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Dreaming I'm Alive

Summary:
After a speedy wedding, Edward & Bella return to find the Volturi on their way. Edward insists on running but when a man claiming to have a cure for vampirism shows up with an assassin on his tail, the lives of the Cullens are thrown into chaos. Meanwhile, Charlie struggles with the existence of vampires and having to let his daughter go. Bella learns about her real past and the question of why Edward can't hear her thoughts is answered once and for all.


Notes:
All smut has now been removed. Rated PG-13 for violence and minorly confusing plots. Every chapter is dedicated to a different Muse song.


4. Assassin

Rating 0/5   Word Count 5569   Review this Chapter

I saw him off outside the door and closed it behind me so Jasper and Esme couldn’t see me cry. After he left, I waited five minutes before coming back inside. And though I wiped away the tears until I could not find nor feel any trace of them, I knew they had stained me in a way that was obvious only to Esme. She too had said goodbye today. In that suite, we had all said goodbye and we all waited.

Just a call. That’s all we wanted.

We waited for two hours and still nothing. I sat on one side of the living room. Jasper and Esme sat on the other. And no one spoke for three hours.

At 3:15, we all turned to the door. There was no sound, no knock. There was just the smell. I ran to the door. Jasper went to pull me back but we both knew there was no one on the other side of the door, just a note on the floor.

“What does it say?” Esme asked from the couch, too harried to get up.

I handed it to Jasper, my hands shaking too much to open it. He sighed and read it aloud.

Catherine has them all. Only I know how to stop her. Only we know she exists. Whatever you hear, trust in me. You know where and when to find me.

They both looked to me. “What do we do?” Esme asked. I gulped and ran to the bedside table for a pad and pen. “What are you doing?”

“He got here once,” I said with a shrug. “No harm in trying.”

I scribbled down the first thing that came to mind and slipped it under the doorway. I went back to the couch and waited.

“What did you write?” she asked.

“I asked him what he was.” They nodded and we waited.

At 4:15, we all looked to the door again. This time, Jasper ran to open it but even with his magnificent speed, he still couldn’t catch him. “This is ridiculous,” he said. “We can’t be waiting around here for clues! We need to do something!”

I snatched the note from his hand and read it aloud. “I was like you. Then I was cold. Now, I am neither.”

“My God, he’s found the cure,” Esme whispered. “It has to be. It has to be!”

“He could easily be lying. I mean, if he were human, would he be able to do what we do?”

“What?”

“Would he have our abilities?”

“We don’t know anything. We don’t know how it works.”

While they fought, I reached for the pad and wrote my next question. This time, it was not an experiment. This time, I would ask what I really wanted to know.

What am I? Why can’t you meet me now? Who is Catherine? How do I get Edward back?

I folded it and slipped it under the door before they could stop me. I brought the phone to Esme and said, in the most commanding voice I could muster, “Call Carlisle. Now.”

She took in my face for a moment then dialed. He picked up quickly. Good thing too. I didn’t think my nerves could take it if it went to voice mail.

“Carlisle, sweetie,” Esme began. “We’ve got big problems down here. How’s everything on your end? On your way back? That’s great!”

“What did the Volturi say?” Jasper asked.

Esme didn’t have to repeat it. “The Volturi sent Catherine to deal with him,” she answered him. “Apparently, they were lovers at one point. If anyone can kill him, it’s her.”

“No!” I yelled. I still had to know the truth. I had to talk to him first. “We can’t kill him! Not yet! He has a cure for vampirism!”

Esme handed me the phone. “What are you talking about?” he asked, alarmed.

“The Volturi didn’t tell you? I’ve sort of been in contact with him. He has a cure for you, Carlisle, for all of you!”

There was just silence on the other end.

I didn’t wait for him to jump out of denial. “Carlisle, Catherine’s kidnapped Alice, Rosalie, and Edward. What can you tell us about her and Oliver? It’s important. Any little detail.”

He cleared his throat and answered, “She can mimic the abilities of others but she has to have something of theirs.”

