Bella awoke with a start at a flash of blue light. She blinked and adjusted her eyes to the darkness of the night. It was then she could make out the figure of a man. He seemed to be tall and slender. He simply said, “Bella?”
Startled, she shrieked and switched on the light and as she did so, she heard the man mutter, “Oh, Boy.”
Once light from her lamp filled the room she could clearly see the man’s mess of brown and slightly grey hair, his piercing green eyes, and his strong jaw line. He appeared to be in his mid-fifties or so. He was dressed in a plain shirt and blue jeans. As she eyed him, she thought him to be handsome. Still a bit shaken at how he had suddenly appeared in her room, with a shaky voice she asked, “W-Who are you?”
He sighed and run his hand through his already tousled hair, “I’m Sam. Sam Beckett.” He then walked over to her and offered his hand. She shyly took it, softly affirming that she was “Bella.”
“So let me guess, you’re visitor number two?” she questioned out loud as she looked at him quizzically. At his nod she continued, “And are you a witch, too?”
Sam’s face became one of bemusement as he chuckled, “Oh no. Just merely human.”
Bella sighed with a touch of exasperation, “Well, if you are merely human, would you mind explaining just how you got in my room?”
He nodded as he smiled. He gestured towards her desk chair, “May I?”
“I am a physicist and I once created a time-travel project based on a string theory that one could travel within one’s lifetime. The project’s name was Project Quantum Leap. There was an accelerator chamber and I stepped into it, and leaped into the past. My theory worked, but somehow during the experiment, God, Fate or Time took control of it and I found myself leaping into others to help them. I would fix what went wrong in their lives and when it was done, my ‘leap’ would be done and I’d move on to the next.”
Bella quietly spoke as she asked, “You did this alone?” She was a bit bewildered by this, but yet could see that this man had given up so much of himself to help others. The good in him twinkled in his eye, but the weariness of the world seemed to be etched around them, too. The way he spoke gently and unassuming made her think that even though he may have had many interactions in his leapings, he was actually quite lonely and a tad shy. Did he have a home? Did he leave a life behind before God, Fate or Time took over? If so, Bella thought it was incredibly unfair.
He chuckled again as he answered her question, “No, I had a friend who could appear to me in the form of a Hologram.” He bowed his head wistfully as he briefly inhaled before looking back her her, “His name was Al, and he was my best friend.” At Bella’s smile, he smiled too. “He not only helped me save lives, but saved my own countless times. He was a truly remarkable man.”
She looked around the room, searching. “Is he here??”
Sam sighed again as he softly spoke, “No.” He then shook his head. “I haven’t seen Al, at least not physically since I found I had some control over my leaps. He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. My first controlled leap was to his wife, Lisa. I had told her to wait for Al, that he would come home. In the original timeline, she remarried and Al never got over it. It was a wrong I had to fix for him.” He sighed wearily, “I then leapt into Al, on the day he first attempted to escape, and knowing what had happened in that instance made me plan a better escape for him. Once I was sure he was free, I leaped around, going wherever I was guided to go. I never returned home, and the project has since shut down.” He eyed the young girl sitting before him, sadly.
Bella had a few tears falling down her cheeks, “You never returned home.” She stated more than questioned as she gazed back at him. He nodded absently. She sat up straighter and tucked the covers around her. “Do you regret not leaping back?”
He inhaled as he thought for a moment, “No. When we are given such an extraordinary chance such as this to help others, it would be rather selfish not to help them. But then again, this is all the life I know, Bella. I have fragments of memory from my previous life, but I couldn’t tell you the finer details of my life if I tried.” He gave a wry chuckle, “It’s what Al referred to as a Swiss cheese memory. There’s a lot of holes.” He tilted his head a looked at her ruefully.
There was a comfortable silence between the two before she started picking at the fabric of her comforter in thought. Finally, after a few moments, she quietly spoke, “So you are here to help me right a wrong?”
