Pre-Edit Count – 9,327 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Won’t Stop by OneRepublic
As the rest of the family affirms the same thing, Carlisle feels pride. There is a reason that this group is the one that lives with him. He is not the Volturi, forcing everyone to surround him. Instead he has his immediate coven, and they help him with the rest of the duties. Now it is almost complete. And nothing can be better in his mind. He looks down at the beauty lying on top of him and he kisses her head softly. Not releasing her, he pulls the blankets around them and settles to watch over his love for the rest of the night.
Tomorrow will come with its own challenges, but it will also come with his mate by his side.
Waking up, Bella is slightly disorientated. Her bed is harder than she remembers, even though she has only gotten to sleep in it once in the new house. And is that a rumble?
Quickly Bella lifts her head and meets Carlisle’s golden eyes. Her memories of the previous night rush back in her head. Feeling her emotions as she remembers, Carlisle smiles at her, and she smiles back at him, feeling his joy that she is awake.
Then he leans forward to kiss her and she ducks her head down in his chest before his lips can connect with her own, embarrassed. She hears and feels his chest rumble with his amusement.
Carlisle moves his hand up to gently move her hair from her face as he asks with laughter evident in his voice, “My love, what is wrong?”
Still hiding her head she answers him, “I just woke up and look awful, I probably have morning breath and drool marks on my face.”
Unable to hide his amusement, not that he wants to, he will never hide anything from the amazing woman in his arms, Carlisle scoots up in the bed, bringing her with him. Bella just hides her head from him, and he lifts her face with his finger and smiles down at his mate. “Bella, I love you. Do you really think that any of the items you just listed matter to me? Especially after I just spent the night with you, watching you? Do you really think I am going to let something called morning breath stop me from kissing you? From being able to kiss those delectable lips that I have been staring at for the entire night, that I have been replaying our last kisses over and over as I have waited for you to wake just so I can make new memories with you? I may have more control than any other vampire, but even I don’t have that much!”
And with that he leans down and captures her lips with his. He sighs in pleasure as they touch and his lips move across hers, caressing before his tongue swipes her bottom lip requesting more. When she submits and opens her mouth, he smiles against her lips, enjoying his victory. Then his tongue moves inside of her mouth, sensuously rubbing against hers. After awhile, he gives in to her need to breathe, and kisses her jaw line up to her ear, murmuring, “Morning, my darling. I missed you.”
Bella is gasping for air and has her eyes closed from the pleasure that kiss had given her. She finally gets enough air to utter, “Wow.”
Carlisle chuckles and leans back to look her in the eyes, “Well, that definitely helps the ego, my love. Which I have no problems with if you want to spend the rest of eternity saying things just like that. In fact, I believe that will be my new goal in this life; to have you say things like to me because I have earned them.” He is grinning at her cockily, showing his age when he was turned. At this moment, it is hard for Bella to believe that he is almost 400 years old, not the 23 he is acting.
Bella just chuckles as she continues to wake up and replies, “I guess I should do some inflating since I will be deflating it just as much. I can’t spend the rest of our lives with you having a big head.” She is watching him, enjoying this time, but in the back of her head, she is waiting for his other side to come out, the one that will end this fairytale. This is all she knows, the sweetness before the pain.
Smirking down at his love, he informs her, “I hate to tell you, but with you, I will always have a big head. And I have no problem with you deflating it. With vampire stamina, it will be back quickly.” With this, he kisses her with a bit more passion.
Moaning, Bella responds until they run into the same problem. She rests her head on his shoulder as he nuzzles her neck. Groaning, she asks, “Are we going to be able to get out of bed anytime soon?”
Purring, Carlisle replies as he kisses her neck, “Not if I have any say about it.”
Closing her eyes, Bella tells him with embarrassment shading her voice, “Unfortunately, I need to run to the bathroom.”
Carlisle draws back and stares into her eyes. He asks her, “Why are you embarrassed about this?” In his mind, there is no reason for his Mate to be embarrassed about anything. She is perfect for him.
Bella won’t meet his eyes as she comments, “Because… Let’s just say I don’t do so well with others around. You know. Human moment.” How much more is he going to push it? Doesn’t he see how embarrassed I am? Bella is hoping he will just allow her out of the bed, but knowing Carlisle, he will not make it easy.
With her reply, Carlisle laughs. He looks at her and can feel her shame washing through the Bond. To relieve her mind he asks her, “Bella, do you remember what I do?”
Bella is hiding her head, but as she continues to hear his amusement, something sparks in her and she meets his eyes as she answers, “You are a doctor as well as a vampire. I am not sure which part is applicable to this conversation.” I knew he was’t going to let this go! Bella is slightly irritated that he will not just drop it! At the same time, Bella is glad Edward cannot read her mind, her own commentary is embarrassing enough without someone reading the one going on in her head at all times.
Happy she is meeting his eyes, he asks her, “Do you not think I know what being a human is like?” Then not able to keep it bottled up, he tells her, “And with the vampire comment, I won’t even start with the ‘I was a human first’ deal.” Then he reaches a hand out and cups her face. “Sweetheart, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing. I love you, and as your Mate I will be taking care of you, especially if something is to ever happen to you. My nature alone will not allow another being to even be around you, much less help you.” His eyes are dark with feeling, but he closes them and gets himself in control. Once he has his legendary control in place, he opens them again, showing the light golden color as he tells her, “Now, why don’t you go and do whatever you need, and I will go grab your breakfast. When you are done eating, we will meet downstairs to talk.” And I need to figure out how you are able to shake my control so easily! Carlisle resolves to talk to Jasper and Edward as soon as possible. Right now, with his human mate, is not the time for his control to be slipping.
Looking into his butterscotch eyes, Bella asks, “May I please use your shower? I may not be able to change, but-” Around a group of vampires, she does not want to smell.
Carlisle grins and tells her, “I may not be able to offer much right now, but I can offer a shirt. I can see if there is anything else.” Then as he imagines her in one of his shirts, his grin gets bigger, “I really would like to offer one of my shirts.” His voice is teasing, but there is sincerity in his feelings.
Remembering last night and his comment to her, Bella shakes her head and asks, “You were not joking about the teasing and such were you?”
Carlisle moves the two of them quickly and the next thing she knows she is on her back with Carlisle above her, his body caging hers. His eyes are dark and the look on his face is one of love and need. But his voice is completely different, calmer. “While I am teasing you, this is nothing of what I insinuated earlier. Bella, this is me. How I am. Not even the rest of the family downstairs is used to this part of me. Well, except Edward, but then he has lived in my head for a long time.” He stares down at her and tells her sincerely, “Bella, I love you. You bring out the real me. I just hope that over time, you can let that snarky person out that I am falling even more in love with. You are perfect to me.” His love and honesty is blazing down their Bond to her, letting her know he is being serious.
