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Cold Arms

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-Bella-


There were four things of which I was absolutely positive: One, I was completely alone out here, two no one back home would notice if I were missing since I had left everyone I knew behind to reconnect with my dad, Charlie. Three, if I didn't find shelter soon I would die. Four, I really should stop stating the obvious and focus on losing the huge wolves hunting me. Luckily- I guess- they had been occupied with Charlie and left me alone once Charlie had yelled at me to start running. I guessed the reason they hadn’t turned back to chase me was because Charlie was giving them a run for their money. I didn’t want to think about what else the pack might be doing that would keep them too busy to chase after me.

I struggled to move through the heavily snow covered ground, stumbling every few steps. Why I had ever agreed to a bonding trip to Alaska with Charlie I'll never know. I was never outdoorsy at the best of times but I felt I should make the effort to reconnect since he was obviously floundering after I had been dumped at his door by Renee.

I felt my movements slowing down, my legs felt like they were filled with lead and I was struggling to move past the crushing grip of lethargy that was dragging me down. I panicked and forced my heavy legs to keep moving until I stumbled again, but my slowed reflexes meant this time I couldn't right myself in time and I fell into the deep snow. My heart raced and I knew I had to get up if I wanted to survive this but my body wasn't obeying my brain's frantic signals to move. A few snowflakes slowly dusted my face their peaceful descent totally at odds with the frantic beating of my heart. They stayed on my skin, not melting, and I felt my eyes start to droop and everything seemed to slow. Maybe I could just rest a little, I had been running for what seemed like forever and I was never very active. If I caught my breath I could get moving again. I just needed a little-

 


-Rosalie-


Why I agreed to this I'll never know. My family had decided we needed to engage in more human activities, namely a family walk, of course me pointing out most human families wouldn't be caught dead walking in a near snowstorm in Alaska-or rather, that they most empathetically would, was only met by eye rolls and the rest of them mumbling I was no fun.

I saw Emmett gather up a handful of snow and glared at him in warning. He just smiled and threw the now giant snowball at the back of jasper's head. Luckily for him Alice had seen it coming and pushed her mate out of the way in time, while she and Edward both turned and pelted Emmett with the snowballs they had gathered and hidden about their persons. Due to our cold body temperature the snow wouldn't melt, a bonus the others had clearly taken advantage of when Edward had read Alice while she had her vision of Emmett’s plan.

"Hey! No fair!" Emmett cried shaking snow from his dark hair.

"You started it." Edward smirked.

"I started it with Jasper I wasn't aiming for either of you two!" Emmett whined.

"And my mate stepped in to defend my honour." Jasper said amused. "Just because she's been carrying snow in her pockets for a mile now, waiting for the perfect moment to strike doesn’t mean she didn’t do it purely for noble reasons.”

"Hey!" Alice pouted. "Are you suggesting I just wanted to beat on Emmett?"

"Darling, I would never." Jasper's drawled; his southern accent making the endearment charming enough to stop Alice’s pout. Something all of us were glad of, Emmett often joked her ‘sad puppy face’ was her true vampiric ability, capable of making the most determined of enemies want to cheer her up.

Emmett gathered up an armful of snow in preparation for what I was sure would be a long snowball fight but his plans were stilled when he yelped out in surprise after glimpsing a flash of colour underneath the powdered snow. He quickly cleared the surrounding snow uncovering a small human girl. Esme and Carlisle quickly rushed over and started checking the girl.

"Frozen humansickle!" Emmett grinned lifting up the girl. I rolled my eyes at him. Trust him to find the fun side of discovering a dead body in the snow.

“What should we do with her?” Jasper eyed the human with unease. At least with her blood frozen in her veins she was unlikely to tempt his control. That was probably the reason none of us had smelt her.

“Leave her where we found her of course.” Edward said decisively. I snorted, drawing the eyes of Edward who frowned at me, no doubt wishing he could read my mind and discover just how much of an ass I thought he was for appointing himself the head of our coven.

“We can’t leave her here Edward.” Alice said exasperated. “Her family should know what happened.”

“And they should also know that a group of vampires found her?” Edward bit back sharply. “I’m just thinking about my family Alice, how would we explain walking out in the wilds of Alaska without any equipment, or getting back to civilisation without a vehicle without letting it slip that we are inhuman creatures?” ‘Of the night.’ I mentally finished, Edward was so predictable when he started on his monster tirade.

“Oh, I don’t know Edward, how about by not going in to a police station in broad daylight with our clothes covered in blood and our fangs showing? Everyone’s first thought when they see us isn’t that we’re vampires, you know that more than anyone.” I enjoyed the rare moment of Alice being annoyed with the ‘golden boy’, usually those two were always in each other’s heads. It was creepy really, having whole conversations without ever saying a word. I was surprised Alice wasn’t Edward’s mate instead of Jasper’s.

"She's alive." Carlisle's calm voice cut through the developing argument.

"We need to get her back home." Esme said gazing at the girl with ready compassion. "Edward you're fastest, you carry her there and start making the house warm. We'll be there as soon as we can."

My chest constricted at the thought. A human being brought into our family home? I ground my teeth but kept my apprehension to myself, she would die without help, when she recovered we could work out what would happen to her. With any luck we could just take her back to her family as soon as she was able to say where she lived and we’d never see her again.

Edward scooped the fragile looking human up in his arms and raced back in the direction we had come, the rest of us hot on his heels. Typical that as soon as Carlisle told him to do something he jumped to it, no matter his previous opinions on the matter. Edward hadn’t been in the house long before the rest of us showed up, the girl was wrapped up in blankets in front of the smouldering fire and I could hear the kettle and various pots boiling in the kitchen.

The kitchen was rather small compared to the rest of the house, it was really only there in case we ever had any human visitors, which was unlikely given that we lived about as far away from civilisation as you could get. Esme had designed and built the cabin, which in reality was nothing like a human’s idea of a cabin. A large living room, with a music room branching off from it, which held a selection of our favourite instruments, being immortal we often needed something to help pass the time and music, along with cars was one of my favourites. Edward often tried to claim sole ownership of the magnificent grand piano we had brought with us but a vision I allowed Alice to see of me shaving off his perfectly styled hair soon changed that. And the others thought I was the vain one.

Carlisle had a decent sized office on the lower level too, filled with more books than a human could read in a lifetime, and then there were the rooms upstairs. All of them were large, even though we didn’t sleep. Alice and Jasper shared, as did Esme and Carlisle, however Alice had demanded a whole other room for her clothes. Emmett, Edward and I all had our own rooms. The one thing I disliked about this house was the lack of a garage, the fact that there were no roads leading to the house, or tracks of any kind meant I had had to leave my cars behind. Something that bothered me more than a little. There was something soothing about being able to definitively fix or improve an engine. And even though I was a vampire now and able to run faster than most cars I still enjoyed the freedom having my own transportation gave me.

Carlisle and Esme set to work, quickly stripping the girl of her sodden clothes and wrapping her in blankets all in the space of a few seconds. The rest of us had avoided looking at the nude girl on the sofa and stood around the room awkwardly. Alice was flitting back and forth from the kitchen; bringing different utensils she had filled with hot water to warm the girl. Being vampires we had a distinct lack of items humans might have in cold climates such as hot water bottles but Alice had instead filled some of Carlisle’s medical supplies with the warm water and proceeded to pass a catheter and blood bags filled with water to Esme to pack around the girl’s torso.

Carlisle was busy testing the girls extremities for signs of frost bite or nerve damage.

"She's going to need a room." Carlisle announced once he was satisfied the girl was safe to divert his attention from.

"She can have my room." Edward said.

"What, so you can play the martyr?" I snapped at him. For some reason I didn’t feel comfortable with the girl being in Edward’s room. Besides it was hardly fair on her, she was still in a deep sleep, god knows what waking up and seeing Edward standing over her would do to her.

“Do you have any better ideas Rose?” Edward asked me archly, no doubt waiting to hear me offer my room for the use of our human guest.

"She can sleep in Emmett’s room.”

"Hey! What about me!" Emmett scowled playfully at me.

"You can rest in my room." I said eyes still locked on Edward who looked annoyed.

"Oh! And will we be doing anything that requires rest in your room, darling Rosalie?" Emmett waggled his eyebrows at me.

"You can rest in my room when I'm not in it. Obviously." I sighed. "Or Edward’s, since he was so generous before I'm sure he won't mind?" I arched my eyebrow and Edward smirked.

"Not at all." He said turning to Emmett. “I would be honoured to help out a brother turfed from his own room by the ice queen."

"Oh, give it a rest." I turned back to watch Carlisle finish treating the human.

Well, now that’s settled I’ll move her upstairs. Her body stayed miraculously unharmed during her stay under the snow, she couldn’t have been there for long.” Carlisle said as he stood up from the girl and started moving some of the many pans and assorted containers filled with water Alice had brought in from the kitchen.

I stepped closer and properly looked at the girl we had brought home and my heart gave a strange little flutter. I frowned. Since dying my heart had been completely silent. The prospect of temptation so close might be harder for me than I had previously thought. Unlike the rest of my family I had never tasted human blood so I usually had the best control, next to Carlisle. But I had also never been in close contact with a human for prolonged periods of time. The girl stirred in her sleep, her heart beating the blood around her body stronger than before, and I fought the urge to go to her. I clenched my fists, catching the attention of Jasper who gave me a pained smile, understanding my sudden urge for her blood.

“Err. I’ll just go and… clean up my room.” Emmett said, dashing off upstairs.

Edward stepped forward towards the girl preparing to take her upstairs but stopped, shocked, when I growled. Alice and Edward turned to face me incredulously, I knew that if I had the capability I would be blushing right now. Not twenty minutes in from having a human in the house and I was already acting like a newborn trying to protect my kill.

“Edward you wait here, I’ll take the girl up to Emmett’s room. I trust he has hidden everything he needs to by now.” Carlisle looked at me understandingly and I felt another wave of shame hit me. He easily scooped up the girl in his arms taking her upstairs. As soon as they were out of sight I had to fight the urge to follow him and frowned angrily at myself.

“how long before she wakes?” Alice asked, dancing around the room ignoring the pots still filled with water taking up half the space.

“I’m not sure…” Esme replied, a concerned look on her face. “I think she just needs to rest now, she will probably wake in a few hours.”

“Oh good. We’ll need to go shopping.” Jasper looked pained and I stifled a grin, the poor man couldn’t say no to Alice and often had to accompany her on day long shopping trips ferrying her purchases to and from the car.

“Shopping?” Edward inquired.

“She has no clothes. Rose and I can go for her.” Alice explained, Jasper brightened up a little at this and looked at me beseechingly.

“She can wear the clothes she has Alice. They’ll dry before she wakes up. Anyway she won’t be staying with us long.” I said moving to sit down on the sofa the girl had recently vacated. For some reason saying that out loud caused a sharp pain in my chest, I carefully sniffed the sofa and got up; deciding the scent of the human must have been the culprit.

Alice sighed heavily “But I-”

“Now Alice, the girl will have to go home, you said it yourself her parents will be worried about her.” Esme said as she came back into the living room from returning the last of the pots to the kitchen.

Alice pouted and we looked at each other, Emmett seemed sad the girl would be leaving us too. Edward… Edward was harder to read. Ironic since he always complained that about me. I looked up at the ceiling to where Emmett’s room was and thought about the girl upstairs sleeping and felt the tug to go to her again. The sooner she was out of our house and our lives the better.

Chapter Text

 

-Bella-

A painful pressure on my bladder woke me up and I sleepily got out of bed, untangling myself from the dozen or so blankets I was wrapped in, and stepped onto the cold floor. Wait. My eyes jerked open and I realised what I had ignored in my sleepy state.

The last thing I remembered was running for my life through the snow, I should either be back there, or in all likelihood dead. Yet instead I was naked in a stranger’s room, in a house I didn’t recognise, and looking out the window at the white expanse of snow and lack of any discernible landmarks I was far away from anywhere I knew. And even if I could escape from this house, after finding clothes, I wouldn’t know which way to go for help. If there was one thing Charlie had been quick to drill into me after moving from Phoenix it was that down here neighbours were few and far between.

I heard heavy foot treads thundering up the stairs drawing closer to me and the tentative grip I had on my panic started to slip. Where was I? Had the wolves taken me? But why would they bring me home and put me in a bed? Maybe Charlie…? I felt the panic and misery rush up once I thought about Charlie and squashed it back down, I didn’t have time to cry. I had to get out of here, find out where here was, go back home.

“Emmett wait, we don’t want to overwhelm the poor girl.” A soft maternal voice spoke beyond the door, easing my panic.

“But she’s in my room!” I took in the features of the room for the first time, an enormous flat screen TV and a collection of different video games consoles scattered beneath it occupied on wall. The other held the large window I had already examined when I woke up disorientated with my new surroundings. The rest of the room was pretty bare, with just a few piles of books on a desk and a shelf holding CDs. Whoever the owner of the room was I didn’t really want him seeing me in my current state of undress.

I dived for the bed, frantically trying to wrap a blanket around me before the people outside could come in and see me looking so utterly defenceless. Although odds were they had already seen… everything. My face flushed at the thought.

Just as I had succeeded in covering myself with the blanket a knock sounded on the door and I made a last frantic search around the room for an escape route, but failing that I settled for pulling the sheet tighter around me. The knock came again, startling me. Why would my captors knock? In fact, why would they bother with this pretence of politeness?

But then again, the last thing I remember was tripping in the snow. Maybe these people were my saviours and not my captors.

I was pulled from my thoughts when I realised the person behind the door was knocking again and I had been ignoring them all this time. Was I the one being rude? Maybe this was their plan, act genteel and I’d end up thanking them while they made a rug from my skin.

"We know she's up, we can hear her. Why not just go in?" Another voice from beyond the door said.

"C... Come in." My voice nervously cracked and I winced, hoping no one had noticed. I bit my lip and nervously waited for my rescuers to reveal themselves.

"Finally!" The voice from before was quickly matched with a face as the door crashed open and an enormous muscle bound teen rushed in.

"Emmett!" A sweet looking woman with a heart shaped face and brown hair came in the room, the burly teen shot her puppy dog eyes when she glared disapprovingly at him. But when her eyes turned to me I could see nothing but compassion.

"Er..." I was at a complete loss. Of all the scenarios that had flashed through my head when I woke up in a house and not still out in the snow I never figured this

"Let me apologise on behalf of my son." The woman smiled at me, calming me despite my recent alarm at the onslaught of Emmett. "My name is Esme, you've already met Emmett-"

"Which we're all sorry about." A girl around my height, with short black hair danced into the room, interrupting Esme and easily dodging Emmett's attempts to grab her. "Emmett still hasn't been completely trained to behave human."

"I don't bite though." Emmet said to me grinning, I distantly heard a few groans at this comment from the others still outside the door.

I felt my already naturally pale skin whiten further at his words, images of the wolves and running from them, from Charlie, returned full force.

“Oh dear, please, sit.” Esme rushed towards me and guided me to sit down on the bed, wrapping another of the blankets around me. I caught a glimpse of a blonde haired girl outside the door before I felt faint and my vision blurred. Once I had calmed down and my vision cleared I looked back to the doorway wondering if she was going to come in but she wasn’t there.

“What’s your name?” Esme asked me, gently rubbing my back through the blankets she had covered me in.

“Isabella -Bella.” I replied, the girl with the short black hair handed me a glass of water I took gratefully.

“Do you remember what happened Bella?” I started to nod then stopped, considering that I didn’t know where I was I don’t think I could say I knew what happened to me.

“Well… Not really?”

“My family and I found you out in the snow; you were half frozen so we bought you back here. I am sorry we didn’t think about your clothes once you woke up. I’ll get some for you to change into then when you’re ready you could come downstairs and meet the rest of the family, if you’d like?” Esme smiled sweetly at me.

I nodded slowly, still unsure of what exactly was going on. Esme ushered Emmett and the pixie-like girl from out the room, and after coming back in with a selection of clothes, probably from the pixie’s wardrobe. She showed me where the bathroom was and gave me a reassuring smile as she closed the door behind her.

I distantly heard the family go back downstairs and after checking they had left the corridor I went across to the bathroom to finally relieve myself. I spent some time in the comforting warm water of the shower before changing into the clothes Esme had brought for me.

I took a deep breath and walked down the stairs to find a group of the most attractive people I had ever seen in real life lounging around the living room as if it was a photo shoot for a magazine. I let out a little chuckle at the thought, drawing the interested eyes of the group.

My eyes quickly found the blonde I had caught a glimpse of before. My breath hitched, if the others were attractive she was a goddess, models and actresses would pay thousands to make up artists and photographers to look the way she did but they could never achieve it. But when her honey gold eyes met mine I was taken aback by the aggravation they held, despite her obvious irritation with me I still felt a strange pull to go to the statuesque blonde.

Luckily before I could make even more of a fool of myself than I already had with my staring the short haired girl from earlier appeared beside me suddenly, making me jump, and pulled me over to sit by her.

“I’m Alice by the way, Alice Cullen, sorry I didn’t say before. Esme and Emmett you already know, that’s Carlisle Cullen he’s Esme’s husband, and a doctor, he-”

“Alice, take a breath.” A blonde haired boy who had yet to be introduced to me interrupted Alice, shaking his head at her, but smiled endearingly. I wondered how these two knew each other, Esme had said they were family but aside from the fact they were all stunning they didn’t share any features with each other.

“That’s Jasper.” Alice continued as if he hadn’t interrupted her. “We’re together. We were all adopted individually by Carlisle and Esme but Jasper is Rosalie’s brother.” Alice indicated the gorgeous blonde I had been staring at before, she looked startled Alice had included her and I jumped at the opportunity to have a legitimate excuse to look at her again. Our eyes quickly met and my breath caught,

“I’m Edward.” A bronze haired boy loomed in front of me, blocking my view of Rosalie.

“Er… H- hi.” I could feel myself blushing. How long had I been staring at Rosalie? God what would she think of me now, that’s the second time I had been ogling her like an idiot.

I was distantly aware of Edward still talking to me as Rosalie swept out of the room. But I couldn’t help but watch her leave. I felt a hollow pit grow in my stomach; everything else was secondary to the angry goddess leaving me.

“Bella? Bella?” Edward had noticed my inattention and my gaze snapped back to him.

“Er… sorry?”

“What happened Bella?” Esme asked softly, interrupting Edward and gesturing for him to take the seat Rosalie had vacated.

“I… I was running… then the snow, it was so cold.”

“Why were you running dear?” Esme asked me gently.

“I…” I took a deep breath. “I was camping with Charlie-my dad. He wanted to spend some time with me before school started. We came up here while we waited for my stuff to be shipped to Forks. We…”

I lost my voice, taken back to the memory of Charlie yelling at me to run, me leaving him behind. Huge circling beasts, closing in on Charlie, their teeth gleaming in the moonlight.

“Wolves.” Edward interrupted my thoughts, drawing me back from the horror of my memories. I looked up at him, his eyes dark and angry.

“You mean?” Esme questioned, shock colouring her voice.

Edward nodded, his mouth set in a hard line.

“Did they follow us?” Emmett asked.

“Did who follow you?” I asked confused, only to be ignored as the Cullens continued to talk over me.

“Bella said Charlie lived in Forks, who else could it be?” Emmett said angrily.

I flinched at the past tense, even though I knew it had to be true it was hard to hear it come from someone else.

“We are nowhere near their land, why would they follow us?” Jasper asked, his tone reflective. “This would only weaken their territory, unless they had a larger population than usual?”

“Maybe they just need to be taught a lesson every couple of years or so.” Emmett punctuated his statement but pounding his fist into his palm.

“I haven’t seen anything.” Alice said, her forehead scrunching up in confusion. “Then again they were always… tricky to see.”

“And why would they attack humans?” Jasper continued his personal musings. “This doesn’t make sense…”

“Edward you could tell us what happened?” Carlisle interrupted the rising voices; everyone quieted down and looked at Edward expectantly.

“I can’t.” Edward looked at me frowning.

I shifted uneasily in my seat. What were they talking about? Why had Edward known I meant wolves without me saying it? Why were they all so worried about a pack of wolves nowhere near their house?

“It’s almost like when I try to read Rose.” Edward continued. “I can see some things, the campfire, sitting with Charlie, but then the wolves turn up and everything goes fuzzy, like trying to watch a show through static.”

Everyone looked worried. I still had no idea what they were talking about.

“Do you have anyone you can stay with Bella? Until we find your dad.” Esme asked me

I shook my head, tears filling my eyes.

“Charlie… he, I was going to live with him, back in Forks. I had to leave my mom, Charlie… he was all I had.”

Esme rushed over to sit by me and petted my hair, making soothing noises. That was what broke me, I couldn’t hold it in anymore and I started sobbing. Esme held me tighter and I heard the others leave. I didn’t know what was going to happen now, where I was going to go. And Charlie… I’d never see him again.

I stayed huddled in Esme’s arms until my tears stopped, I felt more exhausted than I had while I had been running from… from them. I pulled back and met Esme’s sympathetic eyes. She pulled a blanket over me on the sofa and I sat and watched the flames dancing in the fireplace. My eyes felt heavy and I drifted off to the soothing sounds of the fire and Esme stroking my hair and back.

 

-Rosalie-

We all occupied our time as best we could after Carlisle took the human upstairs to Emmett’s room. We were used to this, immortality quickly lent itself to monotony, very little ever affected our lives, we mostly kept to ourselves or other vampires like us. Even when we played at being human and attended school or universities we stayed apart from the general populace. Yet this girl had suddenly appeared in our lives and without even being conscious had already changed our normal routines and had us all waiting for her for our cues of what to do next.

Well, none of us were saying it but Carlisle had had to stop Emmett being purposefully loud several times already in his attempts to wake the human, and Alice kept asking how long humans needed to sleep.

Edward had commandeered the piano so without my cars I was stuck flicking through magazines Esme and Alice had bought last time we had ventured into town. The magazines failed to hold my attention though, instead I found myself focusing on the heartbeat of the human upstairs, timing my page turns to its steady beats.

I heard soft footfalls from upstairs and then the human’s heartrate quickened. Alice tilted her head to one side and grinned.

“She’s up!” Alice bounded up from the sofa and flashed up the stairs, quickly followed by Emmett. “I know!” Alice called back down. “We won’t go in.”

Esme shook her head and her and Carlisle ascended the stairs. I exchanged glances with Jasper as Edward emerged from the music room and the rest of us walked up the stairs in a more sedate pace.

“I didn’t think you’d come to see her Rose.” Edward commented.

“It’s not like there’s anything better to do.” I shrugged and joined the rest of my family on the landing outside Emmett’s room.

Predictably Emmett rushed into the room the minute the girl invited us inside. Esme went in quickly afterwards to repair whatever damage Emmett had done. I remained outside with Jasper and Edward. Jasper seemed as eager to meet our new guest as me.

He was probably only nearby to help the human with her emotions. Once again I felt admiration for my brother, his gift more than any of ours was a burden for him. The strength it took him to have to endure our emotions, and the emotions of everyone around us the times we played at being human teenagers must have been torture yet he never complained. Unlike Edward who would groan and sigh every time we went back to school at the thoughts he would hear from the student populace.

I could feel Jasper sending out calming waves to the girl. Another aspect of my gift was a stronger awareness of other psychic abilities. Unlike Edward's gift I wasn't able to always block Jasper's, I was just more likely to know my emotions were being influenced. Which... To be honest usually made me angry with Jasper, so we had come to an understanding. He would avoid messing with my emotions unless I was in danger of hurting a human or a member of our family, and I would try to be thankful rather than angry when he helped me rein in my impulses to tear off the limbs of the hormonal twerps asking me out.

Edward on the other hand, no matter how much he said he wished he could turn off his gift, I knew it irked him that he couldn't hear my thoughts.

"I don't bite though." I rolled my eyes and jasper and Edward next to me groaned at our brother's attempt at humour.

Her heart rate suddenly jumped. And I moved without thinking, catching a glimpse of the girl through the door. I frowned at myself. Why had I suddenly felt the urge for me to check on the wellbeing of the human? I knew Emmett wouldn't have been doing anything too drastic in there. Not with Esme there anyway.

And it didn't feel like exactly like the urges I had to protect my food while hunting with my family.

As I took in her nervous stance I struggled to keep control of myself. Her dark brown eyes met mine and I had to pull my gaze away, still eager to make sure she was okay. She gripped the sheet around her, my eyes drawn to her fingers clenching at the material, the delicate bones under her pale skin visible from the strength of her grip.

I realised she would be naked under the sheet since we had removed her clothes and no one had left her anything to change into. My mouth pooled with venom and the burning sensation it caused when I swallowed it made me determined to not have this human affect me more than necessary.

I quickly moved back from the doorway, shaken by my response to the human. I glanced at Jasper who looked at me reassuring; surely I wasn't the only one who was made uncomfortable at her arrival. Not that I would ever tell anyone that. Although Jasper probably had an idea if he was picking up any of my emotions.

Esme sent us all downstairs and we took up seats around the living room, taking care to lounge and slouch as humans would. For once I didn’t need to remind myself to fidget as my fingers tapped out a rhythm on my leg without my conscious approval. This human was disturbing my usually iron control. I didn’t like the sudden feeling of powerlessness this gave me, since becoming a vampire the one thing I had always enjoyed in my new life had been my autonomy.

I abided by Carlisle and Esme’s rules, but they weren’t anything I wanted to break anyway. Even while hunting I had never had the issues Jasper, or even Emmett and Edward had. I had never drunk human blood and my death count was by far the lowest of all of us. Unlike my human life, as a vampire I was in complete control of my actions and the route my life would take. Until now, with one singular human upstairs, I was doing things based purely on instinct. I nervously fidgeted in my seat and waited to meet the human we had found.

Bella descended the stairs, her tight grip on the banister evidence of her nervousness. I did my best to ignore her but my gaze was drawn inevitably to hers and I felt a shiver of electricity run through me. I glared at the human

I studied Bella discreetly while Alice was introducing her to everyone. Her chestnut hair caught the light of the fire, giving it red highlights that shimmered in the room. Her skin was almost as fair as our unnatural paleness, contrasting with the warm brown of her hair. I sighed under my breath, Alice was telling the girl more information than she needed. Not that it mattered I suppose, she would be back with her family soon enough. I’d never have to see her again.

Alice mentioned my name and caused Bella to look at me, catching me staring at her, the flames in the fireplace were reflecting in her eyes making them seem brighter, deeper. I was lost in her gaze, if I was human I would have felt the discomfort that came from not breathing, but as it was nothing was there to stop me from falling into this human girl’s eyes. My body became as still as stone and the rest of the room dropped away, leaving only her, Bella.

Then as quickly as it occurred the room and everyone in it rushed back into my perception. Edward, of all people, had saved me. He stood in between us blocking my sight of the girl and allowing me to regain control of my senses.

I stood up, shaken. I had to leave the room. Had to get away from whatever was happening to me.

As I moved from my seat I saw Edward was smiling at her in that stupid crooked way that he had, she was blushing. Probably inwardly swooning at his bedhead teenage popstar looks. I growled to myself, Edward was still talking to Bella as I walked past and I had to resist a sudden impulse to remove his head from his body. I jerked myself back, drawing the stare of Carlisle and Emmett. Emmett looked at me confused but Carlisle gave me another understanding smile and nodded at me.

I fled the house, remembering to grab a coat on my way out to maintain the illusion of humanity. When I stepped out into the clean white landscape I took a deep breath, wishing I had the benefit of human temperature and could feel the cold around me.

I scented the air, and moved off in the direction of a herd of elk. If the human was going to be staying any longer with us I was going to have to hunt in order to control my predator urges around her.

I tried to ignore the niggling feeling in the back of my skull, the pressure on my chest telling me, roaring at me, to go back to the house.

I stiffened and stood up out of the crouch I had adopted without realising. Rosalie Hale was not controlled by her impulses, controlled by a human girl. There was no way I would let anyone control me again. I strode off, back on the trail of the elk. Determined to put everything about the girl out of my mind.

Chapter Text

-Rosalie-

When I returned from my hunt Alice and Esme told me about what happened to Bella, I was unable to stop the hiss that burst from my throat at the tale, I clenched my fists and fought to calm myself. These wolves sounded all too similar to the ones we had encountered years ago, the La Push pack in Forks. Which was apparently where Bella’s dad lived and was where the two of them were heading to after their camping trip here, it seemed like this human was fated with the bad luck to be surrounded by supernatural creatures at every turn. I wonder if there was ever any hope of her ever living a normal life.

Emmett, Jasper and Edward had already left to try and find the campsite Bella had described, hopefully discovering what happened there. And find Bella’s father. Although I didn’t hold out much hope of him being found alive. I couldn’t imagine how Bella felt about what had happened to her but the girl must realise the odds were against her ever seeing her father again. 

I went to take advantage of the music room been unoccupied while Edward was out tracking Bella’s path with the others; I had lost myself in my playing when Alice opened the door, poking her head into the room and allowing the sounds of the house to enter my brief sanctuary.

“I thought you’d want to know the boys will be back in one minute and thirty seconds.”

“Can’t you just tell me what they’ve found out now and save us all some time?”

“You know Emmett will get annoyed if I do that.”

“And that’s exactly why you should do it.” I said dryly.

Alice giggled and danced over to the piano where I was still sitting. “Oh Rose you know you love him really.”

I wrinkled my nose at that.

“I really don’t.”

“Well, if you don’t want to hear what they have to say you can continue playing. Was that a new piece?” Alice indicated the piles of music paper that bore my hastily written notes and the ones on top of the pile that didn’t have the scribbles or crossing outs of the others.

“Just something I felt like playing.” I shrugged, it wasn’t unusual for any of us to compose music, sure I hadn’t felt the inclination to in a while but that was bound to change at some point.

“I see.” Alice smirked at me. “Feeling inspired lately are we?”

I frowned at Alice, unsure of what she was trying to say. Just then I heard the door open and we both reached the living room in time to see Emmett rushing in, spraying snow from his hair and shoes everywhere.

“Well?” Carlisle asked once Edward and Jasper joined Emmett in the entry way, both of them making much less mess than Emmett had. “What did you find?”

“We tracked Bella’s scent back to where she and Charlie were attacked. We were wrong, it wasn’t wolf shifters like the La Push pack, it was werewolves.” Jasper told us.

“What’s the difference?” Esme asked looking between Jasper and Carlisle confused.

“Werewolves look similar at a glance to the wolf shifters but they are a completely different species, they're more wolf-man than the werewolves from blood and chocolate. The legends of the La Push pack themselves tell that their wolves are descended from their ancestors who were spirit warriors, capable of wandering as spirits and communicating with animals, then they harnessed the ability to actually change into a wolf form. I’ve met tribes who can shift into bears, and in south America I came across a group of people who shift into jaguars, it’s just that the Quileute people have started to call themselves werewolves that cause the confusion. True werewolves are forced to change with the moon, and their bites infect humans like ours do, changing them into werewolves.” Carlisle explained.

Jasper nodded along with Carlisle, confirming his description.

“I have met werewolves during my time fighting in Maria’s army. They are incredibly vicious and territorial, it could have been once they found Bella and Charlie they couldn’t help but attack them.”

“There was a huge amount of destruction around the camp.” Emmett put in. “It looked like one hell of a fight, there’s no way Charlie survived, I’m surprised Bella did.”

“Did you find any trace of Bella’s father?” Esme asked softly.

Edward and Jasper shook their heads and Emmett’s usual cheery face clouded over.

“There was a lot of blood, I didn’t get too close to that because…” Jasper trailed off and Esme nodded understandingly. The scent of blood was still hard for Jasper to bear.

“I got closer to it, I’m not as good a tracker as Jasper but I think it was Charlie’s blood, it smelt like a mix of Bella’s and what I guess was the werewolves.” Edward supplied.

“Why would there be werewolf blood? They’re hard to hurt and a human wouldn’t have been able to, especially not if they were surprised by a pack.” Carlisle asked frowning at Edward’s telling of events.

“Maybe Charlie got lucky?” Emmett suggested, “he could have got a few lucky shots in and let Bella escape.”

“That’s another thing, I can’t work out how Bella would have survived an attack from a pack of werewolves, they should have easily been able to catch her when she ran, or have tracked her after they dealt with Charlie. It’s unlike them to leave human survivors. At least not ones that haven’t been bitten.” Jasper said thoughtfully.

“Maybe she has been bitten?”

“No, we’d have smelt the blood.” Carlisle dismissed Emmett’s question and stayed staring into the distance, I knew he would be trying to logically work out how Bella could have survived the attack, and how she could have run so far without being caught.

“She does smell different than other humans.” Jasper commented, also looking pensive as he tried to solve the mystery of Bella.

“Maybe it’s the scent of the werewolves from the campsite?” Alice asked unsure, like me she had no idea what werewolves smelt like.

“I don’t think so. It does smell a little like that, but it’s not quite the same. Her scent is fainter, and what is there isn’t as foul smelling as werewolves are. Besides, it wouldn’t cling to her for so long. And not around us, our scents tend to permeate everything and everyone who stays in close contact. Marking our territories.” Jasper said contemplatively.

I growled softly at that, at them marking Bella. Emmett and Jasper looked at me with surprise but the rest of my family seemed to ignore my sudden lack of control, I looked up to see Alice staring at me with a quizzical look on her face.

“There’s something else too.” Edward interrupted “Sometimes I can’t hear her thoughts.” I smiled at that, another person Edward couldn’t read; this must be driving him crazy.

“Maybe you’re just losing your touch.” I said to his frown.

“No sometimes I hear her, but then others it’s static, like the signal is being blocked. It’s not like what I hear when I try to read Rosalie, that’s just empty space.” Edward glared at me at that, I rolled my eyes at his immature attempt to get a rise from me. “At first I thought it was just because she was thinking about the wolves when I couldn’t read her thoughts when she thought back to the attack. Maybe their powers blocked mine even through Bella, but it’s not that, it’s her.”

“Maybe she has a gift like Rosalie’s.” Alice suggested.

“Do you know if she has a gift Alice?” I asked her, interested if this girl could be like me.

“No, I can’t see her future… or sometimes I see glimpses but never enough to give me a clue of what’s going on in her future.” Alice said frowning prettily.

Everyone grew silent again as we considered what this meant about Bella. I thought it was most likely that she was already gifted with something similar to my gift. I didn’t know if I had the ability to block psychic vampire attacks while still human as when I had met Edward I was already a vampire, but there was no reason why it wouldn’t be possible.

“Well whatever she is, what are we going to do about her?” Emmett asked, bringing everyone’s attention back to the conversation.

“What do you mean?” I asked, my senses suddenly on alert.

“Who will take care of her? She needs a home and to go to school.” Carlisle said, I could tell his mind was working trying to find a suitable place for the girl to live. But the trouble with being a vampire is most of the humans you know die off early in your new immortal life and you end up just knowing other vampires. None of whom would be suitable to look after a human.

“We’ll keep her of course.” Alice said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“She’s not a pet Alice. And what will we do when she starts asking about why we never eat, or the coldness of our skin?” Edward said irritated.

“We’ll tell her about us.”

“Tell her!” Edward shrieked. “We can’t tell her! We’re monsters Alice! Creatures without a soul cursed to feed on human blood! How do you think she’ll take the news?!”

“Well, obviously we don’t let Captain Dramatic tell Bella.” Emmett said.

“She’ll be fine Edward.” Alice said sounding exasperated.

“See! If Alice says it’s fine it must be.” Emmett said conclusively.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell a human what we are, what about the Volturi?” Jasper interrupted, drawing everyone’s attention and getting even Edward to stop arguing for a few seconds.

“But she’s all alone, her father’s dead, killed by shifters. She already knows about the supernatural, we’d just be stopping her becoming a casualty from it.” Esme broke the silence, imploring us to keep the human.

“I can’t think of anyone we could trust to look after Bella, and we do already have a residence in Forks which was where Bella would have lived.” Carlisle looked at Esme as he spoke, we all knew how much Esme loved to care for us, it was the most defining trait about her and there was no way she would be able to kick Bella out now she had met her and knew she needed someone.

“And we haven’t been in that area for decades, I could go back to school there. Forks High! Go Spartans!” Emmett interrupted exuberantly.

I rolled my eyes at his over excited attitude to going back to yet another high school. It made sense for us to pose as young as we could get away with in order to stay in one place for the maximum amount of time before the humans started to notice us not ageing but a couple of decades learning the same thing and being subjected to the same stares and gossip from the human attendees soon got old.

“Alice have you actually seen Bella’s reaction to our news?” I asked looking at the pixie haired vampire with suspicion.

“Well… not as such. She’s kind of out of focus… she reminds me of the shifters in La Push, I could never get a clear vision of them either.” Alice answered sheepishly. “But Esme’s right, we can’t just leave her here, and she’s going to find out if we don’t tell her. Isn’t it better to have everything out in the open so she doesn’t suddenly discover our secret while she’s in class, or out shopping in Seattle and has the opportunity to tell more people about us?”

Alice looked at me and Jasper, I could see Jasper weakening under his mate’s gaze and sighed. I wasn’t sure what the best course of action was, I didn’t want the human staying with us, she upset my control and had me acting much more instinctually than I was comfortable with. But a part of me couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her at the mercy of strangers, or of the thought of the shifter pack finding her again.

 

-Bella-

I woke up to the smell of bacon and pancakes, my mouth watering I sat up, pushing the quilt from me. I had fallen asleep on the sofa but someone must have carried me back upstairs to Emmett’s room. This time I was dressed and there was a selection of clothes on the desk for me.

I quickly dressed and went downstairs to eat what Esme had prepared for me, I noticed none of the others were eating even though Emmett and Alice were both staring at the food as if they hadn’t tasted it in years- well, Emmett looked like that, Alice looked more curious about the whole process. She stared at me for long enough to make me feel even more awkward than usual as I struggled to finish my meal without spilling it down myself and making a fool of myself.

“You didn’t have to cook for me Esme if you’ve all already eaten.” I said embarrassed that I was causing more work for the woman I barely knew.

“Oh don’t worry Bella, I love to cook and I rarely get the opportunity to.”

“I find that hard to believe with the size of Emmett.” I said smiling at her.

Esme returned my smile but brushed off my comment easily.

“Emmett is more likely to fill up on snacks than enjoy something I cook for him.” Esme said, busying herself with cleaning up the kitchen.

Once I had finished eating Carlisle sat down next to me and looked at me steadily and I knew he had bad news for about Charlie.

“Bella we called a few of our friends who live close to where you were camping and no one has heard or seen from your father.” Carlisle looked at me with concern and I stared back at him, unsure what to do with the news.

“We’ll give you a minute.” Carlisle said, ushering the rest of his family from the room.

I felt numb, Carlisle hadn’t told me anything I didn’t already know but to hear it from someone else made what had happened that night hit me all over again.

After a time I left the kitchen and found Emmett and Alice playing video games, Emmett was loudly complaining about Alice and seemed to be losing badly. I watched the two of them for a moment before my eyes were drawn up to the corner seat where Rosalie was sitting. My breath caught, I didn’t know what had caught my eye, she was perfectly still, unmoving and was sitting reading a book but I didn’t know how I had managed to miss her before. Her hair seemed to be glowing in the wintry sun, giving her the appearance of an angel or some other celestial being that could never exist on earth. She looked up and met my eyes causing me to blush heavily as I looked away.

“Bella!” Emmett cried noticing me standing there. “Come and play with me, Alice keeps cheating.” The muscled teen glared at the tiny pixie at that and I couldn’t help but smile.

I joined Emmett in front of the TV and Alice happily handed over her controller to me. Between the two of them they managed to keep my mind from drifting too much to Charlie, Esme often came into the room and asked if I was hungry or thirsty and I began to believe her when she said she enjoyed cooking for me. She never asked anyone else if they wanted anything though; I guess it was because I was a guest. Jasper and Edward came through and sometimes joined us playing a game before leaving and moving on to other areas of the house. Jasper seemed to find my presence uncomfortable but he went out of his way to be friendly to me. I think Edward found me annoying… he would sometimes stare at me in as if I had said something to him, his forehead scrunched in confusion.

Rosalie never moved from her spot in the corner of the room. As time passed I became more and more aware of the blonde, she rarely spoke, and never talked to me yet I felt her eyes on me more often than not. Every part of my body seemed to be attuned to her smallest movement and I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat.

While Emmett and I were locked in a particularly aggressive Halo battle it seemed some kind of secret signal had passed between the Cullens, the rest of the family joined us in the living room and I noticed they looked like they had something important to say. My stomach twisted as I took in their serious expressions and I found my eyes going to Rosalie again. She seemed to be avoiding my gaze and almost looked nervous and my stomach twisted again. Only Emmett seemed unconcerned by the atmosphere and used my inattention to kill my character.

Once Carlisle was sure of my attention he cleared his throat I realised everyone was watching me carefully and I started to panic, wondering what else they had to tell me.

“We’ve decided to move to Forks, it’s time we enrolled everyone in school, and we have a house in there.” Carlisle said.

“You do?” I asked surprised.

“I actually have a job waiting for me there, at the hospital.”

“So… you’re moving?” I asked suddenly worried about what this meant for me. I hadn’t thought about what I would do now Charlie was gone and I mentally kicked myself for thinking I would just stay with these people. I don’t know why I had assumed that, why would they want someone just intruding on their family and being forced to take them in.

“We thought you’d move with us Bella. If you’d like to that is, we have more than enough space at our house in Forks you would have your own room there.” Esme said smiling; she reached out as if she was going to touch my hand but stopped halfway and pulled back. I watched the hand retreat and looked up into Esme’s caring eyes. I felt my own eyes fill with tears I struggled to blink away.

“There is something we think we should tell you first though Bella. Something that might change how you feel about this.” Carlisle looked so serious I started to worry again.

I don’t know what could change my mind about them, they had saved my life, let me stay with them when the only other person I had was gone. What were they, Cylons; I mean some Cylons were good though. My god Bella, I felt like smacking myself on the head, they’re not Cylons. Get a grip. Carlisle had eyed me worriedly while I was having my mental debate and I wanted to reassure him that they weren’t making a mistake letting a crazy girl they didn’t know stay with them.

“What is it? It won’t change my mind about you all. You’re good people.” Carlisle smiled at that and took a deep breath.



-Rosalie-

“We’re vampires Bella.” Edward said solemnly, interrupting Carlisle who didn’t seem to mind Edward had jumped out of the coffin prematurely.

“Oh.”

“Oh? Is that all you can say? Oh!?” Edward huffed angrily, his big reveal clearly not going the way he had planned.

Emmett laughed and Alice grinned. “I told you she’d be fine.”

“There’s fine and then there’s catatonic from shock.” I eyed Bella warily, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“So… like actual blood sucking vampires?”

“Yes. Only we only drink animal blood. We’re vegetarian vampires.” Alice informed her.

“I don’t think the animals would agree with your definition of vegetarianism.”

“The way I look at it is we’re now the natural predators of humans, who prey on animals. And we’re ignoring humans to hunt their food instead. Which is what human vegetarians do.” Emmett  

“Are other vampires vegetarian?”

“Most vampires drink human blood. You can tell by the colour of their eyes whether they drink animal blood or not, human drinkers have red eyes while ours are golden.” Carlisle told her.

The thought of Bella encountering a human drinker made my fangs descend. The odds of her surviving an encounter with one long enough to take note of their eye colour was laughable. We’d have to keep her away from all other vampires. Maybe even our Denali cousins. I frowned, why did I care about Bella’s lifespan all of a sudden. Was this more vampire territorial bullshit that was emerging now it had human prey to focus on?

“Your eyes are black sometimes.” Bella said, looking at each of us to confirm her statement.

“Our eyes change with strong emotions, like anger, or excitement, or hunger.” Carlisle intoned, sounding as if he was giving a lecture to his medical students.

“Aren’t you worried I’ll like, stake you or something now?” Bella looked at us all as if we would suddenly run away and hide from the big bad human. I struggled to hold in a laugh, the others didn’t try and hold their in and an assortment of giggles and guffaws filled the living room. She thought we were the ones who should be nervous of her, of all the humans we could ever find in this world she had to be the strangest.

“You’d have a hard time killing us, our skin is as hard as granite and we are extremely fast and strong.”

“And I guess daylight doesn’t affect you since I’ve seen you all out in it.” Bella mused to herself, but being vampires we all heard it.

“Most of the myths surrounding our species are just that, myth.” Carlisle told Bella.

“Garlic?” Bella questioned.

“No effect!” Emmett happily replied. “Well, no more than any other human food has, which is just disgusting to eat and we can’t keep it down.”

“Crossing running water… no. Being invited in?” Bella asked curious.

“Yes. Actually that’s what we want you for. We want you to go into humans houses and invite us in. You’re our mule.” Emmett told Bella seriously.

“Mule, Emmett?” Jasper questioned.

“Person who lets us in!” Emmett explained eagerly.

“Why would you want to go into human houses anyway? You said you don’t drink human blood.”

“Oh right, yeah. Er… to watch them sleep?” Emmett asked, turning to me as if I knew the answer to what was going on inside his head.

“Ugh, why would any of us want to do that? How creepy. Why would Bella let strange vampires into someone’s house to watch them sleep?” Alice said, her nose wrinkling up in disgust.

“Well, she’d only let us in, the right ones in.” Emmett said winking at Bella who chuckled at him, clearly not finding his line of conversation scary or disconcerting. What a strange human, hell, I found Emmett disconcerting most of the time.

“Religion?” Bella asked.

“No effect. Carlisle and Esme even go to church. I always thought that was weird anyway, what if I’m not religious? Would the crucifix still work on me? What if I was Jewish or Muslim?” Emmett asked, a thoughtful expression on his face.

“Well in that case they’d use a religious icon from your faith, not Christianity.” Oh great, now Jasper was getting involved in this madness.

“So, what? Atheist vampires would be unstoppable? And how would you know who believed in what? Did Van Helsing carry around a fanny pack with a dozen different icons in it?” Emmett argued.

“The belief or intent behind the icon would be what was important, what about in Carpe Jugulum where the reverend Mightily-Praiseworthy-Are-Ye-Who-Exalteth-Om Oats turned an axe into a holy symbol.” I stared at Alice who was watching Jasper become more absorbed in this argument with amusement. No hope there of her bringing her mate back to sense.

“Yeah, but what if the vampires don’t believe in the holy axe? Then you’ve got an angry vampire and you’ve made a fool of yourself and have no holy symbol.”

“Well, you’d have an axe, which would be useful against most fictitious vampires. But you could turn any item into a crucifix, or draw the Star of David with salt or something.” Jasper continued to argue with Emmett.

Emmett stared at Jasper his arms crossed, daring Jasper to try and fight him some more on the serious subject of fictional vampire lore. Luckily before they could start to argue more on the inane subject Bella leaned in between the two annoyed vampires and diffused the situation.

“Okay. Last vampire question. What’s your favourite vampire movie?”

 “Blade!” Emmett said straight away. “Half vampire, half human, all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses.” Emmett made pretend sword fighting movements with his hands.

There was a pause and I smirked at Emmett, trust him to be the only vampire childish enough to answer a vampire movie question.

“Nosferatu. Can’t go wrong with the classics.” Jasper answered to my surprise.

“Interview with the Vampire.” Edward said. To the absolute surprise of no one.

“No, wait: Underworld. Kate Beckinsale in black leather.” Emmett interrupted again, a dreamy expression on his face as he was now lost in a world where vampires wore skin tight costumes. Thank god that one was purely fiction.

“From Dusk ‘Til Dawn” Everyone looked at Esme who looked as embarrassed as a vampire could. “What? It’s a good movie.”

“Right on Ma!” Emmett held his fist out to Esme who cautiously bumped it.

“Only Lovers Left Alive. Although if we can have webseries then Carmilla.” Alice answered, her fingers tapping against her jaw thoughtfully.

“Guys! Blackula!” Everyone groaned as Emmett jumped up, trying to get our attention with his answer.

Bella turned to look at Carlisle who was watching the circus unfold with amusement.

“Oh, I guess The Lost Boys? Or Byzantium?” Carlisle answered Bella’s questioning gaze.

“What We Do In The Shadows! Now that is a great movie. Werewolves not swearwolves!” Emmett crowed.

“Is that your final answer this time Emmett?” I sighed, hoping this conversation would be over soon.

