Bella’s happily ever after lasted two days. This is Bella’s own account of what happened after Breaking Dawn, her growing understanding of her powers, her battle to remain with the man she loves, finding her place in her new family, and the ever-present threat of the Volturi.
New posting Chapter 55 - Postscript
Cold Gray Light
Please view the new trailer by Jesse Desplat it is brilliant.
Thank you so much Jesse!
This fantastic trailer was made for me by Marisa Wilson
Please view it is spine chillingly good
Thank you so much Marisia!!!
From the moment I walked through the door I could feel his eyes on me. Boring into me, owning me, watching even the minutest move I made.
I thought that I’d lose this intuition when I became a vampire. But in reality it had just got stronger along with everything else.
I thought for a moment about the one big change that my transformation had made, my thirst. Although I was still young, and the thirst for blood should be overwhelming, I had been able to handle it from the first moment I awoke in my new life. No one knew why that was. I could cope with human scents even up close, when I should have wanted to drink them dry. The scent caused me physical pain, an intense burning from my nostrils all down my throat, and feeling my throat squeezing tight with the dryness. But it was bearable. This was unusual for a new born. My kind usual manage this much control after a few years. But even with my self control the thirst was still there, the longing for something to put out the dryness.
My mind churned again. My mind could think of so many things at once. The dryness was always one of my thoughts, sometimes near the surface, then moving back into the background. I could keep all the thoughts in my mind -- juggling two, five, ten thoughts in parallel -- but never mixing them. Like watching ten TV channels at once. Another vampire trait.
Maybe I was just being paranoid. Maybe there was no one looking at me. I still hated attention just as I’d done as a human, I still shied away from it. I was just letting my imagination run away with me again. No one was looking at me. But I could hear his heartbeat six feet to my left, slightly behind where I was standing. He was sitting on a chair next to the loveseat. He was close enough to feel the warmth of his skin in the cool of the morning air. I could smell the strong scent of the skin pouch he wore round his neck. A smell that forced out every lesser smell from that part of the room, like a car headlamp blinding out a flashlight. It was not just the animal fur with its heavy notes that I could smell, but what was inside it. The herbs and berries that it contained, each type giving a new harmony to the smell. Some sharp, some sweet. Some I knew -- citrus, juniper, cinnamon -- some I had no words for.
Maybe he was just looking at Nessie like everyone else in the room. My four month old daughter was reciting a poem for her audience in her beautiful childish voice, complete with dramatic pauses and carefully characterized accents for the speeches. She was a very advanced four month old. She looked more like a small four year old, but she would have been counted as a genius in any preschool. This was because she was half vampire and half human, and of course could never be allowed in preschool. Her brown hair, with a tinge of bronze that came from Edward, fell down her back in beautiful curls. Her eyes were a warm milk chocolate color that had been mine when I was human, and were now excited by the attention she was receiving. Her complexion was pale with a healthy pink glow of excitement. We knew now that her rate of growth and progress would slow and she would be fully mature in another 6 and half years, and then live forever. We’d learned this from Nahuel only two days before. My dark worries of losing Nessie had vanished. We’d thought we would have to watch our daughter grow old and die in fifteen short years, and we would mourn her for ever.
I didn’t look to check if I was right about Nahuel and his staring. I had caught his eye only once that morning, when we came in and gave the usual greeting to our family and their two remaining guests.
I still didn’t understand why these guest were still here. Yes, I was grateful to them, especially him. So grateful it hurt. He had saved us all: my daughter, my husband, my vampire family, my wolf friends, and me. And he put himself and his father and his sisters in danger. How could I not be grateful to him. We all were.
I’d asked Edward twice why they had not left with the other guests after the standoff with the Volturi. The first time was after the celebrations when all the other guests had left and we had taken Nessie back to our cottage to sleep in her own bed. This was the first day that we’d met them, the first day of the stares. Edward had given his answer, saying Nahuel was so glad to know that a family like ours could exist. A family with a half vampire child, the only one Nahuel knew of that was not related to him, and a surviving mother. Nahuel’s mother died in child birth and so did the mothers of his half sisters.
