Warning: This alternate storyline is largely unedited and highly unoriginal. I left some scenes out as well, and never got the chance to fill them in. In any case, maybe you can see some of the origins of the story in this one. :] Or you can just treat it as a cookie given to you by me. And without further ado, enjoy!
I killed my own father, my worst nightmare had come true. I was now completely and utterly alone. The werewolves left me, the Cullens, and now my own father. I turned over, facing the ground on my knees, sobbing, realizing I could no longer shed tears, causing my sobs to grow louder.
Why didn't they spare me, and kill me when I first begged for it? I felt even more betrayed by the thought. With a sigh, I wondered what I would do now. Should I search for the Cullens? I suppose I could, since the only other location I knew they would relocate to was Denali, Alaska. Problem was, I needed a map, and that required going back to civilization. I could not afford to lose my control now.
Well, I'll work on that first then, I thought, It's a plan. Then once I have that perfected, I'll go look.
I stopped my thoughts, But... why should I? Edward left me in Forks.
Sighing, I stood up, this was doing nothing but causing me stress. I left the clearing, walking normally and holding my breath. I was in no rush after all, I do have all eternity now.
Twenty-two years later, after draining the last drop of a polar bear, I dropped the body to the ground and it sounded with a thud. I closed my eyes, preparing myself for a small test. I had to see if I could control myself when I was in a presence of humans. In the past two decades, I never trusted myself to be even anywhere near humans. But today, it felt different, I felt prepared.
I turned and faced where I knew the road to Denali and ran. I allowed myself to breathe for the first time on my travels. It felt exhilarating. True, it was uncomfortable to hold my breath at first, but then my body adjusted, but maybe that was a bad idea. But what was done is done and I had to test myself.
Taking a whiff of a beautiful smell, I twitched. Shaking my head, I knew I was near the roads now, but I congratulated myself for keeping in control. Stopping, I stood on a branch of a tree, closing my eyes as I smelled the humans driving by. I had no idea how long I stood there, my throat parching for the human blood. Still, I held fast to the tree, refusing to move an inch, or I would lose control.
Smiling, I opened my eyes, I felt even more proud of myself, briefly wondering how would the Cullens think. It was almost time to search for them, but not yet. I jumped off the tree, and continued my run, this time, parallel to the road to a town. My second test. Stopping before I reached the perimeter, I looked at myself, wondering what to do with the clothes. I had worn these clothes since the day I turned. Shaking my head, I wondered where I would get money in the first place. Both the accounts of my father and mine were closed because we were both deceased.
With a sigh, I decided to continue on with my test. I entered town, spotting several humans on the sidewalks. Some noticed me, but I ignored them, looking around, watching myself for any cracks in my self-control. Shuddering, I couldn't remain any longer and turned around to go back. Two humans, male at that, stood in my way.
"Hello!" one greeted, "You look pretty, but did you come out of the woods or something?"
I ignored them, unable to keep control anymore and began running once I entered the woods, barely hearing what they said behind me.
"Damn, what a bitch," he muttered.
Using my nose, I quickly found a pack of wolves and took one away from the pack before they even realized I had come and gone. Sitting on a branch, I began draining the blood away from the body, mulling over my self-control with humans today. Yes, two decades of practice was worth the wait. Dropping the carcass to the ground several feet below, I stood up, deciding to try again in another town nearby.
I repeated this process for two weeks until I ran into a woman who took pity on me and gave me clothes. I tried to refuse but she would have none of it. Grudgingly, I accepted her gift, expressing my gratitude.
"It's all my pleasure, dear, please, if you wish, you can stay with me for as long as you need," she said, smiling.
I blinked, wondering if I should take this step. Hesitantly, I accepted the offer, knowing that I may have to 'consume' human food to keep up my act.
"Thank you for your generosity. It's been so long that I've been around people... I don't quite know how to act right now," I said, preparing the woman for any manners I may exhibit.
"Oh it's all right, I can help you with that," she said, taking my hand, the first human contact, leading me.
For the next two weeks, I watched her and how my body acted, mimicking her movements, such as crossing my legs, or twirling my hair. These movements felt awkward, but necessary to prevent myself from looking like a statue. As her sentiments had said the first three days.
"Are you all right? You sit and stand around like a statue!" she said on the third day, chuckling nervously.
"Oh, I'm sorry Kiley, I didn't realize..." I said, blinking at her observations.
So, I had to copy some of her movements to make myself look natural. I was glad she never asked me anything about myself or my past. I really had no cover story.
And of course, each night, I would slip out to feed, after emptying out the human food I consumed each day. I really was grateful to Kiley, and she really helped with my tolerance for human blood, in such close proximity for an extended period of time.
But, at the end of two weeks, I decided I had to move on.
"Kiley," I said, setting the spoon down into my bowl of cereal.
"Yes, Bella?" she asked, looking up from her magazine.
"I'm going to leave today," I said, "I need to start searching for my family. I am so grateful to you, I—I can never repay you."
"Oh Bella," Kiley said, frowning then nodded in understanding. "Is that why... you were without a home?"
"Sort of, it's really complicated, I don't even know how to put it into words," I said.
"I understand, I am very glad to be able to care for you, it's the least I could do after... after my husband and baby died. In a way, you reminded me of my daughter, so I am happy to do something for you."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear..." I said, saddened by Kiley's past. It was true, I saw pictures around the house of a man and a baby in her arms, and wondered where they were.
"It's all right, it actually happened... a few days before you showed up. I guess giving you a roof over your head and food to feed, I was able to grieve in my own way," Kiley said, sipping her coffee.
My mind flashed to some nights, just before I left the house, I heard her crying to sleep and understood the reason now. I nodded mutedly.
"I really hope for the best for you," I murmured.
"As do I, for you. I hope you can find your family," Kiley said with a soft smile.
Without another word, I took my bowl and her dishes to the sink and washed them.
"When will you leave?" she asked, dumping the rest of the coffee into the sink.
"Soon after this," was my reply. I had warned her that I might announce my departure suddenly.
"So soon? I understand... Let me give you some money so you can continue on your trip," she said, setting the coffee in the sink and went to get her purse.
"Oh no, I couldn't," I began and she cut me off.
