“Isn’t it nice, Isaac cooking for us?” Peter smiled as he walked passed Charlie after being let inside. He sat down at the kitchen table and made himself at home as Bella just stared at him.
“You’re an asshole. In case I haven’t mentioned it before or forget to in the future,” Bella said. “You really had to go through all that just to put me in contact with a wolf? Why not just arrange a meeting on the reservation or something?”
“Admit it, this was way more fun,” Peter grinned. “And forget about the fact that he’s a wolf for a second here. He’s lonely, I figured he needed a friend who can join him on his heroic efforts.”
“Hey now,” Isaac warned him from the kitchen. “You’re not going to pull that shit on me, I’m fine on my own!”
“You needed saving from Edfart, and Isaac needs someone who has his back. You two are a match made in heaven… or hell… I guess. Depending on the moon and such,” he shrugged, ignoring the werewolf. “Besides, I could have tried enlisting your so-called human friends, but brittle humans vs Cold Ones… I figured you didn’t want that.”
She blinked and shook her head, having a hard time understanding the vampire. She wondered how Jasper tolerated him for so long and not killed him after turning him. “See, shit like that, those references, don’t make sense sometimes. But, now that I’m taking off from here, what’s the plan? And how did it go after I left the house? I can’t imagine Edward taking it well.”
“Oh, he punched me. Then sweet Rose started asking questions about the whole lure thing and of course, I had to tell her. Poor Carlisle likes to keep his children in the dark,” he said sadly. “She got upset with Edward, dove into Carlisle’s arms and then I had to tell her that Carlisle was just like her brother. Emmett then took Rosalie away, they were last seen speeding away from the house in their Ferrari.”
Bella couldn’t help but be unsettled, knowing Rose’s history as well. “Are they okay? I mean, she wasn’t all that welcoming to me, but I didn’t hold it against her.”
“They are okay, I can see them being quite happy in a different country together,” Peter assured her. “Emmett’s extremely pissed off, though. If Carlisle or Edward would ever find them, there’s no chance that he’ll keep them in one piece. Oh! Which…” Peter started to laugh. “Oh, this is hilarious, Bella, Carlisle wanted to call the Volturi, on me!”
She sat there quiet, thinking about them until his exclamation, startling her. Looking up at him, she raised a brow. “They are the last beings I want to see next to the Cullens. I still have to be turned according to their orders,” she murmured, glancing at her father who appeared to be doing his best to ignore them.
“Oh, you have nothing to worry about,” he hiccuped, carrying on. “I made Carlisle call Aro on speaker phone and have him complain about me and how I was interfering with the Coven and stuff. Aro said that I was providing a service to the Volturi by this interference; it would make it more difficult for the hunters to get to the Cullens if they were all separated and thus remaining a secretive society. They exonerated me and Char for our misdeeds and rewarded us with our freedom as long as we help keep the secret. You, are released from your obligations as well.”
“How? Because I want to help? That doesn’t make sense. I still know the secret,” she pointed out, her face pinched.
“Because you know the secret, you’ll be able to help those who know the secret. They’d rather have you do that than have you fulfill your obligations. And, of course, there are other things at play but they wouldn’t tell me what they were.” Peter knew, oh, he knew, he had to tell the Volturi, but if he admitted that he knew, he’d have to tell, and she wasn’t ready for that.
“I know you’re leaving things out. I don’t know if it’s intention or not, but if I find out that you ever lie to me…”
“Sweetheart, I’d never lie to you,” Peter said, sighing. “But I am intentionally leaving things out because some things need to be discovered on your own. By yourself. On your own journey and time. Life isn’t easy and having my gift isn’t easy. Just know that if you were in danger or anything I would have told you,” he said as he carefully looked at Charlie who was now looking directly at Peter.
Isaac froze in his cooking as he looked over at the group at the table cautiously. She stared at Peter before looking over at her father, narrowing her eyes again. “You’re way too chill about all this talk.”
Charlie sighed as he took a swig of his beer. “I know more about the supernatural community than I wish to know. I know that Billy’s folk are shapeshifters and that there are werewolves and vampires. By pretending not to listen, I can always pretend to play dumb. That’s how I survive.”
“Besides,” Peter grinned. “Your dad fucked a werewolf once.”
Bella’s face twisted in disgust as she backed away from the table and walked out of the room. “Way too much fucking information Peter. When we want you to say shit you don’t, and the shit we don’t want to hear you fucking spill. God no!”
“Hey, it wasn’t a furry like the Quileute wolves,” Peter laughed. “So there’s that!”
“Really Peter?” Charlie questioned.
“Seriously?” Isaac echoed. “Was it like one of my kind or the other?” he asked curious. “It’s been awhile since I ran into one of my kind.”
“It was a long time ago, kid,” Charlie muttered into his beer. “An old classmate of mine, hot. Long legs. She was one of the good wolves out there, fighting for a better- wait, you’re a werewolf, too?”