“What about you Rosalie?” I looked up to find Bella’s eyes locked on my own. “What’s your favourite vampire movie?”

“Don’t really have one.” I struggled to break our gaze, feeling a strange pull from it, tugging me to go to her and sink into her warm brown eyes.

I managed to turn my head away from the girl and broke eye contact, immediately feeling like I had lost something. I avoided looking at her again until Esme convinced her she didn’t need to help us pack for the move to Forks and to go to bed. I tracked her movements as she exited the room and walked up the stairs, safe in the knowledge that her eyes wouldn’t meet mine and trap me in them again.

“See, I told you she’d be good for us.” Alice said happily as we left the living room to pack up what we wanted to take with us to Forks, Bella had already gone upstairs to sleep and Esme had already told Emmett off for trying to sneak into his room to pack the items he wanted to take to Forks. Even with vampire abilities Emmett couldn’t do quiet very well.

I couldn’t believe a conversation we had all been dreading. A conversation that could have resulted in us having to kill this girl instead ended in us discussing vampire movies. I shook my head, Bella Swan was either more than she seemed or we would all wake up to find her attempting to hammer a stake into us. Not that we slept. And I sincerely doubted her woodworking skills, I’d already seen her trip over thin air, god only knows what danger she’d get herself in with a saw. Not that I cared about that. I sighed and went to pack my room. The sooner we got to Forks and I could have my cars to work on and I wouldn’t have my mind free to dwell on the strange new human in our midst the better.

 

-Bella-

To be honest the reveal that they were vampires made sense. And it actually made me feel a little better about them, I had noticed that sometimes they would sit so still, almost as if they were asleep, but their eyes were open and they would respond if anyone talked to them. It was kind of a relief that there wasn’t anything wrong with them really.

As for the rest of it, they said they didn’t drink human blood, and if they wanted to kill me they could have easily done it before now. I thought I had a better chance living with them than living on my own.

I laughed as the others all started talking about their favourite vampire movie; Emmett kept interrupting with another film he had just remembered that was now his favourite. Hard to believe I was sitting with the same creatures portrayed in the films they were discussing.

Rosalie still hadn’t answered. I watched her as she looked bored and ready to leave the room, for some reason I suddenly felt like I had to stop that, to keep her here.

“What about you Rosalie, what’s your favourite vampire movie?” Rosalie lifted her gaze from her shoes and her stunning topaz eyes locked onto mine,

“Don’t really have one.” Rosalie flicked her golden hair and broke eye contact. I swallowed, disappointed and nervous. Everything about her made me nervous and I didn’t know why.

After the conversation over vampire films died down I excused myself to go to bed, Esme told me we would be leaving for Forks tomorrow, I felt kind of bad I wouldn’t be awake to pack the house but Esme assured me that the house they had in Forks was fully furnished and they would be able to pack their belongings much faster due to their vampire speed and strength than I would be able to.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

I woke up to find the Cullens already packed and waiting for me, Esme had prepared breakfast for me and assured me I had enough time to eat it. I couldn’t help but feel like I was slowing them all down though as I sat in the kitchen and watched the others sit patiently waiting for me. Except Emmett who kept rushing into the different rooms and to the cars outside, double and triple checking he had packed everything he wanted to have in Forks.

I wondered if they had already eaten, or if they didn’t need to eat as often as humans, maybe it was more like snakes? They were immortal it would make sense for them to have a slow metabolism… or maybe they could eat human food too, but then why wouldn’t they eat it while I had been for the past few days?

“What?” Edward asked jarring me from my thoughts, an indecipherable look on his face, I flushed realising that I had been absentmindedly staring at Edward who was the only one sitting in my line of sight while I had been thinking about the Cullens.

“How come there’s food here anyway, if you guys are vampires? I mean, you said you couldn’t keep it down earlier.”

“Esme likes to be prepared for company.” Alice said grinning at the maternal vampire as she came to sit beside me. “Even though we’re miles away from any other house and people generally don’t go wandering in Alaska.” Edward continued to stare at me before Alice looked at him and the two seemed to communicate silently before Edward left in a huff.

“Well you may all mock me, but it was lucky I was prepared for when we found Bella.” Esme interjected smiling at me as she refilled my glass of orange juice.

“So do you all go hunting while I’m asleep?”

“No, we can go a few days comfortably without feeding. Longer if nothing upsets us. When we move back to Forks though we’ll probably hunt more often to make sure we’re not tempted by the humans around us.”

“So… you want to drink human blood?”

“I don’t really think this is the right topic for breakfast conversation.” Esme interrupted her eyes flicking to me in concern.

“Bella knows we wouldn’t hurt her, don’t you.” Alice nudged my shoulder smiling at me. “We do want to drink human blood Bella, but we don’t. Because we’d rather live lives as normally as we can amongst humans instead of killing them.”

“But we are all capable of doing that. We’re evolved to be killers everything about us is designed to make us the perfect predator. Even Alice has fed from humans. And-”

“Alright Edward, cool it with the Dracula act.” A voice interrupted from outside the room and my breath caught in my throat as I saw Rosalie.

“It’s not an act.” Edward says hotly, turning to face Rosalie who was leaning against the doorframe watching Edward with narrowed eyes.

“That’s not the best thing to say bro,” I heard Emmett snort, “Dracula was only cool in black and white, and there’s no way you could pull off the hair.”

I quickly finished up my breakfast and Esme whisked away my plate and glass and had them washed and dried before I could blink.

“We told you we’re fast.” Emmett said, amused at my stunned expression.

“Yet another way we are perfect to kill you.” Edward cut in dramatically.

“Oh for the love of- will you just quit it with all this superior predator bullshit?” Rosalie said her tone laced with annoyance.

“I’m just trying to warn her! She needs to know what she’s getting into!” Edward exclaimed, looking to Carlisle for support who just shrugged at his bronze haired adopted son.

“Well nothing you say will change the fact that she knows all about us now, and she is going to live with us in Forks so you’ll have to get used to the idea of having a human around, and maybe tone down the doom and gloom.” Rosalie snapped back at Edward before moving to pick up a bundle of magazines and books and stand by the door, ready for us to leave.

Everyone moved towards the door and I stood up, unsure of my place with them. The fact that Rosalie had defended me to Edward left a warm glow inside and I carefully watched the blonde vampire, seeing if there was going to be any sign of her acknowledging me.

“Emmett you’ll ride with me and Carlisle.” Esme said, watching as Emmett bounced around the cars, occasionally fist pumping the air and humming something about Spartans and wolf shifters

“But Maaaa-” Emmett whined pitifully.

“No buts! You know what happened last time, we’re lucky it was before all the airports had security cameras as standard, this time you’ll be with me the whole way so I can at least try to act like a human.”

“I didn’t mean anything by it though! I was just trying to help out!”

“I know, but that doesn’t mean the baggage handlers were ready to see you lifting the entire consignment and moving it into the hold.” Esme said, the exasperation in her tone contrasting with the fond smile on her face as she watched Emmett pouting.

“I’ll ride with you too Carlisle,” Edward said smoothly, “I have… matters of importance to discuss with you.” He glanced at me when he said it and I couldn’t help but shrink back from his gaze, knowing he was talking about me.

I heard a low rumble that almost sounded like a growl and looked at the source of the noise to see Rosalie glaring at Edward, her usually golden coloured eyes had turned dark and her body looked poised to attack. Edward was staring at her clearly surprised by her reaction and the others were looking at Rosalie with mixtures of worry or confusion but before anyone reacted Rosalie seemed to remind herself where she was and stormed off out the door towards the cars.

Two large cars were already parked near the front door of the house, I guess they’d come from the large garage. Suitcases and boxes were already packed in the back. I hesitated, unsure where I was expected to go and all too aware of my own lack of possessions. I felt pressure on my arm and looked up to see Jasper smiling down at me,

“Come on Bella, you’ll ride with me and Alice, she needs someone who’s willing to listen to her constant chatter.”  My mood cleared slightly and I nodded, moving over to the car Alice was standing beside.

“Hey!” I heard from the tiny pixie-like woman as I entered the vehicle, “I do not constantly chatter.” I grinned at the sight of the pouting vampire.

“I’ll drive.” Rosalie stated, getting ready to get in the driver’s door of the nearest car.

“No way Rose, if you drive we’ll get pulled over and miss the flight.” Alice said confidently.

“What!? There is no way I would get pulled over.”

“It’s settled! You’re in the back, unless you want me to tell Bella all your secrets!” The dark haired vampire grinned at Rosalie and darted to get in the front passenger seat while Jasper made his way more sedately towards the driver’s side, ignoring the scowl from Rosalie as she got into the back of the car. I didn’t know what to do sitting there as still as I could, scared to even breathe as Rosalie got into the car beside me. I couldn’t remember ever being this close to her and my heart started beating faster at her proximity. Her lips were moving quickly, it looked like she was talking under her breath but I couldn’t hear anything she was saying.

I tried to calm myself, I tried to avoid staring at her, suddenly aware of how often my attention was caught by the blonde whenever she was in the same room as I was and my palms began to sweat. I didn’t want her to get the wrong idea. Although considering everything she was likely to get the right idea and I didn’t know how she would take that either.

“I won’t hurt you.” Rosalie uttered quietly, pulling me from inside my head and was left confused, wondering what she was talking about and trying to work out if I had zoned out on a conversation.

“I… I know?” I answered almost questioningly, I allowed myself to turn and look at her, it was only polite after all I thought trying to convince myself that she couldn’t infer anything from me looking at her while she was talking to me.

Rosalie sighed and looked like she had frozen in on herself. I watched her for a few minutes, unsure whether she was going to start talking again, maybe explain what she meant but she just sat there, as still as a statue. I quickly looked away when I realised I had been staring for far too long, having taken her stillness as opportunity to study the perfect curve of her lips.

The drive to the airport was awkward. Rosalie ignored me after our all too short and confusing conversation. I realised the reason for her anger at Edward before we left was probably because she realised she’d be stuck in a car with me and my heart sank. I should probably make the effort though, we were basically strangers pushed together, Emmett and Alice made it so easy to be around them I forgot I had only known this family for a few days, I just needed to girl up and talk to her, then we’d become friends. I quickly stopped all efforts though when she didn’t respond to me and I turned back to staring out of the car window, watching as my hazy reflection frowned back at me.

If it wasn’t for Alice the car journey would probably have been completely silent, but the tiny vampire kept up a near constant conversation with me and Jasper, albeit almost wholly one-sided, I mumbled affirmatives to her when it seemed like she was expecting an answer from me but I wasn’t listening to the bubbly vampire as she explained all about Forks High, or their house. My mind was too wrapped up in the golden haired vampire sitting beside me, doing her best to ignore me.  

The airport was tiny compared to the one in Phoenix Renee had taken me too when she had decided I was my father’s daughter more than hers and should go and live with Charlie. My eyes burned with tears at the memory of her dropping me off with a duffel bag and avoiding all eye contact as she told me I had to live with Charlie and we wouldn’t see each other until I was able to… be in control, or was it be around her? Her excuses and promises had all merged together in my mind and I hadn’t been in the best place to take them in properly anyway. Maybe I should call her, but I couldn’t help the small voice in my head telling me she wouldn’t take me back. That she meant it when she sent me away to a man I could barely remember.

I closed my eyes tightly and took a few deep breaths. If there was one thing I was good at it was burying my feelings.

I became present in time to show my ticket and documents to the security gate and watched as Edward and Carlisle moved to a service counter and organised getting a few of their larger belongings shipped to their house in Forks on a different airline while we waited to board.  



I was jolted awake by the feeling of wheels hitting the tarmac, a thick grey blanket was wrapped around me, I couldn’t remember the Cullens bringing one on the plane with them, and they all seemed to ignore the cold even more than I did.

I started gathering my belongings and noticed the same blankets were being left by most of the other passengers on the seats. One of the flight attendants probably covered me with it while we were subject to the lower temperatures, I moved the blanket from me and was hit by a faint scent of vanilla and lilacs clinging to the material and I was suddenly at loath to release it from my grasp.

As soon as we had departed the plane and collected our luggage we walked over to hire a car to drive into Forks, Forks itself didn’t have an airport but we had managed to get flights to Port Angeles which was less than an hour’s drive away.

The guy working the car hire counter was eyeing Emmett who was almost vibrating with excitement. I wasn’t sure if that was due to the prospect of the cars or just being in a new place.

“Rosalie, if you could?” Carlisle tilted his head towards the cars outside and Rosalie swept away, my mouth went dry as she walked past me and I was aware of the erratic thumping of my heart but she didn’t even glance my way.

After some time Rosalie picked out a car that looked practically indistinguishable from all the others in the parking lot then as she was moving her bags into it she said something quietly to Emmett causing him to whoop in excitement and he ran off to where Carlisle was still discussing the terms with the salesman. Emmett quickly emerged again, bouncing on the balls of his feet and waving the keys to the large SUV he had been coveting.

Everyone made quick work of moving the various bags of luggage into the two cars and soon we were on our way to their house in Forks. My apprehension about what I would find there started to grow again now we were so close to our destination.

I was worried that although Esme and Carlisle had adopted the others into their family they hadn’t been serious when they said I could live with them. My own mother had decided I shouldn’t live with her, what was stopping a group of practical strangers from changing their minds about letting me stay with them? Although even I found it hard to believe Esme could ever throw someone out of her house.

I watched the scenery flash by, trying to keep a lid on my nerves but we entered Forks much sooner than I expected and I couldn’t help the sense of foreboding that greeted me as we passed the town line.  

 

-Rosalie-

The human had been preying on my mind. If I could sleep I’d probably have dreamt about her. It was times like these I valued my gift all the more. God only knows what Edward would have said about all this. And Alice… would she have seen anything? Seen me… what? Kill Bella? Drink her blood? Was that really the reason I couldn’t get her out of my head?

All while she was sleeping and we had been packing up what items we wanted to take with us to Forks I couldn’t stop thinking about the strange human, how easily she had accepted what we were, how willing she was to live with a group beings that could kill her in an instant.

Maybe that was why I had reacted towards Edward the way I had when he had implied he was going to discuss Bella with Carlisle. She was so fragile in her human mortality, my vampire instincts clearly didn’t want anyone else killing what it saw as its prey. And now I had her in my sights it was against my instincts to let her get away.

We were finally traveling towards the airfield that would take us to Port Angeles. Emmett and Edward were in a car with Carlisle and Esme; Esme felt that Emmett needed extra ‘parental’ supervision to keep his excitement from spilling over into superhuman feats. Something I agreed with, but that meant that Bella was in the same car as me which I didn’t care for, and since Alice was backing Jasper up as the better driver over me, I was stuck in the back. With Bella.

Edward may have had the right idea at avoiding the car Bella was in, her inviting scent quickly filled the car and I had to struggle to keep in control of my emotions. The thought that Jasper probably knew what I was feeling made me try harder to keep myself in check, although I didn’t even know fully what I was feeling so whatever he might pick up from his gift was probably as confusing and chaotic for him as it was for me.

I could hear Bella’s heartrate increase and I knew the girl was scared around me. At least she has more self-preservation than I’d credited her with, although a flash of panic stole through me as I considered that it seemed to be only with me that Bella was scared around. Did she somehow know that I was the one who seemed least able to control myself around her? I thought I had been keeping my weakness hidden but if the human had noticed what did my family think?

Bella tried to start conversations with me as we drove to the airport but it took everything I had to try and keep myself controlled around her. I didn’t have the strength to talk to the girl too. She soon trailed off and moved to staring out of the car window, occasionally answering Alice’s questions. I felt an odd twinge of regret that I had caused her to shut down, caused her pain. But this was surely better than the alternative.


 
She slept again on the plane. I couldn’t believe how often she needed to sleep, the memories of my own mortality were too marred by how it had ended for me to think back to the amount of sleep I had had, but I was sure it wasn’t this much. My eyes fell to the exposed skin on her neck, I couldn’t help but trace the contours of her throat with my eyes, wonder what it would be like to lick her skin there. I pulled my gaze away hurriedly but couldn’t help glance back at the sleeping girl, she had curled up as much as she could in the small airline seats, her shirt had been pushed back from her arms due to her movements and I watched as goose bumps formed on her pale skin.

She looked so defenceless lying there, I felt Alice’s eyes on me after I had been staring at the girl for who knows how long and lifted my gaze to the small vampires. I lifted an eyebrow in question at her but Alice just grinned brightly at me and pointed to the blankets that were stored in the overhead compartments for the use of passengers. I wrinkled my nose at the scratchy fabric, they smelt like the worst kind of cheap cleaning products but maybe they wouldn’t be so bad to Bella. I looked around the cabin and saw that every other passenger excluding us were all wrapped up in their blankets shivering, I vaguely remembered something the airline steward had said about apologising for broken heaters and thought it was weird Bella wasn’t colder than she appeared.

Come to think of it we should probably pretend we were cold, Emmett had taken off his coat the minute we were on the plane and was amusing some kids, whose parents were looking on in horror, at him flexing his bulging muscles and making them look like they were talking, or fighting, it was hard to tell with Emmett. Either way the muscle shirt paired with his muscle bound physique he was wearing didn’t exactly scream fragile human.

Although the rest of us weren’t putting on a much better show, Jasper and Alice were curled up as close to each other as the seats would allow, any human might think they were asleep from their unnatural stillness but I could hear faint fragments of their conversation. Luckily they were speaking too low for human ears but if anyone saw their faces they would know they weren’t asleep. I sighed and made a show of fidgeting; something Edward picked up on and copied, breaking his imitation of a statue. We were lucky everyone on this flight was too preoccupied with their books or trying to keep warm to notice our strangeness.

I reached up from my seat and grabbed the blanket from the overhead rack, turning to tuck it around Bella as carefully as I could manage. I didn’t want to wake the girl after all, even if she did sleep too much. I moved my hands away quickly as she craned her neck and nuzzled into the fabric, I couldn’t help but smile at her sleepy antics, the blanket clearly didn’t smell as bad to her as it did to me.

We eventually reached Port Angeles and Carlisle sent me to pick out the hire cars we would use to get to our house in Forks. It wouldn’t be the first time we’d rented a vehicle only to have it break down on us before we reached our destination, and as much as I loved working on cars trying to fix a rundown and neglected engine of a cheap car by the side of the road wasn’t my idea of fun.

The hire cars they had available were just what I expected, nothing interesting I couldn’t wait until I was back in my garage and could tune up my own cars. I walked around the selection fully aware of the rest of my family’s boredom, Emmett was fiddling with the door handle on an oversized SUV and sending puppy dog looks my way while Edward was sighing loudly. Well, loudly for us, the humans probably couldn’t hear him. I glanced over at Emmett again and rolled my eyes at his obvious pleading, whatever, I could only drive one of the vehicles anyway maybe I’d throw him a bone.

I got to drive this time and I felt my heart lighten the closer we got to Forks, I had always enjoyed this house, we were secluded enough from the town that we could pretty much do what we pleased but we weren’t as cut off as we were in Alaska. We hadn’t been back in decades so the animal population would no doubt have picked up in our absence, I could see Emmett eager for his first bout with a grizzly after all this time. As we crossed the town line I felt at peace for the first time since we had found Bella, although I knew better than to expect that feeling to continue for long.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

Their house was like something you’d see on TV, those programmes about design and architecture showing buildings you didn’t think people actually lived in, or were sold as soon as the owners realised they were going massively over budget and didn’t really need a twenty bedroom mansion when it was just the two of them. It was in the middle of nowhere as far as I could tell, we had driven for almost half an hour along a small road I now realised was their drive, until miles away from the rest of Forks’ town the house finally emerged amidst the trees.

The house was surprisingly well maintained and modern for saying they hadn’t been back to Forks in decades, the Cullens all moved easily around the furniture moving away purposefully with their boxes while I loitered around in the entrance way awkwardly until Esme noticed me and ushered me upstairs with everyone else.

“You’ll have to pick a bedroom Bella; the others have been in the same rooms ever since the house was built. That’s one thing about vampires we’re creatures of habit.” Esme chuckled.

“Okay, so, which room should I take?”

“You can have the empty room next to me!” Alice bounded down the hall and stopped abruptly before me, a wide smile on her face.

“I don’t think you want to be close to Jasper and Alice’s room.” Rosalie said from behind me, making me jump with her sudden appearance.

“Rose! You know we soundproofed every room to vampire hearing standards!” Alice exclaimed. I heard Jasper and Emmett’s laughter coming from their respective rooms

“Not well enough.” Rosalie deadpanned, arching an eyebrow at Alice’s outraged face.

I was blushing so much I dreaded to see how red my face had gotten, I could feel the heat radiating from my face and frantically tried to avoid catching the eye of either vampire beside me.

“Aw, look at the little human.” Alice cooed, stepping closer to me and wrapping an arm around my waist. “Ignore Rosie Bella; you should have heard her when she found someone to test the acoustics with.”

“Alice.” Rosalie growled warningly. My head was suddenly flooded with images of Rosalie and a mystery vampire. I blinked my eyes rapidly, trying to clear my mind and quash the sudden churning of my stomach at the thought of Rosalie… being with anyone.

“Well there’s two other large rooms, that are unoccupied, the better one is at the back it has a full wall of windows you can see the forest beautifully from there. It’s next to Edward’s room, or there’s an empty one next to Rosalie’s.” Esme suggested, thankfully bringing the conversation away from soundproof rooms.

“Yeah, no one wanted to have the room next to the Ice Queen for some reason.” Edward joined the group of vampires in the corridor and I heard Rosalie’s low growl swell through me, I shivered and tried to ignore the excited fluttering of my heart at the sound.

I walked down towards the last room, the view was stunning, it was so bright, and open. Exposed. Edward was looking at me with a gentle smirk I couldn’t help but find condescending.

“It’s nice…” I hedged, watching Edward’s face fall into a frown. “I want to check out the other room though.”

I moved back to where Rosalie was stood in the doorway to her room, slouched against the doorframe with cat-like grace watching me as I walked past her. Of course I blushed again, it seemed I was unable to control my body in any way around the blonde.

I walked into the room and was greeted with dark green walls mixed with the dark wooden furniture which made me think of the forest even more than the room which essentially had one wall made up of trees. It was soothing and warm, it made me feel safe. Something that only seemed to strengthen when I sensed Rosalie’s presence behind me. I moved further into the room, examining the wooden desk and mostly empty bookcase beside it before turning to face the vampires that were crowded in the doorway with a shy smile on my face.

Esme understood my expression straight away and moved further into the room, scrutinizing the space with a critical eye.

“Of course we can redecorate for you, let me know what colour you’d like and I’ll paint the walls, we can get some different furniture for you if you’d like too.” Esme told me as I took in the room that was to be mine.

“Great. So we’ll have paint fumes choking us for days.” Rosalie interrupted Esme’s enthusiastic description of how much she could change the room for me. I looked at the blonde who was staring at me with an odd expression before she haughtily turned and swept out the room. I heard the door next to me close and closed my eyes, taking a deep breath.

“Don’t worry about Rosalie dear.” Esme said moving to comfort me. “She’s just a bit prickly; she’ll soon warm up to you.”

My stomach made excited little flips at the thought, but I tried to quell any hope of the blonde liking me. Not as much as I liked her anyway. Which was a thought I still didn’t want to examine too closely.

“Well this room’s okay I guess. I know sometimes in the other room you feel like you’re on display… which I guess you might not like as much as some of us.” Alice’s voice broke me from my thoughts and I turned to see the small vampire poking at the books on the bookcase. “We’ll paint it for you of course, ignore Rosalie’s tantrum it won’t smell for more than a few days.”

“No don’t, please. I like it like this.” I stammered looking around at the walls surrounding us. Alice and Esme both stared at me and I awkwardly stared at my feet scuffing at the edge of a thick rug covering the hardwood floor until Esme broke the silence.

“You don’t have to keep it this way to spare Rose you know.” Esme said gently. “Half the things she says are just a barrier to stop people from getting close.

“Yeah, she’s really a puppy dog.” Alice added, grinning at me so innocently I didn’t know whether she was kidding or not.

“No, I like the room like this. Let’s not change it.”

Alice frowned at me for a few seconds as if she was trying to hear my thoughts to see if I was telling the truth before a smile lit across her features brightening her face.

“Well at least let us take you shopping, we can get you a new stereo system, computer, books I guess… ooo! And clothes!” Alice almost squealed at the end of her list of items I would need and rushed over to the wardrobe in the room, throwing the doors open to check the size.

“Alice I don’t need anything.”

“What? Don’t be silly Bella of course you do. We can go shopping together! It’ll be our first sisters shopping spree!”

I winced; Alice was already way too excited about shopping for me. I never got enthusiastic about shops unless they contained books, and then I would usually spend a couple of hours browsing the shelves before adding to my already too large to-read pile.

“I had my stuff shipped here from Phoenix. I just need to pick it up from the post office since me and… since I left for Alaska before most of my stuff arrived.”

“But you’ll need clothes though Bella.” Alice stared at me as though it was inconceivable I could cope with the clothes I had had shipped here.

“Well, I might need to get a warmer coat; the selection in Phoenix wasn’t great. But I thought I’d get it from in town when I’d go see if anywhere had any job vacancies.”

“What… jobs? Bella if this is about money believe me we have plenty of it.”

“It’s not. I was going to get a job anyway I’d just… I-”

“We can talk about that later if you want, but trust me when I say we have more than enough money to buy you anything you would want to wear. We could buy you a new car if you wanted!” Alice said kindly before her voice took on the same excited pitch as before when she spoke about getting me a car.

“What! A car- that’s not-”

“Of course Rosalie would be the one to ask about that.” Alice continued thoughtfully as if I hadn’t spoken. “But still, Carlisle and Esme would definitely back me up on giving you free reign over spending money; we should probably give you your own credit card. We get great credit; you could probably get one with a ten grand monthly limit.”

“Wh- what? Ten grand? Alice that’s really too much. And not necessary.” I added my mind still blown by the amount the small brunette was willing to give me. “Erm, why would Rosalie be the one to ask about cars?” I asked unable to stop myself from trying to learn as much as I could about the distant blonde.

“Oh you should get her to show you her cars.” Alice said her eyes twinkling mischievously. “They’re practically her babies, she knows more about cars and engines than any of us.”

I didn’t see much of the Cullens’ for the remainder of the day, I was tired from the travelling and eager to sleep in a proper bed again and have some semblance of normality. Well, as much as I could while living in a house filled with vampires.



The next day Emmett offered to take me to pick up my belongings from the post office, he had a huge car pulled up in front of the house waiting for me as soon as I was ready to go, I don’t know how much luggage he was expecting me to have.

No one at the post office questioned where Charlie was when they handed over my belongings. Of course they didn’t know on sight that I was his daughter, and I had the proper identification to collect my parcels, why would they care I had the same surname as the police chief.

I suddenly realised that the only people I had told about Charlie were the Cullens, but what could I tell the police? That werewolves had attacked him?

In fact why hadn’t the police already contacted me? Or Renee? A feeling of dread started to take root in my insides, there was no way I could explain this away. Whatever I said they would want to know why I hadn’t reported it sooner, and if they started digging in the Cullens backstory would they find out that they were vampires?

I don’t know what would happen if the world found out about the supernatural, but judging from the fact that it wasn’t already common knowledge I had to assume that they wanted to keep it that way. The feeling of dread and worry was increasing while I watched Emmett load the last of my boxes into his car, I had to do something. I had to somehow explain his absence. Explain what happened to him and keep the Cullens out of it.

“Emmett I need to talk to the police.” I said as soon as the burly vampire was seated next to me in the car.

“What? Why?”

“I need to tell them about Charlie, no one knows what happened; he just didn’t show up for work again. They must be investigating it and what if they find out about you guys?” My voice shook and I gripped at the door handle, trying to focus on what was happening now and ignore the sweeping feeling threatening to overwhelm me.

“Find out what about us?” Emmett asked, his forehead creasing in confusion.

“You know.” I lowered my tone even though we were in his car driving back to the Cullen house. “That you’re vampires.

“Oh that.” Emmett said casually. “Don’t worry about that. Or about, you know, the police. We probably should have told you this before but Jasper and Carlisle have taken care of it.”

“What!? How could they have ‘taken care of it’? What have they done?” My voice verged on the hysterical and I winced at the high pitch, but couldn’t help it, just exactly what were the Cullens capable of?

“Ah man,” Emmett looked over at me worriedly. “I’ll let Carlisle explain it to you. It’s nothing bad though Bella I promise.”

Emmett’s pleading gaze met mine and I started to calm down slightly, even though they were vampires they’d been nothing but kind to me, I didn’t know what they had done to take care of it but I’m sure it stopped short of killing everyone in Forks police station to cover their tracks.

As soon as I stepped out of the car in front of the Cullens’ house I was greeted by Carlisle and Esme

“Bella, forgive me for not informing you of this sooner but considering everything that had happened we thought you would want a little time before the… realities as such, needed to be addressed.” Carlisle spoke in his calm voice I knew would be a hit with patients.

“Realities of my dad being killed by werewolves?” I asked dully, already resigning myself to having to give statements to the police about that night.

Esme cut Carlisle’s next explanation off with a glare and she ushered me into the house and towards the room I knew to be Carlisle’s study. Jasper was already inside sitting at a chair on the other side of Carlisle’s desk furthest away from the door, Esme sat on a leather sofa that provided a good view of the rest of the room and beckoned me to sit next to her.

“Bella firstly let me apologise for not telling you about this and causing you to worry unduly.” Carlisle began in a soothing voice. “We want you to know that we have prepared for our return to Forks, with you living with us. Obviously we can’t tell the police the real story of what happened in Alaska, I doubt they would believe us at any rate without some form of proof and we are not able to give them that.”

“We told you our secret Bella, but it is incredibly important it stays secret. All of the supernatural goings on have to stay a secret from the humans.” Esme told me earnestly

“Why? I mean, I know why most vampires wouldn’t want to, if they’re killing humans to feed but you guys don’t do that so why not tell people about you?”

“Even if the humans would see that distinction, which I doubt.” Jasper’s sudden emergence in the conversation startled me even though he was speaking softly. “There is a ruling family, and we vampires have to follow their laws, and the most important one of those is to keep our existence a secret.”

“But you told me, what would they do if they found out that I knew your secret?”

“We have a little leeway with the Volturi, Carlisle was once a friend of one of their leaders,” Esme was quick to calm my concerns, but I saw Jasper frown at her comment and remained nervous of what I had just heard. “It’s unlikely they will ever find out anyway. They have no reason to come to Forks or to suspect that we have told anyone.”

“As for Charlie, over the centuries we have become adept at making false trails in order for us to have believable birth certificates and passports, we have old emails back between ours and Charlie’s address saying you were going to spend some time with us in Alaska because Charlie wanted to have an extended holiday from station. We put in paperwork with the station which they’ll assume was lost in procedures and bureaucracy when they discover it was misfiled and realise this was sorted weeks before your arrival.” Jasper calmly explained how they had done these things, and of who they had sent documents to in the police department but I started to lose track of the conversation, I felt a sense of relief that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone else what happened to me, but instantly felt guilty that Charlie would never get justice and I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to relive the attack.

“I realise this is hard for you to hear, but as it stands we thought the best course of action would be to have Charlie… disappear.” Carlisle explained.

The vampires watched me cautiously, waiting for any sign that I would… what, break down? Scream that that wasn’t what happened, that Charlie deserved more? I didn’t know what he deserved; I just knew I couldn’t face talking to anyone about what happened.

“No, I get it. Murder investigations tend to make headlines right?”

“Bella…” Esme started as she reached for the hand I had pulled away from her grip.

“No, really. I’m fine.” I scrubbed my face with my hands and took a deep breath. “I think I’ll go upstairs and… unpack and stuff.” I had to get out of that room, be anywhere else to take my mind off what memories were returning to me.

“Of course. I believe Emmett has already taken your boxes up to your room.” I was out the door before Carlisle had finished speaking, I felt a momentary pang of guilt that I had ran out on Esme while she was trying to offer comfort but I knew the kind vampire would understand.

I felt instantly better as soon as I was in the dark green room; I took my time going through the boxes I had sent from Phoenix and placing them about the new space, letting my mind clear of all other thoughts and focus on the here and now.

After I had finished unpacking my stuff, which was mainly compromised of books and music, I was relaxing on the bed rereading my copy of Gone with the Wind when Alice flitted into the room and went straight to my wardrobe, she seemed much too awake for so early in the morning but I guessed that being a vampire would have that effect. I stayed on the bed watched her push through my clothes like they offended her.

“Bella this simply will not do.” Alice said as she span to face me. “I thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt, but you clearly need my help.”

Rosalie entered the room and I felt my heartbeat speed up in response to her presence. She glanced at me for a few seconds, causing me to forget to breathe, but her attention quickly moved back to Alice and I berated myself for my response around her.

“She’s not a pet Alice; let her wear what she wants.” My heart fluttered in my chest at Rosalie defending me, even in this small way. Maybe she was warming up to me after all.

“She can wear what she wants Rose. But with style.” Alice pouted holding up one of my tops for Rosalie’s consideration.

I didn’t see what the issue was, the clothes weren’t that old, and I thought they looked okay. I watched Rosalie roll her eyes at the still pouting tiny vampire and she turned to face me. I tried to sit up on the bed but in my haste I managed to lean my weight on a hand that was on top of my hair and I succeeded in yanking my own hair as I attempted to get up. My face burned bright red as I struggled to free myself and pretend to be at least partially in control of my own body.

“You should go shopping with Alice.” Rosalie told me, thankfully not commenting on my inability to sit up by myself. I raised my eyebrows; this wasn’t what I expected her to say at all. “She’s going to get you clothes anyway. And you won’t want to let Alice pick out your clothes for you, she’ll dress you like her own personal doll for the year.”

“Yay!” Alice squealed, making Rosalie wince at the noise. “And you’ll come too Rose.”

“What? No I-” Rosalie started with a pained expression before Alice cut off her excuse.

“You have to! It’ll be our first sisterly shopping experience together!” Alice was bouncing from foot to foot, barely able to contain her excitement at the prospect.

“We are not sisters.” Rosalie practically snarled. I shrank back from her tone, not that I wanted to be related to Rosalie in any way, but since I knew there was no way Rosalie’s dislike for that term had anything to do with my own I couldn’t help but feel hurt. I avoided eye contact with the blonde as she stormed out the room.



Shopping was… interesting. By which I mean it was boring and humiliating all at once. I was exhausted, I didn’t think Alice would remember I was human and had to eat unless Rosalie hadn’t reminded her. My stomach flipped at the thought of Rosalie, I had thought that I had maybe started to get through her walls, she seemed to be happy to be talking with me but then something changed and she avoided me as much as she could.

I had just gone up to my room to read for a while when I heard Emmett swear loudly from downstairs and saw Jasper run past my room.

I moved out to see what was happening, no one was in the family room so I followed the sound of raised voices coming from outside. What I saw made me stop in my tracks, I clutched at the doorframe I was still halfway between in panic. The Cullens were all standing in front of the house, I could hear Edward’s voice shouting over Carlisle’s softer one and a stranger’s voice was arguing with him.

But that wasn’t what had caused me to halt, behind the Cullens’ guard of bodies in the faint light from the disappearing sun I could see huge wolves staring at me. Some were growling at the vampires, who were standing guard between the house and the wolves.

My breath caught in my throat and my hearty stuttered before racing in my chest, I felt my fingers dig into the wood of the doorframe as if they were the only thing holding me up.

“We are here to see if you are still abiding by the treaty.” A large shirtless man proclaimed haughtily. I noticed there were a few shirtless males standing amongst the wolves, their large size would be intimidating under normal circumstances but they were dwarfed by the giant wolves standing amongst  them.

“Something you’re not doing yourself.” Jasper observed wryly. The large man bristled and the wolves all growled at Jasper who didn’t seem affected while I struggled to keep myself on my feet.

“It is not your place to question us leech.” The man growled.

“You’re on our land, clear violation of the treaty as I remember it.” Jasper continued, glaring at the shirtless man.

“I am Sam Uley, alpha of the pack; it is my duty to make sure you are still ‘safe’ to be around humans in Forks.”

“As you can see we remain vegetarian.” Carlisle said placidly. A few of the wolves snorted at that

“Your eyes aren’t red… although we don’t know how long it takes for the human blood to leave your system and turn your eyes this strange colour.” Sam stated contemplatively.

“I can assure you, none of my family has broken that rule in years and we don’t intend to start now.”

Carlisle and Sam stared at each other for the longest time, Carlisle looked unconcerned and certain that nothing would happen but I could tell the rest of the Cullens were nervous, eventually I saw Sam nod and everyone seemed to let out a breath.

Everyone except me, I was still struggling to breathe evenly around the pack, the wolves were very different from the ones I had seen in Alaska. They were much more controlled for one, even the grey wolf, but I still couldn’t shake my fear of them.

I didn’t notice that Esme had moved over to me until her gentle touch on my shoulder startled me backwards and she caught me before I fell. She looked at me concern and understanding in her eyes and I struggled not to crumble even more in front of her. I looked back at the huge wolves and couldn’t help but see the similarities to the unnatural wolves I had seen in Alaska,

Esme’s movements had drawn the pack’s attention to me and I felt each of their eyes upon me, I closed my eyes tight and tried to take deep breaths and calm my heart but I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt another touch upon my shoulder and snapped my eyes open to see Rosalie, her dark honey eyes focused on me. I managed to take a deep breath and looked past her to see Jasper was also staring at me, nodding slightly.

Rosalie moved away from me and stood between me and the pack, glaring at the wolves standing in front of her.

“They shouldn’t have a human; they’re going to kill her!” A tall teenager who looked like he had taken an overdose of steroids blurted out. Sam glared at him in annoyance but he was staring at me as though he was trying to work out a complicated problem, I couldn’t help but shift under his gaze.

“I can assure you we are not, Bella is quite safe with us.” Carlisle tried to explain before being interrupted again.

“Yeah right, because anyone can be safe with a bunch of bloodsuckers.” Sam snarled at Carlisle. I saw Jasper straighten slightly and focus on the man but Carlisle shook his head and he relaxed again.

This hadn’t gone unnoticed by the wolves, one scruffy grey furred wolf looked as though he was going to lunge at Carlisle, he had raised his body and was half in the air before an order shook through the crowd.

“Down!” Sam shouted and the grey wolf dropped, whining on the floor. Alice and Jasper looked relieved and Rosalie just looked furious but Edward was watching the interaction with interest, although he didn’t look as though he was going to intervene any time soon.

“Dude, did you just say ‘down’ to him like he’s a dog?” Emmett snickered to the growls of the pack.

“She barely smells human.” Sam announced, as if that settled everything.

I heard Rosalie hiss at him until the answering snarls and growls of the assembled wolves drowned her out.

“Why do you have a human?” The shirtless teenager asked again

“Her father was attacked by werewolves-” Carlisle started before being interrupted by Sam.

“We would never do such a thing!”

“He didn’t say you did, these were werewolves, surely you’ve heard of them? Or does your pack only hound vampires?” Edward asked.

We are werewolves.” Sam said confidently.

“Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that for the time being.” Carlisle answered, “Anyway, she was coming to live in Forks with her father Charlie Swan who I believe you know, and since we were on our way here we thought we would escort her and offer her a place to stay.”

“Charlie… interesting. That explains the scent. I find it hard to believe he’d leave her with a coven of leeches though.” Sam replied thoughtfully.

“He’s… dead.”

The wolves all looked at me and I cursed myself for speaking up.

“Dead? How?” Sam demanded forcefully.

“Wolves. Wolves like you.” One of the wolves snorted and Sam looked at me condescendingly.

“I doubt it; he could handle a few wolves.”

That didn’t make any sense, the wolves I had seen were much larger and fiercer than any natural wolf and Charlie was unarmed, how could he have held his own against them? I realised that Sam had no idea what had actually happened, he hadn’t seen how they had leapt into our camp bursting with controlled violence and wildness, he was probably thinking of ordinary wolves that would run from humans under normal circumstances.

I stood trying to puzzle out what Sam had meant while the vampires and wolf pack came to an uneasy truce and the pack left as quickly as they had arrived. I watched entranced as Sam and the tall teenager transformed into a large black and russet coloured wolf respectively, their wolf shapes seemed to burst out from their human forms, I half expected there to be pieces of human organs and skin littering the grass with their shift.

I stared at the vampires who were all watching the area where the pack had disappeared with more concentration than I had ever seen them. Esme brought my attention back to her concerned face and I let her steer me back into the house.

 

 

Chapter Text

-Rosalie-

I had quickly unpacked the clothes and belongings I had brought with me from Alaska and sped out the house to the garage. I took in the cars waiting for me and let out a content sigh, we hadn’t been back to Forks for decades but I had had most of my vehicles moved here before we went to Alaska since they would have been wasted up in the wilderness where we lived. Luckily for the others I had taken it upon myself to bring their cars down here too, I figured I’d check over their cars and make sure they were still working perfectly before I got started on my own. I knew I wouldn’t be content with just giving mine a maintenance check, I’d probably replace some parts and improve the responsiveness or power before I considered mine finished.

I had to do something to take my mind off how I felt after watching Bella choose a room, Edward had obviously wanted the human to be close to him. He probably thought he was going to save her from the rest of us. I didn't realise how much I didn't want her to choose the room next to Edward's until she walked into the dark green room with a smile on her face and I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding. I shook my head trying to dispel the memory and focus on the cars but instead of the collection of tools I was bringing over to the vehicle bays I saw Bella shaking when I had growled at Edward, ironic that I could barely remember showing my emotions before but since she showed up I had been unable to rein in my possessive instincts which were the very thing that now scared her.

I popped the hood on Jasper’s 1970 Plymouth hemi ‘cuda and lost myself in the engines. I don’t know how long I had been in the garage before Alice and Emmett bounded into the space, both acting like excited puppies interrupting my work on Alice’s ostentatious bright yellow Porsche 911.

“You’re glad to be back I take it?” Emmett asked, moving to stand by his jeep wrangler; wiping his hands over the sparkling bonnet I had just finished waxing.

“Of course she is, look at her, already hidden under a car, bet you can’t wait to take some of these to Forks High and watch the prepubescent boys cry when they see you get out of them.” Alice teased, tugging on my foot to get me to come from under the car.

“I can hardly wait.” I said dryly as I shimmied out from under the Porsche, wincing at the thought of another few years of high school.

“You’re filthy Rose!” Alice laughed and I looked down at my oil splattered clothes and streaked hands. “I wish I’d brought Bella down to see you now, let her know you’re not always the put-together Rosalie she thinks you are.”

“Just because I’m covered in oil doesn’t mean I’m not put together Alice. I look more together than Emmett does when he’s taken care about his appearance.”

Alice turned her attention to Emmett who stepped back under the short brunette’s gaze, looking worriedly from me to Alice.

“She’s back then?” I asked cautiously, taking Alice’s attention away from Emmett who sighed in relief of not being forced to go on another shopping trip with the pixie-haired vampire.

“Yeah, she’s probably done unpacking her stuff now.” Emmett said airily, “I brought her back ages ago.”

“Oh I’ll go see what clothes she bought with her!” Alice quickly left the garage and I shook my head, the human didn’t know what she was letting herself in for, vampires were one thing but Alice when she had her heart set on shopping was something much worse.

I decided to go and see for myself just how much Alice was pressuring Bella into going shopping; I stopped by my room and peeled off my dirty clothes, changing into something clean. I could hear Alice pleading with Bella to let her take her shopping through the open doors and moved to view the show more easily.

I soon realised my mistake, I had thought I was doing Alice a favour convincing Bella to let her take her shopping but I should have known it would be a bad idea to get anywhere near the human. Alice had got me to go shopping with the two of them; I followed the pixie haired vampire to the garage, my annoyance strengthened when I noticed Bella trailing behind me.

“For all your cars Rose you really should have more than one four seater.”

“Like you’re any better with that tiny yellow Porsche.”

“I’m not the one with five cars though.”

“F-five?” Bella stumbled to a halt beside me and stared at the cars in the garage. “Which ones are yours?”

“Just give her the cliff notes version Rose, we can’t be here all day cooing at your cars we have shopping to do!” Alice called as she opened the door to the Maserati.

“Well as Alice already told you most of these are mine. You don’t have to pretend to be interested we can just go shopping, even with my driving it’s going to take around two hours to get to Seattle.”

“No, I want to know!” Bella insisted, looking at me with her deep brown eyes.

“Anything to stave off the torture of shopping hm?” I quirked an eyebrow at the girl and she blushed adorably.

“Well, these are mine; I waved my hand indicating the side of the garage taken up with my cars. Do you know anything about cars?” I asked looking at Bella who shook her head. “Well I won’t bore you with the specifics but the white car Alice is in is a Maserati granturismo, and as Alice points out it is my only four seater, but I was considering replacing the Aston Martin Vantage with a Vanquish or DB9. Although Emmett would have serious issues getting into the back of the Vanquish. That’s the black one.” I nodded at the car, noticing Bella looked lost already.

“The two red ones are an Audi R8 and a Ferrari 458 Italia, I trust you can tell an Audi and a Ferrari apart?” I looked at Bella who shrugged noncommittally. “And the blue convertible is an Alfa Romeo 8c.”

After the impromptu car showing Bella looked like she was trying to come up with something to say about the cars but was struggling to think of anything, I rolled my eyes and got into the driver’s seat, leaving her to jog to the car once she realised I had already left her.

The journey took barely any time at all, I relaxed in the feel of the car and listed in my head what changes I could make to make the ride better, or increase the power. Although we’d made the trip to Seattle in great time I knew I could improve on it.


Shopping with Alice and Bella proceeded much as I imagined it would, Alice was excitable and rushing around gathering as many items of clothing as she could hold for her victim to try on and Bella looked uncomfortable with the attention and if I wasn’t mistaken with the money being spent on her. I would have thought Alice would have mentioned her gift and our near infinite funds as a result by now but I guess not if Bella’s embarrassment every time she saw a price tag was to be believed.

I made a note to have Alice tell Bella about how wealthy we all were, it was surprising she hadn’t already slipped up and used her gift in a way that made Bella suspect something, usually she was answering questions before we asked and buying us presents of things just as we thought we might like them. She was used to reining it in around humans but since Bella knew our secret I had assumed it wouldn’t be long before Alice let her guard down around the human.

I could tell Bella didn’t like a lot of the suggestions Alice was leaving for her to try on but she was too polite to say anything. I finally snapped when Alice brought out a pink babydoll dress Bella was eyeing as though it had threatened to kill her puppy.

“For God’s sake Alice she’s fully capable of picking her own clothes, she’s not a child.” I snapped at the bubbly brunette.

“I know she’s not…” Alice’s usually lively demeanour dulled and she looked at Bella apologetically. “I’m sorry Bella, I sometimes get carried away with clothes and I wanted you to have nice things.”

“It’s okay Alice.” Bella replied quietly, her eyes focused on Alice and I held my breath as I watched the brunette smile at my sister, her gaze soft. I felt the stirrings of jealousy in my chest and I tried to focus on the scent of humans all around the store, the beat of their heartbeats so close to me. Anything to try and ignore the way Bella was looking at Alice.

“You should just tell me what you don’t like; I can work with your current style.” Alice looked over at Bella as though checking she had a style.” I promise I would never make you wear anything you didn’t want to, well, unless you’d look really good in it.”

Aand then she had to ruin it. I rolled my eyes at the short vampire who was grinning at Bella, luckily Bella was grinning back at her and I knew that she had already forgiven Alice her slights.

“So… are we done now?” Bella asked hopefully as Alice took the clothes Bella actually liked to the counter to pay.

“You’re getting a crash course on Alice Cullen today; she’s the sweetest and most loyal friend you’ll ever have. But if shopping is involved she’d drag your exhausted body around the city until she’s satisfied you’ve been everywhere. Which never happens.” I looked at Bella’s worried face and couldn’t help but want to save the human from Alice’s intentions. “Don’t worry. I’ll tell her the car can’t hold any more bags and we have to get back before we're stuck here much longer."

“Really?” Bella looked at me hopefully. “We’ve been here hours I didn’t think it was humanly possible to shop for so long.”

