Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, nor any of its characters or franchises, I am not making money for this, so please don't sue me.
A/N: Readers interested in knowing the status of any of my stories can check my profile. I usually update it once a day, sometimes every other day, with progress reports on how far along I am in writing a chapter.
In a blur of motion, four vampires rushed into the room. Each one had an expression of anxiousness that eased the moment they each set eyes on me.
One individual, however, wasn't satisfied with acknowledging I was safe.
Teeth bared and extremely pissed off; Kate stalked toward me with a singular purpose. Alarmed, I took a step back, but before I could flee or attempt to defend myself a low warning growl split the air.
A look of shock was frozen on her features as she stared at Tanya in disbelief.
When I turned my gaze in the same direction, I could see why.
Tatyana's eyes were black. Her face was set in such ridged stone, I felt like she was a hairs breath away from attacking her own sister.
Dismayed, I tried to decide whether I should attempt to calm her down, or put some space between us. I had no idea what had prompted such an immediate and visceral reaction from her.
However, the part of me that remembered a little girl with sky blue eyes eventually won out and I tentatively placed my hand on her shoulder.
Tanya's growl eventually tapered off, but her gaze remained focused on Kate's every move. The tension in the house was stifling. In an attempt to ease the atmosphere I tried to approach Kate. I hadn't managed to so much as shift my foot before Tanya's fingers snagged my shirt.
A measure of clarity had returned to her features, but her expression clearly said that she didn't want me going anywhere near Kate.
Gently unfolding her vice-like hold on my clothes, being especially careful not to rip the fabric, I ran my fingers across her knuckles in what I meant to be a soothing gesture. I must have been successful because her body became less tense, but I could tell Tatyana still wasn't pleased.
Meekly closing the distance between myself and an angrily bewildered Kate, I lowered my head in contrition.
"I'm sorry I broke my word and ran off. Upon reflection, you were right. I shouldn't have recklessly endangered myself, and by extension, you as well."
Kate considered me for a moment, her eyes drifting back and forth between Tanya and I; before scowling intimidatingly.
"Do it again and I'll be forced to pummel some sense into you." Kate huffed, crossing her arms petulantly.
Wincing at the imagery, I reluctantly nodded my head in agreement.
While I'd been busy dealing with Kate however, Irina had been studying Tanya and I very closely. Tilting her head slightly, her eyes narrowed and focused like laser beams.
"Tanya, I see you've already met Bella. I apologize for not picking you up at the airport; and that you had to come home to so much drama." In a flash, Irina had her sister in a hug. Watching their reunion, I felt a sharp jab of envy at the easy way they relaxed into each other. "How did your search go?" Irina murmured as she pulled away.
Tatyana shot a glance in my direction and smiled faintly at her sister.
"Well; I seem to have found what I was looking for."
Before I had more than a moment to try and puzzle out Tanya's meaning, Kate gave a short bark of laughter beside me.
"I knew it! I thought I recognized Bella's scent, but that was several hundred years prior, so I assumed I was mistaken since she was human less than a year ago."
Smiling wryly, Tanya replied with no small hint of irony, "Apparently things like deductive reasoning can be bypassed if you possess the ability to time travel."
The room became dead silent as every pair of eyes turned to look at me.
"Uhh," I mumbled; raising my hand slightly, "guilty as charged."
"Why did you never tell us this?" Eleazar interjected, frowning worriedly.
"No offense, you're all really great, but I've only known you for about a week. That and I wasn't sure how everyone would react to the news." I held up my hands in a placating gesture.
"That doesn't explain why you never told me." Tanya whispered, her arms crossed across her chest as if to ward off the hurt that was so clearly written across her face. My heart throbbed with pain just seeing it.
"Please understand," I spoke softly, taking her hands in mine. "It's not that I don't trust you, but I felt it was for the best. I wasn't sure if telling you would somehow change the future, and I was afraid of the consequences of doing so. I've read enough science fiction to know about the butterfly effect, and I felt it would be a bad idea to mess around too much."
