"I'm not sure I understand," he said, soothingly. "Why are you afraid of yourself, Bella?"
"I'm afraid of what I am capable of," she admitted. Her Grams was convinced Bella was in complete, but that didn't mean that at any moment her powers would control her.
"Bella, we'll figure out more about your powers once you've fully mastered them," he assured her, unaware of just how much control she had over them already. "We'll help you learn to control them, and help you understand what you are capable of. Don't worry." We'll all be there to help you…
"But that's just it," Bella started, fully intended on telling him just how much control over herself she actually had. "There's something I need to tell you…" She was afraid of his reaction. Would he be angry for keeping such an important secret from him? Would he feel she betrayed his trust? Would he be accepting? She had no way of being sure of how he would take it.
Just as Bella was about to tell Edward the truth about her powers, both were interrupted by a loud crash from outside the cabin. Edward and Bella both stood frozen, each silently trying to pick up on who could be outside. The rest of the Cullens knew not to come to the cottage; Bella did not always have the charm up to block their scent. Edward knew she prepared this ahead of time, it was the only thing that made sense and why he didn't question her. But Edward couldn't get a read on anything that was going on outside the cabin, which unnerved him. I'm not picking up on any scent…I can't hear anything either…
"It's the charms," she addressed what he had silently questioned. "They're blocking things outside the shield from you as long as your protected by it." But not from you…? "No, I created it so I can control what's going on. There's three of them. Vampires. A red-headed woman, along with two men. They look like the nomads I've read about in Carlisle's books."
She stood still, focusing on the thoughts on the vampires outside her cottage, attempting to get through the invisible barrier that kept them from passing through. I'll go take care of this, you stay here…
"Edward, no" she held onto his hand, trying to keep him from leaving. "You won't be able to anticipate their moves and you don't know why they're here. Don't go."
"Bella, I'll have to leave the protection of the barrier," he told her. "I'll find out what they want and send them on their way." But Bella wasn't having any of it. She couldn't have them leave the barrier, not when she was hearing their thoughts.
Their scents stop here…they've just disappeared…
Where are they…I'm hungry…I'll kill the vampire to get the meal…
Perhaps James won't get too attached to this one…there's already a vampire in the area with the scent…
"Edward, they were hunting the human scent along with yours," Bella told him. "They're hungry and ready to kill anyone who stands in their way."
"Bella," Edward smiled down at her. "If I come out alone, they'll see there is only a vampire in the area. They won't harm me and if they, try…well I can handle myself in a fight."
"Edward, I don't like the way the one called James thinks," Bella disagreed. "I've never heard someone so determined on getting a kill."
"All the more reason for me to get out of the barrier and see his mind for myself," he explained. "I've come across many vampires Bella, I'll handle this. Just please, stay inside." I don't want anything happening to you. This isn't me doubting your ability, this is me protecting you from exposure we don't want…
"At the first sign of attack, I'm coming out there," she warned him. "All bets are off Edward."
"Ok," he resigned. "I guess I can compromise this once." Especially since you will not need to come out of this cottage…
"I won't count on that," she muttered under her breath as he made his way outside of the cottage.
The three vampires were just as Bella described them to be, he noticed as he made his way across the field; he needed to leave the confines of the barrier. When he was finally able to hear their thoughts, he realized the trouble two of the vampires could potentially pose. Bella, the vampire you warned me about is a tracker…he could be a problem. But Bella couldn't answer him since her mind was silent to him. This was the only thing she hadn't attempted to master; the theory of having some sort of mental shield which could be projected. She didn't thinks he would need it when she could so easily will the demise of the Volturi when the time came to it. Why perfect expanding a shield that may or may not be there?
So this is the vampire…where are the humans…James thought to himself, unaware of the two mind readers listening in to his thoughts.
We can take him in a heartbeat…whenever James gives the signal, I'll be ready…the red head, Victoria thought.
What a peculiar color of eyes…what diet does this vampire survive on…Laurent thought, more interested in Edward's lifestyle choice as opposed to hunting down the humans they tracked down.
"Can I help you?" Edward asked, feigning politeness.
"Forgive the intrusion," Laurent spoke up, giving the appearance that he was the leader. Bella knew better. She could see in James's mind his intent to attack and kill Edward to find the meal he was after in the woods. "We tracked a scent, yours I'm assuming and it led us here."
"What could my scent have any use for you unless you are searching me out," Edward pressed. This vampire is hiding something…James thought.
"Human scent," Victoria spoke up, almost sneering. "We figured you'd share seeing as how we've tracked multiple humans to this location."