"Please let me give you one last thing, it's my own way of grieving you know," she said, taking her wallet out.
With a silent sigh, I nodded as I set the clean dishes on a rack, dried my hands and turned to her. She gave me several twenties with a knowing look.
"I knew you would leave one day, so I was prepared," she said as I counted the money. It was five hnndred dollars.
"Kiley! This is too much," I said, looking up and saw her pulling a bag out of a cupboard under the stairs.
"And these clothes for your trip as well, please accept them," she said, handing me the bag.
Smiling gratefully, I accepted the bag and then gave her a heartwarming hug.
"I will never forget you," I promised, knowing that my perfect vampire memory would remember her long after her death.
"Bye Bella," she said with a smile, "I do hope you find your family soon."
"Thank you, bye Kiley." I said then left the kitchen to the side door and with a back wave, I left the property. I stuck the money into my pocket, the bag over my left shoulder.
It was time to find the Cullens.
I took out the map from the other pocket, already knowing which direction to go as I walked towards a line of trees.
Sticking the map of Alaska back into my pocket, I ran, hoping Edward did not mean those words all those years ago. Saying that he didn't want me, didn't love me. It had to be a lie.
Soon, I arrived in Denali downtown and stopped near a Gap store. I closed my eyes, trying to sniff out for any vampires. It took me almost ten minutes to pinpoint it. I realized the scent may have been here about a day ago. Smiling, I was on track, knowing I may either run into the Denali clan or the Cullens. I never smelled the Cullens' scent, so I couldn't be sure if they were theirs, or the Denali's. Snaking through the small crowd on the streets, trying to follow the scent and stopped when I reached a parking lot. Frowning, I wondered how I could go from there.
Closing my eyes again, I focused even more intently, sniffing them out. It took another twenty minutes to sense it, even fainter than in the crowds. I walked slowly, trying to keep the scent as I made through the parking garage and into the open, leading away from the downtown and into residences. I remained on the main road, walking past the houses, and soon, into the country. I kept walking, careful not to lose the scent. Each time I did, I paused and usually found it again within thirty seconds and kept walking.
I stopped at a dirt road that led away from the main road, looking down the dirt road which soon buried by a line of trees. I walked on, wondering if this was the Denali clan's house.
Several miles later, I found a mansion. Swallowing thickly, I felt nervous. It was the first time I would meet a vampire since I turned. I had kept a careful distance away from both humans and vampires.
Shifting from my left to right foot several times, I steadied my nerves as I went up to the front doors. Looking up at the sky as I climbed the stairs, it was nearing dusk now. Taking a deep breath, I rang the doorbell.
Several moments later, an unfamiliar woman answered the door, confusion written on her face.
"Hi, how can I help you?" she asked after a moment of studying me while I lost my voice to talk.
"Uh, hi... um..." I stuttered and stopped, sighing in defeat. How was I supposed to talk? Hi, I'm Bella, I'm looking for the Cullens, can you tell me where they are? I mentally scoffed, wondering if they would take offense.
"You're a vegetarian, aren't you?" she said after another moment of study. I nodded mutedly and she invited me in with a wave of her hand and smile.
"Thanks," I murmured softly as I seated myself in the living room. "I... I'm Bella Swan," I said, wondering if they knew about me.
"I'm Tanya," she said with a smile, "the others are out hunting. Hm, your name is familiar though. Do you know the Cullens by any chance?"
"Yes, that's why I'm here," I said, feeling a bit more sure.
She frowned, seemingly trying to remember where she heard my name and shook her head. "This is going to bug me, I know I heard the name somewhere... maybe if you could tell me a bit about yourself and how you know the Cullens?"
I became nervous again, shifting in my seat, but Tanya waited patiently with a small smile on her face.
"I... met them about twenty-three years ago, in Forks..." I began.
"Oh! You're that Bella Swan Edward was in love with?" she exclaimed suddenly and I ducked my head., embarrassed. "...You are, aren't you?"
"...Yeah..." I replied, nodding.
"But... they said you were human," she said, looking confused again.
"I was, I was still a human when they left Forks," I said softly.
Tanya's face fell a little, "What happened?"
"Do you know—remember Victoria?" I asked.
"Hm... oh yes, she was in the coven with Laurent, she turned you?"
"Yeah, she was trying to get revenge, but my friends—they were werewolves—saved me before I died," I explained and her face became aghast.
"You were saved by werewolves? How could this be, Bella?" she asked.
"I don't quite know myself. I told... I... they left me alone when my transformation completed. They promised me that they would save me from the humans," I said quietly, trembling and shaking my head.
A look of dawning comprehension fell on her face and looked even more sympathetic, "Oh Bella..."
"So, I left, I avoided all contact with people for the last two decades, it was hard trying to get used to talking to people again. You're... the first vampire I've seen or spoken to since Cullens left," I said, relaxing my body into the sofa. "I was so afraid of losing control, I kept to myself all these years..."
Tanya only looked at me with a sad and bewildered look, "Not a single phone call, a letter, anything?"
I shook my head, "All that required contact with humans, I couldn't endanger them," I said.
"Oh, right..." she said softly and looked up when I heard several people coming inside. They paused when they saw they had a visitor. "Hey, we have a visitor," Tanya said.
The approached with some caution as I sat up, facing them.
"Her name is Bella Swan," Tanya said and then turned to me, "This is Kate, Irina, Eleazor, and Cami," she pointed to each.
"Is she the Bella Swan?" Kate asked, studying me with wide eyes. "Wasn't she supposed to be a human?"
"She was turned by Victoria," Tanya explained and the four recognized the name.
"The one with Laurent was in?" Irina asked a bit coolly, staring at me.
I nodded, wondering about her cold question.
"It was not her fault, Irina," Tanya said a bit sharply.
Irina looked at Tanya and nodded, leaving the room, supposedly to cool off.
"So, you want to know where the Cullens are now, correct?" Tanya asked, looking at me again with her topaz eyes.
"I—yeah, that's my goal," I replied.
She smiled sadly, "I am not sure of there current whereabouts, sadly."
"Oh... I see," I said quietly, "not even their phone number?"
"They changed numbers several years ago, I've been meaning to get in contact, but they never told me the new number," Kate said, sitting down next to her, joined by the other two.
