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Shades of Gray

Summary:
In 1432, Aro heard a prophecy that would change the immortal lives of the Cullens......forever.


Notes:


10. The Keeper of the Sand in the Wind

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3760   Review this Chapter

The hour glass is always spinning. When the grains of sand are done falling, most beings time on this unforgivable earth is done. Death takes them into the darkness and squeezes. The soul moves on, but the body remains. Mortality is something everyone and everything is born with. However, when demons invaded the world, mortality could be taken away and eternity is replaced.

Every mortal being has a life cycle. Whether it's born from a cocoon and goes through metamorphoses to turn into a butterfly or is born from a womb of another and develops a personality, everything has a life. With life, come death. At some point the hour glass will stop spinning, the last grain will fall and the glass will shatter, leaving shards broken behind.

Death can come at the most unexpected times. A human can think that they have their entire life ahead of them, just to have it snatched away in a single moment. Life is many things, beautiful, loving, hopeful, but most of all it is harsh and cold. Why should death be any different? Its the laughter and the smiles of something false that brings the coldness of this world to light. It shines at some of the darker corners that are meant to be keep hidden. There are things that remain unseen, when they desperately need to be discovered and noticed.

The dark alleyway was one of the most uninviting places that Italy held within its ancient borders. Chills ran down the spins of mortal and immortal beings. It reeked of murder and chaos. Most of all, it held the stench of betrayal. The moon could not be seen, it was hidden behind the darkness that invaded everything around. It was a new moon. Every hint of protection was gone, yet to some, even that was left unseen.

The two of them continued walking, one knowing the fate of the other, while the second remained blissfully happy. Ignorance is bliss, but it is not reality. The native American woman linked arms with the British one. She stirred her down the alleyway and into the depths of nightmares. Leah quickened her steps, pulling Blaze along as she stumbled on the stone ground.

"Jeez Lea-Bea! Whats the hurry? The hotel won't lock us out.....Right?"

"No, they won't close the hotel. Besides, we are not even going there."

"We're not? Where are we going? You said a few moments ago that we were!" Leah stopped dead in her tracks causing Blaze to run into her, knocking herself down while Leah still stood tall. She pulled herself up again and started to walk, but soon realized that Leah was not behind her. Blaze turned and threw the other girl a curious look.

"Blaze, can I ask you something?"

"Sure, but can we go back please? This place is giving me the heebee jeebees!" Announced the jumpy woman.

"No! We cant." Leah said impatiently.

"Jeez, you don't have to bite my head off about it!"

"Anyway. I was wondering how much you truly love Jacob?" Leah placed her hands on her hips and tilted her head questionably in Blaze's direction.

"I love him with all my heart. Why?" Blaze was caught off guard by Leah's seemingly random question, but she answered truthfully.

"All this 'imprinting' stuff, I don't like it. No. I despise it." Leah said now, walking slowly towards the very confused woman.

"Is this about Sam and Emily? Their dead now Leah, there isn't much you can do about it!" Blaze was backing away as Leah advanced.

"No, its not about them. Though, Sam was my first love and it nearly killed me when he broke every single promise to me. I am over that now. I have moved on. Yet, there seems to be one little thing that is standing in my way!"

"What? If you want something so badly than go after it." she said hurriedly wanting to leave the dark alley.

"That is exactly what I am doing." The alleyway grew colder and bloodshot eyes could be seen from the shadows.

Blaze gave a frightened jump as the vampires surrounded her.

Leah stood motionless.

Alec came out of the crowd slowly, putting one foot in front of the other. There was an air of confidence in his walk. It was as if he knew that he was going to get something he wanted deeply. When Alec reached Blaze, his eyes gazed toward hers. A fear passed through her and she quickly glanced at Leah. She made no movements that indicated she wanted to help her. Her face held no hint of surprise. Leah had known from the very beginning.

Time is limited, something Blaze realized a little late in her life. She wanted to back away, but more terrifying creators stood behind her, as well as in front of her. She had no where to go and no where to hide. Blaze began to shake as Alec reached her. His hands where cold as they reached up to caress her jaw bone. He was so small, a child. A baby. Yet, still so terrifying. She could never take this. The blood pounding through her veins. A sound that the vampires could hear. They hissed in delight, they wanted to feel it in the back of their throats. Her heart beat was speeding up with every stroke he took.

