|Born to Be a Vampire
Author: Just4ALE PM
4th story in the 'American Vampire Series.' Awesome Bella & Dr. Seussward are married now. Smooth sailing, right? Maybe… maybe not. AU/Vampires. My vamps are slightly different from SM's.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 22 - Words: 111,754 - Reviews: 1,341 - Favs: 550 - Follows: 223 - Updated: 01-31-10 - Published: 08-02-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5271053
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The characters of Twilight are owned by Stephenie Meyer. The content, ideas and intellectual property of this story and the 'American Vampire Series' in its entirety are owned by Just4ALE. 'World' lyrics by John Ondrasik, Five for Fighting.
A/N1: I have a long A/N at the end. If you're one of those who skips those, then I ask now - please leave a review when you're done.
Now, on to the conclusion...
Epilogue – New World
What kind of world do you want?
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now…
It was yet another cold November day in Chicago. Having lived in Alaska, Washington and Massachusetts over the past several years, I was no stranger to cold days, but the cold never bothered me, and truthfully, the colder climates were better on my pale skin. I had to sit in the shade whenever I spent any length of time outside, or I'd get really tired.
I caught her scent even before I made it up the stairs to the lobby of the gothic Ida Noyes Hall. Ah… so lovely. Students were milling around but it cleared out rather quickly. I scanned around and saw the dark-haired young woman watching the activities in the large space known as the Great Hall. There she is. Right on time.
I quickly made my way to the benches in the alcove to the right of her and sat down. I started to grade my papers, surreptitiously watching her. I heard her thoughts immediately.
No kidding, I thought, admiring the combination of her scent and her beauty.
Her energy bumped up a notch as she stood staring at the people inside the room, lost to the movement. She was starting to draw me in. It was time to make my move.
"Are you going to go in?" I asked.
She looked to her left and then to her right. Was that directed at me? She saw me sitting on the benches. Huh... he's redlining papers. Grading them, maybe? TF?
She ignored me and turned back to peek into the room.
I addressed her again. "Well are you?"
She turned back to look at me. Her brown eyes met my gaze.
Whoa! This guy is gorgeous! Oh my God. Look away… look away.
She turned away quickly and mumbled, "I'm thinking about it."
"What's stopping you?" I asked.
"Um, just assessing the situation," she responded quickly. Can I do this?
Oh, my beauty, I sure hope so.
"Are you a student here?" I asked. Of course I already knew the answer; I was just leading her along.
She looked at me briefly, then turned again, focusing her attention on the room. "Yep. Are you a teacher?" she asked, still not looking my way.
"Yes, actually," I responded.
She continued to watch the activities in the room. Wow, these folks are good.
She didn't notice that I got up and I was now standing next to her.
"So… what's stopping you?" I asked.
She did a double take as she looked at me.
Holy cow, Mr. Gorgeous is right next to me! God he smells good, but he's just a little too close.
She took a step away. "Um, what do you mean?"
"Well, what are you assessing?"
Jeez, Mr. Gorgeous is Mr. Nosy.
"There aren't many men in that room," she said.
"Ah, well, more women do take the class than men," I said, "but I'm going to be in the next class and I'd be happy to partner with you… if you don't mind dancing with the teacher."
Please say yes, please say yes.
Her eyes widened. Okay. Mr. Gorgeous is Fred Astaire, apparently. Damn, is he gay?
"You're the 'beginners' ballroom dancing teacher?"
I smirked at her and was opening my mouth to respond when my phone rang. I looked at the Caller ID: Alice. I held one finger up to the young woman and she went to sit on the benches.
"Hi," I said softly.
"So, what do you think?" she asked.
"Exactly as you envisioned," I responded, turning to look my new acquaintance. "Perfect."
She was perfect to me… dark brown eyes and hair. Her skin a lovely tan shade, clearly reflecting her ethnicity. Beautiful figure. Smelled soooo good.
I heard the smile in her voice. "I'm glad."
"Thanks for the tip, Aunt Alice."
"Any time, kiddo. Good luck!"
