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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*


36. Humpty Dumpty

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 10486   Review this Chapter

Two Days Later

Adam's Point of View

"Television," Brandon mumbled almost incoherently, "is one of the best inventions of mankind."

I looked over towards him in slight amusement mixed with annoyance. He was peculiarly perched on the armrest of a large, peach colored sofa in the parlor, leaning over his knees with his head perfectly balanced on his folded hands. He looked completely taken by the hi definition - whatever that meant - television screen as the pixels moved and jumped together, forming pictures and people.

"It is convenient," I added distractedly as I flipped through another page of the Greek mythology book I had snatched from upstairs. I was in the kitchen, propped up in one of the wooden chairs, as I skimmed through the pages.

Brandon hmphed and shook his head. "I had no clue this many people cared about us. I mean, look at that! Here comes Silvio Berlusconi! Do you even know who he is?"

My eyes lifted from the book to glance at the screen. "Prime Minister of Italy, yes?"

He nodded and pointed to the screen. "You already missed German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She arrived at the White House a few minutes ago. My God, they are all coming in great limos with herds of security everywhere."

I tapped the table absent mindedly and scanned the empty kitchen around me. There had to be something he could do to make himself useful. There just had to be.

"Brandon, is there somewhere else you need to be?" The man was incredibly diverting. Every few minutes his mouth would pop open and he would exclaim something else. He was either chatting to himself about the arrival of all these world leaders or muttering about history. Half of the time, I tuned him out but for the most part, I found my attention drifting to whatever he was so captured by.

While every other delegate was off saying their goodbyes to their covens or, in Alistair's case, murmuring illogical words to himself up in one of the spare rooms, Brandon had stubbornly settled down close by. And there was nothing I could do or say to shake him off, to encourage him to leave me be.

He glanced up from the screen and looked at me in mild shock. "Not really, no. Who needs vampire gossip when you have this?" He waved an open palm towards the screen, motioning towards the news anchorman on CNN. "This is history, Adam! In a thousand years, it will mean so much more to me that I saw - " his eyes ran back to the screen, " - Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, arrive at the White House then it would to hear about vampires socializing."

My sigh echoed his words and I set my book down, folding the page in my haste. "We are leaving in ten minutes," I told him, "and you would rather sit here and watch television then go talk to your coven? What if they need you?"

He snorted. "Need me?" He turned back towards the television and pushed a few buttons on the remote control, raising the volume. "Please, Christian can handle them for a few hours while we're gone."

I was stuck with him.

I ground my teeth in silent irritation and lifted the book back up, reading the words hurriedly. Brandon went back to watching his precious television and I ignored him. Outside, my ears picked up the sound of the Cullens, still located on the porch, worriedly discussing something. The shape shifter Pack was with them as Carlisle and Jacob got ready to depart. On the other side of the lawn, Maria was giving instructions to Chester as to how to take care of her army. All of the other delegates were scattered as they talked.

"What do you think they'll do?" Brandon spoke up and I clenched my jaw as I looked up from the page. All I saw was the back of his head as he watched the screen intently.

I was so close to just throwing the book out the window in my frustration. "The leaders? Hopefully, they will listen to us and try to understand where we are coming from. If not, we just have to try harder."

His red head bobbed up and down as he focused on the screen. "And the Volturi?"

The responding growl that left my lips was purely a reflex. "What about the Volturi?"

Brandon laughed and stood up from the sofa, much to my surprise. With his back turned on the screen, he looked at me with such deep red eyes. I could not help but notice the similarity of the color to blood. "Well, they're pissed," he said bluntly. I raised my eyebrows.

"So?" I asked quietly.

His shoulders shrugged and he walked towards me, swinging the remote in his hands as he left the speaking anchorman behind, stuck in the little screen for the world's entertainment. "So? Pissed off vampires aren't exactly known for grade A behavior."

He sat down across from me, setting the plastic remote on the tabletop. I stared at him, frowning. "Aro, Alec, and Jane do not pose a threat."

Brandon looked at me disbelievingly and then chuckled. "Maybe not to you. Maybe you can snap your fingers and kill them in a second but to us? To the rest of the vampire world? They're kind of dangerous."

My eyes strayed on his honest face for a moment more until Eve stepped into the room, footsteps echoing on the tiled floor. I turned my attention onto her and grinned. Instead of her usual elaborate dresses, she wore a professional black skirt and a matching chiffon black blouse. The collar was merely a black string, tied around her neck, with a sheer v neck complete with trickling beads and intricate designs.

Brandon's jaw dropped the slightest and I stretched across the table and smacked his head. He jumped and looked at me, glaring sharply. I pointedly ignored him and looked back to Eve, who was standing in the doorway, brow furrowed, as she deftly fastened her hair in a sophisticated chignon.

"What?" She asked, completely oblivious.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Brandon roll his eyes. "Nothing, love," I answered with a smile. "You look stunning, as usual."

Her violet eyes narrowed and she arched a brow. "Thank you. I figured this was better than those old, flowing Victorian dresses I have." She sniffed and adjusted her drooping onyx earrings. Brandon coughed into his hand I grumbled.

"Much more modern, too," I added as I eyed the pair of stilettos she wore.

"I hope you plan on changing," she said as she walked through the kitchen, stopping at the counter as she fumbled through a few loose pages of paper layered on top. She looked up and stared at me with insistent eyes. Typical woman, I thought bitterly.

I dropped the book on the table and let out an exasperated breath of air. "Jacob Black is going completely shirtless," I argued as I remembered his usual uniform of going barefoot in only a pair of khaki shorts.

Brandon looked between the two of us with a look of wicked amusement on his face. "That is no excuse for the king of vampires," he piped up, grinning at me evilly. I scowled at him as I watched Eve over his shoulder.

