I feel like I might add a little sequel… maybe.
Tell me what you think, and I hope you enjoy!
Bella slowly unpacked her room, being careful to place her plants in the perfect positions by the window. The house they had just moved into was larger than needed, but her mother was happy having a home in a place with sun and Bella was happy being surrounded by so many trees.
“I’m sorry we had to move, but it shouldn’t be a bad start here.” Renee said interrupting Bella’s thoughts. “You loved California as a kid, I think you’ll grow to love it again as a teenager.”
Bella turned smiling at her mother, “I don’t mind moving, mom. What I don’t like is the circumstances in which we had to leave. He shouldn’t be harassing us like this. Why start now? Sinking so low to have his parents come after us in Florida is pathetic.”
Renee sighed, “He was never like that before, it’s just… his new family is putting a lot of pressure on him. One day, he’ll look back and realize what a mistake he made choosing them over you.”
“Over us.” Bella responded moving and engulfing her mother in a tight embrace. “Don’t worry about me, mom. You know that all I need to be happy is right here in this room. Being around nature also helps, so go unpack your office and I’ll take a walk around the woods to see what I find.”
“Be careful.” Renee responded brushing the hair back on her little girl, so that she could see that face she loved so much. She knew no animal would harm Bella, but humans were an entirely different situation and at times a mother had to worry over their daughter. The incident with the coven of vampires proved to her that there were dangers out there for Bella. “Don’t get caught, I don’t want a witch hunt to start. This town is our new home.”
Bella smiled, “I’ll be safe. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something in that forest that is pulling at me.”
Renee smiled and kissed her daughter’s head, “I love you, my little leaf, come back before it gets dark.”
Bella smiled and kissed her mother’s cheek before she rushed down the stairs and out the door. She headed into the forest, running her hands against the bark of the trees, and enjoying the quiet hum of the creatures around her. Bella smiled as a bear cub appeared out of the tree and slowly approached her. Bella kneeled a smile on her face as she extended her hand to the small creature. “Are you here by yourself, little one?”
Bella couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped her as the cub nudged her hand with its head before taking off in the direction that it came in. Getting the hint Bella stood and followed the cub, she came into a clearing and her heart felt like it was about to burst out of her chest from its rapid beating. She approached the stump of the tree and her heart ached at the pain she felt at seeing such a beautiful thing suffering a slow death. She kneeled pressing her hand to the stump and feeling the raw power that came from it.
Bella gasped out as she felt something come from the tree and into her soul. Everything the tree felt she could feel in her bones; the pain and betrayal was clear to her. “I’m sorry.” She whispered to what she now knew was a Nemeton and the poor thing had suffered greatly in its lifetime. “I won’t let anyone hurt you anymore. No one will ever take advantage of you again.”
Bella readjusted herself to sit comfortably, “I’ll help you grow, and in time you’ll be bigger and stronger than ever before. Day by day I’ll be right here, and you’ll grow to be so beautiful, I promise.”
Bella focused her power on the Nemeton, giving it the strength, it needed to heal and grow stronger. She smiled as the small bear cub approached her again and settled itself into her lap before dozing off into a quiet slumber. Her mother was right, this town was going to be a fresh start for them, and it was going to be great.
Stiles furrowed his brow, as he felt something was off with his magic. It wasn’t as strong as it was before, it was duller. He knew something was off, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was exactly. Stiles turned to Scott, his best friend obviously sensing his inner turmoil at this point. “Are you going to Deaton’s?”
“Yeah, I have a shift today. Why? Is something wrong?” Scott questioned walking beside his friend as they headed towards Stiles’ jeep.
“Nothing is really wrong, but something just feels off. I want to know if Deaton feels it too.” Stiles said starting the car and heading out of the school parking lot. Neither noticing the girl that jumped out of the way as they almost ran into her with the jeep.
Bella dusted herself off and felt the pressure of someone’s hand on her back. “Are you alright?” They asked witnessing the accident that could’ve been. “Those idiots probably didn’t even realize where they were driving.”
Bella smiled, “I suppose not, but thank you, Boyd. I appreciate the worry. I’ll see you tomorrow, tell Erica I said goodbye.”
“Sure thing, Bella. Thanks for helping us out on our Chem homework.” Boyd said leading Bella to her car.
“My pleasure, and I wouldn’t worry about our exam tomorrow, it’s exactly what we covered today in study hall. You’ll both ace it, I’d bet my soul on it.” Bella responded with a smile. “Have a good day, Boyd.” Bella got into her car, starting the long drive home.
Deaton gently checked the cat over as Stiles was talking about his magic. “Stiles, why have you come to me with this?”
“Because you use magic and you most feel it too! Something’s wrong! I don’t feel as strong as I normally do, it’s like some of my strength has just disappeared.” Stiles said his tone showing his evident worry.
“Mr. Stilinski, are you aware of what a Nemeton is?” Deaton questioned as he gently scratched behind the cat’s ears.
“It’s referred to as the center of the world, and it’s used by Druids and several other magical creatures in rituals. It’s a tree that is supposed to be a representation of magic, it can bring life, but it can also cause death.” Stiles said remembering everything he had read about the sacred tree.
“Good.” Deaton said moving to place the cat back into his cage. “Now, what do you know about a Sapling?”
“Spirit of nature, they’re stronger than fairies, but they’re not cruel creatures. They’re said to be gentle and kind creatures of nature. They’re attached to all things nature, they can make things grow and can often manipulate certain elements. But Saplings don’t tend to stay in one place for too long as they are eager to see all the nature on Earth.” Stiles responded with a nod of his head going over the information in his head to be sure that he got it all right.
“Good, that’s accurate enough.” Deaton responded he moved to wash his hands before going to check another one of his patients. “It’s not widely known, but if a Nemeton is weak, it will often seek out a creature such as a Sapling to bond with to restore its strength.”
