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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…

13. Chapter 13

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4295   Review this Chapter

Chapter Thirteen––

“How do you know?” Seth asked her. He pulled her down onto the floor where he was sitting so he could wrap his rather large arms around her. Iris did not complain as she settled in between his legs. For someone rock hard, he was surprisingly comfy. Chief Swan looked disapprovingly down at the two. Sue watched with careful eyes as she took his hand in her own. Maybe, just maybe, this day was going to get stranger.

She glared darkly at the floor. “For once, my mother was helpful,”

Seth’s brow furrowed. Iris bit her lip. It was the most adorable thing that she had ever seen. Not that she would ever tell anybody that. “What do you mean?”

“I didn’t get along very well with my mother,” Iris responded. “We never really saw eye to eye. But, she saw things, too. Not as much as what I see, but enough to let me know that I wasn’t crazy. My grandmother saw them too,”

“Oh,” Seth nodded his head. He could accept that answer for now. When they were alone, he wold prod her further. There was more to the story than that. He felt her heart rate speed up, the goosebumps raise up on her arms, and watched her breathing turn shallow. Definitely more to know.

Looking back, Iris could not explain how she knew that she knew, but she did. It must have been that whole knowing thing that came along with the soothesaying. Her mother never said anything about foresight. If only she could do a little bit of magic too, like the old courtiers of the homeland believed, then she was set for life. No one else seemed to think that that was quite as funny as she did.

“I don’t understand why we cant know,” Esme interrupted. She was the only one besides Jasper and Alice that Iris seemed to tolerate. She was also, sadly, one of the most naive members of the coven. Only Bella knew less about their world than she. The mystery of the soothesayers was perplexing to say the least. And Esme knew that she was not the only one who did not know. “Why must we keep her abilities a secret?”

“Back during the monarchies of the world, soothesayers were called upon for their talents. The entire world had access to the supernatural through the select and cursed few. Soothesayers were able to point out the witches of the world, the werewolves, the vampires, without fear of reproach. Human praised them, and the mythical creatures feared them because not only were they aware of the supernatural world, they themselves were secretly a part of it. Soothesayers could be just as dangerous as a lycan to a vampire.

“Many soothesayers lost their lives battling the proclaimed forces of darkness. They fought monsters and men alike, serving king, country, or themselves. Very few were honest, and even fewer survived the Dark Ages. During the Renaissance, Aro recruited a soothesayer by the name of Algoria to join his ranks. At the time, soothesayers were though to be immortal, and having one in his arsenal would give him great power. Algoria––the lover of Felix, Edward––looked remarkably like Bella, and was immune to many a gift.

“She died, however, in the same battle that took Marcus’s beloved Didyme from him. The world was forced to admit that soothesayers and monsters could coexist. Aro himself––and later Felix––admitted that Algoria had in fact aged during her time in Volterra.

“The race died out nearly three hundred years ago. A vampire by the name of Hannibal saw to that. He tried to challenge the Volturi’s power. Having spent some time in the guard, he was very aware of the idiosyncracies of the coven. Aligning himself with the lycans, he had many creatures systemically eliminated: unicorns, witches, soothesayers. A handful of all three races survived. It was thought that no soothesayer was left in the world for their mark was not made again upon history.”

“I see,” Esme said. It was superfluous, really. The entire family––Seth, Charlie, Sue and Iris included––was shocked at the revelation. No one would have guessed genocide as Carlisle’s reason.

“You think that Aro will recruit her if she finds out,” Jasper concluded.

Dr. Cullen nodded his head. “Yes,”

“I’ve seen it,” Alice whispered. “Ruby eyes and a black hood. More than once,”

“What?” Dr. Cullen whipped his head to look at his youngest daughter. Esme gasped as her hands flew horrifiedly up to her hanging mouth. Rosalie’s golden eyes widened, and the loathing dripped out of them. Sue and Chief Swan only grasped the concept of the Volturi, and they looked at Iris in alarm.