“What!” I yelled. “That means she could have something of Oliver’s! She could be right here right now and we wouldn’t know.”

“What do you mean? What can Oliver do?”

Speeches started running through my head on how I was going to defend my case for going, how I was going to tell him everything that’d happened. “I don’t know yet. He left me a note at our hotel door. It just appears every two hours. I’m meeting him tonight at midnight at Edward’s house here in Chicago. Don’t bother. There’s no stopping me. I’m going alone.”

“I wasn’t going to argue. Edward’s not here. It’s your decision.”

I exhaled and forgot the entire speech. “Good.” I said goodbye and hung up.

Esme took the phone while Jasper led me to the door where we both waited on the floor for the next letter.

Ten minutes of silence passed and Jasper finally spoke. “Catherine will kill you without even thinking twice. You know this, right?”

I took his hand and nodded. I didn’t feel like talking. Too many things were going through my mind. Was Edward all right? Could Catherine see me coming? Who was Oliver? For some reason, the thought of him being my father didn’t feel genuine. While Charlie had never been a fixed figure in my life, I loved him for the father he was and the father he wanted to be. I didn’t realize it then but I could never let someone else take his place.

Esme stood up and extended a hand out for me to get up off the floor. We both sat down on the bed while Jasper waited, unmoving.

“I don’t know how you guys can wait so still,” I said with a small laugh, my hands on my lap.

Esme smiled but her eyes seemed tired, more so than the usual aura of sleep deprivation that surrounded them all. “When you’re like us, you’ll understand. We’re used to waiting. Waiting to feed, waiting for rain, waiting to die, waiting for the rest of the world to realize we’re here… If Oliver was a vampire, he’d understand that. To him, two hours is fifteen minutes. But Bella, dear, you’re exhausted. We have two hours, at least. Eight till midnight. Go to sleep and we’ll watch over you and wake you if anything.”

I shook my head no but she ran her gentle hand through my hair and I felt safe.

I gave in.

I should never have given in.

--

This time, the cold woke me up. I called out for Esme and Jasper, even Edward. No one answered. The doors separating the bedroom from the kitchen were closed. I didn’t know if it was the cold or the smell of blood in the air that terrified me most. I checked myself to see if I was bleeding and I got up and pulled open the large doors.

But I didn’t walk through them. I froze, in place, staring out into the suite. Jasper and Esme stood on opposite sides of the apartment, both frozen in place facing away. I was waiting for something to come to the door, for my voice to wake them. I called their names again and again before venturing past the doorway.

I took careful steps, not to make a noise. I felt something in the room, a heaviness in the air. My heart felt slower than usual and it hurt to swallow my own saliva.

I went up to Esme first, who stood behind the kitchen counter, staring still. I touched her cheek but she didn’t react. She was neither cold nor warm. She was still, plastic, frozen in place. Her eyes said nothing. Her slightly parted mouth held no answers. Jasper was worse. His arm stretched out towards to door but grasped nothing.

I looked to the microwave for the time. It was 11:45 at night. I shook my head in denial and ran to the door to see if a note awaited me. Nothing. I looked back at Jasper and Esme and breathed in whatever courage I could muster before making my way to Mason House.

I looked down at my watch before stepping onto the porch. It was exactly midnight. I sighed and cursed whatever puppeteer was fiddling with my strings.

“Hello?” I called into the dark house. It seemed to echo throughout. The door shut closed behind me and I spun to see who it was. There was no one. It was just wind, I told myself. But then, the very same treacherous wind carried his smell towards me and suddenly, I felt warmer.

Two hands fell on my shoulders and I shuddered, turning back to the empty house.

“Where are you?” I yelled. “No more games!”

I felt like I was walking through a spider’s web. The dust was thick in the air like someone had raced through.

“I am here,” Oliver said calmly, walking out from the shadows into the light coming through the window on my right. I went to him, the dining table between us.

“I want answers!” I demanded. “What’s happened to my family? I want them freed!”

