Chapter 10

~o.O.o~

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world:

someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
~Tom Bodett

~o.O.o~

Waking that day, Bella knew it was going to be a bad one. She wasn’t sure how, but it was going to change things dramatically and she found herself anxious throughout the morning. On the way to school, Stefan was more than a little upset with her that she hadn’t shared with them before about her bite mark previously, though he did admit to understanding why she didn’t want to bring it up.

Throughout the day, she was skittish, always seemingly seeing something just out of the corner of her eye but when she looks, nothing is there. By the end of the day, her anxiety and fear was so palpable that it had Elena’s thirst for her beginning to climb.

Scribbling a note, Elena passed it over to the girl. What the hell is up with you?!

Bella bit her lip as her eyes darted around, continuously seeking out for the threat that she just knew was there but couldn’t see with her human eyes. Elena had watched her and easily picked up on the cues, looking around herself, further out with her own ears and eyesight through the windows, unable to find anything in particular.

I don’t know. Just something isn’t right. I need to get out of here. Do you know of anywhere safe that I can hide that ‘others’ won’t know or find easily? Bella sent back quickly, which Elena quickly tore up after reading with a quick nod.

“Mr. Fischer? Isabella isn’t feeling so great. Would it be alright if I take her to the nurse?” Elena questioned, giving them an excuse to get out of the classroom before the end. After giving the girl a cursory glance, he nodded his permission and the two quickly slipped out of the room.

Dumping their books in Bella’s locker, which was closer, they quickly fled the school grounds and headed into town on foot as quickly as they could to the best place that Elena thought of that she would hide Bella to lure whatever Cold One may be in the area out.

Elena debated on which route to take, whether to set out to locate the Cold Ones herself or to meet up with the group and work on ‘helping’ them look for Bella with them. She knew that Damon had been less than trusting of her lately, so she wasn’t exactly confident in his reaction to her appearing with Bella being missing now, even if she knew she was safe.

She had snuck back in and out of the boarding house with some of Bella’s clothing and a few vials of Damon’s blood, working on setting a false trail that she had heard was used before to mislead a tracker and figured it was worth a shot. It would at least draw anyone away from the tomb by at close to ten minutes, even at vampire speed.

~o.O.o~

Damon nearly skidded to a stop as he pulled up to the school, the panic in his eyes evident to his friends as they rushed up to the car. He was busy searching for one person though that was only increasing his fear. “Where’s Bella?” he questioned.

“She hasn’t come out yet. She and Elena has last period together,” Bonnie replied, frowning as she looked around for the danger that he was obviously sensing. “What’s wrong?”

“Jasper called. Victoria figured out where she is and is on her way. He’s not sure how much of a head start she got but they got stuck cleaning up newborns and can’t leave Washington until they are dealt with so we need to find Bella now,” he demanded angrily as he stormed passed them as he very nearly tore into the school building to search for the girls.

The group had split up but after an hour of searching the entire campus, no one was able to find either Bella or Elena. “When was the last anyone saw them?” Damon questioned, his voice a deadly calm as he paced in his frustration.

“I had sixth period with Bella,” Caroline answered meekly, while Matt mentioned seeing her walk past his class during seventh but seemed fine, thinking she might have just been on her way to the girls room. That only left everyone even more confused and worried that Victoria may already be around.

“Okay, split up and start looking around town. Look anywhere, everywhere. Just find them,” Damon snapped, slamming the door to his car as he sped off in search for the two missing girls. He was pissed off and scared at not knowing which threat was in town that forced his Bella to go missing the way she did. He also couldn’t help but feel suspicious of Elena having something to do with it.

As he drove through town, he passed through some of the group’s more regular hangouts. He knew she would be smart enough to stay in well populated areas enough to cause a scene if necessary if any Cold Ones came around. His eyes narrowed as he caught sight of one sniffing around and smirked as he pulled into the Grill’s parking lot and quickly made his way over behind the midget.

“You’re not going to get to her so I suggest that if you want to keep your head, you’ll leave town faster than you can blink,” he whispered in her ear.

