Chapter 02

A food truck festival. For her. She hadn’t believed him when he had told her, but there were about fifteen trucks, all making their food and the smells were absolutely delicious. Peter nudged her towards the trucks and smirked. “Have fun, I’ll keep the Cullens in their house or at least on their patio so they won’t bother you. Just ignore them. Your wedding. Your food choice.”

“You sure?”

“All yours, enjoy yourself,” Peter winked at her before heading to his brother’s family. He loved to annoy them, especially with things like these. While they couldn’t eat or taste human food anymore, the smells were still enticing and some of these trucks had some spicy food that really tickled your senses. Which was the entire reason for Peter to invite them over, of course. He already knew who Bella was going to pick. The others were just for shits and giggles.

“Dude, this is awesome!” Emmett grinned as he slapped Peter on the back. “All we need now is some country music!”

Edward scowled as he glared at his brother before turning his gaze over to his fiance. “I highly doubt this was Isabella’s decision or idea and it is in poor taste.”

“Exactly,” Peter grinned. “You didn’t want her to invite chefs over for tastings, so chefs have just shown up instead. Isn’t it great? These are legitimate caterers, by the way,” he said as he handed over the paperwork with certificates and some even with their rap sheets and mugshots attached to them for laughs. “I did my research.”

The mind reader scowled as he took the papers but refused to look into the folders. He just returned to watching Bella as she stood questioning the woman at one truck in between trying her samples. “This could have been done in a much less obtuse spectacle. Why are you even here? I’m going to put an end to this now.”

“Oh, Eddie,” Peter rolled his eyes at him. “Look at her cute little face. She’s loving this. She’s actively engaging the people and is connecting with them. Do you really wish to upset your fiancé, again? She might have to spend another night at her father’s if you keep this up.”

Emmett nodded as he decided to move to stand right in front of his brother. “Let Bella enjoy this, trust that she’ll make the right decision. A happy bride is a happy wife, dude.”

“I don’t even want to begin to imagine all the germs in those trucks,” Carlisle shook his head disapprovingly and headed back inside. “I’ll check to see if we still have antibiotics and tetanus shots in the house for Bella when she needs it.”

Peter narrowed his eyes on Edward as he called out to Carlisle. “Why would you bother needing those Doc? After all she’s supposed to be turned on that island of yours, right?”

Bella was glad that Peter kept the Cullens busy. Of course, she couldn’t help but feel them all stare at her, especially her Edward, but this was the best thing ever. All that she missed was some good music, loud music, but some trucks had some soft music playing. She made sure to spend at least fifteen minutes with every chef, this way she could digest some of the food and rinse her mouth when it was not what she wanted or far too spicy.

She hadn’t found anything spectacular yet though, and her hopes for finding someone dashed when she rejected the penultimate truck’s cook, too. “You look like your heart’s been crushed,” a voice sounded from the last food truck. His head popped out, a big smile on his face, reminding her somewhat of a puppy, but with a bite.

This person had a well chiseled face, a slight stubble and his eyes were beautifully blue. If it weren’t for Edward, Bella might have fallen for this guy if he’d been around years ago. Stop it, Bella. You’re engaged. You’re looking for a cook. “It might be if you can’t deliver…” she muttered as she looked at the floor. Taking a deep breath, she composed herself and extended her hand to him. “Bella Swan.”

“Isaac Argent,” he smiled at her and shook her hand. “Nice to meet you, Miss Swan. Why won’t you come into my truck? I have quite the few things here that you might enjoy.”

“In your truck?” she chuckled, shaking her head. “None of the others invited me in.”

“Ah, well, that’s because they don’t want you to see the inside of their trucks. I pride myself in the fact that my truck is squeaky clean,” he disappeared for a moment before a door opened and he hopped out of the truck. Isaac was slightly taller than Edward. Well dressed, although there were slight smudges of food on his clothes. He turned around to pull out some stairs and pointed inside the truck. “Don’t worry, I’m not a serial killer. Besides, who would be stupid enough to kidnap someone who’s being watched by their entire family?”

She blushed then. “They’re overprotective, that’s all,” she replied before carefully stepping inside the truck. It was indeed very clean inside. Lived in, used, but clean. The food that he had on the counter were bite sized, exactly what she had envisioned for her wedding and they were looking absolutely great. Precise. Isaac had even made a mini lasagna. “Wow.”

“Weddings are all about the fingerfood, aren’t they? People like to snack, not to eat huge things because they’re too busy talking amongst themselves. Gossipping about the bride,” he winked at her as he leaned against the counter. “And yes, pigs in blankets and sausage rolls might be tacky and outdated, but trust me, people like them still.”

“I’m almost afraid to eat them,” Bella smiled before she heard some growling coming from the direction of the house and she realised that Edward couldn’t see her anymore. Looking over at Isaac, she wondered if he had heard it too, and hated it that he was looking into the direction of the house. Well shit. He didn’t look frightened though, there was a playful smile on his face. “Okay, what the fuck is going on?”

