The Twilight Saga

Edward returns to Forks to fight for a hurt and angry Bella. Not such an easy thing to do in this story. This is set after the Cullens have been away for quite a few months but before Bella makes the decision to cliff dive. I hope you enjoy the differences. A huge thankyou to Shellym127 and Wyldfyre for my wonderful banners.

 Chapter One (BPOV)                 Chapter Two (BPOV)  
Chapter Three ( BPOV)               Chapter Four ( APOV)  
Chapter Five (EPOV)                  Chapter Six (EPOV)  
Chapter Seven (EPOV)               Chapter Eight (BPOV)  
Chapter Nine (APOV)                 Chapter Ten (EPOV)  
Chapter Thirty One (APOV) - Page 50 Chapter Thirty Two (BPOV) - Page 53 Chapter Thirty Three (EPOV) - Page 57 Chapter Thirty Four (BPOV) - Page 60
Chapter Thirty Five (EPOV) - Page 65
Chapter Thirty Six (EPOV) - Page 68
Chapter Thirty Seven (BPOV) - Page 71
Chapter Thirty Eight (APOV) - Page 74

Chapter One
The small pockets of warmth and hope that had been slowly finding their way into my damaged soul were threatening to disappear and it left me with a feeling of despair. Just when I thought that I had found some kind of reasonable existence – even a small tinge of happiness – I could feel that it was slipping away. Why did Jacob, my loving, fun, happy source of sunshine have to confuse our friendship for something more? Why couldn’t we just keep being friends and continue healing the broken pieces of my soul one small piece at a time through the warmth he had managed to bring to my life. Selfish, selfish. I knew it for what it was. I was being remarkably selfish to put him through this. To make him keep his distance at the same time as trying to pull his warmth into my very being. I was being unfair. He was being accepting. I should leave him alone but I really wasn’t sure that I could. I needed him to get me through this. It was only with him that I felt even remotely like myself – a shadow for sure but at least it was something beyond that awful place I was at when the other one left. I started to see the other’s face but I pulled myself away from that image and concentrated on Jacob, a different type of pain but somehow something less confronting. What choice was I going to make here? Neither choice would help. I would never love Jacob the way he wanted. Who am I kidding, I would never love anyone the way I should. I was damaged in that respect. I had known love and it had been ripped away. The darkness threatened to engulf me again. Concentrate - we are not thinking about that appalling time. Jacob. Yes Jacob. He knew that I couldn’t love him that way but he felt it might happen in time if I just let it. My choices could lead to even more heartache for him and I knew what that was like. Was I willing to put him through the emotional void I had experienced just so I could start to feel better myself? I had never been a selfish person. I had always been the one to look after others but……. I needed help and he was the only one who could give it.

“Bella. Are you home?” The front door slammed as Charlie entered the house. I quickly studied myself in the mirror. Not that I really cared what I looked like but I didn’t want Charlie to see that I had been crying again. It would break his heart if he thought that I was returning to that awful place I was at a few months ago. He was happy that I had finally managed to pull myself out of that hole and I was pretty sure that he was thanking Jacob for that in his own head. He knew I had a long way to go but I didn’t want to give him even an inkling that I could fall back into that abyss with the slightest provocation. It would hurt him. I sighed. There was always someone for me to hurt.

“Here dad”. I called as I made my way downstairs.
“ How was your day? Did you have fun with Jacob?” he enquired while he studied my face.
I pulled my face into a calm mask and answered the way I knew he wanted. “ Sure, we always have a good time together. We just hung out. You know how it is dad.”
“ When are you seeing him again?” Subtle Charlie. Why don’t you just ask me when are we going to get married and have kids so that you can be sure that I won’t completely lose it again.
“ Um. Not so sure. We are both pretty busy from here on in. You know school going back and all. I am sure it will be soon though” I added because I saw his face show a small sign of panic. “ Have to go dad the grocery store is calling or we won’t have any food. See ya.” I made a dash for the door before he could continue with the discussion and lead me to confess that not all was right between Jacob and I. It wasn’t something that I wanted to face.

Chapter Two
Life was full of mundane everyday routines and this was one of them. Grocery shopping. Thank goodness for the mundane. It let me look like I was functioning without really having to think about what was going on in all the other parts of my life. It made people think that I was surviving when all I wanted to really do was curl up into a ball and……. Not an option I told myself firmly. You are not the only person that is impacted by your choices. Charlie, Renee, Jacob, Angela. All people I loved and wanted to protect. One step in front of the other. Slowly but surely things would get better.

