Falling asleep on the bus, a man finds himself stranded in Forks for the weekend. Poor guy.
6. Chapter 6
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"Sean, I have to tell you something. I—" Alice began, but stopped suddenly, her face frozen, her eyes seeing something else, far away.
"Alice?" I waved my hand in front of her eyes. "Alice?" I repeated. She didn’t respond. Worried, I stuck my head in the door. "HEY!" I shouted. "Something’s wrong with Alice!" I was almost in a panic. But logically, I knew she must be OK—she was a vampire, after all. They never get sick or have seizures or any of that. So what was wrong?
Bella and the Cullens all hurried out. I stepped back as Carlisle took hold of Alice. Walking to the far end of the porch, I looked at the sky and the trees. I didn’t want to intrude. I didn’t belong here, and the sooner Monday came, the better. I was fidgety. And confused. Not to mention jealous, angry...well, you get the idea.
I heard Alice murmuring, and figured she’d come out of whatever it was. I turned and leaned against the railing, watching them. A vampire "family". Never in 1700 years had I seen such a thing! Not like this, anyway. I heard Massive Man—I mean Emmett—say, "How many?" I couldn’t hear Alice’s reply, but suddenly she started sobbing, and buried her face in Jasper’s chest. I cringed a little at the sight, jealousy surging up inside. Yeah, I know—I was jealous of the little Cullen "family". I ruthlessly beat it back down. Who was I to be jealous of love? Nobody, that’s who—just a bitter, pathetic fool whom love had passed by centuries ago. So why was this bothering me so much? I frowned at the floor, confused. Besides, I did have Maria...
Suddenly, I became aware of Carlisle calling to me. I glanced up. They were all staring at me, except for Alice, who still had her head on Jasper. "Sean, could I talk to you a moment, please? Inside?" I nodded, and entered the house with him, ignoring the stares of the rest of the Cullens.
Carlisle ushered me into a room, which was obviously his home office, and shut the door. I smiled at that. With the range of hearing that vampires had, I figured why bother? They’d still be able to hear us. "I’ll get right to the point," Carlisle began. "Alice had another vision, and it wasn’t good. There are ten Volturi coming. We can’t fight against that. They mean to finish us off once and for all. They’ve been growing almost fearful of us, especially after a battle we won with an army of newborn vampires. Of course, we had the wolves helping us then, and the Volturi don’t know about that.
"Alice saw herself, Edward, and Bella made virtual slaves of the Volturi. Bella was turned, and it was a horrific process. Bella became addicted to human blood, because none of us were able to help her during her transformation. The rest of us were killed. She did not, however, see you in her vision. This is what will happen tomorrow. Now, I don’t know what abilities you truly posses, and I think you have others you haven’t yet revealed to us."
I smiled. "You’re a very perceptive man, Mr. Cullen."
Carlisle went on. "And I don’t know what is happening between you and Alice, and it’s none of my business."
"Nothing," I interrupted. God, what was with these people?
Carlisle looked at me. "I beg your pardon?
"There is nothing ‘happening’ between me and Alice," I explained. "She belongs with Jasper—they’re soulmates, or whatever melodramatic term you all use." I began pacing as I spoke, then forced myself to stop. That wasn’t a good sign—I never pace!
Carlisle smiled. "You did say I was a very perceptive man." He leaned forward. "Will you help us?" he asked, a slight pleading tone in his voice.
"Why don’t you all just run? I mean, it will take time for them to find you again, won’t it?" I knew this was only a short-term solution, at best.
Carlisle lowered his head, a look of pain on his face. "They have a Guard—Demetri...he’s the best tracker on earth. He can lock in on your mind, and once he’s on to you, he never stops. Besides, Alice saw that if we run, the Volturi will lay waste to Forks in retaliation, and make it look like a natural disaster." Figures. I really hated these guys!
"What about your wolf friends? Could they help again?"
He shook his head. "They need to stay ready to defend their tribe if we fail. Which we will. And who knows what the Volturi will decide to do to Forks even after they’ve beaten us." Carlisle’s voice was full of despair.
Now, instead of jealousy, anger flared in my mind. During the short time I’d been here, I had really come to admire and respect these people—the caring Carlisle and compassionate Esme, proud if somewhat vain Rosalie, easygoing big brother Emmett, thoughtful Jasper, Bella—the human who didn’t want to be... even Edward. He did truly love Bella—I could feel it. And, of course, Alice. My little pixie Alice. OK, she wasn’t really "mine"—if anything, she was Jasper’s. But, God damn me to Hell for all eternity if I let anything happen to her! Or to any of them, really. Now, the anger turned to rage, and I realized I’d better be careful. It wouldn’t do any good to loose control now. Maybe later, but not now. And without fully realizing it at the time, I made my decision.
"What’s the plan, then?" I simply asked. Relief washed over Carlisle’s face as I said the words. "Let’s join the others," he replied, opening the door. Everyone else was in the living room. When we walked in, and they saw the eager look on Carlisle’s face, they all noticeably relaxed. I hoped their trust in me wasn’t misplaced. As they planned for the following day, I realized that I had received no authorization from The Committee for taking any action. But then, our charter did allow the use of deadly supernatural force in defense of innocent humans. I had Bella and the entire population of Forks, Washington to worry about! That was authorization enough, as far as I was concerned.
