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Open Flame

I knew in that instant exactly how Sam felt when he saw Emily, exactly how Jacob felt when he saw Renesmee, exactly how Quil felt when he saw Claire. There were thoughts I had never known rushing through my head, from thoughts of a friendly nature, to thoughts of a passionate nature and everything in between. She drew me like an open flame drew a pyromaniac; and curiously, wonderfully, lovingly and lustfully, I had to follow her. I had to touch that open flame.open flame banner Seth Clearwater comes back from college for Leah's wedding, and the gang gets back together. But when his car breaks down on the side of the road, a very beautiful, engaged young woman comes to the rescue. Can Seth vy for the attentions of his imprint and successfully win her? Author's Note: This fanfiction will be complete once the twelfth chapter is added! Thank you everyone for your support and reviews!


7. Seven - Entertaining Vampires

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Entertaining Vampires

I left my house early that morning to take my exam. When I departed, Jacob and Reneesme were whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears, Bella was attempting to ignore them (even though I knew that was impossible thanks to her super-sensitive hearing), and my Ginessa was silently sleeping in my room.

When I returned home from my exam, which was not as difficult as I had once thought, I realized that it was not only myself, Jacob, Reneesme, Bella, and Ginessa at home; it included Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie, Esme, and Carlisle, too.

Shocked to see all of them in my living room, I was confined to my spot on the old woven rug.

“I apologize for my family’s rudeness,” began Carlisle, standing from his seat on the couch to greet me.

“It’s fine…I just…wasn’t expecting this. I am glad to see all of you again so soon. I suppose you’re here to protect Reneesme?”

Collectively, they all replied, “Yes.”

“I don’t mind at all. You know I miss seeing all of you since we went our separate ways.”

“Will you be able to keep up with your studies if there are eight distractions around?” asked Carlisle kindly, his brow furrowed in concern. At least someone cared about my education.

“I’ll be fine,” I assured him. I wasn’t honestly positive I could do all of it, but for the Cullens, I would try my hardest.

“All of us won’t be here all at once,” said Edward. “We’ll take turns searching the perimeter for any sign of them.”

“What exactly are these werewolves like?” I asked. “Are they anything like Jake and I?”

Jasper sighed. “If they were, I don’t think we’d be having this problem.”

“They’re exactly what the Volturi were afraid of. They were under the impression that all the Children of the Moon were driven to extinction over three hundred years ago,” voiced Carlisle. “They are extremely dangerous. Humans by day, and wolves when the moon rises. They lose contact of their human selves during this time and can only behave instinctually.”

“So why did they talk to Jake?” I asked.

“They didn’t,” replied Jacob, joining the circle. “I could read their thoughts.”

My jaw dropped. How could that be possible? They weren’t even the same species as us, much less in the same pack! “But how?”

He shrugged and sighed. “No idea.”

“Theories, anybody?” I asked, looking around.

The Cullens shook their heads glumly.

“I have one,” said Reneesme. Everyone looked at her. “Well, wasn’t Jake in wolf form when he understood them? If his people were descended from wolves, and theirs were bitten by them, are the werewolves not a common mutation of shape shifters?”

“Yes!” Edward, Carlisle and I in unison.

Edward kissed his daughter’s forehead. “I’m so proud of you.”

“So, if Jake can sense and hear them, I should, too?” I wondered aloud, my head cocked to the side.

All the Cullens nodded.

Alice crossed her arms over her chest. “This isn’t fair! Everyone else can use their gift for the common good, but I’m just standing here useless.”

Jasper pulled her closer to him from behind. “Don’t worry, darling, your gift will come into play soon.”

“Bella, have you ever tried to shield specific objects out?” asked Carlisle quietly.

“What do you mean?”

“Do you think that if you stood guard, you could not only physically block them, but shield them from Alice’s mind so she could see?”

Bella considered this for a moment. “The closest thing I came to that was when we fought the Volturi just after Reneesme’s birth. But I could only block them out. I never managed to change how someone saw them.”

The entire chat was leaving me clueless. Jacob looked just as confused, his arms crossed over his chest, brow furrowed.

“Well, I suppose we can attempt to figure it out in due course,” sighed Carlisle. “Emmett, Jasper, keep watch please-“

“And me!” exclaimed Jacob indignantly.

