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Into the Light

Summary:
Edward has been struggling with the loss of his humanity for almost a century when he discovers his singer, a two-year-old Bella. In a world wrought with violence, greed, and an unquenchable thirst for power, the Cullens' find themselves tangled in an intricate web of half-truths and unfulfilled destinies. There is a reason Edward has walked the earth alone for almost a century, and he is about to find out why when he discovers the consequences of tearing two souls away from each other. Now there is much more at stake than just their love for one another. Will Edward and Bella fulfill their destiny as soul mates and bring balance back to the world or will Edward let his own self-loathing and uncertainty get in the way? I want to give a shout out to eatmySKIRTSx for making this awesome banner for me! She inspired me to make my own above...yay! I was freaked out and you lead me to the right path! Yay! Thanks again!


Notes:
Story is rated Adult for overall content, but later chapters especially. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO MY BETAS AT PROJECT TEAM BETA! YOU GUYS HAVE HELPED THIS STORY MORE THAN YOU WILL KNOW!Story Summary: Edward has been struggling with the loss of his humanity for almost a century when he discovers his singer, a two-year-old Bella. In a world wrought with violence, greed, and an unquenchable thirst for power, the Cullens' find themselves tangled in an intricate web of half-truths and unfulfilled destinies. There is a reason Edward has walked the earth alone for almost a century, and he is about to find out why when he discovers the consequences of tearing two souls away from each other. Now there is much more at stake than just their love for one another. Will Edward and Bella fulfill their destiny as soul mates and bring balance back to the world or will Edward let his own self-loathing and uncertainty get in the way? ON HIATUS FOR MAJOR REWRITES AND TO COMPLETE STORY Before anyone gets too excited – if anyone is even still interested in this story – I’m taking it down to rework it. I’ve been stuck for so long and part of it is because I backed myself into this extremely complicated corner. I’ve been struggling for many months now with whether to just discontinue the story, try to collaborate with someone, or just bite the bullet and try to finish it. Not to worry though. I finally made the decision to finish it in its entirety, so hopefully the new improved and COMPLETED story will be better than it was. My plan is to finish the entire story before reposting so when it is ready, it will be ready, and no one will have to worry about how flakey I am, lol! Before anyone asks, no I don’t have a timeframe for when I plan to repost, so thanks in advance for all of your patience. Thanks to mylittlebakersdozen for listening to my rants about what to do. She is a fantabulous fanfic writer, and you should check out her story, Model Student, www.fanfiction.net/s/5697704/1/Model_Student, and I’m not saying that just because I beta the story, lol! It’s really sweet and a lot of fun, so get to it and read her stuff while you’re waiting for me ; )


3. Chapter 2: The Age of Innocence

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3278   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER 2: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

******

I moved through the darkness with a focused determination; the surrounding night never hindering my sense of sight. I followed the sweet smell of the girl's blood to the clearing hidden in the trees where her parents had hidden her. As I came upon the hollowed tree where this child, this angel hid, I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me. Immediately, my entire being was captured by two intensely brown, shimmering pools glistening up at me through still fresh tears.

I hesitated for only a moment, the bloodlust having long since faded when I decided her life far outweighed my desire for her blood. I quickly trained my mind on her thoughts and waited. Nothing. "Only...silence?" Never before had I encountered a mind I could not read, no thought I could not hear. Strangely, I was overcome with a mixture of frustration and tenderness, my burning thirst all but forgotten. Her sweet scent easily upstaged by the sight before me as I slowly moved closer.

My frustration with her silent mind was interrupted as she gradually moved towards me. She made her way into the moonlight that broke through the forest ceiling, and I was immediately taken aback by how small she was, by her fragileness. Her pale delicate skin gave me a strange sense of familiarity as I gazed upon such innocence, an innocence that only a child can wield.

If I still had a heart, it would have melted as this beautiful child stood in front of me with her arms raised toward me, looking deep into my eyes with an unwavering sense of trust. She wanted me to pick her up. I gently obliged her, feeling her small fragile body immediately relax as I protectively folded her into my chest.

