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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...


8. Chapter 8: A Problem With Blood

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2044   Review this Chapter

Alice's POV:

I was hugging Emmett when Edward sent a thought to me so strongly it nearly hurt.

ALICE! There was such urgency in his call that I spun around quickly to look at him. Edward was staring at Sean, and had moved between Sean and Angela. I turned to Sean, and gasped. His lips were pulled back from his teeth, his eyes were kind of glazed and shimmery, and he was staring at Angela's throat. I suddenly remembered Edward telling me that Sean and his daughter fed on humans, and I wondered how long it had been since he'd...eaten. I shuddered. This could get bad...

Sean seemed to come to his senses, muttered a quick “Excuse me,” and hurried outside. I followed him as fast as I could without scaring Angela, who thankfully seemed oblivious to Sean's actions.

I found Sean leaning against the railing and breathing deeply. I came up beside him, and touched his shoulder. “Sean? Are you ok?” I asked softly. His head snapped towards me, and I stepped back in shock...his eyes were different. His corneas were totally red, while the whites of his eyes had turned completely black! He looked away nearly as quickly, and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, his eyes were back to normal, along with his breathing.

“I need to go to Seattle for a day or two,” he said softly, refusing to look me in th eye, staring at the trees instead. “I've gone too long without...” He didn't continue, letting his voice trail off, but I knew what he meant.

“Alright, then I'm coming with you!” I said it firmly, squaring my shoulders and staring at the woods with him. I heard him sigh, and saw him hang his head out of the corner of my eye.

“No, you're not,” he said, quietly but just as firmly as I had said I was.

I spun at him. “You canNOT order me around, Sean Murphy!” I practically screeched. “I am NOT leaving your side! I WILL go with you to Seattle, and you can't stop me!”

He cringed, and didn't reply right away. When he did, it was so quietly even I had a bit of trouble hearing him. “I don't want you to see me like that.” He still wouldn't look at me. I put my hands on either side of his head, and gently turned him so that he was facing me, but he closed his eyes. His face bore a look of pain. He sighed again. “Alice, please,” he whispered pitifully. “I know that you and your family are...vegetarians. I respect that, but it's not for me. I don't want to do anything that would make you...stumble. So please—stay here, with your family.”

“Listen to me, Sean,” I said softly. “You are part of this family now. And a family sticks together! Besides that, you're my—my everything...I can hardly bear to be away from you, even if you don't feel that way about me...” My voice trailed off, and Sean's eyes popped open, a look of horror on his face. He pulled my to him and wrapped his arms tightly around me.

“No, Alice! Don't say that! Never think for a moment that just because I have...trouble expressing my feelings, that I don't love you! Just give me a little more time, and I promise--I swear that I'll figure things out!” He kissed the top of my head and I smiled and sighed. Then he whispered, “But you're not going to Seattle with me.”

I pulled away from him, and was about to let him have it, when someone cleared their throat behind us. “Excuse me, but Edward said there was a bit of a problem.” Carlisle stepped out on to the porch and looked from me to Sean and back to me.

“Carlisle, Sean needs...blood, and he won't let me go with him to Seattle,” I pouted.

“Carlisle, it's because I don't share your guys' diet! I don't want her to see me like that!” Sean pouted.

Carlisle sighed, frowned, and shook his head. “You two are acting like a couple of children!” he said sternly. I lowered my eyes, and Sean coughed. Then Carlisle smiled. “Actually, I think I may have the solution to both problems. Sean, would you come with me, please?” He turned and went into the house, followed by Sean. I sighed and turned around, leaning on the railing. Edward joined me a couple minutes later, smirking.

“What's so funny?” I said, turning to him and frowning.

“Carlisle and Sean are having a bit of an argument over Sean's...blood diet. Sean says he's providing a service by feeding off criminals like drug dealers, murders, rapists and the like. He calls it preying on the predators, taking out the garbage, so to speak, that the humans can't seem to deal with effectively. Carlisle says it's not up to Sean to play God with people's lives.”

“Do you think Sean will be angry?” I asked, concerned. I loved Sean, with more than all my heart, but I couldn't stand the thought of having to choose between him and my family.

Edward smiled, and patted my arm. “Don't worry, Alice,” he said. “Sean respects Carlisle too much to get angry. And he loves you too much to make you have to pick between him and us.”

I looked up at him. “Are you sure, Edward? Sean—confuses me. Sometimes he's so loving and tender, and the next minute he's cold and distant. It confuses me. I mean, I know how I feel about him, and I can't figure out why he's the way he is. He admitted that he loved me, but he just can't seem to let go of his past.”

“His past is pretty dark, Alice. After all, he works for a group not totally unlike the Volturi. There's a lot of death, loss in his life. And, the one time he opened his heart to love, she ran off with someone else right before they were going to be married. It's going to take a little time, but trust me—he loves you. He loves you more than he loved the other girl, all those centuries ago. And frankly, it scares him, how much he loves you.”

