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
And I forgot to say yesterday ...
Demetri is also under Chelsea's influence, he is bound to the Volturi but could that change?
you made a good guy out of demitri. hope he doesn't fall in love with bella and have edward kill him =p
I will be back as soon as I can. I feel horrible being away so much. You have so many more chapters up now. I have a lot of of reading to do, lol. Sorry for being MIA so much lately. I will return. I will leave a comment for each as I think that is only fair. Miss everyone so much.
I've missed you too, so glad that you are coming back.
I miss your insites into the plot and the writing but please don't feel obliged to put a whole lot of work in - just enjoy when and if you can! It's a whole lot of reading to do anyway so one comment would be great.
Talk again soon.
very best wishes
Now that would be an interesting fight. Who would win? Demetri is a very good fighter but Edward reads minds - and then again, Demetri knows where people are so well - which must help a fighter.
Thank you for your thought making comment.
I received an odd email from Renée one afternoon, it read simply,
Please phone me in private this evening.
In one way I’d been relieved to receive it. I’d been trying to phone her ever since I’d talked with Charlie about it but I’d never managed to get through to her. Her home line went straight to the recorder and her cell was either off or out of battery again.
After a week or so of this I was getting increasingly worried. Maybe there was some ‘thing’ she was trying to tell me and that maybe it was too late. Maybe the ‘thing’ had caught up with her. I was contemplating going hope to see if there were any clues there to her whereabouts. But then I got a first short email,
On tour with Phil, will call when I can, no cell.
So that was it, she’d lost her cell again and wasn’t at home. Well I could wait, I had longer than her, I had eternity. But saying that I was getting increasingly anxious to talk to her again.
I wondered about the newer message when it hit my mail box. What had she got to tell me that was so private? Something she didn’t want the Cullens to know about. It seemed odd, but it was probably just a money issue. She must have not paid one of the bills and was embarrassed that they would see her as scatterbrain. As soon as the light started to fall I made an excuse and went back alone to the cottage, leaving Edward to bring Nessie back home by himself.
Excitement and worry coursed through me as I rang her number again. What would she say about my voice? Charlie had warned her, but even so I got myself into my rough voice zone ready to chat.
“Mom?” Good, that sounded rough – not quite the old me but fairly human at least.
“Hi Sweetie, how are you?”
"I’m fine Mom, how are you and Phil?” Oh no – too much chime on the 'Phil'. Come on Bella, you can do this.
“Oh Phil is doing so well, his game is going from strength to strength. Between you and me I think that he may get sold on to a bigger club at the end of this season.”
“That’s great Mom, and how about you?”
“Oh I’m doing very well, I love to go on tour with Phil, it works out so well. I get to see the games and see the cities we are in and have plenty of time for doing my own thing.”
“And what is your own thing the days?” I was probably at least three crazes behind in Renée’s leisure activities.
“I’ve take to Genealogy,” she said, “and that is what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“You wanted me to call you about our family history? I thought it was something important, maybe the insurance documents had gone missing or the power company were going to cut you off or something.” I was a little cross, I’d worried about nothing. Oh, how Renée to get so excited over something so dry.
“No dear, it is important. I wanted you to know that you have a long family history to be proud of and that you can stand tall. You don’t need to be swallowed by the Cullens. You are not just Bella Cullen.”
I didn’t really understand what she was driving at.
“OK Mom ... have you managed to go back a few generations?” I struggled to find something relevant to say. I really didn’t care about my long family history. My human beginnings were becoming less and less important to me.
“Oh yes, a surprising way. I’ll show you all I’ve collected when you come to visit next. Can you visit sometime soon? It’s really important that I show you about your family, it is part of who you are.”
That was one of the two questions I didn’t want her to ask, when would I go visit? I couldn’t visit, not ever. She could never see me again but I couldn’t tell her that.
“Or I could come see you some time. Phil’s back home for at least two months now.” And that was the other question, when could she come here? – again the answer would have to be negative, she couldn’t.
All I could do was stall.
“Umm ... It’s a bit tricky at the moment. Carlisle has a friend over from Europe so we are playing hosts at the moment. We may go off on vacation then, but I’m not sure yet. Our plans are always changing. It could be we go back to Europe with him.”
“Ah, the Cullen’s like to entertain, don’t they. Charlie was just saying the other day that you’d had lots of friends staying just before Christmas. Are you managing to get enough rest? It’s not stressing you out too much? I know you don’t like crowds.”
