Falling asleep on the bus, a man finds himself stranded in Forks for the weekend. Poor guy.
8. Chapter 8
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Bella was quiet for most of the drive back. She sniffled a few times. I tried to get a little conversation going, but she only gave monosyllabic answers. I asked her to swing by the restaurant once more, so I could scarf another of those great burgers. Then we stopped quickly at a grocery store, and grabbed a few things for later. If there was a big fight coming up, I didn’t want to be hungry. I know, sounds selfish. But hey—I needed to keep my strength up.
When we got back, Edward practically flew out of the house and over to the truck. He opened the door for Bella, and helped her out. They hugged, and I tried to keep my food down. He gave me a look which conveyed his thanks for bringing Bella back in one piece. I nodded and walked to the house, lugging my groceries. I set the bags on the porch, and leaned against the railing, watching Edward and Bella. I shook my head again. I just don’t get it. Maybe I was jaded, because of my past. But mush really bugged me for some reason. Please—they were like two highschoolers with a crush! We’d been gone not quite two hours, and they were clinging to eachother like they had been separated for weeks!
"I can’t see the wolves," said a voice from behind me. Alice walked over and stood next to me, watching Bella and Edward also. "He worries about her when she’s there, because I can’t see what will happen." She sighed wistfully. "True love...is there really such a thing?" I glanced at her. "Why ask me? You should know—you’ve got Jasper, after all. Or was that a rhetorical question?" She shrugged. I turned back to the lovebirds. "The only romantic love I’ve ever experienced was unrequited. But I have to admit, grudgingly, that those two there really do love eachother."
I looked at Alice. "Any new visions?" She shook her head, a fearful look crossing her face. "For some reason, it looks the same. I can’t understand it!" She looked at me. "Are you really going to be there tomorrow?" I nodded. "Where else would I be?" I asked. "I can’t fly, after all. And I can’t run as far as you all. So yeah, I’m kinda stuck here a while longer. Besides, I really like you ‘family’ here. It’s nice."
She turned to me. "All of us?" she asked in a timid voice. I frowned. Normally, I wouldn’t put "timid" and "Alice" together in the same sentence. It just wasn’t her personality. She was an emotional person, very passionate in her likes and dislikes. "Well, yeah, of course all of you." I wasn’t sure what she was getting at. Her face held that searching look again, like she was missing something, or confused. She almost looked—lost. Poor kid. I had an unpleasantly intense urge to hug her. But thank God I wasn’t that impulsive. She’d probably karate chop me in half. And if she didn’t, Jasper sure would!
I don’t really remember much of what happened the rest of the day. I know that most of the Cullens went "hunting" for several hours. Only Esme and Alice stayed home. And of course Bella. I hung around outside, and tried to keep to myself. After I ate supper (Bella said she wasn’t hungry, although Esme and Alice tried to get her to eat something), I headed out to the woods to get ready for the next day. I assured them that I would be there. I told Alice and Bella to have Edward "call" when the Volturi showed up, and I’d shift on in.
Shifting is kind of like teleportation, I explained, but I could only do it for short distances. "Is there anything you can’t do?" Bella asked. I smiled. "Yeah—lots of things. I can’t fly, or jump over buildings. I can’t shoot lasers out of my eyes. I can’t control emotions, or change shape. And to real teleporters, my shifting ability is kid’s stuff. So yeah, I’m not all-powerful. Not even close."
But I needed to concentrate hard to get ready for the next day, so I had to go off by myself. I couldn’t have any distractions, and Alice was a big distraction. She’d been moping all day, sighing and wandering aimlessly around. Couldn’t tell if she was sad, or angry, or scared, or what. I tried to ask Bella what was wrong with her, since the two of them were whispering a lot. But she brushed it off with vague comments about the coming battle.
I found a nice, quiet, relatively dry place a ways inside the forest, and out of sight of the house. Then, I just sat and emptied my head. That’s the easiest way to explain it. Nothing fancy, I admit, but it usually worked.
The next thing I knew, it was Sunday morning. I stood and stretched. As Edward had not "called" yet, I headed slowly in the direction of the Cullen house. Then the call came. "They’re here!" He practically shouted in my head. I shifted to the edge of the woods and stood there watching a few moments.
