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New Dawn

Summary:
It is about 50 years after Breaking Dawn. Everything remains the same with the Cullen family, except I’ve added one new character to it. His name is Damien. Brief back story: He was made into a vampire in 1824 when he was 18. He joined the Cullen family after Esme did. The story explores the relationship between a 17-year-old girl named Mabel and Damien. We realize, almost from the start, that Damien isn't the only one with a secret. The pace progresses rather happily at first, but gets a bit dicey in later chapters. Reviews and criticism are very welcome and appreciated, thank you!


Notes:
I’d like to apologize in advance for any mistakes in this story. If I get anything wrong, do let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it. Cheers. (And obviously, I do not own copyright to the Twilight series. Stephenie Meyer does. I just decided to write this fan fiction for the fun of it. I have the core of the story in my head – everything else, I’m just making up as I go along.)


6. Chapter 6 - We Can Bear It Together

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MABEL

I took the fastest shower I had ever taken and changed into the first clothes I grabbed from my closet. Damien had already seen the wet clothes clinging to my body. Anything would be better than that.

I bounded down the stairs to find Damien in the living room surveying the pictures on the mantelpiece, his back to me.

He looked out of place surrounded by the ordinary furniture I saw and used every day, and at the same time, not. Like a unicorn grazing in a paddock when it really belonged in a meadow.

“Where are your godparents?” he asked without turning around.

Dang, how did he know I was there? I suppose I was pretty noisy coming down the stairs.

“They went to Seattle to visit their son and his family.” I walked further into the living room.

“On a weekday?” he turned to face me.

His beauty stunned me. Even the sound of his voice was like the greatest symphony of a single instrument. But there was more. I couldn’t place my finger on it.

“They’re retired. They can do whatever they want,” I almost snapped, annoyed at his effect on me.

Immediately, I felt remorse. How could I be so rude to him?

“Would you like some tea or coffee? Soda?” I said as a peace offering.

“No, thank you.” He picked up a picture frame. “This is a nice photograph of you and your godparents.”

I went to stand next to him and peered at the picture. “Oh yeah,” I smiled. “That was taken five years ago in Canada before…” I froze.

“Before what?” His gaze was sharp on my face.

I almost slipped up! I couldn’t believe I was so careless.

“Before a gust of wind blew Aunt Brandy’s hat away,” I said, focusing on the dust motes dancing in the air next to the window.

“Uh, I never thanked you for helping me get home,” I said, quickly changing the subject. “Talk about good timing, huh?”

“Yes. Someone must be watching out for you,” he said wryly, as though thinking of a private joke.

“Why don’t you talk to me at school?” I asked abruptly as I sat on a couch.

“I do talk to you at school,” he countered, taking the other end of the sofa.

“’Hi’ and ‘Bye’ doesn’t count,” I said, flipping my hair over my shoulder. “The others talk to me. Yesterday Alice invited me to go shopping with her next week.”

“Are you going to?” he asked. He seemed to be an inch closer to me than before, even though he hadn’t moved.

“Of course,” I replied. “I’m looking forward to spending some girl time with her.”

This is ridiculous. How could he be nearer than he was before, if he hadn’t moved? My sense of judging distance must be worse than I thought.

“You haven’t answered my question. Why have you been avoiding me at school?” I demanded nervously, picking up a cushion and playing with it in my lap.

“Are you sure you want me to answer you? Would you really like to know the truth?” he said in a low voice. We were practically touching now.

“Y-yes,” I leaned back into the side of the couch.

“I’ve been trying to stay away from you, Mabel,” he sighed, tucking my hair behind my left ear. “There’s something about you that draws me in. It makes me want to be with you all the time.”

“You feel it too?” I whispered, staring into his eyes. My breathing was coming faster and faster.

“Yes. But it does not bode well for us to be together. It can only end badly.” His eyes darkened, as though a symbol of things to come.

He was right. I cast my eyes down. I could feel tears threatening as a pain shot through my heart.

