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Choices

Summary:
Choices Banner This story takes place in Eclipse when Riley goes to Bella’s room to gather her belongings for Victoria. This is what could have happened if Bella had arrived while he was still there, and the events following. Written pre-Breaking Dawn, so that book will be disregarded here. This will include my idea of how the series would have ended.


Notes:
Choices Banner *Written before Breaking Dawn was released, so that book will be ignored with this story.


23. Combined Strength

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1161   Review this Chapter

Chapter 23: Combined Strength

BPOV

It was now a week after we’d met with Jacob, and we were waiting for Carlisle to get home from work. Alice was sitting beside me, forcing home furnishing catalogs upon me. She still hadn’t given up on redecorating our room, no matter how many times I’d told her I liked it the way it was. Jasper and Emmett were having their usual fun - Alice had bought them a Wii system, and watching them play the various sports was hilarious. Rosalie sat in a chair across the room, shaking her head at her husband’s antics.

Edward was leaning back into the opposite corner of the couch, staring intently at me. I was trying to pay attention to all of Alice’s suggestions, but he kept distracting me. He had begun to like how we could communicate silently, not needing to speak after I’d fed. He was finding new ways to drive me absolutely crazy, just like he was doing now. It was definitely very distracting. Although he appeared to be just sitting there, gazing at me, he was doing much more. He was telling me how he’d like for the two of us to be upstairs, spending some more alone time. He was telling me how he wanted to place soft, gentle kisses upon my throat, how he wanted to whisper sweet nothings into my ear. He was telling me how desperately he wanted to run his hands through my hair, kissing me passionately --

"Bella, are you even paying any attention to me?" Alice demanded.

"Oh! Umm..." I began.

"I won, I won, I won!" Emmett chanted. "I am the master of cow racing!" he yelled, laughing madly.

Jasper tossed his remote down, sighing irritably. "Whatever, Emmett. You still can’t beat me at ping pong, and you probably never will," he taunted.

Emmett stopped celebrating, becoming serious. "Oh yeah? Bring it on, brother."

Just then, Carlisle arrived home. Emmett put the remote down, knowing we would all be heading outside momentarily. "Later, then," Emmett hissed to Jasper. Jasper just smiled back at him.

Once outside, we took our usual places and began practicing. I worked with Emmett a lot tonight, perfecting the use of my strength and learning how to control it. After that, Carlisle had me practice controlling people’s actions more. Jasper sent massive waves of anger at me repeatedly, trying to get me to reach the necessary highly agitated state. Once I began to feel the effects, I moved from person to person, making them do various things. I made Alice do cartwheels around the yard, and I made Rosalie twirl around in circles. I made Edward move much closer to me, (that probably didn’t really take much effort on my part), I made Carlisle pick flowers for Esme, and I had Esme put her arms around Carlisle, embracing him. Finally, I made Emmett first do the ‘cabbage patch’ dance, then made him switch to the ‘running man.’ Everyone laughed hysterically at this last display.

After everyone had calmed down, Carlisle turned to me. "Well done, Bella. I believe you’ve got a strong hold on your powers, and how they work. It’s fascinating," he said. "I know we’ve spent considerable time on you sharing all of our powers together, but I’d like to try something different with that," he paused. Over the past few weeks, we had been focusing a lot on me accessing all of their gifts at once, like we’d experienced that very first time we’d been here in the backyard. With each session, we’d all been able to adjust to it better, and now hardly anyone fell back onto the ground from the force of it. Instead, we found that if I concentrated on all of them at the same time, and they concentrated on their gift, it allowed me access to all of their powers at once; it was just difficult to stay that way for long, as it was very intense. We were all still learning to adapt to the surge of power that took hold of me when that happened, but we had gotten much better at it.

Carlisle continued. "What I’d like to try is combining the power of all of our gifts put together, with your ability to control actions, Bella. Jasper, you’ll need to stay focused on one emotion again, but maybe tone it down - all of our concentration will be a lot to handle as it is. Bella, focus on all of us like you usually do when we practice this. Then, when you feel the emotion from Jasper hit you, try releasing in on all of us - try to manipulate all of our actions simultaneously." He paused, thinking. "Maybe for now, just pick one action for all of us...maybe try forcing us away from you - keep it simple," he suggested.

I nodded, a little nervous. I closed my eyes, and began as usual. When Jasper’s wave of anger hit me, it was very unsettling; I was thinking of all my beloved family members, when all of a sudden I felt horrific anger. The familiar force tore through me, and I sent my rage with it, before opening my eyes. Everyone was gone - I was alone in the backyard, which made me begin to panic. "Edward?! Alice? Where is everyone?!" I yelled out.

I heard their silent voices, responding to me, calming me. "Bella, everything’s fine, I’ll be right there," Edward said, reassuring me. I began to hear similar sentiments from everyone else.

Standing in the middle of the yard, I waited, still frightened. There was movement within the woods, and moments later, Edward came crashing through the perimeter. He ran over to me and swept me up in his arms. "I’m fine, Bella, stop worrying," he said softly.

The others all starting reappearing as well, all from different points of the forests edge. They joined us, and Edward set me back down. Emmett was laughing boisterously.

"Jeez, Bella, how about a little more attention to aim next time. You tossed me all the way up into one of those pine trees!" Emmett managed to get out between laughs.

"What happened?" I asked, confused.

Carlisle spoke. "Well, the ‘experiment’ worked - quite well, actually. You threw all of us about two miles back into the forest," he explained, smiling lightly at me.

"Wow," I said. What else could I say? It was bizarre.

Edward spoke next, his hand resting on my cheek. "Yes...I think we may be ready to start hunting Victoria," he said softly, but surely.

Disbelieving, I looked back at him in awe. "You’re not going to object to me having a part in that?" I asked. It had, after all, been a point of contention more than a few times.

Edward looked into my eyes. "Bella, love, I don’t like it, but I won’t stand in your way. I will, however, be with you for every second, as will all of us. You’ve earned this right. You deserve it." His expression and thoughts revealed that he meant it.