Chapter 11: Runaway
It was early morning when Bella woke up again. I had spent the night in the bedroom; keeping an eye on her while she slept, as Jasper and Alice watched TV. Alice kept trying to see the future and I could hear their supposably quiet voices. They were speaking quickly and with urgency. I was about to see what was going on when I heard Bella wake up.
She glanced at me as I approached the door before rolling over until her feet hit the floor.
We walked out to see Alice and Jasper sitting together on the sofa, Alice sketching again while Jasper looked over her shoulder. Bella stood by Jasper to peek while I glanced over Alice’s other shoulder.
“Did she something more?” Bella asked Jasper quietly.
“Yes. Something’s brought him back to the room with the VCR but its light now.”
I watched carefully as Alice started draw a square room with dark beams across the low ceiling. The walls were panelled in wood, a little too dark, out of date. The floor had a dark carpet with a pattern in it. There was a large window against the south wall, and an opening through the west led to the living room. One side of that entrance was stone –a large tan fireplace that was open to both rooms. The focus of the room from this perspective, the TV and VCR, balanced on a too-small wooden stand, were in the southwest corner on the room. An aged sectional sofa curved around in front of the TV, a round coffee table in front of it.
“The phone goes there,” Bella whispered, pointing.
We stared at her. How did she know that?
“That’s my mother’s house.”
Alice sprang off the couch, her phone in her hand, and was dialling while Bella stared at the rendering of her mother’s house. Jasper slid close to her and touched his hand to her shoulder, trying to calm her down I guess.
I could hear Alice talking at vampire speed, her lips trembling as she tried to avoid Bella’s hearing. “Carlisle, he’s at Bella’s mother’s house. He was running a VCR in the dark. I’m not sure what his doing but we need to get Bella out of here.” I couldn’t fully make out what Carlisle’s response was but I heard the words ‘Edward’, ‘hide’ and ‘while’.
She then called out to Bella. “Bella, Edward is coming to get you. He and Emmett and Carlisle are going to take you somewhere, to hide you for a while.”
“Edward is coming?” Bella looked surprised, almost relieved that my brother was coming to get her.
“Yes, he’s catching the first flight out of Seattle. We’ll meet him at the airport, and you’ll leave with him.”
“But my mother… he came here for my mother Alice!” Bella cried out, hysteria bubbling up with every word that she spoke.
“We’ll stay here until she’s safe.”
“I can’t win, Alice. You can’t guard everyone I know forever. Don’t you see what he’s doing? He’s not tracking me at all. He’ll find someone, he’ll hurt someone I love… Alice I can’t –”
“We’ll catch him Bella,” Alice tried to reassure her.
“And what if you get hurt Alice? Do you think that’s okay with me? Do you think it’s only my human family he can hurt me with?”
Alice glanced meaningfully at Jasper. A feeling of lethargy touched me but it drew back. I watched Bella’s eyes close as Jasper tried to influence her to sleep. But suddenly her eyes cracked open and she stood up, stepping away from Jasper’s hand.
“I don’t want to sleep,” she snapped before walking to her room and slamming the door. But this time, Alice or I didn’t follow her. She needed to be alone.
I could hear her sobbing in her room. The minutes she spent crying soon turned into hours. The only hope that she had left was that she could see Edward again. Perhaps he could find a solution for her.
She only came out when the phone rang; looking a little ashamed of her behaviour while Alice was talking rapidly on the phone. I paid no attention to her this time though and watched Bella. She glanced at the clock– surprised at the time. It was five-thirty in the morning.
“They’re just boarding the plane,” Alice told us both. “They’ll land at nine-forty-five.” So only just a few more hours to wait.
“Where’s Jasper?” Bella asked.
“He went to check out,” Alice answered her as I gathered up out few belongings and stuffed them into our few bags.
“You aren’t staying here?” Bella asked.
“No, we’re relocating closer to your mother’s house,” Alice answered just as the phone rang. Alice answered it before mouthing ‘your mother’ to Bella. I took that as my cue to leave.
I went downstairs with our luggage to find Jasper. He was waiting patiently in the lobby, sitting on a couch with a car key in his hand.
