XxX

Some legends are told

Some turn to dust or to gold

But you will remember me

Remember me for centuries.

And just one mistake

Is all it will take

We'll go down in history

Fall Out Boy, Centuries

XxX

Bella sat at the edge of the soft bed as Alice knelt behind her, carefully brushing and braiding her thick hair, as she focused on her thoughts.

"You know any one of us would change you in a heartbeat." The young, fairy looking vampire cooed, her topaz eyes flitting up to the mirror across from them to meet the human's eye, "We all want you to be a part of our family. Even Rose is coming around to the idea." Her skilled hands started to twist the braids into an intricate pattern.

"Alice." Bella sighed, her eyes looking to the ceiling in searched of answers. Alice set her cool chin on her friend's shoulder, showing comfort through action.

Bella's slender hands fidgeted with the blanket over her legs as she thought, "Alice, what if—"

"He won't run off again, Bella, he just needed to hunt." She rushed to explain, "He didn't want to go either, Emmett had to practically force him out the door."

Bella sighed, accepting her reply even though Alice had answered a question she wasn't thinking of asking.

Alice stiffened next to her and sat up, her eyes growing distant as the future captured her. In an instant, she was back with a new smile on her face.

"Oh, Bella, you are going to be such an amazing vampire." She cooed, moving back to her place and continuing to twist the braids before she pinned them in place with the antique pearl hair pins, "Even more beautiful than you are now."

Bella's heart raced, "You-you saw me?" She stuttered, "As a vampire?" She looked up to the mirror, trying to imagine what Alice had seen in her vision. To think she would be just as unbreakable as the rest of the Cullens, and just as beautiful. She would never trip again.

A single thought ruined her perfect dream; Edward. He had made it clear that he wouldn't change her and he definitely wouldn't support her choice if she decided to go against his wishes.

But if Alice saw her changed, even though Edward had made up his mind, what did that mean?

Since they had returned to Forks Bella had been treading carefully around him, especially after the vote. She watched every word she said, every action she took, terrified that he would leave again.

Alice jumped up, startling Bella from her thoughts, "Our guest is here." She rushed to the closet and returned with an elegant, flowing amethyst dress, "This is just perfect; it will make the pearls shine in your dark hair." Alice held the dress out to Bella.

"G-guest?" Bella stuttered, trying to follow the vampire's train of thought as she stood up, "You…you didn't say anything about someone stopping by tonight."

"It will look great on you!" Alice encouraged, ignoring her question, and forcing her towards the closet to change.

Bella stopped, her hand fingering the thick straps that came to a deep V in both the front and back. Her teeth worried her lower lip, not feeling comfortable showing off that much skin; she didn't need to look in the mirror to know that the events of last September had taken its toll on her. The last time she was in the doctor's office he had chided her for being too small, having lost close to twenty pounds from her small frame in under six months.

"Please Bella, for me?" Alice stuck out her lip slightly, her topaz eyes looking at the human pathetically. Bella shook her head, knowing she couldn't say no to Alice.

"Do I get to know your guest's name at least?" Bella asked through the thick door, not bothering to raise her voice, as she nervously stepped into the silky material.

"It's a surprise." Alice replied. It grew quiet, as if she was caught up in a vision, and then she called, "You need to put on the heels by the door."

Awkwardly Bella tried to zip up the dress as she turned around looking for the shoes Alice was talking about. When she found them, her mouth fell, "I can't wear these." Bella moved to pick them up, her hand running along the smooth, black velvet of the stiletto and coming to rest on the three inch heel, "Are you trying to kill me?" All she could hear was Alice's laughter on the other end.

As Bella stumbled her way out the large closet, Alice clasped her hands together in approval, "You look beautiful, Bella. Just one last thing." Alice held up a silver chain with a single tear-drop pearl dangling elegantly. In a second she was behind Bella, placing the silver chain around her neck gently and making sure the single pearl lay just right on her milky skin, "Perfect."

"Now do I get to know who this guest of yours is that I have to get all dressed up for? I am exhausted Alice, I've been under a lot of stress the last few days, I need some down time to think before I see Charlie tomorrow." She confided, lowering her eyes as her anxiety built.

"Bella." Alice stepped up and took her head carefully between her hands, "Just trust me, alright? You won't want to miss out on meeting him."

"So it's a he?" Bella asked, holding her arms out as she tried to walk across the wooden floor.

