Bella had calmed down somewhat by the time they returned to Mystic Falls. She had felt this kind of rage before, of course, she had, but she had no reason to rage like this because yes, she had started it – playfully, and Isaac threw it right back in her face – also playfully. And she had flown into a fit of rage and actually hurt him.
“I’m sorry,” she said as she followed him out of the truck into the hotel’s parking lot. “I’m sorry for breaking your hand and then throwing you against that wall… I-… I think I lost control.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he smiled at her, holding up his hand and moving his fingers. “See? Nothing wrong, already fixed.”
Did werewolves really heal that fast? “Are you sure?”
“Yeah,” he nodded as he got into the back of the truck to pull the beds out in case they were going to need them during the night. “It was kinda hot, to be honest.”
Bella blinked at that admission but didn’t say anything as she grabbed the bag with magazines out of the truck. For some reason it made her feel even worse. She had hurt him, physically, and that should never be hot when it’s not consensual, and her rage had not been consensual with either of them. By losing control like that, she had been just as bad as the Beacon Hills demons in Isaac’s head, hadn’t she? She needed to be better, and it was likely a good thing to try to keep her distance from him for a while until she’d figured this out.
She focused on finding the right kind of feel for the bed and breakfast in the magazines, going as far as cutting it all out and paste it onto a clean sheet of paper for every principal room. When it was 3 am she forced herself to take some rest and sleep, but all she could think about was how bad she’d been to Isaac, and how wrong it was for her to stay.
They had breakfast in the truck the next morning, and Isaac went to the mayor’s office to sign the papers for the land, and all the permits that came with the property. Destruction. Construction. Permittance to dig into the caves and all that kind of shit. Alcohol permits and hotel permits would follow later after the building was completed.
When Isaac returned, he informed her that the architect would be coming in a couple of hours, but that he wanted to go for a run with her in the woods to get rid of some excess energy. He put all the permits safely away in a safe in the truck and wondered out loud if Bella would be faster than him. She huffed, saying that she was never athletic whatsoever as she kept tripping over her own feet. And while they had gone for a run around in Beacon Hills, that didn’t mean that she suddenly earned more speed in her legs or something.
But oh boy, did running clear and calm her mind! She still felt terrible about having hurt Isaac and him being okay with it, but maybe she was making a bigger deal out of it than it was. Of course, she’d have some teething problems in the beginning, and sure, she could have stayed back and learned from her new family, but she had chosen for Isaac. Peter Whitlock had chosen for Isaac. If Isaac hadn’t been the right fit, Peter would have never sent him in, would he?
Bella hated it when her insecurities surfaced, but it was a good reality check. It usually meant that she’d been spending too much time inside her mind and she was definitely going to take up running as a hobby to relax. Hell, Bella was even going to buy some sportswear to fit in. She no longer had restrictions. Nobody was telling her how to live, she was free, completely free and herself. She was what she had always been, and nobody was holding her back.
She was allowed to go through a variety of emotions, she was still adjusting to everything. The lack of influencing coming from the Cold Ones, and Jasper in particular, being a werewolf… it was alright to let go.
But still, she was surprised when Isaac was teaching her to fight as she felt her body change after a couple of rounds. Her face, but her hands were the most noticeable. Hairier. Long fingernails and she couldn’t help but stare at her claws in awe. And yes, it had hurt just a little, but she was in awe of the transformation.
Something inside of her cheered. She wasn’t a faulty werewolf after all!
Her heart swelled when Isaac took a picture of her with, and without, flash to show her what she looked like and she couldn’t help but squeal in joy and tackle him to the ground as she threw her arms around him. “I’m a werewolf!” she laughed as they lay on the forest floor, no doubt with twigs poking in Isaac’s back but she felt good! “I’m free!”
“Yes,” he smiled at her, gently patting her back as he looked at her. “You’ll feel a lot better if you remember that. You’re free. Nobody is stopping you from doing what you want but yourself. You’re a fucking werewolf Alpha, nobody messes with you!”
“Yes! How do I roar? You know, how Derek showed me?” There was a slight hesitation on his face then, and Bella wasn’t sure why. “What?” She moved so she was now sitting on top of him, her head cocked much like that of a cute little puppy.
She wasn’t his Alpha, but one wrong howl and he would likely roll over and submit. Because he was starting to feel far too comfortable with Bella around. He had to remind himself that she was going to leave eventually. “Nothing,” he smiled at her. “Howling just happens. Just try, and see what comes out of you.” According to Stiles, Scott had sounded like a cat being choked to death when he tried calling for the Alpha for the first time. “It’s more of an… instinctual thing. Wolves howl to signal to their pack where they are. I guess you could imagine you’re lost and trying to get help.”
“But I don’t have a pack.”
