The Twilight Saga

banner by Mrs Sky Cullen - ABSOLUTELY FANTABULOUS!!!!

The family is coming back together, and life is returning to normal...but are the Cullen's really in control of the situation? The answer, of course, is no.

You think you're in control?

banner from Megan's gallery - thanx Megan!

Discussion: Prologue
Pg 1: Chap 1
Pg 2: Chap 2
Pg 3: Chaps 3, 4, 5
Pg 4: Chaps 6, 7

Pg 5: Chaps 8, 9
, 10
Pg 6: Chaps 11,
12, 13



I never realised how exhausting a day on this island could be. It was only mid-afternoon and, despite the fact that we hadn't been walking for very long, my feet ached with every step. Carlisle quickly noticed my lagging behind and offered to carry me back to the house. I quickly accepted, of course, and soon enough he was filling the enormous bathtub with all manner of perfumes and salts.

"You are an angel," I murmured, sinking into the water and taking a deep breath of the mixture of scents. It was not as strong now as it had once been - I missed that - but it was still soothing. I shut my eyes and slid deeper, so that I was almost up to my chin in the wonderful warm water.
"Would you like me to leave?" Carlisle offered.

"No, you're fine." Why waste concentration speaking when I could let my mind wander with this glorious relaxation? I rested my head on the edge of the tub and waved my arms through the water. I relished the feeling of the current over my skin; it was so much easier to appreciate the water's softness with human skin.

Carlisle's quiet chuckle joined the multitude of soft and calming thoughts in my head.

"You're purring," he told me quietly. I pictured the smile on his face, and I smiled too; I was glad my happiness mad him happy. I told him so, though my speaking function was somewhat numbed by the tranquillity of my mind, and he kissed my forehead and told me that my existence made him happy.

In that image of peace and contentment, Carlisle and I spent almost an hour in the bathroom, talking to each other about all kinds of things. We seamlessly avoided anything related to the last two years of our lives; such thoughts made this peace impossible. That was one of the reasons I loved this island; it was the perfect piece of paradise in a turbulent and sometimes cruel world. No matter how bad things got, Isle Esme made it better; you could forget the world. You could truly relax, be honestly and totally happy: the perfect sanctuary. I climbed out of the tub and pulled a towel around myself, blushing as I felt Carlisle's eyes track me to the door. Before I could say anything, he started reciting one of Shakespeare's most well-known sonnets -and one of my personal favourites.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

and summer's lease hath all too short a date.

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines

and often is his gold complexion dimmed;

and even fair from fair sometimes declines

by chance or nature's changing course untrimmed.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st.

Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade

when in eternal lines to time thou grow'st

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

so long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

I felt myself tearing up as the sonnet progressed; by the end I was sobbing.

"Esme, what's wrong?" Carlisle crooned, wrapping his arm around my hips and drawing me closer to him.

I buried my face in his neck and cried.

"Thy eternal summer shall not fade...nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade," I choked. "I don't want to leave you, Carlisle. Ever. I don't care if it's not for a hundred years."
"Esme, we've discussed this," he said quietly, holding me at arms' length. "I don't want to try and change you until I'm certain it will work. I have seen werewolves die from vampire venom - only a few, but it does happen - and I don't want that happening to you."
"But I'm going to die anyway!"

"Not that way!" Carlisle insisted. "Trust me, it's torture only the strongest of hearts would get through. Yours has been dormant for ninety years, then forced to work hard, then crushed and pierced,
and then forced to keep up a huge wolf. Your heart is as loving as ever, my dear, but physically I don't know how well it will hold up. I'm sorry, but I can't even consider that until I find out more."

"Then lets find out!" I begged. "Hook me up to something, take some blood samples, I don't care!"
"Esme, calm down," Carlisle soothed, drawing me into a hug. "I don't know enough about werewolves to help you, but when we get back to Forks we'll go to the ISS and Sylvia can help. I'll be there the whole time, I promise. We'll sort this out. I'm not going to let you go without

a fight, trust me."

"I do," I promised, lifting up my head.

Carlisle smiled, brushed a lock of hair out of my face and kissed me.

