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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:


11. Just For Today

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4728   Review this Chapter

The stars shine down on the earth's surface. They hold the ghosts of old souls, watching the earth's humanity with every move. They document the history of the world and guide those who have the lost the way of their destiny. They are the slaves of The Fates. The stars are the only thing that brings light within the darkness, along with the moon. They worship the moon, their direct link to their masters. New stars are made, joining the ranks of their ancestors. One blazing soul after another. Each stripped from earth and hosted into the sky, watching humanity below.
The sorrows of the stars are forgotten once the sun rises and the moon falls. The casting of orange and gold hide the lost souls from view and brings the happy memories of them to light. Nightmares are erased and dreams are made. Reality too, is brought to light and the miracles of the time seem always to be impossible. Yet, the miracle of baby girl in a house full of vampires, seem to be a bit beyond the plains of reality. The miracle known as Ellie Cullen, was loved not only by the two people who there at that fateful stroke of midnight, but by anyone who laid eyes on her.

The parents held their daughter in their arms for what seemed like an eternity. Watching her sleep, eat and play; a favorite past time that Edward was happy to indulge in with his daughter. All the Cullens fell in love with the tiny girl, Alice and Rosalie had already went on several shopping trips that included anything from clothes to toys for Ellie. The men, too, had no power over her. From the moment they laid eyes on her, they were goners. Emmett protested that she had no affect on him, but he never passed up the chance to spoil his niece, who he called fondly his "Lizzie-kins." Jasper was more open about the feelings he held for Ellie. He was there whenever she laughed and cried. He even yelled at Jane for asking Heidi when she was going out "fishing" in front of the baby. In return, Jasper let out a few screams when Jane simply looked at him.

The man that was hit the hardest, besides Edward, was Carlisle. If Edward could not read his mind and Jasper could not feel his emotions, it would have gone completely unnoticed, except when he did things that most grandparents would do. The day after Ellie was born, Carlise came home with a pearly white teddy bear the size of Emmett's torso. He claimed that he was just getting a head start in falling into the grandfatherly role, but the reality was that he would bend over back-words for her. All the men would, even Gabriel.

Esme said if she could produce tears, they would have been falling freely when she learned Ellie's full name. She never expected, not for a moment, that they would honor her in that way, naming their only child after her. Even Carlisle was touched by this gesture. None of the Cullens realized, through all the years they had been together, that something was missing. That there was hole in each and every one of them. Ellie filled that hole. They say that vampires rarely change, but when they do, it is something so distinct that causes it. Ellie was something truly distinct.

"Edward! Will you stop playing the piano! You will put her to sleep." Alice cried has she lightly tickled Ellie who was laying in a baby swing that was still. The baby had grown prone to falling asleep whenever Edward would play anything on the piano, especially her lullaby.

"She hasn't had a nap today Alice. She needs sleep." Bella stated as she entered their sitting room of their quarters. She sat down on the cream sofa and pulled her legs under her.

"Rosalie will be greatly disappointed if little Ellie-poo here is asleep whenever the rest get back from hunting." Edward, sighed and stopped playing to sit beside his wife. He wrapped his arms around her and looked down at were Alice and Ellie were playing. A smile graced his lips as he watched the two of them. Bella saw this and kissed his extremely pale cheek.

"First off, Alice, please don't call her that. She does not need nicknames off of her nickname. Second, you got twenty minutes." Bella said, as Edward started to trace circles on her arm.

"I can deal with twenty minutes." Alice leaned down and blew a raspberry on Ellie's stomach. She started laughing again and gave a toothless smile. "And whats wrong with Ellie-poo. You don't yell at Emmett when he calls her Lizzie-kins?" She looked up and noticed the movements Edward was making with his thumb and smirked. "If you two want to be alone, I can take the baby off your hands." Bella snorted and Edward's eyes flashed in embarrassment.

"No thank you Alice. We're fine."

"Just offering." Bella was still laughing. At that moment, the door opened and the rest of the Cullens filed in. Esme and Carlise sat beside Edward and Bella while Rosalie and Emmett sat on the floor with Alice. Jasper stood behind the sofa, leaning on it. Rosalie took Ellie out of her swing and started bouncing her on her knee while putting kisses on her small cheeks. Ellie, like with Alice, was laughing like mad.

