A/N: I know, I'm the worst fanfiction-updater in the world, I'm so sorry! Also, I know this chapter isn't as long as the last couple of chapters but from here on, we're getting closer and closer to the showdown. I don't know yet how many more chapters this FF will have (probably in the neighborhood of 6 to 10).
Reasons why I didn't update in over half a year: the finishing and revision of my NaNoWriMo novel (which is available for reading on Wattpad; check the link on my profile page), college (as usual) and (you guessed it) procrastination. I hope you all can forgive me for not updating for super-long (again) and haven't grown tired of this fanfiction yet. I wish time wasn't in such a hurry to pass (like, it's July already, where the hell did the last 7 months go?). I really, really hope you will enjoy this chapter and that you're still looking forward to what's in store next (and if you're not, I can't blame you; believe me, I feel really bad whenever I don't update in an eternity).
Previously on Coming Out
After Jessica finding out what the Cullens are and Sookie meeting Niall, her fairy great-grandfather, a meeting was arranged between Sookie, Carlisle, Jasper, Edward and Bella where they exchanged some information and Sookie noticed that it was them who killed the two vampires at Fangtasia. The Cullens had no choice but to tell her what they are. Sookie showed them the letter and the picture she had received and Carlisle seemed to have noticed something about the handwriting in the letter. They invited Sookie to come to their house to discuss more about Bill's kidnapper. However, when Sookie arrives at the Cullen house with Edward and Bella, it turns out that Rosalie has decided to drop in for a visit.
Rosalie's eyes narrowed, the second they spotted Sookie. She looked furious. Her arms were crossed and her left foot was tapping up and down on the floor, something I usually only saw humans do.
"So," Rose said, with the same tone in her voice she had used when we had been introduced for the first time, "another discovery by a human."
"Be fair, Rose," Edward said and frowned.
"Need I remind you what the Volturi said about us being and staying a secret?" She raised an eyebrow. "Specifically from humans?"
Emmett, who was standing a few feet behind her, chuckled. "Come on, Rose, we still don't know the whole story, we just came back. Hey, Edward, Bella."
"Hey, Emmett," I said and smiled at him.
The giant vampire came around his wave and stopped in front of Sookie, slouching down a little like he wanted to get a closer look at her, even though he could see her perfectly from where he was. "You must be Miss Stackhouse," he finally said and grinned. "I'm Emmett, nice to meet you." He extended a hand toward her.
Sookie, who had been leaning back a little bit with an uncertain look on her face, seemed surprised at the act of courtesy and hesitantly took his hand. "Sookie," she replied, looking down on their shaking hands, probably a little uncomfortable with the coldness of Emmett's skin. "Nice to meet ya, too."
"So what is this exactly?" Rosalie demanded, straight back to business after she had curtly nodded at Sookie. "What is she doing here and why do we need her?"
"Rose," I reprimanded. "Manners."
The blonde vampire rolled her eyes while Renesmee stepped forward. "Let me," she said. Rosalie willingly accepted my daughter's hand on her cheek and let her show her what we knew so far. Sookie watched them with obvious confusion. After a while she asked, "Who are the Volturi?"
Carlisle turned to her to answer but Renesmee was faster. Sookie jumped and almost receded when my daughter was suddenly in front of her.
"Don't worry," Renesmee said sweetly. "It doesn't hurt." She held her hand out in front of her and signaled Sookie to take it. When the older woman looked at me, I nodded. She jumped again when their skins touched. Amazement spread over her face while Nessie explained to her — probably in pictures — who the Volturi were.
"Well, they don't seem very nice," she concluded after Nessie had let go of her hand. "And they're three thousand years old, you say?"
We all nodded.
She whistled through her teeth. "The oldest vampire I knew was two thousand years old. And here I thought that would be the oldest one I'd ever meet."
I frowned. "Was?"
"He met the sun a few weeks ago," Edward told me, getting the info out of Sookie's head. I nodded slowly. "Oh."
