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: 16787

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Carmela,

thank you so much for commenting.

I think Bella is just concerned to get through the match without incident.

Best wishes

Chris

yeah, i suppose that is the primary concern - that no one will get harmed. 

There are so many questions that I can't wait to find out what the answers are. Everyone except Bella is very excited about the game. Is she just worrying out of habit or is there something else going on that only she can sense?  Luckily Alice is still there for her!  What is going on with Renee, and what is the significance of Alice's vision?  And also, what did Jasper mean when he made those cryptic comments?  It will definitely be very interesting to see how the game turns out!  Let's hope there is no outside interference!

Hi Seugnet,

Where would Bella be without Alice, she is such a good friend.

What is Jasper hiding from Edward?

Don't forget, Alice can't see anything now, she can't warn of any danger that may be ahead - or even any gouls that may be scored.

Best wishes

Chris

Great chapter.  I am still most intrigued by Renee and can't wait to see what you do with her character.  Seems she is the key to this whole mystery.  Love the wolf-vampire interaction.  Rose is so typical.  Jasper is not.  Alice is her usual wonderful self.  Too bad that Fred can't seem to conform to the animal hunting tradition.  So many threads.  Very interesting and keeps us waiting for the next unfolding.

Hi MM,

too many threads - if I ever do anything so stupid again as write another story I promise not to have so many threads. It weaving them all back that is the problem!

Alice is so great, how would Bella cope without her.

Rose is deeply jelous of Bella's talent but thinks it's a bit of a cheat really making them love you. Now she is getting protective towards Emmett.

If Fred wanted to get on the right side of Bella, he really should have put up with the animals! but he thinks he is doing nothing wrong.

Yes, Jasper is in a bit of a odd mood a the start of the match - we'll have to see why.

I'll tell you now I am no sports fan - don't go away thinking that there is going to be a great soccor action chapter next - I really wish I could do it but I can't. But the next chapter will move the plot on.

many thanks for your comment - I always look forward to reading it.

Best wishes

Chris

Aww poor Bella :( she feels bad and Rosalie is not even being understanding like the others. I hope they sort it out and Rose understands Bella's pov of in this issue. I wonder what will happen during the match

Yes Rose is very protective over Emmett - I suppose it is only to be expected, Rose doesn't have a very deep view of the world.

great update!  what's going on with Renee'?  can't wait to read your next update!

 

Hi Kelley,

It could be that Demetri is losing his talent - but that seems unlikely.

Where is she really going? Lets hope that her and Phil don't get too near the vampires.

Best wishes

Chris

Chapter 49 - Match

At the start of the second half of the match Fred and I sat on some boulders at the edge of the enormous pitch. We were ‘on the bench’, both having played hard during the first half. I was sitting there relieved that so far nothing had gone too wrong. I was tempting fate, and within a minute an ominous crunch and shriek added to the usual yells for the ball and advice and encouragement from the other players.

 

The ominous crunch had come from Jared’s foot when Emmett had trodden on him as he lay on the ground.

 

I’d seen the whole incident in slow motion. Emmett and Paul both ran for the ball, Paul desperate to get the ball before it went over the line into the vampire-only area and to Emmett. The ball was traveling fast, Jacob had kicked it with enough force to send it twice the length of the pitch, but had avoided splitting the leather which would have been an immediate penalty. Paul had jumped, his lean leg muscles first bunching in preparation for the jump and then extending as he shot into the air, the upwards thrust aided by the counterbalance of his arms. He managed to stop the ball with his head, sending it shooting towards Cliff, one of the new pack members who was on his side. As Paul fell back he landed on Jared, who had been in the right place but wasn’t concentrating on the game. Paul caught him awkwardly on the shoulder, the force buckling him, first at the knee, then twisting his ankle and causing him to fall, sliding on the wet grass. He fell over the line, skidded through the no mans areas and into the oncoming path of Emmett. Emmett had his eye on the ball, of course. Fortunately, due to the angle of Jared’s foot at the time Emmett landed on it the damage wasn’t as bad as it sounded.

 

Carlisle was there in a flash. He diagnosed a fracture and said that Jared would have to sit out for the rest of the match. Jared was disappointed to say the least, but excitement radiated off Leah’s face (his substitute) and there were great cat calls, or wolf calls, from the others. He was over the line and he got what was coming to him – a trampling. No one was blaming Emmett, except for Emmett. He looked as if the enormity of what he had done had hit him hard. His face drained of the little color it had and he completely lost his focus on the competition. He carried Jared to the rocks a little way from us, apologizing all the way.

 

“I didn’t see you. I’d have stopped, I’d have jumped, I’d have... I’m so sorry.”

 

This wasn’t a side of Emmett I’d seen before, visibly shaken by something that he’d done. That almost bothered me more than the trampling itself. My big bearlike brother was usually so sure of himself, so playful, and here he was acting with such remorse.

