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A Second Chance at Love

Bella dismisses Edward when he returns in New Moon. She moved on with Jacob, and promised Edward that he would find happiness and love someday. With the letter she wrote him in hand, he believes her and moves on with his life, in search of his love. Forty years later, he and the rest of the Cullens re-enroll in High school. Two new students throw his world out of orbit and he’s faced with the reality of the promise Bella made him. AU after New Moon. Edward is a little OOC because he doesn’t want to repeat history, otherwise, canon couples with the exception of Edward of course. Note: Jacob was a werewolf, but Bella wasn’t necessarily all human herself. Rated NC-17 for language and content in later chapters. Yes there will be lemons but not at first.


9. Chapter 9: Oh, let me have just a *little bit* of Peril?

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Edward PoV

After a light meal, Arbie collapses on my bed after her long day. I’m sure she’s physically and emotionally exhausted. I can’t completely discount the feeling of utter joy at staring at her sleeping on my bed. I bought this shortly before leaving Bella, thinking she might want to sleep over some night and not have to sleep on my couch. She never had the chance, for which I am slightly grateful. It would be awkward to be sharing a bed with Arbie, when forty years earlier I’d shared the same bed with her mother.

By morning, Arbie has managed to drag me so close to her she’s practically laying completely on top of me. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. She wakes up, stretching just so that her bosom is pressed deliciously into my chest. I pull her tightly to me caressing her back as she stirs awake. “Mmm, good morning, handsome,” she murmurs.

“Hi there, beautiful,” I reply, pulling her up to kiss her on the lips. Her fingers find their familiar place in my hair as she assaults my mouth.

“Did you let me go to sleep like this?” she asks gesturing to her semi-clothed form.

“You were so peaceful in your sleep, I didn’t want to wake you by trying to get you into pajamas. So I just removed your jeans for you and your button down shirt. I will say, you look incredible sexy in nothing but a pair of boy shorts and a camisole.”

“You know what a camisole is?” she asks, surprised.

“If you recall, I have a sister. Her name is Alice.”

“I shouldn’t be surprised by that I guess,” she replies as she lifts her leg over me and straddles my hips. I grab her hips roughly as she grinds herself against my growing erection. Before long neither of us are wearing any clothing, writhing together, joined as one, searching for our mutual release.

An hour later, we’re downstairs, showered and fully dressed. Arbie is eating the breakfast I cooked for her, though I can’t tell if she’s actually enjoying it, she’s eating it so fast. “How do you know how it tastes if you inhale it like that?”

“I can’t help it, I’m starving. You sir, have a knack for taking a lot out of me.” She giggles at my seductive smirk. “Hold on to your hat, mister. We have a full day ahead of us. Or rather, I do. I need to hunt soon. That nurse yesterday was starting to smell mighty tasty.”

“Oh yeah. I forgot that you sometimes need to drink blood. Would you like to go this morning before you head out to the Rez?” She nods her agreement as she finishes up her breakfast. I follow her out the back door and into the trees that line the back of the lawn. “What’s your preference?” I ask.

“Predators,” she replies. “I’m sure you agree that they taste a lot better than the herbivores.” I nod at her when she glances over at me. After a few minutes of running, she catches the scent of a mountain lion. I swallow back the venom that has risen in my throat. It’s her kill, she needs it more than I do at the moment. I hang back allowing her to move ahead of me. Jumping up a spruce tree, I can watch her from a distance. It should be quite interesting to see a dhampire werewolf being take down a mountain lion.

She hops up into a tree not far from where I’m perched and jumps from branch to branch through the trees, silent as night until she’s just above the lioness who is resting on a cliff ledge, mouth covered in blood from having just fed. Just as Arbie leaps from the tree, I see her body transformation. The way she described her change does her absolutely no justice. She becomes a lethal yet elegant and ethereal creature. Her already taut muscles grow in mass and tighten around her steel like frame. Her frame elongates and becomes more animalistic. I suspect she could walk on all fours just as easily as two legs if she chose to.

