Shades of Gray
In 1432, Aro heard a prophecy that would change the immortal lives of the Cullens......forever.
12. Memories of the Future
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Rows and rows of books lined the building in complete ignorance to the world around them. The pages that were filled with the lives of fictional characters and the knowledge that was held between their binds remained blissfully unaware of the new management that had taken over the library. One of the very few places to escape reality is in the pages of someone elses story. Because a story holds the bittersweet truth that most humans only imagine exist. Tales of myths and legends dance from page to page, making readers dabble safely into the darker side of reality. Open the door to jump inside a world beyond the realms of the light.
Yet, myths and legends are closer to humanity than most men and woman realize, for they have lost their sense to believe. The world of magic and monsters just stand around the bend in most humans perspectives. Side by side, almost close enough to link hands and dance. The books hold stories of heroes conquering the villains and giving stories the blissful ending humans seem to ache for. Neither side of reality always has that wanted out come.
The desk was plain and boring. Holding nothing special to the werewolf that sat behind it. Leah spun in her chair while watching a mother look for her son, who seemed to have walked off without her knowledge. The mother was speaking in rapid Italian, getting more and more frustrated with her child. Leah watched with a knowing smirk gracing her lips. True, she hated the "librarian" title she was holding while Alec and Jacob got the more "fun" activities. Planning and plotting to take down the only threat that stood in the way of world domination. Not only would she have the one thing that she wanted,Jacob, but she would have power as well.
Queen. She mused. For her, that title fit much better. Better than playing with dusty old books that have been out dated for years. Maybe even doctor fang could remember some of the older novels being written. Leah thought the only useful thing about being a vampire would be staying young and beautiful forever. However, she had that choice as well, and she did not even have to die or become a foul smelling leech.
The mother of the small son came up to the desk and asked Leah if she had seen her son. Leah responded of the negative. Leah said that she had not seen the woman enter the library with a child. A beautiful lie that carved the final marking on a tomb that should have not been been marked at all.
Seth watched the scene from behind the book shelves, as he held two books in his hands. One in his left and the other in his right, slowly putting them back onto the shelves were they belong. He watched his sister while fighting back the urge to vomit. He loved Leah, she was his sister. He wanted to protect her, but how do you protect someone who is too far gone? After Sam left her, she slowly changed. She watched the love of her life marry and have children with another woman, her cousin none the less. However, it was when Sam died that every good part of her existences died. She slowly turned to the next person her eyes laid on. Jacob. Not because she loved him. No, because he had power. She got close to Blaze because of the simple fact that it would bring her closer to Jacob. Now that Blaze was permanently removed, she was closer to Jacob. Now more than ever.
The woman frantically began to exit to the outside world as Jacob pushed open the door to a mask of unknown reality. The woman brushed passed him, unknowing. He raised an eyebrow at Leah who just smirked in a naughty little way. Seth sighed and let a few thoughts slip through so Jacob could hear. Jacob listened and scowled. Leah just smiled as if she was innocent, which was most definitely not.
"Where is he?" The pack leader asked, his voice firm.
"Who, darling, are you asking for?" Leah asked, playing with the few straws he had left.
"Damn it Leah! I am not in the mood for this! Where is the blood sucking leach?"
"Whats down your pants? Not getting any lately?" She asked as Seth rubbed bridge of his nose.
"You know very well what's wrong." He said, each word dripping with dark and unforgivable venom.
"I told you before! I did all I could! Blaze was too far gone for saving. And as for Alec, he is in the basement eating."
"Thanks." Jacob began to move toward the door being the desk and down to the basement. However, he stopped and turned to look at the back of Leah's head. He smiled. "And Leah, walking away is not doing all you could do. You didn't do shit. As for too far gone...look in the mirror, you'll see the true meaning of those words." At those words, another smirk played against her lips.
Your playing blind my dear leader, a pawn in the great game of things. Chess was never your strong skill.
