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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:


9. Emerald Protection, Forever and Always

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3087   Review this Chapter

A wooden bowl sat on top of a desk that had seen many different conversations over the many centuries of its existence. Within the bowl, eight wooden apples formed a circle, a ninth apple resting on top of the circle. The apples in the circle were nothing compared to the one that stood on top. These fruits were frozen in time, not growing older and not getting younger. They just sit there and brightened the lonely room.

The wooden desk was sturdy, well kept over the many years it had endured. If the walls had ears, the desk certainly did as well. Many humans, vampires, and even magical beings had come across this desk and even sat behind it at one point or another. Over the years, the desk had grown in detail and held many secrets, even more secrets than the golden trio of vampires could even remember. Life goes on and thoughts remain forgotten, but sometimes even the smallest things are the most important details. Like a simple desk holding a simple bowl of fruit.

Aro picked up the apple that lay on top and tossed it between his hands, as if it were a toy ball. The apple was unbreakable, nothing could bruise the surface. Even dropping it on the floor, something Aro would never do, wouldn't cause it to break or shatter. After viewing and playing with the apple for a good while, he placed it back with its family and continued his train of thought. That train led straight to Gabriel.

Gabriel was an old friend, someone worth saving. Even if he would never truly understand why he choose never to drink from anything that had a soul. That really confused the hell out of him, even after reading Gabriel's thoughts. He said that it was because when he was human, he dedicated his life to protecting mortals and even in his after life, he could not change that. That made sense to some degree, but one thing was for certain, Aro would never give up the joy of feeling that warm sensation of fresh blood of a human running down his tongue.

Another thing to Gabriel was that he had layers. He had more layers than Tom Cruise's mental state had. He was a man of mystery and even Aro can never know what he was going to do next. One thing he did know, was that Gabriel was a vampire who could do his job extremely well. When Gabriel overheard that pivotal conversation, that was all the confirmation Aro needed. Yes, he knew that Alec was not to be trusted. He knew that from day one. Aro would have never changed him if it were not for Jane.

Jane meant more to Aro than she could ever know. She was the daughter that he was never blessed with and Aro knew that Jane felt the same way about him. He was her father, her protector, and he knew that she loved her twin brother all the same. The question was, did he love her? Something Aro only wished he knew, after all, Alec avoided him at great length, never to be touched by Aro's stony hands. Something many vampires rarely achieved. The only thing Aro didn't know about Alec, however, was what he was planing.

Aro stood up, suddenly, and walked out of his office, heading towards the throne room were Alice had decided to throw Bella a surprise baby shower. Something Aro knew very well that Bella was not to keen about. As his elegant stride came to the grand wooden doors that stood open Edward, who was standing over Bella while she opened yet another baby gift, snapped his head up and narrowed his eyes. Obviously reading the conversation that Gabriel and he had shared earlier that day. Aro nodded and Edward looked at Gabriel, sealing the obvious promise that conversation never left the three of their minds. Even Bella must not know, or at least, until the baby was born. Gabriel eyed the room, noting that almost everyone was there, all but three members of the guard.

"Oh, this adorable, thank you Esme!" Bella cried as she kissed the cheek of the grandmother-to-be. She held up a tiny teddy bear the had a green ribbon tide around the neck. "But green, I mean it's lovely, but why not something more gender specific?" Bella asked, hinting at the fact that not knowing the sex of the baby was driving her mad.

"Bella, you didn't want to know when you first learned you were pregnant, why should any of us tell you now?" Alice asked, smirking at the thought of driving her sister insane.

"She's right love, you'd only get upset at knowing." Edward said, agreeing whole heatedly with his sister.

"I would-" The mother began but was cut off by Rosalie placing another present in her lap.

"Here open this one! It's from Gabriel." At this news, Bella looked shocked. She had never expected him to give her a gift, they barely knew each other. She opened it, with a surprised smile and held a small black box in her hand. She opened the box curiously, and her grew when saw the beautiful silver necklace with an emerald green pendent.

"That pendent is something I picked up in my travels many years ago. I had it blessed by a witch doctor before I came here. Once the baby is born place that around it's neck and make sure that it never comes off. That pendent will protect him or her until they reach their sixteenth year, until the venom kicks in and turns them into one of us." Gabriel explained and was taken aback by the gratefulness that was playing in the expecting parents eyes.

"Protection? What type of protection?" Bella asked, while Edward was too lost for words. He'd never expected this, but was extremely grateful for it.

