What would have happened had the Volturi decided to grant Edward his wish and kill him? Would Bella have been able to get to him in time? Would the Volturi show mercy on them still? Bella races to save Edward's life, though one thing has changed...Edward will be killed.
8. Chapter 8: Protection
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Edward came to a sudden halt, grabbing me by my wrist to stop me, and then bared his teeth, snarling angrily, looking into some trees.
"Edward?" I followed his gaze, "What is it?" Then, I caught the scent too. It was almost nauseating...my nose wrinkled in protest. "Ugh..." I brought my other hand up to my nose, "What is that smell?"
There was a rustling in the trees, followed by a low growl, and then Jacob emerged, advancing towards us, almost threateningly.
"Jake..." I choked out, looking around, using my enhanced senses to see if he was alone. He seemed to be.
I opened my mouth to speak again when Edward said, struggling to keep his voice steady, "What did you do to Alice?"
"That's really the least of your concerns," Jacob said, coldly, now circling us in a menacing manner. "What I did to you bloodsucking sister is nothing...compared to what I'm going to do to you."
I stepped in between them, "You'll have to get through me first, Jacob." I said, meeting his glare with an icy one of my own, shifting myself as he shifted himself.
"Bella, this is not your fight." Edward said, pulling me behind him. "Stay out of this."
"Jake won't hurt me." I insisted, wrenching my arm free of his grasp.
"Don't be so sure." Edward said, not taking his glare off of Jacob.
They both simply glared at each other, Edward keeping me behind him and Jacob struggling to get past Edward's telepathic skills in order to beat him at his own game, but whatever Jake did, Edward did first.
"Don't worry..." Jacob said, in a smug tone, "Your bitch of a sister will be fine. She'll heal and get over it. Can't say the same for you, though." He shook his head, angrily, "When I'm through with you, an eternity in hell will seem like a Utopia to you."
"I've spent my eternity in hell--you know nothing of it." Edward spat, "You can't know hell until you have been through it time and time again, boy."
"No? Well...I'm about to find out, aren't I?" He said, turning on me now, shaking his head, pain and anger filling his features. "How could you, Bella? After all I did for you, how do you repay me?"
"I didn't do this for you, Jake!" I said, my temper now rising. Who the hell was he to decide how I was to live?
"No...you did it for the son of a bitch who destroyed your life." He glared at Edward. "How dare you take her from me?"
"She was never yours." Edward said, softly, just as coldly as Jacob had spoken to him.
"Maybe not. But, you clearly don't want her. What you want is to kill her...and you did."
Edward flinched as Jacob glared at me. "As far as I'm concerned you no longer exist. Bella Swan...is dead..."
"No." Edward gasped, tightening his hold on me protectively, "No! You had no right to do that; how dare you?"
"What?" I asked, looking back and forth between the two.
Jacob sighed, before saying, "Don't even bother going to see Charlie, Bells."
"Why; what did you do?" I asked, stiffening up.
"I told him you were dead." He said, coldly, his words surging through me, the bitter cold yet burning hot sting of betrayal flooding me.
I gasped and staggered, catching myself on Edward. "You what?" I choked out.
"I told him you were dead." He repeated, "You jumped off the cliff, the storm was too strong, and the waters took you over--there's nothing more anyone can do. It would be impossible to recover a body and now Charlie can move on peacefully--the way he should be able to." He snarled, glaring at Edward.
It took me a moment to regain the ability to speak. "No...no, no, no...oh, God, Charlie..."I buried my face in Edward's chest for a moment and then I turned on Jacob. "I told you to protect him!"
"And, I did. I protected him the best way I knew how. By keeping him away from you."
I began trembling so hard that Edward actually had to hold me still. "Jake...how could you?" I said, my voice shaking, "If you want to hurt me, that's fine, but not Charlie; he doesn't deserve it."
"It's better this way, Bella, believe me." He said, tonelessly.
"Better for who?!" I demanded, incredulously.
