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A Dark Adaptaton of New Moon

Summary:
It's been a year since Edward left Bella. Strong ties bond Jacob and Bella together, but one night of surpise and misfortune will forver change the lives of these three people. What would you do when all you love is violently taken away?


Notes:


19. Chapter 19 - Flight

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Chapter 19 - Flight

It wasn't too long before I found myself immersed in thought, on my discussion with Gabriel. His inconceivable story was spoken with such conviction, such emotion that it sent shivers through my spine even now. How could it be? Could he simply be mistaking me for someone else? Do I really possess this so-called power? Wouldn't Edward or any of the others have taken any notice of it? The point of the matter is that I came here in search for answers and have left with even more questions. But I couldn't go back, wouldn't. Gabriel's presence has a strange and powerful effect on me. It feels like I knowingly but involuntarily abandon all my defenses whenever he's near me, and that in itself, was yet, another enigma.

Although every scintilla of my body wanted to believe that Edward could and would indeed, change me, as he promised me - the unpalatable truth is that Gabriel's message has challenged my confidence. He will not be able to... You stand to die, the way it was intended. Another chill spreads through me and my heart sinks a little deeper when I hear his words replay in my head and I know I have to find a way of validating his certitude but I can't just run over to Edward and ask.

Edward warned me and made me promise to stay away from Gabriel and even that I question. Would he really mistrust anyone whose mind he couldn't probe? Or is there something more? Something he knows about this Gabriel that he doesn't want me to know. Does he know that he can't change me and if so, is this reason enough to believe that everything Gabriel has told me is, indeed, true?

The myriad of questions are beginning to whirl painfully in my head, promising a severe migraine attack if I don't take something quick. I know that turning on the radio wouldn't silence my thoughts. I need answers if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. My first plan didn't work out quite as I had anticipated for I now have three times the number of questions I had when I first showed up at his door. My second plan, perhaps a foolish one at that, would be to talk to Carlisle. He seems to know Gabriel pretty well and I'm sure I can get at least some sort of a background from this character. What I'm not sure is that this will actually reveal anything valuable to my understanding of his claims, but I have to start somewhere.

I reach for my cell phone and my heart stops momentarily. The display reads 19 Missed Calls. I quickly click into the history and find that they are all from Edward. Great. What now? As if answering my question, the phone buzzes and rings. I press my lips together and sigh before answering the call.

"Hello?" I say as normal as I possibly can.

"Are you ok?" he asks in a low but anxious voice. I'm a little taken aback by his tone.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Why do you ask?"

He doesn't answer immediately. I can hear his car engine purring in the background.

"Are you driving?" I ask curiously. He still doesn't answer.

"Edward, what's wrong?"

"Where are you?" he asks dubiously, ignoring my question.

"In my truck, driving home" I say as nonchalantly as I can muster. I hear him sigh heavily in impatience.

"And at what exact location?" he asks, obviously irritated.

"Relax! I'm on my way home. I came to Gottshalks to pick something up for Charlie." This much is true. "Why are so worked up about it?"

"In Port Angeles?" he asks incredulously. "Why didn't you just ask me to go for you? Port Angeles is far out of your way."

"It's nice today" I say as I look up to the gathering dark clouds, "or was."

He doesn't say anything but I can hear the sound of his engine die down to just a quiet hum in the background.

"I've tried calling you several times but you wouldn't answer" he finally says.

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I left my phone in the car."

More awkward silence and I'm beginning to feel like a guilty criminal.

"Look, I'll be home in twenty minutes. I'll call you when I get there."

"I'll see you there" he murmurs quietly.

"Love you" I say.

"As I love you" he says quietly.

I end the call and drop the phone onto the passenger seat. My headache is steadily gaining momentum and I find that I'm actually grateful for my impending migraine. This would distract me enough to hide my nerves. I hate that I have to hide things from Edward but he really doesn't leave me any choice. He's not rational when it comes to many things. I can't begin to imagine his reaction if he found out that I went all the way to Port Angeles to pay Gabriel a visit. I very much hope that Gabriel is smart enough to keep my visit hushed.

****

I arrive back to my house and find that Charlie's car is gone. It almost seems as if his shift has been entirely switched. He's averaging four nights a week. I park my truck and drag my feet towards the front door. My migraine has made its announcement and every step I take sends an agonizing throb to the center of my head. I opened the door and stepped in, my fingers fumbling in the dark for the light switch. As I flick the switch, I turn and gasp in surprise to Edward sitting on the foot of the stairs.

"Jesus! You scared me!" I say.

He stands and instantly appears in front of me, watching me intently.

"What's wrong?" he asks worriedly.

"I think I have a migraine" I say rubbing my forehead.

He bends and scoops me up into his arms and begins to make his way upstairs, his eyes never leaving mine.

