More Than My Own Life
Nessie Cullen has grown up the adored center of her world. Now that world is about to be ripped apart at the seams. How far would you go to protect everything you've ever loved?
If you are looking for a good read with more depth than a rain puddle this is for you. If you are looking for the fluffy, warm, coos and smiles without so much as a thundercloud on the horizon, turn back now. If you are looking for Nessie to simply rip Aro's head off quickly, turn back now.
1. Visions and Proposals
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All fairy tales have to end somewhere I suppose. The second time my Aunt Alice saw the Volturi coming for us, there was no way out that she could see.
I dropped to the floor my face a mask of true horror. The vision she let me see had me standing alone or me ending the world. My Jake crossed the room in two strides and wrapped himself around me as if he would never let go. He barked, “What the hell did you show her?”
I shuddered. “It‘s the Volturi. Again. We’re not walking away this time.”
Alice continued, “They know what they’re facing and for what they want this time they’re willing to die down to the last guard.” Her eyes met mine. “Nessie, you’re going to have to leave. They want you.”
“What about you? Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma …. Jake? You’re just going to stand here and wait to die? Can’t you come with me? There’s got to be somewhere to go. I’m sure our friends will stand with us again.” The world started spinning as I felt my chest constricting, my heart hammering its way out. “Not fair, Uncle Jasper” I called as I felt a wave of calm start to wash over me. “Let me settle this for myself”
I looked around the home I’d known all my life. We had been packing to leave anyway, but leaving to run for my life was not exactly how I’d pictured going. At least Jake would be going with me. Wouldn’t he? I replayed the vision, no Jake. That’s when it really hit me and I started sobbing.
My dad saw the tangle of my thoughts chasing themselves in ever growing circles around my face and shook his head. “You have to go right now before there’s time to track you. Demetri is already starting the search.”
Mom smacked him in the back of his head. “Aren’t we going to at least try to fight instead of roll over and die?”
He nodded. “We will. As soon as you decide where to send her and get her on a plane without telling any of us where you’re sending her.”
I could see mom considering smacking him again. I couldn’t help but bite back a small giggle. Seven years, and they still acted like infatuated teenagers. I counted my day blessed if I didn’t trip over them. A heat rose to my face as I hoped I would always be that way with Jake. My stomach dropped again. If I didn’t fix what Alice saw, there wouldn’t be a me and Jake. “Why do they want me, anyway? Didn’t they give up on Joham’s experiments as too risky years ago?”
Alice shook her head, her eyes still distant. “Aro wants you. He thinks your projections have gotten to a point that he and the council could venture out in the day with you at their side convincing people they were seeing nothing unusual.”
Mom moved forward. I knew how distraught she was when she said, “Alice, pack some things for Renesmee. Pack for any possible climate. I’m still deciding where to send her.”
“And me, Bella. Send me with her,” Jake said for the first time looking up from my shoulder. “I can keep her safe.”
I stood up. “Hey! First, stop talking around me. Second, Jake, I’m able to take care of myself. Trust me. I have to go by myself.” My head seemed to at least pause in its swirling for a few moments. I looked into Jake’s eyes shimmering with need. I shook myself, almost peeved at the situation. I was born for Jacob but the nature of my birth and my gifts made me a life-long target for the Volturi. Not only was I be one of the few living vampire-human hybrids, but I also had inherited my parents’ talents. No one could keep my mind out, no one could get into my mind, and according to Alice I had lately been showing some slight awareness of the future. Thankfully, nothing dramatic like her visions.
Jake looked back at me like he was going to fight not going with me. “The pack needs you. They’re going to have to face the Volturi too.”
Luckily the chaos was smaller than it could have been. Carlisle was still at the hospital, Esme was in Vermont working on the new house, and Rose and Jasper were out hunting. Everyone had planned on meeting up for my birthday party tonight though. “Esme! I’m supposed to be picking her up from the airport!”
Dad said, “I’ll pick her up when I’m dropping you off.
I felt a warm hand twine it’s way into mine. “Let’s go for a run, Nessie?”
“Now, Jake? Seriously? I have to pack, and say goodbye, and …”
He kissed away my falling tears. “You’ll be more comfortable on the plane if you’ve hunted.” He ran across the patio for the river shedding shirt and shorts, shimmering as he went.
Mom and Dad walked up behind me enfolding me in their arms. I started sobbing all over again. Then I did something I’d never done before. Just like Mom had taught me, I closed my father completely out of my thoughts. My hand reached up and touched the locket I’d always worn. ‘More than my own life.’ That’s why I had to leave. I wasn’t planning on staying where they sent me. I was going to kill Aro.
I lifted my head at the short, impatient yap from the woods and pulled myself away. “Coming, Jake.”
Jake was waiting for me in our clearing. I stopped cold. He was waiting on one knee, with a ring box dangling from a string tied to his wrist. I turned to go stammering, “I, I can’t - not now.”
He stood and dashed to catch me. “Nessie, I was going to do this right. Tonight, at the party. But I’m going to say this now. I love you more than anything. I would walk this Earth anywhere with you. I would be fighting to go with you right now if what I saw in your eyes didn’t tell me there was some reason I can’t go more than what you said in there. You know about the imprint. But what I feel for you goes far beyond that. I want you not just for today, but for tomorrow, and all the tomorrows after that. You don’t have to answer now, but when you come home I want you as my wife.”
I turned back to face him. “I want you too, more than anything.”
We kissed with a passion that would have lit the forest on fire if I’d been capable of noticing. I hazily noticed that Jake had a picnic blanket rolled out as our clothes began to fall like rain.