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
There seems to be something special and mysterious about her. A little (or a lot) more than meets the eye. She could have some interesting answers for them!
I never liked the way that SM portrayed her as a real scatterbrain and rather useless.
I thought that she would have taken more interest in her childs life than that - espeically if Bella was her only child.
Love it. Love it. Great chapter. Unexpected turns.
Only two more to go and Chapter 53 is now posted.
I thought that you'd like the last three in quick succesion.
Yet more twists right up to chapter 54.
Thank you for your comment.
oooh Bella's mom is there. I wonder what Renee has to do with this, things are heating up. I am so sad to see this story end. I hope there will be a sequel, as this story is so good and I am sure me and the others readers would feel like there needs to be sequel after this
Hi Summer Love,
I have mixed feelings about the ending of this story. It has taken so much of my time and emotional energy that I am looking forward to getting that back and living in the real world again. But I am going to miss it, miss wondering what to write in my next chapter whilst sat in the traffic jams on the way to work. I'll miss obssesively looking for comments on the web site, and what I'll miss most is the thrill I get when you guys are so supportive about my writing.
quite amazing what you did with this chapter, chris!! it's been quite a while since i read the previous chapter and thank god that i finally got a chance to catch up!! oh well, i still have a few more chapters to go, bye!!
Thank you for this comment. I'm glad you liked this chapter. Bella is so confussed at this point, poor thing she has no idea what is going on.
Chapter 53 - Untangling
Demetri stepped forward, bowed his head slightly, "Mistress."
"Renée, my name is Renée. Demetri."
I looked from one to the other. Did they know each other?
"Do you know each other?" Despite everything else that was going on, this was so odd that I need an answer before my mind exploded.
"We have never met before," Demetri replied to me with sincerity. "It is an honor."
"Never mind all that right now," my mother ordered. "Let’s sort this out. Umm I guess frozen is better than fighting each other. What did you do? Shout stop at them, or something? It is a good job they don't need to breathe, you could kill a human doing that! You need to learn a lot more subtlety Bella, this really won't do. It would have been so much better to have nipped the whole thing in the bud rather than let it get to this."
I stood there staring at her. It certainly looked like my mother but I couldn’t remember her ever chiding me like this before. I was too surprised to agree or disagree with her. I didn't understand how she could understand about this. How she knew about the vampire world at all.
Renée was now inspecting the fighters. "Yes honey?"
"How did you get here?"
"Well I brought the car to the edge of the wood then I ran of course."
"How can you run like that?"
"Oh," she turned to me and smiled, "I haven't explained, have I."
"No Mom, and this needs some explaining."
"I did try to but you didn't want to listen, I thought maybe it was too soon."
The others, the ones not frozen, were staring in awe at her. Alice, however, was coming out of her trance, her eyes refocusing on the scene in front of her
She flitted to Renée and, grinning at her, embraced her. "I see so much now. Me too?"
"Yes, of course, you too, how could you not be one of us? You have always known, haven't you?"
Alice stood next to Renée surveying the scene. "Yes, but it was never clear enough until now to understand. There are so many paths now, so many choices. It's going to take some time to get my mind round this. The three of us?"
"Yes, you give hope to the world.”
Carlisle interjected. "Renée?" he began hesitantly, "how nice to meet you again." He was floundering, clearly as bewildered as I was, "Would you mind explaining for the rest of us?"
Renée beamed at him. “Where would you like me to start?”
“My sons, how are they like this?”
“That’s very simple, Bella forced them to stop fighting, in the nick of time I would say. That one is just about to lose his head.”
Carlisle was still as mystified as the rest of us. “How are they frozen like this?”
“They aren’t totally frozen, you’ll find that they are functioning other than skeletal muscles, and in this case I think their lungs aren’t working either.”
“They can hear us and see but they can’t move their eyes to look around. Smell will be more tricky as the air isn’t being take into their nose – as I say it is a good job they don’t need to breathe. Their brains will be fully functional.”
