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
ah, finally! one step closer to having release. now, what's this thing about renee? :)
I always wanted Renee to be a stronger character than in the orignal saga. I was always left with the feeling that maybe she didn't care about Bella all that much but then I decide that wouldn't be the case and that I would have to write her part.
So Chapter 54 is all about Renee's part in all of this. But what will this knowledge do to the Cullens? What are the political implications of what she is about to tell them. Could it lead to their downfall?
Chapter 54 - Revelation
Carlisle had called ahead to let Esme and Rose know that we were coming home. Presumably he’d give her the news that Alice and Jasper had effectively been banished from the family, even if only while I was resident in Forks, and that Fred had been banished permanently.
I’d called Sam on Edward’s mobile to ask him to let Jacob know that it would be safe to take Nessie straight home to the Cullen’s main house. He would no doubt take a little longer than we would. He’d not want to run at full speed during the day with Nessie on his back. Sam would be able to communicate with Jacob in Wolf form and would spread the word about what happened. He said the rest of Jacob’s pack had gone out to meet them on the way home as extra protection for Nessie. I had no need to worry – my little girl was in good hands, or paws.
We were subdued as we settled in the lounge to try to make some sense of the day. I felt Alice’s absence keenly. I knew what it was now: she brought us hope, hope that we would now have to find ourselves or do without.
What I needed was answers to the burning questions going through my mind. All these questions centered on one person – my mother!
Once my mother was settled and had been served a cup of coffee by Esme she began.
“Before you ask me questions, let me tell you some facts from the outset so that you get the whole picture rather than bits and pieces.” My mother’s accent had slipped. She didn’t sound like the scatterbrained teaching assistant from the South any more. She had the strange, faintly European accent that I had heard in my head.
“I am a woman with talents beyond the usual human abilities, as you have witnessed this today.” There were slight nods around the room.
“I am one of a group of people, we like to call ourselves ‘the gifted’, or more traditionally ‘Theophoritae’. It’s from the Greek, and it means ‘inspired by the gods’. But the name isn’t important, we have been called may things down the centuries, most of them impolite. We are not as numerous as vampires. Yes, I know what you are.
“How is it that I am what I am? I see the question in all your faces.
“I think the best way to describe this would be in terms of genetics. We have now stopped using gods to explain things and talk about genes, though to most people it is just as mysterious and other-worldly.
“When I was a human, I had a genetic predisposition to change into something else. In my case, the predisposition was not only to change from one form to another, but to change again to yet another form, like a caterpillar turns first into a pupa and then into a butterfly.”
Carlisle could not resist asking a question. “You were human, then something else, and now you are ...”
Renée smiled, “That is right, now I am part of the ‘Theophoritae’, ‘the gifted’.”
“So what was the middle step?” Emmett asking the easy question that was on all our lips.
“I was a vampire.”
The small gasp that went around the room amused Renée.
“This is why I am not scared by your kind at all, I have experienced the vampire life for myself.”
“But I changed. I was forced to change in to my third form.”
I was Demetri who interrupted this time, clearly enthralled by Renée's explanation. “What is this state that you are in? How does it differ from human and vampires?”
“The most important difference is that I am both mortal and immortal. I have a life, I grow old and die, but then I am reborn keeping all of my memories and character but using new genetic material to make myself look different. A type of reincarnation, in a way.”
We were all stunned. There was silence in the room.
“How many times have you been reborn?” Demetri again determined to find out the facts.
“Many now Demetri, scores of times.”
“Just how old are you Mom?”
“Well, honey, look at me, how old do you think I look?”
I looked at her closely for the first time with my vampire eyes and she looked just as I remembered, just as she had always done since I was a child.
“Mom, you look about thirty still!”
“Thanks honey, thirty is a good age, that’s my favorite age and I tend to slow down there if I can for a while.”
“You can slow down and speed up you aging at will?”
“Within sensible boundaries, yes. It means I can linger and enjoy the best years without the body maturing so quickly, which means I avoid a lot of health problems just when I want to be doing so much. Thirty isn’t really so different to forty at a quick glance and when you know someone well you don’t notice what they look like every day. So I get away with it.”
“This is just a little thing, a minor perk if you will. Let us get back to main point.
