Bella’s happily ever after lasted two days. This is Bella’s own account of what happened after Breaking Dawn, her growing understanding of her powers, her battle to remain with the man she loves, finding her place in her new family, and the ever-present threat of the Volturi.
New posting Chapter 55 - Postscript
Cold Gray Light
Please view the new trailer by Jesse Desplat it is brilliant.
Thank you so much Jesse!
This fantastic trailer was made for me by Marisa Wilson
Please view it is spine chillingly good
Thank you so much Marisia!!!
From the moment I walked through the door I could feel his eyes on me. Boring into me, owning me, watching even the minutest move I made.
I thought that I’d lose this intuition when I became a vampire. But in reality it had just got stronger along with everything else.
I thought for a moment about the one big change that my transformation had made, my thirst. Although I was still young, and the thirst for blood should be overwhelming, I had been able to handle it from the first moment I awoke in my new life. No one knew why that was. I could cope with human scents even up close, when I should have wanted to drink them dry. The scent caused me physical pain, an intense burning from my nostrils all down my throat, and feeling my throat squeezing tight with the dryness. But it was bearable. This was unusual for a new born. My kind usual manage this much control after a few years. But even with my self control the thirst was still there, the longing for something to put out the dryness.
My mind churned again. My mind could think of so many things at once. The dryness was always one of my thoughts, sometimes near the surface, then moving back into the background. I could keep all the thoughts in my mind -- juggling two, five, ten thoughts in parallel -- but never mixing them. Like watching ten TV channels at once. Another vampire trait.
Maybe I was just being paranoid. Maybe there was no one looking at me. I still hated attention just as I’d done as a human, I still shied away from it. I was just letting my imagination run away with me again. No one was looking at me. But I could hear his heartbeat six feet to my left, slightly behind where I was standing. He was sitting on a chair next to the loveseat. He was close enough to feel the warmth of his skin in the cool of the morning air. I could smell the strong scent of the skin pouch he wore round his neck. A smell that forced out every lesser smell from that part of the room, like a car headlamp blinding out a flashlight. It was not just the animal fur with its heavy notes that I could smell, but what was inside it. The herbs and berries that it contained, each type giving a new harmony to the smell. Some sharp, some sweet. Some I knew -- citrus, juniper, cinnamon -- some I had no words for.
Maybe he was just looking at Nessie like everyone else in the room. My four month old daughter was reciting a poem for her audience in her beautiful childish voice, complete with dramatic pauses and carefully characterized accents for the speeches. She was a very advanced four month old. She looked more like a small four year old, but she would have been counted as a genius in any preschool. This was because she was half vampire and half human, and of course could never be allowed in preschool. Her brown hair, with a tinge of bronze that came from Edward, fell down her back in beautiful curls. Her eyes were a warm milk chocolate color that had been mine when I was human, and were now excited by the attention she was receiving. Her complexion was pale with a healthy pink glow of excitement. We knew now that her rate of growth and progress would slow and she would be fully mature in another 6 and half years, and then live forever. We’d learned this from Nahuel only two days before. My dark worries of losing Nessie had vanished. We’d thought we would have to watch our daughter grow old and die in fifteen short years, and we would mourn her for ever.
I didn’t look to check if I was right about Nahuel and his staring. I had caught his eye only once that morning, when we came in and gave the usual greeting to our family and their two remaining guests.
I still didn’t understand why these guest were still here. Yes, I was grateful to them, especially him. So grateful it hurt. He had saved us all: my daughter, my husband, my vampire family, my wolf friends, and me. And he put himself and his father and his sisters in danger. How could I not be grateful to him. We all were.
I’d asked Edward twice why they had not left with the other guests after the standoff with the Volturi. The first time was after the celebrations when all the other guests had left and we had taken Nessie back to our cottage to sleep in her own bed. This was the first day that we’d met them, the first day of the stares. Edward had given his answer, saying Nahuel was so glad to know that a family like ours could exist. A family with a half vampire child, the only one Nahuel knew of that was not related to him, and a surviving mother. Nahuel’s mother died in child birth and so did the mothers of his half sisters.
