I would like to thank Ranma15177 for her help in editing this chapter. I am so sorry that it took so long, but I wanted it perfect. I truly believe that this was the absolute best I could do. So with no further adu...
Was this a dream? It must be. What had I ever done in my life to deserve such happiness? I tried to open my eyes, unwillingly ending the dream; only to find that they were already open. This really was my life. My dreams come true. My fantasies turned to reality.
"What are you thinking about?" Edward, my love, my life, my husband turned from facing the road to ask.
"Is this really real?" I said before thinking.
"Is what really real?" Edward asked
"Well, the list itself is a little long. So I will start with the most important one." His look was truly quizzical now. "I can not believe that this is our first anniversary. This year went by so fast. Even though there were times that I did not believe that I would actually make it through. I am almost glad that it is over."
"I understand." Edward said as he turned his attention back to the road.
"Do you? Do you really? I mean, I realize that this means that I can manage the thirst. However, now I will lose my extra strength; not to mention my excuse of being a newborn whenever I go too far when hunting. On top of …"
"Bella, first of all I know for a fact that there are some in the family that will be very happy to see you lose said extra strength." I smiled knowing full well that Emmett would be ecstatic once he could beat me in a wrestling match. Secondly, you have never gone overboard with the hunting anyway. As to me truly understanding, yes I do. I have been where you are. Even though times have drastically changed since my transformation, and you have never been typical, even as a human. I still understand the dream aspect of it all. I sometimes find myself watching you; just waiting for you to disappear into a puff of smoke."
"Do you think we will still feel this way when we have been together as long as Carlisle and Esme?" I asked as I turned to Edward.
"I believe we will, but is that truly a bad thing?" Edward asked back.
"Not at all," I smiled at him as I took his hand in mine.
I could not wait until we were reunited with the family. It was very hard at first when we broke apart, but the last three months have been so good for the two of us. Just the fact that Carlisle believed me in enough control to leave me with just Edward made me so happy. I could see why they found it so hard to disappoint him. Carlisle truly was the epitome of a father. He was knowledgeable and trusting, caring and commanding. He was the true head of the house.
The day Carlisle brought us together to say that the family needed some vacation time, my heart sank. I really didn't think that I could handle being away from them for more than a few days. This was one of the few times that I was more than happy to be wrong. The family had gone off on separate trips. We would be staying at the house. I had been so sad for the first few days, but once I got used to the quiet freedom I realized how liberating it was. Edward and I were practically inseparable after that.
There really wasn't anything I wanted to do outside the house, not with my sisters gone anyway. We would go hunting twice a week 'Just in case.' Edward would say. He would tell me often how well I was doing, not only with controlling my thirst, but also with all the little changes that had taken place in my life.
It seems that I found yet another way to be different. Edward had once told me that from the time of his change he had just had the ability to read the minds of those around him. Alice and Jasper had said that they couldn't remember a time when they didn't have their abilities. I on the other hand had a strange and slowly appearing ability.
We found one day, by accident, that I could cause destruction without even trying. Needless to say, I scared myself to pieces. I was in the middle of a debate with Jasper, not unusual in the least, when I found myself getting uncontrollably mad. Jasper was plainly not listening to a word I was saying. He thought that just because he had been on this planet for a hundred and fifty years that he knew better than me.
I could feel my anger rising, Jasper was getting heated too, so he was too distracted to try and calm me. Edward and Emmett had their usual seats just watching the action. I had won quite a few debates with Jasper. He always said that he enjoyed them so much because I always had a unique way of looking at things, which is the only reason I ever won. The guys liked to watch to see who would crack first, but this debate was just stupid. There really was no reason for me to get so mad.
I could feel my whole body shaking with my aggravation, I was livid. I finally got tired of saying the same thing over and over and him not hearing me. Before I knew what I was doing I yelled at the top of my lungs for Jasper to shut up. I only dimly registered that the boys all shot their hands to their ears. They all dropped to the floor looking up at me with pain in their eyes.
