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Connections

Summary:
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The Cullen’s are surprised to find out that Bella comes to Forks already knowing about the world of vampires. Not only that, but there is a deep connection to their kind. Will they be able to keep Bella safe when nomads put her into even more danger?
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Notes:


7. Chapter 7

Rating 5/5   Word Count 7548   Review this Chapter

Chapter 7

(Edward’s POV)

When we got back to the house, the rest of the family kept themselves busy doing different things on the main level. While Rosalie was flying through the TV channels trying to find anything worthwhile to watch, Jasper had kept himself busy reading a novel debating tactical battle plans throughout history. The only ones who seemed eager about our return were Esme and Carlisle.

“Son, how did things go?” Carlisle asked, obviously concerned about my ability to be near Bella.

“Things went well,” I murmured, hoping they wouldn’t push for more.

Well, Emmett snorted in amusement. “I’d say they went a little better than well.” I glared. Emmett was having way too much fun at my expense.

Esme and Carlisle seemed both pleased and confused by Emmett’s jovial mood. “What are we missing?” Carlisle asked.

Alice walked over to the couch and sat next to Esme. “Emmett’s right, things went better than expected,” she told them with a look of happiness on her face. “He brought her flowers and apologized for his behavior over the last couple of days.” Alice looked at me and smiled, giving me a false sense of security. For one peaceful second I thought I was in the clear; I believed I would be allowed to broach the subject of my feelings for Bella … but of course I was so wrong.

Before I had time to react, Emmett decided to have some fun at my expense. “Once upon a time, in the rainy town of Forks, lived a young vampire named Edward.”

I saw amusement in Carlisle and Esme’s eyes and they transferred their full attention over to Emmett. “Now, for many years Edward was bored with his existence, finding himself more annoyed with the humans around him than happy with them. That is until the day he met the new girl in town. This human girl, Bella, was different than all of the others, because by some miracle, her mind was completely silent to Edward. Not only that, but she already knew all about his kind and was not frightened by any of his family.”

“I believe it was fate,” whispered Esme.

“Pffft,” Rosalie scoffed from the lounge on the other side of the room. She was irritated her husband was having such fun with a human around, let alone any of it being what Esme classified as ‘fate’.

Emmett, knowing his wife’s feelings, did the only thing he could do – he pretended he didn’t hear her and continued with his story. “Luckily, on the first day of school, our young damsel had a fairy vampire godmother, who saw what her scent would do to Edward, and stopped him before anything could happen.”

I looked over at Alice, and gave her a slight nod in thanks. She just grinned back at me, having too much fun to do anything else in that moment.

Jasper seemed to be having just as much fun with the story as his wife and was manipulating everyone’s emotions to go along with the tone of Emmett’s story. What had been light-hearted feelings of happiness instantly switched to feelings of unease at the danger presented that first day. He must have felt my irritation with him, because he looked over and shrugged. What? I’m having fun.

I just rolled my eyes; I knew at this point I would have no chance to be able to stop Emmett’s story, so I clenched my fist and just waited for it to be over.

“Events occurred, which caused a miscommunication between Bella and our young Edward, to make her believe he hates her. Edward was desperate to make things right between them, so he called her closest confidant to find out what he could …” Alice, already excited, let out a little squeal of excitement, clueing in my family that the climax of the story was about to take place.

“As Edward and his most trusted companions arrived at her home, he handed Bella a bouquet of her favorite flowers when their fingers brushed oh so lightly.” Emmett paused, hoping to gain the rest of our family’s interest.

Needless to say, he was not left disappointed. “What happened?” Esme asked, looking at me worriedly.

“FIRST SPARK!” Alice squealed, unable to hold her tongue any longer.

“Yeah right,” Rosalie scoffed. “That’s absurd.” She turned her contemptuous gaze towards me and asked, “Why on earth would you ever feel a first spark for that worthless human?”

I growled, angered by her constant disregard for my Bella. “Did you, or did you not feel a first spark when you touched Emmett for the first time?”

“That was different,” Rosalie said smugly, remembering how Emmett had been near death at the time.

“The fact that Emmett was about to be finished off by the bear does not make it different. What would have happened if you had met Emmett in another way? Do you honestly think you would have been able to just ignore the spark you felt?”

“Yes!” She shouted.

