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Finished. Six years after Breaking Dawn, a brutal murder is committed near Forks. When called in the middle of the night, Charlie Swan rushes off to do his civic duty and protect the public. Three hours later, he returns home with a new ward: the only survivor of the double homicide. From the beginning, it is clear that the poor thing needs a new start, a new life- and someone to save her from her old one, especially when ghosts from the past resurface. And, with Nessie determined to overcome her own demons, the two realize that friendship can come from the strangest places.

All of this belongs to Stephenie Meyer. Duh…

12. Chapter 12

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3956   Review this Chapter

Chapter Twelve––

As soon as she stumbled out of the car, she was stumbling into Seth’s warm arms. Iris buried her face in his chest and clung to him with all of her might. She felt herself shaking, and unable to stand. Tears ran down her face, even though crying was the last thing she wanted to do. It was weak for her to cry, but she could not stop herself nor could she bring herself to care. “Are you okay?” Seth didn’t seem to care. “What happened?”

Iris sniffed. “You know,” she sobbed into his chest. “Someone’s told you, all ready.”

Seth held her, oblivious to Sue as she helped Charlie out of the car. Both adults shot their eyebrows way up. They knew the two were close, but neither knew how deep the bond was. Seth really did not care; it was not like anything horrible had passed between them. Just a little bit of frenching…and groping…okay so maybe they had crossed a line somewhere. But it wasn’t like it was going to go anywhere else. Alice said that Iris was fated to fall in love with Nahuel.

That was going to be a sad day in his dreams.

“I know,” he told her. “But I want to hear it from you,”

“I think we all do,” Nahuel’s voice chimed in. “I’ve never heard of a poltergeist antagonist before,”

“No one has,” Nessie chimed in.

“Leave her alone,” Seth hissed. “We’ll talk about it later,”

“There might not time for a later,” Nahuel told Seth. “No one but her––” he jabbed a finger at Iris’s back. “can see whatever that was. I can’t even promise that I destroyed that thing.”

“It sounded like something ripped,” Nessie commented. She looked her newest friend, and Nahuel––the only person who was like her. “That’s never good.”

Nahuel shook his head. “I tore something apart, but I am not sure what,” he said. “It probably not fatal.”

“You had ahold of her arm last time I saw you,” Iris muttered into Seth’s chest. “Like you said, hardly fatal.”

Nahuel glared at the ground. “Just as I figured,”

“What exactly was it?” Nessie asked.

Iriss hook her head. “Nothing, she whispered. “It was nothing,”

“That was hardly nothing,” Nahuel muttered. “Far from it, in fact. It attacked Nesssie,” he glanced at her, reassuring himself that she was all right. It sickened him to think of her in danger, or hurt. Especially while her parents trusted him to look after her. “And that is unacceptable. Tell me what it was,” he demanded.

Iris shook her head. “No,”

“Now!” thundered Nahuel.

“Let it go!” Seth roared.

“This does not concern you, wolf!” Nahuel hissed.

“It has nothing to do with you either, freak!” Iris whipped around. Her eyes blazed like an inferno and a ferocious snarl curled her lips. Her grip tightened on Seth as she malignantly glowered at the newcomer. He was of no consequence; she did not know him, nor was she fond of him. He could go rot in a corner for all she cared. Maybe he should.

“It attacked Nessie,”

Iris glanced at the pale-faced vampire. “She’s fine,” she snapped in clipped tones.

Nahuel’s eyes narrowed. “You do not know what might have happened,”

“I know what did happen,” Iris scowled. “And she––” she jerked her head towards Nessie “––is just fine. It don’t matter what might have happened; I know what did.”

“What if it happens again?” Nahuel yelled.

“Then we’ll deal with it when that happens,” Iris hissed. “Until then, shut the hell up,”

“Watch your language, young lady,” Esme suddenly appeared. “Now is not the time for that,”

“When did you get here?” Iris asked. She looked up at Seth. “I thought you said they weren’t allowed here.”

