It has been 17 years since Isabella Swan's death, and young Adora has moved to Forks igniting gossip everywhere she turns. As Adora slowly unravels the clues that lead her down a path riddled with even more questions, she begins to realize that it seems to be more than coincidence, drawing her farther away from the life she knows, and into a world, she does not understand. The closer she gets to the truth, the more her own destiny becomes irrevocably entwined with the girl that haunts the small town. She wonders why everything that's happening revolves around the mysterious Edward Cullen, and why he seems to hold the key to the answers she's spent a lifetime searching for.
I consider this story to be pretty much the unofficial 5th installment of the Twilight Series, it takes place after Breaking Dawn, it is 100% canon, which means that it does NOT deviate from the storyline of the books, although in the first few chapters it doesn't seem like it is anything close to being like the original Twilight series, but trust me, it is.
6. Family Reunion
Rating 0/5 Word Count 18083 Review this Chapter
The swirl of thoughts swam behind my eyes as I drove. Something had frightened Charlie, I had seen it in his eyes as he had pulled me close, holding me as if he were afraid to let me go. I knew why he'd acted the way he had, and I couldn't begrudge him for calling me Bella, I could sort of understand. He had lost his only child, his baby girl, and as her father, seeing me had only ripped those old wounds open, bringing painful memories back to the surface. I felt awful. He didn't deserve that. He was a good man, a decent man. He was kind and protective. No one could ever doubt that he had loved his daughter, that Bella had been everything to him. Maybe he was trying to protect me, to make me understand. Maybe he saw some of his daughter in me.
I felt tears swim in my eyes. I blinked them back, wiping away the few that escaped with the back of my hand.
It was hard not to hear the fatherly affection in his voice as he tried to warn me…or the fear beneath it. I was so confused. The boy claiming to be Edward Cullen was…dangerous? It made no sense, neither did Charlie's reaction. I furrowed my brows as I remembered something odd. Things weren't adding up.
I could hear Charlie's voice in my mind…
"He died before she was born."
If Edward Cullen was dead, then why would I be in danger? The boy wouldn't know about Bella, he wouldn't make the connection and recognize me. He couldn't, he—
I felt a prickle of fear run like an electric current across my skin as I remembered my first conversation with Izzy.
"The Edward Cullen my parents knew supposedly died."
It had been strange, the way she had said it.
"You talk like he's the same person." I observed.
"My mom and dad are convinced that he is." She said pointedly.
The loud blaring of a horn pulled me from my thoughts bringing my focus back to the road. I had managed to veer into oncoming traffic. I jerked the wheel hard, hearing the protest of my tires, missing the other vehicle by a few feet. I slammed on my breaks, pulling over into the grassy shoulder of the road. My heart was pounding, and I could feel my face smoldering with embarrassment. I silently apologized to the other driver for my carelessness and reached to shift to park before shutting off the engine, trying to pull myself together.
I couldn't think straight, as an image of Edward Cullen swam into view, his beautiful sad eyes, his pale features twisted in pain.
Were they all trying to tell me that he wasn't dead after all? My face scrunched up in disregard. No, that couldn't be right. Izzy had said that he looked to same. I felt another rush of panic hit me.
"His funeral was an open casket, and the people who were there said he didn't look like he'd aged a day since high school."
I felt realization freeze me.
He didn't look like he'd aged a day.
That was impossible. Even as I went over the explanations in my head, I knew that none of them fit, none of them explained this. I couldn't rationalize any of it.
The truth came crashing down one me suddenly. The boy Izzy and her parents had seen didn't merely resemble Edward Cullen…hewas Edward Cullen.
He had to be.
I blinked rapidly as a few cars flew past me. I was beyond being practical. I didn't even want to speculate how it was possible. He was alive, and he was here in Forks. Charlie's warning rang out in my head.
"You have to stay away from that boy…"
"He's dangerous Bella!"
"He could hurt you!"
I swallowed harshly. If I looked like Bella, then why would he hurt me? I remembered what Izzy had told me.
"Mom said she'd never seen two people so in love with each other."
Bella was dead.
I wasn't Bella.
"He won't care."
I felt my head spinning. I slumped forward to press my cheek against the steering wheel, closing my eyes. I tried to remember him, recalling a dream from a few nights before.
I was running.
The trees were a blur of green beside me. Something was chasing me. I imagined it to be the bear from the woods, but I knew that wasn't what it was. I could feel the heat behind me, pressing against my back. It was becoming uncomfortably stifling, as the air felt too warm in my lungs. I could taste the smoke on my tongue. I looked over my shoulder, a wall of flames consumed everything behind me as is raced forward, devouring trees and fallen trunks in its path. I screamed. It was coming for me. My legs pushed harder, I could feel the burn in my thighs as I choked, trying to breathe through the smoldering heat.
I pushed against the branches in my way. There was a break in the trees up ahead. I could see the light breaking through the entwining arms of leafs and twigs. The fire was gaining; I could feel the burn against my skin. I cried out as I broke into the clearing, but my relief was short. The entire edge of the clearing was in flames, I skidded to a halt to look behind me where the wall of fire had stalled at the edge of the forest. I blinked in confusion and turned back to the clearing.
I gasped. He was there, standing barely ten feet from me, watching me curiously.
His perfect features wore an expression of shock before they fell into painful lines. His eyebrows knotted together as a pale hand suddenly fisted a handful of his t-shirt over his heart as if he were in severe pain.
"Edward?" I could hear the panic in my own voice as my eyes darted to the flames quickly before coming back to meet his eyes.
Slowly, step by careful step, he closed the distance between us, stopping when he was close enough that I could have reached out and touched him if I wanted to. I trembled slightly.
"Bella." His voice quivered slightly as if he were about to begin sobbing. The hand at his side slowly came up, until two fingers could press gently against my cheek. I shivered, his touch was cool and smooth, his fingers like satin against my skin. "Forgive me, Bella."
My heart skipped a beat and then doubled its pace. "Edward…" I breathed his name.
"Forgive me," He begged tenderly, his face tilting until it was an inch from mine, his cool breath washing over my face, chasing away the heat. His golden gaze filled my vision, taking my breath away. His palm twisted against my cheek, sliding to cup my neck, his thumb tracing my jaw making me shiver. He leaned closer, and I could feel my heat clinging to his coolness like a magnet, his lips a breath away from touching mine.
It was so soft I wasn't sure I felt it at first, as his lips whispered, the slightest touch, and then I could feel the delicious pressure. His arm encircled my waist, pressing me flush against him, and he moaned into my mouth. He began to move, his lips teasing mine, alternating between my upper and lower lip. I could feel my head spinning, my world dissolving around me.
I reached out to touch him, but he pulled away abruptly, leaving me breathing harshly as I stared at him bewildered.
His face pinched suddenly, reverting back to a look of agony. "I'm sorry."
"I don't understand." I took a step forward and he in turn took a step back.
"It's all my fault," He whispered.
"Edward—"I said trying once more but he mirrored my movement.
"I could have saved you…" His words broke off as he squeezed his eyes shut tightly, his face contorting into a grimace of pain. He continued to step farther away. I felt my legs aching to move, my entire body aching to be closer to him but I couldn't make myself budge. Slowly his eyes opened to stare at me, a feral look in his eyes. "Please, forgive me."
The ground beneath us began to shift, tremors shaking us until a fissure appeared between us and the earth opened up. My eyes darted up to meet his and the torture on his beautiful face made my chest feel as if it would collapse. Steam hissed from the crevice, until flames erupted ten feet high, they licked and popped spreading like a barrier between us.
Edward disappeared. "No!"I cried out, running forward, the heat stopping me instantly. The edges of the fire reached out to join the blazing wall encircling the clearing. I darted along the edge of the fractured soil, my eyes frantically scanning the other side of the flames for Edward. The fire calmed by slow degrees and I waited my heart hammering with terror.
I saw him, staring straight ahead, his fearful eyes searching for me.
"Edward!" I whimpered hysterically. When he found my face, I watched his entire being sag in relief. A sad smile suddenly pulled tight across his lips as he began walking towards the flames. I felt sudden dread rip through me when he didn't stop a few yards from them. I watched him grow closer and closer, fear seizing me when the entire clearing went silent.
"I love you," He whispered. "Forever, Bella."
"No Edward, don't!" I screamed, but it was too late, he disappeared into the fiery depths and I fell to my knees.
I blinked back the moisture in my eyes, until I could peer out my window watching as a few more cars passed.
The Edward that Izzy had described to me and the Edward my subconscious had conjured up did not match the one that Charlie Swan had warned me to stay away from. The facts in my head sounded better when they weren't said out loud.
I rubbed my eyes roughly, and wiped the transference of moisture on my jeans before starting the car again, and continuing on my way home.
No matter what Charlie had said, even if Edward's father was here in Fork's, and even if he did have more answers than Charlie could give me, I still wasn't sure if I was ready to hear them.
Still first thing was first—I needed to pick a few things up.
Izzy was waiting for me when I got home, sitting behind the steering wheel of her red Chevy Tahoe reading a magazine. I slammed my car door shut getting her attention, watching her jump up and scramble to get her seat belt unbuckled before hopping out to join me.
"Did you see Chief Swan? Your mom said you weren't here so I thought—" Her words stopped when she noticed the plastic grocery bag in my hand.
"I saw Charlie." I nodded once before pointedly eyeing one of the neighbors taking the trash out. She understood that I wasn't going to say anything else while we were outside. Her eyes darted once more to the bag, no doubt seeing the outline of its contents trough the thin wall of the plastic.
"What is that for?" Her eyes met mine again. I silently thanked the universe for a friend like Izzy, she caught on quick and she didn't play games.
"I need your help," was all I said before heading to the front door.
"How does it look?" I scrunched my nose as the remnants of the harsh chemical smell burned my nostrils and stung my eyes.
"Different," She laughed, "Very different."
I rolled my eyes and tried to lean at a far enough angle so that I could catch a glimpse of my hair in my dresser mirror. No such luck. Izzy grabbed a handful of my hair and yanked me back before I saw anything.
"No peeking," She chided playfully. I glared at her.
"Does it look weird?" I asked, suddenly nervous. I could feel her undoing the foils and twisted sections of hair.
"No, I think it fits you."
I snorted at that. "And I think my mom is going to have a cow."
"Hey, it was your idea," She reminded me.
