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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…

30. Chapter 30

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Chapter Thirty––

So once more, she was running. Running for her life. It seemed to be happening all the time nowadays. Meeting these freaks was bad for her very mortal life, but great for her cardio. By the time she ran back to America she would be in some serious shape. And probably even skinnier with even smaller boobs and she’d lose her booty too. She could never win.

It had been so simple. Kind and caring as far as vampires go, they all spoke at a human pace and not that freaky vampire babble so she could understand them. And boy oh boy did she understand perfectly. Nahuel wanted to fuck her, Seth wanted to keep her imprisoned while he was living happily ever after with Germain, and Alec was probably going to eat her. So when no one had been paying the tiny human any attention, Gia had motioned for her to run. Her newfound friend dulled their senses just enough for them not to notice.

It had been her only chance at freedom, and she was not going to let it get away.

Dammit, nobody owned her or controlled her. No one told her what to do. Especially not some ass-kissing vampire and his small-dick hybrid. No, she was her own person and even though she loved Seth, she was not willing to be miserable forever to make him happy. She had forgotten how much it hurt to look at him when he was Germain’s boytoy. Nahuel looked better all the time, but still not great.

So she was back to running, and magically had come full circle.

Iris felt like she was some eighties bimbo in the beginning of a scary movie. They were always running half naked through the forest being chased by some random, stupid, fake monster bent on revenge and death. Only, she was running fully naked through strange forest with very real and relentlessmonsters who had a very specific purpose that was not revenge and death but making her a slave. No way Jose.

They would be behind her any second, with their supernatural speed and creepy monster powers. They all could probably smell which was she ran and trace her steps better than Predator. Who knew, maybe they would not find her. They managed not to when she ran away from the hospital.

Whoa…Alec was right. She ran away all the time. Next time, she’d have to come up with something. No! Iris shook her head as she ran. There would be no next time. This was the last time. This was freedom.

“Iris!” his voice called in the distance. Already they had found out about her escape, and were avidly pursuing her. They would make her stay a captive, imprisoned by whoever won the claiming battle. She did not care who did; any situation would be hell for her.

Pumping her arms faster, Iris Potter ran for all she was worth. This time, she was determined. This time, she would get away.

Suddenly, the wind remembered who she was. She was Iris Potter; she was beautiful and broken and untamable. She was free and no one would hold her back. She was strong, too strong for them to handle and determined. This was nothing. She had been through worse. Iris was a survivor, she always made it through the valley and lived to fight another day. She was Iris Potter, not Cinnamon Swan, and she would never give up. She was Iris Potter and she finally remembered who she was: fearless.

The wind sang around her ears in joy, an enraptured chorus that celebrated just who she was. With the strength and the support of the celestial melody, Iris pushed herself faster than any human could run. She pushed herself faster than Tyson Gay or Kara Goucher, faster than Amy Yoden Begley and Paula Radcliffe. For the first time in her life, she broke through the barrier that had always encased her, always limited her, and reacher her potential.

She was Iris Potter, soothesayer.

Renewed and invigorated, she ran with the grace and poise of a vampire, with the strength and stability of a werewolf, and the power of herself. Literally, she flew, her feet rarely touching the ground as she ran. The world responded to her calls, lifting her up and making her infallible.

Up ahead, the tree line broke. The coast. Seth told her once about Bella’s ill fated cliff dive. Her entire life seemed to mimic that of her sister. And just like her sister, Iris fearlessly thew herself off the precipice. Her body plummeted and she languidly stretched in the air. She might die, but it would be by her choice, and by her design. The water called to her, telling her to jump in and play. She was safe.


Was it Seth or Nessie? The wind or the water? She did not care. None of it matter any more. She was free.

The water was warm and exhilarating. It formed a cocoon around her naked body, pulling tight like a blanket. The elements cared for her more than people. They would listen to her and protect her. She was theirs and they were hers. They were one. Finally, she understood what Dr. Cullen and Felix could only try to comprehend. Though bodies were not eternal, souls were as was the world and the Creator. They drew their power from each other, existed off of each other, like leeches. She would give to the world and the world gave to her.

To be soothesayer was to listen and repeat. Nothing more.

It was the sea who saved her, who pulled her to shore.

“Iris!” it called frantically in it’s deep voice. “Iris, please! Wake up! Iris! Iris!”

It was scared for her, it thought that she might die. How silly. Didn’t the sea know that it would protect her and keep her safe. Hadn’t it saved her. But then she head the deep, melodic chuckling of the sea and she knew that the sea had not needed to save her. Someone else had. Her eyes snapped open and she looked directly into Seth’s eyes.

“Oh, Iris,” he pulled her flush against his also bare chest. “Thank God,” he whispered into her hair.

He held her for a long time, and for that long time, her mind would not work. He held her like she was the most precious thing in the world, made of glass and diamond, able to break at any second and vanish into the depths of history. He whispered her name over and over again, content to hold her limp and soaked, very naked body in his arms. Slowly, so slowly that she barely realized that she was moving, her arms moved around his back. It was only when her hand clutched gruff fabric did she realize that she was clutching him just as tightly.

