The Twilight Saga

Moira Wry ~ PG-13 *Complete* Chapters 1 - 30

 

What if Edward was unable to control the monster in him? What if he did attack Bella that first day? What would that mean for Bella, Edward and their future? This fan-fic takes over after the first chapter of Twilight, First Sight.



Disclaimer. ** All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer **
WARNING: **There is direct text from Stephenie Meyers Twilight Saga**
*It is not my intention to steal anything from Stephenie Meyer*

          **Please forgive the grammatical errors**

 

 

 

 

Cover2.jpg picture by idnarval

 

 

 

 


 


Chapter 1: First Sight (a refresher of the last few paragraphs)

The final bell rang at last. I walked slowly to the office to return my
paperwork. The rain had drifted away, but the wind was strong, and
colder. I wrapped my arms around myself.
When I walked into the warm office, I almost turned around and walked
back out.
Edward Cullen stood at the desk in front of me. I recognized again that
tousled bronze hair. He didn't appear to notice the sound of my entrance.
I stood pressed against the back wall, waiting for the receptionist to be
free.
He was arguing with her in a low, attractive voice. I quickly picked up
the gist of the argument. He was trying to trade from sixth-hour Biology
to another time — any other time.
I just couldn't believe that this was about me. It had to be something
else, something that happened before I entered the Biology room. The look
on his face must have been about another aggravation entirely. It was
impossible that this stranger could take such a sudden, intense dislike
to me.
The door opened again, and the cold wind suddenly gusted through the
room, rustling the papers on the desk, swirling my hair around my face.
The girl who came in merely stepped to the desk, placed a note in the
wire basket, and walked out again. But Edward Cullen's back stiffened,
and he turned slowly to glare at me — his face was absurdly handsome —
with piercing, hate-filled eyes. For an instant, I felt a thrill of
genuine fear, raising the hair on my arms. The look only lasted a second,
but it chilled me more than the freezing wind. He turned back to the
receptionist.
"Never mind, then," he said hastily in a voice like velvet. "I can see
that it's impossible. Thank you so much for your help." And he turned on
his heel without another look at me, and disappeared out the door.
I went meekly to the desk, my face white for once instead of red, and
handed her the signed slip.
"How did your first day go, dear?" the receptionist asked maternally.
"Fine," I lied, my voice weak. She didn't look convinced.
When I got to the truck, it was almost the last car in the lot. It seemed
like a haven, already the closest thing to home I had in this damp green
hole. I sat inside for a while, just staring out the windshield blankly.
But soon I was cold enough to need the heater, so I turned the key and
the engine roared to life. I headed back to Charlie's house, fighting
tears the whole way there.


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Chapter 2 : Phenomenon




I parked in front of the house, letting the truck idle and the heat blast out of the vents. I closed my eyes and pretended that the warmth I was feeling was from the phoenix sun, and ignoring the sound of wind and rain, I imagined that my eyelids were aglow on a bright day. I breathed in slowly, acting that the heat was dry, hot desert air. I pushed up my sleeves letting the warmth settle on my skin. Still fighting back tears, I tried to calm myself, pushing back the last few hours. But the thought of Edward Cullen and his bizarre glares wouldn’t go away. It was ridiculous, and egotistical, to think that I could affect anyone that strongly. But I couldn’t stop worrying that it was true. He was so mean; it wasn’t fair. I opened my eyes, and let out a sigh. It had to be something else, something that happened before our class together. I just couldn’t believe that his reaction was about me. I didn’t even know him, it was impossible to think he could have taken such a sudden, and intense dislike to me. I shook my head, trying to get rid of the thought, and shut off my truck. I turned to grab my things and thought I saw something from my peripheral, but when I looked up, there was nothing there.
Hmm, must be my imagination again.
I opened the door, cold air rushing in, taking all my warmth with it. I stepped out of the truck, and shut the door behind me. I turned to walk away and then something hit me; hard. I dropped all my books and my bag, I felt something solid and cold crushing me. I couldn’t breathe, the wind had been knocked out of me. And for a moment I lost my sight, everything went black.
What is this? What’s going on?
I blinked, trying to focus my eyes but saw nothing but a blur of green rushing past me.
Did I get hit by a bus?
I tried to move, to feel for the ground, but I couldn’t, I was stuck.
I didn’t think I could feel the ground moving under me, it felt as though I was flying. My feet were dangling, and I could feel the wind rushing past my face, and the whistle of it in my ears.
I tried again to focus my eyes but still saw nothing but a blur of green, How could this be?
Was I being drug by the bus and the driver didn’t know?
I tried to wave my arms, to get the drivers attention. But again I couldn’t move.
Is this really happening, or did I fall asleep in the truck? I’ve had dreams like this before, not being able to move or speak. But I didn’t feel like I was sleeping? I told myself to wake up anyway, just in case.
Wake up…Wake up…. Wake up Bella!!
Hmm, nothing. Maybe I wasn’t asleep, maybe it was a delusion. Just some weird day dream that I couldn’t snap out of. I knew forks would drive me crazy, I just hadn’t expected it to happen so soon!

Just then I came to an abrupt stop, the crushing ceased, and I hit the ground knocking the wind out of me.

I knew I was on the ground now, and I knew I wasn’t dreaming or having a delusion. The fall had hurt and I could feel the wet grass under me as I tried pulling myself up to catch my breath. I was dizzy, the world around me spinning, I tried to focus through the blur. I couldn’t, so I closed my eyes letting myself fall back to try and catch my breath. It was so cold here, my whole backside wet from my head down to my legs. My whole body was in pain, was it from the fall, what had hit me, or what had been crushing me? I sat up and opened my eyes, still trying to focus, and there he was.
Edward Cullen.
Down, a few feet back, and crouched over. His teeth bared and his hands clenched into fists. He was glaring down at me, his eyes black and full of revulsion. He had the strangest expression on his face - it was hostile, furious. I flinched and stared blankly at him. I felt a thrill of genuine fear, raising the hair on my arms and the back of my neck. Now able to breathe I felt a wave of panic as my heart began to race.
What is was going on? Why was Edward here? Where is here and how did I get here? What is he doing?
If looks could kill - I thought.
I started to scoot myself back away from his hate-filled eyes. The ground was wet with rain, my hands and feet slipping over the mud and grass. I fell back on my elbows, causing my head to jerk back. I hurried up again, making little progress. With every inch I gained, Edward stepped forward, taking it back.
What is wrong with him, why is he doing this?
I tried to find my voice, but nothing came out. I wanted to ask him what his problem was, what he wanted from me, but my throat was so dry I couldn’t speak. I decided to run, not caring that much, I just need to get out of here. I turned over to stand up, hoping I wouldn’t trip, and as I pushed myself up a sharp stabbing pain pierced through the palm of my hand. I fell back to the ground. Grabbing my hand, I looked down at the sharp dirty stick, the skin bulging white and purple where it was ripped and stretched , pooling with blood. Acting on instinct I pulled
the stick out of my hand. In that moment I’d found my voice and I let out a wail. The huge gash began to bleed, pulsing with pain. And then something hard hit me, again.


(2/24/09)
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Chapter 3 : The Hunt



My head slammed into the ground and I was pinned by the same cold crushing restriction that had had me confined no more than a few moments ago.
In an instant, everything began moving in slow motion, my mind became unimpeded, sharp - focused. The synapses in my brain, firing and connecting a thousand times faster than ever before, allowing my mind to process several things at once with absolute lucidity. The rush of adrenaline coursing through my body, suppressing any fear that in elseways would have engulfed me, the cause and reason for allowing this to happen.

My vision was crystal clear, bright and vibrant. I could see everything around me with perfect clarity and great detail, things that I would have otherwise never noticed. The cold gray sky pained my eyes, while I looked up watching the earth slowly rotating by. The moisture blanketing the air around me, hovering like fog but clear and wet. The air as it circled and carried the small drops of rain, pushing and moving them to its will.

I could hear the softest of sounds, from far away, to as close as in my own body. My blood pumping through my veins, the thumping sound pulsing in my ears. My breath forcing out of me, my teeth lightly clanking together. The earth bending and pushing under my weight. Further away, the soft breeze wisping through the trees, ruffling the branches and leaves. Music from the creatures in the forest, crickets harmonizing with the songs of the birds.

My sense of smell was so heightened I could taste the sweet smell that was beside me. The clean crisp air that held a faint hint of salt. Wet muddy grass, pine cones and evergreens.

And I could feel everything, from painful to pleasant. The soft wet grass bowing under my body, my shape imprinting in the soft earth. The cold wet air wafting over my skin, the humidity holding there refusing to let go, like an invisible barrier.
The uncomfortable stretching of my neck as my head thudded with stopped force against the ground. The cold hard stone pressing against me. My ribs cracking and crushing against my lungs. My abdomen collapsing in toward my spine, the wrenching in my hip and pelvic bones. My thighs and legs flounder, falling and not able to move. The cold from his body soaking into me as his weight barred down. His quick graceful and impatient movements that manipulated my frame under his rapture.

His icy hand that slowly ran up the right side of my neck, winding around the back of my head. His frigid fingers sliding in through my hair, wrapping around the silky strands, grabbing a hand full with draw. His other hand, as he wound his stony fingers around my wrist like a vise. Pushing my forearm deeper into the soil, I could feel my carpal bones protest in pain.
The cold pressure on my torso increase slightly, as I felt my head tug back, and my throat stretch out. Tilting to the right he pulled my head down towards my shoulder leaving the left side unprotected. As the cool air touched the freshly exposed skin, I could feel goose bumps rush down the nap of my neck and shiver through my spine.
I could feel his breath in my ear, a low growl escaping past his lips. The cold was pouring from his face as he slowly and deliberately breathed in, down my neck and stopping just before reaching my shoulder.
He lingered there, inhaling the scent of my skin. His mouth slowly parting as he huffed out, in what sounded like pain. His cool lips pressing against my throat, and soon following razor sharp teeth.

I heard my skin tearing as he swept across my neck. I could feel my blood brimming to the surface, just before the pain. Like the blade of a master surgeon the cut was deep and precise. His mouth pressed tightly over the wound as the pull of blood began, the warmth leaving my body. If it hadn’t been so painful I would have thought he was kissing my neck.
I wanted to cry out, but I couldn’t find my voice. I opened my mouth but nothing came. I tried to push him away to run, and even though I was using all the strength I had, I didn’t move -not even an inch. I was stuck there, trapped, at the mercy of my attacker. I exhaled a deep breath, his weight to much for my lungs to bare. And as he moaned, out of pleasure I was sure, I knew what he was.

Edward Cullen was a vampire.

How could I not believe that when he was quite literally sucking the life out of me. It was as clear to me as the sky above, so obvious now. His odd behavior towards me today, the way he reacted to me when I walked into the room. The coal black color of his eyes, the purple circles around them. The pale, translucent appearance of his skin.
Of course he was a vampire.

As I thought about that, I could feel myself slipping. Invisible walls that I had put up to protect myself, crumbling down, like a sigh or an exhale of deep breath. And as my heart slowed and stammered for a beat I noticed I could no longer feel my legs, numb from the loss of blood. My hand and arms began to tingle, like they were falling asleep. My breathing was shallow and slow, my lungs burned in protest from the lack of oxygen. I knew my body was adapting to the pain, as it slowly started to fade.
I began to feel a sense of peace, calm flowed over me as I relaxed, letting myself sink deeper into the earth.
And as I inhaled through my nose, pulling in the sweetest smell again, I realized I wasn’t angry with the boy who was killing me. In a weird way I suppose I was almost happy to help, I had obviously caused him pain and discomfort.
That soon would be over for both of us.
I wasn’t sure how or why, but I knew my blood was something he couldn’t resist. Before today he had to be in control, he went to school and lived in forks for several years before I came. There has be something different about me, because he couldn’t stop himself from this. I was always a magnetic attraction for danger, clumsy as I stumbled through life. This being an extreme, no doubt, but not a surprise.

What would happen to my body? Obviously I would be dead after this, and he would have to get rid of the body. I allowed my mind to wander with this thought,
not having anything better to do.

Would he bury me somewhere here deep in the forest, never to be found. Take me to the ocean and throw me in, letting the current ferry me out to sea. Burn me to ash, crushing the bones and spreading them out over the earth. Or disregard me here, out in the open and let the wildlife take care of it for him?

Maybe he would stage an accident, leaving my body so no questions were raised. A perfectly acceptable and easily explained occurrence that had the proof of a body. A hit and run, abandoning me in the street, battered and bruised. A single motor vehicle accident, a rollover, causing severe head trauma, killing me instantly. Whatever it was my neck would be gashed, to cover up his track marks. Having no blood left in me to spill, I’m sure he would come up with something convincing.

No body would be easier. Having one would raise less questions.

(3/3/09)
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Chapter 4 : Goodbyes



Charlie. Renee.
The thought of them hurt worse than what was happening to me now. I had been so lost in my callous train of thought, that I didn’t think about what really mattered.

My parents.

Would they ever have peace? Would they ever get an explanation to my strange and sudden disappearance? Or would they suffer with questions they would never get answered for the rest of their lives? Them never knowing and suffering because of me.

Renee, my loving, erratic, harebrained mother. She would be devastated, she didn’t want me to move to forks in the first place. If I would have stayed with her, this wouldn’t be happening.

I wouldn’t be causing both of my parents so much pain.

And Charlie, poor Charlie, being the chief of police in forks he would have to investigate the disappearance or death of his own daughter. I was never really good at expressing my feelings with Charlie, I regret that now.

I wish I could have at least said goodbye to them. Told them that I loved them, given them one last hug. I just want one more moment, one more minute, just to hold them and tell them they mean everything to me. One minute to tell them that I love them, thank them for the time I had with them. I need it, I know they know, but I need it, I need it for me, to tell them from me.

I want to go in peace, with no anger or regret. Leave this life with as much closure as possible.

I forgive you Edward.

I knew he couldn’t hear me, but I wanted to say it anyway. In this instant, I wasn’t angry with him, I didn’t know why, but I wasn’t angry. I was sad for my parents, for the loss they would feel, but I forgave him for taking me away.

And as the blackness started to creep in around the edges of consciousness, I knew it would be over soon. I was no longer cold and the pain had long faded. I didn’t want to fight anymore. What was the point? And I was content, I’d made my peace.

I let my eyelids close and briefly thought of the clichés about how you were suppose to see your life flash before your eyes. I was so much luckier. Who wanted to see a rerun anyway?

I focused my thoughts on Charlie and Renee, I would leave this life looking at the people I loved the most. I imagined the sound of their laughter, the warmth of their embrace. Charlie’s musky smell, and the prickle of his facial hair against my check. Renee’s floral scent, and how soft her hands were when she held mine. I would miss them, terribly.

And in a last effort of emotion from my body, a welled up tear rolled out of my eye and slowly down my check. I stared into the eyes of my loving parents, I love you and I smiled at them … everything went black.


(3/8/09)
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Chapter 5: The Angel



As I drifted, I dreamed.
Blackness, dark empty unfeeling blackness.
Like being under in the darkest water, during the blackest night. Being pushed and pulled down at the same time. Rushed to the surface, teasing, and drug down again.

This in not what I was expecting, they lied on the brochure.
Where’s the white light and warmth?

The pressure was so heavy, if I could feel anything I’m sure it would hurt. Like a ton of concrete resting on my chest, and the vacuum pull of a black hole sucking me away.

And the rush to the surface, so accelerated it should have given me whiplash. Like jumping off a cliff, but falling up instead of down.

At the surface there was ringing in my ears. So I focused on that, and with it was a pain. Nothing uncomfortable, just enough to let me know that it was there.

Was I still on the ground? I felt dead, but was I dead?

I tried to listen past the ringing, to hear something, anything that would help me understand what this was. Muffled noises, but nothing else.

I listened harder, and then I heard it. Thump.

Ouch.

It sounded as if it were coming from inside of my head, I felt the pain again, but this time in my chest. Was I still alive?

I waited and listened again, it seemed like forever, but there it was…thump. My heart, it was still beating. Granted not well, not strong and not often. But it was still beating.

I drew in as deep a breath I could, filling my lungs with the agonizing air. As I
exhaled I felt myself sink deeper into the water, heavier than before. It wasn’t that I was alive, not really, I just wasn’t completely dead yet either. Another thump this one lighter, weaker, not painful.

I heard again from under water the muffling of noises. Maybe even closer than before but I couldn’t understand it. It sounded like voices, so I tried to listen harder.

And then from where I floated, under the dark water, I heard it. The most beautiful sound. My angel. And then I knew I was dead. Through the heavy water, the angel was calling my name.

“ Bella!” the most beautifully musical voice said. Finally, my
angel had come.

“oh, Bella… no” she said softly, and gently took my hand in hers.
“She’s dying”

What did she mean by she’s dying, isn’t that the point of her being here?

I could feel myself being sucked in and out by the blackness, with every faint
painful beat of my heart I fell back and forth in between consciousness.

“ I don’t care Edward, I love her!” my angel yelled. Why is my angel
yelling? There’s no reason for her to be mad or upset.

“Alice I can hardly feel her anymore, she’ll be gone soon” a quite voice
said, it sounded far away.

The dark was so heavy, the pressure pushing me into obscurity. I wanted to stay
with my angel, I tried to fight the black…

“NO…Stop Alice!”

“Look at what you’ve done, see what you have lost!” Broken sobs, my angel
was yelling again, but this time through tears.

The angel shouldn’t weep, it was wrong.

“ooh…” another pained whimper, in a voice I hadn’t heard before.
“…please, just …wait…”

“There’s no time to wait… she’s out of time… your out of time” My angel
whispered, sitting next to me. I could feel her brushing my hair away from my face, still holding my hand. My hand was so cold, It was making my hers feel cold too.

It was relentless, this dark, never giving up pushing me down faster now. It
was harder to find the voice again, harder to pull away to find my angel…

I felt myself being swept up into a cold embrace, “ I’m so sorry bella” I
felt cool lips lightly kiss my forehead and I was laid softly back to the cold
wet ground.

And then, just like before, I felt the sharp slashing pain down my throat…


(3/10/09)

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Chapter 6: Burning



The pain was bewildering.
Exactly that - I was bewildered.
I couldn’t understand, couldn’t make sense of what was happening.

Once he heard that my heart was still beating, he came back for more. Finish me off, take the last of my blood. Why not, I wont need it where I’m going.

But this time was different, not like the last, last time was a relaxing sunny day at the beach. I could hear the tearing of my skin again, and again. He must have thought I was dead, and decided to cut me and burn the body. But I wasn’t dead, I was alive, burning alive -with no hope of death insight. I felt the thumping of my heart again, raging with the fire that was in my chest. I wished I hadn’t found it now, wish that I could have continued to slip into the blackness, let myself continue to sink deeper and deeper into the ground and under the water until it completely covered me, and never let go. I wanted to lift my arms and claw my chest open, ripping my heart out anything to get rid of this torture. But this burning isn’t stopping, the never ending fire is only getting stronger and hotter and hotter and stronger.

STOP! I wanted to scream, I’m not dead, I’m alive!

But nothing worked, not my eyes, not my body, not my voice. I was frozen and stuck here in the fiery pits of hell. My body tried to reject the pain, but I was sucked again and again into the blackness. Whole seconds, even minutes cut out, making the agony of return that much harder. Returning to the red.

Red was the painful reality. The one that lasted the longest and hurt the most. So much so it had to be real. Non-reality was the black emptiness that didn’t hurt so much.

I tried to separate them.

Reality red felt like my bones had been replaced with branding irons fresh from the flames. My veins, boiling with acid rather than blood. The muscle and skin pan-fried in scolding hot grease. And my body as a whole, being dipped over and over again into the sun’s molten rock. All at the same time without any break or reprieve.
-And all this would have still been a walk in the park.

The burning grew- rose and peaked and rose and peaked until it surpassed anything I’d ever felt. I wanted to scream, beg for someone to kill me, to not live one more second in this pain. But my lips wouldn’t move. It all seemed like a hideous joke. If I couldn’t scream, how could I tell them to kill me? All I wanted was to die. To have never been born.

Kill me now. Let me die, let me die, let me die.

And for a never ending space, it was there, the fiery torture, my soundless shrieks, pleading for death to come. Nothing else. Not even time. So that made it infinite, with no beginning and no end.

One infinite moment of pain.


(3/10/09)
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Chapter 7: Waking Up




It could have been days, weeks, months or years. Maybe even minutes or mere seconds, I wouldn’t know and it didn’t matter. The pain never wavered, never faltered in its lashings. It stayed constant, growing and ripping its way through my body. I didn’t move, I didn’t dare open my eyes, and never unclenched my jaw. To anyone looking at me, I would have appeared sleeping. I wouldn’t give in to this pain, to the torture that was now my existence. I wouldn’t let him see any weakness, or get pleasure from my suffering.
So I endured, silently...



.......................................



I could hear them around me, muffled at first. But as time went by, through the fever, I began to get stronger. Instead of giving the fire my undivided attention, I divided it. There was so much room here in my mind now, that I could easily shove it to the back, to a corner. It didn’t quiet the misery, but I could ignore it more easily there. I started to listen to my surroundings, to the people that were around me. I could hear things, from far away, things that I shouldn’t possibly be able to distinguish. And the subtle difference between their footsteps.
The one thing they’d kept repeating, was that the burning would end. I’d hoped, but I did not believe them. Why should I after all? They were all strangers to me, strangers and his family. Not that I would hold that against them, if in fact this torment were to end, I would listen. I had to. What other choice did I have?
So I lay here, waiting…listening..




.......................................



Then, the pain changed. It started fading, slowly, from my fingers and toes. This had to be it, the end they had talked about, the pain was on its way out…

My heartbeat, already too fast, picked up. The fire drove its rhythm to a new frantic pace, it had retreated from my palms, leaving them blissfully cool and pain-free, but took up new residence in my heart -raging and blazing more furious than ever before.

“Carlisle” a low, clear voice called out.

The loudest sound in the room was my frenzied heart, pounding to the rhythm of the fire.

“Ah,” Carlisle said “Its almost over”

My relief at his words was overshadowed by the excruciating pain in my heart. My wrists and ankles were free though, the fire was totally extinguished there.

“Soon” Alice agreed. “I’ll get the others”

The fire ripped hotter through my chest, draining in from my elbows and knees.

And then -oh!

My heart took off, beating like helicopter blades, the sound almost a single sustained note; it felt like it would grind through my ribs. The fire flared up in the center of my chest, sucking the last remnants of the flames from the rest of my body to fuel the most scorching blaze yet. The pain was enough to stun me, my fingers twitched, breaking through my perfect façade. My back arched, bowed as if the fire was dragging me upward by my heart.
I allowed no other piece of my body to break rank as my torso slumped back to the table.
It became a battle inside me-my sprinting heart racing against the attacking fire. Both were losing. The fire was doomed having consumed everything that was combustible; my heart galloped toward its last beat.

The room was silent besides the jack-hammering of my heart.

The fire constricted, concentrating inside my heart with a final, unbearable surge. The surge was answered by a deep, hollow-sounding thud. My heart stuttered twice, and then thudded quietly again just once more.

Then there was no sound. No breathing, not even mine.

For a moment, the absence of pain was all I could comprehend. They had been right, the fire went away, and it was euphoric. After being tortured and burned for god knows how long, and then to end up here, completely and totally pain free -as if it had never happened. Words fail to describe the feeling.

