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After spending seven years camping near Mount Rainer in Seattle, Washington, River, seventeen, made her way to the ranger station. It was here that she was to meet her father, Jeff and her mother Brooke. Instead she was a little surprised to see her aunt Peyton Miller there waiting for her. This threw River off guard some especially as the look on Peyton's' face was grim. River knew better than to read her thoughts. Reading thoughts of a stranger was one thing while family was completely different.

"Wow, look at you," said Peyton, trying to put on a brave front. "You're no longer a kid. I remember the last time I saw you."

"The wilderness has a way of doing that I guess. No human contact for seven years and all that," River said hating the small talk. She really wanted to know what had happened and why her parents weren't here to greet her.

Peyton nodded. She never understood her best friend's method of child rearing. At the age of 10 they had sent their only daughter into the woods for seven years. Granted the same thing had happened to Jeff and Brooke when they were that age but even now Peyton could make no logical sense out of it.

River hated that Peyton was stalling so rather than wait she just asked, "What happened to my parents? They were supposed to be here, where are they?"

Peyton took a deep breath, "Maybe we should take a drive," she said reaching for River's arm.

River pulled back. "There's no one here," she said, "just tell me."

"They died River, three years ago."

"What, that's not possible."

"River, people die all the time."

"I don't understand, how?"

"It was a bank robbery at Seattle National. They were called in. Shots were fired and they got hit. "

River nodded, "And their bodies, what happened to them?"

"I had them cremated since that was what was in their will." River simply nodded again. "Listen River, when you went out on your own, your parents had left some instructions in case something should ever happen to them. They did say that this was totally up to you. Now I know you're old enough and you don't need an adult figure in your life, God knows you've done well without one for seven years but if you'd like, you can come live with me and with your cousin Maia. I adopted her, she's thirteen. I think you two would really hit it off despite the age difference. Your parents all ready enrolled you for this school year just so you can at least graduate and get your high school diploma. But if you don't want to then just say the word."

For an ordinary human this would have been too much to process all at once but River was never an ordinary human. It didn't take long for her to make up her mind.

"Sure that sounds great."

"Okay," Peyton said with a smile, a little surprised that that was easier then she thought it would be.

The two of them got in Peyton truck and made their way to Forks, Washington a place outside of Seattle. River took one last glance at the Mt. Rainer wilderness and sighed. It had been her home for seven years and now it would become a distant memory.

It didn't take long for them to pass the welcome sign of Forks. After several turns they arrived at Peyton's house. Maia was instantly outside, anxious to greet her new cousin. Introductions were made and then the two of them led River over to a gift that was hidden underneath a tarp. River took it off and was surprised at what she found.

"This was my mom's bike," she said referring to the blue motorcycle that stood in place before her. "She loved this thing."

"She did," Peyton replied. "Per her instructions, she left it to you. Figured you would enjoy it just as much as she did plus it saves me from actually having to buy you a car, which was their second request in case you didn't like the bike."

River couldn't help but laugh, "Are you kidding, by the time I was eight she had me riding on the back of this thing. She built it herself you know," River said excluding the fact that with the alien technology there was no need for fuel so it could last a more than a dozen lifetimes.
"So I guess that means you like it," Maia said with a smile.

"I love it," River replied. "Wanna take a ride Maia?"

"Maybe later," replied Peyton, a little nervous of her daughter riding on the back of a motorcycle. River understood what Peyton meant by 'later.' "Why don't you take a look at the house first?"

River nodded and the three of them went inside. The downstairs floor contained a living room off to the left of the entrance and to the right was the kitchen with a dining table enough to seat four. Upstairs, down the hall and to the left was Peyton's room with personal bathroom. Down the hall from Peyton's room on the other side of the stairway, was Maia's room located on the right with a separate general restroom. Across from Maia's room was what was now to be River's room.

Maia opened the door to the room.

"We hope this is okay," said Peyton. "You've got your own personal restroom. And a balcony that leads to the best view in the house. There's a river out back which leads into the woods in case you didn't notice."

"I noticed. Thank you. If I can ask, why are you letting me have this room," making reference to Maia's room which was much smaller and had no window view.

"You're the nature girl," replied Maia. "And I actually like my room it's a lot more private."

River looked at Maia and then to her aunt Peyton.

"Totally her idea," Peyton said answering River's question. "You're parents said you like a lot of black and blue so that's what we settled on as far as bedding goes."


"We got you a few clothes, some school supplies, basic things like that. I guess we'll let you get settled in then. Your class schedule is on the desk. School starts at 8 but since you're going to be arriving two months into the school year, you might want to get there early just in case. If you need anything just go ahead and ask. I know this is gonna be an adjustment for all of us but we'll manage."

River nodded, "Thanks Maia. Thanks aunt Peyton. This is really more than I deserve so I really appreciate it."

Peyton smiled, amazed at River's candor. "You're absolutely welcome. Oh," Peyton said being reminded of something, "There was one other thing, I'll be right back." As she said, Peyton quickly returned but with a box in hand. "These were found among your parents instructions. They're letters they left for you just as a precaution in case something should happen to them. They're for special occasions things like that."

River didn't know what to say so Peyton and Maia quietly left the room, closing the door behind them. River took a deep breath, took the first letter out of the box which read '1st Day of Senior Year' and then opened the door to the balcony. There she stood for a few minutes before opening the letter. And once she read it, the tears could not stop streaming down her face.

Author's Note: Yes I did use the names Brooke and Peyton only because they are my favorite characters from One Tree Hill however this is by no means a OTH crossover even though in my vision former Brooke Waters does look like Brooke Davis and Peyton Waters does look like Peyton Sawyer. And then I did use the name Maia because she is one of my favorite characters from the 4400 so Maia Waters does look like Maia Skouris. Aside from the Twilight characters, everyone else: Jeff Waters, River Waters, and Vincent Cullen- I have no particular reason for choosing those names.

Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Knowing

River never knew what it was like to be new to a place. She had spent seven years in the wilderness with no human contact and when people did take a hike in the woods, she would do everything she could to avoid them. That had been one of her father's rules: never make contact with people even if they walk into the woods themselves. He believed one was stronger without interactions and that by being in the woods alone and without help, you could learn at just exactly what you were capable of on your own.

Now there was no way of escaping people they were everywhere. River didn't mind that since that's how the world worked but the part she did mind was the fact that as she rode up to the school parking lot, people suddenly started to look at her. She could read their thoughts of course but over time she came to let that not discourage her. She had an experience that if their thoughts did get to her she would react and the last thing she wanted was to bring attention to herself and become a prime target for people's suspicions.

River parked her bike in a nearby spot next to a faded red truck where the driver was all ready getting out of its cab.

"Nice bike," she said in a friendly monotone.

"Thanks," River replied, still new to this whole communicating with people thing. "It was my mom's."

