Disclaimer: SM is the only one that owns Twilight.
AN: I forgot my flash drive when I went to work last night so I wasn't able to work on any of my other stories but needed to write something and this was what I came up with.
Prologue: Vienna, Austria
"I am very sorry, Augustus, der ist nozing furzer zat I can do," Dr. Strauss told me apologetically before he fled out of my front door.
I stood in the doorway and watched the coward's retreating form until he disappeared around the corner. It was one minute longer before I shut the door and moved slowly up the stairs. My heart turned to ice and all of my emotions went numb. The only thing that was working normally in body was a mind that refused to stop thinking about the only thing in my life that made it worth living was about to be taken from me. Isabella Marie… my precious Angel… my granddaughter was laying in the room across from mine dying.
When I entered her room, her tiny body was practically swallowed by the massive bed I had bought after I was told she was going to be living with me. My Liebling's four-year-old body already looked deathly pale and was covered with a fine sheen of sweat. A pained whimper escaped from her and I was instantly by her side. There was a basin of water and a face cloth on the nightstand next to the bed. I dipped the cloth into the water and cleaned the sweat from the exposed skin of her face and arms. Her chocolate eyes fluttered open at my touch then focused on me. A small furrow appeared between her eyebrows as her expression became concerned.
"Poppa, I will always love you," she whispered hoarsely and just that minimal effort drained the poor girl. Once more her eyes fluttered shut and exhaustion claimed her.
For the past six months, every doctor and specialist had told me that her heart was going to eventually give out. I refused to believe that God would take everything good from my life. As I looked on what might well be Isabella's last few hours on Earth, she gave another pained whimper and the ice that coated my heart melted. A fire burned through me and a new conviction that she was going to live blazed through my being. I knew just what to do and picked up her small frame then prayed for a miracle as I carried her out of the room.
I worked through the night and was vaguely aware that the first light of dawn was going to shine soon. With trembling hands, I tied the last suture then gave a final twist and hoped the operation was successful. The clock on the wall chimed the sunrise hour but all of my senses were focused on the little girl on the table before me.
"Poppa," she mumbled groggily and her eyes fluttered open. I cried out in joy because my little one was going to live.
Ch. 1: The Eleventh Hour
Nobody likes to think about when they are going to die, they just accept the fact that it will happen someday then ignore it. My grandfather saved me from the brink of death when I was only four and I've lived each day since knowing I was on borrowed time. It is not something that I can forget because I feel each turn of the cog, hear each tick of the clock that counts down to my final day. Even if I had never left Phoenix, I'd still be facing death.
As the bells are about to chime on my own personal midnight, I gaze into the black eyes of the hunter and have no regrets about the decision to move to Forks in the Eleventh Hour of my life. For one brief, shining moment, I felt like a normal girl. I found love and was loved in return. Even if I survive the next few minutes, I won't last the night. Rosalie, my love, I hope you can forgive me…
"Are you sure you want to do this, Bells," Charlie asked for the millionth time and I bit back the exasperated sigh that threatened to come out.
"I'm positive; besides, we both know that I've not got much longer. You and Phil need some time to enjoy your honeymoon phase with having to take care of me. Living with Renee until the end might spice my life up a bit. I'll admit that I'll miss the sun, though," I replied as I kissed his cheek while his husband looked scandalized.
"How can you be so flippant about dying," Phil demanded on the brink of tears.
"Das ist not being flippant, das ist being pragmatic like die good Austrian zat I am," I retorted in German flavored English and my natural Austrian accent then stuck my tongue out at him for good measure.
Both men laughed then I kissed Phil's cheek and continued in my Americanized voice, "I'll miss you guy but I promise if things get to be too much to handle that I'll be on the next flight back."
The announcement that my flight was boarding came over the PA system so I gave each of them a final hug and kisses then headed to gate. I looked back one more time, smiled then shook my head at the two rugged men that nobody believed was a happy gay couple. Then again, most people thought I was just another eighteen-year-old girl but as with Charlie and Phil, looks were very deceiving. They waved but I had to turn my attention back to getting through the security checkpoint. Mein Gott, I wish I could fly myself, I thought to myself when I handed one the guards the card that said I had a pacemaker. After my shoes, purse and backpack were on the conveyor for the x-ray machine; he led me around the metal detector then carefully used the wand on my legs and arms.
