Characters/Pairings: Seth Clearwater/OC
Short summary: Liz is forced to move in with her aunt in Forks after her father's death and is determined to not like it until she meets Seth Clearwater. Suddenly, she's pulled into a world of supernatural myths and when a group of super-powered vampires called The Volturi show up, she doesn't think she can make it to her seventeenth birthday alive.
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. I am not making any kind of profit from this.
A/N: I’m so sorry, this took me a lot longer than I expected to post but I hope you all enjoy it anyways! :) A huge thank you goes out to everyone that reviewed the last chapter and to Ledybug for betaing this one! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to post the next chapter until after New Year’s, and since it is still Christmas where I am, I’ve decided to give you guys a little present in the form of a preview of the next chapter after the chapter (remember, it is unbetaed so please ignore my horrible typos). Thanks for reading this and remember to let me know what you think!
I opened my mouth to scream but she was next to me in a moment, her stone hand covering my mouth.
“It’s okay,” she said softly, her voice soft and melodic, as I struggled against her hold. “I’m not going to hurt you.” That was hard to believe when she was clamping my mouth shut, though. But then I noticed the same short, spiky black hair that I had seen earlier in the mall and I relaxed slightly. “Don’t yell, okay?”
I nodded and she removed her hand, moving to sit at the foot of my bed. I instinctively pulled my legs up to my chest and moved back against my headboard, trying to get as far away from her as possible. “What are you doing?” I asked, my voice shaking slightly.
“Edward likes Seth very much,” she said, which really didn’t answer my question. “So when he asked him to keep an eye on you, he volunteered to send me in his place because he didn’t want to leave Bella and Renesmee.”
I hadn’t thought I could feel worse but that definitely proved me wrong. I directed my thoughts away from that giant mess of pain and something clicked. “Is that why you were in the mall toady?” She nodded and I sighed in relief. So that explained that weird paranoid feeling I’d had all day. At least I wasn’t going crazy.
“I’m sorry I just let myself in like this but I was really interested in your gift.” And the strange thing was that she actually did sound sorry, although her curiosity was very clear as well.
I scoffed. “Some gift.”
“It is a gift,” she said. “Especially right now, when I can’t see what will happen.”
“Why can’t you?”
She sighed. “The werewolves make it impossible to see anything happening in this town. They’re so committed to fighting the Volturi that our whole future disappeared as soon as we agreed to come back.”
I could feel my anger rising up when she said that. Of course they came back, the whole reason why those Italians were here was because of them. I knew how deadly vampires were, though, so I decided it would be best to censor my thoughts. “That must be scary,” I whispered.
“It is,” she agreed. “But it’s something I’ve gotten used to.”
“Are you around the wolves that much?” I asked, feeling a little confused. Seth had said that the wolves hadn’t really warmed up, if they had at all, to the Cullens until June, and then they left in August. Had she really gotten used to their strange power in that short a time? And I couldn’t really imagine the wolves deciding to spend any time around them, especially since the only one who really had any ties to them had spent the summer exploring northern Canada.
“No,” she said, looking disgusted at the idea. “It’s Bella’s ability.”
“She blocks the future out too?”
“She blocks everyone out. When she was human, it was only her mind that was unreachable. I was still able to see her future and Jasper could affect her emotions. But now, she can block out everything. It’s like the shield she had around her mind strengthened and stretched out. She’s actually got it around Edward and Nessie now too, although she has no idea how she’s doing it, so I haven’t really seen their futures since August.”
I nodded, not really sure what to say. I was pretty sure I had seen Bella and her daughter in my dreams, and I definitely knew that I could see the werewolves. If there were some way I could transfer my visions/dreams over to her, I would happily do it without a second thought. She seemed to brighten up, though, when she asked, “Can you see the werewolves?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I saw Edward too, and I’m pretty sure Bella and Nessie were there too.”
“And the rest of us were there?” I nodded. “Have you ever seen us before?”
“No,” I answered. “This is the first time I’ve had that dream since Felix and Demetri were here, though.”
She scrunched her nose up in confusion. “Why? Have you not been sleeping?”
I shook my head. “Seth’s been spending the night since then. This is the first time since that day that he hasn’t been here.” Alice got up at my answer and started pacing around my bedroom, a look of deep concentration on her face. Her lips were moving incredibly fast, as if she were muttering to herself, but I couldn’t hear a thing. I watched her for a few minutes but I simply couldn’t hold my curiosity in for very long. “What is it?”
