Hey guys! I have no words. No words! But here is the new update, brought to you by my brand new MacBook Pro! It's wonderful. Also, I have decided to make this into one long story, rather than making multiple small ones. Enjoy~
Starlight ended her story as Edward walked in. "How's Bella?"
"She's alright." His expression was his usual one of brooding angst.
"Well, in that case, we need to talk," Alice crossed her arms.
Edward sighed and sat down. "Alright. Talk."
"You need to change Bella already."
"Victoria will be coming for her," the little redhead added quietly. "If you're going to end up changing her at some point, which you'll have to, to appease the Volturi and also Bella herself, then it'd be better to do it now. She'd be safer that way and also a lot happier, being on the same level as you, so to speak."
"No. I can protect her."
"Edward, she isn't happy. You're going to have to change her one way or another at some point." she tried again. Alice stiffened at some vision she had seen.
"Then you change her," Edward's tone was final.
The First Vampire was stunned. She blinked several times and worked her jaw, trying to find something to say, shaking slightly.
Jasper suddenly growled and put himself between her and Edward. He glared at Edward, eye to eye, and blasted the full effect of what emotions his words had caused Starlight. Edward went down, crumpling to the ground, one hand on his stomach and the other shielding his head under the onslaught. He lay curled up in the fetal position, as silent sobs racked his frame.
"That's enough Jasper!" Carlisle's voice was raised and he was on his feet. Carlisle never raised his voice, so everyone was understandably stunned.
Jasper blinked sheepishly and backed away, releasing Edward.
Esme had enveloped Starlight in a reassuring hug and Rosalie was standing behind her, one hand resting on the girl's shoulder. Emmett had taken hold of the girl's hand and everyone was watching Edward.
He slowly sat up and turned, shivering, to the little girl. "I'm sorry." He stared at her with barely concealed horror and an enormous amount of shame and guilt. "I'm sorry," he repeated. "I didn't know. How- How can you cope with..."
She held his gaze.
"Apology accepted. Please don't do it again." She stirred from her sheltered position and turned to Carlisle. "Let's take a vote. Bella gets changed now, or we wait until after graduation. And Bella also gets a vote. Take the time to think it over. But just be aware, that Bella's vote counts for more than ours, because it's her decision in the end." She held up a hand, forestalling Edward. "And if she decides she doesn't want to be changed, then we simply adjust our plans. We'll take the vote tomorrow. Someone, not you Edward, needs to tell Bella tonight."
"You're currently the most level headed person here," Alice shrugged. "Plus she trusts you."
"Alright. I'll go over now. Jasper? Can you come with me?" Jasper nodded. "Right, we'll be back in a bit." She turned to Edward. "You can go over after I'm done. Don't try to convince her one way or the other. Good talk." She grabbed a pair of shoes and walked out the door, Jasper right behind her.
"No!" Edward shouted after her. "You'll put her in danger!"
"She'll be fine. And so will Jasper. Technically, his control is better than Carlisle's."
By the time she and Jasper had reached Bella's house, she knew what she wanted to say. She called the human, letting her know they were outside, and Bella opened the window for her. Once they were inside and both sitting on the bed, Starlight began.
"First of all, hi."
"Hi. Why're you guys here?"
"To explain some things to you and also to share something with you. Edward will come over after we leave."
"So we are all going to have a vote tomorrow night. Your vote holds the most weight because it's your choice in the end. But if it's you against everyone else, then we need to explain each side's reasoning and decide from there. Right now the two options are to turn you now, or wait until after graduation. But we're-"
"I vote do it now."
"But we are going to share some things with you first so your choice will be more educated and not based purely on emotional reasons," Starlight forged ahead, ignoring Bella's hasty interruption. "Jasper is here to help with that." She nodded at the civil war veteran, who had been holding his breath since he came in.
Jasper grit his teeth and breathed in deeply, taking ahold of the little girl's hand. He directed the feeling of his burning thirst onto Bella and she stiffened, her eyes widening. A feeling of desperation and pain overcame the human and shook her to her core. But before she could open her mouth or even utter a sound, Jasper was out the window and into the woods, tracking the nearest four legged animal. Starlight closed the window behind him and hoped it wasn't someone's dog.
As the feeling faded, Bella looked at Starlight with horror and fear. "Hey. It's cool, we're cool. Just breath. In and out. In and out."
