June 13, 2013
Holy crap! Marcus! I know I was not the only with the stunned expression. As everyone stood frozen, someone had to say something. I realized that someone would have to be me.
“Marcus! Um . . . I’m sorry for the silence but it’s just so shocking to see you here,” I finally managed to get out, trying to shake the cobwebs that seemed to have blocked a path between my brain and mouth.
“I’m sorry, Carlisle. I didn’t mean to startle you or your family. I’ve been coming this way for a while. I finally made up my mind after speaking with Rogue,” Marcus answered still holding his hands up towards the wolves.
“You spoke with Rogue? When?” Edward asked.
“A week ago I would say. I finally got the handle on those cell phone things. She had come by to see me when she was in Greece resting. She told me about the Children of the Moon. Nasty business, that. So she gave me her number and told me to call her if I needed anything. I always admired her. Alexander is a very lucky man. So I called her a week ago and she said that she and the others were leaving and I could come see you,” he explained.
At that point before we continued to question him, I waved off the wolves so Marcus wouldn’t be so stilted. He nodded toward me and relaxed as the wolves sauntered back into the forest to phase back and put some clothes on. We were also joined by the others from their hike, and to say they were surprised to see Marcus, was an understatement.
Just looking at Marcus made me think a lot has changed since we last saw him. For starters his hair was a lot shaggier looking, and it also appeared shorter. He looked like he had a bit of stubble on his face; he probably drew it or had something put on that was fake. Whatever it was, it looked pretty authentic. He was wearing a white shirt with rolled up sleeves about 1/4th up each arm. He wore jeans that looked slightly faded and they were tucked into tan cowboy boots. He had a chain of some sort around his neck and a leather bracelet on one wrist and a watch with a leather strap on the other. A picture of the before and after is below.
Marcus was actually looking modernized and quite handsome. Edward heard my thoughts and nodded his agreement.
Marcus’ eyes were pitch black, however, and that worried me. Why hadn’t he fed? Finally, I invited Marcus into the house. We were doing what Jacob would often describe as “standing around like freaking statues.” It was time to sit down and hear the rest of this story as, obviously, there was more of it or he wouldn’t have come here. Once everyone was inside and seated or comfortable at least we waited for Marcus to tell us what he was doing here. Emmett and Jasper still stood by him just in case he would try something though it seemed highly unlikely considering how outnumbered he was.
“I know you are wondering what I’m doing here. I obviously haven’t come to harm you. Actually, I have decided to leave Greece altogether. There is nothing for me there anymore. I can’t live there because it reminds me of Didyme and I can’t go back to Volterra because that’s not home either. So after careful consideration, I decided to try something new. I wanted to come here and learn from you, Carlisle.” He gestured toward me.
“What do you mean?” Bella asked.
“I want to try this ‘vegetarian’ lifestyle of yours. I realized that you were right all along, Carlisle. When you first came to us all those centuries ago and tried to persuade us to change our food—so to speak—we should have listened. I should have listened. Killing humans for their blood isn’t good enough for me anymore. That’s why my eyes are pitch black. I haven’t fed in a long time. I couldn’t stomach anymore what I used to eat,” he said. We were all astonished by this revelation of course.
“What made you have your epiphany?” Tanya, who was standing next to Kate, asked curiously.
He glanced at her as if for the first time. “Well it happened in Greece, actually. I was out hunting and realized that I would have to cross a river to get back to my home. There were boats I could take but I realized I had no money with me. A kind, old human man granted me access to his boat so I could return home. He saw my red eyes but pretended he didn’t. I had a feeling he knew what I was. This man risked his life ferrying a vampire across the river for free just out of the goodness of his heart. I thought about it all the way across that river. My God . . . what have we been doing all these millennia? We’ve been destroying families! That’s when it all changed for me.”
I know we were all processing what Marcus was saying. He actually wanted to become a vegetarian. Wow! Talk about a 180. Of course I was willing to teach him if he was willing to learn.
“All right Marcus. I’m definitely willing to help you with that. As you are in obvious need of immediate feeding. So we’ll take you—um Edward, Emmett . . . and erm . . . Tanya?”
I don’t know why I mentioned Tanya’s name but it’s as if something told me that that was the right thing to do. Great. Now I’m hearing things too? Tanya looked up at me surprised but then nodded like it seemed logical for her, too, all of a sudden. I could see the wheels turning in her head. Wonder what was on her mind? So when everyone assembled it was Edward, Emmett, Seth decided to go in wolf form, Tanya, Marcus, and myself; we walked outside of the house after quick hugs and kisses from family. I could tell more than one person was anxious about this little outing of ours.
