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War of the Heart

Summary:
Lieutenant General Charlie Swan moves his family to Forks while he and his sons our deployed to Iraq. Can the Cullens & the Hales help Bella survive while her whole family is on tour overseas? What happens when the only family member she can rely on runs away? Or when a brother is injured in a road side explosion? Thanks to XxBleedingSoulxX for the amazing banner :) NOTE!! I'VE GIVEN UP UPDATING ON THIS SITE, IF YOU WISH TO KEEP READING YOU CAN FIND THE STORY AT FANFICTION. THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE.


Notes:
Everything belongs to the one and only Stephanie Meyer.


13. You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home Part II

Rating 5/5   Word Count 6771   Review this Chapter

Chapter Thirteen - You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home (Part II)

While Alice was off paying the farmer for the pumpkins, Rosalie and I were somehow able to haul the wagon to Alice’s car, loading the 100+ pounds of pumpkins into her backseat and trunk.

After Rosalie and I had finished loading the car, we returned the wagon back to the field. We were on our way back to meet up with Alice; Rosalie and I chatting away, when an awful whimpering sound caught my attention. It sounded like a distressed animal screaming out in pain.

“Do you hear that Rose?” I asked looking around, seeing if I could spot the injured animal.

“Hear what?” she asked looking around confused. But before I could reply, I had already heard the sound again. It sounded like it was coming from nearby, I didn't even think twice I just took off running in the direction it was coming from.

I followed the sound of the animal to a deserted fenced in field by the parking lot. When I got there I was stunned, the sight before me was nothing but horrifying. Two scruffy looking boys, who didn't appear to be any older than twelve, had a young pug dangling by his paw from a tree, they were taking turns beating the puppy with a stick like he was some sort of cheap piñata. My eyes were blinded my rage, all I could see was red. How could someone, let alone children, be so demented that they could actually take joy in seeing an innocent animal suffer like that?

I stormed over the chain-linked fence and ran towards the two hoodlums, knocking one of them to the ground. I grabbed the stick out of the boy’s hand and snapped it in half over my knee. While I was distracted, the other boy took off running.

I stood up and pressed my foot firmly on the boy’s chest, holding him there while I leaned up and untied the poor puppy from the tree. It whined and cried out at the loss of pressure on his paw, so I gently tucked him into my chest and cooed comforting things into his ear, rubbing soothing circles on his tiny battered back. After he has calmed down enough, I turned my attention back towards his attacker.

“Do you get off seeing an innocent puppy suffer like that?!” I yelled, grinding the heel of my foot into his chest. He was utterly despicable, but I needed to find who to return the puppy too before I could do anything else. “Where’d the hell did you get the puppy?!”

“That’s none of your damn business,” he spat at me.

“Like hell it’s not! I’ll ask you again. Whose. Dog. Is. This?!” I seethed adding more pressure with my heel.

“Fine, stop!” he spat. “God girl, don't throw a damn hissy hit! His old owner’s abandoned him down at the trailer park before they moved up to Seattle; saw it with my own two eyes! So he doesn’t belong to no one!”

I lightly let some pressure off my foot, but didn't lessen my grip on his chest. I shifted the pug to my side as I whipped out my cell phone to call Alice and Rosalie. But before I made the call, I could already hear their faint voices getting closer.

“Bella! Bella!” Alice and Rosalie yelled simultaneously as they opened the gait into the field. “Where the hell are you?!”

“Over here!” I yelled, waving them over towards the small grove of trees.

“Omg what happened?” they asked as they approached us and saw the injured puppy in my arms.

I turned my attention from them to address the boy still laying flat on the ground. “This asshole decided it would be fun to play piñata on an innocent animal,” I spat. They both looked pissed and stared at the boy with appalled expressions.

“What are you going to do?” Alice seethed, as she leant down and gently pet the little pug in my arms.

