A/N: This is it, the sequel to Puzzle Pieces! (If you haven't read that one, do so now.) Read it? Good, now we shall continue. I was going to wait a little longer to post it, but I just couldn't wait. I had to post it, right now. I hope you enjoy it.
I know that I promised that the next one would be a CarlislexEsme story, but I felt that their story would actually be perfect after the events of this one. So, I'm changing the order. But, I promise, I will write a CarlislexEsme story after this.
Next, sorry for leaving the last one off on such a cliff hanger, but hey, cliff hangers are fun! It gave this one an epic start, and you all didn't have to wait that long to read what happens next, anyways. Forgive me? Good! Now, enjoy!
Oh, and one last thing; you may have noticed a slight change in the writing style. Well, in Puzzle Pieces, I was trying to write in the moment, and have it all just flow from one moment to the other. I don't mind admitting that was very difficult. So, in this one, I'm not going to do that. And, since the Cullens don't sleep, and the only one that does is a little baby with an irregular sleeping pattern, it doesn't really matter what time it is.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, that belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
::After The Mist::
"They're here," Jasper called, to the Cullens waiting in the living room.
Each one of them knew that this was it. There was no walking away this time. The Volturi were not here for something trivial. Each one forced themselves not to think of the helpless baby asleep in her cot, in the room on the highest floor. Rosalie longed to stay there with her, but she could not. It would make the Volturi suspicious.
One by one, the Cullens and Tanya emerged from the house onto the porch. The odds of survival were not in their favor. If Aro caught one glimpse of Dorothy in their thoughts, then a burnt smoking ruin would remain where their house used to be, along with the their own ashes, and those of a helpless baby.
In a line, standing united, Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, Emmett, Esme, Carlisle, Tanya, Renesmee, Bella and Edward walked across their meadow like garden to meet the Volutri. As they approached, they caught a glimpse of who had come. Felix, Alec, Jane, Aro, Marcus, Caius, and someone they didn't know. The stranger was a man, that stood 5ft11 tall, his eyes were crimson, like a newborn. There was an impish air around him, like he didn't take life too seriously. His wavy straw coloured hair fell to his shoulders. He was handsome, but not in an overly gorgeous way.
Bella feared the moment that Aro touched anyone's hand, they would know about Dorothy. It was impossible for her to step forward, because the Volturi already knew that her thoughts were unreadable. Quickly, she spread her shield, latching it onto Carlisle, before he got a chance to shake Aro's hand.
"Hello, Aro," Carlisle said, calmly. "Is this a social visit?"
Frustrated, that he couldn't read Carlisle's thoughts, Aro frowned. "No, sadly it is not," Aro said. "Since you all tie yourselves so closely to our prey, I shall leave the task of civilising this newborn to you." Aro gestured at the stranger.
"It's a trick" Jasper told Edward, telepathically.
As soon as Tanya met the eyes of the stranger, she felt a pull, like it was destiny. The reason she had stayed this long, was to be here, to meet this man.
"Denali will take the task," Tanya said, at once. It was partly for selfish reasons of wanting to date him, but to protect Dorothy also. Bella quickly latched her shield onto Tanya.
"Now, why would you do that?" Aro asked, curiously.
"You are no doubt doing this, because of the incident that occurred before. This is your punishment to the Cullens, for almost breaking your laws," Tanya explained. "Well, we too played our part in it. I will accept full responsibility for him."
"Very well," Aro said. "You have one year to civilise him. If you fail, you shall all feel the flame like wrath of the Volturi."
It took a week for Tanya to prepare, and during that time, Rosalie had to stay at Bella and Edward's cottage, to protect Dorothy from the stranger, that was named Jacque.
Alice sat on the porch, thinking about how happy everyone was. Like a weight had been lifted from their shoulders. What bothered her most, was how different she felt when she thought of children. It had always been her and Jasper, and that was all. They didn't need anyone else to complete them.
Jasper came out on to the porch, and sat beside her, putting his arm around her. "Looks like things will be back to normal tonight," Jasper said, happily. "And, the mood will be less hectic."
"Yeah, and Dorothy will be back home," Alice said, as she rested her head on his shoulder.
