“Come on lovebirds, there’s a thunder storm coming and I don’t want by baby out in it!” Alice said running out to her car without a backward glance. I grabbed Edward’s hand before pulling him after her.
~ ~ ~
The biggest roll of thunder yet sounded over us just as we entered the Cullen house. It was right over us by now making the sky outside black like the night.
“Bella!” Esme greeted me, sweeping me into a very motherly hug.
I followed Alice into the Lounge only to find Emmett and Jasper locked in a fight to the death in an inhospitable environment surrounded by aliens. They were playing a video game.
Carlisle was reading a medical journal on the couch, looking up to smile at Esme as she sat next to him. Rose was sitting on the couch reading a fashion magazine. Alice quickly joined her and Edward and I sat on the love seat together. It was one big family and I adored it. It couldn’t be any more perfect.
We stayed in the lounge for four hours, watching as the sky grew progressively darker as the storm built in ferocity. The rain lashed against the glass wall but still managed to look amazing. The rain had really grown on me while I had been in forks.
By the time the clock struck 9 o’clock Edward had challenged Emmett to a tournament in whatever game they were playing. Everyone cheered and booed, really getting into it.
“Come on Baby!” I yelled surprising myself. Edward smiled happily just as he managed to kill Emmett.
“Nnnnooooo!!” Emmett yelled, jumping to his feet. “Not fair! Rematch!”
“How was that not fair?” Edward asked, a stupid grin plastered on his face.
“It’s not fair because you—” Emmett suddenly cut out as the lights flickered. He looked horrified for a second before springing on his controller. “It’s not saved! No! Save, save, save!” He jumped up and down like a toddler and the whole family burst out laughing, except Rose who just looked at her husband fondly.
Emmett had just managed to save his game when the power went out, plunging the room into darkness, even though it made little difference with our vision.
“Phew.” He muttered, wiping imaginary sweat of his brow. Emmet was such a child. “Well, what are we going to do now?”
Everyone looked at Alice and I couldn’t stop my laugh.
Edward looked at me curiously from his spot on the floor. “What’s funny?”
I smothered my laugh as everyone turned now to look at me instead. “Well, all of you turned your head to look at Ali all at the same time. It was quite comical.”
Alice was the first to smile. “That’s just because I’m awesome.”
Emmett scoffed. “Yeah, right. They just look at you ‘cos you’re weird.”
Alice looked as if she were about to retaliate but she was caught by a vision. Everyone looked at her again and Edward tilted his head slightly to one side, a mannerism I had grown to realise meant he was seeing what Alice was. It was silent for about three seconds. Then the most ferocious growl I had ever heard from Edward reached my ears. In a flash he was in front of me. He pulled me into his arms and I went willingly. He seemed so worried and almost...scared?
“Edward! What is it?” Carlisle asked quickly, concern etched deep in his features. Jasper moved into a protective stance over Alice who was still in a vision, Emmett and Carlisle acting similarly.
“There’s another vampire after Bella.” He explained with a snarl. His arms locked around my back and he pulled me as close as possible.
I was utterly shocked. Who would want to come after me? Why would someone come after me? What could I have possibly done? For a vampire, my existence had been fairly boring so far.
“It’s James. His name is James.” Alice came out of her trance like state, locking her gaze with mine.
“Wait, Bella’s creator James?” Rosalie said, sounding confused.
“Yes. He wants her back in his coven.” Alice supplied, but I barely heard.
Was coming here.
Where the Cullens were.
Where my Edward was.
For a vampire brain, this information was processed incredibly slowly.
Edward’s arms tightened around me as I froze. This couldn’t be happening.
I looked at the faces of everyone in the room. The family that I loved more than anything. I looked at Edward last. My Edward. No.
My brain suddenly clicked into gear. My family was in danger. Last time I had met James his coven had been three including him, three males. I had also heard that James had found a mate, a fiery redhead, Victoria, who had the power to cause immense pain just by touching you. It had been compared to Jane of the Volturi it was that potent.
I couldn’t subject my family to them. I had to keep them safe, even if it meant hurting them. I had to leave. Alone. My heart broke at the thought of it, but it was what needed to happen. Where would I go? I could try South America but I really—
“Bella Swan!! DONT YOU DARE EVEN CONSIDER IT!!” Alice shrieked, startling me. Then it hit me. Alice could see the future depending on the decisions a person made. Oops.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Alice.” I said avoiding eye contact.
“Bella? Why are you so guilty? What were you planning?” Jasper spoke for the first time.
I looked at the ground, unable to meet his gaze.