He looked confused. “I’ve done nothing to your family. Catherine has frozen them.”

“What?” He stepped into the darkness again. He seemed to float. And, in a second, he was behind me, his hand on my shoulder to turn me about. I trembled and asked, “What are you?”

“I told you. What you really want to know… is what you are.”

I shook my head and started to recite my life as I knew it. “I know who I am. My name is Bella Swan. My parents are Charlie and Renee. My husband is Edward Cullen. My sisters are Alice and Rosalie. My brothers, Emmett and Jasper. That is my family. You are not it.”

He smiled slowly. “I heard of you from the Volturi. They did not know I watched. They thought me dead years ago. You were my daughter, Bella. Many lifetimes ago. Then, I knew you as Emily.”

I stared at his brown eyes and wondered if this was what Edward saw when he looked at me. “I don’t understand.”

He led me to the living room to sit. “Before I was turned into a vampire, I had a family. I also had a mistress, Catherine. She could do extraordinary things, take the abilities of others, even sense them. She sensed potential in me. I could close my eyes and see places I’d never been, dream I walked foreign shores. When Emily – you – turned five, I told Catherine I could no longer be with her. She turned me out of hatred and left me to feed on my own family…”

He stopped and looked up at me from across the living room. Even across the darkness, I could see his apology in his face. I stood still and waited for the end, for the answer.

“Bella, I can move things through time, through space. I wasn’t dreaming of foreign shores. When I closed my eyes, I was really there. The Volturi recruited me but I used them instead. I met a man in the court who could trap souls. I couldn’t save your mother or your brothers but I could save you. So, I asked the man to trap your soul and I would send it through time.”

I scoffed. “I’m your reincarnated daughter?” I asked.

He smirked. “Well I suppose I could have just said that. But see, you knew of vampires before. You are drawn to them in every lifetime.”

His words hit me. “How many lifetimes? How many vampires?”

“This is the third time you are reborn.”

I gave a raspy laugh. The dust was getting to my brain. “You tried to kill me, didn’t you?” I said. “In the truck. That was you. It wasn’t empty and the parking break didn’t slip.”

“No Bella. I wanted you to start again.”

I jumped up off the couch and ran for the door. I went for the knob but in a blur, he stood between us. “How many times have you killed me, you son of a bitch!” I shouted, pounding into his chest. I was surprised to find he did not feel like a vampire. “What are you?”

“I was a vampire then I died and my friend kept me alive. I am just a soul in a man’s body, traveling through time and space.”

“You’re not here. You’re not actually here. That’s why you can pop up anywhere. And me, am I—”

“You brought your abilities with you. You, Bella, are the cure.”

I stopped hitting him and backed away. A small hint of glee ran through me. “What do you mean?”

“Edward cannot read your mind, can he?”

“No.”

“He’s bitten you, hasn’t he? And he never told you?”

“Told me what?!”

“After he bit you, he must have felt the power drained from him. Did he mistake it for love? Did he think it was his conscience? No, you stole it from him.”

“You mean… if he drinks my blood, he’ll turn human?”

“Not all at once or it will kill you both. Bit by bit. Then, he will have the cure within him and he can spread it to others.” He reached down for my cold hands and leaned his forehead to mine. “I thought you were in danger from the Cullens. It’s why I tried to kill you, to save you from them. But you’re not. They’re the salvation to our race. They will spread it.”

I gave a small laugh and jumped up into his arms. “Thank you,” I whimpered. He held me for a moment. “But how do I get my family back?”

“Catherine cannot see me, even with Alice’s eyes. I move too quickly, by instinct. And she cannot touch you. You’re like a plague to her. Yes, the Volturi are after me but not after tonight. They do not know what you hold. I can distract them and send you all away. I will kill Catherine.”

I pulled away. “How if you’re part human?”

He didn’t answer, just looked at me with deathly eyes. “After I kill her, your family should unfreeze.”

“What if they don’t? What if you can’t?”

