Sunday, September 18, 2016 | By: Drotuno

Six - Chapter 11 & Pics

Six – Chapter 11
EDWARD
Montana
Rose’s snowy owl form gave an eerie sound from high above me. The sun was just about up, and we were leaving Bella’s cabin soon, but Carlisle had wanted to let a few of us rest. We’d been at the cabin for a little over twenty-four hours, and we’d all taken turns keeping watch, but Alice had been searching visions and futures until she was falling asleep sitting up. Esme was just as exhausted.
Still clear, Edward. Rose’s view of the world was wide open. As an owl she could spot movement quite a ways away, and since I could hear her just fine from my seat on a rock a few yards from the cabin, we worked as a team as everyone else slept inside.



The view I had was stunning – both on the ground and Rose’s aerial view. I could see why Bella thought of this place so often. It was quiet, far from bustling cities, and with only my family and Bella around, the peace surrounding my mind was almost unnerving. I was used to hearing everyone, every thought around me, but this was different.
You are about to have company. Rose’s amusement came through in her thoughts as a petite form walked my way from the cabin. My sister landed in front of me, still amused. Her orange eyes were sharp and predator-like as they gazed my way. She’s good for you, you know. She calms you like nothing I’ve ever seen.
Smirking, I nodded. “Yeah, I know.”
You like her. It was a statement, not a question.
“Yes.” I grinned, shaking my head when the big owl fluffed up and hooted.
She likes you, too, doofus. I don’t have to read minds to know that much.
“Go inside and eat something, Hedwig,” I teased her, ignoring her last statement. “I’ll keep watch until we need to leave.” I tapped my temple, laughing when she smacked my face with a wing on her way to the cabin.
She’s not Tanya, Edward. She’s far from it, actually.
“I know, Rose!” I called over my shoulder, rolling my eyes at the human laughter that met my ears as my sister transformed back into her human form. But the amusement and curiosity all over Bella’s face made me smile. “Hey, pretty girl. I thought you were sleeping.”
She shook her head. “I slept a little, but I wanted… I wasn’t sure when…”
Her thoughts were a bit sad. She wasn’t sure when she’d see this place again, so she wanted to absorb it while she could before we needed to leave.
“C’mere.” I patted the spot in front of me, scooting back a bit on the rock so she could sit between my legs. “This okay?” I asked once she was sitting.
She nodded, her cheeks tingeing pink, which made me smile, but I stayed quiet. I listened with both ears and mind as far as I could, but I could only hear Bella. She was nervous about flying, about getting us to the airport, and even more, she was nervous about what lay ahead for her, for all of us. The thought of training, of using her talent to fight intrigued her, but she also worried about me, the headaches, not to mention Tanya. She knew the last thing made me tense, and she didn’t like it. Her mind was buzzing with what-ifs and curiosities and self-reprimands that some of it was none of her business.
“Do you want me to answer any of that? Or do you just want to sit here and worry?” I whispered in her ear, grinning and holding her closer when she broke out into a beautiful laugh.
“Fuck, I’m sorry,” she said through giggles.
“Don’t be,” I sighed in answer against the back of her head. “What do you want to know first? The headaches?”
“Yeah.” She turned a little to see my face. “Are they… Is it something bad?”
“Nah, pretty girl.” I shook my head, gazing around at the field of wildflowers and the rising sun. “The mind-reading is easy, like listening to someone talk…or a bunch of people, really. The telekinesis is harder, especially when I push it, like back at the hospital. I’ve been checked over,” I told her, tapping my temple and smiling. “Carlisle ran a bunch of tests a few years ago and says they’re a bit like migraines when I push too hard or I’m overdoing it.” I reached up and tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear. “When I lose control, which you’ve seen, it’s usually stress or my temper, so it’s a sudden rush. Something like this…”
I looked out to the closest purple wildflower and mentally plucked it, spinning it like a helicopter and making it dance her way, which resulted in the sweetest blush as she held out her hand. I made the flower stay standing on its stem, twirling it some more, finally laying it flat in her palm.
