Preface

I understood my mother so much better now. Several times she too had raced to her death, aiming to sacrifice herself to save her loved ones.

My eyes on the road, the blackness of the night had little impact on my half vampiric vision. I could see a truck stop up ahead, half conscious I shifted gears on my motorcycle. The hunger had become so much stronger since I buried my human side. Heavy emotions made it even more difficult to cling to that half of myself while mental pictures echoed through my head. It would be so much less painful to let my humanity go. Images burned me…

Billy black broken on the floor, Jacobs accusing eyes. Though the bond, the sacred imprint, had only been temporarily broken, an illusion for Jacobs mind, I wondered if a permanent solution would be better. With the near future in mind that solution might be close enough now.

The truck stop came closer, I could almost taste them, warm blood racing through their veins. Such a strong sensation now, I would have to show this memory to mom when I got back, if I got back. At the final moment, meters from the stop, I made a hard turn, several eyes, human from the truck stop, but others as well, watched as I went 180 degrees with screeching tires.

Only minutes later I arrived at the hotel, I would follow through on the plan, I would follow in mothers footsteps. I walked up to the counter, the cliché Italian hotel manager dropped his jaw as I walked in, I must have been less human now then I ever was. I took a deep breath and stated:

"Vanessa Wolfe, a mister Caius should be waiting for me"

1 Growing pains

I had a great childhood, even though it had been barely 6 years, I was reaching adulthood now and would remain a young adult for the rest of my existence. I doubt any other girl would ever have a more strange or a more loving family then I had. There was my human family, Charlie and Sue close by and Renee and Phill long distance. Though I had only seen my human grandmother once, I could feel her love so well in our email conversations, it was however becomming very hard to hide my maturity now and the time for Renesmee to disappear from the human world was drawing painfully close. Charlie was in a state of semi-knowing which meant that even though he ignored any details, he accepted a lot of the strangeness, I would be able to keep in contact with him for some time to come.

There was also my wolf family in the reservation, two packs of fierce warriors, seventeen werewolves, though the term werewolf was not an accurate description, as loyal to me as they are to their respective Alpha's, my beloved Jacob one of the two alpha's. Jacob, my beloved Jacob, the term family didn't work there anymore, he was a part of myself, he had been a second father, big brother and was now my lover. Though we knew we were bonded by the magic of the imprint, I doubt if it would have been any different without that sacred magic. Perhaps mom would have had more trouble with it, then again, maybe not… people were rarely able to anticipate her thoughts, even dad with all his insight was often surprised by mom.

"One of the reasons I love her" he always says with a smile playing around his lips.

Then there was my extended "family" ranging from Tanya's coven to my beloved sisters in the Amazon and many in between. A large group of beautiful predators once scattered around the globe, now seemed to have a common place to visit every now and then, a home base, my home. Ever since the first real confrontation with those Italian dictators, the vampire race had become much more close, seeking each other out with regular intervals. The Volturi had created exactly that which they were trying to prevent from being formed, an alliance amongst the vampires. This alliance I now counted as my family. I was especially fond of "uncle" Garret, a rebel, so much like me. Though he already left Tanya's coven ayear after joining, being a nomad to the bone, he was still a vegetarian, he claimed "if only to piss them off", "them" being the Volturi.

And then there were the Cullens, my direct family, a constant warm embrace and an endless source of love and affection. Grandfather Carlisle, though I still have to keep reminding myself not to use that term in public, we look like siblings sooner then granddaughter and grandfather. He loves me deeply, at times I need to be reminded that calling me "fascinating" or "Hmmm, intriguing" are not the best terms to show that affection. He always apologizes at length when I do. Emmet and Jasper, to me now brothers rather then uncles, always teasing me, always making bets at my expense but always ready to protect me or help me as well. They have been my teachers in so many things ranging from history, who could rival Jaspers eye witness accounts, to combat. The uneasy relation with the dictatorship of the Volturi demanded that every one of us was ready for the worst all the time. The slightest frown in Alice's forehead had all of us jump up and at the ready within a second, which made day to day conversation difficult because my current taste, or distaste in Alice's opinion, for black leather had her frowning a lot lately. Esme and Rosalie were nothing short of an extra set of mothers, though off course they tried to take a step back when Mom was near, I really never had a shortage of parental control. And then there was Alice.