“Well, it may not be humanly possible-” I stopped realising that we had been ignoring Bella’s humanness. “When did you last eat?” I asked Bella frowning at her, realising she had to be hungry by now. Not to mention thirsty and tired with all the walking she had been made to do.

From Bella’s stuttering failure to answer I concluded that it had been too long for a human not to eat and called Alice back to find a restaurant. I watched the girl carefully as she walked and saw a slight wavering in her step, I considered carrying her to the restaurant and immediately ignored the thought I don’t know where it came from, I was probably just worried about causing a scene.


After Bella had eaten Alice insisted the girl be properly fitted at an expensive underwear store, I felt my stomach tighten uncomfortably when Alice pulled Bella through the curtain to assess what the sales clerk had put Bella in. Bella was hugging her body self-consciously but that didn’t stop my eyes from being drawn to the young girl’s body. My eyes scanned her unconsciously, and I felt the lingering blood I had from my last feed rush through my body, as if my stone heart had suddenly been able to pump again. I realised if I was able I would probably be blushing now, pushing the thought aside I moved to the front of the store, as far away as the changing area as I could get.

“-Rose?” I was snapped back from my thoughts by Alice calling my name.

“What?” I bit out, refusing to turn back to the two in the changing rooms.

“I was asking your opinion Rose, I know you heard me.” Alice said blithely, unable to know the torment her current obsession was causing me.

“Whatever you think Alice.” I answered, hoping to cut this trip as short as possible. Of course I hadn’t heard her at all; I had been too overcome with trying to move past the unsettling feeling at seeing Bella as I had.

I heard Bella’s struggle against whatever it was Alice wanted to buy her, and their eventual emergence from the changing room. Alice quickly paid for the items, Bella looked embarrassed at whatever they were and I made a mental note not to steer clear of whatever was in that bag.

I mostly followed behind the two of them through the endless shops after that, I caught Bella glancing at me every now and again but she probably thought I was as bored with shopping as she was by this point and didn’t ask about my change in demeanour.

I was following close enough to Bella that when I saw her slip I was able to be there and catch her without drawing attention. Although I realised while I was holding her that I hadn’t given any thought to preserving our human appearance. Bella blushed when she looked up at me, still in my arms, God she smelt so good, didn't she know better than to blush in such close proximity to a vampire? Bringing all that blood so visibly to the surface of her skin was like pouring a drink out for an alcoholic. I released her quickly and she staggered at the sudden lack of support.

“We should probably leave now.” I said, still watching Bella right herself and holding myself back from helping her.

“Now?” Alice turned to me pouting.

“The boot is only so large Alice, and I think we have more than enough for Bella’s first semester at Forks high school.”

“Only a semester?” I heard Bella cry under her breath in dismay.

“Hm I suppose you’re right.” Alice said looking over the piles of bags she already had purchased. “We can always come back next weekend after Bella’s had a chance to see what she likes and after I see what everyone at Forks is wearing now.”

“Next weekend?” I smirked at Bella’s second disappointed outcry, but at least Alice had seen reason and we started to make our way back to the car and to Forks.


 ~Bella flashback~

I sat by the campfire trying to soak in as much of its warmth as I could, Charlie was searching for something in his pack and when he turned to face me he held a pack of marshmallows triumphantly.

“I got your favourite Bells. When you were five you found my stash of marshmallows and ate so many you were sick.” He smiled fondly at the memory. I didn’t want to tell him that I hadn’t been able to stomach marshmallows since then and smiled weakly back.

“That’s great Charlie. Did you bring any crackers or chocolate? We could make s’mores.” At least the crackers would take away some of the too sweet, sugary texture of the marshmallows.

“Err…” Charlie looked back at his pack frowning.

“It’s okay, marshmallows are fine. Good -great even.” I held in a sigh and smiled at Charlie, he had wanted to take me camping before school started so we could reconnect before I would be busy with friends from my new school. His words not mine. I sighed again at the thought of going to a new school, I had known most of the people who went to my previous school in Phoenix for years and I still wasn’t really friendly with them, I was quiet and easily overlooked I guess. I had no reason to suspect the new school in Forks would be any different.

Charlie sat down and passed me the bag of marshmallows, I struggled to get one onto a stick without poking myself a few times.

“So I know it’s probably a bit strange being back with me. It’s been a while since we last saw each other. I know you said you wanted to reconnect with me which is why I thought it would be good to go on a camping trip before school started, you know, get used to being around each other again. And you always said you would like to go camping with me.”

I had said that. Back when I knew there was absolutely no possibility of it ever happening.

“And there’s something I wanted to tell you too, something I thought would be better said out here.” Charlie gestured to the snow covered trees surrounding us.

I wondered what he could possibly have to tell me that would be better said in freezing cold without any wifi or even decent phone signal but I nodded along anyway.

“You see Bells, there’s, well, I guess I really should have told you this a while ago but what with you and your mother moving away I kinda just… put it off I guess.” Charlie scratched the back of his neck obviously awkward and I hoped this wasn’t going to be an embarrassing talk about how even though my parents were separated they still cared about me, and each other -or god forbid, a sex talk. I could feel myself blushing and determinedly avoided eye contact with Charlie.

“There’s this thing, about us, well about me and I think you’ve inherited it and-” Charlie stopped speaking abruptly and I looked up confused.

He was staring at the trees nearest our camp and was frowning.

“Bella! Run!” Charlie yelled, the loud noise and strange command surprised me enough to get me upright without stumbling. I was on my feet and looked at Charlie confused.

Then I saw it. A huge wolf was coming out the trees heading straight for us, I stood frozen and I watched more emerge from the treeline, they were moving strangely, hunching over as though they were walking more on their back legs than their front. They all had thick ruffs around their necks that stuck up on their backs, trailing down their spine like a Mohican, making them seem larger than they were.

“Bella!” Charlie screamed again, his cry breaking me from my stunned thoughts and startling me into movement.

I ran as fast as I could, for as long as I could, my breath burning my throat and the snow dragging my feet down, making me stumble as I ran.

I could hear the crunch of snow behind me, growls and panting breath broken by loud howls behind me.

I tripped for the last time and went down; blood was rushing through my body, pounding in my ears so I couldn’t hear anything else.

I felt something over me, trapping me. I tried to catch my breath and escape the hold but I was weighed down by whatever it was keeping my arms and limbs restrained. I panicked and tried to overthrow the creature who had caught me.

I was aware of darkness and a warmth that didn’t fit in with what I remembered, my eyes darted around my surroundings, trying to make sense of what I was seeing.

I gradually realised it was blankets and not fur surrounding me and that someone was holding me and talking in low soothing tones. My heart finally started to slow and I leaned back against the comforting coolness behind me, still breathless from the nightmare my last memory of Charlie had become.

“Are you okay?” The soothing murmurs took on a tone I wasn’t expecting. That wasn’t… I stiffened against the cold immobile body holding me and turned my head and saw Rosalie staring back at me, even at this early hour, holding me while I had been thrashing in my nightmare she looked as perfect as ever.

“I… er… yes. I mean, no. Well.” I stuttered and felt my face turn red. Rosalie let out a small chuckle and I felt my heartbeat quicken at the sound coming from her. I wish I could make her laugh every day if that’s what she sounded like.

We lay there, her unmoving and me too scared to move away. Eventually I relaxed against her and felt something lulling me back to sleep. I realised what it was with surprise. “Are you purring?” Rosalie stiffened subtly against me before relaxing again.

“What if I am?” She said archly. “Studies show that cats purring at 20-140 Hertz cures dyspnoea and lowers stress and blood pressure. And it can heal muscle and tendon injuries as well as strengthening bones in nearby humans.”

I tried to understand this sudden influx of facts while still coming round from my dream but soon gave up on it, preferring instead to sink into Rosalie’s comforting hold.

 

-Rosalie-

I heard the frantic beating of her heart first, I had become strangely attuned to it during her stay here. Often I had found myself slipping into a meditative state, the closest thing we had to sleep, to the steady sound of Bella’s heart. Tonight though it was anything but steady, I got up from the couch and walked to the door of her room. I hesitated outside her door, maybe it was just a dream, those was perfectly normal for humans to have after all. But then I heard her whimpers, begging for them to stop, to get off her, and I strode in the room, teeth bared in a snarl.   

I couldn’t help my response when I saw her shaking in the bed, clearly lost in a nightmare or dark memory. I knew how overwhelming such memories could be and I wanted more than anything to prevent Bella from being trapped in her own.

I got onto her bed and attempted to calm her, her struggles subsided slightly with my touch so I did my best to gather her in my arms and let her know someone was there with her. She felt so warm, much warmer than I remember humans being. Of course I had barely touched a human since I had been turned, and as my skin was ice cold now it wasn’t really surprising the girl felt so different to my usual temperature. Still, it was odd that my coldness didn’t seem to bother her. I suppose it was just another quirk of this very strange human we had found ourselves stuck with.

“Are you purring?” she asked, pulling my thoughts away from the warmth of her body. I realised in shock that I was. I hadn’t noticed, it had felt so right lying with her, her body fit into my arms as if we had done it thousands of times before. And my body and instincts had responded without my brain’s allowance.

“What if I am?” I shot back, my mouth answering her automatically without conscious thought, trying to cover up this embarrassment. At least she wouldn’t necessarily know why we purred. And I doubt she would mention it to anyone, how would that conversation even go? ‘Hey Alice, Rose started purring while she was spooning me in bed, what does that mean?’ I groaned quietly. Gods, I hope she didn’t mention this to Alice, that little pixie would never let me live it down.

I noticed Bella had shifted back into my arms and was on the cusp of sleep again. This was the point where I should retreat if I didn’t want to be stuck holding the human all night. I stroked her dark locks back from her face, marvelling at its silky softness and she snuggled herself further into my body, her form moulding itself to my hard and immobile skin.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

At breakfast I overheard Esme talking to Alice about school supplies and I realised with a jolt that this was my last day of freedom as classes would start on Monday. I had lost all sense of time since being at the Cullens; I was supposed to go to the school today to check everything was fine with my classes and schedule before the term started. Why they thought that was necessary to do the day before school actually started I didn’t know, but at least it meant the Cullens could come with me and enrol themselves for tomorrow too.

I mentioned to Esme that I had to go to the school and she quickly organised the rest of her family in the foyer of the house and told everyone they had to go with me and make sure they could start tomorrow too. I half expected her to rope Carlisle into going back to high school she was so animated on the subject.

“You’d think Esme would let us have a few years where we don’t have to undergo the monotony of the school system again.” Edward groaned when we were in the car and out of earshot of Esme.

“Hey, speak for yourself man, I think it’s cool we get to relive high school, I never get caught out on pop quizzes or when the teacher asks questions anymore.” Emmett said, his excitement for

“Not least because you always get Alice to give you all the answers to quizzes as soon as she sees them.” Jasper added, dodging Emmett’s attempt to punch him on the shoulder in response.

“What do you mean she sees the quizzes- wait how many times have you gone to high school? Just how old are you?” I looked at the group of vampires around me shocked that in their nonchalant telling of their immortality I hadn’t thought to ask how old they were until now.

“I’m the eldest of Carlisle’s adopted family.” Edward began only to be cut off by Jasper.

“I don’t think so young whippersnapper.” Jasper said in his best ‘old man voice’, causing Alice to giggle.

I smiled at the sight, when I had first met Jasper he had seemed to be the most reserved of the group, I was glad he was comfortable enough around me to tease his adopted siblings in my presence. Every other member of the Cullens had done their best to make me feel at home, or in the case of Edward had been polite while he reminded me that they were all soulless monsters.

Everyone except for Rosalie that is. My cheeks coloured when I thought about the blonde vampire, my mind flashing back to when she had pulled me from a nightmare three days ago, when she had held me until I could drift off into sweeter dreams. I had woken the next day with Rosalie nowhere in sight, I’d almost think I had dreamt the whole thing if it wasn’t for how she had been ignoring me ever since.

“Whichever way you count it I’m the oldest out of the ‘kids’. I was 19 when I was turned compared to Edward’s 17 and I have been alive for 172 years to Ed’s 115.” Jasper’s voice brought me back to the present and my curiosity of the vampires helped me forget my sadness about Rosalie. “Carlisle is far older than me, or any of us though, he celebrated his 376th birthday earlier this year.”

“376…” The words escaped me in a gasp of astonishment.

“Yeah, the rest of us aren’t anywhere near that.” Emmett said pulling to a stop in the high school’s car park. “Esme was 26 before she was turned, making her the oldest ‘human’ out of us lot, but she’s closer to our age than Carlisle’s. Me and Rose are the babies, we’re both 101 but I was turned when I was 20, two years after Rose.”

“Not that the extra years gave you any more maturity.” Jasper said teasing Emmett again.

“Who needs maturity when I have these?” Emmett flexed his biceps and I watched his already muscly arms bulge out even more.

“One day Emmett you’re going to realise that brawn isn’t a substitute for brains.” Jasper replied.

“Hey!” Emmett cried out to the laughter of Alice and Jasper.

“What I meant to say Bella, was that I have been with Carlisle the longest-” Edward began as we all exited Emmett’s jeep, immediately losing my attention as soon as I noticed Rosalie sauntering over from her Audi.

“What’s going on?” Rosalie asked, fixing Alice with a stare that immediately had her burst into laughter all over again.

“Nothing Rose, nothing.” Alice trilled brightly as she linked arms with the blonde and dragged away the object of my obsession.

“Someone’s excited for school.” Edward said raising an eyebrow at the two quickly retreating figures.

“Yeah, she said something to me about new school wardrobes.” I mentioned casually, glad I had the excuse of a recent shopping trip to get out of whatever Alice thought was necessary for starting a new school.

“Oh god no.” Jasper groaned out, and even Edward and Emmett looked fearful at the prospect.

I took in the sight of the three over one hundred year-old vampires scared of the prospect of shopping and couldn’t help but let out a laugh which had Rosalie turn her head and look right at me for the first time in what felt like years. My heart skipped a beat and I noticed Edward staring at me curiously from the corner of my eye.

“Come on Bella, you’re our excuse to be here remember.” Alice said pausing for me to catch up with her and Rosalie.

Once we had all entered the school I was struck by how alike it was to my old school in Phoenix, even the paint in the hallways and what I could see of the classrooms looked to be from the same tin.

“Do they have a plan the government force all districts to base the school buildings on?” Rosalie asked frowning as we followed the signs to the office.

My heart gave another traitorous flutter at her voice, and the thought that we were so in tune and I heard a slight chuckle from Edward who was smiling at something no one else could hear.


There seemed to be only one person manning the school’s office room, although the staff room opposite sounded slightly busier.

I signed the transfer documents and received my class schedule and locker combination from the woman without any issue, her attention was understandably mostly taken up by the group of stunning vampires who had followed me into the office. When she excused herself to answer the ringing phone with a look both confused and longing at them I started to be concerned.

I turned back to face the Cullens and was stunned once again by their inhuman perfection. Rosalie was leaning against the back wall looking uninterested, but still undeniably beautiful. Jasper and Alice were sitting on the seats looking like model students, literally. It’s no wonder the receptionist was thrown by them.

“Won’t people question why you guys weren’t enrolled before now?” I asked, my worry mounting as I flicked my gaze back to check that the receptionist was still preoccupied with her phone call.

“We can forge documents, paper trails; we can make it look like the notice got lost in backlog.” Jasper explained, reminding me of his explanation of why no one would question Charlie’s absence.

I hoped he was right on both fronts, I didn’t want to have to talk to anyone about what had happened and the Cullens would take a lot of the focus from me if they started school too.

“I don’t think they would have much backlog though, I doubt anyone new has moved to Forks in years.”

“We’ll be quite the spectacle then.” Rosalie said wryly, looking like she wanted to be anywhere other than here. I stared at her until Jasper’s voice pulled my attention back to him.

“Well, postal delays. Everyone’s always quick to blame the post office.”

“So you guys can pretty much lie about anything.” I said nervously, wondering just how much the Cullens were capable of.

“Bella you should be impressed! Do you know how hard it is to get the watermarks on certain federal documents just right?” Alice exclaimed in a hurt voice.

“I just… it’s all so… strange.”

“We haven’t lied to you.” Rosalie moved from her stance on the edge of the group. “You know more about us than any other human alive. Something that I’m still not sure is a good thing or not.” Rosalie said contemplatively.

“Edward you should talk to her when she gets off her call, you’ll get the best results.” Alice said decisively.

I stared at Alice confused as to how she could know that, I suppose the woman on the phone had been staring over at where Edward and Emmett were the most out of the group. And Edward did seem more likely than Emmett to be able to persuade this woman they should all be registered for Forks high.

I sat in Edward’s vacated seat when the receptionist got off the phone and a few minutes later Edward was walking back over to us with everyone’s class schedules.

“Emmett, Jasper you’re in the year above us, congratulations in advance for graduating as two perfect-scored and mediocre-in-sports students.” Edward said as he passed out the schedules to everyone.

Emmett’s scowl over the Edward’s ‘mediocre at sports’ comment was soon erased as he and Alice immediately scrutinised their class timetables and comparing subjects with each other while Jasper looked on in amusement. Alice quickly danced over to me and took my timetable from my hand, checking to see if we had any subjects together. Edward and Rosalie didn’t even glance at theirs, tucking the papers away before I could satisfy my curiosity

“How did you know Edward would be able to convince her that you guys had already enrolled?” I asked as we exited the building.

Edward and Jasper looked at each other and I thought I caught a hurried communication between Jasper and Alice but Alice quickly shook off Edward’s cautioning arm with a glare and looked at me smiling.

“Well you know how we told you we have additional powers, like strength, speed, hard skin?” Alice was looking at me intently and I nodded, remembering the day they had told me their secret. “Well some vampires also have additional gifts; Jasper can sense the emotions of people around him and affect them. And I can see the future and Edward can hear people’s thoughts, Rosalie-”

“Whoa, wait a minute; I think I need to check I heard this right.” I cut Alice off needing a little time to process what I had just heard.

“So, you know what I’m feeling, and you can hear my thoughts?” I asked Jasper and Edward in turn who nodded.

I felt exposed at the answer and stumbled to think of anything else to say.

“And I see things, sometimes. Rosalie’s gift is she can neutralise everyone else’s, well, Edwards always and mine and Jasper’s if she wants to. Not all gifts are mental like ours though, Kate Denali can electrocute people, then there…”  

I zoned out from Alice’s explanation, wishing I had Rosalie’s gift and could ensure my thoughts were my own.

I could feel my face flush with embarrassment and my heart started racing wondering just what they all knew about me. But then Rosalie joined the conversation and explained to me that Edward and Alice’s gift doesn’t properly work on me, and Jasper hadn’t been keeping tabs on my feelings. I was able to calm down and get a hold on my emotions, mostly confident that Jasper wasn’t using his gift to affect me.

“Is this what you meant earlier when you said Alice sees the pop quiz questions then?” I asked still trying to focus past the discovery that whatever I was thinking or feeling wasn’t private anymore.

Rosalie raises an eyebrow at that and Emmett visibly flinches under her gaze “Honestly Emmett I thought you’d said you had stopped getting Alice to do that for you. It’s not as if you couldn’t ace the quizzes without cheating anyway.”

“Emmett was always something of a dolt though, trying to take on a bear while still human doesn’t tend to indicate a stellar intellectual capacity.” Edward said jokily.

“Whatever Eddy, you’re just annoyed you don’t have a cool death story like me and Jasper.” Emmett said slinging an arm around Edward and tousling his hair. “I mean come on, Spanish flu? Boringg.”

Edward frantically tried to straighten his hair and glared at Emmett who erupted into laughter at the sight of him.


Once back at the Cullens I was quickly cornered by Esme who wanted to know if I was hungry yet, and what my thoughts were on the school. After I had struggled to find some positive adjectives to describe the stark building and reassured Esme that I would tell her when I felt hungry the maternal vampire gestured for me to sit down.

“Bella, Rosalie mentioned you were perhaps worried about financial issues while being with us.” Esme said in her soothing voice, I hoped she hadn’t noticed the way my heart sped up when she mentioned Rosalie, my thoughts instantly turning to panic that the blonde vampire had told Esme about my nightmares, or her sharing my bed and I was about to get a lecture on proper decorum.

“Yeah, I just don’t want to, you know, take advantage of you guys or anything.” I felt my heart slow, relieved that Esme wasn’t going to talk to me about Rosalie, unsure if I would be able to hide my feelings from the sweet-natured vampire.

Esme smiled at me and patted me on the hand, causing me to relax further and sink into the chair.

“Do you know how much money Carlisle has?”

“Well this house is pretty nice so I know you must be quite wealthy, it’s just that you’re buying this food for me, Alice bought me so many clothes, I feel like I should help out.”

“46 billion dollars.”

“F-four… but… how?” I said shocked, I knew Carlisle was a doctor, and old, but surely even being a well-paid doctor for centuries wasn’t enough to amass that amount of money?

“Has Alice told you about her gift?”

“Yeah, she sees the future…” I said confused as to the direction the conversation was taking.

“One of the Volturi gave Carlisle a large sum of money to help him when he left Italy, the interest on that alone would have been millions in the years Carlisle has been living, and once Alice joined our family you can imagine how easy it was to increase our fortune when she could foresee the stock market.”

“I guess that’s kind of lucky really. I mean, I can’t imagine being immortal but having to work a 9-5 for centuries.” I said wincing at the image of an ancient vampire working in an office for all of eternity.

“Well, a lot of the other vampires are nomads, and since we don’t sleep or groceries they don’t really work as such.”

“More biting the people who would be missed the least and stealing cars.” Emmett interjected cheerily as he walked into the living room and turned on his Xbox.

“Ah…” It was hard to remember sometimes that there were other vampires who weren’t like the Cullens; they were the only exposure I had had to the vampire world. Although according to Esme and Carlisle it was unlikely I’d ever meet any others.

“If you really want to get a job we won’t stop you, but both Carlisle and I would like for you to have the ability to focus on your studies. With that in mind we have set up an account in your name which we will put an allowance in for you to do with as you choose.”

“I guess that would be…. Thanks.” I said awkwardly, smiling at Esme’s pleased expression. “As long as it’s not too much.”

“Of course not, just enough to put yourself through the college of your choice once you graduate.” Esme said blithely.

I choked on air which started a flurry of coughs that brought Emmett quickly to my side and hit me on my back in an attempt to clear my windpipe, jarring me forwards on my seat.

“T-thanks Emmett.” I said my eyes watering from the force, I was sure to have bruises on my back tomorrow.

“No problem Bells, do you wanna play Halo?” Emmett said waving the second controller at me grinning.

Later that evening I was sitting at the desk in my room, in the process of checking where I had filed away my past essays on my laptop in case any of the classes at Forks overlapped my old syllabus when a knock on the door had me rising to see who wanted me.

“We should talk Bella.” Edward said seriously, pushing the door open and standing in the entryway before I had chance to move away from the desk.

“Erm, okay.” I said sitting back down in the chair.

Edward entered the room and started pacing agitatedly, running his hands through his hair. I couldn’t help but notice he was careful not to muss up his hair too much, every other touch looked like it was designed to restore its original artfully tousled look.

“It would be very difficult Bella, very difficult. Everything about us is designed to draw you in, to make us attractive to you. But we are monsters Bella, you have to understand that.” Edward looked at me pleadingly and I struggled not to let my confusion show.

“Okay…?”

Edward left as abruptly as he had entered leaving me confused and with an awful headache that you could only get through trying to work out the thoughts of mystifying vampires.


After dinner I was wandering through the rooms on the ground floor and found another room I’d never been in before, this one was decorated like a dance studio, Alice was doing what I assumed to be ballet poses but she turned around smiling as soon as I entered.

“How are you Bella?”

“Okay.” I answered half-heartedly coming to sit on the floor where she was currently stretching her limbs.

“Still reeling after what we told you right?” Alice asked understandingly.

“Did you have a vision telling you that?” I asked bitterly.

“No, I don’t try and see visions about you, I’m just… kind of watching in case anything bad might happen to you.”

I immediately felt bad about my harsh tone before, Alice was trying to protect me and all I cared about was whether what I had previously thought was private wasn’t anymore.

“Well, I promise you that that’s the last big reveal we have for you.” Alice said smiling gently. “And anything else you want to know feel free to ask me.”

“I have been wondering about something… it might be too personal though.”

“What?”

I looked at Alice and raised my eyebrows.

“I haven’t been looking ahead in this conversation Bella, I promise that if you knock over a vase it’s not because I suggested it.” Alice laughed.

“I was wondering how you came to be a vampire.”

“How someone is turned? Or how I died?” Alice asked carefully.

I shrugged and let Alice make up her own mind how much she wanted to tell me.

“Well, I can’t remember how I died to be honest, I had visions when I was human, but of course everyone thought I was either mad or possessed and I didn’t have the best experiences from what little I do remember of my human life. The only thing I remember with any real clarity is opening my eyes and seeing everything with such detail as a vampire. I don’t know who changed me, whoever it was abandoned me to my own devices. Ironically the very thing that had ostracised me as a human was the reason I survived my early life as a vampire. I had my gift, I could see that I’d meet Jasper, and when and where. And I knew that it was possible to live on animals thanks to my visions of Carlisle and I had hope of finding them. After I found Jasper I convinced him to look for the Cullens with me and we set off looking for the vegetarian vampires in my dreams. It took years, but what are years to a vampire?”

Alice drifted into silence, seemingly lost in her memories. Just as I was wondering whether I should leave she started speaking again, her voice warmer than it had been when she was discussing her personal history.

“Carlisle only turned people who were going to die, he saved Edward from dying of the Spanish flu as Emmett said before, and he knew Esme as a human and couldn’t bear to see her die when she appeared on his operating table at a hospital in London so he bit her. And Emmett wouldn’t have survived his bear attack if Rosalie hadn’t found him while she was hunting and brought him to Carlisle.”

“Is that how you’re turned then? Being bitten?” I asked trying to ignore the feelings of jealousy I had when I thought of the reasons why Rosalie would want Emmett turned into a vampire.

Alice nodded and looked at me carefully. “Luckily I can’t remember it but the others all agree that it’s the most excruciating pain you can imagine. Liquid fire racing through your veins, changing your body on a cellular level and you can’t do anything but scream as the change slowly takes you over.”

“What about Rosalie?”

“Rosalie was here already when I joined the coven.”

“I mean… did Carlisle turn her too? Or just the members of your family with ‘E’ names.” I asked, making Alice laugh.

“Sadly Carlisle doesn’t have a complete streak turning people whose names start with E. He turned Rose too.”

“Has Rosalie ever bitten anyone?” I asked trying to act cool while my heart raced to hear the answer.

“Rose would never.” Alice chuckled. “You’re awfully concerned with what Rosalie would or wouldn’t do Bella, if I didn’t know any better I’d think…”

I could feel my face rapidly colouring under Alice’s teasing gaze and the vampire suddenly stopped talking.

“You do! You like Rose!” Alice practically squealed and I looked around in horror, hoping no one had been passing and had heard that. “Oh Bella this is great you’d be so good for Rose I just know it.”

Alice leapt over to me and caught me in an enthusiastic hug.

 “I don’t think so Alice.” I said dejectedly, struggling to untangle myself from the energetic vampire.

“Nonsense, it’ll be great to have another romance in the house, living with just one other mated pair does narrow the options when it comes to double dates.”

“What do you mean mates?”

“Of course we couldn’t do the usual restaurant double date thing… maybe drinks but you’re underage and we’re pretending to be, Carlisle refuses to see anything fantastical at the cinema and Jazz always moans about historical inaccuracies in films… Oh,” Alice said, realising I had asked a question. “Vampire relationships are different to human ones, we live forever and most of us all want to find that one person who we can spend eternity with. Like me and Jazz” Alice replied, a breath taking smile breaking out on the dark haired vampire’s face.

“One person?” I asked in a weak voice, this wasn’t going the way I had hoped there was no way I was Rosalie’s ‘one’.

“Sometimes they recognise them while they’re still human and they change them.”

“Is that what happened with Emmett?”

“What?” Alice asks, her face scrunched up in confusion then her expression clears. “Oh no, no. They are definitely not mates, they dated for a while but it was obvious to everyone they weren’t meant to be. Vampires don’t really do long term relationships that aren’t with their mates.” Bella tries to ignore the pang of jealously she felt when Alice mentioned Rosalie and Emmett dating.

“So… Rosalie has had other… short term relationships?”

“Well the definition of short term is probably very different for a vampire than it is for a human; she had a thing with one of the Denali vampires…” Alice trailed off seeming to realise she may be sharing the wrong information with me.

“But… no humans right?”

“No, no humans.”

“Because she hates humans.” I said dully.

“Rosalie doesn’t hate humans, she doesn’t hate you either.” Alice said firmly. “I can’t share her story with you but she never wanted this life, sometimes she is jealous of humans because of what they have.”

“What do they have that she doesn’t?”

“Mortality, the chance for a family.” Alice said a more subdued than I’d ever seen her.

“Oh, so you can’t…”

“No, but we can do things most humans couldn’t dream of, I don’t think that’s such a bad trade off, do you?”

I shook my head, immortality and everlasting youth; a lot of people would kill for that. Not to mention the special powers. And you could be with the person you loved forever, that didn’t sound bad to me at all.

“Alice you’re not going to tell anyone about this, right?” I asked nervously.

“Of course not Bella, I’ll even keep Edward out by singing show tunes until you girl up and tell Rose how you feel.”

My stomach flipped at the casual comment of telling Rosalie I had a crush on her, then my mind took notice of what else Alice had said and my panic increased. I hadn’t even considered Edward, had he read my mind and already knew about my feelings? He had been finding things funny while we were at the school, before I realised he could read minds I just thought it was a private joke but what if he was laughing about what he heard in my head?

Rosalie said he and Alice couldn’t read me as well as the others, but if he heard anything from me would he tell Rosalie? Or Emmett? Emmett would definitely tease me mercilessly about this. Oh god, did this explain the strange conversation Edward had had in my room earlier? Was he telling me that it was hopeless? I mean, I already knew it was hopeless he should have known that if he was reading my mind.

Alice hugged me, unaware of my internal panic, and flitted away leaving me to trudge up to my bed, my mind still turning over the numerous ways I was screwed.


-Rosalie-

I had been doing my best to steer clear of the human since I had found myself in her bed three nights ago; I honestly don’t know what I had been thinking. Looking back on that night it seems like the worst idea to me, why did I think a vampire could have comforted her, why did I want to? I don’t know how I managed to prevent myself from biting into her soft skin and feeding on the blood that I could hear and smell thrumming in her veins.

I keep catching her looking at me with those soft confused eyes, probably wondering why I was giving her the cold shoulder, not realising this was all to prevent me from turning her into a bloodstained corpse. Better that she think I’m cold and she lives than the alternative though, that’s my gift to her although she doesn’t seem to realise it.

Esme wasn’t any help in my quest to avoid Bella, she was insistent that we all go to enrol to make sure we would be able to start the school year off with the human. I sighed knowing as much as I wanted to put some distance between me and Bella it wasn’t enough for me to go against my pride and admit what was going on to Esme, or anyone.

And there was still that strange part of me that sought to protect Bella, I don’t know what kind of trouble the girl could come into contact with, you’d think werewolves and vampires would have fulfilled her quota for life, but still some part of me didn’t want to have her be alone and unprotected. Although exactly what I my subconscious thought could happen to her in a school of less than 400 students I don’t know.

I took my own car to the school, disappearing before anyone could ask me to give Bella a lift, I raced down the driveway in a cloud of dust, the rumbling of the engine soothing and letting me lose some of my worries about the girl.

I don’t know what they had been talking about in Emmett’s jeep but whatever it was had them all acting like naughty schoolchildren, I took in Bella’s smiling face and felt something inside me clench. Alice started pulling me to the school and I let the bubbly vampire lead me away, eager to put some distance between me and Bella. Then I heard her laugh, and I couldn’t move, couldn’t focus on anything other than her, my head snapped round chasing the source of the sound instinctively and I tried in vain to break my gaze on the creature that I feared would become my downfall.

Once in the office Alice suggested Edward talk to the school’s office staff and I sighed, I had heard the receptionist on the phone whisper to her friend about the gorgeous boy with the tussled bronze hair and rolled my eyes. I knew even if Alice hadn’t had a vision that Edward would be the only one to be able to get us all enrolled his telepathic ability would probably come in the most use with trying to get everything sorted but this was just what Edward needed, another fan to add to his ego.

As expected the school administrator was a little surprised by our request, but Edward had her sufficiently flustered that it wasn’t an issue for us to slip in under the radar and Edward was soon passing out class schedules to us.

As we left the building Bella asked about how Alice had known who should talk to the clerk and I was surprised she didn’t already know, she had taken the information about our vampirism so easily I assumed someone had already told her about our gifts.

Alice jumped right into the explanation and I watched with feigned disinterest, expecting Bella to easily accept another peculiarity about us when I heard Bella’s heartbeat pick up and noticed she was starting to flush. I was mesmerised by the beat of her pulse in her neck but my gaze were drawn up to Bella’s fearful eyes and something inside me aches with the need to calm the girl.

“Edward and Alice’s gift doesn’t work that well on you though Bella.” I said. “As for Jasper’s…”

“I calmed you a little when you first woke up in Emmett’s room. But I try and avoid doing it with people we will be around a lot; I don’t want your experience with us to be based on my control of your emotions.” Jasper replied soothingly, I hadn’t thought of that. I looked at Jasper supremely grateful for some reason.

It was hard to separate his usual calm persona from his gifts, I had no way of knowing whether he was actively trying to calm Bella down now or if she would adjust to this surprise as easily as she had the rest.

“Alice usually gives me a heads up if anyone will need my calming influence, but I didn’t realise how little of you she saw and I haven’t been affecting your emotions since that first night.” Jasper continued, grinning wryly and Alice giggled, pushing her body closer to her mate’s.

I watched their easy interaction with the same hollow feeling I always had. Edward looked pained too, at least we only had two mated pairs in our coven, I hate to think how Emmett would behave if he found his other half. There wasn’t enough soundproofing in the world to wipe away what Emmett would find appropriate. 


Once home I found solace once again in the garage, this was the one place in the house that Bella’s intoxicating scent hadn’t permeated. The one place I could be sure she wouldn’t appear and throw me off again.

It was past midnight by the time I stopped working on the cars and made my way upstairs in time to see Edward coming out of Bella’s room.

“What were you doing in there?” I asked unable to mask the anger in my voice.

“Your scent was in there too Rose, what were you doing in her room?” Edward bit back annoyed.

“I didn’t go in while she was sleeping like some kind of creep!” I thought back to the time I last entered Bella’s room, she was sleeping but the only reason I had gone in was to check she was okay, there was no reason for him to be in her room now, it’s not the same I told myself furiously.

“I was just checking on her.” Edward said nonchalantly.

I narrowed my eyes at him, concerned that he had somehow been able to read my thoughts and use them against me.

“Don’t think I’m going to ignore this.” I said heatedly.

“I think you’re vastly overestimating your ability to ignore the obvious Rose.” Edward said smugly, cocking an eyebrow as he walked back to his room.

I stared at Edward’s retreating back, bristling at the implication that he thought he knew anything about me. I glanced at the now closed door to Bella’s room, fighting the urge to look in on the girl; just to make sure that Edward hadn’t… hadn’t what? For all his faults Edward is annoyingly puritanical, logically I knew he wouldn’t have done anything.

I let out a sigh and forced myself to move away from her room. I allowed myself one last lingering look at Bella’s door before speeding outside, annoyed with how I was fixated on this human. I had been planning on relaxing in my room but now I thought it would be best to take Alice and Jasper up on their offer to go hunting. If how I was acting around Bella was any indication being surrounded by teenage humans at the school tomorrow wouldn’t go well if I wasn’t well sated.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

The next day we drove to school in Edward’s Volvo, well, most of us did. Rosalie looked extremely put out when Carlisle had suggested everyone taking their own extremely expensive cars to a small town high school would make them too conspicuous. As it was Edward’s Volvo would probably be the nicest car there by miles anyway. We wouldn’t all fit in one car anyway, not even if we took Emmett’s huge jeep, Jasper lost the coin toss to car pool with the rest of us -or won it, considering on how Rosalie was glaring at him, and he and Alice drove to Forks High in his muscle car.

The stares as we first came in were incredibly awkward, I would have turned around if it wasn’t for Alice holding onto my arm and chattering loudly enough that I didn’t hear any of the whispers as we passed the staring crowds. I mean, I got it, they were all incredibly beautiful. Too beautiful to be human. I felt like the ugly duckling who wasn’t even with grown up ducks to make me feel better, I was surrounded by swans and I knew I would never measure up.

We paused by our lockers, luckily we were all near each other. I started searching in my backpack worriedly for my schedule but Alice seemed to have memorised it.

“Right Bella you’ve got Math first, and then you’re with Rose in English and Chemistry before lunch. Which is good, Rose can make sure you find it to whatever table we take for lunch.

“Yeah because she’d totally lose us otherwise.” Emmett said under his breath.

I looked at Rosalie to see how she was handling the news we would be sharing two classes together on the first day but she didn’t seem to care one way or the other. She was too busy glaring at a crowd of teenage boys who were looking our way and nudging each other.

I started walking towards where I had seen the classroom number along the hallway; all the seats near the back were already taken which meant I had to sit at the front so when the teacher started class there was nowhere to hide.

“Miss Swan would you like to introduce yourself to the class?” Not really I thought, cursing the small class sizes and well-meaning teachers.

As I got up and made my way to the front of the class, everyone was being obvious about their interest and I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I stood awkwardly at the front and told everyone my name and that I used to live in Phoenix. I went to go sit down, hoping that the bare minimum would satisfy their interest in me but I didn’t anticipate how strange an occurrence it was for people to move to Forks. If I was going through this I hate to think what the Cullens were dealing with.

“Why are you living with the Cullens?” A nondescript boy piped up, annoyingly the teacher also looked interested in the answer and made no move to start the lesson and let me out of this hell.

“They’re old friends of Charlie’s and it was organised that I would stay with them while Charlie was out of state.”

I struggled to keep my voice steady, I could feel my face redden at the lie and I hoped the students would just put it down to embarrassment at public speaking. Thankfully after that the teacher started the lesson and I could go to my seat. Even the dismal prospect of math was a relief after that.

As soon as the bell rang signalling the end of class I rushed out the room, hoping to flee the awkwardness my stumbling attempt at an introduction had caused me, and find my English class before I was marked late.

Luckily I found my classroom without too much trouble and noticed there were still few empty seats, one of which was next to Rosalie. She was sitting near the back seemingly engrossed in a book, ignoring the stares from students around her.

“Mind if I sit here?” I asked nervously, hovering around the vacant seat next to Rosalie.

“Why would I mind?” Rosalie said indifferently, barely looking up from her book to answer me.

“Hey Bella, I’m Mike, we were in Math together.” A blonde teen said as he sat on the edge of my desk.

“Oh… hey Mike.”

“So I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me? I can show you the sights of Forks.” Mike said smiling at me.

“How many sights does Forks actually have?” Rosalie interrupted, I looked over at her but she was still staring at her book.

“There are a few places only locals know about.” Mike said nudging me.

“Well, I used to come here when I was younger, so I kind of know about Forks anyway. Thanks though.”

“Hey come on, I think we’d get along great, I-”

“She said no. Now I think you should go and find your seat before class starts.” A cold voice from the side of me cut off whatever Mike was going to say.

I looked over at Rosalie to find her no longer engrossed in her book, now she was glaring at Mike who seemed alarmed at the intensity of her stare.

“Alright, fine. If you get tired of your ‘friends’ and you feel like hanging out with non-freaks for a while come find me.” Mike said snippily as he hurried towards his seat.

I looked over at Rosalie who was gripping the side of her chair and looked like she wasn’t even breathing.

“I’m sure he didn’t mean that.”

“What?” Rosalie snapped, still glaring at Mike.

“The, er, freaks comment.”

Rosalie laughed and seemed to relax slightly. She looked over at me surprise in her eyes and I couldn’t help but blush at having her focus on me.

“I wasn’t bothered about him calling me a freak. We’re used to it by now. You’re probably going to be getting some of that yourself if you stick with us.”

“Oh well I can always hang around with Mike.” I said jokingly.

“No.” Rosalie growled out.

I saw her hand grip the side of her chair only to let go instantly, the sound of creaking metal causing nearby students to look around. Rosalie waited until the students had written off the sound before moving her hand, I gasped as I saw the indent from her fingers.

Rosalie scraped the chair back causing me to wince while she smoothed out the mark she had left on the metal. The dent was still there but at least now it didn’t look like it was made by someone with superhuman strength.

The teacher started writing the lesson aims on the whiteboard soon after and I readied myself for another awkward ‘new girl’ introduction. At least Rosalie was in the class with me this time, although I hadn’t yet decided if that was a good or bad thing.


I breathed a sigh of relief when the last bell rang, I was so glad for this school day to be over. I followed the rushing horde of students outside the building and looked to see if any of the Cullens were out of class yet.

“Hey Bella!”

I looked around at the greeting and saw a tall Native American teen waving at me from the outskirts of the car park. I checked that there weren’t any other Bella’s he was greeting and walked over towards the teenager.

“Do you remember me?” The boy grinned as I came within normal talking distance.

“Erm… not really?”

The tall teen rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably and looked around, noticing the stares of the Cullens with a grimace.

“I’m Jacob Black, when you’d visit Charlie we’d-”

“Oh my god Jacob!” I cried out, rushing forward to hug one of the few people who would make my infrequent stays in Forks bearable.

“Hah, yeah.” Jacob returned my hug awkwardly and patted me on the arms a few times before glancing over at the Cullens and moving nervously back from me. “Also… I was there the day after you and the Cullens came back to Forks.”

I stared at him confused, I hadn’t seen anyone since we had come to Forks -except for countless shop attendants, which I was pretty sure Jacob wasn’t one of.

“I was one of the wolves.” He said in a hushed whisper.

I couldn’t help the nervous shuffle backwards I took, glancing over to where I knew the Cullens were waiting around their cars. I caught sight of Rosalie’s furious gaze and my stomach clenched anxiously, great, now she thinks I’m friends with their enemy and has more reasons to hate me.

“Bella wait. I want to help you; I think it’s really shitty that no one else in the pack is willing to talk to you, to tell you what you need to know.”

I looked back at Jacob, unsure what he meant, he must be talking about the vampires. The wolves seemed even more biased towards them than they were to the pack.

“They’ve already told me everything.”

“Really? So you know all about what they do?” Jacob asked incredulously and shook his head when I nodded my head, unconcerned with what he had to say about my new guardians and friends. “There are things they won’t tell you, that they can’t tell you. Things you will only hear from the pack.”

“So tell me.”

“I… can’t. I shouldn’t be talking to you as it is, Sam thinks you’ve chosen your side and doesn’t want to help the leeches in any way. But Billy backed up the leeches’ story about Charlie being on an extended holiday. He doesn’t want anything supernatural to come to light either. Especially not while we’ve been finding dozens of these strange scents crossing our territory and running rings around us. I’m new to this whole wolf thing but even I know they’re nothing good.”

Jacob wiped a hand down his face and for a moment he looked like the boy I had played with growing up, only much more tired and weighed down than I had ever seen him.

“I know we’ve not seen each other in years, but my dad was good friends with yours and we might not know what your plan is but we’re behind you. The leeches on the other hand, not so much. And there is all that talk about the cat in Alaska showing up now, and I know you shouldn’t get your hopes up but if I were you I’d be wondering about it, and I bet those leeches aren’t telling you anything.”

“What’s that got to do with anything?” I asked, struggling to keep a hold in this strange conversation.

“A huge black cat has been spotted, they thought maybe a panther, but it’s larger. And I don’t know for sure about you, but I’d heard stories and I thought maybe, you know, I’ve never met one before I don’t know about the scent but…” Jacob shrugged and looked at me carefully, as if I might break down at any moment.

“Right...” I said slowly, to Jacob’s mounting confusion. At least that was two of us now.

“Are these scents you’ve been… tracking… the Cullens?”

“No, we know vampire stink anywhere. It’s definitely not them.”

I furrowed my brow, I was starting to think this whole staying with vampires thing was a little over my head.

“Anyway, I better go, she looks like she’s about to come over and rip my arms off.” Jacob chuckled humourlessly and turned back towards me. “It was good to see you, you know, when I can actually talk and not just bark. If you ever change your mind about them come over to La Push, I’m sure Sam wouldn’t mind, you’re practically one of us after all.” Jacob grinned at me and I felt warmed that he still felt I was almost family, even though it had been years since I had last been in Forks and seen him and his dad.

I nodded and he looked like he was about to pull me in for another hug but something changed his mind and with a last goodbye he walked towards the trees surrounding the car park.

I made my way slowly over to the Cullens; the school car park had mostly emptied out during my conversation with Jacob, aside from Edward’s Volvo and Jasper’s car the only vehicles still in the lot looked like they were the teachers.

“So that was interesting conversation.” Jasper said contemplatively as soon as I neared the group of vampires.

“You guys heard that?” I asked surprised, “Oh, right, vampire hearing.”

“First there are rumours of a shifter in Alaska then one of the dogs comes onto our territory to visit you at school.” Rosalie said furiously, staring daggers into Jacob’s retreating form.

“A shifter in Alaska?” I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from the vampire’s distrust of the La Push pack and Jacob.

“Well, most humans think it escaped from a zoo, or from a private collection, and wound up in Alaska when it was trying to avoid humans, but it sounds supernatural to me.” Emmett interjected.

“Is it one of the La Push wolves?” It couldn’t be one of the werewolves I saw, there’s no way anyone would think they escaped from a zoo, a horror film or villainous lab maybe I thought supressing a shiver.

“No it’s a big cat. No one’s got too close to it but it’s been reported as being all black but too large to be a leopard or jaguar, and those cats wouldn’t be a fan of the weather up there anyway so I think it’s a different melanistic big cat, which would also point to it being a werecreature as they often don’t have the markings typical to their species instead carrying over some trait from their human form.” Jasper said.

“That must have been what Jake was talking about. Can you, you know, see anything about it?” I asked Alice, realising the perks being friends with a psychic could be on gossip.

“Well if it is an animal I won’t be able to see it, animals don’t make decisions the same way humans or vampires do, even if they did I don’t know if my gift would work on it. And if it’s a shifter or a werecreature they mess with my sight too so either way it wouldn’t be easy.” Alice answered frowning. “The wolves in La Push mess with my visions, that’s why I didn’t know Jacob was coming to see you. But I’ll keep a better eye on everyone and if any black holes appear we can assume it’s supernatural related.”

“I don’t know why Jacob would think we’d keep information about the cat from you though.” Jasper continued thoughtfully. “Maybe they have someone up there who found a trail and they know for definite that it’s a werecreature.”

“It’d be nice if they told us that.” Emmett huffed.

“Why would they tell us? We’re not friends. The only reason that pup came over today was to talk to Bella.” Rosalie said, anger still present in her voice.

“Come on Rose, he didn’t do anything.” Alice said soothingly to the blonde who fixed the shorter vampire with an icy glare.


 

 
-Rosalie-

The first day was different to how I expected, in all our other beginnings at schools we never had anyone other than the six of us to look out for, and we could all look after ourselves. Which is what I told myself was bothering me when I noticed all the stares Bella was attracting.

My eyes narrowed as I noticed one of the teens, who smelt like he’d bathed in body spray, staring at Bella with an expression that made my fangs itch to grow.

I glanced at Edward who shook his head at me “The usual teenage fantasies.” He murmured too quiet for any human to hear.

I growled softly at that and Jasper caught my eye, his expression pained. I felt a wave of sympathy as I realised as well as the dozens of students all excited or nervous about the first day back at school Jasper was also having to contend with my bizarre primal emotional swings and tried to calm myself. Luckily Alice was chatting away animatedly to Bella about her schedule, and she hadn’t noticed anything was amiss between us.


Chemistry, I resolved, would find me more in control than I had been in English. I can’t believe I actually crushed a chair -well, bent it anyway. Since when did schools use metal furniture? At least if it had been wooden I could have claimed it was rotten or had woodworm when it splintered in my hand.

Bella followed me to a free table at the back of the class and sat down without asking if it was okay like she had in English, I frowned at myself when I realised I was strangely happy about that. Of course the alternative would be to share a workbench with some unknown human so I suppose that wasn’t so remarkable.