Tatyana reluctantly nodded, but I could see that she was still upset.
"When was the last time you 'traveled' back in time?" Irina asked, tilting her head questioningly.
"I call it 'fading' and the last time I went back, I got the pleasure of watching Tanya turn." I spoke with more than a hint of distaste, simply recalling the event made me shudder. "When I got back, I met Alice and Tanya here at the house."
"And that was your absolute last visit?" She reiterated.
"Yes," I spoke slowly, drawing out the word in my puzzlement. "Are you saying there are ones after that?" I asked.
Irina closed her eyes and raised her hand to her forehead.
"In a word, yes."
I digested that piece of information, but somehow the news didn't surprise me. I had yet to gain control of my talent, and I was unsure if I ever would. It made sense that I would fade again at some point. Obviously the others had encountered me at those times in their past, which was technically my future, otherwise they wouldn't have mentioned it.
Just as I was about to open my mouth to ask a few questions, something seemed to occur to Carmen, because her hand flew to her mouth and she gasped. Her large sorrowful gaze landed squarely on Tatyana.
"Tanya, I'm so sorry."
Completely lost, I darted my eyes to Tanya for clarification, but she just seemed sadly resigned. One by one, the others seemed to understand what was going on and they all converged on her. Each one touched her shoulder or arms in consoling gestures, which Tanya acknowledged with quiet nods or a squeeze of the hand.
Meanwhile, I felt completely out of the loop, and stood awkwardly to the side; unsure if I should do or say anything.
"Bella," Tanya spoke, her voice like sultry silk as she broke the tense atmosphere. It was the first time she'd spoken my true name, and I felt an odd flush of pleasure at the sound. Unfortunately, it was followed by a conflicting stab of guilt. Despite being many centuries older than me, it was hard to see her as an adult and not the sweet little girl I'd grown to love.
"Y-yes?" I stammered, trying to get ahold of myself. Tanya cocked her head slightly at my reply and a knowing smile slid across her mouth.
"Would you please tell the others what you learned in Seattle? I think it would be best to get them up to date so we can talk about what we're going to do next."
"Right. No problem." I stated briefly in my nervousness. "When I got to the city, I found multiple vampiric scents all over the area. Eventually I came across a fresh trail and tracked it down to a newborn. He was alone, and seemed fairly rational so I had a brief conversation with him. He confirmed that he was one of twenty newborns in the city." Several gasps where heard after that announcement, but I continued in an effort to get it all out at once.
"As I spoke with him it became clear that he had no knowledge about the Volturi and indeed no idea that it was possible to feed on animals. I advised him to leave the city and told him he could come here if he needed to." I paused and looked briefly around the room, "I hope it was ok for me to do that?"
Irina gave me a strained smile and nodded.
"We won't turn away anyone who wants to learn our lifestyle, just be more careful about who you give our address to in the future. We've had to defend our territory from nomads in the past."
I blinked, nonplussed. Despite my run in with James and Victoria, it never really occurred to me that territory battles were an actual concern. I guess my way of thinking was still rather human, and I just took it for granted that other vampires wouldn't try to kill or steal from us. Some of them might simply try because they could, or because they were bored as was the case with James.
"Well," I hesitated as I thought back, "he didn't seem aggressive. He was much bigger than me, so he might have been able to overpower me if he wanted to, but he didn't even try. I don't think it will be a problem, but I'll keep that in mind for the future."
"Just so we know not to attack him on sight, what does he look like." Kate interrupted.
"His name was Fred. Tall guy; big like Emmett but with blonde hair. He didn't speak much. Also, he had a talent that made you feel revulsion if you got close to him. I almost ran away the first time I saw him because of it, the feeling was so unpleasant." Eleazar perked up at that, very intrigued, but it was Irina who seemed the most fascinated.
"At any rate," I went on, "he told me that they're all staying in an abandoned apartment building down near the port. I thought about checking it out, but even I'm not suicidal. On the way back I ran into two vampires, who I dispatched, before I got pulled to the past. After which I ended up back here at the house."