Gazing into his eyes, Bella tells him truthfully, “I don’t understand what is going on.” But when she sees the look in his eyes, she hurriedly tells him, “I like it. I can’t explain it, it’s like I have been in ten shades of winter and I need the sun, and you are my sun.” She sighs. “I can’t explain it very well.” How can she explain that like the flowers in winter, she has been feeling dead.? And every year has gotten worse and worse, and now Carlisle is her sun, her springtime.
Staring down at her, his heart feeling like it is breaking, Carlisle smiles at her. “Love, I told you I will woo you. I know it is a lot to take in. I can wait.” He starts to move away, but is stopped by her small hand. He looks back at her, trying not to hope too much. He knows she is not rejecting him, but he needs her so badly. He needs to touch, to worship this goddess below him at all times.
Bella looks at Carlisle; she can see and feel the difference from the person she had woken to through this odd Bond they have. She tells him softly, “Don’t do that, Carlisle. Don’t pull away, talk to me. And listen to what I am saying. What I am trying to tell you is that I am confused. I am feeling things I have never felt before. But I like them, I want more of them. And no, I am not talking about the feelings I get from you through this Bond.” She uses her hand to signal the Bond they have between themselves, not exactly comfortable with it. However, she tries to clarify it some more, “My own emotions… What I am feeling is what I believe is love. But I haven’t felt it for such a long time that I am unsure. Plus, I just met you yesterday!” She moves to him quickly, as he backs up so she doesn’t get hurt by hitting her head on his. “I want whatever this is, Carlisle. I need it. Don’t pull away, please.” She begs him. She can’t take it if he rejects her.
Staring back into those chocolate eyes of hers, he moves back to her, pulling her to him. His eyes close in relief. “Bella, I will do whatever it takes for you to be happy. And if you need us to go slow, for me to work for your love, then I will.” Then his voice caresses her name as he utters, “Bella. I want to love you, hold you. I want to be with you. But this is all at your pace.” He purposely sends her his love and willingness. Carlisle wants nothing more than to please his Mate. He needs her so much and is willing to do whatever it takes to fix her and to make her his.
Relaxing, Bella sighs in his arms and tells him, “This. This is what I crave. Carlisle, I don’t think you can ever truly understand it. I could not touch another guy without feeling like I was going to be sick. I could barely touch other people, not knowing all the time that it was a male that made it come, it happened with women too. I miss the ability to touch people, to be able to interact with them without the fear of someone touching me. Then there is the sheer need to be in your arms. Even if I didn’t have all the rest, the aversion to people touching me except for you, the Bond or anything else, I believe I would have been attracted to you, I would have wanted your phone number when we met.” She shyly grins at him, trying to lighten the conversation.
Chuckling at her ending comment as well as the mirth coming through the Bond, Carlisle holds her tighter as he quips back to her, “Bella, I would have begged for your phone number within seconds of seeing you and your unbelievably beautiful self.” Then he turns more serious as he advises her, “My love, there is no reality where I would not have been attracted to you. You are my soul mate. That means no matter what, I would have fallen in love with you. You are my other half. I swear it is you that I have waited for, that my heart would beat for. In fact, I think it beat once I saw you.” Knowing his Mate, Carlisle teases her, bringing back their playful banter that he craves as much as she does.
With that statement, Bella couldn’t help herself. “Well, that would explain the look of shock. I mean, c’mon a 400-year-old dead heart all of a sudden beating would shock anyone.” Her look is full of seriousness as her emotions reflect her amusement and playfulness.
Carlisle’s lips twitch as he works to keep serious.
Determined to make him laugh, Bella continues, “I wonder if that shocked the others too. That’s why they had to stay away at first as they tried to figure out the mechanics of it.” Then she stops and jerks her eyes back to look into Carlisle’s face. Her eyes are wide as she asks, “Does that mean you had a vampire version of a heart attack?” Her look and tone of concern are perfect, she could fool anyone.
With that declaration, the whole house explodes into laughter. Carlisle just pulls her closer as he murmurs into her ear when his chuckles calm down, “I love you so much, Bella. And life is going to be aces with you.” He pulls away and gazing into her eyes, he tells her, “I would have it no other way. I love you.” Carlisle kisses her gently and then tells her, “Go get ready, I will leave and start breakfast. If you like, Alice can run with Jasper and Edward to your house and get you some clothes.” He needs to talk to Jasper and Edward. But right now, right now life is perfect. His Mate is happy, his coven is just as happy. Everything is right in his world.
Flabbergasted at the pure sense of happiness and joy flowing between them, as well as the ever-present love that is always there, Bella nods and shyly asks, “Which shirt?”
Carlisle grins and reaches down to grab his shirt from last night, it smells like him and he can just imagine how heavenly she will look in it, too bad she will be wearing other clothing besides just his shirt. He can’t wait until then. Shaking his head at the images in it, Carlisle hands it to her, and she grins, knowing his feelings through the Bond.
Bella gets up and moves to the bathroom, as he watches every step, unable to tear his eyes away from the other half of his soul, his everything. When she gets to the door and shuts it, he grins at himself and moves quickly to the closet, grabbing clothes and dresses in a black plain t-shirt and light colored jeans. He leaves his feet bare as he leaves the closet, heading down to start his angel’s breakfast and to talk to his Beta and resident emotion expert.
Looking around the room, Bella shakes her head. Luckily her shower controls are basically the same as this one, or she would need to call for help. And she has no doubt it will take a lot for Carlisle to leave again if that look when she was leaving is any indication. Turning her attention back to the shower, she realizes that even though this bathroom is better than hers; she has hers to teach her how to operate it. And she has no doubts that Alice made it that way. Then Bella frowns as a thought passes her mind. She is going to need to ask about the house. She is beginning to have a sneaky suspicion about who her mysterious benefactor is.
Taking her time in the shower, Bella is enjoying the pure luxury that is Carlisle’s shower, but the metal shades still being down bothers her. Does that mean Jacob is still outside? And if so, how safe will it be for Edward, Jasper and Alice to run to her house just to get clothes?
With this thought in mind, Bella hurriedly finishes her shower. She dresses back in her jeans and underclothes from yesterday, swapping Carlisle’s shirt for hers. She grins as she smells him on his shirt and is determined to try to keep one of his shirts around for when she can’t have him.only towel dried, she drags a comb through it and exits the bathroom, her anxiety for her siblings getting worse. She needs to find out if Jacob is still out there and how safe it will be for Jasper, Alice, and Edward to run to her house.
