Disclaimer: Nope, anything you recognize isn't mine, but someone else's and that someone is Stephenie Meyer, the woman who was my inspiration for becoming a writer. Thanks Steph, this last chapter goes out to you!
I felt Edward instinctively let go of me and step protectively in front of me as I heard the maniac laughter and footsteps as two men ran out of the alley. I looked and saw a crumpled heap that I couldn't quite distinguish clearly, but I smelled blood on it and on the men who had run. I could feel Edward's concentration radiating off of him as he read the minds of those men. He swore loudly before whispering something quickly to Emmet and Jasper, which I didn't catch. Suddenly, Emmet and Jasper were on their guard as they raced after the men and had them in two seconds. They came back, holding the men by the throats.
"You scum," Edward said, fury coating his tone as I tried to catch what was going through his head. Emmet and Jasper's holds were far too strong and the men were dead in seconds. The boys dropped them into the storm drain in the street before turning their attention on the crumpled heap on the ground.
"Edward…" Alice whispered softly. I could feel Edward reading his sister's mind. He shook his head violently.
"I'm not ready for that!" he objected loudly.
"You've already made that decision!" Alice said angrily. Carlisle began to walk into the alley and we followed him closely. It was then that I noticed the crumpled heap on the ground was a teenage girl. She was bleeding like crazy and Emmet and Jasper kept their distance. Esme and Rosalie were closer, but still pretty far back. Carlisle grabbed Esme's purse and pulled out a miniature first aid kit. He looked at the beautiful girl before him. She was tan, her blue eyes were opened, but it seemed like she wasn't registering anything. She had long, pale blonde, straight hair. She was thin, but very developed. She looked to be about sixteen, and was simply stunning. She could rival Rosalie's beauty if she was slightly older. Those eyes, though, were what really got me. They were an icy blue, but as you got closer to the iris, they were more turquoise.
"Those eyes," I whispered softly. "Who could take those away from her?" I asked myself softly. I looked around and noticed brass knuckles and a large machete on the ground near her body. She was covered in her own blood and a thousand bruises. Slits covered her legs. She had been wearing a skirt, but it had been ripped to shreds and her underwear was exposed, but even that was slightly torn. Her shirt was ripped arpart and she lay there, her bra visible. Carlisle got behind her and lifted her head up before pressing a pressure point somewhere that seemed to revive her. Her gorgeous eyes darted around as she looked at us.
"Who are you?" Carlisle asked softly, his voice kind and compassionate. He seemed worried in the undertone though.
"I don't remember," she whispered softly, a heavy British accent on her blood-wetted lips.
"What do you remember?" he asked worriedly.
"Carlisle, her internal voice is getting softer, she's about to go," Edward warned.
"She'll be fine. The decision's been made, Edward," Alice whispered next to him. The girl looked to them before looking back at Carlisle.
"I don't have a home…or parents…or money. I stole form restaurants to get food…I was abandoned when I was five. That's all I remember. I hit my head I think," she said. She was not grasping how much danger she was in, the pain was numbing her and she was slowly dying as she continued to loose more blood.
"Who were those two men?" Carlisle asked.
"What two men?" she questioned, looking genuinely confused. Carlisle leaned towards her, his mouth opened as his teeth approached her neck.
"Stop!" Edward yelled at him. "Why save a complete stranger?"
"She's a good child, I can tell. Why let a child die?"
"You don't know her!" Rosalie shouted.
"Exactly, and none of us ever will unless someone does this," Carlisle retorted. He leaned down again.
"Let me do it," Edward said. I looked at him, my words couldn't escape my mouth. The world why shot through my mind and I directed it at him. "Alice's vision…as soon as I saw it my subconscious made that decision for me. She's going to be part of the family, but for some reason, I have to do it."
"Are you ready for that?" I asked, my voice frenzy.
"I don't know. Carlisle will stop me if I go too far," he replied. He looked at his father. "Where?"
"At the base of her throat on both side, near the pressure points, but don't puncture them. Again at her wrists and inside her elbows," Carlisle explained. "They're the quickest routes to the heart." Edward nodded.
"Her mind…it's going fast. She's scared…she can't remember anything about her life except what she told us. It needs to be quick, as soon as the mind goes, I can't do anything," he whispered. I could hear fear in my love's voice as he lowered himself to the ground. Rosalie watched in anger, she hated the change of others. She wished she was human and would never want that taken from anyone else. Edward lowered himself and held the girl in his arms. He lowered his head and bit down onto her neck and then on the other side. He lifter both of her hands and bit the insides of her wrists and then the insides of her elbows. He lifted his head and shook his mouth, his blood-stained lips cresed into a frown.
