The Twilight Saga

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. :)

 

 

Summary:

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.

Tags: cullens, faeries, fairies, irina, reincarnation, vampires

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Cliffhanger alert! xP

haha yeah... Don't worry, I've had this next chapter playing through my head more times than I can count, so hopefully the words will flow quickly and I can get it up by Saturday. ;) (No school Friday. Woo!)

Chapter 22: Vampire Wrestling

            We were walking down the sidewalk slowly together, just enjoying each other’s company.  We didn’t really feel the need to talk; we’d been doing that all evening.  We just wandered through the dark in silence, holding hands.  My heart did strange little flips every time I thought about that.  Which was pretty much the whole walk home.

            We had just entered the forest when it happened.  I was listening, tasting the air, things I always did subconsciously when it was quiet.  I wasn’t expecting to find anything out of the ordinary.  I wasn’t expecting to find the unmistakable smell of a vampire drifting through the air.  And I certainly wasn’t expecting Emmett to jump out of the bushes a whole two seconds later, aiming straight for Vincent’s throat.

            I didn’t have time to think.  I didn’t have time to consider the consequences.  My friend was in danger, and so I reacted.  My wings ripped free of my dress in one swift movement, and I collided with the burly vampire mid-air.  Vincent was absolutely paralyzed with fear.

            “Augh!”  Emmett growled, previously unaware of my presence.  Well, I had no scent.  It worked to my advantage.  He thrashed around and managed to buck me off, his eyes crazed as he watched his prey.  No sooner had I landed on my feet than I was up again, crashing into his back and forcing him to the ground before he could pounce.  There was a crack like thunder as we made contact.

            “Back away Vincent!” I shouted, my voice high with fright.  I wasn’t afraid for myself, of course; I was afraid some other vampire would jump in and take him away before I could deal with the one I was currently sitting on.  Didn’t they usually hunt in packs or something?  Or was I thinking of something else?

            My French friend was now practically shaking with fear, though part of it was probably from the cold, so when he finally did as I told him to, he almost fell on his butt.  I felt bad for putting him through this.

            I inhaled in a gasp as Emmett once again threw me off of him, too far gone in his blood lust to focus on anything other than food.  I realized that I would have to get rid of the temptation, or make Emmett stop breathing, if I had any hope of saving my friend.

            The vampire was on his feet again, and I only had about one second to act.  I shot forward, grasped Vincent by the arms, and hoisted him up into the air, flying towards the highest tree in the immediate vicinity.  I very carefully set him down on a branch about 80 feet up and touched his face so he would look at me.

            “I’m sorry,” I whispered.  “I promise I’ll explain everything later.  Just… stay here and I’ll be right back.”  He gave me a terrified look and grasped onto the trunk for dear life.  I gave him another apologetic glance and then shot downward again to catch Emmett.  He was already about halfway up the tree.

            “Oh no you don’t!” I growled, flying right towards him.  I think this was the first time he got a real glimpse of what I looked like head-on, and the sight shocked him to his senses, just a little.  He paused on the hunt, staring at me with wide, incredulous eyes.  I slammed into him with shocking force, breaking the branch that was just barely maintaining his weight.  We collided into the ground about three seconds later.

            “Hold your breath!” I commanded, grounding his face into the dirt.  My wings were buzzing furiously in order to keep enough pressure on him, since obviously my lack of body weight wasn’t cutting it.  “Stop breathing!”  I felt his torso stiffen as he finally did as he was told.  His struggling stilled, and at about the same time he got his sanity back, I heard the clicking and grinding of gears in his head, putting together the images he had just seen with the little information he already knew about me.  By the time I trusted him enough to stand up straight, I was positive he knew what I was.

            Ordinarily I would have simply disposed of the monster, ripped off his head and burned the stone flesh to ashes.  Today I had two reasons for not doing so: 1) Vincent was staring at us from 80 feet up in the air, probably scared out of his mind, and I didn’t want to make it worse, and 2) Emmett was Renesmee’s family.  Did I really want to hurt her like that?  I knew I wasn’t supposed to let personal emotions get in the way of my job, but the thought forced its way into my head before I could stop it.

