Summary: When Emmett and Jasper stay in Forks after Bella’s birthday, breaking from the Cullen’s they didn’t realize they were coming home.
Disclaimer: All Recognizable Characters belong to their respected owners. No Copyright infringement intended.
Author’s Note: Some non-cannon couples and some characters might not act to cannon. All mistakes are mine, hasn’t been beta’d yet.
The next couple of months were touch and go. Char and I would change places just before Charlie woke up, so he didn’t catch me in Bella’s room. Bella and I grew closer, much to everyone’s joy. Charlie approved of me, this shocked me and he sat down and explained why. Thanksgiving came around Bella and Char busied themselves over traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Charlie had invited his friends from the reservation to join, they accepted with wariness. Their prejudice annoyed Bella and we caught her muttering about putting something into their food. I tried to calm her down, failing to the point where both Peter and Emmett were laughing their asses off until Char and Bella rounded on them.
Charlie had unofficially adopted the lot of us, he said he wanted to keep Bella happy and being around us did that. Charlie went to buy items for us, he realized how small his house was and it was then Emmett and I spoke to Charlie. He mentioned there was an attic and a basement, both could be turned into bedrooms for us. Emmett and I looked at the attic first, of course, Bella and Peter told vampire in the attic jokes. Emmett moved everything from the attic to the ground floor; Bella put to the side Christmas decorations. With the attic cleared we cleaned it up. We spoke to Charlie and with his permission we put in a couple of windows and skylights. Emmett and I made separate rooms; insulating them as much as we could we found mixing our venom into the plaster made the walls more durable and even soundproof for vampires. Char went crazy and bought everything we needed to furnish the rooms and to make it cozy. Charlie paid for permanent stairs to the attic to be built. He lost the linen closet upstairs until Bella came up with the storage being incorporated into it. Bella worked out the design, which Emmett and I built. We used the mix of venom once again.
Char talked Charlie into updating the living areas. Charlie agreed and with a different coat of paint, some new furniture, a reading nook added into the living room and some rugs over the floorboards. The floorboards were scrubbed back and polished to the point it looked new. The rooms were updated, cozy with little rustic touches but still to everyone’s tastes. Charlie said it looked to be a family home rather than a bachelor pad. He was thrilled with the changes, joking about his three sons and two daughters.
Thanksgiving was tense until Charlie threatened to never step foot on the eventually, again. Bella stayed silent as the four of us argued with Charlie stating we didn’t want to be the cause of him losing his friendships. The Quileute’s seemed shocked over our reactions, causing Emmett to reveal that he and I never had any issues with them and that it was all on their side. Before the night was over Billy Black spilt the beans to Charlie. Bella ended up in tears and rushed to her room, I left to comfort her, confusing Charlie’s friends. Emmett explained about vampire laws, and why Bella reacted the way she did. The Quileutes’ horrified by the news protested and forbid Charlie being changed. Charlie yelled at his friends stating it was something that was his decision and possibly Bella’s.
Thanksgiving ended with life-long friendships torn with almost no possibility of reforming. Charlie was angered even more when his friends left with a threat to us. He wanted to talk to us all in the living room, I carried Bella down. She was curled up against my chest her arms tight around my neck that if I’d been human I would have passed out from lack of air. Bella stayed in my lap, even with Charlie leveling a glare at her. Knowing it was a lost cause he sat back. He wanted us to tell our real histories. I spoke first, telling my role in the Civil war and then later in the Vampire wars. Peter told his part with Char following. Emmett told his part including when he met Billy Black’s grandfather Ephraim Black. That piece of news caused Charlie to chuckle. Charlie asked Bella to explain what really happened from the time she came to Forks.
Bella told him everything including how she got Jacob to tell the stories. Charlie both grumbled and laughed about her methods. It caused a growl to rumble, Charlie sent a confused look my way. Emmett thumped my shoulder. Bella showed Charlie her scar from James, the memories it brought to mind, brought back my growl. I put Bella beside me as I stood growling, my whole body shaking with rage caused by the memories. Charlie watched me, he was listening to Bella but his eyes stayed on me. Emmett brought in a block of wood from the wood pile Charlie chopped, he handed it to and without even realizing what I was doing I ripped the wood into ribbons. Growling that whole time. I was done in seconds. Charlie coughed a laugh, bringing my attention to him. He didn’t shrink away from my black eyes and glare.