It is rare to find a vampire who would want a physical relationship with a human woman, even rarer to find a women who survived such an encounter. Her life could end at any moment if he did not concentrate fully on keeping her alive. And what about the outcome of such an encounter? Mortals are not compatible with half vampire babies, the babies are so much stronger than the women. I had only survived thanks to the care given to me by my vampire family and because Edward changed me into a vampire as soon as the baby was out. The memories of this violent birth were now dimming for me. The vampire venom had mended the terrible damage and left me whole, strong, and beautiful.
According to Edward, Nahuel had spent his long life, over 150 years, thinking he must be evil to the core to have killed his mother. But seeing me set him free from his guilt. He now blamed his father for not caring for his mother as Edward had for me, and for not changing her when Nahuel ripped his way out of her.
The second time I’d asked Edward why Nahuel and his aunt (a full vampire) were still with us, Edward said that they wanted to learn more about our vegetarian lifestyle. This was how we liked to describe our abnormal hunting habits in the Cullen family. Unlike other vampires we only hunted animals, not humans. This gave us distinctive golden eyes which intrigued the normal red-eyed vampires. When I asked this second time, it was not what Edward had said that set me thinking but the way he said it. If I wasn’t his wife and didn’t know him so well I would not have noticed the slight tightening of his straight shoulders under his tan colored jumper, and that he was holding his perfect jaw a eighth of an inch higher than normal. He was lying to me.
Edward lied a lot. He had to. When you can read the minds of everyone in a mile radius then you have to lie to appear normal. You have to learn to ignore the thoughts most of the time. You have to answer only the questions people say out loud and not all the far-reaching ones they think in their heads but don’t dare ask. Edward also felt he must not betray confidences of those around him. It was not as though he could stop hearing thoughts if he wanted to, and not as if people could stop thinking when he was around, so he just didn’t pass these thoughts on. I was a shield which meant that he could not read my mind, not even when I was only human. Now that I was a vampire I had learned to remove my shield if I wanted, but I could only do so for a few moments at a time and even then it was exhausting work.
But why would he lie to me about why Nahuel and Huilen were still here? We had just made it through the worst danger imaginable: the whole of the Volturi forces lined up against us, the judges, jury and executioners of the vampire world. We had survived that, so what now? What was he covering up? Surely we had to have a break from peril sometime.
Maybe bad luck was something that I’d brought with me into this life. Since I met Edward as a human I had always had bad luck. My life before Edward, before my return to Forks to live with my Dad, Charlie, was a quiet life in the big city of Phoenix with my Mom, Renée. The memory of this former life was becoming hazy, almost a pre life to my human life, as if I was now in my third life, not my second. I’d had too much on my mind to sit down and think about it, though that was the only way my family said that I would remember it for the future. As I remembered it now, it was a happy but lonely time of looking after my hair-brained mother and being the adult in the relationship even though I was the child. She didn’t need to be looked after in a physical way but in an emotional one, helping her to organize and control her life. I was the one who made sure we went to the store when we needed groceries and that we went to the bank when the bills needed to be paid. In many ways you could say I was her keeper rather than her daughter. This role was taken by Phil, her husband of nearly three years.
I argued with myself that I had already brought my shield through to my vampire life along with my strange ability for self control. I was sure that I could not have brought anything else. I had left my clumsiness behind, which was a truly good thing. I now moved so fast and was so strong that if I was clumsy lots of things would get broken. Not just inanimate objects, but living things. Even people.
I looked over at Edward, to keep my eye from straying to Nahuel. His beauty never failed to amaze me. He was stunning. His eyes were a warm amber color. But this morning more like stone than liquid. Something was bugging him. No doubt he was hearing things he didn’t like. His face muscles twitched slightly and his teeth locked together noiselessly. His smile remained, a facade to keep the others away from his upset within. I had no idea what he had heard or who it was that was having these thoughts, but my mind turned to Nahuel again, though I didn’t let my eyes follow. Edward would tell me when it was right and certainly not in the middle of this gathering.
Edward applauded when Nessie came to the end of her poem, pride now on his face. I felt a jolt of joy at his pride. I was proud of her, naturally, and applauded loudly too. But to have him so in awe of her gave me such a feeling of belonging. I had, in the end, been able to give him something so worthwhile. A daughter, our miracle. It made up for the lack of balance in our relationship. He had given me everything: his love, his life, my new life, money, possessions, a home, a car, a family. But the one thing that that he had never imagined, that none of our vampire family had thought possible, came from me. She was a delight to them all, and especially Edward.
