A/N Woot! My fastest update ever! And finally the answer to the long hanging question who is Bella's husband! I am so happy to finally be able to post it! It has been killing me for you all not to know!
Also I am so glad to see some screen names I recognize in my reviews! Thank you for sticking with me!
I have decided to hold a contest of sorts, whoever submits my 100th review gets to name a character to appear later in the story!
oh and I don't own Twilight.
I must say that my life flashing before my eyes was the strangest thing that I had yet experienced. That really is what it was. A flash. Exploding from within and flooding my mind. Blinding my senses of all else. Even the writhing man I once loved diapered from my sight. Though my eyes where still focused on him. It only lasts a few moments, but in that small span of time I remember everything, and I am temporarily stunned, as I sink into the blurred and distant memories of my old life.
I grew up in the northern outskirts of Aberdeen Washington. My father Charles would work long hours as the sheriff of the dangerous bar riddled, fishing town. My mother Rene bestowed with the task of being a homemaker, doing housework, and raising me and eventually my little brother Zackary. Along with teaching me to read, write and everything else I would need to know in order to become a smart resourceful and independent woman. Meaning I spent a lot of time cooking, learning to run the house, and studying.
Rene was always a free spirit. And over the years she came to resent my father, blaming him for trapping her in such a dreary little town. And though my father loved her dearly their marriage was not a happy one. He slowly began to pull away from her, becoming more distant as time progressed. After a while he would hardly ever looking up from his paper during dinner. Quite a change from the jolly father I remember from my early childhood. He would dance around the kitchen singing with me in one arm and my mother in the other. Though I loved my mother dearly I did not blame him for the change.
Because of all the problems with their marriage, my mother had also come to resent societies ideal of marrying young. Matches that where for the most part, made out of convenience rather than love. Or as in my parents case where wed before they were old enough to know that first love dose not in many cases equal true love. This was the last thing she wanted for me, and she made quite a point out of giving me the highest amount of education she could manage. Saying that being a teacher myself for a few years would be for my benefit. She even brought in tutors to help with the subjects she was unsure of. Explaining that, "The school in town was lacking, and much too far away for me to walk with all the drunks around." She however was not strict during my upbringing. Often saying, "Independence requires independence." I believe she took that to heart a bit more than I did however, for she would often disappear for hours at a time, nearly always leaving me alone to tend to the house. Being alone was not the safest thing for me however. I was clumsy, and often would end up injured. Whether it was from tripping over the rug, or down the stairs, or even burning myself on the stove, there was always something. It was just a part of my life that I learned to live with.
One such incident stood out in my memories, and it was easy to see why my new mind would focus on it. The thought of my own blood intrigued me. Such a change from the past where the same thought had always left me feeling ill.
That incident had left me limping for a week, and physically scared for the rest of my days. It was a lovely mid-summer afternoon when it happened. I stood by the kitchen window, chopping carrots in preparation for a dinner stew. I remember that I had been drifting off into daydreams as I stared out the window longingly. The sky was a perfect robin's egg blue, and I most definitely was not paying the carrots the amount of attention they were owed. Somewhere in the back of my head I knew that. However in that moment all I wanted to do was get that stew on to cook as quickly as I could. So I could take a blanket and a book out to the lovely grass outside the window and soak up the sun.
Suddenly the knife slipped from my hands, clattering on the edge of the table before falling blade down, towards the floor. What it encountered however was my foot, causing a neat two inch gash to open up in the top of it. Blood was pumping out of it before I even realized what had happened. I remember I almost passed out from the bitter sweet rusty smell of it. I had to bandage it myself, and then ride bareback to the doctors so he could stich me up. Dr. Cullen was the best doctor anyone in the town had ever seen, young and eligible, and almost painfully handsome, with skills that could not be matched. All the woman in town wanted him, and he often teased that I would injure myself just so I could see him. To which I would blush and remind him "Clumsy does not need a reason." He rushed out to help me the second my horse was in front of his tree lined office. Lifting me down with ease and carrying me inside while an assistant tended to my horse. He tended to me with ease and a familiarity brought on by the many visits I had made to him. I required quite a few stiches that day, but the way he stitched me up I hardly noticed the pain.
