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Grim Reaper's Release

Summary:
When the gruesome murder of a pastor is mysteriously caught on tape, what will happen to the vampire race? Suddenly, the world knows about vampires. The Cullens need to get out of Forks. And fast. But what will happen when the Volturi wants to interfere? Or the Southern Armies? And, more importantly, who are these strange vampire twins? Photobucket


Notes:
...I've been away for a seriously long time, haven't I? O.O

Well, I'm back with a new story and I still haven't decided if I should continue my other stories. A lot's been happening in my life and I'm sure my feelings on all of my other stories have changed drastically. Anyway, this is just an idea that's been floating around my head for probably a year now but I've never really developed it into more than just a smidge of an idea.

Just a few warnings before I continue: This story is seriously...morbid. It's not really a good story at all. There's violence, world domination, chaos, and the world kind of goes insane...but it has a happy ending! Promise!

Also, the chapters are gonna be really long on this. Like, seriously long. It's not that I want to get this done in less chapters or whatever, it's just that in each chapter, a few different character's point of view's on different things need to be included to add other factors of the story. I mean, if I had each new point of view a chapter, we'd probably be up to 50 chapters by the time I get to the middle.

That being said, I guess a few things you should know is that I don't know when I'll be getting new chapters up. I hope, with winter break here, I'll have this story done by the middle of February, maybe? I was planning on having this only 7 chapters at the maximum, but the farther I get into this story, the longer it seems. And, I hope, I'll be getting each chapter up each week. I've already written chapter 2 and 3 but I'm gonna post them weekly.

Next, I seriously need to thank my best mate Kira with this story. She gave me a HUGE idea for it and has been such an amazing supporter of all my stories from the start!

*breathes in relief* Alright, I think that's all for now. Now that I've gotten it all out, go read. I'm sure the story is much more interesting than my babbling. *snort*


26. Annihilation

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 13749   Review this Chapter

Renesmee's Point of View

It all happened so fast, so overwhelmingly fast. A part of me knew I shouldn't be watching, sort of like when Uncle Emmett had a scary movie on and Mommy would tell me not to look. This was a lot like those scary movies, I realized, except there were no monsters hiding in the dark.

We were the monsters. But we were doing something good, weren't we? We were saving Brody.

As soon as Daddy had the door open, he was gone. He sped in front of me into the dark, gaping room and I stood there, wondering. I wanted to go in there and make sure Brody was ok but I was scared; scared of the threatening sounds that escaped it, scared of whether Brody was still alive or not. A low growl erupted from inside and I poked my head in, eyes searching in the dark for anyone, anything.

There was a human man - he wasn't Brody - lying unconscious on the floor. His eyelids fluttered over his eyes but otherwise, he didn't move. I gaped at him, mystified; who was he?

Suddenly, a door in the hallway opened and I heard men running closer, shouting at each other. I looked back to see four or five officers sprinting towards me and my eyes widened.

"Renesmee! Shut the door!" My head whipped back to look at Daddy, who stood over a lump on a table. I frowned in confusion of what he was doing but when he frantically yelled again, I obeyed. I pushed the door shut and turned the lock just as someone hit it from the other side, pounding and yelling.

I took a hesitant step back, my neck craning back to look at the big metal door. Would it keep the officers out long enough for us to save him? I bit my lip and reluctantly looked away towards Daddy.

He was transfixed by the large lump, his hands moving over it almost too quickly for me to follow. I cocked my head to the side and took a small step forwards, curious as to what he was doing. His face was total frustration and even a bit hopeless. I stood, slightly out of place in the dirty room, as I watched.

I glanced around the room, marveling at it. The warm air stuck to my skin and I rubbed my arms, trying to ease the itching it caused through my long sleeved shirt. The fan overhead groaned as it swiveled as I bent down to inspect the spreading mold in one corner. I wrinkled my nose at the stuff and straightened, peering into the shadows curiously.

"Renesmee," Daddy called out and I turned, scurrying closer to him. "I need you to do something for me." I stared at him blankly as he picked me up. My gaze fell on the table and I gasped. The large lump wasn't just a lump. It was Brody.

His eyes were shut and the bruises under his eyes were as pronounced as my own family's. There was perspiration beading on his forehead as he lay immobile on the table, his arms bound in leather straps to keep him there. Next to him was a cart with medical items lying on top; needles, bottles of clear liquid, and more familiar things I had seen Grandpa Carlisle use like a stethoscope.

Daddy cleared his throat and I looked back to him, tearing my gaze from my friend. "Is he alive?" I whispered, glancing back at the slacken face.

His brow furrowed and he grimaced. "Barely, Renesmee, barely. Now, I need you to go over there-" he gestured towards the cabinets on the far side of the room, "-and get me something. I'd do it myself but he's unstable and I can't leave him."

I blinked and looked over at the crooked, rotting cabinets and scowled. "Will he die without it?" I asked gravelly as he set me back on the ground.

He looked at me somberly and nodded, straightening up and leaning over Brody's body. He reached out and thumped on Brody's chest, pumping and pumping to...what? Restart his heart? I gulped.

"What do I have to get?" I asked. He pursed his lips and glanced down at me through the corners of his eyes.

"It's a medicine called Galanthamine. It's the antidote for the medicines he's been given," he murmured and then added, more to himself than me, "It has to be there. They have to have it here." He was then distracted by Brody and I turned on my heel, running towards the rickety cabinets that lined the far wall. I reached them easily and, with a few huffs, climbed up to the counter.

I yanked open the cabinets and peered in, squealing in fright at the spiders that crawled away from the intruding light. I swallowed uneasily and reached in, screwing my eyelids shut in case I grabbed a big hairy spider instead of a bottle of medicine.

My hand grasped onto something made of glass and heavy - definitely not a tarantula or a rat - and I pulled it out. The label read Valium and I threw it down on the floor as I reached again to find the right medicine. In less than thirty seconds I had gone through the entire cabinet and there was no trace of anything even close to Galanthamine. It wasn't there.

I felt tears brewing behind my eyelids and sniffled. "It's not here!" I cried over my shoulder, scrambling towards another cabinet and ripping the door off. There was nothing inside but used latex gloves and medical tools.

"Search another," Daddy yelled back and I squeezed my eyes shut tightly. What if it wasn't in any other cabinet? Brody would die. Die. He wouldn't be coming back. He'd be forever sleeping on that cold metal table, taken by the scientists in their white lab coats.

I blinked away my salty tears and tore through another cabinet, tossing the wrong medicines on the floor as I sifted through it fast. It really wasn't here, was it? I gulped and kept plowing through, ignoring the desperate words behind me as Brody slipped away.

He was really going to die. My shoulders slumped at my own failure and I let a tear slip from the corner of my eye. It was my entire fault. I shouldn't have pled to be let free or even dared to escape. I should have stayed there until someone came and got me. If I hadn't of been a big baby about it all, Brody would fine. He'd be alive and with me upstairs, assuring me that I would be safe soon. I wouldn't be down here in this grungy room, smeared with dirt and dust, searching through cabinets full of God knows what for a medicine that clearly wasn't here.

I let out a shuddering breath and looked into the empty cabinet, miserable with myself. I slid over to the next one and sluggishly opened it, discouraged. There was nothing inside but a few bottles of medicine and I picked them up, inspecting the labels. Oxycodone. Heparin.

Galathamine.

I gasped and picked up the tiny bottle, rolling it around in my hands with a shocked expression on my face. I clutched it to my chest and jumped off the counter, running back to the large table. I had found it. Brody would live. It would all be fine. Today was not a day for dying.

Before I had even reached him, Daddy had his hand extended, waiting for the bottle. I gave it over to him as he picked up a needle and filled it with the clear liquid.

"Are you going to inject that into him?" I asked, looking up at the needle as he leaned over Brody and positioned the point in the crook of his arm.

He nodded, his face a mask of concentration, as the needle slid under the thin skin. I flinched for Brody, wrinkling my nose as the fluid emptied into his veins. Daddy leaned back and discarded the drained needle onto the cart as his eyes watched Brody for some sign of life. I frowned; was he supposed to be waking up now? Was he supposed to be moving, talking, and conscious? Or was there a delay? I tapped my foot impatiently, awaiting some sort of action from him as I glanced back at the door.

It was silent outside in the hallway but I knew they were still struggling to get in. Maybe they were searching for the keys or asking-

"Renesmee, go get the door for me." I looked up, slightly shocked, at Daddy's instruction and was even more surprised when he lifted up Brody's limp frame and threw him over his shoulder, scowling in discomfort.