The cat suspects nothing as I imagine Arbie has little to no affect on her senses, including scent. Which is one hell of an offensive weapon. Any creature’s best defense is the ability to sense danger nearby. It’s why humans subconsciously avoid us; why we sometimes have to give chase to our prey. Arbie alights on a rock a few feet above the large cat, eying it speculatively. I can tell there is no trace of Arbie in her right now. She is completely predator. Stalking her prey. She gives herself to the hunt completely, much like I do.

She purposely kicks a rock over the ledge to alert the cat to her presence. It is already too late. Once the cat turns to investigate the source of the noise, Arbie is leaping through the air and lands on the cat’s back before she can even decide to run away or attack. The cat’s legs buckle under Arbie’s weight, crushed beneath her. Without a second’s hesitation, she yanks the cat’s head to the side and sinks her teeth into the jugular. The aroma of the lion’s blood wafts to me, making venom well in my mouth. A low growl erupts from my throat before I can suppress it. Arbie hears me and whips her head around to look at me. Her eyes are now black with hunger, quite possibly the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. “Wanna taste?” she asks, her voice low and sensual.

I dash over to her and kiss her fiercely, licking all the blood off of her lips and chin. She pulls away and gestures for me to sink into the cat’s neck. “Have you had enough?” I ask before doing so. She nods her head and I bite into the cat on the opposite side of where she had. She leans in and resumes drinking from her own side. I’ve never shared a kill before, this is quite possibly the most intense, erotic feeling ever. The cat’s blood takes on a sweet tinge, I imagine her own venom or saliva mixing into it. Our eyes are locked on each other as we drain every last drop from the cougar between us. Simultaneously, we let the lion fall to the ground and leap for each other, kissing hungrily and removing clothing as quickly as possible. I’d heard hunting with your mate could be an incredibly romantic and erotic experience, but even reading that in my family’s thoughts could never have prepared me for the unbridled lust that I feel sharing a kill with Arbie.

We take care not to destroy each other’s clothing, but just barely. Our frenzy and need to be connected is overruling everything else. As she connects her body to mine in the most intimate way, I am busy licking all the remnants of lion blood from her neck and chin. Mountain Lion is by far my favorite meal, but mountain lion blood on Arbie surpasses that by far. I may need to have all my meals this way from now on.

“I am completely amenable to that suggestion,” she purrs above me.

“What suggestion?” I whisper back, incapable of full speech. She is inciting new feelings in me with every movement she makes atop me.

“Oh god, Edward!” she cries, effectively forgetting whatever we were talking about. I grip her hips to help her movements as she claws into my chest. She is tearing the skin, but I can’t find it in me to care. It’s incredibly hot. Wild animalistic sex was not something I ever thought I’d be into, boy was I wrong. We both climax intensely, together, and she collapses against me, breathing hard. “Wow,” she breathes.

“My sentiments exactly,” I reply, kissing her hair. “Now what were you saying before?” I ask.

“Hmm? Oh! You said you may need to have all your meals like this from now on. And I’m all for that idea.”

“Arbie, I didn’t say that out loud,” I say, my voice laced with shock. She gasps, mirroring my shock and sits up abruptly.

“What do you mean you didn’t say that out loud?”

“I thought it,” I reply. “I was thinking that while mountain lion is my favorite meal, licking it off of you is even better.”

“Are we saying that I heard your thoughts?” she gapes.

“Evidently. Can you hear them now?” I start chanting I love you over and over again. She stares into my eyes, fully concentrating. It’s almost as if I can feel her gaze deep in my soul. She shakes her head and frowns slightly. “Don’t worry, love. We’ll figure it out. Maybe it has something to do with feeding together?” she shrugs and pulls away from me. The loss of her warmth surrounding me is nearly devastating. She dresses quickly, handing me my things as she goes. I can tell she’s deep in thought trying to figure out how in the hell she heard my thoughts. As I’m buttoning my shirt I hear a very distinct growl come from behind me. It’s been a hundred years since I’ve heard that growl, but I’d know it anywhere.

