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Angels & Devils

Summary:
Seattle has been invaded by covens of Rogue Vampires - vampires who hunt and prey upon other vampires. Bella and the Cullen siblings are in Seattle for a rare night out on the town. They are attacked by Rogues, and Alice Cullen is lost in the ambush. The family fears the worse, believing that Alice is dead. Alice awakens with no memory of who she is, where she is or how she came to be there. She also has no clue that's she's fallen into the hands of an old enemy to her kind. A half-vampire who once waged a 50-year long war of vengeance against all vampires. A enemy so vicious that the Volturi had dubbed him with the name, "Lucifer", and who was long since believed to be dead himself.


Notes:
This is my first Twilight Fanfic. It is currently posted in part to the FanFiction.Net site under the same pen name, and has 52 chapters up. There is still a few hundred more pages that are written and waiting to go. I decided to post this to a few fanfic sites to see what feedback I can get from the experts. This story has some violence, language, and minor adult situations (not too descriptive or vulgar - I tried to keep in mind how SM handled such things in writing.) so I guess this would need a "R" rating. Thanks.


11. Chapter 11 - Did You Lose Yourself Somewhere Out There

Rating 3/5   Word Count 3407   Review this Chapter

Chapter Eleven: Did you lose yourself somewhere out there… Did you get to be a star?

Unloading the Explorer once we got back home seemed to take just as long as filling it had.

But that was probably just my nearly exhausted imagination, and not actual reality.

As soon as we were finished, Angel disappeared into the guest room… her room really now I supposed it had become. And for all I knew, she was gloating over her recently acquired booty like a pirate over a treasure chest.

I was just glad and perfectly content to finally collapse into one of my patched easy chairs, and let myself turn into a puddle of fleshy putty.

My feet seemed to be killing me, and that was probably my imagination also, seeing since I’ve become a half-vampire it was pretty hard for simple walking and standing to tire me out. My fatigue was most likely more mental kind than physical.

I might have been more relaxed now that the shopping task was over; if opposite from me, lying on my couch, wasn’t that damned sports coat Angel insisted on getting. The mauve dust cover of the garment mocked me from across the room, where Angel probably had placed it… because I sure as hell didn’t put it there.

I gave it the fiercest scowl I could work up at the moment, but the coat held its ground, staking its arrogant claim on my sofa.

“I shall deal with you directly,” I promised the garment in a drawl that I thought I had long since lost over time, and practice to change it.

The coat wasn’t impressed in the least with my vow, and I closed my eyes to shut out the sight of it.

I must have dosed off for a half-hour power nap, which I was wont to do when I didn’t get my full three hours of sleep every night. The front door closing barely registered on my consciousness, and I didn’t rouse until Angel dropped the mail onto the end table at my side with a sharp paper slap.

“Whose Justan Archer?” she asked me as I reluctantly cracked an eye open.

The first thing I noticed was that the sports coat was gone, and I idly wondered where it had gotten to. I figure it was probably lying in ambush somewhere else for me and would rear its ugly head when I least expected it. But the more likely and reasonable explanation for the coat’s disappearance was that Angel had put it away somewhere while I dozed… before I could ‘accidentally’ misplace it.

Good thing for it, the task best left to me… and I’d be more likely to put it away in a trashcan without waiting for a convenient accident to happen.

I suddenly had the sneaking suspicion that the vampire girl understood me far better than I had thought.

“Who is Justan Archer?” Angel asked again when I was taking too long to answer her. “He certainly gets a lot of mail here.”

I mumbled something even I didn’t understand as I sat up straight and took a second to rub the sleep from my eyes.

“That’s the name I’m using here,” I explained.

“Really?” Angel said with a hint of interest in her tone. “One of these days you’re going to have to tell me your real name.”

“As soon as you tell me yours,” I quipped, as I scooped up the mail and sorted through it, finding nothing but bills and this month’s subscription to Bass Player magazine. Sweet! I’ve been waiting for this issue! It had a feature on vintage Zon basses.

“Ha-ha! Very funny,” she replied with a sour look.

