COPYRIGHT ALERT: The Twilight characters are not mine, they are Stephenie Meyer's. The other characters, however, ARE mine, and so is the story idea. Please do not steal it. Thanks. :)
What else could possibly go wrong?? Anira’s life has been a complete disaster this past week, and obviously it’s not going to give her a break any time soon. The local power plant almost had a meltdown, a bunch of stupid teenagers burnt down half of the forest she lives in, the government found out that she was living in an abandoned shed and threatened to move her into an orphanage, and worst of all, HER BOYFRIEND DUMPED HER. When she wakes up on the first school day after winter break with that same sinking feeling in her stomach, she knows something else will go wrong, but never in her wildest dreams did she imagine it would lead her on a path like this. A story of self-discovery, this anything-but-average teenager is forced to confront a past she never knew existed, survive an encounter with deadly yet somehow civilized vampires, and juggle a secret that no one can ever know, right in the middle of the worst week of her life.
Palo, Iowa wasn’t supposed to be this unpredictable.
Chapter 1: Get me out of this mess
I opened my eyes groggily and groaned. My stomach was twisting and turning again, like it had almost every other day this past week. And almost every other day this past week, something had gone wrong. The first day had been the absolute worst though, in my opinion.
Hey, Anira, I need to talk to you, Nick, my boyfriend, had said. It was the last day of school before winter break, and we had just climbed off the bus to go home. I had looked at him and smiled, trying to ignore that gut-wrenching feeling I always got when something bad was going to happen. I… Uh, I think we should just be friends. We just aren’t very good together, you know? I hope you understand. It’s nothing personal. We can still be friends though, right? I had agreed with a little too much enthusiasm.
The next day, after I had cried myself to sleep, I’d barely noticed that same feeling when I woke up- I thought it was a side effect from all the sobs- until late in the night when I caught a whiff of smoke and realized that my forest was burning. Apparently a group of teenagers had thought this was a good place for a bonfire to celebrate the week-long vacation. Why they had wanted to be outside in December was beyond me, but there they were, burning down the only thing that hid my house from view.
Then, of course, after the trees had been drastically thinned, the inevitable happened: I got a notice on my door saying that my house was on government property and I needed to go to court to get a real home under penalty of the law. Of course, as soon as I showed up and they realized I was only fifteen, they threatened to send me to an orphanage or foster home until I was legally old enough to live alone. I had two weeks to pick a foster home of my choice before they forced me into some rotten place with the other homeless kids.
If that wasn’t enough to take in with all I had already been going through, the local power plant was in danger of having a meltdown, and I had to work there for days trying to calm everyone down and take control of the situation. By the time all the chaos was over, I had only three days left of my break to relax.
And of course relaxation was an impossibility with my home being threatened and my heart completely shattered in my chest.
Now it was the first day of the new semester, and I could tell that something else was going to go wrong. But what else could possibly go wrong?! After everything I’d been through in the past week, what else could go wrong?!
I sat up grudgingly and stretched my aching muscles. I wasn’t used to sleeping so often. Usually I only had to sleep two or three times a week, but I was so upset during the break that I had actually slept every night. It wasn’t natural.
After going to my closet and grabbing a dull green blouse and khakis, I went into the kitchen to get some breakfast. It wasn’t a very big room, with only the bare necessities to keep it running: a refrigerator, a sink, a stove, and a little wooden table with one chair on either side. The refrigerator was actually pretty unnecessary at this time of year. Since my house had no heater or air conditioner, the food just adapted to whatever temperature it was outside, and since it had just snowed… Well, my food would be plenty cool without manmade appliances.
I knew perfectly well that not having a heater was strange and unthinkable to any of the humans around me. It was part of the reason why I had never invited anyone to my house. But to be perfectly honest, I liked my house without all those silly indulgences. I could really taste the fresh air when the musty air of a machine wasn’t in the way, and besides, the thing would be unnecessary anyway. I couldn’t feel temperatures. Well, I could feel when the weather changed, and I could tell when it was hot or cold, but I was never actually affected by temperature. My skin was just the same 85˚ all the time.
I grabbed an apple from the fridge and went into the bathroom as I ate, my feet dragging a little as I walked. The bathroom was a little smaller than the kitchen, with a bath tub, a toilet, a sink, and a mirror. I lived in an extremely small house.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror without interest. Just a little over a week ago my eyes had been bright and shining with life. Now they were just a dull forest green, similar to my shirt color, with no emotions and no light. There were shadows under my eyelids that hadn’t been there before. I may have been sleeping more than usual, but that certainly didn’t mean I’d been sleeping well.
My hair was an unkempt mess, knotted and tangled from the many days of neglect. I grabbed my brush from the sink now, not wanting to look like a zombie when I got on the bus to meet Nick. I couldn’t let him know how much his decision had affected me. I had to suck it up and act like nothing had changed, as if it didn’t matter in the slightest that he had broken my heart. It wasn’t really his fault, I guess. He wasn’t trying to be mean or anything. He just didn’t think we were right for each other.
I sighed when I was finally done and watched the gossamer strands flow all the way down my legs, halting just below my knees. The name Rapunzel fluttered through my mind as I glanced back in the mirror. I was a strange sight to see, with flawless pale skin and pale hair that ran all the way down to my calves. Maybe that was why Nick had dumped me…
I shook the thought out of my head and checked my watch. 7:30. I still had 30 minutes before I had to be at the bus stop, and I was already set to leave. What was I supposed to do for 30 whole minutes?
