Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, not me.
A/N: Sorry for the late update. I also apologise if I haven't replied to any of your reviews as ff may be facing some problems with the reply (to reviews) function.
"You don't have to worry much about Seth. He plays, eats and sleeps. Luckily, we've passed his bedwetting stage," Leah rolled her eyes. "Remind me to never have kids!"
"They're not that bad!" I exclaimed. "Sure they're dirty and sometimes…they smell, but they are also adorable and so innocent. Seeing a kid smile lightens up my day, to be honest." I had a few flashbacks of the kids I left back in Chicago from my old job: Blonde Brody, Fairy-like Fawn, Calm Ciaran and Jumpy June. I had a terrible habit to give my students alliterative names that suited their individual qualities. But it was effective, and helped me to remember them.
"Aww, do you want kids?" Leah asked, as she opened the door to outside the café. She motioned with her hand for me to exit first.
"Thanks. I haven't thought about it yet." I knew it was expected of Edward and I to produce an heir, a Pureblood heir, for Foame's next Leader but that was it. We never really talked about children. I recalled what C.L. had told me on our first meeting – '"It is a very rare chance the baby will become a Pureblood- it's either that or human. And it's human 99.9% of the time.'" I had no idea what would happen if we kept having human babies. With a sinking feeling, I realised I may not be allowed to keep them. After all, Edward never talked about any brother or sisters. And if it was a 0.01% chance to have a Pureblood baby, then how many times would it have taken Edward's parents to finally have Edward? Would the human babies have been disposed of? I don't think I would be able to bear it if that happened, I thought.
"Bella…are you there?" Leah snapped her fingers in front of my face. "You're blocking the doorway."
"Oh!" I quickly moved to the side of the doorway, embarrassed and slightly worried of the possibility of dying children. My dying children. It would have to be something to ask Edward, whenever I next saw him.
"It's okay…Are you missing where you came from?" I waited for her to leave the café and then started walking alongside her to the Help Centre.
"Yeah," I lied.
"You'll get used to-"
But she never finished that sentence.
A sudden blur tackled Leah to the floor, to my horror.
I screamed, but no one was around. The road was deserted. And the Sun had gone down, meaning Vampires were free to roam around. And attack us.
With adrenaline pumping through my body, I ran to Leah and the Vampire. Oh God! I hope it's not drinking from her!
I tried to push the Vamp off, only for him to snarl at me. His eyes were cold and empty, a light blue that showed darkness within. His fangs were extracted, but no blood on his mouth. He jumped up, from Leah, his eyes on me. This was nothing compared to when Edward first smelt me, but I was still frightened of this Vampire.
I took a few steps back, and he mirrored me towards my direction.
He smirked, and was about to pounce on me like a cheetah, but was also tackled to the floor. By another Vampire.
As both Vampires started wresting on the floor, I ran back to Leah who appeared to be fine, just shocked. I helped her get up, and we both watched more Vampires join the scene.
The two fighting Vampires were separated by the others, and then I got a good look at our 'rescuer'.
"What an eventful day!" Leah muttered, as she opened the door to my new home for the next six months. "Let me give you the tour. You can put your stuff down near the staircase and then we'll bring it up, okay?"
"Sure." Leah seemed like the person who preferred to be in charge, giving out orders. It didn't bother me that much, especially since she was going out of her way to help me settle in.
"Ugh! My neck is killing me," she moaned, rubbing her neck. I kept quiet, both of us knowing that we could not have prevented what happened earlier in any way.
Leah then picked Seth from next door. It was an understatement to say I was nervous in meeting him for the first time! Well what I saw melted my heart…He had dark, messy hair with the bottom strands curling at his neck. His eyes were large and also dark, exuding raw innocence.
"This is Bella. She's going to be living with us now," Leah introduced. I got down on my knees and opened my arms, for a hug. To my utter surprise, Seth ran straight into my arms and clutched onto me tightly. Leah beamed from behind Seth. "He does not get a lot of that, I'm afraid."
"Well, that's going to change right now," I whispered to him, tickling him slightly. He giggled and moved out of my arms. I got right back up on my feet, missing his warmth.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk to Seth anymore; he went to sleep. Though Leah did mention Seth wanted me to put him to bed. I was falling in love with Seth rather quickly. Seraphic Seth, I thought suited him perfectly.