"What is your power?" Eleazor asked, studying me intently after a moment of silence.
"My power?" I asked, frowning at the question.
"His power is sensing other vampire's powers, and sometimes even the humans," Cami explained.
"Right, but I can't make sense of yours, it's as though it is blocking me. Like some form of shield," Eleazor said, looking a little frustrated.
"Oh... that's interesting, Edward can't read my thoughts either," I commented, remembering the gifts.
"I do recall him stating that," Eleazor said, nodding in understanding, "it has to be a form of shield. Have you ever seen it in action?"
I shook my head in answer, "Never."
"Hm, then it may need vampires in order to use the power," Eleazor said, stroking his chin in thought. "I'm very interested to see what sort of powers you have. I suppose, in the meantime, if you want, you can stay and develop that power while we wait for some form of contact from the Cullens, Will that be all right?" he saked, looking at the other vampires.
"Of course, we have a spare room she can use," Kate replied, nodding.
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, torn between finding the Cullens right away or wait and develop my supposedly mysterious powers. It must have shown on my face when Tanya spoke.
"If you were to try and find the Cullens now, with no point of where to find them, it will take you a few decades, if not centuries. They could be anywhere in the world, even at the bottom of the ocean, although I would wonder why they would do that."
I chuckled at the joke meant to lighten the mood and nodded. "So I have a better chance here because they'll contact you sometime soon."
"Correct," Tanya said with a smile. "Patience is what we all have to exercise, we have an eternity after all."
"Yeah, I practiced that in the last two decades, I've learned it," I said with a wry grin then frowned, "I would really like to see them soon..."
"Me too, I really miss hearing from them," Tanya said, moving to where I sat and grabbed my hand, rubbing it with her thumbs.
I could only nod, taking in comfort of a human contact from another vampire. It was soothing and it calmed me down slightly.
"I need to hunt," I said, realizing that my throat was parched for blood again.
"I'll go with you, I need to as well," Tanya said, standing up, "after that, we can give you the grand tour of the house."
"That sounds good," I said, following suit and with a shy wave to the rest of the clan, we left.
"You are a lucky girl, you know that?" Tanya said as we both broke into a run.
"What do you mean?" I asked, casting a side-along glance at her.
"Edward is in love with you, he looks so withdrawn these days. He obviously must be head over heels for you. And look at me, I've got the most beautiful looks in the world," she said sadly and I had to agree, her looks were beyond stunning, "and he wouldn't fall for me."
I couldn't say anything to that, somewhat glad that Edward didn't fall for the woman, even though she seemed really nice. We continued our run for awhile and she stopped, and I as well. I closed my eyes, turning myself over to my monster self and sensed a caribou.
After I finished we both finished our meals, we started heading back.
"I'm grateful that you are taking me in for the time being," I said with a soft smile. "You're right, I would have continued on searching the whole earth for them. Tanya chuckled.
"I did that, trying to find Irina once, it was pure chance when I found her," she confessed, "it took me a century."
"Really? A century? So you weren't just saying random words earlier..." I commented, my eyebrows raised.
"Yeah, it... happened after the... incident with our mother's death. Not biological, kind of like what Carlisle is to the Cullens," she explained, "She couldn't take the pain and so she left. It took much longer to travel back in the days, you know. Not being able to fly, or get on a gas powered boats."
"How long have you been around?" I had to ask.
"About a thousand years, give or take a century," she replied with a wry look.
"Oh," was the only sensible reply I could think of now as we approached the house. I noticed it had three floors. She then gave me the grand tour of the house. The top floor housed bedrooms, the second, offices with staircases to their own bedrooms, and the first floor were where the interactions of the coven took place. Such as a game room, theatre, social (the one I considered a living room), and a library. All the rooms looked impressive
The next day, Eleazor knocked on my door and I bid him enter, looking up from my book I was reading.
"I thought you might be interest in working on your powers...?" he began.
"Ah.. um, sure," I said, dog-earing the page and set them down on the coffee table. Eleazor went around the table and sat on the couch. "How would we go about this?" I asked.
"We will need to find a trigger to cause the power to come forward," he said. "Since your power is a type of shield, we may need you to try and protect someone. Kate?"
She came into the room and sat next to Bella with a smile.
"Hey Kate," I said, wary.
"I'm going to... er, well, hurt you a bit, and see if you're affected by it," she explained.
"Hurt me?" I asked, moving away from her, aghast.
Without another moment, she touched my arm and I held my breath, waiting for the pain to come. Kate frowned, looking at me.
"Do you feel anything?" she asked.
"No... should I be?"
"How about now?" she asked and I shook me head again. "And now?"
She continued until she was exerting all power on my arm and I still felt nothing, glad that I was also safe from her powers.
"This is good," Eleazor said and called for Tanya. Several moments later, "You will be trying to protect her."
I sat up straight, being even more wary at what they were asking me to do. I nodded, accepting the exercise. Kate began jolting her, only at low setting enough for me to react negatively, to try and protect Tanya from further pain.
This went on for several weeks, but I barely got anywhere. I became extremely frustrated with myself, trying to tell myself that I had to protect her. But deep down, I couldn't bring myself to care about the person enough, it did not seem enough. I needed something—someone better than Tanya. I confessed this to Eleazor who seemed understanding about it.
"We will try Edward, but in the meantime, try to protect Tanya the best you can," he said.
But no matter his words, no matter how much I tried to stretch this rubber band in my mind, it refused to do anything. Months went by, and I could shield Tanya somewhat, but not very effectively and only on low settings. And as those months passed, I became impatient, waiting to hear some word from the Cullens.
"Is there any form of contact you can do to reach them?" I asked one day, getting frustrated with both the contact and the ongoing exercise in my power.
"There is one, but it's too risky, and we don't know if she will get it at all," Tanya replied.
"Why didn't you tell me this sooner?" I cried.
"I thought it might be obvious to you too," she replied. "Alice's visions."
"Oh... right... and something major, right? Like, oh, committing suicide?"
"That would be hard to do, unless you went to the Volturi."
"Right..." I muttered. "Yeah, that's too risky."
I heaved a sigh, looking at Eleazor, "Will I ever get better?"
"In time," he replied. "Your powers are harder than most to practice at because of the nature it is."
