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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Anira hasn't even moved in yet and she already has to deal with Alice and Emmet!  Good luck to her!  Looking forward to the next update!

Chapter 33: Sleeping Arrangements

            My first four classes of the day were pretty uneventful.  As far as I could tell, none of the vampires really hated me anymore.  Rosalie was bitter, but her mood was no longer that angry red color, so I took that as a good sign.  I had a few tests, I took a few notes, I pretended to listen to what the teacher was saying.  Overall, a very average morning.  I didn’t have to think about my life or the stressful situation I was in, simply because I didn’t have time to.  However, lunch was a different story.

            “Are you alright?” Vincent asked in concern, scrunching his eyebrows together as he gazed down at me.  “You seem a little stressed.”

            Nope, not at all, I wanted to say.  The Government’s only trying to kick me out of my house and make me live with a bunch of blood-suckers, creatures that I once swore to kill without exception and under any circumstances.  Why would I be stressed??

            “I’m fine,” I muttered.  He pursed his lips.

            “It’s all going to be okay,” he said gently, touching my shoulder.  “I know you’re worried about me, but I’m fine.  I’ve accepted what could happen to me in the near future.  Don’t you think you should, too?”

There were so many things wrong with this misconception that I wasn’t sure where to start correcting him.

1)    I would never accept the idea that the person I loved could be turned into an innate murderer.

2)    He had no idea what he was agreeing to by doing this.  Did he even have any idea how much he would be giving up if we had to change him?  We may have explained the traits of the newborn vampire, but we never specifically mentioned that we would have to take him away from his friends and family, that he would probably never see them again.  He still had a lot to learn before he could make this kind of decision.

3)    This wasn’t even the topic I was worrying about, anyway.  He just didn’t know that because he was completely oblivious to my impending relocation.  And I wasn’t about to change that any time soon.

“I’m going to keep you human for as long as possible,” I promised, my voice grave.  He frowned at my determined tone, but didn’t press the matter further.

As we got out of the lunch line, I started walking towards the table where Nick and his friends were sitting, simply out of force of habit.  Then I stopped.  Why did I want to sit with them, anyway?  Nick had been anything but polite lately, especially to Vincent.  Did I really want to sit there and watch the 2nd Cold War start right in front of me?  Besides, I had to find a way to talk to the vamps about my living arrangements.  Maybe if I had an extended amount of time to talk to them – such as during lunch, for example – I could casually slip that into the conversation.  Maybe.

“Let’s sit with the Cullens today,” I suggested, turning my head so I could see Vincent from where he stood behind me.  His eyes widened slightly, and he shrugged.

“Lunch with the people who don’t eat.  Sounds interesting.”  He smirked at me, covering up his nervous expression quite well.  I grinned back at him apologetically and led the way to their table, where they were all currently poking at their food, but showing little effort in actually pretending to eat it.

“Hello, everyone!” I said a little too brightly.  They all glanced up at me skeptically, no doubt wondering why I was bothering them.  “Do you mind if we sit here?”

You could have heard a cricket chirp from the other side of the school, the silence at the table was so deafening.  Edward was the first one to speak.

“Of course,” he said, his lips pulling up at the corners as he pulled a chair back for me to sit in.  I sat down uncertainly, wondering why it wasn’t Renesmee or Alice who had accepted me first.  Surely they liked me a lot more than the mind-reader did?  Then it occurred to me that he must have heard my thoughts on the way over to their table, so he already knew the real motives behind my change of heart.  How could I overlook such an obvious detail??  I even thought of him as “the mind-reader!!”  My face heated up as I realized my mistake, and I looked down in embarrassment.

“Is there something you’d like to talk to us about?” Bella asked, her tone kind, but perplexed.

Please don’t tell me you’re cancelling our shopping trip!” Alice whined, her face molding into the most pitiful begging expression I’d ever seen.  Jasper chuckled quietly and patted her arm with his hand.

“Maybe she’s here to schedule our arm-wrestling match,” Emmett suggested, waggling his eyebrows at me.  “She still owes me a rematch.”  I smiled a little and shook my head condescendingly.

“You know I’d only humiliate you in front of your family,” I murmured to the muscle-monster.  Everyone chuckled.  Then I faced the whole table.  “Actually, I have something a bit more serious to talk to you about.”  I fiddled with a strand of hair that was hanging in my face.  How was I ever supposed to tell them what I had done?  My only option right now was really just to hope that Esme’s invitation wasn’t premature, and that the rest of her family was just as accepting of me as she seemed to be.  “So… as you know, I’ve been having a bit of a dilemma finding a permanent home until I’m legally old enough to live by myself.”  Renesmee smiled; she already knew where this conversation was headed.  “As you also know, your, um, mom told me that I was welcome to live with you all until that day came.  I was wondering if that feeling was mutual, or if she was just being nice?  I know you said I was welcome, but I just wanted to make sure…”  The vampires all looked at each other.

“Wait, what?” Vincent asked, his voice confused.  I turned to look at him in surprise.  “What are you talking about?”  Oops.

“Haha, um, well, funny story…” I gasped, rubbing my neck and avoiding eye contact.  “I’m kind of being forced to move out of my house by due process of the law, and if I don’t find a decent, legal place to live by Thursday, I might never see you again.  I guess I forgot to mention that to you.”  I bit my lip and turned my head to gaze out the window.  This was uncomfortable.

After a long silence, he finally spoke.

“Why didn’t you tell me??” he asked, his voice panicked.  “You could live with me!  Well, I mean, we have a spare bedroom, and I know my mom wouldn’t mind if you stayed with us for a while…”

“Vincent, you and I both know that’s a bad idea,” I sighed.  “We don’t want to get your parents sucked into this, too.  On our first date you got attacked by a vampire and saved by a faerie.  Imagine what could happen to them on the first day we’re housemates!  It wouldn’t be fair to let them get them involved.”  Vincent grumbled in frustration and looked away.

