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Afterglow

Summary:
The in canon tale of the daughter Rose never thought she could have. When my mother found me, fate seemed to link us together. Not only was I the daughter she never dreamed she'd have, I was unusually unappetizing for a human. However, being raised by vampires does not come without conflict. This is my tale about growing up Cullen and finding love in the most unexpected place. The world's largest coven is about to get a whole lot larger!


Notes:
Sorrowfully, I do not own the Twilight saga or any of its characters. They belong to the glorious Stephenie Meyer. But Emmalie is MINE, as is the plot. :)


12. Midnight Summit

Rating 3/5   Word Count 2923   Review this Chapter

“Garrett!”

The exclamation jostled me from my blissful, dream-like state. It was a name that did not belong in the retelling of my Aunt’s love story. I eyed her in slight confusion. Not only was her posture abnormally wooden, but her warm, amber eyes were wide as she gazed past the darkened hall into nothingness. There was a fear stricken look etched into her normally cheery face. Her lips pressed into the thin line of a frown before opening it as if in a state of shock.

I had known her long enough to know that she not only had a glance into the future, but she was frightened about what it entailed.

“Aunt Alice?” I inquired, trying to pull her from her lurid trance. “Alice!” I all but shouted, shaking her bony shoulder. Her gentle, honey eyes focused back into reality as she turned to me, momentarily collecting herself. If Uncle Jasper were here, I would have run to get him. But he and the men were all hunting a sea away.

Alice sprung up from the sofa and dashed away. It was the mad swirl of colors and the slamming of the back door, which gave away her direction at her vampire speed. I let out an anxious sigh as I followed her at a more human pace. My toes curled as I stepped barefoot onto the dew beaded planks of our freshly stained back porch. The crisp September air enveloped me, rushing through my cotton pajamas to chill my clammy skin. It was wonderfully refreshing after two straight weeks of sweating fevers. Besides the pale moon, which floated like a shining coin above, I could make out the lights from the cottage, like fireflies in the distance. It was the only evidence that told me Ness and her mother were at home.

Down to my left, Alice stood behind my Nana Esme and Mia, who were both picking the grubs off Nana’s prized roses by the calming moonlight. They looked like quite the pair with their matching paisley garden gloves and their summery dresses. I was pretty sure that only loonies and vampires gardened after midnight.

With her face contorted into a revolted expression, Mia plopped one last culprit into her bucket and glared up at me.

“Are you trying to catch another cold, Emmalie? Get back into the house,” she chided, pointing her gloved hand to the back door.

“But Alice had a vision,” I maintained. I did not want to be sent off before all the excitement was over.

“Was this vision of me killing my only child?” she asked scenically. Alice stepped forward to speak but she seemed distant; as if somewhere far off, searching the confines of her mind for a remedy to the future.

“I saw them execute Garrett. He is being tried as an offender of our race.” Her voice was frigid and abnormally monotone and the statement itself demanded a moment of silence. Horror set in on each pale face, apprehension spreading like a rampant winter virus.

“Oh, poor Kate! She will be heartbroken,” empathized Nana, in her maternal pitch. My Mia sat down her bucket and began to remove her gloves from her slender hands in a precise manner.

“Surely the Volturi cannot just execute him because he poses a threat,” she contemplated aloud.

“The Volturi from Aunt Bella’s story?” I interrupted trying my best to keep up. Often times I felt as if they talked around me, in an ‘ignore the human’ sort of way. Exasperated, she tossed down her gloves with a little growl.

“In the house! Now!”

I stomped away dejectedly up the stairs to the back door, but she stopped me. In a conceding sigh, she shifted her stance.

“Emm, if you want to help you can fetch Bella and tell her to bring Ness. We’ll just make it a family meeting,” my mother proposed. We all looked to Esme, as the second in charge behind Carlisle, to get her go ahead.

“Sure. Why not have a family meeting?” Nana half-heatedly approved. I smirked and started toward Bella’s cottage, not needing a light since I knew the paths by heart.

“I don’t think so! Coat and shoes and then you can go,” she demanded, but then she revised her plan, “Coat, shoes, scarf and gloves!”

“Mia you can’t be serious! It’s not even October yet!” I retorted with all the sass I could manage given my still feeble voice.

“Emmalie, don’t you dare go there with me. You clearly don’t know how to dress yourself, so I’m intervening. I don’t care if it's not stylish or accommodating. You’ll wear those things or you’ll go straight to bed,” she stressed in a no-nonsense tone. My Nana Esme nodded when I looked at her for support. Grumbling to myself, I stocked back inside and came out feeling like an Eskimo. When I got her nod of approval, I trudged down the leafy path to the cottage.

I didn’t knock, I simply walked in; Aunt Bella didn’t believe in locking doors. Once, I had asked about it and she had said something to the extent of burglars being the least of her worries.