She smiled brightly at him. "Exactly, Brandon. Good point. Jacob Black wears what he does for species reasons. You, however," she raised a finger to point at me, "do not have any reason to dress more formally."

I stood up and left the book on the table, staring at her incredulously. "What, did you expect me to just have a tuxedo appear out of thin air?"

Her lips pursed until they formed a tight line. "No," she said in an acidic tone. "But right about now, a white t shirt will not do." She placed her hands on her hips and glared at me.

Brandon chortled as he continued to sit. "You need serious improvements on your wardrobe," he concluded with the slightest bit of attitude. I glanced down at him in silent outrage.

"Whose side are you on?" I asked.

He looked up with wide eyes. "Whose do you think?" I rolled my eyes and then watched as Eve hastily snapped her fingers as her other hand floated over a piece of paper as she read it.

A long sleeved off white shirt appeared on the back of my chair and I stared at it, mumbling under my breath. "I could have done that myself, you know," I told her as I reached for it and put it on over the cotton shirt I already wore. She smirked from the other side of the kitchen and I buttoned it up quickly.

"I know, dear," she replied without looking up, "but you would have waited until the very last minute."

I grunted. "Where did you even get this from?" I pulled on the sleeve and wrinkled my nose. We had over twenty houses spread over the world, which never failed to prove to be quite convenient. When everything in the world could be yours, money was never something that proved to be difficult to own. With a snap of our fingers, it could quite literally appear before us. Call it teleporting random objects, if you will.

She paused and looked up. "The chateau in France. What? Do you not like it?" Her forehead crumpled as she studied me. "It was just sitting in the closet there. Get some use out of it before it starts collecting dust."

Brandon sneered as he stood up from his seat. "I can totally see who wears the pants in this relationship," he leered and Eve and I both turned to look at him. I avoided Eve's triumphant look by scanning Brandon's simpering expression.

"Say one more word," I threatened with a hiss, "and you will be no better than Jane."

Of course I was joking. I would never hurt the annoying little vampire before us. But, to my extreme delight, Brandon did not know that.

His eyebrows rose and he paled considerably, something I found impressive for a vampire to do. He jumped slightly and looked to Eve for some sort of defense. "I'm just going to go get the other delegates," he mumbled, eyes glancing towards me, "so we can get this show on the road." And then he darted from the room, turning the television off in the process. I heard the screen door slam as he exited.

Despite the situation, I grinned as his alarmed thoughts reached me from the other side of the property as he ran about, collecting the delegates. "I hope that teaches him," I said as I pushed my chair in and walked around the table. Eve tapped her toe on the tile and shook her head, clucking her tongue in the process.

"What he said was a bit true, though," she smugly retorted and I paused, my hand on the table. I looked over at her, resisting the urge to smile.

"Oh? Was it now?"

Her mirth was tangible as she laughed almost inaudibly. Something else distracted me, though, as I heard the shuffling of Alistair walking down the back stairwell. We both turned, waiting for him to enter the kitchen, as his footsteps grew closer and closer. He finally came into sight, standing there scrubbing his chin, as he glanced between the two of us.

"When are we leaving?" He wrapped his jacket around his thin form nervously as he paused in the doorway, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. My eyes locked with Eve's and she frowned almost unnoticeably.

"As soon as Brandon returns with the other delegates," I answered him calmly. The moment we had fully devised some sort of plan in the dining room, the delegates had fled eagerly. That had been nearly two hours ago and since then Eve and I had stayed inside the mansion, waiting for the right time to teleport to the capitol.

Alistair nodded slowly and looked at the floor with black eyes. I could not help but pity the vampire in front of us. He was a bit out of his mind, something he had always been, even when human, and nervous beyond words. But then he was so old, older than the Volturi. Almost as old as Stefan and Vladimir had been. I found it amazing he had lasted so long in this world.

Eve continued flicking through pages concerning government issues without acknowledging him. I knew today would be difficult for him, difficult for maybe all of the delegates. The numerous news stations and camera crews lining the White House would be recording our every move, broadcasting it across the world. I believe it was that fact that worried Alistair.

Finally, Brandon came back, a line of anxious looking delegates in tow. Jacob towered over all of them as he followed behind a relaxed looking Carlisle. The rest of them appeared nervous and twitchy, even Brandon whose excitement had been nearly smothering just a few minutes before.

"Good, everyone is here," Eve muttered, mostly to herself. I nodded once as my eyes skipped over the vampires in the kitchen. "Alright, we, meaning Adam and I, are going to teleport everyone to the capitol and from there on out, you all follow us. Understood?"

There were rustlings of agreement as everyone glanced between us. "And, of course," I added, "once we get inside, do not be afraid to add anything. This is not a meeting for just Eve and I. You all were selected to come for a reason. If you want something to be said, say it." Eve's cool eyes glittered in accord and she stepped out from behind the counter.

"It will be chaotic," I warned, "but as long as you stay with us, I am sure things will be alright." They all seemed to bear identical frowns as they looked at us.

I looked to Eve who subtly nodded before I invoked our shared power of teleportation. It was simple to use, like the mere flexing of a muscle; almost like a switch had been pulled in my brain. One second we were all standing in the brightly lit kitchen and the next, I could feel the twisting and turning of time and space. From others' thoughts, I had realized a long, long time ago that when teleported, vampires did not feel half the things Eve and I did.

To us, it was like we were being pulled apart. Like the universe was reaching into our bodies and ripping us to shreds, only to deposit them miles away. It was a painful sensation, obviously, but one we had both gotten used to. By now, it only felt like a pinprick of a spasm.