It is rare to find a vampire who would want a physical relationship with a human woman, even rarer to find a women who survived such an encounter. Her life could end at any moment if he did not concentrate fully on keeping her alive. And what about the outcome of such an encounter? Mortals are not compatible with half vampire babies, the babies are so much stronger than the women. I had only survived thanks to the care given to me by my vampire family and because Edward changed me into a vampire as soon as the baby was out. The memories of this violent birth were now dimming for me. The vampire venom had mended the terrible damage and left me whole, strong, and beautiful.
According to Edward, Nahuel had spent his long life, over 150 years, thinking he must be evil to the core to have killed his mother. But seeing me set him free from his guilt. He now blamed his father for not caring for his mother as Edward had for me, and for not changing her when Nahuel ripped his way out of her.
The second time I’d asked Edward why Nahuel and his aunt (a full vampire) were still with us, Edward said that they wanted to learn more about our vegetarian lifestyle. This was how we liked to describe our abnormal hunting habits in the Cullen family. Unlike other vampires we only hunted animals, not humans. This gave us distinctive golden eyes which intrigued the normal red-eyed vampires. When I asked this second time, it was not what Edward had said that set me thinking but the way he said it. If I wasn’t his wife and didn’t know him so well I would not have noticed the slight tightening of his straight shoulders under his tan colored jumper, and that he was holding his perfect jaw a eighth of an inch higher than normal. He was lying to me.
Edward lied a lot. He had to. When you can read the minds of everyone in a mile radius then you have to lie to appear normal. You have to learn to ignore the thoughts most of the time. You have to answer only the questions people say out loud and not all the far-reaching ones they think in their heads but don’t dare ask. Edward also felt he must not betray confidences of those around him. It was not as though he could stop hearing thoughts if he wanted to, and not as if people could stop thinking when he was around, so he just didn’t pass these thoughts on. I was a shield which meant that he could not read my mind, not even when I was only human. Now that I was a vampire I had learned to remove my shield if I wanted, but I could only do so for a few moments at a time and even then it was exhausting work.
But why would he lie to me about why Nahuel and Huilen were still here? We had just made it through the worst danger imaginable: the whole of the Volturi forces lined up against us, the judges, jury and executioners of the vampire world. We had survived that, so what now? What was he covering up? Surely we had to have a break from peril sometime.
Maybe bad luck was something that I’d brought with me into this life. Since I met Edward as a human I had always had bad luck. My life before Edward, before my return to Forks to live with my Dad, Charlie, was a quiet life in the big city of Phoenix with my Mom, Renée. The memory of this former life was becoming hazy, almost a pre life to my human life, as if I was now in my third life, not my second. I’d had too much on my mind to sit down and think about it, though that was the only way my family said that I would remember it for the future. As I remembered it now, it was a happy but lonely time of looking after my hair-brained mother and being the adult in the relationship even though I was the child. She didn’t need to be looked after in a physical way but in an emotional one, helping her to organize and control her life. I was the one who made sure we went to the store when we needed groceries and that we went to the bank when the bills needed to be paid. In many ways you could say I was her keeper rather than her daughter. This role was taken by Phil, her husband of nearly three years.
I argued with myself that I had already brought my shield through to my vampire life along with my strange ability for self control. I was sure that I could not have brought anything else. I had left my clumsiness behind, which was a truly good thing. I now moved so fast and was so strong that if I was clumsy lots of things would get broken. Not just inanimate objects, but living things. Even people.
I looked over at Edward, to keep my eye from straying to Nahuel. His beauty never failed to amaze me. He was stunning. His eyes were a warm amber color. But this morning more like stone than liquid. Something was bugging him. No doubt he was hearing things he didn’t like. His face muscles twitched slightly and his teeth locked together noiselessly. His smile remained, a facade to keep the others away from his upset within. I had no idea what he had heard or who it was that was having these thoughts, but my mind turned to Nahuel again, though I didn’t let my eyes follow. Edward would tell me when it was right and certainly not in the middle of this gathering.
