Warnings: minor character deaths
Author's notes:This was written for Illogical Leah in the anonymous Twilight gift exchange on LJ.
Many, many thanks to my beta, Juno Magic, who picked and prodded me until this sounded like English. And Edward.
Summary:Can Edward and Bella have an uneventful—second—honeymoon?
I watched as Nessie opened the envelope my brother Jasper had just given her. She looked intently at the two ID cards she took out of it. They bore the names of Renesmee Black, nee Cullen, and Jacob Black. Every detail on them was correct but for her birth date: who would have believed that she was only ten year old when she looked twenty? A big smile spread on her face; it mirrored the elation bubbling in her thoughts.
"Thank you, uncle." She was beaming and it looked like she made a great effort not to bounce on her seat like a five year old.
Those papers were my daughter's key to her new life with Jacob, her husband of one month. They would be able to buy that nice house in the outskirts of Seattle I caught her daydreaming about so often and live the life of newlyweds without interference from her vampire family. She was glad for the privacy to come. I winced at the direction her mind was taking.
Sorry, dad, she thought when she noticed my reaction.
"It's all right," I reassured her. But it was not all right. Of course I was happy for her. She had a husband she was very much in love with, and I could tell that her love was reciprocated. It did not hurt either that he had the ability to protect her thanks to his shape-shifting gift. Yet I could not wrap my mind around the fact that she was going to move out of our home. I fervently wished that she had the same time frame for growing-up as a human. Bella and I would have had more time with our daughter. Already we missed her.
I needed to do something, anything to quell my maudlin mood. Already Jasper was showing signs of distress, his mind struggling not to succumb to Bella's and my anxiety about letting Nessie go.
"Let's go hunting," I suggested softly to Bella, who was sitting next to me.
She nodded. I imagined that she struggled against a similar lump in her throat as I did. We both stood up, and Nessie followed suit. She hugged us tightly, conveying through her touch how much she loved us.
When we were far enough from the house not be heard from our family, Bella and I stopped and turned to each other in a symmetric move, as if we had choreographed it beforehand. It was, however, a perfectly spontaneous gesture that showed just how much we were made for each other.
"I can't believe she's going to leave us," she whispered, distraught. "I thought leaving my humanity behind would save me from aging, and yet that's exactly how I feel; like I'm growing old."
"Don't worry, love. You still look nineteen," I teased her in an attempt at lightening the mood. From the look on her face, and probably on mine too, I did not succeed too well. I felt her mental shield lift and was assaulted by the depth of her anguish, which perfectly reflected mine. No more of Nessie's laughter when I tickled her to wake her up, no more cooking breakfast, no more toys, CDs or other girly stuff lying around… How would we cope in an empty house? There was the obvious answer, that we would get our own privacy, but…
My eyes locked with Bella's. "A second honeymoon!" we exclaimed at the same time.
"We'll leave the day after she moves out!" she stated. I agreed wholeheartedly.
Our first idea was to go back to Isle Esme. It was soon discarded, though. Too many memories were attached to the place where Nessie's life was created. Instead we decided on a totally different destination: Siberia. Siberia was perfect for us. Not too many sentient beings lived there, be they human or vampires, and the local wildlife would be more than enough to provide for our sustenance.
As soon as our decision was made, my cell phone vibrated in my jeans pocket. Alice's name appeared on the screen. Damn, she must have seen our conversation.
"Hello, Alice. To what do I owe that pleasure? Aren't you busy helping Nessie and Jacob decorate their house?" I couldn't keep the bitterness I felt at my daughter moving out from my tone entirely. I wondered how long it would remain a sore spot in my heart.
"Edward, don't try to change the subject. You know it won't work," she gently chided me.
"All right, Alice. What did you see?"
Beside me, Bella frowned as she listened in on our conversation. Like me, she was wary of Alice's visions. The mere fact that my sister called to share meant that it was at the least disquieting news.
"I've seen you decide to go to Siberia. And then your future disappeared. I cannot see either of you anymore." Her tone grew frantic as she spoke. In the end even our vampire ears were hard pressed to follow her fast speech.
