The Twilight Saga

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

by Chris

Trailers

 

Please view the new trailer by Jesse Desplat it is brilliant.

Thank you so much Jesse!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7XnsKpxIeA&feature=player_embedded

 

 

This fantastic trailer was made for me by Marisa Wilson

 

Please view it is spine chillingly good

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQwfKh2hE9w&feature=colike

 

Thank you so much Marisia!!!

 

 

Contents

Chapter 1 - Intuition

Chapter 2 - Warning 

Chapter 3 - Hope

Chapter 4 - Plan

Chapter 5 - Escape

Chapter 6 - Journey

Chapter 7 - Motherhood

Chapter 8 - Dreams

Chapter 9 - Calls

Chapter 10 - Danger

Chapter 11 - Fight

Chapter 12 - Inquisition

Chapter 13 - Peace

Chapter 14 - Talents

Chapter 15 - Return

Chapter 16 - Talk

Chapter 17 - Training

Chapter 18 - Together

Chapter 19 - Moods

Chapter 20 - Untruths

Chapter 21 - Departure

Chapter 22 - Unwelcome

Chapter 23 - Drill

Chapter 24 - Arrival

Chapter 25 - Discovered

Chapter 26 - Words

Chapter 27 - Manipulation

Chapter 28 - Consultation

Chapter 29 - Awakening

Chapter 30 - Impass

Chapter 31 - Tale

Chapter 32 - Ancestors

Chapter 33 - Shadows

Chapter 34 - Voice

Chapter 35 - Messages

Chapter 36 - stand-off

Chapter 37 - Patrol

Chapter 38 - Diplomacy

Chapter 39 - Rules 

Chapter 40 - Eyes

Chapter 41 - Disclosure

Chapter 42 - Why

Chapter 43 - Reconciliation

Chapter 44 - Confession

Chapter 45 - Spirit

Chapter 46 - Disbelief

Chapter 47 - Teams

Chapter 48 - Practice

Chapter 49 - Match

Chapter 50 - Betrayal

Chapter 51 - Realization

Chapter 52 - Confrontation

Chapter 53 - Untangling

Chapter 54 - Revelation

Chapter 55 - Postscript

Chapter 1 - Intuition

 

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,

Aro”

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

Tags: Bella, Chris, Cold, Edward, Gray, Jasper, Light, Sequel, Twilight

Views: 16824

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Katherine,

Good, I'm glad you have a theory. I'm hoping to post with the chapter that will confirm if you are right in the next couple of days. There really is only the one person who fits the all the clues. It has to be somone the Cullens never have never met before, although Edward may remember being told about him at one point.

Thank you so much for commenting, it really makes my day when people do.

I love this story so much. You are a great writter. I have a book that im wriiting if i send it to you maybe you can tell me what you think about it.

 

Tia,

Thank you so much for the comment. I am very touched that you like my writing and enjoy the story. I always walk around with a silly smile on my face when I get a comment from a reader and yours was very generous. So thank you again.

I do have to confess though, this is my first fan fiction, my first ever attempt at writing something fictional as an adult. I was completely hopeless in my English classes at school and it has been decades since then.

Will you be posting your new story on this site or is it something outside of the wonderful world of Twilight?

I would certainly be happy to read the first chapter when you have completed it. Perhaps you could mail me with details. 

I am enjoying writing my story and find it surprisingly easy to come up with the first draft. It is mainly written I have the last chapter is done but I have to write a few in chapter just before the end yet. I guess I’ll probably re write or alter the end when I have written my way up to it, the details may change even if the basic plot holds true.

I find the most important thing for my writing is to have an editor. I am on the borderline of being dyslexic and hence my spelling and grammar are terrible. I have a very kind family member who does this for me although they have no interest in the twilight saga. This process is very time consuming but leads to a much better product.

Very best wishes

Christine

Maeganne,

Thank you so much for the comment and welcome to the story.

I hope that you enjoy reading the rest when you have time. The last chapter was a bit of an action chapter and the next chapter will explain things a bit more.

Thanks again for reading.

Chris.

Back to contents

Chapter 12 - Inquisition

 

We picked him out of the snow and frog-marched him back to the house. He did look a little worse for wear: a mangled hand, a misaligned shoulder, and from the way he was holding his head I guessed that was hurting too. I looked closer. A bit of one ear was missing.  Eleazar and Garrett took charge of restraining him, but he wasn’t putting up a fight. I called Edward on my cell. All the time I was concentrating on keeping my shield in place.

“Edward, I won, we've caught him, it’s a mind trick, a talent of his, not gas. As long as I shield you there is no danger.”

“Are you hurt?”

