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: 17325

Replies to This Discussion

Awesome chspter fred is a bit annoying but his poower comes in handy.
Does bela hasve the power to "wil" things?

Hi Forever,

Oh read the next chapter and things will start to be revealed!!!

Enjoy.

Thank you for reading this one and leaving a comment.

I love all my readers comments.

And no 'Grrs' in sight!

Best wishes

Chris

 

Another set of complications!  What is going on around Bella?  Can't wait to see how things turn out!

Hi Seugnet,

 

Many thanks for such a quick comment on the chapter,

 

I know things are seaming a little complicated to Bella right now - this is the problem with writing from only one persons POV. Now if we had Jasper or Demetri or one of the shadows things would be more striaght forward but a little dull.

 

I am trying to pull some of it together now. The plot is start to approch the beinging of the end, hopefully a dramatic conclusion - with a few more twists and turns.

 

Bella does have to talk to people a bit more - it always has been her problem, if she asks the questions they will probably tell her the answers.

 

Demetri - why do you keep staring into my eyes like that? What are you looking for? - Not very Bella, what do you think?

How about - Demetri who is following me?

 

You'd think it would be easy but this is Bella?

 

Best wishes

Chris

great update!  please post again soon :-)

thank you for the update............who is Demetri going to get to be a mother, will she be turn like Bella.....will Aro let him fall in love?.....or does he want his own Nessie?...........Aro it's not going to work..Edward & Bella were in Love and Edward was gentle...I don't think Demetri can do that..........until you post again

Hi Robyn,

Thank you for commenting on such a long chapter.

Alice has foreseen that Aro will ask Demetri to father a child with Genna the Voltuir's human receptionist, her agreement for this and the for continuing the pregnancy would be in exchange for immortality after the birth. Not that she has a choice really - Aro see the likehood of sucess being higher if the woman is wanting the venture to suceed.

Aro likes to collect things - people most of all. So a half vampire half human must be somewhere on his list.

Can Demetri pull this off? He has already seen the woman he loved die at his own hands, ok so he'd bitten her, is he going to want to try this time, even if he thought nothing for the human woman concerned he may not want the memories.

 

But have things already changed? What information is Bella missing? Is there a possible light at the end of the tunnel for this one?

 

Best wishes

Chris

 

 

Hi Kelley,

thank you so much for your comment.

Thank for reading I know it was  a long one with yet more complications building on the one already there - but we should start to get some answers soon.

Best wishes

Chris

OMG this is good!! ahhh i need to read more before i die of excitment!

update soon please!!

loveRhi

xx

Hi Rhi,

Thank you for the comment.

I think that you are going to live, but I am very please that you find it exciting.

Do you have theroies on who the shadows are? There have been clues since chapter 1 about one of them. And the other I think will seem very natural (I hope).

Best wishes

Chris

Chapter 38 - Diplomacy 

 

Bella, Bella, it’s OK you’re safe. We are all safe.”  Edward’s face was close to mine, his hand slowly stroking my hair.

“I’m sorry I had to wake you but you were talking, well, shouting, again, and I didn’t know what you’d say next. What with Demetri and Fred here I thought it was best.

“Demetri was asking why you were talking to yourself. I didn’t tell him you were asleep but if I left it another minute he would have come to check for himself.” Edward was murmuring so quietly in my ear that not even sensitive vampire ears would pick it up.

“Oh, what have I said this time?”

Edward smiled the crooked smile I loved so much, a warm glow shot through me and I smiled in return.

“Nothing too bad, you just kept saying don’t kneel, don’t kneel, and that was it. Nothing else that I or anyone else heard.”

“Oh that, not so bad I guess. What are they making of it downstairs?”

“They think that you're cracking up under the pressure. It has been a hard day. They assumed that you were telling yourself not to give in to it.” He smiled again.

“What’s going on now down there, with the wolves I mean?”

“Ah, problem resolved, or put to bed for now anyway. All the wolves have gone home now, Jacob included.

