Chapter 13

The gun hadn’t worked, werewolves were fast healers and god, maybe a sword had been better? It was only when she revealed herself to be an Alpha and roared so hard to make them back off, with the intent of telling them that this area was hers, that the omega’s left and she could go in and get Isaac back to the truck.

Oh, he had put up a good fight, alright, after the wolves didn’t want to listen to him. He really went beserk and for a while it seemed he could handle himself, but it had been an unfair fight. Ten to one. And he did this often? How often had it resulted in him getting knocked unconscious?

She managed to drag him closer to the truck before dropping him to the ground and headed inside to get some water and clean bandages to start cleaning him up. So besides being anal about his truck, he liked a good beating from now and then? What the hell was he doing to himself? Werewolf or not, this wasn’t acceptable behaviour. She could take the truck, she didn’t want to get used to him getting beaten up because he wants to… what? Punish himself? Be punished? She hoped it was just a ‘guy thing’ and one of Isaac’s other ways to deal with his aggression as a werewolf.

And she shouldn’t make assumptions just because she knew that Isaac showed signs of being a mess. No, she was going to talk to him about that.

She poured an entire bottle of water over his bloodied face, waking him up with a splutter before she leaned back against the truck with her arms crossed, watching him. “You might have a few broken bones there, buddy.”

He rubbed his face as he groaned and slowly got to his feet. “Yep… Uh… Sorry. I had underestimated the threat…” He had his head bowed as he scratched his hair, looking up at her, embarrassed. “But hey, you told them!” Isaac said a bit more excitedly.

Bella didn’t go along in his excitement, and instead raised a brow. “Did you really underestimate the situation?” she questioned him. “Or is this something you’d like to do?”

“What? Get beaten up?” Isaac huffed as he dried his face with his shirt. “No. Honestly, I thought these were the nice omega’s, but apparently the jerks are still around as well. The hunters can have them,” he said as he got into the truck and started to clean his face. He hurt, but he was healing. And yes, he’d been stupid and he understood why she felt like he might actually liked getting beaten up. “But again, your roar was majestic.”

“I’m surprised you even heard that,” Bella huffed, crossing her arms as she stood in the doorway, watching Isaac clean himself up and get a change of shirt. His torso was bruised and had Isaac been a human, he’d definitely had earned himself a trip to the hospital. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah. I’ve had worse,” he sighed. “Okay, I had kinda hoped that they’d be trouble. But I hadn’t expected them to be a lot stronger and with the ten of them. I like to win, you see. I don’t fight when I’m not certain I can win.”

“So your ego is bruised.” Bella stated simply. “And the gun didn’t work.”

“Ah, no that was for the hunters, you should have grabbed the silver mistletoe bullets, but you can’t really touch them without gloves,” Isaac replied as he quickly pulled his shirt over his head. “And it also depends on the werewolf type, there are three kinds the last time I checked. Seems like your roar attracted some attention,” he said in a hushed voice, grabbing one of his long kitchen knives from the compartment above his head. The movement was too quiet, too fluent to be the one of an ordinary human and after pulling Bella inside, he went outside.

“Oh, good thing you’re okay,” the woman said as she came to a halt in front of Isaac. “You’re hurt! Ah, sorry, we heard a wild animal and we knew we weren’t the only campers in the woods and-”

Isaac eyed the blonde vampire as she rambled. She was far too preppy and happy for this time of night. But she seemed harmless. He muffled his knife up his sleeve and stared at her blankly until she was done talking. She was lying through her teeth, much like he’d do in a situation like this. It was amusing. “Well,” he eventually said, cutting off the woman’s rambling. “I know for a fact that you’re lying. You made the mistake of not walking here like a normal human being and if I’m not mistaken, Mystic Falls has a vampire population of one – with the occasional friends dropping by, of course. You must be Caroline Salvatore-Forbes, you’re in charge of the magic school, aren’t you?”

Not surprisingly, he found himself being smacked against the side of his truck by the vampire. “Easy,” he groaned, his bones still healing from the fight he had only moments before. “We’re friendly… My boss Peter Whitlock has likely called you to inform you that there’d be two werewolves in town, working for him? That’s us. I’m Isaac Argent,” he said before nodding to Bella who was now standing in the door opening. “That’s Bella Swan, and it’s her roar that you’ve heard to scare the omega’s away and claiming this town as hers.”