“No, not much, just a sore gut and knee where he kicked me.”

“I’ll come and finish him off,” Edward snarled. “I’ll be there in a couple of minutes,” and the phone went dead. I hadn’t have time to tell him that it wouldn’t be necessary for him to finish anyone off right at the moment.

Carlisle came in to the room and under my shield.  I had the whole room covered except the captive, now held down on a chair by his guards.

I heard Edward running up to the house.

He paused by the front door, “Bella, come out here and look after Nessie while I finish him.”

“No Edward, that won’t be necessary. Is she OK after the running?” I replied.

“I’m fine Mommy, can I come in, I’m just a bit cold.”

“No, I’m sorry you’ll have to stay out there, the grown ups just need to talk to someone.”

“I’ll come in and finish him, if you’ll just look after Nessie,” Edward said again.

“I can’t leave the room, the others need my shield. We need to talk to him before we do something so permanent.”

Carmen left the room. I heard her take Nessie in her arms. “Hello again little one, let’s go and find a place to sit in the sun, I’m sure we can soon get you warmed up.”  I heard their footsteps trailing off into the distance.

Edward came into the room and looked round at the scene. The captive was sitting on a chair with Garrett on one side and Kate on the other, the palm of her hand about quarter of an inch from his neck.

Despite his precarious position and injuries, our captive would occasionally grin broadly at us all. If anything, this was directed mostly at me. I thought this odd because I was the one who’d just injured him. I thought that maybe this was some kind of trick, or maybe he was a little insane.

Edward deposited himself on the sofa opposite the captive, next to Eleazar. “Well then, let’s get some answers. You ask the questions Eleazar, I will read his thoughts.”

Then it started, an inquisition that no spy could have stood up to. There was no training in the special forces for this. Even if you can lie with your mouth it’s very difficult to lie with your thoughts. There was no need for force or harassment, just restraint.

Eleazar easily took charge. Centuries with the Volturi had given him all the training he needed for a situation like this. He started with the obvious and easy “Who are you?”

Edward replied in a monotone voice obviously speaking the captive's thoughts. “Fred, might be Fred Summers. I’m not sure about the last name, I don’t remember that well.” The captive's jaw dropped. Edward spoke directly to him, “Yes, I amreading your mind, but we are the ones asking the questions here, not you.”

“Well, Fred, are you from the Volturi?” Eleazar continued.

Edward answered monotone again, “He doesn’t understand the question. He has never heard of the Volturi.”

There was a definite easing of tension in the room. This wasn’t a trick by them, then.

“How many are there in your coven?”

Edward replied again monotone, “I am alone, I have been alone for months.”

“Why are you here?”

This time the answer didn’t come from Edward but straight from Fred, in a deep base bell-like ring, “I followed two of the women back from Anchorage about six weeks ago. I watched, keeping out of sight and well away, they couldn’t tell I was there.  I saw there was a whole coven here, but I didn’t want to make contact. I thought that they might be hostile." He raised his mangled hand, "I was right, I guess.”

“But you were lonely,” Edward  went on reading his thoughts. “You wanted a coven, a safe coven this time, somewhere to feel secure for once.”

Carlisle answered, “I know that a lot of nomads feel that way and they miss the comforts of a home.”

“He was scared too,” Edward continued, “he doesn’t know how we get our yellow eyes.”

There was a peel of laughter around the room. “We’re vegetarian. We don’t drink humans, only animals.” It was Tania who answered this time.

This time, it was Fred who looked sick, bewilderment crossing his face. I was sure his head must have been full of questions but neither he nor Edward voiced them.

Eleazar asked another  question, “Where did you come from?”

Fred responded, “I was turned in Seattle. There was a large coven of us, but there was lots of fighting, it was awful.  When someone got themselves burnt our creator just replaced them with a newborn.

The rest of the coven went off to a fight a big battle for our creator.  We were supposed to battle a yellow-eyed coven who had a human pet.  I took off in the opposite direction, it wasn’t my war. I don’t know what happened to them. I guess some would have survived. There were so many of us and we were all strong newborns, the other coven wouldn’t have stood much of a chance. I never returned to find out. The only friend I had was a girl called Bree. She said she’d try to find me after the battle but she never came to our rendezvous. I don’t know if that was because she didn’t make it or if she just decided not to come. I know I’m not good company.”

Edward nodded to Eleazar to reassure him that he was telling the truth.

“Who was your creator?”

“I don’t know her name. I never saw her again after the night she turned me. We were lead by a vampire called Riley. He tried to keep order but he didn’t stand much of a chance with the scum she changed.”

“When were you turned?”

“I remember it being near Christmas on my first hunt. That would have been the year before last.”