Bella only towel dries her hair and drags a comb through it before she exits the bathroom, her anxiety for her siblings is getting worse. She needs to find out if Jacob is still out there and how safe it will be for Jasper, Alice, and Edward to run to her house.
As she looks up from exiting the bathroom she stops. Carlisle is there, holding some clothing for her and there is a tray on the side table. But what really stops her is the man himself. Her eyes rake his body as she stands there, amazed that he claims that he belongs to her. There is just no way that this God in front of her is hers!
Carlisle grins at her, feeling her shock, and he can’t help but feel a little bit cocky as he feels her lust. It is better than the worry he felt while she was in the shower. He tells her gently, “Alice had already purchased some clothing for you. When I walked downstairs, she had your breakfast tray in one hand and your clothing in the other.” What he didn’t tell her was the smirk on Alice’s face when he noticed no shirt was in the pile for Bella. Nor that Jasper and Edward were there to assure him that he will be fine with Bella, that as his Mate, he cannot hurt her. Sneaky, physic, fairy vampire!
Shaking her head again, Bella comments, “Life with a physic is going to take some time to get used to isn’t it?” Bella get your head on straight! She grabs the clothes, but before she can head back into the bathroom to change, Carlisle reaches out to stop her. As she feels the electric energy go through her from whenever they touch, she turns around.
When she looks up at him, Carlisle tells her, “The closet is just through those doors. It would probably be more comfortable to change in there.” He is feeling uneasy with the mutt still outside. His protectiveness over his Mate is probably on high alert since she really is in danger. Stupid mutt! He better watch out, my leniency is about to wear out!
When Bella arches her eyebrow at him, he sighs. “And there are no other ways to get into the room except through me.” He is willing to beg if it will help keep him calm and keep her safe.
Bella can sense his unease and moves to the closet to dress.
Carlisle relaxes and turns to grab the tray for his mate. He really is upset that the mutt is still outside making a ruckus. Jasper, Edward, and Emmett has chased him off the property more than once, but once they were back in the house, he would return. Jacob is really testing his patience.
All this serves to remind him that he needs to talk to his Mate about his position and who he is to the vampire world. He chuckles to himself. This will be…interesting, to say the least.
Walking out of the closet, Bella can feel his amusement. She asks him, curiosity evident in her voice, “What has you so amused, Carlisle?”
Realizing this is the first time she has truly acknowledged the Bond and the actual emotions she is feeling through it versus her stating about it, Carlisle is overjoyed. True she mentioned it earlier, but she is truly acknowledging it to ask about his well-being.
Turning around to face his mate, Carlisle opens his arms and soon finds her in them. His smile gets larger and he leans down to her ear as he tells her, “My love, I have much to tell you. And I am not ashamed to say I am very much looking forward to seeing your reaction. But, before we start any of that, you need to eat.” With that he moves to the side, showing her the tray on the table.
Smiling, Bella seats herself on the chair and digs into her yogurt and fruit. She chuckles as she sees that the granola is on the side. “Wow, either this is all due to Alice, or I think you guys have been stalking me.”
Watching her as she gets ready to eat, Carlisle asks, “And why is that, my angel?”
As she mixes in the granola, Bella answers, “I hate my granola to be anything but crunchy. That is a detail that not even Jacob ever seemed to grasp.” And her voice is both sad and has the anger that Jasper has warned him about starting to be very evident. Now that she has had the revelation that Jacob has never truly loved her and has slept on it, it is beginning to sink in. Hate is something that can easily influence her, if she allows it to settle and sink its roots into her. Not that she doesn’t have just cause to hate Jacob.
Carlisle nods his head as he continues to watch his Mate eat. He is thinking quickly and finally asks her, “Bella, while I know you love me, what do you feel for Jacob and Jake?” He is not really all that worried, since he can feel her love for him, but maybe this will allow her to talk to him, to have him help her.
Jerking her head up to meet his golden gaze, she searches his eyes. Finding nothing but love and concern in them, she complies with his request, “I love Jake like a brother.” That part is the easy one.
But she knows that Carlisle wants the full answer, so she starts, “Jacob.” With that name, that one word, she needs to stop to think. While Carlisle and she have only been together less than 24 hours, she can’t help but feel love for him. The pull she had been feeling since the attack ends with him. She feels completely safe and so very loved in his arms with his actions and words. And to be truthful, she is falling in love with him, more and more as every second passes. But past experiences have taught her to wait and to see how things are. That is the only thing holding her back.
On the other hand, Jacob never loved her. Everything she is experiencing with Carlisle is teaching her that. Carlisle cares for her first and himself second, if that. She has a funny feeling that he puts everyone else’s wellbeing higher than his own. He is willing to back things up, move slower on their relationship, just to make her happy, deny himself his own happiness to give it to her. She has no doubt he will do it again and again. He will do whatever is needed to make her happy, and she is starting to feel the same for him.
With all that in mind, Bella looks back into his eyes and tells him honestly, “I am beginning to really hate Jacob. I have all these questions running through my mind. Like, why would he do what he did to me? Why did he force me, control me, and even hit me?” She can see in his eyes and experience through their bond with each other, his anger at her words. But he is waiting, waiting for her explanation, for her to…start healing?
Carlisle watches her face. His legendary control is being tested yet again by this slip of a woman in front of him. This time it is not by his desire for his mate or his love for her, but by a mutt that deserves his wrath for what he has done to his mate. But right now, now is the time to help his Mate heal. And that, that is the reasoning that is more important to him than anything else. He wants his Mate to be happy and whole.
Searching his eyes, waiting for the edge to fade from his anger, Bella is silent.
Finally Carlisle tells her, “If you are waiting for me to be calmer, I am not going to calm down. Bella, he hurt you. You, Bella, you are my mate, my reason for living. No person, beast, or otherwise is ever going to get away with that. Besides, through his actions with you, he has angered my family. You are about to find out how bad an idea that was. But until then, please continue. I wish to know your feelings for Jacob.” He is proud of his control, but he knows it is due to her needing him to be in control that is helping him. From what Jasper and Edward have told him, his control will be as she needs it. Just as their talents are what their mates need them to be.
She nods, her mind is running with all the information he just gave her. Once she has it somewhat settled, she submits to his request. “I told you. I am beginning to hate him.” Then the realization of what she is saying hits her and she crumples. She barely registers Carlisle’s arms around her and holding her to him as he purrs, trying to calm his mate. She cries and asks, “Why? Why did he change? Why did he do all of that to me? What did I ever do to deserve that?”
Bella is not one to hate someone, not without trying to see it from all the points of view, this is what normally causes her to blame herself, she always finds something that she should have done differently or better. This has become so ingrained that she normally just starts to blame herself, something that Jacob has used to his own betterment many times.
