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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:


17. Chapter 16 - Loyalties

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1423   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER 16: Loyalties

Carlisle took a deep breath, staring around at the faces. Edward nodded at him.

“You should tell them the truth, Carlisle.”

“She’s going to be mad either way,” Alice’s high voice said in Edward’s ear, speaking for the first time.

“To be honest, Tanya,” Carlisle started, “when I told you we needed to let things blow over. Well, that was a lie. We’re running.”

“From who?” Her eyes did not waiver in their intense stare.

“The Volturi.” Tanya’s expression flickered from emotion almost to fast for me to see. It went from intensity, to disbelief, to fear, to horror, to anger.

“You’re telling the truth.” It wasn’t a question—it was a statement. She said it more to herself than Carlisle, though he nodded.

“It’s a long story. When Edward left Bella for her own protection last fall, there were a few misunderstandings, that led Edward to believe Bella was dead. He went to Italy and asked to be destroyed—he refused to live with out her.” Tanya’s eyes flickered to me and Edward, and then back to Carlisle.

“And?”

“Bella and Alice went to Italy to set the record straight, but had to face the Volturi. Edward saw that Aro desired to have him and Alice as guards, but he also took an interest in Bella, since vampire powers that affect the mind don’t seem to have any influence on her. They had to promise she would become immortal like the rest of us, or she would have not been allowed out alive.” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jacob lift his head, his face twisted into an expression of hurt, and betrayal.

“I’m sorry,” I mouthed to him. I hadn’t told him that day on the beach, because I never thought he would need to know the full story of my brief trip to Italy.

“After Bella and Edward’s wedding, we had a visit from them, and they attacked without us knowing their motive. After extensive discussion, we came to the conclusion that they must think we were planning to overthrow them. Later, Jacob was attacked by the Volturi and came to us for help. That’s why he attacked Kate. He saw her red eyes while she hunted and mistook her for one of them.

“When he came to us, he led a trail straight to our home. We had no choice but to run—we could not fight them. So we came to you for help.” There was a long silence. Tanya’s expression had settled on livid. When she did speak, she did so through her teeth.

“How dare you bring something like this upon our family?!” Her voice shot up.

“Tanya, we—”

“We trusted you. Let you into our home! And now the Volturi could be on their way here as we speak. I—we would never endanger your family like that. Or if we did we would tell you, and give you the choice whether or not you would do that for us. We would never lie to you, Carlisle.”

“Tanya, I deeply apologize. There was a very slight chance you were in danger.” Tanya gestured at Kate.

“What about her, Carlisle? She almost got ripped to shreds by that dog you insisted on bringing along!” She jabbed a finger at Jacob. A low growl started in his throat, but I put a hand on his shoulder.

“Not now, Jake,” I hissed in his ear.

“That was a mistake, and Kate is no worse of the ware.”

“Yes, but you saw how close it came to not turning out that way! And look what he did to your precious mortal!” She jerked her head at me. “He hurt her! And she is the reason for all of this! If Edward had never met her, the whole thing in Italy never would have happened. The Volturi wouldn’t have been chasing after you, and we wouldn’t be caught in the line of fire!”

The room blurred before my eyes.

Tanya had confirmed my black hole theory.

It was my fault—all my fault. Everything was my fault.

“You’re just jealous, Tanya.” Edward’s voice was barely audible. Smooth—icy.

“What?” She hissed.

“I can read your mind, Tanya. You’re jealous of Bella. Because I picked her over you.” He spoke slowly, annunciating every word.

“That’s not true,” she said through clenched teeth. Edward shook his head.

“Your thoughts don’t lie Tanya. If you weren’t jealous, why would you have tried to kiss me?” A gasp came from a few places around the room.

“Obviously, you’re with her,” Tanya muttered. “Even though it’s a mystery why. Regardless, it has nothing to do with you putting our family at risk.”

“Of course it does,” Alice said, speaking up for the first time. “It proves that you’ve done something behind everyone else’s backs. You have no right to talk.”

“No, Alice,” Carlisle contradicted. “What we did was wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right. We should have told them—let them know fully what they were getting into before involving them in something of this magnitude. We apologize, Tanya.” Her glare did not relent.

“Apologies don’t make up for damage rendered. Even if you leave, your scents will lead the Volturi here, if indeed they are trying to get a hold of you. Aro knows how long we’ve been friends, Carlisle. Do you think he will believe us if we tell him we did not help you knowingly?”

“If you show him.” Carlisle’s calm atmosphere did not leave him.

“That’s not the point!” Tanya shouted. “You’ve involved us in your life and death struggle. If one of us gets hurt, it will be on your heads.”

My head.

My fault.

“Indeed, it will be.”

“So you’re willing to risk it all? Your lives as well as ours? I see. So this is where your loyalties lie— in a mangy wolf and a worthless human?”

“Tanya!” Tessa exclaimed, Erin’s arms on her shoulders. “Don’t talk about them like that! They may have lied to us and put us in danger, but they’re still our friends!”

“Quiet!” Tanya ordered, whirling around, the full force of her eyes unleashed on Tessa. The little vampire cringed back into Erin’s arms.

“I’m with you, Tanya,” Eleazar’s voice was dark and low. He turned to Carlisle, but as he spoke, his eyes touched on every face in the Cullen family, including me. “Why would you deceive us like that? If you had explained to us, we would have helped you. We’ve been friends for years, Cullens; you should have had more faith in us. But you’ve lied, and put us in danger without us knowing. I don’t know how we can forgive you for that.”

Kate nodded, twining her fingers though Eleazar’s. Tessa glanced up at Erin. Erin stared back at Tessa for a minute before looking back at the rest of us.

“I agree that what you did is wrong, but our friendship should mean more than that. Second chances are what our way of life is all about.”

“But—” Tanya started to object.

“Last time they were in need, we didn’t help them, Tanya,” Tessa pointed out in a small voice. “They had valid reason to believe we wouldn’t help them again.”

“That was Irina’s fault,” Tanya hissed, her eyes seething.

“Still, you can’t blame them.”

“I had a bad feeling when you said they were visiting, Tanya,” Eleazar spoke softly, almost to himself. “I knew there was something coming.”

“We are very deeply sorry for the trouble we’ve caused you,” Carlisle apologized again. None of the Cullens spoke.

“Tessa and I accept your apologies,” Erin said softly, not looking at Tanya as she spoke.

“We do not,” Tanya said scathingly, her eyes still filled with angry fire. I cringed back as she focused her gaze on me.

“All right then,” Tessa said. She turned to Kate, Eleazar, and Tanya. “We appreciate everything you’ve done for us since we’ve met you, and introducing us to this new life. But we have decided,” she quickly looked at Erin and she nodded, “that we are going to stay with the Cullens. If that’s all right with them, of course.”

“What?” Kate gasped. She was ignored.

“Certainly,” Carlisle said without hesitation.

“It’s settled then,” Tanya said, her voice lashing out like the crack of a whip. Her eyes bored relentlessly into Carlisle’s. “You’ll leave as soon as possible. Please do not disturb us again.”

None of us spoke as we silently packed our belongings and left.

None of us said goodbye.