April 11, 2011
It’s not hard to see how life for humans can be extremely uneventful. And, as a matter of fact, it is for immortals as well. Especially considering that we don’t have the satisfaction of sleep, nothing besides the sunrise and sunsets to mark the beginnings and ends of each day.
Our lives aren’t really as exciting as I seem to be giving them credit for, but there would be no point of writing about those particularly boring days.
The past couple of weeks have been exactly like this. We all lived our lives in peace, and quite frankly I wish life could be like that more often. Of course, it isn’t, and the vampire-style drama and excitement has invaded our lives once again.
It started on Friday of last week. When Renesmee came home from school (Jacob usually waits for her to get out, and they ride home together in his Rabbit) she came straight to her mother and grabbed her hand, knowing I’d listen in on her thoughts.
“Mom, there’s someone new at school,” she told her, and flashes of her day flew through her head, sending them into Bella’s: a group of average human faces, some of her tired-looking teachers and then an entirely different face; a boy, tall, with light blonde hair.
And pale skin.
And honey-golden eyes.
I leaped up from the piano stool and flew to Renesmee, about to launch into a million questions, until she interrupted me.
“I know, I know! Before you freak out on me, he hasn’t seen me yet, or caught my scent,” she assured me, speaking so quickly it was almost hard to keep up with her train of thought. “He arrived last period, in my friend Kayla’s English class. I only noticed him after school, but I could tell he was holding his breath pretty much the entire time he was there, so he couldn’t have caught my scent or anything. He hasn’t even seen me yet, so there’s no worry.” She inhaled another gulp of air to continue, but I stopped her.
“Renesmee, if there’s another vampire going to your school, of course there’s something to worry about.” I was trying my best to be calm about the situation, but the thousands of what if’s raged in my head. “He’s vegetarian?”
“Evidently,” she said. “His eyes show it.”
“Is he new?”
“Yeah, Kayla said something about him being from Europe.”
I felt like snarling. “I’ll bet the Volturi sent him—”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions,” Bella said to me.
But before any more could be made, the remaining additions to my family (excluding Rose and Em, who are still honeymooning) came through the door, Alice in the lead.
“Great news, guys!” Alice was practically singing. “We’re not the only vampires here anymore!”
As it turns out, while Alice, Carlisle, Jasper, and Esme were out hunting, they ran across a scent of multiple vampires – a coven. Following their tracks, they met this coven, who introduced themselves as the Chandlers.
According to Alice, there were four of them, including the new boy from Renesmee’s school, and they were “perfectly harmless.” They were not originally “vegetarian” vampires, and they’d lived in Austria.
And just by luck, they wanted to live hear in Etna? I wasn’t about to buy it. I was wary, instinctual. There was a chance they had some correlation to the Volturi, whom we haven’t seen since our encounter in Forks. Of course, Aro would still be holding the incident against us.
“Oh, relax, brother,” Alice scoffed at me when I told her of my worries. “I’m ninety-nine-point-nine percent sure they aren’t here from the Volturi to attack us or something.” Alice always told me that her visions were ninety-nine-point-nine percent accurate – unless, obviously, a werewolf got in the way.
And, of course, we were set up to meet the other coven on Saturday night, just before Em and Rose arrived home. Christine invited all of us over to her family’s home so they could explain and talk.
I knew how I should have reacted to this. I should have been furious, refusing their offer. I should have been more wary to protect my family. I shouldn’t have allowed this to happen. But, of course, I can’t argue with Alice and her ninety-nine-point-nine accurate visions.
On Saturday afternoon, my family and I ran down to the Chandler’s home. The werewolves had stayed at home – Alice didn’t have to be able to see the future to know how our alliance with the enemy would cause an upheaval.
At that point, the whole idea of meeting a strange new coven seemed a bit too precarious for my comfort zone. However, the rest of my family, on the other hand, seemed eager to meet this new coven. That’s when it hit me; they were glad we weren’t the only family of vampires in this town anymore. I can’t help but agree – of course it would have been nice to have another family like us around.
Knowing that we had all the fortification we could get, I relaxed a bit; if anything went wrong, I could get into their head and know what they’re going to do, Alice could see their future, Jasper could calm them down, and Bella could place her shield around all of us.
So, why was I so apprehensive?
There were a lot of reasons why I was apprehensive. Probably because I’m naturally that way.
The Chandlers, too, live in isolation, hidden in the trees, in a house just northeast of town. Their house is smaller than ours; in fact, it is a lot smaller, more like the size of a cottage. I discovered later that they usually aren’t home much, always out or on the move.
A tall vampire with black, silky hair – Christine – emerged from the front door at our arrival. She was excited to see us. “Alice! I’m so glad you all could make it!” she exclaimed, her voice lightly accented. She squeezed Alice’s tiny hand in both of hers, and next to the large vampire Alice seemed even more small and pixie-like.