Damien gripped my chin with his thumb and finger and made me meet his gaze again. “But I’m willing to give it a try if you are,” he said, the corners of his mouth lifting.

That was the first time I saw him smile.

---

The weeks flew by as Damien and I got closer. We spent most of our time together now. I didn’t know how he managed it, but at school he arranged it so that we shared all of our subjects together. It must be nice to have a high profile doctor for a father.

He would pick me up for school in his black Ford, so I didn’t have to rely on Indi any longer.

At night, he would sneak in through my window and stay with me till I fell asleep. He would usually be gone when I woke up. Occasionally, when I begged, he would stay through the night.

Once, when I had asked why he didn’t want to hang out at his place instead of mine all the time, he said that he wanted to keep me to himself a little while longer. I wasn’t about to argue with that.

Aunt Brandy and Uncle Garrett didn’t know what to make of my relationship with Damien. They were elated that I had found someone that made me so happy. But they also cautioned me to be careful.

“We just don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” Uncle Garrett had said, wrinkling his brow with worry.

I didn’t want to think about the bad stuff. For the first time, I was truly living in the moment. Life was good.

My solo for the Mendelssohn violin concerto was really coming up under the tutelage of my teacher and Mr. Miller’s help. As I had predicted, Kitty was infuriated that the part had been given to me and was retaliating by making snide comments about me. But I didn’t care. Life was wonderful.

I nestled closer to Damien, snuggled in a blanket. His body temperature was so low. Maybe that was why he could handle the cold so well. I yawned.

We were lying on my bed. It was close to midnight. Damien was playing with my hair and I made a sleepy noise of contentment.

“I’m going hiking with my family tomorrow,” he said suddenly, as though saying it quickly would make the news less horrible.

I was wide awake now. “Again?” I complained. “But it’ll be Saturday and the weather is going to be gorgeous! I wanted to go to the beach with you.” I pouted.

“I know,” he said. He sounded disappointed too. “But this is important to my family. It’s like you said: ‘Family first,’ right?”

“Right,” I said gloomily. Why did I have to be so understanding? “Nature freaks,” I said without heat.

“I’ll make it up to you in school,” he coaxed. It helped that he hated being separated as much as I did.

“You promise?” I asked shyly as I hugged him closer and lifted my face to his.

“I promise,” he whispered against my lips and all thoughts flew out of my head.

I decided to visit the hospital on Saturday. I felt guilty for not going as often as I used to.

It was good to see Susan and the rest of the staff again. And I liked bringing joy to the children there as I played with them.

“A few people from Salvation Army brought some of the kids to the circus yesterday,” Susan told me as she nibbled on the chocolate chip cookies I had brought. “You should have seen the look on their faces when they got back. It was like Christmas had come early for them!”

I grinned back, genuinely glad for the good Samaritans in the world. There just wasn’t enough of them.

Being back at the hospital brought back some uneasy feelings, but I pushed them aside. This was about the kids, not me.

Okay, it was a little bit about me. I found myself back at the hospital again on Sunday. Aunt Brandy was out with her friends and Uncle Garrett was golfing. I was going crazy by myself at home.

I had even finished all my homework, which was unusual for me. Damien helped me so much with my studies, I didn’t know how I ever did it without him.

When I got back home, it was still light. I still felt restless, so I decided to go for a walk.

I was glad that I did as I listened to the music of the forest. The singing of the birds, the chirping of the crickets, the wind blowing through the leaves; it was like a whole symphony!

One hour later, I realized that I was lost. I muttered under my breath, chewing myself out for my carelessness as I picked a random direction and kept walking. I knew that I had a horrible sense of direction, and yet I hadn’t bothered to notice where I was going!

It was getting dark, and I was starting to get scared. How was anyone going to find me? No one knew where I was. Would I appear in the news weeks later as an unidentified female who was found dead in the forest? I could see the sub-headline now: She forgot to bring a compass and paid for the mistake with her life.

