I find myself lost in memories that should no longer have any purchase in my mind, thoughts and feelings I was so sure I would never ever have a slither of hope of retrieving-so lost were they, in my immortality and buried with my human youth that the notion that they would be born into my mind again scared me.
I was terrified of the little glimpses into the child I had been-not that I was a frightful child…no, but that, I was… at my purest, my most gracious…
When I was truly seventeen, and the war was upon us and chivalry and bravery were the most valued treasures to men-the world had seemed immense. So vast, so undiscovered and beautiful to my young mortal mind that I was so sure I could lose myself in it. I could drown myself in the seas and awake in Atlantis, that on my way to the fabled city I would swim with mermaids and see lost treasures. I could cross the oceans and find myself harbored on the beaches with a massive wall of trees daring me to enter uncharted lands. Jungles and vines, monkeys and snakes… and there I would be, slashing and hacking my way to the centre… to the heart of the dark woods, to its ruby jewel-through the lions and natives, through the witches and wizards…
And that was how I had died.
And of course, in my rebirth, I had realized that I could actually do all those things, go to all those places and drown in all those waters. I could fight the lions, I could court the mermaids and the moment it had all become tangible was the moment my innocent excitement had died and I had fallen to reality so miserably and willingly.
So miserably and willingly, had I accepted the burn of my human self dying and opened my eyes to immortal adventures. So utterly miserable… and willing…
"Boy" the sound of my voice scares me, it grates and grinds the air. It scares him too, he whips his head up, his thick dark hair falling over his face like a brides veil but I can see his terrified enraged brown eyes. He is on the floor, on his knees with his arms shackled away from his body into the air. Any normal human would have suffered from the position, cried and groaned and begged through it… but he was no human even if his heart willed us to believe otherwise, even if his bruises begged us to believe in the sight… he would persevere through the pain. He could go to other heights in this pain… and he would, he was in Volterra and we were desperate. I was desperate, and desperation… can turn souls dark, and where there are no souls there can only be a void of pure unfeeling lamentation of light long gone.
"I am not part of Joham's plan!" Nahuel cries. "I have nothing to do with it, I care nothing for it… I know nothing!"
"He is telling the truth" I tell Jane and Nahuel sighs, a little glimmer of hope welling inside him at that statement. Jane sees this hope and grins, this is what she feeds off of course… rays of sun and trust (only because she is lacking in them).
"That doesn't mean Joham wont be upset his only male heir has been kidnapped" Jane droned and Nahuel groaned in despair.
"Joham and I have no relationship!" Nahuel's cried "I wanted nothing to do with him then and I still feel that way! What ever ploys and plans he has… I don't know off. I don't contact him and he does not contact me!"
"It doesn't mean he does not know what you are up to" Jane said, looking over to me knowingly, grinning her small sadistic smile "A father always knows when his child is in anguish, when his child is up to no good or in the path of bad intentions… eh, Edward?"
"How true that is, sweet Jane" I rasped, my thoughts terrifying me more than her own on the knowledge of Aro's suspicions of me. "And a child is always more terrified of the anticipation of a father's wrath more so than the wrath itself"
I wonder sometimes if things would have been different if Joham did not have those great beasts, if he did not know how to manipulate them as he did. We would have found him, Aro would have what he wants and Caius…
I am still in shock at how sweet Aro's tongue can be; to convince Caius of his plans and intentions. To convince even an indifferent Marcus of the need the Votluri had in the face of such insolence, to ensure their guard was at its peak and they had their own methods to protect the world they had founded.
To convince both immortal ancients that a female hybrid was what they wanted, was what the Elite Guard should invest their time in finding. Of course, Joham had no interest in Nahuel save for the half vampire's venom laced blood… and even then, there was nothing magnificent about it; Nahuel's blood was bitter because of the venom. He was neither a savory nor a use in creating the perfect bridge into humanity and vampirism…
But a female, that was something entirely different.