Renée walked over to them and looked more carefully. “The question is what is the best way to stop them fighting when they are unfrozen?”
Emmett walked over to the three and pretended to join in the fight, mocking how he could in turn take out Jasper who was concentrating on Edward.
Alice looked relieved. “This was the vision. I saw all the boys in the wood fighting and your mother looking on. No wonder it looked odd as a vision, it looks very odd now.”
Alice was back with Jasper in a flash. She stroked his cheek tenderly with her fingers.
“Mom... but how do we unfreeze them?” I asked. She’d said it as if it was an everyday process, freezing and unfreezing people.
“We don’t, you do. It's best if it is you, it is more likely to have a proper counter affect to your first command. They will stay like this until you command otherwise.”
“But I don’t know how,” anguish in my voice. Was Edward going to have to stay like that because I didn’t know what I was doing?
“All in good time, first we need to decide what we should do with them. This needs to be considered carefully as it will have consequences. Carlisle, you are the head of the family, this is your issue to resolve.”
Renée walked gracefully to a fallen tree and sat on it, clearly indicating that she was not going to take part in any decisions that needed to be made. We all just stared at her.
I didn’t know how she could move so gracefully, too graceful for a human, her feet just skimming the ground.
Carlisle looked rather taken aback. “I... I... Thank you Renée. I...”
Demetri interjected. “It may be worth establishing all the facts, before we start to think of the future.”
“Yes indeed Demetri. Thank you. Bella, please could you run through the events that happened to you since you left the match and we will fill in the events as they presented to us.”
All eyes, well the ones that could move, were on me again. First I explained what happened when I went to get the water, with Fred threatening Nessie. It felt a betrayal to tell the tale when he couldn’t speak to defend himself. I reminded myself that he wasn’t our friend, he had proved that. He had threatened Nessie, and even after we’d got away from him once he still wanted me to leave with him. I tried to stick to the facts as I saw them. I did not try to explain his motives.
I came to the part where Jasper had run towards us and Nessie disappeared from Fred’s shoulders, and then I realized this wasn’t something I had an answer for. How did Nessie escape? I stopped.
“Bella, go on please. We know it is painful for you to relive, but we need to know.”
I described what had happened to Nessie and explained that I’d not though about it since then.
Carlisle smiled and assured me that they would fill in that part for me when I finished. He urged me to continue. Although I was desperate to know how she was saved, I carried on. I explained Jasper’s tale about the Volturi, his lie about the family all being safer if Nessie and I were not with them and his lie that Edward had sent him to keep us safe on the run. I said how I had shielded us from Demetri so we could run undetected. I described our journey to Portland and how Jasper had crushed our phones. I described finding the safe house and realizing that Jasper wasn’t being honest with me. I mentioned that I was hearing voices in my head who promised to get help. I described how we had come into the wood to hunt, and the events in the wood until I shouted stop.
When I was done they were all staring at me. I’d told my story and I was waiting for the consequences. What would Alice say? Would she say I was lying and that I had bewitched Jasper into running with me?
But they all stood very quiet looking at me. I felt isolated, totally alone. Alice came to me. I braced myself expecting her to slap me or something but she hugged me and I felt that there was a way out of this situation and a way to salvage the family. There was hope.
“I could see glimpses now and then around Nessie, but she was so close to you all of the time that I was mainly blind. I was no help, I didn’t know where you were. I could see you in a car then in a house but I had no idea where. I was so worried for all three of you.”
“And now we owe you an explanation.” Carlisle smiled a small smile.
“The match continued when you left for water until it was interrupted by Nahuel coming back in the clearing and asking to speak to me urgently.