"You are so adorable! With your fathers human green eyes and his bronze hair. You are just the cutest of the Cullen's! Yes you are, Miss Elizabeth!" Rosalie said in a baby voice.

"Hey!" Emmett said and through a playful glare at his wife. "I always knew you had a thing for Edward!" He said jokingly. Alice started laughing hysterically.

"Sorry, Rose. He is mine!" Bella piped in. Rosalie just rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to Ellie. "Look guys, I know you just got back but Ellie really needs sleep." She said and the rest pouted. Rosalie placed Ellie in Bella's arms and walked out with the rest of the family. She got up and walked into the nursery. She sat on the rocking chair and began to sing to Ellie while rocking back and forth. Edward was standing outside of the door, listening to her musical voice. His brow frowned when her voice stopped.

"I love you more than anything in this world and it kills me to know that you have a long road ahead of you. Your father and I are so ecstatic that The Fates gave us you. We understand that our destiny was simply to bring you into this world, but, if I had the choice, I would take it all back. Just to spare you this fate, so you could have a choice." She gave a dry sob as Ellie slipped into a blissful slumber. "In the end you will become like us and you will have to stop the world from coming to an end, but I'll damn the fates if they let it be your end." Bella placed a cold kiss to her forehead and placed her in the crib while giving another dry sob.

Bella turned and walked out, closing the door behind her to see Edward looking at her with sad eyes. He opened his arms and she walked into them. Edward kissed the top of her head and pulled her close.

"She is my baby, Edward. Please, isn't there anything else you can do?" She asked her husband, her eyes pleading.

"We are trying. Whoever is after her, hasn't done anything yet." Bella gave a silent shake in his arms.

"Key word being 'yet'." Edward nodded and locked his eyes with Bella's. Ellie's breathing was even in the next room and she was still sound asleep. He brought his head down and locked his lips with Bella's. Air ceased to be needed and they continued their embrace until Bella forced a blush to creep up on her cheeks. She held the illusion while Edward rubbed his stony finger across it. She gave off human body heat and made her heart beat for him.

He clung to her, desperate to hold onto the illusion. Burying himself in her hair and inhaling the wonderful sent that held him captive from the first day he seen her. The world around them no longer excised, nothing mattered other than their embrace. He kissed her again, this time with more fervor. Bella broke away and placed her hands on his perfect features. Golden eyes got lost in his.

"Let's be human, just for tonight." Bella stated.

"Just for today." She darkened their skin tone and changed the texture from stony to smooth. She made their blood pulse and their hearts beat. They were alone and for the first time in years, they were almost human.

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

The tombstone held no mercy on anyone who gazed on it. The pain was engraved within every word. Her name embroidered forever within the marble and coffin that was still above ground. The ground still held mud from the evening rain, yet, the river of black clothed people didn't mind. They were here to say their final goodbye. The preist read from the written word, though nothing was getting through to the lost community of La Push.

The coffin was cherry and closed. It hide the body from view. It hide the crescent moon bite marks that were placed in eight different areas. Roses were laid on-top, each petal holding droplets of rain. Tears graced the cheeks of the mourners as the coffin was being lowered into the ground and the dirt started to cover the grave. The elegant marble of the stone came in better view and the words shined in a depressing glow.

Blaze Athena Price

April 14th 2042- September 17th 2060

Forever Imprinted

The people began to leave, though most of the pack stayed close, but at a far distance. They gave Jacob the time that he needed. He traced the words with his fingertips and held a single rose in the other. Closing his eyes he saw her smile. Jacob imagined wrapping his arms around her. He imagined her sleeping next to him. He saw her innocence and he saw her beauty. Blaze's voice graced his ears, he almost thought she was there, sitting beside him. When he opened his eyes, she was not there. Just her grave, and a reminder of her death. A reminder of the mission he had to complete. Jacob Black stood up and turned toward the pack.

The light from the sun was hidden behind the clouds, blocking the rays. The air was cold and it was getting late. The sun was about to go down and bringing the night in its wake. It was thundering, as well, foreshadowing another rain fall.

It didn't matter. It was simply another end to a day, when Jacob's life had already ended. Everything he ever wanted was now dead and resting six feet under. His life held nothing but one thing, revenge. He didn't care if an old love was behind what was to be his future. Whoever had Blaze's blood on their hands, would die.

