Bella had fallen asleep around midnight, and he stopped at a gas station at around 4 am to fill the truck up. He took a quick nap himself after making sure they were in a safe area, locking all the doors of the truck, and continued to drive after he had woken up again at 6. He didn’t understand how Bella was comfortable in her position on the chair, but she kept on sleeping; likely sleeping off the excitement and information she had received the day before.
She needed her rest. Oh, how bad she needed that rest for today. Hell, if he could have taken more hours of sleep, he would have. But he wanted to get this over with quickly. Talk to Deaton. Then the Hales. Introduce her to her family and if she wanted to stay, that was fine, but he wouldn’t be staying. Despite Derek and Peter’s shortcomings, Bella was family to them and she’d be safe. Maybe they’d take her to see Cora in South America where it was still a lot safer to be a supernatural being than it was in the States.
She woke up just as he turned onto the highway. “Good morning,” he greeted her with a smile. “We’ll be in Beacon Hills in 30 minutes. Would you like me to stop so we can have some breakfast first? And coffee?”
Bella let out a groan as she rubbed her eyes. “Coffee,” she nodded. “And a piss.”
“Ah… uh… there’s no gas station on this road,” he said, slightly embarrassed. “And I don’t have a toilet on this truck.”
“You have toilet paper?”
“Then I’ll be fine,” she replied as she put her arms behind her head and stretched herself, her chest pushing forward as she did. The area they were driving in was beautiful. There were some mountains, a lot of green and there was a river beside the highway they were on. More importantly, they were in California. No more cold weather, she could choose where she wanted to go now.
She was well aware that she landed from one shitstorm into another, but at least she was going to be in her own right mind soon. Bella simply needed to spend some more time around Isaac – or another werewolf of his kind – and she’d be golden. Yesterday didn’t happen for the most part. There was no way that she was a werewolf, and there was no way that she was anything special. Peter Whitlock was a prankster. But if this was all a prank, then it was a very elaborate one, and not at all funny. “Any chance that all of this is an elaborate joke or that I’m hallucinating?”
“Nope, sorry,” he said as he parked the truck in a parking area next to the road, with a lovely view over one of the lakes and a bunch of bushes nearby. Isaac went into the back of his truck and handed Bella a roll of toilet paper. “I’ll start the coffee, are you good with eating some leftovers from yesterday’s tasting?”
“Totally,” Bella said, grateful for the roll and headed out into the bushes. After she was done, she took some time to take in the environment a little. Check out the water. The water was safe, it was in motion, clear and there were fish swimming in them. Sitting down on her knees, she splashed some water in her face and sighed happily as it cleared the feeling of feeling sleepy.
Now that her head was clearing up, the fog lifting, she felt stupid for not heeding Edward’s warning the moment he warned her away. ‘If you were smart, you’d stay away from me.’ She and her stupid big mouth. Her curiosity getting the better of her. She hadn’t been smart, not even for argument’s sake, because deep down, she’d wanted a boyfriend. Of course she didn’t stay away from him, he became her obsession as she was his. But, truth be told, Edward should and could have stayed clear of her, too. This wasn’t on her.
Unhealthy. Had it been one of her classmates, she’d have done anything to keep them away from the addiction. It was strange that she wasn’t having any withdrawal symptoms. Was that because of Isaac, the distance or herself? Or maybe they still had to rear their ugly heads? She hoped she was going to be fine.
From now on, she was going to stick to having one night stands. Like she had done before Edward Cullen. She chuckled to herself. Yeah, he’d been her boyfriend but he didn’t want to have sex with her because he could kill her. What kind of lame excuse was that? Control and knowing your own strength would have made the hypothetical sex a lot safe. Fuck, she should have left him when she had discovered that prude side of him.
She sat down in the grass as she stared out in front of her. She’d been so stupid. Bella should have seen it coming, really. Edward and his family had simply been too flawless, too perfect. No one is that flawless and perfect. No one. And apart from all of that, their personalities were severely lacking, now that she thought of it.
And it was so hard to be a human around them, because they didn’t eat, sleep or had to go to the toilet and thus Bella ate less, slept less and well, she couldn’t avoid going to the toilet, but still. It felt awkward knowing that there were people in the house who were capable of hearing her dropping the kids off at the pool and how heavy they were and likely even how moist.
She nearly jumped out of her skin when Isaac sat down next to her, holding a mug of coffee for her. “Jeez!”
“Sorry,” he apologized as he set down his own mug and got the spoons, sugar and milk out of his pocket. “Wasn’t sure if you needed anything, so… I brought it all,” he said before placing them in the grass and picking up his coffee again.
“Thanks,” Bella said as she gratefully took the sugar and milk and dumped it all in her mug before stirring it all in. “Sorry, I uh… was lost in thought.”
