Author's note: Where to begin. . . This story came about by me writing a ton of stories only to have someone write basically the same story and update it before me. I finally got frustrated and wrote a story with all of the main themes of Twilight fanfics in one story. Much of the conflict is set in the past when this story takes place, but hey, always room for more problems, right? Basically, instead of being the story you've read a hundred times already, this will be every story you've ever read put into one. Hopefully it won't be a total train wreck. This takes place about two and a half years after Edward left in New moon. No visions of cliffs, no Volturi suicide missions, no Edward coming back. This story will be in Bella's point of view unless I tell you otherwise. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, nor any of it's characters.
I let out a slow sigh as I parked, the notes of my lullaby filling the rental car before escaping into the night through the cracked window. You can't imagine my surprise to find said birthday present under the floorboards of my now abandoned room, but with it came the familiar frustration and pain.
This song always sounded so much better live.
My arms quickly tightened around my chest. I once pondered the pain I was experiencing now. I wondered if after I died, would I still feel this heartache, this bursting at the seams? Well, to answer, becoming a vampire only made the pain worse. I never wanted this eternity without him. I sighed again. After all this time I still can't bring myself to say his name.
Coming to Denali had been a mistake, as Jake had correctly predicted. Stupid werewolf with his stupid habit of being right. Tanya's house was lovely, but I could smell his scent, stale with age on the air of the vast house.
I didn't know whether to run in the opposite direction without a word, or to curl up and never take another breath without his precious smell entering my nose. Ultimately the decision was made for me. We had to leave. At the thought of 'we' I spun in my seat to gaze at my companion, silent in the back.
It was my surprise to see her wide awake, that sneaky little thing. Though my daughter was brought into this world receiving. . . mixed reviews. . . I was her biggest fan. I affectionately took in her features, though I knew I could never forget them.
Her bright, blue eyes stared back with a quiet understanding. That girl could see into my soul, I swear it. My eyes broke from her gaze and lowered to her tiny little nose, framed by her Plump cheeks, which had inherited their mommy's color. Full cupid bow lips, also mine, opened just enough to let out a soft giggle to have captured my attention. To crown her head was a bed full of golden curls, like silk.
It was obvious to all who saw her that she was mine, but the blond hair and blue eyes marked the identity to all residents of Forks, Washington of her father. I stopped my thoughts there, no use dwelling in the past; I had a whole future to worry about. I turned back to Layla, chuckling a bit at the memory of Charlie, Renee and I thinking of baby names. Charlie won; apparently he was an Eric Clapton fan, who knew?
We would come up with names,I remembered, then score them on how much they were liked, and then add up the points. As you could probably tell, we were in dire need of entertainment. Renee, Phil and Charlie in the same house were pretty tense. Phil had tried to play our little game too, but after his first suggestion was unknowingly Alice, Renee told him he couldn't play. Poor guy.
I shook my head to dispel my wandering thoughts. Shutting off the car, I stepped into cool night air and liberated the bouncing child from her car seat. She took a few steps in the wrong direction before plopping back on her diaper- padded behind. She didn't have my clumsiness, thank heavens, but at only one year, two months, she had some growing to do before running over this uneven ground.
As I swooped down and hoisted her into my pale arms, two things happened at once. The wind picked up, carrying with it the scent of another vampire, and I heard a voice I most certainly was not expecting.
"Edward? Edward I heard the song and I-" she was cut short seeing me. I pivoted slowly, in complete denial of the current situation, to stare into the eyes of none other than Rosalie Lillian Hale.
"B-Bella?" I'm sorry but did Rosalie just stutter? I'm impressed. "You're. . . well you're,"
"Dead?" I supplied. She continued to stare, emotions flying across her face faster than I could catch them. I waited in silence, giving her time to collect her thoughts.
"How long?" she demanded. She didn't need to specify.
"About two months" her eyes lowered to the child in my arms and her eyes widened more than I thought possible.
"Then how?" she looked between the child and I in obvious bewilderment. It was almost amusing.