Angela Webber was my best friend growing up. Her father was the minster of our local church, and many a Sunday afternoon was spent in her company. Our activity's changing over the years, but our friendship stayed the same, we were each other's rock. A lot of times it felt like we were the only ones that truly understood the other. Angela and I often seemed an entirely different breed from the other girls in town. I often felt bad for Angela for having to go to school when I did not. She was often picked on by the other girls, and spent many an afternoon crying on my shoulder. She always kept a good public face however, and no one but me ever saw how much those girls really affected her. Despite all that we really where happy growing up, always putting in a good effort not to let life's little trials get us down.
Angela and I always had our noses in a book. Thankfully my mother had a quite impressive collection of novels. That along with the Weatherwax library, kept us quite entertained. Weathering Heights was always my favorite however, and every few months I would pull it out and reread it as if for the first time.
When I was 13 my mother announced that she was pregnant. I was ecstatic to no longer be an only child, but also a bit worried. Though my parents loved me, with my father's work and mother's independence, I had in a lot of ways ended up raising myself. I was concerned that I would end up raising the baby as well. However it seemed to have the opposite effect, and my mother ended up being around a lot more after Zackary was born, what with having to breast feed and all. Zach was all boy, and seemed to also have been born with the same clumsiness that I was plagued with. Our visits to Dr. Cullen doubled when he learned to walk. But like me he took his injuries like a champ, wearing his scars like a badge of honor.
The Witherdale's moved into town when I was 16. John Witherdale was a widower, who had moved to town for some new scenery after his beloved wife Rachel passed away. His 18 year old son came along with him. Saying somebody's got to look out for the old man. That was all the town really knew about them though. Well besides their occupation. They were hunters, and would track down large herds of elk and other wildlife, selling their meat at the local shops, whose owners where very grateful for the product. They made good money that way, I'm sure.
I had heard about them long before I saw them. John I heard was a drinker, but a polite one. So no one paid much mind to that fact, what with his wife having passed and all. 'Let him morn in peace', is how my father put it. His son was a polite young man. Never got into any trouble, but tended to spend a lot of time alone.
I remembered the first time I saw him clear as a slightly foggy day. I was walking home from the market, and he passed by going the opposite direction. I knew it was him at once because of Angela's description, she had been right he was handsome. He smiled at me and tipped his hat as he passed. Anyway it was a brief meeting, hardly one to write home about, but one that would be played over in my head frequently in the months to come.
It was that next Sunday in church that I saw him again. His father and him ended up seated in the pew across from ours, and he kept smiling over at me during the sermon. I don't think my father noticed though. He would have never introduced us the way he did later that day if he had.
Soon after we met he asked my father for permission to court me. Charles was not very pleased by the idea, but after seeing the pleading look on my face he relented. Giving his permission for us to see each other once a week, as was my mother's condition. Rene wanted little to do with 'the boy' as she often referred to him. She was afraid he would trap me. I on the other hand couldn't have cared less. Unlike my mother I did not mind living in the small town on the harbor. I was content there, and to be quite honest I was afraid I would never find someone who I could talk to as openly as I could Angela if I moved away.
By this time Angela to was courting. A boy by the name of Ben Cheney had stolen her heart. Everyone thought very highly of their romance and had high hopes for them as a couple. We would often all go out together, buying us a little time away from the prying eyes of our family's, and the boorish confines of our sitting rooms.
He proposed to me one afternoon while we were taking a stroll through the woods near my house. I am guessing that he had already asked the permission of my father, for I remember thinking it strange that we were allowed our privacy that day.
My fathers angered reaction when I returned with a ring on my finger said that he had not expected me to say yes. The last days spent in my home where filled with contention, the constant debate over my future hanging heavy in the air.