"Did you get anything from his mind, save for his pleas and worries?" Aro sighed. His back was to me, long gone was his fascination for me in the face of this new obsession-half human vampires that were kept from him by Joham.
"He had made contact with a sister of his once" I told Aro "He does not know where she is and he is more certain that Joham has her under her care… he truly hopes that is the case because well… he believes Joham will keep her safe. All his sister's safe"
Once again, Aro's mind swirls with anger at the realization that Joham's own forces are rivaling his… and that as time moves by, Joham will be stronger than the Volturi. He thinks about it again, that dreaded thought of his that has ensured he let me be with my feeding of rats and cats…
Could he talk me into creating his own half vampires soon, he wonders? So certain was he that I had control, that rivaled Carlisle, that he was holding it all off until the need for that seemed the only answer to his predicament. He was not yet so desperate as to entertain the thought of kidnapping Carlisle and forcing him to do this for him… and I was thankful that there was a glimmer of loyalty to Carlisle from Aro, no matter how feeble.
"I need a female" Aro sighed. "A male is pointless save to create weaker hybrids with a female human"
I want to tell him they are not dogs, we are not creating the perfect Labrador here…. But Jane is standing by Aro's side, his favorite once more and she is bitter about how I coddled her feelings and then left them to hang with nothing but sparse kisses to remember me by. I am no match for her own strengths if she did decide to force the matter like she had once, on my first arrival… but there are certain courtesies that the Elite Guard has to adhere by, has to respect.
"This crusade, is turning into a decade affair" I say and he turns around smiling.
"If I get a female, then it would be over" he sighs. "For a year… and then after, you will go and find me werewolves, Edward"
"Find you werewolves?" I kept my voice neutral "You sent them to extinction? Where am I supposed to find them… under a rock?"
"If I sent them to extinction then how is it that Joham has them?!" he hissed. "And how is it that they are now able to be aggravated into turning without the fucking moon?!"
"He has a collar wired around their necks…" I murmur quickly and Aro rolls his eyes and snorts derisively.
"Maybe I should put a collar around your neck!"
"It is already there!" I couldn't stop myself and too late, I see Jane's satisfied grin. It has been a while since I felt her gaze, Aro says nothing to stop her and I am on one of my mortal an adventures… but today, I am heading to hell.
"Jane, my sweet" Aro murmurs while I retch and gasp on the floor "Who is in South America as present?"
"Felix and Demetri with four guards" Jane whispers, never releasing me.
"Tell them to contact the boy's Aunt… give her a message that if she can bring to me a female, she can have her sister's spawn back"
"But the half breed females are thought to be… with Joham…?" Jane murmurs, releasing me.
"As much as Joham is a scientist…." Aro sighed "He is father and we can only hope that science does not win over morality in that regard. We can only hope that Huilen's loneliness will trump her pride and she will go to her nephew's father for assistance on the matter. How else, can I lure him back here without his dogs…"
There wasn't much hope for ever finding him, bringing him back to me… or so I kept telling my self.
I had to tell myself this because wasn't it obvious that Edward remaining there would ensure that we could all be safe? It was, was it not.. and yet I found myself wading in dangerous thoughts, comparing myself to another father who allowed his son to sacrifice himself for the greater good of innocent souls. And here we were, the holy trinity with out Jesus gone on a cross to Volterra.
Here we were in partial state of bliss, with each day that we moved and breathed and lived, a day we wondered if he too was alive as we were. As dead and damned and eternal, as we were…
"You are thinking about him" Leah sighed, resting her head between my neck and shoulder, the heat of her already working me up.
"Yes" I sighed "More and more each day…"
"You said she reminded you of him" Leah murmured, her legs stretching out on either side of me, and her body held firm against my back as she hugged me and engulfed me in heat. She kissed the back of my neck and I shuddered before she nudged the spot there.