Edward applauded when Nessie came to the end of her poem, pride now on his face. I felt a jolt of joy at his pride. I was proud of her, naturally, and applauded loudly too. But to have him so in awe of her gave me such a feeling of belonging. I had, in the end, been able to give him something so worthwhile. A daughter, our miracle. It made up for the lack of balance in our relationship. He had given me everything: his love, his life, my new life, money, possessions, a home, a car, a family. But the one thing that that he had never imagined, that none of our vampire family had thought possible, came from me. She was a delight to them all, and especially Edward.
It was only as I turned away from Nessie’s performance that I noticed Alice was staring into thin air, her eyes out of focus, completely still. I knew she was seeing something. My sister’s ability to see into the future was enviable. It had made her top of the Volturi’s list for acquisitions. It was this ability that had saved the family and herself many times over. The future she saw was only one of the possible outcomes. If decisions that had been made were changed then what she saw would change.
“Demetri is coming,” she said simply in a clear chiming voice, not altering her stance at all. “Aro has decided. He will follow Carlisle to us.”
Carlisle was at her side in an instant. “But why?” he whispered. “Why now?”.
The image of the the Volturi tracker was instantly in my mind. It was not possible for anyone normal to run from Demetri. He had a gift for finding them. But this gift needed access to someone’s mind, and it was something I could block with my shield. As well as being a tracker, Demetri was a warrior, with centuries of experience working with the Volturi.
“But why, Alice?” he asked again.
Alice had gone back into her trance. This time it took her over a minute to come round. “He comes only to observe,” she said with a little relief in her voice. “Aro will order him to stay with us and just observe. He is to watch Nessie grow for Aro and to find out more about the wolves for Caius. He is to cause us no trouble. He will be ordered to hunt like us. Aro wants to see how this will change his character. He is report back regularly by letter. This order will be made at full council the day after tomorrow. He will arrive three days after that.”
She looked around the stunned room.
“Please look for more,” Carlisle urged her.
“Demetri will bring a note with him from Aro but they know that I can see what it says so you will be forewarned. Aro is staring at it so that I can read it...
My Dearest Friend Carlisle,
I am sending my dear one Demetri to visit you as an emissary. I feel that our last meeting left a rift between us which I want to close. I have asked Demetri to learn about your life style and your beloved granddaughter so that we may better understand each other in future.
I ask you to take Demetri into your hearts and your home, and to this end I will ask him to make himself useful to you and cause you no trouble. Please use him as a son.
Yours in friendship,
Carlisle looked aghast. “Is there more?” he said, shaking his head.
Her face returned to the distant mask, but seconds later disgust was clear on it. She came back to the present again shaking her head. “Uh, that is so gross”.
“I saw part of the inner council meeting that was only the family, no guard. It is so gross.” she said, hardly able to speak for revulsion. “Aro says he wishes to watch a half vampire child develop first hand. He says that he will order Demetri to try to father a child when he has returned from his visit. He laughs and says that he may have learned some restraint from us. The mother is to be the only human they trust, their administrator Gina. They will promise her immortality if she successfully gives birth, but she has no choice. If she says no, she’s lunch. He says it will be a great honor for Demetri to father a child to be brought up and studied in Volterra. Caius is against the idea, the decision will be put off until a later date... I can’t see further than that, I’m not attuned to them, I can’t see so far ahead into their futures, I can’t see if she will become pregnant or if they will kill her, it is many months away, it may change.”
There was stunned silence.
All the joy after the last successful encounter with the Volturi was gone.
Then the speculation started. Alice could see the event but not the motivation behind it. It boiled down to three simple questions: why this? why now? and why Demetri? A dozen answers to each question came from the gathered family. The most likely answer was that they wanted to catch us doing something against the rules as soon as possible, and Demetri can stand up for himself.