It was only as I turned away from Nessie’s performance that I noticed Alice was staring into thin air, her eyes out of focus, completely still. I knew she was seeing something. My sister’s ability to see into the future was enviable. It had made her top of the Volturi’s list for acquisitions. It was this ability that had saved the family and herself many times over. The future she saw was only one of the possible outcomes. If decisions that had been made were changed then what she saw would change.
“Demetri is coming,” she said simply in a clear chiming voice, not altering her stance at all. “Aro has decided. He will follow Carlisle to us.”
Carlisle was at her side in an instant. “But why?” he whispered. “Why now?”.
The image of the the Volturi tracker was instantly in my mind. It was not possible for anyone normal to run from Demetri. He had a gift for finding them. But this gift needed access to someone’s mind, and it was something I could block with my shield. As well as being a tracker, Demetri was a warrior, with centuries of experience working with the Volturi.
“But why, Alice?” he asked again.
Alice had gone back into her trance. This time it took her over a minute to come round. “He comes only to observe,” she said with a little relief in her voice. “Aro will order him to stay with us and just observe. He is to watch Nessie grow for Aro and to find out more about the wolves for Caius. He is to cause us no trouble. He will be ordered to hunt like us. Aro wants to see how this will change his character. He is report back regularly by letter. This order will be made at full council the day after tomorrow. He will arrive three days after that.”
She looked around the stunned room.
“Please look for more,” Carlisle urged her.
“Demetri will bring a note with him from Aro but they know that I can see what it says so you will be forewarned. Aro is staring at it so that I can read it...
My Dearest Friend Carlisle,
I am sending my dear one Demetri to visit you as an emissary. I feel that our last meeting left a rift between us which I want to close. I have asked Demetri to learn about your life style and your beloved granddaughter so that we may better understand each other in future.
I ask you to take Demetri into your hearts and your home, and to this end I will ask him to make himself useful to you and cause you no trouble. Please use him as a son.
Yours in friendship,
Carlisle looked aghast. “Is there more?” he said, shaking his head.
Her face returned to the distant mask, but seconds later disgust was clear on it. She came back to the present again shaking her head. “Uh, that is so gross”.
“I saw part of the inner council meeting that was only the family, no guard. It is so gross.” she said, hardly able to speak for revulsion. “Aro says he wishes to watch a half vampire child develop first hand. He says that he will order Demetri to try to father a child when he has returned from his visit. He laughs and says that he may have learned some restraint from us. The mother is to be the only human they trust, their administrator Gina. They will promise her immortality if she successfully gives birth, but she has no choice. If she says no, she’s lunch. He says it will be a great honor for Demetri to father a child to be brought up and studied in Volterra. Caius is against the idea, the decision will be put off until a later date... I can’t see further than that, I’m not attuned to them, I can’t see so far ahead into their futures, I can’t see if she will become pregnant or if they will kill her, it is many months away, it may change.”
There was stunned silence.
All the joy after the last successful encounter with the Volturi was gone.
Then the speculation started. Alice could see the event but not the motivation behind it. It boiled down to three simple questions: why this? why now? and why Demetri? A dozen answers to each question came from the gathered family. The most likely answer was that they wanted to catch us doing something against the rules as soon as possible, and Demetri can stand up for himself.
The others gave little thought to the planned baby. It was beyond the immediate worry and didn’t affect us personally. But my mind was on Gina and how I could help her. I had only just survived my own pregnancy and I had had good medical care and love from all my family. I felt cold, cold to the heart.
Had I started some new vampire fashion? Would lots of vampire males want to father children? And what of the vampire females, would they want to become stepmothers? I thought of the loss of human life. I thought of Gina.
I found myself a spot on the floor and sat there still, shocked, horrified.
The discussion went on for nearly an hour, until Carlisle looked at the clock and said that he had to go for his shift at the hospital.
He turned to our guests, “Nahuel, Huilen. It may be best if you were not here when Demetri comes to call. I do not wish to ask you to leave but for your own safety I must ask you to think about what you want to do. You know you have our thanks for what you have done for us, and I owe you for the safety of all my family. You are welcome here at any normal time.”