I was silent then, blinking rapidly as I stared out the window that overlooked our tiny front yard. I hadn't intended for the change to be quite so drastic, but then a thought had occurred to me; if I had merely changed my hair color by a few shades, it wouldn't have made a difference, but by altering it completely, maybe I wouldn't frighten as many people.
I'd never dyed my hair before, I'd never had a reason to, but after meeting Charlie I'd started considering the perks.
Izzy's voice broke me from my thoughts. "Luke was asking about you."
I felt a scowl crawl across my face. "And?" I crossed my arms. Izzy laughed at my sudden mood swing.
"He said you should come back to LaPush, so he can teach you how to really throw a Frisbee," She giggled.
"He's annoying," I grumbled.
"He is not." She was still laughing, and I wasn't so sure that she wasn't laughing at me.
"Yes, he is. He's a cocky little brat." I continued to scowl.
"He's like that with everybody at first. After a while he gets bored and starts treating you normal. Like Connor and I. You'll get used to it," She offered with a smile.
I continued to look decidedly grumpy as I remembered Luke's evasiveness the other day in the woods. The only thing he'd done that hadn't irritated me, was save my life, and I couldn't hold onto the rest of my irritation for long after remembering that.
"Okay," Izzy's voice broke me from my thoughts. "You can go wash it out now."
I slid carefully off the stool, making sure the towel around my shoulders wasn't about to slip off, and made my way to the bathroom, before coming to a halt in the doorway. I stood blinking incredulously at the green towel covering the mirror.
"No peeking," Izzy called.
"Not at all," She retorted.
I rolled my eyes and turned on the faucet over the tub, testing the water before shoving my head beneath it, rinsing my hair until the water ran clear.
A few moments later I was once again sitting before Izzy as she separated sections of my hair to dry. I winced when she tugged hard, jerking my head slightly. "You're trying to make me regret this aren't you?" I muttered.
"No, you're just being a baby," She retorted. I huffed loudly and crossed my arms. "I don't know how much of a difference this is going to make, Adora."
"As long as there is a slight difference between me and Bella then I'll be happy." I chewed on my bottom lip. "You didn't see his face Izzy," I whispered. "When Charlie opened his door, I thought he was going to go into hysterics."
"Well, how did you think he would react?"
"I don't know." I shook my head.
She bopped me on the head with a brush. "Quit moving."
"Did he tell you anything?" She murmured.
"Not really," I mumbled, frustrated. "He told me to go see Dr. Cullen." I shrugged.
I felt Izzy's movements stop suddenly. "Dr. Cullen?"
"Edward Cullen's father," I explained.
"I know who he is," She snapped softly. "He's here, in Forks?" There was something in her voice that worried me so I turned to meet her eyes. She tried to hide it, but not quickly enough.
"What is it, Izzy?"
"Nothing." She looked down and pretended to be suddenly interested in her fingers.
I rolled my eyes. "I saw it on your face," I told her. "So, tell me."
"Why did he tell you to go see Dr. Cullen?" She mashed her eyebrows together as she waited for my response.
"I told him what you told me, about the boy you ran into at the high school." Her eyes widened slightly. "He said it changed things, and that he wasn't the one I should be talking to."
"He thinks' that boy is Edward Cullen." She said it firmly, very much a statement and not a question.
"Yeah, that's what I assumed too." I nodded.
"If that boy is Edward Cullen, then why didn't he tell you to talk to him? Why did he tell you to see his dad instead?" She finally looked at me, blinking in confusion.
I quickly turned away, sitting straight and stiff as I stared blankly in front of me. I felt suddenly protective of him, afraid what she would think when I repeated Charlie's warning.
"He told me to stay away from him," I whispered. "He said that he was dangerous, and that he could hurt me." I looked down at my hands, my voice very small. "He told me that he wouldn't care that I'm not Bella Swan."
"Well, that's stupid." Her scathing tone caught me off guard. "Edward Cullen loved Bella, why would he want to hurt her?"
Her question made me go over Charlie's words in my head. "I don't think that's what Charlie meant," I murmured. "He said that he could hurt me. He never said that he would." I sighed. "He just wanted me to be careful, I think."
"So, you're really going to go see Dr. Cullen?" She sounded concerned as she continued to tug and jerk strands of hair in different directions.
"I don't see why not, what do I have to lose?" I shrugged. "I was scared before, afraid that whatever I found out would make everything worse, but I'm not sure my situation can get any worse than it already is," I laughed.
"Do you want me to go with you?" Izzy whispered hesitantly and I almost blurted out 'yes' but thought better of it.
"I do…" I began, "But I think this is something I need to do on my own Iz."
"I get that." She nodded in understanding. "But if you need me…"
"I'll definitely call you." I smiled. "Just, do me a favor." I looked up at her and she was watching me expectantly. "I know that by now, half of the town knows that I'm the new girl who looks like a dead girl, and I know only a few people—like your family, Kevin, Dan and Connor, and now Charlie, know it's more than just the way I look." She waited patiently. "But my mom, she wouldn't understand any of this. I've been doing my best to keep her from asking too many questions, but I think she's starting to notice the way people look at me. That's another reason I wanted to do this." I pointed to my hair. "She's been through a lot, with the divorce, and then I guess I didn't make things any easier on her. When the dreams started, I didn't understand them, I wasn't exactly a ray of sunshine most days, if you catch my drift." I frowned but Izzy just stared silently. "Just, please try to keep her from finding out anything while I'm gone. I don't like asking you to lie—"
"It's okay, I get it. You're just trying to protect her." She smiled gently. "Don't worry, I won't tell my mom anything that she might mention to yours."
I sighed in relief. "Thanks Iz, I'd like to keep the people involved in this craziness to a minimum." I cracked a small smile.
"I can do that." She grinned. "In return, you have to fill me in when you get back." She demanded with a wry smile.
"No matter what I find out, I'll call and let you know," I promised.
"And no matter what you find out, even if you're a freaky ghost or something, I'll still be your friend." She hugged me from behind and I squeezed her arm to my chest gently as we both burst into laughter.
My eyes squinted down at the address Charlie had scribbled across the tiny piece of paper. I'd taken the 101 over the bridge at the Calawah River, past the industrial roads.
Arrive at 827 WA-101.
That's all the description the map directions had afforded me. I blew out a harsh breath. Stupid technology, as advanced as it had become, it had a long, long way to go. I knew where the address was supposed to be, so I'd slowed my car to almost a crawl before I'd passed Whitcomb Dimmel Rd.
827. 827. 827. I repeated in my head, keeping my eyes peeled for any sign revealing that I'd reached my destination. If I saw Rainy Ranch Rd. that meant that I'd gone too far. I snorted. Some of these names seemed ridiculous.
A small indention in the tree line on the right side of the road caught my attention. I slowly braked as I neared it, my eyes scanning the unpaved entry way for a sign. There was none. Of course, nothing about this could be easy. I considered continuing down further to see if I just hadn't gone far enough, but no, this was the right address. I knew it. There was a sudden sense of anticipation that flooded my veins, as the silent pull began gently tugging on my subconscious. I rolled my eyes. The whole, subconsciously, knowing everything bit was starting to get on my nerves. Still, it hadn't been wrong so far. My hands tightened on the wheel as I took a deep breath and turned and there was a small bump as my car left the pavement, continuing over until tiny tremors jostled my body from my car's rickety decline from civilization. I caught the scent of pine through my open window, as the sun barely peeked through the sinewy arms of thickly branched timbers, shadowing my vision. The wide dirt trail seemed to go on forever, so much that I'd thought about turning around a few times before I'd gotten myself irreparably lost, but something was pulling me again, and then, after a few long moments, there it was.
The thickness of the trees began to dissipate, and tucked securely in shadows of several seemingly ancient cedar trees, was a small lawn, and just past it, a house. I felt my heart begin its recent usual pattern of pounding, as images flashed like silent projections behind my eyes, identical to the scene unfolding before me. Fragments of the faded white exterior remained in my mind as my eyes examined the structural design. Three stories layered the foundation, with a stylishly accommodating deck, enveloping the perimeter of the ground level. The dirt path took me all the way up to wide set of wooden steps that were centered upon the proportions of the house, inviting an open view of the dark, sturdy set of double doors. I twisted the key, turning off the engine with a flick of my wrist, and clamped my jaw shut violently, realizing that I'd been gaping mindlessly out my window.
My heart pounded in my chest as I stared silently down at my fingers in my lap, toying nervously with the keys. I wasn't sure I could do this. It was so rude. To blatantly just barge into someone's house and demand answers that they may not even have. I mulled over the thought of turning back around in my head, and shook it off immediately afterwards. I had to do this. I needed the answers. All of my research, every scrap of ascertainable knowledge, had led me here, to this very moment. This was either a dead end or a final destination. Either way, I had to find out. I tightened the strings of my too large hoodie until the sides curled against my face. I didn't want to startle anyone watching me approach the house, whoever might see me and recognize me as the dead girl I resembled, and if all my information was correct, then more than anyone else, the people who lived here definitely would. I didn't want that to happen before I'd even had the chance to knock, afraid that they would refuse to answer.
I gripped the railing as I made my way up the porch stairs, four slow steps after that and I was at the door. I searched slowly with my eyes, keeping my face down, I didn't see a doorbell but something told me that whoever lived here didn't need it. Finally I sighed. I was stalling. I grimaced at my cowardice, it was now or never. I knocked hard and listened carefully, leaning close. There was no sound. I waited for a few heartbeats and frowned, half disappointed and half relieved. Maybe no one was home. I was about to reach to knock again, just to reaffirm my conclusion, when the sound of the lock sliding out of place was heard and then one of the doors quickly swung inward making me jump back a step in surprise. I raised my eyes slowly to the person filling the doorway and froze.
I'd expected to find the form of Edward Cullen, as had been described to me, staring back ominously and handsome, but instead I was presented with, whom I could only assume, was his father, despite the fact that he seemed too young to afford the title. His skin wasn't withered and wrinkled, and his hair hadn't begun turning gray. He was impeccably beautiful. Perfect. He looked exactly the same as he did in the picture I'd found of him.
His eyes caught me first, they were so similar to the amber gaze from my dreams, but not as dark, he was tall with short blond hair, his face sculpted into the beautiful angles of a warm welcome smile, amazingly handsome. He seemed so achingly familiar, it caught me off guard for a moment, but not long enough for me to miss that his smile wasn't that way for long. The look of horror and shock was suddenly a thousand times worse than what I had seen on Mrs. Cheney or Mr. Newton's face combined. We both stared for a long moment until the discomfort finally wore away the edges of my alarm.
