According to Alice, the time had come. Her soul mate was to find her today. I walked into the living room, still dressed in my PJs had it been any other day, Alice would have already attacked me to dress me as her own personal doll. Today though, today she was in her room, nervous, despite the composed exterior façade she put on when she was around us. We all knew her better than that.
I realized too late that no one was in the living room aside from myself… And Edward. "Oh, hello Edward." I glanced to my feet, unsure of how we were supposed to interact when we were alone together. "Hello Bella. It's the big day." He smiled gently at me, obviously aware of my discomfort. "I know. Have you seen Alice today? By now she usually has already dressed me and forced her make up stuff on my face. But I haven't seen her at all today. Not that I want to be dressed or force barbied, but I guess I'm nervous for her." Edward smiled at me again. In the smile I saw the love that had been growing for years. In that single smile I felt his genuine love for me and my heart ached. Not because I wanted him, but because I was so guilty that I could no longer return it.
"She's in her room, frantically trying to figure out what to wear. She'd probably appreciate in if you went up to help her. She won't admit it, but she's nervous. She needs someone with her." Nodding I began towards the stairs.
"I will, thank you, Edward." I walked up to Alice's room before hearing his response. I didn't even know when I entered Alice's room. I figured she wouldn't answer if I did.
Her room was covered in clothing, her whole closet seemed to be on her bedroom floor. "Alice?" I cautiously walked into the room, trying to find places to step.
"Bella? Thank god. I need your help!" She walked out with two outfits in hand. One was a simple peach summer dress with the sides cut out, the other was a pair of dark blue high waists with a hot pink shirt. "Pick one."
"The dress." I said instantly, knowing already that that was the one she would like more. She smiled slowly.
"That's what I thought too." Before I could blink she had the dress on. Her hair was already done and her light touch of make-up was already perfectly in place. Her eyes, I noticed, were black. "Alice, you need to hunt." I said gently, "You don't want to meet him hungry."
"I'm not hungry." She insisted, glancing away from me.
"Yes, that's why there are dark circles under your black eyes." I laughed, "Just go. Go alone, it won't take you long. You'll feel better. Probably more relaxed too." Sighing she nodded and stood.
"I guess you're right." She walked to her window, opening it in one swift motion, "I'll be back in an hour." And with that she was gone. Laughing I walked back to my room, realizing that I was in charge of picking out my own clothes for once. I stood in the middle of my closet, seeing my options for the first time.
This was how Jasper found me. "Um, Darling? You doin' okay there?" he asked, obviously taken aback by me staring at my clothes.
"I… I don't know what to wear. I'm horrible at picking out my own clothes on a regular basis, let alone a special day like this." He laughed coming up to wrap his arms around my waste.
"You're worried about clothes? Well hell must have frozen over, I wish Alice was here to see this."
"I'm sure she'll get a kick out of it later." I scowled again at my closet, "Seriously, what do I wear?" Jasper kissed my shoulder gently, sending a rush of chills throughout my body.
"Personally, I think clothes are over rated." He kissed my shoulder again, "Who needs em?" Jasper was definitely crossing a line he never had before. I turned in his arms and kissed him.
"As pleasant as that idea sounds, I have to get ready for Alice's sake." Jasper sighed and released me. I was puzzled by this new side of him. He leaned over, pulled out a purple v neck and white shorts, handed them to me, kissed my nose and left my room. "You never cease to amaze me." I muttered, confused and hear him laugh and he walked farther away from my room.
Three deer later and I could feel myself finally become full. Sadly, the food didn't help with the nerves. I had avoided looking in on them, determined to keep something of our meeting a surprise. What was he like, I wondered. Charming I'm sure. I already knew he was desperately handsome with an accent that could make any girl swoon. And he was to be mine.
I took my time as I walked back to the house. I didn't want to rush, I wanted to waste as much time as possible so I could get to the whole meeting my soul mate part quicker.
Thinking of him had me distracted, which was why it took me longer than normal to hear the rustling of leaves coming from behind me. I froze, that wasn't animal rustling, it was something much larger. I didn't hear a heart beat, which meant only one thing. Vampire. I spun around just in time to see a figure go behind a tree. "Well hiding will do you know good. If you have half a brain you should know that." I said glancing around. I heard a chuckle from the tree just before a black boot, followed by a tall slender man of about 21. His skin was porcelain, his hair short and black, and his eyes bright gold. Under his red Henley t shirt and dark jeans I could see that he was roped with muscle.