“But I don’t want you to leave,” he said quietly.

“I don’t either,” I agreed.  “So let’s promise that we’re not going to let me leave, and everything will turn out okay.”  I smiled up at him weakly, waiting for an answer.  After a moment’s hesitation, he nodded, his smile even more pathetic than mine.

I turned back to the vampires.

“I guess you all are sort of my only hope for keeping my promise now,” I said.  “I’ve already tried everything else.  I would never use you for my own personal gain if I had any way out of it, but I don’t see any other way out of this mess.  Frankly, it would probably be easier for all of us if I just left, but now that Vincent knows about all of us, he’s in too much danger for me to leave.”  Not to mention the trouble I would get in with the faerie council if they found out how many loose ends I left untied in my designated city.  “I know that not all of you like me” – a glance a Rosalie – “and I know that I haven’t exactly given a good first impression, but if you can just let me hang around for 3 more years, I promise I’ll be on my best behavior.  I’ll stay out of your way as much as possible, and I don’t even really have to stay at your house if you don’t want.  I’d just need Carlisle and Esme to come sign a few papers for me so that the judge thinks I have a legal place to stay…”

“Stop blabbering and let us talk,” Rosalie interrupted, scowling over at me.  I shut my mouth.

“We talked about this possibility after you left on Friday,” Edward said, looking around at his family.  “I knew that you would probably take our offer into consideration, and I had the same concerns that you did.”  I grimaced.  Great.  “After a long debate, we finally reached a conclusion.  We didn’t bring it up on Saturday because we had a much more pressing topic to deal with first.”  A glance at Vincent.  “We decided that it would be best for you to stay at our house, rather than disappear to some unknown part of the country, even if only to keep an eye on you.  So your reasons for asking us for help are no more selfish than our reasons for saying yes.”  A slow grin spread across my face.

They said yes.

“So, just to make sure, I’m free to sleep at your house whenever necessary after the papers are signed?” I clarified.  Everyone nodded.

“You are free to use our house as you please,” Edward said.  “What’s ours, is yours.  As long as you don’t abuse it, that is.”  I nodded a little too eagerly.

“Of course, of course.  Thank you so much.  I promise I won’t do anything intentionally out of line.  I’ll be as little trouble as possible.”  Edward tilted his head in acknowledgement.

“Um, actually, we do have one favor to ask if you’re going to live with us,” Bella said, giving me a sheepish grin.  I looked at her expectantly.  “Please try to be on your best behavior around Jacob.  I know you have some sort of… aversion to him, but he doesn’t really deserve to be treated like a criminal, so just please try to make him feel less uncomfortable when you’re around.”

“Okay. I’ll do my best,” I agreed.  “I don’t think I’ll have a problem with that anymore, anyway.”  I thought back to the dream I’d had the night before, the forgiveness I’d given the wolves just before… well, before Caius went all pyromaniac on me.  Now that I remembered my whole past – or at least most of it – it was a lot easier to control the emotional shadows these vampires had provoked.  I had a feeling Jacob would just be another acquaintance from now on.

“That’s good,” Bella said doubtfully.  Well, I supposed we would have to see it to believe it.  I could just be feeling neutral towards the shapeshifter because Vincent was sitting next to me.  I’d just have to check my reaction the next time I came in contact with the dog.

At that moment, the bell rang, signaling the end of our conversation.  Everyone got up silently and went to dump their trays.  I smiled and got up as well, Vincent right behind me.  That was easier than I thought it would be.

Alice was waiting for us on the other side of the cafeteria doors.  She fell into step beside us as we walked to our next class.

“I’ll see you after school, Anira,” she said with a grin.  “I hope you’re ready to get your shop on.”

I wonder how things will go?  Could she be okay with Jake if all her anger is now directed towards the Volturi?  Can't wait for the next update!

Chapter 34: Getting My Shop On

The last bell of the day finally rang, signaling the end of art class.  As I began to pack up my things, Renesmee walked over to me.

“I’m glad you’re going to be staying with us, Anira,” she said, smiling.  “I know you have mixed feelings about my family, but living with us has to be better than living all by yourself, right?”  I grinned back up at her weakly.

“There are certain advantages to it, yes,” I agreed.  “It does get kind of lonely when I’m not supposed to make any emotional attachments to the humans around me.”  She raised her eyebrows.

“Why not?”

“Well, my job on Earth is to protect the humans, and if I’m emotionally attached to any of them, I might protect those humans more than the others.  It wouldn’t be fair.”  She frowned.

“But you are emotionally attached to a human,” she pointed out.  I sighed.

“I know.  But that isn’t hard to hide.  As much as I hate to deceive my own kind, if they think I’m actually going to live my whole life without a friend – no matter what species I am – they’re crazy.  The fact that you and your family are still around, on the other hand, is going to be a considerably more difficult secret.”  I let my breath out in a huff.  “The fact that I plan on living with you!  I don’t even want to think about it.  If they ever decide to check on me, for any reason, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to conceal that.  At that point, our lives would all be in danger.”  There was an extended silence.

“Oh,” she said awkwardly.  Then she looked towards the door.  “Aunt Alice is waiting for you.”  Nice how she didn’t even bother to hide the real family relations anymore.

Renesmee grinned smugly.  “I’m glad she finally has another shopping partner, too, danger or no danger.  I don’t think I could take another all-day mall extravaganza.”

“I heard that!” Alice’s voice called from the hallway.  “Come on Anira, let’s go!”  I chuckled.

