Chapter 1 Arrivals
Not sure why my father decided to send me to this God-forsaken corner of the country, but it is better than the base. At least, I can walk around without everyone seemingly staring at me. I don't care one way or the other, but I suppose the sheriff noticed the looks I got since he picked me up from one of the local military bases in the area. His name's Charlie. Not sure why they bothered with a guardian. I mean, after all, I am almost 18. Well, I do understand that my birthday isn't until summer of next year, and it's only December. At least, I don't have to go to the local high school, so that's a relief. It's Christmas break, anyway. I never felt the need to celebrate Christmas, even when everyone at the base would celebrate. I usually just sat in my room and studied. What more was there to do when your food was passed through a slot in the door? The mornings in the exercise yard were probably the best time of the day for me. The instructors were brutal, but that only made me stronger.
Charlie looked over at me as I looked out at the small town, and commented on the long ponytail that went down my back. It was one of those things that I felt gave me a bit of an identity. Everyone else on the base, as far as the guys, had a short crew-cut, but I know I wasn't one of them, and would never be.
"You sure you want to keep that?"
"What's wrong with it?"
"Not much. Doesn't matter to me, but I'll bet the other guys at the school might just make it really hard for you."
"So glad we covered that. Actually, I've got all my school stuff taken care of at the base. I graduated with full degrees in criminal science, medicine, and computer science, and a few other things."
"Well the law says you have to go to school until you're 18. I don't make the rules…Hmm. I suppose, it would be a waste of your time to go though."
"Phew. I'm glad you feel that way, Sheriff. I was afraid I'd be stuck in another facility. I'd probably go stir crazy."
Charlie smiled, "Why don't you work for me? You said you have your JD, too, right? I suppose you'd be the youngest deputy ever, but you'd still have to do the training."
When, we got back to his house, there was a black 1967 Chevy Impala on propped up on four cinder blocks. I looked over at him, and said, "That poor car."
"If you can fix it, it's yours."
"Of course, provided you have your license."
"I do. I didn't leave the base without that."
"Well, have at it, then. Now, while you're staying at this house, you will be required to abide by a curfew, as well as, study for your training."
"That, I can do." I said, and after that, we dropped off my stuff, and went to the local diner, where he bought dinner.
As far as the training, most would finish the academy in months. I finished it in a matter of weeks. I suppose those are the perks of being stuck in a base for hours on end with nothing more to do than studying.
I guess my mom needed to be with her guy. I suppose that's the only reason why I agreed to go to Forks to stay with my dad for a while. I would miss all the things that made life with my mom so unique. Now, here I was. Charlie took it pretty well. Maybe, he's hoping I'll like Forks enough to stay longer than a few months. He drove me back to the house I grew up in for the first few years of my life. Now, here it was again. There was nothing unique or special about the house, though. Maybe, I was just feeling the absence of my mom. It wasn't fair, I know, but I couldn't help it. I did notice that the front yard was missing something.
"Did you fix up the Impala?"
"I kind of sold it." Charlie drawled.
"You loved that car."
"Well, there's someone here who would take better care of it."
"Mom hated that car."
He nodded, knowingly, "Sometimes, you just gotta know when to let go."
Once I got settled in, I decided to relax a bit, and got undressed so I could just take a shower, and hopefully give myself time to think. I only had a towel around me as I went to take a shower. I do know that when I went to the bathroom, I heard the shower running, and Charlie had already gone downstairs to bring in the rest of my things.
I could only imagine who was on the other side of that curtain, so I took one of the bats that Charlie had laying around, and pulled it out of the closet. I reached out, and pulled the curtain away quickly as the figure seemed to move ever so slightly to face me as their hand came out from behind the curtain. He grabbed my wrist with one hand, and pulled the curtain open with the other. It wasn't a painful grasp, but it was pretty firm.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"That's what I want to know!" I demanded, and that's when my towel fell off.
"Well, you wouldn't have found much out if you had hit me over the head with a baseball bat." He replied, but his tone was surprisingly calm. I guess I expected sarcasm, or something equally nasty. Also, he quickly looked away, and pulled the curtain closed.
