AN - Hello everyone! I hope that wasn't too long. I've been writing all day on this thing. I've finally gotten some free time on my hands. This summer has been crazy. But enough about that, Read and Enjoy!
-- Edward --
I fell down on my small, squeaky bed, letting my head bounce of my small beat up pillow. If you can call a few bird feathers stuffed into a pillowcase a pillow.
I had never, in my entire life felt this tired before. Not even Henrys work out sessions could compare to this. I couldn't feel my own arms, my feet were wet and icy cold, and I practically reeked of fish guts and salt water.
On the bright side though, I'd gotten bigger muscles in these two weeks then all my time with Henry.
My job was to lift big open boxes of fish up on the dock, which usually took about an hour of bending down, lifting them high above my head and throwing them into an even bigger box. After that, I had to put the bait onto the fishing boats.
Some of the older guys there thought it would be 'fun' to empty a whole box of fish guts over my head today. It would take me forever to get the stench to go away.
I dragged a tired hand through my light brown/bronze hair. As soon as I'd gotten my apartment, I'd blended the hair colors and dyed my hair the best I could. I'd never done it before, and I think it showed. Most of my hair was still bronze, and after a few showers, I only had a few streaks of brown left.
Thank god I wore a green wool hat to work every day.
I dragged myself of my mattress and stood up slowly. Every part of my body was hurting, and begging for a shower. I took of all my clothes on the way into my tiny bathroom. It was better then nothing though. I had a toilet, a shower, a sink and a mirror. It was more then most people in New York had, and I knew that I should be thankful.
As soon as I stepped into the shower, the freaky stone appeared on the floor. I'd gotten used to it by now, even though I was still weary of it. I mean, what kind of stone just appears out of nowhere wherever you go?
I'd tried to flush it down the toilet, I'd thrown it out of my window, I'd thrown it into the water, I'd sent it off with the boats more times then I cared to remember and I'd tried to dig it down in the middle of central park. It Always came back to me. Always.
By now I'd stopped trying to question it and just excepted the fact that it would never go away. It wasn't like it was hurting me or anything like that.
I let the steaming hot water run down my back and work out most of the tension from my shoulders. It was pretty late at night, and I'd gotten up at four in the morning, I started working at five, and I stopped at nine PM. To say that I was tired was putting it lightly.
I washed my hair the best I could, trying to get the smell out of my hair and off my body to the best of my ability. I knew that I'd have to wash my jacket, and my work pants and everything else I'd been wearing today too before I could go to bed. And with a groan I remembered that I'd laid down in my bed with my work clothes on, so now I'd have to wash that too.
I felt like crying just thinking about it.
I got out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my waist, letting out a huge yawn while I stretched my arms high above my head. It felt amazing.
The gashes on my back were almost fully healed, but I would have a permanent scar there, along with the wound on my face. It wouldn't be pretty, but hopefully, It would disappear with the years.
To be honest, you couldn't really see it unless you looked closely. Carlisle had done a great job on all of my wounds. I'd started growing a beard, so it was hiding some of it.
There was a knock on my door, and I closed my eyes briefly before opening them with a small sigh. I only had one friend in New York, and that was Boots.
It wasn't that I didn't like Boots. He was nice enough, and he showed me where to go, where not to go, he got me the job at the Fish marked, and he wasn't annoying. I was just really tired at the moment. But, seeing as I had to wash all my stuff anyway, I might as well have some company to help keep me awake.
"Hello Boots." I said quietly, opening the door and letting him roll into my small apartment. I'd asked if he wanted to live with me plenty of times, but he always refused, claiming that the streets were his home.
"Boots sees that Anthony has taken a shower, good thing too, Boots saw what happened at work today. He didn't like it. Not one bit." He said, rolling into my living room/bedroom/Kitchen aria. I only had my bed, a chair, a stove and a mini fridge. The only sink in my whole apartment was the one in the bathroom.
"You were at the marked today? Why didn't you come over and say hi?" I called from the bathroom while putting on some boxers and a pair of pajama pants. I decided not to wear a shirt, seeing as my apartment was stifling hot. Besides, I sort of liked my new muscles.
"Boots didn't want to bother you when you were working. Besides, Boots only hurried by quickly. He had urgent business elsewhere, you see." He explained, leaning back in his cart and staring around my apartment with the same wonder he always did, as if he'd never been here before.
"Oh? What was so important on that side of town? Are you hungry by the way? I think I have some left over pizza slices." I asked, bending down and rummaging through my fridge. Most of my money went to food and rent, but the money I made on the fish marked where more then enough to keep my stomach full.
