The battle seemed to be going well. It actually looked like we were winning. What with the help from the Quileute wolves, things were going in our favor. But I didn’t see Victoria anywhere. I wasn’t too worried though. Jacob and Edward would make sure she was safe. It was the only thing they could agree upon. They both loved Bella.
Finally, the battle was over. We had won. Just as Jasper and Emmett were throwing the last Vampires onto the fire, Alice showed up. Her face was concerned, which worried me until I looked at her arms. She was holding a girl, about sixteen or so. She was trembling, obviously terrified. She was somehow the last survivor of a battle that was never hers to fight.
I took the young girl from Alice, and as I did so she mouthed the words “help her”. I looked down at her small face. She was too young to be turned. Far too young. Victoria was ruthless. She used whoever she could find. Whoever was vulnerable, susceptible. It was ruthless.
“Hello there.” I said to the face that had buried itself into my chest. “I’m Carlisle.” She stopped her shaking, but other than that she didn’t move. “We’re not going to hurt you. If you cooperate, we’ll let you go.” She looked up at me then, with her sweet eyes, red though they were. I smiled at her.
“What’s you name?” I asked her. “Do you know it?”
“Y-y-yes.” She said slowly. “I-I’m Bree. Why-why did you kill everyone? Victoria-she said we would win. That….you wouldn’t stand a chance….She was sure….”
“I can probably guess just what Victoria has told you. And I can also tell you that she’s lied. Did she tell you that this is the way all Vampires live. Not so. Take a look at my eyes.”
She stared up at me, taking in my features.
“Gold.” She said. “How-”
“There is another way. You don’t always have to fight for territory, for blood. My coven—we’re more like a family. A real family. We don’t eat humans-”
“Not ever?” Her eyes were wide and curious. She was truly in the dark about exactly how being a Vampire worked.
“No, never. Not if we can help it. Sometimes we slip up. But that only happens once in a great great while. I can see you wonder what we do eat. We eat animals. And you can change, be like us, if you want. You could join our family, be apart of who we are.”
Suddenly Jasper came as if from nowhere. He must have been listening the whole time.
“No way Carlisle! No way is she joining us. It’s not safe. I’ve seen newborns, I know how they are, what they’re like. I was once that way. I know what she’s going through, how much the thirst controls her life!”
“But Jasper, you were able to change.”
“Not overnight. And you know I still struggle, a lot.”
“But you were like that for years. It’s hard to break the habit, Jasper. We all know your struggles. But she hasn’t had the time to grow accustomed to the life you had yet. This was her first, and hopefully her last, battle.”
“I still don’t like it Carlisle. What if---what if she went somewhere, just for awhile, until she’s grown a little. Gotten used to the diet. With Bella around all of us so often, I don’t think a newborn is wise or safe, no matter how under control she seems to be. What if she went with, say, oh, Tom?”
“Tom?” I thought about this in my head. Jasper was right, it wasn’t safe with Bella around. Tom could actually be good for Bree, maybe. He had proven himself in the battle, but one good turn doesn’t always deserve another. Still, it seemed the only way right now.
“Alright.” I answered. “But if Bella wasn’t here she would stay with us.” I turned to Bella, who was standing near Edward. “It’s for your safety. Please don’t try to argue, or say you’ll stay away. Edward can’t live without you. He needs you. And Bree needs to learn a few things anyway before living in Forks. Everyone is at risk with a newborn around. It’s not your fault Bree. It’s hard to control yourself at first. We all had to go through it, we all know and understand.”
I set Bree on the ground. No sooner had I done that than she lunged toward Edward and Bella. It was obvious which one her target was. But Edward was quick. He knew what she was going to do. He grabbed her and held her tightly to his chest while she thrashed around.
“How. Do. You. Stand. It?!” She managed to gasp out.
“Practice Bree. Lots of practice. Now I think it’s time that you went with Tom. NOW.”
Tom leaped from one of the trees onto the ground, right near Edward and Bree. He took the struggling Bree for Edward.
“I’ll take good care of her Carlisle.”
“I truly hope so. Now, you need to get out of Washington, quickly. The Volturi will likely be coming to check with us soon and make sure things haven’t gotten out of hand. They won’t like a survivor. Now go Tom! Go!”