Bella nodded. "I know: I saw a few pictures of it in her office."

"You knew my mom?" River asked curiously.

"Kind of, my dad is Chief Swan. He worked a few cases with your parents. I'm Bella."

"River," she said smoothly.

"Well if you need anything let me know. I know what it's like to be the new girl. It sucks."

"Tell me about it and thanks," River replied, completely aware of all the stares and thoughts that surrounded her.

Across the lot, River was aware of a new stare. This one felt totally different than the others. It didn't feel quite "human." She looked over and saw him looking at her. Trying to get a glimpse into his mind, it surprised her when she felt two sudden jolts of energy, almost as if the signal had been blocked.

"You okay?" Bella asked with concern as she saw River place a hand on her temple.

"Yeah, just a headache, it'll pass." River looked back at the guy and the group he was with and Bella looked as well.

"Oh don't mind the Cullens, they're friends of mine. The short haired brunette is Alice, the guy standing next to her is her boyfriend Jasper, the guy standing on the other side of the car is Edward, and the guy next to him is his new brother Vincent. There's another couple, Emmett and Rosalie but they graduated last year. They're completely harmless."

"Sure," River replied totally not sure whether to believe Bella. Of all the people, aside from the energy jolt, River had a difficult time reading Bella's mind. Very odd she thought to herself. In all her seventeen years of life she had never come across a human whose mind she could not read until now.

It didn't take long before the bell to ring and Bella said she would meet with River at lunch. River complied.

As River began to make her way to her first class, she was stopped by a student who seemed very eager to talk to her.

"Hey, new girl," said Eric. "You're Detective Waters kid right?"

"I guess."

"You guess? You're River Waters right? Your parents were Jeff and Brooke Waters, detectives for the Seattle P.D."

"Then that's me."

"Awesome, I'm Eric, the eyes and ears of this place. So tell me, what's it like to be back among the living? Seven years in the woods, crazy stuff."

River looked at him, a little surprised that he knew that.

"Oh," Eric said, "Was that supposed to be kind of a secret? Sorry baby, no secrets in Forks. Small town you know how it is, well never mind I guess you wouldn't. But when detectives come in and work on a few cases now and then word spreads around."

"You sound like a reporter."

"Yeah I am. Here anyways. I work for the Spartan newspaper and girl after seven years in the woods, you are news."

"Look no offense but I'm not a fan of reporters when I'm the story."

"No feature got it. You wouldn't be the first new girl to turn me down, it's cool."

"I'm real sorry Eric, but I have to get to class."

"Brainy girl, I like that. Okay then I'll see ya later Rivs."

River politely nodded and made her way to her history class. She secretly hoped that not all the students were as friendly as Eric. Not that she minded but one bubble boy was too many in her book especially when she had planned on keeping a low profile. She had all ready met Bella and was told about Bella's friends, the Cullens. If she was going to make friends here, they seemed like the perfect people to hang out with.

The morning went by quickly especially since River was too smart for her classes. Rather than pay attention to her teachers, she would just do the work that was assigned and when they did call on her it was as if she had been paying attention all along; one of the many upsides to being different from everyone else.

Around lunch time, River got her tray with just a few things on it. Eric had called her over to his table where Taylor, Jessica, Mike, and Angela were sitting. At the same time Bella had called her where she was sitting with the Cullens. River decided to refuse sitting with Eric and his group and made her way to Bella.

Though she couldn't pin point it exactly, River knew there was something about the Cullens that made them different because it was only from two of them that she would get the jolt of energy blocking the frequency into the mind that she normally had no trouble getting into with others.

The younger one, Vincent sat up straighter when she approached, even getting up to get her chair for her.

"Um, thanks," River said to him.

"You're welcome," Vincent said with a huge smile.

"So you're the infamous River Waters," Edward said breaking the silence that had ensued.

"And what makes me infamous?" River asked trying to reach into Edwards' mind but to no avail.

"Well your parents' reputation," Edward replied. "It's scattered all across Seattle and Forks."

"I'm so sorry about what happened to them," Vincent said with a sincere tone in his voice.


Alice interjected, "You don't seem sad."

River looked down. "I've only been in Forks for two days before that the last time I saw my parents was when I was ten. How am I supposed to feel?"

"I can help you with that if you want," Vincent said and then toning down his eager tone he said, "If you need help with anything you just let me know."

River looked up at Vincent. It really bugged her that she could not read his thoughts. Now that she was sitting close to him it was clear he was one that was blocking her signal, almost as if he was intentionally fighting back; the same with Edward. She could read Jasper and Alice's thoughts but nothing seemed so incriminating and whatever secrets they did hold it was clear they were not thinking about them otherwise realization of their difference would have sunk into River's thoughts by now. River continued to look into Vincent's eyes and could see his sincerity. His eyes were a deep brown with a hint of royal blue in the center, so small that it could only by noticed if you knew what you were looking at.

"I apologize for my brother," Edward said interrupting River's thoughts, "he's usually not like this."

Vincent shook his head, "I'm sorry I've just never met anyone like you before," he said to River. "Your eyes, they're…different."

River took a deep breath, had he noticed the hint of royal blue in her own eyes? Now things were certainly getting weird.

"A good different though," Vincent quickly added.

"I don't notice anything," Alice said. "They look brown to me."

Vincent ignored Alice and spoke more directly to River, "I never understood why before, why your parents always wore sunglasses but now it makes sense."

"Enough," Edward said with direct authority which caused some people in the cafeteria to look at the table. Edward knew where Vincent was going with his reference about River's parents. Vincent was still young enough and still needed guidance learning the ropes.

In what seemed like a short time, the bell rang. The Cullens, Bella, and River each had the same class so they walked together. Vincent walked next to River, their hands nearly touching but not quite. Though she still had a difficult time pin pointing things, walking with Bella and the Cullens somehow felt right, almost as if she was meant to be here. When she had learned of her parent's death just two days before and was given the option to move to Forks, she had thought it to be a bad idea. She loved her aunt Peyton and even her new cousin Maia but she hated the feeling of being forced away from the woods. Even coming home to her parent's, had they been alive, surely would have felt like home rather than the current living situation she had now. But at this moment, walking side by side her new friends; it truly felt as if she had found a place to belong and she had only known them for a day.

Maybe living in Forks wouldn't be so bad after all.


Chapter 4: Love Costs

The sun had begun to set when Edward and Bella arrived at what they had come to claim as their meadow. Bella took Edward's hand and the two of them sat together on the grass. The sky was a mixture of pinks and purples. Clouds loomed overhead but nothing that threatened the possibility of rain. The two of them leaned into each other gently at first and then their lips met. Edward's tongue caressed the inside of Bella's mouth making her heart flutter as she returned the sentiment to him inside his own mouth. Edward had never felt anything so sweet before. He had kissed Bella plenty of times but this time was different. The location alone made it all the more special.