One of the Quileute wolves. Arbie turns quickly, staring at the space behind me where the growl came from. Her eyes widen and she moves behind me, standing between me and the wolf. From what I can tell, it hasn’t broken through the tree line yet, but the thoughts are menacing enough. It smelled me, knew I was a vampire and came to destroy. Her hand touches my back, as if to reassure herself that I’m still here. Or to reassure me that she’s still there. Either way, we both needed the contact. A century ago, we didn’t fight with the wolves, making the treaty instead. But after many of their brethren were likely killed by Victoria and her minions, I’m not surprised if they’re holding a grudge against any and all vampires, regardless of diet.

“I know you’re there,” Arbie calls, her voice laced with menace. “I know what you are, and why you’re here. I promise you, if you lay a hand on him, I will kill you myself. That’s a guarantee.” The wolf chuckles throatily as if it doesn’t believe her. I listen for its thoughts again and confirm, it thinks she is just a simple human and that I have lured her here to kill her.

Just as Arbie steps forward, just her fingertips pressed against my back, the wolf breaks the tree line and stares right at Arbie. It freezes in place, disbelief coloring its thoughts. Ali Rose? It thinks. “It’s wondering if you’re Ali Rose,” I whisper, low enough for only Arbie to hear.

“I know, I can hear him too,” she replies just as quietly, trying not to move her lips with her words. If I wasn’t frozen in shock before, I certainly am now. “Yes I am Ali Rose. Bella and Jacob Black are my parents,” she calls out to the beast. My desire to protect her from this creature is escalating every moment, even though I know she can fully take care of herself. The wolf stops in his tracks as I turn around to face him.

A Cullen, it hisses along with his thoughts. “Yes he’s a Cullen and he’s here with me. I’m trying to find out something about my parents. He’s helping me. Now I know you can shift into human form. Would you please do so, so we can have a civilized conversation?” It growls at her again. I tense, ready to spring into action, and pissed off that the wolf is treating her this way. “Maybe you can help me find my uncle. His name is Seth. I just met my grandfather, Charlie Swan yesterday, and he sent me off to find Seth.” Just then, the air around the wolf seems to vibrate, and a moment later a tall russet skinned man is standing in its place.

“I’m Seth,” he says. It doesn’t escape my attention that he’s completely naked, not even bothering to cover himself in the presence of a lady. That alone is cause enough for me to rip out his throat, in my opinion. In the next moment, Arbie launches herself across the space between us and him. Neither he nor I can tell whether she’s attacking him or hugging him. She wraps her arms around his shoulders and squeezes tightly. He hesitates a moment before returning her embrace. “Is it really you, Ali?”

“Yes it’s me. I wish I remembered you,” she replies as she pulls away from him. His realization that he’s completely naked is a little late. His hands move to cover himself as she stares into his face. “My grandpa said you’re nearly sixty years old. How can that be?”

“Wolves don’t age as long as we keep phasing regularly. And you don’t exactly look forty yourself.” The way he’s gazing at her makes me want to rip his throat out all over again, but a glimpse into his thoughts tells that he only feels platonic, familial love for her. That’s a relief. I remember hearing something about wolves and imprinting and it dawns on me that this could be a potential issue.

“I stopped aging when I turned 8. I grew fast, then stopped growing all together. I guess I look about 16 or so.”

“And you’re with this bloodsucker?” he asks, malice in his tone.

“His name is Edward and yes I’m with him. Despite what you clearly believe about vampires, not everything you heard is true.”

“Oh yeah? How so?”

“You knew my mother, right?” she asks. Seth nods in reply. “She was part vampire.” Seth is gawking at her as if she sprouted a second head. “We’re called dhampires. Descendants of a vampire human hybrid. It’s a few generations back, so her vampire traits were dormant, but having children with a wolf awakened them in us,” she explains. Seth is cataloging the information she just spouted at him, trying to make sense of it.

“I don’t feed from humans,” I blurt, trying to ease his worries of me biting Arbie.

“Then what’s that scar on her neck?” he asks, pointing directly at the scar I’d left on her neck on the plane.

“It’s a love bite,” Arbie replies. Seth gawks at her again. “Besides I’m not human, so that little treaty of yours doesn’t apply.”

“What do you feed from then?” he asks ignoring her little statement about the treaty.