Isaac shrugged as he stirred the marsala sauce. “Yeah. I was turned back in high school by some asshole in town. Things happened, joined another pack, thought he was my friend, but wasn’t, things happened and here we are…” he said as he continued to stir the sauce, listening to see if Bella was truly out of earshot. “Sooo…. Bella doesn’t know she’s a wolf, does she?”
“Excuse me?” Charlie blinked at him.
Isaac gestured around the house. “There’s wolf lichen in the walls. I saw it in your garden. I could smell it in the shampoo she’d used this morning. I feel the effects myself, I’m a bit more relaxed than I should be… Your werewolf one night stand was a direct hit, wasn’t it?”
“Don’t tell her, I swear, don’t.”
“I will when she asks,” Isaac countered. “I don’t know why you’re suppressing her wolf side, but if she was born this way then she must come from a very prominent family and -” He let out a breath as he came to a conclusion. “There’s only one family in America that’s left. Please don’t tell me she’s a Hale.”
“No, she’s a Swan,” Charlie huffed. “I made a promise to keep her out of things, but for some reason she keeps finding the supernatural.”
Isaac moved to the doorway to look for Bella. Turning to glare at her father, he hissed at him. “She will always be in the supernatural community just by being born. And in the supernatural community she will always be a Hale no matter what her ID says. Trust me, I know because I’m a nobody in this world and I adopted a hunter’s name with one’s permission for very minimal protection if I kept a low profile. Keeping her heritage and history a secret will do nothing but harm in the long run.”
Peter continued to sit there, inspecting his nails, silently. He contributed nothing to the conversation, allowing it to play out until he needed to intervene as he knew the girl was up in her room drowning in the wolf dust floating around. Glancing up at Isaac, he did offer one word. “Family.”
“They’re jerks too.”
“Wait, there are Hales left? I thought everybody died?”
“No, not everyone,” Isaac sighed, nervously running his hand through his hair. “There’s Derek and Cora… Derek was in school when it happened and Cora simply ran away, believing everyone had died. Cora’s somewhere in South America now. Derek was an Alpha, and a bad one at that. Turned me. Then there’s Peter… Derek and Cora’s uncle, and he’s a psychopath but an opportunist. He does have his moments but I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw him. Peter has a daughter called Malia, but he didn’t know about her and she’s a werecoyote.”
Charlie sat back in his chair and ran a hand over his haggard face. “She has siblings and a cousin. I never knew. All I got was word of the fire and Talia’s death and assumed…”
“You know what they say when you assume,” Peter shrugged. “But might want to change the subject soon.”
“Hey, Bella?” Isaac called out to her. “Food’s nearly ready, are you joining me and your father? We can leave afterwards if you’d like?”
It took her a few minutes before she emerged from her room, but she was just as grouchy as she left the group when she returned. Only she had only of her favorite sweaters wrapped around her and curled up on her chair. “I’ve been summoned?” she said, glaring at the vampire who she knew held way too many secrets.
“Yep, food,” Isaac smiled at her as he put the pots and pans on the table, hating it that he needed to use the tea towels as not to burn his hands. “I do hope you like it.” Now that Isaac knew that Bella was a Hale, he could see some similarities in her face with Derek, but she got her looks mostly from her dad. Lucky girl.
“It smells incredible,” Charlie said as he took Bella’s plate and put some food on it for her before piling on the food on his own plate before realizing he should have allowed Isaac to have food first. “Sorry, bad manners,” he muttered.
“That’s alright, Mr. Swan, I cooked it after all, the cook eats last!” Isaac said as he put the food on his plate. “Besides, there’s plenty to go another round.”
Bella took her own food and started eating as she eyed each of the guys. Her father had an abashed and guilty look in his eye and the other two avoided her mostly. “So, everyone done sharing secrets while I was upstairs? Or shall I go back up to give you more time after dinner?”
“There’s actually mold inside the house,” Isaac grinned as he looked at her. “I can smell it.”
“We live in a rainy forest. It’s hard to find a house in the state that doesn’t have mold,” she pointed out. “Except for the Cullens.”
“Yeah, but isn’t it strange to keep it as decorative plants?” He pointed to a bowl on top of the dresser. “Okay so it’s mold, but more of a fungi but still.”
Bella looked over at the bowl and sighed, lowering her fork to her plate. “What are we really doing here? Because I’m beginning to wonder if going back to the Cullens isn’t that much worse.”
“Peter did his usual asshole-ness on your dad,” Isaac pointed out. “Wasn’t pretty, maybe I should ask a witch to see if there’s a way to block Peter’s gift…”
“You do that and a lot of good people die,” said asshole replied, glaring at the wolf. “Starting with family.”
“Dude, I don’t have any family left. Like you said, I’m alone. I don’t care what happens to other families,” he countered as he took a bite off his food.
Peter kept his mouth shut but raised an eyebrow, leaning back in his chair. His fingers tapped on the table impatiently, as if he was waiting for something to happen. He just didn’t know what this time.
