Hello everybody! It has been a very long time since I last updated and for that, I apologize. I had a house fire and my computer was unfortunately destroyed along with all my writings. I didnt have any back ups of them either. Losing all of my stories put me off as far as writing for a bit, but I am happy to say I am back! Here is a new chapter to hold you off for a day or two while I write the next one. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: SM owns Twilight
Jasper grinned at me out of the corner of his eye as we walked up to the back of the house. I was wearing my torn jeans and was holding scraps of his shirt over my chest.
"Would you stop grinning at me? It's your damn fault. You killed my shirt!" I hissed and he rolled his eyes.
"Your shirt was already dead Darlin'. There was hardly any shirt to tear." He snickered and I lightly backhanded him in the stomach.
"Well hello there. I see you two had fun." Charlotte giggled as she walked around the side of the house.
"Shut it." I mumbled and she grinned at me with twinkling eyes.
"Go on in Sugar. Nobody is inside. And if you're fast, I'm thinking you will have enough time to wash the dirt out of your hair before the Denali's get here. You had better get your ass up there too Jazz." Char smirked and I skipped forward and kissed her cheek before running into the house and up the stairs.
I cranked on the water and nearly melted as it ran over my skin. I didn't bother looking at the water that was rushing down the drain, I knew it must be brown.
Jasper stepped in behind me and pressed up against my back so he was hit with the stream of water as well. I automatically wanted to remark that this wasn't the fastest way to shower, but I didn't want him going to use one of the others.
We took turns slowly washing each other off. It wasn't sexual, but the intimacy took my breath away. The way he was so careful as he ran his hands over me under the water made me feel so precious.
We dried each other off when we finished and then we quickly tossed on clothes. I ended up in a pair of black jean shorts, a white tank top and lowtop red converse. I looked over at Jasper to see him leaning against the wall watching me. I held my hand out to him and he was immediately at my side.
We jumped out the window together and ran around the side of the house to the others. I looked over the group sitting at the base of the tree in a large circle and flicked my gaze to the trees as I spotted Rosalie and Peter swinging.
"And the lovebirds return!" Garrett crowed and I laughed and stuck my tongue out at him as they all grinned at us.
"Hope you guys didn't have too much fun without us." I smiled and Jasper led me over to sit on his lap between Chase and Alec.
"Not too much fun to be had here without you Bella Bear. You're the life of the party." Emmett said with a huge dimpled grin and I laughed and relaxed back against Jasper.
We sat around and chatted aimlessly for a while before I heard the whisper of footsteps through the trees. Rachel heard it too and everyone backed away from her quickly as she fell forward and shifted.
"Chase, take Rachel to the clearing and calm her down, would you?" I asked and he nodded and began whispering to her soothingly.
"Protect." Her voice echoed into my head and I walked over next to Chase and ran a hand through her fur.
"I've got it covered. Go with Chase."
She bobbed her head in a nod and then they ran off through the trees.
Everyone formed a group with Jasper, Laurent, and I at the front, with me standing between them as the footsteps got closer.
"What if it isn't the Denali's?" I asked through the bond to my family.
"It is. I can feel Irina." Laurent said but I remained tense for a fight just the same.
About a minute later the group of vampires broke through the trees. Laurent ran forward and embraced a blonde woman who let out a loud laugh. I smiled at the interaction before looking over at the others. I flicked my gaze to a man and a woman with dark hair and slightly tinted olive skin. They held hands and I caught a glimpse of matching marks on their necks. Next to them was another blonde woman with impossibly straight hair and bold features. She was watching Laurent and Irina with an adoring smile.
The only man in their group stepped forward towards Jasper and they shook hands with grins and I immediately felt the tension leave me. If Jasper was smiling, then we were ok.
"Eleazar, thank you for coming. This is my mate, Bella. Bella this is Eleazar, the leader of the Denali Clan." Jasper said in his soothing voice and I held my hand out to Eleazar who shook it with a strong grip.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Bella. This is my mate Carmen." He introduced the dark haired woman and she smiled brightly at me and shook my hand as well.