“This was a special case,” Dr. Cullen said. “Jacob gave us permission,”

Iris looked over to see Jacob hugging Nessie tight to his chest. They were whispering to each other with words of love and affection. She could not hear what they were saying, and she did not want to intrude. Odd. She shook her head. “No,”

“Iris, be reasonable here,” Dr. Cullen began placatingly, but stopped as Seth snarled.

“She said no,” Seth snapped. “Leave her alone,”

“We need to know exactly what happened,” Dr. Cullen said exasperatedly. “If whatever it was poses a threat, then we need to eliminate it before the Volturi need to intervene.”

“Eliminate it,” Iris barked out scathingly. “What a fitting word,”

“And how so, Iris?” Dr. Cullen sighed. He was tired of dealing with the impudent child. He believed in second and third chances, and would give Iris as many as she needed. But that did not mean that his patience was never tried, that his dedication to saving the girl never wavered. He looked at her with tired eyes, and smirked at his weakness.

“Did you know someone named Victoria?” she drawled. Her eyes locked on Edward and Bella. They both tensed; neither dared to move or even breathe. So they did know her. “You don’t have to believe me, but her ghost is haunting Chief Swan’s home,” Iris sneered. “She wants revenge.”

Iris paused, watching the expressions of the entire coven. They all were there. She had not even seen them pull up, but there they were, surrounded by expensive cars and vampires dressed in Milan’s finest. A circle of wolves––Seth’s pack––formed a half-moon around them; they too watched with trepidation. They all knew Victoria, it seemed.

“Apparently,” Iris malevolently hissed, “You killed her mate…and then her. She’s still pissed,”

“Ghosts don’t exist!” Rosalie hissed.

Iris rolled her eyes. God, she hated dumb blondes. “Yeah, and my fairy godmother isn’t a vampire. Get over it; they exists, she exists, and she’s pissed.”

“You’re lying!” Bella cried. It was not disbelief, however, that drove her to cry out desperately, but fear. Her eyes widened and her breaths were shallow. A hand fluttered like a fan above her dead heart and she looked around at her family, suddenly very afraid. Finally, she had some sense.

“No,” Jasper––the really creepy one that Iris liked the best––softly answered. “She isn’t,”

“Her thoughts don’t lie,” Edward agreed.

Iris smirked. “No shit,”

“So that’s who you’ve been talking to you in your room,” Seth mused into her hairline.

Iris flushed. “Among other people,”

“Just how many dead people are in Charlie’s house?” Seth asked with a little amusement.

Iris smiled briefly at him. “You’d never guess,”

“What does she want?” Edward interrupted them.

Iris glared. “You,” she snapped. “Her,” she jerked her head towards his quivering wife, “Dead. Your kid, too. She’ll settle for her.” Iris watched as the little color drained from every vampire’s face. Jacob, too, was freakishly pale. The thought of their precious little angel dying was too much for them too handle. How sweet––gag me.

She dropped the bomb. “And then Charlie. And one of you two. Probably Edward, so Bella can suffer. That’s what she wants the most, after all. You two to suffer,”

“You know so much,” Bella whispered.

Iris rolled her eyes. That girl was an idiot. “She liked to talk a lot. Most villains do,”

“Why did you never tell us?” Dr. Cullen asked through pressed lips. He was furious with the impudent teenager before him. She so carelessly tossed around the lives of his family––her family! This had the potential to ruin them. Not only were two more humans exposed to the truth about the supernatural, but there was no logical way to explain this to the Volturi. If Aro ever caught wind of this, there would be no talking their way out of it. Not once had ever been recorded in the annals of history that a human saw ghosts. It did not happen.


“I didn’t tell you because it wasn’t any of your business,” she glowered at him.

“Iris,” he said with thin lips. “This is very important. More important the Victoria, revenge or any one person. I need you to tell me anytime you see another ghost. Do you understand? Any time at all, even if it is in the middle of the night. It is imperative that I know.”

“Why?” she snarled.