“Christine! This is my family.” Alice gestured toward us.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Christine told us, beaming hugely. “Come in, come in,” she insisted, leading us into her cottage. The inside of it was bigger than we’d expected. Three other vampires stood around the front hallway. They all seemed nice, their thoughts genuine, except for the blonde-haired boy that went to Renesmee’s school. His eyes watched us warily, and he was thinking about how Christine had made a huge mistake by doing this. Kind of how I’d felt toward Alice.
All of the sudden he met Renesmee’s eyes, catching her scent. He widened his eyes in confusion. “She…She’s human?” He frowned. “No, she’s not…”
“Emerson, don’t be rude,” Christine told the boy. Renesmee flushed in discomfiture, and they all stiffened. My fears returned, but Christine seemed to realize that we’d tell her about Renesmee in time.
“We haven’t introduced ourselves to the rest of them yet. This is Joshua, my mate,” she motioned to the even taller dark-haired man. He gave us a half smile, and though he was glad to meet us, his thoughts seemed to be frequently venturing back to a novel he had been writing.
An overly-skinny vampire with hair almost as pale as her skin stepped up and introduced herself as Violet. She couldn’t have been changed at any older than fifteen, but with one look at her sense of style Alice was ecstatic, already pouncing on plans for another shopping trip.
“And I guess you already know who I am,” the boy, Emerson, said. He, like Violet, had bleach blonde hair and long, skinny limbs. Needless to say, they were related – blood siblings.
Carlisle introduced the rest of us to Christine. “This is Rosalie, Emmett, Edward, Bella, and Renesmee.”
“In case you’re wondering, I’m only half-vampire,” Renesmee told them without hesitation. Of course, she was aware how unheard of she was in the vampire world, but, like her mother, wasn’t ashamed. She seemed to take some kind of pride in being so unique.
Half-vampire? Yikes. What have we gotten ourselves into? Emerson thought, staring at Renesmee. I gave a soft growl, and he looked up, surprised.
Crap! Didn’t Violet tell me there was a mind-reader? He looked away, too apprehensive to find an answer, and it was all I could take to keep from smirking. I was aware of how irritating a ruthless mind-reader like me could be – it was all over people’s thoughts – but that was usually the amusing part.
“So, you all came from Austria?” Bella spoke for the first time, trying to start conversation.
“Yes,” Joshua said. “Christine and I actually lived in New Zealand up until the late fifteen-hundreds. We decided to move north, to the Alps in western Austria. There we met Violet and Emerson, who were three-year-old vampires at the time. They introduced us to their animal diet.”
“I noticed that. Seems like we share similar tastes,” Carlisle joked.
“Where did you hear about the animal diet?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s been the main topic of conversation for years, in Europe,” Violet answered. “Carlisle, you were among the Volturi for a bit, am I not mistaken? Because the news of your so-called ‘vegetarianism’ among the Volturi spread fast. Emerson and I didn’t like the idea of slaughtering humans for food, so we tried the method and never switched back.”
Carlisle nodded, smiling. “Aro always thought I had been a bit on the crazy side before I’d been changed. It was odd to him that some vampires didn’t want to be monsters.”
“Yes, the Volturi actually suggested your coven to us,” Christine said. “We were searching for an opportunity to come to America, but it seems to me like there are hardly any other animal-feasting vampires in the West.”
Carlisle was intrigued. “Were there many vegetarians in Europe?”
“Oh, yes. Many, actually,” Violet told him. “Scores of us have more appreciation to humans than the original vampires do.”
Carlisle did all the story-telling about our history. I was reminded of the time I’d shared Carlisle’s past to Bella, when she was still human, and beamed in spite of myself. It was amazing how much things have altered since then.
Carlisle didn’t elaborate much on me and Bella back then, but made sure to explain how Renesmee was carried and conceived by my wife while she was still a human. The Chandlers were shocked, having never heard anything like it before. And Renesmee was quite alright with answering any questions they had.
“So, do you live off of human food, or blood?” Christine asked her, marveling.
“I like blood better than actual food. Human blood and animal blood don’t have much of a difference in taste to me. But one food I’ll never pass up on are Esme’s chocolate chip cookies,” she laughed.
The atmosphere of the room was much calmer than it had been, as I noticed from Jasper. These vampires and their thoughts so far had proven to me that there was no threat.
“So, how do you like New Hampshire so far?” I asked, but didn’t listen for a reply. A thought in the room caught my attention – from that kid vampire, Emerson. He was watching Nessie surreptitiously – recalling what Carlisle told them about my relationship with human Bella – and pondering whether or not a relationship would last between him and Renesmee.
I gritted my teeth, trying not to lose my temper. I would not allow that, though. Breathe in, breathe out.
“So, the Volturi told us about the infamous Cullen family powers. You can read minds, am I not mistaken?” Joshua asked me.
“Yes,” I replied, and every one of their thoughts instantly became wary. “A lot of us have powers. Alice can see the near future, Jasper can sense the mood of people around him, my wife has what’s sort of an internal shield, and Renesmee can project her thoughts through touch.”
