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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…

27. Chapter 27

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3551   Review this Chapter

Chapter Twenty-Seven––

Well, fuck, it wasn’t a dream.

“Are you okay?” a gentle voice called to her.

Iris blinked, trying to clear the darkness out of her eyes. Dark was disorientating, and now, more than ever, she needed to focus. The cot beneath her skin was hard, and scratchy. The threadbare blanket that covered her body left her cold. A warm hand brushed her hair off of her forehead. It was a motherly gesture, both comforting and starling.

Green-gray eyes snapped open.

Iris stared up at a beautiful girl around her own age. Iris was positive that this girl was not a native. Her hair was a startling orange red, that framed her face and hung over her shoulders, like Ariel’s did in the movie as she stared down at Prince Eric on the beach. Only this redhead was not singing, and she did not have the same ardent love in her eyes that the cartoon mermaid did. Plus, the ends of her hair were died the most icy shade of blue possible. The contrast made her eyes hurt.

“Good, you are awake,” the girl said pleasantly. “I was beginning to think you were going to sleep all day,”

“Ugh,” Iris groaned as she sat up. “Who are you?” It was blunt and a trifle impolite, but then again, that summed Iris up fairly well. The girl seemed momentarily startled but she brushed it off.

“Gia,” she answered. “Of the Volturi,”

Back to her original thought: oh fuck. Definitely not a dream.

“I don’t want to be a vampire,” she blurted out. Her eyes narrowed and she scowled at the redhead. The girl was about her size, but she did have some meat on her bones. She carried it very well though, and looked prettier than Rosalie. Meaner too, which was shocking. “I won’t do it,”

“Uhm…duh,” Gia wrinkled her nose. “Neither did I. Nobody does,”

“But you are one,” Iris pointed out. Little redhead was just as blonde as Rosalie after all. No brains, just boobs. Or in this girl’s case, bootylicous butt.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Gia retorted. She gave Iris one of those ‘God, you are a dumb ass’ looks, and Iris had to like her for that,

Iris looked her in the dark navy eye. “You don’t look like a fucking vampire,”

Gia shrugged. “I’m a special vampire,”

“Oh,” Iris nodded slowly. Because that made so much sense.

“Why don’t you want to be a vampire?” Gia now inquired. She leaned in close to her, ready to hear the scoop. Just like any other teenaged girl, her eyes glistened with anticipation, and she smirked mischievously.

“Cause I keep hearing how evil you Volturi people are,” Iris snapped. There was no hide the truth. She was going to go down kicking and screaming; there was no way in hell she was going to become a vampire forever. She lied about turning to cannibalism. She would starve to death first.

“Pfft,” Gia swatted the air with her hand. “We’re evil the way a high school principal is evil. Only troublemakers, lawbreakers and potheads think we’re evil,”

“The Cullens do,” Iris pointed out. It was feeble, but it would do.

“Yeah, but they’re weird,” said Gia.

“Touche,” Iris agreed. She could hardly argue with that.“Very weird,”

“Seriously,” Gia tacked on, picking up on Iris’s less than flattering, preferred method of speaking. “Rosalie looks like a freaking Barbie doll. That isn’t normal,”

“I don’t think you know what normal looks like,” Iris gestured to Gia’s hair. The girl looked like a clown for fuck’s sake!

“Uhm…neither do you,” Gia pointed to her scarred wrists.

Iris laughed. “I suppose so,” She stopped short. “Fuck,” she hissed and shot back from Gia.

Gia’s eyes widened. “What’s wrong?”

“I am not going to be all buddy buddy with you,” Iris snarled. “I don’t like you!”

“Harsh,” Gia rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “You’ve known me for what? Three minutes? How could you possibly judge my character in that time?”

Iris blinked. “I never said it was about your character,”

“Then what is it? The hair? The fact that I’m a vampire? A member of the guard?” Gia pressed.

“No,” Iris floundered. She flushed suddenly. “I don’t like people,”

Gia rolled her eyes. “I’m not people. I am one person: Gia. And I’m Alec’s mate. That’s about it. Don’t try to be all tough and cool by being retarded. Nobody likes an antisocial brat,”

“What the fuck gives you the right to say that?” Iris yelled, on her feet, fists clenched.

Gia raised one eyebrow. “That,” she enunciated the T and jabbed a finger in Iris’s general direction. “You’re not a bad ass, Iris. Don’t try to play hardball.”

“You don’t know me,” snapped Iris.

“And you don’t know me,” Gia responded. “What if I’m cool as hell?”

