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
3. 3-The Other Piece of My Heart
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"...and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment..."
― Plato, The Symposium
*Twilight is the sole property of SM and publishing company.*
Chapter 3- The Other Piece of my Heart
—Right out side of Seattle —
I truly enjoyed the Olympic Peninsula. I loved the freedom that I was afforded because of the near constant cover of clouds, living such a carefree lifestyle would entice any vampire to question his nomadic ways. The attraction was clearly apparent as my oldest friend, Carlisle, chose to settle here every half a century or so.
The yound patriarch had amassed himself quite the coven of talented vampires, who were seemingly contented to live such a restricted lifestyles. The good doctor had wielded his charisma with such fervor that his progenies craved both his code of conduct and praise, pretending to be human without a second thought. Most of his coven mates appeared to be school-aged teenagers, and for the sake of mainstreaming with the human population, Carlisle repeatedly subjected them to an eternity of perpetual schooling so he might continue his life's work.
If I had been turned at such an impressionable age, I would have rather adopted the Cullen dogma than subject myself to such a humiliating act. My lackluster feelings regarding humanity compelled me to remain in the shadows.
The overly green setting seemed to blur as I snaked my way in and around the overly abundant landscape. As I ghosted through the early twilight, my black, leather duster, that whipped around my lithe body, was the only sound that echoed through the forest. I easily leapt over fallen trees and circumvented large ravines, splashing through the many streams that snaked themselves through the landscape. The tightly packed trees proved to be great fun, and I bounded from trunk to turn with ease, completely consumed with mirth.
It didn't take me long to pick up the intermingling scents of strange and familiar vampires. They drew an invisible cobblestone path that skillfully circumvented the wolves' territory. I slowed just this side of the outcropping of trees and gazed at the massive, stark white manor with a mixture of wonder and dread.
Even though I was eager for the camaraderie with my oldest friend, Peter's vision had me filled with a slight air of trepidation and excitement. I was, at some point or another, meeting my mate during my stay. Having been alone for over two centuries, I haven't never imagined that I would find my mate. I have hiked across this great country for over two centuries and had never given it a thought. The idea of a woman was a pleasant thought; however I wasn't the type to allow myself to become attached to any specific female. Certainly, I enjoyed being in the company of the fairer sex. A pair of creamy thighs and an ample bosom would keep any man, vampire or otherwise, occupied for a time, but the pleasures of the flesh were short-lived. I always found myself compelled to roam the shadows in search of more blood—another fix—more distractions.
I strode slowly across the meticulously manicured lawn with its many sculpted bushes and abundance of flowers, shaking my head at the absurdity of the sight laid out before me. Vampires were creatures born from the darkness and had no need for material possessions. The novelty was comforting, and intertwined with the pipe dream of humanity; I supposed it quelled a yearning for my friend who seemed more human than vampire.
A giant, red rust bucket was parked against the far corner of the courtyard that encompassed the circular driveway. I smiled at the irony of such an eyesore gracing such a splendid abode. It was public knowledge that the coven were partial to expensive machinery. It was odd to glimpse such a humble possession in the midst of such obvious wealth. Whoever drove this vehicle, I assumed the human, wasn't impressed by such extravagance. Already, she was a woman after my own heart.
My boots clapped rhythmically against the marble walkway and echoed across the large expanse as I traipsed closer to my destination. Several thousand feet from the door, I was assaulted by an arresting scent—human blood. It was extremely pleasant sensation that rippled agreeably through my body. Carlisle was correct in his assumption. Edward's pet smelled delectable—edible even. Although, the heady bouquet of lavender, sunshine, and fresh berries didn't appeal to my feral side, nor did it ignite an inferno within my throat. I couldn't ever sate my insatiable thirst with her crimson blood. The pull in my chest would prohibit such an action. Intriguing.
Her aroma became stronger the closer I stepped towards the magnificent dwelling. I could easily distinguish a thrumming heart over the strong and angry voices within. The constant rhythm of blood whisking though her veins was like a crescendo in my ears—harmonious and enigmatic—warming me from the inside-out. My body was alive and teeming with electricity, all my anxiety was quelled by one tiny organ.
The subtle smell of salt and the soft upsurge of sobs effectively wrenched me out of my silent musing. My victims usually exhibited such emotional outbursts during their last moment on earth, pleading for their sordid existences as I drained them of their blood. It was nothing that they didn't deserve. I only partook of the miscreants of society—the abhorable individuals who tainted the streets of men. Women, for the most part, were generally avoided. Their hearts and bodies were given to man as precious gifts, and thus, I tried never to defile God's exquisite creations, unless it was unavoidable.