“If you don't mind running Rose home, I'm gonna rush this little guy to the vet. I may not be a professional, but I don't like the look of his paw.” I told them as I continued to rub soothing circles into the little guys back. He was still shaking pretty bad, but seemed to gradually calm down as I continued to pat his back.

“I'm going to call the police and wait here so I know this little shit gets taken in.” Rose informed me as she towered over the cowering boy. Thank god for her and Alice, I had faith that they would make sure he got what he deserved.

*****

After I thanked the girls, I ran towards my truck. I jumped into the driver’s seat and cuddled the puppy into my chest to keep him safe. It had just started to drizzle as I tore out of the parking lot, and by the time I had arrived at the veterinarian clinic, it was down pouring. I parked in one of the vacant parking spaces near the entrance to the clinic.

I pulled my hood over my head to keep myself dry and tucked the little guy into my coat to keep him warm. He was still whimpering, but his shaking had ceased which I interpreted to be a good sign.

I got a good grip on the puppy and took off running towards the warn-down veterinarian office, jumping over puddles as they came. A bell chimed signalling our arrival as I opened the front door and rushed up towards the front desk.

“Please, you have to help him,” I said signalling to the hurt puppy in my arms, “I found him being abused by two boys, and I'm scared he’s really hurt!” The nurse looked up from her desk with a worried expression as she spotted the pup in my arms.

“Oh my gracious, come with me and I’ll get the doctor right away” she said as she lead me into one of the empty examining rooms.

I sat down in one of the empty chairs, cuddling the injured pup in my arms. He was whimpering but still clung to by body for warmth. He was so little and looked so frail, I was so scared that he wouldn’t make it.

He was so young and had already been through so much. He been pried away from his mother, abandoned by his owners, and hung up and beaten senseless. But somehow, through it all, he had managed to survive and continued to fight for his life. My little guy was a trooper; a little soldier. I had felt an immediate connection with this little guy, and I knew from this moment on I would protect him and shelter him from the dangers of the world.

My thoughts were soon interrupted by the entrance of a young and handsome veterinarian. “Hello Ms. Swan, my name is Dr. Pattinson; I’ll be the doctor in charge of taking care of your dog today. Could you tell me what happened?” he asked as he looked down at the clipboard in his hands.

“Please Dr. Pattinson, you can call me Bella. I found this little guy in an abandoned field out by Johnson’s Pumpkin farm. I rescued him from being abused by two boys, I saved him but he’s been trembling ever since I found him, and his paw seems to be hurt.” I said as I gently laid the pup on the examining table so that the doctor could get a better look at him. Dr. Pattison started prodding around his body; the pup flinching and cowering into my side when he graced his stomach.

“It seems that he may have a broken rib, I'm going to have to run a few x-rays Bella, so we can know the extent of his injuries. It’ll just take a few minutes, you’re welcome to wait here if you’d like.” He said. I nodded, as he leant over and gently picked up my baby and exited the room.

As I waited, I allowed my thoughts to wonder again. When I woke up this morning I was really hoping to relax and take the day as it came, but so far no dice. I hadn’t even made it through half the day and I was already spent. Between helping Emmett with Rosalie, fighting than making up with Alice, and rescuing a stray puppy, I was completely exhausted.

The doctor had been gone longer than he expected, it was about an hour later when he finally returned empty handed. I was very nervous about the fact that he didn't have my puppy with him. Dr. Pattinson came over and sat down in the chair across from mine.

“Bella,” he sighed. “It seems the damage is worse than I imagined. I ran extensive x-rays and have done several different tests, and found that he’s serious dehydrated and looks like he hasn’t eaten a proper meal in days. His front pawl is broken in two places, he has two cracked ribs, and he has extensive bruising and swelling around his hips. He’s going to need surgery to help reset his paw and help his ribs mend. I’ve also started him on antibiotics and have hooked him up to an I.V for proper nutriments, but I'm hoping he’ll be better in a couple days.”

I could live with that, considering everything he’d been through, that was reasonably good news.