The Volturi had the house surrounded. I heard Carlisle’s vain attempts at "negotiation, and heard the predictable response—no more extensions. Aro—whoever he was—had said Bella must be changed then and there, or killed. Edward had roared, the leader of the Volturi gang had smiled, and the battle started. I leaned adjacent a tree and watched a little longer, mesmerized by the scene. It was like some deadly ballet—almost beautiful. Well in a really sick way, of course. The Cullens managed to take out one Volturi, and seriously injure another, but it was over quickly. All five Cullens were rapidly subdued, and the Volturi leader was yelling at the others to come out. Time for me to go.
Suddenly, Bella appeared on the porch, screaming something. Esme and Alice ran out behind her. I frowned. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go! What the heck was she doing?! Stupid, blind reckless love! So much for trying to sneak in unnoticed. The Volturi guy was saying something, but I couldn’t hear him well. I was concentrating, and hoping I could shift to the porch...it was a little farther than I thought.
And then I was standing at the foot of the steps, right in front of Bella, and facing the Volturi guy. "Hey—it worked!" I exclaimed. The Volturi took a step back, and a couple were so startled that they actually let go of Emmett and Jasper. They in turn leaped on the ones holding Edward, and the three of them freed Carlisle and Rosalie. But it was far from over. The Voltrui regrouped, and one of them said, "What do we do now, Felix?" He scoffed. "This human trickster changes nothing! We still have a job to do, and we will do it fro the honor of the Volturi!"
"Felix?!" I said, laughing. "Felix?! As in ‘Felix the Cat’? What a joke! Who named you, your aunt Bertha? Felix!" He growled at me. "I’ll make your death slow, human!" he said through clenched teeth. "Oh, will you now?" I taunted. "Well, maybe I’ll just take and through you into the fairy mountain at Kilarney! Lock you in with a gang o’ Leprechauns. How would you like that?" I leaned towards him. "Course, you know that vampire abilities are no match against the power of the Faery! What would you do then, I wonder?" Obviously, I was bluffing. There was no way I could really do that!
So instead, I locked eyes with Felix (Felix-HA!). I hated to do this, but I was out of options. I knew I’d have one whopper of a headache tomorrow. Bus trips with headaches are no fun, believe me. Anyway, it was like everything else faded but him and me. I blocked out the fighting that seemed to be raging around me, and just stared at Felix. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, pushing our wills against eachother, but finally, just when I felt like I was going to pass out, Felix’s mind snapped, and he fell flat on his face, kind of like a puppet. I exhaled, sharply, and staggered back.
Abruptly, the fight seemed to stop. There were still several Volturi standing, but when they looked at Felix, they turned from the house and scattered into the woods. Emmett wanted to follow them, but Carlisle told him no. I collapsed onto the porch. Edward hurried to Bella. They embraced and murmured to eachother. I was only dimly aware of all this, but suddenly one sound came clearly to my ears. And it pierced my heart. It was Alice, whose heart-wrenching sobs were coming from somewhere to the right. My eyes slowly focused on her. She was kneeling on the ground by Jasper, who was not moving and looked very torn up. The others gathered around, and Esme knelt beside Alice, cradling her in her arms. My heart broke. Alice had to be her happy self again! I had to see that smile back on her face, and the sparkle return to her eyes! Suddenly, nothing mattered to my pain addled mind but Alice’s happiness.
I staggered over, and slowly knelt by Jasper. "Move back, please," I asked, looking up at the group. They all obeyed, silently, watching. Alice continued to cry, but at least her gut churning sobs had stopped. I Put my hand on Jasper’s shoulder, and concentrated. Hard. After the thing with Felix, I wasn’t sure if I could do this. My hand felt like it was on fire, and the heat spread through Jasper. It took every remaining ounce of thought I had, and several minutes. But he suddenly stirred, and opened his eyes. Then he smiled.
"What’s going on?" he asked, genuinely confused. "Why is everyone staring at me like that?" Alice flung herself on Jasper, and hugged him fiercely, saying his name over and over. I stood, and staggered. Someone reached out to steady me, but I shook the hand off. "No, s’ok, I got it." I said, then fell backwards. Someone—I think it was Emmett—caught me before I hit the ground. Everything went black.