She showed me the whole house in under ten minutes, plus the garden, and it already felt like home. There was not much; hardly any photos on the wall or a lot of furniture, but I liked it. The house was simple, and it suited me fine. Unlike Foame HQ, that had an embellished interior design, even in the bathrooms!
Walking back into the kitchen, Leah turned around to face me with a hand on her hip.
"So how did you know that Vampire?" Oh God, so she did notice! "And don't even try to deny it – I was right next to you!"
I rubbed my eyes, wondering how I was going to answer, what I was going to answer. However, before I could, the doorbell rang. Leah stormed past me, her face telling me she was not going to let this go.
I guessed she opened the door as she exclaimed, "Oh! Good you're here then!"
Curious, I made my way to the front door to see…Tyler, and he was holding a pizza box. And he had a slight disgusted expression on his face, as if he couldn't stand the pizza. It was shocking to see any emotion on his face.
"I brought pizza," he said.
"I can see that," Leah muttered before snatching the box out of his hands. She walked into the living room leaving Tyler and I at the door. "Aren't you going to come in?" She asked, from the next room.
"Bella, I need to talk to you. It's urgent," he whispered, completely ignoring Leah.
"Later! Just come up into my room after they've gone to sleep," I hissed. I motioned him to follow me and then he closed the front door.
What was so important that he had to seek me out?
Pretending to act nonchalantly as I walked into the next room, I sat down on the other side of the sofa Leah was sitting on, with Tyler trailing behind me and awkwardly standing before us.
"Have a seat," Leah pointed to the worn-down recliner opposite us.
Tyler hesitantly sat down, his posture stiff and alert.
Leah placed the pizza box between us, offering me slices. Looking down into the box, I saw plain pizza slices.
"I did not know what you both preferred so I just picked this one," Tyler explained.
"Thanks but I'm not that hungry," I said to both of them. How could I have been? It was my first day here and there was already drama. I did not want to think about the rest of my six months here…
"I think you should or you could be in serious trouble," Tyler hinted at me. It took me a while to realise he was talking about Edward not approving of me skipping meals.
Not wanting to face Edward's wrath I shrugged my shoulders in defeat and picked up a slice, taking a small bite in it and chewing.
"So, how do you two know each other?" Leah asked, jumping straight onto the point. I shot a panicked look to Tyler, hoping to convey I had no story planned and for him to come up with one fast.
"I was in charge of bringing Bella here from the outside world," Tyler answered simply.
It seemed like a good answer but Leah was not satisfied, "Then how come she sounded surprised to see you earlier?"
"I thought he left," I quickly interjected.
"No, I'm here to stay," Tyler commented. I was impressed with how he was playing along with this story.
"But you fought with James. James! You should be in prison by now, awaiting your trial!" She seemed hysterical, the pizza forgotten.
"That would be true for other cases but certainly not mine; my status is similar to James' and if anything regarding that happens to me, I assure you it was also happen to James," Tyler calmly said.
"Who's James and why did he attack you?" I asked, looking between them.
"He's the Chief of Police, and so in charge of the Human AND Vampire Police. He's also the Mayor's family's protector. He is the most powerful Halfblooded Vampire here," Leah explained, although I thought the last comment was more directed to Tyler.
He simply snorted in response which made Leah smirk at him. Then he narrowed his eyes at her.
"You don't have a protector," he warned," So I suggest you watch what you say or do. James said he thought you had a dangerous weapon on you so he felt justified in retaining you. "
I rolled my eyes, well aware that his reason was crap, and then I asked, "Tyler will you be our protector?"
Two heads snapped in my direction, one of surprise (Tyler) and the other of shock (Leah).
"You can't be serious?" She shrieked. "And you've known him for how many hours?"
"Look, if he wanted to hurt us he would have done it by now. Also, he saved you from that James person and you've known me less than he has," I reasoned.
"You're Human," she fired at me. "I don't expect you to come sucking me or my brother dry whilst we're sleeping!"
"If that's what you think a protector does, no wonder you do not have one!" Tyler exclaimed.
Before Leah could open her mouth, I shushed her. In my most calming voice I said, "Isn't it enough proof that he is here and not in some prison like you said he should be in for going against James? Doesn't that prove that yes he does have some status? I would not put you or Seth in any danger, so trust me on this. What happened today really shows us that we need protection."
