Set during/after Ch. 12 Eclipse. Newborns are terrorizing Seattle. The vampires of the Olympic Peninsula are worried that the Volturi will become involved, so they call their closest friends and allies. But when the Denali clan shun Carlisle's request due to Laurent's death, an old friend unexpectedly answers his plea. Will his presence shake up their rock solid foundation? B&G
1. 1-The Newborns are Coming! The Newborns are Coming!
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Dialogue in italics are direct quotes from Chapter 12-Eclipse
This is not E/B fiction. Characters are slightly OOC
*Twilight is the sole property of SM.*
The Newborns are Coming! The Newborns are Coming!
—Mount Rushmore National Park—
After my long trek and subsequent consent to follow my friend's request, I stood at the foot of the giant monument, gazing up at the exquisite piece of history. It was a rather fortuitous stop, an agreeable distraction. Eighty years had passed since my last visit to South Dakota. Yet, I still wouldn't have graced her presence had Peter Whitlock not insisted that I make my yearly pilgrimage to Carlisle's, sooner rather then later. Being in New York at the time, it took me a fair amount of time to make the journey, due to the extraordinarily decent weather and my need to remain inconspicuous. But, he insisted that I be close enough to make the trip to Washington in a day, although, he didn't inform me of the significance of the time restriction. It wasn't as though I was burdened by anything in particular, so I did as I was asked.
According to the young soldier, not only would I find my mate, but be a party to a supernatural war that loomed on the horizon, and he and Char would join me later. It sounded intriguing. The promise of war was always acceptable entertainment. Newborns, my favorite opponents, were threatening the towns of the Northwest, taunting the vampire police to intervene. While I accepted their importance to our kind, I disliked the slimy bastards with all of my being, especially the creepy, raven-haired leader with the unnerving laugh and deceptively, cunning gift. Or the evil, leprechaun bitch who could drop a man with one glance. I shuddered at the thought of meeting either of them again. So, I would stand with Carlisle against these unknown foes and quell my boredom in the process.
I shook my head. Peter's non-gift was infuriating. On occasion, like now, I appreciated the novelty of a friendly 'magic eight ball, though it was hardly as reliable as Carlisle's coven mate, Alice, and I told him as much when he called. To say Peter was angered by the comparison was the understatement of the millennium. Apparently, his brother, or rather sire's, new lifestyle put the blond soldier on edge. I had to agree, to a small degree. One's choice of diet definitely had the propensity to be a hot topic, but it was a preference, above all else. A decision like that was almost as sacred as religion or gender of mate. Far be it for me to cause dissension in the ranks just because I chose to dine on a natural diet.
I saw the pros and cons to each dietary decision. Carlisle's penchant for human life morally forbade him from causing innocent blood to be split. To a morally irreprehensible vampire like my blond comrade, human life was sacred. It was hard to dispute his infallible logic, being that I was once a fragile human myself. Yet, I still questioned his choice whenever possible. Rocking his boat was an enjoyable pastime. Carlisle was nothing if not steadfast in his beliefs. So, ultimately, furry mammals took precedence over the finer, more palatable blood that graced my lips, and to my oldest friend, an appropriate substitution for the necessary nature of our being. I fully believed that the young patriarch would revel in secret victory should he, one day, convert me to his way of life. Quite frankly, it wouldn't happen. I was fairly content being who and what I was. For the time being, I had no reason to change.
Gazing upon the brilliantly carved and painstakingly preserved mountain, I was delighted to glimpse the immortalized faces of friends past. The foursome looked just as they had years ago—forever commemorated in stone. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt were four of the most important men of their time. They had each changed young America in their own ways, some for better, and others for worse. However, men were men after all. We were never meant to be idolized as gods. All of us harbored evil and goodness in our hearts, but none could feign perfection.
While, Gutzon Borglum had done a magnificent job with the project, I only wished that I would've taken a bite out of him before the project had begun. Not that it would have stopped the commission, per say, but perhaps had the sculptor been murdered on the eve of construction, I might've inadvertently halted the progression.