"Why?" I asked, merely curious. He glanced down at me as he prodded me towards the door with his free hand.

"We need to get out of here," he promptly replied, "and we need to bring him with us. The officers will be back soon with the keys."

I nodded and tugged on the lock, grinning when I heard the satisfied click. I pulled it open, grumbling a bit at its thick heaviness. Daddy helped a bit by using his elbow to nudge it farther open. We exited the frightening room in silence and cautiously stood in the hallway.

"Where to?" I whispered, biting my lip and glancing down the winding hall. I could barely pick up the audible words echoing from officers approaching us.

Daddy turned the opposite way from the oncoming noises and waved his hand, signaling me to follow. "We'll go down here. There should be a staircase somewhere. From there we'll go to Jacob."

"Jacob?" I perked up, beaming at him. "We're going to see Jake?" I sped up ahead, grinning ear to ear and excited to see my Jacob. Daddy called from behind me, warning me to slow down, which I begrudgingly did.

The hall stretched on forever, foot after foot of reflective metal and locked doors. What did they have behind them? I couldn't imagine having enough stuff to fill this building. It just didn't seem possible. Not even Aunt Alice had enough clothes to fill this place up. I peeked over my shoulder to check up on Brody, who continued to flop and sway every time Daddy took a step. Other than that, he was completely motionless.

"He'll be ok, right?" I chirped, coming to a standstill as I waited for them to catch up. Daddy nodded stiffly but otherwise, said nothing. I lowered my eyes in concern.

"Come on, let's get to Jacob," Daddy said, faking enthusiasm. I sighed and pasted a smile on my face, still worried about Brody's slumbering form. Daddy paused as he pulled open the door, leading to an endless flight of steps. I followed him in and let him lead the way as we went down and down.

As we descended further and further, I became more excited. Soon, I would see Jacob. It was only minutes away until I would be sitting atop his shoulders, listening to his animated voice tell me stories and jokes. He would call me Nessie, something my parents rarely did. He would let me sit on his lap as I slept, shooting smug glares at Daddy as he often did.

We reached what I assumed was his floor and I trailed after Daddy as he moved out into the hallway. I eagerly peeked around him to find Jacob's cell, restless until I was with him. I didn't know what I had been expecting when I stretched my neck out to see past Daddy but what I saw certainly wasn't it. There was a herd of officers wearing heavy bulletproof vests, guns at the ready by their sides, all surrounding a large door. I gaped; how we were supposed to get past that?

I anxiously looked up at Daddy but his jaw was clenched tightly as he stared forward. None of the officers had spotted us yet but they surely would once we got closer.

"What are we going to do?" I whispered out of the corner of my mouth, my eyes glued to the swarm of unsuspecting officers.

"Distract them," he told me simply. I felt my brow furrow in bewilderment. Distract them? How? How could we possibly distract three grown men with guns?

Before I could ask how he planned on doing this, he bent over and dropped Brody's limp form on the floor softly. "I'm going to need you to stay here with him."

"Where are you going?" I asked frantically. He wasn't leaving me here, was he?

He looked me in the eyes solemnly and frowned. "Renesmee," he murmured softly as he reached out and cupped my cheek in his palm. "I'll be right back. You just need to stand here with him. I swear, it will take five minutes and-"

"Where are you going?" I repeated stubbornly, my lips pulling down into a pout.

He sighed and pulled his hand back, gazing at Brody sadly. "I'm going to get to the other side of the hallway and create a distraction."

"By what?"

He arched a single brow at my questions and gave a tired smile. "I'll think of something. A sound, perhaps?" I nearly giggled at the thought of him banging on the walls as a diversion.

"And then?" I urged on.

"And then I'll be back before you know it and we'll get him in there with Jacob." He made it sound so simple, so easy. I honestly didn't know if that was because it really was or because he wanted it to be. I nodded halfheartedly and he leaned forward, kissing my forehead. He stood up and squeezed my shoulder and took off towards the stairs.

I watched, bewildered, as I stared at the empty space he had just occupied. Before I could come up with any rational explanation for why he would run the opposite way, I heard a huge slamming noise come from behind me. I jumped and turned around, seeing nothing but the hallway stretch out before me and at the very end in the staircase past the door, a bobbing bronze head.

The officers all sped into action at the sound of the noise and looked down the hallway, searching for the cause of the sound. The noise resounded throughout the hall again and I snickered at their clueless, frightened faces.

One of them stood up, his gun in his hand, and waved wildly for the other two to prepare their guns for assault. They all took their time getting towards the end of the hall, looking for the source with keen eyes. I bit my lip and wondered how Daddy thought he would get over here without being noticed or being cornered, at the very least.

"Come on Renesmee." I whipped around, startled by the voice behind me, to find him already there and lifting Brody's unconscious form up.

"How did you - when did you -"

He smiled briefly and pushed me forward gently. "I'll explain in a second. Now go; we need to get in there with Jacob before they realize there's nothing there." I followed behind him as we ran down the hall towards Jacob's cell, wary of the puzzled officers at the other end. Daddy grabbed the lock and yanked it off, putting the mutilated metal in his pocket. I watched curiously; why would he need that?

"So they don't realize we snuck in," he mumbled, answering my thoughts. I narrowed my eyes in thought but shrugged anyway.

He kicked open the door, glancing down the hall as I mimicked his actions, waiting for the men to hear the sounds of our intrusion and come running back. Somehow, they didn't, and I slipped in past the door and looked about.

I hadn't even taken a full step in and I was being crushed in a feverish embrace and lifted off the floor. I squealed as Jacob held me to him and cradled me against his chest.

"Nessie! I didn't think-"

"I don't mean to be bold but Jacob, could you move." I looked over at Daddy's strained face and giggled as he struggled to get Brody's drooping body in without causing a lot of noise. Jake shuffled out of the way, taking me with him, with his jaw open in absolute shock.

"Uh...Edward," he hissed, his dark eyes falling on Brody, "Who the hell is he?"

Daddy rolled his eyes at what I could only assume was Jake's idleness as he half-dragged half-carried Brody in while Jake stood off to the side awkwardly. I snickered at the two of them, already at each other's throats. Jake made no move to help, completely content to hold me as we both watched Daddy bring in Brody. Daddy glared at Jake, his lips turning down in stiff disapproval.

Jake's expression of worry never cleared, however, as he looked down at Brody's still form while Daddy carried him over to the unoccupied cot. As he did so, Jake reached out and closed the door behind him, glancing out to make sure no officers had seen our performance.

"So, Cullen, want to tell me exactly who the guy is and why you're in my cell?" Jake's serious expression clouded over momentarily but then he smirked. "I'm thrilled to have Nessie back," he added, ruffling my hair, "but you..."

I looked up at him and glowered, playfully smacking his shoulder in the process. "Jacob Black, don't you dare start," I ordered, perfectly imitating how Mommy often addressed the two when they fought. Jake's eyes widened and he glanced down at me, fighting a smile.

Daddy sighed as he laid a hand on Brody's forehead briefly. I watched, intrigued, and turned around in Jake's arms to get a better view.

"When will he wake up?" I asked, taking note of the way Brody's eyelids fluttered every now and then. Would it be soon?

Daddy's face took on a professional look as he gazed at the motionless man on the cot. "Any second, now. We shouldn't be waiting too much longer."

Jake huffed and jostled me in his arms, scowling at Daddy. "Do you have any clue how much trouble we'll get in if they find you here? Especially with...with...with him." He madly gestured at Brody and gave a stern glare at Daddy. I fought off a smile at the image; usually it was Daddy scolding Jake. Not the other way around.

Daddy leaned back against the concrete wall as he sat near Brody's feet, fixing an angry stare at Jake through half closed eyes. "Funny," he said with an icy edge, "You're rarely what I'd call mature, Jacob. I'm a bit surprised. What brought on this round of responsibility?"

Jake growled under his breath and I looked back and forth between the fighting pair. We'd be getting nowhere if they kept this up.

"Well it was pretty stupid of you to come down here in the first place! Excuse me for worrying about her safety," Jake hissed with his teeth clenched tightly. I flinched from the sound of his voice and turned my attention back to Daddy.

His eyes popped open fully, a fierce and deadly gleam to them. "Don't you dare tell me how to take care of my own daughter, wolf. I think I can handle that perfectly well on my own, thank you. And for your information, they can't hurt us what so ever. Even if we were cornered, which would never occur if I had anything to do with it, we'd be indestructible. Now close that mouth of yours and calm down. The last thing I need right now is a shape shifter with a short temper."