The girl herself looked almost boredly at the doctor. She was not scared at all. “That’s why you did not want to tell me,” she said. “You thought if I knew, I’d tell and then I’d become a vampire.”

“It was somewhat more complex that that,” Dr. Cullen admitted with a bow of his head. “But that was the initial thought behind the process.”

“I’m safe as long as I’m on Quiluete land, though,” she reminded him. She pointed to Seth, “It’s his job to protect people from vampires.”

“As long as they do not want to become a vampire, then, yes, I suppose it is,” Dr. Cullen breathed out slowly. “But I am not sure that leaving your safety up to the pack is the best course of action at this point. If you even step off La Push, then Aro will not hesitate to seize you. He is a collector by nature, and you will be one of many prizes.”

“Assuming Aro ever learns of Iris,” Edward reminded the room. He gave Chief Swan a comforting look. “I do not think that anyone here would betray this family like that. She should be safe,”

“I’m safe as long as I don’t want to be a vampire,” Iris clarified. “As long as I stay here?”

“If you want it so plainly,” Rosalie snapped.

Iris looked up and kept her head as far back as it could go. Her ivory neck was exposed to every vampire in that small room, taunting them. Each one of them saw her pulse throb against the thin membrane of her skin, and her scent was so like Charlie’s, like Bella’s. It was mouthwatering. “I don’t want to be a vampire,” she told Seth. He looked down at her with adoration.

“Then you won’t be,” he promised her. “I’ll protect you,”

“Okay,” she whispered. The vampires let out a collective breath when she lowered her head. Her odd green eyes met the room staunchly. “Problem solved,”

“Are you sure?” Esme asked her. “If you want us to stay here and watch over you, we will. Or, you can come with us to Montana if you want,”

“You all can go whenever you want to,” Iris told them. “I think I’m good,”

“She’s welcome here as long as she chooses,” Sue added. She glanced at Chief Swan, staring irately at the floor. “They both are,”

Dr. Cullen nodded his head acceptingly. “Then it’s settled,”

Esme looked like she wanted to argue, but accepted her husband’s word. Perhaps they were not needed after all. Perhaps, it was just her motherly instinct overreacting. Perhaps, all was fine.


“You gonna tell me about your mother now?” Seth asked.

It was later on, well past midnight. Iris was laying on Leah’s bed, staring up at the ceiling. She tossing a baseball up and down. Seth sat on the computer chair. He fiddled with the ancient keyboard, not really paying attention to it or the screen. His gaze was locked on the lithe form on the bed.

“What’s there to know?” She tried to sound nonchalant, but he saw the tension in her pretty face and heard her pulse quicken.

“You’re afraid of her,” he told her. “You tense up anytime she is mentioned,”

“She’s dead,” she needlessly reminded him. “You wouldn’t be too keen on talking about your mother if she had just recently died.”

“That isn’t it,” he responded. “You don’t do that when you talk about your brother,”

Iris let out a bark of laughter. “That’s because he did not suck like she did,”

“You know,” Seth chuckled just a little bit. He knew it was inappropriate, but he could not help it. “That only makes me think that something was wrong even more,”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Iris muttered. She let the ball drop to the floor as she turned over on her side. He could not see her face or her expression, only the beautiful curve of her back. She ended the conversation.

“I do,” he said. He was going to keep it going, regardless of what she wanted.

“No offense, but I don’t want it to get around,” Iris hissed. She rolled back over and sat up. Knees bent provocatively, she rested her elbow saucily on her angled knee. Looking through her matted ebony hair, she snarled. “It would ruin my reputation, if you know what I mean,”

“I won’t tell,” he promised her. “Not a single word,”

“Why the hell should I believe you?”she snapped. “Like I ever have had a reason to trust you!”

“Now we both know that’s bullshit,” Seth retorted. “After all we’ve been through, your hand down my pants, me saving your ass from Garrett, we’ve built a relationship. We’ve built trust,”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” she yelled. “I don’t!” she screamed. “I don’t! I don’t! Please don’t make me tell,”

“Iris!” Seth called to her. “Calm down!” He leapt from the chair to the bed. He pulled her tightly to his chest, and shook her. “Calm down,” he calmly ordered. “Get ahold of yourself,”

“It used to be like that,” Iris whispered into his chest. “I would yell, and she would hit me,”

“Your mother?” Seth asked, even though he didn’t need to.