"Hello little one, I thought I heard someone out here," I said to her using the most soothing voice I could muster. "Are you out here all alone?" I already knew the answer, but felt it necessary to take things slowly so as to not frighten her more than she already had been.

She was sucking her thumb now as she nodded her head up and down communicating to me that she was indeed alone.

"Are you hurt at all?" I asked her to which she shook her head no.

I noticed that she was quite visibly shivering all over. I set her back down, much to her dismay, to take off the jacket I was wearing. I carefully wrapped her in my jacket around her delicate humanity to protect her from the blustering winds that were now picking up, as well as to keep her from making direct contact with my frozen skin. Once I had her fully enveloped in the folds of my jacket I picked her back up.

"Don't worry, love, you are safe now. I will not let anything happen to you. I am going to take you somewhere safe and warm. Would you like that?" I asked her, receiving an enthusiastic, albeit silent, yes. I had a feeling that her expressive face and animated body language were all she needed to communicate with others. I smiled inwardly to myself at the thought.

I looked softly upon her pale, porcelain face trying to gain entrance to her mind. "Still nothing, how perplexing this child was!" I desperately wanted to know what she was thinking.

"Do you know how old you are, love?" I asked her.

She proudly held up two fingers, emanating an odd, but innocent sense of pride in herself.

I smiled gently at her. She seemed so intelligent and aware for a two year old as she easily understood my line of questioning yet seemed aware of the danger of her current predicament sitting alone in the middle of an ominously dark forest.

"What is your name, love?" I continued to question her. I was surprised by my level of patience considering the fact that I was unable to get the answers I was in search of from her mind.

"Bella," she spoke shyly, pronouncing her name more like Bwewa; her musical voice hitting my ears like a softly sung lullaby.

I smiled broadly at her, "Such a pretty name for such a pretty girl."

She smiled from ear to ear at my endearment.

"Well, Bella, my name is Edward. Let us get you inside, shall we," I asked her as I gently cradled her in my arms.

Bella looked straight into my eyes and said, "Okay Edward," but pronounced my name as Ewar.

She then laid her head on my shoulder, and I pressed her small body securely against me to keep her warm, and to hide her eyes as I ran through the forest toward my family's home. I found myself running with a new sense of peacefulness. Why I felt this way, I could not even begin to answer, and frankly, I did not really care as long as Bella was safe.

As I made my way toward home, I was greeted with the scared, excited, and hopeful thoughts of my family. Obviously, Alice had let them all know what she had seen in her vision.

"Do I not always tell you never to bet against me, brother dear?" Alice smirked towards me.

I smiled warmly back at her taunting thoughts.

"By the way, I have obviously already told everyone what happened when I got back to the house. I wanted to avoid catching everyone off guard when you got here with Bella because I just sort of took off earlier without telling anyone why," she explained to me through her thoughts.

Of course, Alice would already know Bella's name. I could hear the sense of triumph pouring from her mind. Under normal circumstances, this would be an annoyance, but it did not seem to be fazing me at that moment.

Her thoughts continued to float towards me in happy and soothing tones. "Do not worry yourself so much Edward. She is safe now. You should trust yourself "as we do" more often.She is not hurt in any way. I have already seen it, but Carlisle will want to check her over to be safe."

I nodded my thanks and understanding to her as I walked towards the rest of our family who were all now standing on the porch waiting for Bella and me to arrive.

I immediately heard Esme's mind fluttering with all the love and concern any number of parents would have in a situation such as this. "Oh my, she is so small and beautiful. It is such a tragedy for a child to lose her parents so violently, and at such a young age. I hope she has not been hurt in any way-she looks like she is freezing. I wonder if I should get her a blanket. I will ask her first. I don't want to scare her." I smiled knowingly at her.

Esme smiled back realizing that her thoughts had revealed her innate motherliness. The loss of her own child when she was human destroyed her, leaving her wanting only death. When Carlisle found her in the morgue after discovering that she had thrown herself over a cliff, she says that is when she found life again.

Although the circumstances of her change could have been wrought with anger and sadness, this was not Esme's way. Her naturally caring ways could not be overcome in death-a defining characteristic of our loving mother. She made her way slowly over to us, her smile telling the untold story of loss and pain from her human life.

