Author's note: I posted this on FanFiction and Deviantart, but I wanted your take here on Fanpop. It's Post-Breaking Dawn. You'll see by how much when you read. If you like it, hate it, whatever, leave a comment below. Thanks in advance.
Chicago was nice, as far as the Windy City part, which it was very much. I'd never been anywhere except Phoenix and Florida with my mom, California with my Dad and Forks. It was something to get used to, but I was adjusting. It had been fifteen years since Renesmee had been born, and she was fully grown now. She was making her own choices even though she was only technically fifteen, and I was learning to give her room. Jacob was helping us keep us in touch, and even though we could only really talk over the video link, I could see she was happy. Jacob was making her happy, and he was keeping her safe. I only wished that I could see her more often. And Edward was dealing with the fact that his little girl was all grown up and living her own life. He kept up appearances, but I could tell he missed her.
We'd only stayed in Forks long enough to say goodbye to Charlie with the excuse that Edward and I wanted to get to college before too much time passed. I'd only be able to talk to my mother on the phone, and even then, it had been precarious since my mother had a way of knowing when something was wrong with me. After the wedding and Renesmee, my mother had called me with the news that she was expecting another baby. I was happy for her, and I wanted to wish her all the best. I had to do it in an email instead of being able to visit her and Phil, and when she gave birth to a little girl, all I'd been able to do is send her a present for the baby. I knew it wasn't enough, but for all the trouble I'd caused her, I hoped it would be okay for a little while. It kind of wasn't fair to her or anyone else, but at least she was safe.
Now my half-sister Tristan was almost fourteen, and I'd never even met her. I'd only seen pictures, but she was beautiful. She looked a lot like Mom, and she looked happy living down in Florida where she could go to beach whenever she wanted. I didn't know if Mom ever told her about me, but I thought about her every now and then. I wondered if Mom and Phil planned on having more children, and I hoped at some point I would get to see them in more than a photograph. I didn't know if that was fair, but I still hoped.
After Dartmouth, Carlisle had moved all of us to Chicago to have a chance to get used to each other again. With Renesmee in Forks, Alice's visions had started coming back into focus, and Jasper hardly ever had to do any mood modifying on my part. I was still adjusting to the whole newborn thing after our encounter with the Volturi, but they left us alone, and we didn't tempt fate. Carlisle wanted our existence to be as quiet as possible, so even if we couldn't really do the whole day thing every day, we could still go out at night. Edward and I liked to go for walks alone, just so he could have a look at his old home. It was very different from how he remembered, but it wasn't so different that we couldn't find all the places he remembered without a little memory recollection. I could see he liked it.
We went to the park a lot, watching the parents and children and I sometimes wondered what it would've been like for me and Edward to have another baby. But my life was complete. There wasn't anything else in my life that I wanted more than Edward. It was enough that we were happy, and I couldn't imagine wanting anything else more than I wanted him. Carlisle and Esme were looking at a house outside Chicago for us to stay in for a little while, and beyond that, Edward and I were enjoying the moderate apartment he secured for us through an anonymous donation. It was funny how even now those things were so easily explained away.
"We could always adopt," Edward told me one night while we were out walking. "Probably not a human baby, but there are sure to be other vampires who need homes. I'll do anything to make you happy, Bella."
I smiled at him as we walked arm in arm down the sidewalk. "I know," I insisted. "And I am happy. I'm more happy than I thought possible. We shouldn't tempt fate, you know. For all we know, it could be like the straw that broke the camel's back."
He lowered his hand to mine, squeezing it gently and leaning closer to kiss my cheek. "That's not possible," he argued. "But I see your point. We'll not tempt the gods for now. All right?"
I turned my lips to his, sharing a light kiss and then I laid my head over his arm. Since we'd started doing this, he'd let his guard down a lot more than he'd ever had to in Forks. He and his family had always been forced to live on the fringe of the town to keep from being noticed. But here, it was almost like he could be normal. And I liked seeing him this way. I liked being able to stroll down the sidewalk with him and not worry about the next time we hunted or where we would go when we did.
"Are you about ready to get back?" he asked softly, holding me against him and slowing to a near crawl so that we almost moved at a human pace.
I looked up to answer him, feeling the wind shift as I did and smelling the most intoxicating smell on the air. It smelled so amazing, so exquisite, like the finest wine ever made that appealed only to me. Blood. His hand gripped my waist, but I all but forgot he was even there. My senses, especially my sense of smell, tugged and clawed at the exterior of my control, and when I came up for air, the only thing left was a two-horned, ugly, evil monster willing to kill to get what she wanted.
