Bella continued to think about what to do with the vampire in their territory as she watched while Derek and Peter were battling out their own issues with the shifters. She kept her eyes intentionally focused on her boys when she noticed Jacob making his way towards her during his break.
“What do you want?” she questioned before he could even say a work.
He frowned as he narrowed his eyes at her, nostrils flaring as he took in the changes to her scent. “Are you really serious about this guy? He’s ready to break us all in half and this isn’t even the real fight.”
“My relationship with Derek and anyone else here is none of your business. You didn’t do what you were supposed to back in Forks, letting them torture me the way they did. Now you suddenly care about my well-being?” she laughed, shaking her head.
“Why are you even here? We’re here to protect you. You pointed out where we’ve failed before but we’re here now so you don’t have to be here for all of this,” he tried pushing.
Sighing, Bella smiled. “You have no idea just how much I can truly fuck you up. If I wanted it to be so, I could take away everything that makes you a wolf. How would you feel about not being able to shift anymore? Hm?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. No one has that ability,” he scoffed.
She rolled her eyes, catching the curious look that Rosalie was sending her as she was listening in on the conversation. “You want proof? Fine.”
“What are you going on about, Loca?” Jacob questioned, his tone softening but the nickname only proved to fan the flames of her anger and irritation. He glanced back at the scrimmage that paused to look their way. His fellow shifters were watching them, concerned in their way as they never knew Bella to react such a way; whereas the locals appeared entirely amused smiles as if they were waiting for something spectacular to happen.
Turning on her heel and making long, purposeful strides towards the nervous looking vampire, Bella crossed her arms as she eyed the creature. “You want to prove to all of us that what you are saying is the truth?”
“If there was a way, yes,” Rosalie nodded, her voice hesitant as she looked around. She was unsure what was happening, but resisted the urge to want to run from an unknown threat.
“Would you allow yourself to be possessed in order for us to find out everything you know? Proof positive that you may or may not lose your pretty head,” Bella grinned and looked over her shoulder at her pair of wolves. They were immediately at her side, with Derek taking position behind her to wrap his arms around her small frame. Within moments, her body grew slack in his hold and he gently lowered her to the ground.
Growling amongst the shifters still in their form rose and Jacob started making his way closer, his own anger at his old friend’s vulnerable state rising. He stopped short when she reappeared beside them, his eyes moving back and forth from the unconscious body of Bella to the seemingly ghostly one.
“How-?” Jacob began to ask, earning a deathly glare from the two that stood protectively over her and a sigh from the slightly translucent being.
“It is what I am and how I can help defeat the coming threat,” Bella’s corporeal form responded. She maintained her attention on Rosalie, however. “We will know the truth when I am done.”
Rosalie nodded slowly, her eyes moving up from the triskelion on the ground to the girl. She had no idea what was about to happen. All she saw one moment was the corporeal Bella smile at her before running towards the vampire. The next, she was on her knees, her fingers buried deep in her blond hair as if trying to dig her brain out. Her teeth clenched as she fought against the pain of the entity invading her mind. It was nothing like Edward’s mind-reading and while she agreed to whatever possession that Bella had referred to, the pain was like being consumed by fire worse than her transformation. If not for the pain that kept her from voicing any coherent words, she’d be begging for her own death just to escape.
After several minutes of watching the vampire in pain from Bella rooting around in her head, she seemingly collapsed to the earth and Bella woke in Derek’s arms. The Ikiryō being glared over at the recovering vampire for a moment before sighing and turning further into her beau’s hold. “She told the truth, mostly. Only she doesn’t consciously recall having run into a gifted vampire that was capable of manipulating memories and subconscious thoughts. If she hadn’t been under continuous watch from her arrival, she’d have the need to call to the Volturi to let them know where we are.”
Derek turned to growl at the vampire; his wolf visage breaking through with his anger. He only simmered down when he felt Bella’s small hands pulling his arm back to her. “It’s not her fault. It’s this Sitala she met while searching for us. She’s an agent for the Volturi, but I managed to, hm, fix what she tried to do,” she added, her eyes narrowing on Rosalie as she was still seemingly out cold. “It may take her awhile to wake up. I had to sort of rewire her head.”
“She should just be destroyed,” Jacob commented, his voice more reserved than normal as he was still absorbing what he witnessed.