“I thought so,” I added sincerely, as I began thumbing through my new periodical to see what other treats it held in store for me this month.

“Ah! Hello? That was called sarcasm,” Angel informed me.

“I know,” I said, flipping back to the table of contents to peruse the offerings.

Angel wasn’t put off but my apparent disinterest in the topic.

“So how did you come up with that alias?” she wanted to know next. “You do know that Justin is spelled wrong, right?”

I nodded absently.

“I’m aware of that. I did it on purpose.”

“Why?”

“It’s a private joke,” I said.

Angel shrugged her slim shoulders. “Care to fill me in on it?” she inquired.

I felt without looking beside me on the table, until my probing fingers hit the stack of bills, and then I took whichever one was on top and tossed it to her.

“See if you can figure it out,” I challenged. I thought it might keep her busy for a few minutes and allow me some time to read a little of my magazine.

Angel caught the letter and flipped it around to read the address again.

“Justan Archer?” she queried to herself. “Justan Archer… Justan Archer. Archer, Justan,” she tried.

She turned it around in her mind for several minutes and then finally asked, “If I rearranged all the letters, will I come up with your real name eventually?”

“Nope,” I responded, still reading. “Its not that complicated.”

She frowned prettily, which I couldn’t help but catch out of the corner of my eye.

“Justan Archer,” she continued to mumble. “Justan… Justan… Just..an…OH!” she cried as it suddenly clicked for her.

“Just an Archer!” she called out.

“Bingo!” I replied, pointing a congratulatory finger in her direction while I still read the article I’d started.

Angel was silent for a few seconds, and I didn’t have to have a second pair of eyes to know that she was regarding me somewhat crucially.

“That’s dumb!” she announce a moment later, a small hint of disappointment in her voice. She had probably been hoping for something more complex and cleaver for her sharp mind to work at for a while, not something that was so simple it was right in front of her and she didn’t see it at first.

I shrugged as if to say, ‘it is what it is’.

She pressed her lips together in a thin line as she thought it over a little bit more.

“What’s it suppose to mean?” she asked a moment later. “You didn’t pick that little bit of word play out of the blue for no reason.”

“It was a hobby I had for awhile,” I said, and then realized I was getting dangerously close to a truth I didn’t want to get into.

“Its still dumb,” she repeated.

“If you say so,” I countered, hoping by agreeing with her she’d drop the topic.

I got my wish for once, in a way.

“That brings me to something else I’ve been meaning to ask you about,” she told me.

“What’s that?” I inquired as I finished up the article I was reading and began trying to decide which one I wanted to read next.

“This would be easier if you put the magazine down and talk to me… if you don’t mind.”

The one thing that I found that has remained constant through the hundred and some years that I’ve walked the Earth is that when a woman asks you to stop doing something so they could ‘talk’ to you, chances are pretty good that you’re not going to like what’s coming next very much at all.

“Okay,” I said in surrender, and closed my magazine. I placed it carefully on my end table and gave it one last longing look before I gave my full attention back to Angel.

“What is it?” I asked, biting the bullet and hoping to get whatever it was over quickly and with as little pain as possible. I had return nightmare images of Angel insisting that we go furniture shopping on the morrow.

She gave me what amounted to an uneasy smile – the kind that almost said she was about to gently bash my décor to within an inch of its life.

“I wanted to ask you a few things… the first is, why do you have so many fake names,” she came out with.

I nearly sighed with relief; my home wasn’t in immediate danger of a vampire chick makeover. But this new topic wasn’t that much better either.

“Its not that I’m holding it against you or anything,” she continued when I was silent for a few seconds. “I imagine with being who I am, I might have several myself to protect me.”

“Let’s just say I prefer my privacy and leave it at that,” I tried.

She shook her pretty head.

“That might be a small part of the reason,” she countered me. “But I think you use them for the same reason I would have to… for protection. I’m right, aren’t I?”

“And if you are?” I asked. The girl was insightful and clever; I’ll give her that.

“Nothing. I just want to know whose after you is all?”

I shrugged.

