|Cover by chantelleexx|
In the Night Watches actually starts with a short story I have already published, "On Our Way Home," and will continue through the end of New Moon and into Eclipse as Bella makes her peace with Edward and the Cullen family after they all deserted her with nary a goodbye. There will be significant angst and anger as Bella readjusts to having the Cullens, especially Edward, in her life once again while also balancing her relationship with Jacob.
Again, this fan fiction novel will be written from Edward's POV as he watches Bella struggle with the betrayal she feels at the Cullens' return and reintroduction into her life. And Edward also has significant struggles as well, namely with the fact that Jacob has neatly inserted himself into Bella's life, and Edward does not trust him any more than Jacob trusts him and the Cullens as a whole. Bella is caught in the middle, and she is definitely not happy about it.
So that's the premise of In the Night Watches...and here is a rough, unpublished chapter that occurs after the short story "On Our Way Home" (which is available on both Wattpad and FanFiction.net). I may end up placing something after "One Our Way Home" and before this chapter when I actually start posting officially (and no, I don't know exactly when that will be--sorry!), but this chapter in some form will be somewhere near the beginning of the new story.
The doors slammed shut, the reverberations of Charlie's anger echoing through the small house.
But I couldn't help being proud of Bella for standing up for me to her dad. She had been magnificent—declaring to Charlie that we were a "package deal."
Of course, I couldn't blame Charlie for forbidding Bella to see me. While his mind was mostly silent to me, occasional images broke through.
And if I didn't happen to live for Bella’s sake, I would return to the Volturi this instant and beg for my death—which I obviously deserved from the glimpses of Bella during my absence that came to Charlie during their argument.
"I don't trust him. He's rotten for you. I won't let him mess you up like that again," he had told Bella, and, hiding in her closet like a child, I saw the Bella Charlie had to deal with during my absence.
So thin. So pale. Her beautiful, expressive eyes dull and unseeing. Her arms wrapped defensively around her middle as if she were trying to hold herself together.
And the nightmares—night after night of her screams echoing through the house, Charlie remaining in his bed, agonizing over Bella's pain yet unable to help her. His feelings of utter uselessness in the face of his daughter's grief and loss rekindled his anger toward me.
And deservedly so.
But Bella had threatened to move out if Charlie wouldn't allow me back into his house…and back into Bella's life.
And Charlie, despite his worn-out threat of Florida, wanted Bella with him more than anything on earth.
I could hear Charlie downstairs, banging his mug on the counter as he poured himself his morning coffee. He was still livid over Bella's ultimatum which basically cornered him. But as long as Bella was under his roof, he had some ultimatums as well: punishment for going missing for three whole days without a phone call and without any indication of where she was or whether she was safe. And these punishments would be designed to separate Bella from myself as much as possible…humanly possible, that is.
I stifled a groan at Charlie's smug thoughts of curfews, rules, and many others schemes to keep Bella and me apart. No, it wouldn't be easy, but Bella and I could bend the rules in ways that Charlie would never know about.
Starting with what I had done mere moments ago: stealing into Bella's room through the window.
Bella sighed, and I whisked from her closet to the rocking chair, waiting to continue our conversation…about marriage, a topic dear to my heart yet repulsive to my beautiful girl. I could only hope that my considerable powers of persuasion would wear down Bella's resistance.
"Sorry about that," Bella sighed, nodding toward her door to indicate Charlie's unflattering (but truthful) opinion of me that he had voiced.
I shrugged. "It's not as if I don't deserve far worse. Don't start anything with Charlie over me, please."
Bella gathered a clean set of clothing and her bathroom things. "Don't worry about it," she assured me, but her brief smile did not reach her eyes. "I will start exactly as much as is necessary, and no more than that." She widened her eyes jokingly. "Or are you trying to tell me that I have nowhere to go?”
I rolled my eyes. "You’d move in with a house full of vampires?" I asked. Of course she would.
"That's probably the safest place for someone like me. Besides, if Charlie kicks me out, then there's no need for a graduation deadline, is there?" Her grin was teasing, but beneath it, I could tell that Bella was completely serious.
"So eager for eternal damnation," I muttered, definitely not joking, either. She truly had no concept of attempting to exist as a bloodthirsty, soulless monster…forever.
It was Bella's turn to roll her eyes. "You know you don't really believe that," she stated, and her complete certainty surprised me.
"Oh, don't I?" I asked rhetorically. She had to understand the repercussions, but all she saw were the human qualities of my family, not the monsters we were beneath the façade.
She grinned at me, utterly unconcerned about facing a fuming vampire. "No. You don't."
Glaring at her, I opened my mouth to retort, but Bella cut me off. "If you really believed that you lost your soul, then when I found you in Volterra, you would have realized immediately what was happening, instead of thinking we were both dead together. But you didn't—you said ‘Amazing. Carlisle was right,’" she reminded me, triumph clear in her voice. Leaning toward me, she whispered, "There’s hope in you, after all."
For once, my beloved rendered me speechless.
Smiling, she suggested, "So let's both just be hopeful, all right? Not that it matters. If you stay, I don't need heaven."
Slowly I stood and cupped her face between my palms, gazing into her beautiful milk chocolate eyes. "Forever," I agreed, still reeling from Bella’s revelation. I had been so self-absorbed these months without her that I had to readjust myself to the following the highly unusual machinations of her silent mind.
Placing her thin arms around my neck, Bella raised herself on tiptoe. "That's all I'm asking for," she whispered.
And then she kissed me....
Hope you liked it!