“Animals,” Arbie and I reply in unison. “In fact, there’s some evidence right down there,” I add turning slightly to point at the mountain lion corpse behind me. Seth is wondering why it has two bite marks on its neck. “Arbie drinks blood too.” His next mental question is, who in the hell is Arbie? “Her initials are A-R-B,” I explain, gesturing towards the beauty that is still standing slightly protectively in front of me. “She goes by Arbie. She didn’t know any one from her origins called her Ali Rose.”

“I can only hear your thoughts when you’re in wolf form,” Arbie observes. “I imagine Edward has been answering the questions in your thoughts.” Seth and I nod at her question.

“Where’s your brother?” Seth asks.

“Back at home in New England. I wasn’t sure what I’d find here, if anything. But I’m going to call him to have him come out as soon as possible.” I notice that she doesn’t state where in New England specifically. Smart woman, my Arbie. Seth suggests that we join him in returning to the reservation. He, being pack leader, now has rights to allow me access to their land. He said as long as I was with Arbie, and one of the wolves, I could come on their land for meetings such as this.

We follow him at a human pace back to his house on the reservation. It’s a small two bedroom house with wooden siding that is in bad need of replacement. In fact, the whole house could use replacing. I imagine that this reservation is much like many others in the United States, very little money coming in to help the people flourish. And here, with many of the tribesmen running around covered in fur, that can’t help much either. The need to keep outsiders from knowing about them is far too great to risk attempting to increase their tourism revenue.

Arbie PoV

I follow my uncle back to his tiny house on the outskirts of the reservation. Nestled right against the forest. I figure most, if not all of the homes on this reservation are in as bad shape or worse than this one. As a member of the tribe by blood, I wonder if I can make a donation or something. Do something to help the tribe’s economy. The last thing this country needs is another indigenous tribe being wiped out of existence merely because they can’t afford to maintain their livelihood.

“Come on in,” Seth welcomes. “I know it’s not much, but it’s home.”

“It’s lovely. Thank you,” I reply. Edward smiles graciously, and nods in agreement with me. I can tell that similar thoughts are running through his head about the state of this place. Seth leads me to an old worn out couch on which the springs are practically tearing through the threadbare fabric. Edward sits in a faded arm chair at my side. He looks incredibly uncomfortable and I can tell that he’s holding back a grimace. I imagine that Seth does not smell so tasty to him as a normal human would.

“Is the rest of your ah… coven here as well?”

“No, it’s just me,” Edward replies. “We were waiting to see what we did or didn’t find before inviting them all back here. But if it is your wish that they remain back home, we won’t send for them.”

“Please don’t,” Seth requests. “Vampire presence is what triggers our change. The last thing I need is a bunch of kids phasing into overgrown wild puppies.” I chuckle lightly imagining a large wolf puppy terrorizing the forest, using entire trees as fetching sticks. “So tell me, what sparked this sudden interest in finding your roots?” Seth asks, his tone full of curiosity. I regale the tale of how Victoria found Jeb and I, and how she told us she killed our parents.

“Jeez. We’ve been tracking that bitch for the nearly 40 years,” Seth says, shocked. Probably having a hard time believing that she’s actually dead.

“I killed her myself,” I clarify. “The moment she said she killed my parents, I lost it. I didn’t even wait to ask her any questions about them. I saw red, exploded out of my skin and attacked her.”

“What do you mean, exploded out of your skin?” Seth asks. “Can you phase, too?”

“Not exactly. My body alters, yes, but I don’t completely phase. My body grows slightly, my muscle mass expands, and I guess I take on a feral, animalistic quality from what I’m told.” I spare a wink at Edward, who shoots me a lopsided grin in response. Seth all but rolls his eyes at me.

“You would be just like your mother and fall in love with a supernatural creature. Did he tell you that he’s the very same one your mother used to be with?”

“Yes, we’ve had that conversation. And while I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone in more ways than one, I’m not bothered by it.” Seth shakes his head in disbelief, trying to process everything we’ve told him.

“So the redheaded leech is really gone?”

“Yep,” I confirm. “And all her minions along with her. Edward’s brother Jasper saw to that.”

“I never could understand why your mother insisted on naming you and your brother after these lee—vampires. It never made sense to me.”