As I entered, I was surprised to see my Aunt Bella standing behind a wall of rising steam. In front of her was a mammoth wok, situated on the mostly unused stove. She was humming contently as she sliced a canary yellow pepper at lightning speed.

“Aunt Bella, what are you doing?” I inquired thoroughly bemused. To my left, the TV was paused on some Home and Garden cooking show. She just kept on working, dancing a little to her own tune.

“Cooking,” she responded ecstatically, as she tossed the peppers in and swirled the wok.

“Yes I see that…but WHY?” I asked. No one ate in this house; why the heck did she need to cook.

“Oh, it’s just something I do when your Uncle Edward is gone,” she enlightened, pushing play and glancing back to some bald guy on the TV.

“You mean you go crazy,” I jested. She made a pouty face at the suggestion of her being crazy and playfully hurled an oven mitt at my head.

“I do NOT go crazy…… most of the time,” she amended as if remembering something. Immediately, I felt a wave of guilt, knowing what she was referring to. I had heard the stories. “I decided a long time ago, that one day I was going to whoop Edward’s perfect butt at something. I first tried baseball but even with me as a vampire, he’s still better. Actually, that goes for all sports. Then I thought I’d just read more books than him, but since he has been around since the dawn of time, it would take me forever to catch up.” She went on smiling at me, like she always did. She was so genuine it was impossible not to love her.

“So you’re going to beat him at cooking?” I concluded not wanting her to go on about her perfect husband forever.

“Exactly!” she confirmed. I laughed energetically. She was so much better then she made herself out to be.

Unceremoniously, I shed my coat and plopped down at the bar stool adjacent to her.

“So, are we going to have an Iron Chef show-down anytime soon,” I questioned, sniffing the exotic aroma. She gracefully dished a portion of food onto one square plate, another unused wedding gift. Looking down, I expected to find an excuse not to try it, but I smiled when I saw tofu. She noticed my surprise and gleamed.

“Since you’re going to be the judge, I’ve been practicing all vegetarian dishes,” she said proudly, handing me a fork. I laughed at her and tried a bite. It was tasty but a little on the chewy side.

“If you give me an A on my English paper, I’ll tell Uncle Edward his food is repulsive,” I promised impishly, still gnawing on my first bite. She considered the idea then shrugged off the fleeting fantasy playing out in her head.

“Hmmmm, I’ll pass. There’s no victory in cheating; besides, he’d know,” she concluded after a brief smile grazed her thin face. After depositing the cookware into the stainless steel sink, Bella flicked off the Home and Gardening channel.

“So, you do realize its way past human visiting hours,” she pointed out washing the scorching wok with her hand, unfazed by its heat. Suspiciously she peered over her shoulder at me.

“Oops, I forgot! Nana is having a family meeting. Mia says to bring Nessie too,” I shared, taking another bite to be polite. Bella looked surprised and then looked at me with more suspicion. Since I was Emmett’s daughter, pranks were not beyond me, so I went on.

“Alice had a vision about that guy…uhhh…Garrett? And then Mia was talking about the Volturi-” I stopped; I could not bring myself to say the word execute; it was not a word I could dwell on easily with my nature and all.

Aunt Bella instantly went to wake Nessie, her face mirroring the war of emotions within. I looked down and noticed the stove was still on. Even as an immortal, my aunt was still a “trouble magnet” as my uncle called her. I flicked it off and quickly tossed the rest of the stir-fry into the garbage disposal. Reluctantly, I went to gather my unneeded winter gear, muttering choice words as I bundled back up.

“What, did winter come over night?” jest Nessie with a look of gleam on her face. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and pulled a jacket out of the hall closet.

“Oh cut it out, you cold blood. It’s not like you’re a stranger to overreacting parental demands,” I teased, snickering in return. She smiled at me and let a little giggle escape her lips.. Her smile the spitting image of her father's.

“Come on you two. I’m sure they’re all waiting for us!”Opening the door, Aunt Bella slipped out into the frigid Forks air. I looked at Ness and smiled remorsefully; it was the first time I’d been alone with her since our big fiasco.

“Ness, I’m so sorry. I didn’t think about you being found out and…I’m just sorry.”

I let the words spill from my mouth, hoping she would not hate me for bringing it up.

“Oh Emm, don’t be silly. I knew we’d get caught one day. You can only elude a Cullen for so long,” she said putting her slender arm around my shoulder and shutting the door.

“Yeah, but three months,” I objected, referring to her grounding. “It must be killing you to stay away from Jake.” At that suggestion, she let out an impish laugh and put her hand to my cheek; the only exposed skin she had access to.

I immediately saw visions of her sneaking out and meeting Jake in the forest. The two of them, holding and kissing one another, bathed in the silvery glow of the moon. These were intimate moments she usually kept to herself. Then I saw him on one knee with a small wood-carved box in one hand. He opened the box and exposed the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. Oh the ring. I screamed in excitement. I knew it was only a matter of time. He was bound to propose, but I was still shocked. I looked at her and saw the joy on her face and the extra gleam in her eyes and wrapped her in a congratulatory hug. Just then my Aunt Bella looked back at us from the yard; we were still 75 yards away.