As the room filled up and the teacher started the lesson I was glad to find the Newton boy wasn’t in the class, at least without him here to irritate me I’d have a better grasp on my temper.

I was wrong in thinking that the absence of Newton would make me less angry. I was stuck watching as boy after boy came up with the flimsiest of excuses to come over to our bench and hit on Bella, and the girl was too nice to stop them in any way that these idiots would pick up on as not interested. I get that Forks has had a limited dating pool, and Bella coming into the fray is probably the first new person they’ve seen since starting kindergarten –aside from us, but most humans have the good sense to be wary of vampires even before they know they have good reason to be. But that doesn’t mean they can chase after her like animals in rut.

The lesson itself was nothing particularly challenging, I was pleased to find that Bella seemed to be pretty competent in this lesson, holding her own against my decades of knowledge and countless repeats of this same lesson.

We had fallen into a comfortable pattern with the experiment when I caught the hushed mutterings of a girl with pale blonde hair and green eyes amidst the gossiping of the rest of the students and couldn’t help but listen in to the rest of what they were saying.

“I don’t even know why all the boys are so obsessed with her; she’s not even that pretty.”

There was no question that they were talking about Bella. Even if I had my doubts the two girls kept looking over in our direction, or following Bella as she moved about the room gathering the materials we needed for the next stages of the experiment.

“Hmm, the blonde she’s sitting with is much more attractive.” The brunette sitting with the blonde replied after glancing over at the two of them, although this clearly wasn’t the correct answer as it caused the blonde to glare at her friend.

“Jess are you actually being serious right now?” The blonde said glaring at the brunette, who was apparently named Jess.

Probably a Jessica I thought, wondering if it would be reasonable to pull up all the Jessica’s in Forks High’s personal records and suggest to her that if she wanted to ever leave this town, or go to college she find herself a better class of friend.

“No I just mean,” The brunette seemed to flounder slightly before continuing, “the guys are probably only interested in her to get to the two girls she’s with.”

“Hm.” The pale blonde glanced over at Bella and Rosalie again in a way that was supposed to be subtle.

“They look way too old for high school, like when you watch a film where everyone’s supposed to be a teenager but really they’re all mid-twenties at least.” The girl called Jess supplied hurriedly, seemingly eager to redo any damage she may have caused between her and the blonde, including jumping onto the blonde’s unwarranted vendetta against anyone taking attention away from her.

Which in this instance included Bella; I suddenly felt slight pressure against my arm and looked down to see Bella’s worried brown eyes gazing up at me.

“You were growling.” Bella said anxiously. “I don’t think anyone heard but-”

“Thank you.” I replied stiffly, cursing my lack of control around this girl.

I turned my attention away from the two gossiping girls in front of us but the fates seemed determined to test my patience today. The teacher suggested everyone who had finished the work set should compare results the two girls were quick to come over to our table under the pretence of making friends with the new students.

“Hi, I’m Lauren, this is Jessica we thought we’d come and introduce ourselves, we know it must be daunting coming to a new school, especially one as tight knit as this, I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone actually move to Forks High before.”  

“Hi.” Bella said smiling at the two girls while I tried not to show my disdain too obviously.

“You came from Phoenix right? Forks must seem so small in comparison.” Jessica said, glancing warily at Lauren.

“It’s a little different, much less sun for one.” Bella said with a chuckle.

“You’re liking all the attention I bet though right?” Lauren said easily to Bella, a smile on her face but her eyes were pinched. I felt myself tense and struggled not to attack the blonde right here in the classroom.

“Everyone’s been really nice.” Bella answered guilelessly.

“Yeah, nice.” Lauren said, bitterness seeping through into her voice. “I mean, I bet if you wanted you could get any boy here to ask you out, perks of being new and interesting I guess.”

Bella chuckled nervously and glanced at Jessica who was looking simultaneously embarrassed and anxious.

“I don’t think so.” Bella said glancing quickly at me.

Probably hoping I would save her from this conversation. Part of me wished I would too, but I was concerned that once I started on these girls I wouldn’t be able to stop, not with how my control had been recently. Instead I focused on writing up the notes to the work I already knew at a doctorate level and avoiding eye contact with the humans.

“Well no, you probably didn’t have a boyfriend back where you were from right? I bet it was a much larger school, there was probably more competition than here right?”

“You’re right I didn’t have a boyfriend in Phoenix. I had a girlfriend.” Bella stated, stunning Lauren and myself.

I was frozen, assaulted by images of Bella and some nameless, faceless girl; I was half tempted to ask Bella more about her ex but didn’t know if I could take the information.

Jessica dragged a spluttering Lauren back towards their seats; if it hadn’t been for the quick smile I saw her give Bella I would have thought she was avoiding her on the grounds of this new information.

“At least you know she’s not after Tyler now right?” Jessica whispered to Lauren as the two sat down in time for the teacher to explain the right answers to the groups who had struggled with the lesson.

“That’s one way to come out I guess.” Bella sighed next to me, slumping down in her seat.

I didn’t say anything, still lost in my own thoughts until I saw Bella glance timidly at me, her eyes capturing my own.

“Rose? You’re not… this isn’t. I mean, you’re okay with that right?” Bella asked nervously.

“Of course Bella.” I scoffed, and it wasn’t of course it wasn’t. It would be pretty hypocritical of me considering my past …romances… after I became a vampire if it was. So then why did my thoughts rebel so much against picturing Bella with someone?


“I hate this part of the day.” Emmett sighed, leaning back on his chair in the cafeteria. We had all managed to find a table to ourselves easily enough; of course being off-putting to most humans didn’t hurt in that regard.

“Because the rest of it is so entertaining.” Edward said dryly.

“Hey, it’s not so bad. I’ve already read all the books assigned for English Lit and I’m pretty sure my physics teacher is using old syllabus tests from the 90’s so I’ve basically done all my homework for the year already. I just hate the sitting about in a room stinking of old human food having to pretend we need to be here.” Emmett replied, all his focus on tilting his chair as far back as he could without losing his balance.

I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to knock into his chair and send him sprawling to the ground. Luckily for Emmett my attention was drawn by Alice who had started giggling and turned to watch Bella in the lunch line.

“What?” I asked her, raising my eyebrows.

“Mike Newton thinks the reason she shot him down before was because she didn’t know he was asking her on a date, he’s about to get really specific.”

“How specific?” I ground out.

“Don’t worry it stays PG, maybe a 12.” Alice said, still watching Bella and the determined looking Mike who was making his way towards her in the line.

I was up and halfway towards Bella before I realised what I was doing, the only thing on my mind was stopping the irritating blonde teen from… from what? Talking to her? Asking her out? I didn’t take the time to analyse my actions, getting to Bella just before Newton reached her.

“Hey no cut-ins!” Mike said irritated as I took my place next to Bella.

Bella turned around to see who was talking and blushed prettily when she saw me next to her.

“Really? Because I didn’t see you waiting in line.” I turned to face him and he had the good sense to look uncomfortable.

“I’m just here to talk to Bella.”

“Bella’s in the middle of getting her food. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for holding up the lunch line now would you?” I asked acerbically.

“I was just -I’m not –” He stuttered idiotically before I took pity on him and cut off his ramblings.

“Run along now.” I said before turning away from him and subtly, I hoped subtly, blocking Bella from him.

I heard him slouch away from us and move back down the line, calling me names under his breath. It really was a waste how little vocabulary most teenagers of this generation had when it came to insults.

“I thought you couldn’t, you know…” Bella trailed off, her eyes following me as I picked up random items of the food on offer.

“How suspicious would it look if we all sat at the table and never got food? You done?” I looked at her tray, which didn’t seem to hold much.

“Actually… I was waiting for them to bring out some more fries.”

“Okay.” I said abruptly, catching the look of hurt in Bella’s eyes before she quickly turned away from me.

I started walking to the register and tried not to think of this as making an escape. Or about how that brief look of hurt in Bella’s brown eyes had made my stomach feel like it had dropped from my body.

I slowly made my way back to the table my family were seated at and sat down with my tray of token human food.

“Did you really need to bring all that back Rose? It stinks.” Jasper said scrunching his nose up at my tray of food.

“Camouflage.” I said shrugging. “We can pretend to bring lunches from home but I think occasionally buying food from here would make us fit in a little more.”

“We’ll never fit in. They all know it, they just don’t know why.” Edward said

“Guys, look!” Emmett said in an awestruck tone. “Football!”

“What?” Jasper asked confused.

“There’s a game out on the field, come on, we can go watch and not look out of place for avoiding the cafeteria!” Emmett said jumping up from his seat.

“It’s just a practice game.” Edward said dismissively.

“So you’d rather stay in here with the stench of rotten human food and dozens of girls thinking how dreamy you look?” Emmett said smirking at Edward.

“Point well made.” Edward said standing up. “Well, shall we?”

“Watching a bunch of humans flail around uncoordinatedly and miss simple passes?” I said raising an eyebrow. “No thanks.”

“Yeah, me and Rose will stay and keep Bella company, you guys have fun.” Alice said dismissing the boys with a wave of her hand.

Jasper looked at Alice warily, no doubt seeking confirmation that he would be fine surrounded by the excited emotions of adrenaline spiked humans.

“You’ll be fine.” Alice smiled at her mate and the two shared one of their sickeningly sweet looks. Jasper honest to god bowed and kissed her hand

“He does know we’re not in the 1800’s anymore right?”

“Oh, shush you.” Alice giggled like the teenager she was pretending to be and watched Jasper exit the lunch room.

“Alice did you see that Bella had a girlfriend when she lived in Phoenix?” I blurted out without thinking, without even realising what I was saying.  

“Why, are you shocked Rose? Did you not think she would have a girlfriend, even you can see she’s pretty.” Alice said unconcerned.

“She’s beautiful. I was just… surprised. The thought threw me off.” I shrugged, cursing my lack of filter and the weird place my brain was lately.

I glanced back over to where Bella was still in the lunch line and sighed, noticing Alice was staring at me I looked back at her and frowned when she didn’t say anything or look away.

"Alice, what?" I bit out, annoyed with the constant staring from the small pixie vampire.

"You like her." Alice said in wonder.

"Like who?"

I wasn't paying much attention to Alice, my gaze was still tracking Bella as she made her way across the lunchroom to our table. That girl could trip over thin air. And she still had to make it past Lauren's table. I narrowed my eyes, if she was going to try and trip my- my thoughts were cut off by Alice laying a hand on my arm. I looked into her eyes that seemed at once excited and compassionate.

"Bella." She said simply.

"She's on her way." I waved my hand in the human’s direction. "Or have your premonitions abandoned you?" I teased my sister.

"No, you care about Bella."

My eyes snapped back to the small vampire in front of me.

"I do not!" I retorted.

I closed my eyes at my childishness, something Alice hadn’t missed if her tinkling laugh was anything to go by. Alice’s laugh had drawn the stares of a few of the nearby humans, I glared at them and they hurriedly turned away. I made a mental note of those I heard call me a bitch and other ingeniously intellectual insults.

"Oh rose." Alice sighed, her face stretching into a grin. "This explains a lot of the visions I have had about you."

"What?" I grit out, teeth clenched. I hated anyone spying on me, having any kind of power over me or my actions.

"Oh calm down, you know my visions about you are always patchy thanks to your gift." Alice frowned at me. "Thanks for the headaches. But I often saw Bella in them. Or you watching over her."

"Alice. You're being ridiculous. Just because I am not a touchy feely, emotional person like you or Emmett doesn’t mean I am willing to let an innocent girl be hurt. That's probably all that is."

At this point Bella finally made her way to our table without injury. She smiled tentatively at me but it dropped off her face when I scowled back. As her eyes dropped to the table and she bit her lip I felt a pang of guilt at hurting the girl, but I quickly shelved that feeling, determined to ignore whatever nonsense Alice and her strange theories had spouted in me.

Alice brought Bella’s attention to her and the young girl smiled again. I ignored the twist in my stomach that the smile wasn’t directed at me and zoned out of the conversation Alice was drawing Bella in to, my mind drawing back against my will to Alice’s revelation.

As the bell rang for next lesson I grabbed Alice's arm and spoke in tones too low for humans to hear. "You're not going to tell anyone your stupid theories are you Alice? Or let Edward hear them rattling around in your head?"

“Of course not Rose, but you have to actually address this, not ignore it; it’s not going to go away.”

I didn’t answer but I don’t think Alice expected me to, she’d said her piece and knowing her I was going to get scheduled pep talks convincing me to do something about… whatever she thought was happening.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

A few weeks had gone by and I was surprised how normal everything seemed considering I lived with a house full of vampires, sure the shifters from La Push had had another meeting with the Cullens and discussed the strange scents that they had found trailing across Forks –and okay, it was less of a meeting and more a surprise visit to accuse the vampires of being up to something. But once Jasper and Carlisle had calmed them down they seemed to believe that the Cullens had nothing to do with whatever was going on in Forks and agreed to work together to figure out what was happening, although I didn’t hold out much hope for that actually happening.

But for the most part my time had been boringly mundane, going to school and working on my essays, playing video games with Emmett and some of the other Cullens. Actually that one had become kind of extraordinary due to the fact that Rosalie had started joining in when we needed another player.

Emmett was definitely the Cullen who was most into gaming, but I had seen Jasper and Edward both play with him after some persuading. Alice played, but Emmett usually complained when she beat him that she was using her gift and cheating. But from my short time with the Cullens I got the impression that video games weren’t something Rosalie was in to, and the fact that Emmett never asked her to play suggested she had turned him down -knowing Rosalie probably vehemently, when he had asked her in the past.

So when Emmett was complaining about Jasper and Edward going out hunting and making the teams unequal and I offered to sit a few rounds out, when Rosalie sat down and grabbed a controller the shock on both our faces was obvious. Alice predictably wasn’t fazed by the sudden turn of events; I guess being psychic takes a lot of the surprise out of everything. Rosalie ignored Emmett’s goldfish impression and leaned over towards me, my breath caught in my throat but all she did was press start on my controller and have my character join in the game.

“Rosalie you’ve finally decided to join the cool kids!” Emmett cried excitedly. “Just don’t be too upset when I crush you with my superior skills.”

“Of course she did, we couldn’t let Bella sit out, could we Rose?” Alice asked, her voice loaded.

I looked over at the blonde vampire sitting by my side, her gaze pointedly fixed on the huge television screen in front of us.

“I didn’t want to make you do something you didn’t want to.” I said quietly, knowing they could all hear me anyway.

“You’re not.” Rosalie answered shortly.

I bit my lip, and looked down at the console in my hands. Rosalie probably wasn’t doing this just to stop me from being left out, it’s not like there was a lot to do in Forks, and since the vampires didn’t sleep they had all those extra hours to fill. But maybe this was her way of… I don’t know, being nice? Orrr maybe I’m reading way too much into this.

“You might want to watch the screen instead of the controller. Just because I’m new at this doesn’t mean I’m willing to lose to these children.” Rosalie said I looked up and caught her eyes on me before she turned back to the screen.


I blamed the video games for what happened a few days later, I don’t know what came over me I had just meant to thank her for being cool with me and helping out on that first day of school now I felt like we were becoming closer, but instead I blurted out my feelings. I cursed whatever had caused me to find the courage to bare my feelings to the gorgeous blonde.

I don’t know what I thought could have possibly happened, that Rosalie would be all ‘that’s great Bells let’s make out?’ And now Rosalie is ignoring me, she hasn’t spoken to me in days. I shook my head at myself in disgust, I never should have told her.

I stared at the dark green walls of my room that bordered Rosalie’s and felt smothered, I considered talking to Alice about what happened but I couldn’t take the chance that she would have tried to get me and Rosalie to talk to each other again. I just wanted to get out the house and not be reminded about my painfully stupid crush on an unattainable vampire for a while.

Luckily Jacob had shown up again at school to give me his number and we had almost got back to how we had been when I used to visit Forks when I was younger. Well, as much as two people can who haven’t seen each other for years and now find themselves on opposing sides of a supernatural version of the outsiders.

I walked down towards where I knew Esme was putting groceries away in the kitchen, I think me being here had finally allowed her to fulfil her desire to partake in the more normal aspects of living a human life she hadn’t needed to since becoming a vampire. Although I don’t know how she thought I was going to be able to eat everything she had bought.

“Hey Esme, I was wondering if I could go to a friend’s house? I’ll be back before dinner.”

“Do you want a lift down?”

“If that’s okay?”

“Of course Bella.” Esme said smiling at me as she finished unpacking the last of the groceries.

I waited at the front of the house for Esme to bring out her Bentley continental from the garage, I wasn’t sure if Rosalie was in the garage or out hunting but I didn’t want to risk seeing her right now either way.

Esme dropped me off at a store near the edge of town that I had told her I was meeting Angela at and I fumbled with my phone waiting for her to drive off before starting towards the reservation.

I felt a little bad for not telling Esme where I was really going but I didn’t want to risk being told I couldn’t visit the only other person who I could talk to about my life. Although I had no intention in telling Jacob about my crush on a vampire.

Jacob knew I was coming and met me at the border of the reservation pulling me into a bone crushing hug as soon as he saw me.

“Bella!”

“Hey Jake.” I said smiling at the exuberant teenager. “How are you?”

“Not too bad Bells.”

I looked at the dark circles under his eyes and frowned.

“Well, it’s been kinda hard with the extra patrols and stuff,” Jacob said catching my worried look and rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. “Sam’s worried about an attack and we still don’t know exactly what the origin of the scent all over town is. It’s making everyone edgy.”

I nodded, Jacob hadn’t told me much about the workings of the pack considering we had only just reignited our friendship –and the fact that he still didn’t trust the Cullens but I had gathered the whole pack was working hard to protect their territory, and Forks, from the possible unknown threat.

“So what are we doing today?”

“I thought we could go to the beach?”

“That sounds great.” I said matching Jake’s easy-going smile.

“Yeah, Quil and Embry and some of the others in the pack will be there-”Jacob broke off from his excited rambling, noticing my doubtful expression.

“Are you sure that me coming will be a good idea? They weren’t that keen on me the other times we met.”

“Don’t worry.” Jacob said swinging an arm around me. “You’re with me now and they all know you’ve got nothing to do with them really. Besides, you need to take advantage of a little sun now you’re stuck with the bloodsuckers.”

“If you’re going to badmouth them the whole time I’m here I’m leaving.” I said, swatting him on the shoulder but he barely seemed to notice it.

I noticed the rest of the pack as soon as we reached the beach, Jacob led me over to the rough circle of driftwood they were sitting on and I hoped they would all be as open to my presence as Jake was considering how they viewed the Cullens as their enemy.

“Oh god she stinks!” one of the pack I vaguely remembered from the first time I met the wolves cried out disgusted.

Jacob looked at my offended face and laughed. “Don’t worry Bells, they’re talking about the vampire stench that’s all over you.”

I didn’t see how saying it wasn’t my scent that was causing everyone’s obvious disgust made it any better.

“I think they smell nice.” A dozen growls and groans greeted my statement.

“It’s overpowering, I can’t even smell your natural scent through it.” Jacob said wrinkling his nose.

Jacob pulled me down on a seat beside him and pointed out a few of the Quileute boys I had vaguely known from my visits to Forks before and a few others who had recently joined the pack.

I got the impression they were waiting for something and sure enough Sam approached, easily towering over most of the pack even with the growth spurt I knew most of them had had when they became shifters.

“Anything new Sam?” Jacob asked as Sam joined the group.

Sam shook his head and opened up the cooler filled with burgers Embry was carting around.

“I found a new trail covering the whole of the treaty line. It’s like they know we can’t cross it.” Quil said warily.

“They can probably smell that our trails only go up to that line.” Seth said dismissively as he tucked into his own plate of burgers.

“What do you think Bella?” Sam asked looking at me intently.

“I’ve not smelt anything strange.” I said laughing nervously under his focused attention.

“No, can we trust the Cullens? Is this really nothing to do with them?”

“No, they’ve been helping you if anything! They want to live here too why would they make trouble for the pack now after centuries of living peacefully with the treaty?” I said frustrated that the conversation was focusing on the untrustworthiness of the Cullens.

Sam sat back on his haunches, looking thoughtfully at the line of trees bordering the beach.

“Yeah but can we trust her? She’s living with them!” Paul spoke up, annoyed that Sam seemed to be listening to me.

“Hey, Bella is one of us.” Jacob said convincingly.

“You know she’s not Jake, no matter how much you might want that to be true.” Sam said looking from me to Jacob. “And even if she was she’s already aligned herself with the vampires. I know Charlie was a good friend of your fathers, and he was respected here, but Bella isn’t a part of this pack.”

The pack sat in awkward silence after that and I suddenly realised my presence here with the whole pack around probably wasn’t a coincidence.

“Is the whole reason you asked me here to get information on the Cullens?” I asked turning to Jake.

Jacob’s guilty expression gave me my answer and I stood up with a sigh.

“It’s not just that Bella, I thought if they realised you would help us you could come down here more, we could hang out together like we used to.” Jacob said springing up to stand beside me.

“Help you spy on the Cullens?” I said angrily.

“Do they have anything to hide?” Sam asked quickly.

“No!” I cried exasperated. “You guys are all so sure there’s a big threat out there but you’re wasting your time focusing on the Cullens who’ve been nothing but courteous even though you’ve approached them on their territory twice now.”

I noticed Jacob and Seth looking away guiltily.

“Or have you cornered them again?” I asked annoyance clear in my tone.

“We may have bumped into Alice and the creepy blonde one while we were out running.” Seth said bashfully. “But we didn’t accuse them of anything! Well, me and Jake didn’t. Alice seemed to find it funny anyway.”

“She found Embry’s nakedness funny you mean.” Jacob muttered teasingly to me.

“Hey!” A loud cry from Embry accompanied by a half-eaten burger was thrown at Jacob’s head.

Jacob easily grabbed the projectile without looking and tucked into it, winking at me. I rolled my eyes but couldn’t help but smile at Jake’s antics. Jacob saw the smile and grinned widely, knowing I wouldn’t be holding what he had done against him.


“I’m sorry about all that Bella.” Jacob said sincerely as he walked with me out of La Push. “I swear I didn’t mean to blindside you like that, or use you for information, I just wanted to get the rest of the pack on your side.”

“It’s fine.” I said shortly.

I wasn’t really mad at Jake any more but I couldn’t help but feel a little betrayed by his actions, Jacob glanced over at me but didn’t say anything else.

We walked together in silence for a time, I could tell Jacob wanted to say something to me but he kept quiet until we reached the treaty line.

“I have to go on patrol now, you okay to get back to the Cullens from here? Give one of them a call to come get you, okay?”

“Fine.” I said, rolling my eyes at his overprotectiveness.

Jacob drew me into a bone crushing hug before loping quickly away to the tree line, presumably to change. Not that there was anyone around here to see him shift forms, I glanced around the deserted fields and started walking towards town.

I wasn’t going to call the Cullens for anything as silly as not being able to walk into town by myself, there’s no way they’d think one of the others couldn’t be out alone, even if there were ‘strange smells’ around. I smiled at that; one thing about hanging with wolf shifters they did take smells extremely seriously. I bet there wasn’t even anything weird going on in Forks, well, excluding the vampires and shapeshifters that is.

Plus I didn’t want to draw any more attention to the age difference, I mean sure, maybe the others were allowed free roam because of the whole vampire spend and strength thing, but I didn’t want them to think of me as the ‘little kid’ to their century-old-vampire. Or more specifically I didn’t want one of the Cullens to think of me that way.

I sighed as my thoughts inevitably turned to Rosalie, before I had inevitably ruined everything between us she had been spending more time with me, even without the gaming sessions with Emmett.

We had had a project for Chemistry that we had worked well together on, yes she did tell me she had a doctorate in the subject but that didn’t mean she did all the work for me or treated me as if I was an idiot for not knowing as much as she did. Although she did sigh and complain a lot about the tedium of the task and called Mr Phillips an uninspired hack, but she still did the work with me.

Now I knew nothing like that was ever likely to happen again and the thought crushed me.

I was so lost in my thoughts of Rosalie I almost walked into someone, her arms shot out just in time to stop me from stumbling to the ground. I was surprised that she had the strength to right me, she was smaller than me.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there.” I said catching my balance and turning to face the small blonde girl I had practically ran in to.

“That’s quite all right; I was hoping to find you anyway.”

The blonde smiled slyly and my eyes shot to hers, my heart raced when I saw the vivid red of her irises.

 

-Rosalie-

The past few days had been probably the most enjoyable of any school year, which wasn’t high praise considering how much of our academic lives as vampires went, and was probably speaking too soon since we were still in the first term but nevertheless I knew Forks was already high up on my families list

Which was surprising really, Forks had nothing that would ordinarily thrill us, it was quiet with not much to do. It had many small town gossips, then there was the Quileute pack to be wary of, who knew our secret and distrusted us on principle.

One of the reasons for this was undoubtedly Bella, being stuck with the same people for decades invariably led to somewhat of a tedious existence. Especially for Emmett, Edward and I, Alice and Jasper and Esme and Carlisle had each other but here Bella was, shaking the whole family up and not even realising she was doing it.

I had even found myself doing things I wouldn’t ordinarily do, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when I found myself alone with Bella, picking up after a particularly eventful session with Emmett and Jasper. Both of who had now been relegated outside by Esme who had suggested they go hunt to get rid of some of their pent up energy.

Bella and I had just finished straightening the mess the two boys had made when I noticed she was now just standing, watching me, lost in her thoughts.

She seemed to notice my attention and smiled nervously at me, seemingly gathering the courage to spill whatever was on her mind.

“Hey, so I know it’s late but I wanted to thank you, for being nice to me the first day of school.”

“It’s not like I was going to go out of my way to be mean to you, I’m not that much of a bitch.” I said unsure where Bella’s sudden need to thank me for something that happened weeks ago came from.

“I meant more when I, you know, told everyone I was gay.”

That’s because I was too busy trying to control my overactive imagination and trying to ignore why the images my brain was throwing at me were making me feel ill I thought while I listened to Bella’s heartrate steadily increase.

“When did you come out?” Was what actually came out of my mouth, amazingly I even managed to make it sound neutral.

“Ah, you know, in Chemistry? The first day when I said I had a girlfriend in Phoenix?”

“Oh yes, I’d forgotten.” God, could she even be buying this, but as I watched Bella blush and look at the ground, her heart racing I thought she might be.

“Well, erm you there’s something I wanted to say, or maybe ask.” Bella said, the words rushed together, tumbling over themselves in one long breath.

I stood motionless, waiting for Bella to get to the point.

“I like you.” She finally blurted out, I raised an eyebrow at that, she couldn’t mean what I thought she did. “God I sound so immature.” Bella muttered to herself.

This can’t be actually happening, my first thought is Alice has put Bella up to this to mess with me, she somehow still believes I actually have feelings for the human and probably filled Bella’s head with stories of false futures with us to convince her to say this to me. But the frantic pace of Bella’s heart and her nervous worried expression counteracted that theory.

I started to panic; I didn’t know what to do. Even with the obvious admiration we received from most humans their advances were easy to avoid since we rarely interacted with them in case they discovered our secret. And in any case our strangeness seemed to ward off most people who saw us on a daily basis, something that obviously hadn’t happened with Bella. But then we are designed specifically to be appealing to our prey.

My already frozen heart seemed to chill at that, she was our prey, even if I only hunted animals and hadn’t ever drank human blood I was still a vampire and she a human. Even if I wanted anything between the two of us it would never work. I filed away the thought that I had contemplated, even for a second, wanting something with Bella, it was likely just a reaction to her declaration.

I noticed Bella was staring at me, a stricken look on her face, and I realised I hadn’t said anything to her since she had confessed her feelings to me.

“This is a mistake Bella, whatever you think you feel is probably just an effect of you being around us so much.” I said dismissively, finding it hard to look at Bella’s distraught face.

“But it’s not everyone else only-”

“I have to go.”

And with that I turned and walked out on her, trying to ignore the hollow feeling growing in my chest, I hadn’t realised how much I had let my guard down with the human if this was what happened when I decided to stop hanging out with a friend.

I started avoiding the family room whenever Bella was there, spending more and more time in the garage or out hunting. Things that I would have been spending most of my time doing anyway before we found Bella, but now they just seemed to heighten the fact that I couldn’t do what I would ordinarily be doing now. I hadn’t realised how much I had changed my behaviour until I was forced back to my old routine.

Emmett had asked me to play video games with him a few times, he had teased me that I knew he’d beat me now but luckily he didn’t know the real reason I was suddenly back to refusing to play with them. Edward and Jasper must have known, or at least suspected what was going on. I know they both said Bella was hard to read, and I was impossible for Edward to read but I kept getting strange looks from Jasper and Alice already had her own theories about Bella and me.

At first I thought my poor temper was because I was missing my family, avoiding Bella had the side effect that I often avoided Emmett and Alice as they were the two who most often hung out with Bella and to a lesser extent the rest of my family. But when my thoughts kept turning to the brunette, how she had looked when I had last seen her I gradually realised I missed Bella more than I had thought possible.

But I stayed I committed to my self-imposed isolation, lamenting the fact that I had nothing to occupy my mind from thoughts of Bella. I was just wondering whether I should buy another car so I would have an excuse to work on something since I was running out of improvements to make to when Alice came in, her expression determined and not a little scary.

“Stop torturing Bella, you could at least hang out as friends. Like before Rose.”

"We were never friends Alice."

“Well I don't know about that, none of us could ever get you to play videogames, and you seemed pretty pally during the chemistry project.”

“That was for school Alice.” I said tiredly, focusing my attention on her Porsche in the hopes she would leave me to improve her car. 

“Your mortality may have been taken from you but your humanity wasn’t Rose.” Alice said earnestly. “Bella makes you laugh, do you know how little I heard you laugh until you started letting her in? You can’t deny that she has an effect on you.”

I didn’t know what to say to that, it was no secret with my family that I regretted becoming a vampire, regretted losing my human life. But none of them had ever commented on the wall I had built between myself and everyone else, or had suggested something had the ability to break that barrier.

"Won't being friendly with Bella now be hard on her?" I asked, attempting to move the conversation away from my personal hang ups about this life.

"Suddenly so concerned with Bella’s feelings Rose?” Alice smiled “I think it'll be fine. You don’t want to ruin this Rose." Alice said moving towards the garage’s exit.

“Did you see something?” I called after her.

“Is there something for me to see?”

I shook my head at the annoying psychic; I swear most of her gift came from doing the vase trick in the Matrix. She didn’t know anything about what was going on with Bella and me, and her theory she had blurted out at me in the cafeteria at school was utter nonsense.


Days passed and I continued avoiding Bella, until the monotony of my new routine was broken when Alice called me while she was away with Jasper.

“Isn’t Jasper keeping you entertained Alice?” I said amused when I answered the phone. “Don’t let Emmett know you called me on your romantic weekend away, he’ll never live it down.”

“Rose you have to get to Bella now!” Alice cut over me, her voice frantic.

“What’s happened?” I asked; worry settling in my stomach like a dead weight.

“I don’t know!” Alice replied, her voice sounding pained. “I can’t see her clearly, I think she’s by the La Push reservation, I think the shifters are messing up my visions.”

I didn’t wait to ask any more questions, I jumped into my Ferrari and accelerated towards the reservation.

The whole time I was driving I couldn’t stop the despair from filling my veins as I thought about what might be happening to Bella with those shifters, what was she even doing down by the reservation, she knew how dangerous the shifters were-

I caught scent of Bella and braked suddenly, leaping out of the car before it had come to a full stop and racing off along the belt of wilderness by the border to the reservation to where I smelt Bella.

So she wasn’t at the reservation, why would Alice’s visions be acting up if the shifters weren’t affecting them?

I ignored that puzzle when I realised how lucky I was that Bella wasn’t in La Push, I hadn’t put any thought into what it would mean if I crashed into the reservation and broke the treaty. My thoughts had been too occupied with reaching Bella before anything happened to her; I knew I wouldn’t have hesitated if I had thought she had been past the treaty line.

 

-Bella-

“What no question about my eyes, about why I was looking for you?” The vampire asked eyeing me slyly.

She didn’t seem to expect a response other than that my stuttering heart gave her.

“So they were right, the Cullens broke our law. And it’s not as if they plan on killing you, unless they’ve changed their diet since they last visited Volterra.” The blonde said, her eyes narrowing as she sized me up.

“Keeping humans for a pet is very…” The petite blonde trailed her finger down my cheek and neck, smiling at the shivers she elicited in me. “Depraved how very unlike them.” She sneered.

“Although there is something about you.” She leaned in and I felt her lick my throat and couldn’t help but shudder. Her eyes darkened at that and she smiled at me, showing her fangs.

“Mm, maybe I’ll have a little fun before I remove the threat you pose, it would be a shame to leave you without sampling.”

I gasped and tried to get away, twisting my body away from her and attempting to run. She was in front of me before I could blink, rolling her eyes at me as I struggled to come to a stop before running into her again.

“Or we could just skip to the point I guess.” She said in a bored tone, she moved away from me slightly and I held my breath, hardly daring to hope she was going to let me go.

I watched her confused, my body thrumming with adrenaline, waiting to see if she would give me an opening to escape.

Then the pain started.

I had felt nothing like this before in my life. The pain filled every nerve and neuron in my body. All screaming at me to make it stop. But there was nothing I could do. Even if I could focus enough to move through the agony, to be able to think clearly through it. She was a vampire and I was human, there was no way I could escape her on my own, something she had pushed home to me when she easily raced in front of me when I had tried to get away from her before.

I was dimly aware that I was now curled on the floor, some part of my brain kept repeating that the red-eyed vampire hadn’t even touched me, but I was too overcome by the sensations burning through me to work out what was happening to me. All I could feel was the pain overwhelming me.

Then, almost confusing in its abruptness, the pain stopped. I lay still on the floor, only now aware that I had been screaming from the soreness of my throat. I tentatively moved to sit up. Waiting for the pain to start back up but it never did.

I looked at the blonde vampire, her blood red eyes flashed angrily at me and I flinched, waiting for another attack. But it never came. Before I could make sense of what had happened Rosalie tackled the red eyed vampire and the two were trading blows too quick for me to follow.


-Rosalie-

I felt my fangs extend and I rushed to reach Bella in time. Not that it would matter; Jane's attack was so prized by the Volturi because it didn't require physical contact. But I could at least stop her from harming Bella physically. Or rip off her arms until she stopped hurting Bella.

Bella was curled on the floor; the screams coming from her tore at my heart, making me see red. All the while Jane looked on an arrogant grin on her face as she watched my Bella go through the pain she was causing her.

I snarled at Jane and she finally noticed me, worry and confusion flashing in her eyes. I snarled in triumph at the worry, we had met before in Italy, she knew her gift had no effect on me. She’d actually have to get her hands dirty for once if she wanted to get away from here alive.

I pushed my body further and faster than I ever had before in my attempt to protect Bella. A weird sensation surged through my body; it felt like something inside of me was being pulled through me. I grit my teeth, I’d worry about whatever that was later, and focused my attention on Bella.

Who was... Sitting up? Bella blinked blearily while Jane moved her attention back from me to frown at Bella. Jane looked to be in deep concentration and was no doubt increasing the level of pain she was inflicting on Bella who still seemed pain free.

I couldn’t let Jane hurt my Bella again, so while her attention was on Bella I finally reached her, I let my momentum take us both to the ground and grappled with Jane. I had a grip around her neck and started to twist but she managed to escape my hold and moved to put some distance between us.

Luckily for me instead of pressing her advantage Jane tried to use her gift on me, remembering too late that I was immune, her reliance on her gift gave me a split second advantage and I grabbed her arms, twisting them quickly past the point that would result in broken bones in humans.

Cracks split across her skin like black spiders webs but I kept up the pressure, if I managed to remove her limbs she would be a much easier opponent to take down. I knew she wouldn’t make the mistake of trying to use her gift on me again, and I only had a few decades of sparring instruction with Jasper compared to her centuries of fighting in the Volturi guard.

Jane struggled to throw me off but I kept my hold, twisting and pulling on her arms until the cracks on one finally widened enough for me to wrench it off. Jane howled in fury at the loss, although I had disarmed her I was now lacking a strong hold on the older vampire, I tried to use her now detached limb to get a good hit to her face but she was able to dodge my attack.

I flung her limb away from us and focused on trying to tear off her other arm, but Jane was turning and kicking me with all that she had, I moved behind her in an attempt to try grasping her around the neck but she flung her head back with such force that I was momentarily stunned.

The second of distraction allowed Jane to slip what hold I had on her and she whipped around to face me, hissing and showing her fangs. I bared my teeth and circled the injured vampire, looking to press my edge.

A flying kick from the older vampire caught me by surprise and knocked me of balance, I tried to dodge the flurry of one armed blows and kicks she sent my way but more hit than I avoided and I staggered under the power she was sending my way.

I managed to get out of her range and she smirked at me, her red eyes watching me gleefully. I knew I had to get back my previous advantage if I wanted to get out of this alive.

I wondered whether Alice had told anyone else her vision, although she wasn’t sure what was wrong only that Bella had been in trouble. Maybe the lack of cavalry proved that Alice had seen everything turn out okay without any other intervention.

Jane caught me with another running blow and I groaned, turning much slower than I had been to face her. Maybe Alice had no idea where to send anyone and they had all run off to the Quileute reservation and were now being torn apart by the shifters for breaking the rules of the treaty.

I noticed a slight twitch from Jane and braced myself for another running blow, she was fast, but with missing an arm she was off balance. This time when she hit me I grabbed on to her, rolling with her force to send her to the ground, letting my heavier body trap her.

I rained down blow after blow on the other vampire, before I settled my hands around her neck and twisted. Jane screamed and bucked below me, but I held on, ignoring the kicks and frantic swipes from her remaining limbs.

I twisted my body, trying to get a better angle on the older vampire when Jane succeeded in throwing me from her. I shot to my feet and stared at her, she was glaring at me from a few paces away, I readied myself for another burst of attacks from her.

But instead she grabbed her lost arm and ran into the trees. A part of me wanted to chase after her, to stop her from ever being able to hurt Bella again but when I looked to where Bella was lying I knew I couldn’t leave her.

Bella was huddled on the ground, shivering with shock. I couldn’t help the pull I felt to the fragile human, I sped to her side and dropped down beside her, gathering her in my arms.

As I held her I realised that I had somehow been able to protect Bella from Jane, something I hadn’t known I could do before, or maybe I couldn’t do it until Bella.

Chapter Text

-Rosalie-

I didn’t want to let her out of my sight, Bella was holding onto me, clutching tightly to my cold body. I was filled with rage against Jane and the Volturi for putting her through this, for daring to attack one of us, one of mine.

“Shh it’s okay.” I whispered against her hair, my hands not stopping from their path over Bella’s back and sides, unable to stop checking that she was truly all right, even though I knew she hadn’t been physically injured from Jane’s attack. Holding her close to me and having to concentrate on keeping my grip loose enough for her fragile human body.

“You’re okay.” I said again, reassuring myself as much as her.

She clutched harder at me her fingers turning white against the pressure she was exerting to stay close to me.

“Bella.” I breathed out against her, I had nearly lost her, and the panic that thought raised in me blinded me to anything other than the trembling girl in my arms.

 

Bella turned her head to meet me and I saw so much in her eyes I couldn’t help but be drawn to her, I didn’t realise I had lowered my head until her lips met mine and I couldn’t break the kiss if my life depended on it.

I lost myself in the feel of her lips against mine and I felt the hole in my chest I didn’t even know I had was finally filled and everything was as it should be.

When we eventually broke apart I looked back into her brilliant eyes, looking for reassurance that this was still what she wanted, that I hadn’t realised everything I had ever wanted had been in front of me all this time and I had ignored it only for her to move on.

“What do you want Bella?”

She brought her lips to mine again for another kiss when she pulled back I couldn’t help the smile I knew was stretched across my face.

“Take me home?” The breathlessness in her voice tore at me and I picked her up and raced back to the house.

The house was empty except for Esme and Emmett; Emmett saw me enter carrying Bella and rushed over to the door.

“Rose? What’s happened?” He asked staring at Bella.

I growled at Emmett and moved Bella’s body in my arms so I could better protect her against the potential attack. But before I had time to move Esme entered the foyer, her momentary surprise at seeing me with Bella was quickly hidden behind a knowing grin.

“It’s fine Emmett, Rose has everything under control.” Esme put a gentle hand on the large vampire and he halted his advance towards us, turning to look at Esme confusion clear on his face. “Bella you’re okay aren’t you?” Esme said looking at Bella cradled in my arms.

“Y-yes, I’m fine I just, I want to go to my room.”

Esme smiled and my protective instincts settled down slightly. Esme wouldn’t harm my Bella. She would stop Emmett or anyone else from trying to come between us.

“I’ll call Alice and let her know everything’s fine, and that Jasper should know better than to bet against her.”

I realised Alice must have seen what had happened between me and Bella, or maybe she had always known this would happen. I ignored further thoughts of annoying psychic sisters and continued on up to Bella’s bedroom.

Once inside her dark green room I warred with my own instincts over letting go of the girl in my arms, if I could I wouldn’t ever have her further away from me than she was now, but I ultimately decided Bella would probably want to move around of her own volition.

I carefully lowered Bella to the ground, making sure she could stand before letting go of her. As soon as I did Bella grabbed on to my arm and I instantly pressed closer to her, thrilled that she seemed to want me near her as much as I wanted her.

Bella moved over to her bed, tugging me along with her. I smiled at the picture we must make, the human pulling the super strong vampire along as docilely as a lamb.

Once she reached the bed it seemed only logical that we would continue where we left off before returning to the house. I felt my heart soar as she leant back in and resumed leaving her heavenly kisses upon my lips, as if we had never paused. I sank further and further into her, losing myself in the new emotions Bella had unlocked within me.

Until we broke apart and Bella didn’t instantly move to meet me again, I looked at her quizzically, my brain half lost in a haze of delight and it took me a while before I could comprehend that the kisses had indeed stopped, at least momentarily.

“Rose, is this –is this just because of what happened? I know you don’t like me like –like I like you.” Bella said hesitantly, her eyes flicking to meet mine then away.

My heart gave a tentative flutter when I heard her call me Rose for the first time, but I couldn’t stand to hear her voice so filled with doubt so I rushed to explain myself as best I could instead of basking in the sound of my nickname from those lips.

“Bella no, I thought… I don’t know what I thought before; I don’t know how I could have been so blind. Today when I saw Jane standing over you I was more terrified than I have ever been, all I could think about was that I could lose you. And I couldn’t stand it.” I gently caressed Bella’s long dark locks and lost myself for a few seconds in the way the light hit her hair, bringing out the red strands hidden in her chestnut tresses.

Bella smiled up at me and reached for me again and I sank into her blissfully. I rolled us so we were both lying side by side on her bed, my hands holding her to me as hers started tracing over my body.

My desire for her flared and I pulled back, surprised by the intensity and worried I was pushing too fast. But Bella’s lust filled eyes met mine and she pulled me back towards her, her mouth moving from my own and brushing against my jaw and neck while I struggled to think past the fog of desire and want filling my mind.

“Rose…” It was almost a moan and I couldn’t hold myself back, I didn’t want to any longer.

I wanted to bite her, instead I sucked dark kisses onto the pale column of her neck and purred at the thought that I had marked her, that everyone would know she was mine. I could feel her hands wrapped in my hair, attempting in vain to pull me up from her neck as she moaned under my ministrations. I lazily bent to her will and brought my head up level with hers again, kissing her skin gently as I passed it and was met by her mouth crashing onto mine, both of us fighting for dominance in the kiss.

I broke away, the blood in my veins thrumming with tension and almost out of breath even though I didn’t need to breathe. Bella was breathing heavily, struggling to take air into her lungs and if it was possible for me to be sorry about that kiss I would, but even as I chastised myself for forgetting that humans needed oxygen I couldn’t help but stare at the girl lying in my arms. Her gaze held mine with a wild intensity and her pupils engulfed the brown in her iris so much that I’d almost think she was a vampire. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes upon.

“Bella…” I breathed out; not wanting to move away from kissing her but needing to know if this was what she wanted.

“Rose.” She groaned into my mouth, making me ache to draw those sounds from her again.

“Bella, we don’t have to do anything- this. I don’t want to rush you-” my words were cut off as Bella’s lips once again found mine and anything except the feel of her against me, the softness of her lips and the insistent touch of her tongue driving me mad fled my brain.

Bella broke the kiss and my eyes slowly opened to find hers staring back at me.

“You’re not.” She said as her hands had moved from my hair and drifted towards the buttons on my shirt, they stilled there, and I could see the slight hesitance in her eyes as she rested her hands against my chest.

I brought my own hands up from her waist, able to balance easily on one elbow as I traced the line of her jaw and brushed my fingers gently over her lips. Before succumbing to the impulse to taste them again.

“Rose I want this, I want you, do you-” I cut her off with another passionate kiss before pausing to try and assure Bella that this wasn’t one sided, that I needed her more desperately than I had ever imagined possible.

“Bella, I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I want you, I’ve never felt like this before.” I said staring into her molten brown eyes, willing her to believe how much she meant to me, to undo the hurt I had bestowed upon her when she had told me her feelings before I was ready to realise the depth of my own.

This time she crashed her lips to mine and wouldn’t let me break the kiss well beyond the time I thought she would be running out of oxygen. She somehow managed to turn me over during the kiss, lying on top of me, her hands working at the buttons on my shirt while she kissed and bit at my neck and jaw. Every time her teeth grazed my skin I couldn’t hold back the moans that burst from my throat, Bella paused in her ministrations after a particularly loud moan and I growled, my eyes shooting open to meet her teasing gaze.

After that she seemed to take great delight in attempting to mark my vampire-tough skin and I was lost in a torrent of sensations. Eventually my need to feel her won out over the bliss I felt as Bella continued her attentions on my neck and I used my vampire speed to strip off her clothes, while she was still struggling with her coordination or to remove my top, nuzzling at her skin as it was bared to me.

“You’re so beautiful Bella.” I sighed reverently as I took in the pale perfect skin, not pale like our inhuman pallor; she was so vibrant and full of life.

I could tell Bella was growing frustrated with her lack of progress at disrobing me and quickly discarded my own clothes, Bella’s frustration vanishing once she could trace my own curves and feel my nakedness against her. I closed my eyes, drinking in the feeling of her hands trailing over my body, sliding over my skin and pausing to cup and squeeze my breasts, causing me to moan against her skin as she continued searching out every sensitive spot on my body.

I bend my head again, taking the time to kiss back over the marks I had already left on her neck and moved down to kiss and lick at her breasts laid before me.

I gently caressed one breast with my left hand, switching between lathing attention on them with my mouth and fingers until Bella was arching into me, moaning and whimpering as I continued to bring her higher.

I trailed my other hand down towards her centre; the scent of her arousal was making me heady with desire as I tentatively traced her folds.

Bella responded by moaning and thrusting weakly at me, her body jerking against mine, her thigh rubbing between my legs just right, causing me to forget what I was doing and fall against her.

Bella was quick to take advantage, pushing towards me with more intent and I gasped and arched myself further into her touch.

Slowly I regained enough coordination to resume my touches against Bella, hearing her moan as a result, I resolved to draw those sounds out as often as possible and redoubled my efforts.

I felt Bella bite into my shoulder in an attempt to muffle her cries, the feeling of her teeth digging into my skin bringing me rapidly to the edge again.

I looked down at Bella laying in the bed, out of breath, her hair covering the pillow in wild tangles and felt myself falling for the girl even more. Something was cementing between us, I could feel it so strongly, as if our bond was tangible. I stared at Bella in amazement and wondered if it was possible she could be feeling anything similar to how I felt now.

Bella grinned at me, breaking me from my thoughts and I laughed, bending my head to kiss the wondrous being before me again. A kiss Bella returned and intensified before she broke the connection and smiled at me in such a way my breath caught in my throat, her hands resuming their exploration of my body.

I groaned when she purposefully moved her hand down to tease me again but Bella just grinned at me gleefully, I wasn’t about to be beaten on stamina by a human and time seemed to cease for us as we enjoyed and explored each other’s bodies, learning them as well as we knew our own.