The others gave little thought to the planned baby. It was beyond the immediate worry and didn’t affect us personally. But my mind was on Gina and how I could help her. I had only just survived my own pregnancy and I had had good medical care and love from all my family. I felt cold, cold to the heart.
Had I started some new vampire fashion? Would lots of vampire males want to father children? And what of the vampire females, would they want to become stepmothers? I thought of the loss of human life. I thought of Gina.
I found myself a spot on the floor and sat there still, shocked, horrified.
The discussion went on for nearly an hour, until Carlisle looked at the clock and said that he had to go for his shift at the hospital.
He turned to our guests, “Nahuel, Huilen. It may be best if you were not here when Demetri comes to call. I do not wish to ask you to leave but for your own safety I must ask you to think about what you want to do. You know you have our thanks for what you have done for us, and I owe you for the safety of all my family. You are welcome here at any normal time.”
It was Huilen who spoke this time. She spoke simply in her heavy accent. “We will leave before he arrives.”
Carlisle smiled warmly at her. “That is for the best. We can visit you before long, and maybe meet Nahuel’s sisters if that is possible.”
The others continued to speculate after Carlisle had gone, Emmett debating with Jasper the possibility of beating Demetri in a fight. Jasper thought that if there were several of us it may be possible, but it would only bring the rest of the guard down on us, a battle which we would not win this time.
Alice touched me lightly on the arm, tutting at my pants and jumper combination. My favorite sister was never happy with my lack of fashion sense. But she could see the future, and would have known the day before about this particular lapse of mine. I thought to myself that I would suggest to her that she warns me in advance next time, so that I don’t disappoint her again.
“You know, I thought you would have learned a little by now Bella,” she chided quietly. “I will just have to take you back to your cottage and show you how to match up those pants myself. I didn’t spend weeks putting together your wardrobe for you to use it like this.”
That morning I must have really gotten under her skin. How could she care so much about fashion when she’d just given us the news about Demetri? Really. It made no sense.
I looked down at my outfit. It didn’t look that bad to me. I’d made sure that some of the threads in the jumper were exactly the same tone as the pants, but if it made her happy we could be home and back in a very short time. A few minutes out of the house would do me some good.
“Edward,” she chimed. “I’m taking Bella back to your cottage, can you look after Nessie by yourself?” The look on her face one of great effort.
He smiled warmly at her. “By myself? I don’t think that I will ever be allowed to look after Nessie by myself. She has too many fans for that.” He looked quizzically at her while he made his answer, as if they were having another inaudible conversation but failing to understand each other.
It was true. Most of the room were watching Nessie again, just waiting to see what she would do next, fascinated by her. Her Aunt Rose and Grandma Esme sat on the floor with her.
“We’ll see you soon,” Alice chimed again, wincing with effort, like a small child trying to remember a really difficult times table sum.
As soon as she said this I looked around the gathering to smile a normal goodbye. Then I saw him, Nahuel. He was staring at me. Staring at me with total adoration in his eyes as if I were the only thing he could see in the world. The only thing he had ever seen. Like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.
Oh no... no please no, I screamed inside my head. My face turned from a smile to sheer dread, his calm face turning from adoration to puzzlement at my expression.
Edward stiffened beside me, but said nothing.
Alice tugged my sleeve and we were off through the patio doors at the rear of the house, running back to my cottage hand in hand. I was only too glad to go, and Alice's excuse was perfect.
As soon as we were over the river she said in a very hushed voice, “Shield me, stop him reading my mind.”
New posting Chapter 55 - Postscript
I'm still hoping that Midnight Sun is published, I enjoyed the first part very much.
I have a picture in my mind of the two of them on the sofa siting laughing and trying to argue their points of view. Happy for once, the tension gone - well alot of it anyway. Just happy to talk to each other for the sake of talking because they are very much in love still.
thank you for your comment.