I shared a look with Bella; the last time the future had escaped Alice, there were shape-shifters involved. I could see on her face that the same idea had crossed her mind. Alice hurried on, "The good thing is I saw you both coming back from your trip. You'd lost your entire luggage, your clothes were torn, and you had scratches on your skin, but you were both alive."
Yes, probably shape-shifters, and ones who didn't change into mice either if they could inflict physical damage on us. Well, we would just cancel our trip and choose another destination. There was no way that I would lead Bella into danger.
But I had not counted on my daughter and her husband. They were gifted with a hearing as efficient as that of vampires and had heard everything Alice had told us. And they had come to the same conclusion we did, for I heard Jacob saying in the background how he'd be interested in meeting other shape-shifters. And where Jacob went, Nessie followed.
"Absolutely not!" I roared in the phone. "Nessie will not go in the vicinity of something that could endanger her!" I felt more than I saw how Bella nodded in agreement. How ironic. Were she in Nessie's shoes, she'd end up doing just that.
"I won't let anything happen to her, you know," Jacob yelled in the phone Alice must have handed him. "And might I remind you that shape-shifters are someone, not something."
I huffed—as if that was supposed to make me feel better. Before our truce with the Quileute wolves, they would have gladly sunk their teeth into our stone-like flesh. Why would other shape-shifters be friendlier than them, at least at a first meeting?
"Dad, I want to go with Jacob," I heard my daughter say. She sounded excited at the idea. "Can you imagine that there could be other people like us?"
I wanted to smack my head against a wall; the wall would not survive the encounter intact, but that was not the point. "Like us? As far as I know, you're not a dog," I could not help but retort. Even before she answered, I knew I had hurt her and regretted my words. "I'm sorry, love. It's just ... I don't want you to be in danger."
She sighed rather noisily. "Dad." It was her turn to hold the phone, it seemed. "Jacob and I aren't exactly defenseless."
I pinched my lips and furrowed my brow. One glance at Bella showed me that she had adopted the same facial expression.
"I suppose we don't have a choice, then." Bella's arms encircled me. "We'll go to Siberia. Just promise me you'll wait for your mother's and my return before you go there yourself, please."
"Why can't we come with you?" Renesmee asked, puzzled.
"Because it's their second honeymoon," Alice piped up from behind her.
"Oh," was all my daughter could say. I knew I had won the argument. She had felt guilty when she left us; Bella and I had been unable to hide our feeling of loss. So Nessie felt she could not begrudge us our time alone. I was sure a string of curses was running through Jacob's head; he would have to wait for us to come back before he could quench his curiosity about his 'cousins'.
After Nessie and Jacob had—reluctantly—agreed to wait, I dialed Carlisle's number. The situation clearly called for a family meeting.
A couple of days later, all the family, my son-in-law included, were assembled in the dining-room of our home in Alaska. We had moved there a few years ago, when Carlisle's perpetual youth had started to be commented upon by the nurses of Forks hospital. The area we were in now was so poorly populated that we had not even bothered with faking a human life and going to high school. Carlisle had opened a small private practice, and things were fine just like that.
We settled down around the table. Two glasses and a bottle of water were sitting on it for Jacob's and Nessie's use. By now, all of us were accustomed to the dining-room and the kitchen being used for their intended purpose. Some of us even knew how to cook ...
"I believe Edward needs our advice about a situation," Carlisle started. Go ahead, son. We're listening to you.
I explained then that Bella's and my decision to go on a second honeymoon in Siberia had triggered a vision in Alice and, what was more upsetting, a lack of vision for a short period of time during our sojourn there. Alice confirmed it was like with the Quileute wolves, that she could not see us at all. I heard the conclusion being formed in my family members' minds: if we went, we would meet shape-shifters. But they all had a different idea of what to do with that revelation.
I wonder if they'd be as good fighters as the wolves, Emmett wondered.
Will they be stupid enough to go? I bet they will. If not, we wouldn't be having this meeting, Rosalie thought.
