A/N: Hi, everyone. Sorry this took awhile, real life, work, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, a few things. 1st: this story now has a banner, check it out in my profile. I would love to hear what you guys think of it.
2nd: I posted a teaser for this chapter on The Twilight Awards and The Fictionators this week and will probably continue to do so. Links in my profile. I am also thinking of sending out the teaser (when I have it) with review replies if people would be interested.
Anyway, I own nothing. Theme this chapter is by an amazing band, The Mountain Goats. It's called Idylls of the King, link on my profile. The scenes in italics in this chapter are memories.
A special shout out to Lady Stardust 619 and Reading is a Passion2 for each guessing part what was happening. A lot will be revealed here, so please hit the review button and tell me if you liked it now that some things have been explained. Thanks and sorry for the long ass note.
But my attention was turned back to the house as Carlisle asked Charlotte who it was that was after them and if they had anything to do with what just happened. It was something we had all been wondering.
I couldn't help the growl that escaped my chest at her response. "Well I couldn't say for sure, but I reckon its the army led by Bella's fiancé."
The three of us sat in my one room house, located a fair distance behind the main house. The place was small, but I was lucky to have it to myself. The rest of the servants had to live together.
We were smoking rolled tobacco, a habit that had yet to catch on with many people who were not soldiers.
I looked down at the girl that I would later know as Bella. "Bedelia, your parents will be none too pleased if they find you here. I cannot even begin to imagine what they will say."
She laughed, a real carefree laugh. "Well I guess that's their problem, is it not?"
She laid across the one piece of furniture I had, my bed. Her feet were stretched across my body with her head laid in Kieran's lap. The young man that would later be called Trip nodded his acceptance.
I smiled at the people who had really become my only family after my parents' death.
Bedelia's parents really would not be happy to find her here. Kieran's family would not be too happy either, but I doubted they even cared enough to look.
Bedelia took a drink from the bottle of whiskey she had brought with her, just as the door blew open. I knew, even without my "feelings" that this was not going to be good.
The eyes of the woman standing at the door bore into each one of us. Yet as she spoke, her voice remained calm. "Bedelia, come with me."
Bedelia took a drag of her cigarette. "I will be around later, I am not through just yet."
She was brave, that was for sure. Few people would disrespect the Queen by refusing an order.
Her answer wasn't good enough for the woman at the door. "That is enough. Why must you act like this? I gave you time, but you are far too old to still be this rebellious. Is this simply some ploy to hurt us?"
Bedelia did not miss a beat with her answer. "Not everything is about you, mother." She spat the last word.
"Have you been drinking?" I saw her rage building and Bedelia knew it too. She could have fought her if she wanted to, but instead she got up and followed to the door. "What are we going to do with you?"
I was sure she left to protect us, not herself. She would get a slap on the wrist, but the consequences could be much worse for us.
I looked over at Kieran. "Give me a drink, will you?"
We sat there for another few minutes until I was hit with a feeling, stronger than any I had in the past. I knew that we were really in trouble this time. I sat up, straight as a board. "Kieran, they are going to come for you. You have to run. Now! We will find you, just go!"
I had been pestering Charlotte incessantly for about ten minutes, trying to get a straight answer out of her, when Bella returned through the door with Trip in tow.
I didn't know exactly what had happened to change her mind and cause her to return. She had been dead set on leaving, for my good and the good of the others. I guessed that between me and Char we had gotten through to her.
Everyone in the room stopped speaking and faced the door, awaiting some sort of explanation for the mayhem that was taking place. She sighed, looking right at me. "You're right. I will not be like him. I would be a hypocrite if I left without giving you a choice. But I have a feeling once you find out what's going on you may ask us to go."
I knew that it didn't matter what she had to say, I would never wish her away. She was holding onto Trip's hand for support but I didn't find myself jealous over their touch.
"First off, I'm sorry that I ran from you." She looked at Emmett then Carlisle then Esme. "It was just too much, and it's going to take some time, but I'm still sorry."
