Parachutist 2 – Our new world
This is The Parachutist' sequel.
It is the summer of 1945 and the war in Europe has ended. Despite his transformation in a vampire, Edward has found his love again, has prevailed over his bloodlust and they have married. Now he is going back to America with his human bride, where they'll join Carlisle's family. How will be their life with the Cullens, when will it be the right moment for Bella's transformation? Will the Volturi discover them, will they face new dangers?
This story is rated NC 17, as there will be sex and some violence. I am not going to put warnings on individual chapters. If you are under age you should not be reading it.
So, I got here at least! In the meanwhile I had to deal with a lot of RL events, some sad, some happy. My dear mother in law died a year ago, with a long aftermath of practicalities to deal with and in December I became a grandmother.
Stephenie Mayer owns the Twilight characters, but this AU plot is mine.
My heartfelt thanks go first of all to Serendipitous and her husband, then to Jmolly, Sebastien Robichaud, Philadelphic and Maniac Motherland. This side of the Atlantic I owe to Raum, Alberto B. and many other friends.
You really should read The Parachutist, if you haven't. However, I want to be nice, therefore I now give the floor to Carlisle, who will provide you with a recap of what happened before ….
And so it begins…
Chapter 1 - Prologue
I linger for a while in the small Roman airport lounge. On the second floor there is a terrace from which one can see departures and landings. It is an entertainment and families take the kids to look at planes but, everybody is giving me a wide berth. I am not pleasing to the eye. The fake scars I wear on my face prevent my skin from sparkling under the sun and have allowed for me to contribute my skills as a military surgeon during the war that has just ended, at least in Europe. I look at the vanishing plane taking my new children to the States. I am not Edward's sire and, when Bella will be ready to join her husband in immortality, he will be the one to transform her. He is strong enough. But of course it is not the exchange of blood and venom that makes us a family. Alice too, my beloved pixie, was not changed by me, nor was her husband. It is our willingness to stay together, to support each other, to resist the horrific call of our nature, it is the belief that we have choices, that our physical reality does not define us totally and that we are capable of friendship and affection … that is what makes of us a family and not a coven.
The love I feel for Edward is now not different from the feelings I have for my other sons and daughters. It is, in a sense, even stronger, because I thought he was gone forever but he found me again.
I met him in 1943, when he was still human, a 23 year-old parachutist back from the hard battle the 509th had fought in Avellino. He brought to my hospital a wounded comrade, and in the following days showed himself to be a good friend to him, despite the fact that they were quite different from each other, culturally and socially. I liked him and took the opportunity to know him better, dispensing with formalities and military rank. What I saw pleased me. He studied music and was an accomplished pianist, but the death of his parents, for which he felt guilty, had made him forsake music; soon after Pearl Harbor he joined the Armed Forces. As he was already parachuting for sport, to become a paratrooper was a logical consequence.
Ironically enough, in the light of what happened to him afterward, he hated hand to hand combat, where it is often necessary to use a knife and spill blood. Therefore he feared to be perceived as a coward. I wonder now if this quality was the one thing that allowed him to rein in his blood lust quite soon after he was turned
In any case, to help him regaining confidence in himself, I had the opportunity to recommend him for a OSS secret mission in Northern Italy and I did it, little knowing that I was sealing his fate.
Before I had left for the war, volunteering for the Army Medical Services, Alice had told me that I could be coming back with another sibling. Her vision changed continuously, so she could not be sure. Once she even Saw that he would not be alone, but that was too blurred. She described somebody much like Edward and, when I met him in Salerno, I wondered if he could be the one. Obviously, I thought that he would arrive at my hospital wounded in action and on the verge of death, and then I would have to make a decision, doing something I don't do lightly. I did not wish such a destiny for him, and I thought that the mission would hopefully preserve his life. But, of course, you can't bet against Alice.
So he left to be parachuted on the Appennini mountains near Bologna, to bring to a partisans' Brigade the transceiver radio they sorely needed.