“The sickness is it a talent?”

“Yes, maybe a curse. It goes with the ability to be nearly invisible. It’s all the same thing. How does she stop it?”

Fred’s eyes looked directly at me and he grinned at me again.

At this point the rest of us looked over at Eleazar. He nodded, “That's what I can feel. That's why I was the most sick. In some ways it’s like Jane and Alec’s talents.”

The mention of the Volturi made everyone wince. Little Jane could make a person, human or vampire, writhe round in pain with just a smile. But Alec, her twin brother, was even more lethal in some ways. He could conjure up a mist that could take away the senses of a whole army.

Eleazar added, “It is a raw talent. He needs training to use it effectively and get round the day-to-day inconveniences of it. It can be done, though.”

“Explain how it works.” Eleazar was interested now. In fact, we were all paying very close attention.

“It is always there. I can’t stop it except for a small pocket around myself. Anyone around me feels sick.  It’s worse if I’m stressed. Sometimes if I’m calm it's nearly OK for a person if they stand behind me. If I concentrate hard I can make people really sick for a few minutes. They even feel sick if they think of me. That's what makes it hard for them to see me. It makes me nearly invisible, I become just a shimmer. That’s how I got away from my coven.”

“What have you been doing since you left them?”

“First, I went to Vancouver. I waited there for a few weeks to see if Bree would show up but she didn’t. I kept a low profile, hunted smart, covered my tracks.”

“What next?”

“I thought I’d hunted enough there so I moved on. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I went to a few other cities in Canada, just kept moving and hiding out. I went to Anchorage and spotted them walking around the town,” he pointed to Tania, “her and the other one”, pointing to Kate, “were in a queue for the theater. She was obviously a vampire with that scent. I followed them when they came out and noted her car registration. I broke into the government parking office and used their database to find an address. I assumed it would be false but I came to check it out and here you all were.”

“What have you been doing since then?”

“I came back two weeks ago but no one was here so I went back to the city, then came back last week and let myself in. It was good to have a place to call home. Then you came back and surprised me - I’d got sloppy listening to my mp3 too loud. I didn’t hear you so I had to make you sick to get away. Sorry. Then I came back to watch you to see how you lived. I hung out in the woods. Occasionally I would get near enough to hear you talking. Riley had said that yellow-eyed vampires were old and weak, and I wanted to check that out. I don’t believe much of what he told us. He told us we couldn't go out in the day because we would burn to ash. I know that’s a lie too.”

“I had to make you sick every time I thought you were going to find me. It was only self-defense. I didn’t want to be attacked. There were five of you and I thought you’d fight better than I could.”

“Why did you think we would fight you?”

“That’s what vampires do, isn’t it? Fight and hunt. That's what I was taught.”

“What do you think now, now that you have been watching us?”

“You can fight, and you have gifts. You are more dangerous than I thought.” At this point he looked at me and Kate, “But in some ways you seem more like a human family. Did I even hear a child outside, with a heartbeat?”

“You have hunted recently, your eyes are red. Have you hunted locally?”

“Only in the city. The night before last, a homeless man. I hid the body well, they’ll not find it. They don’t look out for his kind. He won’t be missed.”

“What will you do if we let you get up off the chair?” Carlisle had compassion in his eyes but I could see the others were not so sure about this.

Edward’s reassurance was complete. “I can’t make you sick. There are so many of you, what could I do? I’d get nowhere if I ran, I am at your mercy,” he said in a monotone speaking for Fred.

The guards moved away from him one pace. He sat in the chair but the questions continued. Questions about his motivation, his previous actions, and previous hunts.

It was clear he had been sticking to the rules and not being detected by humans. It was also clear that his appetite was waning as he aged past the year mark. He wasn’t an out-of-control newborn.

Then the questions changed to his emotional state, and it was obvious he was in a bad way. He’d not spoken with anyone, vampire or human, since last May. He’d seen no other vampires before Tania’s coven. He didn’t want to have any contact with humans.  He saw them just as food.

By the end of the questioning my head was spinning and I was feeling drained.  For all this time I was having to keep my shield over my family and friends. I could feel the need to recoil it, but I knew I couldn’t. They were relying on me so much that it seemed like they had forgotten I was shielding them.

Fred looked weak and still mangled.

Now there was a question for the rest of us. What were we going to do with him?

Edward addressed Fred to answer some of the questions that were washing around in the captive's head.

“Yes, that is correct. We three visitors are from the clan that your old coven went to battle last May. Bella was human at the time. It was her scent that you were given. Yes, she is beautiful and talented and she is also my wife.”

