This story is told from the main character's POV with italicized inserts from Esme's POV.
I hope you enjoy the addition to the Cullen family. If you have any critiques feel free to review me.
I know the first chapter isn't the very best, but the story gets SO much better, so give it a chance. :D!
My stories reflect my love of the secondary characters… especially Rosalie & Emmett (my favs) and Esme. I also love Jasper & Alice…Let's face it… I LOVE them all- except Jacob. He REALLY annoys me.Esme's POV
Life was pretty much back to normal.
That is normal for us. What is normal though? So many people have such different lives that there cannot be one blanket normal for everyone.
The family had been living in Deacon Idaho for about four months now. Emmett and Rosalie were in New York "at college". Which of course was a cover story for them actually just hanging out like a fast living young couple. I had talked to them semi-often. The difference in our lives now with Renesmee made it more imperative to connect often.
Rosalie loved Renesmee more than any of us but I understood her need to distance herself from the situation for a while. As much as she loved that little girl, it was painful to have to realize more acutely that she would never have the utter joy of having her own.
She had told me in private all of her feelings and had sworn me to secrecy never to tell them to anyone. She didn't want Edward or Bella to feel bad or misunderstand her and get angry.
All of her past frustration and hatred toward Bella was truly in the past, but she was fearful of people thinking that she really still felt that way.
So, I would keep in touch and be there for her like a good mother and hope that she would be ready to come home soon. I really missed them already.
Alice and Jasper were enrolled in school along with Edward. Bella was debating whether or not to leave Renesmee with me or continue staying home with her.
I had told her that whatever she wanted I would back her up completely. She vacillated between her options but I didn't want to put undue pressure on her.
Carlisle was opening his own private practice attached to the local hospital and was on call for any extreme emergencies. This time he was going to be a specialized surgeon and he was having fun doing it.
Although homemaking had been my forte for the past century, lately I had been thinking of branching out and doing something interesting, like wedding planning. Although that would be a tricky one seeing as people love to have weddings in the sunshine.
Maybe I could be an indoor only, events planner; or maybe a world-class architect.
Either way, I could do something great. Well, that or watch Renesmee if Bella went to school. That would be a full time job.
Then… Alice had a vision.
Of course Alice and a vision is nothing new, but what she saw was very surprising.
The first vision was a flash of our family in Forks. We were in the living room of the house and right in the middle of Jasper and Emmett was a young blonde girl. She was laughing and Emmett had an arm around her.
Edward's face had been so perplexed when he had seen it.
"It's like she is part of the family," was his exact comment to the split second image.
Alice had focused and watched.
In the complete story she saw us in Forks and a beautiful young girl was with us. There was an addition on the house and a lovely bedroom made for the girl. She had rendered her vision to perfection… it was beautiful, but then all of our work tended to be.
Every time she saw the girl with us we loved her boundlessly. She was very much a part of the family in her visions. I was curious yet overflowing with excitement. Alice and Edward both said she seemed very young; maybe fourteen or fifteen.
If she were really going to be part of the family, I would have a young child. That would be the most amazing thing I could think of.
After her visions of the girl Alice had seen a vampire being killed in a forest. She couldn't see the killer; just small hands break his head effortlessly off his body. And instead of burning, the body seemed to evaporate molecule by molecule in a golden red shimmer.
So here we are back in Forks based on her vision.
It wasn't so hard to be inconspicuous. The only human that would venture onto our property to check out anything would be Chief Swan and that was just fine, seeing as he did so on a regular basis anyway.
He was delighted to have Bella and Renesmee around again and though it did make him uneasy to see his formerly normal daughter so different and never changing, he would take her any way just to have her near him as much as possible.
As we built the addition, Alice saw her again. This time she was lying across a fallen tree and seemed very ill.
"It will be soon. She is dying," Alice said with a confused expression. She had clearly been a vampire in her previous visions, yet she looked sickly and dying in the new ones.
The addition was finished rapidly and is gorgeous. Decorating the room for her was a unique experience. It was the closest thing I can think of to preparing a nursery to bring your new baby home to.
In a short time (Alice isn't sure yet) I will have a new daughter. I am assured of great beauty and of what is known so far, she is sweet and will be loved by all of us.
So, to wait is all that's left to do.Main Character POV
I was sitting under a huge pine tree, with droplets of water filtering through its enormous boughs, landing on my nose. I wasn't cold, even though a tiny part of my mind said that rationally I should be. Actually freezing. Sitting on a cushion of snow was not exactly the best way to keep warm.
I really, really wished I had some pistachios to munch on. Not that they would do me any good. I didn't technically want to eat them; it's just that I've always eaten them since I was a kid, for comfort sake. When I was nervous or sad or melancholy. Hell, when we went to a fair or carnival, the beach… you get the picture.