“Theophoritae have the appearance of humans, even to a vampire. Our physiology is somewhat enhanced. We eat human food, though we could live on a diet of blood if we needed to. We have skin that looks like human but is as strong as a vampire's in a lot of ways. We have hearts that beat and blood that flows, although it is not human blood.
“Physically we are strong and fast like vampires. Our co-ordination, reactions and eyesight are every bit as good.
“I am sure the question you need answering more than any other, Bella, is how I was inside your mind.
“This is a gift, a thing that we theophoritae can all do. It is not magic of any kind, just genetics. We can separate a portion of our souls away from our bodies. This part-soul has no physical form and can enter into others. The rest of our soul and body will continue normally, but because it is missing part of the soul, the body’s actions and mind will seem childlike, and without understanding, sense or purpose.
“I know that this is a lot for you all to take in, but it is best that you know everything so that when decisions have to be made, and they will have to be made, you have all the facts.
“The Quileute tell stories of the time when there used to be spirit warriors in the tribe. Theophoritae are similar to these old warriors, but we can leave some soul in our bodies so that our normal lives carry on when most of the soul is elsewhere.
“The formless soul can move quickly through the air and can find rest in other bodies, inhabiting the mind as a visitor. From within we can offer support and guidance to the person and help them in difficult situations.
“I have been putting my soul into your mind Bella, but I could not get far into it as you have so many strong shields about it. I could only penetrate the outermost shield and sit at the edges of your mind, reading your senses and talking to you as a voice. I could not read any of your thoughts, though in most cases I have access to a whole mind.
“Through our gifts, we theophoritae can control other people's minds. It is easy to control a mind when you are inside, but when you have knowledge of minds as we do you can control minds from the outside as well. We are adapted to plant thoughts and emotions in other people's minds, and we give out this mind control passively. This adaptation has to be controlled or it can cause problems.
“This adaptation can take one of three forms. Some give people confidence in themselves or those about them, which we call faith. Some give out the feeling that the future will be good. We call this hope, and hope-givers often have foresight. And some allow people to feel the emotion love, which can be love for the theophoritae themselves or love and loyalty to another. This is where faith, hope and love are founded.
“For millenia, we theophoritae have debated which of these emotions is the most powerful, but we now recognize that to have all three in balance is the best state.
“I have now told you the basics. Would you like to ask me some questions? I am sure that you must have some.”
Carlisle was the first to respond. Clearly this new information was fascinating to him. “Renée, how are you reborn? You said that you use other genetic material, could you explain that for me?”
Renée smiled. “It is certainly unusual. When we leave our bodies for the last time it is as a complete soul. In this state we can combine with an embryo in the womb and alter the DNA radically so that the embryo is no longer human but is physically theophoritae and also carries with it all the memories and our personality from previous lives. Thus we take on the physical characteristics of the parents but are theophoritae.
“I believe some call us cuculus, or cuckoo. It is easy to see where that name originates from. But it is a rude and inaccurate label to describe us. I go to considerable lengths to take care of my parents and any siblings I have.
“Carlisle I can see you have many more burning questions. We can discuss this at length later but shall we ask the others if they have more questions before I put my question to you?”
Although my head was full of questions, certainties were coalescing. I knew I was like my mother, a theophoritae. I could be reborn if I needed to, I could grow old and die, I could be young and have children, I could be a child again myself.
“Nessie, is she one of us?”
“I think not, but we will have to see as she grows older. I believe that as she already has vampire DNA in her genetic make-up this is likely to have prevented her being like you. Very few children of theophoritae are gifted, most live happy lives as humans in the normal way. It is a genetic rarity when one of our children follow in our line as you have.”
Demetri asked the next question. “Please Renée, how did you die as a vampire?”
Renée smiled at him. “I was killed by my creator. Although he loved me he feared me as I was becoming more powerful than him. My gift, uncontrolled at the time, gave him the confidence to carry out his plan to get rid of me. I was about to take away from him one of his closest coven members and he could not bear the loss of power. He had no idea that in doing this he would cause my rebirth as a much more powerful being.”
Demetri looked deeply troubled by this news. “Will you return?”
Renée just smiled at him. Demetri was clearly thinking very quickly. Edward, who was sitting in the chair next to me, stiffened. I didn’t know if this was in response to Demetri’s or Renée’s thoughts or something totally different.
“What is it like to die?” Rose asked.