"I'm afraid you've been mistaken," Edward informed them. "There are no humans here."
"Never been taught to share, have you vampire?" James pressed. I'll get those humans one way or another…
"It's true, I don't share," Edward told them. "But I also do not hunt humans. So you see, I wouldn't have anything here for you to have."
How does one survive without human blood…interesting…Laurent thought.
"Be smart, Vampire," James snarled. "There are three of us and one of you. We will take you out if you do not hand over the meal." Or don't…it'll be more fun…
"Correction," an unexpected voice came from the distance. "It's three against three, and I assure you, you do not stand a chance." Alice and Jasper entered the clearing, staying close to Edward but keeping distance away from the barrier. As long as they steered clear of the barrier and Bella stayed inside, Alice had her visions intact and could foresee any anticipated attack.
She looks familiar…I know this vampire…James thought.
I hadn't anticipated this turn of events…I do not want part of this, James must know I will not fight. I'm sick of his games…Laurent thought.
"This should be fun," Victoria sneered, ready to strike as soon as James gave the signal.
"You could just hand over the humans," James offered, though he didn't mean it. He wanted a fight, he loved this game. "There's no need to fight…"Or do…please do…
"There are no humans here," Jasper said, matter-of-factly. "This is your last chance. Leave now or we'll be forced to kill you."
James did not stop once second to answer him. Instead, he set off in less than a second to attempt to strike Alice. She was her current target, considering he had history with her. But both Edward and Alice anticipated the strike and dodged his attack, but not before Edward struck him, sending him flying back into the trees. Victoria, who stood in awe of the counter attack, then grew angry that her mate had been attack. She lunged for Jasper, who anticipated her attack. She too, was predictable and he was well versed in battle strategies. Laurent, however, made no move to strike; instead he backed up a few steps to allow the attack to happen. He wanted no part in it.
James appeared back in the clearing, angry and ready to get revenge against both attackers. Jasper was busy dealing with Victoria as he made his way back, ducking Edward's attempt to strike and managed to get his arms around Alice.
"We meet again," he whispered into her ear. She refused to allow herself to be distracted by him and used her size to her advantage, twisting out of his grip and jumping into the air. She landed behind him, grabbing him by the neck and flipping him over and hitting the ground hard. He was quick to get back to his feet though. It was then that Bella had had enough sitting on the sidelines. Her instincts were kicking in the moment she first read their thoughts and she tried to control them, attempting to believe Edward had it handled. But half way through, she could hear her Grams's voice in the back of her head telling her to fight. To not let any of these vampires get away. They were too much of a risk. They could threaten her exposure and neither she nor her Grams could block their memories from the Volturi.
Bella stormed silently out of the cottage, focusing first on Alice, Jasper and Edward. She used her power to gently situate them back behind the barrier and inside the cottage. She made sure they were locked in and unable to get back out.
Bella, what are you doing! They could kill you or worse! Edward's panicked thoughts entered her mind, but the instincts which took over when she used her powers did not allow her to stop to respond.
Bella, you don't have control of your powers yet, this is too risky! Come back! Alice pleaded with her.
Bella, you don't know what they are capable of. Please, don't do this! Edward continued pleading with her.
Yet for now, she was safe inside the barrier. But Victoria and James stood confused as to how the three vampires had been pulled away from battle.
"Leave them alone." Bella ordered.
Ah, the scent…the human…Victoria noted.
"No worries James," Victoria assured him. "We have one of the humans here. Your little vampires aren't here to protect you; seems luck is not on your side." Without a second thought, Victoria lunged for Bella, only to be thrown back by the barrier.
"All scents are all over this one," James mused silently to himself. "How is this even possible? No matter, this should be fun." Seems the vampires are stuck within the cottage…no one is here to save you little girl… "You show no sign of fear, interesting."
"It's not me who should fear for my life," Bella smirked. "James." He was taken aback by her knowledge of his name, but didn't let that stop him from focusing on the right plan of attack. Bella took one step forward, still remaining within the barrier, though she did not need it.
Bella, no! Edward shouted in her head.
Bella, let us out! You don't know what you're doing! You're not ready! Alice shouted.
"Any last words James?" Bella asked, feigning innocence.
"I will enjoy killing you slowly, human," he growled, but Bella simply laughed as she willed him the same fate she brought upon Jane. And within an instant, he too was obliterated from where he stood.