Alice smiled wickedly, her eyes sparkling with a secret, as she skipped out of the room. Bella followed obediently, knowing she wouldn't get anything else out of the vampire.

Most of the lights were off in the living room, causing only a faint glow to light up the balcony stair case that Bella was expected to walk down. Alice left her to fend for herself as she skipped down the stairs with ease.

"You remember Alice, Jasper's mate." Carlisle gestured to the small fairy as she gracefully glided down the stairs. Bella held fast to the banister, watching each step she took so she wouldn't trip. Relief pooled within her when she made it to the last one.

"And this," Carlisle turned to the human with a warm smile, his eyes bright, "is our extraordinary Bella." A smile lit up her face at his praise, causing a ripple effect to flow through the vampires around her.

"Bella, I would like to introduce you to an old friend of mine." Carlisle stepped forward and offered her his arm. She smiled and accepted his subtle act of chivalry, letting him lead her off the last step, "This is Garrett. He is a nomadic vampire that I met during the Revolutionary War." At the mention of his name, the vampire stepped forward so the mortal could see him. Her eyes grew when they met his ruby pair.

At a humans pace he stepped forward, his long coat billowing out as he bowed his head in acknowledgment, "I have heard a lot about you Isabella." He held his hand out slightly and her eyes darted to Carlisle, silently asking what she should do. He nodded for her to mimic Garrett's gesture and she did as instructed, more curious than frightened.

Her unwavering nerve didn't go unnoticed by the nomad when he took her hand and gave it a chaste kiss, "It is a pleasure to finally meet you." Garrett let his red eyes flit up to her soft ones, which were set deep in her thin face and guarded by purple bruises.

Being left behind took a great toll on her, he thought.

When Garrett released her hand, Bella stepped back and studied the stranger as he talked easily with Carlisle. He was tall, easily a head above her, and lengthy. He wasn't filled out like Emmett or Jasper, but he wasn't weak by any means. His body was built for stealth, and the simple black and grey colors he wore seemed to match the theme perfectly. The only thing that would give him away was the silver chain he wore and the different trinkets that clang against one another when he moved.

His hair was a tousled auburn that dusted the dark brows before his ruby eyes. Bella tilted her head, trying to look into their depths. Great adventures were hidden behind the violent color; just like the years of history etched into the sharp features of his face. Though she wouldn't have guessed he was more than twenty three, if that, when he was changed, she could tell he had an old soul.

A small smirk pulled at the Patriot's lips as he felt her eyes on him, amused by the mortal's bold curiosity.

"You met during the Revolutionary War?" Bella asked, cutting into their conversation and looking to the leader of the coven. It was Garret's turn to be impressed by the girl. Bella had said Revolutionary War as if it meant nothing more to her than if she had said last Thursday.

"Why don't we retire to the sitting room?" Esme asked, playing the perfect hostess as she glided her way to Bella and took her gently by the arm, "Bella and Alice returned from a long trip yesterday and I am sure she is quite tired." She explained, looking to the others for support.

"That sounds like a great idea, my dear." Carlisle moved to his wife, offering his arm in escort. Jasper followed suite and led Alice, who cast a knowing look over her shoulder, after the pair.

Bella stood uneasily in her heels, not sure if she could make it to the room on her own. Garrett heard her heart pick up; but he wasn't sure if it was from the thought of being alone with a red-eyed vampire or because she was famous for being clumsy.

Unable to resist seeing what she would do, or able to escape the traditional manners he grew up with, he offered his arm to the mortal, "Shall we?" Her soft, doe eyes looked only to the sleeve of his jacket as she considered his question.

"I promise," His husky voice got her to meet his eye as he smiled gently, "I won't bite."

Bella, knowing he was testing her resolve and baiting her, stuck her chin out and took his arm without a second's hesitation.

She kept her head high as Garrett let them across the floor, determined to come off strong and powerful like Rosalie always did. But, like they always did, her human limitations caught up to her and her foot slid from the center of the heel. Bella swallowed hard, knowing she wouldn't be able to keep her balance when she heard the heel snap.

Of course, with his quick reflexes, Garrett was instantly in front of her to catch her. The blush warmed her too human face and her heart sped up as she felt his cool skin through the thin grey shirt he wore.

"I see that you live up to your reputation, Isabella." Garrett smiled, watching her long lashes flutter as she chanced opening them. Nervously she tried to get to her feet with what dignity she had left.

