Emmett Cullen was changed in 1935 by the Cullens. But there was another, Isabella, who was also changed....but by another. Caught walking alone near the woods weeks after her brother's death, her life is changed for the rest of eternity.[AU]
I know, I should probably finish everything else, but there's a fire under my tush, and it doesn't go out, not to mention the copious amount of ants in my pants :) So sue me. The plus side of the fire? My bottom is never cold....
5. Everlasting Veil
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3856 Review this Chapter
The day was dark and somewhat damp and foggy, even though it was only mid afternoon. I thought the ill weather was befitting the occasion that we had gathered for.
Our little group was cloistered together at the front of the church, listening as the priest spoke about my brother. It was odd, seeing an empty casket lying before us, mocking us for the fact that Emmett was gone and would never be found or come back. Briefly, I hoped that Emmett would come bounding in, raving about how he got lost and beat some animal back, but I knew it wouldn't happen.
He would never joke with me again, make me laugh and smile. He would never hug me ever again. Our house would be empty without him, not to mention that John would be leaving in a year or more because he would be getting married.
I tuned the priest out and anyone else who chose to speak at the podium. I was caught up in my own thoughts, leaning into Nathan's tight grip around my shoulders. My mother sat on my other side, sobbing into my father's chest while I let the tears fall quietly.
I thought about all the regrets I had about Emmett, all the times we spent together, and I couldn't hold it anymore. The moment they lowered the empty casket the final realization hit me: Emmett was really dead. He was never coming back. I would never see my brother ever again.
Sobs began to tear their way through my chest as the realization set in, sending me almost crashing to the ground, a horrible strangled cry escaping my lips. Luckily, Nathan was there and he caught me before I could hit the ground and pulled me out of the crowd of family members, who were all glaring in my direction. I couldn't seem to stifle the tears, so I just pressed myself into Nathan more as he held me up.
He tried soothing me by hugging me close and running his fingers through my hair, but nothing worked. I just kept crying into his chest.
"Shh. Bella, shh." He paused. "What's the matter? What brought this sudden change on?" he asked.
By now, I noticed that my parents and the rest of my brothers were crowded around us. "I-I never g-got to say good-goodbye!" I wailed. "I n-never got to tell him th-that I l-loved him one last t-time. I never got one l-last hug or k-kiss from h-him," I sobbed. They all glanced at me worriedly and John put his hand on my lower back comfortingly.
Nathan spoke before anyone else could open their mouths. "He knows Bella, he knows. He's always known that you love and care for him." I nodded and continued sobbing.
"B-but, I never got to t-tell him or d-do anything b-before it ha-happened."
"He'll always be with you Bella, in your memories and in your heart," he told me looking into my eyes. I looked down and he held me once more. He sighed heavily and tightened his grip on me.
"Let's…let's go home," my father told us all.
I felt Nathan nod, then he picked me up in his arms and carried me away from Emmett's grave. It may have been his grave, but it certainly wasn't his final resting place. No, my brother's final resting place was somewhere else, perhaps in the woods someplace, where no one could find him.
The weeks seemed to pass slowly, time losing all meaning to me. I'm positive that my family was watching me at all times. Someone would usually sit with me unless I asked specifically to be left alone. I was never on my own in the house. One of my brothers and my mother would stay home with me, to make sure I was alright.
I spent a lot of time in my room and on the living room couch doing one simple thing: nothing. I stared carelessly at the wall for hours, sometimes getting lost in my own thoughts, other times I thought of nothing, just a blank darkness.
At the time, I was downstairs in the living room and my father was at work, as well as John. My mother was in the kitchen while Henry and Nathan were upstairs. I was lost in blissful nothingness at that moment, the sounds of my mother's movements reaching my ears as if she were far away from me instead of two rooms over.
Nathan came down the stairs and sat on my right warily, leaving some space between the both of us. He scrutinized me carefully and sighed, leaning back into the couch. He waited a few moments before he spoke, weighing his words before releasing them.
"Bella, it's been almost a month since it happened and you still do nothing." He paused. "You sit on the couch or in your room, barely making contact with anyone or speaking. It has to stop. We're all grieving, of course, but life still goes on, Isabella. Everyone is worried about you." I merely stared at the floor as he spoke. "Snap out of it!" he all but shouted. Nathan gripped my shoulders, forcing me to look at him.
