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Shooting Star

Summary:
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


Notes:


13. Chapter 12 - Motivation

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2509   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER 12: Motivation

That night I dreamed of Edward chasing me around our meadow, both of us laughing. He was going at human speed, following my footsteps. Every time I would look over my shoulder at him, he would smile an impish grin at me and speed up. When he finally reached me, I only felt his arms circle my waist from behind.

“Tag,” he whispered in my ear. I turned to look him in the eye and met red ones, glowing; boring into mine. “You’re it,” he whispered as he leaned his mouth to my neck.

I’d woken up screaming.

“Bella! Bella!” Edward’s concerned cries brought me to consciousness. I sat up, ramrod straight in the bed, the covers falling off the top half of me, and a cold sweat covering my skin. I turned to him and flung my arms around him, seeking comfort. “It was just a dream…” he assured, his hand making soothing circles on my back. “It was just a dream.”

After he had calmed me down, I got dressed in a button down flannel shirt and jeans and headed downstairs. We walked through the same two rooms I had seen yesterday and then across the entry room to another room.

“The dining room,” Edward explained with a smile. This room was painted relatively calm compared to the other overdone rooms. The walls were painted a calm, warm chocolate brown, and the furniture was at odds with the rainforest feel the others had had. The long table was a beautiful dark wood, the chairs the same. The fan above the table was intricately adorned with metal patterns. I marveled unchecked for a minute before I caught Edward looking at me with an amused smile and pulled my jaw back up.

Carlisle had thought to bring some food, so I had my usual pop tarts. Edward left to room to go talk to Carlisle, assuring me he would explain everything later. Tessa, sitting across from me at the table, watched me intensely as I chewed and swallowed each bite.

“It’s just so long since I’ve been around someone who eats,” she said in reply to my questioning gaze.

“You’re not the first to say that,” I said, taking another bite. She smiled again, reaching out her hand to stroke the wilting flowers in the vase that rested on the table. They immediately sprang back to life. I shook my head in awe.

“You’re amazing,” I told her.

“When I was human, I lived in the New York City of 1886. I’d always loved flowers.” She started into her story with no further prompting from me. “But I lived in a little one room apartment with my mother, so we didn’t have room or money to support a garden. Since I was little I wanted to be a florist. When I turned fourteen, I started working at a grocery store around the corner from our apartment building—saving up money. With the money I earned, I bought enough supplies and seeds to start my own rooftop garden. My plants were so healthy and beautiful…almost glowing. I used to spend hours up on the roof, tending to my flowers in the hot New York sunlight.” She paused, a far away smile on her face. But then her expression darkened. “I remember that night very clearly.

“I wanted to plant my new strawberry seeds, but I didn’t have any soil left to put in the pot. So I decided to sneak out to buy some. I walked out of the store, bag of plant food in my hands, and began to head home…but,” she hesitated, her eyes quickly assessing my expression, “it was so dark—I got lost. And that’s when he sprang from behind me.” The room went quiet for a time before she spoke again. “He drank, and left me for dead, although somehow…I was still breathing. Then three days later, when the pains stopped, the hunger started.

“I was fourteen at the time. I thought I’d gone crazy. But the thirst…it was too driving to ignore. But after I’d curbed it for the first time, I looked down at the girl I’d killed—” she cut herself off, drawing patterns on the table’s smooth surface with her finger. “I couldn’t believe I’d actually killed someone. I was in such denial. But that passed…and then came the guilt. I was so disgusted that I’d taken a human life that I ran and didn’t stop. I ran north, up through Vermont and Maine, and then into Canada. I stumbled around in the wilderness who knows how many years. I grew very weak, but I was still convinced I’d gone crazy.

“But then…Erin appeared. I was so relieved when she showed up and was like me…pale skin, red eyes.” Tessa smiled ruefully. “She told me of the world I had entered. She was from Arkansas, changed to be a newborn for an army…like the one in Seattle not too long ago. So sorry we couldn’t help you out. Stubborn Irina was so distraught with grief over Laurent. He was nice, but I could tell he didn’t want to be here. And after we heard he was still keeping up his old ties with this Victoria who was using him to get to you, we couldn’t believe she still wanted revenge. She became someone we didn’t even know. Our Irina didn’t exist anymore when she left.” She looked up suddenly. “I got off topic there. Sorry. I do tend to ramble.”