"Thank you so much for coming." I said earnestly and they both nodded and their expressions started morphing into something more somber.
"Why don't we move inside and we can tell you everything you need to know?" Jasper suggested and they nodded. Eleazar made to call them all over but I held up a hand to stop him.
"Actually, I was going to suggest that maybe Laurent could fill in Irina and that way they could go spend some time alone together." I said and looked over at the pair to see them both looking at me. Laurent had a soft smile on his face and he nodded to me and Irina was looking at me in surprised happiness. When I smiled at her she responded instantly with one of her own.
"I think that's a great idea." Eleazar agreed and I smiled at him and Jasper wrapped an arm around me.
"Jasper, why don't you take them inside, and I will go get Rachel and Chase. I want them here for this."
He looked down at me and nodded.
"I will meet you all inside in a moment. Jane, Alec, you two want to come with me to get Rachel and Chase?" I turned and they both immediately shot to my side with matching smiles.
"Race ya?" Jane challenged and I laughed.
"On three?" I asked and they nodded.
"Em! Count us off!" I called and they stood on either side of me.
"Three! Two! One! Go!" He boomed and we shot off.
We ran as fast as we could, winding our way through trees and jumping over streams until we reached the clearing where we spotted the other two. I got to them first and the other two frowned.
"Not fair, your legs are longer!" Alec protested and I laughed and turned to the others.
"The Denali's are here. There are only four of them. Carmen and Eleazar are a mated pair, there is a woman named Kate, and a woman named Irina who is Laurent's mate." I told them both and they nodded, though in Rachel's case is was more of a head bob as she was still in cat form. "I want you guys there for introductions so why don't you come back with us. Rachel you can jump through my window, its open, and grab any clothes you want. Alright?" I asked and scratched her behind her ears. She bobbed her head again.
"Are they the last people we are expecting?" Chase asked and I turned to him and nodded with a heavy sigh.
"Pretty soon this will all be over with." I said quietly. He reached forward to take my hand and I smiled halfheartedly at him.
"We are going to win Bella. No army can tear this group apart." He said assuredly and I met his gaze.
"Thank you again for everything you have done for me. And for coming here to fight even though it is dangerous for you and your mate." I told him earnestly and wished Jasper was here so that he show Chase how much gratitude I felt.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat. Now come on, lets get this done." He said and I smiled and nodded. I turned to Jane and Alec who were watching us silently.
"Ready guys?" I asked and they nodded but I could feel something was off. "Chase, why don't you two go ahead? We'll be right behind you." I glanced at him and he nodded and squeezed my hand briefly before running off.
I walked forward to the twins and sat in front of them. They both sat down and each took one of my hands.
"What's going on guys?"
"We are afraid to face the Denali sisters." Alec admitted after a tense minute and I looked at them curiously.
"Why? What happened? You know the family wont let anyone hurt you." I said seriously and they both smiled at the mention of family before dissolving into seriousness again.
"When we were with the Volturi, the sire of the Denali sisters broke a very serious law. We were ordered to execute her and the sisters were forced to watch." Jane said quietly and I took in a sharp breath.
"I am so sorry you had to do that." I said quietly and they looked at me in surprise.
"You aren't mad?" They chorused and I looked at them curiously.
"Of course not. Why would I be mad?" I asked and they launched at me and suddenly I was flat on my back with two stressed vampires sprawled across me.
"Why wouldn't you? We have more blood on our hands than anyone else here." Jane protested and I shook my head.
"When you were turned you were all alone, and the Volturi were there to help you. They kept you well taken care of to an extent, but they were using you. You may not have always noticed, and you may have wanted to believe that even without your gifts the Volturi would care for you. You looked up to them and cared for them and you would do anything to keep them from hating you. I understand why you did the things you did. And I understand why you left." I said softly and they both smiled at me brightly. "That being said, I want to make it clear that none of us would hold it against you if you don't want to fight. I don't want to put you in the same position that they did."