My eyes brightened just slightly as an idea came into my head. I ran back into the kitchen to look out the windows at the surrounding forest- at least what was left of it. Was it safe? Would anybody really be out and about this early in the morning? Ordinarily I wouldn’t be too worried about getting caught, but after those stupid teenagers had burned down the woods, I couldn’t be too careful. The coast seemed clear, and that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach had subsided, for now, so maybe I could get some exercise in before I left.
Before I could change my mind, I reached behind me to reveal the crease in my shirt where I had installed the zipper. Very carefully, I pulled the zipper down until the hole was completely open and exhaled in relief as my wings slipped through the flap. I had been too preoccupied over my vacation to stretch out my wings, but now nobody was around, I could sense that it was safe, and I had 30 minutes of free time to kill. What better way to spend that time than to fly as fast as I could and just tune out the world for a few precious moments?
I fluttered my wings experimentally, smiling as my feet lifted off the ground. It felt so good to finally use them again! I shot out the back door after a short warm-up and let the world blur around me.
I thought about my past while I flew, all the memories I had before this week that didn’t make me want to hide in bed all day. Before I had lived on Earth, I had grown up in a small planet called Avalon. I lived there for eight years, but then one day our Fairy Council had come to my house and asked my parents if they could send me to Earth. They sent different fairies to Earth every year to help the humans with their natural disasters and magical infestations, but only the ones with the best talents could go. I was honored to be a part of their program and left immediately. I had always admired the fairies that came to this planet, and I had hoped they would pick me, but I had also thought that my talent wasn’t good enough. While some fairies could bend the elements or turn invisible, my only unique quality was my sense of danger. I knew when something bad would happen. I didn’t know what it would be, but I always knew, and it had saved my people’s lives many times. So they sent me here, to this tiny town of Palo, Iowa, where I could live safely undetected and help those in need.
Well, that plan was in the process of being uprooted and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. The officials had trusted me to keep our secret, and though nobody knew what I really was, the fact that they had found my house was enough to put us all in grave danger. Nobody could know we existed, humans and other mythical creatures alike. We could not be discovered. It was the law.
I slowed to a more human speed and dropped down to the ground when I heard a rustle in the bushes. A deer jumped out of nowhere and scampered across the path to disappear into the trees once again. That same uneasy feeling came back as I watched the creature, and I backed away on foot. Whatever that creature was running from had to be the danger I was to face today. I wasn’t going to let it find me here, completely vulnerable and with no witnesses.
I opened my wings and fled back to the house.
Chapter 24: Coming Clean, Round Two
“Alice can’t remember anything about her past,” Edward said softly, his eyes wondering now. The little vampire shook her head.
“Everything I know about my past is from the internet or worldly research,” she muttered. I was intrigued.
“What have you found out?”
“Well, I was in an insane asylum for most of my life. My parents didn’t want me. But some vampire named Augusto freed me and changed me to save me from a tracker, named James.” I nodded slightly. This made sense. If she was indeed a faerie, it would have been only natural for her to go to an insane asylum. That is, if she had gotten caught. She easily could have feigned insanity on purpose, in order to keep the humans from discovering the physical proof. Why hadn’t I thought of that? It was another option for me. I deserved it after how much I had messed up. Or I could simply let them change me now. But it wouldn’t change anything; they already knew. If I let them change me, the roles would be reversed, and I would be the clueless one.
“But it doesn’t make any sense,” Edward muttered, his eyebrows scrunching together. “James said that Alice’s blood was even more potent than Bella’s was.” He made a face. “That’s extremely hard to believe, and impossible if what you’re thinking is true. How could you possibly explain that?” I shrugged.
“Bad choice in perfume.”
“And what about being able to see the future?”
“Faeries have talents too, if you haven’t noticed.”
“Okay, but why can she see humans and vampires, but not you?” That made me have to think.
“Well, as a faerie, if she in fact was one, it could have been her ability to tell the future for humans only,” I said slowly. “That would be a very convenient gift when trying to keep them alive. But then, when she was changed, maybe her gift modified to further keep the secret. I don’t know why she can see vampires, but I can only assume it’s because that’s what she is now.”
“But she can’t see Jacob or Nessie either. Is that because of this subconscious self-defense as well?”
“I don’t have all the answers, blood-sucker.” He sighed in frustration, but didn’t go on. I knew about as much information as he did on his sister’s past. He knew that.
“Okay then. Next question: How often do you sleep? Obviously you do, or you wouldn’t have bargained with me for your house, but I get the impression you don’t go to sleep every night…” I frowned a little. Great, the spotlight was back on me.
“I sleep every other night or so,” I allowed. “Sometimes I stay awake two nights in a row, but I get pretty sluggish the day after. No doubt you saw that.” I pursed my lips. “I should probably go to sleep tonight. But then, maybe I won’t…” My thoughts trailed back to Vincent, who was probably sitting in his room just waiting for me to come through his veranda doors. This was going to be a long night.
“You realize how much danger that human is in right now,” Edward snapped, hearing my thoughts. I whimpered a little.