"That's great," I said dryly, glad time was on my side. I began working on my power again with Tanya Kate, and Eleazor.
Irina kept her distance from me, accusing me with her eyes. It reminded me a lot like Rosaline, with her glares and jealousy. Though, with Irina, it was more of wanting revenge, but we all knew she would not attack, especially if it meant going against her sisters. With that thought, I was confident that Irina would never attack me.
Time passed, and often, I lost track of it. Occasionally, I attended local high schools and universities just to keep track of how much time was passing. Otherwise, the days, weeks and months had passed, and I was slowly getting some control over my powers. Though, never completely, I was waiting for the rubber band on my powers to finally snap. It never came. Then, one day, Tanya came into the room, grinning, in her hand were balloons.
"Happy birthday, Bells!"
Mentally, I took stock of the year it was and quickly counted, realizing that I was now a hundred and fifty.
"Damn..." I uttered, "had that much time passed?"
"It sure did. See? Eternity has a whole new meaning when you're a vampire!"
I shook my head, my distaste for birthdays was still there. Tanya was only using this occasion to tease me.
"Well now, just wait until you're a thousand years old!" Kate burst in, laughing. "You're a young'un. I hope I don't have to worry about wrinkles anytime soon..." she said with a frown.
We all laughed together, chuckling at the joke. Privately, I wondered about the Cullens. It seemed so long ago, I could barely remember what they looked like, using only my human memories. With a melancholy sigh, I flopped onto the couch. The other two looked at each other, slightly worried.
"You know, I was actually using today to talk about... them. I'm really am getting worried. They've never gone so long with... any form of contact. Maybe... it's better for you to go and start searching. We'll call you... if they call," Tanya said, sitting down next to me. "I wonder... if something happened to them."
A chill went down my spine at the thought and shook my head, "I'm sure they're okay... But you're right, I can't sit around and do nothing but wait for that phone call. Nearly a hundred and twenty... That's too long of a wait."
Cami came into the room then, carrying a backpack with a soft solemn look.
"We prepared the bag for you, and if you need anything, please call," Kate said, grabbing my hand and rubbed it with her fingers.
"Thanks," I murmured. I stood up and hugged each one of them, save for Irina, who was not present. "Please tell Irina I wish her good bye."
"I will send her your love," Tanya promised and then I went to the front door, pausing.
I looked back and gave them a big smile, opened the door and closed it behind me. I wondered where to start.
With a sigh, best to start where it all began.
Forks, here I come, I thought.
A day and several feeding later, I stopped when I reached downtown of Forks. It changed so much, the population grew to a mid-sized city. I looked around, trying to find something familiar. Nothing was. Frowning, I stared at the street names, the only ones that had not changed. None of the stores, not even Newton's store, was still in business. I walked among the streets, taking in the sights. Before I knew it, I was at a place that was, thankfully, still familiar. The dirt road that led to the mansion that belonged to the Cullens. I had no time to dwell on my old home or my old school, they would come later.
The long walk seemed to march on and on endlessly. I knew I could run if I wanted to, but somehow, I felt apprehnsive, wondering what I would find. Would the mansion still be there? Have they come back to Forks? Is it gone? Has it become a haunted house by the Forks community?
I saw the familiar structure coming into view, and it looked almost worn away. Something like a haunted house. My face fell as I reached the end of the dirt road. There were broken glass windows everywhere, the front door broken down, the white paint chipped away and faded to grey. I choked back a sob.
They were not back yet. Still, I was determined to go on inside, hoping to find some sort of clues. Ignoring the electrical hums of cars speeding nearby, no longer using gas, I entered the haunted-looking house. It really did seem to haunt me, making me remember the memories that had taken place here. My birthday, the first time I met Esme and properly met the others, the dinner Esme often made for me during the summer. I trailed my finger over some of the broken furniture, recalling the memories associated with each object. It really had been a long time ago.
I turned away from the room and climbed the stairs. I became all business as I pushed into Carlisle's room. Looking around, there were leaves everywhere, and mildew scent hung heavily in the air. I brushed my fingers along the bookshelves, wondering why he didn't take the books with him. Shaking my head, I went to the desk, looking around for any sign of clue. Anything at all.
Flipping through filing cabinets, drawers, bookshelves, I stopped when I found pages of stock markets. Looking over the names, I realized the Cullens had used different names throughout the year, but keeping the first names, only changing the last name. Smiling, I had found something to work with. Luckily, Tanya had taught me about the stock market to grow my money, so I knew how to find information on people through the market, illegal or not.
Taking the papers with me, I felt a sense of purpose now. I took the cell phone out and called the Denali clan.
"Hello?" Kate answered.
"Hey Kate, it's Bella," I said, grinning.
"Did you..?" she dared to hope.
"Sadly, no, but I found something that should lead me to them," I replied, scanning the pages. "They left behind pages of stock market with different aliases. They kept the first name, but the last name always changed..." I trailed off, letting Kate figure out what we could do next.
"So, if we pieced all their names to an address, we can find them?" she asked hopefully.
"Yeah, the names on here kept using the same address, so it really is a matter of time."
"You're right... I'm really glad you found something! Keep me posted, We'll search for their names, just sit tight," Kate said and hung up.
I flipped the phone closed, sticking it back into my pocket, glad I didn't have to go to a library to try and find information on them. Walking over to a bench in downtown, I sighed, content, but also a feeling of nervousness was growing in my stomach. I watched the futuristic cars fly by—literally. I shook my head, wondering how much I had missed in the last hundred and fifty years. It was a good thing I don't have to go to a library, who knew what sort of technology they had now? True, we try to keep up with it, but these days, the technology literally evolved on an hourly basis, we just gave up and decide to update once a year. I looked up at the sky, smelling sweet air of Forks.
Several hours later, the phone rang and I answered it, wondering if they found the Cullens so soon.
"Bella, we found them!" Tanya said excitedly, "They're living in Britain, London to be exact."
"Really, and the address?" I asked, unable to believe that I could see them so soon. Tanya gave me the address and I memorized it easily, as well as the directions from Heathrow. It was time to take a long flight.
"Thank you so much, Tanya," I said, pouring my gratitude into my words.
"Anytime, and hey, can you tell them to give us a call, will you?" Tanya said. I laughed and agreed.