"Bella." She corrected, settling her heart before she looked at him, "I prefer being called Bella."

Garrett offered her his arm again, "Bella?" He tested the name and wrinkled his nose, "Too British for my taste." Bella rose a brow, confused by the nomad's distaste for the Isle.

"Isabella is a lot more elegant than Bella and it isn't ruined by the English tongue. It is also much more old fashion and, from what I have heard, you tend to enjoyed old things." Garrett continued, letting his eyes wander to her face and test her reaction. A small smile spread across her lips as she looked down and he knew he had accomplished something no one else had been able to for a while, not even Edward.

The Cullens had said she hadn't smiled since her returned and apparently, when Edward had read the different minds throughout town, Bella had not been smiling at all in the past few months. The young vampire had truly shattered her heart and left her to deal with the remnants. Even the traditional vampire new that wasn't the morally right thing to do when interacting with humans, surly the younger Cullen had been taught better. Garrett couldn't imagine what Carlisle was thinking leaving her behind like they had.

He led her into the sitting room, taking care that she didn't break anything else as she sat down and kicked off the broken shoes.

Alice and Jasper stood before the book shelf, looking at the different novels, while Garrett moved to one of the chairs. The old friends fell into a light conversation, having not seen each other for upwards of fifteen years, while Bella rubbed her sore feet in frustration.

Garrett split his attention between listening to Carlisle and observing the mortal they kept company with.

They do spoil her like one of their own, he noted, looking to the expensive dress that seemed to have been made for her. The color brought out the soft, alabaster warmth of her skin and the rich dark tones of her thick hair, which had been pulled back into different twists and braids before being pinned loosely with pearls to match her necklace. Her eyes wandered all around her, taking in everything the world offered her in that moment.

She would make a stunning vampire, Garrett determined. His immortal eyes were able to look past her fragile human exterior, which was weaker than most because of her months of abandonment, to see the true essence of her soul.

But what really held the old nomad captive, going so far as to distract him from the conversation at hand, was her even heartbeat. She was in a room of vampires, one of which kept to a more natural diet, and there was no sense of fear to be found in her.

Bella's back stiffened when she felt his eyes lingering on her and she shifted to meet his eye, Garrett gave a small, cheeky smile before answering Carlisle's question.

"My dear, you have not given Bella a chance to talk." Esme chided lightly, resting her hand on her mates forearm.

"Oh yes, of course." Carlisle pattered her small hand and looked to Bella, "I am sorry, Bella." Bella blushed shyly and looked away with a shake of her head, embarrassed that she had been too caught up in watching the perfect beings around her to think of any questions.

Garrett was intrigued and turned to look at her, "Please, feel free to ask whatever you like, Isabella."

Bella looked up with her honest eyes, his confirmation was all she needed before words started spilling out, "Why do you drink human blood?" She asked, her tone even and unjudging. Garrett tilted his head, amused by her pure curiosity and thankful she didn't share Rosalie or Edward's tendency to look down upon those who held to a different life style.

"I don't believe in harming any innocent creature on God's green earth." He replied, seeing if she would pick up on the double meaning of his words.

He wasn't disappointed, Bella had always been a quick study, "So you hunt humans who are not innocent?" She tilted her head, awaiting his answer.

Garrett gave a small smile, "My, you are a smart little one, Isabella."

"So I've been told." Bella replied, matching his wit and awarding him another small smile. She thought over everything that had transpired between them, searching for another question.

Her dark eyes wandered over his person, the light catching the necklace he wore gave her the next inquiry, "What are the charms on your necklace?" Her brown eyes met his in expectation.

Sensing her comfort with him, he stood from his chair and made his way to the couch as he removed the chain. Bella remained where she was, her eyes wandering to the silver chain which Garrett offered to her.

She took it without a second's hesitation and started gently looking at the different treasures he had collected. He sat next to her and watched as she handled each keepsake with care, wanting to show her which were his favorites.

"The bronze button there came from my uniform in 1780." Garrett explained, his eyes growing lively as he got to share his adventures with someone who wouldn't take them for granted. He took pleasure in seeing her eyes light up at the old relics, "This silver one is from my Union uniform." He puffed his chest out, proud, "I have fought in ever battle in America. A lot of the other buttons come from different uniforms I have worn." Bella looked up to him with admiration in her eyes. Carlisle smiled as his centuries old friend, who was started to look like an excited young boy at the attention he was getting.