“Looks like I won’t have to bother with chopping wood. You guys can take care of it with your bare hands. The jobs yours.” Charlie said. Bella went back to her story when she got to her birthday party Peter interrupted. He and Char slid to the floor exposing their Neck and urging the others to follow. As I felt the Major take over. He roared as he remembered the emotions he felt coming from the one claiming his mate. The bloodlust, causing us to growl. I sank down into my crouch pulling Bella behind me; we could feel her running her fingers through our hair. We could hear her speaking softly only to us. When she rested against our back with her head tucked up against our neck we started purring, she made the same strange whimpering sound. The sound snapped us out of the memories and caused us to sniff the air. We relaxed slightly knowing the scent of the one who wanted our mate’s blood so much absent. We recognized the Captain and the lieutenant.
We relaxed and asked for the Captain to report. He explained the situation, we relaxed and apologized to everyone present catching my second and third off guard. The Major allowed me to come back.
“Any want to explain what the hell happened?” Charlie demanded as he got back on his seat and relaxed. Slowly Peter, Charlotte and Emmett got back to sitting on the couch. Bella kissed my neck causing me to purr loudly. Charlie’s eyebrow rose even higher when he heard the sound.
“Vampires have two sides, their beast and their humanity. Jasper, Peter and my beasts are more present than other vampires simply because of our history. The beast takes over to protect our more human counterpart. Because of the violence and destruction we were part of and witnessed, our beasts react more. What you just witness was Jasper’s beast coming out to protect his mate. The memories of Bella’s birthday set him off.” Char explained, her eyes darted to me and back to Charlie often during her explanation.
“Thank you, lieutenant. Mr Swan, I am the Major. I apologize for scaring you. Jasper and I have coexisted for over a hundred years. I dealt with the majority of the vampire wars, while Jasper resurfaced when it was safe for him too. On Bella’s birthday, I surged forward wanting to protect her from Edward. That night he almost lost to his bloodlust for Bella’s blood. When he pushed her back, he made it worse simply because he hurt our mate. He claimed she was his mate, something Jasper accepted. I, however, didn’t, I knew she was meant for us. After her party, Jasper was still in denial over everything. It was after we dealt with some things that we came back to Forks. We showed up at your station hoping we could be closer to Bella. He still didn’t believe she is our mate until a few weeks ago, Jasper is stubborn. When he was hunting alone in Seattle last week, he started a process where both sides blend and become one. Today Jasper got lost into the memories and forced me forward, not realizing it wasn’t happening presently. By tomorrow both Jasper and I will be one and the same.” The major spoke. Peter’s head shot up his mouth falling open. Charlotte looked confused between Peter and me.
“Nice to meet you, Major. Call me Charlie. I was more worried for Bella than myself.” Charlie said giving a brief nod. Bella was still hanging onto my back, bend down allowing her feet to touch the floor, she slowly let go and moved to snuggle into my side. “What was the sound you made a moment ago?” Charlie asked Emmett coughed to cover a laugh, while Jasper turned to Peter.
“Your turn fucker. You can explain this bit.” I said, shocking Peter once again. Char hid a laugh not wanting to upset Peter further.
“That sound would be the purr we produce when we are comforting our mates. Different tones to the purr mean different things to the mate. One can calm a mate if they are upset, a second one can arouse our mate, a third can express our pleasure to our mate, and a fourth is to plea and pleases our mate. The one Jasper did snowball the third one, he was pleased she allowed him to protect her. He felt proud to defend her, he also didn’t mind the little affectionate kiss she gave him either. There are times when our growl expresses something to our mates. A single tone might mean they are getting close to exciting us too far, a second could mean danger is near, a third one could show our displeasure and a fourth could mean they have crossed a line and make us feel the need to dominate our mate. We can’t hurt our mate in any way because their pain becomes ours.” Peter explained adding the last part in before Charlie could say anything; he had frowned at the mention of dominating a mate.
