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The More things Change

Summary:
The Cullen family undergoes many changes--some people leave, some people arrive. Marriages, babies, and imprints confuse the issue even more.


Notes:
This is a sequel to "Home"...you don't have to read that to totally understand this, but it would probably help alot! Yeah, I know I sound like I'm begging for reads, but I'm just trying to be helpful! So go read "Home" if you get confused...


15. Chapter 15 Sean Returns

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2473   Review this Chapter

Sean’s POV:

Man, that was a fast three weeks, I thought to myself as I turned off the road and into the long driveway that led to the Cullens house. Of course, those three weeks had seemed to drag on and on and on whilst I was in the middle of it, but now that it was over they seemed to have just flown by. I was actually whistling as the house came into sight. I blinked my eyes…the front door was open, and it looked like something huge was blocking the entryway.

I pulled up in front, careful to not block the garage, and stopped the car. Before I could get all the way out of the house, Alice was there. “SEAN!” She screamed, and jumped on me, kissing me so fiercely that I stumbled backwards and nearly fell over. “Wow! What a welcome!” I said, gasping for air when she finally stopped the kiss. She grinned, and hugged me, burying her face in my chest. “Oh, Sean, I’ve missed you so much! Why were you gone so long?” She asked in a muffled voice.

“Hey—it was only three weeks,” I replied. She looked up at me, her smile faded, and I notice her eyes were pain filled…but from an emotional pain, of course. “Hey, Sunshine,” I asked, frowning in concern. “What’s wrong? Why the sad face?”

Alice sighed, and glanced over her shoulder. “Here comes Carlisle, he’ll tell you what’s wrong.” She hopped down from my arms, and took my hand, turning to face Carlisle, who now joined us. He, too, bore a look of painful resignation in his eyes.

“Sean, I’m so glad you’re back!” He exclaimed, shaking my hand. My frowned deepened. What the heck was going on here? “I—I would like to consult with you on an…extraordinary situation we seem to have found ourselves in.”

Ok, I thought: Curious observation one—Dr. Cullen wants to consult with me about a case. What the heck is that about? We were now heading towards the door, and both Cullens grew silent. I didn’t need Jasper’s gift to feel the anxiety rolling off both of them. I felt Alice stiffen with each step we took towards the house, and glanced down at her, still confused, and my confusion deepened. Her face grew more strained as we approached the front door, almost as if she was getting a headache. Impossible, though—they don’t get headaches!

As I walked up the steps and went to enter the house, I nearly tripped over something that was partially blocking the doorway. I had been watching Alice’s gorgeous face, and worrying about her…not paying attention to where I was going. Alice grabbed my arm and kept me from falling.

“Thanks,” I mumbled, looking down to see what I had tripped over. Jacob. Oh, well. I started to go inside, but then stopped dead, and did a double take. Curious observation 2: Jacob Black at the Cullen house. “Jacob?!” I exclaimed, only to have Alice turn on me with a fierce scowl and a sharp “Shh!”

I put my hands up defensively and took a couple steps back, nearly falling over him again. “Sorry!” I whispered, more confused than every, both by her reaction and the fact that Jacob Black was here, at the Cullens, curled up in their front door, snoring away, with a feather pillow tucked under his head. I shook my head, and was half tempted to go back to the car after Alice’s reaction to my nearly waking Jacob up. Gah, I had such a fragile male ego—I nearly told Alice that if she liked the kid so much, I could just leave so she could be alone with him.

Alice sighed, and reached for my hand again, but I jerked it away and stalked into the living room, ignoring the look of hurt surprise on her face. I noticed Jasper and Robyn sitting in the dining room, and heard what must be Esme working in the kitchen. But I didn’t make it much more than three feet before I stopped, my jaw dropping open in shock.

Bella was sitting in the middle of the sofa. On one side of her, arm draped loosely across her shoulders and huge plate of food on his lap, sat that Seth kid from the wedding. He waved at me and mumbled something through a full mouth. On her other side sat a very concerned, almost frightened looking Edward, holding her hand. At her feet sat Rosalie, and Bella…Bella was either hugely fat, or VERY pregnant.

“Pregnant,” Edward whispered softly.