“They were very near and dear to her heart,” I explain. “Just because they’re vampires does not mean they are incapable of love, compassion, kindness and friendship. I understand your view of them is skewed by the presence of that crazed lunatic redheaded bitch, but in truth, not all vampires are savages like her.” Seth asks about the dhampire theory, to which Edward explains that it is not a theory. After carefully tracing back my family tree, we learned that my great, great, great grandfather was a vampire. Could very well still be alive, though I have no idea how I would go about finding him.

“Seth, would you tell me about what happened to them?” I ask.

“It’s pretty gruesome, but if you want to know…” I nod at his un-asked question. “Victoria had some kind of sick vendetta against Bella. We learned it was a ‘mate for a mate’ type thing as I guess you all killed her mate so she felt it only appropriate to kill Bella. Even when she realized Bella was with Jacob and you were gone, she still wanted her dead. She was deranged.” My heart breaks for my parents all over again. Victoria must have been mentally ill when she was changed; that’s the only explanation for her obsessive behavior.

“She showed up with about 30 other vampires, new ones from what we could tell. They had no fighting ability whatsoever, but they were strong. Too strong, and there were too many of them. Jacob had Bella hidden in a remote cabin up near Mt. Rainier, and he and I stayed outside the cabin to protect her. We were distracted by seeing our brothers get beaten to death and torn apart by the leeches that we didn’t smell her coming until it was too late. She attacked me first knowing Jacob would jump to protect me. She broke my neck, leaving me useless on the ground while she fought with Jacob. I was unconscious but somehow still able to see and hear my brothers’ thoughts. It was the worst nightmare ever. When my body finally mended itself, Jacob lay dead at my side. Bella was dead inside the cabin.” I see Edward’s grimace as Seth is thinking about the site of my parents’ dead bodies. I don’t even want to imagine the horror of it.

“Their deaths were gruesome to put it lightly. It was the most horrific thing I’d ever seen. The next thought I had was of you, Ali Rose. And of your brother. I ran as fast as my paws would carry me to your house. But I was too late. You were gone. The trail of the vampire that took you faded out due to rain and I couldn’t track you. I figured you were dead. That Victoria wouldn’t have stopped until everyone Bella ever loved was dead. She did quite a number on Charlie, too. He was near death when we found him.” I reach across the sofa and pull Seth’s sobbing form into my arms, reassuring him that I’m fine and that I was taken away to safety.

I volunteer to cook up some dinner for Seth and myself and take the time to call Jeb while I’m stirring pasta sauce. “Jeb, you need to get out here as soon as possible.”

“What have you found?”

“Our grandfather is still alive, just barely. And we have an uncle. His name is Seth. He’s a wolf like our father was,” I keep my description short and sweet knowing Jeb doesn’t need details to make up his mind.

“I’m texting Eve right now,” he replies, already making his preparations. I can hear him tossing clothes into a duffle bag. Eve will be glad of the large bonus we’re both sure to give her. Once I finish my call and the pasta is cooked, I fill up two plates and carry them back out to the living room where Seth has set up a pair of TV trays. Edward is still sitting awkwardly in the arm chair, still as a statue. His eyes never leave my form, as if he’s worried I’m going to disappear from his sight. Before eating, Seth excuses himself to wash his hands.

“Running around on all fours is not the most sanitary thing,” he jokes. I take the opportunity to kiss Edward deeply.

“I love you so much,” I whisper. “And enduring this for me, proves to me that you feel the same.” His answering smile is all the reassurance I need that he’s not worried that I’m going to bolt on him.

“I do love you, Arbie. More than my own life.” He pulls me onto his lap for a moment, wrapping his steely arms around me, kissing me passionately. “Would you like to start being called Ali Rose?”

“No,” I reply. “I’ve been Arbie for as long as I can remember. I’m okay with Seth and my Grandpa calling me Ali Rose of course, since that’s how they know me. But I am Arbie Bentley.”

“Fair enough. I love you, “ he whispers again as he releases me from his grip. I move to the sofa and begin mixing my sauce and pasta together when Seth returns from the bathroom. I’ve no doubt that he heard exactly what Edward and I said to each other, particularly based on the not so subtle scowl on his face. We eat our meals in relative silence, Edward’s eyes still trained on me. I relay that my brother is on his way from New England and should arrive by morning.

