Saturday, June 3, 2017 | By: Drotuno

Six - Chapter 26

Chapter 26
New York City
As soon as the window closed behind Jane, we went into planning mode. Carlisle first called Alaska, putting the phone on speaker.
“Hello, Carlisle,” Carmen said sweetly when she answered the phone. “How are things in your side of the country?”
“Just fine, Carmen. And you?” No matter how urgent the situation, Carlisle was unfailingly polite and friendly.
“Good. Things here are good as well.” Then, showing just how perceptive she was, she continued, “I have a feeling you’re calling to speak to El, not just to catch up on how things are here. Did you get a lead on Aro?”

Carlisle chuckled but then sobered. “Yes, we just had an…interesting visitor who gave us some even more interesting news.”
“Okay,” she said smoothly without asking any questions. “I’ll go give the phone to—oh! Here he is now.” Her voice muffled, she said, “Carlisle for you. He has news.”
Eleazar’s voice sounded calm when he said, “You have news? Of Aro?”
Carlisle explained the visit we’d had from Jane, that Alice’s visions concerning Aro were more clear now, and that we would need to go to Seattle within the next few hours.
“Who do you need?” Eleazar asked.
Carlisle looked at Edward. “It’s up to you, son.”
I listened as Edward ran through a mental checklist of people and talents that would be useful.
“Garrett and Kate, I think,” Edward said. “I don’t believe we’ll need Tanya for this one.”
Thank goodness, I said in my head, grinning at Edward’s smirk my way.
“All right. I’ll let them know. You’ll call when you’re ready for them?”
“Yes,” Carlisle answered, nodding once even though Eleazar couldn’t see him. “Bella will open a window and have them join us before we head to Seattle as a group.”
“Will talk to you again then,” Eleazar said before disconnecting.
Once Carlisle had clicked off his side of the call, he looked around at those of us in the room before settling his gaze on me. “Bella, would you mind opening a window to Florida? I’d like to speak with Rae and gather the others we’ll take with us there before going to Seattle.”
I smiled. “Yeah, sure. Gives me a chance to say hi to my mom, too.” And to check up on her…
Alice would’ve seen something, Edward pushed to me silently, but he simply smiled when I nodded once to show I’d heard. I knew she would, but some things I just wanted to see with my own eyes.
Rae had designated one of the rooms of the old motel our “Bella” room, which meant I could always open a window in there without fear of letting any non-sixxer in on the secret. Because of that, I had no worry about opening the window and letting the rest of the family go through before I stepped in behind them and then allowed the window to close.
Even though we could hear shrieks and laughter coming from the pool outside the door, Edward took a moment but then smiled and said, “All clear. The girls and Seth are outside with Liam and Renee. Rae is inside with Randall.”
As soon as he opened the motel room door, Maggie and Makenna both squealed, “Edward!” and rushed over to greet us all with wet hugs, huge smiles, and nonstop chatter. Bree followed with a shy smile but looked just as happy to see us.
“What are you doing here?” Maggie asked as she hugged me as tight as her little arms could.
“Wait’ll you see the turtle!” Makenna said excitedly to Edward before moving to hug the rest of us. “She just laid eggs yesterday. She was worried we’d hurt them, but I promised we wouldn’t.”
After getting a gentle but quick hug from Bree, a complicated handshake from Seth, and a smile from Liam, I was pulled into my mom’s arms and hugged fiercely before she held me at arm’s length and looked me over from head to toe.
Laughing, I said, “Mom, you just saw me a couple of weeks ago.”
She shrugged and laughed a little. “I have a lot of missed time to make up for, so I soak it in whenever I get the chance now.”
A warm feeling rushed through me, and I blinked back tears, reaching out to hug her again. “Missed you too,” I said quietly before releasing her.
“What are you guys doing here?” she asked as she accepted a hug from Esme.
“Let’s go inside and call Benjamin. We need to get him here. Then I’ll explain,” Carlisle promised, nodding his head to Rae and Randall, who were standing just outside the door to the main part of the motel.