I ended the call and walked back toward her. "Sorry, that was my aunt. I must apologize. I've been rude, asking all these questions and not even introducing myself." I smiled and held out my hand. "I'm Lucien."
Ho. Ly. Shit. What a smile Mr. Nosy Gorgeous has.
She blinked and then reached for my hand and said, "I'm Kiran."
Then she smiled.
Her smile was brighter than a thousand suns. Oh my God. I'm a goner for sure… I tried to maintain my composure.
"Kiran… What an unusual name…"
She shrugged. "I know. I'm part Indian. The name means 'Ray of Light'." Then she laughed. "My parents were very optimistic about my future, I guess. Well, at least I know I'm their ray of light."
You are definitely a ray of light, Kiran.
You will be mine.
Yeah, I asked Aunt Alice for help. I couldn't help it. After years of being the only non-mated member of my family – even Alena was married – I wondered if I was destined to be a bachelor forever.
But I'm getting ahead of myself…
The First Council at Ward began on January 29, 2010. The town was inundated with visitors; not only did all of the clan leaders show, but so did ALL of the nomads who had been at the 'Lake Crescent Convention', as it eventually became known.
Moreover, all clan members – including those not present at Lake Crescent – and other nomads from around the world, descended on that small Colorado town to learn about and discuss our future. All in all, we had over two thousand vampires in Ward at that historic first meeting, all bound by oath to keep our discussions private.
Looking back, it was a thrilling first meeting, although as halfling children, Alena and I only grasped a fraction of the significance and we missed part of the sessions since we literally slept through some of the meetings. The discussions ran for three days and nights and were held in the secret mine below the town.
While it was true there was a gold mine – the Ward vamps were secretly very wealthy despite the ghost town appearance – there was also a huge underground amphitheater that was a perfect meeting place. Aro and Marcus had had it built in the early nineties in preparation for this event.
The First Council discussions centered on our coming out. Everyone acknowledged that this was not something to be taken lightly. Many were tired of having to hide. They'd lived among humans for so long and wanted to stop masking their movements and behaviors. However, humans were irrational creatures who feared and often tried to destroy the unknown. It was generally accepted that unless handled carefully, mass knowledge of our kind could have devastating repercussions for us.
Unlike the standard sci-fi concept of First Contact, our concerns were not about language or technological differences; this wasn't about whether humans were too primitive to grasp what we were. Instead, our primary concerns were for the safety of our race and the social and ethical implications of our influence on humanity. Our family spent a lot of time discussing these issues in advance of the Ward meeting, so we were primed and ready to state our case.
"Look," Uncle Jasper stated, "we must approach this from a strategic and tactical perspective. Their initial reaction could be panic and we need to be prepared."
"They will already be in panic mode," Aunt Alice said. "Those diseases will be killing them off more quickly than in the past. Unlike the slow spread they are experiencing now, the diseases will attack the body quickly and terminate lives over a period of months rather than years. The 'WHO' - the World Health Organization - will be involved at that point."
"So what happens? We just come out of nowhere and say, 'Surprise! We're vampires and we have what you need?'" Julieta asked.
"Obviously not. We believe this will require a three-pronged approach." Grandpa Carlisle said. "First, diplomatic private pre-meetings with world leaders… and when we say 'private,' we mean they're getting a visit during the night from one of our more senior local representatives in that country," he said, pointing at Larry, Victoria, Vladimir, Stefan, Marcus, Aro and himself, among several other vampires that were centuries old.
"Our presence on this earth for centuries will show that we have co-existed with them for some time and the only harm that has come to them has been at their own hands."
Mom nodded. "Second, we need backing from the financial markets; we will have a research company that, like many biotechs, is working on curing diseases," she said. "Our company will be the successful one, and make a fortune for investors. The investors, in this case, will then be some of the most influential people of their time. Money talks and people will listen."
"Finally," Dad said, "coordination with the 'WHO'. Many labs will be furiously working to stop the spread of the diseases. Again, we'll just be one of them. The scientific community is often at odds with the current political powers. The fact that we have the cure and the financial and worldwide political backing to support us will make this a win on all fronts."