“HA! ” Alice laughed out loud. “Rosalie, that’s a load of crap and you know it. You of all people would have done whatever it took to have what you wanted. Don’t even think of pretending you would have ignored it.”

Before she could say anything else, Carlisle cut in. “Rosalie, much like Edward did for you when you brought Emmett to us, you will show Edward the same kind of respect. He has finally found his mate, and our family will support him in any capacity he needs.”

Rosalie just huffed and turned her head towards the television. Idiot, she mentally berated me.

I knew it was pointless to keep arguing with Rosalie; her stubbornness would drive a saint insane.

Esme came and hugged me with a ferocity I hadn’t expected. “I’m so very happy for you,” she whispered. “Did Bella realize what had happened?”

“She felt the jolt,” Alice explained. “But I think she passed it off as static electricity. It didn’t seem like she understood what it meant … at least, I don’t think she did.”

“What do you plan on doing?” Jasper asked. I knew regardless of my feelings, Alice was his priority and he didn’t want anything bad to happen to her. He knew Alice felt a connection to Bella, and he knew the more Bella was around the happier it made his wife, which meant he found himself starting to feel a sense of protectiveness towards Bella, too.

“Right now, I plan on getting to know her the best I can, and hopefully she will begin to understand what it was she felt when we touched,” I explained. “I think the Biology Project will help out.”

After explaining the Biology Project to them, I asked, “Do you think I should tell Thomas what happened with Bella?”

“He would probably want to know,” Carlisle speculated. “It would be the right thing to do; even if Bella is unaware of it.”

I resolved myself, knowing he was. Wanting some semblance of privacy I made my way up to my room. While pulling out my phone I wondered how exactly I as supposed to tell a vampire that his Great-Great Granddaughter was your mate? Would he be accepting? Would he be outraged? Would he demand I stay away from her for her own protection? My thoughts were interrupted when he answered.

“Hello.”

“Thomas, its Edward Cullen.”

“Oh! Hi,” he said, sounding both surprised and hesitant at the same time. “I hope you’re not calling to tell me that you upset Bella again?”

I could hear distrust in his voice and fully accepted the fact that I deserved it. I just hope he would give me the chance to make things right. “Actually, things went well this evening with Bella. I apologized and gave her some gerbera daisies just like you suggested. Then while she ate her supper, she told me about our assignment at school.”

Thomas breathed a sigh of relief. “I’m glad things seem better, but I’ll warn you again not to hurt her.”

I once again felt myself rightfully abashed for my treatment of Bella, and promised to never treat her like that again. “I won’t, I promise.”

“Good, because she’s all I have left in this world and I want her to be happy.” And I could hear his devotion to her in his voice. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react when I told him.

“As do I…” I trailed off, trying to get the right words in my head. “I wanted to talk to you about something that happened while I was at Bella’s this evening.”

“Alright, but since you already said things went okay, what exactly do you need to talk to me about?” he asked, sounding curious.

“Our fingers brushed each others when I handed her the flowers and …” I trailed off, and found myself feeling uncharacteristically nervous about his reaction.

“And what?” he asked, probably confused or thinking I was daft.

“Have you ever heard of first spark?” I asked, hoping that he knew what it was.

For a long time, I just sat there waiting for a response. I figured he knew what it was, and was in shock at the thought of his Bella being mated to a vampire; it probably wasn’t what he had ever hoped for her.

“Are you telling me – you’re telling me, you and Bella?” he asked, and I could hear the shock in his voice.

“Yes.”

“Does Bella understand what happened this evening?”

“I don’t think so – she passed it off as static electricity,” I explained.

“Do you intend on telling her?”

“Not at this point.” I was selfish, but at the same time I didn’t want to force her in any way.

“What are you planning, then?” he asked, and in all honesty, as Bella’s family, he had a right to know my intentions.

“I just want to spend time with her right now; like a friend. I want us to get to know each other better, so that she can come to her own conclusions about me.”

“Knowing Bella the way I do, you’re probably right. It would be good to let her get there on her own.” I was relieved to hear that he wasn’t discouraging my involvement in her life. After a moment he continued, “You should know, it may take her a while to come to a decision, she is somebody that will think about something from every possible angle before she makes her choice, but once she does she will stick to it till the very end.”

“Thank you for telling me,” I said.

