Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

Shades of Gray

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


Notes:


7. In The Dark

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4006   Review this Chapter

Love has been said to be the most powerful emotion. For many selfless acts have come from feeling the emotion that completes people and breaks their hearts at the same moment. There are three basic types of love that humans and other creators can experience. The first one is called Eros, or "erotic love", that physical attraction a man holds for a woman and vise versa. This is were the difference between love and lust is. Beings that walk on earth lust after each other, but that doesn't always constitute as love.

Another type of love is Philos, that special bond a brother holds for his sister. A strong friendship that can't be broken. The state of brotherly love. Then there is Agape, the love that is unconditional. Agape is one of the most powerful feelings any human can hold. It's the love most married couples have, along with the feeling a parent holds for his child. Growing up and watching the child become the person that they were destined to be.

The opposite of love is hate. Another powerful emotion that drives people. It is that feeling of rage, building up inside someone, that sometimes causes harm to the opposed. Unless the holder of the rage can control it, the feeling can result in violence. Most times, that is how wars are created. How countries are put against each other. One leader hates another, wants something that other holds, so the end result is war. A political leader normally wants one of two things: land or power, sometimes both.

Alec held rage for his opposed, which, in the case of Edward and Bella, meant the whole Cullen coven. However, unlike many, Alec knew how to channel his hate and his rage into something. Mind games and manipulation. He played with the mind of others like he plays with victims. In the end, he got what he wanted, always. In this case, it would be the death of the Cullen's and the child's power. He would do anything, go to any means, to reach his goal, and if that constituted aligning himself along with his natural enemy, then so be it.

Jacob Black stood in front of his pack, hundreds standing behind him. The tribe had grown to an enormous state. His eyes stared, piercing through impenetrable skin, willing death for those who could not die. The anger and the hate that burned behind Jacob's eyes was frightening. Most of the pack was backing away, not because of the vampires that approached, but because of their leader who looked as if he was going to pounce. Alec and his companions reached the domain of the pack and bowed. Jacob snorted.

"Stand up you leeches, why the hell are you bowing to me as if I am some type of king?" His tone was murder.

"The last chief we-" Felix began, but Alec silenced him with a stare.

"We assumed that, you, being such an important figure, would want respect." Alec said, matching a tone of death. Jacob eyed him and mountains of curiosity became apparent, but he didn't want to wast his time with familiarities.

"Tell me, little boy, why are you on my land?" Jacob said, sneering at the vampire in a boy's body.

"Well, we need your help" Alec answered, trying to keep his temper in check. Jacob raised an eyebrow and wondered why something so... unworthy would be asking anything of him.

"I don't give a damn that your in need of help. All I care about is that their are blood suckers here and how I can get them off my land!" He said striding toward the vampires. Felix and Demetri backed away, but Alec stood his ground, looking up to the extremely big werewolf.

"Look, this could affect you more than you realize. A child is to be born from two vampires! The child is going to be powerful, and I want it. Wouldn't you like a bit of power?" Alec asked as the words sunk in. He was after Bella's child. The only child her and Edward would ever be able to conceive. He could never take that away from her, even if he did want power.

Jacob did not need to be powerful. Power was never even in his mind. If Sam had never wanted to age with Emily, at the time he didn't understand it, he would have never have stepped up as leader of the pack. He would have gladly stayed second in command. In reality he preferred it that way. He wanted to be Lance-A-Lot to his Arthur. But Sam hadn't wanted to live forever, and Jacob stepped out of the shadows and became a legend. In the process, creating his own love story as well. Blaze.

He thought about it. Jacob knew that one day, Blaze and him would have children. If something were to happen, for one of them to be taken, he couldn't bare the thought. He knew that losing the only child Bella could only have, would kill her for a second time. He couldn't be apart of that, he wouldn't help.

"Jacob, I think we should take this." Leah spoke up from behind him. Her dark eye's alight with greed and lust. Leah wore a smirk that held a tint of betrayal. Her face fell suddenly when Jacob snap at her for interfering.

"We, are not interested, now take your stony ass and get off my land before you regret it." Jacob said, turning away and ending the meeting. Leah lingered little longer than what Jacob, or, anyone else in the tribe enjoyed. The first female werewolf always had a knack for getting into trouble, and old habits don't die.

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

Alice and Bella held their shopping bags close to them. They giggled and laughed while unpacking the baby clothes and toys and placed them into the crib, filling it to the rim with stuffed animals. The nursery now overfilled with the necessities that a child would need for a happy and healthy life style. This child would be extremely well taken care of, when the parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents didn't need any sleep to care ofthis little one.

"Alice, tell me please!" Bella begged for the thousandths time that day.