That one threw her off kilter. “I’ve heard that before,” she snapped, back in full form quickly. Iris Potter was not going to be beaten by some vampiric bimbo!

“I’ve heard about you,” confessed Gia with a fierce expression. “You aren’t the only one with a bad past. You aren’t the only one who has had a hard life. Having friends doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. Being alone makes you weak. Trust me on that. I figured it out myself.”

“I don’t care,”

“You will in time,” Gia promised her. “Once you grow up a little,”

“Says the fifteen year old,” Iris taunted.

Gia laughed. “I was changed with I was sixteen,” she corrected. “But I have been a vampire for six years now. So I have had a little time to grow up. That’s one good thing about being a vampire,” she tacked on with a wink. “You don’t have to worry about looking your age,”

“You are awful perky,” Iris grunted, displeased.

“Yeah,” Gia agreed. “Coffee can do that to a person,”

“Eww!” Iris wrinkled her nose. “You like coffee?”

“Yum!” Gia declared, smacking her lips. “It’s ambrosia,” and she chuckled. Iris did not get it, but what the hell.

“So what happens now?” Iris asked.

Gia sat on the cot and looked at Iris with beseeching eyes. “Nahuel would like to speak with you,” she said. “But if you don’t want to, I won’t let him in. And our masters wish us to speak with you about joining us in Voltera.”

“Because Aro is a collector,” Iris remembered.

“Yes,” Gia smiled faintly. “Aro is a collector,”

“Did he collect you?” she asked.

“Something to that effect,” a masculine voice said.

The two girls looked up. A short boy in hiking clothes stood in the doorway. He was very handsome, Iris decided, though not nearly as grown up looking as Seth. Gia glared at the newcomer. “You really should knock, you know,” she chastised him.

“I’m sorry,” the boy grinned. “Did I interrupt your girl time? I can leave,”

He was teasing of course. Alec rarely left Gia alone for more than a few minutes. The redhead shook her head. “No. You can stay,” she glanced at Iris. “This is Alec, my mate,”

“Fiance, technically,” Alec said as he strode over to them. “She does not believe that mates are as long-lasting as marriages are,”

Iris glanced at Gia. “I agree with her,” she pointed. “Duh,”

“It has to be a girl thing,” Alec declared.

“It is, dear,” Gia smiled affectionately. “Alec, here,” she grinned proudly. “Is the dominant member of the Guard,”

Iris glanced between the two of them. “And that is impressive…how?”

“It means that I am the most powerful of the Guard,” Alec cut his mate off before she could say something crude and embarrassing.

Gia rolled her eyes. “He’s the top dog,” she supplied. “Everyone listens to him,”

“That makes more sense,” Iris told Alec.

“Are you always going to take her side?” the vampire demanded.

“Yes!” Gia squealed jovially and clapped her hands. “Because we are going to be best friends!”

Iris pulled back from the exuberant girl’s hug. “Chill,” she held her hands up.

“You’re scaring her,” admonished Alec.

“She’s fine,” Gia dismissed them both. “She says she doesn’t like people, but I think it’s a lie. You just get along better with guys don’t you?”

Iris stared dumbly at her.

Gia paused for just a moment. “I’ll take that as a yes,” she decided. “Any who, we are here to answer all of your questions about being a vampire,”

“I don’t want to be a vampire,” Iris immediately answered.

“Yes, you’ve said that already,” Gia told her. “Try again,”

“I don’t have any questions,” the black headed girl protested. “This is all new to me. I didn’t know about any of the supernatural world until a few months ago,”

Gia nodded in understanding. “That was how I was whenever this all happened to me,” she told her. “The Masters plucked me off the streets one day and explained it. It felt so surreal, like a dream,”

Iris nodded. “Exactly. I still have a hard time believing it is all true,”

“Well how about this, you tell us your story, and we will try to help answer questions that pop up that way,” Gia suggested.

Alec gravely nodded. “For example, I know much about soothesayers. I was friends briefly with Algoria, and she divulged many of their secrets to me. Gia and I also have extensive knowledge of your wolves,”

Iris’s mouth dropped open. “You know about Seth?”

“Yes,” Alec said seriously. “And we too try to honor their pact with the Cullens, though our need to hunt in the Washington area is far less severe than theirs,”

“Alec, hush,” Gia ordered. The dominant member of the Guard fell silent under his little mate’s whim, and the redhead turned to Iris. “Now, go on and spill,”

Why she did so willing, Iris would never know, but she told her new friend and new friend’s man everything. It felt like she talked for hours, about meeting Chief Swan, the Cullens, the pack, Victoria, the whole shebang. She told them about Old Quil’s ritual and Seth. She told them about running several times, selling her house, and lamented over Nahuel’s thievery. When she finally finished, Gia’s mouth dropped open.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

Of all the things that Iris was expecting, that was not one of them. “What?” she shrieked.