"That remains to be seen, pal."
"Are we really going to have our first conversation with nothing on?"
That's when I dropped the bat, and pulled the towel up around me again.
"You better not have looked!" I could tell that my face was probably really red.
"Agreed. Listen, give me a minute to get dressed, and I'll explain this whole thing when I get out. Right now, though, I'm a mess, and I really need a shower. I'll clear this all up when I get out. I promise."
"Fine. Just hurry up."
After I got dressed, I went downstairs to ask Charlie if he knew about the intruder in the shower, and he sort of chuckled about it.
"I'm sorry," he laughed now, "I guess I should have told you about that. He's a state ward, but they gave him over to me to keep an eye on his until he's old enough to be on his own."
"So, what's his name?"
I heard him as he came down the stairs, a towel around his neck, and wearing jeans with a black shirt tucked in. I looked up to see his face, and he had a slender face, as well as longish, black hair lightly brushing over his forehead. His lips were thin, as was his nose, but his eyes were a little wider, with the expression of a tired soldier.
"I'm Damien Summers. My apologies about the misunderstanding up there. I really didn't mean to startle you."
"Well, you did!" I scoffed at him, and I really didn't mean to, but I guess it was all too much. Having to come all the way out here, and then realizing my space wasn't all mine.
"Damien, my daughter, Bella. I'm sure she's pleased to meet you too."
"I'll be moving out soon, though. So, that should be a relief to you."
At that point, Charlie added his two cents, "That's right. He said he's found a place, and he'll move out once he's of age."
So, I demanded, "And when is that?"
"This coming summer. I've had my eye on a few places around here. I just have to put down a payment on them."
Again, I felt bad because he looked so apologetic, and really, he was a lot more polite than most guys. He even looked over at Charlie, trying to figure out when would be the best time for him to make an exit.
Finally, I calmed down, and just talked in my calmest voice, "Look. I'm ok with all this. I just wish I had a bit of warning before I got here."
"I totally get that. No more surprises."
I've got to say, the first time I saw her standing in front of me, with a towel wrapped around her, and a baseball bat in one hand, I fell for her, hard. I suppose it was her heart-shaped face, and that long brown hair of hers. Her dark eyes just took me in, and I realized this was why my father never wanted me to see the outside world. I guess up until then, I never really thought anything was out there that made the world worth saving. I was wrong. I hadn't seen much in my short life, and what I had seen was ugly, and distressing. It made for a very cynical person, making me feel like I would do whatever it was I was meant to do, and just go through with it, without any reservation or thought. She made me take a step back, and that was something that never happened before. It was like…magic.
Then, her towel fell to the floor. Ever the gentleman, I looked away before I found myself unable to do so. Didn't want her to think I was some sort of perv. I figured the best thing to do was to at least tell her that I wanted to finish showering so I could just explain everything afterward.
When I got downstairs, Charlie was already explaining the situation. I also told her I would be out as soon as possible. I have to admit that I said that with much regret. If anything, I didn't want to leave now. Still, those brown eyes softened, and I suppose she calmed down somewhat. Once I promised there wouldn't be any surprises, she smiled, and I had to look away briefly to keep myself from grinning like an idiot.
Later that evening, I decided to go out for a drive, and went out to my car. I sat in the seat for a moment, looking up at the window on the second floor. I shrugged, and turned the car on. After a moment, she came out, and walked over to me. Even in the dark, I could see some of her facial features. I could tell she was trying to figure out how to apologize, so I spoke up, hopefully with some humor in my voice.
"It's cool. I totally get it."
"What?" Bella looked a little puzzled.
"It's kind of annoying having a house guest when you're used to being an only child."
"That's not it. Anyways, you fixed this car up really nicely. Did you do all the work?"
"Sort of. Someone who helped me with the engine, and all that."
"I didn't mean to come off as such a bitch earlier. I really didn't."
"It's fine. I'm actually used to not being liked all that much."
"Hmm. You must have a tough time at school."
"Won't be going to school. I got a job with Charlie."