“You’re getting married, and you need a caterer and you’re trying out food? Is your memory that bad? Are you even mentally capable of giving your consent to marry someone?” It came out as a joke, but Isaac wasn’t joking as he grabbed a can of coke, opened it and handed it to her.

She looked confused. “What kind of question is that?” she breathed out, blinking for a moment. “What are you?” she whispered as she looked up at him.

“Oh, don’t worry, they can’t hear you inside this truck,” he smiled at her as he gently caressed the counter of his truck. “I asked a witch to cast a lasting privacy spell on this baby because of my line of work. Can’t have people overhear my recipes now, can we?”

Bella still felt like she had a cloud trying to lift from her so her brain was confused as she listened, processing what he was saying and with what she knew. Or thought she knew.

“So,” he said as he brushed his hand against her exposed arm as he took the first little bite-sized snack. “Try this.”

She blinked as she wordlessly took the food and swallowed, but wasn’t sure how she felt. “What’s wrong with me? What are you?” she asked again, looking at him. “Peter…?”

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you,” Isaac assured her as he leaned back against the counter after briefly touching her again. “Well… actually… that’s debatable. You’re hanging around with Cold Ones and I heard you were warned by them about their nature, and yet, you didn’t run for the hills, why is that?”

“I’m in love with one,” she muttered, confused. “We’re getting married?” Bella looked around, frowning as she took in the view from the truck. “Why am I getting married? I’m only eighteen!”

“A bit young, huh?” he agreed as he grabbed a can of coke for himself and took a sip. “Didn’t your fiancé warn you about his kind of vampires? That they’re physically beautiful – which is debatable, by the way – and have a special kind of pheromone to lure in their prey – you?”

She turned back at him with a glare. “There’s more than one kind?”

“There’s also the warm cuddly kind who can walk in the sun without looking like a disco ball,” Isaac nodded. “These guys are a joke, really. We like to call them marble statues.”

Bella turned to stare out the window again, silent as she internally fumed at more supernatural information that seems to had been kept from her. “I won’t ask again. What are you, because you clearly are doing something to me because this is most it seems I’ve been able to think for myself around this house.”

Isaac ran a hand through his hair as he looked at her, slightly anxious, but Peter had already told him that this would happen and it would be best to be straight with the girl. “Just like there are two kinds of vampires, there are two or three kinds of werewolves. You already know the pony sized ones, they’re actually shapeshifters, created by magic. Each pack decides what animal they like to see themselves as, wolves, cats, horses, hell, encountered a flock of fucking birds once who turned back into humans. Then there’s the kind of werewolf that doesn’t change much when they go into wolf-mode, and then there’s me. The kind of werewolf who can be hairy, scary, has fangs and yellow eyes but is able to take pain away from others. And in your case, I’m… brushing away the Cullen’s interference and, in essence, returning you to your own mind.”

She snorted as she glanced at him. “So a drugless, supernatural antibiotic?”

He laughed. “I have been called worse,” he snickered. “But yes. I suppose. Apart from being a werewolf, I’m also a hunter who helps other supernatural beings who are in trouble. You see, hunters have been around for centuries. They hunt everything that goes bump in the night, and recently some had changed their way, seeing that not everything supernatural is bad. Four years ago, however, things changed and now, more than ever, supernaturals are being hunted and killed.”

Bella frowned, sympathetic to what he was sharing. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what that has to do with me or how I can help you.”

“I’m here to help you to make the right decision for yourself.”

“Right decision? By not marrying Edward? If he’s really been using his vampire abilities on me and not letting our relationship progress as naturally as one should then of course not, but still… Thanks for clearing my head, but as soon as I’m back in arms reach, I’m in his trap again, aren’t I? Do you or Peter have a plan to stop that?” she questioned, skeptical of this charade.

“Are you really sure that that’s the decision you have to make?” Isaac asked as he popped a snack into his mouth and ate it, watching her face.

“The fuck are you talking about?” she snapped. “You’re beginning to sound as cryptic as Jasper’s asshole friend!”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yeah, you are because I’m tired, I’m bitchy because this has been a long day, and no one ever wants to give me a straight fucking answer!”

“Okay, you know what? Fine. The reason I’m asking is because sometimes there are other decisions to be made or reasons for Cold Ones to control their pets. If you truly feel that you’ve been played and manipulated, then yes, to marry or not to marry is a decision you have to make on your own. You don’t have to do it now, you can think about it while your head is clear and Peter has an idea on how we can achieve that, too.”

Bella sneered as she headed for the door. “I’m just sure he does. I’m sure he has it all planned out already.”

