Over the last few days, Bella only spent a couple of hours a day with her new family. She wanted nothing more than to get to know them, but on day three she saw the cracks appear in Peter’s happy façade – he wanted something from her. Isaac had already warned her that he was an opportunist.
When she was with Isaac, they took walks in the woods around the resort, careful not to go out at night incase of hunters and other supernatural creatures. He slowly informed her about the broader sense of the supernatural, about the other kind of vampires he’d run into, for example. And witches. After making sure his truck was still in top shape, he showed her how he had made some room for her in cupboards while she was with Peter and Derek, and he also showed her where the weapons were hidden.
“But why do you have weapons? You’re a werewolf!” Bella had laughed as she saw his small arsenal of guns, stun guns and even an electricity rod. “Don’t you have claws? Super strength?”
“Yeah, but what part of trying to live as human as possible for safety reasons don’t you understand?” He had countered and she knew he was right. Of course he was right. Fighting the good fight but hiding who you were. Not being able to be who you were.
“Have you tried talking to the hunters, you know… a cease fire, the supernaturals are people too?”
“We live in the day and age that everyone thinks that they’re entitled. Better. That violence solves everything and that fear is a healthy motivator. Revenge. Special snowflakes,” he had told her. “It’s because of what happened here in the past, in Beacon Hills, and also other supernatural hotspots, that sent people over the edge because yes, there have been deaths on both sides. Blood spilled. But instead of allowing us to keep ourselves in check, they meddle with our affairs while the human population has their fair share of criminals and idiots too. Do I like keeping the wolf in check? No. Does it come out to play? Sure. But you can’t reason with idiots. The best we can do is to make sure that we can help where we can help.”
After that likely unintended lecture, she had shut up. She was all new to this, and there was no doubt that a lot of parties had tried to strike a deal with the hunters. Even Derek and Peter agreed with Isaac when she told them what Isaac had told her. The humans were scared, and scared or trapped animals would always try to do the impossible to make sure they’re safe, which included recruiting others. The supernaturals were the target now, and in a few years they’d find something else to be scared about and would direct their focus mainly on that. There was no reasoning with those who were terrified or looking for revenge.
This was a different world, different rules.
It was the day of the full moon and boy, did she feel the effects. Her anger was back in full force, she wanted to punch someone and have sex. She wanted to tear someone’s throat out for simply looking at her the wrong way and have sex. It was like PMS on steroids, and she’d only felt like this a handful of times before; usually when she had forgotten to take her pills and she’d been at the reservation. Jake usually kept her distracted with Seth and Leah or working on an engine, but now that she was completely clean, it was worse. Waking up had been a bitch, especially seeing as the first thing she did was to stumble into Isaac’s room through their shared door and waking him up with her pacing. She had been selfish and had woken him up, because he made her feel calm anyway.
They were now waiting for breakfast, room service, and she could feel Isaac’s eyes on her as she kept pacing. “How do I control this shit? It’s so hard to focus!”
“Uh… Yeah, usually it’s not that bad during the day unless it’s a super moon. You’re likely catching up from years and years of not turning,” he said as he still watched her cautiously. “And this is why we need Peter and Derek’s help. Like you, they were born a werewolf, the control mechanisms are slightly different. Easier, even.”
“Fix me. Now,” she stopped pacing and pinned him down with her stare. “This is intolerable. I wasn’t expecting this! How do you keep control?!”
“All wolves have some sort of ah… an anchor. It could be anything; a memory, an object, person, phrase… anything that reminds you of your humanity, so you can keep control. Derek and Peter use the Hale family’s mantra, I believe. You’re a born werewolf, it should be easier for you to gain control than it was for me.”
“What’s your anchor?”
Isaac shrugged. “In the beginning it was the memory of my dad, before he couldn’t cope with my mom and brother’s death. I’m not sure now. Likely the fear of being found out and killed when I do lose it, I suppose.”
“Well that’s bleak.”
“Anything that works. As I said before, my first shift happened when I was in a prison cell and nearly killed someone, the second shift was easier to deal with, to learn control. Sometimes, it just clicks,” he said as he got to his feet. “A cold shower could help, too. Use mine, I’ll go get your clothes from your room.”
