Author's Note:

I have been thinking about a superhero version of Twilight for a while so I decided to take a crack at it. I am also a fan of Charlie, so I wanted him to play a pretty big role in the story. Don't worry, Edward will make an appearance soon, but it will be a few chapters.

The melta gun from Warhammer 40K, Bella is a fan. I don't own Twilight, Stephenie Meyer dreamed that up. When I dream of Edward Cullen he says he just wants to be friends.


I was bored. And frustrated. Charlie and I had been sitting here for the last three hours staking out the building across the street. Not a soul had come or gone in that time. Unsurprising, given that it was three in the morning on a Sunday. Not even the workaholic tech geniuses in Silicon Valley were coming to work now.

Not that we were watching for legitimate employees. We were watching to see if Agents would break in to steal what I liked to call the "melta gun" from Saturn Technological Advancements. It wasn't a gun, but a handheld nuclear reactor. These tech people always wanted to take existing technology and make it smaller. Good for people that wanted to turn a nuclear reactor into a martial weapon. Iwanted to steal the melta gun. It could shoot a beam of energy intense enough to turn even my enemies into nothing more than a puddle on the ground. But no. Charlie had received a message that said it was a trap.

"Charlie, no one is coming! Let's just go over there and get it!" I whispered harshly.

"Bella, we aren't here to get the gun. No matter what, it isn't worth the risk. We are here to see if our message sender is reliable." Charlie whispered back with maddening patience.

I let out a huff. Enough was enough. No one was coming.

I looked around at the building we were in. It had been the headquarters of an internet dating service that had recently gone out of business because of Covid-19. Turns out the internet dating scene dried up when no one could leave their houses. Although, as I looked around, I doubted that was the only reason this company went out of business. The interior was dark, but I could tell it had a very modern design, with white shiny walls and white plush carpeting.

Who cleaned this place?

In the center of the large room was a shiny chrome mezzanine with several colorful slides. I guess they wanted to bring out the employees' inner child until they went bankrupt from this massive amount of overhead and the fact that no one seemed to work here.

Are those go-carts?

Charlie and I were sitting on the floor near a large stack of boxes by the windows. I got bored and looked through the boxes...paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. Well, that's boring.

"Check out this 1964 Ford Falcon, they only want $5,000! That's a steal! Charlie whispered with boyish excitement.

As a seventeen-year-old, I responded as reasonably as I could when I was this frustrated. I rolled my eyes as I went to sit back down.

"They are very underrated classic cars Bella."

Charlie was flipping through a worn-out copy of the Fresno Auto Trader. He always had a copy in hand. Picked one up in every city we went to, looking for cars he could fix up. He never had the chance to actually buy one to fix up, given that we were always on the run. It was a fun fantasy hobby for him. I felt a pang of guilt as I thought about what a simple fantasy that was. If Charlie wasn't running with me, he could buy an old car and fix it up in his garage. It was such a meager dream. My frustration quickly evaporated. He had given up everything to save me.

We had been receiving font coded messages in Auto Trader for a year now. The messages were ads to sell crappy used cars but had slight variations in the font usage. It was hard even for me to notice, but Charlie spotted it. He used a cipher he'd developed with a friend from the Agency and discovered a message. It was simple, avoid a certain intersection in town. It was easy enough to avoid, so we did. Over the past year, we had gotten several of these messages, simply telling us to avoid certain places. We never verified whether the messages were real or valid, they were easy enough to follow without putting ourselves at risk. Charlie thought his old friend Esme might be sending them since she was the only other person that knew their cipher and about his penchant for Auto Trader, but he couldn't be sure. Even if it was Esme, he didn't know if he could trust her. His other friends from the Agency had been hunting us for thirteen years.

The last message was different. It told us to not follow through with our plan to steal the melta gun and instead go to a small town in Washington. The message said that this town, Forks, was a safe place for us. Charlie said it had the stink of a trap. I had to agree, but the promise of a safe place where we weren't on the run was tempting enough for both of us to come up with our current plan. We would hide out in this abandoned building and watch to see if anyone broke into Saturn Technological Advancements. If they did, we had some assurances that the messages were in fact valid. We would sneak out of here when the coast was clear and discuss heading to Washington.

We sat there for another hour. Nothing happened. As much as I wanted the messages to be real, I had to conclude that they weren't. So did Charlie. He let out a long sigh.

"Okay Bells. Let's..."

Before he finished his sentence, I saw a flash of light in the building across the street. Flashlights! I held up my binoculars to see the familiar faces of Caius, Marcus and Alec moving through the first floor.

"Well shit!"

"Language Bella!" Charlie scolded.

I laughed. After everything we had been through, Charlie still tried to raise me to be a respectable young lady. It was a lost cause, but I found the effort endearing. I smiled to myself and looked back through the binoculars, scanning the building for additional agents. Ice ran through my veins when I spotted him standing in front of one of the large windows on the second floor, staring directly into my eyes. Demetri, the tracker, was here. A smile played on his lips and his hand went up to his ear as he spoke quickly.

I turned my head just as Charlie let out a blood curdling scream.

"Jane!"

I threw out my shield to cover Charlie. He grabbed me around the waist and we rolled behind the pile of boxes next to us as the first shots rang out. It had to be Aro, he was Jane's handler and trained in the police force like Charlie. I peeked from behind the boxes and my suspicions were confirmed. Aro was shooting a handgun towards us.