"I actually miss not hearing her crying, or cooing, or her changing moods," Jasper admitted.
"Me too. I miss seeing her happy future," Alice said.
The thought wouldn't leave her mind, that the family wasn't quite complete. That there was still someone missing. Like a puzzle piece was still missing.
Everyone had gathered, to see Jacque and Tanya off. Dorothy was safe in her room, and Alice had promised to go straight up after they had said their goodbyes. Each of the women hugged Tanya, and wished her well.
"Good luck," Rosalie said, casting a glance to Jacque.
"Not that I need it, right?" Tanya joked.
"When it happens, I want to be bridesmaid," Alice whispered into Tanya's ear.
Tanya awkwardly laughed it off, and gave Alice a gentle pat on the back.
As promised, Alice left to guard Dorothy, in case Jacque caught the scent of her blood.
"Make sure to tell Carmen, Eleazar, Kate and Garrett to visit, I miss talking to them," Esme said, as she released Tanya from the hug.
"I hope to see you soon," Bella said.
Carlisle offered Tanya his hand, to shake. "I wish you well, Tanya," Carlisle said, with a smile.
"Oh, come on, you can do better than that," Tanya said, pulling Carlisle into a hug.
Emmett winked, and said, "Try not to smash up the house." Tanya wasn't the only one to punch him on the shoulder, Rosalie did too.
Jasper just nodded, and smiled at her.
"Goodbye, Auntie Tanya," Renesmee said, happily.
"See you soon, Tanya," Edward said.
"See you all," Tanya said.
Jacque was not familiar with English yet, so he simply waved at them, as he and Tanya set off across the meadow.
All of the Cullens were happy for Tanya, she had waited so long for someone, now she had found him, by a strange twist of fate.
Alice stood beside Dorothy's cot, looking down at the sleeping baby. A smile spread across her face, as she pulled the blanket up to Dorothy's chin. That always made her laugh, how Dorothy would always kick the blanket, so it would free her arms.
"One day, when you find someone special, I bet it will be even harder to let you go," Alice said, as Dorothy opened her eyes. Dorothy's sapphire blue eyes met Alice's golden ones. "But, that won't be for a long time yet."
Alice sat down on the rocking chair near the window. It was true, that she loved babysitting Dorothy, but she always felt just the faintest bit sad, when she had to give her back.
"I wonder who that man is, that you'll fall for," Alice muttered.
Every so often, when Alice let her mind wander into their family's future, she always saw an adult Dorothy sat near the river, with a boy that reminded her of Jasper. Not in a way that he was identical, but the golden hair, and the way he composed himself in a gentleman like fashion. It annoyed her to no end, that she didn't know who this man was.
"Well, who ever he is, he better treat you right, or he'll have all of us to answer to," Alice promised.
Next to leave, was Bella, Edward and Rensemee. Their leaving, wasn't as pre-warned as Tanya's. In the cold of the night, they left in the silver volvo, leaving behind only a note pinned to the fridge with a magnet.
It was Esme that discovered it the next morning, when she fetched a bottle for Dorothy.
We're sorry that we had to leave so suddenly, but it had to be done. I don't want to put you at risk, and tell you where we're going, but one thing I do promise, is that I will send you a post card from every place we visit.
"What's that?" Alice asked, as she walked into the kitchen. Something had broken through her thoughts of the stranger in Dorothy's future, to tell her that she had to be in the kitchen.
"A note from Bella. They have left, but can't tell us why," Esme said, showing Alice the note.
"Oh, that's a shame. I was going to ask Bella to come with me to Port Angeles," Alice said, slightly deflated.
That was one thing that she missed, now that Tanya was gone. That she couldn't just go on a shopping spree, because no one was able to come with her. Rosalie was always busy with the baby, and she couldn't ask Jasper because that wouldn't be fair to make him carry all the bags.
"I could come with you, if you want. I don't have much to do, other than do some cleaning in Carlisle's study," Esme offered.
"That would be great! I'll go get my purse," Alice said, happily.
Alice dashed out of the kitchen, into the living room, handing the note to Jasper and giving him a kiss. He smiled, as she whizzed past him. Alice's happy moods were always a good pick-me-up for him.