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Winter Solstice

Maggie gets Kidnapped (sort of) meets the man of her dreams, gets married and turned into a Vampire, all before a huge fight with the Volturi and the Romanians and all in about a week. All your favorite Twilight Characters are in this one, though some may take a while to show up. Spoiler, post BD.


3. Chapter 3: Un-Lawfully Wed

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Pain shot through my veins like fire, heating up the flesh of my neck to an unbearable level. It was as if my neck was slowly searing itself with third degree burns from the inside out. I was boiling in my own skin within seconds. I let out a strangled scream, arching my back away from the bed below me, then clenched my teeth together to stop from making too much noise. Seth was turned away while Edward encouraged him to leave, Carlisle straightened rigidly after he pulled away, then shut his eyes in perfect concentration for a few seconds, but Alice was watching.

"Carlisle?" she said with terrifying fascination.

"What's happening to her?" Edward demanded as he shot to my left, then Carlisle joined them both.

"I'm not sure," he admitted, and the two males looked between themselves with horrified -and annoyingly eager- looks. "Maggie? What do you feel?"

I groaned, squeezing my hands into the sheets. "Fire," I choked out hesitantly. "It burns!"

Edward disappeared only to return seconds later with a damp towel. He dragged it across my forehead, and the wet trail it left behind immediately stopped the flames licking at the inside of my skull. I gasped and lifted my head, inclining it so the cloth lingered. Edward recoiled thoughtfully, and for a moment I wasn't sure what had happened. Then a single drop of water rolled down my temple and plopped onto the bed beside me, cooling the burning under my skin as it went.

"I'll start a bath," Edward volunteered, then passed the towel to Alice and dashed away.

"Seth?" Alice called, passing the towel to Carlisle and moving over to the stunned boy who couldn't seem to stop staring at me. "We need to speak with Jacob immediately."

"He said he was fine with you turning her..." Seth replied absentmindedly, his gaze trailing over me.

"Yes, but the wolves have legends and stories that we do not have, perhaps they know something of this."

Seth nodded, then the two stepped outside. I writhed openly on the bed, managing not to scream, but unable to restrain my muscles as they moved against the pain. But as much as I thrashed around I couldn't escape the fires. Carlisle bent to me after nearly a minute and said "I'm going to lift you up."

I laughed through my pain, then gasped and moaned in agony. Did he think I was going to freak out to feel his hands on me? Just the opposite, actually. Carlisle carried me up the stairs gently and quietly, then walked past Edward and into the bathroom, where he lowered me into the cool water. I sighed in relief and submerged myself almost entirely. The fire disappeared and I finally felt able to breathe again.

“Thank you.” I whispered hoarsely. “For everything.” Then I jolted forward in alarm. “What happened that had you all freaking out?”

Edward and Carlisle exchanged an awkward glance, both seeming unable to answer. I looked down at my arms, and saw that my veins were showing through my nearly translucent pale skin. They weren't the faint, light veins I usually saw. They were a dark, angry, agitated blue. I gawked in awe and speechlessly brought them out of the water to stare at them.

Okay. Don't panic. This is just like One Life To Live. They thought Tea had a brain tumor, but she didn't. Ugh! Bad example! I hated Tea.

Okay. Don't panic. This is just like One Life To Live. They thought Todd was dead. But he came back. Even when it looks obvious someone is dead, they never are.

But this isn't a Soap Opera. My stomach jerked uncomfortably as fear crept into my mind. This is real life. This is real life, and I'm going to die.

I took a deep breath, held it. I'd hold my breath and count to ten. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Releasing the air I held in my lungs, I inhaled and thought resolutely “Ten.” Calm swept over me, and I leaned back, swallowing my fear. I'm strong. I'm strong, and I'm going to survive this.

I noticed Edward give a crooked smile from the corner of the bathroom, and I said hotly “Oh you know what I mean!”

He tried to hold back a laugh, then turned and walked out. Carlisle's brow furrowed, and he took a few steps further into the room, leaning against the wall a few feet away.

I smiled weakly “Technically, I won't live through this. But I do have high hopes towards... existing... after this,” then, with a disappointed frown. “Forever.”

“Do you not want to live forever?”

I shook my head. “Never knowing for sure? Heaven? Hell? God and religion and... whether or not all dogs actually do go to heaven?”

He chuckled, and the sound nearly made my heart stop. “What are you so eager about? If I've deduced correctly, you're an atheist.”

I nodded. “Yeah. I once read a book -my favorite book actually- in which the main character asked her mother what happened when people died. The mother replied “Women become queens of their own planets with gorgeous male servants.'”