Bella automatically leaned toward Esme as she approached. Her body relaxed and her facial expression lightened. It was as if Bella understood the significance of her presence for Esme who eagerly but gently spoke to Bella.

"Why hello there, dear," she smiled down at Bella. "My name is Esme, and you must be Bella?"

Bella responded with a nod of her head.

"You poor thing, you must be freezing. Would you like me to get you a blanket, sweetheart?" she asked her.

Bella answered her with an enthusiastic, head bobbing yes, with which Esme responded by rushing into the house with our unnatural speed only to return within the same moment. Bella was unfazed.

If our appearance or abilities frightened her, she did not let on. Her constant eye contact, bashful smiles, and animated facial expressions did show that she was immediately comfortable with all of us. I did not need Jasper's ability to tell me that. There was no gradual warming up to us to build up a sense of trust. She was instantly serene and calm from the moment I held her to my chest to when I arrived at our house with her. "Perhaps there is a connection between my waning bloodlust and her instant acceptance of us given that we are nothing more than total strangers." I thought to myself.

As I made my way onto the porch with Bella now wrapped warmly in a soft heavy blanket, Rosalie tentatively approached us. Her mind was clear, serene even. She stroked the top of Bella's head softly as she leaned down to whisper in her ear.

"Hello there. My name is Rosalie. Welcome home...little sister. I hope that..." she trailed off. Rosalie looked up at me with a mixture of sadness and hope: sadness for the child she would never have and the hope of that dream being fulfilled with Bella as a sister. Though she struggled to give them voice, her thoughts fairly screamed, "We need to keep her safe, protect her...How can we though, knowing we are what we are? Oh, look at her face! How can we not keep her with us!? I will love her as if she were my own sister, we all will. This just feels right, Edward."

Bella curled her small hand around Rosalie's finger in acceptance of both Rosalie and the love she offered. I knowingly embraced my sister as I still carefully held Bella with one arm.

Sadly, Rosalie's desires for children were violently quashed in her last breaths as a human. Bella may not be the child she had hoped she would always have, nor would she represent such now, but Rosalie had already accepted her with a strong need to protect the child that was slowly coming to represent a newfound purpose for her.

In that same moment, Emmett came up behind Rosalie with an enormous grin on his face. "Look how happy Rose looks-she hasn't been this happy in a long time...," he thought looking at his wife with such love and devotion.

Rose had found him on his deathbed after being attacked by a bear. She was instantly connected to him, and so she took him to Carlisle to save him.

Emmett turned to Bella, his thoughts more subdued than his appearance, "it can't be a coincidence that it was a bear that also brought her to this family. We will be great friends, I can tell. Maybe that is the significance of the bear..." he wondered to himself. Emmett's face did not show any signs of the fact that he was deep in thought.

The sight of my very large, yet clown-like brother immediately made Bella giggle with such joy. Everyone laughed, each of their faces growing brighter at the sound of such innocence. Emmett looked from me to her, his smile widening, if that were even possible.

"Oh, we are going to be the best of buds, aren't we?" he said to her and held out an open-faced palm that Bella instantly recognized, and she lightly slapped Emmett's hand matching his grin with one of her own. We all laughed again at the banter that was going back and forth between Emmett and his new little sister.

Jasper hung back hesitantly, but still smiling. Alice was standing with her arm curled around his waist in support of her husband. It was Jasper's thoughts that caught my attention though.

"I do not feel a pull towards her, Edward," his thoughts told me. "It is strange, I thought this would be very difficult for me, but she makes me strangely calm and happy. I want to stay back, though, just to be safe."

What planet is this child from with such a strong effect on us all, I thought happily, albeit sarcastically, to myself.

I acknowledged Jasper's request with an understanding and knowing nod, but still trusting.

Although Jasper readily follows our family's way of life, he was changed and used for more violent means, thus his control over his thirst is at a more novice level than the rest of us. Alice had a vision that she was destined to be with Jasper, so she waited for him. When he finally came to her, badly scarred-both mentally and physically by the many years of war he experienced during both his human and immortal lives, they came directly to us, and the seven of us have been together ever since. Jasper struggles with his thirst the same way I struggle with the loss of my humanity. In this, we have found a strong connection with each other.