"You do know he's the chief of police, right?"
"Yeah. I'm also well trained in those matters as well."
"Anything you can't do?"
"I'll have to find out. Want to go out for a drive?"
"Well, where were you going?"
"For a drive...I'm actually trying to clear my head."
"I was too, when I found you in the shower."
"Well, if you get to interrupt my thinking time, I get to interrupt yours."
I drove off, just after she got in, and put her belt on. The road was pretty desolate at that time, but for me, it was pretty early. I figured that there might be a few cars on the road but no such luck. Finally, I came to a stop at the side of the roads by the cliffs, making sure her side was far enough from the edge, but I still insisted she come out through my door. She took my hands, which I offered, and slid out of the car. When she came out, she looked out over the ocean spread out beneath us.
"Wow. That's a pretty awesome view. I can see why you come here."
"I figured you might like it." She leaned over the hood of the car, and it took all my strength not to check her out. I simply looked out over the cliff, with her.
"So, you're a state ward?"
"I suppose that would be the term for it."
"How well do you know the area around here?"
"Well enough. I kind of grew up around here, but I only know this place by hearsay."
"I grew up on a base. It was pretty secluded."
"And this isn't?"
I chuckled at that, "Good point. What I meant was, that I didn't get out much. So, taking night trips out is something I take advantage of whenever possible."
"Curfew, huh? Bummer. I guess most of us civvies don't know how good we have it, huh?" She gave me a slight smirk as she looked to me.
"I'm not a soldier, myself. I guess I think like one, though."
"And what is that inner soldier telling you right now?"
"It's telling me I should get you home as soon as possible. I forgot that you are going to school tomorrow."
She sighed as she slid back into the car from my side, and belted in. I got in after a few moments, and was about to start the car when she reached out, and just held one of my arms.
"We don't have to rush home. I just want to talk, if that's ok with you."
"Sure. What do you want to talk about?"
"Actually, I was hoping you could tell me about yourself."
"There's not much to tell."
She looked up, and laughed, "Oooh, I doubt that."
"It's a pretty boring story. I spent most of my life at a base, and stayed in most of the time, studying."
"So, that's probably why you're so brainy."
I chuckled at that, "Yea. That's one way of putting it. Why don't you tell me about yourself?"
She looked over at me, startled, "Not so fast. What about your parents? Aren't they worried about you?"
"I never knew my mother. I had brief meetings with my father, and felt better off for not knowing him."
"That's pretty sad."
"That's life. I try not to ask for more that what is absolutely necessary."
"What about your night-drives? That's wanting more."
"I guess that's true. Also, this is more than what I would actually ask for myself."
"This moment, right now. Sitting in my own car, and talking to a very pretty, and smart girl with a sharp wit, and awesome attitude."
"You don't actually talk like that, do you?"
"Like you're older than me..."
"Does that bother you?"
She admitted, "It bugs me a little bit." but when she looked over at me, she gave me a playful smile as her eyes darted over to me. I let my hands fall to my sides, and looked over at her for a long time. At least, that's what it felt like to me, and I thought that the whole world stopped for just a moment, because she gave me the cutest smile I'd ever seen.
"It's ok, though." She was saying now, "It shows you're pretty mature, too. It's just that we're about the same age, I think. When's your birthday?"
"July 7th. Like I said, I am turning 18, this year."
"You said you had your eye on a few places, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I did."
"Would you care to show them to me?"
I did hesitate, then, if only for a moment. "Sure, if you like."
She gave me a slight perplexed expression, and asked me, "Are you sure? You sounded like you did a bit of a double-take there."
"No, sorry. I'm always like that. I've had a few bad run-ins with some of the people I knew at the base."
She frowned slightly, "I didn't know that. See? You do have a lot to tell me."
I inclined my head as I raised my hands back to the wheel, "I'll let you know when I narrow it down."
She held my shoulder for a moment, "Hey, it's ok. Relax." She let her hand linger there for a moment, and moved it down my arm. "They must've hurt you so badly."
