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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:


14. Chapter 13 - Chemistry

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CHAPTER 13: Chemistry

Before I knew it we were downstairs in the front entry hall. Tanya and the rest of her family were no where to be seen.

"Carlisle?" He was there before I could blink. He could probably hear the rushed urgency in the way Edward spoke. "There's something we need to tell you." I hadn't heard Jacob follow us downstairs, so it surprised me when he sighed.

"Won't we have to go outside so the other bloodsuckers don't hear?" His voice was soft, but he looked annoyed.

"Yes," Edward agreed. "We'll run a ways out and then talk."

"Should I get Esme?" Carlisle asked, but Edward was shaking his head before he could finish.

"It might make Tanya think we're hiding something if we all rush off to meet in secret."

"But we are hiding something," I said, my voice barely a whisper. Edward's eyes tightened but he didn't say anything on the subject.

"You can explain later," he said instead. Carlisle nodded his approval. "Come on, Bella." He took hold of my hand pulled me towards the front door. I had enough time to grab my coat from the hook beside the door where I'd left it the previous night before I was thrust out into the frigid Alaskan afternoon.

Edward kept walking and didn't look back.

As soon as we hit the tree line, he swung me up onto his back and we were running. A second later, a risked a peek backwards to find Carlisle following us, Jacob a few yards behind. It did not surprise me that Jacob was in his wolf form. Then the motion sickness kicked in and I buried my head between Edwards’s shoulder blades.

The next second we stopped, and Edward helped me down from his back. Carlisle was standing in front of Edward, his face expectant, and I even thought I detected a hint of worry in it.

“So am I gonna tell him, or are you, bloodsucker?” Jacob’s husky voice called as he strode into view, back to his human form.

“Carlisle,” Edward started, ignoring Jacob’s comment. “Jacob said there was a sixth vampire in the clearing the day he encountered the Volturi.” Carlisle’s eyebrows shot up.

“What?”

“He said Jane called him Matthew. He said his muscles locked up, and he couldn’t move.”

“Like somebody took over my body,” Jacob explained for himself, looking directly at Carlisle. “I could see everything, but couldn’t make my body move.”

“He can control the bodies of others?” Carlisle asked.

“It certainly seems that way.” Carlisle was silent for a moment. I looked over at Edward, and he looks as if he was concentrating on something. Very probably Carlisle’s thoughts. “Yes,” Edward answered an unspoken question.

“Aro thinks I mean to overthrow his rule?” I was surprised that, despite everything, Carlisle’s voice was as calm as ever.

“That’s what he was most afraid of in Italy. Besides their own, ours is the largest coven in know existence. Then comes Tanya’s. The Volturi know we are very close friends with Tanya and her family. Together, that makes twelve of us, not including Bella.”

“That’s still not nearly as large as the Volturi’s guard,” Carlisle pointed out.

“No, but you know how Aro is, Carlisle. He’s not rational when it comes to things like this.” He just nodded, thinking.

“But what about Caius and Marcus…and Heidi for that matter?”

“They were also wary of us.” More silence. I shot a glance at Jacob. He looked confused.

“But surely they know we don’t mean to…”

“There’s no way to know for certain what their motives are, especially since that damned Anthony. He’s making things very difficult.” Edward’s hands were balled into fists in helpless frustration.

“But yes, I see no other reason for this kind of assault. What else would drive them into such a drastic action besides the fear of being displaced from their rule?” Carlisle’s face was grave, the shadows under his eyes seeming to stand out.

“Exactly.”

“But Edward,” I objected, “didn’t you say Aro would have seen if we were planning an attack when he read Alice’s mind? And we weren’t, so he wouldn’t have been able to see anything like that.”

“That’s true,” Edward mused, thinking more seriously now. “There is no basis.”

“Or perhaps there is something larger going on that we are yet unaware of,” Carlisle said softly. Edward turned on him, eyes confused.

“What do you mean?”

“If there is no basis, why would they be reacting so strongly? It’s illogical, and that is not the Volturi.”

“But Aro is paranoid when it comes to--” Carlisle cut him off.

“I know Aro. He does not trust anyone, but he would not act this foolishly.”

“Does anyone want to hear my theory?” Jacob’s husky voice made me jump with the contrast of Edward and Carlisle’s silky murmuring. They didn’t respond, only stared at him, expectantly. “You say the little girl bloodsucker--”

“Jane,” Edward corrected.

“Whatever. You say Jane is like second in command from the top three leeches?”

“Aro, Marcus, and Caius. And yes she is. She’s very important to Aro especially. To put it simply, she leads the Volturi’s guard.”

“Okay then. Maybe this Jane got a little tired of being these three vamp’s minion after, like, centuries.”

“Jane’s not—” Edward started to argue but Jacob stopped him.

“Just hear me out, okay? Maybe she got tired of being bossed around. And maybe she thought controlling this guard wasn’t enough; she got power hungry. You said this Anthony can make it so no bloodsuckers can use their powers on him?”

“Yes.”

“Then she could have stuck close to this guy and hid her thoughts from this Aro. Then she used Matthew’s powers to take control of all of them. Then they would be under her rule.”
Silence descended on the woods around us as we all digested Jacob’s information.

Jane taking control? Would she…could she do that?

“Would Jane do something like that to Aro? She’s been at his side longer than any of the rest of them besides Marcus and Caius. ”

“When I was Italy, I got a look at her mind,” Edward said. “She was fond of Aro, but there was some jealousy there. That was in Aro’s mind too, but he passed it off as normal jealousy all the vampires who become guards have. He was too fond of her to think she would do anything like that.”

