Isaac was always awake and up first, and today was no exception. He made them coffee and some sandwiches before going back into his room to take a shower and get dressed in his work outfit. Bella was usually up by then, but when he returned to the kitchen, she still wasn’t there. Concerned, he walked over to her room and knocked on the door. “Bella?”
“I’m calling in sick!” Bella whined as she nestled herself deep underneath the covers. She was feeling like she had the worst hangover she’d ever had, despite them not having drunk the previous night and werewolves couldn’t get drunk due to their metabolism.
“Okay,” Isaac let out a slight chuckle. “Want me to put your breakfast on your nightstand?” He wasn’t sure why it took her so long to reply, maybe she was sick, but they never got sick. Did something go wrong with her acceptance of him? Had he been wrong for pushing this? To have reasoned her into this? Something she initially didn’t want, at all?
“No,” her voice came back muffled. “I’ll get something later.”
“Okay,” he said quietly as he walked back to the kitchen, grabbed a couple of sandwiches and his coffee before going downstairs. For a good ten minutes, he anxiously tried to analyze the situation, resulting in him getting anxious and destroying the empty mug he was holding for holding it too tightly.
What if he had broken her? What if, instead of having saved her, he had now broken her? It didn’t make him any better than her ex-boyfriend. He was pacing in his kitchen, tugging on his hair with one hand while fumbling his phone with the other. It had been a while since he had been this anxious. This afraid. He couldn’t call Peter, because Peter would kill him for ruining her. He couldn’t call Argent, because Isaac was supposed to be doing good things, and this wasn’t a good thing. But he had to call someone. Without even thinking about it, he found himself dialing Derek’s number from memory.
Isaac blinked for a moment and then realized that he had never given his phone number to any of the Beacon Hills people after having changed it numerous times. Because he wanted to avoid Beacon Hills so badly. When Isaac wanted to speak, he could only squeak before composing himself enough. “It’s Isaac,” he said, letting out a deep breath. And another breath.
“Something wrong with Bella?”
Yes, of course, he’d think that. Because Isaac wasn’t capable of saving or making sure someone was safe. Oh, why did he call Derek? “Forget it.”
“No, I’m not going to forget it, you’re calling me for a reason. Calm down.” Derek spoke calmly and Isaac could hear him shuffle a little, no doubt he had woken him up. It was freaking early.
“Sorry to have woken you.”
“Isaac. Don’t worry about waking me up if something is wrong with my sister.”
“I think… I think I may have broken her. I didn’t mean to! I mean… all I asked was for her to be my Alpha and… now she’s not coming out of her bed, she’s sick, she says and I broke her! What if I pushed her too much? What if she really wasn’t ready for this? What can I do to fix this? I’m supposed to keep her safe, not break her!” Isaac rambled as he still paced through his kitchen. “You can come and kick my ass. I ruined your sister.”
“Relax, calm down,” there was a hint of humor in Derek’s voice. “You didn’t break her or ruin her. Are you listening?”
“Okay, first of all, this conversation will stay between us. You and me. No one else will ever learn from this conversation, not even Argent.”
“Okay. Good. Yeah… that’s good,” Isaac let out a sigh of relief as he finally stopped pacing and leaned against a countertop instead. “You’re not mad at me then?”
“I told you, you didn’t break her. How can I be mad at you for not breaking her? No, things have worked a little bit differently, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. I bit you, I turned you and I trained you. I was your Alpha from the get-go until I let you go and pushed you towards Scott, and he accepted you easily, without you asking or him asking, didn’t he? Because he was grateful for you joining his pack, to make him stronger and fight grandpa Argent, the Kanima, and Void-Stiles.”
“Now you’re in a state of peace. You and your new Alpha. Forget that she’s my sister for a moment, she’s the person you’ve decided to fully trust and that likely hasn’t been easy for you. There’s no doubt in my mind that Scott and I ruined your ability to trust so easily, and I am sorry for having played a part in that. But for you to trust her with your whole being, that is something major. For both of you. You don’t have any pressing matters and she hasn’t been looking for a pack, because you’re both safe. Despite you going about and end up in traps meant for Scott.”