"Steven." I whispered, breathlessly. He was taken aback by recognition. That much was clear.
"Pardon, but how do you—you're the psychic?" He smiled in a way that put the stars to shame.
I quickly composed myself and danced forward, offering my hand, "Alice Cullen. I've been expecting you for quite some time now." I smiled. He took my hand and the spark was undeniable. He looked at our interlocked hands with confusion. "Steven Windle." He said, smiling again.
" I assume your family is around here somewhere." I looked around, already knowing that we were being watched.
"Come on out guys." I saw a woman, small and slender looking to be about 18, with black hair that reached her waist emerge first. She looked me straight on and already I could see she was a force to be reckoned with. She wore a simple white shirt and black jeans. Behind her, I saw two more figures appear. Each looked to be about 23. The woman had long red hair and was holding hands with a large blonde man. Finally I saw what I assumed to be the parents. The woman was around 35, her hair was brown and she moved with a grace that even I envied. The father reminded me of Carlisle in every way except for the black hair.
The lines were drawn I stood as tall as I could, me facing 6 new vampires. "Hello." I said, looking each of them in the eyes. The leader stepped forward. "Alice, did you say?" I nodded, "I'm Ryan." He walked over and shook my hand, "This is my wife Ana." He motioned to the woman with the brown hair then to the couple, "my children Lucky and Natalie." Then to the fiercer one, "Sarah. And you've already met Steven."
Ana looked at me, amazed. Her eyes went from me to Steven then back as a smile slowly crept onto her face. She knew something. I could already tell that much.
"Pleasure to meet you all." I said nodding. "If you don't mind me asking… What brings you all permanently to Forks?"
"The lack of sun… And Cullens. Of course." Sarah said smiling.
"What my daughter means is we would like to talk to your family. We feel that we could provide some mutual benefits for one another." Ryan smiled again at me. His English accent was strong, they all were. I assumed that they had spend the longest time of their life in England, though I was curious as to where they came from now.
"Where have you moved from?"
"Italy," Steven replied, "Just outside of the Volturi head quarters." My instincts told me that their trip here had nothing to do with the lack of sun and everything to do with the Volturi.
"Well come on then. I'll bring you to the house." I began walking back towards my home. "Carlisle," I mumbled, "We have company." Steven looked over and smiled.
"We aren't a threat to you or your family, I promise." I smiled at him then too, wanting so badly to tell him, but I knew I had to wait until after our family meeting.
"I trust you." I said as we approached the front door. I was greeted by my seven family members, looking more curious than ever before.
"Hello." Carlisle stepped forward just as Ryan did.
"Carlisle I presume?" Ryan asked. After family introductions Carlisle escorted the family into the living room to sit.
"you have a human?" Sarah eyed Bella cautiously.
"She's a part of our family." Esme raised her chin slightly, the newcomers may not realize this, but we knew it was her defensive stance. "She's been with us for a very very long time. She is a part of this family. Is there a problem with that?" They all shook their heads.
Smart move, I thought. Edward covered a laugh with a cough. I saw him eying Sarah curiously, and wondered if that was something I should be keeping an eye on. I was too distracted right now to look though. "The Cullens took me in and away from a very bad situation. They're my saviors. I owe them my life. Emmett especially." Emmett smiled and took Bella's free hand, the other was already firmly placed in Jasper's.
"Well, there's something I thought I'd never see." I heard Ana mumble. Her voice was so low that I could only here her because I was seated closest to her. I saw her staring at Sarah Intently. That's something else I'd have to look into later.
"So, we expect there's an explanation for your family searching out mine?" Carlisle was polite, but I heard the protective tone he took.
"Yes. Well, where to start," Ryan looked genuinely unsure, "Well, we lived in Italy before we came here. Just outside of Volturi territory. For about a year now they've been threatening my family. We were larger than they liked for one thing." He chuckle at such a ridiculous reason to be threatened.
"They've been upset about my family size as well." Carlisle added, "It's ridiculous if you ask me."
"Agreed," Ryan said, already I could feel the father to father bond forming, "But, that wasn't the only threat they saw. You see, my family is full of gifted vampires… Ana, she sees bonds… Ana, would you like to explain?"