Alice was worried about us, even though she had seen us come back. But what if I'm wrong? What if the future changed?
Esme's thoughts were of the same tone, whereas Carlisle was urging us to be prudent.
We can come and cover your backs, Jasper proposed me.
Jacob was eaten with curiosity, and Nessie was torn between apprehension and curiosity.
I expected nothing else from any of them. In a way, it was comforting to know I could count on them being them.
"Is it necessary for you to go?" Esme asked. "The world is big enough that you can choose another destination."
I sneered. "I know, mom. But Jacob and Nessie want to meet those shape-shifters. If there actually are shape-shifters there."
At once a chorus of mental protestations rose from Rosalie's and Esme's minds, mirroring the one in my own mind, and I knew Bella was thinking the same. It was inconceivable to expose Nessie to danger. No matter how much potential the situation promised. Even Jacob thought so, in spite of his burning curiosity.
"They've only agreed to wait until Bella and I return and tell them about the situation ourselves."
"This isn't a bad idea," Carlisle interjected. His intervention helped to placate the nerves of those family members most protective of my daughter. "You'll be able to assess their intentions and states of mind thanks to your gift." And I admit to being curious about them too, he added for my benefit. "So," he resumed aloud, "I think we can agree on Bella and Edward going there first and enjoy their honeymoon in the wilderness. But I'd be more at ease if they had some backup."
"We'll go," Rosalie and Emmett said like one.
I picked from their minds that Rosalie wanted to ascertain the danger by herself, while Emmett hoped to be involved in some fighting.
Bella frowned. "How are we going to be alone if Rosalie and Emmett come with us? Isn't that contradictory?"
Carlisle answered her. "They won't go with you, they'll just be in the 'vicinity'. And by vicinity, I mean several hundreds of miles away, enough to give you and Edward privacy, but close enough to be able to reach you quickly if need be."
I did not like much the idea of my brother and sister trailing us, so to speak. Yet I had to admit that Carlisle's proposition was, as usual, very reasonable. Silently I consulted with Bella, and she nodded slightly.
"All right, it's a plan," I agreed.
The next hours were devoted to organizing our trip, from booking the tickets to Irkutsk to renting a jeep and buying camping supplies.
Three months later, Jacob and Nessie had a house-warming party in their new home in Seattle. Of course the whole Cullen family had joined them to celebrate as well as Jacob's father, Billy Black, and Bella's father, Charlie. Billy was not getting any younger and he looked hunched even though he was sitting in a wheelchair. As for Charlie, he was doing a fair job at ignoring what he did not need to know about Nessie's nature and was enjoying the party. The pack of Quileute wolves were not here because the house was too small to host everyone, but another party was scheduled for them the following week. I was very grateful for that. I do not think I could have stood the stench and the swirl of thoughts for hours. The day had a bitter-sweet feeling to it; I very much wanted Nessie to be happy, and her thoughts told me that she was—blissfully so. But I still wanted her in my home as my beloved little daughter.
I understand what you're feeling, Carlisle told me. He must have read what I was thinking on my face. It reminded him of the time I had left him to live a rogue life, and a wave of shame flooded me. If I had known …
Sensing my mood, Bella put her hand on my arm. The reminder that I was not alone in this relaxed me—a bit. But I would not put a damper on my daughter's good mood by being broody, so I pasted a smile on my face and tried to mean it. There is something to be said about love curing everything, for the loving atmosphere among us, humans included, managed to make that smile genuine after a couple of hours.
The next day Bella and I embarked for Irkutsk via Khabarovsk. Siberia was easy enough to reach from Seattle. Rosalie and Emmett were to take a plane a couple of days later. They wanted some time alone as much as we did; Rosalie felt just as bereft by Nessie growing up so fast.
Our journey was uneventful. We quietly discussed our strategy concerning the shape-shifters we would supposedly meet, using our ability to speak too softly for human ears. The other passengers believed we were on our honeymoon—which was right—so engrossed were we in each other. We decided we would simply flee the area if the shape-shifters proved to be hostile and alert the Volturi to let them deal with the situation if they intended to come after us. I did not feel like playing the hero if I could avoid it; Bella's safety came first.
