AUTHOR'S NOTE: Valentine's Day is coming up! I know I'm already writing a fic, but this idea just wouldn't leave me alone, and this is the perfect time to write it. Readers of "West", I swear I'll keep up my updates—which means I'll only be working on this once I've done my chapter for "West". I promise I'll update this one at least twice a week.
So this one is about Chelsea, the Volturi girl who has the power to change emotional bondings--weaken them, break them, attach them to someone else. Doesn't that sound like fun to you guys? It sounded like fun to me. Those of you who are concerned about our beloved canon couples, don't worry--all she can do is separate and cause confusion, I know she can't permanently break any lifelong bond :). So yes. Ready set go.
(Ahem. It seems that I may have...accidentally deleted this story. Sorry for those of you who posted reviews . don't know what happened there. It's back up now, no harm done.)
That was her one-word instruction. Cause chaos. She knew the Volturi hated to do without her, but it was too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. After the twenty-seventh straight year of getting the Cullens' Christmas card in the mail, with a picture of all of them smiling like a sweater catalog, arms wrapped around each other—well, something had finally snapped. Maybe they couldn't declare war on the Cullens. They would never admit that, but they couldn't. But they could do their best to make sure their lives were really, really hard.
Chelsea walked into Forks, Washington, leaving heelmarks in the mud where she passed. She was looking it up and down, left and right, and she was not impressed. So this is where I have to spend the next week, huh? she thought to herself. She hated it. She was used to the bright acrylic glamour of Italy, the high, important beauty—she was not used to rain and sludge and slate-gray skies.
It's only a week, she reminded herself as she pulled her shoe out of a patch of mud. Reminding herself what she was here for, what she was meant to do. She wouldn't even be spending much time in Forks at all—there was one specific house out in the woods, a pretty white house with bay window and spiral stairs. That's where she was headed. It's only a week. And it's going to be fun.
"Saturday?" Emmett said blankly.
"Yes, Emmett, I was wondering if I should keep Saturday free," Rosalie said hopefully. "If we're…doing anything."
"On Saturday?" he repeated. "No, I don't think so. I don't have any plans."
"Emmett!" she yelled, smacking him on the arm, subtle hints totally falling through.
"What?" he yelled back, completely bewildered.
"Saturday is Valentine's Day, Emmett," Alice grinned from her corner, looking up from her flute and the screwdriver she apparently thought she could fix it with. "Of course. Jasper's taking me to Niagara Falls."
"Niagara Falls," Rosalie said accusingly, turning around to glare at Emmett. "Did you hear that? He's taking her to Niagara Falls!"
"Oh my God!" Emmett yelled. "I would have remembered, that's like five days away! I would have figured it out!"
"Shut up," Rosalie said, swatting his hands away. "Don't touch me."
Alice smiled and went back to her flute, listening to them bickering loudly in the background. Rosalie and Emmett were the only couple she knew who were actually, literally happier when they were fighting, absolutely loved it. You could leave the room with them fighting and come back to find them making out on the couch five minutes later. They were smart, and snappy, and they had no one else to sharpen their wits against. They were having a blast.
She used to get worried when they fought like this, used to think they were going to break up or tear each other's heads off, whichever came first. These days she could really enjoy it—she could just sit back and watch.
Alice's flashes usually came unexpectedly—if she knew when she was going to see the future, she would, for example, have made sure to put her flute down first. Because when they came, they came as a complete visual—it was her premonitions saying excuse me, I need to use these eyes for a minute, hope you don't mind.
It came hard and fast, and the flute slipped out of her hand. The flash of silver caught Rosalie's eye as it fell to the ground, and she made it across the room in time to catch it. Flutes were fragile—it wasn't like they didn't have the money to replace it, but Alice was attached to this flute. She'd gotten it from Eleanor Lawrence back when she'd gone through her intense flutist phase, and it wasn't something she would drop on purpose.
"Alice," she said, as her sister's eyes began to clear again. "What is it? Did you see something?"
"I don't know," Alice said, grabbing her hand. "I saw something—I couldn't really tell."
"What did you see?" Emmett joined them, looking concerned. When Alice had a vision, the entire Cullen house shuddered to a halt. They'd learned a long time ago to shut up and listen.
"I don't know," Alice said again. "I only got flashes—there was this girl, but I didn't recognize her. Long brown hair—I couldn't see her face very well."
"What about her?" Rosalie asked.
"I'm not sure," Alice said, frustrated. She always hated it when it happened like this, when the visions didn't get specific because it was a person she didn't know, a place she hadn't been. When she didn't know what to look for. "I'll try to focus on it, I'm not sure what's happening."