"Are you Mr. Cullen?" I meant it to sound calm but it came out as more of a squeak of surprise. I was avoiding his medical title so that he wouldn't assume I was there seeking remedial help.
He didn't speak, he only stared in jaw dropping horror, he was like petrified wood, I couldn't even see the rise and fall of his chest, I wasn't sure he was even breathing. I recovered slowly from noticing that small detail and took a deep breath myself as if to remind him to do the same. The cat was obviously out of the bag now.
I sighed, pushing back the hood of my sweatshirt, letting my new blond tresses come tumbling over my shoulders. He seemed even more taken aback, but stayed silent as he raked his horrified gaze over me.
"Do I have the wrong house?" I asked perplexed. "Is this 827?" My eyes slipped downward as I fumbled around for the slip of paper in the pocket of my hoodie, pulling it out to read the numbers I'd written down. "There wasn't a marker down the way, but maybe there was another turn off that I missed." I met his eyes again expecting that if I had the wrong house, he would at least look over the instructions on the slip of paper and point me in the right direction. His face was blank now, no emotion as instead his eyes flickered to the sky and then to the line of sunlight across the porch, before stepping back slightly. I looked up to the sky then to the line myself before meeting his gaze again. He had wiped his expression in an instant it seemed. I couldn't tell if he was still shocked or even angry with my presence as I considered the stiffness of his expression.
"There is no other house on this road." His voice was almost void of any emotion it was merely a statement. There was nothing but a tinge of something that I couldn't place. He wasn't angry, he wasn't anything.
"So you are Mr. Cullen?" I asked my heart pounding. He considered me carefully before he finally nodded and I sighed in relief.
"Would you like to come in?" His face was suddenly polite, his voice pleasant but I knew, I don't know how, that it was a mask to hide whatever emotions he was keeping at bay.
"I uh, well, I didn't really, I don't mean to intrude, I just…" I was stuttering like an idiot. He didn't smile, he didn't really do anything, he remained frozen.
"Please come in." He stepped back slowly and motioned with his arm inward for me. I swallowed hard and then nodded stepping forward as he backed away carefully. When I was five feet inside the entryway, the sound of the door shutting startled me, causing me to turn quickly to face him out of habit, making me trip over the raised portion of the floor in front of me.
I felt something hard and cold wrap around my elbow, halting my descent to the floor before I was pulled upright carefully.
"Are you all right?" Carlisle asked softly as he turned me to face him, his eyes scanning my face. I could feel the coolness of his hands through my sweatshirt.
"Y-yes." I stammered as my heart hammered wildly in my chest.
"It's all right." He reassured me obviously noting my skittish behavior. "Please, come and sit down." He motioned towards the wide open space where a couch and several chairs sat before offering me his hand. I took it and shivered, the chill of his skin was like touching a marble statue in the dead of winter, but I didn't pull away. Instead, he did, after he was sure I had successfully taken the step without falling flat on my face.
I noticed several things at once. This was a very modern house for Forks, Washington, and didn't feel like your typical homey house arrangement. Also, he still hadn't asked who I was or why I was at his house. When I'd finally slid shakily onto the edge of one of the chairs, he slowly seated himself a few feet away and laid his hands into his lap, watching me curiously. I took a breath.
"You're home is beautiful." I murmured letting my eyes dart away from his face and then back.
"Thank you." He still didn't smile but watched me carefully. It made me uncomfortable. He obviously noticed the resemblance I had to the girl everyone spoke of, and I realized it was rude of me to not acknowledge this.
"I know this must be very strange." I began. "Obviously seeing me…" I trailed off. "I've been getting that reaction a lot lately." I fidgeted with my fingers and looked down. "I figured that whoever answered the door was going to be a little taken aback." He finally let his face show something, a slight twitch of his eyes, and even his lips at the corners. "I spoke to Charlie Swan earlier today." His face didn't change. "He told me to come see you specifically." I watched him but he was still looking at me with that blank emotionless stare. "I've heard all about the girl that I evidently look like." His face finally changed finally, his brows rose slightly and he leaned back slowly.
"Bella." I had barely seen his lips move. I nodded.
"Every time I run into someone who knew her, they look at me like I'm a ghost or something." I looked away again down at my fingers. "I had no idea what was going on at first, and then someone finally explained to me why I seemed to spook so many people. There are so many things about me that make our resemblance all the more eerie." I looked back at him, and he had let his face slip enough that his shock was starting to bleed through his expression.
"It's not merely a resemblance." He said it very softly and I wasn't sure if that was to keep from frightening me or because of whatever was going through his mind.
"Yeah, I keep hearing people swear that we're pretty much identical." I frowned.
"The eyes…" He let it trail off. "Bella's eyes were brown." He murmured softly. "And of course, Bella never dyed her hair." There was finally a quirk of a smile at the corner of his mouth.
"That explains a lot." I mused soundly. "My eyes have been changing slowly. I'll wake up and they'll be almost hazel, and by the time I go to bed they'll be blue again." I furrowed my brows. "They never used to do that before." I whispered.
"That bothers you?"
"Kind of." I shrugged. "My eyes were always kind of weird." I murmured. "Mom said that they were brown when I was born but as long as I can remember they've been a lot of different shade, and brown was never one of them." I grinned. That statement made his eyes tighten. "But that doesn't bother me as much as…other things."
"Such as, when I found out that the house my mom bought was Bella's old house. That it's her old room that I'm sleeping in." That did it; the shock was back flickering across his face briefly. I didn't speak for a long moment, letting this new information sink in for him. "We both have the same last name." I grimaced realizing I still hadn't introduced myself. "Our first names are pretty similar too. The coincidences are starting to kind of bother me, every time I find a new one." I took a breath. "Her name was Isabella Marie Swan, my name is Isadora Kate Swan." I let my head bob slowly on each side as I said each name. "I let most people call me Kate using my middle name, but so far everyone here has kind of taken to calling me Adora. Thanks to my mom." I let the slight irritation show in my voice. He was still watching me, but now he looked almost curious. "We're not related or anything." That made his face change again, his brows furrowing slightly. "My mom and I moved here from Spoons, Illinois about two and a half weeks ago, and before that we lived in Chicago." Something that I didn't understand passed across his face suddenly. "I'm surprised you haven't met her, I heard you work at the Forks Community Hospital too." This time he looked very surprised.
"You're Andrea Swan's daughter?" He said it with a hint of disbelief. I nodded. "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting your mother myself, but I've been informed that she'd filled the open Administrative position." He took a breath, the only breath I'd noticed him take. "I didn't know about you." I made a face and he must have caught it, seeing as how the words themselves sounded slightly irritated. "I apologize," He corrected himself. "I was referring to your resemblance to Bella." I relaxed a little. "I suppose no one thought of it as something to bring up to me, seeing as how you only just moved here, just as my family recently has. The gossip hasn't made its way around to me yet." There was a smile finally and it made it suddenly easier to breathe.
"Doesn't that bother you?" I blurted out suddenly.
"What?" He was back to his emotionless mask.
"That everyone in that ridiculous town turns into a bunch of superstitious nut jobs whenever someone mentions or meets you and I, or the rest of your family for that matter?" He didn't say anything; he only blinked patiently at me. "I mean, I understand the history." I explained. "I understand how impossible it must seem to people, to comprehend the fact that strange coincidences do happen, but people have done nothing but treat me like a ghost ever since I got here." I railed. "I hardly meet anyone anymore without them looking just like you did at the door when they first see me." I realized I was on a rampage with my words and that I'd raised my voice. "I'm sorry." I murmured my face instantly flooding with warmth, as I dropped my eyes to my lap.
"Don't be." He murmured and I slowly looked up noticing the sudden tightness in his eyes, despite his pleasant words. "I completely understand, although I'm sure I haven't had quite the same effect on everyone the way you seem to have." He said it calmly. "I take it you know exactly why you're…connections to Bella, effect people the way they do?" He mused softly. I nodded.
"It is a tad ironic." I made a bitter smile form this time he did too.
"Just a tad?" He raised one brow. I let a frustrated laugh sigh from between my lips before I felt the panic show in my eyes.
"It scares me." I admitted and he frowned, letting the frown fill his entire face. "How much I seem to be Bella in every way that is possible." He was still frowning. "One of her friends, Angela Cheney, talked to me about it a little." I bit the inside of my cheek. "About what she can remember about her at least. How I move, and speak, and think like her. She said I even sound like her." I watched him lean forward slowly to put his hands on his knees, as if he were trying to examine my face closer.
"You do." He murmured. "You are just like her in almost every possible way." He said it carefully hoping I'd miss something in the statement. I didn't.
"What about me made you realize that I'm not her?" I asked perceptibly pointing out my silent observation.
"Your eyes." He stated the obvious but I wasn't convinced that it was what he was referring to.
"And?" I pressed, making him raise a brow silently, considering me for a moment.
"And…the fact that you didn't recognize me." I froze. All the stories I'd heard, the little hints to impossible details, resurfaced as this information spread through me, realizing at once that he was admitting to being the very same man from decades ago. Sitting before me, unchanged, still preserved in the age he had been then. He gave me a moment to process it all. Watching my face carefully, searching my reaction with an almost critical gaze as my expression changed, first from realization, to horror, to disbelief, and then very slowly as my heart calmed, I let the truth settle, accepting the fact, knowing that arguing with what was rational and what I knew to be true was pointless. I watched him warily as he seemed to debate how I'd taken his words, until he noted my finally calm composure. He smiled in conclusion, almost pleased as he settled back, all the way this time to relax into the cushions of the chair. "That's the way Bella would have reacted to that statement too." He murmured. I shook my head slowly, my brows furrowing, my perplexity showing.
"But I did recognize you." I declared softly, making his smile faltered suddenly. "I feel like I know you from somewhere, you're face is so familiar, but I know I've never met you in my entire life." I was still shaking my head still in bewilderment. "And everything here is like that." I explained noticing that he didn't seem to be breathing again. "At first it was just odd little things that caught me off guard when they happened, the way something smelled that was so familiar. Or things that I was suddenly doing unconsciously, that I never did before, and then when we moved here…" I let the words trail off.
"Yes?" He sat up in a way that was faster than anytime he had moved in front of me before, encouraging me to continue.