"Jasper said it…" I said. "And then I realized how right he was… she is filling in the angst and melancholy that Edward would bring"
"She is moody" Leah sighed "Like a teenager, that is all… I was moody, hell… I was down right unbearable…"
"She thinks too much" I sighed.
"She is half vampire… you forget that constantly" Leah chuckled squeezing me strongly, gently.
"That's all I can think about"
"Then you think about it too much" Leah sighed "Let her be… let her argue with Seth and Jake, let her find Bart amusing and let her fight with Alice about clothes. She is bored, a half vampire Quileute who has only lived a few years and suddenly, wham… period… and then you decide to go and give her a talk on it? Horrific, simply horrific Carlisle…!"
"I am a doctor" I was tempted to sulk, something Leah brought out of me… little childlike nuances. I was over three hundred years old… "Who better than a doctor to talk to about such things?"
"Her mother" Leah said dryly.
"Doctor Cullen, normally with home schooled children we don't get these kind of… problems" Mr Finnigan, the headmaster says slowly-so obviously staring from my pale face to Olivia's sulking beautiful one "Normally, the home schooled kids get bullied…"
"I understand" I forced a smile.
"She sprayed ink all over his face… ink…?" Mr Finnegan looked at Olivia warily, as though he thought she was about to spray ink on his face too.
"It was an accident" Olivia murmured and I shushed her, ignoring her disdained look…. That made her look very much like Leah. "He said Bart and I were in an incestuous relationship, and I snapped the pen. His face was collateral… what could I do?"
"You have a enough sense to ignore that, Livia!" I whispered and she shrugged her shoulders indifferently.
"I understand the adjusting may be.. difficult, but it has been close to a year since she has been here Doctor Cullen…" Mr Finnegan sighed, rising up "But I trust that you will speak with her?"
Maybe I shouldn't have talked to her about tampons and pads…
"You want to tell me the truth?" I asked her and she folded her arms petulantly over her chest, lower lip jutting out. "I'll take that as a no, but do you want to tell your mother at least?"
"Okay, how about Jacob… you like talking to Jake and Seth?"
"What is it Olivia?" I sighed, stopping the car at the entrance of the long winding driveway.
"I don't know" she said truthfully, looking up at me with cobalt eyes. She had grown considerably since she had started school but thankfully her growth had not been so obviously supernatural. She was startlingly beautiful but she didn't care for it much to the irritation of Rosalie and Alice. She had those large eyes and thick eyelashes of Leah's and my old mortal blue eyes… she was breathtaking, if only she would smile more…
"I just feel… sad" she whispered looking at her hands "Sometimes, it just comes to me. Like I am missing something terribly… something inside of me, a prominent piece… and its such a violent feeling, Daddy. I want to throw stuff and yell… and then at other times I feel scared. I feel like at any moment something is going to get me…"
"How long have you been feeling like this?" I asked her.
"Since I was a child"
"Since you were a child!?" I guffawed staring at her in disbelief. "And you said nothing?"
She shrugged her shoulders and stared out to the forest wistfully.
"I used to have dreams too" she sighed "But they stopped. I feel like… there is a part of me… somewhere far away… and that part of me, it's in a cold room… or a frozen hell. Being tortured over and over again and its just crying out to me and I am here…"
She looked up at me when I didn't answer, I had simply been watching my young daughter in her pre-womanly beauty feeling pain that was only ever known and understood by ancient isolated soulless beings… I blinked quickly, unable to arrange my face into something comforting and instead held by the shock of her words that seemed to echo a feeling I once had, so long ago… before her mother…
"Do you know a feeling like that, Daddy?" she asked softly, her eyes haunting in their misery "Such sadness…?"
"I… used to" I admitted, my voice hoarse. "Maybe you need… more company…?"
"I wish there was someone like me" she said and then chuckled lightly "Maybe I need a little sister?"
"Kidding Dad, Jake and Sethie are about as much immaturity that I can handle right now" she fell back in her seat theatrically "Maybe I will go and see Jake in town. I wonder if Seth is back… I hate it when they fight…"
"Do you know what they fight about?"