And she was happy.

After hours––or perhaps it just seemed that long in her delirious state of joy––Seth pulled back and her high plummeted to earth. Seth looked at her with solemn, inky eyes, and he whispered yet again, “Iris.”

Hearing her name tumble so gently from his lips was the best thing in the world to Iris.

Or, at least, it was before he pulled her into a soul-shattering kiss. It wasn’t frenching or probing, it was not demanding. It was loving and adoring, possessive and exhilarating. He was thrilled just to kiss her passionately this one time. This was not a kiss when she breathed or when she thought. There was no physical response, no need to prove anything. Instead, she poured her love and devotion, her pain and hopelessness into it, and let him experience every emotion she ever had. With this kiss, he knew her more than anyone else ever would.

When it finished, her world was complete.

“You left me,”

Those words shattered the world around her.

Iris blinked, and looked up at him. He still held her tightly, holding her as if he let go, she would disappear forever. Which, she would. If he let go, she would become Nahuel’s mate. Any chance at escape was gone, and that one future was left. Fuck him.

“You didn’t chose me,” she hissed back.

Seth looked at her with adoring eyes. “I can’t force the imprint,” he whispered. “But I’ll love you regardless,”

Iris squirmed her way out of his arms. “You fucking bastard!” she screamed as soon as she was free. Long blonde hair tumbled around her lithe, bony frame, trying to hide her from Seth’s view. But she didn’t care at all, so her hair failed. He saw everything she had: the scratches, the burns, the scars and the red marks from the tree. Worst of all, he saw the evidence of Nahuel’s love all over her body. “How dare you say that to me! After what you did! You bastard!”

Seth winced but was on his feet in a split second. He loomed over her, so much larger and powerful than Nahuel. Being with the more average sized hybrid let her forget how diminutive Seth made her feel. “Iris, listen to me––”

But it was all the same bullshit she had heard from Nahuel before. Lie after lie after lie. It was horrible, and she was fucking sick of it. No longer was she going to put up with this bullshit, dammit. She had her own damn epiphany and she now knew exactly who and what she was. And she was not someone to push around and piss off.

“No, you listen, Seth Clearwater––”

Seth grabbed her shaking body by the arms to steady her. Bending down and peering into her eyes, he said, “It wasn’t me, Iris! It wasn’t me!”

Her eyes blazed in fury. “You don’t even know what I’m about to say!” she shouted.

“I didn’t imprint on Germain!” he shouted at the top of his lungs. The plains that edged the beach and the forest that rimmed the plains cleared with a fluttering of wings. Birds of every shape and size took to the sky. The antelope and the animals scurried away in fright, bounding to the safety of the trees. Softer, now that she was finally quiet, he repeated. “It wasn’t me. I didn’t imprint on her,”

Please. Believe me.

She tried to clear her head but yet the words made no sense. No sense at all. “What?” she had no idea what he was saying. It was as foreign as German or Spanish.

“I didn’t imprint on Germain,” he said more slowly. “Brady did,”

“Brady?” she exhaled.

“Yes,” Seth pleaded with her to understand. “Brady,”

Her fingers flew up to her mouth. The tips danced along her pink lips, dictating the confusion written all over her face. “Brady,” she repeated.

Seth nodded, waiting for her to get it. Without warning, she let out a triumphant bark and attacked him. It was these random attacks that he missed so much and it still managed to startle him. He barely managed to catch her as she threw her arms around his neck and jumped up. When she held him like this, her feet dangled in the air and she counted fully on his body for support. As she rubbed her face into his shoulder, Seth realized that she was crying.

“Don’t cry,” he told her. She had already cried too much. “Please,”

“No,” she shook her head. “This isn’t sad. These are happy tears,”

Seth clutched onto her as tight as possible. “I’ll never understand you,”

She gave him a watery giggle, “Good.”

“I’m so sorry,” she gushed when he put her down. Big fat tears started to roll down her cheeks and before Seth knew what was happening, she was full out sobbing. “I’m so sorry, Seth. I didn’t mean to. I mean, I didn’t know. I thought…I thought wrong. And then, Nahuel…He lied to me…And I didn’t know so I went with him. And I’m so sorry Seth but I already promise I’d stay with him! I don’t want to stay, because I want to be with you but I promised! And he’s been saying stuff about claims and ownership and stuff! I think he owns me somehow because I promised, and Alec said I either have to stay here or go to Volterra with them, but I remembered how you said they were evil so I chose Nahuel!”

“Iris,” Seth forced her to look at him. “Listen to me,” he gravely said. “Nahuel does not own you. You are your own person and you always will be. As for leaving, I won’t let you. Not again. I am yours as long as you want me, and I will always be here for you. I won’t let them take you to Volterra or let him take you as his mate without your wishes. I promise, I won’t let anything bad happen,”

“Oh, Seth!” she threw her arms around his waist. “I just want to go back with you! I want to stay with you forever, and I want to get married and have eighty billion kids and let them all be doggies and have nifty cool powers and be artsy and hate vampires and live long lives! I want to be yours, not his or theirs! I want to be yours and you to be mine!”

“Then we’ll be together forever,” Seth promised.