"I don't know." I shook my head wildly. "It's like I've been here before. Like I'm supposed to remember something, something that is just out of my reach, but like its right there in front of me, and I'm supposed to know what it is." I frowned suddenly. "I've experienced the strangest moments of déjà vu since I got here." He was petrified wood again. "Even when I was on my way here, it's like I didn't need the directions. Like I just knew where to go." He was staring at me very intently suddenly.
"Like just now, when you saw me?" He asked it very carefully.
"Yes." He wasn't holding his breath anymore. I didn't miss the fact that he had been doing so for a period of time that was unusual for a normal person.
"Would you mind if I asked you to let me see if something else inspires those same feelings of déjà vu?" I stared at him blankly for a moment before I let my head nod slightly in agreement. "Thank you." He murmured appreciatively before tilting his head slightly away, towards the way we had come minutes before. "Would you mind joining us dear?" He said softly. I blinked and suddenly there was a woman standing carefully beside the chair where he sat, where there had been nothing before. I hadn't seen her enter, and when my eyes washed over her face, I sucked in a sudden breath between my teeth. Her long brown hair framed a small, heart-shaped face, her eyes matching his perfectly. My heart was thudding in my chest suddenly, as waves of some hazy memory flew before my eyes. I wasn't afraid; there was something about her that told me she was kind, which reassured me, letting my startled emotions fade gently. They were both watching me, almost compassionately, and I realized that she hadn't shared his earlier reaction to seeing me, but stared calmly down, with a soft smile. "This is Esme." He introduced placing a hand of the small of her back.
"You're wife." My voice was raw, strained when I finally spoke. It wasn't a question, it was something that I knew, although I wasn't sure how.
"Yes." He nodded slowly. I blinked.
"Why did I know that?" I murmured fearfully letting my eyes slide pleadingly to meet his.
"Common sense or perhaps it is more. I honestly don't know which." He was frowning, but her gaze was something close to reverence as her eyes slowly scanned my face, then they stopped, and she looked perplexed.
"Her eyes." She whispered and her voice was beautiful.
"I know." He murmured look up at her before slowly turning back to me with a sigh. "Unfortunately, I can't tell you why these things are happening to you." He murmured. "I have a few ideas." He admitted softly. "But where as they may make sense to me, they may not make sense to you, unless you know a few things first." I furrowed my brows.
"What things?" I asked and my voice was almost fraught with the weight of the questions that were now forming in my head. He frowned apologetically.
"I'm sorry." He shook his head. "But there are a few things I must do before I can help any of us better understand all of this." I sucked in a deep calming breath and then exhaled anxiously. He began to rise but her hand was suddenly on his shoulder squeezing it gently, her eyes falling softly upon him.
"I don't think you need to leave the room to call them." She smiled calmly. "There's no reason to cause her anymore unnecessary stress." He smiled up at her warmly and nodded, slipping a phone from his pocket, pushing a button, before putting it to his ear. After a short moment he spoke.
"Alice." That made me flinch and their eyes were on me in an instant. I could almost imagine the high tinkling voice that would be on the other end, I could see a pixie like woman dancing, bending and twisting in graceful movements. "Yes, she's sitting right here in front of me." That made my brows furrow in confusion. He was silent for a moment. "It's rather more complicated than that I'm afraid." He didn't let his face give anything away. "I think it would be best if you and Jasper came home immediately." I jerked my head this time as he paused for a second. "Alone." My eyes went to Esme's instead, but she only smiled down at me reassuringly. "Tell them nothing." He took a breath finally. "Neither of them can hear or see anything until we sort some of this out." He pressed resolutely. "Make sure they stay away for a while." After a long moment he shut the phone softly and placed it back in his pocket.
"Those names…" I let the words trail off.
"Did you recognize them?" He asked watching me carefully again.
"Not the way I do when someone says the name of someone I don't know, when it's the same name that makes me think of someone I do know. It's like I know who those names belong to but…" I let the words linger again.
"You can't really place them?" He asked curiously. I nodded and they exchanged a glance quickly. "I know this has all confused you even more." He stated apologetically. "I hope I am able to give you the answers you are so desperately searching for, but all of this has set in motion a very unsettling turn of events for my family and me as well." He frowned. "I'm afraid your questions, are now also ours." Frustration flooded me. I felt the absurdity of it all hit me in a strange way, filling me with a tinge of resentment.
"I think there are a few things you can answer for me." I once again set my mind racing, sorting through the significant details of our meeting so far in my head.
"You noticed then?" He asked curiously and I was confused again. "Bella had a way of picking up on things that most people wouldn't notice. I can see you are just as perceptive. I wasn't sure you would be, but I needed to test the waters to make sure." He acknowledged. "I'll let you rationalize your findings on your own." He said softly but I narrowed my eyes unduly upon hearing those words. "And I promise that I will help you understand whatever conclusion you reach." He straightened suddenly. "Feel free to ask all the questions you deem necessary out loud, if you don't mind." I eyed him carefully, but the gnawing curiosity was overpowering. "I should explain one thing clearly, first." He acknowledged. "The things that we discuss here shouldn't be repeated. Whatever you learn about my family, it is imperative that no one else finds out." I immediately thought of Izzy. "I want to help you—believe me, I do, but I have to protect my family."
"I understand." I said with a nod.
"I'll tell you everything I can," He murmured.
They were both watching me intently. "Why do I get the feeling that you knew I would be here beforehand, but that you didn't know it was going to be me in particular?" I settled my eyes upon his face searching for a change that I knew I wouldn't see.
"Because I did know, Alice told me." He said calmly, watching me carefully. Who Alice was and how she knew were the obvious questions, but I wasn't going to ask them.
"You looked surprised to see me at the door…" I trailed off when wry laughter escaped him suddenly. His face sobered when he saw me watching him.
"Surprised, isn't the word I'd use," He admitted before continuing. "Alice has a certain talent for knowing things—"
"She can see the future," I translated automatically. It was so easy, like filling in the blanks of a mad-libs page. It felt natural to suddenly know so many things that I shouldn't have known. Rather, it was the things I knew that disturbed me. The tiny facts about both Carlisle and Esme, that Alice, whoever she was, could see the future, and suddenly the knowledge that I'd been here before. I knew the layout of the house, the intricate details of the furnishings, I knew that a river was nearby without any hints to its existence.
"Yes." Carlisle and Esme traded a look. "Alice told us that someone would be arriving, she didn't know who however, which is odd. She called us just before you arrived," He murmured. "When I spoke to her just now she knew it was you, however just like us, she doesn't know how it's possible."
"I hope you understand that I don't know either." I met his eyes and he nodded then there was a short pause. I waited before continuing. "What were you going to say on the phone a minute ago, that would have made you need to leave the room?"
"I have certain theories about your situation, your looks, your mannerisms, even the moments of Déjà vu, but until I have more information, I feel uncomfortable in voicing those suspicions prematurely. When I have that information, I promise I will discuss it with you." He stared at me, watching carefully for something.
"That seems fair." I nodded.
Why does this house not feel like it's really a house in the usual definition? Why is it so modern for being right outside a Podunk little town like Forks?" Esme frowned, and it bothered me for some strange reason that I may have just hurt her feelings. "I don't mean to be rude," I apologized. "But why does everything here look so expensive for a doctor who can't possibly make more than one hundred thousand a year?" Carlisle raised a brow slightly. "Why do you live so far out and away from everything and why aren't there any noticeable markers at the beginning of the driveway?" My hands were clenched into fists in my lap now from the stress.
"This home suites our tastes and lifestyle." He murmured calmly, lacing his fingers together in his lap, reminding me that it was the first time he had moved in a while. "My family and I have been through a great deal, and we value our privacy. This home has always served to keep anyone who wouldn't understand us from getting too close." He cocked his head to the side. "Obviously the people in Fork's would be suspicious of us due to our past, as you pointed out earlier." I forgot to breathe that time, as my mind raced.
That was the second time he had implied that he was indeed the same man pictured in the newspaper clipping I had found. I was actually impressed with myself; a normal person would have been in hysterics by now. Then again, I'd never been exactly normal and obviously, they weren't normal either. I began to put the pieces together in my head. The way they didn't breathe for long periods of time how they hardly ever blinked. I remembered how the space next to Carlisle had been empty, and then in an instant Esme had been standing beside him. How he had closed the front door when I arrived without making a sound.
"Why didn't you ask who I was and why I was here when I first asked about who you were?" His mask broke slightly and he seemed finally caught off guard.
"Because I thought you were my daughter-in-law." He whispered sadly making my chest tighten. "I thought you were Bella." He murmured. I nodded in understanding.
"If I were Bella, it would have been more than sixteen years ago that I would have last seen you all," I murmured carefully and I watched their faces suddenly change, filling with worry. "So why haven't you all aged a day since then?" I felt the thud of my heart begin to pound in my chest.
He leaned back slowly as his gaze swept my face, trying to gauge my possible reaction to whatever he may say. My eyes darted between his and Esme's suddenly, while my conversation with Izzy regarding Edward Cullen's eyes played in my head. Their similarities were not coincidences. Their abnormal beauty, their quick reflexes as I remembered the article about the car wreck at Forks High School, the way they moved and reacted. "Do you usually notice everything so effortlessly?" He murmured softly, noticing where my eyes had strayed.
"No." I frowned. "For some reason I seem to already know what to look for." I admitted. He nodded.
"And what have you decided is the reason for all of these small abnormal details?" He asked and finally his face was falling back into those emotionless lines. I licked my lips as I debated how to answer that.
"That you both are not…what most people would consider to be normal." My brows raised in emphasis. "You both move so fast, and earlier when I tripped and you offered me your hand it was so cold," I shivered at the memory. "I noticed how you avoided the sunlight on the porch." I sounded almost breathless. "I've seen a photo of you, from seventeen years ago, and you haven't aged at all since then." He straightened carefully once more, locking his eyes on me.
"And what," He began. "Do you think we are?" My head swam and I suddenly felt as if I were high above the ground, balancing precariously on a thin wire of truth and doubt, unsure of what my fate held in store for me, in the instance that I lost my balance.
My eyes fell to my lap where my fingers were kneading my jeans, worrying my bottom lip between my teeth, and then, the word just fell out.
It came out so casually, so strangely unsurprising, that it took me a moment to remember what I'd said, just after I said it. My eyes darted up to meet his face, but there was something new in my vision now, something that hadn't been there before. A young man with shaggy blond hair, a dumbfounded expression marring his beautiful face, and a young woman, with short spiky dark hair, sporting the hugest grin I had ever seen. They were both standing side by side behind the chair where Carlisle sat.