Garrett reached forward and held up the next charm, a small, roughly cast silver ring, "Carlisle gave me this as a sign of friendship when we first met and this," Garrett lifted up an old heart locket, which was scratched from the years of wear, "this is my favorite. It was my mother's. She gave it to me before I went off to fight." His hands that held unspeakable strength delicately opened the locket and pulled out a thinning piece of hand sown lace, "The lace is from her wedding dress." Bella grew nervous when he started to hand it to her and she pulled back, "You won't ruin it." He encouraged, taking her hand and placing it in her palm.

She looked down at the treasure, her thumb gently feeling the soft fabric while her eyes shifted to the old portraits in the locket, "Is that your mom and dad?" Bella asked. Garrett handed her the locket as he nodded.

"She is beautiful." Bella gasped, looking at the black and white picture of the stunning woman, "They are—were a handsome couple. It's obvious that they loved each other." She whispered, her eyes budding with tears as her tone held a note of envy.

"I remember that I had her eyes." Garrett said, his nerves prickling as he spoke his thoughts aloud, "They were grey, as striking as silver." Bella handed him back the lace and he closed the locket, returning his memories. Garrett pulled the necklace over his head, wondering what sort of spell the girl had over him to get him to open his heart so easily to her. He smirked, remembering what Carlisle had told him about the intense draw they all felt towards Isabella Swan.

"What was her name?" Bella asked tenderly, not wanting to pry into anything too personal.

Garrett smiled cheekily, his ruby eyes lingering on the locket, "Isabella." His ears perked up when her heart sped up. Bella looked away, trying to dull her blush which only grew worse when she realized everyone could hear her heart.

She timidly looked around, surprised when she found the room empty. Garrett followed her line of sight, uneasy that he had been so caught up in his memories and the girl before him that he hadn't noticed the vampires leave.

Chuckling, Garrett turned to look around the study, "They don't seem too worried leaving you alone with a traditionalist like myself."

Bella shrugged, knowing they couldn't have gone too far since they were charged with Bella-sitting tonight. She had learned long ago that the Cullens would give the appearance of privacy but it was just that, an appearance.

"The worse you could do was bite me." Bella joked easily. Garrett looked to the human, perplexed. She smiled, taking up the habit of fidgeting with the hem of her dress, "We voted tonight on whether I should be change or not." She explained.

"And, from how Carlisle was talking, I assume it was a unanimous yes?" Garrett asked, his eyes lingering on her face.

Bella exhaled loudly, letting her head fall against the couch, "Edward and Rosalie voted no."

Wrinkling his nose, Garrett shook his head, "Don't take Rosalie's rejection personal, she's probably just jealous that you will be more beautiful than her when you are changed." That caused the blush to grow worse and Garrett quickly added, "She hates everyone who doesn't do what she wants. She has a strong selfish streak." He finished, trying to change the topic.

"She's been through a lot." Bella defended gently, "I can understand why she voted no – this wasn't the life she wanted. She wanted to get married and have a family." The air around her grew heavy as she thought about the vampire who was jealous of her humanity.

"You are a puzzle, Isabella." Garrett replied, shifting to mirror her position, "I can see why you have caught the attention of young Edward Cullen."

"He's not just tied to me because he can't read my mind," She explained, letting her tired eyes flutter closed, "I'm his singer." Garrett sat up quickly, questions of his own ready to spill over. The human was Edward's singer? That put a whole new twist on playing with one's food.

His movement had been so graceful that it didn't disturb the girl, "Everyone says I have sweet smelling blood, it tempts every vampire we come across." Bella opened her eyes slightly, "Does it call to you too?" She asked morbidly.

Garrett settled against the arm so he could see her fully. He thought about her question, inhaling the air around them. Carlisle had already warned him about the girl's blood so he had taken care not to breathe when he first laid eyes on the house, but he tested his self-control now and was surprised to find that he felt no draw whatsoever to her life source. He could smell it, of course, but it didn't tempt him.

"No." Garrett replied honestly, surprised he wasn't more drawn to her blood. The new found knowledge made him relax more around the girl and he let himself start breathing in and out her scent, finding peace in the sweet fragrance.

"It bother's Edward." She mumbled under her breath, watching her hands fidget. Bella's thoughts lingered to every kiss they had shared and how guarded he was whenever their lips touched, he always pulled away quickly as if he were repulsed by her. It was hard not to take his weakness personally.