Leah's hand held onto another. A young boy who held his breath and ignored the sent that was surrounding him. Alec let go of her hand and Leah smiled inwardly. She could not cry, she tried, but she could not force the tears. Alec moved forward to meet the pack leader, passing graves in the process. He didn't glance one. The black clashed with his pearly white skin, his eyes shown more vividly than before.

"Jacob, you wished to speak with me?" His voice was pleasant. "I came as soon as I could."

"Now? You have to come now?" Jacob could barely speak. His voice was breaking.

"I was told it was important." Alec's voice held no sign of annoyance yet his eyes shined differently. "Tell me what you want, Jake." Once again, Jacob's eyes were closed. Visions of Blaze filled his mind's eye. Her smile gone and her eyes blank. Her limbs lifeless and marked. Then Bella's face came into view, her eyes crimson red.

"I want the ones responsible for her murder, dead." His voice was clear and deadly. "The Cullen's"

"Ah, yes, Bella and her family have been most difficult." A small sneer graced his lips. "It's that child, ever since the birth, they have changed. Two evils creating another."

"Choosing the lesser of two, I suppose." Jacob nodded and looked over the horizon. The sun was setting, the end of another day. Another day passing without his soul mate. Thunder riped above and the heavens opened to release the rain again. Slow at first and silent. A few drops here and there, but gaining speed and force. "The pack will follow me."

"I have your word?" Alec held out his hand and Jacob took it. Shaking the hand of the devil, unknowingly.

"I am a man of my word." He paused, closing his eyes before moving forward. "But I will do anything possible for revenge."

Darkness fully came and the rain fell harder. Nightmares passing over the the living and not just in a child's imagination. Everything that was possible seemed to disappear in an instant. Nothing was as it once was. Peace in Washington was gone from view and somewhere, on the other side of the world, was the reason his life was shattered. His life became broken pieces of glass with pieces of sand surrounding what once was.

"I will need you in Italy. If we want this to be done correctly, of course."

"I don't want to be here anymore, but I will stay one more night. To remember." He dropped the rose that was still in his hand to the ground. "To remember, just for tonight."

"Of course, just for tonight." No sympathy was held in his words.

Alec turned to leave, leaving the werewolf behind in the rain. He was crying and the vampire was smirking. Two different worlds, where myths and legends merge and create chaos to run through the streets of an ancient city. It only takes one person to gather a army and it only takes one person to bring the Armageddon.

The pack was standing still in shock. Shocked at the choice their leader had chosen. They all were to pack everything and leave the world they knew behind. To journey into a world were death was lurking around the bend. To venture into the unforgivable grasp that was ruled by the undead. Jacob clearly, had lost all sanity that was left in him. His sanity was dead and buried.

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

The three men sat around a silent table, gazing at each other. Two of the three where shocked at what the elder had seen. The visions played over and over in his head and if he could have been sick, Edward would have puked all the contents in his stomach into the trashcan. He sat down on the wooden chair in front of the desk and put his hands in his hands. He gave a dry sob.

Gabriel was pacing back and forth, trying not to believe what he had just been told. However, Aro, had been telling the truth. Gabriel knew that, he sensed no lie. He was not sure what disturbed him more. The fact that one of their own killed an innocent girl or the fact that Aro had contact with The Fates themselves. He knew that Aro had powerful friends, but this went beyond anything he had expected. If he had contact with them, then maybe they stood a chance. Maybe, no more deaths would have to happen, they could end this now.

"That won't work Gabe." Edward said, reading the mind of the protector.

"And why not? They changed your destiny! They gave Bella a life, and gave you a child. They changed all of our destiny's, why can't they change his?" Gabriel stopped in his tracks. "I just don't want more people to die because we have a sick and twisted child on our hands."

"Because, if they could do that then why not stop all wars? They changed everything to try and prevent the end of the world, not to stop the evil all together." Gabriel's eyes closed and he collapsed into the other chair.

"Heaven and Hell are both against us."

"Now Gabe, don't think that way! We can do this and their message certainly shakes us up, but at least we know who we are up against!" Aro said trying to be positive. "It also answers how Alice didn't see anything. Werewolves. Never would have crossed my mind."

