AN: Hope you guys enjoy the new chapter! Also, check out my new story: At Long Last. It's about Bella and Edward meeting in 1918. They can both read minds and they fall in love... Anyways, enjoy and review!
Previously: "What happened dear?" Esme asked in a quiet voice, "We were so worried about you…"
"I think I've found my true heritage" I stated "And you're never going to believe it…"
I spent the evening telling the Cullens about everything that had happened since I collapsed. Carlisle was completely fascinated with the history of the Elementals and was already making plans to start new research. Everyone one else was curious about what new abilities I would be getting. Emmet had loudly proclaimed that I was going to be "super Bella" to which I just laughed.
Edward had kept mostly quiet, just holding me close to him, breathing in my scent and playing with my hair. I honestly couldn't say that I minded one bit. Shadow lay curled up at my feet and I was enjoying just the sheer simplicity of sharing my every thought and emotion with her.
"So tell us exactly how you are connected to Shadow" Esme said quietly.
"I don't know…" I began slowly, "it's like we're completely connected. I can hear and feel her every emotion and thought, but it's like they are partly mine too. Our minds are so intertwined that it is hard to tell exactly where my own begin and hers end. I hate to imagine what would happen if we were separated now…" I shuddered at that last thought. What would happen? Just exactly how close were Shadow and I connected now?
Do not worry so much little one. Shadow's voice swept like a calming wave into my mind. I will never be separated from you again. We were meant for one another. We shall roam the earth and grow together until the ends of time… She trailed off and I felt a wave of contentment flow through me at the knowledge that I would never lose my first true friend and companion.
Jasper was looking at me oddly from across the room and he asked "what just happened?"
"What do you mean?" I asked confused. I had talked with Shadow, but how would he know anything was out of the ordinary.
"Your emotions" he clarified, "One second you were border line panicking, and then… it was like I had calmed you… but it wasn't me…"
I smiled at him. "Shadow" I said simply, "I was worried about what would happen if we were ever separated again. She simply entered my mind and brushed away all of my silly doubts. After all, we were meant to be together forever." I finished using Shadow's sentiment.
"Amazing" Carlisle breathed. I snuggled back into Edward's chest, humming in contentment. What are you thinking? I thought at him, wishing that he could hear me. I was sure that he would voice his ideas in his own time, so I didn't ask my question directly.
Edward's fingers froze in my hair. "Bella?" he questioned.
"Did you just say something?"
"No" I replied. Now I was getting confused.
"I think…" He began, trailing off, "What were you just thinking?" He demanded sharply.
"I was wondering what you were thinking…" I said
His eyes filled with wonder. "I think I just read your mind."
"But how?" I asked. It's your shield Bella Shadow said. The same way you can hear other's thoughts, you can also project your own thoughts into other people's minds, or lower you shield completely.
Edward's head snapped up to look at Shadow. "I just heard her too… Is that possible?"
"What's going on?" Emmet demanded like a whiny five year old.
"Shadow has just informed me that using my shield I am able to hear others thoughts, and project my own thoughts or lower my shield completely. I think I accidentally asked Edward a question mentally, and then he heard Shadow explaining my new ability to me."
"Amazing" Carlisle repeated himself yet again. I sighed as I realized that I was going to be the topic of much discussion in the household for awhile. The sun was just rising outside, but it looked like the day would be cloudy enough for us to go to school. I learned during our discussion that we had had skipped a day due to the fact that I was asleep for most of the morning and afternoon.
I sighed and stood up from Edward's lap. "Where are you going?" he asked quietly.
"We have to get back to school." I said sourly.
"Umm love…" Edward said "the rest of us haven't been hunting in a few days. We were going to skip another day."
We can't. Shadow's voice filled my mind once more. As much as I would love to avoid going to school and being surrounded by mindless teenagers all day, I don't think I could be separated from you for so long. I have not yet reached my full maturity and if you were to go hunting with you family, I would not be able to keep up with you. We can test it, but I think it will be nearly impossible for us to separate for quite some time.
I sighed and translated for the rest of the Cullens, "I can't skip school today."
"Why not?" Edward asked concerned.
"Shadow can't come hunting with us until she has reached full maturity and can keep up, but neither of us think that we can be very far from each other. We can test it, but I don't think it will work…"
"Let's see how far you can go" Carlisle said, curiosity coloring his tone.
Shadow? I asked her silently. We should test it. She replied smoothly.
"Come on Bella!" Emmet said excitedly, pulling me onto his back. He took off running and I screamed desperately at him.
"Emmet slower" Every step from Shadow felt like a piece of me was being ripped from my body. I could feel Shadow's panic faintly back in the direction of the house. The edges of my mind started to go black again and Emmet had barely made it to the edge of the forest when I blacked out completely. It felt as though my entire being had been split. Emptiness filled me to the core and I felt completely lost without Shadow's presence. We had only been connected mere hours and yet I already needed her.
I came to what seemed like minutes later on the couch in the living room with Shadow trembling fiercely and licking my face. She was acting more like a frightened puppy who hadn't yet seen enough of the world to know what to do than I had ever seen before. My eyes fluttered and I felt her presence strongly swirling with my own conscious again. I sighed relieved and sat up slowly, pulling her tightly against me.
I definitely do not want to do any more testing. I thought firmly. All she could manage in response was to snuggle closer to me. Her thoughts were a chaotic mass of confusion and fright. Earlier I had thought that she seemed to hold wisdom beyond her years, but now I realized she was really just as young and inexperienced as I was. We needed each other equally to figure out our future together.
"Well" I said shakily, "I think that I'm going to go to school today. You guys go hunting. I'm not really thirsty at all." Everyone seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.
"I'm so sorry Bella" Emmet said softly. "I didn't realize…" he trailed off but I knew what he meant.
"It's O.K. Emmet" I replied, "I don't think any of us realized just how closely Shadow and I are tied together now." It was nearly time to leave for school so I got up and Shadow followed suit, twining herself around my legs.
"I'll give you a ride to school and we'll be home before you get back" Edward said quietly. I could tell that he hated the idea of letting me go alone, but he knew it was necessary for them to hunt and I think he realized that there was absolutely no way that I could leave Shadow behind.
I'll be fine. Really. I reassured him mentally as we climbed into the Volvo. Shadow snuggled into my lap once more. I hadn't really realized just how little she still was. I hugged her close and twined my fingers with Edward's. I love you I told him. He flashed a crooked grin at me and sped off in the direction of the school.