I thought, if she only knew what stress I had she’d go mad with worry. “No Mum, it’s great to have new people to meet and they are all very kind towards me. And yes, they make me rest because they know I’ve been ill.” Well at least the last bit was true, sort of, anyway.
“OK then honey, you just let me know when you decide what you’re doing. But I do need to talk with you about this. I’m not going to live forever and I need to pass on what I know. ”
We had a few more pleasantries and that was it, the call was over.
Why had I worried so much? Yes she’d wanted to see me but was easily put off. I had wasted months worrying about that call. I’d been so scared, yes, even embarrassed, by my new ringing voice, and she had said nothing about it. She hadn’t even hesitated for a moment – she knew it was me. And why, oh why, oh why does she have to get me all scared that the sky is falling in just because she has taken up a new hobby? And why was it such a secret? Had we got a mass murderer in the family a few generations ago or something? I really couldn’t understand why the Cullens had to be kept out of it.
I had my mother back in my life, even if only by email and phone, and that was amazing. I felt somehow more fulfilled and confident knowing I could call her now whenever I needed, or just because I wanted to hear her voice. I smiled to myself. I loved my mother, and that was the key to it.
I thought I’d sleep better that night, easier now that one worry had gone.
Edward brought Nessie back to our little cottage. We put her to bed, Edward read her a bedtime story sitting on the low chair in her small room whilst I lay on her bed watching her thoughts. After she had dropped off to sleep I quietly left her room and went to my own bed to rest. But that night my dreams were bad again.
The dreams were mainly old nightmares from my human days, or real moments in my life which were scarier than most people’s nightmares. I dreamed about being with Jasper in the woods with Nessie but I wasn’t sure that it was Jasper. Then there was a scene of Demetri sitting in judgment over the three of us wearing a wig like they do in court in old films, a scale of justice in his hands. Then a scene of Renée flying through the air in a blast of wind, saving a child from a burning building. The bit about Demetri I could understand, but the Renée scene left me confused. Why would I dream that my mom would be playing fire fighter and why did I think that she could fly?
The dreams continued nearly every night. Some nights sleep would elude me altogether and my rest would consist of agitated tossing and turning worrying about my life and the effect that I was having on everyone. At other times Edward came in worried as I was talking and screaming in my sleep again, a habit from my former life.
I always woke after a couple of hours usually feeling refreshed, and at that point I would peel my shield away from my mind and call silently to Edward. The rest of the night would pass in a blur of physical and emotional pleasure.
I was still worried that I slept. Vampires don’t usually sleep, but Carlisle was now giving me regular checkups. He reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me and that I just had much more than most newborns to cope with and that this phase would pass with time. Fortunately Demetri didn’t seem in the slightest bit interested in me needing rest or have any clue that maybe I was sleeping.
The rest periods were helping, though. I was beginning to feel more in control of myself, more as if I could be mature and have measured responses to situations. The sleep seemed to help me adjust to life better, to take in any information and use it properly and take appropriate action about it rather than feeling a victim to every new fact that came my way. However, when the news was about my family I still found it hard to stay in control.
End of Chapter 32
awesome:D can't wait for the next chapter <3
I recently started reading this story, and I find it quite good. I don't usually find sequels to Breaking Dawn that people write on here all that interesting, but this is.
My only question is, how many more chapters are there? I'm just dying for more.
Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me.
There are a lot of threads to the story in Cold Gray Light, so I know people can find it confussing at times - this is to mirror how Bella is feeling.
I have to pull these all together at the end to reach a hopefully dramatic conclusion, it is going to take me a while longer yet. At least another 10 chapters (but please don't tell my editor it is all a bit more than they signed up for). There will be twists and turns on the way.
thank you again for your comment.
Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed this chapter.
I will update mid week with the next chapter.
pray tell what renee is going to tell bella! uhhh suspense...
All in good time, all in good time.
I can say that Bella is being unwise to dismiss Renee's pleas to talk. I know she is trying to protect Renee but she could show a little more interest in what is important to Renee.
Many be Bella'll come round to it see that Renee may have something interesting to say or maybe she will just push it away as yet another thing she hasn't got room in her life for.
In one way it is very very good that not much was said at this point - you'll see why in the next chapter.
Just keep an eye on things.