“I think Carlisle is wrong,” she answered as she continued to pace. “He thinks your gift is different from mine, that you only see supernatural beings that are in close proximity because you can see the wolves but you can’t really see anything until it’s been decided. The last time you had this dream, were we in it?”
“No,” I said, shaking my head.
She smiled widely, the same way someone would smile when they finally solved a puzzle that had been haunting them. “That’s because we hadn’t decided to come here yet!”
“But then why can I see the wolves?” I asked. I didn’t really understand what she was saying, not seeing things because they hadn’t been decided, but I could see some pretty large holes in her theory.
She sat down in the armchair again and rested her chin on her hand. She didn’t answer right away so I took that time to go to my closet and grab a dark blue hooded sweatshirt. She had an answer by the time I resumed my hunched up position against the headboard. “I think it’s because you’re so connected to the wolves. Your life is so tied up with Seth’s that I don’t think you could untangle it, even if you tried. And I can’t see you at all so maybe it’s because you’re inside the bubble, you know? But still, you can’t have any of these prophetic dreams when you’re actually around them.”
“But I saw Bella and Nessie too,” I pointed out. Or what I’m pretty sure was them, anyways. I didn’t know any other toddler vampires that the wolves would try to protect.
“Well, Nessie’s inside the bubble too now that Jacob’s imprinted on her. I’m sure you could see the other imprints in your dreams as well even though I can’t. But I don’t know about Bella… I’ll have to think about that.”
It didn’t make any sense but I was actually starting to believe her. “I saw Felix,” I said suddenly and she looked up at me. “Before they came here. It was after Seth told me about the whole werewolf thing. I thought it was because I refused to think about it while I was awake, it was just so crazy, and that was why I kept dreaming about a wolf fighting a vampire. But it was Felix.”
Alice nodded. “Caius had planned on sending their guard here for a while, it was why we left so quickly.”
“Didn’t want to face them?” I asked, the anger seeping into my voice. I couldn’t believe they were so cowardly. How could they leave when they knew these horrible vampires would come looking for them? All the people they had killed… those deaths were on the Cullen’s hands.
Alice shot me a disapproving look, as if she could tell what I was thinking despite the fact that she was not the family mind reader. “Not with Bella pregnant. The Volturi are… ruthless. And Aro is very curious. If he had found out that Edward had impregnated Bella, he would have found a way to take her. And he would have kept the baby after Bella had given birth.” She shivered then, as if the mere thought of it still scared her. “Bella would have died in childbirth, Edward would have died in his attempts to get revenge and then our entire family would have been destroyed.”
“You saw it?” I asked. She nodded and I felt a little guilty. “I’m sorry.”
She waved my apology off as if it was not needed. “How long did you dream about Felix before he showed up?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe a week?”
“Did you have any other dreams like that before you came here?” she asked curiously.
I hadn’t really thought of it before, I was too eager to blame it all on this strange town, but the truth was that I had had dreams like this in Boston. “I always thought they were just weird coincidences,” I said, the shock running through me. As a child, I had always known not to expect my mother to show up at her supervised visits unless I had dreamt about it the night before, and I don’t think I’d ever forget the reoccurring dreams I had about rainy cemeteries and shiny black coffins being lowered into open graves the week before my father’s death. I had gotten the strangest feeling of déjà vu at his funeral but I hadn’t given it much thought because I was too upset about being exiled to Forks.
“They weren’t,” she said softly, pulling me out of my thoughts.
“Was it like that for you when you were a human?”
She looked down at her feet, her mouth turned down at the corners and her perfect face marred by sadness. “I don’t remember being human.”
“Why not?” I asked curiously. I didn’t really know anything about vampires and I wondered if they eventually forgot their human lives as they got older, or if they even remembered them at all.
“I was born around the turn of the century,” she answered. “And having visions wasn’t really accepted back then, so my family faked my death and put me in a mental asylum. I’m pretty sure the electro-shock therapy completely erased all of my memories.
“I’m sorry,” I said again. It seemed like I kept putting my foot in my mouth every time I spoke to her.
She smiled. “There’s nothing to apologize for, Liz.” I smiled weakly back at her before getting lost in my thoughts again. I couldn’t help but wonder how many other huge events in my life my dreams had predicted. How many other things could I have prevented by just paying attention to my subconscious?
