A battle is raging between the Volturi's worst enemies, the Cullens, and an army of newborn vampires. Jane's bet was on the newborns, but those odds don't look quite so good now.
She can smell the bonfire where the disassembled vampire parts are being thrown.
Jane has seen many vampire fights before, but there was something different about this one.
The Cullens make short work of the newborn army, and much to the guard's dismay, they're done before the guard can even approach the battle.
"Damn layovers! I wanted to kick some ass!" Demetri complains.
"We'll find something to get them for," Felix assures.
"I can smell the human from over here," Alec notes.
They approach the Cullens slowly, and remove their hoods in sync.
"Impressive," Jane states. "I've never seen a coven escape an assault of this magnitude intact."
"We were lucky," Carlisle responds.
"I doubt that," she dismisses.
"It appears we missed an entertaining fight," says her twin.
"Yes, it's not often we're rendered unnecessary," Jane agrees.
"If you'd arrived a half hour ago you would have fulfilled your purpose," the mind reader says.
You obviously must not remember the last time you met my gift. She thinks with a smirk.
"Pity," she says aloud. "You missed one," she announces, looking at the out of place crimson eyed vampire. She couldn't have been much older than Jane and Alec.
"We offered her asylum in exchange for her surrender," Carlisle explains.
Jane's eyes meet the girl's, and suddenly, Jane has a change of heart.
"Alec, could you take care of Felix and Demetri for me? I'd like to speak to the Cullens alone."
Smoke surrounds the two guards before they can protest, and they fall to the ground below.
Jane walks forward and holds a hand out to the girl.
"Hello. My name is Jane. What is yours?" she asks her calmly.
"My name is Bree," The girl stutters with fear flooding her voice.
"How old are you, Bree?"
"Sixteen," she says quietly.
"Asylum for surrender, right?" Jane asks, deep in thought.
"Jane would like the offer to be extended to her as well," Edward says to Carlisle.
"Is that so? And Alec?" Carlisle asks him.
"He'll follow with what Jane decides."
Carlisle looks down to Jane, up to Alec, and around to his family.
His wife gives him a solid nod, silently daring him to even consider rejecting the children.
"We'd love to have you in our coven, but you will be expected to uphold our dietary restrictions," says Carlisle at last.
Jane nods in agreement and takes her brother's hand. "If you'll excuse us, we'll need to get rid of these two," she explains, standing over Demetri and Felix.
The twins each stomp down onto a guard’s neck, and send their heads away from their bodies. They then throw the pieces into the still glowing bonfire.
The Cullens and their new coven members all head back to their residence after extinguishing the fire, with the exception of Carlisle and Bella, who explained that they needed to check on someone who got injured in the fight.
"Esme, I don't trust this."
The twins, although much farther back, can hear Rosalie’s words.
"I'm with Rose. The rest of the Volturi will come back for them," Jasper agrees.
"They're the strongest people the Volturi has. I think we can take them if we have to," Emmett says, pulling Rosalie closer to him.
"I haven't seen anything concerning," Alice assures, dancing along.
"I haven't heard anything," Edward confirms.
"Why don't they trust you?" Bree asks Jane.
"We are from a very powerful coven," Jane explains. "Leaving them is sure to change the vampire world as we know it. We're almost like the government of the vampire world. Our coven leader would love to take two of this coven's members and add them to his for their powers, so they think we're up to something. "
"Powers? Like Superman or something?"
"I don't know what that is."
"You don't know Superman?"
"Who is this man and why is he super?"
"Nevermind. What makes those two so special?"
"Alice, the dark haired girl, she has these visions. She can see the future, and the redhead can read minds, so mind your thoughts."
"You said you're really powerful. What can you do?"
"I can inflict the illusion of excruciating pain into my target's minds. Alec, as you saw, is like my antidote. He takes away the senses leaving you essentially unconscious until he either kills you, or decides to restore your mind."
"How do you know if you have a power?" asks Bree.
"How long have you been a vampire?" Jane counters.
"You would've noticed by now."
"Now, that's not necessarily true," Jasper says. "Some gifts are more subtle. I didn't realize I had a power until almost a year after I was changed."
Bree's eyes light up for a moment with excitement.
As they enter the Cullen's house, Bree seems to freeze.
"Are you okay?" Jane asks.
"I can't see you." Bree responds worriedly, sliding down the wall to meet the floor.
"What can you see?" Alice asks, joining the newborn at her side.
"It's other vampires," says Bree.
"Wait, are you like me?" Alice asks, almost cautiously. "Do you have visions?"
"I- I didn't!" Bree insists.
"She's seeing Maggie from the Irish coven, and Benjamin from the Egyptian coven. They aren't particularly doing anything though," Edward clarifies.
Bree shakes her head. "They're gone now—but I can hear Esme, even though she isn't talking."
Jasper sends calming waves across the room.
"I can't hear Esme anymore," says Bree.
"Is it possible to have more than one power?" Alice asks, taking Jasper's arm.
"No, at least not according to Eleazar. But, I recognize this,” says Jane. “ I think she has the adaptability power. Eleazar was studying up on it before we left. In most cases, the gifted vampire will be affected by whatever power was last used on them. They'll have a weaker version of that power, with more restrictions, to use for themselves, until another power is used on them." She looks over at Bree. "It's very rare. You're really something special if this is what it is."
"No one's ever called me that before," admits Bree.
"No one's ever called you special?" Esme asks in disbelief.
Alice and Rose exchange a knowing look, with the knowledge that soon Bree will have all the affection and parental attention she could ever handle from Esme alone.
When Carlisle returns, all of the vampires gather in the living room. They go around the circle of vampires like the Cullens had done many times before as ice breaker games on the first day of school. They introduce themselves, explain their power, and share their age and story should they choose to do so.
Esme leaves after the newcomers introduce themselves so that she can clear out a room that were previously used as storage.
Bree has taken a great attachment to Emmett after he explains that his life was cut short because he thought he could fight a bear.
