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: 17263

Replies to This Discussion

You will have to read on to see if she is right to trust Jasper of not.

Wow!  Who to trust?  Who to help?  So confusing.  Great chapter.

Hi MM,

thanks for the comment.

Bella must be having a hard time of it.

Don't forget Nessie what happend to her is important.

Best wishes

Chris

Oh no!  makes me wonder if Jasper is actually lying to her just to get her all for himself...poor bella and Nessie!  can't wait to read your next udate

 

Hi Kelley,

do you think that Jasper would go that far as too lie about such a thing?

Who will be coming after them - Will Demetri find someway to track them even with Bella shielding all three of them?

What is going to happen to Fred?

Best wishes

Chris.

Oh no!  What is going on?  Is Jasper telling the truth?  And what will happen with Fred?  Why are the voices warning Bella?  Let's hope she can find out what is going on soon!

We never did find out how Nessie got off Fred's shoulders up into a tree and then back down to the ground again - nice and safe. All by herself?

Wow. I missed so much!!!

Can't believe everything that happened!!!

Demetri betrayed them!! I can't believe it!! :(

What does Jasper have up his sleeve?

Can't wait for more!!!

Hi Rachel,

great to hear from you, looking forward to the next chapter of Hope in La Plush.

Yes it is a bit of a twist this one. I hope you enjoy it. Just when Bella thought she only had the off side rule to worry about.

Best wishes

Chris

Chapter 51 - Realization

 

I felt hollow. I wanted Edward so badly. It felt so wrong to run away from him, to leave him to face the oncoming death squad. I hoped that Alice had foreseen that they would live if I left, it was the only hope I had.

I pulled out my phone, but just as I held it out and hit the speed dial Jasper turned round from the  front seat and grabbed it off me.

“We can’t use them Bella, they will track phones as well, they are good with human technology when they have to be.”

He crushed my phone in his hand and threw it out of the car window. I felt devastated that I couldn’t even talk to Edward one last time.

Jasper’s phone rang. He answered simply, “I will love you always, Alice,” and then he crushed his phone as well sending its remnants to the undergrowth by the side of the road. I felt a huge shot of guilt radiate from him. He reigned it in, forcing calm out of himself, this time for his own benefit. I knew he was hurting every bit as much as I was, but for him it was guilt not sorrow. I thought that he must so want to protect Alice, but couldn’t.

Suddenly the voice was back in my head.

You are doing so well, Bella,
Charlie again. That’s right, let him feel he is in charge, don’t let him realize that you know, and above all keep him calm.

That I know what?
I thought to myself, but I got no response from my voices. Then I realized that the voices, although inside my head, never read my mind and only reacted to my actions or words. Was that good or bad? I didn’t even know if I could trust my voices.

But this is a really difficult situation, he knows what he’s doing. He’s dangerous to both you and Nessie and we don’t know what he really wants yet, well, apart from the obvious, I hope that’s all, as I say in 68% of cases it is.

Now I was really confused. The Volturi were coming but Charlie was suggesting ...what? That for some reason Jasper would leave Alice to be slaughtered by the Volturi? I had nothing to offer Jasper. He didn’t need me, not in the way that Fred did. And Jasper loved Alice. I knew he thought he loved me but we both knew it was just a mind trick and it wasn’t real and he and Alice were dealing with that.

Jasper's response was immediate. “Why do you feel guilty? Bella, you haven’t done anything.”

“Jasper I have... I’ve made you run with me instead of staying with Alice, and you could have stayed, couldn’t you? Did Edward send you at all?”

There was a pause. I felt his rush of emotions again – there was anger, guilt and longing and many more I just couldn’t put a name to – a pulse of mood that enveloped me and was then banished.

No Bella, keep him calm, talk about something else to keep him occupied.

I broke the silence, “Where shall we head first?”

“They will be watching all the usual airports. We are going to have to stay hidden. And you are going to have to keep that shield up or they will track us.”

And there we have it, what we needed to know, your shield. He needs to hide from the others, but why?
Charlie’s voice again.

But the Volturi,
I thought, and then remembered I couldn’t communicate with my voices.

“How are we going to find out what happened in the clearing? Did you and Alice come up with a plan for that? We have no phones now.”

“Bella, we can’t find out, we just have to run. We can’t communicate with them.”

I was at a loss. Surely we would have to find out somehow, or what was the point? Did he really have no hope at all?

“So you have no hope?” It came out before I could stop it.