“I know, but what else can I do? Did you expect me to just leave him there, after a schoolmate tried to eat him, without an explanation?? Especially after seeing me, the ‘toothpick,’ as you mentioned earlier, beating up the largest kid in school, complete with wings for special effect, I had to tell him.” I grimaced. “What would you have done in that situation?” He set his mouth as if he wanted to argue, then let his breath out in a huff. He gave me a stiff nod. “Besides, I’m in as much danger as he is, if not more. He’s only at the mercy of two governments. I’m at the mercy of three. Yours, mine, and the humans’.” I paused. “Well, the first two are only possibilities. Technically I’m the only one in imminent danger right now. As long as we keep your Volturi and my Council from finding out about my little slip-up, we should be fine.” That was really my only option at this point. Keep them from finding out what I had done. It seemed the only way I could protect Vincent and the Cullens. For some strange reason, I trusted these vampires, and I didn’t particularly want them destroyed. So really, all I could do was pretend they were still innocent.
“Anymore questions?” I sighed. I sounded tired. Everything seemed so complicated nowadays. Keeping secrets from my own kind, hiding from the human government, trusting vampires, for crying out loud. Putting the one I loved most in danger.
Everyone looked at each other.
“You should get some rest,” Edward said, nodding towards the front door. “Don’t forget to think over our invitation. You are certainly welcome to sleep here until you find a more permanent abode, if necessary.” I nodded, sneaking a hesitant glance at Rosalie as I did so. I wasn’t sure all of them had the same opinion on how welcome I was, but this was still the best option I had so far, so I would probably consider it anyway.
“Thank you,” I said. For not killing me, for promising not to snitch on me to the Volturi, for welcoming me – mostly – into your home… “For everything.” Esme smiled genuinely as she led me to the door.
“You’re absolutely welcome,” she said. “Feel free to come back any time.” I smiled weakly back at her and stepped out onto the porch. I almost snuck off into the woods to fly away, something I would have done in any other situation, but as it was, I didn’t really have a reason to. They knew about me now. I might as well not make any extra effort to hide what I was anymore.
Was it really so bad to feel relieved about that?...
I flicked my wings open, reveling a little in the freedom of the moment. Then I shot up into the air, faster than any of those blood-suckers could ever hope to go without the use of a car. At least I still had the upper hand when it came to physical combat, even if it wasn’t necessary. It made me feel a little less like a failure. Sort of.
The trip back from the Cullens’ house to Vincent’s took about fifteen minutes, though I probably could have gone faster. The problem was, I was absolutely dreading this confrontation. Now that he’d had a chance to sort through his thoughts, no doubt he would have a ton of questions for me. And there was no way I could hold back the information from him. The dedication I had for my best friend was so much stronger than anything I felt for those blood-suckers, and anything less than the whole truth was going to haunt me if I kept it hidden from him.
Risking my own life was so much easier than risking his.
Too soon, I reached the side wall of Vincent’s house. As promised, his veranda door was slightly ajar. I landed silently onto the wooden planks of the surrounding patio and ghosted inside.
Vincent lay in his bed, stomach down, similar to the position I’d found him in the last time I was there. He was snoring lightly. I was about to turn around and let him rest when I heard him snort and stir under his tangled mess of sheets. His bleary eyes blinked a few times and then focused on me.
“Hello Anira,” he said, smiling groggily. I nodded, returning a small grin.
“Hey Vincent.” I watched his features as common sense very slowly began to sink in and he sat up straight. His gaze turned wondering.
“Anira, you came!” he breathed, hugging his sheets closer around him as a gust of air blew through the open doorway. I ran over to the entrance and shut it gingerly, not making a sound.
“Of course,” I replied. “Why wouldn’t I?” He opened his mouth, then shut it again and shrugged.
“I thought it might have been just a dream,” he admitted sheepishly. I almost smacked myself on the forehead; a dream!! Of course! I could have avoided risking his life altogether if I had just gone home, and he would have been none the wiser! Well, too late now…
“I wish,” I muttered, coming to sit next to him on his bed. I heard him take in an involuntary breath, whether from my closeness or my extended wings I wasn’t sure. “Vincent, I know you probably have lots of questions, but I have to warn you before you ask them: the more you know, the more dangerous this is for you. I’ve already put your life in jeopardy as it is. I’ll answer anything you want to know, if you still want to know, but I just thought I’d warn you.” I inhaled shakily. “I’m so sorry.” I felt the tears beginning to sting my eyes as I said this out loud. Making it verbal was making it real; there was no longer any doubt that this was all my fault.
He crawled out from under the covers hesitantly to stroke my cheek. I realized with dismay that it was already moist.
“Don’t cry,” he whispered, his eyes wide and pleading. “I don’t mind danger. I can handle it. Please don’t beat yourself up over something beyond your control.” I sighed helplessly and leaned my head against his palm. The waterworks were ebbing a little bit as I allowed him to comfort me.
“Fine, then,” I mumbled. “Ask away.”
I basically repeated everything I had told the vampires again to my best friend. Obviously there were some things he didn’t ask, such as why I hated Jacob, because they were unrelated to him, but he asked pretty much all of the other ones. Why weren’t humans allowed to know we existed? Where did we come from? Was that why I was a vegetarian? Why did we feel so obligated to protect humans? (He wasn’t thrilled when I told him how weak they actually were compared to a lot of other creatures). Why did the vampires live here? Why wasn’t he allowed to know about them? Did they really hunt humans like in the movies, and why hadn’t I killed them yet if they did? (I was relieved to tell him that wasn’t the case, and that I wasn’t going to kill them without cause). Then he went into more detailed questions that I hadn’t anticipated as much. What was my family like? How did it feel when I was chosen to come to Earth? (I had explained that we came from a different planet when he first asked where I came from). Did Nick know about me? Was that why we had started dating? How often did I need sleep anyway, since I was sitting here in his bed looking completely un-tired? I smiled at that question.