The atmosphere in the room was grave, and I could tell they were all trying to make sense of what I'd just told them.
"Someone is making a newborn army." Eleazar broke the silence, "the question is, what for?"
"I can probably answer that." Alice smoothly interposed. It startled me slightly, because she'd been so quiet I'd almost forgotten she was in the room. "Based on what Bella told Tanya and I earlier, I think it would be safe to assume that Victoria is the one behind all this. She all but admitted it to Bella when she attacked Charlie. She is probably trying to muster enough fodder to take out our family."
"You mean your family," Tanya coldly added. "After what you did to Mari, I'm not sure I want to claim such close familiar ties." I was slightly taken aback at her venom, but a small part of me was warmed by her support, even though I didn't want to be the cause of any bad feelings between her and the Cullens.
"No, I mean our family!" Alice growled, glaring fiercely at Tanya. "Even if you are angry at us right now, we are still family. We consider Bella family. I know Victoria believes the same. So even if you want to leave us to fend for ourselves, consider that Victoria obviously wants Bella dead, whether you help us or not!"
"Guys! Please calm down." I pleaded, stepping between Tatyana and Alice. "This isn't the time for fighting. We need a plan to deal with this."
Grudgingly, both parties backed down.
"Now," I continued, taking charge of the conversation. "Right now we are severely outnumbered, but I know that we can count on some of the wolves in La Push to help us if we need it. Right now they're ten strong; although again I'm not sure all of them would be willing to help." I admitted, thinking of Leah.
Alice wrinkled her nose at the suggestion, while the others looked somewhat surprised.
"When you say 'wolves' are you referring to werewolves, or is that a euphemism for something else?" Tanya asked; her face and body language curiously stiff.
"I'm not sure?" I hesitantly replied. "They're natives who can turn into giant wolves. Is there a difference?"
"We should go and check it out, just to be safe." Irina reluctantly suggested. "The Volturi won't be lenient if they're actual werewolves and we didn't do anything about it."
Scowling, I decided I didn't like what that statement implied.
"What do you mean?" I asked, hoping I was just imagining things.
"By Volturi law, werewolves are supposed to be killed on sight. Supposedly the last one died about four hundred years ago, but the law is still the law." Kate solemnly stated.
"What?!" I exclaimed, aghast at the very notion. "You can't kill them just because of what they are! They haven't done anything wrong!"
"Bella, Bella," Carmen soothed, stepping closer to rub her hands up and down my arms. "Calm down, this may all be a misunderstanding. We certainly don't plan on doing anything until we know for sure."
I stared at Carmen as if she'd suddenly grown a third head.
"The Quileute's are not werewolves. Carlisle believes that they are actually shape shifters, because they don't feel the compulsion to change on the full moon and their gift is passed genetically not through a bite." Alice finally decided to chime in.
"Excuse me if I decide not to take your word for it." Tanya stated coolly, her eyes like sharp topaz.
"No." I declared, punctuating the statement with a sharp sweep of my arms. "We are not talking about this. End of discussion." This was all getting to be too much, the tension was too high and I could feel my emotions begin to broil over. One thing I hated about being a newborn was the drastic swings in mood and I needed to get out of the house. Now.
Having made up my mind, I stormed out of the house.
"Bella, where are you going?" Alice cried behind me.
"Out!" I shouted, not bothering to look back.
Darting into the forest, I ran for several minutes before honing in on a heartbeat nearby. Targeting an elk, I pounced, drawing my knife across its carotid in one smooth motion. I didn't even try to keep my restraint, I was too upset.
Before the beast could collapse, I grasped its upper body in a firm grip as I placed my lips to the wound. Halfway through my meal, I noticed the presence of another vampire. Their sweet scent of raspberries and almonds invaded my nose, and I had no doubt as to who was nearby.
