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…
28. Chapter 28
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It had been four days since she ran away. It took nearly three to get to Nahuel’s tribe, and then she passed out like a sissy at Alec’s news. Day four looked to be an odd day. Somehow, though she wasn’t entirely sure it was a good thing, Iris had befriended another redhead; admittedly, this redhead was not psychopathic. She was rather cool actually, but it would be forever and a day before Iris admitted that out loud.
“Iris?” Nahuel called through the cloth that was a door to Iris’s hut. “May I talk to you?”
Gia met her new friends eyes, and waited. It was going to be her choice. To Iris, it was no choice.
Immediately, Gia hunched over and started to giggle. She valiantly tried to cover it with her hand, pressing it hard against her mouth, but it didn’t work. It only made things funnier. She was going to like this blunt girl. Alec rolled his eyes and slapped a hand to his forehead. To him, it was another giggly, stubborn teenaged girl like his mate. Eternity would become a lot longer when Iris joined the guard.
“Please,” Nahuel whispered. It was a heart wrenching plea, one that pulled on the strings of every woman could hear’s heart. Gia’s beautiful expression softened and her hand unconsciously fluttered above her dead heart. She turned to look at her mate with lovey dovey eyes that made Iris want to barf. It looked like she was about to jump him then and there.
“No,” Iris remained staunchly unaffected.
“If you would just listen to me for a minute, you would understand––”
“I don’t want to understand, Nahuel. I don’t fucking care. All I know is, as usual, you lied. Everyone lies. Why I’m surprised, I don’t know. It just shows that I’m a fool,” she hissed.
All of a sudden, Nahuel was in front of her and the vampires vanished. Oh, when this was done, she was going to murder them both in their beds––even if they didn’t sleep. They’d be in bed sometime, even if they were doing it. She would get them, no matter what. “You aren’t a fool,” he whispered to her. “No fool at all,”
He gingerly cupped her face and brushed away a stray lock of hair that had fallen in between her eyes. She had not even known it was there. Iris jerked back. “Get the fuck away from me,” she hissed.
“I wasn’t trying to fool you,” he pleaded. “I promise,”
“Well I don’t believe you,” Iris stormed over to the other side of the hut. It wasn’t a large dwelling, a fat lot of good it did her. She could not get more than a few feet away from the irking hybrid. “I don’t care either,”
“I care,” Nahuel told her. “Very much,”
“Go crawl in a pit and die!”
“Listen to me!” Nahuel pleaded. “Please! You don’t know the entire story!”
Iris gave him a considering look. For just a moment, his heart lurched with hope. Then, she answered a cold, derisive, “No,” and proved that she too could toy with a heart.
“They threatened my family,” Nahuel vehemently protested, now desperate. “Hulien, and my sisters! Even Joram! I didn’t dare disobey and condemn them to unnecessary eradication! I couldn’t let them die! Not even that bastard that is my sire!”
“I don’t care!” Iris cried. “I don’t care! you said you loved me and you lied! To my fucking face! So no, I don’t give a damn!”
“What if it was your family? If it were Micah or Brent? Your mother or Chief Swan? Wouldn’t you save them?” Nahuel demanded.
“Yes!” Iris screamed, offended that he would dare to think otherwise. “In a heartbeat!”
“Then why won’t you forgive me” he pleaded.
“Because you lied to me,” she hissed. Duh.
“You said you would have done the same thing,” he protested.
“Yeah, for my family,” Iris crossed her arms and dug in. “Not yours,” Like she cared about them at all.
“That’s a double standard,” argued Nahuel, now cross himself.
“Uhm…duh?” Iris snapped. “I’m a fifteen year old girl. I only care about me,” she jerked a thumb back at her.
Nahuel snarled at her, “You’re fucking incorrigible,”
Iris smacked her tongue. “Yeah,” she agreed. “Don’t worry. You’ll get over it.” Everyone else did.
“Iris, I love you!” Nahuel tried again.
“Really?” she cried exasperatedly. “Somehow, Nahuel, I have a hard time believing that,”
He was exasperated too, and exhausted. Grabbing her arms, he jerked her around and pulled her against his body. Before she realized what was happening, he was kissing her. Their fist kiss. It was over before she could process it.
