Ride at Twilight
Author: Zoey Balderston

Chapter 20
BELLA

BELLA

No matter how fast we were going, or how freaked I was, this was really fun. It was so different from running, and slightly more terrifying. We were so high up, breathing was nearly out of the question. We were passing over the forest and I could almost see the clearing where their house was, so I tapped Max’s arm and pointed her down toward the house. When we landed, Edward was standing on the porch, Fang still on his back.

“The door is locked, and I wouldn’t be able to get the key without jostling Fang. Would you mind getting it? It’s under the second stair,” Edward said. I walked over to the steps and looked for the key. I couldn’t find it anywhere.

“Are you sure there’s a key down here?”

“Well there should be. Are you sure you don’t see one anywhere? It’s just a small silver key,” Edward looked at me like I was blind. I looked again, even feeling around for it. My fingers traced over what felt like a small slip of paper. I pulled it out and looked at it.

“What is that?” Edward asked stepping closer.

“It’s just a note saying that Alice took the key,” I said, shoving it back into its hiding spot. Max walked up the steps and put a hand on the door.

“Are you or your family particularly fond of this door?” Max said, turning toward Edward.

“No, it is easily replaced. Go ahead and try,” Max turned back to the door, took a step back, and kicked the door down.

“Hmm, just the hinges got broken, so I did no damage to your door,” Max said with a triumphant grin. We walked in the door, just as the other bird kids landed. They followed us in hesitantly. Edward set Fang gently on the couch. Just as Edward stood back up, his family came through the back door poised for attack.

“Relax you guys, their friends, not foes.” They eased out of their crouches slowly.

“What are they? They don’t smell like humans,” Alice said, walking over and sniffing Max.

“You are right Alice, they are not human. This is Max, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, Angel, and Fang. This is my family, Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie,” as he gestured to Fang lying on the couch, Carlisle ran over to him and examined his pained crumpled figure.

“What has happened to this one, Fang?”

“An accident. We were wondering if you would be able to help him,” Edward said stepping back to hold my hand.

“It would be easier if I knew what exactly he was,” Carlisle said, standing up. Edward turned to Max.

“Max, would you be kind enough to show him what all of you are?” Edward said. She looked at him hesitantly.

“There’s not enough space in this room. I would break something. Could we step outside, I could show them more out there anyway,” Max said, backing toward the back door. We all followed her to the middle of the clearing. Once we were all there, she unfolded her wings and leapt off the ground. Gasps were uttered, Emmett whistled, impressed.

Max circled a few times then yelled, “If you are all in the mood for a short run, I can show you how fast I personally am able to go.” Everyone went except for me, Edward, and the rest of her flock. They were only gone a few seconds. Everyone looked amazed, even Rosalie.

“Can you all fly that fast?” Rosalie asked, turning toward the flock.

“No, I can read and control minds. I can even breathe under water and talk to fish. Iggy is blind but he can feel the color of the thing he is holding. Nudge can attract metal. Fang can turn invisible, and as you saw, Max can fly at supersonic speeds.” Angel said flashing a smile that looked, well, angelic.

“Talented bunch,” Jasper murmured, “Some of us have special skills too. I can feel and affect moods. Alice can see the future, and Edward can read minds.”

“What do you mean by ‘affect moods’ exactly?” Iggy asked.

“I mean I can make all of you mad for no reason, then depressed a second later.”

“COOL! I wanna see!” Gazzy yelled, jumping toward Jasper.

“Ok, time for some serious mood swings.” I felt the first emotion wash over me. I became immediately furious. Next we all felt a wave of sadness. I watched as everyone’s shoulders slumped. To finish it off, he made us all extremely hyped up.

“That was BOMB DIGGITY!!!!!!” yelled Gazzy, not needing any help from Jasper to be hyped up.

“I think we had better get inside to help Fang,” Carlisle said, and immediately the hype from Jasper was gone as he replaced it with a feeling of calmness. We walked into the room to find Fang alone. I could have sworn Carlisle has been ahead of us. Just then he swooped down the stairs carrying bags of blood.

“Wait, you can’t give him human blood. Our blood has nuclei, like a bird,” Max said.

“Well, would you all be able to donate a little blood to help him? I would only need about a half pint from each of you.”

“Alright, where? Please don’t say at a hospital.”

“That won’t be needed,” Carlisle chuckled, “We can do it right upstairs.” All the bird kids walked up the stairs behind Carlisle.

“Why don’t I get you home. Charlie will be mad if you stay out much later,” Edward said, throwing me onto his back.

“What time is it?” It couldn’t possibly be all that late.

“It’s about a half hour until your curfew.” Wow, that late already? Long day. Before I knew it, we were in my front yard.

“I’ll be in your room.” Edward said before he kissed me then disappeared. I walked in the door and took my coat and shoes off.

“Bells?” Charlie called from the living room.

“Hey dad,” I called, trying to sound tired so it would be easier to slunk off to bed. “I’m going to take a shower then go to bed, it was a long day. Good night.”

“Night Bells. Don’t fall asleep in the shower, you look tired.” I nodded then trudged up the stairs. I walked in to my room to find Edward lying across my bed, smirking at me. “I came all the way up here just for you to leave me and take a shower?”

“Hey, I need one, I will only be a few minutes!” I said as I grabbed my bag of toiletries.

I ran to the safety of my bathroom and locked the door, the stress of the day finally catching up to me. I took a hot shower to help clear my head. I knew it couldn’t be too long because he was sitting in my room waiting for me. Reluctantly, I turned off the water and stepped out. I did feel a little better. I put on the sweats and a t-shirt I had brought with me. Instead of going back to my room, I sat on the bathroom floor. I couldn’t trust my voice enough to go back to him yet. I just needed another minute. I closed my eyes and buried my face in my hands.