Then we took off running. I was in the lead with Marcus in the middle surrounded by Edward, Emmett, and Seth. Tanya was running sort of between Marcus and me. Marcus understood he was totally surrounded by some of the most powerful members of our family because until he was fed properly, we were still weary of him. No matter how docile he was, as he always was actually, none of us could forget that he was once a member of the Volturi. And they had caused us pain and suffering. They nearly cost us our very lives if it wasn’t for the intervention of Rogue and her Watchers.
I got the feeling that he wanted to start fresh. And he did reveal that he had always voted against our destruction but because of the other two “chuckleheads” (Seth’s phrase) was always overruled. We, unlike the Volturi, gave second chances to people. Especially if they proved trustworthy.
The thing about Marcus was that, the other two were always in charge and barking orders that none of us really ever got to know Marcus alone as his own individual self. I think he came here partly because of the whole ‘trying something new’ and also because he wanted companionship from people he admired but could never get close to because of the other two “numb-nuts” (Jacob’s phrase). Soon enough my thoughts were interrupted with Edward saying we’ve come to a prime location for lions, deer, and bears . . . oh my!
“All right, well let’s start here. You’ll watch how Carlisle does it and let your instincts take over,” Edward began explaining.
“Now watch me and follow what I do,” I added, as I closed my eyes and focused on the sweet smell of a nice juicy bear about a mile to our west then I took off running after it. It just sat there as we all approached. I had the others climb up the trees and hang out up there while I stalked the bear. It felt that danger was near and it stood up on its hind legs and roared. Yeah OK . . . nice try there Yogi but you’re no match for me. Then I flew out from my perch and tackled it to the ground. I latched on to its neck and drained it dry. Very soon it was lying on the ground, lifeless.
Edward chuckled from his perch on the tree. When everyone looked up at him, he pointed to Seth who was perched high on a boulder and said, “Seth was just thinking that now that bear is dead, we can use him for a rug in one of the cottages.”
Everyone laughed. Good ole Seth could let out tension in any situation like air out of a balloon.
“Good one, Seth!” Emmett was on the ground in seconds and bumped his fist to Seth’s nose.
“All right gentlemen and lady,” I said nodding toward Tanya, who smiled.
She and Marcus were perched on the same tree only different sides. I noticed something interesting then. Marcus couldn’t keep his eyes off of Tanya. Well he was trying very hard in fact. He didn’t want her to catch him staring but a few times she did and I could tell that there was major conflict on her face. It made me for a second think about the message Irina had given Tanya last time she visited her: ‘Don’t be afraid to love. Even someone who seems unlovable.’ Is this what she meant? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I could tell Edward’s eyes were all but bugging out of his head. Oh right . . . he wasn’t around when we had that conversation. I shook my head like not now.
“All right, Marcus, so do you have any questions or do you want me to show you again, though granted I’m full but maybe someone else can,” Seth grunted and that was a no brainer really.
“I’d like to see one more time and then I can try for sure,” Marcus said cautiously.
“Any volunteers?” I asked.
“I’ll do it.” Tanya surprised me by flying out of the tree as if she was shot from a slingshot. I don’t think she was particularly comfortable with Marcus just yet. Especially with all that staring.
“Alright Tanya . . . what’s on your menu today?” I asked with a wink and she giggled. Edward just then turned to Marcus with a puzzled expression on his face. Whatever Marcus was thinking got him really confused. Poor Edward he is really out of the loop.
“Ummm, I think I’ll try a lion.” All of the men whistled with appreciation. “What? You think girls can’t wrestle a little itty bitty lion? Isn’t this the 21st century? Women’s lib and all?”
Everyone laughed. Then Tanya bolted south and we all ran after her. When we smelled a lion nearby, we all got back up on the trees and Seth found a giant log to perch himself on. This time Tanya took over stalking the creature. And stalking was the best way to describe it. I mean it looked a bit like a seductive dance with the beast. And just like that it was all over, she attacked him with a speed of a lightning bolt. He didn’t stand a chance. She was very proud of herself when she was done; so much in fact that she drop-kicked the lions body into the forest.
“Any questions?” she asked dusting her hands off and looked at her appreciative and awestruck audience. The awestruck member of the audience was Marcus.
“So Marcus, what about it? Want to try?” Emmett asked.
“Might as well. I will definitely not be anywhere as good as you. So please let me know if I’m not doing something right.” Ironically he was looking at Tanya the whole time he spoke and then he finally looked at me very nervously.