Alice let me think in silence, instead choosing to explore my room. She looked at the pictures I had put up, stopping to study the prints I had of famous Van Gogh paintings and posters of my favorite bands. I realized ten that I actually liked Alice, well, as much as I could like a vampire anyways. Maybe it was some kind of psychic solidarity but I didn’t even really feel afraid that she was in my bedroom, even though I would be completely helpless if she decided she was thirsty. She finally stopped at the large garment bag I had hung from the top of one of my closet door. “I like your dress, by the way,” she said, breaking the long silence.
I jumped a little at the sound of her voice, I had been so used to the comfortable silence. I was a little disappointed that it was broken for this dreaded topic. “Thanks,” I said after my heart had slowed back down to its normal pace.
“But I do have to say, I would have gotten the higher heel,” she smirked.
I groaned. Lydia had pushed these cute black shoes on me that had seemed to add a good seven inches to my height. I had to admit, they definitely would have made the giant height difference between Seth and I less awkward but they were also the most uncomfortable things I had ever put on my feet. She had been very upset when I had chosen the flats instead. “Yeah, well, you’re immortal so it wouldn’t have mattered when the shoes killed you.”
“Yes but dancing with someone that’s over a foot taller than you can actually be a little painful,” she said. “Or so I’ve heard.”
“Can you even feel pain?” I laughed. “Besides, I think I can deal with it. I don’t even know if I’m going to that stupid dance yet.”
“Why not?” she asked curiously.
I shrugged. “I haven’t talked to Seth about it yet.”
“Oh, I’m sure he’ll go with you,” she said. “I don’t need to be psychic to know that.”
But I wasn’t entirely convinced. “I don’t know, he might think dances are stupid.”
“I don’t know much about imprinting but I don’t think it works like that. I’m sure if he knew you wanted to, he’d have no problem going, even if school formals weren’t really his thing.” I raised an eyebrow at her knowledge of the werewolf oddity and she sighed. “There’s this book that Nessie likes having read to her. We’ve all gotten sick of it but I’ve seen Jacob sit there for hours and read it over and over again simply because she asked him to.”
“I’m not so sure if my hold on Seth is quite as strong,” I sighed, remembering what had happening in this room the night before.
Alice shook her head at me. She noticed the sky lightening over the top of the giant pine trees outside my window. “I should go now.”
“Yes, I’m sure you have some coffin to sleep in,” I muttered. I was a little annoyed that this small vampire had kept me up half the night only to keep reminding me of Seth and the pain I felt at his rejection. I covered my mouth the second I realized that I had said that out loud, watching her in fear. I didn’t know much about Alice Cullen, or vampires in general, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea to antagonize one. After all, I had seen the terrifying power they possessed.
She simply laughed though. “I’ll be back tomorrow night,” she said before disappearing completely. I couldn’t even see a blur of movement; the only thing that even indicated her departure was the slight fluttering of the curtains. I couldn’t help feeling a little put out knowing that she had just invited herself over for the night. It would be impossible to sleep with one of those bloodthirsty creatures, tame or not, in my room. And how did she get in in the first place? I thought vampires could only enter private homes if they were invited in. Although I can’t say that I minded all that much, Alice had shed some light onto the strange psychic ability I seemed to possess. I still couldn’t believe I hadn’t connected the dots sooner.
Emma found me like that hours later, still curled up against the headboard with my chin resting on my knees. She leaned against the doorway, her concern seeming to radiate off her. “Liz, is everything alright?”
I tried not to roll my eyes as I nodded. It was wrong of me to get frustrated with her, she only wanted me to be happy here, but I was tired and I felt drained. “I’m fine, Aunt Emma,” I said, trying to keep my annoyance out of my voice. “You don’t have to keep checking on me.”
She smiled sheepishly. “I just want to make sure you’re still here. After seeing how easy it was for someone to get in here, and then not knowing where you were… It puts my mind at ease when you’re still here each morning.”
I wasn’t sure what to say to that so I decided to keep my mouth shut. It felt… nice, knowing she cared about me that much. It filled my chest with this strange warm feeling, the same I got whenever I hung out with the pack. And I couldn’t help feeling guilty for the things I was keeping from her, the things I had done under her roof that I knew she wouldn’t approve of. Maybe it was a good thing Seth had decided not to come back; I found that I didn’t want face the disappointment that would be inevitable if she were to catch us.