Pulling back, Nahuel looked at her with imploring eyes. “None of it changes how I feel about you,” he confessed. “No matter what happens, I do love you,”
“You’re lying,” she whispered, knees weak and legs shaking. “You were sent to seduce me,”
“I was,” he ruefully admitted. “But somewhere along the way, the lines were blurred and I forgot my role. I ended up being seduce by an intoxicating creature who had no business playing in this world of monsters. I stopped acting long ago,”
“And yet, you brought me here, to give me to the Volturi,” she accused him.
“It has been the most painful experience of my life,” he confessed. “Why do you think I was in such a horrible mood on trip down? Just thinking about it makes my blood run cold,”
“But you won’t fight it,” she reminded him dully.
“What choice do I have?” he sighed. “They’ve threatened my family,”
“You could have left me alone,” she said. “You could have let me be with Seth, let me be happy. It was all going swimmingly until you showed up.”
“Really?” Nahuel snarled. “And what would you have done after he imprinted?”
“He didn’t imprint on Germain until he found out about us!”
“Us?” Nahuel quirked an eyebrow and said with a triumphant drawl, “So you admit that you love me,”
Iris blinked and shook her head, trying to clear it. Jerking away from his outstretched, greedy hands she snapped, “I meant us in a platonic us. Romantically we have nothing,”
“Iris, I love you,” he adoringly declared. The love and the sap in his eyes was so overpowering she had to look away. It was worse than the way Sam looked at Emily, with such utter love and devotion that she felt like she was intruding on a private, lover’s moment. At least Seth didn’t look at Germain that way. Normally, that was how he looked at Iris, and her heart fluttered in pain. “You can’t deny that,”
“Oho!” she exclaimed shrilly, desperate to not think of Seth. “I will try!”
“How?” Nahuel demanded. “Pretend that I don’t exist?”
“Yes,” she folded her arms staunchly. “I’ll go back to La Push,”
Nahuel derisively snorted. “Good luck with that. You severed all ties to humanity, remember? You’ve got nothing left. You can either stay with me, or you can go to Voltera and join Aro’s guard. Those are your only options,”
“I’ll think of something else,” she snapped angrily. “I’m smart like that,”
“They won’t give you a choice,” Nahuel warned her “It’s one or the other,”
“We’ll see about that,” she declared as she marched out of the tent.
Nahuel followed her out as she marched in full form. her arms swung at ninety degree angles and she goose stepped with such firm anger that Seth would have laughed at her. Nahuel, on the other hand, was just as angry as she was. “What are you doing?” he snarled. “Do you have any idea who you are trying to cross?”
“They’re vampires,” Iris sniffed. “Just like the Cullens. Scary,” she rolled her eyes.
Alec was waiting outside for her, flanked by Gia and Felix. The others––Gabriel, Ariana, Chelsea and Demetri––filed around them in a half moon formation. Was it accidental, or where they trying to be quaint? She knew that they had heard every word she spoke, technically screamed at Nahuel, and they knew what she was going to stay. They all looked grimly at her, and waited for her to ask the question. She could see in their eyes that they were going to tell her no.
She glared defiantly at them all. “I’m going back home,” she snapped.
“This is now your home,” Alec replied softly. “It is either this or Volterra, those are your choices,”
“I don’t want to go to either place,” Iris replied more evenly. She didn’t hate Alec like she hated Nahuel. “I want to go back home,” she shot a glance at Nahuel. “I changed my mind,”
Alec sighed. “You can’t do that, Iris,” he said.
“Earlier both you and Gia said I could go back home,” she reminded him with folded arms. “Gia was even ordering me to,”
“That was before we realized that you renounced the humans,” Alec explained. His mate snorted and he gave her a pitying look. “You know the secret,” he explained, looking back at Iris. “You’re an exposure risk, and that Masters demand that any threat be exterminated,”
Iris snarled, “They all fucking know about vampires in La Push! I can go back there and keep the secret! Yours and theirs!”
“We can’t trust you there. You’re a flight risk. You’ve run away several times already. You could disappear and then start telling everyone,”
“They’d put me in an insane asylum,” she argued.
“But there would be those who would believe you,” Alec replied. “And they’re just as dangerous,”
“I would never tell,” Iris vehemently swore.
“We don’t know that for sure,” he answered.