            My indecision had stalled me enough that I almost didn’t notice when Emmett ran off through the trees.  When I realized what had just happened about a second later, I panicked.  He was going back to his house.  Back to his family.  He would tell them what he saw.  What I was.  I had to follow him.  But I couldn’t leave Vincent all alone stuck in a tree!  He deserved better than that.  But I also couldn’t let that vampire get away!  I could try to kill two birds with one stone, grab Vincent and follow Emmett while I explained what he just saw, but after seeing how that blood-sucker responded to my friend, that didn’t seem like a good idea.  Not to mention I would now have to explain the existence of vampires to him as well…  I cringed and flew up into the sky, locating the tree he was still clinging to.  Vincent was more important than my own well-being.  I would have to kill all the vampires later or something.  I would deal with it.  I would tell Vincent everything; he deserved it.  But nothing in the world, nothing, would ever make me willingly put him in any kind of danger ever again.  Never.

            I very gently and very quietly balanced myself on the branch, folding my wings as I approached him.  His eyes were squeezed shut in an attempt to deal with the situation.  His breathing was shallow.

            “Vincent?” I asked, my voice small.  “Vincent, are you okay?”

            “Get me down, get me down, get me down, get me down…” he chanted through his teeth, refusing to open his eyes.  I sighed.

            “That’s a bit hard to do with how hard you’re hugging this tree,” I murmured, wrapping my arms around his waist comfortingly.  At the touch of my hands, his eyes fluttered open, and he looked at me with desperation in his eyes.

            “What are you?” he whispered hoarsely.  I hugged him a little tighter.

            “Let me get you down from here first.  Then I’ll try to explain what I can.  I have to tell you, though, I don’t have much time.  I am in extreme danger right now, and I need to leave soon.  Very soon.  But I’ll try to explain.”  I stroked his arms, willing him to loosen his hold on the wood.  When he didn’t budge, I had to revert to different tactics.

            “Please trust me, Vincent,” I pleaded quietly, my lips at his ear.  I felt his back stiffen to my closeness.  I had seen enough of his body language to know exactly how this would affect him.  I kissed the tender spot behind his ear, and I felt his arms immediately go limp at his sides.  I couldn’t help but smile; it really shouldn’t have pleased me that I had so much control over him in that moment.  I needed to focus.  There were more important things to do than seduce some naïve human at the top of a tree.

            I opened my wings again and very carefully lifted us up off the branch.  I heard his intake of breath as his feet left solid matter, but his eyes were wondering as he turned his neck to look at me.  I smiled encouragingly.

            “Okay, so you’re probably not going to believe this… Well, actually, you probably will…” I chuckled.  “Um… I’m a faerie.”  He smiled weakly.

            “Yeah.  I noticed,” was all he managed to say.  I chuckled again.  Then I was serious.

            “Vincent, you have to promise me you won’t tell anyone.  Not a soul,” I warned, my voice severe.  “If I can’t trust you 100%... let’s just say the consequences would be dire.”  I shuddered.  “Even you’re not supposed to know.”  He nodded.

            “I won’t tell anyone,” he promised.  “Besides, who would believe me?  And who would I tell anyway?  My hundreds of friends?”  He snorted.  “I only have you, Anira.  I’m not going to do anything that you get you in trouble.”  I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at this statement.  Of course, he thought I was talking about dire consequences for me if anyone else found out.  That was the last thing on my mind right now.

            “Okay, as to the other questions probably swimming around in your head right now, I can only answer one of them.  Emmett is a vampire, that’s why he attacked you.”  I wrinkled my nose.  “He must have been on the hunt, and we just happened to get a little too close.”  By now we had landed, and he was now staring at me.  His expression was contemplative.

            “But then why did he only attack me?” he asked hesitantly.  He was trying so hard to be brave.  It made me feel guilty.  “You were in front of me.  Wouldn’t he have gone for the easier target?”  I pursed my lips.

            “He can’t smell me,” I said bluntly.  “I’m sorry, Vincent, I wish I could explain more, but I really have to go.”  How far could the blood-sucker have gone by now?  It had only been about a minute.  Perhaps I could still beat him?  Gosh, I would have to take down the whole Cullen clan…  I shook the thought from my head.  I wouldn’t think about it.  I would do it, and I would do it willingly.  My race came before myself.

            “Anira, please don’t leave me!” Vincent begged, his tone catching me off-guard.  I gave him a surprised look.  “Take me with you!  We can confront him together or something.  I’m still so confused!  Don’t leave me here without answers, please!  And how do I know he won’t just come back and eat me when you’re not around?”  I made a strange kind of whimpering sound.  I felt so guilty for putting him through all this.  I didn’t blame him for being upset.  But after finding out I wasn’t what I appeared to be, after watching me beat up Emmett, the biggest burliest vampire in the school, he wanted me to stay with him?  It was more than I deserved.