“It’s a fate worse than death,” I agreed, grabbing my stuff and walking out of the classroom.  Alice was leaning against the wall, pouting.

“You’re so slow!” she whined, grabbing my wrist and pulling me down the hall.  Again I was surprised by such casual contact.  It was like she wasn’t concerned at all about the consequences.  Frankly, other faeries would cringe at something so detestable.  Touching the undead. Eww.  However, I was indebted to these vampires, and so I couldn’t afford such a reaction.  Maybe that was why she wasn’t worried.

“So how long is this shopping trip going to last?” I asked curiously.  She grinned.

“You went to sleep last night, right?” she responded, her expression mischievous.  I shuddered as I remembered the previous night, and the horrifying dream that came with it.

“Yeah,” I mumbled.  What did that have to do with our shopping trip, anyway?

“And you don’t have to sleep every night, correct?”

“Right…”

“Well then, we have until school starts tomorrow!” she gushed, doing a little happy jump mid-stride.

I was starting to understand why nobody wanted to shop with this chic anymore.

“I don’t think many stores stay open that late,” I protested, not at all wanting to shop all night.  I didn’t care if I needed to suck up to the blood-suckers; no household was worth that kind of cruel and unusual punishment.

“Relax, I was only kidding!” she said, laughing.  Then, slightly quieter, “Maybe.”  I rolled my eyes.

“I will shop with you for as long as it takes to find the “necessary” items you mentioned this morning,” I said wryly.  “I don’t know how many things I’ll need for a big birthday party, but I guess that as long as you keep thinking of stuff, we’ll keep shopping for it.”  She clapped excitedly.

“Trust me, I’ll never stop thinking of things to shop for,” she said.

The nearest shopping mall with enough stores to satisfy Alice was in Cedar Rapids, about 20 minutes away.  Or, if you were with a crazy speed-demon vampire, 10 minutes away.

“Don’t you think we’re going a bit too fast?” I asked, watching the trees zip by us nervously.

“I’m not going to crash, if that’s what you’re worried about,” she scoffed, glancing over at me and raising an eyebrow.  “And even if we did, you’re about as indestructible as us, right?”  I paused.

“Yeah, something like that,” I muttered.

In reality, faeries weren’t much less vulnerable than humans.  Our skin was tough enough to resist all weather conditions known to man, but if I were to crash into a tree at 120 mph, I was as good as gone.

She gave me a funny look, then sighed dramatically.

“Fiiinneee,” she said, easing off the gas pedal.  “I guess I can slow down a little bit.”  It was quiet for a few minutes.  “So… if you’re not as indestructible as we are, how are you stronger than Emmett?”

“Being strong and having tough skin are two very different things,” I replied.  “I have a lot of muscle in my body that, obviously, you can’t notice.  The structure of them is a lot different than the structure of the human muscle system.  It’s made of a much more durable material, and so it’s a lot easier for us to hold our ground when lifting objects.  Our most powerful source of strength comes from our wings, though.  They may look thin and fragile, but they’re made of a substance stronger than plexi-glass.  However, our skin is only slightly tougher than a human’s, and just as easily penetrable.  Our bones and muscles may be strong, but they’re also rigid, and so they are only a little bit harder to break than a human’s.  You and I are kind of like steel and iron.  Steel is a lot sturdier, while iron is easily broken, when under enough pressure.”  I frowned.  Did I really trust her with this information?  “The only reason I’m telling you this is because you’ve been acting a lot less like you want to kill me recently, and I’d like to think I can trust my judgment on that.”  She laughed.

“Please, Anira, the last thing I want to do is break your bones.  You’re practically a sister to me.”  I pursed my lips.

“You don’t have to say that,” I said quietly.  “You’ve shown me a lot of hospitality by taking me into your home.  You don’t have to pretend to like me, too.”  She turned her head to look at me, her eyebrows scrunched together.

“I’m not pretending,” she said sincerely.  “I mean, sure, we didn’t exactly like you at first, but after we all talked on Friday night… well, we realized after you left that you really do look just like Irina, but with longer hair.  After we figured that out, it was hard not to think of you as our long-lost cousin.  Plus, you gave me a lot more insight into my past.  At least, if what you say is true.  It’d be nice to have someone around who could help me figure out more about my human life.  Or my faerie life, I guess.”  I didn’t know what to say.  I was touched.

“That means a lot,” I said, smiling warmly.  “It’s good to know I’m not considered an enemy anymore.”  We sat there and smiled at each other like idiots for a good 3 seconds, the silence growing more and more uncomfortable.  I cleared my throat awkwardly.  “So what all do you have on your shopping list, anyways?”  Her grin turned sly.

“Well, we need streamers, party hats, gift bags, invitation cards, balloons, a piñata, a mattress, a bedframe, some blankets…”

“Wait, wait, wait,” I interrupted.  “What in the world are the mattress and bedframe for?”

“Oh, it’s not for the party,” she explained.  “If you’re going to be living with us, and you intend to go to sleep during that time period, we’re going to need something for you to sleep on.  Because, obviously, we don’t need beds.”

“I know you don’t, but wouldn’t you have them anyway?  You know, to uphold the human charade and everything?”

“Well yeah, but those are our beds.  We need a nice, clean, new bed for you.  You can’t sleep in a bed that doesn’t fit your personality!”  I rolled my eyes.

“I think I’ll survive.”  She pursed her lips.

“I’ll bet I can get you to change your mind,” she said.  I raised an eyebrow.  “We may not sleep on the beds, but we still use them.  Often.”  I stared at her blankly for a few moments before her meaning clicked in.

“Oh.”  I jerked my head away and stared out the car window, my cheeks flaming.  “I guess you’re right.  A new bed would be nice.  It has to fit my personality, after all.”  She snickered and shifted the car into park.