The cries emanated from ground level just beyond the driver's door. I rounded the hood and slid to a stop, surprised to find a small young woman curled upon the wet earth. I was enraptured by the tiny brunette. Her long slender legs were curled tightly against her slender, feminine curves. Soft mahogany curls fanned about her head like a halo, framing nearly flawless alabaster skin. Long lashes swept against her soft, rounded cheeks. Wet, salty liquid flowed from under her lids, running freely down her pink flesh, pooling sorrowfully against her full lips. Even in grief, the young woman held me captive. My frozen heart ached and a pull centered in my chest. I grasped my chest and nearly buckled under the weight of the moment.
Well, of all the... Fuck! This tiny slip of a girl was my mate!
I found myself unable to move a muscle. Edward's name slipped from her lips intermittently between her sorrowful cries. I growled low in my chest, enraged by the carelessness of her vampire's presumed , therein I found my first conundrum: Why would the mate of Carlisle's beloved protégée be left unattended and in pain on the eve of battle? If she were mine, she wouldn't be in such a state. She would be safely cradled in my arms, guarded from the dangers of the world—the newborn army that plagued the lands very close from this residence. Friend or no friend, the petulant man-child and his sire would soon be schooled in proper etiquette—painfully if necessary.
I stayed still handful of seconds before I purposely strode over to her crumpled form. However before I could reach her body, she unfurled from the ground and pulled herself to a sitting position, bracing the palms of her hands against the slightly muddy earth, attempting to raise her weary body. I swiftly bent at the waist and respectfully curled an arm around her tiny waist and lifted her to her feet. She staggered against my chest and bucked under he own weight.
"Careful there, little lady," I whispered against her hair. My eyes rolled in the back of my head when my nostrils were embraced with her unique scent. I took a deep breath and held it, reveling in the exquisite burn that engulfed my chest. "A pretty little magnolia like you shouldn't be out here alone—especially at night. Edward should be ashamed of himself. This behavior hardly befits a gentleman. Let me help you back up to the house and get you cleaned up."
Before my lovely mate could object, I effortlessly swept her tiny frame into my arms and tucked her against my body. I sighed heavily. This tiny creature was the missing piece to my heart. Curse the fates! Of all the women on this planet that I could've been mated to, I was paired with a girl who was supposedly mated to another, my friend's son, for all intents and purposes. For now, I would let him think what he would, but once my business in this town was completed, she would know the truth. The boy couldn't deny a vampire his true mate. It was law and punishable by death, carried out by the aggrieved party or the Volturi, and the latter would be a last resort.
Isabella's chocolate-brown eyes swept up and met mine, assessing me serendipitously. The change in her body was instantaneous. Her hammering heart whisked the floral scent around our two forms in a heavy, cloying fog. A low growl slipped from between my teeth, far too low for her inferior hearing, but her body physically recognized me regardless, even though her conscious mind did not. She shook her head, confused by the arousal that burned in her lower abdomen, blanketing me in in a light musky scent. My nostrils flared, and I had the wrangle the inner demon that clawed his way to the surface, goading me to claim what was mine, but I tamped down the primal beast who was screaming Mine. My lovely beauty wasn't ready for vampire mating. She was still fragile and unfortunately taken at the moment. Her neck would soon bare my mark.
Once I had regained some semblance of control, I carried my precious cargo toward the house, our eyes never loosing contact. I wanted nothing more than to stay locked in each others gaze for eternity. I carefully sat her on her feet, internally lamenting the loss of contact.
Suddenly, I realized my lack of decorum, embarrassed that I had yet to introduce myself. "My name is Garrett. You must be Isabella."
Isabella's lovely, pink lips parted slightly and she took a swift breath, though she didn't speak. I longed to hear her voice—yearned to hear my name upon her lips. Being in her presence was a euphoric feeling, foreign yet refreshing. I felt a weight had been lifted from my chest, and in that moment, I realized was whole for the first time in two-hundred and twenty-seven years.
I lifted her hand and kissed her delicate hand, allowing my lips to linger on her velvet skin longer then was deemed proper in my time. I was interrupted by the front door flying open, revealing a very aggrieved Edward.
Several things happened in fast succession, and I found myself slipping into a protective stance. She gasped as Edward threw open the door with authority and grasped her firmly by the crook of the arm, flinging her delicate frame behind him. My little lady looked like rag doll as he forcibly swung her away. Due to the abrupt shift in her equilibrium, she stumbled to stay upright. The man before me dropped into a crouch, and I mirrored his actions quickly. We growled at each other, waiting for the other to strike.
Behind my tiny angel the tall, scared male, Jasper, stood guard behind him, issuing a wave of lethargy across the expanse. I closed my mind and breathed deeply, allowing the soldier's gift to roll off of me like water off a duck's back. I expected to see Edward collapse with the intensity of the swirling emotion but he didn't. What I didn't expect was that my young mate was directly in the line of fire. She crumpled under the weight of it. I pushed Edward out of the way and slid across the marble floor, yelling her name as her limp body fell toward the ground. I scooped Isabella up into my arms before she hit the floor and jumped to my feet, dipping into a defensive crouch, still cradling her tiny form to my chest.