 

I noticed then something that I hadn’t registered before. Jasper had got up from his position beside Fred and I and was walking just a few yards behind Emmett with Carlisle. This must be the reason for Emmett’s mood swing. Jasper was feeling things and knew that wringing an apology out of Emmett would be a good idea.

 

Jared said something to Carlisle when he was settled on the rock. I didn’t manage to catch it but Carlisle smiled and went off to Jacob and Sam who were standing 50 yards away looking relaxed despite the incident. The other vampires and wolves, gathered in small groups spread around the pitch, also looked unconcerned. Leah flashed a smile at Demetri with whom she’d been chatting and went to replace Jared in his position.

 

“He’ll be healed by tomorrow, I should think, the rate you folks mend bones,” Carlisle told Sam and Jacob but loud enough for us all to hear. “But I don’t want him to put any weight on it until then, it’s very easy for those bones to mis-heal. But he did ask for a drink. Did either of you bring any water?”

 

“Damn it,” Jacob punched his own forehead with his hand, “that is what I was supposed to bring, the water.”

 

“No matter, we can send a substitute to get some from our house. I think it would be best for it to be tap water, I don’t want you getting bad stomachs from stream water, although I do understand that in your wolf states you’d be fine with that. Phasing is the last thing that I want him to do right now.”

 

Then Jacob was jogging over to us, “Hi there.”

 

I answered before he reached us. “You want me to go get the water?” I stated the obvious.

 

“Yeah, but you best take this one with you,” he grinned at Fred, “I don’t want him cheating for the other side when you’re gone.”

 

Fred smiled back. “I wouldn’t you know, besides it would be just as bad for my own team, I can’t narrow it down yet. I’m happy to get the water on my own if you like.” He added to me.

 

“We’ll go together, I know where the water carriers are.”

 

Nessie jumped straight into my arms. “I’ll come too, I want to help Jared.” She replayed the scene of Jared’s trampling straight before my eyes. It didn’t look better second time around.

 

“OK, we’ll go back to the house and get the water. Shall we bring the Jeep back up as far as it will go? That way we can put Jared in it and drive him back to La Plush when the game's over.”

 

“Yes, that would be good, well thought,” Carlisle complimented me.

 

So I put Nessie on my back, the way Edward used to carry me when I was human.

 

She was big enough now to put her arms securely around my neck and her legs were long enough for me to get a good grip on.

 

The three of us set off at a run, not a sprint as I was carrying Nessie and wasn’t that confident of her hold on me.

 

After four minutes Fred offered to take a turn carrying Nessie.

 

“Oh yes please,” she chimed, and I could see that I was going to get outvoted if I even tried to object.

But something in the back of my mind, one of my many strands of thought, shouted Don’t let him take her. I pushed the ridiculous thought away. I made sure that my shield was wrapped tight around Fred before I let her down.

Fred, being much bigger than me, put Nessie on his shoulders, holding her legs on his chest, her hand held tight to his collar.

I realized looking at them that this was the scene from my dream. The mysterious man carrying Nessie was Fred. But I’m not a psychic, how would I have known this? Then I remember Alice. She tried to warn me of something before Jasper had interrupted. But there was no danger here, we were just doing a little domestic job for somebody else, there could be no problem in getting water. I chastised myself, this is why vampires shouldn’t have dreams, it is because they dream stupid things that just make them worry.

We set off just at walking speed to start with.

The voice said to me, Humor him and get the child off him.

The voice startled me momentarily. I knew the voice was a counterfeit of  Edward’s, it had every tone and harmony that his voice contained but somehow wasn’t his. Not this again I thought to myself. I’d not heard it for two weeks, I thought I’d got control of my mind again.

The voice was urgent, firm, but calm. It repeated, You need to get the child away from him.

Two things puzzled me, well three things really.

Firstly and most obviously, why was I hearing voices? Secondly, what was the danger? There were only the three of us plus the voice. And thirdly, why would Edward call Nessie “the child”? He never spoke of her like that, and nor did I.

“Fred it may be better if I take her,” I said as calmly as I could manage. “She is high up there on your back and might hit a tree if you run.”

“Oh Bella, there is no need for you to worry yourself, Nessie's not going to hit any trees, are you girl?”

“No, I’ll be careful. I’ll duck right down if there is one.”

OK, so this tack isn’t going to work.
The voice in my head insisted, You must try something else. This time Edward’s voice sounded very concerned and agitated. But still I could see no danger to warrant such a warning.

I let it pass for a minute. We were traveling slower than before so I stopped walking and let them travel a few paces forward before they turned to me.

“Bella, what’s wrong?”

I looked directly at Fred. “I think if I carry her we can travel faster and get back with the water quicker, I don’t want to miss too much of the game.”

