Author: Angel Ren PM
Alternate Reality: Laurent isn't dead. He stayed with Irina, and comes to visit. How will Bella, Edward, and the rest of the Cullens deal with the last remainder of James' coven? PostEclipse, PreWedding. Better summary inside.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Laurent & Bella - Chapters: 14 - Words: 37,125 - Reviews: 142 - Favs: 105 - Follows: 53 - Updated: 03-31-08 - Published: 11-02-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3869151
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Timeframe: Post-Eclipse, Pre-Wedding
Ren's back! This is what happens when Ren dabbles with things she shouldn't mess with. We've already seen what damage she can do with the original Twilight storyline. Now she's messing with it. Probably a bad idea.
A score of author's notes: (please read them they're critical to comprehension!)
I present Conscience, a multi-part serious alternate-universe piece. AU: Take one part of Twilight, twist it around, and see what happens.
What happens in Twilight: Laurent gets eaten for lunch by a pack of wolves. Yummy
What if (my version): Laurent didn't ever leave the Denali coven and was never munched on by wolfies? What if he were still alive as Eclipse wrapped up with Bella the soon-to-be Mrs. Edward Cullen? What if Tanya decided she wanted to meet said soon-to-be Mrs. Edward Cullen and planned a trip to forks and Irina and Laurent decided to tag along? And that is the premise for my jumping-off point.
Why: Because I loved Laurent and don't think he's all that much of a bad guy.
Part one will make more sense in the flow of the story when I post more, I promise. Please don't read through it thinking 'I don't get it.' If it doesn't make sense by the end of this part, it will definitely be cleared up by part 2. Promise!
And I'm not sure how this will turn out, messing with AU's and all. Reviews make me happy! . (And they let me know what you do and don't like so I know how to be better.)
Okay, okay, c'mon Ren, on with the stupid story! Here goes:
Conscience, Part 1: Distraction
There it was again. That irritating little beep. I rolled over and popped the snooze button on my alarm once. I didn't want to get up yet. It wasn't time. It was a Saturday. Surely a few more minutes wouldn't hurt… I felt the blackness of sleep start to possess me again as I slipped back into slumber.
Then there was another noise. A slightly more irritating one. It wasn't an alarm this time… it was a... a knock. Knock, knock, knock. Figment of my imagination. I was sure Charlie had gone fishing today, so it was just me at the house.
I closed my eyes again, trying to block out the annoying knocking. It stopped, and I smiled to myself before I drifted back off to sleep.
Without warning, I felt a pair of cold hands touching my cheeks. Edward. Edward was here, as usual. I could always count on him to show up as soon as Charlie had left. Maybe waking up wouldn't be so bad since Edward was here now. I slowly opened my eyes to look up at my one and only…
"Ed-mett!" I choked the last syllable out and bolted upright. It wasn't Edward's cold hands on my face, it was Emmett's! He just stared at me for a moment before bursting out in laughter. I just glared, feeling a blush rise in my cheeks. "Holy crow, Emmett, you scared me! I was expecting Edward!"
"You mean Edmett?" He was barely able to talk between laughs. I just glared at him.
"What are you doing here, Emmett?" There had to be a reason. There just had to be. And why wasn't my Edward here? I glanced around to see if Edward were hiding in a corner restraining his laughter. He wasn't. Not that I could see. There was something going on. Something unusual. And Emmett was too busy laughing at me to tell me. Jerk.
"We're going to a carnival!" I just stared at him. He looked sincere enough. Why was I so skeptic?
"Where's the punch line?" Emmett just stared at me before looking worried.
"No punch line, Bella. I'm going to take you to the carnival. I'm even borrowing the Volvo since I know the Jeep kind of intimidates you. There's one in Port Angeles right now. You will go with me, won't you?" I just stared at him, struck. I was having a difficult time comprehending what he was saying.
"A… carnival? Where's Edward? Does he know about this?"
"Of course he does. He's not coming; he suggested I take you and I thought it was a good idea. Please, Bella?" Strange… why would Edward ask Emmett to take me somewhere…? Did he really think Emmett and I needed bonding time? It seemed plausible, but something still wasn't sitting right with me.
"Sure… Emmett….I'll go," I answered slowly, thinking it over. It might be fun, anyway. Emmett would be fun, at least. His eyes lit up when I agreed, and I hoped I wouldn't regret my decision. Emmett's eyes then fell over me, still in my bed.
"You might want to put on some clothes. I'll go wait in the car." With a wink, Emmett had disappeared from my room.
I processed what had just transpired. I was going to a carnival with Emmett. A carnival. It just smelled like disaster. I scrounged up a decent pair of jeans and a light, fitted top. Brushing through my hair and pulling on my sneakers, I grabbed my purse out of the closet and stuffed my wallet inside before bounding down the stairs. Peeking outside, sure enough, Emmett was lounging in the Volvo's driver's seat.