And so, I opened my eyes…



(3/16/09)

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Chapter 8: The Cullens


Everything was so clear.
Sharp. Defined.
The brilliant light overheard was still blinding-bright, and yet I could plainly see the glowing strands of the filaments inside the bulb. I could see each color of the rainbow in the white light, and, at the very edge of the spectrum, an eighth color I had no name for.
Behind the light, I could distinguish the individual grains in the dark wood ceiling above. In front of it, I could see the dust motes in the air, the sides the light touched and the dark sides, distinct and separate. They spun like little planets, moving around each other in a celestial dance.
The dust was so beautiful that I inhaled in shock; the air whistled down my throat swirling the motes into a vortex. The action felt wrong. I considered that, and realized the problem was that there was no relief tied to the action. My lungs weren’t waiting for it, they reacted indifferently to the influx. I didn’t need it, but I liked it. In it, I could taste the room around me -taste the lovely dust motes, the mix of stagnant air mingling with the flow of slightly cold air from the open door. I heard the sound of the others, breathing again now that I did. Their breath mixed with the air, I traded a dozen different comparisons in my mind, honey, lilac, sunshine, hyacinth, pear, leather, apple….none of them fit exactly. So sweet and pleasant.

I didn’t realize that someone was holding my hand until whoever it was squeezed it lightly. Like it had before to hide the pain, my body locked down again in surprise. After that first frozen second of shock, my body responded to the unfamiliar touch in a way that shocked me even more.
Air hissed up my throat, spitting through my clenched teeth with a low, menacing sound like a swarm of bees. Before the sound was out, my muscles bunched and arched, twisting away from the unknown. I flipped off my back in a spin so fast it should have turned the room into a incomprehensible blur -but it did not. I saw every dust mote, every splinter in the wood paneled walls, every loose thread in microscopic detail as my eyes whirled past them.

I found myself crouched against the wall defensively -about a sixteenth of a second later- a beautiful small girl stood up and took two small steps forward, holding up her hands in peace.

“Calm down Bella, your safe.” she said “ My name is Alice Cullen, remember me from school?”

I quickly thought about that, and remembered my first day at Forks High. The memories were fuzzy, and hard to see. But I did remember, as Jessica named off each of the Cullens, briefly telling me what she knew of their story.

I gave her a quick nod, she smiled, just a little, and continued.

“Remember what I’ve told you over the past few days, I know its hard, but focus through the pain -” I flinched “ listen to my words, to what we told you. Please Bella, try to remember”

Before she had finished asking, I began to remember. Thinking about the last few days, the pain, fire, burning -kill me now pain. I focused through the ache, and I could hear Alice, her voice was there, in the back ground and her explanation. Telling me that I was one of them now, what I was becoming. Explaining to me over and over again, making sure I understood, that I caught it all. I remembered everything she told me, that and much more.

The doctor was there, Carlisle, he would check on me often, and he too was explaining to me what was happening. He had a nice soothing voice, I felt comforted when he spoke. The others had been here too. Esme, who would sit with me, singing, holding my hand and telling me everything would be alright. Alice who hardly ever left my side, so of course Jasper was with her sometimes too.
And Edward. Ugh.
Edward was here, more than the rest. Him and his relentless apologies, and questions for Carlisle. I could hear him when he would arrive, feel him watching me -pacing the floor often- and relieved when he left. It never seemed like a long enough break, because he would always come back.

The space in my mind was so unbelievable, I had recounted and thought through all of these memories in a matter of seconds.

I straightened up, unclenched my teeth and let my hands drop. My over reaction was embarrassing, so I held up my hands slightly and put them behind me. I smiled and tipped my head forward in acknowledgment and apology.

“Of course Alice, I remember you, and what you’ve told me. Please forgive me for acting so rudely” I said ruefully, but it sounded like singing. My voice rang and shimmered like a bell.

“Don’t apologize Bella” she smiled back, letting her hands fall to her sides “We know how difficult this is, it’s a lot to take” I felt some shock as I looked at her face, she was so lovely. They all were so beautiful, more so than I remembered from a few days ago.

It was a lot to take, of course I believed them and I believed what I was now, but it was still unreal.

“I’m sure you have questions Bella” Carlisle spoke while walking forward towards me “It’s a little disorienting at first, and we will all be here to help you”

I winced a little internally at the thought of all of them helping me.

“Thank you Doctor” I said, smiling at him “ I appreciate your kindness”

“Bella, it’s the least I could do, and please call me Carlisle”

I smiled at him again, “Thank you, Carlisle”

“May I ask..” He continued “ how are you feeling? You are very calm.”

I thought about that for a moment, assessing myself. I wasn’t confused, I mean, not really given the circumstances. I was definitely thinking more clearly than I have ever before. My mind working faster and more decidedly, my senses heightened, noticing everything around me, taking it all in, processing and understanding it instantly. Unsure of what he meant, I stuttered out…

“I…I’m fine…I think, … is there something wrong with me?”
I began to recoil, grabbing my face then my body looking down over myself.

But before he could answer, I saw the blonde boy, Jasper, shift his weight and shake his head slightly, creasing his brow together.

I quickly looked over to him, surprised by his reaction to me. I must have had a look of confusion on my face as well, because before I could say anything Alice had spoke up again.

“Bella, you remember Jasper Hale from school, you were told he was my boyfriend.” she said holding out her hand to him “He is actually my husband”

Smiling at each other, he quickly walked to her taking her hand. He leaned over kissing her on her check. They looked into each others eyes for a second before he turned to me.

“Hello Bella, it’s nice to meet you” his voice was low and soothing but conflicted. I could see the scars that were all over his body, only with the bright light to throw their slightly raised shapes into definition. It was hard to take my eyes off his ravaged neck and jaw. Instinctively, I tensed to defend myself. Jasper saw my assessment, my caution and smiled wryly.

I took another deep, unnecessary breath, pushing the threat away.
I looked at him, still confused, but feeling better. “Hello Jasper, it’s nice to meet you”

His brow creased again, and he looked down at Alice, like he was confused and searching for answers. She just giggled at him and touched his face.

“He’s confused by how calm you are being, we all are.”

I snapped my head over to the voice in the corner of the room, glaring at him, making full eye contact. He dropped his head, and slumped his shoulders. I didn’t want to hear from him.

And as I looked back at the others, I heard a low chuckle from by the door. It was Emmett. I knew the sound of his laughter, I had heard it sporadically over the past few days. He would come and talk to the others, tell them jokes and pick on Edward -which I liked very much.

“ Do I amuse you Emmett” I said looking at him with what was left of my glare.

“Yea” he said simply, and laughed again, this time more outright.

I couldn’t help but smile at him. He, was amusing to me.

I looked back at Jasper, still curious about his expression and the comment that was made. Why wouldn’t I be calm, and why would they be expecting something else. They didn’t know me, they couldn’t know what to be expecting or how I would act.

“Why wouldn’t I be calm, what where you expecting?” I asked with slight irritation seeping into the words.

“Bella, there is much you don’t know. In our world you are considered a new born. You should be irrational and crazed with thirst, not standing here having an intelligent conversation” he said shaking his head again. I wasn’t completely sure if he was telling me or talking to himself.

“Everyone is different Jasper” Carlisle jumped in “we all experience this life differently”

He turned to look at me, putting a hand on my shoulder. Curiosity, concern -I’m not sure which- washed across his face.

“I know you said you were fine Bella, but you have to be thirsty” and as he said that his eyes slightly shifted down to my mouth and neck.

And then there it was, a gnawing raging burn of fire down my throat. I was thirsty, more than I have ever been in my life. But it wasn’t the same as a regular thirst, the kind I was used to. This was different, painful. I had moisture in my mouth, but it felt like I had swallowed all the sands of the earth and been in the hot blistering desert sun for a thousand years with nothing to drink. And this didn’t accurately describe the aching, burning desire to drink that I had right now. My hand flew up to cup my throat, like I could smother the flames from the outside. I hadn’t really noticed it until he’d mentioned it. There was so much room in my head. A separate part of my brain was keeping tabs on the burn in my throat, the way my old brain had handled breathing and blinking.

“oh” I swallowed hard, but it didn’t help.

“That’s what I thought, and its what Jasper and I meant. You need to hunt”

My eyes opened wider and the pain of the thirst receded, shock taking its place. I knew what I was, and I knew that they hunted animals. I remember being told these things, but I didn’t really think about what it meant for me.

“Me? Hunt? But … how?” the alarm in my voice was evident, I didn’t know what to do.

“It’s quite easy, Instinctual. Don’t worry Bella, I’ll show you how” Alice said, coming over to me, reaching up and taking the hand that was still at my neck. I immediately felt better, calmed. She smiled at me with encouragement.

“Okay. Let’s hunt” I agreed, a thrill of nerves and anticipation making my stomach quiver. Knowing Alice would be there to help me eased my hesitation. I liked Alice very much, I felt comforted with her around.

Then she looked off in a daze for several seconds, a glossed over look washed across her face. I stared at her, confused by her expression, but before I could ask her if she was alright. She looked at me, smiled and then looked at the rest of her family.

“Would any of you like to join us?” she said hopeful, and as she did she turned and glanced toward Edward. He looked up at her with what looked like confusion.

“No” I said, too quickly, feeling the words snap out at all of them. Now that I had some control, I didn’t want to be around Edward anymore than I had to be. I knew they would know that, but I gave them my pitiful excuse anyway I looked at Alice apologetically.

“I would rather it just be the two of us this time, if you don’t mind” and then I glanced around to room, looking for approval. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, so I hoped they would accept my explanation. I watched as Edwards face dropped, like a nod, and then he went back to looking at the floor. The rest of them didn’t say anything, or let on to the fact that the room was now uncomfortably tense.

“Absolutely” Carlisle said authoritatively, making it clear he was speaking for all of them.

“Of course Bella, if that’s what you would like” Alice said, smiling at me, with a hint of disappointment in her voice.

“Thank you” I said to Carlisle while lightly squeezing Alice’s hand. He patted me softly on the back three times, and then Alice started pulling at my arm.

“Let’s go.”


(3/16/09)
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Chapter 9: New


“The river?” I asked staring across fifty feet of water “are we swimming?”

“And ruin that dress! I don’t think so!” Alice Looked me up and down, obviously a hint for me to do the same.

Before this moment I hadn’t paid any attention to what I was wearing, so I was surprised to find myself in a tight fitted ice-blue cocktail dress and silver satin shoes. “What is this?”

“It’s a dress silly” chagrin flashed across her face.

“I know that Alice, but why am I wearing it, and how did it get on me?” my voice was high with aversion.

“Your clothes were ruined, so while you were…changing, I dressed you. I hope you don’t mind Bella, I just couldn’t leave you in those clothes like that.”

“Well I suppose the evidence needed to be rid of, wearing it around would hardly be appropriate!” I spat out the words so fast by the time they were there I had already regretted it. It wasn’t Alice’s fault, and she was being so kind to me, they all were. I took a few steps forward towards her, just as Jasper appeared on the lawn. She held up her hand at him, and he quickly stopped before reaching us, the others soon following.

I hurried the next sentence out to explain “I’m so sorry Alice, of course I don’t mind, thank you it’s beautiful. Please forgive me, I didn’t mean…”

“Bella…Bella, calm down! Its alright, I know you didn’t, I understand, you don’t have to explain. It’s o.k.” she had cut me off before I could continue.

“But I…”

“Shh, no apologizing please.” She closed the gap between us and hugged me tightly around the arms “But you do like the dress?” she asked, not letting me go. Before I could answer or try to continue to apologize she grabbed me by the hand, pulling me “Come here I want to show you something.”

Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t refuse her after having just snapped at her like that. So I let her drag me back over to the house. Now facing it, I was shocked at how beautiful it was. The house was timeless, graceful and probably a hundred years old, much like its owners. It was painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned. The windows and doors were either part of the original structure or a perfect restoration. She walked me to the south facing wall, which had been entirely replaced with glass. She took me up to the window and pointed at it “look” she said “what do you think?” she thrilled, beaming with excitement.

I stared at the reflection in the window. My first reaction was unthinking pleasure. The creature in the glass was indisputably beautiful, every bit as Alice or Esme. Her face was flawless and pale as the moon, framed by her dark heavy hair. Her limbs were smooth and strong glistening subtly, luminous and pearl. My second reaction was horror, her eyes were like blazing vicious red flames, the shock sent a thrill of terror through me. “the eyes” I whispered, unwilling to say my eyes.

“They’ll darken up in a couple of months, animal blood dilutes the color quickly. They’ll turn amber first, then gold.” Carlisle had answered my question, which was really just a shocked statement.

Jasper had taken a few more steps closer “months” my voice was higher now, stressed. I saw Jaspers reflection in the window, he looked alarmed and anxious. I’m sure it was because of my reaction, so I closed my eyes and took a few more unnecessary breaths.

“It’s ok, I’m fine” I said, more to myself, but for them too. Breathing in slowly and exhaling, drawing in my fear and upset. Feeling better, more calm and controlled I opened my eyes. Jaspers brow was furrowed, highlighting the two scars over his left eye.

“I don’t know” Edward murmured from over by the door “I still can’t hear anything.”

I turned around, to face all of them “What question did I miss?”

Edward looked up at me, locking me in his eyes “Jasper wonders how your doing it” I stared at him, held there, for a few seconds. “Doing what?“ I asked, forcing myself to look away.

“Controlling your emotions Bella” Jasper answered “I’ve never seen a newborn do that, stop an emotion in its tracks. You were upset, but when you saw our concern, you reigned it in, regained power over yourself. And then you were calm.”

“Is that wrong?”

“No…” he said, his voice unsure. He was shaking his head when he looked away.

“It’s very impressive” Edward spoke again. This time I didn’t look at him or in his direction. Why did he keep talking to me? It was confusing and frustrating.

“We don’t understand Bella, that’s all.” Carlisle explained “We don’t know how long it will hold.”

“Ugh!” Alice huffed out, snapping her tongue “But what do you think?!” she said, impatiently, spinning me back around to face the glass.

I stared at the beautiful women with the terrifying eyes again, looking for pieces of me. There was something there, in the shape of her lips, the upper was slightly out of balance, a bit to full to match the lower. Finding this made me feel a little better, maybe the rest of me was in there too.

“I’m not sure” I hedged, not wanting to admit how frightened I was. I raised my hand experimentally and the women copied the movement. She touched her face and ran her fingers through her dark silky hair. As I leaned in to get a closer look, the women in the window did the same. I smiled a little, because I knew I was being silly, and the reflection smiled back.

Alice sighed “Your hopeless” she turned me to face her.

“Oh well” I shrugged, smiling at her frustration. “It’s a nice dress Alice.”

She rolled her eyes and pointed to the forest “Shall we?”


(3/21/09)
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Chapter 10: First Hunt


We walked back over to the river, I was still confused as to how we were going to cross. We aren't swimming, Alice had made that perfectly clear and I didn't see a boat anywhere around.

“How are we getting across?” I was really confused and it must have shown because Alice laughed at me.

“Were jumping” she said matter-of-factly as if it was so obvious I should have figured it out.

“Were jumping? Over the river? Are you insane? How?” I was confused and horrified. What did she mean we were jumping how is that even possible, there’s fifty feet of water from one side to the other.

“Bella cant you feel it? The change in your’s body?”

I could feel it, I didn't know what it was but I could feel it. And she was right I hadn't tripped or anything since I'd “woken” up something was definitely different.

“Watch me first, then you go. Its easy, you'll see.”

She took three steps back then launched herself forward, across the river. She flew up so high, it looked like she was flying. She landed herself in a tree, walking the branch like a tightrope, turned and smiled at me, then hopped down landing on the ground below with ease. She was beautiful, balletic and fluid in here movements. There was no hesitation or thought in what she did, it was natural, like walking across a room.

I memorized her movements, timing and speed. I was nervous and wary, but having just watched Alice, I knew I could do it. But I backed up a few more steps than Alice, just to be safe. I kicked off the silver pumps, having my feet flat on the surface. It was soft and smooth, not hard and rough like I would have expected. Realizing the dress was to tight for running, I grabbed the bottom hem, and hiked it up my thighs. I didn't want to ruin the dress that Alice was so obviously proud of. I crouched down, and lunged forward, quickly taking those few steps and launched myself over the river. It was simple, effortless and fun! I flew past Alice and the tree she had balanced on, landing softly to the ground.

“Wow Bella! That was really graceful, even for a vampire!” Alice called racing towards me.

I couldn't help the smile that flew across my face, coming from Alice it must be true. She was the most elegant and nimble person I had ever seen, and she thought that I was graceful. It was the first time anyone had ever applied the term to describe me in my entire life.

“Thank you, and you were right. That was easy” I told her still beaming from the compliment, hiding the embarrassment I felt from it. I didn't really like attention, but it was nice to hear.

“Alright, follow me.” She grinned and broke into a run.

I followed her, racing with blinding speed. As I ran, I couldn't help laughing quietly at the thrill of it. It was a peculiar sensation, the balance between the speed and the clarity. As I raced through the thick maze of the forest, I could plainly see every detail around me. The forest was much more alive than I had ever known -small creatures whose existence I'd never guessed at teemed in the leaves around me.
I kept waiting to feel winded, but my breath came effortlessly. I waited for the burn to begin in my muscles, but my strength only seemed to increase as I grew accustomed to my stride.

“Bella” Alice called from slightly behind “This will do.” I could hear nothing else; she had stopped.

I whirled around and skipped lightly to her side. “What are we hunting?”

“Elk, I thought something easy for you first time” she said.

“Where?” I asked scanning the trees, looking for what she saw.

“Hold still for a minute.” she said, coming to stand in front of me “Now close your eyes and listen” I closed my eyes, following her instructions. “What do you hear?”

“Everything” I told her, and it was true. I could hear everything. I could hear her breath leave her body, her lips part slightly at what I assumed was a small smile. The whisper of birds preening their feathers, their fluttering heartbeats. The wind as it ruffled through the leaves, the clicking of the beetles as they wondered the forest floor. But I knew she meant something more specific, so I let my ears range outward, seeking something more than the hum of forest life. There was a small creek, with a rocky bed, I could hear the noise of the water as it flowed gently through the ground. And then, the splash of lapping tongues, the loud thudding of their heavy hearts, pumping thick streams of blood...

“By the creek” I asked, my eyes still shut.

“Yes” Her tone was approving. “Now, what do you smell?”

Mostly her, being right next to me. But also the rich earth, moss, and the evergreens. The warm almost nutty aroma of the small rodents cowering beneath the tree roots. And the clean, cool wet smell of the water. Which was surprisingly unappealing despite my thirst. I focused toward the water, and found the scent that must have gone with the pounding hearts. It was warm, rich and tangy, and yet nearly as unappealing as the brook. I wrinkled my nose.

“I know -it takes some getting used to” she chuckled.

“What do I do now?”

“What do you feel like doing?” my eyes opened and she was smiling. “Don't think about it, just follow your instincts” she took a few steps back, nodding encouragingly.

I let myself drift with the scent, barely aware of my movement as I ghosted toward the stream. My body shifted forward automatically into a crouch. I could see a big bull at the streams edge, and several others heading leisurely back into the forest. With a light bound I sailed through the air toward the bull elk. He was startled by my approach, but before he could move I flung myself at him, knocking us both to the ground. He didn't have time to react or fight. It was effortless, like biting into butter. My teeth were steel razors; they cut through the fur and fat like they weren't there. The flavor was wrong, but it was hot and wet, and it soothed the aching thirst as I drank in an eager rush. The warmth of the blood radiated throughout my body, warming me from head to toe. The elk was finished before I was, and my thirst came back when he was dry. I stood up, wiping my mouth “Why am I still thirsty?”

“Because you're young”

“I don't suppose there is something other than elk nearby?”

She shrugged her shoulders “There's plenty of deer, but we could always go further and look for something else” she looked pleased, like she had won some small battle.

“This'll do for now” I was too thirsty to wait, or go any further than necessary. Now that I had tasted the blood and felt it's relief all I wanted was more.

We took off after the herd that was with the bull, they hadn't gotten that far. There was four remaining, she had finished off two before I was done with one. After the elk we found a large herd of mule deer, they smelled worse than the elk. I finished one and was about to go after another when I caught a glimpse of Alice. She was very quick, and it was a surprisingly beautiful experience to observe. Like dancing, she was smooth, strong and sure.
When she was finished she bounced over to me, noticing my stare. “No longer thirsty?” she asked

“You distracted me. You're much better at this than I am” I smiled at her, then looked down on myself “Look at me, I ended up ruining your dress anyway”

“Decades of practice” she smiled “You did perfectly fine” she assured me. “Are we done for the day? Or do you want to continue?”

“Done, I think” I felt very full, sort of sloshy, even. “I don't know how much more liquid I could fit in my body”

She laughed “Ok, lets go back and get you cleaned up”

We started back toward the house, like before it was exhilarating. My naked feet touched the ground so infrequently it felt more like flying than running. The wind of my speed blew my hair behind me, and though I knew it shouldn't, it felt warm against my skin. The forest floor felt like velvet beneath my bare soles, and the limbs form the trees that whipped against me felt like caressing feathers.

We reached the river, too quickly, I was enjoying the run. Just as I was about to jump over, I stopped dead, my feet planted. Shock washed over me as I peered over to the house, unsure what to do. Alice was at my side in a second, she put her hands on my shoulders and stared into my eyes. “Bella, you have to stay here” she said, her voice panicky and scared.

“But...Charlie...”


(3/23/09)
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Chapter 11 : Complications


“I have to see him Alice, I have to go over to him, tell him that I'm alright!” I was near hysteria, I had completely forgotten about Charlie over the last few days. And even as I woke, I was so preoccupied by everything else, that he hadn't even been a thought. It was an awful feeling, remembering that I had forgotten the most important people in my life, Renee included. They must terrified, worried sick. I'm not really even sure just how long I have been missing.

What did he find when he came home? My things abandoned, and scattered all over the road? No sight or trace of me anywhere? And Renée must be going out of her mind, was she still in phoenix or had she come to forks to help? Help in what? Search and rescue … a funeral? So many questions that I needed answers to!

“Bella you can not go over there, Charlie is human remember!?” she was still holding my shoulders, shaking me lightly.

“He's my father! I'm not going to kill him!” of course I knew he was human, I wasn't going to hurt him, I just needed to talk to him and tell him everything was ok, that I was fine and not to worry.

“You don't know that Bella! You've never been around a human before, the call of their blood is so much more intense that you can possibly realize. What if you can't control yourself, and you go over there. What if you DID kill Charlie, could you ever forgive yourself for that?” she was holding me more tightly now, for I was trying to walk away.

What if she was right, what if I couldn't control myself around Charlie, what if I did kill him. The animal blood wasn't the most inviting smell, but it was enough to cause my throat to rage with fire. And the warmth of it flowing down my throat was such a wonderful release from the burn, even thinking about it now was heating up the inferno. If the blood of humans was more intense than that, then how could I be sure I wouldn't kill him? Or anyone for that matter.

“He's leaving in just a few more minutes, Bella, please just wait. We need to talk this through, figure out a plan, something that is the best for everyone involved.” she was pleading with me now.

“A plan? A plan for what? What are you talking about?”