I thought it was just me shaking, until the books started to fall off the shelves. The next thing I knew I was pinned to the floor by Edward. He was caressing my hair and face while whispering soothing words into my ear. It took me a minute to calm down. Then I went completely limp and the house stopped shaking too.
I opened my eyes to find myself on Edward's lap on the couch. His arms were wrapped around me protectively. I looked around to find the whole family sitting in the living room watching me. I quickly shut my eyes again and buried my head in Edward's chest. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"Bella?" Carlisle said softly. "Bella, can you tell us what just happened?"
I took a moment to think. I really wasn't sure. I don't even know why I got so mad in the first place. I looked to Jasper and Emmett. They looked just as puzzled as everyone else. What had I done? I looked back at Carlisle. His eyes were filled with compassion. I looked down at my hands. I could not look into the eyes of my love. I didn't want to see what I was sure would be there, worry.
"I don't know ... we were debating, like always." I shot a quick look at Jasper who smiled at me. That gave me a little courage and I half smiled back. "It was all so stupid though. He said that the customer is always right. I scoffed and he asked me why. I told him that that was a load of bull. The customer is never right. They only think they are because the consumers want to appease them so that they continue to be patrons. His whole argument was that it was good business."
I looked back at Jasper really quickly then back to Carlisle. "I said it filled people's heads with the wrong idea. The customer hardly ever knows what they actually want. That is why there are specialists. Those are the people that are always right. But Jasper kept saying that it would be bad business to point out the customers true flaws."
"I couldn't get him to listen to me. Before I knew it I was yelling and shaking. I didn't realize it wasn't just me until the books started to fall. Then Edward calmed me down."
I looked back up at Carlisle. He had a calculating look on his face. He grabbed my hand and squeezed it gently. "It will be alright, I promise. Now would you please come with me? I think we need to have a little chat." I knew I didn't really have a choice. He would have to figure this out if we were going to have any luck at keeping this from the Volturi.
I nodded my head as Carlisle dropped my hand and got up. I turned and looked into the eyes of my love. He was very worried. I got up off of his lap hesitantly. I then took his hand in mine. "Would you come with me please?" He tried to smile to show his support. He then got up and walked with me to Carlisle's office.
When we entered we took separate chairs facing Carlisle's desk. Carlisle was riffling through his huge library. He seemed to finally find the book that he was looking for. He then took his seat and looked from Edward to me. I was not sure how bad this was going to be. I didn't like the quick flash of sheer panic that flashed across my love's face.
"Bella, I realize that there is still much that you do not know about our world." His eyes flashed to Edward again and then back to mine. I am sure he knew it was because Edward was still apprehensive to share the darker aspects of our world with me. I too looked to Edward only to find him staring intently at Carlisle. He was not liking whatever he was hearing in Carlisle's thoughts. I nodded and Carlisle continued.
"This is a book that I have had for many years. I do not know who wrote it. I do not know if anyone knows who wrote it. But it contains a list of the more powerful vampires throughout time, and their powers." That definitely had me interested. But what did it have to do with me?
"I can see the confusion in your eyes. I believe this has much to do with you." Carlisle said as he opened the book. "Unfortunately, if I am correct on the direction of your power, then you will once again be a number one goal for the Volturi." Edward stiffened completely. He did not like me knowing things that he thought would worry or frighten me. The rest of the family was not so protective. They would tell me what they thought I had a right to know. I grabbed Edward's hand and squeezed it. He looked at me for the first time since we sat down.
"Edward, I have no clue what you are hearing, but you are not really helping the situation. I need you to calm down please. I need you here with me right now." I pleaded.
His eyes turned immediately shameful. In the blink of an eye I was on his lap again and he was holding me tightly. Carlisle went back to perusing his book, waiting patiently.
"I am sorry, my love. I try, you know I would do anything for you. I was just taken by what was to come out of his mouth next." He looked to Carlisle quickly then back to me. He then sighed and took my face in his hands and kissed me. It was one of those 'world is coming to an end' kisses. It truly scared me more than anything that I had heard thus far. I clung to him when he ended the kiss. I was suddenly afraid that if I let him go I would lose him again.