“So are mates a common occurrence?” Charlie asked. Charlotte shook her head. “There are two types of mates, one is common and the second is rare. The first type of mate is more of a companion, they feel a slight pull to that mate, and many mistake it for the true mating pull. The Volturi who rule over vampires believes that the first type is to grow into ourselves to change and be ready for when we find our true mate. The true mate is the perfect match, everything you need you’ll find in your partner and they in you. Humans call these connection soul mates. This mating pull is so strong that both sides suffer when apart, especially if they haven’t claimed them completely. When they touch there is electricity that both sides feel, it intensifies each touch and it is especially strong when the mates have been apart for any period of time. Their mate’s scent draws, reassures and even calms the other. Scent is a very large part of our existence and so it extends to the mates. After the true mates have met only their mate can calm them, reassure them and even make them feel safe even if the claiming isn’t complete.” Char said allowing it all to sink in for Charlie.
“So when Bella got upset earlier and went to her room, Jasper looked like a possessed demon?” Charlie asked Emmett chuckled while Bella hid her face in my shirt.
“Yes, he was feeling his need to comfort his mate and also to destroy the ones who hurt her. As you saw Bella came first. If she had been still in the room, Jasper or the Major would have preserved them as threats and taken the out before comforting Bella. Simply because comforting wouldn’t help if she felt like she was in danger or he felt there was danger. Our instincts are very primal, animalistic at times.” Char said as she winked at Peter.
“The reason our instinct demand we protect our mates at all costs is because there is only one true mate for us. If we lose them, we lose our whole world. We just end ourselves; we find there isn’t anything worth existing for. If they were killed we’d find the one who killed them and gets them to kill us as well. It’s with the first type of mate that we want revenge. That we go a little crazy to get back at them for taking our mate. They only calm when they either get their revenge or they find another mate. That’s why sometimes it’s easier on the surviving mate to kill them rather than allow them to focus solely on revenge because sometimes they become so hell bent on their revenge that they can’t recognize their mate or even their true mate if they find them.” Peter said as he moved his gaze to the fire.
The rest of the night we answered questions from Charlie and occasionally Bella. Peter and I took our shirts off to show the multitudes of scars we have from the wars. Charlie a when he saw the crisscrossing pattern. Peter told him of the pain each scar caused us, while Charlotte mentioned some of the punishments we received when Maria wasn’t happy with us. I saw Bella shuddered. I moved away feeling ashamed, Char rolled her eyes at me. Emmett nudged Bella, who had been staring off into space. Charlie had looked my way seeming confused, he watched as Bella noticed me and lowered herself to the floor slowly making her way to me. I moved back a bit more, looking down in disgust seeing my scars.
Bella grabbed my hand closest to her and traced the scars with her finger before she bent forward and placed a kiss on each of them. I was still hunched wanting to hide as much of my scars as I could. She moved close, a whimpering sound I could hear. I shut my eyes not wanting to see her reaction when I started purring. I jumped when I felt Bella’s warm hand cradling my cheek, her thumb rubbing small circles on my cheek. She stopped making my eyes open, I saw her tears.
“You are so unbelievably strong to have survived everything you have. Your scars show how hard you fought to survive, so you could find me. I’m proud of the warrior I have as a mate.” Bella said loud enough for only me even with vampire hearing to hear. I rumbling purr made its way from my chest. Bella moved into my arms, curling up with a happy sigh. I felt her lips kiss my neck. I relaxed only tightening my hold on Bella so she couldn’t fall. I looked around at Charlie and the others. He had a proud grin on his face while Char was shaking her head at me while a smile graced her lips. Peter just raised an eyebrow while Emmett was grinning.