Iris pulled her head back and sniffed. “Really?”

“Iris,” Seth looked at her with his deep eyes. “I love you. I won’t let anything happen to you,”

Her blood ran cold and she stopped breathing. I love you. He had never told her that before. Because you only say I love you when you mean it, so he had always abstained––as had she. He loved her. Really loved her.

For the first time ever, she said it out loud.

“I love you, too,”


“Here,” he tossed her his soaking wet shirt, suddenly very thankful he had not taken it off before the fight. He had to take her back to the others and let them know she was okay, but he wasn’t about to let Brady see her bare. Just because Sam was sure that Brady had imprinted, the horny little toad still made it clear he thought Iris was hot. Nope. That was now for him and him alone.

Iris looked at it for a moment, before shrugging it on. She looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to say she looked appropriate. For Seth, she was much more willing to submit. She loved him. Very much, and she felt like such a fool for not realizing it earlier.

“You’re beautiful,” he told her sincerely, and she flushed brightly.

Truly, she looked like a wreck. His shirt clung to her too thin frame made even smaller by Nahuel’s refusal to feed her, leaving stains of love and horror all over her body. It came down just past her rump, so he would have to be careful as he carried her back. No free shows for anyone. He knew they were going to cost him a fortune, but they’d definitely be worth it. Her icy blonde hair was slightly darker when wet, and it hung limp around her face. Sand and dirt stuck to it like glue, mixing with the grease to form a cement like substance that would take her days to get out, and she had not shaved in four days. Yeah, she had looked much better but he loved her so much that he did not care. She was still beautiful.

He loved her so much more than he ever thought he could love anyone.

Puzzled, he picked at the strand of hair that clung to her nose. Fingering it, he couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of it. “What happened to your hair?”

He had not noticed it before in his hastening to save her, and he couldn’t smell the dye. His strong eyes could barely make out the darkness of her natural hair hidden by the chemicals. Iris flushed and looked at the ground. “Nahuel told me to do it,” she explained. “They weren’t looking for a blonde,”

Seth’s scowl darkened. “Just another reason to hate him,” he muttered darkly

Biting her lip, she tried to tease him. “You can’t hate him all you want, as long as you love me,” she giggled nervously.

Tender love washed over his face. “The day I stop loving you will be the day that you kill me,”

It was both sweet and creepy and it made her heart melt. “Awwwww,” she sighed. “You know I’d never hurt you,”

He kissed her. “Then I’ll always love you,”

She flushed and arched an eyebrow. Hands on her hips, she taunted, “You better, Mister,”

“Forever and always,” he promised. Iris let out a loud squeal when he suddenly swept her off her feet. Literally. One second she was standing feet firmly planted in the sandy beach, the next she was floating in his arms. It was a very disorienting sensation.

Pouting, she said, “Meanie,”

“Come on,” he chuckled, “Let’s go back to the others. They all miss you, too,”

Her gaze darkened. “Can’t we just go home?” she asked.

“Why?” he started to walk towards the tall trees. He had not realized that there were forests in Chile. He thought it was mountains and beaches. Who knew? Seth supposed Alice had to ferret the bastard hybrid out from somewhere. Vampires did seem to prefer trees.

“I just want to be with you,” she seductively batted her eyelashes and pressed herself against him.

Seth groaned as he started to run, “You little witch,”

“I’ve missed you,” she protested as her hand touched his chest possessively. “And I’m really horny,”

He glared at her. “It’s because of that hybrid,” he snarled. “I can smell him all over you,”

“Oh, please!” Iris exasperated cried. “Do you really think I’d get all hot and bothered for that guy?”

He skidded to a halt and looked down at her beseechingly. “Then why do I smell him all over you, and why are you so obviously aroused? You two were getting ready to fuck,” he reminded her. “Or was it going to be rape?”

“Well, he was doing it no matter what happened,” she explained, “And I’ll admit that his whole possessive thing turned me on, but he wasn’t you. I was going to pretend it was you,” she whispered her confession.

“You should know I’d never hurt you like that,” he took off running again. “I love you too much to hurt you,”

“I know,” she sighed.

“Then what’s the problem?” he asked.

“It just turns me on,” she folded her arms across her eyes and looked at him. “Gets me randy and horny as shit. Course,” she pondered for a moment, “I’m always horny nowadays. I blame Old Quil,”

Seth solemnly replied, “He is a bastard to make you so horny.”

Iris let her pink mouth drop. “You’re making fun of me!” she cried.

“Maybe just a little bit,” Seth cracked a smile.

“Don’t make me change my mind,” she warned him.

“Do you really think I’d let you leave me again?” he demanded with smile. He was so happy that nothing could make him feel bad or angry. “I love you too much to let you wander off alone,”

“Like you’d follow me on all my hair brained adventures,” she scoffed. Not that she had too many. Or at least, she had not had too many until she met him. In an adorable way, Seth was her big adventure.

“I certainly can’t let you go alone,” he told her. “I’ll have to suck it up and go with you,”

“It’ll make your life hell,” she warned him.

Seth chuckled. “But in a good way,” he said.

And that settled matters.