READ THIS, IT'S IMPORTANT, I PROMISE.

Hey everyone! My sincerest apologies for taking an unacceptable amount of time in writing this chapter. All I can say is that I'm in my senior year of high school, applying to college and trying my darnedest not to fail physics class (I came very close but pulled through with a B!). I hope you all forgive me?

Good :) Now, so that you guys don't have to re-read anything, I'll summarize for you (since my last chapters came out… well, a very, very long time ago). Skye and Austin, the accidental vampires, are living with the Cullens, and are part of the family. Skye's power is energy fields and Austin can 'read' vampire's powers, like see what special abilities other vamps have. However on their first day of school, Austin attacked a human girl: he didn't bite her or anything, but it was a terrifying experience for everyone involved, not least of all the poor little human named Kelsey. Turns out she was Austin's tua cantante, so that's why he could resist the other humans until she came through the door. Poor guy.

Now, after a romantic little frolic in the woods, Skye and Austin have arrived back at the Cullens' home on the very same morning (about two hours after) Austin went mad all over Kelsey. They have to go in there and figure out what's going to happen to their family because of their mistake (remember that Skye includes herself as part of the problem because has a lot of guilt since she told Alice not to watch Austin's future, because she didn't want anyone to know if he was going to mess up: she wanted him to trust himself and his own strength).

There's your summary, but if you feel like re-reading, I suggest you read just chapter twenty-three: that's the one in which they have their first day of school, and Austin's attack is clearly described there. Some of those details come up in this chapter. Chapter twenty-four was just a little filler about their romantic time in the woods.

Enjoy, and please leave some delicious reviews, even if you only want to yell at me for being such an idiot and not updating for months :) Again, very sorry for making you wait. And this chapter is dedicated to my newest fanfiction friend, Aimsxx :D

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When we arrived back at the Cullens', it felt like we had stepped into an alternate dimension. The house looked the same as we stood outside it, now drenched from the rain, but yet there was a stillness, a tension surrounding the area; everything looked as it had before, but our lives had been turned upside down. The house hadn't changed; we had.

It was down-pouring harder than ever now; the gray sheets of driving rain had turned the morning into twilight, and the forest around the house was gloomy and dismal. I hoped with all my heart that the deteriorating weather wasn't an omen.

Austin held my hand as we walked toward the front door, and I tried not to panic. I was ashamed; of who I was, of what I did to my family, of the choices that I had made that had led to this. It was childish of me, but I wanted to go back into the woods with Austin, to pretend that we would never have to deal with this. The impulse of fight or flight was so strong that I instinctively squeezed Austin's hand tighter and slowed down my pace as we reached the front door. He turned to me and just shook his head, then pushed the door open.

There was a static stillness in the house, a tangible tension that filled the empty entranceway. Austin and I walked forward, our footsteps echoing hollowly through the deathly silent rooms.

We found the Cullens in the living room, all seated quietly on the chairs and couches. They didn't speak, but they looked around at us as we came in, all except for Rae, who was turned away, watching the television on mute. I was grateful to her; it was difficult to meet anyone's eyes in this room, and I was glad she was turned away, staring determinedly at the news.

Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. Austin and I stood awkwardly in the doorframe of the living room, trying not to catch any eyes, and trying not to look as ashamed as we felt. I could only imagine how guilty Austin must feel, since I was feeling pretty terrible and it hadn't even been me who had lost control. My own guilt stemmed from the fact that I had specifically asked Alice not to warn us if she knew anything was going to happen. If I hadn't been so selfish and over-confident, I could've stopped Austin sooner.

Suddenly, I realized why Jasper and Emmett had been rushing towards our building, right before Austin's attack. Alice must have seen something coming and told them to watch over us. So, she had known something would happen, but just hadn't been sure exactly what it was. I glanced at Edward and he nodded his head sadly, confirming the thoughts in my mind.