I stepped out onto the patio and closed the door behind me before walking to the Volvo and climbing into the passenger side, as I had so many times before. It was strange to see big, burly Emmett in the driver's seat where my lithe vampire sweetheart usually perched.
The drive was, as predicted, not at all slow. Just on the outskirts of Port Angeles, several huge tents were set up. Some rides were spinning around in what appeared to be chaotic circles. How could people enjoy being flung around like that? Just watching them made me a little nauseous. Various brightly-colored booths lined the outskirts. Vendors peddled their wares and booth owners tried to solicit people into playing a rigged game. I frowned. Was this going to be fun? I wasn't sure.
I climbed out of the car slowly. Emmett grabbed my wrist and started loping casually towards the entrance. I stumbled awkwardly behind him, trying to keep up. He purchased both our entrance tickets and some extra ones for the rides.
We continued to walk on in, passing by the vendors selling various glow in the dark toys. Emmett paused at one and handed some cash to the vendor for some stupid item. I couldn't see what it was, his back was to me. Without warning, he wheeled around to face me, baring his teeth.
It actually wasn't the stupid plastic vampire fangs that sent me sprawling on my butt, it was the fact he moved so fast and growled at the same time that made me lose my balance. Either way, he was quite proud of himself.
He popped the teeth out of his mouth and put them in his pocket, then offered his hand to help me up.
"They glow in the dark, too, you know," he added conspiringly as I put myself in a vertical position. I chose to ignore him as I dusted off my jeans.
Chuckling, he continued to wander among the booths as I stayed at his side.
Without warning, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me away from my bear-like brother-figure. Emmett had turned instinctively, but calmed quickly.
"Hey little girl… wanna shoot a gun?" Slowly, dread filled, I turned to look at the man holding my arm. He was only slightly taller than me, had about forty years on my age, and looked like he had been a virgin all his life. He was gesturing to his shooting game.
I just shook my head. I don't think Edward would have approved of me shooting something that could just as easily take my life. Emmett looked amused.
"I'll do it. How much for one round?" The man slowly let go of my arm and turned to look at Emmett.
"One round? You'll want more than that… the target moves… there's no way you can get it with one… I'll give you a discount if you buy ten."
"I just want one." Emmett was surprisingly firm.
"One dollar," the man sighed as Emmett put the bill on the table. He handed over the gun. The target was tiny. Ridiculously tiny, and it moved around. The game was clearly rigged. I wasn't sure even with vampire skills he could hit it. I frowned. He seemed so confident, like it was so easy, as if-
The target fell neatly to the ground, a hole in the dead center. The man just stared at his target, and then Emmett. He was at first confused, but then slowly became enraged.
"You cheated! How did you do that?!"
"I want my prize."
"Cheater! I won't have someone swindling me out of money!"
"I want my prize, now." Emmett placed the gun back onto the counter top calmly, looking at the angry man.
"I can't believe you-"
"Now." Emmett had reached out and grabbed the man by the collar, then smiled cheerfully. The man seemed to understand. I could only stare stupidly as the scene unfolded in front of me. I'd only seen Emmett so angry once before… …when we ran from James. He was angry then. Even when Victoria's newborns came, he was cheerful about that. Emmett had a decidedly terrifying side.
"O-of course. What would you like?"
"That one," Emmett said as he pointed to something with his other hand. Mutedly, I slowly turned my head to look, but was too late to see what he was pointing at. Emmett released his collar and the older man staggered back, gasping for breath. He glared, and then went to retrieve the prize without another word.
My eyes nearly popped out of my sockets when he set the biggest teddy bear in the world on the counter. Emmett picked it up, back to his cheerful self, and then handed it to me. I stared.
"Here, Bella. I won it for you!" I blinked.
"Yeah." Numbly, I reached out and took the teddy bear that was the size of my torso. I could barely wrap my arms around it. Emmett beamed proudly. I'd never really had a stuffed animal before.
"Edward told me you'd never had a teddy bear before," he spoke as he led me away from the booth. I tried to peer around the bear at him, and succeeded after a moment. "And I thought every kid needs a teddy bear. So… it's for you." He smiled shyly. "Maybe… it can kind of remind you of me sometimes… it's kind of like me in a way. Don't you think?"
I felt my heart swell with an emotion I was unused to. I looked away before the emotional overload led to tears in my eyes. Smiling weakly, I looked back to Emmett.
"Thank you," I whispered, unable to make my voice do any better. Suddenly, the giant grizzly bear in my arms was suddenly worth so much more to me now. I pressed my face into it briefly, and then grinned at Emmett. He seemed to like that and smiled back.
The rest of the day progressed smoothly, Emmett hustling his way into winning various other prizes from toy tops to glow sticks to plastic handcuffs. The only incident was when I had been sitting down and stood up suddenly and my vision blacked out. Emmett caught me before I fell, and had set me back onto the bench. I hadn't had a clue what was wrong. It wasn't until Emmett leaned in and as inconspicuously as possible sniffed my neck did we discover the problem.