Carlisle sighed. “I was afraid you would say that. But all right. If they end up arriving, please tell me.” He turned to me. “Now then, Seth, would you like some help with your studies?”

Woah. That definitely surprised me, but I was not about to let it pass me by. Possibly the best doctor in the world had offered to help me.

“Hell yeah I would!”

All the Cullens laughed.

At that moment, Ginessa walked down the stairs. Her eyes went wide as she peered around at everyone. Her heart went into a frenzy. I hoped all the vampires in the room could control themselves.

“Ginessa, this is the Cullen family.”

She looked at all of the perfectly extraordinary characters before her. Poor girl.

“Hello, Miss Ginessa, I’m Carlisle Cullen. It is very nice to meet you.” Carlisle’s people skills kicked in immediately. He extended his hand to Ginessa. “This is my wife, Esme.”

Ginessa, always friendly, even in this situation, smiled and took their hands.

“These are our children,” said Esme, looking around at all of them. “But I think they may want to introduce themselves.”

“Alice!” exclaimed the smallest of all of them, bouncing for a moment as she waved, “And this is my husband, Jasper.”

When Jasper shook Ginessa’s hand, she paused for a moment and furrowed her brow, making eye contact. He pulled away before she could realize what all had happened...

Emmett smiled the most brotherly of grins at her and said his name, whilst Rosalie equaled his introduction with a mere, half smile. But her beauty in that second surprised Ginessa as much as Jasper’s handshake had.

“I’m Edward, Reneesme’s father, Bella’s husband,” he said, gentlemanly as always.

Bella only grinned.

“Well, this is…overwhelming,” she said at last. I smiled and touched her hand briefly. Most of the Cullens kept their content smiles.

“So…all of you are…umm…vampires?” she asked tentatively.

“Yes,” smiled Carlisle. “I’m sure Seth might have already told you that certain members of our family have gifts?”

“Briefly and without details.”

“You were shocked in response to Jasper, as I saw. But you were nervous when you came down the steps. You aren’t anymore.”

I saw the light bulb click on in her head. “Woah! You control emotions?”

Jasper grinned somewhat smugly.

“And Alice has premonitions of future events,” continued Carlisle.

Alice began a grin, but suppressed it. “Not always,” she sighed. “Werewolves of both kinds are exempt.”

Ginessa looked mind boggled.

“Edward reads mind, Bella shields, Reneesme reminds memories at the touch.”

Ginessa looked at Edward with narrowed eyes.

Edward laughed. “Don’t worry; I can tune your thoughts out if you really want me to.”

She nodded vigorously.

“Perhaps Seth and I should begin studying, now that we’re all properly introduced.”

I nodded. “Yeah, I could definitely use help.”

“As we said before, Jacob, Emmett and Jasper, stand guard at the doors. Try not to be too ostentatious; you won’t want to scare the neighbors.”

“Reneesme, I think we need to talk with you,” said Edward, somewhat furiously.

Reneesme sighed as Jacob headed out the door. Her parents followed her to my room, where they silently closed the door.

“Are you all right, Ginessa?” I asked softly.

She nodded. “Hungry.”

“Me too,” said Alice.

Ginessa instinctually backed away.

Alice burst out into beautiful laughter. “Just kidding. It doesn’t look like I’m going to eat you in the near future.”

She eased up and sighed, skipping off to the refrigerator, Alice at her side.

“Up for a Jane Austen movie?” Esme asked Rosalie.

She grinned a perfect smile and rolled her eyes. “Haven’t we seen them all?”

“But Mansfield Park was so good!”

“All right then, off to the human video store…”

Carlisle smiled at me. “So, what exactly is it that you’re having issues with in your studies?”

I shrugged. “It’s not really a specific set of issues, it’s more like a combination of several things, plus the whole imprinting drama.”

“Oh, that reminds me!” he said, excitement evident on his face. “I am absolutely intrigued to know how the imprinting process specifically functions.”

We sat down in my humble living room. I sighed and smiled. “Ask me anything.”

“When you saw Ginessa, where were you?”

“I had gotten off the wrong exit near Tacoma, and my engine died almost right when I had left the ramp. I was probably stalled there for a few hours in the rain before she came.”

“So she sort of rescued you?”

Both Carlisle and I found his question rather funny. “Ever heard of a knightess in shining armor?”