They all gave her a smile. Esme was the first to speak. "Of course dear. We're just happy that you're willing to let us try."
Bella nodded and Peter spoke up. "Great. Now will someone please tell us what the fuck is going on?" Though he put it a little more crudely than some of the others in the room would have, the sentiment was shared by all.
Charlotte, Trip, and Bella looked between each other, seemingly trying to figure out how to best broach the subject.
Ultimately Bella was the one to speak. "I don't suppose we can just pretend that never happened?" She asked with raised eyebrows.
The five pairs of vampire eyes staring her down were apparently response enough, so with a sigh and a glance at Charlotte and Trip she continued. "Fine."
She turned to me as she continued speaking. "But if we're going to get in to this, for the love of God Jasper, I'm going to need a drink and a fucking cigarette." I saw Charlotte and Trip nod their agreement as Bella looked at each of the others. "And I'm not going to catch any shit for it either. Those are the terms, take it or leave it."
I watched as they all nodded, shock overwhelming the room. I smiled at Emmett and Peter's awe and went to fetch her terms.
"Yes ma'am." I had to admit, bossy Bella was kind of a turn on. In that moment I even forgot that she had failed to mention to me that she was engaged to another man.
I grabbed two bottles, figuring by the end of this conversation we might all need a drink. I then led us outside, making sure I grabbed a few blankets.
We went and sat next to our tree, Bella and Trip bundled in their winter gear. I think Bella wanted the comfort this place brought her, but we couldn't all fit comfortably in the tree.
As she lit the cigarette I placed between her lips, she looked to Charlotte to begin the story. I knew she was feeling overwhelmed, even without my gift. I didn't know if it was appropriate anymore, but I brought her to sit between my legs, wrapping my arms around her and resting my chin on her shoulder. She seemed to relax a bit in my hold and that brought me some comfort.
Charlotte began speaking, as if she were telling a fairy tale rather than her own story "Well, I guess our story really begins a couple thousand years ago, on the other side of the world. Now pay close attention, a few of you will be makin' a cameo appearance.
"Early Europe was filled with many groups of people roaming the continent. Before Christians came to Ireland, there were other religious groups living there. There was one group in particular that held a great deal of respect and power among the Celtic people who occupied the land, due to their perceived magical abilities and spirituality."
"The Druids." Carlisle's question sounded more like a statement. I guess growing up and living in England, he was aware of some Irish folklore.
Charlotte nodded. "Yes."
Emmett looked confused already. "Those people that dance around naked and sacrifice people?"
In that moment Trip and Charlotte both looked mildly disgusted. I imagined Bella did too but I couldn't see her face from my perch atop her shoulder.
Charlotte was quick to correct him. "There was little written evidence left of the Druids and today there are many misconceptions surrounding them. Though some early Druids did practice sacrifice, they were nothing like the image today.
"They were around at least a few centuries before time began being marked by the birth of Christ. No one really knows exactly how long. They served a similar role as priests would to Catholicism.
"They were called seers and were thought to have a sort of spiritual connection that some attributed to magic. They would study for decades, learning passages akin to spells. Because of all of this, they were prestigious among the Celtic peoples.
"However, under Roman rule, they were mostly eliminated, with the exception of a few pockets that would re-appear every couple of centuries. They never again held the power they once did though, as Christianity took hold on the continent."
We all sat a minute taking in what Charlotte had just told us. What did this have to do with what happened tonight? Was she trying to tell us they were Druids? That didn't make sense, I thought they were only men.
By now Bella had finished her cigarette and had moved on to one of the bottles of whiskey I had brought. She forwent the glass, drinking straight from the bottle. Had this been any other time, the action alone would have driven me mad with desire.
She gave Charlotte the bottle and so Trip picked up where she left off. "There was another group of people, often likened to divine beings, living on Earth. I suppose you would know them as Fairies."