Leah's resolve was slowly slipping away during my mini speech.
"What's going on?" Seth asked from the doorway, rubbing his eyes tiredly. God, he was so adorable. Some of his hair was sticking up. Funny, I didn't even hear him come down the stairs. By the look on Leah and Tyler's faces, neither did they.
Leah seemed to stare a bit longer on Seth than we did, and finally muttered, "Fine," before getting up and taking him back to bed. "We'll discuss all the details tomorrow."
Then, it was just Tyler and I.
"My room," I said. "Give me fifteen minutes."
Tyler nodded his head and then left using his Vampire speed.
Back into the kitchen, I stored the remaining pizza into the fridge and discarded the box. I grabbed my luggage and made my way up the staircase, my arms protesting in discomfort. Flinging my door open, I dropped my bags in relief to take in my new room. There was a queen-sized bed with purple sheets in the centre of the room, with my wardrobe on the opposite side to the window. Well I guessed that was how Tyler was coming in. My window had non-matching curtains, a hideous shade of orange, but it did not concern me that much.
I changed into my pyjamas and brushed my teeth, hoping for at least some sleep.
"Goodnight," I whispered outside Leah's door, to let her know that I was retiring to my room.
Back in my room, I gently closed the door and opened my window. In a flash, Tyler entered and closed the window.
"So tell me," I commanded, making myself comfortable on my bed.
For a while, Tyler was silent. I did not want to push him, otherwise it may have steered him into the direction to not say anything at all.
And then he began, quietly," I was a child when I became orphaned. With no other family to claim me, or money, I became a beggar on the streets. The jobs they made kids my age do were horrendous and did not even pay much. I was better on the streets shivering and starving than a slave."
"When was this?" I asked.
Tyler smiled sardonically. "A long time ago. Anyway, I was an adolescent when I heard of the new jobs available. It sounded perfect at that time: a secure place to live, food and water given daily and a chance to earn good money. Naturally, so many were after the job. I was surprised I got in; after all, it was not only the poor who wanted these jobs. I bet you can guess what I became."
"A Familiar," I whispered in shock. So this was how Tyler's life paved out?
"Yes," he nodded. "I started doing the bottom tasks, jobs others did not want to do. I didn't care what I did as long as I had food and shelter. Over time, I impressed my bosses and moved up. From a cleaner to stalker to a murderer. They gave me names; opposition to wipe out. I still did it because it meant I was earning more money. I was saving money, hoping I would have enough to leave and start somewhere new. Unfortunately before that dream came to life, I became ill. I was seriously close to death, and then I was changed and realised Vampires existed and I became one."
"Didn't your body reject the change?"
"I was dying, for real, and I did not want to die. I was only told that the change will make me better and so I embraced it, in the hope I would survive."
"And then what?"
"I could not leave – I was born into Foame and so I learnt the ropes about being a Vampire. Over the years I continued to impress my bosses and then became Edward's Immediate."
I gasped. "Really? You? You said you had some status…"
Tyler did not look offended, to my relief. "I was his personal assistant. Well actually, his longest lasting personal assistant – I think that boosted my status more than anything. It was shocking really. I was an unhappy Vampire; drinking Human blood did not appeal to me and neither did the women. I hated my lifestyle. Obviously Edward's a mind reader so he knew everything that went on with me and everybody else."
"How come you lasted so long if you were unhappy?"
"I was efficient and I seemed to understand Edward more than anyone else. He liked that. And he understood me so he let me go."
"To Humanity," I stated.
"Yes but that was not just it. James…the Vampire today. He's from my past. You see, James was a fighter back in Foame HQ. He partook in matches with other Vampires and won, and the loser was killed through exposure to sunlight. He won every match. He caught Jasper's attention rather quickly and you may not know this but Jasper is in charge of all things military and combat in the House of Foame, as well as this island. Therefore, no wonder that happened…Then Jasper trained James and he became the ultimate champion.
"At that point I ignored James. He wanted glory and recognition and it turned me off. Word of his talent spread so even other Houses visited to see James fight. It was custom for Edward to watch and so it was expected of me to stand behind and watch as well. Gradually I became…obsessed with James. Watching him fight was exhilarating and exciting and I could not resist going to the matches. No one questioned me – many were obsessed with him. Just not in the ways that I was, I realised. I was attracted to him, physically.