Eventually I eased my prey back to the ground. Wiping the blood from my mouth, I turned around to stare defiantly at Tanya, head back, eyes focused and challenging.
She was standing under a tree, arm resting lightly against the bark as she made no effort to hide. Tanya's expression was soft but intent, as if nothing gave her greater joy then watching me hunt. Seeing that look, knowing it was directed at me, caused the majority of my anger to douse in an instant. Unfortunately, I then became angry that I was no longer angry, and ended up feeling mildly aggravated instead of furious.
"I won't let you hurt the Quileutes." I dictated, unwilling to budge. After all the help the wolves had given me, after saving Charlie, I refused to repay kindness with murder.
"Mari…" Tanya sighed, a sound caught between exasperation and fondness. "I don't make the rules Angel, I merely follow them." She murmured to me in her native tongue.
"I don't care about the rules, sometimes the rules are stupid." I hissed. "The rules would have had me stand by while a little girl was ripped to shreds by wolves! Screw the rules! It was worth it, every second of every day, I know it was worth it!" I cried, impassioned and furious. Tatyana blanched, but her gaze was getting more and more intense with each word I uttered.
"So what if the Quileute's may or may not be werewolves?" I continued in English, determined to get it all out before she could get a word in edgewise. "They saved my life, more importantly; they saved my father's life. They guard him now against a threat I brought against them! Five of their tribe are dead because of me! I owe them more than my loyalty, more than my life, and certainly more than betrayal!"
"I know, I understand, and I'm thankful beyond words;" Tanya's voice is low and fervent, in stark contrast to my raised shouting. "But I lost a mother because of those 'laws' you so eagerly dismiss. If given the choice between my family and a bunch of strangers; I choose you every time!" Tanya's tone rose slightly at the end before dropping back down to a whisper. "I don't want to lose anyone else Mari. I've lost too much as it is."
My throat felt tight, and my eyes burned as I regarded the grief that burned through her eyes. I could not even begin to imagine what other heartaches she'd had to endure throughout her long life.
Emotionally overwhelmed and heedless of the fact that we'd been arguing just a moment ago, I walked forward and wordlessly pulled Tanya into an embrace. Burying my face in her neck, I shamelessly released all my pent up anger, sadness, and stress. Until this moment I didn't realize how much I'd been holding back; holding in since that moment I woke up to my new life. Seeming to sense I just needed a little catharsis, Tanya wrapped me up in her arms and held on fiercely, protectively.
Eventually my crying subsided, but I remained locked in Tatyana's arms, unwilling to part from their comfort so quickly.
"I'm sorry I yelled at you" I sniffled quietly, smiling at Tanya's slight chuckle. "I'm still not helping you kill the Quileute's though." I added. Tanya sighed again, and merely shook her head.
"You're getting ahead of yourself Mari. Sometimes I wonder if I was ever this impatient at this age." Tanya whispered mischievously. Pulling back, I laughed and wiped away invisible tears before lightly smacking her arm. I admit I was slightly embarrassed that I'd ended up a sobbing mess in front of Tanya twice in one day, if I was still human I probably would have ruined her shirt by now.
"Shut up you, just because you're old and boring doesn't mean the rest of us are." I gleefully commented, delighting in the way her face scrunched up in mock offense.
"Walk." Tanya playfully growled, pointing in the direction of the house "or I'll show you who is old."
Instead of dashing back to the house, we both decided through unspoken agreement to take our time, and strolled at a leisurely pace. For the most part Tanya was kind enough to give me space to sort out my thoughts. Every once in a while she would remind me of her presence by some casual caress of the arm, or a friendly bump of the shoulder.
The transformation of the child I'd known into the adult beside me was both an amazing and jarring experience.
Tatyana had grown up; she was a woman now with her own opinions and priorities. The last time I'd really seen her, except for those few seconds before I fought her creator, she was only sixteen. Technically I was only three years her senior, but at the time I'd felt ancient, weary. Being a vampire aged you in a way that would never touch the flesh.