“You can tell them that you want to see me work during a real food truck festival, to test my skills in the field. That’d mean you’d be gone from them for about a week, giving you plenty of time to detox from their influence and to get your head straightened out.”

“That means going to Seattle,” she pouted as she thought about the drive.

“No, that means leaving this truck in Seattle and grabbing the one that I have in Texas after we take a plane there,” he replied to her with a shrug. “I won’t win any barbeque prizes because hell, I’m a chef, not a farmer, but people do tend to like my food.”

She turned back to look at him before stepping through the threshold. “You’re implying running away.”

“Oh no, I’ll return you after we’re done. Or we’ll go back together if you want a clean break from them after the week of fun and sun. If you decide not to go through with the wedding after all, I can take you somewhere safe, or you can stick around and help me to help others.” Oh, Isaac was sure he was fucking this up. He wasn’t the hero or cut out for long speeches. Stupid Peter. This girl was definitely in trouble, and he wasn’t sure if he had gotten through to her.

A thoughtful look crossed her face as she eyed him and said nothing as she stepped out and walked back towards the house with a smile. She could see that Edward was clearly not a happy camper and shook her head with a sigh. “What is your problem now, Edward?”

“He’s a werewolf, isn’t he?”

“Right. As much as I am one, sure,” she scoffed as she looked at him like he ate a cheeseburger. “You are seriously a paranoid asshole lately and until you get over it, I’m going to take some time away from you and the area. I think I might go visit my mom or something but I’ve about had enough of all of this for now. And Peter? You’re a dick,” she added as she walked towards the driveway. “You also need to deal with my dad since he wanted you over for dinner. I don’t know what you did but he likes you, so you have to eat human food tonight.”

“And may I remind you to call your father to ask him what’s on that paper?” Peter said playfully as he looked over to Isaac, who looked as if he was lost, had lost.

“I’m sure I’ll find out at dinner,” she sighed. “Besides I have to call mom to let her know I’m coming down.”

“See you later then,” Peter grinned as he watched Bella walk down the driveway, it was a long walk back in town, and she was going to get hit by another surprise. He signalled to Isaac that it was time to leave before turning around to Edward and the remaining Cullens. “Respect Bella’s wishes, she’s clear headed now. I’m sure that she’ll come back when she decides that she has nothing to fear.”

Edward punched Peter, hard. “Who do you think you are for messing with my life? Bella is mine. She loves me. Of course she’ll come back to me! I can offer her the world and then some.”

Peter rubbed his jaw, chuckling. “Was it really her own emotions or your lure? If she comes back, then everyone will know the truth. I’d be more worried about what she’ll do to you when she figures it all out herself. Don’t go near her, leave her alone. Give her time and for fuck’s sake, don’t even think about messing with her friends and family because I will gladly put you down.”

Rose moved closer, her arms crossed as she eyed the boys arguing. “What are you meaning about using a lure on her?”

“Rose, honey, us Cold Ones look pretty, we have a smooth voice, and we excrete some sort of pheromone that is addictive to humans – and to vampires to an extent. Fortunately I never learned how to use it, but oh, is Eddie boy abusing it!” Peter smirked as he looked at Edward, who looked like he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Rose was going to be pissed.

She turned to her brother, appalled. “No wonder Bella was constantly teetering between infatuation and being perpetually pissed off around you. It was like she couldn’t decide how to feel. You would immediately be on her when she was angry with you and she’d flip like a switch! That’s just …” she couldn’t even come out with the words that she wanted to say it felt like to her as a shudder ran through her. “Don’t you dare come anywhere near me, Edward. I wouldn’t expect Bella to come back either if she figures it out.”

“Peter, you’ve outstayed your welcome,” Carlisle came out of the house, speaking quietly as he pulled Rose into his arms, she was upset and Peter was the reason for it.

“What for? Speaking truths?” he asked. “Nah, I’m staying in town until Bella leaves and Jasper gets back. Just to make sure Fucktard there stays away from her. And – I’m not so sure Rose, that you should be that close to Daddy. He’s well aware of what lures can do too. Just never said anything to you lot. Poor vampire education round this place.”

Emmett growled as he pulled Rose out of Carlisle’s arms and pulled her along to the garage, got into a car and sped off, creating as much distance between them and Carlisle and Edward as possible in a short period of time.

Kicking back on the pristine white couch, he threw his feet up on the coffee table and crossed his arms behind his head. “60 years. Damn, been waiting to break out those truths.”

“Get out,” Edward said venomously. “Go annoy someone else!”

“Make me,” the former warrior challenged, narrowing his eyes, a smile on his lips in invitation.

“Edward, don’t,” Carlisle grabbed his son’s arm. “We’ll ask the Volturi for help, leave him be.”

“Oh, yes! Please do!” Peter rubbed his hands together in glee. “Yes. Yes. Yes. Please, pretty please with a cherry on top! Let’s call them right now!”

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