“This is cool information, but maybe we should get to figuring out why my magic isn’t as strong as it was before.” Stiles responded with a frown. “Just tell me what’s wrong!”
“Mr. Stilinski, I have provided you with the clues, all you have to do is put all the pieces together.” Deaton responded turning to offer a smile to Stiles. “I wouldn’t worry about your magic, this might be good for you. One should never depend on their magic to survive.”
Stiles didn’t respond, his head was titled downwards as his mind was working through the puzzle quickly. His head snapped up to look at Deaton. “The strength in my magic was coming from the Nemeton, but now there is a Sapling in town that is taking all the power of the Nemeton for themselves!”
Deaton smiled, “Close, but no quite.” Deaton sighed deciding to have mercy on the boy. “There is a Sapling in town, but they’re not taking the Nemeton’s power, they’re restoring it. The Nemeton has been slowly dying for decades, the extra strength in your magic comes from the Nemeton. The sapling, whomever they are, is blocking anyone from accessing the Nemeton because they have bonded with it and are now trying to strengthen it.”
Stiles frowned, “I have research to do. Thanks, Deaton.”
Deaton sighed and turned to Scott, “Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid. Saplings are known to be kind and gentle by nature, but they will lash out to try and protect themselves.”
“Do you really think there’s one in town?” Scott questioned quietly. “Will it be a threat?”
“As I’ve just said Saplings are kind by nature, they will only be a threat to you and your pack if your pack is a threat to them.” Deaton responded simply. “It is my guess that they have already deduced who is and isn’t a werewolf. Saplings are fantastic at sensing different creatures, it’s one of their many talents.”
“I’ll stop by his house tonight and make sure he’s not going off the rails.” Scott responded with a nod.
“Good.” Deaton responded with a small smile. “And how are you doing? I know you’ve been struggling with your relationship with Allison.”
Scott shrugged, “We’re no longer on speaking terms.” He gave a sigh and disappeared before the conversation could be continued.
Bella smiled and prepared dinner for her and her mother, “How’s work?”
“Boring and long. I should have stayed an artist.” Renee responded scrolling through the endless amount of emails she had.
Bella laughed and prepared a plate for her mother and then for her. “I thought you enjoyed being an architect.”
“I do, but sometimes you get a client that can be a real diva.” Renee responded with a frown. “How’s school? Making friends?”
“Some.” Bella responded with a shrug. “You know, this town is flooded with supernatural creatures. I’ve counted at least 4 werewolves, 1 banshee, and a spark, all of them are my age. Two of the werewolves though are oddly nice to me, we do homework together in study hall.”
Renee smiled taking a look at her daughter and noting the ease in her shoulders and the soft smile on her face. “You seem happy.”
“No one knows me here, no one cares that I’m their classmate. It’s nice.” Bella responded setting the plate in front of her mother.
“That’s because they haven’t realized that my little girl was a star in two TV shows and nine movies.” Renee responded kissing Bella’s temple. “My little star.”
Bella laughed, “I doubt people really care that I used to be on TV. I’ve changed quite a bit since the last time I was on the screen, I lost the glasses, my hair is no longer red, and I changed my name, no one really cares anymore mom.”
“I care and I’m proud of your success.” Renee responded with a smile. “Besides, you were adorable as a redhead.”
“I looked like a strawberry.” Bella responded with a smile as she took the seat beside her mother. “Did I tell you about the Nemeton?”
“You mentioned it.” Renee said as she began to cut into her chicken, glancing over at her daughter who was eating something that resembled chicken, but Renee knew Bella was a strict Vegetarian. “Magical stump you found in the forest, right?”
Bella smiled, “It’s more than a stump mom, it’s… it’s beautiful. I’m going to make it stronger than it ever was, and it’s going to help protect this small town.”
Scott followed quietly beside his best friend, he didn’t want to be out in the forest on a Saturday morning. All he really wanted was to sleep, but to make sure Stiles didn’t get himself killed he agreed to walk alongside his friend in the forest as they searched for the Nemeton that Stiles was certain was being hidden from him.
“Deaton said it wasn’t something bad.” Scott said turning to Stiles.
“Don’t you think it’s strange that there’s suddenly this new person in town that’s hiding something as powerful as the Nemeton.” Stiles responded using his old tattered compass to show him the way. “Come on, Scotty, I just need to see it for myself.”
Scott sighed, but allowed his friend to lead the way through the forest. He placed a hand on Stiles’ shoulder as he caught the sound of a beating heart. “There’s someone up ahead. Are you sure this is where the Nemeton is?”
Stiles nodded and quietly rushed forward, “It must be him!” Scott rushed after his friend preparing himself to have to defend Stiles and take on whomever was ahead of them.
Stiles peeked through the branches of a tree and his eyes were caught on the girl who was sitting with her back to a tree stump and playing with rattle snake. “Is she seriously playing with a rattlesnake?”
“Deaton said Saplings had a strong connection to nature and it’s creatures.” Scott said, his eyes tracing over the girl. Taking in her movements and for a second he was lost in her beauty, he felt like he recognized her from somewhere. It wasn’t until he realized Stiles was no longer beside him that he snapped out of his thoughts. His eyes glanced around but at the sound of the snakes rattle he rushed forward pulling his friend back before the snake could get him.
Bella smiled at the snake, “I suppose, this is it for today, little guy.” She ran her fingers gently down it’s head before standing and dusting herself off. “He won’t attack, he just felt threatened with your sudden appearance.”
Stiles scoffed, “He felt threatened? I thought he was about to lunge at me.”
“He was.” Bella responded moving to grab her bag from beside the Nemeton. “I should get going, have a good afternoon.”
“WAIT!” Stiles ordered moving to stand in front of Bella ignoring the rattling that was once again coming from the snake.
“Stiles, let her leave.” Scott said tugging his friend to the side, he turned his attention to Bella offering an apologetic smile. “Sorry.”