Carlisle then started to speak again so I turned in Edward's lap so I could face him. "Bella, first of all we need to establish if that was truly the first time you have used your power? I realize that sounds weird, but I need you to think hard. Try to think of anytime you were angry or frustrated and something odd happened."
I closed my eyes and tried to think of anything that could help them. I got nothing. I looked back to Carlisle and nodded my head yes. I then felt Edward squeeze me tighter. I looked up at him in panic and he loosened his grip as he kissed my forehead.
"Bella, I realize that this is probably a bit frightening to you. But it must be said. I believe we have only just seen a glimpse of your power." Carlisle stated. "We may need to do some tests to see what the extent truly is. In my knowledge, powers usually come at once; however, they take time to establish full strength."
My eyes went wide and I gaped at Carlisle. He could not be serious. "You mean worse things could happen in the future? I could end up hurting someone I love?"
"I am sorry, but yes, I do believe that that is a definite possibility." He thumbed through the book in front of him in silent concentration.
I had nothing to say to this. I was sure that had I still been human I would have fainted. I stood up and walked to the window. As I looked out on the forest that surrounded our house I wished I could cry. As I watched the sky clouds rolled in and it started to rain, hard. I began to wonder if I could be responsible for the current downpour. That was silly; it always rained here, right? Edward soon got up and wrapped his arms around my waist. I held on to his forearms for support.
"Bella, I am sure you realize that we need to see just what you can do. I don't want to overwhelm you. However, it is for the good of the family that we know the extent of your power." Carlisle said with certainty. I grasped even harder on Edward's arm as I watched the wind outside pick up.
"I understand Carlisle. When should we start?"
"There is no time like the present." He said with a vague smile. "How about you stop the storm you just started?"
"Are you sure it was me?" I asked quickly, eyes wide.
"Yes Alice was telling Emmett just yesterday that it won't rain for a week. He was bored and wanted to play some baseball." Carlisle smiled a little wider.
I turned back to the window and tried to focus on stopping the rain. Nothing was happening. I looked back to Carlisle to see if he had any ideas.
"Bella, stop trying, you need confidence, what were you thinking before it started to rain?" Carlisle asked
"I was thinking that I wished I could cry." I admitted, Edward put his arms around me again and kissed the side of my neck.
"Do you still feel that way?" Carlisle questioned
"Kind of, not as much though, why? What are you thinking?" I asked as a calculating look came into his eyes again. All of the sudden Edward was kissing me. I completely forgot where we were and threw myself into the kiss fully. I stopped as a glitter shone through my closed eyelids. I opened my eyes to see that we were both glittering in the sun that was now streaming through the window. I looked over at Carlisle who had a huge smile plastered on his face.
"I agree." Edward said to Carlisle.
"You agree with what?" I asked hoping they would stop having private conversations with me in the room.
"That was an easy way to take away the pain of the moment. I realize that that will not always work, but it is nice to know that I still have such a positive affect on you." Edward answered me.
"Edward..." I reached up to stroke his cheek. "You will always have that affect on me. You always have." I then turned back to Carlisle. "So how do I learn to control this? It is obviously tied to my emotions."
"There goes the neighborhood." We heard Emmett call from downstairs.
"Shut up Emmett!" Edward yelled at him. He never appreciated Emmett's lightening of serious situations. I on the other hand was grateful for it. I needed his wit now.
"Well, you will definitely need to work with Jasper on keeping control of your emotions. It will be hard and you will have to keep constant control of yourself. However, it will be manageable." Carlisle gave me another wary smile.
"Don't worry, my love." Edward said as he sat us back in the chair. "You have the whole family here to help you. We will not leave you to figure this out for yourself."
For the next seven months I would have daily sessions with Jasper to learn to control my emotions. It was a very daunting task. Jasper was a great teacher though, very patient. Then four times a week Carlisle, Edward, and varying members of the family would take me out to the forest or our newly found baseball field; in order to try to teach me how to control my ever growing powers. Edward was my moral support, but Emmett was my sanity. He helped me to stay loose when I would get frustrated.