“But you need to understand something, Edward. If she decides that she doesn’t want to pursue that kind of relationship with you, you can’t try to force it.”

“You have my word that I will never try and force her in a relationship; even if she only wants friendship,” I promised.

“Good.”

(Bella’s POV)

After Edward, Alice and Emmett left I realized how exhausted I was, so I made my way back upstairs feeling physically drained from the week’s events.

Due to the amount of sleep I had gotten, I found myself awake before the crack of dawn. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, I made my way downstairs hoping to catch Charlie before he left for the day. When I got to the kitchen, I was glad to see that he hadn’t finished his breakfast quite yet.

“Morning, Dad.”

Charlie jumped a little when he heard me, and looked up with a surprised look on his face. “Hey Bells, are you feeling okay? You must have really needed some sleep last night.”

“Yeah, I’m doing okay … I guess you could say the long week got the better of me.”

He frowned at me for a minute. “Are things going bad at school?”

“No, it’s just a bit of a culture shock compared to the school in Arizona. Being a new student here brings a lot more attention than a new student would receive down there.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right about that.” Charlie and I were a lot alike, and he probably knew how much I detested being the center of attention.

I made my way over to the counter so that I could make myself some toast. “I got assigned a special project at school yesterday that requires me to try and get a full family tree and medical history for both sides of the family. Thomas already agreed to send me information that belonged to Gran so I can take care of mom’s side of the family, but I need information for the Swan side, too.”

“What kind of information do you need exactly?” he asked.

“Do you have any old photo albums or maybe something that would lay out some form of the family tree?” I asked. I hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult to get this.

“I think I can help you out with that … I have my parent’s old photo albums, but they’re up in the attic and I don’t want you to attempt getting up there with your injured ankle. Do you mind waiting until I get home from work tonight?” he asked.

“That’s fine.”

After a couple more minutes, Charlie seemed to remember something. “I almost forgot … we do have a family tree already finished.”

“We do?” I asked, surprised.

“Your grandmother was obsessed with it. She wanted to make sure we would know exactly where we came from. She believed you couldn’t make an informed decision about something unless you knew exactly where you came from. She wanted to make sure that you had all the necessary information at your fingertips, if you ever wanted to see it.”

“Is that up in the attic, too?” I asked, curious to whether or not I could get my hands on it immediately.

“Actually, it’s on the bookshelf along with her old family bible.” He got up from the table and went out to the living room. When he came back a few minutes later, he carried a wooden box. He opened the box and pulled out an old bible. “This is the old family bible, there is part of a family tree inside the front, but it didn’t have enough room for what your grandmother wanted,” he chuckled; probably at a memory of Gran.

Next, he pulled out something that looked like an expensive leather bound book and opened it. “I always teased my mom about how she went to extremes with her little pet project, but now that you have this assignment, I’m kind of glad she did all of this. She worked with a genealogist to get a full family tree for both her and my dad’s sides of the family.” He opened it, and I was amazed at all of the detailed information available. I could see that Grandma Swan had gone above and beyond when it came right down to it. She not only had names, dates, and marriages, but she also had information about where they lived, what kind of jobs they had, and how they died.

He flipped a page, and I noticed the name of my great grandfather and was taken aback by his first name.

My dad fingered the middle name. “Gran always felt bad that she never had the chance to meet her own father. He went missing during a hunting trip and was presumed dead by the rangers and law enforcement. Her mother didn’t even know she was pregnant until a couple weeks later.” he trailed off.

I followed my dad’s gaze back down to the book and studied the name again. “I didn’t know you had the same middle name as your grandfather,” I said.

“Yes. Just like your middle name came from your great grandma on your mother’s side.” He lightly touched his grandfather’s name once more. “Your Grandpa Swan, my dad, was a man’s man; and according to him, the only name of my grandfather’s that was manly enough for his son was his middle name.” He shook his head at something. “Your grandpa was a bit strange when it came to things like that. In my opinion, a name is just that, a name, and it in no way determines what kind of a person you will be; that’s solely up to the person to accomplish.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at my grandfather’s little idiosyncrasy. When I thought about it, my dad was right, a name doesn’t make a person, man or woman, who they are. After a couple of minutes, I looked up and noticed the time. “I’m going to make you late for work, Dad. I’m sorry.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it, Bells. I get a few perks being the chief of police, but I am covering for someone this morning, so I should probably go.” He took his plate over to the sink. “Did you have any plans for today?”