“Then let’s go get one,” she said.

Looks like they're getting along a lot better now!

Chapter 35: Stop Staring at me Like That!

Our shopping trip did not, in fact, last all night.  It did, however, last a lot longer than the stores were willing to stay open.  We did a lot of window shopping after about 10:00 pm.

“Can’t we just sneak into one store?” Alice had pleaded, clasping her hands together desperately.  I just shook my head.  I may have been desperate enough to live with vampires, but I wasn’t about to give in to any more bad behavior.  And breaking into a store, even if we didn’t plan on actually stealing anything, was still not exactly gold-star worthy.

All in all, we managed to get a mattress, some really fancy blankets, and a really nice bedframe that reminded me a lot of the ones we had back home.  It was a dark, mahogany wood that spiraled high above the floor and created a beautiful canopy of fake leaves over where the mattress would go.  I insisted that I pay for it, since it fit my style so perfectly, and it was pretty expensive.

She wouldn’t let me pay a dime.

We also got our hands on some suitable streamers and party hats, though she was a little miffed that we didn’t have more time to look at them.  We were practically kicked out of that store for being too slow.

“We’ll just have to go back tomorrow,” she decided as we were walking away.  I grimaced.  Goody.

After a few arguments about what kind of invitations I wanted, we finally decided that we would just hand-write them when we got back to her house (after I blackmailed her by saying I would never shop with her again if we didn’t).  I didn’t find the balloons terribly important, but she insisted that if I got my way with the invitations, she would get hers with the balloons.  It seemed like a reasonable compromise.

So she dragged me to the nearest party store that was still open and bought at least 100 of the stupid little rubber things, plus two helium tanks to fill them all up.

We didn’t get back to Palo until about midnight.  And even then, I didn’t get back to my house until 3:00 in the morning, considering she wanted all of our hand-written invitations to be just right.  It didn’t help that everyone else was conveniently doing other things and couldn’t possibly stop what they were doing to join us.

It really was a good thing that I didn’t need sleep every night.

After about three hours of just reveling in the silence of my condemned house, I decided I should probably do my homework for school.  By the time I was done with that, it was 6:30.  I still had an hour and a half before I had to be at the bus stop.

Well, what did normal people do in the morning two days before they got kicked out of their house?  I figured I’d start packing my things.

Since I didn’t have a suitcase, I wasn’t exactly sure what to put my stuff in.  If I used my backpack, where would I keep my school supplies for the next two days?  And I didn’t have enough room in just my “ninja bag.”  I finally just decided to shove as much as I could into as many portable storage units as I had available.

By the time I had to leave, all of my clothes were stuffed into my indigo shoulder bag, and every nook and cranny I could find in my backpack.  I would just have to carry anything else I wanted to take with me by hand when the time came.

The school day went by uneventfully, except for the awkward moments when I was trying to hide the fact that I had socks in my pencil bag.  Vincent and I sat with the vampires at lunch again.  They talked to me as if I were already a part of their family.  Even Rosalie condescended to speak a few words to me.  The only weird part of the day was the fact that every single one of them kept giving me really weird glances.  Every time I saw them in class or in the halls, they all gave me the same look.  They seemed… expectant.  Like they had done some huge Earth-breaking deed and were just waiting for me to notice.  The problem was, I had no idea what it could be.  Everything appeared completely normal within the hustle and bustle of high school life.  For once.  What motive could they possibly have to give me that look?

I got my answer after the final bell.

“Hey Anira, Edward wants to talk to you,” Renesmee said, smiling with that same expectant look in her eye.  I frowned as I once again tried to decipher the meaning behind her gaze.

“Why?” I asked cautiously.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she said casually.  “I didn’t ask.”  I groaned.

“You definitely do know,” I mumbled.  “You just don’t want to tell me.”  She laughed.

“Come on, just go talk to him!” she said in amusement.  After one last suspicious glance up at her, I finished packing my art supplies and followed her out the door.  She probably knew exactly where Edward was, too, since she was in on the joke.  Whatever it was.

We walked out to the parking lot together and up to her family’s two very expensive-looking cars.  All of her family members were already there.  Everyone watched us approach with the same expression they’d worn all day.  I was starting to get tired of feeling so out of the loop.

“Hello Anira,” Edward greeted, smiling at me.

“Hi,” I muttered.  He chuckled as he no doubt read my thoughts.

“Why don’t you come home with us today?” he suggested, not bothering to answer the question in my head.  “I believe you have some of your things packed already?  Or would you prefer to carry all of your clothes around school again tomorrow?”  I frowned.  Naturally he knew about that.

“I guess I can come to your house,” I said grudgingly.

“Climb in the car then.”  I hesitated.

“Um, I think I’d rather fly,” I said, looking away awkwardly.  As much as I appreciated these vampires, and as much as I was really starting to like them, I wasn’t quite ready to be stuck in a small space with all of them.

He shrugged.  “Suit yourself.  We’ll meet you there then.  You might want us to take your backpack, though.”  I handed him the bag and watched everyone pile into the cars, then snuck off into the bushes to prepare for take-off.  I heard the motors start from the parking lot and smiled.

“I’ll race you,” I thought challengingly.  I wanted to see how fast I could really fly.

I heard the engines rev in agreement.  They accepted my challenge.

I shot up into the air at the same time that they pulled out of the parking lot.  I passed them within seconds, but as the traffic thinned and the road below became more deserted, I soon saw them again.  They were probably going at least 100 mph, if not more.  But then, so was I.  On a spur-of-the-moment decision, I decided to fly closer to the ground so they could see me better.  It wasn’t like I had to hide my talents anymore, anyway, and besides, there were no cars to be seen for miles.  And I would know that better than anyone; I could see the whole town from my vantage point in the sky.

