Author: SunshineAndSecrets PM
Bella is heir to the throne of a powerful race of people, Hunters. At the top of the food chain, it's her job to maintain the law of the land, something she does very well. Unfortunately this makes her a threat to her corrupted family's way of life. They want her out of the picture, but what will become of a 'suicide mission' to Forks, Washington? B/A, RatingT-MRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Bella & Alice - Chapters: 17 - Words: 77,104 - Reviews: 245 - Favs: 264 - Follows: 288 - Updated: 12-09-12 - Published: 12-30-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7692038
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Understandably, Arin took my acceptance of his plan well, and I was not surprised to find that he already had considerable preparations in place. I took him at his word when he said he had three clans of Werecats and one each of Werebears and Werewolves (real ones) ready to mobilize at any time, along with two sects of his thieving guild, but the Seattle sect and one from down in Oregon. Beyond that he had gotten words to a few Goblin clans and dwarven refugees who may want to assist us in return for amnesty from several crimes. I told him I'd have to consider that.
His best news though was that they were all ready to move and equipped with their own gear, which was a big weight off of my back. I had been contemplating how we might go about outfitting all of our recruits. I knew the vampires and wolves would need assistance and that alone would be difficult. Hopefully some members of the Were-Clans were good smiths because we would likely need the help.
"Bells, I could use some help here!" Rafael said through gritted teeth. His hands were extended in front of him and were glowing a faint green color. Before him a tangled mass of tree roots wiggled and wormed around about a foot up out of the ground.
"Oh, sorry Raf!" I said, guilty. I put a hand out and concentrated on the magic within me. Before my eyes the tree branches surged with energy and began to grow and twist, up, up, and outward. They came to a pinnacle before sloping back down again. When all was said and done the roots had formed four walls with spaces left to act as windows, a gaping hole to act as a door, and a steep roof styled after Clan housing. They were very nordic looking in my opinion, but overall nice to look at. Several other forest plants had decided to contribute to the houses, so small spurts of berries, grasses, and wildflowers bloomed from the walls and on the roof.
I wiped late summer sweat from my brow and looked over my shoulder. Ten other barracks like these had been constructed already, each able to hold approximately thirty people comfortably. I wanted to make about five more to fit all the Were-Clans but a glance at Raf told me he was done for the afternoon. "You want to take a break and I'll finish up? You've got to be starving."
He grinned weakly and said, "Sounds good to me, chief."
"Cool. See ya in there."
He nodded and turned, walking back towards the main house, dragging his feet just a bit. As I turned to finish constructing the other dwellings I contemplated how strange my magic was. Granted, earth magic always had been my strongest subject, but even then. It wa always strange for me to watch my tribe, or any Hunter for that matter, slowly grow exhausted from using magic when I myself had never experienced such a thing. It always felt so effortless to me.
I sensed Loki appearing beside me and I raised and eyebrow. "About time you showed up around here. Where have you been, I haven't seen you in days!"
"I went to find Archer and Birch, see how they were doing." He said nonchalantly. He was in his ethereal form but that didn't stop the wolf from laying down and starting to groom himself.
"And?" I asked, interest piqued.
"They're doing just fine. The dragons are escorting them back in style, they should be here in time for the war meeting this evening."
"They flying back?" I asked, grinning. Birch would be having the time of his life, then. "Well good for them, I'm glad to hear it. How many are they bringing to aid us?"
"Thorskir agreed without hesitation of course, and his mate as well. One of their hatchlings from a year or two back, a drake by the name of Ordil is attending, and his young mate Ji'ivska. There are two other grown dragons that will come as well, a drake and a femme, though I was not able to meet them face to face."
I nodded slowly, mulling it over. "Six, eh?" I worried the inside of my cheek. "Well, as each day goes on our odds get better and better, but I still wish we knew just how many Hunters and Vampires my family is bringing, or whatever other nasty things."
"Have you taken word to Zeus yet?" Loki asked.
I shook my head. "No, not yet. I wanted to wait until we had fully amassed out forces. You know gods, they don't like getting involved unless they're certain to win." I rolled my eyes.
Loki nodded. "Well enough. I would hurry though, if I were you. Something in my bones tells me we don't have much time."
I shivered, disturbed. "I know what you mean," I said quietly. "I feel the same."
Something solid smashed into my side and I let out a very elegant "Oof!" before being cast to the ground. I was about to incinerate my attacker until I recognized the stream of thoughts. "Alice!" I said, aghast. "What are you doing, I could have fried you!"
The tiny girl, now laying on my back said, "I knew you wouldn't, you have better control than that. I wanted to see if I could surprise you! And I can!"
