After Renee and Phil die in a car accident on Bella’s 17th birthday. She is sent to live with her father, Charlie and brother, James in Forks WA after being separated for 10 years with no contact. Charlie dabbles in training and placement of the “perfect” wife for exclusive clientele. Bella quickly learns that she’s going that she’s going to get more than a high school education. She's going to be educated with a purpose.
I don’t own Twilight
The Perfect Wife – Chapter 1
Hi, I’m Bella Swan. This is my story. There are no heroes in life, only levels of villains. If you’re fortunate, you learn how to survive.
My parents divorced when I was seven and my brother James was ten. I went with my mom and James stayed with my dad, Charlie. Maybe if Renee had fought for both of us I could have had a normal life. But she met Phil, her other half, and the two of them raised me. She never mentioned my dad or brother to me, and would never say why I didn’t get to see them. I knew other kids whose parents were divorced and they always talked about their weekends or summer vacations going back and forth. I never did that, and James never came here either.
My life was wonderful and full of love. Renee remarried Phil, like I said, who played baseball. He was the best dad ever. He treated me like his own child even though I wasn’t biologically. He and Renee never had any other children. They joked that I was enough, that I was quite the handful. I couldn’t help it though, my mom instilled a drive, and a fire within me, a light of life she called it. She told me that identity and dignity were one of the most precious gifts given to all human’s.
Every person held their own torch, and it was their decision what to do with it. According to her, I was luminous; I was saucy, opinionated, and intelligent. It’s really such a shame my own candle would be blown out.
Phil took mom and I out to eat for my 17th birthday at my favorite restaurant, Carraba’s. Coming home we were hit by a drunk driver. I’m glad they didn’t suffer. I got banged up and a badly sprained wrist, but otherwise was fine. It was so surreal, just one minute they were there, being my parents, and then the next... they were just...gone. Forever. I never felt so alone.
Now I’m waiting at the airport in Seattle for my ‘real’ dad to pick me up. Since he and my brother whom I haven’t seen in ten years are my only relatives, I’m moving in with them. I’m nervous. I don’t remember my father very well. Just images mostly. Flickers of memories that seemed so far away, as if they existed in another world. I remember being pushed on a swing, back rubs, and tight hugs. All I remember of James is he liked to pick on me and bully me. I remember he used to scare me. I sincerely hope he’s grown out of that.
I saw a police car pull up in front of the airport. An older man and young man, maybe late teens, got out and started walking in. I knew it was them. I decided to use these few minutes before they saw me to get a glimpse of them to see if I could get any sense of what my life was going to be like. I wish I had a clue, or a sign, a warning to tell or show me the hell my life was going to become. I would have run as fast and as far as I could. To get away from them.
Charlie was a big man. He looked as tall as Phil who had been 6’ 4”. But where Phil had been a lean muscular ball player, Charlie was like a bear. He was very broad across his shoulders and his arms were huge. I guess being Chief of Police you have to look intimidating since you spend all day dealing with criminals. He was attractive with sandy brown hair and mustache. I could see what my mom must have seen in him when she married him.
I looked over at my brother. He was like looking at a younger version of Charlie. He was 20 now and as tall as Charlie. He was almost as wide across the chest and his arms were just as muscular. He had dirty blonde hair that he wore longer pulled back in a ponytail. His face was different though. Where Charlie’s face was nothing but angles and strong lines, James’ had a little of Renee in him. It softened his face a little. Not much, but just enough that he was very attractive.
They walked in through the doors of the airport and stopped, looking around for me. James saw me first and nudged Charlie pointing my direction.
I didn’t think he would recognize me. After all, I’ve changed over the last 10 years. I was 5’ 4” and slender. I had a heart shaped face, long mahogany hair and big dark brown eyes. My body had filled out nicely as well. I wasn’t Gisele by any stretch, but not an ugly ducking, though. I was just… me. Normal.
I figured I was probably easy to spot wearing a brace on my wrist and having my life’s possessions in suitcases at my feet. I saw Charlie glance at James and look where he was pointing. He looked over and seemed to be studying me. I couldn’t tell if he was happy with what he saw or not. He saw me looking back at him and cleared the expression from his face and plastered on a smile as they walked up.
“Well, well, if it isn’t little Isabella. Give daddy a hug.” He pulled me up from the bench and lifted me off my feet. I got one of those tight hugs I remembered. His right hand was under my bottom and his left hand was in the small of my back holding me up. I was a little uncomfortable like this, especially in public.