"I handle myself rather well," I answered proudly, then my eyes narrowed into slits. "Besides," I started. "I don't leave family behind." Her face showed shock and realization. She quickly caught herself and her face twisted into a patronizing sneer.
"Yours, huh?" she sounded bitter and sarcastic. I tightened my arms around Layla defiantly. She was going to use this against me. I almost wanted to punch Rose in the face, but that's not what good mommies do in front of children I thought humorlessly.
"She is." I replied coolly, though I was terrified. I worried first about Layla being between two vampires, then about what seeing Rosalie's familiar face would do to my composure. Rose's smirk increased as she stepped forward to examine Layla up close.
"Mike Newton am I right?" Don't you dare cry, Bella. I won't forgive you if you cry. I nodded tightly, causing Rosalie to push the air out of her lips slowly in a dramatic sigh. "Well, I'm impressed. You got over my brother really fast. How old is she?" Don't cry. Don't cry. My resolve was wavering.
"Almost 15 months," I choked out. Rosalie's tone cut through me like a knife, and though I knew her accusations to be false, I felt guilty and utterly humiliated.
"Wow Bella, six months before conceiving children? With Newton no less. I wonder what Edward would say-"
"Just stop it!" I cut her off, thick venomous tears rolling down my cheeks, part of my good-for-nothing power. That sure took long, I thought thick with sarcasm. How long was that Bella? Two minutes before crying? Nice. Even as a vampire I was just so damn human. I was sure Rosalie had a satisfied grin on her face, but I had buried my face in Layla's little neck trying desperately to compose my sobs.
I wanted to turn and run, never looking back, but I had never run with Layla before. I refused to scare her with the speed. Knowing her though, she'd just laugh. Now I knew how he had felt about me. She took everything so coolly. Just as I was regaining my calm façade, another voice cut through the wind making me want to scream.
"Rose!" her voice was sharp and scolding. Alice stepped from the shadows of the outlying trees. She turned to me first. "I'm sorry. I had a vision and I tried to get here as fast I could. I'm so sorry." Rosalie opened her mouth to snap back at Alice, but Alice was a step ahead. Her head whipped around to a gorgeous blond fast, even by vampire standards. "Not another word Rosalie Hale! You don't know anything!"
I winced. That meant that Alice did know something. How many somethings she happened to know was a mystery, but I was scared to know. She turned back to me. "Bella, stay with us for tonight at least. Everyone misses you, and I think you should fill everyone in on all that has happened since we left." I stiffened. "Edward isn't with us. . ." she added for my benefit, seeing my panic. I slowly nodded and let her take my hand, far too emotionally exhausted to argue with her now. Her fingertips had barely grazed my skin before she gasped and pulled away. Oh, the warmth.
"I'll explain later," I promised with a sheepish grin. She nodded and grabbed my hand. I noticed the awestruck expression on her face. It's not that impressive. She can see the future and she's impressed my hand is warm?
As the tiny vampire pulled me back to my temporary car, I reasoned with myself that I wasn't going to see the family, it was because they'd have a better place for Layla to sleep than whatever cheap hotel I would've rented for the night. I knew it was a pathetic excuse. I was dying to see them again, if only for a few hours. No pun intended.
I thought absently as I rebuckled the slightly confused child into her car seat that I was surprised Rosalie hadn't spoken up in such a long time. I looked up to find her gone, probably to warn everyone of my arrival. Alice took the driver's seat, for which I was grateful. I watched her face carefully as she started the car and the CD player immediately went back to my lullaby. A huge smile on spread across her face, but her eyes were sad.
"It has been so long since I've heard this," she looked wistful, looking into the past rather than the future for once. I remained silent as I brought my hands up to my face, wiping away my traitorous tears. They were venom, which made them unpleasantly thick and sticky. I grimaced. "You'll explain that later too, then?" Alice asked, indicating the moisture coating my face.
I nodded, grateful she wasn't bombarded me with questions. That thought brought me back to my earlier worry. She probably didn't have many questions, she already knew. I cleared my throat out of habit.
"Alice," I hesitated. "How much have you actually seen. . . from the past couple years I mean." I winced slightly. I sounded like an idiot.