She looked at me sadly when she realized I wasn’t going to answer her. “I’m going to Hoquiam today. Do you want to take the ride with me? We could stop and get breakfast.”
I shook my head, even though I actually wanted to go with her. It would probably be easier to sleep the further away from Forks I got. “I have a ton of homework,” I said sadly. And I would never admit to it, because it was so very pathetic, but I was hoping I would be able to get a hold of Seth today. There was so much I had to talk to him about, like why he had asked the vampires to watch over me instead of just talking to me about what had happened the other night.
“Alright, but leave a note if you do decide to go anywhere. And…” she trailed off, biting her lip as if she were afraid of my reaction to whatever she was about to say.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I don’t know if I’m comfortable with Seth coming over while I’m not here,” she said, obviously remembering the compromising position she had found us in on the couch the last time we had been alone. I tried not to snort; I didn’t think we would be having a repeat performance of that for a while. “Go to his house if you guys decide to hang out today, okay?”
I nodded and she made to step into my room, probably wanting to give me yet another hug, but she seemed to lose her nerve because she turned and walked down the hallway to the staircase. A few minutes later, she yelled, “Bye Liz!” up the stairs before leaving. I could hear her car starting up and I didn’t move until the sound of her motor had faded away. I knew it was way too early to call the Clearwaters, despite how much I wanted to, so I sat down at my desk and finally got to work on all of my homework.
The day went on like that. I actually managed to get ahead on my homework, finishing a paper for English that wasn’t actually due until we got back from Christmas break. And that wasn’t even the worst part. I had tried to call Seth an embarrassing number of times and I was now convinced that he was avoiding me. Each time I was told that he was sleeping, or out patrolling, or over at Sam’s house. By the time the afternoon rolled into evening, I felt incredibly pathetic, but I was also angry. I couldn’t believe that he was avoiding me, shouldn’t it have been the other way around? After all, I was the one who had been firmly rejected and subsequently humiliated. I was so mad that I decided I wasn’t going to call him anymore. If he didn’t want to speak to me then I would simply stop hounding him like the pathetic ex-girlfriend who refused to see when things were over. Of course, I knew we weren’t actually breaking up, the imprinting would see to that, but I decided he would have to work really hard to make up for the way he was acting now. After my last phone call to him, I plopped myself in front of the television and watched old shark week programs. I was so irritated that I actually found myself rooting for the deadly beast as it attacked clueless beach-goers.
Emma found me like that when she walked in later that night with numerous shopping bags hanging off her arm and a pizza box in her hands. “Oh, I love this show!” she said brightly as a giant shark jumped out of the water with a seal in its mouth.
I whirled around. “Jeez, what did you buy?” I asked, a little surprised by the amount of crap she had with her.
She shrugged as she dropped her plastic bags by the staircase. “I needed some new scrubs,” she said. “My old ones were getting pretty gross. Now come on, let’s have dinner before this gets cold.”
We ate in the living room, both of us absorbed in the television show, although that didn’t stop Emma from trying to make conversation. “What did you do all day?” she asked.
“Just homework,” I replied through a mouthful of the greasy pepperoni pizza she had brought home.
“You haven’t talked to Seth at all?” she asked curiously.
It was a testament to how angry I was at him that I didn’t wince at the sound of his name. “No.”
“What’s going on with you two?” She was looking at me in concern again and it was only making me angrier.
“Nothing,” I said defensively.
“Well, you haven’t been together all weekend and –” she tried to explain but I interrupted her.
“We don’t have to be together all the time, Aunt Emma,” I said, a hard edge in my voice. “We do have other things we have to do.”
She seemed a little put out by my rebuff and didn’t speak again until she was shoving a small silver cell phone into my hands when I got up to leave. “I didn’t get any kind of special plan with it,” she said. “It’s for emergencies only, alright?”
“Right,” I nodded, feeling a little guilty at the sullen tone of her voice. “I’m sorry I snapped earlier,” I muttered, looking down at my black and white sneakers. “It’s just, you know… all that homework kind of wore on my patience.”
I looked up to see a huge smile on her face. “It’s fine, Lizzie,” she said softly. “Don’t worry about it.”
I returned her smile. “Goodnight.”
“See you in the morning,” she said as I raced up the stairs to my bedroom.