“We need to come up with something to explain your disappearance. We've all been coming up with idea's, but we were waiting for you, to make a final decision”

I wasn't completely convinced to stay, but more than that, I wasn't sure what would happen if I went. “ Fine. I'll stay here until he leaves” I was barely able to get the words out without screaming them at her. I wouldn't lose my cool with Alice again, -again this wasn’t her fault. I clenched my teeth, took a deep breath and broke away from her. This was unbelievable. I couldn't even be trusted around my own father, for fear of killing him! What else would he take from me!

I began pacing the rivers edge, wearing a shallow groove in the soil. Just under a minute had passed, but it seemed like forever. Finally charlie came out of the house, he shook Carlisle’s hand “Thank you for all your help Carlisle” his voice was heavy and low, it sounded tired and worn. It made me feel awful to hear the pain in his words.

“It's no problem Charlie, and you will be the first person to know once I find out anything.” Carlisle shook Charlie’s hand, and patted him on his shoulder.

Charlie turned around and began to walk to his cruiser, and I saw it, everything in his eyes. The pain, the fear, the sleepless nights -weighing heavily on his face, even the way he walked, with his shoulders slumped over in exhaustion. He looked like hell, like someone who was being slowly tortured to death from lack of sleep. His eyes were framed with black rings, his cheeks hollow, his face stubbled. He even looked thin, like he hadn't eaten in days. My heart began to ache as I dropped to my knees, sobbing. There were no tears, just a light prick where they should have flown. I covered my face and wept in my hands. Charlie’s suffering was my fault, and I couldn't do anything to stop it. I couldn't run to him and hug him, tell him everything was ok. It was hard, to fight the desire, and do just that. Alice was by my side, holding me silently as I cried myself to a stupor.

I stayed like that, crying, only moving to Alice’s shoulder, for god only knows how long. I couldn't think about anything else, nothing mattered, so I allowed myself to wallow in the face of Charlie’s pain. If I could have, I would have passed out from exhaustion. My eyes would have burned, and swelled shut. My breath would have caught, as I tried to steady an inhale. But none of these things happened, though I wished they would, so I calmed myself, breathing slow deep breaths. I let go of Alice, turning and wiping my face out of habit.

“Are you alright Bella?” she asked me, still rubbing my back.

“As much as I can be”

“Would you like a few more minutes, we can stay here as long as you want?”

“No, let's just go, I want to get this over with” I wanted the story, whatever it was.


When we walked back into the house everyone was waiting, sitting at a large dinning room table. Alice and I walked in and Carlisle pulled out a chair for me “We need to talk Bella” he said taking the seat next to me.

“I know, I saw Charlie here”

“We have a few idea's, but the final decision is up to you, we will go along with whatever you decide.” he said, lightly squeezing my wrist that I had resting on the table.

“Ok, then let's have them”

“Well” Carlisle said after a few long seconds, everyone had gotten real quiet and still, looking at each other, before he finally spoke. “The first idea is to take your truck close somewhere and stage an accident, making it bad enough that a person couldn't have survived but there would be no body. There would be an investigation, possibly even a search and rescue party for awhile. This would be time consuming and cause more pain for your parents.” he said sounding doubtful of this plan.

“How would that work? Wouldn't it seem a little fishy that I've been missing for the past few days and then all of the sudden my truck disappears too, only to be found in an accident?” This didn't make any sense to me at all, Charlie would never fall for this, nobody would fall for this!

“Bella, we have your truck” Emmett said, throwing his thumb up over his shoulder “It's in the garage”

“oh” my brow furrowed as I looked down at the table “what’s the second option?”

“It's much like the first, except that instead of not having a body, we would have one. It would be very simple for you to act dead Bella. To any human, you could appear dead, you don't need to breathe, so there would be no struggle there. Your skin is ice cold, and pale. The only difficulty would be on you...”

“No!, No way, I am not doing that, I can not fake my own death, and just lay there while my parents cry over my body. No, absolutely not, I wont do it. This is NOT an option, think of something else.” I cut Carlisle off before he could continue with this ridiculous idea. There was no possible way that, even if I wanted, this would work. I knew that once I heard them, felt their touch, start to cry, say goodbye....no No NO! It's not going to happen.

“It's ok Bella, it's fine, you don't have do it, remember you get the final say” Alice wrapped her arms around my shoulders, rubbing the top of my arm. Almost immediately I felt better.

“The last option is something that wasn't planned, it just happened, but we can use it to our advantage.” Carlisle stopped talking for a second, looking around the room, he hesitated for a moment and then continued “About twenty four hours after you were brought here I was called to the hospital for an emergency. A young women had been found a few miles out of town, and they wanted me to examine the body. Now, normally I don’t do this sort of thing, but the Chief of Police had requested me specifically. When I went in, your father was there waiting for me. The staff at the hospital had refused him to see the body, they thought that it might be you, and the woman had been so severally injured that she was unrecognizable. His deputy was the first person on the scene, and seeing the body, he made sure Charlie would not. Charlie had asked for me, stating that I was the best, and he needed that right now, to get answers for him. The women is about your height, and weight, she has light skin and dark hair. The only differences being she’s a few years older than you and has blue eyes. Two simple things that could easily be covered up. Charlie has me running a DNA test on the woman, against hair samples he took from your brush. We have done some investigating of our own, the women seems to be a wonderer, we know that she was hitch hiking, and unfortunately was picked up by the person who did this to her. She didn't have any ID, and no missing person’s report has been filed in the surrounding area's giving the women’s description. Bella, people go missing all of the time, without ever being found. And, for us right now, the timing couldn't be better, she could be passed off as you very easily, giving Charlie and your mother closure. It would be a very simple thing for me to switch the DNA results, having them come back matching positively to you. Neither of your parents would ever have to ID the body, so they wouldn't have any memory of you looking like that. They would have a body to bury, and you wouldn't have to put yourself in an uncomfortable position.”

I was shocked to say the least, Carlisle had finished talking, but I just continued to stare at him. Was this a joke? These were the options they were giving me to choose from? I was completely dumb founded by the conversation that had just taken place, and all I could do was stare.

“Bella?” Jasper was asking me “are you alright?”

My mouth opened slightly, I was going to answer him, I just didn’t know what to say so I shook my head, small quick movements back and forth, again and again. My eyes shifting around the room, like I was looking for something, answers on the wall maybe? I didn't know.

After several minutes I was finally able to grab on to a coherent thought

“So this is what you've all come up with? These are the options I have? Fake my death, Fake my death or Fake my death?” I asked throwing my hands up like a shrug.

“Bella, there's really no other choice, everyone needs to believe that you are dead” Carlisle answered, sounding like he couldn't believe that he had to clarify.

“Of course there is another choice! I could go back! I could not fake my death, and go back! There's always another choice.” I was starting to get angry now, my voice edging towards a yell.

“Bella, be reasonable, that's not an option. You can't be around humans right now, at least not for a few years. Even some of us who have lived this life for centuries still find being around humans a hard task. And your but a few days old, it's just not possible. I thought you would have understood that.”

“Well I guess not!” I stood up and began to walk away, I reached the back door and was outside getting ready to take off in a run when someone caught my arm.

“I'm so sorry Bella, please don't go, we can talk about this...”

I spun around, ripping my arm out of Edwards grasp, “Don't Touch ME!” I hissed at him, stepping backwards, holding my hands out in front of me “Don't you EVER touch me!” I felt my eyes begin to prick again as I turned around to leave, I wrapped my arms around myself and headed towards the forest.

“Bella wait”

“I'm not leaving Alice, I just need to be alone for awhile” I kept walking, not even bothering to look back.

“But your coming back right?” she sounded unsure.

“Where else do I have to go?”


(3/25/09)
Chapter 12 : Family

I wandered for hours. Just walking. Slowly.

I was lost in my head, thinking about my options, or lack thereof.

Fake my death. Could I really do it, knowing what it would do to my parents? Did I really have no other choice? Is it my only option? According to Carlisle it is. And if I did go along with this ... -idea, what does that mean for me? What do I do with myself? Where do I go?

Charlie and Renee are all I have. There is no one else, there it. They are my people. Allowing them to believe I'm dead, is the same as making myself act as though they are. I will never get to say goodbye. I will never be able to see them again. I would have to walk away, and try to forget them, never look back.
I don't know if I could do that to them, or more selfishly, to myself.

But If Carlisle is right, then what choice do I have? They are human, and I am not. I have to do what is best for them, they are what matter. They come first, before anything else. If I am a danger to them, a risk to their lives, then I have to stay away. I have to let them believe I am dead. They can never know, never see me, never be allowed around me. It is too dangerous, I'm to dangerous.

I could let Carlisle use the girls body. They could bury her, have and say their goodbyes. For all intents and purposes, I am dead after all. My heart no longer beats. And really isn't that one defining characteristic for being human? A beating heart. Warm blooded, breathing, eating, sleeping, beating heart human -none of which describe me anymore. Therefore it's not really a lie, I am dead, and in more than one way. Physically, obviously, and emotionally, soon. Going through with this will surely kill anything left. I can never see them again, be allowed around them again, so really -what’s the difference.

Maybe it's not such a bad idea. Maybe some good could even come out of it. They would eventually get over the loss, not completely, but enough to focus on their lives and move on.

I'm the link Charlie shares with Renee, maybe once I'm gone he could move on. Let go of the past, now that his reminder has been removed. Maybe he would even meet somebody, start a new life.

Renee already has Phil, perhaps they would start a family. And without me constantly taking care of her, maybe she could start being responsible, and take care of herself.

They love me, of course I know that, but life goes on. Their lives would go on.

I had no idea how many miles I'd covered, but wherever I was going, I had been here before. I kept picking up my scent, from different directions.
Wondering back and forth, not paying attention to anything.

Lost in thought.

Time had escaped me. Being deep in the forest, and in Forks, day and night could sometimes blend. How long had I been gone? A day, maybe two? When I realized where I was, was when I wondered these questions.

I found myself at home, in the woods behind Charlie's house. It was dark the last time I had seen him, as it was now, so there was no way it was still the same night, I knew that much for sure. The phrase; the lights are on, but nobody's home -came into mind. I could hear breathing, but nothing else.

I walked up to the window and peaked in.

And there Charlie sat, in his chair, wide awake, just staring.

Nothing else, just staring.

I watched him sit like that for forty minutes. He didn't move, he just stayed still, like a breathing statue, staring at the same piece of carpet.

Then the phone rang, he just turned his head looking at it, finally answering “Chief Swan” he said unemotionally “Yea, I'm home” he paused “no, I'm fine” another pause “ ok -bye”. He hung up the phone, and went back to staring, breathing and blinking.


Thirty minutes passed when a car pulled into the drive, someone stepped out, and walked to the house. No knock, just walked in. Then Renee stepped into the living room. Renee was here, my poor mother, she looked just as tired as Charlie. She was holding a large brown paper bag, that she sat down on the coffee table in front of Charlie and the couch, throwing car keys down next to it. She took off her coat and sat down, putting her head in her hands. They both sat there in silence, holding their positions for several minutes.


I couldn’t believe I was doing this to them, making them suffer, not knowing anything. I was only a few feet away, and here they sat, suffering. Having no idea that I was dead, dead to them, dead to me, and dead to the world.

Renee sat up, wiping her hair from her face as she cleared her throat “You need to try and eat something Charlie” she said reaching in the bag, pulling out a styrofoam container. She walked over and placed it in his lap “Your no good to anyone weak.”

“Thanks Renee, but I told you I didn't want anything.”

“And I told you I was going to get you something anyway, now eat.”

Was this newly formed plan already working? Renee, being a responsible adult, taking care of Charlie?

He sighed heavily, but didn't argue, he opened up the container and began picking at the burger and fries.

They sat like that in silence, ripping apart their food, barely eating it, for many minutes. Finally after having enough, Renee took what was left and threw it away. She sat back down, and they both went back to doing nothing.

Charlie as still as concrete, only looking up at Renée whenever she would move. She would lay on the couch, and stare at the ceiling, sometimes she would sit up and just look at Charlie. Other times she would get up and wander through the house, or pace the floor. She was never good at just sitting still, and all the while Charlie didn't move. They went on like this for hours.


“Why do you still have these pictures here Charlie” she asked as she walked over to the fireplace. She picked up the photo of her and Charlie on their wedding day, gesturing towards him.

“I don't know Renee, I guess I just like it” he looked at her with sad eyes. I wondered if they were sad because of what was going on now, or sad for her. She must have thought the same thing, quickly looking back at the other pictures putting the one she held back in its placed.

“She was such a beautiful baby” she said smiling, she grabbed the picture of the three of us at the hospital the day I was born, and began tracing her finger over the tiny image. And as she started to cry she brought the photograph up to her face and kissed the picture, pulling it away, only to cover her mouth in a quiet sob.

I mirrored her movements, her pain was my pain and this was excruciating.

After not moving all night, Charlie got up and crossed the room, wrapping his arms around her, taking the picture and holding her while she cried. Charlie held it together, being the strong man that he is, only letting a few tears escape down his checks.

This was too much to bare, I closed my eyes, turned my back against the wall and slid down the house. I slumped over onto my knees and covered my head with my arms. Even though I could no longer see them, every painful cry was a stab to my cold dead heart.

I stayed like that, crying with them until Renée excused herself to bed. I stood up to watch her leave, as Charlie sat back down in his chair. A few minutes later she brought down a pillow and a blanket, apparently Charlie was sleeping on the couch. She looked at him with her red weepy eyes, and whispered through broken breaths “Get some sleep Charlie” she said turning to go back up the stairs “and don't forget to close that window.”

The window! I thought, gasping and covering my mouth, just as Charlie stood up. I moved to the side as he came closer to close it.

How had I not noticed before, the window was open and their scent was all around. I could feel it now, like a slap to the face. There is was, the slow hidden ache in the back of my throat. I had been so overwhelmed by them and their affliction, that it didn't even enter my mind. Being so consumed by them, and their suffering that my burning desire, was no desire at all, it was an annoyance that I had been ignoring for the last several hours. Not once had it bothered me, not enough to control me. But as I thought back, there it was, the whole time.
The burn of their scent, drowned by the fire of their pain. I inhaled deeply, letting the lingering affects assault me, testing my will.

It was mouth watering -disgust. A beautiful revulsion. They were sweet, and they smelled wonderful, but were as unappealing as the stream in the forest.

Watching them suffer had smothered the embers. I gulped down deep breaths as a smile crossed my face. I began to laugh quietly, the excitement building inside.

I had been here for hours, watching them, breathing them and they were both still alive. Not once was I so out of control that I tried to kill my parents. Maybe love was the key, I loved them fiercely, they were my life, and now I knew that I would not -could not takes theirs.

It was what I was searching for, hoping for. Another choice, another option. I didn't care about the rest, or the details, all I knew was that I could be around my parents, and not kill them.

(3/30/09)
***********

Chapter 13 : Verdict

I headed into the forest, to follow my scent back to the Cullen’s, when I spotted Alice and Edward. I ran over and stopped in front of Alice, still beaming from my new election. “What are you doing here?” I was so elated I didn’t care that Edward was with her.

“We came when I saw that you were coming here, we wanted to make sure that you were alright, that you didn’t do anything rash.”

“You were following me?”

“No Bella, not really” she shook her head and looked to the ground before meeting my gaze. “Emmett and Jasper came too” she said looking past me.
They were on the opposite side of the house in the forest, Emmett started to wave and smiled at me. I rolled my eyes and looked back at Alice.

“Well it was completely unnecessary, I’m not the crazed lunatic you all seem to think I am.” I wasn’t irritated, angry or upset, I was too excited to care about the reasons they were here.

“Bella, we don’t think th…” I cut her off

“Alice, I don’t care right now, I’ve made my decision. Let’s go” I edged her forward.


*****

“Bella, you can’t be serious” Rosalie snapped, crossing her arms and glaring. It was the first thing she had ever said to me.

“I am completely serious!” I scowled back at her “You said that the final decision was up to me and you would go along with whatever I decided” I looked around the room, ending with and staying on Carlisle’s face. “Well, I’ve decided.”

“Bella, sweetheart, this isn’t what we meant” Esme was looking at me with loving and sympathetic eyes “I don’t see how this can work.”

“Bella, I agree, this isn’t a possibility. We can not go along with this” Carlisle looked both shocked and confused at the same time.

“You don’t have to go along with it, none of you do. But I’ve made up my mind.” My voice was calm and strong, I was confident in my decision and I wanted them to know it. “I’m going home.”

“This is ridiculous Bella, just because you were able to control yourself outside of the house for a couple of hours doesn’t mean you have the ability to live in the same house with them!” Jasper was standing up leaning forward towards me with his hands on the table.

“And how do you know Jasper, you were all so convinced that once I came into contact with a human that I wouldn’t be able to control myself at all. But I did.” I stood up copying Jaspers stance, still remaining calm. I knew what I wanted and nothing they would say or do was going to change my mind.

“It’s not the same. Being in the same house with them, the same room, day after day, it’s completely different Bella” Emmett sounded like he was trying to comfort me, to get me to understand.

“I’ll admit, there is something different about you compared to other newborns, but your talking about something you know nothing about. You’ve never been around any other humans, and the two you were around were your parents, and you were outside, it’s not at all the same thing.” Jasper was trying to reason with me now.

“Fine.” I said, relaxing my stance. I crossed my arms and shrugged up my shoulders “Then lets go to Seattle, and get me around some other humans. We can all go.”

“What? No Bella we are not doing that.” Edward was including himself in the conversation.

“Why not?” I was still looking at Jasper, since he seemed to be the authority on the subject.

“You want to go to Seattle and risk the lives of others to test out your theory? You would be willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent people?” His brow was furrowed, staring at me, with surprise.

“No“ I looked at him straight faced “because there’s not going to be a sacrifice. I can do this, nobody’s going to get hurt.”

“I know that you believe that Bella, your radiating confidence, I just…I don’t know….” he sat down shaking his head. “Alice?”

I looked at Alice, she was rubbing Jasper’s back. She just shrugged her shoulders and was smiling.

“You don’t see anything?” Carlisle asked her

She looked at Edward and he chuckled. “What is going on?” Now I was starting to get annoyed.

“Your very stubborn aren’t you” Edward was smiling a crooked smile. If I didn’t hate him so much, it would have taken my breath away, he was beautiful just like the rest of them. But looking at him almost made me sick, if that was possible.

“Alice, do you see anything?” Carlisle asked again.

I looked away from Edwards intense gape, and caught Alice’s focus “What does that mean?” They were all having this inside conversation that I didn’t understand. I was confused a frustrated again. I sat back down waiting for her to answer.

“Bella, some of our kinds have abilities. I, for example, can see the future.” she said smiling at me.

“Of course you can” I was a little surprised “because this wasn’t weird enough already”

“That’s why they keep asking me what I see, what will happen with this decision.” she continued through her quiet chuckle.

“So all of you have these…abilities?” I was curious and wanted to know.

“No, not all of us. We all bring something with us to this life, from our human one’s. Some times these things come more powerfully than others.” she explained. “Carlisle brought his compassion. Esme her love. Rosalie her beauty and Emmett his strength” he grinned at me, flexing his muscles, I had to laugh at him.

“And you have visions of the future”

“Yes”

“What does Jasper and …” I didn’t want to say his name, or acknowledge my own curiosity. Thankfully Alice was quick, whether she saw my hesitation or had a vision…

“Jasper” She started finishing my thought and sentence “is uniquely in tuned with people’s emotions. He can feel what people are feeling, and guide them if they need it, calm them down.”

“And you’ve done this with me, I’m assuming.”

“Yes, a couple of time’s” He answered, even his voice was calming when he wanted it to be.

“ah” was all I could manage.

“And Edward here” Alice started again “he can read people’s minds.” She looked smug, giddy almost, as she beamed looking at him.

I was stunned and startled. My breath caught, and my heart pounced in shock. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was definitely not that. I didn’t care if he knew how much I detest him, I might of even told him to his face. But the thought of him rooting around in my head was positively disturbing. He could read minds? He could hear my thoughts?

“I can hear everyone’s thoughts in this room” I was starting to panic now “apart from yours”

A soothing calm washed over me, taking away all my anxiety, I immediately looked to Jasper, thanking him with my eyes, he just smiled a little and looked down.

“Why” I asked, following Jaspers lead, and looking down at the table.

“I have no idea, you’re the only one I’ve never been able to read” his voice was different, almost happy.

I sat quietly for a moment, allowing all this weird new information to settle.

“So … Alice, what do you see then? As far as my plan goes?”

“I don’t see any problems Bella, that’s why Edward thinks you are stubborn, once you’ve made up your mind, I don’t think anything can stop you.”

“Alice, your not suggesting…” Jasper’s voice was not so calm anymore.

“That’s exactly what I’m suggesting, she’s different, she’s proven that, we have to at least let her try.”

“She hasn’t proven anything” Rosalie cut in again.

“Any other newborn would have never been able to sit outside that window, Rose, Carlisle -and you know it. Let us just try, we can go to Seattle, I’ll take full responsibility.”

“Alice…”

“Jasper” she cut him off before he could continue, she reached up touching his face, smoothing over his creased brow.

“I don’t know Alice” Carlisle sounded worried, he looked over to me, back to Alice, and then landing on Edward. He slightly raised both of his eyebrows, as he asked an unspoken question. Edward answered with a grin

“You’ll never catch me betting against Alice”

(3/30/09)
***********

Chapter 14 : Port Angeles

The following night was when we decided to go. We waited for the sun to start to set, but early enough for there to still be people on the streets. Everyone was going, except for Rosalie, Carlisle saying it was better to be safe than sorry. We decided on Port Angeles, rather than Seattle. It was a little closer, had fewer people, and was easier to escape into the woods if necessary. We split up taking two cars, I rode with Emmett in his jeep along with Alice and Jasper. Edward drove his Volvo with Carlisle and Esme. We had all gone hunting the night before, to make sure I was fully stocked -as Emmett put it.
As we got closer to town, where you could see the city lights, I started getting nervous. I was sure about myself, but I was still scared, there was still a very real possibility that I could fail, and someone’s life would end because of it. Jasper sensed my mood and calmed me down, it helped me emotionally, but not mentally. Alice was beside me, rubbing the top of my back.

“It’ll be fine Bella, you’ll do great” she said encouragingly.

“Thanks” was all I could whisper.

We drove past the boardwalk by the bay and parked in the one big department store’s parking lot. It was only a few streets from where we were headed. We all piled out of the vehicles and waited around for a few moments, all eyes on me.


“Bella, you don't have to do this, and we can stop at anytime.” Carlisle sounded concerned, I must have had a worried look on my face. “It's not too late, we can still go with another plan.”

“No” I said shaking my head “I want to do this. I have to at least try.”

“Are you sure dear? There's no shame in changing your mind, we've all been there, and none of us could have ever done anything like your trying to do now.” Esme was so kind and understanding, she was the heart and soul of this family, the reason that it worked so well.

“I'm fine” I smiled at her, and gave her a quick hug “Thank you”

“It looks like the after work traffic is starting to slow down, if we are going to do this now’s the time” Emmett sounded eager, he punched me lightly on the shoulder “Are ya ready kid?”

“Yes” I took a deep breath “Lets go.”

Alice grabbed my hand and we began walking towards the bay. The sun was making its final decent as we rounded the corner coming out of the shade. It glinted off our skin for a few quick seconds before falling behind the horizon, leaving the sky a beautiful pink-orange. Of all the time's I had ever watched the sunset before, this was the first time I truly had seen it. It was breath taking, my new eyes catching all the glory I would have otherwise never seen. Even through the obstruction of the contacts, it was still a sight to behold.

