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worth the pain
Set about 6 months after the fateful 18th Birthday party from New Moon, the Cullens have left. A horrible tragedy strikes the Cullens. Can Bella help the remaining members heal? Bella/Jasper, Rosalie/Emmett.
1. prolouge and chapter 1
Word Count 764
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Prologue – An Ending
French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
6 months after Bella's 18th birthday…
"Alice! Alice…what did you see?" Edward gently cradled my head in his lap. I couldn't explain; it was too awful and too inevitable. I just pushed it toward him in my thoughts and felt him convulse with the weight and atrocity of the horrific vision.
"How long do we have, Alice?" he gasped. "20 minutes at the most, Edward. Demitri is with them. We…we… can't escape." I replied.
"Will none of us survive, then?" he murmured.
"Jasper, Rose, & Emmett, no one else. This is Caius' punishment of Carlisle. He's finally decided our family is too much of a threat." I replied, numb.
He nodded and, resigned, he called out to Carlisle & Esme. They joined us and we held hands. We would be strong and love each other to the end. The Volturi would not have the satisfaction of breaking us before destroying us. We couldn't win, but we could stay together in death as we always had in this existence, no, in this life. I silently thanked God that Jasper was in Europe studying at Oxford this term, waiting for me to join him in June. He would survive. Rose & Emmett would, as well. They, thankfully, had not yet returned from their African safari, though they were due next week.
Jane, Alec, Felix, & Demitri appeared in the doorway and our world exploded in pain and ended in fire. My last thoughts were of my dear Jasper…
I was numb. For the first time, I didn't know what to do. I was rocking Emmett. He'd finally quieted, but I knew the worst wasn't over yet…not by a long shot. Jasper was on his way. Then it would be worse, so much worse. In the space of a week, I had lost my sister, my brooding emo brother, and the only parents that had ever loved me unconditionally. The awful images arose in my mind and I wasn't strong enough to keep them at bay.
Hmmm, the house is dark. "Emmett, are you sure you told Esme we'd be home tonight?" I asked. "Yeah, Rosie. I talked to her last week." he replied. He turned the doorknob and the door popped open. We were hit with the unmistakably sweet smell of burning immortal flesh. We ran up the stairs to the attic that Esme had converted to a library for Edward. What we saw would haunt me for the rest of my life. Four piles of ash, Esme's wedding band, Alice's locket, Carlisle's watch, & Edward's Cullen crest adorned each pile. I knew in that moment as I collapsed to the floor and Emmett moaned behind me that our lives had been forever altered and we were like planets that had lost the pull of their sun. Through the haze of grief, I pulled out my phone and dialed…praying that he would answer and be OK…
"Rose? Emmett?"Jasper yelled, dashing up the stairs. Emmett grabbed him at the door to the attic and held him back, sobbing tearlessly, "They're gone, Jaz. The Volturi came and they're gone, all gone." Jasper pushed past him and sank to his knees wracked with grief.
Somehow, we pulled ourselves together. What would we do now? Would we hold ourselves together or scatter, never to be a family again? I loved this family; it was all I had ever known of this immortal life. I squeezed Rose close to me and gave Jasper a gentle squeeze. "Come on, we need to take care of them now." I sighed.
Rose was mute and all Jasper seemed to be able to do was moan. But, they pulled themselves up off the floor and we set about cleaning the scene. We gathered only the things we couldn't bear to leave behind. Pictures, Carlisle's cross & medical bag, Esme's jewelry and reminders of her lost son, Edward's music & especially the CD of his compositions that he had made for Bella and then taken back when we left, & Alice's sketches. Finally, we collected a small container of their ashes each.
"What do we do now?" I asked. Rose sighed, "I don't know Em. We leave here and start again somewhere. It's what they would have wanted."
Jasper glanced up; his eyes were wild with pain and despair. "Forks, we go back to Forks." he whispered. Slowly, Rose nodded. "We were happy there, it was maybe the last time we were all happy." she murmured. We left without a backward glance.