"Come on dear, the boat for the mainland is leaving soon. Don't want to miss the plane back," he said, once we had pulled apart. The drama of moments before was pushed to the back of my mind as I raced upstairs to finish packing: I couldn't wait to see my family again!

Tags: carlisle, cullens, esme, not, secret, simple, so, submissive, vampire, werewolf

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ha ha yes TWTBW - I haven't read the bks (planning to I promise) but that movie was the end of my writers block. I sat down and wrote like...4 chaps! hence the not-so-subtle links. Maximum Ride has also been an inspiration so look out for that too!
lol, the books give a lot more detail, they're in Ellie's point of view and there awesome. :D
WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!! HE DID NOT!!!!!!!!!!
I am SO SORRY GUYS!!! real life has caught up with me and is mercilessly crushing me into a pulp. It took me a while but i dragged up the time to write 2 chaps! however, I NEED YOUR HELP:
please please pleeeeeeeeeeeease help me with Seth+Ruby i don't wanna make it awkward coz they both actually are about the same age but physically Seth=16ish Ruby=21ish! HELP ME!!

Chapter Eight:

I dragged Jake's limp body through the water to where I could see a nice, sandy shore. From there, nice soft grass reached back through a thinly vegetated forest and I could smell smoke from a chimney not far off.
"Hang in there, Jake," I begged, biting my own lip just to stop myself breaking down. The birds had stopped attacking my legs now, but I was putting more and more of a strain on my fractured wrist. Absently, I remembered the crack in the glass of the plane where I had hit my head. With one toss, I had broken it, and in another, it had broken me. Win some, lose some. That's life, I guess.
Please don't let this be one of those times when I lose.
It seemed like hours before I dragged my exhausted body - and Jake's - onto the shore. I flicked my hair out of my face and tried to catch my breath as I looked Jake over. He had bumped his head several times, his lip was cut, and his shoulder looked dislocated. There was also a bloody patch on his shirt and tiny cuts all over his legs.
And his chest wasn't moving.
"Jake!" I squeaked, putting my hands on his chest just in case there was movement I couldn't see. It still didn't move. I took a deep breath.
Don't panic, Nessie. You remember how to do this, right? Carlisle taught you a few years ago. Think back...come on, think!
It couldn't be that hard. And I must have been perfect at it, otherwise Carlisle would still have me bent over a Little Annie doll, explaining that cracking the person's sternum was a possible side effect, but to just keep going. Cracking sternums! That sounded bad! What if I do something worse to Jake? I was strong enough to. I could crush his rib cage, puncture his lungs, or heart even!
FOCUS! I screamed at myself. I tried to take deep breaths, but it didn't work. Jake looked so lifeless, lying like a corpse. I wondered briefly if this is what Mom looked like after I was born. I wondered if he had felt this helpless.
Here goes...
I put my right hand over my left and linked my fingers together. I put the base of my palm over Jake's sternum and slowly pressed down. I was chewing on my lip again, anxious; I could taste the blood I was drawing. How far do I go? I don't know!
I lifted my hands, then pressed again. And again.
I couldn't remember how many to do, but ten seemed like a good number. Thank God Carlisle couldn't see me in this mess!
I angled Jake's head back, pinched his nose and put my mouth over his. Four breaths, that bit I knew, then back to the sternum-cracking. Oh, I hope I'm doing this right!
Please, Jake...Please wake up! I begged.

"Ness...chest hurts..."
I wasn't sure how long it had been, but that voice snapped me out of my trance.
"Jake!" I squealed, sitting back on my heels. He coughed and spluttered a bit, drowsily blinking himself awake. I sat and stared in wide-eyed silence.
Thank God Thank God Thank God.

"What's a guy gotta do to get some food 'round here?"
I jumped at the sound of Seth's tired voice as he gently squeezed my hand. Trust the sandy wolf kid to crack a joke now of all times.
He tried to sit up, so I put some extra pillows behind his head and helped him shuffle back against them. Of course, he soon saw the tray of breakfast awaiting him. His eyes must have doubled in size. Either that or his stomach had, judging by the volume of its eager growl. I passed him the tray and he just stared at the food, as if wondering where to start. He decided to go for the cinnamon roll. Let me just say that, if stranded in the wild, that kid could stand his own against a few mountain lions.