“For my kind it is painful,” Renée answered honestly. “There is much pain involved in removing your whole soul from a body and this pain only stops when you find an embryo in the right state to join with. In some cases we have to stay waiting inside our mothers for the right moment. All this time the pain is intense. After a few generations we become much better at foretelling the end, and learn to find out a likely mother before we die. There is always emotional pain too, the loss of one's old life and family.”
“Again painful, but just in a physical way. Of course in the past this was also a very dangerous time. Having spent nine months as a fetus it is disappointing to then die during birth and have to start all over again. Fortunately such things are much rarer now.
“Being a baby is a little dull. I always want to smile a my mother when she beams down at me, her newborn baby, but I have found it doesn’t go down well if you do. They tend to think you are possessed by an evil spirit or something.
“Now, can we take a break from me talking, I have done a lot. If you can all go and think carefully about what you would like to know I will endeavor to answer. Perhaps I might ask for another cup of coffee, Esme?”
“Certainly Renée, of course, can I get you anything to eat as well?” My mother went out to the kitchen with her, leaving us in the lounge.
I sat in quiet contemplation. I had so many questions I need my mother to answer.
Edward had stress written all over his face and I was sure that the cause of it was the stress written on Demetri’s face.
“What’s wrong?” I mouthed quietly when I could take the expression no longer.
But Edward shook his head, “I can’t tell you why but this will put us in a difficult position with the Volturi if Demetri is right.”
Demetri looked over to him. “I am sure, but I don’t know what it will mean, what the future will bring now for any of us. Things are not clear, all the lines of power have to be redrawn.” The last sentence he muttered very quietly, almost to himself.
My mother came back in to the lounge. She chatted happily to Rose and Esme about Nessie. Renée was clearly excited at the prospect of seeing her granddaughter soon.
She spoke with Emmett, asking him about the football in the clearing, taking an interest in his descriptions of the strengths and weakness of each of teams.
As she moved on from each family member she whispered something quietly in their ear to which they made no response or even recognition that it had happened. I noticed that she was able to do this without the others noticing it was happening. I could see the magician's trick.
She spoke with Carlisle, answering another one of his questions about the genetics.
She turned to Demetri, “I know you want me to give you answers Demetri, and I will when I have finished this break. I will talk to you all again as a whole, it would be the best way to explain my story.”
Again, she whispered in his ear. But to Edward and I she just smiled.
“Can I have all your attentions again. There is one more important fact I need to tell you about myself. I would not want you to feel I was keeping a secret from you.
“I want to tell you who I was when I was an vampire. It is important and this knowledge could impact your life. If you do not wish to know then please leave now.”
Of course no one left. We all were riveted to the spot.
“This is not news to Demetri as he has felt it for some time.
“When I was a human my name was Didyme. This was the name I used when I was a vampire.”
Carlisle drew a sharp breath.
My mother continued. “I was sister to Aro, and wife of Marcus. Aro turned me into a vampire.”
“In time, Aro destroyed me with fire. Aro caused my first rebirth as a true theophoritae.”
There was total silence in the room. Nobody moved.
After the silence there was pandemonium.
Rose stated to cry, “Why, why, why would you tell us this? Are you trying to get us all killed? Perhaps it is a lie, perhaps you are just trying to make trouble? What evidence do you give for this? He will come and kill us all.”
Emmett was disagreeing with her, “No, we need to know what we are up against.”
Esme was clenching Carlisle’s arm, clearly shocked.
Demetri knelt at my mother’s feet, bringing silence again, “My mistress,”
“Will you come home with me? Marcus cannot be whole without you.”
“No Demetri, I will not be visiting with my brother. And I have a husband in this life already.”
“That is no problem, mistress. It would be my honor to remove that obstacle for you.”
At this point, it was me that cried out, but this time at Demetri, “You can’t kill Phil!”
“Bella is right, Phil has my protection and love. Of course I love Marcus, I always will, I have for every day of the last two-and-a-half thousand years. But that hasn’t stopped me from learning to find room in my heart for other good people.”
“But I do want to release Marcus from his depression, before now I have had no opportunity to do it. In a few years time I want you to arrange for Marcus to come here. I will not come to him because if he knows I am still alive he will turn on Aro and the Volturi will fall. It is for this reason that I have not moved before. I will teach Bella and Alice how to release him. Between them the love and hope he should feel from them should be enough to counter the loss of faith he has suffered.
