"Really," I said, crossing my arms over my chest. "Up until a week ago, I thought I had a circulation problem. I lived in a miniscule apartment and I was committed into a mental institution for a nervous fucking breakdown."

"And now?" Carmen asked. "I know it's a lot of changes, Edward."

"Now? I'm the mated leader of Magical Creatures Anonymous, still with a circulation problem and I have no fucking clue what the hell I'm supposed to do with all of this power," I said. I blew out a breath. "Sorry. Sarcasm is a defense mechanism."

"We have been thrown to the wolves, metaphorically," Bella said, idly playing with my hair. "We know nothing of these dark creatures, who we're leading and what is expected of us."

"You're right," Carmen said. "That's my mistake and I apologize. I figured that if your magic was released, it would all fall into place. "We gave a book about our history, but it's so much more than that."

"Well, I have until tomorrow to come up with this statement, which will include a proclamation that women can learn how to fight," I said. "And I have read that book so I can get a better understanding about my past, our history."

"Don't forget the letter from your father," Bella whispered. I nodded, kissing her temple. She slid her arms around my waist and snuggled closer.

"I'll arrange for your meals to be brought to your room, Master Edward," Carmen said. "And if you need help composing the statement, I'm more than willing to assist you." She blinked to Bella. "And your belongings have been moved to Edward's suite. Well, now, it's both of your suite. With your human divorce ..." She trailed off, turning on her heel and muttering under her breath in a language that I recognized but didn't understand.

"Master Edward, I do apologize for my mate," Eleazar said, stepping out onto the back patio. "She ... she was born in a time where things were so different. She respected your father, acting as his advisor up until his death. I was his 'Emmett,' his sworn protector. When he died, we grieved as if we lost our own parents. We were lost without his guidance. Similar to what you're dealing with now. We've had almost thirty years to come to grips with what has happened and we've lived in this world for over a millennium. You are young and inexperienced, but have the strength, power and knowledge to do so much good for our world." He paused, pursing his lips. "We're here to help you with this transition and to guide you with whatever may come, but ultimately, the decisions are yours to make."

"Like females fighting," I said.

"Yes, like that. I support you because women are just as capable as men in the battle field," Eleazar nodded. "And Bella brings up a valid point. What if you exhaust your powers? Or she exhausts hers? That knowledge in fighting? It could save your lives. Carmen? She's from a time where women were expected to have children and were coddled like porcelain dolls."

"Do you have children, Eleazar?" Bella asked.

"We did, but our son was lost in the battle where I lost my powers. He tried to pull me away from my post in protecting your father's body and he ..." Eleazar stopped, tears welling in his eyes. "Anyway, it's not in the cards for us anymore. I adore my mate, as a woman and as my human wife, but she refuses to allow us to have another child." He wiped his cheeks and bowed. "Excuse me. I'll go tend to your meals."

"That's so sad," Rose whispered. "I feel badly for both of them."

"So do I," Bella frowned. "I can understand where she's coming from, but to deny ... I don't know ... something's not adding up."

"Maybe so," I said. I rolled my head and felt all the bones in neck crack. "Ugh, ow. I need to soak in the tub for like forty days. I used muscles I never knew I had."

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