Carrying the Torch

Chapter 4

Summary: Third in the Light vs Dark trilogy, we find Bella fully restored and in her rightful place at Edward's side - his partner in all things, finally. However, the forces of darkness are not through with them yet. What horrors do the Thule yet have in store for the Keepers of Light? Will Bella and Edward be allowed to enjoy being together once again as they were always been meant to be? How will the Keepers deal with what's coming at them once again from their age old enemies?

Disclaimer:Ms. Meyer owns all things Twilight. These characters and storyline are mine.

A/N: Without the undying patience of my beta JoanOfArt and my pre-reader buggins74 none of this would have been possible. Thank you ladies from the depths of my heart.

~o0o~

Chapter 4

Previously:

The mist cleared, and revealed bright Sunlight, as they approached the small pillared Temple on the Hill. This temple overlooked a sea of night stars, if they'd been anywhere except the Astral Plane they would not have been able to see night stars in broad daylight.

The flames that flickered from the center of the tile covered floor within the circle of the many rayed sun design seemed to rise higher and dance upon the entrance of The Keepers. Taking only moments, they arranged themselves around the leaping flames.

These flames radiated no heat, only a kind of power that could be used by those who knew its secrets.

Upon no visible sign, they all stepped into those flames.

A disembodied voice spoke, "So be it".

~o0o~

The horrific scene fades from their inner vision and they find themselves still in the Temple on the hill standing in the Eternal Flames. It's times like these that their training comes into play. As much as the very human part of them wanted to be sick at what they'd witnessed unfolding before them, they kept their minds on the problem at hand. There would be plenty of time for tears later.

"You have seen." The disembodied voice pronounces.

Edward answers in a strong commanding voice. "Yes, we have seen. Please show us who's responsible for this crime."

In their minds an image of a very beautiful woman with long red hair appeared. Victoria Wells. With the picture came the name and location of this woman, along with the images, names and locations of the others involved in the murder of little Claire. There were also several different paths suggested that could be taken to bring those dark souls to justice.

The Keepers of the Flame became, once again, instruments for Karma; for justice. Their oaths are repeated to themselves as the last images fade in their minds.

As one, they step out of the Eternal Flames and file out of the Temple on the Hill, and then down into the mists.

~o0o~

Slowly the mists recede and the Keepers find themselves once again in the library of Edward's home.

Alice and Jessica begin to weep.

Jasper is swearing oaths.

Tyler has tears in his eyes, but a firm resolve taking shape on his young face.

Bella and Edward cling to each other. Their combined minds comforting each other.

Edward is the first to stand. "We have a job to do and we need to plan out what our first steps will be."

"But, before we do that Edward, we need to eat something to shut down our psychic factualities all the way," Alice reminds him.

~o0o~

Leah Clearwater was ready with hot tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, bottled water, and milk when the Keepers came staggering into the kitchen. She could tell from the looks on their faces that they knew something and that they would do their level best to bring the killers of little Claire Young to justice.

The group all looked appreciatively at Leah, "Thank you," was all Edward was able to get out as he began to consume his first sandwich.

After every last one of the sandwiches that Leah had prepared had been eaten, Edward and Bella looked at each other, silently agreeing that Harry Clearwater needed to be made aware of what they'd learned. They both felt the Tribe will be able to help in their quest for justice.

"Leah, would you call your father please and ask him to come see us as soon as possible?" Edward asked. The rest of the group all nodded in their compliance with Edward's plan.

~o0o~

Victoria owns a very large estate just outside of the San Francisco city limits. She came from a family whose income had come from mining and oil interests. Her estate was surrounded by a very high and electrified fence to insure privacy. All of the rituals and meetings of the San Francisco Thule met there.

As an extra feature, there was a tall hedge maze in the backyard of the mansion that had been built with performing rituals within. The only way the participants could be seen physically, would be from overhead.

Tonight would be another meeting of the group.

Victoria greeted them all at the front door and ushered each one into a vast room, which had originally been designed as a grand ball room. It was a rather formal setting, but Victoria didn't like informal anything, and this was her show.

Her dress was that of a CEO; dark blue pinstripe, with a white silk blouse and her ever present matching five inch heels. Her hair was put up in an attractive French Knot and her makeup was impeccable as always.

She looked every bit in control and cool, however, she's really a seething nervous wreck on the inside. Victoria knows that her life hangs in the balance if her plan to destroy the Cullens doesn't work. Those to whom she's pledged are not forgiving.

~o0o~

Leah brings her father, Harry, to the library door and knocks. Tyler opens it and greets Harry warmly. Leah, pats her father on the back, turns and goes back toward the kitchen, leaving them alone.

"Come in Harry," Edward invites from within. "Please come in and have a cup of coffee, or something stronger if you'd like."

Harry steps inside, and realizes that the atmosphere is different inside this room. When he stepped through the doorway it was as if he'd stepped into a different level of the house. The pressure was subtlety different. It was not uncomfortable, just different. "In fact," Harry thought, "it's exhilarating."

Harry took a comfy looking armchair next to Edward and Bella who were seated on a loveseat. Edward and Jasper had risen to shake hands with Harry and Bella who'd also stood when Edward did, hugged Harry warmly.

Harry took the offered coffee and settled into the chair, and waited.

"I'm sure you know we're about to report to you what we've discovered, and Harry I have it on the highest authority that you can be trusted. You might not be a member of our Order, but you have knowledge on a level that most humans are not privy to, even though you don't understand how it works. You have it, and that's all that matters." Edward begins.

"After you came to us, we investigated and found that members of the Thule are at work once again and they've resorted to the lowest and most foul brand of magic possible. Little Claire was offered as a blood sacrifice to a lower form of Elemental beings in an effort to gain a certain kind of power to use against the Workers of Light. Those who were and are involved have been made known to us." Edward stopped and looked closely at Harry to make sure the older man was truly understanding what was being said.

Harry just nodded and waited for the rest of it.

Edward and Bella were very impressed. Most lawmen would have demanded to know who the "perps" were so they could go arrest them. Harry knew there was more coming and was willing to hear it all before he made any judgments or decisions about what to do next.

Edward smiled and continued, "There is no hard evidence that would connect any of them to Claire's murder, but justice will be served." Edward sat back and folded his hands in his lap, relaxed.

"I understand that Edward, though I'm not sure how I do." Harry had a momentary look of confusion on his face. "Since there's no possible way to prosecute them, what can I do to help?" Harry asked and took a sip of his coffee.

~o0o~