Emmett interrupted with another question. "What, like Tinkerbell?"
Trip sighed. "Again, another misconception. I would think that you guys, of all people, would understand that folklore rarely gets the facts right. I don't see any of your fangs, or you bursting into flames under the sun. Or maybe I should get some garlic and we can test that one out."
His words seemed to create a panic in the room. Had Bella told him what we were? Did he pick up on it without us realizing? My own head snapped over to him as Bella rubbed my arm gently. "Don't worry, he knew long before he met you. He just didn't remember. He'll get there, just let him finish."
With that, Peter passed me the bottle of whiskey and I did not hesitate to take a large swig of it as Trip continued. "So no, they did not have wings. They were basically humans, but immortal. Well, immortal in the sense that vampires are I guess. While it is possible to kill them, they would never die naturally. However, being that they still held human bodies, it was a lot easier to kill them than vampires.
"In reality, they were just another race of people trying to find their place in Europe, eventually forced into hiding under Christianity. By the 7th century the members that remained in both of these groups of people had gone into hiding due to religious persecution. And soon, as far as the world knew they had only been the stuff of legends."
Trip paused and again I was confused as to why he was telling us this. Where did this all fit in?
Carlisle was intrigued, Esme and Peter contemplative. Emmett was just damn confused and I couldn't say I blamed him. He was the first to speak. "Okay, well that's a great history lesson, but what the fuck does it have to do with us now?"
"I'm getting there. This story takes place over many centuries, it's hard to get it all out in five minutes." I could feel Trip's frustration and I was sure this was the most I had ever heard him speak at once. As if Charlotte understood, she took over and I passed the bottle to Trip who gave me a thankful smile.
"Well, around the year 800, Orla, one of the remaining Fairies, fell in love with Niul. Niul was a Druid, also living in hiding. They were both killed by vampires, but not before they had conceived a child, a daughter. They called her Niamh, the name for eternal youth. She had been in the care of another at the time of the attack, sparing her her life.
"She became the first in a new line of people. Like the wolves that Bella had told us about, their mission was to protect people from the emerging vampire population.
"She possessed traits from both cultures. She gained a magical spirituality which she could draw on at will, and was also part immortal. Once she grew to full maturity she became static in her body. She would not die, unless of course she was killed.
"Though she was able to protect herself through her power, her body was essentially human. She had many children of her own, who in turn had many more children and so on. Eventually though, she was killed. Many of her descendants would suffer the same fate over the years, either at the hands of vampires, or humans who thought them to be witches."
The group again fell silent. Carlisle spoke everyone's frustration. "That is a very interesting tale. I'm just not sure where you are going with it."
Charlotte and Trip both looked at Bella who sighed heavily in my arms before reaching for the bottle of whiskey. She took a swig, finishing off the bottle. I was glad that I had brought two.
And then Bella spoke for the first time in a long while, her voice a bit shaky. "Niamh was my grandmother."
A sudden dose of understanding struck the group, but more confusion soon took its place.
Everyone started speaking at once.
"What does that mean?"
"What does that have to do with Trip and Charlotte?"
"What does that have to do with what happened tonight?"
Bella raised her hand in an attempt to silence the crowd. It worked rather efficiently and she went on to tell us more of this woman Niamh, who was actually her very distant grandmother, about 20 greats worth.
"Others saw what Niamh had become, and other Druids and Fairies came together, creating their own cross-breeds. This group of people began to call themselves the Tochta, meaning emotions."
"Emotions." I hadn't even realized I had said it out loud until Bella turned and smiled at me. The power that I had always felt behind her emotions now made a whole lot more sense.
"Yes, both the Druids and Fairies were very emotion-driven. The Druids relied on their emotions to fuel their spiritual magic. And though the physical aspects of Fairies had been greatly exaggerated, their emotions were quite ethereal, beautiful yet very delicate.
