Thank you very much to The Walrus and the Carpenter for helping me Beta this document.

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Chapter 17 .- You did what?

We hear somebody approaching us; William puts me back on the floor, his hand never leaving mine. We turn and see that it's Edward.

"Well, looks like you finally came to an agreement." He smiles at both of us. "Unfortunately, we need to start moving in order to try to get ahead of the Volturi." His face falls with this last part.

"So, what is the final plan?" William asks as we move back toward the house.

"You guys are going to find your contact together with Nessie and Jacob." He looks back at us briefly. "Rosalie, Emmet, Tanya, Kate and Garret are going to look for the Mermaid coven. Each group will cover a different area where the legends are stronger and more recent. Our research indicated South Africa, Israel and New Zealand." He continues, "Carlisle was able to reach Siobhan, and they will cover Ireland and Scotland territory, which also have a lot of legends regarding mermaids. One shape shifter is going to meet them there to masquerade their minds." We reach a cabin that is near the river, and Edward stops walking, but continues talking, "Carlisle and Esme will track some Nomads in America, as will Eleazar and Carmen. Jasper and Alice are going to South America to reach the Amazonian and Nahuel to see if they know of any more vampires that we might need to be warned." He looks at the cabin door, his expression troubled. "Bella and I are going to Egypt to try to reach Amun´s coven." he sighs.

"What's wrong?" I ask, concerned to see his face fall.

"That's where Aro is starting. Alice is not certain if we are going to reach them in time, and according to her, Benjamin is a key player, so we need to be fast." His expression indicates that the odds are not good.

The door to the cabin opens, distracting me. I turn and see Bella coming out, a backpack hanging from her shoulders. She walks over to Edward and takes his hand. Her look is also troubled.

"I just wanted to ask you to please…" she says, her voice sad and broken.

"We will protect Nessie and keep her safe," I say, thinking this is probably the reason why Edward came to look for us.

"Thank you; she means everything to us and to the rest of the family," Bella says to us, and then looks at the big house that is standing at the other side of the river. The path still illuminated by the twinkling lights that were set up for the wedding.

I look at Bella; her face is preoccupied. I know she wants to be with her daughter, but in order to protect her from the future, she needs to warn the others.

"I know how much she means to you, Bella; it's one of your weaknesses, right?"

She smiles back at me and then at Edward.

"I swear I will protect Nessie and keep her safe." I look back at William. He is still alive because of their help; the least we can do is do is keep Nessie safe.

"Thank you, William and Maya." Edward looks at William. "Can you cross Maya to the other side? I know that Alice wants to give her some final instructions, and I would like to ask you for a personal favor."

"Of course." William pulls me up in his arms and effortlessly makes the jump, bringing me down gently to the floor and giving me a quick kiss on the cheek, "I´ll catch up with you."

I nod and watch as William jumps the river, before I run towards the house. As soon as I enter the house I realize the teams have either left or are about to leave. Rosalie is at the back of the house hugging Nessie, a look of despair on her face, with Emmett behind her caressing Rosalie's back. Carlisle and Esme are handing some car keys to Carmen and Eleazar.

"Up here, Maya." I hear Alice's voice from the upper floor.

I run up the staircase and enter her room, to find her closing some backpacks. She looks up at me and gives me a smile.

"This is yours." She points to the backpack that is next to the one that she just closed. It leaves me speechless; the backpack is probably as tall as I am. "There is a change of clothes already set in your room." She stands up and gives me a hug. "Maya," she whispers in my ear; I can hardly make the words out, "remember, the future is not set in stone. Whatever happens, don´t lose yourself. You know who you are and who you love." She stops hugging me and looks straight into my eyes.

Yeah…. I didn´t understand a word of what she just said to me, but I nod, and she laughs a little "Take care of our family." Her eyes try to reveal much more than what I am currently capable of understanding. The only part I'm able to make any sense of was the taking care of her family. It is clear that this means Nessie.

"I will," I say, trying to smile at her.

"Oh and by the way…" She lifts the backpack and hands it to me. I take it with my uncovered hand, which briefly touches hers, and I see quick and incoherent flashes of faces belonging to vampires that I am certain I have never met. I look back at her terrified; she smiles at me, completely ignoring what just happened.

Did she do it on purpose?

"Try to enjoy the button up shirts and the jeans, they will look great on you." She winks at me and looks expectantly at the door of her room. Jasper enters the room, and extends his hand to Alice.

"Ready?" he asks her; the words have not even left his mouth before she is already nodding.

It seems they also need to start moving.

"Good Luck," I say to both of them before they leave the room. Jasper turns and looks back at me.

"You too," he says and gives me a small nod.

Alice winks and smiles at me, but the smile doesn´t reach her eyes.

I grab the backpack and head towards the room that Esme originally appointed for William and me.

