A Mage's Twilight
Alma Stewart and Nara Paterson are no ordinary sixteen-year-old girls. They've got a secret, one they have to guard with their lives. They move from their home in Australia to Forks, to see what life in America is like. They attend the local high school in their junior year, the equivalent of their school year in Australia, and notice the Cullens aren't exactly...normal. Bella's still there, and - just a warning - Nara and Alma share a very close, serious romantic relationship. Hence the teen rating.
5. Wrestling & A Midnight Visitor
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I woke suddenly in the middle of the night when the window opened with a squeak. I kept my breathing even, and listened for the sounds of just who the intruder could be. Very light footfalls, even, almost silent breathing, and the lack of a heartbeat clued me in on who it was. I rolled over, still pretending to be asleep, and my fingers brushed Nara's cheek lightly.
‘Edward Cullen is paying us a midnight visit,’ I told her silently, knowing she was awake.
‘Shall we stop him and get some answers?’ she asked as Bella mumbled Edward’s name in her sleep. He stopped breathing, probably thinking she was awake, but relaxed when she just shifted in her sleep and said his name again. Edward relaxed, not seeming to notice Nara and I, and we both leapt to our feet in quick, smooth motions as I threw out my hand to hold Edward in place where he was. He was so busted.
I glared at him as his facial expression changed from shock, to embarrassment, to curiosity, to anger as he discovered he couldn’t move. Then he froze as Bella again said something in her sleep.
“Mom, I miss you,” she whispered, and Nara glanced towards her sadly. Poor girl…she missed her mum so much.
“Let's go somewhere else to discuss this,” I breathed, knowing he could hear me. “We all have some explaining to do, you more than us, I believe,” I added. Nara gripped my hand tightly, nervous. It wouldn’t do to antagonise a vampire.
“Fine,” he muttered. “Will you let me go? I can’t show you the way if I'm stuck here.” I released him from my hold and nodded towards the window.
“Go. We'll be right behind you.”
And we were right behind him the whole way, much to his surprise. We were breathing a little heavier than usual to keep up, but apart from that (and our slightly accelerated heartbeats) we were fine. We weren’t even sweating. I could tell Edward was surprised, but I didn’t give him a chance to ask us anything.
“Inside?” I asked quietly, and he nodded, containing his curiosity. I took Nara's hand again, winding our fingers together and ignoring Edward’s surprise, and we calmly walked to the front door. It opened just before we reached it, and a gorgeous blonde vampire I hadn’t seen before stood there. I guessed this was Carlisle Cullen, seeing as I knew the rest of his family. Apart from the caramel-haired motherly-looking woman who stood slightly behind him. I stuck out my free hand.
“Hi, I'm Alma Stewart, and this is my partner Nara Paterson. We caught Edward sneaking around, and decided it would be best to get things out in the open straight away,” I said calmly and to-the-point. Carlisle blinked, and Esme – the woman behind him – covered her mouth, her topaz eyes wide in surprise before she looked past us to the hovering Edward. I glanced over my shoulder to see him looking at his feet, looking like a naughty child caught in the act.
“Oh, Edward…” she sighed, shaking her head before looking to Nara and I. “Come in, please.” Carlisle and Esme stood aside to let us in.
“Thanks.” I walked into the house calmly, trying to be polite in my actions. Esme seemed really nice. Nara clung to my hand still, her eyes wide as she glanced around. I knew she was worried – the power that could help us wouldn’t work in the company we currently held. I squeezed her hand gently, reassuring her, and followed Esme and Carlisle as they led us to a large couch and sat. I took a deep breath, and began to tell what had happened so far tonight.
“Okay, so we both woke up when the window squeaked open,” I began, getting straight to the point. “I could tell it was Edward because what other vampire would find reason to sneak into Bella's room? And there's no way a human could be that quiet,” I added, letting them know we knew what they were. Esme gasped quietly, covering her mouth.
“How do you know what…?”
“What you all are? Simple. We've been trained to recognise other non-humans for what they are,” I said with a shrug.
