The Twilight Saga

** Characters and Storyline belong to Stephenie Meyer

** Story Adaptation by Erica Bailey

 

Banner by Leesa

 

Special Thanks to amel (alias) who has tirelessly beta read my chapters and pushed me to do better.

And Gela Montoya who has edited chapters 1-5 and 8 thus far and found all my many errors.

And Marli who, I think, has agreed to pick up the editing from here on in

(Please don't blame either of them for the errors in the attached links as the editing has occured after the posts... when it's all done, I hope to have one complete document.)

 

Other than Chapter 1, the following are hyperlinks to the chapters.

 

PDF                               Link                

Eclipse EPOV Ch 1.pdf   Chapter 1: Main posting (below)

Eclipse EPOV Ch 2.pdf   Chapter 2

Eclipse EPOV Ch 3.pdf   Chapter 3

Eclipse EPOV Ch 4.pdf   Chapter 4

Eclipse EPOV Ch 5.pdf   Chapter 5

Eclipse EPOV Ch 6.pdf   Chapter 6

Eclipse EPOV Ch 7.pdf   Chapter 7

Eclipse EPOV Ch 8.pdf   Chapter 8

Eclipse EPOV Ch 9.pdf   Chapter 9

Eclipse EPOV Ch 10.pdf Chapter 10

Eclipse EPOV Ch 11.pdf Chapter 11

Eclipse EPOV Ch 12.pdf Chapter 12

Eclipse EPOV Ch 13.pdf Chapter 13

Eclipse EPOV Ch 14.pdf Chapter 14

Eclipse EPOV Ch 15.pdf Chapter 15

Eclipse EPOV Ch 16.pdf Chapter 16

Eclipse EPOV Ch 17.pdf Chapter 17

Eclipse EPOV Ch 18.pdf Chapter 18

Eclipse EPOV Ch 20.pdf Chapter 19

Eclipse EPOV Ch 20.pdf Chapter 20

Eclipse EPOV Ch 21.pdf Chapter 21

Eclipse EPOV Ch 22.pdf Chapter 22

Eclipse EPOV Ch 23.pdf Chapter 23

Eclipse EPOV Ch 24.pdf Chapter 24

Eclipse EPOV Ch 25.pdf Chapter 25

Eclipse EPOV Ch 26.pdf Chapter 26

Eclipse EPOV Ch 27 & Epl.pdf Chapter 27 & Epilogue

 

Ch. 1 Ultimatum - PART 1

 

“If it is becoming such a big problem, why don’t we go and do something about it.” Emmett exclaimed. Instead of sitting around here, complaining about it…

 

“It’s not our place.” Jasper countered. “We have no authority…”

 

“We’ll have to just keep an eye on it… Authority or not, we may be required to act to bring it under control” Carlisle reasoned. We don’t need Vulturi entanglements coming here.

 

We were staring that the most recent news report on the series of murders in Seattle. It was clearly the workings of a new born vampire – and no one was taking responsibility for it. I was very glad that Bella was on house arrest. At least she wasn’t down at La Push with those… dogs – which were dangerous enough… on top of a newborn vampire on the loose.

 

I wished we could do something. Seattle was too close – if a new born came here… with Bella’s fragrant blood… I shuddered at the thought. But Jasper was right, it wasn’t our place and we didn’t need to give the Vulturi another reason to be concerned with the size and strength of our family. Eventually they would act. We could only hope they didn’t decide to take a side trip.

 

“Edward, your acceptance to Alaska came in today.” Esme held out the envelope.

 

“Alaska? I thought we decided we were going to Dartmouth?” Rosalie glared at me. “What is there to do in Alaska?”

 

“I’m working on it, Rosalie.” I glared back. “Bella is under the impression we have to go somewhere she can afford.”

 

When did the human being start making decisions for the family? She sulked.

 

“She isn’t making decisions for anyone other then herself… I will make my own decision to follow her wherever we end up.”

 

You know that isn’t how it will work. If you guys go to Alaska, everyone else will want to go too.

 

“Then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.” I was frustrated with her selfishness. We have moved so many times on her account… she was used to getting her way. She and Emmett had gone off on their own many times. I didn’t see why this would have to be any different. Unless..

 

Unless I could change Bella’s mind. I was desperately hoping I could – that she would choose to be human. But she had made herself pretty clear on that.

 

I was antsy to get going. It had only been 30 minutes since I dropped her off at her house after school and then returned home to check on everyone else. I could have waited in the bushes until my court-appointed or rather Charlie-appointed visiting hours. But I knew Esme, especially, would want to see me drop in once in awhile. Between school, visiting hours and sneaking back in to stay with Bella overnight, I wasn’t home much as it was.

 

I felt a loving hand on my shoulder. You should go, Edward… It’s where your heart is.

 

“Thanks, mom” I smiled, “I know I’m not home a lot.”

 

You are more here now then you were before Bella, Esme replied.

 

I knew what she meant. Before Bella, my existence was nothing. A hopeless drudgery of empty days and nights. With Bella, I had life. She was my salvation, my hope. Speaking of which, I needed to see her. “Bye!” I kissed her on the cheek as I left.

 

It would have taken less time to run to her house, but I drove to keep up appearances with Charlie. I parked around the corner, as I was early, and ran around behind the house, knowing I be able to see her through the back window and listen to her and Charlie’s conversation, the first line of which gave me cause for concern.

 

“Well, it’s about Jacob” Charlie started. I cringed at the name. There was no way Bella would be having anything more to do with that werewolf…

 

“What about him?” I was pleased to hear the tension in her voice. But I wasn’t foolish enough to believe this wouldn’t come up later.

 

“Easy, Bells. I know you’re still upset that he told on you, but it was the right thing. He was being responsible.”

 

HA, I just about choked on that – the person who put her on the motorcycle to begin with…

 

“Responsible. Right. So, what about Jacob?”

 

“Don’t get mad at me, okay?”

 

“Mad?”

 

“Well, it’s about Edward, too.”

 

Oh, what is this about? I searched his mind… Of course… I set my jaw as he explained and prepared my counter arguments. I respected Charlie. He only wanted the best for Bella. But what he wanted - it wasn’t going to happen.

 

“I let him in the house don’t I?”

 

Yes, between 7 and 9:30 under your constant scrutiny, I thought… Though I knew it was only because he cared about her. I couldn’t be too angry at that.

 

“You do. For brief periods of time. Of course, you might let me out of the house for brief period now and then, too. I’ve been pretty good lately.”

 

“Well, that’s kind of where I was heading with this…”

 

“I’m confused, Dad. Are we talking about Jacob, or Edward, or me being grounded?”

 

“Sort of all three.”

 

“And how do they relate?”

 

“Okay.” I heard him sigh heavily; trying to find a way to say what he needed to, “So I’m thinking maybe you deserve a parole for good behavior. For a teenager, you’re amazingly non-whiney.”

 

“Seriously? I’m free?”

 

And here it came…

 

“Conditionally.”

 

“Fantastic” I heard her groan.