"Nope, but I think mum has a clue…" Olivia sighed. "Can I jump out here?"
"Sure" I smiled at her, wishing Leah hadn't given her so much freedom with her hair-she used the dark mass of silk to curtain herself from the world. She chucked her bag in the back seat of the Mercedes and closed the door carefully, giving me one wistful grin before zooming into the forest.
"You are pushing me away, Seth" Jacob insisted. He was flinging clothes off his couch quickly, chucking them into a corner and trying to create a semi neatness to the apartment. "What the hell is it, because it sure as hell isn't about the double date… and if it is, that was last fucking year! I don't know why you are still pissed about that!"
"I am not" Seth said truthfully, sighing heavily.
"Then… what the fuck?" Jacob sighed, throwing his bundled clothes with too much force into a corner before rounding on Seth "You don't want to hang out, if I make a plan for us to hang out… that's an issue… I have this apartment and you want nothing to do with it…"
"I don't think we should be living together…" Seth whispered.
"Why?" Jake took a step forward and Seth hesitated, rethinking his little stop in Alaska. Wondering if he should have just carried on North… the run was to clear his mind, not abuse his heart. "You are like my brother, Seth… you and I are brother's. Quil is busy with Clair, Embry… well, he has his mom to deal with and everyone else is in imprint heaven…"
"Jake it isn't so simple…"
"Why?" he insisted, taking another step. They couldn't hear the soft knock behind them, the little huff of impatience behind the door.
"Jake…" Seth whispered, unable to look away from Jacob's determined gaze, drowning and suffocating in his own emotions. His ears thundering with the sound of his own heart beat, his face tingling with each wisp of Jacob's frustrated breathing.
"Just fucking tell me…!" Jacob growled and Seth lost his understanding, he lost his tormenting control. With one quick lurch, he had met Jacob's still moving lips and the door to the small two bedroom apartment was opened with a soft preternatural nudge that left the lock bouncing on the floor.
He held Jacob there, vaguely aware that he hadn't been flung off by Jacob and sent through the wall to crash into the neighboring apartment… vaguely aware that Jacob's anger and frustration had disappeared and the taller man was standing in his arms, bewildered and terrified for a change instead of him.
"Uhh..." she squeaked and that was when Jacob pushed him away violently, Seth stumbling backward and only barely managing to find his footing. With one violent wipe over his mouth with the back of his hand, Jacob looked at Seth in disbelief and something so ashamed that Seth couldn't afford to hold Jacob's gaze without falling in to the realization of what he had just cost himself.
"Olivia!" Jacob cried, smiling widely, manically.
"I wanted to come over and talk to you about this one time when I was a child and I woke up because of a dream I had about the moon but I can come back another time, no problem!" Olivia said in one rapid breath, leaving Seth and Jacob reeling from the vampire speed in which she delivered her sentence.
"Continue…!" Olivia made a grand gesture with her hand, twirling it in the air before backing away towards the door.
"No, no…Olivia…"Seth whispered, swallowing "Come back… wait… there was nothing… I was telling Jacob something…"
"And then he… err… fell…" Jacob tried.
"On your mouth?" Olivia asked, raising an eyebrow. They both remained silent then, looking away from each other and avoiding Olivia's wide shocked and mildly amused gaze.
"I'll leave" Seth said eventually, grabbing his jacket "I wasn't going to stay long either way, I just came to say… hi"
"Hi" Jacob murmured, staring at Seth's shoes instead of meeting his confused gaze.
"Hi" Olivia chirped.
"Err… hi" Seth sighed leaving. "I'll… see you two in La Push then?"
"Us two…?" Olivia frowned.
"Oh, yeah… Sam, he acknowledges you as a Quileute… finally, now that he knows you don't drink blood" Seth said softly, before shutting the door with such resounding finality.
