My Version of Breaking Dawn
Chapter 9: Decision
Now that I was a vampire, I could no longer sleep. This meant that I could spend the night with Edward instead of sleeping.
After our discussion with Carlisle and Jasper was over, Edward and I went up to our room where we would spend the night together undisturbed. When we were in our room, Edward sat me on the bed where I had spent my transformation and then sat down next to me.
"I can't believe it! Alice said that I might be different because I would become a vampire of my own free will, but I didn't know I'd get more control!" I smiled.
Edward smiled, too, my favorite crooked smile.
"I still can't believe I'm a vampire." I whispered to myself, though I knew Edward could hear.
Edward's smile disappeared.
"You had scared me for a minute there. I thought you had changed your mind after it was to late." He said.
"Sorry." I mumbled.
"You're fine though, right? You're not having second thoughts?" He asked me.
"No, I'm fine." I said.
It was silent for a moment. Then I thought of something.
"We'll need to tell the Volturi."
"Yes, Carlisle was thinking about that before we came back from our hunting trip. He thinks we'll visit them in a few days." Edward said.
I remembered the long, cold, dark, stone hallways, the posh reception area where the future vampire-Gianna-stood smiling, and the large stone antechamber where they brought unsuspecting tourists for dinner. I shivered at the thought of returning to that place.
"Are you alright?" Edward asked, concern in his voice.
"I'm fine. It's just going back to Volterra…" I shivered again.
"I know. I'm not happy about going back, either." Edward said.
Then I thought of something else.
"Do you think they'll ask us again?"
"Ask us what?"
"To join them." I said.
"Probably." Edward answered.
I nodded slowly, looking away.
"What will happen if we refuse?" I asked.
"I don't know." He said.
My breathing began to quicken, but not because of my heart. My heart was now silent, as it would be for eternity. I breathed air in and out of my lungs only out of habit, and my breathing picked up speed only at the thought of what might happen if Edward, Alice, and I declined Aro's proposition.
Edward wrapped his arms around me and leaned his lips down to my ear.
"Everything will be alright. Nothing bad will happen. Everything will be alright." He chanted in a whisper.
I leaned my head against his chest as I tried to calm down. I was a vampire now, as they wanted. We had not broken any rules. We should be okay. But if they wanted something, they could twist the rules. Their lateness to the battle between the Cullens and the newborns had proven that. My breathing sped up again.
I tried to stop thinking, tried to pull myself together. But it didn't work. I found that I could think of multiple things at once. The Volturi, my discovered power, my self-control. I even found myself thinking about Jacob in one part of my mind. How was he? Was he alright? Did he know I was a vampire? Would he and his werewolf pack come looking for us?
As if it wasn't hard enough to stop myself from thinking about one thing, but multiple things at once? I wanted to forget everything. There was only one thing I could think of that could have that effect on me, and I craved it more then I had craved the blood of the grizzly bear we had found in the forest. I closed my eyes and lifted my head, my lips searching. Edward knew what I was looking for and brought his lips down to mine.
No longer did we need to be cautious. No longer did Edward need to keep himself under control so that I wouldn't get killed. Edward placed one hand on my shoulder and the other found the small of my back and pressed me against his body. I wrapped my arms around his neck and grabbed two fistfuls of his bronze hair and pressed his face closer to mine. It worked. I forgot everything except the feeling of his lips on mine. My breathing matched his, hard and fast. But we never broke apart. We didn't need to. Air was not a priority.
Though the kiss went on for a long time, it seemed like only seconds. Neither of us tried to end it. There was no reason to do so. This is what I had wanted: Edward for eternity. Eternity had no deadlines, no ending.
So when Edward pulled away I was shocked. I felt hurt spread across my face.
"Jasper's coming." Edward said. He looked very annoyed about this, so was I.
"Why?" I asked, my tone thick with irritation.
Before Edward could answer, there was a knock on the door.
"Come in, Jasper." Edward said, not taking his eyes off me.
The door opened and Jasper entered the room. Edward turned to him.
"Couldn't this have waited until tomorrow?" Edward asked him, his tone full of annoyance.
"Sorry." Jasper said quietly, but stayed where he was.
Edward sighed, and then gestured to me.
"Go ahead." He said, his voice calmer.
Jasper turned to me.
"Um, Bella. I was wondering if you could do something for me."
I waited, curious. I kept my face emotionless.
"Well, Emmett and I made a bet. He thinks that he'd be able to beat you in a wrestling match, even though you're a newborn, and I bet that you'd win. So I was wondering if you two could have a wrestling match, prove him wrong…"
He stopped when I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"Well, it doesn't have to be a wrestling match. Maybe just an arm-wrestling match or something." Jasper shrugged.
Suddenly, I burst out laughing as I remembered something that Edward had said from my past life-my human life: "Do me a favor and challenge him to an arm-wrestling match. It would be a good experience for him."
Jasper looked at me like I was crazy.
I calmed myself down before I spoke.
"Okay, Jasper. One match." I said smiling.
Jasper beamed at me before running out the room and down the stairs.
"Emmett! Bella's coming!" I heard him call out once he was down-stairs.
