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As You Exhale, I Breathe In

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Chapter One


For a change, I'll refrain from hiding all of me from you. 

No one saw what Alice saw, no one knew what she had shared with Aro as he took her small hand in his. The vision was between them only, and whatever it had been had certainly been enough for Aro to turn tail and retreat with only a second glance back at the witnesses still stood on the battlefield behind the Cullen’s. 


He had been ready for a fight, naturally, it was who he was and how he had lived for so long, but Garrett couldn’t help but wonder if that last long look had been directed at himself or his newest companion. 


Regardless, it left him on edge and he remained close to the group for the remainder of the day, even as the Denali clan moved to leave, Garrett stayed rooted to the spot and was hesitant to remove himself from the protection of the Cullen family home. 


When Kate approached him offering a consoling look of concern he could only manage to shake his head as though he was unable to speak rather that, than trying to explain that he was unsure what it was that bothered him. 


The Denali clan left but not without having Garrett promise he would catch up with them when he felt that he could. As soon as they had stepped foot out of the Cullen house Alice was at his side with a knowing look in her eyes. 


“I’ve been told that when you look at someone like that they are usually going to be real interested in what it is you have to say. So, I am all ears with this.” Though his tone seemed resigned there was a smile on his face as Alice led him to a sofa and made him sit with her, it made him nervous that she wanted him to be comfortable before she revealed anything. 


If this has anything to do with Aro… 


“In my vision, the one I showed Aro, you touched him and something happened. I don’t know what it was but he has a great interest in you now, he believes you have a special gift and will probably seek you out at some point. 


I would await a summons from the Volturi soon.” With that she was out of her seat and dragging Jasper off with her elsewhere. 


No further explanation was given which likely meant she didn’t know much beyond her vision. 


He tried to grasp at whatever the Hell it meant when Alice had said Aro believed he had a gift- there was nothing marginally special about him. He was just a nomadic vampire crossing America facing each new challenge headon. 


HIs existence was a mystery and Garrett had always enjoyed researching myths and legends about his own kind, regardless of how fantastical to the point of ridiculous the myths seemed he had seen too much in his life not to give them some thought rather than disregard them. 


Reality was a strange thing.


Standing, Garrett sought out Carlisle for advice, he found him upstairs away from the rest of the family in a study of sorts. The blond was standing by the window surveying the surrounding area as though on watch for something, though Garrett had been assured by many that the threat, for now, had been neutralised. 


“Alice sure is something, isn’t she?” He began, when Carlisle turned to face him he was gifted with a peaceful smile, Garrett moved to stand beside his friend his gaze drawn to the outside world just as Carlisle’s had been moments ago. 


“Ah, she told you something?” 


“Yeah, not sure what to make of it. In all honesty it worries me and I wondered if I could stay here for a little longer with your family, just until I work out my next steps?” 


Carlisle gave him a curious look but soon a smile followed and he nodded. Raising a hand he gave Garrett’s shoulder a friendly squeeze in the hopes it could offer some kind of comfort. 


“What did she tell you?” As soon as the words left him the feeling of unease filled the room to the point it was almost palpable. Once again Carlisle looked to his friend who kept his gaze firmly on the woodland outside the study window as though unwilling to meet his friend’s gaze to save himself from embarrassment. 


“Aro believes I have an undiscovered gift due to what he saw in Alice’s premonition.” As he spoke his brows knit together as he searched for his memories for something that remotely resembled a gift but there was nothing. 


There was not a single thing he was truly exceptional at to the point he could eclipse another’s ability. This was not a commentary on low self esteem but the truth as he saw it. 


“You’ve been alive long enough now that should you have a gift or talent you would have noticed and been efficient at controlling it. Whatever Alice saw… has the qualities of a talent or she did not see the whole premonition.” 


“Perhaps she did not understand what she saw?” Garrett questioned as he turned to face Carlisle, it would drive him wild not know what the Hell she had meant but there was no use losing his temper over something he himself did not yet understand. 


“Perhaps. After all, we discover new things about our kind all the time. This instance would be no different than any other time, wouldn’t you agree?” Carlisle was right but Garrett didn’t want to admit that just yet- something bothered him greatly about what Alice had said as though his already knew what it was but refused to acknowledge it. 


They parted ways and Garrett headed out into the forest to hunt and to gather his thoughts. As he headed down the stairs he steadfastly ignored Alice’s bright eyed gaze directed right at him as he strode past her. 


Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jasper stop her from following him out with a hand around her small wrist, she had looked up at her mate and sighed in resignation. No doubt this meant she would catch him off guard elsewhere later on. 


She did. 


He had found a seat at the empty meeting site, the bonfire that had been lit was nothing but a pile of ash, and as the night slowly set in the gloom made the clearing seem foreboding. Though, this was lost on Garrett as he sat carving from a block of wood with a small pocket knife, as whittled away at the bark he found his mind blank and calm for the first time that day since Alice had sprung her vision on him. 