"No, Boots isn't hungry, he ate for not too long ago. Boots had to meet a man and a woman about a thing in an alley. Very interesting business." He said casually, picking at his nicotine stained hands. I'd offered for him to take a shower and take some of my clothes, but he refused that too.
"Your not into drugs or anything like that, right? It's dangerous and you can't trust people like that. If you need money that badly, you can come to me instead and I'll give you what I can." I offered him with a frown. They would probably just take advantage of him. It wasn't his fault that he was mentally handicapped, he couldn't help it.
"That's very nice of Anthony to offer, but no, Boots aint dealing with drugs. Nope, the handsome man and the pretty woman weren't interested in drugs at all. They were interested in a person, and Boots was interested in a stone." He said, staring up at me with unblinking eyes.
I furrowed my brows and looked at him funnily.
"What do you mean?" I asked, slowly. I had a bad feeling about this. I knew that Henry had people after me. And while I also knew that Boots would never intentionally sell me out to the bad guys, he wouldn't really know if he did it ether.
"Boots hasn't never ever told you about this, but Boots got a family. A very big family. So big Anthony couldn't even imagine how big. And Boots family wants their stone back, because someone took it from them many years ago.
So Boots met up with these two people, because he knew that they knew about the stone. But they didn't have it, but Boots already knew about that. Boots knows that Anthony has the stone. Boots also know that Anthony doesn't want the stone, but he can't seem to lose it ether." He said with a thoughtful look on his face, ignoring my gaping mouth.
"You know about the stone? You can have it and give it to your family! You could have just asked, and I would have given it to you, you don't need to go and see people about something like this." I said, reaching into my pocket and grabbing it. I'd felt the weight of it as soon as I'd pulled my pants on.
Boots shook his head quickly.
"You can't give Boots the stone. It doesn't work that way. And the people Boots met had to understand that you see."
"Who are these people anyway? Why are they important, and why can't you just take it and give it to your family?" I asked confused. I was actually pretty damn confused about Boots now as well. Did this mean that he knew about Vampires as well? Should I ask? Bella had told me that I could get killed if anyone ever found about the fact that I knew of the other world, so to speak.
But then again Oliver and Nicole had made it perfectly clear that no Vampire could see me with this stone. So what did that make Boots? What the hell was he?
"The only way Boots can get the stone back is if Boots kills Anthony, and takes the stone by force. But Boots doesn't want to kill Anthony, you see." I felt my eyes widen, and I sat down on my bed slowly, trying to take all of this in.
I'm pretty sure I could take Boots if he tried to kill me. I mean, his body was all weird and crippled and he didn't have legs, but the fact that my only friend in the city was telling me that he had to kill me to get something back to his family was a little unsettling, to say the least.
It seemed that I couldn't go anywhere in this world without people wanting to kill me.
"And the people?" I asked quietly when he didn't say anything else.
"They were both Vampires. Oh don't look so surprised. Boots knows more then you give him credit for, Edward." He said with a knowing smirk on his tiny face.
"You know about them?" I asked, struggling to close my mouth. Boots nodded, his smirk turning into a shit eating grin.
"Bella and Emmett, I believe their names were." He said with a different tone to his voice. I pushed my glasses up my nose, and dragged a hand thought my hair quickly before I stood up.
"Bella is here? In New York?" I asked quickly, not really caring about anything else at the moment. Bella was here. In the City. Right now.
And she couldn't see me because of this damn stone.
"Yes, she is. Emmett too. Weren't you paying attention?" He mocked me slightly, and again I noticed the difference in his voice. It was as if he wasn't…mentally handicapped anymore. He was talking like a normal person.
"What's going on?" I asked him, grabbing a shirt and a pair of socks. I slipped the socks on quickly and started pulling the shirt over my head, almost breaking my glasses in the process. I needed to see Bella as soon as possible, and it didn't really matter to me if she could see me or not. For the first time in weeks, I felt a little bit of happiness seep into my chest.
I knew that she said she'd come after me. But I was expecting it to be months, or years. Not a few weeks.
"Emmett and Bella came here to protect you, or beg for your life is more like it. Bella offered her life as a trade for yours. She said that you could give the stone to her, so that we could kill her instead of you." He said, analyzing me with his beady eyes. It was as if he was a completely different person.
"She WHAT?!" I almost roared, dropping my shoe on the floor. No way in hell was she getting the stone then. I would guard it with my life before I gave it to her.
"Well you're not going to, are you? Kill her, I mean." I asked, frantically, feeling the panic shoot through out my body. I couldn't imagine how anyone could even play with the idea of killing someone as amazing as her.