Her face was beaming, love shining in her eyes, and suddenly I knew her. How could I not? She was my best friend, and my sister all wrapped in one and I loved her too.
My mouth was moving before I could think. "Alice?"
If it were even possible, her grin got even bigger. I was frozen, disturbed by the sudden wave of emotion that flooded through me as I met her eyes.
"Bella!" She beamed, elated. "I knew you would remember me!"
"She doesn't really remember, any of us Alice." Carlisle interjected suddenly keeping his eyes trained on my expression. My mouth was gaping open as my eyes darted back and forth between the four of them.
"I know." She chirped. "But she will." She concluded confidently. My mind whirled, trying to make sense of my newly found sense of recognition.
They were all still waiting for my train of thought to slow, but it didn't show any signs of stopping. What is happening to me? Why are these people so important to me? They aren't important to me, they were important to Bella, I reminded myself. Weren't they? What can't I remember? Why do I feel like I should? This is Bella's family, Bella's home, Bella's life. And it was all converging with mine, overtaking everything I thought I knew.
"How is this possible?" Jasper whispered, his voice softened in amazement. That touched a nerve inside of me. Why was I so aware of who he was?
"I don't know." Carlisle answered quietly. "But who are we to question a miracle?" He mused. "You seem perplexed again." He offered me a chance to speak finally.
"Everything is suddenly just coming to me." I murmured almost dizzily. "As if, I'm not even having to think about the questions, like I just know the answers." I murmured feeling as if my mind was detaching itself from my body.
My mind was suddenly drawn back, to one of the moments when this had occurred, with stunning clarity. Had I really said that I thought they were vampires out loud? I focused suddenly on their faces again. Taking in each minuscule detail into consideration as my eyes grazed slowly over each of them, before finally comparing the traits all together. They each had nearly the same startling shade of amber in their gaze, their skin pale, almost translucent and flawless, beautiful, each in their own way. They all held a certain, strange, urethral quality about them, so painfully exquisite, you'd think that they'd been physically photo shopped or airbrushed into existence. At this very moment, they were all standing perfectly still, as if posing for a family portrait, only it seemed unnatural. But vampires? Running back over the questions that I'd practically shouted at Esme and Carlisle, it definitely seemed plausible. But was it true? And if it were true, why didn't I feel like I was in immense danger, if I was sitting there, completely defenseless, facing four vampires? My world seemed to be falling, slowly away from me.
"I don't understand any of this." I moaned placing my head in my hands. I realized that my words filled the silence that had existed while I'd been busy searching for answers in my own head. They were all watching me, with matching expressions of sympathy.
"I'm so sorry." Carlisle spoke softly. "Truly." In an instant he was suddenly standing, I hadn't even seen him move. It didn't seem to surprise me. The apology in his eyes, pity, overwhelmed me. Instead of calming my erratic thoughts however, it sent them into a frenzy of uncontrollable contemplations. My heart was suddenly pounding in my chest, heavy, almost painful as unexpected emotions suddenly surfaced, breaking through my complacent demeanor. Everything seemed to be pulling me in a million different directions, corrupting my reason, invading my calm. My skull felt like it was splitting in two as I tried to juggle the knowledge that seemed all too elusive. If he felt so damn sorry then why wasn't he being more helpful? I was the one on the brink of an unending meltdown and he was the one who was sorry? I was enraged by his pity.
"Uh oh." The small high pitched squeak came from Alice.
"Then why don't you give me some answers?" I exploded, and suddenly I was up, striding purposefully towards him, until I was blazing up at him, all the terror and incomparable confusion ripping through me. "Why aren't you explaining to me what I seem to be missing in all of this?" I cried out, my face was burning. "Tell me!" I shouted but he didn't flinch, or blink. "Tell me what is happening to me!" I yelled up into his face, pointing a finger into my chest.
Something numb was suddenly trying to wrap around my rage, and pull me away from it, but I gritted my teeth and fisted my hands at my sides. No! I wasn't going to let my anger just evaporate, I wanted answers, and this newly formed coil of fury made that outcome seem possible. I don't know why I knew what was causing my emotions to be suddenly conflicted inside themselves, but I did. Leaning my way around Carlisle I glared dangerously at Jasper. "Stop!" I screamed pointing a finger angrily in his direction. "Stop trying to calm me down!" I let the flames in my chest; lick their way up my throat, mustering all my strength to focus on my blinding warpath. "I deserve to be angry!" I shrieked into Jasper's wide eyes, where they were filled with almost horrified shock.
"Yes." Carlisle's calm voice brought me back slowly as his words registered. "You do deserve to be angry." The rage receded, a fraction of an inch. I stared up into his impossibly polite face, and the flames burst within me again, breaking free of Jasper's attempts to subdue them.
"I don't even know why I'm angry!" I shouted, but not with as much force as before. I was shaking now, my entire body trembling, heat flushing across my cheeks and down my throat. "All I know is that I'm scared!" I continued to rail up at him. "I'm scared!" I repeated, my voice braking slightly, as I felt the burn begin in my eyes. "I don't know what is happening to me." I cried out, my voice scratching my throat in the most uncomfortable way, like I was going to choke on the words. "I don't know anything anymore!" I coughed, as my vision blurred at the onslaught of unshed tears. "I don't know what to do!" My head swam. "Or who to be!" I had to suddenly reach out, jerking forward to put a hand against his stone chest, trying to steady myself; I didn't even have time to be shocked by the cold against my palm. The movement was the breaking point in the dam that held my tears at bay. They were streaming, in hot rivulets down my already burning cheeks.
"Please!" My voice was cracking finally; as his hands reached out to grip my upper arms in an iron clad, almost bruising hold, and my eyes darting pleadingly between his. "Please…" It sounded hoarse, suddenly weakened, as my body collapsed forward and he caught me, holding me protectively to his hard chest. I burrowed my face in the fabric of his shirt, as a hand came to rest gently against the back of my head, holding me there in his statuesque embrace. "Help me." It came out as a muffled sob, and then my weeping overtook my entire being. I was shivering, trying to grit my teeth as each immeasurable wave of anguish pounded against me. His arms were cold and stiff as he washed a cool palm up and down my rigid spine. I continued to sob against him, until the strength in my knees, weak from the effort it took to stay leaning in that position, gave way. Before I even dropped an inch, my feet were no longer touching the cushion of the carpet, as I was suddenly bound up in his arms, my face tucked securely within the curve of his neck. I didn't bother to question his actions as another sob rolled through me, his arms tightened reflexively. My breaths were coming in shallow pants against his skin, down the collar of his shirt, but it didn't seem to affect him one bit.
"It's all right." He cajoled in my ear, his breathe sending a chill down my body, as my skin raised in a million tiny bumps. "We'll figure this out." He murmured. The only sound in the impossible silence, were my weakened sobs, dying as his words reached me. "I promise." He whispered, and it finally calmed me as I nodded, until there was only the shallow throb of my heart. After a long moment I felt him turn his head away before it tilted back towards my ear. "Do you think you can stand?" He murmured softly. I slowly opened my eyes, peering over his shoulder, meeting a blank wall, where Alice and Jasper had been standing before, and nodded. He let me slide slowly, until my toes touched the floor and I was able to step away, putting some space between us. My cheeks were aflame again, the embarrassment of my outbursts washing over me, letting my eyes fall to the ground. "Don't apologize." The statement made my head jerk up to look at him, my eyes wide, but his small smile seemed to warm my mood suddenly. "There is no need."
"I'm not saying it excuses my behavior," I whispered. "Nothing really excuses bursting into hysterics." I murmured. "But all of this isn't easy to process."
"I told you, there is no need for you to apologize."
"You know I had to anyways." Our conversation suddenly felt familiar, and normal.
He grinned wryly and I smiled in response. "Yes, and you know I still had to try to stop you."
I nodded before I blinked suddenly, remembering that we were alone.
"Where did they go?" I whispered, afraid that I'd upset them.
"Emmet and Rosalie are here. The others went outside to explain the situation." I saw a flash of faces in my mind. "It's getting easier to remember?" He asked noticing the change in my expression.
"Yes." I nodded once. "But my older memories are so chaotic." I mumbled reaching up to rub my temple. "They are so conflicted with the ones from this life." He was frowning, but his eyes were wider suddenly, as if a revelation struck him.
"Is it possible?" He sucked in a sharp breath.
"What?" I realized what he meant a moment after I asked the question. "That's the only explanation I can figure." I murmured. "How else do you explain why everything that was part of her life is so familiar to me?" I mused out loud and he suddenly looked as if he'd witnessed some unseen horror, making him sink slowly back into the chair. The movement was unlike him, it was so…human. "Why else is everything so much clearer the more I'm here?" I saw a thousand fragments of memories suddenly. "The more I'm around the people she loved," I breathed. "The more I remember." He was staring off into oblivion, his eyes unfocused. "I know who I am, I know who I was." My heart was pounding. "Who I am again." I blinked and looked down upon him. "I am Bella." That seemed to break through as he blinked up at me.
"Yes." He nodded firmly. "Yes, I think you are." He confirmed.
"Am I a reincarnation?" I whispered, barely trusting my own voice.
"I don't know." He shook his head slowly. "I honestly don't know."
"I still remember being Adora, I still have those memories." I explained and he finally looked at me. "I don't want to forget who I am now." I think I sounded frightened. "But I want to be who I was again." I swallowed hard. "I'm so confused." I moaned, stumbling back to my chair, covering my eyes with my hands. "There's still something that's missing." I whimpered. "I don't feel whole at all." I pressed my palms tighter against the sockets of my eyes. "I feel like I'm split in two, like my soul is fragmented into pieces and they're not fitting right." I was trembling. "I don't want to forget my family," I cried. "My friends, and the memories that are mine." I whispered. "But there's something, some part of Bella, that I need so desperately." I exhaled harshly as my fingers slid away to reveal the tear marks on my jeans. "A part that I can't live without, that I can't even contemplate existing without." I murmured, my face hidden beneath the curtain of my hair. "And I don't know what it is." I looked up, and I guess it should have startled me to see six pairs of eyes upon me, but it didn't.