“Hi Charlie, it’s just Bella now,” I said. “It’s nice to see you too.” I was trying to be polite and not let him know he was making me uncomfortable. I wanted to start on the right foot with him since I would be living with him now.
“None of that now,” he chided rubbing his nose against mine before planting a kiss on my cheek. “It’s daddy. That’s what you used to call me and I like it. Okay?”
“Ok Char-Dad.” I corrected and tried to smile back. He was still holding me.
“No, not dad, Isabella, ‘Daddy’. Can you remember that?” He was talking kindly, but there was an underlying tone that made my heart race a little.
“Sure…Daddy.” My smile was wavering, I was getting so nervous and I wasn’t sure why. He was my father for Gods sake.
He squeezed my bottom as he set me down. Whoa, I’m not seven years old anymore, I’m seventeen, and fully developed. Could I put that into nice words? How? “That’s better now isn’t it? You remember your brother James,” he said turning me to face James. “Can you tell him
I looked at James who seemed to have enjoyed observing my interaction with Charlie. He had a glint in his eyes that scared me. Another part of my fire, I was perceptive. I could read eyes and the emotions they conveyed so well, most people didn’t need to talk to me. Their eyes said it all. And James’ spoke nothing but creeping suspicion.
“Hi James.” I smiled timidly. I thought to myself, ‘please don’t let me make another mistake so soon.’
James laughed and pulled me up into a hug similar to the one Charlie had given me. But where Charlie’s hand had been above and below my bottom, James grabbed me putting his hands on both my cheeks to lift me up to him and squeezed.
I squealed in surprise and fright. I didn’t know what to do. He was facing Charlie and I had my back to Charlie so I knew he saw where James’ hands were on me. Surely he would stop him. He didn’t. He just laughed. What the hell? Red Light! He was my brother.
“James missed you, Bella.” He patted my back while James was holding me.
“Yes, I’ve missed my little sis, so much.” He started squeezing harder. I was hurting and I felt a tear slip out of the corner of my eye.
He kissed the tear and laughed. “Charlie, I think she missed me too. Look, she’s crying.”
“Alright kids, lets take this home shall we. We certainly don’t want Bella crying at the airport. Do we James?” He looked pointedly at James, glancing around us.
James seemed to take the hint and slowly let me down dragging my body down his as he did.
Ew, that’s nasty. I would obviously have to talk to him later. He leaned in to whisper in my ear, “No we don’t want to make her cry. Yet.”
I shivered as I tried to catch my balance. They both grabbed my bags and handed me my carry on. I wished, as I walked out of the airport, that I was back in Phoenix with mom and Phil being happy and safe or that I’d at least died with them in the accident. I missed them so much, my heart tightened in my chest.
Charlie told me to get in front as he opened the trunk and he and James put all my bags in. I got in and looked around. I’d never been in a police car before. There were so many buttons and gadgets. What scared me was the shotgun that was propped against the seat. I starred at it wide eyed.
I heard Charlie and James get in and he must have seen my expression at the shotgun. He started laughing and turned toward James in the back.
“Get a load of that, will you. She’s scared of the shotgun just sitting there.”
“Still scared Little-Bellaboo, huh?” James was laughing at me also.
“Sorry about that, it’s just that we didn’t have guns in the house back home. I’m not used to being around them. They’re much bigger, and more… real when they’re not on the television screen.” I was trying to keep Charlie from getting mad at me again. I just couldn’t figure my way with him.
Charlie put his hand on my upper thigh and squeezed. “It’s nothing to be scared of. I only shoot people who don’t listen to me.” I knew he was talking about criminals, but there seemed to be a message for me as well.
I tried to smile and put on a brave face as I looked at him. “Well, it’s a good thing I’m a great listener.”
“’It’s a good thing you’re a great listener, what?’” He raised his eyebrow at me.
I looked at him. My eyes got wide. My breath hitched. I was scared.
“Daddy,” I whispered to him.
He smiled as he squeezed and patted my thigh again before starting the car and pulling out.
James and Charlie just laughed like it was the biggest joke. I was never more scared in my life at what was to come. I wasn’t even to my new home yet. Not such a good start.
We pulled up to a small 2-story white house on a quiet, quaint street. As I got out I noticed that it was on a large lot and there weren’t many houses around. There was also a forest that backed up to the privacy fence on the property and surrounded everything. It felt very isolated. I walked up the sidewalk with Charlie and James as they unlocked the door.