I'm really pleased you like this chapter as well, it was a bit of a change of pace from the proceeding two.
good to know that things are starting to turn in bella's favor, and that the kinks in her and edward's relationship are starting to straighten out. although, the last part left me hanging. so excited to find out more :)
love it, so glad they finally got the chance to sit down and talk. i wonder what's wrong with alice....can't wait to read your next udpate!
Thank you for the comment. It was a bit of a change of pace in this chapter - at long last a time to sit down and talk/listen something they should have done months ago!
Poor Edward and Bella never really gave that side of it much thought.
I think Alice has foreseen something!
wow things are getting Interesting :) I wonder what will happen now, that Demetri saw Reene but no one else. Maybe in the chapter before that, it was her mom in her head, not Esme? Mhh, lots of Questions but I am so glad they worked things out
it must be a bit worrying having a member of the Volturi guard seemingly to be losing there mind whilst staying with you.
What would Aro and the other say? Would they use it as an excuse to punish the Cullens as the must have 'made' him lose his mind.
The voice in Bella's head is the same one as was there in New Moon telling her not to jump off cliffs or ride on dangerous motor bikes. I can't say more than that.
Bella and Edward's relationship has thawed out, lots of young couples go through times when things don't seem to be going too well for them, most come through it when they can bear to talk to each other again. B and E just have this to a bigger extent. It's all part of being married.
I see them as both completely loyal to each other and loving each other more each day but there love is turning from child like obsession to a deeper love and appreciation of each other. The rose tinted glasses have come off but still the love is stronger for it. (The Cold Gray Light after the beautiful colours of dawn).
Bella is now seeing the the good side of other people more of Jasper, Fred, Demetri but that doesn't mean she loves Edward any less.
They finally talked it out!! Edward took it so well, too!!!
I wonder what is happening with Bella?!!
Can't wait to find out!!!
yep this was a real change in the tempo of the story, at least something went well for Bella. How could she have have thought it would go any other way? Edward loves her and that isn't going to change.
Still things to happen in the plot - lots.
Thanks for the comment.
With the surprise of the three coinciding events I lost my focus and my shield crashed back over me.
I didn’t recognize the voice. Well I did, I just couldn’t place whose it was. It tugged at my memory but still no name emerged.
Edward was still staring at me and the ring tone hadn’t die away.
“Bella your mind!”
“Yes, you have seen it before; you shouldn’t be that surprised that I have one. Will you stop kidding about.”
“Do it again,” he ordered. “I didn’t read it all, there was so much, I need more time, take the shield away again.”
The ringtone died, only to pick up again.
The voice in my head surprised me, “Oh no, not now, I thought this would be a problem one day but please not today! Bella, keep you shield in place, it will be much better for all of us.” Still I couldn’t place the voice.
“Bella, I need you to take your shield away again, I need to hear. There was so much, and I don’t think it was all you, love. Please don’t be frightened, just let me hear. Then we can work out how to fix you for the best.”
“What do you mean fix me? What do you think is wrong with me that I need fixing?”
“Keep calm love, I can just hear thoughts in your mind, a lot of thoughts. I don’t know if they are all yours.”
“Edward! You know I hear voices, I told you that years ago. They didn’t go away just because I turned into a vampire.”
The ringtone started up again.
“May as well answer her, she isn’t going to give up. It may be important.”
Alice’s shrill voice burned my ear as soon as I answered. “At last! He is on his way, I think he has really lost it now, I’m going to send Carlisle and Jasper over, maybe they will be enough to calm the situation.”
“Fred? No Demetri! He’ll be with you in about a minute, he was muttering about the two of you being together. But you and Edward are always there at night together so I don’t know what he means.
“Any way, go and meet him outside the house or he’ll wake Nessie up.”
Edward was out the house before Alice finished. He had heard every one of Alice’s over excited words and gone to stand outside our front gate in the silvery light that filtered through the trees. I joined him just as the first sound of Demetri’s arrival cracked the still air.
“Bella, could you try again?” Edward was still looking at me with concern.