Each second ticked by, stretching into silence, filling the living room like a thick fog. I stared at the weather forecast on the screen: rain every day this week, and tonight was going to be the worst storm yet. Bleakly, I thought of how unfortunate it was that Austin and I would probably begin our trek of shame back across the country tonight in a terrible storm.

"We'll have to leave, won't we? All of us?" It was Rosalie who spoke, her eyes cold and her tone detached. Emmett put his arm around her shoulder, but she continued to stare at Carlisle.

"Not necessarily," Carlisle said uncomfortably, shifting his eyes back and forth between his wife and where Austin and I stood.

"What he means is that the rest of us didn't go mad today at school," said Bella, staring at Austin pointedly. Carlisle had put it in a better way, but clearly Bella had struck the meaning of what he said.

"Bella," Edward spoke softly, laying his hand lightly on her leg, but she still stared firmly at us, separating us from her family. My throat tightened and I looked away.

"No, she's right," Austin conceded. "I'm the one who caused the trouble, not the rest of you. I'll leave. Just… give me a few minutes." He cast his eyes downward, and Bella looked away, clearly a little embarrassed, but still unyielding.

Austin made to go upstairs when Jasper spoke. "It's not his fault." The whole family turned to him, and he folded his hands in his lap, leaning forward so that his blonde curls fell across his forehead. He still reminded me so much of Austin sometimes. "I know what it's like: I can remember better than most of you. And you, Edward: you should understand as well." Edward nodded bravely, and pulled his wife closer to him.

Jasper walked across the room, breaching the border between the family and the outsiders, and faced Austin directly. They were the exact same height, with the same blonde ringlets, and matching expressions on their faces; they could be brothers.

Jasper turned and stood with us, and a strange feeling coursed through me when I realized he was on our side. It made me feel as if we were not so alone after all; someone understood.

"Maybe there's something we can work out. Austin, obviously, cannot go back to school with his tua cantante in such close proximity. We could, perhaps, offer her… a choice."

There was absolute stillness in the room.

"Insanity," Rosalie hissed. "You would condemn an innocent girl, just to keep them here?"

"I was merely offering---" Jasper began, but Austin cut him off.

"We can't," Everyone turned to him, and Bella and Rosalie narrowed their eyes. "Rosalie's right; that would be very wrong. Besides, one thing I do remember registering before I went mad… it feels so long ago… but I remember seeing her special ability, right before I attacked her."

"What do you mean Austin?" Alice had not spoken yet, so her question caught most of the room off guard. I had almost forgotten about her, sitting on the end of the couch next to her husband's vacant seat.

"When Skye and I were in the hall, it was my first encounter with a large number of regular humans. That's why I'd never known before: not only can I read what abilities vampires have, but I can read what humans' special gifts would be, if they were to be changed."

The room went still; Carlisle looked stunned, Alice bemused, Emmett was grinning, Rae was still staring resolutely at the television, and the rest were just looking unsure of what to say or do.

"I've never heard of such an ability, not in all my years," Carlisle marveled. Austin grinned at him, clearly proud. "Tell me: what did you see for your tua cantante?"

Austin's face fell, and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach as he whispered, "She will have Jane's abilities, but perhaps even more powerful."

"Well, that rules that out, doesn't it?" Jasper said briskly, determined to figure out a solution to our monstrous problem. "We absolutely can't attempt to bring that upon ourselves, the risk of her finding favor with the Volturi would be too great. We'll just have to think of something---"

"Oh my god." Rae had finally spoken from her seat near the television. She glanced back urgently at her family, and then pointed us to the screen. Rae turned up the volume, and the middle-aged news anchor's deep voice filled the living room.

"The search for a missing girl and boy from a small town has been temporarily suspended; a strange discovery in the woods where they were thought to have disappeared has been made."

The screen was suddenly covered in two giant pictures; on the left, there was my junior yearbook picture, and on the right, a snapshot of Austin in his backyard, sitting on a boulder, smiling. My stomach lurched and I glanced at Austin; his face was in shock.

The screen cut to a video of police officers and dogs swarming the woods, my woods, checking every inch of the forest for clues. I thought with a pang of my parents, who were still searching for me, but would never find me.

