A year or so after The Cullens' run in with the Volturi, Alice has a vision that will bring the terrible Italian vampires back to their doorstep, only this time, there are 3 new commers. The Cullens must fight for their right to survive yet again, and battle against a new danger that appears as a beautiful face.
Just about everything in this story happened in a week long dream I had a few weeks ago. I just never got around to writing it out until now.
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1985 Review this Chapter
We ran for several miles, still holding hands and never stopping until a giant russet wolf came into view.
"Jacob!" I hissed as I came to a complete halt. Edward hadn't been expecting me to stop so suddenly and had to jog back to where I was.
"Bella? What is it?" Edward scanned the forest and then he nodded. "Jacob wants to know what the plan is."
I turned to Edward as Jacob walked out from behind the trees, still in wolf form. "What is the plan, Edward? We can't just run up into their territory and expect them to listen to us."
"I know that, but there isn't much we can do. I'm not really sure that they have a territory anyway. They're probably just nomads. We'll just have to be cautious and make sure they see that we mean no harm." His head snapped up at Jacob and he frowned. "No Jacob."
I blinked. "What does Jacob want to do?"
"He wants to come with us, to give us back up. Jacob, look, these are strange and very powerful vampires, the situation is delicate. We don't know how they'd react to seeing a giant wolf walking with us. They might see us as untrustworthy and not help us out."
Jacob growled low, but looked down and kicked up some dirt with his giant paw. I guessed that logic was working on him and he'd given up the argument.
"Jake, you need to help look after the house. What if this is a diversion? The Volturi want us to think they're going after Stephanie and Connor to get the two most gifted vampires from the house so they can attack it?" My voice started to hitch up an octave as this thought started to seem like something the Volturi might do.
"Bella, don't worry. I don't believe that is what they're doing." He smiled reassuringly, but his eyes were tight. He obviously hadn't thought of that as an option.
I sighed. "Jake, just go back so we can get this over and done with."
Jacob looked up at us and bobbed his large head into what must have been a nod and then sprinted off into the trees again. I watched him go and composed my face.
"Edward, we need a game plan here. Do you think you'll be able to read their minds? Could she maybe be letting her mind shield down while keeping the physical one up? We can't go in there blind."
"Sadly, I think we're going to have to go in blind. Just don't make any sudden movements when we're near them. We're very close to where they are right now. Can you smell them?"
I grimaced and then sniffed the air quickly. There were a million different scents around me; pine from the trees, the wet musty smell of the dirt, the burning bitter smell that Jacob left behind, when the sweet smell of a hiker's blood caught my attention I held my breath. The burning in my throat ached and throbbed uncomfortably.
"Ugh... there's a hiker nearby. I didn't have time to get their scent."
"Oh, here, stand over there and sniff, it's downwind from the human so you should be fine." He pointed to a spot about one hundred yards from where we were. We ran quickly to the spot and I sniffed again apprehensively.
"Ah... much better." The ache was still there, but I ignored it, tasting the air again. This time I caught scents mixed in with the other forest smells that did not fit. Lilac, apples, vanilla, roses... it didn't make sense. They were all such different things, but they all seemed to be coming from the same source. It must have been Stephanie and Connor's scent. "They smell... very nice."
Edward laughed. "Let's hope their attitudes match how sweet they smell."
We started running again and the scent got stronger until it was surrounding me. They couldn't just be nomads if their scent was so heavily concentrated in this area. Edward seemed to be thinking the same thing.
"I don't understand how they can manage to hold up a permanent location. I mean it's easy for us because we don't hunt humans, but they'd have to move a lot so as not to be noticed." He was talking to himself mostly. He started to slow down then to a fast paced walk. I slowed with him and looked up at his face. It was scrunched into a grimace and my eyes widened in alarm. "They know we're here. They're waiting for us up this hill. I can't read their minds."
I took a deep breath, not feeling any relaxation from the air in my useless lungs. I checked my shield and made sure it had no holes around either of us. Edward's grip on my hand tightened.
"Here we go." He whispered.
We leapt lightly to the top of the hill and I gasped at the two creatures standing in front of us. I should have been used to the beauty of vampires, being one now myself for over a year, but it still always took me by surprise. Stephanie and Connor were, if possible, the most beautiful vampires I had ever seen, even more so than Rosalie. They stood perfectly still, Stephanie angling herself defensively in front of Connor. I stared at Stephanie, awestruck. She was petite, about 5'2, but with an attractive curve to her body. Her hair was cropped short into a bob, slowly angling up the back of her head. The hair itself was the same strange red-brown color as Edwards and it shined unnaturally in the dim light. Her skin had a kind of radiance to it despite it being as pale as freshly fallen snow. Connor, now completely behind Stephanie, had messy dark brown hair with lighter brown streaks mixed in, bleached from the sun. His skin was slightly olive toned. He was not much taller than Stephanie, about 5'7. I looked down at their clothes and almost smiled. Their clothing hinted at expensive designers that Alice would be drooling over. I looked back to their faces and started. I had not noticed it before, too stunned by their beauty, but their eyes were black with thirst, and around the black was a thin ring of gold. They were vegetarians as well.