"Now that ice breaker time is over," Emmett begins, "You lost the bet, Jazz. You said that Carlisle and Esme wouldn't adopt anyone from the battle, and they adopted 3."
"You said ‘newborns.’ Jane and Alec aren't newborns, so it’s only 1. What do I owe you?" Asks Jasper, reaching for his wallet.
"Oh no, no, no," Emmett laughs, "I don't want your money. Meet me on the roof in 10 minutes with your Heelys."
"I'm not heely-ing off the roof."
"Would you rather let me dye your hair purple?"
"Fine, get the camera."
"This is gonna be sick!" Emmett determines, dashing to the other side of the house.
"Wait for me!" Bree calls, running after them.
"I wanna see this too," Alec admits, and follows after Bree.
"Do you two own any modern clothes?" Alice asks the Jane, who is still in her full cloak uniform.
"Erm—no, I guess we don't." Jane admits, causing Alice to nearly squeal.
"Hope you like dress up,” Rose says flatly.
"This is going to be so much fun!!" Alice exclaims, bouncing, and all but drags Jane up the stairs. She begins searching through her perfectly organized -although Jane can't tell by what- closet, which is at least twice the size of Jane and Alec’s shared room in Volterra. Alice comes out with an arm full of clothing.
"Try these on in the vanity room! We're nearly the same height so, I think it'll be good!" she explains, handing Jane at least 5 hangers worth of stuff and laying the rest on an ottoman. "If not, I can alter them. It's quite hard to find mature clothing for our size."
Of all her options, Jane decides she likes the hoodie best, and the solid black jeans. As she leaves the vanity room, she's met with a look of pure disappointment from Alice. You'd think she just ran over her puppy.
"Of all of that I gave you, that's what you like best?"
"Afraid so," Jane says, holding back her laughter.
Edward laughs from across the house, presumably at something Alice is thinking.
"Well, whatever makes you happy, I suppose," Alice decides, and is immediately met with criticism from her family for it.
"You don't let us off that easy!" Rosalie complains, standing in the doorway.
"You can't send me to the ground with a glance," Alice argues simply.
"I don't want you to be afraid of me because of my powers," Jane says quietly. "I want to be normal, to be treated like everyone else," she insists with growing confidence
Alice shakes her head. "I hate to be the one to tell you, but you've been adopted into a household with 6 other teenage vampires, you won't find normal here."
Everyone’s laughter is interrupted by a massive thud.
"Dude! You were supposed to land in the pool!" Emmett complains from outside.
"Are they getting dumber with age?" Rosalie asks Alice.
"I wouldn't count it out entirely. Should we make sure our idiots are okay?"
"Your idiot is the one who just willingly skated off a roof, so up to you."
The next months are used building Jane’s, Alec’s and Bree’s self control enough to comfortably be around humans, in preparation for Edward and Bella's wedding. Today’s the day.
The guys are setting up the back yard, taking orders from Alice, who's zipping between supervising the setup and helping Bella get ready. Even hours away from the wedding, Bella can still be heard begging Alice to let her wear her sneakers under her dress.
"The dress is long enough, no one will even see them, Alice!"
"Absolutely not, Bella! You only get married once, after all."
"I can't believe they put us at the kids table!" Jane complains, although they currently occupy the back row of the sea of chairs that surround the aisle. "We're older than all of them!" she says to Alec, Bree, and Seth, settling grumpily into her chair.
Bella makes her way down the aisle, and the Kids’ Table vampires couldn't care less if they tried.
The ceremony is filled with subtle goofing off that only the other vampires would notice if they weren't in the back row. The reception is the prime time for chaos (after the first dance, of course.)
Heart… beats… fast…
"Can't relate," Bree says under her breath, causing the twins to choke back laughter.
The guests begin to head to the dance floor—well, what little of it Alice wasn't using—and the chaos can finally begin.
Bree immediately darts to the DJ booth.
"I'll give you $200 to let me be the DJ," she says with a sly smile, straightening her tie.
"Sorry kiddo, no can do." the DJ says, readjusting the headphones she likely didn't need.
"C'mon, one song?"
"You can have one request. That's it."
"Fine: ‘Sk8er Boi.’ By—"
"I know who it's by."
"Thaanks!" says Bree condescendingly as she walks back to the kids table.
"We all get one request. Make it good," she informs them, plopping into a very low-to-the-ground chair.
"‘Helena,’" Jane decides
"‘Ms. Murder,’" Alec responds.
"Guys, this is a wedding." Seth reminds the twins.
"Weddings are supposed to be happy."
"The DJ won't play those songs anyway," Bree informs the twins.
"But they make us happy," Jane defends.
"You gotta be able to dance to them, ya know?" Seth adds.
"We can dance to them."
"Trust me, no."
"What about ‘The End’ then?"
"C’mon, the words ‘marry me’ are right in the lyrics!"
"Yes—immediately followed by ‘bury me,’" Bree challenges.
"I don't understand your point."
"Don't worry about it."
"Usually you'd be all over this. What's going on?"
Bree sighs. "They gave me $50 to behave. Plus, if the wedding goes well, Alice said she'll take us all to the mall to get stuff for school," she admits.
"What's a mall?" Jane asks.
"It's like a massive place where you buy stuff." Bree explains.
"Wait, you're getting paid?" Alec asks
"Nevermind. Hey, what's Emmett got?" distracts Bree as Emmett crosses the yard with an extension cord, and something under his arm.
Edward immediately shoots a not-so-friendly glare at him.
"Don't worry bro, it'll match the decor, and besides, its for the kids!" Booms Emmett as he attaches the plug in to the extension cord. A white, wedding themed bounce house rises from the ground.
Edward’s and Bella’s expressions couldn't be more different. Bella's smile reaches from ear to ear as she drags Edward along to it. "Emmett, this is awesome! Where the hell did you find a wedding bounce house?!" she asks with excitement.
"Anythings possible," he says simply.