Bella shot him a warning glare as she looked over Derek’s shoulder at him. “Perhaps I should do the same for you. I warned you that you don’t want to fuck with me and you are eating away at my last bit of tolerance for you.”
“What they do you think you can do to us girl?” Leah piped up, stepping up closer to the three. “What we are is in our blood. You can’t take shit from us.”
Bella merely raised an eyebrow, knowing a bit of the female wolf’s story through her brother. “Is that what you truly believe? Do you like what you are? If you can return to being a simple human, would you do it?”
“I don’t have a choice in what I am,” came the reply. “I didn’t ask for this. It was your precious Cullens that came and just by their return to Forks, that triggered this curse.”
“Hmm,” the girl nodded and closed her eyes again. Her transparent form appeared before the wolf with a smile. “I can take it away. If you don’t want to be a shifter, then I can help. But if I do this, the rest of your pack will abide by what we say and you don’t try pissing me off any more than you all have done already.”
Leah eyed the ghost figure of Bella. It was unnerving, even if they just witnessed what she’d done to the former Cullen. “You’re confident you can do what you say?”
“Leah. You don’t want to do this. What do you think Sam would say?” Jacob spoke up. He was nervous and rightfully frightened by what it appeared his former friend was capable of doing.
She glanced back at him, giving him a stink eye. “I never wanted this and if I have the chance to go back, then I want the chance.”
Bella nodded, accepting Leah’s request and launched herself into her. Leah collapsed to the ground, her fingers digging into the soil as she growled out through the discomfort of whatever Bella was doing to her.
As quick as she discovered her shifter heritage, Leah sat back on her heel and blinked when the pain disappeared. She was more surprised by how less angry she felt in general, then anything else. Looking towards the still unconscious vampire, trying to will something to happen to herself as if to test if what Bella claimed she could do not work, nothing happened. “Huh. It worked…” she muttered to herself in complete disbelief before looking over at the unconscious girl. “She okay?”
“Yeah. She’ll be fine. Just needs some rest now to recharge,” Peter answered.
Chris made his way over and knelt down to get a look at the girl, who was breathing on her own again. “She’s back in her own body so that’s a plus. I have Allison bringing over something to help her recover a little faster. Seems she has a new, powerful friend found out about us and sent some blood for her.”
“The hybrid I assume. Good, she could certainly use some to keep as close to 100%,” Peter shrugged, ignoring the jealous growls from his nephew. “So, she wakes up, slugs some blood, and we get back to practicing. Deaton still has his friend in his care, right?”
“Yeah. Jessica is secure and she can’t contact anyone unless we let her.”
Jacob moved to check on Leah, frowning as he wasn’t too pleased with what had been done. As unhappy as he was, he was also hiding his own terror at Bella’s capabilities. “What the hell is she?” he asked, staring down at her.
The supernatural hunter smirked as he turned his head towards him. “We could try explaining it but even with the demonstrations she just did, you still wouldn’t believe or understand the being that she is or how rare. How about you just do as you agreed to do when you came and learn to fight with our people so that we can beat these vampires.”
“How long is she gonna be out now?” Jacob asked, sighing as if annoyed by the entire situation now.
“Stop being a dick, Jake,” Seth snapped. “Bella isn’t yours, she never will be. We let her down and we are lucky that she’s even willing to let us fight with her even if it never makes up for letting her down the way the pack did. Get over it!”
“This has nothing to do with -” Jacob started to argue when a cold hand grabbed him by the throat and threw him back into the trees.
“You’ve been panting after that girl like she was a dog in heat far as long as I’ve known her,” Rosalie commented, stumbling back a step as she worked to get her bearings. “Even when she rejected my so-called brother, she still made it clear she wasn’t interested in you romantically. Now I suggest you grow the hell up and get with the program!”
Peter sighed, crossing his arms as he eyed the vampire. “Feeling better?”
She glared at him and rolled a shoulder. “That was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had to endure – but yes. She brought back the memories that bitch I ran into tried to take from me.”
“And do you know anything worthwhile?” the elder wolf questioned.
Rosalie glanced back down to Bella once she was certain that Jacob would keep his distance. “Aside from Edward being obsessed with her? I think he knew there was something more to her than the possibility of just being a shield. He and Alice were always off on their own, scheming. They needed her ability to be something more than just blocking a mind reader, so they did everything they could to break her. When she was willing to be changed, it wasn’t evident, but he still needed her to comply. I think he was banking on having a sire bond over her in order to control whatever gift she’d be granted after being reborn.”