He laughed outright, and I lost the ability to breathe. “That's why you don't want to live forever? I have to say, that's not very ambitious of you.”

I giggled, then shrugged in the heavy water. “That's the dream.”

“Who's to say you couldn't become the queen of your own planet in this life? I'm sure there are hundreds of men who'd be willing to serve you.”

I pursed my lips. “No good ones.”

Silence, then realization struck me and I think maybe I blushed. That was ridiculous, I didn't blush. Carlisle took a few steps closer, reclined against the flawless white sink and crossed his arms. “I would hazard to say you're eager to be proved wrong... but what if... because of what you are becoming, you don't get that chance?”

I frowned, leaning forward to sit and looking at him directly. “What do you mean?”

“Some of our kind don't believe that we have souls.”

I sat, completely stunned, then managed to say weakly “Some? Including you?”

“I never considered the possibility... before....” I didn't get a chance to ask 'before what'.

Just then he turned and headed for the stairs, froze in the doorway, and listened. “Jacob Black is here. With others.”

I shivered. Jacob Black was the man who'd given permission for me to be changed. My future rested on him, and I knew nothing about him. I was imagining an absolutely terrifying man as I heard footsteps climbing the stairs. Why did people refer to him in such a way around here? Respect, mixed with contempt and affection. It was a curious vibe. Like a relative you love, but at the same time, only because you have to.

Then the tan, muscular man emerged and began walking towards me. He was more like a boy, probably around my age, in fact. No shirt on, but I didn't seem to be attracted to him at all. He seemed... cocky... annoyingly powerful... not really the 'nice' type. Then two more men carrying a third in a wheelchair. One was Seth, the other a tall, broad shouldered man with similar black hair and dark eyes.

The lead male nodded his head to Carlisle as he approached me, then peered down from his towering height. He had to be at least 6'5''. He turned to Edward, who was bringing up the rear and said “What if she's dangerous?”

“It doesn't matter,” Edward assured him, and I looked between the two.

They were having their own little conversation between the two of them that I knew nothing about. “Of course it matters! I can't sign off on this if I'm putting innocent people, my family, at risk.”

“Have you forgotten what is going to happen if she isn't here? The Volturi are coming whether she's alive or not.”

Jacob bowed his head. “Dad? Do the council have any explanation to this?”

The old, gray man in the wheelchair nodded slowly. “We have a story among the tribe of such a thing happening long ago. The tale has been all but lost in time, surrendered to the fear of our people. We do not tell the story, but in this case, I feel it may be necessary.”

I felt chills course through my body as the majestic, worldly man continued to speak. “Many years ago, when our ancestors were hunting, the group came upon one of our mortal enemies. A cold one.”

I looked around in shock. We were the cold ones? So why were we all playing nice if we're mortal enemies?

“The cold one was a man, he had yet to kill the woman he had fed on, and fled when he saw us. He was destroyed, and the woman was to be disposed of immediately, but when our warriors realized something had gone wrong they elected to bring the woman home. The medicine man could do nothing for her, apart from sprinkling cool water over her burning skin, which lightened the darkness of evil inside her veins. For three days and three nights the fire ravaged her body, driving her to madness from the heat. On the third night, she stopped screaming abruptly. Fearing she had become a cold one, the villagers would not go near her.”

I felt heat flush in my cheeks and submerged myself in the water for a second to stop the fire. When I re-emerged Mr. Black was talking again. “-They found that she had died.”

I sucked in a quick lungful of air. Died?

“The woman was buried in a grave, mourned by her loved ones, and believed dead for three days. The villagers all thought she had died from the bite to her neck... they were right. What they didn't anticipate was that death...” he paused ominously. “Would not stop her. She destroyed half the village before fleeing into the night.” His harsh dark eyes turned judgmentally on me. “I cannot condone allowing this creature to survive.”

“She has to live,” Jacob said breathlessly.

The smaller, more selfish part of me gave a triumphant cry. He was sticking up for me! Then the larger, responsible, honest and caring part wondered if I should be allowed to survive. The larger man spoke for the first time, his gravelly, authoritative voice demanding “What are you talking about Jake?”

“Sam!” Seth called, reaching out and setting a hand on the larger mans shoulder. “Look at her, she's just a kid.”

“I'm just a kid?” I declared, crossing my arms in front of me. “What are you, fifteen?”

“I'm 20,” Seth said impatiently. “Look Sam, this isn't her fault, Maggie has nothing to do with this. We can't blame her for what she's becoming, and we can't assume she'll wreak havoc on the world with whatever powers she might have.”

