Hello! I present to you lovelies, the coveted Chapter Two. Hope it's to your liking. As I've done with Chapter One, this segment has also been edited, because once again I was appalled at my previous writing skills. So enjoy this, and like always, feedback is welcome! Ah, and I know that some of you are also thinking that I wrote this after Breaking Dawn. To clarify my loves, I have not, and this story was in the works and posted when New Moon first came out. I didn't know if I was going to continue with this plot, but after the release of Breaking Dawn, I will admit that it was unsatisfying enough to make me wander back a-this-way. FYI - Damien and Lily Swan were here long before Miss Renesme Cullen, and to be frankly honest, I like them much better(and no I'm not just saying that as their creator).So, read on and enjoy!
P.s. Let's clear things up: 1)This was written before Breaking Dawn. 2)Damien and Lily are OCs. 3)Laurent is definitely not the same as in the movie! Think tall,pale-white skin and shoulder length,jet-black, straight hair. (I know I shouldn't have to clarify this, but I just wanted people to have the vision of my Laurent in their heads)
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Twilight. That honor, my friends, goes to Mrs. Stephenie Meyer. However, Damien and Lily Swan are (c) Savvy Pride.
Bella awoke to consciousness a while later. She slowly pushed herself up, rubbing her head as she tried to get a hold on her surroundings. She knew she was on a couch… a very comfortable couch and that she was warm. She yawned loudly, wiping the sleep from her eyes as the room finally came into focus around her. She pulled the blanket off of her and wearily stood up, walking over to the wide window that took up an entire wall of the room she was in. As soon as she caught her disheveled reflection in the glass however, her breathe caught, threatening to stop all air flow to her lungs.
It all came crashing back. Every vivid detail of the last few hours swamped her with painful clarity as she realized what had happened and exactly where she was at the moment. All she could do was panic for a minute. Were the Cullens really back? Had she imagined it or did Carlisle really save her from a bloodthirsty vampire? Bella shook her head, trying to clear it and somehow managed to push her insanity to the back of her mind for a moment and calmed herself. Maybe it was all a dream. All she knew was that she needed to find Damien and Lily and get the hell out. Now.
Her hope was dashed however, when a soft voice spoke behind her.
"You're looking well Isabella."
She spun around quickly, her eyes widening and her heartbeat fluttering like a bird as she clutched at her chest in surprise. She sighed heavily and a small laugh escaped her when she saw who it was.
"Carlisle! God, give me a heart attack why don't you!?" she breathed, shaking her head. Carlisle smiled and stepped over to her, gently placing his arm on hers.
"Come Bella, let's talk in private." He led her out of the room and to his study a few doors down. She entered before him, all the while her stance rigid and wary as he closed the door behind her. They stood in tense silence for awhile, just staring at one another, before he motioned for her to sit down. He turned away from her, moving to settle behind his desk as she hesitantly followed him and perched on one of the seats in front of his desk. He noted how stiff she was, her back rigid and never touching the back of the chair, but decided not to comment on it. Maybe it was the half-wild look in her chocolate eyes, but he knew he was dealing with a person who was in the very essence of fight-or-flight mode. It was probably best to leave things as they were.
He watched her for a few long minutes, just observing as she stared around at the vaguely familiar room. Her hands were clasped tightly in her lap, and she seemed to be looking anywhere but at him. Carlisle sat up in his chair, clearing his throat loudly to get her attention on him. It worked as her eyes snapped up to meet his. He smiled softly, almost disarmingly, attempting to keep her calm.
"How are you Bella?" he asked quietly, still smiling charmingly at her. Bella's mouth twitched at the tone he used. It was the same voice he used when he talked to patients. Apparently he still thought that he would break her… her temper flared and her eyes immediately hardened, surprising him.
