Why hello there, fellow fanfic-ers! Lucy here, of team Em/Lu. This is a little something we worked on a while back, and I recently stumbled across it in a deep, dark hole of my laptop. With a little reworking, it's good to go. For a while, you're going to have to just go with it, but to help the process along, I'll give you a bit of insiders info. Viho is our equivalent of Billy, though there was nothing even remotely similar in Native American... Anna is Billy's wife. Jacy, or Jake, is obviously Jacob, and Bila -for now- is our Bella. The rest shouldn't be too hard to work out ;)

So, enjoy this 'epilogue', if you like, and let us know what you think of it!

Disclaimer: Obviously, the original characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, but the rest is all ours!


The Storm

By British Bitches

The evening air was thick and heavy, hanging around the mountains like a muggy winter blanket. Not a bird took to the sky, or a creature to the land, and Anna knew from the stillness in the atmosphere around her that a terrible storm was coming.

The sky above the camp was rapidly darkening, and thunderclouds loomed ominously overhead. Anna looked out across the Plains from where she sat alone under the willow tree, its long branches limp like a wilted flower long deprived of water, and prayed for them to return home safely. Before the terrible storm reached them. A low rumble of thunder in the distance unnerved her; it was only a few miles away and getting ever closer.

Further North along the tension filled land, the storm brewed deeper. Wind whipped feverishly through the trees like an over-excited child, and heavy rainfall stung Viho's face like a thousand furious bees. The monstrous gale fought against him, as if to push him backwards. The ruthless weather was distressing his burly hunting horse; he could feel the lean bodied creature tensed against the onslaught.

"We're only about a mile away, men," He shouted out above the screeching wind. "Stay together!" The group of strong hunters close behind him all grunted in acknowledgement. Viho knew that he should have trusted his instincts and left the hunt until the sombre clouds had cleared, but the tribe were already on a low food supply, and his wife needed all the energy she could get while caring for his newborn son.

After all; the children were the future of the tribe. They were the priority.

The sky was a bottomless ocean that the suns rays just couldn't reach, lightning flashed viciously across the sky, in violent surges of white light. With the unbearable force of the storm, the horses were quickly losing strength. They needed to stop and find shelter, before there were any accidents.

The terrain around them was a painful sight to see. The heavy gale had torn the great cedars from their trunks, and thrown them haphazardly to the ground, giving the land the vision of a dire battlefield.

In the distance, a few yards off of the trail, was a huge oak tree, like a perfect umbrella in the storm. Viho pointed towards the clearing, his long hair sticking to his face and covering his eyes. The men behind him followed onwards as his horse swerved direction.

Under the tree, the wind was no more, and the rain failed miserably to penetrate the oaks thick leaves. Viho exhaled a sigh of relief; this would be a tolerable refuge until the storm was over. He helped the tribe to secure the exhausted horses to the colossal trunk, and then huddled up to his fur wrap to keep warm.

He sat alone around one side of the trunk, so large that he could not see anyone from the other side, and watched the hurricane rage through the land from his safe spot under the tree. He thought briefly of his wife, Anna, it was only human instinct for him to be worried, but he was positive that the women of the tribe would remain unharmed, for they were intelligent; Anna was perhaps the wisest of them all and she knew how to care for others.

Viho was so deep in his own thoughts that he was close to sleep, but a faint whimper from his left side brought him back to full awareness. He sat up, alert to the atmosphere around him, and stood on his feet. Where the large roots pushed up through the tanned earth around the trunk, and crossed over like the twisted fingers of an elderly woman, was a small bundle, tucked up away from the storm.

Reaching out with hesitant hands, Viho gently lifted the package from its hiding place. Cradling it into his arms, he tentatively peeled back the cream blanket. If he had been expecting anything, it wasn't anything close to what he saw.

There, hidden under the tree for who knows how long, was a baby. A white baby, skin as pure as crisp winter snow.