“Other non-humans?” Carlisle asked with a raised eyebrow. I nodded.
“We're not exactly human,” I shrugged. “Our
mentor, Linda Hawker, taught us everything we need to know.”
“Linda Hawker…I recognise that name,” Carlisle mused. “Why is that familiar?”
“The witch-woman with the bright blue eyes?” Esme asked. I detected a hint of surprise in her tone and smirked. I pointed to my eyes with my free hand.
“Like these? They aren’t contacts.” Esme’s eyes widened and I grinned as Nara looked up to reveal her same-coloured eyes. “Linda's been around for centuries; her partner was probably just out demon-hunting or something at the time.”
“Demon hunting?” Edward asked sceptically. Esme and Carlisle were silent, and his eyes widened. “Are you serious?”
“Very much so. I have scars from a demon attack about two or three years ago,” I said solemnly.
“It was horrible,” Nara murmured, pain evident in her voice. “I still can’t believe I was so stupid as to turn my back on the portal…”
“Not your fault,” I reminded her sternly. “I could have stopped it without resorting to moving. It's my own fault.” Nara shook her head, her eyes downcast, and I could hear her mental mumblings to the contrary. “And stop muttering to yourself in your head. I've told you a million times, it was my fault.” Esme, Carlisle and Edward all looked extremely confused at something I'd said.
“Why can’t I hear their thoughts?” Edward mumbled.
“You can’t hear our thoughts because we are blocking our minds. We've been trained to protect ourselves from all outside influences and frequencies. As to why you can’t hear Bella's thoughts…that one is a mystery. I haven’t figured it out yet,” I admitted. I'd been trying, but I couldn’t figure out how her mind was blocked to him. “Nara and I can hear each others’ thoughts because we're partners. That's the only reason.”
“So you were trained by Linda and her partner…?” Esme asked. I nodded.
“She and Louis have taught us a lot. Apparently we're more powerful than they are, but I'm not too sure about that. I mean, we needed their help for every major exorcism we've done…”
“Only because I was stupid enough to turn away the first time,” Nara mumbled guiltily. I sighed.
“Again, not your fault. It could have happened to anyone. In fact, it was probably more likely to happen to anyone else than to us.” Carlisle raised an eyebrow at Edward, who shrugged almost imperceptibly. I didn’t miss it. “Please, talk aloud. I'd prefer it if you didn’t try to hide things from us.”
“I was just wondering if your partnership goes as deep as any of ours do,” Carlisle said smoothly. Nara blushed, looking down, but I didn’t look away from his golden eyes.
“Yes. It's enough to last us both a lifetime. We are
not normal, even among our own kind.” I was completely honest as Nara blushed darker. I rubbed the back of her hand reassuringly. “But we were here because of Edward sneaking into Bella's room tonight,” I added, distracting their attention. A booming laugh came from upstairs and I grinned. “Hello, Emmett,” I said, not much louder than I had been talking only moments earlier.
“So apart from informing us of that fact, why were you here?” Esme asked softly, confusion in her voice.
“To come to a compromise. If you all agree to keep our secret, as we have kept yours since day one, we'll move downstairs when Edward comes to see her so he isn’t watching us sleep too. She sleep-talks – which is absolutely hilarious, by the way – so it's not like we're losing sleep. As long as he wakes us up before he leaves and before Charlie wakes up, so we can get back upstairs, we'll go sleep on the couch. I know he'll be visiting every night, just as I know he won't hurt her. She may be his Singer, but he won't hurt her.”
“Singer? How do you know about that?” Edward asked, shocked. I grinned.
“It's one of my powers; the other is what I did to you earlier. I have enhanced intuition; I just know things sometimes. And what I did earlier was my puppeteer skills,” I grinned, using Nara's term for it. “I can physically control a person…Emmett? Could you come down here? I have a challenge for you,” I called. He was there almost instantly, grinning. I grinned back and stood. This should be good… “You like wrestling, yeah? Let's see how you match up with me.” Nara laughed.