I had finished the shopping and was heading out to the carpark. I looked up to see that the shadows were deepening and that twilight was upon us. Twilight was his favourite time. I shuddered and deliberately made my thoughts wander from that potentially destructive course of images. When would this stop. I sighed for the umpteenth time and started to put the groceries in the boot of the car.

“ Bella”. I closed my eyes tightly. Why on earth was I hearing his voice. I was putting groceries in the car for god’s sake. I wasn’t doing anything dangerous that could lead me to hearing his voice. I wasn’t trying to be reckless on one of the motorbikes that Jacob had fixed for me. I wasn’t putting myself into any danger by talking to strange men in the middle of a quiet Port Angeles street. There wasn’t anything remotely threatening in what I was doing at all. I chose to ignore it and kept packing.

“ Ah excuse me Bella”. Now I know I am going mad. His voice was never pleasant when he spoke to me in my mind. He was always angry at me for what I was doing. What a joke. My mind obviously wanted to believe that he cared when I put myself in danger even though I knew that there was nothing further from the truth. This was different though. This was that beautiful sing song voice that I had cast from my mind when he had told me he didn’t love me anymore. When he had told me that he no longer existed. Why on earth was I hearing it now?

I slowly turned around to see what was going on. I gasped and instantly felt a fierce joy overcome me. It was instantly rebuffed however as my mind began to register what was happening in front of me. This could not be real. Edward stood about two metres in front of me, flanked by his family. Every single one of them. How could that be? Why on earth were they all here in front of me in a carpark of all places. Edward looked nervous. Alice looked elated. Jasper was worried. Emmett was smirking. Rosalie looked bored. Carlisle and Esme stood a little behind. It seemed like ages before anyone spoke. I couldn’t even grasp if this was reality or some sick fantasy. I had pushed all these people to the bottom of my subconscious in the hope of gaining some semblance of normality. Yet here they were looking as real as uniquely beautiful people can look.

I felt my hands reach across my stomach as if to protect myself. I hugged myself fiercely. This was not happening. This could not happen now. Please, please leave me alone I yelled to myself silently.

“ Bella. we were um….. that is Bella we were hoping……..” His voice trailed off as I stared at him coldly. I watched as he slumped slightly and turned to Alice for help.

Alice placed her hand on his arm and turned to me smiling. “ Hi Bella. We are so happy to see you”
Was she joking? What were they doing? Happy to see me? I had never heard anything so absurd in my life.
Alice came towards me. ‘She is going to hug you.’ my inner voice yelled at me and I reflexively placed my hands up to ward her off. I saw her stricken face as she quickly moved back to her spot next to Edward without touching me at all. Jasper grasped her hand and I knew that he was using his gift to help her. I didn’t care. I was beginning to spiral out of control. I could feel it. I needed to get out of here.

I turned back to the car and slammed the boot closed with as much ferocity as I could manage. My mind was still yelling at me to get out of there. I moved towards the car door. I still had not said a single word and I could still feel seven pairs of eyes staring uncertainly at my back.

“ Please Bella. Don’t go”. His voice was pleading. There was something there but I couldn’t quite get what it was. I was too full of my own anguish that I didn’t want to see what he was trying to do. “ I am so sorry Bella. I truly am…
“ You. Are. Sorry.” I spat out at him. He looked like I had slapped him across the face but he remained calm and tried again.
“ Yes Bella. I am sorry. I should never have left you like that. I have been….”

I could feel the red hot emotion of anger come over me. I couldn’t think straight. All I knew was that the one that had hurt me the most , the one that had ripped my heart out and left me to fend for myself was standing in front of me saying that he was sorry. What did he want from me? Hadn’t he hurt me enough?
“ You left me Edward. You made me think that you loved me and then you just decided that I wasn’t good enough for you and you…. left…. me. Do you think I care that you are SORRY. I DO NOT CARE” I yelled at him furiously and then realized where I was. The carpark. I made my voice softer but kept the anger in it. There was way too much pain involved to just let this go. “ You made your choice Edward. You made my choice for me. Not only did you take yourself away from me… you took everyone.” I glared at the whole family. Oh god how I had loved this family but now all I felt for them was anger. “ Not one of you cared enough about me to check that I was alright. Not one of you tried to keep contact”. I looked at Alice as I said this and I saw her cringe and Jaspers hand tighten on hers.