It was Huilen who spoke this time. She spoke simply in her heavy accent. “We will leave before he arrives.”
Carlisle smiled warmly at her. “That is for the best. We can visit you before long, and maybe meet Nahuel’s sisters if that is possible.”
The others continued to speculate after Carlisle had gone, Emmett debating with Jasper the possibility of beating Demetri in a fight. Jasper thought that if there were several of us it may be possible, but it would only bring the rest of the guard down on us, a battle which we would not win this time.
Alice touched me lightly on the arm, tutting at my pants and jumper combination. My favorite sister was never happy with my lack of fashion sense. But she could see the future, and would have known the day before about this particular lapse of mine. I thought to myself that I would suggest to her that she warns me in advance next time, so that I don’t disappoint her again.
“You know, I thought you would have learned a little by now Bella,” she chided quietly. “I will just have to take you back to your cottage and show you how to match up those pants myself. I didn’t spend weeks putting together your wardrobe for you to use it like this.”
That morning I must have really gotten under her skin. How could she care so much about fashion when she’d just given us the news about Demetri? Really. It made no sense.
I looked down at my outfit. It didn’t look that bad to me. I’d made sure that some of the threads in the jumper were exactly the same tone as the pants, but if it made her happy we could be home and back in a very short time. A few minutes out of the house would do me some good.
“Edward,” she chimed. “I’m taking Bella back to your cottage, can you look after Nessie by yourself?” The look on her face one of great effort.
He smiled warmly at her. “By myself? I don’t think that I will ever be allowed to look after Nessie by myself. She has too many fans for that.” He looked quizzically at her while he made his answer, as if they were having another inaudible conversation but failing to understand each other.
It was true. Most of the room were watching Nessie again, just waiting to see what she would do next, fascinated by her. Her Aunt Rose and Grandma Esme sat on the floor with her.
“We’ll see you soon,” Alice chimed again, wincing with effort, like a small child trying to remember a really difficult times table sum.
As soon as she said this I looked around the gathering to smile a normal goodbye. Then I saw him, Nahuel. He was staring at me. Staring at me with total adoration in his eyes as if I were the only thing he could see in the world. The only thing he had ever seen. Like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.
Oh no... no please no, I screamed inside my head. My face turned from a smile to sheer dread, his calm face turning from adoration to puzzlement at my expression.
Edward stiffened beside me, but said nothing.
Alice tugged my sleeve and we were off through the patio doors at the rear of the house, running back to my cottage hand in hand. I was only too glad to go, and Alice's excuse was perfect.
As soon as we were over the river she said in a very hushed voice, “Shield me, stop him reading my mind.”
New posting Chapter 55 - Postscript
They came into view, five enormous wolves, Paul at the lead. Not what we needed. Paul was the most volatile of Sam's wolf pack, and by the look of it, he was at point and was heading this sub-pack today. He was much bigger than the rest. I knew none of the other four wolves; they were probably just young teenagers, turned because of the vast number of vampires that had been around Forks that winter. They must have lined up with us that day in the clearing when the Volturi came to rid the world of the Cullens, but I didn’t know any of their names. I felt shame for not thanking them properly, for not taking the time to understand what our presence had done to their lives. And now instead of allies they stood against us. These new wolves, though young and less experienced, would be unpredictable and unsafe.
Jasper and Demetri immediately stepped in front of me and took up defensive positions. I knew I was the least good fighter of the three of us but even so I was rather taken aback by their action.
“What … What are they? Can they hurt us?” I heard Fred gasp.
I knew I had to shield the wolves from Fred, so I extended my cover over Paul and this was enough to feel the other four were covered. I just didn’t have the confidence to do an inverse shield over Fred at such a crucial time. I was glad that their minds were so connected in wolf form that I could just cover the leader and I was sure that I had all the rest.
Paul bared his teeth at us. All the younger ones growled at us quietly.
I decided to try to talk our way out of this. I wanted to try before any of the men in the party let their macho sides get the better of them.
“Paul,” I addressed him directly even though I could only see him through the space between Jasper and Demetri, “we are just going back to our lands. We came in here only to remove this vampire from your territory. We meant you no harm or disrespect.”