“Not at the moment. I’m kind of limited to where I can go with my ankle. I’ll probably just stay home and get started on my project,” I explained.

“Well, if you do go out for any reason, could you leave a note on the kitchen table letting me know what your plans are?”

Charlie had become more protective of me since my mom’s death, but when I thought about it, I had to admit that it was to be expected. He was still dealing with his own loss of my mom, and I didn’t want to cause him any additional stress. “Of course I will.”

Charlie came over to me before he left and placed a small kiss on the top of my head – something else that had changed since my mom’s death; Charlie made a point of being more affectionate to me. It was nice.

After I finished a small breakfast of toast and orange juice, I cleaned up the table so that I wouldn’t get anything on my grandmother’s things. It was very obvious that the bible was old, but the leather bound book looked newer; like maybe it had been completed in the last decade or so.

I don’t know how long I had been at it, but I quickly found myself absorbed in all of the information I had in front of me. I copied some of the information down into my notebook, not wanting to let anything happen to the book.

I was so intrigued that I almost didn’t hear the telephone ring. “Hello.”

“Hi Bella,” Alice’s clear voice rang out.

“Oh, hi Alice. How are you?”

“I’m good,” she answered quickly. “I’m calling to see what your plans were for today.”

“Nothing really, I was just planning on staying around the house. Even if I wanted to get out of the house today, it’s not really possible with my ankle. I don’t really have the ability to just jump in my truck and take off someplace when I can’t press down on the clutch.”

She laughed. “Well then, it’s a good thing that I’m calling. Would you like to come over to our house today?”

That sounded like fun. It would be fun to see everyone again, but what I really hoped for was the chance to see Edward again. I must have taken too long to answer her, because Alice interrupted my thoughts.

“Um, Bella, are you there? Did you hear me?”

“Sorry … my mind wandered for a minute. I would love to come over to your house today.”

“Can you be ready in around an hour?” she asked, but without even giving me the ability to answer for myself, she was answering for me. “Yep, you can. One of us will be over in an hour to pick you up.” And she hung up.

It was going to take me a little while to get used to Alice, but I really did enjoy spending time with her. That is as long as she stayed away from my clothes.

I made my way upstairs and proceeded to get ready. When I realized my dirty clothes well outnumbered the clean, I made a mental note to do some laundry when I got home. I had just finished a note to Charlie, letting him know where I was going, when there was a knock at the door. By the time I made it to the entry-way, the door was being opened by a very hyper Alice.

“Are you that impatient for me that you can’t wait an extra minute for me to answer my own front door?” I pretended to be a little miffed at her, but she didn’t buy my act for a single moment.

“Hush, you.” She looked around the house. “Are you ready to go?”

“I just need another minute.” I placed the notebook I had used for taking notes earlier into my backpack; just in case Edward was at the house and he wanted to get started on our assignment. “Okay, now I’m ready.”

When we got outside, I noticed that Alice had driven Edward’s car. “Is it okay for me to be in Edward’s car?” I asked, still not a hundred percent sure he was quite ready for that type of invasion of my scent.

“Actually, he suggested it. The more places he’s exposed to your scent, the easier it will continue to be for him.”

“Did you need another one of my shirts to give to him? If you need me to, I could go upstairs and get the t-shirt I slept in.”

“Not necessary, I grabbed one while you put your things in your backpack” she replied, while waving one of my t-shirts in the air. It was times like that that I found myself amazed at just how fast they all were.

“Anyway, it will only be you, Esme and I at the house – for a little while at least,” she mentioned, while she started driving us in the direction of their home.

“Oh. Where is everyone else?” I asked.

“Carlisle’s working until around two, but he should be home when he’s done. The boys are out hunting, and Rosalie is being antisocial and decided to drive to Portland to get some special tires to put on Emmett’s Jeep.”

“Are you absolutely sure everyone’s okay with me coming over today?” I asked, not wanting to cause them any troubles.

“Stop worrying about us, Bella. We will be fine.”

The first part of the day was fun, we talked, watched movies and bickered back and forth; Alice wanted to do spa treatments, but I wasn’t interested. I knew that if I gave an inch with that, she’d believe I was ready for her to try and makeover my clothing too … and that just wasn’t the case.

