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The Inevitable

Summary:
-Eclipse in Edward's Point if View- ~*~"It's more Inevitable than the sun rising in the East." -Alice Cullen Midnight Sun~*~


Notes:


19. Not Today

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5669   Review this Chapter

Chapter 18

Not Today

It was at a slow human pace that I made my way down the stairs holding an all too familiar cap and gown. Over time the outfit had barely changed. The only difference between the dozens I had worn was the color. This time around it was an almost blinding vivid yellow.

“I knew it!”

As soon as the delighted cry reached my ears I paused at the foot of the stairs and concentrated.

----

A very familiar room filled my mind. Though it was messier than I was use to. Clothes lay across the bed and a few shirts were strewn across the wooden floor.

I have nothing to wear!”

My angel stood, clad in light grey sweats, in front of her open closet door. Her hands were on her hips and just before the vision faded I caught a glimpse of a very frustrated and flushed face.

----

I chuckled and turned just as Alice walked into the room. Draped over one arm was her own yellow disaster and clutched in the other was a white box. She strode towards me, a brilliant smile of victory on her face.

“You do realize how full of yourself you are today right?” I asked her.

The shining delight on her small face did not falter in the least. In fact it seemed her wide grin only grew.

I can’t help it.’ “It’s not every day I get to throw a party and buy my sister an outfit she’ll actually appreciate.” ‘I’m one step closer to breaking her!’

I shook my head, but couldn’t help the smile that broke out on my own lips. The happiness radiating off Alice was too much.

“Okay I’ve got to go.” She said quickly, her words running together as she dashed towards the front door. “Carlisle and Esme are almost ready and I’ve got like five minutes before Bella wears sweatpants to her graduation. Bye.” Then she was gone with a soft click of the front door.

Chuckling I made my way to front room to stand in front of the glass wall. It was no surprise to see the thick clouds, nor the dense fog rolling from the river.

Unfortunately it was a perfect day outside.

There were only a handful of times I was lucky enough to have a graduation ceremony on a sunny day. Carlisle was too good at picking the right locations. All we had to do was make our rounds in four to six year periods and play the game.

Taking my eyes from the yard I lightly lifted the thin piece of metal dangling from the tassel on the cap. Any other time I wouldn’t even give the two small numbers a glance. Once upon a time they meant nothing to me, they were just another tally added to the pointless list that was adding up to ultimately nothing. The only thing they proved was that another handful of years had been accomplished in one place and marked the time when we would begin to arrange the things we needed to begin some place else.

They represented the ending of one cycle and the beginning of another….nothing more.

But this time it was different. This year was not just a passing thing in my mind. These two numbers marked a deadline.

A deadline that honestly scared the hell out of me.

I knew it wasn’t going to happen today. I knew that as did everyone else….but for so long now this had been the date. This was the end of the wait Bella had been clinging to for so long.

It terrified me because I knew her fight was just going to get stronger from this day forward.

All I had to cling to now was my proposal, well proposals. Bella’s fear of marriage and her desire to have me change her myself were the only grips I had left to hang onto and yet I was still slipping. My Bella was very stubborn and single minded when it came to something she really wanted and becoming a monster has seemed to be the top of the list for a while now.

I knew it was only a matter of time before she became fed up with all the games and deals and went to Carlisle herself.

It was strange but, though I would never admit it -especially to Bella-, a part of me also wanted what she wanted. I wanted to be the one change her.

The thought of someone else doing it made me…. angry, despite the fact that the only other someone would be Carlisle.

But Bella was mine and I did want her forever…. but more so than that I wanted to make her permanently mine forever myself.

I just wished she wasn’t so damn eager for it. Wished she would wait a little longer so she could think it through completely. I wanted her to be sure, without a single doubt, that she wanted this. Because once it was done, there was no going back.

Feeling someone behind me, their thoughts oddly silent, I glanced up from my hand to see Carlisle’s reflection walking towards me in the glass.

