Disclosure: Twilight is the property of Stephenie Meyers. I get to have fun and be frustrated because my first song choice quite frankly sucked.
Pre Edit Count – 3,391 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Amazed by Lonestar
Smiling in relief, Carlisle cups her face in his hands. He kisses her lips gently and with his lips hovering above hers, he answers her. “Bella, I will give you anything. We can work together, that is what mates do. You are not an unworthy individual; you know our family does not believe that at all. And I will not shower you in gifts until you cannot move. But realize that if I am with you, you will not be paying for anything. We will start with that, I think that will be hard enough for you to accept. But, please darling, please accept that I will once in awhile not be able to help myself, and will want to give you gifts.”
Bella just sighs and nods. She tells him before Carlisle could say anything, “I will try. And I really understand, but it will just be something that you and I will need to work on.”
Carlisle’s lips meet hers and he sends all of his love through their bond. When his lips release hers so that she can breathe, he tells her, “That is what I am wanting. I love you, Bella. Now and forever.”
Carlisle convinced Bella to write a list of some of the things she needs in order to be able to stay there, things like food and tissue. While she had joked with him about how only a vampire who is a doctor would think of food, he just replied that it is his job as her mate to make sure she is healthy.
He also brought in the bags from their shopping trip. He frowns as he looks in the bags; trying to match what he knows of Bella, and not making the connections.
Carlisle moves to the kitchen and sees Bella rummaging around in a box she has on the counter. He smiles as he leans against the doorway, watching her as she hums along with the iPod in the docking station on the counter. She has a slight frown on her face as she turns from the box to look around the room.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?”
Bella looks up, her heartbeat stuttering slightly. She watches his smile widen as he catches the sound. “I was just trying to see what I have or am missing. I was so scatterbrained when I packed, and I wanted to make sure that Charlie had the basics for his kitchen, that I really can’t think of what I need.”
Carlisle shrugs. “I know you wanted to take it easy on the whole spending bit, but from what I gather, your father can use anything that you have doubles of right?” He is being cautious about what he is saying, but he doesn’t like what he is sensing from the Bond, the frustration she is feeling trying to put things in order.
With a slight shoulder shrug, Bella replies, “Either him or someone on the reservation so it wouldn’t be a loss. What are you thinking, Carlisle?” She meets his eyes, knowing he is going somewhere with this, and how cautious he is being, it must be something that he thinks she will be upset about. She reminds herself that he is looking out for her…
He moves to her side, kisses her temple as he says, “I find that I want to make a home with you. I, for the first time ever, actually want to have a home, not a place to be when I am not at work. I am actually excited to take you shopping for things for our home. Will you let me do this? Will you let me spoil you and at the same time myself? I have never had a chance to do this before. I usually hired someone to set up the homes before I used them, not really knowing what I would need to keep the human façade. But to do this with you, my mate? I can’t explain it.” He is trying to articulate the reasoning behind his need. He knows it is a basic fact of wanting to provide for his mate. But their conversation is recent, and he is fighting his instincts in favor of easing her into this.
His natural instinct, the beast inside of him, is demanding that they provide for their mate, show her how she should have been treated. Show her how much better he is for her, that he can provide for her every need, physical or emotional. No matter how his rational mind is arguing, pointing out the conversation that they just had, his beast tells him, that this is just an extension. He will buy her all the things she needs, as he has told her.
Bella can feel his emotions, how much he wishes to do this and how there is a conflict inside of him. It is hard for her to come to a resolution because it has not been a half hour since they agreed to go slow about this whole spending money on her thing. But at the same time, she is thinking it over. Carlisle really wants to do this, to make this their home. His pleading appeals to her basic nature, to make a home with him.
She sighs, and he grins, picks her up and hugs her tightly. He murmurs to her, “Thank you, sweetheart.” He sends her love and appreciation, letting her know how much he appreciates her allowing this. And it is her allowing this; he would have fought his baser self if it would have made her happier.
Not being one to hide it, she laughs at his face and the emotions from him. She tells him, “If it makes you this happy, I can’t deny you.” She then looks at him seriously, “But this is for our home. It is not for you to go out to buy me jewelry and other gifts that are not for the house itself. Compromise?” At his nod, she relaxes. “No going overboard, Carlisle.”
Carlisle just grins at her, his eyes are already mischievous. Then he frowns, “Bella, didn’t you go shopping yesterday?”
Bella’s eyes drop from his nervously. She moves the box off the counter, only to have Carlisle take it out of her arms and place it with the others. He turns, and holding her arms, waits for an answer.
