A new vampire joins the Cullens' ranks, one with a power none have seen before... and it's not Bella. Can she be useful to them? Is she really as good as she seems? No one quite knows.
Not as cliche as it sounds. Please review--this is my first Twilight story. Concrit is appreciated, if you have it!
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2019 Review this Chapter
Since he’d gotten home, Edward hadn’t spent that much time actually in his house. Beautiful though it was—especially knowing it was close to Bella—there were more pressing matters to attend to. For example, there was the newborn that was apparently loose in Seattle with no one looking after it, and more importantly, trying to keep that newborn out of Forks at all costs.
When he wasn’t with Bella, Edward found himself prowling the forests around his home, watching and listening for the offending creature. Of course, it would probably have the brute strength to kill him if it really wanted to, but with a little careful coercion, he could take the neophyte back to Carlisle so it could have the rules explained to it before the Volturi had to get involved.
Suddenly, there was a rustle in the underbrush off to the left. Edward whipped around, listening carefully with his ears and his head. I’ve got you, he thought levelly as he lowered into a crouch.
A thought came from Alice. Edward, this isn’t the one we’re looking for. She’s… different.
Different how? Edward had barely finished his thought when another mind, one he’d never heard before, showed up on his radar. It barely thought, really; it was so crowded with music, strange and yet somewhat familiar, that there was scant room for ideas or feelings. He did get one very distinct emotion from this mind, however: whoever belonged to it was wildly curious about something.
Edward remembered another curious mind he’d heard not too long ago; days, in fact, before he’d killed the monster that belonged to it.
He prepared to spring.
The confused, overlapping tunes grew louder, closer, until finally a small, graceful creature stepped out of the forest.
“Hello,” she said, noticing that Edward was in the “kill” position and faltering a little because of it. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to get so close to your territory. I just… your soul song.”
My what? Edward tried not to let his confusion show on his face.
“It’s… it’s beautiful.”
“Thank God I’m not whiny,” I said happily as Edward started his car.
He chuckled, backing out of Charlie’s driveway. “And why is that?”
“You know why,” I accused him. “You’ve been listening for the past half hour, haven’t you?”
“Yes, actually. But still, I’d like you to tell me.”
I huffed. “Because Charlie only let me out of the house on good behavior,” I recited with a bad imitation of Charlie’s voice. “Happy?”
“Yes.” He smiled my favorite crooked smile, and almost instantly frowned again. “Bella, listen. Before we get to my house, there is something I should probably tell you. It wouldn’t be fair to you if I brought you in without giving you some sort of… advanced warning.”
My stomach clenched. “You aren’t… going away again, are you?” I started to panic, even more so knowing that he could hear my heart beat erratically and my breathing hitch.
He immediately looked sorry. He reached one hand across the car and stroked my face gently with it. “Never,” he promised firmly. “It’s nothing like that, I swear.”
I took a deep breath and told myself to calm down before I said something stupid. “Okay. That’s… good.”
He was silent for a minute while he stared at my face with an expression on his that I could not comprehend. “So… what is it?” I asked, hoping to change the subject.
He snapped out of his reverie and thought for a minute, thankfully looking at the road this time instead of at me. “We have a guest.” He glanced at me again. “She won’t hurt you. She’s like us.”
I was startled. A guest? “A vegetarian?” I blurted.
He smiled at me again, thawing my worries a little. “Exactly. She’s gifted, as well.”
“Like you and Alice?”
“Yes.” He hesitated. “But she’s very different. None of us have ever seen anything like her talent before. It’s interesting; we don’t really understand it yet, but we’re trying to get her to explain.”
“Okay,” I said slowly. “Do you have any idea what it might be?”
“It’s something you’ll have to see.” He turned onto the nearly-invisible road leading to the Cullens’ house. “Also, I should probably tell you that Elissa is a little… exuberant. Like Alice, actually, only more upbeat.”
“That’s hard to imagine. Elissa?”
“Isn’t it, though?” He laughed a little darkly. “Yes, that’s her name.” He pulled into the Cullens’ garage and parked. I hadn’t realized we’d come so far; it would probably take time for me to get used to Edward’s frighteningly fast driving again. He opened the passenger door for me, and we entered the house.
I don’t know what I’d been expecting from Elissa, but what I saw definitely wasn’t it. She was on the long balcony overlooking the first floor of the house, earphones in her ears, dancing and singing to what sounded like really bad seventies dance music—the kind my mother liked to play around the house when she was cleaning. Her voice was beautiful—in fact, if I wasn’t so biased, I would have said it was the most beautiful voice I’d ever heard. At the moment, however, it was loud enough that I worried for the safety of my eardrums.
“Mamma mia! Here I go again! My, my, how can I resist ya? Mamma mia! Does it show again, my, my, just how much I missed ya?” She didn’t seem to notice we were there-- “Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted, blue since the day we parted! Why, why, did I ever let you go? Mamma Mia! Now I really know--” Suddenly she seemed to notice us. She stopped dancing abruptly when her eyes fell on me, and her expression turned absolutely furious. She whipped around to face Edward and snarled, “You said you didn’t--”
“—and we don’t,” he finished firmly, putting a protective arm around my shoulders.