Viho was so surprised that he nearly dropped the poor child in shock. His prudent mind instantly set to the logistics of the situation. There wasn't a possible chance that it had been misplaced by accident, it had definitely been left out in the harsh weather purposefully. Wise eyes quickly scanning over the warm mass, it was obvious that apart from being left in the cold, it was in perfect health. There were no clear deformities, or disabilities, so why would someone leave it alone in the middle of nowhere to die?

It wasn't his place to touch the infant, not by any means, but his kind-hearted nature couldn't allow him to replace it where it was, under the roots. He wrapped his fur cloak closer around him, surrounding the sleeping child in heat. Its warm breath fell against Viho's chest, and he couldn't help but feel some devotion to the abandoned creature.

-x-x-x-

The westerly wind from the mountains blew through Bila's long mahogany hair and was a soothing companion to the blistering mid-day sun that beat down upon the forest, giving the blissful river water a glistening crystalline effect. As she waded out further into the faint river current, she let the cool water calm her mind.

The nomadic existence of the Northwest had always been serene, everyone contributed to tribal life, and the land had remained beautiful, in the way that it was created and intended to be. Those dear to Bila, family or friend, all lived in the same conservative way. Native Americans were civil, passive people that subsisted in harmony.

The White Men were another story entirely.

It was only in recent years of Kimi's life that they had been a real issue. They overlooked the magnificence of the forest with their arrogance and claimed things that could never be owned by man. They rode through the land with a sense of unnecessary superiority that made Bila furious.

She let out a deep breath and closed her eyes. She shouldn't be worried, if her father wasn't taking action, then it should not be of any concern to her. As she opened her eyes, she stared back into a warm, smiling face of a teenaged boy less than an inch in front of her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, and hurtled downwards, pulling her along with him shoulder deep into the ice blue water.

"Jake!" She screamed as his bellowing laughter filled the valley. His smile was luminous compared to his dark, tanned skin, and was as infectious as a vicious disease. Soon, she was cackling along with him. Her white dress was utterly soaked through, but it didn't matter. She leapt from the water, on top of him, fully immersing his head, and sniggered as he flounced around, spitting the salty liquid from his mouth.

"I hate it when you call me that." He smirked at her, wringing the water from his long, brown hair with his giant hands. Her life was perfect and she felt like the luckiest person alive to have Jacy.

As he helped her up the riverbank, a group of cattlemen rode up to the water, laughing and joking among themselves on their well-groomed horses and stopped for them to drink. They usually looked all the same to Bila, but the man leading them seemed to catch her eye. His dusty copper hair caught the vibrant sunlight, strong muscles rippled under his pearlescent skin and, as his dashing green eyes met hers, she felt as if she'd had the breath knocked from her.

"Come on Bila," Jake called, while pulling on her hand. "We need to be home soon." He turned to glare at the men and hoisted her up the hill. She didn't understand the emotion she felt towards the stranger, but instantly discarded anything other than hatred. Holding tightly onto Jacy's hand, she walked away, but before the men were out of sight, turned to give the man a loathing, icy stare. It had shocked her to discover that he was staring right at her, in confusion and bewilderment.

-x-x-x-

Edward could smell the trees and rain in the air. It had kept him up all night, pounding on the roof of the small cabin, the sound grating on his nerves continually. He'd been glad to rise early today, too restless to stay for long in such a confined space. He saddled up his horse, having to fiddle with the saddle and harness for much longer than usual.

He cursed himself and his one track mind. Of late, he'd only been able to think of one thing; that girl in the water. With her dark hair and surprisingly pale skin, she reminded him more of one of the many finely groomed debutantes he'd seen in the towns than an Indian squaw. But that was what she was. He had to constantly remind himself. He should hate her, her tribe, the savages. That was certainly the way she felt about him, he couldn't deny that... And yet, he couldn't bring himself to feel anything but a burning curiosity towards her.