“Considering the fact the he doesn’t have any tags and we couldn't find a chip, I think there’s only a limited amount of things that we can do. Would you like me to contact the shelter about picking him up when he’s feeling better?” he asked looking at his watch, “there’s still time before they close.”

Was he really asking me to part with my little soldier? Could I really part with this little guy? I shook my head, there was no doubt that the moment I looked into his deep brown eyes that I had become attached. I would never be able to let him go!

“No thank you, he’ll be coming home with me.” I said with assurance. There was no way that I was willingly going to part with my little guy without a fight.

“Are you sure Bella? It’s going to be a great responsibility...” I nodded. “Okay then, well I'm going to have to keep him for a couple of days. He’s going to need to have surgery to realign his bones, and I want to make sure his body is processing the nutriments were giving him. He most likely won’t be able to go home until sometime next week.”

“I understand. Just do everything you can to help him get better. He already means the world to me.” I said looking into the Doctor’s eyes. Trying to convey just how important it was that he makes it through this.

“I will,” he assured me. Then his face contorted in a look of anxiety. “Bella you know this is a small town right?” I nodded. “Well it isn’t a secret that your family is on tour overseas right now, I just wanted to make sure that this is going to be okay with your father when he gets back? I wouldn’t want to see you get attached just to have to give him up later... I don't think that would be fair to either of you.”

I was a little shocked that he’d bring this up; I know it wasn’t exactly a secret that my family was deployed in Iraq, but I hadn’t expected it to be an issue. Honestly I was also a little apprehensive about the fact that the town was secretly conversing about my family’s situation behind my back, but I guess there was nothing I could really do to control it in a town this small. I just didn't see how my family being way had any impact on my ability to nurture a sick animal.

Would my father allow me to adopt my little trooper? I wasn’t quite sure. He didn't care when I moved Jasper in so I can’t really see him making a big deal about a little puppy. Although, dad always did put a foot down when one of my brothers tried to bring home a pet. Granted, they usually tried to bring home a rodent or a reptile... But I'm pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to put up too much of a fight after I explained how the little guy was a fighter and how he had managed to survive through everything he’s been through so far. Surely my father couldn't deny me something that meant this much to me?

“Dr. Pattinson, I want to assure you that no one is going to be able to love that pug more than I will. My father may not be here to approve of this, but I'm most certain that he’d agree without a doubt with my decision to care for him. He’s always taught me to look out for others, and right now that little dog needs me.”

“Okay than Bella, I’ll keep him here for a few days and call you when he’s ready to go home. But before you go, would you like to name him? It’s probably a good idea to address him by a name rather than ‘him’” he laughed.

Hmm, A name... I guess I’d been so preoccupied worrying about his health that I completely forgot about a name. I liked the names Hero and Soldier, but that didn't really seem to fit right. I needed a name that was somewhat tough but mostly conveyed his sweet side. And that’s when it came to me, a name that was both tough but sweet.

“Riley,” I announced. “It’s the perfect name for my little guy.”

“That sounds like a perfect name Bella.” He smiled. “Okay then, I’ll call you with an update as soon as I know anything.”

“Okay, perfect. Thank you Dr. Pattinson, I really appreciate this.” I smiled as he led me to the parking lot. I was too excited to get home prepare the house for its newest little houseguest.

Friday, October 30th

It was finally the night of Alice’s party and I was helping the guys, minus Jasper, get ready. We decided to brake off into two groups so Alice could get the last few minute details ready for her party and Edward and I could help Emmett get his costume together for Rosalie. I knew what Rose was going as, but I had no clue about Alice and Jazz’s costumes. Alice had insisted that they stay secret until the night of the party; she wanted the ultimate ‘Wow’ factor.

I had called Dr. Pattinson this afternoon, right after we returned home from shopping. He told me that Riley was doing much better and that his vitals were continuing to progress. He continued on to say that he was able to realign his bones with success and that as long as he continued to progress with no setbacks, that I could bring him home by Wednesday. I was thrilled at the idea of bringing him home. Other then Jasper, who was a little apprehensive because he had a fear of dogs he conveniently forgot to mention, everyone else was excited to meet him.