Jake bristled at his words, his teeth gnashing together in controlled anger. I watched them both reproachfully as Jake opened his mouth, a fresh remark on his tongue.

"Don't be telling me how to control myself, leech. I would never do that with Nessie so close-"

"Can we just stop?" I exclaimed, desperate for them to both stop so we could help Brody, who was slowly recovering. They both turned their gazes to mine and dropped them almost simultaneously. I could only imagine their embarrassment at being called out by a child.

Daddy's narrowed gaze fell from Jake as he looked straight ahead, crossing his arms stubbornly in front of his chest. Jake heaved a defeated sigh and pursed his lips, glaring at the floor.

"Jake, you want to know who Brody is, well, I'll tell you." I hopped out from his arms, landing on my feet as I rushed over to Brody, who was beginning to groan softly under his breath. "Jacob, this is Brody Averton. He's a scientist here, a good scientist," I added firmly when his eyes turned hard as he glowered at Brody. "He helped me escape and because of it, he was going to die. Daddy and I saved him and brought him down here for...for...what'd we bring him here for, Daddy?" I turned towards Daddy whose attention had already been transfixed on Brody.

He cleared his throat and avoided Jake's gaze. "He needs something to eat and drink, things that I wouldn't have been able to find on my own but knew you'd have." His eyes slowly traveled up to Jake.

Jake's lips turned down and he frowned as he leaned against the wall, arms at his sides but with clenched fists. "Why should I help him?" He asked moodily.

My jaw dropped and I stood up from my position of kneeling by Brody's head. I pointed a daunting finger at Jacob and swallowed angrily. "Jacob Black, you are going to help him without hesitation, you hear me? He has done nothing wrong to you or I and I fully intend on assisting his recovery. He is my friend, Jake. I won't let him die because you and your stubbornness refused to help out."

By the time I had finished, his eyebrows were raised in surprise. He glanced at Daddy, who looked purely amused at my heated rant, and smirked back at Jake.

"Fine, Nessie. If he...if he really means that much to you, I'll help," Jake stuttered, almost as if he was frightened. I gave him a stiff smile and nodded.

"Good, now listen to Daddy. I'm sure he'll give you further instructions on how we can help him." I turned away from him and knelt by Brody, smoothing back his hair from his face. He was clammy all over as his lips twitched like he was trying to say something but couldn't find the strength. His weakness concerned me but I tried not to let it show.

A second later, Jake had received Daddy's orders and came back, gently tapping my shoulder. I looked back at him and he gave me a sheepish grin. "Sorry I acted that way. Here's a water bottle, though. Can it be a sort of...peace treaty?"

I giggled at his attempt to make up and took the full bottle out of his hands. "Fine, Jake, but at least try to be polite."

Daddy's laugh was deafening as he cracked up from beside us, shaking his head as he guffawed. Jake sent an irritable snarl in his direction but otherwise ignored him and sat down beside me.

"So, he's your friend, huh?" Jake asked, nudging my shoulder with his. I smiled down at Brody's sleeping face and nodded as I unscrewed the lid of the bottle.

Jake nodded thoughtfully as he watched the older man. "Your best friend?" He asked teasingly. I rolled my eyes.

"Probably, yes. Why?" I replied dishonestly. We both knew Jake was, of course, my best friend. He couldn't possibly be replaced by anyone and that included Brody, no matter how much he meant to me, too.

Jake feigned shock and glanced down at Brody. "He must be pretty important."

I smiled and nodded in agreement. "He really is."

Just then, Brody's eyes snapped open and flickered around wildly. I gave a yelp of surprise and jumped up, ready to help in any way I could, but Daddy was instantly behind me, tugging my gently out of the way. Jake stood with me and picked me up easily so I could see as Daddy leaned over him.

Brody struggled to sit up but his breathing staggered and he began coughing loudly, his whole form shaking from the impact. Daddy took him by the shoulders and pushed him back lightly and Brody obeyed, his eyes squeezed shut. I turned and looked at Jake, who was watching with large eyes. I reached out and touched his warm cheek. He turned his gaze over to me, arching his brows.

"Will he be ok?" I whispered, worriedly glancing down at Brody's trembling form.

Jake frowned briefly but then nodded. "Of course. Your Dad's a smartass - Uh, I mean, your Dad's really good with this type of stuff, you know? He's been to medical school...or so I've heard. He'll take care of him, don't worry, Nessie."

I rolled my eyes at his language slip up but nodded, wanting very much so to be able to believe his words.

As soon as Brody's coughing quieted, Daddy brought the water bottle to Brody's lips and aided him in drinking it. He glanced back at us, his eyes dark and distressed, but then turned back to Brody who was gulping down the clear liquid.

"Can you tell me your name?" Daddy asked once Brody had finished and settled back on the blankets. I leaned closer, anticipating his reply. Daddy waited, too, as he sat on the cot.

Brody licked his lips as his frenzied glance flickered between all of us, finally settling on me. I gave a halfhearted grin.

"My name's Brody," he gruffly replied, finally looking back at Daddy who nodded.

"Good," he said shortly. "Where are you from?"

"Why do you want to know?" Brody asked hesitantly, trying once again to sit up. This time, Daddy didn't interfere as he struggled to push himself up.

Daddy frowned impatiently but otherwise showed no signs of frustration. "It's just a routine checkup. I need to make sure there was no brain damage during the incident."

Brody looked over at him sharply, his lips parting and his eyes widening. "Brain damage?" he croaked unsurely and disbelieving. "Wait, wait, hold up. During what incident? Where am I even?"

I struggled to escape Jacob's tight embrace and he reluctantly set me on the floor. I hesitantly stepped up to Brody, who was watching me curiously. Didn't he remember me? I ignored Daddy's warning and walked closer.

"Don't you remember anything, Brody?" I asked quietly. He gave me a strange look and glanced between Daddy and me.

He nodded uncertainly and finally said, "Yeah, Renesmee, of course I do. But how are you down here? You're supposed to be up there with Dr. Mitchells."

I felt my face go numb as it sunk in. He didn't remember all of it. He probably didn't even remember helping me escape or the planned execution or anything. Tears welled up in my eyes; he was practically a stranger to me as I was one to him. My head ducked and my shoulders slumped in defeat.

Daddy slid between Brody and me and tilted his head back, peeling back his eyelids to see if they were dilated or not. Brody pushed him off slightly but it did no good against Daddy's rock hard skin.

"Stay still, Brody," Daddy ordered softly as he inspected him. "You're experiencing memory loss. Calm down."

"Memory loss?" Brody cried, pulling back from Daddy to stare at him incredulously. "From what? Can't you take just a minute to explain all of this to me?"

Daddy gave an exasperated sigh and leaned back, crossing his arms before his chest to stare patiently down at Brody. I fell back into Jake as he reached down for me and lifted me into his arms once again. Brody looked at us uneasily and then back to Daddy.

"What's the last thing you remember?" Daddy asked him gravely, watching his every moment.

Brody thought for a moment and then blinked. "Something about prisoners arriving for testing?" He said unsurely, as if he didn't fully believe it had happened. Daddy nodded and kept silent for a second.

"That was more than two days ago," I spoke up and all attention fell on me.

"Two days ago?" Brody cried out, standing up in his astonishment. Daddy hesitated before standing in front of him as he placed his hands on his shoulders to steady him. Brody was already wobbly on his feet as he swayed a bit.

"Listen to me, Brody," Daddy said, his voice low. "Brody, come on." He snapped his fingers in front of his blank face and Brody blinked. Alertness came back into his eyes and he took a deep breath.

"What happened to me?" His voice was small and weak. Frightened. I felt a surge of pity flow through me as he looked about, panicked. He fell back on the cot, his head falling into his hands, in silence. Jake looked at Daddy with a pointed glare and Daddy looked away, reaching up to pull his fingers through his hair anxiously.

He crouched down beside Brody and hesitantly reached out. "Look, Brody, it's going to be ok. If you want to know what happened, I'll be more than happy to explain it all to you."

Brody stiffened and lifted his head, fixing his torture gaze on Daddy, and nodded. "Please," he begged desperately.