"Ya know," he commented, halfway through his third sausage. He waved it around on his fork as he spoke. "I had this totally weird dream. It kinda reminded me of when me and Jake ditched the pack to help Bella, except it was you and me. We were running through this forest, as wolves, and suddenly we came across this cliff. There was a bridge on it, and there was this blue unicorn on the bridge. He told us we had to find the leprechaun..."
I hid my snicker as Seth continued to describe his anaesthetic-induced dream. At appropriate points I nodded and laughed. The animation on his face was cute. He didn't even seem to notice that I was not paying attention.
" you, me, Dave, Shelly and Fairy Queen Gwendoline went to the party. We were just about to eat when I woke up."
"Right, okay," I mused, nodding. "Interesting. How 'bout we see what's been happening while we've been stuck in here, hm?"
One of the nurses had brought over a small television, hardly bigger than a shoebox.
"Good afternoon, this is Sally McQuillan. Welcome to LA-Midday." A young woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and a tailored suit was sitting at a large, blue and silver news desk. "The state of Washington is under lockdown as fears have arisen with regards to out-of-control supernatural issues in the area. The Cullen mansion, home to the leaders of the world's vampires, was burnt to the ground not long ago, and while sources say all former inhabitants survived, the royal family is yet to come out of hiding. Tension is rising and rogue vampire sightings are increasing across the country, especially in Washington. The vampire-sympathetic town of Forks is being emptied, its residents being put under government surveillance for their own safety, according to a report from the Department of Investigation and Surveillance of the Supernatural. Forks' Chief of Police, Charlie Swan, doesn't think his town is in any danger."
Seth lowered his fork, sending a chunk of scrambled eggs rolling down the bedcovers. His eyes were wide and he was leaning forward. How did he know this Charlie Swan?
On the screen, the scene changed from the news room to a distantly familiar living room. The one Esme and I had hidden in, on the run from Faolan. I gasped quietly. Seth glanced over for an explanation, but both of us returned our attention to the television when Forks' Chief of police started talking.
"The Cullens were angelic kids, never so much as a speeding ticket," explained a mustached man with slightly beady eyes. "I stand by the fact that Esme was as good a mother, better even, than many humans I have met. Doctor Cullen was amazingly dedicated, and he took his time with every patient to make sure everything was just right. He was an astounding surgeon too. That man saved a lot of lives. He has a lot of friends amongst the others, know, the other vampires. A lot of them respect him."
"So, it never bothered you that your daughter has...joined them?"
Sally asked from off camera.
"Oh, yes it certainly did. Her friend Jacob was the one to tell me. I think I made the poor boy temporarily deaf." Charlie chuckled half-heartedly. "But Edward loves her and the family would do anything for her. That's good enough for my girl, so it's good enough for me."
His eyes just dared the interviewer to disagree.

Footage returned to the newsroom, where Sally was now sitting with a man in a white coat.
"This is Peter Martin, husband of well-known Supernatural Scientist Doctor Sylvia Martin," she introduced. "He works for the Investigation and Surveillance of the Supernatural, a growing organisation aiming to reach a point of compromise between the world of the supernatural, and our world. Peter is in charge of the lockdown operation in Washington and another, smaller-scale one in Anchorage, Alaska. Tell me, Peter, what is the purpose of these isolations?"
"The situation in Anchorage is not so much an isolation as an evacuation," he replied, making an effort to look solemn. It screamed of insincerity. "The ISS has received news that vampires and two breeds of werewolf are active in the area. The vampires are keeping a low profile and have not attacked any humans, but with research into werewolves only just beginning, it is best to evacuate the residents until it is clear just how much of a threat we are dealing with, and have identified the best ways to deal with that risk."
I looked at Seth, who had resumed forking egg into his mouth, somewhat slower than he had been. He glanced at me too. Washington and Alaska; the two most recent Cullen residences. It was too much of a coincidence.