“Beautiful” I mumbled

“Yes, it is” Esme agreed

We walked a few more blocks before coming to the bay. We slowed down our pace, walking more normally. Coming towards us was a couple walking their dog, I started to fell anxious, and every one around me tensed. As we approached them we moved to the side to let them pass. Jasper had taken Alice's place and Emmett was on my other side. As they walked by I froze stiff as a board, Jasper must have misunderstood, because he grabbed me around my arms, like an awkward hug, and held me there as tight as he could. It was painful, but I didn't move. And as they walked by, I didn't even breath. I dropped my head once they were past, and Jasper lightened up his grip.

“She wasn't going to do anything” Alice said coming back over to me, prying off his arm.

“That's because she wasn’t breathing” Emmett told her.

“Bella?” She asked, lifting my head with her hands.

“I wasn't, I'm sorry, I got scared” I rambled out feeling embarrassed by my cowardice.

“It's ok, remember this is your show, if you don't want to do it, you don't have to. And you definitely don't need to apologize.” then she brought me into a hug.

“Bella, would you like to go?” Carlisle asked, as he laid a hand on my shoulder.

“No, I want to try again.”

After a few moments, we began walking again, we were approaching a book store when a women walked out. She looked about fifty years old, with long gray hair that she wore straight down her back. She turned toward our direction smiling a welcoming smile. She was holding the door open to the shop as another women probably in her forties was leaving. “Thank you for all your help” The younger women said. “Thank you for coming in.” The older women turned back to our direction just as we were walking up to her. Jasper moved in closer to me again, grabbing my elbow with his tight grip, Emmett copying his movement.

She smiled a pretty smile “Hello, how are you all this evening?”

“Very well, thank you for asking.” Jasper answered her. I smiled at her, taking in a slow breath, Jasper's grip tightened around my arm. The fire ignited down my throat, burning and ripping through to my stomach. It was more painfully delicious than I could have ever imagined. The sweet rich scent hinted with cinnamon and cloves, was an inflamed laceration down my throat. The smile fell from face, as I quickly turned my head, clenching my teeth and balling up my fists. My mouth was swimming with venom, as I picked up our walking speed.

“Would you like to come in, take a look around” The women asked

“Maybe some other time” Esme answered her.

We were several feet ahead of them, rounding the corner of the next building. I felt myself being calmed “No Jasper” I managed to get out through my teeth. I felt the assuage pull back, and the flame of my desire return. Carlisle was in front of me, his hands on my shoulders

“Bella, are you alright?”

I shook my head up and down, slowly and deliberately, squeezing my eyes shut. We stood there for several minutes as I breathed in clean air, washing out the pyre. When I was finally calmed down enough, I opened my eyes, to find everyone staring at me again. “I'm fine” I said trying to sound as confident as possible.

“Maybe that's enough for one day” Edward spoke, it sounded like and order, not an option.

“I agree” Carlisle said, backing him up. “That's good for your first time Bella, we shouldn't push our luck”

They were right and I knew it, this was harder than I had thought. I walked away this time, with help, but what would have happened if they weren't here? I shuddered at the thought. I nodded in agreement.

We started heading back the way we came, thankfully the women had went inside, shutting the shop door behind her. We hurried by, before she decided to come out again.

We were heading past the last stores of the row, when a large group of people began down the walk, heading towards us. Ten adults and two children, coming out of a restaurant. I gasped out of shock, just as a gust of wind blew past them, slamming into us. I was instantly assaulted with the scent of twelve humans, all at once, with no time to prepare. I felt myself start to crouch when Emmett and Jasper grabbed me again. I drew in a breath and ripped myself away from them, taking a step forward.

Just then I saw the little girl in the pink dress, smiling and waving at me. She had long honey hair, that bounced at the end with delicate curls. Her skin was light and smooth, like almond cream. Her lips, full and perfect, and a shade of cardinal. Her eyes were a castory brown, flicked with gold. Her checks were a rosy pink that brightened her beautiful face, as her smile touched her eyes. And as her angelic gaze bore into me, I was instantly calmed, and able to think clearly.

The space between us continued to close when she let go of the women’s hand and ran to me. As if it were the most natural thing in the world, I bent over to catch her in my arms. I was vaguely aware of the hands on my back and shoulders, as I took the girl up into an embrace. She was soft and warm, a fragile little flower. Her scent burned down my throat, strawberry and rose, reminding me that she was precious.

I don’t know how or why but this beautiful creature was my final resolution. I would not consume the life force of humans. With there lives they would never pay for my ugly lust.

I looked at the beautiful girl with a soft smile, a quiet giggle escaping her lips as she gently touched my face, her palm to my check “Pretty” she burst out in her tiny innocent voice.

“Your prettier than me” I answered back touching my finger to the tip of her nose.

“I’m so sorry” a women said, reaching out for the girl “She’s very friendly”

“Oh, it’s perfectly alright, what’s her name?” I answered and asked the women, handing over the girl.

“Nevaeh” she said, kissing the girl on her check “ Heaven spelled backwards”

“Oh that’s beautiful” Esme gushed, she was by my side, wrapping her arm around mine.

“Thank you” she smiled a friendly goodbye.

“It was nice to meet you Nevaeh” I said curling my fingers to my palm, waving goodbye.

“Bye” She whispered back, copying my wave.

We moved to the side allowing the girl, her mother and the family to pass by. I stood there watching them as they disappeared down the bay, feeling an unfamiliar and unexplainable ache in my heart as the angel Nevaeh disappeared forever.

**Nevaeh is pronounced : Neh-Va-A**

(4/03/09)
***********

Chapter 15: Forgery

The story was vague and uncomplicated. It made sense for there to be very little information as to how and why the accident happened. Not having any answers was better than having too many.

Emmett had taken pleasure in staging the accident, making sure my truck was convincingly wrecked. It was later recovered, then taken to a local junk yard.

Charlie and Renee believed the story, all they or anyone else knew was that there was a mishap, where I had been in a coma from head trauma. When I woke up in the Port Angeles hospital twelve days later, I was able to tell staff my name. At which time they contacted Charlie, and Carlisle had me transferred to the Forks hospital, where I stayed for several days before going home. The Cullens had an exceptional ability to forge and fake, convincing everyone that this was true.

Charlie and Renee were so happy to have me back safe and sound, Edward said we could have told them anything and they would have believed it without a second thought. Although they were happy to have me home, they did notice the obvious differences in me, my appearance, voice and new effortlessness in movement. When they started to question the change, I thought it best to tell them what I could.

Now being fully aware of everything, rules, laws and treaty’s, I knew they couldn’t know too much, but I needed to give them something. Alice was my constant companion, always by my side. Carlisle made house calls, checking on me everyday, and Esme made herself available almost always, helping around the house and being a sounding board for Renee. So when it came time for an explanation, they were naturally there, Jasper and Edward too.

We knew ahead of time that neither of them would be comfortable knowing too much, so we kept it short and sweet. We told them that they didn’t live in the world they thought they lived in, that there were things in this world of the supernatural kind. We told them that I had been in an accident, and that I had to be changed in order to save my life. We told them that in addition to the supernatural, some of us were gifted with special abilities. Which was how the Cullens knew I had been hurt, and were able to save me. They weren’t completely convinced, so we gave them a demonstration of speed, and that was enough for them. We told them that there were rules, and laws that governed the supernatural world, and that they couldn’t know more than this, only that they were now sworn to secrecy for theirs, and our protection. They agreed to keep it private after learning we were breaking the rules in telling them, explaining that these were special circumstances, normally families would never find out, believing there loved one’s to be dead.

I told them that I would be spending a lot if not most of my time with the Cullens as I transitioned into my new life. Carlisle told them that it could be quite an adjustment, and sometimes a struggle to be in the normal human world. He had advised and given doctors orders for me to be out of school for the remainder of the year. Esme would “home school” me with the assignments Alice would bring. No one in town knew me, and even though my appearance was different they wouldn’t have anything to draw from, so there was no need for any kind of explanation for them. The kids from school had only seen me the one day, and there memories wouldn’t be clear enough to cause alarm.

After getting back to “normal” and realizing things hadn’t changed that much, Charlie went back to work, and Renee stayed for a couple more weeks before returning home to Phil. I was settling into this new life quite nicely, in fact I was starting to love it. It suited me and I was happy. I’d found a sort of peace that I had never had before. I’m not sure I wouldn’t have wanted this for myself one day, had I been given a choice. I hadn’t forgiven Edward completely, and I didn’t go out of my way to be nice or talk to him (even though he constantly tried) but I wasn’t so angry with him anymore.

That made it easier to agree when the Cullens asked of me a favor. I would lie for them (-Edward), and allow the wolves to believe I was attacked by a nomad that was traveling through Forks. If they found out the truth, the treaty would have been broken, and there would have been a war, and possibly death. I could not allow that, so I agreed. We meet with them, and they agreed to let me stay, as the Cullen’s responsibility, but I was now bound to the agreements of the treaty.

Everything had happened so quickly and smooth, it almost felt normal, like it had always been this way.

But that was six months ago……..and summer was almost over.

(4/7/09)
Chapter 16: Third Wheel

“Alice, Enough!” I was really frustrated, and had finally had it “That's it, no more!”

“Oh come Bella, stop being so difficult” she rolled her eyes at me, “It's not like it's going to kill you!”

“Honestly Alice, I have enough here to clothe a small village!”

“It's only these few things, I had to get them, they were perfect for you!” she said this while holding six bags, and two boxes stuffed under each of her arms.

This was her idea of a few things. She set down the bags and began pulling out the clothes that were stuffed in them.

“See” she said smiling at me.

“Again? How many of the same blue colored shirts do you think I need?” Honestly, how much could one person own of the same color?! This was out of control!

“This color looks really good on you Bella, and you should always go with what works best” she wasn't even bothering to show me the rest, she just started to put it away.

“Fine Alice, but this is it o.k.? No more shopping!”

“Fine....For now.” she turned and gave me a sweet glare “you have enough to last you for a couple of months”

Ugh, she was hopeless. I had unknowingly agreed to go shopping with her several weeks ago, and came home with more than my closet could hold. And since that fatal weekend she hasn't stopped buying for me. It was a tradition for Alice, Esme and Rosalie to go shopping for the new school year, and replace all the clothes in the house. Alice was extremely excited she had an extra person to buy for this year, and made no attempt to hold back. So even though my tiny closet was busting at the seems, Alice still bought, and managed to cram even more in, I could almost hear to walls protest in pain.

“There, that'll do for now.” she was slapping her hands together, like she was dusting them off after a hard days work “And you can wear this tomorrow, for your first day back at school”

“I am capable of picking out my own clothes to wear Alice”

“Hardly.” she said seriously then laughed and flopped herself on my bed “And don't be nervous about tomorrow, your going to be fine” she winked at me.

“Thanks” I said with a heavy sigh.

I was used to being around humans now, I had been around Charlie so much, I could almost ignore it completely. The family and I continued taking trips into town, walking through the malls and down the streets, making sure I was still able to be around the many different scents they held. So it wasn't that, that I was nervous about, it was being there again. Seeing all those people again for the first time, and most of all, answering all their questions about my “accident”. I hated lying, but mostly I hated thinking about my fake story, and talking about it was even worse.

“I just don't want to talk about it” I told her with a pained expression in my eyes.

“Trust me, you hardly will. Your one of us now remember? People avoid the Cullen's” she said waving her hands in the air like she was telling a ghost story, she laughed as she got up to leave “I'll see you after Charlie goes to bed, and don't even think about it Bella, you're wearing that outfit tomorrow!” she pointed her finger at me as she closed the door to leave.

Dang! I closed the desk drawer that was holding my scissors. Annoying little future seeing pixie!

*****

Because my truck had to be collateral damage in our little facade, and since walking or running wasn't a reasonable option, I had to find an alternate way to get to school. Emmett had offered to let Alice use his jeep, so she could pick me up and take me to school, but it was ridiculous to take two vehicles, so I agreed to ride with Alice in Edwards Volvo. It would only be for a few minutes a day, so it wouldn't be that bad. And until I found a suitable replacement for my truck, that was in my budget, I really didn't have any other choice.

“Good morning Charlie” Alice chimed as she blasted through the door.

“'Morning Alice” he beamed back at her. Charlie loved Alice, she was easy to be around, and since she was always around, Charlie had no choice but to fall for her.

“Ready Bella? We don't want to be late” she winked at me, of course she knew we weren’t going to be late.

“As ready as I'll ever be” I answered sarcastically, rolling my eyes at her.

“Let's go!” she was way too excited for someone who was repeating her senior year in high school for the umpteenth time, she wound her arm around mine and began pulling me to the door. “Bye Charlie!” she called.

“Bye girls, have a nice day, …Bella...”

“It'll be fine dad, I'll see you later” I cut him off and gave him a reassuring smile. He would never admit to it, but he was just a nervous about me returning to school as I was.

I stopped at the door, just before Alice could pull me out. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to calm myself before I went out. It would be the first time I had to be in close proximity to Edward, without a room full of people around. And I was just as nervous about this as I was about seeing and talking to the kids at school. I was uncomfortable being around him, I always felt…something, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Most of the time he tried to hard, talking to me, and being overly polite, sometimes he would make little jabs and jokes, like Emmett did. And then there were time’s I would catch him just starting at me, his smoldering eyes looking right through me, I was glad I could no longer blush, because I found it rather embarrassing and uncomfortable.

I felt Alice's weight shift and heard her open her mouth to say something, but before she could I opened my eyes and walked out the door.

Edward was leaning against the passenger door, one foot crossed over the other and his thumbs in his front pockets. He looked up at us with a crooked smile as he pushed himself away and opened the door at the same time “Good morning Bella” he said, in what I'm sure was his most pleasant voice.

“Edward” I answered him with a quick flick of a smile. I slid in the back, behind the passenger seat and peered out the window.

*****

The first half of the day was completely annoying and brutally slow. It had to be some sort of hideous joke, because I had every morning class with Edward. So much for only spending a few minutes a day with him. And, like always, for whatever reason he made sure to stay close. Either sitting behind me or next to me at the same table. I would have moved, but I was sure he would have followed. I suppose it was better than being next to a human, and on the plus side, no one asked me any questions.

As we sat down at our table, with our tray full of props, I listened to all the conversations around us. The speculations, questions and wonderings, about me, the accident and of course the Cullens and their involvement, why I was sitting with them, how we'd gotten so close and my appearance -ugh. The unwanted attraction I was receiving was unbearable, and I was surprised by how catty all the girls were towards me, I had never done anything to them, and they all seemed so nice the first time I meet them.

“Is this how it always is?” I asked Alice, knowing full well she knew what I meant.

“You get used to it, and pretty soon you don't even notice it anymore” she smiled, shrugging it off. I listened for a few more minutes, I felt a little relief in knowing how they truly felt about me, I’d dodged a few bullets there, and for that I was grateful.

“What are your next classes?” I asked her trying to ignore the chatter around me.

“We have fourth hour together, you'll be with Edward again for fifth, and then we finish the day off in gym.” she seemed excited about that, and then surprised by my sudden change in mood.

“Why do I have so many classes with you? What did you do?” I was so bothered by this I was speaking directly to him, which didn't happen often. I knew that he had done something, there was no way I just happened to get all these classes with him. And after witnessing his incredible talent of hacking and forgery with the cover up, I knew he had to be involved.

“Bella, we thought it would be better if one of us was with you at all times, it was the only way we could do it without completely changing Alice's schedule. We only moved around a couple of things, it didn't change much.” he looked surprised by my reaction and had a pleading tone to his voice.

“It would have happened anyway, he’s right, we only moved a few things.” Alice was trying to help Edward get his point across. “It's a small school Bella”

“Not that small” I pushed myself away from the table, glaring at Edward “I need some air, I'll see you in class Alice” and I turned and walked away.

(4/17/09)
***********
Chapter 17: Repetition

My days continued on much the same, Alice and Edward picking me up in the mornings, him chivalrous and annoyingly polite. I did my best at ignoring him, but sometimes it was hard. His constant staring in class, his laughter at my irritation from the unwanted attention from the human boys. Following too closely behind to and from each class, his over excitement when we would have to partner up, forcing me to talk to him.

Mr. Berty, our English teacher, had assigned us a partner project on Romeo and Juliet. He partnered us in boy/girl pairs and wanted us to watch the movie and write a character description for the opposite gender. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, we had to pick a scene to be read aloud to the class.

Great.

“We own a copy of this movie, we can watch it together when you come over later.” Edwards expressions always confused me, I tried not to pay much attention to that fact, but I could never fully tell what the look on his face meant, and why it sometimes didn't match his words. He looked a little smug, and sort of devious with his smile, as he suggested the movie.

“I've already seen the movie” and I practically had the story memorized I thought, so there was no reason to sit through it with Edward.

“But have you seen the nineteen-sixties version? It's the one Mr. Berty wants us to watch, and it's the best.” his smile was bigger now, and so was my irritation.

“No, but…” he cut me off…

“It’s a partner project Bella” he smiled at me “and, we need to pick a scene to read out loud together.” He was witling, and determined, and, he was right. I couldn’t get out of this, he wouldn’t let me, so I caved -nodding my head as I looked away. He chuckled to himself at my defeat, I groaned internally as I imagined the dreadful night ahead of me.

*****

When I walked into the Cullens house later that night, everyone was waiting in the living room. The room had been rearranged and was set up like a home theater.

“I saved you a seat Bella” Alice patted the sofa cushion next to her.

“What is all of this?” I had to laugh when I asked, everyone had blankets and pillows and were cozied up on the couches. There were even bowls full of popcorn on the table’s “why did you make popcorn when your not going to eat it?” Sometimes she was so bizarre, even for a vampire!

“You have to set the mood Bella, we are watching a movie you know!” she wrinkled her nose at me and stuck out her tongue.

“Yeah Bella, Duh!” Emmett said smart like as pushed me to the couch.

“Shut up Emmett!” I laughed at him, and grabbed a pillow, smacking him in the head.

Besides Alice, Emmett was my favorite new sibling. He was exactly what an older brother should be, and he treated me just like one would. He was never careful about what he said, and didn’t tip-toe around me like fragile glass, he treated me like he did everyone else and I was thankful for that.

“Alright you two, now knock it off so we can watch the movie” Esme teased “And your cleaning up that popcorn Emmett”

“That’s fine” he said, chucking a handful at me.

“Hey!” I picked some up and threw it back at him.

“Stop! You guys are getting it in my hair!” Rosalie whined, running her fingers through her perfectly styled silky smooth hair.

Everyone laughed at her as she pouted, shaking out the kernels.

“You think that’s funny bro” Emmett laughed and looked at Edward. Before he could defend himself, Emmett had the bowl upside down, crunching the popcorn on Edwards head.

“Very funny Emmett” he said shaking his head towards him.

“Alright! I’m starting the movie now” Alice hollered.
……..
……..
As my favorite movie neared the end, my eyes pricked when Juliet woke to find her new husband dead. Thankfully I wasn’t alone as my breath caught with my tearless snivels.

“That was beautiful” Esme exclaimed.

Even Rosalie, much to my amazement, was a little choked up.

“So which scene would you like to do Bella?” Edward asked me as we where cleaning up, moving the furniture back in place. The room stood still, all eyes on me. I hated being at the center of attention, for any reason, but this was really uncomfortable. Picking a scene from Romeo and Juliet to do in front of the whole class, and with Edward of all people! The whole family was obviously anticipating this and far too curious, to try and act casual.

How about the end scene where Romeo dies, is what I wanted to say. But I knew I wouldn’t and I didn’t really mean it, or how it would sound coming out, I just wanted to get him back for putting me in the limelight .

“I don’t care Edward, just pick something and I’ll do it.” and I really didn’t care I just wanted it to be over with -this conversation, the project and the performance.

“Are you sure?” he asked in a curious tone.

“Yes.” now please stop talking and drop it! I thought as I walked outside to throw the rancid popcorn on the lawn for the birds.

“O.K.” he answered back, I could tell he was trying to holding back the humor in his voice.
…….

The next week, the day the paper and reading were due, I stalled and waited as long as possible to go into class. I entered the room just before the bell rang, Edward was sitting at our table with a stupid grin on his face, he was obviously excited about the humiliation this would bring me.

We were picked to go last, and I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. As the hour droned on, repeatedly listening to the same scenes, I began to get anxious, realizing I had no idea which one I would be performing with Edward.

We were up next, right after Jessica and Mike. I was going to ask him what one we would be doing, but their dialog caught my attention. They were doing the end scene, both of them poorly over acting their part. I couldn’t help but laugh, I did find the show they were putting on a bit humorous, but I was mostly laughing at my own inside joke. The comment I had thought last week was playing in my head, I imagined what we would have looked like up there, acting out that particular scene. All pale and dead looking, acting dead…ha ha I chuckled to myself. We probably would have run them off screaming as they realized what we were, I don’t know why I found this so amusing but I now had to control the laughter that was beginning to escape my lips.

“What’s so funny?” Edward whispered to me, wrinkling his brow as he curiously smiled at me.

I just shook my head, wiping the smile off of my face.

“Thank you for that riveting performance Jessica and Mike” Mr. Berty said, it sounded like he was being sarcastic and trying to hold back laughter himself.

“Bella, Edward, are you ready?”

Oh crap, I was so distracted by Jessica and Mike, and my imagination I forgot to ask Edward which scene we where doing!

“Yes we are Mr. Berty” Edward got up answering him “Bella” he gestured me towards the front “ladies first.”

A thousand butterflies erupted in my stomach, if I were still human I would have been shaking, and sweating as I stumbled to the front of the room. Lucky for me I was in this perfect body, graceful and unchanging, allowing me no blush. But I was still nervous, and I didn’t know for sure if my voice could crack.

Edward took the seat next to me, handing me my copy of our act.

“I highlighted your parts Mr. Berty” Edward said, Mr. Berty was reading the extra parts in each scene for everyone.

“Oh, thank you Edward” he smiled, flipping through the pages “Oh good, no one’s done this scene today, nice job guys.” He was nodding his head, appreciating the change.

I was dumb founded looking down at the scene, why had he picked this? What was he thinking?

Edward was looking right at me, as he began to read the lines from one of my favorite stories, -acting as one of my favorite characters. The one in particular that I had a bit of a thing for.

ROMEO - (Edward)
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.


Oh my gawd this is not happening! I paused for a moment, long enough for Edward to notice -giving me a smirk, but to fast for the class.

I closed my eyes for a quick second, taking in a deep breath, before I began to speak the lines

JULIET -(Bella)
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

ROMEO
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

JULIET
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.

ROMEO
Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.

JULIET
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

ROMEO
Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.

JULIET
You kiss by the book.


I was so caught up in the scene, how I got there I’m not really sure, but when Mr. Berty began to speak, it startled me out of my reverie.

Nurse - (Mr. Berty)
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.


I continued to stare at Edward as he spoke his lines, he had the strangest look in his eyes.

ROMEO
What is her mother?


He was nearing the end of his part, and I knew what was waiting for me at the end of the scene. I couldn’t believe he had picked this to perform.

Nurse
Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous
I nursed her daughter, that you talk'd withal;
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.

ROMEO
Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! my life is my foe's debt.

BENVOLIO
Away, begone; the sport is at the best.