Carlisle hears Jasper tell him, “She is seriously blaming herself, Carlisle. You stopped the blind hatred, but this is worse. Fix this, and fix it quickly. Alice is beside herself and Edward is just as upset at whatever she saw.”
If his heart was still beating, it would have stopped in that second, with the implications those words had in them. He quickly leans down to his love and sends her all of his love, devotion, and admiration. As he does this, Carlisle also tells her, “Bella, my love. I love you so much. But if you do not stop blaming yourself for something you had no control over, I will need to stop you myself. You are not to be blamed for what another has done, thought or reacted to. That is their own fault, not yours. They are the ones who decided to do whatever. Unless you are threatening them with their life, their livelihood, their family or significant other, you are in no way responsible for what they decide to do.”
Carlisle pulls her head up to meet his gaze as he informs her, “My love.” He gently caresses her face as he continues, “Jacob has done much to be held accountable for and he will receive retribution for it. But you have done nothing but try to deal with a situation that most would have broken and given in to. Not my Bella, my heart. No, you fought and continued to fight.” He smiles and again sends her his admiration for his strong Mate.
Bella is still crying but she has quieted as she listens to him. Wanting him to understand, she tells him honestly, “But I went back!” She was weak, not deserving of his admiration for non-existent strength. If she had been strong, this may have not escalated to this degree!
Holding her close Carlisle murmurs to her, “I thought we put this to rest last night, my darling. There is NO blame to you, for any of it. Bella, my love, I will work with you, love you. You know this. Please Bella, let me help you heal.” He can feel her emotions, and he is doing everything he can do to make this right. To start her healing back to the person he has been seeing in small doses.
Bella gazes into her mate’s golden eyes and asks, “Why, Carlisle? Why me? I know you love me and so on. But really, why? Why does it matter if I am in love with you? Why does it matter if I am healed? Could you not just be with me? Why bother knowing me inside and out?” Why put yourself through all this extra work? This is what she really wants to ask, but is scared to hear the answer.
Carlisle sighs and answers her, “Why? Because I love you. You are my Soul Mate, the woman whom I will love until the end of time. But more than that, the more I learn of you, the more I see of the woman you used to be, the more I want to know more. The more I want to see her by my side for the rest of eternity. So, to answer you: No, Bella, I cannot just be with you. I want to worship you, love you and have you by my side, whole and healthy in every way. And to do all that, I want the Bella that should be here, not the one who has been formed by Jacob’s rough hands.” His eyes darken and she can feel his rage at that, but he shocks her by not letting it rule him.
He cups her face with his hands and looks into her eyes, “Bella, you are worth it. You are worth every second of our time together. If you were not, then Edward would not want to murder Jacob for harming his best friend. If you were not worth it, Alice would not be trying to figure out how to make things right with all the mistakes she made in trying to do right by you. Rosalie would not be worrying about her new sister and trying to decide how she can help you. Jasper would not be spending time with me, helping me heal you. Emmett would not be raring to go outside and break Jacob into as many pieces he can, wishing he were a vampire so that he could put him back together to just do it all over again. Esme would have never helped you, nor tried to get back to you even though Jacob hurt her each time she tried.” Carlisle takes a deep breath and with his love evident in his voice, he tells her, “And more importantly, I would not be here, with you. I would not be here, loving you, wanting to spend every second with you. I would not be missing you the minute you leave my sight. My heart, my body and my mind ache for you to be always by my side. And no, not all of that is the mating pull. It is the desire of my heart.”
Bella can feel her tears rolling down her face as she looks into her mate’s face. With his words, his actions, his raw feelings all too evident, he has defeated the wall around her heart, the last doubts in her mind. She realizes that he truly really will do whatever it takes for her to be truly happy, but more than that he craves her love and for her to be his in every way. But not in the way Jacob wanted, no Carlisle wants her to be his because he and his love are already hers. With this realization, she tells him quietly, “I can’t promise that it will be easy. I will try Carlisle. But please be patient. This is so new to me.” Then she closes her eyes and takes a gamble as she tells and shows him, “I do love you, Carlisle.” And with that, she closes the books on the questions of if is she in love with Carlisle Cullen. She knows that it will not be easy to waylay the doubts in her mind, but she will try to heal. For him, the first person to love her unconditionally for herself, not as a shadow of her mother, not as obligation, a loved one, but still an obligation. And most definitely not as an object to be owned.
Carlisle’s reaction is immediate and he bestows kisses on every bit of skin he can touch. But, knowing his Mateès, and his own need for laughter, he soon descends into tickling her. Her laughter rings out in the house.
Edward and Alice breathe a sigh of relief, Carlisle had somehow jerked the future into the least likely but happier possibility that is present. Then they grin as the rest of the family look up at her laughter. It is a sound they hope to hear much more of in the future.
Later on, after the tickling session that had slowly morphed into a make out session, Carlisle and Bella make their way downstairs. It is time for Bella to understand the Cullens and her place within them.
They all make their way into the living room and soon seat themselves in the same places they had occupied the night before, but in a more relaxed manner. The revelations from last night and Bella’s decision upstairs with Carlisle have made the whole family happier.
Bella smiles as she realizes the atmosphere is a lot lighter than last night. She is back in her place, in Carlisle’s arms. She can feel his love through the Bond they share. Then she laughs lightly as she feels his lips on her neck. When she turns around to look at him, he is leaning back on the couch with an innocent look on his face. She tells him, “You know, you may be able to get away with that, if it wasn’t for the mischievous look in your eyes.” She is grinning at her mate, appreciating his need to keep her happy. She loves the feeling that he shares with her just as much as he loves it.
Carlisle grins at her and tells her, “I have no idea what you are talking about, my dearest.” His face looks as innocent as can be, but as Bella said, his eyes are shining with the mischievousness he is feeling.
Edward chokes back a laugh as he can hear Carlisle’s mind thinking of all the possibilities for mischief he can do before the end of the day. He can’t stop the grin on his face. Carlisle needs Bella. She is his other half, bringing back the man Edward had known before. But then he thinks of Emmett and Carlisle getting together when Carlisle is in this mood. That would be a recipe for disaster! He groans as he pinches the top of his nose.
Everyone is looking at him, puzzled, but he waves them off saying, “Just an errant thought I hope never comes to fulfillment.”
Still looking at his first companion as he tries to figure out what could have caused that reaction, Carlisle quickly begins the talk. “Bella. You know I love you and trust you completely, but remember last night when I told you that you can never question my decisions in public? There is a reason for this and it is not just to assert my authority over you, and in fact, I hope there comes a time that you can understand everything to the point you will be able to help me. But to clarify this, we need to give you a history lesson. And I think that Jasper is the one that is best suited to tell you about the Southern Wars.” He nods to Jasper to begin as he settles Bella on his lap.