I turned to Edward. He was smiling.
"Real quick." I whispered. Then he took my hand and we flew down the stairs after Jasper.
Everything was ready. Emmett sat on the floor at one end of the coffee table in the front room. Alice sat on one of the couches next to Jasper holding his hand. Rosalie sat alone on the other couch. Carlisle and Esme were just coming in from the kitchen.
Emmett jumped up when Edward and I arrived.
"Hey, Bella. You ready to wrestle?" He said with a big grin on his face.
I laughed, "We're just arm-wrestling, Emmett."
Emmett sat back down, still grinning. I reluctantly let go of Edward's hand and sat down across from him. I heard Edward sit down on the couch behind me. Esme walked over to the fireplace and faced us. Emmett put his right arm on the table-elbow on the table's surface, arm lifted, and hand open-and I did the same. I couldn't help but have a grin on my face like Emmett.
"Ready?" Esme started.
Emmett and I clasped our hands together.
I saw Jasper-in the corner of my eye-shift his weight.
It was too easy. In a fraction-of-a-second Emmett's arm crashed to the tabletop, my arm on top of his.
"Bella wins!" Esme declared.
"No! That's not fair!" Emmett complained, and then turned back to me, "Re-match!" He demanded.
Everyone-besides Emmett-started laughing, including myself.
"No rematches," Jasper said, then he leaned down to Emmett, "I'll expect the keys to your Jeep tomorrow morning." Jasper smiled.
Emmett turned to him and growled, looking like a vampire. With Emmett being as big as he was and then looking at Jasper with pure rage on his face, he looked terrifying. I stood up and then sat down between Edward and Rosalie on the couch.
"Don't worry, I'll give it back to you day-after-tomorrow, just as I promised. But I get it all day tomorrow." Jasper's smile widened.
Emmett hissed at him and then turned away, folded his arms across his chest and huffed.
Everyone started laughing again. Everyone except Alice.
The laughing stopped immediately when Alice gasped. Everyone's eyes turned to her. Her eyes were unfocused, full of terror. The last time I had seen that look in her eyes was in the meadow before Jacob had attacked.
And I knew immediately that something was wrong.
Everyone gathered around her. Edward held my hand as we crowded around Alice.
"Alice, what is it?" Jasper asked her in a calm voice, his hand on her shoulder. Alice didn't answer.
I looked up to Edward, knowing that he would be able to see what Alice saw in her head. Panic flooded through me when I saw his face.
Edward's eyes were wide with horror. His teeth were clenched together. His expression was a mixture of anger, panic, and fear.
I turned back to Alice, my whole body shaking.
"Alice, what is it? What's wrong?" I almost shouted.
Alice didn't look up. Instead she muttered one word that sent another shiver of terror through me.
I began shaking violently.
Then Alice's eyes snapped back into focus, but the terror didn't leave her face. She looked up at me.
"The Volturi have made a decision." She whispered.
My legs were shaking so hard I thought would collapse.
"Alice, what happened?" I forced the words to come out.
"They're coming." Alice whispered.
I knew whom she was talking about.
"Where? Here?" I asked.
I had been afraid of that.
"Where?" I asked, though I knew what she would say.
I wished that vampires could fall into unconsciousness.
"Apparently Aro was getting impatient," Edward said, his tone angry, "The whole guard is coming."
I felt my lower jaw drop in horror as I turned to him.
"The whole guard is coming to Forks?" I asked, horrified.
The Volturi guard. Nine talented vampires…who drank human blood.
"Charlie." Alice had said.
"Why did you say Charlie?" I asked Alice. It was a stupid question, I knew why. But I couldn't bring myself to believe it.
Alice, who had looked away, turned to me.
"They'll get hungry. Charlie will be one of the victims." Her voice was shaking, too.
My legs buckled beneath me and I began to fall. Edward caught me before I hit the ground and cradled me in his arms. I pressed my face into his chest and began to sob, but no tears came out of my eyes.
"Not Charlie. Not Charlie." I cried. The words were muffled by Edward's shirt.
"All we can do is hope that the werewolves will be able to handle this," His voice was full of worry, "How long until they reach Forks?" He asked Edward.
"A couple of hours." He answered.
That surprised me. The Volturi were all the way in Italy, it should take them a lot longer then two hours to get to Forks. I lifted my head.
"Only a couple of hours?" I asked in a whisper.
"Aro knows about my talent. He knew we would try to hide you once I saw him give the command. He did the same thing that Victoria did. It started a few hours after Edward bit you. I didn't know what to make of it until now." Alice explained.
Victoria, the memory of her made me shudder. She had constantly changed her mind to keep Alice from seeing her create an army of newborn vampires to help her get past the Cullens and destroy me. Aro had used this same technique. Now, in just a few hours, the Volturi guard would reach Forks-reach Charlie-searching for me. Another tearless sob came from my chest.
I tried to pull myself together. I didn't have time to cry. I had to hurry. Charlie's life depended on it.
"I have to go." I said to Edward, though I knew the rest of the Cullens could here me.
"What do you mean?" Edward asked.
Reluctantly, I tried to get out of Edward's arms. Edward saw what I was trying to do and put me down. I turned to him.