“That’s the easy stuff,” I finished, smiling her way when she glanced up. She held the flower out. “Keep it, Bella.”
She was just beautiful as she gazed down at the flower she was now twirling between her thumb and forefinger. There was relief in her expression and in her mind.
“You were worried?” I asked her, and her gaze snapped up to meet mine.
“Yeah,” she whispered back, nodding a bit. “I mean… I didn’t like seeing you so…so…”
“Weak?” I offered with a chuckle. When she nodded, I smoothed her hair back again. “It doesn’t last long, and the hospital…” I sighed deeply, reaching out to touch the flower I’d given her. “I couldn’t stop. Demetri and Felix are dangerous because they don’t see the harm. They’ve also been told that contracts are fulfilled whether the person is alive or dead. It doesn’t matter. I…I couldn’t… They will never fucking touch you again. Not as long as I’m still standing. Okay?”
“Why?” she asked so softly, I wasn’t sure if it was voice or mind I heard.
“I don’t know. I just feel…protective of you. You’re this…this beautiful, smart girl who’s been handed a shitty deal, and none of it is your fault. From the second I saw you at Bart’s store, I felt that way.”
She glanced down at the flower, her cheeks pink again; she was wondering what that meant, wondering why she liked hearing that, but mostly, she was worried about something happening to me and my family, who she’d already grown to care about. We made her feel safe and cared for and a part of something important. I, personally, made her feel comforted, and she liked that I thought she was pretty. But just like the day I found her in Central Park, she couldn’t understand why someone like me could be interested in someone like her.
Grinning, I shook my head. “Someone like me?” I asked her, keeping her right there when she started to get up. “No, no… You need to hear this. You think of me as good-looking, and you think I could ‘get’ anyone I wanted, but take it from me… I’m not this flirty womanizer you think me to be, Bella.” I laughed a little, rolling my eyes. “Do I like flirting with you? Abso-fucking-lutely!”
Her laugh was adorable, but she looked to me.
“You’re so pretty, Bella. Honestly. But the truth is… There’s no escape from what I can do.” I shrugged a shoulder. “I hear everything – every thought, every want, every complaint. I hear it. I hear when a girl I’m out with thinks the waiter’s hot, or I hear a girl in class wonder whether or not I’d be a good kisser…or more.”
“Oh.”
“Yeah…” I sighed again, raking a hand through my hair. “I heard when my ex-girlfriend decided that she’d rather have another guy, and I heard when she already had the other guy. A part of that is her sixth sense. Tanya has the ability to draw people to her, like…the Pied Piper. A subtle gift but a powerfully persuasive one. She gets her way nine times out of ten, but I’m the tenth, and I don’t like sharing. However, her gift and mine don’t mix well. I started to hate hearing her mind, hearing her work the guy at the movie theater or the girl at the drugstore. Every thought started to sound like cheating. I started to resent it, and she started doing it on purpose.”
I smiled ruefully at Bella, who was thinking Tanya was an idiot.
Chuckling, I shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe. Maybe she just got tired of having no secrets. It’s not easy.”
Fierce, angry brown eyes locked on to my face. “If you care about someone, then there shouldn’t be secrets.” Her brow furrowed as she twirled that flower. “You can’t help what you can do, what you can hear, but…there’s a difference between finding the waiter to be hot and pursuing the waiter. Finding someone attractive isn’t cheating. Cheating is fucking cheating. Gift or no gift.”
Bella’s temper was sharp and hot like a fireplace poker, but Bella’s temper in my defense was damned sexy. And she wasn’t done.
“It’s ridiculous that you excuse her. That would be like Rose turning into…into…Angelina Jolie just so she can kiss Brad Pitt or some shit behind Emmett’s back!”
I barked out a laugh I couldn’t contain. “I’m not excusing her, pretty girl. I… Look, we’d known each other a long time, and we took things to the next level. It lasted a while, but sixth senses aside, we didn’t work. We couldn’t change who we were.” I shrugged a shoulder. “She’s very free-spirited, and I’m not. And I can’t help what I hear. Believe me, I wish I could shut it off some days, but I can’t. It’s annoying and invasive for everyone involved.”