"What is to prevent the country leaders or any of these groups – financial or scientific – from turning on us and trying to betray us?" Victoria asked.
"Ah, because there will be no cure unless they take an oath, and the oath will be taken by the political leaders and the heads of their military," Aro said confidently.
"And what if they change leaders?" Chao asked.
"The signing of the document will bind the country's leadership," Fuzzy said with a smile. The group all turned to look at him. "Yep. I'm that good, folks," he said proudly.
"The real danger will come from religious extremists," Eleazar said. "We're not alive. There will be those who will preach that we are devils coming to tempt them with promises of heaven. On the other hand, there are others who will believe that we were actually sent from God to assist. In no way do we want to play into either side's views. We are just another race and we're trying to help humanity survive. I believe that must be our ongoing mantra."
"Nevertheless, we must be prepared. Our blood heals. If and when they figure that out, they might be tempted to try and kidnap vampires and take our blood," Jorge said.
"But vampire blood isn't like a standard drug; it must be given real-time in order to cure a human. They can't bottle it," Uncle Emmett stated.
"Okay, so not only will we need a team in charge of our security but it looks like we'll also need a public relations team to make sure humans are aware of exactly what we want them to know about us," Serena suggested. "How to kill a vampire and some of our more evolved powers – stay secret. What will be for public knowledge is that we are trying to save humanity, and hence are not savages who want to kill them."
"There is a broader social issue as well. The fact that our blood can cure may lead the humans to try to prolong their lives… to try to become immortal," Larry said. "However, the overpopulation of the human race will destroy the planet's ecosystem and the planet itself. If one looks at it from an evolutionary perspective, one might consider natural selection the entire reason for the various plagues and diseases that have occurred throughout human history. We must let some of of the effects of the disease actually happen to thin out the human population. It is the only way that humanity will survive."
"Unfortunately this means that until they're colonizing new planets or permanently living on star ships, we must let the disease run its course for a while before we step forward to assist." Mom said.
"Of course you know that they will assume that we're only doing this to be self-serving. The cynics will claim that we're only helping them so that we don't destroy our food supply," Rebecca said.
"To some extent they'd be correct," Grandpa answered. "However, that argument weakens when they know we can survive on animal blood. So while we don't want them to destroy themselves, their existence is important because of the impact on the environment and not merely because we drink their blood; if they die, it throws off the balance of nature."
What my family didn't say at that time was that this argument would be completely invalidated once the humans knew we were working on a cure for vampirism as well. However, as this was the first meeting, we decided to save that information for later, once we'd organized into the groups that would take the lead on the various aspects of vampire life.
During that historic weekend, a Leadership Council was formed; Uncle Emmett, Uncle Jasper, Chao, Vladimir, Hiroshi, and Victoria were all part the group that would try to ensure a coordinated effort across all other teams. They planned the future meetings to make sure we kept moving ahead so we would be ready for first contact.
The Security team, led by Fuzzy, included some of the most talented in our group: Corin, Maggie, Marco, Kate, and Zafrina. A few emotion readers and Chelsea were also among them.
The Marketing/Public Relations team – led by Serena – included Aunt Rosalie, Benjamin, Tanya, Siobhan, and Randall. Their purpose was, as Serena suggested, to make sure the only information the humans received is what we wanted them to.
The 'X-Files' team, led by Aunt Alice, would research unexplained phenomenon in an effort to keep Alice's visions clear. If there were six-foot invisible rabbits out there, she wanted to know about them. Grandma Esme, Peter, and Eleazar all volunteered for the team.
At first, I was a bit surprised that Dad, Mom and Grandpa did not volunteer to be on one of the teams. However, once I learned what Dad had planned, no one could fault them.
Shortly after the Ward meetings, Dad started his own laboratory, which he affectionately called CEL-LABs: an acronym which stood for Carlisle, Edward, Larry, Lucien, Alena, and Bella. As this collective team would represent both the researchers and the research itself, he felt it only appropriate to name the Company after all of us.