"When the two came together, the result was a very emotional being. Pure emotions were the most powerful, and it was from the purest emotion of all that Niamh was born. As time went on, Niamh's direct descendants became the rulers of the Tochta.
"The centuries wore on, and as the number of vampires increased, so too did the number of Tochta. Though, as Trip said before, there were many casualties to witch hunts and vampires. The number never grew out of hand, and in general they were successful at keeping their race a secret.
"The power began to go to some of their heads though. The Tochta were becoming power hungry and killing vampires for the fun of it, not just protection. They were bitter, and driven by anger.
"Not everyone felt this way though. There was a sub-group within the Tochta that were much more pacifist, and didn't want to fight unless necessary.
"Eventually there was a civil war amongst our people that began when my mother's mother was killed, by an adamant pastor who was in search of witches and other supernatural creatures."
She paused, obviously waiting for someone to make a connection. Eventually she looked to Carlisle and I felt his understanding. "My father?"
"I'm truly sorry." He meant it. He felt for any role that his family played in hurting another. "We discussed his work often and I don't recall him ever discussing any such group with me."
Bella gave him a small smile. "I believe it was before you were born Carlisle. And besides, after that he was persuaded to forget about us." We all understood that there was some sort of magic involved.
Carlisle nodded his acceptance and Bella continued. "After her death, my mother and uncle were the legitimate heirs to the throne. My mother had just married my father, a strong advocate for killing all vampires. My uncle, though I never met him, was a peaceful man and wanted to lead our people to find a peaceful solution. Her death and the uncertainty of the future provided the opportune time for war between the two factions to break out.
"Neither Trip, nor I really experienced this time." She skipped over Charlotte as I felt anger, sadness and pain flowing from the small vampire. It was replaced with relief when Bella moved past the topic as quickly as possible. "It was a bloody time for our people and lasted almost half a century. The side who wished to bring an end to all vampires won out. Most of the army fell on this side, so they really had the advantage.
"My mother and father thus became the rulers of our people and I was born as Bedelia in 1653, shortly before the war ended. Trip had been born as Kieran one year before me." I again noticed how she failed to mention Charlotte, but I didn't press the issue.
"I had an older brother, and he was raised as a fighter, to rule our people. I never really had any desire to lead, or to fight. I was not allowed to voice any of these concerns though, so I was kept hidden away as much as was socially acceptable.
"Trip and I were friends our entire lives. He was so laid back and he didn't want any part of the fighting either. His father was one of the top men in the army and because of his casual attitude, his parents paid him little attention. He had brothers who followed the mantra that fighting was the only way, and he was easily forgotten." I was surprised by her words, but there was no hurt coming from Trip.
"We were two peas in a pod really and spent most of our time together. It was the same as it is now. We liked to drink, read, remain on the outskirts, go against the grain. Of course my parents didn't approve but as long as we kept it behind closed doors they generally put up with my 'rebellion'." She air quoted the final word before continuing.
"Then, my brother was killed in a rebellion in 1798 and it changed everything. The rebellion was not something to do with the Tochta, rather Ireland at large. He just happened to be in the crossfire." I felt some sadness from Bella and I squeezed her a bit tighter and was rewarded with a gentle smile.
"Suddenly I was supposed to take his place. My attitude was a problem. My drinking was a problem. My behaviour was a problem. Everything I did was under scrutiny as I was thrown head first into a life I wanted no part of.
"They tried to separate Trip and I, claiming he was a bad influence. Thankfully, his family's prestige left them little room to do so. My only real friends were Trip and Charlotte." She became silent, looking to Charlotte who nodded her on with a sad smile.
"Charlotte was born Honora in 1600. She had been the daughter of two of my uncle's greatest supporters, a peaceful family. They were both killed in the war, and she was raised a servant to my family. She grew up in the war and she was only left alive because they thought her gift would be a great asset."
She looked at Charlotte who once again nodded her on. "Charlotte gets feelings about things before they happened."