Eventually our movements slowed naturally, we traded languid kisses and soft slow touches until I carefully moved to the side, Bella immediately pushed her body close to mine, warming my flesh even more. I brought my arms up to wrap around her, wary of holding her too tightly against me but not wanting to let her go for a second and I watched her in wonder as she gradually slipped into sleep.

 

-Bella-

I woke up deliciously sore and stretched, delighting in the faint ache of my muscles. Then I realised I was alone in the bed and looked around, worried that Rosalie had left.

“I didn’t want to be creepy and watched you while you slept.” A voice came from the corner of the room and I swung around to see Rosalie standing with a plate of croissants and fruit and a mug of coffee.

“I think you’re allowed to do that now without it being creepy.” I said, smiling at the blonde vision before me.

Rosalie moved over to me and passed me the steaming mug and plate, watching with a small smile as I dug in, I hadn’t realised how hungry I was before the food was in front of me. I blushed when I considered what I had done to build up such an appetite and I saw Rosalie’s grin widen to a smirk, no doubt catching on to what had made me blush.

I cleared my plate and set it on the side, taking my time with the almost empty coffee mug to give my thoughts a chance to settle, last night I had been so overcome with everything that had happened with the strange vampire, and had finally had my chance with Rosalie after I had been lusting after her since I met her I didn’t really take the time to think about what it all meant for the gorgeous vampire standing before me, watching my movements with keen golden eyes.

I took a deep breath and geared myself up to ask her, “Rosalie… about last night… was last night just about sex, I mean, before when I told you how I felt you… you didn’t feel the same and I don’t want you to think that-”

“I care for you Bella, I didn’t realise how much until Jane nearly took you from me.” Rosalie interrupted my ramblings and came to sit beside me on the bed.

I noticed her eyes dropping to my bared skin before they flicked up to meet mine again, Rosalie ducked her head slightly, bashful at being caught and I grinned, extremely happy that my vampire had such an obvious way of letting me know she still desired me in the morning considering how she acted towards me when we first met.

“This isn’t casual for me Bella. Ever since we met I’ve tried so hard to stay away from you because I didn’t know what this was, what was happening to me, I thought my feelings were thirst for your blood, you made me lose control. But then I realised… rather late if I’m honest, that that wasn’t what was happening. I have feelings for you Bella; I’ve never felt like this before-”

I cut her off with a kiss and before I knew what was happening she was throwing off her clothes and showing me exactly what I meant to her.


“I guess at some point we should leave the bed?” I sighed, rolling over to face Rosalie.

“I disagree.” Rosalie retorted, stroking her hands along my back in the way that never failed to make me shiver. Rosalie smirked at my reaction and started tracing patterns onto my skin, every pass making my heart race. “I don’t think I’m going to ever let you out of this room.”

“What will the others think?” I joked, then realised that the rest of the Cullens probably had a pretty good handle on what to think already. “Oh god, Esme totally knows we’ve been up here all this time doing… doing stuff!” I all but wailed.

“Doing stuff?” Rosalie asked grinning at me. “Surely you have a better vocabulary than that; I know that last night wasn’t your first time.”

I could feel my face heating up and tried to calm down my embarrassment at having this conversation but it seemed like Rosalie had no such qualms.

“Speaking of… previous times…” Rosalie said hesitantly. “You mentioned a girlfriend back in Phoenix, was she the only other one you’ve been with?”

I raised my eyebrows at Rosalie “Are you asking who else I’ve… been intimate with?” Rosalie growled softly at that and her eyes darkened. I couldn’t help but grin at the show of possessiveness the vampire was displaying.

“Why are you smiling?” Rosalie said stiffly, her eyes still turning to black.

“Rachel was the only one I’ve been with yes.”

“This Rachel. She was the ex?” Rosalie’s eyes narrowed and she blurted out her next question. “Was it serious?”

“She was. And I thought it was at the time.” I said, unable to help the chuckle that slipped out at the sight of a hundreds-year old vampire jealously asking about past relationships.

Rosalie let out a growl and she reached over pulling me to her. “Just as long as she knows you’re no longer available.”

“I doubt I’ll see her again, I haven’t spoken to her since I left Phoenix, it was all a lifetime ago now.” I said looking at Rosalie’s slowly lightening eyes. “What about you?” I asked, uncertain whether I wanted to know the answer to this at all.

“It’s been a long time for me. Only a few times since I was a vampire.” Rosalie said, her eyes gazing past me at something I knew I wouldn’t be able to see.

Rosalie looked lost in memories but I couldn’t help my next question, I had to know. I cleared my throat awkwardly, drawing Rosalie’s attention back to the present and to me.

“I remember when I was choosing a room and Alice said something about you making good use out the soundproofing… but she didn’t say with who… but I know you dated Emmett, and were with one of the Denalis–”

“How do you know that?” Rosalie asked surprised.

I blushed, embarrassed that as well as previously declaring my feelings and being rebuffed I now also had the pleasure of telling the object of my affections I had asked her sister about her. Rosalie didn’t need any more evidence that I was falling hopelessly for her.

“I asked Alice.”

“What else did Alice tell you about me?” Rosalie asked, her eyes meeting mine and I saw the fear and worry she failed to conceal there.

My stomach clenched and my mind raced over what could be in her past that still had the power to hurt her this much.

“Nothing else.”  

Rosalie took a deep breath that I knew was unnecessary for her and I readied myself for whatever she was about to tell me.

“I had never… it would be difficult to explain to a human… I am not the easiest person to get along with, to get to know.” Rosalie says holding my gaze with a quiet intensity. “There were only a very few moments in my life as a vampire when I… got close to someone, Kate Denali was one of them, but we were never really together. As for Emmett only Alice would call one extremely short and terrible hunting expedition ‘dating’, I love Emmett but that was never going to work out, he’s like a brother to me. The vampires I have been with… to be honest they were nothing like this. I care a great deal for you Bella, with them it was different. It didn’t mean…” Rosalie stops suddenly, sighing. “I don’t like to talk about my past Bella; I had never thought I would ever be in a relationship. But then you fell into my life and you were all I could think about and I didn’t realise why that was until it was almost too late, and then I was scared to tell you, to see how you felt, or pursue anything with you.”

I moved closer to Rosalie and she gathered me into her arms, as if my presence could help her get through this conversation.

“You’ve heard stories about how Carlisle changed Edward and Esme and Emmett?” I nodded and felt Rosalie start to run her hands over my hair, soothing me as much as it was her. “All people who were close to death or would surely die without his intervention.” Rosalie said, her voice hard. “Carlisle saved us all. And I am glad for that now, mostly, but for the longest time I had difficulty knowing that I had to live with what was done to me forever.”

Rosalie turned away from me slightly, moving so I could face her and I looked into her eyes and couldn’t stand the pain I saw there.

“I was born in 1915 and died in ’33. It’s hard to look back at just how much the world has changed since then. I grew up during the great depression, but I didn’t concern myself with that; I was young and beautiful, and engaged to the richest man in New York. But he wasn’t who I thought he was and the night Carlisle found me beaten and bloody, left naked in an alleyway it was because of him and his friends.” Rosalie said in a hard voice.

I tentatively reached out to grasp the blonde’s hand where it had fallen when she moved away from me. Half expecting Rosalie to flinch away from my touch but instead she brought her other arm around and gripped my hand where it lay on hers.

“That’s one of the reasons I found it hard to realise what it was between you and I. The one person I thought I loved, thought loved me. The person I believed would protect me and cherish me and we would have a family and grow old together. He was the one who brought my life to an end.”

My heart cracked as I watched this powerful creature before me tell me the story that led her to end up where she was today.

“My kill count is lower than anyone here’s except Carlisle’s. Even Esme and Emmett have had their weaknesses, but the only humans I have ever killed were Royce and his friends who were with him that night. Then you came and I thought all I wanted was to drink you dry.” Rosalie says wryly, laughing humourlessly at herself.

“You didn’t even try to bite me last night.” I said frowning as I remembered. “Do you still want to bite me?”  

Rosalie laughs, her voice finally brightening and the shadows slowly leaving her eyes.

“I didn’t even want to do it then. I wanted to keep you away from the others; I wanted to taste your skin, to mark you. But I didn’t ever want to kill you. I don’t feel the thirst for your blood in the same way as I do other humans.” Rosalie said, her voice taking on an edge of wonder as she brought her hands up from mine to cup my face, tipping my head towards hers.

“Rose.” I said breathlessly, taking in the rapidly darkening of her irises and feeling as though the only thing keeping me up was her hands on me.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

We eventually made it downstairs, I had hoped that we might be able to continue as normal without having to have a big discussion –or even address it, but when I descended the stairs and saw the rest of the Cullens all gathered in the living room I knew that my hopes of mine and Rosalie’s newfound relationship seamlessly merging into the current status quo without having a big deal made was probably a pipe dream.

A pipe dream that was getting narrower by the second, I realised that Alice and Jasper had returned and Alice was practically vibrating with glee as she sat on the sofa next to Jasper, Jasper was doing his best to contain the exuberant pixie and he met my gaze with a look of apology. There was no way Alice wouldn’t want to congratulate me, or ask about details. My embarrassment was probably through the roof at the minute, I had no doubt Jasper would have no trouble picking up on it even with whatever quirk made me difficult for him to read.

“That room was soundproof right?” I whispered to Rosalie as we descended the stairs and made our way towards her family.

“Yeah they are.” Emmett said loud enough for me to hear while grinning over at me.

“They are, but we do have supernatural hearing for when people whisper a few yards away from us.” Rosalie said smiling at me.

“Bella!” Emmett cries out as soon as we came in normal human speaking distance, he held out his fist and looks at me expectantly “Alice told us all about it, congrats on bagging the babe.”

I stood looking between his outreached fist and slowly diminishing grin in mild horror, I took a chance and glanced at Rosalie and wasn’t surprised to find her eyes black as pitch and glaring furiously at Emmett.

“Not all about it.” Alice was quick to correct in the face of Rosalie’s glare and my blush. “Just what should have been obvious for them all to realise if they hadn’t been so obtuse.”

“It better not be all.” Rosalie said turning her glare on Alice before tugging me down to sit beside her on the vacant sofa.

“Of course not Rose, even if I could see Bella clearly in my visions I would never tell anyone anything that was private.”

“Aw man, even if I got you that new Porsche you were begging Jasper for?” Emmett pleaded with Alice causing Rosalie to hiss menacingly at Emmett who seemed to realise too late he had made a mistake.

“Joke Rose, joke.” Emmett said hurriedly.

“Don’t worry Rose, you can trust me. Besides, Jas already has the Porsche for my Christmas present.” Alice said, interrupting Emmett’s grovelling.

Jasper groaned “You are the worst person to buy gifts for. Why didn’t you tell me you knew I had it?”

“You were pretending you weren’t getting it for me. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.” Alice said smiling at Jasper who sighed and shook his head at her behaviour before turning back to me and Rose.

“The surprise that I had over you not knowing you already knew about the present?” Jasper asked raising an eyebrow at the small vampire.

“My head hurts.” Emmett said, his forehead furrowing as he watched the two exchange retorts back and forth.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the scene and Rosalie turned to face me, her eyes had lightened from her exchange with Emmett but as they dropped to my lips I saw them bleed into black again. I held my breath as she bent her face down towards mine, but she missed my lips, brushing my cheek with her lips before placing a kiss against the soft skin behind my ear causing me to shiver.

When I managed to tear my eyes away from hers and looked up at the rest of the Cullens I saw Esme and Carlisle were smiling at us and Alice looked as though her Christmas had come early. The only person who didn’t look happy was Edward.

“Well now that’s all settled-” Carlisle began before being cut off by Edward.

“What? It’s settled? Why, just because Rosalie has been caught red handed? Doesn’t anyone care about the ramifications of this? How will Rosalie be able to control her bloodlust? The wolves are already on high alert if a girl is killed on our lands it’ll be war.”

“She won’t be killed.” Rosalie growled out at Edward, pulling me closer to her. “And all of you have been able to control yourselves around her so why would that change now? Even Jasper hasn’t had any problems with her blood.”

I glanced over to Jasper and expected him to look affronted by Rosalie’s comment but he just looked thoughtful.

“It’s true Bella’s blood doesn’t seem to have quite the same appeal for any of us as other humans does.” Jasper said contemplatively. “But I like to think my control is improving too, in any case the fact that I haven’t had to contend with your bloodlusts in addition to my own over Bella is probably why we’ve not had any… issues.”

“Yeah, issues, great way to explain bloodbaths that cause us to have to relocate in the middle of the night.” Emmett snorted, earning a glare from Alice.

“There’s something more serious here.” Rosalie said frustrated. “It doesn’t matter what Edward thinks about what’s happening between me and Bella, we should all be focusing on what happened before. Jane attacked Bella while she was leaving the pack’s territory.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t warn you before Bella, or prevent it from happening.” Alice said frowning, “this wasn’t like the usual ‘foggy’ visions I see of Bella, it was like something was purposefully blocking me.”

“The Volturi know about your gift, maybe they found a way to get around it?” Carlisle said contemplatively.

“I should have seen it as soon as they made a decision though, and I watch for visits from the Volturi, I should have known they were coming even if I didn’t know what would happen with Bella.”

“The Volturi often send out guards to check on established covens but it’s unusual that they wouldn’t come to the house, they have no interest in anything outside of the supernatural world, barely any interest outside of the vampire world. I wonder if Jane picked up the scent of the pack and decided to visit them to see what they were or what they knew about us.” Carlisle continued, still trying to piece together a logical explanation for the attack.

“They came here because they knew about me.” I said dully.

“What?” Rosalie’s eyes snapped to mine, I saw a mixture of confusion and fear swirling in her golden eyes. “What do you mean they know about you?”

“That vampire, Jane, she said someone had told the Volturi you guys had broken the law. And when I wasn’t surprised by her eyes, or her I guess, she knew it was true that I knew about vampires.”

Rosalie was still staring at me, her eyes holding mine with a desperate intensity; I wrapped an arm around her waist and tried to comfort her. I didn’t know why this was causing her such distress, but then I had never encountered the Volturi before. I shivered when I thought about the wild red eyed vampire I had met on the way back to the Cullens. I knew without a shadow of a doubt if Rose hadn’t been there I would be dead now.

Rosalie’s eyes were pulled away from mine by a gasp from Alice; I followed her line of sight and saw Alice slumped in her seat, being held upright by a worried Jasper while she stared off into space.

“Edward what is she seeing?” Jasper asked tightly, his eyes trained on Alice.

“It’s hazy…” Edward began uncertainly, his anger over what had happened bleeding into concern for his sister. “They’re old visions I think, it’s like when I read someone who’s experiencing a sudden flood of memories.”

“They’ve managed to block me.” Alice said, her eyes finally turning back to the present and she moved to sit herself up, but Jasper still kept a firm hold on her.

“What do you mean block you?” Carlisle asked curiously.

“I saw someone tell the Volturi we had broken the law… but I don’t know who.” Alice said exasperated. “They were completely blanked out, like someone censoring video footage.”

“It’s just a shadowy figure.” Edward affirmed.

“Creepy.” Emmett said sounding more excited than anything, Esme shot him a look and he looked suitably chastised and tried to appear less happy that the weird factor in Forks had risen yet again.

“There wasn’t just the one vision, there was that one, and pieces of the Volturi deciding who to send, some sort of council meeting, or treaty maybe? But they were all muddled and most had pieces blocked from me still.” Alice explained, one hand rubbing at her head while the other was held between both of Jasper’s.

“Is this another vampire’s gift perhaps?” Esme asked.

“If it is they don’t just have the one, or they have others working with them, it was like the visions Alice would have received months or weeks ago were suddenly unblocked and they all broke through to her at once.” Edward said still looking worriedly at Alice.

“So we’re dealing with a vampire who can block Alice’s visions -and conceal certain aspects of them.” Jasper said wryly.

“I don’t think it was vampiric, it didn’t feel like one… it didn’t even feel like the shifters in La Push. They just aren’t there in my visions, this is different.” Alice says frowning, her face scrunching up while she and the other Cullens puzzled over what this new information might mean.

“A new threat.” Jasper said sighing, “Why can’t we ever face something easy?”

“Well where would the fun be in that?” Emmett joked. At least I think he was joking, his comment earned glares from Esme, Carlisle and Rosalie while Alice just rolled her eyes at the musclebound vampire. “Come on, Rose got to fight Jane, you guys get the mental attacks, I want a chance to fight.”

“Well done on that front Rose,” Jasper said nodding at the blonde vampire beside me, “Jane has had centuries of fighting experience and it must have been distracting to say the least with her using her gift on Bella.”

“Actually I think I was able to block Jane’s power from Bella.” Rosalie said, her eyes flicking to mine uncertainly.

Carlisle and Jasper both sat up straighter at the comment, looking over at Rosalie interestedly.

“What exactly is her gift?” I asked curiously, I had done my best to forget the specifics of the attack by the deceptive looking vampire but I couldn’t shake the memory of lying in pain, unable to think clearly enough through the agony to work out what was happening to me. I shivered imperceptibly and Rosalie immediately wrapped her arms around me, holding me against her.

“She can make your mind think you are in excruciating pain.” Edward said, disgust obvious in his tone, I guess he had been the object of Jane’s gift before.

“As your brain receives all the impulses from the nociceptors informing the spinal cord and your brain that parts of the body have been damaged I would argue the pain is real, it just doesn’t leave any outward signs on your body.” Carlisle said in teaching mode. “I suppose you could compare it to the pain someone feels from a phantom limb, only in this case an outward force is causing the pain.”

“Her gift is psychic, like Edward’s, which is why it has never worked on me. But when I saw you there with her it felt like I was projecting… something in me was pushing out to try and protect you before I could reach you or Jane. I didn’t realise what was happening at first, I ignored the sensation just focusing on getting to you as fast as I could then I noticed you were sitting up and Jane’s gift didn’t seem to be affecting you.”

“I barely remember anything from when she was… using her gift.” I said quietly, Rosalie growled softly at that and the arms wrapped around me held me tighter. “But suddenly it was gone; I was more shocked by the absence of pain than trying to puzzle over why it had happened. Then you ran into her and tackled her to the ground and she wasn’t so occupied with me anymore.” I said smiling at my protector.

“Do you realise what you’ve done.” Edward said his face a mask of anger. “You attacked the Volturi, and they know about Bella. They’re going to come back here and take this out on us, you know what they do to covens that break the rules!”

“We could tell them we plan to turn Bella. That she and Rosalie have…” Carlisle trailed off and was quickly interrupted by Rosalie.

“Absolutely not.” Rosalie said, her grip on me increasing enough to bruise my pale skin.

“On this we agree at least.” Edward said bitterly. “We shouldn’t sentence Bella to an eternity as a vampire, we’re all soulless monsters.”

“Burn.” Emmett says quietly and I couldn’t help but smile at his comment.

As little as I felt I understood the conversation about ancient vampire royalty and superpowers before I felt blindsided by the turn it had taken, it seemed as though everyone was in the midst of deciding my future for me.

“Humans are monsters too Edward. Don’t think we have the monopoly on horrific acts of violence or cruelty just because we have more power to carry them out. The blood drinkers of our kind may hunt humans, but at least there’s a reason for it. Humans hurt each other for fun or power or just to satisfy that itch in the back of their brain.” Rosalie said angrily.

“This should be something Bella has a say in.” Alice spoke up as I watched the verbal sparring match between Edward and Rosalie.

“It’s a moot point because no one is going to bite her.” Rosalie said darkly.

“Regardless of what happens to Bella in the future we need to deal with the Volturi, they will be back.” Jasper said breaking the tension between Rosalie and Edward. “And we should find out what happened that made Rosalie able to block Jane’s power from Bella, it could be invaluable against Jane in the future, she and her twin Alex are their favourite tools to use against covens they wish to destroy if you are capable of protecting all of us from their attacks we will have an advantage no other opponent the Volturi have faced since their inclusion into the guard have had.”

Carlisle nods in agreement with Jasper. “Perhaps your gift is evolving.”

“Or maybe Rose just never cared enough to try this before.” Edward said. “It’s not like you’re often being attacked by Jane Edward.” Rosalie snapped at the bronze haired vampire.

“Maybe we should run some tests, experiments on this new development. It would seem your power is purely mental, probably an extension of your shielding around your own mind, I wonder if you would be able to protect other attacks from-” Carlisle began thoughtfully.

Rosalie snarled and pulled me almost on to her lap. “You aren’t using Bella in your experiments.” Rosalie interrupted Carlisle who looked shocked at the thought.

“Of course not, I only meant now you know about this potential you have you could use practice to control it, or work out how exactly you were able to do it the first time. Besides, if we did use Bella, which I’m not suggesting we do,” Carlisle said quickly, his voice rising over Rosalie’s growl. “But if we did you could see if you can protect her from Edward’s ability.”

“My ability doesn’t always work on Bella.” Edward pointed out.

I breathed a sigh of relief, as much as I wanted Rosalie to be able to work out her new gift I didn’t want it to be under directions for Edward to try and read as much of my mind as he could

“Well, I’ll think of something.” Carlisle said undeterred, “perhaps you could try to shield my mind from Edward’s, although I do think Bella might be the key to unlocking your ability but I would never put her in danger to do so.” He added.


After the discussion with the Cullens I felt emotionally drained, I snuggled into Rosalie’s side and she eagerly pulled me into her arms. We sat there for a while before the others all left us with increasingly poor excuses; Emmett actually said he was going to do homework.

Esme returned with a plate of food for me which I accepted eagerly, we didn’t made it out of the room until late and I hadn’t realised how hungry I was.

Rosalie continued to hold me and soothe me after I had finished my meal. After a time I felt the tension Rosalie had been carrying since the talk of Volturi and Jane ease and her hands moved from rubbing calming patterns over my back to running her fingers through my hair, causing me to relax further into her until I was yawning.

“Time for the human to sleep.” Rosalie said eyeing me with a smirk.

“Yes, but let her get some sleep Rose, it is school tomorrow.” Esme called from the other room causing me to blush, Rosalie noticed my wide eyes and dropped a kiss to the top of my head as she moved to help me up from the sofa.

“Vampire hearing.” Rose grumbled rolling her eyes.

We both started moving towards the rooms upstairs, once we got there Rosalie hesitated outside my bedroom and I turned to face her, she stroked gentle fingers down from my cheek and traced the line of my jaw, bending down to leave a tender kiss on my lips.

“Bella-” I silenced the blonde vampire with another kiss which she returned eagerly. “You do need sleep though; I don’t want to be responsible for you falling asleep in your classes.” Rosalie said, frowning as she broke the kiss.

“And I will sleep; I’d just rather sleep with you beside me, if that’s okay? I know you don’t need to sleep.” I said nervously and started backtracking. “I mean, you don’t have to stay, just sit with me for a little while? If you want?”

I mentally cursed myself, what was I thinking even asking this, she probably wouldn’t want to spend eight hours lying motionless on a bed while I slept, I’m sure it had been incredibly boring for her when I had been sleeping before and she stuck around. No doubt she had things to do, or at the very least she could be doing something that wasn’t as boring as this would be.

“I don’t need to sleep but lying beside you is very… comforting.” Rosalie said frowning. “I don’t know why it’s so relaxing to be next to you, I think it’s partly knowing that you’re safe, but in any case I have no problem staying with you if that’s what you want.”

I leaned up to kiss her again and tugged her inside the room, where she moved to sit on my bed while I busied myself with making sure my bag was ready for school tomorrow. I gathered my pyjamas and then realised I’d have to change in front of Rosalie and couldn’t help the flush appearing on my face.

“I have seen you naked.” Rosalie said, amusement colouring her tone.

“You’re right. I should just sleep naked.” I said teasingly. Rosalie’s eyes bled to black faster than I had ever seen and she looked at me hungrily.

“You do that and I guarantee you won’t be in the mood for sleep tonight.” Rosalie replied huskily.

I attempted to ignore the flash of heat her words had caused in me and control my instinct to throw myself at the blonde goddess  there and then.

“There is something I wanted to ask you though, which we should probably do first.” I said uncertainly.

“Go get ready then,” Rosalie said, still watching me intently with her darkened eyes. “I’ll be here.”

I hurried off to brush my teeth taking my pyjamas with me. When I returned Rosalie was in the exact same position she had been in, I moved closer to her and sat facing her on the bed.

“So before downstairs when Carlisle suggested turning me-”

“That won’t happen.” Rosalie said determinedly.

“Okay, but why do you get to decide that? What if I want to be a vampire?” I asked holding Rosalie’s gaze.

“Do you?”

“…I don’t know. It’s not like I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, but I don’t like you dismissing the idea out of hand, you don’t control me.”

“Bella I know, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel like that. It’s just that you know I didn’t choose this life for myself, you know how it came about for me. I never wanted this; I hated it for so long. I can’t do what was done to me, not to anyone and especially not to you.”

“You brought Emmett to be turned.” I said stiffly.

“Emmett would have died. I don’t plan on you being put in a situation where you will need to be turned to survive.”

“Okay, now that I can get behind.” I said smiling at the vampire before me in an attempt to break the tension between us. Rosalie returned my smile and I sighed content and let her move me into the bed. “Sometimes I feel like we’ve kind of jumped ahead with all this, it all feels so much more than anything I’ve ever experienced before.”

“I know what you mean.” Rosalie said as I relaxed into her, shifting until I was pressed against the length of her body.

I started to drift off with Rosalie’s fingers running soothingly up and down my back until the blonde’s hands started drifting along my body and I felt the heat from before return and inflame my senses.

I shifted on to my side so I could see Rosalie more easily and was met by her dark hungry gaze, I crushed our lips together and Rosalie’s touches became more daring under the obviousness of my desire.

I moaned into her mouth as she quickly stripped the clothes from both of us and I felt her skin against my own, her hands were tracing lines of heat and fire across my skin with every touch and caress and I arched further into the blonde goddess, our kiss broken now as me head lay in the hollow of her neck, my breath coming out in short pants as she had me crashing towards orgasm.

As soon as I had control over my limbs I was moving out from Rosalie’s touch, I kissed and bit my way down her gorgeous pale skin, stopping for a long moment to show my appreciation to her breasts as they heaved under me as Rosalie struggled to get oxygen into her body. I smiled against her skin as I pressed another kiss to her sculpted form, I knew breathing was unnecessary for vampires and Rosalie’s attempts to take in air coupled with her breathless moans brought my desire to scorching new heights.

I continued my way down her body until I reached her soaking centre, I took a few moments to take in the beauty before me until Rosalie’s pleadings and my own longing brought me to finally taste her. Rosalie cried out against me as I continued to caress her until I felt her quiver under me, she cried out my name as she reached her climax, almost crushing me as she brought me back up to her body, holding me tightly while she caught her breath.

Chapter Text

-Rosalie-

My family had acted at once completely surprisingly and also predictably to mine and Bella’s revelation. Alice would have had some idea of what was going to happen so she was understandable but while I knew the rest of my family were surprised about our new relationship I got the feeling that it was almost expected, at least by most of them. Edward seemed the most thrown, but given that he had gotten into the habit of reading everyone’s thoughts and thereby knowing far too much about a person whether he wanted to or not the fact that mine and sometimes Bella’s minds were shielded from him was perhaps that was why he appeared the most out of the loop.

And then there was the attack by Jane, some part of me knew that if it hadn’t have been Bella who was at risk I would probably have been more on Edward’s wavelength, but it was and there was nothing that could make me consider hurting her, or changing her just to protect my own skin from the Volturi, or anyone else who wanted to hurt her.

I felt Bella move beside me and looked down at the brunette stirring under the covers, unable to help the smile that tugged at my lips as I watched her wake up.

“Good morning beautiful.” I said pressing a kiss to the still half-asleep human’s forehead.

“Ugh what time is it?”

“If you want breakfast you should get up soon.” I responded, stroking the dark hair away from her face to reveal her still closed eyes.

“If I just grab some toast can I go back to sleep?” Bella whined adorably turning her face back into the pillow.

“How about if I make you something while you shower and get dressed?”

“How about if we skip school and stay in bed?” Bella responded hopefully, I laughed at the sight before me, a blissfully warm feeling pool in my stomach as I contemplated doing just that.

But my internal contemplation was broken by Alice knocking on the door. “Come on guys, we’re going to be late, and we have a pop quiz in French today Bella.” Alice shouted through the door.

“She realises that isn’t making me want to go in today right?” Bella murmured to me, finally sitting up in the bed. “And why couldn’t she tell me that before so I could revise?”

“You’ll do fine, Alice would have told you if you otherwise.”

“Yeah but she can’t always see me clearly.” Bella said leaving the bed to gather together her clothes for today.

“But she’s in your class, and she can see visions concerning herself just fine. Besides if you do poorly I’ll just have to tutor you.”

“You’re not taking French though why-”

“Ce n'est pas parce que je ne suis pas ce cours que je ne connais pas la langue. Je serai heureuse de t'aider à améliorer ta fluidité, ma belle.”

“Bella groaned “Of course you speak French.”

I chuckled and got up from our bed to go make Bella something for her breakfast before we had to leave.


“So… what are we going to do here?” Bella’s voice brought me out of my concentrated scan of the parking lot. It was highly unlikely that Jane or any of the Volturi would be here so soon after what happened, especially not at a public place like the school but I couldn’t help but be wary after what had happened.

“Go to school? Potentially, but not likely learn things?” I said turning to face the now glaring brunette as my family left to enter the school building.

“Good luck man.” Emmett said quietly as he brushed past me to catch up with Jasper. I frowned after him, wondering what exactly he was wishing me luck for before looking back to Bella who had an eyebrow raised and looked expectant.

“I meant are we going to be open about what’s between us?” Bella said eventually.

I raised my eyebrows in realisation, and moved towards Bella who looked uncomfortable with the drawn out silence between us, I pulled the smaller brunette into a hug and breathed in her comforting scent.

“I won’t hide for the sake of prepubescent teens that are mostly too afraid to show any sense of self until they leave this tiny town. –Unless… that’s not what you want?” I asked carefully.

“No, I’m fine with that. Better than fine with that actually.” Bella laughed relieved. “I’d already told Jessica and Lauren about my ex anyway remember? It won’t be that big of a deal.”

“I think you might be wrong about that.” I said as I twined our fingers together and started walking with Bella towards the school building. “Forks is a very small place after all. But I think the student population knows better than to mess with any of us by now so it shouldn’t be too painful.”

Bella and my relationship quickly became public knowledge as the day progressed; we only shared one class together today, which was at the end of the day so most of the rumours had started from our small displays of affection between classes and at lunch. I had the unfortunate ability to be able to hear the gossip as it spread, but at least I had been right about the students being too afraid to start anything. And it wasn’t like I had really had any friends outside of my family anyway so this new information for Forks High didn’t really affect us.

We still got stared at but that was to be expected, the idiot males who had attempted to hit on us before had all heard that I was uninterested and now they knew Bella was definitely off the market. Something I was extremely pleased about. Thankfully after I threatened removal of a certain appendage he would greatly miss Mike finally seemed to have realised Bella was off limits.

I still caught him sending her pathetic puppy dog looks but at least now I didn’t have to find him cornering her after every class asking if she was really sure about me or it was all a joke or a phase. And after that story got around only a few glares from me were needed to persuade the denser of the school population that they should stop trying to use pick-up lines they researched on the internet and go after their friends instead of bothering me.


Finally it was time for the only shared class I had with Bella today, which was gym, previously when I had received my schedule I had been pleased to discover I shared it with Alice, knowing it would be easier to hide our unnaturalness if we partnered together but now I was happier that Bella would be close with me at least for part of today. I shook my head at how quickly I had changed my attitude and moved towards the locker rooms eager to see Bella again.

Alice and I were among the first changed, we tried to keep our movements at human speed while at school but even with that handicap we were still fast. I stood so the view of Bella was blocked, Alice laughed when she realised what I was doing and turns to me, pretending to be checking her bag for something.

“It's ok for you to be selfish.” Alice said to me too quietly for the humans to hear.

“What do you mean?” I answered just as quietly, glaring at a group of girls who were whispering about Bella and me, the girls noticed my stare and quickly hurried out of the changing room.

“Bella told me you didn't want her to be turned.”

“When did she say that?” I said glaring at Alice, had she been spying on us

Alice rolled her eyes as though she knew what I was thinking, which in her case she probably did.

“In French last period.”

"I can't take her life away from her." I said avoiding looking at Alice, knowing she would be able to see the pain in my eyes.

"What makes you think you're taking her life away? The life she wants is with you, you're preventing her from having that."

"We can still have that!" Rosalie snarled baring her teeth at Alice. "I will never leave her."

"Yet you are leaving her. Maybe not now, but you have the chance at immortality together and instead you'd rather she age and die. And this would solve any problems the Volturi have with her knowing about us.” Alice said serenely. I growled at the dark haired vampire who returned my glare with wide innocent eyes and carried on speaking as if I hadn’t done anything. “I told her vampires don’t view time the same as humans, especially not old ones like the Volturi. But she worries about ageing Rose, she doesn’t want you to grow apart. Think what it would be like for her to slowly age, knowing she has a deadline on your time together all the while you will look the same as you are now.”

“You act as though she will want to stay with me forever.”

Alice looked at me pityingly. “Come on Rose, you’re not that dense, you know what this is.”

“Okay guys I’m ready.” Bella’s voice drew us from our conversation and I turned to look at the human who had so quickly become the centre of my existence.

Bella was looking between the two of us suspiciously but Alice was quick to prevent any awkward questions and looped her arm through Bella’s to drag her off towards the gym.

Alice and I took up our usual disinterested stance by the wall joined by Bella as Coach La Fleur explained we would be playing dodgeball, Bella groaned beside me and I looked at her concerned.

“I’m really not good with dodging.” Bella explained bashfully.

Teams were selected quickly and I grumbled under my breath as it was revealed I was to be on the opposing side to Bella

The game progressed fine and I started to wonder what Bella had been worried about before, she wasn’t one of the most graceful on the court but she didn’t seem to be as bad as some when a ball thrown hard enough to impress Emmett hit Bella on the side of her head. I couldn’t help the growl that passed my lips or the instinct to throw my own ball, which I had been carefully making sure to throw only as hard as the others would expect, and to miss the humans on the opposing team at whoever had hit Bella.

I realised with some satisfaction that the person who had thrown the ball at Bella was Lauren and her not-at-all apologetic face deserved whatever retribution I could give. I flung the dodgeball up into the air, pretending to have let it slip in my hands, and watched as it sailed back down hitting Lauren on the head hard enough to leave her momentarily stunned.

“Hale!” Coach La Fleur called out angrily. “Off now. And you Mallory, go and see the nurse.”

“Try to keep a hold of your balls next time Hale.” Coach La Fleur said as I passed him on the way to the side-lines where Bella was sitting.

“How are you?” I asked tracing the place she was sure to have a bruise tomorrow.

“I’m okay; this isn’t the first time I’ve had to sit gym out.” Bella said chuckling through the wince my touch caused her. I murmured an apology and contented myself with holding her hand as we waited out the rest of the game on the benches, much to Alice’s annoyance.

Gym was the last period of the day so after we finished changing we walked out to my car together, Bella stopped suddenly by my side and I tensed, alert for whatever danger I might have missed before. But then Bella broke into a run and rushed straight towards a redhead I had never seen before, pulling her into a hug the stranger eagerly accepted.

I growled and moved over to the two of them

“Rose this is Rachel Morgan, we knew each other back home, what are you doing here?” Bella asked excitedly.

“This is the Rachel from Phoenix?” I asked tersely glaring at the slender redhead standing with her arms still around my Bella.

Bella seemed to realise what my problem was and moved to let go of the interloper, who to my growing annoyance kept an arm wrapped around Bella’s shoulders.

“Hi.” Rachel said holding out her hand for me to shake.

“Rach this is Rosalie my girlfriend.” Bella said watching me nervously.

“Whoa your eyes are almost black.” Rachel said looking at me contemplatively, her hand still outstretched and waiting for me to greet her.

I stared at the hand and warred between my instinct to shake this intruder’s hand hard enough to break bones or avoid any touch that might cause her to wonder if there was anything strange about me and my family. Not that breaking every bone in her hand wouldn’t also do that I thought wryly.

“Rach what are you doing here?” Bella asked bringing the redhead’s attention back to her and I realised she had let her hand fall to her side while I had been deliberating how to react.

“I was in the neighbourhood and knew you would be here so thought I’d stop by when school would let out and hope to see you.”

“No one is just ‘in the neighbourhood’ in Forks.” I said sceptically. “And shouldn’t you be in school yourself?” I asked my distaste that the redhead was hear clear in my tone.

“Oh Rach was a few years older than me.” Bella explained casually.

“I see. Was your mother fine with you dating someone older?”

“Like you can talk Rose.” Bella said grinning at me.

Rachel finally seemed to sense she was unwelcome and after a long stare at me and the rest of my family who were waiting by the cars she turned to give Bella her full attention again.

“Are you okay Bells?” She asked and I growled under my breath at the familiar nickname, and the protective way she was talking to my Bella.

“Yeah I’m fine.” Bella said smiling, “things are a little weird around here but everything’s okay I swear.”

“Weird huh.” The redhead said thoughtfully, scanning the car park for who knows what. “Well we’ll catch up soon yeah? There’s some stuff I want to talk to you about.”

“Yeah sure, text me we’ll meet up when you’re free.”

I watched the redhead leave with satisfaction and turned to face Bella who was looking at me nervously.

“Now Rose,” Bella said cautiously, “don’t get all weird about this she’s an old friend who-”

I cut her off, using my vampire speed to bring myself as close to her as I could and gathering her in my arms, kissing her hard enough to make her forget what she was saying. After a few startled moments she returned my kiss eagerly, her moans blocking out the whoops from Emmett and the chatter from the students who hadn’t left yet. I sank into the feel of her beneath me, focusing my senses on nothing but the girl in my arms and the press of her lips against my own.

 

-Charlie-

I was barely aware of Elijah coming over and sitting on the log next to me; I ignored him and continued watching the trees moving in the breeze, savouring the last of my beer as I waited for him to break the silence. If he was so concerned with me he could come straight up and say it.

“You know we like having you here, it’s good for the young cubs to meet other supernaturals, but you’ve been here a while now Swan, and every day it becomes clearer that you don’t want to be here.”

“I’ve been here ever since your sleuth of bears found me bloodied by those werewolves.” I said blankly.

“We can hardly be called a sleuth; there are never more than three of us adults around at once. We’re more solitary, you know what it’s like.”

“It’s not like we really have a choice, my kind were all but wiped out by werecreatures after the last shifter war.”

Elijah turned and watched the young cubs tussle in silence for a moment, their white fur masking them against the snowy ground. No doubt he was remembering how much the last time the werecreatures had formed factions, attempting to create a ruling group like the vampires had, and how much that war had cost us.

“I doubt you want to be anywhere right now but maybe-”

“What do you expect?” I said bitterly. “My daughter is dead.”

“Maybe it’s time for you to go back home.” Elijah continued calmly, only serving to annoy me further.

“I can’t go back to Forks; she was supposed to start her life there with me. I had everything ready for her, I changed the house, I got her a truck. That’s going to be sitting in my drive there to remind me, along with everything else in that town, that she was supposed to be there with me.” I said angrily.

“Your friends are back home for you. Won’t it be comforting to be able to talk to people you know?”

I let out a hollow laugh. “Clearly you don’t know me at all.”

Elijah let the silence stretch between us and after a time I felt the words I had been keeping inside since the camping trip come to the surface.

“I just keep thinking if only I’d told her what she was maybe she’d have been able to survive, some of the traits are still there without her doing anything, but she lived with Renee for so long, and I didn’t think she had inherited anything from my side. If I had just told her what she was, what she could do, maybe things would be different.”

“Maybe…”

“Don’t Elijah.” I said roughly, I know he meant well but every time he suggested Bella could be alive I wanted to hit him. I couldn’t cope with false hope now; I couldn’t deal with losing her all over again.

“You fought off those wolves okay.” Elijah said, still stuck on trying to convince me there was a chance she was out there.

“I was wiped out afterwards, and they were surprised to see me there. I don’t think they knew what they smelt. Caleb said I was basically ground beef when you found me, there’s no way... I wish I’d been faster, better, I could have saved Bella.”

“You can’t blame yourself for what happened Charlie.”

“Who else is there? They must have got to her while I was fighting the ones at the camp, or afterwards when they ran off and I was too injured to look for her. I should have looked for her.”

“If she really is gone it’s not your fault, you didn’t kill her.” I flinched at Elijah’s words, crushing the empty can still in my hand. “The wolves are the only ones to blame for this. They’ve been regrouping, packs larger than I’ve seen since the war. They’re up to something.”

I stared at Elijah unseeing, my mind running over the day the werewolves broke into our camp, breaking everything I had with it.

“How do you know?” I asked, trying to sound uninterested but Elijah’s grin showed he wasn’t taken in by my attempt.

“I have my spies even now.”

“Where are they?” I didn’t pretend to not be interested in the answer now, I might not be happy to have survived the attack while Bella didn’t but I could do my damndest to bring the mutts who had brought all this to my door to justice.

Elijah’s grin widened and my eyes narrowed, I had the sudden feeling I had been skilfully hunted and herded into just where Elijah wanted me.

“It’s funny you should ask.”

Chapter Text

-Bella-

School had passed quickly after the first day of mine and Rosalie’s relationship becoming public knowledge, Rosalie was quick to defend me which while completely unnecessary did have the benefit of getting the annoying guys offering to date me or the more crude students spouting homophobic comments shut down pretty easily. Rose could be scary when she wanted. Although considering she was a vampire she probably spent more of her time trying not to be scary around the humans at school.

Even though school had passed uneventfully, aside from the incident in gym, I was still glad for the week to be over, I hadn’t been able to meet up with Rachel during the week and was hoping she would have some free time from her secret ‘work stuff’ to get together at the weekend. Once we were face to face I was going to get it out of her what mysterious work thing could have her coming to Forks, we didn’t really stay in touch after I moved, everything had been too overwhelming at the time and then I had found myself living with the Cullens and couldn’t find the words to explain how that came about to anyone from my old life. But we had been on good terms after the break up, I had thought good enough for her to tell me when she got a job where she had to travel across country.

I sighed and tried to focus back on the math problem in front of me, I was sitting in my room trying –and so far failing- to get some of my homework out of the way, when a knock behind me caused me to look up from my desk and I was greeted by the sight of Rose leaning against the door frame. My mouth went dry at the sight of her, she had taken off straight after school with Emmett to go hunt and I hadn’t realised how much I would miss her until I arrived back at the Cullens without her. Which was what had led me to try and be a little productive with my homework, hoping it would take my mind from missing Rosalie.

“I was thinking we could go out on a date tomorrow night.” Rose said, her eyes following my every movement.

“Tomorrow night? Bit short notice, maybe I have plans.” I teased the blonde goddess before me.

Rosalie pushed herself away from the doorframe with an effortless grace and practically glided towards me, I struggled to keep my breathing even, knowing by her smile she could hear the hitch in my breath. 

“Do you have plans?” Rosalie asked coming to a stop when she was brushing against me.

Rosalie leaned down slowly, capturing my mouth in a kiss that quickly had me gasping for breath and awakened a need in me to get as close to her as I could. I was vaguely aware of the sound of things being knocked from my desk while I was lifted from my seat by strong, gentle arms that pulled me against Rosalie as she leant against the desk mercifully fulfilling my desire to be closer to the vampire.

“Well?” Rosalie asked when the kiss turned into smaller gentler presses of our lips together until we broke apart long enough for Rosalie to speak.

“Huh?” I said, my brain still short circuiting after that kiss and I was too lost in the feel of Rosalie against me to understand what she was talking about.

Rosalie laughed; the sound sent warmth spreading through me and causing me to forget the conversation all over again.

“Do you have plans tomorrow?” Rosalie asked again.

“Oh that, nope.” I said reaching back around to pull Rose towards me. “I’m all yours.”

“Mmm.” Rosalie said eyeing me with steadily darkening eyes. “I like the sound of that.”


“So what are you wearing?” Alice asked dancing into the sitting room where I was curled up on the sofa with Rosalie.

I looked down at myself in confusion, Alice’s tone hadn’t seemed shocked by my clothes, not like she had the time I had attempted to go to school in an old paint spattered and holey hoody but I didn’t understand why she was asking me something she could see for herself if it wasn’t to berate my lack of fashion sense.

“Err… jeans, t-shirt and a plaid shirt?”

“No, no.” Alice said excitedly. “For your date!”

“Alice I told you, it’s just me and Bella having some time to ourselves, neither me or Bella wanted anything fancy.” Rose said exasperated.

“Sure, because it’s not like you two have had plenty of time to yourselves here.” Alice said making a big show of winking at us.

I tried to hide my blush while Alice ignored the glare Rosalie was sending her way.

“We’ll be doing the usual human things. Dinner, maybe a movie, maybe-”

“How normal.” Alice said wrinkling her nose at us.

“Hey, after everything that’s happened recently I think normal would be nice.” I said relaxing into Rosalie’s arm that was wrapping itself around my shoulders while Rosalie continued glaring at Alice.

“Fine, fine.” Alice said sounding incredibly disappointed with the both of us. “I’ll still help you pick out your outfit Bella.”

“Err…” I said eloquently, torn as to whether I wanted Alice’s no doubt over-the-top help at finding an outfit for tonight.

Rosalie caught my gaze and raised her eyebrows, asking if I needed help deflecting Alice from her current goal when Jasper walked into the room and diverted the tiny vampire’s attention from me.

“Alice Esme was thinking about redecorating the dance space, I thought since you were the one who spent the most time down there you might have some thoughts for it?” Jasper said casually.

“She’s finally going to decorate it! She better accept my ideas this time, last time we upgraded it she didn’t think we would need the sprung floor or a trapdoor.” Alice said rushing off to find Esme.

I caught Jasper’s eyes and he grinned at me. Maybe it wasn’t so bad living with someone who could read my emotions.

The rest of the day passed quickly, Rosalie helped me with some of my homework I had for class, she had already completed everything except the subjects we had together. Which I had found adorable, much to her feigned annoyance when she brought her books to join mine and sat beside me, grinning at her instead of commenting on the fact that she could have completed everything while I slept what with her vampire speed and having finished high school numerous times before, Rose only rolled her eyes in response and we worked in harmony together.

Eventually I felt it was late enough to start preparing for the date, Rose and I had spent the whole day as practically each other’s shadows, it felt odd now to separate but I knew I would see her soon and tried to quash the uneasy feelings at being apart from her.

And sure enough Rosalie appeared at my doorway as soon as I had finished getting ready; I looked over and was met with Rosalie wearing a dress that hugged every one of her curves and shimmered in the light, bringing out the dark golden flecks in her eyes.

“I thought you said casual?” I said breathlessly, walking over to the blonde vampire

“Maybe I wanted you to look at me like that.” Rosalie replied huskily, not moving as I closed the distance between us.

I tentatively touched the material, cautious that it would flicker out of existence the moment my fingers made contact with it but the otherworldly fabric held and I traced up Rosalie’s sides feeling her muscles quiver under my touch.

“I think I’ll always look at you like this.”

I pulled Rose down towards me and kissed her passionately; shuddering as she moaned into my mouth, after too short a time Rose drew away from the kiss and escorted me down to the door.

Rosalie drove us to Seattle in her Alfa Romeo, I had thought that the drive would be long for the time we would spend in Seattle, but it meant I would get to spend more time with Rosalie so I didn’t voice my feelings. but when we arrived and I looked at the time I realised I needn’t have worried in any case, Rosalie drove way beyond the speed limit, her vampire reflexes giving her the means to drive in a way that if I had attempted it we would surely be sitting in a fiery wreck after seconds. Well, Rose would, I likely wouldn’t fare as well as my invulnerable girlfriend.

Once in Seattle Rose and I made our way to a restaurant and were quickly led to our table by the hostess, the waitress soon came to our table, giving out the menus and casting a few too many glances at Rosalie for my liking.

“Is this okay?” Rosalie asked me once the waitress had gone, noticing my frown.

“It’s great.”

“Are you sure? We can go somewhere else, I-”

“Rosalie,” I said cutting her off, “it’s great, honestly. I was a little annoyed at the waitress making heart eyes at you is all.”