The passion continued to get deeper as Edward gently laid Bella along the grass. Inside, Bella was racing. Before Edward she had never had a boyfriend. It wasn't that she wasn't interested in guys or things like that but back in Phoenix the guys there just weren't that interesting. Even the friends she had met here didn't seem like dating material. And then all of a sudden Edward came into her life and it was as if she had found herself, as if her life had found its purpose. Now she could not imagine a life without Edward Cullen let alone with an ordinary human boyfriend. This moment was all that mattered until, just as quickly as it began it had come to an abrupt stop.

"Stop," Edward said jumping as far back as he could. "We can't do this Bella."

"It's okay," she said trying to reassure him.

"No it's not. Bella we've gone over this. I can't risk hurting you. And if this is what you want maybe you should go to someone else for it."

Bella got herself up and walked towards Edward. She wrapped her arms around his waist, "I don't want anyone else, I want you Edward, now and forever."

"I'm not gonna turn you if that's what you're asking."

"It would be nice if you did but no, that's not what I'm asking. I just want you to give yourself to me, tonight. Please Edward."

"I want to, believe me I do but there's just too many complications."

"I know: you're afraid of losing control and biting me, you're afraid you'll be too strong and you're afraid you'll hurt me."

"Aren't those logical reasons?"

"Of course they are but I wouldn't be with you if I couldn't handle the risks. I'm not afraid."

"You should be."

"Well I'm not. I love you Edward, and I want to be with you."

"I want to be with you too but we just can't."

"Well, there is one other option we haven't considered."

Edward looked at Bella, "What other option are you talking about?"

"I've been talking to Vince and he knows of a way on how we can be together."

"Whatever it is you're thinking, the answer is no."

"Just hear me out, please. Vincent says that he can do a kind of blood transfusion. I would still be human but…"

"But you would be turned into an alien in the process, forget it."

"Edward, what do you have to worry about, it's not like I'm gonna be a one eyed, one horned flying purple people eater."

"Cute," Edward said to Bella's reference of the Purple People Eater song.

"The point is, I would still be me only stronger and we wouldn't have an issue here because there would be no way of you hurting me and even better I would be immortal just like you."

"I don't know Bella."

"Edward what have we got to lose? If it's a way for us to be together without me having to turn into a vampire then shouldn't we attempt it?"
"You really want me that badly don't you?" Edward said with a coy smile.

"Do you want me?"

"More than anything my love," replied Edward. He took a deep breath and placed his head on top of hers, "You make it very difficult to say no. Okay we'll do it this way. If it's a way that will prevent you from getting hurt then all we can do is try but I'm telling you now if this fails I will personally have a hand in killing Vincent. I don't care if he's my brother and I don't care if you try to stop me. If something happens to you I don't plan to live my life without you."

"Okay." Bella reached up and kissed Edward deeply but gently. "Thank you."

"I love you," was Edward reply.

Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Chapter 5: Favor

Two weeks later; Early Saturday morning, River was up reading the next letter that was in the box from her parents. This one was titled 'First Boyfriend'. After reading it, River just shook her head and let out a smile. Her mother had had the sex talk before she left to the wilderness but now she felt the need to add in additional information. She was just being a mom and for that River was grateful.

River looked up and could feel Vincent's presence. Vincent never used the door and in all this time he had still not met her aunt Peyton until now when Peyton had been the one to answer from downstairs. River super-sped fast enough just as Peyton answered.

"Ms. Waters," he said formally, "I'm Vincent Cullen."

"Oh so you're Vincent, River talks about you but she's never had the guts to bring you by the house," Peyton said with a stare towards River.
"That's because I know you'd be like dad and start with twenty questions."

"Hey, I am not like your father, I'm much cooler than he was," she said with a smirk and then she looked at Vincent, "Oh and it's Peyton Miller not Peyton Waters."

"Oh sorry about that, I didn't know."

"It's okay. So what are you kids gonna do today?"

"Well," replied Vincent, "I figured it's a nice day out so maybe River would like to take a hike with me."

"Sure," River replied. "A hike sounds great."

River was about to step out with Vincent when Peyton stopped her, "Hey, it's gonna rain today you might want to take your jacket."

River nodded and took the thin wind breaker off the hook, putting it on so Peyton wouldn't have to be a mom to her and make her put it.

The two of them walked out back towards the river and into the woods. From there they made their ever quick journey to the cave.

"Talk to me Vince, I know you wouldn't have brought me here unless it was something serious. What's going on?
"I need a favor."

"Name it."

"You know how close Bella and Edward are right?" River just nodded, "Well they have kind of a problem and they're looking for me to fix it only I can't do it."

"What kind of problem?"

"They can't…I mean they can but Edward is too afraid of hurting her when they…"

"Oh," River said awkwardly. "And um, how is it you can help exactly?"

"We can make Bella like us."

"What do you mean 'us'?"

"I can't do it. It has to be male to male and female to female."

"So basically you want me to transfuse some of my blood to Bella so that she and Edward can…"

"I've all ready told Bella we'd do it. She's family and if anything she's like you're sister."

"I know," River said. She then took Vincent's hands. "Babe, I love you but you're an idiot. Even if we could who's to say it'll even work not alone the ethics involved with this."

"It worked for you didn't it?" Vincent shot back.

"I got lucky, I was a child of chance nothing more."

"Yeah but it worked. Your father sacrificed himself so that he could be infused with human blood and so that he and your mother could have you. Even before they had you they were still having great sex after the transfusion."

"Okay let's not talk about my parents' sex life, please."

"The point is it worked. What if we reversed the process? I all ready have an instant drug that will kill half of Bella's human side. All you have to do is provide your blood."

"Do you really think it will work?"

"Out of all of them, Edward has been the closest. He's the best brother I could ever ask for. If I can help him with a way to be with the woman he loves then I say it's worth a shot but I can't do it without you."

River looked intently in Vincent's eyes. Sometimes it was just so difficult to say no to him.

"Alright, I'll do it. Only because I love you, and I love your family and Bella is my best friend. Speaking of which, why didn't she come to me."

"I kind of didn't tell her that I can't be the one to do it."

"Oh so you'd rather I break the news."

"You're a woman, you're better at this woman stuff than I am. I figured it would be easier that way."

Later during the day, River took her motorcycle and drove to Bella's house. It was raining even as she got there but that was the last thing that she needed to worry about. In the few hours that had passed since she and Vincent talked she came to see the situation more clearly. It was understandable to not have sex for abstinence reasons or if they weren't ready but River had seen the love that Bella and Edward shared. It was the same way it was with her and Vincent. The only difference was that because they were both alien, making love to each other would be so much easier. To be in love and not be able to make love due to the conflicting issues seemed heart wrenching.

