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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.
25. Chapter 24 - Relationships
Word Count 3182
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CHAPTER 24: Relationships
I needed to talk to Jacob.
That was a fact.
No one had heard from him since that night at the convenience store. I knew he was safe, but that did little to ease the anxiety.
Was he back in La Push? If he was, did he know what I was—what I’d become? If I saw him again, face to face, how would he treat me? Would he think of me as if I were dead, seeing me standing there as a vampire? Would he want to kill me? And how would I regard him now? What would be different? Would anything be the same?
A little while later—after we had informed the rest of the Cullens of my “little talent”—Edward and I entered the dining room to find Carlisle with a silver cell phone pressed to his ear.
“I understand that Caius,” Carlisle was saying, an edge into his voice. There was a slight buzzing on the other end. “No, that’s not what I was referring to—” Carlisle looked up as he saw us sit down at the table. Edward was staring at Carlisle, concentrating very hard on something. I looked at Edward and did the same. This time it was not his own voice I heard in Edward’s head, but Carlisle’s.
Do they realize what Aro and Jane have instigated? They can’t possibly let him continue to rule in the Volturi. It’s breaking the rules that underlie our existence.
Jane and Aro were in on it. So that’s why Aro hadn’t seemed different—he wasn’t. Why would he go against those who had been his companions for thousands of years, though. It didn’t make sense.
“Have you spoken to him—oh. Oh, I didn’t realize…” his eyes flickered to me and away. “Yes she is, but I don’t see how that’s relevant.” There was a slight pause. “I see. So you are keeping the rest though? That’s quite fair.”
I didn’t want to read Carlisle’s thoughts through Edward anymore. It was…exhausting. I couldn’t understand how Edward did this twenty four seven. I sighed. I’d just wait until he explained outright.
“And Jane?” Another pause. “I was thinking the same. And what about the catalyst, Matthew? He was only obeying orders…” I looked over at Edward, and he was no longer staring at Carlisle, but his brow was furrowed in concentration, his eyes closed as if to hear something better. “That’s good.” Carlisle seemed relieved for the young vampire. I leaned over to whisper in Edward’s ear.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Aro and Jane tried to overrule Caius, Marcus, and Heidi. They didn’t have much of a choice with Matthew there. Jane has been destroyed, since she was the one who proposed the idea, according to Aro. Aro is still being detained. They don’t want to destroy him, since he was so close to them for thousands of years.”
“Why would he do that to them?” I asked. Carlisle was still murmuring away on the phone. I didn’t worry about listening though—Edward would pick it up, or Carlisle would tell me later.
“Three thousand years of sharing complete power became boring for him. I could see it the moment we got to Italy. He was very fond of Heidi, Caius, and Marcus especially, but his greed was greater. The power of human blood brings out many human desires and frailties, such as power lust, and self-indulgence.
“He only agreed to share the power with Jane because she was very dear to him. There were not quite mates, but almost.”
“So now it’s just Caius, Marcus, and Heidi?” Edward nodded.
“What about you?” To my surprise, the corner of Edward’s mouth twitched up into a half smile.
“Because of the “circumstances”” Edward made little quotation marks in the air with his fingers, “my contract, along with Alice’s, as been revoked.”
“That’s great!” I exclaimed, throwing my arms around him. He chuckled at my response. Across the table, Carlisle snapped the phone shut loudly and sighed, crumpling into the nearest chair.
“What’s the news?” Edward asked, “I wasn’t listening.”
“Besides what you already heard, and told Bella? Caius, Marcus, and Heidi have decided that, well… ”rules are rules” were the exact words they used.”
“So Aro is dead?” I asked in a hushed voice.
“Not yet.” Was all he said on the subject.
“But no hard feelings from the Volturi…or what’s left of it I guess?” My voice was high, edgy.
“None what-so-ever,” Carlisle replied.
“Did you hear anything from Tanya and the others?” Edward asked in a neutral voice. Carlisle nodded.
“I asked about them. They said they followed the scent to Tanya’s, but she explained, as she said she would. And they had Elizabeth with them, so they could tell she wasn’t lying about it. There was no harm there.” All of us breathed a sigh of relief.
“But we’re still on bad terms?” I asked.
“Yes.” Carlisle and Edward answered at the same time, looked at each other, and then laughed. I could see, as they laughed together, the strength of the father-son connection between then. Perhaps fate wasn’t only real in fairy tales and movies. If fate could have brought Carlisle to Edward, and then Edward to me, I certainly believed in it.
“They are no longer our allies,” Edward clarified.
“But Tessa and Erin are staying with us now?” They both just nodded. Esme walked in, joining the conversation effortlessly. She sighed.
“We’ll have to extend the house…again.” Carlisle laughed with her. Once again, I wondered at the power of fate.
“I’ve already had my room take once,” Edward grumbled, glaring at Alice as she danced into the room.
“I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Your room had the best view. If you didn’t want me in your room, you shouldn’t have gone hunting the day we were going to arrive.” She smiled angelically.
