"Well, That's a new one," Damon remarked while surveying Edward's new state of being.
"Not really, Damon. It's actually a fairly old one." I retracted my fangs and crossed my arms over my chest while glaring at Edward. "You should really be careful who you bite."
Stop speaking Rebekah. What were you thinking?
He deserved it, Elijah.
He deserves to feel the pain of turning again?
I'd conveniently skipped over Bella's reaction to the breakup on the plane. At the time it was unimportant, but now I held nothing back. I opened my mind and showed Elijah all of it.
Believe me, he deserves it many times over.
"What'd you do to him?" Esme growled.
Damon swung his glass in an arc. "Whoa, she didn't do anything. He did it to himself."
I glanced at Elijah, but he was still trying to gain his composure. His jaw slowly unclenched and he was forcibly trying to relax his fists.
Alice zipped out of the room and back with a bag. Carlisle took it from her with a nod and began examining Edward.
"What's happening to me, Carlisle?" Edward choked out between his staggered breaths. Carlisle moved the stethoscope across Edward's chest listening to his newly beating heart.
"It would appear that you are no longer a vampire."
"Temporarily." Elijah interjected, having finally regained his composure.
Emmett directed a low growl at my brother, causing Bella to grab hold of Elijah's shirt and shrink behind him.
Elijah was forceful in his response, "Watch yourself, Emmett. There is no need to frighten her."
Jasper immediately relaxed his stance and I noticed some of the tension leave Bella's body. She released her grip on my brother's shirt and didn't appear to be as afraid anymore.
"Maybe we should sit and talk?" There was my brother, ever the diplomat. "Why don't we move to the dining room? The seating in here has become inadequate." He glanced at what remained of the couch.
Carlisle helped Edward up and led the way into the dining room. Esme pushed past them to make it into the kitchen.
"Bella, Edward, are you hungry?" she called out from the kitchen, "I'm sure I could whip something up." I could hear her rummaging through the cabinets.
"Please." Bella took a seat on our side of the table. Damon stood behind us in front of the window. Carlisle sat in front of Elijah with Rosalie by his side. Emmett took a stance similar to Damon's behind them.
Alice took the seat across from me with a smile. Until that moment, I'd forgotten about her ability. She would've seen what happened the moment I decided to provoke Edward, and yet she didn't try to stop it. What else was she hiding?
"What did you mean by 'temporary'?" Carlisle asked. My brother folded his hands and placed them on the table.
"He will remain human until Rebekah's blood works it's way out of his system."
Esme returned to place drinks in front of Bella and Edward. "Then what happens?" She paused waiting for the answer.
"Then he'll turn again."
Esme ducked back into the kitchen to hide her dismay.
"What if I choose to die instead?" Edward leaned anxiously into the table. Damon laughed at his question.
"Oh, you'll get to die. You just don't get to stay that way."
Edward cut is eyes over to Damon. "I'm human. I could just kill myself." Esme stood behind his chair with a plate of food and a look of horror on her face.
"You can't be serious, Edward."
Damon chuckled again. "At least you're pretty, cause you sure are stupid." His comment earned him a glare from every Cullen, but Alice. Interesting, the pixie and I were going to have to have a little talk later.
Elijah shot a warning look at him. "What Damon intended to say was that you would come back as one of us if you died with Rebekah's blood in your system." Damon rolled is eyes.
"How long?" Concern shone through Carlisle's eyes. He was truly worried about his son.
"That depends. Rebekah's blood is very...potent. He's got about 3 months."
"Edward, maybe you should go lie down." Carlisle coaxed him to move, but he resisted. Rosalie stepped in and with a hushed whisper, to quiet for anyone to hear, convinced him to go upstairs.
As I watched Alice, her gaze momentarily went blank before snapping back into focus, leaving a very annoyed look on her face.
"The mutt is back," she sat back in her chair with a huff, "I hate it when they show up."
Both Damon and Elijah's eyes turned to me.
*Mutt?* Hearing thoughts in unison was just plain weird.
*Not werewolves.* No need for them to get hot and bothered over nothing.