Esme and Carlisle Cullen considered River as part of the family now which not only made her and Bella best friends as before but it also made them sisters and River loved Bella as such. If she could give her one gift to surpass all others it would be the ability to love unconditionally without ramifications even if that meant she had to donate some of her own alien blood in the process.

River pulled up into the driveway, parked her bike, and knocked on the door.

"River, hey," said Bella, "What are you doing here?"

"Is your dad here?"

"No he's at work, why?"

"I just didn't want this to be awkward or anything. Can I come in?"

"Yeah sure," Bella said ushering River into the house, "Can I get you something to drink, coke or water?"

"Water would be great thanks."

River followed Bella into the kitchen as Bella got a glass of water and then handed it to River.

"So what did you want to talk about," Bella asked.

"Vincent told me about your situation and about how you and Edward want… to be with each other."

"He didn't," Bella said feeling quite embarrassed.

"It's okay, really. The reason he told me was because he, well actually you need my help more than his."

"How so?"

"These transfusions; they can only be done male to male and female to female. If it's not done that way it won't work out properly. I guess the best way to describe it in human terms is if a girl takes massive doses of testosterone and if a guy takes massive doses of hormones. It changes the body's chemistry. Vince and I are alien but all chemistry is pretty much the same."

"Okay so let's do it."

"Bella, as your best friend I have to caution you. If you take on my blood you're going to be sacrificing your mortality."

"I know Edward and I discussed it over with Vincent. Frankly Edward thinks it's better than me turning into a vampire. He won't directly say it but he doesn't want that kind of life for me; the immortality part fine but not the vampire part."

"I see. That's completely understandable. Bella, my father got lucky when they injected him with human blood. After that the scientists worked on ordinary humans to see if they could inject them with alien blood. Every test failed so they haven't done the practice in over fifty years but..."

"I'm willing to risk it," Bella interrupted.

River smiled, "But, what I was gonna say is that you're not like any ordinary human. The fact that I can't read your mind proves that. There were some successful ones though, just several that were conducted by my father and that's because there was something special in them as well."

"So will you be able to do it?"

River took a deep breath, "For you and Edward, I would do anything. I mean that Bella."

"Thank you," Bella said with a smile. "So how soon can you get started?"

"How does Monday sound? I just want to read over my father's notes. He might've been a cop in this world but in his own he was a brilliant scientist which is why I know his methods will work. He always went against the others because he knew he was smarter than they were. Plus it will give me time to get the equipment I need."

"Monday sounds perfect."

"So did you have a location in mind as to where you want to do this?"

"Let's keep it simple, the Cullen house. Carlisle has a sterile medical room in the house incase it's needed for anything. Everyone in the house knows about what Edward and I want to do and they're okay with it."

"That sounds easy enough. Monday at the Cullen's place it is."

Chapter 6: Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Transformation

It took River only several hours to read up on her fathers' lecture notes. His instructions were very detailed and to the point. With her abilities, River was able to create virtual simulations and the process worked every time however one could not underestimate technology. Even if it worked during a V.S., that didn't mean it would actually work in real life so extra precautions had to be taken.

Vincent helped set up the lab in Dr. Carlisle's medical facility there at the house. It was Monday and everything had been set in place. River stood at a nearby table examining the equipment. She stood there with her hands on the table and then reached in her back pocket for the third letter which her mother had written. This letter was titled 'Med Student'. River had come to discover this that Saturday night after she had agreed to Bella that she would do the transfusion. Though River shouldn't have been surprised, it still amazed her somewhat that the letters seemed to occur in sync with the way her life was turning out: first the start of school, next having a boyfriend, and now this. River shook her head as she read over the conversation in the letter that her mother had with her father.

She read the letter over three times and then she felt a familiar presence behind her, a presence so soft and bright that it could be none other.

"What do you have there?" Esme said to her placing a hand on Rivers' back. The cold touch of her hands helped to soothe River down some.
River held the letter up in it's envelop. "Just a letter from my mom," River replied. "She basically says how I inherited my fathers' traits when it comes to working with medicine and science." River blew out a breath, "and then just some other random stuff and then how I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't to someone I really cared about."

"You don't have to do this you know, I'm sure Edward and Bella could find another way to be together."

"That's exactly why I have to. Aside from turning Bella into a vampire, there is no other way. And I know Edward would never physically be with Bella if that meant hurting her. Turning Bella into someone like me seems like the safest option. Bella will still be half human but her alien side will take over when they're…together so she'll be safe. Can you imagine not being able to be with the man you love, with Carlisle with the kind of restrictions they have?"

"Honestly, I can't."

"Those two deserve the happiness everyone in this family gets to experience."

"That's very thoughtful of you. And it's very generous that you'd be willing to donate some of your own blood just to make someone else have a chance at bliss."

River looked down at the letter and smiled, "It's what my father did for my mother. Without him I wouldn't even exist right now. Maybe I can make him proud by making someone else happy. And you know I love Edward and Bella like my own brother and sister so I have to keep telling myself that despite the risks, it's worth it."

"You know those myths don't do you justice. Before Vincent, I had never met an alien before and even then I always believed in the myths that they were here to take over the world one being at a time."

"Well I could say the same about you," River said with a smirk, "as a kid I always had this terrifying image of vampires having fangs, being killed with garlic and stakes, and turning into bats. You know the Count Dracula stuff. The myths scared me half to death to the point where I wouldn't even pick up books about vampires. Glad they turned out to be false."

Esme smiled, "Mind if I ask you just one personal question?" River nodded, "You and Vincent, you two haven't…had any special nights together have you?"

"No Esme, I promise we haven't yet. The timing just hasn't felt right and I'm sure when we do everyone will know. Aside from the general stuff, this family has a hard time keeping secrets from each other."

"Well we're very close."

River smiled, "I like that actually. Peyton and Maia are great don't me wrong but I miss the family stuff. I don't know being around your family, around you and Carlisle, it somehow makes things better."

"No one can ever replace your parents River and we won't try to do that. But just know that you're a part of this family now and if you ever need anything, come to us."

"Thanks Esme," River said with a smile which Esme had no trouble returning.

Just as the moment had come to an end, Edward walked into the room.

"Are you about ready? I honestly don't think Bella can wait any longer."

River quickly read three words from the letter about her fathers' own transfusions an unqualified success. And with that River placed the letter in her back pocket and said to Edward, "All set, bring her up here and we'll get started. Is Vincent around?"

"Yeah," replied Edward, "He's downstairs waiting with Bella."

"Okay," River said nodding unconsciously. "Let's get started."

River got Bella placed on the elongated chair. After rubbing a pad of alcohol on her arm, River gently inserted the first needle. The serum in the syringe held a substance known as THC-1013.5 which would help to kill half of Bella's human blood cells. This termination process would take only ten minutes. After which, River inserted the next needle. When that was complete River sat on the chair next to Bella and Vincent inserted the next connector.

"All set?" Vincent asked.