Isaac looked over at Bella as he scooped more food on his fork and shoved it into his mouth. He had thought about taking off with her, making sure she’d be safe wherever she wanted to go and then to leave, but a nagging feeling told him that he couldn’t do that now. Bella was a Hale and she’d definitely be on the hunter’s hitlist if that ever came to light. Hell, wasn’t she already? He had seen the DeadPool list, he was in France at the time, but the complete list was sent to all hunters, assassins and other people who liked killing supernaturals.
Scott and his pack only had the Beacon Hills list. They believed that there was only one list, but there were several. The Argents in France managed to get every list from every city holding a Nemeton, and thus creating a semi-black book of supernatural creatures from around the world. Confirmed supernatural beings. And the list was in the hands of the bad hunters too. It’d make hunting everyone super easy this way.
Isaac had been on the list, which was why he took Chris Argent’s last name – amongst other reasons – and they had traced every other supernatural on the list to keep them safe. Or to blatantly ignore them after finding out that they were a bag of dicks, such as every Cold One on the planet. However, they were never able to track Isabella Marie Hale. And it made sense now, she was Bella Swan. And the longer she stayed Bella Swan, the safer she’d be. Luckily, Hale was a pretty common name and it was known that Talia Hale only had three children, not four. She was safer this way. She was safer with him.
He waited for her to finish her food and then shoved the rest of his plate into his mouth as well. There was food for days in his truck, he’d been driving it from Virginia all the way to Forks for these shenanigans, and he had planned on driving it back too. Yes, he had suggested going to Seattle and switch his truck in Texas, but this was his favourite truck. It was a comfortable truck and it was safe, seeing as it was spelled by witches. Not only for privacy, but also protection. There were beds he could pull down in the back and she could sleep on that.
“Are you ready?” Isaac asked her as he got to his feet. Peter could deal with the dishes and Charlie, he had a feeling he needed to get Bella out of the house as soon as possible. Or he needed to get out as soon as possible, he hated feeling this weak, this human.
Bella looked over at her father, who nodded. “Yeah, I guess. No doubt that Alice will find her way back to the house by now so the sooner we get out of town the better.”
“As long as you’re around Isaac she won’t be able to see you, her gift doesn’t work around his kind of werewolf either,” Peter said assuringly. “I’ll see you both once you’ve settled for something, for now I’m sticking around to make sure Edfart doesn’t hurt your dad, Bella.”
She nodded as she hugged her father and went to get her bags. There wasn’t much as she didn’t know just how long they were going to stay away, but it wasn’t like she had much to begin with. “Road trip it is.”
“Have a safe trip, call me whenever,” Charlie said as he hugged his daughter again, before looking at Isaac. “If she even gets a scratch, I will kill you.”
“She’s safe with me, Mr. Swan,” Isaac wasn’t scared of the cop, not at all. He was good at ducking guns and bullets. “Besides, she’s tougher than she looks,” he grinned as he took one of Bella’s bags and headed to the truck, quickly digging through this bag to throw out the shampoo she had stolen from her dad. He’d find the medicine later.
They watched Bella run back in for something else and Charlie shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. She’s still my daughter.”
“Hales are more resilient than people give them credit for. I know from experience. She’ll be fine,” he answered. “Many have tried to kill her uncle, her brother actually succeeded once, but he won’t stay dead. Stubborn fucker. They are fighters. She’s got it too.”
“Don’t tell her anything, you hear?”
“What? Afraid she’ll hate you?”
Isaac shrugged. “It all depends on how you break the news to her, but sure, Mr. Swan, I will keep my mouth shut for as long as we’re in Forks, won’t talk to her at all,” he said before jumping into his truck and waited for Bella to come and join him. Not five minutes later, she settled next to him.
“Okay. Take me away then.”
He nodded as he started the truck and drove off. He was quiet all the way through Forks, and once leaving city limits, he took a deep breath. “Sorry about that, I told your father I wouldn’t say anything, and I told him I could guarantee that until we left Forks.”
Bella shook her head and smiled. “You don’t have to promise him anything. You have no obligations. You’re doing me a favor getting me away from the Cullens so I’m in debt to you, so don’t worry about him.”
“You do that all the time? Hang around with strangers who can help you in a way without knowing anything about them?” He asked her as he briefly looked over to her as he drove before he looked back at the road. “I know I said I’m not a serial killer, but still. I can cleanse you from the Cullen’s influence while they can actually influence you to stick around with them. What makes me better than them?”
“You’re different because you actually free my mind instead of clouding it,” she replied. “But you’re right, I don’t know you. No doubt Peter’s told you all about me.”
“Not everything,” he assured her. “Just the important bits. He’s good at giving you enough to piece things together. Your dad told me more than Peter did, truly.”
“Charlie?” she replied, doubtful.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “So, ask me anything.”
She nodded, unsure as she looked around before setting her gaze out the window for a moment. “Okay, um… So, uh, where are you from?”