I groaned exasperatedly and rolled over, hoping to roll Alice off of me. Instead she just lifted herself up as I flopped onto my back before laying right back down. "You are a hassle, you know that," I said with a smile on my face, half joking. In all honesty I had come to love my pixie-esque girlfriend's spontaneity.
Alice's eyes shimmered with mirth and she opened her mouth to respond, but snapped it closed just as quickly and looked at me with an intense gaze. "Really?"
"What, that you're a hassle? I was just kid-" I began to say worriedly, but she cut me off.
"No, no, not that! The... the girlfriend thing," she said almost shyly.
My cheeks blazed red. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or anything. It was just the first thing that popped into my-"
Her lips on mine stopped my words in a rather pleasant way. When she pulled away, her voice was low and she wouldn't meet my eyes. "Don't apologize, I liked it. I was just wondering if you meant it. If you wanted to mean it."
I blinked a few times, processing her words. A smile broke out onto my face and I laughed a bit, saying, "Did you just ask me out?"
I knew if Alice were human she would be blushing. Still though, she jutted her chin out and set her face into a stubborn guise and said, "Yes, I did."
I tilted my head up to capture her lips with mine. Upon breaking away I said, "Mary Alice Brandon Cullen, I would be honored to call you my girlfriend, if it suits you."
The dark haired girl beams a dazzling smile and I knew that if I had been standing my legs would be weak in the knees now. "And Isabella Marie Ravensage, I thought our relationship status was already understood. I'm glad we cleared it up, though." She leaned in for another kiss.
"This is all very touching," a new voice encroached on our moment and I was up in a flashed, Alice held behind protectively and my free hand engulfed in flames. Before me stood three vampires, all female and looking to be around the age of twenty five. One had washed out red-blonde hair, one was blond, and one was a brunette. As far as I was concerned, they were all targets.
"Bella, no!" Alice said, worming her way into my mind, which happened to already be flashing through the thousands of ways I could kill them.
I noticed that the new arrivals held their hands up in a surrendering positions and their eyes were a honey golden hue.. I eased my arm down though I kept a wisp of flames lit.
"These are our 'cousins' from Denali, Tanya, Irene, and Kate. Tanya, Irene, Kate, this is my mate Bella. They don't know better than to surprise a Hunter, yet." Alice smiled gently, waving a bit at the three women.
"It's nice to meet you," Irene said, looking at us with a pleased smile on her face. "It's nice to see that Alice has finally found someone. Though I must admit, you're not what I expected when Carlisle said Alice's mate needed help!"
I smiled and shrugged. "Not much of anything can be anticipated around here, I'm afraid you'll get used to it."
"We don't know much of anything yet, so I'm sure we'll be surprised a lot. Carlisle was painfully ambiguous over the phone. What the hell have you gotten yourselves into now? Carlisle didn't give us anything but the bare minimum and this address, but we came as fast as we could," Tanya said, smirking.
Alice grinned and said, "It's too much to explain just now. We're having a War Council tonight though, you came just in time."
"War council?" The Kate asked. "Gods above, Ali!"
"We just ask that you save your questions for the end. And between now and this evening you'll probably see a lot of strange things, so fair warning," I said, smiling.
Irene rolled her eyes. "Any time the Cullens call with an emergency, it's never something minor like 'Oh dear, the curtains don't match the carpet,' it's 'Oh dear, there's a horde of angry werewolves trying to kill us' or 'Oh dear, we've pissed off the Volturi again.'"
I laughed as Alice pouted. Seeing and hearing her disgruntlement, I pulled her into my side and said, "Hey, you guys don't do anything half way, it's admirable! And now that me and my Tribe are here you've got the big guns t back you up!"
Alice smiled and wrapped an arm around my waste.
"Oh, how cute!" Kate said, grinning and flashing a look at Irene.
Are they...? I asked Alice.
Yup, it drives Tanya nuts.
Well, Tanya swings for both teams but she's holding out for Edward. So seeing them together gets her all worked up and she has nowhere to vent, I guess.
Ah, so they're not big on threesomes, then? I joked, half meaning to contribute it to our conversation and half unintentionally, though our link offered no such allowances.
Alice laughed and answered anyways, You would think so, but no. Kate and Irene are... uh, free spirits. Emmett loves it when they're over, he always tries to put video cameras in their room and stuff like that.
I cracked a smile. Perv.
Yeah, well... Alice dwindled off.
"Anyways," Tanya said, oblivious to our interaction which had lasted no more than a few seconds, "We haven't been to the house yet. Are you guys heading back?"