In no time at all, I found myself outside the terminal in London, unable to take another step. The airplanes had changed, shaking my head, trying to get pass the fact that it took only two hours to get from Seattle to London, and I had been prepared to sit on the plane for a long time.
Shaking my head again, I looked around, wondering if Alice saw me coming yet. Seeing no one familiar, I walked through the airport, ignoring the baggage, rented a car (Ferrari) and into the streets. Recalling the directions, I drove the car, snaking around traffic and the more I drove, the more nervous I became, it was nearly palatable. I truly hoped Alice saw me coming and warn everyone.
Driving into the country, I soon found the street—more like a dirt road. Figures, I thought as I drove onto it. I tried not to clench on the steering wheel, knowing that I would have to pay for the damages, I soon saw a large house in the distance. They had to hear me by now. I sped up to try to calm myself down. Several minutes later, I screeched to a halt, taking a deep breath and got out of the car. No one came outside to greet me, probably preferring to be polite. Taking shaking steps, I approached the front doors up the stairs and knocked.
I rang the door bell and waited.
Frowning, I wondered if I should go in without being invited, I turned the knob, it was unlocked. Pushing in, I peeked. I smelled that there were vampires here recently, like only a few hours ago. Deep crease formed between my eyebrows, I entered.
"Hello?" I called out, looking around at the room, noting Esme's touch to the decorations.
I strained to listen, and heard nothing. I became antsy, shifting my feet to and from, wondering what I was going to do now. Did they leave because they knew I was coming? Despair filled my heart. I had longed to see them, and they fled from me?
Turning around, head drooping as I closed the door behind me. It hurt so much, to not be welcomed by the people I loved all these years ago. A sob rose in my throat as I descended down the stairs, I decided I would accept their refusal to greet me. At least I had Tanya and the others.
Reaching the car, I unlocked it with a press of a button and opened it. Before I sat down, I heard a crunch of sticks nearby, somewhere in the distance. I froze, straining my ears.
"I wish there were some big bears here," someone complained.
"Oh shut up, you know that deer was delicious," another said sarcastically.
"Hey, do you sense something?" a different person said, causing the group to pause.
"I smell a vampire," a woman said suspiciously.
"I... I didn't see anything..." a fifth voice spoke, hesitantly.
Then there were silence, and I could do nothing but stand there, frozen. The voices, their choice words, sounded so familiar, I wanted to cry. Then I heard running steps. I closed the door loudly, I heard their footfalls running faster now, and I leaned against the car, crossing my arms. Inside, I was screaming for joy and roared with anticipation. I stood there, wondering when they were coming. Then I saw them, rounding a corner and stopped when they saw me. I didn't show anything on my face, but they stood there, face agaped.
We stood there for only a few moments until a familiar looking pixie came forward, face contorted with joy and despair, hugging me. I did nothing, wishing to give them a cold shoulder first. I knew I wasn't fooling Jasper. I looked over the group, seeing a missing person.
"B-Bella," Alice said, pulling away, looking at me. "Why... I mean.. all this time... I didn't see..."
I looked down at Alice, pain growing in my chest and I couldn't ignore it any longer and pulled Alice into a bear hug, sobbing, unable to hide it. "Oh Alice! I missed you so damn much! So... so damn much..."
The others came and joined in the hugs, exchanging words of how much we missed each other.
"Wh-where were you?" I choked, pulling away from them.
"Hunting, it's been awhile we did it as a f-family..." Esme replied, her hand holding my cheek.
"I nearly left when no one was home... I thought... no one wanted to see me," I whispered, shaking with grief.
"Bella, let's go inside and make ourselves comfortable. I imagine we... have a lot to catch up," Carlisle said, and as a group, we went up the stairs and went inside. Once seated on couches, I spoke again, asking the one question that mattered the most at this point.
They looked at each other, appearing uncomfortable.
"Unreachable," Carlisle replied sadly. "The family really was falling apart, and he thought... best to leave the family to keep us together."
"When was this?" I demanded.
"About fifteen years after he left you..." Esme replied softly. I gasped, realizing the time-line.
"So that's why!" I said angrily, standing up, "because of that, you all stop keeping in contact with the Denali clan? All these years? Do you realize how worried they were about you guys?" I gulped a breath to continue ranting but Jasper cut me off as he sent a wave of calm over me.
"How could we? We didn't want to bring anyone down to our level of misery," Jasper said, looking downcast. "Can you realize the pain I felt from everyone, especially Edward's? It was starting to get better now, but the... misery was always there there. Until now, I suppose..."
"The least you could have done is check with them once a year—no, even once a decade would have done it!" I exclaimed, looking at each of their guilty faces. "I thought you all to be smarter than that. Especially you Carlisle!"
"We were grieving," Carlisle said quietly.
"For me? For Edward?" I snapped, "I don't believe this. I'm finding Edward now. Please give me any clues that will point me to him."
"You've been staying with the Denali clan all these years, waiting for our call?" Carlisle asked, looking even more guilty.
"Yes, yes I have," I replied, glaring then softened my face. "But I can't stay angry at you guys, please give them a call soon. We were starting to wonder if something horrible happened to all of you."
Alice was now sobbing and I pulled her into a hug, rubbing her back as I rested my head on hers.
"I didn't see..." she babbled, "I really thought you were dead but I never told Edward..."
I sighed, continuing to soothe her.
"So, what happened to you?" Jasper asked, curousity written on his face, and soon became the mask for the rest of the group.
"Victoria attacked me and the werewolves saved me, not wanting to kill me because they considered me a good friend and a victim of Victoria's bite," I replied. "They took care of her though, so she's gone."
"Damn..." Emmett said, shaking his head. "Werewolves!"
"I know, I begged them to end my life because... because I was nothing in this existence without you guys. I waited, and waited for you, I stayed away from humans and vampires, trying to control my bloodlust for two decades on my own, then went to Denali, hoping... to find you guys. I continued to wait then, waiting for any one of you to call, a letter, anything."
My words only caused Alice to sob harder, and other faces were contorted with guilt and pain, including Rosalie's.
"I'm so, so sorry!" Alice wailed. I rocked Alice, trying to soothe her, looking at Jasper for help.
