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Shooting Star

Written before the publication of Breaking Dawn...MY ENDING TO THE TWILIGHT SAGA ----- "Edward, what's going on?" He didn't respond. His golden eyes were far away, like he wasn't seeing me. But then something flashed across his face. An expression of anger... "Matt...ew..." Edward managed to get out through clenched teeth, as if he were fighting something internally. "Or maybe he just takes control of your body. That might be it." Jacob had guessed. "Edward!" I reached out a hand to touch his cold skin, but I stopped--my hand hovering in the air between us. The cold distant look had consumed his face. He then spoke in a voice that had pain and fear shooting through me. "Goodbye, Bella," he hissed as he advanced towards me. Shooting Star Banner


12. Chapter 11 - Reunion

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2348   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER 11: Reunion

“Are they here?!” A high voice shouted through the door, accompanied by a young vampire that looked about fourteen. She was a slender little thing, with an angular face and long light brown hair that waved gently to her ribcage. Tessa blurred past Tanya, causing her blonde locks to rustle in the slight wind, the loose gray tunic styled shirt she was wearing over dark jeans stirred with the speed.

“Alice!” The girl exclaimed, materializing in front of Alice, and bouncing up to kiss her cheek lightly and then hug her. Her light pink dress that hung to her knees swirled around her.

“Tessa!” Alice exclaimed, hugging her back.

“They’re both girly-girls,” Edward explained in my ear and I giggled. When Tessa finally broke away, she blurred over to me, standing two feet away, leaning forwards to examine me. Tanya watched with cautious eyes.

“So you’re the infamous Bella. We’ve heard all about you!”

Beside me, Edward’s mouth twitched up into a smile.

I wondered what thoughts were going through this Tessa’s head. Now that she was closer, she was even prettier. She was one of those people that got more attractive when animated. She had freckles dusted across her cheekbones, and her golden eyes were perfectly almond shaped.

“Now, now, Tessa,” Tanya’s calm voice was suddenly right behind the girl, placing an elegant white hand on her shoulder. “Don’t scare her off.” Tessa flashed me a brilliant smile.

“It would take more than this little monster here to scare off Bella,” Edward contradicted with a smile. I turned to him.

“We already had the discussion about the running and the screaming remember?” He smiled that crooked smile that always made my heart go hyperactive. Even more embarrassing here where I was sure everyone, with the exception of Jacob could hear it.

Speaking of Jacob, he was leaning against a tree near the far corner of the house, away from all the activity, observing with guarded eyes.

Tessa suddenly bent down at my feet to where there was a closed flower, covered in frost. She reached out one finger, gently stroking the bulb, and suddenly, the petals burst into a pink flurry as the flower opened. She plucked the flower, which was almost glowing with healthy pale pink petals, the melted frost taking the form of dew drops. She held it out to me with a smile.

“Welcome to our home, Bella.” With what I guessed were bulging eyes, I reached out and took the flower, bringing it to my nose and inhaling as I closed my eyes. My lids flew open with surprise. It smelled amazing.
“Thank you,” I managed weakly. Edward chuckled beside me.

“Tessa has what you would call a “green thumb”.” She just smiled back, Tanya’s hands on both her shoulders. Suddenly, Tanya’s eyes widened as if she had just remembered something.
“Oh, how rude of me. Come in, everyone. Make yourselves at home.” We all followed her though the elegant doors.

Once in the front room, I looked around with surprise. It had the same open, airy feel as the Cullens, and an entry room almost as large. The inside of the house was painted with bright colors ranging from the pastel green that covered the outside of the house, to sky blue, to midnight purple, to rose pink, to bloody red. It was amazing though, how all the odd colors seemed to match perfectly together to blend into a house with pizzazz splashed over the walls.

I suspected someone had had a little too much fun painting.

I suspected that someone was Tessa.

The furniture was better suited to a canopy house in Central America—grass woven baskets as ornaments in the corners, and couches of the same fashion with cushions adorned with stylish patterns—than the middle of Alaska.

“You’ve redecorated,” Esme said, surprise and awe coloring her voice. I noticed all of them were staring around that way…with the exception of Edward.

“That was Tessa’s idea,” Tanya chuckled. “Edward didn’t tell you?”

“No,” Esme’s tone didn’t change.