It was decided that Bella would stay at the house. Edward had wanted to remove her from the area, as they evidently had done before when faced with the newborn attack. But Jasper pointed out that part of the Volturi plan was to capture Bella and turn her for their own purposes. And sending her away would again only delay the inevitable. They’d just keep coming until they found her. It was stand and fight time, and I think they all knew it.
Carlisle would try to reason with the Volturi, though I frankly doubted it would stop them, and said so. But Carlisle, God bless him, was a man of peace at heart. Emmett and Jasper would lead the defense, backed up by Edward and Carlisle. Rosalie wanted to be outside, too, much to Emmett’s annoyance. He didn’t want to be distracted by worrying about her, but she insisted, asking if he knew how hard it would be for her to not be there trying to protect him. I had a hard time following that, but in the end it was decided that only Esme and Alice would be inside the house. Their job was to protect Bella, and try to get her out of the house if things went badly.
And me? Well, I was the ace in the hole, so to speak. One of the talents I possessed was the ability to hide my presence from others—kind of like "The Shadow". I could walk right up to someone, and beat the snot out of them without their ever seeing me. But to do that took massive concentration beforehand. And masking myself from ten strong vampires would be harder still.
Suddenly, my stomach rumbled, totally embarrassing me. "Heh—sorry, I haven’t eaten since lunch two days ago. I, uh, don’t suppose there’s any food in the house?" I asked, hopefully.
"No, but I could take you into town to eat," said Bella. She turned to Edward. "I have to warn Jake and the Pack. They really need to know about Alice’s vision, so they can prepare. And—I want to see Charlie once more...just in case. He’s at Billy’s house."
Edward didn’t seem too happy with this idea. But suddenly, he turned to me. "Do I have your word that you will keep Bella safe?" I looked at him in confusion. "What?" I asked stupidly. He sighed. "Do you promise to keep Bella safe?" He repeated slowly, like he was talking to a kid. "She wants to go see her werewolf friends, and some of them are not altogether happy about her keeping company with our kind."
"That’s an understatement!’ Laughed Emmett.
"Well, why don’t you just come too?" I asked.
"None of us can go on the reservation." Carlisle explained. "It’s a long stroy, but I made a treaty with them years ago that if we would stay off their land, they would not attack us."
"Do you think it’s safe?" Esme asked. "After all, he is half vampire. What will the wolves think? Is that breaking the treaty, do you suppose?"
"I don’t think so," replied Carlisle. "After all, he’s not one of us, and he shouldn’t scare them. But, maybe you should proceed carefully," he said, looking at me. "They can be—volatile at times, prone to bite first and ask questions later, as it were."
"You’re not instilling me with a lot of confidence here, guys," I said. But I was hungry. Starving, in fact. So I agreed. "All right, Edward. I promise."
He fixed a very intent stare on me. "Are you sure? I am trusting you with not only Bella’s life, but my own as well." They gazed at eachother. "Bella is my life...nothing else matters."
Hmm. "What about the rest of your family?" I couldn’t resist asking.
"What?" he said, tearing his gaze from Bella’s. "Oh...of course my family also! Why would you even ask that?"
I smiled. "Just couldn’t resist, I guess." I replied. Then under my breath, I said, "Sap!" He glared at me. This was fun! It was sometimes easier to bug vampires than humans...and more fun, too. My stomach growled again, and this time Edward laughed at me.
"Bella, do you mind if I change my clothes first?" I asked, realizing that I had been in this same outfit for three days. She shook her head. "And while you’re at it, take a shower, too!" Edward told me snidely. "I don’t want my poor Bella subjected to that smell the whole drive!" I frowned. Emmett laughed. "What have you two got against eachother?" he said, shaking his head.
I got ready as fast as I could, my stomach complaining the whole time, but it was still about a half hour later before I was ready to go. Bella, Alice, and Edward were all whispering when I came down the stairs, but stopped as soon as they saw me. Suspicious much? There’s no better way of saying "We were just talking about you" when someone comes into a room than that...except actually saying it. They all stared at me with looks I could quite figure out. "Ready?" Bella asked. My stomach answered for me, and they laughed.
"Ha! So funny! Go on, laugh at another person’s expense. I don’t care." I said, following them out to Bella’s vehicle. It was some kind of old truck. Edward held the door open for Bella. After she slid behind the wheel, Edward shot a glance at me, and then gave her a passionate kiss. "I’ll think of you every minute we’re apart, Love," he said.
Good grief! I wanted to eat, not throw up! Edward smiled triumphantly when he saw my grimace. "I still owe you for that Jacob comment," he thought to me. "Oh, grow up, little boy!" I thought back. That took the smile off his face.
"Be careful, you two!" Alice called as Bella pulled down the driveway. At least, with a truck like this, I didn’t have to worry about going too fast...just breaking down somewhere. The thing sounded like it was ready to blow up.