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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:


3. Chapter 2 - Questions

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2023   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER 2: Questions

I had a hard time falling asleep that night, despite being in Edward’s arms. I was at the edge of consciousness when I heard them start to talk. Edward stayed still, his arms around me, although I knew he was listening too. It was obvious he thought I was asleep.

“What happened, Carlisle?” I heard Jasper ask outside the tent.

“I don’t know,” his cool voice was worried. “Alice, did you see anything?”

“No,” her voice was soft, horrified. “There was no warning. Aro made no plans. Neither did Caius, Marcus, or Heidi.”

“There were three of them originally, Aro, Caius, and Marcus,” I remembered Alice saying. “Two females joined them over time, and the five make up the family.” Were the two females Jane and Heidi?

“No warning at all…” Alice repeated, her voice still shocked. Emmett’s low voice jumped into the discussion.

“Do you think Jane acted on her own?”

“She wouldn’t go against Aro. Besides, she didn’t make plans either,” Alice answered.

“How could this be?” That was Esme’s voice.

“Do you think they could be using the same trick Victoria used?” Jasper asked, referring to the previous summer when Victoria had built an army of newborn vampires, keeping them in the dark of her plans so Alice couldn’t pick up a future.

“No,” Alice said, “it would be impossible. They couldn’t have made it all the way here in time without me seeing something.”

“How come we didn’t sense anything?” Emmett asked, annoyance in his voice, “How were they able to just pop out of thin air and grab Bella like that?”

“I don’t know that either,” Carlisle admitted.

“Who was the other with Jane?” Esme asked, “The one about to bite Bella?” I felt Edward’s arms stiffen around me.

“He was new,” Alice said. “When I was in Italy, there was no such scent near any of the Volturi.”

“Wouldn’t you have seen if they’d decided to initiate a new guardsman?” Carlisle asked.

“It depends,” Alice’s high voice replied, “If they were going to use him specifically to get to us, yes. But if it was just adding a new member in general, I might not have picked it up. I’m watching too many things.”

“But that still doesn’t explain how they got so close,” Emmett said. “And why Jane only brought one other. Obviously they’re strong, but there are seven of us.”

“Yes, that is strange,” Carlisle agreed. “There must be something about the other male she had with her.”

“I couldn’t sense the aura around him,” Jasper admitted.

“Really?” Esme asked, her voice surprised.

“You couldn’t feel his mood, Alice couldn’t see him, and none of us could sense him coming…” Carlisle trailed off thoughtfully, “I wonder if Edward could read his thoughts. If not we have a very rare creature on our hands.”

“I couldn’t,” Edward’s voice was barely a whisper. He thought I was asleep, no doubt. But the other vampires outside the tent could hear. “Yes,” Edward answered a question I didn’t hear. “It was just like with Bella.”

“That means he nullified all of your abilities,” Carlisle said.

“Is that his ability?” Jasper asked.

“Possibly.”

“Is that why the Volturi recruited him?” Emmett asked.

“All of your abilities are our family’s strongest advantage,” Esme said, “if they don’t work on this one vampire anymore…” I stopped breathing.

“I know you’re awake, Bella,” Edward’s voice murmured in my ear. The voices outside the tent abruptly stopped.

“Dang it,” I flinched.

“As long as your awake, we might as well go out and join them,” Edward said. I was surprised. He usually was keeping me away from top secret meetings about things involving my death.

“You’re letting me in on everything this time,” I pointed out with surprise.

“You made me promise,” he said. I sat up, twisting around so I could see his face.

“When was this?” I asked. He sighed, sitting up, his face parallel to mine. He turned, his eyes glowing in the dim light.

“Remember the note in English class we wrote? Before the newborns and Victoria,” his jaw tensed at her name, but he continued, “when we almost got into a fight with the werewolves?”

“Yes,” I said, nodding.

“And I quote: “You will tell me next time.”” He shrugged. “I make good on my promises to you…” he grinned, “whether you remember them or not.” I stuck my tongue out at him. Edward grinned.

We both stood up, and Edward unzipped the tent. I ducked through the opening and saw the other six members of the Cullen family standing around the empty fire pit. The moonlight was bright tonight so their skin didn’t exactly sparkle…but glowed dimly. Behind me, I heard Edward zip the tent shut. Their faces were grim, cast in shadow, but still more dazzling than any human faces I’d ever seen.

“How much did you hear, Bella?” Carlisle asked in a smooth voice. None of them were mad, as I expected them to be for my eavesdropping.

“Pretty much all of it,” I admitted. Despite the darkness, I was sure their sharp eyes could pick up my blush.

“That’s good,” Carlisle said to my surprise, “We won’t have to repeat anything.” There was a slight pause before Edward, now at my side, spoke.

“So there’s a Volturi guardsman who can cancel out all other vampire abilities?”

“It certainly seems that way.”

“Why does he want...” I gulped, my voice sounding hoarse, “me?”

“I’m not sure,” Carlisle admitted.

“Aro showed a clear interest in her when we were in Italy,” Alice spoke up.

“But he also expressed interest in us, Alice,” Edward said, his face a stony mask. “Why would he go specifically after Bella?”