Carlisle attempted to explain, "The local wolves are cooperating with us on a recent development."
I could feel apprehension radiating from Damon and Elijah at Carlisle's statement.
They're Shifters. Give me a little credit.
Shortly after a motorcycle pulled up the driveway, there was a knock on the door. Carlisle hesitated to rise.
"Please see to your guest." Elijah gestured towards the door.
Emmett nodded to Carlisle. I guess he was going to keep an eye on us while Carlisle was gone. No one chose to continue talking in his absence, so it was easy to hear the conversation at the door.
"Hello Jacob. Now is really not a good time."
"I can see that. I thought Bella was the only human you entertained out here."
"Bella is the only one."
"Then who owns the other car in the driveway? I don't smell any new leeches so I'm going to go with more humans."
"You can't smell them?"
Jacob pushed his way past Carlisle and quickly made his way into the dinning room.
He caught my eye and stopped mid step just through the doorway.
This was the first time that I'd been able to get a good look at him since he joined the pack. He'd grown up. A lot. He had to be well over six feet, taller than Elijah, and dwarfing Damon. I could just make out muscles rippling under his shirt. Wow.
Carlisle was right behind him. "Did you need something, Jacob?"
My wandering eyes finally made it back his eyes and my stomach plummeted. I threw up my walls and retreated to the safety behind them. I couldn't go through this again.
Carlisle sighed, having failed to distract him, and began introductions. Elijah looked at me in alarm as I stared intently at my plate. Jacob was still staring at me as though I was the only thing in the world. Even without looking at him, I knew he was.
"Bekah." He continued to stare at me. I was lost in my world of memories. Memories I never wanted cause to revisit. Memories of love, pain, and despair. Would this time be any different?
Carlisle looked between us with confusion etched on his face. "That's impossible."
Damon frowned. "What's impossible?"
Elijah growled, "It would appear that the shifter has imprinted on my little sister."
Jacob seemed to snap out of it. "Who are you?"
"Are you a shifter too?" Jacob was trying to piece everything together.
"No. We are vampires."
"Excuse me? I imprinted on a vampire?" Jacob was stunned.
One of you is going to explain this whole imprinting thing to me. Damon hated being the last to know anything.
Elijah grabbed my hand, to help ground me, and ignored both men while he spoke to Carlisle, "This recent development of yours. It wouldn't have to do with a certain army of newborns in Seattle would it."
Shock colored the faces of the Cullens.
"I see no need to dance around the subject any longer. We came here to protect Bella. It might be best if we join our forces for the time being. If the shifters are helping you, I assume Jasper is training them."
Jasper started at the familiarity in my brother's tone.
"Why would you assume that Jasper is training them?" Carlisle asked.
"He's the only one here who has experience dealing with newborns in such large numbers."
Jasper stepped forward. "I'm sorry. Have we met before?"
My brother smiled, "No, but you made quite a name for yourself." He stood and buttoned his coat. "I think we've taken up enough of your time. We'll give you a night to think it over." We stood to follow him to the door.
"I should probably be getting home to. Its getting late and I don't want Charlie to worry." Bella stood to follow us. "I'll just catch a ride with you guys if you don't mind."
"Of course." Elijah held his arm out so that Bella and I could walk in front of him. He added one last comment when he paused behind Carlisle's chair.
"Whatever you decide, we will be there. I would hate us to get distracted with killing each other." He spoke low. I noticed Bella continue to walk through the door, so I knew she hadn't heard. Carlisle nodded in response.
Jacob caught my arm as I passed him. "I don't understand." I was momentarily stunned at the shock that passed through my arm. I continued to look at the ground, unable to meet his gaze. "Meet me tonight and we'll talk." He followed us out.
Elijah paused before climbing into the car. "Jacob, is it? Go back to your pack and tell them of our offer to the Cullens. The offer stands to them as well, regardless of the Cullen's decision." Jacob nodded and climbed onto his bike. I watched my brother struggle with something else he wanted to say, but I couldn't figure out what it was.