Alice on the other hand was never any help. She was always so bubbly that she would distract me. I once caused a rift in the ground between her and Carlisle. I was so mortified that once Edward was able to calm me down and I fixed the rift Carlisle said that she was banned from the "practice sessions" as Carlisle had dubbed them.
She walked away quite dejectedly. I ran home as soon as I was done and apologized for getting her in trouble. She told me that it was her own fault. She had seen that she would get in trouble if she had gone with us, but she couldn't stop herself from being there to see what would actually happen and why she got in trouble. I giggled with her as she explained this.
It had been a very grueling time of trial and error, more error than trial. I caused much damage to the baseball clearing and caused sun when the reports called for rain. I was getting the hang of it though. We all knew that it would take time to be able to control it fully, but we had plenty of that. The most important thing was to have it under control should we get any unwanted visitors.
I really was very happy when Carlisle said that he believed me capable of being alone with Edward for so long. I still knew I would miss the family. Now we were on our way to meet them at the airport. They were finally coming home. I was bouncing with joy the closer we got to the gate. We had gotten there ten minutes early. Alice had called and said that the plane was early and we made sure to get there before it touched down.
I really don't know how they did it. Somehow they had all managed to synchronize their flights so that they all met up in New York before taking their final flights to Alaska. I breathed a sigh of relief as I saw Emmett's huge mass part the crowd straight for us. I smiled and laughed as he picked me up into a bear hug in one arm and Edward in the other. Alice then pulled me to her as Jasper and Carlisle talked to Edward.
"I see you didn't cause any havoc while we were away." Emmett said as he ruffled my hair. Edward sent him a warning growl and he shot his arms up in surrender. I giggled as Esme came over and gave me a loving motherly hug.
"How have you been my dear?" She asked conversationally.
"Great." I stated throwing Edward a huge grin.
"How was Paris?" I asked her.
"Wonderful, we really had not been in so long. I can not wait till you go. You will see, it is just so magical there." She looked up at Carlisle dreamily as he made his way to us.
"Did you enjoy your solitude?" Carlisle asked as he gave me a hug.
"Yes, thank you." I said back.
Jasper then came over with Alice in tow. "I got something for you." He said as he handed me a small bag.
"You really didn't have to do that Jasper. I am just so glad that you are all back home."
"Please, just open it. I saw it and thought you might need it. I really am glad to be back as well. We missed you." He gave me another hug and I saw Alice's eyes light up. I was just as glad as her that I was able to have this kind of relationship with Jasper now. We had both missed out on so much.
"Are you going to open it?" Rosalie asked as she gave me a hug.
"Definitely," I said as I opened the bag. I pulled out a large book. It looked like a college textbook. I read the cover and threw it at Jasper. He caught it chuckeling lightly and handed it to Alice.
"I told you she wouldn't appreciate it. You wasted a whole afternoon on the NYC campus for nothing." She said laughing.
Emmett pulled the book from Alice's hand and read the cover aloud. "Debating the Non-Debatable" He snickered and handed it to Edward. "That was wrong man." But he was laughing too.
They had all gotten it into their heads that it was actually my debating that had brought out my power. They said that nothing else I did during the day would trigger It so It would have lain dormant had I not been so keen to show up Jasper every once in a while. Edward smacked Jasper on the back of the head and put his arm around my waist as he chuckled lightly and started to walk us towards baggage claim. We grabbed all of their bags and put them in the back of the cars. Esme and Carlisle had driven the Mercedes to the airport and left it while they were gone. I got into the passenger seat of the Volvo as Alice slid into the drivers seat. Rosalie and Esme joined us and Alice started the engine.
"What do you think you are doing?" Edward said as he tapped on the driver's side window.
"We are going home. See you boys there." Alice said as she backed the car out of the space and drove away leaving Edward looking quite mad.
"That wasn't very nice." I said as I tried to hide my smile.
"I am sorry but he has had you all to himself for three months now. He can spare you for a couple of hours."