“Pshhh,” Alice scoffed. “Precognition isn’t my only power. I’ve got a built in Style-O-Meter too! Like this—”, she turned to Bella, “—I give your fashion sense a three-point-five. All because you refuse to wear that adorable spring dress I bought you!” Bella hissed at her, but smiled, proud of her nonchalance toward fashion.
“Ah,” Christine said thoughtfully. “We, too, have our share of supernatural enhances.” I perked up. “I can move things with just a look – like telekinesis.” She then stared at a small ornament lying on the coffee table, and the ornament started to hover in midair.
“Joshua can manipulate the weather,” she continued, just as the tappings of the days first raindrops on the roof were heard.
Joshua chuckled. “I can only control the wind, temperature, and rain levels. It takes a whole lot of energy out of me to actually work up a storm, but I’ve done it before.” Desperate times call for desperate measures, he thought, smiling at a past memory.
“And…” Christine looked around, perplexed. “That would be Emerson showing off his power,” she explained. “Invisibility – it helps him sneak up on prey, and his family members, too.”
We were sensitive to the fact that his presence was amidst us, but it was as if his scent was gone, too. It gave me, as well as the rest of my family, an unwelcome sense of uneasiness. But then he appeared right next to Renesmee, who jumped and breathed out a sigh of relief. “I can minimize my scent also,” he explained. “That way no one can sense me.”
“Like a ninja vampire,” giggled Renesmee, and Emerson winked at her.
Breathe in, breathe out.
“I’m the only one in my family lacking some awesome superpower!” Violet complained. “Alice, you need to teach me some of your fashion skills!”
“Hmmm… I see potential,” Alice told her, even though she was green with envy at Violet’s turquoise-blue waist belt. “I’m up for sharing some of my intellect!” They made plans for a trip downtown next weekend.
We spent a little more time with the Chandlers. As it turns out, Christine is training to become a pediatrician at the same hospital Carlisle works, the Dartmouth medical center. She also has a love for gardening, and got Esme interested.
To Jasper’s luck, Joshua was a previous astronomer, and was able to help Jasper out with a complex chart he had started on the star patterns. Violet and Alice talked about their favorite stores and decided their main goal was to properly dress Bella, who growled at the idea. Renesmee spent her time with Emerson, going over the do’s and don’ts of public school for vampires. Emerson had never had an interest in school, but found himself happy just to hear Renesmee speak.
Breathe in, breathe out. I’d get on her for that later.
Just as the woods in the forest began to grow dark, we said our goodbyes and left for home. My family was all looking forward to upcoming events planned with the Chandlers; in fact, we all decided to go hunting again later in the week so that we could show the Chandlers where the best prey lurks.
As we arrived home, I mentioned to Renesmee the way Emerson was acting around her. Luckily Jacob and the wolves were still out in the woods, and out of earshot. She was surprised as she realized she was flirting back as well.
“I’m sorry, Daddy. I promise I won’t let anything like that happen between us. I’ll make sure he knows we’re just friends.” But he’s so hot! she thought, and I growled. She smiled and ran up to her room without a word about it.
I spent the rest of the evening looking over Carlisle’s shoulder as he read a book borrowed from the Chandlers, a novel Joshua had written. But the words didn’t sink into my mind past my own thoughts.
Besides that Emerson kid, the Chandlers deemed to be not as bad as I’d anticipated. What had I anticipated anyway? A bunch of bloodthirsty vampires tearing through the woods like newborns? Workforce sent from the Volturi to spy on us? Of course not. In retrospect, my ideas are so obtuse at times.
Instinctually, I did a quick scan-over at my family’s thoughts. Esme was reading a book on seasonal changes for gardening, Carlisle reading Joshua’s book, Alice trying to convince Bella into fitting her for a dress, and Jasper researching the astronomy classes at Washington State Anniversary. Even Renesmee, who was in her room studying, had her mind on the next day of school so she could help out Emerson.
With a pang, I realized that I was the only one who didn’t share a common interest with one of the Chandlers. Of course I had my hobby – playing piano. But ever since Bella had stumbled into my life, I found my piano getting less and less used. Music had once been my cure, my happiness; now that Bella could take over that role, there was no need to play besides out of boredom. And I will never be bored again, not with my beautiful wife…
Without really thinking about it, I sat down at the piano bench and rested my hands on the keys. One part of me longed to have someone else who enjoyed music as much as I do, while another part wished to keep my piano playing a time just for myself. Instead of thinking about it, I let my thoughts drift as my hands moved along the keys. The piano really was beautiful; though dusty and underused, the tone that was produced was as clear as a wind chime. The house became overflowing with its serenity, and soon enough Bella had to come over and watch me play. I didn’t mind that at all.
Bella is looking over my shoulder as I write this. Now she is laughing at me writing this. Now she is kissing my cheek. I’m going to end this entry now.
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