I met him again less than four months after he had left, a night when I was hunting in the Royal reserve of Castelporziano. The Allies had landed in Anzio in January and had not progressed a step toward Rome, as German resistance seemed unbreakable. The person who confronted me in that forest was no longer human. Edward had been turned and was now a newborn vampire with an extraordinary gift. He could read minds; that was the reason why two Volturi guards had changed him: he was meant for Aro's collection of gifted immortals. A chance encounter between him, Eleazar and the two guards, when Edward was going back to the American Army, caused this to happen. The Volturi plan backfired, though. Talented, strong and enraged, Edward was able to destroy the two vampires who had made him one of us.
He told me that he had had a glimpse of my mind while still human, as he already was subject to random telepathy episodes and he had seen me recalling a time I was hunting deer. Now, having been turned, he realized I might be a vampire too. Horrified by the need to kill and feed on humans, he was in fact looking for me, to understand better about vampirism and if it was really possible for us to abstain from human blood. He had already given in to the urge, and, loathing his behavior, had tried to kill himself. When cyanide proved useless, he had thought to expose himself in full sunlight near Volterra, so that the Volturi could take him down.
I explained to him our alternative lifestyle and invited him to join my family. He tried hunting animals and was able to spare the life of a man he had happened on but, eventually, he made another choice. He drained two German soldiers who were poaching in the Royal reserve and he decided to continue fighting his war with other means, but limiting his feeding to the enemies he had been sent in Italy to kill.
We separated after Edward made a vague promise to look for me after the war. I hoped he would be ready then to become a 'vegetarian', like me and my family, but I thought that I would not see him again. Drinking human blood is natural for us, and addictive, therefore to abstain would become impossible, after a while. I was wrong, of course.
In May 1945 the war in Italy had ended, and I was preparing to leave both my hospital in Bologna and the Army, going finally back to Esme, my children and my usual existence, when an Italian girl asked to speak with me. She was a pretty brunette with a Jewish surname, Isabella Finzi. She told me that she has be sent by Lt. Edward Masen, who wanted to see me, but could not move around, due to the sun …
I was astonished. Here was this human who knew the truth about Edward … and about me too, obviously, something for which the Volturi would administer deadly punishment, were they aware of it.
The same afternoon I went to the address she had given me and there was Edward, his eyes as golden as mine.
I touched his arm, and after a second, we embraced. He was lost and he had come back to me.
He told me that, after leaving Castelporziano, he had returned to the Appennini, having decided that the best thing he could do was to help the Partisans in their struggle against the Nazis and the Fascist Militia. He hunted animals to be always well sated when he interacted with humans, but he also preyed on Germans as he had decided to, making their bodies disappear in a subterranean pit he had excavated, as he had to protect the secret and could not kill them openly.
This went on till a fateful day when he drained a soldier of the Reich to discover, immediately after, that his victim was a honest man who loathed Hitler even more than Edward did. He finally realized that what he was doing had nothing to do with the war and his activities to help the Resistance, he was doing it just for the pleasure of it. Full of horror for what he had become, he swore that he would stop killing men for their blood, and managed to be true to his promise.
This, however, did not explain the human girl he was living with and who knew that he was a vampire.
"I met Bella at the farm where I stayed hidden for some months after my drop in Northern Italy," he told me. "She is a Jew whom the farmer kept concealed too. Last March, he paid with his life for it. Anyway, we fell in love and planned to marry after the war. I didn't tell you about her in Castelporziano, because just naming her was too painful. I had been turned and I thought I had lost her forever. But… but things went differently and I was able to save her from deportation after the Militia ransacked the farm and took her. We have been together since and I told her everything. I did it to explain why I could not be true to my promises. I owed her that, and I knew she would not betray my secret but… but Bella is very determined. She is prepared to marry a vampire, so I will marry her. It is madness, probably, but I can't deny her anything anymore."
I realized then that they were lovers, that they were intimate, a vampire and a human. His self-control was astonishing and it was impossible to keep questions out of my mind. Edward was quite frank with me, admitting that the first time they had kissed he had almost killed her, but that eventually they had found a way to be together with no risks and now he did not even feel bloodlust when he was with her.