Daddy nodded and launched into the story, retelling how Brody had helped me escape, how the tapes had caught it, and everything in between. Brody was surprised, to say the least, when Daddy told him how Uncle Jasper had killed Timothy and let Brody lose, and was even more shocked when he learned he had been seconds from death when Daddy and I got in and saved him. By the end, he was blown away, his eyes staring at nothing in particular as he went over the story in his head.

"So I...I saved you?" He looked up at me with astonished eyes and I nodded quickly.

"Yes, thank you." I gave him a dazzling smile and he returned it, guarded a bit at first.

He turned to Daddy with a furrowed brow. "And you saved me?" He asked, sounding doubtful at the concept. Daddy nodded with a small smile.

"Thank you," Brody replied sincerely. "Really, I mean it, thank you so much. You know, it's actually beginning to come back a bit. Piece by piece, I guess." He sounded proud at the fact that he was starting to remember and so I grinned at him, pleased by the success he was having.

Daddy opened his mouth to reply but for some reason, the lights flickered once and then went out, dousing us in impenetrable darkness.

***

Leah's Point of View

"So what's the big plan anyway?" I asked, glancing over at Sam, as we ran through the forest. His lips twitched into a frown and he shrugged. I rolled my eyes. Such detailed responses always came from him. We kept going, flying over the damp dirt and tangled roots, with the other vampires. Eve was up ahead, leading the way, as she flitted lithely over the rocks and leapt through the air.

Screw that. I had already given up with trying being that graceful.

Sam trailed behind me and I slowed, watching the rest of the Pack go on without us. "It's up to Adam and Eve," he told me, glancing over his shoulders at Adam, Maria, and Chester as they caught up quickly. I could tell they were already under Chester's freaky little invisibility blanket.

Adam slowed to a stop next to the two of us and we all watched the rest of the group run off without us. He looked about at the deep forest and ducked under a branch, sending reflections of the sun into every direction from his iridescent skin.

"I heard you ask about the ‘plan'," he casually said, looking down at me. My eyes widened at being put on the spot and I nodded slowly.

"Yeah, I sure did. If you're bringing us here only to dump us and let us figure the rest out-"

"Do you really doubt my leadership abilities?" He interrupted, smirking only slightly. I rolled my eyes and glanced behind as Maria and Chester stopped on the other side of Adam, hands intertwined. Great. The lovebirds had arrived.

Sam smoothly slid in, sending an icy glare my way. "Of course not. She's just wondering what's going to happen."

Adam's eyes narrowed but then he smiled, his prior expression of suspicion disappearing into radiating happiness. I looked away from him, swallowing the lump in my throat. Why did he and his ‘sister' have to be so damn perfect? Just a glance at either of them was more of a bruise to your self esteem than looking at Ms. Ice Princess herself, Rosalie Hale.

Adam lifted a branch up to step under as he opened his mouth, "It's actually a good thing you asked, Leah. The Pack will be playing an important role."

"And that is?" Sam asked, getting into Alpha mode. I looked at him moodily and moved out of the way, letting Sam move between myself and Adam.

Adam's lips quirked and he gave a slightly cocky, slightly ironic smile. "Guard dogs, of course."

I sent him an incredulous look and clenched my jaw. Figures. The vamps had to be arrogant assholes and assign us the low job, thinking it matched us oh so perfectly. I huffed and ground my teeth in irritation. The muted chuckles from Maria and Chester only increased my fury.

Sam, on the other hand, considered it calmly. "You want us to stay outside while you free the Cullens?"

Adam nodded, his eyes flickering around uneasily. "Yes, if you don't mind. Chester will take off the invisibility so be careful."

"Why?" I snapped, shooting a livid glare at Chester who narrowed his eyes at me. "Shouldn't he leave it on? That way-"

"No," Adam cut in, his voice as hard as ice. "We need you visible because we're expecting...visitors...,"

"Visitors?" Sam asked, his voice curious. Adam nodded once, his face almost uninterested as he looked ahead and watched the others run.

I stomped angrily. Visitors. Way to be freakin' vague. Who knew what type of freaks they had recruited now. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a whole family of little fairies showed up, begging to help out by carrying twigs or pebbles with their tiny arms and even tinier wings.

Adam grinned, reminding me of the sardonic cat from Alice in Wonderland, and jumped over a rock. "Yes, they're a coven from downtown Washington D.C. They'll be arriving after we go in but they'll help you gladly. Their strategy at keeping people out from the building may be a bit-" he paused, searching for the right word, "over the top...flashy, even, but don't bring it up."

Sam looked a bit queasy at the turn of the conversation. "What do you mean ‘over the top'?"

"I mean, they're going to be a handful. Just let them do it their way and do things your way. Samuel, this isn't a hard job. Let them be, even if what they do is wrong in your eyes. It's easier to go along with it then mention it. You'll be outnumbered, anyway, so if a fight started, you'd be gone within seconds." He said it so easily, so casually. Like the idea that we could all die because of some coven's stupid temper didn't even bother him.

I gulped uneasily and looked at the ground, fidgeting at the growing silence. Maybe he didn't care at all about us. We weren't his species, anyway. If we were in reverse situations, I could see the Pack doing the same thing to a singular coven of vampires but he was...he was different. Adam was the king. Couldn't he show a bit more respect for other species than his petty followers?

"Leah," Adam started in a warning tone and I groaned. Couldn't they just stop that mind reading thing? It was beginning to make me sick.

"What?" I snapped, glaring at him. He stared back without flinching or hesitation.

"You know it's not like that," he said almost gently. I blanched at his words and glanced at Sam but he kept his gaze forward, deciding not to get involved. "It's just the circle of life," Adam continued relentlessly. "I do care about your species, as does Eve, and probably just as much as we care about our own. If you decided to ignore my warning, though, that would be your fault. I would have tried to caution you against them but you wouldn't have listened. Do not think for even a moment that I do not care about your family and you. I care very much so." My eyes fell guiltily and I bit my lip. It wasn't fair when he used that tone; it automatically made you feel awkward and mortified.

"I am not the villain here," he added, almost silently, and I felt a warm blush creep up. Not fair, I reminded myself, as I glanced back up at his suddenly kind gaze.

"Sorry," I mumbled under my breath, grinding my teeth at the end. I couldn't remember apologizing to anyone ever. It showed weakness. It was evidence of mistakes. Leah Clearwater did not make mistakes. Ever.

Adam gave me a small smile and nodded. "Good. Now, listen up, once we leave, you'll surround the entrance. You don't have to be too careful when it comes to the occupants of the building because they'll realize we're there quickly. Just be cautious of anyone who drives by."

Sam and I nodded, taking mental notes, as we thought it all over. We'd have to repeat all of this information to the others anyway.

"I want you all in wolf form. You're stronger that way, especially with your mind links. Also, no one leaves that building, you understand? No one without my or Eve's personal permission, not even a vampire. If someone wants to go without our say, keep them there until we're back. If it's a human, I give you authorization to handle the situation as you see fit, or as the Washington coven sees acceptable. No one enters, either. We don't want anyone getting in our way who doesn't know the plan for once we get inside, and that includes the capitol's coven. That's why they will be staying with you until we arrive. Understand?" His instructions were clear and Sam and I nodded quickly without any question.

Truthfully, the job sounded easy enough. No one leaves, no one enters. Use brute strength to keep them in or out. Simple, right? There weren't any worries or concerns. They probably wouldn't be gone for too long anyway.

Adam looked at the two of us quietly, his eyes probing. I shuddered under his orange gaze and looked away, watching him with my peripheral vision. He finally gave one stiff nod and ran ahead.

"Come along then. The others are waiting for us," he called over his shoulder. I bit my tongue to keep myself from shooting out a nasty remark and ran to catch up, flanked by Sam, Maria, and Chester. As we got there, Sam grabbed me by the elbow to stop me from continuing on. Maria and Chester stopped with us, curious, but Sam waved them off.

I turned and looked up at him, frowning in perplexity. "What's up?"

It's funny when you think about it. Before this whole adventure of ours, I was still a bitter, pissed off rejected and heartbroken girl. Whether it was because I had gone through some sort of weird ‘spiritual growth' or I was just distracted, I didn't seem to care all that much about Sam. As I waited for his reply, the realization smacked me in the face again. Yeah, he was still kind, considerate, responsible Sam. I was still sarcastic, fresh, irritable Leah. But there was no...connection.

He glanced over my shoulder and then back down at me. "You know what Adam said? About this new coven's different ‘ways'?"

I furrowed my brow and shrugged. It didn't really seem that big of a deal to me. "Yeah, so? I don't think it's really anything to be worried about or anything."