Esme laughed at Alice when she tried to pout and it had no effect on me. Unfortunately for Alice, I had grown somewhat immune to a protruding lip over the years. My mom had been prone to using the lip when she wanted me to get involved with her latest hobby. When I was younger, I went along with it for the most part, but when I got a little older I put my foot down … sometimes. At one point, my mom had started dating a guy who was an avid bow hunter, and wanting to be supportive of him, she thought she would take up the sport as well. She tried for a couple weeks to talk me into taking archery classes, but I decided to put my foot down with the mere thought of me being in control of a potentially lethal weapon that depended on strength, balance and accuracy. With my luck, the arrow would probably have taken a ninety-degree turn, killing an innocent bystander.

I had been there for a couple of hours when Carlisle and the boys got home. Carlisle, being the kind doctor, checked my ankle and was happy with how it seemed to be healing. “I’d give it a couple more days, and then you could probably start putting some weight down on it again,” he told me as he wrapped my ankle, replacing the brace I had been using for the past week.

“Thank you, Carlisle.”

“You’re welcome.” He smiled at me, before making his way up to his office to put his doctor’s bag away.

“How about playing a video game with me, Bella?” Emmett asked.

I looked at him and then over at his game system. “I don’t know, Emmett, I’m not very good at video games.”

“Oh come on, I’ll go easy on you,” he begged, but when I saw Jasper shake his head, I knew that Emmett would not take it easy on me.

I bit my lip, and tried to decide if I wanted to deal with another pouting Cullen. “I don’t know.”

He dropped down in front of me, onto his knees, clasping his hands together and started to beg. “Please, Bella. PLLLEEEAAAAASSSSEEE!”

I looked around and noticed Edward watching me with a smirk on his face. With one look, I felt my heart start to pound and my blush creep onto my cheeks. If I didn’t know any better I would have sworn he knew exactly what I was thinking in that moment.

In an attempt to keep my focus on a begging Emmett, and not Edward’s beautiful face, I looked back down at him. I let out a long breath I had been holding and in a resigned voice said, “Fine.”

“YAY!” Emmett almost squealed in his excitement. He picked me up and started spinning me at a speed that was much, much too fast.

“Emmett Dale McCarty Cullen, you put her down, this instant!” I heard Esme say in a stern voice, but as soon as I heard the voice I gasped. Not at the tone, but at the name she had just called out.

It was like an instantaneous reaction. I’m not sure if it was a combination of the effects of being spun in circles and the shock of hearing Emmett’s full name, but I found myself dizzy and very light headed. I couldn’t seem to draw in enough air, and I struggled to get my head, heart and brain from racing at speeds I just couldn’t keep up with.

I don’t know how long it actually took before I was cognizant of my surroundings, but eventually my breaths began to get deeper and the room didn’t seem to spin anymore. I was able to understand that my name was being called, and by the way it sounded, it was more than one person doing so.

Finally I understood a voice enough to hear someone say, “She should be able to speak in another minute.”

Once again I felt somebody’s fingers run through my hair. I moved my lips a couple of times, and tried to say something. Eventually, after another minute I whispered, “Esme?”

“Yes, dear, I’m right here.”

“How are you feeling, Bella?” Carlisle asked.

“Okay, I guess.”

“Can you tell me what just happened?” he asked.

“Um … well … I don’t know. I got startled.”

“I’m so sorry, Bella. I should never have spun you around like that,” Emmett apologized.

“It wasn’t the spinning,” I began and looked at him, and mean really looked at him. I wanted to find something similar in his features, in my crazed attempts to wrap my brain around what I had heard Esme say earlier. I recognized the dark curls and remembered the dimples I had seen earlier when he laughed. I sat myself up from the couch and Emmett sat next to me immediately.

I heard a quiet growl and was surprised to look over and see a scowl on Edward’s face. Had he been the one to growl? I had difficulty figuring out why he would have reacted that way, but when I remembered that Emmett was married to Rosalie, I started to wonder. Edward thinks of them both as his brother and sister; he probably thought from the way I had been staring at Emmett that I maybe had feelings for Emmett. I knew that wasn’t the case, because it was the one who growled that caused the butterflies in my stomach, not Emmett.

“Sorry … What was I saying?” I shook my head and thought back to what we had been talking about and remembered Emmett’s apology. “I don’t think it was just the spinning that caused my reaction.”