“I don’t get it.”
“She has some adjusting issues, that’s all. She’ll be fine. I promise you that. Right now she’s likely overwhelmed by your new bond. You’re used to having a bond with an Alpha, but she’s never had that experience, remember? She found out she was a werewolf and an Alpha literally on the same day. She’s never been in a pack before.”
Isaac was quiet as he tried to process everything that Derek had said. “I don’t think she wants you and Peter to join her pack, Derek.”
“And we don’t want to, our life is here. It’s also safer for Bella not to have us in her pack. Not only because of the hunters, but you know how Peter is. He claims to be reformed and not after power anymore, but I don’t trust him around Bella. We’re fine being omega’s.”
Isaac blinked, knowing it made a lot of sense what Derek had just said. A big brother looking out for his baby sister. Isaac never knew that Derek could have so much… heart. Maybe it was true what Argent had said about him, that he had changed.
“But right now, Bella’s suffering from information overload, Isaac. Likely just like you at the moment, because of what I’m telling you, but she’s adjusting. Had the situation been different, like the both of you being in danger or continuous danger, it would have likely been easier on her, as it would have been for survival.”
“It still is.”
“I suspect you’ve found a bunch of people who make things easier on the both of you,” Derek was smiling again, Isaac could tell. “And I also suspect it wasn’t easy for the both of you to let new people in. But you two don’t feel threatened, so that’s why this situation is unique to the both of you. You’re happy in life. So don’t worry, alright? She’ll be alright. As will you. But you getting anxious doesn’t help her right now.”
“I haven’t been this anxious for a very long time.”
“The other reason why it may be difficult for her right now is because one or both of you have feelings for each other. Unresolved feelings, deep feelings. You know, the relationship kind of feelings.”
Isaac started to laugh, shaking his head as he tried to dismiss the notion. “One of the friends we made here actually tried setting us up on a blind date of sorts with one another and she freaked out. I doubt she would have any feelings for me and I never thought of her like that…” he said, even though he knew as he said it, the words felt empty.
“Liar,” Derek laughed. “I saw you here, you had fallen for her on your trip from Forks to Beacon Hills. Admit it. You were just too scared and untrusting to act upon it.”
“Yeah, whatever,” he replied. “Thanks, Derek.”
“No problem. You can always call me, you know that, right? I’ll never tell a soul, I promise.”
“Yeah, okay. Sure. See ya,” he said as he disconnected the call. He didn’t even have time to process the phone call he had just had as his phone started ringing again. “Peter, good morning.”
“Ah, I timed it right then. I need you to grab Jeremy, and maybe Alaric, and take your van to South Carolina. Bring supplies. Food, clothes, shit like that. One of our safehouses got burned to the ground and they moved to a new house, but they need supplies. You’ll be going in a heavily hunter infested area, it’s worse than that trip you did with Bella. You need to help this family of wolves because they’re protecting something very rare, an Ikiryō.”
“What the fuck is an Iky-whatsy?”
“An Ikiryō is a creature from Japanese folklore; it’s a spirit that can leave a living human’s body to go and haunt their enemies or people or even places. Very powerful. This one isn’t quite potent, but important nonetheless. Imagine the hunters getting their hands on her.”
“That’s really gotta mess with Lydia if it ever got around her,” he snorted. “Can we send it to Scott?”
“No, they’re staying in South Carolina, Isaac. You’re going over to help and get rid of some of those hunters. No more no killing. That’s what Scott does. No killing, but this has to end. They’re getting out of control. This time, you can fight back. So take Jeremy and Alaric with you. Be a good soldier.”
“Yes sir,” Isaac nodded. “Send me the address, and I’ll have us going in an hour or so after stocking up.” He disconnected the phone, cleaned up the mess of the mug and went upstairs to get some clothes while he shot off a few messages to Jeremy and Alaric. Seeing that breakfast was still untouched, he knocked on Bella’s door again. “Bella?”
