Chapter 18 - An Unexpected Question

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Rosalie, despite her early resolution, had taken turns watching over the police chief. While there was no activity, it was a necessary precaution. Whoever was not standing guard was left with Lily at the house. Lily, while obviously concerned for her family, was doing her best to not let the situation affect her. All she could do was sit and wait.

Fortunately, it was not long until the family received an update. Unfortunately, it was not a pleasant update. Carlisle called Esme to pass along Alice's information about Bella's disappearance. The entire family knew this was a bad sign. Luckily, only Esme and Lily were at the house. Neither one of them wanted to be near Rosalie after being proven correct. Lily felt numb and remorseful for the human girl. She could tell she was crying light but didn't care. It was unfair. While the others seemed to be holding out hope, Lily was all too familiar with a human's odds against a vampire. She wasn't hopeful.  

She felt her breath hitch when the phone rang less than two hours later. She stood directly beside Esme as Carlisle's exhausted voice sounded through the phone.

"She's fine." Lily lets out a breath she wasn't aware she was holding. Carlisle continues, "She's a bit worse for wear. We are at the hospital now. James is no longer an issue."

Esme nodded. That would explain some of Carlisle's resigned tone. It wasn't just concern for Bella that weighed on him. It was also the fact that the family had to take a life.

"How is Edward?" Esme questioned.

"He's a bit on edge. He had to remove the venom from her blood before the transformation could take hold. He refuses to leave her room, but she should be discharged this afternoon."

"Venom?" Lily echoed. She couldn't believe that it had gone that far. Before they could ask anymore questions, Carlisle speaks quickly into the phone. "I have to go. I'll explain everything when we are at the house. Alice, Jasper, and Emmett should already be on their way back. They made sure there were no loose ends. Just know that they never left Forks."

The phone line died. Esme and Lily looked at each other in silence. Lily, wordlessly, headed upstairs to her room and sank into her covers. Her worry had led to exhaustion and she wanted nothing more than to drift on into sleep.

She was asleep before any of her siblings made it back.

____________________________________________________

Bella's return to school was anticlimactic. Lily still couldn't believe how gullible the children at Forks High School were. How anyone could believe Bella fell down two flights of stairs and through a window was beyond her. However, she had seen Bella trip over nothing before so she supposed it wasn't an unthinkable situation to happen. She also found it hilarious that Emmett had launched Alice through a window to create the evidence. When Lily had mentioned her disappointment at missing the event, Emmett and Alice were quick to offer her a demonstration, but Esme was quick to shut it down.

Besides Bella's boot, nothing had changed around school. With Bella acting as a human at the Cullen's table, Lily was free to alternate between her family and her friends during lunch. The school year was quickly coming to a close. The majority of her  siblings were preparing for another graduation ceremony while Alice was busy planning the perfect prom evening. The two events were less than a month away.

"Again, Alice I'm not going. Haven't you already convinced Bella to act as your doll?"

"Only slightly, Lily. She won't even let me do her make-up. It took days for her to take the dress I bought her."

"Alice, don't get me wrong, I'm sure it would be fun, but I don't have anyone to go with."

"We'll go..."

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