It has been sixteen years since Meg Cullen was kidnapped by the Volturi. Sixteen years of Edward and Bella mourning their dead daughter...supposedly killed by the Pack. Then, Meg returns to Forks. Only then does the race for answers (and survival) begin... ~SEQUEL TO MY STORY "CHOICE"~EPILOGUE: BRILLIANCE IS UP!"BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES." ~MACBETH
Here it is! The sequel to Choice! Hope you enjoy it! Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters belong to the lovely Stephenie Meyer. Except the characters of Meg and Ambrosi, though. As well as the lovable (but annoying) Dean Newton. They come from my own imagination. © Edward's Rose 2008
16. Chapter 16: Immortal
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3898 Review this Chapter
Chapter Sixteen: Immortal
I leaned against the window-casing of Carlisle’s study, watching the rest of the family intently. Carlisle’s fingers were laced together, chin resting on his hands while he sat behind the desk. Alice’s eyes were closed as she lay deep in concentration, with Jasper’s soothing energy rolling throughout the room. Rosalie and Emmett, who had just arrived, stood near Carlisle, silent. Bella and Esme were with Meg…who had drifted into an exhausted sleep not too long ago…despite her irritation.
And then, standing silently by the door, was the new-comer.
My eyes raked over him suspiciously, noticing the rich-black cloak he was swathed in. Dark curls spilled over into his eyes, partially obscuring the red irises which lay beneath. He had come in with Meg…she introducing him as Ambrosi. I noticed the way she leaned against him, the look of adoration in his eyes as he stared at my daughter.
The boy had found his singer.
Taking advantage of the silence, I focused on his thoughts…not knowing if we could trust him completely yet…
“They don’t trust me. This coven thinks I’ll turn on them, rejoin the Volturi. Abandon her, abandon Meg! I know this is her family, a strange one, but they have no idea of the sacrifices I’ve made for her. I’m the one who took care of her all these years…not them!”
Suddenly, his eyes snapped to mine, as if he could sense I was reading his thoughts. I withdrew and held his gaze, letting the unchecked hostility show on my face.
“It’s hopeless,” Alice declared, her eyes opening sharply. “I can’t see anything!”
Carlisle’s gaze swerved to mine. “Edward?”
I closed my eyes for a moment, letting my mind drift through the many voices filling my head. I could feel the tenor of Jane’s thoughts…the malice emitting from them almost tangible. That was it, though.
Nothing was clear.
“I can’t read them,” I declared angrily.
“They’ll attack at dawn…in the forest, near the boundary line,” a low voice said.
Six pairs of eyes swerved to the speaker, Ambrosi, whose arms were crossed casually across his chest.
“How do you know, boy?” I asked harshly, taking a step towards him.
He bridled at the word ‘boy.’ “I fought Demetri on the way here. He’s always been weak…I managed to coerce the information from him.”
“Then let them come! We’ll be ready!” Emmett roared, punching the air with his fist.
“It’s not so easy,” Ambrosi said coolly. “They won’t leave without Meg…she’s too much of a threat to them. You need someone on the enemy lines. I’ll pretend as if I’ve rejoined their cause…gain their trust. That way, you can use me in battle. They’ll never see it.”
“The Volturi wouldn’t fall for something like that,” I growled.
Ambrosi’s eyes flashed momentarily. “You’re right. Normally they wouldn’t. We’re at war, though. They’ll believe what they have to. Besides, I’m a very convincing liar.” A small smile tugged at the corners of his lips.
“It could work,” Jasper mused.
Carlisle’s eyes were fixed on Ambrosi, and he calmly began: “Forgive me, Ambrosi, but how do we know that we can trust you?”
Ambrosi stepped from the shadows into the center of the room. “For nearly seventy years, I was a member of the Volturi Guard. I was disgusted by who I was…what I’d become. I couldn’t break free, though,” he gave a grim laugh. “I didn’t want to die…cowardly of me. And then, Meg came into my life. I’d do anything for her…I changed my very way of existence!
“I’m not expecting you to welcome me into your coven with open arms. But we’re in war, and some allotments must be made. Despite my past, I am hoping you can look at who I’ve become…and what I can do for you. I’ll leave that to your judgment.” He gave a small inclination of his head.
My gaze flickered around the room and I saw Jasper shift uncomfortably. Rosalie fixed me with a meaningful look, and I turned away. The boy’s words were sincere and did possess a certain degree of truth. We had no other choice. I gave Carlisle the tiniest nod and managed to look Ambrosi directly in the eye.
“Very well,” I said rather stiffly.
A satisfied smirk played across his features.
“What will Meg do during the battle? Surely she needs some form of protection…?” began Alice.
“Of course she does!” I snapped. “This is why she’ll stay behind with a group…”
A small laugh came from Ambrosi’s direction. “She’ll never agree to that.”