We talked the whole way home. They told me all about their trips and all the shopping they did. I had missed them so much while they were gone that I was quite content to just sit back and listen to their stories. We beat the boys back home and quickly ran up to Esme and Carlisle's room. Rosalie had grabbed a bag from the trunk before following us. She pulled out a beautiful dress she said that she had bought for me for tonight. I hugged her tightly and Alice ran to her room to get me some shoes to go with it.
When she came back she had a beautiful pair of silver heels in her hands that looked like they matched the silver trim and straps of the deep blue dress perfectly. I gave them each a hug and they started getting me ready for tonight. I sat silently, dreaming of how I wanted the night to go. It was our one year anniversary. I was so excited. We were going to go down to Anchorage, where Edward said that he had a couple things planned. After they finished curling and styling my hair they gave me a little makeup. Then they told me to put the dress on. I did and noticed immediately that Rosalie was just as good at shopping for me as Alice was. I put on the shoes and hugged them each once more. I was so happy that I was sure I was driving Jasper batty.
There was a quiet knock on the door and Jasper entered. His eyes grew wide when he saw me and I immediately dropped my head. "You look beautiful, Bella. Let me know if my brother says any different." He gave me a hug and a kiss on the forehead. Alice giggled and I turned to leave the room. We had to go if we were going to make it on time. I turned again at the door and thanked them again. They all smiled as Esme said it was nothing. I walked down the stairs to my waiting husband.
The look in Edward's eyes would have made me blush had I still been human. It was pure lust and desire. He walked slowly to the bottom of the stairs as I continued my decent. He looked just as stunning in his gorgeous new suit. It was a deep dark blue that almost looked black. I loved the way his skin looked back-dropped by the dark color.
"It is moments like this that I wish I could keep you here, all to myself." His velvety voice was husky and sexy. I almost wished we didn't have plans. He slid his hand up my arm and held the back of my neck. He pulled my face up to his. I shivered in the fraction of a second it took for our lips to find one another. When he pulled away he did so unwillingly. I loved having that affect on him, especially since he did that to me all the time.
"We have to go." He said as he wrapped his arm around my waist and walked me to the Volvo. We slid in and he started back to the city.
"So what have you got planned?" I asked as he held my hand and I traced the lines on the back of his.
"Nothing much, just thought you might like to go to the theater and maybe walk along the shore."
"The theater? Aren't we overdressed for the theater?"
"No, silly Bella; I mean the actual theater. We are going to see Cats."
"Are you serious?" I nearly shrieked.
"Yes, my God, I didn't think you would be that happy." He smiled as he started to slow as we reached the city limits. We pulled up to the Historic Anchorage Theater. A valet opened my door for me and gave me his hand to help me out. I took a step away from the car and waited politely for Edward. He came to me and wrapped his arm back around my waist. We walked in the doors and up to the box office.
"May I help you?" The lady behind the counter asked.
"Tickets for Cullen please," Edward said politely.
"Just one moment sir." She checked the computer for something then printed out two tickets. She handed them to Edward and told us to enjoy the show.
Edward led us to a set of stairs and up to the private balconies. I stepped in as he held the curtain back for me. As I took my seat I looked around the theater. It really was such a beautiful building. I was just about to turn and tell Edward how much I appreciated all of this when he turned to me at the same time looking like he was about to say something also. We both stopped then after a second we both started to laugh.
"What were you going to say?" He asked with my favorite crooked grin on his face.
"I just wanted to thank you. This is so beautiful, and I have always wanted to see this play."
"You are more than welcome. I am glad that you are so happy. I wanted today to be special for you. You have had a hard year. I wanted to make sure that you knew that I love you and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished."
I was sure that had I been human I would have been crying by now. What with the words he spoke and the true sincerity in his voice. I reached over and crushed my lips to his greedily. I loved this man so much. He had given and taught me so much. I was sure that we were put on this planet to find each other. We really were fortunate that we had. I thanked my lucky stars that I was me. I would never fantasize about being someone else as long as I existed.