“Which waitress?” Rosalie asked glancing around the restaurant.

“Good answer.” I laughed and Rosalie turned back to me smiling.

“Is it wrong that I like that I’m not the only one who gets jealous?”

“Well you can blame your jealousy on vampire territorial stuff, I’m just an insecure teen.” I said self-deprecatingly.

“It’s not the vampire part of me that gets jealous, or not just the vampire.” Rosalie admitted, and I lost myself in her gaze for long enough that I didn’t notice the waitress return.

“Are you ready to order?” The waitress interrupted, focusing on Rosalie as she returned with our drinks

“I’ll have the chicken.” I said smiling at the waitress who still seemed transfixed by Rose. I was considering letting my outstretched menu drop to get her attention away from Rose before I was distracted from my plan by the surprise of Rosalie ordering the pasta.

The waitress awkwardly loitered for a few moments after taking our order while Rose ignored her, staring into my eyes and entwining our hands above the table.

“I didn’t expect you to order anything.” I said once the waitress had finally taken the hint and left.

Rosalie smiled at me, still caressing my wrist as she spoke. “I thought it wouldn’t be much of a dinner date if you had to eat alone.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’ll manage.”

Once Rosalie’s food arrived I watched her daintily cut up her pasta and spear small sections/ into her mouth. Of course she managed not to get any sauce on her, something that I doubted I could achieve.

“If you can eat human food why don’t you at school?”

“It’s uncomfortable.” Rosalie said grimacing slightly. “And some of us, Edward and Esme in particular can’t stomach it at all.”

I eyed Rosalie worriedly “But you’re okay right?”

“I’m fine Bella. I wanted this to be as normal as I could make it for you. I know after everything that happened with Jane vampires are probably the last thing you want to be around right now. I’m sorry I can’t make that happen, the least I could do is act human for you on our date.”

“You don’t need to act human Rose; I don’t dislike the rest of your family because of what happened with Jane. She is nothing like the rest of you, and you saved me from her, something you couldn’t have done if you were human, how could I not want to be around you?”

“She’s more the norm for vampires though.” Rosalie said darkly. “If ever any strange vampires passed through Forks, or whatever the supernatural thing that has got the La Push pack all riled up ever shows you’ll be in the line of fire because you are with us.” Rose said anxiously.

“But I still would be anyway if I was in Forks.” I pointed out.

“Not in the same way.” Rose argued, “We are all targets for being supernatural, and you know about us and if they have been watching they know you’re a part of our family but you can’t defend yourself in the same way we can.”

“So… is this your way of trying to end things?” I asked hesitantly.

“No. God no. It’s just I worry about you. I don’t know-”

“Bella.” A worried voice caught my attention and I looked around to see Rachel making her way over to us, she looked like she had been out running, she was sweating slightly and out of breath, only she was wearing leather pants and jacket and even though it was much colder up here than Phoenix I doubted the leather pants made good running attire.

 

-Rosalie-

The date had been going well; I had even forced myself to eat human food in an attempt to make the date more human for Bella when Bella’s ex turned up.

What was she even doing here, is she stalking Bella? If she thinks she is going to get her back she has another thing coming. I could feel my fangs extending and knew my eyes must be completely black by now.

“What are you guys doing here?” The redhead asked looking worriedly from me to Bella.

“We are on a date.” I all but snarl at her, moving my chair closer to Bella’s, clearly stating my claim. “What are you doing here?”

“Are you both eating?” The redhead asks pointedly eyeing Bella’s empty plate and my half eaten one.

I narrow my eyes at that, she almost sounds as if she is hinting that she knows what I am. I had put her racing heart down to exertion but maybe it was fear for Bella and herself, maybe she rushed here because she discovered what I was.

“I don’t think this is the safest place for you Bella. I think you should head home, Seattle is a long way from Forks you want to avoid the traffic.”

I eye the redhead warily, her eyes remain mostly on Bella and she looks almost pained. It doesn’t take any more than that to get my vampire on the offensive, Bella isn’t hers any more, and if she wants to break up our date she is going to have to work harder than that.

“Fine.” I say, I notice Bella’s head turning to face me, surprise etched on her face. “Come on Bella.”

I stood up and left more than enough money to cover the cheque before moving to help Bella from her seat. The redhead follows us out of the restaurant, grabbing our coats for us in her haste to have us leave and I have to work to keep my growl below human hearing.

“You can leave now; we don’t require your assistance walking us to the car.” I raise my eyebrow and glare at the uninvited guest on our date.

The redhead glares back at me before turning to Bella and attempting to hug my Bella. I keep my arm firmly wrapped around Bella’s waist and all they can manage is an awkward one armed hug before Bella pulls back from the redhead and leans into my body, soothing the need I have to keep her away from the redhead.

“Okay, I’ll see you guys back in Forks then, stay safe.”

“Bye Rach.” Bella says as the redhead walks away, back towards the restaurant.

“Er, Rose the car is that way.” Bella said as I led her through the streets

“You’ve seen the way we drive Bella, are you worried about getting back to Forks on time?”

“I’m not worried about anything with you.” Bella said leaning further into me and making my still heart constrict in my chest. It still amazed me that I had managed to find someone that awakened such strong feelings within what I had previously thought to be only a cold empty body.

“Well then I know a park nearby that is quite lovely, even at this time of night.” I said brushing back a strand of hair from Bella’s face as an excuse to feel her skin against my own.

I led Bella to the park, the nearby streetlights casting it in wavering shadows and giving everything an ethereal tint.

We wandered through the park arm in arm until Bella came to a stop on the narrow bridge raised over a stream and looked out at the empty park, her eyes taking in the scene before her that I knew to be spectacular at this time of night. But I ignored the view I had seen countless times before. Instead I couldn’t take my eyes from Bella, the pale moonlight was warring with the distant streetlights over which feature of hers to highlight. I couldn’t help but trace the contours of her face, I was so distracted by her I didn’t notice anyone approaching until a low growl broke the silence.

I immediately moved, placing myself between Bella and the sound. I scanned the area but they must have still been skulking amongst the trees upwind because I couldn’t see or smell them.

“Rose what is it?” I became aware of Bella’s hands gripping my jacket, and looked down to meet Bella’s concerned gaze.

“We should go.” I said quietly, wrapping my arm around Bella and trying my best to soothe the fear I could see in Bella’s eyes.

“Is it the Volturi?” Bella asked, her voice wavering.

“No. It’s something else.” I said scrutinising the park as we hastily departed. But before we reached the exit a howl pierced the silence and I stopped dead, pulling Bella close to me. I knew that wasn’t a natural wolf howl, and if there were werewolves or wolf shifters in the area there would be more than one, there was a good chance they already had us penned in by the pack.

I was contemplating picking Bella up and running towards the car when a large misshapen figure shot out from the vegetation and rushed towards us, I pushed Bella behind me and moved only slightly away from her, I didn’t want to risk running towards the creature only to have another attack Bella while I was otherwise occupied.

As the creature came closer I knew these weren’t wolf shifters, we were facing werewolves, the continued howls behind me confirming it was a pack. Dread flitted through me at the thought, would I be able to protect Bella from a whole pack of werewolves? I resolved to do everything in my power to keep her safe and braced for the impact from the werewolf.

 

-Bella-

As the creature sped towards us my stomach rolled, this was the creature that had attacked me and Charlie, or one of them. Werewolf.

Before I had any time to shout or run the werewolf had barrelled into Rosalie who grappled with it, trying to dodge its razor sharp claws, I could see she was at a disadvantage every time she kept checking on me, making sure I was still there. The creature got another good swipe in and deep claw marks tracked themselves down Rosalie’s side.

“Bella start moving towards the exit.” Rosalie gasped as she fielded off another attempt from the werewolf to bite her.

Rose gripped the beast around its neck and the werewolf was snarling and clawing at my vampire, I couldn’t see what was happening, I didn’t know how much more damage Rosalie could take, I was about to run closer and try and help as much as I could when I heard whimpering and the werewolf dropped motionless to the floor.

Rosalie turned to face me her, dress was shredded and her eyes were pitch black, she looked like an avenging angel. Rosalie sped towards me and pushed me towards the closest way out of the large park.  

Just then two more werewolves raced towards us, Rose pushed me behind her again and ran towards the creatures. I saw the first werewolf feint towards me, getting Rosalie to twist so she would still be in front of me, protecting me from them when the other ran straight into her, knocking her to the ground.

I felt my heart stutter in my chest, Rosalie was trying her best to fend off the two werewolves but she was outmatched, she couldn’t fight both and still keep half her concentration on me. I had to do something, I had to stop them.

I couldn’t control myself, I ran at the werewolves attacking Rosalie, thinking of nothing but the need to protect the person I loved when I felt something shift within me.

I wasn’t sure what was happening, my joints felt like they weren’t moving properly but I was still able to keep running, I felt a strange sensation take over my body, like an inside body itch but I ignored it, focusing on Rosalie and the werewolves I was getting ever closer to.

Suddenly something changed, the itch intensified and burnt itself out and after a brief moment of pain the world was in sharper focus and I felt my muscles prickle with untapped power.

I made it to Rosalie with a sudden burst of speed and flung myself at the werewolf that had its jaws wrapped around her arm.

I didn’t waste any time on how I was able to take on a werewolf, my mind was narrowed to the need to protect Rose, I couldn’t think about anything else.

 

-Rosalie-

A large white cat rushed past me, twisting the werewolf who had its teeth embedded into my arm from me. The werewolf who had been attempting to injure my legs and I faltered at the sight, both of us looking over at the giant cat attacking the other werewolf in a whirlwind of claws and snapping teeth. I snapped myself from my shock and took the opportunity to subdue the werewolf next to me; by the time I looked back over to the other werewolf the cat had won its fight, standing above the prone figure on the ground. The werewolf’s limbs shrinking and fur slowly peeling back from the skin as the creature turned back to human form.

I could smell the blood of the werewolf and the cat on the air, the werewolf’s scent was cloying and bitter, similar to the shifters of La Push but a thousand times worse. The cat’s was sweeter but still didn’t incite my bloodlust, I knew it must be a supernatural creature, no wild animal would willingly fight a werewolf, or come close to a vampire.

The cat looked down at the werewolf then to me, I could almost hear the cogs turning in its brain, it abruptly jumped up and turned about almost as if it was chasing its own tail. I watched the sight understanding and shock dawning on me, and when I couldn’t see Bella when I looked back to where she had been my suspicions were confirmed.

“Bella.” I called out softly, the cat instantly stopped trying to twist its head around to see its own back and looked at me, even in a different form I knew Bella well enough that I could see the fear in her eyes.

I walked slowly towards the white cat who dipped her head breaking eye contact with me staring at the large white paws in front of her face.

“You still smell like you, a little different, a little stronger maybe, but this is probably why you smelt different to the other humans huh.” I said soothingly as I neared my now cat girlfriend, now there was something I didn’t think I’d ever say. This could explain Bella’s easy acceptance of vampires and shifters, although considering her shock at her new form I didn’t think she knew about what she was.

I cautiously reached out a hand and brushed the fur of her head, Bella leaned into my touch, almost pushing me over. She was much stronger in this form, probably one of the reasons she had been able to take on a full grown werewolf. I took in the cuts from the werewolf’s claws marring her white fur and growled, Bella looked up at me her golden eyes a mixture of fear and despair. I couldn’t bear to see the look in her eyes and quickly tried to explain.

“No Bella, I’m not…” I let out a laugh at the absurdity of the situation. “I’m angry they hurt you, I’m not angry at you. You’re still the same Bella, I of all people should know that.”

I moved my hand down slowly to carefully touch her coat where one of the deeper scratches was and winced when I took in what the werewolf had done to her. At least being a werecreature she would heal faster than a human would, Carlisle was going to have a field day when he found out, I just knew he would want to run tests on everything Bella could do now that she had shifted for the first time and had awakened this dormant side of herself.

“I just can’t believe you’re a werecat.” Bella stared up at me, her large eyes holding my gaze. “I guess you didn’t know.” I said still running my hands over the pale fur, Bella shook her head. “You make a very beautiful cat; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a white mountain lion before.” Bella butted her head against me in response.

“So much for our human date.” I said to myself, watching as Bella circled around me. “Come on, we had better get out of here in case there are any more werewolves around.”

Bella snarled at that and I couldn’t help agreeing with her. We moved towards the exit again, my hand resting on her back when four more werewolves emerged from the treeline, snarling and snapping their teeth at us. I cursed when I saw them, I should have been able to scent the werewolves now I knew they were around but the scent of werewolf blood was screwing with my tracking abilities. Bella raced towards the werewolves and the werewolves circled her, I growled at the thought of them harming my Bella and readied myself to join Bella.

I heard footsteps behind me and whirled around ready to face whatever new threat was advancing on us when I saw Bella’s ex moving towards us. There must be something about Phoenix that makes everyone who lives there unreasonably assured around supernatural creatures. I wasn’t about to leave Bella to save some stupid human so I turned back to the four werewolves fighting Bella and attempted to get into the melee of claws and snarls.

I dragged one werewolf from Bella and moved on to trying to pull another from out of the fray. The werewolves were mostly ignoring me save to snap at me when my hands gripped on to them, focusing their attention on Bella. They seemed to think Bella was more of a threat than I was, which I used to my advantage even while I hated the thought of Bella having to endure more pain while I was getting off lightly I knew we needed to end this quickly before anyone else thought to investigate the howls and sounds of animals fighting.

I was still trying to break the werewolves away from Bella when what looked like a paintball flew towards the werewolf trying to maul me as I attempted to remove it from the fight. I looked up startled and saw the redhead aiming a brightly coloured paintball gun at the mess of fur and claws.

I was about to shout at her for interfering and try and get her to leave when the werewolf she had shot slumped to the side, seemingly passed out. One of the werewolves lifted its head and sniffed noticeable, whirling round to snarl at the redhead who calmly fired another paintball at the werewolf, a blue splat of paint soaking into its fur along with something strange I hadn’t smelt before. The werewolf dropped like its pack member and another shot hit the third werewolf. The last ran off into the trees, Bella ran after it a little way before stopping and slowly moving back to where I was standing.  

“Where’s Bella?” The redhead asked moving towards me, the paintball gun still in her hand and aimed at me. Bella yowled quietly drawing the redhead’s attention.

“Is that...” The redhead eyed Bella with shock.

Bella approached us and the redhead flinched but didn’t otherwise move when Bella stopped next to me and rubbed her head against my hip, letting out a loud purr. I gripped Bella’s fur in my hands and bent down, needing contact with Bella even while she was in this form.

“Bella?” I asked looking at the cat, sighing in relief when I saw she didn’t seem badly injured. Wide golden eyes stared back at me and Bella blinked at me slowly. “Do you think you can turn back?”

“That’s Bella?” The redhead asked a little faintly.

“You won’t fit in my car like that darling, you need to shift back or run with me to Forks.”

I knew we couldn’t ever make our way back to Forks on foot, Bella would draw too much attention and there were blocks of streets we would have to pass before we would come to the uninhabited areas where we could race through unseen. If Bella couldn’t shift I would have to call Emmett to come in his giant truck, but I wanted to see if Bella could shift back on her own first.

I turned my gaze on the redhead who was fiddling with her paintball gun, she didn’t seem as awed or terrified as one would expect after observing what she just saw and now seeing the girl she knows in the form of a giant white mountain lion.

“What exactly was it you did there?” I asked gesturing to the downed werewolves.

“I’ll tell you later. Looks like we all have things we need to discuss.” The redhead said eyeing Bella. “I have some clean up I need to do first, I’ll be back in Forks later tonight. Call me when Bella is human and up for talking.”

The redhead walked off and I looked down at Bella, her tail swinging from side to side as she watched the redhead leave.  

Chapter Text

-Rosalie-

“Jesus Rosalie, I know you two are still in the honeymoon phase but couldn’t you contain yourselves for a few hours?" Emmett asked grinning as I led Bella, naked save for my coat wrapped securely around her, through the foyer of the house.

“It's not like that.” Bella starts defensively before looking up at me, her eyes filled with uncertainty.

My heart clenched at the worry in her gaze and I wrapped my arms around her, trying to comfort her before we told my family the news that would probably make the revelation of our relationship look commonplace, that is, if they didn’t work it out first.

“Wait.” Jasper said, he had been doing an admirable job of attempting to ignore a barely clad Bella -even if Jasper had been born in modern times I was sure he would still be one of the most chivalrous people alive. But the situation caused him to overcome his sensibilities and he looked up from the video game he and Emmett were playing, frowning at Bella. “Bella smells different, she smells…” Jasper trailed off in disbelief and I started to step forward, ready to explain what had happened in the park before Bella held onto my hand, stilling my movement.

“Yeah, I guess I am different, or not really, but now we know? Or something.” Bella said shaking her head a little in confusion.

I could only imagine what she was going through, at least when we changed into vampires we didn’t have to try and reconcile the fact that we hadn’t been human all along. I held her closer to me, and Bella looked up at me, giving me a brief smile before moving away from my side.

Jasper turned off the TV and Bella moved to go over to the living area where Emmett and Jasper were seated.

“I think maybe you should go put some clothes on Bella.” I said pulling her back towards me and glaring at Emmett and Jasper who were conspicuously avoiding my gaze. I knew my family wouldn’t do anything to get in the way of my claim on Bella, half of them were already mated after all, but I still wasn’t comfortable having her practically naked near them. Bella glanced at me and the blush on her face made me heat up even as she nodded and left me.

I had gathered the rest of the family by the time Bella came back downstairs, Bella looked at them warily hovering on the edge of the circle before I moved towards her, bringing her to sit next to me.

“So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you two haven’t gathered us to let us in on the debauched sexcapades that led to Bella coming home naked.” Emmett said breaking the silence and tension that had settled between us.

“No, while we were in Seattle we were attacked by werewolves.” I said. My family sat motionless in stunned silence for a moment as they let my news sink in, I knew my revelation had ruined the light-hearted atmosphere Emmett’s comment had evoked.

“Werewolves?” Carlisle asked shocked. “But they haven’t been in these territories for years, and they always stay away from vampires since Caius led the Volturi on a vendetta against the Children of the Moon and they were almost wiped out. Why would they come back now?”

“Perhaps it was Bella they were after?” Esme began tentatively, “She encountered them before in Alaska there might be a reason for that that we don’t know of?”

“It could be.” I said looking at Bella, unsure whether she wanted to explain the last section to my family. Bella nodded at me and held onto my hand, gathering her courage to tell my family what happened to her.

“Last night I… I shifted. I turned into a cat. A mountain lion.” Bella said nervously.

“So maybe it wasn’t an attack because of Bella, so much as they smelt another werecreature in their territory.” I said as soon as Bella finished speaking, wanting to try and make Bella’s announcement as ordinary as possible.

The shocked silence lasted only seconds, but it was enough time for Bella’s expression to fill with trepidation before a cacophony of noise shattered the anxiety in her eyes turning it to concentration as she tried to understand what was being said when my family began speaking all at once.

“This is practically unprecedented; most werecreatures are taught to change forms as early as possible.” Carlisle said enthusiastically. “I can only imagine what it would be like to shift without knowing what was happening, or what could happen.”

“She shifted?” Edward asked incredulously, completely unused to being surprised considering his gift.

“Oh my gosh, what did she look like? Was she bigger than usual mountain lions? What colour is she?” Alice asked eagerly.

“This is so awesome; Bella can draw the mountain lions to us next time we go hunting!” Emmett said excitedly.

“Were you hurt Bella? I don’t know about the process of shifting I’m sure you are just as shocked by this as us, if not more.” Esme said looking at Bella with concern, but Bella was having difficulty following the multiple conversations and was staring at the group looking overwhelmed and confused.

“That is ridiculous.” I snarled at Emmett, “There is no way she’s going to be anywhere near any of you when you’re hunting.”

“How could this happen now?” Jasper asked clearly enough for Bella to make out.  

“I don’t know why I never had before, I saw the werewolf coming for Rose, and I couldn’t… I had to do something, I had to stop them, and before I really knew what was happening I was fighting the werewolf and I had fur and claws.”

“And you didn’t know you were one? No one told you this might be a possibility?” Edward asked distrustfully.

“I don’t know anything about werecreatures or shifters; I don’t even know what I am!” Bella got out exasperated.

I glared at Edward and angled myself so I was blocking his path towards Bella; Edward grimaced as he saw what I was doing and looked pointedly away from me and Bella.

“Your scent is definitely were, not shifter.” Carlisle stated calmly.

“If you can smell that now why couldn’t you before?” Bella asked beseechingly.

“Well you didn’t smell like this before.” Alice replied wrinkling her nose slightly. “Not this strong anyway.”

“The scent that made you different from humans before is still there, only now it’s stronger. No one would mistake you for human now.” Jasper said evenly, looking between Edward and Bella, no doubt using his gift to try and calm the heightened emotions.

Bella hung her head, I could tell this was a huge shock to her; she was still dealing with the sudden loss of her humanity. I wrapped my arm more firmly around her and rubbed her back, trying to ground her and let her know not everything had changed, that once my family had time to process this everything with them would be back to normal. After all, we were vampires, what was another supernatural creature to us?

“Are we sure this isn’t a plot... it’s just a little too convenient, neither me or Alice can get a good read on her, and then we had the La Push pack complaining of a strange scent in the area, Jane showed up and now werewolves in Seattle attacking a vampire?” Edward said looking to Carlisle as if his ridiculous accusation would be believed by our adoptive father.

“What are you implying Edward?” I growled out glaring at the bronze haired vampire. “Bella had no part in this; Jane attacked her, just like these werewolves did tonight. And what possible motive would she have to do this? I hate to burst your bubble Ed but neither you nor this family are the centre of any grand plot, we aren’t that important.”

“Even with Bella’s new… information that still doesn’t explain why the werewolves are in Seattle. Alaska I could understand a little more, it’s isolated and most of our kind are nomads, moving between the more populated areas taking advantage of the transient population that are often found in cities.” Carlisle said ignoring Edward’s comment and focusing his thoughtful gaze on Bella.

“Why did it take so long for Bella to shift? I thought werecreatures were born being what they are, they’re not like the shifters who only change when they feel their land is threatened.” Edward asked staring at Bella with an undecipherable look in his eyes.

“They are, but if Bella didn’t know about that part of her it’s likely she didn’t try to shift forms before. And if both parents weren’t weres then sometimes the child is human, perhaps that was presumed to be the case here and so no one felt the need to explain to Bella what might happen.” Carlisle reasoned.

“It’s likely Bella shifted because Rose was in danger, she probably hadn’t felt the need to before.” Jasper said. “I haven’t met many werecreatures but they often feel the urge to shift when they or their pack are threatened, it’s something they have to exert a lot of control over to avoid and as a result they either try to live amongst their own kind or in rural areas where the sudden appearance of a bear or large cat is more easily explained or overlooked.”

“Why didn’t she shift when Jane attacked her? Or when she first saw werewolves in Alaska?” Edward asked still fixated on an imagined conspiracy.

“I can’t be sure,” Carlisle said contemplatively, “but I suspect it was because Bella’s natural response isn’t to fight, perhaps with Jane she was too shocked by her arrival, and then when Jane used her gift too in pain to be able to change forms. But when Rosalie was threatened in front of her, outnumbered by the same creatures that had attacked her at the very beginning Bella-”

“I couldn’t lose you.” Bella interrupted softly.

I turned to look at Bella and saw she was staring at me, I held her gaze, her eyes back to the soft brown that I loved and the depth of emotion I could see swirling in them made me want to gather her in my arms and never let her go.

“I couldn’t lose you.” Bella said seriously, looking into my eyes. “I’ve never felt for anyone the same way as I do for you, when I saw that werewolf moving towards you I didn’t think about anything I just knew, I knew I couldn’t stand to lose you. And I tried to stop that from happening.” Bella paused and frowned. “And something happened to me that let me do that.”

There was silence for a while, my attention focused entirely on Bella causing my awareness of my family to fade into the background, I bent my head and captured Bella’s lips in a kiss that sent shivers racing through my body. When we finally parted I held Bella’s gaze, losing myself in the warm brown depths of her eyes until a discreet cough from Jasper bought my mind back from its single focus of Bella.

I looked up to see Jasper gazing intently at the floor, Alice whispering lowly to him and I felt a small twinge of possessiveness that Jasper was privy to the emotions Bella was feeling while I wasn’t.

“So back to the werewolf issue…” Esme said, “Alice didn't you see anything about this?”

“No, I wasn't exactly looking, and if Bella is a werecreature that would explain why she's difficult to get a read on. I can’t see the La Push wolves at all and all my visions of other werecreatures have been hit and miss, they are much more driven by their emotions than humans or vampires.”

“There's something else,” I started, “Bella’s ex-”

“Wait, Rachel said she wanted to talk once I was human.” Bella said turning to me.

“Yes, but we need to come up with a plan, something to tell her to explain what happened.”

“Do we really need to? You saw how she downed those werewolves.”

“Whoa a human downed a werewolf?” Emmett asked impressed.

“Four.” Bella said proudly, I growled softly at that and Bella looked at me apologetically, I was surprised and a little ashamed she had heard me.

“If she knows something about this we should involve her.” Carlisle said determinedly.

“It’s late, humans will be asleep now.” Esme pointed out.

“Actually Rachel always kept odd hours, she’ll probably be awake now.”

Bella retrieved her phone and I heard her give out directions to the house before coming back to sit beside me. My family remained in their seats as we waited for Bella’s ex to join us, relaxing into the stillness that came naturally to vampires and we worked so hard to avoid around humans. Bella and I were the only two that kept shifting as we continually moved trying to get closer to each other, my fingers tangled in Bella’s long silken locks as I caressed the girl next to me.

A short while later a staccato knock on the front door had Esme jumping up from her seat and eagerly greeting our guest.

“You got here fast.” I said loud enough for the redhead to hear as she entered, stopping Bella from pulling away from our embrace on the sofa together. Unwilling to give up any contact with my brunette, especially for the benefit of her ex-girlfriend.

“I was on my way already, I knew it wouldn’t take Bella long to shift back and I needed to know what you know.” The redhead said as she walked through the foyer, pausing to glance around at the size of the house. “Wow, and I thought Ivy's parents were in the money.”

“Ivy?” Bella asked as the redhead moved into the living area where we were all still sitting.

“My partner. She's busy with the werewolves from last night otherwise she'd be here. She wasn't too keen on me walking into the vampires den alone.”

“So. You know.” I said narrowing my eyes at the redhead, waiting for the inevitable tirade and her attempting to rescue Bella from us. “For how long?”

“Since I first saw you. You're not the first vampires I've met.” The redhead said with an arched eyebrow.

“And what, you came to rescue Bella?” I growled out.

“Whoa no. I was here for work, I looked Bella up and was I concerned she was with vampires, yes. But I know there are vampires who work hard on controlling their bloodlust who don't want any of the old world politics.” Rachel said darkly.

“Another human knows about us, this is what brought the Volturi to us in the first place.” Edward said incensed.

“Look there's something you don't know, I'm not exactly human,” The redhead started, she glanced at each one of us, but I noticed her eyes linger on Bella before she took a deep breath and finished; “I'm a witch.”

“Good Gods, you really are a magnet for the supernatural.” I said turning to look at Bella who was as shocked about the redhead’s revelation as the rest of my family were. “I hate to think what you would have found next if we hadn’t been there, a horde of zombies? A vomit of goblins?”

“Ooh can we use her to find zombies?” Emmett asked eagerly.

“No.” I hissed out. “People who think they’re witches and use paintball guns to tranquilise werewolves are more than enough.”

“Well I was quite surprised to see Bella hanging out with a vampire while wearing a fur coat and claws.” The supposed witch said, annoyance lacing her tone. “And what, so werewolves, vampires, werecats and Native American shifters are all fine, but witches are where you draw the line?”

“We would have encountered witches before.” Edward said with certainty.

“Maybe you did.” The redhead replied archly. “Most other supernatural creatures like to keep to themselves, vampires don’t hang around with werewolves, and witches don’t advertise to any vampire or human what they are. It wasn’t just humans who got involved in the witch trials.”

“Can you do some magic?” Emmet asked his usual puppy like enthusiasm for everything coming through.

“It's not like that, I mostly do earth magic, like the sleepy time potions I hit the werewolves with last night. I'm not so good with ley line magic.”

“Ley line?” Carlisle asked curiously.

“The showy ‘whiz bang’ kind.” Rachel said sourly.

“So were you here for the werewolves? If you were already prepared to put them down with sleeping potions?” Jasper asked.

“No, I’m just here tracking the bursts of magic, it’s extremely concentrated and looks like it’s either being caused by a powerful witch who has no idea what they’re doing or a group trying to work some major spells. And the IS –that’s Inderland Security, have checked all the licensed covens in the area and none of them have owned up to whatever is going on around here, so I was sent to see if I could find out what is causing it.”

“Inderland?” Alice asked, Alice seemed to be taking to this more readily than the others, I wondered if she hadn’t been completely honest about not seeing anything to do with this in a vision. Then again Alice did always seem to move with the times and whatever surprises they brought easier than the rest of us, maybe that wasn’t just a product of already seeing it with her gift.

“Witches, pixies, banshees, you name it. Hey, the world is weirder than you know.” The redhead replied shrugging.

“Even weirder than vampires know.” Bella said sounding almost smug.

“It’s nice to know the world isn’t going to get boring with eternity to live it.” Jasper said dryly.

“That’s what I was doing when I saw you two in the restaurant in Seattle, and when I saw Bella I decided it would be best to get her out of there and get her to safety before looking for who or what might be causing it. Then when I thought you two had left for home I started following my locator charm again which led me to the park, then I saw the werewolves and helped you and cat-Bells out.”

Emmett let out a guffaw at that and Bella groaned looking at me for help but I just shrugged, it was better to let Emmett grow bored of nicknames rather than to try and fight them.

“Which I’m still not sure about…” The redhead continued, “I thought you were a yennork Bella?”

“A yennork?” Bella asked confused.

“A werecreature who can’t shift forms.”

“So you knew Bella was a werecreature?” I asked.

“Well, there’s the smell.” The witch replied slowly, as if we were all idiots.

“Oh god, do I smell that bad?” Bella groaned.

“No, you’re fine to humans; I have a better nose than non-supernaturals.” The redhead said casually.

“I like your smell.” I said leaning into Bella and nuzzling her neck, forgetting about the audience until-

“Cou-free-show-Gh.” Emmett coughed out; I moved away from Bella reluctantly and glared at Emmett who grinned back innocently.

“It’s still surprising the werewolves were so close to town, and so many of them too.” Carlisle said bringing everyone’s attention back to the reason we were gathered.

“I don’t know why I didn’t get any visions of them.” Alice said frustrated. “I can’t see the La Push wolves because their actions are so emotion driven but I’ve had visions about werewolves and other werecreatures before that were just fine, a little hazy sometimes like my visions are of Bella but they were still there. And there was a pack so close to Forks and they attacked Rose and Bella and I didn’t see it.” Alice frowned.

“Visions?” The redhead asked curiously.

“Alice can see the future.” Bella said leaning forward to the witch’s sightline. “Only lately her visions have been blocked.”

“Magic could be why your visions have been off.” The redhead said thoughtfully.

“Can magic do that?” Alice asked concerned.

The witch shrugged. “I didn’t know you could have visions until you just told me, you guys didn’t know about witches, I don’t know for certain but I can think of a few spells that might affect premonitions, it all depends on how your power works I guess.”

The conversation about magic and the werewolves gradually wound down but Carlisle was itching to talk more to the witch about magic and whatever else she knew about supernatural world that he hadn’t discovered in his years as a vampire. He started an exuberant discussion with the redhead as soon as my family started to drift away.

Meanwhile I pulled Bella up to her feet and half carried her upstairs, it had been a long day and an even longer evening and I knew Bella was exhausted, both from what had happened to us and what she had discovered.

“Well the date didn’t go exactly as I had planned.” I said once we reached Bella’s room.

“You mean me discovering I was a… supernatural creature and could turn into a mountain lion and us getting attacked by werewolves wasn’t on the agenda?” Bella said her eyes dancing with mirth as she sat on her bed.

“Plus the service at the restaurant was really quite slow.” I said smiling at the brunette.

Bella looked like she was about to say something then yawned wildly, I couldn’t help but grin at her adorableness, I used my vampire speed to rush over to her and lift her into the bed.

“Hey.” Bella said sleepily but she didn’t protest any further, relaxing against me as I climbed in beside her. I gazed down at the brunette as she drifted quickly off into sleep; watching her eyelids flutter and her breathing slow I concentrated on the steady drum of her heartbeat and felt myself slip into the closest vampires could get to sleep, knowing that if I could I would dream about the girl in my arms.

 

-Bella-

I awoke in the morning and for a few minutes lying in the room with the sunlight streaming in through the gap in the curtains I forgot everything that had happened yesterday and felt only peace and the slight empty feeling in my stomach, then it all came rushing back and I found myself struggling to reconcile everything that had happened yesterday with what I knew about myself. Or what I thought I knew about myself, even though it was my body that had grown fur and shifted a part of me still couldn’t believe it had happened.

I dressed and made my way downstairs deciding to conquer the easiest problem first, once I had had breakfast I sought out Carlisle, wanting to know as much as I could about werecreatures, the Cullen patriarch was waiting for me in the living room, I wondered if Alice had given him a heads up about my plan although it wasn’t too surprising that I would have questions about my newly discovered werecat inheritance.

“Bella.” He said warmly as I approached. “I had a feeling you might want to talk?”

I nodded and he inclined his head, gesturing for me to join him in his study. Carlisle left the door open so I knew the others would be able to hear us if they wanted, but aside from our bedrooms it was still the most private room of the house, I knew no one would intrude unless it was urgent.

“I know a little about werecreatures, most of what I know is about werewolves, they were always the most antagonistic of all the weres, as the Volturi’s feud with that species shows, the others mostly kept to themselves –or they avoid vampires at any rate.” Carlisle began, moving to perch on his desk. “It could be that the reason the werewolves attacked you in Alaska was that they smelt you on their territory, we didn’t realise what your scent was, but other werecreatures or shifters may have been more attuned to you.”

“Why didn’t I shift back then though? And what about Charlie… I can’t see Renee being a werecat so does that mean Charlie was and I’m half… or would both of them have to be one and they didn’t tell me because they thought I was a yennork like Rachel said? And what about that night in Alaska, I left Charlie to fight the werewolves alone, maybe if I had stayed he could have survived?” I said feeling the beginnings of tears starting to burn in my eyes.

“Perhaps the genes skip a generation? I confess I am not as knowledgeable about this subject as I would like, but Bella, even if you had known about this and you had shifted to your cat form back in Alaska you were up against a pack of werewolves, your staying wouldn’t have changed the outcome of what happened, of that I am sure.” Carlisle said comfortingly.

I angrily blinked away the tears blurring my vision and took a deep breath, inhaling the strong scent of vampire. I blinked again in surprise; I could distinguish the individual scents that filled the office. Carlisle’s was strongest by far, I felt like I would have been able to tell where he was with my eyes closed the smell was so powerful, but I could sense which of the others had been in here recently, and where they had travelled, like a time-lapse video marking everyone’s route in an almost visible cloud of perfume. I took another heavy breath and sniffed pointedly, filling my lungs with the scent of vampire.

“What…” I started, my voice wavering.

“Ah yes, I was wondering how long this would take. Now you have shifted for the first time you will likely experience some other changes.”

“What kind of changes?”

“Nothing as drastic as what happened to the La Push pack, this is something you were born with, it just wasn’t… active until now.” Carlisle tapped his fingers on the desk thoughtfully. “You will probably find your senses are heightened even while in your human form, and you will have accelerated healing, although I’m not sure by how much so please don’t try any experiments on that front, even though your werecat scent has come through stronger you are still in a house with vampires. Plus the standard supernatural benefit of increased speed and strength.”

I nodded along distractedly but I could hardly take in what Carlisle was saying my mind was buzzing, filled with what I had recently discovered but still couldn’t quite believe. Carlisle quickly exhausted his knowledge of werecreatures and I left his study still craving information about what I was. I decided to visit the only other people I knew who might have a clue about what had happened to me, although I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject with Rose.

For a moment I considered not mentioning it to Rose but as soon as I left the study Rosalie appeared by my side her arms encircling me, anchoring me. I felt the buzzing in my head calm for the first time since I woke and I sighed, burrowing closer to her body and inhaling her comforting scent.

I found myself sharing my decision without conscious thought, now I was finally at peace with the scent of my vampire surrounding me making me feel safe and  relaxed. “Rose I’m going to go talk to a friend about this; I think he might be able to help.”

“Who?” Rose frowned briefly before her forehead smoothed out as realisation hit. “That dog? He can’t be trusted Bella, their entire purpose is to fight vampires and you live with us. You’re the enemy in their eyes.”

“He was –is my friend. And he’s a shifter. You can’t deny he will probably know something about this.”

“I don’t want you to go to the reservation.” Rosalie said pulling my body closer to hers. “Last time you went to see him Jane attacked you.”

“Well I don’t think he would be very welcome if I invited him here.”

“God no.” Rose said her nose wrinkling. “Although we’ve had witches, I guess dogs wouldn’t be too extreme at this point.”

“This time I think I can look after myself.” I said wryly, my mouth turning up into a smile I didn’t feel.

“Well take a car.” I started to protest when I felt Rosalie’s arms tighten around me. “Bella. Take a car. I know you can shift into a big cat now, but I don’t think you should make yourself a target if you don’t have to.”

“Because it’s not like vampires are capable of running as fast as a car.” I said huffily resting back against the blonde vampire’s arms, putting a few inches of distance between our bodies even while Rosalie still held me.

“Not one of my cars.” Rosalie smirked in the way that set off the butterflies in my stomach. “Not without drawing unwanted attention anyway.”

“Which one should I take?” I said unable to hold on to any indignation while half of my brain was still short-circuited from her smirk.

“Any of mine. The keys are kept inside them.”

“Aren’t you worried about thieves?” I asked before answering my own question. “Of course you’re not. Who would steal from vampires.”

“I’ll go hunt with Alice while you visit the mutt.”

“Will your hunting by any chance take place alongside the border of the La Push reservation?” I asked raising an eyebrow.

“Bella…”

“I know, I know, I think it’s kind of sweet actually.” I said leaning further into the circle of her arms and pressing my lips against the blonde vampire’s.


I left Rosalie and walked to the garage moving towards the section that housed Rose’s cars when I noticed Edward standing by the cars, statue-still, staring at me.

“Oh, Edward. I was just borrowing one of Rose’s cars.” I said awkwardly, mentally hitting my head at the redundancy in my words even as I spoke.

“I still can’t get a good read on you.” Edward mused. “I had thought maybe it would be due to your body repressing the werecat gene, but it seems you can still cloud your thoughts from mine.”

“Erm. Sorry about that?”

Edward stared at me for a moment before moving closer to me. “Vampires only have one serious relationship in their life. They might have a few fleeting dalliances in their immortal lives but there’s only one person out there who is their mate.”

Edward spoke as if he was helping me by telling me this. Helping me know that whatever Rose and I had wasn’t good enough for her, wouldn’t ever be enough. I felt my heart stutter, panic pressing down on my chest. He was telling me this to let me know I was going to lose Rosalie? That we weren’t… that she didn’t feel the same for me as I did for her?

Edward was still talking to me but I couldn’t focus on anything he was saying, everything seemed to be coming at me from too far away, as though I was separated from everything but the realisation that I was just a means of passing some of the time in Rosalie’s eternity.

“And the werecreature issue.” Edward continued on as though I wasn’t already broken from his words. “No vampire has ever had a relationship with a shifter or werecreature, it isn’t something that either species would ever want or be able to maintain. For all that we’re both supernatural creatures we are two very different beings. Rose was pushing her luck when you were human, it won’t take long before the differences that this new development brings pushes the two of you apart. And then what will happen to my family? To our way of life? A new werecat prowling round Forks drawing attention to itself while vampires try and stay hidden amongst the humans–”

I jumped into the closest car unwilling to listen to anything else Edward had to say and fled towards La Push, hardly paying attention to my surroundings as I raced away from the Cullens and Edward, hoping to leave the memory of his words behind me too.

But as much as I wanted to I couldn’t block out Edward’s words or the doubts they stirred in me. My change was still so new, Rosalie had treated me much the same so far but when I thought about it I knew the vampires didn’t get along with the shifters in La Push, and they clearly didn’t with the werewolves. So where did that leave me?

Luckily Jacob was outside his house working on Billy‘s old beat up truck when I pulled up. He turned to watch my approach, staring appreciatively at Rosalie’s car as I came to a skidding halt, I jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped moving and Jacob froze, staring at me with wide eyes and visibly sniffing the air. I would have laughed if I didn’t know what he was; to be honest it was all I could do to stop myself from doing the same. I understood what Carlisle meant about my senses improving now I had shifted, the air in the reservation was thick with the musky smell of the pack, and I couldn’t miss how Jacob’s scent matched it.

“So I guess you know?” I said dully.

“This is awesome.” Jacob said excitedly, getting over his initial shock and rushing over to wrap me in a bear hug. “I don’t know if you can join the pack but Sam won’t mind you staying on the land. We can patrol together-”

“What? I’m not joining the pack.”

Jacob didn’t let my contradiction affect his speech, he continued talking excitedly without pausing for breath, “Well no, you probably can’t to be honest, but Charlie was always friendly with Billy and the council and they know about you staying with the Cullens and obviously now you can’t live with them-”

My heart stuttered at Jacob’s words, bringing back the memory of Edward’s concerned face as he told me Rosalie and I couldn’t be together. “Why can’t I stay with the Cullens? You don’t know anything about them.” I started aggressively. Jacob’s expression fell and he looked like a hurt puppy dog, causing my anger fizzle out and I sighed. “I’m sorry Jake, I’m just so… I came because I don’t know anything about this, I had no idea any of this was even possible a few months ago and once I did find out about shifters and werecreatures I never expected that I was one of them. I just want some answers.”

“Charlie didn’t tell you?”

“Charlie didn’t tell me anything, I wasn’t even sure he was a werecat too.”

“Yeah he was, we all knew about Charlie. Well, those of us who were in the pack anyway, we could smell it.”

“What else do you know about him? About me?”

“Not a lot really, I didn’t turn long before Charlie… left to go camping with you. And as much as we’re taught about the legends of the warriors who could become wolves and the Cold Ones we didn’t discuss other supernatural creatures until we became shifters ourselves. Sam or the council will probably be the best people to ask but they’re currently holed up in a meeting about the strange scents crossing our territory.”

“These scents are they like ours? Like mine?”

“Kind of… but also not really.” Jacob replied slowly.

“Yesterday Rosalie and I were in Seattle and a pack of werewolves attacked us in a park.”

“From a different tribe?” Jacob asked sceptically, “I mean I guess they’d be after your vampire but we’ve not heard of any other shifters nearby.”

“These werewolves aren’t like you and your pack, they’re werecreatures not shifters.”

“That could be the scent we have been finding over Forks then… but the scent isn’t really very close to yours or mine.”

“Rachel said something about magic in area blocking things; maybe it’s affecting scent too?”

“Who’s Rachel?”

“A witch.” I said waiting for the inevitable scoffing or disbelief… which never came. “You’re taking this better than I expected.”

“Hey, I turn into a giant wolf, why wouldn’t there be magic? I’ll tell Sam about what has happened to you and he can ask the council about everything they know about other werecreatures and tell you. In the meantime…” I fought against taking a step back as Jake eyed me thoughtfully. “We should go for a run.”

“A run?” I said dubiously.

“Yeah!” Jacob exclaimed excitedly. “Come on, don’t you want to cut loose and shake off all the issues weighing down your human mind and let you just focus on smells or the wind in your fur?”

“I haven’t really shifted… other than last night anyway, and I didn’t know what I was doing then.”

“All the more reason to practice now. You can get used to being in your cat form and what you can do in it. Come on, leave the car, and come for a run with me.”

“I can’t just leave it here.” I said coming round to Jacob’s plan.

Jacob admired the car for a moment before turning back to me. “Look I’ll drop it off at school for you and then you or one of them can drive it back Monday.”

“This is just an excuse to drive the car isn’t it?” I said laughing at Jacob’s pleading expression. “You should see some of Rose’s other cars.”

“Figures this would be blondie’s car.” Jacob muttered still staring at the sleek vehicle that looked very out of place left on the side of the road. “Wait, others? What else does she have?”

I couldn’t help but laugh at Jacob’s obvious longing to drive Rosalie’s car and see what other vehicles she owned but I just shook my head in response and followed him to the treeline, Jacob burst into his huge wolf form seemingly without effort. He turned to look at me and loped off, giving me the opportunity to change forms without him watching.

To my surprise once I focused on the mountain lion form I found myself flowing into the shape, I wasn’t sure since I couldn’t see it but I seemed to shift differently from how Jacob looked when he changed forms, more of a merging rather than my mountain lion shape exploding out of my human form.

I moved towards where Jake had disappeared and was almost bowled over by an excitable wolf, prancing around me and nudging me with his nose or shoulders. Jacob raced off and I gave chase, bounding through the undergrowth trying to keep up with the oversized wolf, when I paused. I could hear someone talking in the distance, Jacob came back cocking his head curiously at me but I ignored him, focusing on the voices I could hear.

“Now the cat is there we’ll have to step up the plan, maybe Claw will get the opportunity he’s been waiting for after all.”

“That creep? I thought the Alpha had cut him from the team after what happened last time.”

“I can’t believe a werecat and vampire can stand being in the same territory together let alone the same house.” Another voice said.

“Well he’s been itching to be unleashed on the blonde, and thanks to the cat the Alpha might let him.”

The voices were growing fainter, and I realised they were leaving. I didn’t think past the urge to protect Rosalie, I chased after the werewolves; I wanted to find the person they spoke of, the one who would hurt Rose. I was vaguely aware of Jacob keeping pace beside me as I ran for what seemed like forever, the thought of Rosalie being harmed is more than enough to push me through the aching I feel in my new muscles and the strangeness that running in this form brings.

I can feel something stretching uncomfortably inside of me, my heart stutters from something other than the exertion of running and I feel a strange sensation of loss. But I keep on running, pressing through the empty feeling in my chest.

I continued running after them, for a moment it’s like running through tar, streams of thick unseen fog cling to my fur and make me unable to see where I’m going but I keep on running, chasing the creatures who threatened Rosalie. Once past the strange cloud I see Jacob still beside me, his eyes startled and he pauses to shake whatever strange thing we ran through from his fur but I keep moving, unwilling to let them get out of my sight.

 

Chapter Text

-Charlie-

I had been on the trail of the werewolves since Elijah had convinced me to stop moping around his group of werebears in Alaska and track down the animals who had attacked me and Bella. I hadn't gone straight to Forks, although that was where Elijah's sources had told him they were heading, instead I had tracked them as best I could from old trails I found. I knew the general direction they would be heading in after all, and I needed some time before I went back to Forks where I had been expecting to live with my daughter and was now returning alone.

I was glad I had chosen to take my time getting to Forks as eventually I stumbled upon a fresh trail that led me right to a pack of werewolves. The werewolves were overconfident, they didn't smell me, didn't think to search the upper levels of the derelict building they were staying in. I was nestled in the rafters watching the pack dynamics play out unseen, the benefits of being a werecreature that could climb trees.

Half of me wanted to just leap into their midst and take what revenge I could for what happened in Alaska but then something unexpected happened in the wolf den. A large man, half naked, wearing only stained and ragged trousers to give him some poor semblance of civilisation strode to a makeshift stage and once stationed on it looked out over the gathered werewolves. The others in the building started moving closer to the lone man, as if they had been waiting for him. The strange man held himself as they did in their wolf forms, hunched over, almost as if he was half wolf even now in his human form. I didn’t need my nose to tell me this guy was a werewolf.

“We, the Children of the Moon were almost wiped out by the Volturi after one of their leaders Caius embarked on a vendetta against us. A vendetta that left our numbers decimated and those of us who had survived this vicious cull in hiding, too afraid to seek out our fellow lycans and run as a pack as we once did. And then, while we were already weak, there were the werecreature wars. When a few factions of deceitful weres tried to take advantage of our reduced numbers and usurp us from our rightful place at the top of the food chain.”