"I've never tasted blood like this before. It's rare, not any blood type I've ever come across," he explained. He hadn't drank any, but he could certainly taste it.
"Take a sample," Carlisle said, tossing a syringe to his son. Like a doctor himself, Edward extracted some of the girls blood and handed the syringe to Carlisle, who put it into a container and sealed it. Carlisle threw waterproof bandaging at Edward and he taped up her wounds and lifted her before placing her in Carlisle's arms. I desperately ran after my love and wrapped my arms around his waits comfortingly and rested my head against his chest.
"What did Alice see?" I asked softly, my voice and words chosen carefully.
"She's going to be our daughter," Edward said in a quiet voice, so quiet that even his family members behind us couldn't hear.
"A daughter?" I whispered, even more silent. "Are we ready for that?"
"I don't know…but I hope so," Edward whispered.
"What did those men do that made you so angry?" I asked, my words chosen carefully again.
"I saw in their minds what I saw in the minds of the men who tried to hurt you in Port Angeles two years ago. Only they got what they wanted from her," Edward said angrily. My voice caught in my throat as I thought of those men. I looked up at him and felt dry sobs approaching me. No human being deserved something like that. It was a horrible thing for a person to endure, that fear as they were chased, and I could barely imagine being forced to do something like that.
"Poor child," I said softly. Carlisle caught up with us then and we rushed back to the hotel and laid her down on the bed in our room. She seemed peaceful at first and then her body went into a sort of convulsions. She was awake, but she kept on biting her lip in pain, but she would not cry out. Jasper watched for the first few minutes, wincing every time she did. I remember then that with the pain radiating from her body, he was feeling it too. She held onto the places where she had been bitten and scratched at the bandages. We all watched in horror as she rolled around on the bed, biting her lips and scratching her arms and neck. She would inhale through clenched teeth and her heavy breathing was audible. After a few moments, I couldn't watch and buried my face in Edward's chest. His arms wrapped comfortingly around me as he continued to watch his new daughter writhe in pain.
"Go," Carlisle said to us, also addressing his other children and wife. "I can take care of this, you know I can," he promised. I peeked out and looked at his sincere face as he watched the girl in pain before him. "You have a lot to think about according to Alice," he said to me. "Go to our room, Esme and I can take care of this." I nodded as Edward walked me out towards his parents' room, the rest of them following. We sat down at the table and looked at each other, our eyes glued to the door as we listened to her breathing.
"She can't remember her name," Rosalie said softly. "I would have killed those monsters in a more suitable way if you had told me, Edward," she hissed at her brother.
"She hit her head…she can't remember anything but things that cause her pain…she was hoping for death, which is why what those men did to her…it didn't give her pain. She wanted to die, her life was too hard for her. I saw her mind, it's filled with nothing but sadness," Edward said softly.
"Name her," Jasper said to me. I looked up, his intense eye gazing right at me, if not right through me. I felt the calm from the previous day rush over me and I tried to concentrate.
"I want to name her after someone special to me. Someone who changed my life like we changed this little girl's and this poor teenage girl will change our lives too," I said simply.
"I give you full power to name her," Edward said, looking right at me with a weak smile that didn't touch his eyes. He could still hear her raspy breathing as she fought against the pain.
"I want to name her Rebekah, and call her Bekah," I stated firmly.
"Any name but that one," my husband said flatly.
"You said I had full power, and that's what I'm calling my daughter," I said. "Rebekah Claire Cullen is her name."
"Fine…if you want that to be her name, then fine," Edward said, running his hand over his face as though stressed. Who could blame him, most fathers got nine months of preparation, he got three days. I looked at him with soft eyes. "What?" he asked, suddenly alarmed by how worried I looked.
"Those eyes. I don't want to never see those eyes again. God would truly be a monster to have those eyes disappear from a girl like that's face," I said in a barely audible whisper.
"She was pretty," Rosalie admitted. "Even in that state and that mind." I was shocked that Rosalie could administer a compliment to anyone but Emmet.
"She was," Edward said softly. "I never thought I'd have a child, and this is definitely a nice emotional blow to receive. I always hoped my child would be beautiful though, which it seems like she will be."