He laughed again. “There’s always a first time for everything.” He paused. “And when you saw her, what was the first thing that ran through your head?”

“Honestly, I couldn’t really think. She blocked out everything. All I was aware of was how beautiful she was. As stupid as it sounds, I forgot all about Leah’s wedding, my parents, the pack – everything. She was the only thing that mattered.”

Carlisle didn’t speak. He stared off into the distance for a while. Several times, he opened his mouth as though he were about to say something, but he decided against it and closed his mouth to ponder some more.

“Is something wrong?” I asked cautiously.

He smiled as I knew he would. “Oh no, certainly not. I was just…well. Being a physician, I am always attempting to decipher medical phenomenons such as these.” He laughed a little. “I interrogated Jacob, too. But he was a little more uneasy.”

I chuckled. “I would be, too, if I had imprinted on Reneesme. Doesn’t Edward grill him enough?”

Carlisle rolled his eyes. “Yes. I really should tell him to stop. The poor boy is going mad.”

In the new silence, I could feel Carlisle’s thoughts racing. “So, what exactly was it that you wondered?”

“If I seem too intimate with my questions, please tell me.”

I nodded, my brow furrowed.

“When the original feeling of imprinting died down, what were your impulses? I mean, did you feel sexually attracted to her? Or did you feel the need to protect her? Or was it something completely different?”

“Actually, by the time I had gotten over the fact I imprinted, I found out that she was engaged. So I felt intense jealousy.”

Carlisle could only look at me in disbelief. “And…how did you work that out?”

I sighed. Carlisle’s intentions were so inquisitory and compassionate that I could not deny him an answer. “Badly. I got out of control, and he went to the hospital, and then broke up with Ginessa and took her car away.”


“Fascinating?” I repeated.

“Well, it’s just that you aren’t exactly an aggressive person, and the fact that your personality almost completely reversed is both strange and interesting.”

“Sam said the same thing.”

“I suppose it supports the old adage then, that people do strange things for those they love. But your case is probably the most extreme of all.”

“Wouldn’t you do anything for Esme?”

“Of course,” he said quietly. As he thought about her, his eyes lit up. “But I’ve never gone completely out of character. Have I been as overprotective as possible? Yes. But I suppose I’ve never been so brave as to go through so much.”

I laughed. “Or so stupidly immature.”

Carlisle shook his head, smiling too. “Sometimes I think that living for hundreds of years is somewhat over reaching. There is only so much wisdom that one can acquire. Perhaps if I had been braver as a human, or more ‘immature’ as you say, my wisdom might have taken longer to acquire.”

I could not believe that Carlisle was saying such things. It seemed wildly out of character for him. “Are you all right?” I asked quietly.

He shrugged. “I worry about my impression on Reneesme. Edward swears she only thinks the world of me, but sometimes, I wonder…” he trailed off. “Well, this isn’t about me, in any case.”

But strangely enough, I was not completely adverse to listening to the rest of his sentences. In fact, I was rather concerned for Carlisle. “Don’t worry about it,” I said.

He smiled warmly at me. “Reneesme has always worried me, even before we knew she was Reneesme. Her parents have told her that I was my idea to abort her after her conception. I regret that more than anything else. To sacrifice one life for another one without the consent of the life…of both lives…” He put his hand to his head in shame. “I wonder if she sometimes peers up on my countenance with curious contempt.” He sighed. “As she grows, I feel almost entirely responsible for every unhappiness she encounters. But I cannot do much for her, I feel, other than exist. Still, for human, a grandfather should inspire strength and love in past and present. I have done nothing brave or heroic to deserve such attention.”

The poor man was truly beside himself, but before I could respond, Esme appeared at his side. “My love, Ren adores you.”

“Are you sure? Sometimes, I agree, other times…”

“You overanalyze everything,” said Rosalie as she popped the DVD in my player atop the old TV. “Reneesme loves everything. She is Bella’s daughter, after all.”

Esme pecked Carlisle on the cheek. “Are you truly interested in watching Mansfield Park with us?”

Carlisle smirked. “How about you and I stop evading your studies?”

I nodded, but he was up from the couch before me. “I took the liberty of bringing some old books of mine. Sometimes reading works better than listening.”

I couldn’t think of why, for the life of me, anyone had negative impressions of the Cullen family. They were too wonderful for words. But, yeah, there was that catch, about sucking blood.