A collection of grumblings and muttered agreements came from the gathered werewolves but the crowd soon quieted when the man continued to speak.

“But now the time has come for us to take our place on the top again, the apex predators, we have learnt from the old ways of rushing in in our fur with fangs bared. We need to be cunning, this time we are weakening the vampires from within.”

The crowd grew rowdy again but this time the speaker encouraged it, human howls break out amongst the pack and some of the more excitable werewolves slip into their beast form, their long arms extended as they exaggerate their snarls and fighting stances, accidentally slashing into their neighbours who snap back, the scent of blood permeates the air and the whole place looks ready to descend into a brawl. Eventually the speaker quietens the pack enough for him to continue speaking.

“We have been able to inform the Volturi that a group of vampires currently living in Forks Washington have broken the law, we revealed this information to the Volturi under the guise of working towards a common goal, and thanks to our new power they are unaware that they were given this knowledge by one of their oldest enemies. Now this was in fact true, as far as we can tell, one of the Volturi guard was attacked there and when they returned they confirmed that these vampires, known as the Cullens, have indeed broken the law telling a human about the supernatural world. The Cullens are a strange group of vampires; they only drink the blood of animals-”

The crowd once again grew noisy, murmurings and segments of conversations spoken over each other filling the large space. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing either, I had never heard of vampires who didn’t prey on humans the Cullens had to be a little touched in the head and any human hanging around with vampires, ‘vegetarian’ or no is a naïve idiot.

“Even though they are self-proclaimed ‘vegetarians’,” The speaker says loudly over the mutterings, pausing for the crowd to bark out their laughter at the term the vampires had adopted. “They are a formidable force, a number of them have gifts, and they are the largest coven outside of the Volturi. If we can successfully orchestrate a conflict between the two groups, and I believe we are well on our way to that end, then we are confident that not only will they inflict serious damage on the Volturi and their guards, but other covens will look at what their leaders are doing and will wonder about their own safety. They will wonder about the bloodlust of their rulers, and remember the rumours of other covens that have been attacked with little provocation, of the Volturi seeking out vampires they want for themselves. They will either flee or fight the Volturi, bringing dissension and war to the vampires. Then when the Volturi are dealt with we can hunt down the remaining covens as they hunted our kind, finally taking vengeance for what was done to us!”

I stayed in my hidden perch for a while watching to see if the werewolves would reveal anything else but as the speaker stepped down he was swallowed up by the crowd of werewolves all pressing forward to get close enough to speak to him. No one else seemed to be waiting to take up the stage and discuss any other strategies so I crept away thinking about what I had heard.

Now I knew the reason Elijah had heard there were werewolves in Forks, I contemplated warning the Cullens once I arrived back. I had never actively sought out vampires before, preferring to avoid them where possible, though vampires aren’t tempted by werecreature blood and they know not to mess with a werecat some of them will still try to fight to prove a point, or for sport. But the werewolves seemed fixated on revenge and old feuds, and who was to say if their plan to usurp the vampires worked they wouldn’t start to plot against the other werecreatures, still blaming them for the conflict in the past. As much as I disliked the hold the vampire ruling family had over the rest of the supernatural world I had a feeling no good would come of the werewolves’ plan.

 

-Rosalie-

“Where’s Bella?”

“Didn’t she go to see Jacob? She’ll probably be back soon.” Alice said looking up from her fashion magazine.

“When will she be back?” I asked frustration covering up my worry.

“I don’t know, I still can’t see her clearly.” Alice replies unconcerned before flipping around to face me. “Relax Rose, she can turn into a giant whirring ball of claws and teeth, she’ll be fine.”

“I’m surprised you let her drive one of your cars Rose.” Edward said walking into the living room.

“What were you doing in the garage?” I asked suspiciously.

“Relax, I’m sure your plaything will be back soon with her tail between her legs, sorry she made you angry.” Edward continued.

“What?” I asked confused, “I’m not –she’s not my plaything.”

“At least she turned out to be supernatural so we wouldn’t be in trouble with the Volturi for breaking the rules and telling her about us. Honestly Rose, I would have thought you’d have been a little wiser at picking out people for your dalliances.”

“Edward what did you do?” Alice interrupted, letting the magazine slip to the floor as she stood. I turned to face Alice who had a look of horror on her face that made my blood run cold.

“What?” I asked uneasily, looking between Edward and Alice who seemed to be in the middle of one of their telepath conversations. “What’s happened?”

Alice broke off her glare with Edward and looked at me distraught. “Bella.”

“What about Bella?” I asked my anxiety mounting. “What did you do?” I snarled at Edward who flinched back under the intensity of my glare.

“Edward decided to tell Bella his own warped view of your relationship.” Alice said contemptuously.

I leapt towards Edward but Alice must have foreseen my attack and blocked me, stopping me from tearing into the idiotic vampire’s pretty-boy face.

“Rose stop, there isn’t time, if you rush you can pick up her trail and find her. I’ll get Jaz and meet you.”

My chest constricted, anxiety stormed through my body and I felt numb, I had to find Bella, I had to undo whatever bullshit Edward had told her. I had to find her before I lost my mate.


I raced to the border of the territory, searching for some sign of Bella and saw my car discarded by the side of the road. I growled in frustration that I couldn’t cross the treaty line without inciting a war between the shifters. But then again would they stand a chance against us, their leader talked big but had never actually faced a vampire. I stopped thinking and took a step towards the reservation, thinking only of finding Bella when the wind shifted and I caught Bella’s scent to the north of me.

I raced in the direction of the scent, following it as far as I was able before I came to a stop confused. Bella’s scent seemed to end suddenly, I frowned and tried to concentrate on the tracks, the other scents that I had overlooked that followed the same path Bella took also seemed to stop at this point. I circled the area growing more and more frustrated as I tried to pick up the trail.

I heard Alice and Jasper before I saw them, they were coming directly towards me, having no trouble following the path I had forged in my haste to follow Bella.

“You’re a better tracker than me Jasper where does the trail go?” I asked as soon as the two entered the clearing where Bella’s scent ended.

Jasper stared at the ground for a while and moved cautiously along the possible routes, taking care where he stood before circling around the area and coming back to where Alice and I were waiting, shaking his head.

“Alice?” I begged.

“I’m sorry Rose.” Alice said mournfully shaking her head.

“There’s something else. She’s not alone.”

My breath came in pants even though I hadn’t been exerting myself, and even if I had I didn’t need the oxygen. I heard the rest of Jasper’s speech as though through thick glass, or underwater, I couldn’t really hear him but I knew what he was saying. Bella was with one of the La Push wolves.


“She’s your mate.” Alice said soothingly when the roaring in my ears had quieted enough that I could hear what the other two vampires were saying. “She’ll be back.”

“Obviously not if she could leave me.” I snapped.

“She’ll be back and everything will go back to how it was. Better even! Now she’s a werecat she'll have longer life span.”

“She will still age and die though. And she can't be turned now.” I said dully.

“You weren't going to turn her anyway Rose.” Alice said with all the certainty that her gift gave her.

“Well… no. But-”

“But you hadn't thought about losing her, about how much you needed her.” Alice interrupted, cutting off any excuses before I could think of them. “Maybe there's something about weres we don't know, the la push pack slow their ageing if they imprint on someone young.”

“How do you know? They don't share secrets with us.”

“Carlisle kept records of the wolves’ lifespans, he was interested in as much as he could discover about them.” Alice said shrugging.

“Bella isn't a shifter though; we know less about her kind than we do about the La Push pack.” I said despairingly.

Jasper and Alice eventually convinced me to return back to the house, we had lost Bella’s trail and had no way of knowing where she and the mutt had gone. I couldn’t help the growing feeling of doubt that Bella had left with Jacob, what if now she was a werecreature she had decided the shifter was more suited to her? I knew Bella and I were meant to be, the time I had spent with her was the happiest I had been in longer than I could remember but I was a vampire, she had seemed fine with it when she was human but now she had had more interaction with the supernatural world, now she had joined it herself maybe her new werecat instincts were driving her away from me and towards the dog.

Edward had left the house while I had been looking for Bella, luckily for him, if he had been around I don’t think Alice could stop me from attacking him this time. Jasper and Alice stayed with me while I paced the room, trying to control my instincts to find Bella and the sense of hopelessness that I had no idea where she was.

“I just can’t take not knowing what’s happening, where she is.” I said breaking the silence. “Can’t we get the pack to use their connection with Jacob and talk to him?”

“The pack won’t help, as far as I can tell they’re angry Jacob left them.” Jasper said.

“Alice can’t you see her at all?” I asked begging my sister to have some news of Bella’s whereabouts.

“I’m sorry Rose,” Alice said sadly. “It’s worse than her usual fuzziness whenever I try and focus on Bella it’s like the visions I had before of the shrouded figures talking to the Volturi, everything is blacked out I can’t get a fix on anything.”

Heavy silence resumed as oppressive as the feelings of loss that weighed down on me. “The witch said that was magic. There’s one more person who might know where Bella is, or might be able to find her.” I said turning to look at Alice and Jasper who gazed back at me worriedly.

I was never more thankful that Carlisle was driven to understand every new thing or idea he came across; after he had spoken to the redhead he had got her to a card with her number and current address on. After dialling her phone numerous times and being sent to voicemail I took one of my cars to pay her a visit.


“Have you heard from Bella?” I asked as soon as the door opened.

“Nice to see you too.” The redhead said yawning.

I noticed her dishevelled attire and frowned, I knew vampires didn’t need sleep but surely humans would be awake at this time, unless this was a witch thing, for all I knew she had been up night chanting and burning parsley. I pushed past her and entered the house surprised to find the inside decorated with what looked like original antiques and artwork.

“Whoever you work for must be paying you quite a bit if you’re renting this place.”

“This is my family’s house.”

A silken voice spoke and I looked up to find myself face to face with a strange vampire, I was annoyed I hadn’t heard the approach but I tramped down on my urge to growl at the stranger. She watched me steadily with dark eyes and gave off an air of danger that most humans would have missed, like a sword that looks decorative but when it’s unsheathed you find out too late that it’s as sharp as obsidian.

“This is Ivy.” The witch spoke up, calmly slicing through the tension that was stretched out between me and the dark haired vampire.

I realised the scent that was filling the house and curling around the redhead was from the vampire in front of me, so they were together perhaps. That was why the witch hadn’t been fazed by meeting my family. And if she was in a relationship with a vampire she wouldn’t be warning Bella of from the same or trying to steal her back from me. I felt part of me that had been worrying about this since the redhead showed up in Forks relax.

Ivy stared at me appraisingly and I fought against my instinct to growl and focus all my attention on the dangerous looking vampire, turning slightly to speak to Rachel, more concerned with finding out what the witch knew than worrying about the strange vampire.

“Has Bella been in touch with you?”

“Not since I came to your house.” Rachel replied; worry soon taking over her confused tone. “Is she missing?”

“Alice can’t get a read on her with her visions, she says they’re blocked like the ones she had of the Volturi before. You said that was because of magic.”

“Probably because of magic.” Rachel muttered.

“Well if it’s magic can you find her?” I asked pleadingly, ignoring her interruption.

“How long has she been missing?” Rachel asked, finally looking alert.

“Almost four hours.”

“That’s not very long. Would she have any reason to need some time apart?” Ivy asked moving closer to the witch while she watching me carefully.

“Are you asking if I have done something to cause her to run?” I asked outraged.

“Maybe she went for a walk to cool off, or to work out how to shift forms.” Rachel interrupted, “she’s only just discovered she’s a werecat that’s enough for anyone to want some time alone.”

“She went to the La Push reservation to see a friend, to ask about werecreatures, I followed her scent and it… disappears. There’s nothing around to conceal her tracks, it’s as though she and the beings with her vanished.”

Rachel looked at me thoughtfully and when she spoke again it was laced with compassion. “I can try to make a locator charm, but if whatever is concealing her scent is magic in origin it may not work. And in all likelihood Bella will turn up in a few hours anyway, innocent to all the worry and trouble you’ve been through.”

“What if she doesn’t?” I said fearfully. “What if whoever you were sent here to find have her? What if the werewolves are tracking her? She could be in danger.”

“Rosalie I know you’re worried, but Bella can look after herself.” Rachel said convincingly. “She’s not as fragile as you think; especially now she can shift forms.”

 

-Bella-

I crouched low to the ground and inhaled, closing my eyes to better differentiate the different smells that assaulted my senses. The scent of the deer was thick and heady, I knew the herd had been here not long ago and the thought made my mouth pool with saliva. I couldn’t believe I had so quickly turned to hunting live animals but while I was in my mountain lion form nothing seemed more natural to me, plus I couldn’t exactly go to a supermarket. I hadn’t thought of anything as sensible as money or what I would do when I had tried to follow the werewolves who had spoken about Rosalie and the rest of the Cullens. I flicked my tail in annoyance and refocused my mind on the hunt, attempting to avoid the frustration that always consumed me when I thought of how easily the werewolves had slipped my attempts to track them.

A low growl had me instantly alert, shaking off my thoughts of failure, while I had been tracking the deer I had forgotten I wasn’t the only predator in the area and I cursed my carelessness. I strained my hearing but couldn’t hear anything; I listened intently for any other sounds that might give away the other creature’s position, or what it was, before deciding that whatever had made the noise had moved away beyond my hearing range.

It could have been far away from me anyway, my hearing had improved dramatically after I had shifted for the first time, and not just when I was in my mountain lion form, when I was human I could hear sounds I wouldn’t have ever known existed before I changed. I also had a much better sense of smell and was far faster and stronger than I had been before I changed. Carlisle had said my first shift into mountain lion would affect my biology, releasing the part of me that had been dormant for all these years, but I hadn’t expected just how much I would change. I wasn’t as strong or as fast as a vampire in my human form, but in my mountain lion form I knew I was fast, I might even be able to outrace Rosalie now.

The thought sent a pang through my heart, I hadn’t seen Rosalie since we had told her family about the werewolf attack and I had learnt my ex was a witch who was now tracking magical fluctuations across the country looking for what was causing them. I missed the blonde vampire more than I had thought possible, but I had left to try and protect her now after what I had heard from the werewolves. And with what I had learned from Edward and the werewolves I wasn’t sure I would be welcomed back if I returned.

I knew I had to go back though, even if Rosalie rejected me I had to know for certain, and I had to tell her about what I had heard from the werewolves about the Cullens and make sure she was safe. Even if Rosalie didn’t want me around I could stay in Forks I thought, maybe with the La Push pack, and then I could still protect Rosalie from the threat the werewolves had spoken of. I felt the pressure weigh heavily in my chest, I hoped Rosalie could forgive me, that there might still be something between us.

Suddenly I was tackled from behind, causing me to bring my thoughts away from the blonde vampire and back to the present, back to the creature that was trying to sink its fangs into my neck. I started running and tried to buck the creature off from my back, but instead all I managed to do was discover what it was that had attacked me as the large wolf that had my neck in its jaws slipped into view.

I twisted and turned frantically, struggling to get free of the wolf, my thoughts growing hazy as the lack of oxygen started to affect my brain. I managed to turn onto my side causing the huge creature to lay awkwardly over me to keep the hold it had on my throat, I raked the body above me with my claws, moving out from beneath the wolf’s jaws as soon as the grip on my neck loosened and rushed to put space between us. My sides were heaving, struggling to get oxygen back to my body and I eyed my opponent warily. The wolf shook itself and glared at me, my only response was a snarl that was quickly drowned out by a short howl from the wolf as it readied to attack me again.

The huge wolf rushed at me from the side and I waited until the last second before I moved, using my claws to swipe at him as he travelled past me. The wolf whined and looked at me balefully. I snarled in response and waited for the next attack, my tail whipped around me, I was unable to keep it still with the adrenaline thrumming through my body. The wolf huffed dramatically and started to shrink in on itself, I watched for a few moments making sure it wasn’t a trick to catch me off guard before turning around and moving over to where I had left my clothes, shifting back to human form.

I emerged from behind the trees and was met by Jacob, he was wearing the shorts he had removed before we had shifted forms but his t-shirt was still on the ground. Honestly, he took any opportunity to go shirtless, if he wasn’t a shifter he would have caught hyperthermia with the amount of time he went around partially dressed. Jacob was grimacing at the deep scratches marking his torso and I winced at the damage, I rubbed my neck and knew I would have a deep bruise but the skin wasn’t broken

“I thought we said no blood.” Jacob said petulantly.

“I’m sorry,” I said apologetically, looking at the wounds I had inflicted. “But I couldn’t really tap out while in my cat form and I panicked.”

Jacob pouted at that. “I wasn’t going to hurt you.”

“I know… but I couldn’t really think logically when my windpipe was being crushed between a giant wolf’s jaws.” I said wryly.

“This is what happens when I can’t talk to you while in my wolf form, with the pack we could always communicate, sure it was annoying as hell at times, but at least Embry never clawed up my chest while we were sparring.”

“You did say you would train me.”

“I know I know.” Jacob sighed and looked up at me, noticing my worried gaze still focused on his injuries. “Don’t worry, it’ll heal fast.”


“I’m glad you’re here with me.” I said later when I was sitting around a small campfire with Jacob.

“You’re just saying that because I actually know how to light a fire.” Jacob grinned at me. “Hey, I couldn’t leave you out here alone, I didn’t tell you what I knew about you before because of the packs secrecy laws, I owed you. Anyway those creatures were on La Push territory, I had to follow them.” Jacob replied shrugging. “I still don’t understand what happened, that weird fog we ran through blocked all my senses then when it dissipated we were miles away from where we started. Guess this explains the weird tracks the pack found when patrolling and couldn’t follow.” Jacob said glumly.

I stared at the fire lost in my thoughts, while I had been apart from Rosalie I had had nothing but time to dwell on what Edward had said to me and what I heard from the werewolves.

“Still. We’ll find our way back soon enough.” Jacob said nudging me. When I didn’t reply he turned to look at me appraisingly.

“I’m worried about going back.” I admitted. “I can’t deal with Rosalie telling me she hates me.”

“Why would she do that?”

“Because of what I am.” I said quietly. “You know what the relationship is like between your pack and the Cullens.”

Jacob stared at the flames of the fire for a while before speaking. “I don’t think Rosalie would feel that way about you though. Besides if your mountain lion is anything like our wolves if you still feel… the same for her now you’ve shifted and the Puma has awoken she has to be your true mate.”

I stared off into the tree line, I was surprised Jacob was advocating my relationship with Rosalie but he didn’t know what Edward had said.

“Carlisle didn’t say anything about that.” I said hesitantly.

“What does a vampire know about shifters? We wolves have one soulmate we imprint on, and we’re tied to them for our entire lives, bound to protect and love them.”

“That’s maybe just you though.”

“You have mates I think… like vampires do. One person who’s your other half but you don’t imprint the same way as the pack does.”

“How do you know about all this?”

“How will I know who my mate is if I don’t imprint?”

“I don’t know to be honest.” Jacob said scratching at his noticeably longer hair. “Did your dad ever say anything… hint at anything…?

My thoughts go back to the camping trip in Alaska and I followed Jacob’s lead, staring into the fire avoiding eye contact. “It doesn’t matter now. He’s gone.” I said flatly.

“Before you get too stuck in your head it’s your turn to go catch us some dinner tonight.” Jacob said, pulling me out of my melancholy mood before it could take hold.

“Why is it my turn again? I was hunting earlier; if you hadn’t attacked me I would have caught something.”

“You need the practice.” Jacob replied smugly, leaning back against the sun warmed rock. “Try and catch something bigger than a squirrel I’m a growing boy.”


I smelt them before they noticed me; I’m upwind and won’t be scented unless the wind changes, but I’m close, too close to them. The werewolves were talking to each other, I could make out the words but I paid them no attention, too busy focusing on the best way to leave, I had wanted to find the werewolves that had threatened Rosalie but I couldn’t face off with so many alone. For the first time I cursed my unusual coat for making me more noticeable in the deep greens and browns of the surrounding forest, I was lucky I hadn’t already been spotted by the werewolves. I carefully moved backwards, taking care to avoid anything that might make a noise when I heard the largest of the group mention something that had my ears pricking up.

“The Volturi are advancing as we speak.”

“How long until they reach Forks?” A blonde with a faint shadow of a beard on his face asked.

The first werewolf grunted and looked at the blonde. “Not too long, they’re taking a larger guard than expected which has slowed them down, they hope to take the Cullens by surprise and end them before they get wind of their presence.”

“What about the fortune teller?” A slimmer, wiry built werewolf asked frowning at the largest werewolf.

“She’s not a problem, Klimt has got eyes on her and if she has a vision about the attack we won’t be implicated, the Shrouds are doing their jobs well.”

My blood ran cold at the werewolves’ words. The Cullens were about to be attacked, Rosalie was about to be targeted because of me. I have to go back to save Rosalie, even if Rosalie doesn’t want me any more now I’m a werecat I can’t leave her to get hurt. I realised with a jolt that I loved the vampire too much, maybe we weren’t mates, and maybe werecats didn’t have soulmates the same as the La Push wolves and vampires did but I couldn’t imagine caring for anyone more and I couldn’t leave her to face whatever the werewolves were planning alone.

 

Chapter Text

-Rosalie-

“Have you heard?” Emmett said dropping down beside me with all the grace of a boulder being pushed off a cliff.

“What?” I asked annoyed my wallowing had been disturbed.

“There’s a new werecreature in town.” I looked up at Emmett unsure whether to hope, surely Emmett wouldn’t tell me Bella was back like this. “A Werecat.” Emmett added.

“Bella…?” I began, hating how my voice wavered uncertainly the name whisked away from me, lost as soon as I said it.

“No, sorry Rose no, I didn’t mean… I said a new werecat…” Emmett trailed off into an uncomfortable silence and I looked back at the tree that had occupied my attention for the past… god knows how long.

“So who’s the new were?” I asked once I was certain my voice would sound normal.

“We’re planning on finding out tonight.”

“Is that wise? What if they’re with the werewolves?”

“Jasper doubts it, the cat circled the La Push reservation for a while, didn’t actually enter but Jasper hasn’t been able to sense any animosity towards the shifters.”

“Well would the werewolves want to harm the shifters? They haven’t actually approached the Quileute pack just run around their territory, just like this werecat is doing. Anyway close did Jasper get? His gift doesn’t always work on werecreatures, not the same as humans or vampires any way.”

“Close enough that he and Carlisle are going to go and explain our lifestyle to him. Oh and Alice, and Esme, and me. All of us really.” Emmett grinned and I rolled my eyes.

“Is Edward going to be there?” I asked darkly

“…Rose he apologised-”

“He can’t just say he’s sorry after doing something like that and expect me to be fine with it just because he realised he was being a dick.”

“Can’t you try though? For Carlisle and Esme?” Emmett pleaded looking at me with his puppy dog eyes and I sighed.

I suppose I should go too and make sure none of them got themselves into trouble with the new werecreature, and maybe I could learn something about what happened to Bella. There weren’t that many werecats about if he had caught her scent in his journey he would likely have remembered it.

“I can’t promise I won’t punch him in his stupid face.” I said grinding my teeth.

“Hey that’s fine. Alice will probably let you know when the best time will be to catch him off guard, she’s been almost as pissed off with him as you have.”


“Hello, I take it you’re new to the area? I’m Carlisle and this is my family.”

Carlisle had decided the best place to meet the other supernatural being in Forks was to casually interrupt his meal at the diner and attempt to invite him back to the house, I was the only member of my family who seemed sceptical of this, the others were either confident in their own abilities or intimidation of the lone werecat or ascribing too much discretion to the werecat in my opinion. Only in Forks could this happen I thought sighing after Carlisle introduced himself to the werecat.

The dark haired werecat looked up from his plate in surprise at the interruption, then his eyes narrowed as he realised what we were.

“We mean you no harm, we have a residence here and were only looking to meet the new supernatural being in our small town.” Carlisle continued, his voice dropping below the range of human hearing.

“This was my town first. Mine and the shifters, I know they wouldn’t let vampires here without a fight.” The werecat growled back in the same low tone.

“Well in some respects yes, in others not so much.” Alice interjected, confusing the werecat with her comment who clearly didn’t know we had been in this area decades before.

“But they did,” Carlisle continued, looking at Jasper for assurance of the werecat’s emotional state. “We have a treaty with the La Push pack, we don’t hunt humans you see and-”

“You’re Bella’s dad.” Alice said suddenly, I looked over at her wondering if she had had a vision.

I looked at the werecat I now knew was Charlie, now I knew what to look for I could see aspects of Bella’s features in her father’s face, my heart clenched painfully in my chest at the imperfect reminder of her in front of me.

Charlie growls at that “You know of Bella?”

“We know Bella.” I growled back, unable to stop myself from responding to the threat even when it came from Bella’s father.

“Vampire.” Charlie practically spits out, “you had better hope you don’t know anything of my daughter, if you had anything to do with-”

“Bella is alive sir,” Alice says, causing Charlie to stop talking immediately, his eyes roving between us as if he attempted to search out the truth in her words from our expressions.

“What? Bella? My Bella she’s alive?” Charlie said faintly, the tension slipping from his body and he almost sagged in a mixture of shock and relief.

“Mine.” I growled out under my breath, but not quite quiet enough to avoid werecat hearing. Charlie looked over at me frowning but he was cut off before he could say anything by Carlisle.

“I believe we should continue this conversation elsewhere.” Carlisle began, looking around the diner at the staff and the few patrons inside staring at our group with interest. Charlie threw some money down by his half-finished meal instantly and stood, forcing the closer of my family to move back and towards the exit.

“You are welcome to come to our house so we could discuss this in comfort.” Esme said, “Or if you’d rather we could go somewhere more open?”

“We’ll stay outside. I don’t want to go to your house any more than you want me there.” Charlie said glaring at us with distrust. “You said you have a treaty with the shifters, I assume you’re the cold ones their legends spoke of that aren’t allowed to cross into the pack’s territory?” Carlisle nodded his assent. “Well then we’ll talk near the reservation’s border, at least that way I have the advantage of retreating to the pack land while you have the benefit of numbers.”

We quickly made our way to the edge of our territory and I watched as Charlie paced anxiously between us and the borderline, looking confused and happy and worried all at once. And with the news he had just heard I couldn’t blame him.

“We found your daughter in Alaska.” Jasper said, attempting to defuse the tense atmosphere. “We didn’t know what she was at the time but we knew she needed help and had lost you -or thought she had lost you- to werewolves. We brought her to Forks where she lived with us-”

“Then when she turned you kicked her out? She had to run once you knew what she was?” Charlie said angrily.

“No. Bella left on her own, none of us wanted her to leave.” Alice said, “In fact she and Rose were-”

“Alice.” I said sharply, warning my sister to stop talking.

“What, she and Rose were what?” Charlie said darkly.

“She is my mate.” I answered firmly, staring at Charlie, daring him to disagree with me.

“You’re a vampire.”

“And?” I replied.

“At least he didn’t say you’re a girl.” Emmett muttered behind the others, I would have glared at him but I was too busy trying to decipher Charlie’s changing facial expressions.

“This is… too much.” Charlie said finally, I could see him visibly droop, weighed down by the conflicting emotions from everything he had learned about his daughter in the past few minutes and I couldn’t help but empathise with him, I knew what it was like to have the elation of finding Bella only to lose her, I couldn’t-I didn’t want to ever have to imagine her dead. Then Charlie’s next words had me reeling. “Where is Bella now?”

I think I could have matched Charlie’s deflation at that, “I don’t know, she left. She went to the reservation to see the Black boy and after that her tracks on our side of the treaty line have her meeting werewolves and following them, along with the mutt.” I said bitterly.

“Well follow the tracks then!”

“They disappear.” Carlisle said looking at Charlie sympathetically, “Mr Swan I know this is a horrible situation for you but believe me we have been looking for your daughter, we have someone coming who will hopefully be able to remove the block that is on her tracks, or find out where they jumped to if that’s what happened.”

“Who?”

“Someone you might know actually.” Emmett said, “Rachel Morgan? The witch?”

“Rachel is a witch?” Charlie said uncertainly, looking back and forth between each of us as if trying to will one of us to say everything we had told him was a lie.

“You know about witches?” Carlisle asked.

“Well, yeah, but I never met Bella’s friend Rachel, I didn’t know she was one.”

I tensed at him describing Rachel as a friend, I didn’t want her to be anything more to Bella but if he said that about her what would that mean for me and Bella?

“I’ve called Miss Morgan; I let her know the situation and told her to come over as soon as she can.” Esme said.


Charlie insisted on being led to where Bella’s tracks had ended and he spent the whole time we were waiting for Rachel to arrive trying to work out where his daughter had gone.

“It’s definitely magic.” Rachel said crouching down at the point where Bella’s tracks vanished.

“Magic.”  Charlie said distractedly. “Why is everyone using magic? Unless… Are there any other vampires in Forks?”

“We’re the only ones.” Jasper said looking at Charlie with interest.

“Then you’re the Cullens?”

“We are.” Jasper replied and Alice nodded in agreement, a frown marring her features as she was presumably as lost with the conversation as the rest of us were since her visions were being blocked or distorted.

“Figures Bella will get mixed up in not only vampires but vampires who’re being targeted by werewolves, she never got into trouble as a kid and now it’s tied to her tail.” Charlie said frustrated.

“Wait, targeted by werewolves?” Jasper asked.

“I’m a little more concerned with the fate of my daughter at the minute than what may or may not be happening to affect your perfect little immortal bubble.” Charlie snapped at Jasper who had the good grace to look contrite.

“But if-” Although Jasper didn’t let that stop him from trying to continue the conversation.

“Jasper!” I growled at my brother annoyed at his priorities while Bella was still out in some unknown place having to face god knows what.

Charlie glanced over at me and I saw the same worry and helplessness reflected in his eyes as I felt then we lapsed back into silence as we watched Rachel work.

“I’ve got it!” Rachel said excitedly. “I got the locator charms to work, they were blocking their path with leyline magic, it looks like they used a curse-”

“Cursed? Is Bella okay?” I asked worriedly. I could sense Charlie looking at me appraisingly but I didn’t pay him any attention, my mind too concerned with Bella.

“Anyone who travelled with the spell will be fine.” Rachel reassured me, “Just the castor would have earned smut on their soul from it, I don’t know why a witch would do that for a pack of werewolves.” Rachel frowned at the thought even as she offered me and Charlie the charms.

“Rosalie,” Carlisle said warningly, “it could be a trap; we have to think about this.”

I didn’t spare his advice any thought, if there was any chance this could lead me to Bella I was taking it. I took one of the proffered charms from Rachel and Charlie was quick to take another while the rest of my family either started trying to convince Carlisle that we should all go or arguing that we should wait.


In the end only Charlie and I left to find Bella, I think Emmett would have come if it wasn’t for Carlisle corralling him into a discussion about how this could be a trap and we needed to formulate a plan instead of rushing in blindly. I had already started running at that point I knew nothing could keep me from Bella now I had a way of finding her but Emmett and the others started arguing their views with Carlisle even as I left.  

Charlie wasn’t as fast as me; I considered slowing down and waiting for him but just as I was debating the merits of helping my mate’s father versus seeing Bella sooner a large black cat ran past me, the locator charm’s cord around his neck. It was lucky the charm worked by getting warmer and not by colour change or something otherwise he would have had to stay human to work it, or construct some way of being able to see the charm while in cat form. I increased my pace and ran side by side with the black coated mountain lion, the stories of a large black cat in Alaska suddenly making sense. Charlie glanced at me while he was running but unlike with Bella I couldn’t read anything in his eyes when he was changed.

 I turned my focus on to the charm in my hand; I could feel the small pulsing of warmth it was emitting against my cold skin increase with every step I took. We ran together for hours, until eventually coming to a large lake which Charlie eyed contemplatively before turning to run around the side. I knew werecreatures generally weren’t as fast swimming as they were on land; vampires on the other hand were almost equally as able in the water, our lack of reliance on oxygen and our natural speed enabling us to counteract the heaviness of our bodies easily, so I took the most direct route, plunging into the lake without second thought. Once I made it to the other side I set off instantly, no longer concerned about waiting for Charlie, but a few miles along I realised I maybe should have waited, or heeded Carlisle’s warning.

The scent of werewolf was heavy in the air, I slowed my pace as I tried to determine from what direction the scent was coming from but I quickly realised that there wasn’t one direction; or rather the scent was all around the area. Thickly laid over the foliage and against the flora as if someone had been desperate for everyone who passed to know what they were dealing with.

As soon as I realised the scent was everywhere I almost ran straight into a werewolf standing alone in the middle of the track. I turned to evade, hoping the creature would let me pass him by, but the beast matched my movement, sweeping low and swiftly hooking my leg with its claws causing me to stumble. I turned to face him, not wanting to run to Bella with a werewolf on my tail and it did something that shocked me into stillness, the werewolf shifted back to human form, its crouched form shrinking back, receding with its fur to reveal a naked and filthy man in its place.

“I’m so glad I got to finally meet you.” He said enthusiastically. “They said to wait and not move yet, but I knew, I just knew you’d be coming through here to find your little lost kitten. You took longer than I expected though, didn’t you realise she had gone until you went to fill up her kibble?”

“What have you done to her?” I snarled, dropping slightly into a stance more suited for fighting, readying myself for whatever the werewolf would do, or for what he would say about Bella.

“Oh, your cat’s fine.” He said airily. “She’s not really my concern. You don't know who I am, do you? They call me Claw. You can call me Auden though; I doubt you would want to call me King." The werewolf said with a sneer, scraping his elongated nails across the trees already scored by his werewolf claws.

I frowned at the creature, unsure why it had felt the need to shift back to human form to talk to me. I had never known for the werewolves to have royalty, or even titles among their own like we had the Volturi. I supposed that it was a lone wolf driven mad by the changes that the wolf within forced upon its body, maybe one who had taken to preying on humans and who believed he was something more than he was.

I was watching Auden closely so I saw his muscles bunch and swiftly stepped aside as he leapt at me, only I didn’t anticipate him shifting into his werewolf form, his elongated claws scored thin marks across my arm as I threw it out in front of my body.

I crouched and hissed at the werewolf, he turned his head, tongue lolling out of his gaping jaws as though he was laughing and he lunged forward again only to pull up before he reached me, snapping his jaws and continuing with his strange imitation of a laugh when I flinched.

The next time he lunged it wasn’t a feint and he gripped me about the arm before I could move away, his jaws digging into my shoulder as he clawed at my throat and jaw. I twisted around, grabbing him about his neck and tried to throw him from off me.

He slammed to the floor whining and I whirled away, eyeing him warily as I tried to collect myself. I heard howls in the distance and tensed, weighing up my options of fighting more than one werewolf alone. But Auden stopped, pricking his ears up at the sound and with a glare at me he turned on his tail and vanished into the trees. I waited for a while, carefully circling around the area, unsure whether it was a trap but in the end I couldn’t stand to wait any longer before seeing Bella and set back on the trail the charm was pointing me in.

 

-Bella-

Jacob and I had been making our way back to Forks with more determination than ever since I had heard the werewolves say they were intentionally hiding from my vampires, covering their tracks while the Volturi were headed to Forks to fight the Cullens. I was still unsure of how my reappearance would be received and was in some ways glad it was taking us a little more time than we had expected to return. But while we had rested for the night in a cave when I woke I heard something that made my stomach turn over in nerves and anticipation, knowing that my wait had been cut short.   

“Where is she mutt?” Rosalie’s voice was dripping with venom and I knew her eyes would be pitch black holes showing nothing but anger. I waited beyond the cave entrance trying to gather the courage I needed to face my fears.

“If she wants to talk to you she’ll come find you.” Jacob said bravely, giving me more time before I had to face Rosalie and find out if she still wanted anything to do with me.

“Why are you keeping her from me?” Rosalie growled out lowly, I knew she could be dangerous and didn’t want anything to happen to Jake, especially while he was doing his best to protect me.

I moved out towards the voices and caught my first glimpse of Rosalie in too long. Her eyes were as dark as I had thought, but the emotions swirling in them when they caught mine made me pause, suddenly unable to move as everything inside of me yearned for the blonde vampire in front of me.

“Bella.” Rosalie said in wonder, her eyes tracking my movement, my heart broke at the distance that was still between us, but I couldn’t let myself go to her just to find out she had come to the realisation that we were too different, that we couldn’t be together now that I was a monster.

“Bella.” Rosalie said again, her voice breaking, Jacob looked uncomfortable and shifted his weight from foot to foot, unsure whether to leave me with the vampire or not.

“It’s all right Jake; I’ll come find you later.”

Jacob nodded grateful at being allowed to leave the tension filled cave and raced out, giving Rosalie a wide berth as he left.

“You need his approval to be alone with me now?” Rosalie said bitingly.

I met Rosalie’s eyes and the pain in her gaze shattered what was left of my resolve.

“Don’t.” I said my voice cracking. “I can’t do this.”

“Why?” Rosalie’s angry response shot back immediately, she took a step forward before catching herself and halting, seemingly taking great pains to do so. “Is this because of him?” Rosalie snarled out.

“Who? Jacob?” I asked confused before realisation set in and the sadness settled more firmly over my heart.

“The dog you ran off with and have been living with, the mutt who thinks you need protecting from me.

Rosalie’s words tore at my being, of course Rosalie would be angry with any connection with a shifter, she was a vampire after all, and they were hardwired to be enemies with them. This was just another way I knew we couldn’t work.

“You’re hurt.” I said, finally noticing the thin cracks across her neck and the indents on her shoulder that marred her perfect skin and I ached to go closer, to trace the lines with my fingers and try to soothe the pain but I didn’t think my touch would be welcome.

Rosalie stared at me for what felt like eternity, her eyes gazing into my soul, I didn’t know what she found there because when she eventually looked away she only sighed “I’m fine. Just had a run in with a werewolf on the way, it’ll heal up soon enough.” She pushed a hand through her golden locks, frustration clear as her usually graceful movements turned awkward and inelegant. “Bella no matter what you think about us,” Rosalie’s voice cracked and I couldn’t help but take a step towards her, wanting to comfort her even as I knew she didn’t want me anymore. “There is something you need to know. Your father is in Forks, he’s alive-”

“Charlie?” I asked shocked unable to believe what I was hearing.

Rosalie’s eyes met mine and her expression softened.

“He didn’t die Bella,” Rosalie said gently. “He thought you had, that’s why he didn’t look for you, he’s been tracking the werewolves to Forks. He’s nearby, we tracked your location with charms Rachel made but we took separate paths a while back so I don’t know how long he will take to get here now.”

“Rachel?”

“Yeah, you’ve missed quite a bit.” Rosalie said darkly. “As have I, I guess.” Rosalie said glaring in the direction Jacob had gone.

“Rose, I’m sorry,” I said moving closer to the vampire, unable to stop my desire to be near her, especially if this was going to be the last time. “I know you couldn’t be with me now-”

“What? What makes you think that?” Rosalie said angrily, grabbing onto my wrist and stopping me from moving anywhere but closer to her.

“I’m a monster; I turn into an animal now. The same kind of animal that hurt you. You told me you had only shed the blood of the men who left with nothing but this life, and you say vampires are killers but I have lived with your family and they took care of me, took me in after the first I saw of my kind, of werecreatures they were trying to kill me and my father, and now they’re after you because of me. How could you want anything to do with someone, something like me?”

I gazed at Rosalie, focusing on memorising her face, every curve and line of her features. Even if she still wanted to be with me Edward had said vampires only had one serious relationship in their life, and no vampire ever had a relationship with a werecreature. There was no way Rosalie and I were fated to be together, not with me turning out to be a werecat. And I didn’t know if I could cope with her one day casting me aside, I would have more time with her… but I knew without a doubt I would never find someone who I could feel for as deeply as I felt for Rosalie, what would become of me if she gave me a few years of her immortal time only to be discarded when she found her mate?

“Is that why you left? It wasn’t because you wanted to be with Jacob?” Rosalie said, the words falling from her in a rush of emotion.

“Jacob?” I pulled my wrist free from her grasp and almost laughed but only succeeded in sobbing, I rubbed my eyes roughly, angry at myself for breaking down.

“Bella.” Rosalie said again, regaining hold of my wrist and bringing us closer together. “Do you want to be with me?” Rosalie stared into my eyes and I couldn’t help but fall into the swirling colours I could see there.

“I’m a monster.” I said quietly. “We are two different species, your kind hate-”

I was cut off by a sweet and all too brief kiss.

I looked up into Rosalie’s eyes and saw the fragile hope in her eyes, causing it bloom in my own chest.

“You’re mine.” Rosalie said quietly, still holding my gaze. “My Bella. My lover. My mate.”

I felt relief and love crash over me, my heart finally allowed to hope again. I brought my hands to Rosalie’s neck and brought our lips together, this kiss wasn’t the tender kiss Rosalie had bestowed on me before; we gripped one another as if we were terrified of losing the other, our passion devouring and enflaming as it met its pair in each other.

“You are not a monster Bella, any more than you think your friend Jacob is one. The mountain lion isn’t a new creature inside of you she was always there, only now you can access her.” Rosalie said between kisses, her hands still entwined in my hair and around my waist, holding me as close to her as she could. “Those werewolves we have met are not the standard for your species, there is some agenda there, they’ve been using magic for god’s sake, that’s not usual werewolf conduct.”

Rosalie dipped her head once she had finished talking and began nuzzling and kissing at the sensitive skin on my throat.

“I heard them say something about that.” I said suddenly remembering the group of werewolves in the forest. “They said they were using shrouds to stop Alice from seeing visions, and to hide themselves from you, Rosalie they-”

“Enough with the werewolves.” Rosalie growled and I felt the vibrations against my neck, sending shockwaves of excitement all through my body, making me forget what I had been about to say. “I haven’t seen you in too long, your scent was being lost under my own in our bed, and I had almost forgotten your taste.” And with that Rosalie licked teasingly around the shell of my ear and bit lightly on the lobe, I reacted instinctively, chasing her mouth with my own and trying to show her just how much her absence had weighed on me too.

 Rosalie quickly divested me of my clothes, shedding her own at vampire speed. The moment I felt her skin against my own I shuddered, my hands mapping the curves I hadn’t been able to touch in too long as I pressed closer to her.

I was concerned I might shift and hurt Rosalie, but Rose had no such worries, she devoured me with more desire than I had ever felt from her before, it was desperate and furious, she gripped me as though she had feared she would never see me again. Rosalie sucked a hickey onto my neck and watched awestruck as it disappeared before her eyes due to my faster healing abilities. Rosalie looked at me with hunger, realising now I had fully come into my werecat nature I didn’t mark as easy, and I could be held tighter without bruising or injury. I squirmed under the weight of the vampire’s gaze and Rosalie lightly bit at my skin, causing me to gasp and grind helplessly against Rosalie’s thigh, covering the blonde in my arousal.

I quickly fell into a release, no less intense for how swiftly it happened and hurried to return the favour, Rosalie writhed against me letting out little gasps that only inflamed me further. I bit at her neck until she groaned, and I couldn’t help but moan in response. I hooked my leg around Rosalie’s and shifted our positions rolling Rose onto her back, I gazed down at the blonde beauty below me and my heart ached with how much I felt, I couldn’t believe how close I had come to never having this again and I longed to show Rosalie how much she meant to me. I teased Rosalie relentlessly, storing away every whimper and moan she made until eventually she slumped boneless against me, sighing into my neck.

“If you ever leave me again.” Rosalie said, her voice wavering as she threaded her fingers through my hair, moving it away from my sweat dampened forehead.

“I won’t.” I said quickly turning over to hold the vampire in my arms. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, I overheard the werewolves, I didn’t think you could want me anymore not with me like this. I didn’t think it was possible for us. I thought I was putting you in danger. I thought so many things that made me too scared to face you in case they were true, but even with that fear I still couldn’t stay away from you, I planned to come back and try and explain. And even if you didn’t want me anymore I knew I couldn’t stay away, I’d have to stay and protect you from what I found out.”

“I could never not want you.” Rosalie said firmly, her eyes holding mine as she brought me towards her again. I meant what I said Bella, you are my mate, the only being I will love for eternity.”

-Charlie-

The big one, Emmett, caught up to me first, I think he had been sent ahead by the others to block my path because he looked the most intimidating, not that that would have stopped me if I had wanted a fight.

The others quickly joined us, all of them lingering in one group and not spreading around and circling me as a pack would have done.

“Alice has had a vision.” The one called Carlisle called to me as I paced warily, eyeing the vampires.

“Rosalie and Bella have found each other, they’ll be heading back this way shortly if we travel slightly to the east of here we will bump into them, otherwise we’ll be following their trail.” The smallest vampire said, shrugging off a protective arm from the blonde soldier looking one.

I growled glaring at each of them in turn not appreciating their attempts to try and stop me from finding Bella when they hadn’t even wanted to track her with the blonde vampire.

“Check your locator charm if you don’t believe us.” Emmett said, “It’s directing you back now isn’t it?

I concentrated on the charm touching my skin and it did seem that Bella had moved position but I wasn’t in the mood to shift forms and tell the vampires I agreed with them, putting me at a disadvantage against the group of vampires while I would be changing into my weaker human form.

“Besides we don’t want to interrupt them now anyway.” The little pixie haired vampire said chuckling as I turned to the east.


We were moving at a sedate pace when suddenly I scented something that I almost thought I might have imagined. I froze and focused on the scent and when I smelt it again I changed direction and raced towards it, the Cullens following behind.

“Whoa, what.” Bella said looking at me in shock and with slight trepidation, the blonde vampire wrapping her arms around her and leaning to whisper in her ear.

I realised I should have shifted back but I was too excited to actually have everything the vampires had told me confirmed, to see Bella was alive and here I couldn’t focus enough to shift. Instead I butted my head against her and tried to show her how happy I was to see her again. Considering how comfortable I was expressing my feelings ordinarily this was probably the most emotional response Bella had seen from me.

Bella moved away from the blonde and towards me. “Charlie? Dad?” Bella’s tentative voice making my heart break.

“Maybe we should get back so you can shift and have this reunion while you’re both in the same forms.” Jacob Black said from just behind Rosalie and Bella, looking at me with amusement. I could tell Jacob had come into his wolf heritage and had presumably gone with Bella through the werewolves spell and from the distance he was keeping between him and the blonde vampire I suspected that that hadn’t gone down well with Rosalie.

Bella looked at Rosalie questioningly who shrugged at her. “It’ll be quicker, unless you let me carry you.” The blonde said, the private conversation they were having while we were all there annoyed me, just how long had they been together if they were already able to communicate with a look, had the blonde taken advantage of Bella while she had been in the vampires’ care?

“I’ll be right back.” Bella said smiling at me, breaking me from of the suspicion I had with the blonde before leaving with Rosalie. The vampire quickly returned holding a parcel of clothes with a white cat trailing behind her.

I slowly approached Bella who twitched her nose at me, her tail waving from side to side behind her, Bella tilted her head as I got closer and cautiously bumped my nose with her own and I rubbed my head against hers purring loudly.

We ran back, Bella between me and Rosalie, our bodies bumping into each other as we ran and Jacob’s giant wolf form following us closely, keeping his distance from the other vampires.

We made it back to the Forks and I swung by my house to pick up clothes before going back to where we had split and following Bella’s trail back to the Cullens’ house, Jacob had split off and his trail led back to the reservation so I made my way to the vampire’s den knowing I would be outnumbered by them.

Bella was sitting out on the front steps when I arrived and jumped up, pulling me into a hug I quickly returned. We broke apart both looking embarrassed and I cleared my throat awkwardly.

“So, these vampires been taking good care of you?” I said gruffly.

Bella smiled “Yeah they have. I didn’t think I’d ever see you again, I thought… thought that-”

“I know, I thought the same. I was so angry for so long and those werewolves had said something about a werecat living with vampires but I didn’t think for a minute it would be you. I didn’t dare to hope; even with the Cullens telling me you were alive I didn’t know whether to believe them.” I trailed off looking away from Bella and gazing at the scenery, unable to look at the daughter I had thought I had lost forever and keep control of my emotions. “I’ve not been the kind of dad I should have, I’m sorry for that I’m going to do better, I promise-”

“Well I lived with Renee, it wasn’t your fault-”

“It wasn’t anyone else’s fault other than mine.” I said firmly. “I didn’t tell you about our history, about the supernatural, I was going to on that camping trip but I left it too late and you had to work this out on your own.”