She huffs then tells him, “Well, we were going to go shopping. But then after the car dealership and the call from Jacob, it was more about getting me to wherever Alice saw us so we could meet. I really wasn’t paying attention when I realized that Alice was trying to buy everything. I was nervous and pretty much opted out of things until you got there, and well you know how I was then.” Her hands are tugging down her sleeves as she looks nervously away, her nervousness is getting worse. The reason? She couldn’t tell you.
Frowning as he listens to her words and the feelings going through her, Carlisle asks, “So, in other words, the clothes out there are not what you chose, right?”
Shrugging, Bella says, “I guess, why?” She is still looking to the side as she fiddles with her sleeve.
Shaking his head, he grabs his phone. Before he can dial, the phone rings. Answering it, he asks, “Alice, you heard me when I said that Bella chooses and that I will purchase anything that either of us needs right?” He needs to start to fix his mate. He has an idea that it is his line of questioning that has put her in this state, but she needs to learn that he is not criticizing her, he just needs to make sure that she, his mate, is aware that the coven exists to please her, as they do him.
His eyes are staring into Bella’s and she sees them darken as his irritation hits her as Alice’s voice is talking fast into the phone. He pulls her to him, hugging her, sending her his love, making sure she understands that it is not her he is irritated with. He does not miss the catch in her breath.
Carlisle then snaps out on the phone, “Alice. Do not make me issue an Alpha order. As it is, I am going to have a talk with Jasper. This is my fault too, I have allowed you to do this whenever you wanted, but it ends now. Bella has told me, without a wolf around that she prefers to buy her own clothing. This means you would know this. You can give her your input, but she is the one that will have the final say. Is this understood, or do I need to have a talk with Jasper now?” His tone is authoritative, his back straight.
Bella’s mouth is open, staring at her mate in shock. She has heard him say it, Jasper and the rest of the family tell her that he is the Alpha of them, but she has not seen him act on it yet. His rebuking of Alice, at first, seemed gentle but the points he is making and the threat of talking to Jasper shows her how well he knows Alice.
Carlisle is frowning even harder and finally tells her. “Put Jasper on.” He waits, all the while, using his free hand to caress her, showing her that he is not upset with her, making sure he is sending love and comfort to her.
“Jasper. You need to control your Mate. I have warned her, Bella is the one who makes her choices in what she wears and so forth. And for that matter, for my own attire and such, Bella’s opinion matters more to me than Alice’s. Bella has the final say so. As my Mate she should have this right, and I am enforcing it now. Alice is not to make any choices for Bella from now on. For myself, I choose to have Bella have just as much input as myself. Alice’s input will be accepted, but if I find that she has manipulated Bella, I will punish her.” There is a no-nonsense tone, Carlisle is just telling Jasper how it will be from now on, with the full expectation of being obeyed.
Carlisle listens to what Jasper has to say, and nods as he hangs up the phone. He looks down at Bella and seeing her shocked face, sighs. He tells her, “I had a bad feeling when Alice mentioned that she had Edward put your shopping bags in the garage that she may have overstepped herself. When I brought them inside for you, I noticed that they were more Alice’s style than what I have noticed you wearing. I could have been wrong, but it seems you prefer the types of clothing that I have noticed I enjoy more.” He chuckles as he remembers that conversation with her earlier. He truly likes acting his age, and may make some changes in the future on how the outside world sees the family.
Closing her mouth, Bella asks, “But what of the clothing she bought?” She doesn’t want to cause issues. She is not even a couple of days into this family, and she is getting one of the main contributors to their safety in trouble; someone she enjoys being around.
Cocking his head to the side, Carlisle comments, “There is such a thing as a return policy?” He is genuinely confused on why his mate is upset. She hated money spent on her, they had to come to a compromise about this very fact just minutes ago, but she wanted to keep clothing she hates?
Not able to help it, Bella laughs. “Yes, Carlisle there is a thing called return policy. But it would be—“
Putting a finger on her lips, he quietly tells her, “Look through the bags. Anything you wish to keep, by all means, keep. The rest will be returned by Alice since she bought them.” He is really confused by her feelings and reasoning on this.
Sighing, Bella backs up and, grabbing one of the stools by the bar, she sits down. Carlisle thinking turns and seeing a glass fills it with water and places it by her. He then asks her, “What is wrong?”
Taking the glass and drinking, Bella tells him when she places it down and plays with the glass, “Carlisle, you shouldn’t have me in charge of your decisions or whatever you told Jasper. I am not used to making decisions for myself, much less you. I don’t even know what you need me to make decisions for.”
Sighing, Carlisle leans across the counter-top. He lifts her face to look into her eyes. “Bella, do you trust me?”