Suddenly, he was standing in front of Jacob, causing him to jump. My face flushed with embarrassment when I realized what he was doing. My brother hadn't done this in centuries. He grabbed Jacob by the throat and pulled him close.
"Rebekah is my little sister. If you hurt her in *any* way, I will rip your heart from your body repeatedly. Understood?"
Jacob managed a nod, and Elijah released him with a smile. "Glad we got that out of the way." He turned and walked back to the car leaving a disheveled Jacob rubbing his neck.
Back at the house, things got a bit interesting.
"Damon go help Bella with dinner." Elijah watched me as I sat down on the couch.
"But we just dropped her off at her house."
"Then go there. Now." He walked over and sat down beside me. Damon's phone rang inside his pocket. He pulled it out and necked the caller I.D. before promptly answering the call.
"Elena, How do you like being dead?" He turned around and walked out the door for a little privacy.
"Talk to me, sister. What's going on inside that head of yours." He gently stroked my hair behind my ear.
"Another imprint? How is that even possible, brother? Didn't I suffer enough the first time?" I pulled my legs up to my chest and rested my forehead on my knees.
"You could try resisting."
I shook my head. "I only lasted a week." He nodded his head as if he understood then put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close.
"You're afraid of repeating the past?" He rubbed reassuring circles on my arm. I nodded. "Then fear not, dear sister. Only those to fail to learn from the past repeat it." I looked up at him. "Maybe you should just think about what you are going to do differently this time around. Why don't you go for a walk or something? I'll handle Damon's questions."
Under normal circumstances, I would've shifted. The trip back to the rez would've taken half as long, but I just couldn't have them in my head. I had to think. Even after the long ride to Sam's place, I was still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that my imprint was a vampire. I shook my head in an effort to clear it as I walked up to Sam's house. This was going to be a fun conversation.
"How'd it go? Moving the time alright with them?" Sam pushed open the screen door and joined me on the porch.
"Didn't quite get that far. They had guests." I walked past him and sat down in a chair beside the door. Sam waited for me to continue.
"Rebekah is back and she brought a couple friends. They were with Bella at the Cullen's."
"The girl who showed up here the other day, threatened us, and then flew off?" Sam leaned against the rail in front of me. I smiled remembering her fiery spirit.
"Yeah, that one. They offered to join forces with the Cullens, to fight the army. Before they left, they said the offer stands for us, regardless of the Cullen's decision." I paused at the look of confusion on Sam's face.
"Why not come to us first?"
He thought they were like us. I couldn't blame him. I'd thought the same thing. I mean, how the hell was a vampire able to shift into an eagle. "They're vampires."
Sam stared at me in disbelief. "How is that even possible?"
"I don't know, Sam, but they need an answer. What do you want to do?" Times like this made me thankful I'd turned down the Alpha position when I first turned. Sam got up and walked to the other side of the porch lost in thought.
"We had no idea she was a vampire. How is that possible? We need to know more about them, Jacob." He was back in front of me. "Tell them that we accept their offer of support."
I was taken aback. I didn't think he would come around so quickly.
"Don't look so surprised. A short term alliance will help us judge their strengths and weaknesses, in case we ever have to fight them in the future." I growled. None of my brothers would be fighting her. Not if they wanted to remain in one piece. The look of shock on Sam's face reminded me that he didn't know of my imprint. I quickly recovered and got up to go.
"What was that about?"
I kept walking. He would find out soon enough. "Later."
I parked my bike in the driveway at dusk and began to make my way up to the house, when I heard raised voices coming from the backyard. My feet changed their direction as I realized that one of them was Rebekah.
"You honestly think he's your soulmate. Surely you're not that stupid. He's a damn dog!"
"Stop being such a dick, Damon. It's not really any of your business anyway. If all this new information is so hard for you to understand, go ask my brother to use smaller words."
I rounded the corner in time to see him stop her from walking away from him. She stood her ground and glanced at me.
"Keep this up and you're just going to piss him off."
"Let her go." I was making my way across the yard. He continued to hold her arm.