“But you don’t want to see her,” Bella guessed, looking back at the flower in her hand.
I shrugged again, scowling a little. “It’ll be tense. Not because there’s anything still there but because she thinks we could still…” Wrinkling my nose, I couldn’t decide how to put it, but Bella’s thought of friends with benefits hit me, and I nodded. “Yeah, pretty much. And I’m not into all that. Hell, I don’t think I could if I tried. I’m…I’ve…”
That last statement was the damned truth, but I almost blurted out the fact that my feelings for Tanya had been nowhere near what I felt for the girl sitting with me right at that moment.
“Don’t you worry about meeting or dealing with Tanya, Bella,” I finally said with a deep, weary sigh. “If she says anything or bothers you, just tell Alice. Tanya’s scared to death of my little sister.”
Bella’s giggle was soft, and her mind couldn’t figure out why Tanya would fear Alice – small, happy, blind, defenseless Alice.
Leaning to Bella’s ear, I whispered, “Because my sister can see when Tanya makes any decision. That scares her more than my mind-reading.”
Bella laughed softly, nodding a little. “It means someone else can see her bullshit, not just the ex-boyfriend, and she can’t lie.”
“Ding, ding, ding! And we have a winner!” I sang playfully.
Bella’s grin was beautiful, her cheeks blushing lightly.
“Fuck,” I sighed, gently caressing her face with the backs of my fingers. “When you smile, I swear to God, everything else is just…dull.”
She blushed even deeper, but her gaze raked all over my face before settling on my mouth, which made me lick my lips. She was trying her damnedest not to think, not to breathe, but even without hearing her thoughts, I knew what she wanted. And holy shit, I wanted it too.
The electricity that Bella’s talent had crackled across us both, causing the hairs on my arms to stand on end, and my own talent started to shift and pull, bending the tall grasses and wildflowers around us. For a split second, I wondered if the environment would survive the two of us.
Gritting my teeth, I tried like hell to get myself under control. Waves of mental force rolled across the grass, and it wasn’t unlike the rings from a drop of water. Over and over they shifted, until I heard the door of the cabin open.
“What the hell, Ed!? You’re shaking the whole fucking place!” Jasper yelled, but when he saw us, he froze. Aww, shit! I fucked up, didn’t I? Piss-poor timing, big brother. Sorry.
We both turned his way, and all the energy we’d stirred up fell away. Bella snorted at Jasper’s sheepish expression, but her mind wasn’t sure whether his timing was good or bad.
“Bad,” I said, smiling when she rolled her eyes my way. “C’mon, pretty girl. Everyone’s almost ready.” I stood up off the rock, offering her my hand. “By the way, I’m not a big fan of flying either, so we can keep each other company. You can hold my hand when I get scared.”
She giggled at the thought of me being frightened of anything, but she simply said, “Okay.”
~oOo~
Denali, Alaska
Bella fidgeted next to me in the van Carlisle had rented. It had been a long damn day traveling. We’d left Bella’s father’s cabin in Montana via a window Bella had opened for us, which sent us to the Billings, Montana, airport. Carlisle had discreetly put us on a private plane straight into Anchorage. The flight had been long and boring, except for the games Bella and I played just to keep ourselves occupied. Neither of us liked take-offs nor landings, so we’d gripped each other’s hands to keep from losing it. Loss of my control while flying would be…ugly.
Bella was so nervous over meeting new people that it was palpable as we drew closer to Eleazar’s home; it seemed she’d just gotten used to my family, but now there would be more – more people, more sixxers, and more new adjustments. She also was curious as to where she’d sleep.
Glancing over at her, I smiled when she shrugged and wrinkled her nose. Sorry. Old habits die hard, she thought to me. I wonder if I’ll always worry about my next meal or where I’ll sleep.
