Summary: AU set five years after the end of Eclipse (Epilogue - what epilogue?). "I'm exactly right for you, Bella. It would have been effortless for us — comfortable, easy as breathing. I was the natural path your life would have taken… If the world was the way it was supposed to be, if there were no monsters and no magic…" Jacob Black to Bella, Eclipse: Chapter 26, p.599. Bella chooses Jacob in Eclipse. The world isn't exactly the way it's supposed to be, but Bella is well on her way to her happy ending when Fate rears it's ugly head.
Pairings: Normal Cullen Pairings, Normal Werewolf Pairings, Past & Present J/B, Past E/B, End Pairing -/-? (It's a surprise,
Warnings: Spoilers for the first three books.
Wow. It's been like three years since I updated. I really have no excuse other than I fell out of the Twilight fandom after the release of Breaking Dawn. That plus college and now graduate school has kept me ridiculously busy. I'm working on a seminar paper on Twilight, however, and after reading through the series again inspiration struck! I can't promise very regular updates as school keeps me busy, but I can promise it will be within the next month or so!
If There Were No Monsters and No Magic
You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days
I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it.
I had hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded
That for me it isn't over.
Never mind, I'll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don't forget me, I beg
I remember you said,
"Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead."
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?
Adele-Someone Like You
It took Bella nearly an hour to convince the Cullens that she was, in fact, perfectly fine. Or as fine as she could be given the circumstances at any rate. Not that this seemed to console certain members of the family, but Edward always had been prone to overreaction. In the end, she had conceded to spending the night in one of the many guest bedrooms—one that seemed to be personalized especially for her, along with a crib for Catherine.
Alice was, unaspiringly, largely unapologetic. "Well," she had said as she flitted around the room, opening drawers and rummaging through the closet to produce pajamas for both Bella and Catherine. "I might have seen that you would be spending some time here."
Bella had only sighed. She knew better than most that it was just easier to agree with Alice.
The rest of the night had gone fairly smoothly surprisingly. She had expected some difficulties when it came to bedtime because Catherine was rather finicky about new surroundings, but she had fallen asleep almost immediately. Of course, that was probably more due to Emmett wearing her out than anything else, but after the day she'd had, Bella would take it.
The only thing that hadn't gone smoothly was Bella falling asleep herself. For some reason, she felt unusually restless. She stayed in bed under the pretense of attempting sleep until the babies decided that bouncing on her bladder was fun. It was only then that she left the protection of her new room.
However, no sooner had she stepped out into the hall did she realize she'd forgotten what Alice had said about the bathroom. She was sure that Alice had told her which room it was, but for the life of her she couldn't remember. She tried the door she thought it might be—the second door on the right—only to find herself in a very lavish bedroom. A lavish bedroom covered in her photographs. A lavish bedroom containing Edward, who was currently staring at her with his head tilted to one side and a perplexed look on his face.
The breath whooshed out of her as she looked from one photograph to the other. He had nearly all of her entire collection on his bedroom wall.
"You have my photographs," Bella said inanely with a slight inflection in her voice as if she wasn't quite sure whether it was a question or a statement.
"I—yes," Edward said. He shuffled the papers in his hand, placed them on his desk, and then pushed himself out of his chair in one fluid movement. "You're very talented, but of course you must know that."
"Bathroom," she blurted out a minute later, breaking the uncomfortable silence that had fallen. "Alice told me where it was, only obviously I got it wrong because…"
"It's just across the hall."
She was just turning to go when Edward called out to her. Hesitantly, she turned back around.
She waited, an expectant look on her face, but for the first time in probably ever, Edward seemed to be at a loss for words.
"Pleasant dreams," he said at last.
Not knowing what else to do, she settled on just nodding before fleeing for the bathroom.
The next morning Bella awoke feeling better than she had in days. It took her a moment to remember exactly where she was, but once she had, she settled back down onto the pillow. Until, that is, she happened to glance at the alarm clock on her bedside and saw that it was nearly noon.
Her eyes darted around the room before finally settling on the empty crib. Frantic, she was halfway out the door when she heard Catherine crying in the kitchen followed by a very familiar melodious voice.
"I think not. Cookies, though delicious, I'm sure, do not count as proper nutrition."
The scene Bella stumbled on caused her heart to thud painfully in her chest. Catherine was sitting in a booster seat at the picturesque dining room table while Edward, with the Cullens watching on, attempted to convince her to eat what appeared to be a gourmet meal filled with foods even she didn't recognize.
"Reasoning with a two year old never works," she said.
"Mama!" Catherine crowed happily, her tears forgotten the moment she caught sight of Bella.
"Ah," Edward said. "I suppose you're right, though I do have more insight into her mind than most." He tapped the side of his head with one of his long, pale fingers.
"You little faker," Bella said as she extracted the now squirming toddler from the booster seat and settled her onto her ever expanding lap. She surveyed the large banquet of food on the table before turning to Esme and Rosalie who seemed to be the most distressed by the situation. "This looks wonderful, but Catherine's always been a bit of a picky eater. I've found that simple foods are much easier. Do you have any carrots? Or apples?"
Five minutes later, Catherine was happily munching on a plate filled with apples slices and baby carrots while Bella herself was working on the large heaping plate of breakfast food that Esme had put in front of her. One by one the other Cullens had exited the room until only Alice was left with her.
"I'm surprised you didn't see this," she commented to Alice.