We quickly found our rental jeep in Irkutsk, loaded with all the human necessities such as tents and camping stove. They were mere props to hide our true nature to the usually unobservant human eyes. Alice had predicted a very cloudy day for our arrival, so our skin just looked pale, not sparkling. We drove off for the taiga north of Irkutsk at once, leaving behind us one of Siberia's biggest cities.
It took us two days of non-stop driving to reach the place we had planned to spend time at. We noticed a small human village not very far, at least by vampire standards. It had large—the perks of living in an empty area—wooden houses with sturdy shutters, probably to fight the cold in winter and the heat in summer, and it was completely surrounded by a spiked fence. I could not help but feel unnerved by the local customs, though; each person we passed by crossed themselves. I regretted not understanding their language. Unlike Jasper, I could not feel their emotions, and their words did not make sense to me. I had expected to meet Russian speaking people. Obviously these people spoke another language altogether.
We set up our camp in a small clearing near the Lena River and started to enjoy our stay.
"The first one to catch a bear will be on top," Bella teased me. Then she was off without a warning.
I chased after her. Not that I minded her being on top, but with Bella, you had better not assume what she meant. And I really did not want to end up … I did not know what. Perhaps there was no double meaning to her words after all. In the end, I let her get to the bear I had smelled first. Bella on top was too great a sight to be missed.
It was good to be alone with Bella. I realized that we had never been completely alone since our honeymoon eons ago. Even the small and very isolated human dwelling we had stumbled upon during our peregrinations was not enough to dampen my contentment. Since I didn't understand the language of those people—which was still different from the previous villagers'—their thoughts were easy to ignore. Besides, they hardly ever ventured far from their lands, which spared us the need to hide what we were.
Still we kept a close eye on them at first. After all, we were looking for strange shape-shifters as well as honeymooning. Observing the village, I thought nineteenth century explorers would have called those people 'savage', for they were self-sufficient and did not seem to have any contacts at all beyond their close-knit community. They did not have electricity, phones or anything even remotely technological. However, they also never changed into animals. The images I glimpsed in their minds showed they had a tradition of hunting at night, but nothing to let me think they might have any supernatural abilities. We soon gave up on them as potential shape-shifters.
Soon, we stopped being on the look-out for shape-shifters altogether. Even during our most extended hunts we did not meet animals with the ability to think beyond the simple patterns of wild creatures.
Frustrated with our lack of success, we decided to concentrate on a more rewarding use of our time and turned our cell phones off so that our family would not disturb us at inopportune moments.
I liked watching the sun rise at Bella's side. I relished observing the herds of elk without hunting them, swimming (and doing other things) among the blocks of ice in the Lena River. I took pleasure in roaming the land. But above all I reveled in simply staring into my beloved's eyes for hours on end. Most of the time, there was no need for words between us. Little by little, the ache caused in my dead heart by Nessie's move out of our home dulled. I was ready to acknowledge that I had moved on seven days after our arrival.
"This is so peaceful." Bella commented on the scenery before us, the Lena River winding its way through the Boreal forest. It formed a sparkling ribbon in the spring sunshine. I was sitting with my back against a larch, legs spread so that Bella could sit between them. At that precise moment I realized that the turmoil, which had tortured me since Nessie left the family nest, had considerably quietened. It was as if, without my consent, my mind had decided to accept that my darling little girl had grown up and made a life of her own.
"That it is." I sighed, my nose lost in my wife's hair.
My tone must have alerted Bella that something was up, for she turned to me and rose on her knees. Her eyes focused on my face, her eyebrows arched in a slight frown. Had she been anyone else, I might have squirmed like a teenaged miscreant. In the end she seemed to discover what she was looking for and relaxed. "You've made your peace with it, haven't you?"
There was no need to specify what 'it' was. "Yes."
