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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

8. Chapter 8: Balance

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1495   Review this Chapter

Chapter Eight: Balance


I’m lying by the window in Volterra, the sun’s rays bathing me in their warm light. The door opens…it’s Ambrosi. He laughs, crossing towards me in a single stride. He takes me into his arms, a light smile playing across his features. As I reach up to kiss him, a loud snarl rips from his throat. Ambrosi’s face changes, sets into a cruel mask. His lovely dark eyes seem eclipsed, pearly-white teeth gleaming savagely…

I’m hurled backwards into a clearing, facing little Jane. She gives me a vicious smile, malice emitting from her like a dark cloud.

“Can you hear them, Meg?” she hisses with a high-pitched laugh.

I turn and run, crashing ungracefully through the underbrush. She’s following me…I can tell. I trip over a log, my head knocking into something. The scent of blood rises up to meet me, and I give a scream as the strange yearning gnaws at me.

“MEG!” voices call, blending into a loud screech.

“Stop…” I plead.

“Meg, this is middle C…”

“Are you laughing at me?”

“Come away with me!”

“One month…”

“The day has come…”

“This is Meg…my daughter.”


“NO!” I scream again, covering my ears from the voices.

“You can’t escape…” Jane trills, advancing on me…flanked by Ambrosi. Their eyes are frenzied as they stare at the blood seeping onto the ground…

Help me…

I woke with a start, drenched in a cold sweat. I held my face in my hands, waiting until my rapid breathing slowed. A nightmare…one of the worst I’d had in a long time. I squeezed my eyes shut…shutting out the horrible images. When I was younger I used to have nightmares almost every night. They usually involved me running through a large, white house…calling for those who weren’t there. Then, a fire would start…building to an inferno. I’d always wake after that. I shuddered and cautiously laid back down, settling into a dark and dreamless sleep.

The next morning, I woke to sunlight streaming in through the windows. Sunlight! I couldn’t help but smile as I vaulted off the bed. Hastily throwing on some clothes, I took off at a run down the narrow staircase. Once outside, I resisted the urge to throw out my arms and dance around in circles. Instead, I tilted my face up towards the light…letting its rays tickle my face.

I smiled, gazing up and down the deserted street. I tossed my head and started off in a direction, not caring where my feet led me…I was too absorbed in the glorious morning. It reminded me of Italy…sitting on the rooftops with Ambrosi, watching the sun rise. A sharp pain coursed through me; I was homesick for the one place I longed to be free of!

I continued my aimless path down the street, ignoring the stares of curious townsfolk. I didn’t talk to people much…for fear they’d instantly badger me with questions about my parents and such. A light wind whistled through the street, seeming to come from the woods. Rooted to the spot, the woods seemed to come closer…until they were right against my eyelids.

Puzzled, I walked forwards…following the strange pull. Dappled sunshine streamed in through the tree tops, being pierced through with rainbows like Cupid’s arrow. I delicately sidestepped a log, remembering with a shudder my dream of the night before. Seconds passed to minutes…time flying by like specters.

Finally, I emerged from my revelry, to realize that I was on a road…which turned off sharply into a tangle of plants. I squinted against the blinding white, tentatively putting a hand out. My fingers grazed the coarse surface of the plants, parting them. I stepped into the jungle and looked down at the ground…this was a driveway! Fiercely, I pushed my way through the sea of weeds which had grown up…possessed with a fierce longing to see what laid at the end.

“Meg…” a voice whispered.

I drew a sharp breath, whirling around. There was no one. My sanity was definitely being put to the test. Angrily, I pushed onwards…ignoring slaps from the foliage. After what seemed like a lifetime I finally reached the end of the driveway.

I had not expected this, though.

I stood in a small clearing, facing a beautiful, white mansion. The sight of it made my eyes prick, almost to the point of tears. Its timeless beauty took my breath away, despite its decrepit appearance. Ivy wove its way up the walls, eclipsing the soaring, glass windows. The huge, wrap-around porch was dusted with the crinkled leaves of autumns long ago.

Wind whipped through the trees, causing tendrils of hair to blow around my face. Hesitantly, I took a step forward…longing to go closer. I climbed the porch steps one-by-one, feeling an intense sense of recognition. Gay, care-free laughter filled my consciousness, seeming to echo for miles. I tried the door-knob, but it was locked. I peered in through the windows, managing to see a large, empty room. Disappointed, I walked back down the steps…scanning the house for any way to gain passage.

The window.

My eyes snapped towards it almost instantly, like I knew what lay beyond its panes. A trellis of ivy flowed up to it, one that might be able to hold my weight. I ran to it, testing my new-found ladder cautiously. To my surprise, it held. Taking a deep breath, I curled my fingers over it and began to climb. The window, I saw, was slightly ajar…just enough so that I could hook my fingers underneath.

I opened it, hoisted myself through, and landed in a crouch on the wooden floors. A fine layer of dust blew through the air, causing me to choke. I wove it away and managed to take in my surroundings. The walls were a pale blue…decked with moth-eaten tapestries and drapes of castles and forests. Like a fairytale… A distinct sadness hung over the room, and then I looked towards the corner.

A crib used to be there…

I stumbled backward into the window sill, breathing erratically. This had been a nursery! Why had I known a crib used to be there…? My mind was playing tricks on me. I hurried from the room into a large hallway, looking around desperately. The house had been abandoned for a long time, so I didn’t feel especially bad for breaking and entering. Swift anger coursed through me for a minute…how could someone let this beautiful place fall to ruin? I descended the staircase, emerging into a large and empty room.

Suddenly, a soft music seemed to envelop me in its caresses. Puzzled, my head swung around…so that I was left staring into another room. The music increased in fervor, filling my veins with a sweet fire. Was that the beginning of Moonlight Sonata…? As if in a trance, I moved closer…my breath catching in my throat.

It was a piano.

It stood alone in the middle of the room…forgotten. I took a step forward, the music fading into the back of my mind. I let my finger trail over the wood, now coated with layers of dust. The bench was tucked with loving precision underneath, as if someone had been sorry to leave it. The piano’s ivory keys surged up to meet me, alluring and familiar. I reached out, striking a note. Its voice rang pure and melancholy throughout the house, causing a strange feeling to settle over me.

I’d been here before…

“Meg…” a voice whispered again.

Surprised, I drew back sharply, making a run for the door. In my haste, I knocked into a table…something falling from its surface. Unthinkingly, I scooped it up…desperate to be free from this place. I unlocked the door, wrenched it open, and burst out into the welcoming sunlight. I tumbled down the steps and collapsed onto the ground, drinking in the fresh air.

I could almost swear I heard the piano…its note following me sadly out the door. I wove it off, surveying the house one last time. It didn’t look threatening at all, only a sad and preserved relic of the past. Sheepishly, I stood up and brushed off my skirts. I noticed the sharp edge of something cutting into my palm, and I realized it was the thing I’d picked up inside the house. I uncurled my fingers, taking in the familiar object before me.

It was a bracelet…set with two charms. A carving of a wolf, its eyes staring mournfully up at me. The other was a diamond, in the shape of a heart. A testament to what my own was becoming.