“No, I’m not sorry! You’re hoarding the Nemeton all to yourself! What are you doing with that sort of power? Planning on taking over the town in some world domination scheme?” Stiles said his eyes glaring down at the girl.
Bella smiled, “World domination seems a little far fetched for someone who’s in high school, don’t you think?” She turned her head to look at the Nemeton. “As for the Nemeton, I’m not, as you say, hoarding it’s power. I’ve just made its power inaccessible to others while I heal it. If you haven’t noticed it’s a ghost of it’s former self.”
Bella sighed and walked back towards the Nemeton, kneeling to place her palm on the bark. “It has been taken advantage of and has been mutilated in the last several decades. If it hadn’t bonded with me, it would surely be dead, and its death would wreak havoc on this town. I’m healing it, I’m going to restore it to its prior form, and when it’s in its rightful state the Nemeton will be able to decide if you’re worthy of using its power.” She stood and turned to face the two boys in front of her. “I’m sorry if you think I’m using the Nemeton as some sort of weapon against you and your pack, but that is not the case. The Nemeton has chosen me to protect and nurture it, so I will. Making sure it is not ungratefully taken advantage of anymore was the first step in the healing process.”
“You can’t just choose who can use the Nemeton!” Stiles shouted in anger.
Bella smiled, “I can, and I have. You and every other supernatural creature in this town have been ungratefully taking advantage of it.” Bella gestured to the Nemeton. “Just look at it, it’s so close to death, yet no one cared until I arrived to heal it. You all would’ve just drained it dry until it died, and then when the effects of it’s death became known would you have begun to care. If your magic is so important to you, learn to live with what you have, because I will not allow for my Nemeton to be taken advantage of again.”
Scott sighed stepping in front of his friend. “I’m sorry, he’s running on a lack of sleep, and his brain to mouth filter isn’t really working. I get what you’re doing, and if you’re really a Sapling I know you don’t mean anyone any harm. I’m Scott and this guy is Stiles.”
Bella smiled warmly. “I am a Sapling, and I know you’re a werewolf and he’s a spark. And if you haven’t noticed I’m in your English and history class, I know who you both are.” Bella fixed the strap of her bag before beginning to walk around the two boys. “I’ll see you both on Monday, I’m going to go work on that History project that’s due Monday.”
Scott turned to Stiles, “We have a history project due Monday?”
“Yes, it’s a paper on a major US battle of our choosing.” Stiles said with a sigh. “Why did she have to be so nice? It’s hard to hate someone when they’re so nice to you.”
“Come on, let’s go back to your house.” Scott said pushing his friend in the other direction. “What are you writing your paper on?”
“Haven’t decided yet, I was thinking about the Battle of New Orleans, or maybe the Alamo.” Stiles responded walking beside his best friend. “I’m not writing yours for you.”
Scott approached Bella that Monday after school, after discussing things with Derek it was decided they would extend an invitation to Bella to join them for their pack meeting that night. “Hey, Bella.” Scott greeted stopping in front of Bella as she was about to open the driver side’s door to her car.
Bella smiled, “Scott.” She greeted with a nod of her head. “Is there something you need?”
“I feel bad for Stiles’ attitude on Saturday, I swear, he’s normally not like that.” Scott said offering a sheepish smile on his friend’s behalf. “I wanted to extend an invitation to you, on behalf of the pack to join us tonight for our weekly pack night. You don’t have to if you feel uncomfortable, but I figured it might make you more comfortable being in town if you got to know us.”
Bella smiled, “I never felt uncomfortable in town or around any of you. I speak to Erica and Boyd daily, I help them with their Chemistry homework. I would think we consider each other friends. Thank you for the invitation, Scott, but I do have plans this evening, so maybe another time.”
“Yeah, okay.” Scott responded running his hand through is hair in a nervous gesture. “But you can talk to the rest of us too. We would all like to get to know you, it’s not very often we meet someone who knows what we are and doesn’t want to destroy us.”
Bella smiled, placing her hand on Scott’s arm, “That sounds great, Scott. I would love to get to know all of you, but honestly, tonight isn’t a good night. I have some plans tonight with my mother, or else I would be happy to join you all tonight.”
Scott smiled brightly, he knew that Bella wasn’t just lying to make him feel better, she meant it. “I’ve noticed that you eat lunch by yourself, so why don’t you sit with us tomorrow?”
“That sounds great, Scott.” Bella responded with a smile letting her arm fall from Scott’s arm to rest back at her side. “I’ll see you tomorrow, I hope you have a good pack night.”
“Thanks, I’ll see you tomorrow then, Bella.” Scott said stepping back and letting Bella get into her car.
“Bella and Scott sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.” Stiles teased as he came up behind his best friend, draping an arm around Scott. “You like her.”
Scott rolled his eyes, “I’m trying to be friendly. Or did you forget that you were a complete asshole to her on Saturday?”
Stiles shrugged, “I’m sure she’s over it. Is she coming tonight?”
“No, she’s got plans.” Scott responded quietly, “But she did agree to join us for lunch tomorrow, so that’s a start.”
Bella arrived home and saw the expensive car in the drive way that did not belong to her mother. She entered the home and made her way to the living room where she spotted her mother speaking to a blonde-haired man. “I’m home, mom.”
“Oh, good!” Renee said moving and setting her glass of wine on the coffee table, standing to look at her daughter. “This is Peter, our new lawyer. Your father has decided to file again…”
Bella nodded and noticed that instead of the look of annoyance on her mother’s face it was just a look of happiness. “Well, by the car outside I would say he at least has to be okay at his job.” She and Peter eyed one another for a moment both knowing the other was more than just human. “Mom, you do know that Peter here is a werewolf, right?”
Peter’s head snapped to Renee to catch the woman’s reaction. This wasn’t how he wanted his potential soulmate to discover what he was.
Renee smiled, “Hon, I don’t have the same ability you do. I can’t tell someone isn’t human by just looking at them. And Peter seems nice, he’s going to be helping us, so the least we can do is trust him.”