“Actually, I probably should get going,” I said, using his question as an excuse to leave and save him the heart-attack if he happened to ask any less-than-necessary questions. For instance, how many people I’d killed in my lifetime. “I sleep about every other night or so, and I skipped yesterday, so for my own health, I should get some rest.” His eyes popped a little when I mentioned this; clearly he had trouble wrapping his mind around pulling all-nighters on a regular basis without even feeling tired the next day. I chuckled. “I’ll see you on Monday.”
“Yeah, see you,” he said lamely, his expression dimming a bit. Then it brightened. “We could go out again this weekend if you want to. Then we don’t have to wait until Monday to see each other.” I smiled.
“I’d like that,” I said. “Now go to sleep. You can call me later and we can work out the details then.” He grinned, and yawned.
“Yeah, I really should…” he trailed off, his eyelids sagging. Humans were so fragile.
“Good night,” I murmured, kissing his forehead. Then I walked carefully back over to his door, out onto his veranda, and flew off towards my house. His head hit the pillow before I lifted off the ground.
Interesting theory about Alice's past. Anira really cares about Vincent. I hope things work out for them! Can't wait for the next chapter!
Chapter 25: What Happened to Sweet Dreams??
“Are you sure you have to leave?” I asked desperately, holding on to his arm. “You could stay here anyway. I mean, I really don’t mind if you’re tired of this diet.” I forced back my internal cringe as I said this; it was worth it if I could make him stay.
“No, I must go,” he said, stroking my neck with his chalky brown hands. “My friend needs a favor from me, and it would not be polite to keep her waiting.” He sighed and shook his head infinitesimally. He looked like he wanted to leave about as much as I wanted him to go. Which was not at all.
“Come back soon,” I pleaded, looking up into his now orangey-colored eyes. He smiled soothingly down at me.
“Of course, ma Cherie. I will return as soon as I can.” He gave me a swift kiss on the forehead, one last tender touch on the cheek, and then he was gone.
My dear Laurent.
Life was miserable without him. I had gotten so used to his company that it was hard to revert back to old patterns. Of course, it wasn’t completely like it used to be; I no longer wanted anything to do with our old tradition of seducing college boys. Sure, it was a little difficult to deal with – physically – but I just couldn’t bear to betray my Laurent that way. Besides, he would be home soon. He was bound to walk through that door any day now, just as he promised, and we would never have to separate again. At least not for awhile.
And next time, I would insist he take me with him.
I turned my head towards the door expectantly when I heard footsteps approaching. I smiled widely, expecting Laurent to come and sweep me into his arms as I had imagined he would thousands of times in the past week.
It was Tanya and Eleazer.
My smile dimmed, but only slightly; they had been out looking for news of my friend. Perhaps they had finally heard something.
Tanya shifted her weight uncomfortably under my gaze, and Eleazer pretended to look out the window. Their eyes were troubled.
“Well?” I demanded. “What is it?”
“Irina…” Tanya hesitated, obviously not wanting to be the one to say whatever was on her mind. She looked to our mentor for support, but he said nothing. “Sister,” she tried again. Then she sighed. “Irina, Laurent’s not coming back.” The room was deadly silent for a whole second.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered, staring at her dully. My voice sounded far away.
“His friend… well, she sent him off on that errand he mentioned to you a week ago. He found Bella in a meadow on his way, and I guess he lost a little self-control and started to hunt her…” I almost sighed in relief.
“Is that all? I thought Edward had moved on from her anyway. But why isn’t he coming back? Did he think I’d be mad or something? He should know better than that. We talked about this before he left…” I trailed off as I met her pitying gaze.
“He didn’t kill her,” she said quietly. “He didn’t get the chance.” She paused again and I growled impatiently. What in the world was she talking about?!?! “He’s gone, Irina. Dead. A whole pack of werewolves came and ripped him to shreds. I’m so sorry.” Another long moment passed as her words very slowly clicked into my brain. Laurent was gone. Dead. Killed by werewolves. And yet Edward’s little crush was still alive, even though he didn’t want her anymore.
This could not be happening.
“Why did they do it?” I whimpered, my breath hitching in odd places.
“Well, they’re Bella’s friends, I guess. That’s the only reason I can fathom.” My sister shrugged, her eyes sad.
“Didn’t they even stop to think that maybe, just maybe, he had a family too??” I growled, my eyes stinging with pain, sadness, and fury.
“Sister, they are nothing but children. Of course they would never consider it.” Tanya made a disgusted sound in her throat. “It’s as if they’re only instinct is to destroy. They cannot control themselves. Still, it is not a valid excuse for the pain they have caused you.” Her eyes darkened a shade. “Anyone up for a hunt?”
They wouldn’t let me kill them. They wouldn’t even let me hurt them. Even after they killed Laurent, one of our own kind, practically our family, they were still siding with the werewolves. I didn’t care how much “danger” they claimed to be in, nothing would ever make me cooperate with those beasts. It was only right; if they didn’t choose to help our family, I wouldn’t help theirs. It didn’t matter how much I cared for the Cullens. My hatred for the wolves was so much more powerful, and the pain over Laurent’s death still so crisp, that nothing would change my mind.
“Irina, be reasonable,” Kate chastised, giving me a reproachful look. “I know you’re upset about Laurent, but we have to help them. They’re our family.”
“Laurent was our family too,” I grumbled, not even bothering to look at her. She groaned.
“Carlisle has been our family much longer than just a few weeks.”
