CHAPTER 21

Huge shout-out to my pre-reader,Miss Jude, ma belle Twifey. I love you so much. I was nothing till I met you. Thank you for being my light in the darkness. I truly wish we had met years ago. ILY.

To my beautiful beta, Sunflower3759. You have changed me so much over the past few months. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful woman to grace me with her presence. Thank you.

HUGE squishy cuddles to my friends in the JUF group. I flove each and every one of you. You are all such wonderful friends and family.

Join my FB group, AliceVampire, show your untapped talent by entering the contest for my next story. Details and rules are found on my FB page.

There will be a countdown towards my new story in my group also. The story Black & White will begin posting on 3/13/13.

Reminder: Stephenie Meyer owns these characters. I only use them for my sick and twisted needs. LOL

Thank you to everyone who read reviewed and voted during this story. I'm sorry it ended so suddenly, but I have started work again, started on a new story and have found it very hard to come up with cliffies to work with. Please know I love each and every one of you.

Let's see how the last votes worked out.

~LBC~

Alice stepped into the house with the rest of the family. She could smell the lingering stench of wolves. She looked down the hallway, finding fresh blood congealing on the floor and wall.

She looked at Jasper, silently asking what had happened. He looked like he had been to hell and back.

"We had no choice." Alice could see the remorse in his face. "Sam's dead. Carlisle and Emmett are taking his body to the treaty line." Jasper said softly.

Even though Jasper was a soldier, death still affected him as much as the emotions that had been floating around the house for the past few days.

Alice fell into his arms, still worried about where Bella was and why she couldn't see her future. "Jasper, does anyone know where Bella is?"

"Edward ran after her but I haven't seen either one since." Jasper said as he walked with Alice into the living room.

Alice still felt lost about why she couldn't see anything. Ever since Bella had come back into their lives she had been blind. The only time Bella had been clear, was in Seattle when she saw Bella's decision about where to meet with her and Jasper.

"Alice?" Edward asked as he walked through the door.

"Edward?" Alice looked around him, sniffing for Bella's scent. "Where is she?"

Edward sank down onto the couch. He held his head in his hands. "I don't know." His voice was rough; he was in so much pain.

Alice could feel Jasper stiffen beside her. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that Edward's emotions were the same as hers.

"We need to go find her." Alice stated, heading towards the front door.

"She doesn't want to be found, Alice." He sounded desperate.

"What?" Rosalie asked as she entered the room.

"I followed Bella's scent and found Riley's body. His head was missing and I think Bella took it. Somehow, Bella masked her scent. I was able to follow Riley's scent, but..." Edward smashed his hand against the coffee table, shattering it.

"Edward, stop destroying the house. It won't help." Esme commanded as she stepped up beside Rosalie.

"I found Riley's head. I burned it and the rest of his body." Edward looked at Alice. "Bella's a blocker."

Alice sank down in the chair, shocked. "That means..." She couldn't even finish the words. She was finally getting answers to plaguing thoughts of her faulty visions.

"If she doesn't want to be found she won't be, but she doesn't know. She's completely unaware of the ability." Rose finished Alice's thoughts.

"That explains so much." Alice replied stunned. "My visions...she blocked them."

"Yes and no, Alice, she's a blocker but she also had Sam stalking her. He was part of the reason you were blind."

"There's more isn't there?" Alice felt like she was out of the loop. Everyone else didn't seem surprised by this revelation.

"She's a shield. She can keep us out or protect us, whichever ability she decides to use." Jasper answered, sitting on the arm of the chair.

"What are we going to do?"

"Search for her Alice. She's not in danger. Her defenses will have gone down by now, you should be able to find her and see what she's going to do." Edward begged.

He just wanted her back in the safety of their home.

Alice focused on Bella. Where she was? What she was doing? Slowly, the movie within Alice's head began to move. She could see Bella, in tattered clothes, approaching the house.

Edward must have read her mind. He took off out the door and stopped in the middle of the yard, watching the spot Bella where would appear.

Carlisle and Emmett entered through the back door. Something was weighing heavily on his mind. Esme was immediately by his side as Emmett moved to hug Rose.

"What's wrong?" Esme asked, almost sure she knew what the answer would be.

"Jacob found us bringing Sam's body to the line. Because we were caring enough to do so he has given us two hours to leave."

Esme tucked her head into Carlisle's chest. "No...oh, Carlisle, where will we go?"

"We'll go to Alaska. Kate can work with Bella and her abilities while we try to find Garrett. He must have some knowledge we can use." Carlisle stated, with a tone of finality. "Prepare to leave."