In the same instance that I acknowledged Jasper's thoughts, Bella looked towards him in a way that seemed to say she understood, it was okay, and when he is comfortable, they would become great friends.

Jasper smiled broadly at her and replied softly, "Thank you Bella."

As Jasper and Bella communicated silently, an overly excited Alice left Jasper's side, and was now practically bouncing off the porch with excitement as thoughts of shopping for necessities burst from her mind.

"So, I'm Alice, and Bella we are going to have so much fun shopping and decorating your new room!" she practically squealed.

If you were not paying attention, you would have missed the slight frown that started to spread across Bella's face, but then quickly disappeared into a sheepish smile as Alice kissed Bella lightly on top of her head of baby-fine hair. "Already thinking of other's happiness before her own," I smiled and thought to myself.

"Bella, we are going to be the best of friends! I can teach you all about fashion, designers, trends, everything!" She shrieked. Bella grinned, thoroughly amused, as she watched Alice flit about toward the house.

We all followed Alice inside as Carlisle spoke, "She seems to be completely fine Edward, but I want to examine her just to be safe."

Alice shot me a knowing smile.

"It sounds like she may have been out in the cold for quite a while," he continued.

"She was shivering quite violently when I first got to her. She had also been crying," I answered his statement.

Carlisle approached Bella caringly and knelt to the floor as she sat lightly on my lap. Before he could say or do anything Bella placed her hand lightly on his cheek. If he could still blush, I am sure he would have. Her warm touch seemed to warm his cold body to his core. Esme walked up behind her husband, placed her hands lightly on his shoulders, and smiled down at the scene.

As Carlisle removed his stethoscope from his case, he asked me about her thoughts. "Edward, have you been able to piece together the details of what happened from Bella's thoughts?"

"No. In fact, I cannot hear a thing. Her mind is silent to me. It is the strangest thing. Her mind seems to be blocked from me somehow," I answered him.

Alice quickly interjected, "Oh, I forgot to mention, Edward cannot read her mind. It will be a lasting mystery for him, though, I promise," she spoke deviously.

"Really? How interesting. Alice have you seen why this is?" Carlisle asked turning toward her.

"No, I'm sorry Carlisle, I haven't. Much of her life is very clear in my mind, while other parts are still fuzzy. I am sure the cause will reveal itself in time, though," she answered reassuringly.

I was so preoccupied with getting Bella back here safely that I had completely missed that Alice had been quietly reciting all the national anthems she knew the words to. I would have to ask her about that later.

Carlisle finished examining Bella, who was now snuggling up against me as we sat on the sofa in our living room. "Her vitals are strong, and she doesn't appear to have sustained injuries or frostbite. I suppose she has the tree her parents placed her in to thank for keeping her out of the wind and cold," he spoke as he packed up the remaining medical supplies from his case.

At this point, it became painfully obvious of the instant attachment that we all seemed to have to this angel, this beacon of light. There was an unspoken understanding that flowed throughout the room. Bella was where she belonged. Everything that we knew about this child, although most came from Alice's visions, was only affirmation to this point. As we sat there with the newest member of our family, it was as if Bella gave each of us whatever it was that we were missing. Perhaps she is the final piece of the puzzle in our eternal struggle with what we are. We were in awe of the human condition that Bella symbolized for us.

Soon after Carlisle finished examining Bella, everyone began to mobilize. There was a lot of planning and work to do for our little Bella. She would need food, clothing, and other necessities with which none of us were very familiar. In addition to Bella's necessities, we would need to get a lawyer to secure her adoption once the confirmation of her parents' death was final.

Carlisle called the authorities to initiate the legal process, Rosalie and Esme went shopping for groceries and other smaller items that Bella would need immediately, and Alice, Jasper, and Emmett went to organize Bella's room temporarily for her.

I stayed in the living room and sat quietly with Bella in my arms as she slept peacefully. It was in that moment that I knew; I knew our lives would never be the same, and I would be forever changed.