James held the door for me to walk in ahead of him then slapped my backside as I walked past. “Welcome home, baby sister.” He laughed as I jumped. This was so wrong, I wanted to tell him to stop, but at the moment I was just too damn scared. They both left me feeling so…shaken. And rattled.
I started looking around. There was a living room to the left with a TV and two recliners and a small sofa. There were plaques on the walls and a bookshelf with trophies. They looked like they were for marksmanship and different sports. To the right was a small dining room. It looked like it was used more as an office than to eat in. I could see the kitchen through the door at the other end. There were stairs in front of me and a hall that went beyond, next to the dining room.
Charlie and James had started up the stairs with my bags so I followed. There were several doors at the top. They turned to the left to the last door and walked in.
“Here you go. Home sweet home,” Charlie stated. He put my bags on the floor and looked around before looking at me. “You can fix it up if you like. I didn’t know what your taste would be so figured I’d leave it up to you.”
It was the first really nice thing he’s said to me all day. I felt hopeful that maybe I misunderstood everything earlier.
I smiled at him. A real smile to let him know I appreciated everything. “Thanks, Daddy. I like the room.” I was quick to remember, wanting him to be happy with me.
He grinned back at me. Pleased I’d remembered to call him ‘daddy’. “Well, we’ll let you get settled and see you back downstairs. By the way,” he said, pointing at my brace. “When does that come off?”
I looked down at my arm, “Two days. I need to find a doctor here.”
“We can get Dr. Cullen to deal with it at the hospital. He owes me a favor.”
James smirked, “Or two.”
Charlie frowned at him. “Quiet James.”
I looked between them, not really understanding what was going on.
“Right then,” Charlie clapped his hands together. “We’ll let you get unpacked. Come down when you’re done. We’re ordering pizza. Do you still like pepperoni?”
“Yeah, I love pepperoni, daddy.” I was touched that he remembered. That’s all I ever ate on pizza. I know, I’m boring. But I was thoroughly impressed he remembered a little detail. Too bad I didn’t know any of his little kinks.
His smile got even bigger. He really liked the whole ‘daddy’ thing. I guess if that’s all I had to do to make him happy and keep peace until I left for college, oh well. It was weird, but I could do that. Maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all.
He pushed James out of the room ahead of him as they left to let me unpack. I heard James as they went down the stairs. “She sure is a pleaser, isn’t she? That’s a good sign.”
I didn’t hear Charlie’s response. I took a deep breath and resolved to go at my new life with an open mind.
I took my first real look at the room. There was a full-size black iron 4-poster bed against one wall with a nightstand and lamp on either side. I saw the door to the closet with the dresser next to it. There was a desk and chair in the corner next to the window. All the furniture was black. The walls were white. I thought about my purple room back home. I could paint the walls soft lavender and use white bedding and curtains to brighten it up.
I smiled as I remembered how much fun my mom and I had picking out the stuff to decorate my room back home. I remembered painting my room with Phil and how at the end of the day we were just as purple as the walls. I felt the tears start to come and mentally shook myself. I had to stop. There was no going back. This was home now. I needed to accept it. I turned and started putting away my clothes.
I was walking downstairs as I heard a car pull in the drive. I heard noise coming from the kitchen so I went in. James was getting plates from the cabinets.
“Can I help?” I asked.
He looked over at me taking in my clothes. I’d changed into shorts and a baseball shirt with Phil’s number on it. He’d given it to me for Christmas when he joined the team in Phoenix. It was a little large and hid my shorts.
James got a lewd look on his face. “Oh yeah, you can help. I just don’t think you’re ready yet.” What was with him? He always had these snide remarks that made no sense, and made me feel so…in the dark about something.
Charlie walked in at that. “James, that’s enough. We’ve had this talk already.” Charlie turned to me pointing at a door at the other end of the kitchen. “Why don’t you get the napkins out of the pantry, Isabella?”
I walked into the pantry to find the napkins. I heard a smack.
“I told you to watch yourself. I have plans for her. You mess this up and I will forget you’re my son. We clear?”
“Yeah, we’re clear. I was just having fun.”
I stayed in the pantry as long as I could. I didn’t understand their conversation, but it made me so nervous.
I took a breath and walked out with the napkins. “Here you go, daddy,” I smiled.
James was rubbing the back of his head, glaring at me. Ugh! What was his deal? It hadn’t been a day, and I was already sick of him. Why was he even here? He’s twenty. He should be in college.