The rest of the wedding is mostly uneventful (aside from Jacob making an appearance,) and as the summer turns to fall, it's nearly time for the twins to enroll in a local school system. The timing couldn't have been worse, as Bella is struggling with some kind of demon pregnancy.
She's only been married a month, but she looks like she could give birth any day. She also looks like a corpse, and not even in the vampire way.
It's becoming increasingly difficult for Jane and Alec to continue to stay with the Cullens, especially without enough time for them to hunt, as someone has to stay with Bella constantly.
The twins have debated leaving, so as not to hurt the human. But they know the Cullens will need their help with the impending wolf attack, whenever that may be, since Alice is all but blind in her visions.
"I don't know how long I can keep this up," Jane says quietly to Alec and Bree
"Me either. If he doesn't change her I'm going to McFreaking lose it," Bree says exasperatedly, flopping onto the floor. Her unusual term is met with much confusion from Jane and Alec. She lets out a simple sigh and explains the joke.
"What's a McDonald's?" Alec asks.
"Its a garbage food place for humans."
He begins to ask another question but is stopped by Bree.
"Nevermind, it isn't important," she assures.
"If he turns her, will they lose the baby?" Alec asks.
"I’m so beyond caring at this point," Jane admits.
"Alice never came through on that mall trip. I bet she could use a break from all this too," Bree mentions, changing the subject.
"Is the mall a good idea right now? None of us are properly fed."
"Then let's hunt," Bree suggests.
"Alice, do you see anything in the next hours?" She asks as she walks past the door.
It's odd not to see Alice’s usual prance, and Bree decides she doesn't like its absence.
"I can't see five minutes from now, if I'm being honest. I'll call if I do," Alice assures.
The three youngest vampires tear through the forest, draining every animal they come in contact with along the way. It takes more for them to feel satisfied as they are newer to the adjustment, but neither twin can keep up with Bree, who has already drained a small pack of deer and moved on to tracking a mountain lion. Her newborn stage is still in full swing, even all these months later.
Their hunt is short lived, as Bree gets thrown across the forest and into a tree. Before she can react, she looks up to find one of the massive, snarling, wolves standing over her.
She scrambles to attempt an escape through the trees, but the wolf locks her foot in his mouth. Bree attempts to kick his grip loose, to little avail.
Jane knows if she uses her power, there's a very good chance the fall will be enough force to rip away the limb anyway. "Alec! Knock it out!" she demands, running towards it.
Alec’s smoke surrounds the wolf, but the effects are minimal.
"Don't tell me your power doesn't work on wolves," groans Jane.
"They're a LOT bigger than us!" Alec defends.
"Keep trying!" Jane demands, attempting to force the wolf’s mouth away from Bree. She breaks the wolf's jaw, but not before it closes around Bree’s ankle. Jane sends it to the ground before it has time to react, and Alec leaps on it from a tree, landing on its back and breaking its spine.
"Let’s go the hell home, before I actually lose a part!" Bree calls, moving as fast as she can manage back to the Cullens’ house.
"THEY'RE HERE!" Bree shouts, perching on a low tree branch above the porch.
Alice, Jasper and Edward all rush outside, leaving Rosalie to protect whatever Bella just made. Edward is covered in the human's blood.
"Holy shit, he snapped," Bree whispers.
"I don't think so—there's a new scent. I think whatever was in Bella is out," Jane says, taking a branch below Bree. The wolves dash into the Cullens’ yard, attempting to tackle the other vampires, but vampires are stronger, and much faster as well.
It's mostly back and forth—the wolves snap, the vampires kick, punch or throw them away. But the leader is gaining on Edward. The rest of the pack are preoccupied, attempting to fight off the youngest vampires defending their newly found family.
Alec manages to slow their attacks down, and Jane distracts them with her diluted, animal-blood-fueled power. The three wolves they recognize as friends jump into the mess, phasing in midair. They fight the enemy wolves like bears on their hind legs, going straight for each other's throats.
Carlisle and Esme emerge from the woods and join the fight. One of the wolves pin Alice down, but that doesn't last long after Jasper kicks its neck hard enough to break it. They fight off the wolves one by one, until the leader pins down Edward.
Bree drops from the trees onto the wolf's back and wraps her arms around his neck, attempting to break it as he tries to thrash her off. She eventually gets thrown off, and Jane makes him contemplate whether having his neck broken might have been the better option. Alec slows him down, enough that he can kill him, and Alice makes the final blow.
The remaining wolves freeze for a moment, before deciding their best bet is to run, and the few remaining escape into the forest.
"Is everyone okay?" Carlisle asks.
"Bree was bitten, earlier, when we were hunting. Will she be okay?" Alec asks.
"C'mon, Why'd you tell him? I'm fine!" Bree insists.
"Are you in any pain?" Carlisle asks her gently.
"Maybe a little…" she admits.
"I can't say for sure. Jacob?"
"He says he doesn't know, since usually when they bite they break off whatever they're biting," Edward explains.
"You were lucky then," Carlilse decides.
Neither Jane nor Alec could deny that they had never found comfort in the presence of a child. Alice seems to have similar feelings, as the three of them had interacted with the new child the least.
"What do you say we go to the mall?" Alice offers the next morning, standing in the doorway of the room Jane, Alec, and Bree share.
"You didn't forget!" Bree says with glee.
"Of course not! You think I of all people would forget a shopping day?"
"Shotgun!" Bree calls.
"Why should a shotgun concern us? We're bulletproof," scoffs Jane.
"No, not literally. ‘Shotgun’ means I call the front seat."
"I am fluent in 25 languages, including Latin—pig and otherwise—but I don't understand half the things you say,” Jane notes.
"We've been alive for a very long time, Bree," Alec reminds her.
"C'mon guys, let’s go," Alice encourages.
Once they arrive, Alice all but makes them swear to stay together.
"We'll stay here all day if we have to, and we can go to every single store if you want, but we have to do it all at the same time. Splitting up causes slip-ups. Got it?"