When she seated herself beside him he didn’t look up from his work but he did acknowledge her with a very quiet ‘Good Evening,’ which she responded to before sighing as though she was the one fed up. 


“Carlisle told me to come and apologise for worrying you, he said it didn’t seem fair to tell you only half of something. I didn’t mean it, Garrett, I really thought you might have known what I was talking about!” Alice truly sounded repentant and when he finally set aside his carving to look at her she appeared to be sincere. 


It was easy to forgive her when he knew she genuinely had just wanted to help him. 


“What actually happened in this vision?” It was worth asking, if he had even an inkling of what was going on it would be better than what he had now which was absolutely nothing. 


She seemed hesitant to reveal more after she had been reprimanded by Carlisle, she wrung her hands together for a moment as though trying to settle her own thoughts, her indecision left the clearing silent and Garrett could only watch as she, seemingly, argued with herself internally.


“Alright, you have a right to know.” Her voice cut through the quiet of the forest and Garrett smiled as he jumped at the sudden sound. Overall he felt jumpy just from the fact her vision had revealed he was connected to the Volturi leader somehow. 


“In the battle you touch him, you touch Aro and some kind of invisible force brings him to his knees but you help him up and-” She stops at the look on his face, Garret gestures for her to go one and with a sheepish smile in his direction she continues. “He isn’t angry, he looks terrified of what he has seen or felt, it’s strange...” 


Honestly, knowing exactly what Alice had seen had not helped him at all, it just marred his thoughts with further confusion. Nothing seemed any clearer but he did feel uncomfortable at the way his heart pounded in his chest, he was scared. 


“Thank you for telling me but it doesn’t mean anything to me.” 


For the next few days Garrett busied himself with hunting and exploring the forest surrounding the Cullen household- Esme and Carlisle tried to draw him into conversation but so distracted was he with trying to keep his fear at bay they gave up and allowed him to roam through the trees uninterrupted. 


While it was true that vampires did not need to sleep, there were times where Garrett would find a quiet spot in the house to sit and close his eyes. It gave him time to reflect and after several days had passed he was starting to forget the whole vision thing- until he had one of his own. 


Aro stood in a large sparsely furnished chamber three black thrones at his back as he stared down at him. He was beckoned by the leader and Garrett watched through his own eyes as he approached the Volturi leader.


‘Show me..’ Aro’s smooth voice dark with ill intentions, he reaches out to take Garrett’s proffered hand. 


The second they touch Aro’s eyes widen and an unknown force has him doubled over but his hand does not move from Garrett’s. 


After a moment Garrett feels his own hand tighten its grip around Aro’s and he pulls the man up so they are face to face once again. 


The vision ends as his eyes snap open and he flings himself out of the chair to his feet. It took a long time for his mind to stop racing and in a bid for absolute privacy he pulled open one of the windows and leapt out. 


As soon as his feet hit the forest floor he began to run, all the way up the side of the mountain until snow began to fall and blurred his vision until all he saw before him was white and the only sound was the howling wind swirling around him. 


Upon his return no one asked where he had been and he offered no explanation as to why he had vanished for two days without a word to anyone. Garrett figured one of the Cullen’s had tracked him to ensure his safety and for that he was grateful especially seeing as they had left him undisturbed. 


The same vision would haunt him for days afterward, in quiet moments of reflection wherein he believed he was ready to join Kate the vision would accost him and the call to Volterra would sing to him again. 


The nomadic vampire continued to keep his distance from the Cullen family, namely because he didn’t want Edward reading his thoughts, and he couldn’t bare to see Alice with the same expression on her face each time they crossed paths.


Every time he saw her she looked truly woeful and they decided silently that they would need to avoid one another as much as they were able, though there were times everyone congregated in the same room and then it was just awkward.


It wasn’t until Alice interrupted one of his visions that they finally spoke to one another again. She had stepped into the room just as his eyes flew open and he scrambled up into a sitting position blinking rapidly to clear the scene from his mind. 


“Garrett? Are you alright?” Alice closed the door behind her shutting anyone else out before hurrying to his side, she moved to touch him but he jerked away from her, he apologised realising that she had reached for him the same way Aro had and the familiarity of it had left him reeling. 


“I saw him… I saw Aro he was looking right at me!” Garrett knew he was not gifted, this vision was something else. This was something more powerful than himself, something more powerful than the Volturi leader, and it called to him it wound its message around his mind and sank its claws in settling in his head like a cat would settle before a fire. 


“Tell me what you saw, please let me help you!” Alice begged her voice quiet but desperate as she grabbed his hand squeezing it as though hoping the vision could be transferred to her that way. “Let me get Edward, he can help.” But she couldn’t get up, Garrett wouldn’t let go of her hand and he pulled her back into her seat ensuring she did not leave. 


“I need to go to Volterra.”