Garrett couldn't hide his cocky smile, "I like to think I have a bit more control compared to a boy."

He was caught off guard when she looked up to him, her eyes sharp, "Yes, but Edward doesn't kill humans to live. If I was not a part of the Cullen coven, I would be nothing more than another meal too you. That makes you equal to a boy." She crossed her arms, clearly upset, yet her tone remained even and calm.

Garrett looked at her, trying to determine his plan of attack, "Like I told you earlier, I don't kill any innocent things on God's green earth." Bella looked to him, curious what his defense would be for his life style, "I have made a fair amount of mistakes, that is true, but I don't purposely go after innocence. I go after those that threaten them. I try to make the world a safer place." He kept his eyes on her, wanting her to listen to him with an open mind.

One of the reasons he kept his distance from the coven was because of the looks Rosalie and Edward would give him at every turn. They judged him on his eyes alone and treated him how they thought he deserved to be; a soulless monster beneath themselves. Sometimes Garrett found himself agreeing with them, but there was nothing he could do to change his Fate so he continued on with life the best he could.

Unable to take the serious tone of the conversation any longer, Garrett relaxed his shoulders and leaned back, "Besides, I like little bunnies. How they can stand draining the life out of something so fluffy without getting a mouth full of puff is beyond me." He was satisfied when he saw a smile break across her face, even though her eyes remained defensive.

"I apologize if I offended you with what I said." Garrett bowed his head, "It was wrong of me to disrespect your mate."

Bella tensed before she looked up, testing his words. She was use to Edward apologizing simply to appease her anger for the moment and win back her good nature, a habit which she was becoming weary of, but looking at the vampire's honest eyes he knew that he was being sincere.

Her heart melted into forgiveness, "Alright." She nodded, her brown eyes softening, "I forgive you." Garrett just had time enough to smile before the door burst open and Edward sprinted in, Rosalie and Emmett on his heel.

"Edward?" Carlisle appeared out of nowhere, "What's wrong?"

Alice leaned over the balcony, her answer ready, "There are 25 people missing in Seattle. 32 if you count ones from the outlaying cities. Edward came across a few newborns' thoughts when they were hunting but they couldn't keep up with them"

"Can you see where they are going?" Esme asked, her usual sing-song voice breaking. Edward rushed to Bella's side and pulled her away from Garrett without warning. Bella fell against his cool chest, wincing when she twisted her ankle at his unexpected motion. Her anger warmed her face at his possessive behavior but she remained where she was, knowing she didn't have the physical strength to push him away.

Alice shook her head sadly, "No."

"We need to find out what is going on." Carlisle hummed, "Jasper, Rosalie go to Seattle and see what you can find out about the missing people. Alice and Edward will follow behind and check the outer cities. Esme and I will scout out around here. Emmett go to the Swan's house and find out where Charlie is, stay close to him until you hear from us." Everyone nodded, understanding what was assigned to them, and took off towards the door. All but one vampire obeyed without questioning.

"Who will stay with Bella?" Edward demanded, his eyes darker than before he left to hunt. Bella hung limply by his side, her smile gone and spirit defeated.

Carlisle looked around at those that remained, having assigned everyone a duty, his eyes came to rest on Garrett.

"I will stay behind with her." Edward demanded, jutting his chin out and shifting his eyes nervously to the red-eyed vampire. Garrett stood with his arms crossed, unfazed by the juvenile's jealousy.

Carlisle stepped forward, his hand raised so as to prevent a fight, "Edward—"

"Edward, you need to go find out what is going on." Bella cut him off, trying to push away from Edward's cool chest. His hold grew more possessive and she whimpered as it threatened to bruise her back.

"Edward. You are hurting her." Esme warned, holding back a hiss. Garrett watched with narrowed eyes, ready to act if he didn't let her go. Edward relaxed but kept himself between the human and the nomad.

Bella turned, taking hold of his face so he would look at her, "T-they need you to read any minds they come across. It will help shorten their search time. We need answers, now." She lied easily; guilt seized her heart at how easy it had been to lie to him. The truth was she needed time to think away from his dazzling effects on her, "I will be fine on my own."

Edward looked around the room for support but found none, "But, what if one of the newborns comes this way?"

"Garrett," Carlisle stepped up, turning to his old friend, "would you mind staying here for a while longer?" A deep growl rumbled in Edward's throat.