The three all agree as they head into the crowded mall.
They're immediately drawn to a dark store with red lettering. They look around, searching the shelves and racks until Jane decides on a tighter pair of black jeans, a T-shirt decorated with a skeleton in what seemed to be a marching band outfit from a band Bree had shown her, and a black hoodie adorned with the phrase "bite me" and a graphic of a set of teeth that includes fangs.
It’s safe enough, she decides. After all, no one would actually believe she was a vampire, right? It takes quite a bit of convincing, but Alice allows her to get it under the condition that she doesn't wear it outside the house.
Jane also decides on a pair of red converse.
Alec chooses basic black pants as well, although Jane can't help but notice him admiring a pair with a chain coming from the pocket, a zip-up hoodie with black and red horizontal stripes, and black combat boots. Bree decides she doesn't care for that store, aside from the pin-on button she picked up with the same design as Jane's hoodie.
When Alice pays for their purchases, she’s asked if her parents know she has their card, which is met with an eye roll and a flash of her driver's license.
As soon as they leave, Bree pulls them into a skateboard shop.
"Why do you need a skateboard? We're faster that sound," Alec asks her at a volume too low for human hearing.
"'Cause I want one," Bree answers simply. She picks up a box with the word “Vans” on the side, causing the ancient twins much confusion.
"Those aren't vans, they're tennis shoes."
"I'm not even explaining this one. And they're not tennis shoes, they're skateboard shoes," Bree responds matter-of-factly.
She also picks up a pair of pre-ripped jeans, a blue T-shirt with a logo to match her shoes, and a skateboard with a tie-dyed design on the bottom and reflective orange wheels.
"Are we going to buy anything nice today?" Alice asks, begrudgingly paying for yet another T-shirt. She pauses for a moment, answering her own question with a defeated sigh.
"I dare you to order and eat those french fries," Bree challenges Alec, looking off towards a run-down french fry stand.
Alice knows she should intervene, but she kind of wants to see it happen anyway.
"What do I get out of it?" Alec asks.
"I'll give you 10 bucks."
"Hell yeah, you're on."
He orders and downs the fries, gets his money, and quickly regrets his life decisions.
"Does human food hurt us?" Jane worries.
"I didn't know the reaction would be this bad," Bree admits.
"You've never had food?" Alice asks.
"Not since I was changed."
Definitely should've stopped it, Alice decides as a weakened Alec emerges from the public restroom.
"That was worth way more than $10," he assures Bree.
"Sorry dude," she says apathetically.
A group of human teenagers pass by in clothing covered in the words "Aero" and "Hollister."
"Our clothes don't look like theirs. Are we going to stand out?" Jane asks Alice. “We don't look like them.”
"You don't want to," Bree promises. "I know their type, they're jerks."
"I'm sure they're not all bad! You can't judge someone simply off of the clothes they wear," Alice defends.
"You haven't been to middle school," Bree reminds her.
"Who is this "Wednesday" person I keep seeing? I like her. She looks like us," Jane comments as they pass a pop-up Halloween store.
"She's a movie character. You'll love her," Alice says simply
"Hey Jane," Bree says looking over to her with a smirk, "wanna race?" She gestures at the fluffy rideable animal toy that’s caught her eye. "C'mon, it'll be fun!" she insists when she meets Jane's uneasy look.
Bree takes the panda, Jane decides on the unicorn, Alec takes the giraffe, and even Alice joins in, mounting the elephant. They race through the halls of the mall, narrowly avoiding other shoppers, with the twins frequently knocking over signs and displays.
"Hey!" calls a security guard on a much faster segway, blocking their path. "Shouldn't you kids be in school?" he asks suspiciously.
"I'm 19!" exclaims Alice in annoyance.
"You certainly ain't actin' like it. Get outta here, and don't come back! You've made a mess of this mall. Get out."
"Fine," Alice accepts. "C'mon kiddos, looks like the rest of your school clothes will have to be bespoke. Custom-made by designers," she clarifies.
Bree sees the shock spread across the guard’s face, and the 4 of them can't help but giggle as they walk out.
"Did you see his face?" Bree asks, laughing.
"Of course I did!" Alice giggles in response.
Their drive home is full of laughter and impressions of the guard, but it quickly comes to an end when they're re-introduced to the intense mood of the house, which somehow hasn't leveled despite the baby being born and Bella changing forms.
The baby has yet to leave Rosalie's arms.
"Hey, Emmett, Jasper! Teach me how to skate off the roof!" Bree calls, disappearing from the intensity. Two other thuds confirm Emmett’s and Jasper’s glee to be away from all of this as well.
"Okay, so you gotta position your feet like this, okay?" Emmett says demonstrating how to properly balance. It's a nice gesture, but, nevertheless, they are on the roof—and as soon as she steps on the board, Bree is not.
"Aim for the pool!" Jasper reminds her. A large splash signifies her success, along with a loud cheer from her.
"Awesome, awesome! Now do a flip on the way down this time."
The many splashes mix with the heavy rain as day turns to night. Only a little while longer until Bella will complete her transition, Alice guesses the next morning.
Each Cullen keeps themselves busy to distract from everyone's worry. Edward is buried away in a pile of books, avoiding even the child. Emmett and Jasper have decided on Wii sports, which is sure to be disastrous for the TV. Bree chooses to teach Jane and Alec how to operate the Xbox, much to their confusion. Alice has already begun designing Jane's dress for winter formal, and doing general hemming and altering of the premade clothing they purchased. Esme drafts blueprints for their next home she plans to build, Carlisle is working in his study, and Rose has yet to put the baby down.
"Okay, so you push the left piece forward with your thumb to move, okay? Push A to talk, Y to jump, left button to duck, right button to use your shield," instructs Bree.
"How do I kill stuff?"
"B to attack. I'm going to hit play and see what you two can do."
Alec goes in with this shield blocking any incoming attacks, but Jane jumps him and attacks from the back. Once she has a vulnerable spot, she does what any new gamer would do, and begins rapidly pressing B until a screen shows that she’s reigned victorious.