"Is that a rhetorical question?" she spat, narrowing her gaze on him. Her voice was low and still gravelly from sleep, but it was still impossible to mistake the edge in it. Carlisle raised an eyebrow. Well, it wasn't the reaction he had been expecting, but at least now he knew where he stood. He continued cautiously, his voice even and relaxed as he regarded her.
"Bella, I believe we owe you an apology."
At his sincere tone, her eyes softened the slightest inch. But before she could think more on the matter she shook her head and immediately stood up, turning away from him.
"You owe me nothing Dr. Cullen. Now if you'll excuse me, my children and I will happily see ourselves out of your lives." She said, voice strained as she quickly made her way to the door. Carlisle frowned and for once didn't hesitate to use his speed to intercept her. Bella jumped back as he appeared in front of the door, his hand on the handle, cutting off her only way out.
"Please don't leave." His golden eyes were pleading now. "I just want to know what really happened."
Bella hesitated, a little touched at his concern. She had and always would have a soft spot for the Cullen patriarch. There was just something in his eyes that wouldn't let her deny him anything… the same something that resided in her son's eyes. She crossed her arms and sighed, staring him head-on.
"What on Earth could you possibly want to know Carlisle? I think everything's pretty clear if you squint hard enough."
He smiled, shaking his head. Always such a pessimistic girl, his lovely daughter. "I want to know everything…what happened when we left? How were the twins born? What has happened since?..."
Bella's eyebrows shot up at his request. Really, she wasn't in the chattiest mood right now.
"When you left I moved on. The twins were born like every other child on this planet, and since then my life has been infinitesimally simple until today! See? It's all very simple the way things played out…can I leave now?" she huffed, glaring. Carlisle shook his head slowly.
"Bella-" he trailed, his eyes sad. Her eyes widened when she saw that he still hadn't moved from his post at the door and she scoffed in frustration.
"You're really going to make me elaborate this, aren't you?" she asked, incredulous. Carlisle nodded.
"I want to know the truth." He whispered. Bella shook her head, still amazed at him. He was the last person she ever expected to keep her against her will.
"The truth is a very bitter thing love. Difficult for even you to stomach, I think."
He blatantly ignored the sarcasm coating her words. "It's something I'm willing to suffer through."
She laughed; but deep down she knew she had no other choice. Besides, it was time that a Cullen knew the ordeals that she had gone through in their absence. But it wasn't Carlisle she was worried about…She knew he could easily survive listening to her story. The question was could she survive the telling? She ran a hand tiredly through her messy locks and motioned for him to sit down.
"All right, all right. You win. Just please sit down already before I change my mind." She sighed, pacing back and forth in front of his desk.
He went to sit behind his desk, giving her his full attention. She spoke softy, almost wearily at first, and told the story like she was telling a stranger, never missing a beat.
"It was five years ago and I was eighteen years old. Edward and I had been together for a little over 10 months." She looked out of the wide-window, her eyes growing distant. The past rushed up to meet her eagerly. "Everything happened so fast. It was Edward's birthday, and we went to the meadow in the forest that day. It was just after nightfall and things happened, and I guess things just got too intense. He either lost control or maybe it was because I pushed him too far."
A humorless laugh escaped her and her eyes were sad after that.
"That was the one night we had together before he was gone. When I woke up the next day, I was completely alone at the very place he had promised himself to me, and there was no trace of him." She trailed, her voice cracking.
"At first, well, I thought it was a dream. So I came here to talk to Alice, thinking she would tell me what the hell was going on. But, when I got here, unfortunately everything was gone. Wiped clean. And when I put two and two together, the truth was strange…and terrifying. It was like the Cullens had never even existed. I didn't know what to do, so I spent a week here, thinking that maybe someone would come back."
Bella looked up at him with heartbroken eyes that made him ache. It was all he could do to not reach out and hold her.
"That's when I fell into a delusion, I suppose that's what you'd call it. I kept thinking he would appear if I closed my eyes, or that when I woke up he would be there, smiling or scolding me for doing something stupid."