“And I’d appreciate it if you’d let go of him, he’s still healing from those omegas attacking him,” Bella said pointedly as she got out of the truck and took a few steps closer to the vampire holding Isaac. “We’re on your side, it’s the whole reason why he wanted those werewolves out of here.”

Caroline huffed as she let go of Isaac and dusted her hands off. “You should have come to the school and introduced yourselves,” she said as she eyed the two werewolves. “Your boss did call me, telling me that he was going to help rebuild the town and create a safehouse of some sort for supernaturals being hunted by those hunters. Which is a great idea, with the children at our school we simply can’t be that for adults. Anyway, very nice to meet you. Why won’t you come over for breakfast? I’m sure Alaric would love to meet you. Let’s get to know each other if we’re going to be in the same little town, huh?”

Bella looked at Isaac and saw that he was hesitating. He was all for being on his own, but Bella wanted friends. She had left them all behind in Forks and if she was going to stay here, she wanted to be more social. Do stuff. Not just work. “Oh, that’s a great idea!” Caroline seemed nice, normal and not psychotic. She was a vampire but not a Cold One, and while Isaac had told her about this kind of vampire, she was still curious. Besides, Isaac would likely insist on making them breakfast and she wasn’t going to let him.

“Good, you know where it is, right? Wouldn’t want to leave this awesome truck here in the woods, you never know what might walk around in here.”

“Yeah, we’ll be there in like ten minutes,” Bella said excitedly and watched the blonde vampire speed off before she was going to deal with with the sour looking werewolf next to her. “Suck it up. If we’re going to stay here, we’re going to need friends. Or at least friendlies,” she said as she pulled him along with her to get inside the truck. “And put that knife back, we’re going to a school.”

“Bella, I’m not in the mood to-”

“Suck it up. You decided to fight with wolves and sidelining me. Guess what? I saved your ass, so now we’re going to have breakfast with that vampire and her human friend, or isn’t he a human?”

“Peter wasn’t sure.”

“And another thing, you said they didn’t know about us, but you told her Peter called them? Isaac, you need to communicate more,” she said as she watched him put the knife back before she crawled behind the wheel. Oh hell yeah, she was going to drive. She felt empowered, stronger. It was as if her proper roar had unlocked something inside of her and it was fantastic.

It was almost as if she could smell Isaac’s anxiety and all she wanted to do was to tell him everything was going to be alright. It was going to take some time, but he was going to be alright. However, she could also sense his unwillingness to accept her as his friend and as his Alpha. She wasn’t even sure if she wanted to be his Alpha, but she did want him as her friend and it hurt. It was going to take everything to assure him that she wasn’t going anywhere. It didn’t help that she had hurt him in her anger, but he was truly fine with it. Idiot.

Her idiot. Her lovable idiot. Her lovable oaf with a great sense of humor, a great smile, great cooking skills and he smelled great. He made her feel safe.

Fuck. Was she falling for him?

After he closed the door and got into the passenger seat, she looked up the school on her phone’s navigation system and started to drive there. “I can’t wait to learn more about the type of vampire she is, or about the magic! It’s likely going to be an infodump again but you know what? That’s fine,” she started after Isaac remained quiet. “She seems like a nice person too.”

“She shoved me against the truck. I’ll have to inspect it for dents. Again.”

Bella let out a snort. “Relax, I would likely have done the same thing if I had been in her shoes. You know, in small towns like these it’s best to be friendly with the neighbors, it’s the only way for them to accept you as a new resident, despite the fact that we’re working for the person who’s made a generous donation to the town to rebuild. And seeing that she’s a supernatural, and likely a force to be reckoned with, we’re going to be friendly. Help each other out and shit. They might have resources we could use, and vice versa, especially once we’re established and all that. Also, they’re potential customers to the restaurant.”

“I get it,” he said as he pulled his sleeves over his hands. “Doesn’t mean that I’m happy about it.”

Bella thought for a moment and then shook her head. “You know what? You’re ubersocial on a job, and likely when you’re doing food truck business. Get that guy out to play and ignore all that negativity,” she shot at him. “I might just buy a nerf gun and shoot you with it whenever you say something negative, until you say something positive. Some therapists use that method, it’s a good method. Cognitive Behavioural therapy. Yes. Totally going to buy that nerf gun. Should be fun!”

“There’s nothing fun about getting hit by tiny foam darts!”