“This is just weird,” I said, “you can hear thoughts in my mind and you think they aren’t mine – what did you hear? Maybe they were my thoughts. I seem to be able to think about a lot at once these days.”
The wind ruffled my hair and skidded away through the undergrowth.
Edward looked at me then started to walk off as if following something. Hesitant at first, he put his finger to his lips and then started moving faster. He was jogging off into the forest after nothing, then he started running in earnest.
Demetri’s footsteps were still coming towards the house. He was running at full speed. He shot past me and the cottage without even a look. He was intent on running full pelt in the same direction as Edward. Was he following Edward? If so, why? I was bewildered.
I couldn’t follow. I need to stay at the cottage with Nessie.
I went back inside, the night was still cold and a there was damp in the air. I only waited thirty seconds before Carlisle and Jasper arrived. Jasper on his cell to Alice.
“OK, we’ll wait with Bella,” and he killed the call.
They both came inside trying to keep the noise to a minimum.
“Alice says they’ll both be back in a few minutes,” Jasper explained in a hushed tone.
Carlisle was calm but concerned. “Do you know what may have brought this on? And why did Edward follow after him?”
“Oh, he didn’t. Edward went running off before Demetri got here. I don’t know why, it was really odd, as if he was following something but there was nothing there.”
“Was there any trigger, or did he just run out of the house?”
“We were talking and then Alice’s call came saying that Demetri was on his way, so we went out to greet him and Edward went running off.”
“Umm, it is a bit mysterious. They will be back shortly to explain. Did anything happen just prior to this, prior to the call? Alice said she didn’t see anything before her call. I’m guessing she was trying not to see to give you some privacy.”
“Well, I wanted to show Edward something in my mind – a conversation that I’d had with someone.” Jasper shifted uneasily and for a moment I felt a slight anxiety in the air. I shook my head very slightly enough for him to understood that it wasn’t him that Edward and I were talking about. The anxiety was replaced by a slight calm.
Although this interaction was supposed to be unnoticed, Carlisle looked from one of us to the other. He sat down, and indicated that the both of us should join him.
“We need to be honest and open with each other, in this family. That is where our strength lies; it is this that will hold us together. It is particularly important when we have Demetri here with us. We can’t have secrets and taboos. Is there something going on between the two of you?”
We sat silent. I gnawed my bottom lip. Carlisle waited for one of us to speak, but we kept quiet.
“Are you having an affair?”
“No!” my instinctive reaction.
“No, but I love her,” came Jasper’s defeated voice. I felt wretched, I felt guilt, I felt trapped, I felt love and passion – not my feelings, Jasper’s. Then as if someone had broken a dam Jasper’s confession poured out in a tidal wave.
“I know it is a sin but I have feelings for Bella I should not have. I love her. I know she is my brother's wife and I have Alice who I very much love, but there it is. I have tried to stop, I just can’t.”
“Jasper, no! Stop right there, Carlisle is right, we need to explain everything to him. Please don’t try to take blame on yourself for something that is not your fault, it is mine. He has to know everything.”
“Bella, what exactly are you telling me?” Carlisle now looking alarmed. “Has something happened between the two of you? Does Edward known? Alice?”
“Carlisle it isn’t like that, nothing has happened, it’s just me, I have a talent that I have kept from you. I am, well, Jasper calls it a Cuculus.”
“Yes, that's right, my eyes go green around the edge when I hunt.”
“Green you say? How green, and how much of the eye? I’ve not seen you directly after a hunt so I’ve not noticed any green in them, I suppose it must fade. Have you monitored it? Why didn’t you tell me before? May I take another look into your eyes.”
“Carlisle, it is more than my eyes. Cuculus have other powers. Eleazar said I had the power to put thoughts into people's heads, though I didn’t believe him at the time.
“Jasper told me yesterday that it is true. I put out thoughts that people should love me. I plant it as an idea in their mind. I don’t mean to. I’m really not trying to steal my brothers from their wives. I have Edward, I don’t want anyone else.
