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
Poor Jake in trouble again for thinking
Thank you for your comment and for reading my story.
I always feel sorry for Jake, he just want's to keep Nessie safe and all it does is annoy Edward.
Given their past history, it wasn't going to be an easy relationship between the two of them.
I'll let you know when I post chapter 7, it needs editing first.
Ha! That's both funny and true! gave me a good laugh...
please let me know if you've read this. If you can't think of anything else please just reply 'Read it'.
It makes the long hours of editing worth while when I know people are reading my story.
Many thanks to those who have replied in the past.
i love this story!!! it is amazing, awesome writing skills! I normally hate post-Breaking Dawn stuff but this is the one exception, keep it up and update me!
Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading.
I'll keep you posted.
thank you so much.
I will update when I next post through the site mail if that is OK. I also try to post a 'flyer' on the fan fiction group wall.
I love writing the story, it’s the first I’ve ever written. I use to hate English lessons with a passion when I was at school and that was a very long time ago.
I like using all of the twilight characters and keeping in character in the story, it’s a good discipline. The characters do develop through the story though so I hope no gets too offended.
If this is the first you have ever written then you have skill and that is coming from me, a girl raised in a family of experienced writers. I'm still in school and vaguely hate English class, it's just the teacher I think though and my states curriculum. Anyways, can't wait to see how they develop. Update soon!!
Thank you so much Bella.
The editing really helps and so far I haven't come to blows with my family member who is kindly doing this for me.
Good luck with your classes, I'm glad mine and long gone.
great work =)
Thanks Anna, I'll keep you posted about updates if that is OK.
Being alone as a small family was delightful. I loved my new extended family very much and I wanted to live close by them. But it was so rare a gift to have this time as our small family. It felt like electricity flowing through my body. Maybe we could run away, just not go back, and I could have Edward and Nessie all to myself. We could be rid of any of the complication that Alice had foreseen with Emmett and Demetri, and the complications she could not see with Nahuel. As soon as I thought this the guilt kicked in. How could I be so mean after all they had done for me? How could I even imagine taking Nessie away from them for more than a few days? I said nothing to Edward. I wasn't sure how he would react to my thoughts. This was another of those times that I was glad he couldn’t read my mind unless I wanted him to.
We went to Anchorage. I didn’t notice how far it was from Tania’s. I just sat with Nessie and enjoyed the sheer bliss of the moment. We reached the city as Nessie woke. It was the first time she had seen a city. She’d been into Forks often enough to visit Charlie, but we’d kept her from public view because her accelerated growth would have been difficult to explain to the neighbors. Here, where no one knew us and we were unlikely to come again, there would be no questions to answer. As far as the public on the city streets were aware we could be her big brother and sister taking her sightseeing. We could be her parents, but that might look slightly odd. She looked like a small five year old and the two of us couldn’t pass for older than early twenties, with Edward frozen in his perfect seventeen year old state, and me just under nineteen when I was changed.
Nessie’s eyes were wide with wonder and excitement, the warm brown shining and eager. We needed to find her some breakfast. We chose a fast food restaurant because it is easier to make the human charade work if you throw away your uneaten food and undrunk coffee yourself. No one would be puzzled by our lack of appetite. It was nice to pretend to be a human family. A few people did a double take when they saw us, maybe they were just surprised by our beauty. Fortunately we were all wrapped up against the cold with hats and scarves, another human charade, so there wasn’t that much to see. I had my contacts in, so my eyes looked a slightly odd shade of brown.
Nessie was delighted to see other children in the restaurant. She was just about to go and introduce herself to them when I gave her the briefest of looks and she sat meekly at an empty table. We sat discussing what we were going to do that day once we’d found a hotel. A normal family discussion, it was so easy and so much fun. For my part I wanted to visit a book store, but beyond that I didn’t mind if we went to see museums, galleries or old buildings. Edward discussed the merits of each with Nessie as we all sat with our eggs in front of us, we adults had gone healthy with white-only omelets while Nessie was tucking into her egg muffin.
We were in the middle of deciding between two galleries for the morning’s activity when I suddenly noticed that Edward was looking at me with an expression of shock and disgust on his face. He was staring open mouthed at me.
“What’s wrong?“ I gasped. The last time I’d seen a look like that was on the face of an actress in a crazy film when a large poisonous spider had appeared on the head of her male opposite. “Is there something in my hair?”
“You’re eating your eggs,” he hissed.
I looked down, and he was right. The fork I was playing with definitely had egg on it and I could taste it in my mouth. I looked at the omelet. It was about a quarter gone.
“Why didn’t you stop me sooner,” I stammered, clutching my throat.
“Are you feeling sick?”
I thought about that for a moment, “No, I feel fine actually”. I moved my hand from my throat. I felt normal, whatever normal is for a vampire.
“You’ll be sick soon,” he murmured.
