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Vengeance, Sweet Vengeance

A lone, dark figure stands on a balcony, watching the final moments of the setting sun. It was unacceptable. She made me look weak. Like nothing. I am not nothing. I will never be nothing. That creature was going to pay for making me look like a fool. No one had ever done that to me before. And no one ever would again. Especially not her. I could taste vengeance in the air, and it was sweet. Bella and Edward have lived a blissful life with their family following their encounter with the Volturi one year ago... until sweet vengeance comes to threaten their happily ever after once again. banner by Oh_ Mike How will I go on rated teen for violence and sexual references.CHAPTER 12 is now up!!!CHAPTER 13 has been submitted and is awaiting validation!!!CHAPTERS 14-24 are ready to go!!!

This is a plot that's been brewing in my head for about a year. I was just writing the other day, and it reared its ugly head again, demanding to be written. Song that influenced this: Showbiz by none other than... Muse. lol. Go figure. =D

3. Chapter 3- A Random Idea

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It was great to be home.

It was so natural living with the Cullens. Even after I stopped living with Charlie, it had felt right. The Cullens were my family. Esme and Carlisle were my second set of parents. Alice and Rose were my sisters. Emmett and Jasper were my brothers.

And Edward Cullen was my gorgeous, amazing husband.

I felt so loved in this house. It was amazing to think that only few years ago the Cullens hadn't even known I'd existed. Now, I was one of them as if I had been there for decades.

As I sat on the couch watching the various antics of my family and listening to Edward softly playing the piano, I wasn’t entirely sure why, but I had this sudden impulse to practice with my shield more.

I didn’t want to practice removing the shield. The only person who would notice would be Edward… and I wanted those moments to be special, private moments between us. I’d only been able to do it a few times after that first time, mostly when Edward asked me what I was thinking. Each of those moments had been so special they seemed sacred. So those practice sessions were going to remain between Edward and me.

As for projecting my shield, I had practiced with one or two people before our second honeymoon, trying to shield their minds from Edward. Sometimes I’d do it with visits to the pack. No one knew I was doing it, except Edward of course. But sometimes Jake would notice my face all scrunched up in concentration.

However, this time, I wanted to try something on a much bigger scale.

“I want to practice my shield,” I blurted from the couch, where I was holding a sleeping Nessie while Jasper and Emmett were trying to kill each other in… American Idol of all games. Edward and I had gotten it for Alice for Christmas. It was perfect for her. She could design outfits all day, though she complained about the lack of choices. But for some reason, Emmett and Jasper had decided to give it a go. They finished, Jasper winning, but Emmett wanted a rematch. And so they were going at it again, with Emmett cussing out Simon every couple of rounds.

At my exclamation, both Jasper and Emmett looked at me, no longer playing the game. Emmetts singer went horribly off tune after he stopped pressing the appropriate buttons, but I think I was the only one who noticed. I was the only one to grab the remote to mute the television to keep my sanity.

Everyone else was a little shocked too. Truth be told, this wasn’t something I usually decided to do on a whim.

Then, Carlise smiled. “Of course Bella. That’s a great idea! What do you need?”

I bit my lip thinking for a second. “Edward?”

He darted to my side.

I smiled up at him. “How hard would it be to read everyone’s mind at once?”

“I can do that.”

“Alright, I need you to leave the house.” I smiled. “I’m gonna try to shield the entire house.”

Edward’s brow furrowed. “You sure?”

I nodded. “I have to learn how to do this without losing my temper. Otherwise I’m a ticking time bomb, remember?”

Edward took a deep breath. “Alright.” He darted out of the house.

I looked around at everyone. “I need everyone to take up a different position in the house, at least one person on each floor and someone even in the garage.” Alice, Esme, and Rosalie flitted out of the room. “Now I need someone to keep contact with Edward.” Jasper took out his phone and called Edward. He gave me a thumbs up.

“Bella,” said Carlisle. I looked over at him. He knelt by me. “If it’s too much for you, try something smaller, alright? Don’t push yourself too hard.”

I nodded. Everyone knew what to do. They remained quiet, even stopped breathing. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

“Just take it easy and do the best you can.” Carlisle stayed by my side just in case, by some weird anomaly, something went wrong.

“Ok,” I breathed.

By now, I realized that my shield wasn’t a rubber band. In fact, it wasn’t even flexible. It expanded, grew, like those little animals you put in water so that they can grow 20 times their size. I felt it around me, the protective layer that saved all our lives less than a year ago. I let it grow, taking in everyone on the couch, the whole living room, the whole first floor, second floor, the whole house, the garage… I tried to identify the life-lights of each person. Rosalie was in the garage. Alice was on the second floor. Esme was in the kitchen. Emmett was on the stairs. Jasper on the couch beside me. Carlisle still kneeling next to me.

“You got it,” said Jasper.

Now the trick was to see how long I could hold it.

I heard the beep of someone setting a stopwatch. I breathed slowly in and out. I tried to focus solely on holding my shield around the sparks of life-light…

Suddenly, something very strange happened… I felt pride…. From the direction of… outside…?

My eyes widened and my shield snapped back into place. I could barely hear Edward’s voice in Jasper’s cell phone as he reported on the absence of my shield.

“That was great, Bella,” I barely heard Carlisle say. “A solid 5 minutes. That’s a new record… Bella?”

I still couldn’t move, or acknowledge anyone in any way. I was a statue.

Carlisle scooted so that he was kneeling in front of me. “Bella? Are you alright?”

I felt Jasper’s hand on my arm. Waves of calm came over me. I slowly thawed.

“Jasper?” I asked shakily.

Both Jasper and Carlisle let out sighs of relief. Edward darted through the door. His arms came around me.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

I focused on Jasper. “What emotion was Edward feeling just now?”

His brow furrowed. “Pride. He was proud of you. Why?”

“That’s what I thought.” I looked up into Edward’s concerned gaze. “That’s what I picked up from him, too.”