I don't own Twilight, Stephanie Meyers does.

Chapter 21

Bella's first thought was to snuggle closer into the arms that held her, but then the noises caught her attention. Shouts and screams filled her ears. Then she smelled the fire and she opened her eyes. She looked into the blue eyes of the man she loved and for a moment everything else disappeared for her but relief. He was okay, whatever had happened to him was fixed.

He smiled softly and bent down to kiss her. The kiss was gentle and full of love.

"Are you okay Bella? I need to go help with the clean up of the battle." He asked softly. Bella didn't want him to leave her and grabbed on to his arm. He pulled her close and kissed her again. She tried to block out the sounds and smells around her but she couldn't for long.

"What happened Jasper? Was Caius defeated? Did you kill him?" Bella asked finally. She felt his arms tighten around her.

"No, your father did, and he healed me..." Jasper said on a choked whisper.

Bella's brows furrowed. Charlie was here? She was grateful for his help but she was still a little angry at him for not telling them of the full danger.

"Where is he?" She asked, looking around for the first time. Smoke rose near them, from a fire that was dying out. A body laid on the ground...her heart leapt in her chest. She pushed Jasper away and rose on shaky legs. Stumbling in a panic to get to the body, praying but knowing what she would find, she made her way across the field.

Upon seeing her father she screamed and fell to her knees at his side. Tears poured from her eyes as she reached for him with trembling fingers. His skin was still warm but there was no rise and fall of his chest. She looked at his chest and saw a charred hole. She laid her head over his heart, praying to hear a comforting beat, but she heard nothing.

"Daddy..." She whispered on a sob.

She felt Jasper's arm around her shoulder but she didn't move.

"He saved us Bella. He stopped Caius from killing you when I could do nothing. Caius taunted him, offered him an alliance, told him that the council was replacing him with you and wanted him dead. He told him that the council forced him to love Renee so that you would be born. Then he offered him an alliance so that they could eliminate the influence of the council. He didn't accept Bella...I don't think he even really considered it. He cast a spell and flames shot from his arm toward Caius. It was obvious Caius would reach him before the flames could do their job. I tried to help by sending a huge dose of fear to Caius but it wasn't enough...I'm sorry Bella if I had tried to help sooner Caius never would have reached him." Jasper told her.

Bella just stared at her father, she heard Jasper but she was numb.

"Even though he was mortally wounded he...healed me." Jasper choked out the rest.

Bella didn't move. How long she laid there with her head laying on her father's still chest and Jasper's arm around her she didn't know. Finally a voice broke through her grief.

"Your presence is requested by the council." A voice spoke.

The mention of the council brought her head up and she looked up into the eyes of a tall, rugged looking man.

"My name is Joseph, I am the keeper of the werewolves. Your father was a good man...We were friends..." He said the last softly but Bella saw him clench his fist tightly as he looked at her father.

"We want nothing to do with the council." Jasper growled beside her.

Bella turned to look at him. She reached up and touched his cheek tenderly, then looked down at her father. An emotion broke through her apathy...anger, pure hot rage.

"I want to meet them." She said tightly.

Jasper looked at her surprised, he must have felt some of her emotions because his mouth tightened and he nodded before standing and helping her up. He pulled her close while Joseph murmured words she couldn't hear.

She found herself in a room surrounded by beings who hid their faces with darkness. Soft lights let her see Jasper and Joseph but she couldn't see anything else.

"Welcome keeper of the vampires." A male voice said.

"Welcome keeper of the witches." A female said.

Bella clenched her fist. She had so much she wanted to yell at them. She wanted to rage and throw things but when she opened her mouth the only thing that escaped was a broken plea.

"Please...please give me my father back."

"He was a good keeper but his time is over." A voice answered.

"He performed his duty." Another voice echoed.

"For the balance." They all said in unison.

White hot rage filled her and she was about to let it out when a thought hit her. They hadn't said they couldn't bring him back, just that his time was over.

"I won't do it. I won't be your puppet. I will do as I please. I will save all I can and screw your balance." Bella said in anger.

She heard murmuring but she clenched her fist and held her ground.

"And I will help her." Jasper said beside her, grabbing and holding her hand. The murmuring became louder.

"I will also help her and I am sure the other keepers will join her." Joseph said surprising Bella. She smiled her gratitude to him.

"You are not a fit keeper." A male voice said.

Bella felt power rushing to her and quickly put up her shield, surrounding Joseph and Jasper too. The murmuring was now loud enough to make out their words.

"She is shielding them."

"She is too powerful."

"She can't shield everyone."

As she heard those words Jasper growled beside her. She heard screams of terror break out in the council. She looked over at Jasper and smiled. Oh how she loved him.

"I think you will leave those we love alone." He said in a voice that she was sure struck fear into the hearts of his foes.

