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Eyes on Fire

Summary:
One and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since Edward Cullen had banished himself and his family from Bella Swan’s life, from Forks, from the one place they truly felt at home. A lot can change in that small amount of time, and it becomes painfully apparent to the Cullen’s when they come face to face with the girl they left behind, only she’s not the same girl anymore. In an effort to protect herself from the pain of her past, she has become more confident, self assured and fierce. She’s a fighter now and their fate, along with many others now rests in her hands. Will she save them or punish them for past grievances?


Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


1. Prologue

Rating 5/5   Word Count 576   Review this Chapter

I couldn’t believe I was here; standing in the middle of the forest, surrounded by vampires from both my past and my present. I had tried to leave the vampires of my past behind by finding solitude in the company of the vampires of my present. That had proven impossible because I was confronted by my past again and again, through my thoughts and memories and the few times I had come into contact with them physically. These memories were always taunting, always reminding me of what had been and what could have been.

Yet, this time, I was protecting the people who had betrayed me, and betraying the people who had protected me and loved me like a daughter, friend and lover.

“Isabella.” The voice of my present called endearingly to me, letting me know that it wasn’t too late to turn around and go back, that they still loved me and would continue protecting and caring for me.

But how could I go to him when he was threatening both the only link to my past and the people for whom I still begrudgingly cared. He was going to destroy them along with what was left of my heart if I stepped back to his side of the field. How could I destroy myself, when everything I had been taught over the years meant nothing but self-preservation in the end?

They taught me to fight, to protect and to escape. I always knew whom it was I was fighting, whom I was protecting and, when I was outnumbered, I knew how and to whom I should run. Only this time, I didn’t know. I didn't know whom I was supposed to fight, whom I was supposed to protect and to whose arms I was supposed to be running to.

“Bella, please.” The voice of my past echoed across the snow-filled clearing.

It reminded me of the love I once had for him, his brothers and sisters, his mother and father. It reminded me of all that was shared and learned between us when we had first met and I felt plain and ignorant next to him in all his eternal glory. Yet he had bewitched me mind, body and soul and I him, even if it was only for a short time.

The way he said my name, the way he was begging me to go to him, to choose him, had me reeling… had me thinking over the words that had tortured me day and night when he left me.

Had it all been a lie?

Had he loved me as truly and deeply as he had proclaimed months ago?

Did his family feel the same sadness and depression that I once felt over the loss of each other’s company?

As the voices and instincts inside me warred with themselves, knowing that the fate of half the people in this clearing depended upon my choice, I could only sob and clutch my head in my hands as a new voice inside of me asked, “Which is your future? The past that left, or the loving present?”

In that one sentence, everything became clear and the voices in my head stopped arguing. My instincts were now pulling me in one direction. All of them in agreement with whom I should fight, with whom I should protect and to who’s arm I would be running to after this was all over.

“I’m sorry.”