“Ready to go?” I asked him as I sat our few bags on the ground before sitting next to him. I wrapped an arm around him as he leant his face into his hands, his elbows leaning on his knees. The blonde secretary was giving me the evil eye as I comforted him.
“Let’s go back up to Alice,” I suggested as a bellboy came to load out luggage onto a golden trolley. Jasper handed him the keys, whispered some hurried instruction before following me upstairs. As we re-entered the hotel room, Alice looked up worried. Bella was nowhere to be seen and I was worried… until I heard the shower in the other room.
‘I had a vision,” she told us glumly. “We’re going to fail… I saw Bella… And James, in the room.”
Jasper walked swiftly to her side and began to mutter in her ear. “No we won’t Alice. We’ll do everything we can to keep her safe. We’ll keep a close eye on her. Very close. Nothing will slip past us, I promise.”
Alice still looked unsure. Jasper kissed her, while wrapping an arm around her. I heard Bella exit the shower. I heard her ruffle around in her bag just as Jasper handed me a pair of sunglasses. I slipped them on as Bella came out.
Back downstairs, I slipped into the backseat this time, sitting as far away from Bella as possible. Alice sat with her back leant against the door of the car, facing Jasper, but shooting glances at Bella and I every few seconds.
“Alice?” Bella asked indifferently.
She was wary as she glanced at Bella. “Yes?”
“How does this work? The things that you see?” Bella stared out the side window but her voice was curious but yet still somewhat bored. “Edward said that it wasn’t definite, that things change?” A wave of serenity washed over us all, Jasper was obviously trying to calm Bella down. Still.
“Yes, things changed,” Alice murmured in response, sounding somewhat hopeful. “Some things are more certain then others… Like the weather. People are harder. I only see the course their on while their on it. Once they change their minds –make a new decision, no matter how small –the whole future shifts.
“So you couldn’t see James in Phoenix until he decided to come here,” Bella concluded while nodding to herself.
We got to the airport quickly thanks to Jasper’s driving and it was packed. The plane Edward was on was landing at terminal four, the largest terminal and where most of the flights were landing so it was no surprise that his was as well.
We parked in the huge garage on the forth floor. Bella led the way, knowing her surroundings of the airport better then any of us. We took the elevator down to level three, where the passengers unloaded. Alice and Jasper were discussing the departing flights.
Soon we settled in the plastic chairs by the metal detector to wait for Edward’s flight to come in. Bella’s foot was tapping involuntarily while Alice, Jasper and I people-watched but every time that Bella shifted or squirmed in her seat, we would glance at her quickly from the corner of our eyes.
The minutes began to pass quickly, something which I had grown used to as an immortal, and Edward’s arrival grew closer. At least once every ten minutes, Alice would ask Bella is she wanted to get breakfast. Bella kept telling her that she wasn’t hungry and maybe later.
As Edward’s flight ticked closer to the top of the board and when he wasn’t due for another thirty minutes, there was a change. Instead, his plane would be flying in ten minutes early.
“I’ll think I’ll eat now,” Bella suddenly said quickly.
Alice stood, “I’ll come with you.”
Bella shook her head. “Do you mind if Jasper comes instead? I’m feeling a little…” She didn’t finish the sentence.
If Alice found this odd, she didn’t show it. But she did look confused. Jasper stood and guided Bella away to the cafeteria.
“That was… odd,” I eventually remarked. “Why would Bella want Jasper instead of you?”
Alice looked a little worried now. “I think… I think we are still going to fail…. I don’t know how but I can still see James and Bella in the room.”
“Jazz is there,” I reassured her and that was the end of it. We sat silent for a few minutes as the arrival of Edward’s plane drew closer.
There was two minutes to go before the plane was due to land. We waited anxiously, standing by the terminal but Alice suddenly stiffened.
“No…” she whispered. “No, Bella.”
“Alice, what’s wrong?” I cried, panicky. I was never one to stay calm in a bad situation. Jasper would calm me down but just the presence of my family was enough to make me feel safe.
“Bella, she’s in the sunlight, in a taxi. She’s going to the studio,” Alice explained, her voice dripping with concern. “She’ll get there in half-an-hour. But…”
“It’ll be too late,” I finished her sentence. “But how? And what are we going to do?”