She's a lot calmer; it seemed like all that thrashing the previous day has weakened her. She still winces in pain, but no longer moves around and throws her body about like a fish out of water. I feel so sorry for her that I cannot watch as she stays there in pain. Edward was comforting me very much, but he seemed weakened by her pain as well. She is my daughter now, and we've already made a few plans.
Her name was settled, Rebekah Claire Cullen, but we'd call her Bekah. That name belonged to the woman who changed my life, and this little girl was going to change my life as well. It was good, though. In this aspect, she was in need of a family. On occasion she would become literate and we would ask her questions. She didn't remember her life, just that she was a thief and stole to get any money. She had no family and Carlisle had sent a small sample of her blood to the lab, saving most of it to keep a hold on himself in case there was something about it that was odd.
A few hours later, the hospital called and said she had a very rare blood type that had never been seen except in a few cases in Africa and South America. They asked if she was South American, and it was clear she wasn't. They said this blood type kept any blood-based diseases from happening in her. It could prevent leukemia and HIV. It could stop AIDS, and any other type of serious illness in the blood. If the gene in it could be mass-produced, a cure for some types of cancer would be found. There was no way of extracting the gene though. It was a very good thing though. As soon as the technology came around for it, Carlisle would jump on the opportunity to produce more of that genetic trait. The weird thing was that even her regular traits were strange.
"Is there anything special about you?" Carlisle asked her during one of those literate occasions.
"I don't remember…I recall something about…fire," she said softly. Edward could no longer read her thoughts for some reason, but she seemed to be able to project hers to us. I could sense something tugging at her memory, struggling to break free. "Light," she whispered softly. "I have a really high resistance to light…and I can control it…I think," she whispered softly.
"Her genes…tell them to study the entire chromosome…tell them to find something in there," Carlisle ordered to Edward, who picked up a cell phone and dialed immediately. Once again, the hospital called back in an hour, their voices in a frenzy. Earlier, they only put a piece of her RNA under a microscope, when they put the chromosome of DNA underneath, something weird happened. It was like there was a sun inside the nucleus of her cells. Strange little organisms in her cells were rushing around inside her body, sending messages, but they looked like tiny fireflies. After a while, they all began to unite into one force and bashed against the slide under the microscope until a small crack appeared.
"We think she has a parasite," the doctor on the other line said.
"It's not a parasite…it's evolution," Carlisle whispered when Edward had handed him the phone.
"It's a symbiotic relationship…it's mutualism…she gains a defender and some sort of powers while they have a place to live. Can you trace where these things came from?"
"We already have. They came from her blood, which was infected by a blood disease, and these things…they fought it off…they somehow destroyed the infection with more power than white blood cells. They're what keep her from getting those diseases. I think they came from some sort of water she may have drunk. We checked the DNA on the creatures and they're water-dwelling organisms."
"I'll call you back in a few days when she's well enough," Carlisle said before hitting the END button and tossing the phone on the bed. He looked at the girl as she held her hand in the air and a small sphere, which was about the size of softball, made of pure light appeared in her hand. "How are you doing that?" Carlisle asked her, staring at her intently. I looked back at her, taking note of the small silver stud in her left nostril. I wondered if it would stay there.
"I just imagine it…and it shows up. Watch," she whispered, looking at the floor. Suddenly, a large animal burst through the floor, made entirely of light. It looked like a tiger and walked around the room. Her eyes were closed, but she moved her head and the tiger moved. She tossed her hair back and it jumped on the bed next to her and laid down. She opened her eyes weakly and it disappeared. She fell over into Carlisle's arms.
"It weakens you?" he asked with confusion.
"Very much," she said, biting her lip in pain as the waves of fire rushed through her veins from the venom again. Her orb disappeared as well as her eyes opened wide, the blue of them flashing brightly before glazing over and closing. She didn't respond to anyone again the rest of the day.
She became responsive most of the day, but she said she was in horrible pain the entire time. Her wounds and bruises had disappeared, along with all of her broken bones. Alice had taken the liberty of buying her a whole wardrobe and dressing her in real clothes for probably the first time in her life. Apparently being awake was even more painful than the sleeping periods. She asked questions this time, her tiny sixteen-year-old body shivering in pain as she spoke.
"Who are you?" she asked us when she awoke the second time that day.
"I am a doctor," Carlisle replied. "I am your grandfather."
"You aren't old enough to even have children capable of giving you grandchildren," she retorted, looking at Edward and me with a confused expression.
"Child, I am far older than you probably believe. I have been alive since the sixteen hundreds. I am a vampire, and by the end of today, you will be too."
"Oh," she said simply.