I know that look.’ He stopped next to me, and without taking his eyes off the back yard he went on, still silently. ‘What’s on your mind?’

I held back a snort and shook my head, of all the things to ask.

“I can assure you Carlisle it’s nothing new,” I murmured. From my peripheral vision I saw him nod. He knew me well enough that he had no need to ask in the first place.

I heard Alice so I’m taking a guess here but I assume she’s at Bella’s?’

I smiled and nodded. “She left a few minutes ago. She looked ready to burst out of her skin.”

Carlisle chuckled. “That girl….” He sighed, but the smile stayed glued to his face. “She was suppose to wait for us.”

“Well patience isn’t one of her high points.” Though I was riding with Charlie and Bella to the school, Alice was suppose to be riding with our “parents”. Apparently the Mercedes didn’t move fast enough for her. I suppose when it came to Alice trying to rescue Bella from her sweatpants nothing was fast enough.

“Alright I’m ready.”

Carlisle and I turned to see Esme walk into the room. She was wearing a light lavender dress and a wide smile. She always seemed to enjoy this particular routine when it came up. In our never ending charade I suppose going to her “children’s gradation” was as normal as it could get.

Beautiful.’ I glanced at Carlisle to see him wearing a very familiar smile, one he saved and shared with only one person. “You look lovely,” he said as Esme walked over and wrapped her arm around his waist.

“Why thank you,” she said, stretching onto her toes to kiss his cheek. “I think Emmett and Jasper are just about finished with the lights.” She told us both “I have to give it to Alice it’s going to look beautiful tonight when they’re all lit.”

I couldn’t help the smirk, remembering the looks on my brothers face’s when Alice showed them the large stack of boxes full of twinkle lights. I didn’t envy them right now, not with three miles worth of trees. “Alice doesn’t know the meaning of simple,” I reminded them. “It’s all and then some or nothing at all.”

“Yes….” Esme nodded “That’s our Alice.” ‘I wouldn’t have her any other way though.’

Nor would I. Alice had her moments of pushing my patience. She seemed to know the exact buttons to push sometimes, but I knew I wouldn’t have her any other way either.

“Are you going with Charlie and Bella after the ceremony?” Esme asked me.

“That’s the plan, but it really depends on how Charlie’s feeling. He might want to do something with Bella himself.” I gave them half a grin. “I have to share sometime right?”

Esme laughed softly. “I suppose,” she leaned in to give me a quick hug, ‘you waited long enough though, you have a right to be a little selfish.’ She winked and then pulled on Carlisle’s hand. “We should get going.”

Before he let Esme lead him to the front door Carlisle reached over and placed a hand on my shoulder. He still had a small smile on his face but his gold eyes said a lot more. ‘It’s not today son.’

I swallowed hard and nodded once, trying to push away the unease. It was harder said than done considering it had been building up for weeks, waiting for and dreading this day.

Carlisle gave my shoulder a tight squeeze before he turned to follow Esme.

When the door closed behind them I looked back down at the tassel and took a deep breath.

‘Not today,’ I reminded myself. Yes…. not today….but soon.’

Charlie answered the door with a forced smile and I smiled back as I stepped inside. “Hello Charlie” My only response was a quick nod as he reached for his jacket. I suppose that was a step up from the usual grunt.

Due to the fact he left the door open I figured they were just about ready to leave. Once Charlie had his jacket on he glanced down the hall and then back to me. He cleared his throat and I could tell he was becoming uncomfortable.

Ever since the Jacob incidence Charlie had an even more difficult time trying to be alone in my presence. Even now I could sense the slight shame in his mind that had never really went away. It was especially strong whenever he caught a glance of Bella’s brace. I did nothing to try and ease his mind either, he deserved it and only he could fix it.

“We’re just about ready” he mumbled as he looked back down the hall, unable to look me fully in the eye. Good.