"That's not fair!" Alec whines.
"Sure it is!" Jane insists.
"I don't like this one. It’s too easy," she says, smirking and causing a growl to escape from Alec. "What are my other options?"
Bree hands her an oddly shaped purple thing. "This one's a gameboy advance. Hit the switch on the bottom. As soon as I woke up from my transformation and realized how much stronger I was than before, the first thing I did was go back home and steal the thing back while my dad was at work. That, and break into a bookstore," she reminiscences with a laugh.
A design appears on the screen after a chime announces it's working.
"I've got Pokemon in there right now, start a new game and pick Charmander. He's the best."
"No way, little sis! Squirtle could beat Charmander any day, any time," Emmett argues from downstairs
"That's why I keep winning then, right?"
"You never use Charmander!"
"Why would I bring Charmander to a Squirtle fight?"
"So then you admit squirtles better."
"Alec, are they speaking any of the languages you recognize?" Jane says, turning to her twin.
"Nope," he responds, turning back to the fighting game, attempting to beat the computer player.
During their bickering, Jane decides to choose for herself, something she isn't quite accustomed to yet, and picks the happy looking reptile named Bulbasaur. Time seems to slip away from her as she explores the pixelated world, so much so that her first distraction is Alice's voice, calling "It's time!" throughout the house.
Bella must be waking up. Alec, Jane and Bree elect to stay out of the way, sure she'll have much more of a crowd than she'd like as it is, plus, they don't actually know her that well, since they weren't ready to be around humans before she changed.
There's much bickering about whether she can see the baby or if she needs to hunt first. Edward wins the argument and they take off to the woods. Soon after she comes back, and meets her child, with much less enthusiasm than expected.
"You know, Rose I never wanted to be a mother but you always have. If you want to adopt Carlie as your own, I think she'd be better off with you," Bella says softly, holding the baby, who looks as if she's about to start crying.
"Bella, I'd be honored, but are you sure? You literally died for this child." Rose reminds her.
"I've been bugging Edward to change me for years. Ever since James. Becoming like you, it was never a big deal for me. Edward and I had already decided on the plane that she was yours if you wanted her. Neither of us are ready, or even interested in parenthood," Bella explains.
"This might be the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me." Rosalie looks like there should be tears in her eyes. "Of course I'll adopt her."
Over the next months Esme elects to homeschool Jane, Alec, and Bree as they missed the enrollment date in all of the commotion. She supposes they can start public school when they move again. It turns out for the best, as Jane and Alec know many things, but little to none that would help them in modern education. And Bree had been tasked with simply surviving so often as a human that she never got to focus on school, and is a concerning amount behind where she should be. But Esme will have that fixed, and they'll be ready for anything next school year.
Carlie sits in her "Uncle" Edward's lap at the piano as he "teaches" her how to play by placing her tiny hands onto the keys.
Alice walks in with a vase, which shatters as soon as it hits the floor. Jasper is immediately at her side, asking what she's seeing.
"Irina saw Carlie. She thinks she's an immortal child, and has gone to tell the Volturi. This is the reason they've been looking for to come start a fight, and they're bringing everyone," Alice whispers.
"The main 3, what's left of the guard, even the wives."
"The wives?!" Alec asks in fear.
"They haven't left the tower in centuries," Jane states.
"We're going to need help, and a lot of it," Bella realizes.
"It's a good thing we've got friends around the globe," Carlisle decides.
"I'll make some calls," Esme agrees.
Alice and Jasper leave with no warning, taking pieces of each of their family members’ unbeating hearts with them. It isn't like them to run from a fight. Jane can only fear the worst, knowing Aro.
"They wouldn't just abandon us like that! I'm telling you, something happened!" Edward all but screams.
"Or maybe she knows we're all going to die and jumped ship! She can see the future! Wake up Edward!" Rosalie responds harshly.
"She's still checking on us." Bree, who has been desperate to block out the fighting, whispers.
"How can you know that?" Rose snaps.
"Because I could feel everyone's emotions last night. Today I'm getting flashes of other vampires who I don't know."
"Edward can you still talk to her?" Rosalie asks, with the edge fleeing away from her voice.
"She's blocking me out, all I'm getting is the Wii theme song."
"Maybe we should do what she says," Jacob suggests through a full mouth, holding up a piece of paper.
"’Go find the nomads?’ Where'd you get that?" Rose asks him.
"It was in the kitchen," he says simply.
"She also says not to look for her, but she says they're coming back."
"How are we supposed to find all these nomads before the snow sticks? They're everywhere!"
"If Mickey Mouse can make it around the world in 80 days, we can do it in 10!" Emmett encourages.
"Mickey Mouse is fictional!" Rose reminds him.
"And we're vampires, let's quit wasting time and get out there." He extends his hand away from his body. "Cullens on 3!"
He's met with blank stares, and a polite shake of the head from Carlilse, but Bree adds her hand to the pile.
"3-2-1- CULLENS!" They shout in sync.
"We've got enough of us to cover most of the contents. Rose and I will take Africa—"
"Babe, why don't we just take it country by country, okay?" Rosalie interrupts. "Or maybe city by city? Let the others do the traveling? We don't have time to get a passport for Carlie, plus, no one wants to be stuck on a plane with an infant."
Emmett agrees begrudgingly, and the family splits up, tearing through the woods in every direction towards where they knew they could find their nearest nomads.
Suddenly, Jane really misses Demetri.
The day of the battle approaches, but still, Alice and Jasper are nowhere in sight. Thankfully, the Volturi aren't either.
Jane, Alec, and Bree became attached to the Cullens’ friends, some of whom brought younger vampires like them. Maggie and Benjamin had become some of their best friends nearly immediately after meeting the others, and now the two of them, along with Jacob, Seth, Jane, Alec, and Bree, are engaged in a game of ninja.