“It’s a bit of a long story really. And it's all because Paul is a fool.  Paul was at Billy’s when you called but left in a hurry half way through your conversation.  He appears to have thought that you were warning them that this was a dangerous vampire and they should go kill it because we couldn’t.

“Paul thought this was the ideal time to show off what a good wolf he was to Billy and Rachel as he feels that he is outshone by Jacob. He feels he needs to win their respect as he isn’t an alpha. 

“Well, he went off with his little pack to meet a lone vampire which he thought would be easy to take down with five of them. He hadn’t bothered to find out what talent that vampire might have.

“When he found you he was so cross that you’d interfered with his plan he didn’t just want to let you through without some kind of a show of strength. And then it all got out of hand, he just didn’t feel he could back down, not against Jacob.

“Paul wasn’t going to give in until a thought came into his head just move aside and let them through. He didn’t understand what happened because it wasn't Sam's thought, but he still felt he had to obey.

“After you’d got away from him in the wood, the fool thought that he’d be able to take us by surprise here at the house. He has no sense of strategy at all. He thought that we’d be so busy arguing with Fred for causing trouble that we might even be pleased if they could burst on to our land and take Fred out for us.

“I can still hear Jacob’s thoughts and 'fool' would be the nicest thing he could say about Paul.

“But I don’t think Jacob is being as hard on him as Billy or Rachel are. They phoned Jacob here, and they are practically disowning Paul at the moment. He is going to have to work hard to rebuild what he had with them.”

“Where was Sam?”

“At his wedding rehearsal, so he couldn’t be contacted.”

“Oh, I guess that explains it. And what did Sam think? Did you get to hear that?”

“Yes, he came up here and apologized to Carlisle in person. It was very big of him to come to our house as a human. He's never done that before.

“He has demoted Paul to the lowest ranking dog in his pack. He’d expel him but the last thing any of us need is a lone wolf on the prowl, especially Paul.

“Sam and Jacob have agreed to carry cell phones from now on, for emergencies only. We are going to get them some satellite ones like ours so we can call them when we need to.”

“Will they be red?” I asked, so relieved by the situation that I wasn't taking it seriously any more.

“Red? Does the color really matter?”

“In all the cold war films I’ve seen the president always has a red hotline to Moscow.”

Edward gave the slightest of smiles. Evidently he was not too impressed by my flippant comment.

“And what is Demetri thinking?” I asked, trying to take the situation seriously again.

“He is thinking of diplomatic niceties that may help the situation. He isn’t too bothered by the wolves' response because we were on their land. He considered it to be justified. I think that he has really changed since he has been on the vegetarian diet. I’m sure that he wouldn’t have seen it that way the first few days that he was here.”

Edward paused, “I can hear Fred is getting impatient. He has finished his books and wants to go and talk to people. Maybe you ought...”

“I’m right on it. Uhh, this is going to get tiresome quickly. We’ve got to get him to cope without me.”

I went swiftly upstairs and retrieved Fred from the guest room and we went downstairs together. After my sleep the shield didn’t bother me at all and I managed to cover him without physical contact. I just sat in the next chair to him.

Demetri was discussing with Carlisle how to stabilize the relationship with the wolves.

“I have seen regular joint working or social events work well in the past between groups where conflict can easily spring up. Some kind of coming together that is not just at a crisis point but is regular to help build trust and knowledge of the other party,” Demetri continued.

“Maybe we could come together to do some sort of good work for the community,” Esme suggested, “I’m sure that there are things in La Plush that we could help with.”

“I don’t think that they would like us on their territory yet. Only Jacob would trust us that much, and then not all of us,” Carlisle responded.

“How about something neutral in Forks, or out here in the forest. We could volunteer to paint the library or something.”

Edward made a confession. “Well, I have been helping one of the wolves with his school work, just doing a little tutoring as he’d missed so much school. I could make that more regular and organized and extend it to any of the others who wanted to join in.”

Edward had been helping Seth with math and Spanish. For some reason, Edward had been keeping this from Demetri, though I didn't understood why. The young wolves took so much time off from school they must all be behind in their studies. They were probably little or no use when they were at school, what with being dog tired all the time.