Edward pulled me closer so that I was unable to move before answering for me. “She was going to leave. To protect us.” His monotone only succeeded in making me feel worse.
“Bella, that’s not necessary.” Carlisle said softy, Esme nodding in agreement.
Alice just crossed her arms. “She hasn’t changed her mind.”
“I can’t stay here. You’ll all be in danger. I’ll lead them down the east coast of South America then catch a plane home.” I spoke quietly and quickly, exceedingly aware that Edward’s arms felt like he wouldn’t let go for anything.
“Bella, don’t be stupid. We can handle James, I’m sure.” Rosalie said. You could see she was putting up a brave front. No one here wanted me to leave. I was going to hurt them all.
“Bella!” Alice exclaimed, exasperated. “We’re not letting you leave so get that dumb idea out of your head! He only has three others with him. We have eight! That’s two to one!”
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t put them in danger. James’ coven was stronger than they thought. Someone could get hurt. Worse, someone could die. I would not let that happen. I refused to lose any of them.
“Bella.” Alice tried again. Her tone of voice had changed, now it was pleading, heartbreaking. “Please, don’t leave. We can work it out.”
“Don’t leave Bells, we’ll miss you too much.” Emmett chimed in, looking forlorn for the first time ever. And I was doing that to his, to all of them.
My decision started to waver.
Alice’s expression turned hopeful as I turned away, burying my head in Edward’s tight embrace.
I couldn’t stand to look at them. Carlisle, Esme, Rose, Em, Ali, Jazz....Edward. My family.
It would destroy them if I left, I knew that. But I couldn’t live with myself if I knew I was the cause of one of them getting hurt or worse. And now I couldn’t decide.
Leave them and break their hearts, or stay and potentially lose one of them forever?
“What kind of time frame are we talking here Alice?” Carlisle asked quietly.
“A week, two at most.” she trailed off and I was sure she was looking though her visions. Edward planted a kiss on the top of my head, not relaxing his pose.
“We can take them.” Emmett said confidently.
I turned back to them, a grimace on my face. “One of them, a female, has the power to cause crippling pain, as bad as the change. None of you would be able to cope with that.” I whispered the last part, unable to talk about any of them in pain. It hurt too much.
I looked at Esme only to find her staring back at me. “I can’t let any of you get hurt. I will not let that happen.” I said, speaking directly to Esme.
“Bella.” She spoke softly. “We would do anything for you. You’ve changed this family so much, for the better. We’ve never been so happy. If you leave...” she trailed off with pain filled eyes.
“Our family would fall apart.” Edward finished for her.
I stood silently for exactly four seconds. In that time I weighed the pros and cons of each decision. I went through the possible outcome of each scenario. Every variable was considered.
“I won’t leave tonight. That’s all I can promise.” I said in a low voice. I knew that leaving wasn’t the best option but if I had too, I wouldn’t think twice.
Edward pulled me down so that we were both sitting on the couch. He relinquished his grip on me for less than a second before sitting me on his lap and rewrapping his arms around me. I never wanted him to let go. At least then I wouldn’t be able to leave.
The tense atmosphere in the room only dissipated slightly when I said my departure would not be imminent. Jasper looked uncomfortable and was shifting slightly where he now sat next to Alice. I tried to calm myself. He didn’t need my feelings as well as everyone else’s. He shot me a small grateful smile.
Esme sat down again, Emmett and Rose following suit. Carlisle remained standing but took up pacing, a human mannerism picked up after centuries of living among them.
“We need to decide what’s going to happen.” He said, moving into coven leader mode but he continued pacing.
“We’ll have to fight them, of course.” Emmett said, flexing one of his arms, showing of the muscles. That was the Emmett I knew, always looking for a fight. He kept asking me to play fight him, but I hadn’t had the opportunity yet. Now I never might.
let me start by apologising. i know it has been nearly a month, and i'm sorry for that, but my homework has finally caught up with me. my senior year had been going well with only a small amount of homework but that all changed at the start of the last term. i am swimming in projects and worksheets. that along with work and netball (which i do four times a week) has left me rather frazzled and unable to write. i hope you will forgive me for that.
secondly, i have started writing the next bit, but i'm worried it's slightly out of character for Bella. i think it will make her look slightly...weak. i think thats the word i'm after. basically i've done this because i love Jasper and i wanted him to play a bigger part so Bella needed to have a slight breakdown for that to happen. if you think this sounds weird than i can think about changing it, but i would rather not.
let me know what you think.
sorry bout the long authors note, shouldn't happen again :)