I barely recognized the voice attempting to pull me out of myself, and I was willing to do anything to get away from him, pushing him away and darting off in the direction of the incredible scent as it wafted through the air gently. I could tell it wasn't moving, and I could feel that it was close by. Beyond that, I didn't care what happened or how I reacted once I had what I wanted. Nothing else existed now. It was just me and this, and it was all I cared about. I didn't even realize how much my priorities had shifted in just a few short milliseconds, but it didn't matter. If I found what I needed, then all would be right with the world. Nothing else would matter like this ever again, and then I could go on with my new life.
The streets were nearly deserted as it was well passed midnight, and I was able to move at greater speeds now than I would have normally. The smell carried me toward it, sending my mind into a frenzy and blocking everything else out. It was warm and potent and filling, and I couldn't wait to taste it. I'd never smelled anything like this before in my life — human or vampire. It was the most exquisite smell ever to exist, and it was all mine. No one or nothing was going to keep me from getting all of it, and when I found it, nothing would stand in my way until I was finished.
The stronger the smell got, the closer I knew I was, and I slowed down only enough to keep from running passed the source of the smell that led me down a dark alleyway. I'd never been to this part of the city before, but I wasn't scared. Given my heightened state of being, nothing could ever hurt me — nothing human or animal anyway, and I didn't have to worry about hurting myself the way I would normally by walking through the streets without anyone to keep up with me.
A cry caught my attention amidst all the clutter, and I inhaled again, feeling venom fill my mouth as the scent reached its peak. I was there, right next to the source, and it was exactly where I wanted it to be. There was no escape now. I threw discarded trash in every direction away from me until my keen eyes locked in the source of the smell, and I discovered a woman there on the ground clutching something to her chest. She was beautiful, with dark hair and olive skin. She looked unconscious, but further inspection gave way to the fact that she was either dead or very close. This wasn't the source of my exquisite smell. No, the source of the smell was there, in her arms. It was a baby.
Nothing else registered as I knelt to the ground and reached for the small creature as it cried at the top of its lungs for its mother. For a split second, I felt sorry for it. But then I knew I would end all its suffering in just a few short seconds when I claimed its blood for all mine and no one else's.
My fingers were less than a centimeter from her forehead when I was suddenly knocked back several dozen feet into one of the dumpsters nearby. I crouched to my hands and feet, turning to see a familiar face in front of me with pleading golden eyes, but I'd forgotten his name.
"Bella, please. Stop."
A deep growl emanated from my gut as I moved a small amount closer, and he growled too, snarling as I attempted to bypass him for the baby.
"You're not thinking clearly," he argued. "Get away from here. Please, Bella."
I tried to inhaled again, to clear my head as he suggested, but it was no use. Her smell was everywhere. If it meant disposing of him to get to what I wanted, then that would just be his fate, and I didn't care what I had to do. It would take a little longer with him in my way, but I didn't care.
He grabbed my arms, pushing me from what I sought until another set of hand took hold of me and pulled me from the alley. An overwhelming calm passed through me, and I looked back to see Jasper there with a determined expression on his face.
"Breathe, Bella," I heard, looking and seeing Edward in front of me with pain in his eyes. "It's all right. I'm right here."
I inhaled again, this time only smelling him and then smelling Jasper even as my eyes trained down the alley where I could see Carlisle and Esme where the baby was still laying. I knew she was there. I could hear her crying.
Edward took me in his arms, holding me against him tighter than he ever had, and upon still smelling her scent in the air, I realized he was trying to restrain me as indiscreetly as possible while we all stood on the street away from Carlisle and Esme.
I listened to them talking even though they were several dozen feet away.
"Her mother must've gone into labor here," Carlisle was saying as he lifted her in his arms. She immediately stopped crying, and Esme spoke.
"Do you think this means the same thing it meant for Edward?" she asked, gazing at the baby carefully. "When he found Bella. We almost lost him then, Carlisle."
He moved his arm around Esme then, comforting her even as he still held the baby. "Don't worry, darling," he said gently. "We'll protect Bella. And this child. It's not too late to do anything now, so I'll call the authorities so her mother's body can be claimed. They'll contact Family and Children Services for the baby."
"She's beautiful," Esme smiled.
They both looked at me then as I stood pressed against Edward's chest, and I didn't even realize that I was struggling until he leaned back and made me look at him.
"Bella, please. It's all right," he swore. "You'll be all right."
I shook my head against his chest, still desperately trying to get away. I suddenly realized what I'd just done, and I wanted to be somewhere else more than ever before. I couldn't do it. I couldn't give in to this. Edward hadn't given in when he'd found me, and I was stronger than some newborn fresh from its first hunt. I was better than the ugly monster I so dearly wanted to give myself over to, and I could resist the temptation encased inside that innocent , defenseless baby.