The American Dream was everything to me. Events leading up to and regarding the Revolutionary War made me strong. I was a patriot for justice. Consequently, those who stood in the way of said freedom were considered enemies. Even now, hundreds of years and dozens of battles later, I still held true to my original mission and snapped a British neck or two, slaking my inner demon's thirst in the process. Old habits die hard, I suppose. Let me just say, citizens from that country weren't on my active friends list, Carlisle being the only exception.
After climbing over the rock face early this morning due to boredom, I spent the rest of the day being led around by a rather beguiling young woman with fiery, red locks who thoroughly regaled me with the history of the monument. What she hadn't realized was that I had lived through America's brightest and darkest moments and hadn't needed a refresher course, but that was neither here nor there.
The redhead had a sparkling personality to go with her charming Irish accent. Her company agreeably passed the time until my scheduled phone call and rendezvous with the Cullens. I knew she found me agreeable. I could smell what my presence had done to her, and had I more time, I could've easily persuaded her into my bed. I was a man, in any case. I had desires—quite, voracious desires—but desires, nonetheless.
The day was overcast, cloudy, and threatening rain, so it afforded me the luxury of my own freedom of sorts. I enjoyed being untethered from the shadows, unencumbered by my necessary confinement. It reminded me of my human days. While I was nomadic by choice, I regularly enjoyed the company of intriguing people, even if they had, more often than not, become my meal. It was the nature of the beast. Loneliness often won over my more rational mind.
Mid afternoon, my phone finally rang. That exasperating bastard, Peter, had assumed correctly. I shook my head at his uncanny ability to predict crucial events. Now, if only his damned knower worked more regularly, I mused.
I opened the device and greeted the caller, not surprised by his identity. After the two of us exchanged pleasantries, Carlisle delved into the situation that had sprouted in Seattle, revealing the real reason behind his call. He required my help. His request wasn't a bombshell, by any means. Peter had filled me in on the details nearly a week ago, and I had decided then I would help my oldest friend. When the words left my lips, the little, clairvoyant pixie squealed in the background, screaming several 'thank yous' in the background. Alice had obviously had a vision regarding my arrival in Washington State. Whereas Peter's sporadic visions were certain; Alice's gift hinged on certain and changeable variables. Quite an annoying but cute reaction. Some people were easily amused.
Before we bid each other farewell, Carlisle informed me of Edward's human pet, who he had professed to be his mate. According to Peter, she was his singer. That fact debunked his claim over the girl. It was physically impossible to mate with the object of one's bloodlust. But it was possible that he was infatuated with the crimson liquid, mistaking his admiration for love. He'd hardly had enough life experiences to determine such a matter. I couldn't fault Carlisle's protegee, he was merely a child, after all, and I was certain my old friend wasn't versed in all aspects of the vampire world.
It was quite difficult to rein in your inner demon around such an alluring scent, even at my age. How he had accomplished that feat, I would never know. When I was unfortunate enough to cross paths with my singer, I was caught off guard. She died before she could even bat an eyelash, which in turn forced me to kill her friend, who had inadvertently witnessed the attack. The entire situation was a shame, really. I don't enjoy killing women.
In closing, Carlisle once again reminded me to prepare for this child's alluring scent. Apparently, many of the members of the family had difficulty resisting the siren call of her blood. I assured my comrade that I wouldn't pose a problem to the girl, and she would be quite safe in my company.
After exchanging closing sentiments, I tucked the annoying piece of technology back in my vest pocket and sprinted off into the twilight, eagerly anticipating the remainder portion of my visit. I only wondered who the lucky woman was and where I would met her.
As we pulled up to the large two-story, white house, with its six other occupants, who I had considered, on more that one occasion, to be my family, I felt as though I was unable to breathe. Apprehension crept down my spine like it had eight legs, creepy and crawly. I scrunched my eyes closed and took fast, shallow breaths, attempting to calm my irrational thoughts. For some unknown reason, I had the feeling that before the month was over that my life would be vastly different. That worried me greatly. After rescuing Edward in Volterra, change was inevitable.