"Do you have anything you can take here in the house or would you like me to call Carlisle?" he asks.

"No. I have a bottle of Imitrex in the bathroom cabinet."

"I'll get it" he says as he gently lays me in bed and takes my sneakers off. He places them on the floor and heads back out. Within seconds, he's back with a glass of water, my bottle of Imitrex and a hot towel.

"Thanks" I say as I take the pill and wash it down with water. He places the hot towel on my head and pulls my blanket over me then sits at the edge of my bed and stares at me worriedly and curiously. His eyes are pitch black and deep purple rings appear beneath his eyes.

"Edward? Haven't you fed?"

"I was going to with Jasper and Emmet later on tonight but seeing that Charlie isn't here and you're feeling sick - I can manage another day."

"I'll be fine" I mutter. "These pills will knock me out in just a few minutes. You really don't have to stay."

"Shh" he says as he smoothes my hair. "I'll be fine. You just sleep. I can have Alice come by and keep you company tomorrow morning. I'll hunt then."

Just as Bugs Bunny would do when a thought occurred, a light bulb popped up over my head. With Edward out hunting tomorrow, I can have a little chat with Carlisle.

"No need for that. I can drive over to your house first thing in the morning. Alice has a movie I really want to watch."

‘That's fine by me. Now, go to sleep" he says as he climbs into bed and spoons himself behind me, wrapping his arm over me, "I'll be right here."

I close my eyes and begin to count quietly in my head, not because I had trouble sleeping, rather in an effort to block out all thoughts of my sudden tumultuous life. Even so, images kept flickering in my head between the numbers. 7... Gabriel rushing me against a wall, 8... Jacob's fiery eyes, 9... Sam ordering me to leave, 10... Gabriel's steel like eyes stealing the life of mine, 11... Edward's narcissistic face, full of emotion as he proposes to me... I stop counting at 11 and hang on to that last memory.

****

The following morning was drowning in a heavy downpour. I woke to what I thought was dawn when in fact it was already 10:30 in the morning. Edward was already gone. I didn't allow myself to linger in bed for too long. I needed to get to Edward's house as soon as I could in order to steal some time from Carlisle. I quickly jumped in the shower, washed my hair, brushed my teeth, dressed and headed downstairs for a quick breakfast. I found Charlie cooking in a swirl of smoke.

"What are you doing?" I ask covering my nose and waving the smoke away.

"Uh, I thought I'd make a cheese omelet but I think I may have overcooked it" he says as he scrapes the pan with a spatula.

"You know, it would help if you add butter to the pan before throwing in the rest" I say taking the spatula away from him and shutting off the burner.

"Why didn't you just wake me? I wouldn't have minded."

"No, it's ok, kiddo. I thought I could fend for myself. How was your day yesterday?"

"It was ok. Yours?" I ask.

"Not too great. They found a couple dead in the woods. Apparently an animal attack."

"An animal attack?" I ask turning to look at him.

"It had to be. The way they were mauled... it leaves no question. We're still investigating it, though. They weren't hiking, at least not by the clothes they were wearing. They looked like they came from a party or club, yet, there was no car in sight and the bodies were found in a very remote area and far off from any main road."

I stare at him puzzled. "Weird, I know" he shrugs as he stuffs his mouth with a piece of dry toast.

"Yeah, that is weird" I say, dismissing the conversation as I pour some orange juice.

"Hey, just do me a favor. Don't go out late... not even with Alice. I know you two have been hanging out more but it's not safe out there for two girls strolling along the street at night."

If he only knew that Alice could kick even Superman's ass if it came down to it.

"Sure. You don't have to worry about that. Which reminds me, I have to meet up with her today. She's planning some sort of a slumber party with a couple of other girls from school and she wanted me to help her setting the place up."

He eyes me suspiciously. "And what about her brother" he says frowning stubbornly.

"They're not in. They've gone skiing" I say and I mentally cross my fingers hoping that my lie wouldn't reveal itself.

"Are you attending this sleepover?" he asks dubiously.

"I don't know. That's really up to you. If you're ok with it then I'll go, otherwise, I'll just come straight home. I really don't care" I shrug as I chew on a piece of concrete omelet.

He frowns and continues eating. We don't say another word to each other for the rest of breakfast. When he finishes, he stands and dumps the dishes into the sink. I, too, rise and clear out the table hastily.

"I got the dishes. I'll wash them after I take a nap" he pauses and looks to the floor uncomfortably, "and if you want to have that sleep over, then it fine with me, just as long as you have your phone on you at all times."

"Thanks" I smile and feel completely rotten for taking advantage of his trust. I keep saying to myself that I'm old enough to do whatever I want but I'm also wise enough to know that I'm still living under his roof, therefore my liberty is limited, at least for the time being.

