Chapter Ten: I Swear
Well… cliff hanger warning…. sort of
Bella played aimlessly with her pencil, she twirled it around in her hand ignoring the lesson that was being taught. She couldn’t help but have her mind on Luther all day, she worried what her father would do. Most of all, she worried over Charlie, she knew if Luther was in Forks things had gotten too serious.
“Hey.” Jeremy said slightly shaking Bella back to the real world. “Come on, Bumble B, last class of the day.”
Bella nodded and stood grabbing her bag. “I don’t want to go to music class, I’m not feeling up to it.”
Jeremy smiled, “That’s okay, it won’t be that long until the assembly for your performance. After that I’m sure you won’t be alone with Creepy Cullen anymore.”
Bella nodded her head, “Thanks, Jer.” She smiled as he held her hand tightly, she walked at a slow pace beside him as they made their way to their last class of the day.
“I’ll be here before the bell ends, B.” Jeremy said as he stood outside of the class door. “Everything’s going to be okay, trust me on this.”
Bella smiled she leaned up to kiss him. “You’re one of the few people I do trust, Jer.” She whispered before heading inside of the class. She stood shocked to see her father standing at the front of the classroom.
“Wonderful.” He said turning around and smiling widely at Bella. “You’re here, I’m your new teacher Luther Dallson, its very short notice, but it seems your last music teacher suddenly decided to not return to Forks. I was hired at once to take her place and run this music program.”
Bella glanced over her shoulder as Edward walked in and realized why her father was acting so strangely. “Pleasure.” Bella said heading to her usual spot in the room. Just because he was her teacher didn’t mean she was going to treat him any different than her other teachers, that would just be out of character.
“You must be Mr. Cullen. I apologize for the sudden change, but your earlier teacher has decided to quit. I’m stepping in, so we should get started, we don’t have much time to waste here.” Luther said moving to lean against a wall. “Let’s start off where you left off, I don’t have any need to change your music choice, so we’ll go from there.”
Edward nodded and glanced at Bella who had already prepared her cello to play. At the count to one they both began to play the sheet music that had been chosen for them by the previous teacher. Luther watched his daughter and could tell that she was beyond stressed at the situation that she was put in. He would fix it, because above everything else, he wanted his daughter to live a happy life, and he would do anything to assure that she did.
At the end of the song Luther hummed in appreciation. “Quite remarkable, bravo to your talent Ms. Swan, it shows that you’re quite remarkable in your art.”
Bella nodded, hiding the smirk on her face as she responded. “Thank you.”
Edward interrupted, “We were told we were going to have to practice after school, I’m assuming that is still correct. Afterall, we will need the practice and time to synchronize our playing.”
Luther huffed and pushed himself off the wall. “I don’t know what she was thinking by suggesting that idea, it was as if she were compelled to do so.” Luther smiled widely at Edward. “It won’t be necessary to practice together, you’re both harmonizing quite well. We will though however have to practice on your skills Mr. Cullen, I feel as though your movements on the keys are a little too… scratchy. We need to fix that so you can be at a similar level as Ms. Swan.”
Bella bit her lip to hold her laughter at Edward’s face, it was obvious her father was catching onto Edward quickly. Not to mention it now made full sense why the earlier teacher disliked her, and why she insisted they needed practice. She had been supernaturally influenced by Edward or his family.
Bella stood at the end of class and muttered a quick goodbye before exiting the class, leaving her father to lecture Edward on the art of playing the piano. She couldn’t help the grin on her face as she saw Jeremy already waiting for her.
“I know your music teacher said you have to stay after school, but I was thinking…” Jeremy trailed off as Bella hugged him tightly. “Never mind, I like this better.”
Bella laughed, “We have a new music teacher and he said we’re just fine without extra practice.” Bella took Jeremy’s hand and led him to the parking lot. “I like this new teacher better; he recognizes my incredible talent.”
“Does he also recognize how much of a show off you are.” Jeremy teased as he gently pressed her against the door of the car. He leaned down to kiss her, one arm wrapped around her waist while the other tangled in her hair to bring her closer. “You’re even more beautiful when you’re happy, I’ll do anything to keep you happy, bumble B.”