Bella blinked at him, confused for a moment before looking down on herself and found out that she was completely naked. Of course, she’d stumbled out of bed, and right into his room. She hadn’t stopped to actually… “Why didn’t you say something before?” She wasn’t shy about her body, not at all, but he should have said something instead of oogling her. Oh, she wanted to punch him so bad now.
“Because,” he said calmly as he pointed towards his shower. “You’re upset and I was just waking up and thought I was dreaming for a moment before realizing that you were actually in my room, naked.” Isaac’s face flushed beet red then, realizing that she was indeed naked, and now feeling weird about it. “Sorry. You’re right. I should have said something or at least had given you my t-shirt.”
She stopped in the doorway of the shower, turning to him. He looked adorable, and had he been anyone else, she’d likely had jumped him for some sex, but this was Isaac. Her Isaac, and she didn’t want to take advantage of him. “Did you at least like what you see?”
“Yes,” he said with a slight yelp before going to Bella’s room and finding her clothes.
Good, he wasn’t a monk then and likely not gay. “Are you sure cold showers work?”
“It’ll distract you for a moment or two, but maybe it’s a good idea if we’d go to Derek and Peter after breakfast… if you do get worse, you might hack and slash through this entire resort. We’ll have to get you to a better environment.”
“Oh come on, surely you’re strong enough to handle me?” She asked with a slight giggle, still standing in the doorway, waiting for him to return. “What if I want you to distract me? Sexually?” She asked as he walked in, resulting in a dumbfounded look on his face. “Do you think that will work?”
“We’re not going to have sex while you’re not in your right mind,” Isaac said eventually before pointing to the shower. “Cold shower. Now.”
Bella pouted before doing what she was told, and she didn’t quite like the sensation of the cold water cooling her off, but it did help somewhat, to clear her mind. When she felt cold enough, and settled again, she turned off the shower and found her clothes neatly stacked on the counter next to the towels. She had heard room service coming in, and she could smell the food, she needed to hurry.
No wait. No need to hurry. She could take her time. Nice and slow. Breathe. She was shivering, but she could feel how her body was warming up easily, it was unlikely that she was going to stay cold for a long time. She had started to feel that a few days before, she wasn’t cold at night while she was usually cold all the time.
Bella was curious now what Isaac’s other plans of distractions were. It wasn’t as if she could take a cold shower all day long! Oh, but she could! But that would be cold.
Pulling her hair back in a tail, she emerged from the bathroom and Isaac had put all of the breakfast on the table. There was a lot of food, and Bella didn’t care, she was hungry. So hungry. “You spoil me too much,” she said as she sat down opposite of him and dug in. There were sandwiches, eggs in all forms, dinner rolls, even soup! And, most importantly, coffee.
“I’m not paying for it, so,” he shrugged, quite peckish himself. Isaac was happy that she had decided to put on the clothes. While his control was firmly in place because he had been a werewolf for longer, she did have a gorgeous body. One that he’d wanted for himself, completely. But he couldn’t. He shouldn’t. He was fine alone, and she was only going to tag along for a short period of time. No good to get attached this quick. “How are you feeling?”
“Better, thank you,” she replied with a sigh as she took a sip of her coffee. “Is this going to be like this all day?”
“Yep. Will be worse when the moon actually comes up, so you’d better start thinking about something to hold on to,” Isaac took a bite out of his sandwich.
A sudden burst of anger washed over her. “What if I can’t?!”
“Then we’ll try again on the next full moon.”
“Okay, fine. But what happens if I can’t find it today? Am I going to hurt you? I don’t want that to happen. Will I know what I’m doing?”
“No,” he shook his head. “We need to remain in control of our humanity. When the beast takes over, we become the beast. Think of the fight or flight concept without the flight. Seeing red. Blacking out. That sort of thing. So usually, new wolves are being chained up for the first few shifts. If they’re lucky, their Alpha will be close by. Seeing as you’re a born wolf, your family will be close by. We can chain you up when needed. And if all fails, we’ll likely have to call Scott, but I doubt it’ll come to that.”
“Chains?” Bella’s eyes sparkled as she looked at him. “Kinky!”