“You seriously thought for even one second Bella was shuddering at your scars?” Peter questioned, his tone was incredulous. I dropped my eyes feeling ashamed of doubting my mate; Bella looked up into my face. Her hand cupped my cheek causing me to nuzzle into her hand. “I was shuddering at the punishments and the torture you had to go through. I wish you didn’t have to suffer at all.” Bella said, her eyes swimming with unshed tears. I bent down and kissed the tracks I could see that ran down her cheeks. I heard her giggling and kissed her eyelids as she blinked causing the others to laugh.
After thanksgiving with everything out in the open, Charlie allowed me to stay with Bella while she slept as long as nothing else happened. Charlie had made it clear no funny business between us. Peter and Char had struggled to keep a straight face while Emmett had laughed and asked Charlie how many grand kiddies he preferred. Charlie had grumbled about making sure no grandbabies were coming soon. Bella had smacked Emmett on the arm with a wrench warping the wrench. Peter had grumbled about letting Bella near any tools if she planned to use them against Emmett.
Emmett and Peter would bring daily more torn apart wood. As December came, it brought snow and lots of it. Peter and Emmett had a massive snowball fight that lasted over a week, Bella hid behind me every time she left the house. Emmett had tried to get her but Char had snarled at him, getting to realize it wouldn’t be safe for him to try. Emmett being himself didn’t like being thawed and so throws the snowball at Char, she caught it and with an evil grin she tightened her hands making the snowball harder. Emmett hadn’t noticed she covered the snowball with her venom; she got ready to get Emmett, while Peter bombarded him. I got Bella to watch and as Char threw her snowball, it hit Emmett right between the eyes as it flew apart on impact the venom coated flakes fell into his eyes. Emmett dropped to the ground making a big flurry rise and fall, he rubbed his eyes. When he lifted his head he had venom tears falling down his face.
I explained to Bella how Emmett was crying, while Emmett grumbled as he headed inside, to sulk. When Bella came home, she was angry the amount was so strong I was growling. She caught sight of me and throws herself into my arms just as the angry tears began to fall. The other three ran over anger awash their faces as they saw Bella crying.
“I’m going to rip the person who did this apart piece by piece so slow they’ll feel every inch of muscle ripping.” Peter declared as a growl rumbled from him. Char was worse; she was hissing and glaring at everything in sight. Emmett kept clenching and unclenching his fists, his teeth were gritted as he shook with suppressed anger.
Charlie arrived home and saw us all, his own face darkened. He somehow got us all inside and in our states got us to explain what happened. Bella spoke of what happened while she was out, surprisingly Charlie lost it before us and jumped from his seat and made his way towards the front door with a shotgun in hand. Peter jumped up and using his speed blocked Charlie’s exit, a few spoken words later Charlie’s shoulder slumped before he made his way back to his seat returning the shotgun to its place. When Bella finished Char was spitting mad and ready to kill. Charlie sent her and Peter to Port Angeles and told them to take out as many criminals they could. Peter saluted him happily before they ran out the front door. Emmett and I shared a dark grin; Charlie asked to be a part of whatever we were planning in case he had to bail us out later. Bella wouldn’t let go of me, her grip was as tight as she could. Emmett went out himself, he would make those who hurt Bella regret the day they were conceived.
Distracting Bella was hard. Eventually, Charlie dragged the Christmas decorations into the living room. Bella loosened her hold until she was only holding my hand as she looked through the box. Bella started sorting them out. She was halfway through the box when Emmett came through the front door. A Santa hat sat crookedly on his head; he had one arm wrapped around the waist of a Quileute woman while his other held a tree trunk. Charlie had spluttered the girl’s name, blinking when she smiled completely content. Bella smiled because she now had a tree to decorate. When Emmett entered the house I crouched in front of Bella and Charlie when I saw another vampire behind Emmett. Peter and Charlotte came in through the back door; they didn’t growl when then recognized who it was.
“Garrett, it seems you caught the Major off guard,” Charlotte said as she hugged the vampire.
“This is the God of War? I’m honored to be in your presence.” He said bowing lowly, his hair falling to the side exposing his neck. I slowly rose from my crouch; Bella rubbed my back causing the growls to lessen before they stopped. I kissed Bella’s forehead before making my way to the new vampire.