After everyone greeted them, we followed them back inside to Rae’s living room.
It didn’t take long to get Benjamin to Florida. Being Saturday, he wasn’t at work, so it was a simple matter of opening a window from his house to Rae’s, and he was stepping through minutes later.
At Edward’s suggestion, Carlisle called Alaska and requested that Kate and Garrett join us then as well, so I opened a window for them. We all waved to Carmen and Eleazar once Kate and Garrett had stepped through, and then I let the window close as we greeted the two newcomers.
Finally, Carlisle stood up at the front of the room and waited till the noise had quieted and everyone had settled down before once more going through the story of Jane’s visit and her news of Aro’s plans to go to Seattle.
“Let’s make a plan, then,” Benjamin said, nodding once. “We need to make sure and take him down before he gets away with any of those vials.”
As Liam ushered Maggie, Makenna, and Bree back out to the pool, my mom took my hand and pulled me aside. “Do you need to be here, or can we talk?” she asked, looking worried.
Go, Edward pushed my way with a small smile. I’ll catch you up.
“We can talk,” I told her, letting her lead me out of the main building to the room Rae had given her.
Once I’d settled on her bed with her in the chair beside it, she took my hand and stared down at it for a moment. I stayed quiet, knowing she had something to say.
“I’m worried,” she finally said, raising her gaze from our hands to look me in the eyes. “Aro is dangerous, and I hate the thought of you going up against him.”
I wanted to laugh – as if I didn’t know how dangerous the bastard was? – but instead, I twisted my hand so I could hold hers tightly. “I know he is, Mom. But you’ve only seen a little of what those people in there can do. I promise, between the nine of us, Aro and any of his remaining minions don’t stand a chance. And you know Edward will have his head if he dares to even look my way.”
My mother chuckled, nodding, before she sobered once more. “I know,” she said with a sigh. “I know you’ll be as safe as you can possibly be, but it’s a mother’s prerogative to worry.”
I smiled and then changed the subject, saying slyly, “I noticed that someone couldn’t keep his eyes off you…”
The pink that colored her cheeks made me grin. “I…I don’t know what you mean,” she stammered.
“Mmhmm,” I said in a teasing tone. Then I got serious for a moment. “If you like him and he likes you, you should go for it. Just make sure you’re ready, and take it slow. I’d hate to see you – or the girls – get hurt if it doesn’t work out.”
“I’m not rushing into anything,” she said firmly. “I want to make sure I’m good with who I am first. We’re just…getting to know one another right now.”
“Good.” I leaned over and hugged her. “I want you to be happy, Mom.”
“Thank you, baby,” she said before releasing me and standing. “Now, I’ll let you get back to the group so you can learn what they planned.”
I left my mom outside with Liam and the girls and then walked back into the living room, only to find Edward gone. Then I realized Alice and Jasper were missing as well. Moving over to Rose, I touched her shoulder and asked, “Have you seen Edward?”
She gave me a frown. “She and Edward got into it again about letting Maggie heal her. They’re back in Rae’s office.”
“Thanks,” I said, subdued as I thought of my friend – my soul sister – hurting like Alice was.
When I got to the office, I pushed open the door and found Alice and Jasper on the couch, his arm around her shoulder, and Edward leaning on the edge of the desk, hand in his hair, as if he’d reached up to run his fingers through it and just…froze.
“Hey,” I said softly. “Is this a private party or can anyone join in?”
“Not a party at all,” Edward said with a frown. “Nothing to celebrate, since Alice is too…stubborn to listen.”
“I’ve listened,” she growled. “I just don’t agree.”
“Okay, okay,” I said, trying to stop another argument before it really got going. “Edward, Jasper… You guys go. Let me have a minute with Ali, okay?”
Edward looked at me, asking in my head what I had planned, but I shook my head. Just…give us a few minutes.
He nodded once and then stood. “Okay,” he sighed. “C’mon, man. Let’s go see if they got in touch with Marcus.”