"Relax, your precious love won't die. And neither will Emmett. We've talked everything over and we've figured out a way to make everyone happy. My family and I will get our stone back, you and your vampire friends will live and have your happily ever after, and your father, Henry, shall die." He said with a mischievous smile on his face.
I felt both of my eyebrows shoot up in surprise. I was not expecting that part at all.
"What do you mean, Henry will die? What does he have to do about anything?" Boots sighed and rolled his eyes, and looked at me as if he was explaining something to a small child who'd sniffed a little too much glue.
"You are the rightful owner of the stone at the moment, and I'm sure you've noticed that it keeps appearing and won't go away, no matter how hard you try to throw it away, no?" He asked, and I nodded and motioned for him to go on.
"Well, you might be the owner of the stone, but it's still not yours. It belongs to me, and my family. We need it for protection from the rest of the…mythical world, I suppose you can call it. And the only way for us to get it, is by murdering the current owner of it, as I've already told you. And I don't want to kill you, Edward. That's why I've been stopping my family from attacking you for these past few weeks.
Now, you see there is a way for us to get our stone and for you to survive. All you need to do, is give the stone to Henry, and let me and my brothers take care of the rest." He explained, waiving his arms around a bit to empathize his point.
"So what you're saying, is that I have to go back to the man I'm running away from, give him the stone, and then let you and your family kill him?" I asked, trying to wrap my head around all this new information.
"Pretty much." He answered, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and lighting one up.
"But he's not even my real father…" As much as I hated Henry, I didn't know if I'd ever be able to help someone murder him. Or anyone, for that matter.
"It's ether him, you or Bella." He said with a shrug.
"Not Bella." I said immediately. I would do whatever was in my power to protect her no matter what. It was the least I could do after everything she and her family had done for me.
"Well there you have it then! It's ether you, or Henry. I want you to put yourself in his shoes. Do you think he would hesitate with killing you?" He asked me with a raised eyebrow, taking a deep drag from his cigarette.
I didn't really have to think about that to know the answer. Henry wouldn't hesitate to with killing me at all. I still didn't want him to die though. It was bad enough that he was paralyzed from the waist down, and now I'd have to kill him? I knew it wouldn't actually be me doing the deed, but at the end of the day he'd still be dead.
"Isn't there any other way around this? Can't we solve this without anyone dying? I know that Henry would kill me at once, but… I don't want to sink down to his level. I'm better then him." I said, clenching my hand around the damn stone. Who knew such a small thing could cause so much trouble.
"I'm afraid not. Actually, Bella and I made a deal with my father. If I don't bring that stone back to New York within two days time, the clock starting as soon as we land in Port Angeles, You and I will die, along with Emmett and Bella. So if you really think about it, it's ether Henry, or us. Personally, I would prefer if you gave him the stone." Boots said casually, as if his own death wasn't that big of a deal to discuss.
"If Bella's life is at stake then I guess I don't have a choice. Rather him then her. And I don't want you or Emmett to die ether…" I said slowly.
"Well, then grab whatever you need and lets go. Emmett and your lovely lady is waiting for us at the airport. The limo is waiting for us downstairs." I was already packing everything that was within my reach, throwing on a pair of jeans instead of my pajama pants.
I almost jumped out of my own skin when I hurried out of the bathroom. The person standing there was certainly not Boots.
This man was tall, strong and if it was one thing he wasn't, it was mentally handicapped. He looked smart, and, even I had to admit, handsome.
"What, how- Where is Boots?" I asked, perplexed. I didn't really know what to say. On one hand, he was wearing Boots clothes, heck, he even smelled as bad as Boots did, but on the other hand, he was just so…good looking. It was such a huge contrast to the Boots that had been sitting in the cart only moments ago.
"I am Boots, Edward! Don't worry about this minor detail. It's better that you know as little as possible, for your own safety I mean. Seeing as you already know about the vampires, I'm sure you're used to seeing…unusual things by now." He said, taking a last drag from his cigarette, dropping the bud into his cart.
I snapped out of my daze and just shook my head, not even bothering to ask about it. He was right of course, I had seen a lot of strange things lately, but I don't think I'd ever seen anything quite as weird as something like this. A minor detail was the last thing I would call it.
"Well hurry up then, our plane leaves tonight." He said impatiently, shifting his weight from one foot over to another.
I grabbed my jacket and keys and bag and walked out of my apartment, Boots hot on my heals. He walked down the stairs while I locked the door, and I hurried down after him. Just like he'd promised, a limo was waiting for us outside, one huge guy holding the door open for us, bowing his head slightly to Boots right before we got in.