The stairs went down into darkness and Jacob took each step without fear. Leah followed. As they reached the end of the stairs, they could see a dim light coming from the center of the room. There stood three vampires and one small body. The body of a boy. Pale and lifeless. Alec raised his eyes and smirked. Slowly licking the remainder of blood left on this fingertips. One by one, savoring the taste of innocence.
"The blood of children has an interesting taste, but I prefer the taste of sin myself." Felix stated as he placed his palm into a small puddle of blood and then licked it.
"Sin?" Leah said as she simply stepped over the body and sat on the table which Alec was leaning against. She began running her hands through his perfect blond hair in almost motherly style.
"Oh, you know. Prostitutes and rapist. It gives an almost sexual feel to it." He said as he smiled, tiny drops of blood still lingered on his teeth.
"Riding the world of evil are you Felix?" Demetri asked
"No, just different taste. That's all."
"How very Jack the Ripper of you. Alec, I believe we have business to take care of?" Jacob said while still staring at the dead child mere inches from him. A few weeks ago this sight would have tore his soul apart, but now, everything was dead, there was nothing left to tear.
"Patience my dear friend. Patience."
" Alec, don't screw with me or I'll send you to hell myself!" Jacob stated in unadulterated hate as the tiny vampire just looked at him. Alec snapped his finger and Felix and Demetri removed the body from their sight. After a few moments, they returned.
"We need to get the child."
"I don't care about that spawn of Satan! All I want are the monsters responsible for Blaze's death. I want the Cullen's!" Jacob said bawling his fist that started to turn a shade of red.
"Patience Jacob. Patience." Leah said, almost giggling. "We need her if you ever want revenge for your long lost love."
"You don't have the right to speak of Blaze."
"Children!" Alec said loudly, a sickening smirk plastered on this face. "I did not call you here to hear you whine, Jacob. I need to get into the castle and steal the child. I believe that Aro, Marcus and Caius will be feeding in the throne room with Jane two days from today. Others, will be out hunting. Leaving me to get by Edward, Bella, Carlisle and Gabriel, who are hunting as we speak."
"This will never work Alec. You do realize that Alice will see every move you make." The leader of the wolves spoke.
"She won't see a thing. A werewolf will be going with me."
"Good. Maybe I could see an old flame while we are there?" For the first time in what seemed like eternity, Jacob was seeing the hope in his lifeless world, only to have it shattered in mere seconds after in appeared.
"My darling Jacob, your are not going. I am." Leah said in a sickly sweet voice.
"What?!" The voice of Seth came from behind Jacob. He looked furious. "Leah! You can't go. You'll get yourself killed!"
"It's a kill or be killed world out there my dear little pup, which category would you rather her fall under?" Alec said, growing bored of this conversation.
"And besides, little brother, do you really think you could stop me from doing this?" She asked as she began to massage Alec's temples. He closed his eyes as if he was enjoying the feel of her extremely warm hands touching his stone cold body. It made both Seth and Jacob sick to believe she would stoop to touch a vampire, let alone make one feel more comfortable.
"This isn't your fight Leah! It's Jacob's!" Seth began to argue, all the while holding back vomit that threatened to fight its way up.
"Yes, but Jacob can't be trusted to come any where near any of the Cullen's. Like most men, he has a one track mind. And his at the moment is bent on killing anyone that shares the last name Cullen."
"You can't trust me, but you can trust that immortal thing? He is a man to." He growled, and then added. "A pathetic one at that." Felix and Demetri hissed and moved forward but Alec held up his hand to stop their advances. His eyes were still closed while she worked her way down to his shoulders.
"As you can see my fearless master, he is not a man, nor will he ever be." Leah said as she bent down to Alec's ear. "Isn't that right my darling?" She cooed and then kissed the top of his head as a mother would kiss her child. At this, Seth finally gave in and vomited.