So much has happened in the last day; running for our lives, meeting the Cullens, attending a wedding, and once again back on the run. What is the future storing for us? And … what did Alice mean with that cryptic message? I know she purposely wanted me to touch her hand, but for what point?

I stop and close my eyes, remembering the faces she showed me. Looking into the future, I try to replicate her ability, but I am not able to do it. It seems it isn't something that can be learned, but rather born with; a sixth sense. Plus, the touch was so brief; in that moment Alice was focusing on faces that are now imbedded on my mind.

I enter the room and close the door behind me. I drop the backpack on the floor and say bye to the beautiful dress. It seems like it is time for us to get on the road.

I walk to the mirror to catch one last glimpse of the dress, but before I can reach it, William intercepts me. I don't realize he was already in the room. I didn´t hear him come up the staircase.

I look at him; he's already taken his tuxedo off and is wearing a pair of jeans and no shirt. Considering my height, I get a very good look of his torso, which is muscular—having a front road seat to see and understand what a six-pack really looks like. I look up to his face, and he is smiling, but before I can do anything else.

Feeling intimidated by his height, and well … his playful attitude, I walk backwards and hit my back against the door of the room. His body is close to mine, his scent overpowers me, and before I can even react, his hands are on my face. He moves closer and starts kissing me passionately. I am no longer aware of anything, or of what I was about to do; all that matter is him and I.

I put my arms around his neck, and his hands move from my face to my waste, before he lifts me up, making it easier for me to reach his lips. I wrap my legs around his torso and bring his face closer to mine—if that is even possible. One of his hands finds its way to my thigh and starts caressing it, sending sparks through me and making my other leg jealous for being neglected.

He stops suddenly, pulling his head as far away from mine as possible, though his eyes continue looking into mine. His breathing is becoming ragged as well. "This is how it should have ended in the cabin six years ago," he says smiling.

I remember that moment, when he had me against the door, his nose trailing up and down my cheek, and wishing it would never end.

"And why does it need to end there?" I say, trying to recover some rational thought from this new overpowering feeling.

"Well…" he chuckles and puts me down, "because if it doesn't, we won´t be able to go out in a long while." He touches my face. "And we need to get on the road, soon."

Reality sinks in; I close my eyes. Somehow that brief moment actually made me forget everything we have ahead of us. I pull my head back and bang it against the door.

"Darn it!" I open my eyes and see him smiling back at me, his face expressing the same desire that I am feeling.

"Don´t worry, once this is over, we will have a long time ahead of us," he says, putting on a brave smile.

"Then don´t do this to me. You're just giving me ideas," I say, completely frustrated.

"Good, you agree then, because this is the most passionate moment we get to have in a while." He is actually laughing a little bit, and my mouth drops. I look at him full of disbelief. "I promised Edward we would behave for the sake of the ´kids´"

"You did what!?"

He chuckles and backs away from me.

One hundred and fifty years hoping to get a glimpse of passion and romance and all I get are two measly little kisses. I don´t think so!

"Oh no! If this is the most passionate moment we get to have in a while, I am stretching it as long as I can." I run to the bed and climb it. There's a shirt on top of it, and I do the quick math: one shirtless William, one shirt on the bed, equals William´s shirt. I manage to reach for it before him, then turn around and try to run from him, and have an excuse to blackmail him for it, but before I reach the other side he is already there waiting for me.

I stop before I run into him; he reaches out and holds me down from my waist. I let him pull me towards him, and stretch my arm high holding the shirt so that he can´t reach it.

"Maya," He puts a serious tone in his voice, but I can hear a tinge of amusement in it, "can you please give me the shirt?"

"You´ll have to earn it." I flash him a playful smile and enjoy seeing the effect of my words on him.

"Oh really?" He raises his eyebrows. "What exactly is the price?"

"I still have to decide." I lean my head closer to him, but he releases his hold of me and starts backing away.

"Well, since you haven´t determined the price, I´ll wait for you over there while I finish getting dressed."

I turn and see another shit in the corner of the room, which is bigger than the one that I am holding. I realize that the shirt in my hand is mine, and it seems that I just made a complete ass of myself.

I don´t even try to make a run for it; he already has a head start and knows my plan by now.

I slump down on the bed, disappointed. I let go of the shirt, take off my shoes, and grab the jeans, that were next to the shirt, and put them on—beneath the dress. I´ve never worn this kind of stretch jeans before—which don´t slide as easily as the pants that I am used to wearing. I manage to button them; which, actually brings a smile to my face, considering I am finally able to do this activity. I pull the shirt closer to me and work on the zipper of the dress, but I am not able to reach it. I stand up on the bed hoping the position helps me, but nothing.