Chapter Nine:(remember between ** the thoughts, feelings, personal pronouns refer to whoever's memory it is, not to Edward)

The Romanian, Vladimir, only allowed a moment for the shock to sink in. Paralysed, I made no effort to resist as he dragged me to my feet and pulled me towards the doorway. I wouldn't have been able to make much of a difference anyway; I knew he was a vampire. So was the female who met us in the next room. It didn't matter; none of it mattered. Only Peter mattered.
Were the vampires trying to trick me? Was he safe in Australia, or was he a prisoner here somewhere, like me?
Or were the vampires telling the truth? Had Peter ordered my capture?
My world was spinning and flipping around me. I was forced to doubt everything. I didn't know what to believe, who to trust. Surely, when I saw Peter again, he would help me. I twisted my wedding ring, and winced at a surprisingly sharp stab of remorse. He'd always managed to make me laugh. I just knew, seeing his face would set the world right again.
...But he'd been so distracted lately. He hadn't come to the ISS since the day I first met Edward and Bella Cullen. In fact, I'd scarcely seen him at all since then, and most of our phone calls had been relatively brief.
No, please God don't let this be happening. I groaned hopelessly. Vladimir and the female came to a stop in front of a large, wooden door. They talked to someone inside, and a moment later, the door opened. Still suspended in shock, hanging between fear, rage and relief, I pushed between them and slipped into the room.
It had two levels. The ground floor I was on, and then halfway to the back of the room there was a dais about two feet above the floor I was standing on. The entire room had velvety carpet which seemed to be red, but it was difficult to tell because the lighting was blue and purple. There was a long, thin fish tank against the left side wall on my level. I jumped; my husband had a habit of collecting tropical fish. Diagonally opposite to the fish tank, a large, black desk, scattered with pencils and paper, was missing its chair. I gulped; Peter had never possessed the almost obsessive neatness I insisted upon when it came to my desk and work. I looked straight ahead of myself. The large, cushy desk-chair turned slowly, dramatically towards me. In it, there was a familiar face.
"No hard feelings, Syl," Peter crooned, a crooked grin on his face.

As soon as I was sufficiently recovered, I pulled Nessie to my chest and stroked her hair, feeling the anxiety rush out of her.
"Oh, Jake I was so worried," she breathed, putting one hand on my cheek and kissing me. Images flashed into my mind; lots of shades of blue. I suddenly felt short of breath, looking at all that water. I pulled away sooner than I would have liked. Nevertheless, the panic was gone from Nessie's expression. She smiled at me. That was comforting.
What was not comforting was that I only had the faintest idea of where we were: a lake several miles away from Seattle.
Suddenly, I remembered the red flag marked with the black cross that I had seen just before we went down. What was going on there? Maybe we should drop in and see the pack. They would probably know, and if they didn't, they'd be eager to find out.
More images came into my head; Sam and Emily, Quil, Embry and the others. Do you want to see the pack? Nessie was asking.
"Yeah," I replied, my breath finally steadying. I grinned at Nessie. "Feel like a ride?"
She nodded enthusiastically, and I felt the wolf explode out of me. My sight was sharper, my hearing far better, and my sense of smell amazing. My chest didn't hurt as much either; it was bigger and stronger in this form. Nessie leapt gracefully and sat just below my shoulders, twisting her fingers into my fur. I took off toward Forks.