River looked to Bella, "You sure you want to do this?"

"You're not backing out now are you?" Bella asked.

"Just checking," River said with a smile. She then looked to Vincent. "Start it up."

Vincent started the machine which would take two units of Rivers blood, which would then go through a cleaner and then passed on into Bella's system. The whole process took a little over an hour. The dark blue substance, River's blood, flowed smoothly through the tubes and into Bella. The two units made their completion. Like donating blood, it was best to sit for about half an hour before getting up so the two of them did just that.

The Cullens in the meantime went on with their lives making their way into the room occasionally to check up on things. Vincent and Edward were the only ones who stayed in the room during the whole transfusion.

Esme and Carlisle entered at the half hour mark.

When the half hour was up, River asked, "How are you feeling Bella: Any dizziness, nausea, or headaches?"

"Honestly," Bella replied. "I feel great. Is it even possible to feel like this?"

"Like what?" River asked with a little more concern in her voice than she intended.

"Right I guess is the only way I can describe it. I just feel better somehow. I mean I know I'm only half but still; somehow things just feel lighter."

As Bella said those things, River couldn't help but let out a huge smile. In her father's journals, she remembered reading where some clients had described exactly what Bella was feeling.

"What's with that smile on your face," Vincent asked.

"It worked," River said. "It really was an unqualified success."

Everyone in the room all smiled happy that the transfusion had worked. And no one had been happier than Edward and Bella themselves. They had been waiting for something like this for what all ready seemed like a lifetime and now they would truly get to be in love without fear.

(Author's Note: I got my source on how many units to use from wiki answers so I don't know how accurate that may be. And as I have never donated blood, I honestly don't know how long it takes to wait after it's been complete 30 min (half an hour) just sounded right.)

Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Chapter 7: Night of Love

"So where's Edward," River asked Bella that Friday at school. It had been four days since the transfusion and Bella felt better than ever. Now the two of them sat outside during lunch. The sun wasn't out but the day was nice enough to hang outdoors.

"Honestly I don't know," Bella replied. "I haven't seen him since Monday and Alice won't tell me anything. Do you think he could be avoiding me?"

"I don't see why, I mean he wanted this just as much as you did right?"

"I thought he did. I just hate that I can't read what he's thinking. You'd think with the extra brain power I got from you I could at least read him."

"I wish it worked that way. The first time I met Vincent and Edward I couldn't read their thoughts because they were trying to read mine too. It's kind of a push and pull thing when there are others with the same ability."

"Where's the fun in that?"

"I don't know I kind of enjoy not knowing. It keeps the suspense going given how deep you and I have fallen you know. Although despite personal gain, I have to admit its fun reading other peoples thoughts without them knowing about it. How are you coming along with that anyways?"

"It's getting easier." Bella looked around and saw her group of friends headed their way. "Mike is thinking about me, Jessica would be so jealous. Eric is thinking about what to wear for graduation, and Angela is trying to get herself into an art show for journalism and they're all thinking about heading to Port Angeles this weekend."

"Typical high school stuff hu, why do we seem to be missing out?"

"Because River, you and I are the: suffer in silence type," Bella said with a smile which River returned.

"Hey guys," Mike said. "Mind if we join you?"

"Yeah sure," Bella replied.

"So we haven't seen you two around much," Jessica said to the both of them, "You know aside from every now and then in class."

"I babysit," River lied, "even though my cousin is thirteen my aunt wants me to keep a good eye on her."

"And what about you Bella," Angela asked.

"I've been around," Bella said not elaborating.

"Hey," said Mike, "So I noticed Cullen hasn't been around. You two break up or something?"

"N-no, we haven't, we haven't broken up. He's just been going through some personal family stuff."

Instead of continue with the subject Eric changed it, "So we're all headed up to Port Angeles this weekend." Bella and River smiled at each other as Eric continued, "The Realto is having a series of vampire movies."

"I want to suck your blood," Mike said doing a cheap imitation of Count Dracula.

"Anyways," Eric said, "It's gonna be killer. You guys in?"

River and Bella looked at each other. "Actually," said River, "We've made plans to go camping this weekend."

"Ew, camping," said Jessica, "can't you go some other weekend? This Dracula fest is supposed to be one of the best ones this year."

River shook her head, "Sorry no can do. There's a planetary alignment this weekend and a meteor shower," which was actually the truth. "And personally I've been waiting my whole life for this."

River's cell phone rang and she answered it, grateful for the distraction and excused herself from the group. "….Sure Peyton, I'll take her after school… I promise it's not a problem if it was I don't think you would have called… I know. Don't worry I'll be there at 4:15… Peyton I know don't worry about it, I'll make sure she gets there safely… Yes I'm going camping this weekend, we talked about it remember..." River rolled her eyes, "I've camped on my own before Peyton, it's no big deal…Peyton chill, Maia's in good hands and from there I'll be headed up the mountain…okay I love you too, bye…Peyton, I've got class, I'll talk to you later okay, okay bye-bye." River hung up her phone rolled her eyes again and walked back to the group.

"Everything okay, Bella asked.

"Yeah," replied River, "Peyton just wanted me to pick up Maia from school and then take her over to a sleepover. From there we hit the mountain trail. Bella, I'll be at your place around six."

"Okay sounds good," replied Bella.

River looked to the group and then said her goodbyes just as the bell rung.

By six River had made her way to Bella's house as promised, arriving in her own father's blue pickup truck which River had come across a couple of days ago in Seattle. Since she and Bella were heading up camping in the mountains, the truck seemed like the better deal rather than her mom's motorcycle.

Having done the camping thing many times before, River had all of the equipment in the flatbed.

"You ready," River asked as Bella started heading out with Charlie close behind.

"All set," Bella replied.

"You're Waters' daughter, right," Charlie asked River.

"Yes sir that's right."

"Sorry we haven't found the time to meet," Charlie said. "You parents, they were good people, some of the best people I've ever worked with."

"Thank you."

"So," said Charlie, "Where are you two headed?"

River put on her fake non-descript smile, "I figured we'd have a girls' night up in the mountains. Start a campfire, tell ghost stories, things like that and the weather is supposed to be great. There's some astrology stuff that I'm really looking forward to these next couple of nights."

"Really like what?"

Bella looked at Charlie, "Dad…"

"What can't a father just be curious?"

"It's cool Bella. Well Chief Swan, there's a meteor shower which I hear is gonna be the best yet and a double planetary alignment with the sun, Mercury and Venus and then with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. It was said to happen in like 2012 but I never put stock in what conspiracy theorists say."

"Sounds like fun. Bella, you got your pepper spray?"

"Yes dad," she said getting a little annoyed.

"Can never be too careful," Charlie said to River.

"No sir, I carry some in my truck too."

"Alright," Charlie said placing his hands in his pockets, "I guess I'll let you girls get going then. It was a pleasure to meet you River."