Esme stepped forward. "It's nice to meet you, Sookie," she said and smiled brightly, extending her hand to the woman that was about the same age as her physical age. "My name is Esme."
Sookie smiled back and shook her hand. "Nice to meet you, too, Esme."
Then Alice hopped forward. "I'm Alice," she introduced herself and pulled Sookie into a hug which the blonde hesitantly returned. Then she pulled back and gestured to Rosalie. "This is Rosalie, my sometimes grumpy sister."
"And I'm Renesmee," my daughter introduced herself.
Sookie giggled at little bit. "That's funny. Esme. Renesmee. Are the names a coincidence?"
I shook my head. "I named her after Esme and my mother, Renée. Her middle name is a mixture between Carlisle and my dad's name Charlie, Carlie."
She frowned. "Named her?" She turned her head to Edward, who seemed to telepathically speak to her. "Oh!" she finally exclaimed. "She's your biological daughter?"
"Yeah." I was used to being asked this question whenever we told the fact to someone by now.
All of a sudden, Carlisle slapped his palm to his forehead. "Of course!"
The rest of us turned around, confused. Edward narrowed his eyes. "Are you sure? That's quite a heavy accusation."
"Why would he do that?" Sookie asked, being on the same page as my husband. "He's thousands of miles away, how has he even heard of me?"
"What's wrong?" Esme demanded.
"Carlisle recognized the handwriting," Edward answered.
Carlisle slightly shook his head. "I can't believe I didn't recognize it before. I've seen it plenty of times during my time with them."
"Whose handwriting do you think it is?" I asked impatiently.
Edward looked at me but it was Carlisle who answered. "Marcus'."
"Marcus?" I repeated. "Are you sure?"
"Which one was Marcus?" Sookie asked Renesmee and my daughter showed her a picture of him. "What's his story?" she then asked further.
Carlisle told him the gist of Marcus' life story, from his meeting with Aro, how they had decided to stay together, how he had fallen in love with Aro's sister Didyme, how Didyme had died and how he had been spending his time in eternal grief ever since.
"What does he want with me?" the blonde human pondered. "And what does that have to do with me being part-fairy?"
Renesmee's eyes widened and I remembered that Carlisle probably hadn't had time to explain our newest discovery because of Rosalie's and Emmett's arrival. We quickly filled her and the others in about Sookie's fairy great-grandfather and Sookie filled in the blanks.
"I wish I knew why he's doing this," she mumbled after we'd all finished.
Jasper looked at Alice. "Have you been able to see anything?"
She shook her head. "Nothing clear yet. I suppose Marcus hasn't decided yet what he wants to do exactly, or at least is trying not to. Who knows? Maybe he knows we're here?"
"Well, whatever his decision," Carlisle continued, "if we're right, that means Mr Compton is in Volterra."
"Do you think Aro and Caius know about this?" Esme wondered.
He shrugged. "I don't know but I doubt it. Aro would never allow this — not under these circumstances, not with these motives, whatever they are."
Sookie tssed. "And you can bet I will find out what they are."
My husband's body froze. "Oh, no, no, no," he said through clenched teeth. "No way. You're not going to Italy."
"Excuse me?" She looked at him unbelievingly and pushed one of her hands into her side. "I can go wherever the hell I please. I'm going to get my fiancé, whether you lot like it or not."
We all looked at Alice. She shook her head. "I still don't see her. Though I have a feeling we're going with her."
"Not all of us, though," Carlisle made clear. "I will go, Aro knows me the longest. Edward and Alice will come, too, I don't want to walk into any surprises. Bella, you're to protect Sookie from Aro's, Jane's and Alec's abilities. Your power, Jasper, might come in handy as well. The rest will stay here."
"No way!" Renesmee protested. "I'm coming with you this time! And before you say no," she added, "I'm a lot more useful now. I've been practicing a lot."
"Practicing what?" I asked.
My daughter closed her eyes and seemed to concentrate strongly. After a few seconds, to my complete shock, her voice rang out in my head, "I can project my power now, Mom, like you."