“Why are you here?” Gia cried. “When you are supposed to be back up in Washington with Seth!”

“Excuse me?” Iris demanded.

“Get your shit, I’m taking you back to La Push,” Gia announced.

Alec stood with his mate. They were exactly the same height, and it was kind of cute in Iris’s mind. These stupid people were growing on her way too quickly. Before long, she might actually want to join their little Guard. “Gia, calm down,” he told her. “Take a few deep breaths, and explain what you are talking about.”

“She’s in love with Seth,” Gia replied quickly. “Madly in love, and he loves her. They belong together. There is no way she is joining this Guard while he is still alive,”

“She ran away from him,” Alec reminded his headstrong love.

“So did I,” Gia retorted. “And you traipsed across the French countryside to find me! It’s love! True love! It’s a girl thing, dear,” she tacked on in case he was that dumb.

“Besides, according to her, she is still bound to the wolves in some way. Stealing her would be like stealing a member of another coven,”

“That never stopped Aro before,” Alec said plaintively.

“Alec,” Gia whispered. “Please,”

The vampire snorted. “Fine. Iris,” he snapped, “Get your belongings. We are going to return you to La Push,”

“It doesn’t matter,” Iris interrupted them both. “He isn’t coming,”

“He loves you,” Gia protested.

Iris shook her head. “He imprinted on another girl––Germain. They’re soul mates apparently,”

Gia’s mouth dropped––again. “What?”

Iris nodded. “Yeah. Now you get why I ran away,”

“For the love of all that is holy!” Gia screamed. “Men and their damn penises! Can’t keep their pants on! I need something blunt and painful!” she screamed. “Where the fuck is a wooden spoon?”

Iris looked to Alec who shrugged. “I believe she plans on castrating your wolf,” he suggested.

Okay, so maybe she snickered just a little bit.


“Fuck!” Seth screamed loudly. The tall man had been pacing the room with his head bent and his hands behind his back, muttering. The anger building inside of him was visible to watch, and Brady watched him pace, his own anger growing. Suddenly, Seth yelled and punched the nearest wall. Germain yelped as she jumped, and everyone glared at her.

“Shut up,” Seth snapped.

“Well, excuse me,” Germain snapped. She waited momentarily for her brother, or her supposed lover to come to her defense, but when they fell short of her expectations, she jumped in.

“No one wants you here,” the irate man continued. “So, just…go away!”

“That’s a lie!” Germain jumped to her feet. “Brady!” she whined and gestured towards the ever irate Seth. “Do something!”

Brady looked at the two people. “What do you want me to do?” he shrugged.

“Something!” she cried. “Anything! Don’t you have to protect me?” she demanded.

“I don’t think he’s posing you any threat,” Brady pointed out.

“But,” Germain protested, lip quivering. “I’m your imprint!”

“Oh, for the love of all that is holy!” Brady yelled He jumped to his feet as well, and stood, towering over the four-eyed girl. “No, Germain! No! I did not imprint on you!”

“Yes you did!” she sobbed. “Yes, you did!”

“Says who?” he demanded.

“Everyone!” she cried. “They all do! Cheyne, Seth, Sam…all the ones who have imprinted! They all say you have!”

“Well,” sputtered Brady. “They’re wrong! I haven’t!”

“I see the love in your eyes every time you look at me!” Germain grabbed his arm as he tried to storm out. She looked at him, begging him to listen. “I see the fear of rejection, the need, and I tell you now, I love you just as much as you love me!”

“I don’t love you!” Brady roared.

“Stop denying it!” she demanded.

“Why?” he screamed. “Why should I admit that I imprinted on a needy, ugly, hateful girl like you!”

“What?” her voice dropped to just above a whisper. Her hand fluttered to her breast and her mouth dropped and eyes sagged.

“You heard me! You’re vile and mean, a bitch! You are horrible to my friends, rude and stupid, you bewitch and betray everyone you meet! I don’t want anything to do with you!” he yelled at the top of his lungs.

Germain glowered at him. “What?” she yelled. “I am none of those things! Everybody loves me!”

“Who’s my best friend?” Brady demanded.

“Collin,” Germain hissed immediately. “And he adores the ground I walk on. So does Cheyne, and Seth, and everyone else in this pack,”

“Not Iris,” Brady slowly enunciated.

“She doesn’t count,” snapped Germain.