Jasper ran the back of a finger down Alice’s cheek softly and then stood. He squeezed my shoulder gently on his way by.
Edward kissed my temple and then followed him out, closing the door behind him.
Moving over to the couch, I asked, “Can I sit with you?” When Alice shrugged and nodded, I laughed softly. “Mixed messages. Little confusing, but okay.” She didn’t say anything, so once I settled in beside her, I spoke again. “I have a feeling confused is really what you’re feeling, isn’t it?”
She finally sighed, nodding again. “Little bit, yeah,” she said wryly. “I know Edward’s worried about me.”
“Sweetie, we’re all worried about you,” I said honestly. “You haven’t been yourself lately. You were pushing so hard to find Aro, now to figure out how to stop him, that you aren’t taking care of yourself. You’ve lost weight, when you didn’t exactly have any extra in the first place. You’ve bitten your nails down to the quick. And it’s killing Jasper, not knowing how to help you.”
“I know,” she moaned, clenching her hands into fists. She was silent for a moment. Then she admitted quietly, “I’m scared.”
“For the upcoming fight with Aro?” Then it dawned on me, something from the conversation I’d had with Jasper and Edward at school. “Oh… Of letting Maggie heal you.”
She nodded. “I need my talent. I need to be able to contribute like you, Jasper, Edward, Rose, and Emmett. If I lose my ability…”
“Then you’ll still be a loved, valued member of this family,” I stated firmly. “Is Esme any less loved or needed because she isn’t a sixxer?” I asked, knowing the answer.
Alice’s vehement “no” came with a fast shake of her head.
“No, of course she isn’t. And neither would you be if you didn’t have visions anymore. Talent or no talent, you’re a part of this family. Wouldn’t it be worth it to be able to see again, with your eyes, not just your visions, things like the sun, the ocean… Jasper?”
When she didn’t say anything, I said the one thing that I thought might sway her. Apologizing in my head for possibly spilling his secret, I said, “Did you know that Jasper’s biggest worry is that if you can see again, if you can see him, you won’t love him anymore?”
Alice gaped at me. “Really? How can he worry about that? Vision or no vision, I know what he looks like. I know his heart, his mind, his soul. Why would he think that would chan— Oh…” She sighed.
“You’ll still love him no matter what,” I said knowingly. “So maybe…just maybe that goes the other way around, too, yeah? For all of us.”
She smiled, reaching up to wipe away the few tears that had fallen. “But after Aro. I want to be done with him first.”
Laughing, I agreed. “After Aro.”
“You’re not going,” I stated firmly, shaking my head. “We’ll bring you over when it’s done.”
“No, Dad.” I shook my head, hearing his argument in his mind before he even voiced it. “If one of us gets hurt, we’ll come to you – Bella will send them straight here.” I pointed to the pool deck of Rae’s place. “This will be hard enough with who’s going without worrying about sixxers who can’t defend themselves…no offense.”
He grinned, shaking his head slowly. “Who’s the parent?”
Rolling my eyes, I waved him away. “You know, they say the roles reverse as you grow older.”
“Shut up, Edward.”
I laughed his way, but he gripped my shoulder.
“Please, be careful,” he pleaded softly to me, his mind filling with worry. “More than half my family is stepping into this mess. I need you all to come home to me and your mother.”
I nodded that I heard him, and my head spun his way as he mentally counted Bella one of his own.
His smile was warm as he gripped my shoulder again. “Of course I consider her ours. She’s done amazing things for you, for herself, for this family. She’s come a long way since we found her.”
“Yeah,” I smiled crookedly his way, but he simply laughed at my lovesick expression.
He pushed me gently toward the girl we were discussing. “Go. And come back to me – all of you – in one piece.”
Stepping up to the small group we’d assembled for this last fight, I nodded to Bella to open the window to the abandoned warehouse across from the Seattle VI building. Jasper gave one last glance to my sister over his shoulder before leading Emmett, Rose, Seth, Benjamin, Kate, and Garrett into the dingy warehouse. Bella and I followed suit, and the window closed right behind us. My pretty girl opened another window along the back wall, and the man we needed most walked into the building wearing a solemn expression.