“ I’m sorry Bella” Alice moaned “ I know it seems like we didn’t care but of course we did. We just had to do the right thing”
“ The right thing, the right thing. Are you serious. You were my best friend. I loved you like a sister. I would never EVER TURN MY BACK on you” I was becoming hysterical. “ You are as bad as him. You LEFT me”
“ We did it to protect you Bella” Alice stammered. “ We were thinking of you”
“ How could going away possibly protect me Alice. How could leaving me to face the others possibly help me. Laurent, Victoria and any other blood drinking mythical creature that feels that I am their personal magnet. It’s neverending. Every sound, every shadow. Constant fear and NOONE to protect me. “ My breathing was becoming quicker and I could feel the shock oozing out of every one of them. I didn’t care. “ How was leaving the right thing to do when I couldn’t feel or breath for god knows how long?”
I caught the significant look that Alice gave Jasper and I turned on him ferociously. “ DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT CALMING ME DOWN. You have no right. Let me be. Let me feel what I am feeling Not what you want me to feel. You owe me that Jasper” Another stab in the heart for someone I had once cared for. He would never forgive himself for what he had done that helped lead us to this moment and I had just driven it home even more. He stopped though. I didn’t feel any calm just the red hot anger. It made me keep the poisoned arrows hurling at the Cullen family. “ and you Emmett. Have you come back to tease me more. Bored, are you, without the silly human to entertain you – obviously I wasn’t entertaining enough to keep around hey even though I thought of you as the big brother I had never had?”
I turned to Rosalie as she hissed at me. No one insults Emmet without earning her wrath. What could I say to her? She had never professed to care so what had she done wrong? “ At least you never pretended to care Rosalie. At least when you left you didn’t make a mockery of a friendship. There never was one between us”
I turned to attack the two remaining Cullens and felt the wind come out of my sail. I had had enough. What could I possibly say to two of the most amazing people I know. I couldn’t inflict any more hurt tonight.
“ Please stop Bella. This is not my family’s fault. They only left because I forced them to…..”

“ Do you know what Edward, I am finished. When you left me you told me to forget that you or any of your family ever existed. Well you have got what you wanted. As far as I am concerned none of you exist. Go away and leave me alone.” I turned away from all of their shocked faces and numbly placed myself in the car as I whispered “I don’t need ANY vampires in my life – NONE”

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Thanks Amanda. I will try and work out how to do that. I am new to this. Hopefully I get it.
Chapter 10
My brothers were behind me. I could hear their confused thoughts and questions as we raced through the woods at lightning speed. I blocked them out as I screamed internally for Bella. She had to be ok. There was no way I was going to let her go without a fight. I reached the water within minutes and saw her lifeless body being sucked under and then being pushed back and forwards with the waves and current. The rocks were precariously close and I could smell her blood so I knew that at some stage she had knocked herself on them. Please be alive, please be alive.

The coldness of the water didn’t even register on my radar but I knew that it would be doing Bella harm. I had to get her out of there as quickly as possible and try and get some warmth into her body. I placed my arms around her body and pulled her towards the beach. I could hear the faint beat of her heart as her body lay limp in my arms. She was alive but she was looked so fragile that I wasn’t sure for how long. I felt Jasper and Emmett beside me but after initial enquiries they kept quiet so that I could concentrate on keeping Bella alive. Emmett had his jacket off and was wrapping it around her torso for warmth. Jasper followed his lead and placed his jacket around the bottom of her body. I turned her on her side and tried to push out any water, that she must have swallowed, by hitting her on the back. I was as gentle as possible so that I didn’t do her more harm than good but it was so difficult to control my violent urge to beat as hard as I could to ensure that her lungs were free of the water that would surely kill her.

Her weak spluttering and coughing brought me to a standstill. She was breathing and I could finally hope that she might be ok as her eyes fluttered open weakly and she croaked out my name. I didn’t have time to rejoice in the sound. Other thoughts were invading my conscience now and I knew that it was vital for us to move. The wolves had obviously registered our presence on the reserve and they were starting to look for us. I picked Bella up and the three of us moved as quickly as possible back to our original places on the right side of the line. The whole family was there to meet us. I answered Carlisle’s unspoken question “They know and they were following us but something happened to make them change their path. I don’t know what. I was concentrating too hard on Bella.” Carlisle took a quick look at Bella and assessed that she could wait. He ushered us into the waiting cars to get us away and back to the safety of our house.

