What's this? Another chapter so quickly? Yeah, for some reason I actually had time to write and edit this weekend. Thanks again to beachcomberlc for her superb beta work. I'm sorry I didn't have time to respond to all the lovely reviews, but I'm so thrilled at the response this story is getting
I don't own Twilight. Unless you count the DVD's and books. I do own those.
Bella moves backward quickly, until she is pressed against the bookshelves, and everyone in the room is staring at her.
"Can you repeat that?" she asks, even though she knows she heard him correctly. In fact, she notices that she can hear things she couldn't before, like the sounds of leaves rustling on the trees outside and movement outside the house. Perhaps it's a small animal, she guesses.
"We're vampires, Bella, but not of the ordinary Dracula sense, though those do exist," Edward states as Bella's eyes grow wide with shock. What in the hell kind of world has she been pulled into, she wonders to herself as her hands grip the bookshelves so tightly that the wood beneath her fingers begin to crack.
"Edward, you don't need to cause her additional worry. I'm sure Bella is already anxious enough about the change that has just occurred. How about we take this one step at a time, alright?" Carlisle explains as Bella nods slowly, unable to get a grasp on her movements. Either they are far too fast or much too slow, there is no in between at the moment. "Edward is correct, we are vampires, Bella. We don't mean you any harm; please understand that at the very least."
"How about you start by giving me the basics? Where are we?"
"We haven't left Forks." Bella considers this for a moment, but as she looks out the window at the dense forest and sees minuscule snowflakes falling, she knows Carlisle is being honest with her.
"Alright then… who are you?" Bella requests as she points at Jasper, wanting him to go first.
"I'm Jasper Whitlock, ma'am," he says smoothly. "I was changed back in 1863 during the Civil War by some rather underhanded vampires who wanted me to train newborns, like you, to fight. I left them when I realized their intentions and traveled for a while until I found Alice waiting for me in Philadelphia." Jasper can't help the shy smile that crosses his face as he thinks about his mate.
"She's my mate and I'm sure she's dying, well not literally seeing as technically she's already dead, to meet you," Jasper chuckles at his own joke before he turns to Carlisle, giving him his chance to speak.
"As I already told you, I'm Dr. Carlisle Cullen and I'm the patriarch of this motley group of kids. I was changed back in 1663 while trying to trap a vampire in the streets of London, England. I couldn't return home and I tried to kill myself several different times because I didn't think I could handle this way of living, which is not an easy thing to do, by the way, but eventually I found a way to resist the temptation of human blood-"
"So wait," Bella interrupts, completely intrigued. "You don't eat humans? What do you eat then?"
"We like to consider ourselves vegetarians," Edward grins subtly.
"So broccoli, salads, nuts and berries…that kind of thing?" Bella asks, feeling rather dumb. She's never heard of a vegetarian vampire before, and she has a feeling that no one else has either.
"No…animals," Carlisle corrects. "Over my many centuries I've been able to develop a sort of immunity to the scent of human blood. It no longer appeals to my base vampire instincts. My entire family follows this way of life. If they didn't, they wouldn't be here with me."
"What about him… Edward?" Bella points at Edward, who raises his eyebrows in challenge. "What's his deal?"
"Me? I was changed by Carlisle in the early 1900's in Chicago where he was working as a doctor. I was dying of Spanish influenza and my mother begged him to spare my life by any means necessary. It was this line of thinking that caused me to change you. You wouldn't have made it otherwise and Tiny would be… she'd be motherless." Edward tries to gauge Bella's impression of everything she has just heard, but her face is still. She'd be excellent at poker, he thinks to himself as she turns to look at Carlisle once more.
"How many of them are you… are we?" Bella didn't want to associate herself with this…coven. Not yet anyways. She didn't intend to stay with them, but she also couldn't fathom being alone. What would she do with her daughter?
"Well, in our house there are seven, eight with you now."
"And how many of us are there in the world?" Maybe there was someone else out there, someone who wasn't responsible for her predicament that she could stay with, Bella thought to herself. After all, regardless of their vampirism, they seemed pretty…normal.
"Hundreds, if not more."
Bella slides down the floor, her back still against the hard edge of the bookshelves, as she pulls her knees to her chest. She's having trouble discerning fact from fiction, fantasy from reality. All of this seems like a surreal nightmare to her, but then she looks down at her flat stomach and knows it can't be a sham.
Her mind is awash of memories from the months prior to today; Bella's doubts about motherhood, her reluctance to inform the father about the baby and his subsequent refusal to be in their lives once she finally did reveal her precarious situation to him. "Where is my daughter?"
"She's up at the main house with the rest of the family. She's being very well-cared for."
"She's not lunch?" Bella whispers, struggling to come to grips with everything. How can they be vampires? How can she be one? This was the stuff of legends and badly acted out dramas on TV, not her own life. "I know you said that you are all vegetarians, but how does one just not crave blood anymore? Wouldn't being in such close proximity to it make things a little more difficult?"
"Actually, no one in the family finds Tiny tempting in the least. She is rather adorable with her chestnut brown hair, deep brown eyes and rosy cheeks though," Jasper adds. He can sense that Bella is beginning to grow more anxious, so he uses his powers to try and calm her, but he finds that it's not working. Her body is beginning to shake in frustration and her hands come from her sides as she leaps up.
"I don't appreciate that you call my daughter Tiny; that's not her name. I don't appreciate that Edward here was epically selfish when he decided to change me to be like you. I never asked for this and I certainly don't want it or any of you. This is such a fucking burden that you have placed on me. Oh joy, I get to live forever, but I am forced to be… this monster. You should have just let me die, instead of changing me so that you can continue to exist with a clear conscience," Bella pauses for a brief moment before she makes her way towards the door. All three sets of eyes following her every move. "Did you for one moment think I didn't want this?"
"No," Edward admits easily. "I thought you would want to be there for your daughter, regardless of how long it took until you were able to be near her scent."
"I didn't want her to begin with and neither did her father," Bella shouts loudly, her voice causing photos on the wall the shake. "Fuck all of you." Bella darts from the room and Edward gives chase as Carlisle and Jasper look at each other in surprise.
"Fucking newborns," Jasper mutters as he heads back to the main house, leaving Bella to Edward.