“Marcus,” I said, reaching a hand out to shake his.
“Good to see all of you,” he stated with a nod of his head to each of us. When he reached Bella, he held up his hand. “If you’ll wait just one moment, someone else will be joining us, Bella.”
Bella’s eyes glanced to her window, and a smile spread over our faces as a tall, handsome teen stepped into the building with us.
“Holy shit,” Jasper breathed, his voice laced with an incredulous laugh. “James.”
James was a bit nervous, a little shy, but he was walking, alert, and aware. And his talent was just as strong as ever.
“Lookin’ good, dude,” Emmett complimented, grinning James’s way.
“Th-Thank you,” he stuttered.
“James will be staying right here, Edward,” Marcus stated firmly, glancing his son’s way but then back to me. “He’ll communicate through you if he sees any sixxer activity while we’re in there.”
I laughed, shaking my head. “And I just told my dad he couldn’t come.”
Marcus chuckled. “Bring him in. He can work with James. Twice the power, but they stay out of sight as they monitor the area.”
I turned to Bella with a smile. “Go ahead, pretty girl.”
Bella giggled, opening a window back to Florida and calling for my dad. He rushed through as if one of us was in trouble.
“Marcus would like you to work with James,” I told him as Bella’s window slipped closed again.
My dad’s eyes widened at the sight of the young man who was once confined to a wheelchair. He nodded once to Marcus and then grinned like a smug child my way, mentally telling me that he knew he’d be needed.
Shaking my head, I turned to Seth and Jasper. “You two know what to do, and we’ll follow your lead on this one. So far, we’re clear?” I asked, looking to my dad and James.
“Th-The closest s-s-sixxer is approximately three miles away,” James stuttered, nodding toward the larger buildings in the distance of Seattle.
“That doesn’t mean a damn thing,” Bella added, wrinkling her nose. “That teleporter, Riley, could come from anywhere at any time. Just like us.”
“Well, if he does, we’ll see him,” Carlisle assured her.
“Even if he pops inside the building with you,” James added.
Garrett, who had been watching the building out the smudged window, pulled the binoculars away from his face. “We’ve got guards outside the building.”
“And probably a few inside as well,” Benjamin assumed aloud. “VI has been seized by the local authorities, with Aro having gone missing. Caius made a deal with us when I arrested him in the Olympic forest that day, leaving out the sixxer side of things. Technically, Aro is wanted as a ‘person of interest’ in some fraudulent activity that has nothing to do with people like us.”
Marcus shook his head. “Shady, backdoor deals, I’m guessing.”
“Yeah,” Benjamin agreed. “Deals for bioweapons not on the books and some with countries that he shouldn’t be messing with, to be honest. I’m surprised he’s still alive, actually. Hell, Caius is under guard.”
I snorted, shaking my head at just how low Aro and his brother had stooped, because I could see through Marcus and Benjamin that those backdoor deals were for money that served to keep sixxers under lock and key. Those deals funded Aro’s sixxer research. It was those deals that allowed him to hunt, capture, and manipulate sixxers into comas in order to bleed them of their talents – sixxers like James and Marcus, like little Maggie and Bree, sixxers like my Bella.
“Can we just get this done?” I asked exasperatedly. “You do what you want with Aro, but the vials need to be destroyed. No more sixxer power at his motherfucking fingertips.”
My temper surged out of me a little, rattling the windows around us, until Bella’s hand slipped into mine. Easy, baby, she thought to me but then addressed Benjamin and Seth. “You ready?”
I nodded, as did everyone else. Once Garrett handed over the binoculars to my dad, we got ready to step into the building that was now void of activity. Bella, who was once terrified of the building we were about to raid, opened a window without trepidation, and she’d opened it up inside the one area where she’d been held captive – the quarantined area.