His lips twitched in an amused smile, “Not exactly. Otherwise, I would have leaped in the day you met Edward Cullen.”
Her eyes widened and she quickly calculated in her mind that even though the events that had happened in her life in the last few months were traumatic for her and even though Edward had taken her as a pet, she concluded that those events were supposed to happen. But for what reason she wondered.
“Sam?” she softly questioned.
“Those events were supposed to happen, weren’t they?” The question was out in open and it felt as if the proverbial white elephant was sitting in her room.
“Yes,” he answered honestly. “While what Edward did was wrong, and what happened with James were both horrible things, some things need to happen in life to teach us valuable lessons. The way you took your break-up, however needed to be dealt with and that is why Prue was sent.”
“Then why are you here? If Prue already helped me deal with it and helped give me a sense of closure, then what is the purpose of your visit?”
He leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees and spoke earnestly, “I am here to show you how one decision, one split-second choice can ricochet into other decisions quickly and completely alter your life. I am here to show you what would have been if perhaps Prue had not appeared to you when she did. I am here to be sure you stay on the clear path to your destiny. It had been almost altered completely, but…” he smiled and looked upwards “someone evidently wanted you to be sure you follow the path to where your true destiny lies.”
“I suppose now is when I have to get up and pull on my coat… like before with Prue.”
“Yes.” With that, Sam turned around, facing the wall to give her privacy.
Bella giggled at the gentlemanly display as she stood up and pulled on her coat. “So where to, Dr. Beckett?”
He smiled and offered his hand. She took it and they found themselves at the cliffs of La Push, the local Indian Reservation.
Bella looked over to see a pale, gaunt version of herself standing at the cliff’s edge, looking down at the stormy waters below. Her present-day self was shocked at her appearance. It was almost as if she was seeing a stranger before her.
“This would have been you had not there been some divine intervention sent your way in the form of Prue.” Sam spoke gently but yet firmly.
“I-I let him destroy me!” she uttered angrily. She took in her death-warmed-over look, the sorrow in her eyes and the utter despair that etched her face. She shrieked as she saw that version of herself jump into the stormy waters below. “Please tell me I survive that! How could I–” She forcibly shakes her head and blows out a breath, “Charlie!!”
Sam wraps his arm around her in comfort as she watches herself being pulled out of the water by a tall, dark haired boy from the reservation that looked oddly familiar. She squinted her eyes as the boy painstakingly attended to her, saving her life. There was more than a look of worry in his eyes and Bella saw it. The boy was in love with her. She groaned aloud at the thought. She then realized it was Jacob Black, someone who would never in a million years be her type. He was just a kid.
Sam removed his arm and stood before her. “The future is never set in stone. Decisions and the ones we choose set our course. Sometimes a simple decision can change the course instantly, or the change makes itself known further down the road. Then there are ones that causes a chain reaction and that chain reaction sets the path before us. Your choice to jump caused a chain reaction and caused others to make irrational decisions.
The scene blurred and she stood in a chamber room behind some sort of throne. “The Volturri.” she whispered. Sam nodded.
She watched the scene before her as it became clear that Edward had received word of her jump and thought she had died. He went to seek death and when the Volturri refused, he tried to expose himself to force their hand. Alice had gotten a vision of the whole thing and had dragged Bella to Italy to help save her precious brother. The whole scene before her made her furious. How dare they do this? Especially after the “You are no good for me, Bella?” speech. It had been made perfectly clear to her that she was no more than a pet. So why the games?
She stood horrified as she watched that version of herself stand up for Edward. How pathetic just had she been? It would definitely not be something she’d do now. If she were to be truthful, she’d much rather watch him burn as his body was lit aflame.
She fumed as a deal was made with the three Volturi Kings. A deal in which she would be changed in accordance with their so-called laws, allowing them all to safely leave the castle. I was the sacrificial lamb, she thought bitterly.
She found it sick how she accepted comfort from Edward. She couldn’t bear to see any more and squinted her eyes shut. “Sam, please, just get me out of here!”