He ducked his head, his hands wrapping around my shoulders. I flinched at his unexpected closeness and looked into his eyes, through the uncut, growing shaggy hair. "I think," he lowered his voice considerably, "that Adam meant they're going to kill anyone who leaves or enters."

Oh.

Now it made sense. I bit my lip and looked at the ground. Ok. Well. That kind of sucked for us. Us, the shape shifters who pledged to protect humanity from vampires and all that other crap, were going to have to stand around as some macho vampire coven killed anyone who trespassed? That sounded like serious disloyalty to me. Just wait until the Elders heard about this whole thing.

"And?" I asked. "I don't think there's much we can do about it. Adam said-"

"I know what Adam said," he calmly stated, nervously glancing over my shoulder. "If we interrupt them, we die. I got it, Leah. I just wanted to know what you think about it."

Me? He wanted to know what I thought about it? I took a deep breath and shook my head to clear my thoughts. "I think...I think we just go with it," I said, trying to take on a more authoritative tone that would signal him this was a closed discussion. I wriggled out from his grasp and turned, about to catch up when he spoke again.

"You do?" He choked out, his voice horrified. I whipped my head back to find him standing there, a shocked and betrayed look on his face.

I gulped and shrugged uncertainly. "Yeah...why? Sam, look, we can't do anything to stop it. I know it's either our beliefs or whatever you want to call it up against our survival and you want to be the ‘better man' and crap but come on."

He gave me a wounded look and let out a shuddering breath. "You'd turn your back on our beliefs? On the reason we even exist?"

Who wouldn't, I wondered. This was our fight for survival and something told me Sam didn't quite understand that yet. The months to come would all be shaky, I knew. We'd have to persuade the human population not to come after us with pitchforks and that'd be difficult. It was obvious our fight for safety had already begun the second Jacob was taken into captivity and this was just another hitch in the road. If we wanted to live, we would just turn our cheeks on the other coven and let them do what they want.

"Yes," I replied confidently. "Yes, I would, if it came down to it."

His eyes held it all: disgust, disappointment, and even outrage. I shrugged, not really minding what he thought, and turned my back on him. He eventually caught up with me as I ran towards the others but we ran in awkward silence. I couldn't find the strength to look over at him and he didn't say anything.

We finally found them crowded around a barbed wire fence and stopped. Three hundred vampires was definitely a sight as they packed themselves in together. One pale face blurred into another which blurred into a third. They all looked the same, despite their different hair, races, clothes, and even features. It was a disturbing site, even, to see them all there with their sharp eyes and even sharper features.

Toward the center of the group was the Pack, sticking out like a sore thumb with their russet skin and tall genes. I pushed my way through the crowd, cringing when an aggravated vampire snarled in my direction if I got too close.

As was expected, Adam and Eve were in the center, against the fence and studying it closely. The Pack was scattered around them with the three main Volturi members and Tanya. Adam was crouched down on the grass, the sun gleaming off his bare back, as he inspected the fence with long, nimble fingers.

"I've never seen anything like it," he mumbled under his breath. Eve chuckled next to him and rolled her eyes.

"Obviously not. It's been a while since the last time we were awake." He grunted in reply and stood up, wiping his hands on his pants as he looked over to his sister...lover...thing. "Think we can get through it?"

Eve's dulled violet eyes narrowed on the fence as a tiny smile covered her lips. "I think so. It won't be too difficult. I'll even test it a bit now."

And then, right before my eyes, the fence began to dissolve. The intertwined wires withered under her gaze and shrank back, turning into shiny, reflective pieces of dust and falling to the ground, lost in the overgrown grass. I gaped openly, watching as a small hole formed in the fence the size of my fist.

Eve gave a satisfied smirk and turned back to her brother. "See? I told you we could do it." Adam's eyes went back and forth between the fence and his sister before finally shrugging, like making metal melt under your gaze was totally normal. Actually, wait, it probably was with them.

Anyone who ever claimed the two weren't the weirdest, most awkward to be around, creepiest creatures to ever walk this Earth was so totally wrong.

They both turned their eyes to us at the same time, one orange pair and one violet. I bit my lip and glanced over at the rest of the Pack. They stared back curiously.

"Finally, we're all here," Eve sighed, relieved. "Good, we can officially begin then." It was like with those simple words, the whole group of vampires fell silent. They all looked up towards Eve, straining their necks to get some sort of glimpse of their queen. I clasped my hands before me and frowned at their eagerness.

I slowly blended back into the crowd, away from the leaders, and weaved through the group until I was by Seth's side. He glanced down at me and smiled cheekily.

"Where were you?" He asked through the corner of his lips, his eyes still on Adam and Eve.

I looked back over at Sam who stood there, glaring at the ground moodily. I rolled my eyes and mumbled back, "Talking to Adam. We're staying behind while they go inside."

I knew the whole crowd was probably tuning in, turning one ear towards their now instructing leaders and one ear to Seth and me but I ignored their furtive glances. Who cared if they listened, anyway? They would be finding out the plan soon through Adam, who was now addressing the crowd, looking directly at me every now and then. I blew him off, ignoring his voice, and turning my attention to Seth.

His lips turned down at the corners as I noticed the rest of the Pack was now surrounding me, listening in. "Why?" Seth asked.

With my eyes on Sam's sulking and brooding face, I answered Seth. "We're the ‘guard dogs', apparently. We'll be making sure no one enters or leaves the building in wolf form." I bit my tongue at the end, suddenly feeling bitter towards Sam. This was his job, explaining tasks to the Pack. I didn't care if he was being a baby as he reconsidered his faith in his wolfy ways. He was supposed to be able to suck it up, pretend everything was ok, and be the Alpha.

The more I thought about it, the more I missed Jacob. I hated to admit any sort of feelings towards the guy - especially since he imprinted on that hybrid - but, well, he was a better leader than Sam. He would have accepted this whole ‘grin and bear it' concept for survival and pasted on a cheesy grin on his face no matter what this other coven was going to do.

The Pack erupted into soft murmurings but I blocked them all out, not even listening to Adam. I knew I should have listened but I figured someone would fill me in later. Instead, I turned my attention over to the colossal Williams Building and its dreary gray concrete and barred windows.

It wasn't exactly a cheery looking place, that's for sure, with its peeked roofs, underground chambers, and scouting agents. It looked more like a prison for the country's most wanted...which I guess it actually was.

The crowd dispersed, breaking away into its own little families and covens. I looked about wildly, wondering what was going on and regretting my choice of getting lost in my thoughts. I grabbed onto Seth's arm and he spun around to face me.

"What?" He asked, raising his brows.

"What's going on? What's the plan?" I asked hurriedly as Eve positioned herself directly before the fence. The tiny hole suddenly grew, becoming larger and larger as the little flecks of metal rained onto the grass. I closed my open jaw and shook my head, turning my attention back to Seth from the freak show occurring behind him.

"You weren't listening, were you?" He asked flatly, giving me a scolding look. I raised my hands in surrender and shrugged.

"Sorry, sorry! Forgive me for having other things on my mind," I apologized quickly, watching out of the corner of my eye as vampires already began filtering out through the hole. They all scurried through, reminding me strangely of sewer rats, and I wrinkled my nose at the sight of them cramming through. Some were impatient enough to scramble up the fence, ignoring the high voltage warnings and even...

Woah. There was a crackle of electricity as the touch sensor went off, shocking the young newborn who was climbing up the fence. He held on as the electricity essentially burned away his flesh and leaped over the top, landing gracefully on the other side. Everyone paused and gaped at him as he dusted pieces of his own skin off his palms. I looked away, disgusted, when I caught a glimpse at his hand, the flesh burned away and the bones, tendons, and muscles very much visible.

Gross. Vampires are just plain gross. Definitely not the most patient creatures, either.

Seth slowly looked back at me, his eyes wide as saucers from the idiot who had just jumped the fence. "Uh," he stuttered, still looking back at the fence where more vampires were daring to climb. "Er, well, they're going in now." He pointed to the hole and I rolled my eyes.

"Yes, Captain Obvious, they are clearly going in. Wow, Mom would be so proud of your incredible ability to-"

"Shut up, Leah," he grumbled, glaring down at me. "Look, they're going in. They're going to cut the power on both the building and the generator so it's easier to slip in, get the Cullens out, and get themselves out. They figure if it's pitch black, the humans will be flipping out, trying to find the reason for the cut power and for flashlights. Once they have the Cullens, they're going to bring them out but Adam and Eve are going to stay inside. The President's in there so they're going to have a little, um, chat and then we'll see where it goes from there," he summarized perfectly.

