Of the Moon and Sun
It has been 100 years of peace and quiet...and then the phone rings.
All Cannon Pairings. Multiple original characters. Rated Adult for violence, and language. Beta'd before posted. TwiFic Central Required Warning : PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE MATURE THEMES CONTAINED WITHIN THIS FICITION. – This includes sexual encounter(s) (later chapters), mentions of murder/death and language.
5. From Another Life
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The Beaumont Estate is deep within the bayous of Louisiana, completely invisible to the outside world. Built on its own private island and surrounded by thick swamps, to say Deja and her family like their privacy is a bit of an understatement but it helps them not have to move too often.
Here they have stayed for untold spans of time and no one gives them a second glance. The Cajun fishermen and their families like their privacy as much as the Beaumonts do. It is a mutual understanding – stay out of our business and we’ll stay out of yours. Of course, the fact Deja holds the deed to the majority of the “good fishing ground” in the area has helped them not wish to ask questions. Especially when she gave them and their families permission to continue as they had been doing for generations asking only that this part of the swamp be left alone. The fishermen agreed without so much as batting an eye. And, oddly enough, they act as lookouts. People that don’t belong in the Southern Bayou almost never get past them. Deja must have warned her would-be guardians that she had a visitor coming. The captains of the three ferries I use to make it to my destination, are conversational but wary. Searching for any signs that I’m not who I say I am. They are loyal; you have to give them that.
“You must walk from here...” the captain mutters as the third ferry finally docks. I nod, and step carefully onto the unusually dry gravel path that winds onward into the fog. I stop and listen to the sounds around me. The boat bobbing in the water, the nocturnal animals of the swamp calling to one another. I am reminded why Deja loves it here. The quiet is heavenly.
“Well go on...get!” The old crotchety captain spits, shooing me away with his hands. “It’s unwise to keep Madame waitin’.
He does not tarry long after that and, within a few short moments, he has the boat turned about and heading off. No sooner is he out of sight then I speed off down the path. Not a single rocks shifts out of place as I pass over it. It takes very little time to reach my destination. I stop short at the wrought iron gates. From here the view of the house is hidden by heavy trees and even thicker curtains of moss. The gates slide open smoothly and I hurry through. The mansion towers over me as I unconsciously glance upward. I had spent many years here as a younger vampire.
The house had been hundreds of years old when I first stumbled upon it in the mid 1700’s, as is evident by the architecture. Deja’s mate Dragan and her elder brother Lycus kept the estate in good order it seems. The house has another story that I do not recall, probably to give the children their own space. Jarek and Viktor, though well beyond an age to strike out on their own, have not. Unlike my own children, Jarek and Viktor belong to their parents biologically. Is this what she called me for? Did something happen to Dragan or the children? Maybe Lycus hasn’t returned from one his solitary trips? I silently hope for Deja sake that none of these are the case. Scaling the stone steps I inhale deeply. I smell no fear, that at the least is a good sign. I glance down at myself, checking my appearance. I smile seeing that nothing is out of place. Not even my shoes are wet. I laugh outright. Emmett isn’t the only one that can be a monkey when the occasion calls for it. I press the bell once, to officially announce myself; though I know no one within needs it.
A rugged boy, with a cell phone glued to his ear, answers the door and ushers me in. He is speaking rapidly in Russian, not seeming the least bit interested in my arrival. He is tall with broad shoulders and thick arms; his shoulder length brown hair hiding the rest of his features, save his eyes. Their dark silvery gloss reflects the soft light of the chandelier above us. Viktor. I assume. He shuts the door quickly, and abruptly clicks his cell phone shut. There is a momentary silence between us, as we stand in the foyer staring each other down. It has been four centuries since he has seen me but the recognition in his eyes is clear and a sudden smile spreads across his features in welcome. I smile back cordially.
“You came. I told Jarek you would.” Viktor laughs. “He has ruined the floor upstairs with his pacing.”
The appearance of second boy at the banister above distracts me from replying. He is smaller than Viktor, straight brown hair cut short, though a thicker strip ran down the middle of his head. His eyes are just as Viktor’s; darkly silver tinted and reflective. But to assume him anything like his elder brother would be a mistake. Jarek is like his mother – slow to action, taking into account every aspect of a situation before making a decision. But when a decision is made it is made. And nothing is going to change it.
“Carlisle!” He greets me with a wide grin. He speeds down the stairs, grasping my hand firmly in his own. “Mother will be glad you came.”
“Is everything alright?” I ask, as Viktor dashes up the stairs as if summoned. Jarek’s smile falters. He looks off behind him as if listening to something.