I blinked once, then frowned. “I chose this, and I'll take responsibility for that, I can't see anything wrong with what I'm becoming. Seth is right though, I'm not going to hurt anybody.”

“We can't know that,” Mr. Black said.

“We can't kill an innocent girl,” Jacob called, throwing his hands in the air. “She has to live.”

The fast paced banter back and forth ended abruptly when Edward spoke. “You'll come nowhere near her while she's under our protection.”

“Don't stand in our way,” Sam cried, taking a step forward towards me.

Edward was a blur of motion as he lunged forward and jerked Sam away from me, then Carlisle got between them and calmed everyone down. Edward was reacting to something I hadn't heard, a thought he'd picked up from Sam. The arguing picked back up, this time in a more heated sort of way, and I plunged my head into the water, staying under until I needed to breathe again. The water blocked off all the sounds, I closed my eyes, and just imagined I was somewhere else. Oddly enough, with the Cullen's. I really liked the Cullen's. Especially Carlisle. What was it that seemed to be drawing me to him?

He seemed like the most sincere, caring person I'd ever met. Just the sight of him gave me a funny feeling deep in the pit of my stomach, like I was nervous and scared and feeling horrible because he was married, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of it. It was so confusing, the whole thing. To be having feelings I'd never felt before, and for a man I'd only met one day ago. It was ridiculous.

More than that, it was illogical. My whole life I lived based on what the right, responsible, and mature thing to do was. I was a careful girl, with my priorities all laid out. Love was not so important to me. I saw other people, holding hands, kissing, getting married, and that was all I'd ever wanted, but was too afraid to go after. Hearing a song on the radio and wanting someone there with me to care for more than I cared for myself, that terrifying. That person could leave you or hurt you, so I focused more on having a good career, a nice house, fancy car.

Realizing I needed to come up for air, I set a hand on either side of the tub and pulled myself up, then felt heat immediately flair up. The bearable flush of my cheeks was uncomfortable. As I looked around, the huge crowd of people seemed to be shoved through the door, the tan, muscular boys in the lead, and Seth attempted to get Mr. Black down the stairs. After a second Carlisle returned up the stairs and assisted him. I blinked a few times, feeling water roll out of my eyes, then stood in the tub and waited as the water dripped off of me. My tight, blue sweater weighed at least twenty pounds, and the fabric of my jeans was heavier and waterlogged as I charged downstairs. As my wet socks slid on the floor, my feet slipped out from under me and I skidded across the open air, slamming into the ground with a thud. My head cracked open on the stairs and I gripped it protectively with a wince.

Pain radiated through my skull, ringing in my ears, and a hot, wet feeling was seeping over my head. Two pale Vampires were crouched beside me in a second, and my hand, as I pulled it away, I found to be covered in dark blue, sticky, blood. Alice on my right and Jasper on my left, each took hold of one of my arms and pulled me up to my feel. Though my head spun I managed to keep my legs from wobbling and burst away the second I was sure I could stand. “Thank you!” I shouted as I ran through the living room, passing Emmett on the couch and added “I'm not usually that clumsy!” I dashed through the living room, (almost slipped again on the porch) and dove out onto the lawn, where two huge wolves were facing each other and growling threateningly.

I marveled at the hulking monsters, and the second I saw the eyes of the red-brown wolf, I knew it was Jacob. The other, a larger, black wolf with yellow eyes charged forward and snarled as it collided with Jake. I almost screamed, but managed to cover my mouth just in time. The claws of the animals scratched viciously against each other, and Sam drew his head back and latched his jaws on Jacob's shoulder. Jake cried out in a whine and jerked away, dislodging Sam's teeth from his raw, bloody shoulder.

Sam lowered his head and snapped his giant fangs at the reddish brown wolves feet, and Jake launched himself right over Sam's back, landing gracefully, spinning, and slamming his side into Sam with all of his strength as the black wolf turned. Sam was knocked to the ground, and though Jacob stumbled, he managed to stay erect, and jumped over his fallen brother, snarling proudly and bearing his magnificent teeth.

“Jacob won,” I whispered, becoming aware of the people around me for the first time, and the heat growing in my face, neck, and hands. I noticed Rosalie had joined the group of spectators, and Seth was only a few feet away. I was smiling, I could tell, though I didn't know why I wanted Jacob to win so badly. “Is that a good thing?”