"You got what you wanted. Caius is dead and you have two very powerful new keepers. The only thing is we are too powerful. You will bring my father back. He will be the keeper of the witches and we will allow you to give us advice for the balance." She said with disgust. "Or you can do nothing and we will not listen to you and we will find a way to destroy you. You can't hurt us but I am sure we can find away to hurt you. Or just find away to make you miserable." She finished with a hint of malice.

"We are immortal."

"But the empath hurt us."

"She was able to shield against us."

"They need our advice."

"For the balance." They said in unison.

Bella blinked as bright light hit her eyes. They were back in the field. For a moment she was filled with panic.

"Bells?" She heard Charlie call out.

Bella turned to see her father standing and looking at her in confusion. The hole in his chest was gone. She ran into his arms with a laugh of pure joy.


"Grandpa, Grandpa look at me." A childish voice called out.

Charlie smiled and looked over to see David high in the air on one side of the teeter totter while his twin sister Daniela sat at the bottom on the other end.

"Your pretty high." He said with a grin.

"Grandpa push me." Samantha cried out. He quickly complied giving her a gentle push on the swing.

"Grandpa look!" Michelle said from the top of the slide.

Charlie chuckled and wondered what had possessed him to volunteer to take all the children to the park. He walked over to the picnic table and started to open their lunch. He didn't need to call them as all the children ran to him. They sat at the table giggling and talking.

David was pouting once again. He didn't like that he was the only boy in the group. His sister looked at him and opened her mouth wide showing her mouth and showing him her partially chewed food.

"Ewww Ella." He said then proceeded to try to give her an even grosser display.

Charlie smiled at them. David took after Bella with his dark hair and dark eyes. Daniela took after Jasper with blonde curly hair and blue eyes. She often sensed her brothers mood and would do silly things to cheer him up. David was far too serious for a five year old boy, he reminded Charlie a lot of Bella at this age. Far to grown up for his age. His sister brought out the child in him, though.

He caught the picnic basket as it started to float off the table. "Samantha what did your mother tell you about practicing magic in public?" Charlie scolded. Angela's daughter was a lot like her. Curious about everything, impetuous and full of life.

"Not to do magic where I might be seen." Samantha said with a pout.

"Well don't do anymore levitation spells till we get you home but..." Charlie leaned in and gave her a conspiratorial wink. "Good job."

Samantha giggled and took a bite of her sandwich.

"Grandpa do we have to meet Uncle Carlisle and Aunt Esme? Auntie Rose doesn't sound like she likes them very much." Michelle asked seriously. Leah's daughter looked a lot like her and had a lot of her characteristics. She had taken a liking to Rosalie and Rosalie doted on her. She said what was on her mind and from the beginning she hadn't wanted to meet the Cullens.

Truthfully Charlie didn't like it either but Bella said it was time to let the past go and that Carlisle had changed. Sure he had helped with the wounded at the battle but it wasn't enough as far as Charlie was concerned.

The children finished their meal and ran off to play again. Charlie watched them but his thoughts were far away. He had to meet with the council tonight. He hated meeting with them, his anger at their manipulations had diminished but he still didn't trust them.

So far they had only advised. They warned of coming dangers and advised who to save but left the final decision to Charlie. Charlie grinned his daughter had sure scared the crap out of them. Not being able to take her powers and then having Jasper dose them with fear must have made them almost pee their pants. Charlie couldn't help but chuckle at the thought.

Jasper and Bella were due back tonight before Carlisle was scheduled to arrive. They had gone to Mexico to investigate a rumor of an immortal child. Hopefully the rumor would prove false. Jasper had insisted that none of the Volturi be allowed to live. He had made sure they were all nothing but ashes. Charlie had thought it a bit cruel but Jasper wouldn't budge. He had set up a new guard to enforce the laws. Peter was in charge and Charlotte, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, Garrett, and Kate were the first members. They had set their base up in Alaska near the Denali's. Jasper and Bella were called in to help periodically. Mostly when they wanted a vacation, he thought with a grin.

Edward had stayed in Alaska, his murder of Sue was not forgiven and probably would not be. Charlie realized he had acted under the influence of a spell and had personal experience with being put under a spell but no one was willing to forgive. He wandered the Americas calling Jasper every once in a while to let him know where he was and to find out how the rest of the Cullens were doing.

He heard a noise and turned to see Emily waddling toward them her son's hand firmly grasped in his own. Leo tugged at her arm trying to get her to hurry up. She finally let go and watched him run off to play before coming over to sit with him.

"Hello Charlie." She said quietly.

"How are you feeling?" He asked her.

"I'll be glad when this baby comes. I'd like to put on my own shoes again." She said with a laugh.

Charlie laughed with her. He was glad that Sam had finally pulled his head out of his ass and begun to treat her with the love and care she deserved. Some men were just more idiotic than others.