ROMEO
Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.

CAPULET
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone;
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
Is it e'en so? why, then, I thank you all
I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night.
More torches here! Come on then, let's to bed.
Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late:
I'll to my rest.


I quickly squinted my eyes at him, as I began to speak. This is what he wanted, so this is what he would get. My mouth twitched up in a grin, just enough for him to see, as I turned away, looking at Mr. Berty, continuing my lines.

JULIET
Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?

Nurse
The son and heir of old Tiberio.

JULIET
What's he that now is going out of door?

Nurse
Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio.

JULIET
What's he that follows there, that would not dance?

Nurse
I know not.

JULIET
Go ask his name: if he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

Nurse
His name is Romeo, and a Montague;
The only son of your great enemy.


The last line I would deliver, as if I were playing it on broadway. As I turned back to Edward to deliver my final speech, I softened my features, smiling so gently, and baring into his eyes. I would give him the show he was after. With my sweetest voice, I spoke slowly with perfect articulation, and ended the scene and this veneer.

JULIET
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.



He had stopped breathing once I looked at him, the smug expression he had on his face, fell as I began to speak. He was not expecting my delivery of these lines, and his face was one of shock and disbelief.

As I finished, but continued to stare at him, the room fell quiet for several long seconds, even Mr. Berty was frozen in place. After he realized the silence he began to stutter out “uh…wow, that was an amazing performance, Thank you two.” and he started to clap, the room slowly following his lead.

I broke our gaze, and smiled at Mr. Berty. I got up and headed back to my seat, leaving Edward at the front of the room. The timing was perfect, the bell began to ring, so I grabbed my things to walk out of the room.

I made it a few feet from the door, when a hand gently caught me around the arm, turning me to look at him. I looked up at him, giving him the same stare I had in the room. He twitched his mouth like he wanted to say something, but never uttered a word.

So I stood there, too close, looking up at him for many long seconds. He was still holding my arm as I gently moved it away before turning to leave.

I could feel him staring after me as I left him standing in the hall.

(4/17/09)
**********

Chapter 18 : Evasion

I went home after English that day and stayed home the rest of the week. I couldn’t go back after embarrassing myself like that, and I cringed at the thought of seeing Edward again, which made me feel strangely uncomfortable.

Why did I let him get to me like that? I shouldn’t have fallen for it, I shouldn’t have played his little game.

The shock and surprise on his face was proof that I had won, but there was something more. Something in his eyes, the way he looked at me as I spoke. How he fell still, too silent even to breath. And in the hall, how gentle his touch was, still failing to speak. His touch that felt like an electric current, pulsing through me.

It was odd, like an obsession that I couldn’t stop, replaying the memory of our false poetic exchange, again and again. Still wondering why of all the scenes he could have picked, he chose that one.

Allowing myself too much still time, enabled my infatuation to trigger, so instead I ran. I went for long runs, filling the space with miles between us, hoping the further I was away the more the memory would fade. I knew that it wouldn’t, and of course it never did, but feeling the air whip threw my hair and wash over my face, seemed to help clear my mind.

I ran for miles and hours, sometimes staying gone for the day. I often found myself at the ocean’s edge. It was an alone and quiet seafront, it seemed no one had come here, except for me. I loved this beach, so no matter where or how far I ran, I would always end up back here.

The water felt warm, and amazing as the waves caressed my skin. It was balmy and glowing from the light of the moon. The soft rushing of the ocean as the waves fell gently against the silt. The crunching of the sand as it pushed up between my toes. It was my perfect place, my sanctuary, my haven.

And as I waded along my peaceful beach, and the new day slowly rose, I realized I would have to go back. It was a new week, and I was being ridiculous, hiding away like a coward. I couldn’t stay out here forever, well actually I could, but I wasn’t going to.

My embarrassment and whatever else it was that I was feeling, I would have to just get over it. I would have to face him eventually, and the sooner the better.

And as the butterfly feeling erupted in my stomach, I had a strange pouncing in my heart. I began to feel excited as a smile swept across my face, and with that I took off, exhilarating through the forest.

(4/27/09)
***********
Chapter 19: Surprise

I ran back to the house as fast as I could, extremely excited to start my week. The emotional rollercoaster that I had been on since meeting Edward was starting to give me whiplash, and I was glad to be getting off the ride.

While I was running home I decided a couple of things, one being that I was no longer angry with Edward -for anything, and I would let him off the hook. After what happened in class, and my subsequent hiding, I realized that I was the one who was asking for it.

I had accepted my new life, and loved everything about it, -except Edward. The Cullens were my family, and I accepted them as such -except for Edward. They all knew how I felt about them, and that I enjoyed and loved being around them, -except Edward.

But he was a part of the family, and he had been trying so hard to become a part of my life, but I was not allowing it. I guess he decided that if being nice all the time wasn’t working he would try something else, teasing and embarrassing me, to get my attention. And that I knew I could not continue to go through.

And even though he was the one who did this to me, attacked me and made me who I am, I’m not upset about it anymore. So the real question I had to ask myself was, why am I continuing to torture myself by being rude and annoyed by Edward, when it didn‘t matter anymore? All the energy that I was putting in towards disliking him was making me miserable, so I decided to stop. I will be nice to Edward, and treat him like the rest of my new family.

The second thing I finally allowed myself to accept, was that I actually liked Edward. I had been holding onto this grudge and wanting to hate him so much, that when I finally let it go I was able to accept the fact that I liked him. He wasn’t evil or a monster, he was nice and kind, he had to be, he was a Cullen. The Cullen’s were the most amazing and nice people I had ever meet, and he was part of their family, he was like them in everyway. And after living this life and knowing the pain and sacrifice that it is to be decent, I could no longer blame him for acting on instinct when we first met.

I didn’t hate Edward Cullen, I liked him, and we could be friends. I laughed out loud to myself as I thought about this fact. This explains the strange feeling I have been having in regards to Edward. My conscious mind was fighting with my subconscious mind, the conflicting emotions of like and hate were confusing me. But now that I’ve accepted and let go of all the hate, I felt better - better than I have in a long time. I was even happier in my new life, now that I’ve accepted everyone in it.


As I approached the house I heard Charlie rustling around, getting ready for work. I quickly climbed up and through my bedroom window, running over to the closet. I grabbed the first shirt and jeans I saw, rummaged through my underwear drawer and headed for the shower. Showering as a vampire was fast and easy, there was no need to wait for the perfect water temperature, and the speed came in nicely when in a hurry. I was showered and dressed in less that two minutes, which always surprised Charlie.

While I was finishing up in my room, getting my things ready to go, the phone rang, Charlie answered.

“Well good morning Alice!” I could tell Charlie was smiling by the tone in his voice. There was a short pause, I tried to hear what she was saying to him, but she was talking quietly and all I could hear was a buzz.

“Yes, that sounds great” another short pause “ Ok, I’ll tell her….yep….bye Alice” and he hung up the phone.

I walked downstairs to ask him what that was all about, but before I could he had already gotten his things “Alice will be here in a few minutes to pick you up, I’ll see you later honey, have a nice day at school” and he was out the door.

It must not have been important or he would have told me, so I shrugged it off and went into the kitchen and quickly cleaned up Charlie’s mess. I heard the Volvo coming down the street and pull into the drive, as I was finishing with the dishes. I quickly put them away and was grabbing my things when Alice came barreling through the door. She ran up to me squeezing me in a hug

“Thank you Bella!” she chimed in my ear and pulled back looking at me with a smile plastered across her face. She had obviously seen that I would be nice to Edward, and liked the idea very much.

“I missed you!” she said, and then hugged me again.

“I missed you too Alice” I said smiling at her “we better go, we don’t want to be late” I smirked at her and gave her a wink.

She giggled and bounced up and down clapping her hands, she looked like a little girl hyped up on candy, thrilling for more.

I was excited and determined myself, so I grab my things and headed out the door leaving Alice behind to lock up. I had a smile on my face as I looked ahead towards Edward, who was naturally, standing beside the Volvo waiting to open the door for us.

His face looked doubtful and insecure, and then confused and unsure as he took in my face. “Good morning Edward, how are you today?” I asked him sweetly, trying to convey my new friendship towards him.

“G- Good morning Bella, I’m .. fine, how are you?” Yep, he was definitely confused, this could be fun.

“I’m great, thanks for picking me up” I answered him reaching for the door, he was so shocked he must have forgotten why he was standing there. As soon as he realized what I was doing he reached down for the handle at the same time, our hands brushing, sending electricity through me once again. It was so weird the way his touch affected me, I would have thought it would go away once I accepted we could be friends, once I wasn’t fighting with myself anymore.

“Of course Bella, let me get that” he said opening the door and moving the seat. I never really noticed before, but he had a beautiful smile, actually quite breath taking. I could suddenly see why all the human girls had a fascination with Edward, he was very good looking.

Alice giggled as she climbed in the car, looking back at me with a thankful grin “Bella, Esme invited Charlie over for dinner tonight, will you come?”

“Why would Esme invite Charlie to dinner? How are you going to pull that one off?” Now I was the one who was confused, Edward and Alice looked at each other one quick second, then Alice looked back at me

“We have tricks for that too, Please Bella, it’ll be fun! Esme’s a great cook, or so we’ve heard, and she already has everything. It’ll be good for Charlie too, to get to know the people his daughter spends so much time with. Please Bella?!”

She was begging now, and I couldn’t refuse her and she knew it “Oh thank you Bella” She blurted out before I could say anything.

And as if he could read my mind, and right on cue Edward looked at me and smiled “Annoying isn’t she”

I laughed, shaking my head yes, he was right I hadn’t completely decided when she knew my answer. She smacked his arm and stuck out her tongue “Ha Ha very funny Edward, your more annoying than I am! Bella here is the only lucky one who isn’t subjected to your little trick, so her opinion doesn’t count!”

We both laughed at her, and soon she joined in too.

The car ride to school was unusually fast, and a little disappointing. We continued to joke and laugh the whole way there, it just went by so quickly and I was really having a good time.

The rest of the day passed on much the same, and too fast. Edward was quite funny, and now that I was allowing him to talk to me, and actually enjoying it, I regretted holding out so long.

“I should have run away and had an epiphany sooner” I joked at one point.

“What?” Edward was confused…again. But I just laughed and told him it was nothing, just my own inside joke.

Everyone at school noticed my change in attitude also, some of our admires and haters had comments about our new interaction. I didn’t realize before how obvious my dislike towards Edward had been, even enough for the humans to see, it made me feel guilty about how I’d been treating him.

When the end of the day finally rolled around I was happy to leave school, knowing we would have as much fun, if not more with the rest of the family. I’m sure they will be just as elated and happy to see Edward and I as friends, just as Alice had been all day.

“Bella, will you do me a favor” she asked as I was getting out of the car.

“Sure Alice” I blurted out, but it was too late, I couldn’t take it back. A huge smile exploded on her face, and I knew I was in for it.

“Great!” she practically yelled with excitement “I ran over here after lunch and picked you out something to wear tonight, it’s laying on your bed. Dinner is at seven, don’t be late!” she got back in the car and rolled down her window

“You agreed Bella” She smiled at me deviously.

“Whatever Alice” I rolled my eyes at her “I’ll see you at seven, bye Edward”

A huge smile crossed his face as he leaned over to look out Alice’s window “Goodbye Bella, we’ll see you later”

I smiled back and rushed into the house to see what disaster was waiting for me upstairs. To my surprise it wasn’t hideous at all, it was one of the few things I really liked that Alice had forced me into. It was probably a bit much for a fake dinner with the Cullen’s, but I had agreed and so I would wear it.

It was a Trixxi pleated satin bodice gown. The clean, classic ivory gown had slender spaghetti straps and subtle gathers that gave the long chiffon skirt a floaty effect. She had laid out flat strappy sandals, knowing my aversion to heels and I’m sure to dress down the look. Alice was nothing if not thorough when it came to clothes. The only accessory she had laid out was a pearl bracelet, it was on top of a note that said ‘Wear your hair down with a few curls’. I rolled my eyes at her, even with her not here she was still pushy and annoying. I laughed, thinking back to this morning and Edwards comment about his sister.

Charlie had come home early to shower and change. With the time I had waiting around for him, I decided to indulge Alice and follow her instructions. I combed out my hair and added the curls just like she said. After I finished getting dressed I waited down stairs for Charlie.

When he was finally ready he headed down the stairs, apparently Alice had gotten to him too. He looked very nice in a black HUGO two button suit, it was lightweight wool and trim-fitting with trousers with it he wore a white/grey button-down shirt.

“Wow dad, you look very nice!” I was a little surprised, not by how good he looked, but that he agreed to wear it. Charlie hated dressing up as much as I did, and these outfits were normally not our style.

“Thanks Bells, Alice insisted” he said gesturing down towards himself.

“But look at you Bella, you look beautiful” he came over to hug me.

“Thanks dad” I was more than embarrassed, if this was his reaction to my outfit I could hardly wait to hear the teasing that was ahead of me. “We should go, Alice will kill us if were late” I meant it as a joke, but as I thought about it, it was probably true.

We quietly drove over to the house, it was nice to know that some things with Charlie didn’t change. When we arrived he insisted on getting my door, he was being so cute, something about the suit had lightened him up. He was smiling more than he had in a while, and I wondered if my change of attitude was affecting him too.

When we reached the door, I went to open it and let us in, but Charlie looked at me funny and pushed my hand away. He knocked three times and I heard in unison ‘Come in’ from the rest of my family, who were waiting inside.

And as we rounded the corner, I slowly began to remember and finally realize that this wasn’t just a casual dinner, but it was too late, there was no escape now

“SURPRISE!”

(4/27/09)
!
Chapter 20: Party

I couldn’t believe it, I had forgotten my own birthday, so I had no time to prepare for the disastrous night that was presented to me.

My whole family was there, including my mother and Phil. It was supposed to be my eighteenth birthday, a milestone my mother had said, and they all wanted to be there and do something special. Knowing I would object to anything extravagant, they planned a small surprise party for me, which worked out perfectly since Alice had known I would forget.

The house was decorated with streamers and balloons, and everyone was dressed much like Charlie and myself. Alice had gotten to everyone.

After everyone’s greeting, we talked and laughed for awhile before dinner. Esme had prepared a beautiful meal, or at least it would have been if I were still human. It looked, smelled and tasted horrible, it was repulsive, but Charlie Renee and Phil seemed to enjoy it.

She had planned out a three course meal, which was better than any restaurant in town. First she severed a Mesclun Salad, followed by baked Salmon in a cucumber cream wine sauce with small New Red Potatoes and a Julienne of Fresh Snow Peas and Carrots, ending with Tiramisu and finely chopped chocolate.

It was all easy enough to fake through, taking very few and small bites, stuffing our napkins full of food, and keeping my parents and Phil distracted with conversation. Esme had chosen the simple meal so that it would be easily rid of later.

After dinner I was embarrassed even further when a small round white chocolate mousse cake decorated with marzipan flowers and topped with eighteen candles was brought to me by Alice, while everyone else sang the dreaded song. I made a wish -for this to be over quickly, and blew out the candles. Everyone applauded and I was once again bombarded with hugs from my mother, Esme and Alice.

“Ok present time!” Alice squealed after taking the cake away.

“Oh no, Please… I don’t want any presents, this was embarrassing enough” I was horrified, would this night ever end!?

“Sorry Bella, everything’s already bought and paid for, you can’t take anything back” she didn’t sound sorry at all, she actually sounded a little smug and snotty, like she was saying ha ha ha with her words, tone and expression. I’ll have to get her back for this…

“No you won’t” she whispered so my human family couldn’t hear “I’ll know every time Bella, but good luck with that” she gave me a devious smile before handing me an envelope.

Ugh, I rolled my eyes at her “Annoying little future seeing pixie” I teased.

“Open it” she pointed to the envelope “It’s from all of us”

I slid my finger under the flap and pulled out a long folded thick piece of paper that looked like a gift certificate. On it, it had my name, some numbers, a seal and water marks and a company logo. I had never seen anything like it before, so I had no idea what it was.

“Uh, Thanks … what is it?”

“You now own shares of this company in the stock market Bella” she smiled “I’ve been told on good authority that this company is going to be very successful in the near future” she said tapping her head.

I looked back down at the piece of paper, Summit Entertainment, I had never heard of it before. I had no idea how or what to do with stock market shares, but I knew from stories that that’s how the Cullens had made a lot of their money.

“And don’t worry, Jasper and Edward will take care of everything for you, until you figure it out for yourself” she went on, knowing I didn’t have a clue and that I had planned on asking her later.

“That’s really nice, you guys didn’t have to get me anything, but thank you all very much.” I was really grateful, I didn’t have a job and had been wondering about how I would pay for college, plus I still needed a new car. I guess Alice knew I was worried about it and knew I wouldn’t accept any handouts from them. This was her way of elevating my worry and getting rid of any and all financial issues.

“Ok, its our turn” my mother spoke up “This is from me, Charlie and Phil” she said handing me a shiny silver bag with blue tissue paper. I pulled out the tissue paper and found a large scrap book. In the bag was a bunch of stickers of words and pictures, cut outs and colorful pens -everything a crafty scrap booker would need.

“Thank you” I said a little confused, these presents all though nice, were a bit strange.

Charlie laughed at me, seeing the confusion on my face, and everyone else joined in “This goes with it Bella” he said, handing me another small bag.
Again, I took out the tissue paper, and pulled out a small box. It was a Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera. “You got me a digital camera?” I said a little shocked.

“Do you like it?” Renee asked sounding hopeful.

“Yes, I love it” I went over and hugged her, then Charlie and Phil. “Thank you, it’s really great”

“Now you can take pictures and send them to me” I could tell that Renee was more excited about the gift than I was, I knew she missed seeing me everyday, and this would be a way to get some of that back.

“And you can scrap book your senior year, so you don’t forget” I smiled at her, I of course wouldn’t forget anything, remembering it all in perfect detail for all of eternity, but I would do it for her -so that she could see it.

“Thank you all so much, this was a really wonderful night, and a nice surprise.” although I hated being in the spot light, and I didn’t enjoy presents, it really had been a nice evening, spending time with all of my family.

After a few more hours of sitting around, talking and taking pictures, it was getting late and Charlie, Renee and Phil were getting tired. Charlie offered to take Renee and Phil back to their hotel so I could stay with the Cullens. He was used to me spending so much time over here, that he didn’t question it -it had become natural, a part of our lives and routine.

I gave them each another hug, thanked them again “Good night, I love you guys”

“Good night Bella, we love you too” Renee answered back.

“Night Bells, love you” Charlie added before getting in the car to leave.

I watched them drive away, and just as they disappeared I turned and ran into the kitchen.

Alice was standing there holding the cake and laughing at me while the others watched, confused by what was going on “No way Bella! I told you I would know if you tried anything” she was laughing at me, taunting me with confection.

“Give me my cake Alice, I would like to have a piece” I smile back at her.

“No Bella, don’t waste it! Look how pretty it is, Esme worked really hard on it” she was pleading with me through laughter.

“It’s going to go to waste anyway Alice, so just give it to me, you owe me!” I took two quick steps toward her, just as she screeched and stepped back.

“If I give you this cake, your not going to like it!”

We were circling the dinning room table now, with the rest of the family watching and laughing.

“Just remember, whatever you two do with that cake, your cleaning it up” Esme made sure to remind us.

“Give me half of it Alice, at least make it fair!”

“No Bella! I don’t want to ruin your dress, look how pretty you are!” She was still laughing, but completely serious.

“Well I don’t care about her dress!” Emmett exclaimed, taking the cake from Alice’s hand as she passed in front of him. As soon as he had it, she screamed and ran out of the room as a handful whipped past her head, splatting against the wall, spaying frosting in every direction.

Just as it hit, he grabbed another handful with an evil laugh and slung it right towards me, it was so fast I didn’t have time to move, all I could do was turn my head and put up my arm.

I heard a splat as frosting and cake sprayed me, I looked up to see Edward standing in front of me, with his back to Emmett, covering me with his arms the best could. The handful of cake had smashed into his shoulder, allowing only some of it to hit me.

Edward was so fast, he cupped some of it in his hand and ran over and had it smeared in Emmett’s face before he could turn to run away.

Everyone was laughing and having a good time, but knowing there was enough cake for this to continue on, Edward grabbed the rest of it in one hand and my elbow in the other, running us out the back door.

We were laughing so hard we could barely hear Emmett call after us “Come back here you chickens!”

We kept running, knowing full well that if he wanted to follow us he could with no problem. We finally stopped after a couple of minutes, when we were deep in the forest.

“Thanks for the save” I smiled at him, still chuckling a little.

“Anytime” he smiled back at me.

I looked down at the cake he was still holding and raised my eyebrows, wondering what he was going to do with it “Should I run from you now?” I asked.

He laughed, looking down at the cake “That won’t be necessary” he said, throwing the cake further into the forest. We could hear it splat against a tree, which caused us both to laugh again.

It was a clear night, there were no clouds in the sky and the moon was full and bright as it shown down on us. We were in a small clearing, which allowed the moons light to reflect off our skin uninterrupted and glistening.

I started to get nervous when I realized we had stopped laughing at were just staring at each other for several seconds, which for vampires could sometimes feel like hours. We were standing so close, his scent was over powering me as I felt a low pulse of electricity.

I was staring up at him -into his eyes, and if I wasn’t so in control of this amazingly cooperative body I would have stuttered in breathing. Even still I was taken aback by this sudden sensation, so I looked away and took a few steps to the side.

“I should go, it’s late…and I need to get cleaned up” I said awkwardly, flicking frosting from my shoulder.

He chuckled, smiling a crooked smile, as he began to unbutton his shirt. My heart pounced in my chest a little, as he removed it to access the damage. To my relief and slight disappointment he was wearing a t-shirt underneath. It clung to him tighter than a regular shirt would have, revealing his muscular upper body.

I laughed out loud to myself, shaking my head slightly as I looked down, I was embarrassing myself with my thoughts, thank goodness he couldn’t hear them too!

“What?” he said, looking at me with a smirk.

“Nothing” I answered him, closing my eyes for a second trying to shake off whatever was going on with me. “I really should be going.”

“May I walk you home?” he asked.

“I don’t think that’s necessary” although I wasn’t opposed.

“It may not be necessary Bella, but I would like to” he lifted my chin with his curled index finger, so that I was looking at him as he smiled and continued “Do you mind?”

This time I couldn’t help it, as my breath caught I answered him quietly “No, I don’t mind”

He smiled down at me, looking pleased while still holding up my face.

We walked slow, close to a human pace, through the forest to get to my house. We talked about random things, nothing of real importance, but spent most of the time in silence.

Every once in awhile I would see him looking at me, when I would turn to meet his gaze he would smile his crooked smile and then look away, not saying anything.

When we finally reached the house, I turned to look at him to say goodbye, before going inside.

“You look beautiful tonight Bella” he said in a smoldering soft, velvety voice.

It caught me off guard, so I stood there staring at him a little confused “Thank you Edward” I finally said, wrinkling my brow, slightly squinting my eyes. He chuckled quietly.

We stood there, still, neither one of us moving to leave, when suddenly he took a quick step forward, closing the gap between us. He reached up gently stroking my hair, removing some frosting I hadn’t seen.