“So you just have a plane and pilot ready at your beck and call?” Seth asks, surprised.

“Yes,” I reply simply.

“Is that a Bloo-Cullen thing?”

“No, it’s a Bentley thing. My last name is Bentley.” I try not to condescend him for nearly saying bloodsucker. I’m not going to stand for that if he does. I love Edward and his family as

“As in Bentley motors?” He asks, gaping at me. I nod in reply, watching his face contort from surprise to confusion and finally understanding. “Wow, that’s something. Your dad loved cars. He rebuilt a couple of them and two motorcycles before he passed,” Seth says proudly. He gestures for me to follow him out his back door. Edward stays inside, allowing me time to reconnect with my uncle. Leading me to a make shift garage, Seth slides open the door and reveals an old Volkswagen and two beat up motorcycles. “He built this car from the wheels up, and fixed those bikes up out of scrap parts.”

“Wow,” I marvel, running my hand along the hood of the car and then over the seats of the bikes. “He was very talented.”

“They don’t work anymore, of course. But I couldn’t bear to get rid of them. They, aside from you kids and your mom were his pride and joy. He planned to teach you and your brother to ride one day, much to Bella’s dislike. Even though she rode too.”

“My mom rode a motorcycle?!” I yawp.

“Practically every day until she found out she was pregnant with you and Jazz.”

“You called him Jazz?”

“Yeah, we all had a bunch of nicknames for the two of you. Pretty much everyone called you Ali Rose though.” He smiled at me, familial affection beaming out of him. I closed the distance between us and wrapped my arms around him.

“I’m so glad I found you, “ I say. “I hate what Victoria was and what she did, and what she tried to do to me and my brother. But if she hadn’t come to find us, I might never have known for certain where I came from.

“Technically I found you. You’re lucky I hesitated or I would have taken out your boyfriend,“ he jokes. “You know, it’s a little weird that you’re dating the same guy your mom fell in love with in high school, right?”

“More than a little weird. Twilight zone, like I said before. But we worked through it and we’re madly in love, so you’ll just have to deal with it.” I can’t be sure, but I thought I heard a velvety chuckle come from inside the house. I figure, Edward is either listening in with his vampire hearing or listening to Seth’s thoughts. Or both.

Seth and I chat late into the afternoon, until I get a call from Jeb that he’d just rented a car and is on his way. I give him Seth’s address and we wait for Jeb’s arrival at his house. Edward tries on several occasions to convince Seth to come to the Cullen house, but Seth keeps refusing. At this point it’s more of a game for the two of them than an actual attempt to get Seth to head to Cullen territory.

Once Jeb arrives, he and Seth immediately start bonding. Seth may be 20 years older than Jeb and I, but he’s still very young at heart. I can tell that he had his childhood stolen from him when he began phasing.

After ordering pizzas for dinner, Jeb and I page through the few photo albums that Seth had. “Charlie couldn’t bear to have such reminders around him, so he gave all the photos he had of your parents to me” Seth says as he looks over our shoulders at the pictures. I favor my mother quite closely while Jeb looks an awful lot like our father. Edward said I had her eyes, and I have to agree with him. My eyes look exactly like hers. My hair is much the same as well only a few shades darker. Edward and I head back to the Cullen house, with intentions of visiting Grandpa Charlie in the morning. Jeb chooses an empty room and shuts himself in for the night. I can tell he has a lot to deal with. Just finding out that we weren’t abandoned by our parents, but that they were killed by a vampire with a sick vendetta. Then she finds us, I kill her and learn that I’m able to phase into a feral vampire killing creature. I’m dating my own mother’s first boyfriend, find out our grandfather and uncle are still alive, and here we are where it all began learning who we are.

In the morning, we are preparing to head back over to Grandpa Charlie’s. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to see Jeb, and see what a wonderful man he has become. As Edward goes to open the door for us to head out, he freezes in place. “Shit,” he murmurs under his breath. Just low enough for me to hear, but no one else. As he opens the door, I gaze out into the driveway and see a sleek black car with dark tinted windows. The doors open simultaneously and three cloaked figures emerge. The Volturi.