“Yes,” Iris furiously nodded. “She would hit me when I was a toddler to quiet me whenever I got too loud. I didn’t understand that what she was doing was wrong for a long time. She never did it when others were around, my father and brother included. It was always our little secret.

“My father was away a lot, working for the military. As I grew up, she became more and more violent. The abuse turned emotional as well as physical. Suddenly, I was a bitch, an ass. I wasn’t good enough; I would never amount to anything. It was all reiterated by her blows.

“When I was eleven, she became more bold. My dad was actually home, too. He woke up to her angry cries and my screams. She had taken a cheese grater to my face. I had the scars for the longest time. Dad managed to calm her down and then took me to the hospital. That was when he found out my entire medical history: the broken bones, the cuts, my dislocated shoulder and fractured pelvic bone. Social Services had even been called in at one point, but my mother managed to fool them.

“He vowed to not leave us ever again. He worked in a recruiting office downtown and was home by five every day. He started to pay more attention to me, and to Micah. We played ball in the yard before supper a lot of times, or threw the frisbee. We just had fun. All the while, my mom got more and more angry. At Thanksgiving, she would scream at us for playing football while she slaved over the hot stove. We cared more about the game than the turkey. And during Christmas, we whooped and hollered over the latest gadget while she made her shitty ham. Naturally, she would scream at us for making a mess when we opened up our presents and then be angry when we only picked at the burnt dinner.

“It was always escalating, always getting worse. It was as if we could never do anything right. The last few years, she just screamed.

“The final straw for Dad was when she set my bed on fire. He made Micah and I share a room, and never told Mom. Every night, he would lock us in as he told Micah to sleep tight. More than once, we woke up to Mom banging on the door, screaming at us, calling us vile names. But she never could get it. For once, I was safe.

“During all of this, she was getting more and more violent towards Dad. She screamed at him now, too. Threw things at him, tried to poison him with Windex. It was getting out of hand. The only person she never turned on was Micah.”

Iris sniffed. “Then, one night, she snapped. I don’t know what happened or why she did it, but she did. She pulled my dad’s gun from the top shelf in the closet and tried to shoot him. Dad tried to get the gun away from her, but she was relentless. She shot him twice in the chest and just watched as he fell to the ground. Just watched,” her voice hitched and tears squeaked out of the corners of her eyes. “He was her husband, the father of her children, and she didn’t even feel a little bit bad that she killed him.”

“It’s okay,” Seth whispered. He stroked the top of her head lovingly. He was desperate to offer her some type of comfort, something to let her know that she was not alone. She was safe now. Her mother could never hurt her again.

“Micah heard the shots first,” Iris continued on a moment later. “I think he knew instantly what was happening. He told me to stay upstairs and ran down to the kitchen. I should have listened to him, I really should have,” she sobbed. “If I did, then he wouldn’t be dead. She wouldn’t have shot him.”

“Your mother shot Micah?” Seth gasped. This was not what he had heard at all. Charlie said that Micah had shot both parents in cold blood and then, in remorse, put the gun in his own mouth and squeezed the trigger. Iris’s story was completely different.

“Twice again,” she whispered. “In the stomach this time. But she wasn’t trying to shoot him. I had run down the stairs after Micah. She saw me and pulled the trigger. He just happened to get in the way. He used himself as a shield to protect me.

“Mom couldn’t handle what she had done. Micah had always been her adored angel. She felt remorse for killing him. Surprise surprise. You know what she did then. You have to know. Everyone does.

“She put the gun to her head like this,” she pointed her index finger at Seth’s temple. “And pulled. She crumpled to the floor like a ragdoll, blood pooling around her blonde head like a fucked up halo. As for Micah, he took the gun from her dead hand.