For the first time in my sixteen years of life I had not eaten food in a whole twenty days.
Me, the "bottomless pit with a side car for thirds" as my dad always said, was on a strictly liquids diet… which to me seemed to be a permanent thing, at least for the foreseeable future.
I didn't want to think about it. The little 'Capri Sun's' as I liked to call them, still gave a vague part of me a weird emotional feeling every time I drank them.
Don't get me wrong… They were delicious. My throat tightened at the remembered taste. If I closed my eyes when I 'ate', and just gave over to the rush it gave me; I felt a kind of blinding haze start to crowd out everything else. And the intense need to have more, not just another stinking plastic pouch; but straight from the source.
I hugged my knees tighter as I remembered back nine days.
I was in the alley behind the blood bus when I saw him. He was asleep - well, passed out more likely - a few yards away in his car behind the Blues Barn.
His window was halfway rolled down, so yeah, he was probably drunk. I could almost feel the rise and fall of his chest. And I could actually hear the blood pumping in his veins.
A small gust of wind blew and I could smell it so strongly. It was instantly intoxicating, completely irresistible. Before I even thought it, I was next to his car. I was completely focused on his throat.
I was going to eat him…or something like that.
It went beyond thought; it was just instinct moving my body. I reached my arm through the partially opened window and yanked him out, shattering the glass with my elbow as it retracted holding my helpless prey.
I breathed deeply as my mouth watered on the most delicious smell I had ever experienced. I lifted him by his shoulders and was about to bite into the left side of his nicely exposed neck, when I recoiled.
I couldn't say why or even understand it. Every single fiber of my incomprehensibly new and insanely strong body was crying and begging desperately to drink his blood and somehow I couldn't break through the mental blockade that seemed to have a physical grip on me.
Desperately thirsty, my throat feeling like I had drank napalm; I lunged downward to bite him again. But the moment my teeth touched his skin my jaw locked. I snarled in anger and dropped the poor helpless sap back down into his seat.
He jolted awake with a start. "What, what, who are…what'd you wan…?" His eyes were cloudy and his words slurred together.
Disgusted I shook my head and walked or rather zipped to my dad's blood bank. I opened the door with my key; I did after all clean it regularly. I smelled the blood as soon as the door had cracked open. I slammed it shut after me and headed to the storage tanks.
Ripping open the first cooler, I snatched a pint of O-Neg and biting through the plastic, had sucked the whole pouch dry in seconds. I didn't stop until I felt like if I breathed, a fountain would come back up on exhale.
I slumped down on one of the chairs and wallowed in the first good feelings I had had in the past 10 days.
Now, under my stupid tree I felt like crap. Well, not physically. Physically, I felt pretty damn good. But I didn't really care at the moment. Right then I couldn't even drum up a single good vibe over the sheer delight and childlike glee I felt a few days ago when I realized a few of the things I could do with myself now.
Right now at this particular moment of my life, I was completely, soul crushingly alone. I had never been alone in my life. Well, like sleeping and stuff. But that was only because my sister flat out refused to let me sleep in her room.
No matter how I begged, pleaded or tried bribing her, Lily wouldn't budge on that.
Unlike me, Lilibeth Annias Jonesy was a rather solitary and aloof person. She liked her "privacy" and no one in the family was allowed into the illustrious confines of her "suite" as she snootily called it. In reality it was just a decent sized bedroom with a regular bathroom attached.
I smirked as I recalled the look on her face when she got her good first look at my 'en-suite'.
I had promised my dad that I would staff at both his soup kitchen and blood bank all summer if he would help me a little – financially – to install my own bathroom.
I had gotten my Uncle Willy and my three best friends from school, Jared, Lauren and Kara to help me with as much grunt work as possible. My uncle Willy owned a plumbing and air company so I kind of cheated. For the price of simple fixtures he gave me top of the line luxury everything, plus a two-man crew to install and direct us in the finishing.
Lily had been pissed, and had consistently used both my whirlpool tub and five-headed shower on a regular basis. I was secretly pleased, having put them there for that exact purpose. She never got it, but I was the master of the family in reverse psychology.
We hadn't ever really gotten along; well I got along with her just fine, but for some reason, I had always gotten the vague feeling that she actually hated me.
But either way, I would take intense hate to just be able to be in the same house with my family. Lily was probably going to take over my room now. I didn't even care. Maybe she would remember me that way.
When I had looked in the windows last night it had almost been unbearable. My mom, dad, Lily, my older brother Max and little brother Saul were all comforting each other over my murder.
Oh yeah… someone killed me.
I'm Annelise Leila Jameson, (called Lisa by my family, which I absolutely hate) and twenty days ago, three days before my sixteenth birthday; this psycho dude yanked me off the street – as I was running home – and murdered me….