She gave me a small, almost shy smile. "Yes. And it's liberating." She lifted the shield that protected her mind from me and any other invasion. I found that she had gone nearly the same way as I had towards acceptance, and that she was as serene as the landscape around us now. Nothing could have kept back the smile on my lips; I could feel its warmth spread through all of my dead body. Its twin shaped my beloved's lips. We found ourselves giddy with that revelation, which we celebrated the way we knew best, with kisses hot enough to thaw ice—or perhaps not since our bodies were so cold, but it felt like that—and much, much more.
It was the most relaxing week I had ever had since coming to this non-life. Sleep could not beat the feeling of well-being that was mine, I was sure of it. The only thing that could compare was watching Bella sleep in her bedroom at Charlie's house at the beginning of our relationship, when she was still human and her steady heartbeat soothed me. It was then that I let my guard down.
Bella and I were hunting at night. The Siberian landscape bathed in the silver light of the moon was magnificent. In truth, we did more sight-seeing than actual hunting.
After a while, Bella called softly. "Edward, would you mind waiting here for a bit while I get everything ready at the camp?"
I narrowed my eyes at her. What did she have planned? The mischievous sparkle in her eyes told me I would like it—a lot.
"You have a quarter of an hour," I said.
She pouted. Damn, how she'd mastered the fine art of the pout, courtesy of Alice's lessons. "Half an hour," I conceded.
She flashed me a bright smile and ran off to our camp. I decided not to try and guess what she was doing; it would only drive me mad. Instead, I elected to go for a short hunt to keep my mind occupied. I sniffed the air in the hope of catching a prey's smell.
Wolves. Right behind me.
The animals had moved against the wind, and Bella's request had distracted me enough not to hear them approach. The last time we had heard them howl, they were miles away. I turned on the spot to face them and gasped. Yes, I gasped. Here were four enormous—as big as the Quileute—wolves with short grey fur and emaciated bodies. However, they were very different from the Quileute wolves: no intelligent glint shone in their black eyes, and their minds were empty. They were animals, bloodthirsty animals, and they were on the hunt. For the first time in my vampire life, I knew how it felt to be the quarry, not the hunter. In less than a second I weighed up my chances against them and came to the conclusion that they were not good. I had better flee and lead them away from Bella.
My venom ran even colder than it naturally was at that thought. What if they were not the only wolves around here? What if there were others that had gone after Bella? Should I check on her? But what if she were safe? I did not want to point to the wolves the way to our camp.
Bella always told me I thought too much. She was proved right once more. While debating with myself, the wolves had moved—they were fast—and encircled me. I could discern their pointed teeth behind the froth that spilled out of their mouths. I knew without a doubt that they could harm me irrevocably, that their intent was to kill me. I would have to fight them. In barely the blink of an eye I went through different strategies in my mind and settled on trying to make my way out of the circle by attacking the weakest wolf, the one with a limp.
I crouched in attack position and leaped at it before it could guess what my design was. I gripped its fur in my fists while my legs tightened around its midriff. I managed to inject it with venom when I bit it in the throat—its blood tasted disgusting—but it threw me away with a shake of its body before I could rip its head off. The other three were on me at once, pinning me down to a ground that was nearly as cold as my body. I felt two sets of teeth sink into my stony flesh; the pain was fierce and burning. I barely kept myself from bawling. It would not do to attract Bella's attention when I wanted her as far away as possible. In the sky above me, the full moon cast a silvery glow on the scene of my demise. Forgive me, Bella. Alice was wrong, and I wasn't strong enough. I hope you'll live. Please, prevent Nessie from coming here.
Before the third wolf could bite my head off, before darkness took me, I heard three angry snarls. All of a sudden the weight of my aggressors was lifted from my body. I ignored the burning in my left arm and propped myself on my elbows. I watched as Rose, Emmett and Bella fought the werewolves in close combat. Yes, werewolves. For these were no shape-shifters. I stood up stiffly to join the fight, or more exactly: to protect Bella from the beast that had its teeth too close of my beloved's lovely neck. The quickly mending wounds on my leg and arm hurt like hell, but fear for Bella and my family's members turned them into mere discomfort.