"Not just any werewolves. They are pack from Forks. Bella, when she was human, was friends with them. I recognized the woman, her name is Leah Clearwater. First female werewolf of the tribe."

"Hm. Now, that does bring up a interesting question. Why go against Bella, if they were once old friends? Edward, any ideas." Aro brought his pale long fingers to his chin and stoked.

"No, Jacob, the leader, was Bella's best friend. They meet before the rest of my family came to Italy. She said that everything was okay between them. He's happy, he has Blaze, the girl he imprinted on."

"It does bring up some questions. What is Jacob's motive to fight against us, when we have never harmed him?" Aro said as he picked up a clear glass that held blood in it and began to drink. Small sips, nothing big.

"The pack has never been to kind to our kind. They hold a strong prejudice." Edward said, sighing. He thought the fight between the Cullen's and the pack was over. Maybe, some wars are never resolved.

The office held a single, small window. Other than a few candles, it was the only source of light within the room. Rays bounced merrily off the marble skin of the vampires. Each of the three men glowed like thousand crystals. Rainbows danced on the walls as if the walls were their stages.

"It would seem that we are at a disadvantage." Aro said and Gabriel raised his eyebrow.

"Really? You think?" His tone was sarcastic. Aro moved on as if there had been no interruption.

"It would seem that we are fighting blind. Alice can not see Alec because of the pack. That is my main guess for him involving them. To hide." Aro paused and rubbed his forehead. "And sine he has left the castle...." Edward, who had been holding his head between his knees, snapped his head up.

"What do you mean he left the castle?"

"Jane came to me this morning and claimed that all of Alec's belongings were gone. I checked and she was right, nothing of his remains here."

"He must of known we were getting close to him." Gabriel said.

"Aro, are you a hundred percent sure that The Fates can't change this in any way?"

"No, Edward, I'm sorry, they can't. Earth is a mere sense of entertainment. They enjoy watching, barely ever touching destines. They only changed things now is because they don't want the world to come to an end for the simple loss of entertainment. Also, they have masters to please. There are gods above them who they serve. Changing anything without permission would be foolish."

"So, all we are, are toys to them?" Edward asked, refusing to believe the things he has been told.

"Yes, simple pawns in the bigger scheme of things." Aro replied shaking his head.

"We can't change what happened, but what we need to focus on is what is going to happen." Gabriel stepped in, knowing Edward's anguish. He had once lost someone dear to him and didn't want anyone else feeling his pain. He had mission to finish.

"We will have Alice watch, just to see if Alec slips up. Though, Alec is a strategist. He knows how to play game and how to come out on top. Most likely he will not be without a werewolf in company." said Aro. "And, I would like to know what Jacob's motive behind attacking us is. Gabriel, do you think you could figure this out?"

"Of course"

"Excellent! Now, Edward I must make something very clear. Never leave Ellie alone. She must stay protected at all times until the time comes, which will not be for an extremely long time. Make sure someone she is in the care of someone of complete trust. Someone from your family, Ciaus, Marcus or myself and Gabriel here. No one else." Edward nodded and walked to the door, but only to turn back again.

"Please don't say anything to Bella or the family. I want to tell them myself, but for today I just want to be a regular family. Just for today, please."

"Of course, nothing will be said" With this Edward nodded and walked out the door.

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The clouds were clear, giving perfect view to the world below. The old stones were amazingly visible all the way from the sky. The viewers watched in horror at the world they left behind. Tears flowed down the innocent girls features. Her life was over, that she excepted, but what she could never understand if the fate that the only person she would ever give her heart to. She was told it was for the best. That one day they would be together again, but the choices he was making now, might affect him, not only in his life, but in his afterlife as well.

The three sisters comforted Blaze when she joined their ranks. They played nice with the mortal soul and tried to make her understand that her death was for the better. She, however, would not believe that. Blaze would never believe that stripping her away from the one thing that she held dearest to her was for the greater good.

The mist on the clouds shifted and Blazed watched with fascination. The world was so much more than she ever realized. There was a man sitting in his backyard throwing a ball so his dog could catch it while his neighbor glared at him. The man's dog had gotten the neighbor's dog pregnant and the neighbor was far from pleased.