Multiple things happened at once. Victoria's scream filled the silent air as she mourned for her mate, ready to tear Bella limb from limb. Edward's thoughts were frantic along with Alice's and Jasper's. Each were trying to figure out what had happened. And next, Bella's gaze moved to Victoria, her next victim. While Bella's powers were no under complete control and weren't happening when she didn't want them too, they also seemed to take over her when she let them loose, especially when she used for destruction. Her instinct to kill Victoria was too strong to go back now and she had no say over this.
"I will kill you!" Victoria all but screeched.
"No, Victoria," Bella told her calmly. "I will kill you." And not a moment later, Victoria met the same fate as James. Bella was beyond her stopping point though. The instincts had completely taken over. It was her Grams's voice in the back of her head that told her she wasn't finished. There's one more Bella, the voice had told her. You need to get rid of him. Bella looked at Laurent who was frozen where he was, trying to run away but unable due to Bella keeping him there.
"Please," Laurent begged. "I am no threat to you. I wish only to part in peace. You will never see me again." I knew we should have never come here…
"I'm sorry," Bella told him, truly wanting to let him go but the instincts would not let her simply let go. "I have to do this."
"No, you don't." He tried to stall as long as he could. "You could let me go, forget this ever happened."
"No," Bella shook her head. "It won't let me. I'm sorry." The moment she allowed the instinct to kill Laurent, she collapsed to the ground. The door which kept the Edward, Jasper and Alice locked in the cabin broke free, no longer being controlled to keep her in. The three ran to Bella's collapsed form on the ground, making sure she was still breathing.
"Bella," Edward whispered, though was frantic to make sure she was alive. He wasn't sure what had just happened, how she had done it but it was the first thing that ever scared him in his entire existence. "Bella, can you hear me?" Love, open your eyes…I need to make sure you're ok…please don't leave me, I love you…
"She'll be ok Edward," Alice assured him.
"Really Alice," he hissed. "Can you suddenly see Bella in your visions?"
"Well, no-" she started but he cut her off.
"Then don't sit there and tell me she'll be ok," he screamed. "You don't know that! So don't give me empty promises!"
"Edward, relax," Jasper warned, sending waves of calm through Edward. "Bella's pulse is strong. It seems she's fainted. We should get her back to the house."
"Edward?" Bella's faint voice called out, her eyes slightly open. She felt disoriented and like her head was on fire.
"I'm right here, love," he assured her, relieved that she was, in fact, ok. She looked up into his worried eyes with her tear filled ones. "I'm so sorry, Edward"
"For what, love?" he didn't understand what she had to be sorry for. But he didn't get a chance to hear her next words; she passed out once again.
"Come on," Jasper said. "Let's get her back to the house and tell the others what just happened. Her powers seem to be out of control, we need a new strategy to help her reign them in."
"I'm not sure that's the issue," Alice answered.
"What do you mean?" Edward asked, picking Bella up and holding her close to him.
"I mean, she seemed pretty in control of that situation," Alice told them as they made their way back to the Cullen house. "A little too much in control, if you ask me." I think she hasn't been honest about her powers Edward…
"Bella wouldn't lie about having control over her powers," Edward denied. "We've all been there working with you. You've all seen what she can control and what she has yet to master."
"And what about when we go separate ways, Edward?" Alice pressed. "I'm not trying to accuse her of anything. If she's mastered her powers then it could be a very good thing and we can finally develop a strong plan of attack. But what we all witnessed today, it has me concerned about certain powers she has that she's appeared to have mastered…"
"I think Alice is right," Jasper said. "It's possible Bella continued practicing her powers and kept us in the dark about how much progress she's made."
"I don't understand why she would do that," Edward said, confused. Though he couldn't help but go back to the conversation he started to have with Bella just before the nomads entered the clearing. Was it possible this was what she wanted to finally tell him? What she had been holding back for the past month?
"You and Bella are very similar in nature Edward," Alice told him. "If you could keep Bella in the dark and fight the battle without her, to keep her safe, wouldn't you?" He nodded. If it meant keeping her out of harm's way, he would do whatever he could to protect her. "If she's been practicing on her own, she probably has full plans on going into this battle alone to keep of all us safe."
"Like hell she will," Edward scoffed. "I forbid it."
"Edward, you can hardly stop her," Alice chastised. "It's in her nature to keep her family safe, to keep you safe. You can't blame her for feeling this way. But I don't think she'll be able to go with that plan anymore…if that was her intention." The power she used today…it seemed to have more control of her than she did of it..it's too risky for her to use it…
"I'm sure we'll be able to figure everything out when Bella can fill in the blanks," Jasper said. "Let's take care of her first." He opened the door the house. Edward made his way up to his room to lay Bella on the couch he had.