"I used to hear his voice in my head, a lot, you know? Like when I was about to do something that would get me into trouble, or hurt, it never failed. Thought I was going insane for a while." She laughed bitterly, like she hated herself. Maybe a part of her did too. Carlisle frowned as he saw how hard it was for her to say this. He couldn't think of any way to comfort her. So he just let her continue.
"About two months later, I found out that I was pregnant. I panicked and told Charlie. That in itself was an experience. The whole 'telling your father that you're pregnant and the father of your child just disappeared without a word' thing. It really does make you closer to a person."
Carlisle flinched as if she had struck him, but she continued without any attention to it.
"Charlie was actually very supportive, though…he vowed that should Edward ever show his face again then the rest of the world would be one bastard less." Tears watered in the corners of her eyes as she remembered her father and just how amazing he had been. He had proved himself once again, to be able to stand pressure and had immediately stepped up as father-of-the-year. Bella had wanted for naught when he had taken care of her those long, awkward months. She shook her head, absently wiping away her unshed tears. Now was not the right time for those thoughts.
"All I can say, was that it was a long nine months. Carrying twins…not to mention hybrid twins, well, it's not for the weak-willed." She smirked, watching as his eyes lit up with all of the medical questions she knew he was just dying to ask her. She was actually surprised and silently applauded him when he hadn't immediately jumped up to interrogate her or strap her down to a lab table for research. However, his next question almost made her lose all respect for him. Almost.
"So he is their father then."
Bella bit her lip and gave him a look that clearly said 'oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-you-just-asked-the-most-obvious-question-in-the-world.' He immediately shut up and smiled almost sheepishly up at her.
"Right, dumb question…"
Bella shrugged, thinking for a moment. "No actually. Not a completely stupid question." She paused, and nodded to herself.
"Edward may have spawned them, but he is most certainly not their father."
Carlisle was confused for a minute…before realization hit him. "So they were raised by someone else."
Bella was silent. The mask she had so carefully built for five long years crumbled. Her voice cracked when she spoke.
"What was I supposed to do Carlisle!? I would never have let them grow up without a father. I did! And look how the hell I turned out." She yelled, shaking as her tears finally fell. He was sure the whole house was listening in now. He quickly stood up and pulled her to him, letting her sob into his chest. She clutched onto him for dear life, afraid that is she were to let go then they would all disappear- again. He held her tightly, running his hands through her hair and murmuring sweet nothings into her ear. Anything to get her to calm down again. Eventually her sobs lessened, and she was reduced to a limp mass in his arms. Carlisle easily scooped her up and walked with her to the couch. He sat down, cradling her in his lap like a doll. She curled into him, still holding on like a little girl clutches onto her father, and waited out the rest of her tears in heavy silence.
After she calmed down, she looked up at him with glass eyes and her voice was low and hoarse.
"I didn't know what to do. I was nothing but a shell when Edward walked away. But, then right before the twins were born, he showed up to pick up the pieces. He helped me so much, Carlisle… he made me want to be someone again. " she whispered. His curiosity was instantly piqued at the slight reverence in her tone.
"Who did, Bella?"
She turned away from him, suddenly quiet again. He took her hand gently, encouraging her. She looked up into his eyes with a fierceness that took his breathe away, daring him to judge her.
"Laurent." She whispered. "He came back to visit the Cullens and never really left again."
She stood up on shaky legs, pulled herself out of his cool embrace and walked over to the wide window behind the desk. She watched them for a long minute, trying to sort out her chaotic thoughts. Down, in the backyard, Damien was talking to Alice and Lily was playing with Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper. They were both laughing and seemed completely at ease in the midst of five, adult vampires. Carlisle came to stand next to her and also looked down on the picturesque scene, smiling. He could see Edward sitting across from Alice and Damien on the patio.