“Nice to meet you. I apologize, my mate is human and I was caught off guard as Char said.” I said holding out my hand, we shook hands and I gave a nod.
“Err…What the hell just happened?” the woman in Emmett’s arm whispered to him, Emmett’s grin widened.
“Emmett McCarty Swan, let the girl down. Show some manners.” Char said as she turned with her hands on her hips, her narrowed eyes focusing solely on Emmett, Peter and I chuckled under our breaths, glad it wasn’t us for once. Emmett slowly lowered his charge to the floor. Garrett shut the door behind him, while I made my way to Bella. I pulled her into my arms, purring content to know she was safe in my arms. I felt her curl into me, making me smile. Charlie sat in his chair shaking his head at Emmett.
“Hi Leah, do you want to say anything before Emmett starts?” Charlie asked he rubbed his face.
“I imprinted, on him,” Leah said, shrugging her shoulders. Charlie blinked, he looked around pinched his arm mumbled under his breath his pain before he motioned for everyone to sit down. Emmett went to sit down only Charlie pointed to the tree. Emmett smiled innocently, he found the stand in one of Bella’s piles, attached it to the tree, filled a jug with water filled the tray up put the jug back in the kitchen and sat down. Making Charlie raise a brow, his mustache twitching.
“I was coming back from showing Mike what happens when he messes with my Lil’ sis. I caught a glimpse of a wolf in the forest, it reminded me or Ephraim’s pack. I felt the need to follow so I did, only as I got to the clearing the wolf suddenly changed into Leah. I couldn’t believe what I saw and didn’t notice the tree in front of me. I took it out, causing Leah to jump. She came over to where I was holding our Christmas tree when she looked me in the eye. The pull was so strong I just had to touch her and when I did, I swore my heart started to beat again. I pulled her into my arms, enjoying the feeling when she looked up at me, saw my eyes and swore. I think she knew a few sailors don’t.” Emmett said as he grinned over at Leah, a slight blush caused her tanned skin to darken. I heard Bella mumbling about wishing her blush was like that. I held in my chuckle knowing it would have gotten me into trouble.
“I started ranting that it was just my luck to be the only female shifter in the tribe and that couldn’t be enough I just had to go and imprint on our mortal enemy. I started freaking out when suddenly I’m being hugged and he started purring. Strangest thing is the sound calmed me. Charlie, I don’t know how my dad is going to react, or the others. At least I found out the real reason Sam dumped me for my cousin Emily.” Leah said her tone turning bitter about Sam and Emily.
“Hang on you’re telling me, that your boyfriend that was just as much over you as you were him, dumped you and got with your cousin who was like your best friend?” Bella blurted out, her own tone showed her anger at the treatment of the girl in front of us. Leah nodded, “Yepp… Apparently, he shifted the first in the pack making him alpha and then when he went to see me he caught sight of Emily and imprinted on her. He didn’t even turn away from her to break it off with me. Emily refused him for a while before she gave in, and she got told the truth and was sworn to keep it a secret.” Leah said she popped the p at the start. Bella shook her head before she got up and gave Leah a hug.
“That is so horrible. You should have had it explained to you; your dad is on the council and should have explained how hurt you were when it happened. No one should be hurt like that.” Bella said giving Leah another hug, I could feel the start of embarrassment and so I pulled my mate back to me and cuddled her into my side. Making her sigh in contentment, I could feel Garrett watching me.
“Can someone explain what’s going on? I was making my way to visit Carlisle when Emmett comes across me a hat, tree and captive and tells me the others moved on months ago but that I was welcome to join his family for Christmas. Talking about a shower, clean clothes and entertaining company.” Garrett states, looking at Emmett like he lost his marbles. Bella starts giggling, causing Charlie to laugh as well.
Suddenly we are all laughing and I realize I’m projecting.
“Major, cut it out. The humans need to breathe.” Peter said between laughs. Slowly I start to calm everyone else before I stop. Charlie relaxes into his chair breathing deeply. Leah was leaning on Emmett trying to calm her breathing while Bella had her face against my shirt breathing my scent in deeply.