 

“Bella, this is more of a request than a demand, okay? You’re free. But I’m hoping you’ll use that freedom… judiciously” And patch things up with Jacob…

 

Not going to happen, I sighed. As much as I respected Charlie’s care and concern for his daughter, it would be better directed at keeping Jacob away…

 

“What does that mean?”

 

“I know you’re satisfied to spend all of your time with Edward.” That louse who broke your heart… why you forgave him I’ll never understand…

 

“I spend time with Alice, too.”

 

“That’s true. But you have other friends besides the Cullens, Bella. Or you used to.”

 

There was a moment of silence and I saw that she was glaring at him, as he stared back. Finally be broke the stand off.

 

“When was the last time you spoke to Angela Weber?”

 

“Friday at lunch”

 

“Outside of school?”

 

“I haven’t seen anyone outside of school, Dad. Grounded, remember? And Angela has a boyfriend, too. She’s always with Ben. If I’m really free, maybe we could double.”

 

That wasn’t a bad idea. I liked Angela and Ben… Emmett and I had gotten them together… I recalled the day last year, when I had been looking for something Angela wanted, only to discover she was a very contented girl for a teenager… except that she was interested in Ben. And then to discover Ben was interested in her, but uncertain about overcoming the height difference. Humans can be so ridiculous sometimes…

 

“Okay. But then… You and Jake used to be joined at the hip, and now-”

 

I cringed as I remembered the reason why they were “joined at the hip”…

 

“Can you get to the point, Dad? What’s your condition – exactly?’

 

“I don’t think you should dump all your other friends for your boyfriend, Bella. It’s not nice, and I think your life would be better balanced if you kept some other people in it. What happened last September…”

 

I cringed again, remembering the look on her face. I suddenly noticed I was standing almost in the same spot I had when, less then a year ago, I said the most blasphemous, most foolish things I had said – when I told Bella I didn’t love her anymore. I recalled the look on her face when she heard my words and, even more ridiculously, believed me… I had broken her heart. No, I had broken her – and for what? For some foolish attempt to keep her safe? I had only pushed her into a more dangerous situation then she had been in when I was around…

 

I focused back on their conversation.

 

“Use your new freedom to see your other friends, too. Keep it balanced.”

 

I decided I would help her find ways to do that, without Jacob.

 

“Balance is good. Do I have specific time quotas to fill, though?”

 

“I don’t want to make this complicated. Just don’t forget your friends…” his words were general, but his mind was still focused on her committing to a reconciliation with Jacob.

 

“Particularly Jacob.”

 

“Jacob might be… difficult.” I breathed a sigh of relief. At least we were on the same page there.

 

“The Blacks are practically family, Bella. And Jacob has been a very, very good friend to you.”

 

“I know that.”

 

“Don’t you miss him at all?” I strained to hear her answer, worried that I already knew it.

 

“Yes, I do miss him. I miss him a lot.” My heart sank as her words and the listless tone, evidence of her connection to him…

 

“Then why is it difficult?”

 

I could give him a dozen reasons why, not the least of which was her safety – my primary concern.

 

“With Jacob there is a… conflict. A conflict about the friendship thing, I mean. Friendship doesn’t always seem to be enough for Jake.”

 

“Isn’t Edward up for a little healthy competition?”

 

Edward had decided he needs to get in there soon to rescue Bella from this conversation before you convince her to do something that is dangerous for her health. Only a small part of my brain pointed out that he might be right about the competition, doubting my true motivations…

 

I quickly ran to the car and drove it around the block to the house. I was a little early, but I supposed, with her new freedom, perhaps that would be allowable. As I drove up the block I heard that the conversation shifting…

 

“Good. Find that balance, Bella. And, oh, yeah, you’ve got some mail. It’s by the stove.”

 

I worried about what I had missed. What had Bella agreed to during the brief seconds I had been gone to get the car. I searched his mind to see to his satisfaction that he believed Bella would make an attempt with Jacob. I should have arrived earlier…

 

“Er, thanks… That was quick. I guess I missed the deadline on that one, too.”

 

I heard Charlie chuckle. It was her acceptance. He had already opened it.

 

“It’s open” she accused.

 

“I was curious.”

 

“I’m shocked, Sheriff. That’s a federal crime.”

 

I parked the car and got out, walking up the driveway – frustrated I had to walk at a human pace.

 

“Oh, just read it.” there was a pause and he couldn’t wait, “Congratulations. Your first acceptance.” He said proudly.

 

“Thanks, Dad.”

 

“We should talk about tuition. I’ve got some money saved up.”

 

“Hey, hey, none of that. I’m not touching your retirement, Dad. I’ve got my college fund.”

 

“Some of these places are pretty pricey, Bells. I want to help. You don’t have to go all the way to Alaska just because it’s cheaper.” Maybe you could go somewhere nearby – come home on the weekends…

 

“I’ve got it covered. Besides, there’s lots of financial aid out there. It’s easy to get loans.”

 

Of course, I would be glad to pay for her college education any time. It would have been a pleasure to do so… but she wouldn’t have any of it. She was stubborn and it added to what she thought of as the inequity between us.

 

“So…”

 

“So what?”

 

“Nothing. I was just… Just wondering what… Edward’s plans are for next year?”

 

“Oh”

 

That was my cue… I quickly took the last two steps a little too quickly and knocked on the door.

 

“Coming!” I heard a mixture of excitement and relief. I was just as excited to see her. Being away from her was physically painful. I missed her every moment.

 

“Go away… and this time stay away” Charlie mumbled… I understood his aversion. I had broken his little girl’s heart. He couldn’t understand the conflict I felt about that, the pain it caused me to do it, and the reasons behind it. He only knew the affect, and for that I would regret what I had done for the rest of my existence… And that is why I was patient with Charlie and his open hostility, because I understood – and I hoped that through patience he might come to forgive me.

 

The door flew open and there she was, my Bella. The physical pain I felt at parting was relieved as I drew in a deep breathe of the scent that burned my throat. That scent that, at one time drove me to almost destroy her, now held me at bay. It confirmed for me that she was alive...

I saw her eyes reacquaint with my face as mine did hers – starting with her beautiful brown eyes, deep pools into her soul, her beautiful and good soul. The thing I loved most about her – the thing she wanted me to take from her, though she didn’t believe that. I drew back to her soft brown hair, the way it flowed down to her shoulder, resting there momentarily before continuing down her back. Her lips – pink and plump – the bottom one partially hidden behind the teeth that were unconsciously biting it. Those lips that I wanted to taste, right now, but Charlie would be over to check on us momentarily as I heard his impatient thoughts at our delay in the entranceway.

She reached for my hand and I joyfully met it with my own – the warmth of it, radiating through my arm to my core.

“Hey” she said with forced casualness, and then her smile lit up her face.

I couldn’t help it – I lifted my hand, the one that was clasped in hers, to feel the warmth of the faint blush in her cheek. “How was your afternoon?”

“Slow”

“For me, as well.” I said, pulling her wrist to my nose. I closed my eyes to fully appreciate her as I inhaled at one of the points where her scent was the strongest. Venom flowed to my mouth, but I felt no temptation. Only pleasure and relief at her being with me… alive.