“He explained that he had gone to watch out for you when you were getting water with Fred. I believe he see this as his duty to you?” I nodded my head. “He didn’t trust Fred’s motives, quite rightly so in this case. He told me how he’d pulled Nessie off Fred’s shoulders into the trees above when Fred was distracted by Jasper’s approach, so that she would be safe. He had presumed that Jasper had come to rescue you, something that he couldn’t do alone. He told me Jasper’s tale about the Volturi and his own indecision about what to do. He didn’t believe Jasper as you had done, but just in case it was true he didn’t want to follow you because he was unshielded and would be a signal to Demetri. He decided to come back to the clearing and explain what had happened, or, if the Volturi tale was true, to see if there were any way he could help.”
I felt so grateful to Nahuel again. This man risked his life a second time to save me and my daughter. He could have run off if he thought there was a chance that the Volturi were coming back. It would have been the sensible thing to do, but, no, he went back.
“A party of us went off quickly to follow you. We found Fred and I stayed and put him back together while the others followed your scent down to town to where you got in the car. Fred verified Nahuel’s story and admitted he’d asked you to leave with him.” By the face that Carlisle was making I could see that wasn’t a full description of that particular event. I was glad that Edward was frozen and couldn’t get to Fred.
“We had little way of knowing where you’d gone. Demetri couldn’t feel you, and Alice couldn’t see you. Nahuel and Jacob were convinced that you had gone south, they said they felt a pull in that direction as if they needed to be somewhere. We all came south together by car, but we went too far south and had to drive north again. Their imprinting produces a pull but it is nothing like Demetri’s talent, it is a pull of the heart. We were just traveling back towards Portland when Demetri felt Renée's presence and was sure that is where you would be. We followed Demetri's directions to the house and followed your scent here.
"Now we have established the facts as we see them we still have to decide how to go on from here. We will need to allow the men to talk for themselves of course, they should be allowed to dispute anything that we have said."
Carlisle continued, “It is clear to me that we can not continue as we were. These events were dangerous and our lives need to change in some way to lessen any chance that they will happen again.”
To me it was clear. I was the trigger for these events. “We will have to leave, it is the only way. Edward will not be able to forgive either Jasper or Fred. And I will always be the cause of trouble in the family. My talent is even less compatible with the family than Fred’s.”
Alice piped up, “No, no, there is another way. Fred will leave, we will leave, and you will train.”
“How Alice? How will I train to stop this happening again?” I was cross, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be responsible for this happening again.
“With help from your mother.”
I’d put Renée out of my mind when we were having this discussion, but now she walked slowly towards me and put her hand on my arm. “It is possible my love, it would be my honor to teach you. I can’t promise it will be easy but without it people will die.”
As she said it I knew it was true. I knew that I could find a way to stop being a danger. Instruction, time and practice were required, but I would get there.
Alice continued, “I see Jasper and I taking a trip to... Europe. We are going to travel, he can’t be near you for now. If he stays here he will try to be with you.”
I was amazed that she could say this in such an easy manner. How could she be so un-jealous of the hold I had over Jasper?
“Bella, don’t look like that, I can see it all, the paths in front are very clear to me now. And the future if we pick that path looks good. Jasper still loves me, I know that Bella, nothing has changed. This is just a temporary blip. You are still young, you see relationships as such short term things. Jasper and I have been married for decades, we will get past this.
“If you leave you will take Nessie away from her family, and away from Jacob, when she is growing so fast and needs them. You need to stay with the family for now. And you will train.”
Renée interjected, “I don’t think that you and Jasper should see each other again, certainly not regularly. Your gifts are incompatible, and even after training the risk will be too high that you would manipulate each other's feelings again. You must not blame him or yourself for these events. It was bound to happen at some point with Jasper. He is a man who hears not only the thoughts you put into heads but feels the emotions too, so very keenly. He has been in great emotional pain because of them. I am sure he will be less burdened away from you.”
I would lose Alice and Jasper from my life and the lives of all our family forever.
“Ah Bella, don’t look like that, no one is dying here,” Alice rang. “I can visit, we can both visit with the rest of the family if you are away anytime. We just have to coordinate. It won’t be the same, but we will all be happy.”