She swallowed thickly and opened her eyes, and noticed they were now back in her room. Her brown eyes then met Sam’s green ones. Her thoughts were a tumbled mess, filled with so many questions, but the only thing that could come out of her mouth was one word, “Why?”
Sam took her hands gently in his own and looked at her with earnest as he spoke, “Edward still wanted you, and somehow, he and Alice planned it so it would play out the way they wanted it to. However, there were certain factors Alice was blind to, and it did put a kink in their plans.”
Bella quirked an eyebrow in question before he continued, “One was Jacob Black. He is a shape shifter and Alice could not see his kind. You made a decision to have him repair two bikes and a deep friendship was formed between the two of you and…”
“He fell in love with me.” Bella finished for him. “It was all over his face at the cliffs.”
“Yes, he did.” Sam confirmed. “However, his friendship got you through the dark days of Edward’s abandonment and in some ways it did help.”
“You became dependent on him for your happiness, and you subconsciously encouraged his affection for you because you were so desperately seeking to be acknowledged by someone, by anyone. On a certain level, you were seeking love. It just wasn’t Jacob you wanted it from…”
“I wanted Edward,” she said as if it left a sour taste in her mouth, “so Jacob was somewhat of a replacement. He was basically a security blanket, something to latch onto.”
Sam shook his head, “You needed that security blanket, otherwise you would have jumped off that cliff so much sooner, Bella.”
The two stood and faced each other for a few moments as Bella absorbed the information. She looked up at him and asked, “What were the other factors Alice couldn’t see?”
Sam’s face was solemn as he softly told her, “Victoria.”
“Victoria?! The red-head?”
Bella had stopped breathing and her eyes widened. Sam placed his hands on her shoulders, “Breathe,” he gently coaxed. She then took a deep breath, “Now, slowly exhale.” He had her repeat this a few times until her anxiety and fear quelled.
Once she seemed settled enough, he went on to explain that the vampire came after her with revenge on her mind for James’ death. He told her of an army she created because she knew that with the pack of shape shifters and the Cullens protecting her, she needed to be rid of them in order to get to her, and needed reinforcements to carry out her plan. At her worried expression he soothingly told her, “Victoria and her army were destroyed. No need to worry, Bella.”
“But—She is STILL out there, Sam! She’ll come for me!!”
He smiled wryly while Bella raised her eyebrow questionably, “Sam?”
“She has been taken care of. Do you remember the two gentlemen that delivered the message earlier tonight?”
She snorted, “Spike and Angel. Angel may be somewhat of a gentleman, but believe me that Spike guy was an asshat.”
Sam fought back a smirk as he replied, “I suppose ‘gentlemen’ wouldn’t be a correct term for either of them. But they do help those that cannot help themselves, such as you. They’ve already taken care of her.”
Bella’s eyebrows furrowed and she bit her lip. She was puzzled by this and she blurted out, “How?”
“Do you remember what Prue referred to them as?”
She thought back to her visit and the word ‘parasite’ kept dancing in her mind. “She said they were parasites.”
Another wry smile graced Sam’s face as he commented on the moniker, “It is appropriate, considering they drink blood.” He raised his eyebrows to emphasize his point.
Bella gasped as she put the clues together, “They were vampires?”
She inhaled a sharp breath of disbelief, “They didn’t sparkle!! H-how?”
“Oh, Boy!” Sam muttered for the second time that night. “Don’t tell me that you never knew there was more than one type of vampire. The Cullen coven never disclosed that information?”
“No!” Bella’s voice still held shock in it, and her mind was racing with the details she was discovering.
Sam sighed and sat on the desk chair and gestured to the edge of the bed, “Have a seat, Bella.” Once she did, he eyed her and asked “Where do you think the myths and folklore for vampires came from?”
Bella quietly stated that Edward said they were all lies; works of fiction that were created in the minds of people and when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, the myths became even more popular. She also added that he told her that as far as he knew his kind were the only ones in in existence.