"It's just what he said," Ana jumped in, "I see bonds between people. It's like a colored string connecting them together. Red connections is a passionate love. White is what I see between soul mates. Yellow is between friends, blue between family."
"That's amazing." Rosalie spoke for the first time, "So you see them all the time?"
"Yes," Ana smiled, "I see, for instance, a white bond between you and Emmett. Between Carlisle and Esme. Between Jasper and Bella. There's blue connecting all of you, and…. Red, connections in very weird places." She glanced to Edward and I knew instantly that she was referring to his love for Bella. The mind reader knew what she was referring to as well and grimace.
"That's fascinating." Carlisle mused, "Are there others?"
"Me." Sarah stepped forward, "I can plant thoughts into your brain."
"You cannot. That's crazy." Emmett laughed. Stupid Emmett, I thought, already knowing what was going to happen.
She looked at him and raised an eyebrow smugly. Suddenly Emmett turned to Edward seriously. "Uh oh." Edward said just as Emmett spoke.
"Eddie, I love you man." He looked like he was going to cry, "I mean…. I love you. I'm in love with you, man. I've been lying to myself long enough. I want to be with you!" Everyone erupted in laughter then, "HEY!" He turned to Sarah, "That's not funny."
"Can you make him physically do things as well?" I asked. She turned back to Emmett who suddenly stood and faced Edwad.
"HUG ME." Edward quickly stepped back and Emmett glared at Sarah again.
"I have one as well." My head snapped back at the sound of Steven's beautiful accent. "I can see your past."'
"Can't Aro already do that as well?" Bella asked, "Why would he fight to acquire you as well?"
"Aro can do it with a touch. I merely need a glance."
"Prove it." I said, smiling. How fitting, I saw the future while he learned the past.
"Who shall I use to show you?" He smiled at me. A smile that would make my dead heart skip a beat.
"Me." Bella said quickly. "Brace yourself. I have a dark past. But my family hear knows it all. Nothing will be a surprise." Steven nodded and looked at her with an intense stare for a few moments before his eyes grew wide.
"Oh Bella…" As if he couldn't help himself he began walking towards her. She stood instinctively and to all our surprise Steven pulled her into an embrace.
"Well?" Lucky spoke.
"May I?" He whispered to Bella. She nodded.
"Her mother left her with an abusive father. A monster." He growled, "Emmett befriended her when she was a young girl. The Cullens eventually took her in as their own. When she was older she fell in love with a boy." He glanced at Edward but didn't mention names. I saw relief on Edward's face. "There was a fight with the Voltori. He was killed. She was heartbroken for a very long time. She mourned the loss in every way possible. Eventually healing began… She fell in love with Jasper, who is her soul mate as we have learned." He nodded towards his mother, "Then the boy she first loved came back. His death was a mistake. She's been through more than many people and vampires I have met. You're a strong woman, Bella." I saw the shock on the newcomers' faces. Bella nodded and fell back into Jasper's embrace.
"That's it." Ryan said, "Those three powers. They're unique enough that the Volturi wants us, or them at least. I had to protect my family. We know you all have gifts. That you have dealt with similar situations with them… We thought if we joined together, they'd, I don't know, grow frightened."
"That's actually a valid point. A good idea." Carlisle nodded. "And you are correct I do have many gifted ones in my family. Even Bella. Her mind is blocked. Jane can't harm her. Mind readers, nothing. Edward, Jasper, and Alice also have gifts."
"I'm a mind reader," Edward stepped in, "Yes it does suck sometimes always know the brutal truth." He answered Lucky's unspoken question, "And yes," He turned to Sarah now, "I was the one whose death was faked. I was Bella's first love. And I was used for a while by the Volturi until I got enough blackmail on them for them to let me go." Sarah was wide eyed, "Jasper?"
"I control emotions." A feeling of pure calmness swept through the room, "I project it and feel it."
"Nice," Natalie whispered.
"And I can see the future." I smiled dancing forward.
"Prove it," Steven smiled.
"Well," I said, matching his smile, "I knew you were coming. I've been waiting for your family. You especially because you see, you are my soul mate." I saw Steven's eyes grow confused.
"A love a blunt girl," Ana laughed, "She doesn't hold back." I realized Steven was filing through my memories of the visions.
"So, you're right." He whispered. "Soul mates."
"Soul mates." I whispered back.