“No problem,” I told her, “go on.”

“So where was I? Oh, Erin, yes.” She smiled, “Erin and I traveled together, moving west across Canada. We only fed twice; I don’t know how we managed to keep out strength. We both felt incredibly guilty over killing humans, but we just couldn’t stop ourselves. Finally we made it to Alaska, and…there was Tanya. We told her how we hated the killing, and she showed us a new way of life.” Tessa shrugged, “And we’ve been with her ever since.”

“Wow,” was all I could manage to say. Tessa grinned at me.

“Kate and Eleazar were already here with Tanya when we came. She found Kate in Los Angeles in 1905. They traveled together, stumbling across Carlisle in Chicago. He was working as a doctor in a hospital there. This was before he turned Edward. After speaking to him, they decided to live as he did and eventually settled down here together. Shortly after…around 1934, they found Eleazar. He’d been lost in the wilderness for days, and was about to die of starvation and gangrene. So, Tanya turned him. Kate and Eleazar have been together since then. It took Erin and me a while to get here, so we didn’t make it to Alaska until the 1950’s. And then Irina came. She never really talked much about her past…”

“Was that completely necessary, Tessa?” Edward’s voice was suddenly beside me.

“She’s surprisingly easy to talk to,” she told Edward, winking at me. I smiled. Edward stared at her skeptically. “Besides, Bella is going to be one of us soon, right? She’s a Cullen now, and we tell you everything. She has a right to know.”

“Regardless,” Edward trailed off, scooping me up of the chair and into his arms like princes do when they rescue a princess.

“Regardless of what?” I asked as he carried me out of the room.

“I have no idea.”

“Wow. Edward can’t think of anything to say. The apocalypse is coming.” He chuckled, setting me down.

Suddenly, I thought of something.

“Has anyone seen Jacob today?” I looked at my watch. It was eleven thirty. I’d slept in. Edward closed his eyes for a minute.

“He’s up in his room, sulking,” he informed me, his eyes still closed. When he opened them, an annoyed expression had crept across his face.


“Should I go up and talk to him?” I asked, carefully watching Edward’s face for any sign on anger, or discomfort. But it remained no more than annoyed.

“He’d like to talk to you. He wants to apologize.”

“For what?” I asked, perplexed. He pulled gently on a lock of my hair.

“Go talk to Jacob and find out.”



A few minutes later I stood outside the door Edward had guided me to. It was on the third story, at the end of the hall. The door was a rich auburn colored wood.

“I’ll be in our room if you need me,” Edward said, his hand hesitating slightly as he pulled it off my shoulder. I listened, but there were no retreating footsteps. He was there and then he wasn’t.

I knocked on the door twice.

“Jake?” I called. “It’s me, Bella.” Silence answered me. I knocked again. “Can I come in?” I heard a loud sigh on the other side of the door and then heavy footsteps. The door swung open.

“What do you want, Bella?” His voice seemed tired.

“Edward said you wanted to talk to me.”

“Damn.” Another sigh as he stepped aside. “Come in.” I did so and looked around. The room was painted one solid color—a deep blue, like the sky right after the sun completely sets and you are just staring to see the stars. The bed was a pale yellow—almost white, along with all the other furniture: a bedside table with a lamp, a desk and chair…the same as in Edward’s and my room.

“Nice room,” I complimented.

“Yah. S’ nice.”

“So what did you want to talk to me about?” I asked.

“Ah,” he ran a hand through his hair, sighing frustratedly. “I wanted…to apologize for the other night. I was just scared.” His words came out in a rush. “I’d never been attacked like that, and then to see you there with him…my brain just shut down. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“You’re forgiven,” I said at once. There was a long pause and I could sense there was something he wasn’t telling me. “What else did you want to say?” Jacob didn’t speak, just awkwardly rubbed his arm. “C’mon, Jake. You can tell me anything. Life of servitude up for grabs.” He might’ve smiled but it was gone too fast for me to see.