Involuntarily, I took a shaky breath as my heart went into overdrive. I gulped down the crisp air of Washington D.C. and shook off the cloudy fog that had swept over my mind. I never liked teleporting - even now, billions of years after I had initially been swallowed up by time, I still detested the action of going through that.

I pushed the thoughts aside as the deafening sound of surrounding humans plowed through my mental barrier. My eyes snapped open and I sighed, relieved.

We were in the capitol.

Every time we teleported, I still panicked I would end up miles away or end up somewhere not even existing. But no, the capitol was spread out before us with the lush green grasses straight ahead, leading up to the famed White House. We were here, not in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or somewhere else. I turned quickly, my eyes falling on the delegates as I counted them. They were all here.

The sidewalk we had appeared on was across the street from the front of the governmental mansion and it was simply swarming with humans. It would have reminded me of the front lawn of Elizabeth's mansion in the South, covered with bundles of vampires. Except, here, it was much pushier and louder.

Humans from all sides swooped in, cameras rolling and microphones being inconveniently dropped in our faces. Reporters were closing in on us, eager faces screaming out questions into individual mikes. I pushed back, feeling Eve against my side as I looked straight over the heads, my eyes falling on the intimidating house ahead of us.

Eve's voice reached my ears. "Three....two..." I looked down at her, confused, and she smiled. "One."

A large line of security agents pushed through the deep crowd of reporters, speaking into tiny microphones hooked on the cuff of their sleeves. They were all dressed in the expected uniform of black suits and dark shades. It was borderline hilarious, watching them shove the reporters aside in their unvarying uniforms.

One stopped in front of us, his dark hair shaved down into a crew cut. "I take it you're the vampires," he said in a military style, struggling to speak over the bubble of noise around us. He reached up and pulled his shades down, revealing a pair of bright blue eyes.

I nodded as I reached behind Eve, laying my hand flat on her back. The delegates all shuffled nervously behind us, watching the reporters study them closely. The rest of the agents seemed to circle them, shooing the nosy reporters away as they formed a tight circle around the vampires.

"I'm Agent McCullough, head of secret security. Leave it to my guys to get you all through this, just follow us to the White House and we'll take care of them." He jabbed his finger towards the reporters around us and I immediately thanked my superhuman hearing. I knew otherwise I would never have heard him.

He turned swiftly and seemed to almost juggle the people around us. He would move one reporter this way and then push another that way. His actions carved a clean path through the other humans and I had no choice but to follow as I felt other agents enclose around us.

It was almost comforting, having their alarming agents encircling us so. They kept the rowdier reporters away, using the threat of guns and brute force to scare them. Most humans ran out of their way as soon as they saw the tight knit group of agents with McCullough in the lead, but those who did not were soon thrown out of the way by the pushy hands of the government's agents.

Soon, McCullough was leading us all across the street, waving us forward as he raised his hands to stop oncoming traffic. His agents continued escorting us until we were past the gates of the White House, keeping the prying reporters behind us as we walked onwards. McCullough seemed to slow down and his agents loosened up, putting more of a distance between them and the delegates.

"I hope you all know what you're getting into," McCullough chewed out as he led us closer to the impeding house. I glanced down at him as he ordered code words into the microphone on his wrist.

Eve looped her arm through mine and looked across me at the human agent. "Oh, sir, believe me. We know."

He glanced up from his sleeve and stared at her for a long moment before looking away. "You should all know this place has been a madhouse today. Security's in overdrive, though I have a feeling if any jackass in the world decided to assassinate someone today, the target'd be you guys."

We both flinched at his directness. "You expected some sort of casualty?" I wondered aloud.

He shrugged stiffly as he continued walking briskly. "You never know when there's a gathering like this." He paused to glance over his shoulder at the reporters trying to slide through the bars of the fence. "People lose their minds. You expect the worst. And if someone has it out for one world leader, why not try to finish the deed today?"

I did not answer his question; I did not know what to say. It seemed ridiculous to me to think that some fool would try to murder their leader during such a pivotal time. But I suppose in the mind of a madman, today contained the perfect chance.

He led us around the front gardens as we followed behind easily. His agents were still around, though they had drifted away to further spots, like near the doors and different locations on the grounds. Soon, we had reached the entrance and he ushered us in, showing us the way into the grand entrance hall.

Several pillars drilled from the roof to the ground and a large, sparkling chandelier hung from above, sending its reflections upon the tiled floor. I paused, looking around at the rich red carpeting and the aged architecture. There was a slight smell of tobacco and cleaning supplies littering the room and my senses rebelled against the strong scent of ammonia.

McCullough glanced at us. "Everyone's waiting in the Cabinet Room. It's in the West Wing, in case you were wondering." He sped off again, expecting us to follow, which we did. I grinned slightly at the sound of Eve's heels clacking loudly against the silent vestibule. Everyone else followed nearly inaudibly as we fell into a natural clump of vampires.

I easily blocked their overwhelming thoughts from my mind until I could think without their ideas intruding. Brandon was the loudest, something I should have figured, and with all of their thoughts flying at me, it was hard to concentrate.

We passed through several hallways and down several small stairwells with McCullough in the lead as he guided us towards the Cabinet Room. I would have liked to stop and study the numerous paintings hung on the walls or to venture into the closed rooms but I knew there was no time. Not unless I wanted to attract unwanted attention by holding everyone up, that is.

He found the Cabinet Room quickly and easily, stopping in front of it to address the rigid agents who stood on duty outside the closed doors. They all watched us suspiciously, hands crossed before them as they stood along the wall.

McCullough suddenly stopped and turned. "Do you have any weapons on you?" He asked completely serious. My face broke into an incredulous grin. What did he think we had? Machine guns hidden in our pockets?

"What sort of weapons?" I teased and Eve reached over and smacked my arm.