“Look out, Emmett,” she teased. “Allie will crush you!” Emmett hesitated, sizing me up. I was only about half a foot shorter than him at most, and although I looked skinny it was obvious I was muscled. I grinned again and slid into a low stance.
“Could you please go outside?” Esme asked anxiously. “I don’t want anything broken…”
“Of course, Esme,” I said quickly. I didn’t want to ruin this beautiful house. “I should have thought of that. Come on then, Emmett,” I added, heading for the door. “Let's see how you hold up against me.”
It was over far too quickly for my liking. We’d made a circle of branches so we had boundaries, and we’d crouched less than three metres away from each other. I was stony-faced but calm, he was grinning. He thought this would be easy. No way, José. He was never going to beat me. Nara stood calmly at the edge of the circle, and Rosalie, Jasper and Alice had joined us all outside. All three of them knew what Nara and I were, thanks to their fantastic hearing and Alice’s visions, and wanted to see what would happen when I wrestled Emmett. I saw Emmett lunge for me and sidestepped, seeing his surprise as he flew past me. I grinned, leaping up and landing on his back with enough force to push him face-first into the ground. He growled, but his mouth was full of dirt and I laughed as I darted backwards. He got to his feet, no longer grinning, instead glaring at me. I smiled sweetly and beckoned.
“Bring it.” He leapt at me with a roar, and this time I didn’t step aside. I met him head-on, twisting my body around as I gripped his shoulders and forced him to the ground. The trees around the clearing shook with the impact. He tried to get up again, but I held out my hand towards him and flattened him out on the ground, grinning evilly as he struggled uselessly.
“Give up?” I taunted. He growled and thrashed at
my restraints, and I tightened them so he was held completely still. “Guess not. Nara, the count-out?”
“If you say so,” she agreed, and proceeded to do the traditional wrestling count. As soon as she reached three I released Emmett from my restraint and dropped my hand to my side, smiling as he stood up.
“Cheat,” he growled and I shrugged.
“You never said I couldn’t use my power,” I said sweetly. The rest of the Cullens laughed at Emmett’s frustration, and I smiled as Nara skipped over to my side. I put an arm around her shoulders almost automatically, and it seemed that Alice and Rosalie noticed my partner was here for the first time right at that moment.
“Hey Nara,” Alice sang in greeting. My blonde sweetheart smiled shyly.
“Hi Alice.” It struck me then that they were almost complete opposites. Alice had pale skin, dark hair, and could see the future; Nara had dark skin, pale hair and could see the past. I wondered if they had noticed that too. Rosalie’s cold features softened when she saw Nara, and she smiled pleasantly. I was relieved, actually. But then, no one could resist my Nara. Not even cold-hearted Rosalie Hale.
Later that night Nara was so tired I ended up carrying her home.
“She needs her sleep,” I explained when Alice came to find me where I was playing a video game with Emmett, because she thought something was wrong with my little Nara. “We've been worrying about Bella recently, and sometimes she can’t sleep, which is really unusual.” I kept explaining as I gathered Nara into my arms gently. “She gets nightmares sometimes…they're irregular, but when she sees something really bad in someone’s past it comes back to haunt her. She hasn’t had any since we've been here, but it's better safe than sorry…she never has nightmares when I'm here,” I explained. “We don’t know why that is, but it's how it is.” Rosalie surprised me by speaking.
“She's so small…”
“Yeah,” I agreed softly, looking down at the sleeping girl. “She stopped growing when we were twelve…I still haven’t stopped. I guess that my attitude’s one of the reasons. I was dead-set on being taller than her so I could act as a man when we got older.” I grimaced at that. “I guess I'm tall enough now.” Alice giggled and even Rosalie laughed softly. I was taller than her by about an inch.
“Well, that you're taller than your partner is a good thing, especially since you're the dominant one,” Rosalie whispered so only Alice and I could hear her. I grinned ruefully.
“Yeah, true. Oh well, I should probably get back so she can sleep…I'm used to surviving on a few hours. See you all at school tomorrow,” I added, and said my goodbyes to Carlisle and Esme as well as the boys before darting home quickly.
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