“Nope, so you’d better get working on that negativity of yours,” she mused as she pulled up on the driveway of The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted. She wondered if there was an old, bald man in a wheelchair inside that house or see people walk through walls or something. But then again, from what she knew it was a school for the supernatural kids, werewolves, witches… So what if this Alaric guy was an old guy with a very luscious beard with a preference to Gryffindor?

The sun had only started to rise, and most of the house was still darkened, but there was a porch light on and a little light in front of one of the windows. Parking the car and pocketing the keys – Isaac was not going to get to drive today, nope, she got out and waited for Isaac to make his way out. At least he moved better and his face looked less blue, so if they’d encounter children, they wouldn’t be that scared off by him. No doubt his face would improve over breakfast.

“Hi!” Caroline came out of the house, greeting them. “For a moment there I thought you wouldn’t come by!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Bella smiled at her. “I always keep my word, besides, it’s not as if it’s hard to track where we are, I’m sure you would have come to us instead.”

She grinned then as she looped her arm through Bella’s. “I think you and I are going to be great friends! God, I missed hanging out with friends! Oh, I hope you don’t mind, but we’re actually having breakfast with most of the staff before the kids wake up and have their breakfast.”

“The more the merrier,” Isaac replied, some lightness having returned in his voice which came as a relief to Bella. “This house is amazing!”

“Yeah, it used to have seven bedrooms, a large den, and a kitchen, and we’ve rebuilt it all so we made some room for classrooms and offices. Still, we’re small time. Especially after the hunters came out of the woodwork, parents don’t trust us to keep their children safe. But this house is spelled by witches against any intruders, I’m a vampire, we have a former hunter, a witch and two very resourceful humans on staff. There’s no place safer for the kids than here,” Caroline said proudly as she led them to the small kitchen. “And on occasion we get guest lecturers over from New Orleans. That’s always quite interesting.”

Bella let out a chuckle. “Up until a month ago all I knew about the supernatural community were Cold Ones and shifter wolves. Maybe I should attend your school.”

“You’re a little old for that, aren’t you?” Caroline replied playfully. “Guys, this is Bella, and that’s Isaac. They’re the ones knocking down the Grill and I’ve been promised something beautiful is coming in their place by their boss.”

“It’s about time you two show your face here,” a man said as he approached them, hand extended. “Alaric Saltzman, History and Occult teacher, good to meet you.”

“Jeremy Gilbert,” a younger boy said as he was stuffing his face with a sandwich. “Gym teacher, amongst other things.”

The other human introduced himself as Dorian and the witch introduced herself as Jeri. The only other person in the room was someone who was dressed quite colorful. “Myriam Jenkins. Here to give a few lectures about voodoo before I go back to New Orleans to the ol’ ball and chain,” Myriam then approached Bella and Isaac and blinked at them. “You’re one of those other werewolves, aren’t you? You’re not like any of the packs we know of… no transforming into wolves or ponies, do you?”

Isaac didn’t like this. He hated not knowing what he had gotten himself into and this time it had been Bella’s fault. He tugged on his sweater so he had something to hold onto.

“No, from what I have learned is that our type of werewolf can only turn into a real wolf when they’re evolved. My birth mother was one of those.”

“Holy shit, you’re another of Tatia Hale?” Alaric blinked at Bella, interest piqued. “No offense, but your siblings are kinda a bunch of dicks.”

“I know,” Bella nodded. “You knew my mother?”

“I know of her, and what she did for your community. It’s kinda hard not to have stumbled on her during my research on the occult and supernatural, she made big waves.”

“Please, sit,” Caroline let go of Bella at an empty chair. “So you’re basically werewolf royalty, huh?”

“I guess?” Bella said as she sat down and looked at Isaac long enough to have him sit down between Alaric and Myriam. “I don’t know. I met them a few weeks ago, but I felt safer with Isaac so I went with him and joined his cause. He saved me from a bunch of Cold Ones after his boss sent him to me.”

While Isaac understood that Bella wanted to give cliffnotes, he found it annoying that she was already so open about herself towards these strangers. They didn’t have to know this. He and Bella were merely the new supernaturals in town, trying to do some good and that’s it. And it sucked that he was sitting with his back towards the door. It made it harder to get to an exit this way.

“Meredith told us about the donation your boss Peter made to the town. It’s really going to make a difference,” Alaric was appreciative. “Just to have the old center restored again would do so much for the community. We could hold parades again, movies on the square… Everything that makes a small town great.”