"Are you married?" Carlisle suddenly asked, turning to face her. His voice was suspiciously devoid of any emotion. She glanced at him warily, trying to read him before finally shaking her head in the negative. She almost laughed as he seemed to release the breath he was holding and a wicked smirk appeared on her face.
"I'm engaged." She smiled, chuckling at his offbeat response. She lifted up her hand, and there on her ring-finger rested a pretty, silver band with a large, princess-cut diamond. He wondered how he hadn't seen it before.
"Congratulations…" he trailed off, not really knowing how to respond. "When's the wedding?"
Her voice was eerily steady as she avoided looking at him and turned back to the window. "In three months."
He just nodded. The silence returned tenfold. They both watched, lost in their own thoughts until they saw Lily tackle Emmett to the ground, causing startled laughter from everyone downstairs. Carlisle's eyes widened and he pressed closer to the glass, trying to make something of what he had just seen. Bella peered at him from the corner of her eye, grinning.
"Don't worry Carlisle, you're not seeing things. What Lily did was very real." She chirped, giggling at his expression. He shrugged, laughing a bit unsurely.
"You're children are very…interesting." He said, amused. His tone was lighter now. Bella's silver laughter echoed through the room. She dazzled him with a pretty, glowing smile that he couldn't help but return. It was such a drastic turn around from the tearful wreck she had been only a few moments before.
"Yes, I believe that's the best word for it. When I first found out that they were different, it was very interesting."
She pointed through the glass down to Lily. "That little monster there can see things, just as Alice can, and she is telekinetic. She terrified me when she was a baby by moving the piano about seven feet into the air." She pressed her palm to the glass and smiled tenderly, getting lost in thoughts of her children.
Carlisle studied the little girl who looked like a porcelain doll. With her waist-length, auburn hair and alabaster skin, not to mention her tiny frame; she really was like a living doll. She was graceful and quick- almost too quick for human eyes.
"And your son?" he asked.
Bella's smile changed then, from just the happy smile of a doting mother to one of brilliant adoration. She crossed her arms and leaned against the window, still staring at the little boy who was now laughing with his sister as they chased Emmett and Jasper. Carlisle knew she was remembering something fondly.
"He's my angel." She murmured, almost too low for him to hear.
"Hard to believe he's mine really. Lily's a good girl, but she can be a demon at times. Her temper in the classroom is notorious, but Damien…well, he's wonderful. His temperament is so serene and calm. Even when his sister is in hysterics he manages to keep very level-headed. He's so sweet too."
She shook her head, laughing.
"He has very extraordinary gifts as well, as you've probably seen. He has a natural healing ability and he can "read" people. He can instantly tell your mood, your personality, and anything else he wants about you. But, sometimes, he acts just like…like- " She faltered.
"Like his father."
It was statement, not a question.
"Yes," she said weakly. "Though, Laurent's influence has done him a lot of good."
"Is he a good father?" he asked. He noticed that she was now looking at Edward, and there was discord in her gaze. Then, she blinked and her dark eyes were relaxed once more. She turned and smiled at him again, brushing off whatever she had been thinking.
"He is. Ever since they were born, he's always been there." The last part came out in barely a whisper.
"Back to my very first question then, how are you, Isabella? We have so much to catch up on." He added as an afterthought. Bella smiled softly as he repeated his question. Now, she was much more prepared for answering it.
"I've been better…but as of now I'm alright." She paused, hesitating for a moment. "Actually, Charlie passed away last year. We were visiting him when Victoria stumbled upon us today."
'It's been a very long five years' he thought sadly.
Bella shook her head and quickly changed the subject.
"We fixed up this lovely manor house. It's beautiful. Just on the edge of the Bellevue Woods."
He commented and they made polite conversation, but he still sensed that there was something she wasn't letting on. There was a slight undertone to her temper that even had him anxious. There was something she was still hesitating to tell him. There was a lull in their small talk and he took his chance.
"Something wrong Bella? I get the feeling you're holding something back." He cut in.