Bella nodded, not wanting to argue with her mother. “Okay, mom.” Bella entered the living room, and took a seat on the loveseat across from her mother and Peter. “I’m Bella.” She greeted Peter with a nod of her head. “I’m assuming you’re in the same pack as Scott and the others?”
“Unfortunately.” Peter responded with a frown. “I’m curious to know how you knew I was a werewolf.”
Renee smiled over at her daughter. “Bella’s very special, she always has been, but that isn’t what we’re here to discuss.”
“Right, this shouldn’t be that hard of a battle to win. He has no legal standing, and if considered all the child support he owes you, and the constant harassment from his current wife and step-children I’ll be able to close this matter in no time.” Peter responded leaning forward and grabbing the documents from the table.
At the ring of the doorbell Renee stood quickly excusing herself and heading off. Bella smiled at Peter, “You’re attracted to my mother.”
“I don’t know what you’re speaking of.” Peter responded flipping through the files.
“It’s written all over your face, your practically turned as white as a ghost when I outed you to her.” Bella responded with an amused smile. “I’m assuming that’s why you decided to take this on.”
“I’m a great lawyer.” Peter responded glancing up at Bella. “Do you think I’m not capable of winning this?”
“I know you’ll win this case.” Bella responded with a grin. “You want to impress my mom, just a fair warning, I don’t like causing pain, but you have no idea what I would do to protect my mom.”
“Noted.” Peter responded with a nod of his head. “Anything else I should know?”
“Yes, my mom can’t cook, so if she offers to, distract her. I love the woman, but unfortunately she can burn water.” Bella responded reaching into her backpack and pulling out a literature book. “Also, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Peter.”
Peter smirked, “Are you always so kind to people you meet? Aren’t you aware I can be a serial killer?”
Bela shrugged, “I trust my instincts, if you are a serial killer, which I do feel that you are, I don’t think you’ll hurt me or my mom. You might think it’s naïve of me to believe that, but I trust my instincts.”
Bella smiled as her mom entered the room, carrying two pizza boxes, “I thought we were giving up eating out?” Bella said helping her mother set the pizzas on the table.
“We were, but I tried cooking that vegetarian lasagna you like, and I couldn’t get the pasta to cook correctly.” Renee responded with a frown. “Sometimes I believe the kitchen is cursed.”
Bella grinned, “I’m sure it is, mom.”
“I hate writing class.” Scott said joining the others at the lunch table. “I now have to re-do this assignment and I don’t know what’s so important about poetry.”
“It’s a beautiful form of the English language.” Bella responded turning from where she was sitting between Erica and Isaac. A month at trying to get close to the pack and she was starting to feel as if she was fitting in with the others, but at this point she had yet to see Peter at a pack meeting. She figured it was because he took those nights to go out with her mother. It was truly a beautiful plan, because on those nights no one in the pack would see him on a date, therefore no one will pry into his life.
“It’s really not that hard, he’s not grading you on right or wrong, he’s grading you on how much thought is put into analyzing each poem.” Bella responded grabbing the paper Scott had set on the table and glancing over it, before handing it back to him. “He wants you to re-do it because your analyzation of the poem was robotic. The point of the assignment was for you to analyze the poem and explain how you interpret it by comparing it with the situations in your life.”
“Once again, Bella proves that she’s smarter than the rest of us.” Stiles announces with a sigh. “There has to be something wrong with you…”
Bella laughed lightly grabbing her fork to start eating her salad. “I can’t sing and I’m clumsy so if that helps…”
“A little.” Stiles responded as he looked to Bella with wide eyes. “I’d feel better if you let me copy your calculus homework.”
Bella smiled, “But then how would you learn, Stiles?”
“Bella, would you help me with this paper?” Scott questioned using his signature puppy eyes on Bella.
Bella nodded offering a smile to Scott. “Sure.” She went back to picking at her salad, smiling as Erica placed her baby tomatoes in Bella’s plate, and Isaac picked at Bella’s chocolate chip muffin.
Stiles leaned towards his best friend, “K.I.S.S.I.N.G.” He whispered and laughed as his best friend shoved his shoulders at the teasing. He continued to hum getting a glare from his friend as he finished off his lunch.
Bella entered the McCall residence and followed Scott into the living room, her eyes instantly fell on the dying plant on the coffee table. She dropped her bag by the table and kneeled by the plant, she ran her fingers across the wilting leaves, and her eyes took in the yellowing color of the flower pedals.
Bella cupped the dying flower in the palm of her hand and like magic the yellowing faded, and the flower began to bloom, it’s pedals returning to their intended red color. In less than a minute the entire plant was looking healthier than it had before, all the wilting leaves gone and replaced with fantastic looking green leaves.
“You did that so quickly.” Scott said breaking Bella out of her thoughts.
Bella blushed, her cheeks turning pink at the realization that she had completely ignored Scott. “Sorry, I get distracted easily with dying plants, it’s one of the reasons my mom avoids the garden section in stores when she’s with me.”
Scott smiled sitting beside Bella on the floor. “I knew you could control nature, I just never saw you actually do it.”
“I don’t tend to show off what I can do.” Bella responded with a frown. “I know most people tend to avoid me already because they have a misconception that I’m perfect, so doing this doesn’t help.”
“Stiles was just messing around at lunch, he does actually like you.” Scott said trying to offer Bella some comfort.
“I know that, but not most people do.” Bella responded with a smile. “Don’t worry Scott, I’m fine.” She reached into her bag and pulled out her notebook. “Let’s get started, it won’t be hard.”
“You say that because you like poetry.” Scott responded with a smile. “I have no idea what any of it actually means.”
“It’s not that hard, you just have to find something that you like. It’s not all about love and jumping through meadows of flowers.” Bella responded with a smile. “You have to find a poem that you read and it makes you think. That’s the assignment, finding a poem and analyzing it, but you have to analyze it by connecting it to events in your life.”