“Oh Hell no!” Emmett bellowed.

“Yes, Emmett! Do you want to win over Rosalie or not?” I sighed, exasperated. We’d been having the same argument ever since we returned home from Port Angeles three hours ago.

“But Bel-la,” he whined. “Tights? Really?!”

Edward chuckled behind me causing me to jump at the sound of his voice. I turned around and saw Edward sprawled out, lying down. He seemed quite at home, lounging out on my bed.

“Yes Emmett” I sighed, “she chose her costume weeks ago; if we’re going to go through with this plan, then you’re going to have to go with her idea.” The three of us girls decided to go as storybook characters, so it wasn’t really that much of a surprise that Rosalie decided to go as Tinkerbelle from her favourite Disney movie, ‘Peter Pan’.

Emmett was less than enthusiastic about showing up at a party in front of his teammates dressed up as Peter Pan, but I convinced him that it would be worth the taunting to impress Rose.

“Fine,” he sulked as he grabbed the tights and stomped his way to my bathroom. The three of us had skipped our afternoon classes so we could make a rush trip to Port Angeles in search of the costume that win Emmett Rosalie’s heart. It took five different costume shops, before we could finally find a Peter Pan outfit in Emmett’s style.

“So, let me get this straight. Your big genius master plan for getting Rosalie and Emmett together is nothing more than Emmett dressing up and humiliating himself?” he asked. I nodded and joined him on the bed. It really wasn’t that complicated of a plan. “And how exactly is dressing up in tights going to help Emmett reel in Rosalie?”

“Edward, we’ve gone over this.” I sighed. “I’ve already talked to Rose and she confessed that she does have feelings for Emmett; she just needs him to take initiative and make the first move. Emmett dressing up as one of Rosalie’s favourite Disney characters not only surprises her, but also shows her how serious he is about her. It’s the perfect plan; she’ll be pining over him in no time.” I laughed.

“You, Miss Swan, are an evil genius.” He smirked.

I just laughed and curtsied. “Just call me Bella: matchmaker extraordinaire.” I laughed. “So Cullen, you going to go get changed in your costume or what?” I asked with a grin. Compared to the other guy’s costumes, Edward was definitely getting off easy.

“Do we have to go?” he whined, giving me an adorable pout. “I'm just going to end up spending the entire night keeping the prying eyes of Mike Newton and all the rest of your admirers off of you and your sexy little costume.”

“Edward, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” I laughed, playfully shoving him in the shoulder.

“A little possessive, don't you think?” I laughed. He just raised an eyebrow. “Can you blame me?” he raised an eyebrow. “You, Miss Isabella Swan, are what we gentlemen like to call a knock out.” I rolled my eyes at his crap. Like anyone would ever consider Bella Swan a knockout!

“You, really don't see yourself very clearly, love. I’ve you seen your costume, I'm going to have quite the time keeping the guys away from you.” There was something in his eye, other than playfulness... but I couldn't quite a sentiment to it, was it jealousy?

“Cut the crap, and get your ass changed.” I laughed, giving him a playful shove off the bed, he kiss my forehead and grabbed his costume and made his way to the bathroom across the hall.

While the guys were getting changed, I started curling my hair into long loose curls, so that they fell loosely off my shoulders. I then started my makeup and since it was a special occasion; I decided to go a little heavy. I started with my eyes, making them dark and shadowy; I then applied a thin layer of blush to my cheeks, and finished by applying a red coloured lipstick that matched the color of my cape.

I checked my clock to gauge to time and determined I probably still had a few minutes before the guys were done, so I decided to change into my costume. I dug out my shopping bag from my trip to Port Angeles with Edward the other week and pulled out my costume. I slid on my red shorts, tied up the red corset top and slid on my red cape over top. I went in the closet where I dug a cute pair of ballet flats that Alice had helped me find to match my costume.