"Emmett wouldn't want you to be like this, Bella. He would want you to laugh, live, and love. If you don't feel like doing it for yourself, do it for him, for us. We're here for you, Bella. Always. Never doubt that." He sighed once more. "You're cutting yourself off from all of us and it hurts. You may not see what it's doing to the family, but it's like you're not even here. Bella," he brought me closer to himself, "please come back to us, don't you leave us as well."
I felt something warm and wet fall onto my shoulder and I looked up to find my older brother crying. It broke my heart to see how much I hurt him, even if I didn't mean to. He ran his fingers through my hair, trying to stifle his tears, but I only made it worse by throwing myself into his arms.
He held onto me tightly, the both of us sobbing into each other's comforting embrace. My other brothers walked in on the scene and sighed in relief that I was finally responding to them. John came and sat behind me, wrapping me in his arms, while Henry sat to the side of the couch holding onto one of my hands in a death grip.
I could tell Emmett's death had unhinged them and then my depressed state only made it worse. I felt ashamed that I had made them all worry so much. I would need to try better, for them, even if I wasn't actually happier.
I let a few tears fall from my eyes as they pulled away. "I'm sorry I worried you all so much." I gave them a weak smiling, never touching my eyes.
"Bella," John sighed, "it's alright, we just didn't want you to hurt so much. We know that it's inevitable, but you weren't responding, we were concerned."
I nodded, leaning back into his shoulder. We sat together like that for some time, our parents joining us for a little then leaving. Finally, the silence got to be too much and I couldn’t stand it anymore. Before, after Emmett's death, I had welcomed the silence, but now it pressed down upon me.
I stood up from the couch and looked at my older brothers. They stared back at me, wary and confused. I smiled slightly.
"I'm going to go for a quick walk outside. It's a nice time for it," I told them softly. They looked concerned.
"Little one, are you sure?" John asked me. I nodded, then Nathan stood as well.
"I’ll come with you," he said. I shook my head at him.
"No, I need to go alone. It will be quick, don't worry about me." I walked over to Nathan and he wrapped his arms around me, holding me tightly to him. I felt him nod against my head, sighing in defeat.
"Alright, but be careful, and don't be too long. Stay close to the house." He looked down at me. "Do you understand, Isabella?"
I nodded, smiling. "I do, don't worry. I won't be out long, just for a little while, then I'll get back quickly. I promise."
Nathan smiled and kissed my forehead. He gave me one last squeeze, then released me and stepped back. I could feel myself being watched as I walked towards the front door. When I reached it, I turned and saw all of my remaining brothers standing together, looking anxious.
"Don't look like that," I told them softly, "everything will be fine." I walked back to them quickly and I was engulfed in a large group hug among them.
"Of course we worry Bella, we don't want to lose you as well," John whispered quietly from above me.
I felt my heart ache for my family, knowing how pained and worried they really were. I sighed sadly and disentangled myself from them and stepped back, but Henry kept a tight hold on my hand. I tried to shake him off but he only held tighter.
"Henry, you need to let go," I told him gently.
He sighed, have my hand one last tight squeeze, then let go. I smiled at all of them.
"Go, but if you're not back in under an hour…" John said, trailing off.
"…You'll be in such trouble you never could have dreamed of," Nathan finished.
I acknowledged them by nodding my head and smiled one last time before leaving them standing in the house. I breathed in deeply as I stepped outside, shutting the door softly behind me. I took the path placed beside our home, following it at a leisurely pace.
My house was near the woods, which was a good thing since my family was full of people who loved to hunt. As children, we used to play at the edge, just inside the woods, all the time. The Hiding Game was the most popular amongst us, but because I was the youngest, I had to hide with someone else. I was very rarely told to tag along with one of my brothers to look for the others.
Emmett was always too loud and Henry didn't know how to sit still. I smiled at the memory. Of course, when they became older and learned how to hunt, Emmett and Henry were better, growing out of their awkward years. I loved that they were happy hunting, except for the minor detail that I was always left behind. Hunting wasn't proper for me, my father had said, I was a girl. They didn't want me getting hurt. I understood that it was no slight made against my gender, of course, but it still made me miserable to be alone and have no one to play with.