I furrowed my brow. The President? Great. I could just imagine his face as vampiric royalty demanded his attention.

"So...all of them are going in?" I peeked over his shoulder to see almost every single vampire already through the hole and scampering around the grounds, looking for the generator and electrical box. Sparks flew as someone came into contact with something electrical on the right side of the building.

Seth shrugged. "Guess so. I can't imagine how they're going to do this neatly with 300 vampires in there. Oh, and the Volturi's trying to persuade Adam and Eve to let them talk to the President with them."

"Figures," I grumbled under my breath. Seth pushed me through the hole in the fence where I found the rest of the Pack waiting for the both of us. "Are we still invisible?" I asked, lifting my hand to look at it curiously. It didn't look different but still...

"Nah, not yet," Quil said, offering me a small smile. "We can still see the vampires. Once we can't anymore, we'll know Chester took it off."

I nodded as I watched the vampires, waiting for the moment they'd disappear and become invisible to me. Weird how Chester's power worked, kind of creepy, too. I didn't like the idea of not being able to see 300 vampires but knowing they were lurking around.

"Are you ok with staying in human form with me for when the...others...arrive?" Sam asked, talking for the first time in a while. I looked over at him, unsure who he was talking to, but then realized it was me. My face froze in shock at his question. What was I supposed to say? ‘Yeah, I'd love to be completely powerless as a mere mortal in front of evil vampires who want to kill anyone who gets in their way! By the way, I know we're outnumbered but let's just hope for the best, shall we?'

All eyes fell on me and I gulped. "Why do you need me?" I wondered aloud, my mouth suddenly dry.

He gave me a strange look. "To help explain what they're going to be doing and how they can help. They've probably never heard of us before so maybe they're going to be hostile."

I looked around at the faces of the Pack and frowned, unsure whether I really wanted to do this or not. I hated being in the face of danger without having my Pack's thoughts to rely on. Now I'd be standing there, exposed without any strength compared to them, and try to negotiate some sort of peace? Perfect.

Seth placed his hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "We won't let anything happen, Leah," he murmured and the rest of the Pack's heads nodded in response. I bit my lip and looked over at the Sam.

"Sure, why the hell not?" I told him dryly. He gave me a relieved smile, which I made a point of to not return. I was just about to say something when Embry spoke up, so softly I almost didn't catch it.

"Guys, where did everyone else go?" His eyes scanned the area in front of the building and he frowned. There was, in fact, no one around us. They had already left. Or Chester had just taken the invisibility off and we couldn't see them. Either one had me a bit spooked.

Sam sighed as his lips stretched into a tight, fake smile. "Alright, guys, that's the cue. You need to phase."

I politely turned away as they all stripped and phased into their wolf forms. I wasn't sure if it was alright to look until I felt a warm nudge on my bare shoulder and a slippery tongue lick my skin.

"Ew!" I jumped around, smacking the sandy wolf in the scout. "Cut that out, Seth, you're being disgusting," I spat as I angrily wiped the doggy drool off my shoulder. He laughed, a choking sound erupting from his throat, and turned to stroll back to the rest of the wolves. I rolled my eyes at his immaturity and looked out across the lawn.

Well, so far so good. There weren't any disturbances yet. It had only been under a minute but at least there had been no spontaneous intrusion we'd have to stop. I watched as Paul walked over to the front entrance of the place and sat down, his head slowly turning from one side to the other as he acted out his role of guard dog.

The other wolves scattered out across the lawn. Jared stomped his way over to the left, pacing next to the fence as he looked out into the forest. Quil stayed by Sam and I, mostly, sitting down with a wagging tail as he made goofy faces at us. Embry went towards the right, his eyes alert as they danced over the trees ahead of him, and with disapproval, I noticed Seth venture off towards the back of the building to watch over it there.

I sighed, a bit bored already, and sat down on a nearby rock. "You'd think this other coven would get their asses over here already. At the very least, they'd excite things a bit more."

Sam shot me a pleading look as he paced over the grass, hands on his hips. I watched, mildly amused at first, but then turned to picking out blades of grass out from the ground.

And time slowly moved.

I glanced down at my watch. Fifteen minutes since they left. I leaned back on the rock until I was laying on it and let myself stretch out and yawn. Last night hadn't exactly been the greatest night's sleep I ever had. Maybe, if the Pack promised not to tell Adam I had been slacking on the job, I'd get a few more hours in...

But of course that never happened because right as I thought it, a branch snapped in the woods.

Before I could even sit up, Quil was in front of Sam and I with his fangs exposed. Sam shot me a wary glance as I leapt off the rock and tried to peer into the dark forest. I could hear someone in there but I couldn't see them. Not yet at least. A guttural growl escaped Quil's throat as his ears flattened against his skull. Something brushed my bare arm and I looked over to see Seth standing next to me, his eyes narrowed as he looked into the woods.

"Do you see anything?" I whispered to Seth, glancing at him. His head bobbed as he watched the forest through the holes in the fence. My lips frowned in concern.

Sam put a hand on my shoulder in warning and I shut my mouth, shrugging his hand off in the process as I inched closer to Seth. There was a second sound from the woods and I scowled at the inky darkness, wondering where they were. I knew it was them, the Washington coven, because of how chilled the air suddenly became. It was like the temperature had dropped twenty degrees in only seconds. I hugged my arms closer to me, watching the puff of air form in front of me when I breathed out.

The hair on the back of my neck stood up as they emerged. The first one, a lean man with long strawberry blonde hair, came out first. His eyes, a bright red, practically matched his hair color. Ten more vampires followed after him, appearing in the trees above us or flanking their leader. Their hostile expressions and stances alarmed me of their aggressiveness. Though there was a fence between their coven and my Pack, it wouldn't do much. They could climb it in a second, or even tear it to pieces.

My eyes scanned their expressions and I realized something. Yeah, they were intimidating, they were wild, and they were ruthless. But, hell, they were just as freaked out by us as we were by them. In a way, we had the upper hand. They had no clue what we were or how strong we were in comparison to them. By the way their eyes sized us up, it was obvious they felt they had no chance.

The leader frowned deeply, his eyes darting from one wolf to the other. "What...who are you?" He rephrased his question and I chuckled under my breath at his stumped expression.

Sam cautiously stepped forward, Jared and Paul moving with him. I stayed back with Seth, Embry, and Quil as we watched from behind.

"I take it you're the coven from Washington D.C.?" Sam asked, his voice polite on the surface. The man's eyes widened as his brow furrowed almost comically.

"Possibly, why do you ask?"

Sam was taken off guard by the vampire's reluctance and sighed. "We've been expecting you-"

"And who are you, exactly?" Another vampire cut in, his blonde hair a mess. I glanced between the two speaking vampires and then at Sam, who was standing quite awkwardly.

I rolled my eyes when Sam didn't reply, annoyed by their confidential attitudes. With this rate, we'd still be here arguing after all of this had been over with for years. I pushed Sam out of the way and walked up to the fence, hands on my hips. I heard the wolves' sharp intakes of breath but ignored their shocked attitudes. Really, what did they expect? I was naturally an impatient person. I wasn't going to stand there as Sam made a fool out of himself.

I marched up to the fence, getting so close my nose was just brushing it. The vampires on the other side all took a step back, almost like they thought I was a secret weapon of mass destruction or something. I snorted at the idea of it. As much as I hated to admit my weakness, I wasn't cocky enough to think I could actually take on all eleven vampires.

"Alright, you," I gestured towards the redheaded vampire. "I take it you're the leader?"

He gulped uneasily and glanced around at the other vampires, who all turned and stared at him. "Well, yes, I am-"

"Good. I am Leah, this is Sam." I pointed over at our wide eyed Alpha. "We're part of this," I continued to wave my arms around, signaling to the wolves, "whole shape shifter Pack." The vampires stared back dumbly and I sighed. God, I felt like I was speaking to a bunch of pre-schoolers.

The blonde's gaze flickered from Sam, the wolves, and I and then back again before finally clearing his throat. "Excuse me, but why aren't you in...wolf form?"

I sighed. Now was really not the time to get into the specifics of our species. This wasn't Biology class, after all. "Good question," I spat sarcastically. "I suppose it would have just been so much easier if we could have figured this whole mess out through barking and howling."