“What do you mean?” Carlisle asked.

I looked over at Esme and then back at Emmett. “Did I hear Esme correctly? Your middle name is Dale?”

His eyebrows drew together, probably at the odd question. “Yeah.”

“What about McCarty? Was that your last name?”

He looked over at Carlisle who had a curious look on his face, before he answered. “Yeah, McCarty’s my real last name. Why?”

I disregarded his question and asked, “So the name you were given by your parents when you were born was, Emmett Dale McCarty?”

“Yes.” He seemed to be getting impatient. “What’s the big deal? Why did you hyperventilate over my name?”

I thought of my grandfather and his reasoning behind not allowing the name Emmett to be anywhere attached to my dad’s name because it wasn’t manly enough, and looked over at Emmett. I burst into laughter, unable to contain the absurdity of my grandfather’s belief that Emmett was not a manly enough name. I looked around to notice a look of concern on everyone’s face; I’m sure they all thought I had just passed into a state of insanity and they didn’t know how they were going to handle me.

After a minute I turned to Emmett. “Sorry, I was just laughing at something I remembered my dad saying earlier.”

“Huh?”

“Never mind … I’m sorry, my mind just keeps jumping around and I remembered something my dad told me earlier.” I looked down so that I could avoid the weird looks I had started to receive. “Emmett, do you remember much of your human life?” I asked him.

“Some,” he answered.

“Okay.” I thought about what I remembered from earlier. “I’m going to tell you some things, and I would like you to tell me if any of it sounds accurate. Okay?” I asked.

Emmett looked around the room. He probably hoped to be saved from the crazy girl, who sat next to him on the couch, but apparently he didn’t get the relief he was looking for. Finally he looked back at me. “Alright. I think I can do that.”

I looked at Edward and saw a worried look on his face, but even though he looked worried the look in his eyes calmed me. I drew in a deep breath and began. “Your parent’s names were John and Pamela McCarty, you were born January 15, 1915 in … rats, I don’t remember the town … but if I’m right, you were born in Tennessee.”

He nodded. “That’s correct, but how do you know this? Are you able to see someone’s past?” he asked.

“No.” I laughed. “That’s Thomas’s gift, not mine.” I looked into his eyes and continued. “You had four siblings – two brothers and two sisters. You loved being out in nature, you loved it so much you became a park ranger like your father.”

“I did?” He seemed surprised. “I can remember wanting to become a park ranger when I was a kid, but I don’t remember actually doing it.”

I nodded. I didn’t want to shock him, especially if he had no memory of actually becoming a park ranger, he may not remember other things. “On April 5, 1935, you went missing from the woods while hunting.” I noticed that he breathed in deeply, as if he needed to try and make sense of how I knew that. “When the rangers and law enforcement went searching for you, all they found was evidence of an animal attack. After a few weeks, you were presumed dead.”

He just stared at me for the longest time. I didn’t know whether or not to laugh or cry. Finally, he said, “I was attacked by a bear, Rosie found me before the bear could kill me. She carried me back to Carlisle to be changed.” He touched my cheek, like if he did he’d find out what was going on. “But how do you know this?”

The front door opened and everyone else in the room looked nervous. I wasn’t sure why, until I saw Rosalie enter the living room. As soon as she saw me I could tell that she was mad. “What is she still doing here?” she spat.

“Rosalie, stop,” Carlisle said. “Bella is here by our invitation.”

She sent a withered glare over at Alice before she turned to Emmett and noticed how close he and I were sitting. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“It’s okay Rose, Bella was just telling me some facts she somehow knows about me,” Emmett explained, but that had been the wrong thing to say, because Rosalie growled.

“How would you know anything about him? He’s nothing to you, do you hear me?” she yelled, and that was when I realized that she was jealous of my motives towards her husband.

“If you will give me one minute, I can explain – or rather I can show you what I have.” I took a deep breath to steady myself and looked over at Alice. “Alice, do know where my backpack is?” I wanted to show them the notes I had copied down earlier. With the added stress of Rosalie in the room, I knew I wouldn’t be able to say the rest out loud.

When Alice handed me my backpack, I pulled out the notebook and turned it to the first page. I stood up, but before I could attempt to take a step away from the couch, I felt Edward put his arm around my waist. I felt warmth where his hand touched instead of the typical cold, and I couldn’t help but smile when I looked up into his face.