It was a motherfucking cell, and no one could tell me differently. Bella smirked up at me as we walked through her window, and she laced her fingers with mine. It was the same room we’d come into when we’d rescued Maggie, and even the door that Garrett had disintegrated was still absent, only the hinges left behind.
I looked to Rose, whose human form melted away. In its place was the white German Shepherd. She was going to use the dog’s sense of smell and hearing to navigate the building she’d been in more than all of us combined.
“We’ll follow you, Rose,” I whispered.
The bare minimum of lights were on down in the basement and quarantine area. There were no medical machines running or phones ringing or even air-condition units on. It was eerily quiet and still. The scent of a hospital still clung to the air, but it was stale, unmoving. Farther down the corridor, a fluorescent bulb flickered; its buzzing was the only sound so far, except for the click of Rose’s paws. At the end of the hallway and through the windows in the doors, the huge room revealed row upon row of empty hospital beds. All of them were flat, stripped bare of sheets, and lowered down as far as they could go. The door to the pharmacy was open, the shelves inside empty, but it was the lab at the back of the large empty room for which we were aiming.
However, the room was being guarded, just like Benjamin had assumed. A desk and some chairs had been situated at the doors leading out of the basement to the stairs and elevators. Two uniformed officers were kicked back with a laptop open in front of them. The sound of whatever they were watching was tinny and faint, due to how large the room was and how far they were away from us. Pulling back from the door, I looked to Seth.
“This is on you, buddy,” I told him, pointing toward the guards.
Seth nodded, stepping up to the window. A strange sense came over the room, and as the movie on the laptop played on, the guards froze in the middle of their movement – one with a coffee mug up to his lips and the other scratching his nose.
“Nice…” Emmett chuckled lightly. He hadn’t seen Seth’s talent in full swing.
Grinning, I nodded to Jasper. “Go.”
My brother was a blur. His speed seemed instantaneous – into the lab and back – setting down Styrofoam coolers filled with vials. Once he had four of them stacked in the hallway, Emmett picked them all up at once, and Bella opened the window for the warehouse across the street. He set them down at my dad’s feet, turning our way.
Just as we were about to follow, Rose’s growl rumbled low in the hallway, James’s eyes darted toward the windows, and I caught the mind I hated most.
“He’s here,” I said, and James nodded. “Where? Where’d he come in?”
Dad and James studied the area, and their minds, their talents were very similar. Dad could sense sixxers nearby, but James could pinpoint exactly where they’d appeared. In fact, James could see two, then one, then three, then two, and then four. Riley was bringing everyone over from wherever they’d been hiding – Aro, Demetri, and Felix.
From the window, we couldn’t see anything. But James pointed toward the front doors of the reception area. They’d popped in behind the guards, but it was then that I caught all the minds across the way, including Demetri’s.
“Shit,” I hissed, shaking my head and spinning toward everyone else. “Demetri knows we’re here.”
“Fuck. Tracker,” Jasper muttered, glancing Bella’s way.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “He caught her mind first, then mine.”
Bella’s brow furrowed, and then she started to worry that she’d caused trouble.
“No, pretty girl. It would’ve happened anyway. Best part is that he doesn’t know who’s with us,” I explained to her, gesturing toward the window she still had open to the basement corridor. “And…there’s nothing left to for them to steal.”
“We’ve essentially led them to a trap,” Marcus mused, rubbing his chin and looking to his son. “James, are there only four?”
“Yes. Two sixxers, one normal person, and something…altered.” He frowned at that, glancing back to the front of the building where the reception area was now empty. “Sixxer…but not.”
Poor James looked confused, but his father soothed him with, “Your uncle is messing with powers he can’t possibly understand or control, especially if he’s mixing them. He’s never understood it, and he never will. He’s arrogant and foolish and envious, a treacherous combination; it makes him dangerous and unpredictable.”
“Predictable…” I muttered to myself, wondering what Alice had seen of this. I turned to Bella. “Open a window to Florida, please. I need to see my sister.”
