Disclosure: Twilight and Vampire Diaries are owned by their respective brainiacs that thought of it. I just play with the characters to my heart’s content.
Pre Edit Count – 2,326 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Blackbirds (Non-Album Track from 8-bit Rebellion! App) by Linkin Park.
She sits the box on the living room table and opens it. It is full of research papers and books. She finds a letter addressed to her.
I hope this finds you still at Dartmouth. I had heard you are going to be moving to the Moutin Plantation and wanted to send you this information. I think it would be greatly helpful to you in your new home. But then you are not a stranger to the oddities of our world are you?
Bella frowns as she looks through the information. It seems to be about vampires, but not any that she is familiar with. She sighs, then puts the box over with a stack of research material she has already packed to clear up space. She will look at it when she is settled into her new home. She has tons of stuff from her agent from people sending her information from her book.
With that Bella gets up and goes back to what she was working on before. She has a lot of things to go over with the Interior Designer and Contractor.
Bella is standing in her new home. She nods as one of the movers comes through with some boxes for her library.
She smiles as she moves out of the way, walking through the home. She had spent a lot of time and care to pick out everything here. The Kitchen and the Master Suite are her actual creations. Who knew she could design better than an Interior Decorator?
They had ended up redoing a lot in the house, the walls had been original from the time the plantation house had been built, but most of them had some type of mold in them. Since she was having to redo the walls, she had them replace the wiring, and adding internet and speakers in discrete places as well as other updates to make the house more energy efficient. She works to music and this way the music will follow her through the house, turning off and on where she is. And if she had a party she could command the house to have sound everywhere. It is one of her favorite upgrades in the house. She did a lot to music.
The entire house is controlled by her voice. She had grinned the entire time when she had worked out the programming and everything needed to get it working, even the headaches doing it were well worth them. She has a house that would turn on the bathtub, or start a fire in another room. The windows and doors are not connected to the system, she has seen enough horror movies about that. Every system can be hacked into. She just made it as difficult as she could to do, but that is why her computer that has all her research is not connected to the internet, all the updates are applied through thumb drives and only after she has inspected the coding to make sure it is what it is promised to be and is as protected as she can make it. She did not need anyone knowing all of her information that is on that computer, it could get her killed. And though some might call her overzealous in protecting herself, she is still alive, and as far as she can determine, not on any lists for watching.
Bella walks into her kitchen and grins at it. She had wanted a rustic kitchen, to get back to her Gran’s roots. This kitchen has it all. But the feature she loves the most? It was the tree trunk in the island with the branches reaching out across her ceiling. It is unique and makes her kitchen design original. And she loves this design. It also has an entry way into another part of the kitchen she had designed for the pantry.
The glass door leads to the backyard that she had them redesign to her specifications, and more importantly to her new outside room for her to enjoy the beauty of the Virginia landscape. The original gardens are all still there, but again, she went with a more Italian touch with it and added some features to enhance her vision of the outside. She wants to be able to enjoy the seasons outdoors, and redesigning the back of the house has allowed her to keep the traditional look of the front, but add the things she had wanted in her dream home. While she never thought Virginia would be a haven for her, this house has become exactly that.
She has also kept all the secrets of the house. The contractor had been an honorable man and as soon as he realized the house had secret rooms and hallways, he had asked her about them. She had asked to keep them and if there was a way to update them too without too many knowing about it. The contractor brought some of his men from New Hampshire to work on it. While some may know about it, no one local had any idea. It was all done in secret.
The only reason she had agreed to keep it secret was what the man told her. It was always safer to have more options than people thought you had. He had worked on one room himself. He had added to it, not taking anything from it since the owner had seemed paranoid enough for a hundred people. The walls had been stouter than anything in the entire house and had been infused with some type of oil. He had only made it a more modern version of the room, making a real safe room for the lady he worked for. He didn’t tell her he left the walls, just told her he had made sure the room was updated. He had been greatly impressed with her and could tell that she admired the home, and is adding things to make it hers, but a lot of it remained much the same design as when first started. There was no obvious changes to what they did, but the home is now on par with any newly built home, if not better.
He also didn’t mention the Raven that seems to always be around. Because of his feelings, he had the contractors block all the windows in the house. He also made sure all the men consumed an herb that his grandmother had insisted he drink all the time. She had old world roots and always encouraged him to act on his feelings. He had made his fortune doing so, and this time, didn’t hesitate to follow through on them.