"Nope sorry, a few months ago you didn't want to know the sex of the baby. What makes you think that I am going to tell you now?" Alice asked while smoothing out clothes.

"I changed my mind!"

"Nope. You still don't want to know."

"Ehhh." Bella stuck her head into the pile of stuffed animals when Jasper's voice traveled into the room.

"What's she so aggravated about?" Jasper asked, wrapping his strong arms around Alice. She leaned into him, resting her head against his arm, for her head didn't reach his shoulders. Alice closed her eyes, enjoying the moment. Alice and Jasper completed each other. She watched over him, making sure he didn't give into temptation, while he comforted her more than the others; he took care of her as she took care of him. They were in love, like most of the world, but their passion for each other ran deeper than what most souls could hold.

"I won't tell her the gender of the baby, so she is getting angry." Alice said as she jumped up and pecked him on the nose and held an angelic smile on her fairy like face.

"Well, can you calm her down please? She is making me want to break something." Jasper said, playing her emotions up a bit. Alice nods and headed over to Bella who had just pulled her head of the the stuffed animal pile, hands on her hips and glares at the two of them.

"I would be perfectly fine if, SOMEONE would tell me the sex of my baby!"

"I would, but you would hate me later so, nope, can't say." Alice said as she picked up a teddy bear and made it talk for her. She then tossed the animal at Bella. Her eyes narrowed and she picked up two stuffed animals from the crib and threw with vampire force at Alice. Alice retaliated with the same action. The fight continued as Jasper stepped back, watching the animal fight.

He simply watched the playful war, letting his mind wonder. He said that living with the Cullen's was a climate he enjoyed, but since moving to Italy, it had become more difficult for him. Extremely difficult when Aro, Marcus and Caius brought food in from the outside. He could feel them and he could hear them scream. He wasn't the predator, but he felt the victims, each and every one of them. Moments from death, their hearts beating in their ears. Throats too dry to scream loud, but loud enough for vampires to hear. Adrenaline telling the body to move, to run away, but the mind too busy with their hunters faces. Focusing on their sharp faces and perfect bodies. Yet, the eyes, those blood red eyes. Too afraid to look into them, but to captivated to look away.

He felt everything in everyone. He couldn't stop it, and he wanted to. It wasn't that he didn't care, it was just that he could barely take it, holding all the pain and hate of the world. Being an impasse wasn't as easy as it looked. If it would have not been for the Cullen's and Alice, he would have become like Carlise and Edward were, so many years ago. Jasper would have found someway to kill himself.

However, with hate comes love and he felt that too. He felt how passionate someone felt for another. When two souls were intimate with each other, how completed they felt. Whole and loved. He felt the love that Edward held for Bella. And he felt the love Alice held for him and the love he held for her. Alice. The only reason he wanted to live, and she knew that very well. He smiled, focusing his gaze on his wife and sister-in-law, and his grin grew wide.

"Hey, Carlisle wan-Oh God Jasper, please can you tone down the fantasies a little bit? I don't need to see that!" Edward said as he entered the room were animals were flying like pigs. "Does she really do that? No wait, I don't want to know. Now I need to bleach my mind out" He said and looked around the room. Jasper smiled sheepishly.

"Clean up in here. We have a visitor downstairs." Edward said and Bella glided towards him. In a flash, all the animals were placed back into the crib, exactly as they were before Alice and Bella had declared war on each other. Alice grabbed Jasper's hand and pulled him out of the room, passing Edward and Bella who were taking their time getting down stairs to meet the newcomer. When they saw the flash of Alice and a surprised Jasper, Bella raised one eyebrow and held a curious expression on her face.

"She forsaw this. She knows all about him and how a great assist he will be to us. Though, she won't let me see everything." Edward answered her unspoken question, sounding a bit bitter.

"Him?"

"You'll see. Aro was expecting him, well, called him and asked a favor for us ,really." He replied placing his arm around her waist and pulling her closer to him as the glided through a hallway made completely out of stone.

"I didn't realize that we were in need of a favor." She replied, resting her head on his shoulder blade. Edward stopped and put his hands on her ever growing belly.

"Aro thinks that he needs to take every precaution to keep our child safe, and frankly, I agree with him." He said, resting his forehead on hers. She put her hands on top of his and made tiny circles with her thumb.

"Edward, is something coming soon? Please, don't lie to me. I know you know there is more than your letting on." Bella faced him, eyes locked on his.

"Something is always coming Bells, and always will be coming. We don't know what or who is after our family, all we know is that something is coming." Edward said, not breaking the connection.

"Did Alice see this?"

"She can't see who is coming and she does not know why, it's irritating her, believe me, but whoever it is, is hiding very well." He said, masking the worry that was invading him. "Come on, lets meet this guy. I think you like him."