Once Bella had calmed down, Starlight sat her on the edge of the purple bed and stood before her. Taking the brunette's hands, she gazed at the human seriously. "That," she informed the girl. "Is what they feel like every second, of everyday. And it only gets worse the more human scents they are exposed to and the longer they are exposed."
"But not you?" Bella's voice didn't even classify as a whisper, she was so shaken.
"No not me. But if you want to become one of them, that is what you will deal with. It gets easier to ignore the more practice you have, but you still feel the same level of burn."
"Edward feels that around me?"
"What Edward feels around you is worse than that. That was just standard thirst standing next to ONE human. You're Edward's singer. And because you're his mate, he will never intentionally hurt you because he can't bare to physically separate himself from you. You being with him is actually the best thing that could have happened to him because you challenge him to keep himself sane."
Bella blinked, her voice coming slightly stronger now, but still a whisper. "How?"
"He can't read you. You are a puzzle to him. And because he loves you, you will always be a puzzle to him. There is nothing you can do, or stop doing, that will cause him to leave you. You are literally stuck with him until you die. And when you do die, it will break him. That's why the vampires have the law 'a mate for a mate'. If you kill someone's mate, they won't rest until you have experienced the same pain as they have. And once someone's mate is gone, they no longer have the will to live, and the Volturi give them peace. "
"They kill them."
"So I have to be like Edward, so he'll never be like that. So we can be together." Her voice was slowly coming back to normal.
"Bella, sweetie. Vampires die too. Remember what happened to James?"
The brunette flinched slightly.
"And because of that his mate, Victoria, is now on the war path to kill you. A mate for mate."
"And that would destroy Edward."
"Then I need to be able to protect myself. At least if I'm on their level I'll stand a chance."
"That's true. But you also have to consider the personal sacrifices you'll have to make."
Bella shook her head. "I don't care about those."
"I'm not talking about not being able to age, or have kids, or grow your hair. I'm talking about dealing with the thirst and the challenges that come of it."
The human blanched and stared at the floor.
"No matter what you decide, you're stuck with Edward hovering around for the rest of your life. And if he decides to leave, it will be because he's trying to protect you. Not because he doesn't love you. Love makes people do stupid things as the saying goes."
"So what should I do?"
"That's for you to decide. I'm not here to influence you one way or the other, I'm just here to make sure that you're informed of all the facts before you decide. Right now, there are three choices, unless you can think of another one. Be changed now, after graduation, or not at all." Starlight crossed her arms and looked out the window.
"When do you think Victoria will come?" Bella's question had a lot riding on it.
"I have no idea. If you're worried about that, then add it into your decision. Speaking of which, I need to keep an eye out for her myself. She could tell the Volturi about me and that won't be so good for me." The immortal child stood up. "Well, I'll be going then. Edward is probably waiting outsi- Yup. There he is. Are you going to Prom with him? You should consider it. See you tomorrow then."
She opened the window and hopped up onto the sill. "Bye." As soon as she was on the ground, Edward was already in the room. The redhead rolled her eyes and started running back home.
"How did it go?" Esme asked. Alice had gone out to meet Jasper and therefore hadn't been around to relay the conversation.
"Well, she didn't take it as badly as I thought she would. So there's that. She still wants to be changed, but now that she's felt what the thirst will actually be like, she's more wary."
"Well, either way, she'll still be part of the family."
"Ain't that the truth!" Emmett grinned. "New sister! Mom, Dad, you better watch out. Soon our family will be bigger than the Volturi if you keep this up," he laughed.
"Bella's the last one," Carlisle affirmed with a smile.
"But what about squirt here? Doesn't she need a friend."
"Dad, I know what sex is. Don't even bother. I'll find a mate if I find a mate." She shrugged. "I'm not particularly interested in being stuck with one person and having to be even remotely social with them. If it's expected, then I don't like doing it. To be honest, I'd probably be making excuses all the time to get some alone time with me, myself, and I."
"Friends are so much better!" Starlight grinned. "You can blow them off and they won't get too mad- if you have the right kind of friends."
"And I'm assuming have the right kind."
"Damn right I do! I'm going hunting, all this heavy stuff is getting me down. See you guys later." She headed out into the woods, looking for something fun to hunt.
Kinda short chapter I know, but I wanted to get something out to you guys as soon as I could. And for those of you who have been asking when the Volturi are going to show up, soon... Very soon by my reckoning. Not next chapter soon, but soon. And apologies for any missed typos, I tried to get them al, but since my awesome beta (my mom) isn't conveniently around to beta, I did my best. Un tip next time my awesome peeps!