Shaking her head to dispel the thoughts, Bella smiles and moves through the house to her other oasis. Her Bedroom. She had all the furniture for the house delivered already and set up, and all she is moving in today is the personal items from her storage and her apartment. The furniture from the apartment had been donated to charities, all bought when she had been a struggling student.
Her bedroom has all the boxes in it for the room and she goes to it humming as she put the clothes away. She is looking around her room as she ruminates on the changes and why she made them. She loves the fireplaces in the house throughout, making sure that her bedroom and the library are on the receiving end. No matter how much the people installing the specialized bookcases in the library had argued against it. She had installed the necessary protections, and for the rest, they can bite her. She wishes to be comfortable and is eagerly awaiting her first days of fall with the leaves changing then watching the snow fall as she sits either in bed or downstairs in the library in the chairs she made sure had been comfortable. There is a lot to say for working for herself.
She frowns as she ponders the information Liz had supplied. Her ancestor had left a fortune for whomever claims the house but made it a clause of the will that only when someone willingly moves in can they access it. With the money she has made along with this, she has no reason to ever work.
She had tried to send some of it to her father, but he had told her to keep it. He needed nothing and everything is paid off. If she will buy him some fishing gear when he asks for it that is all he needs along with the assurance that his little girl is completely taken care of no matter what happens.
By this time Bella can feel him pulling more and more away. It had prompted her to ask him bluntly if he knew something she didn’t and he had told her that he wanted her happy. If she became immortal, then she did. It did not bother him and he trusts her to make the right decision. He only wants her happy and he kept telling her this during the phone call. She had gotten off the phone feeling odd, but somehow, settled, as if they had said their final goodbyes.
Trying to get her mind off of it, Bella calls out, “Play Linkin Park.” And cannot help but grin like a little girl as the music comes out. She hums along with the music as she moves around in the room.
Outside the room, a black raven watches her, settling into the tree for a long period of gathering intelligence about the newest member of Mystic Falls…and wonders why he has been almost compelled to watch over her.
When the movers had knocked on her door to tell her they are finished, she had paid them and happily moved through the house as the music follows her. She is by herself and it allows her to be carefree and happy as she once was. Before too many lies had interfered with her life and irrevocably change it.
She heads next to her Library to unpack. She had finished in the bedroom and wandered into the bathroom putting away the towels she had washed the day before. While she had waited for all the furniture to be delivered, she had grinned at her well thought out plan that had the appliances delivered the day before, the ones like the washer and dryer as well as some others. The TV’s and kitchen appliances had been already installed by her contractor, the kitchen being mostly built in. So she had washed the towels and things she had bought for the house, while waiting for the furniture to be delivered by all the different places she had found them.
She hums along with Blackbirds as she opens the boxes and starts to arrange them around the desk she has in the Library. She has kept the heavy old desk that has been in here since it was originally built, according to the pictures the contractor had found in the secret room. She has framed them and added the pics to the library to give it more of a feel for the history of the house. A lot of the house has the original furniture, however comfort won out against antiques when it came down to it. This has been one piece she had been happy to keep since she thought she would need to have one built to her standards.
As she puts the materials away, she thinks back to the odd package she had received when she had come back from her inspection of this house. She is not sure if she will put it away yet, and then decides that she will leave that box last, so that she can go ahead and set it up on her computer when she is done with the house. A project to get her started in the new place.
After awhile, she decides to go to town and eat at the restaurant that she was been informed about by Liz when they were driving back to the airport. After making sure she isn’t covered in dust, she heads out to her new SUV.
She had bought the Porsche only after her father had insisted on it for the snow. It had been one of the few times he had talked to her after the strange feeling of being told goodbye. She had laughed, and when she had reminded him about old Betsy, but he wouldn’t relent on his strange insistence. She did as he requested, and now she is thrilled with it. But nothing could compare to her Corvette Stingray. She loves it, and it is being delivered tomorrow.
She heads into town, not noticing the raven flying alongside with her as she heads into town.
At the Grill, Bella parks her vehicle and heads inside, hesitating for a second, her eyes having found a loving couple in a booth. She sighs, remembering that it had once been her as one half of that couple and heads to the bar. She sits by herself, and once the bartender comes over, she asks for “Whiskey, Black label neat, please.” She also orders a burger with it.