“And Fred, what do we do about Fred?” I looked at Alice and she looked to Carlisle.
“He has chosen to disrespect our family. He will not feed as we do. It is clear and simple, he cannot stay with us. He needs to leave this area and not return.” Carlisle's judgment was surprisingly authoritative. He left no room for discussion. I felt a mix of relief and guilt. If Fred had not fallen under my spell and acted in this way he would have found help here for longer, and now he would have to cope on his own in a life of exile from every living thing.
“So Renée, how are we to release them?” Carlisle questioned.
“This is for Bella to do.” Renée repeated her earlier assertion
“But how? I can’t, I don’t know how.”
“Bella, honey, don’t be so negative. You stopped them very decisively. I don’t think you will have too much trouble in getting them to resume.”
“So do I just shout resume! Or is there more to it than that?”
“You are forcing thoughts into their minds, you can be as precise as you want to be. Start with something small. Address just one of them and command them to make a small movement.”
“Mom, that isn’t going to work. I can’t just tell someone what to do and they do it.”
“You can, look at the truth in front of you. When you concentrate you can do it.”
“OK, I’ll try and then you’ll see.”
“Edward, please look at me.” I walked over to him. “Edward if you can hear me move your head and look at me.”
The frozen stance of my husband stayed exactly as it was.
“You need to concentrate, you need to put your soul into this just like you did when you commanded them to stop – well maybe not that much! Remember how you felt when you saw them fighting like this, you felt so much that they needed to do something.”
“I will show you.” Renée glided to Emmett's side. She looked so small and fragile against his massive frame. Emmett looked nervous, clearly not sure if he should try to defend himself in some way. “Emmett, I want you to climb half way up the tree you are standing next to. Just go and sit safely on that nice thick branch.” Renée pointed to the branch.
Emmett looked like a bear climbing the tree. He bounded up the trunk and sat on the branch comfortably, swinging his legs slightly. He almost looked like a young boy, but the scale was all wrong, the tree was too big and Emmett vast.
We all just stared at him, “What’s wrong with you, haven’t you seen anyone climb a tree before?” He called from his elevated position.
Carlisle looked very puzzled. “Emmett, why did you climb the tree?”
Emmett just shrugged his shoulders in his normal manner. “I felt like it I guess. It seemed like a good idea. I thought I’d get a better view.”
“Do you remember Renée saying anything to you?”
“Well she came over to me and I thought it would be better if I was up here safely out of the way.”
“And can you get down?”
“Of course.” And he jumped to the ground, the earth quaking slightly as he landed.
If this hadn’t been so serious it would have been funny.
I looked at Renée, “But if he can get down, why can’t the others move?”
“I didn’t tell him to stop. I was careful to explain to him what I wanted him to do, but after he had done it he was at liberty to do anything he wanted.”
“What do you mean, you wanted me to climb the tree? It was my idea, you didn’t ask me to do it.”
Renée looked at me. “They never remember it was you that asked, which is usually a good thing.”
I went to Edward's side and touched his face. He felt still, but otherwise completely normal. I thought back to the desperate desire I felt for them all to stop fighting, and tried to put some of that into my command.
“Edward, please look at me.”
His head moved away from Fred’s neck, swiveling in my direction. His eyes found mine and then he was still again. I stared into his eyes for a few seconds, they were coal black but still looked very alive.
“How should I get them to move again? I don’t want the fight to restart.”
“Well honey, I’d try for one at a time. Start with Jasper as he is least entangled. You need to be very specific, just continue or resume won’t do, he will just start to fight again.”
“No, I know, I know what to say, I have seen it,” Alice cried, and went into a trance again. “Yes, that’s it! You must tell him to move away from the other fighters and leave with me. We will go straight away from here. Can you send things up to Denali for us? We’ll start there but we are going traveling for a while. We will keep in touch, I still have my phone. ”
She looked over to me and smiled, “Don’t worry Bella, it is all going to be fine. I can see it all and it is just fine.”