I slowly lowered myself down until I could clearly see each person where they sat in each car.  Then I descended even more, until I was flying at the same height as the cars, just three feet from the ground.  It was exhilarating.  I waved to Emmett and Renesmee as they turned to look at me, grinning cockily.  They both stared at me with shocked smiles on their faces before waving back.  Even Rosalie looked amused from where she sat in the driver’s seat.  Then I sped up, forcing my wings to move even faster, until I was flying beside Edward’s car.  I waved at the other four vampires just as ecstatically as I had to the first three.  Edward rolled his eyes, but couldn’t hide the impressed look on his face.  The others stared at me the same way Emmett and Renesmee had.

I finally landed on their porch just seconds before the two cars parked in front of their house.

“Ha! I win,” I announced, my hands on my hips and my chin lifted high in exaggerated triumph.  Before any of the blood-suckers could respond, I heard the front door open behind me and an eerily familiar voice say my name.

“Irina, is that you?”

Tanya.

This could be an interesting encounter!

Okay, to my readers:  I'm trying to finally finish this fanfiction, and I know I've told you that before.  However, I'm having another problem with writer's block...  If Tanya and Kate were to suddenly meet up with Irina for the first time in 16 years, what would they talk about?? I'm having real problems with this... Please help!!

I inboxed you with a few ideas. I hope it helps!

Finally finished another chapter!! :D  At most, I only have two more to go, but it's more than likely that I can fit everything I need into one chapter.  So help me, I will get this done before my first day of college!! For now, here's the next chapter:

 

Chapter 36: A Visit From the Denali Coven

For a few seconds, I couldn’t respond.  Could it really be her?  Could it really be the long-lost sister from my dreams?  From my past life?

Slowly, painfully slowly, I turned around to face her.  Her hair was the exact same strawberry-blonde color I remembered.  The shape of her face, the gentle curve of her nose, everything was exactly the same.  And she wasn’t just a figment of my imagination this time.  She was real.  And I knew her.

We both squealed like excited little girls for a few seconds.

“Tanya!” I said excitedly.  “It’s really you!”  Her face broke out into a huge grin.

“Ah,” she sighed.  “How I have missed your voice, sister.”  My heart ached at the term ‘sister.’

“Where’s Kate?”  As if on cue, Kate walked through the front door of the house and came to stand behind Tanya, her smile just as blinding as mine.

“When Edward told us that you were alive, I must say we were a bit doubtful,” she said, glancing at the Cullens.  “I’m glad they convinced us to come down here now.”

“Yes, three days of travel was well worth it,” Tanya agreed, her eyes sparkling with excitement.  “Come, we have much to discuss!  What have you been doing in these last 16 years?  What do you remember from your life with us?  Do you know if…”  She trailed off, her expression suddenly hesitant.

“What is it?” I asked, intrigued by the question she wasn’t asking me.  “You can tell me.”  She sighed.

“Do you know… what happened to Laurent?” she asked reluctantly, shrinking away slightly.  I laughed.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I said wryly.  “But don’t worry; I no longer hold anything against the shapeshifters.  I no longer have a reason for it.”  Tanya smiled in relief.

“Good, very good,” she said.  “Come, let’s go inside so we can talk.”  She and Kate began to walk towards the door, but she stopped.  “Do you need to sleep tonight?” she asked.  I smiled and shook my head.

“I got all the sleep I needed last night,” I assured her.  “So we have all the time we need to get reacquainted.”

“Until school tomorrow morning,” Kate teased.  “Then you have to go learn.”  They both made a face at the word “learn,” making us all laugh.  I remembered that none of us liked going to school, which was why we stuck to living in the wilderness of Alaska.  However, we still frequented the colleges.  The boys we found there were much more interesting than schoolwork…

The three of us went inside, leaving the Cullens by their cars, and up into my new room, the previous “guest room” for all intents and purposes.  The walls were painted a light green color, the bedspread a plain lacey-white.  The bed frame was adorned in fake leaves that spiraled all the way up the bedposts and condensed high overhead, creating a canopy of green.  The dresser matched the mahogany wood of the bedframe, whose dark color contrasted nicely with the otherwise light, airy room.  It was the perfect stereotypical room for a fairy like me.

“So what is it you’ve been doing these last 16 years?” Tanya repeated, sitting down on the bed next to me eagerly.

“Well, I don’t know, a lot of things…” I replied nervously, the images of every vampire I’d ever killed immediately enveloping my mind.  I forced an easy smile.  “School, mostly.”  They both made a face.

“Honestly, Irina, I don’t
know how you manage to go through that torture every day,” Kate said.  I blinked in shock at the use of my old name.

“Well, it’s good for me to know as much as possible about human culture,” I said.  “The current method of education that they have is the best way for me to learn.”  They both deliberated.

“I suppose so,” Tanya said reluctantly.  “On to our next question: Edward mentioned that you have had dreams of our lives together.  What is it that you remember?”  I smiled sadly, thinking through the three dreams I’d had, the most recent one being most prominent.

“I remember our mother,” I said,” and what the Volturi did to her.  I remember how Laurent left me to do a favor for a friend, and then never came back…”  I had to take a deep breath to keep the pain and hate from rising up again.  Vincent was here now.  I never had to go through that again.  “I remember what I did to get my revenge, the stupid choice I made in my futile attempts to kill Jacob.  How it affected all of you.”  I closed my eyes and bit my lip, fighting the tears.  Suddenly, I felt a cold, yet gentle hand on my shoulder.

“But we’re okay,” Tanya replied softly.  “See?  We are all fine and well.  We are okay, Carmen and Eleazer are okay, the Cullens are okay.  Everyone is just as alive as ever.”  She gave me a smile, and I had to giggle at her joke.  (Vampires being alive.  Yeah right).  Kate ran her hand through my hair comfortingly.  When she could tell I was starting to feel better, she turned up the electricity a notch and made my hair frizz.  I swatted her arm away.