“Stay here,” she ordered. “I’m getting Jasper.” As she darted off as quickly and humanly as she could she shouted, “Thirty seconds!” over her shoulder.
I stared after her for a few seconds just as the roar of the plane came into my hearing range. It was very close to landing. I spun around as it landed safely and the passengers started to come out of the terminal. I searched for my lanky brother, trying to see his hair.
I saw Carlisle first with Emmett and Edward by his side. Edward looked anxious, Emmett worried and Carlisle, calm.
“Carlisle!” I called out and ran over to him just as Alice and Jasper returned.
“Shayla!” Carlisle called back as he and the others came closer. I hugged them Carlisle and Emmett first but as I turned to Edward, he stepped back, apparently having other ideas.
“Where’s Bella?” he demanded.
I gulped nervously, swallowing a mouthful of venom, before speaking. “She’s… she’s gone. She took off. We couldn’t follow her, she went into the sun.”
“WHAT!” Edward roared so loud that several people stared at him. “How the hell did she get away?” He glared at me for a moment before Alice and Jasper came to defend me from his abuse.
“Edward, calm down,” Jasper ordered. “It was my fault. Bella wanted to eat so we went to get her food but she needed a… a human moment so I let her go. Next thing I know, she’s gone and I managed to track her to outside but by that time, the sun had come out.”
Edward looked murderous. “We have to go find her—now. Before Alice’s vision happens!”
“No one is arguing with you there,” Jasper replied. He quickly explained what Alice had seen to Emmett and Carlisle. Their confused expressions soon turned to shock and then determination.
Slipping into the garage, Alice managed to produce several items of clothing to use to cover our skin and to stop the sun hitting it. I pulled on the long-sleeved shirt and jeans that Alice tossed at me and the leather gloves as well. She helped me tie a scarf around my face before I slipped on the black sunglasses.
“You drive,” she then ordered, tossing me the keys. “I keep getting visions and I need to concentrate on them.”
I nodded and got it, revving the engine impatiently as Carlisle hoped in the front with Edward, Jasper and Alice in the back. Edward expression kept changing as he analysed each of Alice’s rapidly changing visions.
I sped out of the parking lot, going as fast as I could. Like the others, I loved to go fast and when I was on my motorbike, the best thing was feeling the wind in my face as I raced down lonely highways and on deserted trails in the woods.
“Keep an ear out for cops,” I murmured to Edward as I ran a red light. A car honked in protest as it swerved to avoid me.
Edward gave an irritated growl. “Not now Shayla.”
Alice kept talking as we drove, keeping tabs on Bella and giving me directions. “Go down there Shayla, there’s less traffic. Watch out, there’s a cop on the next corner… No, Bella, don’t…”
It went on and on like this. Finally I saw the street which would lead me to the ballet studio but Jasper put a hand on my shoulder. “Pull over,” he ordered.
“What for?” I demanded but I did so anyway.
Edward nodded his head at Jasper. “Good idea Jasper, get that one there.” He pointed to a silver four-wheel-drive parked a few spaces away.
I now understood what they were doing. If any destruction happened to the ballet studio, and someone saw the car, we could be tracked down and our secret could be revealed.
Jasper quickly jimmied open the door without causing any major damage and I stuck my hand under the steering wheel, pulling out some wires from beneath the panel under it. I knew my days as a small-time criminal would come in handy one day. I had never done anything major like armed robbery, just a few breaking-and-enterings, car-jacking, and a few protests were I had been arrested for whatever reason. But it wasn’t like I did it for the fun of it of course; there was a reason behind every one of my crimes. I only had gotten caught once but, thanks to Jasper and his grand computer hacking skills, my criminal record was clean, completely clean. Carlisle and Esme were not too pleased about my criminal activities though, even with the reasons behind them.
“Got it,” I grinned as the car rumbled to life.
“Hurry Shayla!” Alice urged as we took off again.
Everyone was anxious as I skidded to a stop in front of the ballet studio. The blinds were drawn and I could hear the air-conditioner running. An ear-splitting scream echoed from inside it.
“NO!” Edward thundered as he raced inside. We all ran after him. I could hear Bella’s sobbing and screams, followed by a sadistic laugh from James. He was dead meat now. Because no one touches my little sister when I’m around.