“When I was here after this little trouble maker first entered my life,” he nudged my arm gently. I smiled back at him, remembering my first day in Forks when he had glared at me all through Biology. And then the day in the meadow when he’d explained he’d actually escaped to Tanya’s. Alice wandered around, brushing her fingertips across the edge of furniture and trailing them across the walls.

“Wonderful job, Tessa,” Alice praised, awe in her voice. Tessa just smiled again. I could see she was the kind of person who did that a lot.

“I’m just glad you guys came to visit. It’s been forever since we’ve hung out Alice.”

“I know. Ten years, I believe.”

“They’re like sisters,” I whispered to Edward. He just nodded.

“Just be glad Tessa wasn’t there while we were planning the wedding. She’s Alice times ten.”

I could barely wrap my mind around the concept.

It was hard to imagine Alice’s enthusiasm for all things decorative amplified.

“Where are the others?” Tanya asked softly. Tessa said nothing, just grinned at the doorway behind us. We all whirled around.

“We were wonderin’ what all this noise was. So the Cullens finally decided to show up, huh?” In the doorway stood a lanky girl with cropped auburn hair, almost as short as Alice’s, poking out of a red bandana she wore. Her face was more squared off than the others, yet still very beautiful. She was tough looking, and the tight tank top and cargo pants added to the affect. Her features looked of Hispanic descent, yet her skin was colorless as the rest of them.

“Now, Kate,” a deep voice said. It beat the man to the doorway, but suddenly he materialized behind Kate, his pale hand slinking around her waist. He had a sharp face with bright eyes that drew attention. He was undeniably handsome, his black hair cropped in stylish uneven layers down to the tips of his ears. He wore a formal sweater with the collar of a white shirt poking up, similar to the style Edward sometimes wore. It was strangely at odds with Kate’s…Indie appearance. They both looked as if they had been changed in their mid to late twenties. “It’s not their fault no one’s faster than you.” She smirked at him.

“I’m not sure I agree with you on that one.” Edward’s voice was playful as he greeted them. “Hello Kate. Hello Eleazar.”

“Hello Edward,” the chorused together and then laughed.

“Hello, Carlisle,” Kate said, taking Eleazar’s hand and dragging him behind her. I could clearly see who was in charge of this relationship. She shook his hand, then releasing it so Eleazar could repeat her. Kate gazed around at all the faces. “It’s great to see all you guys again. Lookin’ great, Rose,” Kate shot a one fingered salute at Rosalie. The corner of Rosalie’s mouth just twitched, while Emmett’s widened into a broad grin.

“Having fun with the harem, Eleazar?” Emmett joked. Eleazar smiled back playfully, trailing his fingers down Kate’s bare arm.

“It’s like living at the Playboy mansion.” Tanya covered Tessa’s ears, but she shook them off.

“I’m older than you, Tanya. Stop,” she giggled. The rest of us laughed. I realized at once that Eleazar was the only male here. Lucky Kate, I thought with a smile. Tanya’s laughing face suddenly turned questioning.

“Where’s Erin?” She asked.

“Probably in her room sulking,” Tessa offered, “you know how she doesn’t like company.”

“Erin!” Kate called, her voice louder than necessary. I knew the girl named Erin would hear if Kate had whispered. “Get your anti-social butt down here before I have to get up and drag it here!”

“Yeesh, Kate,” sighed the girl that had just appeared behind Tanya. “Calm down.” She had her straight golden blonde hair pulled up into a casual ponytail, a fringe of blonde bangs reached over the span of her forehead until it brushed her eyelids. Everything about her—including her face—screamed “athletic!” She was tall and lanky, like Jasper, and seemed frozen in her late teens. The plain white t-shirt she wore over her faded, ripped jeans just seemed to draw attention to her face which was…not quite scowling, but defiantly not smiling like the rest of them.

“Erin’s still having some…difficulties.” I’d heard Carlisle say. Was she new to this life? It was almost like she an angrier, female version of Jasper.

“Hey, Jasper,” she said to my surprise, her hand raising and flicking to the side in a casual half wave. Jasper’s mouth twitched up into a smile as he returned the wave.

“They’ve been friends ever since they met,” Edward whispered commentary in my ear. I nodded, staring around at all the new, pale, beautiful faces in awe.