“What poem did you choose?” Scott questioned curiously. “Was it one about nature?”
Bella smiled, “No, I choose Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. My mother used to read it to me when I was younger.”
“What did you end up writing about?” Scott responded taking out the poetry book he had borrowed from the library.
“The importance of not settling.” Bella responded with a grin as she thought back to her poem of choice. “It’s a love poem, but the way I see it is that it highlights the love two people have for each other, a love so strong and pure it’s envied by even the angels. Why settle for a person you barely love when there is a chance that there is someone you can love so strongly and so deeply that angels in heaven will envy your love? That’s what I got from the poem, while most people just see it as a love poem, I see it as an inspiration. I don’t want to settle for someone I might grow to love, I want a love that is stronger than the monsters that will try to tear it apart.”
“I don’t think I’ve taken a lesson like that from a poem.” Scott responded with a sigh. “Can’t I just make it up?”
“You already tried that, Scott.” Bella responded with a short laugh. “It hasn’t worked out so well for you, just give it a try.”
Bella smiled as Scott was more focused on his homework then she had ever seen him before. For the last month her and Scott, sometimes Stiles, had taken to doing their homework together at the McCall house. They usually sat on the living room floor with their books scattered all over the coffee table, but today they had chosen the dining room table. Bella didn’t really mind as Scott’s mom always had a vase of flowers on her dining table.
Bella smiled and leaned forward moving her fingers along the petals of the flowers in the vase on the table. She loved daisies, they seemed so simple, but they were so beautiful to her eyes. She ran her fingers along the pedals and slowly turned them from white to a light pink.
“My mom loves when you do that.” Scott spoke seeing as Bella changed the colors of the flowers. “She says they make the house seem brighter. She’s also happy because now she doesn’t have to waste so much money on rebuying these flowers all the time.”
Bella smiled, “I’m glad she enjoys them, I used to drive my mom crazy with the amount of plants I’d bring home when I was a kid. I once tried convincing her that growing vines along my bedroom walls would look great.”
“So, you’ve had these gifts since you were a kid?” Scott questioned curiously.
Bella nodded, “Yeah, I’ve been like this since I was in preschool, the amount of times my mom had to be called down to the school because I had brought in a stray animal into the classroom is amazing. Homeschooling really helped me start to get control over this.”
“You were homeschooled?” Scott questioned curiously, he never heard Bella mention that.
“Yeah, we actually used to live in California when I was four up until I was fifteen.” Bella responded with a shrug. “Those eleven years I was homeschooled while I worked, after I stopped working my mom moved us to Florida. We only moved back now because my mom thought I’d like being in California again.”
“You worked? What were you working in? I mean, who would hire a four-year-old?” Scott questioned furrowing his eyebrows in thought.
“HBO.” Bella responded with a smile. “You really never realized?”
“Realized what?” Scott questioned his mind still racing with confusion.
“I used to be an actress.” Bella responded with a smile. “I was a regular in two HBO shows and I was in a lot of Disney movies. I thought everyone had figured that out already, Erica likes to poke fun at me for it all the time.”
“I had no idea.” Scott said his voice filled with slight awe. “How come you never said anything? That’s really cool.”
Bella shrugged her shoulders. “It’s never come up before.” She looked over at Scott and offered a small smile. “I guess I don’t want another reason for people to have that misconception that I’m perfect. Sometimes, it’s good to be someone who can just blend into the crowd and go unnoticed.”
Bella walked beside Stiles as they followed the rest of the pack as they were in their shifts and running wild together in the woods. As the non-shifters she and Stiles were left to walk the woods after the pack that were so far away their howls could barely be heard echoing in the woods.
“Do you have a crush on Scott?” Stiles questioned not bothering to have any subtly in the matter.
“Why do you ask?” Bella questioned in return leaning down to grab a fallen leaf from the ground. “Even if I did, I’m not one to act on my feelings, especially since Scott doesn’t seem to reciprocate certain feelings. So, why bother out rightly admitting to something that can potentially ruin the friendship Scott and I have built?” She smiled at Stiles and with a bit of her power she sent the leaf flying over to him all the while having it change colors before his eyes.
“So, you do have feelings for him, but refuse to do anything about them because Scott doesn’t feel the same way?” Stiles questioned running his fingers along the edge of the leaf.
“Why ruin a good thing?” Bella replied with a smile. “Besides, I’m sure that eventually, I’ll be able to get over my feelings for him and just see him as a friend. My mom used to say that the best way to get over someone is to find someone new to be with, maybe she was right and that’s all that I need in this situation.”
Stiles went to argue but saw the best friend they were discussing approaching, by the look on his friend’s face he had an idea what it was that they were discussing, or so Stiles hoped. “Hey Scotty, where’s the rest of the gang?”
“Catching up.” Scott said gesturing over his shoulder. Stiles nodded and rushed past his best friend, to see if maybe being alone with Bella on one of the most primal instinct nights of the month will cause Scott to make a move.
Bella smiled knowing what Stiles was trying to do, but feeling it was useless, she leaned against a tree and gave a slight yawn. “I feel like an old woman, I’m already feeling exhausted and all Stiles and I have done tonight is walk around the woods.”
Scott smiled, “Thanks for coming tonight, it means a lot to us, to me, to have you here on the full moon nights.”
“You know I love to come to these, even if I only do talk to Stiles the entire night. It’s fun, and I love to be out in the woods, I feel safe here.” Bella said tensing only slightly now that Scott was closer to her and her mind was racing to try and figure out when exactly he had moved closer to her.
“You told Stiles you had feelings for me.” Scott stated having heard the earlier conversation clearly.
“Technically, I never actually said those words.” Bella said her voice low and filled with worry. “Look, Scott, you don’t have to worry, I know you don’t feel the same. I’m okay with just being your friend.”