“But did she ever think of taking over Aro’s rule?” Carlisle asked.

“Not specifically. But there were some thoughts of power. Nothing definite, but the hunger for power was there. Also the thought that she mustn’t let Aro touch her again.” Edward’s eyes were a year and half a world away. “There was something she didn’t want him to see.”

“But she kissed him while we were there, remember?” I said to Edward.

“She did,” he agreed, “but she was thinking these things after that.”

“Hmm.”

“So I’m right?” There was a smug smile on Jacob’s face.

“Like before, there’s no way to know what’s going on.” Carlisle’s tone was shaky, the amazing calm choppy. That really set my hands shaking. Edward felt them, and grabbed them both with his own. The icy touch felt reassuring, even though the air around us was already cold.

“It’ll be all right, Bella,” he whispered quietly; just for me.

“I know.”

“Should we head back then?” Carlisle suggested. “Alice might be getting worried, our futures having disappeared and all.” He gestured to Jacob, who snorted and rolled his eyes.

Edward didn’t speak, only silently pulled me onto his back. I heard Jacob gasp behind me and a strange ripping noise. I looked back, and the huge red-brown wolf winked at me. I felt my mouth twitch unconsciously into a smile.

We ran back to Tanya’s house where Jacob morphed back and redressed into his usual pair of jeans--no shoes, no shirt. As we walked in, Tanya was putting fresh flowers into a vase on the table in the dining room—we could see her through the doorway. Her eyes lit up as she saw us walk in.

“Oh, there you all are,” Tanya said, striding forward to meet us. “Alice was getting worried when she couldn’t see where you had gone.” She was beautiful. “They’re back, Alice!” She called. I guess all of them heard an “okay” from her, because they said nothing more. “Where you out hunting?” She asked, eyeing me and Jacob with confusion.

“I was,” Carlisle told her, a perfect actor. “Edward and Bella went out for some alone time, and Jacob needed to phase.” The way Carlisle said it, the lie seemed perfectly plausible. If it had been me, I would have stuttered and blushed, and might as well have said that we’d all gone to see an elephant rampaging through the Alaskan forest.

“All right,” Tanya said, seemingly convinced. Carlisle walked the opposite direction; into the TV room with a call:

“Esme?”

Jacob departed without so much as a goodbye or a backwards glance. But when Edward and I turned to go:

“Um, Edward?” Tanya asked. He turned, and I turned with him.

“Yes?”

“Could I talk to you for a minute?” Her voice had a hint of smugness as they flickered to me for a split second and then back to Edward’s.

“Of course,” he agreed, turning to me. “You go wait in the other room, Bella; I’ll only be a moment.”

“Sure, no problem.” My voice rasped, and I cleared it, smiling back at him. I started to walk towards the room with the TV Carlisle had exited through a moment ago, when I stopped. Looking back, I saw Edward and Tanya had moved into the dining room.

I knew it was wrong, but I had a sudden urge to know what they were talking about. I knew it was probably some benign topic, like how long we planned to stay, or was there anything we needed, but I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that it was something else.

I took one baby step so I was pressed to the doorframe of the dining room.

“Tanya expressed a little interest. I let her know, in a very courteous, gentlemanly fashion, that I did not return that interest. End of story.”

My heartbeat sped up. It was a miracle he didn’t pick it up, and turn; exposing me for my eavesdropping. He must have a lot on his mind.

“So what did you want to talk to me about, Tanya?” Edward was saying, his tone light, but still reflecting a hint of the intensity of our earlier conversation. From where I stood I could see Tanya, but not Edward.

A confident look came into her eyes, which were suddenly half-lidded.

“Ah, Edward,” she sighed, stepping forward a step, “I’ve missed you.”

“Tanya—?” Edward’s voice cut off as she took another step. Tanya’s head tilted to one side as if getting a better look. Her strawberry blonde hair tumbled out from behind her left ear, cascading over her shoulder. She was heartbreakingly beautiful. I leaned a fraction of an inch closer to the doorframe. This expanded my range of vision. I could see Edward now, confusion and surprise on his face. What could Tanya be thinking to make him so confused?

“You can’t really be happy with her, can you Edward?” She said the words so quietly I barely caught them. She took another step, and he took another mirroring one back, taking him out of my vision again. “I know someone like you needs…deserves so much more than a measly, plain human.” My breath caught in my throat.

She was talking about me!

“Don’t talk about Bella like that,” Edward exclaimed, a touch of defensiveness in his voice.

“What is it about her that draws you in? She is so fragile, Edward. You probably can’t even kiss her without the risk of killing her.” Her voice was low, silky…seductive. A voice that would drive any human man crazy.

“I—” Edward started to protest, but stopped. I leaned a little closer. Now I could see Tanya had extended her hand out, and it now rested against Edward’s pale cheek.

“You would never have to worry about killing me, Edward.” Her voice was that same, low, silky, liquid tone as before.

I couldn’t breathe.

I could not compete with Tanya.

Edward didn’t speak as she took another step. He stood still, frozen in the same place. His face was hard as stone.

“I’m married to her, Tanya.” I couldn’t read the emotions in his voice.

“You’re not human, and marriage is a human event. You’re not of that world, Edward. You don’t belong with someone like her.” Anger flared in Edward’s eyes. He tried to speak, but she took the hand that was against his cheek and placed her index finger across his lips, silencing him. “You and I, on the other hand…” Tanya’s hand was on his stomach, crawling slowly up his chest to his collarbone. “We are the same.”

And she leaned forward to press her lips gently to his.

Edward did not pull away.

I stopped breathing.