"Oh, no, what happened?" Esme asked, rushing to his side as soon as she saw Bella in his arms unconscious. "Is she hurt?"
"I think she's just fainted," Edward assured her.
"From what," Esme pressed. "What's going on?"
"Edward?" Carlisle came into the room after hearing Esme's concern. "Is Bella alright? Do I need to take a look at her?"
"No, she's not hurt," Edward assured both his parents. "I think she'll be alright, she just needs to rest. I'll let her rest in my room and be right down. We need to fill everyone in on what happened this afternoon."
"We'll get Emmett and Rosalie," Carlisle nodded in understanding. "We'll see you momentarily."
Edward entered his room, placing Bella carefully on the couch, instantly regretting not having purchased a bed. I'm hoping you can hear me Bella. You really scared me today…I'm just glad you're going to be ok. But please don't keep anything else from me; I can't help to protect you if you shut me out. I love you…trust me, let me in…He kissed her forehead before heading downstairs to face his family.
"So what happened this time?" Rosalie asked, annoyed.
"Rose!" Esme scolded.
"What?" Rosalie questioned. "There's always something going on with Bella when we all gather in here like this."
"Unfortunately, Rose is right about this situation," Edward told everyone as he took a seat. "Something did happen while Bella and I were at the cottage."
"She's ok though, right?" Emmett asked. 'Cuz if something happened, I'll kick your ass for not telling me something was going down!
"She'll be alright, she's just fainted," Edward told him. "While we were at the cottage, it seems three nomadic vampire picked up on the human scent Bella had over her from being surrounded by the students at school.."
"Great!" Rosalie interrupted. "Now that plan is a bust! You all thought surrounding her from humans would protect her, but now she's a target for any vampire that passes through Forks, Great job guys"
"Rosalie, that's enough," Carlisle told her. "There was no way to foresee nomads passing through this area. It's a rare occurrence. I'm sure we can all agree on the matter." Edward, continue…
"The barrier around the cottage threw them back, just as it was meant to," Edward started. "Though with me being inside the barrier, I had no way of picking up the scent or thoughts of the intruders. I left the cottage to face them, leaving Bella safely inside. James, one of the vampires was a tracker. Regardless of being able to talk sense to them, he would've returned looking for the scent they followed, but not before attacking me and anyone else who got in his way. Alice and Jasper showed up before James could attempt an attack on me alone. How did you know, by the way?"
"With you out of the barrier and Bella inside the cottage, you weren't clouded from my visions anymore," Alice explained. "I saw what he planned on doing with or without us there. You needed back up. We came." He knew me, Edward…
"James attacked not too long after Jasper and Alice got there. Victoria, his mate went for Jasper while the third stayed back. He has no interest in the fight…he was intrigued by my choice of lifestyle though," Edward told them.
"I wondered why he stayed to the side lines," Jasper added. "But before I could even get a focus on him, the three of us were taken back and locked inside the cottage, while Bella made her way closer to the barrier."
"What?" Esme asked, slightly in disbelief.
"You think she meant to do that?" Emmett asked. That's kinda hot…being in control like that…you think she knew she could do that?
"Yes, it seemed Bella was aware of what she was doing when she locked us in there…no matter how much force we used, nothing worked. She had good control over it without needing to focus…she was more focused on the vampires," Edward told them.
"What happened when she approached them?" Carlisle asked.
"She obliterated them. One by one," Edward said as though it was the most simplest thing in the world.
"I'm sorry," Rosalie spoke up. "Did you just say she obliterated them?" Pretty impressive…
"And you say she seemed in complete control over her actions while these events transpired?" Carlisle questioned.
"She seemed to know exactly what she was doing, yes," Edward admitted. "As though she'd done it before and knew she could do it again."
"So she's in control of her powers now?" Rosalie asked, intrigued. I want to see this in action…
"I'd say her powers are more in control over her," Alice added. "Whichever ability she was using to eliminate those vampires, she couldn't seem to stop herself. I heard her apologizing to Laurent. She didn't want to kill him, but something wouldn't let her stop."
"The only person able to tell us about that specific experience is Bella herself," Carlisle said. "I'll be the first to say I'm impressed with her sudden control of her powers. I knew she mastered the mind reading and was close to mastering the telepathy…but it sounds to me she used her ability to will things to fruition and she has that one down."I wonder how much progress she's made over the shield…
"I don't think she's practiced with that yet," Edward said.
"With what?" Jasper asked.