“Maybe,” I agreed with her. “But to answer your question, Eleazar’s place sits on an old campsite – one large house with several small cabins surrounding it. We all usually take the same cabins every time we come here…” I trailed off, grimacing. The last time I’d been here, I’d stayed in Tanya’s room.
“Your face reads like a book.” Bella laughed, shaking her head. You didn’t stay in a cabin the last time? she taunted sweetly in her mind.
“Hush, pretty girl,” I huffed, rolling my eyes at the laughter in the van from not only Bella but my siblings as well.
Before Bella could keep teasing or my brothers start to bet on whether or not Tanya would offer up her room again to me, the van came to a stop. A glance out the window had me mentally preparing myself for more minds and thoughts. I’d been with just Bella and my family for a couple of days, and it had been a nice reprieve, but Eleazar had a rather large family just like ours.
Eleazar greeted Carlisle as the rest of us piled out of the van, grabbing our bags. I helped Bella down, shouldering her backpack with my own duffel bag, and then set Alice on the ground, waiting until she unfolded her cane before I let her go.
“Thank you for letting us come. I am sorry it was on such short notice, Eleazar,” Carlisle said, shaking his hand and giving his wife, Carmen, a kiss on the cheek.
“Anytime, Carlisle.” Carmen waved his apology away. “You would’ve done the same for us.”
“Of course we would have,” Esme agreed, hugging Carmen.
Carmen and Eleazar were slowly joined by the rest of their family.
Before anyone could greet anyone else, Eleazar’s eyes and talent landed on Bella. “Teleporter! Goodness, that’s a power I’ve not seen in a long time.”
Bella nervously shifted closer to me, and I placed a hand on her shoulder. “Eleazar, meet Bella Swan. Bella, this is Eleazar Rios,” I introduced. “El can see what talent you have. He and Carlisle together are pretty much the perfect sixxer locators.” I grinned down at her, giving her shoulder a squeeze to settle her down. “And this is his wife, Carmen. She’s lucky enough to be normal.” I winked at Carmen, who had always been one of the kindest people – both mind and voice – I’d ever met. Esme and Carmen were alike in that neither had talents of any sort; they just loved whole-heartedly.
Pointing to the rest, I added, “This is Kate and her husband, Garrett. Both are wickedly talented. Garrett controls metal. Kate is what I like to call an electric eel.” Kate, who was really easygoing, held up her hand palm up, generating a small, blue electric ball of energy. “That shit will knock you on your ass,” I added, laughing when Bella declined to shake Kate’s hand.
“Irina is Kate’s sister,” I continued, smiling at the young blonde girl. “She, too, is lucky enough to be normal.”
Irina was the youngest of the three girls. She was Alice’s age and had always been very sweet and funny. Her mind was a snarky, sarcastic place to be, and she had zero patience for her other sister, who I was ignoring on purpose. My brothers noticed what I was doing but didn’t say a word. It was Alice who was mentally warning me.
She’s not done with you, big brother. Alice sighed deeply, shaking her head, but I finally looked to Tanya.
“Bella, this is Tanya. The oldest of the three sisters. She has the ability to draw people in, sway them into doing what she wants them to do,” I stated with a rueful smile on my face.
“I’m still not convinced that’s a talent, not a character flaw,” Garrett muttered teasingly.
Tanya scowled at her brother-in-law but stepped forward. “It’s nice to meet you. A teleporter, huh?” she asked Bella, who nodded.
Bella’s thoughts were curious as she eyed my ex. She thought Tanya to be very pretty but not as flawless as she’d built up in her mind. She also saw through the fake smile aimed her way, which made me chuckle. It had nothing to do with Tanya being my ex or her talent. It was Bella’s instinct from living on the run for so long, from seeing people for their true intentions, not the words that were coming out of their mouth.
“Good girl,” I whispered to her, giving her shoulder another squeeze.
If she can go anywhere, why is she here? Tanya thought, forgetting herself for a second. Sounds like a whole lot of trouble for someone you don’t know.