Seventy-two years of pain, of nothingness. Just living life in a black hole that continued to suck the little bit of life he had left. Immortality was a blessing and a curse in his eyes. He got a second chance, but in this chance he had to re-live everything all over again. The memories stained in his mind as blood stained most vampires hands. Gabriel never spilled the blood of another, but that did not mean he wasn't responsible for her death.
His life. Dead.
Gabriel laid on his bed with his closed feigning sleep. He let himself replay a self-tormenting nightmare. A fact of reality that he pushed back behind his walls. A fact that he only relived once a year. An anniversary of loss. He would have died too, if he didn't make a promise. As a son of the Chief of Police in New York City, his father made him promise to protect others. Gabriel planned to protect, but he didn't promise to give up his life for others for all eternity. Yet, he was bound not to break his word and in the end he gave the one thing that was dearest to him. All for a promise.
August 23, 2008
Gabriel Maxwell entered the small townhouse he shared with his wife after another long, stressful day in training. He scowled at the clock when it blinked 2:00 a.m. He hung up his coat on the rack by the front door and headed for the kitchen, but stopped when he saw his wife standing at the top of the stairs. Audrey's flaming red hair was hanging down around her waist and she was wearing a pair of light green pajama shorts and matching top. Her ice blue eyes held the emotions of hurt, disappointment, and anger.
"Is it really worth it, Gabe? To come home late everyday from something you hate, only to have to leave early again?" Audrey asked as she gracefully walked down the stairs to join her husband. "This is tearing apart our marriage! What is going to happen when we have kids? Will you be there or on some top secret mission while your family sits at home wondering if you will come home alive?"
"I know Audr-" Once again, like many arguments before, he was cut off.
"You know what, Gabriel!? Are you really bent on doing this? On doing something you hate that will eventually destroy our relationship?"
"If I give up now then I will be breaking the pro-"
"The last thing your father asked of you. I understand! I really do, but can't you do something else to keep your promise? Something less dangerous? Something we can tell the neighbors about? Something we don't have to lie about?" She was crying now. Tears spilling uncontrollably from her eyes. Gabriel bent down and kissed away her tears then kissing her forehead. "I love you. I can't lose you." The sound of the phone ringing made Audrey leave Gabriel's arms to answer.
"Maxwell residence." She was silent for a second. "This is she." After a few moments, she pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. "I'll be right there" She hung up the phone and went to her husband. "The alarm is going off at the store. I am going to check it out." Gabriel nodded and kissed her forehead again.
"Go. We will finish talking when you get back." She nodded and slipped her shoes on, grabbed her coat and walked out the door. He just watched as the door closed and Audrey disappeared from view.
Gabriel sat by the fire place waiting for his wife to return. He looked at their wedding picture quite a few times before he got smudges on the frame. He sighed and placed the frame back in it original place, while debating whether or not to call the store to see if his wife was still there or on her way home. However, he train of thought was interrupted by a knock on the front door.
There were two police officers standing behind it with grave faces. Once Gabriel answered the door and his heart stopped. "Is this the residence of an Audrey Maxwell?" said the officer with the name tag that read Dec.
"Yes, I am her husband. Is something wrong?" His voice was beginning to shake as the hole in the pit of his stomach began to grow larger.
There has been an accident at the store your wife works at. A burgle broke in and, though he only intended on taking things, he didn't expect your wife to show up as soon as she did. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time." Dec said, emotion dripping in his voice.
"We need you to come down to the morgue and identify her body." The officer beside Dec said with no sympathy in his voice. He looked merely bored.
For Gabriel, the world seemed to stop spinning and all the coldness it held, swelled up inside of him and caused his heart to die. He held nothing, but grief and loss. His knees began to shake and they gave out from underneath him. He fell into Phil's arms. After standing up right Gabriel excused himself, saying he needed a moment alone before they departed.