“Yes,” Demetri said, “I can see that helping a lot. I’m sure that it must be a trouble to them when they are young, and it is when they are young that we want to prove to them that we can live in peace. Maybe we could construct somewhere on the line to meet. It may be a useful meeting point in future. We could disguise it as a ranger’s hut.

“But I think that we also need something where they can use their skills to impress us. It really needs to be two-sided.”

“How about we play some sport with them?” Emmett suggested. “We could have mixed teams … Soccer? Maybe adapt the rules so we can’t do inter-species tackles or we’ll take their legs off.”

“Well, you have a point Emmett,” Demetri agreed. “We know that they like soccer and some of them are highly skilled. They might like the challenge and the chance to shine. Yes, I think that is a good idea. Perhaps you could run it by the two pack leaders at some point and see what they think.”

“I think that they were both embarrassed by today’s incident and will want to find ways to make amends,” Edward added. He was grinning now, clearly up for the sport.

Emmett was off in his own little world. “We need to think carefully about the rules. Let me print them off from the web and see what we can think of.”

“I really enjoy soccer, but I haven’t played for a year.” Fred was joining in now, sitting forward and obviously wanting to contribute, not only to make himself useful but also for the sport.

It must be a guy thing, I thought. I didn't want to embarrass myself like I had in every gym class through school.

“I spent two years living in England in my early teens,” Fred continued enthusiastically, “and all we played was soccer, and then when I got home I took it up at school too.”

“Right, you get to help with the rules then,” Emmett said, now warming more to Fred and actually managing a friendly grin.

I had to ask but I already knew the answer, “Where would we play?”

“In the clearing,” Carlisle answered. He watched me carefully as he said it. He knew that it would be hard for me to go back there again, it held so many bad memories: James and his coven, the newborns, and the Volturi. It was always the place where things happened. “We’ll have to be really careful.”

“But Alice won’t be able to see, not past the wolves.”

“It’ll be OK Bella. I’ll make a point of listening really hard even if that means I have to sit out. And we can have some people out of the game patrolling,” Edward tried to reassure me.

I wasn’t reassured at all. This had the potential to go wrong, very wrong. But if Demetri thought it was a good idea we needed to give it a go just to be polite, and he did have experience in diplomacy.

“But what if someone gets hurt?”

“The wolves mend quick. And anyway it’s not like we are going to try to hurt them, and if we adapt the rules well we don’t have to put them in danger,” Emmett replied.

But the images were there in my mind. Wolves in their human form injured on the ground, a vampire and wolf having a disagreement about the offside rule and the wolf phasing. And so they went on, each ending worse than the last. Could any good really come out of this? Would it be worth the risks?

But the men were off, trying to think up good new rules for the inter-species game.

“Maybe if we widened the pitch and had strips on the wings for vampires and gave the wolves the middle.”

“But we’d need to be able to have a good shot at the goals too.”

“How about we make it more like this ...”

And then the paper and pens were out. The male camaraderie was showing through and they were all pitching in with ideas, Demetri and Carlisle included. It was going to be a very long evening.

I looked over at Alice, her face a picture of worry. She notice my gaze and answered my quizzical look by mouthing the thoughts that were going around my head as well.

“This is bad. I can’t see what is going to happen.”

She got up and quietly but gracefully and left the room. Esme and I  were the only ones who saw her go. I wanted to follow but I was trapped in the house babysitting a fully-grown man. I nodded to Esme and she got up from her armchair and left by a different door but I knew she was going to find Alice.

To make matters worse, Emmett started clicking through channels on the TV to find a match. It was going to be a very, very long evening.

End of Chapter 38 - Diplomacy

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the voice in paul's head....dats intrestng,,,,

bella's voice told her to thnk wat paul wnt to do....nd paul heard a voice....is it another gft for bella...????

and soccer...???? wat if sumthng happens.....

poor bella...sitting der alone n d men's conversation.....

hope thngs go well.....update soonnnnnnnn.......plsssssssss

luvd ittttt

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