"No," she cut in sharply, "none of us have any weapons. You can do a security check if you wish but I can promise you we brought nothing but the clothes on our back." They all stiffened at her proposal and I smirked slightly. One of them, on the right, brought out a portable, handheld metal detector and I tried not to roll my eyes.

"Protocol," McCullough said, "Promises don't mean anything here, miss." He took the detector away from the agent and turned towards me with an arched brow.

I shook my head and surrendered. "Go ahead." He stepped forward, hesitantly, almost like I was some sort of distrustful King Cobra, about to strike. He ran the detector over my body, searching for what I assumed was knives or guns. Once he was finished, he turned towards Eve, who smiled exhaustedly and lifted her arms.

Thankfully, none of the other vampires expressed any source of distress at his actions and obliged easily, even Jacob. McCullough finished without one problem and made his way back to the front.

He jerked his head towards another agent and gave the thumbs up sign. Curious, I watched the agent lift his wrist and speak into the tiny microphone hooked on his sleeve. "Tell the President they've arrived and that we're sending them in. Over and out."

I instantly felt my heart begin to race as I realized just how close we were to getting past those double doors. Eve's cold hand suddenly touched my own and I reached for it, clutching it tightly. The frigidness of her skin was enough to give me a jolt and push my pulse into throbbing faster and faster until I could feel the arteries in my neck thump against the bone.

McCullough moved towards the door and placed his hand on the golden knob. My eyes narrowed on the movement, waiting for him to twist it and pop it open. I could feel Eve next to me, the iciness of her flesh seeping through and freezing me over. Jacob's sour scent wafted closer from his position directly behind me and I could see Maria on the other side of Eve with her eyes locked on the door. Locked on the prize.

And then he opened it. With a flick of his fragile wrist, he opened the heavy door and pushed it open, exposing us to a room full of waiting humans. He signaled us to follow him through as one of the other agents held the door open, watching us with beady eyes.

He stepped in naturally, at ease, and Eve and I eagerly trailed behind him. We stepped around him as he moved to the side and allowed us to pass him. The room was full of government leaders, sitting around an incredibly wide and long oak table with numerous empty seats. Their upturned faced were all watching us as they sat, calmly, though I could smell the fear oozing from them.

I could smell the distrust. The cynicism. The doubt.

Most were in seats around the table, sitting proudly in their business suits with their expensive little pens. It stunned me how awfully brittle they were. With a snap decision of my mind, I could kill them all. I could turn them inside out or smash them into tiny bits. They were weak, the weaker species. They were just a bunch of mortals, gathered around a table with the hearts in their throats and their pride displayed on their faces.

But, somehow, they held all of the power here. They held the decision, the end result. It was not up to us, the stronger, more vicious species what would happen next. They held the future in their hands, something I was not sure they realized yet. To them, this could have been a normal press conference. This could have been a business meeting. I nearly despised the fact that such a breakable group of people, such vulnerable human beings, had more power than Eve and I ever would.

The President stood up at our arrival and gave a shaky smile as he eyed the diverse group of supernatural creatures behind us. He motioned towards a group of empty chairs. "Welcome, all of you."

I grabbed Eve's hand and led her to the chairs. "Thank you for accepting our invitation." It was directed towards all of the world leaders, not just him. He understood that and nodded slowly. "I hope you do not mind the fact that we brought along our own set of representatives. They will not cause you any harm, of course. They are just present for the reason of being spokespeople for our own communities."

He nodded again as his eyes slid over the vampires behind us. The delegates filed in with us, sitting down in available seats as Eve and I sat down in the two empty chairs near the opposite head of the table. My eyes did not escape the fact that there convenient nametags placed in front of the world leaders and I glanced towards the vampire delegates. "We will introduce them, of course," I told the President.

The table of leaders all watched us interestedly as some even wrote down notes. I placed Eve's freezing hand in my lap as the other delegates sat down uneasily. "Next to my wife, Eve, is Maria." I motioned towards the Southern vampire who was sitting haughtily. "She is the head of the Southern vampires, then there is Benjamin from Egypt, Carlisle Cullen from the Pacific Northwest, Jacob Black who is the Alpha of the shape shifter pack in Washington, Zafrina from the Amazon, Brandon from the capitol, Michiko from Japan, Luka from Russia, Siobhan from Ireland, Alistair from England, and Jasira from Tanzania. Also, of course, I am Adam."

The President gave a sharp nod as he sat down and shuffled through a few papers in front of him. I noticed McCullough stationed by the door with a few other agents against the wall here and there. They all stood, stoic, with their arms crossed before them.

"I take it there was no difficulty getting in," the President said from across the table. I shook my head and Eve smiled angelically.

"No, of course not. Your agents took good care of our people." She leaned back in the chair and crossed her legs as she squeezed my hand. I looked over her dark head towards the rest of the delegates and was impressed by their facades. They all appeared quite professional with a smidge of brutal savageness. I could easily imagine the humans in the room being quite intimidated by their feral looks.

On the inside, I could tell they were just as nervous and jumpy as the mortals. It was not visible on the surface but underneath the red eyes and severe faces, they were anxious for the results. Scared of these powerless humans. It amazed me.

The President smiled tightly as he glanced over at the positioned agents. "Tremendous, just what I like to hear," he muttered and the other leaders seemed to glance between him and us. "Shall we get started?"

I smiled at him as I settled into the chair. "Of course," I encouraged, "fire away."

His eyes jumped back up to us and he gulped uneasily. "Alright, well, first, we all want to know one thing: What do you want?"

There was a moment of silence that resounded after his words. I laid my hand on the table flat and stared at the wooden patterns as Eve's eyes seemed to glide over the room as she inspected the other leaders. They were all staring at us, waiting for an answer, with their pens poised over paper.