"They did." And just like that, I felt like telling her about the others like me, also gifted. I wanted to tell her about my own circle of friends, and how envy and jealousy managed to tear us all apart until I couldn't stand to be close to anyone like that again. I almost did, too, until my cell went off. It was Charlie.
"Do you realize how late it is?" he demanded.
"It's eleven o'clock. I'm sorry. Time got away from me."
"Well, Bells has school tomorrow, so get home as soon as you can."
"Yes sir, of course. I'm sorry."
She was still looking at me as I started the car, and I explained, "It was Charlie, just now. He was worried about us being out so late."
"Right. This talk isn't over. ok?"
"You're right about that." I agreed, and maneuvered so we could go back the way we came.
He's so reserved, it bugs the hell out of me. I can tell there's something he wants to talk about, but he can't. I mean, it might actually cause him physical pain to share anything about himself. I'm not going to lie. I'm interested, but I don't know if he sees that. It's like he might be the type that dismisses the obvious, in order to keep functioning on a day-to-day basis. If anything, he could've made a move on me in the car, but he didn't. It's not like he wasn't considering it, but I could tell that he was really restraining himself. I feel, though, like he was going to tell me something. It would've been good for him to do it, too. Is there something that he wanted to get out, and maybe it would be like pulling a thorn out of his soul? He pulled himself back from it, quickly enough, though, and that told me a few things about him:
One, he was a very private person.
Two, he was really good at hiding his own pain.
And three, he excelled at evasion, and that meant from anything...even happiness.
So, I sat there, as he drove us home, and I could only wonder what was running through his head right now, at this very moment. I could say that I was only mildly curious, but again, that would be lying to myself. Also, the way he reacted to my touch, he was so tense, but he did relax with me a little bit. I wondered if I was the only one who had that kind of affect on him. I know, that just makes me sound like I'm full of myself, but it was true. He really did calm down when I touched him. If I could, I wanted him to calm down enough to just talk to me. Was that a possibility?
Maybe it was his way of drawing me in, to add that air of mystery to him, but that couldn't explain the real pain in his eyes when he talked about his past. I thought he might actually tell me something for a moment, until Charlie called. I might've imagined it, but I could've sworn that there was almost relief in his eyes when the call came. What I couldn't understand was why he felt he needed to hide anything. It wasn't like he was some kind of criminal. If anything, he was certainly mature beyond his years, and he might be brilliant as well, but I didn't know that. For all I knew, he might've been lying about the military base, and his past. If only that were true, and I could dismiss this feeling that he might need someone to talk to. No, I think he might need me.
Was that what a connection felt like? Like nothing else I'd felt before. Still, there was something else in his eyes, and that was a wish for the denial of his own existence. God, it sounded all so deep, but I bet that he felt way every moment of the day, and I could see it in his eyes now, as he looked intently on the road ahead, . his hands tightening on the wheel
"What are you going to be doing for my dad?"
"I'm his deputy. So, I'm guessing that I'm doing whatever he tells me to do."
"I'm guessing he might just have you do office work, or to go get coffee."
"Are you trying to reassure me?"
"I guess I am."
He almost laughed, but kept himself together. It wasn't quite the response I wanted, but it was better than seeing him with that stoic expression on his face. I mean, in a way, it seemed very natural for him to have that look, and that made me sad.
"How are you feeling about going to a new school?"
"Out here? Not so sure. I can only wonder how much of an outcast I'll be. If anything, I might just end up odd girl out by first period."
"I don't think so. I think a lot of the guys will be dying to get to know you."
"Are you saying that because you're just trying to be nice, or what?"
"I'm saying that because I'd like to get to know you, but I'll be busy at work. So, I guess I am a little jealous of your new classmates."
"Well, I don't envy you having to go to high school here, but that part about getting to know you…Yeah, I meant that."
I could see Charlie now, as he stood on the porch with his arms crossed, as we drove up. He was pointing at his watch, but I could tell he wasn't really mad. If anything, it looked like he was measuring up the both of us, side by side.
Well that's it for the first chapter. Do let me know what you think. Reviews are welcome. This is my first foray into Twi-fiction. So, hope you did enjoy.