“Nobody at the moment… as far as I know.” That was in fact the truth, as I knew it anyway.

Angel nodded.

“Okay, let’s let that question go for a moment and get back to it later. My second question is: You know a lot about vampires for a human… is that knowledge why you’re hiding? Is it my kind that you’re in hiding from?”

She was looking at me dead serious now, and I knew I had to have had a blank look of shock on my own features. She had, in a roundabout way, come pretty damn close to hitting the nail on the head.

I could also tell this was a question that had been eating at her for quite some time now. I made a snap decision, thinking I already had way too many secrets that I was keeping from her, and decided on telling her as much of the truth on this subject as I dared to, if it would give her some ease of mind.

“Its part of the reason, a small part,” I admitted to her. “Vampires don’t like humans knowing they exist, let alone have knowledge of any of their other secrets. I believe there’s even a law among them that says that any human with such information must die.”

Angel looked horrified.

“So you mean to say, if others like me knew that you know about us… that they would kill you? That they have tried to kill you?”

“I think that’s pretty safe to say,” I added, and then bit my tongue before I went and got too cute with the innuendoes. It really wasn’t a laughing matter, the girl was half mortified over what her people did to humans, and I clearly saw now she was half terrified for my sake. “That was a long time ago, and they haven’t bothered me in a long time,” I added.

“That’s just… horrible!” Angel cried.

“Not all vampires believe in that rule,” I said, trying to soothe her. “And I can assure you, it’s been a very long time since any vampire who believes in that law has tried to find me. I’m sure that they’ve forgotten all about me by now, so I’m perfectly safe.” That part was a wee bit of a lie, but it would make her feel better.

“That’s good! We should be trying to live peacefully with humans.”

“You know by now, because you are one of them, that some of the covens survive on hunting animals, sort of just like humans still sometimes do,” I added. “Some of your people are trying their best to live that way - peacefully. But on the other hand, I have to tell you; those vampires with the secrecy law have a point. If the human race found out that vampires really existed, there’d be a wide spread panic and who knows what might happen then? Humans aren’t known for their ability to accept things that are different than them, especially things that frighten them. And learning that most vampires prey upon humans, they aren’t going to bother trying to make the distinction between the human feeders and the ones who live on animal blood. Your people have to walk that thin line and keep living in secrecy if your race is to survive.”

I reached over and took her hand, and she gave it to me willingly, returning the slight pressure with her grip.

“I wouldn’t want the vampires like you to be harmed because humans couldn’t tell the difference between you and a human-hunting vampire,” I added. As I said it, the statement almost caught in my throat. I knew all to well about what I was talking about… because I was guilty of that very same offense.

“I don’t think all humans would react badly,” she said hopefully in return.

I could only shrug again. I wished I could explain why I knew differently.

“Some might not… some, probably most, would I think,” I settled for instead.

She looked at me hard.

“You didn’t,” she said firmly.

Inside I cringed. She said that with such faith in me, I felt like an absolute cad for not coming clean at that moment. I knew now that I couldn’t do that, so instead I again reverted to telling half-truths.

“Well, I already knew you were out there, so there wasn’t much for me to get freaked out about.”

“You even knew the danger, what would happen when I woke up if I been one who believed in that law… what would happen to you if others vampires find found out you know about us. And still… you risked yourself to help me. I wish there were more humans like you.”

She gave me a look of genuine affection that would have made any heart melt… including mine.

“And I wish… all the vampires were like you,” I told her.

And for the first time I felt like I had said something totally honest to her.

Later on, we turned on the TV and settled in for the night. I was disappointed that all that was on tonight were reruns.

Angel laughed selfishly at my complaint, saying that as far as it mattered to her, all the shows we watched were all brand new.

I guess having amnesia has some benefits after all.

After our brief discussion, which pretty much ended with the reason why I have so many false names, Angel disappeared back into her room for a few moments, and reappeared wearing one of my old T-shirts that hung down almost to her bare knees… instead of some of the silky things I knew she had bought this afternoon,

She flopped down on my elderly couch next to me, making the old springs moan as they reminded me that as a vampire she was a little heavier than she appeared to be. She curled her shapely legs up under her, and I did my best not to think about them… or what she might or might not be wearing under that old shirt of mine.