He barked in reply. Without Edward it was impossible to understand the content, but it sounded as if he wasn’t happy with my explanation. I really wanted Edward to be there with me, I missed him in that second, like I missed him when he left me for my own good when I was human. I needed him, not only for his talent, I just needed him.
But why was Paul being so unreasonable? I’d explained and he was still just standing there barking and growling. Sam's pack was never as happy with our company as Jacob's pack and evidently Paul was very much anti-vampire, even though he had imprinted on Jacob's sister and was likely to be Nessie’s brother-in-law some day. Paul was sticking to the vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies line – or so it appeared. I’d not experienced this prejudice before, being hated just for what I was, and I didn’t like it. Yes, I’d seen it from both Jacob and Edward, but I'd never been directly on the receiving end and it hurt me.
“We don’t want any trouble Paul,” I repeated, “Please let us back to our lands. We will take care of Fred and keep him off your patch.”
And again I got no positive response from him, just more growling and teeth. Was he really just anti-vampire or was there more to it? Did he want to fight four vampires with only a pack of cubs at his disposal? I couldn’t understand it.
Jasper sent out calming feelings and the younger ones quietened and relaxed their stance. Paul, however, didn’t change his stance much, although he did stop bearing his teeth.
A gust of wind blew my hair into my eyes and ruffled the leaves in the bushes close to us. It did nothing to lessen the tension.
This was going to be difficult. We were in the wrong; we were on their side of the border however good our intentions. They were calm now but standing their ground. And we had Demetri with us. Yes, his fighting skills may be very handy, but if he should get hurt at all what would the Volturi do? In fact, what would he report back to Aro about this incident? Would it be enough to send the guard to eliminate the 'problem' from the area, as no doubt they would see it?
The voice started in my head again, not Edward but an Edward imitation, like a copy of the grand master, identical until the details revealed a mass of differences.
“Keep talking Bella,” the voice urged, “Just think carefully what you want them to do and explain it to them.”
I followed the suggestion. “Paul, please let me explain to you why we are here. Could you change back?”
He gave a short bark which was obviously “No”.
Why was he doing this, making things so hard? We’d got up from our defensive positions. “Look, I’ll come away from the other three and explain if that makes it better for you. We don’t want to fight.”
“No Bella, don’t put yourself in such danger!” the voice almost shouted. “You just need to think about what you want them to do.”
The short bark again.
“What are they … My God, they smell bad,” whispered Fred in a very low voice for us and not the wolves.
So many people talking at once was very distracting. But I was sure I could hear another noise coming in from the left. Maybe some animal approaching slowly. I couldn’t turn to look, I was mesmerized by the wolves. I thought I heard it fall into the undergrowth and make odd sounds – was it vomiting? So Fred couldn’t even be near animals – this wasn’t going to be good. What would he do to a wolf?
“Werewolves, shape shifters, whatever you like to call them. Sometimes man, sometimes wolf, and they could tear you to shreds,” Demetri said. “And this is their territory.”
“I didn’t know. I just thought I'd surprise you with a visit. I didn’t realize the danger I’d put you in. Why can’t I make them sick?”
“Bella is shielding them, I think.”
“Of course I am,” I snapped, the tension getting to me despite Jasper's influence. “They are our neighbors and my friends, I don’t want you to make them sick. They are very nice people if we stick to the rules. We are in the wrong here, not them. I don’t want you making them sick unless we really have to.”
I walked forward, past Jasper and Demetri. I heard Jasper’s worried hiss, “No Bella, it’s too dangerous.”
“Jasper's right,” the voice said, “don’t do this, just think about it.”
But I ignored both of them and walked half the distance between the two groups. I felt alone there, very vulnerable. I couldn’t stand up to five wolves by myself and the wolves knew that. I had thought about it. I needed to bring this to an end, and bridging the gap between wolves and vampires was kind of my specialty. I had to do this.
“Paul, we were only trying to get to Fred to stop you finding him first and causing you problems. Fred has a talent which would be … unpleasant for you.” Did he hear the hesitation in my voice? I didn’t want to play it up, after all maybe Fred couldn’t make the wolves sick. “He didn’t know about the territories, or about you, he has just come to visit us. That is why he was traveling through here. He wasn’t hunting. He was traveling from Port Angeles to our house and this is the direct route.”