So this was what needed to happen. I had split the family, the cuckoo chick throwing the other chicks out of the nest.
I moved to her husband’s side. “Look at me please Jasper.” His neck rotated in odd fashion until he was looking directly into my eyes.” I saw black fire in them. “Jasper, move away from Edward and Fred. Go to Alice and leave with her when she asks you to.”
But he didn’t move.
My mother flitted to my side and put her hand on my shoulder. “Try again. Think what you want him to do most of all.”
“Jasper, release Edward’s arm and stop loving me!” The last bit slipped out from deep within me without my conscious thought.
Jasper released Edward’s arm but Jasper didn’t move. I felt hatred in the air. His gift had not stopped, it involved no muscles. He now felt hatred and this was filling the air.
“Too much again Bella,” Renée chided. “Are you trying to get him to kill you?”
I was glad that Jasper was still frozen. I could imagine a hate-powered Jasper stalking me for eternity until he found and destroyed me.
“Love me as your sister.” It was the only thing I could think that might be near what I felt for him.
The hated evaporated and a comfortable calm pervaded the clearing.
“Jasper, move normally and go to Alice.”
This time it worked. He slowly rose from his place next to Edward and took four steps to be next to Alice. He embraced her briefly and stood staring into her eyes, their hands linked, emotions of many kinds passing between them, some strong enough to leak outside of their personal space. I had to look away, it was such a personal moment between them.
After a minute or so Carlisle cleared his throat, “Ahem, how much of what was said did you hear Jasper?”
“All of it I think, I just don’t know why I can suddenly move again.”
“That was Bella releasing you. Do you have anything that you want to add to counter what you have heard.”
“No, Bella’s description was correct. I just don’t understand what possessed me. If it makes any difference I am truly sorry. But I know that is not enough to put right the damage I have caused.”
“We are going to leave now and go to Denali,” Alice said.
“Yes, I want to go with you,” said Jasper, his deep base voice chiming with (it took me a second to think what it was) … hope.
Alice hugged me one last time. “We will meet again Bella.” And my hope for this was restored too. They ran out of sight hand in hand. I may have lost Jasper from my life forever but I would see her again, I was sure of it.
“Just these two to sort now, one to go and one to stay,” said Renée.
“What should I say to them?”
I looked first to Renée, who merely shrugged her shoulders, and then to Carlisle.
“I think you should ask Fred to leave voluntarily and not to come back, and to feel friends and only friends with all of our family.”
I did as Carlisle requested. It took three goes but eventually he was able to maneuver away from Edward. He left with hardly a word, just a brief smile and a “see you around some day.”
Then there was just Edward. I so wanted him back it was easy to know what to say.
“Come back to me, I love you.”
I was caught immediately in such a passionate kiss that, had I been human and kissed like this with so many onlookers I would have gone bright scarlet. As it was I felt a flush in my cheeks.
“I love you so much Bella,” was all that he said.
“Will you two just get a room or something!” Emmett grumbled, leaning against a tree watching us with disgust.
“Mind you thoughts brother, she’s mine,” Edward snapped back at him, but his remark had an edge of humor to it. We both grinned at each other, our eyes not losing each other's.
“Now that’s all sorted had we better get off. The sun will be out soon and we don’t want you exposed to the light when there are innocents about,” Renée said with enthusiasm. She turned and started to run gently back towards the edge of the forest.
She was right about the sun. The cold gray light was giving way to a bright winter's morning. We needed to get away before we were seen shimmering in the rays of sunlight filtering through the forest.
I followed her, dragging Edward by the hand. I wanted answers.
Carlisle, Demetri and Emmett jogged along twenty yards or so behind and further behind them still Nahuel.
“Mom, aren’t you going to explain?”
“Yes I am honey, but not here.”
“Will you come home with us?” I asked. The thought of going without answers for another minute seemed unbearable but going for days without them was unthinkable.