Bella did as I asked, and Rae was standing there with my sister holding on to her arm. Visions immediately hit me, and they ranged from Aro’s escape, to his death. There were too many variables for her to narrow it down. She did frown my way with one vision concerning just me, where my ability to control my talents exploded out of me and into the large open space of the VI building.
“Alice?” I asked her, tilting my head at more visions but focusing on her face.
“I dunno, Edward,” she replied, shaking her head. “I…I can’t see why…” She trailed off and then froze. “Oh. You have to go! Now! And make sure you corner him, get him alone, Edward! And keep Marcus hidden.”
“Yeah, but…”
Bella closed the window and reopened one for the quarantine area again. We all rushed through again, not bothering to keep as quiet as before. I turned to Kate, giving a nod. She set her hand on the closest light switch, sending one single zap of electricity into it. The whole building surged with her power, the hallways falling into darkness. She’d just stopped the building’s heart like a doctor with a defibrillator.
There was a shifting to my side, and I realized Rose had changed from her dog form to the enormous white Bengal tiger – the same one she’d used in the Olympic building. It was the form she used when she wanted to scare the ever-loving shit out of someone.
The building was completely dark as we made our way back up the hallway to the double doors with the windows looking out over the sea of empty hospital beds. Peeking in through those windows, I could see that Seth’s power had been released, and the men were back to watching the laptop again, though through their thoughts, they were a little confused as to where the movie was; they felt they’d missed something along the way. They had; they just didn’t know it.
However, the minds of the four men we were waiting for were drawing closer, coming down the stairs from the main floor. They were wary but determined and ready for anything after the power had gone out while they were in the stairwell.
“Seth, we have to protect those guards,” Emmett stated, jerking his chin toward the two men, now starting to get up to investigate the noises from the door behind them and the power outage.
“We’ll need to move fast,” Garrett stated, holding out a hand and pulling metal from somewhere behind us. His usual orbiting balls joined him, floating just above his flattened palm. They stretched and squared off into something the size and shape of a Hershey bar, and as soon as Seth stopped time for the two guards inside, those flat bars of metal launched across the room so hard and fast that they sealed the door to the big room shut with three loud thunk-thunk-thunks.
Emmett then took action, sprinting across the room to lift the two guards – one over each shoulder. He was going to stash them in the pharmacy to keep them safe and out of the way. Marcus stepped through the door to stay hidden with the guards.
Jasper climbed the walls, securing himself a spot in the corner of the ceiling. Rose stalked the edge of the far wall, lowering herself down behind a hospital bed when the pounding on the door began. Bella’s fingers slipped into mine as Garrett called more metal to him. He pulled it out of the walls, balling it up, melting it until it was back to the orbs that circled around him, only this time he had about eight the size of cherry tomatoes. Over and around him, they orbited while Kate opened both hands to build up two softball-sized electrical masses. They cast an eerie blue glow to the very dark room.
A harsh pounding started at the doors that Garrett had sealed shut, and when the pounding stopped, Benjamin shifted a little closer.
“I smell fire,” he stated softly, glancing around at everyone. “Get back, get low.”
We did as he said, but he remained standing, bracing himself. The sealed door started to shake, the paint began to peel and bubble, and finally it exploded out of the doorjamb in an arc of smoldering metal. Reaching out, I slowed it down and dropped it softly to the floor away from everyone. Bella opened a window and deposited it into the sea. Benjamin, however, countered the fire that had destroyed the door, essentially stealing it from its owner, Aro.
The four minds that entered the room were filled with various and opposite lines of thinking. Aro wanted what he came for, Felix simply wanted a fight, Demetri wanted out, and the teleporter was assessing, planning, plotting. He had places in mind, and plan Bs to execute should all this go badly, but what was interesting was seeing Marcus’s view of things. There was no loyalty between the four men, except for Felix to Aro and Demetri, and really, that was due to his simple-minded and mean nature.
Using the water pipes in the wall, Benjamin extinguished the fire, stepping closer to Aro and his small crew.
Riley vanished for a split second and then appeared back at Aro’s side, saying, “It’s empty.”