Everyone scattered, knowing what needed to be done. Two hours to a vampire was the equivalent of two weeks to a human. The house would be prepped in time.

~LBC~

Edward watched as Bella stepped into the clearing. This was the only chance he would get to make things right with her. He needed her to forgive him this time. He needed her to understand why. This was his only hope.

The clouds parted, allowing a ray of sunshine to shine down on her. Her skin sparkled, making her completely and remarkably perfect. He could smell the blood of the cougar that stained her dress. Her eyes were glowing the bright red color of a newborn.

Her walk was quick but smooth. She wasn't use to the natural movements of a vampire. Her beauty, her smell, and her voice were all designed to make her the perfect predator; the perfect killer.

She quickly descended on him. For the first time, he was at a lost. He could see her expression was blank. He had no way of telling what she might be thinking. Without being able to read her thoughts, he had become use to the idea of reading her the way any human would. Now, he was stepping into the unknown.

She looked up at him and the look in her eyes was unreadable. She stood too straight, too still. She wasn't giving anything away. This was new for him. He had always been afraid for her in the past, but now, he was afraid of her.

"Edward." Her voice was so musical as it hit his ears.

She was perfect.

"Bella, we have to leave." Edward said reaching out to take her hand.

Bella stepped back. "Yes, Edward, but not we, I need time. I need..." Bella seemed unsure how to explain what she needed to say.

"It's too dangerous to be out there by yourself. You're still a newborn; this is a very difficult time." Edward understood immediately what she was trying to say. He wouldn't allow it.

"I'm going, Edward. I have no intentions of harming a human. I would destroy myself before letting that happen." Bella sound so sure of herself. She turned and began to move back towards the woods.

Edward raced around to block her path. "Bella, please, don't do this." He begged.

Bella had a determined look in her eyes, Edward could read her face now. She would go and no amount of begging would stop her. She truly needed time to figure out how she felt about everything.

This time, for the first time, Edward would allow Bella to make the decisions for them, for her.

"We'll be in Alaska."

Bella nodded, she leaned in and placed her arms around Edward's waist. Edward wrapped her in a cocoon. "I love you, Bella. I always have and always will."

Bella didn't answer; she just nodded her head against his chest. They stood for another moment, wrapped up in their bubble. Edward breathed in her scent, mesmerized by her touch, anything that he could hold onto while she was gone.

Her newborn speed left Edward feeling cold and missing her touch far sooner than he wanted.

~LBC~

The snow-capped mountains were so much more glorious than Bella had ever thought possible. She continued running as she took in every detail, making a mental photograph of its beauty.

Alaska was so much more than she had ever imagined from the books and the internet. She also watched for humans. Hunting season would have many humans in unlikely places, even in the open expanse that she was moving through.

She knew where this run was leading her.

After ten years, five months and thirteen days, she had finally seen enough, and learned enough through her observations of the different types of relationships. She knew what she wanted and how to get it.

She stopped short, looking into the distance as a spot on the horizon became bigger by the second. From the speed, Bella knew it was vampire. The smell in the wind told her it was Edward.

Alice must have seen her coming. In ten years, Bella had never been able to perfect her blocking skills. She had met Garrett. He had never admitted it, but Bella was certain the Cullens had contacted him. He had been invaluable in helping her to control her abilities.

She continued to wait as Edward came over the last hill. He slowed as he approached. He was just as beautiful as her memory told her he was.

He was perfect. The look on his face was exactly what she had hoped, he was happy to finally see her.

"Hello, Bella." His voice was perfect.

"Hello, Edward." Bella said softly.

"Welcome home, my love." He walked over and pulled her into his arms, wrapping her up in their own personal bubble. He kissed her hair, cupping her face with both his hand as he stepped back to look at her. The moment was perfect, everything was perfect.

"It feels good to be here, Edward. It feels right."

"Talk to me, Bella. I need to know."

Bella had managed to block Alice's visions of her decision. She was proud of herself and Garrett's lessons.

"I love you, Edward." Bella said as she hugged him back. She was taking the time to really feel him, smell him. He was exactly the same, he was hers.

It was true, she was home. Everything felt right. He was her soul mate, and the universe revolved around them both. Without the other, neither of them truly lived. Love was blind, and all the two of them wanted was the ability to see.

"We have so much to talk about, Edward, but I'm here.

I love you.

I want you.

I need you.

We have so much to discuss, but, as with any story, we will have our happily ever after."

She stated, as she pulled him down and lightly placed her lips to his.

Rec'd:

Under My Skin by MissJude. Tattoo'd Edward, need I say more.