Edward finds there's something entertaining about watching these insanely powerful vampires play a circle game. Underneath that rock-hard exterior were still just children who wanted to have fun, and were able to ignore their likely incoming death.
Maggie is especially good at this game as she can tell if they're lying about moving twice. This round alone has gone for hours, with no end in sight until Jane speaks up.
"He's here, I can smell him."
The entire Volturi seem to float towards the Cullens, minus Rosalie who has gone into hiding with Carlie to protect her. All their friends face off to the Volturi in an intimidating manner.
"Jane, Alec, did you get lost on your way home my dears? And what has happened to dear Demetri and Felix?" Aro asks the twins, who attempt to hide behind Edward and Bella. "I'll let all of this go if you two come back with me. We miss you so greatly in Volterra. I won't even hurt your new friends here."
Jane accidentally meets his eyes with hers. "You're in no condition to fight, dear, you haven't even been properly fed! I won't hold any of this against you if you simply come home with us," Aro encourages.
Jane can feel Chelsea trying to sway her decision. "No,” she whispers.
"What was that?"
"NO! I'm not coming with you! We're staying here,” she decides, grabbing her brother's hand.
"What a shame,” declares Aro. "It's such a shame for such a powerful pair of individuals like yourselves to be wasted."
"I assure you, we aren't going anywhere," Jane challenges.
Alice, Jasper and an unknown person all enter from the side of the forest.
Alice makes her way over to Aro with an extended hand for him to take, which he accepts.
"It doesn't matter what I show you," she growls, yanking her hand away. "Even when you see it, you still won't change your decision."
Alice turns to kick Aro away, sending him flying through the air.
He orders the guards to restrain her, and take her away.
She tries to squirm free with no success.
"Let her go!" Carlisle calls, running after them, as his friends keep the guards off of him.
Alec disables the two holding Alice, while Jane holds Chelsea down with her gift to keep her from swaying anyone’s decisions.
Seth tears Chelsea’s head away in his wolf form, making that the first loss of the fight. Jane sees the wives hiding in the outskirts of the woods, but can't make it over to them to make sure they won't run. A new guard member that Jane and Alec don't recognize tackles Maggie's father, Liam, Siobhan comes to his rescue—but it's a trap, and the other member of the guard kills her while she's distracted. Maggie fights the two off, and runs back to attempt to salvage her adoptive parents, but before she can reach their pile of pieces, another guard has already thrown their heads into the fire.Maggie unwillingly finds her knees buried into the snow, frozen as she attempts to process her loss.
"MAG—C'MON!" Benjamin encourages, lifting her to her feet and pulling her away from an incoming attack. Maggie regathers her thoughts, and continues to fight.
Benjamin sends a fireball towards a cluster of Volturi, causing them all to burn. The wives have disappeared, and the wolves have run to track them. Most of the guard is overtaken.
The only ones remaining are Aro, Afton, Marcus, and Caius. Afton is all but undetectable, and will easily be the hardest one to kill.
Edward is on high alert checking for his thoughts, but Afton is blocking him out with ease. When he becomes visible again, he's found his stance behind Amun, Benjamin’s adoptive father.
"Amun!" Benjamin calls, but is slapped away by Caius as their struggle continues. Maggie makes her way up a tree, lands on Caius's shoulders, and manages to detach his head before Benjamin sets him ablaze.
"Where's Amun?!" Benjamin calls from a tree.
"Ha'en't seen 'em," Maggie answers.
Benjamin spots Afton for a split second and jumps down to go after him, but spots Amun first. Only one of his hands remains, which Benjamin takes in his own.
The boy was often compared to the sun. Today will be no exception, but for much different reasons.
The flames pour out from the distraught teenager, forcing Afton's focus away from his power.
Benjamin cancels out the flames with a wave, and uses the wind to throw Afton against a tree so hard it falls, and stalks over to him while he's down. He tears him limb from him, saving his head for last, and disposes of him in the fire.
Blood begins leaking from Benjamin’s eyes in place of regular human tears, causing him to desperately try to conceal his emotions as he escapes to the edge of the forest.
Jane finds herself thrown face down into the snow, with her marble skin threatening to crack.
"If you were so dissatisfied with the Volturi, why didn't you just say something, dear?" Aro asks with a smile, tightening his grip. "Now you've forced me to make a scene in front of dear Carlisle and his friends."
As she struggles to break free, or at least turn her head to get assistance from her gift, Jane meets the eyes of Alec, who is being restrained by Marcus. Bree rips one of Marcus’ arms away, freeing Alec. Peter and Charlotte finish him off and burn the remains, allowing Jane to gain the upper hand on Aro.
Jane meets the fearful once-leader's eyes. She can't help but smirk as he falls to the ground in agony.
"Goodbye, Aro," she says simply as she places her foot to his neck.
"Don't do this, Jane,” pleads Aro. “We can go back to Volterra like none of this ever happened. You won't even be punished."
"Jane, it's a little late to start doubting yourself! Kill the bastard, or I'll do it for you!" Alec warns, breaking Jane's eye contact with Aro as she glances back to her brother.
No sooner has she looked away than a sharp pain began to spread from her ankle. Her head whips around to discover she's been bitten.
"Jane, are you—?" Alec asks, rushing over to her side
"I'm fine," she assures him with an edge.
She presses her weight into Aro’s throat, causing his head to snap away from the rest of him and shoot into the fire.
"It's over, we won," Alec says in excited disbelief as Jane falls back in the snow to inspect her bite.
"We beat the freakin' Volturi!" Emmett exclaims.
Celebration and cheering fill the clearing for everyone but two, who lost all they knew. Maggie and Benjamin take separate branches above the celebration, each silently supporting the other newly orphaned vampire.
Benjamin's loose white sleeves are becoming much more red than white as time passes.
"Are Maggie and Benjamin alright?" Bree asks.
"They've lost their families." Carlisle explains to her softly.
"What happens to us when we're not alive anymore?" Jane wonders.