I then put my shoes back on and started to gather my things when another of the security guards placed a hand on my shoulder. He pointed to the wheel chair next to him and directed me to sit down. To my eternal embarrassment, I realized that Charlie had requested them to wheel me down to the gate. An image of the traitor with a smug smile on his face popped into my head and I wanted nothing more than to kick his ass. I swallowed my pride and sat down without complaint, later tonight I was going to call Phil and his husband would be properly punished.
When the plane landed in Seattle, I was happy that asshole's little joke only covered the Phoenix airport. My attorney, J. Jenks, was waiting for me in the terminal when I disembarked the plane. We found an out of the way spot and he handed me a thick envelope that contained my new papers.
"You will find everything in order, Miss Schwann, and I received confirmation of your wire transfer to my off shore account. As always, it's been a pleasure working with you," the stocky balding man said courteously then bowed slightly and melted into the nearby crowd.
There was still an hour and a half left before my shuttle flight to Port Angeles so I headed to the closest lady's room to freshen up before hunting up some food. After splashing some cold water on my face, I locked myself into one of the stall and opened the envelope. I left the fake school transcripts and birth certificate inside but removed the Arizona driver's license, passport, social security number and cover story for Isabella Marie Swan. It'd been a couple of decades since the last time I updated identities and I figured it was about time with my current move. This was going to be the last one I used so I had Jenks stick as close to the truth as was possible. The passport, license and social security card replaced the old ones that were in my purse. Next, I left the stall and placed the old documents and cover story into one of the sinks. I removed a bottle of nail polish from my purse and dumped it onto the contents of the sink. It was only a few minutes before the dissolved remains went down the drain and I was off in search of lunch.
The short commuter flight was short but the charter plane was cramped and I was thankful when we finally reached Port Angeles. Due to overbooking, I had been forced to sit at the back of the plane so I needed to wait for everyone else to get off first. I made it into the terminal and found Renee waving her arms to catch my attention. With a smile, I raced over and she pulled me into a hug.
"I've missed you, Bells," she said before releasing me from her embrace. Charlie's twin sister threw an arm around my shoulder then guided me to the luggage carrousel. Renee was the spitting image of their mother while her brother was the spitting image of Augustus reborn. I was surprised to find she wasn't in her police uniform.
With her long red hair, ample breasts, curvy hips and throaty voice most people took her for a ditzy porn star but that was a misconception she fostered. Renee Swan was actually highly intelligent with the mind like a steel trap. She used those qualities to graduate from the top of her class in high school then college and finally the FBI Academy at Quantico. The bombshell spent three years at the Bureau undercover trying to bring down a human trafficking ring. When her cover was almost blown, they pulled her out and she decided she wanted to live the quiet life. Renee quit her job then moved back to her home town of Forks, Washington. She hadn't even unpacked her suitcase before the former Chief of Police was knocking on her door with a job offer. He wasn't a fool and knew his small department would benefit from someone with her experience.
Renee took him up on the offer and never looked back. After her boss retired, so did the four other officers besides herself. She had advanced warning that it was going to happen and had replacements already in place. For the past ten years, the town had been blessed to have her as the Chief of Police.
We picked up my two pieces of luggage from the carrousel then made out way outside. The light rain and cool breeze that cut through the thin material of my clothing were unfortunate reminders that my days basking in the warm sunlight were behind me. My "cousin's" Cruiser was parked in the white zone and we tossed my bags in the back then hopped in. I'd hoped to spend the drive in comfortable silence but of course my companion had other ideas.
"The boys and I have been talking since you chose to move in with me and we thought it would be best to enroll you in high school," she started and I scowled because she'd gone over to the Dark Side with her brother.
"Don't give me that look; you haven't been back to high school in fifty years. I know it sucks but too fucking bad. All you did in Phoenix was putter around the house and the only time you left were for your monthly club meetings. When was the last time you went out on a date, because you're in desperate need of getting laid? I freely admit that pickings are slim here but you'd stand a better chance of finding a guy among the other students. I think if you actually had somebody in your life you wouldn't be so quick to give up the ghost and fight to find a way to live," Renee continued bluntly and unrepentant.