"After two months of searching, police have located only a few small blood samples in one area, but they continue to investigate the entire forest. No evidence has been found that would explain where either Skye Grey or Austin Brooks are at this moment."

Austin took my hand and stared grimly at the screen. A few members of my family glanced at us and frowned sadly.

"But about a week ago, a small pile of ashes was discovered some ways into the woods behind Austin Brooks' house. Authorities think the discovery may help them locate the missing teenagers. But, that's not the only discovery that was made."

The screen cut from a photo of the remains of a small fire to a picture of a glove-covered policeman's hand, holding what appeared to be a thick, pure white finger, cut at the knuckle. The policeman turned it over and over in the sunlight: it gleamed in a horribly familiar way. The entire room gasped in unison, and Esme's hand covered her mouth.

"What appears to be a human finger has been found among the ashes. However, it is not organic; it is not, in fact, made of any substance known to man. Originally thought to be pure white marble, the finger is three times as heavy as it should be," they showed a picture of the tiny finger fragment on a scale, weighing five whole pounds, "harder than diamonds," the screen showed a man in a lab coat smashing the unyielding finger with a hammer, " and it sparkles in the sunlight. Scientists say the only substance that may be able to damage it, is more of itself."

My chest was closing and I couldn't breathe. I knew whose finger that was.

It was Roland's.

Months ago, when Austin was changed, I had killed Roland, the vampire that had attacked Austin and I. I had torn him apart and burned the pieces, but never went back to check that each small fragment was completely destroyed. Now, because of my carelessness, humans had found---I shuddered ---Roland's forgotten, severed finger.

The horror of the situation weighed down on me, and I wished I could throw up. Instead I just closed my eyes, unable to see any more of Roland's hideous finger. But I couldn't block out the reporter's voice.

"Scientists will look more into this fascinating discovery, and what it could possibly mean for our missing teenagers, Skye and Austin. Meanwhile, the search continues, and anyone with any additional information is encouraged to contact their local authorities immediately."

The news went to a story about a recent visit by a movie actor to a local mall, and Rae turned off the television. Everyone turned toward Austin and I, looking utterly confused and anxious. I was frozen, unable to explain what it was I had done. Thankfully, Edward--- God bless him--- saved me the trouble and relayed to the family the appalling story that he could read from my mind as Austin and I stood holding hands.

When he was done, the entire room just sat in mute horror. Then finally, when I thought I might suffocate from the silence in the room, Carlisle stood up and stated grimly, "We need to make a plan. If word gets out about this to too many people, the Volturi will find out very quickly, and they'll come looking here, since we're close to the discovery site. If we can get back to your hometown," he nodded at Austin and I, but it was hard to make myself focus on what he was saying, "then perhaps we can distract the authorities from this find and stop the spread. The reporter was right; this substance has never been discovered or tested by humans before, and it will quickly become national news. If that happens… well, who knows what further discoveries will be made from there. If we act quickly, perhaps the Volturi---"

"Alice!" Rae yelped. Alice was staring off into space, her body rigid and her eyes unmoving; she was having a vision. The entire room held its breath until Alice shook her head and blinked.

"Alice," Jasper crossed the room and knelt in front of her, taking her tiny hand in his. "What did you see?"

She stared at him sadly, and then looked at Austin and I. I froze, knowing that the look on her face could only mean the vision had been less than pleasant.

"They know," Edward stated harshly, reading Alice's mind. "The Volturi. They're coming."

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Hope you guys remembered, but Roland was the vampire that had eavesdropped on Skye when she was telling a still-human Austin about vampires, so he tried to kill them both (biting and inadvertently changing Austin in the process). Skye killed Roland but she didn't do a very good job, did she? Oh well, she was alone, she didn't know.

But now we'll have to see what happens when the ferocious Volturi arrive :) promise I'll be speedier this time! I already know what's going to happen, but maybe some nice little reviews would encourage me??

Love you all 33