“Because we want her here,” I answered her thoughts. “Without her, we’d have lost Carlisle to Volterra.” I raised an eyebrow Tanya’s way, daring her to say something out loud, but she merely frowned.
Edward, Bella looked my way. Without me, they wouldn’t have been after Carlisle in the first place. Be honest.
I simply shrugged a shoulder, focusing on her mind, not Tanya’s, who was trying her damnedest to get my attention. She wanted to talk. Actually, she wanted more than a talk, but Eleazar broke her mental assault on me.
“I think we need to all sit down and talk,” Eleazar suggested. “I’m hearing things from other sixxers I know that you aren’t the only ones having some trouble. It seems Aro has stepped up his need for…talents.”
“Why don’t you all get settled in?” Carmen offered, smiling at us all. “The cabins are made up for you. And we’ll sit down to dinner in about an hour.”
With murmurs of thanks, everyone started toward the cabins they usually took when we came here for visits. Bella, however, shifted nervously because she wasn’t sure where she was supposed to go.
“Bella, that last cabin over there on the right,” I told her, starting to lead her that way.
“Edward, can we talk…privately for a second?” Tanya asked, and I sighed deeply, closing my eyes in frustration, because I could see where this was going.
“Fine,” I huffed, turning to Bella as I handed her backpack over. Meeting dark-brown eyes, I said, “You’re with me. Take the bed. I’m taking the sofa. I’ll be there in just a minute, okay?”
Bella almost argued but then decided that I had enough to deal with, and the thought that she wouldn’t be alone was a comfort for her. She also worried about what us sharing a cabin actually meant.
When I heard Alice mutter, “No, he won’t be staying with you, Tanya,” I grinned at Bella, who snorted softly.
“Go on, Bella. I’ll be right there.” I waited until Bella stepped into the cabin before I turned to Tanya. “Please stop. That won’t work, Tanya, this…this…thing you’re mentally doing.” I waved a hand around my head like swatting at flies as she relived some of our past.
“We were good, Edward.”
“We were, but we’ve been over for almost six months. We didn’t work.”
Tanya stepped closer, reaching for my face, and I caught her hand and gently pushed it away. “Let the girl have your cabin, Edward. You never really used it before.”
The difference between me and the others she pushed her talent on was that I could see her doing it. I saw her thought processes and what it took to push the coercion into the minds of those she wanted to control.
“No.” My answer wasn’t harsh, but it was firm. “Tanya, listen to me. We didn’t work. You want things that I don’t. It’s never going to work. Your talent doesn’t work on me, not when I know it comes from a false place. We have to be civil; there are things going on that are bigger than the fact that you and I broke up. We have to learn to work together because sixxers are being targeted. All of us are being hunted.”
Jealousy and anger, the temper I knew so well – all of it boiled up in Tanya. Her cheeks flushed red, and she folded her arms across her chest.
“And you expect me to believe you’re sleeping on the sofa,” she huffed. I see the way you look at her. You don’t even know her! I heard Eleazar talking to Carlisle on the phone…
“Way to focus on the big picture, T.” I chuckled, shaking my head. “Honestly, I don’t care what you believe. And you of all people shouldn’t be throwing stones in glass houses. There was a time when you and your sisters had no place to go. Your last name wasn’t always Rios.” I raised an eyebrow at her. “Never mind that you lost the right to tell me what to do when you decided to sleep around. I’ve moved on, Tanya, and I know you have, too. You just don’t like to be told no. But my answer is no. No, I’m not staying in your room. No, I won’t sleep with you. No, we can’t try again. And no, I’m not gonna change my mind.” I rarely pushed thoughts or opinions onto the people I knew, but I mentally pushed all that her way, and it finally made it through her own wants and into someplace that thought rationally.
I sighed when she rolled her eyes. “We’re here because Carlisle thinks we need to learn to fight. Both he and Eleazar think a war is coming, Tanya. We need to protect ourselves. They do not care if we’re taken alive or dead. Personally, I’d love to expose Volterra for what they are, for what they’re doing, but that’s just me. However, if we did that, then the whole world would know about sixxers, and I’m not sure that’s a good idea. All I know is that I can’t let them hurt us, chase us, or threaten us anymore. That’s why we’re here.”
