For some reason, I felt a little odd entering my room back in Forks. The Forks house has always felt comforting and it was great to be back in it, but walking into my room I knew something was missing, Charlie.
The minute I pushed my door open I felt it. Chaplin was riding on my shoulder and I instantly knew he felt it too. I think we both saw the same thing, as I looked over the room I saw Charlie everywhere. I saw him perched on my desk looking for something to gnaw on, I saw him scurrying across my floor, and most of all I saw him in my doorway, trying to figure out his best route to go find and bug Rosalie.
I dropped my bag onto my chair and sighed. I wondered how much longer I would see Charlie everywhere, it hadn't been this bad in New York, but I think Charlie had left more of an impression on the Forks house, it was after all where I brought him and Chaplin home for the first time.
Chaplin gave a squeak and sniffed inside my ear for a moment.
"I know Chap," I said softly "you miss your brother, I miss him too." Chaplin squeaked again and bolted off my shoulder. He ran down my arm, onto the chair, before scurrying off it, to climb up the table where his cage was waiting for him. He sat on top of it looking at me expectantly. I rolled my eyes "let me guess you're hungry? Sheesh I'm trying to have a heart to heart with you and all you can think of is your stomach."
As if to answer me, Chaplin gave a louder squeak. I chuckled and gave him a treat, which he accepted happily diving into his cage to go enjoy it. At least some things would never change, Chaplin still felt the need to hide as he ate, just in case someone dared to take his food away.
I filled Chaplin's food dish and water bottle first, and then began unpacking my stuff. I was just putting my DVD's and games away when I heard Edward's voice calling for us. I glanced over at Chaplin who perked up listening carefully, I instantly felt him shudder; apparently Chap's fondness for my brothers was not including Edward just yet.
A scent wafted to me and I realized Edward was not alone; Bella was with him, I hoped she was okay, she had been so out of it from exhaustion and the trauma in Italy that I would be surprised if she remembered anything from the airport.
Chaplin crawled out of his tunnel and climbed to the top of the cage, practically begging to be let out, which I was surprised, considering his reaction to Edward's voice. But who was I to argue with a rat.
With Chap riding on my shoulder, I made my way downstairs. Edward had a permanent scowl on his face and I raised my eyebrow.
What the heck is wrong with you? I thought and he nodded his head towards Bella as she followed Carlisle into the dining room. Did something happen, is she okay?
To answer me, Edward allowed me to read his body language, yes Bella okay, she was grounded for the rest of eternity per Chief Swan which I thought was hilarious, but she was okay and recovering from her encounter with the Volturi.
Edward's biggest problem was the reason Bella had come calling so early in the morning, what Alice had explained had happened in Italy had brought Bella to a life altering decision, one that she felt needed our approval.
My mind went into overdrive as it sorted out a profile, and suddenly I knew what was going on. Edward nodded angrily as he saw my profile and heard my thoughts. I could see the look on his face, he wanted me to do what he wanted, not what I wanted when the time came.
The problem is, I would rely on my profile in a case like this and I would allow it to help me decide, though if what I thought was going on, was in fact going on. I had a feeling I would side with Bella, not Edward.
Esme came down the stairs behind me and put an arm around my shoulder as we followed Edward into the dining room, the rest of the family followed us in as well. Chap curled up closer to my neck as he continued to snore, but I knew he would wake up in moment, mainly as soon as he realized there was a familiar yet long lost scent in his house. Bella sat in between Carlisle and Edward, at the head of the table.
Bella looked up at me as I profiled each one of my family, then Bella. I gave Bella a half grin as I sat down in between Esme and Rosalie. Bella's gaze turned to my shoulder as she noticed Chaplin; the rat looked up and started looking around at everyone. He stood up on his hind legs to sniff the air, catching Bella's scent, he squeaked and started to climb down my arm to go investigate, but I focused my attention on his emotions and calmed him down a bit, making him decide to return to my shoulder to go back to sleep.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Rosalie smile at Bella, which Bella returned just as timidly. It was kind of amusing to watch, I know both my sister and Bella still had their issues to work out, but I was proud of Rosalie for taking the first step. It sucked that a near death experience was what it took for her to calm down regarding Bella, but at this point I was willing to take what I could get.