“You don’t need to apologize,” Isaac laughed, shaking his head. “I should have made some noise at least to alert you that I was coming out of the truck with coffee. Any good thoughts?”
“No, not really,” she sighed as she took a sip of the coffee, the gloriously tasting coffee. “I guess I’m mostly beating myself up for allowing myself to get caught in Edward’s web… you know…”
“You shouldn’t,” he replied, a warm smile on his face. “It could have happened to anyone. Usually girls in your position get killed or turned.”
“Yeah, that was my fate until Peter likely told the Volturi about my status. True or not, I’m glad that the target is off my back,” she nodded before thinking of something. “Would it even have worked if I’m truly a werewolf?”
Isaac took a sip of his coffee. “I don’t know, likely not.”
“Maybe,” he took another sip of his coffee. “I don’t know. As far as I know no Cold One has ever tried to turn a werewolf, but their venom can cause some serious damage, even for a werewolf with healing abilities. With Cold Ones it’s always best to avoid any confrontation and surprise them with your attack, really. Took me weeks to heal from a tiny little splash of venom. Could have been worse.”
Bella pushed up her sleeve and revealed her scar to him. “I was kidnapped by a nomadic Cold One because the Cullens killed one of their friends, he bit me and Edward sucked the venom out of me.”
He gently took her wrist and rubbed his thumb over it. “Must have hurt like hell.”
“That’s an understatement, but if I’m a werewolf, why didn’t it heal properly?”
“I don’t know,” he said as he released her wrist and took another sip of his coffee. “Might be because of the fact that your father tried everything in his power to suppress your werewolf side, it’s possible it’ll heal once it’s all out of your system. We’ll have to ask Deaton about it, if you’re worried. I mean, he knows more about the workings of the moss than I do – and likely about the Cold One venom. I just feel the effects of it. Never really paid attention to herbs and shit.” He finished his coffee. “Are you done? There’s some leftovers in the fridge if you need something to eat, but I think we should head into Beacon Hills now.”
Bella could tell that Isaac was anxious. It was virtually rolling off of him. He really didn’t want to go to Beacon Hills and he was only going because of her. And he sort of implied that it was fine if she stayed there, by herself, with strangers, than to go with him – also a complete stranger. Yeah right. Charlie had let her go, but she doubted that he’d like her to stay in a strange town all by herself. And she really didn’t want to go back to Forks. Before she could think of something encouraging to say to this man sitting next to her, her phone rang; it was her dad. “Hey dad.”
“Hey Bells, how are you doing?”
“Fine,” she laughed as she got to her feet and finished her coffee as she walked back to the truck. “I’ve only been gone for less than a day, is everything alright?”
“Peter wanted me to call you to tell you what was written on the note he gave me yesterday.”
“Oh, this is going to be good,” Bella huffed. “Mr. Know-it-all.”
“It says… ‘Bella chooses Isaac. Isaac takes Bella to Texas. No, to ‘Mom’. No, to Beacon Hills, for answers’.”
“Of course it does,” Bella rolled her eyes. “You don’t mind, do you? I mean, I still feel this is one elaborate prank and that Edward will be in Beacon Hills to get me back or something.”
“Sweetheart,” Charlie sighed. “I understand. I’ve made you hide a part of who you are without informing you about your true heritage and perhaps that was wrong of me, but Talia… she just wanted to be sure that at least one of her children would survive whatever was going to happen. Have someone in waiting in case everyone died. She gave you to me, your biological father, to keep you human and safe. Nobody knew who you are.”
“Don’t think I’m not happy about you lying to me, you should have told me.”
“I think you’ll discover a lot more soon that will make you even angrier with me. Try not to lose your cool when Deaton is telling you more about why and how. He was very close to Talia Hale and her family for years and even now, is an emissary to them and the new pack in town.”
“I never lose my cool!” Bella shot at him.
“Uhuh,” Charlie let out a chuckle. “Good luck, kiddo. Call me whenever you want.”
“And what the fuck, have you been talking to people there?” Bella said angrily as she threw her empty mug against a rock next to the truck, making Isaac jump slightly as he passed her. “You know more than you’re letting on!”
“Sweetheart, of course I’m in contact with people in Beacon Hills. With Deaton. He needed to know about you and your temper so he could adjust your pills…”
She let out a low growl, disconnected the phone and tossed it into the water. “I fucking hate this!” Bella then turned around to face Isaac, who was looking at her, warily. “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t- I needed a new phone anyway.”
“Good thing I haven’t showed you where I’ve hidden some weapons in the truck,” Isaac said amused as he got into the truck to put his mug away. He opened the fridge to grab a handful of finger sandwiches and crawled behind the wheel. “Are you coming or do you need some more time to fume?”
“I swear, if someone lies to me again…” Bella said angrily as she pulled the passenger door shut. “I’m so fucking done with it all. So fucking done.”