That dimwitted look on her face was endearing. “Other wolves will pick up on it too,” he nodded. “Which is why it’s safe for you to practise here because there are no werewolves left here, only the cute animal ones.” Isaac hoped that whatever she was feeling now, she’d hold on to for the rest of her life. He didn’t like to see her miserable. “Imagine you want to howl for your dad.”
A pang of homesickness hurt her heart. “That’s not fair.”
“But it might work.”
“Can I use your phone later to call him without telling him where I am?”
Bella nodded and rolled her head and shoulders as she closed her eyes and let out a deep breath. She then tried her best to let out a howl. It sounded okay in her head, but when she looked at Isaac, she could tell that he was doing his best not to laugh. “What?”
“You sounded like a cute little puppy,” he snickered.
Bella huffed. “I’ll just need more practise. Let me hear yours.”
“Nope,” Isaac shook his head as he lifted her off of him and got to his feet before helping her back up. “Because I don’t actually want to alert others to where I am.” He gave her his phone. “You’re always free to call your dad, this phone can’t be traced and all, but please don’t tell him where you are.”
“I know,” she said as she gratefully started to dial Charlie’s number. “You didn’t kidnap me and I choose to stay with you and with that comes rules. And I won’t ask him for a favor for the sheriff’s office here. Especially after Peter’s generous amount of money for the town and the land.”
“For safety,” she nodded as she started to walk back, following Isaac. The phone still rang, and she wondered when Charlie was going to pick up. When she wanted to dial again, he finally picked up.
“Who is this?”
“Hi dad,” Bella smiled as she took a few steps closer to Isaac as they continued to walk back to the truck. They had an architect to meet, after all. “How are you doing?”
“A little bit stunned, I would have thought you would have disowned me by now for lying to you.”
“Yeah…” she let out a breath. “Maybe just a little, but I wanted to know if you were okay.”
“Yeah, Sue and I are currently planning a barbeque on the rez. The Cullens moved away a couple of days ago, it’s nice and quiet here again.”
“They moved? Where to?” Oh, they really needed to stay away from her. There was no doubt that she’d now be resistant to their charms, but she was still far too angry with them for having manipulated her for so long.
“I don’t know. Alaska or something? Your friend Peter did a lot of work to make sure that they left. Basically, he and the Quileute ran them out of town. It was quite a sight.”
“No doubt,” Bella replied, knowing that the Cullens had ‘family’ in Alaska. She just hoped that they wouldn’t come and find her, but Peter said he’d make sure of that.
“And how are you doing, Bella? How was Beacon Hills?”
“That was an adventure, one I don’t really like to revisit,” she replied truthfully. “Uncle is an opportunist and brother is… I don’t know. Rudderless? I decided to stick with Isaac, he’s helping me come to grips with what I am, and help out with his and Peter’s cause.”
“Be careful, sweetheart,” Charlie said warmly. “That world is completely different from what you’re used to.”
“Don’t worry, we’re fine. Safe. You taught me well, dad.”
“Good. Despite what I did, I hope you can forgive me one day. I’d never go against your mother’s wishes.”
“Seems like nobody ever would,” she muttered as she had learned that in Beacon Hills. “Love you, dad.”
“Love you too.”
Bella handed the phone back to Isaac after disconnecting the call. “Thanks, I needed that.”
“You’re welcome to call him whenever, you know.”
“Nah. He’s right. I should have disowned him for lying to me for all of my life and not taking my best interests at heart. So much shit would have been avoided if I had known,” she ran a hand through her hair and smiled. “On the other hand, parents are these magical beings, no doubt they want their children to be safe and will do whatever it takes. I mean, I can’t stay mad at him, but he should have told me.”
Isaac nodded as he pushed his hands in his pockets. “I am glad you’re feeling better though.”
“Oh, totally! I should take up running as a hobby if we’re going to stay here for a while! It’s a great way to go exploring and shit!” Bella said excitedly, a big smile on her face. “I am so ready for a new life, Isaac.”
“Are you sticking with it now?”
“Oh, totally,” she nodded as she refastened her hair into a ponytail. “I’m hungry.”
When they got back to the truck, they had some lunch, and they didn’t have to wait long for the architect to arrive. Bella wasn’t surprised to find out that this architect was a vampire. Not a Cold One as his complexion was normal and looked normal. His name was John Hammond, born and raised in Alabama and had been designing homes for over a hundred years much to the satisfaction of his customers.
He had a beautiful sketch done for the Bed and Breakfast and for the accompanying building where they could host parties and whatnot. He had made them in two separate buildings, the B&B had a deep porch all around it, there were French doors, several columns to hold the structure up, big windows and the drawing looked just fantastic. The ‘party shack’ looked like a barn, but also with big windows, and both would fit in perfectly with the other buildings in Mystic Falls – especially since John let it drop that he was going to help rebuild the town. All the glass of both buildings would be special glass of course. Bullet and sparkle proof.