"No one knows for sure,” Esme says simply.
"I'm sorry you've had to be exposed to all of this," she adds to the children.
"But things should be better now," Alice assures.
"I feel worse for Maggie and Benjamin than I do us," Bree says, looking in their direction.
The group heads back to the Cullen's residence after the wolves admit that the wives got away from them. Their friends slowly began heading back to their own homes, but Benjamin and Maggie haven't made a decision on what they're going to do just yet.
"Whatever we do, we should stick together. There aren’t a lot of vampires our age like us," Benjamin says firmly.
"Aye woonder if 'e Cullens ha'e any extre room," Maggie responds. "What better place? Dare coven is incredibly strong, dey have people are ege, if nothing else, a' lest well ha' soom friends."
"We'll have to drink animal blood though," Benjamin complains.
"I'd rader ea' o'ly cretters than be alone, if we don't ha' to."
"We'll have to blend in and interact with humans."
"I was gettin' a wee bet lonely aneway," Maggie says with a smirk, the first of it's kind since the battle.
"I don't have anywhere better to be," Benjamin says with a small laugh.
"Do ye think dey'll let us stay?" she asks him.
"Why not ask 'em?" Jacob asks, jumping over the back of the sofa to land next to Benjamin.
Esme comes in with Carlisle and places a light hand on Maggie's shoulder. "The answer will always be yes," she says gently. "We're so sorry it ended this way, but if you'd like a place in our coven, our doors are open for you."
"We would," Benjamin confirms.
"Well then, welcome to our coven," Esme says happily.
"You owe me another Ruff Bois video!" Emmett calls from the other side of the house, followed by Jasper groaning.
"Stop taking bets on the children!" Rosalie demands.
"Sorry babe," he says sheepishly.
"So you're staying with us?" Bree asks with excitement, dropping down from the loft above, landing next to Maggie in the couch.
"Seems so," Maggie tells her.
After a few more weeks, and a bit of extra time for Esme to add two extra bedrooms, it comes time for the Cullens leave Forks. Esme argues that it isn't fair to keep children confined to their home. And though they were used to having a slightly unbelievable cover story, even they can't think of one to go along with how they’ve suddenly acquired 5 extra teenage children.
Their shared room is also becoming very cramped, despite how little it's used.
"Is the new house close to school?" Jane asks Esme.
"No, don't worry, we never build very close to humans."
"How far can a human child walk?" Alec asks.
"I'm not sure. Why do you ask?"
"Can we learn to drive like Edward or Alice?"
"No, you're physically too young. You won't be able to pass for old enough."
"Then how do we get to school?" Jane asks her.
"She's get a pent," Maggie begins, "Noon o' us are eld e'ough ta drive, plus, noon o' us want to preten' ta be eld e'ough to."
"How old are you planning on being?" Esme asks.
"We all want to start as low as we can, middle school, so we can stay longer," Jane explains.
"What's the youngest I can get, Mrs. C?" Jacob asks with a laugh.
"Not middle school."
Emmett laughs. Even with his long hair, currently being braided by Benjamin and his personal wind current, Jacob couldn't have been mistaken for a day before 16.
"Neither can you, Benjamin, I'm afraid," Esme begins.
"Shame,” Benjamin responds flatly, continuing to work with Jacob.
"Middle school is ambitious. Jane, Alec, you have it no problem. Bree, maybe, and Maggie, only if you failed a grade and have a late birthday.”
"I'm a'right weth that."
"What about me?" Seth asks, joining the conversation with a muffin in hand.
"I think it'll be fine," Esme decides. "As long as you keep phasing, you stay the same age, correct?"
He noods back, with his mouth full.
"So Jane, Alec, Bree, Maggie and Seth are all posing as middle schoolers this year?" Carlisle repeats.
"Yes. Everyone else is high school per usual."
"Love, if we grow this family anymore I'm going to have to start taking notes, and shopping for minivans," he says with a smile, wrapping his arm around her.
"That may not be as much of a joke as you think it is. We have Alec, Jane, Bree, Maggie, Seth, and Carlie who won't be able to drive. That's 6. Your car only holds 4 passengers."
"If we get a van, can it be one of those vintage VW buses?' Emmett asks.
"Absolutely not," Rosalie quickly determines. "Those things are a pain in the ass to work on."
"School buses do exist," Bree reminds the group.
"We'll talk about it later, loves," Carlisle decides. "We should get going now."
Seth's sister, Leah, and his mother, Sue, who will not be accompanying the Cullens in the move, will have full use of the Cullens’ old residence once they're gone. The few belongings they’re taking with them to the new home are settled into a U-Haul being driven by Esme.
The other Cullens take their respective cars, and take any extra of the youngest vampires they can fit. Jasper is forced to complete another lost bet, as he drives Emmett's Jeep, solely so Emmett and Bree can stand out of the sunroof for the duration of the entire trip.
"You aren't bringing that, are you? At least, not unless it's being hauled?" Rosalie asks Jacob a bit too harshly as he approaches his Rabbit with flowers in his hair and a snickering Benjamin following close behind.
"What's wrong with my car? It starts now, and everything! I even got seat covers!" he defends.
"Would you let me take a look at it? I can smell the oil burning." Rosalie asks, buckling Carlie into her convertible's back seat.
"Maybe I'll take you up on it when we get to the new place," Jake suggests, crawling into the car. Benjamin enters on the passenger side, and Seth gets in the back seat.
Maggie joins Bree, Emmett, and Jasper in the jeep, while Jane and Alec slide into Carlisle's car. The family heads down their Forks drive way one last time for another 100 years or so, and off to the next adventure.
"How did you know you could trust us?" Jane asks suddenly, about an hour into the trip.
"Well, if we're being honest, if you’d had any ill intentions, Alice would've seen it. But I knew you before. You were good kids, given the circumstances."
"You watched me torture the castle's mice on many occasions. Are you sure about that?"
"At least you weren't torturing the secretaries."
"Hm, I suppose you're right."