“Well, there’s something you don’t see everyday,” I said, staring at Bella’s distended midsection. “You guys must have had one incredible honeymoon!” Bella smiled at me. “Oh, we’re so glad you’re back, Sean! Alice has been missing you terribly!”

I felt a stab of guilt for my childish actions of a moment before. Alice came and stood next to me, timidly reaching for my hand. I let her take it, and I squeezed her hand trying to reassure her. Sorry about a second ago, I thought to her. I guess I got a little jealous over how protective you were with Jacob. Stupid me…

She smiled up at me. It’s ok, she replied. I’m sorry I was so harsh. I’ll explain later.

Carlisle walked up on my left. “This is what I wanted to talk to you about, Sean,” He said, gesturing at Bella. “I was hoping you could help us out here. We’ve never experienced anything like this before. We didn’t even think it was possible!”

I turned to stare at him. “How in the world am I supposed to know? You’re the doctor here, not me!”

“Well, since you are a Human/Vampire hybrid yourself, we thought you might be able to shed some light on the subject of how it could have happened.”

I sighed. “Well you see, Carlisle, when a Vampire and a human love each other very much…” Seth laughed loudly. Bella smiled. Rosalie hissed. Edward didn’t react at all. Alice put her hand on her mouth to stifle a giggle, and Carlisle frowned. “Um, yes…we all know that part of it. What I meant was, is there anything you can tell us about your own childhood?”

“Geeze, Carlisle, I had a normal birth and childhood. It wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties that I started to notice anything strange. I told you all this before, remember? When I first arrived here? I mean, my mum could probably tell you all this, but I—“ Suddenly I broke off. I had just screwed up big time! I had mentioned my mother! How do I get out of this without letting them know my secret? I started to panic. “Um, that is, she could probably tell you…if she were here! I mean, if she were still…alive. Yeah.”

I paused for a breath, and rambled on. “Besides, we are a completely different species of vampire than you guys! Haven’t you ever wondered if, since you all existed, the vampires of legend might also exist? Some of us have lived for far longer than your mighty Volturi! Didn’t you notice Maria? Her eyes are the same violet they were before she was changed. They only change right before she…eats. Her skin isn’t marble-like…it’s cold like yours, she’s as pale as you guys, but she is not like you guys! For one thing, she has no venom or whatever it is you have. For another, she can communicate with and control lesser animals, and even change into a wolf herself!”

Seth sat up at those words. “What?” He exclaimed. “Who can turn into a wolf? Who’s this Maria you’re talking about?”

I looked at him. “Maria is my daughter…um, that is, I was the one who changed her into a vampire. But it’s just a regular wolf, not a huge one like they tell me you guys change into.”

“Oh. But where is she? I want to meet her!” Seth said excitedly.

“Yes, where is Maria?” Alice asked. “Didn’t she come back with you?”

“No,” I replied. “She wanted to spend a couple more days with her friends Jennifer. She should be here day after tomorrow.”

That got Edward’s attention. “You mean, she has a human friend?” I nodded. “But—but how does that work? Especially since you are…” he broke off and glanced at Seth. “The way you are?”

“Another difference is that we—normally—don’t have trouble being around people, no problems with control.” I glanced sideways at Jasper in the dinning room. He was grinning sappily at Robyn, who was sitting on his lap, grinning back, and didn’t seem to have heard me.

“I think it’s nice that she has a good friend,” Bella said softly. “And so what if she’s human? I mean, I’ve been friends with Alice for quite a while now.” She looked up at Alice and they both smiled. Friends? Heck, I thought they were more like sisters. A lot like Maria and Jennifer, actually.

“Hey!” A voice called from behind me. “What’s going on?”

“About time,” Rosalie mumbled. “The chainsaw impersonation was getting a little tired.”

“Hey, Jake’s awake!” Seth exclaimed.

“Well, if it isn’t Alice’s half-leech boyfriend,” Jake said, smiling at me and rubbing his eyes. Then he took in the scene before him, his eyes lingering on Bella. And then on Seth.

“He came to find you,” Edward said. “And Esme convinced him to stay for breakfast. And Bella was cold.”

Jake nodded. “Leah running patrol?” He asked, and Seth nodded. “Yeah, she’s on it,” he said with his mouth full. “No worries. She’ll howl if there’s anything.”

