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NM Alternate Ending

Summary:
It's page 449 of the hard-back version of New Moon. Bella is running across the plaza in Italy. She has to get to Edward before the clock chimes. Before the Volturi do. His life depends on it. This time Bella stumbles and doesn't get there in time. What will happen to Edward now? Will Alice make it out of Volterra and keep her promise to Jasper? Will Bella be able to survive, thinking she's failed... alone in Volterra?


Notes:
So, you remember of course, in New Moon, Bella is running for her (and his) life toward the place where Alice saw Edward would be. It’s a race against time and she’s fighting the crowd…


16. Chapter 16

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1070   Review this Chapter

They were all there. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, and Alice; Lazzaro wasn’t. I was too bewildered to ask questions, too shocked to even remember how to speak.

Edward laid me down on a low sofa that I knew too well. He didn’t leave my side, but continued to hold my good hand while Carlisle began to examine my other. Alice sat on the floor by my head and began stroking my hair. Esme knelt beside Carlisle to help him work on my arm. Jasper and Emmett were continuously moving. Checking all of the windows and peering down into the street. Demetri stayed next to the door, watching us with a look of mild confusion. Rosalie sat silently in Lazzaro’s rocking chair, staring at the ground.

At first none of them spoke. I was too confused to even know what questions to ask. Edward was rubbing my good arm anxiously. He was the first break the silence to ask anxiously. “Is she going to be alright Carlisle?”

Carlisle paused to pat Edward reassuringly on the shoulder. “Yes son, the break isn’t bad, and what Elizabeth did to her will have no lasting effects.”

Edward’s head fell into his hands, he seemed unable to look me in the eye.

“I’m so sorry Bella.” Alice spoke next. “When I saw what they were going to do to you…” She shook her head, unable to finish. “There was no other way.”

I still couldn’t find any words. I couldn’t get over the shock of seeing them all here.

“We aren’t in the clear yet.” Emmett spoke from across the room. “Let’s get this show on the road so that we can go home.”

I assumed that he was talking about taking care of Demetri. I decided that Edward must have tricked him into coming here somehow. He must have known that his family was here waiting. That was the only explanation I could come up with.

Demetri, instead of backing up to retreat, walked toward us. I cringed automatically. Edward felt my hand clench in his, and he looked up to see what the cause was. He saw my terrified expression as I gazed up at the vampire who was now standing over us. Demetri’s eyes were on Edward when he spoke, “I should get back soon. You’re brother is right.”

“What will you do about…” Edward let go of my hand and stood up, “about the memory?”

Demetri shook his head. “What I have to. I know of someone... I think it will work.”

Edward nodded and the others watched, without looking even a fraction as shocked as I was, when the two of them shook hands.

“Go then.” Edward returned to my side, and this time it was Carlisle who stood.

“I can never thank you enough for what you have done for my family.” He also extended his hand to Demetri.

Demetri took it and his red gaze fell on my face when he answered. “And I can never thank Bella enough for protecting mine.”

In an instant the pieces snapped into place.

“You’re his uncle?” I whispered.

Demetri’s looked surprised. “Yes. He told you about me?”

Now it was everyone else’s turn to look confused.

I nodded. “He told me about the book you sent him.”

Demetri smiled sadly. “I didn’t know how to make him understand. It’s too dangerous for him in this city, but he’ll never leave. My family has lived here for so long… I guess it was only a matter of time before one of us became one of them. I’m doing my best to protect him, it’s the only reason I’m still here.”

I looked around at Lazzaro’s things. “Where is he now?” I asked.

Demetri smiled, genuinely this time. “He, um, he conveniently got a letter from Alessa’s school in France. They needed to see him right away. He left this morning.”

I breathed a sigh of relief and let my head drop back against the arm of the sofa. Edward squeezed my hand and I looked at him. There were a thousand expressions hidden behind his eyes that were impossible to read, but he was smiling a little. For the moment, it felt like we were safe.

Alice’s voice filled the room next. “You should go now Demetri, do whatever you have to do and then return to Aro.”

I turned to see Demetri nod and head for the door. He paused in the doorway and looked at me. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you for protecting my nephew. He’s like a son to me, I owe you everything.” Then he was gone.

The silence that followed Demetri’s exit lasted a long time. I was watching Edward, looking into his nearly black eyes. I forgot that the rest of them were there, I barely felt the pricks of pain as Carlisle gently set my broken hand.

He was looking back at me with his millions of unreadable expressions. I couldn’t understand.

“Bella…” He finally spoke with obvious difficulty. “Bella I’m so, so sorry.” His melodic voice broke at the end.

I didn’t speak, and he dropped his gaze as if he could no longer meet my eyes. He spoke to his hands.

“I thought you were dead.” He was barely speaking above a whisper. “I thought that I’d lost you forever-”

“Edward.” Alice’s voice interrupted, it had that far away quality to it that I knew came only during one of her visions.

Edward looked up at her and I was reminded that we weren’t alone.

“Carlisle!” Her voice sounded alarmed.

Jasper was at her side in an instant. I felt him gently extract her hand from my hair and hold it in his own. I couldn’t see her face since she was behind my head, but I had a view of everyone else’s reaction to her words and expression. Carlisle was wrapping my arm and tightly bound hand against me with a torn sheet, he looked up sharply.

“What is it Alice?” Carlisle and Jasper asked anxiously at the same time.

“It’s time to go-” Alice’s voice indicated that she had returned to the present. “We have to go now! Demetri is almost finished…”

In an instant Edward was scooping me up and all of them headed to the door.

“Where are we going?” I asked as I watched Emmett take Rosalie by the hand and pull her out of the chair. She was the only one that hadn’t moved at all since Edward and I had arrived.

“Home.” Edward replied as we hurried back into the night.

In his arms I felt like I was already there.