Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 138)

She leaned back to look at me, and her face was sad again. “Any other way ended here, too.”

“But there could have been… a better goodbye.” I didn’t want to think about what my last words to Charlie were, but they were constantly on my mind. It was the biggest regret I had. I was glad the memory wasn’t sharp, and I only hoped it would fade more with time. “What if we had gotten married? You know, graduated together, put in a few years at college, then had a great big wedding where we invited everyone we knew? Let them all see us happy together. Give really sappy speeches—have a reason to tell everyone how much we love them. Then go away again, back to school somewhere far away.…”

She sighed. “That sounds nice. But you end up with a double funeral in the end.”

“Maybe. Maybe we’d be really busy for a year, and when I’m a mature vampire and all under control, I could see them again.…”

“Riiiight,” she said, rolling her eyes. “And then all we have to worry about is never aging… and getting on the bad side of the Volturi.… I’m sure that would end well.”

“Okay, okay, you’re right. There’s no other version.”

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly again.

“Either way, though, Edythe. If I hadn’t been dumb enough to run off and meet that tracker”—she hissed, but I kept talking—“it would only have delayed things. We still end up here. You’re the life I choose.”

She smiled—slowly at first, but then suddenly her smile was huge and dimpled. “It feels like my life never had a point until I found you. You’re the life I was waiting for.”

I took her face in my hands and kissed her while the branch swayed back and forth under us. I never could have imagined a life like this. There was a heavy price to pay, but one I would have chosen to pay even if I’d had all the time in the world to consider.

We both felt it when her phone vibrated in her pocket.

I figured it would be Eleanor, sarcastically wondering if we’d gotten lost on our way back, but then Edythe answered the phone, “Carine?”

She listened for just one second, her eyes flying open. I could hear Carine’s voice trilling at top speed on the other end. Edythe shoved off the branch, phone still in hand.

“I’m coming,” she promised as she fell toward the ground, breaking her fall with a branch here and there. I swung down quickly after her. She was already running when I hit the ground, and she didn’t slow for me to catch up.

It must be really serious.

I ran flat out, using all the extra strength that I had because I was new. It was enough to keep her in sight as she sprinted across the most direct route back to the house. My strides were almost three times as long as hers, but still, chasing her was like chasing a bolt of lightning.

It was only when we were close to the house that she let me catch up.

“Be careful,” she warned me. “We have visitors.”

And then she was off again. I pushed myself even harder to try to match her. I didn’t have a positive perception of visitors. I didn’t want her to meet them without me next to her.

I could hear snarling before we were at the river. Edythe kept her leap low and straight, hurtling up the lawn. The metal shutters were down across the glass wall. She ran around the south end of the house. I was on her heels the whole way.

She darted over the railing onto the porch. All the Cullens were there, huddled into a tight, defensive cluster. Carine was a few steps in front of them, though I could tell no one was happy to have her there. She was leaning toward the steps, staring forward, a pleading look on her face. Edythe lunged to her side, and something snarled in the darkness in front of the house.

I launched myself onto the porch, and Eleanor yanked my arm back when I tried to go to Edythe.

“Let her translate,” Eleanor murmured.

Ready to rip out of her hands—not even Eleanor was strong enough to stop me while I was so young—I looked out past Carine to see the vampires we were facing. I’m not sure what I was expecting. A large group, maybe, since the Cullens seemed so defensive.

I wasn’t prepared to see three horse-sized wolves.

They weren’t growling now—all of their massive heads were up, their noses pointing at me.

The one in the lead—pitch-black and larger than either of the others, though they were both three times bigger than I’d ever dreamed a wolf could get—took a step forward, his teeth bared.

“Sam,” Edythe said sharply. The wolf’s head swung around to face her. “You have no right to be here. We haven’t broken the treaty.”

The black monster-wolf snarled at her.

“They didn’t attack,” Carine said to Edythe. “I don’t know what they want.”

“They want us to leave. They were trying to drive you out.”

“But why?” Carine asked.

The wolves seemed to be listening intently to every word. Could they understand?

“They thought we broke the treaty—that we killed Beau.”

The big wolf growled, long and low. It sounded like a saw being dragged over chain-link.

“But—,” Carine began.

“Obviously,” Edythe answered before she could finish. “They still think we broke the treaty—that we chose to change him ourselves.”

Carine looked at the wolves. “I can promise you, that’s not how this happened.”

The one Edythe called Sam kept up the long growl. Flecks of saliva dripped from his exposed fangs.


Use the arrow keys or the WASD keys to navigate to previous chap/next chap.