She paled and avoided his gaze. Finally, "You know, they're not the only ones with rather fascinating gifts."
She turned to him, and suddenly her gaze was very critical for an instant before it softened, and she let out a heavy sigh.
"Tell me Dr. Cullen, if you had the opportunity to do anything to protect your family, would you?"
He looked at her evenly. "You know the answer to that love. In a heartbeat."
He glanced at her through his peripheral vision. Her eyes were no longer a deep brown, but black, frigid ebony. Her voice was throaty and melodic. A siren's voice. But he knew it wasn't for him, she seemed to be staring right at Edward as she said this, and Edward was staring right back up with just as much intensity. Her black eyes bore into his golden ones, and Carlisle shivered as he watched the topaz-hue recede from Edward's eyes until they were just as black and cold as Bella's. Something jolted her and her eyes narrowed and shot to the left, into two wide, deep, green eyes. Damien.
Carlisle watched as Edward turned to stare at the little boy who had called Bella's attention away and was looking at him in wonder. Something passed between mother and son, and then Bella shook her head furiously, her notorious blush gracing her pale skin.
"Forgive me. I've lost my manners." She smiled apologetically at him and her eyes were back to deep brown. She glanced at something behind his head and gasped.
"Oh god! Is that the time? I didn't realize-" she turned to him, "forgive me, I think it's best if we were on our way." She started towards the door at a fast pace, but he quickly caught her by the elbow.
"They don't know, do they? They think Laurent is their real father."
Bella stopped and faced him with tired eyes.
"Yes Carlisle. They have no idea that their father is standing three feet away from them at this very moment, if that's what you mean."
"Look, I know this might be asking a bit much, but…would you mind if maybe Esme and I dropped by once and awhile to see them?" he asked, hopeful. He thought she would be angry or upset that he would ask such a thing, but she surprised him once again by that velvet-coated laugh.
"Of course! They are your grandkids after all." She smirked before her face turned serious. "Though, I ask that you refer to yourselves as Uncle and Aunt. Please, that's how I'll be referring to everyone as well."
She stiffened. "Of course."
"Your wish is our command fair lady." He smiled and she seemed to relax. She hugged him fiercely.
"Thank you. It was nice getting it all out and I'm glad you're back." She kissed him on the cheek. "Grandpa."
He walked her downstairs and they were just about to go out to the back when there was a soft knock at the door. Esme was already there and she smiled in recognition.
"Laurent! So good to see you. What a coincidence!" She smiled, stepping aside to admit him into her home. Carlisle studied the man entering his home and noted his eyes, which were now a liquid topaz. He smiled in approval. Last time he had seen them they were ruby red. Laurent smiled as Esme led him into the main room.
"A little bird told me that the Cullens were back. I had to come see for myself." He grinned as he clasped hands with Carlisle.
"Welcome back. It's nice to have some familiar faces in the neighborhood again."
"It's good to be back." Esme smiled as moved to stand by her husband. Outside, it had started to rain and the group was making their way inside.
Carlisle and Esme led the way to the living room, but Bella was quickly stopped by Laurent's cool hand against her arm. He drew her back to him, wrapping his arms around her waist and cupping the side of her face, making her look up at him. He stared deeply into her chocolate eyes and Bella could feel herself melting into him. He frowned, creases appearing on his handsome face and ran a hand down her long, mahogany curls. There was nothing but the deepest concern and tenderness in his gaze.
"I came home early, because there was a fire in the forest…the rangers said the smoke was like opium and incense." He trailed a hand down her face, and she suddenly realized that he was searching for marks. Cuts and bruises…
"Are you alright? Is everyone okay?" he asked, his voice surprisingly hoarse. Bella smiled softly, reassuringly, and reached up with her own hand to cup his cheek.
"We are now. It was Victoria's funeral pyre you heard about in the forest."