He smiled back at me and proceeded to help me move a few steps away from the couch. With his help, I turned so that I was facing Rosalie. “Please, sit next to Emmett; I want you both to read this.” She glared, but the important thing was that she did sit down. Taking one final deep breath, I handed them the notebook and told them, “Read.”

Emmett took the notebook out of my grasp and placed a quick kiss onto Rosalie’s cheek; the action seemed to sooth her. “Let’s do some reading, babe.” They both looked down at the notebook and started to read. It was only seconds later when I heard the collective gasp of three people – Emmett, Rosalie and Edward. I knew they had just read what I had found out earlier today.

“What? What is it?” Alice asked, eager to know what was in my notebook.

Finally, Emmett looked up at me. “I was married?” I saw Rosalie go glassy-eyed before she looked at Emmett and then at me. I didn’t understand the look she gave me, but it didn’t seem as hostile as it had been.

“Yes,” I whispered.

He took Rosalie’s hand for support and looked at Carlisle then back at me. “And shortly after my disappearance, my wife, Sarah, found out she was pregnant with my child?”

Esme and Alice both gasped, and I answered, “Yes.”

I could see that Emmett’s eyes were glassy-eyed like his wife’s. “I had a daughter?” When I nodded he continued. “Her name was Helen Emma McCarty, and she married a man named Geoffrey Franklin Swan?”

“Yes. He’s my grandfather.” After I said the words, I found that a weight I hadn’t been aware of from earlier had been lifted off my shoulders.

“That means…” Jasper began while he looked back and forth between Emmett and me before he finally asked, “Bella, are you saying that Emmett is your Great Grandfather?”

“I think so,” I said, and pointed to the notebook. “I copied that information this morning from the family tree my dad showed me. I wanted to copy the information down so that I didn’t risk damaging it while I worked on my Biology Project.”

When I looked at Emmett and Rosalie, they both looked lost, and I suddenly felt bad for telling them. “I’m sorry, Emmett … Rosalie. If I knew how upset this would make you, I wouldn’t have said anything.”

He jumped at my words and quickly pulled me away from Edward, placing me into his lap. He proceeded to wrap one arm around my midsection while his other arm went lovingly around his wife. “No, I’m not upset. I’m in shock and I’m confused.” He looked at Rose, and it was like they shared a silent conversation with each other. “I feel guilty that I don’t remember getting married. If I had, Rose and I could have kept an eye on them; you know -- made sure they were okay.” He touched my cheek and pressed a gentle kiss on my forehead.

“You’ll…” I trailed off when I saw Rose. “I mean you both will need to come over and take a look at the family tree. My gran … um, your daughter put together a very detailed account of everyone listed in the book, and my dad said that he would go up into the attic and get the old photo albums, so there will be pictures too.”

Rose looked sad, and I found that I had a need to see if there was something I could do to make her feel better. “Are you okay, Rose? I’m sorry if this upset you. I didn’t show you both this to make you sad…I guess I just got caught up in the excitement over what I had just found.”

“I just feel bad that a young girl had to face a pregnancy by herself, without her husband.”

I shook my head. “I think things worked out the way they were supposed to. If it hadn’t happened the way it did, you two would never have met your true soul mates. Never regret that.”

I saw Rosalie give a strange look at Edward before she added, “But, I’m sure Sarah was devastated.”

“Maybe for a little while, but if you look at the next page she eventually found love again.”

They turned the page and read it. “She remarried and had a son?” Emmett asked.

“But her son died at the age of two?” Rose said.

“Yeah, he contracted an awful case of polio. My gran wrote a very detailed account for that time period, since she had been seventeen at the time, but I had to stop part way through. It was just too sad to continue.”

We just sat there for a few minutes, and I noticed Emmett rubbing Rosalie’s back. Finally, he looked at me and whispered, “I understand now.”

“Understand what?” I asked, confused.

“Ever since we moved to Forks, I’ve felt some kind of connection to your dad, and then when you arrived, I felt the same thing with you.”

“The connection probably has to do with the fact they’re a blood relation,” Edward commented.

Carlisle looked at Alice. “I wonder if that’s what your connection to Bella is.”

“What?” I asked, surprised by Carlisle’s comment.