Charlie had had enough of our delay. I heard him rise from his chair and stomp is way over to the door. What does he think he’s doing – right here in my house. If I catch him with his hands on her I’ll… I quickly dropped her arm and opened my eyes, to greet him as innocently as I could.

“Good evening, Charlie.” I said in my most respectful tone.

He grunted his response. I didn’t catch you this time, kid, but if I see you lay one hand on her, I’ll find an excuse to use my gun on you… He took to glaring at me, arms crossed. I realized I needed to move us into a more acceptable location.

“I brought another set of applications.” I told her – part two of my attempts to win Charlie over as I knew he wanted her to go to college as much as I did. I was desperate for it, hoping she would hold off on her decision to have me or Carlisle take her life long enough to realize it wasn’t something she really wanted to do.

She groaned. She was tiring of the endless applications I was throwing at her. I knew I was being a bit of tyrant, but I wanted her to live her life – to make the most of it, not to settle for me. And there were several places where a carefully placed donation would help overlook small details like missed deadlines. I smiled, knowing she would hate knowing that part of the plan. “There are still a few open deadlines. And a few places willing to make exceptions.”

I laughed as the eyes rolled back in her head. She knew me too well and the lengths I would go to for her.

“Shall we?” I pulled her toward the kitchen, so we could sit and talk, and so Charlie could relax and go back to watching whatever sporting event was on TV, an act that would pull his attention away and allow us to really talk.

She cleared the table while I placed the applications in front of her – the one for Dartmouth on top… Hopefully she wouldn’t notice the name and complete the application as she had done so many others before. I could picture her at Dartmouth – she would enjoy it there. It wasn’t as cloudy or cool as Forks. That would please her. I would have to spend more time in doors, but that would be tolerable as long as she was with me. I could really see her enjoying herself there. I hoped that she would find a reason to stay alive.

It was then that I noticed her set aside one of the books she had read too many times – it was battered and torn in places, the binding so broken it lay open without any effort. Wuthering Heights… hmmm – I had seen her read it time and time again, I just didn’t understand why. I was about to ask her, when Charlie interrupted.

“Speaking of college applications, Edward, Bella and I were just talking about next year. Have you decided where you’re going to school?” Hopefully far, far away from here and from Bella…

I force myself to be cheerful, despite his hostility, “Not yet. I’ve received a few acceptance letters, but I’m still weighing my options.” I said, non-committally.

He wasn’t satisfied with that. “Where have you been accepted?”

“Syracuse… Harvard… Dartmouth…” I rattled off a few of the letters I had received, hoping this might give him some reason to accept my presence in his daughter’s life “and I just got accepted to the University of Alaska Southeast today.” I winked at Bella, knowing she had also received hers.

“Harvard? Dartmouth?” Charlie mumbled… okay, so the kid’s got a future, I’ll give him that. “Well that’s pretty… that’s something.” So there is no way he’d end up at Alaska then… his outlook brightened. “Yeah, but the University of Alaska…you wouldn’t really consider that when you could go Ivy League. I mean, your father would want you to…”

“Carlisle’s always fine with whatever I choose to do.” I said calmly, trying hard not let the tone that said he should do the same creep into my voice.

“Hmph.” Even without the tone, he didn’t miss the implication.

“Guess what, Edward?” Bella asked in a bright, overly cheerful voice. She was a poor actor.

“What Bella” I replied, playing along.

She pointed to the thick envelope on the counter that I already knew was her acceptance, “I just got my acceptance to the University of Alaska.”

“Congratulations!” I grinned, “What a coincidence.”

The thought of the two of us at college in Alaska, over a thousand miles away, was something he definitely wasn’t excited about, but the game was about to start. “Fine” he muttered, “I’m going to go watch the game, Bella. Nine-thirty.”

“Er, Dad? Remember the very recent discussion about my freedom…?”

He sighed. “Right. Okay, ten-thirty. You still have a curfew on school nights.”

“Bella’s no longer grounded?” I asked with a perfected innocent, excited tone.

“Conditionally,” so long as she makes up with Jacob… “What’s it to you?”

“It’s just good to know… Alice has been itching for a shopping partner, and I’m sure Bella would love to see some city lights.” I smiled at Bella, knowing Charlie couldn’t object to an outing with Alice. I imagined a weekend “shopping trip” that would land her at my house for an entire weekend, away from Charlie’s glare.

“No!” his face flushed purple, and I was surprised by his objection.

“Dad! What’s the problem?” Bella objected to his objection.

“I don’t want you going to Seattle right now.” He said through clenched teeth.

“Huh?”

“I told you about that story in the paper – there’s some kind of gang on a killing spree in Seattle and I want you to steer clear, okay?”

“Dad, there’s a better chance that I’ll get struck by lightening than that the one day I’m in Seattle-”

Not knowing her… with her scent and her luck, the newborn would find her within an hour of being in the city.

“No, that’s fine, Charlie. I didn’t mean Seattle.” I searched around for the newspaper, spying it on the other chair around the table. I quickly snatched it up, “I was thinking of Portland, actually. I wouldn’t have Bella in Seattle, either. Of course not.”

I quickly read through the article on the front page. There had been more killings. It was getting worse. I would have to stay close, just in case it decided to move out of Seattle, though logically that made no sense – with such a large supply of blood where it was.

“Fine” Charlie shrugged and stalked off toward the living room. The game was about to start.

Tags: Bella, Eclipse, Eclipse EPOV, Edward, Edward's Story, Midnight Sun

Views: 72063

Replies to This Discussion

you know erica you are kind of cruel , you know eclipse is my favorite book after breaking dawn, and
i havent read this fanfinction yet but i'm a big fan of the cullens go to hogwarts and dawn of the phoenix and when I saw Dawn of the phoenix update message I said wow finally another chapter and then i opened the messega and it just said eclipse edward pov and girl i was dissapointed
by the way you are an amazing writer I love how you put the words together and you know what now im gonna read eclipse edward pov and you better update soon or my vampire cat is going to suck your blood

just kidding you are amazing girl
Wonderful job!
You bring out things in ways I've never thought of before.
Thanks so much biteme1994!
Hey I love Alice and Emmett - so sorry! :-)

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed Hogwarts and Dawn of the Phoenix... I hope you enjoy this too if you get a chance to read it! :-)

(and please, save me from the vampire cat! I'm allergic!)
wow!
Erica, you are a genius!
blushes... thanks!
Thanks again Tami:

Wow, I was starting to think that after her blunder with the phone call/cliff dive and Bella forgiving her, and then with Rosalie opening up to Bella during the slumber party, that she was a little more on board than this. I knew she was perturbed about something, but I didn't think it was this. Maybe just Emmett's eagerness for battle.
> Perhaps... I think Rosalie is all about Rosalie. Though she may come around to accepting and, eventually, even liking Bella (in Breaking Dawn), she is first and foremost about herself and continues to be, I think, until Renesmee.

This is soooo Emmett!!!
***Oh great – here comes the greatest American Soldier… Emmett rolled his eyes and dropped to the couch. We’ll be here all day.
> Hee hee, I could totally see him falling to the couch... :-)


This was a very interesting paragraph that I'd never considered. Nice work Erica!!!
> Thanks - this and the next chapter we a real challenge 'cause Jasper isn't nearly as easy to figure out...