“Oh, there is no need for that,” Fred said very calmly. “I sure I can ramp it up a bit with Nessie if I have to”.

And with that he took her hand very carefully by the wrists, making sure he was only holding her by her clothes, and, staring at me straight in the eyes, he brought it towards his face. The voice inside my head growled and long guttural snarl. The threat was Fred himself and his ability to harm Nessie.

A momentary spasm of anguish hit my face but I pulled it off as quickly as I could. Nessie looked quizzical at my expression, she had no idea of the implied threat. I force a smile. “Well, shall we keep going then?” I started off back towards the house again.

The snarling inside my head didn’t abate.

Fred started off at a slight angle from the direction we were traveling before, not that we were on a proper path or anything, just following the scents from the outward direction.

The voice inside my head commanded, Get him back towards the house!

I was so worried that I really didn’t want to do anything to provoke him. I just didn’t know what he would do to her if she put her hand on his face and he really put effort into his talent. I knew that my shield wouldn’t stand up to that, she will be straight through to him. She will get the full force of whatever he can throw at her. I remember Seth vomiting violently at a distance of some 50 yards when Fred wasn’t even trying. I didn’t know how much worse the damage to Nessie would be. Maybe it wouldn’t be repairable.  It wasn’t worth the risk of finding out.

I followed Fred’s new course, “Are we taking the scenic route?”

“Ah, now you come to mention it, no. We are on a secret mission. How do you fancy that Nessie, do you think a secret mission sounds like fun?”

“Yes, but we did promise Jared we’d get the water,” she chimed. “Can we do it after we got that?”

“There’s no need to worry about Jared,” Fred laughed. “I saw one of those nice young girl wolves taking him an energy drink before we left the clearing. He is fine, more than fine, he is enjoying the attention.”

“OK then, what’s our mission?” she chirped.

“Well, we have to go on a quick car journey and then I’ll let you know.”

I said nothing. So that was it, the danger, we were being kidnapped. I’d no idea why he would do such a thing and as soon as we were in the car my family couldn’t follow our scent trails.

I thought of Demetri. We had the world’s best tracker staying with us. He would be able to pin point us within feet in the same county and miles in the same continent. He would find us easily. Well, he’d not find me, or anyone I was shielding (like Nessie), but he could follow Fred. The man sent to spy on us and condemn us may be the only one who could rescue us from this situation unless I managed to talk Fred out of it.

I decide to play along until help came or I managed to convince him this wasn’t a good idea. I couldn’t attack him, it was too risky.

“Bella?” Fred said. “I hope you’re up for this secret mission.”

“Of course,” I tried to hide my anguish but my voice nearly broke in just these two words.

“You’ll be shielding all of us then won’t you? I don’t want even Demetri to know what we are doing. It is secret after all.”

“As you wish,” I said, but left my shield as it was just nicely tucked around Nessie.

Fred turned to me, “I’ve been under your shield so long now, that I can feel it like a comfortable coat.” His tone was pleasant as if the shield were there.

He’s not bluffing. Pull the shield over him, the voice in my head ordered. I did it immediately and again Fred turned to me with a smile. “It’s a special warmth that you become accustomed to after a while, like a favorite sweater.”

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Now if I told you that it wouldn’t be secret would it? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.” Fred said it with a laugh. I said nothing, I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not. I didn’t even look at him, I just keep up my slow run.

“But I can tell you we are heading down out of the forest and to a car.”

Try to keep the pace slow
, Edward’s voice inside my head ordered me.

I slowed down just very slightly so instead of taking the pace I was following, not so much as he would notice.

That’s right Bella
, Edward’s voice reassured me.

I thought that he must have been planning this for some time to have a car waiting. I shuddered to think where or how he got it. I just hoped that no human was in it when he took it.

Now Bella, I want you to concentrate really hard for me
, the voice said again. This is really important... think with all your mind ‘put Nessie down’.

Now I was confused, what good was that going to do? Why couldn’t the voice tell me to do something useful like trip him up?

Bella, you must use your mind, you can do this.

Now Bella! Concentrate. Say it in your mind, let it flow through you.

I was cross the voice was being so stupid. I really didn’t need something telling me to do brain yoga when my child is in danger. I wished it would go away or say something useful.

“Hey girl, don’t fall off up there,” Fred reached up to steady Nessie, his hands coming with in a fraction of inch of her bare skin.

“She’s asleep Fred,” I replied in a low voice. “Can I have her back now?”

“No, I’ll cope,” he smiled at me.

“Has she really gone? I want to talk to you as an adult.”

I looked more closely at Nessie and listened to her slow regular breaths, “She's really gone.”

I didn’t relax either of my shields. I wanted to put as much protection as I could between Nessie and Fred. However I knew it would do no good, she would always get through my shield with her palms.

“Bella, I know that you probably feel that I have kidnapped you and Nessie.”