Alice smiled and said "Why not? I'm sure everyone will be happy to see you."
"Emmett especially," Kate grinned as Irene and Tanya chuckled. Kate winked and said, "Maybe you and Bella could join in our teasing this year, eh? We could have some fun with it."
Flashes of wonderful, horrible thoughts flashed through Alice and I's mind, causing us both to heat up. Alice laughed, trying to undermine how flustered she was and said, "We'll see. Bella and I have only known each other for a month or so, but there's never a bad time to mess with my brother."
Irene shrugged. "I'll take it. Now lead on, I wanna see the fam damily and meet this Tribe."
Alice laughed and swept into an overly dramatic bow, saying, "Allow me to lead the way, then!"
And lead she did. The Cullens and my tribe were waiting for us when my house came into view. I had quickly grown to love the rustic, castle-like home. It was warm and inviting and seemed safe, even though I knew how horribly fragile it really was, at least in my world. Kate and Irene ran ahead to set in on hugging all the family members while Tanya remain more reserved, yet just as sincere. The happy reunion came to a jarring halt when they reached Rosalie, however.
"Rose..." Kate said, staring at the other blonds bulging stomach. "Are... are you... what?"
Rose beamed and Emmett put his arm around his mate's shoulders. "I'm pregnant," Rose said, her grin like an unquenchable wildfire. Just the mention of the word had everyone smiling, even if the Denali's grins were a bit on the confused side.
"But... how?" Irene asked, kneeling before Rosalie and placing a gentle hand on her stomach.
Emmett grinned and boomed, "Thank Bella! She used her magic to make is so Rose and I could have a kid. A real kid, it's really ours! Both of us! I'm gonna be a daddy!"
Tanya grinned and mock shivered, "Oh, gods help us all. Well, I'm happy for you both. When is the baby due?"
Rose sighed and shrugged. "I'm not sure. It hasn't been a typical pregnancy so far, it's accelerated. I'd say within the month, to be honest," she said, biting her lip.
"Well good, the sooner the better," Kate said.
I stepped forward and cleared my throat as my tribe came to stand beside me, or what was left of them. Rafael stood at my right side, and Aria and Holly stood on my left. "This is my Tribe, or what of them that's here right now. Rafael is my right-hand guy," I gestured to the lanky blond boy, who stepped forward and bowed dramatically.
"A pleasure to meet you," he said politely.
"This is Aria, one of the best shots you'll find in the world." Aria just waved. "And this," I gestured to the short red-head, "Is Holly. Currently Aria's brother Archer and our sixth member, Birch, are up north recruiting more... uh, warriors, of sorts," I said, grinning, not wanting to ruin the surprise. "We're Hunter from the Askari Clan, currently camping in Northern Canada."
The Denalis looked bewildered so my tribe and the Cullens set in on explaining. Choosing to ignore their theatrics, I stepped away to grab a few more amulets and rings and Alice sat beside me as I enchanted them to be like the first prototype. When I came back the group had moved inside, and Rafael was regaling them about the time I had slain a full grown Sea Serpent off the coast of Hawaii.
"It was not two hundred feet long, it was no more than fifty and you, sir, are a braggart. Sit down and be quiet," I said, coming up behind him and flicking his ear. He grinned and chuckled but sat none the less. I turned to our newest arrivals and the rest of the Cullens. "Now, I assume they've told you the basics?"
Tanya nodded and said, "Yeah, but it seems a bit hard to believe at points."
I glared at my Tribe, who happened to be looking anywhere but in my eyes at this point. "Take what they say with a grain of salt, please. I'd rather have my actions speak louder than their words. They embellish." I ignored their rolling eyes as I held up my handful of newly enchanted wares. "Now, my Tribe and I have some thank you gifts for coming, and whether you choose to stay or not these are yours to keep."
Emmett's eyes lit up when he recognized the amulets and rings for what they were and he lunged forward saying, "Hell yes! Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!"
Rosalie yanked her husband back by the collar of his shirt, berating at the same time with "Emmett McCarthy Cullen, you sit down and wait your turn like the rest of us! Honestly!"
Properly disgruntled, Emmett sat back down with crossed arms and a frown on his face.
"What... are those?" Tanya asked, eying what was probably gaudy jewelry in their eyes.
I smiled and selected three necklaces at random, handing them over. "Here, put them on. I think you'll like the results."
They did as I asked and gasped just as the Cullens had. "What are these?" Kate asked, eyes wide.
"Bella made them to convince the vampires who come to help us to hunt animals instead of humans so they don't get in trouble with the wolves!" Emmett said, grinning.