That was a fantastic job and I thank you for all of the hard work you put into writing this chapter for us to enjoy! You do Edward so well!
> WOW, thanks again Tami... I really appreciate the effort you put into these reviews... thanks so much! :-)
Hey Tami - how I love your long reviews... And yet I'm just now replying (sorry)

It just cracks me up visualizing it. I'm guessing she was able to make it up three flights of stairs uncaught by vampires because they were slowed to human speeds for appearances?
> Yeah... and perhaps indecision over whether they should catch her or let her go...

There are so many things you can add to a scene when you can add not just the mental thoughts and visions but whole conversations that are going on unheard by Bella. You are a master at this!
> Wow, thank you so much!

...and Edward's own tiny distraction about Alice's suggestion of stilettos and a strapless gown... To funny!!! Erica. You are a wonder :)
> chuckles... thanks...

Okay...when he figures it out it really is poor Edward. He has been so looking for any excuse for her to remain human...when he actually gets it...
> I know, I know - he's so torn... If he'd just give in to what he wants, he'd realize it IS what is nobel and right - but for so long he's taught himself what he wants is inherently wrong, he can't fathom getting what he wants AND it being right.

Then you give us the crux of why he is so desperate for her to remain mortal:
Very nicely explained Erica
> Ah, thanks.

You know when Edward says...'It's the thought that counts...I should know." I thought he meant because she wouldn't let him get her anything. She hated presents. I didn't even go in the direction you did! Very interesting!
> Hmm, your direction is also very interesting...

And I always loved this chapter because they finally really communicate. Edward explains WHY he doesn't want her to be a vampire, Bella explains her fear of not being wanted forever, Edward and Bella have their first real discussion about their concepts of marriage too.
> YES - I totally agree...

And you also (as usual) do such a wonderful job explaining the dread Edward felt before and listening to Bella's reaction to his statement that she didn't want to be his wife.

Poor guy. Kind of wants to make you shake some sense into Bella. Maybe it would've helped if she could read his mind!

> Thank you so much Tami... I really loved this section. It's so bittersweet... I'm glad you liked how it came out here.

Erica, kuddos for you here because you bring in the light bulb going off in Edward's head here and you wrote it so beautifully too. Naturally :)
> Awe... thanks...

You know Edward was right to hold out for his moral beliefs here. He'd held to them for so long waiting for her, and marriage was extremely important to him and she had just not really understood his reasoning...(at this point in the story doesn't still.)
> I agree - she fights it... ALOT, but eventually she does see (give her a break, she does have a merely mortal brain after all). I thought this was particularly genius of SM. She doesn't let Bella be convinced right away. That is so... human. How many times have I heard something, rejecting it the entire time it's spoken, but later, understanding the wisdom... This shows SM's patience and understanding of human nature. It often takes more then words for people to change...

I'm embarrassed to ask this, but what do you mean by this line:
***Fast on a Saturday? I thought with amusement
> Oh (chuckles) I wondered if anyone would ask this... the saying "When in Rome, do as the Roman's do" is actually from a story of St. Augustine: When St. Augustine arrived in Milan, he observed that the Church did not fast on Saturday as did the Church at Rome. He consulted St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who replied: "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are." I figured Edward would find that amusing.

So if someone is killed by vampires then the venom that may be in their dead body is burned? I guess I just thought that they drained the body so any venom they injected they took back into themselves...kind of like Edward did with James' in Twilight. Very interesting Erica. I'll have to think about that one...
> This is just a guess on my part. It is where I came up with the idea in Hogwarts that normal fire won't hurt a vampire, but once the skin is pierced or breached, the venom would ignite and destory them... I may be reaching here...

And he brings her to the house when he wants to talk to Jasper to include her in the information. And here I thought it was because the thought of newborns and also knowing there were vampires after her, he didn't want her left alone. I'd even thought when he left her home in the morning to go get his car and change, he was leaving someone watching from the woods. "Someone will always be there...Emmett, Jasper..." I like putting the two reasons together!
> good point.

PS I saw 2012 today. It was CRAZY and it blew me away!
> Oh! I want to see that, but I really, really wanted to see it on a large screen and our theatre here just doesn't qualify! :-) I'm hoping to catch it before it's gone from theatres, but I'm afraid I may have missed it all together.
Chapter 13: Newborn

“The same thing that happened to your hand, repeated a thousand times.” Jasper laughed a little ruefully, brushing his scar, “Our venom is the only thing that leaves a scar.”

Jasper was as taken aback as I was at the warmth and concern that flooded him from Bella as the realization dawned. He’d prepared himself for horror and fear. It never came. Momentarily, I felt the affect of his own emotional response radiating from him before he reined it in to tell his story.

“Why” she whispered, both horrified and tender at once.

She really doesn’t react like anyone else, does she? He chuckled as he explained the source of his thousands of scars – the years and years of vampire wars… He struggled for words, finding the best balance between honest and decorum. “I didn’t have the same…” training… influences… He glanced up at at me until I nodded at his choice, “upbringing as my siblings here…”

I have to go back further… help her understand. I tensed as he decided exactly where to start his story. In a moment I carefully rearranged my feature so as to not give away the horror at hearing Bella hear of the worst of our kind.

As I watched her reactions, I kept reminding myself she needed to hear this… Maybe it was an act of desperation on my part, but in the noble part of my vampire mind this was a last ditch effort to help her see us for what we really are. And yet an even greater part of me was afraid… afraid she would see.

Bella shuddered beside me. I quickly took inventory of her vitals, the expression on her face, the way she held her body, her emotional state through Jasper’s mind – all while I flipped back through what Jasper had just said while I was musing over my own motivations… Ah yes, explaining how the world looks to those like us – those who thirst for blood… where concentrations of humans are no more then a large food source. A shudder was certainly a natural reaction. And yet not. She should be running from the house screaming.

Without pause I nodded grimly for him to continue, not that he needed it. I realized he’d been paying just as careful attention to her emotional state as I was to her bodily reactions. The emotions and thoughts betrayed his care, his love for Bella – someone he already saw as his sister, mingled with his horror and guilt over last fall. I could hear the ongoing workings of his mind as he marveled at her acceptance…

I almost took her life… I would have… and yet here she is, sitting next to me without any fear, without any reluctance… He marveled as did I. She really is something else.

Of course, now that I’d given him leave to tell her all, he wasn’t about to stop. He’d felt the need to educate her – to prepare her for a newborn life. It was an argument we’d had almost immediately after the fateful vote.

“Edward, she needs to know… she’s determined to go through with this. I can feel it in her. There is no doubt.”

“No!” I’d cut him off. I didn’t want to hear it. There had to be doubt… there had to be hope. I wasn’t going to let her humanity go so easily. And though I should have wanted him to tell her – to make her see us for what we really are, in the same token, I couldn’t bare her rejection.

You need to make sure she knows fully what she’s getting into.

