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Many thanks to Jess who is my friend and a rockin beta. Jess Rocks!
Chapter 25: Bella
"They did not do this to me." I pleaded with Sam. Edward turned to look at me, but I had already brought my shield in. The mass of voices in my head had become too much. "They would never do such a thing. Carlisle speaks the truth. We respect human lives. Please don't do this."
The look on Sam's face didn't change. Edward pulled me toward him and held me close. I could feel a sense of calm, probably coming from Jasper, and anger coming from Edward; his breaths were fast and ragged. Alice was rubbing her temples, struggling to see what would happen. Esme had gone to Carlisle's side and Emmett was standing in front of Rose, who seemed unaffected by all of this. Edward whipped his head around and looked into the forest. There was movement in the trees. I could smell the wolves getting closer, and I wondered if the men in front of us would transform soon. Edward's body tensed and I knew something was about to happen. He looked into my eyes, kissed my forehead and released me from his grasp. He moved to stand next to Carlisle.
"Sam, don't do this. We have done nothing wrong. We have forsaken our very basic nature to respect ourselves and to respect your kind as well. We did not break the treaty and we do not wish to fight you." Edward said. There was a confidence in his voice that gave me hope that the wolves would listen. Edward's gaze shifted to a man standing behind Sam.
"Jacob, I plead with you to uphold the word of your grandfather. Ephraim was a good man-"
Jacob interrupted him. "Don't speak of my grandfather. Don't you dare speak his name. You didn't know him. He would have done anything to protect our family, including killing a few of you god forsaken leeches." Pure hatred radiated from him.
Edward kept his stance relaxed and he spoke again.
"You're right. He would have done anything to protect your family, but this is not what he wanted. Do you remember what he told you? Do you remember his love and sincerity, when he spoke of respecting all living things? He told you that even though are hearts did not beat, we live... He understood that my family and I are different from the rest of our kind. We stand here because Ephraim knew better than to do what you are thinking about. Don't betray him."
Jacob's hands clenched into fists and he lunged at Edward. Edward was quick, he crouched and Jacob flew right over him. I gasped as I realized that Jacob was coming right at me. He hit the ground and rolled right into me, sending me falling to the ground. I pounced back up and the first thing I saw was Jasper. He was deep in concentration, trying to calm everyone down. My mind started racing; I was thinking a million different things all at the same time. The wolves were attacking, we were outnumbered, and Carlisle had told me that they had the ability to overpower us. I could feel the pages of my fairy tale being ripped out and torn apart. My love, My Edward, I could not let anything happen to him. My family, these beautiful people who had accepted me and loved me, were slipping away from me. My chest burned, my nostrils flared and that was when it hit me. Jasper... My shield… At the very least I could help him try and ease everyone back into some kind of rational talk.
I jumped to his side and grabbed onto his arm. I didn't even have to try to push my shield away; it sprang away from me and encompassed him. I tried to focus on calm, but the other emotions running through me took over- my love for Edward, my hatred for these creatures who were trying to destroy us, my urge to protect my family, and my fear. The fear was overwhelming me, and every muscle in my body began to tense. There was a heat emerging from my chest and something beyond my control took over my body. It was like an explosion, with me at the epicenter, my free arm flew up and I clenched my teeth, trying to gain some control of my body. The heat from my chest suddenly spread throughout me and I screamed. The sound of my own voice terrified me. My eyes were closed and I could not open them. Every part of my body ached and tingled. I could feel my shield stretch and shift in ways that I didn't understand; it felt as though I was being pulled apart. I tried to stop whatever I was doing with no avail. I heard nothing around me; no footsteps, no growls, just silence. I couldn't breathe. Had I truly taken my last breath? Was I being pulled apart? Had the wolves gotten to me? The fear ripped through me, and I felt it rock every fiber of my being.
The realization of defeat filled me; I needed to release this fear and just let go- so I pushed- I pushed away the fear with all of the strength I had. I felt a breeze across my face and my eyes started to open. There was a figure before me. It took me a moment to realize that it was Sam. He was shaking as he started to back away. I felt something in my hand, I turned to see Jasper; my hand still latched onto his arm. I couldn't make myself let go, I was still pushing my shield and I couldn't stop. I looked down to see Jacob; he was still on the ground as he started to crawl away. That was when I heard the rapid footsteps, and I looked forward again to see them running. The pack was running away. What the hell was happening? I felt someone touching me- a cool soft hand on my back made me stop pushing. I inhaled and released my grip on Jasper.
I could feel myself falling. There was not an ounce of strength left in me, not even enough to stand; exhaustion and confusion were all that was left.
I heard muffled voices in the distance.
"Bella! Bella! Carlisle, something's wrong."
"Bella, please open your eyes..."
It was Edward, and even his perfect voice was not enough to lift my eyelids. His hands slipped under me and picked me up. The sensation of wind on my hair, told me that he was running, and I could feel his arms trembling beneath me. The more I tried to speak or to lift my head, the more tired I became. I floated in and out of some sort of daze. My body wanted to succumb to this state of rest but inside my head, my thoughts started to become clear. The voices started to take shape; Esme was whispering reassurances; Emmett was ordering me to snap out of it, but it was Alice's voice that finally woke me.
"She is going to be fine. I can see it."
I felt someone squeeze my hand.
"Bella? Can you hear me?" Edward's voice was strained, his grip on my hand hard.
I opened my mouth, but I couldn't even force out a whisper.
"She'll come around. Give her a minute." Alice said.