Knowing that Carlisle would ask him to do just this, Jasper should have been prepared. But this is a sensitive subject for him and Jasper closes his eyes. When he is composed, he then asks Bella, “What do you know about Vampires? I think we need to start there first.”
Realizing how important this is, Bella takes a deep breath as she gathers her thoughts. When she has them in order, she quickly lists them to him, “You don’t sleep, either in a coffin or at all. You move very quickly. I think you have better than normal hearing, which probably means you have better than normal sight and sense of smell. Also: to turn into one of you it will take a bite and then three days and some of you have talents that are holdovers from before you were changed?”
Emmett whistles and asks, “Belly, how did you come to those conclusions, besides the ones we told you about earlier?”
Grinning, Bella answers, “Well, besides Carlisle telling me he was going to be creepy and watch me sleep all night, I have heard you guys answering each other when I couldn’t hear anything. And I am not talking about Edward, I know his talent helps him answer your thoughts. In addition, it makes sense that you guys would have the heightened senses to be more efficient in capturing your prey.”
Rosalie laughs. “Well, Chica, you would be right about that. Even though I think you forget that our natural prey would be humans.” Her face is reflecting her pride in her newest sister and her ability to put the pieces together. Rose will do whatever she can to protect Bella.
Raising an eyebrow at her, Bella states, “Humans. Which I would be one of.” She has decided to try to get it all out there, all her fears and thoughts. If they start mocking her, she will just shut up. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the first time. But she is hoping that it will be the last time she has to worry about being mocked for asking questions.
With Bella’s statement, Carlisle growls and spits out, “No one would think of draining you. You are my mate. And soon, any vampire who even thinks of trying, will be torn apart.” He is struggling not to release his inner monster, the one that is screaming for him to tear into any creature that would even think of harming his angel, his mate.
Turning to face Carlisle again, Bella asks, “Why?” She is not frightened of Carlisle; she is sensing that he will never hurt her. And in fact his actions have reflected this belief since they met.
Hoping to help calm Carlisle, Jasper intercedes quickly, “You are about to find out. But Carlisle is correct; no vampire will even think of hurting you, who you are Mated to is enough to protect you. Much less taking on the rest of us.” He grins at her. Then he continues, “You know most of it, it sounds like. But to make sure you understand all of it, I will start the Vampire 101 class. That which you have heard in the past will be repeated, but it is needed to make sure you get the whole picture.” He is still grinning, feeling her interest in what he is needs to tell her.
Nodding her head, Bella quickly agrees. She moves until her back is resting on Carlisle’s front and his arms are around her, his mouth is bestowing kisses on her hair in between his nuzzling her. She unconsciously moves her neck to the side to allow him better access and smiles as she feels him purring.
The rest of the Cullens grin at the sight, it is what a newly mated pair does in their down time, when they are not actually mating. And loving mates continue the practice throughout their existence, never stopping once it starts.
Bella grins at Jasper and tells him, “Ok, Professor Jasper, please start class.” She can’t help but tease Jasper, the look on his face is too tempting to not tease him about it. She knows he can feel what everyone else is feeling, but this does not always excuse him.
Chuckling, Jasper gets comfortable, with Alice between his legs, and starts the class. “As you know, vampires are not what the movies and books teach you. Holy water does nothing but get us wet, Carlisle has his father’s cross in every home, carrying it himself from place to place. We do not sleep, much less in a coffin, sunlight does not burn us, but we avoid it since it exposes us for what we are. Garlic does nothing but stink up a room, but so do onions. Those are most, if not all, the movie and book myths commonly thought of when you say vampire.” He grins as he recalls all the myths.
By now most of the Cullens are chuckling at the list. Jasper acknowledges their laughter and then he turns to Bella. “To be turned to a vampire,” With this he glances at Carlisle who meets his gaze. He nods and Jasper closes his eyes briefly as he remembers his own lessons in this, both from his own turning and from all the times he has bestowed the gift upon others. Then he opens his eyes and meets Bella’s. “To become a vampire, you have to be bitten by one, and have them push the venom into you, making it a three-day journey through the fiery pits of hell before your heart stops, if you are lucky.”
Staring at Jasper, Bella takes a deep breath. She asks the only question on her mind, “And if you are not lucky?”
Meeting her eyes, Jasper tells her, “Then it depends on how mouth watering you are and the amount of venom that gets into your bloodstream. And again, if the vampire does not suck out all the venom as he drains your body of every last drop of blood, then you will suffer at least three days, if not more, in changing.” He is not going to sugar coat this for his sister. He wants her to be aware of every possibility. This is also why Carlisle wants him to tell her, Jasper is always brutally honest in these matters.
Carlisle can feel Bella’s feelings and he quickly tells her, “When you are turned, I will be the one doing it. And you will have more than enough venom pumped through your veins to give you the speediest transformation possible. I do not want to have you suffer any more than necessary.” He holds her tight to him in a hug.
Turning in his lap, Bella asks him, “When? Do I get a choice or is this just decided for me?” The anger in her voice, as well as her hurt at not being asked is evident and shocks everyone.
Jasper quickly intercedes for Carlisle. “Bella.” When she turns to face him, he actually moves and kneels in front of her. He tells her, “Bella, think on it. You are his mate. Without you, half of his soul will be ripped away. Carlisle will not have any will to live and in fact there is only one vampire, Marcus, who has survived having his Mate killed and is still alive. That is only because of a gift, and Chelsea has to reapply her gift every single day to keep Marcus alive. Normally she only has to work her gift on you once for it to work forever, or until a mating bond supersedes it. Marcus will not have a mating bond since his Mate is dead. Do you want Carlisle to go through that?” He is trying to make her understand, feeling both her emotions and those of the rest of the family. Especially Carlisle. His pain is almost enough to bring him to his knees with even the thought of losing her.
Carlisle tells her bluntly, but his terror of losing her is evident through the Bond, the pain is excruciating, “Bella, I will not live in a world without you. If you don’t want to be turned, then I will keep you by my side. But when you die, my death will be shortly afterward.” His voice and feelings leave no reason for doubt.
Bella crumples into herself, feeling defeated but also not wanting Carlisle to suicide. Carlisle gathers her closer as Jasper tries to calm her.
Once she is calmer, Edward asks what everyone is wondering, “Why are you so opposed to being turned, Bella?” He too cannot imagine a world without his sister, his best friend, in it. Much less Carlisle, who he knows has witnessed Marcus and how he is without Didyme.
She looks up at him and answers honestly, “No one asked me. I am so tired of my decisions being made for me. I just thought that one this important would be left for me to decide.”
Everyone is brought up short. Rose covers her mouth as she realizes what Bella is saying. Jake made all of her decisions. She truly has been smothered and only her strong will has kept her sane.