“I am so sorry. I can’t help it.
“Jasper doesn’t really love me, it is a mind trick I’ve played on him.”
“No Bella. I understand feelings, and the love I have for you is not just a mind trick, it's a real feeling. Eleazar wouldn’t have seen this. He wouldn't have seen how much power you have over people's feelings.”
I was scared now, scared of Carlisle’s judgment of me, scared of the thing I had become and my effect on people. Scared of Alice’s and Edward’s reaction to what Jasper said. Scared for him and scared for me.
Calm penetrated the room. Jasper stopped me falling into a pit of despair. Carlisle's eyebrows and eyes were nearly a full stretch. He was quiet for a few seconds.
“And this is how you feel for Bella?” he asked Jasper.
“Yes, I love her. I try not too but I can’t stop. I try to avoid her as much as I can. I know it is a sin, I hate myself for it. I have Alice and I still love her too. The others too, we all love Bella.”
“Nahuel, Fred and Emmett. There are others, but they don’t feel it as strongly. I can tell with my gift who has fallen under her spell.”
“And Edward, does he know?” Carlisle asked me.
“Yes, I spent all tonight discussing it with him. I thought that he might want to leave me as I have clearly entrapped him but he was adamant that he wanted to stay.
Carlisle was listening intently. I explained to him the points that Edward and I had made to each other. I explained that Nahuel had imprinted on me.
“I didn’t realize hybrids could imprint, but they are so similar to the Wolves in a way with 24 chromosomes. This does explain a lot. I had noticed the tension but thought it would easily pass with time but I see now. Tell me, is there any more? I need to know the full extent of you talents before we make any plans.”
“I think I may have made people love Nessie, maybe even made Jacob imprint on her.”
“Umm,it may not be the case. She has talents of her own, your daughter. Is there any more?”
“I may have put the idea into Paul’s head when he was facing us for the first time to move and let us pass. The words that Edward said were in his mind were the ones that I was wishing.”
Carlisle looked uncertain, “That could be circumstance and not really cause and effect. But we will need to test it to see if you can repeat something similar.”
“I am responsible for Leah.”
“She has imprinted on Demetri. When we were outside the house a couple of days ago, when Fred had just arrived, she was going to make trouble and I wished she’d just feel the love,” I made air quotes as I said it, “and she imprinted.”
Carlisle’s look of interest and concern turned to worry. “Ah, that is unfortunate, a wolf and a Volturi guard are not a couple made in heaven. I can’t see how this could work out.”
Edward came jogging back to the cottage. He came in quietly and sat on one of the chairs by the table. He sat sideways on it, his back resting on the wall. He put his head back and rested his crown on the wall too. He looked almost human in his exhaustion. It must have been mental not physical, Edward couldn’t tire of running.
“I lost it, it was moving so fast I couldn’t keep up. Demetri has gone on but he won’t catch it, it is too fast.”
All three of us looked at him waiting for him to give us more of an explanation. Jasper filled the room with calm again. The effect on Edward was immediate. He relaxed out of his slump and sat ready to talk to us all. He brought his chair to join us, rather than sitting behind Jasper. His chair was close to mine so I reached over and took his hand. For an instant I saw pain in Jasper’s face but it was fleeting and had gone before anyone else noticed. I covered Jasper with my shield. He looked at me, he felt what I’d done, and again pushed calm into the room. Jasper relaxed himself, he was temporarily freed from the burden of trying to hide his thoughts of love for me.
“Edward, can you tell us what is going on please,” Carlisle verbalized the question for us all.
“I’m not sure I can satisfactorily. Bella removed her shield for a second or so and I read her mind, but it was as if it was two minds, maybe more. There was so much, so many thought patterns, it was like trying to read a room full of people at once.
And then we went outside and it was as if some of the thoughts moved out of her head and off into the forest, disembodied. I tried to follow but they were too quick and I couldn’t keep up. Demetri came as well. I gave up after a few minutes but he kept following. I couldn’t hear the thoughts any more, they’d gone further than I could read.”