“If Marcus can be restored to good spirit the Volturi will gain strength but they will be in better balance. At the moment they are like a three-legged stool with one leg broken. The balance that my Marcus brings is mercy and compassion. This is needed to counteract my brother's drive to hold together the vampire world so that he can rule it, and to counteract Caius' lust for violent, brutal enforcement of laws. Without compassion, the vampire world has been only power and rules, and the balance has been lost. The Volturi may begin to crumble, and with that the stability of the vampire and human worlds.
“Demetri I will give you a message for my brother now.”
She came and sat on the coffee table in front of Demetri. She was looking at him in the way people pose in front of video cameras, knowing that they want to put on a good show when the recording starts.
“Aro, first of all I forgive you for the wrong you did to me, you have made me what I am now.
“Brother, do not fear, I wish only to restore my Marcus to happiness and restore the balance to the Volturi ideals. When we founded the Volturi we had good principles, but without the balance that Marcus can bring these have been lost. You need to bring compassion back into the heart of the Volturi and the heart of the vampire world.
“The Cullens are under my protection now and if you plot against them any further, you will fall. I will let Chelsea know what she is, she will leave your guard and the Volturi will fall.”
Demetri was still as a rock, his face scared like I have never seen before.
“But madam this will not work, there are too many that know. This plan will not work because of this knowledge. I understand that you do not wish it to be so but I think you have put each of them in the gravest of danger.”
“You are right Demetri, their knowledge may cause the downfall of the vampire world. That is why I have a question now for Carlisle.
“I want to make you all forget what I have just told you. You needed an explanation of what has gone on and of what Bella is, but this knowledge is a danger to you. I ask you to let me repress it for you. You will be left with the feeling that there is an explanation for the events that went on here, and for Bella's gifts, but that the explanation is not important. You will see me again as human.
“Demetri, friend, I am sorry but you will have no choice. I have to force you to forget or the Volturi will fall. You know this to be true?”
Renée continued, again sitting down in front of Demetri. “Aro will see all in your thoughts, you will take my message to him but have no memory of doing so.”
“Aro, this man is also under my protection. He does me this favor but he loves you and the stability that the Volturi bring. Use him wisely brother.”
Carlisle spoke, “You give us this information, this fascinating glimpse into your life, and now you wish to take it away so quickly. Renée it may have been better not to tell us in the first place.”
“If I had not told you, you would have looked for answers, which would have led to your downfall as it has to so many before. I have told you so that I can release you from the dangers of your curiosity. You now know that you do not need to have this knowledge, that the explanation is not mystical or magical or spiritual, but natural. I am just another species, just as humans and vampires are different species.
“I understand your love of new information but I do ask you to give it up.”
Carlisle nodded his agreement. “I can see it would be for the best.” After a brief discussion with the others they all agreed that Renée's course of action would be for the best.
There was a slight breeze in the air, then stillness.
“There, it is done,” Renée said back in her school teacher voice, looking into her now drained coffee cup.
There was no change in the vampires in the room. I could remember everything about the conversation of the previous hour and I presumed that they did too. Renée had obviously not succeeded in her intentions and we would all still be hounded by this knowledge.
“I should love to see the house now Esme, I’m sure Bella will take my coffee cup now I’m done. I believe you have created new rooms at the top, is that right?”
“Yes, times flies when you are chatting, doesn’t it,” Esme replies to Renée. “Let’s start in the kitchen, I am so fond of the view from here over the river. The others prefer the view from upstairs but this one is my favorite. I love the way the river is framed by those two trees and on a clear night you can see the moon reflected in it.”
I looked to Edward, raising an a eyebrow.
He smiled at me reassuringly.
“Emmett, you were going to put the match on. Have you lost the remote?”
Emmett looked round. He looked slightly surprised. “Oh right, err, here we go.”
And everyone, except Carlisle and I, sat back to enjoy another soccer match. After a while there was so much good-humored banter about the match with the wolves that the commentary on the television was lost.
Carlisle said he would call Billy to make arrangements to go down to La Plush to visit Jared and see how his foot was mending.
After an hour or so my mother announced that she needed to go and check in at her hotel and diplomatically declined staying with the Cullens. She said that she had booked a room Port Angeles and was looking forward to the ocean view.