Seth nodded, not taking his eyes off the other wolves. I was absolutely mystified with the quite beauty of the two hairy mammals, their teeth shiny white where not covered in dark blood, their coats glistening in the moonlight, and the long, lean muscles hidden cleverly under their skin. I was staring, I knew, but I couldn't seem to look away. They were both so beautiful. Werewolves. Werewolves were real, and they were wonderful, not the terrifying and ugly half man creatures that stalked the night looking for prey.

I realized for the first time that everyone was staring at me, and I had a goofy smile on my face. I looked down at my shoes, straightening my lips to a perfect smile, but muttered under my breath nonetheless “Amazing.”

And the heat was becoming unbearable. I could hardly stand the burning in my face that was getting hotter by the second. Bringing my arm up and running it across my forehead, I sighed, then turned and took one wobbly step towards the house, where I knew the cold water was waiting. My sock caught on something and I stumbled, almost falling to my knees but being caught by- who else?- the male Vampire I was not-so-seriously considering the possibility of someday maybe perhaps almost having feelings for. Edward tried to hold back a laugh in my peripheral vision, and I backtracked. But probably not.

Then, when I looked up at the kind, gold eyes of the man helping me up, I knew it was too late. To hell with being careful, I love him. Terrifying.

A few minutes later, after being cooled back down and sitting in the bathtub with Carlisle a few feet away, monitoring me like a hawk, I risked a single glance at him. My stomach tightened in an exciting way, and I immediately looked away. We were alone. I stood, stretching my arms and sighing.

“Do you think...,” I broke the silence, and looked at him solidly, with no intention of looking away. “That you have a soul?” I didn't give him a chance to answer, just said quickly “Because I do.”

“Oh really?” He asked, taking a few steps closer, so that he was next to me. “What makes you think so?”

I tried to answer in the most matter-of-fact, sure of myself, obviously carefree way I could “Because I can see it. In your eyes.”

I looked into his eyes directly, and found them to be locked on mine. I vaguely wondered if the dark blue of my blood had mixed in or completely consumed my normal pale green, but was absolutely lost in the beautiful eyes before me. There liquid amber depths made me shiver, and I felt a sort of electrically charged energy course through my body, then found that I was not breathing. Neither of us moved for what was probably a second, but felt more like an eternity, and then I finally looked down. The second my eyes left his, I felt his lips press against mine, so softly I was afraid I'd only imagined the sensation.

I shut my eyes and enjoyed the sensation, feeling my entire body tremble at the sensation of my first kiss. A thought along the lines of 'Oh my god you're twenty one and you're just getting your first kiss how much of a loser are you I'll tell you how much so pathetic that you'd rather call yourself a loser than kiss the gorgeous guy in front of you' then my thoughts left me entirely and only actions took over.

I pressed my lips against his fiercely, leaning forward and bringing both arms up to wrap around his shoulders. I felt his hands on my sides, holding me close to his body and lifting me slightly. He was at least four inches taller than me, so he had to bend down just slightly, and I found myself standing on my toes to kiss him. He was moving forward just slightly, pushing me back until I was pressed against the wall, and then his fingers found a bare spot at the small of my back, lifting my shirt and sweater only slightly, as if not sure whether or not to go on.

I jerked away suddenly, pulling my head back and setting one hand on his chest to push him away. Carlisle complied immediately, holding both hands up as if I had pulled a gun out, then said apologetically “I'm so sorry, I just-.” He broke off and ran his hand through his hair, a look of regret on his face. “I'll just go.”

“No!” I called, resisting the urge to smack myself. “You're so...” I sighed, exasperated, and took a deep breath as he paused by the door. “Incredible,” I breathed, then winced at my lack of words and said quickly “It's just that I'm... celibate... until... marriage,” I forced the words out one by one, each time checking to make sure Carlisle was still standing near the door. 'Run, run far away from me as fast as you can', I wanted to scream. 'I'm a bad person and I'm bad for you'. But I just added “And even if- hypothetically- we did want that someday, there's no way because -hypothetically- you would still be married to your wife-” A look of pain swept over his face and I regretted instantly saying those words “-and with your lifestyle there's just no way.”

He nodded slowly, frowning thoughtfully. “I understand, and again, I apologize.” We stood silently for a few long seconds, then he said slowly “You're celibate... until... marriage... that is....” he trailed off as if searching for the right word, and I panicked with possibilities. That is what? Weird? Out-dated? Ridiculous? The stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life? Then I looked at him and realized that all of those were wrong. He was smiling, and because he couldn't seem to find the word he was looking for, he let out a quick laugh.