“Sorry, Bella has very strong emotions. She catches me off guard and ends up projecting because I can’t calm down.” I explain, causing everyone to look at Bella. Her cheeks flush bright red as her embarrassment rose. I sent a wave of calm to her and saw the corner of her mouth twitch.
“Garrett, you know Pete and me. These are Emmett and Jasper, Charlie and Bella and this is Leah. Charlie is Bella’s father and has unofficially adopted all of us. Bella is Jasper’s true mate and it seems Leah is Emmett’s.” Char said as she pointed out everyone. Garrett raised a hand giving a brief wave.
“Are you all going to be turned?” Garrett asked.
“Bella will be, I’m thinking about it and I think Leah can’t,” Charlie said as he looked to Leah.
“There are stories within the Tribe’s stories. One mentioned that a vampire bite is deadly to the shifters. The venom liquefies the organs and causes the blood to end up coming out through the pore in our skin. It’s very painful and slow death.” Leah said as she shook her head.
“I’m the first female shifter in the tribe. Also, none of you smells unpleasant to me. The others have mentioned how bad the smell is; they said it’s a sickly sweet bleach smell. Yet to me you each smell different but not unpleasant.” Leah added.
“After Christmas break, I could test a sample of your blood and Emmett’s venom. Since you’re fated to be together maybe it might have changed your genetic structure. It’s an idea.” Bella said as she blushed again when everyone turned to her. “I just have to remember to breathe through my mouth when I’m doing the testing,” Bella added to herself but we all still heard even Charlie caught it.
“Why would you need to do that for Bella?” Char asked her concern clear in her tone and on her face.
“Err… The smell of blood makes me faint.” Bella admitted hiding her face in my shirt. Emmett chuckled until Leah swatted him; he quietened down as she leveled a glare at him.
“I’ve never heard of a human smelling blood before. Then again I haven’t socialized with humans for a long time.” Garrett admitted.
“I’ve smelt it, usually at a crime scene and only when there is a large amount. Bella could faint from a paper cut.” Charlie said, chuckling at the end. Bella glared at her father with a huff she crossed her arms.
Leah rang her family and told them she had imprinted and was going to stay with him. She didn’t mention any names. She had borrowed Emmett’s cell to make the call, she added the number into his contact list as her family. It was only moments after she hung up that they rang back asking what number she was calling from. She dodged mentioning anything, ending the call saying he was about to introduce her to his family and she wanted to make a good impression.
Bella started cooking dinner, while Charlie gave the ground rules to both Leah and Garrett. Suddenly someone knocked on the door, Char got up shooing Bella back into the kitchen before she opened the door. The timid voice asked to see Bella, Char let the person come in, shutting the door behind her and showing her to the kitchen. Char caught Bella’s attention before she took over cooking and giving Bella a chance to speak to her friend with her full attention.
“Hey, Angela.” Bella greeted, I could feel her happiness.
“Hey Bella, I was hoping I could talk to you about Ben,” Angela said whispering the last word.
“Okay, we can sit at the table, Charlotte might be more help when it comes to guys,” Bella said, as they sat at the table Char smiled politely.
“Well, you know we’ve been together for a while now. He wants to move to the next step, but I’m not ready and well…. My father is a pastor. I was brought up a certain way, you know and Ben is starting to get pushy… I don’t know what to do.” Angela said, I horrible listening but none of us could help it.
“Have you told him that you’re not ready?” Bella asked
“Yes, he said he’s been patient but he is getting sick of the good girl act,” Angela replied she started to sniff and knew she had started crying.
“Then he is a jerk and isn’t the one for you Ang,” Bella said her tone comforting to her friend.
“Bella is right, suga. If he loves ya and really cares for ya then he’d wait until the end of time for you.” Char said I could hear her move closer and knew she would try to comfort the girl.