"Not that it's any of your business but the last time I had sex was a one-night stand I picked up in Studio 54 back in the Seventies. As far as dating goes, you might have a point but it would be cruel to get involved with somebody because, no matter how hard I've tried, my days are limited. Even if I were to date, I would never in a million years date a high school boy or any man for that matter.
"In my one hundred sixty years of life, I've only had sex with three men; my husband, Heinricht – but he was as gay as I am and we needed to have a child to get the family off our backs, H.G. Wells – but he swung both ways and it was threesome with a hot blooded Irish maid, and Nikola Tesla – I chalk that one up to being extremely drunk. He was very good but he had the most wonderful toys. All of my other lovers have been women so unless there's a leggy blonde with the face of an Angel and the body of Aphrodite running around in the backwoods village, I won't even consider dating," I retorted and had the honor of watching my great-great-great-great-granddaughter turn scarlet with shock.
A half hour of silence fell over the car as Renee tried to wrap her mind around what I'd told her. Just when I thought the rest of the drive was going to be more of the same she commented, "So you're a lesbian and Grandpa Heinricht was gay."
"Yes. You have to understand that we were best friends and loved each other in but were incapable of being in love with each other. My Heinricht was a fourth cousin that had been away at university in England when he had to leave because of a scandal. Grandfather paid a small fortune to keep everything quiet and his parents from finding out. In return, the disgraced scion had to marry me because Augustus was dying and needed somebody to watch over me. I met my husband for the first time at the altar on our wedding day.
"The wedding night was comical as neither of us wanted to touch the other. During those first few months of our marriage, we learned each others' secrets and started to build our friendship. After Grandfather died, Heinricht's parents started to put a great deal of pressure on us to have a child. We agreed that the meddling was only going to get more heavy handed and figured if we acquiesced just once they'd leave us alone. A week's worth of trying and the limp-wristed bastard impregnated me with triplets. That's how our family started," I explained because I felt she had the right to know the truth. Charlie had found out the day he came out to me.
"Huh, so that's why you never freaked when my brother came out or I told you about my experimental stage in college," the red head stated then lapsed back into a thoughtful silence until we reached home.
She pointed out the rusted red truck parked in front of the house and told me she bought it off her friend, Billy, as a homecoming gift. It was '56 Chevy and I loved it. The aging hulk was never going to replace my babies but a good normal vehicle. The fact that it was built like a tank was a bonus. The way she'd said her friend's name made me think there was more there than just friendship.
We grabbed my bags then headed inside. The house was just like I remembered from my last visit. If I was honest, it looked like she was rarely home from the subtle neglect of everything. She led me upstairs to my room then helped me unpack. The two of us talked about the first day of school on Monday and other lighter topics while she watched me for signs of fatigue. All of my little ones were having a hard time accepting my pending demise. When my stomach growled, we decided to go downstairs and order a pizza.
"I hope you don't mind but I told Billy that I'd go cliff diving with him tomorrow. You're more than welcome to come, his son – Jacob would love to meet you. It's not a set up, I promise," she commented and looked at me hopefully. I wanted to meet this Billy but I wanted to relax before I had to deal with the first day of school. There was also the good possibility that Jacob was going to paw me like most teenage boys.
"Actually, I think I'll head to Port Angeles because Charlie said my big baby was going to be delivered in the morning then I was going to relax before being forced back into Hell," I responded but wasn't able to hide the guilt in my voice.
"That's okay, there will be other times for you to go to La Push with me," Renee soothed then fell onto the pizza when it arrived.
That night as I lay in bed, I wondered what nightmares school would hold. At least I was going to be starting as a junior, not that it mattered in the grand scheme of things. Who knows, maybe Renee and Charlie were right. One of the main reasons I came here was to shake things up. Maybe, just maybe, this wasn't going to turn out as bad as I feared. I drifted off to sleep with images of soft curves pressed against me and a flash of blonde hair.