She is watching in the mirror the bar behind her as her mind catalogs all the people and where they are. Ever since she took the gymnastics and self-defense classes then taking Aikido and having worked her way through Aiki-Budo, Yosekan and Yoshinkan she has been more vigilant about her surroundings. They had improved her balance and helped make her mind sharper. This had all been used to increase her mental abilities since her sensei had decided that this will be important to her longevity. He had caught on to her interests, and tailored her lessons to help her, while never telling her more than if she needed his help, all she had to do is ask.
So it is extremely odd she never noticed the man sitting next to her until he comments in a silky baritone that caresses her ears, “I have never seen you here before.”
Bella’s eyes snap to his ice blue ones in the mirror as she comments, “And how often has that pick up line worked for you?”
He grins as he answers her, “It works well as an ice breaker.”
He has black hair and a strong jaw that just tempts her to want to kiss along it. But she fights her attraction down as she notices his cocky attitude. Arching her eyebrow at him, “I suppose it does, and shows how needy you are.”
His eyes narrow in the mirror at her as he replies, “Ouch. That is kinda cold to say to someone who you just met. Isn’t it?”
They are interrupted by the bartender delivering her drink and placing a bourbon in front of the man. She smiles, always remembering her father as he introduced her to this drink even though he prefers his Vitamin R’s. No matter the situation between them, she treasures memories like this and tries to give a moment to the memory of these moments for the rest of her life.
The man beside her stares as she smiles to herself. He has been following her all day and has found out nothing more than she loves her house and that she likes Linkin Park. He had hoped that starting a conversation would open her up.
So far, he has found her to be snarky. Something he personally was attracted to. Strongly.
He looks at her, taking in the whole picture. She is gorgeous, and she didn’t know it. She is not vain, but she dresses and acts as though she is unimportant. However, she is sure of who she is. And that is also huge turn on for him. He is getting tired of the women who fell at his feet.
All this passed in the time it takes for her to take a swallow.
She smiles at the bartender as he delivers her food, and refills her drink for her. She hands him cash, telling him to keep the change as she grabs her food and drink and moves from the bar to a table.
She had just sat down and then sighs. “Are you going to follow me everywhere?”
The man smirks. “I never got your name. Makes a man curious. Let’s do an exchange. My name is Damon.” He raises an eyebrow in question to her, really wanting to get her to tell him her name.
Without missing a beat, Bella replies. “That’s nice. Now go away. Find some frat sorority girl and pull your stunts with them.”
He cannot help the laugh. “Snarky aren’t you?” With that he pulls out a seat and drops himself in it. “What’s in a name?” He inquires as he watches her, his bourbon in his other hand.
She bit into her sandwich and when she is done, she continues to eat sipping her whiskey, blatantly ignoring the handsome man in front of her. She fell for one man’s charms once, and has paid for it since then. She is not eager to make that mistake again.
Damon does nothing but drink his bourbon as he watches her. He admits to himself he is impressed. Not many humans can ignore him.
Bella finishes her food, wipes her mouth with her napkin and knocks back the last of the whiskey. She stands to leave, only to find herself blocked by the black leather coated man. She sighs as she comments, “What part of me ignoring you, did you not understand?”
Damon reaches out and lifts her head to his, his eyes focusing intently on hers as he tries to compel her, “You will tell me your name.” He needs to be done with this. He has many other things demanding his attention, than a stranger who has entered town while they are frantically trying to find answers. Their trip to Duke had left them empty handed and him shot for his efforts. They need more answers, and instead he is spending vital time, trying to find out about this beautiful woman in front of him.
Rolling her eyes, she counters back to him, “Someone who doesn’t care or give a shit what you want. Now get out of my way.” With that she shoves him aside and makes her way out of the Grill.
Damon watches her leave with narrowed eyes. He feels his brother next to him, then asking him, “Who was that and how did she resist the compel?” Stefan has seen Damon compel and has never seen someone resist it without vervain in them. The woman who just did, did it with no indication of it even taking hold for a second nor has an after scent of vervain on her.
Damon shakes his head as he comments back, “I have no idea, but I will tell you, I will find out.” He smirks as he mutters, “Game on.”
Final count, 3,219 words.