My mother was fine company at times, but never like my older brothers. I was happy that when they noticed how depressed and alone I was, no matter how hard I tried to hide it, one or two of them would stay home with me and would alternate each time.
I sighed. It didn't matter anymore. I had my books, but even if I didn't, no one was going to hunt anytime soon. They couldn't stand it.
Looking up, I noticed the sun was going to set soon, meaning that when it does, I would need to return home. I kept walking for some time before stopping at a point in front of the woods.
Tears began to pool in my eyes, remembering that Emmett went in, but never came out to our knowledge. On the ground, I saw a tiny marking. My tears rolled down my cheeks as I realized that, unknowingly, I had come to the place near to where Emmett disappeared.
How long I stood there, I wasn't sure, but I decided it was time to go back. I couldn't stop the flow of tears so I just let them come. I went to turn, but I saw something red looming out of the darkness of the forest as I did. I did a double take, but nothing was there.
Sniffling, I convinced myself I was seeing things. My eyes were too blurred by tears anyway, so I had no way to really tell. I faced my back to the forest, calming myself so as not to worry my parents, and brothers especially.
As I took a step forward, an arm wound itself around my waist. Before I could utter a sound, my captor's other hand clamped down on my mouth, effectively silencing me, and I was pulled back into the woods.
The hands that held me were a chilling temperature, making my skin freeze and blood run cold. I struggled earnestly but to no avail, the grip on me was only tightened. From the strength and feel of the body behind mine as I was pressed against it, I could tell it was a man. I had no wish to be here with him, but instead to be at home, safe, and with my family.
I stood frozen in fear, unable to move, as he pressed the side of his face to my own. He trailed his nose from my cheek, across my neck, and to my other cheek. He took a deep breath and trailed his nose down to the back of my neck, leaving it there.
"Hmm, you smell simply wonderful," he whispered softly. "Don't worry; I won't hurt you…intentionally." He paused for a moment. "No, not at all, for you will be mine…" He trailed off, taking another breath in.
Suddenly, I felt a piercing pain in my neck and I let out a muffled scream through my captor's hand. I felt a burning flame spreading throughout my veins, as if my blood were on fire. I could barely stand from the pain, and I could feel myself go limp as I fell against whoever held me. He gently lowered me to the ground, the fire still burning but the sharp pain in my neck was gone.
As I laid there on the ground, the man's presence behind me vanished and I heard s series of deep snarls. It sounded as if rocks were colliding with one another. For how long the noises continued, I didn't know. All I knew was the pain coursing within me, feeling like it would never end. I hoped Emmett had never had to suffer so much during his death. Perhaps, if I were dying, I would be able to see Emmett again, even if that meant I would not see the rest of my family for a very long time.
I felt a pair of cold arms pick me up and cradle me against their chest as I writhed and screamed in their tight grip. It was a man again, but he seemed more gentle, kind. I could automatically tell that it wasn't the demanding and domineering arms that had held me before, causing fear and pain to go through me.
Whoever was holding me was trying to soothe me, whispering gently into my ear, telling me that it would soon be over. I guessed that they were moving since I could feel wind flowing through my hair as I sank into the blissful darkness.
I was absolutely furious that I had been interrupted. I finally find someone who will be my mate, and she's taken from me by some other coven. She would have been perfect to be by my side: gorgeous, submissive, and obedient. I will not rest until she's mine, not even if I have to wait centuries to find her again.
I watched one of the men carry her away from me, running as quickly as possible. She was screaming and writhing in his arms as he tried to comfort her. Before they completely left my sight, I could tell that she fell unconscious due to all the pain.
I wasn't able to follow them because the other male had almost ripped one of my legs off. As I waited for it to heal, I came up with an idea that I knew would be accomplished sometime in the future, no matter how close of far ahead.
Indeed, I will find my mate once more. I just need to bide my time until the opportune moment. In due time, I will have her.
I was pacing around the living room, getting more and more worked up by the minute seeing as the sun was about to set. John and Henry weren't doing much better, and our parents were sitting silently in the kitchen. Bella must be getting back now; she knows how much we'd worry about her.
I looked out the window for what must have been the hundredth time to check if Bella was here yet, or close to the house. I saw nothing but what usually surrounds us.
"Where is she?" Henry asked impatiently. "It's been over an hour, she should be back now! She promised not to take too long!"