Carlisle took control of Bella as soon as we entered the house. I was reluctant to let go of her but I knew that she needed medical assistance and she wasn’t going to get it with me wrapped around her protectively. I placed her on the bed and tried to extract myself gently from her grip. She held on even harder and I looked at Carlisle for help. “Bella, honey. I need to check that you are ok. You need to let go of Edward so that I can do that.” She never opened her eyes but she did relax enough for me to move away from her. Carlisle examined her thoroughly. She still seemed to be quite out of it and Carlisle let me know that it was just a concussion, she was in shock and that she should be fine with some warmth and rest. She appeared to want to just sleep so Carlisle suggested that Alice and I took her home before Charlie got back from work and more questions would be asked.

I held Bella closely as I carried her to the car. It was heaven to be holding her and knowing that besides a few scrapes and cuts she would be fine. It had been so long since I had held her and it was with great reluctance that I headed towards her home where I knew I would have to again let her go.

Charlie wasn’t home when we got there so we had a clear run to her bedroom. I turned away while Alice helped a near unconscious Bella change into warm pajamas. Alice then guided her to the bed and I returned to sit by her side. She looked at the two of us timidly and tried to speak. “Sorry….. stupid thing…. to do” I could tell that her throat was hurting her so we told her not to speak. She sighed and tightened the blankets around her. I watched as her breathing slowed down. I had always enjoyed watching her sleep – to see the little tightening and relaxing of her muscles as different expressions came over her face to correspond with whatever was happening in her dreams. Tonight, however, I just watched in sadness. She had come so close to losing her life this afternoon and I didn’t know what had possessed her to do it. The sadness was also all about tomorrow. There were some issues to deal with but my main concern was that she would close herself down from us again as she had been doing over the previous few days. I hated the thought of being nothing to her.

“I am going to have to go and sort this mess out. Alice can you stay with her plea…” “ No” Bella was upright and reaching towards me. She had a hold of my arm and was pulling it urgently. “Don’t leave me. Please just for a while stay” I moaned inwardly. I couldn’t stay even though everything within me screamed to do so. I had to deal with my family and the fact that we had just broken the treaty. There were repercussions from this event that went beyond Bella and my need for her.

Alice motioned to me and I listened to her thoughts. “Stay Edward. She needs you. I will go back to Carlisle and work on our plan to try and fix this. We won’t be doing anything until the morning. I can’t see any of the others leaving the house until then. Concentrate on her and give her what she needs.”

I nodded at both of them – one for her thoughts and one for her plea. I didn’t trust myself to speak. It was like I had just been given a gift to spend the night in Bella’s presence. It was something that I had given up hoping would ever happen again. Bella relaxed when she realised that I was going to do as she had asked so I sat on the edge of the bed tentatively. Her scent was overwhelming but I knew that I was not a risk to her at this moment. The prospect of losing her permanently had made my will even stronger than before.

The night rolled by in a sequence of fleeting moments – both pleasant and distressing.
The slow, steady beat of her heart.
Her soft breath fragrant against my skin.
The pain of hearing her panicky calls as she dreamt her unknown dreams.
The heartwarming feeling of hearing her sigh out my name in a way that made me feel that she might just still care.
The agonizing realization that she was also dreaming about him when she called out the werewolf’s name in fear and confusion.

Bella turning herself into my side whilst she slept and placing her hand over the place where my heart should be beating.

I had remained as still as possible and felt her warmth and softness envelope me during the course of the night and knew that it was as close to heaven as I would get. She never spoke to me directly and I couldn’t read her thoughts but at this moment in time I felt so close to her. I knew it couldn’t last. I knew that I was going to have to leave her and I decided to take one last piece of her with me. I leant down and kissed her lightly on the lips and it took me every ounce of will power I possessed not to open up her lips with my own and kiss her in a more urgent way. I had no right to do that anymore. I had relinquished that right the moment I told her I didn’t love her.