"Now he can move on...as will you. You can't have it both ways, Bella. It's either us--me, Charlie, Renee; or your bloodsuckers. You made your decision with no regrets, am I right? So did I."
"I can think of one regret," I snapped, glaring at him, "My only regret in any of this is actually believing that you cared about me."
"I did, Bella. You have...no idea just how much I really loved you."
I scoffed and turned away, unable to look at him, "If you really loved me, you never would've hurt Charlie. I can't believe I left his life in your hands; I can't believe I thought you could actually protect him." I shook my head, "I can't believe I trusted you." It came out in a whisper.
"And, I shouldn't've let you go! That was the worst mistake of my life." He snapped, "Now, look what happened." He gesturd frantically to me.
Edward now stepped in front of me, "That's enough...Jacob. It was her decision...and it's done. Nothing you do can change that."
They simply glared at each other for a moment and Edward shook his head, "If you do anything to hurt her, I'll--"
"You'll what?" Jacob interrupted, obnoxiously, "You won't kill me."
"Don't tempt me," Edward said, through clenched teeth, "I'll do a lot worse than that."
"You already took her away from me; what more could you possibly do to hurt me?" Jacob challenged.
"Absolutely nothing." Edward said, sounding almost remorseful for Jake's loss, "I should know. Look, Jacob, I truly appreciate you and all you did for her. You kept her alive and safe where I never could." His voice was thick with emotion. "For that, I will forever be in your debt. I am eternally grateful to you and your friendship with Bella."
"We were more than just friends." Jacob spat, angrily, clearly trying to make Edward jealous.
"I know that." Edward said, simply nodding. "And, I'm grateful for that. I intended for Bella to have someone special in her life--someone to take my place and make her happy."
"Yeah? Then, why the hell did you come back?" He demanded.
"Jake, stop it!" I yelled.
Edward smirked, "Because I realized that no one could ever take my place in her life. No one could mke her as happy as I could. And, I want--no, I need--her to be as happy as she can be. And, if you truly loved her--so would you."
Jacob shook his head, "No...if you loved her...you never would've left her."
"Shut up, Jacob!" I yelled, "You have no idea what you're talking about!"
Jake turned on me. "How could you take him back, Bella? How? He nearly killed you and--it's as if nothing has changed."
"Nothing has changed." I confirmed. "I love him. And, I'm going to spend the rest of my life--the rest of forever--with him."
"You love him." Jacob repeated, tonelessly. "You...love him. Of course. Well, then, I'm sorry, Bella."
"Sorry about what?" I asked, scared of his tone.
Edward saw what was going to happen before I did, and he pushed me out of the way to protect me as Jacob lunged for him, growling angrily.
"NO!" I yelled, going to put myself in front of Edward, but he held me back and braced himself for Jake's attack.
It was a useless effort, though, considering an invisible force threw Jacob back as he reached ten feet from Edward, throwing him back into a tree, with enough force to make it collapse on top of him.
My eyes squeezed tightly shut and I buried my face in Edward's shoulder.
"Bella?" He said, uncertainly, "What the hell was that?"
I looked up and walked in front of him, touching the air where the force had been. Nothing. I looked back to him sheepishly, "I think I did it."
"Your power?" He asked, though we both knew that was the only explanation for it. I nodded, almost numbly. "What did you...do?" He asked, looking impressed as he looked to Jacob.
I shrugged, "I just...saw him coming for you...and I thought of something to protect you and then...there it...was."
He approached Jacob and lifted the tree off him effortlessly, pushing it aside. Jake was unconscious. "Damn." Edward said, and I could tell he was smiling, "You've got some strength behind that power of yours."
He knelt down to feel for a pulse and I slowly approached. "Oh, God...is he...dead?"
Edward stood up, "No, he's fine. We better get out of here, thought, Bella. We broke the treaty; they're going to come after us. And, Alice..."
I gasped. I had forgotten. I took his hand and we ran off together.
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