            “Umm…”  I glanced behind me wearily, back through the trees where my enemy had disappeared.  “I’m sorry Vincent, but I can’t put you in that kind of danger again.  I promise you, he’s not going to be anywhere near you for the rest of the night.”  I gave one short, humorless laugh.  “In fact, he’ll be too busy ratting me out to his family.  He was just as surprised as you are about my race.”  I sighed and thought a moment.  “I really have to go, before it’s too late.  If you really want me to answer your questions, leave your veranda door open tonight.  I have to warn you though, I probably won’t be back until midnight or later…”  If I come back at all, I thought.

            “Okay,” he said reluctantly.  “I’ll leave it open for you.”  I nodded and tried to smile.  It was a weak attempt.

            “Let me take you home,” I offered.  “It’s on the way to where I need to go anyway.”  Sort of.

            He looked at my open arms hesitantly.  “Uh, thanks,” he muttered.  At this, I managed to laugh.

            “Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop you,” I said wryly.  “If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little stronger than your average teenage girl.”  He grinned back at me.

            “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”  He stepped up to me and allowed me to wrap my arms around him once again.  I lifted up into the air and shot forward.

            We reached his house within minutes, and I dropped down to the sidewalk to let him go.

            “Don’t forget to visit later,” he said, searching my eyes.  I nodded, saying nothing.  After a long, almost awkward moment, he kissed me on the cheek.  My face flamed up, despite my current situation.  “See you.”  He turned around towards his house and walked down the driveway.  I flew away before he could take three steps.

            I flew towards the Cullen house with blinding speed, faster than I had probably ever gone before.  I had to get there first.  I just had to.  I could no longer fool myself into thinking I would kill the leech, but I still had to beat him home.  I couldn’t just sit there while my secret spilled out for all to see.  I willed myself to go faster, ever faster.

            When I finally reached the house, all the lights were on.  As I got nearer, I could make out the faint sounds of whispering.  Emmett was nowhere to be found, but I could smell his scent as I sank closer to the ground.  He had beaten me.  Of course he had beaten me.  I spent all that time trying to console Vincent, trying to explain things to him.  It had taken longer than I thought it would.  I regretted nothing, but I couldn’t block the wave of despair that crashed over me at that moment.  I was too late.  They knew about me.  They knew what I was.  I had failed.

            With a choked off cry of agony, I toppled face-first into the dirt.

Wow. Did Emmett really lose control or did the Cullen's set up Anira?

At least it won't be Anira's fault if they have to move.

Aha! The confrontation! >:D

Post another chapter soon, please! :) :) :) 

Yeah.  Emmett was hunting in the forest and Vincent just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time... =3  Haha, chica pequeña beat up the Grizzly Bear. :P

Chapter 23: Coming Clean

            After a moment, I heard the faint squeak of door hinges, and a bright rectangle of light rushed out to meet me where I lay.  With a sigh, I forced myself to my feet.  Best not to give the vampires the satisfaction of seeing me so vulnerable.  Not that appearances made any difference with that stupid mind-reader around.

            “Anira,” Edward greeted quietly.  What, no snide comments?  No taunting little quip for the irresponsible faerie?

            “Edward,” I replied, nodding at him.  He smiled wryly.

            “I must admit, I’m impressed.  I never thought I’d see the day when someone the size of a toothpick managed to best my brother at anything physical.”  He chuckled.  “In fact, if I hadn’t seen it for myself in his memories, I wouldn’t have believed him.  Although, he seems quite humiliated.  I doubt he would ever tell us something so embarrassing if it weren’t true.”  I heard a faint growl from the interior of the house and I had to smile.  Frankly, he got what he deserved.  That grizzly bear needed a lesson in humility.  Then I was serious.

            “You realize I’m going to have to kill you now,” I said, folding my arms in front of my chest.  Not that I was going to, but it was what I was supposed to do.

            His grin turned a little cocky.  “I know.”  I sighed.

            “Why don’t you just tell me what you want, Edward?” I demanded.  “You already have the information I’ve been trying to hide.  You know I’m dangerous enough to beat up your brother, who’s twice the size that I am.  Why come out here?  To rub it in my face?”  He contemplated.