"I know, Henry" John replied.
"You don't think something happened, do you?" He looked at the two of us, panic clearly written on his face.
"I don't know, Henry, but I'm tired of waiting here," I told them. "I'm not going to wait here any longer. I'm going out there and bringing her back." I walked to the door and turned. "Are you two coming?"
They both nodded and John hurried into the kitchen to tell our mother and father that we were going after Bella. They came out into the hall and stood together.
"We'll stay here in case she makes it back before you reach her," our father told us.
"Bring her home, back to us," our mother added. We nodded and stepped outside, following the path she most likely would have taken.
Turning around, I could see our parents standing on the porch. I knew they would wait there until we came back. After mere moments of walking down the path, we heard a piercing shriek echo throughout the forest, and with absolute fear, I knew who that shriek belonged to.
"BELLA!" Henry shouted and began running, all of us following closely behind. Our parents had also begun to run towards the area where the sound came from, having leapt off the porch with surprising agility when the scream was heard. There was another sound as well, like rocks being thrown against one another.
There was another scream heard and then silence minutes before we reached where we thought Bella would be. With uncontrolled dread, I realized it came from within the forest, very close to where we thought Emmett was killed.
Without saying a word to my family, I raced into the woods, trying to find my baby sister. They ran in after me, calling Bella's name out, praying that she would answer us back, unlike Emmett. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw someone dash away, wearing a beige shirt, but I didn't pay much mind to it. I was only set on one thing: Finding Isabella, the youngest of us all.
I stopped and looked around, then began to walk slowly. I slipped on something but caught myself before I could fall. Looking down, I saw something dark staining the grass, so I bent down to examine it. I carefully placed two of my fingers into the unknown substance and brought it into the little light that was left. To my utter horror, I realized that it was blood…human blood. I gasped and fell backwards, noticing that my brothers made their way towards me.
"What? What did you find, Nathan?" John asked.
"John," I chocked out, "there's blood, over there." I told him pointing to the repulsive mess. "Loads of it, soaked into the grass. It's human," I said, whispering the last part.
"No!" my mother cried out. "It couldn't be Bella's! It just can't be. I refuse to lose another child!"
My father came over to take a look while Henry held our mother tightly as she sobbed into his shoulder. I got up from my position and joined my father and John by the bloody scene.
"There was a struggle," my father murmured. "Look at the marks from the heels of the shoes. If it was indeed Bella that was being held, then she was fighting. Whether it's her blood or not, I don't know." His eyes held utter sadness at losing another of his children, and his only daughter at that.
I saw John bend down out of my peripheral vision and pick something up. He walked over to us sadly and looked up, clutching onto the object in his hold tightly. He looked as if he were about to shed tears, which made my grief grow.
"What is it, John?" I asked softly.
"I found this," he said, holding up the object in his hand.
I heard my father whisper his denial as I looked at the necklace I had seen countless other times, a gift I myself, along with all of my other brothers, including Emmett, had bought for Bella when she turned fifteen. The necklace was made of silver with a heart shaped charm on it. It had her initials etched into it on one side, and the letter of our first names on the other. I knew for a fact that she never took it off, not for any reason. If that was left behind, just like Emmett's knife, I knew that she was gone.
John held out the necklace to me to pass it over, and with shaking hands, I reached up and took it from him. I gripped it tightly, noticing the blood stains throughout the chain and a few on the charm. My father exchanged places with Henry and held her tightly as they both wept for their lost daughter.
Henry came over to me, took one look at the charm, and aimed his grief and anger toward a nearby tree. He swore loudly and hit the tree once more, then turned to face John and myself.
"I swear, whoever hurt her, I will hunt them down and do the same," he whispered fiercely. "I hope they go the deepest, darkest part of hell!" We nodded our agreement and stood in silence.
Tears began to make their way from my eyes, knowing that a second sibling was lost, another young one, another funeral to be had, and another empty casket. I stared down at the charm, numb with grief and shock.
I gripped the charm tightly as I fell to my knees, mere feet away from the large blood stain. "Bella…" I whispered softly, sorrow and grief constricting my throat. At that moment, it finally dawned on me: my little sister was dead, gone, vanished, and I would never see her again. I prayed that my little brother would watch over her until we could see her again.
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