Paul stood his ground. He was calm, but didn’t move an inch, not even a twitch of his ear. I thought that maybe he was communicating back with Sam. I waited a minute or so but still no change in his stance. If only Edward was here.
“Paul, may we could go back to our land?”
A short bark. I assumed a “No” again.
“Paul, I’m shielding you. Do you want me to stop?”
He looked at me with a definite sneer on his face, his nose raised at an angle, his eyes not moving from mine. He sniffed. It was a dare, without a doubt. I could almost hear his words, Bring it on, bloodsucker.
This wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped. I was calculating what I would do it Fred made them all very sick and calculating what I would do if he had no effect on them. Better sick than a fight. Maybe if I tried to expose Paul that would be enough.
Part of me marveled how I was now coming up with a strategy. It may not be a good one but at least it was a plan. Maybe I was learning from the others more than I realized.
I carefully pushed the shield over the other four wolves, counting to make sure I could feel them all. I could feel the part of the shield I was holding over Paul, I could so easily retract it. The whole of my shield was aching to be retracted.
“Paul, don’t worry, I am shielding your pack but I think that you need to experience this. Fred, could you come over and say 'Hello'”.
Just at that moment, before Fred had taken his first step, we heard other footsteps, or rather pawsteps. More wolves, re-enforcements no doubt. Maybe if we were lucky it would be Sam. Maybe we would be able to talk our way out of this without making anyone sick.
I waited to extend my shield over the newcomers.
Jacob in wolf form tore through the trees and stopped just fifteen feet from where I stood. At his back he had Embry and Quill. He walked up slowly to stand beside me. My relief was complete, my vulnerability gone.
Jacob in his huge russet wolf body, suddenly put his head back and howled so loud that I jumped backwards involuntarily. Embry and Quill fell in beside me and Jacob and we began to walk towards Paul and his pack. Jacob walked slightly ahead and was soon nose-to-nose with Paul. Jacob, the bigger wolf by far, barked again. They stared into each other's eyes for a full minute. I guessed they were trying to communicate with each other. I didn’t know if they could as they weren’t the same pack and Paul wasn’t an alpha.
The atmosphere was weird. Jasper was calming us, but we knew we might need to fight our friends for our lives at any second. I didn’t understand why Paul was doing this and kept repeating to myself under my breath, “Just move aside and let us through, just move aside,” to try to stay focused.
Paul moved his gaze from Jacob to me. At this point Paul walked five steps to the right and flopped to the floor. The four other young wolves whined a little and moved aside as we walked forward past them. Jasper, Demetri and Fred followed very rapidly. As we passed the wolves I turned so that I could keep my shield over them as we left.
“Fred, just keep looking forward,” I ordered, “and run to the side of the others.”
I heard him go with Demetri, but Jasper held back to wait for me, still pumping calm into the situation. I removed the shield and turned and ran slowly away, flanked still by Jacob, Embry and Quill.
Once we hit our border, I found Fred and Demetri standing fifty feet apart, Fred looking in the opposite direction.
I knew somehow that I could do this now, I threw my shield towards him wrapping it round him like a cone as I’d done in practice with Edward. I made sure that the seal was tight and walked towards him.
“Bella, I’m so sorry.”
“Not now Fred, let’s get home.”
And with that we ran home, the seven of us, four vampires, three wolves, in close formation.
On the way I phone Edward and got him to meet us at the main house. I wasn’t sure what the implications were of the encounter. I needed to get him away from our cottage where he was alone with Nessie if Sam’s wolf pack were in a bad mood.
End of Chapter 36 - Stand-off
What a tense situation! She really needed Edward. I'm glad Jacob could help though. What indeed will be the consequences of this encounter? Can't wait to see what happens next!
Really good I love it
Thanks for the comment,
I hope that you enjoy part 2 of chapter 36, It was supposed to be all one thing but I missed it on the cut and paste.
so sorry that I missed of Part 2 in the original cut and paste, I hope that you enjoy that as well.
ncie chaptr....hope thngs go well....,,
hw will everyone react wid fred...
pls wri8 soon...