"Not too long ago, Bella had a theory she could learn to project the shield protecting her mind to others around her, shielding them from others powers just as she is shielded from them," Edward explained. "I don't think she's attempted to practice that yet."
"Why would she need to when she can will something to happen?" Rosalie asked, having a similar thought process as Bella had when she mastered her gifts.
"Her using that power resulted in knocking her unconscious!" Alice growled. "I don't care about any of your opinions on this one. I won't let her use that again. It'll kill her."
"I agree with Alice," Edward said.
"It won't do any of you any good if she using it against you to make you back off," Rosalie scoffed. "You're forgetting how powerful she's supposed to be. She doesn't need us to kill the Volturi. Apparently, she's more than capable all on her own."
"Even if that means killing herself?" Alice asked, in disbelief.
"It's her choice, not yours!" Rosalie rebutted.
"Enough, all of you!" Carlisle stood. "When Bella is feeling up to it, we'll all discuss what the best course of action will be. If Bella agrees and is willing to step away from using that power to keep herself safe, we'll work on helping her expand her shield."
"That'll come in handy in a battle," Jasper mused. "She can project it, keep us all safe from their power and we'll have the upper hand."
"Let's just wait and see," Edward said. "I'm going to go check on Bella."
"Tell her I'll be having words with her when she's finally awake," Alice warned as she stood up and left the room, angry that Bella would put her life on the line without thinking what it would do to the rest of the family…especially Edward. Bella may have been clouded from Alice's visions, but the vision she's had of Edward asking for death was enough to tell her what path Bella was headed. And Alice refused to let that vision come to light.
Once more, Bella found herself in the dark place, yet this time it was not unfamiliar. She'd been here when she appeared before the red eyed vampires who she was convinced were the Volturi. They couldn't see her this time, either. She was a bystander as she watched the leaders sitting at their thrown. The main leader, Aro paced back and forth and three other vampires stood shamelessly before him.
"Where is she! She was supposed to come back with you Felix!" Aro shouted.
"She sent me back alone, Master," he answered, all while maintaining his eye contact with the floor.
"You follow my orders!" he shouted. "You hear me? You do not abandon any member of the guard!"
"Master, forgive me," he pleaded. "She assured me she would not return empty handed."
"It's been a week since you left her alone, she should have returned or sent word by now," Aro paced, frantic. Jane was one of his prized possessions. He feared what could have happened to her. "Something must have happened."
"Master?" Felix questioned. "She's very powerful; anyone who crosses her path is powerless against her. I'm sure she is alright and on her way back."
"Not if she found it!" he fumed. "Something's happened…it must have. She headed North; someone needs to go find her. Bring her back; do not approach anything or anyone. Just bring her back and report your findings."
"Master, I will go," Alec took a step forward. "I will find her and deliver her to you." Aro appraised Alec as he stood before her.
"Very well," Aro agreed. "Heed my warning Alec. Do not approach anyone or anything. You find Jane and bring her back. I will give you a month and a half to search every location in the North of the States."
"Yes Master," Alec bowed before Aro and took his leave. Aro sat down in his rightful place at the throne, still shaken.
"What do you intend to do if he does not return, brother?" Caius questioned.
"We will be making a trip to the states, my brothers." Aro decided. "If Alec does not return in a month and a half, we will all go and search together."
"All of us?" Marcus asked, unsure. "You think it wise to leave the thrown unattended?"
"No one would think twice to challenge our position!" Aro shouted. "If we do not go, we will all be doomed regardless. He will find her, I'm sure of it."
The scene faded and she found herself back in her Grams's cottage. Her Grams appeared to be mixing potions, preparing for something. She could read her Grams's thoughts as she stood watching what she was doing, though she couldn't get close enough to read what it was she was mixing.
She's the perfect weapon. She'll take down the guard and get my revenge on the guard for taking away my daughter from me! Just a little more, and the next time she using her power it will consume her completely….I will be in control of her…
Bella couldn't believe what she was hearing…so she hadn't imagined hearing her Grams's voice while using her ability to will things to happen? Her Grams used the use of the power to her advantage to get into her head and control the outcome…but how was the potion being used if she hadn't actually seen her Grams in over a month?
Now's the perfect chance to get into that cottage and plant the potion under her pillow…shields are up, she's over at the Cullen's place. I need to hurry before she comes to…
At the end of that thought, Bella was jolted awake from her sleep.
A/N: Wasn't planning on ending it there…but it seemed like the perfect spot…hope you all enjoyed the chapter. Love to hear what you all think so far…until the next post!