Fred looked devastated. “I’m so sorry. We were told that you were going to destroy us all because you wanted Seattle back as a feeding ground. We were told that we had to destroy your coven or be destroyed ourselves. I thought it was lies at the time. It didn’t make any sense. You would have come to Seattle to find us if that was the case. What happened to the others from my coven? How many survived? Where did they go? Did you see Bree?”

Edward answered, “We met your coven in a clearing outside of Forks. We destroyed everyone except Bree. She surrendered, the others just fought to their deaths. We would have taken her in but the Volturi came to the battlefield and destroyed her because she had broken their rules. We destroyed Riley and your creator Victoria as well. They had abandoned the newborns and come to find Bella without them. I am sorry for your loss, we had no choice. Your whole coven, Riley included, was created by Victoria because she had a grudge against myself and Bella.  Your entire purpose was to destroy us.  If you had succeeded, Victoria would have  killed you off one-at-a-time anyway.”

Fred was silent for a few minutes while he processed this information, the expression on his face one of grief and regret.

Edward’s head was in his hands, his shoulder hunched forwards. He was hearing the thoughts of this isolated, grief-stricken, guilt-ridden man.

Edward said very quietly, “We did try to save her, but they are too strong for us. We can’t stand against them in situations like that. I am so sorry for your loss.”

His silence gave me time to think of what might have been. What if he had fought with them? I was only human at the time, I couldn’t have projected my shield over anyone. We would all have died. He could have just picked my family off one at a time while they lay vomiting on the floor. He had no need for the rest of the newborn army. He alone would have been enough. And the wolves? And what about ...

In a tightly-controlled voice he asked, “Who are these Volturi and what rules are there? Who makes rules for vampires?”

Eleazar replied this time. “The Volturi are the guardians of the vampire world. They have created a set of rules that keep us all safe from the knowledge of humans. They punish those who break the rules to keep the rest of us safe.”

Edward’s voice was understanding, “The Volturi are very, very powerful. They have a guard with amazing talents. No vampire or coven can stand against them.”

We went back to the question of what to do with Fred.

We discussed every possible option.

Tania's position was resolute. “We should hand him over to the Volturi. He is not our business.”

Eleazar commented, “They would either see him as an asset worth adding to their guard or dispose of him as a potential threat. I fear his skills are too much like Jane's and Alec's to be of significant use as a member of the guard.”

“They would surely use his involvement with the Seattle newborns as justification to destroy him, even if this particular newborn has stuck to the rules.” Carlisle shook his head as he spoke. “There is also the small problem of how we could get him to Italy.”

Everybody looked at me. “I can’t take him to Italy, they would kill me as well.” I wasn’t going to stick my head out that far for the rules, especially not to give the Volturi a weapon to use against us, and walk into a huge trap as well.

One thing was clear. He couldn’t stay near anyone without my shield.

 

End of Chapter 12 - Inquisition

 

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I thought it was Fred!  Please update soon so we can see what they will do with him.

Seugnet,

I'm glad your theory was correct, I had hoped that people who read The Short Second Life would follow my clues.

I thought it would be fun to have him in the mix, he is such a good character and has never met with the Cullens before.

How do you feel he will react to Bella though? She did manage to beat him but she is the only person in the world he can talk to without difficulty.

I tried to get accross his loneliness but I'm not sure how well that came through.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Very best wishes

Chris

I love this chapter it was awesome. I love the detail and the explanation of fred. Please please keep mee updated

I so did not guess right, lol. I didn't read that book yet...ugh. I was so wrong.

Hi there,

Second Life is a good book and I would recommend you read it when you have time.

It is good to see the otherside of vampire life - totally out of control. It also gives the reader something to compare against so that in BD when Bella is turned the reader can see she is not 'normal' for a newborn vampire.

 

I was hoping that some people would have thought this was someone from the Volturi and all part of a bigger plot. But no, this time it was a lonely confused vampire who just wants someone to talk to and someone not to lie to him.

 

How is a lonely, confused but powerful vampire going feel towards the only person in the world that they can talk to? Given that this person is young and beautiful?

 

I like Fred, he is not one of the bad guys. He makes a great character for the story.

 

I hope you weren't disappointed.

Best wishes

Chris

... And Deliliah

Now I did think of stopping like this

Who are you?”

Edward replied in a monotone voice obviously speaking the captive's thoughts. “His name is ...

but I thought it would be a bit of a short chapter - LOL

Two can play you know!! LOL

Best wishes

Chris

Tia,

thank you for your comment. I did worry it was a bit long and folks would get fed up and stop reading, so I'm glad you said you liked the detail.

Did you guess it was Fred before you read the chapter?

very best wishes

Chris

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