I was thankful for Jasper's presence on the way home. The release of tension had me shaking like a leaf and he kept pushing calm on to me to stop me panicking. And it was Jasper I looked to now for what to do when we got home.
“We’ll need to secure the house and patrol until the situation is clear,” he said in his Southern officer’s drawl.
By the time we had reached the lawn, Edward had heard his thoughts and had brought down the first floor metal shutters and was waiting at the bottom of the porch steps.
We halted in front of the house, the wolves too big to fit through the door. Edward started translating for Jacob.
“I don’t know what Paul’s problem is. We will patrol the perimeter. What Paul was doing was unauthorized by Sam or me. He seems to be trying to take a harder line with your family than either of us require him to do. The power of his little babysitting duties seems to have gone to his head. I need to speak to Sam about this incident.”
“I’m so sorry,” Fred repeated, shaking his head. “I shouldn’t have ... I didn’t mean for this.”
“We did warn you not to visit without arranging it first,” I groaned. “Did you just think that we didn’t want you here and were trying to put you off?”
“I know that I’m not good company,” Fred said in a dispirited voice.
“No time for that now,” Jasper said, pulling us back to the reality of the situation.
“Where are the others?" he asked Edward.
“Rose and Esme are inside with Nessie, and Alice and Emmett are just coming up to the river right now. Carlisle is still in surgery at the Hospital.”
“OK then, we don’t want to fight with Sam’s pack but if they come to attack we need to defend ourselves. You, could you make them sick without doing permanent damage?” His last remark he directed to Fred in a rather unfriendly tone.
“Yes, I could do that if it works on the wolves but I don’t know if it will.”
Seth came plunging through the undergrowth at that point still as a gangly youth.
“You could try it on me,” he said, “as long as Bella is going to shield me again as soon as we are done.”
“Are you sure, Seth?” Edward asked, concerned for his friend, “We don’t know what it will do to you, how long the effects will last.”
“Someone has to find out, and best not take one of the older ones, they are better fighters than me.”
“OK then,” I said. “You OK with this Fred? Just as mild as you can to start with.”
“But he’s just a kid, a human kid,” he answered, looking at him coming towards us from the other side of the lawn.
I switched my shield from just over Fred back to over everyone else. Because Jacob was pack leader, Seth would automatically be covered if I put my shield over Jacob, so I asked Jacob to move to the end of the drive, away from my shield and away from Fred’s influence.
“Looks can be deceptive,” I answered to Fred and then addressed all of them, "Can you all just stay still so I can make sure that I have you covered?”
Fred and Seth walked to the middle of the lawn and faced each other like some kind of old-fashioned Western gun battle in a bad movie. I had the urge to giggle, but I stifled it.
“OK Bella,” Seth said, “take your shield away.”
Jacob barked from a distance.
“Jacob want’s him to transform, he doesn’t trust Fred,” Edward whispered.
Suddenly from where the youth stood an enormous tan wolf erupted towering over the vampire.
Fred was visibly shaken. He jumped back five feet and took up a defensive crouch, a snarl coming up from his chest. Seth on the other hand gave a great wolfy grin, sticking his tongue out at the side of his mouth and the sound he made was definitely a snigger.
I flitted to Fred’s side and put my hand on his shoulder. “It’s OK Fred, he’s a friendly monster. You don‘t have to get worried, he isn’t about to attack. It’s just a better test this way, even if he has ruined another pair of pants. Don’t forget, mild at first.”
Fred took a few seconds before he realized that he’d overreacted and came out of his defensive stance. “I’ve never seen anything like that before, that was so ... cool, I guess.”
Seth gave a jubilant bark and showed all his teeth, pleased at the complement.
I peeled my shield away from Seth, leaving him exposed; it took all of two seconds before he was vomiting. I threw the shield back over him and we all started to walk towards him to help him up.
“He’s thinking that wasn’t nice at all. Well, something unrepeatable, but that was the gist of it,” Edward said. “Was that as mild as you can go, Fred?”
“Yes, that’s the best I can do at the moment. I might be less powerful on a calm day but I wasn’t trying to make him bad. That was a ‘without trying’ level for me. They don’t seem as resistant as humans or vampires.”