“There was someone else in the clearing.” His tone turned dark and I waited for him to go on. He didn’t.

“Explain, Jacob. I don’t understand.” My brow furrowed in confusion.

“You know how is said there were five?”

“Yah.”

“Well there were five. But then as I ran through it again and again in my head, there was another, standing in the shadows were I couldn’t see. The girl—”

“Jane.”

“Yah, her. Once I remember her talking to him. I was too freaked out to notice. I suddenly couldn’t move…like all my muscles had locked up.”

“What did she say?” My hands started to shake so I laced my fingers together.

“She said: ‘Not now, Matthew, I want to see his strength.’ And then when I could move again, I attacked.”

“So there are two new guardsmen.” My voice was low…horrified.

“And I take it this is a bad thing?” Jacob assumed.

“So he made it so you couldn’t move?” I asked for clarification.

“Yah, it was like I suddenly wasn’t in control of my body anymore…I was still conscious of what was happening, but I was just inside my body, not in control of it.” I contemplated that for a moment.

“Anthony and Matthew…” I breathed.

“So the first bloodsucker can cancel out powers and stuff, right?” I nodded. “And the other one…can paralyze people?”

“Maybe.”

“Or maybe he just takes control of your body. That might be it.” We were both so lost in our own thoughts that the knock on the door made us both jump.

“Since I’m already listening,” Edward’s voice said from the other side of the door, “may I come in and possibly contribute.” I glanced at Jacob. He glared at the door and mouthed the words “go away” but then sighed, shrugged, and rolled his eyes.

I strode to the door, opening it. A second later, Edward was across the room. I shut the door and walked back to my place in front of Jacob.

“Matthew?” Edward asked.

“That’s what the little girl bloodsucker called him.”

“If what you suppose is true—that this Matthew really can take over the bodies of others—than the Volturi is growing increasingly powerful. Why, though?”

“Remember the point Carlisle brought up?” I asked, and Edward’s curious gaze turned on me. “That Aro was afraid we might try to overpower the Volturi.”

“Aro would have seen if we were planning any such things when he read Alice’s thoughts. He would have known we would never try that.”

“But you said the thought was defiantly there. That he wanted you and Alice and…” I gulped, “possibly me.”

“Yes. Both of the thoughts were there. Very prominently. He is very good friends with Carlisle, but if he thought he was in danger of being overthrown, he would not hesitate to attack.”

“So do you think that he thinks that we want to overthrow them and become the Volturi ourselves?”

“Maybe,” Edward said, “but the Volturi love their rules too much to attack without a motive.”

“But doesn’t he know Carlisle better than that?” I asked.

“Yes,” Edward answered carefully, “but the fear of losing his power overshadowed his trust and friendship with Carlisle. He is not logical when it comes to fear.”

“So let me get this straight,” Jacob’s deep voice said for the first time in a while, “the bloodsucker royalty think that the Cullens are trying to overthrow them?”

“Possibly,” Edward agreed.

“So what do they do if they think someone is trying to overpower them?”

“Destroy them.” Edward’s dark tone sent a shiver of fear slithering down my spine. “But if the Volturi had wanted to take us out, they would have undoubtedly done it by now.”

“Maybe Aro doesn’t want to destroy you and Alice…or Carlisle for that matter. Maybe he thinks it’s too big of a waste.” Jacob spoke again:

“Do you think they’ll be after the pack too?”

“If they think we’re allied with you.” Edward sighed, running his fingers through his perfect bronze hair. “If they think you intend to help us overpower them, then yes, the pack is at risk.”

Everyone I cared about…everyone I loved was in danger.

Because of me.

Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, Alice…Edward and Jacob. And the new vampires I’d only met yesterday: Tanya, Kate, Eleazar, Erin, Tessa. They were all at risk because I had been thrown into the mix.

I knew now, I wasn’t the only target, but it was because of the cross hairs centered on me, that the people I cared about were now visible in the scope.

I tried to swallow, but found my throat was dry.

“What do we do?” I rasped, my voice barely a whisper.

“Well, first thing’s first.” Edward’s eyes darkened the slightest bit. “We need to go tell Carlisle.”