Carlisle spoke up from the party behind. “Renée, please come back with us, we all have things we need to share with each other.”
“Thank you Carlisle, I will. I would love to see Esme again.”
She said little else until we reached the edge of the wood despite my numerous attempts to start a conversation. All I managed to get out of her was that Phil was fine and in good form this season.
We were again obliged to move at human speed, but this time we chose what would have been a brisk run for a human. We had to get under cover.
We reached the safe house again just as the sun was getting dangerously high in the sky.
Jasper and Alice had taken the car we had used to get there. But there were now a convoy of cars parked outside the house. Edward and Alice had arrived in Edward’s Aston Martin and Carlisle in his Mercedes with Demetri and Fred. Emmett had his huge Jeep, which by the scent had also carried the two wolves but now Nahuel was the only remaining passenger. There was also one very ordinary looking car, a compact Japanese car, just right for a teaching assistant, Renée’s car.
We were a strange convoy driving back to Forks. I thought that we would have to drive slowly because of my mother's ordinary car, but like so much else about my mother there was more to her car than met the eye. Under the hood it was obviously not an ordinary compact car. It was little wonder that she had never let me drive it. She’d always said that it was unreliable and hard to change gear, and I had always borrowed Phil’s when I was at home.
Edward and I said little to each other on the way home. We sat in silence, occasionally grinning at each other. Edward drove one handed along all the straight bits of road so that we could hold hands on the way back.
All I could say was, “I believed him, I am so sorry, he said you’d sent him.”
“I know you believe a lie so easily, you trust people so much. It is one of the things I love about you. Jasper was a member of the family. Why wouldn’t you trust him?”
At that point I though back to the incident in the kitchen. Maybe I should of at least been suspicious of him.
I wanted to know more. “What made him do it? Was there a trigger that suddenly forced him to act like this? I haven’t been trying to lead him on or anything.”
“I know that Bella, you mustn’t take any blame yourself. Emmett and Nahuel both love you too but they haven’t acted in this way towards you and Nessie.
“There were two things going around in his mind when we were frozen, I so wanted to tear his head off when I heard them. The first was the image of you asleep in the cottage; apparently you whispered his name…”
“Oh, I am so sorry, I can’t help what I say when I’m asleep, I don’t suppose I meant anything by it.”
“I know, you usually say my name at least a dozen times when you sleep, to say his once is nothing. But he didn’t understand that, he thought it was your subconscious crying out for him. But even with that he may not have taken such drastic action if it wasn’t for you blasting him the other day when you unshielded in the cottage. At that point he lost his mind, he felt that he would die without you.”
“Oh,” I felt ashamed and dejected, “I won’t do that again unless it is just the two of us. Does it make you feel more in love with me?”
“I feel more in love with you every day, this is just a bonus."
“It is a good job they had both gone before you released me or I would have had both their heads. Nobody’s going to take you away from me.”
“I know, but it’s all over now,” I replied, and we smiled.
End of Chapter 53
Wow! What a relief! I'm glad they could resolve the situation peacefully with Renee's help. I can't wait to see what else she has to say! Alice was great too. Can't wait to see hw everything turns out so that Edward and Bella can truly have their happily ever after and she can live up to her full potential!
PS: I loved the bit about the cars.
I just didn't think that Carlisle would allow anyone's head to be taken off in this situation, it would be very un-Cullen.
I think it was right to relase Edward last or he would have burnt the others where they stood if he got a chance - he was that cross. He became much more himself again when he didn't have to hear their thoughts anymore.
Renee has a lot to expalining to do - but when she does what will it mean for the family. What position will it put them in with the Volturi? Why does Demetri think he knows Renee although they ahve never met before.
Still lots of questions. Enjoy the last twist tomorrow.
Thank you for your comment.
aww gosh :) I am glad they sorted it out. It was very interesting. I am glad her mom helped her out.