“I do!” she cried. “I’m not all that stupid,”
“So said Bella,” Alec told her. “And we were still adamant that she be made part of the supernatural,”
“I’m already a soothsayer!”
“You don’t know how to use your powers,” Alec contradicted her. “So it is as if you are not,”
“Could the Masters teach me how to be a soothesayer?” Iris demanded. “Or would they demand that I become a vampire and hope some nifty power manifests as a result?”
“It would be I who will mostly teach you,” Felix interrupted with a deep bass voice. “Algoria was my mate, after all,”
She watched the pain flicker in his eyes and how his body tenses. He loved the dead woman, Iris’s last predecessor still, after all these years. Would she be like that with Seth, or was it just a teenaged obsession she had with the wolf man? “Do you know?” she asked. “Everything?”
Felix shook his head. “More than most,” he replied softly. “But not everything. She was a dedicated soothesayer, but not even she dared reveal everything. The secrets of the guild died with her,”
“And Aro knows much as well,” supplied Gabriel. “Caius too,”
Adriana’s gentle voice interrupted them all and everyone turned to look at the odd, but striking vampire. She was used to all the attention; it was commonplace, even within the halls of Volterra. “Don’t make your decision right now,” she advised Iris. “Think about it and choose what you truly want.”
Alec nodded in agreement. “We shall leave you alone for the remainder of the day, so you may make your own choice uninfluenced. At sundown, you will announce your decision,”
And suddenly, the vampires were all gone. Iris looked at Nahuel, flabbergasted at the speed and coolness of it all. He was looking at her with adoration and fear. He wanted her to stay. Shaking her head, Iris started walking towards the forest. She had a lot to think about.
Nahuel watched her go forlornly.
As soon as he set his little mate down, Gia’s cellphone was out and her fingers were flying so fast that it astounded him she was in her human form. There were no mistakes, no mispellings or wrong words as her fingers danced over the keypad. “What are you doing?” he asked.
He could barely see her fingers move. Her forehead creased in concentration as she answered, “Texting,”
He grinned and tucked a strand of orange hair behind her ear. “Who are you texting?”
She bit her lip, and snapped her phone shut to wait for a reply. “Nessie,”
Immediately his gazed darken. “Gia,” he softly said warningly. “What have you done?”
The phone buzzed. She flicked it open with a snap of her wrist and instantly replied to Renesmee. “Just making sure the Cullens know exactly what is happening,”
“They have no control over her fate,” replied Alec. He looked at his mate’s phone and read the message: Almost there. Stall!!!!! “Renesmee is a bad influence on you,”
Gia shrugged as she quickly replied. “I would have done it anyway,” she told her mate and he knew she wasn’t lying. “She shouldn’t be forced here with that hybrid,”
“Just because you want her to be happy––”
Gia’s phone clicked shut and she was glaring at him full force. Her navy eyes glowered murderously. “Would you like me to be taken from you again?” she demanded harshly. “Because we all know that if Callum figures out where I am, he won’t hesitate to make me come back!”
“That’s different!” Alec snarled viciously. “I’d rip that bastard apart before he could even get his hands on you,”
“It’s the exact same thing!” she shouted. “Seth is Iris’s mate, not Nahuel, and forcing her away, stealing her just for her power, is wrong! It’s exactly the same thing as Callum wanting me to stay with the Hunters! The exact same thing!”
“What do you want me to do about it?” he demanded and instantly regretted it.
Hope flashed in her beautiful eyes. “Let them take her,” she whispered. “Alec, please,”
He sighed despondently. “You know I can’t do that,”
“Would you want the Masters to fight for me? Keep me from Callum?” she asked him.
“If Seth loves her the way I love you, then he will fight to keep her,” responded the quiet vampire.
“He will fight,” Gia said confidently. “I know that much,”
Alec rubbed his face with his hand. “Get me the Masters,” he told the ever looming Ariana. “Now,”
Iris had no idea what she should do. On the one hand, she was fascinated with the concept of soothesayers. It was so strange, so out there, that it mystified her. What on earth could it all mean? And then Felix’s offer to help her learn and fully understand herself. It was tempting.