“A lot has changed since you left us, Carlisle. Mother thinks it is…less safe for us to remain here.” He mutters quickly, shoving his hands into his pockets, his attention focused on me again. My eyebrows knit at this. Deja has always said she will live here until she is run out with torches and pitch forks. I catch myself from laughing at that. I take a deep but quick breath to compose myself. The scent swirling around me is tinted with the smell of old blood and sweat; it is disconcerting I did not notice it before now. What is going on? There is next to nothing Deja and her family cannot handle on their own. I take another breath. Something, has Jarek on edge and I am beginning to feel it too.
“My father will be down in just a moment.” Jarek states, his smile locking back into place as he leads me to the sitting room. “Please.”
I nod my agreement and walk ahead of him. Deja’s love of the antique has not dwindled I notice. Décor from every era adorns the room. Egyptian tablets are the center piece of the sitting room and I move to inspect them. Anything to keep myself from berating the younger boy with questions he knows better than to answer. I am not kept waiting long.
Tall, broad shouldered, commanding. Liquid steal beneath coffee skin, dark silver eyes and short cropped hair. I recognize him instantly, Deja’s mate, Dragan. He dismisses his son with the slightest jerk of his head. Jarek zips out of the room, up the stairs and out of sight.
Dragan and I, eye one another for a long moment. We did not part on the friendliest of terms. Dragan thinking it foolhardy for me to leave them. But Deja sent me on my way anyway. Sometimes I wonder if she had somehow known what was in store for me.
“You are….looking vell,” Dragan mutters his thick Slavic accent clouding his speech, as his nose scrunches slightly. He use to remind me often of the discomfort my presence caused his nose. After all, according to just about every legend, the two of us should be at each others’ throats right now. Vampires and Werewolves are just not supposed to get along.
“As are you,” I reply, relaxing a small bit. Dragan is calm, almost overly so. There is no immediate danger I decide. “Might I ask why I was summoned here so urgently?”
“Vat is vor Deja to discuss,” he answers, folding his arms over his chest. “But I do not envy you. Come vith me.”
I follow Dragan quietly. We zig and zag through the maze-like hallways. Every one of my senses is on alert. Every sound, every smell is processed and analyzed. I catch the familiar but faint scent of Deja’s sibling and wonder momentarily why he has not come out to greet me. Perhaps something ails him? Perhaps that was why Deja needs my help?
“Where is Lycus?” I ask.
“Gone,” Dragan mutters nearly cutting me off; as if he expected me to ask.
I nod following him around another corner. Gone? My mind races. What kind of gone? Gone like absent on one of his long wandering? Or gone as in dead? Surely Dragan would have specified if Lycus had passed? Surely Deja would have told...oh no. My thoughts freeze. Imagining Lycus dead is staggering. Not because of his immortality, not because he is the only constant inconsistency in Deja’s life that always keeps her guessing. But because of how rare a creature he is...was? I contain a shutter, remembering the day we had properly met; the day I had left Deja and her family’s company. My guide stops abruptly, waving me past him. I detect movement behind the door before me as the door softly clicks open. That is all the invitation I know I need. I enter and shut the door behind me.
Inside the room, it is dark, at least it would be for a human. Thick curtains cover the windows that I know lead out onto a balcony. The theme of the room has changed, and a vanity now sits where a wardrobe had been so many years ago. This had been my room. My gaze comes to rest on the only other people in the room. A young woman lies still in large the bed. She is beautiful, with golden hair that falls in ringlets about her porcelain face. The only giveaway that she is not in fact an angel is the darkness about her closed eyes. Relief washes over me, as does curiosity. Relief that it is not Lycus, and curiosity who this woman is.
Deja is balanced on the bedside, her back to me holding the girl’s hand in hers. Deja has, of course, not changed at all. Her raven black hair rests softly down her back in waves. Her pale skin glowing softly. Yet I sense weariness about her, something that is extremely out of place. The scent of the room is thick with death. Puzzled I step forward. Deja’s face betrays her. Tears stain her smooth face, and her bright silver eyes are glassy from crying. Before I can question her as to why I had been summoned, she spoke.
“In 1664 a woman was brutally attacked, by a pack of werewolves. Her body was never recovered by her family. Her 3 month old daughter was found a day or so later. The daughter was left on the doorstep of a church, in a small town not far from where her mother went missing. She was raised in the orphanage for several years before abruptly disappearing. She was never seen or heard from again until three weeks ago, when she arrived on my door step. She had no idea how she came to be here, or who she was. Her past, up until Viktor had opened our door to her, was blank. She only knew that she was alone, and with child,” Deja paused then, slowly releasing her hold on the girl’s hand. She stood just as slowly, moving around the bed to stand at my side.
“What I have to say is not going to be easy for you, Carlisle, but you need to hear it,” she says, guiding me to sit with her on the bedside. I simply nod, not daring to take my eyes from the young woman.
“I was able to finally see the extent of her past several hours ago, just before she died. The nuns of the church had given her the name Rachel….her mother’s name was Angelic Cullen.”