Aro was livid as his gaze raked over the large room and who was in it, though I wasn’t sure he saw everyone. Jasper was still hidden in shadow on the ceiling, and Rose was crouched low and silent, her sharp eyes on everyone.
Aro turned to Riley. “You know what to do.”
Bella’s face appeared in both minds, but before I could react, and before Bella actually realized what she was seeing through me, Riley was gone, at Bella’s side, and both disappeared into nothing.
“Motherfucker!” I snarled, hearing Bella’s mind popping in and out. She was fighting with her own teleporting skills against Riley.
Jasper moved when I did, landing hard on Felix, and Rose tackled Demetri before anyone could move.
My power shot out from me, pushing, shoving, and squeezing Aro until he slammed hard into the concrete wall so hard the blocks cracked.
“Where would he take her?” I snarled in his face. “Where?!”
Aro simply laughed, and it was maniacal and creepy, but his mind was panicking.
“You should panic, asshole.”
Rose’s low growl rumbled through that large basement room, and the sound of Felix and Jasper fighting was background noise. Aro’s mind was the loudest thing in the room because Bella’s windows stopped opening and closing.
My power constricted around Aro, and I started to squeeze my hands into fists in order to break him, choke him. A sharp, painful shock ran through me, sending me several feet across the room, sliding roughly across the floor and colliding with one of the beds. My head throbbed, thinking that Kate had accidently shocked me, but from the minds around me, I saw that it was Aro.
“You can have Isabella back when I get those vials,” Aro stated, walking slowly across the floor. “Until then, I’m keeping her. And I can keep her anywhere. Riley’s power can take her to the ocean and drown her…or he can drop her into a volcano. But until I get my vials, he’s going to keep her.”
Rose’s snarl rocked the whole room, her claws dug deep into Demetri’s flesh at the shoulder and his chest. Emmett had joined Jasper and Felix, and it was a true battle of strength. Emmett – as laidback as he was normally – was fierce and determined.
A door opened in the room, and Marcus’s voice was calm and controlled. “Aro, stop. It’s over. There are no more experiments. There are no more vials. They’re being destroyed as we speak. Did you really think we’d keep them? Did you really think we’d allow you to have them?”
Aro was trying to determine which power to use, which gave the rest of us the advantage. He’d filled himself with the last vials he had, and he wasn’t born a sixxer, so he had no natural reflex. The rest of us did.
“They’re mine! I collected them, I alone figured out how to harvest them, and I’m going to use them!” Aro snapped at his brother. He was reaching for his pocket to call Riley; he was going to give the order to kill Bella by any means necessary.
It was the last decision he made.
My temper unraveled, snapping and sparking into something I had no control over. My mind opened to everyone in the room, pulling and absorbing all the powers, but it also revealed my pure hatred, my thirst for vengeance. If Bella had been there, the floor would’ve opened up, but as it was, Garrett and Kate were the easiest to rob of their powers. Interestingly enough, they meshed into something frightening. I held out my hand, calling the metal orbs circling around Garrett, and at the same time, those same balls sparked into life. Instead of Kate’s blue lightning, it was red and angry.
They flew from me, aimed at Aro like bullets. Felix pushed off Emmett and placed himself as a shield in front of Aro, taking all but one of the missiles. Not only did they penetrate his flesh, but they broke bone and shocked him all at the same time. The stray ball of steel struck Aro just below his collarbone but above his heart. The shock wasn’t as sharp as what Felix took – the large man had fallen to the floor in a heap.
Aro leaned against the wall, panting in pain and shock, but I was too far gone. I pulled from Jasper and Benjamin next, using speed and wind, creating a tornado of medical supplies in that basement. My head throbbed with the power I was exerting, a nosebleed trickled down my face, but I ignored it all. Finally, I pulled from Emmett’s power, releasing my fist to Aro’s face, but not even the satisfying sound of breaking bone could stop me.
“Bring her back!” I said over and over, repeatedly hitting the man in his face. His hand gripped my wrist, fire singeing my skin, blistering me.
