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
I know the feeling. My next chapter needs some serious editing and my editor is very busy at the moment.
Life does just get in the way of our fantisies but I guess that is for the best.
I don't even have an editor haha so I have to do everything myself. I just have fun with it and everyone who reads is super supportive. I kinda wish I had more readers though.
By 8am it was time for Fred’s first training session. Carlisle had valiantly volunteered to help and Demetri and Jasper were going to instruct Fred.
Fred was looking nervous – an obvious sign that he didn’t want to cause his host any discomfort.
“I’ll apologize in advance Carlisle, I don’t mean to make you sick. It's usually worse if I am facing the person and close to, so if I back off and turn away, I don’t want you to think I’m being rude or anything, it may just be better.”
“It’s OK Fred, we know you are training. No one is expecting you to get this right straight away,” Carlisle reassured him.
“Am I correct in thinking that if you are calm you can be less... let’s say, strong,” Jasper asked.
“Yes that’s right. But, hey, you can call it obnoxious, that what most of them used to say.”
“If you start say thirty feet away with your back to Carlisle, I’ll calm you, and Bella will unshield him and we’ll see how it goes.”
I made sure that my shield was tight round Demetri and Jasper before edging it off Carlisle.
“I can feel it just very slightly,” Carlisle said, “nothing too bad at all, so far.”
“OK Fred, can you start to walk slowly backwards towards Carlisle,” Jasper instructed.
“Let your thought patterns concentrate on the forest, clear your mind of everything else,” Demetri interjected.
He managed to close the distance by ten feet before Carlisle said that he felt any problem at all.
At this point I could hear someone throwing up noisily in one of the bathrooms. Alice! I thought to myself. I lost concentration, just for an instant, and my shield snapped back away from the others.
“Bella! It’s gone, I can feel it’s gone,” Jasper said, somewhat flustered. Fred turned round to ask Jasper why he wasn’t calming him any more and immediately Demetri and Jasper were both on their knees, not actually vomiting yet but near.
I pushed the shield inside-out back over Fred. I was surprised that Jasper had known the shield was gone before he felt the sickness, I wasn’t aware they could feel it. I suppose I had never considered it from their point of view before.
“I’m so sorry, I just lost it for a moment,” I apologized to them all.
Jasper and Demetri were back on their feet now and Jasper wasn’t looking quite so calming as before.
“OK, let’s call that the first session over,” Carlisle said. “Alice must have seen something not good if we continued. We now know that at distances of greater than twenty feet, outside, when you are calm and looking away, there is little or no affect. That is good progress, a place to start from.”
“I would like to talk with Fred for our records,” Demetri said. “If you would be so kind as to assist in this Bella, it would be easier that shouting through a wall or over a long distance. I will not forget that Fred is here as your guest at the moment Carlisle, just as I am. My interview will be conducted under the proper procedure if that it is OK with you.”
“Yes of course Demetri, you need to do your job as well. Fred, are you happy to answer questions now?”
“Would you like any witnesses other than Bella?” Demetri offered.
“No, I have nothing to hide from you or anyone.”
“Would you mind if we used your cottage Bella?”
I couldn’t say no to this although I didn’t want them there. If things went badly I wouldn't want to be haunted by memories of it in my cottage. I wasn’t scared though. If Demetri tried to hurt either me or Fred I could just unshield Fred, and if Fred tried anything I was sure Demetri would come to my aid.
“OK, shall we go now?” Demetri suggested, keen to get the job over with.
We took places around the little table in the living room of our cottage.
“So you don’t usually stay up in the main house with the rest of the family?” Fred asked. “Why not?”
“Well, we... we like a little space to be a small family at times.” Again this was embarrassing to answer.
“There is no need to embarrass Bella,” Demetri chided. “It is often the case that newly mated or in this case married couples will leave their original covens for a while, or even forever. It is the normal run of things. Just like a human man and wife, they will try to make a new home of their own if they can.”
“Sorry, I’m not use to things being so peaceful. I would have thought you would want to stay together for safety.”
“I think that Bella and Edward are quite capable of coping with what the world throws at them,” Demetri answered. I wondered if he referred to the standoff we had with the Volturi. “Their family is close by if needed. It seems an admirable arrangement to me.
“But we are here to talk about you, not Bella,” Demetri continued. “Please can you tell me about your human life: who were you, what did you do, your family, and so on.”
“I don’t remember that well, it’s like its’ been washed away. Some bits I do remember and some bits are gone. I’ve been trying to remember since I left Riley’s coven and I’ve been on my own and not so stressed out all the time.