The wedding was on a beautiful June afternoon. It was a simple service, and just to my liking. It was held at the church I had sat in every Sunday since I could remember, with Pastor Webber preforming the ceremony. Angela was standing at my side, with John across from her. My father politely gave me away. Though he still insisted that I could do better, he would never say so in public, and most of the day for him was spent in a dutiful silence.
Now looking back, I realize I should have listened to his and my mother's pleas to reconsider. It's so easy now to see that that was the day I signed my fate.
After we were married, my new husband decided that he wanted to see the world and try his hand at hunting some new game. My mother was thrilled that I would no longer be stuck in one place like she was, and with that assurance she finally accepted my choice in getting married so young. I on the other hand wasn't so thrilled. Sure it was something we had discussed as a possibility before the wedding. But sometimes talk and realities are different things. The talks we had all seemed to be far off fantasies that would never come to pass. And now being that we were wed I had little say in the matter. So using my savings he goes and buys a pair of train tickets. His father tags along with us. They say they have already seen most of the eastern states, along with the Yukon, where Rachel passed away. So it was settled upon that we would head south. So after a tearful farewell and much skirt holding from Zach, we head out. State by state, we traveled down. First Oregon, then California, thankfully we skipped the great desert in Nevada, always finding a way to sell the meat and pelts to gain our fare to the next hunting spot on the map. Sometimes we would travel by train others by coach, only ever stopping in a town large enough to rent a mule and wagon, for 'our next big hunting adventure.'
It wasn't until we hit Northern California that I realized that all that time in Aberdeen he had indeed been hunting. Hunting for a wife, someone to cook the meals, do the laundry, and keep the camp while the two of them where off hunting. Someone to take Rachel's place, I often wondered about what Rachel's fate had been. John had slowly gotten over her loss, and would disappear on the nights we spent in a town's inn. I kept my mouth shut but always knew those nights where spent in the brothels.
During the hunting trips I was always left armed with a pistol, told to protect the camp at all costs. As soon as they returned however the pistol was taken away, and I would be told that it was not safe for a lady to carry a gun... That always seemed a bit of a double standard to me. Not that I would tell him that. In fact over the months I ended up telling him less and less of anything. And it seemed that I was turning into my mother but in opposite ways. Where she had resented my father for keeping her cooped up in a small town, I resented my husband for taking me away from it, for dragging me into wilds all across the country, and for leaving me alone in them. I was terrified whenever they left. Of course I knew how to use the pistol; my father had made sure of that. But I wasn't sure I would be able to use it if the need ever arose. To actually cause harm, or kill another person or even an animal was quite simply not in my nature. And though I quite obviously had no quarrel with those who hunted, it was never something I could do myself. I wasn't sure what I would do if we were ever robed, or if I was ever attacked. I just knew I would hear it if I didn't do something. So whenever they left I would pray, that the next living creature I would see would be them returning. Funny thing is it looks like in a twisted way that prayer was answered.
It was our second night in Texas when it happened, and not in a way I had ever imagined. We had made camp in a little thicket of shade trees, grouped neatly at the bottom of a hill, just a few miles east of El Paso. The men had left early that morning, and I had been alone all day, reading and washing our clothes in a little nearby stream. They had yet to return as evening set in, and the dinner I had prepared
was beginning to get cold. I was not worried for them though, this was just another thing to get used to when braving the wilds with those two. I was however worried for myself. As evening set in I began to feel a sense of impending doom. There was no where I could go out here, miles from anywhere however. So I tried to calm myself down with keeping busy. I settled myself down with the fire at my back. Both as protection and to allow my eyes to better adjust in the dark. With the pistol loaded at my side I dug into my mending, stitching up a skirt of mine that had acquired a big tare, and glancing up every few seconds to peer into the ever increasing darkness.
Somehow I now find it fitting, that all-encompassing darkness. Taking over and blacking out everything. Like the darkness that had been slowly creeping in during the past few months, closing in and suffocating me, all the while the pitch black creeping closer and closer. The demon emerging from its unseen depths to do me harm.
"Hello there." A musical voice rang out from the dark.