Once we were all seated, Carlisle nodded at Bella, "The floor is yours." He replied gesturing to us all.
"Well," Bella started, I could see her trying to gather her thoughts and words, she wanted to make her point as clear and direct as possible "I'm hoping Alice has already told you everything that happened in Volterra?"
"Everything," Alice spoke up nodding
"And on the way?" Bella asked, giving Alice a forceful look, Alice sighed so softly I doubt Bella heard it
"Good," Bella finished as she sighed with relief. "Then we're all on the same page."
For the most part I thought with a grin and shrank back as Edward glared at me. He was really not a happy camper about Bella's decision here.
"So I have a problem," Bella continued, ignoring Edward's glare at me "Alice promised the Volturi that I would become one of you. They're going to send someone to check, and I'm sure that's a bad thing…something to avoid. And so, now, this involves you all. I'm sorry about that."
"Bella," I started to tell Bella that nothing that had happened over the Volturi or us was her fault, but she gave me a look ironically similar to Edward's and I shut my mouth.
"But if you don't want me, then I'm not going to force myself on you, whether Alice is willing or not." Now it was Esme who opened her mouth to speak, but Bella put up a hand, asking her for a moment to continue, "Please let me finish. You all know what I want. And I'm sure you know what Edward thinks too. I think the only fair way to decide is for everyone to have a vote. If you decide you don't want me, then…I guess I'll go back to Italy alone. I cant have them coming here."
The minute Bella suggested going back to Italy herself, my stomach dropped, for two reasons. Mainly, the first being the obvious, I didn't want Bella going anywhere near the Volturi a second time, she had been lucky to walk away from them a first time, a second time might not go as smoothly, and that's not saying what Bella, Alice, and Edward endured in Volterra was smooth, 'cause I know for a fact it wasn't.
The other reason was not quite so obvious, the words Bella had used, it reminded me of the time I had runaway to Italy, trying to protect Carlisle and the rest of the family. I had been afraid that the Volturi meant for me to be put to death, fearing that I was too young to keep our existence a secret. I had silently volunteered to head to Italy to face the Volturi alone, to make sure that no harm came to Cullens, even at the expense of my own life.
Of course that never happened, not only did Carlisle, Edward, and Emmett stop me from getting to Italy, but Carlisle and I ended up going to Italy together and facing the Volturi. It had been a rough few hours with them, but in the end things worked out…sorta.
I mentally shook my head as Bella finished up her platform.
"Taking into account, then, that I won't put any of you in danger either way, I want you to vote yes or no on the issue of me becoming a vampire."
I sighed as Bella smiled gestured towards Carlisle to start and Edward growled. I knew I should've expected that to be the reason for voting, but to be honest I was still taken aback. My vote was not going to make Edward happy that was for sure.
"Just a minute," Edward interrupted and Bella's glare was enough to make me a little wary, she was definitely picking up that glare from one of my siblings, I just wasn't sure if it was Edward or Rosalie. "I have something to add before we vote. I don't think we need to be overly anxious."
Well that was something new. I leaned forward a little to hear my brother out, it didn't change my vote, I had no problem with Bella becoming one of us, becoming a member of the family. I still couldn't figure out why Edward had an issue with it. But I did want to hear what Edward had to say.
"Yes Edward?" Carlisle said softly
"You see," Edward explained, looking around the table at each of us while he spoke, it really felt like he looked at me longer than everyone else, almost accusingly. "There was more than one reason why I didn't want to shake Aro's hand there at the end. There's something they didn't think of, and I didn't want to clue them in." he grinned.
"Which was?" Alice pushed, she looked skeptical and I wondered why.
"The Volturi are overconfident."
I couldn't help it; I nodded heavily in agreement,
"yeah they are," I muttered, I felt the air move near my leg followed by a thud as someone kicked my shin, "ow!" I exclaimed instinctively. I glanced over at Rosalie and she glared at me shaking her head.
"And with good reason," Edward continued ignoring me. "When they decide to find someone, it's not really a problem. Do you remember Demetri?" he asked Bella first, who shuddered, before he looked over at me, assuming I would recall Demetri with no problem, which he was right I did.