"But it was Alice's idea!" I said quickly, trying to shift the attention from myself. Before I knew it two strong sets of arms were squeezing me.
"Can we really keep them?" Kate asked from her attached position on my right side.
"Can we really?" Irene asked from the other side. I noticed Tanya was just standing a few feet off, staring at her amulet with an awestruck appearance.
"What all do they do?" The third sister asked, calmer than her other companions.
"Well," I said grinning as Alice sent black thoughts at the two woman clinging to me. I gently wormed my way out of their grips under the guise of handing out the rest of the adornments (amulets for the women and rings for the men.) "Long story short, a vampire's thirst is all a mind trick. The magic in these simply alters the way your brain perceives the impulses connected with blood and hunting, and switches the scents and tastes of human versus animal blood, though the actual chemistry of the blood stays the same, so feeding won't put you into a frenzy any more than hunting an animal would. Well, I guess you would still become rather feral if you drank from a human, but why would you want to now? Which brings me to their second feature. If you do purposefully hunt a human while wearing the amulet, you cannot remove it and the wolves will be able to track you down." I shrugged. "It was the best bargain we could come up with."
"It's fantastic!" Jasper said, having just received his own, a beautiful sapphire stone set in engraved silver.
"They're all yours," I grinned to all of the vampires in the room. The warmth and gratitude in the room was enough to set my entire Tribe smiling.
They tried to thank us, profusely even, but Aria stepped in and said, "The best thing about being a part of Bella's Tribe is that this is our job. Not making money or earning honor, but really helping people. Even if she did all the leg work here," she added in, nudging me in my ribs, "It still brings pride to us to know that we are lead by someone who has stepped so far out of line in the right direction. So you don't need to thank us, doing this kind of stuff makes us better people and we're happy to do it."
Emmett chuckled and wiped fake tears away from his cheeks, voice choked and joking as he said, "How positively touching."
"Oh, be quiet, you," Jasper said, poking Emmett's forehead. His brother just laughed.
"So what now?" Tanya asked. "I still have so many questions. Who all is coming, who all will be here tonight? What will we be discussing, what is going on?"
"All in good time, Tanya. If we explained the whole situation and all it entails to everyone individually, we would be here until this time next year."
"How about you guys go out and hunt? Take the new amulets for a swing?" I smiled.
Kate beamed. "I like the sound of that." Her smile fell as new thoughts flickered behind her eyes. "Um, is it safe to go out just the three of us?"
I smiled apologetically and said, "Well, not really. I think breaking the group into two smaller hunting parties would be most advantageous."
"I nominate Rosie and I to go first!" Emmett said, jumping to his feet. "She is pregnant after all, and you know the saying, 'Woman and children first,' and she's both!"
Edward snickered and said, "Yeah, and so is Em. He's got a point." The biggest Cullen pouted but Rosalie just laughed and stood, patting his arm.
"C'mon big guy. Let's get this show on the road. It's been too long since I've had good blood."
Emmett offered up a lazy salute and said, "Yes ma'am!"
The three Denali's laughed and followed Emmett and Rosalie out the front door. Kate paused on the way out to wave back at my Tribe, calling out,"It was nice to meet you all! We'll have to talk when we get back," and then they were gone.
I sat down on the newly vacated loveseat with an audible thump and let my head fall into my hands.
"What's wrong?" Alice asked, brows furrowing.
"Nothing, really. It's just hitting me how big this all is, and they're only the first group." I brought my head up to gaze around the room and asked with a slight smile on my face, "Do you have any idea how hard it is for a Hunter to get stressed?"
Loki materialized in front of the fire place and solidified into his physical form. "I have news," he said.
"What kind of news?" I asked. "Good news that will make me less stressed or bad news that will make me more stressed?"
"Our extended family has arrived," Loki said with a small grin. The Cullen's stiffened, all except for Alice, who read my thoughts, as they assumed I meant my Clan.
Three sharp raps sounded against the front door and I smiled, going to answer it. I heard Alice whisper, "It's not what you think."
Opening our wide double doors revealed nine beings who would at first glance appear human, but to those with the sight were surrounded by a faint golden glow. Leading the group were two men, one with shoulder length salt-and-pepper hair and beard, wearing a fine suit. The man beside him had wavy raven-black hair and wore a Tommy Bahama shirt. Both seemed to be in their forties. Behind them were two people, a boy and a girl, who seemed no more than nineteen. The boy was blond wit tanned skin and a muscled body. He wore a red, orange, and yellow tank and white board shorts. The girl beside him had auburn hair and pale yellow eyes, yet was just as toned as the surfer beside her. Behind them was another pair, a woman and a man yet again. The woman was possibly the only being on the planet more beautiful than Rosalie, though they shared many of the same features, like blond hair and an hourglass figure. The man was scarred and brutal in appearance, with calloused hands and a disgruntled expression. Finally there were three, a woman of refined appearance in a gray pantsuit, a man in biker leathers flipping a knife around his hands, and a lanky man with a walking stick.