"Is this the boy?" A gruff voice asked from the shadows of the limo. It reeked of Cigar and booze, and a group of the biggest guys I'd ever seen were sitting quietly with their eyes placed on me, analyzing my every move. I didn't know which one of them that spoke, but I had a feeling it was the one smoking and drinking, sitting opposite from Boots and I.
"Don't question me, Alphorn." Boots snarled angrily, and I could practically see him growing in both height and size. He was clenching both of his fists and staring angrily at the big guy with the black hair. Actually, all of them had black hair.
I pushed my glasses further up my nose carefully, trying to make myself as invisible as possible. I didn't like this one bit, knowing that each one of these guys wanted to kill me for having their stone.
"Always so angry little brother. Relax, Bootzanius, I just wanted to know if this was the famous Edward Masen." He said, taking a healthy gulp of…whatever kind of booze he had in his crystal glass. Bootzanius. That was obviously Boots real name.
"Well obviously this is him, why the hell would I bring some stranger in here, and spend almost forty five minutes in someone's apartment, if this wasn't the right guy? Of course this is the right guy!" He yelled angrily, slamming his fist into the seat. I couldn't see why he was getting so worked up over a few comments from his brother, but then again, I didn't know their background ether.
Alphorn sighed and rolled his eyes, not even bothering to look at his brother.
"You have to excuse Boots, he's never gotten over the fact that he won't take over after our father dies. It is a… sensitive subject." He said with a sly smile on his lips, staring at Boots through his lashes without even blinking.
"That's not what this is about and if you'd just stop thinking about yourself for one second-"
"Can I see the stone please? I'd like to see what I'll be bringing back to father." Alphorn said, interrupting Boots little rant. I glanced over at Boots, only to see his flustered face glaring daggers at his brother.
"You, won't be delivering anything." He seethed, pointing a shaking finger at his brother.
Alphorn only looked at me expectantly, as if his brother hadn't even opened his mouth.
I glanced over at Boots, and he nodded for me to take it out and show it. It seemed as if everyone in the car besides Boots straightened up as I reached for the stone in my pocket, and all of them leaned forward as I loosened up my fingers and revealed the stone. It seemed dull, and lifeless as it sat in my hand, its reflection shining innocently in all of their eyes.
"Magnificent." Alphorn breathed, staring at it with glazed eyes.
"In all my years, I never thought I'd see the stone in real life. Our ancestors would be proud." He whispered, his hand reaching out as if he wanted to touch it, but he stopped half way there and pulled his hand back, almost regretfully.
"How long has this been gone?" I asked, closing my hand around it and slipping it into my pocket. All of them snapped out of their trance and sat back into their seats.
"Thousands of years." Alphorn answered, glancing up at me before casting his eyes down into his drink with a thoughtful look on his face. I nodded and leaned back in my seat, staring out of the window and trying to ignore all the eyes on my pocket. It seemed as if that was the only thing on their mind right now.
"What happens if you touch it? I don't really get why you can't just take it. And yes, I know that you have to take it by force and all that, but what happens if you touch it right now?" I asked Boots. He was the only person, or creature now I guess, that I was comfortable with around here.
"We would die." Alphorn answered simply before Boots could open his mouth, staring at me expectantly, as if waiting to see if I would throw it at one of them.
"Oh." It was all I could think to say. It wasn't really the answer I was expecting. Hell, I don't even know what I was expecting.
"Um, the vampires that gave me the stone told me that no vampire would be able to find me with this stone… How am I suppose to see Bella and Emmett? How am I suppose to talk to them? Will they feel anything if I touch them?" I asked Boots again, and I hoped that he would be the one who answered me this time. Alphorn was a special character, and I wasn't sure if I really liked him all that much.
"You will see them just fine, but they won't even notice that your there, not even if you touch them. It's the stone that's protecting you from them. You could slice your wrists open and hold it up to their mouths and they still wouldn't notice that you were there." Boots explained, sending a small smirk towards his brother, as if answering before him was something to brag about. I wasn't sure if I liked the new Boots or the old one.
"So I can say whatever I want to them and they won't hear a thing?"
"That's right. But, as soon as you hand the stone over to Henry, they'll be able to see you again." He said with a small smile. I gave a hesitant smile back. They could explain all of this to me a hundred times and I'd still be confused as hell.
The limo finally stopped outside of the airport, and Boots shrugged out of his huge, brown leather jacket, and I was surprised to see him wearing slacks and a blue button up shirt underneath it. It was funny how a jacket could make such a huge difference. He looked like a bum with it on, but a business man with it off.