Blaze feared for her life. Death was something she hadn't planned on so early. Her life had only begun. She had only two years. Two beautiful years with Jacob. Another realization came to mind. What would Jacob do? Would he avenge her death? Or, would he move on to someone else? Move on to Leah?

No! Jacob can't stand the sight of her. He never understood why Blaze insisted on being friends with her. At that moment, neither did Blaze. So many warning signs. When the pack learned how to block their thoughts from each other, it was more of a joyful celebration. No one saw the dangers in that. No one expected one of their own to betray them.

Alec's hand left the side of her cheek and moved slowly down her arm to her wrist. The veins there were clearly visible. Alec kissed them as she tried to pull away. His grip was to strong, he was almost crushing her bones. His lips parted once more, reveling his perfect little white teeth. He bit her as if she was a mere apple and began to drink. She screamed. Two more vampires came up beside her and started tracing little circles in her neck. The cold fingers sent an almost numbing feeling down both sides of her neck. However, when the bites came, she sent another scream that would remain unheard.

More of them came and one by one Leah let them pass. Blaze's other wrist was taken into the mouth of another member of the guard. She was losing her ability to stand on her own. So the vampires, being as generous as they were, laid her on the ground and continued to suck. More and more came. One taking her calf bringing it to her lips, one more taking the other. Two others took her ankles. She was slipping into an unforgivable black abyss. Her mind was numb and very few thoughts crossed her mind. Those few that managed to escape were of one thing, one being and one love. Jacob.

Images flashed before her with the resemblance of bright light. Jacob had an angelic gleam to him, something that is rare for anything living in a world full of chaos. He smiled at her and they laughed at simple unimportant things. He would kiss her fully on the mouth and she would sink into blissful happiness. People fall in and out of love everyday, but a soul mate is forever, even in death.

"Jacob." Blaze breathed while her heart slowed and everything went permanently black. Thousands of miles away, Jacob Black's heart was breaking.

**********************************************************

The wind blows in so many directions. From south to north, east to west. They all feel it. Both the alive and the dead, depending on the definition of death. Yet, everything has something in common, the mortal and immortal will always feel the wind blowing against their soft and smooth or cold and stony skin. The soulful breeze will always grace its presence among those who call this earth home.

The wind also shows no mercy. It can be strong and fierce, destroying lives and humanity alike. It can be the eye of the storm and the most feared experience. Though not all storms or winds can be brutal. Sometimes, the most feared thing in the world can be beautiful. Sometimes, a simple flower blowing within the breeze can calm an old man's heart. Sometimes, the wind brings back memories that were forgotten. Sometimes, the wind gives pleasant dreams of the future.

The one thing that fierce storm winds and simple breezes have in common is that they are both hollow. Empty with nothing more than invisible physical motion. Alone and shapeless. Something so easily recognized, yet something so easily ignored. Knowing it is there, yet it can not be seen. Invisible and alone, forever and always. Though, like most things, the wind can add a bit of color to its transparent look. The storms that rip rooftops from their homes and the loose flowers that are simply so light that they can be lifted. Even the most overlooked presence can bring enjoyment to their life. Even the most brooding vampires can bring love and laughter into their lives by the smile of a small innocent child. A child with a destiny in front of them.

"Push Bella, one more time. Push." Carlisle said as Bella gave another pain filled cry. Edward was by her side and Esme on the other. The others were out in the throne room, just outside the door. Then another cry filled the room. A small cry, a new one. Esme left Bella's side and went and cleaned the child off. She was back within seconds holding a small bundle covered in a blanket and placed the child into Bella's arms.

"Congratulations, you have a daughter."

Edward smiled at his perfect daughter. He had seen her so much in Alice's visions. He felt what it was like and he felt the joy and freedom that this child would bring to them both. He fell in love with his daughter before she was even born.
"I can't believe this." Bella whispered as the door opened and the others filled in, Gabriel shutting the door behind him. Edward pulled out her emerald pendent and slipped the chain around the now sleeping form of his daughter. Rosalie and Alice were both jumping to hold the baby, but held their excitement under the surface. Emmett came up behind Rosalie and wrapped his arms around her and whispered something in her ear. She smiled and rested her head against his shoulder. Each took a few moments to look at the child who was at the moment still asleep. Gabriel took the longest. Understanding and a sense of purpose filled his eyes. He nodded to Edward and followed the others out the door. Bella shifted and placed their child in the arms of her husband. Edward gave a silent sob.
"She is so perfect, yet so fragile." The father rubbed the tip of his marble finger across her pale cheek. She stirred, but only for a moment and settled back down into her comfortable slumber. Bella reached beside and grasped a bottle full of formula, since she would not be able to breast feed her child. The pendent glowed slightly, recognizing it's new master.
"I can't hear her." Edward said, not taking his eyes off the small figure. Never, in all of his years had he ever thought he would be feeling what he was feeling now. This little girl, his little girl, alive and well. He never thought that he would ever get the chance to be a father. Love filled him. Not the type of love he felt for Bella or how he felt for his father, Carlisle, but something new and something different. He made a vow to himself that no matter what it took, he would protect her in any way possible.