Laurent's eyes narrowed and she could see them darken a shade. "Victoria? She was here?!" he snarled, his temper rising. Bella grabbed his face in both her hands and forced his eyes to meet hers. With gentle hands she stroked his brow, willing the upset lines to go away.
"Shh, love…later. She's gone now, shh- baby, you need to relax." She whispered soothingly, leaning up on her toes to press her lips against his. Laurent stiffened before his eyes finally slid closed and he gave himself over to her. Her arms snaked around his neck, drawing him in closer as he hugged her tighter, holding her to his body. Her hands fisted in his shoulder-length, jet-black locks that fell like silk around her fingers. His tongue lightly traced the moist warmth of her bottom lip, demanding entrance…but before they could deepen the kiss, there was a soft-uncomfortable cough behind them. Immediately they pulled apart, Laurent smiling sheepishly as Bella's face blushed a very lively pink. Laurent laughed softly, back to his previous demeanor and winked down at Bella. His eyes were dark, and held a promise of what he had in store for her later.
Esme didn't say anything, just smiled in amusement as she led them back to the living room where everyone was waiting.
"Laurent?" they all turned to the sound of the voice. Laurent managed another smile, though it was much less welcoming than before. His bright eyes were suddenly hard and he tightened his arm around Bella's waist.
"Edward, you're looking well."
Edward nodded and smiled politely, though it was strained. Laurent's little display of possessiveness had not gone unnoticed.
"Daddy!" Lily's high soprano echoed from the doorway.
She ran towards him with breathtaking speed and he removed his arm from around Bella to scoop her up, twirling her around. Her bells-and-whistles laughter hummed loudly through the air. Damien came in next with his hair soaking wet. He wrapped his arms around his mother's waist, barely taller than it himself. Bella bent down and embraced him tightly, gently rubbing his back. She stood up straight, one arm still holding him as he cuddled into her.
She turned and spoke to Alice and Rosalie. Jasper, Emmett, Carlisle, and Esme were all talking to Laurent who was holding a giddy Lily.
Edward felt the need to shred something. She really had moved on. Otherwise, she'd be with him right now and be holding onto him. Oh yes, he had seen that kiss and quiet exchange between them, and it had taken all of his will power not to knock Laurent through the wall. Maybe the idea of Bella settling down really did seem impossible in his mind. But, it was his fault, he knew. Because that is exactly what he had wanted her to do. The whole reason for breaking her heart and leaving in the first place. But, now that he saw her… she was still romantically involved with a vampire, and her kids were definitely not normal…why did it hurt so much?
'Because it should've been me.' He thought bitterly. He saw them and felt a burning rage in his hollow chest. Jealousy. Of Bella and Laurent, Lily and Damien. They all looked so perfect together, a truly happy family. He felt sick just looking at them, knowing that it should've been him in Laurent's place. But it wasn't. And the fact that Isabella Swan had a happy life that didn't involve him at all was hurting him much more than he thought possible.
Finally, after many goodbyes and hugs, they were heading for the door. Lily was asleep on her father's shoulder and Damien was rubbing his eyes, attempting to stay awake a little longer. Bella gently picked him up and he quickly fell asleep in the crook of her neck, his little hands fisting tenderly in her hair.
She hugged Carlisle and Esme tightly. "Please, come by whenever you want, our home is always open."
Laurent shook hands with Jasper and Emmett, waved to everyone else, and then they were gone.
Esme shut the door and gently kissed Carlisle, rubbing his shoulders.
"Well, that was quite interesting." Alice broke in.
"To say the very least." Edward muttered as he rushed up to his room, slamming the door. He knew they had heard him. He turned his stereo on high and let the music drown everything out. If there was anytime he wished for sleep more, it couldn't compare to tonight.
on, I know you're dying to hit the pretty button and say something fun. Who am I to stop you? Tell me what you think! Even if it's to rant and rave. Flames are always welcome, seeing as how they keep me warm and fuzzy in these long winter months. Review please, and I'll get the next chapter up as soon as I can :)