Sam went on to tell her that all myths have some truth to them and that vampires have been existence for over thousands of years. Cold Ones were what Edward and his family were referred to by the traditional vampires, the ones on which the myths are based upon. He explained that while Cold Ones may appear physically stronger and harder to kill, and perhaps have certain gifts, the vampires of lore were often much stronger and had many more gifts that are acquired with age. While a stake through the heart may kill them, their senses were sharper, their speed was faster and they had abilities that truly defined them as supernatural. He even told her that while those kinds of vampires may perish in the sun, there were a few that were able to walk in the daylight if given a magical ring, often made with a Lapis Lazuli stone.
Bella was quite surprised by the information, especially when he revealed that Dracula himself did indeed exist. Bella was completely fascinated by the information Sam brought forth. It was also mind boggling to her that Edward never shared such information with her; leading her to believe that his kind were the most superior being on the planet. If certain vampires were met with his pompous attitude, she had no doubt that one of them would kindly teach him a lesson or two.
She remembered reading Anne Rice’s novels on vampires and how much she adored the main one she wrote about, Lestat de Lioncourt, aka The Brat Prince. She smiled as she met Sam’s eyes, “So you’re telling me that true vampires are more like Lestat than Michelangelo’s ‘David’?”
He chuckled then and tilted his head in thought, “Hmm…I would say that would be a quite accurate comparison.”
She giggled, but Sam’s words from earlier about Alice not being able to see certain complications came to mind and the weight of his words felt heavy on her heart and it showed in her eyes when she asked, “Were there any more complications Alice couldn’t see?”
Sam got up and stood by the window. He wasn’t sure exactly what to tell the young girl who sat behind him on the bed. Her future had already been altered and he knew that for certain. But she needed guidance and reassurance that she could make sound decisions. After all, her future and destiny depended on her to do so. It was one of those moments he wished Al was still with him so that he could offer some advice, along with a dose of humor. He smiled at the thought. He truly missed his friend and times like this, it was even more so.
He turned around and gazed upon the girl, who was looking at him expectantly, awaiting an answer. The room fell to a still silence as he debated internally just how much she needed to know. Finally, it struck him that she should have the right to know everything. How that decision to jump of the cliff had snowballed into other decisions that changed the course of her destiny and how Alice Cullen had used them to her and Edward’s advantage. He felt she had a right to truly know just how much she was manipulated, how her naivety was used against her. Perhaps it would offer some valuable lessons for her. Ones she would need if she stayed on the path towards her true destiny.
“Bella.” He spoke compassionately as approached her and squatted in front of her, “Do you remember how I told you that sometimes even split-second decisions can often ricochet into others, altering your life completely?” At her solemn nod, he continued, “You saw how you were vulnerable at the Volturi Castle?”
Bella took a deep breath and saw the sympathetic look in his eyes, “What exactly are you getting at, Sam?” She swallowed thickly, knowing it couldn’t be good.
“Perhaps it would be better to show you.” He offered his hand out to her and they were bathed in a bright blue light.
“We leaped, didn’t we?” she asked in a surprised tone.
He smiled, “Not exactly. Just bear with me.” He pointed to what was in front of them and there she saw Edward and her having a conversation about her being turned and somehow, he had made a deal with her that in order to be turned, she would have to give her hand to him in marriage.
“What the fuck?” she uttered and quickly clasped her hand over her mouth in shock and slyly looked over at Sam, who had cocked an eyebrow. “Sorry,” she whispered half-heartedly. Bella then spoke a bit louder as she exclaimed, “How dare he do that! He knew my life was on the line with the Volturi and yet…” She shook her head disbelievingly, “He still refused to turn me unless I married him? What in the blue hell? Please, please tell me I told him no.”
Sam shook his head as they appeared in Edward’s bedroom as he slipped an enormous, hideous ring on her finger. “Oh, my God! Who gets married at 18, Sam!?” Her eyes were widened in astonishment, anger could also be found burning within them.