Without another hint, he let a wave of calm over the room.
"So, that sums up what I did the last hundred and twenty some years, maybe thirty, I don't quite know," I said, rubbing Alice's back. "So, you haven't heard from him since... he left you guys?"
"Yeah, we have no idea what he is doing," Alice said through her sobs, "and he hasn't gone to the Volturi... yet, and my visions of him only show him running through trees. That's all he has been doing, running,"
"I see... I'll have to find him myself then," I said, face growing grim at the idea of finding him. It might take me centuries, but I was willing to try. I would wait for him, even wait thousand of years.
"Let us go with you, we can split up and find him sooner that way," Carlisle said, smiling softly. "We now have a reason to live now."
I smiled grimly back and accepted their help. It should cut the search by a century. "Any of you have an article of something, so I have a scent to find him by?"
Alice grinned and nodded. She hopped off the couch, disappeared and returned with a shirt.
"Thanks Alice," I murmured and slowly took the blue shirt into my hand and buried my face into it, smelling the sweet scent. How I longed to be with him! Pulling the shirt away, I stared forlornly at the shirt, it was my closest connection I had to him in over a century.
"Let me call the Denali clan and we can go," Carlisle said with a sheepish smile and took his phone out. Dialing the number, he waited.
With our hearing, we could hear the two way conversation.
"Hello?" Tanya called.
"Ah... Hello Tanya, it's... been awhile," Carlisle said, momentarily unsure.
"Carlisle!" Tanya shrieked and we heard more shrieking in the background. "Does this mean Bella found you?"
"Yes," he replied with a chuckle, "she gave us quite... the reprimand."
"I would hope she did," Tanya said coolly then shrieked again, "I am so happy to hear from you! We will have to catch up one day."
"Yes, we shall... but I am only calling you so that you know Bella found us. Right now, we are on a mission."
"A mission?" she asked confused.
"Edward left, and we're going to go and find him," he replied.
"He... left? When?"
"About the time I... we... stopped calling you," Carlisle faltered. "I cannot express in the right words of how sorry I am."
"The only way you can apologize is to find Edward, Carlisle," Tanya said. "That's what you all need, Bella especially. You can't know how much she suffered by waiting for you, for Edward, to call us. So, please, find him."
"I will, we will, Tanya. Thank you all for looking after her all these years, I will never be able to repay you," Carlisle said.
"It's been a pleasure getting to know Bella, I can see why you all fell in love with her. Now, please, go!"
She hung up and Carlisle closed the phone, a wan smile on his face as he put it in his inside coat pocket.
During the phone conversation, Alice and Esme had managed to pack a week's worth of clothes for everyone but me. We all stood up when they came down the stairs with the backpacks.
"Seeing that all Edward is doing is running, we better use the same mode of transportation," Alice said lightly.
"Right, and we should split into two a group, and Bella... who do you want to go with?" Jasper asked.
"I think I'll go alone, that way we get a lot more ground covered. Alice, can you tell me what climate and type of trees he is now? Or will be..."
Alice's eyes glazed over for a moment and smiled, "He's running through the desert in Africa."
"Well, let's go! We don't know when he'll leave the continent," I said, panicking of missing him.
"Follow me," Carlisle said, walking outside and to a barn. I looked at him quizzically and gasped when he opened the door. It was an aircraft that needed no runway strips to lift off or land. We all quickly got in and strapped as Emmett took control of the plane.
"I really have been living under a rock... is this how most people travel these days?"
"The affluent ones," Esme replied with a knowing look. I merely shook my head. Soon, we were over Israel, landing just at the other shore of the Red Sea in Egypt.
"Where is the sun in the sky for Edward?" I asked, looking at the sun's position as it began to sink after reaching noon.
"The sun is behind him," Alice replied a second later. "It looked like it was four, closer to five, in the afternoon."
"He's heading east," Jasper stated. We looked at each other, it couldn't be this easy, could it?
"Let's go, we'll spread out a hundred and fifty or so miles from each other, that should catch him," Carlisle said.
"Actually, we should all go solo, that will cut down the risk of him slipping through," Jasper said and after a moment of thought, the group agreed. We would be able to cover a hundred miles or less this way, we knew.
We all got out of the aircraft and we began running to take our place. Once I took the center place of the group, hoping to be the one Edward ran into. In front of us, all we saw was blazing hot, brown sand and we bid our time. Alice would call us if Edward slipped by and into Middle east. We had no idea if Edward would swim if he reached the other side of the coast.
I had no idea how long I stood there, waiting for Edward to show up, straining my ears and my nose fifty miles each way, to my left and to my right. Trying to pick up the telltale of a vampire speeding through the dunes, and the scent. It was a good thing that the wind was blowing in our direction, we would be able to detect him sooner. I glanced at my watch, it was nearing four in the afternoon. It would be soon, I knew. I wondered what I would say to him. It was obvious that he had lied to me that day, wishing only to protect me from himself and the dangers of the paranormal world. I understood that, but it was still annoying. Edward could be so protective.
Scanning the range, I kept my hearing and smell in check, trying to sense Edward. Glancing at my watch again, it was almost five now. It could be any minute now. Closing my eyes to heighten the smell and hearing, I heard it. The steps were too fast for a human. A wind blew into my face and I caught the scent. His scent. If my heart still beat, it would have been in overdrive now.
Edward... I thought, realizing that he was coming straight for me. He would spot me soon. Several minutes later, a body ran over the top of the dunes and kept running, leaving a trail of dust behind him. I stared at him, he looked almost feral, his clothes tattered beyond belief, his hair looked as though it hadn't been washed, maybe even in a century.
"Edward..." I said softly, stepping forward.
"Not another one," he growled, intent on running past me.
"Edward! I'm real! I'm not in your head!" I yelled, realizing he was experiencing the same thing I had done, the reason I made the jump off the cliff. "I'm real! Please!"
He looked as though he was going to barrel right into me and I stood my ground, knowing this was probably the only way he could realize I was not an hallucination.
A loud crack sounded through the air and we both collided into a cliff side, raining rocks down on us as I clutched on to him for dear life. "Edward! Wake up, please... I'm here, I'm a... I'm a vampire."
Edward did nothing but remaining still, not breathing.