“Since when does time have any value to you? Besides, we were destined to be together. You can’t just expect me to get over it. Laurent’s death will be avenged.” She sighed.
“I am aware of your suffering, sister. Remember we have all felt a similar ache in our chests when mother died.” I flinched. “But we would not dare retaliate against the Volturi.”
“This is different,” I muttered. “She broke the law, and they were just trying to protect our world. These are werewolves, ignorant, childish monsters who think they can get away with anything just because they protect humans, even though they’re going to die eventually anyway.” I folded my arms across my chest angrily. “And you think I don’t remember the pain when mother died?? I still feel it when I think about her! And now I have twice that pain!” My breath was hitching in odd places again, and my eyes were starting to sting. I looked away from my sister, silently fuming. She sighed again.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. When I didn’t reply, I heard her shake her head and walk out the door, closing it gently behind her. She knew that her attempts to sway my decision were futile. It was wise of her to leave me alone.
Now I could plan my revenge. I’d have to wait until the Cullens were “out of danger.” I cared for them enough that I didn’t want to risk their lives over my misfortune, but those werewolves were going to pay for the life they stole. As soon as their precious little pets were done helping them with whatever situation they were in, they were going to have to face an entirely different enemy. I would avenge Laurent.
Or I would die trying.
I inhaled in a gasp and snapped my eyes open. The room was dark, covered with shadows. It wasn’t the room I had been plotting in just a few moments ago. It was my bedroom, my real bedroom. This was my real life, where my boyfriend Vincent was alive and well and my life was in chaos because of the human government, not some adolescent werewolves. I still had my problems here, but it was nothing compared to the pain I had just endured.
Seriously, if I didn’t figure out what was causing these dreams, I was going to go insane.
With a very loud and completely exhausted sigh, I dropped back onto my bed. I was sound asleep within minutes.
Anira -- Irina?
Great chapter! Can't wait to read more.
Chapter 26: Saturday Fun. Yeah Right.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of my cell phone, which was sitting on the bedside table right up against my ear. I practically fell off the bed in surprise. Nobody ever really bothered to call me, other than Nicholas back when we were together. I had told Vincent to call me so we could plan our next date for the weekend, but if that was him, then I would seriously need to give him a lecture about the importance of sleep for humans versus Faeries. Who in the world could be awake at 7:30 in the morning?
“Hello?” I asked hesitantly, putting the phone to my ear.
“Anira? It’s Alice.” Well, that explained it; vampires didn’t need sleep. “Um, we were talking a little bit last night after you left, and we all agreed that you should probably bring that friend of yours, Vincent, over to our house today.” I hissed under my breath a little. The last thing I wanted to do was bring him to the house of the guy who’d just tried to kill him the night before. Not only would it be dangerous, but emotionally scarring. She had to be kidding. “Anira, the fact that I can still see the afternoon ahead shows that you’re being terribly un-open-minded.” I rolled my eyes.
“Give me one good reason why I should make him go through something like that.”
“Oh, come on, don’t be that way! You should know how much danger he’s in now that he knows about us. I’m sure you already told him that last night, but we thought that it would be best if we explain it to him more accurately, having dealt with the Volturi before. We know what we’re up against, and you’ve probably only heard rumors. We need to explain to him exactly what could happen if they find out.” I paused.
“What would you tell him?” I asked cautiously, not at all liking this idea.
“We’ve been in a situation similar to this before, where we couldn’t keep it hidden that a human knew about us. We have to tell him exactly what’s at stake here. At this point, his only options are undead or death. That is, if they find out.” I felt dizzy.
“But we’re not going to let them find out,” I said weakly, running my hand through my hair in distress.
“It’s not that simple and you know it,” Alice sighed. “Just promise me you’ll bring him over here. Nothing bad will happen.”
“I don’t want you changing him today,” I growled, my fingers tightening around the phone. I wasn’t about to let my best friend turn into a blood-sucking monster. He didn’t sign up for that.
“Don’t worry, we never said we were going to change him today! Or ever. Trust me, that’s the last thing we want to do.”
“I want your word, Alice.”
“Alright! I promise you that we will not turn him into a vampire, or harm a single hair upon his head.” She sounded irritated that she had to go to such lengths to appease me. Regardless, I was now at least a little more willing to do what she asked.
“Okay,” I said reluctantly. “I’ll call him some time this morning. Hopefully we’ll be at your house around 3:00, I guess. And I suggest you keep Emmett as far away from him as possible.” She sighed.
“Okay. I’ll see you around 3:00 then. Not that I can see for sure, of course…” she grumbled. I smiled and hung up the phone. She was almost like a little kid, throwing a tantrum when things – AKA her “vision” – didn’t go her way. If it weren’t for the fact that she was a vampire who was indirectly the cause of my impending doom, I might actually like her. The same went for the rest of her family. Except for Jacob… I really did need to find out why I had such an aversion to him.
I shuddered; great, in order to do that, I’d have to talk to him. Woohoo.