The creature seemed to have anticipated my maneuver, though, and judged me the more dangerous. In a move so fast it looked like a blur even for my vampire eyes, it turned its back on my wife to face me. Never underestimate a woman who fears for her loved ones would be my motto for years to come. I had never seen such fury etched on Bella's face. I had barely put my hands around the foul beast's muzzle that my angel pounced on its back. She put her arms around its neck and tightened her hold until it snapped. The werewolf's body went limp under her. She let it fall on the floor, where it took its dead human form. It was a man in his prime, whose bulk could have given Emmett a run for his money. Speaking of whom …
Rosalie and her husband were finishing off the last wolf by tearing it apart. They were covered in blood, unlike Bella and I who simply had our clothes torn and a couple of scratches. The remains of a middle-aged woman joined an older man's on the ground. In the corner of my eye, I glimpsed the fourth wolf. It was lying on the floor, paralyzed by my venom but still alive and growling.
"Is it possible for a werewolf to become a vampire?" Emmett asked.
"I don't think so," I answered quietly. "What I don't know is if my venom's effect will wear off or kill it."
The four of us considered the ethical dilemma the living but unmoving werewolf presented us. Could we end in cold blood the life of a creature that had chosen its condition as much as us? A creature that was a human being—a woman, I could see that now—but for three nights a month?
"I think we should kill her," Rosalie stated in the end. "Whether in her human form or not, she'll probably come after us for revenge. She's lost her mate and family to us. It would probably even be a favor."
I shuddered at the image in Rosalie's mind of a demented female werewolf attacking Nessie.
"But …" Bella started. Dear Bella, always compassionate. I cut her off.
"Nessie." I did not need to say more. The resolution, reluctantly, formed in her mind and by extension on her features.
"You're right," she muttered. "If I were her, I would kill the people my enemy loves most." She turned her head and looked me squarely in the eyes. "It doesn't mean I think it's fair. I just don't want to have to watch over my shoulder all the time." She sighed. "Who's going to do it?"
"We will," Emmett and Rose said in unison. That was becoming an annoying habit of them. "It'll be painless and quick," my sister promised.
Bella crouched near the she-werewolf. "I'm sorry," she whispered with sorrow. Tears would be leaking from her eyes if she were still human. The animal growled softly at her, not being able to snarl properly. Fear emanated from it.
Bella got on her feet and averted her eyes from the wolf's prone form. "The camp was ransacked by the werewolves," she stated. So, that was how she knew to come back for me. "I'm going to tidy it."
I nodded my understanding. She could not, did not want to be part in the execution of a woman who could not defend herself, whatever form the woman's body currently held. I was not looking forward to the task either.
"Go with her, Edward," Rosalie offered. "Emmett and I can take care of the mess here on our own. It's no worse than a hunt."
I shot my brother and sister a very grateful look, then left the place with Bella. We ran as fast as we could. Still, it was not fast enough; we heard the snap of a breaking spine clearly in the quiet night. Bella closed her eyes briefly at the sound but never stopped running. On the contrary she ran faster, as if the Devil himself was hot on her heels. For once, she kept up with me.
We reached our camp after a five minute run. It was in utter chaos. The tent was in shreds, and everything damaged, whether it was a suitcase, clothes, even the stove. The jeep tires were in no better shape than the tent, and the bodywork was dented all over. The motor and the seats were scattered in pieces around the vehicle. We got to work wordlessly. Soon we had piled up what was left of our encampment and set it to fire. I did not fear for the glow of the fire to be seen; I was pretty sure every human in the area never put a foot outside their home on full moon nights.
Rose and Emmett joined us soon and watched the bonfire with us. What did not burn we buried. We left nothing with our scent on behind us. If there were other werewolves around here, they would find nothing to help them hunt us.
"Where did you leave your jeep?" I asked Emmett. I had seen the car in his mind.
"This way." He pointed to the south.
"How did you know when to come?" Bella enquired. That was a very valid question, though I already knew the answer thanks to my mind-reading abilities.