I was checking out my costume in the mirror when someone started banging on my bedroom door shouting: “Little pig, little pig, let me in or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"

I opened the door and there standing in my doorway, was Adonis himself, the absolute epitome of gorgeousness in a Hugh Jackman-like wolf costume.

“Wrong Fairy tale,” I chuckled, taking in Edward’s costume. He was wearing a loose pair of blue jeans and a tight white wife beater that clung perfectly to his physique, showing off his perfectly sculpted six-pack. He had his hair so that it was stuck out in all directions, and hadn’t shaved in a couple days’ giving him the perfect afternoon shadow. He was drop dead gorgeous!

“Oh? And you can do better, I suppose?” he raised an eyebrow, teasing me.

“Why Mr Wolf, what big ears you have," I said giving my best Little Red Riding Hood impersonation as I edged closer to his body and ran the tip of my finger around the contour of his ear.

"The better to hear your beautiful voice with, my love." He replied smoothly, giving me a shit-eating grin.

I chuckled, but I decided to continue. “Why Mr. Wolf what beautiful green eyes you have," I said, getting a little bit closer to him, running my finger over the faint shadows under his eyes.

"The better to awe at your perfection with, my love." He replied, his edge of his voice faltering ever so slightly.

“Why Mr. Wolf what big teeth you have," I said, getting a little bolder and running my finger over his lips this time. His eyes burned into my skin until I finally tore my eyes away from his lips to look at him. His expression was serious and intense.

"The better to eat you with, my love," he murmured as he nibbled on the tip of my finger, turning my insides into jelly in a way I never thought possible.

“Knock, knock” Emmett bellowed has he sauntered into my bedroom, successfully killing whatever mood there was. “Jeez Bells, am I interrupting something again?” he smirked, giving me a knowing look that caused me to blush. Somehow he always had the worst timing.

“Not funny Em.” I said as I backed away from Edward. “Aw don't you look cute,” I laughed, getting my first look at Emmett and his costume. The tights fit in a way that really left nothing to the imagination.

He just rolled his eyes at me. “Do I seriously have to wear this? It’s humiliating!” he asked tugging at his outfit.

“Depends, is Rosalie worth a couple hours of humiliation?” I asked as plainly as I could, knowing well enough what his answer would be.

“Fine, let’s go!” he grumbled, not even together yet and she already had him whipped. Edward and I laughed as we followed Emmett out of house to my truck.

*****

When we arrived at the Cullen house, the party was already in full swing. There were cars parked up the road for miles and it looked as if the entire senior and junior class had shown up. The house looked great; Alice had done a great job lining the exterior of the house with light Jack O’ Lanterns leading all the way to the entrance of the house. There were even giant spiders crawling up the sides of the house and a fog machine that Alice had rented to add ambiance to the party. Alice’s hard work had definitely paid off; the house looked amazing, she had truly out done herself.

Before I had barely parked the truck, the guys had already hopped out. Emmett took off for the house as Edward came over and opened the driver’s side door. He took my hand and helped me out, then we both made our way towards the house; hand in hand.

As we entered the house, Marianas Trench’s song ‘Cross My Heart’ filled the air. I started swaying my hips to the beat as I led Edward through the crowd looking for Alice. The dance floor was packed; there were people in costumes dancing everywhere. I continued to scour the crowd until I spotted Alice and Jazz hanging out over by the refreshment table.

“Hey Lovely Lady,” I greeted her, as Edward and I approached the lovely couple. “Oh my God! You look fabulous!” Alice was wearing the perfect Alice in Wonderland costume. She had a blond wig, a tiny blue dress, and a pair of Mary Jane’s.

I heard someone clear their throat and I turned around and see Edward trying to stifle a laugh at a bashful looking Jasper, dressed up as the White Rabbit. Since Alice wanted to dress up as Alice in Wonderland, she convinced Jasper to go as the White Rabbit. They looked adorable together.