Slowly, he looked up at me in the eyes, his eyes topaz. Everything about him looked so much clearer, so much sharper than my own memories had been. They barely did him justice. If I could shed tears, I would now. I swallowed thickly. "Edward... it's been so long..."
He simply stared at me with a blank face. He moved his mouth a little and swallowed.
"B-B-Bella?" he stammered, moving away a little to get a better look at my face. I smiled. "H-h-h-how...? What?" he looked confused.
"Victoria got me," I said, "the werewolves were able to take care of her, but..." I trailed off. "It was too late. I begged them to... end my life. I... you can't know how devastated I was, knowing that I was all alone..."
Edward pulled me into a hug, breathing heavily.
"Oh god, Bella, oh god... all these years, all I thought was..."
I hugged him tightly back, staying that way for a long time. Then the phone rang, I then realized that the sun had set, it was twilight now. I took it out, answering it.
"You found him!" squealed Alice, I pulled the phone away from my ear, wincing, "we're coming!"
I merely grinned, unable to speak. "Mmhm."
"See you soon!" she said and hung up. I tucked the phone away, looking at Edward who stared back.
"I am so, so sorry, Bella," he whispered, looking horrified now. "You... how long?"
"Yesterday—maybe today, was my hundred and fiftieth birthday, Edward, you can figure the math out yourself," I said, pulling him to me, kissing him on the lips hungrily, and he responded.
Several minutes later, we heard a coughing noise and looked up unwillingly. We both saw the grinning grins on everyone's faces.
"Edward, buddy!" Emmett said, jumping down to us and pulled us both out of the rocks we had been buried in and hugged us tightly. Edward seemed to still be out of it as the rest of the people took turns to hug him.
"Let's go home Edward, you've been running for too long," Esme said, holding his cheek with her hand tenderly.
"Y-yeah, I did..." he stammered, blinking at each of us, his eyes fell last on me. Without another thought, he pulled me in for another kiss. "I..." he mumbled through the kiss, "am never letting you go again."
"Neither am I," I murmured, holding him tightly. "I was ready to wait for for for many thousand years. My love for you will never die."
"Oh Bella," he said with a husky voice.
Emmett cleared his throat again, appearing to be slightly reddened.
"Oh shut up Emmett, go do it with Rosalie," Edward snapped and we continued our kiss.
We heard a heavy sigh and Edward growled, holding on to me even tighter. "You're not pulling us apart anytime soon."
"I'll go get the aircraft," Emmett said loudly, leaving with Rosalie. They were soon joined by the other two couples, giving us more space. Before Jasper left, he looked at Edward pointedly and Edward chuckled as the blond left.
"Mmm, what?" I asked.
"Said we better not do it on the spot when they come for us," Edward said.
"So tempting," I murmured.
"It is," Edward said and kissed again. "I missed you so damn much, Bella, I had been mourning you. But I could never... for some reason, I couldn't kill myself and follow you."
"If I knew you killed yourself, I'd follow you too," I said with a serious tone.
"So much like Romeo and Juliet. Thinking that you died, and I would have killed myself then, and then you come and find out I died... and then you follow..." Edward said, chuckling.
"Indeed," I agreed. "What held you back?"
"A... sense of unease, I could never figure out why, but, perhaps I do now... You've been alive—living in this existence, all these years. I... guess I do have a soul, sensing that you were still in this world."
"See, I told you vampires had souls," I said, glad that his notion was finally proven false.
He said nothing more and continued to kiss, deepening as the time wore on. I wondered when the others would be getting us. No sooner did I think these thoughts, I heard the aircraft. I looked up, slightly annoyed that we would have to break apart for the moment. Edward sighed, breaking away, but holding my hand now as they landed a ways away from the rocks. We hurriedly climbed in and I promptly sat on Edward's lap, kissing him again as I snaked my arms around his neck.
"Ugh," Emmett growled, "This is even worse than me and Rosalie."
"Yeah," Jasper agreed, looking a little green. "It's nice you two are together and a--"
We broke the kiss and stared at Jasper and said together, "Shut up," loudly. We giggled and continued to kiss.
"We have plenty of time to catch up later," Carlisle said to the group with humor in his voice, "Leave them be for now."
Esme sniffed, "The family is back together again."
The others could only grin, including Rosalie. They were all glad the ordeal had come to a close. Or not quite, as I thought in my mind. I would rant a little while longer, making sure each and every one of them regret their actions. A century and half of waiting really was too much to just let this slide and forgive. I did forgive them, however, but they had to work for it.
Half an hour later, we arrived back at the house. Without a break in the kiss, Edward carried me off the aircraft and into the house, followed by others. Sitting down on the couch, I vaguely realized, was the same one I sat in earlier. But I dismissed it as we still continue to kiss. How could we, waiting decades and decades to see each other, stop kissing?
"Okay seriously, we need to discuss, I don't quite know all the details Bella had said about her past," Carlisle said, impatience coloring his voice now. With a sigh, Edward pulled away from the kiss, but still held me in his lap. I looked at Edward apologetically as I got off him and stood up.
"So, Victoria bit you," Edward said, still clinging to my hand.
"Right, and the werewolves saved me," I said, and couldn't, wouldn't end my life because I was a good friend to them and.. a victim of that crazed woman. When... I turned..." I said softly, pulling away from Edward. "I never felt so alone, the werewolves were not there, they promised me they would look after me, make sure I didn't... hurt anyone."
"Oh no," Esme murmured, realizing where this was going.
"So that's why I couldn't see you in Forks..." Alice said darkly.
"Not only I f-f..." I stopped myself, my face filled with grief, recalling the white eyes, rolled back and the mouth open. His skin pale, empty of blood. I shivered, I did not recall that incident very often. Alice gasped, paling.
"Oh Bella!" she moaned, moving towards me but stopped when I glared. I looked at Edward, wondering if he saw it too.
"What happened?" he asked, not using his gift to find out, wanting to hear from my mouth.
"M-m-my..." I stammered, moving away from the group. "Charlie," I said simply. The rest of the group paled at the news.
"So that's... that's what happened," Carlisle said sadly, "I tried looking into your records and it said you were deceased and a few days later.. three days in fact... I didn't see the connection."