            “Why don’t you come inside?” he suggested lightly, rather than answering my questions.  “Make yourself comfortable while we talk.”  I watched him suspiciously, not trusting his motives, then stepped past him into the house.  Did it really matter if he had some secret scheme to kill me?  I had failed.  It didn’t matter now what happened to me.  Unless I had the nerve to kill the whole lot of them – which I didn’t – I was a lost cause.  A disgrace to all faerie kind.

            I heard the door shut behind me and I shuddered a little out of habit.  Trapped in the vampires’ lair once again.

            “Hello Anira,” Esme greeted me, a little too friendly.  She probably felt sorry for me, what with my secret out and all.  Or maybe she was just happy that her family was no longer in danger of the unknown, so she could afford a little more courtesy.

            “So,” Carlisle said after I sat down.  “You’re a faerie.  I never realized those existed.”  I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

            “You’re all vampires, with a shapeshifter and a vampire-human hybrid living with you, and you’re surprised that I exist.”  I shook my head and chuckled a little.  It was a weak sound.

            “Why were you so set on keeping it a secret?” Edward asked curiously.  “I mean, we know the importance of secrecy just as well as you do, but why try to hide it from us?  We could hardly expose you, unless we wanted ourselves out in the open as well.”  I frowned, displeased with such open questions about my culture.  Just because they knew what I was now didn’t mean I automatically wanted to tell them everything about my people.  But at the same time, his question made sense.  Why was it so imperative that we keep the secret from other mythical creatures, anyway?  It took me a moment to even think of an answer, having never considered the question before.  After I’d thought of one, I decided it couldn’t do too much harm to explain my revelation to the rest of them.

            “We are here to keep the humans safe,” I said slowly, “to keep them from falling victim to creatures such as yourselves.  We hunt down and kill things like vampires and werewolves in order to protect the humans, since they obviously can’t fend for themselves in such encounters.  Why would we allow our prey to know we exist, when it would make our job so much easier if they remained in the dark?”  The vampires digested this for a moment.

            “I guess that makes sense,” Bella finally said, her voice reluctant.  Her nose was scrunched up, and I could tell she wasn’t fond of the idea of vampire hunters.

            I waited for any other none-of-your-business questions to be asked.  When nobody said anything, I scrunched my eyebrows together in concern.  Why bother inviting me inside to talk if nobody was going to say anything?  Perhaps there really was some secret scheme to kill me.

            “I assumed you would want to go about this the political way and take turns,” Edward said, his smile amused.  “I understand we are not the only ones with questions.”  I gave him a surprised look, but nodded.  This reunion was a lot less hostile than I’d envisioned it to be.  Maybe I would survive this second encounter after all.

            Which meant I would have some more explaining to do around midnight…

            “Carlisle, how can you be a doctor?”  I blurted out the first question that came to mind, holding back my mental groan.  It wasn’t safe to think about Vincent now.  “Doesn’t the smell drive you insane or something?”  He chuckled.

            “It used to be very hard to… keep control,” he admitted, “but after millennia of practice, I hardly smell the blood anymore.”  I was impressed.  A vampire, not only controlled, but completely immune to the smell of blood.  Wow.

            “Your turn,” I mumbled.  Much as I didn’t want to answer their questions, and much as I probably wouldn’t, I was still morbidly curious to see what thoughts were going on in their heads.

            “How come we can’t smell you?” Rosalie asked.  Well, demanded.  Her voice was still snippy.  Maybe that was just a part of her personality, not just because of me.

            “Umm…”  I was so reluctant to tell them anything.  They had no right to know the answer to any of their questions.  But for some reason, I suddenly had the craving to brag about my abilities.  I had kept them a secret from everyone on this planet.  I couldn’t talk to anyone about who I really was.  And back where I lived before, it was normal, not impressive in any way.  Was I really going to give up this chance to finally impress someone for once, instead of being that freaky anti-socialite that nobody knew?

            My decision: I would answer vaguely.  Quench the knowledge, but not saturate it.  It seemed as good a compromise as any.

            “I don’t have a scent,” I finally said.  I shrugged.  “That’s how we work.”

            “But the other time you came here, you smelled perfectly normal,” Esme cut in, her forehead creased.  Silently, I pulled a little tube of my emergency ‘perfume’ out from my sleeve.  I was always prepared for something.

            All the vampires stared, uncomprehending, and I sighed.  I squeezed the top just a tiny bit and let the scent spray out into the open air, cautioning them with my eyes.  They all froze.

            “You cake yourself in human blood??” Alice practically hissed, cringing into the couch, away from the scent.  I made a disgusted sound.