"You actually believe us?" Rosalie asked in awe.
"I never had a parent to tell me not to believe my wildest fantasies…so I always had believed them, even the things that go bump in the night, things like you," she whispered, twining her hands together and wringing them.
"Who are they? Why are they always here and the others aren't?" she asked Carlisle, pointing directly at Edward and me as his arm stayed wrapped around my waist.
"They will act as your parents…as I have acted as his and the others here save my wife and the woman you will know as your mother. You do not have to call them mom or dad, but if you wish by their first names. They are Edward and Bella, two of the most loving people we have ever met," Carlisle answered, his voice soft as he watched her. He had spoken to us previously about how it was odd that her eyes hadn't changed yet. Those azure spheres had remained in place and were not red, but had taken a purplish hue as of late.
"And the rest of them…if you're my grandfather, who are the rest?" she asked, looking around the room at Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, Emmet, and Esme.
"Esme," he said, pointing to his wife, "Is my wife and your grandmother. Alice and Rosalie are your two aunts while Jasper and Emmet are you uncles," he said, pointing to each person in turn. She looked at him, confusion on her brow.
"They're vampires too?" she asked, looking back at her new family.
"Yes," Carlisle said with a soft nod.
"And they kill humans…drink their blood?"
"Never." Carlisle's voice held finality as she looked at him in confusion. I decided to step in. I approached her and kneeled down in front of her at the side of the bed.
"We drink the blood of animals…it may not taste as appetizing, according to those who have had human blood, but it keeps us from starving and killing on accident. Not to mention the fact that it saves human lives." She looked at me, her soft blue eyes glowing with indignation. She was a rebellious child as far as I could tell.
"How can you be a doctor?" she asked, looking at Carlisle.
"I have no temptation for human blood, as does your mother. She hates the scent for some reason," Carlisle explained. She seemed to feel safe with Carlisle over the rest of us. Suddenly, she jumped off the bed, her beautiful self looked even more gorgeous than when we had first found her. I could see Rosalie shift her posture as she realized this. She looked at her wrists and pulled the bandages off. Her scars from the change were still there, but as she looked at them, they faded. She removed the bandages from her elbows and then her neck. She shook out her platinum hair and looked at us each.
"What is my name?" she asked in a whisper.
"Rebekah Claire Cullen," Edward's voice came from behind me. I stood up and looked at her. She was about as tall as I was and far more beautiful, that was sure.
"I like it…but it seems awfully. Can you just call me Claire?" she asked, looking at them. "Can't Rebekah be my middle name?" I looked at her face as Edward gazed at me, his soft eyes probing my reaction. She was hard to deny…her angel's face and innocent expression.
"Of course, kid," Emmet answered from behind me. I looked to him and he only winked at me before holding in a laugh.
"Welcome to the family Claire," I said softly, touching her hair with my hand. I looked to Carlisle. "Is it over?" He glanced at his watch and nodded.
"They checked her blood…she is sixteen years old, or about to be sixteen. Most likely she's almost seventeen though, according to the age of her cells," Carlisle said simply. He looked at her again. "Can you still do your magic?"
"I think so," she said in a whisper. She held up her hand and three little globes of light appeared in her hand. They were about the size of golf balls and she waved her fingers and they followed them. "Do you have gifts too?" she asked in an almost inaudible whisper.
"In a way," I answered for her, grabbing her hand. As soon as I touched her, the light globes vanished. "For example, my gift is canceling out the gifts of others. Edward's is reading minds…but for some reason our minds are sealed to him. Alice can see the future, while Jasper can manipulate the emotions of those around him."
"How strange," she said, pulling her hand from my grasp.
"What?" I asked softly.
"Your touch weakened me…like using my gift used to hurt me when I would use it…it seems I'm working in reverse now."
"Well, perhaps I should be more careful around you," I whispered. "Want to go home, or do you want to journey Europe with my family?" I asked.
"I would love to go with you…if you don't mind," she answered, her facial expression becoming instantly excited.
"Of course," Alice answered behind me. "You're a member of the family, remember?" she asked with a smile, mussing Claire's hair. I looked at her again and took a double-take. She still had those gorgeous blue eyes. God would never take those away from her, I knew it would be a crime to take away something so beautiful. And, of course, that stupid stud in her nose was still there.
A/N: Oh no, the end??? It cannot be!! Ha! It is…but a sequel is emerging in the near future as soon as I get the first chapter of it done. Review like crazy for me, my lovelies!! I am so excited that I finally got this one done!!