As Jane settles back into her seat, Jasper flies by in the jeep with Emmett above the roof, and Maggie sitting in the cargo area facing backwards with her hair dancing in the wind behind her, a single green converse propped on top of the tailgate. It looks as if Bree is playing a plastic recorder as she films Emmett with his camcorder. They had to be going well over 100 miles over the speed limit, but Alice is winning this race. No one has seen the yellow Porsche zipping in and out of every hole in traffic in at least a half an hour. They can't seem to find Jake, Seth or Benjamin either, but it's most likely not because they're winning.
"We should've rode with Emmett, dude," Seth says from the back seat, opening a second family sized bag of chips.
"I didn't realize their average speed was going to be 200 frickin miles an hour," Jacob defends as the Rabbit whines about nearing 70.
"We could all run faster than this," Benjamin mentions, putting his feet on the dashboard.
"Keep it up and I'll put it in neutral and let you push," Jacob threatens, playfully shoving him.
"It'd be a hell of a lot faster," Benjamin laughs.
"You don't belive me?"
"I'll prove it. You just steer, but before I do, just in case this goes bad, do you have your motorcycle helmet in here?"
"Seth, put that on."
"What about me?"
"You're so hard headed you won't even notice, Jake. Ready to steer? This is probably faster than you've ever gone, so just hold on."
Benjamin directs a massive wind gust to push the car along. The speedometer begins to climb until there's nowhere else for the needle to go. Moments later, they pass Carlisle, in second to last with only Esme behind them.
"Shit mobile at 6 o'clock," Bree announces, ducking inside the vehicle, as Jacob and crew pass them with ease.
"Oh hell no! We just got passed by Jake and the shit mobile! Jasper, pick it up!" Emmett complains.
"If you had put the entire Ruff Bois setup in the U-Haul like I told you, we wouldn't have this problem," Jasper responds.
"I wasn't missing all this content, man!"
"Hope you like your content to be you losing to Jake."
"This is physically impossible! How can his car go that fast without blowing up?!"
"'Ees got Benjamin with him, lad, he's pro'ally pushin them along himself,” Maggie points out.
"That cheater!" Emmett snarls in offense. "Jazz, let's go!"
Meanwhile in the Rabbit, their victory lap has quickly gone south as the car shuts off without warning.
"C'mon, what's going on?" Jacob complains as Emmett flies past them, followed by both Carlisle and Esme as the car crawls to a stop. Benjamin looks over to Jacob and their eyes meet. They're frozen for a second before Benjamin smirks.
"I'm an indestructible vampire who can run faster than light. Honestly just put it in neutral and I'll get us there."
"You don't have to. I can call Bella."
"I kinda wanna.," Benjamin admits, leaving the car.
"Dude did you just im—" Seth begins
"Shut up, he can hear you!" Jacob says harshly.
"Ready?" Benjamin asks from the back of the car.
"Go for it."
Benjamin effortlessly pushes the car along at his top vampire speed, making him invisible to the passing humans, but not to Carlisle, who they've once again passed. Carlisle can see exactly what's happening, and pauses his and Esme's phone conversation mid sentence.
"Esme, I'm going to be the first vampire to have a stroke," he says defeatedly.
"If it hasn't happened yet, it won't happen. You aren't getting away from us that easy," she assures.
Once Benjamin gets the car going at the preferred momentum, he leaps onto the roof of the car and continues to propel them with his wind.
"You really don't have to do this. The sun doesn't shine for me," Jake says out of his window.
"The sun shines for whoever the hell I tell it to," Benjamin says confidently.
"You're a cocky one, aren't you?"
"Hey now! There's a kid in the car!" Benjamin jokes, laying back on the roof of the car with diamonds dancing across his skin.
"Are they always like this?" Jane asks Carlisle, interrupting the soft, nearly elevator-like music coming from the speakers. She’s almost concerned she chose the wrong car. The others seem to be having much more fun, but this is the quietest she's experienced in weeks. She’s able to get through an entire book of a series Maggie had recommend about wizards. She hasn't learned much, but it was good for fiction, she supposes.
"I'd be lying if I said no. Emmett initiates most of it," says Carlisle.
"How far are we from home?" Jane asks.
"Not too much longer." The tone of Carlisle’s voice suggests that this isn't necessarily a good thing. He’s right per usual.
"Hell yeah assholes! I win again! 5th move in a row!" Rosalie gloats, sitting on the hood of her convertible.
"You said you'd let me win if i didn't bedazzle your coveralls!" Alice complains.
"No, I said I'd NOS your car up if you didn't. Never said you'd win."
"Babe! You NOS-ed her?! That's cheating!!"
"It's for the good of the coveralls. Besides, she still didn't win."
Jacob and crew show up next, Benjamin still seated on the roof. Next is Bella, then Edward, then Carlisle, and finally Esme.
"Where have you been?" Emmett questions as soon as Esme opens the door.
"Driving safely at the speed limit,” she says with a smile.
The Cullens all eagerly explore their new home, claiming their rooms, although already decorated for them, and settle in. Posters are being plastered to the once-bare walls of Bree's individual room. Alice has rearranged her room at least ten times already while Jasper does his best to stay out of the way, joining Emmett in their new game room. Esme had intended it for the 6 new children, but she had a feeling Jasper and Emmett will be the main users. She and Carlisle unpack the few things they decided to bring along, and deliver the better half to the garage, as their various motorcycles and Rosalie's endless boxes of parts and tools take up the bottom portion of the truck.
Jane and Alec had seperate rooms for the first time in either of their lives, and even though they’re right next to each other, Jane still feels too far apart as she adds the contents of a backpack into the closet big enough to be a whole other room on its own. The smell of cheese-dust covered chips confirms that Esme has already stocked the kitchen for Jacob and Seth.
The children will all be beginning a public middle school soon, and the older, a high school.
Jane can't help but wonder if she'll be able to pull it off—but that’s a problem whose answer won’t be found until the next month passes.