“I don’t want you to just be my friend, I do feel the same.” Scott responded his hand coming up to tangle into her hair as he pulled her a little closer while leaning down to press their lips together. For the both it was over too soon as the approaching footfalls of their pack was echoing through the woods.
With red cheeks Bella pulled away from Scott avoiding his eyes, because that had been her first real kiss and she was more than a little flustered by it.
“Everyone’s headed home.” Derek announced being able to know that something had just happened between the two teenagers, he was sure the rest of the pack knew it too.
“Let me walk you home, Isabella.” Peter announced catching the rest of the pack’s attention, as Peter was never outwardly nice to anyone. Let alone someone the rest of the pack rarely saw him speak to.
Bella nodded, looking up to meet Peter’s eyes with red cheeks. “Thank you, Peter. I’ll see the rest of you at school tomorrow.” Before anyone could come out of their shock enough to protest Peter and Bella were already retreating from the rest of the pack.
Once they were out of earshot Peter laughed, “Out of everyone to choose from in that school you choose him! I thought my better tastes have been rubbing off on you as of late.”
Bella smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “He’s not as bad as you make him out to be, Peter.”
“I’m sorry to inform you, little one, but yes he is. Your mother believes I’m just biased because Scott refused to join my pack when I turned him.” Peter responded with a dramatic sigh. “I don’t like it when your mother’s right, but I refuse to admit it to her.”
Bella laughed, “You make it seem as if Scott is the devil.”
Peter smirked, “At the very least, the best thing about this is that I’ll be able to tell your mom that you’re adjusting well and that you snuck out of the house to make out with a teenage boy.”
“I didn’t sneak out! She knew I was coming, and she knew you were going to be there too! I think that’s the opposite of sneaking out, Peter.” Bella responded with a yawn, as she shivered wrapping her arms around herself. “I’m freezing.”
“You should’ve brought a thicker jacket. Just because we live in California doesn’t mean that we don’t tend to experience moments of cold weather.” Peter responded shaking his head. “Your mother will kill me if you get sick while I’m watching you.”
Bella smiled, “It’s fine, Peter, she knows that I’m prone to getting sick very often. I’m probably just catching a small cold or something.”
Peter sighed opening the door to the house for Bella, “Get upstairs and into bed, I’m going to see if there’s any teas in the kitchen for you to drink. It might help whatever bug you’ve caught.”
Bella smiled, “Thanks, Peter.”
Bella’s head was pounding, and her stomach felt horrible, but she was determined to get through the school day. She was grabbing her first period textbook when she felt a presence behind her, turning her head slowly she smiled when she saw it was Scott. “Hey, Scott.” She greeted softly.
“Hey, Bella.” Scott responded his cheeks tinting slightly red as he built up the courage to talk to her about what he really wanted to say. “I just wanted to talk about last night…”
Bella smiled, allowing herself to hope that what he said wasn’t just a full moon high. She went to say as much but was stopped when they were approached and interrupted. Bella knew the girl that had interrupted them to be Allison, Scott’s ex-girlfriend and according to Lydia the love of his life.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but Scott, I really want to talk with you. I’ve been thinking about what you said and you’re right, we’re meant to be together.” Alisson placed her hand on Scott’s arm. “I love you, and I think we’d be great together.”
“Alisson…” Scott began, but when he looked to where Bella was, he found the spot empty. He sighed, this was the worst timing possible, he could only catch her scent as it blended in with the passing of other students.
Erica sighed, using her senses to maneuver through the halls to find Bella. It was the middle of second period and Erica still hadn’t seen Bella, they had their first three classes together and Bella never missed any of her classes.
Erica entered the girl’s restroom near Bella’s locker and bent down to see if anyone was in the stalls. Erica rushed forward kicking in the middle stall to see Bella passed out on the floor. The stall reeked of vomit and Bella looked horrible. Erica leaned down and pressed her hand to Bella’s forehead and pulled her hand back as Bella was burning up.
Erica leaned down and gently stirred Bella awake. Bella groaned and allowed Erica to pull her to her feet. She walked at a slow pace to the nurse’s office where Bella was rushed to a cot and Erica was ushered back to her class, despite her protests.
By the end of second period Erica rushed back to the nurse’s office with Boyd at her side to check on Bella. “Is Bella doing better?”
The nurse looked up from her desk and smiled, “She was taken to the hospital, sweetie. Her fever was rising, and she needed more than I could give her. I was able to get through to the hospital just now and they released her to her mother, she’s on her way home.”
Erica nodded and stepped out of the office with Boyd. “She looked like she was dying when I saw her this morning.”
“It’s the flu, and Bella’s mentioned before that when she gets sick, she really gets sick. We can go visit her after school if you want.” Boyd said leading his girlfriend to their next class.
Erica nodded, “Yeah, we can pass by and get her some soup or something.”
Scott entered the cafeteria and looked around trying to catch a glimpse of Bella amongst the students. He approached the table they usually sat in, but Bella was absent from the group. “Has anyone seen Bella? I haven’t seen her since this morning.”
“She was sent home, she has the flu. I doubt she’ll be in for the remainder of the week.” Stiles responded looking over to his best friend. “How’d it go this morning?”
“Awful.” Scott responded sincerely stealing a piece of sandwich from Stile’s tray. “Do you think she’s too sick for me to go see her?”
Erica shrugged, “She was pretty bad this morning, but Boyd and I are going to see her after school if you want to join us.”
Scott nodded, “Yeah, I really want to see her.”
Bella wrapped her blanket tighter around herself as she snuggled into the couch. “I feel like I’m dying.”
“It’s time to take your medication, but you need to eat something first.” Peter said standing and heading towards the kitchen.
Bella sat up and became dizzy with the rapid movement. “Have you talked to mom?”
“She called about an hour ago, but you were sleeping. She’s trying to speed up her conference, so with any luck she’ll be on a plane by tomorrow.” Peter responded entering the living room and placing a tray on Bella’s lap. “It’s soup, hopefully you’ll be able to keep this down. Drink the Gatorade and eat before you take your medicine.”