But when she thought of Chief Swan, of Brady and Cheyne, of Seth, her heart lurched. She wanted to go back to them, back home. She missed everything about that dodgy little town, especially Seth. She missed him more than she ever thought possible. He was all she had ever wanted without realizing it, and being with him had been the best time of her life. It seemed so impossible that she could ever feel as strongly about someone else.
Then there was Nahuel. They way they had become so close so suddenly was frightening. It seemed too surreal to be accidental. Was she meant to be with him? For certain, they had been incredibly good friends, thought not best friends. Brady was her best friend. Emphasis on was. Now she supposed all she had left in the world was Nahuel. It was him or utter loneliness.
And like that, Iris had made her decision.
“Have you made your decision yet?” his voice whipped through her, tearing her skin and pealing away her close. The surprise actually caused her physical pain. Turning around, trembling, Iris looked at him as he slowly walked towards her, like a shadow dancing over the dark terrain.
She licked her dry lips, “Yes.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Nahuel told her, his braided hair serpentinely coiled around his thick neck. “I won’t let you leave me,”
She backed up, her steps tiny and unsure. He grinned malevolently at her, enjoying her fear. Once she believed that he would never hurt her, but she suddenly wondered if that was true. “You don’t own me,” she told him with a fierce scowl.
Nahuel laughed darkly. “I do,” he told her.
She stumbled but quickly recovered. Hands fumbled behind her, passing over leaves and shrubs, trying to tell her which way to struggled to find a clear path. They scraped against the rough bark of a tree but she latched onto it, desperate for stability.
He took a deep breath. “Even now, I can smell it. Your arousal,” he grinned at her open blush and wide eyes. “You’re enjoying this,”
She glared at him but didn’t say anything as he walked slowly, dominatingly towards her. Every step in his swagger told her that he owned her, that no matter what happened, she was always going to belong to him. Her knees began to quake and her heart pounded.
Nahuel chuckled. “He never made you feel this way,” he persisted.
“He was possessive,” she retorted.
Nauel shrugged unperturbed. “Perhaps,” he admitted as he slowly stalked towards her. “But he never claimed to own you, to have tamed you.”
He was so intoxicatingly close that she was having a hard time breathing. Her chest rose up and down so hard, and reached so far that she looked like a helpless cartoon. Nahuel’s eyes for once did not lock in on her heaving bosom but on her face. He watched her eyes like a movie screen, grinning madly.
“I know it excites you,” he told her, taking another step. “To be submissive, and not in control. To have someone dominate you,”
“You don’t know that!” she snapped at him.
He tapped his nose with a finger and she flushed brightly again. “I have always known,” he told her. He now leaned down to look at her. Their bodies were pressed flush against each other, heat against heat and hard against hard. He buried his nose in her neck and inhaled like he was smelling Heaven. It was the exact same breath Garret had taken before trying to drain her. “Everything you do exudes your want, your desire, your need. And that little boy most certainly can’t give you what you need when he can’t even recognize it himself. He was a fool to let you get away,”
Drawing back, his dark eyes met her and cold sliced through her. “I won’t make the same mistake,” he promised.
Thunder rumbled loudly overhead and lightning crackled in the dark sky. Iris glanced up at the ominous sign and suddenly she knew exactly what was going to happen. Go soothesayer powers.
Nahuel wasn’t lying.
He kissed with with all the passion and desire he had in his body. Holding her head in between his calloused hands, he pressed his lips so hard against hers that it was painful. Her lips that remembered as soft as pillows and skin delicate as silk, he parted her mouth with his tongue and took over her entire body. She could not move or fight back, she could not protest or cry out. But she threw her arms around his neck and let him ravage her. She submitted and let him own her.
This was going to be her future, her life. Immortal, young and beautiful forever. She was going to be him, not Aro’s, not the Volturi’s or Seth’s. Nahuel’s.
Pulling back, she panted loudly, and said to the trees, the rain and the storm. “Make me yours,” she gasped. “I’ll be your mate,”
And the thunder rolled.
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 17
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 19
- Chapter 20
- Chapter 21
- Chapter 22
- Chapter 23
- Chapter 24
- Chapter 25
- Chapter 26
- Chapter 27
- Chapter 28
- Chapter 29
- Chapter 30
- Chapter 31
- Chapter 32
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- 21 Nov 08
- 29 Aug 10