"You're hungry," he had said. "Your blood sugar is ridiculously low. I forgot to feed you! Edward's gonna lop off my cupcakes!"
"Don't worry about it Emmett," I had said. Poor Emmett had started panicking. He had frowned at me worriedly.
"What do you like to eat?"
"Anything." He looked around feverishly before getting up and running off some place. He returned holding a boat of French fries.
"Are these any good?"
"Those will do."
I had snarfed the fries relatively quickly. I guess I had forgotten breakfast in all the excitement.
"My poor cupcakes," he moaned softly. I just rolled my eyes and kept eating.
The sun was starting to set, and I was growing worried that Charlie would wonder where I was. Emmett assured me that Charlie knew I was out and it was okay to stay out late. That left us wandering around again.
"Want to go on a ride then?" I felt the blood run from my face, the smile slipping from its place. He started chuckling at my expression and started towing me towards one of the wonky roller coasters.
Oh no. Absolutely not. I was NOT going on that thing. I dug my heels into the ground as Emmett dragged me towards it. It's not like I could stop a vampire from forcing me, but I thought I'd try.
"No, Emmett, please no. I'll… I'll drop the bear!"
"I'll catch it, don't worry." He wasn't going to stop. Please no.
"Emmett! I really can't! I'll get sick!"
"That will be fun to watch." This wasn't going well.
"Emmett, please, please, don't make me go on that. Please!" Finally, he stopped and turned to study my traumatized expression closely.
"You really don't want to go, do you?" I shook my head. He nodded thoughtfully. "I really want to go on at least one ride though." I nibbled my bottom lip nervously. He looked around the park, then back to me. "Not even the Ferris Wheel?"
"I… think I can handle that. You have to swear not to rock it though, okay? Promise?"
"Promise." Emmett was grinning as he led the way to the relatively short line to the Ferris Wheel. I noticed some people were giving me strange looks; I suppose I was clutching a giant stuffed bear to my chest.
When it was our turn, Emmett helped me inside like a perfect gentleman before settling himself across from me. We waited quietly as the rest of the seats loaded up. I wondered if getting in the Ferris Wheel had been a bad idea. Rides always made me nervous.
It wasn't until we hit the top that I realized it wasn't a mistake. Emmett was grinning like a banshee, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. It. Was. Breathtaking. The carnival fanned out around us, people as tiny as dots. The lights were gorgeous, glittering out in strange patterns. The sunset was phenomenal. The sun itself couldn't be seen behind the clouds, but it cast a lovely silhouette against the clouds, throwing up reds and oranges against the violets and blues. The lights of Port Angeles glittered in the distance as the city came to life. I smiled at Emmett and hugged my new teddy bear again. He looked pleased. Very pleased.
When the ride was over, he helped me out again and led me towards the car. I guess he noticed I was getting sleepy again. Had I been even more tired, I would've mistaken him for Edward when he opened my car door for me before letting himself into the driver's side.
The drive home was quiet and I swear it lasted half as long as the drive there. Maybe it was because I nodded off halfway through. I woke up when the car slowed down considerably, almost stopping. But we weren't home. We were still in the Cullens' driveway, some distance from the house.
"Are you not taking me home?" Emmett just looked at me confused for a moment.
"No… Carlisle called while you were sleeping and told me to bring you here. I don't know if that's a good idea." I felt my heart stutter.
"I don't know… I don't recognize it."
"That." Emmett flipped on his overhead lights in response, lighting up the Cullen's entire front yard. There, nestled in the front lawn was a vehicle I had never seen before. Someone had a very flashy sports car. I couldn't name what it was. I was sure Rosalie probably knew. "Someone else is here. One of us."
Emmett was playful most of the time, but he had a startlingly serious, protective side whenever I was in potential danger. He inched the Volvo closer before killing the lights and engine. He opened his car door slowly and I followed suite.
"So… what should we do," I was whispering, my voice cracking. It was supposed to be over, right? No more Victoria, no more James. Who was here? Were they after me? Would Carlisle really want me to come if there were any chance of danger?
"We go inside, but you follow behind me." Emmett inched up to the front door, positioning himself in front of me like a giant shield. I willingly obliged. I didn't really want to throw open the front door and get mauled by a thirsty vampire. Emmett took a deep breath and muttered, "I really wish I had Edward's talent right about now… I'd know who was in there and what they wanted." I could only nod mutely. My heart was racing again. I couldn't believe this. This wasn't happening again. It would be alright. It had to be. I fingered the ring on my third finger affectionately. Perhaps neurotically would be a better word.
Slowly, he nudged open the door and peered inside. All I could do was stand behind him, seeing nothing but his broad back, hearing absolutely nothing and holding my breath.