Bella nodded and picked up the spoon for the soup, she paused and looked over at Peter. “Thanks for picking me up from the hospital, Peter, and for staying with me today.”
Peter smirked and grabbed his book before taking a seat in the lounge chair, “Don’t get emotional, just eat.”
Bella smiled, but slowly ate the soup Peter had made for her. “I hope she’s not worried about me, I don’t want to ruin this conference for her. It’s supposed to be a be important for her career.”
“I assured her you were doing fine, and if it makes you feel better, she was already looking for a reason to get out of the conference. Apparently, it’s more boring then she’d thought it’d be.” Peter responded with a smile. “She looked absolutely annoyed when we video chatted this morning.”
Bella set down her spoon and looked to Peter, grinning widely at the older man. “It’s adorable how much you love her.”
“Don’t be a brat and eat your soup.” Peter responded with a roll of his eyes. “I’ve called the school, you’ll be out for the remainder of the week.”
“I don’t think that’s necessary, I should be fine in a day or two.” Bella responded with a frown. “I’ve never missed so many days in a week.”
“I’m assuming this is the first time you’ve ever nearly puked yourself to exhaustion while at school. Your mother agreed with me, and she’s thrilled with the idea of you being able to take a week off. She believes that with the stress of school, the pack and legal issues you need a break.” Peter responded rolling his eyes fondly when it came to the thought of Renee worrying too much.
“And you believe differently?” Bella questioned, taking another spoonful of her soup.
“You’re far more resilient than you’re given credit for.” Peter responded with a shrug. “Before I forget, this Friday, if you’re feeling better, we’re going to need to take a trip to the courthouse.”
Bella nodded, “I’m sure I’ll be fine. What are we going to be doing?”
“Sign some documents, and get your name changed.” Peter looked at Bella carefully before finishing his statement. “He finally relented and signed the papers, he’s given up his parental rights to avoid going to trial.”
Bella set the spoon down and her mind froze for a moment before she looked up at Peter. “He really signed the papers?”
“I got the news early this morning just before you headed off to school.” Peter responded, he leaned forward as he saw Bella go pale. “Are you going to be alright, little one?”
Bella nodded, “Yeah, I just feel tired.” She set the tray on the coffee table, before laying back down on the couch and squeezing her eyes shut.
Sighing Peter stands setting his book down before walking over to Bella, kneeling in front of the couch and resting a hand on her head to try and comfort her. “I’m not very good at this, so if you could just tell me what to do that would help.”
Bella laughed, tears slipping out of her eyes. “I just never realized that it might hurt to have him sign over his parental rights.”
“I suppose that sort of rejection would hurt, but you’ve never needed him before, and you won’t need him in the future. This is nothing but a small bump in the road for you, little one.” Peter said, doing his best to comfort the girl.
Bella smiled appreciating Peter for trying to comfort her. “Thanks, Peter.”
Peter sighed and reached over grabbing the bottle of Gatorade and Bella’s medicine. “Now drink this, because you smell awful when you’re sick.”
Bella laughed, reaching forward and taking the drink and the medicine from Peter. “That’s exactly what everyone wants to hear, Peter.”
“Honesty is best in all situations, little one. Lying to someone can only create problems.” Peter responded with a smirk. “Your friends are approaching the house, do you feel up for company, or do you want me to send them all away?”
“It’s not up to me, they’re going to wonder what you’re doing here. You haven’t publicly told them about your relationship with my mother.” Bella responded with a smile. “If it makes you uncomfortable, send them away.”
Peter smirked and stood, “Nothing makes me uncomfortable, little one. I would just warn you to prepare for an onslaught of questions from all these children.”
Bella smiled and sat up, looking over her shoulder to see Peter head towards the door.
Stiles sighed, balancing Bella’s textbooks and her homework from all the teachers in his arms. “You know, I’m not the one with super strength, so why am I carrying all of this?”
“You were the last one out of school.” Isaac responded with a smirk, “And you said that none of us could ride in your jeep because we’d make it smell like dog, so you got stuck with carrying that.” Isaac said gesturing to the tower of things on Stiles’ arms. “You should stop making dog jokes.”
“Oh no! Now it’s only going to get worst! I’ve been holding back, buddy!” Stiles said groaning as his anger only made his limbs more tired. “Knock again, Scotty!”
“Please don’t. The noise aggravates my ears.” Peter said opening the door to the six teenagers. “How can I help you?”
“What the hell are you doing here, creeperwolf?” Erica said trying to look over his shoulder to see if she could spot Bella.
“Isabella’s mother is on a conference trip. Isabella called me from the hospital to pick her up, and I couldn’t just leave her here on her own. She wasn’t exactly in the best state of health to take care of herself.” Peter responded with a smirk. “I ask again how can I help you?”
“We want to speak to Bella.” Scott said stepping forward and standing directly in front of Peter. “Let us in.”
“Well, since you asked so politely.” Peter said turning and walking away. “You’ve got visitors, Isabella. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.”
“Thanks, Peter.” Bella responded before turning to her friends with a smile. “I’m fine, the doctors said it was just the flu. I have medicine and I should be good in a day or two.”
Scott sat down beside Bella, “But why is Peter here? You shouldn’t trust him, Bella. He’s not safe to be around.”
Bella frowned, “I trust Peter, and he’s been taking care of me all day.”
“Bella, I’d properly greet you, but I’m human and unlike these guys I do still get sick, so…” Stiles placed her things on the coffee table. “Hope you get better soon, because I need you to look over my English essay.”
Bella laughed lightly as Stiles was covering his face with the end of Isaac’s scarf. She laughed as Isaac tugged the scarf away from Stiles. “Thanks for bringing this by, Stiles.”