Charlie pulled out his Glock 22 and started firing into the dark building. He couldn't see as well as I could, but he was firing in the right direction. Charlie could handle Aro, it was my job to deal with Jane.

I searched through the dark building, she had to be able to see Charlie to use her power on him. As I scanned the darkness, I pulled out the nightstick Charlie had been issued by the Chicago PD. I spotted the blond-haired girl on the mezzanine.

Hah! Now I've got you.

She was holding a bow and arrow, no surprise. Jane was very proficient in ranged attacks, but she relied on her powers too much. All I had to do was get close. We had fought a few times now, when she and Aro had tracked us down. It was easy really. Shield Charlie, and fight Jane in close range. I would have eliminated her already, but Charlie was insistent that we not kill anyone, even a murderer like Jane.

I ran towards the mezzanine, dodging a flaming arrow. It was a joke really; the thing was practically moving in slow motion. I skipped off the ground and landed on the twenty-foot mezzanine right in front of a wide-eyed Jane. I smiled and slammed the butt of my nightstick into her gut.

She staggered but kept upright and struck me across the face with her bow.

Damn, she's been practicing.

I looked up to see her lunge towards me. I went low and her bow met nothing but air when she swung it again. I swept her feet with the nightstick, and she fell hard on her ass. I chuckled as she quickly stood up and staggard backwards away from me and the sounds of the gun fight below.

Retreating already? Maybe she hasn't been practicing

I stalked towards her. She had killed a countless number of innocent people in her pursuit of Charlie and me. I may not be allowed to kill her, but I would make her pay a little. I twirled the baton in my hand. She glanced off to the side towards the fight below. Probably trying to find a way to signal Aro to follow her escape, and I used the moment of distraction to land a blow to her jaw and felt the satisfying reverberation travel through the nightstick and up my arm.

Then I heard the scream, not Jane's scream...Charlie's scream. My blood went cold. I looked down to see Charlie with his hands clenched in his hair. Jane smiled. That bitch had tricked me, she hadn't retreated. She was leading me away from Charlie so that my shield was out of range...so she could attack.

Charlie was unprotected, out in the open. Consumed with pain. I saw the flash of Aro's gun and was moving before the sound of the gunshot cracked through the air. I leapt from the mezzanine and raced after the bullet that would kill my only friend. I reached out my arm and I felt my fingertips skim the hot metal, but I could not grasp it. My touch was enough to send it spiraling off course, but still headed towards Charlie. It grazed his thigh, spattering blood on the wall behind him.

I pulled him back behind the burning boxes and enveloped him into my shield again.

"Charlie! I am so sorry. I didn't realize I had moved so far away! Please be okay!" I sobbed.

"Relax kid" he replied hoarsely, "It's just a scratch". I started to laugh with relief but noticed the blood seeping into the plush white carpet beneath us. This was more than a scratch, we had to get out of here fast. I took a few deep breaths and assessed my power. Shielding from Jane and running fast enough to nearly catch a bullet took a lot of energy, and I was drained.

Arrows were showering around us. The entire room was ablaze, flames blocking any exit through the window we sat in front of only minutes ago. I couldn't get us out without getting Charlie killed. I started to focus on the fire around me. If I could pull the heat, I could replenish my strength and at least maintain my shield.

"Pheonix, come out now and I promise to make Charlie's death quick" Aro crooned. I cringed at the way he said my old name, like a parent gently trying to calm a toddler in the middle of a tantrum, love permeating his tone.

Creepy!

"Fuck you!" Charlie yelled.

Oh sure, he's allowed to swear.

I concentrated on the fire next to the window. I could draw the heat and put out the fire, simultaneously replenishing my strength and creating an escape route. I crawled from behind the boxes towards it and started to draw from the deep pool of energy I felt. It was too hot, it burned coming in. Like heartburn, but it was nourishing. I focused on moving the thermal energy in a steady stream towards myself, not too much at time. I imagined a thin thread of light moving out of the fire and into my chest. It was risky pulling energy from a source this hot. I could cause internal damage if I took too much too fast.

My vision went white with pain. I vaguely felt the piercing of the arrow in my shoulder, but it was overwhelmed by burning, spreading from my shoulder to my chest and arm and up my neck. Jane had shot me with a fucking flaming arrow. Fire was one of the few things that could harm beings like Jane and me. And it could bring us to our knees, burning us from the inside out. I could feel my power reserves fill with the thermal energy, but it would kill me before I could use it.

In the distance, I heard Charlie whisper, "Remember your training". He might have been shouting it.

I forced myself to focus on my surroundings. A part of my brain was screaming and retching with agony, but I pushed it down and looked up to see Jane loading another arrow. This one with a green light flashing at its point. I could only form a single word in my mind.

Explosive

Blackness filled my vision, and I tried not to pass out. Instinctively, I threw a shield around Charlie and myself. It could do nothing to protect Charlie. My shield could only block psychic attacks. He would die. I felt the fire on my skin extinguish just as the pressure wave of the explosion hit me. Like a ripple in a pond, it tickled my skin as it moved past.

I must be close to death if that didn't hurt.

I felt myself being lifted off the floor.

They are returning me to the Agency.

The messages were real.

Charlie is dead.

I wonder if he would have liked Forks

Despite the physical pain, it was the crushing guilt of that final thought that caused the blackness to finally swallow me.


Author's note: My dad really did carry around a copy of Auto Trader when I was a teenager. What weird stuff did your dad do?