you’re so not going to be around her.”
“No, I will be tearing up those vampires.”
“And if they’re not here, you’re so not going to be around her,” Scott said again, calmly as he looked at his friend. “Seriously. Last thing we want is you getting into wolf overdrive and sex her to death.”
“That’s a thing?”
“I don’t know, is it?” Scott looked at Argent, who looked at the two wolves with a humorous look on his face. “What?”
“You tell me, Scott. You haven’t seen Isaac in a while, what’s different about him?”
Scott looked back at his friend and shrugged before sniffing at him. “Dude.”
“You’re wearing her scent. It’s like… masking your own.”
“Yeah, we’ve had sex. Several times.”
“Oh no, this is something else alright.” He then looked at Argent, confused. “What is it?”
“I’m not sure, but I think that Isaac’s fallen head over heels for this girl and has subconsciously mated with her. I think it’s safer to ask Dr. Deaton, he has more extensive knowledge about how you wolves work than I do,” Argent said with a smirk.
Scott hit Isaac on his head. “Dude! You’re so not going anywhere near her at the full moon, nor near anyone of us because you’ll rip us to shreds.”
They talked some more about other things, like Scott going back to school with Kira, Stiles, Lydia and Malia and after a while, Isaac could hear Bella groan in her sleep. “Excuse me,” he said as he got to off the couch and bounded up the stairs, finding Bella all tangled up in her sheets, crying. He had expected this to happen. Even though she hadn’t slept much during their trips across Europe and their stay in hotels, when she did sleep, she had been kicking him.
He crawled onto the bed and pulled her into his arms and quietly shushed her. “It’s okay,” he said softly as he rocked her back and forth and flinched when his kindness was returned with a punch to his chest, quickly followed by several more. “Hey! Ow! Wake up!”
“You will leave them alone!” she threatened, still stuck in her nightmare as she fisted Isaac’s shirt. “I didn’t tell them anything, I’ll come…don’t hurt them.”
“Bella, shh, wake up, hey,” he caressed her hair but was smacked in the face.
“No!” she yelled as she pushed Isaac away from her. “Leave him alone! I said I’ll go!”
“Hey!” Isaac started to shake her, which was met by more punches coming from her. “Bella please don’t hit me, I’m not a punching bag.”
When Bella started screaming, both Argent and Scott appeared in the doorway, looking shocked and Isaac felt helpless. He had been able to pull her out of the nightmares before, but that was because they had been on the run and she wasn’t sleeping properly anyway, but for some reason, she had sunken deep into her sleep, and there wasn’t anything he could do about it. “Bella, it’s okay. I’m here.”
“Don’t… stay with me,” she sobbed as she clung on to him. “Wake up, Isaac, wake up.”
“I think she has a crush on him too,” Scott whispered to Argent.
“I heard that,” Isaac glared at his Alpha before dodging another punch. “Oh come on, this is worse than PMS.”
When Bella started screaming again, random words this time and hitting the nearest solid mass in her sleep, Scott looked at the hunter next to him. “I need to calm her down, will that break the spell?”
“You’re a true Alpha and you’ll be using your power. What do you think?” Argent retorted. “Don’t do it.”
“I don’t care about those wolves, you can tell them that when you call them and tell them that I fucked up.”
“Scott, don’t. It’ll be the full moon soon and she won’t be able to control herself.”
“Do it,” Isaac said. “Whatever you need to do, please do.” He couldn’t stand seeing her suffer like this. Nightmares were bad enough, Isaac knew that from experience but this was a night terror she wasn’t able to get out of without some assistance. He knew she was aware of him as the punches kept landing on him, but she couldn’t make the connection that it was him. Scott could get through to her. He knew that because Scott always got through to him.
“Bella, stop,” Scott said as he was standing in the doorway, not partially shifting or using his abilities, but it didn’t work. He was confident he had to break the spell. He walked over to the bed and pried her hands off of Isaac before turning her so he could look at her properly. He could feel his face change as he leaned over her. “Bella!” he commanded her, roaring as he said her name. Isaac visibly cringed and nearly lept off the bed even though he had known it was coming.
Bella jolted up and looked at the stranger’s face, his red eyes and ridiculously long sideburns. “Who the fuck are you?”
His face turned back to normal as he let go of her. “I’m Scott McCall, nice to meet you, Bella.”
She huffed as she looked around, seeing Isaac on the edge of the bed, looking at Scott and then turned back to him, snickering. “You’re his daddy.”
“I’m … not?” Scott said confused as he took a step back, but Isaac was sniggering.
“Oh, just great. Another one. Good job, Scott. Your pack should be called the pack of snark,” Argent remarked before walking away. “Get some rest, we’re going to see Dr. Deaton in the morning.”
“Nuh, you’re going to tell me what happened and why you all were in the room!” Bella demanded as she pulled Isaac closer to her.
“Good night!” Argent called from his room.
“Yeah uhm…” Isaac said hesitating, looking at Scott for direction but he shrugged in return. “You were having a really bad nightmare and uhm… I couldn’t wake you.”
“So you had ugly face scare me half to death?”
“Hey!” Scott said defensively. “I have a handsome face.”
“Keep telling yourself that, honey,” Bella said, not taking her eyes off of Isaac. “There’s more. Tell me.”
“We needed an Alpha to wake you up,” he whispered cautiously as he met her eyes, nervous of her reaction.
“Because you’re a werewolf.” Scott said simply. “You have been since you were ten years old.”
Bella started to laugh hysterically. “Keep smoking the good stuff. You can share it with me if you like but there’s no way I’m a werewolf. I wasn’t bitten nor am I magical.”
“You are magical,” Isaac quickly said. “The way you wrapped me right around your pinky …”
“Hey. This is not funny.” Bella said sternly. “I didn’t want to turn into a Cold One, why should I be happy about this? This isn’t even possible.”
“Call Chief Black in the morning. He’ll explain.”
Bella’s face fell as she let the words sink in. “Who told you about him?”
“And who told you I’m a werewolf?”
“How does he know?”
“Chief Black told him.”
“Fucker.” Bella grumbled as reality set in. She reached for her phone and dialled his number. “I’m going to wake his ass and I’m going to kill him.”