Derek knew Bella suspected a lot of what was being said already and moved to his feet, picking up the girl in the process. Handing her over to Argent, who proceeded to secure her in the back of his SUV, he turned back to the vampire. “What of the Volturi that messed with your head?”
Rosalie froze, searching her memory. “The kings sent their tracker to the States, but they also contracted nomads to search as well and report back on children of the moon sightings. That’s what they call your kind, but it’s kinda stupid if you ask me. Regardless, that Sitala was able to glean that I knew Bella, but thankfully I hadn’t any clue of where she disappeared. The downside of that is that she knows what you all look like from when you rescued her from our house in Forks, so I wouldn’t doubt that they will be able to put two and two together quickly enough.”
That tidbit of information silenced everyone to the point that the now human Leah could hear a vehicle approaching their location. Turning to the new arrival, the shifters stood down from their defensive state when the local wolves seemingly recognized who was pulling up. The human in their group made his way over to the girl that jumped out of the truck and took a small package from her. Jacob scowled as he stared at their direction. Once Argent moved away from the girl, he froze with his mouth hanging open.
All the shifters took a look at their Alpha and then towards the teenage girl. Sighing they turned back to resume their training.
“What’s going on?” Isaac questioned, just as confused as Derek and Peter.
Seth was still beside him as they’d been silently watching everyone’s arguing to that point. “He imprinted on that girl. It means Bella won’t have to worry about Jacob being as much of an annoying retard towards her anymore.”
“Imprint?” he asked, frowning as he watched the shifter try to talk to Allison, who eyed him strangely.
“The screwed up mystics of our tribe’s way of saying who someone is their perfect mate. It really sucks though. Some of the guys are happy with the idea but I hope I never find one,” Seth explained as he watched the two. He couldn’t help but smile when the girl rolled her eyes, scoffing at whatever was said and going back to her father. The boys could hear her complaining to him about the weirdo hitting on her. “Serves him right to get stuck with someone who’ll give him a hard time.”
“She’s my ex-girlfriend. And my friend’s ex. You know the one that was here earlier, Scott? It is actually rather poetic justice when you think about it,” Isaac smiled as he watched the shifter continuously try to gain her attention.
Seth eyed him, curious about why he would say such a thing. “What do you mean?”
“She dumped Scott, then started dating me. I broke up with her because it was pretty clear she still had some feelings for him, though they both deny it. She comes from a family of hunters and her grandfather is a pretty sadistic one from what I understand. So it’s kinda funny that she’s magically attached to another type of werewolf now,” he grinned.
“So how long until Bella wakes up from this thing she can do?”
Isaac looked over at Chris who was speaking with Allison and Jacob, not looking particularly pleased with the shifter’s sudden interest in his daughter. “It’s hard to say. When she first came here, she was out for a long time but she was still recovering from the shit that the vampires did to her. I’m not sure about this time. As far as I know, she hadn’t done anything like what she did to these two since we rescued her.”
“What were they talking about with her and blood?” the vampire questioned as she joined the conversation, having finished. “She’s not a vampire.”
The wolf looked over to the Hales as they carried their friend off so that she could rest comfortably, he received silent permission to share some information with the two. Sighing, his scratched the back of his neck uncomfortably. Looking around, he noticed most of the shifters had moved into the woods and everyone else began to break away. It seemed the scrimmaging was over for the day, and he had no idea where everyone would be staying. “Uh, from what I understand, during one of Bella’s ghostly trips, she found a vampire, wolf hybrid creature whose unique blood was able to help heal her. They made friends and he shipped some of his blood to her since he couldn’t come help with the fight,” he said quickly, texting Derek to find out about housing arrangements for everyone.
When the response came back, Isaac looked up. “Vampy and the wolf boy Seth is welcome back to the Hale’s. Everyone else is on their own says Peter, according to Bella. She wants to talk more after she gets more rest.”
Rosalie nodded, a small sense of relief covering her before she looked towards the shifters. The majority were indifferent and expected such a response. Jacob appeared more upset. Angry, if she had to put a word to his expression, but it confused her as he had just imprinted so he should have let go of his obsession with the girl.