I skipped out into the kitchen and grabbed the first fruit I could get ahold of: an apple. I really was going to need a real meal soon, considering the only food I’d really had that week was fruit. Except for the day that I helped Vincent with his math homework. That day seemed so long ago now. So many things were going wrong, but they were still somewhat in check. Failure was only a possibility. Now it was reality, and I was faced with the toughest decision of my life: where was I going to go from here? What could I possibly do that would make things better? Could I keep from becoming a disgrace to my society, elude the human and vampire governments, and stay close to the town where my best friend lived, without going insane? So far my best option was to live with the Cullens, creatures that I had sworn to fight and kill from the very first time I signed up for this project on Earth. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to befriend them, much less live with them, but here I was. As for the many governments I had to avoid, the best I could do was just act invisible. I would have to refrain from doing anything strange or noticeable in any way to keep attention away from this town. I would have to figure out a way to keep the Faerie Council from sending my monthly checks to an abandoned shed, without them finding out why I had moved. Or I could figure out a way to keep the cottage, while at the same time live somewhere else. The Cullens were rich. Maybe if I could stay on their good side, they would lend me some money…
I shook my head irritatedly. I could never use them like that! Even if they were blood-sucking monsters, they were civilized, and frankly, nicer to me than most of the humans on this planet. Still, they had offered to give me a place to sleep…
Just then, my phone rang again, shocking me out of my thoughts. Goodness, two calls in one day. I was getting popular.
“Hello?” I said.
“Hey Anira, it’s Vincent.” I sighed and looked at my watch. 8 o’clock. Well, it was better than 7:30, at least.
“So what do you want to do today?” I pursed my lips.
“Ummm….” I wasn’t sure how to phrase Alice’s invitation without frightening him. I mean, seriously, what was I supposed to say?? Hey, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to take you to the vampire’s lair so they can tell you how scary their leaders are. What the hell?!
“Anira, what’s wrong?” he asked, concerned over my extended silence. “Uh, if you don’t want to hang out, that’s fine, but you’d just said to call you, so I did. But that’s okay, I can wait until Monday if you want. It’s no big deal…”
“Vincent, of course I want to hang out with you,” I interrupted, trying to make him shut up. It worked. “It’s just that there’s something rather important that we need to do, and I’m not sure you’re going to like it…” Gosh, I felt like an idiot.
“And what is that?” he asked hesitantly. I sighed.
“How would you like to visit the Cullen’s house?” I asked quietly. He didn’t really have much of a choice, frankly, but I wanted him to feel like he had some of control over the situation. Maybe it would make him feel braver if he came of his own free will…
I could practically hear the reluctance on the other end of the line. The silence was deafening.
“You mean Emmett Cullen’s house?” he finally said, his voice somber.
“Well, yes, but there will be other people there.”
“You mean other vampires.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Another pause.
“Why do we have to go there?”
“They think it would be best if they explained your… current situation from their point of view.”
“But you would be there too?” he asked.
“Of course! I wouldn’t think of sending you in there alone.” He took a deep breath.
“Okay. I trust you.” I smiled a little. “When should we go there?”
“I told them we’d be there around 3:00 or so. I’ll pick you up around 2:45, I guess.”
“Okay. I’ll see you then.”
“Yeah. See you.” We both hung up and I leaned against the back of my kitchen chair heavily. I hated putting him through this. It felt awful.
Hours later, after I had brushed my teeth, gotten dressed, brushed my hair, did my homework, and ate my lunch, it was time to go pick up Vincent. I was not thrilled at all to be seeing him again. Not like this. I wished more than anything that we could just go on another normal date, where people didn’t get attacked by vampires or beaten up by Faeries, where we could just enjoy each other for who we were, and not getting into trouble over it. Was that really too much to ask? One normal day in two weeks of chaos?
I got to my friend’s house exactly at 2:45, as I had promised. He was already sitting on the porch waiting for me.
“I told my mom we were visiting a friend’s house together for a party,” he said grimly. I nodded; it was a pretty good excuse, for an amateur. “By the way, nice outfit.” He looked me up and down, examining my gray shorts and tank top with a faraway expression in his eyes. He was trying to distract himself from what we were about to do, no doubt.
“Thanks,” I said half-heartedly, glancing at myself as well. Despite the snow on the ground and the clouds in the sky, and the fact that I would look crazy to anyone who might have walked by, I’d decided early on in the morning that it would be more practical to wear summer clothes for the day’s activities. That way I didn’t have as much fabric to hinder my movements if anyone “slipped up” when we got to the vampires’ house. My wings were tactfully hidden under my shimmering hair, which happened to be the same color as they were. It was convenient at times. “Come on, let’s go.” I grabbed his wrist and started pulling him down the sidewalk, breaking him out of his monotone trance.
“Where are we going?” he asked nervously, glancing around.
“To the nearest alleyway,” I replied. “I can’t let anyone see me when I lift off the ground.”
“Right,” he said. “Because they’ll see your wings.” I shrugged and made that ‘so-so’ motion with my free hand.
“Actually, it’s not so much because of that as it is because of how fast I go. It’d be pretty weird if I just randomly disappeared in the middle of the street.” I chuckled lightly. “I give ‘blinding speed’ a whole new meaning.” He ogled at me.
“You really go that fast?” he asked in wonder.
“Yup. I’m wearing my camouflage for the day, though, just in case.” I motioned up at the clouded sky, which was practically the exact same color as my outfit. “They might not see me when I lift off the ground, but I’d hate for anyone to see me in the air. Especially when I have to fly low, like today.” He gave me a confused look. “I’m used to the altitude of flying. You however, have lived in two different places with similar atmospheres, and I would prefer that you not suffocate while we’re traveling, so I’ll have to fly significantly lower than usual.” He made a face.
“Can’t we just take a car or something?” he grumbled. Obviously he still wasn’t very comfortable with flying.
