A/N: Well folks, this is the end of The Blood Crystal. Sorry it's taken a while to get this out. I hope you enjoyed it, if so drop me a little love and let me know. Here's the news...
NEW STORY–I'm starting to write Tapas at Twilight, there's a teaser at the bottom of this chapter. If you'd like to know when it's updated, please put me on Author Alert.
Thanks again so much to everyone who reviews, I love reading every single one of your comments!
And a huge shout out to my Super Beta, Sweetthunder, she's awesome. Go check out her story-Mike Newton Discovered, it's like nothing you've ever read about Mikey Pooh.
And now *sniff *sniff, here's the conclusion to our romantic adventure.
Edward and I spent the rest of the night talking about what we'd been doing since Peru, among other activities. Kissing Edward felt like drinking in the sweetest water after being parched for the last eight months. It was almost as though we had never been apart, almost.
He explained everything that happened in their meeting with the Volturi. I was so thankful that they had no real knowledge of me. And I was especially grateful that all of the Cullens got out of there safely. The Volturi seemed like a jealous and rather ruthless coven. I really didn't ever want to meet them. I was intrigued, though, that the one named Marcus could tell that Edward's heart and soul were spoken for.
I nearly blew a gasket when Edward told me that he had given Jessica his contact information. She was so fired. I talked about just quitting my writing entirely, but Edward completely freaked out. He went on and on about how that was the only thing that brought us back together and how could I turn my back on it? etc. He was so dramatic but in the end he convinced me to keep at it for a while longer. When it was time for us to truly disappear I would quit. Edward suggested I start using a pen name like Florence or LaVyrle, very romantic. He may love my writing, but I think he enjoys the idea of teasing me for an eternity more.
It was thinking about the day I would have to "die" for show that I was truly glad for my gift. I could be around my Mom and Dad without much scandal and I would be able to make my separation from them easier for them to bear. That thought brought me more comfort than I realized.
The next day was too sunny out so we spent the whole of the day cuddling and loving each other. I made a few calls to some other literary agents and they were more than happy to take me on after I kicked Jessica to the curb. That evening we drove to the outskirts of the city and did some hunting.
His beauty and grace still completely enthralled me and I greedily absorbed every image of him stalking his prey. I suppose he did the same when I was hunting too.
As the night drew to a close we returned to my apartment and cleaned up. Today was the day. I felt a confidence in myself I had never had before. I tried not to get too worked up though; I didn't want my inner monster making an appearance. I swiftly marched into the towering office building and sprinted up the stairs. I swept past Lauren, and straight into Jessica's office, with Edward on my heels.
She looked completely surprised to see me and it took a moment for her to regain her composure, most likely due to Edward's presence.
"Be..Bel...Bella! What a surprise! And Edward? I see you were able to find Isabella huh?" She was stammering like an idiot, and I felt just a twinge of guilt for what I was about to do. It was a very very small twinge.
"Yeah, Jessica. Funny thing, Edward decided to wait for me downstairs that day that I was here."
"Oh?! Well, how fortunate that you guys were able to hook up then huh?" She was practically squirming in her seat, her heart rate sped up and her eyes were looking everywhere but mine, lingering especially over the exquisite figure of my mate. Edward crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes and I could only imagine what Jessica was thinking about him right now. He looked positively glorious and dangerous and heartbreakingly sexy all at the same time.
I was done with her games now. "You lied."
"Huh?" That was a genius response.
"You lied about having a way to contact Edward and I'm done with your crap," I began to giggle when I thought about what I was going to say next. In true Donald Trump fashion I looked up at her with my fingertips tented together and said, "you're fired."
"But I...I...Bella you can't..."
"Save it Jessica. I just did. I'll expect you to turn over any and all pertinent documents to my new agent when he contacts you."
I looked up at Edward who was holding his hand out for me. "Ready Love?"
I nodded and pressed forward to kiss him firmly on the lips. He threaded his free hand in my hair and let out a satisfied groan before turning toward the desk. "Goodbye Jessica," he offered with a smirk.
I could hear her continue to splutter and curse and just as the office door closed she let out a frustrated "Arrrrrrgghhhh". I could just imagine her face turning purple and her fists balled up next to her side. We burst into a fit of laughter as soon as we were out of the building.
"That felt so good. She was completely blind sided." I pondered for a moment about my writing as we walked back to my apartment. "Do you think Jasper could help me get some new paperwork so I can author under a pen name? I'm thinking something like Joan Wilder."
"I'm sure we can work something out. In fact, we should head back up there so you can give our family their memories back."
The fact that he used the words 'our family' were not lost on me and it made my heart soar. Edward looked over and smiled halfheartedly at me.
"Is something wrong?" I questioned, worried now that he was bringing me to his family's home out of a sense of obligation or something.