Tanya surrendered, and maybe she finally understood, or maybe she just would try again later, but I was tired from flying, I was hearing thoughts from my family and hers all at once, but the funny part of it all was Bella’s thoughts were where I put my focus. Turning away from Tanya, I walked to my cabin and opened the door.
Bella was sitting on the edge of the bed, and she smiled a little when she looked up. “You okay?”
Rolling my eyes, I nodded. “Of course. How ’bout you?”
Her smile was sweet. “Yeah, but are you sure you want the couch? It looks awfully bumpy.”
I chuckled. “I’ll live, Bella.”
~oOo~
“Okay, Bella, you’re up next.” Eleazar pointed to the ground in front of him, and I shifted nervously on my feet.
We’d been at this shit for days. Everyone was working, pushing, testing their abilities against each other. We were in the open field behind the main house so that strength and speed and agility could be used at the utmost possible level without harming the house or the cabins. Eleazar’s sixth sense went beyond just being able to tell what the sixxer’s talent was; he could see what the person’s potential could become if they’d push themselves. And that’s what he’d been doing since we’d arrived in Alaska.
The subtle gifts like Tanya’s, Carlisle’s, and Alice’s – those who couldn’t fight with their talent – were taught evasion and defense. However, the more powerful and substantial abilities were set against each other like an underground fighting ring. Emmett’s strength, Jasper’s speed and agility, Kate’s electric touch, and Garrett’s metal manipulation were all used in both offense and defense. Rosalie could be anything, so she was often used as the offense – a grizzly bear, a crocodile, a roaring lion – large, dangerous animals with the intent of causing the most destruction my sister could deliver.
Eleazar was absolutely convinced that Bella and I had more behind our powers than we were using. He pushed us the hardest, which usually left the two of us tired and frustrated at the end of the day. My temples pounded when I’d finally collapse onto the sofa in our cabin, and poor Bella barely made it under the covers of the bed before she was out like a light. And I had to shake my head to clear it because I was pretty sure a freshly showered, oversize-T-shirt-wearing Bella was the most tempting thing I’d ever seen, in spite of how damned tired I was every fucking night.
“Bella, I realize you’ve used those windows to escape trouble, and that’s really good. What I want you to do is use them to fight. Think smaller, think horizontal, think trap, think closer, sweetheart. Do you understand what I’m telling you?” he asked her, and she nodded. “If someone attacks you, send the weapon or the attack right back at them. Open one window to face the attacker. If someone is sneaking up on you, open that window in the floor. And you need to work fast. They won’t slow down, so you need to speed up.”
“Okay,” she said softly, nodding again.
“So for speed, we need Jasper, please.”
My brother grinned at Bella from across the field as Eleazar backed out of the way. Bella looked so small in the center of the open space as she tilted her head at Jasper, waiting for his move. He circled her so fast that she didn’t see him until he stopped right back in front of her. He then shot up a tree, leaping to another and another until she giggled softly when he started lofting pinecones her way.
I shifted on my feet again when he ran at her, flicking her hair on the way by, but Bella gasped softly when Eleazar called for Rose, who stepped into the clearing as a full-grown grizzly. Nine feet of bear and teeth and bad intentions, except my sister didn’t want to hurt Bella, simply train with her.
Alice stepped beside me, slipping her hand into mine.
Wait, big brother. Her thoughts were amused, but they also showed me the vision she was getting. I know you want to protect her, me…all of us, but she needs this…
“Yeah, but…”
I didn’t get a chance to finish that argument. Jasper’s assault with his pinecones was suddenly met with a small window, and each one he threw ended up pummeling him right back. The bear fell to four paws, stepping heavily toward Bella, but a square hole opened beneath it, and it suddenly appeared just inside the brush about fifty yards away. The sound of crushing shrubs and sticks and small trees sounded like a meteor had landed as my sister fell out of nowhere to the ground.