            “Of course not! Haven’t any of you ever heard of the term plasma??”  They relaxed a bit.  “It’s fake.”

            “It sure smells real,” Emmett muttered, still sour from our little wrestling match.  He was the one standing farthest away from me currently, I noted.

            “That’s because I’m good at my job.”  Emmett opened his mouth to argue, but I stopped him.  “Shut up, it’s my turn.”  I heard Bella snicker and I grinned a little in response.  “What other talents do you have in this coven?  I heard Alice talking about how she couldn’t see around me or Renesmee or… or Jacob.”  I had been about to say that mutt, but that sounded rude.  There really was no reason for me to hate him so much.  “The context implies that she can tell the future, but I wasn’t sure…” I trailed off, watching the little vampire curiously.  She scowled and looked away.

            “Yes, I used to be able to see the future,” she muttered at the window.  I saw Edward roll his eyes.  “Nowadays there’re just too many hybrids living around here for me to see much.”  I stared awhile longer for a translation.  When she noticed, she sighed.  “I can only see humans and vampires.  Nothing else.  So I can’t see werewol… pardon me, shapeshifters, and I can’t see faeries and I can’t see human-vampire halfbreeds.”  She gave out a huff of frustration and turned back to the window, her pouting expression an interesting contrast to how threatening she had looked the last time I was here.

            “Okay… what about everyone else?  Does anyone else have any special talents here?  Other than know-it-all over there?”  I gestured to Edward and he chuckled softly.

            “I can feel emotions,” Jasper said hesitantly, cautious as usual.  He trusted me with this information about as much as I trusted him with mine.  “But it’s not quite the same as what you do.  From what Edward tells us, you see the emotions as colors.”  Of course he knew that already.  I nodded.  “I don’t see the emotions, I actually feel them.”  He shrugged.

            “I’m a shield,” Bella piped up, much more willing than Jasper had been.  I gave her a confused look.  “Well, a mental shield,” she corrected.  “It feels like a giant rubber band that I can extend over a certain distance.  I’ve only had to use it once…”  She shuddered.  I wanted to ask what that reason was, but I decided I didn’t really want to know.  Anything that could scare the undead was beyond my experience.

            I looked around for any more volunteers, but there were none.  I would just have to hope nobody else was hiding anything.  “Your turn.”

            “I don’t suppose you know why you had such a reaction to Jacob the last time you were here?” Edward asked, his tone not really one of hope.  I shook my head.

            “Trust me, I wish I did.”  I looked around for a moment.  “Speaking of which, where is the dog?”  I assumed he was a dog.  That’s what he smelled like.

            “He’s out at the movies with Renesmee,” Bella said, waving it off.  I was a little surprised.  They were actually doing something any normal couple would have done.

            “Well then can I exchange my question?”  Edward asked.  I nodded.  “How did you find out that I read minds?”  Mild relief flooded my system.  Finally, a question that wasn’t directly about my heritage.  This one I could answer.  Though I was a little shocked he didn’t already know.

            “I kind of had this feeling that my thoughts weren’t safe around you.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it was just my sense of danger responding in a different way, but it’s never done that before.  The other vampires I’ve… met, I’ve never known the talents of right off the bat, if they even had any.  For you, I just kind of felt it and guessed.  And then when you and Bella were talking in English about the car accident that same day, she mentioned you were supposed to be some ‘master mind-reader’ and I knew I was right.”  Bella looked down at her hands, looking embarrassed.

            “Your sense of danger?” he asked, raising his eyebrows slightly.  “The way you think of it implies that it’s not simply an assumption of yours.”  I pursed my lips.

            “It’s not,” I said curtly.  “More of an… awareness than an assumption.”  I could see his mind working over this idea, but he didn’t press for details.  Wise of him.

            “Your turn.”  I thought through my list of questions to see which one I wanted to ask next… only to find that I had none left unanswered.

            “Actually, I think I’m about out of questions,” I said sheepishly.  “I’ll let you know if anymore come to mind.”  Great, now I was even starting to sound polite.

            He shrugged.  “Suit yourself.”  He paused for a moment to think.  “Will you be punished for what we now know about you?”  I cringed, not at all wanting to answer that question.  My facial expression was probably answer enough anyway.