"It confused me and scared the hell out of me. Coming to realise that you're gay when you thought you were straight all your life can be pretty shocking. It also affected my work performance which pissed Edward right off-"
"Wait, did Edward know you were gay at that point?" I interrupted.
"Of course he did; I was thinking about it constantly," he answered.
"Milk….Mike told me that it was unlawful for Vampires not to be straight. How did you get away with it even though Edward's own Grandfather made this law?"
"Only a few of us know about this and Edward didn't tell anybody. Unlike many Vampires, Edward is open-minded and forms his own opinions and beliefs. He would not have brought you here if that were not the case. Edward also knew it was dangerous for me to remain in Foame, in case anyone else found out. So he sent me free."
My heart warmed at Edward's kind side. If only he showed it more and did not hide it...
"On the condition that if he ever needed me to do something for him, I would have to do it," he continued. I frowned at that – I didn't particularly like this side of Edward. "Which is why Humanity ended as it did."
Shock filled me. "What happened to Humanity?"
Tyler stared out of the window. "Dead. Every single one of them, except me."
I instantly knew whom he was talking about. "H-how? Why?"
"The other Vampire Houses criticised the Council for letting us to exist. Not wanting to cause any more disputes, the Council pinned us guilty for keeping you hostage and quickly brought punishment – death by sunlight."
"You survived," I pointed out. I was disgusted with how the Council acted out; Edward made them seem as if they did the Vampire world good. They just abused their powers – hardly any good in my book. "And I came willingly to you! Didn't you guys explain that?"
"I was prohibited to. Edward made me act as witness to your 'kidnap', and so I survived the death penalty. This is my punishment – I can never leave this island."
"Ever?" I asked, feeling sympathy for Tyler. This was far worst than my fate.
He nodded his head in confirmation.
"It doesn't make sense!" I exclaimed, then slapping a hand to my mouth. I hoped I hadn't woken anyone up. We kept quiet for a few seconds to hear any movements. I continued to speak after we were sure Leah and Seth were still asleep, "I thought the Council had a lot of power. Why would they care what the other Houses thought of them?"
"There are rumours spreading that the Council are going through a rough patch now. It seems as if Edward's Grandfather wants to retire from his post as the Head of the Council," Tyler replied.
"Then what's the problem? Is it that so many want to be the Head and competition is fierce?"
Tyler scoffed, "The rest of the Council do not want him to resign. They're all worrying that they may have to step up and take the post."
Disbelief coursed through me. "What's wrong with them? Isn't being Head like being the President?"
"No. Being on the Council is like being President. Being the Head is like being God. With so much power comes a lot of danger. Edward's Grandfather, well in anyone in Edward's direct family line, can protect themselves. The other Purebloods - not so much. Edward's Grandfather wants Edward to step up-"
"Will he?" I cut him off. What would happen if Edward became the Head? What would it mean for us?
Tyler shrugged his shoulders. "It's certain at some point he will become the Head – it is part of Cullen tradition but I have no idea when. He could do it now, or even in 20 years. If you want my opinion, I do not think Edward will do that until he has your approval…and an heir to take over the House of Foame. Who knows when that'll be?"
His answer relieved me slightly; however, it was not enough to calm me down. "What about Edward's father to take on the job?"
"Who knows? It's up to the Cullen men to decide."
I decided I had to talk to Edward. And we had a lot to discuss.
I yawned, to my embarrassment. Tyler checked his wristwatch.
"It's gotten late. You should sleep now, especially for the big meeting with me later on today." Damn! Has it gone past midnight already? "See you later."
"Wait! What are you going to do now?"
"Hang around somewhere. All the Vampires must be out by now so I might check out some places. James also invited me around for a drink," Tyler cringed at that. "We're…friends now. That is one of the reasons why I'm currently not rotting in some prison cell."
"He remembers me."
Then he was gone.
Falling back onto my bed, I realised I had forgotten to ask Tyler the most important question ever. You and Jake…?
I fell asleep instantly, knowing that I had six months to ask that question.
A/N: Will an outtake make up for this delay? I'm thinking Tyler and James' reunion...I don't think I could do Edward again at this stage :(
Thanks for reading!