“Don’t be silly,” I muttered to myself. “Damien would know that I’m missing if I don’t turn up to school on Monday. Uncle Garrett and Aunt Brandy would wonder where I was if I don’t come home tonight. Everything’s going to be fine!”

“Okay, calm down and concentrate.” I looked up at the sky as I continued plodding along. “The sun sets in the west. So if the house is to its south, I should be walking – AAIIIEEEEE!!”

I screamed as I tumbled down a slope. I tried to stop my descent, but I kept rolling and bouncing off the earth, scattering leaves and twigs as I gained speed.

Finally, I fell with a thud that knocked the breath out of me. I lay there for a minute, dazed and hurting all over. After I had caught my breath, I got up to check if I had broken anything.

Miraculously, I hadn’t. But I had gathered an impressive collection of scrapes and bruises.

Then, I heard a snuffling sound. I froze and slowly turned around.

Not fifteen feet away, was a bear. I squeaked in fear and took a step back. The bear shook his head, like he was warning me not to move.

It was chaos in my head and I started to hyperventilate. WhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdo??

The bear took a step forward.

I fought the instinct to run, and instead forced myself to take a deep breath. Uncle Garrett was talking to me about bears sometime last year. I tried to remember what he said.

He said that it depended on what type of bear it was. I didn’t know what kind this one was! A grizzly? A black bear? A brown bear? I had never seen any kind of bear so close before.

“But generally,” he had went on to say. “You want to make yourself look as big as you can. And speak softly so that it knows you’re not a threat, but neither are you an easy snack.”

Okay. Look big. It was a bit hard as I was only five foot and one debatable freaking inch. But I gave it my best shot.

I lifted my arms to my sides and spread them as wide as they could go. “Um, hello there Mr. Bear. You don’t wanna eat me, do you? I wouldn’t even fill half your tummy up,” I chattered as I backed away slowly.

The bear didn’t seem to be getting the hint. It continued to stalk towards me.

“Okay, how about a song? Uh, I’m not familiar with many bear songs, but I do know one.” I started singing The Bare Necessities from the Jungle Book. It was a favorite of some of the children at the hospital.

All of a sudden, it charged at me. I squeezed my eyes shut and grit my teeth, praying it would be fast. While I found it ironic that my life would end this way, I lamented the fact that I couldn’t spend more time with Damien. It just wasn’t fair!

I felt hot breath on my chest. This is it, I thought wildly. Goodbye, Damien. I love you…

My train of thought was cut short at the feel of something wet on my cheek. I opened my eyes to stare into the bears face. It was nosing me as though asking why I was acting that way.

I reevaluated the situation. The bear no longer looked alarming, but… friendly.

It stood up to put its front paws on my shoulder to lick my face. But its weight was too much for me and I fell.

I giggled as the bear rolled onto its back. It was in such a playful mood.

“I think I’ll call you Balloo,” I told it, as it waved its paws in the air.

With a sudden movement, the bear got up and stared into the shadows.

“What is it, Balloo?” I looked nervously at same direction. “What do you see?” I couldn’t hear anything, but I was sure that what my weak human ears couldn’t pick up, the bear’s certainly could.

It then made a whimpering noise, nosed at me and started running in the opposite direction.

“Hey, wait!” I yelled. “Where are you going?” I got up to sprint after Balloo, but my foot caught under a root of a tree, and I fell down again.

I lay on the ground, groaning. I had banged up my knee quite hard this time. But something made me freeze.

I could hear it now. The rustling in the trees. As though something was moving through the forest at a great speed.

Oh no, I thought hysterically. What now? Did I trade my friendly Jungle Book bear for a hungry mountain lion? I didn’t even know if there were any lions in the forest. I gave a frightened squeak.

And then the noise stopped.

I looked frantically around me, trying to see into the darkness. Do lions play with their food like house cats do? I was so scared, I was shaking violently.

And then something stepped out behind the trees and raced towards me.