He wanted to learn her name, her favourite food, whether she was betrothed, or whatever the term for that was in her tribe, whether that boy she'd been with was anything more than a friend. He hoped not, though he didn't understand why.

He mounted his horse, shaking his head as if to dispel her image from his mind, and rode on to meet the others. Today they were herding some cattle from the North along the river for a local rancher. By his calculations it shouldn't take long - an hour there, and two or three down to the town with the cattle in tow. He took a large sip from his water flask, secure in the fact that he could refill it at the ranch.

-x-x-x-

Exactly two hours later, Bila made her way down to the river, tunelessly whistling as she remembered the face of that cowboy. Since the incident by the lake she couldn't get over this feeling of... guilt. Had she judged him too soon? Surely it would be wrong to assume that all white men were bad? After all, she herself had light skin, though this was something she never fully understood. Anna had always said it made her special, not different. She was singled out for a reason, one of the many secrets of the Great Spirit. Who knew, perhaps she would do something great.

She doubted that though. The thought of doing anything out of the ordinary just about made her squirm. She was happy where she was, doing what she did. She suspected that some others in the tribe doubted it too; she wasn't blind. She saw the looks the elders gave her, saw the differences in the way they treated her compared to Jacy. Her name explicitly highlighted the difference between her and her people, Bila being a more personalised version of the male name Bilagaana, white man. Anna had despised the original name proposal that the elders gave, but Viho and herself had been very lucky that they accepted the tiny infant into the tribe in the first place and chose against protest. Instead it was shortened, an act of affection that warmed Bila's heart. 'You are not a white, Bila. You are my child, by binds more powerful than man could comprehend. The colour of your skin does not define what you are, and there is a reason as to why you were born to us the way you were. Your name is not Bilagaana, it is Bila. Special one.'A smile graced her lips as she thought of the care that her family took of her.

She reached the river, and set down the bundle of clothing she carried beside her and then began to wash each piece individually. It was a long job, but she enjoyed being by the river, it relaxed her and gave her the chance to think privately without being interrupted by several other people all needing her help.

There was a distant rumble and she smiled as she thought of Jake, her brother to all intents and purposes, in his hunting gear, chasing after buffalo with his father and the other males. Buffalo hunting was the single most important thing in their lives, providing them with everything from food to shelter.

At first she thought nothing of the noise. It was far away after all, but then the earth beneath her began to shake, and everything seemed to happen at once. First of all, she looked up, gasping as she saw the huge herd of cattle heading straight towards her. The second thing she saw were a pair of green eyes.

She froze momentarily to look at him atop his horse, but as soon as she saw the urgent look on his face, she began to panic. She looked around frantically; there was no where to run to. She was out in the open, and the herd was easily 9 or 10 deep across. She'd never make it, even if she ran. She'd be trampled to death; the freshly cleaned items would be ruined!

The cattle were approaching fast, the first one merely meters away. She closed her eyes, and prepared for the pain.

Edward kicked his horse, pushing him harder and harder as he sped towards the girl on the water's edge, now with closed eyes, her face ashen with fear. He knew he had only seconds to reach her before it was over, and she was gone forever from this life. He galloped forwards, just neck and neck with the front line of bulls, almost where she stood. He grabbed her arm as he passed, pulling her just out of harm's way in the nick of time.

The danger was far from over however. The girl clung to his arm as he continued to move with the herd, if he stopped now they'd both be killed, and yet he didn't see how he could pull her onto the horse without slowing.

"Climb on!" He called over the noise.

"I'm trying!" She called back in accented English, "It's not so easy."

He put the reigns between his teeth, and reached another arm back, careful never to change speed, pulling her on. Once he felt her wrap her arms around his waist, he breathed a deep sigh of relief.

She clung tightly to him and whispered into his ear, "Thank you, sir."


So, what are you thinking? Feel free to drop us a line! Em & Lu x