Carlisle seemed calm. Esme was smiling sadly. Jasper looked like he was in anguish. Alice was still grinning idiotically. Emmet and Rosalie were the ghosts that Carlisle had been when he'd first opened the door. It made me laugh, and the sound seemed to startle them all, making Emmet and Rosalie jump slightly. I laughed harder. "I'm the one that just realized that I'm a reincarnation of a vampire, and that it's giving me multiple personality disorder." I snorted. "Why do you all look so upset?" I giggled. It started with Emmet first, and then Alice, and soon, the rest of them were either giggling too or grinning. Rosalie was the only one who still didn't look pleased, and it shocked me that for the first time, I was surprised. "I guess our truce didn't survive that long did it?" I muttered glumly, realizing that I was referring to myself as Bella for the first time. Her face changed into a look of insult and then surprise.
"It's not that." She sighed. "I loved Bella very much." She murmured. "I'm just worried about how he's going to handle this." Everyone else suddenly went rigid.
"He?" I murmured my mind flying. I knew the answer to my question, it was on the edge of those hazy memories, but it was blurry and out of focus.
"The missing part of Bella's soul, of your soul." Carlisle whispered sadly and I furrowed my brows.
I felt the air suddenly suck hard in my mouth, filling my chest, as my body jerked. The reaction was a thousand times more violent than when I'd first heard his name, causing my spine to bow, and my fists to clench, as I braced my body and my mind. The memories descended upon me in a multitude of flashing images. Laughter and whispers in the dark, the scent of honey and lilac perfuming my senses. I saw a meadow and I felt the sun warming me, and there was something beautiful, blinding me, like a thousand diamonds sparkling. There was the sun as it died on the horizon and a soft brush of lips, cold arms around me, comforting me. There were screams, and blood, and fear, before it was all washed away in flames. Flames engulfing my body, searing my soul, a flash of color, the color from my dreams, it all was sucked down as my vision cleared, and the flames receded, dying slowly, leaving only an image of dark bronze hair blowing in the wind. Those wild untamed locks brushed against pale skin, and then there was a flash of a crooked grin that made my heart pound violently in my chest. I was dazzled, my whole existence shattering in that instant, and then I was left with only one thing. A topaz gaze; the one that had haunted me, and I knew who it was. It was Edward. My life, my world, my heart and my soul. My love.
A gasp finally took me away from my mind, and my eyes focused slowly on where I was, on my knees on the floor, tears streaming down my face, staring out into nothing. I saw their faces, all filled with horrified shock.
"What?" I gasped worriedly.
"You're eyes…" Jasper was the one who spoke.
"They're…" Carlisle's voice was a ghostly whisper.
"Brown." Alice chirped happily in a way that seemed inappropriate for the moment.
"Bella's eyes." Rosalie said softly. I blinked. I felt idiotic, like I was trying to see my own eyes, and blinked again, to make sure they were still there. I remembered where I was.
"Why am I on the floor?" I asked oddly.
"You fell." Esme murmured. "We were afraid to touch you." I frowned.
"You looked like you were possessed." Emmet chuckled uneasily. That made me smile ruefully.
"Well," I laughed. "I kind of am." They let theirs smiles bloom suddenly, their body's sagging in some sort of relief at the realization that I was okay.
"So are you Bella now?" Rosalie asked warily.
I thought about that. I felt like me. I remembered being me, but I still had the memories of who I was, as Adora, as if they were somehow managing to coexist together. There were still blank spots; fuzzy memories that eclipsed the definitive moments where I stopped being Bella, and then where I suddenly was Bella again, like they blended together, where it seemed the entire process of my existence suddenly ending and beginning again was distorted, narrowing my view into an eternal horizon, where the earth and the sky extended on for forever, existing perfectly together.
I knew I had died. I knew that for period of time, I had ceased to exist, but I couldn't remember how or why. All I remembered was being born, my life as Isadora Kate Swan, and then the last few months where I'd recovered bits of myself. Like I'd been suffering some strange form of Amnesia, from which I had finally woken up. The events leading up to my death were unknown to me, but I would ask those questions later. Right now I wanted to see Edward.
A sudden image burst within my mind, cutting off my train of thought, an image of Jasper glaring angrily at me. I had never seen this before. Was it possible that I had just witnessed what was going to happen? So I was going to piss Jasper off…interesting. "Weird." I muttered shaking my head. The vision left me dazed, as I pushed up to stand shakily, wobbling for a moment before I straightened. I realized that I hadn't answered her question yet, making my focus come back to them.
"I think so." I nodded still shaking off the visualization of Jasper's angry stare. "I'm still Isadora." I furrowed my brows and chewed on my bottom lip. "But it's like I've woken up from a bout of amnesia, and I remember who I was." I sighed. "Who I am." I corrected. My mind raced back to Edward. I missed him. It seemed like forever ago since I had touched him. I felt disconnected, and edgy, like a druggie needing a fix. That made me smile. He was exactly my brand of heroin too it seemed. "Where is Edward?" The words were breathless. They were all silent for a moment.
"He's still on his way back from Denali, hunting." Emmet said quietly. "That's where we all were." He motioned to Alice, Jasper and Rosalie. "We left a little earlier than he did, to give him some space." He explained. "Since school starts on Monday." He smiled carefully and I could tell that there was something that he wasn't telling me. I let it slide though as the realization of his words hit me.
"You're going back to school?" I sputtered wildly, my mind going over a timeline in my head. "But the people in town could still recognize you, Angela Webber is a teacher there now." I tried to reason with them. I couldn't remember the end of my life or the beginning of my new one. "How long have I been dead?" I queried worriedly.
"Almost seventeen years." Carlisle said softly. I blinked, floored for the moment, at the thought of all that time.
"Well I guess that kind of makes sense." I mused rolling my eyes at my previous question. "I would have to have died before I was born." I made a face. "That sounds funny."
"When is your birthday?" He asked carefully.
"The first one or the second one?" I asked furrowing my brows.
"Is there a difference?" I realized that there wasn't, I was born on September 13th in both instances. The comprehension that he had already known my second birthday hit me and my eyes widened suddenly.
"I died on my birthday!" I exploded and they were all living marble suddenly. I tried not to think about that question, tried not to think of the memories that would explain the answer to me. "Nevermind!" I held up my hands quickly to keep them from replying. "I'm not ready to remember that just yet." I breathed harshly.
"You mean then, that you don't remember how you died?" Rosalie asked wildly. I shook my head.
"And right now, I don't want to." I demanded. "I need to see Edward first." My mind raced at the thought of those seventeen years that I'd spent as someone else. To me it didn't seem to have been that long since Edward had been in my life, although now, a second felt too long. I couldn't bear the thought of what it must have been like for Edward. A million questions were suddenly in my mind. I shoved them away. I couldn't let anything detract me from seeing him. Questions could always be answered later. I could wait for answers. I couldn't wait for Edward. They were watching me carefully again. "Well?" I pressed. Carlisle looked uncomfortable.
"Bella…" He said my name strangely. "Obviously there are still a few things you don't remember…" He let it trail off.
"Yes, I do realize this." I acknowledged. "But everything can be explained to me after I see Edward." I said firmly. "I know he was here in Fork's a few weeks ago alone, Angela's daughter Izzy ran into him. I don't understand why you're not together." They all exchanged glances. I raised a curious brow. "What?" I barked making them look at me again. "Do the things I still don't remember, have anything to do with why you all are acting this way?" I murmured, fear setting in suddenly.
"Yes." Carlisle nodded. "This is more complicated than you know." He murmured carefully. I was about to say something when the realization hit me that I could suddenly feel his anguish, feel Alice's excitement, and Jasper's concentration. I could feel the anxiety coursing through, Emmet, Rosalie and Esme. I was feeling their emotions. I was suddenly curious. I held my breath, and pushed in my head, thinking of calm, thinking of comfort. All of their faces changed slowly, settling with ease. Jasper's was the only one that suddenly warped into horror as he took a quick step backwards, too fast for my eyes to see.
"How are you doing that?" He hissed angrily. Yep, that had definitely been me seeing the future a moment ago. Everyone turned to Jasper, and as soon as they saw his face they twisted sharply back to me with wide eyes. "How are you able to control my emotions?" He railed in horrified anger. I remembered earlier when he'd tried to calm me and I'd stopped him. I smirked, actually kind of proud of myself.
"The same way I kept you from controlling mine earlier." I mused. "Evidently my shield is still intact." Their eyes were still wide. "But now it's more of a two way mirror. Whatever is used on me, mental or physical, I can project back. I can mirror it." I considered my explanation and it made sense to me. "Like just now, I was able to recreate what you tried to do to me earlier, and use it on you." They all looked suddenly bewildered. "And a moment ago, before I got up off the carpet, I had a vision of you looking like you were angry with me, which happened just now." Alice's face finally changed into surprised. "But I don't think your abilities will work fully on me anymore." I murmured. "Not unless I want them to." Carlisle, always the scientists, looked utterly engrossed in everything I was saying.
"How do you know that?" He asked excitedly with a huge smile. Jasper and Rosalie looked disturbed.
"It's like with Jasper trying to control my emotions." I explained. "I didn't want to be controlled." I stated. "I wanted to be angry. So I focused, and pushed him away." A realization that I hadn't even taken into account hit me as well. "And when I first got here, remember I said I noticed that you knew I would be here beforehand, but that you obviously hadn't known that it was going to be me in particular?" He nodded eagerly. "I assume Alice told you, that in your future, that someone would be coming up to the house?" I asked and he nodded. "But she couldn't tell you who it was going to be, right?" He nodded again. "That's because I didn't want to be seen." I explained. "I was afraid of startling anyone who saw my face, afraid that you wouldn't answer the door. That's why my hoodie was pulled so tight when you first opened it." I mused. "And because I kept debating on whether I should knock or forget the whole stupid idea and go home, the future wasn't set in stone because I hadn't made my mind up yet." They were all looking at me with wild eyes. "Pretty cool huh?" I grinned. "And I figured all of that out on my own." I laughed. "You all should be proud." I frowned when I noticed that Carlisle seemed to be the only one excited by this news and let out a resigned sighed. "I'm trying to wrap my head around it too you know?" I accused and their faces softened. "We'll work on making sense of it later." I promised. "I really, really need to see Edward." I whispered. There was that uncomfortable silence again. I let it linger until Alice finally spoke.
"Bella, do you remember when we took you to Phoenix, when James was after you?" I ran through the memories slowly, until I could clearly envision the time in my previous existence that she was referring to, and nodded. "Do you remember what I told you, about why it was worth everything for us to protect you?" I furrowed my brows. My memory was good, but it wasn't that good.