I clapped him on the back and said, “Don’t worry, just use your instincts. It’s not human blood but it’s blood nonetheless so your body will still crave it. Now close your eyes and try to take in everything you hear.”
Marcus did as he was told and his eyes flew open moments later and he pointed to the north. “Are those deer?” he whispered to me.
“Correct!” I smiled and we all took off running with him leading the way and me running beside him.
Once we nailed the location of the deer, we took to the trees and boulder for Seth as it was Marcus’ turn to take over. He hesitated only for a second and then attacked with extraordinary speed and strength. He was proving to be a fast learner. He drained all 7 deer before he was done. He had gotten some blood on his white shirt but nothing to cry home about. He did fantastic. As he looked up at us, his pitch black eyes were now slowly turning gold like ours. And he sighed, closed his eyes, and just stood there as he took in the sensations of becoming strong again but with a different food source. One that was acceptable to him now. Then he opened his eyes and smiled up at us triumphantly. We all came back to the ground after that and each of us came and shook hands with him. He definitely proved he was willing to learn.
I knew that it would be a few more of these trips before he became 100% comfortable with this hunting process. He was welcome to live in the guest house that we had standing empty on the grounds for now and then who knows where life would take him. But I had a feeling he was going to become a natural in no time. Just then, Marcus’ cellphone rang making all of us jump. He had forgotten to take it out of his pocket. He fished it out and after looking at the number smiled and answered it.
“So how did you do? Are the deer to your liking?” the female voice on the other end asked.
“Actually a lot better than I thought I would. I mean Carlisle nailed a bear and Tanya took down a lion, so mine was very small compared to theirs,” he said modestly.
“Don’t underestimate yourself. You’re headed toward a wonderfully happy life, my friend. Just trust yourself and trust your instincts,” she said. We were still trying to figure out who he was talking to.
“I thought you didn’t use your telling the future power?” Okay, well that was a huge hint . . . he was talking to a Watcher and only one came to mind: Rogue.
“In this case I had to and considering Carlisle had just figured out who you’re talking to, please tell him and the rest of the family we all send our love. We will be home in a bit.” You could tell she was smiling.
“I think he heard you loud and clear. I hope you return soon. I want to talk to you about something,” Marcus said softly.
“Yes, I know.” She chuckled as Marcus rolled his eyes and shook his head.
“Yes, I figured you would. You Watchers can’t let us normal folk alone with all of your powers.” We heard Rogue laugh out loud at that one. It had all of us all smiling.
“All right guys, have fun hunting I got to go, the others are waiting.”
With that they said goodbye and hung up. Marcus shook his head. After 3,000 years of knowing each other, he still couldn’t get a handle on Rogue’s powers. I wondered how long it would take the rest of us. Edward grunted at my thought. I was just really glad the Watchers were on our side. They were the most powerful allies we could have on planet earth! After our hunting trip was over, we headed back toward the house. The others wanted to know what happened so Seth, after phasing back, gave them a play by play. Everyone wowed, especially on Tanya’s kick ass moves. But all were happy Marcus succeeded in his first vegetarian hunting trip.
Then Esme and I took Marcus along with the bag that he was carrying over his shoulder, which we didn’t even notice until we got back. Talk about preoccupation. He said he was carrying some clothes and a few personal items. He figured once he settled permanently somewhere, he could figure out things like clothes and furnishings. Well the clothes thing would have to be expanded while he stayed with us, too. Alice promised to take him shopping, which made a lot of women groan. Bella and Leah actually volunteered to tag along because, for starters, they wanted to keep Alice in check, and secondly, they seemed to understand Marcus’ style and wanted to make sure Alice adhered to that instead of just getting a whole closet full of Gucci and Versace when the poor man just preferred some Levis.
That night with our new guest in his guest room and everyone at their respective homes and rooms, we had a lot to think about. I laid my head on my pillow with Esme next to me. And even though we don’t sleep, I did close my eyes just to rest them. About 20 minutes into my day dream, if you will, who would pop in my head? Irina. She smiled at me, nodded, but didn’t say anything. It was weird but it was like I knew what she was thinking. Finally she did speak: ‘Help her Carlisle. She is afraid of risking it all. Tell her never to give up and to start everything with a clean slate.’
Hmmm . . . now I was sure that she had to be talking about Marcus. I couldn’t push him and Tanya together. It’s something they have to figure out on their own.
But if I have to be the catalyst to making sure Tanya doesn’t make the biggest mistake in her life by running away……so be it. We shall take it a day at a time and see what happens.
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