I was sitting quite still processing what had just happened. Curiously, I took another bite. There was no bitter taste to it, very little taste at all really. I thought back to my human days and remembered that I would have had ketchup with something like this. I didn’t try anymore. I didn’t want to have to rush out to the bathroom to throw up. I’d not eaten since I was a vampire. I'd stuck rigidly to a strict animal blood diet. I’d seen Edward force down a piece of our wedding cake at the appropriate point at our reception, but I knew that it had made him sick. Of course he had known what it would do, and excused himself as soon as the camera shots had died down. I’d always assumed it was like this for all vampires, including me. Human food smelled mildly repulsive to our kind, but these eggs didn’t smell too bad, though the cooking oil was a little overpowering.
The day passed too quickly for me. I got myself a dozen books including a couple of well-loved Shakespeares to replace ones that were so tatty that I’d thrown them away when I moved out from Charlie's. Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream were favorites of mine although I hadn’t read them for a couple of years. I knew that after I read them this time I would have them off by heart. Vampires have very good memories; and I mused how useful this would be if I ever got to go to college. The other ten books were a mix of brand new novels by my favorite authors, some obscure classics, and some more poetry books for me to read to Nessie. She really loved both reading and learning poems. Although my daughter was very advanced I did like to make sure the content of the poems were suitable for a child even if the style was adult.
After shopping and a trip to the art gallery, which was lacking any classic masterpieces but still had some modern pictures of real merit, we managed lunch at a cafe in the mall, a quick walk in the park, and then on to the next place of interest.
Nessie was engrossed with the science and technology part of the museum. Edward spent an age explaining each exhibit in detail to her. I had to hurry them past a few when one of the museum’s hosts stared in astonishment as Nessie asked Edward for more information about the inner workings of an internal combustion engine. Of course most of her questions were never verbalized. Edward just picked them from her mind which avoided the surprised reactions from the humans.
We went into the last exhibition gallery. We’d been saving it until the end as we thought it would be the most fun for her. It was a life-size animatronic mammoth. She laughed for joy as soon as she saw it, and streaked off for a closer look, nearly flying to the rope barrier.
“It’s so big Mo ... Bella. I bet they were tasty too!” she shrilled in her excitement.
Edward and I couldn’t help grinning at each other over her delight, a beautiful indulgent family moment, one we knew we would treasure forever.
We walked over to the rope more slowly, at a human ramble. The heat detectors in the animatronics did not detect either of us so the mammoth did not turn in our direction. But behind us came a noisy little boy, not much bigger than Nessie, but already in school uniform. I could hear his mother walking across the stone floor towards us. It was obviously an after school treat to the mammoths. Her steps were slow. She must have been tired or carrying a heavy load, I thought. I turned to look at her and instantly froze. She had a sling over her shoulders and there, tucked up over her chest, was a tiny baby. I could only just see his blue cloth hat patterned with white rabbits and with a small white pompom on the point. As she came closer I tried to look away, but I couldn’t. I was caught, mesmerized. I wanted to see all of him, I wanted to hold him. The scent of the baby and still bleeding mother wafted around me but it meant nothing. I just wanted to hold a little baby again, my baby. Other thought patterns were kicking in. I couldn’t understand where this feeling was coming from, this longing. It certainly wasn’t my head. My head and most of my thoughts were telling me to move, but I couldn’t. Was it my heart? That would have been tricky as I no longer had one that beat. I concluded that it was my soul shouting to be heard, and in the next tiniest fragment of time I realized it was hopeless. This was the sacrifice that I’d made by becoming a vampire. My soul hadn’t been taken from me. It had been trapped inside my stone body.
Edward blanched. He saw the woman, smelt the scent, and saw me fixated on mother and child.
“Bella, you have to move, you have to get out of this room now,” he ordered.
I ignored him.
“We’ll wait in the corridor, Nessie,” he called over his shoulder as he put himself between me and the mother.
My view blocked, I strained to see past him.
“Bella, no! Hold your breath.” His voice urgent, his mouth close to my face, “Move now!”
He grabbed me round the waist in an unbreakable grip and pulled me out of the gallery. I was staring back at the mother as we went.
When I could no longer see her my head cleared.
“I’m so sorry Bella,” he was apologizing. He still held me close to his body in what would have looked like a tender embrace but was in fact a tight stone cage.
I looked at him. I couldn’t understand why he was acting like this.
“I know it’s the scent. It is always it’s hard for vampires. I should have warned you before. Mothers and babies, they smell so appealing for the first couple of weeks. Why do you think the mortality rates in history used to be so high for child birth? You’re still newborn to this life, don’t think bad of yourself.”
It clicked in my mind. He'd thought I was about to attack them, that I wanted to feed on them. I blinked my eyes to try to remove the picture he had created in my head, it was so far from the truth. But I couldn’t tell Edward the truth. It would hurt him more than anything else in the world.
“They just took me by surprise that’s all. I hadn’t realized how big Nessie has got. I’m no danger to them.”
He looked me in the eyes and saw I was calm and controlled.
Wait here,” he ordered again, and strode off to find Nessie.
The alone time was what I needed to get over this, a few captured seconds to shut away those feelings before he returned. I could think of it sometime, but not now. I would not let it spoil my time here with them both. I would not let him know those raw feelings I had.