“I don’t have one. I wouldn’t need it. Besides, neither of us is technically old enough for a driver’s license yet.” He frowned. “Vincent, everything will be fine. You might even enjoy it. After the first few minutes it’s all trees and plants below us anyway. The only real place where we’re in danger of being noticed is when we’re above the town, and we’ve almost reached its limit by now.” I stopped him when we reached the alley I’d been looking for and pulled him into the small space, looking around for any followers. “Okay, let’s go.”
I held my arms open and, after a moment, he once again stepped into my embrace. His hands practically made a strangle-hold around my neck.
“Hold on tight,” I said. With that, I shot up into the air and soared out over the city limits, completely undetected by anyone. Just the way it was supposed to be.
This could turn into a very interesting afternoon!
You have no idea. :)
wow... you're great! do update soon.... i'm hooked!
Chapter 27: Vincent, Meet the Cullens
I landed on the familiar porch of the Cullens’ house and flipped my wings closed in one swift movement, balancing Vincent on his feet as I did so. As soon as I was sure he could stand up straight, I let go, save for one hand that I held firmly in my own. This was more for his (and my) comfort more than for safety; I had a feeling nothing would go terribly wrong with the vampires, but the suspense of the whole encounter was bound to wind him up a little too tightly. Then, very reluctantly, I knocked on the door. It opened within seconds.
“Hello Anira,” Carlisle greeted, giving me a warm smile. “And I suppose this is your friend Vincent.” I nodded and glanced at him nervously. His eyes were wide as he took in the coven leader. He’d never met Carlisle before. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Uh, yes, it’s nice to meet you too,” he mumbled, looking down.
“Why don’t you two come in and make yourselves at home?” I gave him a weak smile and pulled Vincent through the doorway and into the living room. Naturally everyone else was already there. Even Nessie and Jacob this time. I waited for the overpowering disgust to form in my stomach when I saw them, but to my complete and utter surprise (and relief), I felt nothing. I reacted to him today the way I would to any one of them: with caution, but not hatred. How odd.
“Can I get you two anything?” Esme asked after we sat down. “Water, maybe?” I shook my head and looked at Vincent.
“No thanks,” he said quickly, looking right back at me. “I’m okay.” She nodded and gave him a sympathetic smile. I squeezed his hand.
“So, Vincent, perhaps you should explain what all you know about us first, just so we can get an idea of how informed you are,” Edward said, leaning forward in his chair. “It will help us evaluate the situation.” Vincent gave me another desperate glance. I nodded encouragingly.
“Um, well, I know you’re all v-vampires,” he stuttered, shrinking back in his seat a little, “but you eat animals instead of humans. But when you’re hunting, your instincts take over, and that’s why E-Emmett attacked me yesterday… Because of my smell…” I raised an eyebrow at the grizzly vampire, just daring him to say something. He scowled and looked out the window.
“Is that all?” Edward asked, slightly disbelieving. Vincent nodded. Edward gave me an impressed look. Apparently he thought I was going to expose all their secrets or something, probably even with flashcards to help demonstrate. Was it really below me to do that from their point of view? I gave him a smug smile.
Then I pursed my lips.
‘He doesn’t know you read minds,’ I thought warningly. ‘Please try not to freak him out too much with your unnatural abilities.’ He chuckled quietly, soft enough that my human friend didn’t have a hope of hearing, and nodded.
“Well, I suppose that will make things easier for us.” Vincent gave me an uneasy look. I shrugged. “We feel more comfortable if we can explain these types of things ourselves, rather than trusting a third party to explain them for us,” Edward said. “Before I say anything further, I assume Anira has told you just how dangerous this is for you?” Vincent nodded and scooted a little closer to me. Clearly he thought Edward was talking about the danger of being in a house full of vampires, not the knowledge of vampires in general. “But you don’t know any specifics on how dangerous it is?”
“Um… Dangerous, how?” Vincent asked. “I know she said you could, uh, ‘slip up,’ if that’s what you mean…” Edward shook his head.
“Don’t worry, we’re not going to hurt you,” Esme cut in. “You’re not in any particular danger here. What my son means is the danger of the knowledge you now have of vampires. Humans aren’t supposed to know about us.” Vincent frowned.
“Well, we’re not supposed to know about faeries, either,” he said tentatively, “and Anira said that I’m in danger for knowing about her, too. But I don’t understand why my knowing you’re not human is so bad.” Yeah, well, I was starting to question that myself.
“Humans seem to have a hard time coping with the idea that there are creatures out there stronger than they are,” Carlisle explained. “Your kind has been striving for centuries to create the ‘perfect society,’ and if they knew about vampires, it would be chaotic. They believe that unless they are perfectly safe, unless they are the most powerful beings on this planet, they cannot have a ‘perfect society,’ and so they would do everything in their power to destroy our kind. I assume the, um, Faerie Government has a similar reason as well. None of us want that to happen.”
“But I wouldn’t tell anyone,” Vincent pointed out. I noticed that he was beginning to relax a little as the vampires continued to act friendly. He was starting to realize that they really didn’t want to hurt him. “I wouldn’t expose any of you. So why would it be dangerous, if I’m not a threat?”
“We trust you, Vincent,” Esme said quietly, “but our government… they’re very stubborn, and they don’t like to show weakness. They will not bend the rules, and if the rules say that no human is allowed to know the secret, then they will punish anyone who defies them.” He tensed up again.
“That’s only if they find out,” Bella added quickly, noticing his posture. “We won’t tell them, but they have ways of knowing if anyone’s breaking the rules…” she glanced at Edward. He nodded somberly.