"What?" Bella's eyes snapped away from her baby and focused on Edward.

"When we lived in Forks, before and after I met you, I would sometimes visit Carlisle at the hospital. Once in awhile he would be in the maternity ward and I could hear their minds. Newborns mind are extremely simple. Only focusing on being feed, being held and other things a child would need. Simple, only focusing on the needs. Similar to a newborn vampire, only much more beautiful. She however is silent." Edward said, as he refused to remove his eyes from their daughter. "She is so much like you in all of Alice's visions. She is so warm and so soft. Her heart beat is so strong. I love her."

"Of course you do! We will keep her safe. But we can't keep calling her she and the baby. She will need a name." Bella said, smirking.

"Hmmmmm, good point. Well, any ideas?"

"None, you?"

"Oh, a fair few." Edward said as he smirked. The baby began to stir and became fussy. Edward looked scared and unsure of what to do. Bella simply chuckled and took her from her husband to give her the bottle she came back with.

"Are you going to share or not?"

"I was thinking that, maybe, she should be named after our mothers." This was the first time that Edward's eyes left the sight of the child and focused on Bella. He lowered his head to meet hers and kissed her welcoming lips. Deeper and deeper the kiss got, and it ended with the sound of a burp. They both laughed as Bella put the baby up against her shoulder and began to tap lightly on her back.

"How do you know what to do? I thought you killed all of your goldfish."

"Esme bought baby books. And when I didn't read them. She read them aloud to me." Bella smirked when Edward raised his eyebrows. "And, I like that idea. Naming our daughter after our mothers, but she does not feel like a Renee."

"Our daughter" Edward whispered, still not believing that this miracle was his. "Okay, then how about, Elizabeth Renee Cullen?" Bella shook her head in the negative.

"No, Elizabeth Renee Esme Cullen."

"It's perfect."

Bella got up and began walking around, thankful she was a vampre. She started to hum a melody that sounded awfully familiar. Then it dawned on him. It was her melody. The one he had been working on for Elizabeth.

"It's a bit of a hand full for a small child though, don't you think?" She said, drawing him away from his thoughts.

"Well, there are always nicknames. Shall we call her Lizzie?" Edward asked, as he wrapped his arms around his wife's middle and gazed down at their perfect bundle. Bella made a face to the nickname.

"No?" Bella nodded in the negative.

"Okay then, how about Ellie?"

"Ellie Cullen. It's perfect."

***************************************************************************

The wall held no characteristics. A pale white with an extremely large hole in center from being punched in. By the looks of it, it would seem that someone had been working that particular hole for days. However, it only took one pained punch from a werewolf whose heart flew out the window.

"I don't believe you." Jacob said as Leah sat on his desk chair, he was sitting on the bed. She had an almost completely healed bruise on her face that she claimed had come from the vampires that attacked Blaze. Jacob however, had barely heard anything she had said.

"Why? You saw the body! You saw the marks. They sucked her dry, Jacob. Eight of them, plus more surrounded us. I had to get out of there or I'd be dead to!" Leah said while she faked choking with the words. In her mind she was congratulating herself on her impressive acting job. If you can act, then you can lie, something she had always told herself. Step one was done, the heart of the pack had been removed. Cut out with pearly white teeth. The only part of the bargain she had not agreed to was the bruise on her eye. Demetri had come up and punched her, knocking her to the ground. He snarled and said "to make this believable." Alec simply stood by and watched with amusement while picking the flesh out of his teeth.

"No, what I don't believe is the fact that you let this happen. Blaze is de-" Jacob began, but the words couldn't form. "Blaze is gone and you stood there and let it happen."

"I didn't just stand there! I tried! There were to many of them. All I could do was run." She defended herself, while trying to produce tears that were not coming.