"Is it not obvious?" Her voice was loud and clear and I looked over to her. Her jaw was clenched tightly as she stared back at them all evenly. "We want to be just as much a part of this world as you are. We want to be accepted by your people, to be given rights and privileges. We want tolerance of ours ways."

It was a perfect answer, one that expressed my feelings excellently. What I did not expect was for Carlisle Cullen to also speak up as soon as Eve's mouth has shut.

"What Eve said was exactly right," he said softly as he folded his hands on the table. "But I think what we want possibly even more than that is to be given a chance. Obviously, human beings grew up with the impression that vampires were the way they are for some reason, and most of those are true. Not even I will try to erase thousands of years of murdering on our part and tell you we are pure creatures. But now that you know, now that the world knows, I think what we want even more is to be given a chance to go back and make up for those dark deeds, to change as a species and become something better, something more humane."

We all stared at Carlisle, eyes slightly wide. Jacob, seated next to him, looked towards the blonde vampire in shocked awe. All I could do was nod slowly as I cupped my chin. "What Carlisle said is precise. We will never deny our past nature, but we can change. I am sure of that."

One of the leaders sighed and shook his head. I recognized him to be the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown. "How do we know we can even trust you all?"

I looked to Eve, knowing we would have to be nothing but honest with this one. "You do not," I said quietly, "I wish I could tell you that without a doubt, you could place your trust in us. But, alas, I will not. My species is a brutal, wild species full of killers, stealers, and cheaters. What I can tell you is that I have spoken to them, all of them. We have discussed what we wanted, what we are willing to do and give up to have a place in this world. And we are willing to do almost everything for you to trust us. We are willing to change our oldest habits, to give up our oldest behavior. We want to work with you to create a future in which we have a place in."

The President tapped the end of his pen on the table as he thought. "I'm afraid that will be quite difficult," he said. "There is too much about your species, too much about your behavior, that we haven't figured out yet. The history of your kind is too vast and too long to cover. We can't accommodate you if we don't know what you need."

"The history of our kind?" I laughed slightly. "You are looking at the history of our kind. Eve and I have been here longer than the human species, almost as long as the world. What do you need to know?"

They all looked at each other uneasily. Their wonderment was strong, as was their fear. It mingled in the air, blocking off many of their other emotions. Finally, one stepped up to the plate and spoke, his voice a bit nervous. His name plate read Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia.

"Are you dangerous?"

Dangerous. I inwardly cringed. Vampires were the very meaning of unpredictable danger. For most of them, you never knew what they would do. You did not know if they were going to attack the first human they saw or if they were going to tease and play with their food. I stayed silent, knowing I could not be sure of how to answer his question.

"You do realize that is like asking a shark if they pose a threat to the fish population," Maria said and I looked at her, my eyes narrowing. "You want the truth? I can give it to you. I could snap five necks in just one second. I could lift numerous cars. I could even massacre a whole town in one night. I could do many, many things that would frighten you beyond belief but that does not mean I will."

Benjamin nodded and tapped his fingertips leisurely along the table. "We can control ourselves. It isn't like we're a bunch of mindless bloodsucking fiends. Most of the older ones of our species have built up some sort of control over their bloodlust. The others - they can be taught, too. If we were too dangerous to be around, the human population would have been wiped out before you would even have had a chance to grow. Yes, we need blood, but will we lose ourselves to that need and kill like beasts? No, we can hold ourselves back."

"So what you're trying to say," one of the other leaders said, "is that, no matter what, you need blood? You'll always be killing? There is nothing we can do to stop you from murdering?"

I was shaking my head before she had even finished. "The vampire species, yes, it needs blood. That is like telling humans you can never eat food or drink water again. We can survive if you starve us but that would be quite a large mistake. The thirstier a vampire is, the more of a threat he poses to the humans around him. Now, we do have a sort of plan for how this could work. We understand there is no way you would ever contemplate accepting us if you knew we murder random civilians. But we have devised a new system, a way to work together."

The President looked up, intrigued, as he sipped from a glass of water. "Listen, we want to be able to welcome you to our world. We want to accept you for who you are but if that means humans, as a whole, are in danger, we will refuse immediately. If you have a sort of proposal, though, I think I speak for all of us here when I tell you I would love to hear it."

My eyes drifted down to Eve and she smiled at me widely. "Of course," she said excitedly, "we would love to explain it to you. Brandon, how about you enlighten these lovely leaders? You were the main creator of it, after all."

Brandon snapped to attention, like a rod had been shoved down his spine. He looked around and grinned devilishly as he rubbed his hands together. "I would be honored to, Eve," he thanked and then turned to the others. "You see, we think it would be best to register vampires. You all have your files, do you not? Humans are cataloged, is that not the reason for social security numbers in America? I am not saying you should go around, stamping numbers on our foreheads, but we should be citizens. We should be given identities, legal documents, licenses, all of that. We should be given permanent residences so we don't need to run every few years and search for new homes."

"You want a place in our files, that's what you're saying?" The President turned his head to the side as his eyes narrowed. Brandon nodded eagerly.

"Yes, exactly. We're not an unwilling species," he laughed, "we will listen to you. So go around, take names and take pictures. Start folders on vampires. Once we're in your database, we can configure a convenient system of life. You know we need blood; Adam made that clear. However, just because we need blood does not mean we need to kill for it. Most of the vampire species is quite willing to try what we call a vegetarian diet. This would mean hunting and killing animals like bears and wolves. Now, before you all become concerned about a decrease in animal populations, we have already thought that out.