My anger flared at his easy acceptance. There had to be away to stop this… to stop her. I wouldn’t allow-

“It’s not your choice, Edward.” He’d replied to the eruption of emotions. He didn’t need to hear my thoughts to know the war within – the fight between what was right and what I wanted.

He’d been right the entire time of course. I’d known it, even then. His logic was flawless… but to take that step – to allow her to know… everything. To accept that she might continue regardless… It was too much, even now. It felt like giving up.

I watched carefully as Bella reacted to his description of our kind – the worst of our kind. I could see it clearly through his eyes – the blood thirsty who saw blood as a commodity to be controlled – an economic consideration. It was no wonder he’d always held the Volturi in such high regard. In comparison, they were practically saints.

I was reminded of the first time I brought her home. I was just as much on edge now as then. But she simply sat there and calmly took it all in. I realized it shouldn’t have surprised me how she handled this new knowledge. Any normal human would have run screaming long ago… Certainly she was surprised, shocked and perhaps even horrified at times if I was reading her and the emotions being absorbed by Jasper correctly – but she did not fear. Not yet anyway.

“How did he win?” She asked Jasper as he’d launched into the story of Benito, the vampire who’d first figured out how to win control of a concentration of human settlement, the largest of which was in Mexico city.

“Benito had created an army of newborn vampires,” Jasper replied. I’d heard variations of the story only twenty-eight times, but I’d seen it hundreds more as it flashed through Jasper’s memories. His history was much more a part of his thoughts then he’d care to admit. I suppose, if he was human, he’d have nightmares – shell shock from the years of war.

As he spoke, another memory flashed to his mind – a vampire he’d met who lived through that particular history. He’d lived far enough from the mayhem that he’d escaped the Volturi clean up, but close enough that his haunting expression seen now through Jasper’s memories made venom flood to my mouth in response… It was nothing compared to the emotion Jasper had felt. Even now he shuddered at the memory of that transaction as he fought for control as the emotions overwhelmed him. It took a lot to horrify a vampire. He took a quick breath, fighting back the blood lust he felt constantly in Bella’s presence and continued.

“But when the Volturi went back to Italy, the survivors were quick to stake their claims in the South.

“It didn’t take long before covens began to dispute again. There was a lot of bad blood, if you’ll forgive the expression. Vendettas abounded. The idea of newborns was already there, and some were not able to resist. However, the Volturi had not been forgotten, and the southern covens were more careful this time. The newborns were selected from the human pool with more care, and given more training. They were used circumspectly, and the humans remained, for the most part, oblivious. Their creators gave the Volturi no reason to return.

“The wars resumed, but on a smaller scale. Every now and then, someone would go too far, speculation would begin in the human newspapers, and the Volturi would return and clean out the city. But they let the others, the careful ones, continue…”

Why haven’t they come then. The media speculation is far greater then any of these times in the past… Surely the Volturi will by pass us as they did the others… The myriad of thoughts overtook him momentarily while, at the same time the more hazy memories of that night over a hundred years ago passed through his mind. He prepared the next part of his story.

“That’s how you were changed.” Bella whispered.

How did she know? He quickly composed himself. “Yes, when I was human, I lived in Houston, Texas. I was almost seventeen years old…”

It was the part of my now brother I could relate with the most…that and the horror over my own nature. It was a different time, but I’d once been like him – human, seventeen, living in a country on the brink of war. Though his had been a much wilder country then… easy enough for a seventeen year old to lie about his age. There were no records to check, no one cared enough to confirm.

He’d risen quickly, able to rouse men to fight to the death, to charge forth in droves so as to take a critical stronghold, or to stand and fire as the advancing army charged. He had a charisma or leadership quality that was difficult to deny. Fortunately he was also armed with a keen sense of strategy and so he continued to survive through two years of war. Even before his change, he’d seen more blood and death then most humans will in their lifetime His hazy human memory settled on Galveston, a key economic and political center in 1863. I saw him charging through the dust and haze, the sound of gun fire, screams and the crack of bullets against wood and stone, the smell of gun powder and blood a sweat, leading a group of men as they took the city. With him, I felt the pride as he was recognized for the accomplishment and placed in charge of evacuating the women and children to Houston by General John B. Magruder.

And then his hazy memories clarified in a way my human memories never had. In almost vampire like clarity I could see the dark night, smell the sweat of the horses and humans as they settled in the temporary accommodations in Houston… I could not only see, but feel the sense of purpose as Jasper check on the civilian party, ensuring they were settled… then his exchange at the barn.

“I’ll need a fresh horse.” He ordered.

“Aren’t you going to rest for the night, sir?” The stable hand asked.

“We’ve got to get the women and children out of the city before the Union arrives.” He replied with a mixture of purpose and compassion. Even then, he’d felt for the needs of others.

“Of course, sir. I’ll have the most well rested horse ready, sir.” He snapped to attention, eager to please the young major.

The lights of the settlement faded. He could follow the road only by the dim and periodic light of the moon through his human eyes. The partially cloudy sky filtered out the light of the stars. It was then he first sensed danger. Even before he saw them, he’d felt the thrill of fear shiver down his back, the shifting restlessness of his steed.

“Calm, boy,” he’d patted the flank of his horse as he began to make out three figures on the road. The stallion continued to trot skittishly as they overtook the threesome.

“Hello there.” He called out, mentally chastising himself for missing three of his charges. He quickly dismounted his troubled horse, not wanting to cause them any fear as he approached. And then, the moon light found a gap between the clouds, highlighting their faces for the first time.

He remembered the adrenaline rush of seeing them as well as the reaction of his body to both their beauty and something else – the unworldly quality that told his senses, like his horse, to run. I’m sure I would have remembered these three, he told himself logically when he found his ability to think again. They must be from another party… or a nearby town.

“He’s speechless,” the tallest girl said in a lovely, delicate voice, like wind chimes. She had fair hair and her skin was snow white.

His hair stood on end as the second, fairer then the first, leaned in and inhaled deeply. “Mmm,” she sighed, “Lovely.”

“Concentrate, Nettie.” The third, a tiny brunette warned in a quick, sharp voice, though it sounded sweet and soft to Jasper’s human ears.

She’s in charge. The thought rang through his mind with sudden clarity that went beyond two years of military training.

“He looks right – young, strong, an officer…” the brunette paused. Jasper tried to say something, but words wouldn’t form in his mouth. She went on, “And there’s something more… do you sense it? He’s… compelling.”

“Oh, yes.” Nettie agreed, leaning forward. I tensed in response to the obvious threat to Jasper… the threat that his body had already sensed, and yet his mind overrode.

“Patience,” the brunette warned, “I want to keep this one.”

The blond frowned.

“You’d better do it, Maria,” the first girl said, “If he’s important to you. I kill them twice as often as I keep them.”

“Yes, I’ll do it,” Maria agreed, “I really do like this one. Take Nettie away, will you? I don’t want to have to protect my back while I’m trying to focus.”

Leave… leave now… the thoughts coursed through his human mind as he stood there arguing with himself, telling himself it was safe, convincing himself these were only woman in need of his assistance. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. He had no ability that would have allowed him to leave at that point. He’d been doomed from the moment he came upon them.