I jumped about a foot in the air, my mending dropping into the dirt forgotten. A small giggle came from the night, and a figure slowly emerged from its shadows. I rose to my feet anxiously my pistol firmly held behind my back.
It was easy to tell from the voice that it was a young woman, but that did little to appease my fright. Her cheerful voice, only served to raise suspicion. A woman out this far all alone should not sound that happy. I should know. I had heard plenty of stories of the woman being used as a decoy. So the men could sneak up and rob you. She could just be happy to have come across another woman, rather than a man, argued the side of my brain that wanted to think good of everybody. It was a reasonable enough explanation, yet my mind was still leaning towards option number one. It was almost as if I could smell the danger radiating off of her and I had yet to even see her face.
My hand tightened around the handle of my gun as she stepped into the ring of light created by the campfire. She was beautiful, I'll give her that. She had a head full ofsoft curls, and a body full of grace. Her hair was dark and left to fall freely around her shoulders. Her skin was a glowing ivory in the fire light. I had never been much into fashion, but even I could tell her dress would be the envy of every woman she met. This too set the warning bells in my head ringing. That fine a dress out here without even the smallest wrinkle or smudge of dirt? It just didn't make any sense. The men had been specifically warned that there would be no one out this far, and if there was to watch out. She had to have come in a wagon. Yet where was the wagon? I had after all heard nothing, and in my heightened state of unease I had been listening fairly hard.
She continued to come closer, and I looked away from her fine dress to finally meet her gaze. What I found when my eyes meet hers made my blood run cold, and a gasp of pure fright to pass my lips. Her gaze was hard, predatory even in its intensity, and while her smile remained full of joy and friendliness her eyes where cold and dead, inhuman even. The more I stared into them the more I came to realize that they were indeed inhuman.
The last memory of my life is of the devil. Disguised as an angle, but the devil none the less. For the devil takes many forms. Her beautiful face leaned in, a wicked grin replacing her soft smile. I screamed as her teeth tore into my flesh. I screamed in terror, and then I screamed in pain. The last thing I heard before the fire consumed me was the devils laughter.
I wonder if he had cried when he came back and found me gone. Somehow I rather doubt it. Rather he was more mystified over my vanishing without a trace. Either way there was no more questions now, he was back in my 'life'.
"James." I let out in a gasp as I sink to the floor, the shock of the moment making it hard to stay on my feet, and once again all eyes were turned on me. The room was deafening in its silence. Staring eye's boring into me. Even James had ceased his tormented wailing, and the eeriness of the sudden silence made my skin crawl. My head was spinning; even with my now overly large brain capacity all that new information was overwhelming. The eyes that studied me made me want to flinch away but I struggled to remain still. Only letting my eyes dart around from face to face and then back to James. Jaspers confused stare was the worst of all. There was something in his eyes that I couldn't quite read. Something dangerous and untamed, and though I had an instinctual knowledge that he would not harm me, I was afraid. There was so much more I had to learn still, I hardly knew what was going on. What I did know was that I was in danger and in it deep.
Maria was watching me with an evil smirk, and I knew she had brought James here on purpose. However the reasoning as to why she had done this was a mystery to me, and had just become number one on my list of things to find out. I had a feeling Jasper knew, and I hoped he would tell me. The answer to this one question seemed so much more important than the rest. Like a big piece of the puzzle that was now my life lay in its discovery. Why would she bring my husband here? Change him into what I now was. I didn't know much about human army's and I was sure vampire army's differed greatly, but it made no sense having a husband and wife fighting side by side. To me it seemed like she was begging for trouble. I could feel the answer clawing at me trying to be heard, but it was just out of range, taunting me.
"GAWWWWW!" James back arced of the floor, as another piercing cry filled the cavern. Breaking the silence, and causing a few sets of piercing red eyes to shift away from me. Jasper cast Maria a questioning look, confirming my suspicions that something was wrong with this situation. He then turned to James, inspecting him it seemed. He looked over his wrists and ankles, before giving Maria a nod. Then without a word he turns away from James dying body and calls the army to attention.