"We have about a population of 300 vampires. When you think about that, it's not very much. Most of our people are in the state of Texas, under Maria's rein. The rest are sparse covens spread here and there with the average of seven vampires per coven. The continent with the largest amount of vampires is North America and there is clearly enough wildlife here to support them all. Unfortunately, most of Maria's vampires have accustomed to the idea of carnivorous eating, meaning...well...meaning they're eating you."

I sighed and looked over at him, wanting to slap him in the face. There was a brief sensation of sharp shock as the humans listened to him and allowed his words to register.

Brandon looked at me and shrugged helplessly. "Well, it is the truth. As much as we hate to admit it, it could take some time for them all to adapt to the vegetarian lifestyle. Carlisle Cullen, in a way, serves as our chief advisor to the whole vegetarian standard of living." I glanced at Carlisle to see him sitting there, almost rolling his eyes. "For about 350 years he has been living off of strictly animal blood, so we all know it can work. From the way most of the vampire community has been living, however, the transformation from human blood to animal blood may be difficult.

"And it is for these reasons that we have worked to create a plan for the future. We think the blood banks are a brilliant idea for this issue-"

"Wait, wait," the President interrupted, his face a mask of astonishment. "You want to use our blood banks to feed you?"

Brandon paused, his face clearly alarmed at the objection. He sat back in his chair and frowned before looking at Carlisle. "Hell, just take it from here," he told him as he folded his hands in his lap. I snorted quietly.

Carlisle raised a single brow in Brandon's direction before sighing. "As a physician, I know often times there is a lot of blood gone unused in the blood bank system. If the vampire race was sure the human population would not rise against them, I am sure most of our covens would stay in one location for some time. Now, vampires don't drink as often as humans eat. Usually, for my vegetarian family, we go hunting once every few weeks. It would not be difficult for the hospitals nearest to the registered covens to put aside blood twice a month, at the very most, for vampires to pick it up when needed."

The President's forehead crumpled and he wrote something down on a piece of paper. "And what about the vegetarian vampires? How do we know the vampire race would not cause a decline in animal populations too quickly? We don't want to have to add most of our wild animals to the endangered species list soon."

Carlisle nodded. "We know that and for years, my family has been very conscientious of that fact. Most areas are able to support a vegetarian coven. Countries like Russia, without a doubt, are more than capable to sustain Luka's small coven. Others, like the capitol, clearly do not have enough wildlife to support Brandon's coven. It is areas like these that could adopt the blood bank system and the hospitals could keep blood aside for the local covens."

"That hardly seems fair for your species, though," the President argued.

Carlisle fell silent and I was reminded of Jacob's clever idea of using animal reservations. "Well," I said, "a few days ago Jacob Black had a tremendous thought for solving that issue. He brought up the possibility of using animal reservations and national parks and forming a system. If some vampires are uncomfortable with switching over towards the vegetarian lifestyle so quickly, which, I assure you, may be the case, they could sign up for the usage of blood banks. Others, covens who are either familiar with the idea of vegetarianism, like Carlisle's, could either hunt on their own or use nearby animal reservations to put aside either elderly animals or sick ones. That way, we can keep this as humane as possible. It can be entirely up to the individual covens as to what they would like to do, based off of their location."

The humans all appeared deep in thought, like they were running over these options and picking them apart. "It could work," one of them said and I ginned. "As long as you promise no humans will be hurt. Your violent past needs to be perfected until you can assure us that only animals will be slaughtered. I don't think any of us mind the idea of donating blood for your use but if you can't stop yourselves from killing..."

"We can," I vowed, "It will take some time, some practice, but if I have anything to do with it, not one human will be hurt."

"What about changing humans? Obviously, your numbers have reached 300 somehow. Explain to us the process of changing," the President said.

Eve's lips turned downwards. "I take it few of you are familiar with the vampire anatomy?" Hardly any humans showed recognition. She sighed and straightened the cuffs of her sleeves. "You see, vampires have venom. Like snakes. It paralyzes our prey so they cannot get away when we bite. But that is not the only purpose of it. If it is left in the bloodstream and we do not kill the victim, it transforms them into vampires over an approximate three day timeline. The process is painful and gut wrenching and sometimes, depending on how close to death the victim already is, they are not strong enough to complete it. If vampires are not feeding off of humans from now on, there will not be another vampire. We will not go down the street, biting recklessly because it takes much control to pull back once we have bitten someone."

"Why would you even bite a human in the first place?" One of the leaders asked and I glanced at Carlisle.

He looked over at me and gave a single, short nod. "Personally, I have quite a bit of experience with changing humans in my past," he said, "The only reason I would ever bite a human is if they were near death. If they are healthy and living, I do not see any reason why they should be changed."

The President looked at him over steepled fingers. "And once you are a vampire, you never communicate with your human family again?"

Carlisle looked at him with pained eyes. "No, it is not possible. The temptation of blood is too strong. A newborn vampire could never last near humans for too long without attacking them. It's simply too dangerous."

Some of the leaders looked mildly alarmed at this, mildly horrified. The President simply nodded before adding, "You know we released your family members' names to the public regarding human relatives. It occurred a few days ago. Dr. Mitchells released family background and pictures to the world."

All Carlisle did was nod. "I am aware of that."

"We actually have gotten some reports," The President mumbled as he chewed his bottom lip. "Some people are claiming that some of your family members were related to them once upon a time."

I glanced between the two of them, incredibly interested by this curious turn of events. "Are you suggesting we begin a program in which vampires can locate their human family?"

The President snapped his head over to look at me and he shrugged. "Why not?" He laughed slightly, a hysteric, tired sort of laugh. I frowned, as did Carlisle.

"That would be...different," I said as I looked down at the table. "I think that would bring quite a lot of closure for most of the vampire population and I am sure some of Maria's newborns would love to meet up with lost relatives."

"Done. Just promise me there won't be any newborns to come," he said quietly and my eyes tightened.