Dad started the lab in Seattle, but also obtained property in Boston/Cambridge's 'Biotech Alley' and bought out the lab he had part ownership of in Chicago. Aunt Alice had counseled and Dad agreed that having facilities across the country would provide flexibility for us to move as needed, and make sure the project was still underway.
One of the first things Dad, Grandpa Carlisle and Larry did was gather samples of blood from every vampire who'd been at Ward. They knew they'd need it eventually not only to test for the human cures, but also to use to test for the vampire cure. They gathered samples of our blood – Mom's, Alena's and mine – more regularly. They all agreed that it was important to monitor any changes, particularly in Alena and me, as we were growing and changing every day.
Over the approximately 2.25 years that followed the First Council at Ward, Alena and I grew quickly. Okay, quickly was an understatement. After all, a year after our birth, we were physically age five.
When we hit two and a half in human years, we began our formative and hormonal teen years. Given my gift for mind reading, puberty was a little tougher on me than on Alena. I had heard my family's thoughts before, but never really understood all of it until I had these raging hormones going on and a bunch of very horny vampires around me all the time.
While I tried to shield the goings-on from Alena, she would get a mind-full every once in a while. The bad news was that we had to hear this when it was all we could think about, and yet neither of us had someone with which to use up those teenage hormones. The good news is we went through sex education class without any of the adults having to sit down and give us "the talk".
We tried to channel our frustration into our school work and other aspects of home life. By that point, we were fluent not only in Italian, but French and Spanish, and we were learning Chinese. We had taken most of the advanced math and science classes. Uncle Emmett kept us fit and toned. We each learned an instrument: piano for Alena and violin for me. We were both accomplished dancers, spending quality time in the studio with Mom and Dad, learning all kinds of ballroom dancing.
Of course quite frequently, the studio was off-limits to us, as Mom and Dad sent us packing back to the house to be with the rest of the family. Eventually, I picked up on the fact that when Dad thought 'let's get ready to rhumbaaaa!' at Mom, uh, he wasn't necessarily talking about dancing.
At about three and three-quarter years after our birth, we were adults. Unfortunately, because we hadn't shown any real signs of vampirism during our childhood – no blood thirst, all human actions – this meant upon adulthood, we turned. The venom kicked in overnight all over our bodies and burned us alive for a day.
Oh, it was HORRIBLE.
Let's leave it at that.
Learning to live with our new diet and cravings was a bit easier on us than other vampires, so we were told… over, and over, and over. Mom was completely sympathetic to our frustration at hearing how easy we had it, but neither Alena nor I were as controlled as Mom had been at her turning. She had walked among humans within two weeks of turning. Holy cow, that was an accomplishment! Alena and I couldn't see Grandpa Charlie, Grandma Sue, Billy or any of the wolfpack on our own for at least two months after we turned.
Shortly after my turning, I found that my mind-reading skills seemed to expand and within a month, I realized that I was hearing everyone around me. My mind reading had grown to match Dad's abilities; I no longer had to look at someone to hear them. Moreover, Alena's and my telekinesis and power transference seemed stronger.
As we had been home-schooled, we took the tests for our GEDs and obviously passed with flying colors. However, given our brief history interacting with other humans, we had little to show on our college applications other than our outstanding test scores and a list of talents and hobbies.
The Ivy Leagues wanted students that had made an impact somehow, whether in depth and recognition in a sport or instrument, or in breadth and involvement in their school or community, so Alena and I spent a year doing volunteer work in Africa. When we returned, we went off to Harvard in the fall of 2013 and whipped through the undergrad and master's program in four years, including a year abroad in Paris for Alena.
Alena turned out to be quite the charmer. Over our first year, she and I were almost exact copies of our mom and dad, respectively, but as we aged, the features of the other parent emerged. As beautiful as Mom, but slightly different due to acquiring some of Dad's features, she had boys drooling after her in college. While she dated, she never had any interest in them. Truth be told, she still harbored her crush on Seth… but he never gave her anything other than a friendship…
… that was until she came back from her year abroad in France.