Charlie smiled at me. “Pizza’s in the living room. Let’s eat.” He put his arm around my shoulders and led the way.
I opened the lid to the pizza boxes and sat on the sofa as Charlie and James sat in both the recliners. They each handed me their plates since I was closest to the food. I put a couple of slices on both their plates and handed them back. They leaned their chairs back and started eating.
“Bella, be a dear and get a couple of beers from the refrigerator will you?” I hadn’t even gotten a bite of mine yet. Oh well, it’s the least I could do.
I brought two beers back and walked to Charlie to give them to him. “Give one to James, Bella.”
I took one of the beers over and handed it to James. I saw a coke for me sitting next to the box he must have bought with the pizza. I sat back down and picked up my plate to eat. They were watching a baseball game on TV. I thought again of Phil and my mom. I would not cry.
I ate in silence as the game continued. When I was done I asked Charlie where the bathroom was so I could take a shower. I was tired from the flight and everything I’d been through. I just wanted to sleep.
“Here, I’ll show you where everything is.” He got out of his chair and held out his hand to help me up from the sofa. I got up and stepped around the coffee table. He didn’t let go of my hand as he pulled me up the stairs.
At the top he stopped. He pointed out each door. “The one at the end is James’ room, the bathroom is next to his and this is mine next to yours. The towels and stuff are kept in the linen closet out here.”
He opened the door to the bathroom for me. It was the usual bathroom. Nothing special except it had a large shower stall with clear glass and a built-in bench. It looked like a recent upgrade. “I got you a couple different shampoos, not knowing what you liked. We’ll go shopping later and get whatever you need, okay?”
“Thank you daddy.” I was glad I kept remembering to say ‘daddy’ every time I spoke to him. It kept him happy with me. I was afraid I didn’t want to know what would happen if he was unhappy with me. I could guess it wouldn’t be pretty.
He left and headed downstairs while I went to get my pjs. I grabbed a couple of towels from the linen closet on my way back to the bathroom. I turned on the water to the shower and brushed my teeth as I waited for the water to heat up. I turned back to lock the door to get undressed. There was no lock on the door. I guess when it was just Charlie and James there wasn’t a need. I’d have to find a way to ask about putting a lock on the door without Charlie getting mad at me.
I knew Charlie and James both knew I was in here so it shouldn’t be a problem, but still. Even back home I locked the door. It just made me feel more secure being undressed.
I showered quickly and got out, happy to see my fears were unwarranted. No one had bothered me. I got dressed and headed to my room brushing out my hair. I crawled in my bed and laid down to get some much needed sleep.
Charlie called to me from downstairs. “Are you forgetting something, Isabella? Come give daddy a kiss goodnight.”
I heard James laughing.
I got out of bed and headed downstairs to the living room. They were both still sprawled out in their recliners. Charlie looked me over as I came in the room. I was wearing baggy flannel pants and a t-shirt.
“That’s a good girl. We like our goodnight rituals don’t we?”
I walked up beside his recliner and leaned down to kiss his cheek. “Goodnight daddy.” I said as I went to straighten back up.
He put his arm around my waist and pulled me closer to his chair. “Tut, tut. That’s not how you give a goodnight kiss.” He pulled me into his lap and held my chin in his hand. “This is how you give a goodnight kiss.” He kissed me on my lips, pressing firmly before pulling away. “Now isn’t that better?”
I knew better than to deny it so I just answered, “Yes daddy. I’m sorry.” Oh my god, did he really just do that? This is so wrong, on so many levels.
“Don’t forget Isabella.” He looked at James. “Now give your big brother a kiss goodnight also.”
My eyes got wide. He couldn’t mean for me to kiss James the same way could he? I stared at Charlie. He nodded his head at me.
He helped lift me up from his lap holding my hips before patting my bottom as I walked away from him on shaky legs.
James was grinning ear to ear. He patted his lap. “Come here baby sis and give big brother a night-night kiss.”
I took a shaky breath as I turned to sit down on his lap. He grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me down to his lips. “Now give us a smooch little sister.”
I kissed him the same way Charlie had kissed me. Making sure I put pressure on James’ lips before pulling away.
“Well James, how was it?” Charlie asked him.
James looked at me with a wicked gleam in his eyes. “I know she’ll do better. I can’t wait for training to start.”
He let me up and I quickly left the room to the sound of their laughter. I shut the door to my room and crawled under my covers crying. I cried for my mom and Phil. I cried for my safe secure life I no longer felt I had. And I cried for the fear of what that last comment had meant.