I let the warmth of the shift take over my body, shredding my clothes, and I growled, teeth bared, as all four paws touched the ground.
"HOLY SHIT!" His arms shot up in surrender, "Dude, she's all yours." He slowly backed towards the house.
Rebekah's eyes were wide as she took in my wolf.
"Wow. Damon, he kinda makes your wolf look like a chihuahua." She smirked still looking me over.
"I'm going to save my retort for when there isn't a giant wolf about to bite me in two."
As soon as he disappeared into the house, I quit growling and glanced around at my shredded clothes. This was going to be awkward. Rebekah grabbed a blanket from the porch then made her way back to me. She stood in front of me and held the blanket up over her face. I cocked my head to the side and she dropped her arms dramatically.
"I want you to be able to talk to me and you can't do that if your all fury or all naked." Her arms rose to their previous position. I shifted and quickly wrapped the blanket around myself. She walked over to a bench swing under a tree further away from the house. I followed and sat beside her. Yup, still awkward.
"So you're a vampire." I chuckled and dropped my head back to look at the stars. "I am never going to live this down."
"That bad huh?" She mirrored my position.
"Pretty much. Probably."
She laughed. I was pretty sure that had just become my favorite sound. I felt like such a sap. No wonder the others acted like they did.
"You didn't tell them yet?"
I looked over at her. "I wanted to talk to you before. Try to wrap my head around it."
"The imprinting thing or the vampire thing?" She started swinging her leg.
"Well, the imprinting thing isn't new, just the vampire part." I laughed nervously.
"Oh, so you've imprinted before?" My head snapped up.
"What? No." The words just kept tumbling out of my mouth. "Have you?" She sat there staring at the stars. I watched her in her silence. She was holding back tears. That's just great. I made her cry.
"Well, this is going wonderfully." She laughed and wiped her face.
"Better than I thought it would, actually."
She turned to face me in the swing. "How about we play 20 questions? Its not like I know where to start anyway."
I shrugged, why not? Might unravel a few of my questions. "That depends on what happens when we reach the last question."
"Then you'll get 20 more tomorrow. That way you won't get overwhelmed. Sound good?"
I chuckled, but nodded my head. "Alright, Question one: Who's the chihuahua?" She stiffed a giggle.
I waited, hoping that she would elaborate. She didn't.
"And he's what, a jealous ex?"
"He wishes, but no. He's just a tag along."
"O.k. Question two: What do you eat?"
"That's actually question three. I drink blood, but I can eat anything." At least she was smiling now.
"People or animals?"
"Humans. Animal blood tastes awful. Totally gross." She had an adorable look on her face. I almost missed what she said.
"You kill people?" She looked confused.
"Not recently. At least not from feeding anyway."
"You turn people?" If she bit them, but didn't kill them they would turn. That's how it worked for the Cullens. She was laughing at me again. She must have finally caught onto my train of thought.
"We don't have venom like the Cullens, so we are able to feed from humans without killing them. From what my donors have told me, the experience is exceptional." A blush slowly crept into her cheeks. She quickly returned to staring at the stars.
"Uh huh. That's interesting." I filed that away for later. "Question four: How did Edward become a human again?" She grinned.
"That's your seventh question. I provoked him. He attacked me and drank my blood." I made s mental note to stop by the Cullen's and kill him. She shrugged her shoulders, "Our blood has healing properties. We think that has something to do with it."
"Does it work on humans?" That could be useful if we were ever able to get over the idea of drinking blood like a leech.
"It works very well on humans. It's effects depend on the amount they consume."
"It does more than just healing?"
"Quite. It revitalizes cells, making a person prettier, stronger, faster until the blood works it's way out of their system and if they die before that happens, they go through transition."
"Transition?" This was bizarre. Did they have anything other than blood drinking in common with the Cullens?
"Be careful, you are halfway through your questions already." She giggled and playfully nudged my shoulder. "When a person dies with vampire blood in their system, they are in transition. They must feed on human blood in order to complete it and become a vampire."
"You're counting all those little questions? But they all go together." I smiled down at her.