            “I’m still trying to figure out what to do,” I whispered.  “If they find out, the consequences will be monumental.  For me and for you.”  My voice turned pleading.  “Please don’t tell anyone else about this!  My life is hard enough as it is, and now that you know, it’s already made it three times worse!  I’ve had so much to worry about and I don’t know how much longer I can take it and I think I’m going to explode…” I could already feel a break-down coming on.  My voice was getting higher and more choked up by the minute, and I could feel my body trembling.  I had to get a grip before I made a completely fool of myself.  I took a deep breath.  “Please don’t give us a reason to wipe out every other mythical creature on this planet.”  They would too; and they would not play by the rules.

            Everyone stared at my blubbering face in quiet disbelief.  It took a minute for anyone to respond.

            “Of course we won’t tell anyone else about this,” Esme finally murmured, glancing around at the rest of her family fearfully.  She liked the idea of them being destroyed about as much as I liked the situation I was in right now.  Which was not at all.

            “Thank you,” I breathed, my panic only mildly abated.  Okay, so at least I wouldn’t get into any more trouble.  That still didn’t really fix the problem I had already started.

            “I wonder how the Volturi would react if they found out about her,” Carlisle murmured to himself.  I stiffened; yes, I had heard of their corrupted joke of a government.  I also knew that they were one of the most powerful groups in the galaxy.  Still below my council and its warriors, but not by much.

            “Your Council is stronger than the Volturi?” Edward asked incredulously, breaking my train of thought.  I scowled.  His little talent was an absolute pain in the butt.

            “Yes, but they don’t go out looking for fights,” I warned.  “And even if we did start a war, the losses would be great on both sides.  You must remember, vampire, that we consider all of your kind the enemy.  If they see any of you, no matter how ‘nice’ your auras may be, they will take you down, and you will not stand a chance.”  Just in case he was getting any ideas about a sudden coup de’ etat. 

            I was right; his face deflated immediately, though he tried not to show it.

            “It doesn’t matter anyway,” I went on.  “I won’t even be here anymore 10 days from now.”  I gave out a short, humorless laugh.  “I don’t know where I’ll be, or who I’ll be with, but wherever I go, it won’t be here.”  Not with the government on my tail.  I either had to choose a foster home or return to my real home, neither of which was a terribly appetizing idea.  Sigh.

            “That might not be the best idea, Esme,” Edward said, responding to some unspoken idea.

            “What?  What did she say?” I asked.  He looked at me wearily and sighed.

            “She was thinking that maybe you could live here, at least until you find a good home.  That way your future will be at least a little less… unpredictable.”  I was so stunned I couldn’t speak.  She was willing to take me into her own home – temporarily at least – even though I had threatened her family’s very existence.  Wow.

            What was really sad was that it was probably the best option I’d had so far.

            “I’ll think about it,” I allowed.  “That is, if it’s a real invitation.”  She nodded without hesitation.

            “Of course, Anira,” she crooned.  “I’d hate to leave you without a home.  Especially as Nessie’s best friend.”  Best friend?  Again, wow.

            “Can faeries turn into vampires?”  Edward asked suddenly, something completely irrelevant to the conversation.  I was immediately on edge.  “Don’t worry, I didn’t intend to act on it.  I was simply curious.  With your wings and such, I would imagine such a creature would stand out in the vampire world.  But then, with how well you manage to blend in, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps I’ve met such a creature without even realizing it.  But I also know that vampire venom is deadly to creatures like Jacob.”  Oh really?  Interesting…

            I shook away the thought before it could form.  I had never been so sadistic before, even in my thoughts.  It was absurd.

            “Yes, we can become vampires,” I said reluctantly, “but we lose our wings in the changing process and forget everything about our past.  I guess it’s just a defense mechanism for us.  We’ve been hiding for so long that our bodies try to keep the secret as much as our minds do.”  The room was absolutely still again, everyone frozen as their eyes all wandered in the same direction.  Alice was sitting straight as a pin in her seat, her shocked gaze locked on me.

            “What?” I asked.

What is it?!? Now I'm curious. Bloody cliffhangers!!! D:

Great chapter, by the way. ^_^

actually, they're all staring at Alice... I just thought I should clarify that before the next chapter comes up.  That way the beginning will be a little less confusing. =3

Oh, so I'm guessing Alice was a changed faerie then..? >:)

You'll just have to find out. ;)  Hopefully I'll have the next chapter up by this weekend.

My question is why did Anira dream of Irina and the other Denali sisters.  Could that be the reason for her hostility towards Jacob?  Did Alice somehow see into her past?

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