Blinking my eyes, I could still see that newspaper clutched in my clammy hands—the victims of the horrible crime wave had fully etched themselves into my mind, reminding me that my tame and safe town could be easily overcome by the same unfortunate events.
After Edward had helped me out of the truck, which I had insisted we bring, we made our way almost silently up the front stairs. I slipped my jacket off of my shoulders and hung it on the golden hall-tree by the door. I took each step with care as Edward and I trudged—well, I trudged and Edward glided—up to the second story landing. The Cullens were perched on various pieces of furniture as they watched the news. It made me wonder what they were so intently focused on. I was sure I would find out sooner rather than later.
Emmett exuberantly bound over to me and swept me into a bone crushing hug, playfully berating me for ditching school. I rolled my eyes, slightly exasperated at the man-child before me. As if I was a perfect girl. It wasn't as though it was my first offense. I had skipped on a variety of occasions. Mind you they were during my broody and depressed phase, but I had conveniently stayed home. Besides, I wasn't all that concerned. I only had days left before I was free to do as I pleased. I figured it was typical teenaged behavior, even though I had never truly been a teenager. Living with my mother had made any such luxuries null and void. Renée was a bigger child than I was, requiring constant attention and guidance. Honestly, I was happy to now be living with an adult who wasn't careless and mentally unencumbered by life.
I shuddered. I had allowed today's date to creep up on me without my knowlege. It wasn't that I was scared of becoming a vampire, per say, but terrified of all the friends and family member I would lose in the process. This realization made me almost miserable again. Edward was truly worried about my trepidation, taking my uncomfortable silence as a change of heart. It was hardly a change of heart, more as a loss of connection with the Quileutes. Once I was one of the clinically undead, my werewolf brothers wouldn't exactly want to hang out with their natural enemy.
Seeing Jake again was almost a necessity, a longing. He became an integral part of my life, at the lowest point of my existence, and I had carelessly tossed him and his feelings aside to save Edward's life. Sadly, I would do it again and again, if only to save my beloved from his imminent demise. Yet, I still couldn't help but be overcome the grief that stabbed my middle when I thought of the tall, handsome Quileute that seemed to love me unconditionally.
Edward stepped forward and wrapped his arms securely around my waist, gazing down at me with his liquid, topaz eyes. He eyed me warily. "Are you still bothered about earlier? You know that graduation isn't a death sentence. This subject and your decision are not exactly my preference. I don't wish you to lose your humanity or your friends and love one's. I would be perfectly at ease with you taking the time to thoroughly consider your options. After all, it's a permanent decision, and I don't want you to regret anything."
Rosalie, perched on the second set of stairs, scoffed at our conversation, rolling her eyes. I knew that the blonde beauty disapproved of my decisions…and my presence, as well. Although, I didn't understand why. I hadn't done anything that I was consciously aware of that would cause the ethereal woman to dislike me with such fervor. I shook my head and returned my gaze to the family, still engrossed with what was unfolding on CNN.
I pulled away and stomped off towards the couch, plopping unladylike on the cream couch beside my best friend. "Edward, why do you always assume that everything is about you? My thoughts are not even remotely related to you or the current situation."
The look in Edward's eyes spoke volumes about his feelings. He was more of an open book that I was. He quickly wiped his face clean of emotion and tossed the latest paper to his father who ineptly snatched it gracefully out of the air.
"Did you see that they're considering a serial killer now?" he asked.
Carlisle sighed. "They've had two specialists debating that possibility on CNN all morning."
Edward shifted his stance and grimaced. "We can't let this go on."
"Let's go now," Emmett said, bouncing around and boxing the air. "I'm dead bored."
A hiss echoed down the stairway.
Emmett rolled his eyes and scoffed at his wife's displeasure. "She's such a pessimist."
The family continued speculating about the cause of the disappearances and murders, completely confusing me with the speed of the conversation and path they took. Finally I broke, furious that I wasn't being included in the discussion. I opened my mouth just in time to be interrupted by Edward who was answering a thought that he'd plucked out of Jasper's mind. Rude!