The Patriot could feel Edward's dark eyes on him, challenging him, and said, "I can look after Isabella while you are away, if it is alright with her of course." Edward looked sharply to the small mortal, expecting her to side with him. When she didn't his teeth started to grind against each other; she had granted the stranger a right he wasn't privileged too.

"Are you alright staying here with Garrett, Bella?" Carlisle asked, ignoring the tension in the air. Bella looked to Garrett, a smile pulling at her lips when she remembered his comment about the bunnies. Unlike the overprotective vampire next to her, she knew he could trust the newcomer.

"Ya." She nodded, turning back to the coven's leader, "I'm alright with that."

"Bella is comfortable with the arrangement." Carlisle stated, turning back to his seething son, "It is the only safe arrangement we have for right now, we need your gift to keep Bella safe for more than just tonight." He explained, trying to get the forever seventeen year old to understand.

Edward stepped back, his hands fisting, "His eyes are red." He hissed, his black iris slits when he looked at the Patriot with hate. Garrett easily remained calm under the threat; he had years of practice to know it was best not to react hastily in any situation with a thirsty vampire, especially when their mate was concerned.

"Edward." Esme gasped. Though she didn't agree with Garrett's lifestyle, she wouldn't have one of her son's disrespecting Carlisle's closest friend.

"Garrett will not hurt Bella; he isn't tempted by her blood like you are." Alice explained, trying to put her brother at ease. He looked sharply to her and she showed him her vision of Bella, unharmed, tomorrow morning.

His eyes remained unsympathetic as he snarled, "Let's just go so we can come back." Edward pulled Bella too him and pressed a firm, claiming kiss on her forehead. Casting one last threatening look in the nomad's direction, Edward took off out the door.

Esme walked up to Bella, taking hold of her hands and brushing her hair back motheringly, "Get to bed soon, you have had a long couple of days. We will take care of everything; you have nothing to worry about. Emmett will look out for Charlie and you will be safe here." Esme leaned in and kissed her forehead gentler than the previous vampire. Bella nodded, not wanting to let go of her cool hands but knowing she had too.

"Take care of her." Carlisle turned to his friend, giving a firm nod.

Garrett replied back in similar fashion, "With my life." The pair took off to search Forks for answers without another word.

Bella stood awkwardly in the middle of the room where Edward had left her, one arm nervously rubbing the one that lay limp by her side. Garrett watched her; the presence of her mate had seemed to make her nervous and subdued, not full of love and joy. He seemed to agitate her instead of bring her peace, like she was a pet taking care not to upset her master.

She is still hurt from his actions last September and hasn't forgiven him yet for the harm he has done, Garrett thought. Whether Bella knew how she was coming off or not, he was sure that something was wrong between the pair.

"I believe it is time for the human to go to bed." Garrett joked lightly, trying to cheer up the girl as the tears started to roll down her cheek. She looked up to him, her eyes scratched red, and he was sure that if his heart still worked it would be broken.

"He's always so protective over me." Bella sighed. Her bare feet patting against the floor as she made her way back to the sitting room, her shoulders defeated. Garrett remained where he was, considering whether he should follow after her or not.

"I'm tired of being human and I'm tired of everyone thinking they need to protect me. I don't need him stepping in every time I have to make a decision….I'm tired of being stepped on. It's like he doesn't trust me at all…he was the one that left not me…I shouldn't trust him…I don't…" His sensitive ears picked up her mumbled words with ease. Garrett brushed his mess of hair back, knowing she hadn't meant for him to hear them.

He could hear her shuffling around as she gathered a pillow and blanket, "What is wrong with me?" She asked, thinking over the months of pain she had caused to those she loved because of his departure. Now he was back and she was even more lost in the emptiness of her soul.

Slowly Garrett made his way to the sitting room, knowing he had promised Carlisle to look after the girl, and leaned against the doorway, trying to give her privacy. Bella lay curled up in a protective ball on the couch, her back to the red-eyed vampire.

"Is there anything I can get for you?" Garrett asked, trying to keep his tone gentle. He had next to no experience with comforting a human, mostly because he was the thing that they were usually terrified and cowering from, but he would give it his all as a gentleman. Bella sniffed, trying to composer herself as she dried her eyes.

"I will make you anything but tea; it is still a sore spot for me." He smiled playfully, trying to get her to follow suite. She looked to him with her small smile, still wiping at her eyes.