“Because the Volturi may soon be coming for you,” he told her. “And we need to be ready if that is the case,”

“What?” Seth cried. He crushed Iris to him, and she gasped in protest.

Dr. Cullen, however, was paying attention to Edward. “Carlisle,” the red haired vampire was saying, “You can’t seriously be thinking––”

“I am,” Dr. Cullen cut him off, “––and you are not to speak a word of this to anyone. Not even in this family. It is crucial that we never speak of it. If no one else knows…”

“That is insane!” Edward cried.

“What would you have me do?” Dr. Cullen asked. “Hand her over to the Volturi?”

“If she is––”

“Then she has the right to live a normal life without ever knowing it,” Dr. Cullen said. “I will not have you ending a life so soon,”

“That what do you want me to do?” Edward cried. “I can’t stand by and do nothing if what you are thinking is true.”

“You will get in the car, and go home.” Dr. Cullen said. “We’ll all go back home. To Montana.”

“Carlisle––” Esme began. She stopped when she saw the steely look in her husband’s eyes.

“Trust me,” he said to them all. “This time, you do not want to know.”

“Oh, I think I do,” Iris snapped. She disintegrated the family moment with five syllables and a hateful scowl.

Dr. Cullen looked at her pityingly. “If you trust me on anything, Iris, you do not want know,”

“It’s about me,” she pleaded with a trembling lip.

“And not knowing will you keep safe. You do not want to end up as a vampire, like us,”

“No,” Iris shook her head as she looked at the pale, confused faces, “No, I don’t.”

“Come on,” Seth said in a strangled voice. “Let’s get you inside,”

She let Seth steer her around. The Cullens looked at their leader in confusion. Never before had he been so secretive or mysterious. This girl was bringing out changes in everyone, and no one could even begin to comprehend why. They waited patiently for Carlisle to explain––he always did. No explanation came, though, as she crossed over the threshold.

Iris looked over her shoulder. Dr. Cullen stood grim faced, looking at Edward with clenched fists and ugly eyes. They were yelling at each other, but it was too fast for Iris to hear. They were obviously talking about her. Eddie Boy was gesticulating wildly in her direction, screaming at the head of the coven. No one even knew what they were talking about, not even their beloved Esme. She wrung her hands indecisively, and looked at Iris with worried eyes. She was the only that realized that Iris was still there, watching and listening.

Seth pulled on her, trying to steer her into the house. He had no clue what was happening, but he trusted Carlisle. He always trusted Carlisle. Iris herself, had had enough. Turning, she jerked herself out of Seth’s grasp. “Tell me!” she screamed.

She took a staggering step towards the arguing vampires. “Tell me, now!”

“Iris!” Seth called, but she did not even look at him. She did not care about the frenzied panic in his voice, or the fear in his eyes.

The entire group of beautiful vampires looked at her. Their mouths fell open as she screamed in incontrollable rage. No one very dared to raise their voice at Carlisle before, not with the raging inferno of irate anger that made her entire body shake. “Iris,” he held his hands up, “You need to calm down,”

“No!” she screamed. “Don’t tell me to calm down! You don’t own me! Stop telling me what to do! Dammit! I have a right to know what is happening to me!”

“This isn’t something you want to know,” Dr. Cullen told her with a placating tone. “Trust me,”

Seth wrapped his arms around here. “Come on, Iris,” he whispered. “If it’s something you shouldn’t know…”

“I know what I see!” Iris screamed. “I’m not an idiot! Get the hell off me!” she struggled to get out of his embrace. “And I have a right to know why! Now dammit, TELL ME!”

Dr. Cullen sighed. “You don’t wan to know,” he told her. “Trust me. It is better for your family if you don’t know,”

“They knew!” Iris staunchly yelled. “They knew I see dead people, and they’re still dead! It doesn’t change anything.”

“This goes beyond them,” Dr. Cullen snapped. “It now effects Charlie, Seth, the entire pack and all of La Push. This effects everyone,”

“I don’t give a damn,” Iris snapped.