"Demetri finds people," I explained, glancing warily at Rosalie "that's his talent, that's why the Volturi keep him around."
"Now, the whole time we were with any of them, I was picking their brains for anything that might save us, getting us as much information as possible. So I saw how Demetri's talent works. He's a tracker…a tracker a thousand times more gifted than James was. His ability is loosely related to what I do, or what Aro does. He catches the…flavor? I don't know how to describe it…the tenor…of someone's mind, and then he follows that. It works over immense distances." Edward looked over at me for a little help explaining Demetri to Bella and the rest of the family.
My experiences with the Volturi are in the numbers only slightly less than Carlisle's and thanks to my ability, next to Edward and Carlisle I know them better than anyone else in the family. I have profiled each one of the Volturi guard specifically and he knew I could explain each one of them if necessary.
"He's a glorified vampire lo-jack, their personal bl- uh, scent hound if you will." I summed up and Edward nodded in agreement.
"But after Aro's little experiments, well…" Edward shrugged
"You think he wont be able to find me," Bella finished, clearly not impressed with Edward's argument so far. And to be honest I still wasn't sure where Edward was taking this argument, or lack thereof.
"I'm sure of it. He relies totally on that other sense." Edward looked at me again, waiting for me to finish up.
"If it doesn't work with you, they'll all be blind." I answered, I couldn't help but grin a little bit, the end result for Edward's argument wasn't what I agreed with, but I did have to admit, my brother did have a point, at least as far as the Volturi coming to check on us, we would know the moment they decided to make an appearance and take the necessary precautions. We could counteract the Volturi pretty easily, especially if Edward was right about Demetri and Aro's abilities and Bella. "Without Demetri's ability the Volturi have to rely on less accurate and less effective means of tracking."
"And how does that solve anything." Bella argued
"Quite obviously, Alice will be able to tell when they're planning a visit, and Chris will profile where best to hide you. They'll be helpless." Edward finished, clearly proud of his argument. "It'll be like looking for a piece of straw in a haystack!"
He and Emmett exchanged a glance and a smirk before looking at me; I couldn't help but return it to my brothers.
Bella however was clearly not giving in that easy, not that I expected too, if there was one thing I'd learned about Bella, is that she is just as stubborn if not more so, than Edward.
"But they can find you," she pointed out
"And I can take care of myself." Edward countered
Emmett laughed, and reached across the table towards Edward, extending a fist.
"Excellent plan, my brother," he said with enthusiasm and I chuckled at him.
Edward reached out his arm to smack Emmett's fist with his own. Though I wasn't exactly sold on Edward's reasoning, I did have to agree with him on the points he just made.
"Cool!" I exclaimed, and Emmett reached over and we bumped fists, before I did the same with Edward. "This could be fun, a chance to drive the Guard loopy and make them question their better than thou mindset? Those overconfident dictators need to be thrown off their high horse and shown a bit of humility. Count me in!"
"No," Rosalie hissed and I honestly waited for her to kick me again.
"Absolutely not," Bella agreed.
I knew we could count on Jasper to be all in as he added "Nice."
"Idiots," Alice muttered.
It was Esme who caught my attention though as she glared poisonously at Edward. I shrank back from my mother's glare even though it wasn't directed at me. Instead I glanced over at Bella who was trying to sit up in her chair, trying to look professional and in charge. She was trying to reclaim her meeting.
"All right then. Edward has offered an alternative for you to consider," she finished up "lets vote." She had apparently changed her tactic and looked at Edward sternly, I guess she wanted to get the obvious answer over with first. "Do you want me to join your family?"
"Not that way. You're staying human." Edward replied firmly,
"Yes," he said, I saw the look of surprise on Bella's face. I don't think she expected Jasper's answer to be yes, I wasn't surprised at all. Jasper knew Bella was now a member of the family, if she became one of us, her safety would be guaranteed. Jasper still felt that the events in September were entirely his fault, of course it wasn't, but that didn't change Jasper's feelings and knowing Bella was one of us meant she would be safe from him and his instincts.
I wish Jasper would give himself more credit sometimes, considering what he has been through since becoming a vampire and changing all that for Alice and his own state of mind is a admirable trait of my brother. I know Jasper could sense my admiration and pride for him as my older brother, as well as my slight disappointment regarding his own attitude towards himself.