"Anything really. Magic, vampire venom, unless its the bodies own, werewolf bites, pretty much anything you could think of." He answered and the entire room went silent. After a few minuets of shocked faces staring in wonder at Gabriel, Marcus broke the silence.

"Well damn, that beats my gift." He said as he placed his hands on his hips that swayed slightly to the side. Marcus had gotten the baby a miniature robe, similar to the ones the three old vampire wore themselves. The awkward silence was then broken by all of the Cullen's bursting out laughing. Even Aro gave a silent chuckle.

"Well if you don't mind, I am really tired and would like to go pretend to sleep." Bella said and started wobbling out the door.

"Call whenever you get hungry, Isabella. I will send Heidi up with some fresh blood from the mice you have been craving lately." Aro said while Esme was helping the mother out the giant doors.

"Thank you Aro, but if you call me Isabella one more time in the next couple of months and even some after, I will stick you with diaper duty." Emmett laughed behind her back. That earned him a swat on the head from his ever beautiful wife.

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The doors closed behind Bella and everything suddenly became calm and quiet. After everything that had happened in the past, she loved the simple quiet life that a vampire could create. But most of all, she was here, with her family and the love of her existence. Nothing could ever be better than the world that surrounded her now. The fates had given her life, they had given her Edward and now, they were giving her a child. A child she knew that Edward and herself would cherish for all of eternity. The only thing that bothered her in the idea of having this child was the fact that he or she would one day, become a vampire. Their child would be born with the venom inside them and the moment her baby reached their sixteenth year, he or she would become one of them. That thought was almost too hard for Bella to comprehend, more so than the fact that someone wanted this precious gift, her baby, dead.

Bella had lost a lot of loved ones in the span of her life time. All her friends back at Forks were either dead or facing death extremely soon. Her father had died of brain cancer a few years after she was married and turned and her mother died fairly young. However, the loss of Jacob was the hardest of all. She loved him and it almost killed her to say goodbye, but she could never ever leave Edward. She wanted nothing more than to "wake" everyday and see his perfect face. To run her fingers through his bronze hair and to lose herself in those golden eyes of his. Bella wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of eternity with her vampire savior. And if giving Jacob up was the only way for her to receive the ending that Romeo and Juliet never managed, Bella would gladly give that sacrifice. The best part of it all was that Jacob was still alive, and in love.

Bella was snapped from her train of thought quickly as she heard someone knock on the bedroom door. She groaned and lifted herself off the bed to waddle to the door. On the other side, Rosalie waited patiently to brought it.

"You know you don't really have to knock, no one else bothers."

"Well, I know Alice and the rest of them were never really taught manners, but I on the other hand had lessons on how to be polite." Bella led her in to the couch that was facing a fire place and sat down. Rosalie followed.

"I thought you threw all that crap out once you learned it." Bella said amused.

"True, but I do remember some of it."

"Good, Emmett is enough of a illmannered idiot for the both of you." At this the blond laughed.

"Well, what can I say? I love the irritable grizzly. Any way, I don't want to disturb you, I know you must not be feeling the best, but I wanted to ask you something." Rosalie avoided any eye contact with Bella.

"Ask away, I mean what are sisters for?"

"Yes, well, I was wondering, well, if you could do something for me." She was nervous, that much was obvious.

"Anything, well, not anything because I am not the best shape to go out and well, steal a car. If that's what you want, talk to Alice, she is always up for breaking laws. She gets some kind of thrill from it apparently. Seriously though, what do you need?" Bella replied while the most beautiful woman on the planet snorted.

"I was wondering if, well, could you tell me what its like to be pregnant?" At this, she closed her eyes. Rosalie was never one to give into weakness, but sometimes, giving in is exactly what the soul needs.

"I don't think I can explain it correctly." When Rosalie's face fell, Bella plugged on. "But, I might be able to show you." At this, she perked up.

"You mean you can...." She didn't finish, but instead waved her hand around indicating her power.

"I will assume I can, I mean, I haven't tried. Though it would be something to try on Edward. Give my your hand and don't let go, okay?" Rosalie nodded and closed her eyes. Then her body changed, she felt what most woman feel over long stressful months in the matter of seconds. Her golden eyes that brought out the glimmer in her hair opened. She glanced down and was shocked what she saw and how she felt. Bella, still holding her hand, stood up and lead her over to the mirror. She was stunning, more so than she would be on any other occasion. Rosalie had a bump that mirrored Bella's. She looked and felt as if she was going to give birth at any given moment. Her ankles were swollen and her breast tender.