“Stop it!” I laughed, trying to fix the fluffy mess she had just created.  They both laughed with me.  “Where are Carmen and Eleazer, anyway?”  The mention of those two names sparked a whole new cycle of memories.  They had just appeared on the streets of Alaska one day, and we invited them into our house to talk.  We’d become inseparable ever since.

“They’re still downstairs, talking to the Cullens,” Kate said.  “They wanted to give us a little “sister time” before they came in to talk with you.”  I rolled my eyes.

“They’re part of the family, too, aren’t they?  Just because we aren’t biologically related doesn’t mean they’re any less important to me!” 

“I told you, Carmen!” Kate said, her voice only slightly louder than when she was talking to me.  From outside I heard the faint, yet unmistakable laugh of our other female housemate.  I was certain Eleazer was down there with her.

“Feel free to come up here any time!” I called down to them, walking over to the window.  I saw both of them wave up at me from where they were standing in the dirt driveway.

“Just a moment, mi querida,” Carmen responded.  “We are making living arrangements for the next few days so that we will get to spend more time with you.”  I turned around and looked at my sisters excitedly.

“Really?” I asked.  “How long will you be here?”  Tanya smiled.

“Well, we’re not quite sure, but a few days, at least.”  I ran over and hugged them in delight.  The idea of touching a vampire was suddenly not quite as disgusting as I had originally thought.

“This is so awesome!  I can’t wait for you to meet Vincent!”  They looked at each other in surprise.  Kate raised an eyebrow.

“Who’s Vincent?” she asked.

I spent the rest of the night explaining everything I could about my life.  I told them about Vincent, about how the government was forcing me out of my house, how big a jerk my ex-boyfriend was becoming, anything I could possibly explain without bringing up my ethnicity.  Even though I completely trusted these vampires, even though I knew that they could never be a threat to humanity, I still couldn’t tell them about me.  Not everything.  I just couldn’t betray my race like that.  Luckily, the topic didn’t come up very often.  The Cullens had probably warned them ahead of time that it was a touchy subject.

The next morning came too soon.  I wasn’t ready to leave for school when the Cullens were.  My things were packed, and my homework was done (well, some of it was).  I simply didn’t want to leave my sisters and housemates behind.  I had spent 16 years as an only child who’s sole purpose in life was to protect humanity.  Now I’d found a family who I not only knew on a deep, emotional level, but I completely trusted them, vampires or not.  I’d never experienced that before, and I wasn’t ready to leave it behind, even for a few hours.

“We will be right here when you return,” Tanya promised me.  I hugged her and the others and reluctantly joined the Cullens in one of the cars.  They revved up the engine, and we were off.

School went by too slowly.  I enjoyed Vincent’s company, and the Cullens did their best to keep me focused on my schoolwork, but I still couldn’t seem to keep my thoughts from wandering every few minutes.  I had a family waiting for me at home.  How was I going to apologize for everything I had put them through in my last life?  What could I do to make it up to them?  Lunch, in particular, was extremely difficult.

“I can’t wait for you to meet my sisters, Vincent,” I said excitedly as we sat down at the lunch table.  He looked at me quizzically.

“I thought you were an only child?”

“Well, yes, but remember last Saturday when we were talking with the Cullens about a girl named Irina?  I mentioned that she had a few sisters?”  He shrugged.

“To be honest, I didn’t have a clue what you were talking about.”  He smiled sheepishly.  I chuckled.

“Well, I was Irina.  She was my past life – I also mentioned that, in case you missed it the first time – and when she died, her soul wandered into my body and made me who I am today.  And since she had two sisters, I guess that makes them my sisters, too.”  He stared at me blankly before raising his hands up in surrender.

“I give up,” he said, shaking his head.  “This is just too confusing for me.”  I laughed and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Nevermind, don’t worry about it,” I giggled.  “Bottom line, I have two sisters and two very good friends that I’d like you to meet.  Maybe I could pick you up after dinner and introduce you?”  He deliberated, and then smiled.  I heard Edward snicker from a few chairs down.

“Fine,” he agreed, “but only if we take a car.  No more flights on Faerie airlines.”  I rolled my eyes.

“Chicken,” I muttered, pushing against his arm playfully.  “I guess I can do that, though, if one of the Cullens is willing to drive.”

“Of course,” Alice said immediately, her eyes sparkling in delight.  “I love romantic drives in fancy cars.”  Vincent laughed and pulled me in close to him.  I felt my cheeks warm up and I looked down at my hands shyly.

“Sounds good,” he said.

“Great!” Alice replied.  “We’ll pick you up at 7:00.”

Their first meeting with her in her new form went well!  I wonder what will happen when Vincent meet all of them, and what will happen to Anira/ Irina in  the end?  How will she reconcile/ integrate her old life with her new life?  Looking forward to the next chapter!

S

Chapter 37: My “Obsession”

            The final bell couldn’t come soon enough.  I’d waited impatiently all day for school to end, and now that there were only ten minutes left in our final class of the day, it seemed as if time had slowed down just to spite me.  I would concentrate as hard as I possibly could on the canvas in front of me, doing my best to paint the statue in the middle of the room, but when I would look up at the clock, it seemed like no time had passed at all.  The pattern of concentrating and glancing at the time repeated multiple times before it was actually time to leave.  And of course, even the bell couldn’t completely relieve the mental torture I was in.

            “Can’t you make these cars move any faster?” I whined to Jasper, who was sitting in the driver’s seat.  He just chuckled.  “Come on!  You’re master of the moods, right?  Can’t you make them want to speed up or something?”