I looked over at both her and Peter in shock. That wasn't Charlotte. I had known them both for so many years, there was no way I could have been fooled. "But-I thought-"
Charlotte cut me off. "I know you always thought it was Peter who somehow knew things. Everyone did. I'm sorry I let you believe that, but I had to. At the time, I didn't even remember who I was, but I knew that I would become a target if people found out."
I nodded, still a bit in shock.
Bella got up to go grab some more alcohol, because by now, everyone was taking part in the drinking, even Esme. Trip took over for her then, giving a small smile to Char. "You can see why they didn't want Bella around her, coming from an enemy family and all.
"The three of us were really the only ones left that didn't follow the party line. We continued to spend our time together, much as before and Bella's parents decided that they had to do something else. So they arranged her marriage to Mannix."
Trip paused to mumble some expletives under his breath and I felt a growl in my chest. Bella sat back down in front of me as she returned with the alcohol, put a calming hand on my face. She didn't have to say anything because I felt her overwhelming disgust, along with that of Trip and Charlotte. There was nothing else there, no love, longing, nostalgia, nothing.
I relaxed again and Trip continued. "He was the general of the Tochta army and Bella's parents saw the potential for a powerful alliance. Bella was strong, more powerful than just about anyone. She had the direct line which enhanced her power, but her emotions were also much more pure than that of her parents who were ruled by greed." I smiled and let her feel my pride for her, earning myself a smile as well.
"They also thought it could help keep her in line, but still things remained the same. Whenever she could, she snuck away to see us, and by the mid-1800s her parents had enough. They decided to eliminate us from the picture. They could keep Charlotte at bay easily enough since they had control over her life. But they decided to kill me.
"What they didn't realize, because no one ever paid any damn attention to me, was that I had a gift too."
I interrupted. "Your ability to keep yourself hidden." It wasn't a question.
He nodded. "Our gifts are like those of vampires, often growing out of our own qualities. Charlotte always had good intuition, I liked to be out of the spotlight as much as possible. Bella was always protecting those she loved, hence her shield."
There was another moment of understanding. Edward could never read Bella's mind This was something I would bring up again at a later time.
Trip continued, explaining his gift a bit more. "The three of us decided to leave before they could. We fled, using my gift to keep us hidden and they were unable to track us. We came to America and began a new life."
As Trip ended the story, Bella looked at me warily. Her nerves were starting to overpower me. "What's the matter darlin'?"
"Well, do you want us to leave now? If they are coming for us, it's not your fight."
Oh, my silly girl. I bent down and kissed her sweetly on the lips. "Anybody who picks a fight with you, picks one with me. You're not going anywhere." As to illustrate my point I wrapped my arms around her.
There were nods around the room, but she wasn't completely convinced yet. "But I was made to hurt you." I could see the tears behind her eyes at the thought.
I bent down close to her ear. "But you couldn't. I trust you." I felt her relief, and I couldn't help but smile at the ironic turn of events as she relaxed into me.
Carlisle spoke, the voice of reason. "That's a lot to take in, but what occurred tonight? And why did you not remember before?" She had never said they didn't remember, but we knew Bella never would have gotten close to us just to hurt us. It wasn't in her.
Bella sighed. "Well, the Druids believed in reincarnation. It was not something our people really subscribed to though, more of an old myth.
"Eventually they did come for us in America. We had to do something, and it was an idea the three of us had been researching for some time." I knew there was more to what happened once they were in the States, but I figured we had enough to absorb for one night so I didn't push it.
Carlisle continued his questioning though. "So, there was a fight, and you three were killed, being reincarnated without your memories until you all met again?"
Nobody answered as Bella took out a cigarette. By this point everyone was smoking except Carlisle and Esme. I was fairly certain that even Carlisle would be taking part now if Esme wasn't here. She didn't reprimand anyone for it though, and that was a big step for her.