"No, I was just thinking about all of the memories you restored to me. You didn't....edit anything did you?"
I huffed feeling slightly offended that he would think I'd hold anything back from him. "No Edward you got the full, completely uncut version. Though I'm very tempted to omit the whole 'high as a kite Bella' from at least Emmett's mind."
Edward laughed heartily at that. "You'd have to keep it from Alice too, and you know if she ever found out you held back, as punishment, she'd probably drag you on a shopping marathon that would literally span continents." He wrapped his arms around me and nibbled my earlobe.
"Mmmm, you're probably right. Fine. Full disclosure policy, but I don't have to like it and I'm still stronger than you, and Emmett for that matter, so if he says anything I'll just pummel him." I squeezed Edward's waist with some of my waning newborn strength causing him to grunt.
"That's my girl," he said with a slightly pained ugh. I released him but kept one arm around his waist as we continued walking.
I didn't have much that needed to be packed so we didn't stay in Seattle for any longer than necessary.
The drive up to Alaska was fairly uneventful, I'm sure it was much more interesting for Edward now that he had some company. The conversation flowed easily until I started talking about Victoria. Edward immediately stiffened and cursed under his breath.
"I completely forgot about her. Once we had the crystal and Laurent was taken care of, I put the whole thing out of my mind. Thinking back though, she was quite put out that I killed James."
I hadn't really been in a state of coherency during that part of the fight, so I could only imagine. There would be no stopping me if someone killed Edward in front of my eyes. I would probably be crazed and looking for revenge. What would she do? What lengths would she go to? I shivered slightly and shook the thought out of my mind.
"What are you thinking, love?" Edward reached over the center console and took my hand in his.
"Just about Victoria, and what I would do if I witnessed my mate being torn to shreds." I said staring out at the Alaskan wilderness. It was a breathtaking view from the winding mountain road we were traveling on.
He winced at the visual I had just given him and began tapping his fingers on the steering wheel. The phone began to ring at the same time as he was reaching for it. He flipped it open and greeted whoever was calling.
"How soon Alice?" 'How soon for what?' was my initial thought. She had seen something and we needed to be ready for it.
I was looking over at Edward who was snapping his phone shut when a streak of red hair flew from the forest. Victoria. Speak of the devil and she shall appear, I thought sarcastically. She came at us with enough force to push the car over the edge of the road and down the ravine.
I braced myself slightly and began counting. The car rolled a total of eight times and flipped end over end another three times before it came to a stop at the bottom. I looked quickly over at Edward. His eyes were black and he looked positively ferocious. He turned to me and surveyed me quickly. "Are you okay?"
I nodded mutely as he ripped off the mangled door and leapt out of the car. I pushed on my door sending it flying away from me. My strength still startled me sometimes. I hopped out of the car and dusted the chunks of glass off of me. I could smell Victoria but she was keeping her distance. I turned when I heard Edward roar.
"Dammit woman! Look what you did to my car!" He was running his hand along the crumpled hood of his precious silver Volvo. A high pitched cackle erupted from the cover of the forest.
I moved closer to his side and took his hand in mine, trying to soothe him as best I could.
"Come out Victoria and stop being a coward, or is that your special vampire ability-knowing when to run away with your tail between your legs?" I called out.
With my taunts she screeched and plowed out of the trees towards us.
While Bella was taunting Victoria I tried to get a read on her thoughts but she was all over the place, like she had gone insane with rage and vengeance. All I could catch was 'mate for a mate' over and over. That was when I heard a second voice in my head, 'follow the plan–no thoughts– stupid...shhhhh'. And then I felt a pair of vice-like arms wrap around me. Whoever it was had to be a newborn, they were too strong but his actions were frantic and uncoordinated. His thoughts kept punching through his attempt to block me out. He's with Victoria.
I tried to struggle against his grip but he had a handful of my hair and his teeth poised at my throat, ready to rip my head off. All I could do was watch as my beloved stalked the crazy witch. They circled around gauging each others next move. I had been so focused on the newborn that had grabbed me, I didn't realize that Bella and Victoria were exchanging words.
"I'm not going anywhere Victoria," Bella spat.
"You'll be dead in a matter of moments. I've been watching you and you're nothing special."
Bella smirked and narrowed her eyes. She concentrated for a moment and then Victoria stopped dead in her tracks. In a swift movement Bella tackled her to the ground and began pounding on her.
"And this is for slamming me up against a boulder," Bella said as she pulled Victoria up by the shoulders and slammed her back down. Victoria never moved a muscle. Instead Bella stood up, brushed the dirt and debris from her clothing and walked over towards me.
"Don't come any closer, I'll tear his head off," screamed the young man holding me.
"What is your name?" Bella purred.
"R...Ri...Riley," he stuttered out.