I listened and heard Bella’s heart beat, it was loud and very fast, she couldn’t be any farther than the kitchen.

I heard Charlie sigh next to me and shift his feet. “You ready yet Bells?!” He yelled.

“Yes Ch- Dad….I’m coming” Bella yelled back.

Charlie shook his head and turned around, grabbing his keys before he walked out the door towards the car.

Huh. Well that was an improvement. He actually made it longer than thirty seconds this time.

I was just about to walk down the hall when Bella came around the corner. When she saw me she froze and her heart picked up erratically. When I locked eyes with the chocolate brown the smile on my lips slid away. Something was wrong. If her fast thrumming heart beat and chalky complexion didn’t warn me, then the fact that she was still frozen down the hall would.

Hell maybe I was just spoiled but I wasn’t use to her not running into my arms….not when we had been apart for so long. I hadn’t seen her since this morning. It was very childish and seemed melodramatic but a half a day of separation did its toll on the both of us and well my arms were literally aching to hold her and she still hadn’t taken that first step towards me.

Yes very spoiled.

“Bella?” I asked softly, closing the distance between us. She looked up at me, her eyes searching my face….what was she looking for?

“Something wrong?” I reached down to take one of her hands. She didn’t answer me, instead she blew out a loud breath she had clearly been holding. I raised my eyebrow, waiting for some kind of explanation. I didn’t get one though, all she did was squeeze my hand and finally smile.

I couldn’t help but smile back. “Everything alright?” I asked again, unable to hide my amusement, once again I was completely lost to her actions.

She nodded. “Alright….yes,” she said quickly. She blushed a light pink allowing her face to finally gain some color. “I mean….yes I’m fine.” She laughed then, but even that was off, it sounded relieved and nervous at the same time.

“Okay then.” I said chuckling softly, I was still confused. But I was unable to hold back any longer and reached up to run my finger tips across her cheek bone, making a darker shade of red pool under the touch. “Your….”

Charlie cleared his throat loudly. Bella jumped and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.

The man always had perfect timing.

The car ride was very interesting to say the least.

Everything was normal at first: Charlie driving, Bella in the passenger seat and me in the back seat. But then Charlie took a quick glance in the rearview mirror and did a double take. I didn’t take my eyes away from the window, but I could see myself through his mind, sitting behind the plexiglas barrier.

It was very difficult to keep from grinning widely and or bursting into to laughter after that.

I knew Charlie had fantasies of arresting me on more than one occasion. All of which involved pretty much the same things: putting the cuffs on my wrists, placing me in the cruiser, booking me at the department, and finally smugly closing the bars on my cell.

But never before had he worked out different scenarios in his head. They came one after the other, and the more glances he took at me through the mirror the wilder the stories got, and the wider his grin grew.

During one particular situation I had managed to steal Jacob’s car, run several traffic lights, and run off the road. Which was when I finally gave myself up, with a terrified expression on my face and tears in my eyes as I begged Charlie to listen and not to take me in. I threw many things at him as he forced me into the back seat of his cruiser. That it was all a misunderstanding, that Jacob knew I had the car, and finally I claimed my father would pay him whatever he wanted.

That’s when I caved. I couldn’t resist looking up. I met Charlie’s gaze in the mirror and raised a questioning eyebrow.

Did he truly believe Carlisle would do something like that?

The thought of Carlisle coming down to the station to bail any of his children out, but especially me, made the smirk I had been fighting off emerge.

I had to give it to the man, he had a well developed imagination.

When Charlie met my eyes his fantasy quickly faded along with his grin. He cleared his throat and looked back at the road and I was very surprised to see a somewhat Bella-like blush rise faintly up his neck and into his face. It was almost like he knew he had been caught at something, though that would be impossible all things considered.

For the rest of the car ride I wasn’t sure if Charlie continued with his daydreams because I was too distracted by Bella’s actions…or lack thereof.