We didn’t make it to Seth's prone wolf form before Leah, also as a wolf, shot out of the forest and to Seth’s side. It was fortunate I had Jacob protected again or she too would be sick. She nuzzled Seth as he lay whimpering on the ground. Then she turned on us, Fred, Demetri, Edward and I as we walked closer to Seth. We all stopped, assuming a defensive crouch again. I hadn’t seen Leah for months, not since that day in the clearing. I knew she was about but I’d not actually seen her. I was shocked to see how thin she looked. But for all her lack of girth she looked terrifying as she stood growling and barking what must have been hideous words. Her fur was raised around her neck. The blistering anger she felt for the plight of her brother was evident in every muscle in her body.
I thought to myself, Leah, we are your friends, don’t hate us, we need your love.
As her head came up to look directly at our group, she quietened and stood completely still, just staring at us all.
I assumed Jacob had ordered her to back down.
But suddenly there was what almost sounded like a snigger from Seth, and Edward cursed under his breath.
“Well, I think we may have another difficult situation on our hands.” Edward stood up.
Jacob barked as if agreement. Leah hadn’t moved an inch. Jacob barked again and she shot off into the forest.
“Why this now?” Edward demanded of the sky.
I had no idea what he was talking about.
“We haven’t got time for this now, we’ve got to patrol,” Jasper insisted. “Fred, stay here and assist if we get any incoming trouble.”
Fred nodded in agreement, “It’s my fault we’re in this mess.”
“But you’ll need to stay here with Bella until that point and then stay with her as you meet the wolves.”
I again changed my shield to do an inverse protect of Fred. I walked up close to him to make it easier for myself.
Edward translated for Jacob. “We’ll take the border down towards La Plush. Hopefully Sam will come and we can talk.”
“Alice, Emmett, Rose and I will take the North side of the perimeter.” Jasper ordered. “Edward, if you stay with Bella and Fred to help coordinate us all. I have my cell with me.
“Sure,” Edward said, looking a little disappointed.
“You all have to defend the house as well,” Jasper reminded him. You have Esme to assist too.
“I want to help in whatever way I can,” Demetri said without hesitation.
It was obviously a sincere comment.
“Thank you,” Edward said, “but we can’t risk you being in a fight. If anything were to happen to you it would mean certain death for all the wolves and probably for our family as well.”
“Yes, I see the predicament, a difficult diplomatic situation,” Demetri said. “I can help with the defense of the house if they get that far, we all need to fight for our lives.”
We talked as we turned into the house, leaving the others running off to their duties.
“Where’s Nessie,” I asked Edward, surprised that she wasn’t in the lounge.
“Upstairs. Esme is trying to get her to have her nap. Esme thinks that it would be good to try to keep to routine so she's reading a book to Nessie. I think Pride and Prejudice should be enough to send anyone to sleep.”
“It’s beautiful, how can you say that? Sometimes I think that you have no poetry in your soul Edward.” I so wanted to ask him what had just happened, what was in Leah’s mind, but it would have to wait until we were out of earshot of Fred and Demetri. I didn’t understand the incident, but it was clearly something. Something that Edward knew, the wolves knew and Jasper knew, but I didn’t.
Once we entered the lounge we settled to wait. To wait to see if the other wolves, who I still thought of as our friends and neighbors, would turn on us again.
Sorry chapter 36 is in two parts. I missed the second part in the cut and paste originally!
I hope that it doesn't stop you enojing it.
Chris I still enjoyed it
I love it
I'm glad it was still OK. I'm just pleased I didn't leave part 1 in the middle of a sentance! LOL
Paul is really causing problems with his rashness. Seth is a good friend to offer himself up as a guinnea pig. What happened with Leah? Did she imprint or something? Can't wait to see what happens next!
By the way, posting the chapter in two parts didn't detract from it. The first part stopped at a good point, and in the second part they had to deal with the consequences of what happened in the first part, with a few twists of it own. I enjoyed reading both parts and it didn't feel incomplete at all. You have no reason to worry about it. All in all it worked.
many thanks for your comment. I do appreciate your support.
The only word for Paul is 'fool'. He is a rash fool. And there will be implications - what are the Volturi going to think about this? Why did he do it? And what is he going to do next?
And Seth is such a gentle lovely sole.
And Leah, I will fill this one in soon enough after Paul has had his moment.
Thanks again for the comment.