Dr. Cullen sighed. This was the last thing he wanted to do. But the girl in front of him was tired of not knowing, of people talking over her head and treating her like she was a child. If she was one of them, then she most certainly could not be treated like a child. That could get her killed. “Fine,” he said. “Let’s go inside. Charlie and Sue should hear this, too,”

“Fine,” Iris said. “Let’s just get this over with,”

She stormed into the house and slammed the door shut. Seth flinched as it swung towards him, and hit his chest. He flushed and glanced at the vampire coven who shuffled in with bowed heads and curious expressions. Iris rolled her eyes. Why were they picking now to be demure? Seth locked the door behind them. Chief Swan was sitting on the sofa with Sue at his side. A hot cup of tea sat on the end table, just waiting to be drunk. Sue must have made it for Charlie to go with his pain pills. His brain had healed up nicely, but took some extra time for the functions to return to normal. Privately, Iris thought it was just age that slowed his brain down, but she was wise enough not to say anything. When the door clicked, both adults looked up at them.

Chief Swan let out a deep breath. “I don’t suppose either of you want explain what happened just now,”

Iris shrugged. “Not really,”

“You were the only one who could see…” Chief Swan struggled for the word. “…it…” was all he could come up with.

Iris rolled her eyes. Why did everyone insist on calling the event “it”? Obviously, it was something more than an it. It was something conscious and vindictive. That much should have been obvious. It was most definitely not just an it.

She did not say anything.

Chief Swan looked desperately at Sue and sighed. The matronly woman was steeled herself in order to break into the girl’s mind. They had to know what was going on. Something strange was afoot, even for Sue, and it was changing life so rapidly, she could barely keep up. It seemed like she blinked, and suddenly Seth was always gone. She smiled and Charlie was hurt. She went to sleep with Leah at home, and woke up to her baby in college. She made him tea and Iris was suddenly in her sons arms, shaking from her latest near-death experience. Life was happening so fast, and she just wanted it to slow down.

Please, let it slow down.

“Iris,” she said in the descending mother tone that made her skin crawl. “You need to tell us what happened. We want to help you.”

Iris snorted. “No,” she said. “You don’t.”

“Yes, we do, Iris.” Sue told her.

Iris crossed her arms. “I don’t believe you,” she told him. “Nor do I care.”

She rolled her eyes. These people were idiots if they thought that she was going to suddenly spill her guts to them after a near death experience. That was not who she was, and it was not how life went. The entire coven shifted their feet uncomfortably and let their eyes roam around the room. It was awkward for them, and though they wanted to help Iris, but did not know how.She turned her back to them, cutting them off from the conversation. “Now,” she demanded to Dr. Cullen. “Tell me,”

“My, my, aren’t we impatient,” Rosalie sneered.

Iris rolled her eyes. “Not your life,”

“Both of you,” Esme interrupted with a glare. “Now is not the time,”

Rosalie glared at the floor, but obeyed. Iris looked defiantly at the Cullen matron. She wanted to say something, to yell and scream, but bit her tongue. Dr. Cullen would not be pleased if she was rude to his little wife. That would not get her the information that she wanted. So she shoved her hands in her pockets and staunchly stared at Esme.

“Why don’t you sit down,” Dr. Cullen gestured to the empty chair. “This could take a while,”

Iris folded her arms across her small chest. “It would go faster if you would tell me already,”

“If you wish,” Dr. Cullen sighed. He seemed to be doing a lot of that. Iris impatiently tapped her foot on the wooden floor. She was bored, and really wanted to know what was going on. She was paranoid. A million ideas were running through her head, each one more bizarre than the last. It must have been a big secret, something terrible and dark, or else he would have told everyone.

She was dying to know what it was.