Much to Alice's delight, Alena came back looking like a runway model, with new stylish French clothes and her hair trimmed slightly shorter than Mom's. The family held a welcome home party for her and it was going swimmingly until Seth and the wolfpack arrived for the party.
The boys walked in and were putting their presents for her on the side table when Mom and Alena walked in with a platter of food for the wolves. Dressed simply in jeans, a v-neck forest green top that complemented the natural bronze tints in her hair, and black leather knee-high boots, Alena looked stunning as she walked by the boys with a big smile.
We thought Seth was having seizure. As it turns out, he took one look at her and imprinted. He no longer thought of her as a little girl, much to her delight.
Of course, she played it cool and talked about her French boyfriends and the ones back at Harvard. She let him suffer for a few weeks, pretending that his gestures of flowers and invitations to the movies meant nothing more to her than those of a friend. However, seeing how sweet – and obviously confused – he was, she stopped teasing him and happily acquiesced to his attentions.
They married in August 2016, right before we headed back to Cambridge for our Master's programs. Unable to be separated for a whole year, Seth came too and they moved into one of our houses in Cambridge. With Jacob and Tanya already married and living back in Forks, the wolfpack had its leader ready, willing and able to do his part for the tribe.
So over the next few years, with everyone paired up, I became achingly lonely. There was so much genuine love that I experienced through my mental connections with Mom, Dad and Alena – leaving aside the rest of my family – I wasn't sure it would happen for me.
Alena had been in love with Seth since she was physically four-years-old and it worked out for her; when would it be my turn? Logically, I knew that compared to my dad and grandpa Carlisle, my few years with no mate was nothing, but hanging around them all and hearing them could sometimes be torture.
Therefore, I asked our family oracle and she was able to tell me the who and the when. I enrolled at the University of Chicago to study hematology as well – the better to help out with the research after all – and met Kiran there. She happened to be enrolled in the biology program herself.
Yes, Aunt Alice told me who she'd be and when I'd meet her. What she neglected to tell me was that the how would be difficult. Unlike Mom, Kiran was not into otherworldly creatures. As you might imagine, finding out your boyfriend is a vampire five months into your relationship when he almost bites you in a passionate moment can be a bit of a shock. I had been meaning to tell her, but I hadn't figured out the right way to do it. Unfortunately, the way she found out was completely wrong.
She left me alone and miserable for two months. I barely made it through. Alena and Seth came to stay with me, as did Mom and Grandma Esme. However, one day Kiran stood showed up at my apartment, crying and shaking. She'd decided that she loved me for who I was and not what I was, and that was all I needed to hear. At her request, I turned her immediately and we took the first trimester off to let her adjust to her diet. By the time the winter trimester began, she was ready to be among humans again.
Throughout all our relationship drama, Mom had continued with her choreography; in fact, she began shortly after the First Council in Ward and within the following three years, created another two shows for Cirque. In addition, she remained dancing advisor to many stars.
An interesting thing happened at one of her new shows. Mom's college roommate, Nicole, flew out from New York for the "Queen"-themed show opening in Las Vegas the year we started at Harvard. It was there that she met Larry for the first time and for both of them it was love at first sight. I remember meeting Nicole when I was a little boy and always hearing her mutter about finding herself a vampire, so Mom was thrilled that Nicole finally fulfilled her wishes. When Larry turned her, Nicole was physically age 35, as was he. They shared a fluency in French, a love of reading and history and a deep love for each other. Well matched, well mated.
After fielding more and more questions about whether any of this research could actually be used to help us – at least help those who no longer wanted to be vampires – we came together en-masse again in Ward in 2022 to discuss the vampire conversion drug.
It was handled very carefully, as to not upset those who would look upon it as a statement that something was wrong with them. There were quite a few vampires who liked being vampires after all. The discussions went well and the group eventually came to an agreement not to judge either side for their eventual choices, should a conversion drug actually be produced.
In 2024, as the human diseases ravaged the planet, CEL-LABs had a breakthrough… well, two breakthroughs. Using some of the newer techniques that Kiran and I had learned and then modified in our studies at U of C, we found the cures… for AIDS, cancer… and vampirism, to some extent.