I head back to my room and pack a bag of clothes and toiletries and head back downstairs, skipping over the steps. I make a run for it from the porch to my truck, feeling the cold fat raindrops bouncing off my face. As I drive along the road, I try to think up of a way to approach Carlisle with my interrogation. I know that I must be careful with how I go about questioning him because he would probably tell Edward. I couldn't let that happen. I chew on my bottom lip as I try to focus on the road and work out a plan but as I arrive to Edward's house and find him standing at the front porch, waiting for me... my heart drops.

What was he doing here? I thought he was out hunting. The rain has never stopped him before. All their cars were parked in front of the wide four car garage, including a small black Audi sports car. Of course, I thought sourly. Gabriel is here. I suppose Edward changed his mind upon his arrival, knowing that I would soon be here. As I parked behind Alice's car, I quickly glance at him to see what expression he has on his face. It's complacent. I sigh in relief. Gabriel hasn't said anything.

As I shut off the engine, he opens my door, holding an umbrella with one hand as he pulls me out of the car with the other, pulling me close to side.

"Good morning, how do you feel?" he asks in a low velvet tone as we head for the front door.

"Great. Thanks."

"Sleeping over?" he asks, his eyes at my bag.

"Maybe" I reply contemptuously. He smiles and leads me into the house.

He helps me out of my jacket when Alice steps into view wearing paint splattered jeans and a tee, with rainbow speckled skin and hair, holding a paintbrush in her hand.

"Hey, Bella! You have to see my latest painting. You're gonna love it!" she beams.

"Cool. Can't wait" I smile back.

Footsteps off to my left are approaching and I feel Edward's arm tighten around my waist. I look up at him and he just stares ahead, jaw tight. Carlisle voice turns my eyes toward the direction of the oncoming footsteps and after a few seconds, he appears with Gabriel at his side.

"It's incredible is all I can say. I've never seen anything quite like it. I truly appreciate your patience in allowing me the time to work with you" says Carlisle.

I tried not to look at Gabriel, afraid that looking at his liquid grey eyes would throw me into a trance. My heart began to speed up and I could see Edward turn his head slightly to glance at me, curiously. The inexplicable and irritating pull began to nudge against me. What is he doing to me?

"Ah, Bella! Darling!" says Carlisle as he walks towards me with open arms and gives me a big hug. He turns to face Gabriel, with one arm on my shoulder.

"Our sweet Bella has accepted Edward's hand in marriage!" he beams. "We're so excited and happy for the two of them."

He says nothing at first and I can feel his eyes boring into me.

"What wonderful news. My warmest congratulations and best wishes for the two of you" he says quietly. "You're indeed a lucky man."

Edward doesn't respond and Carlisle seems to have noticed the tension between the two and he steps towards Gabriel, handing him a paper bag.

"Should you need any more, just let me know, though my supply is running scarce. I will need at least a couple of days to obtain more."

"This will be fine, my friend. Thank you" he says as he takes the bag from Carlisle.

As he turns and begins walking towards the door, Alice drops her paintbrush on the floor. I look up at her and her face is stone white and detached from reality. Gabriel stops still, his head bowed but he doesn't turn.

"We have visitors" says Alice blankly. She swallows hard before saying "The Volturi."

Carlisle quickly looks at Edward.

"You have to leave. Take Bella with you" he says urgently.

Gabriel turns and stares at Alice.

"It's too late" say Alice worriedly. "You won't have enough time to escape. They'll see you."

Suddenly, Gabriel reaches into the paper bag and takes out a plastic bag of blood, tearing it with his teeth and splattering it across the floor.

"You must conceal her scent. They've brought a tracker along" he says as he turns to face Edward. "I can take her with me" he says in his low dry voice.

My legs begin to feel weak with terror and I look up at Edward. His face is hard and cold as he stares back at him.

"Edward, we have no time. They're coming up the steps" cries Alice.

"Her life is in your hands" says Gabriel staring back at him fiercely.

Edward turns to look at me, my back facing Gabriel, and he holds my face with both hands. "I'll come for you. I promise." He kisses me once on my forehead and then it all happened so fast. Gabriel wrapped his arms around me from the back, one hand on my stomach and the other arm around both my arms. He pressed me against his hard, lean body and everything went black. A thick black haze swirled viciously around me, spinning me violently. I heard voices whispering quickly and inaudibly. I felt as if I was about to pass out, when suddenly my body came still. I stopped moving though I can still feel the earth move beneath me. Nausea is steadily rolling up my throat and I hunch forward and vomit all over the ground.

"You'll be fine" says Gabriel. "We're far from them."

I open my eyes and find that we are standing by a cliff, over an enormous river and by a vast green forest and I get the sense that we are indeed, far from home.