"Not specifically." I muttered. She cringed lightly.
"I asked you if you really thought any of us would want to look into Edward's eyes for the next hundred years if he were to lose you. Do you remember?" She whispered, and suddenly I did, and I nodded. She took a deep breath. "I never thought I would ever see the day when those words would bear any truth to their meaning." She looked away, but not before I caught the look of sheer torture that washed over her face. "But it did." She looked up, and if she could cry, there would have been tears in her eyes. "And it hasn't ended in seventeen years." My throat was suddenly tight. "Not for us, and especially not for him." My vision was suddenly blurred. "He wasn't…the same, after you died." Her voice was tight. I was suddenly unfocused, remembering things in my head, words and fragments of pieces that raised a thousand more questions. Alice didn't say anymore, she seemed to have lost the ability to speak, her lips quivering. Jasper stepped close and hugged her to him, murmuring something low in her ear and she nodded, before his eyes swung up to meet my face.
"We couldn't have known what price we would all have to pay, for our inability to save you." He murmured, and Alice finally turned away from me, to bury her face into his chest as his arms came around to hold her. "We will never be able to fathom his grief." He whispered. "We thought we could anticipate…" He let the words linger for a moment, furrowing his brows, as if he were trying to find a way to make sense of it himself. "After how he reacted the first time he thought you were dead." Rosalie stiffed slightly. "We thought he would react the same way." He whispered. "We thought he would try to end it all, the way he had the first time." My brows furrowed as I fought to hold the tears at bay, fighting the burning in my eyes. "We didn't understand." He shook his head. "That for him, everything had ended; it was all over for him." Alice shuddered in his arms and he tightened them around her, his eyes going to Emmet pleadingly.
"He just gave up. He quit trying to live. He just quit fighting." Emmet's eyes were tortured as well. "He did die that day." He whispered. "Just not the way we thought he would." I could barely breathe, I was choking silently. "Even in terms of his death, Edward surprised us." That made my heart skip suddenly. But Edward was alive…wasn't he? He didn't say anymore, even Rosalie looked distraught, leaning into him silently.
"I don't understand." I whispered, and my voice didn't sound like mine.
"You above all people should know that Edward is so nauseatingly self-sacrificing." It was Rosalie who spoke this time. "He is utterly incapable of not taking the blame for everything that goes wrong in his world." I nodded numbly and that made my lips curl into a weakened, brittle version of blind affection. That sounded like Edward, he hated to believe that he couldn't control everything. "He…blamed himself." That made my eyes focus on her face; it was rigid, drawn into hard lines, on the verge of anger. "He decided that he didn't deserve to go…unpunished for his failure." I blinked. His failure? "He didn't feel he deserved, the easy way out of his pain." The blinding numbness was back in my eyes. "He wanted to suffer." Her eyes were full of the pain that she felt; mirroring what she must have experienced watching him decide his own fate. "He figured the only true justice, would be living without anything to live for at all…without you." Her hands were fists at her side. "We tried to tell him, tried to make him understand that there hadn't been anything more he could have done." She closed her eyes. "But he was lost to us." She squeezed her eyes shut harder. "We couldn't penetrate his self-created void of damnation." She opened her eyes slowly to peer out at me. "He was his own judge, jury and executioner." She whispered softly. "He wasin his own private version of hell, and he refused to leave it." I was so hopelessly lost in the realization of her words, that I barely noticed how hard I suddenly gripped the edge of the chair beside me. "He's been living there, in that moment, trapped forever, chained to his guilt, for almost seventeen years." She shook her head slowly. "And I don't know if anything can bring him out of it." She finally stepped away from Emmet, coming around slowly, to stand barely a few feet from me. "I don't know if he's too far gone, but seeing you, knowing that by some miracle, some unknown, unimagined mercy, that can only be of God's own design, I glimpse a fragment of hope." She took a deep breath. "Hope that maybe, just maybe, I can finally have my brother back." I let my eyes wash over her face, and it was there, that hope she spoke of, nestled somewhere between her doubt and fear. "Watching Edward go through this, almost every day for seventeen years, I gained a lot of perspective on what really matters." Her eyes flickered to Emmet and they shared a silent smile of love. "That epiphany, has taught me to believe in the strength of true, unfailing, undying love." She looked back at me. "I have to believe, that you're the only thing that might save him now." I swallowed the knot in my throat. Her words sounded strange in her voice.
The bitter, pessimistic ice queen was gone, and in her place, was a woman, finally at peace with herself. I gathered strength as I looked up at her eyes, alight with desperate hope. Nothing would stop me, nothing could hold me, nothing would stand in the way of fulfilling, and deserving her faith in me. I would do whatever it would take to make this right. I was the only one who could.
Her face calmed, taking on a serious note of determination. "To do that, I don't think there is any other way, but for you to remember the things that happened, the things that destroyed him." She laughed suddenly, and it wasn't painful, it was beautiful, a light, nervous tinkling of airy notes. "It's not going to be easy." She smiled ruefully. "I wish we could just bring him here and let him see you. And I wish that it would just suddenly make everything right." She was sad again. "But that's not how life works. You can't just make seventeen years of grief and pain, evaporate. At least not the kind of torture Edward has put himself through." She was frowning bitterly again. "Edward's mind is already unstable as it is. To throw this at him and just expect him to accept that everything is all better is foolish. It could very well damage what sense of reality he still clings to." I nodded understanding. "If it's possible for insanity in vampires, we may very well soon find out, if we haven't already." I finally released the breath I'd been unconsciously holding.
"What did you have in mind?" I murmured. She watched me for a moment, considering my words, contemplating her plan of explanation.
"Considering you're recent discovery." She smiled. "With your new found talent at absorbing other abilities." A secretive smile suddenly bloomed. "Lucky for you, unequivocal bitchiness isn't one of mine anymore." That made me smile at her, and I heard a few of the others chuckle under their breath. "Maybe there's a way we can use that to our advantage." She smiled brightly.
"What are you thinking Rose?" Jasper asked suddenly. She turned slowly so that that she was facing us all.
"What ability would benefit Bella, in terms of communicating with Edward, if she were to absorb it?" I furrowed my brows and looked to the others; they all seemed as confused as I was.
"Edwards, because if she could speak to his mind…" Carlisle spoke for the first time in a while but trailed off as his eyes touched her face.
"That would be helpful I'm sure, but I was thinking of something more detailed; an ability that would allow her to show him everything." I tilted my head to see understanding was over their faces. "So that he would be forced to see, without the shadow of a doubt, that it's really her, and not an apparition his mind has created out of his loneliness, to haunt him. Because let's face it." She shrugged flippantly. "That's what he'll think she is. Some hallucination sent to torment him further." I wasn't in on the game plan she had come up with, but I would go along with whatever she suggested, if it would allow me to be with Edward again.
"Alright." I shrugged and I felt their eyes suddenly on me. "What do I have to do?" She grinned wildly.
"All you have to do," She whispered. "Is remember."
There was a flurry of commotion as the others began to voice their opinion on the subject of Rosalie's suggestion, some supportive and others objectionable.
"Listen!" I said tersely, silencing them all. "It may not be the simplest task to undertake, but I'll do whatever I have to."
"I know you don't want to remember how you died just yet, but exposing you to something that will more than likely release those memories, is the only thing I can think of, that will allow you to get close enough to Edward, to reach him." Rosalie explained.
"She would have to be touching him." Carlisle interjected. "Do you really think Edward will let her get that close, before reading her mind, and realizing what she's trying to do?" He asked his face serious.
"If he couldn't read her mind before, I'm pretty sure he still won't be able to now." Rosalie retorted.
"Wouldn't it be better if he did?" I asked softly and their eyes were all on me again. "I mean, wouldn't he hear the truth in my head, and know that it's really me?" I whispered.
"No." Carlisle shook his head sadly. "Just hearing you think that won't convince him, he needs to see the entire process of your rebirth to truly grasp what has happened, to believe it." He sighed. "And merely thinking of those memories doesn't have quite the same…effect, as when you relive them in your mind." Rosalie, Alice and Carlisle suddenly smiled wistfully.
"Besides all that," Jasper waved away. "Won't Edward still see what's going on in our heads and bolt, thinking that we're trying to trick him?" He asked and they were suddenly silent.
"We can just control what we're thinking." Alice shrugged.
"That will be funny." We all turned to Emmet who was grinning broadly. "If we're all trying to concentrate on something other than Bella, and all Edward hears is us repeating the word 'Apple' in our head over and over again. No, you're right, he won't think anything's up at all, then." He grinned sarcastically. That made me giggle suddenly, at the thought of the look on Edwards face. Emmet chuckled softly in response.
"We could leave her here alone to confront him." Esme suggested. "So that none of our thoughts can be heard." Everyone looked deep in thought.
"Or I could just see if I can still expand my shield." I mused and they all turned to look at me suddenly. "If I can remember how to expand it around you all too, then he wouldn't be able to hear any of us." I said softly with a shrug.
"If you can do it," Jasper mused. "That just might work." I grinned proudly.
"Well, now that that's decided." Rosalie murmured. "I suppose it's time for you to absorb another ability." My eyes flew to her.
"Who's?" My brows furrowed and there was that eerie silence again.
"I've avoided saying the name out loud, in case that alone will cause all of your memories to resurface." Rosalie explained. "But now I'm wondering if it would be better if you just remembered it all now, rather than later when you meet the person I'm referring to." She mused softly to herself almost.
"I think it would be best, if they both remember each other again, at the same time." Carlisle concluded. I was trying to keep my mind from straying too far in its attempts to dissect their comments, and understand who they were referring to, but it didn't really take that much effort. The memories still lost to me, were too blurry to really make any sense of, there was only a strange sense of knowledge, that there was indeed something or someone I was forgetting.
"How are we going to get either of them alone?" Rosalie pressed. "You know you can't ask for one without getting the other one too?"
"Then they'll both have to come." Carlisle shrugged helplessly.
"Should someone explain to the…other one, what is going on, before hand I mean?" Alice asked softly.
"That might help." Carlisle nodded. "Emmet can do the honors." Emmet nodded in acceptance. "Will that work?" He asked tilting his head back to look at her. She furrowed her brows for a moment, concentrating on something distant in her eyes, before she relaxed slowly and nodded.
"I still can't see her clearly when she's with him." She frowned. "Did you think that changed too?" She teased.
"No," Carlisle sighed in exasperation. "Why don't you try seeing Emmet instead, Alice." Carlisle suggested.