“Yes she fucking does!” interrupted Seth.

“Definitely!” Brady agreed and Cheyne nodded staunchly in the background. “Don’t you see, Germain? You are driving away one the most important members in the pack, the fucking shaman! We really need Iris here, and she hates you. Since Iris is one of my best friends, I’d rather stick by her than you!”

“She didn’t feel the same way!” Germain shot back. “She ran away!”

“B…because of you!” the irate boy sputtered. “She hates you!”

“Well I hate her, too!” screamed Germain. “Everyone thinks she is so perfect, and she isn’t! She’s just as bad as me!”

“Yeah, but people like her!” retorted Brady.

“People like me, too!” she screamed.

“Yeah, but we like Iris better!” Brady snapped.

“Why?” she demanded.

“Well, for one thing, she doesn’t complain all the time!” he retorted. “And you never shut up! And you are so freaking negative all the time! Nothing’s ever good enough for you, and you make sure everybody knows that you aren’t happy!”

“Well what do you want from me?” she screamed. “It isn’t like Iris is the world’s nicest person! And she certainly isn’t happy!”

“She was happy before you screwed everything up,” Cheyne commented nonchalantly, as he leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. “Made her think that you were stealing Seth from her,”

“What?” Seth yelped, startled by the revelation.

“Dude, you couldn’t tell?” Cheyne blinked. “Figured it was obvious. I thought you were playing along for what ever reason,”

“I would never do that to her!” he protested.

Cheyne shrugged. “Didn’t say you were,” he said. “That’s just what it looked like to an outsider.

“But…but…”he tried to come up with an excuse. “Why?” he spun around and put all the blame on Germain. That was easier, and in his mind, it was her fault. “Why did you make me do it?”

“I didn’t!” she snapped.

“You made me think that you needed help adjusting to all of this!” he wildly gestured around him. The pack was what he meant, but flailing his arms was so much more satisfying. He had been spending way too much time around Iris. And he winced at the pang in his heart.

“I didn’t want to steal you,” Germain explained angrily. “I just wanted her to think that. That way she would stop spending so much time with Brady––my man, mind you––and try to get you back! Only it didn’t work. The little whore just pulled him further and further away from me!”

“Don’t blame this on Iris!” Brady interrupted. “It isn’t her fault that I did not want to be with you! It’s yours!”

“I love you!” Germain screamed. “What more do you want from me?”

“You to stop being a bitch would be a great place to start!” snarled Brady.

“Tell her that she shouldn’t steal my man! And, aren’t you supposed to be madly in love with me and worship the ground I walk on?” Germain demanded.

“You would think!” Brady snarled.

“And he totally does,” Cheyne interrupted again. He was getting better and better at playing the most hated role of peacemaker. “You just annoy him, and he hates the fact that he’s in love with you,”

“Am I so hard to love?” Germain whispered to him, eyes wide and pleading.

Brady ran his head through his hair. “Yeah,” he confessed. “You are,”

“Brady! Cheyne! Seth!” Sam barked, bursting into the room. All heads turned to him. “Chief Swan was able to get ahold of the Cullens. We know where Iris is.”

At once, all three boys ran for the door. As Seth ran by him, Sam grabbed his arm, “You sure you’re up for this?”

Seth nodded defiantly. “No one is taking her away,”

“Where is she?” Seth demanded as they met for a council. Everyone was there, minus the imprints. This part didn’t concern them. The only girl other than Leah and Sue was Emily, but that was so she could explain to the other girls. They all crowded into the Black’s small house––it was the closest to everyone––and waited for orders.

“South America,” Sam answered. He looked at his pack, at the elders, and at Chief Swan was stood in the corner, white as a ghost.

“How do you know?” Brady asked.

“Billy was able to get ahold of the Cullens and Jake,” explained Sam. “Alice did the rest.”

“We’ve got to go!” cried Seth. “Now! Before Nahuel does something to her!”

Charlie’s gaze darkened at the mention of the hybrid who was quickly loosing favor in all circles. Sam noticed and nodded his head. “We can’t run there and make it in time,”

“We have to try!” Seth exclaimed. He looked at them all, imploringly. “We have to do something!”

“Seth, calm down!” Sue told her shaking son. His body and eyes were red with fury; he shook and quivered with anger. “We are going to do something,”

“We’re going to the airport,” Sam finished the matriarch’s comment.

“What?” everyone blinked in confusion. That was not what they had expected in the least.

“The Cullens are meeting us in a private jet, and we are going to fly down as far south as we can go. Then, we run,”

Iris had been gone for eighteen hours. It was time to bring her home.