I saw my sister hesitate, her vote I had been most unsure of at first glance, but thinking it over, I was not surprised when she answered
"No." Bella seemed un-phased by Rosalie's vote, and moved to continue down the line, but Rosalie raised her hand, wanting to explain herself. "Let me explain, I don't mean that I have any aversion to you as a sister. It's just that…this is not the life I would have chosen for myself. I wish there had been someone there to vote no for me."
I reached over and took Rosalie's hand; she looked over at me and smiled gently. I was proud of my sister, she was slowly opening up to Bella reveling more of herself even though it was clearly not easy for her and certainly not something Rose wanted to do.
Bella looked over at Emmett, his vote was easy to guess, he liked having Bella around, she amused him and he was curious to see her as a newborn vampire. Actually I think we all were, subconsciously for some of us.
"Hell, yes!" Em exclaimed "we can find some other way to pick a fight with this Demetri." He looked over at me nodded quickly; he leaned across the table, his fist waiting for mine, "right Dr. Doolittle?"
I rolled my eyes and grinned
"Right!" I replied tapping his fist.
Bella was pleased with Emmett's answer, but I don't think she was as pleased with his enthusiasm for taking on the Volturi; the grimace on her face was proof of that as she looked over at Esme.
"Yes, of course, Bella. I already think of you as part of my family."
"Thank you Esme." Bella murmured, before turning to me. "Chris?"
I took a deep breath; I had been profiling each member of my family as well as Bella this entire time. I knew my own feelings on the matter completely uninfluenced by my family, though I took all them into consideration. I couldn't help, but glance at everyone in turn, looking at Edward the longest before I looked at Bella.
Edward was not going to like my vote, nor what I had to say. But it was my profile, my vote, I try not to hold back on my profile unless it will do more damage than good and this time, my profile needed to be told.
"Bella, I've seen the way Edward looks at you and I know how much you mean to him and I saw how he was 'fore you came into the picture and I don't want to see him facing life without you forever at his side…I experienced that, we all have and I know even if Edward doesn't want to admit it himself, I know none of us want to see that side of him again. I've seen the before you came into his life, I've seen during, and I've seen the after…and to be honest the first and third I never want to see my brother go through again." I paused, knowing I had to choose my words carefully. But the next thing I said might earn me some laughs, but I might get kicked for it too. "That and it'll be a nice change around here to have a sister who actually LETS me work on her vehicle, instead of one that just yells at me not to touch her cars and the other who hasn't bought any car yet for me to play with." I braced myself as the consecutive kicks came, one from Alice and one from Rosalie.
"Christian." Esme and Carlisle both warned me as Edward glared at me fiercely.
As usual when it comes to Edward's glares I ignored it, continuing as if nothing had happened.
"Ok, on a serious note, yes Bella, like Esme said, you're already apart of this family, you are already my sister, so I vote yes, and Edward don't you dare kick me!"
I saw Bella grin, she tried to hide it, trying to stay as serious as possible, but she let it slip a bit and I grinned back at her.
But it was Carlisle who caught my attention, Carlisle and Edward. Something in Carlisle's thoughts made Edward look right at our father.
"Edward," he said and Edward growled his response, it coming out in a clear
"It's the only way that makes sense," Carlisle continued "you've chosen not to live without her, and that doesn't leave me a choice."
No it doesn't, I thought and Edward shot a glare at me quickly before he shoved himself away from the table, stomping out of the room like a toddler throwing a tantrum, almost like Emmett when Carlisle insisted on taking the TV for a few minutes to watch the news, overriding Emmett's insistence at watching the second game of the Stanley Cup.
I tried not to laugh at Edward's behavior, but my thoughts were quickly redirected back to Bella and Carlisle. Carlisle sighed after Edward
"I guess you know my vote." He said
"Thanks," Bella muttered, which was followed by a crash from the other room, all of us wincing.
Chaplin, who had been sleeping pretty content on my shoulder suddenly jumped up in fear at the noise. He cowered against my neck and I couldn't help but glare in Edward's direction as I tried to calm Chap back down.