Alice's expression turned to one of petulance. "I can't see her clearly. You, I can see, but she's so fuzzy." She paused, her eyes going blank for a moment. "I can, however, see that Charlie let it slip to Renee that you left, so you should be expecting a phone call from her later today. She'll try and convince you to come to Jacksonville."
Bella sighed. Great, that was just what she needed. "Thanks for the warning."
Alice squeezed her arm gently. "It shouldn't be too bad. She doesn't seem angry."
A dark look flitted across Bella's face and a scoff escaped from her lips. "She wouldn't," she muttered.
At Alice's confused look, she continued. "She's probably happy. She's never agreed with my decision to…" She closed her eyes against the pain that welled in her chest. A tear spilled down her pale cheek. She took a moment or two to compose herself before speaking once again. "She hasn't been very supportive. It's been months since I last spoke to her. She doesn't even know I'm pregnant again."
Alice opened her mouth to speak, but before she could, her eyes went blank once more. Bella, recognizing the signs of a vision turned her attention back to Catherine who had somehow managed to get ahold of one of the syrup bottles while she was distracted and was in the process of squeezing it out all over the table and herself.
She smiled when she saw Bella's attention on her. "Sticky! Hands sticky!" she thrust her hands in Bella's face to prove her point.
"Oh, Kit-Kat, what am I going to do with you?"
In response, Catherine patted Bella on both cheeks with her sticky hands. "Sticky," she said again, her little face solemn. "Mama sticky."
"Yes," Bella agreed. "Mama is definitely sticky. How about a bath, and then we'll call Se-se?"
Catherine's squeal was answer enough.
Alice seemed to come out of her vision as Bella struggled to carry the sticky toddler out of the dining room. Her eyes were wide with horror. Before Bella could ask what was wrong, she plastered a cheerful smile on her face and flitted out of the room. Bella thought it was strange, but she didn't think too much about it because she had her hands full with Catherine.
By the time both she and Catherine were free of syrup, Alice was back to her normal—or normal for her—self. The only strange thing was that the other Cullens seemed to have disappeared leaving the house oddly quiet.
"They went hunting," Alice told her when she asked. Her voice was calm and even, but there was a slight edge to her voice that hadn't been there before. "How about we go back to your house? We can have a girl's night, won't that be fun?"
"I don't know," she said wearily.
Alice's eyes were wide and beguiling. Bella scowled briefly before sighing. "Fine. Let me just try calling Seth again."
She dialed Seth's cell phone number and waited for him to answer. The phone rang several times before clicking over to voice mail.
"Huh," she said, tucking the phone back into her pocket. "That's weird."
"What's weird?" Alice asked as she deftly dressed Catherine in an outfit Bella had never seen before.
"He didn't answer. He's never not answered before. He's ridiculously good about it. He's so devoted to Catherine."
Bella worried her bottom lip between her teeth, an uneasy feeling settling into her stomach. Seth had said something was going on on the reservation last night, but Bella had dismissed it thinking it was just another of Jacob's excuses. Maybe…maybe something terrible had happened.
She pulled the cell phone out of her pocket and dialed Seth's number again. When he didn't answer, she tried Jacob's. And then Leah's.
No one answered.
Finally, she dialed Emily's number, but again no one answered. It just rang and rang and rang.
She tried off and on all afternoon to get ahold of someone on the reservation. She was tempted to call Charlie, but she didn't want him mixed up in whatever was going on—if there was something going on.
Alice tried to distract her, tried to convince her that everything was fine, but Bella remained apprehensive all the same.
"You can't see the wolves," Bella reminded her. "So you can't say for certain that everything is fine."
To that, Alice had had no retort.
Catherine had picked up on her anxiety causing her to become clingier than usual, and by the time she had finally fallen asleep, Bella was at her wit's end.
"Sit down!" Alice finally told her after watching her pace around the living room for the fourth time. "You're going to make yourself sick—that much I can see. I know it must be difficult, but you have to take care of yourself."
Bella took a deep breath and sank down onto the couch, knowing that Alice was right. She allowed Alice to put on the first of two movies, but afterward she could scarcely remember the title of the movies let alone what they'd been about. Still, she had to admit that she had enjoyed spending time with Alice. Over the years she had missed Alice terribly, but she had known that keeping in touch with Alice would have done much more harm than good especially considering Jacob's feelings about the Cullens.
Bella slept fitfully that night, tossing and turning for hours. Sometime near dawn, she finally gave up on sleep and wondered through the house looking for Alice. She found a short note on the refrigerator saying she was nipping out for a quick bite and would be back soon. She was just about to head back to bed when her cell phone rang.
It was Seth.
"You're okay," she breathed out in relief.
There was silence for a moment. "Yeah, 'course I'm okay. Why wouldn't I be?"
"I've been trying to get a hold of you all day."
Seth paused again. "Oh. Well, I didn't have any missed calls. Bad reception, I guess. It'll probably take me another day or so to get there. Maybe sooner if I can manage it. Are you okay? How's Kit-Kat?"
"We're fine. It's you I was worried about. I couldn't get a hold of anyone on the reservation. What's going on there? Is everything okay—is Jacob okay?"
When Seth spoke again, his voice sounded odd, strangled almost. "Don't worry about a thing, Bells. Everything is just fine. Give Cathy a kiss for me, okay?"
He cut her off before she could continue. "I'll call you again when I can."
The line cut off then signaling the end of the phone call. She listened to the dial tone for several seconds before finally hanging up.
She felt marginally better having heard from Seth, but she knew that something was going on.
The only question was what.