Paul made his way to the table. "So did Sammy give you any trouble?" He asked.

"No she's an angel." Charlie said not mentioning the floating picnic basket.

Paul snorted. "Angela is still working on the spell so I came to pick up Sammy."

Charlie grinned. "Bored?"

Paul let out a breath. "Yeah, figured Sammy and I could find something to do." He said before calling the girl to him.

She ran into his arms and he picked her up and swung her around. "Want a ride daddy." She said.

Paul grinned mischievously and put her down. He phased into wolf form while Samantha squealed with delight. She used the picnic table to climb onto his back and let out another squeal as Paul started to lope off.

Charlie shook his head as he watched them. Angela was going to rip into him. She didn't like him giving Samantha wolf rides.

"Are the children leaving?" Emily asked.

"Mike should be here soon to pick up Michelle but Bella and Jasper aren't home yet so David and Daniela are staying for a while." Charlie answered.

As if on cue Mike walked up to them. "Hello Chief." He said with his boyish grin. He had changed a lot from the boy Charlie knew. Being a werewolf agreed with him. He was more confident than ever before. Charlie wasn't sure if that was because of being a werewolf or because of Leah but it was a good improvement.

"Daddy!" Michelle squealed and ran to her father. Mike picked her up and kissed her on the forehead.

"We're going to see Grandpa Newton tonight." Mike told her as they walked away. Charlie liked Mike's dad. He could relate with him. Mr. Newton had went to great lengths to help his son.

"Hey dad." Charlie heard Bella say and turned to see her and Jasper walking toward them. He smiled, happy to see his daughter. They sat at the table with him and Emily stood up.

"I'll let you guys talk for a bit. I'm going to go push Leo." She said walking over to the swings.

"So was it a rumor?" Charlie asked.

"Yeah, did the twins give you any trouble?" Bella asked.

"Of course not they are perfect." Charlie said beaming with pride for his grandchildren.

"Are you sure about Carlisle?" Charlie asked. He had put Bella in so much danger and he just wasn't ready to forgive him.

"Yes. Even if he hasn't changed Jasper is now the keeper of the Vampires and he can easily take care of Carlisle." Bella answered.

"Bella..." A voice called out. Charlie instantly tensed and turned to see Carlisle and Esme walking toward them. Bella put her hand on his arm stopping him from moving. Charlie wanted to punch the man.

"Hello Carlisle." Bella said. She put her hand up to stop Esme who had taken a step toward her.

"You're early." Jasper growled.

"We just...we were excited and impatient..." Esme stuttered out.

"We didn't try to approach the children. We waited for you." Carlisle said.

Everyone stood tensely. Charlie looked over at the children. David and Daniela were watching their parents and the Cullens solemnly their hands clutched tightly together.

"Bells..." Charlie said not liking the children being scared.

Bella looked over at her children and smiled. That was all they needed they ran to her squealing mommy and daddy. Daniela leaped into Jasper's arms and David clutched at Bella as she lifted him in her arms.

"David, Ella this is your uncle Carlisle and your aunt Esme." Bella told them. Charlie was relieved they hadn't called them grandpa and grandma. That was his title. David just studied the pair. Daniela was more bold.

"Are you vampires like daddy?" She asked.

Carlisle and Esme looked at each other. "Yes." Esme said giving a nervous smile.

"Cool!" Daniela said before turning to her father. "What did you bring me?" She asked with a pout. Charlie laughed the girl had her father wrapped around her finger.

Jasper laughed. "Well I might have a doll that wanted a new home."

"A doll!" Daniela said with a frown.

"Did I say doll? Maybe this is what I meant." He said pulling out a brightly colored cup from behind his back and swinging it so that a ball attached to it with a string landed inside.

Daniela clapped with glee and held out her hands for it. Jasper put her down and handed it to her. Bella pulled out another one for David. Daniela played with her toy totally engrossed, David played too but he kept glancing at Carlisle and Esme with distrust.

"So how are you Bella?" Esme asked.

"Happy." Bella answered with a beaming smile.

"Jasper I'm sor..." Carlisle started to say but was cut off by Jasper.

"I know Carlisle I can feel it. You helped me when I needed you. Helped me learn that I didn't have to feed off humans. It will take time but I think we can get over this as long as your prejudice is gone." Jasper said.

"I can't lie. At times I still feel that deep fear but I'm learning that what my father taught me was lies. Looking at Bella, Angela and Leah has taught me that maybe all witches aren't evil." Carlisle said.

"Witches are people Carlisle. Some good, some bad. The same as all the races." Bella said.

"I'm learning Bella. I'm so sorry." Carlisle answered.

Charlie was looked at his family and smiled in pure happiness, then sighed in disappointment. It was time to meet with the council. He was still the keeper of witches.

Author's Note: There was no way I could leave Charlie dead I just love his character too much lol! I hope you enjoyed the story!