He marveled as the other two left. From his perception, they’d simply flown away into the night… As he stood there before Maria, in the last moments of his human life, it wasn’t his life that flashed before his eyes, but his beliefs, his faith… He’d been a practical man – soldiers, guns, horses… this had been his life. There had been no need for faith in something greater, something beyond himself… but in that moment in found faith in something supernatural – though what nature of being, he’d failed to guess.

“What is your name, soldier?” Maria asked him.

“Major Jasper Whitlock, ma’am,” he’d stammered.

“I truly hope you survive, Jasper.” She said gently, “I have a good feeling about you.”

She took a step closer and his body froze in a cacophony of warring emotions. Terror, lust, duty flowed through him as she leaned in as if to kiss him. Though his senses told him to flee, at the last moment he’d leaned in too, her heady scent overcoming the fear and for a second he’d wanted her like no other.

It took less then that for him to realize his mistake. I felt with him the pain of that first bite, the sensation of loss of blood, as it flowed from his head… the momentary light headedness and the knowledge that he was about to die. And then the burning… The briefest thought, had he been hit with mortar? He’d heard others describe that pain, but then he knew this was nothing like that, it was something more and he fell to the ground, writhing in agony. Cold strong arms caught him before he struck the dirt and suddenly he was flying into the dark of the forest.

And then, in my mind, it wasn’t Jasper lying on the forest floor, but Bella – enduring the three days of hell on earth while the venom burned through her veins. It was Bella, vainly attempting to bare the pain bravely, like a soldier, but had no ability to stop the scream that would escape her lips as her limbs burned from within. My mind shifted to the memory of Rosalie Hale, lying on the table in our home in Chicago, screaming relentlessly for days as she thrashed about. If my heart could break, it would as Bella took her place on that table… writhing and screaming in pain. Then Esme and Emmett – each one enduring the pain in my memory. Each one replaced by Bella as I stood by, horrified with what I’d done.

A wave of calmness spread through me and I realized Jasper had stopped talking. It was no longer Bella’s emotional state that was tantamount on his mind… He was carefully navigating the boundaries of my tolerance to allow Bella to hear his story. My weakness disgusted me almost as much as my nature and what I would do to her… if I couldn’t convince her to stay human. I focused back on Bella. Her heart beat had slightly elevated, her pupils dilated, her body leaning slightly forward, but otherwise seemed completely unscathed by the horror of the fate that awaited her.

“A few days later,” he continued carefully, “I was introduced to my new life.”

He explained the purpose of his new existence – first to be a part of a newborn army being created by Maria, Nettie and Lucy, the three vampires he’d come across that night. They weren’t part of a traditional coven – they’d come together after recently surviving lost battles. Maria wanted revenge and to regain her territories. Nettie and Lucy were looking to increase their… “herd lands,” as Jasper said and I cringed at the crude term in reference to human life, while carefully ensuring Bella was managing. She was, of course, ridiculously fine.

He was part of a plan to develop a superior army, one built with humans with potential. From what I’d seen, I determined Maria had a gift similar to Eleazer. She could sense the gifts in others, only her ability was to sense it in their human form. She could pick out those who would become better fighters, soldiers, leaders… and she trained them appropriately.

I watched as she showed them how to destroy a vampire – how to plot out their weaknesses, tearing a limb and throwing it into a nearby fire. In the early days, she’d changed a talentless human, just to give them someone to train on… Jasper remembered every face, every conversion, every lost being as they trained. Then she’d plot against small covens of two or three – give them an assignment to test their skills. When they came back successful, she’d already have a group of humans waiting for them… often picking young females to suit some of the male vampire’s sick pleasures. The thought disgusted him as much as it did me, and this time he paused his story only because he refused to put to words the atrocities he’d been a party to in those early days.

But his disgust, was overcome by his bloodlust and his ambition. He fought against his fellow soldiers, pleased to make his mistress happy when he was victorious, happily accepting her gifts of blood which made him stronger. And yet now, looking back, he could still remember each lost life. They haunted him, thought he’d come to terms with his past long ago.

“Maria was a good judge of character. She decided to put me in charge of the others – as if I were being promoted. It suited my nature exactly. The casualties went down dramatically, and our numbers swelled to hover round twenty.” He continued. “She was in a hurry, though. Maria knew that the massive strength of the newborn began to wane around the year mark, and she wanted to act while we were strong.”

The memories shifted to battle after battle as they’d advanced across Mexico, first taking back Maria’s former territory and then further as she became greedy for more. Every battle, every kill, every bite was relived, re-felt in Jasper’s perfected memory.

I suppressed a shudder as I lived it with him, and my mind rechecked the speed at which the blood flowed through Bella’s veins, the sound of her breathing through her lungs, the small noises she made as she listened, and always, her eyes – the only windows to her mind, and a poor one at that. What was she thinking as she sat through a tale that should horrify her. Where did her mind go that allowed her to sit her calmly listening, leaning toward her former attacker, his blood lust heightened by her scent and the memory of that time in his life. Another segment of my vampire brain kept a careful watch on his thirst, and on the images quickly filtering through Alice’s mind as she kept careful watch on the immediate future.

I wondered about the reckless angel or was it the vicious harpy that had put her in my path, devoid of the sense of self preservation that should have kept her from monsters like myself. How was it possible that she could accept this all so easily? Maybe she was actually in shock and this would come crashing down on her – later, when she was alone. Would I ever know? When this happened – when the reality set in, would she tell me, or simply refuse my presence?

“Maria and I always kept a dozen or so newborns ready. They meant little to us – they were pawns, they were disposable…” We both glanced toward Bella at that, but she continued to sit calmly, waiting for Jasper to continue reliving his darkest days, the days that finally brought him to consciousness. The potency of those particular memories were difficult to take, coupled with Jasper’s revulsion at the lives he’d ended, especially when his job including ending the existence of his brothers and sisters at arms. It had struck me once, what if Jasper hadn’t been so useful to Maria, if his gift hadn’t been so potent. He might have been discarded as carelessly as those he’d disposed.

The guilt of this time of his life consumed him. Taking the lives of those he’d trained, led into battle… those who’d fought by his side, went against everything he’d known as a soldier, as a human… He’d almost lost himself in the process – if not for Peter.

What had been so special about Peter, I wondered. Had his some talent or ability for preservation? Or had it simply been the last straw? I’d met him and he hadn’t seemed to possess any special gift or ability… But there was no doubting the connection to the female at the centre of the controversy. When we met, it had been the first time I’d experienced the strong connection between mates outside my family. For a time I’d wondered if it was purely those of us who abstained from human blood who were capable of such love.

But when faced with her destruction, Peter had blatantly refused. Jasper should have killed them both, but he only stood watching after them as they ran away, wondering at the strong feelings of love that rolled off them both.

It had been a simple moment in time… It was the beginning of the end… It was the prelude to a new life that waited fie more years before Peter returned and convinced Jasper to leave.