“ It’s time” Alice called softly as she climbed through the window without any other sound but still sending me her thoughts so that I could see what had been planned in my absence. Bella moaned and stirred but didn’t wake. Sunrise was upon us and it meant a confrontation for my family and I. I looked longingly over my shoulder as I passed through the window. We had saved Bella’s life, and for that I was eternally grateful, but now it was time to fight for our own. I wish there could have been another way. In all honesty I felt that I would not see my Bella again and if I did, she would never forgive me for what I was about to do.
This is great. Please add more soon
Thanks Karleigh. ( by the way I like how your name is spelt) I have finished the next chapter so you won't have long to wait to find out how she reacts. I just need to fix a few things before I post it. It is not quite sitting right for me.
hurry!!! please??
Chapter 11
The exhilarating freedom lasted mere seconds and then the panic set in as I realized what a foolish thing I had done. I hadn’t set out to do this to end my own life. It wasn’t my intention to harm myself in any way. I was just desperate for some sense of being in control of my own destiny and my own freedom. The outcome wasn’t thought through properly. Stupid, stupid stupid!
My panic gave me the ability to fight for some time but then I realized the uselessness of it. The waves were crashing in on me ferociously and I was continually being sucked down under the water where I could feel my lungs burning with the huge amount of water I was taking in. I gasped for air but found that more often than not it was water I was swallowing, not air. I felt a small amount of pain through the numbing coldness and realized that I had been caressed savagely by a rock. It was nothing compared to the pain I was feeling inside when I realized that I was going to die and I was never going to make things right with the people I loved before I did so. I succumbed to the water’s fluid embrace. Let it do its job. There was no point anymore. “ I’m sorry” I whispered to absolutely no-one at all.

Broken and twisted images. Being dragged through the sand. Voices so far away that they might have been a million miles away. A feeling of absolute coldness and then having it replaced by a small sensation of warmth. Forcing my eyes open and seeing Edward’s beautifully haunting face staring back at me with concern. Could not be happening – he did not love me anymore. Seeing Jasper moving towards me through half closed eyelids. Was he succumbing to the scent of my blood? I was happy for him to take me. No. Sudden warmth on my legs. Being carried in the safety of arms that felt like home. Gentle hands trying to pry my fingers away from them. Not ready to let go. Dr Carlisles smooth rich voice explaining that I was going to be ok. Alice helping me into my pajamas. No energy to help. A feeling of loss. A moment of vivid panic when he said he was going. Shameless relief when he chose to do the opposite. Further relief in the form of sleep.

Daylight danced behind my closed eyelids but I forced them to remain shut. I didn’t want to face the day. I had been so convinced that Edward had been with me last night. That he had held me whilst I slept. That he had brushed his lips gently against mine. It must have been a dream. The fact was that he wasn’t beside me now and as soon as I opened my eyes the lonely reality would crash upon me. There was nothing I could do to keep him near me. To him I was a useless human. Someone that had to be protected from themselves and the plain fact was that I had proven his theory correct. Yet again he had to save me from my own stupidity. No wonder he didn’t want to hang around.

A small sound next to me made me forget my determination not to open my eyes and they flashed open in alarm. Alice sat silently next to my bed watching the window with a perplexed look on her face. My movement brought her attention back to me and she smiled widely when she saw I was awake. Her expression changed to uncertainty and I knew that I had to fix this situation immediately. We had been such good friends before Edward had made his decisions. Surely I didn’t need to punish her any longer for what had been done. I wanted to move forward. That had been my intention before I had foolishly jumped last night. Here was my chance to follow through on that promise. I rose out of bed gingerly. I felt the parts of my body scream out in response to the numerous bruises and cuts I had inflicted on them but I tried to ignore them as best I could. I moved towards Alice and found the energy to fling my arms around her body. Her arms were instantly up and around mine in response. “Oh Bella I have missed you so much. You can not even begin to understand how much.” She looked at me seriously “We all have”.

I smiled weakly at her. I wasn’t ready to acknowledge her unspoken implication quite yet. It was hard enough to finally be holding my best friend and believing that it wasn’t just my imagination playing tricks on me. I would face the ‘others’ later. For now I just wanted to lose myself in the happiness that I was currently feeling. It had been way to long since I had felt this pure emotion. It had always been tinged with something else if I had allowed myself to feel it when I was with Jacob.

“What happened Bella? Why did you jump?” How did I explain my reasoning behind such an irrational act. How did I explain to her that I had just wanted to feel something, not the nothingness. That I had just wanted to be free for a small moment in time. I couldn’t and I looked at her apologetically. “ I didn’t mean to hurt myself Alice. You have to believe me when I say that. I guess I am lucky that you obviously saw it and that the boys were willing to help me. I am not sure why they did but I am ....thankful." Alice looked at me oddly and was about to answer me but thought better of it.

She returned to the topic I was trying to evade. “ Bella. When Jasper did what he did, it changed everything for all of us. It has ripped him apart you know. There was nothing I could do or say to console him. He feels that this is all his fault. I hope you understand that I had to help him. He is my everything Bella. I couldn’t let him work through this on his own. He needed my help and to do that I had to leave you. I am so sorry.” She paused “ I am so sorry for not contacting you but you were never far away from my thoughts. I promise you that.”

