“My creator, Eros, was the third child from Chaos, besides Nyx and Erebus and personified the universal, all-embracing love, the strength that keeps the universe together. He was a rather small boy that didn’t want to grow up. Aphrodite didn’t like it at all that he was so small, so she asked advice from Themis, Goddess of Knowledge. She told her that Eros could only grow up if he had a brother or sister who could love him as much as he would love them. Anteros was born and together with him Eros could grow up. Anteros punished people who received love, but didn’t return it.
“Eros made Aphrodite fall in love with Adonis. Together with him she got three children. One of those children van Psyche. The little girl was so breathtakingly gorgeous that no one dared to propose to her. That’s why Psyche didn’t have a husband. Aphrodite ordered the Oracle to say that Psyche needed to go to the high mountains alone and that she would find a man there. Her father was very sad, but complied nonetheless. When Psyche was left alone in the mountains, Eros came to bring her a man. But instead of hitting another man, he hit himself with his arrows and fell in love with her. Every evening he came to her and seduced her. Psyche didn’t know he was a God and he wanted to keep it that way.
“After a few nights, Psyche asked if her sister could come and visit. Eventually she convinced him. So she told her sisters what had happened and that she was pregnant, which Eros didn’t know. They persuaded her to put an oil lamp and a dagger under her bed. The sisters were convinced that monsters ate pregnant women. One evening he fell asleep and Psyche turned the oil lamp on, but she was so shocker at Eros’ beauty, that she spilled oil. Eros woke up and removed Psyche from his castle. Psyche tried to get back to him, but she couldn’t find him. Eventually, she asked Aphrodite for help, who made her accomplish three assignments. The animals helped her, because a normal mortal wouldn’t be able to accomplish the assignments.
“Eros had forgiven Psyche in the meanwhile. He begged Zeus to help him and Psyche. Zeus showed sympathy and let Psyche drink from the God Nectar so she would gain immortality. Psyche was taken into the God World.”
I smiled as I thought back at the many stories Psyche had told me. She had been a very good friend.
“Eros was the first to discover that their immortality was vain. That one day, all the Gods and Goddesses would die. He begged the Oracle for an explanation and she just said that they weren’t meant to be forever.”
I sighed deeply, still lost in my memories.
“Eros couldn’t live with the thought that he would one day die, and no one would find love again.
“That was when I was created. I was born from his own soul, as if he copied himself. The process had asked a lot of energy from Eros and he died instantly. I remember opening my eyes for the first time and finding Psyche crying over his body. ‘Metaniòno,’ was the first thing I said. ‘I’m sorry.’”
I closed my eyes momentarily.
“Psyche and I became good friends. Besides the gifts I gained from Eros, Psyche’s gift was the first. She had the gift to protect the soul.
“I saw she was unhappy and after some days, she told me she would join Eros soon. She created Theius, before dying.”
I chuckled. “Theius was by far the most annoying man I’d ever met. He was in love with me instantly, but I told him he would meet his true mate twenty years later.
“I went to earn gifts and learn about them from every God and Goddess from Athens. I learnt from Aphrodite how to protect Flora and Fauna, I learnt from Apollo how to heal, I gained knowledge from Pallas Athena, even Chronos taught me how to control time. I think I learnt the most from Hypnos. He taught me to use his gift together with Psyche’s gift how to make use of my dreams. He taught me how to use the Meadow.
“Every single God I met, told me not to go to Hypnos, since he and his brother lived in the underworld. But Hypnos was very nice to me as soon as I told him about Eros discoveries. I thought the Gods were wrong.
“That was until I met Hades.”
I stopped for a moment, breathing in and out slowly. I was trying to suppress the anger that threatened to burst through again.
“Hades couldn’t accept that I was the only Ether that could absorb and use every power from the Gods and Goddesses.
“So he refused to let me get out of the Underworld.”
I inhaled deeply. “He would only let me go if I told him who his mate was. I killed Kerberos out of anger, his three-headed puppy. I threatened to do the same to him if he wouldn’t let me go, but he still refused.