The fact she hadn’t said anything wasn’t much to worry over. Charlie and Bella could be in the same room for hours with each other and barely utter two sentences….no it was not the silence. It was the look on her face and the way she sat rigid in the seat. Her hands were in her lap clenched tightly together in a very familiar way and her features were drawn and pale.

She looked scared….terrified.

Every little noise, and bump in the road seemed to send her heart into over drive.

When we were halfway to the school a horn honked somewhere behind us and she nearly jumped out her seat. I knew that she knew that I could hear how her heart was pounding because she threw a quick glance at me and then back out the window.

My eyes didn’t leave her face after that and she didn’t turn around again.

When we finally pulled into the school parking lot I was unable to take it any longer and made sure I was around to the passenger door and opening it before Charlie had the chance to close my door completely. By that point I could care less if I moved a little too fast.

I opened her door and quickly grasped Bella’s hand to help her up, resisting the urge to pull her into my arms. “Are you alright?” I whispered. This time the question was more urgent….demanding.

She gave me another fake smile just like at Charlie’s house. “Nervous.”

That much I could see. I wanted to ask what it was she was nervous about because there were too many things it could be, but I couldn’t resist finishing the sentence I hadn’t been able to say due to Charlie’s interruption, and as he was about to once again make his presence known I didn’t have much time.

“You are so beautiful,” I murmured softly in her ear.

I wanted to tell her to relax, that everything was okay, even though I didn’t know what it was that had her so tense. But as I had been expecting Charlie was between us in the next second. I pushed back the automatic annoyance. Who was I to deny him this moment, when sooner than he knew I would be taking her away forever?

“Are you excited?” He asked looking down at her pale face.

“Not really,” Bella mumbled.

“Bella this is a big deal. You’re graduating from high school. It’s the real world for you now. College. Living on your own….You’re not my little girl anymore.” ‘I’ve known that for a while but….saying it out loud hurt more than I thought it would.’

“Dad.” Bella voice was pleading and exasperated at the same time and I had to hold back a smile. It wasn’t everyday Bella acted like the eighteen year old she was. “Please don’t get all weepy on me.”

Who’s weepy….I’m not weepy.’ “Who’s weepy?” ‘If she doesn’t want to see weepy than it’s a good thing Renee canceled. Besides I’m not weepy…..Damn it….” “Now, why aren’t you excited?”

I looked up at the thick rolling clouds. That was a very good question. Even if she wasn’t excited about graduation I expected her to be excited about the date.

Maybe that was it. I knew she wasn’t ready but was it really her coming change that had her so scared?

It was the only thing I could think of, but I knew it was all wrong. I had told her again and again there was no rush….she had all the time in the world.

Of course when did she ever listen?

“I don’t know, Dad. I guess it hasn’t hit me yet or something.”

“It’s good Alice is throwing you this party. You need something to perk you up.”

Bella looked at him, raising her eyebrow. “Sure. A party’s exactly what I need.”

Charlie laughed loudly. ‘Yeah I guess so….definitely don’t envy her there.’ He squeezed her shoulder and hugged her closer to him for a second. ‘I find more of myself in her every day.’

Unfortunately when Charlie left to join the other parents gathering I had no opening to question Bella. Before I had the chance to take her hand again and pull her from the growing crowd we were separated.

“Up front, Mr. Cullen.”

“Hey, Bella!”

I held back a growl of frustration. Was five minutes too much to ask for?

With a resigned sigh I leaned down and kissed her warm lips quickly, ignoring Varner’s annoyed and impatient thoughts.

Maybe Alice knew something.

I sat, ignoring the people around me and the words coming from the many people giving speeches. The seat next to me was still empty. I had saved it, waiting for Alice but she never showed.

I glanced towards the parents section and found Carlisle and Esme looking at me. I raised my eyebrow in question but they only shrugged.

She didn’t meet us at the car,’ was all Carlisle had for me.

“Alice Cullen.”

“Edward Cullen.”