“Not all of us can be fortune telling freaks,” Edward shot back. Alice stuck out her tongue.
“Now, now,” Esme cautioned in a motherly tone, “play nice.” We all laughed at that. Edward wove his fingers through mine. Of all the examples of fate, I had ever seen, it was me and Edward. We were a walking, talking miracle.
As I had concluded once, we shared a love so strong, so invincible that it could not exist in a rational world. Fate had created, shaped, and molded the world I now lived in, and was to thank for the last—and best—two years of my life.
And I was so grateful.
Although I had hunted earlier this morning, the thirst was back. I leaned over to whisper in Edward’s ear.
“I’m thirsty already. Is it always like this?”
“For the first week or so, but then you will start to be thirsty less and less. Soon enough you’ll be able to go a day without feeding. Well, for you, I suppose. Seeing as you are hard bent against taking human life, so I suppose you’ll be better at restraining your thirst than the rest of us were.” Those words, simple as they were, gave me hope.
“Thirsty already, Bella?” Emmett chuckled, appearing behind us.
“Would you care to raise the stakes, Emmett?” Jasper asked, also materializing.
“Bring it on, Jasper, my man.” They shook hands.
“We’ll discuss the technicalities later,” Jasper said coolly.
“I’m sorry to burst your bubble, guys,” I interjected, craning my head back over the chair to look at them, “but I don’t think the population of Forks will decrease much because of me.”
“Too bad,” Jasper sighed, drifting over to Alice.
“Keep that mentality,” Emmett whispered and winked. I chuckled. Across the room, Rosalie sighed and crossed her arms. “Don’t be like that,” Emmett coaxed, a smile on his face as he was suddenly in front of Rosalie, prying her arms from each other. She glared at him, the corner of her mouth twitching as if she was fighting a smile. I sighed.
There were only two loose ends to tie up, and they were both intertwined.
First—the treaty. Since we’d gotten back…three days ago, I guess it was, we’d heard nothing from Sam or the rest of the wolves. Since Edward had bitten me, I suppose the treaty might have been broken, although he didn’t bite me in Forks so I wondered if it still applied. None of the Cullens had wanted to go talk to them—they were all worried about me.
I’d heard that much through Edward’s mind.
If we had broken the treaty, either the wolves didn’t know about it yet, or were waiting for us to come to them. The last seemed unlikely, given the werewolves’ tempers. If we hadn’t broken the treaty, they were most likely silently brooding, or, again, they didn’t know about it yet.
The second—Jacob. How would he take this? All the wolves would be angry at the least, but Jacob would without doubt take this worst of all. And if Jacob didn’t know already, I didn’t know how I could break it to him. I didn’t want to show up at his door in all my “I vant to suck your blood”ness without him knowing first. Although, I realized with a sinking pang of sadness, I would never be allowed to set foot in La Push again.
Calling him first sounded like the best plan at the moment, and then maybe going to see him. Of course, this thirst was still there, burning in my throat, but I found it was easy to control it when I thought of newspaper headlines—lists of names. I would probably have to go hunting first.
“Hey, Edward?” I asked in a hushed voice.
“Yes?” He asked, turning to look at me. Although I had become immortal, it did not make any difference the effect his eyes had on me. It took me a minute to gather my scattered thoughts. I looked around at the rest of the Cullens in the room, some of them talking amongst themselves, while a couple pairs of eyes were focused on us.
“Could I talk to you in private about something?”
“Of course,” he replied. Using my newfound speed, I was up in his bedroom I about five seconds flat. This was amazing. He was, of course, right behind me.
“Edward…” I hesitated. He just gazed on expectantly, “have you heard anything from the pack?” He didn’t speak for a minute. I didn’t feel like tapping into his thoughts at the moment. I could tell what he meant about eavesdropping. “About the treaty and everything I mean.”
“No,” he said, shaking his head slowly, “There was nothing so far. I told Carlisle to wait to contact them until you felt you were…ready.” He didn’t look at me as he said this.
“Are we moving after a while?” Edward still didn’t look at me as he nodded. Pain shot through me, clear and strong. I would be leaving Forks behind after all. I was surprised to find I did actually feel great sadness at leaving the soggy little town. “So we have broken the treaty after all?”
“Yes,” Edward answered.
Loose end number one: tied.
Neither of us spoke for a long time.
“Then I’ll need to talk to Jake, okay?” I reached out a hand to stroke his cheek as the flair of pain shot across his face. “To wrap everything up, I mean. I need to say goodbye before I don’t get to see him again.” Edward nodded slowly, and looked back up at me.
“Whatever you need, love. Whatever makes you happy.”
“See,” I sighed, placing my hands around his waist, “this is why it is so hard to be in love with you some times.” His eyebrows shot up in surprise.
“You’re always so understanding and not selfish, and it makes me want to vomit.” He smiled crookedly, and chuckled. “I think,” I said slowly, “that I should…call Jake first. To see if he knows, you know? I wouldn’t want it to take him by surprise.” How much pain could I cause him? Edward smiled ruefully and patted my head.