            “I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way,” he said wryly, his southern accent catching me off-guard.  I didn’t hear him talk very often.  “I can’t control their emotions from five vehicles away.  And if I only influenced the driver in front of me, he would simply rear-end the person in front of him.”  I pouted for a few moments.

            “I could walk faster than this,” I muttered.  He chuckled again.

            “Calm yourself,” he soothed.  “We’re all immortal here.  You have all the time in the world to get reacquainted with the Denalis.”  I felt a wave of tranquility wash over me.  My muscles inadvertently relaxed, and I sighed heavily.  Curse him and his ability to control my emotions.  Well, he was right, anyway.  We were all immortal here.  It wasn’t like I had to worry about wasting time or anything.

            Then something hit me: we weren’t all immortal here.  All the vampires were, and I was, and probably even Jacob was, but there was one very important person missing from our little anti-aging club.  Vincent.

            My dear Vincent.  Some day he was going to pass away and move on from this life.  I would lose my soul mate once again, and it would probably be decades before I could find him in his new form.  If he was even in a humanoid form.  He could turn into a butterfly, for all I knew.  Or he could be born on my home planet in Avalon, where I had little hope of returning.  There was honestly very little chance that I would ever find him again.

Why hadn’t it occurred to me sooner that by fighting to keep him human, I was also fighting to keep him mortal?  

            ‘He could become a vampire,’ the little voice inside my head whispered.  I immediately pushed away the thought.  I could never do that to him.  It went way beyond what I had been taught as a Faerie.  It was one thing to talk to vampires, and to trust them, even to live with them (those were all milder levels of bad).  But to willingly let a human change into one?  That was just too far.  I had been fighting too hard for too long to keep him from that exact fate, and I wasn’t about to give in now.

            …So why was it that the idea kept getting stuck in my head?

            I still hadn’t shaken the concept by the time we got home, and when Tanya and Kate talked to me, it was like I wasn’t really there.  My physical body was, but my mind had gone to a different universe, out where Vincent and I could be together without worrying about age or persecution or pain.  I didn’t snap out of it until I realized that Edward had entered the room, talking to my sisters quietly about what was going on in my head.

            “…having the same problem I did 18 years ago,” he murmured, pursing his lips.  Kate looked at me wearily.

            “And I’m guessing she’s going to be just as stubborn about it, too?” she asked matter-of-factly.  He grinned.

            “Even more so, if possible.”  She groaned.

            “What are you guys whispering about?” I said cautiously.  Carmen glanced over at me from where she was reading in the corner.

            “Oh, look, she’s finally awake!” she mused, her eyes dancing.

            “It’s almost time to get Vincent,” Edward said.  “You still want him to meet your family, right?”  I blinked a few times.

            “Oh. Yes, yes, of course.”  I was a little bit flustered by how completely out of it I had been.  How long had they been talking about me?  And what in the world had they been talking about??

            The car ride was quiet all the way down to Vincents.  By now everyone must have gotten the memo that I wasn’t all there tonight, so they just let me be.  They knew I’d have to snap out of it, eventually.

            “Hi, Anira,” Vincent said cheerfully, climbing into the backseat next to me.  I locked my gaze with his and smiled weakly.

            “Hey, Vincent.”

            “So I guess we’re going to meet your family?” he asked, glancing around the car.  “Why didn’t any of them come with you?”

            “Oh, I wanted it to be a surprise,” I replied, starting to get a little more animated.  “Just wait until you meet them.  They’re the nicest vamp… people you’ll ever find around here.”  He laughed.

            “It’s okay, Anira.  You can say the word ‘vampire.’  I might as well get used to it, since I’m probably going to become one soon.”  I froze for a second.  Had Edward ratted me out to him?  Did he know what I’d been thinking about for the past few hours?  Why would he say something like that?

            “…What?” was all I managed to respond.  He instantly looked worried.

            “You know, because of the Volturi.  Bella said that if they found out, I would have to choose between dead and undead, and it seems like it would be really hard to keep a secret from them, so you know, I just assumed…” his voice trailed off and he touched my face gingerly.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

            “No, it’s fine,” I gasped, taking a deep breath.  “It’s just, you know, I don’t want to put you through that kind of pain.  Ever.”  He cringed a little at the thought of just how awful we had described it to be.  Then he collected himself.

            ‘It’s okay, Anira,” he said again.  “I’ve accepted it.  And I know you’ll help me through it in any way you can.”  I smiled sadly and nodded.  “Besides, it’ll be worth it if I get to stay with you forever.”  My heart ached at such a blunt proclamation.  He always knew what to say to get me out of my sour moods.

            I flung my arms around his neck and gave him an awkward hug, our seatbelts futilely trying to pull us back against the seats.  “Forever,” I agreed.  “But I still think we should wait a little while.  At least until I’ve stopped aging.  I’d hate to look like an old hag in 5 years while you’re still all in your 16-year-old glory.”  I nudged him in the ribs playfully and he laughed.

            “Yeah, that would be a little weird,” he agreed.

            We arrived at the house a few minutes later and all got out of the car.  As I expected, Tanya, Kate, Carmen and Eleazer were waiting for us in the living room.

            “Hello, Irina,” Carmen greeted me.  I nodded, smiling brightly.  “And this must be Vincent.  Hello, mi guapo.”  Vincent smiled a little and waved.  “I am Carmen, and this is my husband, Eleazer.

            “A pleasure to meet you, lad,” Eleazer piped up.

            “It’s nice to meet you, too,” Vincent mumbled.

            “And this is Tanya and Kate,” I said, pointing to my two sisters.  They both waved, the grins on their faces as cheeky as ever.