"That's all I needed. Thank you. For wanting to keep me. I feel exactly the same way about all of you, too." Bella struggled to say, I could see she was on the verge of tears, Esme saw it too because she was at her side in an instant, holding Bella gently.
"Dearest Bella," she said softly.
I exchanged a glance with Emmett who rolled his eyes after our brother. Bella's meeting hadn't been as difficult as I had expected, minus of course Edward's tantrum.
Chaplin, now wide awake from Edward and all the noise he made, moved down my arm, across the table over to Jasper, he climbed up Jasper's arm without waiting for permission and went to sleep on Jasper's shoulders. Emmett, Jasper, and I all exchanged a look staring at my rat who ignored us.
I sighed and leaned back in my chair, balancing it on two legs, still shaking my head at Chaplin, though I had to admit I was pleased with his change of attitude towards my brothers.
"Well, Alice," Bella spoke up "where do you want to do this?"
I wasn't expecting that one, I lost my balance for a brief second, sending the chair toppling over taking me with it as I hit the floor hard. I got tangled up in the chair and the rug as Edward came storming back into the dining room in a fury.
"No! No! NO!" he shouted.
Emmett came over and helped me up, "You okay?" he whispered to me
"Yeah," I said, "did she seriously just suggest Alice change her now?" I asked, making sure I had heard that right, Emmett nodded before both of us looked back at Bella and Edward, Edward was right in her face
"Are you insane?!" he shouted "have you utterly lost your mind?"
"Um, Bella," Alice spoke up "I don't think I'm ready for that. I need to prepare…"
"You promised," Bella replied and I looked at Alice quickly. Voting to change Bella into a vampire at some point was one thing, but her wanting it to be done that very moment was something different entirely. I now saw both Rosalie and Edward's point with all of this.
"I know, but…" Alice stuttered something I had never heard my sister do before "Seriously, Bella! I don't have any idea how not to kill you."
"You can do it, I trust you."
Alice went into panic mode she shook her head and backed away from the situation. Edward was still snarling, had the situation been different it certainly would've been comical, I kind of expected smoke to be coming out of his flaring nostrils.
"Carlisle?" Bella continued, looking at our father. Edward tried to block Bella from Carlisle at the same time keeping Carlisle at bay.
"I am able to do it, you would be in no danger from me." Carlisle was clearly not in a comfortable position. On one hand he had voted yes to change Bella, but on the other hand his conscience was weighing heavily on him. Carlisle had never changed someone who was not on the brink of death, someone whose life was not over. "you would be in no danger of me losing control."
"Sounds good," Bella mumbled behind Edward's hand. I'm not entirely sure what he thought he was gaining by blocking her face from Carlisle.
"Hold on, it doesn't have to be now." Edward growled back
"There's no reason for it not to be now," Bella argued, Emmett and I watched the conversation darting between Edward, Carlisle and Bella. It was like watching a ping pong match only with three people, our heads were darting back and forth between the three of them.
"I can think of a few."
"Of course you can, now let go of me."
Edward complied, even though he obviously was not happy about it, I watched my brother's face change as he decided to switch up his tactics, quite well too.
"In about two hours, Charlie will be here looking for you. I wouldn't put it past him to involve the police." I didn't either. Edward's point seemed to be hitting Bella in the right spot. Bringing Chief Swan up into the discussion was a brilliant move on Edward's part. "In the interest of remaining inconspicuous, I suggest that we put this conversation off, at the very least until Bella finishes high school and moves out of Charlie's house."
"That is a reasonable request Bella," Carlisle pointed out. For some reason Bella looked at me for a moment.
I had been good and stayed quiet throughout this entire argument. Emmett and I had taken it like we take an argument between Edward and Rosalie, we sit back and watch it unfold. But with Bella looking at me like that, as if she expected me to weigh in on this was weird. I hadn't expected it. I didn't know what I could possibly say that hadn't already been said, so I gave her a half grin and nodded, hoping that she realized I was siding with Carlisle and Edward. A few seconds passed, before Bella seemed to give in, sort of.
"I'll consider it." she said shortly.
"I should probably take you home." Edward spoke up "just in case Charlie wakes up early."
Bella however was looking hard at Carlisle.
"After graduation?" she asked, it was more of a promise than an actual question.
"You have my word."