"Hmmm, well Riley, I hope that you enjoyed your time with Victoria, because I'm afraid it's at an end," Bella continued to advance on us. I could hear his fragmented thoughts becoming more and more frantic.
Bella stopped and closed her eyes. She wrinkled her brow and took in a deep and unnecessary breath. Her face was set in concentration, but the corners of her mouth were turned down. She didn't like what she was thinking about, that much I could tell just from her body language.
After about thirty seconds she looked up and focused in on Riley. He dropped his arms to his side and marched over to Victoria, much like an automaton. He lifted up the still unmoving Victoria and made his way back to the Volvo.
Riley was stroking her hair and set her in the front seat. "It's too cold Vicky, too cold. I need to start a fire." In her head she was screaming, Riley what are you doing? No, Riley, No no no no NOOOOOOOOO.
Those were her final thoughts as the newborn settled himself in the driver seat and lit his clothing on fire. He then reached over and lit Victoria's pants on fire as well.
"Bella, what were you thinking when Victoria stopped moving?" I just had to know.
"She was starting to really annoy me with all her dancing around so I just wished that she would stop moving." She shrugged her shoulders and continued to stare into the now raging fire.
I snaked my arm around Bella's waist and moved us back away from the car. Bella made sure that her purse and ID were far enough away that when the authorities found the crash, they'd presume Bella to be dead.
"I'm sorry about your car Edward. After thinking about it, it seemed like a good way to kill two birds with one stone, or three, if you count Riley." She hunched her shoulders and had the most dejected look on her face. I knew it killed her all over again to have to do something like this to her parents.
I pulled her close and took her face in my hands. I knew she'd be crying right now if she still could. "I love you Bella. Forever." I slowly leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her lips. She closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around my neck and pressed in more fervently.
What started as an innocent kiss of comfort and reassurance turned into a desperate need to bind her to me for eternity. She greedily accepted my open mouth kisses, her hand tugging roughly in my hair. I held on to her tightly lifting her up and ravaging her lips and neck.
"Bella, I want you to be mine," I whispered huskily.
"I am yours, for eternity Edward. I think I have been since the moment I saw you."
"Marry me, Love." Shoot, I didn't mean for it to come out that way. This was NOT the atmosphere I had planned on, when asking Bella to be my eternal companion. I'm such an idiot.
She stopped her movements and looked deeply into my eyes. I'm sure I had the most ridiculous mix of emotions playing on my face, annoyance at myself to hopefulness. She raised an eyebrow and began to smile.
"I thought you'd never ask," she replied crashing her lips back onto mine. I was too stunned to respond immediately. She said yes dummy, kiss her back. I snapped back into awareness and traced her lips with my tongue. We made out like a couple of teenagers for a good fifteen minutes before I began to pull away.
She moaned softly as a light shiver swept through her body. I hugged her to me tightly and nuzzled just below her ear. "We're not too far from the house, are you ready to face our family?"
Bella sighed and looked back over at the burning car. She turned back to me and said, "I really am sorry about your car."
"Don't worry about it sweetheart. I've still got the Aston Martin," I said nonchalantly but inside I was thinking, 'Dang, I really am gonna miss that car. Maybe I'll just get another one.'
We made sure that the fire wouldn't cause too much damage to the surrounding forest. I placed an anonymous call to the police alerting them to the crash. We hid in the forest and watched as the authorities arrived. We stayed long enough to see the initial survey of the scene. They found Bella's things and got the fire put out. Riley and Victoria had long since turned to ash, so Bella used her power to make the detectives think that the fire had burned so hot that it cremated our bodies. She was now officially dead.
A quiet sob escaped her lips as we ran through the forest toward our home. It would be a long time before she was really able to get over this loss. Sensing her distress I slowed down and took her hand. "Bella, we can visit your parents, in secret, and you could maybe use your ability to help them cope with the loss. Maybe Jasper would be willing to join us and provide them with a sense of calm?"
She sniffed and looked up at me. "I'd like that Edward. Thank you," she whispered.
"Anything for you, Love." We took off again and made it back to the large cabin in under an hour.
Edward was being so sweet. He understood how hard the whole confrontation with Victoria and Riley had been. I guess he didn't really need to read my mind to know what I needed, we were that connected.
I started feeling nervous and excited as we came up to the house. The Cullens certainly didn't do anything halfway. The cabin was enormous. It was perched on a hill overlooking a valley and small lake, and was surrounded by thick forest. This was a perfect spot for a family of vampires.
As we approached the front porch, the door swung open and everyone piled out. Carlisle and Esme looked just as lovely and perfect as they did before. Jasper had his arms wrapped lazily around Alice from behind. Alice on the other hand was bouncing up and down, she knew something big was about to happen. Emmett was just smiling his big goofy, normal Emmett smile, while Rosalie was trying to look aloof while sizing me up, arms crossed in front of her chest. I sighed inwardly, will I never meet her approval?