He smirked and stretched out a hand for me. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, Bells. Trust me.”

I had no reason to trust him. I had no way of knowing if he was right. I could be walking into a trap. But I didn’t care. They were my family.

I took his hand.

Instantly, I was blinded by a light, Oliver’s eyes the only figure before me. Then we were in darkness. And then, I saw the stars. We were on the roof of the hospital. I could see the city resting before me, endless and eternal. I thought of Edward and turned around. There stood Catherine, staring at me with Edward, Alice and Rosalie behind her. They were frozen too, still, like Esme and Jasper back at the hotel.

I felt a wind behind me and saw Oliver, looking more determined than before. I realized that if Catherine couldn’t touch me, it was because of my gifts. I was Oliver’s wall, keeping him safe as he kept me safe.

“Oh good,” Catherine said with a smirk, tossing her dark locks off her bright red eyes. Her skin was the palest I’d ever seen and her lips were colored to match her eyes. She wore heavy eyeliner, leather boots, and a black cloak. “You’ve brought him to me. I was starting to think you hadn’t gotten my message.”

“Jasper and Esme? Yea, I got it loud and clear,” I said with the most menacingly evil look I could manage. I turned back at Oliver. His hands were bound. I played along and pushed him roughly towards her. “What did you ever see in her?”

He smirked and shrugged. “The sex was good.”

I knew not to laugh but Catherine did. I turned back to her. “What are you going to do to him?”

“Turn him back, of course,” she said with a sneer. I understood then why he hadn’t answered me back at the house. “We cannot have his kind walking around.”

Oliver turned towards me. His face read, “Goodbye.”

She ripped off his white shirt and bent him back to get angle of his heart. He looked up to the open sky and whispered a prayer too low for me to hear in a language I didn’t know. His hands fell loose beside him and she dug into his chest with a loud growl. He let out a scream and his body jerked. I’d never seen a transformation before.

My hand went to cover my mouth by reflex. My eyes stung with salty tears and a ball of bile gathered in my throat. I wanted to vomit. She tore off a piece of skin from his chest and continued to drink. She bent him back more and more till he lay on the ground. Edward, Alice, and Rosalie continued to stare forward emptily.

Suddenly, Oliver’s hand shot up around Catherine’s neck and drew her in closer. “BELLA!” he screamed. “GO!”

I ran to Edward and held his hand. The white light enveloped us again just as Catherine let out a scream. She’d drunk too much at once. The cure in his blood had turned into venom and she was dying.

When the light receded, I was standing in the middle of our suite. All five of the Cullens were standing around me, still frozen. Then, the world sighed and they all fell to the floor.

I ran to kneel beside Edward who opened his eyes and smiled up at me. I smiled back but couldn’t help the tears and collapsed into his chest, trying to hide the hysteria I felt.

“Bella, where are we? How did we get here?” they asked.

I went to speak but fell apart again. “We’re gonna be okay,” I whispered after some time. “We’re going to be fine.”

Alice was the first to come towards us and hug me tightly. It made me feel so safe. The others came one by one, though they didn’t know why I cried. Then, it was just Edward and me, staring out into our confused, loving family.

Carlisle and Emmett arrived at the suite a half hour later, ready to fight.

“You’ve missed it,” I told them. Carlisle sighed with relief but Emmett looked disappointed. He’d walked in with clenched fists.

I sat them all down in the living room and stood at the front beside Edward, who hadn’t asked me what had happened yet, knowing I’d want them all there. I kept my hand in his, should I lose him again even for a second.

“I have it,” I said, relief seeping down my body. “I have the cure.”

They all looked each other with wide open eyes. “Well?” Emmett asked. “Where is it?”

“I’m it.”

I told them about Oliver, about trapping my soul and the blood that ran through me, about Catherine and Oliver’s sacrifice… I couldn’t talk fast enough.

“He said if Edward drinks my blood, bit by bit over time, he’d be cured. Then, it can reproduced from his blood.”