“I’m heading out with Jeremy and Ric for a couple of days. Want me to call Myriam back or will you be fine on your own?”
“Caroline,” she muttered, not in the mood for Myriam. It was likely that she was still licking or sucking Klaus’ lollipop. “Be safe.”
“Always! I’ll text you tonight, okay? I’ll leave the doors locked so don’t worry about the B&B.”
Isaac scribbled down Derek’s number on a piece of paper and placed it near the sandwiches with a note saying ‘if you need help, call him’ before he left the apartment and headed to his van to go and pick up Jeremy and Alaric.
“Hey, loverboy!” Jeremy greeted him as he climbed into the van. “Caroline couldn’t stop talking about your date! She said you two looked content after you talked things through!”
“What?” Isaac blinked at him. “What are you talking about?”
Jeremy began to look uncomfortable for his eager happiness for his friend. “Uh, so, the date night she and Myriam set up for you two didn’t go so well? I’ll tell you this, those two were working hard the past week to put something together they both agreed on.”
“Date, as in relationship?” Isaac shook his head laughing. “Cute!” Jesus fuck, did the whole world wanted them to be together?
“Yeah, dude. Um…” Jeremy suddenly felt like he wanted to be anywhere else but there after what he’d overheard Caroline and Myriam discussing that Bella admitted her feelings for Isaac. “You know what, just forget it.”
“We did discuss something else, though, something important, so I guess it wasn’t all a failure,” he shrugged as he looked at Alaric who was bringing his own arsenal of guns. “You know, I have plenty in this van.”
Ric sighed, glancing over his supply. “Yeah, but in my experience, you can’t trust your own or other’s stuff. And you never know what the other side may be using to push their agenda. I’ve seen some utilize allies that you wouldn’t think they’d get along with until they had no more use for them so I’m going in expecting some supernatural in their ranks.”
“Great! Let’s go to Richmond to get supplies and then make our way down to South Carolina,” Isaac suggested before starting the car and putting his phone on the carkit to call Caroline.
“Yay! You’re officially off the market now!”
“I wasn’t aware I was on any market,” Isaac replied. “In any case, we’re still happily single and I would appreciate it if everyone would stop with pushing us into things we’re not ready for.”
“Wait, I’m confused because obviously there must be a miscommunication somewhere because I know that -“
“Caroline. Enough,” Jeremy interrupted. “Let it go and talk to Bella about it later.”
“Yeah, uh, could you go to Bella later to make sure she’s alright? She wasn’t feeling too well this morning,” Isaac asked Caroline.
Now the vampire was certainly thoroughly confused. “What? I thought your kind doesn’t get sick. Hell, the wolves like Klaus kind that I knew rarely did, but did.”
“She’s not sick, she’s not feeling well.”
“What did you do?” Alaric asked curiously.
“That’s between me and Bella, I just need Caroline to go over and make sure she’s alright later on,” Isaac replied as he tightly gripped the wheel. Fucking Peter sending him off like that. Now. Creating a distance between him and Bella. Whereas he believed he should be home to take care of her.
“Yeah, alright, but I swear, if you’ve broken my friend, I will kill you, Isaac.”
“I was assured that I didn’t,” he muttered. “Thanks,” he said as he disconnected the call and continued to drive towards Richmond.
By the time Bella finally managed to drag herself out of bed it was well past noon, and the coffee on the table cold, the sandwiches stale. Grumpily she slammed the coffee machine into making another cup for her and sat down on one of the chairs to drink it once it was done. Her head still felt so heavy, but the feeling had lessened somewhat after Isaac had left.
It still felt like the hangover from hell. She had seen Isaac’s note with a phone number scribbled on it, and she just knew it was Derek. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to call her brother. Maybe he knew what was going on. Did Isaac even know?
“Me,” Bella grunted as she took another sip of her coffee. “Your stupid sister.”