“Ang, call your family and tell them you’re staying over tonight. Tell them that Ben and you have had a fight and you need a girl’s night. If they need to speak to Charlie then I’m sure he’ll be happy to calm down any worries they have.” Bella said I smiled feeling proud of how caring my mate is. Leah filled Charlie in on the conversation that went on in the kitchen, he was ready to find Angela’s boyfriend and set him right, but we calmed him down. Told him what Bella and Char had said, making him beam in pride.
“I have two smart daughters, well three now. Leah welcome to the family.” Charlie said. Leah threw herself into Charlie’s arms hugging him tight. She was crying, poor Charlie he didn’t know how to deal with female emotions and got her to loosen her hold on him and got Emmett to come hold her.
“So Garrett, you want to join our crazy family? I don’t mind gaining another son.” Charlie said, catching Garrett off guard. Garrett looked right at Charlie and it was like all the weight Garrett carried around lifted, he nodded to Charlie, causing the later to smile. “Well welcome to the family son. I’m guessing you’re the oldest here so; I’m counting on you to help keep the other boys in line. Can you do that son?” Charlie asked Garrett nodded his head so fast Charlie must have seen a blur. Charlie was called into the kitchen; he gave a worried glance before heading there. He spoke on the phone for a brief moment before hanging up. Charlie hugged Angela to him as they walked to the living room. She shyly opened up about why see had been crying and Charlie said he’d be happy to have a word or two to Ben on her behalf. He made a joke to get Angela to laugh. As they entered the living room, he introduced everyone to Angela; Leah smiled and got Angela to sit beside her.
Just before dinner was called I got Garrett to the bathroom where I shoved some contacts into his hands. I replaced mine and showed him how to put them in his eyes. Emmett and Peter grabbed theirs, which Char came in she put hers in as she walked back down the stairs. The table was set, Bella was just sitting down, she looked up and her face brightened as she saw me. I smiled at her; I felt longing and turned to see it came from Angela. I sat beside Bella, as I reach for something I whispered in her ear about what I noticed from Angela. Leah sat on one side of Angela while somehow Garrett ended up on her other side. He would have to eat, his expression said it all. Once he took his first bite his face changed, which was just as well since Angela looked his way just at that moment.
After dinner, Angela offered to help with the dishes. Bella and Leah stood and worked together with Angela. Charlie herded the rest of us to the living room. “There is some Christmas special program Bells told me about, she wants us to watch it as a family. Does it work for you all?” Charlie asked I nodded my head and saw him raise his eyebrow. “Do you want to see it or are you just bending to keep your mate happy?” Charlie asked.
“I want to see it. Even though the Cullen’s acted like family, none of us really did family things. Alice and Esme decorated the house from top to bottom. Carlisle worked Rose stayed in the garage working on her car, while Emmett and I would either play some video game or board game. Edward would either be in his room being emo or playing his piano and the saddest carols. Alice would do the present shopping since she saw everything we were going to get and she would approve or disapprove your choices.” I said thinking of Christmas’s with them.
“Okay,” Charlie said as he got the other’s opinion, everyone agreed. Bella came out with Angela and Leah, the three were laughing and the amount of happiness was so strong. I basked in the feeling. Bella curled up into my side, Peter was sitting at Char’s feet while Leah rested her head on Emmett’s shoulder. Garrett sat as close to the edge as he could, Angela ended up sitting next to him since it was the only spot. Charlie was looking around before he settled on the TV. The program started, Angela shifted in her seat brushing her elbow against Garrett’s bicep. That simple touch caused his head to snap around to look at her, Angela blushed and apologized. Garrett shrugged it off and offered his shoulder if she wished to curl up like Bella and Leah. Angela looked down shyly; Garrett placed his finger underneath her chin and gently moved her face to look at him. At the touch of their skin, she gasped. I could see the smile spreading across Garrett’s face. I looked down and saw Bella looking at Garrett and Angela. Leah turned and smiled, Charlie and Emmett were the last to look and they shook their heads with a smile. I saw Peter sharing a knowing look at Char, causing her to gently hit his shoulder.