Golden eyes surrounded me, but I held my ground. Loud growls echoed toward the high ceilings and lingered in the air menacingly. Emmett barreled towards me, but I held out my hand, raising my body out of my couch, attempting to look as non-threatening as possible. The massive man-child stopped and crossed his arms across his chest menacingly, staring daggers at me. I knew the large vampire would charge again if I wasn't smart about my actions, and I was carrying precious cargo.
Edward stalked towards me and sunk him nails into my shoulder. I winced but shrugged him off. "Garrett, give me Bella, now!"
Carlisle, stoic and composed, spoke soft but authoritatively. "What on Earth are you doing, my old friend."
My eyes combed the area and quickly found Esme in the back of the angry hoard. "Esme, take Isabella—"
Edward cut me off, growling at me, eyes deep pools of obsidian. "No! You will give my mate to me."
Remembering Edward's gift, I let him have it. The fuck I will, you petulant little shit. You treated my mate disrespectfully! You claim she's yours? Though, you left her unaccompanied and weeping outside in the dark. What gentleman does that? It's fucking dangerous out there. Or have you forgotten you called me to help you exterminate a newborn horde?
I ignored him and focused on Esme, pleading with my eyes. She quickly crossed the expanse and held out her arms. I lovingly placed my mate into her arms and stroked her silky hair, before returning to the issue at hand. Carlisle's wife and the small, dark-haired pixie disappeared upstairs. The two women weren't a threat to me, and I relaxed slightly. Before Edward could blink or prepare for an attack, I was sprinting towards him and grabbed him by the throat, sinking my teeth into trachea as we crashed into the wall. Paint and plaster rained around us like a snowstorm. I clenched my jaw and tore a large chunk out of his neck before I was restrained.
Emmett had my body pinned up against his chest with his arms under mine. The he snaked both massive paws around my head and pulled it to the side, exposing my throat. Jasper lunged at me-teeth barred and inches from my throat, growling at me menacingly. A quite effective maneuver on the blond-soldier's part, and my vampire nature natural conceded in fear of my life, but I didn't relax my stance. I spit out Edward's flesh onto the pristine tile and took a deep breath, never taking my eyes of the insatiably annoying vampire before me.
"Garrett! This is so unlike you," Carlisle admonished, brow furrowed in confusion. "Please explain quickly before I ban you from my home after your abhorable and disrespectful behavior. We are friends—we've been friends for over two centuries—so I will extend you a small amount of courtesy."
"Carlisle, I respect you greatly. I always have. However, your son seems to lack the proper way to treat a lady. A lady who happens to be my mate." I retorted, garnering a displeased growl from the petulant Edwardian brat.
Carlisle quickly placed his hand on his child's chest, prohibiting him from acting on his fury. It's about damned time. My flaxen-haired friend cocked an eyebrow and tilted his head, weighing my words carefully.
My flaxen-haired friend's ocher eyes flashed to the empath, silently beseeching him to reveal a different conclusion. "Jasper? Is Garrett speaking the truth?"
Jasper pulled this teeth away from my neck and nodded emphatically. "I feel no deceit in his emotions, Carlisle. He's telling the truth."—His eyes flashed to mine.—"I'm sorry, Garrett. You were completely in the right."
"She can't be your mate! She's mine! You'll not have her. I won't let you waltz into this house and claim what is rightfully mine," Edward wailed, grasping large handfuls of his copper hair in his frustration.
"I'll let you go, if you behave, Garrett," Emmett growled. I nodded. The giant unfurled his fingers and stepped away, hands out-raised to show he meant no disrespect.
"The problem with that statement, Edward, is that Garrett had the right to challenge any rivals. Bella is his mate, and stepping in between the two of them is punishable by law, carried out by either he or the Volturi. Should you have done that to Alice, you would've been in pieces with a flame over-top your head. Garrett is showing you a kindness, a restraint that I wouldn't have so easily granted."
Edward growled and lunged toward me like a newborn, completely detached from his rational self. Emmett dipped into a crouch and crashed into his body, grabbing him around the waist and pummeling him to the floor. "Edward, dude! I'd stay still if I were you. Garrett ain't playin'. He'll rip you to sheds and there's not a damned thing we can do about it."
I took a deep breath and knelt beside him, reveling in the submissive position. "You have a slight reprieve, boy. Bella has to accept me as her mate. I won't stand in her way if she chooses you. On the other hand, I have no qualms about beating your ass again if you don't treat Isabella as a lady."
A soft voice from the top of the stairs pulled my attention away from Edward. "W...what's going on? You're screaming about mates—arguing over me like I'm a piece of meat. Somebody better tell me what the fuck is happening this minute!"
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