I took a deep breath, and continued, "So, I was left with nothing, I could possibly not go back to La Push or Forks, I feared for their lives. I kept away from them for two decades, trying to perfect my control over my bloodlust. It was the loneliest years of my life, human or vampire, I wonder, when I reflect back on it, how I even made it through. My control over my lust for human blood... it worked of course. After that, I soon found the Denali clan, trying to find you. But they said you had stopped contacting them... when Edward left." I looked at him, wondering if he knew.
"You stopped contacting the Denali?" Edward asked Carlisle, bewildered.
"The family was falling apart, we tried to keep it together, but it kept splitting at the seams, Edward," Esme said sadly. "We couldn't even think of contacting anyone else, afraid."
Edward shook his head, hating himself even more for everyone's misfortune. "If I had waited another ten years..."
"We can't think about what if's, Edward," I said, sitting back down on the couch next to him. "All we can do is learn from it and move on."
"You knew I still loved you," Edward said, stating the fact.
"When I found the Denali clan, it was apparent that you... still loved me. I knew then, that it was a lie that day," I said, stroking his face. "But I... can't forget how alone I was those two decades. I was so angry at the world, several times, I... thought about abandoning this vegetarian diet. I wanted to lash at you guys somehow."
I looked at each of them, looking guilty. "I'm sorry."
"No Bella, you shouldn't be sorry!" Alice exclaimed. "It's us who should be."
"No, it's me, for making all of us to leave in the first place," Edward said quietly. "And my fault for leaving my own family, even if it was to provide them—you, some sort of emotional balance. I know Jasper had a rough time of it.
"Let's not do the blaming party, everyone," Rosalie snapped, "we all are to blame, in one way or another."
We fell silent at her words, mulling it over.
"So, I am curious, how did you find us?" Jasper asked, leaning forward.
"Stock market," I replied, "I went to your house in Forks and found some pages... I recognized a pattern. You changed the last names every twenty or so years, but kept the first name. Tanya and Kate looked it up, looking for an address that had all your names at one place."
"Clever, I wondered if people would be able to find us in that way. It worked out then," Carlisle said.
"It's probably not that clever, I'm sure a human can figure it out too," I replied.
"But it is a bit obvious, we try to hide our trail with less than obvious crumbs that are obvious," Carlisle, "We do want to be found. In... hopes that maybe you, or the Denali clan, would find us. Even if we weren't forthcoming with contacting them first."
"Me? What hope were there?" I wondered.
"That maybe, when you were older, you would come looking at the house, trying to find a way to contact us. I didn't..." he looked at Edward, "want to break the promise of contacting Bella. So, I wanted her—you, to come to us instead."
Edward shook his head, wishing the past was different now.
"Why can't I see you until now?" Alice wondered, frowning. "I should have had some accidental visions of you. Especially when... you... first turned. And then after that..."
I took a deep breath and shrugged. "I honestly have no clue. Maybe the werewolves have kept tabs on me until now, inadvertently keeping your visions away."
"Perhaps... but why would they?" Alice asked suspiciously.
"If they did, then I really have no idea as to their motive, unless it was Jacob that stayed with me all these years. But I would have smelled him out a long time ago. Denali clan too."
Shaking her head, Alice remained confused.
"Perhaps this is one mystery we will never be able to solve," Carlisle said quietly. "So, Bella, do you... have any exceptional gifts?" he asked with a wry smile.
"Oh! I do... it's hard to explain really, and it's really hard to get much use out of it. It's a really complicated power, Eleazor said."
"Ah, is that so? He helped you?" Carlisle asked with a knowing look.
"Right, he helped me with that. But, I just... can't seem to... snap this rubber band thing on my powers. I know there's more to it, but I just don't..." I said, waving my hand for some kind of word, "have the motive to really protect anyone correctly..."
I looked at Edward, knowing who exactly would be perfect for Kate's powers and smirked. Edward looked at me a little warily.
"Oh, don't worry, I won't hurt you, my powers are only defensive in nature. A shield if you will," I explained.
"A shield..." Edward murmured, nodding, "Yes, that's what it feels like when I try to read your mind. So, what do you mean you won't hurt me?" he asked, still wary.
"Just need Kate, that's all," I said, humming to myself. Edward winced, remembering her power, then sat up. "Wait, her power don't affect you?"
"Yeah, that's right. Eleazor reckons Jane, and others in Volturi won't even be able to hurt me," I replied casually."
"Do you know what this means?" Edward said darkly, looking around the room whose faces turned dark. I blinked at them in confusion and brightened when I realized what they must be talking about.
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about Volturi asking me to join them," I said lightly, "Eleazor... had visitors from time to time. They certainly did try to hurt me, but nothing ever happened and they pretended they never tried to hurt me."
Edward growled, "Why would they attack you?"
"Test out my powers, they were intrigued," I replied with a roll of my eyes.
"Still lacking in self-preservation, I see," Edward murmured, taking my hand.
"So, they told Aro and others about me and my powers, and of course, invited me a place in their... courts. I flatly refused when I realized what sort of diet they had. I would have joined if they did, and if it meant finding you guys sooner—if you had heard about my name."
"We would have come to you right away," Alice said at once, sitting up. "New recruits to Volturi are like headline news in this world."
"Exactly, but I couldn't afford to lose my control, so I played the waiting game instead," I said, leaning against Edward.
"Good," Edward growled, stroking my hair, twisting with his fingers.
"They really aren't all that bad, you know," Carlisle said, frowning. "It's just their diet..."
"I know, the people that came to visit were pleasant enough," I agreed.
"Except when they attack you," Edward muttered darkly.
The silence fell then, staring at each other around the room.
"Anything else you would like to share with us?" Carlisle asked.
I tilted my head in thought, trying to find anything from my memories that were worth telling now and shook my head, "No, not really..."
Edward raised an eyebrow at my choice words but left it at that.
"We'll let you two... get settled in, now," Esme said, standing up.
"I love you," I said, grinning.
"I love you more," he said, nestling his nose into the nape of my neck.
"I don't think so, you couldn't possibly love more than me," I argued. He shushed me by kissing me, my mind drifting away into the blissful eternity with my family, and most importantly, my Edward.
..and there you have it—the alternate storyline. I hope it brings some sort of closure. Thank you all for reading! heart