            “Hey there, Vincent,” Kate said.  “Why don’t you have a seat?”  She patted the couch next to her innocently.  Hesitantly, he accepted, with me right beside him.  Something strange was going on here, and I wasn’t sure I was comfortable leaving him alone just yet.

            “So tell us a little about yourself,” Tanya said, putting her head in her hands as she stared at my boyfriend.  It almost looked like she was staring at his neck…

            “Well, there’s not much to tell, really,” he said sheepishly.  “My dad works in France, and he sends paychecks to my mom and me every month to help us pay the bills.  I was born in Paris, but I’ve lived here for about half of my life now, and I’ve been friends with Anira every minute of it.”

            “Oh, I’m sure you have,” Kate responded, her eyes twinkling.  I raised an eyebrow at her.  What was going on here?  “And I’m sure you’ll be friends with her for the rest of your life.  Or more than friends, as it appears.”  Before I could ask her what in the world she was leading up to, Edward stepped in.

            “Um, Anira, could I talk to you for a minute?” he asked uncomfortably, the concern on his face unmistakable.  I looked at him in surprise for a moment, then nodded.  He ushered me into the kitchen nervously.

            “We’ve all noticed that you’ve been a little… out of sorts today,” he started, rubbing his neck awkwardly.  I nodded in agreement.

            “Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind, as you’ve probably noticed.”  I could tell he was unsure how to continue.  I let him think for a moment.

            “Yes, I’ve heard what you’ve been thinking about,” he admitted.  “In my defense, it’s hard not to.  However, we can’t help but feel that we might want to intervene before your obsessing gets too out of hand.”  We?  Who was we?

            Before I could question his strange behavior further, I heard a startled yell from the room next door.  It was Vincent.

            I rushed out to see what all the commotion was and stared in horror at what I found.  Vincent was writhing on the couch, clutching his arm in obvious agony.  Immediately I understood what Edward was talking about.  We want to intervene before your obsessing gets too out of hand.  How was biting my boyfriend supposed to help anything?? He wasn’t ready for this!  Heck, I wasn’t ready for this!

            I ran over to Vincent in panic, removing his hand from his arm so I could see the damage.  A very faint, yet very clear crescent shape was now sporting on his skin.  I glared at my sisters.  Kate raised her hands up defensively.

            “Hey, he agreed to it,” she said.  “Edward told us why you’ve been acting so strangely.  We thought that if we got rid of the problem, you would have nothing to worry about.  We gave him the choice, though, of course.”

            “You have no idea what you’re pulling him into,” I growled through my teeth.  “He hasn’t gotten a chance to say good-bye to his mother, or his humanity.  And he hasn’t even finished high school!  We don’t know if he’s ready to handle the bloodlust, and we certainly don’t know if he’ll be able to go back to school this semester.  We’ll have to wait a long time before he’s ready to be around that many humans again.”  I felt a hand at my arm and had to consciously keep myself from ripping it away.

            “It’s okay,” Vincent choked out, pulling me towards him.  “I want to do this.”  He groaned as another wave of pain hit him.  I whimpered as I watched him suffer.

            “Not right now, you don’t,” I said decisively.  “We’ll do what we talked about in the car.  Remember, we wanted to wait five years, just in case I look like an old lady?”  He smiled, then flinched.  “Don’t worry, I can get you back to normal.  We don’t have to do this now.  Please let me change you back,” I pleaded.  After a few moments of consideration, he finally nodded, his eyes scrunched tight as he fought the pain.

            “Fine, but let’s get this over with, shall we?”  His breathing picked up pace as his body fought the venom.  I hated seeing him in this position.

            I needed a knife.  Now.

            I rushed into the kitchen and began rummaging through the drawers.  There had to be a knife drawer somewhere.  It was a kitchen, for crying out loud!  Whether they used it or not, there had to be at least a few useful utensils there.

            Finally, I found what I was looking for: a steak knife.  Given, it was a bit large, but the sharper it was, the less it would hurt.

            I ran back out to the living room, where everyone was now watching Vincent.  I got quite a few strange looks when they saw what I was holding.

            “There’s one thing I haven’t told you about Faeries,” I panted, gritting my teeth as I slit my own palm.  I heard everyone take in a breath to keep from smelling my blood.  I rolled my eyes.  “Please, it smells the same outside my body as it does inside.  Now, as I was saying, our blood has healing abilities.  Since our job as a race is to protect humans and eliminate threats against them, naturally we have the antidote to vampire venom running through our veins.  Our tears also have a numbing effect, but they can’t actually heal the wound.”  As I explained the procedure I was going through, I carefully reopened the bite wound that had been inflicted just minutes ago and put my hand down on top of it.  I could feel my blood dripping down into the cut, and as gross as it felt, I couldn’t help but feel relieved.  He was going to stay human for just a little while longer.  He wasn’t going to change tonight.  He wouldn’t have to change for years.

            I removed my hand after about 5 seconds and gingerly pulled my face close to his arm.  I thought about the way I had lost him 18 years ago, the way I could lose him again if the Volturi ever found out about him.  It didn’t take long for tears to form in my eyes, and I gladly let them sink into his skin.  Within minutes, he was slumped over on the couch, asleep.

            “He’ll wake up when all the venom is gone,” I said, standing up from my crouched position.  “It might take a few hours.”  Everyone stared at me in disbelief.

            “Is there anything you can’t do?” Bella asked, her voice awed.  I shrugged, feeling my cheeks heating up.

            “Everything I can do is a defense mechanism against your kind.  I’m sure if you were really vulnerable to garlic, we would have that built into our bodies, too.”  Everyone chuckled, not sure how else to react.  “Come on, he’s had a long day.  Let’s take him home.”  With that, I heaved my boyfriend over my shoulder and strut out the door.

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