“And what was Demetri thinking?”
“He was very focused, I must catch her, I must bring her home. But he was worried that she was so quick.”
“And the thoughts, son, what were the thoughts you heard?”
“Well, there were a few mild expletives and an underlying why now? But there were others, so many others, thoughts of a child in trouble, worry about other people, but no names. And the need to get away quick. There was also one deciding not to come back here for a while.”
“Do you have ideas on what you were hearing?”
“It was like human thoughts, but not in a way. There were too many, too many even for a vampire, layer upon layer, but missing some of the normal ones, like the reflex processing we all do for movement.”
“Like a spirit?” Carlisle continued.
“Yes, I would say a free spirit with no home.”
I had to ask, “Was that what you heard in my mind? Was that spirit in my mind?”
Edward looked uncomfortable, he fidgeted in his chair and straightened his sleeve before he answered me.
“Yes my love, it was in your mind or another one was. If you take you shield away again, I can see if it has gone.”
“This was in Bella’s mind?”
“Do you think it is part of Bella?”
“I can’t be sure, but I don’t think so. If you take you shield away again I can see.”
“It would be a good idea Bella. We know that the spirit, if that is what it is, isn’t here now so lets make sure there isn’t a second in your mind. Did you feel it? Did it talk to you maybe?”
I felt uncomfortable, did I really have to admit to all of them that I was a freak and heard voices, as well as everything else? They looked at me, I didn’t have a choice.
“I hear voices, I know they aren’t real.” I felt ashamed. “I hear them when I’m stressed. They started when Edward and I were apart a couple of years ago.” Even the mention of this made me feel as if the scar where the hole had been in my heart might break open again. I thought it had gone but it was there still. I took a deep breath and continued. “When Edward left I started to do stupid things, dangerous things, and a voice would talk to me and try to stop me doing them. At the time I thought it was Edward’s voice, but it wasn’t. It was just an imitation that I thought I conjured up.”
“I know it is painful Bella but please continue.” Carlisle soothed me and Jasper was still calming us all. I hated having to go on but I had no choice. It was important they knew even if they did think I was a crackpot or maybe a little cuckoo because of it.
“The voices have come back because of the stress. Mainly they sound like Edward, but yesterday they sounded like Esme for a bit.”
“Esme?” Carlisle was surprised, “What did this voice say to you?”
“She encouraged me to talk with Edward when we were in the forest with Jasper and Alice before Demetri joined us.”
Jasper was looking at me in a very concerned manner, almost scared. He obviously thought that I had lost my mind. Edward on the other hand looked thoughtful, puzzled, as if trying to figure out something hard. But what was so hard about a wife with a lose wire in her brain?
“Bella, love, would you let me try to read your mind again? Did the voice talk to you this evening?”
“Well … yes.” I hated admitting that I was still not in full control of my mind.
“I think that you voices may be what I followed through the forest, the spirit for want of a better word. I don’t think you are hearing you own thoughts and subconscious. If I can listen again I may be able to tell if they are just you own thoughts now. Can you do that?”
I nodded in reply. I didn’t feel like doing this and I certainly couldn’t shield Jasper while I do it.
“OK then I’ll take away all my shield.” I hoped that Jasper understood and would make sure his thoughts weren’t ones that would send Edward into a rage again.
I threw my shield off. It wasn’t getting easier to do, especially when I was stressed. It seemed to really want to stay in place and protect me when I was in such a state. I had my eyes closed tight to help concentrate, my fingertips on my temples pressing down so hard that had I been anything less than stone I would have crushed my own skull.
Suddenly all the calm was gone replaced by fear and longing, and again my shield fell back into place.
Jasper was out of his chair. “Stop! Please stop! I can’t stand it! You are too powerful like this.”
End of Chapter 44 - Confessions
Very interesting! Can't wait to find out what the mysterious "voices" really are!