Charlie's transformation had been quicker than some, two days four hours and his heart stopped after its last beat. Peter and I stood watching from the doorway ready to intervene if he flipped out on opening his eyes. We'd seen it all, some were wild from the first, some were bewildered for a while then the blood lust kicked in, some were terrified of what they had become and attacked us as the closest thing. We had no way of telling which category Charlie fell into until he made his first move. He took a few deep breaths, something he hadn't been able to do in a while then sat up fast and opened his eyes. The red orbs burned into my skull as he looked at me then did the same to Peter.
He was one spooky mother! He sat there looking at me and I felt as if something were crawling around inside my skull, poking around in my memories looking for something. He stood up slowly and walked to The Major,
"I know you, I know your fears and I know your dreams."
He turned to me then,
"You too Peter Whitlock."
We stood unsure what he meant or intended doing when suddenly he jumped through the window, we were seconds behind him.
"What the fuck was that all about Major?"
"He's got a gift, something like Edward or me maybe"
"Oh great, a mind reading mood changer that's all we need. No one is messing around in my head"
"How are we going to stop him?"
"No fucking idea. We have to catch up with him first."
He was fast, very fast, but he was also new to the game and we outmanoeuvred him. The Major tackled him from behind and I took his feet landing in a tangled heap with Charlie snarling and snapping at us in his fury. He got his teeth fixed in my arm,
"Fuck that stings Charlie, let go."
I punched him on the jaw and he let go but a crescent of flesh hung loosely from my arm and I couldn't push it back he was struggling too hard.
"Charlie you need to calm down and hunt. You'll feel less confused and angry when your thirst is quenched." He stopped struggling,
"Right were going to let you up and I want you to stand still and listen. You'll know what to do when you hear it."
We got up cautiously and I fused the flap of flesh back into my arm as Charlie did as The Major had suggested. I heard the elk hearts at the same time Charlie did and he took off after them.
"You OK Peter?"
"Yeah I love being a newborn chew toy, fuck that hurt"
"Next time move faster"
"Next time? You get to do it on your own Major."
We followed in Charlies wake as he stalked the elk, not getting too close or he would see us as a threat to his prey. He took down the largest with grace and its drained body was flung into the undergrowth then he stood up and faced us.
"Sorry for biting you Peter. I don't know why I did that but I feel as if millions of ants are crawling around under my skin, edgy and confused, too much input for my brain"
"It will sort itself out Charlie, just give it time. Now the girls will be back soon. Do you think you can control yourself enough to see them? Remember Bella is part human, your Daughter."
"I know who Bella is, don't treat me like a fool. I'll be fine, I want to see her."
We walked back slowly, Charlie stopping every few paces, his senses overloaded with data from his vampire senses. As we got back to the cabin the girls pulled up and Bella got out, smiling but cautious.
He looked at her and we saw him swallow venom down but he stood his ground.
"Bells, you look good. Where have you been?"
"Shopping for you, new clothes, how are you feeling?"
He nodded and she approached trying to get to me but Charlie stepped between us still looking at her,
"You really are happy with Jasper aren't you, and happy to see me. I sense no fear in you at all, no desires except to be with him. That's good Bella"
He stepped aside and she ran to me, breathing deeply to settle herself against my chest. Charlie looked at Charlotte.
"You have regrets but life throws things at us and we can only go where it sends us. Peter is a good man, you made the right decision."
She looked at Charlie stunned,
"We have another gifted vampire in our coven."
Bella laughed at that,
"Well done Dad."
"Thanks but I have no idea how I'm doing that"
"You will, it just takes time, you're a kind of lie detector. You know what we really want or fear and that's useful."
He looked at me,
"I'm just sorry you won't get your greatest desire but being a vampire with a mate rules it out."
Bella turned to look into my face,
"What is it you desire Jazz?"
I looked at Charlie wishing he hadn't brought it up,
"I always wanted a son but Charlie knows I'll never have one. I have you and that's all I could ever wish for"
"I'm sorry Jazz".
"I'm not, he'd be shit as a Dad."
"Peter" Bella warned.
"Well he would, he's got no patience at all"
"Shut up before I rip your tongue out Captain"
"See, I rest my case."
"Only if I had a child as annoying as you and I think that's an impossibility Peter. I don't think anyone could be as annoying as you"
"I bloody well hope not, its taken me years to develop this depth of annoyance"
Charlie laughed at this and we all turned to look at him,
"I think I'm going to like my new family just fine."
I stretched out and took his hand,
"Welcome to the Whitlocks Charlie."