"Oh," Edward said sharply, turning his head slightly to look at Jasper. "I didn't think of that. I see. You're right, that has to be it. Well, that changes everything."
Everyone looked around confused at the nearly silent exchange between the blond vampire and my exasperating boyfriend and began grumbling and shouting about their speculations.
I stood and crossed my arms, fuming. "Well is anyone going to fill me in? This is really fucking pissing me off. I have a feeling that this has something to do with me, and I think I'm old enough and strong enough to handle just about anything."
Esme cringed slightly at my foul language but ignored my crassness, thankfully. She was a very sweet and compassionate person. It would be a shame to hurt her feelings by angrily lashing out at her.
"Maybe you should sit down, love. Take a deep breath." Edward turned to Jasper and he nodded. Jasper didn't look happy by the pointed look but seemed to resign himself to whatever he was pressured into revealing.
I resumed my seat on the couch and was quickly joined by Emmett, who just like a big brother, wrapped his huge and menacing arms around my waist and pulled me into his lap. I had to admit that I felt safe here in my brother's arms. As he held me tight to his chest, I was relieved that Edward was unable to coddle me, nor was he able to silently quell my reservations with those lovely, topaz eyes.
Jasper cleared his throat, gazed at Edward, who growled slightly, and spoke, "Bella should understand this, too. She's one of us now. How much do you know about me?"
I looked at him almost with a blank expression. In the time that I had been coming to the Cullen house, I had never had a real conversation with Jasper. Edward had kept us apart, afraid of Jasper's inability, as he put it, to fully acclimate himself to animal blood. I silently called bullshit there. If he wanted to kill me, he'd had plenty of chance encounters to do so. My eighteenth birthday, perhaps? Yet, here he was sticking up for me and pulling me into the conversation like I'd asked. Suddenly, I really liked my best friend's husband…a lot.
"Not much," I admitted.
Jasper stared at Edward, who looked up to meet his gaze.
"No," Edward answered his thought. "I'm sure you can understand why I haven't told her that story. But I supposed she needs to hear it now."
Thank, God! Finally some answers! At least someone in this house was man enough to take my side against Edward. I truly loved the oaf, but at times, I was annoyed by his overbearing nature.
Jasper practically toted me over to one of the lamps, where he showed me the abundance of crescent-shaped scars which cross-crossed his body in a lattice formation. I stuck my wrist under the light and compared the marks, shocked by the the extraordinarily large number of wounds. "Jasper, what happened to you?"
"Same thing that happened to your hand. Repeated a thousand times."
"Why?" It was a stupid question, but I was curious. I sucked in a nervous and terrified breath, and anxiously waited for the tale to begin.
Jasper recited his rather somber and heartbreaking story of his journey from human to vampire. I was mesmerized by the evil that he had both witnessed and participated in while being controlled by his bitch, sire Maria. I found myself glued to his every word, filled with trepidation as I was pumped full of knowledge about a member of the family, who until that moment, had been closed off to me. It annoyed me that Edward kept us apart. Perhaps, had Jasper been acclimated to my blood, he might've had a better chance of fending off the bloodlust months ago, saving everyone from the terrible events that followed. It would've been nice to have had a relationship with him. Perhaps, I would've heard this tale sooner, so I would've at least had a clue about what the family was so concerned about. Regardless of the timing, I was happy to learn of it now.
When the tall Texan had completed his rather somber tale, ending with a happy note, I found myself truly proud of the accomplishments and struggles that he had endured on his long road to redemption. He winked at me when he caught the tenor of my emotions and sent a wave of love and trust back to me in response. At that moment, I knew that he would always try to keep me in the loop.
"An army," Alice whispered. "Why didn't you tell me?"
Jasper told his wife that he was uncertain of the signs. He said, at first, he believed there wasn't a threat in Seattle, and so, he assumed that there was some other reason that all those humans were being massacred or missing. But, as time progressed, he couldn't shake the feelings that his instincts were correct when no other theory seemed to match up.