"Hummm … William?" I turn and look at him; he has his shirt on, but hasn´t button it up yet, still revealing part of his wonderful, hot torso. A picture forms in my mind of my hand moving through it, feeling the warmth of his body against mine….

That is so not fair.

I pull my eyes away from the wonderful distraction and remember what I was going to ask. "I need your help."

He looks up, a doubtful expression on his face.

"We need to get on the go, Maya." He stands up, his hand going to the first button of the shirt….

Nooooo!

"I know that, but I can´t reach the darn zipper."

He has uncertainty on his face; he is probably thinking that I am tricking him.

I turn around and show him my current dilemma; I even stretch my arm so that he is aware that I am not lying.

He is thoughtful for a moment; having an internal struggle.

"I know you´ve told me I shouldn´t wear anything that I can´t take off or put on, but I didn´t chose this dress." I could probably rip it off now, but I´ve gotten rather attached to it, so I don´t want to damage it. "And it´s borrowed," I put in for good measure.

In the past we´ve gotten in some heated discussions. I wanted to wear more fashionable clothes, but he has been reluctant to help me get dressed, so I have been wearing baggy clothes all the time that we´ve been together.

I turn around, and he is still rooted into position.

"Please? You just said we needed to get on the move."

He gives me a small nod and walks to where I am located. I turn around and pull my hair to one side, to give him a better access to the zipper, and come to think of it, to avoid getting my hair caught in it.

I feel his fingers gently touching the dress, and holding the higher part of if, his other hand pulls the zipper down. The fingers that are holding the top of the dress touch my skin, and I feel an electric pulse go through my system. I have to use every inch of my self-control to not lose it.

When William is done with the zipper, the dress is still in place. I was hoping it would come lose once it was undone. "Hold still, I have to undo a hook." He sighs; I feel his warm breath at the back of my neck, which sends shivers down my spine, and I bite my lip to avoid moaning.

His hands work on the hook touching my back, sending an electric pulse once again. He leaves his hand there, the warm of it starts spreading on my back, the dress finally comes lose; I bring my arm up to hold it from falling.

His hand leaves my back, but only to slip below the dress around my waist, bringing me close to him. My bare back is against his bare chest as his lips press to my shoulder, moving their way up along my neck, to my cheek, and to the temple of my forehead, then back down, staying at my earlobe.

I can´t take it anymore; I turn around, and finding his lips, I kiss him back,. I try to put my arms around his neck, taking advantage of standing on the bed, and having his lips within my reach, but the one shoulder sleeve doesn´t . I free my arm from it, trying to hold it with my other hand, as I continue kissing him. I am usually good at multitasking, but honestly, my mind is more concentrated on his lips than on the dress, so … it falls. I don´t care; my hands are finally free to go around his neck and get closer to him.

"Maya … where is your shirt?" he manages to say, between kissing me.

"Who cares," I answer back, in between kisses.

His arms leave my body and I feel him move, then, after a short while, I feel something on top of me. He unlinks one of my arms and directs it in one direction, then guides the other in the opposite direction, all this while we are still kissing.

He pulls his head away as his hands close the shirt—that I now realize coherently I am still wearing….

Who knew he was good at multitasking?

He smiles, and I can see his breathing is as ragged as mine.

"If you wanted my shirt, you should have just asked, and we could have avoided all this show."

He chuckles and brings his face closer to mine, his forehead touching mine, but he is careful that his lips don´t go near mine. I feel his breathing more even now."How about we drop the shirt and continue with the show?"

I pull away and give him the most mischievous look I have.

He laughs and starts pulling away….

Darn it!

I look down at the shirt and realize that he's somehow managed to close a couple of buttons on; which, actually are not in the correct order, but I have to give him points for at least being able to close more than one.

"You know what…" I look down at the shirt, bringing my arms downs as the cloth of it covers my arm and hands completely—it's obviously too long for me. "My bad. It doesn´t fit right." I look up at him; he's shaking his head. "You want it back?" I start unbuttoning it, and he quickly turns around.

Oh Nuts!

He backs away from me and heads towards his backpack.

"I´ll think I can find another one." He laughs as he opens it.

I look down at my feet; the dress is at my feet on top of the bed. I kick it. "For the record, I don´t think this shirt, or any shirt for that matter, looks right on you," I say while bending down and picking up the one that is mine.

"You´ve never complained in the past," I hear him at my back.

I unbutton William's shirt, taking it off quickly and pulling mine on.

"Well, I don´t recall seeing your chest and abdomen before." I can´t help from smiling at the memory as I button the new shirt on. "And they are top notch, for your information."

I look around at the edge of the bed for some kind of shoes that Alice might have left for me to use. Right next to the night stand there are a couple of boots with heels. They're not as tall as the previous shoes, but they are most certainly not flats. On top of in the nightstand there are a couple of black gloves—much nicer than the ones that I was wearing when we arrived.