Edward didn’t let go of my hand but he sat down beside me, suddenly exhausted. “Are you sure?” Carlisle asked.

I nodded. “He hasn’t lied to me yet. He sacrificed himself to save us, brought us all back here.”

It was all quiet for a moment. A long moment. They stared at the floor, at me, at the table, the door… but they couldn’t talk. They reveled in the possibilities. Esme clutched Carlisle’s hand and she looked like, if she could, she would have cried. Alice broke the silence with her laughter, louder and louder. Jasper joined in and went to hug her. Emmett and Rosalie kissed.

And Edward and I, we just looked at each other.

We knew the hard part was yet to come. He had to drink from me. He had to stop himself. Not once but multiple times. Emmett demanded we all celebrate but Carlisle wanted to burn Oliver and Catherine’s bodies first. Then, they would go out into the night and leave me and Edward alone.

I closed the door behind them and turned back to Edward, who continued to stare at the floor, both hands behind his head. He reached out for me. I braced myself and tried to imagine what it’d be like having Edward as human. Would I still feel protected? Would we be happy?

But I knew the greatest gift had just been given me. I would grow old with him. He would be mine, as man and wife. Forever.

He knew it too and headed to the bedroom while I went to the kitchen for a knife. I’d seen how Catherine bit into Oliver. We had to be cleaner about it.

I found the first aid kit in my suitcase and went to kneel down before him on the bed. He looked at the knife and I could smell the fear. He’d barely said a word since he unfroze by my feet.

“Bella, I…” he began but choked. “I don’t want you to do this.”

I got a little closer and set down the knife on my pillow beside the kit. I took his face with both hands and kissed him. He shook his head but I didn’t let go.

“Baby, listen to me,” I said softly. “It’s not just about us anymore. I trust you completely, but you have to think of Alice and Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett, Carlisle and Esme… think of us in fifty years. This is, Edward. This is what we’ve been waiting for.”

“I trust you but I don’t trust myself,” he answered quickly, his hands to my waist.

I drew even closer on my knees, sitting on my legs. I was going to have to calm him the way I did the morning before. “Do you remember yesterday?” I asked him. He smirked and nodded. I laughed a bit too. “Do you remember the ice cream?”

He nodded again, kissing me lightly. His bottom lip shook. I pressed myself against him and locked my wrists behind his neck. He smelled better than ever.

“It’s just ice cream,” I whispered between kisses. He scoffed. Of course ice cream and blood were nothing alike but he played along. He kissed my neck and undid my sweater. He pulled back the strap of my bra and I reached for the knife on my pillow.

My hand shook but I brought it up to my heart nonetheless. I stared at him, trying to find the strength. He looked more in pain than me but he put his right hand over my left and the tip of the knife dug in. I gasped but the harder I breathed, the more the knife dug in. His eyes started to twitch. The smell of blood. I tried not to faint though the fear kept me conscious.

If I took my eyes off him even for a moment, I knew the thirst would win and we’d both die. He gripped my hand tighter and pulled the knife across my heart. The cut was maybe two inches wide and very thin but it was enough to drive him wild. I gulped away the pain.

I could feel the blood start to drip down so he laid me back gently, his eyes tight on mine. I nodded and he slowly moved his lips to the wound. The knife fell to the floor and my free hand flew over my mouth so I would not scream as he drank. I gripped at the sheets and it gave me strength but the pain was unimaginable.

I arched my back high. His arm wound around my waist and kept me still. My heart sped up like crazy then slowed and the pain reached a plateau until I could not feel a thing. That’s when I knew to stop him. I settled down on the bed and gasped out, “Edward! Stop! Stop now!”

He didn’t so I tried to push him away. I cried out, screamed, and he pulled away to the other side of the room, crouching down in a corner. I pulled myself up against the headboard and covered the wound with my hands. He’d stopped breathing so the smell wouldn’t drive him back. I reached for the kit with the alcohol and chaotically seared the wound shut.