Carlisle quickly moves her to the chair and he is kneeling before her, his eyes begging forgiveness. “Bella, sweetheart, I am so sorry. I never really thought about it, I just assumed you would want to be turned. But, of course you didn’t have the facts, nor did I leave you a choice. But I promise, whatever you want, I will make possible. Oh God, I am so sorry!” He pleads with her to forgive him, he will do whatever she wants to make this better. He will work with her being human for the rest of their lives, since he is honest in not wanting to be in this world for even one minute without her there.
Bella leans forward and kisses him. She can feel his remorse for his assumption and she soothes him, “Carlisle. Listen to me.” When his eyes meet hers, she quietly advises him, “I do want to be by your side for as long as you want me. I have no problems being turned, I just want to decide. And if it is okay with you, I would like to finish college.” Her eyes plead with him to grant her this request.
Looking into her eyes, Carlisle can see and feel her stance on this. He is relieved and replies, “My love, I will do anything you request. And waiting seems to not be an issue, as long as you allow me to change you if your life is in danger, if there is no other choice. I do not wish to lose you!” This is not an option. If she wants to be turned, then if she is in danger of dying, he will turn her.
Smiling, Bella leans forward and cups her Mate’s face. “Yes. I would have it no other way.” And she looks up at the rest of them, “And that goes for all of you, if my life is in that much danger, please make sure I am turned.” She does not want to even think of a world without Carlisle. And with that thought, she can understand his own stance on it.
Emmett grins and tells her, “Sure, no problem Belly.” He will do anything to keep his sister in this world. Even if she had not wanted it, he would have changed her and waited for the rest of eternity for her to forgive him. A world without Bella would be boring and just wrong.
Then there is a loud crash on the side of the house, Bella jumps and Carlisle quickly gathers her to him, putting them back in their previous position and murmurs his assurance that she is safe, he will keep her safe. Once she is calm, he looks up at the family and they can see his resolve. Jacob has lost his last chance to get out of there without Carlisle visiting his retribution on him for what he has put his Mate through.
Jasper jumps in, knowing that Bella needs to know everything, then they can deal with the wolf. He is more than ready to teach the pup how dangerous it is to mess with his little sister.
He clears his throat as he continues, “So, before the pup out there interrupted, I was going to tell you Bella, that we will all try our damnedest to make sure it is Carlisle who turns you. But if he is not here, then one of us will turn you.” He is getting back into what Bella calls Professor Jasper mode.
Bella nods, but as his words process fully in her mind, she asks, “Why is it so important that Carlisle turns me?”
Carlisle nuzzles her neck and licks her jugular, not with blood-lust, but with him giving in slightly to his mating instincts. He is restraining himself from claiming her as his instincts are demanding with the threat of Jacob being here. When he can control himself, he answers her, “Because you are my mate. Our Bond will be that much stronger if I am the one to turn you. Not that I don’t think it will be one of the strongest in history as it stands now.” He continues to purr and nuzzle her neck, fighting even the instinct to Mark her as his.
Laughing, Jasper tells her, “The Bond you have with Carlisle is certainly one of the strongest I have seen and you have not been turned yet! But, as we told you earlier, we want to give you both every advantage that we can. And having Carlisle as not only your Mate but as your Sire will be nothing more than a wonder to watch.” Grinning, Jasper can’t help but project the love and happiness he is feeling from the two in front of him.
Rose hates to do it, but the mutt outside will be attacking again soon and they need to get this finished so that they can decide on what to do to him. “Professor Jasper, if you can please continue with the lecture, it would be greatly appreciated.” Then she grins as she continues, “We have to punish the mutt for trying to interfere in my sister’s life and making a general FUBAR of it.” And she will enjoy watching Carlisle do it, and hope that he will allow the rest of them a chance at Jacob.
Nodding her head, Bella tells them, “Plus I really need to find out what is going on with my house. Which I do have questions about, Mary Alice,” she glares at the smallest Cullen.
Alice looks innocent until she notices that Bella is not taking no for an answer. She sighs and tells her, “I needed to have you here, where we can watch you. Plus when you and Carlisle need some time alone for the mating, it is very convenient for all of us. Either we can go there and you guys can stay here, or you can go there and we can stay here. Whichever is more convenient for you two. And from what I can see, Bella, you in particular will want some privacy. The car, before you ask, was to protect you. I saw you getting in a car accident today before your choices led to this outcome. And then even if we did prevent this one, I saw a couple of others. Honestly, Carlisle would have not been happy with the truck and its safety hazards. But that was all before. Now I see the two of you together for almost everything.” Alice is hoping that this explanation will make Bella happier. She truly did what she did to help her sister and Alpha have the best possible outcome.
Feeling Bella’s emotions, Carlisle asks Bella, “What type of vehicle did you have that would make Alice think I would have been unhappy with it?”
Sighing, Bella tells him, “An old Chevy truck my father bought from Billy Black when I moved in with him. Jacob had been keeping up the maintenance up on it. However, I came to the conclusion that it will be better for me to get a new vehicle since I have no way of keeping up the truck. I have already decided that as much as I can, Jacob will be cut out of my life.” She is trying not to be upset, reminding herself that she now has this amazing man in her life instead.
Looking down at his mate, Carlisle can tell that the truck means a lot to her. He looks up at Rose and she nods as she moves closer to Bella. As stated before, he will do as much as possible to make his Mate happy. He does not want a china doll on a pedestal for a Mate, he wants a strong woman at his side, his equal.
Rose leans forward and tells Bella, “I will work on the truck and see what needs to be done to make it safe for you.”
Bella’s face lights up, and they can all feel by the joy Jasper is sharing from Carlisle that she is truly so very happy. She turns to Carlisle, “I know you will not be happy with me driving it, but just having it, not having to get rid of it is enough. Thank-you!” And she peppers kisses all over his face in her happiness.
Laughing at his mate’s pure joy, Carlisle gently holds her face still. He tells her, “I told you before that I will do everything I can to make you happy. And if fixing an old truck will make you happy, I would have done what I could to do exactly that. But at the same time, I am happy you are getting a newer vehicle and will drive that when I am not with you.” He grins at her, his eyes a light golden color in their happiness as he stares into her chocolate brown eyes which are sparkling with her joy. He will not make her give up the truck, she can drive it all she wants once she is turned. But for now, he is fine with her driving the newer one if he is not there, and the truck as long as one of the family is there in case something happens.