“Kate,” Eleazar called, waving her forward.
Kate held out her hand, a small blue ball of electricity building up about the size of a baseball. When she threw it, Bella pulled up a window right in front of her, like a shield, but at the same time, a window silently opened up behind Kate, which sent her own weapon right back at her.
“Shit!” she squeaked, breaking into a laugh as she collapsed into the grass.
Bella rushed to Kate. “I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t be. That was an awesome defense,” Kate reassured her, rubbing her shoulder where the shock had hit her from behind.
“Hurts like a bitch, don’t it, baby?” Garrett teased her from the side, which made us all chuckle.
“Shut up. You’re next,” Kate countered, gesturing to Bella.
Garrett stepped forward, giving Bella his lazy-ass smile, but the rusty old tractor behind him started to shift and shake. The blades sprang free with a squeal that caused all of us to cringe.
“Garrett…” I started to warn, but he shook his head.
Easy, Edward. I won’t hurt her. Hell, this may backfire like Kate.
“I know, but…” I stepped forward, but Alice held tightly to my hand.
“Edward, wait!” she hissed in my ear.
Those rusty, scary-looking blades started to spin and bend. He separated them, split them up, and mentally swung them across the field, clanging them together and cutting the grass in spots. They built in speed, and they swung in bigger and bigger circles until they were aiming right for Bella.
My own powers shot out of control, and I put my hand out, causing those blades to come to a complete standstill as I rushed to Bella’s side. Garrett pushed, and I pushed, and before either of us decided to let go, Bella’s soft thoughts met mine.
Edward, let go on the count of three. Ready? she asked, and I nodded. One, two, three!
I let go, and Bella opened a window at the same time Garrett’s power pushed like hell. The rusty blades dropped out of sight, but a loud crack met our ears just inside the tree line. The two blades lodged hard and high into one of the pines, and the top slowly cracked and fell to the forest floor. They’d hit so hard that the tree was still swaying, sending birds flying and small animals scurrying away.
“Really, Garrett!?” I snapped, ignoring Bella’s protests and her hands pushing me back as my temper began to completely unravel. “Were you trying to fucking cut her into two pieces!?”
“Edward,” Bella called, but my eyes didn’t stray from the laughing man across the field. His mind was calm, amused even, because he could see I’d fallen for the girl trying to get me to not lose control.
My nostrils flared and my hands balled into fists as I tried to pull back, but I was too pissed. All I could see was the small girl and those blades, and nothing could happen to her. I felt the rumble leaving my chest and hands, and it was too late. A wave of my power shot out from me, pressing Garrett into the closest tree trunk. The fucker was still laughing at me because now he was sure I’d fallen for Bella.
“Edward, please!” Bella called me, her hands planting themselves flat on either side of my face. “Let him go. Please?”
I shook my head, and lawn chairs, shrubs, and potted plants started to dislodge themselves from the back deck of the main house.
“Edward, if you don’t calm down,” she started but glanced around briefly before looking back at me. “You give me no choice…”
There was a sudden sensation of falling, and then there was an abrupt stop. I fell back onto my ass, collapsing flat on the ground and staring up at the sky. A shadow fell over me as I lay there, and I gazed up at a very pissed-off Bella.
“I have to learn this, Edward!”
“I know, but…” I sat up, gazing around us. We were no longer in the bright, late spring day of Denali but somewhere cloudy and foggy. A quick glance to my left, and I saw gray ocean water and rocks. “Fuck, Bella… Where are we?”
“Washington…just outside of Aberdeen.” She shifted nervously on her feet. Her thoughts were everywhere. “Sorry. It was the first place that popped into my head.”
I snorted, standing up and facing her. “I know you have to learn, pretty girl,” I said, going back to the reason she’d now taken me hundreds of miles away, and I shoved my hands into the front pockets of my jeans. “I’m not an idiot, but I just… I can’t…”
Bella huffed a light laugh, shaking her head a little as she folded her arms across her chest, but her thoughts were still a little pissed. “I need to be able to do this, you know?” she whispered so softly, looking up at me. “You can’t always protect me.”