"Okay, you can take me home." Bella started to say, she barley finished that sentence before Edward whisked her out of the house.
Emmett and I exchanged another look and that was it, we both burst out laughing.
A few hours later, I was putting the finishing touches on my room. Esme had called the school and we would be starting back with classes on Monday, giving us the weekend as she said to settle back in and unpack. I had just popped in a DVD when there was a knock at my door. I pulled it open and was surprised to see Edward standing there. After the early morning meeting with Bella, I had expected him to spend the entire day with her.
"Um, hey," I said, not even trying to hide my confusion "come on in." I moved out of the doorway and Edward walked in. He sat down on my rolling desk chair and gestured for me to sit down as well. I took my window seat and allowed my thoughts of confusion to bombard my brother.
"Chris, I just wanted to talk to you for a second." He said softly.
"Edward if this is about me voting yes for Bella I won't apologize for that, nor will I change my vote. I agreed with you as far as it not happening right away, but I don't see the problem with her becoming one of us."
Edward chuckled a little and shook his head
"Actually that was the last thing on my mind right now. I wanted to talk to you." He paused "more so, I wanted to apologize to you."
I blinked in surprise
"Apologize?" I repeated "for what?"
"I tried to apologize when I called you that first time, when you were in London, but I was to prideful and couldn't admit that I had been wrong. Your profile was right all along and I should have listened to you in the beginning, which was my mistake. I believed that you weren't focusing on the larger picture and instead were simply focusing on your friends that you had allowed yourself to become to close with them. I thought I was doing the right thing, but you knew it wasn't right, you tried to tell me, but I wouldn't listen." He paused and I sat still, letting him continue. I didn't think Edward owed me personally any apology, Esme and Carlisle he certainly did, but not me. "I do Chris, I do owe you an apology, I am sorry for how I treated you and for how I left things with the family. It was selfish of me and childish. I'm sorry about not being here for the family, just leaving everyone. I'm sorry about Charlie and you losing him like that. A lot has happened over these past few months that shouldn't have happened and regarding most everything that I had control over, I am sorry."
"Edward," I took a deep breath "look I was mad at you. I thought you were being an idiot and went about things wrong. When you called me I wasn't ready to forgive you. I was still mad. I saw how much you being gone hurt Esme and Carlisle and it just made me even angrier. But…nearly losing you, Alice, and Bella in Italy, I mean all the stuff I was mad about before seems really petty now. I'm not mad at you anymore." I paused and held out my hand "truce?"
He grinned, the first real smile I'd seen on my brother since September.
We shook on the matter. A few seconds passed in silence. I looked up at Edward for a second and grinned
"What were you doing in South America anyways?"
Edward took a deep breath; I could see he wasn't really ready to admit this part, not because it was bad or anything, it just embarrassing for him, hence why I was asking.
"I was…trying to track." He answered "and clearly not succeeding."
I tried to hold back my laughter, I really did. Edward may be able to hear people's thoughts, but he is no tracker, I've seen him try and it just ended with me rolling around laughing. This was no different, I burst out laughing at the thought and after a few seconds Edward joined me laughing.
"Edward…you…" I couldn't get the words out, I was laughing too hard.
"Go ahead Profiler, laugh it up." He replied, pretending to pout, but his laughter gave it away.
"I will Professor X, I will."
Laughing with my brother, it felt good; I finally felt home, everything was finally getting back to normal and things were finally right again.
A/N: Well everyone, that's it for the New Moon version. I'm sorry it ended up being such a long final chapter, it was shorter in the beginning, but I added onto it late last night and well you saw the end result. I would like to thank all my reviewers, those who have Favorited this story, or added me/this story to their alerts. It means so much to me that this fic, as well as the Sun Never Sets have been welcomed into the Twilight community. I wish I could thank each one of you individually. I also wish I could thank Stephenie Meyer for creating such a new vampire world. The Eclipse version of these fics will be uploaded Monday night, and then updated once a week there abouts like this one. I had two wonderful suggestions for titles and I wish I could use both of them, I took trouble97018 suggestion and played around with the wording. So the next fic will be titled: Shadow of the Moon: A Sun Never Sets sequel. So be on the look out for it everyone! I hope to hear from you guys again. Till then, take care everyone!