I suggested I accompanied her back to the hotel to see her settled in and Edward happily agreed to pick me up an hour later.
At last I had my mother to myself. I didn’t know where to start.
Once we were on the highway my torrent of questions flooded out.
“Why didn’t you tell me before!”
“You wouldn’t of been able to understand.”
“How long have you known that I am one of you, not just human.”
“Ah, that would have been when you took your first steps at about three weeks. Theophoritae are always advanced in early development in their human form.”
“I walked at three weeks?”
“Yes, you were so graceful, you almost floated, it looked beautiful.”
“But I spent the rest of my human years falling over my feet.”
“Yes, I am sorry I had to do that to you, but after Forks I thought it would be for the best. I wanted you to have as normal an upbringing as possible which meant making you less co-ordinated. Fortunately your shield wasn’t strong then and I could get in and make you less confident in you balance and spacial awareness. It stopped you sticking out, but I overdid it a little I think. I am sorry I had to do it, Bella, but it was necessary. I knew you would regain your natural confidence when you were turned. If you had not been turned, I would have given you your confidence back when you were adult and had finished school.”
“So all my bad sports days were down to you?”
“Yes sorry honey, otherwise you would have become a champion sports player or something and you couldn't afford to stick out like that. I needed to find you a suitable vampire, not just get every vampire in the world to know who you were. I am sorry, but it was a strategy to keep you alive as a human and turned properly when the time came.”
“You planned all this?”
“Well, I couldn’t plan all of it, most of it was good fortune. Charlie told me the Cullens had moved back to the area and you wanted to spend time in Forks, it all worked out very well. I knew they would find you with your scent, but I knew they didn't take human blood and I just didn’t know if they would bite you or not. And then you and Edward happened and I knew it would be OK, you would become vampire.
“But what I don’t know is why you are changing. It happened to me when I was destroyed but with you it must be from choice. It does happen from time-to-time. What is it you don’t like about being a vampire? Why do you want to change? What is it that you can’t do as a vampire?”
“I haven’t chosen to change!!”
“Not an active decision on your part, it is the outcome of some longing. But you could decide actively to stop it if you want to. Being a theophoritae is all about choice and consequence of that choice.”
“I can do so much as a vampire, I don’t miss being human. I like the speed, strength and all the rest of it.”
“I loved having Nessie as a baby and sometimes I dream of having another, I thought that was lost to me.”
“Ah, the age-old pull of motherhood. We all get it, it doesn’t lessen with each rebirth. I have had many children and loved each one dearly.”
“I have siblings? Are they vampire, or have they moved on?”
“Most live happy human lives, which is beautiful. I am normally reborn and lose them as children before they move on. A few have had the gene, but nearly all have lost their lives early because of it. They are either seen as evil by other humans, called witches, or taken as food by vampires. Hardly any have survived the vampires bite and become theophoritae. But you have one sister who is vampire. She calls herself Chelsea at the moment, she binds the Volturi guard for Aro.”
“Chelsea is my sister?”
“More like half sister or quarter sister. There is a little of me in both of you, but many other genes too.
“Bella, you don’t have to ask everything now, I will come back as often as you wish. It will be easier now.”
Very interesting twist! Great surprise that also brings in some lose threads from the original story! Brilliant idea! Will Bella and Edward be the only ones in the family who remember everything (except for Alice, of course)?
Can't wait to see how you tie everything up in the conclusion. I can also see a lot of potential for a sequel. Bringing balance to the Volturi is definitely a very interesting and intriguing idea!
Many thanks for the comment. I'm glad you liked this final twist.
I'm very pleased you noticed that Edward didn't have his memory tampered with, I thought it would be right and proper for him to know all of Bella's potential and understand the changes in her and her choices. Edward ahs less to fear from Aro in a way as if Aro read anything lock away in his thoughts Edward would see hear it anyway - so no point in hiding it.
The conclusion will be very short and will cover some but not all of the plot points.
The Bringing balance to the Volturi isn't really for this story but for I thought the idea of a more balanced but stronger Volturi would be interesting to Aro, perhaps he likes it just as it is?
wow I was not expecting this! This is very good twist to the end of the story :) I am glad Bella knows all the answers she needed to
Hi Summer Love,
I'm really glad you enjoyed this final twist. Hopefully Bella can get a bit of downtime now!