Frowning, I shook my head. “Well, I can damn well try!” I raked a hand through my hair, my temper flaring up again. “Someone has to! I’ve seen that place, you know!” I tapped my temple. “Your mind – what you could remember, anyway – Alice’s visions, and those assholes from the hospital! I’ve seen it. I know what they do, I know what they’ll do to all of us, but I know what they’ll do to you, Bella!” I started to pace in front of her, shaking my head. “To think someone just fucking…gave you to them! Sold you…like it’s the fucking black market! If I hated Volterra before, I don’t have words for the…the…”
“Edward, my mother was—”
“Wrong. Your mother was wrong, Bella. Say it! You were a grown woman, trying to start your life, and she needed a fucking hit. Your mother was wrong. She signed a contract giving them permission to put you in a goddamn coma so they could harvest whatever the fuck is inside you, us…sixxers. All this,” I continued, gesturing up and down her body. “All this vibrant, smart, gorgeous…Jesus fucking Christ, sexy thing…just strapped to a bed like a damn vegetable… No… No. It’ll never happen. I won’t let it.” I met her gaze, which was now watery, and I started to feel like a real shit. “I told you… You are worth it, pretty girl. It’s really time you start believing it. I sure as hell think so.”
Bella walked to me briskly, and I braced myself for a hit for bringing up her mother if nothing else, but instead, her hands reached for my face. The very second her lips met mine, I lost all control. My hands, my mind, my powers – they all went haywire. My hands roamed everywhere I could, finally cupping her ass and picking her up. Her squeak of surprise made me smile against her lips as she secured her legs around my waist, but I didn’t pull back, I turned my head to really fucking kiss her.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard stones crack and splashes in the water. I heard trees swaying and birds taking flight, but mostly I heard Bella’s mind thinking, Finally.
I’d never felt anything like it. With each sweep of my lips over hers, every taste of my tongue, every grip of her hands in my hair, my chest felt like it would explode. I’d never felt this strong of a pull, an attraction, of absolute protection about anyone in my life.
Bella gasped, pulling back. “I heard that. I heard…you. About the pull. Me, too.”
“Yeah, well…I don’t exactly have the best control right now, pretty girl,” I said, chuckling a bit, but I licked my lips to savor the best kiss I’d ever had.
I jerked my chin so that she’d look around to see I’d pretty much rearranged the beach we were on, not to mention flattened a few small trees and tall grasses. So my thoughts pushing into her mind were small in comparison. Her smile was slightly prideful as she let her forehead meet mine.
“Say it, Bella.”
“My mother was wrong.”
“And?”
“I’m…I’m…worth it.”
I kissed her again, hard and deep, moaning at the things my mind wanted. Her hands were a bit cool when she placed them flat on either side of my face.
She was breathing heavily when she pulled away again. “I can’t let those things happen to you either. To any of us, Edward.”
“Well, we made a helluva team back there, Bella,” I teased her, loving the feel of her in my arms, but I set her down. “We should practice that shit more often.”
She laughed softly. “Which part? The training or the kissing?”
“Oh, there will be more kissing, pretty girl,” I warned her, raising an eyebrow her way. “But I meant training, and despite how badly I like this running-away-from-all-the-bullshit thing, we need to…”
“Yeah, sorry about that. I didn’t know how else to stop you.” Her smile was sheepish, her mind apologetic, but she didn’t need to be sorry.
“Don’t be. Occasionally I need to be knocked on my ass, even if it’s a thousand miles away,” I whispered against her forehead, smiling at her giggle.
I offered Bella my hand as she opened a window back to the field in Alaska.





2 comments:

Snoopylover said...

Him calling her pretty girl and just kissing her stupid... Yah,... that so good!! :D

Kristi said...

What a powerful duo!
The Volturi have no idea what's about to take them down.
That kiss was a defining moment for their future together and the family's safety.
Will Tanya betray them all because of her jealousy?

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