Bella smiled and leaned into his touch as he caressed her cheek. “I’m always happy with you, Jer, you don’t have to try so hard. Now, stop being a sap and let’s get out of here.”
Jeremy laughed and leaned down to peck her lips. “Want to tell me more about your music teacher?”
Jeremy smiled as Rosko moved onto the couch and sat beside him. Bella had just left and not soon after did Luther arrive. “So what’s going to happen now?”
Luther smiled, “Well, it’s time for you to really begin to learn how to fight, Mr. Gilbert. Take no offense to this, but other hunters have been far more developed in their skills then you. It’s time that you learn to become better than those that have come before you. Sadly, not many hunters before you could take on a coven of the second breed, but I’m sure you’ll be a quick learner. And you just might when a fight against a coven of the second breed.”
Jeremy laughed lightly. “What are Ric and Vanessa going to be doing?”
“A training of our own.” Vanessa responded standing and pulling Alaric to a stand as well. Jeremy only smiled, because out of everyone Alaric was someone who deserved to find love again and to be happy.
Jeremy stood as now it was just him an Luther in the home. “I guess this is the point where we start my training.”
“It is.” Luther said leading Jeremy outside. “We will begin on testing your current abilities, Isabella speaks highly about your fighting ability, so I have grand expectations for you.”
Jeremy smiled, “Thanks, let’s just hope I can meet your expectations, and B just wasn’t exaggerating.”
Jeremy removed his jacket and sighed as Rosko immediately moved to lay down on it. He turned to Luther who was already rolling up the sleeves of his shirt. He stretched his muscles a bit so that he was more than ready to get started.
-In Another Area of the Earth-
Bella cleans one of the nursing beds, as Andrew brings in newly washed sheets for the bed.
“I know tonight is not as much training as you wished for, but sometimes you have to take a step back and focus on other things. Besides, it’s always a joyful day when there are not many children to cure.” Andrew said placing the sheets down on the bed.
“I don’t mind doing this, everyone needs a bit of a break once and a while.” Bella responded beginning to make the bed.
“How is your schooling going? Have you received a response from Juilliard about your audition?” Andrew questioned as he helped her with making the bed.
“I haven’t received a response from them, but I did receive a response from a few other universities.” Bella responded quietly. “If I don’t get into Julliard it’s just a matter of making a decision for one of the other schools.”
“Do you really want to attend Julliard?” Andrew responded curiously as he fluffed up the pillow on the bed.
“It’s been the plan since I was a kid.” Bella responded with a shrug of her shoulders. “All my training and practice has led up to this moment.”
“I don’t believe that was what I asked, little one.” Andrew responded with a smile.
Bella sighed, “Yes, I do want to attend Julliard. I love the program and I like the idea of being able to showcase my talent. I want to be able to do something that I enjoy for the rest of my time as a mortal.”
“Did playing the cello always make you happy?” Andrew questioned curiously.
“Not always, but once I got older I found that it helped me express emotions I didn’t know how to express in any other way.” Bella responded fiddling with her hands. “It’s hard to express something that you’re not sure what it is.”
Andrew smiled, “Come, sit for a moment, little one.”
Bella sat down beside Andrew and watched as she fidgeted for only a second.
“When I was younger and still mortal, I had a mother who I have come to see as a true monstrosity. In my time, a young man was to be wed and become head of his household, the only problem was that my mother wished for me to become a farmer while I wanted to go into medicine. I had been accepted into one of the most prestigious schools of the time, and had been awarded what is now known as a full ride. My mother hid the news from me so that I could stay and farm, she also forced me into an engagement with a woman that was cruel and only interested in me for what I could offer her. My mother forced me into a life that I hated, after I had become immortal your father helped me fake my own death and I left. My sister and my wife got the estate, and I never heard from my mother again.”
“It took me a few years to forgive all the abuse she had caused me since I was a child. It took me even longer to understand that I was worth more than she allowed me to believe. In the end, I learned to thank her for what she had done to me.” Andrew responded with a small smile on his face.
“Why would you thank her? She forced you into a life you didn’t want and a marriage you hated. She destroyed the mortal life you held.” Bella responded in confusion.