It didn’t hurt and at least the smell of blood died away. He swallowed hard and walked slowly back towards the bed. He breathed out slowly and ran a hand through my hair. I realized I was sweating.

He helped me put on the bandage but I told him to leave it loose. Tomorrow, we’d have to try again.

--

Alice and Jasper were the first to come back to the suite around dawn. I’d fallen asleep but I could still hear them talking. “Is she all right?” she asked Edward. He nodded and led them into the living room to talk. I heard only bits but the bodies had been taken care of. I shed a tear for Oliver then went back to sleep.

When I awoke, the family was laughing in the kitchen. It was 8:00 in the morning and Emmett was retelling his escapades through the city back in the 60s with Rosalie. I went to the bathroom and found a white bathrobe then came back out.

“Good morning,” I said and they all stopped laughing. “What’s wrong?”

Esme shook her head. “Nothing, darling.”

“You’re not all going to treat me funny now, are you?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

Edward laughed and came to kiss me good morning. “The last thing you need is a messiah complex,” he said. Emmett snickered in the background.

I was led to the kitchen where a stack of pancakes was waiting for me with a white rose. I smiled when I saw it. “You didn’t cook this, did you?” I asked him.

At that, Rosalie started to laugh uncontrollably. “Oh please,” she answered. “Don’t be silly. We ordered in.”

He shrugged. “Less of a health hazard.”

“Well, it’s the thought that counts.” I sat down and started to eat but they continued to stare at me. “Uh, guys? What’s going on? You act like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Edward stroked my arm. “None of them want to tell you we spoke to Charlie,” he said.

I groaned. “What did he say?”

“Your mother’s in Forks.”

I cursed to myself.

“Do you want us to tell her?”

“Tell her what?” I looked around at their faces. “About you guys?”

Edward nodded very seriously. “Don’t be silly. You’ll all be human soon. There’s no reason to alarm her.”

Carlisle and Esme nodded as Rosalie gripped Emmett’s hand. “How are we going to explain you leaving?”

“Surprise honeymoon to Mexico?”

Alice laughed. “Pfft. Say Europe or something more believable. Neither of you have the smallest hint of a tan.”

I agreed. We waited for the first sign of clouds to check out and head for the car. The girls looked like socialites all covered up in scarves. The men waited for us in the underground garage. Four cars waited for us, all capable of going over 100 miles an hour without so much as a whimper.

Edward and I rode a white one in front. It was supposed to be a joke but I didn’t get it, nor did I know the name or brand of the car. Alice thought I couldn’t pronounce it even if I did. I agreed.

And so, we drove to the airport and onto Forks.

--

“Do you feel any different?” I asked Edward on the way, running my hand through his hair. We’d barely spoken but there was a comfort in our silence.

“A little,” he answered. “It’s the same as last time.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about last time?”

He sighed. We tried to whisper, to keep it vague for the other passengers on the plane. “You were in the hospital. I didn’t think it was important. And then, it went away next time I fed.”

“Tonight, we have to try again.”

He groaned but nodded in agreement. It wasn’t about us anymore, no matter how painful on both parts.

“Bella?” he asked softly, turning to look at me. “Will I grow old?”

I shrugged. “I assume so.”

“Will I fear death?”

I waited a moment to respond, fighting with myself whether or not to tell him the truth. “Yes.”

He held my hand. “I won’t be able to protect you anymore.”

I smiled and leaned back in my chair. “No, but I won’t need protection. Not even from you.”

His icy fingers touched my wedding ring. “Where will we live?”

I thought about that one too. “Hmm… I dunno. Anywhere. Everywhere.”

“A cottage in the country?”

“Uh, I’m not a country person.”

He laughed. The kid sitting behind me kicked my seat for the fifth time. His mother was asleep beside him and didn’t seem to care. Edward casually turned in his seat, bore his teeth, his dark eyes, and growled. I heard a gasp behind me and the kicking stopped.

“Florida?” he continued as if nothing. I tried not to laugh or scold him.

