NM Alternate Ending
It's page 449 of the hard-back version of New Moon. Bella is running across the plaza in Italy. She has to get to Edward before the clock chimes. Before the Volturi do. His life depends on it. This time Bella stumbles and doesn't get there in time. What will happen to Edward now? Will Alice make it out of Volterra and keep her promise to Jasper? Will Bella be able to survive, thinking she's failed... alone in Volterra?
So, you remember of course, in New Moon, Bella is running for her (and his) life toward the place where Alice saw Edward would be. It’s a race against time and she’s fighting the crowd…
1. Chapter 1
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…I leaped awkwardly over the opposite edge of the fountain, splashing water on anyone in range. I was so close, so close - my foot caught on the edge of the stone base and I went sprawling into the feet of the crowd. Some people shouted in complaint, I shouted in pain. My foot had twisted, making my shin hit the stone edge sharply. I looked down to see a rip in my jeans and blood oozing to the surface of a fresh scrape. Leave it to me to lie bleeding in the vampire capital of the world. Leave it to me the ruin everything. Leave it to me to be so slow, so clumsy, so human, so Bella.
I hurried to get to my feet. My ankle throbbing, my shin dripping. I couldn’t stop now. I was gasping, sobbing. I gentle hand pressed my shoulder to hold me to the ground. A pair of unfamiliar blue eyes were kneeling toward me. A string of Italian followed, it sounded like a question but I didn’t understand. There wasn’t time. I pushed the hand out of my way, there was no time, no reason, to be polite.
“I can’t, I don’t…” I was sobbing, but the owner of the concerned eyes seemed to think it had something to do with my bleeding leg, “EDWARD!” I screamed helplessly into the crowd. And then the first chime sounded. The world crumbled. Too late, too late. The hand on my shoulder returned, more forceful this time. “No!” I screeched, slapping it away and trying once again to find my feet. It was useless. “EDWARD!” It was more of a sob this time. People were gathering around me. Looking concerned, asking me questions in a foreign languages. Pointing at my legs and motioning with their hands when they realized I didn’t understand. “Stop!” I was screeching, “You have to move, I have to…I have to….EDWARD!” Without really thinking about it I began pushing through their legs, crawling uselessly toward the clock-tower. It was chiming for the third time, “NO!” I sobbed, “EDWARD, DON’T!” I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t save him. It would be my fault, it was all my fault. I hoped the Volturi would be able to smell me bleeding here, I hoped they would kill me next. I hoped Alice would see this and find a way to escape. I hoped Jacob would forgive me. I hoped all of these things, yet I’d never felt so hopeless.
The blue eyes were in my face again, their hand was back on my shoulder. “You must hold still, you are injured,” a voice, a male voice informed me in a loud voice to carry over the chiming clock and in a thick Italian accent. I couldn’t focus on his face, there was only one face I could see.
“No, I can’t.” I tried again to stand, using the hand on my shoulder as leverage. “Edward,” I was gasping and crying, “Edward.”
“We will find this Edward,” The voice and the eyes were kind. Kind and stupid and holding me back. “But first we must get you some help, yes?”
“No,” I crumpled in defeat as the last chime rang. “No, I can’t help him, I have to help Edward, the sun, he’s in the sun, I have to save him.” I was sobbing, “I’m too late, I’m too clumsy, it’s my fault. I can‘t, I didn‘t…” I choked on another sob, “He’s in the sun.”
The eyes squinted ever so slightly and then widened with what seemed like understanding. But that was impossible, nothing I said could make sense to this man. The eyes searched my face and then my audience. Without warning, he was scooping me up and pushing through the crowd. He was speaking to them in Italian and they were parting. A couple of men in red blazers had come to see what the commotion was. The blue eyed man was explaining something to them. I didn’t try to get away. I closed my eyes in defeat and I wept… Edward.
I didn’t open my eyes again until the light behind my eyelids changed and the air cooled and the world quieted. We were inside now. The blue-eyed Italian man had carried me here, away from the crowd, away from Edward. Was he already dead? They wouldn’t kill him in a crowd of humans would they? They would take him somewhere, they would kill him in secret. A sob escaped.
“Hush,” the man said soothingly. “We are safe now.” He laid me on a low sofa in a dark room. I should’ve wondered who he was, I should’ve felt uncomfortable in a foreign country in a strangers living room. I was beyond feeling…
“You must tell me your name?” the blue eyes were looking into mine again.
It didn’t matter. “Bella.” I answered anyway. Bella, not a name, but a curse. He had once called me a magnet for trouble. He was right, but not trouble for myself. I hurt the ones I loved. I failed them.
“How is your leg Bella?”
I felt nothing, I was numb. I stared into the eyes mutely. I wished they were topaz. I wished they were black.
“Bella?” The eyes were frowning, “I can help you, but you must answer me.”
“You can’t help.” I whispered.
“Maybe not,” the man leaned back and looked down at my leg, “but if you don’t let me try, we’ll never know for sure.”
I really saw his face for the first time. It was kind, like his eyes. His mouth was thin and wide, his hair was thick and black. He looked to be about thirty years old. “You can’t help.” I repeated, “It’s too late.”
“Too late for what?” He was calmly rolling up the leg of my jeans so it was out of the way of the cut.
“To save him.” I didn’t know why I was answering. I felt like I was out of my body, or like I was only a body. Like I could only speak and breathe and live, but not feel. I didn’t want to feel…
He was dabbing something over my leg. It stung. It was nothing compared to the agony…
“Save him?” the man didn’t look up he just kept working over my leg. “From what were you trying to save this Edward?”
“From himself.” I didn’t realize the truth of these words before they were out of my mouth. It was true. Only he would feel a guilt so acute that he could not go on with it inside of him. A needless guilt that could not be explained.
The man looked up sharply, as though that wasn’t the answer he was expecting. Then just as quickly he turned back the my leg and asked, “What did he do?”
I shook my head. I couldn’t explain.
“Did he go into the sun in crowd?” It was a strange question.
I just stared at him and he met my eyes. Eyes that seemed to know something about Edward in the sun. Impossible eyes.
“He was going to.” I whispered.
“Ah.” The man nodded knowingly. “And in doing so he would be…” the man paused and a crease appeared between his eyes, as though he were concentrating, choosing his words carefully, “revealed?” he finally finished.
I didn’t answer. Apparently I had injured my head more than my leg when I fell. Maybe I was beyond understanding. How else could I explain this man’s questions. It was like he knew…
“Bella,” He took my hand and smiled understandingly when I didn’t answer. When I just stared at him in shock. “My family has lived in this city for nearly 300 years. Many, many, generations. It has been enough time for us to become very… aware of our surroundings… of our neighbors.” Again he was choosing his words carefully. His eyes were darting around the room, lingering at each window. “Of course, we can’t share our suspicions, they cannot be discussed. I don’t know why you are involved with this Edward who cannot be seen in the sun-” He put his hand up when I opened my mouth to speak, “I don’t want to know. I want to help you Bella, as much as I can without getting mixed up with these people of stone.”
He just nodded and squeezed my hand, his suspicions confirmed
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