I didn’t know how to respond. I could understand Jaspers importance to her and knew that I would have done the same thing if it had been Edward hurting at the time. I squeezed her tightly and sat back down. “ Let’s just forget it hey. Let’s just start over and concentrate on the good times we can have together now.” I thought about what I had said and decided to add one more thing. “and Alice, when Edward decides he can’t be around here any longer for whatever reason he has, please remember that you are my friend and that you don’t have to follow his lead. You can at least keep in contact, if you feel the need to leave too”.

She flinched at my words and I knew that something was wrong. “ Don’t worry Alice. Edward made it quite clear that he didn’t love me anymore. I haven’t jumped to any conclusions because of him being here or him saving me last night. He is free to come and go as he pleases.” That last sentence was so hard to murmur. It would break my heart again if he chose to leave. I was hoping that even though we were no longer together that maybe we could make some attempt to be friends. The very thought of it made me ache but it was better than nothing at all wasn’t it?

Alice remained silent and I began to feel on edge. “What is going on Alice? Has Edward left already? Is that what you are worried about telling me?” I felt myself slip into a mild case of hysteria. He couldn’t possibly have done it again already. What was so wrong with me that as soon as he spent a bit of time with me he felt the need to escape?

Alice shook her head. She was so distracted and then she finally blurted out the truth. “He didn’t want you to be involved and I was made to stay to watch over you but I am sorry Bella. I can’t let them do this without me. I need to be there. I need to make sure Jasper is ok and help them if it comes to a fight.” She looked at me guiltily hoping for my understanding.

“What are you talking about? Who is fighting who?” and then the realization hit me like a train. The Cullens had broken the treaty when Edward, Jasper and Emmett had crossed the line to save my unimportant life. They had gone to La Push to sort it out with the wolves and quite conceivably they had gone to their own doom. No, no, no. This was not happening! I had to do something. No good would come out of this fight for anyone. It had to be stopped and now!
thanks for the add and i really like your story! please write more soon!
ugh! why did you have to stop there?? post more soon!!
Something major happens in the next chapter so I am trying to get it right. Sorry though - I know it is frustrating :) Will try and get it up today.
Ok. here is the next chapter. Please let me know how you think it is going and if I need to make any changes.

Chapter 12
We found them in the woods on the edge of the La Push Reservation. There was a huge uproar when Alice arrived with me on her back. “She thinks she can help” Alice had revealed as I tried to find my balance again. She was bombarded with accusations from the people she loved the most but she remained strong. “She wanted to be here and she has the right. This has to do with her too you know” Edward looked ready to murder his sister but Jasper, understanding feelings so well, had stepped between them. There was to be no sibling fighting happening here today. They needed to save all their energy for the upcoming confrontation.

The wolves had not yet arrived and Carlisle was still hoping that this misunderstanding could be fixed without any type of aggression. The Cullens had deliberately stayed behind the line so that they could show that they still respected the treaty and that they had only broken it to save a human life, not to destroy one.

“I could go and speak to them before they get to you” I suggested hopefully. Maybe I could stop the wolves from coming anywhere near the Cullens at all.

“No.” Edward was vehement.

“But I could reason with them. I could explain that this was my fault”

“Yes why don’t you do that? Why don’t you tell them that every time something goes wrong for us it has to do with you.” Rosalie sneered at me. She was about to say more when Edward turned towards her. I couldn’t see what was shared between them but Rosalie held her lips together in a tight line and held herself rigidly. He turned back to me.

“I said no.” He practically yelled at me.

Carlisle could see that Edward was losing his control and stepped in calmly “ Bella. I know you want to help us with this but we would feel better if we knew you were on our side of the line. Werewolves lose their cool very easily and if it came to protecting you, you can already see that my family would step over the line again to help you. That wouldn’t help our case at all. It would be best for you to be here.”

I nodded half heartedly and remained where I was. Edward turned his back on me and strode a short distance away. I looked at Alice. She gave me a tight smile and shook her head. Was I that hard to be near? Alice put her arm around me and stated. “It is all going to be fine.” I hoped she was right. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt in this misunderstanding. Not the Cullens, not Jacob and not the other werewolves. They were all my friends and were important to me in one way or another.