"I have to go to Forks. I have to show myself to the Volturi. Once they see I'm a vampire they won't have any reason to be there." I said.
Shock appeared on Edward's face. He took a deep breath and his face became emotionless.
"It's too dangerous, Bella." He said.
"But it's the only way to save Charlie!" I protested.
Carlisle appeared next to me and put his hand on my shoulder.
"Bella, if we go to Forks the werewolves might find us. We've broken the treaty by changing you. If they discover us, the war will start." His voice was calm.
"You don't have to come. The Volturi just need to see me, not you. You can all stay here." I said.
"You really think we would let you go alone?" Edward asked.
"It's too dangerous for all of you." I said.
"Exactly, that's why you should stay here." He said.
"I'm not going to stay here and let Charlie die!"
"I'm not going to put you in that kind of danger." Edward's voice remained calm, but I could see the pain in his topaz eyes as he tried to make me understand the risks. I knew what the dangers were, but I had no choice. I had to save Charlie.
"Edward, she's right. We can't just sit here while innocent people die. We have to go." Esme said, standing next to the couch where Alice sat.
"But what about the werewolves? We won't be much help to Charlie if we're busy fighting in a war." Alice said.
"If we're careful we may be able to avoid detection by the werewolves." Jasper said.
"We?" I turned to him.
"Bella, you don't really think we'll let you go to Forks alone and have all the fun, do you?" Emmett said, a grin still on his face.
Rosalie looked at Emmett with disapproval. "Maybe we can ask Tanya's family to help." Rosalie suggested.
Jasper shook his head, "Not if we want to avoid the werewolf pack. Irina would go looking for them."
"We'll just have to make do by ourselves." Esme said.
"Edward," Carlisle said calmly, "It's your decision." Everyone's eyes turned to Edward. I stared at him with pleading eyes.
"Edward, please." I begged in a whisper.
Edward looked at me, a mixture of pain and indecision on his face. Then he took a deep breath, closed his golden eyes, and slowly nodded.
Everyone sprinted into action.
Jasper ran into the kitchen-to use the phone and call the airlines, I presumed. Rosalie and Emmett followed Jasper into the kitchen to write Tanya's family a note. They'd have to tell them a fake story to explain our absence.
"They left to go on a hunting trip somewhere up north while you were changing." Emmett answered quickly when I asked where Tanya's family was.
Esme and Carlisle ran outside, probably to get Carlisle's black Mercedes so we could leave quickly.
Only Alice, Edward, and I were left in the room.
My legs began to shake again. Edward took my hand and walked me to the empty couch across from Alice and sat me down. Then he sat down next to me. I continued to tremble.
I had thought that-by leaving Charlie-I had been leading the danger that always surrounded me away from him. That the danger would follow me and leave Charlie alone. But, in the end, I had just been leaving him defenseless. He had no knowledge of what was coming, and he wouldn't know until it was too late. Another violent shudder ran through me. Edward wrapped his arms around me.
Everyone I loved was in danger: Charlie, Jacob, and the Cullens. I was about to lose everything.
I saw Alice on the couch across from me. She was looking at the floor, still shaking. I remembered the horror in Edward's eyes as he saw Alice's vision inside her head. What exactly had she seen? I probably didn't want to know.
I looked up as Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie burst into the room from the kitchen.
"Our plane leaves in an hour. Let's go." Jasper said before running toward the front door. Edward and I sat up from the couch and Alice did the same and we all followed Jasper out the door.
Carlisle's black Mercedes was out front, Esme and Carlisle inside. The car's engine was on.
Emmett and Rosalie climbed into the back. There was no more room.
"We'll take my car. We'll meet you at the airport." Edward said.
Carlisle nodded, and then the Mercedes sped away from the house.
Alice, Jasper, Edward, and I began running to the side of the house-Edward leading the way, holding my hand. There was a large garage where all of the Cullen's cars were. Alice's Porsche, Emmett's Jeep, Rosalie's BMW, and Edward's Volvo sat silent in the garage. We ran to Edward's silver Volvo and got inside.
I never relaxed as Edward drove the Volvo down the road above a hundred miles per hour. I should be going alone. None of the Cullens needed to go with me. The Volturi just had to see me and no one else. If Jacob's pack discovered us, the war would start. And if the Volturi joined the fight…it was too horrible to imagine. Either way, people would be hurt, or worse. People I loved.
I turned and looked at Edward in the driver's seat and panic flooded through me at the thought of losing him. I began to shake again. Edward saw and put one hand on mine and turned his head away from the road.
"Don't worry, Bella. I won't let anything happen to you. You'll be safe." He promised. His golden eyes were full of determination. I turned away; it wasn't me I was worried about. His hand left mine and returned to the steering wheel.
There had to be someway I could protect everyone, some way I could ensure that no one got hurt. I had to get the Volturi to leave as soon as possible, before the werewolves could find us.
I looked at the clock on the dashboard. It was two O'clock am. Edward had said the Volturi would reach Forks in a few hours. I hoped we'd get there in time.
I looked out the window-thinking of what horrors awaited us-as we drove to our doom.