I brought my fist up one more time, and suddenly, I dropped through into nothing, only to land again across the room. When my fist came down, all the power surged through me, creating a tidal wave of concrete, hospital beds, and glass. It rolled away from me, tearing up everything in its wake, and just as it was about to come short of Aro, he popped from his spot against the wall and then was tossed haphazardly into the full impact of the destruction I’d started. Riley was just barely able to get out of the way.
However, it was the mind I needed the most that caused the last of Aro. Bella’s ability rocketed into my mind, and the floor beneath Aro opened up, taking him and the pile of debris with him. He plummeted to the rocky surf below, along with all the concrete and hospital equipment.
When I rounded on Demetri, Bella’s beautiful face appeared in front of me. Her hands grasped my face almost roughly.
“Edward, baby… Look at me!” she ordered, switching to thoughts. Edward, stop. It’s over. I love you. I’m okay. I’m right here. It’s over. He’s gone.
My vision was blurry with the throbbing of my head, but I locked gazes with the most beautiful brown eyes I’d ever seen. She gently swiped at my face with the sleeve of her sweatshirt as tears coursed down her face.
“I’m okay, baby. I promise.” She vowed this over and over in a whisper until I released the tension in my body.
I sank to my knees, my shoulders sagging.
A strong, warm hand landed on my shoulder, but I didn’t have to look up. I heard Marcus’s mind.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, shaking my head. “I didn’t… I wasn’t…”
“My brother sealed his fate when he came here. He made his own decision when he took Bella. Son, that’s not your fault. There was nothing of my brother there.” He squeezed my shoulder. “Bella, get Carlisle. That nosebleed isn’t stopping.”
I heard Bella’s window open, and my father was there in an instant. “Edward, son, let me see.”
I heard the name Maggie, and another window opened again. This time, I glanced up to see Emmett reaching for me.
“C’mon, brother. Let’s get you out of this fucking place.”
I felt myself being lifted, an arm holding me firmly. The scent of dust and concrete and medicinal smells disappeared, and the scent and sounds of the ocean and swimming pools and sunshine assaulted me.
There was talk of clean up and secrets, of getting the vials to Florida, but I couldn’t focus until Maggie’s sweet face knelt in front of me.
“I can fix it, Edward.”
Nodding was the only answer I had, and I sighed in relief when her hands met either side of my face. The throbbing ebbed away almost instantly, and my eyes could finally focus. Her soft healing moved to my arm, and it was fascinating to watch charred, blistered skin heal without a scar or pain.
“Thanks, kiddo,” I whispered with a deep breath of relief.
When I glanced up, I needed one person, and she was there as soon as I thought it. “I thought I’d lost you,” I breathed into her skin.
“No. Riley, he… Well, we had to make it look good, but he was trying to find a way to get away from Aro.” She pulled back to grasp my face gently. “Look at me. Edward, I’m sorry I scared you. The second he took me, he told me to fight but that we needed to wait. We opened a window to watch for you. I’m so sorry. I promise I’m okay.”
Her rambling made me smile, but it fell quickly. “Aro’s dead,” I stated nervously.
“You had no choice, Edward,” Benjamin told me. “You did what you had to do. I’m not sure he would’ve stopped. We’ll have to manipulate the scene, but it’s over.” He paused, gazing around at all of us. “Well, Aro isn’t a threat anymore. I think it’s time to talk about some sort of…sixxer protection or government for others out there using us or their powers against the weaker.”
There were hums of agreement and whispers of unsure or doubtful thoughts, but it was Marcus who spoke up. “Benjamin, if you would please.” He pointed to the vials that had been removed from their coolers and then the fire pit on Rae’s deck.
With a point of a finger, the fire ignited, and the vials were tossed in. What had been stolen from us, from sixxers everywhere, was now gone.


Moltz said...

Whoa, that was intense.
Each gifted sixxer has a special place within their makeshift family. It's about time that Aro paid with his life.

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