Of course several things had contributed – Maria’s harsh punishment for his lapse, her growing resentment and malice toward Jasper, the poorly veiled threats in her expression. And his growing sickness over what he was doing – the depression had already sunk in over the debt of lives mortal and human weighed on his conscience. It was another level on which I’d related to Jasper… Despite the treacherousness of the lives I’d taken, as the death count mounted, I couldn’t bare it any longer…

And like I heard every thought of my victims, Jasper felt every last emotion right up until the body finally gave way to death. I didn’t envy him his gift. The world was a noisy place for me. It was an infinitely more emotional one for Jasper.

As he continued with his years with Peter and Charlotte, he lost track of the attention he’d been paying to Bella’s emotional state – the memory of the depression and frustration that led to his defection and then his years of wandering alone suddenly took him as he anxiously approached what he called his day of redemption.

“I had to keep killing. What choice did I have? I tried to kill less often, but I would get too thirsty and I would give in. After a century of instant gratification, I found self-discipline… challenging.” The memory of his attack on Bella flooded to mind, leaving him in a fresh round of guilt and remorse. I’m so sorry Edward…

But before I could respond, another hand was on his arm and a warmer, cheerier series of emotions and memories flooded to mind. I relieved it from both their perspectives… Alice sitting in the diner, waiting expectantly, anxiously, knowing the moment when he was about to walk through the door, and yet not quite believing it. Jasper as he ducked in out of the rain, trying to appear human and not give in to the thirst his dark eyes betrayed.

She’d had to temper her advance. She’d seen the alternatives – how Jasper would attack if she broke into the run she desired, or turn and run if she waited to long to speak…

The threat he’d felt at the presence of an other vampire… venom coating his mouth and throat as he fought the urge to bend into a defensive crouch..

The pain she’d felt as she saw him leave and in the moment before, she reached out to him with all the love she’d bottled up for the decades she’d known him before they met.

The momentary confusion as the waves of love he’d only experienced once before in his life, and never directed toward him, and then the incomprehensible connection as the world suddenly seemed to make sense.

“You’ve kept me waiting a long time,” She said.

“I’m sorry ma’am,” he replied, at a loss for words. What else could he say?

Jasper continued the story, speaking now to Alice alone. “You held out your hand, and I took it without stopping to make sense of what I was doing. For the first time in almost a century, I felt hope.”

Hope… I was startled to realize it was exactly what I’d felt when Bella had come to me in Voltaire… Fear, no terror for her life as well as overwhelming relief, but more then that it was hope that she might possibly take m back 0 that there might again be light in my universe. It was what I clung to then – it’s what I still clung to now in face of the threat before us… hope that she might someday decide to truly be mind…

“Alice told me what she’d seen of Carlisle and his family. I could hardly believe that such an existence was possible. But Alice made me optimistic. So we went to find them.”

He turned his attention back to Bella. And you thought she wouldn’t take this well.

“Scared the hell out of them, too.” I rolled my eyes back at him. I should want her to run away screaming. I should want her to be horrified by the worst of our stories – the reality of the monsters we are. But I couldn’t help the relief that she was still here. Just like that first day I brought her home, expecting at any moment for her to bolt… I still expected it. At some point it would become too much, but for today she was still here and my gratefulness overflowed.

You’d better explain yourself… she’s confused.

I turned to Bella and finished the story myself. “Emmett and I were away hunting. Jasper shows up covered in battle scars, towing this little freak.”

HEY! Alice pouted.

I nudged her back playfully, “who greets them all by name, knows everything about them, and wants to know which room she can move into.”

It had been Rosalie who’d offered my room… Jasper and Alice chuckled at the memory of my furor. The anger had long ago evaporated into joy at my new siblings.

“When I got home, all my things were in the garage.”

Alice shrugged, “Your room had the best view.”

And I joined her laughter.

“That’s a nice story.”

WHAT? A series of vampire heads and minds swung in tandem toward Bella in disbelief.

“I mean the last part.” She explained, “The happy ending with Alice.”

Do you think I’m your happy ending, Bella? I wondered as I peered into her dark eyes. Do you not realize even after all you’ve heard, this is no life? There is no happy ending as long as you’re with me? When would she finally see, finally realize and leave me forever to my endless death?

“An Army,” Alice whispered, “why didn’t you tell me?”

An Army? Esme gasped.

An Army? Emmett struggled to keep the excitement from showing on his face as he not so subtly flexed his biceps.

“I thought I must be interpreting the signs incorrectly.” Jasper continued, “Because where is the motive? Why would someone create an army in Seattle? There is no history there, no vendetta. It makes no sense from a conquest standpoint, either; no one claims it. Nomads pass through, but there’s no one to fight for it. No one to defend it from.

“But I’ve seen this before, and there’s no other explanation. There is an army of newborn vampires in Seattle. Fewer then twenty, I’d guess. Whoever made them just set them loose. It will only get worse, and it won’t be much longer till the Volturi step in. Actually, I’m surprised they’ve let this go on so long.”

A shiver of fear rand down Rosalie’s spine - the first emotion other then annoyance to register the entire conversation. Emmett moved a little closer to her in response.

Carlisle had initially rejected the idea. Throughout Jasper’s explanation he wrestled through the concept in her mind. In less then a second he’d resolved Jasper must be right… it was the only reasonable explanation. “What can we do?”

“If we want to avoid the Volturi’s involvement, we will have to destroy the newborns, and we will have to do it very soon.” In Jaspers mind he was already preparing for the field of battle, resolving to do what he must.

Excellent! Emmett wasn’t even trying to hind his grin now.

Where is the motive?” Jasper’s words echoed through my mind and set it racing. Flashing behind my eyes were two sets of pictures – those created as I filed through all possible reasons for this army to exist so close to our home, the second – Alice searching ahead into the future, looking for anything that might tell us what was coming. Every path I took, brought me back to one rational explanation.

“Maybe we can lure them out,” Jasper suggested, considering how best to dispose of them. Fighting in the city would be… difficult.

“Maybe we won’t have to.” I started. Alice’s eyes grew wide as she saw what I was about to say, rolling it around in her mind. “Does it occur to anyone else that the only possible threat in the area that would call for the creation of an army is… us?”

Of course… Jasper quickly shifted from resignation over what must be done, to a fierce defensiveness as his eyes rested on Alice. I tasted the venom that pooled in his mouth. He fully committed to the task before us.

No! Carlisle shook his head. There’s no reason. We’ve caused no harm… we don’t compete for the territory… And yet he could already see it was the only rationale explanation. There must be something we’re not seeing.

One set of eyes glanced quickly around the room registering each face with love and fear. Esme couldn’t bare the thought of someone attacking her family, “Tanya’s family is also near,” she objected weakly.

2,439 miles away… “The newborns aren’t ravaging Anchorage, Esme.” I cringed slightly as the words escaped my lips a little more harshly then intended. Edward! Carlisle warned. I softened my voice as I continued, “I think we have to consider the idea that we are the target.”

“They’re not coming after us.” Alice argued, as she shifted from her relentless pursuit of the future to what she’d already seen. A flood of partial pictures flipped through her mind, like a movie stuck in a projector. “Or…” she paused as she considered, “they don’t know that they are. Not yet.”