Isaac eyed the other wolf as well, sharing similar concerns. “I’m guessing since his imprint is fighting against him, he’s still grasping at threads.”
“Appears that way. He’s reminding me of Edward to be honest. Jealous of everything and everyone and must have what he cannot. Once Alice came into the mix, it only grew worse because his tastes began to include power. Now I see it was through Bella they intended to gain that and more than likely to use her as a weapon,” she theorized, giving a tired sigh. “Is it possible for me to feel so completely drained to actually be capable of sleep after what she did to me? I feel like I might be able to actually sleep for a decade.”
The werewolf shrugged. “Hadn’t had the pleasure and don’t hope to anytime soon. We should start making our way to the loft if we don’t want to have a cranky pack on our backs tonight. Derek has lightened up considerably with Bella around, but he can still be a real dick.”
Rosalie shrugged, unperturbed by the two wolves and their behavior in regards to Bella. If anything she approved but held her opinion to herself. Following the young creature through town, listening as he described the area, she could sense his pride in how Bella had changed and affected him and some of the local supernatural. She knew that the girl simply had a way of working her way into people’s affections without even trying.
Soon, she was leading up to a rather tasteful, yet minimalistic apartment that she certainly had no problem seeing the Bella she had once known to find comfort in as it did not take much to please the girl. The wolf that escorted her immediately made his way into the kitchen area, leaving her own her own and she just stood in the middle of the open room, looking around. Bella’s scent reached her from the direction of the sitting area with her wolf boyfriend.
He looked up over the back of the couch at Rosalie and scowled until she saw a small hand lightly smack his arm. As she got closer, she found Bella laying down and gave her a small smile.
“Sorry. Doing what I do takes a lot out of me,” Bella apologized.
“It’s fine. I mean, the experience sucked, but if you were able to get the information you needed to win this fight, then I’d go through it again,” Rosalie quietly replied.
Bella nodded a little as she looked up at the vampire, a curious glint in her eyes. “Emmett is dead, isn’t he?”
She shuffled her feet nervously as she glanced at the girl’s wolf before nodding. The uncharacteristic response from the vampire was not lost on the girl, causing her to sit up and glare between the two supernatural creatures. “What aren’t you telling me?” the girl commanded.
Derek remained silent as he rolled his eyes, leaving the vampire to say what she wanted. She heard the other wolf stop what he was doing in the kitchen area to watch what was going on and someone coming down from another area of the apartment. Sighing, Rosalie, shook her head. “Your friends here came in hard to rescue you from the family. There were a lot of our kind that allied themselves to Carlisle, Edward, and Alice that lost their lives. While Emmett was ignorant of what a lot, that day he saw an incoming threat and responded. You know as well as I that he doesn’t exactly think first and he was torn apart by a pair of really big fucking wolves. Those that survived were ones that either ran or had helped your friends in getting you out like myself and Garrett, who from what I understand put himself between Kate and some of the group so they could run you out.”
Bella was silent as she nodded. Hearing of the losses, while expected considering the fight she knew that her wolves would have had to go through to get her, there would have been casualties on one side or another. She was simply grateful that they were all on the other side. While Emmett hadn’t done anything to her, he hadn’t exactly stopped the others either and when they had the opportunities to get her out, he didn’t use it. Rosalie, she could excuse as she wasn’t as strong as he had been and she guided her wolves to where she was, she’d been told, and more as she saw through her memories through her own time in the house. As well as the period after.
“You should tell everyone what else you know. I thought I should give you time to calm down and settle before we got into everything again after everything that was going on. Besides, I didn’t want to be around the shifters any longer than I absolutely had to, with the exception of Seth,” she continued.
Derek had largely left the conversation go between the girls but once Bella insinuated that they were holding more back, he glared at them, growling irritably. While he was more angry at the vampire, he was also annoyed at his girlfriend for holding out as well. “What are you talking about?”
Bella stretched her legs out over his lap with a smile and shook her head and waved her finger at him, tsking him. “You won’t get any answers from me if you don’t cool your attitude. I’m not one of your wolves to command Derek. Remember that,” she scolded him and looked over the couch to Isaac. “Shoot a message to Argent. Let him know that he and Seth are welcome here. I’m okay with that one and only shifter crashing with us, but only if he stays in his human form.”