"Not much. I've actually only had one vision of you since we left. It was an argument," she hesitated, expecting me to pick up after her. "With your mother. . ." Oh, so she knew. "I wanted to come home, to see how you were, but Jasper convinced me not to. If I had seen anything about what happened. . . I would've-"
"Its fine Alice," I reassured her. "I wasn't in much of a healthy state beforehand anyways." She nodded in understanding before letting the subject drop.
As she continued on to our destination, we kept silent, lost in our own musings. I rested my forehead on the cool glass of the window and gazed out to the trees enveloping the road in the darkness. Rosalie without a doubt hated me now. I shuddered as I remembered how cold her voice was. As if reading my thoughts, Alice spoke up.
"Don't worry about Rosalie. Nobody knows about what happened, not even Jasper, and once she finds out, she'll feel absolutely terrible." I looked at her questioningly.
"Does she have to know? Do I really have to tell everyone?" I was suddenly worried again. Alice sent me a hard glance.
"You are family to us, Bella. We deserve to know." Crap. She had me there. Well about the deserving to know part, not so much about me being family though. I nodded regretfully, this wouldn't be much fun. We pulled into a long drive and finally arrived at a large red brick house, green shutters outlining the abundant windows. I vaguely noted that the house was beautiful, as expected, but it was muffled by the thoughts screaming in realization that I'd soon be recounting memories I didn't wish to look back upon.
We sat there for a few minutes, but I made no effort to move from my seat.
"She's beautiful you know, Layla. Esme will be absolutely thrilled to meet her," Alice paused before continuing, debating whether to continue. She finally decided to end it there, leaving me thoroughly frustrated. I left the car and began to make my way to the back door before Alice stopped me again.
"Do you think I could carry her?" she asked sheepishly. I smiled and nodded, watching as Alice started bouncing. Now there was the Alice I knew. As she cradled Layla carefully in her arms, I didn't need Jasper's gift to know how excited she was. Layla quickly giggled in approval before tightening her arms around Alice's icy neck, who looked like she'd be crying if she could.
I made my way to the front door with Alice in tow. When I finally arrived at the huge wooden contraption, I stopped, not sure of myself. What will their reaction be? Would they be upset I was here? Would they be as angry about Layla as Rosalie was? And why wasn't Edward-cringe- with them?
I shook these thoughts from my head and raised my shaking hand to the doorknob. Before I could touch it, the door was swung open from the inside revealing a sobbing Esme. She pulled me into a tight hug that would have obliterated any human subjected to it. Gazing over her shaking shoulder, my eyes met the rest of the Cullens, minus one of course.
As Esme slowly pulled away, she spoke softly into my ear.
"It's wonderful to see you again Bella. It was like losing a daughter." She finished with a sad smile, which I reflected. Alice walked around us through the door carting a star struck Layla, who immediately had the room wrapped around her finger. Alice passed her to Esme, who received the same hugging treatment as Alice.
"No sense of self-preservation either," Emmett muttered with a guffaw. I looked at my long lost big brother. "Hey there Bella," God, I missed them.
"We missed you too," Jasper smiled reassuringly before nullifying my nervousness with a wave of calm. I sent him a thankful smile. Carlisle cleared his throat to grab our attention before giving me a pointed glance. I sighed.
"Welcome Bella, I must say you're a surprise as always." His eyes trailed to my daughter and rested there, looking affectionate already.
"I suppose I should explain a few things then?" I supplied lightly. The family nodded their agreement and led me to the various couches placed around the room. I realized with the huge distraction of seeing everyone again I hadn't taken in an inch of my surroundings. Knowing that I was welcome for the time being, I admired Esme's job well done. I sat down and my eyes returned to the group of vampires still gazing at Layla and I curiously. Carlisle broke the silence.
"I think you'd better start from the beginning. . ."
Well there's the first chapter. Please review. Constructive criticism is welcome, but please make it helpful. This is my first fanfic, so I'm very eager to get feedback. I know that this first chapter probably left you a thousand questions, but they'll be answered in due time. If I ever don't clear anything up though, feel free to ask. Thanks.