"You too Chief Swan," River replied back.

"Call me Charlie."

River nodded, looked at Bella and then waited over near the truck.

"I'll see ya dad."

"Okay, well have fun Bells and be safe."

Bella let out a small smile, "Promise."

Bella then made her way to the truck. When the two of them hit the road Bella had to ask, "We're not really going camping are we?"

"That depends on your version of camping."

"There's more than one?"

River smiled, "You'll see."

"Okay River, I really hate surprises so what are you hiding?"

"Absolutely nothing: I wouldn't lie to you Bella, we're really headed up to the mountains and we're really camping," she said with another smile.

It didn't take long for them to make their way to a secluded spot in the woods. River parked the truck and the two of them got out.
"So should we start unpacking?"

"Not quite."

"Okay seriously River, what's going on?"

"Just wait a little bit Bella; I promise you're going to enjoy this."

"How many times do I have to tell you I hate surprises?"

"Are you sure about that?"

Within a few seconds Edward and Vincent arrived from the woods.

"River," Edward said, "Bella."

Bella looked over at River with a surprised look. River smiled back, "Told you you'd like it."

"Edward, what are you doing here?"

"I thought you and I could take a camping trip of our own," he said reaching out his hand which Bella graciously took.

"Where to," Bella asked.

"You'll see," Edward said swinging Bella onto his back. "You'd better hold on tight spider-monkey," Edward said with a smile.

"Have fun," River called out to them as Edward leaped himself and Bella into the trees until they were out of sight.

"So Ms. Waters," said Vincent, "what do you say about a personal trip of our own as well?"

"I say, what did you have in mind Mr. Cullen?"

Vincent smiled and took River's hand. The two of them raced out of sight.

"Are they closed?" Edward asked referring to Bella's eyes.

"They're closed I promise," she said. Though they were closed her ears were not deceiving her. Bella swore she could hear the lullaby Edward had composed for her a year ago.

"Okay," Edward said gently swinging Bella off his back. He took her hand and then led her to a spot where they abruptly stop. "Okay, open them now."

Bella did as she was told and she could not believe was stood before her. Edward had gone out of the way to transform their meadow into their own special camping spot. An old fashioned tent was set up and surrounded were hundreds of lit candles incased in glass containers. Inside the tent, with one flap held open, was a single king sized bed covered in lilacs and rose petals, to the right of the bed in the far off corner stood a small table with a CD player which sure enough had the lullaby on repeat. And to make the evening special, the sun was down in just the right position to where Edward's skin shone brightly.

"Edward, I…"

"Do you like it?"

Bella cupped Edward's face in her hands, "I love it," she said genuinely. "So this is what you've been up to this week."

"What did you think I was doing?"

"I thought you were avoiding me."

"Now why would I do that, love?"

"I thought maybe you regretted what happened; what I am now."

"I love you Bella, no matter what you are."

"As long as it's not a vampire, right," Bella said afraid of Edward's reaction.

"You're immortal now Bella, as long as I can't hurt you that's all that matters, that and how much I love you."

"I love you too. Forever is ours now."

"Now and always, love," Edward said sweeping Bella off her feet.

He walked to the tent in no real rush. As she hung tight to his arms, Bella took in every scent and every sight, especially the sight of Edward- his glimmering face glistening in the small amount of sunlight. It was enough for his diamonds to shine. She would remember this moment. Thanks to her alien capabilities there was no forgetfulness, if anything her memories were that much stronger almost like a projection in front of her. The downside to the possibility of becoming a vampire would have meant nearly forgetting the human memories, 'like you're in a fog' as Edward once said. Not this though, the memories she had shared with Edward during her human year were as clear as she saw Edward now. He smiled down at her which Bella returned the smile.

They reached the tent and Edward closed the flap behind them. He gently placed her on the bed.

"Aren't you supposed to wait until we're married," Bella said referring to him crossing the threshold with her in his arms.

"There will be plenty of time for that later." Edward smiled down at Bella, "Are you ready?"

'Am I,' Bella thought for a second, still keeping a smile on her face. She had waited for this moment for a long time. River had assured her that it was just like human sex, at least according to Brooke and Jeff Waters. Bella hadn't even experienced sex before so what was she to know? Well the worst that could happen was that the sex would be terrible and with Edward she doubted that was even possible.
So Bella nodded, "I love you and I want to be with you."

Edward unbuttoned Bella's shirt revealing her soft skin. He gently kissed his way up from her stomach, to her breasts as he gently slipped off the bra, and began caressing them as he made his way to the throat and then to her lips. Bella responded deeply with vengeance, letting her tongue taste the inside of his mouth. Bella in turn began to kiss Edward's neck, taking off his shirt as she made her way downward. The intensity didn't go unfelt as Bella moaned at nearly every sensation. She became more aroused when the two of them had taken off their pants and undergarments. Gently Edward glided himself into Bella, aware of her every need and want. Though he could not hurt her, he still cared deeply for her so he did not force himself deeper. The two had now become one as the way it should have been the moment they fell in love.

"You're cave," River said to Vincent, "I should've figured."

"Our cave," Vincent corrected taking River's hand and kissing it making his way up to her arm. "This feels right doesn't it," he asked.

"It does," River replied, "Don't stop."

"We'll miss the meteor shower and the planetary alignment," Vincent said kissing her neck.

"I don't care. The planetary alignment is supposed to be intense tonight right?"

Vincent looked at River curious, "Right, what about it?"

River had a sly smile, "Then let's align it," she said as she pulled Vincent to the floor on top of her.

After what had seemed like a lifetime of love making in the dawn of a whole night, Bella and Edward now lay on a flattened bed after the base and headboard had collapsed from under them. At the time when it happened the two burst out laughing but quickly stopped as the intensity between the two got deeper. Nothing else mattered except for the love that was being shared between them.

Bella had her hand stretched across Edward's chest and he placed his head on hers.

"Marry me," he said in a barely audible whisper. Bella had to do a double take and Edward saw the look on her face, "What?"

"I don't, I don't know."

"What's not to know? You want to be with me forever so let's make it official."

"Edward we're not even out of high school yet."

"So people used to get married young, why not us?"

"Edward, I love you, I do but…"

"But what," Edward said his face turning serious.

"But I'm just not the marrying type."

Edward burst out laughing, "Is that all that's stopping you?"

"I'm serious Edward," she said hitting him playfully, "Can you honestly say you imagine us having a wedding- you in a tux in front of who knows how many people and me in a white flowing dress with decorations all over the place."

"Honestly yeah. Bella I love you and I want to share that."

"Your family knows, my friends know, even my parents and step-dad, isn't that enough?" Bella looked at Edward and he didn't seem convinced.

"I'm meeting you half way here Bella: we had sex before marriage which will be the only time until we actually get married."

"Oh so that's how it is."