Edward and I slowly walked hand in hand up to the bottom step. He turned and looked over at me with his beautiful crooked smile and simply nodded. I closed my eyes and released all of the memories I had taken from them, from my family.
I opened my eyes and stifled the giggles that threatened to erupt as I watched the curtains being drawn from their minds. I was starting to get really good at using my ability. Slowly, understanding dawned on their faces. Alice was the first to react though.
"BELLA!!!!" She shrieked as she launched herself at me. I kind of expected that reaction so I was braced for it. We spun around and she held on fiercely.
"Oh my gosh, you were gone, and then Edward was so sad, but we didn't know why. And then I would see you and...and then the book...and the visions...and I thought you were dead... but you're here...and...and," then she turned on Edward, "and I can't believe you asked her to marry you like that you idiot!"
Edward cringed and shook his head. "I know Alice, it didn't happen like I thought it would, but I don't regret it."
I peeled myself out of Alice's tiny arms and took both of Edward's hands in mine. "I don't either. It was the perfect moment."
At that, I turned back to the rest of the Family. Carlisle came over and gave me a big hug, Esme was right behind him. I felt a little awkward with Esme, because I hadn't really spent much time with her, but that dissipated quickly. I felt nothing but love and acceptance flow from her.
Jasper came up next to Alice and gave me a side hug and welcomed me into the family. Rosalie slowly made her way forward and seemed like she was giving me the once over. She tilted her head and I heard the low rumble from Edward's chest. He must not have been happy about what she was thinking. She masked her face and gave me a half smile. "Welcome to the family Bella. Hopefully you can keep Emoward in check." She smirked and backed up on to the porch again.
Emmett was the last to step forward. "It's good to have you back squirt," he said as he ruffled my hair. I swatted his hand away and noticed the mischievous gleam in his eye. "It's too bad narcotics won't have much of an effect on you now. That could've made for some awesome campfire entertainment," he said as he started to run away.
Oh no he didn't. He ran through the clearing all the while singing, "Ooohh here she comes, watch out boy she'll chew you up. Ooohh here she comes, she's a maneater." I quickly chased him down and plowed into him. He caught me around the waist and we struggled a bit. I hooked my leg around his and rolled him over pinning his shoulders to the ground. He wiggled underneath me but I kept him pinned to the ground.
"Emmett," I hissed, "not another word of that incident or I'll make you forget how to have sex."
His eyes bugged out of his head for a moment, but then he narrowed them, "you wouldn't."
"Don't test her you big dumb oaf," shouted Rosalie. Jasper and Edward were roaring with laughter, while Carlisle was shaking his head and Alice and Esme were snickering softly.
Alice piped up, "You don't want to see what Rosalie does to you if you don't agree Em."
Emmett relaxed and signaled his surrender. I jumped up and held my hand out to him. He accepted it and then scooped me up onto his back. He ran us back to our family and set me down next to Edward. As he walked away he started humming the tune of the song. Rosalie swatted the back of his head and told him to shut up.
"What?" he whined. "She said not another word. I wasn't talking, so it doesn't count." He then stuck his tongue out at me like a five year old.
"Watch it Emmett, I think she's serious about this one, there is no humor coming from her," Jasper noted.
Emmett sighed, "fine. Not another mention."
I turned to Edward, who's eyes were shining with happiness. I smiled and leaned in to his chest. He wrapped his strong arms around me and I knew that forever would be perfect.
"I love you," I whispered into his ear.
"I love you too, my Bella."
A/N: So there it is. I hope I got everything wrapped up that needed to be taken care of. And thanks again to everyone who has read and enjoyed this story! As always Reviews=Love!
And now here's a very tiny teaser for Tapas at Twilight
Summary: Single mom Bella loses her job and decides to follow her dream of opening her own restaurant. She has a ton of hurdles to overcome, one being her noisy upstairs neighbor. Can she find success and maybe a little bit of love along the way? AH, AU, Canon pairs
"Bella, you home sweetie?" I smiled at my mother's disheveled appearance. It looked like she'd fallen asleep reading one of her romance novels again.
"Yeah mom, I'm home," I whispered.
"How was work?" She always tried to show some interest in what I was doing.
"That good huh?"
"Chef Beaufort was on one tonight, I'm just lucky he didn't bite my head off. I did get several compliments on that dish I was playing around with the other night, though."
"Oohhh that was a good one. I'm glad hon," as she let out a huge yawn.
"Did you hear from Phil?"
"Yeah, they should be back in town in a couple days."
"Good. So how did everything go at school today?"
"Fine, Mrs. Yates sent home a writing assignment that's due next week. I think Nessie wants you to help her with that."
The first chapter will probably be posted tomorrow...Author alert so you'll know!