I sat at the piano with Emma beside me, easing a simple, gentle tune from the instrument. It was smaller and not as good quality as the one I'd had in Forks, but none of the Denali sisters were as musically-oriented as myself. That's not to say it was bad quality, of course; even though they stayed more isolated from human society than my family, they still managed to acquire truckloads of money and learn how to spend it.
Bella was out hunting with Kate and Demetri; apparently they wanted to talk about some family issues and Bella would be the most helpful. I was maddeningly curious, but respected their wishes to let Bella go alone with them. Unfortunately, they were very careful about their thoughts until they were outside my three-mile radius. I wondered if it was about joining the family; Kate and Demetri officially becoming Cullens. If they asked, Carlisle would certainly accept. There was no problem there. But maybe it was about the opposite...leaving the Cullens. Perhaps they felt it was best for them to leave - I couldn't blame them, and we could hardly force them to stay despite the closeness between us - but neither would want to offend or hurt us in their way about it. I sighed; I would just have to hope my curiosity would be quenched when the three returned.
I turned my attention to the thoughts of my family closer at hand. Alice and Jasper were lazing around on the porch, thinking lovey-dovey thoughts with no particular purpose. I was glad; it was about time those two got a chance to relax. Carlisle and Esme were having a quiet discussion upstairs, in Tanya's old room. Since it was clearly meant to be between the two of them, I tried to stay out of their heads, but the urgent hissing and hushed shouts in both voices were so out of place I just had to investigate.
I know you want to help me, why won't you try something? Esme wondered with a hint of frustration.
I wish I could do something, but what will it do to you? Carlisle worried. A vampire-werewolf-vampire transformation? This is unheard of! There is nothing for me to go on! Please understand I'd do something if I could, but...a memory interrupted his sentence. Even though the hints were small, I immediately identified Carlisle's location as the Volturi throne room. He was wearing tan and gold, eighteenth century clothing, I estimated from the look of his sleeves.

I staggered back, horrified and terrified, as a paw the size of a carriage wheel buffeted my chest, tearing my clothing with claws like scythes. Caius grabbed my shoulder and pulled me backwards up the few stairs to the dais upon which the Volturi thrones sat. I twisted away from his vice-like grip and observed the reactions of the brothers. Marcus looked bewildered; Aro thoughtful and solemn, but with a sparkle of excited curiosity in his eyes. Caius, of course, watched the scene before us with sadistic glee.
"You couldn't have just killed him?" I asked, shocked and appalled.
"They deserve what they get," Caius snarled. Black blood and transparent venom dotted his chin and collar. It made me feel ill.
"Young Carlisle, it is not for you to worry about," Aro said in a gentle voice. I sighed and turned back to the werewolf, watching it writhe in near-silent agony, praying it died before it went through any more torture. Its eyes were bloodshot and wild, it was bleeding from its nose, and blood mixed with saliva to create a sickly foam that flew around the room. Its heavy heartbeat pounded in my ears, racing faster and faster, as those huge limbs staggered and flailed on stiffening, weakening joints. He would break his own neck soon enough if this continued...I hoped he would.

This werewolf was covered in old battle scars; it was clearly a fighter. It had bulky shoulders and an enormous skull with large, threatening features. To think of Esme in that condition... even in her largest wolf form, she was petite compared to this monster. Her fur was still soft, with a homely, motley pattern of chalky browns and grays. Her wolfy smile was as kind as her human one. There might be a natural repelling force between us, but I held no more animosity towards my mother for her being changed. The pain that this creature was suffering...I wondered if Esme could survive such an ordeal, even if one of us didn't decide to step in and end her suffering. No doubt Carlisle was worried about the same thing.
My fingers stopped dead on the keys of the piano as a terrifying thought hit me: what if, like Bella's transformation, Esme's came to a vote? What would I say?
oh my goodness! What is going to happen?!!! And I already tolld you about my idea for Ruby and Seth
yes, thanks for that :) unfortunately only about 4 ppl did and all were good but different so I'm still stuck!
lol, ok, u need to put Jace back in though, he's, vanished, xD, anywayz, im off to bed now, so nighty night
yeah I'm working on Jace I promise. it's hard though coz I've kinda got enough main characters and he's sort of in the middle of nowhere. getting there i promise XX nighty night
OH Poor Edward! I have no idea what I would do..........
Seth's dream was hilarious! I was laughing throughthe entire thing! lol!
lol glad to make you laugh :) btw i will be posting more soon i'm drowning in real life!! MATHS EXAM TMRW SOMEBODY KILL ME NOW! (jk jk...but still...)
it's CHAPTER TEN GUYS!! a long one coz it's been freakin ages. Good news: i think i know where Ruby and Seth are headed! which means the story should start flowing better in my head which means updates should pick up again :)