Watching them, Edward hates to interrupt this rare but hopefully soon to be common occurrence. But Rosalie was right earlier. He can hear Jacob’s angry thoughts getting worse and worse. If he doesn’t quit, Carlisle won’t have a choice. So far they have all been easy on the wolf because of Bella’s memories of the boy she loves as a brother. But he is quickly becoming a threat to the Bonding taking place between Bella and Carlisle. To be honest, he is not really a threat to their Bond, but it will feel that way to both of them and Carlisle will need to take steps then. He clears his throat and gives Jasper a look.
Jasper nods his head to his Beta, and quickly turns to Bella. “Now to continue your lessons, I want you to picture a map of North America please.” He waits until she nods and then asks her, “Place a red push pin on the map for the most populous areas in North America.”
Bella does as he requests and realizes that the bottom part of the map is the area most red. She looks up at him and with a leap of logic, she asks, “But if sunlight exposes you for what you are, wouldn’t you want to avoid that area?”
Jasper grins, proud of his student and can feel the rest of them feeling the same way. “You would think, but while that area is the most populous, you will find a lot of empty areas between. But, to get our story back on track, there are a lot of battles for the areas with more people. And one vampire in particular figured out a way to gain the most area. He would turn a lot of humans into vampires. We call them newborns. Newborns are stronger than normal vampires, we think it is because they still have a lot of their own blood inside of them. For the first year or so, newborns can easily defeat any older vampire on a straight might to might fight. Now talents, talents are a whole new ballgame and so are special…ranks. And we will talk on that later if you need to.” He looks over at her, making sure she is still following him.
Bella nods for him to continue, trying to figure out why Carlisle wants her to learn this now.
Taking a deep breath, Jasper continues, “During this time, most of the illnesses and natural disasters in human history for those regions were actually the result of those battles. It was during this time that I was turned by Maria. At the time, I was the youngest major in the Confederate Army. I lied about my age to get into the army, and quickly moved in the ranks. I was evacuating Galveston, TX and came upon three women on the road. I offered to escort them out of the area, and instead they bit me and I turned. You see, Maria’s talent is to find those that will have talents to help her out. I woke to a life so different than any other in this family. It was one of war and human blood was the spoils of victory. I soon lost myself in the blood-lust and became the Major, or as some still call me, the God of War. I turned Peter, who is my brother now, and he was the one who kept me sane.” He closes his eyes, trying to rid his mind of those images, not only for himself, but for his brother, Edward.
Bella can see that this is a lot for Jasper and tells him gently, “You don’t have to tell me anymore, Jasper.”
Looking up at her, feeling her concern for him, Jasper smiles at her. His southern accent comes out as he informs her, “Darlin’, thanks for the care and concern, butchya really need ta understand this. It’ll make the dynamics of this family more clear to ya, and will explain our family better ta ya. Trust me.” He grins at her, sending her his pride in her.
Carlisle leans down and nuzzles her and tells her, “It’s okay, Bella. Let Jasper continue and you will understand so much more.” He continues to purr at her, and can feel her relax as his actions calm her.
Leaning back into Carlisle, feeling his arms surround her as he purrs, comforting her, Bella nods for Jasper to continue.
Smiling at her, Jasper continues his lecture. “You see, I was in charge of changing the newborns, training them and keeping them in line with my talents. And unfortunately, I, along with Peter, was in charge of destroying the newborns after their usefulness was done. It was tearing me apart emotionally. As an empath I felt all of it; the change and when I killed them. Peter was the one who kept me sane, until he mated with Charlotte, a newborn. When it was time to destroy her batch, he argued with me to not destroy the newborns she was with, but I didn’t listen. Not until he defended her. I felt their bond and told them to run, knowing that Maria would punish me once she found out. Maria found out quickly and she was livid, punishing me severely. You see, Peter has a very valuable talent. He knows shit. Don’t ask how or why, but he does.” Jasper closes his eyes, then once he is once again composed, he tells her, “During this time, the Volturi, who are what you would call the Royalty of the vampire race, became interested in what was happening. Edward mentioned the one Rule right?” He drops back into his role, questioning her to make sure she is still following the lesson.
At Bella’s nod, Jasper continues, “The only exception is a Mate. And that is only because of the man you are mated to. I will tell you more about that soon.” At her nod, he resumes the lesson, “The wars in the South were becoming worse. One of Maria’s favorite ways of punishing me was to starve me. One of the times she let me loose after a starvation punishment; well they accredit the deaths of that time to a hurricane. I was a monster. It was shortly after that, that Peter and Charlotte came back for me. They heard of a small coven that was animal eaters and with Peter’s talent, they knew I needed to be there. They extracted me from Maria’s clutches and brought me to Carlisle.” He drops his head, the pain of recounting that time had been painful. Edward and Alice both move to help him.
Carlisle sighs and he tells Bella, “Jasper was a mess back then. But at the same time, the Volturi were looking at the South and came to me to see if I could help them out.” His voice belies the feelings he had showed Bella and the compassion he had felt for the young war weary young man at the time.
Calmer and nodding his thanks to Edward as he pushes the calm to his mate, Jasper picks up the story again, “I was more than happy to help out. Carlisle had started to heal me, and my anger at Maria was, let’s just say justified and vengeful. Carlisle brokered a deal that I would help the Volturi clean up the South, with mine and my family’s involvement from the past wiped clean, Maria would be destroyed so she could not come after us in the future. Aro quickly agreed, overjoyed to have my talents working with their Guards. It took a decade, but when we were finished, it took a long time for any vampire to try to even think of reinventing the Southern Wars.” Then he grinned. “When I was coming back to Carlisle, I had to go through Philadelphia and stopped in a diner. I found a certain pixie there waiting for me. She asked me why I kept her waiting, and I apologized, as I recognized my mate. We quickly met up with Carlisle, who had Rosalie, Emmett, and Edward as part of his coven. The Volturi wanted to meet with all of us.” The happier feelings were a relief to feel from his earlier ones.
Carlisle took a deep breath. This is the fun part. “You see, when I was a younger vampire, I lived with them for awhile, studying all I could find; medicine, arts, literature, vampire history, and law. I left due to the fact that I am an animal drinker, and it was hard for all of us. But, I have stayed close friends with all three of them to this day. Because of this and the fact that I have clearly made my home in this part of the world, they had a proposition for me. To have Alice added to my coven only cemented their choice.” He grins down at his Mate and over at the pixie. He truly loves his coven as a family and Bella can feel this.
Bella can also feel his worry about what he is going to say. She turns to look at him and asks, “What was the choice, Carlisle?” She wants them to be honest with each other, and hopes he feels the same.
He looks back at her and tells her, “I love you, Bella. Please remember this.” He is really worried, but he is determined at the same time for her to know all of it.
When she nods her head, he sighs. “They decided that they were too far away to decide on matters here in the New World. The Southern Wars got out of hand since they did not receive word of it until much later. They felt that they needed a leader here, one they trusted. And who could they trust more than the fourth leader of the Volturi?” He looks down at his Mate and waits for her to put it all together.
