My dad always warned me about walking down the streets of Phoenix late at night, but who would have guessed that by not adhering to his words my life would be forever changed.
"Bella, if you'll just wait I'll go with you!" My roommate, Kara, called after me. I call her my roommate because that's all she was (apparently I wasn't a people person according to my high school guidance counselor). Of course, if you asked her she would say we were "like, totally BFF's".
Kara had dragged me to yet another club when all I really wanted to do was be holed up in my dorm room studying. Some people still cared about their education.
"It's fine, Kara. Plus, that guy totally wanted you. You should go and talk to him." I forced a fake smile on my face in hopes that she would allow me to have one night of peace. Maybe she would go home with him instead of bringing him to our one-room dorm. If I had to see one more dick I was going to lose my cool.
"OMG, he totally was, right?" She squealed and I knew that I would get my way. After saying my goodbyes I decided to make the relatively short walk back to the college campus. I wasn't much into the party scene but I had decided long ago that if I was going to be forced to go out, I would at least enjoy a good buzz. So it was no surprise that my clumsy nature mixed with the four Long Island Iced Teas I had consumed was making the walk home much more difficult.
I giggled as I tripped and stumbled along the sidewalk.
"Hey, baby!" Some club rats hooted and hollered as I walked past them.
"Hey!" A generic-looking guy with brown hair, wearing a polo shirt ran to my side.
"Not interested, but thanks." I blushed as I spoke and cursed myself for having that reaction every time a male even spoke to me. What was I, twelve?
"Aren't you in my bio class?" Frat boy was a persistent little bugger.
"Nope. I'm not taking bio this semester, sorry," I replied as I kept walking.
"Um, are you sure?" He stopped in front of me and held his hands up, in an attempt to get me to stop as well.
"Look…" I was cut off by a cough. We both looked in the direction of the sound and saw a tall, blonde male with his arms folded across his chest.
"Dude, seriously, it's rude to interrupt a guy when he's flirting with a pretty girl." Something about the blonde guy's stance told me that the frat boy was barking up the wrong tree.
"Ma'am, why don't you just keep walkin'? Me and this gentleman here are just gonna' have a little chat." The blonde spoke through clenched teeth without ever lifting his head.
Frat boy shivered in what looked like fear, but never moved. Stupid Alpha males and their bull shit. Blondie finally looked up and I was met with eyes as black as coal. In the dim light I couldn't really know for sure, but there seemed to be some sort of scarring on his neck and parts of his face. He looked like a beautiful, scary, warrior. Frat boy should have run, but he was obviously an idiot.
"Why don't we all go our separate ways? No one wants trouble, right?" I looked back and forth between them. The warrior simply narrowed his eyes at me and I could have sworn that he growled, but I was drunk so what did I know, right?
"Yeah, come on sweetness, I'll walk you home," Frat boy put his arm around my shoulder and that time I growled. Blondie chuckled lightly before regaining his hateful glare. It was a shame because he was beautiful when he smiled. Suddenly his eyebrow quirked and his eyes met mine. He looked like he could read my every thought and I instantly felt myself grow red. The warrior was back and his look was even more severe than before.
"No, I think she should go alone, boy. Now back away from the lady and let her get on home." Frat boy recoiled as if he'd been hit but he backed away.
It was as if there was a big neon sign over Blondie that spelled out trouble for Frat boy and I knew that if I left something bad would happen.
"Maybe I could use an escort home. These streets can be pretty dangerous at night. Would one of you guys mind?" Was I stupid? Hell yes. But something told me that it was necessary. Blondie growled again and it almost sounded like the low rumble of a lion, but I pushed it aside.
"Come on," Blondie spoke up before Frat boy had a chance and we were off.
"What's your name?" I asked after we had walked in total silence for a good ten minutes.
"Not important," was his curt reply.
"Mine is Bella. Well, Isabella, but I prefer Bella." He didn't even so much as acknowledge me until I tripped and fell into him. Damn he smelled good; like worn leather, sweet pipe tobacco, and grass after the rain. Those scents may not sound appealing, but for some reason they worked on him. He just smelled like man.
Drunk internal ramblings, much?
He didn't say a word, but his eyes turned almost pitch black and his nostrils flared with every deep breath he took. I watched as his jaw clenched and unclenched, while his grip on my arms grew tighter.
"Major!" A good looking blonde couple appeared, seemingly, out of nowhere and Blondie turned his murderous gaze on them.
"Major, let's get you some dinner and let this nice young lady get on home now." The male looked relatively similar to the "Major". Both had dirty blonde hair, but where the Major's hung in shaggy curls, the other male's was more of a short, traditional cut.
"Come on, Sugar. I'll walk you the rest of the way." The female finally spoke and when my eyes met hers I gasped out loud.
"Holy shit!" I half whispered, half yelled. Her eyes were bright red. All three of them stared at me before looking back and forth between one another. Their mouths were moving so quickly that I couldn't be sure, but I thought that they were speaking to one another.
"What the hell are you?" I finally screeched. See, and that is why Bella Swan should never drink alcohol; no verbal filter.
"Sugar, I think you need to keep quiet just now," The petite female whispered but I had a sneaking suspicion that the other two heard her plain as day.
Their lips were all moving frantically again and the couple were gesturing wildly with their hands while the Major stood, never taking his murderous gaze off me. I made sure to meet his eyes with my own because my dad, the cop, had told me that a criminal is more likely to see you as a person if you look them in the eye. If they saw you as a person they were more likely to let you go.
"My name is Bella Swan. I am twenty-one years old and I am a student at Arizona State. I have a 4.0 GPA and I like to read a lot. My dad is Chief of Police in a small town in Washington State and my mom is married to a baseball player. I am an only child!" The Major had pulled himself from his friend's grasp, unaffected by my nervous rant, and was slowly stalking toward me. "I'm a virgin, for crying out loud!"
They wouldn't kill a virgin, right? No one is that cruel.
That outburst seemed to stop them all dead in their tracks until the couple both burst into laughter.
"It's decided, Major. We simply have to keep her!" The male exclaimed between chuckles.
"Keep me? Like what, a pet?" For some reason they laughed even harder while the Major simply smirked a little and folded his arms across his chest.
"Well, then one of you fuckers better carry her or she may not make it." The Major finally spoke and as terrified as I was, there was also an underlying current of anger.
"I'm gonna' get me some supper and I'll meet you two later. Get 'er home."
"Yes, Major," They both answered and in the blink of an eye he was gone.
"All right, Darlin'. Now who would you rather have carry you? Me or my beautiful little wife?"
I looked at the woman who was basically my size with bigger breasts and let out a nervous giggle.
"No offense, but wouldn't I be a bit heavy for you?" She laughed heartily before walking over to a car parked on the curb and lifting it with one hand.
"That answer your question, Sugar?" I felt my mouth drop open and I simply stood there in total shock.
"Darlin', you better close that mouth or you're gonna' catch flies. I'm Peter, by the way, and that fine piece of woman over there is my Charlotte. Now we better get goin' if we wanna' beat the Major home."
No longer giving me an option Peter lifted me over his shoulder and with a pat on my ass we were off.
"Peter, you better watch yourself. Once Jasper figures things out he might get awful pissed about that." Charlotte scolded playfully. I had no idea what they were talking about and neither did I care. I was much more preoccupied with the speed at which we were moving… on foot.
Eventually, my nerves won out and I fainted. Or maybe I passed out from the alcohol. Either way I couldn't help but hope that I would wake up in my own bed and that this would all be a strange dream.