I put the boots and gloves on, then get off the bed, pick the dress up and lay it down nicely on top of the bed. I pick William´s shirt up and walk towards him. He is already fully dressed, closing his backpack.

"Here, don´t forget to pack your shirt."

He turns and smiles at me, and without a word, packs it in the backpack.

"Seems that we are set then," I say sadly, knowing our time together is ending. I walk to where my backpack is located, and am about to grab it, but William reaches it first. "William, you should let me carry something." I turn and see has both backpacks set on his back, as his eyes look me up and down.

"Where did you get those clothes?" He looks surprised.

I look down at what I am wearing; a pair of jeans, which I believe they call stretch fit, a flannel shirt and a pair of boots. "Do they look bad?" I walk towards the nearest mirror and realize that the shirt is tight on my body, marking my waist. The jeans, being stretch, mark the shape of my hips and legs, and the boots help me look taller. My hair is still as Alice styled it for the wedding, and I am still wearing makeup. You can easily see this outfit on any girl in the street, and I don´t understand what is wrong with it.

"No, actually you look … top notch, for your information." He smiles, moving closer to me.

"Still Alice's fault." I look at my reflection in the mirror, and see William in the background. He puts his arm around my neck and gives me a kiss on the top of the head.

"I already told you, it's your fault," he says gently, while sniffing my hair and sighing. "It has always been you."

I look at his face through the mirror.

"Are you sure it's not the makeup, the clothes and the hair?"

He rolls his eyes. "You´ve been in my mind, you tell me." His thumb goes up and down my cheek, his eyes looking back at me through the mirror.

I find myself holding my breath, seeing ourselves as a couple. I like the image I am seeing.

A knock on the door suddenly breaks the spell.

"Hey, guys, don´t mean to rush you, but we need to start moving." Jacob´s voice comes through the door.

"We'll be down in a minute. Maya is having trouble deciding which shirt to wear."

I can´t believe he just said that. I turn around and look at him; he puts his finger on my lips.

"Women." Jacob is not too subtle about being annoyed as we hear him going down stairs.

William pulls me close to him and gives me a quick kiss on the lips.

"You are making it really hard for me to want to leave this room," I say as soon as his lips part mine.

"Well, I was thinking that for the sake of the kids we need to be discreet, but they have to sleep at some point, right?"

When I see his devilish look and understanding where he is going, my hopes start to raise.

"But we can´t be too far away from Jacob," he continues, bringing my hopes down. He sighs and I see a new plan forming in his head. "Well, what I meant with discreet is more in the lines of courtship, old time style, not whatever they have going on in modern times."

Okay it seems I did not understand his original plan.

"Really? That's what you want?" I say, not convinced with the idea.

"Well it's not what I really want, trust me. However, it's what we might be able to get by, under the current circumstances. The other choice is our previous arrangement." I look at him, and I know my face is full of horror; he laughs. "Honestly, I don´t think that I can go back there, now that I finally know what it feels like to kiss you and hold you in my arms, even to hold your hand. Because of that, I am willing to wait for all this to pass by, and finally be able to be with you down the road."

"Argh! it´s not fair." I cross my arms and pout my lips.

"Nobody said that life was fair. But let's think of this courtship like foreplay." He brings me closer to him.

"Longest foreplay ever, if you ask me," I say beneath my breath, which actually makes him laugh aloud.

"Come on, Maya, let's go." He gets a hold of my hand and brings it to his lips.

I start walking towards the door, but William pulls me back and brings me close to him again. I turn to face him, and he bends down and moves close to my ear. "I love you, Maya." He puts his arms around me and lifts me up. Reaching for my lips, he kisses them gently. "Now we should go."

I smile at him; he puts me down on the floor and gets a hold of my hand once again.

I am a vampire, which means our kind is hard to kill, but I am certain either the Volturi are going to kill me, or this so call ´courtship´ is.

Why did William promise we would behave for the sake of the kids?

Yep, there is a better chance of that being the reason for how I die.

I hope you like the chapter.

I have great plans for the story and reading your wonderful reviews just make my day.

I don´t know if I´ll be able to update in two weeks, I´ll be out on vacations and the internet connection is going to be limited.

:(

But to compesate my lack of updates for the next two weeks, on January I´ll be posting a story that occurs before Solstice that explains a little of William and Ivan´s backstory.

The story is called "Red Moon"... you can log on Fandom for Mexico Blogspot (I can´t attach the link to the webpage sorry!)

Next year I will be posting Red Moon which is now complete and I´ll start working on the background story of Maya as well (Bright Moon) .

I wish you all a Merry Christmas (Felíz Navidad) and a Happy New Year (Feliz Año Nuevo).

:) Regards...Cristy.