“So… what will happen, then?” Vincent asked. “If they find out about me? What will be my, um, ‘punishment?’” At this question, everyone looked around at each other uneasily.
“That’s the reason we brought you here, actually,” Alice murmured. “To explain what could happen. Especially with our family.” She shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “They have us under careful supervision, if I’m not mistaken. And I’m not. Next to the Volturi, we’re the biggest vampire coven in the world, so they consider us a threat. They will take any opportunity to… um, lessen our numbers so they will feel less intimidated. If they found out that a human knows about us, they wouldn’t hold back.” Of course the vampires who finally discovered my secret were the most severely-watched clan in the mythical world. It was just my luck.
“You make it sound like you’ve been in this kind of situation before,” I said cautiously.
“We have been,” Edward said grimly. “That’s why we wanted to explain this to you ourselves. We’ve had a lot of experience with the Volturi’s wrath.” I frowned. “And we need to tell you what we’ve been through so you know what to expect, just in case they are informed of what’s happened here.” I nodded slowly, glancing around at all of their anxious faces. They all seemed genuinely distraught from their past experiences with this Volturi…
What had I gotten myself into?
“Edward and I met about 18 years ago,” Bella began, looking over at her mate shyly. “I was a junior in high school, and at that point in time, human. It didn’t take long for me to realize he was different from everyone else. It took a little longer to figure out how different, but I got it eventually. Unfortunately, after about a year there were some… complications to our relationship” – Edward flinched – “and the Volturi got involved. They said I would either have to become one of them, or die.” Her eyebrows furrowed as she concentrated on her human past. “Of course, we told you that detail already: dead or undead.
So naturally, we told them I would become a vampire. It seemed scary at the time, but compared to what they could do – and what they did do – it was nothing. I mean, it’s one thing to get a threat like that from just three people, but when the whole guard, leaders and all, comes to your house for the sole purpose of destroying your family, you feel pretty hopeless.” She grimaced.
“Why would they bring the entire guard to your house?!” I asked in horror. My voice sounded half strangled. This could not happen. I would not let something like that happen while Vincent and I were around. If there was any sign of it, I would leave, and take him with me. But then, would that really help? If the leader of this Volturi had the power that the rumors claimed he did, than did it really matter where I ran? As soon as he touched any one of these people in this room, he would know about me, and if I knew anything about this leader, it was that he was a collector. He wouldn’t let me get away.
“They were under the false impression that we had broken one of our most sacred rules,” Carlisle said quietly. “They believed we had created an immortal child.” I stifled a gasp and clamped my teeth together. Those creatures truly were monsters.
“Immortal child?” Vincent asked uncertainly, tilting his head to the side. It probably didn’t sound too threatening from his point of view.
“There was a time when one of our kind decided to turn a child – a toddler – into one of us,” Carlisle explained. “But at that age, they were too young to understand right from wrong. No one could tame them. They were adorable, but deadly. And so, the Volturi had to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Now it is our most unbreakable rule to never make an immortal child. And they thought we had broken this rule.” Vincent nodded shakily.
“But why would they think you broke such a rule as that?” I demanded. “You seem sane enough not to actually create one.” Edward smiled grimly.
“We created Renesmee,” he said quietly, glancing over at his half-human daughter, who was leaning against the wall with her shapeshifter boyfriend. He pulled her close against his side as he recalled the scarring experience with the rest of them. Again, I felt no hatred, but pity. What was wrong with my emotions? Or rather, what wasn’t wrong with them?
“But she’s not an immortal child,” I said slowly. “At least, not that way…” Vincent gave me a strange look. “She’s half-human. It’s a long story.” He pursed his lips and looked away. I could have sworn I saw him blushing.
“We had never heard of such a creature until we created her,” Edward said. “Neither had the Volturi. When they… found out about her, she was very young, and they immediately believed she was one of the forbidden. So they came to ‘punish us’ for our crime.” He made a disgusted sound with his teeth. “He mainly wanted to acquire some of the many talents in this coven, Alice especially, which is why he brought the whole guard.”
“Too bad I wasn’t there,” Alice quipped. Edward half smiled again. It wasn’t a very happy smile.
“Yes, that did throw him off,” he agreed. “He was also worried about our threatening size, of course, but it was mainly for Alice, and for me, though he didn’t need me as much. They’d already decided to pay us a visit for one reason or another; they just needed the excuse of a crime so they would be justified.” There was a series of low growls all around the room. “Which is why we’re so concerned for Vincent’s safety.”
“If they find out that another human knows about us, there’s a pretty big chance that they’ll do the exact same thing all over again,” Alice said solemnly. “Maybe not with quite so much force, but it would be pretty close.”
“How did they find out the first time?” I whispered. I was freaking out a little.
“Well, a close family friend of ours had a bit of an encounter with the Volturi centuries ago that gave her and her family a pretty healthy respect for the law,” Edward said, his voice careful as he chose his words. “She saw Renesmee from a distance, and believed that she was an immortal child, and she decided that it was her duty to turn us in to the Volturi.” I gulped. This almost sounded familiar, though I didn’t have a clue why.
“Her name?” I breathed, my voice hoarse. He gave me a suspicious look.
“Why do you want to know that?” I shook my head, not trusting my voice anymore. I already knew who it was. I didn’t know how, but I could feel it with absolute certainty in my chest. There wasn’t a trace of doubt in my mind.
Edward gave me a harsh look.
“How do you know that name?” He demanded.
Can't wait to see what happens next!
great update! please update again soon!