He scowled, clearly insulted, and I rolled my eyes. "Look, we're from this tiny little isolated place in Washington state where-"

"La Push," the redhead interrupted.

I gawked at him. "La Push?"

He gave a small smile and nodded. "You're from La Push, am I right? On the coast of Washington state? It's a Native American reservation for the Quileute tribe."

"Uh...yeah...alright, kudos to you for knowing that." I looked over my shoulder at Sam and ignored his petrified expression. Everyone else looked just as confused as I was to how they knew all of this. And why didn't we know anything about them?

The redhead rocked back on his heels, a satisfied smirk on his lips. "We didn't recognize you at first. We didn't exactly know what to expect when we heard shape shifters would be among us."

I ignored his statement and fired another question. "Who are you, exactly?"

His overconfident face fell into a frown almost simultaneously and he grimaced. "I thought you knew. We're the coven from-"

"Yes, yes, we know that. But...like...where did you come from? No one even knows who you are." I clearly remembered Tanya stating a while back that every single vampire in the world was with us. She never mentioned a mysterious coven hidden in the nation's capitol.

He bit his lip and shrugged. "We like our privacy."

Simple as that. I cocked one eyebrow and gave a doubtful nod. "Hmm, well, whatever. So right now, we're patrolling the area. All the other vamps," I paused to point a finger at the lonesome Williams Building behind me, "are in there, freeing the Cullens. First things first, you need to understand that there are some pretty dangerous, royal vampires here-"

"We know," he cut in, his tone obvious. "Who doesn't? The first vampires to ever walk the earth are back again to regain their lost throne, blah blah blah. Sounds like some Indiana Jones movie, doesn't it? Last time the idiot coven that Vladimir and Stefan were in - I'm sure you've met them already - took it out from underneath them and then the Volturi, well, you know that story."

I froze. Was it possible this guy knew more about vampire history than even Carlisle Cullen himself? Of all the times I had sat around in that big flashy home of theirs and listened to Carlisle drone on and on about weird, quirky stories, he had never mentioned twins or the beginning of the Volturi, or even Vladimir and Stefan. We practically had a walking text book here with us.

"Wait, wait," Sam cut in, stepping beside me. "That doesn't make sense. Adam and Eve are-"

"All powerful?"

We both grimaced at the vampire. Really, what was with him and cutting in? It was starting to annoy the hell out of me.

Sam nodded, "Yes, so that wouldn't make sense if what you say is true about Vladimir and Stefan taking it from them."

Hmm. He actually had a point. Vladimir and Stefan didn't exactly strike me as dangerous. Amusing old guys? Sure. They were kind of weird, obviously, but what vampire wasn't who belonged to the senior citizen group?

The redhead sighed, rolling his eyes as he stepped a bit closer to the fence. "Have Adam and Eve told you nothing?" The question was to himself but I still felt my face grow hot at his tone. The way he said it, it was like he was making us out to be fools, manipulated and controlled. Like Adam and Eve had tricked us all.

Sam glanced back at the building. "What do you mean?"

The vampire's brow furrowed and his eyes fell on the hole Eve had made earlier. "May we...come in? It would be much easier."

I looked over at Sam warily but he just shrugged. "Fine, we'll need your help anyway. Adam told us-"

"No one cares what Adam says," the vampire just laughed, strolling over to the hole casually. His whole coven followed behind him, sending hostile glances at us. "No one has in over thousands of years. It's about time you realized that."

He climbed through the hole easily, coming over to our side of the fence. My eyes caught Sam's and we both frowned. Was there really something about the twins that we had yet to hear about? They were a bit secretive, yes, but obviously if you were the starters of a species, returning to them after millions of years, the inhabitants of the world would be suspicious.

The leader jumped atop the rock I had formerly been occupying and perched himself on top like a bird. A big, scary, smirking bird. "By the way, I'm Brandon," he stated, smiling and exposing all teeth.

I gulped.

"This is Jared, Paul, Seth, Quil, and Embry," Sam quietly replied, waving to each wolf as he introduced them. Brandon nodded and greeted them each softly, grinning the entire time. He reminded me of the cat who ate the canary, sitting like that with such a predatory yet content look in his eyes. I made it a point to look away when his ruby eyes fell on me.

He then introduced his coven, though I missed the names, except that the blonde was named Christian and I only picked that one up because he regarded him first. I was too busy wondering what we could have missed about the twins. Were they secretly evil? I couldn't picture them that way but who knew?

"Now, you say you have jobs for us?" Brandon's tone was amusing and cool. I could tell he already planned on ignoring our given tasks. He would make his coven do it while he sat there, relaxed and sunbathing.

Sam nodded. "Yes, Adam wanted us to make sure no one left and no one entered the area. We-"

"Good, fine, that's just fine with us." Brandon looked at his coven and waved his hands, shooing them off in all directions. "Kill anyone who comes or goes, boys," he called out to them as they scattered in all directions. I now understood what Adam meant by their different ways. It was by no means necessary to kill anyone who left or entered.

He looked back at Sam and the other wolves. "Keep your Pack here. I think it's about time they hear a story about your little leaders."

"They're your leaders, too," I told him. "Your King and Queen."

His eyes turned to red ice as he glared at me, his breathing stopped and his body as still as marble. "I don't follow traitors."

I frowned at his words. Traitors? I wanted him to go further to his point but he never did. He just looked over at Sam, blowing me off completely, and began talking.

"You obviously seem well aware of their ranking among vampire social class. They were the firsts. I don't know that story, it's probably too long for anyone to even record. Maybe even Adam and Eve themselves. I don't think anyone will ever know who the third vampire was or how they changed him or even what occurred in vampire history for almost two thousand years following the first moment they walked on this Earth. Tell me, are you familiar with vampire history?" He leaned forward, his elbows on his kneecaps, as Sam and I both shook our heads.

"All we know that as of last week, the Volturi were the leaders," Sam clarified and I nodded in agreement.

Brandon leaned back and frowned. "Ah, yes, well they were. You see, Adam and Eve are too powerful. They're too great for their own good. You may think I'm just giving them flattery but I'm being completely honest. They are, and always have been, too powerful for this world. That's why every few years they go into what you could call hibernation. One of them can't walk this earth alone. Both need to be awake, or else they..."

"Die?" I asked, horrified. Brandon's head snapped over to me and he laughed.

"Die? No. They can't die. Living things die, things with souls. Vampires don't have those, or at least I don't think they do. They...they do not die. They would probably crumble to pieces. Almost like the modern vampire lore of how the sun affects us. But no, die they would not." Was he trying to say they were soulless? Up until meeting the Cullens, I didn't really think vampires had souls either. But after knowing them...no, it was impossible to say they didn't have souls. They all felt, all had emotions and personalities. If they didn't, tiny Alice wouldn't love to shop or Emmett wouldn't enjoy fighting so much.

"How do you know all of this?" Sam asked, intrigued. I waited for Brandon's reply.

He simply shrugged. "It was passed down to me from my creator and passed down to him from his and so forth. It's not known knowledge. I doubt even the Volturi is aware of all of it."

"And how did he know? Your creator's creator or whatever?" I wondered aloud.

Brandon narrowed his eyes as he turned towards the building, studying it silently. I could see his vampires patrolling by the entrances and exits, licking their lips excitedly at the idea of fresh blood. Talk about disgusting.

"He was a part of Vladimir and Stefan's coven from before the Volturi ruled."

Woah. Talk about old.

"That doesn't really matter, though. What matters is this. Adam and Eve ruled for years. Not secretly, either. They made it known who they were, what they were, how powerful they were. The vampire world, as small as it was, was basically powerless underneath them. They controlled the other vampires with mind tricks, watched them suffer through torture, and-"

"Why?" Sam gasped, "Why would they do that to their own species?" Good question. Even I couldn't imagine why they'd do that.

Brandon looked at him as if he was missing a big piece of the puzzle. "They saw the Devil in their faces. How could you not do that to your own species? You create children, wanting them to be good and as human as you are, only to learn they're savage beasts who have no control over their thirst for blood. Adam and Eve have never been greatly tempted by blood. Sure, they drink it but rarely. They simply don't need it. How would you feel if you created a species to represent yourselves in all ways to realize they're the opposite of you? Adam and Eve wanted to be good. They killed only when necessary. They kept themselves a secret from the human race."

"So they hated other vampires?" I asked dubiously. Brandon nodded, his eyes cool.

