Thank you so much to you all for staying supportive and faithful during all of the series, during my writer's block, and during the troubling end of the story. And last, a humongous thank you to bluesands22 – Amber – whom has made this alternate ending possible, that has made my Cullen's happiness possible. Hope I redeem myself in your eyes too. Please, please review because I know so many of you are reading but not reviewing. I have no qualms in messaging all of you that have this story on alert. Here's a little incentive, anyway: REVIEWERS WILL RECEIVE EXTRA SCENES THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT INTO THE TRILOGY.
I growled, pushing my shield away from my body, away from everyone, until it engulfed Jasper and repelled all of the offensives. I had only taken away my shield for a second. Just a second, to try and protect him.
But a second was too long.
It had all been a diversion. The few remaining members of the Volturi guard and their supporters advanced; all clamouring towards me. They all wanted a hand in this. I felt the limbs being ripped from my body, and all I could see was Jasper's face- horrified, disgusted, and powerless. I would not leave him; I could not leave him.
Power surged through my arms, through the core of my body, and I felt every fibre of every being holding on to me, every fibre of every being that had ever touched me, had ever seen me, felt me or thought of me.
I felt my shields come back, my powers engulfing me once more, but also fizzling away with each second as the blast destroyed each offending Volturi that had latched on to me, that had tried to take me away from my family, my love, my friends. A golden glow surrounded me – it wasn't visible, but I felt it, a heat, a sharp pang in my chest, a breath that seemed needed all of a sudden.
Jasper's hands pulled at me, kissing me and caressing me. "God, Bella, Bella, oh thank God...are you alright? Speak to me Bella, darling, talk to me!"
"I'm fine, Jasper." My voice was different; like liquid – fluid running through the muscles and the air. Warmth ran through my body, and I opened my eyes to see my family and faithful friends around me.
A gasp escaped Rosalie's mouth. "Bella...your eyes..."
"What?" I asked, my voice coarse, a little shrill. My breathing sped up as I took in all of the wide eyes trained on me. "What?"
Rosalie was frowning; she looked positively distraught.
"Rose...what is it? What's wrong with my eyes? Are you all going to just stand there?"
There was an unfamiliar rushing in my ears as I looked around me wildly, a fluttering in my chest that felt like an echo. I looked at Jasper, tears pooling in my eyes. His eyes were shining, his mouth set in a painful line.
"Jasper? What is it? What's wrong?"
His hand reached out to me tentatively, towards my chest, where my dead heart lay. The fluttering continued in my breast, the loud pounding in my ears like the beat of a drum as I tried to breathe slowly. His cold fingertips hit my skin before his palm, and with the touch his eyes closed slowly.
His voice was gravel, low but still musical somehow. "I love you Bella. I love you so much, never forget that."
I held his face in between my fingers and felt the unusual chill of his granite skin. "What's wrong?"
Jasper seemed to jerk under my touch, and he drew a long, hollow breath, his eyes tight shut as he shuddered.
"Jasper?" I screeched. I wasn't aware of anything around me other than that no one was moving. He shuddered more, then stilled, slipping from his sitting position to the ground, his pale face against the coarse green grass. I let go, my hands covering my mouth as I sobbed and tears ran down my face.
Then, a breath escaped him, and steadily he moved more, even though he was still.
"What did I do?" I turned to Carlisle in horror, surprised to see a soft smile on his face. "Oh God, Jasper," I held my hands together, too scared to touch him. "Carlisle," I screamed, my throat pained by the force of it, "what have I done?"
Carlisle's voice was soft and watery as he spoke. "You can touch him, Bella, it's okay. You'll see. It's all okay." His fingertips clutched at Esme, whose eyes were still as wide as saucers, staring down at me and Jasper.
I reached a hand out to Jasper's face, caressing his smooth, warm skin gently. His eyes fluttered open, and I staggered backwards, breathing quick and frantically.
His eyes were blue.
I tried to hold back the scream that was steadily building in my chest as I pressed my hand gently to my husband's chest. Underneath my palm, I felt the steady thump of a beating heart. And thus, recognized the thrumming that I'd been feeling in my chest, and the pounding in my ears, and the reason everyone was transfixed on my eyes.
I couldn't hold back the hysterical scream that escaped me then.
I was human. My Jasper was human. We were human.
We could grow old. We could die. We could have children. My stomach rolled and I dry-heaved into the grass beside us. After all, I had drank nothing but blood for years. Salty tears stung my cheeks and I unconsciously flicked a tongue out to taste the salt, reminding me of exactly how hungry I was.
I looked up at Carlisle, and stuttered out the word that was clouding my thoughts. "Human?"
"Yes, Bella. And, it looks like Jasper is too."
Rose sobbed out loud, her knuckles standing out as she clenched her fists and her jaw.
Emmett said quietly, "Babe..."
"No, Emmett!" She shook with grief. "It's not fair. I just...I want it! I want the children, I want to grow old! And Bella had it, and now...And now you've got it again!" She sobbed, but unlike me, no tears escaped.
Jasper, lying on his side on the grass, sat up just as I got up to hold Rose.
"I'm so sorry, Rose. I really am, if I could give it to you, I would! You know I would!" I wrapped my arms around her, and felt her stiffen, and heard a hollow breath not unlike Jasper's in my ear.
I let go, and stepped back. "Rose?"
I had never heard anyone drowning, but Rosalie's gasping breaths sounded what I would imagine it to be. She fell to the floor, eyes wide open, body rigid, as she tried desperately to gain air. Emmett fell with her, as in sync as I was with Jasper. I reached towards Rose and Emmett growled.
"I...I don't...I'm sorry, I didn't want to hurt her..." Emmett never looked at me, eyes trained on Rose and I touched his shoulder in order to gain his attention.
The hollow breath that escaped him didn't scare me as much this time as it did the first. He hunched over Rose, the both of them shuddering and gasping for air as I stood and looked at Carlisle.
"It's me, isn't it?" I breathed. "It's me, I'm doing that to them!"
Carlisle smiled, and looked at Esme. She nodded. "Yes, Bella. And if it's possible, I'd like you to extend the favour to Esme and I."
Their hands, clasped, reached out to me.
Jasper was suddenly behind me, and I heard a smile in his voice with his sweet breath on my neck as he said, "Go on love. You can do this for them. You can do this for us all." I turned briefly to him and as our eyes met, blue and brown, I felt a rush of happiness and elation.
I looked at Esme and Carlisle, looking at me and then each other, and put my hands on theirs. They went down together, as Jasper had promised we would, but in a very different way.
Alice and Flynn clasped hands too, and I placed my hands on top of theirs.
By now, Rosalie and Emmett were both lying next to each other, holding hands and looking into each other's eyes.
When she turned to me, I noticed only one thing- her eyes. The violets I'd been imagining since I'd been told of her human colour were now embedded in the blonde's eyes, smiling up at me.
"Thank you. Thank you." She mouthed. And then, she turned back to Emmett as they sat up, and cried.
I had done so much damage in my life, hurt so many emotionally, mentally, physically. I had killed, and I had fought, and I had embodied evil. I had stood side by side with it and called it my brother.
I had lived longer than a human should; we all had. We'd cheated the world, cheated biology and science, seen wars and progression, seen things not even our grandchildren would have seen.
Now we breathed. Now, we bled. Now we redeemed ourselves.