The clouds shifted, mixing white with black. Shades of gray erupting the skylines. Another scene appeared on the surface. A family sitting in the sand. A mother and a father with their two children. A son and a daughter. Spreading out blankets and putting up an umbrella, the block out the sun. The children run toward the surface of the water and run back for the water was extremely cold. Stone cold. The water was alluring for the small children, and even some older humans, while others prefer the sun, prefer the safer.

Blaze watched everything from above, silent tears running down her face. She never truly realized what life had to offer until her last breath. Emily, who stood beside her, not understanding how to comfort her new friend. Emily's scars were gone. In the afterlife, the physical marks can be erased, its the emotional that always remain.

"I don't understand." The words left Blaze's mouth louder than she had wanted. She did not intend for those words to reach Emily's ears.

"Understand what, darling?" Emily said, removing her gaze from the world below. Sam came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist while her head rested on his shoulder.

"The fact that I had to die"
"Everything has an end Blaze" said Sam.

"Not everything. Look at the Cullen's, they don't die unless killed. Or Alec and his followers! They won't die. Especially if Jake is protecting them!"

"You only see what is in the present Blaze. Time changes things. One day, the world will end, and everything on it will die."

"Isn't that what Alec is trying to do?" Blaze asked, wondering where this was going.

"No. What he is trying to do is bring the end sooner. Even without his pushing, the world will end one way or another. Maybe not for millions of years, but it will happen." Sam said as Emily nodded. Blaze's eyes closed and a single tear fell down her cheek. She pointed her hand down to humanity and began to speak.

"Then can't the fates do something to stop him? They have to power to do so!" Blaze cried as the Fates appeared behind her, wearing simple white robes.

"But not...." Blaze jumped at the sound of the first mystical voice.

"the right..."

"or the..."

"motivation."

"The world..."

"must..."

"run..."

"it's course." The Fates concluded. Their hands were folded and their faces hidden. All that could be seen was white robes and the paleness of their hands. Their hoods were so large for their heads that when the werewolf and the women looked at their faces, all that could be seen was blackness. They gave off the feel of living dead. Not in a vampire sense, but more of a zombie rising for the grave and sent to haunt the living.

"Why? You can sit here and change and take destinies then why can't you change Alec's and make him suffer like he did me?" Blaze said in a fury that almost shook the heavens.

"We change.."

"what is....."

"meant to..."

"be changed." At this point even Sam and Emily looked stunned.

"Meant to be changed?" Sam questioned and he walked toward the Fates, but stopped when he reached Blaze's shoulder. Emily followed.

"We.."

"can change...."

"the fates....."

"of others..."

"but..."

"everything...."

"and everyone..."

"must come...."

"to an end." Blaze looked down to earth and watched as Jacob tossed and turned in his sleep. Feeling his pain of losing love so soon was devastating. Knowing his frustration and thirst to right the death against her, however, she now saw both sides. She knew the world that Alec had imagined. She felt it, saw it and lived it. Death just looming around every bend. Extinction of the human race, until there is nothing left. Then the world will consume itself and turn to pitch black.

Though one morbid hope of comfort graced its way into Blaze's being. The fact that one day, she would see Jacob again. That one day Jacob will die. Blaze turned her head and watched Emily and Sam, feeling that one day that would be her. Emily was the first to leave the earth, but Sam shortly followed. He could not breath another breathe without her there. He didn't need a reason to survive, so he didn't. Jacob once said that Sam had just given up, but now, she believed that he had done the correct thing. Death isn't something to be feared, but, in a way, a beautiful ending to stories that are concluded.

"An ending...."

"that is....."

"important..."

"and necessary....."

"for the lives..."
"and the...."
"stories..."
"that have not..."
"been written..."
"yet." Blaze nodded and the Fates vanished. She turned her attention back to the earths surface. Jacob was now looking over the city of Florance, but his mind was still back at Forks. Back when she was still breathing. They sat silently on the beach of La Push. Watching the waves crash onto the surface. Looking at the surface of an ancient world that human barley see, that humans take for granted. Jacob turned his head towards Blaze as she leaned into him.
"I love you" he breathed.
Blaze snapped away from his vision and began to cry. She had lost everything and now, all she has to do is wait. Wait for time to pass and watch the changes of the world.