NOTE: Hey everyone! After I posted the last chapter I decided an Epilogue might be something you all would enjoy! I had bits and pieces of this written for the first chapter of the sequel, but here it is a little early! It's a bit rough, but gets the general idea across, enjoy!
The next several days passed by in a blur of happiness with bits of worry thrown in. I was really too anxious and worried about Owen to work myself up into a respectable period of mourning for him. I felt like I was sitting on the edge waiting for him to decide what to do next, and then I'd be able to react accordingly.
Jake and I had spent every waking moment together, and most sleeping moments too. My parents were being surprisingly cool about letting Jake stay in my room, or I in his- most likely because they could hear everything we did and said- but still, I was appreciative.
I woke up for school early on Monday morning, with his warm arms around me. He wasn't awake yet and was snoring loudly. I smiled and kissed his nose. He didn't stir. From downstairs I could hear some sort of ruckus, too many people talking at once for me to make the words. Suddenly, Aunt Alice's voice cut through the den.
"What is he thinking?!" She screeched.
"Alice, you have to try to get a better picture of what happens after that...we can't take the first course of action." My father said, sounding not quite as upset as Alice, but definitely stressed.
Something was very wrong. I shook Jake awake and dragged him down the stairs, griping at me the whole way.
"What's going on?" I said when we stumbled into the living room. Jake looked instantly awake and on guard when he saw the worried faces of my family.
"Owen is going to Italy," Uncle Emmett said.
"No! He's going to get himself killed!" I shrieked.
"That's actually the least of our worries," Aunt Rose cut in. "Though of course we don't want that," she added when Grandpa Carlisle shot her a disapproving look.
"What are we more worried about?" I asked, sitting on the empty couch, worried that my legs would give out at any second. Jake sat next to me and put his arm protectively around my shoulders.
My father sighed deeply and sat down on my other side, putting his head in his hands. "Alice sees him making it there, every way we go at him he has a plan to get around us. When the Volturi find out that we've let yet another human in on our secret, they won't be pleased. They're always on the lookout for reasons to confront us. This gives them the perfect excuse."
My breathing was coming out in quick gasps by the time he finished. I had put all of us in the greatest danger imaginable, not to mention getting a perfectly wonderful and innocent person killed in the process.
"We don't know that they'll kill him," Dad said in response to my thoughts. "He's going to ask them to change him, and of course Aro will see all of his thoughts and know what has happened here. He might very well give into Owens request, he would be the perfect pawn. There is no denying that we planned on leaving him human, even after all he knew. He's the perfect airtight excuse to come after us."
The gasps turned into sobs as I listened to my father. "We have to stop him, let's go!"
"We've already thought of a hundred different ways," Uncle Jasper said. "But Owen knows enough about us to work off of our weaknesses. He's formed a plan, mostly based on the sun...knowing what we can and can't do. I'd say go after him anyway, but the last thing we need is exposure in a public place added to the Volturi's list."
"Grandpa Carlisle," I turned to look at him. "Karen and John respect you. If you call and try and convince them not to let Owen go, I'm sure they would listen!"
"I already called, Nessie. They're hurt that you broke up with him, they loved you too. And they treat Owen as an adult, if he decides to leave for awhile, then they're going to let him. There wasn't much I could say."
Jake spoke quietly then, "I could take him down. It wouldn't be hard, though I'm sure he'd put up a fight...especially against me. But I don't know if I could not kill him."
The thought of that set me hyperventilating. Jacob began rubbing my back in soothing circles, and Aunt Alice came to sit at my feet.
"I saw that Owen will make it to Italy for sure. That is totally concrete, eventually he will get there. If Jake had to chase him all the way to Volterra," Aunt Alice's tiny frame shuddered. "I'd hate to think of what they would do to him, not to mention I wouldn't be able to see....it's too risky."
"There must be a way," I whispered. "Even if we can just hold him off for a little while longer, long enough for him to cool down and see reason."
Aunt Alice shook her head. "I don't see that. He's going to act immediately, and he knows we're going to try to stop him...he'll evade us."
Garrett cleared his throat and spoke, he was leaning against the door frame, a perplexed look on his face. "How can a coven this large have such trouble stopping a human."
"He's a human very much in the know," Grandpa Carlisle told him. "He knows everything, and because of Nessie's extra abilities, he knows exactly who and what he's looking for."
"But why try Volterra first?" Kate said. "If she's shown him so much, wouldn't he try to come to us or some friendlier nomads?"
My father shook his head slowly. "He's smart...well as smart as someone who goes and hunts down the Volturi can be." My mother glowered at him, but he continued with a smirk. "He knows that none of our family will change him, and we consider you our family...you would obviously say no. Nomads are too hard to find, and might not have the strength to change him without killing him. The Volturi stay in one place and have the ability to change him easily, if they choose to."
We all sat in silence for a moment, thinking about what this would mean. The Volturi would come to harm my family because of me....again. My father looked up sharply at Tanya.
"That might work, Tanya. Maybe..."
A chorus of 'tell us what you're talking about' and 'What?' filled the air and broke the tense silence.
"Tanya was just thinking that Carmen and Eleazar might be able to help. They're already in Spain...and he wouldn't be expecting them," he explained.
"I'll call," Tanya said, pulling out a pink phone and dialing a number. "Carmen? We need your help. There is a problem here..."
I sat quietly and listened to her explain the situation to Carmen, the first vampire outside of my family who had accepted and loved me. Would she help me now?
I saw my fathers eyes light up with the first glimmer of hope I'd seen since this grim conversation had started. "They'll do it," he whispered. "Now all we need is a plan."
There was the difficult part. A plan. We had all the necessary elements; Alice to see where he would go, Eleazar and Carmen to stop him once we knew, but why did it seem like that wasn't enough? It wasn't enough because I knew Owen. If any human was capable of evading my family, it was him.
I didn't hear the conversation going on around me. I was numb. The Volturi would come, and we would not win a second time. How long did we have? Not long I was sure, they would not wait around for us to gather anyone to fight with us this time. We would be on our own.
Jake tightened his arms around me and I pressed myself closer to him. I felt a horrible stabbing pain as I thought about the small amount of time we might have left. My perfect ending had just started, and it was crumbling all around me.
NOTE: The sequel to this story is now up! It's called Nothing But Time, so check it out!