Authors Note: I'm SO SO SO SO sorry that it took me so long to update! I came home from college for Thanksgiving break, and all my friends came home too so I've been spending all my time with them! I have been neglecting poor Clare! However, here is what happens next! I think this story is about over sadly, I haven't decided yet. But don't worry, I've got a couple outtakes swimming around in my head, and more story ideas.
Edwards POV, of course.
"What did you just say Bella?" asked Clare, walking toward us. I could tell by her tone that she was deciding whether or not to take Bella's comments seriously. Chase held tightly to her hand trying to position himself in front of her. "You were just joking right?" she continued anxiously, her eyes pleading for Bella to agree with her.
Bella didn't answer. We all turned to look at each other. I saw Jasper nod his head. It's time, he thought. Bella must have heard him too because she sighed loudly and reached out for Clare's other hand, pulling her into her arms. "Let's go home, we'll discuss it there."
"What is there to discuss?" Clare said, "What you said didn't even make any sense?" She allowed Bella to walk her out toward the car. Chase let go of her hand and fell into step with me.
"What's going on Edward?" he whispered seriously, putting his hand across my chest to stop me.
"We can't talk about it here Chase," I turned to him, gently patting his hand away. I motioned for him to follow me into the parking lot. The ride home was silent. Clare's heart was pumping furiously the whole time; she knew that something was going on because we had never hesitated to tell her anything before. She was running things over and over in her head, memories about us, trying to make sense of what Bella had said.
I picked up my cell phone, and told Carlisle and Esme to meet us in the living room. I told him in hurried tones what happened, warning him that it was time, that Clare was going to finally found out our secret, after all of these years.
Clare got out of the car first and reached for Chase. She buried her head into his shoulder and walked toward the house. I saw him bend down and kiss her gently, rubbing her arm for reassurance.
"I'm sorry Edward," Bella said softly, "I was distracted, I had no idea she was listening." Her eyes looked so sad, and the guilt she was feeling was absolutely breaking my heart.
"She had to find out sometime Bella," I consoled her. "If you ask me, we've waited too long already."
"But I'm scared Edward, what if she wants to leave us?"
"She won't." We were Clare's family and I knew her well enough to know that she wouldn't turn her backs on us. However, I think it was going to take a while for her to get used to it.
We all gathered together in the living room, and I decided to speak first. "Clare, we owe you an explanation." She looked back at me expectantly. She was leaning into Chase and it seemed as if she was too afraid to respond.
"Clare, Chase" I began. "I need you to keep an open mind here. There is something I'm going to tell you. It may not make sense, and it may seem completely insane, but just know that I'm telling you the truth."
Chase gave me a nod, but I could see that it Clare was frozen in place.
Now or never I thought. I looked at them both, trying to convey my sincerity through my eyes. "I think it's safe to say that we're not your average family. But what I want to tell you… is that we are different in more ways than you think."
Clare stared back at me, hanging onto my every word.
"So different in fact," I said softly, "That there aren't many of our kind still around today."
"Your kind?" Chase questioned nervously.
"Vampires," I answered.
"Immortal," piped in Bella quietly.
"Never aging," added Rosalie.
"With a blood diet," said Jasper. "Animal of course."
"Cold skins," said Emmett, looking at Clare nervously. I could tell from his thoughts that he was absolutely terrified that Clare would look at him differently.
Clare's eyes filled with tears. "The monsters that killed my parents," she cried. "I remember now," she buried her face into Chase and began to sob in earnest.
"Clare we didn't kill your parents." Alice stood up and walked over to Clare putting an arm on her back. "We saved them from other vampires that were going to kill them. You see, vampires naturally drink human blood, but we're trying to be as normal as possible, we live our life based on the idea of not killing humans."
Chase was shaking his head back and forth, trying to take this all in. "Are you trying to tell us that…vampires….actually exist? And that you are all vampires?" He gestured, his eyes wide with fear.
"Vampires do exist," Bella answered. "It's true; we would never lie to you."