Taking care to keep his pace human, he walked over to retrieve another blanket from one of the chairs, "You look cold." He opened the blanket and draped it over her. Bella accepted his actions and snuggled into the white cushions of the couch.

"Good night, Isabella." Garrett whispered, moving to turn the light out. Bella took advantage of his slow pace and reached out to take hold of his arm before the light went out. The vampire tensed, he hadn't survived 200 years by letting someone catch him off guard.

"I—" She let go of his arm, moving back to curl up in a ball, "I don't want to be alone." Bella's voice grew quiet as she spoke and Garrett nodded, knowing she wouldn't be able to see him.

"Do you remember your life as a human?" Bella asked, trying to get him to say. Garrett sat down next to the couch, making sure he was loud enough so she would hear him.

"Some things, but they have grown dull over the years. I tend not to think about them too much." Garrett replied, finding comfort in leaning his head back and closing his eyes.

He felt the couch move as she shifted her head closer to his, "Will you tell me what you do remember?" Her sweet breath asked, casting an enchanting fragrance around him. He inhaled lightly, finding it odd that her blood didn't burn at his throat but soothed his still heart.

"Well, I remember sneaking out to join in the Sons of Liberty at the harbor when I was 16." He smiled at the memory, finding it crystal clear in his thoughts, "My mother had wanted me to stay in but I just couldn't help it. We were fighting for our country; I couldn't just go to bed and passively let my dad go have all the fun." He retold the story as if it happened yesterday. Bella sighed, snuggling into the soft couch with a content smile, "It was dark out and there was just a sliver of moon for us to work by. You could feel the adrenaline in the air as we worked quickly and quietly." Garrett smiled, finding comfort in the memory, "We were doing something radical that would stir the passions of our small town; we changed the thoughts of the people. Our nation was born that night and I got to be a part of that." His mind wandered to the time long passed, seeing what else he remembered.

"That was the winter of 1773 and I had just turned sixteen that July." His eyes grew in revelation as he remembered part of his human life he had since forgotten, "I…I was born on the 4th of July." Garrett picked up his necklace and started to look over the small treasures he had gathered over the eyes. His eyes flitted to the girl as her breathing evened out, "How did I not remember that?" He asked the sleeping beauty, curious if her unknown gift, which Carlisle had hinted at, had awoken thoughts of his long passed human life.

"Good night, Isabella." He whispered, watching the peaceful human. Garrett grew entranced as he heard her easy breathing, the rhythm of her beating heart. He hadn't realized hours had passed by until the sun was dusting across the tops of the tall evergreens.

XxX

Carlisle ran as fast as his legs could carry him as he met up with the rest of the coven. They regrouped and split up again, this time he went to the West with Alice by his side. Alice had a certain bounce to her step and a glint in her eyes that did not go unmissed by the coven leader, it was one of the reasons he had chosen to pair off with her.

"Alice?" Carlisle called them to a stop, knowing they were far enough away so no one would overhead the question that had been plaguing him all evening. His daughter obeyed and skipped over to him, "Why did you have us leave Bella alone with Garrett when he was telling her about his charms?"

A large smile spread across the fairy's face, "What is the one thing you have wanted since you first met Garrett?"

Taken back by the question Carlisle considered her riddle, knowing it held his answer, "For him to accept and join our lifestyle."

"And our coven." Alice added for him, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Carlisle waited for her to explain.

Alice stepped closer to whisper, even though no one was around for miles, "I keep trying to look into Garrett's future, testing what would happen when people made certain decisions." She smiled triumphantly, like she had just solved the world's problems.

Carlisle tilted his head, not tracking, "And?"

"The only way I saw that happening is if he got time to talk to Bella alone." Alice concluded, throwing her hands up as if it were the most obvious thing, "I have no idea how she will change his mind but she will. I saw it." Alice's eyes grew in enthusiasm, "Earlier tonight, I saw him with us, Bella too. We all had topaz eyes and we were together." The words were uplifting to the vampire's dead heart and he smiled, hoping what she said wouldn't change with time.

"And it wasn't a weak image; it was clear and permanent, even more so after we left the sitting room last night." Alice said as if in answer to his thoughts, "People's minds are already made up about different outcomes and, unless something big happens, we will all be together in the end. Bella, Garrett, all of us will be together." She repeated, the smile never once leaving her face. And, knowing the time wasn't right to reveal the last part of her vision, she took off running once more. Carlisle followed after her, his spirits lifted even in light of the looming newborn outbreak.

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