“You go call Jacob. I’ll wait in the den.” I wound my fingers though his and we were back downstairs in an instant. Edward pulled a silver cell phone—one almost identical to Carlisle’s—and handed it to me. His fingers lingered on mine for a brief second before he disappeared from sight in a second. Almost instantaneously, I felt the dull ache of his absence. This was why I could not live without him. This is why I had to talk to Jacob—to tell him everything.
I owed him that much, didn’t I?
I flipped open the phone delicately. Everything felt so fragile now—I even had to walk and run with care. I barely pressed the familiar numbers on the phone, and placed it to my ear. I could hear it ringing through the speakers. Suddenly, I realized it didn’t want to talk to Jacob right now. I couldn’t talk right now, but somehow I was unable to hand up.
Don’t pick up, don’t pick up, don’t pick up! I chanted intensely in my head. I jumped when I heard Jacob’s answering machine click on, and then breathed a sigh of relief.
“Hey, you’ve reached Billy and Jacob Black,” Jacob said on the recording, “we can’t get to the phone right now, so leave a message and we’ll get back to ya’.” There was a beep, and then silence. It took me a split second to snap back into it.
“Hey, Jake,” I said into the phone. My voice sounded strange, even to me, “Its Bella. I hope you’re back in La Push. Call me, okay? There are some things I need to talk to you about, and some things we need to work out. Well…just call me back.” I rattled off Edward’s cell phone number. “I’ll talk to you soon, Jake. Bye.” I snapped the phone shut with a little too much force, but was relieved when I saw the phone wasn’t damaged.
I sighed, walked into the dining room, and sat down in a chair at the table, placing my head in my hands.
What would I say to Jacob? And if I figured that out, how would I say it? Should I just walk up to him, and let him see, or should I tell him right out? So many questions, and I had no time to answer them.
“I’d rather you were dead!” Jacob’s old words floated through my mind. Although Jacob had said he was just upset the day he’d spoken those words, they still stung deep. Did some small part of him mean that? I didn’t know if I could bear to see Jacob staring at me with indifferent eyes, as if I weren’t really Bella anymore. But it wasn’t really about me, was it? This was about giving Jacob a proper goodbye.
I hoped he would find his trump to a soul mate soon. Something that, like Edward, would not exist if the world was the sane place it was supposed to be. I wanted so badly to believe that Jacob could be happy. I would be sad, no doubt, but to see Jacob happy and smiling again would make my world complete—would put the last puzzle piece into place for me.
I had found my happy ending.
Jacob deserved the same.
I was so lost in my thoughts, that the sudden ringing of Edward’s cell phone made me jump. I laughed at myself a little before picking up the phone and opened it.
“Bella?” Jacob’s voice sounded different, though I couldn’t place how. It took me a minute to respond.
“You’re back in La Push!”
“You’re back in Forks,” he replied. Relief was clear in his voice as well as in mine. Questions spilled out of the speaker. “Are you all right? When did you get back? What happened? Did any of the bloodsuckers hurt you? Where were you?”
“Woow, woow, Jake, slow down, all right?” he words still came in a rush when he spoke.
“Sorry, Bells, I was just kinda keyed up. I’m so glad you’re okay. I was going crazy around here, but Sam said I couldn’t go looking for you. Even when your coven came back a couple days ago, he told me not to interfere, cause of the treaty and all that. I’m just so glad you’re all right, Bella.”
“Yah,” I agreed, “it’s great to hear your voice.”
“So you said there were some things we needed to talk about?” His enthusiasm was not curbed.
“I…” I hesitated. I had no idea how to do this.
“You can tell me anything.”
“That’s not the problem. I don’t know if I should tell you over the phone or tell you in person.”
“Hmm, that’s a tough one, considering I don’t know what you’re talking about. I think…” there was a pause and I could hear the burst of static that was his breath as he exhaled, “we should talk in person.” His voice was so happy, so buoyant, it tore me up inside. I would be the one to strip that wide smile from his face…again.
“All right.” Whatever he wanted. “Now?” I suggested.
“Sure, sure,” Jacob agreed easily. “Your turf or ours?”
“Umm…” I wouldn’t be allowed on the werewolves’ land when they found out what I was, but he wasn’t allowed past Forks into the forest now that the Cullens were back. But Forks was neutral.
That was the place where Jake and I would have our last goodbyes.
“Forks,” I answered. He paused.
“Okay, where? Charlie’s house? Doesn’t he think you’re still away on your honeymoon?”
“Yah. Not Charlie’s.” Saying his name out loud after so long made my stomach twist in strange ways. “The woods behind his house?” I suggested. I could almost hear him shrug on the other end of the line.
“Sounds as good a place as any.”
“All right, Jake,” I said, “I’ll see you soon.”
“See you, Bella. Bye.” There was a click on the other end of the line as Jacob hung up the phone.
“Bye, Jake. Love you,” I whispered into the dead phone a second too late.