Chapter 15: Readying
It's 2:30 Tuesday mornin', and I just fed on two rapists/murderers. They were delicious, and will never be able to hurt someone again. Little One surprised me when she was describin' her Jasper fuckin' her on the phone a while ago. Things aren't movin' at the pace they were supposed to. Somethin' significant changed, but I don't know what. It coulda been any number of things, but who knows.
I was on my way to see a wise old shaman in North Dakota, who was turned 600 years ago. I was hopin' to get some information on Little One's changes and what it was leadin' to. I know she'll be extraordinary, but there's still so much I can't tell the Major. I want to, but don't have the information to give.
This is why I hate how my gift works. Bits and pieces of things pop in my head, yet I only get the information as it's needed. No backstory, no what to expect, just the powers-that-be messin' with my mind, sendin' me what they think I should do at the time. A little more info would be nice now and then. The worst part is I know the Major’s probably goin' crazy worryin'... that's his mate this is happenin' to.
I was comin' to the Shaman's meetin' field. I was right on time as we greeted each other in peace. We sat Indian-style in the exact center of the field, to talk about what was happenin' to Little One. He said she'd be extremely powerful once she was turned, but that she wouldn't have control or full access while she was human.
He told me of stories his people had long ago, of a time when a true elemental would come. She'd be most beautiful, and she'd be able to fully use as well as control all four elements. She'd be so connected to the elements, that she'd truly be the earth, air, fire and water when the need arose. He believed that Little One was the elemental his stories told about. He was hopin' to gift her when she was turned. I told him that I certainly would tell her mate what he wished, then the Shaman grinned wryly as he thanked me for comin'.
Just as I made to leave, he explained that there was an ancient prophecy that was tied to the true elemental. He didn't know the exact prophecy himself, but he knew of someone who would. He gave me the contact info, then I made my leave.
The person I was lookin' for was in Salt Lake City, so I started runnin' in that direction. I could make it there by noon. Less than a minute later, my feet stopped on their own accord, then turned in the direction of Washington.
Shit! Shit, shit, double-shit!
I would be lucky if I made it in time. Little One is gonna need me and her Jasper this afternoon. She’s not supposed to need me until after she's safely in Texas. I'm not even prepared! I turned around to head back to the field, hopin' the shaman would still be there.
Just as I dashed into the field, I noticed the shaman sittin' exactly where I left him, arms stretched out and up like an offerin' to the Gods, a small bottle in each hand. He watched me approach, then offered the bottles to me, “I knew you would be back. You know what to do with these. She needs you... go. We will talk again soon.”
I thanked him profusely as I dashed off in the direction that the tiny heartbeat and awareness of my sire were callin' me.
I stayed to the trees as I ran, huntin’ again just outside the Washington state line. I reached into my pocket, flippin’ my phone open at the distinct ringtone. Char. God, I love that woman. I told her what I knew, which wasn’t nearly enough. She wished me luck, then asked me to call her when all was well. We said words of love before we hung up.
As I neared Forks, my phone rang again. Major. I ran faster as I opened my phone. I'm almost there, Little One. Hang on.
She must have been so tired after today. She just fell asleep in the middle of us talking to Char. “She's asleep now, guys. How're you doing, Char?”
She laughed softly, “I think that question really needs to go to you, Major. This is your mate these changes are affecting.”
I sighed, “I'm just worried about her. We're gonna need to change her soon... the episodes take a lot out of her mentally. She's never fallen asleep in the middle of a conversation before. She's already got a lot going on in that sweet mind of hers, but I think the whole thing with Victoria and the newborns got to her more than she lets on. That's the only thing I can think of that triggered her need for Peter so soon. I'm just amazed that she made the leap from her dreams and how many are missing, to Victoria making newborns. She is truly amazing.”
Char growled, “Wait, what did you say?”
Oh, shit... we skipped over that part earlier.
I looked at Peter, but he just shrugged. “Sit down, Char. This story is gonna take a minute. Okay. Near the beginning of the summer, while I was still married to the pixie bitch, Bella was with Edward. We were all playing baseball one day during a storm. Bella was there watching. Alice didn't see them coming until it was too late to get Bella outta there. Three human drinkers... James, Victoria, and Laurant. They knew we weren't human drinkers from our eyes, but James smelled Bella and said we brought a snack. The family all took protective positions... but none of us realized James was a tracker at that point. His emotions were all sick and twisted. It was his game.”
Peter gave a disgusted shake of his head, but I said, “We got Bella out of there, then the family split up. Some as a decoy, some to lead James away, while Alice and I ran Bella south to Phoenix to keep her safe. James realized not long into it that Bella wasn't really still here, so he tracked us to Phoenix. Edward and the family were going to meet us at the airport, then he was gonna take Bella away somewhere safe, but James called Bella's phone saying he had her mother. Bella gave me the slip to meet James on her own, at a ballet studio she went to as a kid. He snapped her leg, flung her into the mirrors, sliced open her femoral artery, and bit her wrist.”