Alice looked at me, and for a moment, I would have sworn she looked scared. “I feel the same kind of connection with you that Emmett feels.”

“Really? Do you also feel this way around my dad?” I asked.

“No. I don’t feel anything like this when I’m near your dad, but…” she trailed off for a moment. I noticed Jasper come to her and wrap her in his arms to comfort. “I did feel something a lot like this from the vision I had of your mom.”

My mom? She felt the connection with my mom, but what does that mean? I tried to think back to somebody on my mom’s side that could be the link to Alice.

Alice… Why does that name sound so familiar? I felt like the answer was at the tip of my brain, but I just couldn’t get the correct answer to form.

Alice…Alice…Alice! My fingers started tapping to the timing that my mind was working, as if it would help break through to the answers, and that was when it happened.

Wait a minute, my eyes shot up to look at Alice. I studied her features and wanted to hit myself when I noticed the similarities … but was it possible?

I had to stop and think for a moment. I could be way off base, and I definitely didn’t want to be responsible for hurting anybody if I had it all wrong.

“Are you okay, Bella?” Edward asked. “Your heart’s racing.”

“Yeah … I’m fine … I’m … I guess you could say – I’m trying to figure out the connection.”

“And you think you may have the answer?” Carlisle asked. When I nodded, he asked me another question. “Could you elaborate?”

“Maybe…” I shook my head. “I don’t know, Carlisle. I think I know what the connection is, but I’m going to need some help to confirm it.”

“What can we do to help?” Esme asked.

“Actually, I need to call in reinforcements.” I picked up my cell phone and hoped for the best.

“Hi, Bella.” I heard Thomas’s happy voice come over the other line.

“Hi, Thomas, do you have a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up? Is something wrong?”

“No … nothing’s wrong. I just have a really big favor to ask.”

“Okay,” he said slowly, probably wondering what was going on. “What did you need?”

“How quickly could you get to Forks?” I asked.

“Did something happen? Are you in danger?” he asked quickly.

“I’m not in danger, I just need you to come up and help me try and confirm something. I’d wait if I could, but this is a bit of a delicate subject, and I think the fastest it can be worked out, the better off we’ll all be.” I tried to explain.

“Do I get to have any kind of clue as to the subject of this mystery you need confirmed?” he asked, intrigued.

“Um… Well… I don’t know if it’s a good idea to tell you over the phone. I don’t want to upset you.” I looked around and noticed I had the rapt attention of everyone in the room.

“Bella, please … you’re sounding a bit like your mother at the moment, and that’s not like you.” I felt myself smile at that. He was right; I didn’t typically take after my mom.

“Okay, I will give you one word, but after I tell you this word, I don’t want to hear another question about it until you get up here. Got it?” I asked.

I heard him sigh in exasperation, which caused a few quiet chuckles from the people in the room. “Yes. I promise I will not ask a single question until I get to Forks.”

I looked up at Alice and gave the one clue word I knew would cause him to drop everything and make his way to me. “Alice.”

I heard a gasp on the other line and noticed the raised eyebrows of Edward and Jasper. “Bella, what are you playing at? Why are you using that as your clue?”

“Pops, please calm down. I told you I would explain everything when you get up here, but the mystery revolves around the clue word, or more accurately the clue name, Alice.”

It wasn’t even a minute later, when I heard, “I’m leaving within the hour, and I’ll call when I get close.”

I sighed, “Thank you.”

“I love you, Bella. I don’t know what you’re up to, but I’ll see you shortly.” And he hung up.

When I finally looked back up, I started to explain. “I don’t want to make you all angry, but I don’t think it’s my place to say any more on the matter, at least until Thomas gets here. It’s his story to tell and he should know without a shadow of doubt whether or not you’re who I think you are.” When her eyes got big, I asked, “Are you going to be okay with that?”

“I think I have to be,” she said in a tone that told me she wasn’t overly happy at the situation.

“I’m sorry, Alice.” I looked at Jasper, who was holding his wife, and felt bad. “I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up … your’s or Thomas’s. It’s a difficult story, and not one I’m comfortable talking about without Thomas here. Can you be patient enough to wait until tomorrow to hear it?” I asked.

Alice sighed. “I understand, Bella, truly I do, but it doesn’t make it any easier.” She turned her face up to Jasper and he placed a tender kiss on her forehead. “I will wait until tomorrow.”