Physically, she had changed quite a bit. Before she was a girl, now she was unmistakably a woman. Her hair was longer, but still curling locks of red-gold. I could state with almost no envy that she was definitely curvier; more feminine than she was before, as impossible as it seemed to be.
Instead of the fresh supple beauty she possessed as a teenager; Tanya was now confident, sensual, and sultry in every action and gesture. She even moved differently. It wasn't exactly new, both Kate and Irina were the same in subtler ways, but what was normal and accepted in them was foreign and flustering in Tanya.
Mulling over our previous conversation, there was something that stuck out to me that hadn't before.
"What did you mean when you said that you lost a mother because of Volturi law? You told me she died in childbirth." I curiously directed to Tatyana.
"I was not referring to my birth mother when I made that statement. As you know, Elya died when I was very young. Sasha became like a second mother to me. Indeed, my bond to her was stronger because we spent several lifetimes together." Tanya's smile was sadly resigned, like an old wound that only ached when it rained.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I gently asked.
"Not right now. I've had a long time to come to terms with it, but it's the reason why my sisters and I are very strict about following the law. We have experienced the power of the Volturi first hand, and it is not something we are keen to be reacquainted with."
Tentatively, wanting to repay any small measure of comfort I could, I slipped my hand into hers and brushed my thumb against her wrist. I felt a shy smile work its way across my features when she entwined our fingers and returned the gesture.
When we got back to the house the others were still debating the next plan if action. They were all congregated around the dining room table as they poured over a map of Washington.
"Look," Kate interrupted, slamming her palm down on the table to emphasize her point. "No matter what else we decide today, we need to go to Forks. The simple fact of the matter is that whatever Victoria and her newborns are up to in Seattle, we won't be able to react in time from Alaska. Simply put, we need a closer base of operations, and Forks is already a convenient location."
"She's right." Irina agreed, peering around the table. "It will also give us the opportunity to get a feel for these werewolves. If they aren't children of the moon, we might be able to establish a temporary alliance until the threat is dealt with. If what Bella said is true about Victoria attacking their people, I'm sure they will be eager for revenge."
"I would like to avoid getting them involved if possible, I feel bad enough about the losses they've accumulated already, but I understand that we are severely outnumbered here." I mentioned as Tanya and I walked through the door. Irina and Alice both sent me worried looks, but otherwise simply moved to make room at the table.
"I know nobody wants to say this, but I feel obligated to point out that if we got the Cullens involved, it wouldn't be necessary to seek help from the Quileute's." Eleazar pointed out. "I know for a fact that Jasper is very experienced in this type of warfare, and Edward's gift would come in handy for a fight."
I felt my insides freeze up at just the thought of confronting my ex-boyfriend. While it was true that I was no longer heartbroken, I was still a little angry and hurt about the way in which he left me. No matter how noble his intentions; he still managed to crush my heart, self-esteem, and future in one fell blow.
The fact that I had still ended up a vampire, despite his best efforts, just made me slightly bitter about the whole thing. However, I was saved from having to say something by Tanya's vehement opposition.
"No!" She exclaimed, "I refuse to allow them as anything but a last resort. Jasper is Alice's mate and I won't object to his expertise, but I'm not going to go begging for help to the people who are responsible for this mess in the first place."
"Good to know you feel that way." Alice grumbled, pouting sullenly in her seat. "Jasper is already on his way to Forks with Peter and Charlotte. I called him after my shower and filled him in on the details. He is eager to see you again Bella." Alice spoke earnestly. "He feels responsible for what happened on your birthday, and wants to make amends."
"I never blamed him Alice." I said, meeting her gaze. "He wasn't himself that night."
"I'm sure he will appreciate hearing that Bella." Alice replied, smiling gratefully.
"As heartwarming as this is, can we please get back on track?" Kate frowned, "We really need a game plan."
"I'll call and let the Quileute's in on the situation, see what they're willing to do to help. Let them know we're coming down." I asserted, absently biting my lip in thought.