Isaac glanced at Derek and Bella a couple times before nodding and walking off to responding to his order somewhere quiet as he suspected that what was about to come wasn’t going to be something pleasant.
Rosalie continued to eye the wolf and her former charge nervously as she waited to continue her story. When Bella was satisfied that Derek wouldn’t interrupt much more, she looked back up at her and nodded. Swallowing unnecessary, she took a breath. “I didn’t know much about all that was going on, but I learned eventually that everything was planned over a long period of time. I mean years. Moving to Forks was a deliberate choice between Alice and Carlisle because of some power he knew that was in the area and some legacy that would have come from there that the rest of us were privy to know.”
Bella’s lips pressed together as both she and Derek already knew about the local Nemeton, but the Cullen’s little manmade one. What they weren’t sure of was this legacy she was referring to. “Legacy?”
Running her hand through her hair, she nodded. “Carlisle traveled through the area some years past searching for gifts to add to the family. He told us, well, Esme, Emmett, Jasper, and I that it was a potential mate for Edward so we thought nothing of the extra trips. Plus they scouted ahead of time for the next area we move to so it wasn’t unthought of when they went ahead of us to Washington a few years beforehand to get things set up for the move.”
“Why do I get the feeling that I am not going to like this very much?” Bella muttered as she curled herself up closer to Derek as he continued to glare at the vampire.
“Because no one would. When I found out, I took off the second I had the chance. Edward and Alice would have killed me knowing I would never have stayed knowing the truth,” Rosalie quietly replied. “I snuck up on them when they retreated to Denali and overheard them. Eleazer knew of a girl from Forks that was gifted as a child, extremely so but it was still being nurtured, though not locally. He didn’t know where. Carlisle past through to try to find out more, and failed, killing her father in attempt to take her in himself but she hadn’t been with him at the time…” she explained, raising a brow, waiting for her to catch up.
Before the couple could grow angrier or upset, she continued. “Alice continued to put things in motion, setting small things off to drive things off so things would go in certain directions,” she added in a tone as she leveled her gaze on Bella, knowing that she would understand what she would mean.
Bella clenched her fist as Derek turned his concerned gaze on the girl, concerned for her reaction. While she was upset, some of what was said was something they had suspected from what had been told to them by Jessica when she admitted that she’d been meant to move to Forks. “So, what you’re saying is Carlisle murdered my father? The supposed pacifist?”
Rosalie meekly nodded with a shrug. “That’s what I assumed. I never heard anything from Carlisle and I’m pretty sure he was killed during your rescue with many of the others. At least that’s what Edward and Alice were complaining about.”
Derek had been focusing more on the atmosphere and emotions around the vampire as they listened and frowned. “You don’t think he was killed while we were there.”
Sighing, Rose moved closer, leaning against the back of the couch as she thought about the fight and what she remembered. “Carlisle is extremely charismatic and can smooth talk humans and many of his enemies alike. How else do you think we were able to establish a base so close to the shifters as long as we had? But even with as many against us, he is a snake underneath it all. He’d abandon his family to save his ass. How Alice wouldn’t see him, I don’t know.”
“He’d have a wolf with him or something of one on him to cloak himself,” Bella answered immediately. He knows everyone’s abilities inside and out. Unless someone took him and is able to keep him hidden.”
“Would the blood of our kind be enough to do something like that?” Peter questioned, coming down from the upstairs loft, scrubbing a towel over his head.
Rose looked over at him curious. Thinking it over, she gave a hesitant nod. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t block Alice. It really wouldn’t take much. After all, all Bella had to do was step foot onto the reservation, or make a decision involving the pack and she disappeared from her sight.”
His eyes moved over to Bella with a thoughtful look. “Well, that might explain what the fuck Whitlock is up to and why he’s been avoiding my calls.”
Bella narrowed her eyes back at him. “I thought he was planning on attempting to rescue Jasper.”
“That’d be a suicide mission going into Volterra on his own,” Rosalie muttered.
She turned suspicious eyes on her wolves at that statement as she agreed with the blond. “What the fuck is he doing with Carlisle if he has him? Because if he ain’t dead, then I want answers.”
“We will get you answers, Princess. I promise you that,” Peter Hale answered before his nephew could as he finished sending off a scathing text message to Whitlock. Pocketing his phone, his lips pulled back as he eyed the group. “I have a feeling that things are about to get very exciting. Hope you’re ready to play!”