“Everyone,” Carlisle addressed the new faces, and motioned to me. I shock ran through me as all heads turned. “This…” he paused for dramatic effect, “is Bella.” Edward’s hand wrapped around my waist in comfort and I was grateful. I felt like I was a bug under a microscope. A chorus of “Hello, Bella”s and “Nice to meet you!”s greeted me.

“It’s nice to meet you all,” I mumbled back, exerting an effort to make eye contact.

“And this is Jacob,” Carlisle motioned to Jacob as he leaned against the wall beside the door.

No one said hello to him.

I felt sorry for Jacob. There were a dozen vampires in the room, the smaller half of them scrutinizing him.

“You’re the werewolf?” Tanya asked, true interest in her eyes.

“Yah,” Jacob answered simply. A whispered rushed through the Alaskan vampires.

Out of nowhere, a small object—it was moving too fast for me to see what it was—zipped through the air and collided with Kate’s forehead. She looked up in response.

She glared over at Erin who was giggling.

“Erin,” Tanya scolded.

“What?” Erin’s face snapped into an innocent, what-did-I-do expression. Tanya turned to Carlisle to say something, and another object whizzed from the table—this time I saw it was a paper clip—and hit Kate again.

“I swear, Erin, do that again…” Kate glared at Erin from across the room.

“Let’s get you all settled in your rooms!” Tanya exclaimed, her louder tone putting an end to the petty quarrel. I was confused, and looked up at Edward with questioning eyes, seeking an explanation.

“Erin has telekinetic powers,” he told me softly. I gazed back at the tall blonde girl with renewed awe. Erin caught my gawking, and smiled.

“You can move things with your mind?” I asked in wonder.

“Yup,” she said, popping the “p” on her lips.

“All right,” Edward’s voice pulled my eyes away from Erin. “You can cross-examine them all later. Let’s go see our room.” I thought I saw Erin grin as Edward took my hand led me through one door, and then across that room to another. This room was a small family room with the same woven furniture covered in cushions, only this room had a coffee table with a glass top and a huge plasma screen dominating almost all of one wall. He turned me away from my ogling and to a door at the far end of the room. Opening this, I found a narrow white staircase.

“Do you want to tackle the stairs yourself at risk of injury, or should I carry you?” I rolled my eyes and him and started up the stairs, gripping the railing that was mounted to the wall with both hands. Then something occurred to me.

“We don’t need a guide?” I asked, looking over my shoulder at him.

“I know what room they have for us,” he smiled his crooked smile and tapped his head with one long finger. I sighed.

“Of course,” I muttered. We reached the top which opened out into a long hallway, the walls painted pale blue with intricate vines dancing across them. With the rest of the house painted in such detail, you’d think every room painted that way would be too much, but it was decorated in such a way that it just made the house seem brimming with life.

I marveled at the skill.

Maybe Edward hadn’t been joking when he’d said Tessa was Alice times ten. He led me to the end of the hall where he stopped at a mahogany door carved with the silhouette of a pine forest. He turned the knob and swung the door open.

“See what you think.”

I passed through the doorway and stopped, Edward slipping in to stand behind me as I marveled.

It was a beautiful room. The walls were painted with trees to resemble the forest outside of Forks in the summer. The greens that filtered through the two dimensional forest reflected the actual dim light that streamed through the thick trees in Forks. Up against the wall opposite us was a huge bed with linens, blankets and pillows all in varying shades of green and brown.

“It looks like…our meadow…” I whispered, barely able to speak. Edward chuckled.

“I knew you’d like it.”

“Like it?” I exclaimed, wheeling to face him, “I love it! This house is amazing!” I felt his cold hands on either side of my face.

And suddenly he was kissing me. My excitement, and worry, and fear, and everything else that had been whirling into a hurricane inside my head suddenly calmed and were replaced by only the feel of his icy lips on mine.

Finally, I broke away gasping for air.

“It’s moments like that that I live for,” Edward murmured, his eyes a darkened gold.

“Join the club,” I gasped, trying to regain my breath and he chuckled.

“You really like Tanya’s house?” Edward asked.

“Yes!” My tone was exuberant even to my own ears. “But,” I allowed, “I would be happy to live in a cave.” His eyebrows shot up. “As long as I was with you,” I explained.

“As long as I was with you,” he agreed, pressing his icy lips to mine once more.