I stood up alone and made my way to the line, waiting for it to move forward.

When there was only one other person in front of me I heard…

“Excuse me…sorry, excuse me.”

My head snapped back. There she was making her way to the front.

She ignored me completely, her eyes glued to the floor.

“Where were you?” I hissed as she passed.

Pushing back all the voices in my head to a low buzz I concentrated only on Alice.

What the hell?

“Mr. Cullen….” ‘keep the line moving.’

Remembering where I was I pulled my eyes away from Alice’s retreating back and mumbled a quick apology as I grabbed the diploma.

By the time I made it over to Carlisle and Esme Alice was gone.

“What is she up too?” Esme asked immediately.

I shrugged. “I have no idea, she was blocking me.”

Carlisle chuckled, “That’s never a good sign.”

“She rushed over here and told us she would meet us back at the house,” Esme went on. “She said there were a few last minute arrangements she hadn’t finished yet.”

I would believe that story if Alice hadn’t been blocking me. She was clearly up to something.

It didn’t matter though, I would find out soon enough. Alice was the best person, next to Carlisle, at blocking her thoughts from me, but everyone slips….all it takes is a word, one simple reminder. Besides getting to Bella was more important.

“You two go ahead and follow her home.”

Carlisle nodded and Esme leaned forward and gave me another hug. ”Congratulations,” she said playfully as she pulled away.

I rolled my eyes, making her chuckle, before I turned around.

I didn’t make it three steps away when I heard Carlisle sigh. “He’s all grown up,” in a very convincing tone. I turned slightly and threw the rolled up piece of paper in my hand at him.

As he caught it I turned away, only to hear his soft laughter reach my ears over the rest of the voices. I grinned and shook my head. If it wasn’t for the fact he would probably enjoy it we would have forced Carlisle to go to college a long time ago just so he could see how tedious and boring it could be. Unfortunately he loved to learn and was surprisingly very much a people person despite the fact he was a vampire.

I waded my way across the room, swerving and dodging the waves of people.

It was so very loud.

Voices laughing, crying, yelling….hearts thudding erratically from every direction sending with them waves of thick, blood coated air. But more than all that were all the thoughts. They bombarded my mind louder and more forceful than some of the voices. Only decades of practice kept me from covering my ears and running from the room.

Despite the many people it seemed all the minds were split into two main categories. One was for the parents all bursting with pride and bitter sweet emotions….and the other consisting of the “big party being thrown at the Cullen house”. Every newly graduated senior seemed to be thinking about it.

Only Alice could get away with something like this. Carlisle and Esme could never say no to her and even if that wasn’t the case all she would have to say was “Well it is for Bella after all”. She knew exactly how to work them.

I still couldn’t believe a large portion of this crowd, dozens of humans will be showing up on the doorstep of seven vampires. It was like throwing a basket of puppies into a shark tank.

I shook my head in disbelief….only Alice.

Bella had disappeared into the thick yellow sea of bodies as I approached the place I had seen her, but I knew she was still there. Her blood was ten times stronger than any of the others in this room.

When the crowd thinned I caught a glimpse of Jessica running off in the opposite direction and then I could finally see my angels face again.

I smiled, though my insides were still churning.

Not Today. I reminded myself for hundredth time.

I paused in my steps, momentarily distracted by Bella’s expression. She still looked upset and nervous. I had many guesses as to what this was really about….though more than likely I would be way off the mark. Now on top of looking scared she seemed to be anxious and confused.

She was currently standing on the tips of her toes, peering over heads.

Who was she looking for? Charlie was still talking to the Blacks and Angela was in clear sight so it couldn’t be them.

When she turned her back to me in her searching I moved forward and quickly wrapped my arms around her warm waist. “Congratulations,” I whispered leaning my chin on her shoulder and burying my face in her hair. I breathed deeply and felt myself relax. Despite the dark detail this date entailed my angel was still graduating from high school for the first time. It was still a special day for her.