“I grew up in Seattle with my Mom, Dad, and elder sister. We moved around a bit and even went to England for a couple of years, my Dad was... is I suppose, a college professor. It was when we got back from Europe that I had the accident.”
“The accident?” Demetri asked attentively.
“Some idiot in a car ran in to me on the sidewalk. I was lucky to live through it. It busted one of my legs really bad and my arm was mangled and half my face where I was dragged along the ground under the car.
“After that I was fairly useless, I couldn’t walk right, I couldn’t do sport, I had to learn to write again with the other hand. And my face was a mess. I didn’t like to go out in public much.
“I did well in exams as I had no social life. Even the bullies left me alone at school and I got a place at college no problem but I wanted to stay at home so I just went to the local community college. I’d sit at the back and not talk to anyone. I’d keep my face hidden under my hoodie. But I was good at my studies, I did well, the staff liked me in a way.
“I was studying science, I wanted to teach. I thought that I could teach in a special school of some kind where I’d fit in. One broken body amongst the many.
“I was taking a night walk when Riley found me, I use to hide in the dark even then. He offered me a cure for my leg and my face if I went with him. I was depressed or just desperate I guess, and that is why I went.
“I didn’t see who changed me – the room was pitch black. It was a woman's voice that talked to Riley. She said, Good work, a tall one – he’ll be useful when the venom has put him right. But I can’t even stand to look at him now. And then the pain hit.
“When I came round I was in the basement of some house with a whole bunch of other new vampires. It was like hell. There were fights all the time over really stupid things, people would get ashed and Riley would just get new ones in. Most people just kept away from me so I had no trouble. I assumed they didn’t like the way I looked. Occasionally someone would vomit near me but I didn’t think about it. I’d find somewhere to sit and just stay there and read mainly. I was so blood-crazy to start with I couldn’t think about much. I realized my arm and leg were mended but it took me a month or so to think of looking in a mirror and saw that my face was OK now. In fact more than OK, I looked as good as the rest of them.
“I tried to join in more but it was then that I realized that it was me making them sick if I got close to them. In some ways it was a pain, but it kept me alive in that hell so I can’t complain.
“When I could think more clearly, I started to practice with my talent. Sometimes I put my mind into it and forced them all to be sick at once. I practiced hiding behind it, as if it was a wall about me and that worked OK. They couldn’t see me if I tried really hard, and I worked up to being able to hide for minutes on end.
“It really helped. It gave me more freedom than the others. I could leave the basement every night and no one would try to stop me. I’d come back before dawn. I believed Riley that we would turn to ash if we went outside in sunlight – it seemed to fit, it was in all the vampire films.
“But then I started to think – Why had she turned us all? What did she want with us?
“Then one day Riley said we had to train for a fight with another coven. So that was it – we were just pawns for her to use in a fight. And what would she do with us after the fight?
“I decided I wasn’t going to have any part in it. I knew that I could probably win them any fight without help from the others – but it wasn’t my fight. I just wanted out of it, out of the coven.
“When Riley showed us it was OK to go out in sunlight I realized I didn’t need them anymore.
“I left when they were going to the fight.”
There was a long pause and then Demetri asked, “Did any others leave with you?”
“No, I asked Bree to come with me – she was my only friend in the coven – but she said she had something she needed to do first and went off to the battle. I didn’t see her again. Carlisle said she is dead.”
Demetri looked at his hands which were in front of him on the table and spoke in a quiet but firm voice. “She was executed by the Volturi guard for illegally attacking the Cullens. The Cullens asked for mercy for her, but we cannot show mercy, it is against the Volturi rules. It is unfortunate that in this case we had to execute a person who may have turned into a good member of the vampire world but we cannot make exceptions, for that way lies chaos for vampires and humans alike.
“But I am sorry for your loss. We will observe two minutes of silence now in her memory.”
And we sat there perfectly still for the time, none of us moving a muscle.
At the end of the time Demetri continued. “Bree was your friend. Could she shield as Bella does?”
“No, she used to sit directly behind where I was sitting. I think there may be a spot where it’s not so bad if you are close enough. I used to protect her from the others. She was more peace loving than them. She was just a little thing, she would have stood no chance against them. We used to share books.”
The interview continued with all the questions that we’d asked him when we were in Denali – where he’d been and how he had hunted. The final question was, And why did you come here to the Cullens?
His answer was simple but not what I wanted to hear, “I wanted to see Bella again.”
Demetri chided him once more. “Bella is a married woman with a child, you need to be careful what you say and to whom, young man. It would be unwise to upset this coven when they have offered you their hospitality and friendship.”