I gaped at her. She walked over to her father and grabbed his hand. "And better yet," she continued. "I can transmit all the thoughts within my cloak with Dad's help."
The rest of my family, apart from Edward, widened their eyes in awe, without a doubt hearing her, too. Edward looked at me and smiled brightly. "She's amazing, isn't she?"
"That way," Nessie finally said out loud, "we can talk to each other without the Volturi being able to hear us."
For a moment it was completely silent, if you didn't count Nessie's and Sookie's heartbeats.
"That's," Carlisle finally said, "that's incredible. How long can you do it?"
She pulled her mouth into a slight pout. "Not too long at a time. But short messages here and there are no problem. I've been playing around with it for about two years, mostly with Jake, whenever we were in Forks. A few times with Dad, too, and Grandpa Charlie."
"You knew she could do this?" I asked my husband incredulously. He nodded. "She wanted to keep it a secret, so she could surprise you when she was good enough at it."
"So I can come, right?" Renesmee concluded, satisfied that the surprise had worked out perfectly. We exchanged glances. Carlisle shrugged. "It's your decision, not mine. You're her parents."
Edward and I looked at each other and knew exactly what the other one was thinking, even though we couldn't hear each other's thoughts. The level-up of Renesmee's ability would definitely be an advantage, there was no doubt regarding that. However, neither of us were very fond of the idea of our daughter walking into the Volturi headquarters, protected or not. Still, she might become crucially useful.
Alice sighed, in the way where we all knew what was happening — the future had settled, the decision had been made.
"Alright," I said. "You can come with us."
She beamed at me. "Great! So, when are we departing?"
"That depends on Miss Stackhouse, I suppose," Carlisle said and looked at the blonde woman. "When do you want to leave?"
"As soon as possible," she promptly replied. "Tomorrow morning? If we can get a flight on such short notice?"
"That shouldn't be a problem," Carlisle reassured her and pulled his cell phone out of his pants pocket to punch in a series of digits. He walked out of the room so not to disturb our discussion, letting a few strings play so that we could get flights from Shreveport to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Rome and from Rome to Florence, starting tomorrow morning at 11am.
"Do you have a passport?" I asked Sookie. She nodded.
"I'll call Seth and Jake, so they'll know," Renesmee said and went outside to talk to them on the phone.
Carlisle, who had just come back in, said, "We have flights for tomorrow at 11.05am in Shreveport, business class until Atlanta, from there it's First Class."
"First Class?" Sookie choked out and gaped at him. "I got some good money for my work for Eric, but not so much that I can afford First Class."
"Don't worry, Miss Stackhouse, we got it covered," Carlisle assured her and smiled at her. "You don't have to pay us back, it's alright."
"Oh no, I'll definitely pay you back, even if it takes me ten years of working," she protested. "I don't like being in debt. To anyone." She nodded determinedly. "Alright then. How's it gonna go? Do I drive to the airport myself — honestly, I don't like the idea of leaving my car there — or will you pick me up?" She looked unsure whether she should put us through that trouble.
"Bella and I will pick you up at eight," Edward answered and added, "Speaking of which, we better drive you home so you can pack and make arrangements."
"Yes," Sookie said and nodded, looking around the faces of my family. "Guess I'll see most of you tomorrow then."
She and the others exchanged goodbyes and then we were out the door, making sure no one was looking when we climbed into Carlisle's car. Half-way up the street, we stopped because Jake and Seth were coming from the other direction in Mr Herveaux's truck.
"Hey, Miss Stackhouse," Jake greeted mine and Edward's passenger when pulled to a halt driver's-door-to-driver's-door. Then he turned to my husband. "Driving her home?"
We nodded. "Why are you driving to the house?" I asked.
"Nessie asked us to come over to fill us in with everything," Seth said. "We'll see you guys after you come back from Italy, I suppose?"
"Probably," Edward confirmed and shifted gears. "You can check in with Esme the day after tomorrow, we'll probably have called her by then."
"'kay," Jake nodded and shifted gears also. "See ya. Bye, Miss Stackhouse."
Both cars accelerated and we were off.