“I can help you!” a musical voice, which was tinged with anger, called from the doorway.
I turned slowly to face Meg, whose golden eyes were flashing as she glared at all of us.
“Meg, you need to understand something…” Bella said in exasperation, hovering beside her.
Angrily, Meg turned to face her. “Jacob told me all about the battle with the newborns! How you wouldn’t let yourself be sent away! You wanted to help!”
“That was different,” Bella said angrily.
“Just you wait till I’m a vampire! I’m not going to be sitting around on the sidelines next time.”
“Next time? Did you anticipate another war soon?”
“With my luck? Who knows?”
“No it wasn’t!” snarled Meg. Swiftly, she changed tactics. “Please…I can help you! You’ve seen what I can do! This is my battle to fight. I couldn’t bear it if any of you were hurt because of me…especially if I wasn’t right next to you.”
Her eyes swept around the room pleadingly, and I saw how they lingered momentarily on Ambrosi. Then, an image flashed through my head…bringing an old pain churning through my chest. It was of my Bella’s face, the look of horror, fright and pain as she watched Victoria’s head roll through the clearing. After I’d ripped it off…
“No!” I snarled. “Meg, you have no idea the horror and pain which comes with battle. I can’t expose you to that.”
Meg stumbled towards me, grabbing hold of my hands. “Look at me, Edward. I’m not a child anymore…as innocent as you may think. This determines my fate, as well as your own. I want to fight.” She lifted her chin, locking her gaze with my own.
I studied my child’s face painfully for a moment, remembering the day she was born…how I vowed I’d do anything to protect her. My eyes met Bella’s over Meg’s head and we exchanged a silent, soulful look.
“Alright,” I said softly. “But there will be some conditions.”
The first rays of morning crept through the large, glass windows as I sat slumped over Carlisle’s desk. Meg and Bella’s faces danced through my mind…pain coursing through me as swift as the morning tide. If I lost either of them again…
My head snapped up swiftly, though, as I felt the presence of someone standing near me. Ambrosi’s penetrating gaze met my own, and I resisted the urge to look away.
“Are you leaving soon?” I asked politely.
He nodded. “As soon as I say goodbye to Meg.”
An uncomfortable silence descended on the room, and I wondered why he’d come in here.
“I wanted to ask you something,” Ambrosi began slowly.
“If we survive this, I was hoping I could maybe join your coven.”
“For Meg?” I asked sharply.
He gave a small smile. “Yes.”
I ran a hand through my tousled hair. “Do you understand the practice of what we do? In regards of feeding…?”
“Meg mentioned something, yes,” he said tersely.
“It will be a hard transition.”
“I’d come through hell and back for her,” he said solemnly.
I regarded him intently for a moment, sifting through his thoughts…wondering if he was telling the truth. After a time, I realized he was.
“I believe we can work something out,” I said simply.
“I wish you didn’t have to go.”
Ambrosi gently lifted a strand of my hair and kissed it. “I do too.”
“W-what if they don’t believe you? What if they…?” My voice cracked and the thought was just too painful.
“Shh,” he said soothingly, drawing me closer to his chest. “It’s going to be alright…nothing will happen to me.”
“Don’t do anything brave or stupid,” I whispered.
I could almost sense his lips curve into a smile. “I could say the same to you.”
My arms caught his neck in a strangle-hold, and he gently lifted my face to his. He brushed my nose and eyelids with his lips, and finally, he kissed me hard on the mouth.
“I love you,” he said in my ear. “Wait for me.”
Then, he shot like an arrow into the forest…the edge of his cloak whipping around a tree. I sank backwards onto the porch steps, watching the sun rise like a golden giant. Something wet slid down the side of my face, and it took me a moment to realize they were tears.
I stood between Bella and Edward, my fingers picking nervously on a loose thread in my jeans. The waiting was awful. A cold touch laid over my arm, and I looked into Bella’s face. Her eyes were locked on the fringe of trees, and I could see the fear glistening in them. Fear for what, I wasn’t sure. Tentatively, I squeezed her hand and she looked down at me in surprise. A gentle smile reached her lips, and I returned it. There was still so much about my mother I didn’t understand.
“Where are they, Meg?” Carlisle asked. I knew “they” were the pack.
“They’ll be here soon,” I answered firmly.
Suddenly, a long, drawn-out howl echoed throughout the forest. The distant thrumming of paws on the forest-floor drifted towards us, and I could sense the tension in the others’ stances. Bella especially. And soon, a large, reddish wolf ran into the clearing…flanked by all the rest. I felt a smile appear on my lips as I saw Jacob, whose dark eyes swerved instantly to me.
With a loud bark, they sauntered towards us…coming to stand in front of Edward.
“Sam…Jacob,” Edward said tightly, giving them a small nod. “Thank you for coming to our aid.”