"I said 20 Questions, not 20 topics." She had a devilish grin on her face that was going to haunt my dreams.
"Alright, Question 11."
"12." There was that smirk again. She was definitely going to keep me on my toes.
"Where are you from?" This blanket was starting to make me hot. I dropped off my shoulders and it settled around my waist. She quickly looked back at the stars.
"A little place now called Mystic Falls in Virginia." She dropped her head to the back of the swing with a sigh.
"It was called something else?"
"Most places were at one time or another. The older names are mostly forgotten now though." She was momentarily lost in her thoughts. I paused hoping she would share them with me. She finally looked back at me waiting for the next question, smiling. She wasn't going to give me anything for free. I chuckled and rested my hands behind my head.
"Alright, next question: How long have you been a vampire?" She scoffed at my question.
"A very long time."
I let out a huff. "Thats not an answer." I wasn't letting her get away with that. She sighed.
"I was turned near the end of the tenth century." My hands dropped back to my side and I turned to face her with my eyes wide and mouth unconsciously open.
"Seriously?" Maybe I hadn't heard that correctly. "The tenth century?" She let a nervous laugh escape.
"Yes, seriously. I'm a little over a thousand years old. I knew you were going to freak out about that." She shook her head and twisted forward in the swing so that she wasn't facing me anymore. I furrowed my brow, confused. I slid over closer to her while trying not to topple the swing and nudged her shoulder.
"Hey, I'm not freaking out. I like older women." She let out another nervous chuckle and rested her head against my shoulder.
"Elijah been around that long too?"
I used my feet to set the swing I motion again. "Are you seeing anybody?" I tensed waiting for her to answer.
I smiled and swung my arm up around her shoulders. My wolf was practically prancing around inside me as she snuggled closer.
"How much do you know about us?" I kicked us off again.
"I've heard legends and I've met a group or two, but they are always so different. Their basic histories are the same though. They always came into existence as a response to a supernatural threat. With you guys, it was the Cold Ones. I learned about imprinting from a pride of lions in Africa a while back." Wow. I always thought there had to be more like us. The idea that they would be anything other than wolves never crossed my mind.
I took a deep breath. Those questions would have to wait until tomorrow. I had one very important question left to ask and I'd lost count of how many I had left. I wasn't about to waste a question to try and figure out how many there were. My palms were starting to get sweaty, giving away my nervous state.
"Are you going to accept the imprint?" I held my breath. If she didn't, my life would be over. I couldn't believe how fast I'd gone from a rational young man to an angst filled teenager. It was ridiculous.
"Rebekah," Elijah was calling for her from the back door, "Bella's on the phone for you."
She jumped up off of the swing. "Tell her I'll be there in a minute."
I let out the breath I was holding. The game must be over for tonight. Maybe she would answer it tomorrow. I stood, making sure to fasten the blanket around my hips to keep it from falling, and moved to go. She grabbed my arm to stop me.
"Yes." I slowly turned back. Her hand slid down my arm to find my hand, leaving a trail of fire in its wake. "I'll accept it. You've got one last question. What'll it be?" I was still celebrating her last answer. It was all I could think about. Looking down into her eyes, only one more question came to mind.
"May I kiss you?" She stood in front of me. I could see her eyes dilate further in the dark.
My heart skipped a beat as I took her face in my hands and brought my lips to hers. Lightening shot through my body, putting all of my senses on alert. My left hand slid into the hair at the nape of her neck while my right slid down to her back. A moan rumbled deep in her throat as I crushed her body to mine, her arms roaming up my chest to latch around my neck. When she deepened the kiss, I was lost, a muddle of overloaded senses.
"Rebekah, the telephone." Elijah brought us both back down to earth. I felt her slowly pull away, already missing her touch.
"Tomorrow?" She backed away towards to house.
"Tomorrow." I watched her disappear into the house before I unwrapped the blanket and shifted. I would get the bike in the morning. I took off towards the Rez with a huge grin plastered across my face.
A/N: Don't forget to let me know what you think!