The tension in the air was thick. Everyone was talking amongst themselves quietly except for Edward who looked like he was sulking on his own. Jasper and Alice were communicating silently as they always did. I felt so jealous of their closeness and their understanding of one another. I wished that I had that with the person I loved, but from the way things were looking at the moment that was as far away for me as it had been a few days ago.

Rosalie and Emmett were in their own conversation but it wasn’t as silent as the others. Rosalie was making it quite clear that she didn’t want me to be here and that I was going to cause more trouble than it was worth. Emmett was disputing her observation that I was always trouble. Trust Emmett to take my side against Rosalie at a time like this. If we had been under different circumstances I would have hugged him. I kind of missed his teasing.

Esme and Carlisle could see that I was feeling uncomfortable and came over to speak to me. Esme’s arm around my shoulder felt so right that I wanted to cry. She was one of the most loving people I knew and I was grateful for her quiet strength right now.

Suddenly Edward was crouched in front of me staring towards the clump of trees that were to our left. All the Cullens tensed at his reaction and we all looked in the same direction to see a pack of wolves moving towards us. “Stay calm.” Carlisle ordered our group. “Do not be on the offensive before we have even had a chance to speak.” Everyone tried to relax apart from Edward. He remained crouched and his eyes darted from me to the pack before he trained his eyes on one wolf in particular and then he didn’t move them again. That wolf growled threateningly at him and Edward hissed back. This was not going to be easy.

The pack of wolves began to snarl and move threateningly towards us. Edward told his family that they were intent on eliminating the threat of the Cullens once and for all. We had violated their land and we had to pay. This was an opportunity they had been waiting for ever since Sam had phased and the others had followed.

Carlisle stepped forward and began speaking calmly but with an urgent resound about how they had never meant to break the treaty and that it was purely to save me that they had done so. He was asking for them to take this into consideration before they made the choice to attack. He was letting them know that it was not something that they planned to do again. That the treaty was important for all of us to live together and that they valued it. Sam appeared to be listening but the others around him were snarling.

Edward translated Sam’s response as he was the only one who could hear what was being said by the wolves. “He says that the treaty was made in faith and that it didn’t matter why it had been broken. Reprisals were due.” All the Cullens began to move into their fighting positions. Edward glanced at me and then turned back to the wolves. “If there is to be a fight I want Bella removed to safety first. She has no play in this at all.”

He had to be kidding. I wasn’t going anywhere. Did he actually believe that I would turn my back on everyone here and just walk away while they annihilated one another.I thought he knew me better than that. This had everything to do with me and I had to do something drastic to stop any blood from being shed. I ignored him as I walked towards Sam. If I could just get through to Sam maybe this could be fixed. He was the Alpha. The others would follow his command. I was counting on that. Edward tried to stop me with his arm but the wolves only growled at him even more so Carlisle forced him to fall back. I briefly looked at him and noticed that he looked like he was going to be sick. I had to store that away to look at at a later time. I had a job to do.

“Sam.” I looked at the huge black wolf carefully in the eyes. “Please understand that this is completely my fault. I did something stupid and the Cullens only responded in a humane way by coming to save me. If they hadn’t crossed the line I would be dead now.” I heard a whine and knew that it was Jacob responding to my words but I ignored him. Sam was the key here. “They broke the treaty but not to cause any harm. It was purely to save my life.”

Sam continued to look at the Cullens in an angry way and I was sure I had not made anything better. I looked at Edward for confirmation and he shook his head. Sam was not convinced to halt an attack.

“Sam. What would you have done if it had been Emily behind enemy lines? Would you have stopped and thought of the treaty before you ran to save her life? I don’t think so. That would have been wrong. You are accusing the Cullens of being monsters here that need to be destroyed, but all they are guilty of is having enough humanity to save a friend in need.” I was getting desperate. “Please don’t punish them for my wrongdoing. Please don’t punish them for doing the right thing.” I turned towards Jacob’s wolf form and added “ Or would you have preferred them to have let me drown so that you would never see me again.” I saw the sadness in his eyes and felt bad that I was using his feelings to help my cause but I had to try everything I could.

“He wants to know why you are protecting us after what we’ve done to you” Edward stated woodenly to me. I knew he meant Jacob. I could only imagine the accusations he would be flinging at Edward silently whilst the rest us were in blissful ignorance.