Jacob’s eyes suddenly became riveted on the figure at my side, and a small sound escaped from between Bella’s teeth.
“Jake…” her voice was barely above a whisper, and I didn’t know if Jacob heard her or not.
Jake tore his eyes away from my mother and managed to give me a lopsided grin, his tongue rolling from his mouth. I gave a small laugh and watched as the Cullen’s and the wolves arranged themselves into a defensive circle. Edward touched me lightly on the arm, turning me around to face him.
“Meg,” he said sternly. “Remember what we talked about. Stay close to one of us, and try not to do anything rash. We’ll be watching, and keep away from Jane. Alright?”
I nodded. “I understand.”
“Good.” He gave me a light smile. “I’m proud of you, love.” His fingers grazed the side of my face and then he turned away.
A shroud of mist had fallen on the clearing, settling like an oppressive blanket on all who drew breath. A mix of fear and anticipation seemed to clog all my senses, and we all stood taut like a bow-string.
Then, rising from the early-morning mist, came the distinct shapes of six figures. Their black cloaks seemed to blot out all else as they followed their owner’s lithe and powerful movements. I saw Jane at their head, flanked by Alec and Ambrosi. My heart clenched a little and a sense of tremendous relief settled over me. They’d believed him!
Their group stopped about twenty-feet in front of us, and some of the wolves growled and snapped their teeth.
“So, we meet again,” Jane said mockingly, fixing her gaze on Edward and Bella.
“To our obvious displeasure,” Edward snarled.
Jane gave a small laugh. “Well, Bella, it looks as though the deed has finally been done. I’ll look forward to seeing your strength in battle.”
Bella stiffened, and her eyes narrowed as she glared at Jane. No one spoke for a moment…the world had stopped. And then, with a bone-chilling cry, Jane leapt foreword towards one of the wolves.
It had begun.
A loud echo of snarls ricocheted around the clearing, and everyone sprang forewords. Dimly, I saw Edward drop into a crouch…throwing Alec to the ground. A terrifying growl ripped from Alice’s throat as she and Jasper threw themselves at Felix. Emmett aimed a blow directly at Demetri, causing him to fall to the ground. Emmett choked back a laugh, and Rosalie’s perfect face was twisted in a snarl as she and Esme cornered Heidi. Carlisle was rushing at Ambrosi, and I saw them engage in what I knew to be a mock battle. My eyes found Bella who was circling Jane, and I wondered why Jane hadn’t used her powers yet…?
The wolves were putting up a ferocious battle, snarling and ripping wherever they could find someone. With horror, I looked at Edward who was struggling to pin Alec to the ground. Jacob saw this, and with a loud snarl, flung himself into that fray. I tried to take a step foreword, but my legs felt like jelly underneath me. Heidi was clawing viciously at Rosalie and, primal anger coursing through me, I leapt forewords and sent a blow of dizzying energy at Heidi.
With a screech, she fell backwards. Rosalie whipped around to face me, and she gave a small smile. I returned it, only to feel a pair of arms throw me to the ground. I twisted to see Felix leering at me, pinioning my arms. Angrily, I struck out at him…watching in satisfaction as he fell backwards.
I rolled away, narrowing my eyes as Jane threw Bella backwards. The force sent her flying into a tree, and a surge of hate washed through me as Jane gave a satisfied smirk. Edward was trying desperately to get to Bella, but Alec was blocking the way. To my horror, I saw Jane saunter towards Bella…who had just risen from the ground. I began to run towards them, dimly noticing a look of horror registering on Ambrosi’ face. He was shaking his head furiously, trying desperately to stop my course of action.
Jane was now standing above Bella, her small form bending over to rip my mother limb-from-limb… Gathering all my remaining courage, I sent a blast of energy at Jane. She sensed it, though, and ducked before it could reach her. To my dismay, it hit a tree…splintering the bark. My hands began to shake, the strength seeming to drain rapidly from my body. Quick as lightening, Jane was upon me…one cold hand grasped around my neck. Fear shot through me as she dragged me backwards, her grip tightening ever-so-slightly.
“No one move any closer, or I snap her neck!” Jane called in a thunderous voice.
Everyone was holding their breath, and I saw Edward and Bella standing in front of us, horror and fear washing through their features.
I tried desperately to call on my powers, wanting nothing more then the comforting sense of control to roll through me. I felt too weak, though…too weak to even fight as Jane pulled back my head.
My fight was over.
“Not Meg…not my little girl,” I thought desperately to myself as I saw her locked in Jane’s grip.
I felt helpless again. Just like when I’d seen Seth laying on the ground…Victoria advancing on Edward.“No, no, no!”
Jane slowly began to back up, Meg’s feet dragging uselessly against the ground. Her eyes were misted with pain, fear and anger…and I could see she was losing strength.