Peter was having a hard time holding in his growl as he picked up her wrists gently one at a time. I pointed to the scar, but continued, “Guys, she was in so much pain when I entered that ballet studio. When I saw how broken she was... the Major took over. I didn't even have time to stop it. I ripped him to pieces before burning down the whole studio. Edward sucked the venom out, but almost killed her. He took too much blood. They had to transfuse her while keeping her sedated for 3 days. Bella recovered, of course, but she's been having dreams lately that she's running in the forest. She keeps seeing flashes of fiery red hair. Victoria is the only vampire she's met with that color hair. It doesn't bother her sleep, but she says they happen all the time. Add that to the 5 dead and 25 missing people in Seattle… well, she believes Victoria is coming for her. Victoria believes James was her mate, but the kicker of the whole thing is, James told Bella during her torture that he had no use for a mate. His game of hunt and kill was his life... he liked it that way.”
I ran my fingers through my hair, then said seriously, “The line that stuck with me when Bella was flipping out was, 'A mate for a mate.' If Victoria truly did believe James was her mate, that would be the exact reaction. A mate for a mate. The thing is, Bella thinks that Victoria doesn't know the Cullens left. If she still thought they were here, with all of the talents in the family, what would she do? She would need help like Bella said. The cases in Seattle add up to an army of help. It's risky. She's not being careful about exposure, but it all adds up to Bella's epiphany earlier.”
Char was cussing under her breath. Peter was silently stroking Bella's neck. I felt his need to be close to her, but she was still laying on her back from her massage. She wouldn't sleep long like that. “Char, bear with us a minute. Bella has been sleeping straddling me all night for the past few nights. She won't sleep long like she's laying now.”
I motioned for Peter to lean against the headboard as I gently picked Bella up. I placed her on his chest, then she instantly wrapped her arms and legs around him. He smiled as she sighed contentedly. He started tracing her elements like I do all night. I smiled as I sat next to them, kissing Peter lightly. “Okay, Char. She's good now.”
I could practically feel Char's feelings from here as she said, “Major, I don't like this one bit. I think Bella's right about Seattle. How did she know the exact numbers?”
Peter took this one, “Her Dad's the police chief here, Doll, and academy buddies with the sheriff there. He called Charlie askin’ for his help on a linked case with 30 confirmed victims. Charlie's headin' the case with Sheriff Jackson. Bella's afraid Victoria will catch his scent, since she's been in the house before.”
Char growled, then reined it in, “I don't want you three anywhere near Seattle. You need to get the fuck outta Forks asap.”
Peter said softly, “Sugar, listen. Charlie's comin' home tomorrow. Bella's got all the paperwork ready, along with her GED she got today. She's gonna tell Charlie she got early acceptance to U of T, and the letter from Jenks will be her proof. We're headin' outta here first thing Thursday mornin'. We won't be out of each other’s sights until we see ya. We're comin' straight to Texas... no side-steppin.”
She sighed, “Alright, Peter. Just promise me you three will stay safe and come home to me.”
I stepped in, “Char, you heard Bella as she fell asleep... she loves her three vampires. We'll keep safe; we'll be home as soon as we can.”
Char sighed heavily, “Okay, Major. Call me when you get on the road, so I know you're okay. Let that sweet girl get some rest. Oh, did you have Jenks get her a credit card on your accounts? If she's anything like a vampire, she'll wanna make a good nest for her mate. She'll be redoing the whole house. Peter had us repaint all the walls white a few months ago. I guess I know why now.”
I chuckled as I thought about that. “Yeah, Char. It was in the folder with the U of T forgery and the fake ID I had him make. I wanted her to have one in case she gets carded at a club. She about choked when she saw the black AmEx, though. The look on her face was almost funny.”
I sighed, then said, “Well, we need to finish packing if you want us to get home. Peter will call you as soon as we leave. I'll make sure of it.”
She replied immediately, “Thanks, Major. Love you all.”
Peter piped in, “Love you too, Doll. Bye.”
When Peter hung up the phone, the first thing he said was, “Why aren't ya sittin' here in my place right now?”
I cupped his cheek as I whispered, “I feel how much you need to be close to her right now. She feels the same way, even in her sleep. She'll be glad she's curled around you when she wakes up… and I'll be right next to you so she knows we're all together.”
Peter looked thankful, but he still projected it to me as he offered, “Thanks, Major. It just got to me to know she went through all that. She's such a little fighter, isn't she?”