anyway without further ado...Chapter Ten

First I felt like collapsing and sobbing until I was lead away.
Next I felt like turning and running as fast as I could, just to get away from whatever was happening here.
Then came the desire I gave in to: I strode across the room, dragged Peter out of his chair and punched him as hard as I could. He yelped, the sound muffled by the hand he was now covering his nose with, and reached back with his spare hand in an attempt to pull his seat under him. He missed, and the chair rolled just out of his grasp. He staggered backward after it, but I pulled him off the elevated area, down onto the ground floor. I stood there, one hand grasping the front of his shirt and the other raised to strike.
"I want answers," I growled. I was not usually a violent person, but this time it took quite some effort to restrain my rage. It was the grin, Peter's knowing smirk: he knew what Vladimir had told me, and he knew it was the truth. That smile admitted everything, and that he'd done it all for the sole purpose of bringing me here. That hurt more than anything; the fact that he had been playing me for God-knows how long and I - the renowned supernatural scientist - had failed to notice.
I growled again. This wasn't my fault; it was his. And he still hadn't answered my question.

I skidded up to the back of the house, sending mulch flying - apparently Dad's gardening project hadn't gone anywhere after all. The man was in freaking wheel-chair and yet he insisted he didn't need my help to finish the garden. He'd probably gone to Charlie's to ask for some help and ended up watching a game.
"Uh, Jake, didn't you fix the back door before we left?" Nessie asked from around the other side of the house.
I tilted my head to the side, recalling that I had fixed it, although I couldn't remember exactly when. What was Nessie talking about? I jogged around to meet her and she pointed to the door: the lock was broken and it was hanging from one hinge. I reached for it to examine it closer, but my big wolf paws got in the way. I whined. Dad!
Nessie touched my shoulder gently and projected a picture of Charlie into my mind. I nodded and she leapt onto my back again. We ploughed through the bushes, screeched around a few corners and burst into Charlie's backyard to find his Police car had rolled down and bumped into a tree. There was barely a dent in the bumper, but the door was open. Nessie gave a little gasp of horror, involuntarily imagining Charlie trying to escape from someone, being dragged out of the car and pulled away.
"Sorry Jake," she murmured aloud, lifting her hands out of my fur. She slid to the ground and suddenly we both gasped: the pack!
Instantly, she whipped out her cell phone and called Embry.
"Nothing," she told me, shaking her head while already typing another number. Jarrad, Quil, Paul, Collin, Brady - even the new kids; Luke, Dave and Ben. Nobody picked up. I rocked between forelegs. If I could bite my nails, I would.
"What about Sam?" I asked. He would pick up. Maybe the others were busy or out or their phones were dead. But not Sam's. He had to be there.
But the call rang out.
I scanned the bushes, half expecting the pack to burst out yelping and snapping that I was late for some drastically bad thing that happened. Besides Nessie's thrumming heartbeat, I heard nothing. Not even a whisper from the pack mind.