"What's not to hate? We kill, we lie, we steal, and we cheat. We're practically spawns of the Devil himself, born from two of the most compassionate, humane parents." He even sounded saddened by his words. I looked over to the nearby building, wondering if Adam and Eve were listening.

Sam paced next to me, hands on his hips. "What did the vampires do while they were...hibernating?"

Brandon shrugged, his eyes glassy with that faraway look people always talked about. "Went about their business. When they hibernated, it was only for a few decades, unlike how it is now. They would reawake for a few more decades."

"And how does this have to do with Vladimir and Stefan?" I asked, confused. I had never been much for History. It seemed to stretch on forever with endless names and dates. I guess it was a bit cool, though, when the people you were learning about were still alive.

"I'm getting there, believe me. For hundreds of years it went like that. Asleep for thirty years, awake for twenty five. As more vampires were born, they grew more spiteful and angrier at their offspring. There was more bloodshed, more deceit. Vampires were grouping together as covens, beginning to form families. They were competing for land, wanting the most populated areas for blood. Adam and Eve wanted unity; one big, happy family if you will. The opposite was happening as time wore on and they couldn't stand to watch.

"And then what seemed the impossible happened. Vladimir and Stefan, two newborns from the same town, formed a strong coven full of vampires with unique gifts. None of them had yet seen Adam and Eve's full power and they thought they could overthrow them. They wanted to live a free life without worrying about the twins breathing down their necks, waiting for them to put one foot out of line so they could hurt them."

It wasn't possible they would be able to overthrow Adam and Eve. It just wasn't possible. They were too powerful, had all of the talents possible. I wouldn't think Vladimir and Stefan would still be alive today to tell the tale of their rebellious actions. Come to think of it, I had yet to see Vladimir and Stefan in the same room with the twins. I couldn't even remember seeing them since the day Tanya's group came from Loreto. Had they left us?

"They planned a revolt and failed, clearly. Adam and Eve defeated them, though never killed them. They were too good for that. But they were greatly hurt, emotionally. Their own children had rebelled against them, thirsting for their own blood. So they did the only thing they could in order for their species to live successfully. They annihilated the world of vampires."

My jaw dropped. Back up a second, they murdered the other vampires? "No, that can't be right. Look at all of the vampires alive now. You can't be right-"

"They didn't destroy every single one, but it was enough to leave its mark. They killed every single vampire that knew about them. Basically took themselves off the map. Some newborns had yet to learn of the twins and so they were left alive. Everyone else...gone. Wiped out, turned to ash. The only coven left was Vladimir and Stefan's, left alive for punishment for their actions. Adam and Eve trusted them to keep their existence a secret by threatening them with their lives. It worked, in the end, until one member slipped centuries later and Stefan assassinated her in fear of the twins' wrath. Sacrificed her for the greater good."

And Carlisle knew nothing about this. Once the most knowledgeable vampire I knew was becoming a naïve child in my eyes. No one knew about this. No one. I felt a strange surge of giddiness wash through me. Such a scandal this was, and my Pack was learning it all before the vampire world.

"So why do you hate the twins so much?" Sam spoke up, his lips turning into a confused frown.

Brandon let out a breath and propped his chin up on his folded hands. "I don't hate them, exactly. It's just a leftover bitterness from everything they have done. Can you imagine what the vampire world would be like if they hadn't of slaughtered them by the hundreds? There would have been no Volturi," he spat acidly, "There would have no Aro or Caius or Marcus. Adam and Eve would be ruling still and I can assure you, they are the best rulers we'll ever have."

"But they killed you!" I exclaimed, throwing my hands in the air. "How are they the best? You said so yourself. They tortured your kind for years and-"

"And so what? They aren't stupid creatures, Leah. They're probably the smartest creatures to ever walk this earth. They realized, quickly after the Volturi overthrew the others, that vampires could be good. Now, I am sure, they would never hurt a vampire unless they deserved it. The Volturi's Jane and Alec, I bet you, may be the first they eliminate. Even though they now know vampires are what they had always wanted them to be, they never came back, except for the few years they would reawake and travel the world side by side, but they wanted to. This is their excuse for coming back into power. The world, the vampire world, finally needs them. They knew if they came back earlier, someone would let it slip what they had done all those years ago and it would be a mess. They wouldn't be trusted, wouldn't be appreciated. Now, they're wanted. Vampires all over are looking to them for guidance, for leadership. And, who knows, maybe they've always known it had to go like this. They do have visions, you know. I'm sure they were watching this happen before they had even decided to make our species endangered."

He stopped talking then, thank God. I could hardly keep up. There was so much to wrap my mind around. Too much, even. I rubbed my temples and groaned at the oncoming migraine.

"So then, eventually, the Volturi came along and overthrew everyone else?" Sam predicted quietly.

Brandon nodded with a small smile. "Yes, eventually. The Volturi finally came along, centuries after all of this had gone down, and killed mostly everyone except Vladimir and Stefan. They hadn't had a large coven anyway. Over the years, many were killed for accidentally talking about the whole Adam and Eve fiasco. Vladimir and Stefan survived and the Volturi have been ruling ever since."

And that was it. Thousands of years of vampire history summed up in about five minutes, maybe a bit more. It was incredible, once I thought about it. I knew Quileute history like the back of my hand, all about the spirit warriors and cold ones. Vampire history was so different, though. So cold and violent and long.

I sat down on the grass and hung my head, thinking over it all. "What do you think will happen now?" I asked, looking up at Brandon to find him stretched back on the rock, staring at the light blue sky. Sam was standing off to the side, arms crossed, as he watched Brandon's vampires run about the area, eagerly waiting for a stray human to wander out. The other wolves, I realized, had wandered off and were loping around the fence, looking into the forest.

Brandon sat up with a groan, as if the action really did tire him out. "Pretty unpredictable. I think Adam and Eve will take back the throne. I can't imagine the Volturi wanting the cross their paths and Vladimir and Stefan are probably shaking in fear every time their names are even mentioned. Possibly they'll do what they did before: rule for a while and then hibernate. Everything's up in the air right now. We don't know where the chips are going to land."

Just then, a slight breeze picked up and his scent blew towards me, blocking off all other thoughts I had previously been thinking. I clutched my stomach and wrinkled my nose. It was so familiar. So strong, sharp, and reminded me of-

"Jasper," I mumbled under my breath, my eyes growing wide. Sam and Brandon both looked at me, their eyes wide and eyebrows high.

"Excuse me?" Brandon asked politely.

I looked at him accusingly. "Why do you smell like Jasper?"

"Jasper?" he echoed, bewildered. "Jasper...Whitlock? Do you know him?"

"Do you?" I asked sharply, my eyes narrowing. Brandon smiled in a peculiar manner and glanced at Sam before replying.

"Yes, as a matter of fact. I just saw him today." What? I shared a long glance at Sam and bit the inside of my cheek. Was that possible? The news said he had escaped. I had yet to wrap my mind around the aspect, though. It seemed too...weird. I couldn't imagine one Cullen leaving the family. It was hard to think of them separately.

"He's why you came," Sam stated calmly. My head swiveled over to Sam and my jaw dropped. Was that true?

Brandon shrugged and looked away, but not in discomfort. It was more like a casual, unbothered expression that his face bore. "You could say that. We just figured you needed our help. Plus, isn't this some big vampire gathering? Every vampire in the world? It wouldn't be a party without us." He gave a boastful grin and winked.

"Why did you see him?" I asked curiously.

"He was in the city. Looked awful, though. He's trying to fit in with humans, go undiscovered. He mentioned going to Philadelphia for personal reasons tonight. Said he'd be back as soon as possible." Philadelphia? Personal reasons? Who in the world would Jasper have to meet up with in Philadelphia when everyone he knew was right here?

"That doesn't make sense," I told him, shaking my head. Had Jasper even been to Philadelphia? I guess when you had forever and limitless money, you'd go anywhere and everywhere but still. I couldn't imagine him having any connections there.

"Hey, don't shoot the messenger," Brandon chided, a defensive tone to his voice. I rolled my eyes and looked to Sam but he looked just as clueless as I was about Jasper's behavior.

After a second or two of silence, Sam spoke up, "I hope everything's going alright in there." His eyes were scanning the building, worriedly watching Brandon's bloodthirsty vampires.

Brandon chuckled and shook his head, silencing himself with a small smile on his lips. "You never know how things are going to go with Adam and Eve."

I looked over at him. "Oh? Why's that?"

He just shrugged, his grin tugging on his lips. "They like to keep things unpredictable."

For some reason, that really worried me.