"Come on already, you'll never look as good as me no matter what, so there is no reason for you to even try looking presentable." Alphorn said arrogantly, straightening out his own jacket and grabbing a black walking cane from one of the body guards before strolling into the airport like he owned the place. And by the way he was dressed, it looked like he could be the owner of it.
"I hate that guy." Boots muttered angrily, combing his fingers through his inky hair a few times hurriedly before grabbing my sore upper arm and practically dragging my tired ass into the airport after the rest of his family.
Why was it that every single time something remotely huge was happening, I was tired off my ass? I mean, was it so much to ask to just be awake and alert? I didn't think so.
It only took us ten minutes to get through security. For some reason, they let us walk on ahead of all the lines, and Alphorn only had to nod to the security guards and they let us walk past, earning more then a few complaints from the other people in the lines behind us.
I saw them as soon as we were past security. I only had eyes for Bella, although Emmett was hard to miss because of his size.
"Bella!" I yelled, a huge smile breaking out across my face. The wound on my cheek hurt, and I realized that this was the first time I'd really smiled since I left Forks.
She didn't look at me though, she was looking at Boots, and Emmett was looking around the room expectantly. That's when I remembered that nether of them could nether see nor hear me.
"Is he here?" Was the first thing out of Bella's mouth as soon as Boots and the rest of his family reached them. I reached out and touched her cheek, but she didn't notice it. Not even when I pulled a peace of her hair behind her ear.
"He's cupping your cheek at the moment." Boots answered, glancing over at me. Bella's hand shot up and she touched her other cheek carefully.
"The other one, my dear." Boots corrected softly, hiding his smile behind his hand.
"How come I can't feel him?" She asked, touching my hand as if she was touching her own cheek.
"It's the stone, darling. Alphorn is the name. It's a pleasure to finally meet you. I've heard such great things of you and your…brother." Alphorn said in what I assume was his charming voice, glancing over at a scowling Emmett.
"Gate 76 is now open and ready for boarding on the plane to Seattle," a woman's voice called throughout the airport speakers.
"Well, that's us. Boots, I can't believe you didn't order a private plane. This is almost degrading." Alphorn huffed in annoyance before turning on his heal and walking out of there before anyone could answer.
"I've missed you Bella, so much. You're all I've been thinking about ever since I left." I said quietly, walking closely beside her.
"Edward says that he's been missing you, and that he's been thinking about you ever since he left." Boots translated to Bella, and both she and Emmett gave him a weird look.
"Why are you acting so… differently now?" Emmett asked, speaking up for the first time since I had arrived.
"My brother tends to change my mood like this." He answered with a shrug, handing his plane ticket to one of the awe struck stewardesses with a friendly smile that practically made her swoon.
"Can you tell him that I've been missing him too? And that -"
"He can hear you, my dear. He is walking besides you right now."
"I've been driving the rest of the family crazy. Especially Alice. I've been pestering her with questions about where you've been, what you've been doing, if you were okay. I've been worried sick ever since she couldn't see you anymore." She said with an embarrassed look on her face, staring down at the floor.
"What does she mean, Alice can't see me anymore?" I asked Boots, taking my seat beside Bella in first class.
"It's because of the stone, Edward. Everything is about the stone now." Boots answered in a bored voice, staring at his brother who was flirting with the same stewardess who'd smiled at Boots only moments ago. It seemed that these brothers were competitive in absolutely everything they did.
It wasn't long before the plane was in the air, and Bella and I used all of our time passing notes. She might not be able too see, or hear, or feel me being there. But she could read the notes that I put in her lap. It was more private anyway, and we didn't have to bother Boots with the translation all the time. He was in a foul mood anyway, and it seemed like he wanted to be left alone.
"What are you guys writing about?" Emmett asked curiously, leaning in between our seats and staring down at the peace of paper that was laying in her lap.
"He's just telling me about everything that happened after he left, and I'm answering any question he's got and updating him on everything that's been going on in Forks." She answered him.
"Did you tell him about Henry?" He wondered, staring at my forehead instead of into my eyes, his golden eyes curiously scanning my whole seat.
"I've told him everything, Emmett. I just can't wait until we can see you again. It's like…It's like I know your there, I just can't see you. Its very frustrating, to be honest." She said sheepishly, trying to look at me too.
I fished the damn stone out of my pocket, holding it up to my face.
I couldn't wait until all of this was over.
Hope all of you liked it. Not the best chapter, I know. I actually didn't like this one all that much but as long as you like it it doesn't really matter.