Rosalie handed her the flute back, and she set it on the window seat beside her. She wasn't going to need that for a little bit. "One thing I did understand, though," she said. "I'm pretty sure that this girl is dangerous."
Chelsea knew exactly where she was headed first. After a quick reconnaissance of the Cullen house, (which was pretty, but not nearly as nice as their villa in Italy) she was headed off to find one person in particular. Edward Cullen.
She'd only seen him once. He'd come to Italy that one summer for the love of that human girl, or whatever the hell the story was with that, and he'd been with the Volturi for perhaps an hour. She hadn't been there that whole time, she'd had other things to do—but she'd walked into the receiving hall about half an hour into that confrontation, totally unaware of what was going on, and she'd seen him there. Bronze hair and big gold eyes.
Chelsea wasn't kidding herself. She didn't believe in love and first sight, and she knew that wasn't what this was. She wasn't in love with Edward Cullen. Still, she hadn't been able to get him out of her head. She knew she wasn't his type, and she knew he was already taken, technically, but good Lord that boy was attractive. And she wanted him.
She found him in the hills to the north of Forks, and shocker, he was with his girl. Chelsea didn't understand how he could even look twice at that human, but there was no denying the way he stared after her. Even when she looked like a total idiot, holding her ski poles the wrong way at the top of the smallest bunny hill.
"This is a terrible idea," she was saying, and her voice was crackling frozen with fear.
"Bella," Edward reassured, putting his hands on her shoulders. "You are going to love it. You're going to be a great skier. All you have to do is get down this first hill, and you'll see. You will love it."
"Edward," Bella said back. "I can't even handle how big my own feet are without tripping every five seconds. You've just added like two yards to them. This is not going to work."
Chelsea smirked to herself, hidden in the trees fifty feet back. Talk about an odd couple. She didn't deserve him. She closed her eyes and started to concentrate, finding their bond stretched like link chains between them. Well. Most people didn't have bonds like this, for most people it was just strings and threads. This one was going to take some work.
She rolled up her mental sleeves and started sawing away.
"What if the one ski gets tangled in the other ski?" Bella wanted to know. "What if I run into that tree down there?"
"You'll be fine," he reassured her. "You're not even going to get as far as that tree. I'm going to be at the bottom of the hill waiting for you, and I'll catch you once you get down there. I'll make sure that you're fine."
"You'll be down at the bottom," she repeated, tightening her grip on the ski poles.
"I'll be right there," he said.
She straightened up a little, looking down the slope. "I guess this hill isn't so bad," she said.
"No, it's not," he agreed. "It's just fine. Are you ready?"
"No," she said. And she pushed off carefully and started to ski down the hill.
And the last thread snapped.
Bella Swan knew herself pretty well. She knew what she was good at, she knew what she wasn't good at, and she knew pretty specifically the kind of thing she was likely to mess up. It turned out that her fear about getting the skis tangled had been a fairly accurate one.
She made it about halfway down the hill before she spotted a small hill of snow, a little bump right in front of her left ski. It was really nothing to worry about, but she panicked anyway, jerking her ski to the side—right in the way of the other ski. They got crossed and stuck instantly, tripping her up and over into a snowball somersault.
She landed at the bottom of the hill with one ski missing and snow down her shirt, in her hair, and she just sat there, stunned, trying to catch her breath. Edward walked calmly down the hill after her, and when he got to her she looked up at him, and he looked—very strange.
"Edward," she gasped. "You said you were going to be—where were you?"
"At the top of the hill," he said, and his voice was oddly cold. The snow down her shirt was nothing. She suddenly felt very, irrationally—very very afraid. "Listen, Bella, this was fun, but I've got to go. I have things to do."
"You have to—go?" she said, bewildered, trying to struggle upright. "Edward, what's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," he said crossly. "I have to go, Bella. Could you please just leave me alone for once?"
He turned around and walked away, leaving her hurt and absolutely bewildered, standing in the snow with one ski. It occurred to her that she had no idea how she was going to get back to Forks.
Edward felt very strange. He felt irritable, and indifferent, and extremely annoyed with Bella. He couldn't seem to put his finger on why exactly he was here with her, what he'd seen that he'd wanted. He couldn't seem to justify spending so much time with her. It was possible that he hated her.
He walked into the woods and the first thing he saw was a girl. Leaning up against a spruce tree like it was the back wall of a club, perfect hair, white fur boots, inspecting her nails as he walked toward her. He looked at her and he felt something catch on fire.
"Hi," she said. "My name is Chelsea."