The look on his face was one I couldn't quite distinguish, being one I hadn't ever seen before. It was either the expression of 'what have I gotten myself into or 'You sure know how to pick 'em.' When he smiled again, I realized that for the second time I had been absolutely wrong. His expression was simply one of absolute understanding. When he said he understood, he actually meant it.

I was so happy that I couldn't resist the urge to lunge forward and kiss him again. He remained absolutely still, confused to say the least. I pulled away just far enough to look up at him and said “I'm sorry, I know this isn't easy for you....” Then pulled away and frowned. I leaned back towards him with the sudden knowledge that I wasn't strong enough to resist. He was so.... “I really do want this....” I stated, then leaned forward and kissed him once again, this time with no intention of stopping.

Surprisingly, I felt his hands wrap around my arms and he eased my away, a patient smile on his lips. “Then marry me.”

I was too stunned to react for almost a minute. “What?” My heart rate sped up and I took a step back, what was that saying? “What do you mean?”

“Well...” He considered for a few seconds. “We can fake records, we have to every time we relocate. And marriage is really nothing to do with a piece of paper.”

I couldn't believe he was saying these words. It was confusing. Men didn't want girls like me. They wanted sex, that was obvious, and the situation we were in a few minutes ago was precisely how to achieve that goal. All guys wanted sex, even from a creepy girl like me as long as I'm beautiful too, but they would never marry the creepy, unpopular girl, even if she was beautiful. But he wasn't the kind of man... and he didn't have to marry me, surely he realized that?

So what was this? A momentary lapse of judgment. “You aren't thinking clearly...” I stammered, shaking my head and actually feeling moisture pool in my eyes. “You don't want to marry me, you're... confused, and I can't take advantage of that.” The last part was more meant for me than him.

“Maggie...” he stated, stepping forward and closing the distance between us, then taking my hand. His cool skin kept my hand from heating up any more. “I am thinking clearly. This makes sense, you can tell just like I can. We make sense. I want to marry you.”

I wasn't strong enough, even if he was making a huge mistake. “Okay,” I whispered, shrugging. A smile spread across my lips and Carlisle sighed in relief, then leaned down and kissed me softly.

I blinked once in disbelief and kissed him back, raising myself up onto my toes and shaped my lips to his, pushing my whole body against his. His right hand drifted down to my hip, and he pulled me with him, lifting me and pressing me against the wall. I wrapped my legs around his waist, kissing him and running my fingers through his perfect hair.

He broke away from the kiss, walking to the door, opening it with ease and carrying me into his room. I took the time to note that huge array of books, and a large bed. My heart rate must have increased dramatically, but I was too caught up in Carlisle to care. He smiled and laid me down slowly, saying softly “Do you, Maggie Delano, take me to be your un-lawfully wedded husband?”

I laughed and bit my lip as his lips returned to my lips, then moved to my cheek, my jaw, my neck, oh, my neck, I sighed, pushing my hips eagerly up to him as he unzipped my sweater and pulled it off. “Yes,” I breathed, though I wasn't sure if I was answering his question or just agreeing with his fingers running up my side and lifting my shirt slowly. “I do.”

I reached up to his chest and ripped his shirt open, two buttons popped off and rolled away across the floor. I marveled at his pale, smooth, skin, then ran my hands eagerly along the contours of his muscular chest. “Do you, Carlisle Cullen, take me to be your un-lawfully wedded wife?”

He brought his lips up from my collar bone and said simply “I do.”

I laughed as I lifted my arms, feeling the shirt lift over my head, and whispered in a secretive tone “So, what? Are we married now?”

My husband paused above me, then said with fake surprise “I think we are.”

I smiled, truly happy for the first time in a long time, then pushed my upper body away from the bed to kiss him, then, wrapping my arms around his head, I pulled him back down to me. He ran his hands up my sides, kissing from my collar bone, down the center of my chest, and to my stomach, where I arched my back into his touch.

His whole body was ice cold, which was actually so perfect. He kept me so cool that I didn't even care I could be dying or about to die or at the very least turning into a Vampire. All that mattered was being in this bed right now with the man... that was also a Vampire. The man that I was terrifyingly and recklessly in love with. And the only man that I absolutely knew would never hurt me.

Still, as I sank back onto the crisp sheets, struggling to breathe and feeling my whole body buzzing with waves of electricity I turned towards the wall, feeling a few tears roll down my cheeks. I wiped them away quickly hoping Carlisle wouldn't notice as he caught his breath beside me. I was a horrible person. That horrible secret I was keeping was going to destroy me, and now I was dragging someone else down with me. I sniffed, blinking back more tears, and forced a smile. This was a good day, the best day of my life. Certainly more than I could ever deserve.