“I don’t think you’re stupid,” Derek laughed. “But please enlighten me, why are you stupid?”
“Cut the crap, Derek, there’s no doubt Isaac called you.”
“Sorry, but you know as well as I do that Isaac still doesn’t like me. Is something wrong?”
“I don’t know,” she sighed. “Sure feels like it. It’s like I have the hangover of the century and it’s not going away. Or slowly. I mean, I can form somewhat coherent words now?”
Bella smiled then as she recalled Isaac’s bravery. “Oh, he was so adorable when we were talking about this, so brave, so… trusting. So… different. I mean, I’ve been trying to get him to open up more, coax him out a little, but this? This is a whole new level.”
“You had sex? Bella, that’s no reason to call me! That’s gross!”
“Fuck you,” she countered. “No, he asked if he could be my beta.”
“Wow.” Derek sounded impressed. “That’s… huge. For him, and you! I take it that you accepted him?”
“Yeah… but I think something went wrong. I feel like shit. Isaac made it sound it was easy.”
“It’s never easy, no matter what situation you gain a beta for your pack. It might have a bigger impact on you because you’ve never lived in a pack before. You don’t know what it’s like and yeah, that’s not your fault.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t have done it,” she muttered. “What if I fuck him up? What if I turn out to be like you or Scott? I can’t see him get hurt, but he assured me that I wouldn’t, but how could he know?”
Derek sighed over the line. “I doubt you could ever make the same mistakes that I did, or come close to Scott’s idiocy. That’s because you’re asking these questions now, to me, prove you don’t have it you to hurt him the way we did.”
“He was so anxious this morning, it hurt. Like… physically.”
“Yeah, that will take time to get used to and learn to tune emotions out. It was probably a lot of him sensing you being off as well so it had it going around in circles. Either way, I’d say if there is anything you two need to get off your chest, do it soon or you will likely go crazy before you can get a handle on your new abilities.”
Bella opened her mouth to say something but instead took another sip of her coffee to swallow her words. Eventually, she found a more diplomatic way of saying it. “I doubt he’s ready for that. It took him so long to open up and let me in. And now this, I mean, that was like… so special for him to-”
“Bella, I may not know you as well as I’d like to get to, but I do think I know Isaac pretty well. He does hide his emotions very well and he had to learn that early on from his own father, but he’s head over heels for you. But you can find that out for yourself without saying a word when you get close to him.”
“Hypothetically speaking, does it really make it such a difference if we sort this out?”
“You’re an Alpha. You’re not supposed to feel those kinds of emotions for your beta unless you’re together. It’ll mess you up if you don’t act on them, and this is not to push you right into his arms, especially if you don’t feel the same way, but it sounds to me that you are pretty crazy for him, too.”
“You reckon he’s ready for that talk?”
“Ready or not, this is something you need to discuss. Like now.”
Bella bit her lips as she toyed with her coffee mug. “I kinda can’t. He’s out on a job that he said will probably take a couple days.”
“Of course he is,” Derek sighed. “As soon as he gets home, you sit him down, you hear me? I don’t want you to go insane. Until then, you can enjoy your extra strength and stamina and get used to your intensified emotions, get a grip on them.”
“You’re giving me advice on being an Alpha? Really? I’m still working on wrapping my head around this whole phone call actually happening.”
Derek laughed then. “I know that I haven’t been a good Alpha, but I have been one. I can tell you what’s best to do and what you totally shouldn’t. But you and I both know that you won’t ever make the same mistakes with Isaac like I have. He was just a tool for me, a kid who was in a crappy situation and who I could make my beta to do my doings. He’s not that to you.”
“No, he’s not a chew toy,” she said angrily.
“You’re going to be alright, Bella, just believe in yourself, your capabilities and your feelings. But do sit him down to have ‘the talk’ when he gets home.”
“Yeah, thanks,” she said as she disconnected the call and poured herself another coffee. This were going to be a long few days with Isaac gone.