"We'll need to rent a private jet and airstrip. I doubt Bella could handle cramped enclosed spaces with dozens of humans just yet." Irina added.
Balking at the suggestion I shook my head.
"Guys you don't need to spend that kind of money, really it's unnecessary."
Tanya quirked an eyebrow at me skeptically.
"So you believe that you have the control necessary to stay confined in a small metal tube, for several hours, with a hundred people, where they recycle the air, in cramped confines?" she asked. Blankly returning her gaze, I eventually lowered my head in defeat.
"No…" I admitted. Despite how well I was doing for a newborn, I knew what she'd just described was a recipe for a massacre.
"Private jet it is." Tanya decided, "No worries Mari, Irina is an accomplished pilot. It will be a human free flight."
"Well, I do have to admit that is slightly more reassuring." I said as I watched everyone disperse to their rooms to pack their belongings. Tatyana stepped up beside me and I allowed myself to lean against her. "You know," I started "I was here a whole week before you came back and I never once suspected you were the same person. How is that?" I questioned as I looked into her face. "Am I just that unobservant?"
Tanya chuckled knowingly before she nodded her head for me to look around.
"Do you see any pictures on the walls? I'm not speaking of paintings, but family photos." Intrigued, I did as she asked. I couldn't find a single one. No candid photos or staged portraits. Nothing. Now that I thought of it, I couldn't remember seeing any pictures in any rooms.
"No, you don't have any family pictures. Why is that?"
"When I say that my sisters and I take the law very seriously, I mean we take it very seriously. We live forever. It would be careless and irresponsible of us to leave documented evidence that we don't age. I'm not sure what your experiences with the Cullen's were like, but my sisters and I haven't lived a thousand years by being careless."
I couldn't deny that she made a compelling argument.
"Ok, that explains the lack of visual evidence, but I should have been able to smell you the moment I walked in the house."
Tanya smirked slyly, her eyes twinkling with mirth.
"Please tell me you've noticed how often Irina cleans the house. She generally stays out of our private rooms, but everything else is fair game."
Grimacing, I recalled first walking into the home and being assaulted by how clean it smelled inside. If Irina had cleaned the house several times since Tanya was away, it was no wonder I hadn't come across her scent at all.
"You make a good point." I conceded, and allowed myself to savor the sound of Tanya's answering laughter.
"Come on," she said, tugging on my arm "Keep me company while I pack. You can make your call at the same time if you wish."
Allowing myself to be pulled along, I admitted to myself I was looking forward to seeing the inside of Tatyana's inner sanctum. Leading me up to the third floor, Tanya opened a set of thick French doors that led into a room that was about the size of a two bedroom apartment on its own. It was very warmly decorated on the inside, with beautiful hand crafted furniture and earthy accents. I could tell that some of Tanya's tastes still leaned toward the 11th century because there were a lot of fur rugs, along with a luxuriously canopied California king sized bed.
One side of the room was made entirely out of thick electric glass that looked out into the forest. Right now it was clear, but with the flick of a switch it instantly became opaque. I spent a good thirty seconds flipping that switch with almost childlike glee.
In spite of that, the most interesting design concept was that the room had no inner walls. Everything was out in the open. The kitchen, the shower, even the bathtub were right out in the open. The only concession for the shower was a six inch tall border, to keep water from spreading to the rest of the room. Otherwise, it was completely exposed.
I could appreciate the openness and space that the lack of walls afforded, but I didn't really understand not having the bathroom closed off at least.
Tanya must have noticed my confused gaze because she grinned and arched her brow at me.
"Go on." She teased "I know you want to ask."
If I was still capable of blushing, I would have; although in all seriousness I'm not sure why.
"Why don't you have any walls?" I voiced.
"Walls are for people who have something to hide, and in this place I have none. I'm not impractical. Sometimes people need their own space and privacy, but in the sanctity of my own room; I will be what I am. Open, free, and without shame."