“Yeah, we can’t wait to tear down the Mystic Grill and the accompanying building and build something everyone can use. Like a bowling alley, a party place, you know.”

“And a bed and breakfast, and a restaurant,” Bella added with a nod. “Isaac’s a trained chef.”

“Really? Oh my God, that’s amazing!” Caroline said excitedly. “Are you any good? We should definitely come to dinner then! Hey, what about you cook for us some time before construction is complete?”

“Yeah, sure,” Isaac replied casually. “Could be fun.”

Myriam hummed a little. “So if you’re going to be running all of that, with just the two of you… that’s a lot of work. Will you hire people to help you out?”

“Yeah, we likely will have to. Peter will leave the running business to us and while I have some experience with the food truck, I have no idea how to run a business. I’m a cook, I don’t do books… although that’s not the most important thing. The business will be a front so we can help supernaturals.”

“So you’ll just have to hire competent people to run your day to day business,” Myriam mused. “Back in the day I ran a brothel, shouldn’t be any different from taking bookings for a bed and breakfast. I could help you out until you find someone better?”

Caroline rolled her eyes. “Myr, Klaus will want to have you back eventually, you know.”

“I’ll go home in the school holidays. With Hope,” she smirked. “You always complain about having not enough friends anymore.”

Bella thought for a moment as she observed Isaac’s face, there had been a slight scrunch of the nose, he didn’t like the idea, but Bella did. “I was thinking about doing some online management courses and shit, all the help is welcome. That is, if it’s not having an impact on your relationship.”

Myriam huffed then. “Klaus and I have been together for centuries, and sometimes we take a break. It doesn’t mean that the love isn’t there, or the sex any less. In fact, it gets better.”

She blinked then. “I thought you were a voodoo priestess?”

“I was when I was human and I still am as a vampire. Just differently, because the natural magic is gone. But I stand by my faith and find my ways to make it work. There are objects that can help you do magic even if you don’t possess it yourself,” Myriam shrugged. “And it’s really not a bother. I like to keep busy anyway and I don’t need to get paid, either. I won’t let you down.”

“But no prostitutes.”

“Please,” Myriam huffed. “Those days are far behind me, I’ve got class now!”

It was nice to have breakfast with people who were nice and kind. Open. Bella could see them become friends quite easily and was certain that if Peter believed it to be a bad idea, he’d say something about it. But until then, Bella was happy to have found people to hang around with other than Isaac.

After breakfast, she and Isaac were shown around and then the kids started to wake up and heading to the breakfast hall and Isaac and Bella left. After she had parked the car back in the parking spot near their hotel, she headed into the kitchen and got out a knife, stabbing herself in the hand, much to Isaac’s surprise. “What? You told me we’d test it today after we got back… fuck, it hurts like a mother fucker!” She said as she pulled the knife out and miraculously watched her hand heal. The blood was disgusting, but she managed not to vomit. “See? I heal now, so no more putting me aside when things get dangerous!”

“Couldn’t you at least have waited until was prepared?” Isaac was slightly panicked as he grabbed a damp towel and cleaned off her hand. “Jesus fuck, Bella, I don’t like seeing you get hurt. The sparring that we do is to make sure you don’t get hurt and now you hurt yourself!”

“To prove a point and test a theory,” she pointed out. “Ease up, Isaac. I’m not fragile anymore. I know my way around guns, although I might be slightly rusty so we’ll have to practise that, and likely find a place to do that far out of town where nobody can hear us in case people freak out or something. Now, about the nerf gun… I’m really thinking I should buy one.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Isaac rolled his eyes at her and after making sure her hand was fully healed, he dumped the cloth in the bin. “And I understand how you’re feeling, Bella, all that power and stuff, it’s great. But please do remind yourself that you’re not indestructible. We can be killed, you know. All it takes is one unaware moment and it’s lights out. I don’t plan on seeing you die because it’s not what you deserve.”

“Damn straight, but the same goes for you. So, you’re going to teach me everything you know.”

“We’re kinda busy with-”

“We’re not busy, I mean, we have to wait for the demolition vampires to come, right? And we won’t have to help them tear it all down. Nor do we have to help with building things because we’ll only be in the way,” she pointed out. “You’re going to train me. Every spare moment that we have. Teach me the code you and Chris Argent live by.”

“Is that what you truly want?”

“Yes. And don’t hold back, either.”

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