Edward smiled, "Yes. Take it or leave it."

It took Bella a moment to think over it. For not having experienced sex before tonight, this had been one of the best nights in Bella's life. She wondered if human sex had been just as good. She remembered Emmett teasing her once that human sex couldn't compare. So now Bella had a choice, either not have sex or get married so they could have endless passionate sex. Why must Edward have teased her so much on situations like this?

"Alright," Bella said.

"Alright, Edward asked.

"Yes I'll marry you but it's not just because of the sex, that's just a bonus prize. I want to make you happy. Even though I'm not big on being the center of attention, if you want a wedding then we'll have the wedding, only because I love you so much not to say no."

A big grin crossed Edward's face. He then reached over to his bag and pulled out a small box. He opened it and there placed was an ancient engagement ring.

"You really planned this didn't you?"

"It's not that hard when your sister knows the future."

"Alice knew about this?" Bella asked getting a little more uncomfortable since Alice had a tendency to really go overboard on things.
Edward took the ring and slid it on Bella's finger.

"There's just one other condition," Edward said. "We discussed it and thought it would be a sweet idea. Now it's totally up to you…"

"Edward, spit it out, what's the condition?"

Daybreak had come. Vincent stood at the entrance of the cave. The sunlight hit at just the right amount inside the cave to where you could see the rays shine in. River walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his waist.

"Everything okay," she asked him.

Vincent looked down at her and smiled, "Everything is perfect. River I have to ask you a question."

River positioned herself so that she was standing in front of him; her arms placed on his chest as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "Okay, what is it?"

"I know we haven't known each other that long. For all intent and purposes we've only know each other for a few months but I love you River, I can't imagine loving anyone else anymore than how deep my love for you."

"I love you to Vince."

"River my love for you is brighter than the stars can shine so what I wanted to ask was…" Vince got down on one knee and pulled out a round box. He opened it and the ring in it was unlike any River had ever seen, "Will you marry me?"

River looked at the Vincent, to the ring, and back to Vincent. "My God," she said, "yes I'll marry you."

Vince stood up as he glided the ring on her finger. "There is one small condition."

"Which is?"
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Chapter 8: I Do

May (5 months later)

1 week after high school graduation.

River folded the letter just as Esme walked into the room. Had River been able to cry she would have but that just was not possible.
Esme placed a comforting hand on River's shoulder. "You okay," Esme asked.

"I'm fine," River said in an unpleasant tone that she didn't mean to use. "I'm sorry, just a little anxious I guess."

"That's totally normal. It's good to have butterflies especially on a day like today."
"I know. It's not just that."
Esme took a seat next to River so she could face her. "Then what is it?"

"These past few months I've tried so hard not to think of my parents. Thinking if I did that it would hurt more but it always hurts. I know people die but I've still never been able to understand why my parents died. I mean we're supposed to be immortal. I can't believe they died in a bank robbery like the reports claim."

"What does your heart tell you?"

"That what killed them was something stronger, something inhuman. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be worrying about this right now. My parents would want me to be happy. I just wish my dad could be here to walk me down the aisle."

"He is here, River," Esme said taking River's hands. "They both are as long as you remember."

"Thanks Esme. So how is Bella doing?"

"You know Bella, she hates making a big deal out of things. It wasn't a big guest list but Alice still went overboard with things."

"So basically Bella's got butterflies too."

"More like giant pterodactyls."

River laughed, "Yeah sounds like Bella alright."

A few minutes later a small group of the Cullens, Bella's dad, and Bella came into the room.

"Everything is all set," Alice said cheerfully. "The grooms are in place and the guests are seated now all that's left is to walk down the aisle.

So have you two decided who will be going first?" Alice said referring to River and Bella, "I can't really tell since you two keep seem to changing your minds."

River let Bella take this one, "We decided to keep it simple and go alphabetically."

"Okay," Alice replied, "Swan before Waters. Perfect. Well people, we don't want to keep our guests and our grooms waiting, so let's get this show on the road!"

Esme smiled at everyone and then made her way downstairs. Emmett and Rosalie took their places first in line, followed by Jasper and Alice, Bella and Charlie stood next, with River and Carlisle taking up the rear.

"Thank you Carlisle," River said to him, "This means a lot to me."

"You're one of my daughter's now, River," he said to her. "I know you wanted your father here but I'm happy to stand in."

"Me too," River said looking up at him and smiling.

Being traditional, the song that progressed as everyone made their way downstairs and out through to the yard where the ceremonies were to be held, was the time-honored song Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. It was a very small guest list in deed with only Bella's mom and step dad, and a few friends from school.

Bella and Edward stood off to the left while River and Vincent stood off to the right; the priest in the center.

"What a monumental evening," said the priest. "Please be seated," he said letting the small congregation take a seat before he continued.

"Ladies and gentlemen, today we are not only here to celebrate the love of one union but of two. I could easily give you the Bible's definition of love but instead I have decided to let the special women in your lives tell you." Father Richards pulled out a few papers from a small notebook. "Love cannot be defined in a simple term: it merely exists and transcends from lifetime to lifetime, its flame never dying. - Esme Cullen. Love exists in all forms: you don't have to be human to figure that out. - Rosalie Cullen. Enjoy love, experience it, breathe it, taste it. Aside from family, there is nothing greater. – Alice Cullen. I don't know much about love but if it does exist people wouldn't get married. – Peyton Miller. I think love is out there, sometimes it comes when you least expect it. – Maia Miller. No matter where you are, whether it's on earth or in the far reaches of a world that's tenfold love guides you like a gulfstream of light. - Brooke Waters."

Father Richards looked up. "Well, either both the Cullen and Waters families are true romantics or they've had one too many past lives."

The congregation laughed.

"Now gentlemen, if you would slide the wedding ring onto your bride's finger and repeat after me: I Edward Cullen, take you Bella Swan,"

"I Edward Cullen, take you Bella Swan."

Father Richards looked to Vincent, "I Vincent Cullen, take you River Waters."

"I Vincent Cullen, take you River waters."

Father Richards looked to the center, then to Edward and Vincent, "to be my wife from this day forward."

"To be my wife from this day forward," Edward repeated.

"To be my wife from this day forward," said Vincent.

"Now and forever," Father Richards finished.

"Now and forever," said Edward.

"Now and forever," replied Vincent.

It was now Bella and River's turn. They both repeated the process by placing the ring onto their groom's fingers and then repeating the words said by Father Richards, each taking their turn.

"Ladies and gentlemen," announced Father Richards, "I now pronounce these four husbands and wives. You may kiss your brides."

Edward and Bella kissed passionately as did Vincent and Bella.

"Family, friends, I pronounce for the first time in public Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen and Mr. Cullen and Mrs. Cullen-Waters."