"Haha" Jacob breathed, rubbing the back of his head "Well, what a sight…"
"For sore eyes" Olivia murmured, sitting down on the couch "You want to talk about it?"
"About… what? Your Uncle and I… I told you…":
"He fell and your mouth caught his mouth and saved his freefall?" Olivia smiled "I cant say I am surprised… I'm more surprised you didn't see it. Mum saw it, I know she did… if Seth didn't tell her"
"Tell her what?" Jacob frowned "There is nothing for Seth to tell… he is just… confused. All this imprinting and then him and I haven't imprinted…"
"You two spend a lot of time together" Olivia murmured. "Maybe you have imprinted on each other"
"Imprinting doesn't work that way, Ollie" Jacob sighed, plopping down next to Olivia, his heart still recovering and mouth still… tingling. "He is just confused… about something"
"You mean you are confused?" Olivia asked.
"What was it you wanted to talk about?" Jacob said gruffly.
"Remember the nightmares I used to have as a kid?" Olivia said.
"Oh, when you were a kid, man… that was so long ago, what was it… last year…?" Jacob chuckled.
"Whatever, but you remember I used to have them all the time right…?"
"I stopped" Olivia said.
"You sound disappointed by that?" Jacob asked.
"Those nightmares…" Olivia sighed, trying to call on one of them, but they were like all dreams do with time, faded and dying. "…it felt like they were my gateway into another world. And now that I don't have them, I feel like that world has exploded… I feel anxious, like I don't know what is going on… is that world still in war or has it succumbed to the evil it was in?"
"You need to concentrate on your math homework" Jacob muttered "Trying to cross worlds through nightmares… Ollie, seriously?"
"School is pointless for me" Olivia grumbled, folding her arms over her chest defensively "It's frustrating and humans are cruel… very cruel… if it wasn't for Bart I would have quit a long time ago. I have to keep him safe"
"You don't have to keep Bart safe" Jacob sighed.
"I do!" Olivia insisted. "No one gets him… but me… and he gets me too"
"He doesn't get you" Jacob sighed again, rolling his eyes "He just leaves you to your thoughts… because he doesn't actually care or understand them!"
"That is getting me!" Olivia breathed. "Jake, you don't understand Seth because he is different… because he does and feels things differently. That's what makes Seth and I the same… everyone else cant ever know or begin to comprehend why we are the way we are because they aren't us. They aren't the only one of their kind… the only one in a group of people-immortal or otherwise, who is unique. He is the only one in the pack, who has never had a girlfriend …"
"Embry's never had a girlfriend…" Jacob muttered "Quil too"
"Only because they have reason not to have a girlfriend… Quil has Claire and Embry is over working himself with his mother… you told me this, Jake!" Olivia said.
"Could you act less… mature" Jacob grumbled covering his eyes and trying to banish Seth's hypnotic gaze staring through him "Could you like Hannah Montana and have a crush on some poor boy?"
"Why does the boy have to be 'poor' for me to crush on him?"
"He'll have to put up with me, Emmett, Jasper and… err, Seth, now wont he?" Jacob looked at Olivia from the corner of his eye. She sulked, her full lips pressed together and eyes an odd whitish blue in the light. He thought, for a second, that no one would ever be good enough to him for her…
"Why are you smiling?" Olivia asked.
"Only because you are so beautiful" Jacob chuckled and Olivia rolled her eyes. "Except when you do that, roll your eyes… you look like Leah"
"My mother is gorgeous"
"You are kind of biased kid"
"She bagged an ethereal beautiful vampire?" Olivia grinned. "She must have something working for her"
"We are still undecided on whether Carlisle was raped or coerced into sex" Jacob muttered.
Okay, establishing Olivia Cullen as a character was surprisingly hard. Little poor rich girl syndrome..lol! Actually, I do think she would have a bit of that as well as being bored out of her mind as a being with unlimited energy sort of stuck in 'normal teen mode'.
If you are cheering on for team JacobSeth, please… please… don't get to invested.