When I opened my eyes, it was bright and sunny outside and I was in my room.

“Gah!” I gasped as I shot straight up in bed. I heard a low chuckle from behind me.

“I hope you realize that if my heart were still beating, I would’ve had a heart attack last night. All I heard was the water running then you never came back. You are lucky I am a good lock picker!” Edward said, laughing again.

“Oh my God! Are you serious? I’m so sorry! I’m sorry, sorry, sorry!” I squeaked as I threw my arms around his neck, almost crying. I felt so terrible for scaring him like that! The last thing I wanted was for him to freak out because he thought I was dead, again.

He was full on laughing at me as he pulled my legs up to cradle me to his chest.

“Don’t worry about it love,” he said between chuckles, “you needed your sleep. Actually, I’m surprised you weren’t asleep sooner.” Tears started streaming down my face as a sob rocked through me. Edward leaned back to get a look at my face. When he saw that I was crying, shock sparked his perfect features.  He reached one finger out and caught the tears still gushing from my eyes.

“Well I was going to go hunting today,” my eyes widened to the size of Frisbees as he said that, he saw my reaction and laughed before finishing, “but I can see that is clearly out of the question. You need me with you today.” I let out a gust of air I didn’t realize I had been holding in.

“Let’s get you dressed,” he said as he leapt lightly off the bed, me still in his arms. “We are going to my house to check up on the flock.” He walked over to my closet then set me down. Edward turned me so I was facing him. He leaned down and kissed me for long enough that my heart started to race. He laughed as he pulled away.

“I’ll be waiting down by the forest. Don’t take too long, or fall asleep again,” he said mockingly before disappearing out my window. I scowled after him for a moment before turning back to my closet. I picked a pair of jeans and a shirt that was one of Edward’s favorites on me. It was a deep blue short sleeve with black patterns that there was no name for. I finished getting dressed and went to the bathroom to brush my hair and teeth. My bag was still where I had left it last night. It felt like I was standing on something under the rug. I rinsed my mouth out then leaned down for a better look. There was a paper clip bent into an odd shape taped to a piece of folded up paper. I unfolded the paper and found that it was a note. In fancy calligraphy that could only belong to Edward, were the words “I hope I never have to use this again.” I giggled then went back to my room and put the lock pick into my dresser drawer. I took a pencil and wrote under his words, “Me either, but here it is, just in case.” I placed the note under the paper clip and shut the drawer. I ran down the steps to find the house empty. Good, this would make it easier to escape. I left a note on the fridge,

“Dad,

Edward picked me up to hang out at his house. I will be back by dinner.

                                             -Bella”

I stuck it to the fridge and ran out the door, locking it behind me. I turned around to look for Edward, but didn’t have to. Before I was fully turned, Edward was standing right in front of me, his face inches from mine. I jumped back, startled. He laughed and slung me over his shoulder. We made it to his house in no time at all. The door had been put back up since Max kicked it down last night. We walked in to see everyone except Rosalie, Jasper, and Emmett hovering around Fang.

“Guys, really its fine. I took too deep of a breath, that’s all,” Fang said from the couch. Well, at least he was awake and talking. He had a lot of bruises and casts though. Max walked over to the back window and just stood there looking out. I doubted she was really seeing anything. By the pained look in the reflection, I would say she still felt horrible about what she did to Fang.

“Hey Fang. Felling better?” I asked walking over to stand behind the couch, Edward right on my heels.

“Yeah, really sore, but I’ve had worse.” I was shocked that he could have possibly had worse. He read it on my face and quickly explained.

“Erasers, or Lupine-human hybrids, attack us all the time. One of them almost killed me, twice,” in my peripheral vision I saw Max’s jaw tighten and her hands ball up into fists, “so yeah, I’ve had much worse than this.” All of Edward’s family and Angel stiffened and looked toward the back wall.

“What is that awful smell, are the werewolves on their way in?” Rosalie asked, disgusted.

“No, not werewolves, these things minds are thinking ‘kill, kill, kill, kill flock!’” Edward said, shifting me behind him.

Angel took on a worried look and stated in her adorable little voice, “The Erasers found us. Looks like you will get to see them for yourselves.”

Everyone except Fang and Esme went out to the backyard. All my family growled in unison. I saw them then. Big wolf people. Unlike my werewolf friends, these things walked on two legs and had wings that looked like they were sewn on instead of natural like the flock’s.

“Go inside with Esme and Fang,” Edward said, not taking his eyes off the enemy line. I didn’t fight him, I would lose, plus I would just slow him down. It would be better to just watch from inside the house.

The fight didn’t last very long. The Erasers had the numbers but our side was full of vampires. Easy win.

“Oh sure, the one time we have an advantage is also the one time Ari decides not to show up,” Max was grumbling as they all came in. “We would have obliterated him once and for all!”

“Ug, their blood tasted and smelled worse than the werewolves!” Alice was saying, looking disgusted. I cringed away from her for a second before I realized that if they were tearing them to shreds with their teeth, then they obviously tasted the blood. My moment of fear hadn’t slipped anyone’s attention. Edward scowled at Alice then came over and wrapped me in a tight hug. Once Edward released me, I walked over and sat on the couch by Fang. Everyone looked toward the back door again, this time without worry.

“NOW, the werewolves are coming,” Edward said, sitting beside me. After he said that, I saw Jacob come into view. He was wearing just shorts, as usual. He walked through the door casually, and remained in his casual nature until he saw our company. Once he saw the flock, he backed up against the wall and growled quietly.

 

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