Everyone turned their attention away from the new couple to the TV. Bella would ooh and ahh at things, Emmett seemed like a kid in a candy store. As the credits rolled I noticed Angela had curled up like Bella and Leah. Charlie turned the TV off, stretched and with a grin that made most of us worry. He empties the forgotten box Bella had been sorting.
“Since Emmett brought home the tree he ran into. Nice size to son. How about we decorate the tree, all of us.” Charlie said Bella hopped up smiling as she grabbed Leah and Char, turning back and calling Angela. Everyone turned to me and shook their heads, Charlie laughed.
“Bella has loved Christmas for as long as I can remember. Her gran Marie and gran Helen would come here, they would take Bella into the kitchen where they’d spend most of the day arguing and baking. The only thing they could agree on was how much they loved Bella. My mother would somehow convince me to get a tree that only just fit so that I could lift her onto my shoulders so she could put either the angel or the star on top. Helen and Marie would argue which would be better until Bella said which one she wanted. They fought over who would tuck her in or who would read to her before bed.” Charlie said as he chuckled.
“They both instilled in me that Christmas is about family. Even if you don’t get on or are close. Family is important they are part of the reason I don’t like expensive presents, everything I got from them came from the heart. They might have spent money on something but there was a heartfelt message behind it.” Bella said as she started putting things on the tree. Leah and Angela followed, Char stood on the side until I sent her a wave of festive joy, and I saw her scowl at me before she joined in the fun. I wrapped my arms around Bella as she leant up to hang something, she giggled. She turned and kissed my cheek before handing me something. I hung it up but kept one arm around her. Charlie was smiling with a camera in his hand; the grin on his face told us he had taken several snaps already. The tree was decorated bar the top, we turned to Charlie grinning, and he put his hands up. Asking which one we thought was better, we left it to him. He chose a star, he placed it on top dusted his hands before he rummaged through some of the other items that got upended on the floor. He throws Santa hats at us, catching them we made sure we all were wearing one even him.
Using the fireplace mantle, Charlie set the self-timer and managed to get into the photo with a grin before it flashed. He went to check and showed us. It looked wonderful. He took photos of each couple. Soon the humans started yawning; Bella pulled Angela and Leah with her. From the stairs they called good night, Charlie smiled gave his own goodnights before he followed the girls up. He called for Char to get here as well. Making us all laugh, including Charlie.
The next morning Angela had woken before Bella or Leah and headed to the phone in the kitchen. The vampires could hear while us we all hid near the attic stairs. I sent Angela a little confidence.
A sleepy voice answered the phone; Angela spoke politely before the person put someone else on. Angela spoke of her feelings on the problems she was having and suddenly the other person was yelling. Angela tried to get in a couple of times but couldn’t. Char got angry and made her way down the stairs. Suddenly she was speaking, and the next second Char was ending the relationship. Angela broke down into tears while Char managed to get her upstairs. Peter pushed Garrett into view. Garrett asked what was wrong; Char mentioned hot Cocoa and left Angela to Garrett. Somehow Garrett managed to hug Angela calming her down just as only her true mate could.
“Alright boys, come down the stairs and stop hiding. We are all going to sit in the living room and explain to Angela what is going on. Char wake up Bells and Leah. Just watch out, both sometimes react violently to being roused.” Charlie said, coming out from his door. We smiled sheepishly at him before we filed our way to the living room. Char went up the stairs.
“Hot Cocoa anyone?” Char called rousing both Bells and Leah. Both grumbling and muttering different swear words as they made their way from the bed. Leah landed on her feet while Bella tumbled to the floor. She swore before she got up, she headed to the bathroom slammed the door. Leah grumbled but waited. Bella came down the stairs behind Char. Char came back out with two cups of hot cocoa. She handed one to Bella before handing the other to Angela. She had one ready for Leah who grabbed as she stopped on the bottom step. She curled up against me holding her mug like it was irreplaceable, taking long savoring sips. Moaning under her breath, in fact, Leah and Angela were doing the same thing. Charlie hid a chuckle, while he sipped his coffee. Char came in with a mug in her hand; she winked at us before taking a sip.