The vampire conversion drug took longer to test and make. We tested it on the various vampire blood samples we'd collected over the years to see if there was a difference in impact for those who had lived longer versus relatively younger vampires. By the time it was ready, we'd figured out several things:
1. It would not turn the vampire into a human and then have the vampire die immediately.
2. Once human, the standard human frailties kicked in; if one was more susceptible to an ailment, it could kill them, just like any other human.
3. There were some for whom it just wouldn't work.
Grandma Esme was a little concerned that her children would up and take the drug, breaking up the family. However, at that time the only one who really considered it was Aunt Rosalie. She viewed it as her chance to live the life she had once wanted, and Uncle Emmett was willing to go along with her.
But a vision from Aunt Alice effectively stopped their decision. We learned that Aunt Rosalie would die during childbirth if Uncle Emmett stayed a vampire, which would have to happen because his human future was bleak. He would succumb to a rare disease, one for which we would not have a cure. Knowing that her choice was a child or her soul mate, Aunt Rosalie chose to stay vampire.
The coming out of vampires occurred in 2027 and it happened as we planned. After the initial shock and panic, and the accusations of being self-serving, which did in fact go away when they realized we'd been working on the conversion drug, life got a little hectic. We were exceedingly rich due to the lab which then pioneered other new studies to help the human race thrive. A lot of our money went to the Cullen Foundation, which worked on other necessary projects such as world education and helping reverse the global warming trends. Vampires won the Nobel Peace prize later that year and a new day was forged as we worked with humans to create a better planet for us all.
After a few years, the chaos settled down a bit. We went on to live our normal lives, no longer having to deal with paparazzi trying to be in our faces 24/7. Our special talents... well, to be blunt: we Jedi mind-tricked them into leaving us alone.
Which leads me to now. November, 2035.
As I pulled the car up the long driveway to the Forks home, I could see that Alena and Seth had already arrived. The house was a bustle of activity as they were setting up inside for a combination reunion and anniversary party for Mom and Dad. Mom saw us and put down the box she was lugging to come hug us. Dad stepped out of the house and made his way down the stairs to greet us as well. Then the rest of the family came out and hugs and kisses were shared.
As was typical, our parents were in fine form. Dad seemed particularly 'fidgety' for some reason. A combination of excitement and frustration was coloring his mental tone.
"Bella, Sweetness, did you get Charlie's old house ready for the guests?"
Mom sighed. "Yes, Edward."
"What about food? Do we have enough food for Angela and Ben and their kids? Or for Charlie, Sue, Billy and Paul, Quil and Jared and their wives?"
"Yes, of course! Jesus, Edward! Rosalie and I have it handled. Relax!"
"Your mind is closed," he said in a disapproving tone. "How would I know?"
"Maybe I'm trying to surprise you for your anniversary, Mr. Cullen. You don't have to know every thought, my friend."
"I beg to differ, Mrs. Cullen," he said, stepping close to her and wrapping his arms around her waist. He kissed her neck. "You are mine, your body is mine. By extension, your thoughts are mine."
"Jeez, he's a bossy one," she said, looking at us and gesturing at Dad with her hand. She loosened herself from his grip and stepped away a little as she turned to face him. Holding her hands out in front of her, she quickly bowed up and down a few times in mock reverence. "Yes, oh Master."
His reaction was instant. Dad's posture went rigid as he stared straight at Mom, his hands clenching in fists. Her head bobbed up to meet his gaze.
Uncle Jasper groaned. "Aw, shit. Edward has another trigger word."
Mom's eyes were big as she looked from Jasper to Dad. Her face was in shock as she clearly registered and absorbed his lust. She slowly started backing away from him but he kept pace with her.
Edward, are you kidding me? Luc and 'Lena are RIGHT THERE!
"They're adults," he growled. Without taking his eyes off of her, he continued to stalk toward her. "Kids, welcome home. We're going to the studio. We'll see you tomorrow."
He ghosted to Mom, threw her over his shoulder and took off. I heard his thoughts as he ran off with her.