“I meant purely as a friend, I wouldn’t disrespect her in any way.” But as he said this he briefly grinned at me in a way that was hidden from Demetri.
I scowled back but then I had to laugh. This boy just made me laugh and Demetri was sounding so much like a minister or principal.
“Demetri, it’s fine, Fred knows that I am “spoken for” (I made the air quotes) but we can be friends. Fred means nothing improper by it.”
But as I said it in that easy style I hoped that it was true, that he hadn’t been so caught by my thought viruses that he would try to do something that was improper. Alice would tell me if there were a danger and I could plan around it, it would be OK.
“You young things, I don’t think I will understand your modern ways. Things were quite different when I was young... but that was a long time ago.”
“How old are you then, if that isn’t an impolite question,” Fred asked.
“Well, I am well past 800 years old.”
“Wow!” was all Fred could manage.
“My masters are over two and half thousand years old.”
“Wow... wow, I knew that they call it immortality but all I have seen of this life is death and loneliness. How do you get your head around two and half thousand years? Why would you want to last that long?”
“They serve the vampire community and this gives them their fulfillment,” Demetri replied.
That was certainly not how I saw them. I saw them as power-hungry maniacs bent on making other people's life a misery, but I thought better of bring up this opinion in front of Demetri.
“Carlisle is just over 360, a relative newcomer to the community,” Demetri continued, “but a great example of a leader.”
“And how old are you Bella?” Fred asked, turning to me.
“Oh, I’m just nineteen, I was turned last September, just before my nineteenth birthday.”
“So you are younger than me!”
“She grows quickly.”
We concluded the questioning. Demetri seemed satisfied with Fred’s answers but said he would write it up in his weekly report to his masters to see what they would say or if they required further information about Riley’s coven.
Fred left and ran back to the house alone to give me a rest from shielding. He said he’d sit outside for a while and not cause a nuisance to anyone. Being responsible for Fred really was starting to feel like having another child to worry about. I guess if he was going to be a pain Alice would call me.
Before Demetri left I pick up my courage and asked the question I’d been meaning to ask since it was my interview. “Demetri, you said I had two shadows. Can you tell me any more about them? Who are they? Why are they following me?”
Demetri looked at me for a long moment and sat down again at the table.
“One I still can’t understand, how she could be so close and you not see her, but then she is somewhere else too, or it could be just my talent playing up.” He looked over at me and saw I was still looking at him with confusion written all over my face.
“Bella, I see your mother at times here around Forks. She appears just where I think you are as if she is with you. It is most likely that my talent is playing up because when I concentrate I can see her in Jacksonville as well. As you know, I can not feel you properly inside your shield. Perhaps it is you that I am feeling, behind your shield, but it is odd because the feeling is identical to your mother and not what I would expect to sense from you.
“My mother?” I said breathlessly.
“But I haven’t seen her since my wedding. I can’t see her ever again.”
“I know Bella, you have explained this to me and I trust your statements. I am just telling you what I feel. It is as if she is here sometimes, not often, but occasionally. I felt her with you when we were facing the wolves in the woods, but I was with you and I could see clearly for myself that she wasn’t present. It is very odd, it felt so much as if she were there standing right next to you. Also when I finished my interview with you I felt her appear here in the cottage after I left. I don’t understand this anymore than you do Bella. Maybe I could meet her sometime, that may help me. As I say I think this is my problem – a problem with my talent not a real thing at all.”
The idea of Demetri meeting my mother didn’t sound good. It concerned me, what would she say? Her scatterbrain ideas about my life and the Cullens may be nearer the truth than Charlie’s reasoned deductions.
“I can see that me meeting her would cause you to worry. How about if I didn’t speak to her and just saw her with my own eyes from a distance, no introduction, no interview? It would help me to understand this flaw.”
“Well, it’s just that I can’t see her again and I don’t want any of the rest of the family going to her or else she is bound to want to come back with them. So we really can’t introduce you to her. I guess if you went to Jacksonville and just observed her without her see you that might save any difficulties. Do you think you would have to watch her for long? I wouldn’t want her watched, it is very intrusive.”
I wanted to avoid a dictate coming from Aro saying that we must take Demetri to see Renee and introduce him, I thought that this was the only way around it. Aro loved a mystery and would want to find out what was up with Demetri’s talent.
“I would just have to see her for a very short time to get my bearing on this I think Bella. You would be welcome to accompany me or send one of the others if you like.”
I knew he was asking out of courtesy, but there was nothing I could do to stop him. If he wanted to watch my mother he would, and he would continue to do so for exactly how long he wanted to or was ordered to by his masters.
