Changed the end of Twilight; Bella doesn't walk into James' trap b/c she isn't that dumb.
A rewrite of dear Stephanie's Twilight which gives all of her characters the sense that she regularly tells us they have.
This bit takes off just after Bella got off the phone with James in Twilight. I started writing this after I shouted aloud to my empty living room “Are you shitting me Stephanie?” because I could not stand the utter lack of respect she showed for her characters. When Bella ran into James's stupid OBVIOUS trap without waiting for Edward when he was minutes away, I knew I had to save these characters. They are better then this.
(Bella just hung up the phone after chatting with James) Seconds ticked by as I fought for control. My mind was spinning as I tried to order the facts of the situation. James had my mother, and wanted to trade her life for my own. Edward and Carlisle were on a plane that wouldn't land for two hours. My mother was James hostage. Alice and Jasper were waiting in the other room. James was going to kill me mother.
He had warned me not to tell anyone. I wasn't supposed tell Alice and Jasper anything. I was supposed to escape from them and go running straight into James' trap. With four immortal body guards on hand, the idea of walking right into my own personal death trap seemed ludicrous. I suddenly heard Edward's voice in my head, “ His existence is consumed with tracking and a challenge is all he asks from life...he's euphoric now...we've just made it his most exciting game ever.” My walking all alone into James' trap didn't seem like a terribly exciting hunt.
I couldn't make heads or tails of the situation. I hadn't actually slept in days. My mind was like a wet rag, twisted and tattered from days of panic and worry. The Cullens had told me again and again that they would keep me safe, that I had nothing to fear. They had gone well out of their way to protect me. They clearly had a better grasp of the situation than I. I should at least tell them the latest developments. I didn't have the energy to pull myself together and deal with it by myself.
I took a deep breath before opening the door and tried to pull my overwhelmed mind into order.
As I put the phone down next to Alice I said in my most non-challant voice “That was James. He kidnapped my mom and is waiting at the dance studio for me.”
Some part of me hoped that on hearing this, Alice would collapse into tears on the bed, uttering intermittent moans of “what shall we do, all hope is lost”. At least than I wouldn't feel so utterly alone in my desperation.
Instead, her face remained smooth, her eyes blank. I wasn't sure she had heard me. I was about to repeat myself when she said “I see.” Whatever she saw was in her mind. I waited, hoping that she would explain. Knowing that the problem wasn't entirely my own anymore let me relax enough to sit down on the bed next to Alice. Of course, I then remembered that my mother was in the hands of a deadly vampire, and me ease was lost. I had just stood up and started pacing when Jasper walked into the room.
He must have sensed the tension on his way up because as soon as the door opened, an overwhelming wave of peace swept through the room. His preemptive strike surprised me into sitting down on the nearest chair. Jasper glanced over at me, and then walked across the room, straight to Alice.
“So?” he asked calmly.
Without a great deal of anxiety, Alice said “James called Bella, he says he has her mother. When I see the dance studio though, I can't see anyone there but him. It feels like he's alone.” Then, with a wry smile she added, “James' story doesn't fit together.”
“It's possible you aren't getting the whole picture, are you sure you're reading clearly?”
“Crystal clear, or as close as these things get, anyway.”
“Well, if you're sure, then this is easily enough taken care of, I'll go call Carlisle now.” He left the room with almost a spring in his step.
Their mood seemed to lighten as they spoke; the calmness in their voices was unbearable. I exploded, “Why are you so calm? James is holding my mother ransom for me! He expects to see me by noon. He told me not to tell you about any of this. I've already told you, so who knows what he'll do now. He said that if I was followed he would know, and he would kill my mom. I've killed her by telling you! I'm a murderess, and you are just sitting there!” Blood had rushed to my face at the start of my outburst, but it rushed just as quickly away as I finished. I felt pale and pathetic.
Alice looked at me, humor in her eyes. “Bella, we aren't worried because we don't think James has your mother.”
“He does, I heard her voice. She was on the phone. She was with him.” I said with certainty.
“Well, there must be some explanation for that, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough...Bella, look at me.”
I had fallen into a desolate heap on the chair, my eyes were vacant as my mothers possible deaths played themselves over and over in my mind. I looked up to see a genuine smile on Alice's face. How could she be cheerful?
“Listen Bella, if James is depending on you coming to him, then that means he doesn't know where you are. Not only does he not know where you are, he has told us where he is. I must say, I was expecting more from this formidable tracker of ours. Edward and Carlisle will be here by 10:00, so we'll have an hour to find him and rip him to shreds” she was beaming by the words shreds, “before he even starts expecting to see you. I don't think this could possibly have worked out better for us! Jasper is delighted, I don't think I've seen him this excited in years.” Alice finished with a grin. The crooked smile on Jasper's face corroborated Alice's story.