Rosalie answered, "Alice called us to tell she'd seen your future vanish two hours later and that she couldn't reach you because your effing phones were off. We came right away. It was not a moment too soon too." The look she gave to Bella and me expressed without words the fear and worry she had felt for us, and there was no trace of the usually self-absorbed woman in her mind now. I nodded at her to show her I understood and that I was grateful to her and Emmett. We would have succumbed to the wolves' attack without them.
"Well, let's not dawdle here." Emmett was eager to leave this place and get back to our comfortable home in Alaska. It seemed that one of the wolves very nearly managed to bite Rosalie; he wanted to put as much distance as possible between here and us.
Silently Rosalie and Emmett led us to their rental jeep, parked several miles south. They were still preoccupied by our fight with the werewolves. I wonder if Carlisle will alert the Volturi about this, Emmett mused. I did not have the answer to his question, but I would insist that the Italian vampires be informed about the existence of a potential pack of werewolves in Siberia. When Nessie and Jacob visited the area, which I had no doubt about, the menace would be eradicated.
Emmett drove us back to Irkutsk as fast as the vehicle could manage. Instead of two days on our way there, it took us only a day and a half to reach the big Siberian city. Thanks to Alice's foresight, Emmett and Rose had spare clothing for Bella and me. It was awkward enough to explain to the hostess of the rental agency that the expensive jeep had been stolen in the middle of nowhere while Bella and I had been … occupied, we did not need to look like beggars to top it all. As it was, she debated with herself if she ought to call the police. I had to use my 'dazzling' abilities—Bella's words, not mine—and a load of cash to convince her to give up her idea.
"Two days!" Rosalie exclaimed very loudly in the street. Thank heavens for this being a non-English speaking country. "What are we going to do in this hole for two days?"
The next flight for Seattle was indeed two days later.
"There's a museum of wooden architecture," I suggested, more to annoy her than anything.
"Really? I'd like to go," Bella said. Trust my beloved to be interested in anything even remotely cultural.
I smiled to her, quite forgetting for the moment that we were not alone. "Then we'll go," I assured her.
Now that the danger was behind us, Rosalie reverted to her old self; already she was speculating on the shopping potential of the town.
"Come baby, and let's find us a hotel. I'm pretty sure I can keep you entertain for two days." Emmett waggled his eyebrows in what was supposed to be a suggestive manner. Since she grinned as madly as the Cheshire cat in response, I guessed that Rosalie found it as suggestive as Emmett intended her to.
"Yes, let's do that. We'll see you at the airport," she informed Bella and me quickly before disappearing with her husband around the corner of the street.
My cell phone rang at that moment. "Yes, Alice?"
"If you want to play the ordinary tourist, do it today. The weather will be sunny tomorrow," she said without preamble.
She was incorrigible, and that made me smile. "Thanks for the advice." But she had already hung up.
Bella had heard our exchange. "Let's go to the museum, then." A mischievous smile appeared on her very kissable lips. "We'll find our own hotel room later."
That was a schedule that agreed with me much.
Carlisle needed a bit of convincing to alert the Volturi to the possible existence of werewolves in Siberia, but he yielded to my argument in the end, the argument being Nessie's safety. Or rather Esme was so worried about Nessie's safety that he gave in in the end.
"We'll still go to Siberia." Jacob stuck with his previous idea. I blamed Emmett and his enthusiastic descriptions of the wilderness over there, but Jacob was also motivated by a strong curiosity; he wanted to see for himself how different from the quileute those werewolves were. "Just maybe not this century," he added when he met the dark looks most of us were giving him. Even Nessie was not as eager to visit the place as she had been. It might have helped that I did not hide anything from our encounter with the werewolves when she hugged me in greeting. I sighed with relief.
As for me, I would not forget about Siberia soon. I did not let myself linger on the fear, but when I remember how feral Bella was when she attacked the werewolf that was threatening my life … let's just say that had given me a few ideas I wanted to try in the not too distant future. And I knew for a fact that the Alaskan wilderness was as good as the Siberian one.