“Aww, don't you look cute Jasper,” I cooed, pinching his cheeks. He just shot me a glare and grumbled something under his breath. I guess he wasn’t overly excited at his girlfriend’s taste in costumes. “How on earth did you keep that from me, you guys look so cute” I laughed, turning my attention back to Alice.

“I wanted it to be a surprise, I didn't even tall Rose.” She chirped proudly. I was actually pretty impressed; Alice usually could never keep a secret, especially from Rose.

“Speaking of Rose, where is she?” I asked looking around.

“She’s around here somewhere,” she laughed. “But anyway you two lovebirds have fun, me and Jazzy have to go mingle” she giggled, grabbing a hold of Jasper and dragging him towards a crowd of people.

“By the way, you two look too cute together” she yelled over her shoulder. I just blushed and Edward chuckled at my expression.

“Come on, wolf boy.” I sighed, pulling his hand. “Let’s go find Rose so we can finish playing cupid.”

“I think someone beat us to the punch,” he laughed as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a hug. I tuned to look where he was staring, and there was Rosalie dressed up as Tinkerbell dancing with an overly exuberant Emmett.

“Aww... looks like we do good work.” I smiled. They looked so perfect dancing together, lost in each other’s eyes.”

“I guess he got over his fear of tights,” he laughed. I sighed, now that the mission was complete; it was time to enjoy my evening.

“So handsome, care to dance?” I whispered into his ear.

“I would be honoured, my lady.” Edward replied, resting his hand on the small of my back, leading me out into the middle of the dance floor.

Edward and I shared some dances, and every now and again I’d feel girl’s eyes shooting daggers at me, but it didn't bother me. Edward and I were best friends, and as long as he wanted me, I’d be here.

Every now and again, my eyes would roam the room as I continued to dance with Edward and I would catch sight of our friends dancing.

Emmett and Rosalie were dancing like they’d never been apart. They kept on gazing into each other’s eyes, and the action felt so personal that I thought I was invading on their special moment.

Alice and Jasper were also dancing. Alice kept on complaining that she has something to do, worrying that she had forgotten something, but Jasper would just shut her up with a kiss and tell her that everything was perfect.

Edward and I danced for a couple more songs, when my absolute favourite Halloween song came on. “Oh my god I love this song!” I squealed, causing Edward to chuckle.

“I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise”

“Come on, lil’ missy! Come dance with us!” Rosalie shrieked, dragging me over to dance with her and Alice.

“He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash”

It was fun just dancing with just dancing with Alice and Rosalie like there wasn’t a care in the world. I was glad that we were able to put the events of yesterday behind us.

After the song had ended, Rose, Alice and I took a break from dancing, and headed to the kitchen to grab some bottles of water.

“So Rose, are you and Emmett officially a couple now?” I wondered. She just gave me a blushing grin and Alice and I started shrieking.

“Oh Rosalie, that’s wonderful, I'm so happy for you!”I said hugging her.

“Oh my god I'm so excited, I'm going to have two new sisters!” Alice squealed, and we just gave her questioning looks. “Now that you and Emmett are together, it’s only a matter of time before Bella and Edward give in to their feelings, so I'm well off too having two new sisters!” she squeaked. Oh Alice! Always the optimistic one...

“I hate to burst your bubble sweetie; Edward and I are just friends, and even if we weren’t, I don't think Edward would ever see me like that.”

“Oh Bella, ye have little faith.” Alice sighed.

“Okay Alice,” I laughed. “I'm going to go find Edward; I’ll catch up with you two later.”

*****

I left the girls and made my way to the living room, searching the dance floor to see if I could find Edward. I was searching the crowed, when someone caught me tightly by the wrist.

“Are you enjoying the party?” Mike laughed, forcefully dragging me out of the living room, to a hall that was empty.

“What the hell’s your problem?!” I demanded.

He grabbed me by the waist, holding me tight against his chest in a death like grip. Mike then leaned over so his lips were just above my ear, “Well if you really want to know Miss Swan, you’re my problem.” he whispered, trying to come off as seductive. “Listen Isabella, I realize you consider Edward Cullen a sweet guy and all, but why don't you just tell Edward to go scamper off, hmm?” he whispered, stroking the side of my face.