“I think it would be better if you went alone. If she saw any of the others she would feel they were being rude not going to see her if they had business in Jacksonville.”
“I will make the briefest of visits when we have settled things with the wolves. I am keen to see them take up our offer of a sporting match. Diplomacy through action, it is what I feel works the best.”
“Of course, Renée’s whereabouts are no mystery at all in comparison to knowing who she is. Demetri continued “Are you sure you can’t recall any more of your family history. I should love to find out why she seems so familiar in a way.”
“She feels familiar to you?”
“Yes and I don’t know why, almost as if I have know her for centuries but not quite, I just can’t place it. Again this is why I want to see her in person, I may be able to get more of a handle on it.”
I was quite sure at this point that Demetri’s talent was going wrong and this was nothing I had to worry about.
“Demetri, Renée is really not all that old!” I laughed, “I am sure you're mistaken.”
“Please tell me about the other shadow.” I’d nearly forgotten about the other one.
Demetri smiled at me. “I really hope that you find a way through this that allows you, Edward and the shadow to be happy. May be with your modern ways of thinking you’ll come up with a suitable solution – for the life of me I can’t see it, and they call me the fixer.”
“Who is it Demetri?”
“It is his business not mine and I will not interfere. You have nothing to fear from him! You don’t need to worry yourself, he would not want to have you concerned about him. But that is all I am going to say. Let’s go back to the house, your family will be getting concerned for you.”
I was frustrated but I knew I wasn’t going to get more from him today – if only I really could do mind tricks when I wanted, rather than just by accident, then I’d be able to force him to tell me!
Demetri didn’t come all the way back to the house with me. I thought that he was probably trying to avoid Edward’s talent. He must of had things he wanted to think about in private because a mile or so from the house he left me using the excuse that he wanted a run.
Then it was my time to take Fred hunting. Edward looked distraught and I think may have attacked Fred had Carlisle not put a hand on his shoulder and led him away to perform some task or other that he needed ‘help’ with.
Carlisle's parting comment was, “Don’t forget Alice and Demetri will be looking out for you both.” I wasn’t sure if that was to reassure Edward or me, or as a warning to Fred.
As we ran north Fred asked me why we did it, why we forced ourselves to go without human blood.
“I only take the weak the ones the humans don’t want any more. They don’t have a way to get rid of them, they are just left to live as best they can until death takes them. I’m just cleaning up more quickly, really.”
“I have a father, Fred, and a mother – would you see them as food?”
“Do they sit on the roadside at night high on whatever they can lay their hands on trying to get by until death takes them?”
“No, of course not.”
“Well I have parents too, and mine don’t act like the people I take. Any family that my prey had have long since been lost. They are without worth to the world.”
“Don’t say that Fred, no one is without worth.”
We were quiet for a few minutes while what he said turned over in my mind. The thought patterns crystallizing in my brain around things I had heard before, seen before.
“What if the people you thought were worthless were not what they seemed? What if they had family and friends?”
“But I’m careful. I only take the homeless off the street.”
“You were in Anchorage before you went to Tanya's? Did you take a homeless man in his late thirties? Clean blood I’m guessing, you probably don’t get that often, just a little alcohol to keep out the cold.”
“Yes, I remember, how could I forget, I use that blood as my standard now, that was 8 out of 10 and I score the others accordingly. I don’t get blood like that often. It stood out as odd at the time.”
“Fred, he was news reporter, not a homeless man. He had a family and a home, he was just researching a story.”
“No! It couldn’t have been the same man.”
“We’ll look at the press reports when we go back. I was there in Anchorage at the time. It was all over the news, they’d lost one of their own and they weren’t going to let the public forget.”
Again a couple of minutes silence whilst we ran on north, the mountains getting larger.
“If I did take the wrong one then I am sorry about it, But how was I to know? Why did he have to go and put himself in such danger for a story?”
“Why did you have to drink his blood when there is an alternative?” And with that I stopped and put my finger to my lips. I let the predator instinct in me take over and felt the presence of the creatures all around. The one I wanted was just four hundred yards away in the trees overlooking a group of deer.
I looked round at Fred. He just shrugged and pulled a funny face.
The scent of the mountain lion was constricting my throat, I knew I had to have it’s blood. I left Fred and silently made after the beast. Fred was not going to be left behind, and followed with none of the subtlety that I had learned from the Cullens, and crashing through the undergrowth sent the animal dashing away for safety. If I were by myself I could have caught it but with this noise machine with me I didn’t stand much of a chance without having to pull the creature from some cave and ruin all my clothes. If I ruined these pants Alice would kill me. Also I didn’t want to appear too disheveled in front of Fred. I was supposed to be making this look, easy and natural.