“It’s not just about me Jake. Edward made it clear why he left me. He was no longer in love with me. You can’t force someone to love you – you know that. It wasn’t easy to accept but I am getting there. I don’t want to continue living my life in recriminations.” My face was slightly turned towards the Cullens as I said this and I noticed that Edward’s face was in a mask of shock. He was trying to say something but nothing was coming out. What was he doing? I turned my concentration back to the wolves. “These are my friends and so are you. What do you think will happen if this becomes a fight? You’re all strong. There will be casualties. People you love will die. It doesn’t matter how strong you think your side is – vampire or werewolf, someone is going to get hurt and I can not live with the thought that my actions made that happen. So this is the crux of it. You fight, I won’t be leaving and that probably means I will die too. I have lived in pain long enough. Give me a chance to heal Jake rather than ending it all. Please.”

Everyone appeared to be in a state of shock over my words. No-one was moving and everyone was staring at me. If it wasn’t so serious it would have been laughable that they were looking at me as if I was the strange one within this group of mythical creatures.

Jacob and Sam turned to one another and walked as one away from us towards the woods. The other wolves followed. The Cullens looked after them in confusion, all except Edward who was looking at me in both wonder and sadness. “They have gone to discuss this further in private but they are leaning towards letting us off just this once. They’re not happy about it but Bella has played the humanity card and they don’t feel they can ignore it. They want to believe that they are more humane than us.” Edward stated coldly. “Besides Jacob has certain reasons why he doesn’t want to see her hurt in the crossfire.” His face looked thunderous and I couldn’t understand why. Hadn’t he just said that the Cullens were going to be safe? Hadn’t we just diverted a fight that could only lead to heartache for all concerned. I was confused but there was no time to ponder as Sam and Jacob returned from the woods.

This time they were in their human form. None of the other wolves were with them but I was certain they weren’t too far away. Jacob looked absolutely haggard and I knew that had to do with me. He must have been beside himself when he realized that I had almost killed myself and that he couldn’t get to me to see that I was ok.

Sam spoke. “ It is clear to us that last night’s trespass was an attempt to help rather than hurt. We can see that Bella is unharmed and her well being was of great concern to us." His eyes flicked to Jacob "It was unfortunate that we were distracted by Victoria’s new attempt to get through our lands otherwise we might have known Bella’s fate sooner. Be clear on this though. We will not be so lenient in the future. There are certain members of our pack who would like to have ripped you all apart without any second thought. You are, and always will be our enemy. We live to make sure that you do not hurt the humans in this area. There will be no second chance for you again.”

“My family thanks you and acknowledges your tolerance as well as your threats. We have no intention of deliberately breaking the treaty made so many years ago. But in return understand that we will not let one of our own be hurt. We value each other too much for that.” Carlisle responded politely “Let’s hope we are never in this position again.”

Sam began to walk back towards the woods but stopped when he realized that Jacob had not moved with him. Jacob looked at me accusingly. “I just don’t understand Bella. I truly do not understand. Not after everything that has happened.” I reached towards him but he had already cut himself off from me and had moved towards Sam’s waiting frame. “Please don’t let me lose him too” I thought inwardly as I watched them walk slowly away.

My awareness was all of a sudden drawn to Edward who was staring at me thoughtfully. The rest of the family were starting to relax into the relief that there was no longer the need to hurt or be hurt. Emmett took the opportunity to tease me as he smirked at the others. “ I think we would have been better off if Edward had just turned her into a vampire when she first asked. It would have been safer for….” I didn’t hear the rest. All my attention was solely on the high keening growl I heard from behind us. Jacob had phased in anger and was leaping towards Emmett with the purpose of destroying. “ No Jacob.” Sam and I yelled in unison as we saw his intention. I threw myself in front of him to try and stop his progress but he just flung me aside with a stroke of his paw. I felt instant pain. A red hot wave of fire ripped through my side and I looked down in horror. There was so much blood. I looked up in disbelief. Sam had commanded Jacob to stop and he was twitching on the ground a short distance from me. I could see in his eyes that he knew what he had done. Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper and Esme were holding a hissing Edward back while he tried unsuccessfully and angrily to be released so that he could fling himself at Jacob. Alice and Carlisle were instantly at my side trying to stem the flow of blood.

“ Edward” I called. “ Please Edward”. They brought him over to me but never let him go. “ Please Edward. Please don’t hurt him. “ I begged. I watched as all the fight went out of him and he collapsed beside me in torment. This would have to be torture for all the Cullens. There was so much blood and there was only so much temptation that a vampire could take. “ Sorry” I gasped and then I blacked out.
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