Then the blond vampire went into the ramifications of why this incident needed to be taken care of. The Volturi, the almighty vampire police, would definitely, if not already, be coming to eradicate any threat. Thus, they would show up at our doorstep where— guess what—I'm still human. Not exactly my idea of a good time.
"What can we do?" Carlisle asked.
Edward scoffed at first, arguing everyone's theories, but eventually was forced to agree with Jasper's assessment. Obviously, there was no alternative than to annihilate the threat, post-haste.
Esme and Rosalie spoke briefly about the Denali clan and wondered if the danger involved them, as well, or if it were merely they that posed the threat. Carlisle picked up his phone and called the Alaskan Patriarch but was quite disappointed by the family's dismissal. Laurent, who was one of the Denali woman's mate, death was directly correlated to me—via the wolves—and thus, the coven were adamantly opposed to assisting the Cullens in this endeavor.
Aww! I really didn't feel too damned sorry for him. Laurent was a royal dick and got what he deserved. Siding with Victoria—especially when he was chummy-chummy with Irina— wasn't the finest moment in his long existence. The first moment I saw him, I knew he was untrustworthy. Yet, I didn't heed my gut feeling. His eyes, not the color, told of his malevolence and true allegiance. There was something deeply rooted in his psyche that made my skin crawl.
Jasper offered to call his former coven mates, Peter and Charlotte, but Carlisle politely declined his offer. I thought the patriarch was bat-shit crazy to ignore any help, especially those who had experience in such matters, but I kept my mouth shut.
Carlisle called around to more of his acquaintances but received the same disappointing rejections. He almost had almost given up hope when he dialed the last number. His name was Garrett, and he sounded pleasant enough. His rich, baritone voice echoed through the house, causing the little hairs on my arms to stand on end. Strange.
"Ah, Carlisle. For what do I owe the honor of this call?"
Carlisle fidgeted slightly (fidgeted? A vampire?) and replied with a pleasant tone. "Well, Garrett, my old friend, I've called to request your assistance in a personal and professional manner."
"Sounds intriguing, Carlisle."
"Have you kept abreast of the news recently?"
"No, the nomad life is relatively carefree, as you know. I generally don't burden myself with the particulars, for the most part, unless there are whispers of war. Should I assume war is on the horizon?"
"Yes. An unknown enemy is amassing a newborn army in Seattle. By the huge body count, they are obviously untrained, uncontrollable. My family and I fear the Volturi involvement. We don't wish to have a visit from Italy. You know how they operate. It seems prudent to deal with the issue ourselves, and I'm wondering if you would help us in this endeavor?"
"Well, it's not as though I have any other things on my plate, at the moment, Carlisle. Life has been tedious, as of late, and I'm itching for a good fight. Newborns are the most fun to battle. Fast, angry, uncontrollable…and dumber than cat shit…"
Jasper snorted and nodded his head. Alice's eyes glazed over and then she squealed, shouting that Garrett would definitely be coming.
Damn little, clairvoyant pixie!
"I'd be happy to help you in any capacity. I'm in the Dakota Territory and should be there by twilight."
"I want you to be aware that Edward has a mate…she's still human. He's worried about you not sharing our diet and fears for her safety. She's his singer, and for some reason, she smells more—well, for a lack of a better word, delectable to our kind. I just wanted you to be aware.-" Carlisle sighed and closed his eyes, pinched the bridge of his nose. "And friend?" Garrett murmured in response. "Please, for the sake of the treaty with the Quileutes, don't hunt anywhere near Washington—especially Forks."
"Carlisle, of course I'll heed your wishes and consider Edward's concerns very carefully. As you well know, I have had control of my bloodlust for some time. I'm hardly a newborn, my friend. Edward's mate will be in no danger, I assure you."
"Just the same, I need you to be careful."
After the two men said goodbye and the receiver disconnected, everyone looked both pleased and relieved to gain another member in the fight. Well, everyone except Edward, who looked rather pained. That made me wonder what else he was hiding.
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