“It’s a very unpleasant experience to look at, so I’d rather have you not go through that, at all. So anything that makes you feel like yourself, is good. Anything that angers you, is not.”
She huffed then. “Can we go for a long walk, then? I don’t see myself being cooped up in Derek’s apartment for the rest of the day and the night and be bored out of my skull.”
“The hunters take advantage of the full moon and on the day itself, it’s basically open season was it’s harder for us to conceal who we are,” Isaac let out a snort. “But, we could drive our truck to Derek’s loft, and then stay in the truck for as long as we can… cooking up a storm, since lots of the fresh stuff that I bought prior coming to Forks is on its way out. Would be a shame if we didn’t get to eat it all.”
Her eyes grew big. She loved cooking, and she had always found it a shame that Charlie was always so specific with what he liked and disliked. Her palate was broader than that of her father. “Cooking? You and I?”
“Yep, you can show me what you’ve got!”
“Can we go fishing first, too?” Bella asked hopeful. “That’s the most human experience you can have.”
“Maybe some other time.”
“Right. Hunters. First full moon,” she reminded herself as she took a bite out of her sandwich. “I could get us all killed… Question; what do you usually do during the full moon?”
“That is different, Bella. I’ve been a wolf for a few years now, I can control myself. You, have been a wolf all your life and that was subdued by meds. I- I don’t want to risk you getting hurt or you hurting others.”
“But what if I can control myself? All I’ve heard is worse case scenario, but what if I can control myself?” She reached out over the table and took his hand, gently squeezing it. “You might be too overly cautious. Relax.”
“I’ll relax tomorrow,” Isaac said before withdrawing his hand from hers and finished eating his sandwich before heading to the bathroom with some clean clothes to freshen up. He hadn’t bothered to get out of his clothes last night, just in case.
“You know,” Bella said as she followed him to the bathroom, sandwich in hand. “Your thing to keep your humanity in control, right, the knowledge that if you don’t, you’ll get caught and hunted? That’s out of fear,” she pointed out. “How can you hold on to your humanity through fear? Wouldn’t that make you even more scared? Wouldn’t… I don’t know, cute puppies be a better way of making sure your humanity stays in control? Isn’t the full moon something not to be fearful of but to be celebrated?”
He finished splashing water in his face and put a clean t-shirt on. She was starting to get on his nerves; he needed to get them to Peter and Derek so that she could ask her questions to them, they had more experience, they were all Hales and he could take a breather. “Bella.”
“Isaac,” she replied in the same tone of voice as he’d used. “This is all new to me. How can I understand things when you reply ‘it just is’ or something along the lines of that? Make me understand, because I don’t understand why fear would stop you from changing and losing control. If anything, I’d choose something happy.”
“Then choose something happy,” he replied, wanting to get out of the bathroom but she was blocking his exit. “It’s something that anchors you to your humanity. It’s a personal thing.”
She rolled her eyes at him. She didn’t like the way that he was now, what Beacon Hills made him to be, and she sure as hell didn’t like his answers. She wanted to know details. How else was she supposed to learn? Thinking about his behaviour and what he had told her in the last few days, she figured that he was afraid because he was alone. That he had been alone for a long time and that he trusted no one. Her, maybe, but she wasn’t even sure about that. Bella didn’t need to be a werewolf to know that pack animals without a pack were easy targets which made them cautious, afraid, and paranoid. Bella held up her hand. “Give me your phone.”
“Because I threw mine out and I’d like to make a phone call,” she replied as a matter of factly. “There’s only one person who can know for sure before it happens if something bad happens. Well, two, but I like the first one better, and I’m going to call him, to ease both of our minds.”
“You’re going to cheat?”
Bella shrugged. “I hate waiting. You’re obviously anxious about my first turn and you’ve been distancing yourself from me for the last few days. I don’t like it. So, give me your phone.”