This would not save them from the Volturi's wrath, obviously, so the issue of her change came up next. In fact, they already had discussed it, without coming to any decision. Edward hated the idea, being fully prepared to be with her for her natural lifespan, and then to seek his own end. Bella, on the contrary, wanted to be with him forever, but had no clear understanding of what becoming a vampire would entail. Eventually they postponed the issue, their priority being to marry and go back to the United States.
Now Edward, who had gone along with a fake identity and was considered to be missing in action, needed to resurface and get his military discharge, as he didn't want to be considered a deserter and also wanted to claim the substantial inheritance he had in Philadelphia. But to go back to the army, even for a short time, was obviously impossible.
On this, I was able to help. I made up a fake diagnosis of Porphyria, a latent hereditary condition that can be triggered by exposure to some substances. In his case it was lead, according to the story we had fabricated. It was supported by the largely forged report of an Army Medical Commission. On the strength of it, I was able to convince the OSS officer who had sent Edward on the mission which had cost his health, to take the necessary steps to get him an easy discharge, and help his soon-to-be wife to obtain a visa for the United States
All this took some weeks to arrange, and in the meanwhile Bella had to solve her own bureaucratic hassles, namely to retrieve her own inheritance, her parents having been killed by the fascist Militia, and to get emancipated by Court, as she was not yet 21.
The human girl was very special, I saw it from the first moment I met her, but what happened afterward convinced me that Edward's mate would be a precious addition to my family. She was mature, brave, strong, very bright, and she had also an uncommon moral fiber.
When the couple was in Rome, waiting to have the paperwork completed and enjoying a vacation of sorts, they had the misfortune to encounter a local vampire, a female. She was never a threat, as Edward would have been perfectly capable to take her down, in case. The point was that she killed her prey in front of them and Bella saw it. She saw for the first time the normal behavior of our kind.
After that she left Edward, asking for time, promising to return when she was ready, but clearly shattered by what she had seen. Edward passed a few days in hell, convinced that it was the end for them, that Bella would never accept him now, that horror and disgust had overwhelmed her.
But he had not read her correctly. When Bella came back, and they had an anguished confrontation, it dawned on him that Bella loved him, and wanted to become like him, but was terrified of becoming a murderer.
"When I am turned, "she had told him crying "promise me, that you will kill me before I kill somebody! Because, you see, you were changed against your will, so you really weren't responsible for what you did, but I am choosing to become a vampire, so if I do kill somebody, I will be fully responsible of this evil. I cannot fail, not even once…"
"She does not believe that there are different species, with different rules." Edward told me afterwards. "Evidently she believes that there are only persons, whatever they are, and they can and should make their choices according to a code of behavior that is universal and applies to everybody who has free will and a reasoning mind."
I found in Bella a kindred spirit, and was fascinated by her. I was also able to assuage her fears, saying that she first had to live with my family for a while and see that indeed it was possible to be vampires and not murderers. This unless the Volturi discover her, because in such a case she will have to be changed swiftly - something that Alice will give us early warning of.
Otherwise, she can take her time and decide only when she'll feel confident and ready. The change will happen in a place very far from humans, and Edward and all the family will help her to pass safely through her newborn stage. She decided to trust us and the crisis was averted. However, I have the feeling that, for Edward, the idea of her transformation is deeply disturbing, whatever his rational mind tells him. So he too needs to get adjusted to the idea. Therefore, both need time.
A few days ago Edward and Bella married in the American Consulate in Rome and now they have left for New York, where Esme and my children are going to meet them.
I also am about to leave Italy and the Army and soon I'll be joining them. Frankly, I can barely wait.
To get you into the plot I'll submit the next chapter as soon as this is out. Maybe it is too early to ask for a review, but I would so much know who is reading… The sequel took me forever to write, due to the amount of research necessary and the need to make it interesting, with no war anymore to give an exciting background. I did my best.