Suddenly, a dark figure behind Jane caused hope to leap up inside my chest. I saw Ambrosi, anger reflecting in his eyes as he silently advanced on Jane. No one else could see him but me.“Thank God!”
Then, I saw the decision registering on his face, and I knew what he was about to do. My eyes widened in horror as he threw himself at Jane…
He was going to sacrifice himself.
Suddenly, I heard Jane give a snarl and I was sent tumbling towards the ground.
“Meg!” Edward called.
His arms circled around my waist, pulling me closer towards him. Bella cradled my head against her neck, shielding me from something. A set of vicious snarls echoed behind me, and I managed to twist around.
Jane was ripping at something…someone. The sickening snaps and keening sounds enveloped my brain like a fog. The pack and the rest of the Cullen’s were rushing towards her, but it was too late. She had destroyed someone. Then, I saw the edge of a black cloak…the fingers on a dismembered arm curling uselessly.
The realization set into my chest, and a high-pitched scream tore loose from my throat.
With every ounce of strength left in my body, I ripped myself away from them…stumbling towards Jane. I willed my feet to move faster, but they wouldn’t obey. Something was constricting my heart, tearing at it with vicious claws. Jane was taking something from her pocket, and I realized what it was. A match.
“NO!” I screamed again, knowing I could never get there in time.
Jane turned towards me with a beast-like smile and then, with a deafening slowness, the match slipped from her fingers…and the flames began to consume the one who I loved.
The flames caught light and roared into a monstrous crescendo, licking greedily at the trees above. I skidded to my knees, my hand shooting into the inferno. The gnawing agony and heat didn’t touch me as I searched desperately for him.
“Ambrosi!” I sobbed, the heat from the flames seared into my eyelids.
Something met my fingers…the touch of another hand, curling desperately over my own…
“Love conquers all…”
“MEG!” a voice called.
Alice pulled me backwards, beating at my hand to extinguish the flames.
“Ambrosi!” I screamed, watching the flames build higher and higher. I felt the claws give one final squeeze, and it was as if my heart stopped beating.
“He’s gone, Meg!” Alice said desperately, pulling me back by the waist.He was gone…Ambrosi was gone…
My breath came in short and ragged gasps, the pain and hate bubbling up inside of me. Then, my eyes locked with Jane’s.
She had taken a step back, emotions raging through the terrified depths of her eyes.
“YOU!” I roared, stumbling towards her with a newfound strength.
She took another step back. Energy filled me like a storm-cloud, gathering inside of me until I feared my skin would explode. Jane’s eyes widened momentarily, and then she turned.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins and I sped after her…vaguely hearing the desperate calls of my name. Revenge bore me up on its wings as I followed her, and then, I managed to send a blast of power…which echoed around the forest like a thunder-bolt.
It caused her to stumble, and with a terrifying leap, I pressed the edge of my sneaker into her throat…locking her in my grasp. She twisted beneath me, and looked up at me with terrified eyes.
“Please, Meg, have mercy!” she moaned.
“Mercy?” I gave a cruel laugh. “For sixteen years, I was subjected to your torment and abuse in Volterra. You stole me from my family…inflicting hurt and pain! And now, you have killed the one thing that kept me sane in all that time, and who I loved more then you could possibly imagine. And you ask for mercy?”
She struggled even harder against my grasp, and with a vindictive pleasure, I stared down at her, ready to wipe this creature off the earth…
“No, Meg, you mustn’t!” a voice called inside my head.
In anguish, I recognized the familiar Italian lilt. “She killed you…she killed me!” I snarled.
“You’re better then this…don’t let revenge take over you. Let her go…they won’t hurt you anymore after this!”
I knew he was right. With an angry breath, I turned back towards the sickening form beneath me. I bent down close to her ear, malice and hate dripping from my words:
“The difference between you and me, is that where you inflict the illusion of pain…I inflict the real thing! Pray that our paths never cross again…or the flames of hell will in no way compare to the torture I have in store for you!” My voice sounded alien…not my own.
With a forceful kick, I let her go…watching as she sped away into the murky darkness of the trees. Dimly, I saw the rest of them follow…their breath dancing on the eastern wind.
Then, the pain in my heart mixed with that of my hand…stifling me until I could no longer breathe. I fell towards the ground, painful sobs racking my body as my heart’s blood melted away onto the grass.
- Chapter 1: Aurora
- Chapter 2: Compromise
- Chapter 3: Rain
- Chapter 4: Past
- Chapter 5: Annoyance
- Chapter 6: Secrets
- Chapter 7: Closer
- Chapter 8: Balance
- Chapter 9: Motions
- Chapter 10: Dance
- Chapter 11: Empty
- Chapter 12: Missing
- Chapter 13: Escalate
- Chapter 14: Intertwined
- Chapter 15: Breath
- Chapter 16: Immortal
- Edwards Rose
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- 04 Jan 08
- 18 May 08