Edward positioned himself in front of me absentmindedly and we walked with exaggerated slowness towards the unfamiliar and painfully beautiful vampires. I peeked out from behind Edward at Stephanie's face again, and gasped. She was full out glaring at Edward. Her stare was murderous and it made me feel small and childlike. A snarl rippled through her as we got closer. Edward stopped walking, his hands up palms in front to show we meant no harm. Stephanie continued to growl and Connor put his hand on her shoulder as if to calm her down; she shrugged him off and took a step forward.
"Who are you?" She all but screamed at us. I flinched back at her tone. Despite her anger, her voice sounded more like singing than talking. It was just as beautiful as her face. She glared at us fiercely, seeming to get angrier at our silence.
I stepped slowly out from behind Edward and glanced up at Stephanie. Her bitter eyes never left Edward. "Um... I'm Bella and this is-"
"I didn't mean you." She snapped, finally taking her eyes off Edward and putting the full force of her glare on me. I cringed back behind Edward and tried not to shudder. What had we done to deserve such aggression? Yes, we had encroached on their territory, but we meant them no harm and they could plainly see that. They seemed fine until Stephanie got a good look at Edward. That's when she turned hostile. I gasped. Did she know Edward? Did she possibly hold him responsible for something in the past? I peered out at Stephanie again and she was glaring at Edward again, still waiting for his answer. Why didn't Edward answer her?
"I won't ask again. Who are you? Tell me. Out loud." Her words dripped with acid and she took another step forward. We were now only 20 feet apart from each other. I was confused why she added the ‘out loud' part.
"My name is Edward Cullen." Edward said slowly.
Her nostrils flared. "Your real last name. Your human one." How could she possibly know Cullen was not his real last name? Did all vampires take on a new last name or something? That seemed semi-likely.
Edward seemed just as confused. "Mason."
Stephanie lost it then. She screamed and closed the remaining space to get up in Edward's face. Despite her size, she was very intimidating.
"IS THIS A JOKE!? DO YOU KNOW THIS NAME AND USE IT TO TAUNT ME? HAVE YOU MADE UP YOURSELF TO LOOK JUST LIKE HIM!?" I was taken aback as her anger flowed freely. I stepped back from Edward and Stephanie. Had she mistaken Edward for someone she knew?
Edward stood perfectly still, letting her rip into him.
"DO YOU PLAN ON EVER TALKING EDWARD-"she sneered his name, "OR DO I HAVE TO FORCE WORDS OUT OF YOU!? YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT ME DON'T YOU. OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BROUGHT A SHIELD WITH YOU TO PROTECT YOURSELF!"
I flinched away. She thought I was just here to protect him. Well I was protecting him, but that's not the sole reason I was here. Anger flared inside me at her irrational behavior. How dare she make assumptions and start yelling at Edward when he was obviously not here for a fight. I started to make my way back up to where Stephanie was still screaming at Edward, it was mostly just a string of profanities now, when a hand touched my shoulder. I jumped and turned around. Connor was standing very close to me, his eyes wary.
"Bella, do not interfere. Stephanie has some powerful tantrums, but they never last for very long. She will not harm him. I think I know what is going on here, but we can talk about it once she's calmed down." He smiled warmly and took his hand off my shoulder. I felt strangely at ease with Connor. Not in a forced way like with Jasper's gift, I just knew he wouldn't harm me and I felt compelled to believe that his mate would calm down soon.
I sighed and looked back at Stephanie and Edward. I hadn't noticed before, but they looked a lot alike. Not only in their hair color, but their faces looked similar. They were angled in almost the same way, only Stephanie's face was more rounded and young-looking. I took a step forward as Stephanie went into a crouch, but just as Connor had predicted, her anger was starting to simmer. She straightened up and turned on her heel in the same movement. She stomped out into the forest, punching a thick maple tree and uprooting it.
Connor walked out in front of Edward and me and looked apologetic. "I'm terribly sorry about that... she does have a temper. I take it you have something to talk to us about?"
Edward nodded stiffly, his jaw clenched.
Connor nodded as well. "Follow me to the house. She'll be calmer now and hopefully capable of a reasonable conversation." He smiled ruefully again and sprinted the way Stephanie had gone.
I turned to Edward. "Do you know her?"
Edward shrugged and stared after Connor. "Let's go."
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- 17 Dec 08
- 17 Dec 09