"No," I whispered, "there will not be any reason for new vampires for years to come." I already knew it would be a few decades until another vampire was born. We did not need new vampires; we did not the complicated actions a new vampire would stir up.

Carlisle cut in. "If you want my opinion on the matter, I would recommend having venom injections on hand in hospitals. I know, the idea seems slightly ridiculous but in the future, we do not know how welcoming humans will be to the vampire world. I say humans should have the decision of becoming a vampire or not if they are close to death's clutches."

Zafrina coughed and Carlisle looked at her. "I think it is a good idea," she said, "that humans should be given the choice of changing or not. And this way, there would be no danger of vampires losing control. For example, this could work brilliantly on cancer patients who want a second chance or humans near death from fatal accidents."

"You want to vampirize the whole world, that is what you want," someone accused and my head snapped up. I clenched my fist and looked down at Eve's concerned, large eyes.

"No," I said back as coolly as I could. "We want to live in this world freely and share with humans what we are. Obviously, you have not thought this through. For centuries, humans have been looking for the secret ingredient to immortality. You think now that they have figured it out, that it relies on our venom, that they will suddenly decide immortality means nothing to them? I would expect greedy humans to be begging us to bite them, regardless of the consequences. We just think it would be best to give out a small amount of it for emergency cases. Please, I have seen what happens when vampires are the ruling class. I have witnessed what happens when there are more vampires than there are humans. It is not good and it will not work."

The man who had originally spoken out against us was silenced as the President raised his hand. "No," he said, "I, too, think it is a good idea. If we are going to embrace vampires as much as we can, we need to welcome this part of them. And I am sure, in years to come, there will be voluntary patients searching for a second life. We've come up for alternatives for your diet and even on producing new vampires. I think another topic we need to resolve is..." he paused and looked at Maria, "your vampires."

She looked up and flicked her hair over her shoulder, her lips pulled back in a half smile and half snarl. "What about them?" Her voice was low and, for a moment, I doubted he had heard.

He rolled his pen between his fingers and shook his head. "The state of Texas cannot support your amount of vampires. There are neither enough blood banks nor enough wildlife. Coyotes will not be there forever for your own personal use. What do you plan on doing with them?"

She froze, her right hand poised over her head as she ran her fingers through her hair. I stiffened, knowing Maria was known for some of her dramatic, possessive tendencies when it came to her army. Her thoughts were raging a war between doing what she thought was right, letting them go, and doing what she wanted, fighting for them to stay.

Her features fell until her lips formed a slight pout. "Are you trying to suggest I let them all go?"

The President jerked in surprise. "Well, what do you think is best for them?"

Her eyes darkened for a moment until they were nothing but shadowy burgundy orbs. She scowled as her top lip curled. "If I release them, who is to know where they will go from then? You could have two hundred vampires roaming freely without any idea of where they're going."

"That is not necessarily true," I interrupted and glared at Maria. "We could easily assign her vampires to either different covens or different cities. I suggest splitting them into their own covens so they at least know each other. If we could send a coven of ten vampires to different large cities, it would be easy to register them on the blood banks system because I have a feeling most, if not all, will have difficulty adapting vegetarianism."

Maria looked at me with flaring eyes. "What if not all are willing to go?"

Eve placed her hand on her shoulder gently and squeezed. "They will have no choice. It is a sacrifice we must make. Some can stay, of course, with you until they are ready to leave. The youngest, the ones barely over ten years old, can remain with you until they are experienced enough to fly from the nest."

The President's eyes swept over us uneasily and his lips formed a straight line. His brow puckered and he spoke. "But yet there is so much more we do not know about you. You are an alien species to us."

Alistair looked around then, surprising much of the delegates as he actually responded to the atmosphere around him. "We can fix that," he hoarsely said as his lips turned up into a genuine smile. "I am afraid your testing would not work on us but we are willing to share our species' secrets. We are willing to give you the answers you need."

He then looked to me, a peculiar crooked smile on his face and I nodded. "Alistair is right. As soon as this is over, we will willingly tell you anything you want to know."

"And the shape shifters?" The President asked, his dark eyes falling on Jacob.

I frowned. "That is Jacob's decision. His species is not vampiric or even close. Potentially, though, he is the ruler of his people. The only shape shifter pack as of date is his little Pack in La Push, Washington. His numbers do not even compare to the population of humans." I looked to Jacob and he gulped.

"We're willing; sure," he mumbled nervously, "We're not really a complicated species. I think all we're asking of is privacy and freedom. I am only a shape shifter because of my ancestor's actions, ancestors that lived in La Push. All we want is to be able to stay in our homes, in our communities, without being bothered by others. We'll answer any of your questions, do whatever testing you want. Just as long as we can stay in La Push and be left alone afterwards."

"So there you have it," I said as soon as Jacob was done speaking. "The shape shifters are not dangerous; their sole purpose is to protect the people of La Push. They will not be of any hassle to neither other humans nor the government. What else do you want to know?"

I waited and there came no reply. They were all thinking, all of them, thinking about the possibilities, about what was coming now, about this new world we were forming. After this meeting, after all of this ended, what would happen to the world? What would the human population's response be to our newfound freedom?

"What now?" someone asked and I turned to look at them before glancing back at the President. He had leaned back in his chair, looking mentally drained, with half closed eyes.

"Where do we go from here? Excellent question," he muttered as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Why don't we see what happens?" He proposed. "Why don't we follow this plan, this foundation, and see what comes out of it?"

"And in a year, if things are worse than how they are now, we rethink our ways?" I suggested and everyone began to slowly nod. The President tapped the pointed end of his pen on the tabletop.

He sighed and glanced up at me. "What do you think should happen when we walk out of this building?"