“Maybe he wanted to use her as bait,” Jasper suggested. Edward tensed beside me. “Perhaps he wanted to bargain: He gets your service, you get her alive.”

I remembered Italy…the image I’d had when Aro suggested Edward and Alice join him….Both of them drifting along at Aro’s side, shrouded in black cloaks, eyes glowing bright crimson. I shuddered at the thought.

“They would know we would never agree,” Edward growled, the hand around my waist tightening.

“Still,” Alice said, her voice a bit strained. She was staring into the empty fire pit. “They could have killed her right then and there, but they didn’t. That means that, despite the reason, they need Bella alive for whatever they have in mind. Which means…” she paused for an immeasurable moment, “they are after her.” Silence followed that.

“They will not touch her.” Edward’s voice scared me. I was scared to look at his face—to see what I might find there, but my eyes drifted there of their own accord. His face was not that of the joking, loving Edward I had known only a few minutes ago…but one of hate and fury. It scared me. I did not want hate in Edward’s eyes. I reached a hand up to stroke his cheek.

“Edward,” I whispered. He turned to me, his face still twisted into a mask of anger and hatred. My eyes widened as his darkened ones locked on mine. Whatever he saw on my face must’ve made him realize what was on his. His features immediately jumped back to his normal self: eyebrows drawn up into a worried, anxious expression. I felt the muscles keeping my expression (I realized had been horrified) in place relax and smooth. Suddenly, I was in his arms, and he seemed to be unaware of the many pairs of eyes on us.

“Oh, Bella, Bella, I’m so sorry,” he murmured into my hair. His hand ran anxiously along the length of my back. I was crushed to his granite form. “I’m so sorry,” he repeated, drawing away. I looked into his eyes, but they were wary and apologetic.

“It’s okay,” I said, but flinched internally as I heard my voice shake. “Just,” I paused, “I don’t like seeing you like that. It’s not you. It…” I was about to say “frightens me” but I decided not to use that word choice, “worries me. I don’t want to see hate like that on your face.” Those perfect, beautiful golden eyes weren’t meant to hold such hideous things.

“Bella,” was all it seemed he could say. He pulled me into another hug, and just barely loosened me so I could see the rest of his family, their eyes courteously looking elsewhere. “So they are meaning to use Bella to get to us?” Edward clarified, starting up the conversation again.

“There’s no way to know exactly what they mean to do,” Carlisle pointed out, “with this new guardsman in the ranks.” Alice and Jasper’s faces matched each other in an expression of frustration and irritation. “But remember what you saw in Aro’s mind, Edward. The fear of our coven growing larger. Maybe he thought we were planning to try and dislodge them.”

“That’s absurd,” Edward muttered, but no one responded.

“Regardless, what are we going to do about it?” Rosalie snapped, speaking for the first time that night.

“Rose,” Emmett cautioned under his breath. Carlisle spoke, ignoring Emmett’s attempt to sweep Rosalie’s question under the rug.

“We go home in a few days. They weren’t able to find our scent thanks to Esme, so we’re safe for the time being.” he said, referring to Esme’s trip out earlier to cover our scent. “Jane will have had no choice but to return to Italy and wait for more orders. We go home and live normally, although no one is to leave for long. We want our scent in town to fade as much as possible.” Everyone was watching Carlisle with startling intensity.

“And if they come back?” Rosalie questioned. I stopped breathing for one split second.
“We fight,” Jasper said, his eyes fierce.

“Don’t be stupid, Jasper,” Edward growled, “We can’t fight the Volturi and you know it. We barely escaped today by luck, even though we outnumbered them three to one. With the entire guard, not including Jane and Alec, and not to mention Aro, Caius, and Marcus, how do you think we will fare?” Jasper didn’t speak. But Emmett did.

“Edward, what other choice do we have? We can’t run from them forever. We could get help—”

“No,” Edward cut him off, his voice steely. “There is not one of our kind who would be willing to face the Volturi in direct combat. Not for us. ”

“What about the clan in Denali?” Emmett suggested. Jasper’s eyes remained dark, darting between Edward and Emmett.

“They refused to help us fight last time.”

“Because Irina was involved with Laurent and wanted permission to take down the pack in revenge in exchange for our help,” Carlisle threw out.

“But Irina’s left the clan,” Jasper said smoothly. “They might be willing to help us now.”

“Not against the Volturi,” Edward repeated. “And we cannot fight them on our own.” I grasped the situation at once.

There was no option of flight; there was no option of defense.

All we had left was borrowed time.

We had enough time to barricade the doors and sit and wait until they broke through our defenses. This was a time in which not even turning me would change the odds.

The Volturi would stop my heart if Edward didn’t do it first. And if after all of that, Edward and Alice refused to join the very assembly that had threatened to kill me…they would meet the same fate. My heart hammered in my chest.

“I say we listen to Carlisle,” Esme said. “We go back home and stay there. If they come to us…well we’ll figure that out when we get home. We stay out of town as much as possible and keep under the radar.”

“And then what? We go home and just stay there until the Volturi sniff us out like sitting ducks?” Emmett questioned his adoptive mother fiercely.

“No,” Esme’s voice was low, her eyes calm, but fierce at the same time. It was a side of her I had never seen. “We go home and think of a plan.”