Edward's words brought me to the verge of crying...crying over how much Sean had suffered, and how much he loved me. Of course, I didn't cry, but I felt like it. “What did Angela think of his hasty departure?” I asked, changing the subject.

Edward smiled. “I told her that he was Carlisle's cousin, and that he suffered from bad migraine headaches. I think she bought it.” I hugged him then.

“Thank you, Edward. For everything, but especially for being my brother!”

He smiled, and hugged me back. “You're welcome, Alice. And Sean's in the kitchen...” he broke off with a frown, then grinned. I skipped into the kitchen, just in time to see Sean putting two bags of blood into the microwave. Emmett, lounging against the counter, watched Sean's every move, and let out a loud guffaw at the sight.

Sean turned the microwave to high, and turned a frown on Emmett. “What's so funny?”

“Why are you putting blood in the microwave?” Emmett managed between laughs. Sean grinned at him.

“Fresh kills are the best, after all, so the next best thing is using the microwave to heat the blood to body temperature.”

Emmett stopped laughing. “You feed on humans?” Sean nodded and turned to take a cup out of the cupboard. I ignored Emmett, and bounded up to Sean, standing on tiptoe to kiss his cheek. Then I turned a smile on Emmett. He made a face. “Human blood, and Alice's kissy-face. Ugh! Where's Rose?” He hurried from the room. I could tell Sean was still ashamed of his human eating habits, so I did my best to act normal while he “ate” his meal.

His phone rang, and since he had put it on the table, I grabbed it and answered. “Sean's phone!” I sang.

“Uh, who's this?” Asked a confused, beautiful voice on the other end.

“This is Alice!” I replied. “Is this Maria? Oh, I've been dying to meet you since Sean first told me about you!”

“Daddy...told you about me?” She asked incredulously. “What—what did he tell you, exactly?”

“Everything!” I replied. I lowered my voice. “We're like you, Maria...we're vampires.”

There was a dead silence on the other end. Finally, she said, “O-kaaaay...um, may I speak with my father now, please?”

I giggled. “Sure! Oh, I can't wait to meet you! We are going to have such a great time! I love to shop, and I'll take you to all the best places in Seattle, and Port Angeles! Ok, here's Sean!” I handed the phone over. Sean had his head in his hand, and gulped when he took the phone.

He sighed, and then spoke. “Hello, sweetheart. How are you? I'm sorry that I didn't--” But then he was cut off by very rapid, very indignant speaking on his daughter's part. He winced as her tirade continued. He shot me a pained expression, and covering the speaker, he whispered, “This could take a while, love. Sorry,” then returned his attention to his daughter's continuing.

I stood, and kissed the top of his head, and danced out of the room. Sean had called me “love”! He probably hadn't even realized it, but it was genuine! I wandered into the living room, where everyone else was gathered. They grew quiet at my entrance, which made me suspicious. Forgetting my happiness of a moment ago, I put my hands on my hips. “All right, what's going on?” I asked.

Emmett shifted his feet sheepishly, and refused to meet my gaze. Rosalie rolled her eyes, and said, “Jasper is coming back for Bella and Edward's wedding!”

“So?” I said. “That's perfectly natural and to be expected. We parted on great terms. He is still a member of this family, isn't he?” I looked at everyone's faces. Edward looked pained. Bella, too. Emmet still refused to look at me, and rose was scowling. Esme looked sad. Carlisle was watching my face intently. “What is it, Carlisle?” I asked, growing somewhat concerned.

“Jasper is bringing Robyn back with him, Alice. He's asked if they could stay here. Alaska isn't much to Robyn's liking. We'll all understand if this is too hard for you.”

“Oh, what's all the fuss?” Rose asked angrily. “Alice has her half-breed here, and he's bringing his daughter. And the two of them feed on humans! At least Robyn is a vegetarian like us! I don't see why Jasper and his new wife can't live with us, too! We have plenty of room, after all!”

It took a moment for her words to sink in. “New wife?” I whispered. “They—they were married??”

Emmett finally looked at me, rather apologetically. “Yeah. They got married about as soon as we got up there...said they just couldn't wait anymore. Said it was torture to be apart from each other as long as they were.”

Esme stood and came over to me, wrapping me in her arms. “Sorry, sweetie,” she whispered.

I smiled as best I could. “No, it's alright! I agree with Rose—they should live here with us! I'm glad for them. Really! All I ever wanted was for Jasper to be happy! I think it's great!” I spent the next few minutes trying to convince everyone that I was telling the truth. I was. But it was still hard to think about Jasper—my jasper—married to someone else. Well, I guess he wasn't my Jasper anymore...he was Robyn's now.

Finally, I had convinced everyone but Edward. He knew...he always knew. I excused myself and went back into the kitchen. Sean was off the phone, and just finishing up his meal. I went over to him, sat down in his lap, and—much to his horror—started sobbing.....