Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, nor any of the characters. I just borrow them for my own selfish pleasure.
A/N: This was a little more complicated to write due to all the dialogue and trying to add in everyone's thoughts. The words in italics are thoughts Edward is able to hear. This started out as a short little one-shot, however, because it is longer than I expected I will add the rest in the next chapter.
Well, Bella is stubborn; I'll give her that. She's made up her mind this is what she wants, and she will stop at nothing until she gets it. Right now I am running through the woods, carrying her on my back, to my house. She is convinced that she's going to get my family's vote regarding her mortality. Little does she realize that this is just a frivolous request. The outcome of this "vote" doesn't really matter, I have made my decision and I stand by it.
After a few minutes of conversation, I notice the house come into view. "I'm just humoring you with this." I informed her as I motioned to the house. "It doesn't matter in the slightest what they say."
"This affects them now, too." She counters, referring to the demands made by the Volturi when we left Italy. The commanded that Bella die, physically, one way or another since she knows too much.
I shrugged to make her aware that I am not concerned with the outcome, the answer is still no. I flick on the lights as I lead her through the front door of my house. I am sure Alice would have informed everyone we were on our way as soon as Bella made her decision, but I wasn't listening to their thoughts to be certain. I call out to them, "Carlisle? Esme? Rosalie? Emmett? Jasper? Alice?" This should be interesting to say the least.
Bella jumped a little when she noticed Carlisle standing beside her. "Welcome back, Bella." He said with a smile. "What can we do for you this morning? I imagine, due to the hour, that this is not a purely social visit?"
Bella nodded back at my father. "I'd like to talk to everyone at once, if that's okay. About something important." Carlisle spoke to me with his thoughts before answering her. Alice warned us son; I am inclined to agree with her this time. This does involve the whole family now; it should be put to a vote. I was starting to feel worse about this. Carlisle was undecided at the moment - he wanted to see what we had to say. He was the head of this family, could I, would I do anything to stop him if he decided to change her? I could not help but notice Bella's eyes on me as well as Carlisle's. "Of course, why don't we talk in the other room?" My father answered her request.
As he led us to the dining room, which was really used as a conference room, I noticed the others started filing in behind us. Once we were seated Carlisle nodded towards Bella. "The floor is yours."
"Well," she stated. "I'm hoping Alice has already told you everything that happened in Volterra?"
"Everything," Alice said to her. I had to tell them everything Edward, and Bella is right, this DOES involve everyone now.
"And on the way?" Bella asks.
"That, too" Alice admitted. I am so excited. It's solidifying now, Edward. She is going to become one of us. You know you want this as much as she does, why do you keep fighting it?
Bella creased her eyebrows together, like she was concentrating on how to word what she was trying to say. "So, I have a problem," She began. "Alice promised the Volturi that I would become one of you. They're going to send someone to check, and I'm sure that's a bad thing – something to avoid. And so, now, this involves you all. I'm sorry about that." She said as she scanned the faces of my family, before finally turning her gaze to me. "But, if you don't want me, then I'm not going to force myself on you, whether Alice is willing or not."
Alice may be controlled, but I don't think she would be able to stop. It would tear this family apart if she lost control and did something irrevocable. I can not allow that. Esme opened her mouth to voice her concerns, but Bella held up a finger to stop her.
"Please, let me finish. You all know what I want. And I'm sure you know what Edward thinks, too. I think the only fair way to decide is for everyone to have a vote. If you decide you don't want me, then…I guess I'll go back to Italy alone. I can't have them coming here."
Is she insane? She is not going back there ALONE! A low growl bubbled up in my chest. Does this girl have a death wish? Nothing she says or does makes any sense!
"Taking into account, then, that I won't put any of you in danger either way, I want you to vote yes or no on the issue of me becoming a vampire." She concluded.
"Just a minute," I all but shouted. She glared at me, but she needed to know my plan. If this vote is based on the fact that the Volturi will be coming to make sure she is immortal, the others have the right to hear my plan as well.
"About the danger Bella's referring to, I don't think we need to be overly anxious." I began to explain, looking at everyone seated at the table as I spoke. "You see, there was more than one reason why I didn't want to shake Aro's hand there at the end. There's something they didn't think of, and I didn't want to clue them in." I was grinning widely now. I know my plan will work, no rash decisions need to be made.
"Which was?" Alice prodded. Edward, really, there isn't much they don't think of.
"The Volturi are overconfident, and with good reason. When they decide to find someone, it's not really a problem. Do you remember Demetri?" I directed this question directly to Bella. She shuddered, which I took to mean that she did. I was speaking a little quicker now, my plan sounded better when spoken out loud. "He finds people – that's his talent, why they keep him. Now, the whole time we were with any of them, I was picking their brains for anything that might save us, getting as much information as possible. So I saw how Demetri's talent works. He's a tracker – a tracker a thousand times more gifted than James was. His ability is loosely related to what I do, or what Aro does. He catches the…flavor? I don't know how to describe it…the tenor…of someone's mind, and then he follows that. It works over immense distances. But after Aro's little experiments, well…" I shrugged, I didn't really feel the need to finish. My family had already figured out what I was getting at.
"You think he won't be able to find me," Bella said flatly. A wave of hope rushed over me. Surely she could no longer use fear of the Volturi to get her way on this issue.
"I'm sure of it." I answered a little hint of amusement in my voice. "He relies totally on that other sense. When it doesn't work with you they'll all be blind."
"And how does that solve anything?" Bella sighed.
"Quite obviously, Alice will be able to tell when they're planning a visit, and I'll hide you. They'll be helpless," I was enjoying the visualization in my mind. "It will be like looking for a piece of straw in a haystack!"
Awesome! A little hide and seek - Cullen style! I gave Emmett a little glance as he clearly thought this plan better, more challenging at least.
"But they can find you," Bella countered.
"And I can take care of myself."
I got your back bro! Bring them on! Emmett laughed and reached across the table, extending his fist toward me. "Excellent plan, my brother." He said with the enthusiasm oozing in his voice. I reached out towards him, and bumped my fist with his.
"No," Rosalie hissed. I will not lose Emmett because of you!
"Absolutely not," Bella agreed.
"Nice" Jasper chimed in. A little excitement to break up the monotony. I'd love to see the look on their faces.
"Idiots," Alice added. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if you all are not testosterone driven hormonal human boys after all.
I noticed my mother glowering at me. Edward, don't you think you've put me through enough? You were gone for months, only to go to Volterra to end your life. I've just gotten my family back together, and this little scheme of yours is going to take them away!
Bella straightened up in her chair. Her jaw tightened just a bit. "All right, then. Edward has offered an alternative for you to consider," She said, clearly still determined. "Let's vote."
All dialogue comes from Stephenie Meyer's book New Moon, pages 528-533