“What is that?” I asked as I watched the pictures fluttering, half formed through her mind. She played them over and over, changing up the order and sequence. “What are you remembering?”

“Flickers.” Alice said, resigned, “I can’t see a clear picture when I try to see what’s going on, nothing concrete. But I’ve been getting these strange flashes. Not enough to make sense of. It’s as if someone’s changing their mind, moving from one course of action to another so quickly that I can’t get a good view.”

“Indecision?” Jasper asked in disbelief.

“I don’t know…” but her mind was in a panic. She already begun to suspect what I was sure I already knew.

“Not indecision…” I growled, “Knowledge. Someone who knows you can’t see anything until the decision is made. Someone who is hiding from us. Playing with the holes in your visions.” And there was only one who had that level of access to Alice’s gift.

“Who would know that?” Alice whispered, forcing me to vocalize what she already knew.

“Aro knows you as well as you know yourself.” It was all there… Back in Voltaire. It should have concerned me how he’d lingered over my family’s details… places where we’d lived, the gifts we possessed, what made us strong… what made us weak. He’d been especially fascinated with Alice, lingering over her longer then the rest. Despair had left me listless, despondent, uncaring… I’d only wanted and end. I should have paid more attention.

“But I would see if they’d decided to come…” she countered.

“Unless they didn’t want to get their hands dirty.”

“A favor,” Rosalie suggested, speaking for the first time. “Someone in the South… someone who already had trouble with the rules. Someone who should have been destroyed is offered a second chance – if they take care of this one small problem… That would explain the Volturi’s sluggish response.” For once we were on the same page.

“Why?” Carlisle asked in shock, “There’s no reason for the Volturi-”

“It was there” I interrupted, “I’m surprised it’s come to this so soon, because the other thoughts were stronger. In Aro’s head he saw me at his one side and Alice at his other. The present and the future, virtual omniscience. The power of the idea intoxicated him. I would have thought it would take him much longer to give up on that plan – he wanted it too much. But there was also the thought of you, Carlisle, of our family, growing stronger and larger. The jealousy and the fear: you having… not more than he had but still, things that he wanted. He tried not to think about it, but he couldn’t hide it completely. The idea of rooting out the competition was there; besides their own, ours is the largest coven they’ve ever found…”

I stopped at the combined picture of horror – my father’s thoughts and Bella’s face. Bella’s large brown eyes, now larger then ever, her mouth slightly agape… this… this is what horrifies her? I wanted to reach for her, but froze momentarily wondering if we’d pushed her too far. But the half second passed, her face returned to normal. Her breathing and pulse to a regular rate. She was truly fine.

Carlisle was already shaking his head, his mind wrestling with what his heart rejected – the thought that his friends would destroy him and all he loved… but why? “They’re too committed to their mission. They would never break the rules themselves. It goes against everything they’ve worked for.”

“They’ll clean up afterward.” I replied as my eyes never left Bella’s. “A double betrayal. No harm done.”

“No,” Jasper responded, “Carlisle is right. The Volturi do not break rules. Besides, it’s much too sloppy. This… person, this threat.” The vengeance rose in him for a moment, “they have no idea what they’re doing. A first-timer, I’d swear to it. I cannot believe the Volturi are involved. But they will be.”

Like Carlisle’s compassion, Jasper’s faith blinded him to the obvious. Couldn’t they see? It was the only reasonable explanation. Rosalie already agreed, and Alice wasn’t far behind… and Emmett… he didn’t care why.

“Then let’s go,” Emmett almost roared, “What are we waiting for?”

As much as I hate to give into this, they do need to be destroyed. The Volturi coming here is not an option. Whether they come to us, or us to them, we must be prepared… Are you alright with Bella being a party to this? Carlisle asked subtly.

There was nothing I could hide from her now. If she was going to be a part of this family… she needed to be a part of this too. And Carlisle knew as well as I did, she could handle it.

“We’ll need you to teach us, Jasper.” Carlisle said, “How to destroy them.” It was difficult for him to say the words and resign himself to the action.

Bella’s eyes flitted away as Jasper and Carlisle began to make plans. For a moment I could see her leave. Her eyes glossed over… the crease formed between her brow. She was deep in thought – what was she thinking? I reached for her hand as I’d ached to do earlier and pulled her to the loveseat to sit next to me as Carlisle called the Denali clan for help.

I’d expected some difficulty… they wouldn’t want to get in the middle of a possible Volturi entanglement. Eleazer had once been a part of them. And Tanya would want to protect the coven. But I hadn’t been prepared for Tanya’s proposition.

“Carlisle, we don’t want to become involved, but we have a small issue of our own. Perhaps we could help each other.”

“Yes…’

“Irina’s been quite despondent since word’s been received that a pack of werewolves in your area have destroyed someone who had become quite dear to her… A fellow you may remember. He said he’d met you last year… Laurant? She wants revenge – it’s only what she’s due.”

“Oh” Carlisle replied, “We didn’t realize…that Irina’s felt that way.”

I moaned. There was no way they were going to help us now, “Damn it. Damn Laurant to the deepest pit of hell where he belongs.”

“Laurant?”’ Bella whispered, next to me. From the corner of my eye, I watched as she blanched slightly, but was otherwise unscathed. I kept an eye on close watch, as I continued to listen to Carlisle trying to persuade Tanya that Laurant was not who he’d presented himself to be – that he’d attacked first…

“Who was in the right does not matter, Carlisle. We are simply looking for you to step aside as we take our revenge?”

“There’s no question of that,” Carlisle said sternly, “We have a truce. They haven’t broken it, and neither will we.”

“You would choose them over your own kinds?” Tanya was incredulous, “Over your own family… perhaps we aren’t as close as I’d thought.”

“I’m sorry to hear that…”

“I’m sorry, Carlisle… those are our terms. I wish there was another way.”

“Of course. We’ll just have to do our best alone.”

Carlisle clipped the phone shut. He knew the course of action we needed to take, but without help, it would be a dangerous one… he worried for each of us as he sought another path…

“What’s the problem?” Emmett asked.

“Irina was more involved with our friend Laurant than we knew. She’s holding a grudge against the wolves for destroying him to save Bella. she wants-” I paused, looking back at Bella… some of the colour had returned.

“Go on.”

“She wants revenge,” I continued, “To take down the pack. They would trade their help for our permission,”

“No!”

The pain in her voice cut me to the core. “Don’t worry” I said, keeping the pain from my voice, “Carlisle would never agree to it.” Would I? No… Bella wouldn’t be here if… “Nor would I. Laurent had it coming… and I still owe the wolves for that.”

“This isn’t good,” Jasper said, “It’s too even a fight. We’d have the upper hand in skill, but not numbers. We’d win, but at what price?” I can’t loose her, he thought as he looked to his love.

I returned my attention solely to Bella… Nor could I loose her. I wouldn’t. Even if it cost me all the others, I knew now that she’d come first.
Great! Nicely done!
thank you Yvonne! :-)
Welcome back Erica...... Great job
I loved the Alice and Jasper story and the Tanya phone call.......
looking forward to next chap...... your writing is awesome as always...

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