"No. We want to be here fighting for you. Unlike the Volturi, you aren't using us as weapons or pets. You actually care for us. You aren't having us be your executioners. We want to protect you Bella. And we will." Alec said strongly and I smiled at them and hugged them tightly to me.
"Well, now that's all settled, I believe we should get back." I said and they both hopped to their feet and pulled me up. I smiled at them both and we ran back to the house together.
I glanced nervously at the stairs as Chase and Rachel descended, hand in hand.
"Bella?" I asked and they shook their heads.
"She stopped to talk to the twins for a minute. They seemed worried about something." Rachel explained and I nodded and went back to watching the Denali's.
Carmen and Eleazar were seated on the love seat and Kate was leaning on the back of it.
"Where is Carlisle?" Carmen asked and Jasper was about to answer when three sets of familiar footsteps ran up to the house.
"Hey Kitten. Everything good?" I asked and she nodded and shot me a smirk.
"We ready to explain what's going on?" Her voice shot into my mind and I smiled and nodded. I watched as she moved gracefully over and stood behind Jaspers chair and ran her hands through his hair. Then tension in his shoulders disappeared and it was apparent to everyone how large an effect they have on each other.
"Well I suppose you want the full story for why you are here." Bells started and the three nodded.
"Last I heard anything about you, you were human." Kate said bluntly and Bella nodded.
"My change ended a around a week ago." She explained and they all looked at her with wide eyes.
"How are you this controlled for only being a few days old? You should be rabid!" Carmen exclaimed in her thick accent.
"We are thinking it is part of her gift. She has extreme self-control. She has no trouble with human products. She has never had trouble with tearing clothing." I supplied and Eleazar nodded with a thoughtful expression.
"So there is a threat to you?" He asked and we all nodded.
"When Bella was human and she was close to the Cullen's in Forks, a tracker named James started hunting her. We killed him, but his mate escaped and she is taking revenge on us. Edward joined forces with them and together they are making a Newborn army." Jasper explained in an even tone and they nodded and looked around at all of us.
"And the Volturi have sent help?" Kate asked and eyed Felix and the twins. Bella instantly moved in front of the twins to block them.
"The twins and Felix left the Volturi. The brothers know nothing of this situation and we are hoping to keep it that way." Bella said and I could hear the growl behind her words.
"Why don't you want them to know?" Carmen asked and Jasper looked to Bella and she nodded.
"If you will follow me outside, I will show you." She said calmly and she walked passed me with tense shoulders.
"This is all going to work, Kitten." I said almost silently as she passed by me and she smiled.
The entire group followed her and gathered on the porch as she walked out into the middle of the yard.
"I wonder why showing the Denali's is so much harder for her than everyone else." Char whispered at my side as we watched her turn to look at all of us with a stern expression.
"She doesn't know if she can trust them yet. Especially when they brought up the Volturi." I took her hand and we waited.
"My change lasted for six days. When I woke up I wasn't afraid or skittish. My throat didn't burn with thirst. I have been completely coherent since the second I opened my eyes." She began with an even voice and I could see the Denali's watching her with rapt attention. "Two days into my change we found out that I can talk to my family through the venom bond. Laurent, Peter, Charlotte, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie, can all hear me without me actually speaking. Through regular bonds I share with other vampires I can shield them from any mental attacks, like Edwards mind reading or Jane's pain. The stronger the bond, the easier it is. When Jasper marked me, I gained the ability to feel his emotions, and he gained the ability to speak into my mind. And on my first hunt when I was told to follow my instincts, this happened." She took a deep breath and shut her eyes and her entire body froze before she was standing in front of us as a sleek panther.
"And that is why we don't want the Volturi to know. They would either try and kill her, or take her."
I hope you guys liked this chapter, and I PROMISE not to keep you waiting too long for the next one. Promise, Promise.
Let me know what you think, feedback is always appreciated.