I was staring up at his face -his eyes, unable to move, when he bent down, brushing his check up against mine

“Happy birthday Bella” he whispered softly, turning into my ear. I closed my eyes, tilting and turning my head slightly towards him. He stayed there for a second, breathing in deeply -and I didn’t move, for I doing the same thing.

As he backed away, he ran his hand down the back of my arm, lightly grasping and holding my hand. He smiled at me as he bent down, raising my arm to meet him halfway, gently kissing the top of my hand

“Goodnight Mi Amor”

(4/29/09)
***********

Chapter 21: Interrogations

After kissing my hand, he continued to smile at me, slowly turning and walking away, not saying another word. I watched after him for several long seconds, speechless -frozen -unable to move. It reminded me of the day I left him standing in the hall at school, I began to feel embarrassed so turned around and hurried in the house, not wanting to get caught staring after him.

I quietly closed the door, leaning up against it, still in a daze.

I was pretty useless for the rest of the night, not that I had anything to do in particular, except replay the last hours of my birthday in my head over and over again.

I finally went up to take a shower and get the rest of the frosting off of me. I took off the dress, hanging it on a hanger to look it over, I was glad to see that none of the cake had found it’s way onto the garment.

After I was finished, showering more slowly than I had in a long time, I finally got out and dressed down in sweats and a t-shirt. I wanted to go for a run, otherwise I would have put on clothes for the day. I grabbed my new favorite dress and headed into my room.

On my bed were my gifts from the party, I had left them, not bothering to go back after the cake fight. Next to the bag was a note from Alice

‘Don’t go for too long or too far, or you’ll be late for school!’

I had originally planned on going to my beach, she must have seen that and knew I would be late, I had forgotten it was a school night.

I sat on my bed and picked up the camera, I turned it on and started looking at all the pictures that were taken from the night. I hadn’t realized before, but Renee was using the camera during the party before she gave it too me. I had to laugh, of course she wouldn’t want to miss anything, even when she was there.

There were several pictures taken of the family before I had gotten there. It looked like they were all having fun getting to know each other, waiting for me to arrive.

The look on my face as I rounded the corner, seeing all them, it was scary -I looked scared. There were lots of random pictures, group pictures, and some of me and my parents.

At one point Emmett must have gotten a hold of the camera while no one was looking because there were quite a few of him making goofy faces and posing.

Then I started to recognize some of the pictures, I had received the camera and was the one taking most of them. Everyone was so beautiful and happy, having a good time.

There were some pictures that I didn’t know had been taken, of Alice and I starting our cake fight. These made me laugh, we looked so funny. Then there was a video, I didn’t realize it was a camcorder too.

I pushed play and watched the events from another view just as Esme was saying “Just remember, whatever you two do with that cake, your cleaning it up”…

And then I saw myself turn as Emmett grabbed the handful of cake to throw at me, as soon as I closed my eyes, Edward was there standing over me. He looked down at me with a smile as he raised his arms to cover my body, just before the cake hit him. I was shocked by the look on his face, although he was clearly having fun, he looked determined -protective.

I finished the video, watching him grab my arm to whisk me away. My beautiful white dress flowing behind me, him and his black slacks and off white shirt standing beside me with his hand around my arm as we ran out the door laughing and smiling. It reminded me of something, silly and juvenile, but familiar in a way I didn’t know.

The filming continued until we disappeared into the forest, ending after Emmett yelled after us, with Alice in front of the camera smiling “ooh so cute! Happy Birthday Bella!” she giggled and shut the camera off.

I shut it off and stared at the wall, back in my silly daze about Edward. It was so weird, the way I couldn’t stop thinking about him, how I felt so strange next to him. I had just barely allowed myself to like him -as a friend, so I didn’t understand my reactions to him.

I got up in a hurry to go for a run, morning was rapidly approaching, and I needed to clear my head.

*****

I ran as far as I could, spending as much time as possible under the canopy cover in the beautiful forest of Forks. I headed back giving myself enough time to shower and change and say good morning to Charlie before leaving for school -exactly twelve minutes.

Edward and Alice arrived at the same time Charlie was getting ready to leave, we walked out together and I gave him a quick hug and a kiss on the check. I turned and walked towards the Volvo where Edward was standing and waiting

“Bella” he said opening the door, giving me his crooked smile.

I looked at him, smiling back not going to say anything, but then noticed the car was empty “Where’s Alice?” I was instantly a little panicked.

“Her and Jasper wanted to spend the day together, they’ll be back later” he said stepping closer to me, I could feel his breath on my face.

I didn’t say anything, but slightly lifted my head up in a nod, and sat down in the passenger seat.

He hurried and got in the car, and as he closed the door behind him, he leaned over towards me, close enough I felt like I had to move my head away to turn to look at him “Are you ready to go?”

“Yes” I answered him a little confused, why wouldn’t I be ready? I was in the car.

He chuckled to himself, and started to drive.

After last night the silence was a little awkward so I reached over and turned up the volume on the stereo.

I recognized the song immediately, and it made me smile.

Edward looked at me with a curious expression, then his face fell just a little “It’s Debussy” he said reaching for the stereo turning it all the way down.

I reached out and grabbed his had, gently pushing it away “Clair De Lune is great” I said to him with a smile turning the song back up.

I leaned back in my seat and closed my eyes, listening to the beautiful melody. I remembered it from my childhood, growing up with Renee. Remembering time from my human life was always fuzzy, the memories were hard to see. But listening to the song while trying seemed to help, it made me smile, picturing Renee while we danced to the song.

We had arrived at school, but the song wasn’t over so I continued to sit there, unwilling to move. Edward didn’t either, he sat there with me listening to the song, not saying a word.

When it was finally over I turned towards him, opening my eyes, to find him staring at me with his head rested against the seat. “Thanks for letting me listen” I said, giving him a smile.

“Anytime” he smiled back.

We stayed like that for a few seconds before I finally had to look away “We’re going to be late” I said, gathering my things, then getting out of the car.

He walked next to me, closer than usual, to our first class and continued on like that for the rest of the day. I was a little worried about lunch, so I brought a book to distract me, just in case it was weird. As we walked to the lunch room and after getting our tray, I knew it was going to be awkward so I didn’t waste anytime in getting to my reading.

I played with my food, picking apart my apple as I read ahead for our English assignment. He sat there looking at me for a really long eight minutes, then he reached across, pushing down the book so I would look at him. Once he had my attention, he closed the book and moved it to the side.

He smiled at me and then started asking me questions. Random questions that didn’t go together or make any sense. I don’t know why I continued to answer, but after about twenty minutes, I had to know

“What’s with all the questions?”

“I’m just trying to get to know you Bella” He answered me with a sly smile.

“Why?”

“I like to know to get to know my friends.” He cocked his slightly to the right “We are friends, aren’t we?”

“Yes Edward, we are friends” I said smiling at him, shaking my head yes.

He smiled back, and went on questioning me until the bell rang. When the day was over and as soon as we where in his car, he picked up with his questions right where he left off. When we pulled into the driveway, I answered a few more and then finally had to tell him

“Alright, that is enough” I gave him a face, like I was exhausted and slumped against the seat.

He chuckled “Ok, that’s enough, for now” he smiled at me.

“For now?” my eyes widened “What else is there? What else could you possible want to know!?” I shook my head at him, what was wrong with him! I guess him not being able to read my mind was harder on him than one would have thought.

He didn’t say anything, he just laughed and shrugged up his shoulder.

“Well, I’m getting out of here, before you figure it out!” I teased.

I opened the door, and started to get out of the car, when he grabbed my arm and gently pulled me back into the seat.

When I turned to look at him, he was a little closer than I would have expected him to be, he had a smirk on his face as he took in my surprised expression. I realized at that moment, that he was doing this on purpose, getting so close to me to get a reaction.

So I smiled a sly smile back, and leaned in just a bit more “Yes Edward, can I help you with something.”

His smile grew bigger, showing his teeth “Actually Bella, there was something else” he didn’t move, and neither did I.

“Ok then, what is it?” I turned my head slightly, more towards his direction, leaving our faces just inches apart.

“Alice wanted me to tell you, it was going to be sunny for the next couple of days. So we will be out of school for the rest of the week.”

“Is that all?” I asked him, holding my position.

His smile never faded, reaching up to his eyes “No, she also wanted you to know that there would be a thunderstorm on Saturday, the family will be playing baseball, and she expects you to be there.”

“hmm, well, if Alice insists.” I replied nonchalantly.

He opened his mouth to say something else, but then just went back to smiling. I lingered there for another second, and then turned and got out of the car.

(5/4/09)
*********

Chapter 22 : Game

I spent the evening with Renee and Phil, trying my best to stay focused on them, and not on Edward. That of course being impossible, with all the extra room in my head, there was plenty of time and space to do both.

Luckily they had planned all kinds of things for us to do with our nights, and keeping busy seemed to help. I was able to put my camera to good use, taking lots of pictures of us doing our various activities. I had decided that I would fill the scrap book Renee had given me and send it with her when she left.

Since I wouldn’t be in school for the next couple of days, and with a little help, I could get it finished in time before she left.

*****

The next morning Alice came up to me, holding out her hand, before I had completely entered the house.

“You know Alice, it wouldn’t kill you to actually let someone ask you for something before agreeing to a future request”

“Ya ya ya, just give me the camera so I can start printing.”

I put the camera in her hand and she ran off to the computer, where she had everything set up, ready and waiting.

“Esme, Rosalie, would you like to help Alice and I put the scrap book together for Renee?”

“Yes dear, that sounds like fun. Thank you” Esme answered me with a smile.

“Yeah, sure. I don’t have anything else to do.” Rosalie smiled at me too, although she sounded a little bored.

The next two days were spent much the same, working on the project with the girls during the day, and spending the evenings with Renee and Phil.

*****

I spent Saturday morning with my mother, but told her I had something already planned for the afternoon. I couldn’t tell her I would be playing baseball with the Cullen‘s, so instead I told her I was working on a surprise for her that I needed to finish, it was the only way she would let me go.

When I got to the house Alice was waiting to drag me up to her room. The Cullen’s had their own team jersey’s, which was an excuse for Alice to buy me something else -so I would have one too.

After I changed we headed out, making our way deep into the forest, to a field where they normally played.

“Since Bella evens up the teams, I’ll count you off in two’s -to make it fair” Carlisle said, giving Alice a funny look.

“Actually Carlisle, I was hoping to sit out for a game, to see how this works.” I wasn’t very good at sports, and although I knew I would do fine now, I still didn’t know how to play, especially with vampire rules.

“Ok Bella, we’ll play the first game, and tell you everything you need to know. You can join in on the second one.” he patted my shoulder.

I watched the first game, which they played short, knowing I wouldn’t need a lot of time to figure it out.

Carlisle counted us off into our teams. I was with Emmett, Alice and Esme, which left Jasper, Carlisle, Rosalie and Edward on the other team.

“Why do I get stuck with all the girls and a first time player!” Emmett teased, punching me lightly on the arm.

“Don’t worry Emmett, we’re going to win. Bella’s a great player” Alice said, baiting the other team while she ran off to the pitchers mound.

“Not if I can help it” Edward taunted back, winking at me, before going to get the bat.

Alice was right of course, we had won the first game 2-1 -and I was surprisingly good. I never played any sports before, except when I had to in gym, as a human I wasn’t really good with things like coordination and balance. But as a vampire I was more than capable which allowed me to enjoy the sport, I was really having a good time.

We were halfway through our second game, when Alice suddenly stopped, her eyes glazing over. After a few seconds, she came out of her daze, yelling at all of us to stop.

She told us that there had been some nomads passing threw, they were heading out of town to leave, but heard us playing and were now headed this way.

It would be the first time I’ve met other vampires, and was suddenly a little nervous. Alice followed Jasper over to me, as he washed me with calm.

“It’ll be fine Bella, they just live differently than us.” He was reassuring me as I nodded my head. I don’t know why I felt so uncomfortable, I didn’t have anything to fear.

One by one they emerged from the forests edge, two males and one female. My family huddled together, facing their direction, watching them approach.

The front man, who displayed clearly that he led the pack, was tall and had long dark hair. The second, who closely walked behind the first, was muscular and dirty, with sandy-blonde hair. The female walked beside the second male, she had long fiery red hair -she too was dirty in her plain, torn clothes.

Their walk was cat-like, constantly on the edge of shifting into a crouch. Their eyes, a deep burgundy color that was disturbing and sinister. They closed the gap between us, their leader and ours standing face to face.

“We thought we heard a game” the dark hair one said in a relaxed voice. “I’m Laurent, these are Victoria and James” he gestured to the vampires beside him.

“I’m Carlisle. This is my family, Emmett, Jasper, Esme, Rosalie, Alice, Edward and Bella.”

“Do you have room for a few more players?” Laurent asked sociably.

“I think we do” Carlisle said, answering him in a friendly tone. “We can split you off into our existing teams”

“Excellent” Laurent smiled, sounding pleased.

“James, Laurent, you’ll be with Emmett, Esme and Bella. We’ll take Victoria, and Alice can pitch for both teams.” Carlisle told them as the rest of us split back off into our groups. He tossed the ball to Alice, when Victoria cut in, ripping it out of the air

“I’m the one with the wicked curve ball” she spoke in an eerie voice.

“Oh well see about that” Jasper said in a non-humorous, but laughing voice as he sent a wave of calm over the group. He had a look of unease, but stayed casual as he walked passed Victoria and over to Alice protectively.

Until Jasper had passed in front of me, I hadn’t noticed that the men in my family had also moved to stand by their companions, displaying the same protective instinct. Once I began to look around, I seen that Edward had made his way over and was standing by my side, facing my direction, and looking at the strangers with a watchful eye.

“Alright then, Alice you can stay on your team, and we’ll take Laurent.”

I looked away from James’ staring -ominous eyes and up into Edwards. He looked down at me, putting a tender smile on his face as he reached up, tucking a piece of my hair behind my ear.

“Are you ready to lose Bella” He smirked, running his finger under the side of my jaw and then turning to walk away. He let his smile drop, almost glaring at James as he ran back into the field.

Laurent joked and talked with the family, acting casual and fitting in the best he could.

The woman, Victoria would talk sometimes but didn’t say too much. She had a vindictive demeanor about her, giving us the cold shoulder as if we had done something wrong.

James was frightening -intimidating, with his stare. He didn’t speak, as he watched us, his eyes always shifting around. His attitude was obvious, and no one said anything to him, he played in silence and I stayed away.

After our second game, each of us winning one, it was time for me to go and meet Renee and Phil. It was their last night here before leaving in the morning and we had plans with Charlie to stay in and play games, pizza and movies.

Everyone was standing around, getting ready to play again. when Alice came over and gave me a hug.

“I’ll see you tomorrow after they leave” It wasn’t a question, it usually never was with Alice, but more of a statement of fact.

“Ok Alice” I said laughing at her, nodding my head.

“Are you leaving Bella? We were just getting ready to play another game.” Laurent asked me, like we were old friends.

“Yes” I paused, unsure what to say “I have other plans”

“Are there more of our kind living in this town?” he perked up, suddenly curious.

“No” Carlisle spoke up “We are the only one’s, Bella here just has some personal business to attend to.”

“A vampire with personal business -In a town full of humans” Victoria spit out with an evil laugh, rolling her eyes, then glaring towards me with disgust.

“We live normal lives among them, it’s our business, and the way we chose to live” Carlisle wasn’t speaking in such a friendly tone now.

“Why?” she huffed out again.

Before anyone could answer, James spoke for the first time. He was only standing a few feet from me as the conversation began, staring at me curiously, but then as he started to speak, he began walking towards me in a brash manner.

“I’ll never understand the fascination our kind has with humans” his voice was deep, raspy and unnerving, and he spoke the words as an insult.

He cocked his head towards me, once he reached my side, leaning in and taking a deep breath. He smiled with a viscous chuckle as he sauntered around my back, making his way to my other side “I thought you smelled different” he said, and took another breath in “The scent of human on your skin”.

Suddenly Edward was there, putting himself between us, moving me back.

“I think we are done for the day” he said before turning around, putting his arm around me, walking us further away.

“Yes, I think we have played enough for one day” Carlisle agreed with Edward. The rest of the family moving in closer, separating us from them, showing a united front.

“Yes. We need to be on our way.” Laurent, still being friendly, put his hand on James’ shoulder “Thank you for the game, we’ll be going now. James, Victoria” he said, turning to walk away.

Victoria looked at us with a hateful grin, as she walked up to James and put her arm around him, he had the same wicked stare on his face as he threw his arm around her, turning to walk away.

We watched after them in silence as they disappeared into the forest, Edwards arm still tightly around me.

5/11/09
Chapter 23 : Intruder

Edward was still holding me tightly as he looked at me with concerned eyes “There may be trouble with them. Alice do you see anything?” he asked looking at her for answers.

She paused for a few seconds and then shook her head “No, I don’t see anything” she sounded a little confused “I just see them leaving.”

“Why do you ask son? What did you hear?” Carlisle came over and placed his hand on Edwards shoulder.

“Nothing specific, but James is sadistic. He’s a tracker and a hunter, always looking for his next fight -even with our kind. It’s a game to him, humans are an easy sport and we are a thrilling fight.” His voice sounded angry, though he was trying to keep it under control as he answered Carlisle.

“I sensed the same things from him as well” Jasper added, in the same alarming, but concerned voice “His emotions were all over the place -anger, pleasure, enjoyment and excitement. He seamed eager and had anticipation for something.”

“Should we be concerned?” Esme sounded worried, as she went to Carlisle to put her arm around his waist.

“I don’t know, with Alice not seeing anything, it’s hard to say. We shouldn’t rule anything out” Edward answered her.

“I’ll keep a watch on him, but his future is shifting -blurry, I cant get a grasp on him.” Alice had a troubled look on her face.

“Well, if it’s a fight he’s looking for, I’ll give him one!” Emmett was smiling mischievously, sounding eager himself.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that Emmett” Carlisle responded.

“Well if there’s nothing to worry about now, I really need to get home. My parents are waiting for me” Edward was still holding me as I shifted, pulling away.

“We’ll walk you, just to be safe” Edward informed us all.

*****

After going home the family stayed, checking around the house, and then finally leaving after a while, satisfied with finding nothing.

Several hours had passed and we were getting ready to watch a movie when I heard something outside. I got up to look out the window, towards the direction of the noise, but didn’t see anything.

“Bella?” my mother asked.

“Hmm..yes?” I was slow to answer, but turned to meet her gaze.

“Is there something out there?” she asked curiously.

“No.” I smiled at her “I was just looking.”

She smiled back, but had a confused expression on her face. She wasn’t used to me and my odd behavior like Charlie was. He barely noticed my tenue anymore.

We started the movie and were about ten minutes in when I heard something outside again. This time I didn’t even bother to look, I got up and headed straight for the door to go outside.

“Bella, where are you going? Renee asked.

“Nowhere, I just want to check something.”

“But we’re watching a movie, you won’t know what’s going on…”

“It’s o.k. I’ll be right back” I hurried out before she could ask me anything more or try to stop me.

I quickly ran into the woods where the sound was coming from. There was nothing there, so I walked a little farther in and then started back, circling around the house, just to make sure.

I had made it almost all the way back and around to the front when I caught the scent. I was instantly panicked, my thoughts only on Charlie, Renee and Phil. I ran back to the house, I needed to call the rest of the family -to let them know. I ran into the house, and as soon as I opened the door and stepped in -the scent was there, stronger and fresh.

My heart sank as I ignored my mother’s questions, running upstairs, following the path that was leading me to my room.

I opened the door and went in closing and locking it behind me. I moved away from the door, stepping towards the back of my room. I was shocked and horrified as I watched the intruder standing at my desk. Not bothering to look at me or stop what he was doing, he chuckled darkly as he began to speak.

“This is cute.” James said sarcastically, holding my mother’s scrap book. We had finished it earlier today, it was now filled with pictures of all of us, doing normal human things throughout the week. A mixture of my human family and my vampire family, captured forever in photographs.

“Very creative vampire….aren’t you.” he said, as he ran a dirty finger over the picture’s, tracing along our faces.

He let out a deep evil chuckle, then placed the book back on my desk before turning to face me.

“What? Your not going to talk to me?” he smiled deviously, running his hand through his dirty hair.

“Your parents are still alive.” he stated, his wickedly crimson eyes piercing through me.

I just stared at him, not wanting to answer him -I didn’t want him to know, though he already did.

“hmm” he exhaled, and even though it was just a hum, it was seething and sinister just like his words. “How very interesting” the remark falling out of his mouth like an insult.

He started walking around the room, touching and running his filthy hands over my things. Picking things up, as if to get a closer look, lifting my clothes to his defiled face, inhaling the scent.

“They were your personal business you needed to attend to” he was telling -not asking me.

He paused for a moment to look at me, waiting for a response, grinning when I did not give him one.

“You live here, with the humans” he walked towards me “You think that’s safe” it wasn’t a question, and his tone made it a threat.

“It’s too bad” he came closer, cocking his head to the side “that they’ll be caught up in the middle of our time together.” his voice was calm and even flowing -an insincere seductive tone. He smiled a villainous smile, watching me as my face went from shock to horror.

“They have nothing to do with this!” I spit out at him, loud enough for it to be a yell for him, but to quiet for my parents to hear.

“They have everything to do with this, just like you and the rest of your human loving family” he fumed back at me, closing the distance between us.

He grab me around the top of my throat, winding his fingers tightly around my jaw as he slammed my head into the wall behind me. He crushed his body up against mine, grabbing my left hand and trapping me against the wall.

With my right hand I grabbed around his wrist that was holding my face, trying to break free. Now more than ever I wished I still had newborn strength, because I was no match to him.

“Leave us alone” I shrilled through my tightly squeezed jaw and clenched teeth.

He painfully turned my head to whisper in my ear “And why would I do that.” He chuckled softly and then ran his nose down the length of my neck, sniffing me like the disgusting animal that he was.

“If you touch them, I will kill you” I huffed out in revulsion as he traced back up my neck and starting over my check.

He tightened his grip around my jaw as he whipped my head forward, to face him and look him in the eye’s “I’d like to see you try” he smiled.

Just then he looked out the window, then back at me, letting out a growl.

His face was even more horrifying as he let his lips curl up around his teeth, wrinkling his nose, narrowing his eyes. And as if to prove a point -that I was no match for him, he pressed up against me, covering my mouth before hammering his palm right through my forearm -breaking and shattering the bones in half.

I screamed out in muffled pain, trying to stay quite so my parents wouldn’t hear.

As I fell to the floor -holding my arm, he followed me, bending down in front of me.

“Goodbye, Bella. I look forward to seeing you again.” he said grabbing around my face, making me look at him again.

He loosened his hold on my face as he ran his sickening thumb across the length of my mouth, smiling his vindictive smile before disappearing into the night.

5/18/09
*****
Chapter 24: Phone Call

It had been three weeks two days and twelve hours since the psycho James had been at my house.

Three weeks two days and twelve hours of watching and waiting for his return.

And it had been exactly three weeks two days and twelve hours when the phone rang…

“Hello…”

“Bella! Oh Bella, are you alright, where are you…” my mothers voice was panicked and in a rush.

“Mom? I’m fine what’s going on…”

‘NO’ I heard through a muffled and jolted receiver. ‘Leave her a …’ was the next unfinished and smothered sound.

“Mom!” I screamed into the phone. I could hear faint hushed cry’s in the background as the quiet snickering tortured into my ear. “Who is this, what do you want?” I hurried out, looking for answers.