I nodded, “I haven't told you half of it. Do you know what happened on her birthday?”
He shook his head, so I continued, “Evil Pixie Bitch was insisting on throwing Bella a party that night. I had been getting flashes of weird vibes from Edward, but couldn't place what was off. Just before Bella cut her finger on the wrapping paper, Alice and Edward shared a look, then I got a huge wave of obsession and possessiveness from Edward. I caught what was happening… tried to get her away from him before he lost control, but they made it look to everyone like I was going after her. He threw her into a table full of glass dishes.”
I lifted her arm to trace the now-permanent scar along the inside of her arm. “This is what happened when he threw her. The broken glass cut so deep that it almost hit the artery. Carlisle had to put in 3 sets of stitches.”
I shuttered at the remembrance of what happened next, “A few days later, Edward asked her to go for a walk. That was the day I got back, Alice handed me divorce papers, and just fuckin' walked out the door. That's another story, though. He broke up with her in the woods... in the fuckin' woods... then walked away from her, leaving her there alone. She tried to run after him, but somehow ripped the stitches. When Emmett and Rosalie walked out the door, they told me Edward was breaking up with her right then. I just ran... ran straight here. Her scent was at the edge of the woods with his, so I followed. When I reached her, he was gone, and she looked so broken. I brought her back here, then used my venom to seal the wound. I had to try and ease as much of her pain as I could. I've been with her ever since. It's only been a few days, but it seems like she's gone through so much. I can't live without her, Peter. We can't let anything else happen to her.”
Peter wrapped his spare hand around mine as I laid my head on his shoulder. “I know, Major. I love her, too. We'll make sure nothin' happens, get her safe enough to turn her soon. Do ya realize that she took on two very well endowed vampires tonight... twice... while she's still human? That's on top of the two times ya had with her throughout the day before I even got here. Ya think the three of us can keep her satisfied once she's turned? She definitely has a hell of an appetite for sex.”
I chuckled, “Fuck, it'll be a beautiful existence trying. I don't think we'll have a problem with her satisfaction, though. The simplest things keep her sated. I'll need to let you feel what she feels when she eats. The simple act of eating, and she's completely satisfied. I know that's not what you're talking about, though. Hey, would you be willing to feel her emotions for a full day? I think it would help you feel close to her like you need.”
He didn't hesitate to answer, “I'd be honored, but I'd want her to approve it first. I'd feel like I was spyin' if she didn't know I was there. Do ya know what we're shoppin' for tomorrow?”
I laughed at his change of subject, “Yes. We need to pick up 4 or 5 bags of ice, I wanna go back to the health food market to get a few things, we need to go to the mall to get new car chargers for our phones, and while we're out we're gonna buy her some lingerie. We only got through one website when we went shopping online. That's not nearly enough. I can't wait to see her in some of the corsets we picked out.”
He laughed, “Is there a certain place ya want to take her? I know of a vampire-owned boutique in Texas that's not too far from the house.”
I laughed, “Are you talkin' about Jacqueline’s? I want to take her to Evangeline's. They're twins, you know. They were turned together over 90 years ago. They make the best quality lingerie. Bella won't let us shop there all the time.... not unless we make sure to rip enough that she has to keep replacing them.”
We both laughed at that, then I said, “I wanna get as much of this packing done as possible before she wakes. I want her as relaxed as can be today. It's the last time she'll see Charlie. I don't know if that's sunk in yet for her. Hold her close and trace her spine. That's when she's calmest during sleep.”
I kissed Peter softly, then placed kisses down Bella's spine. With very little venom, I licked her elements as I sent love and peace to her. I got up to make my way over to the luggage. As I pulled out a pair of boxers to put on, I said, “Peter, we'll need to get you a few things for clothes while we're at the mall. We have plenty of room in the suitcases. Also, will you need to feed before we leave?”
Peter shook his head, “No... I fed before I got to the Washington state line out of respect for Bella. That was only a precaution, as I fed on the two rapists/murderers right after the phone sex. That was pretty hot, by the way. Either way... I'm good until after we get home. Your eyes are still light... do ya feel the need to hunt?”
I smiled. “No. I went right before her time with the Major. I fed on 2 mountain lions and a huge bear. There was no way I was taking a chance with her... even though I crave her essence on my tongue a million times more than her blood. I don't know if I'm explaining it right.”
Peter laughed, “No, you're right. Only the second time I was with her intimately, I was literally beggin' her to let me lick her. Ya described it well, Major. Her flavor, it's indescribable. I've never tasted anythin' that could compare. Char would agree.”