“Sounds to me it’s time you start living your own life, stop thinking about what others may think,” Isaac made a mental note of making sure that the door was still good to go, otherwise he’d have to make sure to make the truck a little bit more resistant against werewolf strength. Bella was only coming off of her medication now, there was no doubt that it was still inside of her, it was still on her, she needed to take a shower to get the stuff off of her, but he really hoped she could control her temper once she was allowed to control it on her own. Otherwise she’d be a complete handful to whomever she choose to stay with.
If she decided to stick around in Beacon Hills with the Hales that was more than alright. They had their fair share of anger issues and control issues. Isaac might hang back to watch the Hales having to deal with Bella once she fully comes off of her meds and have her experience her first full moon. “Oh crap,” Isaac groaned after they’d been driving for a few minutes.
“The full moon is in a few days. I don’t know when you’re entirely clean, and it’s at least a two day drive to Virginia – if you want to join me. I think we need to stay in Beacon Hills until the worst has passed… There are plenty of places here that can hold a werewolf who’s not in full control yet.” He hated this. But he needed someone better than him close by to make sure that she wouldn’t go off and kill people.
Oh, he hated this with a passion. He’d have to get them into a motel and he’d have to use his own name because they knew him in Beacon Hills or you know, it was easy to figure out he wasn’t an Argent. With so many hunters in town… On the other hand, he had another fake ID saying that he was Peter Whitlock. Even had Peter’s credit card on him. Yeah, that was a better idea. “At least it’ll give you some more time to get to know your family, right?”
“You don’t have to stay if you don’t-”
“No, I’m staying,” Isaac said quickly, looking over to her as he drove. “You’re kind of my responsibility until after your first turn. I mean, I tossed out your pills and all,” he said impishly. “But if you decide you don’t want to come with me before you turn, I’ll be heading off and leaving you here.”
“Yeah, and if you do that, I’ll tear off your balls,” Bella muttered, crossing her arms over her chest. “No offense, but Beacon Hills sounds like a hotbed for trouble, and aren’t I supposed to stay out of trouble?”
“Oh…” he blinked before scratching his head. “Oh, so you’re…”
“Yeah, sure. I’m coming with you to whatever you’re going to do next. After we survive your old hometown.”
He smiled at her then, suddenly a whole weight falling off of his shoulders at her admission that she wanted to come along with him – although he wouldn’t have minded to go on on his own, he was used to being alone. Being alone meant you wouldn’t get hurt. “Great.”
As they were driving into Beacon Hills, Isaac started to feel the bile rise in his throat. How could a town – the town he was born in and grew up in – make him feel so terrible? A lot had changed since he was in town last. A lot of buildings were ruined, evidence of supernatural fights. Bullet holes, stray arrows, more graffiti and more homeless people, but Isaac could tell that the community was working hard to make it habitable again.
With the sun out, it probably looked worse than it was.
He drove them past the hospital to cross Industry Bridge. Oh, there were shorter ways to the Animal Clinic but he wanted to avoid those ways because one led right past the Sheriff’s station. He followed the road next to the river towards Northern Bridge and went left. The Animal Clinic was right at the end of the street. He wasted about five whole minutes by avoiding places where his friends could hang out.
Then again, there was a possibility that Scott would be at the clinic. He hadn’t thought about that. He’d better sniff the air to see whether or not Scott’s scent there would be present or not.
“You weren’t kidding when you said that you were taking me to a veterinarian,” Bella said with a straight face as she pulled on her shoes and Isaac parked the truck. “Is this a joke?”
“Oh, he’s a veterinarian, alright. I mean, people do have to earn money and all. But half of this building is made out of mountain ash, preventing the supernatural from bursting in, going further than the reception area, unless a human opens the gate,” Isaac’s truck was the only one in the parking lot, which was good. He half expected Chris Argent to stay at Deaton’s until he’d arrive, but thank fuck they were alone.
He got out of the truck and sniffed the air. Scott had been there, recently, but the scent wasn’t fresh, maybe a few hours old. There were other scents there, ones that he didn’t recognize, and certainly not one belonging to Stiles or Lydia. But then again, last thing he had heard about Stiles was that he was an FBI agent now. Which was strange, didn’t he have to go through college first? Isaac smelled the sheriff. Argent’s scent was the most recent one, though, and his scent was confusing, why was it infused with the scent of Scott’s mother?
“You look constipated,” Bella stated as she leaned against the truck, watching him. “What are you doing?”
“To make sure we’re truly alone,” Isaac explained with half a smile. “New scents are confusing, other scents are just plain odd.”
“Argent’s scent, for example. I can smell Scott’s mother on him. I mean, I always thought that she and the sheriff would end up together, seeing as they basically co-parented Stiles and Scott anyway but… it’s a weird combination, really.”
She gave him an incredulous look before rolling her eyes at him. “Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah,” he smiled at her. “Let’s go inside.”