Alice had flinched slightly, growling. The movement was enough to suggest to Damon that she hadn’t been able to see Damon’s decision to approach her, making him grin maliciously. The midget vampire turned as she eyed the taller creature, unsure of what about him was to be able to get around her visions as he appeared human to her. “I assume Bella has told you about my family?” she questioned, playing the innocent friend role quite well.

“Nu-uh,” Damon smirked as he wagged a finger at her. “She didn’t just tell me about her ex and that piss poor excuse for a family. Isabella didn’t need to tell me everything for me to know as much as I knew. I was able to fill in the blanks and if you think that you are going to try dragging her back – take a look into that crystal ball in your head and tell me how you see that ending.”

She scowled as she realized that this man knew her gift, that the Bella that they were forced to leave behind would have actually spilled their guarded secrets. “You think so? Bella and my brother are mates. No one will be able to break that kind of bond,” she said with such confidence that would make Damon laugh hysterically if he was sure that Bella was safe while there were psychotic Cold Ones running about town.

“If they were mates, then I’m Mother Fucking Theresa,” he smiled back, not biting on her bait. “I know who and what you are so you don’t fool me and your mind fuckery won’t work either.”

“You think so?” Alice grinned in response, far more confidence in it than he felt she should have which made him hesitate. “Edward is already on her trail so it won’t be long until he finds her.”

He frowned and glared at her, trying to see if she was lying or not. Not taking the chance, Damon backed away from her as he looked off as his mind tried to figure out what it was he was missing. He took off for the boarding house in hopes that Bella may have gone back there.

Immediately, he picked up on the stench of another Cold One that he assumed was Edward. What he was surprised at was the more fresh scent of Elena that was coming from the his room. He went in and stood there for a moment, eying the surface for any disturbances. He went over to the closet but nothing was unusual there and his instincts pulled him into the bath where he looked around confused.

Suddenly his eyes fell on the hamper where her clothes that she had worn most recently would be, as neither of them had done any laundry that week yet. Flashing over to it, he threw the lid open and slammed it closed to find it empty. Someone had taken it for her scent, he just knew.

He ran down to the door and looked out the back into the woods, the need to kill something growing stronger as he shot forward, tracking Bella. He pulled his cell phone out once he realized where he was going and texted the others.

Damon’s eyes glared at the two that stood, in all appearances in a standoff with one another but Bella nowhere in sight. Elena was in front of the entrance to the tomb and he could only assume that she might be held down there and hoped so as it was where her scent disappeared.

“Elena,” he said evenly, not giving her anything else until he was sure of what her purpose of her presence was in this.

“Damon,” she smirked back, giving him a look that reminded him too much of Katherine in that moment and he could barely suppress the shudder. “Seems that we have some issues that no one can quite agree on.”

He looked at her, raising an eyebrow before glancing at the Cold One who growled back at her. “Just give me the girl and we’ll leave. My interests only concern her,” he said, playing the martyred boyfriend card from the way it sounded to Damon.

“I told you. I’ll happily give you the girl if you handled something for me,” Elena replied casually, inspecting her nails.

“What the fuck are you bargaining for?” Damon demanded, flashing up to her and having her neck in his grip in a blink.

“I’m not saying until I get an agreement,” she replied as she struggled for breath.

As he held her in a stare down, each trying to gain an upper hand, but not fully knowing what was going on, Edward tried to use the distraction to zip past them to gain access inside the tomb. Damon threw Elena aside as he flashed forward and collided with the frozen vampire, vamping out himself and sent him flying backwards into the trees.

“You stay away!” Damon growled out, not in warning but a threatening promise. “I have killed for far less than protecting my family and you’ve already got enough strikes against you that you were marked before you even stepped foot inside Mystic Falls.”

“Bella is my mate and belongs to me. I will have her,” Edward snarled as he charged back but was easily deflected back by Damon. They exchanged a blows back and forth, the older vampire growing more pissed when a couple lucky shots got through drawing blood, but enough was enough for him.

Punching the pubescent vampire back down, Damon was reaching the limit of his toying with the fight and was ready to end it. “There is only two ways she is leaving here. With me or dead. There is no third option.”