"But…but, how can that be?" he asked unbelievingly. "This is impossible." He stood up and started pacing, trying to piece everything together. Clare sat in the corner of the couch, with her arms wrapped around herself, tears dripping down her face.
"How could you lie to me?" she suddenly said, glaring at us. "All this time….how could you." She looked at each one of us in turn with a devastated expression.
"We didn't want you to be afraid of us," replied Emmett sadly. "We love you so much Clare."
She didn't respond, she just looked down, shaking her head back and forth.
"So the cold skin?" she said angrily, "Is that part of it?"
"What else, huh? What else have you been hiding?"
We took the next hour, explaining everything to her calmly and as best as we could. We explained our diets, our sleeping habits, our strengths, and every secret that we had ever kept from her. We took her step by step through exactly what happened with her parents, and how we came to have her apart of our family. She didn't speak a word throughout it all. Her eyes traveled back and forth to all of us, listening intently to what we had to say. I knew she was disappointed in us for lying, and she was battling both her astonishment and her fury.
"I need some time to think about this," she sniffed when we had finished. "Come on Chase."
Chase's face was bright red and his eyes were glazed over. While Clare was silent, he had been asking question after question…only to be completely amazed and shocked at our answers. He slowly followed her upstairs to her room.
I walked to the stairs in a daze, half aware that I was following Clare upstairs. My mind was reeling. Never in my life would I have expected this. I had spent most of my childhood around these people, only to find out that they were some supernatural force of nature. But now that I knew, I was wondering how I never noticed before. I was always aware of how good looking they all were, and how pale and cold their skin was, but vampires would have never crossed my mind.
I was never going to get the things that they just showed me out my head. I glanced up as Clare closed her bed room door behind me. I had been so elated after the movie when I told her how I felt, but all of that just seemed so long ago.
She flung herself into my arms, burying herself into my chest. I picked her up and carried her over to the bed to gently lay her down. I curled up beside her and held her as close I could and let her cry herself out. I heard a couple sniffles and she shifted to look into my eyes.
"Are you okay?" I asked, wiping a stray tear from her cheek.
"Can you believe this?" she whispered, closing her eyes. "How could they lie to me? Especially about this?"
"They love you Clare," I responded. "You can't forget that. They have taken such good care of you your entire life. They were scared you would reject them. I know it's a lot to take in, it's a lot for me too, but they're still your family, and they're probably hurting right now. And you have to admit, it's shocking…but a little cool too." I bent down to brush my lips softly against hers, reveling in the fact that I could do that now. I felt her smile for the first time in hours.
"You were full of surprises yourself tonight." She rolled over so she was straddling my lap. My whole body responded instantly as I watched her all thoughts of vampires leaving my mind. She was truly so beautiful to me. So perfect.
"You're so beautiful," I whispered, pulling her down to crush my lips against hers. Her mouth was warm against mine, and it felt like everything I knew her kiss would be. I was sure at that moment, I could never see myself with anyone else. Clare had always been the one I wanted, and I had known for such a long time. She ran her hands through my hair in an effort to pull me closer.
I couldn't help the groan that escaped my lips when she pulled away a few moments later.
"I love you Chase," she whispered into my neck. "So much." I felt more of her tears against my skin.
"I love you Clare." I rolled onto my side so our faces were inches apart. I rubbed my nose gently against hers. "I always have, you know."
"I know you have," she joked. "Especially when you realized I was a good kisser at such a young age."
I laughed out loud, remembering when she kissed me in her backyard when we were kids. "I've never forgotten that," I agreed, tickling her sides.
"You feel better now?" I asked a few moments later when our giggles subsided.
"I don't know, I still don't think it's hit me. But I'm going to go down there and apologize for the way I acted. It's hard to believe that my family is made up of…vampires."
She looked back at me, and we suddenly burst into laughter.
"Yes, that is sure going to take some getting used to!"
We rolled back over and closed the space between us.