I raised a brow and sucked in a trembling breath of air. What should happen next? What was best for the world, this poor world that was probably still suffering from aftershock? What was the next move?

I felt like I was playing the most important game of chess the world had even witnessed. My next move could break everything down, crumble it into a million pieces, or somehow make everything work. There was no middle ground. It was either piece everything back together or watch as the pieces of the world disintegrated into a fine powder.

Eve's hand, wrapped around mine, sent rivulets of her own determination and strength into me. I sighed, releasing my breath, and shook my head slowly. "I think we need to follow this plan. Once we leave here, I think you all need to release a public statement about what has happened here today. The world needs an explanation for when they see vampires walking down the street. Then, I think you need to start a base camp in the South. Fly down with your agents and your scientists and register everyone. Once that has been done and every single supernatural creature has been catalogued in a worldwide database, they should be free to go. The Australian coven can go back to Australia, the Irish coven can back to Ireland and so forth. You need to explain this new lifestyle to your humans, you need to get this new world started."

The President was already writing quickly on his notebook. "Follow you down to the South? We can do that. I can have Air Force One not only get me down there but fly my whole team down there for evaluation and assessment on the vampire world. As soon as we exit this room, I can also organize a press statement not even five minutes after to air all over the world. I can talk with my supervisors, with these other leaders, and we can work to initiate this new arrangement."

I nodded. "Good, good. Excellent. You can do all the testing you need to complete in the South. The whole vampire population is still located down there, as are most of the shape shifters."

He paused and looked up. "I think it would be best to not only register vampires down there but also, their residences. No offense, but until we are completely sure of your loyalties, I want to be able to keep tabs on your species as a whole. As soon as we are done in the South, we can get the animal reservations on the phone including the Red Cross. We'll organize some sort of list on who's eating what and when."

I quietly chuckled at his choice of words. "I think we can allow that. Now, the question is, are you willing to try this or are you just humoring us all? Is this your final answer?" I looked around at all of the leaders. "Are you ready to accept us into your world?"

The responding silence was magnificent. Some of them looked to one another, frowning or muttering. Others looked straight at me with their lips pursed and others were staring downwards towards the oak table. The President set his pen down flat and sighed as he nodded.

"I think we see how things go, like we said earlier. I think we go along with this and, a year from now, we appraise the current situation and see how things have gone. If we're having problems, we need to fix them. If not, we continue on." He looked around the table at the other leaders and they all, slowly, one by one began to agree.

Eve squeezed my arm before letting go. "We will be returning to the South then, to prepare the rest of our vampires for your arrival. When do you think you will be landing?"

The President reached up and scrubbed his chin as he looked towards McCullough. "I'm going to say give us six hours. All of us," he waved his hand to motion towards the other leaders, "will host a conference and then I'll collect my team. We'll try to get there as fast as we can. The only thing is: where in Texas are you exactly?"

Maria sniffed and looked at him. "About twenty miles west of San Antonio. Really, you won't be able to miss it. Look for a large white Southern mansion with a crowd of three hundred people around it. It isn't that difficult."

He nodded as I noticed McCullough had pulled out a small notebook and was writing it down. "Great," he said as he stood up. I followed suit and held my hand out for Eve as she stood. Everyone else mimicked our actions as they watched the opposing side. The vampires all eyed the humans and vice versa.

"I'm glad we were able to make some progress," he said with a small smile. "Hopefully, it will all work out and soon, we will be able to understand each other quite easily."

Eve and I nodded. "We all thank you for giving us a chance. I am sure you will not be disappointed. We look forward to hosting you down in the South," I said as Eve wrapped her arm through mine. He gruffly nodded and walked towards the door, as did we.

"I'm going to ask that you do not stay in the capitol for too long," he told us as we met at the large doorway. McCullough watched us warily. "The reporters, they're everywhere. Once I can get a press meeting up and running, the attention will most likely shift to that but you never know."

"We understand," Eve assured him as she reached out and shook his head. He gave a shaky smile and then shook mine. "And we will see you in the South, yes?"

The President glanced at McCullough and nodded. "Of course. Thank you, again, for shedding light on your current situation. We'll do whatever we can to make sure this works."

I smiled at him one last time as McCullough opened the door and held it. Eve walked forwards and I stayed beside her as the rest of the delegates trailed behind. I could sense their strong relief and it make my own head spin with joy. It had run exactly how it was supposed to, without hardly any surprises. 4.6 billion years ago I had seen that very meeting transpire and now, 4.6 billion years later, it had occurred in almost identical fashion.

McCullough paused outside the room and closed the door to the famous Cabinet Room before turning to look at us. "Where do you...uh...need to go to leave?"

I grinned at him and held Eve's hand tightly. "Right here is fine," I told him and he looked at me in bewilderment. I caught Eve's violet gaze and she then held my hand a little bit tighter as she opened her mind up to our power of teleportation.

There was that familiar sensation, that dreaded feeling as I felt our bodies break apart and drift away into nothing but open space. We soared, floating over miles of land, until I felt pieces of me glide back until I was me, Eve was Eve, and the delegates were all put back together.

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I frowned as the common nursery rhyme popped into mind.

I heard Brandon wheeze out an unnecessary cough and opened my eyes. The Southern mansion's kitchen was spread out before me with its rusty stove and dusty countertops. Brandon was leaning against the ivory wall, glowering at me.

"Damn you, you could have warned us, you know. Not all of us are used to that teleporting crap you do," he grumbled as he straightened himself.

I ignored him and looked around, mentally counting. Twelve heads, including Eve's. We had not lost anyone.

I turned back to Brandon and shrugged. "I like to keep things unpredictable," I said with a small smirk.

His only response was an incoherent curse word.