Hey, I may be old… but I’m only half-dead, okay?

And I think I’ve already said several times that I was far from perfect.

Angel made herself comfortable, and then reached over and deftly plucked the TV remote from my hand without so much as a, by your leave. And then began surfing the channels.

She may be cute as a button, but I had discovered early on that it seems Angel could be a bit of a bully sometimes.

Not that she needed anything so unsophisticated as brute force to get her way. All she had to do was throw a perfect little pout in my direction, and we both knew that I would cave.

So much for my grand status as a slayer of the undead… beat by a little girl who looked more like an Elf than a vampire.

We watched several sit-coms, all of which Angel picked out. She relinquished command of the control only to pop into the kitchen and heat herself up an evening mug of blood.

She was back at my side sipping at her mug before the commercials ended, and graciously let me pick the next few programs to watch.

We watched two more shows, clearly geared more toward men and Angel endured them without complaint, even managing to get excited at several high-speed car chases. Toward the end of the last one, she had positioned herself so that she was leaning on my shoulder. A while later, she yawned and then slip herself under my arm and hugged me.

“I’m tired,” she murmured, as she snuggled closer to my side. “It’s been a long day.”

It probably should have been far more interesting to have a beautiful young woman like Angel snuggling up to me, but I was still more than a little concerned that she was still falling into these sleeps. I did my best to keep from showing it, and instead curled my arm around her shoulder to let her know I didn’t mind her using me as a pillow. The manuscript didn’t give an exact timeline for healing in this type of injury, and that lack of knowledge perhaps made me worry more than I should. The book merely implied that healing would take as long as it had to, depending on the particular vampire in question, and their overall health and condition. So the only thing I could really do was hope that Angel was progressing along at a rate that was fine for her.

“Go ahead and sleep if you need to,” I told her. “I’ll see to it that you’re tucked in later if you want to stay here for now.”

She smiled. “Thank you,” she murmured again. “You’re okay for a ‘breather’,”

“What?” I asked her in bewilderment.

Angel giggled lightly. “It was in a movie I seen the yesterday when you were out, called “Night of the Undead”. That’s what the vampires called humans – ‘breathers’.”

“Oh nice!” I quipped… which made Angel chuckle. “On behalf of ‘breathers’ everywhere… thanks for the compliment.”

“I’m only teasing,” she replied dreamily, with a reassuring pat on my arm. “ But I am too comfortable to think about getting up and moving at the moment.”

She cuddled herself closer to me, and I found that I was soon casually stroking her arm as I watched the ending of one of my shows. By the start of the next one, Angel had ceased to breath, telling me she was out of it finally. I sat there for a while watching TV, with this beautiful girl half in my lap, idly stroking her cool arm to comfort her as much as myself, and I realized suddenly once more… that I was strangely very content with the way things were.

Angel had no heartbeat, nor did her chest rise and fall now, so I had assumed she would sleep as the dead did, not moving an inch until she decided to wake. Okay, so I was relying on cheesy vampire movies for that assumption just as Angel seem to be doing.

I have never spent the entire night watching Angel sleep, so the truth is I just didn’t know for sure if she moved around or not.

I was very surprised to find that wasn’t exactly the case at all, at least it wasn’t that night. I discovered that if I moved slightly for any reason, Angel would stir and readjust her position in response, just as a sleeping human would.

It was oddly comforting to me to know that there could be something humanly familiar about vampires, even though it was caused by illness.

It made her seem less alien to me, even though somewhere along the line I was personally starting to cease to view her that way much… starting to see pass the fact she was a vampire.

I moved my hand upwards without thinking about it, and stroked her wild hair; it just seemed the natural thing to do at the time.

I was rewarded when a faint smile graced her perfect lips. She hugged me a little tighter in response, but of course didn’t wake.

I looked down at that beautiful elfin face… and knew that she was going to be the death of me yet.

… But I found that I didn’t mind that much.