Frowning, she answers, “Yes.” What did that have to do with anything?
Nodding, he tells her, “Do you think I would just set you adrift with no life vest? Bella, I don’t think you completely understand. When I said we cannot be apart, it means we will both be receiving a crash course in each other. I am not even sure that with our Bond that we can separate for us to go to work or school. If this is true, then I will be attending college with you.” He states to her in a tone that conveys that it is no big deal.
Bella quickly speaks up, her shock evident, “But, Carlisle, I thought you said that you had a job here waiting for you?” How can he even think of giving up saving lives for such as she?
Coming around the island, not being able to keep away from her anymore, he answers her, “Bella. I love the fact that you care about me, but right now you said before you change, you want to finish college right? Well if we can’t separate, then, for one thing, it will be easier for me to attend college with you than you try to follow me around a hospital. I will not fail you, by having you not complete this. It is my job as your Mate to support you.” He stares into her eyes, letting her see and feel his sincerity.
Bella stutters, “B-But you already have an obligation. You save lives. Me going to school is nothing next to that.” How can he even consider that?
Shaking his head at her low self worth, he tells her, “Bella, you want to go to school right?” When she nods her head yes, he continues, “Do you not think that you going to school isn’t going to help me sometime down the way with ruling? Any degree you get will allow you to learn how to study, and retain the information. Once you become a vampire, you will also be learning many things since I will not be able to say no to anything about you taking your place as my Queen. Right now I can only because I know you would not want that now. Also you don’t know all the laws and even knowing you as little as I do right now, I know you would want to know how to rule fairly.”
Bella slumps. “I just can’t think of my schooling as more important than you saving lives, Carlisle.”
Holding her close to him, he just shakes his head. “I am more amazed by you each day. Sweetheart, you will be saving lives doing this in the long run. And, if our Bond is that close to not allow me to work without you near, do you think I should be in an ER in that state?” He leans back, cocking an eyebrow to her.
Sighing, she leans back into him, telling him, “I guess not. And how will we know? I don’t think you can quit and be admitted into school on a day’s notice.” She still can’t believe how she can relax into him, the feeling is one of relief, no one knows more than she the power of contact with another person.
Carlisle starts chuckling. “Sure I can, if it comes down to it. Computers are a great invention, and both Jasper and Emmett have perfected hacking into different systems. You will find that Jasper is in charge of our identities and setting them up when we move. He finds and places our credentials wherever it is needed to get us schooling, jobs or whatever we wish to do in our new location. Emmett does it for fun, he helps Jasper and he is also the one to erase any records of us. He says it is more fun this way.” He is grinning by the time he is done, remembering how Emmett makes it a game, with Jasper or one of the Volturi trying to find any mistakes he made in erasing their presences. Both Emmett and Jasper have become masters at Photoshopping since pictures and other items are being archived on computers.
Thinking how much that is representing Emmett, Bella chuckles. She can see him grinning as he merrily goes through the system deleting things that people thought were impossible to delete.
Nuzzling her head for a second as he relishes her lighter feelings, Carlisle tells her, “Think about it, it would make so much, so much easier if I was a college student again. I need a break. To take that break because of you, to be with you, it just makes it so much better.” His tone is musing, he is thinking through everything.
Looking up at him, Bella asks, “Again?”
He laughs, “Yes, again. I have attended the colleges that Jasper uses as my background. Just a long time ago. I do not mind attending college, in fact, I love it. I am a researcher. I like to find out whys. That is how I became what I am today. The human body to this day is a mystery. And what could be wrong with it, well, that is why I like being a doctor. I get to find the solutions. But I also like researching something that is not a life and death matter for someone in that minute. I do the ER because my abilities as a vampire can make the difference between life and death. But I would rather not be in that position every day.” His hand is moving along her spine, enjoying the ability to touch his mate.
Thinking about what he is saying, Bella nods. “So you never take vacations?”
“Oh I do, but they are usually to deal with a problem in the vampire world,” he answers, his mind and body more attuned to how hers is being affected by his.
Bella snorts as she snuggles closer to him. “Well, then you are really due for this. Even my dad knows you have to take some time away for yourself. And he is one of the hardest working people I know. He is the Sheriff of Forks. So in a way he is on duty all the time. But he and his friend Billy Black go fishing once a month during a weekend without their cell phones. And once a year they go somewhere for a week of fishing.”
Carlisle chuckles, asking, “And how many times have you gone with them, sweetheart?” his voice is a low rumbling as he is caressing her, enjoying this time together.