I was hoping I would find Alice waiting for me in my bedroom. There were so many things I wanted to ask her, most of them revolving around the strange psychic power we shared. Plus, I knew I would be able to stay up and avoid having another gruesome nightmare if she were there. Despite how much I actually liked the small vampire, I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax enough to sleep in her presence. My room was empty, however, so I found a computer game that would occupy my mind. It didn’t matter, though. I tried to fight sleep as hard as I could but eventually I put my head down on the keyboard and drifted off to the world of monsters.
The dream was very much the same as the one I had the night before. There were stone-like body parts scattered across the dirt, and a grey wolf was lying motionless in a dark pool of blood. Another wolf, grey again with black spots, was lying a few feet away, although I could not tell if he was dead or merely unconscious. It seemed like there were more vampires too. An older one, he looked completely ancient with his long white hair and chalky pale skin, stood on the other side of the clearing. He was not fighting, instead he was watching from the tree line with his face twisted into a sneer. It was hard to tell which side the other vampires were fighting on. There were two blondes with golden eyes fighting beside Alice so I assumed they were with the Cullens, at least. There were two olive-skinned vampires, a dark-haired couple, that were circling a woman in a dark grey cloak. There was another couple with blood red eyes and I could not tell if they were with the Italians or not, although they ignored a chocolate brown wolf as it ran past them.
I scanned the battlefield for the tan wolf, scared of what I might see. It didn’t matter that I was angry with him, I simply had to know that he was okay in this version of the future. I let out a sigh of relief when I saw him standing, fighting those creepy vampire children alongside Edward Cullen. It was very strange, the girl was glaring at them but there was a hint of panic on her face. Clearly her weird, torturous stare was not working properly. It probably had something to do with the beautiful brunette that could only be the infamous Bella standing beside them. A little further away, the curly haired toddler was sitting on top of a russet wolf as if it were a pony as it darted into the woods. It seemed like there was destruction everywhere I looked. I wanted to help but I wasn’t exactly sure how.
Suddenly I was being shaken awake by a pair of cold stone-like hands. I had never been so happy to see a vampire in my life. “Are you alright?” Alice asked, her golden eyes wide in concern. “You were whimpering.”
I shook my head. “I had the dream again.”
“Oh,” she said. Her face brightened at the mention of my dreaded nightmares. “Was it the same as last night?”
“Kind of,” I said, squeezing my eyes shut. The last thing I wanted to do was think about the horrific scene I had just witnessed but it was the only way I could actually help. “There were more vampires there. I think they might have been on your side but it was hard to tell, there was so much going on at once.”
“What did they look like?” she asked. It seemed like I had piqued her interest with the mention of new vampires.
“There were two blondes with the same golden eyes that you have,” I said. “And a couple with black hair that had yellow eyes too. And there were two other vampires with red eyes that weren’t fighting the wolves… but that doesn’t make any sense. Do you have friends that eat humans?”
Alice frowned. “The majority of vampires drink human blood. It’s only us and a smaller clan up in Denali that drink from animals.”
“Oh,” I said. That didn’t sound too promising. I was suddenly glad I had never had the misfortune of running into a vampire until I came here. “There was an old guy too but he wasn’t fighting. He just kind of stood off to the side and looked angry.”
“An old man?” she sounded alarmed. “What did he look like? Was he human or a vampire?”
“Vampire, I think. I don’t really remember. I didn’t pay that much attention to him.”
She frowned and rubbed her forehead. “This doesn’t make any sense. It sounds like you’re talking about the Denali clan but Irina has already refused to help the wolves.” She started pacing the room again. “Maybe Tanya has decided to come down anyways. But I don’t know who else would come help us. And this old man…” She stopped suddenly and whirled around to face me. “Were you able to see his eyes? Was he wearing a cloak like the others?”
I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to will myself to remember. “I can’t, I’m sorry,” I said. It was all very foggy, as if my mind was trying to block it all out.
She sighed in frustration. “Okay, we can go back to that later. Can you tell when this is going to happen?”
I had never really thought of when this awful nightmare would actually take place. “I don’t…” I said, trying to make sense of it. “How can I tell?”
“Is there snow on the ground? How’s the light? Is there anyway you can make out where the sun is in the sky?”
I tried to concentrate but I couldn’t think of anything that would answer her questions. The only things that really stood out in my mind were the actions of the sandy wolf. “I’m sorry, Alice,” I said.
She sighed in frustration. “We need Edward.”
“Why?” I asked curiously.
“He can see it in your memory and hopefully make sense of the new developments.”
“Well, where is he?” I asked, eager to make sense of what I had dreamt.