My eyelids began to flutter open.
My eyes fully opened to see Edward by my side.
"Edward…" I whispered.
He breathed a sigh of relief and ran his fingers across my cheek.
"You had me worried," he said.
"I'm sorry." I muttered.
"Sshhh, you have nothing to be sorry for," he said then he huffed. "Don't even say it Alice."
"I told you so," she said with a grin.
Carlisle stepped into my view. "Bella, how are you feeling?"
"Umm, tired I think. What happened?"
I looked around to find that we were in my room. I was lying in bed with Edward sitting next to me, Carlisle had come and sat on my other side, Alice and Esme stood by the bed and Jasper, Rose, and Emmett were standing by the window.
"We're not exactly sure what happened out there. We were hoping you could shed a little light on the situation for us." Carlisle said gently touching my other hand.
Jasper walked over. "When you touched my arm... What was that?" He asked quietly.
I stretched my arms and sat myself up. Edward put his arm around me.
"The Wolves were going to attack." I looked at Jasper. "I thought of my shield and your gift. I was going to try and help you calm everybody down, but I was so scared. I couldn't concentrate on calm. I couldn't feel anything besides fear."
I hesitated; it had all happened so fast that it was surreal to me now.
"My shield, it just took over everything. Jasper, were you afraid?" I asked.
"No. Stunned maybe; confused definitely. I felt a mix of emotions. It was crazy."
"I was absolutely scared shitless," said Rose.
"Me too," Esme added.
Carlisle sighed. "I think with the exception of Jasper, we were all scared. I myself felt paralyzed by it. I have never felt anything like it."
"Edward?" I asked
"I was completely petrified."
"The wolves..." I whispered.
"They ran off," Edward replied.
"I know, but why?"
Everyone was silent.
"Don't you guys get it?" Emmett said. "Bella scared them away." He shrugged and walked toward the bed.
He started laughing. "Bella, I have never seen those dogs look so freaked out. You scared the shit out of all us of. Even me, and I don't scare easy."
Carlisle looked at me and smiled. "It's the only thing that makes sense. You tried to use your shield to help Jasper, but you pushed away the fear instead of the calm. You told us before that extreme emotions evoke your shield in a way that you can't control, and I think this was a prime example of that."
Jasper shook his head. "You can manipulate emotions like I have never seen. That was the most powerful display I have ever witnessed. I never could have done that."
"And you weren't afraid?" I asked.
He shook his head in disbelief. "No. I think because your shield was on me. You protected me."
I closed my eyes and reopened them slowly, everyone in the room was staring at me, smiling at me in awe and wonder. In that moment I felt the bond between us shift and strengthen. They truly felt like my family.
"Do you think the wolves will come back?" I asked looking back and forth between Edward and Carlisle.
"I don't know. Everything that happened tonight was so unexpected, for all us. The pack was split; some of them believed that I changed you or that Carlisle had, and they were also wondering about who created Alice and Jasper as they weren't with us when we lived here before. Sam didn't know what to believe, and Jacob disobeyed him by attacking, but in his defense, he is distraught over his sister. He believes her to be dead and he holds us responsible. His thoughts are filled with grief and sorrow. What do you think Carlisle?"
"Perhaps I should reach out to Sam, I could call him, but I think we should give it some time. It may be too soon today or even tomorrow. Maybe we should lay low for a while; get out of Forks for a few days… We could start our Denali trip a bit earlier than planned. What do you think Alice?"
Alice sat on the corner of the desk and closed her eyes. After a few minutes she smiled and jumped over to the bed. "Denali looks good." She looked at Edward and giggled. She flew over to the door and opened it. "Everybody out! Edward and Bella need to talk."
Everyone left the room and I wrapped my arms around Edward and put my head on his chest. He held me so tightly and kissed me so fiercely, that it made me pull away.
"Are you alright Edward?"
He stared into my eyes and pulled me close to him again.
"I don't want to let go of you. I was so afraid tonight. I know what I was feeling was coming from you, but it doesn't matter. I thought I might lose you, you have no idea what that did to me, and I don't want to waste another second of my life with anything that does not involve you. I could lay here in this bed forever as long as you are with me."
He started to kiss me again.
"Edward, wait. Before I lose track of everything besides you… What's our plan? When are we leaving for Denali? What about school?"
"We'll leave for Denali sometime today, but I don't want to stay there too long."
"Why was Alice giggling?"
"She saw what I am planning to do," he answered grinning.
"And what is that?"
"I want to forget about everything else except for you. Screw school. I want to take your advice and float away in an unbreakable Edward and Bella bubble. I want to spend time with you, alone… We can go wherever we want, for as long we want. Tell me where you want to go Bella and I will take you there, anywhere in the world, I don't care, as long as you are by my side."
He pushed me down on the bed and hovered over me. "You were right all along, Bella. This is some kind of fairy tale, except this time, I was not the handsome prince who rode up and saved my damsel in distress."
"You're wrong, Edward. You had to carry me home. You saved me again…" I replied.
"Bella…" He paused, shaking his head. "Can you stop being so modest? You are the most powerful creature I have ever laid eyes on. Didn't you hear what Jasper said? He has walked this earth for over a hundred years, perfecting his gift and he couldn't even come close to doing what you did. The entire family is in awe over you, even Carlisle. He is over three hundred years old and he has never seen anything like that. The Quilluette pack has grown to an unheard of size. They could have defeated us. You were truly my angel tonight."
He took my face in his hands. "Bella, you are my hero."