“Oh Bella, I think you know who this is” Her evil voice fell over me like a heavy weight. “We never forget a name or a face, and I’m certain you remember my voice.” Her heinous tone was slow and smooth.

“Victoria…” I exhaled out.

“This was far too easy Bella, and worked out better than I had expected” she stated maliciously.

“What do you want” I snapped out at her.

“I have something you want, and you have something I want” she wagered at me.

“I have nothing of yours Victoria!”

“Yes Bella, you do. Something’s are just harder to see than others” she seethed.

“I don’t know what your talking about, please just let my mother go! She has nothing to do with this!” I was nearing hysteria.

“You come here, alone, and we’ll discuss a trade.”

Before she had completely finished her sentence I was outside, in my car and pulling out of the driveway. I was so thankful that Alice had talked me into buying a car, it was becoming increasingly more useful, especially now.

Victoria must have heard me close the door and start the engine, murmuring a “Good” in a satisfied tone. I was about to tell her I was on my way when she spoke again “And Bella, make sure you are alone and leave the other human lovers behind” and then the phone went silent.

Almost as soon as Victoria had hung up, it started ringing again, I looked at the screen to see that it was Alice and then set the phone down. I couldn’t answer it, and I knew she didn’t need me to, she would see what was happening and follow anyway, all I needed to do was to get there first.

***

I made it to Jacksonville in just under fifteen hours, taking the first flight that would get me there the fastest. Once in Florida I rented a car with navigation and headed for my mothers. I pulled up in front of a yellow house with white trim, it was cute and small, but eerily dark and quiet knowing what was waiting for me inside.

I got out of the car and listened carefully as I walked to the house. The sound of my mothers heartbeat gave me new rise as I ran through the front door.

“Welcome home Bella” Victoria sneered. She was sprawled out on the sofa next to a chair that was holding my mother. She had been bound and gagged and was staring at me with scared pleading eyes as the tears began to stream down her face.

I took a few steps towards her then stopped, Victoria had gotten up and was standing next to her, with a hand placed on her shoulder. “Don’t move. Your mother is fine. I can’t say the same thing about Phil though” she smirked at me drawing my attention to her deep burgundy eyes.

“What did you do to Phil? Where is he?” I asked her in a whisper to low for my mother to hear.

“I was hungry Bella, would you have rather me feed on your mother?” she answered me in a normal tone, uncaring and unfazed. “Don’t be upset Bella, it’s his own fault” she continued “if he would have just sat still like a good little human, he’d still be alive”

With Victoria’s last words registering in her head, Renee started to scream, trying to pull away from Victoria’s touch.

“Oh, did I forget to mention that she didn’t know? Oops.” She scoffed.

My fists were balled up and I was hedging towards a crouch when Victoria bent down behind my mother placing a hand on each side of her face. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” she spoke in a calm and villainy voice.

Knowing she was too close to Renee, I straightened back up and asked her through clenched teeth “What do you want.”

She smiled an evil smile, stood up and took a few quick steps towards me, putting herself between me and Renee. “I want…” she paused and let her smile grow “…you to die Bella.”

“What?”

“You heard me, all you have to do is die.” she said lightly, as if we were talking about the weather.

“Why?”

“Since the first day we met you and your human loving friends, James has done nothing but obsess over you all. It’s taking all of his attention, and if I can get rid of his distractions, starting with you, then I can get his attention back. I’m a selfish creature Bella, and I don’t like to share.” she took another step towards me and smirked before continuing. “And after I’m done with you, your mother is next, then your father and after that your friends.”

“And how do you expect to do that” my fists were clenched again as I took a step towards her this time.

“Don’t you worry Bella, I have a plan.”

Just as she was shifting down into a crouch my phone began to vibrate in my pocket, she looked down and hissed, it was a long enough distraction for me to catch her off guard. I sprang for her, throwing her away from my mother and into the next room. She landed in the pile of already broken table and chairs, which had been placed neatly, waiting for a fire. I flung myself at her, shoving her further into the floor, ripping up the boards beneath us. Her head cracked up against the sliding glass door, shattering the glass, letting it fall like rain against us. She threw me up over her and out the door into the back yard.

We were crouched, circling each other when I heard a car come to a screeching halt in the front. She looked toward the direction of the sound, letting out a loud hiss before turning to run the other way.

“NO!” I yelled flinging myself at her, landing on her back and knocking us both to the ground. Her arms were spread out and trapped under my knees, while I held tightly around her neck. She was fighting me to get away, but I was stronger than she was and she couldn’t move. I knew what I had to do, and cringed at the thought, but I had to protect my family, the one’s I loved. I began to move my hand further around her neck to grasp the back of her head when heard them coming. Four hands reached down, two taking each of Victoria’s arms, trapping her even further in their grasp.

I looked up at Emmett just as he was saying “We’ve got her Bella, you can let go now.”

And as I began to feel myself being calmed I looked toward the other set of hands and found Jasper “It’s ok.” he said “She’s not going anywhere”.

I looked back down at my own hands and gasped at there placement, realizing what I had been about to do. I let go of her, bring my hands up to my mouth.

“Bella?” I heard Edwards voice behind me.

Without a second thought, I turned and flung myself in his waiting arms, and began to quietly weep.

“Shh..shh.. It’s ok Bella” he whispered in my ear as he held me tightly and caressed my back. “She won’t hurt anyone anymore” he said to me softly placing a gentle kiss on the top of my head, just before pulling me away to look me in the eyes “Are you ok Bella?” he asked holding my face in his hands as he gently brushed the hair out of my eyes. “Did she hurt you?” I shook my head ‘no’ answering his question.

“Renee” I yelled turning to run to her. Edward caught me around the arm, bringing me back into his space.

“Carlisle and Esme took her to a hotel so he could look her over. He thought she looked fine Bella, so you don’t have to worry.”

“Phil” was all I could manage to say.

He brought me closer, cupping the side of my face “I’m so sorry Bella” he said shaking his head, looking down at me with sad eyes, confirming what I already knew.

“No..” I cried out as he pulled me in tightly, letting me cry once again on his shoulder.

Through my muffled sobs I could hear the crackle of a fire as the wood popped and snapped in the flames. But along with the comforting sounds of the blaze was a sickening sound of ripping and tearing of metal, and a high keening suddenly breaking off.

I turned to look at the house, where the sound was coming from “Don’t look Bella” Edwards voice was pleading as he gently turned my face away. But it was too late, I had seen the awful noise, witnessed the devouring inferno, watching it as it turned from fire to a sickening purple haze as the last Victoria’s dismembered body was thrown into the pyre.

5/29/09
*****
Chapter 25: Invitations

After the funeral it didn’t take much convincing to bring Renee back to Forks, losing Phil and everything she owned in the process left her with nothing. Charlie welcomed her into his home yet again, this time giving up his room and moving into the study.

Renee was a mess, she looked exactly how I would have felt if I could be exhausted at all. And when her tears ran dry an empty hollowing stare took there place. She would barely move from her bed and hardly ate or drank anything. Carlisle had come over several times to check on her for Charlie’s sake, I knew she was fine, I had Alice check on her future for me and knew she would be ok, eventually.

Since Phil’s death we had uncovered very little information and came up with nothing regarding James and where he might be. The wolves were informed and given all the information we knew, they had agreed to look out for James and let us know if they found anything. One of the wolves, Jacob, was a long time family friend, his father Billy and Charlie were best friends so asking them for help was a reasonable request and they didn’t hesitate to offer.

We had resumed our caution and watchful eye over Charlie and now Renee. I was still staying in at night, only leaving to hunt. The Cullens were being very gracious, I owed them more than I could ever repay for helping me watch over my parents. I knew we couldn’t continue to live like this forever, or for as long as Charlie and Renee lived, it wasn’t fair for any of them. But for now we would have to, and I was grateful for their help.

Edward, Alice and I went back to school to finish out our senior year. I was not yet ready to leave Renee or go back to school, but we needed to keep up appearances.


As the weeks went by and there was still no sight of James, we didn’t forget, but we began to relax. We had all settled into our new comfortable routine and things even began to feel normal again.

Edward continued to be my main companion, and spent most nights with me, keeping me company. If it wasn’t Alice, it was always Edward and neither of us seemed to mind. We had a lot in common, and it wasn’t unusual for us to spend the evening in complete silence, each reading our own book. I loved the others and enjoyed being with them, but I appreciated the peace and quite that I had with Edwards company. He had once joked about me being a ‘mental mute’ and how it drove him crazy that he couldn’t hear my thoughts, but then added it was a welcomed change from the constant chatter that usually bombarded his mind.


“Bella” Edward asked me one evening, setting down his book.

“Yeah?” I looked up as he moved closer to me, his face was serious and intense. I immediately began to worry “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong” he hurried out, giving me a weak smile “I want to ask you something.”

“Oh” I exhaled, feeling a little embarrassed about my panic. I took a fast and unnecessary deep breath to calm myself before answering him “Ok, what’s up?”

His smile grew slightly bigger before letting out a quiet and uncomfortable chuckle, he looked down for a second and took a deep breath before looking back up at me. “Bella” he said again, the intensity of his face and words made my breath hitch on an intake “Would you do me the honor of being my date for the prom?”

I stared into his eyes for several long silent seconds as he patiently waited for me to answer his question.

“What?” was all I could come up with, I was completely shocked and taken back. I didn’t know what to say.

He chuckled again and smiled at my obvious confusion before repeating the question “Bella, would you like to go to prom with me?”

“Oh…um…Prom. Me, dancing…” I stuttered out awkwardly and still in shock. “I don‘t know...”

“Alice and Jasper are going, you know she won’t let you stay home for your first senior prom” he teased.

“Edward…”

“You’re wounding my ego, Bella” he cut me off before I could finish my sentence.

“I can’t dance, I don’t know how.” I admitted. It seemed silly for a vampire to be worried about something so trivial, but I was, and a little embarrassed about it too.

“Well, I can” He stated confidently “And it would be my honor and pleasure to escort you to your prom.” he smiled at me again, just before reaching up to smooth out the crease I had in my brow, letting his hand linger on the side of my face as he gently swept his thumb across my check before letting his hand fall back down to his lap.

His words and touch sent a wave of nerves though me with a familiar electricity that I still could not explain, all of it catching me by surprise and wanting it to never end.

“Ok” I answered him, dazed, but sure that it was what I wanted “I’ll go with you” I smiled at him, thankful, yet again, that I could no longer blush.

“Ok” he returned my smile, before finally breaking our gaze and picking back up his book.

6/15/09
*****
Chapter 26: Irresistible


“Alice, this dress belongs on a runway model. Why can’t I just wear the white one again?”

“Are you kidding! That’s the worst fashion mistake a girl can make, you never wear the same dress twice!” I couldn’t believe it, but she was completely serious, and sounded a little offended by the fact that I didn’t know such an obvious fashion rule.

As usual Alice went ahead and bought me something to wear without consulting me first, I felt like a real life dress up doll for her. Although the dress was beautiful, it seemed a little much and not really my style, but even if I wanted to, I couldn’t refuse Alice.

It was softly frilly, off the shoulders, with long, draping sleeves that gathered at the wrists. The sheer bodice was girdled by another paled-flowered fabric that pleated together to form a thin ruffle down the left side. The flowered material was long in the back, but open in the front over several fitted layers of soft ruffles, lightening in shade as they reached the tea-length bottom hem.

My hair had been curled with rollers and then carefully twisted up into an equine mane of ringlets that flooded in a thick line of cascading curls down the line of my back. With my makeup finished and the perfectly matching shoes, the illusion was complete.

“There” she said, standing me in front of a full length mirror “Perfect” she smiled, obviously pleased with her creation.

“Thank you Alice” was all I could say. I looked very pretty, I had to admit, but was completely embarrassed at the thought.

“You like it then?”

“Of course Alice, it’s all very nice thank you for your help.”

“Nice? You don’t look Nice Bella! You looked nice this morning in your pajama’s. You look stunning! Look again!” she was ranting now, and more to herself than me, again I had disappointed her with my lack of enthusiasm for all things fashion. She turned me back around to face the mirror and pointed to my reflection.

“Okay, Alice” I smiled. “I see”

“Alright, I have to go and get myself ready. Don’t ruin any of this” she said pointing to me, waving her hand up and down. “Edward will be here in a few minutes to pick you up”

“A few minutes? Why so early? The dance doesn’t start for a few more hours?” my voice was all panic.

“Calm down Bella! You’ll have to take pictures here with Charlie and Renee, then come over to the house. Esme wants to see you and get pictures too.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Now, go see your parents. And I’ll see you in awhile” she smiled at me and gave me a quick hug before running out of my room and to her car.

I stood there for a few more minutes, taking deep breaths, preparing myself for the onslaught of attention that I didn’t want to receive.

**
After several staged and uncomfortable poses Charlie and Renee put the camera down, just in time for Edward to show up, and for it to start all over again.

I was standing in the living room with a gushing Renee when the door bell rang. I could hear Edward standing outside the door taking long deep breaths, it made me feel better to think he was just a nervous as I was. I smiled to myself at the thought of Edward being nervous for anything, and Charlie was walking a slow pace to the door, taking much longer than normal or necessary, which I’m sure didn’t help.

Charlie stopped at the door with his hand on the knob, cleared his throat, took a deep breath, straightened up while pushing his shoulders back and then opened the door.

“Good evening Chief Swan” Edward greeted him.

“Hello Edward, how are you doing tonight?” I smiled again, but this time only at Charlie, he was being the overprotective father, using his Police Chief Swan voice.

“I’m fine sir, is Bella ready?” Edward responded to Charlie, trying to hide the amusement in his voice.

“She’s waiting for you in the living room, follow me.” Charlie continued, but lightened up his voice just a little.

As I heard Charlie step out of the way to let Edward pass, my nerves took off again. With each step he took my stomach felt like it was jumping further up into my throat.

As he rounded the corner I stared at him in awed disbelief. He was so beautiful, he looked like he belonged on a movie screen. He was wearing a black tuxedo that made him look very tall and dark -it made my heart throb in an unfamiliar way.

Once he made it around the corner, he froze in place, his topaz eyes wide. As he looked me up, landing on my eyes and staying there for far too long, I began to feel the embarrassment creep up my neck, staining my checks like a blush.

After an obviously long and awkward several seconds Charlie cleared his throat which prompted Renee to grab the camera again.

Edward, on cue, and letting his ability get the best of him, took the last few steps forward closing the gap between us and taking my hand in his. He pulled me closer, keeping me locked in his gaze as he whispered to me, too softly for my parents to hear “You are absurdly beautiful”. He avowed each word, letting his sweet breath pour over me, finishing with his heart-stopping smile.

When he pulled away there were white flowers in his other hand. “Freesia” he informed me, while pinning them into my curls. “Completely redundant, as far as fragrance in concerned, of course.” Then he leaned back , looking me over again before adding, “This suits you.”

“Thank you” I managed to speak “Edward, you look…amazing.” Of course he looked much more than amazing, the word itself was unjust and inaccurate, but it was all I could come up with.

After several more uncomfortably staged poses, and far too many pictures were taken, we were finally able to leave.

Edward held out his arm so I could wrap mine around his as we walked to the door. After saying goodnight to my parents and as soon as we were outside with the door closed behind us, we looked at each other and busted out in a fit a laughter.

When we had started to walk to the door, I was beginning to get nervous again, but when he began laughing with me all those nerves disappeared with our common amusement.

“Are you going to be ok with doing that again at my house? Or should we skip it?” He asked me while walking towards his car.

“After that, I think I’ll be fine” I smiled at him. “Where’s the Volvo?” I finally noticed once he opened the door for me.

“The Volvo is my everyday car. This is my special occasion car.”

***

I was wrong. Esme was just as bad as my mother and Charlie had been, maybe even worse -she had five accomplices egging her on with each picture she took. It did help a little that Alice and Jasper had to partake -but only a little. Alice and Jasper had been to prom several times before this, so they didn’t feel the need to document the experience quite so thoroughly as with Edward and I. I was surprised to learn that Edward had never taken a date to prom before, I don’t know why, but knowing that made me feel even better about going with him tonight, it made me happy.

Even though they had managed to take far too many pictures, Edward was able to put a stop to it far sooner with them, than I was able to with Renee and Charlie.

“Are you ready to go?” he asked.

“The prom doesn’t start for a couple more hours?” I told him, even though I was sure he knew.

“I can’t take you to dinner, but I would like to take you somewhere else. If you’ll let me.” his mouth twitched up at the sides, he knew full well that I would jump at any opportunity to get away from the possibilities of flash photography.

“Ok” I answered him nonchalantly with a shoulder shrug, like I had nothing better to do -so why not.

He laughed at me before telling his family we were leaving. And after a few more hugs we were finally out the door and driving. It took us fifteen minutes to get to where we stopped, which was the middle of nowhere and a dead end dirt road that lead to hiking trails.

He was out of the car, with my door open and holding out his hand for me to take before I could ask him what we were doing. Once out of the car, he held onto my hand and began walking me towards the forest.

“Where are we going?” I asked him, letting my confusion show.

“There’s a place I would like you to see” he looked over at me with a mischievous grin.

“If I ruin this dress before I make it to prom Alice will kill us both”

“Bella, you’ll be fine. It’s just a short run a few miles in” He said pointing in the direction that we were headed. “I could carry you if you’d like” His grin grew even bigger with saying that. “No chance of ruining your shoes or getting dirty that way”

I thought about it for a split second, then decided against it. Either way I would have to hike up my dress, but it would be less if I ran myself.

“Maybe next time.” I gave him a teasing grin back. “You lead the way, I’ll follow” I told him as I was pulling up my dress, letting it rest mid-thigh, high enough for me to run in comfortably without tearing it, but low enough so I wasn’t uncomfortable or revealing.

The run was short and sweet, exhilarating. I love running, but this time was different, it was even more enjoyable, having Edward by my side.

We reached our destination in a matter of minutes, slowing to a walk just before the forests edge. What I saw waiting for me was beautiful and breath taking, but it was nothing compared to the man standing next to me.

6/16/09
Chapter 27: The Meadow

The meadow was small, perfectly round, and filled with wildflowers - violet, yellow and soft white. The sun was beginning it’s descent behind the tree’s, filling the circle with a haze of buttery sunshine that was slowly creeping away into an orange glow. I walked slowly, awestruck, through the soft grass, swaying flowers, and warm, gilded air. It was the loveliest place I had ever seen. Somewhere nearby, I could hear the bubbling music of a stream and the life of the forest, quieting down, awaiting their slumber.

I halfway turned, wanting to share this with him but he wasn’t next to me where I thought he’d be. As I was turning back to face the direction in which we came, a light breeze pick up, spilling the scents of the forest and flowers in the air. I instinctively closed my eyes, letting it waft over me, allowing the soft flurry caress my skin, and finger through my hair.

I lingered there for a few moments, inhaling the sweet scents and soaking up the crowning rays of sunshine. I opened my eyes just as the orange glow began melting into a rose radiance, it was magical and beautiful, like standing at the end of a shifting rainbow.

After indulging myself in the splendor of the meadow, I finished turning, to face Edward. He was still standing under the dense shade of the canopy at the edge of the hollow, watching me with rapt eyes.

I smiled encouragingly, taking a step toward him “Are you coming?” I asked self consciously, feeling embarrassed from the focus of my single audience member.

“I was just enjoying the view” he smiled back at me, before walking towards me to take his place by my side.

“It’s beautiful” I told him as the rose color faded into a soft violet, I looked around memorizing the painted scene.

“I used to think so” he said softly, lifting his hand up to brush against my check.

He swept his hand down the length of my arm, before grasping my hand, gently pulling me forward. “Come” he said to me smiling his brilliant smile. “The shows about to start”

We walked to the center of the meadow, where, I hadn’t noticed before, there was a large soft fluffy blanket laid out, topped with two small pillows. Above the makeshift bed were several various shaped white pillar candles flickering in the soft wind, illuminating a single long stemmed red rose.

It was beautiful and romantic, and I was shocked at the display.
“Hmm” he hummed out as a smile spread across his face. “Remind to thank Alice, again.” he chuckled lightly at his statement.

“What is all this?” I asked him, obviously confused, my voice tinged with awe.

“I wanted you to be comfortable” he grinned before lowering himself to the blanket, then gesturing me next to him “Will you sit with me?”

I returned his smile, replying “Sure” before sliding off my shoes and stepping onto the soft blanket.

The violet sky had completely faded and was taken over by sunset blue, spotted and sparkling with stars.

“Thank you for sharing this with me” I said looking away from the firmament and into his eyes.

“It’s not over yet” he revealed “Watch” he told me indicating towards the stars.

I listened, following his command just as aurora began to dance across the sky.

It wasn’t uncommon to witness aurora borealis in Washington, but this was the first time I had seen it so clearly. In the unfiltered and open sky of the meadow I was seeing it’s beauty in full force, with nothing to obstruct or inhibit my view.

The shimmering swirls of dancing colored rain swam across the night sky. Bright greens and teals spun and twisted with the fiery pinks and sparkling whites, which were moving and swaying with the blazing orange and flashing yellow. The glitter and glow of the rainbow painted the azure with mastery and precision as the celestial dance continued over the earth.

I was completely captivated by it’s beauty as I watched the precession continue, able only to exhale an astonished “Oh,” expressing my delight.

“It’s so beautiful” I beamed, looking over to Edward. “Thank you so much for bringing me here.” I told him, wrapping my arms around his neck, bringing myself into him.

“It is my pleasure Bella” he responded while wrapping his arms around me pulling me closer, tightening the embrace.

He held me there for a moment, then loosened his hold as I began to pull away, my check brushing his as our faces past. I had been looking down, following the contours of his face, my gaze ending where his mouth began. My lips parted as my breath hitched with the realization that we were less than inches apart. I forced my attention from his mouth up to his leer.
His deep topaz eyes bore into me, exciting the nerve endings throughout my entire body as the electricity hammered between us.

Without breaking his gaze, or moving an inch, he lifted his hand and gently swept away a few loose curls that had wound around my neck. Then as he dropped his sight, he traced his fingers gently and slowly down the line of my neck, flowing over the exposed skin of my shoulder.

I took a shallow breath in, thrilling from his touch as he gently slid his hand back up, brushing the underneath of my jaw. He brought his eyes back to mine as he tenderly slid his hand around my neck, weaving his hand in through my hair, holding me passionately and firmly in place.

My breath shook with excitement as I gently tightened my grip that was still around his neck, as he was doing the same where his hand was resting at the small of my back.

“Bella..” he whispered my name before pressing his soft full lips into mine, pulling me closer with both hands.

Our kiss was gentle, soft and sweet. And as we stayed with each other, neither of us willing it to end, our passion began to deepen -giving in to our desires. Months of aspiration and tension were now being surrendered in this kiss, freeing and indulging our pleasure as we melted into each other.

He gently laid me against the soft earth, our lips never parting as he pressed me tighter and closer to him unwilling to let go, while I greedily wound both my hands into his hair pulling him into me.

***

We stayed like that, locked into each other for what felt like hours, seemed like seconds and passed far too quickly. Once we finally pulled away from each other, we laid there, staring into each other’s eyes, neither of us saying a word.

We stayed like that, our bodies in constant touch and our hands innertwined. We smiled at each other, never breaking the blissful silence. Every now and then Edward would lean over and kiss me gently, keeping it sweet, as to not get carried away again. I kept his grasp while caressing his arm, sometimes pressing his hand gently to my face, placing tiny kisses on the back of his hand.