“Um….thanks.”

I frowned. Well it should be a special day.

“You don’t look like you’re over the nerves yet.”

“Not quite yet.”

Was it my imagination or did her voice quiver slightly? I felt my brow furrow. “What’s left to worry about? The party? It won’t be that horrible.”

Bella only seemed to be half listening to me. She was still stretching on her toes, straining against my loose hold on her waist…..still searching.

“Who are you looking for?”

She froze in my arms and sank back onto her feet. She didn’t look at me as she asked “Alice—where is she?”

Why was her voice so urgent? Did she know something about Alice’s odd behavior?

“She ran out as soon as she got her diploma,” I answered warily, watching the side of Bella’s face. She looked up at me then, finally meeting my gaze. Her eyes were cautious and still held the edge of panic.

“Worrying about Alice?” She asked bluntly.

I hesitated. “Er….” Unconsciously my eyes moved from her face and to the surrounding people. How could I answer that when I didn’t even know whether or not I should be worried about Alice. It could be something important or something totally….

“What was she thinking about anyway? To keep you out, I mean.”

My eyes narrowed as I looked back down. She did know something. “She was translating the Battle Hymn of the Republic into Arabic, actually. When she finished that, she moved onto Korean sign language.”

Bella laughed shakily and bit her lip. Her eyes were oddly guarded and I didn’t like it. “I suppose that would keep her mind busy enough.”

“You know what she’s hiding from me.” It was not a question.

She smiled though it only made her look more nervous. “Sure. I’m the one who came up with it.”

I stared, waiting for her to go on. I tried my best to stay patient as she looked around quickly and then back to me. Finally she began whispering fast, and the guarded looked left her eyes. I saw fear, panic, worry….apprehension.

“Knowing Alice, she’ll probably try to keep this from you until after the party. But since I’m all for the party being canceled—well, don’t go berserk, regardless, okay? It’s always better to know as much as possible. It has to help somehow.”

Her attempt at lessening the problem before I even knew what the problem was only made me more confused and anxious.

“What are you talking about?”

She hesitated and then her eyes darted into the crowd again. I didn’t take my eyes off her face till I saw her give a fake smile and looked to my right long enough to see Charlie waving, and looked back at her. She was running out of time….and I was running out of patience.

“Just stay calm, okay?”

I nodded. Urging the uneasiness down until she got out whatever it was she was trying to say.

“I think you’re wrong about things coming at us from all sides.” She said quickly. And if it wasn’t for my advanced hearing I wouldn’t be able to make out the whispered words over the loud babble surrounding us. “I think it’s mostly coming at us from one side….and I think it’s coming at me, really. It’s all connected, it has to be. It’s just one person who’s messing with Alice’s visions. The….”

I froze. Her words sank in and for a fraction of a second my mind went completely blank. The noises around me vanished, Bella’s lips continued to move but no words reached me.

It all clicked.

When did you notice your things missing?”

When I got back from the fake slumber party. Why?”

No. No…. NO! This wasn’t happening. There had to be some other explanation.

The things that were taken, these were things that you’d worn…and touched….and slept on?”

Yes. What is it Edward?”

Things with your scent.”

NO! The army was after US….me and my family not her….not Bella. It didn’t make any sense.

Why would someone create an army in Seattle? There is no history there, no vendetta. It makes no sense from a conquest stand point either, no one claims it. Nomads pass through, but there’s no one to fight for it. No one to defend it from.”

He was getting traces…evidence. To prove that he’d found you.”

Cold penetrated my body, I felt it spread from my mind to every one of my limbs.

She was right. Jasper was right. Alice was right. I had been right.

The small conclusions each one of us had come to seemed to be correct.

There was an army in Seattle.

Bella clothes had been taken for her scent.

And someone was purposely blocking Alice’s visions and it was that same someone that had been in Bella’s room.

We had all been right on some level but failed to glue the pieces together…I had failed to glue them together.