I was almost done with the room. It was looking quite bare now. There were a few things she wanted to leave in the closet, a few pictures of her and Charlie she was gonna set out in the living room, the alarm clock she was leaving, 2 boxes of stuff being donated, then 3 boxes plus the luggage and coolers were coming with us. “Peter, don't let me forget to go to the sleep store in the mall. I wanna buy her a couple of good pillows to have in the truck. I also wanna get as many dietary items as we can pack into the coolers. Did we figure out what to do with her eating schedule today? She's planning on having the salmon I bought for dinner tonight, with green beans and potatoes.”
Knowing I wasn't finished, he waited for me to continue, so I said, “She seems to be automatically gravitating to what her body needs when she eats. Yesterday she had eaten a bowl full of grapes and cherries, a small bag of flower chocolates, along with 2 juices. Then she got up when she finished to get coconut milk. When she closed the fridge door, she saw the banana. She started feeling like she was eating too much, but I told her that her body was telling her what it needed, not to be ashamed of that. She had just soaked ½ the fucking bed, Pete. Of course, her body needed to replenish. She finally saw what I was saying, so she ate the banana. The good thing is, the instant I feel any hunger coming from her, she's at the fridge getting something.”
Peter was tracing his fingers up and down her spine, placing sweet little kisses on her neck and shoulder. I loved that Peter could love my mate, too. It made me all warm and fuzzy. “Well, other than havin' her eat some nuts and melon this mornin', I think we should let her go with what she needs. If we get the feelin' she needs somethin' added any time she eats, we can always do that. She does seem to have the instincts down pat. They haven't led her wrong yet. We need to add Goldschlager Cinnamon to her liqueurs now that my element has appeared. You have enough of the other two in the cupboard to last past us gettin' home, but we'll need to add 4 bottles of the cinnamon to it. The house is stocked with all four of the liqueurs she'll need there. She'll need the Kalani Coconut once she's been with Char. Speakin' of which… the oils you've been usin' are really good quality. We'll want to stock up on all of the needed ones from them if we can. If they sell it, we'll want to get the bases to mix our own lotion, shampoo, conditioner and such. The ones she uses now are okay, but they won't be for long.”
I grabbed the laptop, sat down next to Peter, booting up the laptop as I said, “Let's go check it out. I think I saw something on the site for that. We'll get it ordered so that we can start mixing up what she needs when we get home.”
Once at the site, I navigated to the section for the base lotions and liquid soaps. We ordered a gallon each of shower gel, organic shampoo and conditioner, and deep therapy cream. We also got Jade Green, Pearl Blue, Silver Sparkle, and Bright Red liquid colorings for easy distinction in her choices. It could be used in all of her shower products. We got 8 oz each of coconut, jasmine, apple, and cinnamon oils so that we had them to correlate to Peter and Char's scents. We went through the checkout process, then were done in no time. The only thing we would need to buy is scent diffusers for the house. I didn't think any that they carried would suit Bella's taste, and neither did Peter.
“Mmm... Peter.. sm...” Peter looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
I shrugged, explaining, “Edward said she used to talk in her sleep nightly, but this is only the second time since I've been with her. I'll tell you, Peter. I thank the Gods every day that Edward never had the courage to do anything more than chastely kiss her.”
Peter looked at me in awe, “No way! You're tellin' me that this sex goddess, naked in my lap, was untouched when ya got together?!”
I grinned like a Cheshire cat, “Yup. All mine. She'd never said anything, so I didn't think she was... until I felt her barrier while my fingers were knuckle-deep inside her. Boy, was that a surprise. I felt like a complete shit then. There I was completely wanting to fuck her senseless, especially with the feelings she was throwing out, yet she'd never been touched before. That slowed my shit right down, Brother. She wasn't shy, though. Everything with her, it's like she was born to do whatever she's doing... she just does it that well.”
Peter nodded his head slowly, knowing it first hand. “She's definitely amazin'. She's gonna be so powerful. It's humblin' to see her power grow. To see the changes happenin' right in front of ya. She's gonna need all of our help to learn how to access and control her powers.”
I ran my fingers up her spine, then she whispered in her sleep, “My Jazz... missed you...”
I smiled, “She's aware even in her sleep. That's incredible. She knew I wasn't holdin' her... that you were. Watch...”
I took my hand away, placing Peter's on his elemental mark on her back. She sighed, "Peter's passion.”
He took his hand away, so I brought my tongue to trace both her and my elements. She arched into me, “Jasper's ground...ing.” Amazing. Absolutely incredible.
“Wow, what was she feelin'?” Peter wondered.
“The same as she said. When you touched her, her passion level jolted and settled. Then when I traced, she seemed more stable.”
We talked for a little while longer until we both sensed that she was starting to stir. I had told Peter how she was in the morning, but I wanted him to experience it himself. I gently got out of bed, then sat silently in her rocking chair to watch the show about to start.