"You think I'll like him? That doesn't have a double meaning does it?" Bella said, cracking a smile and raising her left eyebrow.

"Nope, he is not your type, thank God. I almost lost you once to someone else, that is not happening again." He replied as they continued walking downstairs. When they reached the office area, where a blonde secretary was sitting behind a desk, they noticed a man standing in the middle of the room. He was pale and had long curly light brown hair that was pulled back into a ponytale. His shoulders were broad and he was extremely well built. The left cartilage of his ear held a simple golden earring. The man lifted his head and met his golden eyes with Edward's.

"Ah, there you two are! Bella, I would like you to meet an old friend of mine. Gabriel Maxwell." Aro said, as Gabriel held out his hand. Bella shook his hand but eyed him curiously.

"I'm sorry, but, your eyes, their golden." She said suprised.

"Yes, they are." His voice was low, a hint of darkness and mystery to it.

"He's a vegetarian as well." Edward piped in and their eyes locked.

"You, must be Edward. I believe that I should offer my congratulations." Gabriel said, holding out his hand to Edward, which he took and shook friendly. His mind was simple, yet complex at the same time. Edward saw his past and his present, and he knew that this was a man who could be trusted.

Gabriel turned and greeted the rest of the Cullens and learned who they were. When reaching to greet Alice, she jumped up and hugged him and said "Welcome to the family". This surprised him and it confused Edward. She was going through the words in the dictionary and their definitions in her head.

"Well, now that everyone is acquainted with each other, Gabriel, Edward and Bella have business to take care of." Aro said, clearly dismissing the rest of the group.

"We do?" Bella asked, a little bit agitated that her husband didn't warn her about their new housemate. Edward just nodded and Aro led the way, out of the office and into the room were Bella first met the trio of old vampires.

"Will someone please tell me what is going on?!" Bella said frustrated, throwing up her hands.

"You knew I was coming and didn't tell her?" Gabriel asked.

"Oh, he told me, about five minutes ago! Stupid over-protective vampire! I am not a porcelain doll." Bella said, smacking Edward lightly on the chest. "If we could sleep, you would so be taking the couch tonight. So, what will you be doing for us, Gabriel?" Bella asked, turning to the newcomer and batting away Edward's sorry hands from her waist. Gabriel watched the scene in amusement.

"Well, I owe Aro a favor. So he called me up and I left Iraq right away." He said, throwing himself down onto one of the thrones and making himself at home.

"Are you from the middle East?" Bella asked, thinking back to when soldiers fought for her country there.

"No, he-" Edward began, but Bella cut him off.

"No comments from the peanut gallery." She said, holding up her hand and Gabriel laughed at the annoyed pregnant vampire.

"What your extremely sorry husband is trying to say is, I was born in the United States in 1988, but I was turned in Iraq in 2010." Gabriel said.

"So you were around 22? Were you a solider?" She asked, while Edward through the Maxwell man a grateful look.

"No." He answered.

"I don't understand."

"Edward, my man, why don't you explain this one." and give yourself a chance to redeem yourself. Gabriel thought smirking. He pulled off his leather jacket and swung it over the back of the chair, propping his feet onto the arm rest of the other throne like chair. He crossed his ankles and leaned back into the side of the throne; showing that there were rips in his jeans.

"What happened was, well, do you remember that huge bombing at the end of the war in Iraq?" Edward asked.

"Yes, it was a old building, right? With a bunch of body parts everywhere?" Bella replied with another question.

"Yeah, well, it wasn't a terrorist bombing." Edward went on.

"Terrorist bombing, my ass" snorted Gabriel.

"Gabriel, here, was fresh out of college and was in training with the CIA." Edward said and Bella's jaw dropped and her eyes got wide.

"The CIA?" She asked, amazed.

"Yep, it's not all it's cracked up to be though. All work and no play. I seriously had no life while I was in training." Gabriel responded with a scowl that clearly stated that he had hated the mortal life he had chosen for himself.

"Well, what were you being trained for?" She asked.

"I was being trained to spot lies. When someone lied, I could tell, by the sound of their voice or the actions one does without noticing." He continued.

"It affects his power, as well." Edward said.

"When I was human, I could tell that someone was lying, but I could not know the truth. Now, as a vampire, when someone lies to me, I know the truth. I see it in their mind's eye, however, that is all I can see." Gabriel said, now picking at his perfect finger nails.

"You said 'lied to you'." Bella said.

"Yes, let's say, you lied to Edward about something. I could tell you werre lying, but I would not be able to tell what the truth was. That power only works if someone is lying to me, to my face." He said.