“‘You can’t tell anyone what happened,’ he gasped out. ‘No one can know what happen. Dad’s spent his entire life keeping Mom’s accidents under wraps. We have to keep doing it…for him.’ He made me promise that I would keep the charade going. Then, he ate Dad’s last bullet. He was always really smart, you know. Always did shit like that to piss me off. He ate the last bullet so I couldn’t eat it myself. Cause that was Micah; he was that guy.

“The police showed up a few minutes later. They found me, soaked in their blood. I said I checked for a pulse before I called. I lied for Micah, like I promised I would when they asked me what happened. I said I heard gunshots and when I came downstairs, I found them like that. I knew they would blame Micah. Dad’s gun was still hot in his hand. It broke my heart. I wanted to tell them the truth, that they all were a bunch of fucking hypocrites. It was an open and shut case as far as they were concerned. Micah had acted out against my parents as an overreaction due to his hormonal teenaged self. That was all it could have been in their minds, because to them, we were always the perfect family.”

She snorted. “Fags,”

Seth was not sure how to respond to that. It was more of a story than he ever expected. It sounded more like the background of a serial killer than a fifteen year old girl with a raging sex drive. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and promise that nothing would ever happen to her again. He wanted to protect her from the brutality of the world, but it was too late for that. The best he could do was be her crutch and help her steady herself against the rest of the world.

He wished that he was more disgusted by the cheese grater. It made sense. Her mother knew the truth: Iris was not Mr. Potter’s daughter. She was Charlie’s. And she resembled Charlie so much that it was shocking that she did not realize that they were related. Seth thought that she was almost identical to her father. How could she not know? Mrs. Potter was obviously trying to erase all traces of her affair with Charlie, starting with Iris’s lovely face.

“They do suck,” Seth agreed, “Especially if they just let you walk away from that.”

“I want you know that I am not crazy,” she whispered. “I didn’t kill them. I wish they had died. Even her. For some stupid fucking reason, I wish she was still alive. And I don’t know why,” she sniffed.

“I never thought you were crazy,” Seth promised her. “Never once. A little odd, maybe,” he paused to let her lightly chuckle. “But you’re cute enough for it to not matter,”

“Oh, thanks, Seth,” she rolled her eyes. “That makes me feel a ton better,”

Seth wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to him. He planted a kiss on the top of her forehead. “Glad to be of service,” he said.

Iris flushed with pleasure. “I’m glad you are, too,” she replied. Her arms wrapped around his waist. “Very, very glad.”

He jerked back and grabbed ahold of her wrists. “That does not mean you can shove your hands down my pants,” he said firmly as he pulled her hands out of his waistband. He knew what she was trying to do: distract both him and her. She did not want to think of her mother or the abuse. It was easier to think of more pleasant things. Especially pleasant things.

Iris shoved out her plump lover lip. “But I wanna get down your pants,” she whined. “I find it very interesting down there.”

“Down there is a place you are not allowed to go,” Seth told her firmly. No. That was where he was going to cross the line. She was fifteen for fuck’s sake! She had no business being in his pants. No matter how much he liked the idea. And he really liked the idea.

She noticed it, too. Her beautiful eyes lit up with desire as she seductively licked her lips. Without warning, she dove for his zipper. “Whoa!” Seth yelped. For such a tiny girl, she was surprisingly strong. His back hit the mattress hard. He bounced up slightly but not enough to deter her. Those damn little fingers were quick and nimble, and pulling his zipper down quickly. She was damn determined to get into his pants.

“Iris!” he tried to push her away. “Stop it!” His breath was hitched and shallow. He was more excited than he wanted to let on. Sadly, he was going to make her stop. “Now!”

“Why?” she whined. She rubbed her hand over his pants. “You like it. I like it. You like it, a lot. I don’t need to stop,” she sly smirked up at him. “I don’t want to stop,”

“Ugh,” Seth groaned when she rubbed just a little bit harder. “Stop it!” he yelled as he squirmed. He tried to shimmy his way up the bed and away from her suddenly deft fingers. Iris raised up on her hands and knees to watch him. Her long black hair hung seductively around her face and her shoulders. He always loved her hair, especially now. Seth just wanted to grab fistfuls of it and hold on to it tight as he rammed her.