“This is a legend that cannot go beyond these walls,” Dr. Cullen warned. “It is one that has been kept under lock and key by the entire world. Even the Volturi do not want this to spread,”

“What is the Volturi?” Iris interrupted. “I never heard of them,”

“They are the rulers of our world, and the enforcers of our laws. We cannot expose ourselves to humans, we cannot alert the world to the mythological, we cannot risk that stability that has taken centuries to create. There are other limitations, however, more mundane ones that many do not know about. For example, there is a limit now on how many vampires can be created by a single vampire in a year. Caius also keeps a careful watch on the unicorn population. There are countless laws that very few are aware of, and yours is one of them,”

“Then tell me,” Iris snapped. He was dragging it out far too long and it was bothering her. She wanted to know and she wanted to know now!

“There is a legend of those who can divine the future by means of the past,” Dr. Cullen said. “People who see things, things that other people cannot even begin to explain.”

“What do you mean?” Chief Swan asked. He looked between the doctor and the girl. He tried to figure out what was going on. He had no idea what Iris saw, or the fact that vampires existed. Apparently unicorns, too. And they all were ruled by the Volturi. What else could there be?

Dr. Cullen exchanged a glance with his wife before looking at the distressed cop. “She sees dead people, Charlie,” he explained. “Ghosts, to be exact.”

Chief Swan paled dramatically. His eyes swelled up and protruded out of his head. His lips were pinched and pressed so hard together that they were milk white, rimmed with blood red. He could not even begin to comprehend that she saw ghosts. It was creepy. Bella had tried so hard to keep him out of the paranormal loop so to have someone be so blunt about it is terrifying.

“Iris is a soothesayer, Charlie.” he told the chief. He turned to the now shaking girl. “Iris, you are a soothesayer.”

“What is that?”she whispered.

“A diviner, a one who sees the past and the future simultaneously,” Dr. Cullen whispered. “Even though she’s human,” he added the last part in a whisper. The good doctor paused, giving it time to sink in. The looks on his family’s face were priceless. Never before had they encountered someone with an ability remotely similar to Alice’s. For such a snotty and weak human girl to possibly one up her was mind boggling.

“It comes in stages,” he continued on. “First, you see the ghosts.” Iris nodded, even though he had not directed that comment to her. He was explaining it to his family. She felt the strange need to confirm it somehow, to prove that it was true. To hear someone else explain it, accept it as verifiable truth was the first step to returning her to mental stability. Maybe she wasn’t so crazy after all.

“Most think that they are supposed to help them pass on, find peace in the afterlife. But they are wrong. The ghosts are just a sign of what is to come,”

“I don’t understand,” Alice whispered.

“Sooethesayers do not see any of what could be. They do not see choices, or every possible outcome of a situation. But what they know is very is inescapable.”

“Know?” Edward echoed. Iris struggled to keep from snapping at them for interrupting the doctor. It was quickly becoming about their curiosity, and not her problem. How irking.

“As I said,” Dr. Cullen began anew. “They know the future like you and I know today is Tuesday, Edward. They know like we know December 25 is Christmas, or that Abraham Lincoln was President during the Civil War. They do not think that the future may happen, like Alice does. It is not hypothesizing that aliens exist, or that one of eight outcomes may happen. That is what Alice does: she thinks, she guesses.

“They know. There are no flashes of the future, no possibilities, no choices. To a soothesayer, there is only one future, and it is inescapable. There is no seeing, no visions, they only know. They see the signs all around us, signs that few other can understand. The dead tell a soothesayer, the animals tell a soothesayer, the wind and the elements tell a soothesayer. God Himself tells a soothesayer. Sooethesayers do not guess, suppose or hope; they know.”

“Whoa,” Seth whispered. He looked down at Iris with renewed respect and interest. “I didn’t know you could do that,”

She knew that she was supposed to say that she did not either. She was supposed to be surprised, shocked, maybe angry even. But she wasn’t. If anything, she was glad that that was all. She was glad that it wasn’t some horrendous thing that would change the rest of the world and her life drastically. This was something she could handle, something she could work around. It was something she knew was coming and so she was prepared for it. Even before Dr. Cullen had told her, she had known, and she was ready.

“I did,” she whispered back.