“Because I came to realize that it was her cruel nature that led me to where I was and who I am. I care for others more than I care for myself because I was never truly cared for as a child. I know what it feels like to be uncared for, and I don’t want that to happen to others in their lives. I am immortal, but they aren’t and I want other’s lives to be filled with love.” Andrew reached over and squeezed Bella’s hand in his.
“I want you to understand that what others do to you is not what matters, what matters is the way you choose to handle it. Do you choose to move forward, or do you choose to let it control your life? The decision is yours to make, and no one else’s.” Andrew responded with a smile. “If you choose to go to Julliard, let it be because it is what you want your future, not what someone else wants.”
Bella smiled, “Julliard wasn’t my dream when it was presented to me, it was my mother’s. But when I learned to love the cello I knew that it was no longer my mother’s dream but my own. I want to go to Julliard, but if I don’t get in I know I can do much greater things with my talent.”
-Back to the Woods In A Small Town in Washington-
Jeremy bent down with his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath a bit. “I feel exhausted. I haven’t felt like this since before I became a hunter.”
Luther smiled, “That’s a good thing, Jeremy. It should be time for you to get some rest, you do have school tomorrow.”
Jeremy straightened out to face Luther. “About that.” He said brushing his hand through his sweaty hair. “B’s pretty stressed lately, so I was thinking you could call in for her so that I could give her just a normal day. You know, one without all the stress about everything that’s happening.”
Luther smiled widely, “That sounds like a great idea, Jeremy, she needs less stress in her life at this moment. Just be sure to return at a reasonable time, I would hate to have to hunt you down.”
Jeremy smiled, “No problem, sir.”
Jeremy followed Luther inside of his home and gave Rosko some water. “Are you worried?” Jeremy questioned before Luther could leave the home.
“I know that my Maeva will live.” Luther responded placing his hands inside his pockets. “My only worry is that she will never have a normal life. That is why I am grateful that you two have found each other, you both seem to give the other what they need. When Niklaus spoke to me about you, I already knew you were just the person my daughter needed in her life, as a friend or otherwise.”
Jeremy laughed, “Here I thought the only thing Klaus had to say about me were terrible things.”
Luther smiled, “Niklaus has always been brutally honest about his opinions of others, and some are positive while some are not.”
“Thank you for helping me.” Jeremy said as he led Luther to the door.
“Thank you for trying to protect my daughter.” Luther responded with a bow of his head before he disappeared.
Jeremy turned back around and to no surprise he found Bella sitting on the couch with Rosko. “Were you waiting for your father to leave?”
Bella smiled, “Kept popping back in and out, I’m not feeling up to being lectured by him just yet.”
Jeremy took a seat beside her and wrapped his arm around her shoulder pulling her in closer so she could rest her head on his shoulder. “Everything go well for you?”
Bella nodded running her fingers through Rosko’s fur. “Yeah, I’m just tired.”
“Come on, I’ll walk you home and you can get some sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” Jeremy said taking Bella’s hand pulling her to stand. “I’ve got a surprise for you tomorrow, so I’m going to need you well rested.”
Bella smile and nodded her head, not bothering asking what the surprise was. “Okay, Jer.”
Jeremy paused at the front of her house door, he leaned in and kissed her goodnight. “I promise, tomorrow will be a wonderful day.”
“I believe you, Jer. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” Bella said kissing his cheek before she went to open the front door, but Jeremy held her hand for a moment.
“Wear a coat tomorrow, I hear it’s supposed to rain and I don’t want that to ruin our day tomorrow.” Jeremy responded with a smile.
“It always rains in Forks, Jer.” Bella responded with a smile as she hid inside the house.
Jeremy smiled as he turned around and headed home. Tomorrow would be a wonderful day, and he would be sure that Bella enjoyed it.
Jeremy entered the Swan residence and smiled as Bella had on a raincoat. “You ready to go?”
Bella nodded, but yawned slightly. “Yeah, I’m just a bit tired.” She grabbed her backpack and swung it over her shoulders before following Jeremy out the door.
“Where’s Rosko?” Jeremy questioned as he opened the car door for Bella.
“He’s in the woods, I let him out before you came.” Bella responded stepping into the car. She placed her bag in the back of the car and leaned back in the seat.
Jeremy pulled out of the driveway and began to drive. “You need more sleep.”