Carlisle was on his phone now, calling the police and reporting the dead mother's body in the alley and the newborn baby he was currently cradling in the crook of his arm. He was talking to a woman at the ambulance dispatch, and she was sending an EMT to where we were all standing. He'd since wrapped the baby in his jacket, and she wasn't crying anymore, actually grasping onto his fingers.
"Edward, you should take Bella home," Jasper whispered close to my ear. "She shouldn't stay here with the child nearby. If the Medical Technicians see her reacting this way, they could get the police involved."
"Edward, please," I whispered. "Is she all right? I didn't hurt her, did I?"
He leaned back to look at me, and I slowly pushed out my shield so he would see what I was thinking. I didn't want to be a monster, and I knew he would understand that. If he understood, then he would do anything to make sure I didn't do anything to hurt anyone.
He lifted his hands to my face, staring into my eyes. "I'm sure she's all right, Bella," he promised. "Come on, we should get you home now."
I grasped onto his arms, helplessly pleading with him. "No, you have to make sure. Please. You're the only one who can do it for me. Edward."
He looked at Jasper, slowly easing me into his arms and then moving down the alleyway where Carlisle was still holding the baby. I watched him approach Carlisle and Esme, and I listened as he looked over the baby's little body.
"Carlisle," Edward said softly. "Bella wants me to make sure the baby is all right. Is she hurt?" he asked, touching the baby's forehead.
"She doesn't appear to be," Carlisle said with a slight nod. "An ambulance is on the way, and they're sending the coroner to examine her mother's body. Is Bella all right?"
"She's fighting me and Jasper," Edward told his father. "It's affecting her as badly as it affected me when I encountered her the first time, but she doesn't want to give in. What do you think the police will do about her?" he asked of the baby.
Carlisle's face became sad. "More than likely, she'll be placed in foster care. Unless they're able to find her father, it's likely she'll be placed in a foster home until she's adopted. And even in these times, the likelihood of that is still quite low."
Edward's face matched Carlisle as he turned and looked at me while I stood in Jasper's arms. A few seconds passed, and Jasper's phone rang as the sound of sirens filled the air and came closer to where we were all still waiting.
"Alice," Jasper said into his phone.
"Are the police there yet?" she asked, her voice desperate and airy.
He looked at me. "Not yet," he answered, looking down the alleyway where Carlisle, Esme and Edward were still standing with the baby. "What did you see?"
"I saw a baby," she said. "A toddler really, perched on Edward's hip while he was cooking breakfast."
Confusion flashed across Jasper's face as he looked down the alleyway, but I understood almost immediately. Upon seeing the baby and learning of the bleak future before her, Edward had made a decision.
The ambulance was less than a block away now, and Carlisle began making his way to the sidewalk where Jasper and I were waiting. Edward was now carrying the baby, and Esme was guiding him to the mouth of the alleyway. In listening to Alice's revelation, I'd missed the remainder of their conversation, but Carlisle spoke once he was near me and Jasper.
"We'll have to give the authorities time to search for the infant's father, but Edward has decided upon a trial period for Bella's sake. He wants her to overcome this, and he believes this to be the best way to go about it."
"Are you sure that's a wise decision, Carlisle?" Jasper asked. "Not to diminish Bella's incredible control when she first woke up, but Edward had a hundred years of experience to help him resist her. Bella's only had fifteen years. Barely enough time."
Carlisle looked at Edward, who was moving closer to me with the baby in his arms. "He knows that. But he sees Bella determined to resist, and he believes she can. We must trust his judgement."
Edward was in front of me now as Jasper still restrained me, and since we'd all just hunted a few days earlier, I could see he was in complete control as he held the baby girl in his arms. Just as with Carlisle, she was no longer crying, grasping onto Edward's finger as he cradled her against him. The wind shifted again, and I was forced to take a breath just as the ambulance arrived with the coroner's truck. I clenched my teeth as venom filled my mouth again, and I lunged toward Edward without thinking of the humans nearby. Jasper held me tighter, and Edward's pained expression intensified.
"It's all right, Bella," he promised. "You don't have to be afraid of her. She'll help you."
"Jasper," Carlisle said too softly for any of the humans nearby to hear. "Take Bella to the house. We'll talk to the police and then be along shortly. This shouldn't take too long."
Three paramedics were on their way toward us now, and three more medical examiners from the coroner's office were quickly following suit as Jasper grasped onto my arms and pulled me away from Edward and Esme as they protected the baby. I gave Edward one last hopeful look before I cut off my supply of air, and then I bowed my head, allowing Jasper to lead me away from the humans flooding the sidewalk. I thought if Edward was certain of my ability to resist this baby's blood, then everyone else would be also after a little while. He had faith in me. I hoped it wasn't misplaced.