The silence that follows is deafening. It feels as if the room is caving in on me. I reach over and brace myself against the bed post. My fingers curl around it. It takes every ounce of my self control not to crush it. Five hundred years of gut instinct comes back in a torrent. My eyes close, fighting it off. I will not succumb to the monster. I have controlled this part of myself for so long, and even now I will not let it get the best of me.
“How?” I ask between my teeth.
“Peacefully. She fell into a coma after the baby was born and never woke,” Deja replies.
“The Father?” I ask, failing to unclench my jaw.
“A Vampire named Matthias, an oddity to be sure. She did not physically see what became of him, nor was she told, therefore I cannot say for sure. But he did care for her. The letters from him I found in the back pocket of her jeans were...endearing, Jarek has tried skrying for him using the letters, but has found nothing. We do not believe he survived. ” Deja answers, placing a small stack of envelopes in my lap. “Read them, Carlisle, at least the latest one. It will help. I found no memory that Rachel told Matthias she was pregnant, or that she knew of whose line she came. So neither does Aro or any of his coven. The child is safe so long as you can keep your temper.”
I close my eyes again, trying to rid myself of the sudden rage. The need to tear the room apart washes over me. Every muscle in my body tightens in response. The bed post snaps like a tooth pick. I had a daughter all of this time and didn’t know. A thousand questions race through my mind. Had Angelic known? Why didn’t she tell me before I had left for the raid that night? Would that have stopped me from going? No, I decide, it would not have. My eyes gravitate to Rachel’s still face; and anger wells within me again. I barely register Deja slipping from the room.
What had she been like? Had she been like me? Or like her mother? It hurts to realize how little of Angelic I can remember. I study my daughter’s face, trying to find something familiar. But there is nothing. Angelic had been another life, a life that had dwindled to near extinction when I found Esme. I sigh in exasperation, turning to the letters in my lap. Deja asked I read at least the latest one, and it is unwise not to heed her requests. Pulling the thin paper from the envelope, I unfold it carefully.
I have missed you horridly, but Caius has been in constant need of my services. I fear more of your breathen have been put to rest. I loathe this, you know I do; and forgive me for it. Keep to the mountains. We have moved far from them and, provided you are not seen and no other of your kind makes an appearance, we should be headed back to Volterra soon. Be safe, my love. I will be with you soon.
Refolding the letter and replacing it into its envelope, I carefully slid the small packet into my jacket pocket. He had been in the Volterra guard? I curiosity rises. What power could have drawn the Volturi to him? How had Rachel met him? My mind races again. None of it matters now. I tell myself. She is gone and him with her, it appears. I am sure it must have been hours later that Deja came to fetch me pulling me to my feet.
“Come,” she whispers taking my face in her hands for the slightest moment. “There is nothing more that can be done here. Your family will be arriving shortly, and I believe it would be better if you met the baby first.”
With the smile that helped me through so many trials as a younger vampire, Deja leads me from the room and I do not look back. I follow back the way Dragan had led me previously, across the wide banister of the foyer, and down another hallway. An unfamiliar scent reaches me as Deja opens a door that seemed to materialize out of the wall itself. I step in behind her cautiously.
Jarek is perched on the windowsill overlooking the front courtyard. He reminds me of the stone gargoyles that litter the roof of the house. Keeping watch. His sibling sits in a rocking chair not far from the window holding what looks like a small bundle of blankets. The scene is almost comical. It is obvious that the chair is much too small for the boy. His legs stretch ridiculously far from the seat of the chair and he is hunched over. Deja glides over to her son and gently takes the bundle from his arms – Viktor immediately getting up to follow her. His mother hisses a dismissal and both boys scurry from the room; closing the door back behind them. Once we are alone Deja gestures for me to sit, in the vacated rocking chair and I do so silently.
“Hold out your arms, Carlisle,” Deja smiles. “She won’t bite...”
As if on their own, my hands fly upward, taking the bundle from her. The child is a tiny thing, nearly lost amongst the folds of the puffy pink blanket surround her like a cocoon. Pale skin and chubby cheeks shape her face. What catches my gaze, however, are her eyes. Though only a few hours old, they are wide open and drinking in everything around them. One as black as night and the other as bright as the moon. She stares at me, her face void of all emotion or expression. It is as if she is trying to understand who or what I am. I am positive she will start crying at any moment, but instead she turns her head slightly to the side, reaching out her little hand and grabbing at my nose. I cannot help myself, I smile and she smiles back, her laughter echoing through my mind. All of the sorrow and pain of her mother’s loss is chased away.
“Her name is Amari,” Deja whispers. “Rachel insisted, though she did not seem to know why exactly.”
“Amari,” I mutter in confirmation, unable to shake the unfathomable joy spreading through me like wild fire.
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