She looked at me in confusion. “He was talking to Carlisle when I left.”
“Let’s go, then,” I said, getting up. She raised an eyebrow at me. “What? I want to know what’s going on just as much as you do.” Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t be able to sleep and have another one of those nightmares if I was out with Alice.
She looked at me for a moment, probably deliberating if she should go or not, before nodding. “Okay,” she said. “Get on my back.”
“What?!” I said, alarmed. I was a few inches taller than her and I knew I definitely weighed more than she did. “Won’t I hurt you?”
She rolled her eyes. “Let’s go, Liz.” I bit my lip before tentatively jumping on her back, trying to brace myself so I would be prepared when I knocked her over. But it was like jumping onto a rock or something. She grabbed my legs and took off, forcing me to tighten my hold around her neck. She jumped out the window and I made a mental note to close the screen on it before the vampires let a bunch of bugs into my bedroom. As soon as she hit the ground, she took off like a flash. She was running so fast that the trees blurred as she passed them. It was like I was going over one hundred miles per hour on a motorcycle in the forest. And it was fucking terrifying.
She stopped in the middle of the woods and dropped my legs. “Okay, we have to stop here because I’m not sure if Bella’s in the house or back in her cottage.”
“Right,” I said, finally able to loosen my grip around her neck. My head felt light and I was sure I had motion sickness, my stomach was rolling the same way it did whenever I went out on the ocean in one of my friend’s boats. “And she would eat me if she were there and I suddenly showed up.”
“It’s not like she could help it,” Alice said in defense of her friend. I raised an eyebrow at her and she sighed. “Just wait here. I’ll be right back.”
“Do you really think it’s a good idea to leave me alone in the middle of the woods where there are actual people-eating vampires on the loose?” I asked, suddenly feeling very afraid. It was so dark and I couldn’t help feeling like someone was watching me through the trees.
She shook her head. “They went back to Italy after their encounter with the wolves to discuss what happened with Caius. I can still see them there so they haven’t even made any kind of decision about coming here.”
“But what about – ” I started to ask, grabbing onto her stone arm, but she interrupted me.
“Don’t worry, Liz,” she said, removing my hand easily, as if I weren’t holding on to her with all of my strength. “I’m not going that far. I just have to get within hearing range of both houses. You’ll be fine, I promise.”
“But you can’t see me, Alice!” I said as she took off into the woods, moving faster than my eyes could see. “If I get eaten by a bear, I’m holding you personally responsible!” I tried not to be too loud, hoping not to draw attention to myself while being loud enough so that she could hear me. Although, who knows, maybe she would have heard me if I whispered it. I still wasn’t sure about all of their crazy senses.
She was right, though. She was back quickly and I couldn’t deny how much safer I felt when she was around, which was a little ironic. “He should be here soon. He was a little occupied with Bella.”
“Oh… gross, Alice,” I said, wrinkling my nose.
She laughed. “Not like that. He was trying to help her control her power, although I find it interesting that your mind went there first.”
“I’m sure,” I muttered, rolling my eyes at her. It’s not my fault that she made it sound dirtier than it was. I could feel my face getting hot and I knew that Alice could tell I was blushing, despite the fact that it was so dark.
There was a strange rustling noise and Edward appeared seemingly out of nowhere. “What’s going on, Alice?” he asked, sounding panicked.
“She had another dream,” Alice explained.
“And?” Edward asked, sounding almost disappointed. “Do you know when they’re coming?”
“No,” Alice said, her frustration evident in her voice. “She’s having trouble focusing.” I bit my lip, feeling ashamed. I wished I could help them, I really did, but even when I was pissed at him, Seth took precedent over the fate of the small town I was actually starting to like.
“That’s completely understandable, Liz,” Edward said. “Can you remember the whole dream?”
“I think so,” I said, trying to remember exactly how it started. I could feel him looking at me, as if staring would somehow make it easier to read my mind, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I knew he was watching so I tried to include it all, the creepy old man that watched from the sidelines, the new vampires that seemed to be fighting on our side, the wolves that lay injured on the ground and the stand off between Edward, Seth, and the creepy vampire children.
When I finally finished, Edward sighed. “That was Caius,” he said to Alice. “Carlisle was right, he must be the one orchestrating this. But I can’t see him actually coming to Forks for this. And you were right, too, that was Tanya.”
“But I thought –” Alice started to say before Edward interrupted her.