“All right, will someone please tell me what’s going on around here?” I asked loudly, thoroughly confused. Then for the next ten minutes or so, I was filled in on the events of the last several days—Edward and Bella coming home with Bella being pregnant, the speed that the pregnancy was progressing, the break up of the La Push pack and the coming of Jacob, Seth and Leah to help guard Bella and the Cullens.

“Good grief,” I muttered. “I go away for a couple of weeks, and everything falls apart. If I’d know it was like this, I would have come right back!”

“Speaking of which,” Alice said, rounding on me with a fierce scowl, “you would have known all this if I had been able to call you! I couldn’t get through on either your phone or Maria’s! I was frantic with worry! I needed someone to talk to! I—I needed you, Sean, and I couldn’t talk to you!” She sniffed, like she was going to start crying.

“Gah, Alice! I’m so sorry! I lost my cell on the flight back, and Maria’s was an Agency phone that we had to turn in, and she was either with me or Jennifer the whole time so I wasn’t worried about it! I didn’t think things would get so bad here—no idea at all! I thought about you every day, and thought about calling everyday, too, but I was so busy training my replacement that it kept getting pushed out of my head! Besides, I was out of the country for nearly half the time, too. Which reminds me, I got you some things whilst I was in Europe. Remind me to get them for you when I unpack.”

“Speaking of ‘pack’, Jacob,” Carlisle said. “I wanted to talk to you about hunting. I assume the old treaty is inoperative at the moment. But our family will have to hunt….” I tuned them out as they continued to talk, and just watched Alice as she listened to Carlisle and Jacob. Damn, she was beautiful! I loved everything about her—her tiny size, her dark, spiky hair, the way she was so quick to smile…gah, I loved her! I couldn’t believe I had been too busy to talk to her in over three weeks!

“Ew, quit looking at her like that, you sap!” Rosalie said, making a face. “Jasper never used to go gooey eyed at her! Do you have any idea how nauseating that looks?”

“For your information, Jasper is at this very moment ‘gooey eyed’, as you call it, at Robyn! And if you think I’m a sap, how would you like me to go key your car? Then we’ll see who the sap is around here!”

“Do that and I’ll rip your head off!” She hissed, narrowing her eyes.

“I’m trembling,” I said in a bored tone of voice.

“Ahem,” Carlisle said. I looked at him. “Jake and I were wondering if you were going to be hunting with us, Sean.”

“Naw,” I said, shaking my head. “ I…took care of that before I got here. I should be fine for a few weeks.”

“Well, with your ability being so much like Edward’s, we were hoping you could still go with us when we hunt. Edward won’t leave Bella, and I thought if you were along we’d be able to sense if any of Sam’s pack was coming.”

“Well, I guess I could come,” I said. “And I’m sure that when Maria gets here she will, too. She could even go wolf, and have her wild friends help out with patrolling too.”

“Yeah, but it wouldn’t do much good,” Seth said laughing. “The only wolves around here are us! The wild ones have all left the Olympic peninsula.”

I sighed patiently, like a teacher responding to a student’s question. “Science has proven that wolves and Coyotes descended from a common ancestral DNA. And there are plenty of coyotes around here. Lots of Red Foxes, too. She can talk to any canine species, so she would be able to keep in touch with you guys even when you were in your other form.”

Carlisle nodded, seeming pleased. “Good. That gives us a good early warning system. Between Jacob, Seth, Leah, you , Edward and Maria and her…friends, nothing should be bale to slip through undetected.”

I nodded, distracted, my eyes roaming back over to Alice. She was standing at the front door, looking out. I walked over to her as Carlisle and Jacob continued talking. I put my arms round her from behind, and she smiled, sighing contentedly. “I missed you, Sean,” she told me needlessly. “I missed you so much! And when I heard your car, and saw you getting out of it…well, my heart might not beat anymore, but it felt like it did at that moment, when I knew you were safely back.”

I smiled. “Your heart still beats,” I murmured, taking her hand and putting it on my chest. “Right there.” She grinned, keeping her hand in place a few seconds before throwing herself into my arms again. She pressed her lips against mine.

Gah…I was such a sap!