While the two were battling it out for entrance into the tomb to get to Bella, they weren’t aware that Alice had arrived but Elena had been ready for her. No matter how much she trained to fight with Damon and Alaric, she was still a young vampire but she could hold her own well enough. However since leaving Forks, Alice had worked on her own gift, around her blind spots and managed to get past the girl and into the tomb to draw Bella out.

Hearing Damon’s statement, and with Alice’s own selfish desires for power, she wasn’t about to give into Edward’s every whim as he had believed she would. “Then I suppose it’s a good thing I’m here now, isn’t it?” her voice chimed out.

Damon paused as he just finished ripping Edward’s arm out of its socket and stared at a frightened Bella as Alice held her in a vice grip, the vampire’s slender fingers tight around her neck, allowing the slightest amount of air through for her to breath. Their eyes met as they communicated together silently, trying to assure one another that everything would be fine in the end. Bella tried glancing back to search for Elena but she was laying in a heap on the ground nearby, causing Damon to frown and shake his head just enough for the girl to see.

“It’ll be okay Isabella. I’ll get you out of this,” he said calmly, never taking his eyes off of hers.

She couldn’t get any sound out the way Alice held her but was able to mouth out I know.

Alice laughed at him and shook her head. “She isn’t getting out of this alive. Besides, what purpose does this human have for you other than a blood bag and a bed mate? I’ve done my research. Sure I could let you keep her as your little pet. Really, I could care less, but for the position that Edward wanted her take as a human, it should be mine! I guided him in everything! If I hadn’t come to the Cullens, they would be nothing! I brought them their money and prestige. I am the one that will lead him to the throne in Italy and it should be me beside him as Queen. Not some human that would only die in a few years because he wants her blood and a child with her,” the psychotic bitch snapped as she hissed and spit at the vampire that was in pain on the ground from missing his limb.

Damon could only raise his eyebrow at the new details on exactly what was going on, that they hadn’t known before, and clearly that Jasper didn’t know of. All he knew at that moment, was that he was actually hoping that the girl would finally crack and kill Bella already so that he could kill the crazy nut and her – whatever he is to her, then help his girl with her transition.

“Vampires can’t have children,” he scoffed at her, trying to get her own to get more information. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Elena starting to stir, waking from her most recent supernatural death. She sat up slowly and silently as she looked around to get her bearings, everything coming back to her very quickly as she saw the scene before her.

He hid his emotions well as she looked fearful that Alice had Bella in her grasp. She turned her eyes to him and motioned, asking him if she should move closer. He narrowed his eyes in suspicion, not trusting her since this stunt.

“Alice?” Edward questioned, almost begging her for her help.

“Nu-uh Sparkles. You’re as good as toast as far as I’m concerned,” Damon said as he silenced him by ripping his head from his shoulders. He cringed at the screeching that came from Alice, who was only angered further by the action.

“Bella could have lived her human life if she never came to Forks. Now she just won’t live at all and you can blame yourself,” she growled as she moved her hands to twist Isabella’s head, twisting it until she was dead on the ground. Alice smiled maliciously as she eyed her body while Damon and Elena stared at their friend in shock, despite preparing for the event since her arrival. “Now I have plans to revise thanks to your interference. Imbeciles.” In a flash, she ran off before either vampire could move to grab a hold of her or their friends could catch up, Caroline and Tyler running after her as they approached.

“Sorry we couldn’t get here sooner,” Stefan said as he approached Damon cautiously as the man knelt beside Bella as he cradled her head in his hands.

The older brother was silent as he shook his head, holding back the tears. “I know she’ll be alright but I can’t right now. We have too much to do right now. Just – I don’t know. I need to get her back to the house,” Damon murmured, trying to figure out how to pick his girl up, afraid that he’ll hurt her, even though he knew well enough that it wasn’t possible.

“I’ll go get some fresh human blood. I’m sure Bonnie or Jeremy will be willing to volunteer some,” Elena muttered, eager to get away from everyone.

“NO!” Damon growled as he turned his eyes up onto her. “Until Isabella wakes and I hear the story from her first, you’re on lock down. I don’t trust you for anything right now. Stefan. Deal with her. I’ll have Caroline get her the blood when she gets back.” With his final words, he scooped Bella’s limp body up in his arms and disappeared into the woods.

~o.O.o~

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