After a long while, he leaned over brushing his lips to mine before propping himself up on his elbow. He brought our fixed hands up to his mouth grazing his lips across my fingers before placing my hand against my chest. With his now free hand he held me around the back of my neck, rubbing the line of my jaw with his thumb.

“Bella” he finally spoke, ending our silence.

“Hmm” I hummed back, bringing a smile to his face.

He paused for a moment, staring me in the eyes, before continuing “We’re going to miss prom.” he smiled again.

“Ok” I admitted in an uncaring tone. He knew me well, chuckling at my attempt of defection.

“I want to take you.” he stated before planting another soft kiss on my lips.

“But I’m perfectly happy right here.” I replied while reaching up and running my fingers through his hair.

“It would be a shame if no one else were able to see you in this dress.” he said reaching up to take my hand and kissing the inside of my wrist.

“I don’t care about anyone else right now.” I responded truthfully. There was no one else in the world that I wanted to see tonight, and I wanted him to know.

He smiled a full, breath taking smile, before pulling me close and embracing me with another kiss. It was a deep and sweet kiss that he ended too quickly, leaving me wanting more as he trailed down the line of my jaw with his lips, ending at my ear.

“Humor me” he whispered before picking me up. He cradled me in his arms for a moment before setting me down to my feet. Holding me there, waiting for my reply.

“Ok. Let’s go” I gave in to his request.

He pulled away, kissing the tops of my hands before bending over to blow out the candles, while I slid on my shoes.

I was pulling up my dress to get ready to run when he lifted my chin with his finger. He had the same mischievous smile from earlier planted on his face “Would you like me to carry you?” his grin grew bigger as he said the words.

“Are you joking?” I asked him unable to hide my amusement.

“Not even a little.” He answered me, completely serious and holding onto his grin.

I stared at him for a few seconds waiting for his façade to break, when he didn’t budge, I giggled allowing the excitement to spread across my face “Ok” I exhilarated.

His expression grew with my acceptance, turning around and squatting down slightly for me to climb on. I couldn’t help but laugh at the gesture, causing him to bust out with me.

I pulled up my dress, farther than before and held on to Edwards back. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders, locking my legs around his waist while he held onto my thighs.

He turned to look at me saying “You better hold on tight spider monkey.” before taking off into the forest at full speed.

6/16/09
*****

Chapter 28: Friends

We showed up fashionably late for the prom, I’m sure Alice will be so proud.

The dance was in full force and going strong by the time we finally arrived. We tried to sneak in, but unfortunately and as usual we were unable to make a quiet entrance. As vampires we always drew in unwanted attention and stood out. But tonight was different, entering the room with Edward looking the way he did, the attraction was impossible to escape.

Normally I cringed at the scrutiny, ignoring the looks and snide remarks, but in this particular moment, I was reveling in it. I was happier than I ever remembered being, proud and thrilled that I was the girl on Edwards arm.

We made our way through the on looking crowd and headed towards the back of the room, where Alice and Jasper were waiting.

I smiled and politely said ‘Hello’ the a few of the brave souls that greeted me as we past, all the while pretending not to notice Edwards hold pull me tighter each time I did.

I was amused at the thought of him being wary of anyone, let alone any of these silly and immature humans. I looked up to him, giving him a sweet smile while squeezing his arm just a little tighter. Secretly conveying my assurance that he had nothing to worry about. I have never in my life met anyone more kind, respectful and dignified than Edward Cullen, and I wanted him to know at least with my touch, if not with my words.

We had almost reached the table when Alice could no longer contain herself. From the moment we made eye contact with her she had been beaming from ear to ear, and now that we were within her grasp, she squealed, bouncing up and down just before landing a huge hug on both of us.

“Oh my god you guys! I am so happy for you” she was practically singing.

“Alight Alice, calm down” Edward said to her chuckling.

She release her hold on both of us, only to take me fully in her grasp. “Oh Bella” she chimed in my ear. “This is so great!” she said before pulling away. “Doesn’t she look stunning Edward” she continued, complimenting her achievement yet again.

“Yes, she does.” Edward affirmed, taking me back into his arms.

Alice gave me a quick wink before returning to Jasper.

“Hey Edward, Bella. You look very pretty.” Jasper greeted us, securing Alice in his arms.

“Thank you Jasper.” I responded, embarrassed, but not at the compliment, instead at the knowledge of him feeling every emotion I had tonight.

The four of us went outside to enjoy the night, sitting on the patio chairs. We talked, joked and laughed for awhile, keeping to ourselves and ignoring the stares.

After awhile Jasper had asked and escorted Alice out onto the dance floor. We quietly watch as they floated and swayed across the stage. They were beautiful and graceful as they moved in perfect sync. I followed their movements, awe stuck and amazed, along with most everyone else in the room.

They finished one song and began another, when Edward finally spoke, bringing me out of my reverie.

“Are you having a nice time Bella?” he asked me while rubbing the top of my hand.

“Yes. I think I am.” I teased him with a smile, knowing, through Jasper, he knew exactly what kind of time I was having.

He chuckled lightly before standing up, holding out his hand “Are you ready?” he asked me with a grin.

“Ready for what?” I curiously took his hand “Is it time to go?” I heard myself say, the disappointment evident in my voice.

“Did you really think I would bring you to prom without having at least one dance?” he answered me seriously and with a smile.

“Edward, I told you, I can’t dance.” I pleaded, knowing he wouldn’t waiver.

“And I told you, I can.” he stated, determined, walking me out to the courtyard.

Past the tables and down a small walkway, sat a tiny gazebo in the yard. Flowers had grown up and over, hanging around the structure that was lit with twinkling lights.

The couples that were inside left at our approach, leaving us alone in the night.

He pulled me close, once inside, leaning down to kiss my cheek. And when the music began to play he whispered in my ear “Stand on my feet.”

I pulled away from him, chuckling at the ridiculous request. “What?”

“Trust me” he said, starring into my eyes, the intensity washing away all and any doubt.

I wrapped my arms around his neck, resting them on his shoulders. He held me around the waist, lifting me gently, then setting me down on his feet. He smiled at me as he began to move “See, your dancing” he mused as he spun me around the room.

As I memorized every twist and turn, my apprehension fell away. It wasn’t complicated or fast, instead it was elegant and smooth. Edward was adept, flawless and graceful.

After repeating the steps several times, each of us locked in the other’s eyes, unwilling to let go. I knew I would have to be the one to break our stance. I smiled at him before lifting myself up on my toes, placing a soft kiss on his lips. As I pulled away, I stepped from his feet, continuing to move in our dance, perfectly and uninterrupted. He smiled an adoring smile, but didn’t say a word as we continued our drift across the room.

When the song finished he looked down at me, his face soft but serious as he spoke “Bella, will you walk with me?”

I answered him with a smile, taking him around the arm.

We walked out further into the courtyard and away from the wondering eyes.

The hall where the prom was being held, sat along side the river, beautifully back-dropping an already perfect night. We walked towards one of a few benches that sat near the edge of the water.

It was a warm clear night and the moon was out in full. The white light shone down, illuminating the scene and sparkling the rivers cover.


He turned me to face him, looking deep into my eyes. “You are so beautiful” he said with such conviction it made my chest ache. I stared at him in awed disbelief, scrambling to think of anything to say.

He sat me down on the bench, taking my hand in his and began to speak. “For almost ninety years I’ve walked this earth… all the time thinking I was complete in myself, not realizing what I was seeking. And not finding anything, because you weren’t alive yet. I never imagined anything like this. I didn’t believe I would ever find someone I wanted to be with… in another way than my brothers and sisters. And then I met you…” he paused taking in a breath “Your not like anyone I’ve ever known, and after tonight…” He looked down for a second before reuniting with my eyes “I’m not strong enough to stay away from you.” he professed.

I didn’t know if there ever was a choice, really. Because right now with him, his voice, his hypnotic eyes, the magnetic force of his personality and the undeniable electricity between us, I wanted nothing more than to be with him. “Then don’t” I simply stated, the words, the decision were ridiculously easy to live with. As many years of unfathomable experience as he had this was every bit as new to him as it was to me.

We sat in silence starring at each other. He was a different Edward than the one I had known before today. And I felt all the more besotted by him. And I knew that after tonight it would cause me physical pain to be separated from him now.

6/17/09
*****

Chapter 29: Nightmare

As I left Edward that night I had no idea what my future held, but was positive about who would be in it. The last couple of days had been perfect, there wasn’t anything that could have made it better, and I was blissfully happy.

***
The smell of fresh blood set my throat on fire like a lit match to gasoline. Then my brain kicked, smothering the flames and replacing them with a choke hold I would never get rid of.

As I ran through the open door to my house, I began praying to a god that I wasn’t sure I believed in, hoping he would answer my prayers, but knowing he wouldn’t because there was no hope.

And I was too late.

Charlie and Renee’ were dead.

The house was trashed, battered and bruised with blood. My parents lay in a crumpled mess on the living room floor, while chaos was erupting out the open door to the back yard. The blazing scent of their blood with the sweet smell of a familiar vampire was mixed with a pungent stench of wet dog, but my focus was uninhibited.

I knew there was nothing I could do, but my body was moving of its own accord, and by the time I realized it I was kneeling in the combined pool of their blood, holding them to me, praying for a heartbeat.

The sneer of his laughter and the whimpering yelp that followed brought me out of my arduous descry. I gently laid the bodies of my parents back to the floor while stifling another cry before bolting out the back door.

James was standing and hovering over a small –yet abnormally large wolf, one that I had not yet seen. He was laughing his deject and demoralizing titter when he heard me and turned to face my way.

“Ah Bella” he jabbed “I’m so glad you finally made it home. That color suits you” he fermented while making a pointed gesture towards me.

As I followed his direction and began to look down at myself I was revolted at the sight of blood that was staining me and my once beautiful dress. In a panicked frenzy I began trying to wipe the blood off my hands and dress, only to discover instead I was making it worse, smearing the wasted life of my innocent parents further over me.

As if the crimson color its self tainted my vision, I began to see red. Feeling the devastating loss change into unimaginable hatred I turned my fury and gaze back onto James and began to run towards the murderous life leech to end his carnage once and for all.

Realizing what my intentions were as I vastly approached him he took off into the night and into the forest for cover. He was faster than me, but I was never far behind.

We didn’t get far into the forest when I head behind me the trudging of paws closing the distance between us.

As if mother earth knew I needed a reprieve we burst through a clearing in the forest, causing James to falter to a halt. Surrounding us in the clearing was a total of ten wolves, six forming a half circle around the clearing while three were herding us in.

In this moment of agonizing infuriation it didn’t matter that I was, along with James, their natural enemy. Treaty or no treaty, it didn’t matter that I was covered in human blood, but not to blame, all that matter was that the butcherer James, murderer of my parents was at a standstill and oblivious to the fact that I was still at full speed running towards him to end his pathetic existence.

I ran into him like a freight train through a concrete wall, throwing us both further into a spiraling tangled mess in the middle of the field closer than should have been comfortable to the wolves. Before I could get a firm grasp around the degenerates neck he threw me off him like a rag doll out of an open window, landing me at the feet of the biggest wolf out of them all. He was russet brown in color, his lips curled up around his massive, sharp teeth while the thick fur at the nap of his neck stood up prickly and alert.

Through the wolfs feral growl I was able to yell to them before James could fight his way through and escape “HE KILLED CHARLIE, DON’T LET HIM GET WAY!”

As if the words themselves were another slap in the face, I picked myself back up and away from the angry look in the wolfs eyes, regaining focus on James and the need I felt deep within my core to rid the world of this horrible creature.

Where there was a hole that James had been after to escape was now filled with another massive wolf, only this one was black.

James turned, facing me and looking for a way out in my direction, only to realize there was none. Now that I was up and moving toward him again, I realized that behind me and to each of my sides I had the wolves flanking me and closing the circle and distance between us and James. He began moving slowly as if being backed into a wall when he came to a stop, looked behind him, smirked, before turning his gaze back to me.

With each word he spoke, his filthy hateful eyes stabbed my shattered heart even further “I did it for you Bella, Don’t you see? I did it all for you, so we can finally be together.”

“NO” Was all I could muster, I couldn’t think of any of it, I didn’t want it to be true and I didn’t want to hear it.

“Yes!” he retorted back at me “Do you think any of this was easy Bella?! Getting that senseless ingrate Victoria to set herself up to be killed, to bid my time watching and waiting, learning all of your habits all the while cloaking myself so that your future seer and mind reader wouldn’t know I was around.” He was yelling at me like an angry lover, forgetting the wolves were practically breathing down his neck he began to pace, inching closer to me with each pass.

“It was all working out perfectly too, until tonight! When I saw you with HIM!” the rage in his eyes and the sound of his voice made my breath catch as I stumbled a step back. “You let him touch you! What did you think was going to happen, did you really think I would let you get away with that kind of behavior and not punish you?! …It’s your fault their dead my sweet Bella”

“NO! You killed them!”

“For you! I killed them for you! To teach you to never betray me again, and now that you have nothing left of your human life we can be together, just like I planned...”

Before James could finish what he was saying, and faster than I had ever seen him move before Edward threw himself into the circle of wolves and slamming James into the ground.

“Get her out of here!” Edward yelled just as two sets of arm grabbed me and pulled me through the now open space behind me.

“Don’t touch her she’s mine!” James spit out through the dirt and grass just before he words were cut off with a snap.

“No! He’s mine! He killed my parents, …he’s mine… I have to kill him…” I started my protest in anger, but soon realized my words were barely making it out of my mouth in a whisper. I felt heavy and numb, like a heavy cloud pushing down on me, making it hard for me to focus. I’d only ever felt like this once in my life, when I was younger and had broken my arm, the doctors gave me drugs for the pain –this is what it felt like, like I was drugged, heavy and medicated.

“I can’t keep this up for long. She’s a vampire, not a human!” I heard my doctor say through the fog, but it wasn’t my doctor; it was Jasper holding me, pushing me into this dimness.

“Jasper…stop…”

“Shh...I’m sorry Bella, it’s for you own good”

It wasn’t until then that I realized I was crying, the fog was from Jasper but the heavy numbing was from my broken heart and desiccated tears.

(11/24/2009)
***

Chapter 30: The End

Cover ups.

That’s what my life was amounting to. A hand full of cover ups, leaving me feeling painfully exposed and cold.

This time it was an animal attack, and this time was the last time.

I graduated from Forks High School on the last day I would be in this god forsaken town, and on the same day I buried my parents.

Welcome to your new life Bella.

“You can come in, I’m not going to bite you Jacob.”

“I’m not scared of you biting me Bella, it just goes again the norm for me to be here.” He sauntered in the kitchen after waiting by the door for several minutes.

“Here”

“What’s this?” he asked me while grabbing the large manila envelope from my hand.

“It’s the deed to your new house”

“My new house? What are you talking about vampire?”

“Charlie wanted you to have this house, you and Billy were like family to him and he wanted you to have this house Jacob. I don’t need it” I let out a sigh “Actually, even if I did need it,… I don’t want it.”

“I’m not taking your house Bella, and your right Charlie was like family, which is why I know that even if you didn’t need the house, he would have still wanted you to have it, so here…” he jabbed the thick folder back towards me “Take it, I don’t want it”

“Well, I don’t know what you’re going to do with it” I pushed it back towards him “Because I’ve already signed over the deed, it belongs to you now. Sell it, keep it, burn it to the ground, I don’t care. But It IS Your House Now.” I enunciated each word, giving them more meaning they would have otherwise never known.

“I Don’t Want It” he retorted, throwing my power play back in my face. “Why are you doing this?”

“Consider it a thank you for helping me. Besides, I’m telling you the truth Jacob, Charlie would have wanted you to have this place. We talked about it once, he knew I couldn’t stay here forever…he would have wanted you to have it.” I turned away from him, talking about my dad in casual conversation made the reality that he and my mom were gone that much harder. “Please” I, …well, pleaded.

“Bella…”

“Don’t make this harder than it already is Jacob, just take the house. Use it for your wolf pack; you don’t get paid for your public service right? Consider this payment for a job well done.”
I put the last of my things in the small bag that was on the table before zipping it up and slinging it over my shoulder; I grabbed my purse and my keys off the counter. “Here’s my copy” I told him, taking my house key from the ring and handing it to him. He hesitated for a moment before looking at me and with a sigh of defeat, he took the key. “Thank you Jacob. Really, I mean it.” I would have hugged him; because the truth was I was grateful to them for helping me with James, if they hadn’t been there I’m sure he would have gotten away.

“Where will you go?”

I turned to look at him, I was halfway out the door when he asked, catching me off guard. I smiled and gave him a shrug “I’ll let you know if I plan on coming back through this way.”
He returned my smile, nodding his head in agreement “Ok”

I had just closed the trunk of my car when a sweet, small breeze ruffled my hair, lit up my nerves, and made my heart begin to ache.

“Don’t leave.”

“You weren’t supposed to know.” I said while composing myself and turning to face him. Looking into his eyes, and the sallow look on his face, I knew I would have to speak as quickly and as little as possible or I would never get through this. This was hurting me, all of this.
I began to walk towards a trail by the house, instead of asking him to come with me. When we were a few feet into the forest he grabbed around my wrist softly pulling me to a stop. “Edward, I have to go.”

“We can figure this out, it doesn’t have to be like this. “

“Yes, it does.” I said, pulling my arm from his grasp. The pain that swept across his face at that moment was excruciating as I finally allowed myself to admit why, the truth searing through me like a bolt of lightning, igniting every fiber of my being like a flame.

I had unconditionally and irrevocably fallen in love with Edward Cullen.

I had fallen in love with my enemy, but he wasn’t my enemy any longer, and my love for him was all the more torturing because of it. We could never be. It was impossible, and had proven to be time and time again. The two of us together is and unstoppable magnetic force for danger. We are like chaos –uncontained and destructive. Since the first moment we met our lives have never been the same. It’s been painful and conflicting as it spilled over into the lives of our families. We can never be together, being around each other is dangerous and unacceptable. So I must leave, to protect the rest of them for everyone’s sake, I must go.

“This..” I wafted my hand between us “Us, being around each other…this is my fault.”
“What…”

“Ever since I came here, I’ve done nothing but cause pain. Pain for you, pain for me, pain for our families…my family is dead because of me. Because of what me coming here set into motion, my parents lost their lives.”

“No. That is not true Bella. None of this was your fault, you are not to blame!” he was getting louder, sounding angry.

“Yes it is Edward, look around!” I threw out my hand, gesturing towards the house were my parents were slain.

“No.” he said again, grabbing my hand from mid air before I could drop it to my side in defeat.
I looked into his eyes as he stepped closer, leaving only inches between us. Memorizing him for the last time I inhaled deeply, letting his sweet scent waft over me like a warm summer breeze. My eyes pricked as I starred at his beautiful face, truly seeing him for the first time. He was breath taking, his golden topaz eyes, pleading, as they burned into me like a hot knife through soft butter.

“Stay. We can figure all this out. Together.” He spoke quietly through his full, soft lips, while brushing the hair out of my face, then lingering and softly rubbing his thumb across my check. “I need you.”

I wanted to weep. But more than that I wanted to let myself be taken away by his words, to throw myself in his arms and tell him that I needed him too.

Instead, and even though I thought there was nothing in my heart left to break, I stepped away from him, shattering any and all remnants of my heart and soul. The only thing him or anyone else needed from me was space. “Don’t” I said to him, brushing past him towards my car.

“Bella, please” he held around my arm, speaking softly into my ear as he stood behind me. “You don’t understand.”

I caught myself before I was able to turn my head into his voice, but I was unable to do anything about his sweet breath that was tickling down my neck. “I have to do this, it’s the only way”

“I don’t just need you Bella” he said gently, turning me to face him once again.

“No Edward. Please stop.” I started backing away from him while shaking my head.

“I love you Bella.” He walked forward, keeping the space between us and locking our eyes.

I kept shaking my head while instantly putting a gap between us. I wanted him to know that I loved him too, but that would be unfair, because it wouldn’t matter, I was still leaving. It is my love for him and his family that I am leaving, to ensure they are safe and that nothing bad will ever happen to them again.

I took a deep breath, clamping down on my desires and calming myself for what I was about to do. I would always love Edward, I will never love anyone again the way I love him but after today, he will at least be able to move on, and find someone good enough for him.

“This will be the last time you will ever see me.” And the last time I will ever cause you pain, I added in my head.

“Bella, don’t do this.” He was now the one shaking his head.

“We’re not good for each other.”

“No.” he said a little louder, but was still shaking his head, searching my face, looking for something –something that I was hopefully hiding.

“Edward” was all I could manage to say before I cut myself off, knowing my voice would give me away, the heartbreak I was feeling trying to get out with my words. I looked away, to compose myself, before I could continue to lie to him, when his quiet words caught my attention.

“It’s not the same…is it.” He wasn’t asking, he was stating. And as I looked back at him the pain and disbelief began to show on his face, and realization closely following.

“No.” I clipped out on a lie, and then held my breath to trap the sob that was threatening me with escape.

“Well, that changes things.” He said taking a stumbling step back while running his hand through his hair.

“Edward…” he looked up at me, the pain in his eyes was too much to bare, I had to look away to continue. “I won’t come back. I won’t put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me.” I took one long breath to steady my voice before continuing “It will be as if I’d never existed.” I finished, looking him square in the eyes.
He took another shaky breath, while nodding his head slightly in agreement before turning his gaze away from me and to the forest.

“I’m so sorry Edward.” I whispered to him, and then turned away, leaving him standing in the empty forest.

(11/24/2009)
***
Epilogue: Visitor

EPOV

Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.

It’s been five years since I’ve seen her face, heard her voice or been close enough to touch her soft skin, and all though I can close my eyes and remember her with perfect detail, just as I will always remember the scent of her –it will never be the same, just as I will never love another.

(11/24/09)
*****
OMG great story!!!!!!!
Yes, This is the end, at least for now...

However, I will continue to write Edwards POV http://www.thetwilightsaga.com/group/fanfiction/forum/topics/edward...

THANK YOU all SO much for reading my story! I enjoyed writing it and loved reading all of your wonderful comments! They were my motivation to keep going!

Until next time...
-Eve
you have to write them getting back together! i am shaking right now and i swear i cant handle new moon without eclipse! i mean what about Alice?! she should see Bella flipping out after she leaves and she should know someone should have tried to stop her other than just Edward...but anyways they need to get back together! yes this is the second comment im leaving but WOW that was insane...and the ending made me cry...just like new moon...the book i stay away from...great story just the ending gets to me :'(
i just sat at work for the past few hours and did nothing but read your story. I love how the roles are kind of reversed. Will you ever write more to this? like a sequel? either way it was amazing.. and i do like how there wasnt like the perfect fairytale ending.. kind of like real life
lol that's funny, I want your job ;) Thank you for reading it, I'm glad you liked it! I was definetly going for a more "real" feel to it and like you said not so perfect and fairytale like, so thank you for acknowledging that.

I'm not exactly sure if I'm going to continue, it's at a point right now that I could go either way, so I guess it really all depends on how I feel about it when Edwards pov is finished. I'd like to, I think it's a little unfair to have them suffer needlessly for all of eternity...but we'll see ;)

Again -Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting!

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