“Well… yeah, I mean I don’t know anything about werecats, I didn’t even know they existed until I turned into one. And Jacob tried to help, he told me about the shifters but I don’t know if they’re the same at all, we seem to heal faster and be stronger and have better senses than humans like the wolves do but they imprint on someone and know that they’re their soulmate-”

“We have mates, we don’t imprint like shifters do though, everyone has a soulmate the supernatural beings are just more in tune with finding theirs.”

“But how do we know who they are if we don’t imprint?”

I sighed this was something that was still a point of contention between a lot of werecreatures, and I had believed Renee had been my soulmate until we separated, I still wasn’t sure about whether she was or not but I knew we didn’t fit. “It’s tricky, there’s one person you always feel drawn to and it physically hurts when you leave them. You feel as though you’re being stretched the further away you are.”  

Bella was quiet for a while, looking lost in thought. I glanced in the direction she was staring and saw the blonde vampire Rosalie glaring at us.

“Your lifespans match your mate’s too, if your mate was human you would age with them, if yours is the vampire, you’ll have immortality together.” I said smiling ruefully at my daughter who had already grown up much too quickly while we had been apart. “Bella… I’m so sorry you had to find out about this all by yourself, I didn’t think you had inherited this from me, when you were young you seemed so human, and when your mum and I realised you had picked up the gene and would change we arranged for you to come up and I’d explain everything but I didn’t do it in time.”

“It’s okay dad, I mean I thought you were gone forever you kind of get a free pass for stuff now.” Bella said grinning at me.

“Thanks kid.” I replied roughly.

We lapsed back into silence again but this time it wasn’t uncomfortable, I leaned back against the

“Is that pot roast I smell?” I asked turning towards the kitchen puzzled, my nose picking up the delicious aroma coming from inside the vampire’s residence.

“That’ll be Esme; she’s pretty excited to have someone else to cook for.”

“These vampires, they treated you okay? They didn’t do anything before they realised you were a werecat? Or after?”

“Yeah, they were great to me. They’re not like other vampires, they don’t hunt humans, only animals. And Rosalie…”

“Yeah, yeah, Rosalie.” I said grouchily eyeing the blonde who considering Bella suspected they were mates-and the fact that Rosalie had told me Bella was her mate their relationship had probably progressed much further than I was comfortable thinking about. “Well if these vampires are as good as you say they are I should probably tell them about what I overheard when spying on a werewolf den.”

“What? What did you hear?”

“After dinner though.”

“Dad!”

Chapter Text

-Bella-

I was curled up on the same sofa I usually was with Rosalie when we were having an expositional moment, this was becoming a habit. Charlie was standing by the wall after declining a seat much to Esme’s dismay. I could tell that the look of disappointment and desolation at potentially being a bad hostess and not making Charlie feel comfortable enough to sit and relax around the Cullens almost had Charlie reconsidering his stance, but instead he had gruffly asked to ‘get on with it’ and said he had important information for the vampires.

Eventually Esme managed to wrangle the rest of her family into the room to hear what Charlie had to say, as soon as Charlie cleared his throat and began to speak Edward sat up alarmed and looked over at Alice who unusually for her wasn’t already up to date with the details and so Edward’s worried look went unnoticed and unanswered by the small vampire but it multiplied my apprehension over what was to come.

Charlie glanced at me nestled into Rosalie’s side before starting to talk, his eyes flicking over to the rest of the Cullens, “When I was coming back to Forks I was tracking the werewolves that had ambushed us in Alaska and I happened upon a werewolf den, the werewolves are somehow using magic to conceal their identities and have told the Volturi you’ve broken the law and told a human about vampires.”

“How did you hear this without the werewolves discovering you?” Jasper asked.

“I was high up on the beams of the old building; the werewolves were too concerned with the rhetoric of the speaker to pay any attention to the faint scent of werecat, if they even could smell anything other than the stink of werewolf in there.”

“We need to inform the Volturi of this immediately.” Carlisle said.

“How will we explain that they’ve been tricked by werewolves? Aro, Caius and Marcus aren’t likely to believe us, especially when this makes them look like such fools, weakening their position to rule over vampires.” Jasper asserted.

“We’ll have to trust that they will see reason, I’ve known them for over a century, I lived in Volterra for two decades, when we explain they’ll realise we aren’t at fault for any of this.” Carlisle said calmly.

The Cullens stared at Carlisle in silence for a moment and Charlie caught my eye and raised his eyebrows questioningly at me.

“Right, and when they let Jane use her gift on us before we have the chance to talk, or have Alec blind us all we’ll just hope the Volturi are in one of their rare magnanimous moods that they have every century or so and they actually let us talk before disposing of us.” Rosalie responded sarcastically.

“I could read their thoughts and use that to get them to listen, or have Aro scan me and confirm that we’re telling the truth and let him see what everyone is thinking so he knows we’re being completely transparent.” Edward said contemplatively.

“I just would rather us have a plan that doesn’t hinge on the Volturi talking to us before they attack and lets us get away from this alive.” Rosalie said unconsciously gripping my thigh hard enough to be painful if I was still an ordinary human.

“We have to make them listen to us.” Jasper said. “We provide a united front, letting them know we have nothing to hide but we won’t be going down easy if they intend to fight.”

“Us against the Volturi?” Edward asked incredulously.

“They’re not so tough.” Emmett said cracking his knuckles and actually looking excited about the prospect.

“You don’t rule as vampire royalty for without being tough.” Charlie interrupted, looking between Emmett and Jasper as though they were insane.

“We’ll contact the Denalis and see if they will stand with us.” Esme added prompting nods from Alice and Carlisle.

“Maybe Jacob and the La Push pack will help.” I said causing Charlie to frown at me.

“But you won’t be anywhere near here when the Volturi come around Bella.” Charlie said firmly.

“I won’t let anything happen to Bella.” Rosalie said holding Charlie’s gaze, “she will probably be safer with us away from the werewolves in any case. Once they realise what we are doing they may target Bella to remove the proof of their lie.”

Charlie grumbled at that but he didn’t deny what Rose was saying had merit, I stayed pressed against my vampire and wondered whether he would actually let me be near the Volturi once the time came, wondered how much help I would be. I had fought the werewolves in the park successfully before but they hadn’t been expecting me, maybe they hadn’t even been expecting a vampire to be there, I had no experience fighting vampires and if what we had heard from the werewolves was accurate I had no time to learn.

“Although once the Volturi find out they were given information by werewolves it will all be a moot point,” Edward added. “Even if Caius wasn’t terrified of werewolves there’s no way they will allow themselves to be manipulated by the wolves and do their bidding.”

 

-Rosalie-

Carlisle had contacted the Denali coven and they arrived the next day, at first they didn’t believe the reason that they had been called, thinking the werewolves were too disorganised and hot-headed to be able to concoct the plan we told them about but they still came to support us.

“You realise the Volturi could see this as confirmation of what the werewolves told them; that you are trying to usurp them. Or just that you are trying to get out of taking the punishment for telling a human about us.” Tanya argued once Jasper had explained that they were here as a show of force if necessary.

“What human did we tell?” I growled at Tanya, while Bella rubbed calming circles onto my back.

“We’ll help; we’ve been close for too long to break our relationship now.” Kate said glancing at me, Bella’s hand in my hair tightened to almost uncomfortable and I looked at her to see her glaring at Kate. “And if the werewolves succeed in their plan it would be disastrous for us all.”

Kate looked pointedly at Tanya who nodded in agreement, although she didn’t look happy about it.

“We’ll have to convince the Volturi this was part of the werewolves plan. We don’t want to be fighting a battle on two fronts.” Jasper stated.

“Just tell them. And keep me and Bella out of it.” Charlie said “Surely they’ll believe you over a group of shadowy individuals who’ve been using magic to keep their identity hidden from them.”

“They might not take us at our word. Especially if they think we’re guilty of what the werewolves have claimed.” Jasper replied, repeating what had been said previously.

I could understand Charlie’s desire to keep Bella away from the Volturi; they had never been particularly amenable to other supernatural creatures preferring to ignore their existence where they could. Plus there was a very real possibility that this could come to blows before we could explain, but all that was easily overcome by my selfish need to have Bella near me, to know that she was all right and be able to protect her if anything happened.

“No one would mistake me for human now.” Bella said softly leaning into my body as she spoke, the comment was directed at me but everyone could hear it with their supernatural hearing.

“Absolutely not.” Charlie bristled.

“It’s probably our best chance at stopping this before it starts.” Jasper replied, turning to Alice who shrugged in response.

“My visions are still blocked by whatever magic the werewolves’ shrouds are doing. Rachel said she’d try to work on it but as she doesn’t know exactly how my gift works, or how they’re managing to block it, it might be a while if she can do anything at all.”

“When did you ask Rachel to help?” Carlisle asked curiously.

“I hate having to find everything out too late.” Alice said pouting. “After I had the vision of Bella with Rose I thought my gift was working again, but then when I saw anything of the Volturi it was still blocked.”

“Yeah, we should probably have thought to tell Rachel we had Bella.” Emmett said scratching his head thoughtfully.

“I wouldn’t worry about it, I went round to tell her Bella and Charlie were here when I asked her to look into my visions for me. She and her scary vampire made some jokes about not seeing you two for your honeymoon period so they don’t expect a thank you visit any time soon or anything.”

Bella groaned at that then looked up from where her head had buried in my shoulder, “Wait, Rachel.” Bella said excitedly. “Can’t she help take down the shrouds the werewolves are using so the Volturi know we’re telling the truth? Or at least know who they’ve been taking information from.”

“We’ll have to explain everything with the Volturi and the werewolves.” Charlie said dubiously. “Can she handle that?”

“Oh, I already did that.” Alice said casually. “And she’s kind of already on this for her job anyway, tracking the perpetrators of whoever’s casting the magic for the werewolves so her interests are almost the same as ours here.”

“For someone who’s lost their gift of premonition you’re still scarily foresighted.” Emmett commented grinning at Alice.

“Well I told Billy I would let him know what’s happening with all this, Jacob told the pack about the werewolves being the ones crossing their territory when he got back with Bella.” Charlie said glancing at the assembled vampires before his gaze came to rest on Bella, seemingly debating whether Bella would join him. I wrapped an arm around Bella’s shoulders and leaned down to nuzzle into her neck inhaling where her scent was strongest, Bella relaxed into my hold and Charlie looked up meeting my eyes and huffed before turning to leave.

“Is it really a good idea to tell the shifters?” Tanya asked frowning.

“Why wouldn’t it? The Volturi coming to Forks affects them too, and they could help, the more bodies we have to meet the Volturi the more likely they’ll pause to hear us out.” Bella argued.

“If we can trust them.” Carmen said wrinkling her nose as though she could smell the dogs from here. “It seems we’re already aligned with werecreatures and witches are involved, just how many other supernatural beings are you consorting with now Carlisle?”

“It’s a rather short-sighted of vampires to try and keep themselves separate from all other supernatural beings, there’s so much we can learn from each other, and maybe if we were more sociable we wouldn’t be in this mess.” Carlisle responded.

“It makes good sense to keep ourselves to ourselves, the others are less civilised and could easily cause a scene and reveal their nature to the humans.” Tanya said glancing at Bella as she spoke.

I growled lowly, causing Carmen and Tanya to glare at me.

“I doubt that since both vampires and werecreatures are still unknown to the public.” Bella said mildly, Carmen huffed at that and turned to Tanya who gave a short nod.

“Kate?” Tanya called “Edward has offered to accompany us hunting to make sure we steer clear of the dog’s treaty line.”

“Surely you’d smell it before you neared it Tanya?” Kate drawled teasingly. “In any case I’ll catch you up, wouldn’t want this vicious werecreature to lose her temper at your oh so subtle barbs and shift while you’re near would we?” Kate winked at Bella and I felt my werecat stiffen slightly as the Denali vampire walked over to us ignoring the annoyed looks from her sisters as they left the house.

“It’s good to see you Rosalie, even though the circumstances aren’t exactly ideal.” Kate said grinning ruefully. “It’s been too long.”

Kate moved to hug me and Bella growled, placing herself between me and the Denali vampire who looked at her in surprise.

“It looks like your cat’s trying to stake her claim Rose.” Kate said laughing and causing Bella’s growl to increase in volume.

"I wouldn't piss her off Kate she took down werewolves when she was just a kitten." Emmett said grinning widely at the show of sparks Kate was creating on the edge of her fingers.

Bella moved over to me caressed my arm while still glaring at Kate.

I felt tingles in my skin from where she was touching me and couldn't help the purr vibrate from my chest. Bella turned away from Kate and looked at me, her brown eyes swirling with emotion and I pulled her to me, wrapping my arms around her locking her in place. I grazed her neck with my teeth and delighted in the shiver I could feel run though her body. Inhaling her sweet scent I ran my nose up her throat and nudged at her jaw. Bella let out an adorable sound and the next thing I knew she was kissing me.

"Oh god, we should leave, who knows how long they'll be like this." I heard Alice declare, snickering. But I couldn't bring myself to care and immersed myself in the feel of Bella.


“I’m sorry about that.” Bella said embarrassed.

“Don’t be. Really don’t be.” I said looking at the ripped clothing that surrounded us and the pale bite marks already fading from Bella’s skin.

“I just felt… I got jealous.”

“I understand, your cat isn’t too dissimilar to my vampire instincts.” I leant closer to Bella and kissed her softly. “Besides, it was kind of hot, you staking your claim over me.” I grinned at Bella whose face was still blushing. “At least I know you’re serious about this.”

Bella looked at me earnestly, her eyes holding mine, “Rose-”

“Is it safe to come in yet?” A voice called from outside the house. I groaned and tossed Bella the clothes that were still salvageable, both of us hurriedly dressing before the others gave up waiting and came into the house.

“We still have a plan to make.” Jasper said a little regretfully and I could hear Alice muttering something to him too low for me to hear from this distance making Emmett laugh.

I looked at Bella who was dealing with her elevated levels of embarrassment of having hers and mine family letting us know they knew what we had been up to better than I had expected.

“Later” I said, bringing her into my arms and kissing her.

Bella nodded her agreement and we stepped back, although our hands were still entwined, and not a moment too soon as the door opened and Rachel breezed in followed by the dark haired vampire I had encountered before.

“Hey guys.” Bella said raising her eyebrows at me as Rachel and Ivy moved past us.

Ivy glanced around the room before taking up station near Rachel, resting against the wall as the redhead took out a number of different plants and other ingredients from her bag and setting up a workspace in the kitchen.

“So you guys just inviting yourselves round now?” I asked.

“The small vampire said we could come.” Ivy replied raising an eyebrow at me. “I assume the rest of your coven will be joining us soon now you’re no longer… otherwise occupied.”

Bella blushed at my side but Rachel didn’t seem to pick up on what Ivy was alluding to.

 “You wouldn’t happen to have a copper pot and ceramic spoons would you?” Rachel asked Esme who had entered the house not long after the duo and rushed to gather what the redhead needed.

“So you must be…” Bella said wandering into the kitchen and glancing between the witch and vampire.

“Ivy.”

“Right of course.” Bella said smiling. “And you and Rachel are…”

“Really busy right now.” Rachel said interrupting Bella’s attempt at fishing for details about their relationship.

“Of course, sure.” Bella said apologetically and I caught the glimpse of a smirk from the seemingly stoic vampire who moved from her position against the wall to pass a large book from the bag to Rachel who smiled brightly at her in response.

“Why do you have the sword?” Bella asked after watching Rachel work in silence.

“For protection.” Ivy said raising an eyebrow at Bella.

“But you’re a vampire. You can just twist someone’s head off if you wanted, why do you need a sword?” Bella asked insistently.

“I didn’t say it was for my protection, even other supernaturals who know I’m a vampire sometimes try to fight for no real reason. They think twice before attacking when I have such an obvious weapon. It saves me from having to fight them and saves them from me.”

“Wow. That’s kind of scary.” Emmett said from behind me, I rolled my eyes but secretly agreed with him, glad this vampire was on our side.  

Just then Charlie returned and I was immediately assaulted by the scent of wet dog, I turned around to see Jacob standing awkwardly in the foyer, a second later and Edward was standing on the stairs glaring at the young shifter and Jasper was joining us, his eyes flicking between the group evaluating the situation and probably using his gift to keep everyone calm.

“You brought one of the shifters here?” Edward asked angrily, his hand gripping the banister hard enough to crack the wood. Of course Jasper’s gift could only do so much if he wanted to use it without the rest of us being aware of it.

“Would you prefer I talk to him about everything down at the reservation? Sam and most of the pack weren’t interested in helping you; their exact words were ‘cleaning up the mess after the fang-police had done their job’. I didn’t think you’d want them knowing everything that was happening.” Charlie said dryly.

“You think I want to be here?” Jacob replied irritated, glaring at Edward, “this whole place is giving me a headache; I’m going to stink of sickly sweet vamp stench for days. I thought I was coming to help you guys out but if you don’t want me here I’ll leave.”

“Come on Jake, let’s go outside and I’ll let you know what they’ve discussed.” Bella said ushering Charlie and Jacob out the house.

“Charlie says you’re not planning on fighting?” Jacob asked as soon as they exited the house.

“Not if we don’t have to.” I interrupted.

Jacob snapped his head around to stare at me surprised and I smirked, he clearly had thought he would be alone with Bella. Well, along with her dad, but even though Bella had assured me there was nothing at all between her and Jacob I still hadn’t forgiven the mutt for being with Bella while she had been lost to me and didn’t intend to let them alone now, especially not with the threat of the Volturi so close.

“Why not? Wouldn’t it be better to take them out so you never have to worry about them coming after you again?” Jacob asked frowning.

“And then who would keep the vampires in line, stop them from being too frightened of revealing themselves or revealing other supernatural beings to the humans?” I said.

“If we don’t have to fight surely that would be better for everyone? I only met one of their guard before, Jane… and what she could do…” Bella trailed off and I caught up to her, interlacing her fingers with my own.

“Charlie told me what the Volturi think you’ve done.” Jacob said glancing at me before focusing his attention on Bella again. “He said you want to hang out on the Res’ with me away from the vamps.”

I growled at the same time Bella spoke “No, that’s not what’s happening.” Bella said determinedly.

“Bella.” Charlie began pleadingly.

“The Volturi think they told a human about vampires Jake-”

“But you’re not a human.” Jacob said frowning.

“Exactly why I should be with them so the Volturi have no reason to continue to believe what the werewolves have told them.” Bella argued. “I need to let them know the Cullens didn’t break the law when they told me about them, they can’t punish them for telling a human about vampires if I’m not human. And I’m not letting Rose and her family fight the Volturi by themselves and me having no idea what is going on.” Bella continued, turning to look at me and smiling, I swear I felt the ghost of a heartbeat in my chest as I lost myself in Bella’s warm gaze.

We stayed staring and smiling at each other for a while and I almost forgot that we weren’t alone and would have moved towards Bella if it wasn’t for “Yeah makes sense,” Jacob said awkwardly, breaking the eye contact between me and Bella. “So you want me- and the pack if I can change Sam’s mind about helping you guys- to come and provide wolfishly handsome muscle?” The shifter said grinning at Bella.

“Jake this isn’t what we decided.” Charlie interrupted frustrated.

“Charlie-” Bella began before Charlie cut her off.

“I just found you again Bella, and now you want to face off against the vampire royalty and their guard? The same vampires who hunted werewolves nearly to extinction?”

“I get that dad, I do. But the Volturi coming to Forks won’t be good for anyone, we need to explain this to Sam, what if the worst happens and they won’t listen to reason and want to get rid of us all? What if they don’t stop with the Cullens?”

“Sam doesn’t care about that; he says they’ll leave as soon as they talk to you.” Jacob responded annoyed.

“Talk to us? Or fight us? Is he hoping the Volturi will take us out and he will have Forks vampire free?” I asked wryly.

Jacob scratched his neck awkwardly, “Sam –and most of the pack haven’t had any interaction with you, they just know what the legends say, the treaty. And a lot of them blame you being here with us shifting and having to deal with turning into wolves, having to worry about controlling our emotions and not being able to leave the reservation.”

“Jake…” Bella began concerned,

“Hey, don’t worry Bells, I’ve got your back, and I might be able to convince a few of the pack to help out.”

“But if Sam doesn’t let you will you be able to go against the alpha?” Charlie asked concerned.

“I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” Jacob said shrugging.

Chapter Text

-Bella-

The Volturi were in Forks. Jacob had been put on patrolling duty as punishment from Sam for crossing the boundary line and coming to see the Cullens but we were able to use that to our advantage, Rachel had magicked up a device that let us know the moment Jacob sensed any other vampires in the area and that was what was pinging now.

I looked nervously at Rosalie who smiled tightly at me before opening her arms, I stepped into them immediately and she held me close, her fingers running through my hair. I inhaled her scent, grounding myself in Rosalie’s touch and readied myself to meet the royalty of the vampire world.

“They’re here.” Edward said running into the house, bringing the rest of the Cullens out from assorted rooms of the house.

Carlisle, Esme and the Denali’s exited from Carlisle’s study and joined us in the kitchen.

“This is it then.” Kate said, flexing her fingers and letting electricity crackle along them.

“Remember to wait everyone; we don’t want to incite them to attack if they only want to talk to us.” Carlisle said.

“And stay on your guard, when they strike they won’t give us any warning.” Jasper added.

“So don’t attack first, be ready to attack first.” Rachel said packing paint balls into her splat gun. “Glad we had all this time to make a plan guys.”

“Alice are you getting any visions?” Edward asked, everyone looking towards the pixie haired vampire.

“Not really, they’re still not coming through clearly.” Alice admitted.

Jasper patted Alice comfortingly on the arm and the smaller vampire met his gaze gratefully, most of the Denali’s were noticeably agitated with the news that Alice still wasn’t receiving her visions and I could only guess at what Jasper was feeling with his gift of an empath. I was trying to keep my emotions under control but I couldn’t help but feel worried about meeting the leaders of the vampire world and who knows how many other vampires they would bring.

I felt Rosalie’s hand shift down my arm and link with my own and felt the tension in me ease with her touch, I looked across and caught Rose’s eyes watching me worriedly and behind her Charlie, looking tired but determined.   

We started out to meet the Volturi, moving quickly to a large opening within the forest that according to Edward was in the path the Volturi were taking to the Cullens’ house.

Rosalie and I stood near Carlisle at the front and centre of the group, Charlie was next to me already changed into his black cat form with Rachel and Ivy beside him, the rest of the Cullens were flanking us with the Denali’s gathered off to the other side. Jake was still under orders from his Alpha to stay away from the fight but he had been confident he could find some way around it and would join us.

The Volturi must have known we were there as they marched into the meadow as if they were already in battle formation; I noticed Jane with the three elder vampires in the centre and couldn’t stop the low growl that escaped my throat. I knew from what Rosalie had told me that the three in black cloaks were the Volturi themselves.

“Carlisle,” Marcus said looking at the assembled group in front of him, “this show of force is quite unlike you, I had hoped the information we had been given would be wrong.”

“It’s hardly friendly of you to come to our home with no notice and a full guard.” Emmett replied.

“See brother, I told you they were moving against us.” Caius spoke softly but his eyes were hard and fixed on us with steely determination. “And they have allied with animals, the sort of vampires who would do such a thing have no respect for our ways or for civility.”

“My friends please, the person we told about us was Bella, and you can see for yourselves that she isn’t human,”

I looked at Carlisle and moved slightly forwards, as I did Caius nodded at Jane and the male vampire in a matching dark cloak who I knew must be her twin Alec. Alec raised his hands and I felt Rosalie tense beside me and pull me back towards her. I braced myself for feeling the pain that Jane had been able to inflict on me before, and for whatever horrors her twin could conjure but I didn’t feel anything except for Rosalie’s strong grip about my body.

I heard a few abrupt cries from the vampires beside us and a muffled shout from Rachel, I saw Ivy turn from the redhead witch and draw her sword in one smooth movement, looking at Jane with dark eyes that promised retribution but the sounds of pain from the Cullens and Denalis were soon cut off and replaced by confused murmurs.  

“Rose you can block the twins’ gifts from hurting us?” Kate asked breathlessly “Tanya wouldn’t have been so hesitant to help you if we’d have known this.”

“I didn’t know I could do it on such a large scale, I had only stopped Jane from harming Bella before.” Rosalie explained still holding me to her.

I looked towards the twins, Alec was staring at us with an expression of confusion and Jane looked furious, she said something to Alec and the two of them moved towards us which prompted the rest of the vampires making up the guard behind them to close the gap between us.

I shifted forms faster than I ever had before and was in front of Rose before Alec could strike, grabbing onto his arm with my teeth and taking the opportunity his shock gave me to rake my claws down his side. Rosalie pulled me off of him and I turned to her confused only to see Jane had leapt to where I had just been a murderous look on her face. She turned to her twin and they both ran towards Rose and me. I braced myself but before they hit Jasper was there, matching the two guard members’ skill easily.

I looked around to check on the other Cullens and saw Carlisle and Esme locked in battle with another of the guard, my breath caught as I saw a vampire approach them from behind his sights on Esme, but Charlie sprang to Esme’s aid and the vampire went down before he touched her. Edward nodded at Charlie and adjusted his target from where he had been running over to Esme and Carlisle to rush the group of vampires converging on Emmett.

“Come on Ed why do you get to have all the fun?” Emmett shouted annoyed when the vampires scattered from Edward’s hit and faced off with his brother. “I had been pretending I didn’t know they were there for ages.” He continued moving out one huge arm without looking and letting one of the guard run into it and crumple to the floor.

Alice was dancing in and out causing mayhem wherever she went and somehow avoiding being hit by the multitude of vampires she was amongst; most of the Denali clan were gathered together near Esme and Carlisle working together to take down one of the guard at a time.

I watched for a moment before a loud growl from Rosalie had me on edge, spinning around to see a vampire gripping her around the neck before he slumped down unconscious before I could even make a move towards them. I raced over to Rosalie and stood over her while she caught her breath and realised Rachel had shot the vampire.

Rachel had been shooting the guard with the spells in her splatgun but once the first few froze or fell asleep they realised they were making a mistake ignoring her in favour of the other supernatural beings on the field and a group of the guard were closing in on her, Rachel’s splatgun no match for vampire speed. Ivy was there at her back before anyone else could reach the witch

“Maybe now would be a good time for that other spell?” Ivy asked calmly as she swung her sword in a complicated arc and two more vampires fell to the ground grasping for lost limbs.

“Yeah, good plan, you always have good plans.” Rachel said breathlessly as she narrowly missed being hit by some falling debris from where Emmett was pummelling one vampire with another.

“Maybe because my plans involve more than turning up and seeing what happens?” Ivy replied.

“Okay. I need a little time to prepare the last stages of the spell.” Rachel said dodging behind a boulder as Kate shot a barrage of electric sparks towards one of the vampires between her and the witch.

“You didn’t do this before?” Ivy said horrified.

“They’re very delicate! The process can’t be rushed and the components are highly volatile if they are put together in the wrong combination.”

“And you thought the middle of a battlefield would be the best time to do this?” Kate asked as she moved towards the witch and annoyed looking vampire. “Easy with the sword there kiddo, I’m coming to help protect the itchy witch.” Ivy ignored the comment and span around pushing her vampire speed to a limit I hadn’t seen before and returned before the five vampires she had struck fell to the ground, minus their heads. “Although it doesn’t look like you need much help.” Kate added watching the dark haired vampire impressed.

“Some help would be good thanks.” Rachel interrupted. “If you could try and stop anything from entering the spellcasting area that would be great.”

“Like what? Other vampires?” Kate asked.

A shower of mud and smaller rocks splattered down on the three and I looked over to see Emmett laughing at the giant crater he had made that three vampires were attempting to crawl out of.

“Anything like that.” Rachel replied shaking mud from her hair.

“I don’t know, maybe what we need right now is something volatile.” Kate mused looking around.

The Cullens and Denalis were holding their own but the Volturi had numbers in their favour, and while some of their gifts had been blocked by Rose, and Jasper was working on creating fear and unease among them this still didn’t look great for us.

I leapt onto the back of a vampire who was attempting to corner Rose and felt something nearly grab at me only to look around and see Charlie clawing at the vampire’s face. Then a huge red furred beast erupted onto the field and Jacob took down two surprised vampires in quick succession before they realised he was here.

“How is he here?” Rosalie asked shocked.

“He’s broken the alpha bond.” Edward exclaimed, he’s alone in his head now I can’t hear the rest of the pack.”

I looked at Jake worried about what that meant but if it bothered him he wasn’t letting it show, the Volturi had scattered as soon as Jake had arrived, not knowing what they were facing, I heard some of them mutter about werewolves but the others soon corrected them and they moved back in to the fray and Jacob was all too eager to meet them. Charlie joined in and all I could see was fur and flying limbs.

The Volturi managed to break free of Charlie and Jacob and began to corral the two of them, I started to run towards them to help but a vampire grabbed onto my leg, I threw my weight to try and dislodge her but the vampire was holding on tight, I could feel her sinking teeth into my leg when the fangs were almost ripped out, I turned and saw Rosalie tearing the vampire apart her face a mask of fury.

I realised I had left Jacob and Charlie unprotected but just as I turned to look at them two more huge wolves came running into the field; a slightly smaller grey was leading a wolf with sandy coloured fur who couldn’t quite keep up with the first wolf. The two wolves made a beeline for the vampires surrounding Jacob and Charlie and made short work of driving them off.

“That’s weird; I didn’t have to shield them from Jane’s attack.” Rosalie said to me looking up from checking the wound on my leg.

“They’re a part of Jacob’s pack now.” Edward said looking at the group of wolves with interest. “Although Jacob doesn’t seem too happy about it.”

A slight shimmering made me look around confused, I thought it was my vision before I saw the others doing the same, a haze of gold was settling across the meadow, misting over the Cullens and the wolves but settling on the Volturi and their guard. I noticed Rachel standing eerily still, her hair moving from a non-existent breeze as she cast a spell. The vampire guard seemed to realise Rachel was behind this too and a group of them stopped their attacks on the Cullens and Denalis and tried to rush the witch, most were held back by whoever they had been fighting before, Charlie and the wolves taking advantage of their vampires’ inattention to subdue them and Emmett knocked out another who ran passed him while still holding onto another.

The vampires that made it closer to Rachel Ivy eyed threateningly and changed her stance, holding her sword ready, but Rachel opened her eyes and a shockwave rushing out from the redhead pushed Kate and Ivy to the ground, dropped all of the Volturi guard who were near the witch. I realised the vampire Rose and I were holding on to had stopped moving, I cautiously eased up my hold and they still didn’t move. I looked around and realised the rest of the vampires were frozen too, we all moved away from the Volturi vampires and gathered back together, Jasper blinked and stumbled slightly,

“Sorry,” Rachel said looking over at where Alice was looking worriedly at Jasper, “I forgot about Jasper’s ability.”

“What have you done?” Kate asked picking herself up from the ground and holding out a hand to help Ivy up from where the two of them had thrown themselves when Rachel’s spell had ignited but the dark haired vampire ignored her and raised herself up with her sword.

“Simple stun, mixed in with a bit of sleepytime potion. It was harder because I had to hit them all at once and, you know, without actually hitting them with a potion. The block whoever was working with the werewolves had in place should be down now too so… you know,” Rachel gestured towards the Volturi leaders, Caius looked furious Marcus vaguely interested and Aro just looked bored. “Explain they don’t need to kill you all now.”

“I must say Rosalie my dear I had no idea your gift was quite so… extraordinary.” Aro said once the vampires had stopped fighting against the invisible restraints and looked at Rose appraisingly, “are you quite sure you want to stay aligned with the traitors when you could have a place in Volterra?”

I growled at Aro and the vampire turned his blood-red eyes on me, Rose placed a hand on my shoulder and I struggled to keep myself under control, focusing on her touch instead of the vampire’s words.

“Marcus what you have been told was a lie, no humans know of what we are. You have been tricked by werewolves.” Carlisle said causing Aro to break his eye contact with me.

“They don’t believe” Edward says staring at the Volturi intently.

“I have removed the block the magic the werewolves were using has put on you all, if you think back to your meetings with whoever gave you this information you’ll realise there’s something off with the memories.” Rachel said.

“We have no need to meet directly with informants.” Caius replied arrogantly.

“The block on my visions has been removed.” Alice revealed, Aro’s eyes gleaming at the reference to Alice’s gift.

“You would let me see everything you have? All your visions of the future?” Aro asked greedily.

“You will see that we’re telling the truth in this matter too,” Alice replied carefully.

“Yes, yes, if you would show me-”

“Aro-” Caius started before being silenced by a wave from Aro’s hand.

Caius glared at Alice as she moved towards Aro, holding her hand out for the ancient vampire, showing him everything that she knew and everything that she had already seen of the future.

“Caius, Marcus,” Aro began his voice laced with fury, “the werewolves are indeed behind this, they plan to take advantage of the dissonance this has caused between us all.”

“Werewolves are all but extinct; they wouldn’t dare work against us. What makes you think they could have tricked us?” Caius stated affronted.

“Caius this is the truth, you know it is impossible for a vampire to lie to me.” Aro maintained.

“Even so, you did still tell Bella about vampires when you thought she was a human.” Caius said. “The crime still stands.”

“Yeah, but Rose would have turned her once she realised they were mates.” Alice argued, looking much more relaxed now that Aro seemed to be on our side.

“You didn’t know we were mates back then.” Rosalie says disbelievingly.

Alice rolls her eyes in response, “Please, I see the future. Plus I’m not blind or oblivious like you two.”

The three most powerful vampires looked at each other, communicating their thoughts silently, I glanced at Edward who was frowning at whatever they were saying and my heart sank.

“Their bond is too strong for them not to have known that there was something between them, even while the mortal was unaware of her supernatural heritage.” Marcus said staring at me.

“The Cat isn’t a threat to our secret. This has all been a waste of our time and efforts.” Aro said looking at Caius whose expression remained blank but his crimson eyes were filled with fury.

I wasn’t sure if this was at being tricked by the werewolves he hated and had hunted for centuries or being denied the chance to battle after he had come all this way. By the way he was looking at Edward, Alice and Rosalie I thought Aro wasn’t alone in his desire to add more gifted vampires to their guard. I shifted my weight nervously and brushed closer to Rosalie.

“Fine. I bow to the wisdom of my brothers.” Caius spat out, as though the words caused him physical harm.

“So what does this mean for the-” Carlisle began

“Don’t worry about the werewolves, we will show them the cost of attempting to fool the Volturi.” Caius interrupted imperiously and at some command I missed the Volturi’s guard moved as one and went back to their original formation, their leaders turning around and moving away. Aro glanced back one last time at Rosalie and the Volturi swept grandly away.

 

-Rosalie-

“That was kinda anticlimactic.” Emmett said as the group drifted back together and looked around the now destroyed meadow.

“You got to punch one of the guard.” Jasper pointed out.

“Yeah, but no werewolves!” Emmett pouted. “Rose and Bells punched some werewolves where are my mangy mutts to thump?” Jacob stopped in his tracks and looked as though if he was human he would be raising an eyebrow at the bulky vampire. “Not you Jakey boy.” Emmett said moving at vampire speed and pulling Jacob into a headlock and tousling the fur on his head, much to Jacob’s clear disgust.

Seth ran up behind them and tugged on Jacob’s tail while Leah huffed disapprovingly at them and eyed Emmett warily. I couldn’t help but laugh, the sound drawing surprised glances from most of my family. The relief the Volturi were leaving us alone, of Bella and my family surviving their attack and the threat they had posed unscathed had caught up with me and for the first time since I had discovered the darkness of the world, had died and been reborn because of it, I felt indestructible. I met Bella’s gaze and I read the love in her eyes and could swear I felt my heart beat.

I moved towards Bella who rubbed her head against me, pressing against my side as we moved with the others. The black cat huffed at us and flicked his tail, moving away towards where Leah and Seth were still watching Emmett with Jacob when Alice paused, Jasper immediately halted, staying by his mate’s side as she stared vacantly.

“Was that…?” I started unsure

“A vision.” Edward interrupted nodding. “Alice’s gift seems to be working again.”

“What did you see?” Jasper asked still holding onto Alice.

“The werewolves are scattering. They know the Volturi are aware of what they were doing, and that the magic protecting them has broken.

“So we’re safe now? From the werewolves?” Esme asked.

“I think so,” Alice replied. “I can’t see them planning anything that involves us; they’re too concerned with running from the Volturi and saving their skin from the wrath of Caius right now to bother with the reasons why their plan might have failed.”

We resumed walking back to the house and were within sight of it when the easy silence was broken by one of the Denali vampires.

“The animals aren’t coming to the house are they?” Carmen said alarmed.

“They have all been there before.” Esme said calmly but I could tell there was a touch of steel in her voice. “Well, all except Seth and Leah and I would be honoured to have them after they helped out today.”

“They were human then.” Tanya said wrinkling her nose in disgust. “At least I assume so, unless Rose’s tastes have changed drastically since she was last with someone suitable.” I growled and Kate flashed me an apologetic glance before she moved toward Tanya and whispered something in her ear too low for me to catch.

“Bella you don’t have to.” I said turning from glaring at Tanya to watch the white cat follow Seth and Leah towards the trees, “they can’t give you orders it’s your house.” 

Bella just blinked slowly at me and I knew she would rather put herself out than be the cause of any trouble between my family and the Denali’s.

“I could come keep you company?” I said changing tracks and grinning at Bella, “Get your clothes for you to put on, or you know, not get you any clothes.” Just then the black cat pushed past me roughly and Bella’s cat eyes took on a look I had only seen in deer I had startled on a hunt before. “Sorry Charlie.” I winced and watched the two werecats move away to find somewhere to change.

Charlie had already stashed some clothes in the area around the house but I knew Bella hadn’t so I sped into the house and returned with my arms laden with clothes for Bella and some things that would fit the wolf shifters. Alice had wanted to find the ‘perfect outfits’ for the Quileutes, trying to get visions of what they would like but I knew Leah would be subtly outraged by anything that came from us and Seth would be too nice to object to anything, plus knowing Jacob he would probably be happiest if he could be shirtless.

I wandered the woods trying to find the trail that would lead me to where Bella had gone when the same werewolf I had had a run into before when I had lost Bella stood in front of me. He looked even more haggard and unhinged since the last time I had seen him. I glanced around warily, looking to see if he had others with him, the werewolves angry with us for scuppering their plans. I carefully scented the air but couldn’t smell anything other than the pungent smell of werewolf right in front of me.

"You killed my cousin."

"Your cousin..." I said slowly, dread filling me as I suddenly recognised the family resemblance and the overconfident conceited attitude.

"Well, if we're being pedantic." He said unhurriedly moving towards me, like a predator stalking prey, I didn't think I'd ever feel like this again after becoming a vampire but here I was, and what was worse it was from someone related to my original killer. "You killed my cousin twice removed. I like the removed part, it has a pleasing symmetry that you removed him from the world; he removed you from your humanity. And I will remove you once and for all."

And with that Auden King, Claw, the last link to Royce King left on this earth lunged for me, paralysing me with the memories of what had happened the last time I met was with a member of the King family, I couldn’t move and he took me down without any effort.

I felt a growing numbness spreading out from within, laying beneath him the only thing I could feel were the claws scraping against my flesh and his hot breath on my skin.

I closed my eyes trying to block out the onslaught of memories he had brought with him, trying to will my muscles to move, for me to fight back. I had become the same weak girl I had been decades before, I thought she had died along with my humanity but I wasn’t as indestructible from my decades of hardened skin as I had thought.

The only thing I could hear was a low threatening growl growing steadily louder, I opened my eyes confused at the strange echoing I thought I heard from the growls just in time to see Bella still in her cat form burst through the undergrowth and tackle Auden.

The werewolf howled out his fury and turned quickly, claws leaving bright red streaks on Bella’s white fur. Bella lost her hold on the werewolf and my breath caught, thinking he would turn to finish what he had started while Bella was hurt but he moved back to me and I breathed a sigh of relief when he grasped me around the neck, claws puncturing my skin as he took his anger at Bella’s attack out on me instead of her.

I struggled against his hold, Bella’s presence bringing me the strength to try and fight the werewolf but I couldn’t break his crushing grip.

A jolt had me staggering under increased weight and I saw glimpses of white fur as Bella renewed her attack on the werewolf, but he was ignoring her, his eyes never wavering from my own and I saw the anger Bella’s attempts at stopping him were overshadowed by madness. And I knew that he didn’t care that he was unlikely to come away from this alive, he just wanted to take me out with him.  

Bella’s attacks were growing steadily more frantic as she attempted to make the werewolf release me without hurting me any further and I realised that the werewolf was going to succeed in his goal, that the last I would see of Bella was going to be glimpses of her terrified gaze as she struggled to free me. When a black cat dropped down from one of the branches of the tree and landed almost between me and the werewolf.

Charlie’s attack had thrown Auden’s balance and Bella was quick to take advantage, between the two of them they managed to make the werewolf release me and Charlie quickly fastened his jaws around the werewolf while Bella held on to his flailing limbs.

As soon as his body stopped moving and I could no longer hear a heartbeat Bella turned, moved towards me shifting forms and embracing me urgently. Bella held me tightly and I returned her embrace, burying my face in her hair and breathing in her scent as though it was the only air I needed, which in a way it was.

Charlie looked at us appraisingly for a long moment before moving over to the clothes I had dropped, he carefully nosed through the pile and took the clothing I had brought for the wolves, leaving me and Bella alone.

“Rose, are you okay?” Bella said worriedly, “I mean, you’re not okay, I know you’re not. You nearly… oh god, I was nearly too late, and if Charlie hadn’t shown up…”

“Guess that means he approves of me.”

Bella laughed shakily and loosened her grip on me; looking up to meet my gaze “I couldn’t think, I didn’t know what to do-”

“It’s okay,” I replied, pushing strands of dark hair away from Bella’s face so I could meet her eyes, “we’re going to be okay.”

And I believed it, besides the awkward meeting and the chaotic battle the Volturi knew about me and Bella and didn’t care. The werewolves were once again scattering, and the last connection to Royce King I had was lying dead at my feet and a weight I didn’t even know I had been carrying had lifted. Alice had her visions back and we knew about the abilities of magic in our world now, if something similar ever happened again we would be ready to combat it. And the Volturi would be taking measures to prevent anything similar ever happening to them again. I could finally live my life, and the person I wanted to spend the rest of my days with was in my arms and I wasn’t about to let her go.

Chapter Text

Rosalie chased after the deer with single minded intensity of a hunter, the doe was zigzagging, trying to lose the predator on her tail but unable to do so, Rosalie knew that she had the deer when a sudden breaking of branches was the only warning she had before a white cat flashed in front of her, beating her to the deer.

The deer hung lifelessly from the cat’s jaws and the cat directed a taunting look toward the vampire. Rosalie hissed at the cat and stalked closer just as the vampire comes within touching distance the cat drops the deer and moves forward, pushing against the blonde with her head. Rosalie brushes her hand along the white fur and the vampire’s low purr joins the cat’s.

They share the kill; the vampire fixes her jaws around the neck of the doe and drinks deeply, pulling the life blood of the deer into her own body while the cat fed from the carcass.

Once the two had had their fill the white cat stood and without sparing a glance at the vampire started away. The vampire followed the cat, her eyes fixed on the way it moved through the forest, controlled power and danger coiled and presented in a way that looked beautiful to any who would see her, something that might cause them to underestimate the deadliness of the creature. As they walked through the woods Rosalie became aware of the sound of running water and realised they were nearing the stream. While the white cat drank her fill, the vampire took the time to clean herself from her feeding.

Rosalie had been careful of her clothes while she washed in the river, which is why the sudden onslaught of water showering down on her startled her so much. Rosalie looked up to find the white cat carefully cleaning herself, carefully and deliberately avoiding looking at the blonde. The vampire growled at the cat who looked up as innocently as a large mountain lion could. Rosalie grinned and the cat read that as agreement, immediately standing up and shifting her weight between her paws, tail flicking excitedly.

Rosalie leapt at the cat who met her halfway, a clash of limbs and carefully aimed blows and biting without drawing blood. The two wrestled beside the river both gaining and losing the upper hand with an easy air and obvious playfulness.

Eventually the two stopped and Bella changed back into human form, but stayed sprawled out across the forest floor, Rosalie could hear her still quickening heart gradually slow as Bella relaxed beside her.

“You have fun running with Jacob’s pack?” Rosalie asks, her hands tracing the strong lines of muscle on Bella’s body, making Bella’s overheated skin shiver at the contrast in temperature.

“Yeah, he’s saying he might take in a few more wolves from Sam’s pack. A few of them weren’t too happy to be left out of a fight that could have affected the La Push pack -or their families in the Res as much as that one had the potential to do.” 

“He seems happier now he’s out from under Sam’s shadow” Rosalie said thoughtfully. “And I saw Seth playing… I think tag? With Emmett the other day. They were both running around and Emmett was laughing like an idiot anyway.”

“I think it’s a huge weight from their minds that they feel they can leave La Push if they want, now that they actually trust you not to hunt the humans here, and they know that Sam’s pack are going to be here if they aren’t.”

“Are they thinking of moving?” Rosalie asked curiously.

“Not at the moment, it’s just nice for them to know they’re not tied here for the rest of their lives. They’re still going to make sure La Push is protected, but Jacob said Leah is thinking about college, and she’s determined Seth will go now that they have the chance again.”

Rosalie hums in agreement and continues caressing Bella’s skin, Bella turns over and gazes up at Rosalie, the two hold eye contact until Bella smiles and sighs contentedly, turning so that she is half lying in Rosalie’s lap

“I never could have turned you Bella.” Rosalie says out of the blue, breaking the silence between them. Bella opens her eyes and looks up at the blonde vampire and sees worried golden eyes trained on her, full of emotion. “Even now when I know, I know more than anything that you are it for me, my mate, I don’t think I could… even if you weren’t a werecat and you could be turned.”

“Rose…”

“It’s not that I don’t wish I could spend as much time as we possibly could together, I love you more than I ever thought was possible. But after everything that happened to me… I couldn’t have taken your life away from you, made you a vampire when I know how much it hurts, how much losing your humanity can take from you, change you.” Rosalie carried on, rushing to explain herself.

“Being a werecat was useful though, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have been able to help with the werewolves and Volturi, I’d have been a liability.” Bella said smiling gently, trying to bring the blonde out from her introspective mood.

“I’m glad you’re you. More than anything.” Rosalie replied smiling at the woman in her lap, but the smile was tinged with a sadness that made Bella’s heart ache. “I will be with you for as long as you want me. If you want we will have a lifetime together I promise you we will have that.”

Bella looks at Rosalie strangely, her brow furrowing as she sits up to face the vampire, trying to understand why the blonde feels she has to say this.

“How much do you know about werecreatures? About their mates and their relationships?”

“They’re very secretive.” Rosalie replies shrugging. “Especially towards vampires since we’re usually enemies.” The blonde adds wryly.

“Charlie told me that werecreatures match their mate’s lifespans, like the La Push shifters do when they slow down aging if they imprint on someone younger than them.”

“So what does that-”

“You are my mate Rosalie. You know that, you must know how I feel about you.” Bella says gazing intently into Rosalie’s eyes, holding the vampire’s jaw in her hand so the blonde can’t look away from her gaze.

“I…”

“Our lifetime will last forever.”

Bella was watching Rosalie’s face intently so she saw the sudden change in the vampire’s eyes, and the slow smile breaking across her face as soon as they happened, she read the relief and happiness she knew Rosalie was feeling and a matching smile broke out across her own face before the two leaned in to meet each other, Rosalie carefully holding Bella who pulled the vampire to her as hard as she could, wanting to feel her as much as possible. Rosalie’s touch turned harder and would have hurt if Bella was human but being a werecat she growled low in her throat and arched into the touch, breaking away from the kiss long enough to meet Rosalie’s gaze.

“Silly vampire.” Bella murmured against the blonde’s cold skin, “You’re stuck with me for eternity.”

Rosalie’s answering smile was blinding and she leaned back in to capture the brunette’s lips, “mm lucky me.” The blonde replied in between kisses.