Alice was in all ways but the traditional one, the love of my life, she was my best friend, my role model and my sister, only Jacob had a better claim on my attention. Our shopping sprees could leave entire towns out of stock for weeks and our parties, for which we needed little more excuse then "it's the sixteenth Thursday of the year" or "it's the second day without rain in august" were notorious even amongst my "extended family" members who were there when Europe was liberated at the end of WW2 or when the wall in Germany fell. This off course to no small amount of frustration of my mother, which automatically had my father chuckling behind her back every time she objected after my announcing another party. He had learned to put up his serious face in no time, fast even for a vampire in case mother looked him in the face. There appeared to be a "don't encourage them" sort of deal between mom and dad. From the rare occasions where mom let dad in her head for some time, the effort often causing her a serious headache, we now learned that she actually sort of enjoyed the gatherings Alice and I organized. At least seeing so many of our alliance friends and seeing me and Alice so happy during preperations was worth "enduring it" she claimed.

Six years went by, nearly without incident, but the Volturi shadow hung over us all the time. Three times in six years Alice claimed there was movement on the Italian side, two times it was a false alarm. "They must have thought better of it and changed their minds" Alice claimed both times. The third time was yesterday. Alice was convinced that this was "the real thing". Even though the visions were still a blur, she had called the family together in the Cullen living room.

The blurriness of the vision told us that we still had plenty of time. It was the fact that they would move that was certain now, though there already had been little doubt before yesterday. The when and how where still undecided. The decision to do something though was very final though, according to Alice.

Everybody reacted differently. I looked at every single one of them, one at a time.

Emmet, standing in a corner, arms crossed, dark enthusiasm in his face, hoping to finish what was started six years ago.

Jasper worried, sensing the majority of the emotions in the room, he was looking at Esme.

Carlisle just sighed almost relieved that the moment he dreaded was finally getting in sight.

Rosalie actually seemed to look forward to a change of pace after six relatively "quiet" years, though her worry for me was undeniable.

Esme just stood still, not ready to give in to the reality of it. Of all the members of my "supernatural" family she was the one that had embraced the peace of those last years the most, she was far from ready to give that up. She shifted her gaze to me and nearly broke.

My father looked at all of us one at a time, knowing exactly what everyone was thinking. He was hurting, obviously feeling inadequate at comforting his family.

And my mother, seemingly relaxed, her feelings becoming an increasingly bigger enigma ever since she joined the Cullen's as a "full" member of the family. Though mom always tried to open herself up as much as possible, as a rule she was shut and becoming harder to read every day. Her face never betraying a single emotion she didn't want others to see. Her control, supernatural or not was absolute. Much to Emmet's dismay, who often claimed missing making her blush.

Alice then looked at me, the same time I was searching her face, our eyes met, obviously we were making the same assessment both ending on the other. We both sighed and then she whispered "Jacob". My beloved's name formed in my head the same time it formed on the pixie woman's lips.

"I have to get Jacob" I said, dad nodded, and mom touched my arm and I looked me in the eye a sense of pleading in her face.

"Hurry" she said.

"Can I come? " Alice asked, her voice sweet as honey.

"Sure babe" I said "get your helmet"

I walked to the garage grabbing my favorite jacket along the way, Alice letting out a groan of frustration as she looked at my recently acquired black leather rebel jacket. I looked at myself as I passed a mirror. I looked like I wouldn't stand out at a rock or goth festival, well not much. The black high heeled boots, the tight black jeans, a short black shirt with a winged vampire skull on it and a neckline showing enough cleavage to make a vampire blush. I wanted my navel pierced as well, mom would go completely berserk, but nothing so mundane as a needle could pierce my skin. I knew I was stunning, I knew I was pushing it, but I was the most normal looking in a household of perfect beauties, so I tried to compensate. Next to that I also discovered that my "vamped up" image was a great disguise. I didn't look out of place because I was already drawing attention, people probably gathered the somewhat lighter skin was deliberate. The overall unnatural appearance seeming more like an act then anything else. And off course my "look" really suited my somewhat rebellious nature. Though Alice very vocally disagreed with me I thought I actually was quite subtle about it. Going for the "Underworld" look rather then "Elvira mistress of the dark" as Alice called me sometimes.

I got up on the black motorcycle and Alice jumped on behind me. Her unnatural balance not requiring her to hold on to me, she was checking her nails as I made a wheelie and pulled up shooting out into the night heading for the reservation, trying hard not to hum Meatloaf's "bat out of hell…."

We arrived in next to no time, things had changed little in those last six years except for the rules of the "truce" as it was still called, though it was more like a brotherhood. The relationship with the wolves was even closer then our vampire alliance and even though there was still resistance to non-vegetarian vampires, the Cullens, Tanya's coven and Garret where all welcomed in La Push as family.

Jacob was visiting his father this evening and I saw the warm light radiating from Billy's home ahead when I drove up. I could hear Sam's pack in the woods around us, something was wrong.