I smiled at them and stepped back, allowing them entrance. "Wow, what a turn out! It's great to see you all again."
The tension was thick for a moment before the first man in his suit smiled and laughed, extending a hand which I gladly shook. "Indeed it has. When was the last time you visited?"
"Three years, maybe?" I turned to face the Cullens who stared at our newest arrivals in bewilderment. "These," I said to our new arrivals, "Are the Cullen Coven. Their monarch and matriarch, Carlisle and Esme. Beside them are Edward and Jasper, and beside them is my newly found mate, Alice. We have two missing from our number, Emmett and Rosalie, who will return shortly with the Denali Coven. Cullens, may I introduce Lord Zeus and the gods of Olympus," I smiled.
I doubt I will ever forget their expressions, Edward and Carlisle's in particular.
Esme broke from her trance first and stepped forward, smiling. "It is lovely to meet you all. Please forgive our manners, but we're recent initiates to this world and it's a lot to take in."
Zeus grinned and offered a hand. "It's nice to meet you. If I may make introductions as well, I would have you meet my brother Poseidon, my fellow gods Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Athena, Ares, and Hermes."
I looked to Edward and saw his jaw working, though no sound came out. Alice, sensing my thoughts, spoke and said, "Forgive my brother Edward. He and Carlisle were rather immersed in religion of a distinctly Christian kind in their early life, so this has come as a bit of a shock to them."
"The great thing about religion," Ares said, stepping forward, "Is that names are stupid. You can call something whatever you want, but that doesn't change what it is. God, Allah, Jesus, doesn't matter. It's the thought that counts. If there's someone out there who can hear you and wants to help, well there ya go." He shrugged then turned to me. "Now, whatcha got to eat? I'm starved."
I smiled and we moved our entire group outside. I used my magic to dig a deep and wide fire pit while Aria and Rafael left to hunt game for my Tribe and the gods. In the mean time we caught the Olympians up on all our going-ons. We were discussing the latest happenings back at Askari Camp, which I had heard nothing from, when Emmett, Rosalie, and the Denalis returned.
"Woo, more people!" Emmett boomed, grinning. "Who are you? Or what are you is probably a better question. Wait, wait! Don't tell me! I want to guess!" He put a finger to his lips, thinking hard. He opened his mouth to speak but before he could Edward blurred over to where he stood and clamped a hand over his mouth.
"Will you never learn to think before you speak?" He growled.
I chuckled. "Emmett, these are the majority of the major greek gods."
Emmett's jaw dropped as soon as Edward removed his hand. Rosalie rolled her eyes and nudged her husband before stepping forward with all the poise and confidence of someone who's felt like a goddess herself for the majority of her life. "It's nice to meet you, I'm Rosalie and that idiot is my husband. The other three are our pseudo-cousins, Tanya, Kate, and Irene."
The gods eyed her carefully before Ares broke out laughing and said, "Eh Aphrodite, she one of yours?"
The goddess of beauty eyed Rosalie carefully before finally shrugging and saying, "Not sure. Granddaughter maybe, but I can hardly tell what with the vampirism mixed in."
"Eh," was all Ares said, shrugging.
"It's nice to meet any friend of Bella's," Zeus said before turning back to me and asking, "So. What do you need?"
"We're having a complete briefing later this evening, but I can give you a condensed version now. The short of it is my family tried to get rid of me, failed, and now they're coming to attack us along with the Volturi."
"And your retaliation?" Poseidon said, his face grave.
"I am massing an army, naturally," I said with a cheeky grin. "My family has done a wonderful job of making enemies, while my tribe has had a wonderful time with making friends. We just hope both parties have enough of each to shift the odds in our favor."
"How did you come to know of their plans?" Athena asked.
"Do you remember Birch?"
Apollo grinned. "Of course. He's one of my oracles, or at least he has the blood for it."
I nodded. "Precisely. He came into his gift already and warned us. We've been preparing ever since."
Apollo looked concerned about Birch's plight. "I will aid him when he returns then. It's odd, really. Have you ever pondered on why weird things always happen around you?"
I looked at him dryly. "I try not to think about it."
"It's probably for the best," he smiled.