“Irina wasn’t there,” he said, shaking his head.
“Can you tell when it’s going to happen?” Alice asked anxiously.
“There’s no snow on the ground but it doesn’t seem like anything is in bloom yet,” he replied. “So it must be before spring but it’s impossible to pinpoint when exactly.”
“If only there was a calendar in the clearing,” I muttered sarcastically.
They didn’t pay any attention to what I was saying, though. “What are we going to do?” Alice asked. It was clear that the fact that she couldn’t see the fight was bothering her.
Edward sighed again. “I don’t know, Alice. It might be easier to pinpoint the exact date once they finally make the decision to come.” Alice wasn’t satisfied with that, apparently, because she didn’t even bother responding. “I’ve got to get back to Bella,” he said. “And you should get her home. Goodbye, Liz.”
“Bye,” I said, although he was gone before I even opened my mouth.
“Come on,” Alice said, crouching down in front of me so it would be easier to climb on her back.
“I’m sorry, Alice,” I said. “I wish I could help more.”
She turned around to look at me. “You are helping, Liz.”
“No, I’m not,” I said, unable to look her in the eye. “I can’t even tell when this is going to fucking happen.”
“But you’ve helped us learn that Caius is the one behind this,” she said. “If Aro and Marcus do not agree with him, it might be easier to stop all of this. And if Tanya and her family are even thinking about helping us, then I’m sure we’ll be able to convince them to come down.”
I didn’t really see how that was much help, though. Knowing all of that wouldn’t help us prepare for it at all. “Come on,” I said. “I better get home before something tries to eat me.”
Alice laughed before crouching down in front of me again. “Don’t worry, Liz. You’re safe with me.”
I had trouble completely believing that, but that just might be my prejudice against the vampires. I climbed onto her back and she took off. “What did you mean before, about controlling Bella’s power?” I asked, trying to take my mind off the fact that we were going over one hundred miles per hour through the trees.
“They’re trying to make it extend beyond just Edward and Nessie,” Alice said. “If she could somehow get it around all of us and the wolves, the Volturi’s superior abilities would be rendered completely useless.”
“Oh,” I said, suddenly hoping Bella would be able to get control of her power before those Italians showed up. She stopped in front of the house and dropped me unceremoniously to my feet. “Uh, Alice, my room is on the other side of the house.”
She looked at me in confusion. “I know that.”
“What?” I asked. “You go down but not up? I can’t just walk in the front door, I don’t know the new alarm code.”
“Oh, your aunt should be able to help you with that,” Alice said cheerfully. “I’m pretty sure she’s waiting for you in your bedroom.”
“Wait, what?” I was hoping desperately that she was mistaken. If Emma knew that I had snuck out, I was dead. I was more than dead, actually. I’m pretty sure she would get one of her doctor friends to bring me back at the last second just so she could kill me again.
“I can smell a human in your room, so unless you’re being robbed again –”
“Oh shit!” I said, cutting her off as I ran in the house.
Preview: There was no sign of life inside the house and I started pounding on the door, hoping that someone was home so I wouldn’t have to walk to Emily’s in the cold rain. “Hold on!” someone yelled and I recognized Seth’s voice right away. My breathing sped up and it felt like every nerve ending in my body was on high alert, longing to see him.
When he opened the door, I took him in in the same way a starving man would look at a meal. He must have been sleeping because he was only wearing a pair of wrinkled black shorts and his hair was ruffled. He had been rubbing the sleep out of his eyes when he opened the door but his face seemed to light up when he saw me. “Liz!” he said, the return of his smile brightening up the rainy day. He grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the rain and into his arms. He held me tightly against his bare chest and buried his face in my damp hair. I could feel him breathing me in and I did the same, letting that familiar scent of salt water and pine wash over me. “God, I’ve missed you,” he whispered, rubbing my back with out of his overly large hands. The feel of it gave me goosebumps, even through my wet raincoat.
I wasn’t sure what came over me then. Maybe I had been expecting something else, an injury or some cartoon-like villain with a handlebar moustache holding him hostage, some kind of obvious reason for his absence. The fact that he was perfectly fine and hadn’t even bothered to try and contact me in the past six days, that I had to come to him when it should have been the other way around, only pissed me off. I pushed him forcefully and he stumbled back, looking at me in shock. “What the hell, Seth?” I said, my voice a lot louder than I intended. “Where the hell have you been?”