She cocked her head, confused, looking from Edward’s face to mine and back again. “Oh,” she whispered, understanding dawning on her face. “Oh. Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “I didn’t know.”
“That’s all right,” Edward said smoothly. “Elissa, this is Bella. Bella, Elissa.”
Elissa turned to me and smiled. “Hi, Bella. Nice to meet you.”
I smiled back, still not sure what had happened in that last exchange. “Hi.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Instead, I gave her a quick once-over. She was beautiful, of course: taller than me and slim, with auburn hair curling down past her shoulders. Her eyes weren’t red or yellow, but a strange amber color, and I couldn’t figure out exactly what that indicated—human blood-drinker, or “vegetarian”. What startled me most, though, was that she looked young, not necessarily in the immortal way, but the human one. However old she really was, she looked like she wasn’t any older than fourteen.
It took me a minute to realize that she was staring back at me, like she was searching for something and not finding it.
Edward interrupted our staring contest. “It’s the same way for me,” he said to Elissa. “I can’t hear her, either.”
She jumped; obviously she hadn’t been here long, or she’d be used to Edward answering her thoughts. “Can Alice… see her?” she asked him, unsure of what word to use.
“Yes, she can. It’s complicated,” he conceded, seeing her puzzlement. I blushed; they were talking about me. “We’ll tell you about it after you explain your gift.”
“Okay,” she agreed slowly. “I guess we should get to that, then.”
“That’s a good idea. They’re in the dining room, waiting for you.” He gestured toward the little room off the main hall to the right.
“Thanks.” She waved at me a little and skipped off, leaving Edward and me alone.
“Vampires like ABBA?” I whispered.
“She does.” Edward rolled his eyes. “I never cared for them much, myself, but Alice loves them, so I have every album they ever released on CD. Elissa discovered my collection a couple of days ago, and she’s been singing their greatest hits ever since.” He offered me his arm. “Would you like to know how her gift works?”
I took it. “If I’m going to keep up at all around here, I guess I’m going to have to.” He laughed and led me into the dining room.
I’d barely crossed the threshold when something crushed me in a bear hug. “BELLA!”
“Hi, Emmett,” I gasped.
“Oh, sorry.” He released me with a huge grin. “Good to have you back!” he said happily. Obviously I’d been missed; I hadn’t been back to visit the Cullens since they had voted in favor of my immortality.
“Good to be back.” I couldn’t help grinning when Emmett was around; his personality was infectious.
I turned to face the others. Esme smiled warmly at me. “Welcome back, dear.”
“Thank you, Esme.” Alice waved a little and bounced in her seat; it hadn’t been quite as long since I’d seen her, so no sappy greetings were needed. Jasper nodded at me and gave me a small smile, and Rosalie looked surprisingly not-unhappy to see me. Carlisle, who was seated at the end of the long table, just beamed, looking around like a grandfather at a family reunion who hadn’t seen all of his children together in years.
Edward pulled out the chair at the far end of the table for me, and I sat. I noticed Elissa seated at Carlisle’s left, staring into her lap, looking nervous. Her head snapped up when Carlisle began to speak.
“All right, everyone. We’ve made our greetings—now I think it’s Elissa’s turn to speak.” He turned to face her with a soothing smile. “Whenever you’re ready.”
Elissa stood up slowly, wringing her hands. “Um… I…” Her eyes darted around the room. If I didn’t know she was a vampire, I would have thought she looked like she was about to throw up everywhere. Suddenly, a wave of calm washed over the entire room—probably Jasper’s doing—and she relaxed. “You wanted me to explain my gift, right?” She looked over at Carlisle for confirmation, and he nodded. “Okay, then. It’s kind of complicated, so this could take a little while.”
“We have all day,” Carlisle assured her.
“All night, too. Basically, we’re free for the rest of eternity.” Emmett piped up.
Elissa giggled, and I could tell she was really starting to get comfortable. “Well… I can sort of hear people’s souls. All kinds of people; humans, vampires, whatever. I can even hear animals’, but theirs are a little different.”
“Souls?” Edward muttered under his breath. I winced; why did he have to be so skeptical about it?
“Their souls, their hearts, their… essences. Whatever it is,” she continued, waving the whole issue away, “I can hear it.”
Alice made a little humming noise. “What does it sound like?”
“It’s… music,” Elissa replied slowly. “And it’s different for everyone. I can sort of tell what it means, but there’s no set criteria for it—nothing like, ‘Oh, this note means this about that person.’ It’s just there.” She rubbed the back of her neck. “I’m sorry I can’t explain it better than that.”
“That’s all right,” Carlisle assured her.
“It’s not quite as specific as Edward’s gift. I can’t tell what people are thinking or even feeling at one moment in time. I just hear what they are.” She grinned. “It sounds kind of dogmatic when you put it that way, doesn’t it?” She assumed a hippie voice. “‘I hear what people are, man, not what they feel.’”
Everyone laughed a little at that; even Jasper cracked a smile. When the atmosphere died down a little, Elissa started bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet. “I haven’t even shown you guys the best part yet. You’ll have to come out and watch!” With that, she became a moving blur (to my weak human eyes, anyway), and I heard the back door slam before I could even register that she was gone.