The voice inside my head spoke again, Keep him calm, try to appeal to his rational side.

But the voice was not Edward’s this time, it was Charlie's.  This surprised me but I did as it said.

“Fred, you must have a reason for your actions, they are out of character. I thought that we were friends.”

“Ah, yes, friends.”

“Yes Fred, friends.”

“Bella I need more than that, I need you more than a friend. I have never needed anyone so much, every second I spend a way from you is a waste.”

My thought’s circled. How could I have been so stupid not to have seen this? I knew he just had a bit of a crush on me but I thought that it would pass. I’d no idea it was this serious. Had I encouraged this? Was this all my fault?

“Fred, I am already spoken for, I’m married, I have the ring.” I held my hand up and wiggled my fingers. “I have a daughter. How many more 'unavailable' signs do you need?”

“Can you expect me to go back to living without you? To have nothing, no one, not even an animal who can stand my company?”

“Fred, you don’t love me, not really. You may think that you do but it’s a mind trick, your thoughts aren’t real.  You just have to ignore it. It’s not real.”

“And Edward, is he infected?”

I gnawed my bottom lip. “He loved me when I was human, it doesn’t count.” A lie – was I any better at lying yet?

“Come off it Bella, Jacob loves you too, they all do. If you have been infecting people it has been for a long time.”

You still lie so badly. But remember he has no right to you.
Charlie’s voice again. You need to negotiate with him. You have to find him a way to back down that won’t hurt either you or Nessie.

Why Charlie? Why was he talking like this as if he knew what to do in this situation? What did Charlie know about negotiation? This is a standard hostage situation, came the answer, but I wasn’t sure it was an answer to my thought.

Then it struck me that Charlie was a cop and he’d been trained in hostage situations in the human world. In that case it would be someone with a gun.

He said that he needed you, find out why he thinks that.

“Fred, you said that you needed me, what is it you need?”

“I need you to be with me. When I am not with you my life is unbearable. But when you're around my life is wonderful, I’m the most happy I have ever been, in this life or my last.”

“But no one is sending you away from here. You see me every day at the main house. Why can’t we continue as we were?”

“You know that I’ll be forced to go once the game is done, once Demetri leaves.”

“No one has said any such thing to me. I think that the plan was to get you to complete your training so you can learn to do without me, then you will have much more freedom to go wherever you choose.”

“If I didn’t feel the way I do then that might be enough if it wasn’t for Demetri.”

Charlie’s voice piped up He's using a new angle, find out what else he needs.

“What’s wrong with Demetri now?”

“I don’t want the Volturi after me when I have to leave and I’m sorry but you are the only one that can stop that.”

“You expect me to run with you forever?” My voice rising through the scale.

No Bella, keep him calm
, Charlies voice commanded.  Find out his terms.

“I want you to come with me voluntarily, and we can go wherever you like together.”

“And what about Nessie, where does she fit in?”

“I’m sorry that I had to threaten her like that. I knew it was the only way I could get you to listen to me for even a short time. We can take her with us or leave her here with your family, which ever you think is best, if you agree to come. Otherwise she’ll have to leave with us.”

Charlie's voice again You are going to have to find out if sex has anything to do with it, in 68% of cases it does.

“And you would have me leave my husband?”

“Well I thought...”

“Yes?”

“That wouldn’t be too hard... if you had me with you.”

“Fred, no one is making you leave us, not even Demetri, there is no need for this.”

Give him a get out,
Charlie ordered.

“We could go get the water and get back to the match, no one would have missed us yet, they never need to know.”

Good, a generous offer. He should go for it if we are in luck, unless...

“No Bella, I need you more than ...”

We both stopped. We heard footsteps running towards us, but who? We both froze. I didn’t want to be found here, it would mean questions that would be hard to answer. I could tell it wasn’t Edward, not Emmett either – too light, but certainly one of the other male vampires, maybe Carlisle or even Demetri.

Jasper snarled from 200 yards away. He had worked out what was going on and had come to rescue us.

We both turned towards the approaching vampire.

“Jasper, have you come for the water too?” I called in a light voice. He made no answer.

The two things happened at nearly the same moment, but fortunately microseconds apart.

Fred gave a surprised cry and his hands flew up and grasped nothing but the air as Nessie disappeared off his shoulders into the trees above.  Jasper collided with Fred, no hesitation in his step. He was in for the kill.


I shrieked as I saw one of Fred’s arms torn off and thrown across that the forest floor, but my cry was covered by the sound of Fred's arm being wrenched from his body and Fred's howls of agony.

But it was not Fred’s plight that made me shriek.

“Nessie, Nessie where are you?”



End of Chapter 49 

Amazing chapter.  Great writing.  I thought for sure that Fred was going to bite Nessie.  It just get more complicated and interesting.

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