“Oh come on, if he says we’re safe, we can leave Beacon Hills and you can get back to being your usual self because frankly, this you sucks. No wonder you’re alone when you keep trying to push people away when they are getting too close, because that’s the whole thing, isn’t it? I’m getting too close to you already in your opinion,” Bella snapped at him as she kept standing in his way, feeling anger burn underneath her skin. She didn’t want to hurt Isaac, this was a different kind of anger, one she hadn’t felt before. “And maybe that’s stupid of me, but my life got turned upside down because of your and Peter’s interference so yeah, you’re stuck with me because I actually kinda like you as a person. So. Hand me the fucking phone so I can call him!”
Isaac blinked when her eyes flashed red for only a moment and he couldn’t help but hand her the phone and backing off, nearly falling into the sink as he lost his balance over the bathroom mat. Her intent was underneath his skin, she wasn’t angry with him, she cared. Deeply. And it showed. He had no other choice but to accept it. Accept her. And he wanted to. But he wasn’t going to, he was going to refuse. He wasn’t going to be a beta.
She cocked her head as she watched his reaction. Concern rising inside her chest, she hadn’t spooked him, had she? “What’s going on?”
Yeah, she was in control now, but would she be when the moon was actually out? “Uh… Call Peter, ask him what you want and uh…” Oh, his brain was scrambled, calmer. Fucking Alpha’s, he thought. “You’re definitely an Alpha. I’ll be more prepared for that next time.”
“I am?” Bella asked brightly. “Cool! But uh… you’re not my beta, are you? Because those things should happen naturally, right? Unless I was the Alpha that bit you?”
“Yep, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have an effect on me,” he said as he turned around to take a sip of water. “Call Peter, and let’s finish breakfast.”
“I didn’t hurt you or spook you, did I?” Bella asked worried, stepping away from the door.
“Nah,” he turned around to smile at her. “Merely caught me off guard, but I do think that you should have a chat with Peter and Derek about your power as an Alpha.”
“Fuck that, if Peter tells me I’m staying in control all day, we’re leaving and we’ll figure this thing out together,” Bella said as she made her way back into the room to the table with food while she scrolled to Isaac’s contacts phone. It was heartbreakingly empty. It only had Argent’s phone number and that of Peter, and what looked like suppliers of food. Sighing, she pushed on Peter’s name and put it on speaker so that Isaac could hear as well.
“How’s it goin’?”
“Well, I haven’t had the urge to claw his throat out,” Bella replied as she pushed a piece of bread into her mouth. “I do wish to do other things with him but I’m a good girl.”
“I didn’t need to hear that,” Peter audibly sighed. Bella imagined him facepalming. “But glad to hear you’re both doing good. How’s Beacon Hills?”
“Can we cut the small talk? I have one question for you.”
“You sure you want to do that, darlin’? I know that Isaac isn’t a big fan of cheating.”
“I’m right here,” Isaac said as he sat down at the table and started to eat the soup. “She’s impatient, that’s all.”
“Yeah, will I stay in control all day and night or what?”
“I honestly believed you two were on your way to Virginia already, seeing as Isaac has an appointment with the sheriff in four days. It’s a two day drive, and you do need your rest. So…”
“That’s not an answer, Peter.”
“Yes it is. It’s safe for you to travel out of Beacon Hills, but it’s also my recommendation that you do talk to your family about being an Alpha, seeing as Isaac can only tell you the effects of it, and your family knows the power it holds.”
“You knew! You already fucking knew and you didn’t say anything!” Bella fumed. “Why didn’t you say anything?!”
Isaac put his hand over her hand that had spawned her claws. “Breathe.”
“Because there are things you need to find out for yourself. That’s life, Bella. It should be a surprise. You should enjoy every moment you have, and take life as it comes.”
Bella let out a growl and disconnected the call before looking at Isaac. “Fine, after we’ve finished breakfast, we’re going to Derek to talk about this Alpha power and then leave.”
Isaac was glad that Peter confirmed Bella’s feelings, but he still wasn’t completely at ease with the idea of driving around with an Alpha werewolf who was going to experience her first full moon as a free wolf. On the other hand, maybe he had become too cautious over the years. “Okay, you go talk with Derek and I will clean out the truck and stock it up with some fresh food.”
“You’re not coming with me?”
“I’ll be downstairs. Cleaning out the truck.”
“I want you with me. We can clean out the truck together,” she smiled at him. “Please?”
He sighed and nodded. “Fine.”