I stood there, dumbfounded, as she threw things into a suitcase.
I had never thought of interior design as a statement about society before, but it was an interesting position to take. Never the less, I got the feeling that pursuing this line of conversation would only embarrass me, so I changed the subject.
"Would it be alight if I used your cellphone to call Jake? I haven't gotten around to getting a new one yet." I requested, easily catching the device she tossed my way.
Phones were so delicate, even by human standards; that I had to take extra care when I pressed the buttons. It literally took me two minutes to dial his number, and it didn't help that Tatyana was silently laughing at me the whole time.
Throwing a glare at my companion, I waited patiently for the phone to pick up.
"Hello?" Jake's scratchy voice eventually came on, and I winced as I realized I'd just called him at 3 a.m. Since becoming a vampire, the time of day had lost all significance, and I had forgotten that some people still needed to sleep at night.
"Jake, hey, I'm sorry to wake you."
"No, it's fine" He mumbled, and I could hear the sound of rustling sheets in the background. "What's up Bells, are you ok? Do you need any help?"
"Yes, of course. I'm fine. I just wanted to warn you and the others about some things I discovered, and ask how Charlie is doing." Out of habit I moved to sit on the bed.
"He's doing good, the doctors say he's healing well and that he should wake up tomorrow."
A sudden wash of relief came over me, and a tightness in my chest eased.
"Good. Good, I'm glad to hear that." I mumbled, trying not to get emotional again. "Listen Jake, I went to Seattle to check out the killings going on over there. It seems like Victoria is building a newborn army. They're already twenty strong and we don't know what she's planning on doing with them all. She might try to attack the reservation, and I'm afraid it will be a slaughter if she does." I heard a deep rumbling growl from the other end of the phone.
"Not if we have anything to say about it, we'll rip em apart if they even try." Jake threatened, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he was shaking.
"I know you will Jake, but I'm up here with the Denali's and they want to help get rid of the threat. We're going to come down soon and they want to talk to the elders about a temporary alliance until we can dispose of Victoria. Do you think they'd be willing to meet?" I inquired, trying not to let too much hope color my tone.
"I don't know Bella…" Jake hesitated. "I think they would be eager to get rid of the vamps that killed our people, but I'm not sure if they'll be willing to come to truce. Right now hatred for vampires is running really high; but I'll ask Dad about it. See if they'd be willing to consider something."
"That's all I ask Jake."
"Alright Bells, I'll call you back when I learn more. Is it ok to call back at this number?" Turning to look at Tanya, she gave me a nod of consent.
"Yes, that's fine. Feel free to call no matter what the time, one of the benefits of not having to sleep."
A bark of laughter came through and I couldn't stop the genuine smile that broke across my face. Jake always did have an infectious laugh.
"Ok. I'll call you back. Night Bells."
"Night Jake." I responded before hanging up the phone.
A pair of arms snaked around my neck from behind as Tatyana rested her chin on my shoulder. I hadn't even realized she'd climbed onto the bed behind me, but I instinctively relaxed, allowing my body to fall back against her marble frame.
"Do you want to talk?" She hummed, sliding her cheek against my own in an affectionate gesture. I shook my head, enjoying the contact. Being this close, I felt surrounded by Tanya's raspberry-almond scent, and it was lulling me into a blissful trance.
"Don't worry Angel," She whispered as her fingers gently massaged my scalp, "I'll protect you."
And somehow, I believed her.
A/N: Hello everyone, for those of you who don't check my profile regularly. I know it's been a long time since I've updated my status and my story. For the past few months I've been working overtime in order to help support my uncle's chemo treatments, and writing fell to the wayside. Unfortunately he passed away last month and I've just been helping my aunt and cousins get his affairs in order. It's been hard I won't lie. I know however that he would want to me to continue writing, so I'm going to try my best to continue.
Thanks so much to all of you who sent me well wishes, and shared your own experiences. Hopefully I haven't lost all my readers in the time i was away.
As always, let me know what you thought.