“Somewhere sunnier. Costa Rica? The Caribbean? Greek Isles?”

He smiled and closed his eyes, leaning back like me. He took my hand and he never let go. “Whatever you say. What about food?”

“Oh you’re going to love food.”

He turned to me. “I’m going to love you. More than ever.”

I smiled, feeling his eyes on me. I tightened my grip on him but I knew he barely felt it. The plane started to descend and I braced myself for the meeting of my life. My mother and father in the same room. Bring on Hell.

--

I walked into the house and dropped my suitcase by the door. Edward trailed behind me. “What, you’re not afraid of rabid psychopathic vampires but you’re afraid of my mother?”

He looked annoyed but I just smiled and pulled him into the living room. Renee wasn’t there but Jacob and Charlie sat on the couch watching the news, both leaning forward onto their knees. Jake’s leg jumped up and down anxiously. When I walked in, he smelled Edward and me and stood up in a rush. Charlie followed and my heart stopped for three beats. I gulped and went to turn back but Edward stopped me.

He leaned into my ear and whispered, “What, vampires you can handle but werewolves you’re afraid of?”

Jake looked like he was going to catapult across the room and kill him but Edward just looked calm. The ring was on my finger. Jake had no claim. If only someone had told my poor heart.

“Hey, Jake,” I croaked, going over to hug him. It was the most awkward hug ever given in all of history. I hurried onto Charlie. “Hey, Dad.”

I turned back and Jacob and Edward were still staring at each other. “Where were you?” Jake asked, not bothering to look at me when he scowled. He blamed Edward. He’d always blame Edward.

“I was on my honeymoon,” I said, trying to draw the attention back on me and prevent bloodshed. Charlie looked confused so I asked him to help me with my bags and at least that got me a little quiet time with Jacob and Edward. “Jake, please. Don’t do this here.”

“You married a bloodsucker, Bella. He even smells like you!” he hissed. I turned to Edward, who looked taken aback. “If he’s bitten you, the treaty’s void. No one will blame me for ripping his neck off.”

“I will!” I yelled, holding his arm back. “Jake, he’s human.”

They both looked at me. Was I not supposed to tell? I didn’t know. “What?” they both shouted.

I shushed them and looked upstairs at Charlie, who seemed to have taken the hint and stayed away. “He’s turning human. We found a cure, Jake. He’s just a man, whom I love. You have to believe me.”

He looked so hurt that I prayed my heart turn to ice to stop the pain. “This isn’t right, Bell. No matter what you do, he’s always going to be a bloodsucker. He doesn’t know anything else.”

I shook my head. “You’re not thinking straight.”

“How did this cure come about, huh?” I didn’t like his tone. I’d never seen him so angry at me. Usually, he directed it towards Edward.

“What does it matter?”

“It matters! It’s all that matters now!”

I gulped. “It’s in my blood,” I answered softly, as if that would stop the anger.

Edward looked suddenly scared and just looked at me. “Don’t even think about it, Jacob,” he warned.

“Get out of my head!” he snapped back.

Edward rushed between us. “You’re not taking her away.”

“You’re not going to hurt her anymore!”

Suddenly, it felt like I wasn’t in the room anymore. It was just Edward and Jacob, fighting for a life I didn’t even think was all that special before now. I huffed and headed for the stairs, leaving them to their squabble. Jacob caught my arm and I heard Edward growl from the middle of the living room.

“He’s not going to hurt me!” I reassured both of them.

Jacob let go and just looked at me, eye to shameful eye. “But you’re going to hurt us, aren’t you?” My face fell and my knees felt weak. That was the last thing I wanted. He turned to Edward and continued, “Soon as you’re human, you’ll become boring to her. She’ll do the only thing humans know how to do. She’s going to leave and then, you’re just going to die alone.”

My heart raced with every word. When he turned back to me, I slapped him so hard, my wrist felt broken. Not again, I thought. But Jacob got the message. He headed for the door but I knew.

I knew he’d be back.

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TO BE CONTINUED...

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