“Fred, I need to feed. Could you just stay still while I catch something, please. Animals don’t just sit singing on the pavement waiting for you to pick them off.”
“Sorry Bella.” And he made a sorry face that just made me laugh. How could I be annoyed with him and laugh at him at the same time? I wasn’t sure but that is what I was doing.
“Do you want me to follow or just stand here?”
“Follow but quietly, can you do that?”
“I’ll try.” And another face, which made me grin back.
“OK then, I can feel elk at about two hundred yards, can you feel them?”
“Do you mean that awful musty, wet, rotten smell?”
“Yep, that’s the one.”
“You are going to drink that?”
“More healthy than down and outs, less chemical additives,” I grinned back, and I sank into a low crouch as I stalked the animals.
This time Fred at least tried to make less noise. The small herd broke apart as he came near but not before I had the chance to bolt for the aging male and take him down.
Fred stood away from me as I downed the blood. It quenched my throat, easing the burning. It was a good job he was apart from me, I had no wish to share this kill with anyone. Maybe on the next one I would offer him some. Maybe I’d be patient and find a carnivore, they did smell and taste better. I wondered if I could find the big cat that had got away. I looked over to Fred.
“How do you do that girl! It stinks! It makes me almost throw up!”
He walked up and pushed the carcass I’d left on the floor with his foot. “And what had this one ever done to you?”
As our eyes meet he jumped back. “Wow, I didn’t realize they made your eyes go green as well as gold.”
Wow!!! Cliff hanger!
Why are her eyes going green? This chapter is really good, and I like the bit with the two minutes of silence for Bree. Thank you for the update!
thank you for the update...very good chapter.....I wonder who the other shadow is?...........How is Demetri seeing Renee?........can't wait or next update
Thank you for the comment.
I hope to give away a little more information in the next chapter. Bella is going to have to carry one asking people things if she wants to find answers.
I'm glad she asked Demetri about the shadows although he didn't spill all the beans.
Thanks for the comment.
Sorry I should have warned about the cliff hanger. It was a very long chapter and I want to leave it at an interesting place ready for chapter 41. I don't do that many cliffies.
I hope that the 2 minutes silence would show the diplomatic 'fixer' that Demetri is. He has no problem with the need to execute vampire who break rules but can also show sorrow that this has to be done on the individual level.
Why indeed is Bella the way she is? The answer is very simple but I can't tell you right now it will spoill your fun of guessing. Why are you the way you are?
Interesting chapter! I like the way Fred's character is developing in your story. He has quite an interesting story to tell. I think the second shadow might be Fred or maybe even Nahuel. It could also be a member of the family like Jasper or Emmet. I don't think Demetri is referring to himself. Also: Interesting turn of events with Renee. Could she maybe have powers like teleporting or astral projection, or maybe she has a twin somewhere? It would be interesting to see what Demetri comes up with, or maybe Bella should really talk to her or go to see her. And now her eyes are turning green! I can't wait to see what the answers will be and what will happen with the wolves.
Please update soon!
many thanks for the comment.
I'm trying to portray a picture of Fred as a nice but unlucky guy. He has a lot in common with Bella as they were human at the same point and will therefore tend to favour the traditions and morality of the modern time which the other struggle to understand at times. He is starting to show that he can be a relaxed and happy guy, a sunny person like Jacob use to be before he turned wolf. Does Fred want to be more than friends with Bella? Will he respect that she is married and leave well alone? She is the only girl in the world for him after all.
I think Bella is going to have to talk to Renee again else she will die from not knowing!
Her eyes, well ... no can't spill the beans on the that one sorry. But it will be kind of obvious when you know.
What links are there between, her eating, her sleeping, her eyes,her voices and her powers. What do her shadows know?
You definitely gave us a lot of little clues that she is special and different from other vampires! In some ways more human, in other ways more powerful! I can't wait to see how all these little pieces of the puzzle are connected to each other! And of course the other person who she needs to talk to is Edward! Not that he didn't keep his fair share of secrets before, but she needs to find out who and what she really is and they need to communicate!
Best wishes to you too!
wow....good chapter...i really liked fred's character now....so charming...
it was really very intresting wen demetri said abt d shadows....
nd y is bella nd everyone hides evrythng wid edward...dats really bad 4 him...
still i dont fully understood wid the first shadow....like dem...is dey related...r really is dat demetri's talent is playing..
bt i really really really rally really really luved dis chapter.....
SUPERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR TRAILOR....................I REALLY THRILLED OUT TO SEE IT
WOW WONDERFUL....BEST WISHES THANQ