“Mike, that’s enough! Who I may, or may not date is none of your business, Mike.” I growled.

“You my dear lady deserve a real man, someone who can actually fulfill your every little desire, and that someone is definitely not Edward Cullen!” he spat.

Aggravated, I jumped out of his embrace and spun around so I was standing to him, face to face. “Who exactly would you consider a real man, Mike? Hmm...? You?! I don't think so.” I sneered. “Edward and I may not be dating, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s twice the guy you’ll ever be! You’re just some infantile, immature boy who’s delusional enough to think that he stands a chance compared to likes of someone like Edward Cullen. Keep dreaming Mike!”

“Come on, Isabella! You can’t honestly tell me that you think Cullen could ever love someone like you! Just admit it, you belong with me. ” He scoffed in a disgusted tone. “You can’t honestly think you’d ever capture the attention of Cullen, right? I mean look at you! You’re too cute and wholesome! Edward wouldn’t know the first thing to do with someone like you. What you need is a guy like me who can show you a good time.”

“Trust me Mike, the last thing I’d ever want you to do is show me a good time.” God he was in need of a reality check! What does he think he is; God’s gift to woman?!

“Ugh! Can’t you tell that Cullen only hangs out with you because he feels sorry for you?! That’s the only reason any of the Cullens or Hales hang out with you, they all just feel sorry for your weak ass, but it wouldn’t be that way with us, they don't care for you the way I do, they think they’re lowering themselves by being seen with you, you’re better off with someone like me.” He said, staring into my eyes. I would like to think that Mike’s words had no effect on me, but I’d be lying. Were the Cullen’s really lowering themselves by being seen with me?

“Mike you need to back the hell off!” I heard someone yell behind me. I turned around and saw a fuming looking Rosalie, being reluctantly held back by a livid Emmett.

“Rosalie, I don't know what you’re talking about.” he laughed, faking innocence.

“The hell you don't! I heard every bit of garbage that was coming out of your mouth. You’re just jealous because you’ll never be half the guy Bella deserves! You’re still sour over the fact she blew you off to be with Edward. I swear to god, the only thing keeping me from killing you right now is that I know it would upset Bella. But you listen to me Newton! If I ever find out that you cornered Bella again I’ll shove my stiletto so far down your throat you’ll be coughing it out for weeks!” she yelled.

“That’s fine; my conversation with Bella is over anyway.” He smirked, turning to me, caressing my face again. “Oh, and Bella darling... think about what I said.”

“Thanks Rosalie. I don't know what I'm going to do about Mike, he’s really not getting that I don't want to go out with him.”

“Don’t worry about Mike, Bells. Just leave him no me...” Rose sneered.

“Thanks hun,” I laughed. “Have you seen Edward? I was looking for him before I got snatched by Newton.”

“Umm... I think I saw him heading for the dance floor.” She said, taking Emmett’s hand and heading for the kitchen.

“Okay thanks guys, I'm going to go find him.”

*****

I walked back into the living room and found Edward immediately. However he was busying himself dancing with another girl. And the way they were dancing was anything but friendly.

The girl was dressed provocatively, wearing white short shorts paired with a tight white shirt that was cut off just below her chest. She had red ‘fuck me’ high heels, and a stethoscope dangling around her neck.

I couldn't help but feeling hurt. There in front of me was my best friend dancing with another girl. A girl who wasn’t me! It was supposed to be me! God where are these feelings coming from? I knew he was a hot guy and it shouldn’t surprise me that he found other girls attractive. She was everything I wasn’t. Beautiful. Gorgeous. A perfect blond. She actually looked like she was made for him. So why was I so upset? Was Mike was right? Was I really better off with someone like him? God no! What am I thinking! There’s no way in hell I’d ever be that desperate.

I suddenly just started crying. I couldn't help the pain I felt seeing Edward dance with another girl. Before I knew it, I was running. I just had to get out of there before he saw me.