Once again her eyes closed in an attempt to will herself to cry. For more than a hundred years, not a single tear drop flowed from her now flawless eyes. Nothing came. No moisture or drops to grace her crystal cheek. This was closet she could get to her dream of being a mother. Rosalie always wanted a beautiful child of her own, but the fates decided that she was not chosen for that particular destiny. Instead, she made a silent vow to herself that she would give her life for this child. She would stand in the way of any force that was thrown with the intention of harming the only child that Rosalie would let herself love. She dropped Bella's hand and watched as her body flew back to its original form in less than a second.

"Thank you." The words were barely more than a whisper.

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Blaze's room was painted in a simple green with a purple comforter sprawled across the bed. Pictures hung here and there through out the room. Pictures of her life before La Push, and many pictures of life afterword. Jacob was a common occurrence in this teenager's room. When Blaze moved to this unknown town, she hated it right away. That hate lasted an hour.

On her first day, she was too busy trying to get a box through a door, when the box was obviously big for the door frame, to realize that anyone was watching her. Blaze was cursing anything that was on this face of the planet to hell. She kicked the door frame once or twice, bruising her big toe in the process. It had never occurred to her that licking the door might bring pain, but than again, Blaze over looked a lot of things having to do with reality. She strongly believed that mystical creatures were real. Her parents just thought that she was refusing to grow up and accept that the knight in shining armor and fairy princesses didn't exist. Blaze just refused to believe them and when Jacob walked up onto that porch to help her, it was like her prince sliding off his snowy white horse to kiss her so she would wake from a dreamless sleep. She was the little girl, whose dreams of play never left her imagination.

Jacob told her everything from the ghost stories of their ancestors to the cold ones being on their land. He told she held it dear to her. Blaze loved her of his phases to his first long lost love. He gave her his heart, and him, forever and always.

Leah scowled at the pictures. She wouldn't lie, she was attracted to Jacob, but her luck was always that she could never have what she wanted. She never wanted this life. She never wanted to be a werewolf, she never wanted to phase. Leah hated the imprinting, it took her first love away from her. Sam was now old with grandchildren. He grew old with Emily, not her. He broke every promise he ever made to her. Now, she lost someone again, she lost Jacob.

Leah assumed that once Bella was turned, he would just forget about her, but it took another pale girl with brown hair to make him realize he could love again. He was to good for what was standing right in front of him, she wasn't good enough for him. If her plan succeeded, he would be hers. If truth be told, she did generally like Blaze, there was no reason for her not to like the hair-brained teenager. Besides the fact that she once again lost someone she loved to the stupid imprinting thing. However, Leah could not simply put Blaze before her. No, she wanted Jacob. Not even a friend could stand in the way of that. Alec gave her a solution, and she was taking it. All Leah had to do was get Blaze out of the country, and that seemed to be much easier than she had pictured.

Blaze's birthday was closely approaching and her father always wanted his daughter to be worldly. So, he decided to send his daughter and a friend to any country of their choice. He did however, put down his foot whenever Blaze mentioned Jacob being the person she took. Her father didn't really like Jacob very much. He said that the boy was to much of a bad influence on her innocent daughter. However, Blaze was far from innocent.

Leah plopped herself down into Blaze's desk chair and once again scowled at her surroundings. She truly did like the hyper ball of energy that Jacob imprinted on, but Blaze also did get on the female werewolf's nerves almost all of the time. Personally, getting rid of her would be one less thing Leah's mind would be burdened with. The question was, would the owner of Jake's heart fall into her own demise or would she see through Leah like a piece of shattered glass? Blaze was never one to be observant. Leah was jogged from her evil thoughts when Blaze walked into her bedroom, hair dripping wet from the shower she just took.

"Oh, Leah. Didn't realize that you were here, chicka." She said as she dried her hair with a blood red towel. She threw the towel into the hamper and began combing through her short hair to get any knots out.

"Just came by to see if you have any ideas on where you would like to go for this trip." When Blaze was giving Leah a blank stare saying she was either not paying attention or completely forgot that they were going on a trip out of the United States, she asked again. "You know, the trip your father is paying for...the trip your father is truly sending you on is so you spend so time away from Jacob." Blaze's eyes brightened at the Alpha males name.

"Oh yeah, the trip. Um, nope, no new ideas. How about you?"

"I have an idea I think you would just die for." Leah smiled at her choice of words as she pulled out a brochure with the word Italy plastered across the top.

"Italy?"

"Italy with great food and amazingly good looking Italian boys." and vampires that will literally tear your heart out and suck you dry,Leah added in her mind.

"And great shopping?"

"And great shopping."