Except, I didn't die all the way.
That's all I can think to explain it. Cause I'm not really a regular human, but I'm not a ghost or anything. I mean I'm so shockingly pale that I would have said I could have been, if I was in my usual humor.
This nasty little voice was pecking at the back of my brain saying I knew exactly what I was, but I wasn't letting it take over yet.
I was too busy keeping the panic that insidious little bit of info brought at bay. I didn't believe in the undead.
You know… vampires.
But as the days wore on and I realized more and more of the changes my body had undertaken, I had to admit to a tiny piece of myself that maybe I should rethink my beliefs.
I mean, so many of the myths I had heard made some kind of twisted sense to me now. And another chunk of them were still implausible.
I can honestly say that when I thought of my sixteenth year, this is nothing like I had envisioned it.
I thought I would get my license and drive around in the little car my grand parents had bought for my birthday, have fun this summer with my friends, go to summer music camp… hopefully. All that good stuff you do the summer after you turn sixteen.
I was super excited too, because Matthew Hollis had invited me to Winter Formal. It was in a couple weeks. He was pretty cute and I had a major crush on him since I was fourteen.
Kara, Lauren and I had all gone shopping the day before I… well anyway… we had all gotten our dresses for the dance and they were awesome! We had so much fun.
A stab of sorrow went through me and I lashed out ripping a thick branch off of the tree. It wasn't a physical pain, just a really sad feeling. I missed them so much.
I missed every one so much. I just wanted to talk to someone, anyone. This wasn't natural. I hadn't talked to anyone in almost three weeks!
Well, I had muttered a few words my dad would have frowned on.
But that didn't count.
I had not talked to a single human being since the afternoon before I… well anyway.
I felt surge of anger at the bastard that had done this to me.
It wasn't fair!
I had been a normal fifteen-year-old girl just running to make it home for dinner and he had stolen all that was wonderful from me.
I was pacing angrily now and viciously kicked a large rock. With a startling, yet satisfying crack, it split and fell apart into a pile of big shards and pieces.
It felt good – destroying something in rage. I turned to a small tree, gave it an appraising look and with a lightning movement sheared it in half with the side of my hand.
I spent the next few minutes, a whirling dervish, leveling the immediately vicinity.
Afterward, I felt so much better.
I pulled my iPod out of my backpack.
It was only at half power again. Now I would have to find somewhere to recharge it again. I couldn't live with a lack of music along with my lack of conversation.
Maybe I should save the battery power and charge it tomorrow. After all, one close encounter in a day was enough. And I didn't want to risk singing blissfully unaware again and end up in trouble. That had been bad enough earlier today.
I had tuned my iPod to my favorite song and was humming. When the lyrics began I joined in singing.
I didn't care if anyone heard me. For the first time in my life I could sing like a freaking songbird. Not that there was anyone around.
I would have smelled them by now.
But I was still delighted that I could sing in tune. Not only in tune, but it sounded beautiful, like really beautiful. Unlike any sound I had ever heard.
The music swirled up and I twirled around like a ballerina, realizing simultaneously that I had gotten to my feet and was dancing with the music that rang so clearly in my ears.
It was such a different experience to be able to cut the music into discernible parts. I could hear every nuance of each instrument and voice separately, yet still enjoy the collective whole at one time.
I felt amazing. The music made me light and happy like it seemed to always do now.
"I wish I could see who's singing that."
The words were a small tinkling voice through my mind.
I sang again with the music.
"So pretty." The little voice sighed. "I wish I could see her."
I paused the music and stuffed the whole iPod and headphones in my pocket. I swung my backpack on my back as I edged towards the direction of the voice.
I sang more softly as I walked silently.
I saw them as the little girl's head turned to where I was.
"Why do you want to see me?" I wondered softly.
She looked directly at me, "Cause you sing so pretty."
I stood rooted to the spot as I registered three things at once.
* She heard me.
* All four adults instantly surrounded her.
* And they didn't smell like humans.
Oh, and she wished her Aunt Alice could find her a headband like mine.
There were two men and two women and the beauteous little child. I was too terrified to fully take in how spectacularly beautiful they all were. I could only think of one thing.
They were not human!
They had really pale skin and a quality about them that instinctively told me they were the same as me.
And really, really dangerous! My sense of self-preservation screamed.
"Please. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you. Excuse me." I mumbled in apology, backing away.
Please don't hurt me… was what was racing in my head.
I almost whimpered at the fierce look in the younger man's eyes. They were a really neat gold color and they burned protectively as he stood shielding the little girl who was peeking from behind his leg and smiling with the most charming, and beatific smile I had ever seen.
I turned and ran for my life.