I decided to just going to call it a night. Between Mike and Edward, I was emotionally spent, I was ready to go home, hop into bead, curl up into a ball and cry. But before I could go, I knew I needed to say goodnight to the guys, so I headed to the kitchen. I found Alice, Rosalie and the guys talking around the kitchen table, snacking on candy.

“Hey guys, I'm not feeling so well, I think I'm going to call it a night.” I said, as I approached them.

“Oh my god Bella, what happened? Why do you look so sad?! Was it Mike again? If it was, I swear to god I’ll kick his ass!” Rosalie seethed.

“No, it’s nothing like that Rose. I ‘m just exhausted, I think I'm just going to head home and get some sleep.” I didn't want to tell them the real reason I was running away was because my heart was broken from seeing my best friend dancing with another girl. I was already confused enough about the emotions I was feeling, I didn't need them to add to my confusion.

“Bella, why don't you let Jazzy drive you home? You look exhausted sweetie; I don't think you should be driving.” Alice said as she came over and gave me a hug. “With your luck, you’ll probably end up in a ditch somewhere.” Alice laughed, trying her best to cheer me up, although at this point, I knew it was beyond hope.

“Yea Bells, I'm pretty much ready to go home. I really want to get out this costume anyway.”

“Are you sure?” I asked. He just nodded and turned around to kiss Alice goodbye.

“Okay then, I guess I’ll talk to you guys later, night.” I said as I followed Jasper out to the truck.

*****

Jasper and I hopped into the car and took off for home in silence. “Jazz, I'm sorry that you had to leave, you can drop me here and I’ll walk home.

“Bella, don't be foolish! I'm driving you home and that’s that. Plus Alice would tear me a new one if I ever even humoured the thought of dropping you on the side of the road.” I sighed, knowing I wouldn’t win this fight.

“Okay Jazz, thank you.”

“Bella, what happened? And don't tell me nothing, I know you better then that.” Jasper sighed.

“I don't know Jazz; I guess I'm just feeling down on myself. I saw Edward dancing with another girl and for some reason it really upset me. And now all I can think about is what Mike told me earlier about how Edward and you guys just befriended me because you felt sorry for me.”

“Bella, why would you ever think that? You know we all love you.” Jasper asked.

“I don't know, just look at me. I have emotional baggage up to the ying yang. I'm not a normal girl, I do things differently than others, I just don't understand why you guys care so much...”

“Nothing special, Bella that’s absolute Bull shit! You’re like the heart of our group. Who knows what would have happened if we never met you. I can tell you for sure that Rose and I would never of had the nerve to talk to the Cullen’s about our family if it wasn’t for your encouragement and assurance that everything would turn out okay. You took me in and gave me a home, even though you didn't have to! Bella I’ve never felt more like a family than I do with you and Rose. You’ve quickly become a sister to me, and it feels like were the three Hale siblings. I guess me and Rose sort of adopted you as one of us while your family was gone. Lord knows you’ve been more of a family to us than our actual parents!” He laughed. I was crying, I’ve never felt more loved, that Rose and Jasper actually considered me as one of their family.

“This will work out, trust me, don't bail on Edward just yet. He’s captivated by you darlin’, when he finds out what happened, he’ll probably be kicking himself for hurting you. Whether you believe it or not, he really does love you.”

“Thanks Jazz. I'm glad I have you to talk to.” I said, as the tears started to slow down.

*****

As we were nearing the driveway, a black SUV caught my attention. It was parked on the side of the road in front of my house. Jasper parked the car, and we both quickly jumped out of the truck. Two military men got out of the SUV and walked towards me with solemn expressions. My heart stopped beating. And I stopped breathing. Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! This could not be happening! Not today! Not any day! Oh please, please let this just be a nightmare!

“Isabella Swan?” one of them asked. I just nodded my head. I could feel Jasper behind me, holding me up.

“I’m Sorry to inform you Miss Swan, but there’s been an accident.”