Frowning, Bella tells him, “Never! Fishing and I don’t mix. Remember clumsy Bella? Think how much clumsier Clumsy Bella will be on a boat.” Then she blushes, and comments in a low voice, “Plus we tried once, and even Charlie said never again.” The embarrassment is being sent to him through the Bond loud and clear.
Not able to help it, Carlisle laughs, inquiring, “Why do I feel this is a story I will want to hear, sweetheart?” His fingers are now running though her hair, he is transfixed by all the colors it is as it slides through his fingers.
Shaking her head, Bella stands up. “If I get my way, that story won’t be shared. I have blackmail on both Charlie and Billy for neither to share it. That is one story none of us want to get out!” She misses the comfort of being in his arms, but she tells herself that they need to have time apart too.
Carlisle just shakes his head as she pulls away. He wonders if his Mate really understands the concept of forever. Stories always come out one way or the other. A mention to Emmett will get it out of her. Later when she is more confident. He asks her instead, “Are you ready?”
Bella sighs, not wanting to be dragged through stores again. “I guess. If we are going to start out new, then I guess we can just go and decide what we like together. After we do that, a lot of the shopping will be to match or to round out what we have. At least, I won’t need to wonder if we have it or not. Your memory should be able to keep that up, right?”
She gives him a teasing look, and Carlisle can’t help the laughter. He also thinks about how, since meeting her, he laughs and smiles so much more. She is what he has been missing all these years.
He pulls her close again and gives her a kiss. He tells her, only with barely any room between their lips, “I will go get my car. You go ahead and grab anything you need and I will meet you outside. Okay?” He doesn’t plan on her being alone for more than the time it takes to bring his car over here. He kisses her again.
Kissing him back shyly, Bella nods and once he releases her, heads up the stairs. Carlisle watches her and then shakes his head as he vamps out of the house and back to the other house. When he arrives, Alice is standing there, her head bowed, giving him the respect he demands and deserves. She is holding his keys and a pair of remotes in her hand.
Carlisle just stops in front of her and waits. He knows that Jasper will have spoken to her. She needs to realize that Bella is the Alpha female in the house, and to help her out in getting used to the position, she needs to be making the decisions. He had left it up to Rosalie and Alice to fill in the blanks in the interim but now, Bella is here and she will be taking control of the coven.
Alice looks up, and tells Carlisle, “I’m sorry. I should have waited, but I just knew she would look so nice—“
Carlisle interrupts her, “Bella is the one who will make those choices. I will be by her side for the foreseeable future to help her realize all the duties she will be picking up. But, Alice, she needs to be the one doing this. Don’t you see what you are doing is the same as what Jacob was doing to her? Making her choices for her? She has had enough of that, hasn’t she?” He is staring down at the pixie-like vampire in front of him. He will not tolerate anyone not helping empower his mate. There is a lot of work that will need to be done to help Bella be who she could be, and he will allow nothing to delay her coming into her own.
Reeling in shock, Alice tries to defend herself, “But I would never d—“
With that one word from her mate, Alice drops her head. Jasper comes out and giving a nod of respect to his Alpha, tells her, “I told you that Bella is to make the decisions. I can see we need to talk more about respect and how to behave.” He is strict with her, acknowledging that he will be responsible for the discipline she needs. It did not matter that she was allowed to get away with it, their Alpha had spoken and Alice should have given way. Not arguing like she is now.
Carlisle watches them, then holds his hand out. Alice puts his keys in his hand and tells him softly, “The remotes are for her garage.”
He nods, and then giving Jasper a look, heads to his vehicle and goes to pick up Bella. He trusts that Jasper will take care of Alice and this will no longer be an issue.
Once Carlisle has left, Jasper looks down at his diminutive mate. “Alice, you know that Carlisle, as a newly mated Male, is going to be different. The things he let you get away with before will not be allowed. Especially when they have the potential to harm Bella. And you making the decisions for her can do that. He even gave you the reason. Do not question him right now. Or I will be forced to punish you. For now, let’s go for a hunt, then I will discuss with you the rules since apparently you need a refresher course.”
Jasper hates to reign his mate back in for any reason, but she needs to understand that Carlisle’s leniency, which she has enjoyed immensely until now, will mostly be for his mate now. Bella can get away with things, more than Alice or anyone. But that is mostly because of his need to make her happy. And his being Alpha means he will strive to heal her right now so that she will be there for the rest of his life with her by his side, ruling.
He smiles, knowing that this is a minor setback, but one that needed to happen. Edward had tried to warn her, he had too. But Alice has been given too much slack and now she will learn discipline. But the other side of that coin is that Carlisle has his mate, and once she is healed, she will be amazing.
Final count, 4,144 words.