A wave of sorrow and grief came over him again.

“No, I will not see Alice ever again. But I can deal with that to be with you and Nessie.”

It was such weird thing to say. I didn’t realize that the urge to protect Nessie was so strong in him.

Nessie stirred and I held her tight to me. She showed me again the scene in the forest of Jasper standing over Fred. She was clearly very upset about it. She showed me lots of happy moments she’d had with Fred, games that they had played, and times when he had been teaching her things.

“I know love,” I soothed. “Sometimes adults do stupid things for all sorts of reasons. We can’t trust him. He was trying to do a wicked thing to us. But I don’t want him hurt either. I hope he has put himself back together and run. He needs to go and have a good life somewhere else far away from us.”

Again she put her hand on my face. This time I saw a picture of myself with Fred, a happy me, smiling and joking. “Yes we all thought he was a good man, it just turned out that that wasn’t who he really was at all.”

The next pictures were of Edward and the rest of the family, of Jacob and the wolves in the clearing. Tears ran down both of our faces.

Jasper let us cry for a while and then forced calm back into our emotions. I’d not kept track of the length of time since we left Forks, but we were already approaching Olympia.

“Bella, we need to change cars. I’ll dump this one in a parking lot somewhere and we can get a new one. We need tints if we are going south.”

Jasper knew exactly what to do. The parking lot he chose was suitably anonymous. We parked next to the car we were going to take to lessen our scent trail. It only took a few seconds before we were out of the car park and on our way again. The new car was a high spec executive BMW, very fast and very comfortable, the windows almost blacked out the tint was so dark. The odd thing was it had almost no human scent. No one had driven this car to the lot that day or any day for a least a couple of weeks. But that was the least of my worries – it was very clear that Jasper knew what he was doing.

He chuckled as he got in. “This one has even been washed! I was planning to drive to Portland and lie low over night. It’s the time they will be searching hard for us because they will be trying to keep out of the light. We can hide somewhere and let Nessie rest and get some food.”

“Jasper we have no money. How are we going to cope? We only have these.” I indicated to our team hoodies and pants that we were still wearing over our match clothes.

“Bella, this is an emergency, you need to stop thinking about the niceties. We will have to take what we need. There is no other way. We’ll find a deserted house rather than use a hotel, it will leave less trace.”

I didn’t like this. It wasn’t the way I was brought up and wasn’t how I wanted to raise my daughter, but this was a desperate time that called for desperate measures. I would have to get use to law breaking. This was life on the run.

All three of us sat in the front of the car as we left Olympia.  This allowed me to keep the other two covered with my shield more easily as they were in close proximity. But I wanted to keep my strength up as much as I could, shielding for ever was a daunting prospect.

“Jasper, forgive the intrusion into your personal space, but if I hold you it is easier for me to shield.”

He looked at me and smiled and offered me his hand. As I took it not only was my shield easier to bear but feelings of friendship and brotherly love pumped their way into me.

“We can do this, together, Bella.”

I managed to force a smile back on to my face. I was so grateful to this man. He had left his wife to save me and my daughter.

We journeyed in silence, all three of us trapped in our sadness. The miles rolled past and I tried to focus on being strong and keeping all of us safe. I had to keep my shield up.

As we neared Portland Jasper explained, “I’ll tour a few of the residential areas. There may be a 'for rent' sign on a house and then we can check for scent.”

After 15 minutes of driving through comfortable middle class housing we came upon one with a for rent sign. Jasper got out of the car, I shield him as he walked up the driveway to the front door.

He walked to the garage and pulled open the door.

“We’re in luck. There hasn't been anyone here for well over a week. We’ll hide the car away and then break in round the back.”

In the end we found a spare key under a plant pot. Keys have an obvious scent, a mix of metal and light grease – it is unmistakable to our kind.

It was a nice middle class home, rather bigger and more luxurious than Charlie or Renee could have afforded, but still very homely, though none of the grandeur of the Cullen’s main house.

We explored the house together. I had to be able to see them both at all times so that I could shield them. It was clear there had been no one there for some time. The lingering scent of humans still clung to the soft furnishings but didn’t dominate the rooms. The house was still furnished and didn’t look as if it had been completely cleared ready for letting, which was a little puzzling yet useful. In the kitchen we found tins of food for Nessie to eat and the beds upstairs were still made up. There were clothes in the wardrobes. Although the clothes were too big and were really boys clothes I picked out a couple of outfits for Nessie and some night wear. At least she could be fairly comfortable if not stylish.