Bella smiled, “No I don’t.” She responded, she took his hand in hers and played with his fingertips as he drove. “What I need is more hours of the day.”
Jeremy gently squeezed her hand, he turned the car away from the school and began to drive towards the exist of the town so that they could be on their way to Seattle.
“I’m not sure if you’re aware, but you’re headed in the wrong direction.” Bella commented as she glanced out the window.
“I know, I’m giving you a day off from school, and we’re going to ditch.” Jeremy easily reached into the back seat and grabbed a blanket he had for her and gave it to her. “Take a nap, the drive will be long so you’ll have time to rest for a bit. I have a pillow back there for you too.”
Bella smiled, “The school will call and Charlie’s going to start thinking you’re a bad influence.” She teased while leaning the seat back and getting comfortable.
“I’ve got that covered too, I talked to Luther yesterday he called the school for the both of us. If anyone asks we’re both sick with a fever.” Jeremy responded with a wide grin on his face. “Now, go to sleep, I’ll wake you up when we get to our first stop of the day.”
“You have an itinerary?” Bella teased with a slight yawn.
Jeremy smiled, “Maybe.”
Jeremy watched as Bella almost instantly fell asleep. He couldn’t help but smile as she had curled herself into a ball on the passenger seat, he knew she was dead tired, and he just hoped she would admit it more.
Once they had arrived Jeremy parked and looked over at Bella. He reached over and began to slowly shake her awake. “Bumble B, we’ve arrived to our destination.”
Bella sat up and rubbed her eyes for a moment. “We have?”
Jeremy smiled, “Yes, now it’s time for us to get out of the car. We have a lot of exploring to do today, at least six hours’ worth.”
Bella blinked her eyes and looked out of the window. “A Zoo?”
“It’s the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s the best place to be a kid again, so get out of the car, we have quite a bit of exploring to do.” Jeremy responded grabbing his backpack from the backseat of the car before exiting the vehicle.
Bella smiled but followed him. “So what’s the plan?”
“We’re going to go look at animals and see if you can develop a new gift and be able to talk to animals.” Jeremy responded with a grin. “It’ll be fun if you stop thinking about everything else that’s happening. We’re just going to focus on the animals and all the pretty things the zoo has to offer.”
Bella smiled and nodded, “Okay. I think I can do that, so where do we go from here?”
“To the entrance. After that, we’ll just walk and see where we end up.” Jeremy responded with a smile. “It’s going to be a good day, Bumble B.”
Bella nodded, “It’s always a good day with you, Jer.” She responded grabbing his hand in hers as they made their way to the entrance of the zoo. She had no doubt that this would be a good day for the both.
-In A Different Country-
The woman entered the beautiful room, her eyes instantly landing on the blood-stained floors, and for a moment she regretted coming, but then she remembered either way her time was running out. Her eyes scanned the three creatures before her. Unnatural eternal beauty was the best way to describe the three in front of her.
She bowed her head in a slight form of respect, she truthfully didn’t know what else to do in this situation. The only thing she was certain of was that she shouldn’t speak until she was spoken to.
“It is always intriguing to know of a human who knows of our kind.” The velvet smooth voice rang through the room. “It is rare for a human to come in here so willingly, it is even more rare for a human to request a meeting. Why should I allow you to live after being so bold?”
With a lift of her head she met the red eyes of the dark-haired king. “Because I gave birth to the girl that is set to break the curse.”
A moment of unnatural silence filled the room before all that could be heard were the footsteps of the man as he stepped forward in an agonizingly slow pace.
“There is only one way to prove this.” He remarked extending his hand to her. “I’m sure you’re aware of my ability.”
With a nod of her head the woman placed her hand in his gently. Hiding the wince from her face as he squeezed her hand tightly, no doubt breaking her bones.
With a gasp of delight the king released her hand. “My lovely Renee, you shall receive what you wish for under the circumstances that you assist us in the murder of your daughter.”
Renee nodded her head. “I would love nothing more.”
“Then it is settled, soon lovely Isabella will die and the world will be set right again.” Aro responded before leaning in and giving Renee the fatal bite that would make her immortal. He let her withering body fall onto the floor. “Demetri, come watch over her she is your charge now. We have things to prepare for.”