Renee is going to have to spend alot of time with her daughter to answer all her questions and train her. I just liked the idea of a much stronger Renee not the weak thing in the orignal books - to me it just wasn't credible that she would be so absent from Bella's life when she needed her most. It makes much more sence if she were there telling her not to jump off the cliff in New Moon.
Well, sure. Why not have Renee as a goddess? Who would have thought. This leaves the story line open for development in your follow-up novel!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah. You know you're gonna write it someday. I enjoyed the last two chapters. Sorry to see this coming to an end.
I love it, finally we know what Bella is and that Renee can help her with her gifts! can't wait to read your next update!
The next update will be the postscript. It will just be short and should wrap things up a bit.
I will of course keep you guessing about somethings - a little mystery is healthy.
But if there is anything that you feel needs some more explaining please let me know.
Chapter 55 - Postscript
I have written this account of the events that took place six months ago to finally get them out of my head so that when I sleep my dreams are no longer troubled by them. Therapy!
Edward and I are more in love than ever and talk constantly to each other.
We have lost Jasper from the family and Alice is with him, but she does visit sometimes. We miss them both very much and really look forward to Alice's visits.
Renée visits us a lot, both in spirit form and as a whole person. We have even been down to Jacksonville once when Phil was on tour. I love to watch Renée and Nessie playing together, they are so happy in each other's company. I'm sad that Renée didn’t get to hold Nessie when she was a tiny baby. Renée has, in her many lives, had lots of children and she really loves them.
Renée is starting to tell me much more about her past, about her abilities as one of theophoritae, and about the other theophoritae including Alice's mother. In the past, the theophoritae have been described as devils, witches and sorceresses, but also more positively, though still inaccurately, as demigods, angels and fairies. I also found out what the name Renée means. Edward though it was so obvious he hadn't thought to tell me that it means 'reborn'.
Renée is training me to control my abilities. I have released both Emmett and Nahuel from my spell. We made it into a ceremony, mostly for Rose's sake to emphasise the end of that episode in the two men's lives.
Nahuel went home to the forests of South America but has promised to return next year with his sister so that Nessie can meet another female hybrid.
I offered to release the wolves from their imprints if they wanted. Only Quil and Jacob decided to be released. Jacob thought that it would be better for Nessie if she didn’t have the whole imprint business hanging over her as she grew up, and that this will allow her to make a proper free choice on who to be with when the time is right for her. Jacob loves Nessie as much as he used to, if not more, but this love is like the love of her other Uncles. What he and she become in the future is for them to choose in the future.
My training to release Marcus is going slowly and I still find it worrying when Renée isn’t about. But I need to do this task with Alice and we can’t start to train together until she is back from Europe for more than a two day visit. It is a mission that could bring about better balance to the vampire world, so no pressure.
Demetri and Leah are soon to be married. They live in Italy now, in a village in the hills surrounded by woods, not too far from Volterra. Demetri is still a guard but has fixed that he is 'on call' and does not live in the castle with the others. Aro is delighted to have a real shape-shifter nearby, almost as good as having one in his collection in the castle. If they decide to have children that will also be a source of great interest to Aro.
Fred has not been seen again but Esme has had a few postcards. They come from all over the world, and say how he is looking for someone else who can shield him. I liked Fred’s sunny attitude and I am pleased that he has found this purpose in his life. I also like the fact that he is far away from me until I get my gift sorted out.
The main difference between then and now is that I now know what I could be but I also know what I want to be, and I am totally committed to making that happen for the foreseeable future. I want to be with my husband and my daughter. I want to have the privilege of watching her grow up into a strong young woman. I want to be a vampire and nothing else. Although there are attractions of being immortal by rebirth, I am very happy to stay frozen at eighteen with my perfect seventeen year old husband. Why would I want to waste a minute of eternity away from him?
If you could chose between staying permanently young or moving through to old age and death and then rebirth, which would you choose? For me there is only one choice, and that is Edward.
End of Story - Cold Gray Light.
I'm glad things are working out well for them. Just a pity they lost Jasper as a part of their family and it will be more difficult to see Alice. It is good though that Bella can see her mother more.
Demetri and Alice is a very strange combination to me and I can see how Bella could unconsciously have influenced that. I am not so sure if she could have had so much influence over the other wolves and their imprintings. It did happen with previous generations, if not so often.
Thank you for a great story!