There were adult clothes too so Jasper and I took the opportunity to get out of the soccer kits. I found jeans and a T-shirt that were a little big but with a belt did the job just fine. We needed to look as anonymous as possible to blend in as best we could, and being out of the kits was much better.

Jasper struck lucky and found clothes of the right size that actually looked good on him.

After I got Nessie some dinner I bathed her, Jasper making sure he gave her privacy by sitting on the floor outside the bathroom door.

I even found a still-packaged toothbrush for her. It was all working out very conveniently.

I tucked her into the bed in the main bedroom and lay down with her. Jasper sat on the chair next to the bed.

“Don’t let me sleep,” I whispered to him.

I watched Nessie's thoughts, from replaying the day's events to more bizarre dreams of Jasper and the two of us on a horse riding off into the sunset. I found the image heartbreaking. I took her hand away from my face. Jasper was again pumping calm into the room.

“What did she show you?”

“Just a dream, the three of us on a horse riding away into the distance, being chased by the bad guys.”

Jasper sat on the edge of the bed, his hand on my shoulder pumping  more calm into me. He looked over at Nessie. She was tossing and turning. He lay down on the bed next to me and put his arm over me and on to Nessie.

“She deserves calm dreams.”

After an hour or so I realized that I not only felt calm but also another emotion, a total peace, a type of ecstasy. I couldn’t understand this. I knew it wasn’t my emotion, I hadn’t a thought in my head that would make me feel this way. Why would Jasper feel like this, here in the house that we’d stolen, on the run from the Volturi, not knowing the fate of the rest of our family?

My voice, which seemed to have settled on Charlie, was no real help. It offered little advice, just a constant stream of reassurance that I was doing very well and that help was sure to come soon. As if there was going to be any help for us in this situation. It had even growled when Jasper lay on the bed next to us.

My voice seemed confident, almost cheerful, that Demetri would follow Nessie. How could it be so callous? How could my subconscious want us found by the Volturi?

By the morning however my voice had become confused and questioning as to where the help was, why it hadn’t arrived yet.  I ignored it the best that I could but it was becoming almost a constant monologue now. The one useful thing it did suggest was to check the TV news for articles about Forks.

I flipped the channels whilst preparing some breakfast for Nessie. There was nothing from Forks or the surrounding area that sounded remotely to do with vampires. No sudden disappearances or deaths, no unexplained break-ins. I found this a relief, the Volturi hadn’t hunted in the area or at least if they had they’d covered their tracks.

Jasper was staring out of the kitchen window at the woods behind the house.

“Jasper,” I said.  He looked round. “There is no news. That has to be good, right? At least the Volturi haven’t slaughtered the whole town.”

That’s right Bella, make him think you still believe that the Volturi were coming,
Charlie’s voice interjected.

“Yeah Bella, that is good news. We will get away!” The last part Jasper said more to himself than to me. But I wasn’t thinking about what Jasper said, I was thinking about what the voice had said.

“Make him think you still believe that the Volturi were coming.”
But Jasper had said that was what Alice had foreseen. That was why we were on the run.

“It was a lie?” I said it out loud before I could stop myself.

No Bella, don’t! He needs to think that you still believe!
Charlie’s voice groaned at me.

Jasper swung round to stare at me, “The news report, Jasper, do you think it’s a lie? Could the Volturi do that?”

Charlie’s voice, I hope he takes that. You have to keep your emotions in check. He will read them.

I realized it was a lie! All of it! The Volturi hadn't come, they were still in Italy. I had taken Jasper’s word that they were coming but there was nothing to back his story up.

Why else would he have crushed our phones so quickly? We ran straight to a car – a waiting car? A car he had planted in Forks? And the one in Olympia that was so convenient? He probably planted that one as well, which would explain why it didn't have it’s owners scent. And this house? Was this set up too?

I tried hard not to be emotional, to keep my breathing regular, to hold everything together, but it was a hard battle.

Did you think this was true? Can’t you spot a lie when it hits you in the face? Hmm, I guess I have myself to blame for that one.

“I suppose the Volturi could manipulate the reports.” Jasper looked at me then turned back to the window.

Anger beamed out of me. I tried to keep it under control but I couldn’t. How could I hide my emotions now? This was the worst blasphemy he could have said, that my family were all going to be slaughtered and that we had to run to save my daughter, but it was a lie! I could see his plan now, it was to get us to run away from the family and never be found. All this time he had been hiding this from Alice by using the wolves to blind her. And where did Nessie fit in? Did she fit in? What was he going to do to her?