He went to their bedroom. The setting of the room held a white and cream decor with an wooden outline. All of the furniture's were antiques, things crafted in the early nineteen hundreds. His eyes landed on one piece in particular. The bedside table. He opened the door to another source of arguments between him and his wife. Once again he could not begin to regret this choice to go against his wife's wishes. This was a way out. Gabriel picked up the gun and stared at it for a moment before he turned off the safety.
"Do you think that is wise?" Dec said as he leaned against the doorway. His face displayed the signs of grief for something that remained lost in the shadows. Death can be natural or an addiction.
"Nothing in my life can be considered wise. Not with everything lost."
"You must have something to live for. Work, family, friends." At this, Gabriel snorted and shook his head at the man's ignorance. The gun was still being held in the palm of his lonely hands.
"Would you want to live when your only family is dead, your friends all have gone and the job you hold is something you hate completely? Would, a seemingly wise man, pull the trigger? Would you put yourself out of this misery?"
"I don't know. I haven't lost everything."
"I have nothing left and you can't even imagine yourself having to let go of the one thing the held you on this earth?"
"Come down to the morgue, identify your wife, and then, if you still feel the need, I wont stop you from pulling that trigger." Phil said has he moved forward and held out his hand. Gabriel slipped the gun into his hand and Dec placed it onto the bedside table.
The car ride down the busy streets of the city that never sleeps was silent. Gabriel simply watched the people on the sidewalks and look at the lights the shined through the windows of the tall buildings. He mused at what their lives were like. Did they wake in the mornings and head to a job that made them want to groan? Or did they love the career that they have pursued? Did they fullfill their childhood dreams? Is it crazy,to chase a dream, even when the dream isn't the beholders? Did the people in this city have someone they went home to? Someone that they loved, and who loved them in return? Everyone has a past, present and future. Everyone has story that is inching to be writing down in words, bonded, and be read to the world.
They pulled up and got of the cruiser. He didn't even take in the shape, color or texture of the building. All he knew was that when the door opened, his face was hit with the coldest air that ever made its presence to his senses. He looked to the sign to his left and read the beautiful inscription. Mortimer's Morgue. Dec showed his badge to the clerk in the front and he went past doors that were for employees only. Gabriel followed behind him. The walls were the color of a pale cream. A color not to provoke excitement. A color that keeps the peace in times of tragedy. In times of loss.
They reached another set of double doors and Dec pushed one of them open.
Your wife is through here Mr. Maxwell." Gabriel nodded and headed through. The room was almost completely silver. It was so clean that he could see his reflection on the wall. He looked towards the other end of the room and on one of the operating tables was his wife.
Audrey's blood red hair was sprawled out under her head. She was covered with a white cloth and he noted that her clothes were neatly folded in the corner of the room. Someone other than himself had seen her body. He had to repress vomit. Gabriel went to put his hand in hers.
"Don't." came a voice from behind him and he jumped as he turned. Behind him was the most striking man he'd ever seen. He had pale skin that looked as if it was made of stone. His hair was pitch black with a few strands that hung in his face. His eyes were covered with sunglasses. His features were pointed. Perfectly angular and it seemed as if his skin stretched over the structure of his face. He seemed, inhuman.
"I'm sorry. I didn't hear you. But.....what are you?"
"I am Lucian Mortimer. I am the mortician here."
"I see. My wife.....did she suffer?" Gabriel almost couldn't get the words out. Seeing her body lying there lifeless and pale was something that permanent in away. Her death was final and forever engraved in stone.
"Suffer, no. Not as much as she could."
"Nothing, nothing. Her death was relatively painless. Such a same, not to lose only one life, but two." Lucian mused in an almost cheerfully twisted way.
"Oh, I'm sorry, you didn't know."
"Didn't know what?" Gabriel was getting irritated at the morticians attitude toward his wife's death. He was making into something almost comical.
"She was pregnant."
Gabriel snapped his eyes back to the present looked around his chamber. For the first time in almost six decades, the memory didn't sting as much as it once had.
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