“What’s gotten into you two? Stop dawdling; you’re going to piss of Rose,” she scolded lightly.

“Ahh, Aunt Bella...human,” I reminded her with a slight attitude. They were always forgetting how slow I could be.

“Oh right,” she said nodding. But just then Ness had me on her back, and before I could blink, we were in the living room. Everyone else was already seated and talking in hushed voices when we came in. I thought it strange that not one of them were on the phone, usually it was like a reflex. My mother looked slightly agitated.

“Remind me not to send you on errands anymore!” she admonished with a counterfeit snarl.

“Yeah, sorry we took so long,” I added apathetically. Bella promptly situated herself on the couch next to the worried little Alice, rubbing her back reassuringly. Alice stared dead ahead, her head in her hands. In the dimly lit room their golden gazes seemed to glow. Nana just sat there with her perfect posture, motioning calmly for Ness and I to sit with her. I quickly took the vacant seat, after I peeled away the winter clothes and tossed them to the floor. That prompted Alice away from her daze for a moment.

“Pick it up! In this house we do not throw Burberry on the floor,” she said a little snippily. I could tell she was tense, so I complied and then sat a second time

“So what is the plan?” Aunt Bella asked innocently, breaking the tension. She looked to my Mia who was fiddling with her hands, a human habit that she never got rid of. Nana was holding Nessie’s hand in one of her cold grasp and mine in the other. I smiled when I noticed Nana’s smile grow big, knowing that Ness had let her secret slip through her fingers, literally.

“Well, we thought we’d leave it up to you if we should call the men or not,” my Mia started, looking pointedly at her newest sister. I knew it was hard for her not to tell my Popeye something, but Bella had bombed the lying aptitude test in the past. “I know if Edward hears the word Volturi and Americas in the same sentence, he’ll have us all on an Arctic cruise in an instant. The over protective jerk face he is,” my Mia added coldly. But Aunt Bella just nodded, balancing outcomes in her mind. This felt wrong. We had never kept anything from the men. Papa Car was our leader. My stomach started to churn at the idea.

“We have to go to Kate. Comfort her and keep her from doing anything rash,” Alice said finally. She was definitive about that.

“I couldn’t agree more,” said Nana. “We cannot interfere with a trial, but we must be there for them. They’re like family and they’ve come to our side in the past.” My Mia nodded solemnly as did Bella; their loyalties were firmly grounded.

“We’re going to Cousin Ton-tons?” Ness asked excitedly, referring to the cousin I’d never met. I had become acquainted with Carmen and Eleazar when they had visited on several occasions. but the rest of his coven, I had yet to meet. Everyone looked at her and shook their heads. But it was my Mia who spoke.

“If you’re in this room and still have a pulse, your butt is staying home. End of story,” she announced firmly. Nana Esme nodded and then volunteered.

“I’ll stay with the girls.” All nodded at the suggestion.

“I would also prefer it if Leah spent the night….if she’s fine with that. It would make me feel better,” said Bella, looking at Nessie. My Mia rolled her eyes but did not speak up. She knew that the ‘wolf-watch’ was for our safety alone. And while she did not like the form it came in, a little extra precaution could not be turned down. It was Alice who growled at the suggestion of such an addition.

“I knew you were going to say that. Bella please don’t do this to me. I cannot stand the thought of being completely sightless to the girls’ future. It will be torture! A cruel and unusual punishment,” she bellowed in a state of panic.

“Which you completely deserve,” muttered my Mia, still a little ticked off about "The Incident”.

“Ladies, that’s enough,” Nana Esme warned, reigning in their attention with a clap of her porcelain hands.

They all stopped. “Bella you go home, gather your stuff and put call the Clearwaters’! I’ll phone the air line. Rose, you pack for both you and Alice, you know how she over-packs. Alice, darling, just sit tight and continue to keep an eye on things,” Esme ordered gently. “And girls, as soon as we get them on their way, you two can go to sleep; sorry to keep you up.”

She knew too well that we would want to see our mothers as they went on their way. Patting Ness and I on the shoulder, Esme rose gracefully from the couch. Serenely, she went to her phone, resting on the antique desk in the foyer. In an almost robotic manner, everyone mimicked her composure and ran off to do just as she asked. Ness and I sat there watching as Nana placed the call in, searching for grounds to give into fretfulness.

For a moment, I thought I saw a hint of distress appear in her amber eyes, but when she saw us watching, she instinctively winked and put on her plastic smile. Ness and I confirmed our thoughts through a single heartfelt glimpse into each other’s eyes. We both understood two things: the first was the night was going to be long indeed. The second was anything that caused an eternal, unbreakable vampire mom to fret, was worth fretting over.