“I told him.”
I stopped, angry tears running down my cheeks now.
“I broke the first rule of Eros’ gifts. I told him. I told him it was Persephone, daughter from Demeter, Goddess of fertility. I had never been so disappointed with myself.
“Hades took Persephone from Demeter, before releasing me. I watched Demeter search everywhere for Persephone and I felt bad for her. So I told her where Persephone was, which made her so sad, that a cold winter embraced the earth and people died from famine.
“I couldn’t do a thing about it,” I whispered, knowing they could hear me. “I couldn’t bring back Persephone, since Hades never taught me how to use his gifts.”
“Slowly, but steadily, more Gods and Goddesses followed Eros and Psyche. My best friend, Gares, was created from Nyx, God of the night. Like the other Ethers, he was reborn again and again, but I managed to find him every time.”
“Are Ethers born from humans?” Carlisle asked.
I nodded. “They are Ethers from the moment they turn eighteen. Then they grow old and die, only to repeat the process again. Ethers can also choose to be born into something material, like Gares did just before he died in 1921. He choose to become one with the moon.
“More and more Ethers choose to do this. I can’t. I just don’t die.”
“Could you tell more about the Meadow?” Carlisle asked.
I smiled. “It’s my dream world. When I dream, I’m always there, in the meadow. When I notice a couple have difficulty to fall in love, I pull them into my dream world.
“I don’t have arrows like Eros had. I have the Meadow. It’s magical and it always work. It is a place for lovers, because humans who have met their mates, need to be in there together. Otherwise the Meadow will try to kill them.”
“Can you really die from that?” Alice asked.
I nodded. “Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen. The soul get killed there and the body can’t work without a soul.”
“What about other creatures? Ethers? Vampires? Can you pull them into the Meadow?” Jasper asked.
“I can pull Ethers in it. I don’t know about vampires, never tried it.”
“That would help with your theory about our souls, wouldn’t it, Carlisle?” Esme asked.
Carlisle shrugged. “It could.” I raised an eyebrow and Carlisle continued. “I always said that vampires didn’t have a soul, because they aren’t alive.”
I laughed out loud. “You have a soul. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see who your mate is.”
Carlisle’s eyes widened. “I haven’t thought about that.”
“What happened back in 1921?” Emmett asked suddenly. “Why would a vampire attack your friend? As far as I can tell, you don’t have a very strong scent.”
I frowned. “I slipped. I have a shield around me and anybody that needs it, to cover my scent. It would not only attract vampires, but also humans would find it weird. My scent is… I guess you could call it ‘the weirdest’, since my scent adapt to that what you like the most. Like chocolate, or roses.
“In 1921, Gares wasn’t with me, so he didn’t have my shield around him. I knew he was in danger, but I was too late.”
“That’s quite a story, Bella,” Edward said softly.
I nodded. “I know. That’s what you get if you’re over two thousand years old.”
The Cullens chuckled. I saw Esme disappear into the kitchen and I knew she wanted to talk to me, privately.
I excused myself and followed her. She had gone through a door to the garden. I followed her without a word, until we were outside of hearing distance.
“Can you help Edward?” she asked.
I swallowed. I could’ve known.
“Esme,” I started. “I’ve lived over two thousand years, helped over a million couples to get together, but I’ve never seen a case like Edward’s.”
She frowned unhappily. “I don’t understand.”
“Me neither. The only thing I know, is that I can’t see his mate. I’ve never experienced this. I can see everyone’s mate. If she is dead, or if she’s lost, even if she isn’t born yet.” I closed my eyes. “Esme, I can’t help Edward.”
I opened my eyes to see her saddened eyes.
“You can’t tell him,” I said. “I’m going to try everything I can to solve this, I promise. But you can’t tell him.”
“Of course not,” she said, her voice breaking. “I won’t. It would kill him.”
I nodded sadly. “I know.”