The scene changed again as they stood in the Cullen living room. Bella nearly stumbled back as she saw a very sick, very pregnant version of herself, sitting on the couch. Rosalie seemed to be standing guard in front of her. Her present-day self looked to Sam bewildered, “How is that possible?”
He cleared his throat, “Well….Most newlyweds consummate-”
Bella cut him off, “Obviously, I know how babies are made! But that should be impossible!! Vampires cannot reproduce!”
Sam softly spoke, “That was another circumstance that Alice could not foresee. She was blinded by the fetus the moment you conceived.”
“So what you’re telling me is that I got roped into a marriage I didn’t want to begin with, then I got pregnant with a child I never wanted? Do I have all that right?” Her voice was borderline hysterical.
“Yes and no.” was Sam’s reply. “You didn’t want the marriage, but once you were aware of the pregnancy, you fought for the life of that child, putting your own life at risk. Edward and some of the others wanted you to abort the child. This is where you finally put your foot down and refused to let them do it. That is why Rosalie is standing so close to you, there. You asked for her help in protecting the unborn child.”
Bella sighed and licked her lips. “He didn’t want the child because he knew I could die.” She laughed mirthlessly, “Let me guess; I almost died giving birth and it was then he finally changed me; When I was on the brink of death.” She glared at the scene furiously. “You know, if he truly loved me he would have never left me to begin with! If he truly loved me, he would not have manipulated me into a marriage I never wanted and last but not least, if he loved me, he would certainly not want to kill our child!”
She paced the floor furiously and looked at Sam. “What a pompous, selfish, conniving bastard!” She rubbed her hands down her face out of frustration. “Does this still happen? Has this been changed?” Her heart was pounding in her chest and she could not believe how weak she had been to allow this to happen. She could not believe how weak she had allowed herself to become. Jumping off a cliff over a boy, allowing herself to be bullied into marriage, and not standing up for herself. That definitely was not the girl her parents raised. Oh no, she was so much more than that!
Sam reached for her hand, and Bella barely noticed the blue light before she found herself back in her room. She blew out a breath, “Well? Does that still happen, Sam?”
“No?” she questioned, both of her eyebrows raised. “Are you sure?”
Relief washed over her face as she replied, “Thank God!” She run her fingers through her hair and warily looked at Sam, “What does happen?”
He tilted his head as he eyed her, “That I cannot tell you.” As she opened her mouth to speak he held up a finger, “But what I can tell you is the moment that you decided to get over Edward and Prue offered you a way to gain some closure, you changed your path. Therefore, you will never see Edward Cullen nor his family again.”
“Good.” She stated firmly.
“Look, it’s almost time for me to go. I hope you have learned that even the smallest decisions can change our lives. Sometimes, it is for the better, sometimes it is for the worse. But they do change our future, they even change who we are, who we become. Decisions, no matter how big or small should be made wisely and with thought. That said, sometimes it’s better to make them with your heart, rather than your head. Use your instinct, it will guide you. When something feels right, you won’t even need to think. You won’t even need to make a decision. At some point, you will meet your destiny and all you will need to do is take a leap of faith.”
“H-How will I know my decisions are the right ones?”
Sam smiled, “You won’t always make the ‘right’ decision. But you will need to know what you want in this life, Bella. Factor that into your decsions. It’s wonderful to be selfless, but it is okay to be selfish and do what is best for you. It is your life, after all. As I said before, your instinct will guide you, but remember sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith.”
Bella was about to speak once more when the room glowed in a blue light and Sam was gone.
“Thank You” she murmured, with a hope that he somehow heard her as she wriggled out of her coat and climbed back into bed. She lay there for a while. What do I want? she thought. She smiled and hugged her pillow. She knew she wanted love. Someone that would love her fully and passionately. She wanted to live life to the fullest, and last but not least she wanted someone that accepted her the way she is. Her eyes grew heavy at the last thought and she drifted off to sleep.