Bella inhaled deeply and nodded. "Typically, when someone is reincarnated, they wouldn't remember their old life, but we used a spell. If we were all together again we would remember. We figured that would mean we had been captured. Tonight, us fainting, was us getting our memories back." She was holding something back and so I squeezed her gently. "But there was never a fight."
We waited for her to continue but she never did. Instead Trip laid a reassuring hand on her knee and spoke for her. "We killed ourselves."
The growl from both Peter and I drowned out the silence that had filled the room.
Luckily for us, Emmett changed the subject slightly. Bella was grateful for it too, but she knew we weren't through with the subject. "But I don't get how Charlotte was reincarnated as a vampire." He was scratching his head.
Bella forcibly placed her face in her palm at Emmett's remark with a small giggle. It seems she was starting to feel all the whiskey. I spoke for her. "Well it seems we got to Charlotte before she had fully died. She was reborn alright, but it was her change that happened first."
Bella nodded and explained further. "We're not like the wolves. Venom is not poison to our bodies. We have the ability to be changed into vampires. We are essentially human, although a little accentuated."
She paused with a small smile, like her next words had some double meaning I didn't understand. "Everything about us draws you in. Our blood smells sweeter than any humans."
We all nodded our understanding. Bella's blood had smelled better than any human I had experienced, apart from Charlotte. I hadn't smelled Trip's blood, but when I did catch his scent it was rather enticing.
We all sat silent for a good few minutes, absorbing the weight of the information we were presented with. Bella was part of a group of people whose very existence centred on killing vampires. What a fucking curve-ball.
Emmett broke through the tension that filled the room. "So what you're saying is maybe we were the ones who needed protection from you, Bells."
With his comment, the tension broke and we all began to laugh.
We all had more questions, I'm sure. I knew that Carlisle was curious about their powers. Peter and I surely wondered about our role and logistics. But we had all experienced enough for one night, first with the reunion, then the worry while they were passed out, now this information.
So we spent the next few hours finishing the alcohol that remained in the house, discussing lighter subjects. Peter recounted stories of when he first found Bella and I stoned in the living room, and even Esme laughed a little.
I looked down at Bella who had begun to relax into my chest as the conversation progressed. Her breathing was steady and sure enough she was asleep. I figured she must be getting cold so I decided to bring her in. "I'm going to put Bella to bed, she's had a long day." Everyone agreed as they continued their conversations.
I took her up to bed and laid her down, wondering if I should leave. I didn't know where we stood at the moment. As I turned and headed for the door I heard her. "Jasper? Jasper, don't go."
I chuckled and turned back around, crawling in next to her. Her eyes were still closed and I thought she had fallen back to sleep. "Jasper. I didn't. I didn't mean to hide it. I didn't remember and I was never going to marry him and I didn't love him and" She trailed off as I smiled at her rambling,
"Shh, it's okay. Get some sleep Twink." I kissed her on the forehead and she smiled, cuddling into me as she drifted off.
Now I had time to think. Here's what I knew. She was older than I had ever imagined. Older than us all, save for Carlisle.
Her people, who were bred to kill vampires, were looking for her. They had powers and gifts, and would probably find us eventually.
Hearing of her life before she was reborn, I understood the Bella I knew today much better. When I first encountered her here in Rhode Island, she was so different than the girl we knew in Forks. It seems she is a combination of that girl and her old self, producing this girl I now knew and cared for.
I also knew that it was possible that it was this Mannix guy that considered her his own that was looking for her. But she hadn't loved him.
I've loved you longer than you know.
She had said she loved me. Longer than I knew? What did she mean by that. I knew there was more to the story. Charlotte had said that a few of us would appear in her story, yet only Carlisle had. I couldn't help but wonder what part I might play in all of this.
But none of those things mattered right now. They were all diluted by the possibility that the girl wrapped in my arms might just love me.
A/N: Sooo... waits nervously to hear what you think...
I know it was mostly just dialogue, but you guys were itching for some information, so I hope it did the trick.