"That must be annoying." Bella said and Edward held back a laugh. Bella turned to glare at him. "Remember, no useless comments from the peanut gallery! Anyway, go on."

"As I was saying, we went to Iraq after the bombing to check things out. It was my very first mission. However, the terrorist group turned out to be a group of vampires who attacked too much attention. The Volturi intervened and simply blew up the place to take care of the vampires. I, however, was still in the building. I was left dying underneath all the ashes and burning ruins, and Aro pulled me out. He says now that he saw something in me and so he saved me. I have been living in Iraq ever since." Gabriel finished his little speech with a bitter smirk.

"You said you owed Aro a favor?" Bella asked.

"He saved me." Gabriel said, looking straight into her eyes.

"See, Edward, even he doesn't think that being a vampire is damning yourself into hell!" Bella said, rolling her eyes at Edward's insane idea that turning Bella into a vampire gave her a one way ticket to hell.

"He, like you, has never spilt human blood." This surprised Bella. She knew how hard it is to keep from drinking human blood and she expected that most vampires had had at least a taste. Especially if they didn't the support system that she was blessed with.

"Never?" The question was directed at Gabriel.

"When I was younger, before I was turned anyway, I watched my father give his life for the people he protecting and I wanted to do the same, only in a much bigger way. So, I joined the CIA, and hated it from the very beginning. So this new life was a gift from the gods. Or as Edward likes to think, a gift from hell." He continued and Edward snorted, Bella smacked him.

"Bella, are you really angry at your husband? Or are you just having fun toying with him?" Gabriel asked with a smirk plastered on his face.

"Nope, sorry, not answering that question." Bella said and stranded away.

"Sorry, man. I tried." She heard Gabriel say behind her.

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

Alec sat silently at the independent table. Children, who were out with their parents, threw frightened looks his way. They certainly were going to have nightmares tonight. Wheter it was from his beautiful and flawless skin or his cold, dark, beautiful eyes, he did not know. Even if he couldn't murder them, he still got the sickening joy out of his fantasises.

At the moment, the little girl with brown hair down to her waist was screaming in pain, in Alec's mind's eye. Bruises gracing her perfect angelic face. Blood dripping from her skull and that held to high of a temptation for his patience. He grabbed her hands and pinned them above her head. Then, straddling her to the ground so she had no movement at all. Though, he had to admit that watching her squirm beneath him was extremely satisfying. Then, with her wide eyes projecting fear and reflecting his beauty, he bit her. Slowly drinking the blood from her lifeless body. However, an awful smell reached his nose and snapped him out of his wonderful daydream.

"Your late." Alec said in his childish yet dictating voice.

"Well, getting away from Jacob isn't as easy as it looks!" Leah said, sitting down and following his gaze. Her sight landed on the little girl. "Ugh, I hate children." She then looked directly at Alec and smirked. "No offense"

"None taken, I hate them too. But they are, precious, when they are screaming." He said, still not leaving his sight from the girl.

"Now that's just sick." Leah said, but still could not help but smile.

"Your here are you not? You wanted something."

"I liked your offer this morning. I would take you up on that."

"Really? The way I took things was that your pack had some personal connection with that Bella girl." Alec said, sneering her name as if she were nothing more than an unwanted piece of meat.

"No, that's just Jacob. His bond to first love and all." Leah said, rolling her eyes at Jacob's obsession with a woman long gone.

"Really? I didn't know that." Alec was intrigued.

"Me, however," Leah went on, ignoring Alec's curiosity. "I would have been perfectly happy if Sam never found her in the woods. I would have found it hilarious if she would have died. Well, I guess, it's better late than never, right?"

"I don't want Bella dead... well, not at first. She must birth the child, then, by all means, kill her. But you would need help of your pack."

"So that is why you came, you needed help? Why don't you kill her?" She asked raising an eyebrow. "Why not you, all mighty powerful vampire?"

"Because, I still need the Volturi's trust. And besides, once her and the rest of the Cullens are dead, Jane and I will be left to raise the child." Alec was getting bored now and his meal left with her mother. Well, he would just track her down later, follow her all to inviting scent.

"Jane?"

"My sister. You should meet her. She will make you scream." Leah shifted uncomfortably at his words. "Anyway, you are going to need the full strength of the pack behind you if you want Isabella, and the rest of the Cullen's dead. We all know that wherever Bella is, her all too perfect husband is soon to follow."

"That wont be a problem." She said, waving her hand as if passing his statement by.

"Really?"

"How do you get a powerful leader on your side, Mr. Alec? Surely you know." She was getting sarcastic now.

"Enlighten me."

"Cut the heart of the pack." A mercyless smirk crossed her dark features.

"And what, may I ask, is the heart?"

"Blaze."