A tied up Bella is Edward's fave, as she becomes his willing slave...
Mom laughed. Promises, promises, Mr. Cullen.
Ah, my love, you know I always make good on my promises.
I closed my eyes. Thank goodness I was used to hearing my family's inner naughty thoughts by now and was somewhat immune.
I opened my eyes and noticed the rest of the family chuckling as they stared off in the direction of the studio.
Emmett shook his head. "MASTER! I'm tellin' ya, those two have a playroom somewhere on this property and they're SAFEWORDING in it. I just KNOW it. I'll betcha there's a secret panel in the studio with all kinds of whips and shit hiding there."
"Ugh, Uncle Emmett! That's our mom and dad you're talking about! TMI!" Alena yelped.
"Come on in, kids," Grandma Esme said. "Let's get you settled in and then we can visit. Hopefully, you'll see your mom and dad before the party."
"They'll be back tomorrow morning," Aunt Alice said giggling. "Thankfully most of the rest of the guests won't be arriving until Saturday."
"Will Benjamin and Tia be joining us?" Alena asked.
"Yes, they're coming in tomorrow night."
Alena grinned at me. Maybe we can get Benjamin to make an ice storm so that we can freeze the lake for Mom. She turned, reached for Seth's hand and walked up the porch.
I looked at Kiran, who smiled at me, enjoying the interaction between Alena and myself. She couldn't hear us, but she knew we were chatting. I kissed her softly, put my arm over her shoulder, and followed the rest of the family into the house. As we reached the front door, I paused and looked over at the annex that housed the studio.
Thirty years married and nothing has changed.
Yeah, I was sure Dad would love to take Mom skating.
As you wish, Alena, I thought as we stepped inside.
As you wish.
A/N2: Wow. It is done. And while there are obviously threads for a follow-up story based on what I've outlined here, I have no immediate plans to do so. I do have a one-shot posted… what I'm calling an 'alternate route for An American Vampire in Chicago' . But a full blown story, not so much. For now, I leave my version of the Cullen-extended family in peace.
Quick note: An American Vampire in Chicago WON 2 Indie TwiFic Awards in the Winter 2010 competition! Yay! Thank you to all of you who voted for it!
Soooo, maybe it is too much but after 10 months of working on these stories, I need to hand out some thank yous.
If you don't want to read the rest, I thank you so much for reading and humbly ask that you PLEASE:
1. jump down to that little review button;
2. click on it; and
3. leave a review.
Otherwise, read on…
Are you still there? Okay:
I have much affection for several of my characters because they are based on real friends. For that I thank the real life Jacob, Angela, Serena and Nicole for inspiring the characters in the stories.
Irritable Grizzzly talked me into trying a Beta, went back and beta-ed the first three stories for me to familiarize herself with the series, and then took on this monster. I appreciate the effort, particularly since she doesn't love vampire stories AND she's now the Beta for about 25 other stories. Thank you, IG, from the bottom of my butt (it's bigger than my heart). You da woman!
My FF bud, MrsEdwardCullenP, was the flight crew on BTVAV, acting as my sounding board for some of the crazier ideas, helping me with kids and ancient names, and pre-reading any particularly citrusy or emotional pieces to make sure it was okay. Big epharisto to her, as always. MUAH, Pen.
Thanks to three readers for very specific support: selena972 (French translations), Camilla10 (Italian translations) and rfraga for my banners over at Twilighted. Check out Camilla10's stories here and on Twilighted (as just 'Camilla' over there).
And finally, thanks to all of you who took the time to read it. While my pen name tells you exactly for whom I started writing, your reviews and PMs kept it fun for me (except when you bitched at me during the separation in COTV... *shudders*) So again, big thanks to you.
I do plan on writing a little more so put me on author alert and we'll see what my crazy brain comes up with next. My human story, Tunes with Tony Masen, is currently underway here on this site.
As is typical, I ask and I respectfully hope that you'll acquiesce to my plea:
Please leave a review.
I close with yet another quote from Douglas Adams:
"So long, and thanks for all the fish."