Literally.Just Another Night in a Not-So-Enchanted Forest
Maybe I would listen to a couple songs and then turn it off, I thought grouchily.
I was getting really irritated that I couldn't sleep.
Like not a bit.
And I didn't feel tired. I was getting to loathe my inability to fall asleep. I LOVE to sleep! Like, way more than is natural. Now I couldn't will myself or do anything to fall asleep.
It was so unnatural. What was I supposed to do with all this time?
Maybe I should get a violin. I could practice every night and become a concert violinist. I grinned at the thought.
I started the music, a beautiful soothing piece. The beautiful strains of the ballad poured through me and suddenly I couldn't remember just then what had made me sad.
My focus had been off recently. Maybe A.D.H.D.? I could probably steal some Ritalin at the next place I hit.
Before I realized, the iPod beeped twice and shut down. I cursed and looked at my watch. It was only 10 pm.
What the hell was I going to do for a-whole-nother-night in the freaking forest? I didn't even have my iPod anymore.
So I ran – just booked it North.
I was still stupefied at the speed with which I was able to hurtle my body forward.
I ran and ran and ran.
I looked at my watch as I ran. It had only been about thirty minutes, but it felt like a couple hours. I slowed down cause I realized I would probably be in northern Canada before morning at this pace.
I sat down with a plunk. The log, which I had meant to use as a bench, crumbled under my butt like dirt. I leapt up as a bunch of creepy crawlies came pouring out of the wreckage.
"Ick!" I yelped and brushed off the ones that were clinging on me.
I walked a few yards over to a large boulder, sat with a little more care and groaned. It wasn't even eleven yet.
I wasn't cold, tired or hungry. I had a good supply of 'food' with me anyhow, but I still wanted a shower and a bed. I wanted to feel civilized.
Truthfully, I felt like an animal. Living in the woods with no contact with anyone. Fearful, not of people but of what I could do to them. I wasn't an animal.
No matter what urges were bubbling in me constantly, just under the surface, I wasn't an animal. Just because I wanted to rip into every person's throat I came within a mile of, didn't mean I would or was going to.
Speaking of which. I pulled out a "juice pouch". It was better to fore stall the urge before it became a compulsion. I stabbed a straw through the little catheter hole on the pouch.
I had found that making light of the whole gory business, kept a tiny part of me that kept crying out that I was still a person, sane.
'I need to face reality,' I told that little peon now. I wasn't the same me anymore.
Something had changed drastically that day when I… well anyway.
I didn't want to think of that either.
When I was finished with my near-midnight snack, I put the empty pouch in the zipper pouch with the dozen or so others.
I might as well just hike and explore for a while I decided, resigned to yet another grueling lonely night. I hoofed it a bit and wondered if there was anyone else like me at this very moment; all alone, hiking late at night and truthfully scared to death of what their future was… if I even had a future that I wanted.
I made a conscious effort to stop thinking and just absorb what I was seeing as I hiked. In the silence and stillness of the forest I registered new sounds and the faintest flicker of artificial lighting.
I headed in that direction as stealthily as possible. I knew people wouldn't appreciate me looking in their windows while they were unaware, but it was strangely comforting to see normalcy in this crazy upheaval that was my present life.
As I neared what I could make out to be a large house, I heard a little sigh.
"I wish I could see the girl with the really pretty voice."
I stopped dead. I thought, with a flicker of fear, that I recognized the little tinkling voice. I closed my eyes and inhaled. No human smells.
Oh crap! This was probably their home! I turned to run and heard her again.
"I wish she was here to sing to me. And I wish Alice could find me a headband like hers."
I crept closer, careful more than ever to be quiet as possible. When I had a pretty good view of the house I swung myself into the branches of a tree. I could see into some of the windows of the second story.
She was tucked into a big double bed. A tiny little girl with thick glossy hair, dark brown eyes and the most perfect face I had ever seen in my life. No exaggeration.
She put down her book and turned on her side. Making herself comfortable and tucking her little hands under her cheek. Her eyes drifted shut.
I sat there for like an hour watching her little body rise and fall with her breathing. Her face was so expressive in sleep. I was completely enchanted.
After a while I realized it might not be the wisest thing to just sit a few hundred yards from a house of 'people' that were probably a whole hell of a lot stronger than me.
I quickly took out a little notepad with a kitty on the corner of each page. Lauren had given it to me the day I… well anyway.
I quickly wrote,
'For the pretty little girl that wished for it.'
I took a pink bandana from my backpack and wrapped it around the clip I had attached to a simple black stretchy headband. I safety pinned the note to the little bundle.
When it seemed that there was no one outside or paying attention I darted to the porch as fast as I could, put the bundle on the top stair and bolted for the relative safety and comfort of the forest.