In the face of their unmarred enthusiasm, I had trouble remembering the dourness of the situation. “Bella, I know that look on your face, you're going to tell me we shouldn't be risking our lives for you. Don't waste your breath. Even if I didn't happen to like you rather a lot, I would still lay down my immortal life to protect you. If anything happened to you, and I had to live with Edward for the rest of eternity moping about losing you, I'd just as well be dead. You must be familiar with his morose streak?”
I hesitantly replied yes. I had been witness to more then one of Edward's mopes.
“Well, what you've seen is absolutely chipper compared to what he's like when you're gone. Those three weeks when he insisted on ignoring your existence, he was almost unendurable.” She winked at me and brought over one of the most recent trays of food and placed it in front of me. “Now that the worst is over, eat something. I don't need to look into the future to see Edward yelling at me for not taking care of you.”
“But, if something were to happen to one of you...” I tried again to explain.
“Bella, please. Life can get terribly dull when you live forever. This kind of excitement reminds us that we are, in fact, alive. Now; shut up and eat.”
Edward and Carlisle met us in the hotel room. I had fallen fast asleep on the couch. A ray of hope and a stomach full of cold cheeseburger acted as a sedative. I dreamed of a cool silky whisper delicately tracing my eyelashes and cheekbone. I smiled, and kept my eyes closed, hoping that if it was a dream I could hold onto it for just a moment longer. When his lips touched mine, I was certain he was real. My arms reached up around his neck and pulled him closer.
“I'm glad this nasty little incident didn't interfere with your beauty sleep.” he said with a chuckle in my ear. I pushed away as my temper started to flare. I was about to correct him sharply, when I noticed the shadows from worry around his eyes and the urgency in his grasp around my waist. He was desperately trying to keep things light. I remembered what my face had looked like the last time I had seen it, sometime yesterday. It couldn't possibly have improved since then. He could see the anxiety in my face just as clearly as I could see it in his. My head fell back into the crook of his shoulder and I pulled him closer, desperately trying not to cry.
“Unclasp yourselves, you fools” said Carlisle heartily, with a cool hand on my shoulder. “From what Jasper's told us, we're nearly out of the woods, hmmm? We'll have time for all that lovely nonsense later. Right now, there are plans to be made!”
Edward pushed me upright and pulled himself away, to better position himself next to me on the couch. Alice, Jasper, and Carlisle sat down at the table. As I looked around at the four vampires in the room, I realized that there was something different about them. They seemed sharper, their eyes seemed brighter. Jasper, who so often blended in to the background seemed to be popping with energy. Carlisle's usual aura of calm reserve was tempered by . Sitting in this small dingy hotel room they looked absurd As they started discussing the plan, they seemed almost giddy. I was pulled out of my observations by Edward calling my name.
“What?” I asked.
“I asked, are you quite sure it's the same dance studio you went to when you were little.” Edward's voice had an edge to it.
“From what I saw of Alice's drawing? Yes, I'm sure.”
Carlisle looked puzzled. “Why would he be there? Of all the places to lay a trap...why there? Why wouldn't he wait in her home, lure her there?”
“Maybe,” said Jasper “this James isn't quite the mastermind we've built him up to be. Ed, you said he was a hunter, that he was thrilled by the opportunity to go up against us, right?”
“Yes...he seemed to think this would be the best hunt he'd had in years. Why?”
“Well, perhaps he's trying to build the whole thing up. If he's been bored, he's going to want to make the most of it. This isn't just about his catching Bella. He's playing with us, and he's smug enough to assume he'll win.” Jasper finished. I'd never heard him utter so many words at once.
Carlisle nodded. “That fits with what I've seen of him, and with Laurent's observations of him. James in charge of his Coven through force and violence, not through wisdom. I haven't seen the inner workings of his mind though. Edward, what is your take?”
“I think we're on the right track. He is cocky, because he is accustomed to intimidating people and getting what he wants. He is not, however, to be underestimated, I think he's very dangerous. His mind is one track, and he will not stop as long as he is alive. This is a game to him, but a game that stops only at death.”
“So, we swoop in on him and pull him to pieces. We can go right now, he isn't expecting Bella until noon, and it's only ten thirty now. We'll catch him unawares while he's day dreaming about his big fight.” Said Alice.
“There are four of us, and only one of him. Our odds are excellent, as long as you're sure the girl is still in Forks.” Jasper agreed.
“She is” Carlisle confirmed. “I spoke with Esme before we got here; she said Victoria was keeping a close eye on Charlie.”
“And what am I supposed to do during all of this? Sit on the sidelines and watch?” I asked.
All four of them stopped and stared at me in awe, unanimously shouting “Yes!”.
Edward had suggested that they drug me, tie me up, and lock me in the back of the car to ensure that I didn't interfere. Alice insisted he was joking, but I was not convinced. There plan was simple. Jasper insisted that the simpler the plan, the less room for error. I would stay in the getaway car with Alice. Edward, Carlisle, and Jasper would sneak in and ambush James. All three of them would wear pieces of my clothing to mask their scent, and keep James off kilter. ...to be continued...perhaps.