He then showed them the blueprint for the inside. There was room for a large kitchen, a dining room, a reception area and a library to sit in. There’d be a spiral staircase – and an elevator for those who couldn’t use the stairs – leading to the first floor where there would be room for eight spacious rooms with ensuites, and another staircase going to the top level which was separated by another wall through the middle. There were two large suites on one half, and the other half could be accessed through a door, where Bella and Isaac would be living. Separate bedrooms, a small kitchen, two bathrooms and a living room. Like a mini apartment. Unless they had other plans, then John would have to amend those plans, but seeing as he’d only been told about Bella after the drawings were made, he didn’t have time to adjust the floor plan.
The only way to the basement was either through a security door at the back of the house that was well hidden from sight or a security door from the kitchen. The basement held the linen room with room for two washing machines and a tumble dryer or two and a trash collecting area. But John had also taken into account that it was going to be a place to give supernatural beings being hunted a place to hide out. There was a massive dormitory with room for twenty bunk beds, a few showers and a kitchen. Two small family rooms in case it was needed. And, there would be a security door leading to the cave systems below that Peter had plans to dig out.
The basement would be well isolated, of course. No sound coming out of there, and no heat getting lost either. Fresh air would come from the air conditioning system.
All in all, Isaac was pretty happy with the plans but suggested to move the restaurant to the side of the house so that patrons could see the street they were at, the road next to it and the backyard. It had to be customer friendly, that even if they didn’t have any guests staying over, people would still come for the food and ambiance. Maybe even a patio outside in the back garden for those long hot summers. He also wanted a dormitory in the building next to theirs, in cases of school trips or backpackers. And maybe a smaller sitting area to have a small gift shop as well. Tourists loved their gift shops.
John knew that Bella was going to busy herself with the interior – or at least anything that wasn’t the kitchen, and offered the help of one of his experienced associates to help her with that. And, if Bella felt more comfortable with it, it could even be a human. Shellie was one of his hardest working interior designers, and he was sure that the girls would hit it off. Bella wanted to say ‘no’, a bit of pride, perhaps, but while she was great at picking out things, she didn’t know a thing about interior design. There was more to interior designing than picking out furniture. So she welcomed the help.
After John left, they explored Mystic Falls some more, and it was back to waiting to see what Peter had planned for them. Isaac woke her up in the middle of the night a few days later waving his phone around. “I’m heading out, I won’t be long, but I might not be back for breakfast.”
Bella yawned as she leaned against the doorpost of her hotel room. “Where are you going?”
“There are some nomadic wolves close by causing some ruckus, I’m going to ask them politely to fuck off. Don’t want them to attract the attention of hunters. Not when Peter’s demolition crew comes in a few days.”
Isaac had told her that it was likely that Peter had hired a crew of vampires to get shit down faster, which was, of course, the easy way out. Of course, they couldn’t use hunters in Mystic Falls when the human population would be outnumbered because of the vampires in town. “Give me a minute, I’ll come with.”
Isaac almost looked disappointed as he tried to find the words. “I’ve encountered them before. Likely. I’m merely telling you so you won’t get worried or something when you wake up and see that the truck is gone.”
“I’m coming with,” she said again as she turned around to get into her clothes and pulled on her shoes. “I’m learning about this side of your life, remember? Let me learn. Teach me.”
“Fine,” he said as he walked to the truck. “But you’re staying in the truck. There’s not knowing what they’ll do, and I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Hello, werewolf! I heal fast now!” She reminded him, although she hadn’t actually tested that theory yet, and the look on Isaac’s face said enough. “Yeah, you’re right, need to actually test that first,” Bella sighed as she got into the passenger seat. “I’ll stay behind. For now. We’re going to test that healing thing soon though, yeah?”
“That was the plan for tomorrow… uh, today,” he replied as he started the truck. “So, let us get through this, get back, have some breakfast and then we’ll play a little with knives. But not now.”
“Not now,” Bella nodded. She didn’t like blood much, and she had only just woken up; it could result into her vomiting all over the place, and she didn’t want to clean out the truck because the smell alone could set it off all over again. “I’ll stay in the truck, with a gun. I have your back when you need it, but they won’t cause too much trouble, will they?”
“Nah,” he smirked as he drove off the parking lot to the coordinates he received from one of Peter’s little spies. “Don’t worry about it.” He hoped that the other Omega’s would be trouble. It had been a while since he’d been in a good fight and therefore had wanted Bella to stay at the hotel so she wouldn’t see him lose his cool, but fuck, whatever. She had seen him in Beacon Hills, and that was him being in control, maybe seeing how bad things could get without the hunters even being involved would make her run for the hills even faster.
It would still be easy right now to continue living his life the way he had been living it. The longer she stayed, the harder it was going to get to hold on to that and to revert back to it entirely. She was going to leave, eventually, why not speed up the process?
Oh, he so hoped those wolves were trouble! He liked to win.