"You were supposed to be her best friend! And you ran without her?" He was trying to keep cool, to keep from phasing, to keep from ripping her throat out.

"I didn't want to die!"

"YOU WERE TO PROTECT HER! THAT IS WHAT WE DO LEAH!! PROTECT PEOPLE. Especially her." The last part came out as a whisper and he let his own tears fall freely. "You didn't save her and now she's gone." The hole that had been created since the moment she was killed grew larger and the realization hit. Blaze was dead, gone and Jacob wasn't there to protect her. Everything else seemed to have hollowed itself out.

"I loved Blaze, but her life wasn't more important than the others Jacob!"

"No, you mean her life wasn't more important than yours. You ran without looking Leah, you didn't save her!" He got up and started pounding on the wall again. Leah tried to grab his arm and pull it away. He raised his fists again, but instead of hitting the wall, he smacked Leah across the face, knocking her to the ground. She hit her head against the headboard of the unmade bed rather hard. When she stood up again, the cut on her forehead was already healed.

"Don't. You. Ever. Lay. A Fucking Hand. On. Me. Again!" Leah said, emphasizing each word.

"Right, I'll leave that to the blood suckers." Jacob said, motioning to her first bruise. At that moment Leah lost her temper, phased and lunged at Jacob. He did the same. Jacob being more skilled at attacking within wolf form, pinned the petite werewolf under him and was not showing any mercy.

There was a sound at the door way and Seth was staring at the damage that had been created. The end table that was sitting beside the bed was in half and the lamp that stood on it was shattered into a thousand pieces on the white carpet. The carpet was stained with blood. The two wolfs phased back into their naked human selves. Their clothes remained ripped to shreds on the floor. Leah stood up, completely unembarrassed, and took a sheet off of Jacob's bed and wrapped it around her. Seth went to the dresser and pulled out a pair of pajama bottoms and threw them at the pack leader.

The barriers that Jacob had set up in his mind to keep his thoughts inside only his walls broke. All of his thoughts came flooding out and into the mind of the pack. The first time he saw Blaze, the first time he kissed her, touched her and the night they spent together before she went to Italy. He remember the last time he held her in his arms. The pain was so much to bare that Leah almost felt guilty. Almost.

"As we were discussing" Leah pledged on as if they were talking about a business proposition and not the death of a loved one. "Everything is not as it seems in Italy."

"What do you mean?" Seth piped in for Jacob who was incapable of speaking.

"The Cullens are in Italy." She said, and Seth went very still. She turned to Jacob. "They were the eight vampires." In a flash, the dresser was flown across the room, causing more destruction than was already done.

"No, you must be wrong Leah! Dr. Fang and his family would not do this! Bella in particular" Seth said as Jacob stared shaking involuntary. The pain in his chest was threatening to consume him. It was like the venom of a vampire. Striking each part of the body painfully until it reached the heart. In his case, the heart went cold.

"It's that child Seth. It controls them. Alec warned us. It's turned them into inhumane killers. Beyond the regular vampire. Kill them Jacob, before they kill they rest of us." Seth looked at his sister unbelieving what she was saying. Jacob, however, stopped shaking and looked her directly in the eyes.

"Call him. Looks like I will take up his offer." Leah nodded. She walked out the door and into the woods, dropping the sheet before she phased.

***************************************

Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis surrounded the ancient desk and watched the simple bowl of apples that sat on it. Aro sat behind the desk and watched The Fates. He had knowen he would be seeing them soon. After the discovery of the prophecy the three sisters made it in his interest to make him the keeper of the child. His destiny alone was to keep the child from falling into harms way, until the time comes. Right now, however he seemed puzzled as to why the would contact him. They told him, all those centuries ago, that the child would find her way into his arms and she had.

"We..."

"...are..."

".....very pleased....."

"....with you." The Fates talked, completing each sentence.

"You..."

"........did....."

".....as we...."

".........expected." Lachesis walked behind the desk and placed her hands on Aro's temple. He saw an alley way and a death of a girl by his own guard. He heard the clock strike midnight through the city even though it was sunrise. The death of the girl was the same time as the birth of the child. Midnight.

"Move slowly...."

"...keep him..."

"....close...."

"..for now." Atropos picked up the wooden apple that was on top of the rest. It glowed for a moment and it was turned into gold. She placed it back with the rest. Lachesis joined the others and in a instant, they were gone