She focused again, but this time her face was impassive until it cleared again. "It sounds like he's going to freak out a little bit." She shrugged. "But it'll work out just fine." She looked down at him as her face changed suddenly. "He should probably wait outside while she…Oh!" She gasped as her face changed suddenly. They all looked at me for a moment and then back towards Alice. "She's been holding out on us, she's known about Bella for a while now evidently." She pursued her lips in interest before her Rosalie and Jasper exchanged a strange look.
"I'll call him." Emmet smiled. "Since we're friends and all." He chuckled before disappearing in an instant. Everyone was silent for a moment.
"Just for the record, I'm confused as hell." I muttered.
"It's okay, it's probably better that way." Rosalie murmured sympathetically.
"So…you're human again." Jasper grinned. "Still as accident prone as before?" I laughed, finally taking a seat again.
"Strangely enough, no." I smiled. "At least I wasn't up until a few weeks ago." I mumbled. "Maybe all those years as a vampire taught me a little bodily control and self preservation." I smiled. "But then again, I died, so perhaps not." I frowned. Their moods darkened slightly. "Hopefully I won't be accidentally giving myself paper cuts anymore." I grinned slyly at Jasper, and he suddenly looked slightly embarrassed.
"Luckily, I've gained a bit of self control myself." He smiled. I noticed that they'd all been standing this whole time. I knew it didn't bother them, but it slightly unnerved me.
"You guys can sit down, you know?" I smiled. "It makes me a little uneasy to have you all standing around." I grinned sheepishly. "Human habit." I shrugged. In an instant they had taken up spots around me; Esme beside Carlisle, Rosalie beside me, Jasper and Alice together on the couch beside her. My comment brought something else to my attention. "Speaking of human habits." I looked around at them all. "Why are you all going back to school so soon?" I asked furrowing my brows. "Won't people notice that you're still…well…you?" Alice smiled warmly.
"We've discovered how ridiculously unobservant, most people are." She grinned. "And in a small town like Forks," Alice continued. "There aren't really that many people who'll notice us, or who would make the connection, anyway." I frowned.
"I made the connection with Edward." I murmured.
"Yeah, well," Emmet called suddenly from another room. "You're special in the head remember?" I narrowed my eyes at the sound of his voice playfully.
"You're not worried about the danger that it puts the rest of us-" I caught myself. I wasn't a vampire anymore I reminded myself sadly. "I mean the rest of your kind in?" They all stared at me for a moment.
"No." Rosalie muttered. "We're careful. Believe me we've got everything under control." She assured me. "People can speculate all they want, but no one ever thinks of trying to confirm their suspicions." She reasoned.
"And if something happens, god forbid it does, but if someone figures out what you all are, won't the other vampires be a little…irritated." I asked curiously.
"It'll all work out no matter what happens." Alice smiled. "We don't exactly have to fear the punishment of a tiny slip up every now and then, not anymore." She smiled and the others suddenly looked uncomfortable. "Besides." Alice added with a shrug "No one notices the oddity of it all. Like I said." She was being deliberately vague in her explanation.
"If no one notices," I began. "Then why did everyone seem to notice me so easily?" I pressed.
"You were human." Jasper explained. "You made friends and interacted with a lot of people. We pretty much avoided being noticed in the first place." He grinned. I eyed him skeptically.
"Angela Weber and Mike Newton noticed me right off the bat." I offered. "Angela's daughter has even heard of me, and knew the whole story about my time in Forks." That brought up another question. "Which by the way," I looked at them all pointedly. "I died in a car crash, while on vacation in Europe?" I asked unimpressed. "You couldn't think of something more…I don't know…glamorous?" I grinned.
"Death is never glamorous." Carlisle stated somberly. "Yours especially. Heroic perhaps, but not glamorous." He smiled sadly. "We were all mourning your loss, so our grief temporarily clouded our imaginations. My apologies." I frowned apologetically but he smiled reassuringly in response. "But I appreciate your effort to be lighthearted about the whole situation." That made me smile, until a new thought struck me.
"Wow!" I moaned dejectedly and they all looked at me worriedly. "This is going to be so much fun." I grumbled.
"Telling Edward?" Alice asked. I looked at her.
"That's not exactly what I was thinking of." I sighed.
"Then what was?" Alice asked.
"Being 17 again." They looked confused. "In my other life, I was a wife and a vampire, and technically…I was 19 when I died. I lived with Edward; I was finished with high school." I looked at them all suddenly. "It looks like my two years in high school are about to be repeated." Comprehension washed over them as their mouths formed into small 'oh's of surprise. They all looked bemused for the moment, but a thought made me smile. "There is one good thing that I can think of, that came from all of this." They all looked at me expectantly. "Alice you're gonna love this…" I smiled and her eyes brightened. "It seems my second life has made me appreciate celebrating special events." I grinned and her whole face lit up. "So it looks like you'll be planning my wedding…again, if everything goes according to plan." They were all smiling, it made me happy, to think I may get a second chance at life, to do things over, the right way this time.
"Let's just hope everything goes a little…smoother, this time." Rosalie smiled. I nodded in absolute agreement.
Just then Emmet appeared looking frazzled; at least, as frazzled as a vampire could possibly look.
"How'd he take it?" Rosalie smirked.
"He's a little confused and upset, and he's pretty pissed at her for keeping it a secret, but other than that…" He shrugged. "He took it like a champ."
"Good." Carlisle nodded. "When will they be here?"
"Probably about ten minutes." Emmet replied. "They were already in town visiting family." They both looked at me before exchanging a glance.
"He didn't say anything to him, did he?" Jasper asked cryptically.
"Charlie already knows." Carlisle stated pointedly. "She went to see him and he sent here here."
"Oh, okay, well, then everything's good then." Emmet said softly. "He really wants to see Bella." He grinned crookedly, reminding me of the way Edward used to do. Everyone looked at me worriedly suddenly, as if waiting for something he'd said to click, but it didn't.
"Don't worry," I raised my hands defensively. "I'm still completely oblivious." I smiled ruefully and they all seemed to relax. "It seems that unless I hear a familiar name or meet that person, my memories of them are still safely locked away where I can't access them." I tapped my temple with two fingers and frowned. "I practically feel like a password encrypted computer, but I can't unlock myself. It's annoying." Emmet chuckled suddenly and I looked at him.
"Every time you say you can't remember something from now on, I'm going to ask you if you've forgotten the password." He grinned and I glared playfully at him.
"Typical, big brother." I muttered rolling my eyes, and he grinned warmly at me.
"That's right!" He beamed. "I do have another little sister again." That made me smile, and then frown as I thought of Jared.
"I have a little brother." I whispered. "His name is Jared; he lives in Chicago with my dad." They were all silent. I rubbed my eyes slowly trying to wash away the sudden realization. "I suppose he'll never be able to know what's happened to me." I sighed. "Not that he'd understand any of it anyway."
"You don't have to give up your new family." Esme said softly. "You're still human; you can still be a part of their lives." She offered.
"And when I want to finally become a vampire again?" I asked and she stared blankly back at me. Another thought struck me yet again. "And I swear to God, if Edward gives me a hard time about it this time, I'm going to throttle him." That made them all laugh.
"Considering how well the experience turned out last time," Emmet murmured with a knowing smile. "Other than the whole…dying part, I'm sure he won't be quite as opposed to the idea as he was last time." He chuckled. "Now that he knows how much fun it can be." I stared at him for a long moment and waves of memories suddenly flooded back to me. I felt my cheeks flush with scalding heat suddenly as I put two more missing pieces together.
"That explains the Déjà vu with the feathers!" I shouted suddenly and their eyes went wide.
"Feathers..?" Jasper asked with a curiously raised brow. I blushed again, my cheeks glowing scarlet.
"It's nothing." I tried to wave away their curious looks when Alice caught my attention. Her face was frozen; she'd jerked upright quickly to look at me.
"They'll be here soon." She whispered carefully. I raised a brow; did she happen to have any insight on how this was going to go? She must have somehow caught my silent question. "Our future just changed again." My hands were suddenly trembling.
"And I just got comfy." Emmet whined jokingly, and suddenly they were all on their feet in a blur of motion.
"Bella." My head twisted quickly to Carlisle where he was standing beside me suddenly. "Whatever happens, if you need anything, we're going to be right outside." He offered but my face must have showed something, making him look at me with concern. "Unless, of course, you want us to stay." He murmured carefully and I nodded silently.
"You don't all have to go." I offered softly but he was already nodding with understanding.
"I'll leave Esme, Alice and Rosalie here with you." He said softly. "Emmet, Jasper and I, will all wait outside." I nodded but there was no time to say anything, in a split second the three of them were at the door, opening it quickly before disappearing from sight. Fear began to creep its way across my skin.
"Was the person I'm going to meet…," I hesitated for a moment, "there when I died?" I asked carefully. "Is that why it might make me…remember?" I gulped the last word down.
"Yes." Rosalie nodded looking down on me and I felt a flush of fear creep up my throat. I nodded numbly losing focus.
"Will I like this person?" I asked worriedly.
"You're going to love them." She smiled warmly, one of the most genuine smiles she had ever bestowed upon me. "Just like the rest of us do." That made my brows furrow as I let my eyes drop.
"Are you sure I'll recognize them?" I whispered looking up, but her face was focused on something behind me.
"See for yourself." She murmured.
I was frozen, suspended in my existence, my fingers trembling as I stood, slowly, carefully, almost afraid to turn and see where she was looking, half drawn by that same strange pull that had haunted me for weeks. When I finally found the strength, to twist my body slowly around, my eyes focused and there she was.
I was expecting a wave of emotion to plummet me into a whirl of memories, but nothing came. I didn't recognize her. She couldn't have been older than me, then again…maybe she could, but somehow I knew that she would never look older than she was, locked in the body of fully developed young woman. She was my height, with long, softly curling bronze hair, framing an angel's face. Pale, porcelain features, her skin was beautiful, just like the rest of the Cullen's, but there was a flush of color on her cheeks, her lips were full and pink, parted in a silent expression of awe. She was human, at least, part of her was. It was only when my gaze touched her eyes that reality hit me. They were my eyes, brown, filled with unshed tears, making them look like liquid chocolate. Before I was able to even move an inch, a high beautiful, pain stricken voice rang out. Shattering my world.
She was mine. I gasped, and then the memories came.
1 2 3 4 5
- 10 May 13
- 24 May 13
- In Progress