Everyone stood up and applauded. The only ones without tears in their eyes were the Cullen's but it was clear they were just as thrilled.
No one was more thrilled, clearly, than Edward and Bella. It had seemed like a lifetime ago that they met at Forks High School and had fallen for each other so swiftly. And now a chapter in their lives was complete. Though death would never take them, they still wondered what the future would hold but one thing was clear, they would have forever: forever now and always.

Chapter 9: Epilogue: Letter 1
Letter 1: First Day of Senior Year

Dearest Riv,
As you hold this letter in your hands I guess it's safe to say that we are no longer with you. Your father and I wish we could be there with you as you embark in this new world. It will be one of the most exciting times of your life now that you are older, wiser, and more experienced. We trust that Peyton will do well by you. She has always thought of you as one of her own and for that we are grateful to her which is why she was our only choice in deciding who to place you with.

Your journey in the woods has come to an end. It certainly will not be easy to leave behind the place you have called home for so long. Your father and I can only hope that we did right in sending you out the way we did. Letting you go wasn't easy but we know you will become a better person because of it. We know this because it worked for us and because you are our daughter. You have extraordinary gifts which you will come to discover as time goes on.

You are about to embark on a new journey. Though it will be weird to make the transition we have faith that you will do well. You are smart but enjoy school. Senior year only comes once, if you're lucky as we have been it will happen more than that, each time better than the last but all in all you only get one senior year so take advantage of it.

You have a place in this world and we have no doubt that you will find it easy, you are our daughter so that should definitely mean something. Trials will come, even with whom we are and what we can do. Our gifts make things easy but this world has a way of throwing things in our direction that can cause us to face things we otherwise wouldn't see coming. This letter proves that.

Never forget who you are River Ron Waters: Though you are three quarter Thesauri and hale from the west winds, you are also human and as the great Jor-El once said, "They can be a great people if they wish to be, they only lack the light to show them the way." Don't be afraid sweetie, know that your journey, your destiny, is far greater than ours ever was and though we wish we could be there with you, we know you will make us proud.

Know that we love you, we will always love you, and we will always be with you.

Chapter 10: Epilogue: Letter 2
Letter 2: First Boyfriend

Dearest Riv,
As you hold this letter in your hands I guess it's safe to say that you have found your first boyfriend, and if you are like me which I no doubt you are, then the guy you have fallen for will certainly be your last. I know I would tell you this as a bed time story when you were a child but I figured you wouldn't mind hearing it one more time for old times' sake:

It was at age seventeen, the age you are at now, that Nikki had fallen for Carter. I guess you could say it was love at first sight, although there are few who actually believe in that sort of thing. Nikki had never expected to find love. It just sort of happened. Well just as she had laid eyes on him, he had laid his eyes on her. It was clear to the both of them that they would never find anyone else- it was almost chemical in a way, almost as if they were meant for each other. I wish there were some way to describe it but I'm sure now that you have laid eyes on your own Mr. Right, you know how deep those feelings run. As the story goes, Nikki and Carter soon could not be separated.

Even when they spent time apart it was torture. The two of them married right out of high school and not once did they look back. Their secrets soon began to unfold and the reasons as to why they were drawn to each other began to make sense. The two of them had plenty of time for childrearing so they spent two centuries just traveling the world, helping in whichever way they could. After that time what they had both sought out was a child. No child from the Thesauri tribes had ever tried having a child the way a mortal human did. They loved the way mortal humans did but they could not bear children the way mortal humans did. So, Carter, knowing how deeply his wife had wanted a child in a more Earthly fashion, made the ultimate sacrifice: being full blooded Thesauri, he decided to kill himself. Only half of him remained and the doctors, knowing Carter's wishes, decided to do a blood transfusion with human blood. The experiment was of the utmost success! And so, after a few months when Carter had fully recovered, he and his wife bore a child, a child that was ¾ Thesauri, and ¼ human.

I tell you this Riv, so that you will know of your history and that which you were born. I don't expect you to go down the same road as I. Know that your destiny is so much different, so much greater. Love sweetheart, love with everything you got. And I have faith that the man you have fallen in love with will clearly love you just the same if not more. Any man, any man special enough, would be a fool not to have you.

God how I wish I could be there with you to help guide you on this journey. Love and more specifically alien sex can be a wonderful thing. Though I can't be there to guide you and answer any questions, I have left a second letter to this one that lists the things you need and the questions you may have.
Know that we love you, we will always love you, and we will always be with you.
Chapter 11: Epilogue: Letter 3
Letter 3: Med. Student

Dearest Riv,

Do we know you well enough by now? If you are reading this then it goes to show that you have inherited your father's trait for the medical and sciences. Your father said your first procedure would be a transfusion. You know what I said to him? I said 'She must be her father's daughter to try something so risky on her first time out. I just hope she doesn't kill anyone.' Your father got me back with his response. He said, 'If she is my daughter then we don't have to worry about her killing anyone especially if she's inherited her mother's trait to care for people.' I guess we are both right on that front.

We trust you River. And we trust that you wouldn't be doing something like this unless you had a very good reason. You have taken risks but you have never been one to be careless. Your father only conducted these experiments under the will of his clients. He never went against anyone's wishes. And as you know, because I imagine you have read his journals and lecture notes, those were an unqualified success. If I had to guess I would say you are doing this to help someone you care about. What other reason would there be? You've never been one to use people as lab rats. Like us, you examine people and try to understand but you never take away their free will.
We have faith that in your first time of doing this transfusion, it will work out because as I have said many times before, you are our daughter.

Know that we love you, we will always love you, and we will always be with you.
Chapter 12: Epilogue: Letter 4
Letter #4: Big Day

Dear River,

It's your father speaking. Normally your mother would write these letters but she suggested I write you this one. I'll admit I was quite hesitant about it. There's something so final about a letter. I guess the fact that I'm writing this to you and the fact that you're reading it makes it all the more final. I'm sorry, I wish things were different.

And another fact: since you're reading this I guess it's safe to say that you found the guy you want to spend the rest of your life with. Leave it up to the Waters to find their soul mates at age seventeen hu? Sorry I couldn't be around to do the fatherly stuff of interrogating the guy and hating him right off the bat. Deep down I bet you miss that sort of thing too after all it is a kind of tradition as far as fathers and their teenager daughter's go.

I'm sorry I couldn't be there to walk you down the aisle. Every father looks forward to that moment and I certainly was but I'll be watching from wherever I am. Being what we are, it's difficult not to believe in an afterlife. And wherever it is, I'm sure they've got a big screen that lets us look down on earth so though we might not be there physically, know that we would not miss your big day for the world and so forth.

Your mother and I love you so very much. It's my personal hope that the guy you chose is the right guy, the kind that will love you unconditionally until the ends of the earth. If you inherited some of your mother's traits for love, I know you've made a good choice.
And as your mom likes to write in these letters, so I am writing it too:

Know that we love you, we will always love you, and we will always be with you.