It had been there in front of me for so long now. That simple piece of information that had eluded me. That something I knew I was overlooking.

HOW?

How did I not see it?

Very young vampires are volatile, wild, and impossible to control.”

I should have seen this sooner. I should have gotten Bella out of Forks….she shouldn’t be here now. What if they showed up and Alice still didn’t see? I had to get her out of here….she had to leave.

We had to leave.

She couldn’t go without me. She wasn’t leaving my sight, not for one second. She had stay with me. I had learnt my lesson….last time I let her out of my sight. Last time I had trusted others with her safety, put her into other hands…. I had let them take her away from me and….

NO!

Something hot touched my face and I allowed my wide eyes to focus. My angel was looking up at me, her brown eyes soft and worried.

Calm,’ her lips said, still with no sound.

Pain stabbed my chest as looked down at her face. She was so beautiful, so warm and loving….so fragile. So very breakable. I couldn’t lose her again….they couldn’t have her.

Nobody could have her.

In the next second her hand was gone from my face and a much larger body had squeezed between us.

I stumbled back, my feet seemingly unable to find solid ground.

The only thing I could comprehend was that Bella’s warmth was gone.

My arms automatically constricted but came up empty.

NO!!!

A pain I had only experienced once in my entire existence flooded into me. It was a memory from so long ago, from a different time, and a seemingly different world…. It was a raw memory that always resided on the edge of my thoughts only to break free when I least expected it.

It clouded my mind and tore into my chest with a pain my entire being shied away from….it was a pain that the man could not comprehend and the monster feared. Neither could bear it and both knew it would be their downfall.

It was the agony brought on by the realization that she was gone. Isabella Swan no longer existed.

I reached forward in the pure instinct of self preservation but she wasn’t there. She was in other arms.

I had to fight back the growl before it rose any higher in my chest. The logical part of me realized I was very close to losing it. I wanted to step forward and rip her away, throw whoever it was across the room and bring her back to me….pull her fragile body into the protective cage of my arms.

I had to hide her.

‘….fewer than twenty I’d guess. The difficult part is that they are totally untrained. Whoever made them just set them loose.... It will only get worse, and it won’t be much longer till the Volturi step in.”

It was coming from everywhere.

Victoria

The Newborns

The Volturi

Every threat, every danger….

They were all aimed at the same thing, all wanted the same thing….the one thing I had ever dared make my own.

They wanted her.

Bella.

My Bella.

Like a switch being turned back on my mind was thrown back into the here and now.

“Don’t be silly. Do you want to go to the lodge?”

The loud babble of voices and thoughts crashed back into me. The small building seemed to become smaller, the packed in people converging in on me. But I couldn’t move, I couldn’t tear my gaze off Bella’s face.

No! They would not take her from me. I would stop them….all of them. They would all die.

“Sure, the Lodge, cool.”

They could not have her. They could not touch her.

She was mine. Every single hair on her beautiful head was mine and not one strand would be touched.

“You coming, too, Edward?” ‘Like I don’t already know the answer.’

My name was like a slap in the face. I mentally shook myself and tried to comprehend who had said it and why. Bella was still looking at me, her eyes now pleading. What did she want? What was I….

Okay, so what, he’s not talking to me now?’

I took a deep breath and held it, straightening my features and pulling the mask up just in time.

Charlie.

“No, thank you.”

uh? That’s a first’ “Do you have plans with your parents?” ‘Geez the kid looks like he’s going to bite my head off….what did I say? I was just….’

“Yes.” I answered quickly. “If you’ll excuse me….” I turned around quickly without looking back at Bella. If I saw her pleading eyes again I would cave. I knew she wanted me to go with her but I needed to get out of here before I did something we would all regret.

I needed to clear my head.

I needed to breathe….needed to think…. I needed to go back to Bella and run from Forks.

I needed to keep her safe….

I made it to the back door and threw it open.

I needed to find Alice.