Bella realizes what he is saying and she breathes out, “You.”
Carlisle is watching her carefully, monitoring their Bond closer than any previous time. He agrees, “Yes, me. I thought it was an honorary title, nothing more. But it was a real title. And one that made sense to them. They crowned me the King of the New World, an equal to them. With my contacts, as well as Jasper’s and the rest of the family’s, we keep the peace here in the new colonies. It took awhile, because what the Volturi suspected was real. Vampires were coming here, confident of their ability to get away with so much more since the Royal Family was in Italy.” His face grew set, this had been the point which made his family work extremely hard and still does. Nobody believed that he, the one King, would be as strong as the three in Italy.
Jasper picks up the story again, “You see, with every normal coven, there is an Alpha and a Beta. Carlisle is an Alpha by nature, but being around me has brought that into full being. He is a full Alpha, one of four in this world. And Edward is his Beta, with his mind reading skills; he is able to bring all the talents of this family into play along with any others that are helping us. With mine and Edward’s talents, we can tell if someone is lying and so on. Edward is able to read them and me, see Alice’s visions and be able to tell Carlisle all of it. And because Carlisle is Edward’s Sire, and they spent a long time together, they can communicate in ways that are not always obvious to others. Not to mention what you may call the cousins in the family. The Denali’s in Alaska and my own brother and his mate.”
Bella just stares at Carlisle in complete shock, realization of what he is telling her is hitting her. She is Mated to a King!
Carlisle is getting worried and jokes with her, “So, darling, your Mate has definitely brought home the bacon this time.” But when she is still staring at him, he cups her face in his hands and tells her, “I am the same man that you professed to loving, the same man you woke up to. There is nothing different. I still love you, I just have another job that no one but vampires know about.” He is trying to help her understand. He will do whatever it takes, he will not lose her!
Shaking her head, Bella just states, “You are a King. I am nothing. Why would you want me?” She is trying to turn this all around in her head.
Carlisle’s heart lurches and he quickly tells her, “Like I said, nothing has changed. I love you, you are my Mate. You are everything to me. If I could give this up, I would. But I do not trust any other with governing, and the changes I am getting through the Volturi are like pulling teeth. I made it possible that our situation can exist. That if a vampire finds its Mate in a human that they can wait until the human is ready to be changed. This is the first time since the law was changed that it has happened, but thankfully it has been changed. Bella. I love you; you are more than worthy to be my Queen. I will always want you. I cannot be without you.” He starts purring louder as he tries to comfort his Mate.
Bella just stares at him as she processes his words and the feelings he is sending through the Bond.
Edward moves towards her and though he can hear the growls from Carlisle, he knows it is just instinct. He gently advises Bella, “Carlisle is right. It is not like you are in Volturi, there are no thrones, there is no court. Carlisle rules when the situation comes to his attention. Peter and Charlotte come often and give him information. The Denali’s come as needed and Alice helps look for trouble and to help find a solution that will help everyone. Jasper and I have informants that help out as well as Carlisle’s own informants. We are very lax here, the only times you may need to take on your role as Queen is if Carlisle is unavailable or you are in Volturi.” He is trying to soothe his best friend. He knows she can handle all this but it is due to Jacob’s interference that she is doubting herself.
Carlisle laughs, and when Bella looks at him, puzzled, he informs her, “You will actually be the only Queen. Aro’s and Cauis’s wives do not rule at all. But you, my love, you are not only strong enough and smart enough to handle our duties, you are also my Mate. And by that reason alone you are Queen. Mating is not as common as you would think. My coven is the only one that is this large and has all Mated couples in it. Or will have as soon as we rectify a wrong doing on my part. And only Mated pairs can share the thrones. Aro decreed this many centuries ago when his own wife became obsessed with power. That is why you will only have them referred to as the wives. You, my darling, will always be referred to as my Mate, even if you bless me with the honor of being your husband. This is because Mating is so much more than a marriage can ever be.” He is still grinning at her, trying to help her without withholding anything. He can feel her appreciation for it, and knows that he would rather hear it all than have any of it withheld from him.
Bella sits there looking at him. After a couple of minutes, which has the entire family worried, she finally asks, “Is there anything else?”
Carlisle is getting more and more worried, as he cannot feel her feelings to be able to tell if she still loves and accepts him. He answers her, “Not that we can think of. If there is, we will let you know immediately. But I wanted you to know everything as soon as possible.” He is laying it all out there.
Alice quietly tells Bella, hoping it will help, “It is because of who you are, who Carlisle and this coven is, that will keep you safe. The entire vampire world would be in a great uproar if anything happens to you. Carlisle is the most beloved of all the Kings. Because of what he does, of what he is, and his compassion and control, he rules justly. And everyone knows it, even the rest of the Kings. He is called to Italy to help rule over difficult cases to make sure it is a fair ruling. If anything was to happen to you, the known world of vampires would be after whoever did it. But more importantly, we would be after them. And no one wants to mess with the God of War, nor the Beta of the Olympic Coven. Emmett and the rest of us are not to be counted out either.” She moves closer to Bella and tells her, “We all think of you as our sister. And our leader. You are as much our Alpha as Carlisle is, just…” Alice grins impishly, “Not fully trained yet and much better to look at.”
Bella can’t help but grin at this. She turns back to Carlisle and tells him, “I love you, Carlisle, so very much. I guess I need to learn to accept this, but don’t expect me to be completely silent. I will learn what I need to do, but I will not be silent when I think there is a problem. I guess we will need to have some sort of code word. I can see why you need to look strong, but if you plan to have me rule by your side, I need to be strong on my own.” She knows he will work with her later, but he really needs to start now. And with how she is, the best possible way is the code word. This way she can understand the why’s and how’s of his decisions.
Shocked, Carlisle can only stare at his Mate. She is completely right, and he never even thought about it!
Jasper and the rest are shocked too, but then their sense of humor quickly appears. Emmett is the one to say it, though they are all thinking it, “Belly, you are going to be so awesome! And to render Carlisle completely speechless? Even better!”
Carlisle shakes himself out of his stupor and quickly replies to his mate, “You are right, and I am going to love being with you for the rest of our lives. You are going to shake up the entire world before you are done, I believe, my love. And I am looking forward to being there to see it all!” With that he kisses his Mate, overjoyed at the prospect in having an equal in his Mate.
Bella returns the love and passion in the kiss. When he allows her up to breathe, she grins. “Well since that is all solved, what are we going to do now?”
The room gets quiet and Edward answers her, “We need to discuss what we are going to do about Jacob.”
Final count: 12,585 words.