Then anger gave way to guilt, my thoughts turning to the part I had played - I had made him love me, it was not his own thoughts, I put them in his mind, I created this situation.

Bella, don’t confront him!
Charlie ordered. Try not to feel, your emotions will give you away. Let help come to you.

“Bella, what’s wrong?” Jasper was at my side in a flash, “I can feel your anger.”

Lie Bella.

“Well, I am angry, how could Demetri do this to us. And we don’t even know how the others are – how can you expect me not to be angry?”

Jasper wrapped his arms round me and sent calming emotions through me. I tried to relax, I allowed him to do this without the struggle I wanted to put up. I wanted to hurt him like he had hurt me but that would have to wait, for now I needed the calm and the clarity of thought that came with it.

After a minute or so I was back in control and Jasper let me go.

“We should hunt. We need to keep our strength up,” Jasper suggested. He looked into my eyes – I guessed that they would be coal black; the last of the gold would have gone with this latest emotional battering.

“It’s a bit public here isn’t it? We might run into humans?” But I wasn’t really thinking about the words that I said or Jasper’s reply

“We have to take what we can get. I’d be happy for the extra boost of energy given the current circumstances but we can try to find something vegetarian out there. I daresay there will be deer.”

I walked to the window and looked out. I thought of my family in the field playing happily, not in conflict with Aro. When would they have noticed that we were missing? Would they have found Fred? I didn’t know. What must they have thought? Did they think that I had gone with Jasper knowingly, through my own free will? Did Edward and Alice think I’d run off to be with Jasper? Would they come looking for us at all? Would they just be brokenhearted and unable to do anything?

Maybe if they had found Fred, maybe he would tell them what Jasper had said, but why would he want to help me? I had turned him down flat and he’d been nearly killed for his efforts, why would he help me?

I was going to have to send a signal to Demetri. Would he register it as a distress call? Me crying help to the Volturi guard – the irony was not lost on me.

I couldn’t risk taking my shield off Nessie because she might say it had gone – then what would Jasper do?

I had my back turned so Jasper wouldn’t see the concentration on my face. I tried to pull the shield away from me but leave it over the other two. I felt it falter over Jasper. I knew it was no good, I couldn’t unshield just myself. I’d have to wait for Nessie to sleep again then remove my shield from her. Could I cover and uncover her in a kind of Morse code SOS?

My voice started up again, this time a woman’s voice with an odd European accent. I couldn’t place who it was but it felt familiar. Bella, are you shielding both of them? Of course you are, that’s why Demetri can’t find you, and Alice can’t see you because of Nessie. Oh he has this all worked out. Can’t you take your own shield off?

I shook my head very slightly, just enough to be detected by my voice.

Huff, OK Bella.
The woman’s voice again. I’ll get them to chase me, I think Demetri will follow. He still sees me as your shadow. And I’ll come to help too or things are going to end up nasty. But you can sort this by yourself if you just have a little more confidence in your own abilities.

Go to the door and let me out or they will notice the breeze I create.

Then it dawned on me. The wind and the voice were one and the same. The shadow and the voice were one and the same.  But who was the voice? And why did Demetri say it felt like Renée?

I took a couple of steps into the garden as if taking in the view and the air.

Bye honey, see you soon, stay safe, help will come.

The wind swirled around my face, blowing my hair, and then around my legs and off around the corner of the house, ruffling leaves as it went.

In my head there was silence. I felt alone.  Any faith that I had that this would end well drained from me.

Jasper came into the garden. Again he put his arms around me and tried to push some positive emotion into me. I didn’t even know which one it was. We stood there for a minute. I had to get away from him.

I fixed a small smile on my face and looked up at him, “Come on then, let’s go find some deer to hunt.”



End of Chapter 51 - Realization 

I was wondering about Jasper, especially when things seemed to go just a little too smoothly, as if it was planned.  Bella really has some good instincts and some other special resources that she is just starting to explore.  Maybe Fred will realise he was wrong and tell the others what Jasper had said.  Let's hope that things will work out for her!

Hi there,

Fred isn't her only hope, she has others.

How did Nessie escape from Fred? Bella never had time to ask her.

How much should we blame Jasper? Bella made him love her but he chose how to react to that, Emmett planned to kidnap her once upon a time but has got over that now, and Naheul never would do such a thing.

Best wishes

Chris.

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