Oh, shit…he really needed to stop these thoughts. He really liked Iris, and knew she deserved better than that. He still couldn’t help it. Especially when it felt so damn good. He tired to tell himself that she was only fifteen. Fifteen! If she had her way with him, it would be statutory rape. Rape. That word resonated in his mind more clearly than any other in his mind. She was fifteen, and he was twenty-one, and anything they did would be seen as rape.

“Get the hell away!” he screamed. Iris looked at his alarmed face and panicked expression. He was freaking out. Her expression changed from seductively predatory to crestfallen.

“Fine,” she hissed. “Get the hell out of my room. I don’t want to see you again,”

“It’s not like that, Iris,” he said as he stood up. He grabbed her hand as she tried to walk away from him. “You’re not going anywhere,” he snarled.

“I’m not,” she agreed. “You are,”

“Listen to me,” he snapped. “It’s not that I don’t want you to. Trust me,” he pleaded, “I really, really want you to. But it’d be rape, and I’m not willing to risk jail time for a blowjob.”

The devilish smirk returned quickly to her beautiful face. “I’ll risk it,” she said. “Jail time ain’t no big deal,”

“Hold up, hold up,” he held his hand out to keep her away. She was quickly advancing towards him with a look in her eyes that scared him. “I’d die if I went to jail,” he protested.

“Nah,” she disagreed. “I’ll be the one raping you since you keep protesting and I keep not listening. I don’t mind jail time for that,”

“I’m the adult!” Seth protested. He tried to keep her away but she was little and slender. She easily could avoid his half-hearted blocks. “I’m the one who’ll be blamed,”

Iris ducked below his arms only to suddenly popped up. Her chest bumped his chest as she cocked her head to the side. He went rigid all over. Standing on her tiptoes, she whispered into his ear. “Then be quiet,” and she shoved her hands into the front of his jeans.

He yelped and she squeezed.

“Stop,” he groaned. “Please, Iris,” he hissed her name. “You’ve gotta stop this,”

“Don’t you like it?” she asked. Her entire demeanor rapidly changed. Her eyes narrowed and she winced timidly. She was unsure, Seth realized. She’d never done this before––thank God––and really was not sure if she was doing it right. It was adorable, and he wanted to keep her like that.

“I do,” he groaned. “That’s the problem. Too much,”

She smiled. “Then lay back and enjoy it,” she instructed.

“Can’t,” he moaned. “It’ll make me want to do things I can’t. Like screw your brains out,” he admitted with a flush.

“And why can’t you?” she seductively cooed. Her eyelids lowered in the most coy manner and she batted her pretty eyelashes at him like the most wanton woman in the county. A sultry simper splayed across her face and it became impossible to resist.

He only managed to do so by thinking about Charlie and his mom………doing………it. And that was gross enough to keep the most lecherous mind pure. Even Quagmire from Family Guy would be turned off at the thought of his mom bumping goodies with Charlie. It made Seth sick just to think about it. It was really gross.

“You’re fifteen,” Seth said for what seemed like the millionth time. “It’s rape.” That word was disgusting. It made him feel vulgar and disgusting. He had not even done anything to her yet! But…oh how he wanted to.

“Even if I’m agreeing,” she pouted. “I know, I know.” Iris willingly extracted her hands. “Fin,” she agreed. “I’ll stop for now. But I’m not going to let up,” she warned him. “I want this,” she winked. “And so do you. But for now, I’ll settle for a kiss.”

Seth let out a sigh of relief. “I can go for that,”

Iris smiled. “Yay,”

It was gentle, and not demanding. He was not dumb enough to do anything aggressive after what just happened. She might get the wrong idea. It was going to be hard enough to keep her away from his pants for the next few days. But he was determined to do so. Really. Scout’s honor.

After all, it shouldn’t be too hard. She was a ninety pound fifteen year old. He could handle her.

He hoped.