Seth was asleep again. The hot and cold flushes had stopped but he still looked in no state to get out of bed. While the nurses weren't watching, I slipped out onto the streets and found a payphone. Inside, there was a sticker on the glass with a list of numbers for various ISS branches. I ran my finger down to 'Mexico: Distrito Federal' and punched the number into the phone.
"Ola! You have reached Investigation and Surveillance of the Supernatural, Mexico City," a robotic voice greeted. "If you have a security concern, press 1. To contact Vampire Relations, press 2. To contact Werewolf Relations, press 3."
I pressed 3, and after listening to some show-offy piano piece for half an hour I was put through to a man with a wonderfully familiar voice.
"Hello, this is Werewolf Relations, Mexico, can I help you?"
When I finally found my tongue, I squeaked his name into the speaker.
"Jace! Jace, it's Ruby!"
"Ruby!" His voice was hushed. "I was getting worried. Where are you?"
"I'm in Phoenix," I explained. "A friend of mine has come down with a weird flu thing. He's-"
A high pitched, static buzz from the earpiece cut me off. There was a lot of crackling and screeching, as if someone was trying to take the phone off Jace.
"Hey!" I shouted, as if that might actually do any good. "Hey, leave him alone!"
"They traced the call. You've got to get out of there. It's too late for your friend." The phone cut off, and my change clinked into the little holder at the bottom of the machine.
Several men bustled past, looking like the FBI or something. They were dragging Seth with them: a muzzle of leather and chains binding his jaws together. I felt like jumping out of the booth and fighting them all until they let him go - in fact, my self preservation was barely putting up a fight. But when Seth glanced my way and made no sign of recognition, I realised he didn't want me involved in this yet; I'd find another way to help him.
Only when the suits had loaded Seth into the back of their van did I leave the telephone booth. The urge to go after him was uncharacteristically strong. I almost didn't care that Jace was coming up from Mexico as fast as he could.
"Now, dear, come inside. You couldn't have known what he was," the nurse comforted, tapping my shoulder sympathetically.
"What he was?" I snapped, turning on my heel. "That he was a werewolf? I knew! And I didn't care! He was my friend!"
I turned away and ran so I wouldn't punch the woman who had helped us. When I phased, she gasped and fainted; I could hear some of the other workers come to help her. I ran into the forest head on, not knowing where I was going.
"He was my friend!" I hadn't had any real friends for a long time - well, except for Esme. We had been close, as far as a hundred year old vampire-mother-hen-turned-werewolf and a scarred rock-band lead singer werewolf could get. But Seth...he was a different story. I felt completely natural around him. Just like Jace, he was confident just being him, even when he was stupid or lame. And he wasn't all devil-may-care about it, he was just like 'if you don't like who I am, that's cool, no hassles.' And he knew I had my problems - some I'd talk about, some I wouldn't. He stayed his distance, but he was close enough to be called my friend.That brings the total to: two.

"Ruby, watch it," a gravellier version of Jace's voice interrupted my thoughts. "You're getting faster." He looked impressed. I grinned at him.
"Seth's super fast," I said. It had been a struggle keeping that kid in sight sometimes, when he forgot he wasn't running with one of his pack. Suddenly, I remembered what had happened back in Phoenix. "He was kidnapped! Wolf-napped! We have to go get him!" I cried. Jace looked totally unmoved.
"He helped me, he's one of us!" I insisted. "I owe him, Jace! Come on, it'll be easy if we're quick."
"I warned you not to get into a situation where you owed anyone, Ruby. It's dangerous to have commitments to people you cannot absolutely trust."
Jace's voice was so cold it send a shiver down my spine. I wondered if it was just my imagination - after all, Jace hadn't met the warm, kind, sweet young man that was Seth - but I was pretty sure it had really been there.
We set off in a trot, following a natural path some kind of animal had left.
"Ruby, I'm sorry for my part in his capture...I kept you on the phone too long and they traced your call. But he's not one of us, no matter what he did for you. And this vampire family you've become involved with? It's too much of a risk. We should leave the country as soon as we can. Go somewhere they can't find us."
"In a world like this? Where people are being kicked out of their homes because of the werewolves? You don't honestly believe that's for safety, do you? Werewolves are going to go to the abandoned towns for all the food and stuff people have left. When that happens, we're all doomed. They think we're too dangerous to work with. They're killing us off."
"No, they're killing Faolan's pack off. Which is exactly why we should get out of here as soon as we can."
"No, Jace, this running from Faolan doesn't matter anymore, don't you see? Us, Faolan, Seth and his friends; we're all the same to them! And we are all. Going. To die." I stopped in my tracks, and Jace followed suit.
It wasn't because of the dramatic sentence; we had both heard a crack far off. Footsteps. Something running of four legs, coming towards us. It was heavy. And big - really big.

The trees and bushes a few feet down the path were crushed and snapped as an enormous, steel-gray shape shoved his way onto the track. Faolan towered over Jace and I, who were both in our sleeker forms. He chuckled deeply; an ominous sound despite the wheezing that altered the sound in his wolf throat.
"I know where your friend is," he said. "Seth Clearwater, shape-shifter."
My eyes widened. Jace's narrowed. Faolan went on.
"The ISS were bent on capturing the werewolf who destroyed half the facilities and disappeared half way through a course of testing. Justice-loving man-wolf that I am, I pointed them after Jace...but - how sad! - it seems they made a little slip up. Oh well. They get their test subject, and I get my criminal. All's well that ends well."
OMG, FAOLAN!!!!!dun dun, love it


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