Erica moved pressing her hand to Bella cheek, “You’re not as hot as you were this morning. You really gave me a scare, I thought you had puked up a lung. Good to see you alive, even if your company is not the best.”
“He’s not a bad person.” Bella argued with a frown. “He’s good company.”
Scott scowled, “You can’t trust him, Bella! Peter’s killed so many people in this town. He’s probably being nice to you because he knows how naïve you can be. You’re nice to everyone and he knows that, you can’t trust him.”
Erica shook her head and with the others she shook her head knowing calling Bella naïve wasn’t the best thing to do in this situation.
Bella frowned looking down at her hands for a moment before standing. “I don’t feel well, maybe it’s best if you guys go. Thanks for stopping by.”
Peter entered the living room and gestured towards the front door. “You know your way out.” He glared at Scott before he headed up the stairs to make sure Bella wasn’t crying. He knew from Renee that when Bella got sick, she got overly emotional, and he did not want to see her crying. He was never good seeing someone he considered pack crying.
Scott paced Stiles’ bedroom. “Okay, explain to me what I did wrong again.”
“You told the sick, emotional girl that you’re in love with that she’s naïve and that she has bad judgement. You also did it on the day that your ex-girlfriend made it seem like you’re getting back together.” Stiles said typing away on his computer. “May I just say, that if your plan was to push Bella away, it’s certainly working.”
“I should apologize.” Scott said running a hand through his hair as he stopped his pacing. “Do you think she’s better and at home?”
Stiles glanced down at his phone and went through the three-way group chat he had going with Bella and Erica. “She’s not at her house, last time she messaged she was saying she was going to get something to eat at that Italian place in town.”
“That’s good, I can catch her there.” Scott said moving and jumping out of his friend’s window. “Thanks buddy!”
Scott headed to the Italian place, he stopped across the street in the Italian place Bella was sitting in one of their outside dining tables. She was sitting with her mother and was wearing a business outfit, her mother dressed similarly. Just as he was about to cross the street, Scott noticed Peter appear in a suit. Scott’s hands clenched as he hated the idea of Peter spending so much time with Bella. His eyes widened as he saw Peter kiss Renee before taking the seat beside her.
A realization hit him as he watched the three interact, Bella was protective of Peter. She didn’t become upset the other day when he called her naïve, she was upset because he was talking down about Peter. It was clear to Scott that Peter and Renee were close and they must have been together for quite some time. Not wanting to intrude on their day, Scott turned and headed to the hospital, he’d stop by and say hello to his mother before he headed back home.
Bella walked through the woods at night, she wanted to see the Nemeton, and despite feeling better from the flu, she couldn’t go to sleep. She was aware that Peter probably knew she had snuck out of the house, but Peter was always one for rule breaking.
Bella approached the Nemeton and sat at the base of it’s trunk. Her head resting against it as she looked up at the star filled sky.
“You’re going to catch a cold.” Scott said approaching Bella. “What are you doing out here?”
“My mom hasn’t let me out of her sight since I got sick on Monday. I’ve missed being here, and the Nemeton is getting so much stronger, it’s beautiful isn’t it?” Bella said looking up at the tree that wasn’t that far away from being full grown. She turned to Scott and offered a warm smile. “Come, have a seat.”
Scott smiled and sat down beside her. “Does this mean you’re not mad at me anymore?”
Bella smiled resting her on Scott’s shoulder. “I just didn’t appreciate the way you spoke about Peter. Everyone deserves to be given a fair chance, and that’s what I gave Peter since the beginning. He’s been good to me and my mom, I didn’t like what you said about him and I just got a little angry. Peter seems to think it’s hilarious how much you all don’t like him.”
“I’m sorry about that, I should’ve known to keep my thoughts to myself, and you’re not naïve, I just wasn’t thinking right that day.” Scott responded sincerely.
“It was a bad day.” Bella agreed softly. “But I like to believe that today was a pretty good day. Don’t you think?”
Scott nodded, “It has the potential to be.” Scott turned his head and leaned down and interlocking his lips with hers. He pulled back to see Bella smiling at him. “I don’t want to get back together with Allison. I was going to officially ask you for a date on Monday, but…”
“Monday wasn’t a good day.” Bella finished for him. “But if you’re still willing to ask, I’m willing to say yes.”
Scott smiled, “Tomorrow. Are you willing to go on a date with me tomorrow?”
Bella smiled, “I’d love to.” She rested her head back on Scott’s shoulder and grinned when he placed his arm around her bringing her in closer to him. She closed her eyes, feeling comforted by the silence of the forest mixing with the steady beat of Scott’s heart.
Scott looked down at Bella when he sensed her breathing even out and her heart beat change. She was sound asleep, and he didn’t want to wake her from her sleep. He moved carefully picking her up in his arms and beginning to make the walk to her home.
As he approached the house Scott was startled to see Peter open the door in just his sleeping pajamas. Peter sighed pinching the bridge of his nose. “Is she hurt?”
“No. She just fell asleep next to the Nemeton.” Scott responded confused as he could actually smell the worry coming off of Peter. “I can put her in her bed.”
“Not a chance.” Peter said with a glare. “A hormonal teenage boy is not stepping a foot into her room.”
“Peter. You’re yelling.” Bella said groggily.
Peter smirked, “Come on, Isabella, get inside before your mother realizes you haven’t been in your room all night.”
Scott gently set Bella on her feet, turning slightly red as she kissed his cheek wishing him a goodnight before heading inside the house past Peter.
Peter smirked at Scott. “You have less then a minute to get off this property before I call the cops.” Scott sighed as Peter shut the door on him, and he was sure Peter meant what he said so he turned and ran back into the woods to find his way home.
Peter sighed and passed Bella’s room to see her already out on her bed. He headed back to where he was staying with Renee and crawled back into the bed. Pleased when Renee moved s wrapping herself around him and hugging him close. He had to admit, he did enjoy the life he had now with his pack and the familial bond he had with Bella.