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I could feel it in the air; this was not a good vision. My eyes flickered from Edward to Alice to Bella, and I unsuccessfully tried to comprehend what was going on. “Alice?” Esme questioned nervously. We all know how Bella felt and what she thought during the hunt, and we can have pretty good idea of what Edward thought. But one of the most complex characters, one whom can get a frame of what may be going on in a person's mind but not details, one whom struggles to maintain his thirst sometimes is very thoroughly ignored. And he has plenty to say.

On why it's being written: I was simply rereading Twilight one day when I came to the hunt and thought about Jasper. I had read the first chapter of New Moon again that morning, so the issue of Jasper's thirst was fresh in my head. As I was saying, I came to the hunt, and while reading about them in the hotel room, I thought about how hard it must have been for Jasper to resist. It was one of those magnetic stories that I had to get down, so I managed to put Twilight down and get to my computer. From there, I just started typing. On the title: Protezione is Italian for protecting, and I chose Italian because Bella is being protected and Bella is Italian for beautiful. Not very creative, I know. If anyone has any good suggestions, though, I'm all ears.

1. Chapter 1

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 1148   Review this Chapter

The lightning struck in the distance; the boom of the thunder came seconds after. For once, it wasn’t raining, although the moisture in the air drenched me just the same. Emmett’s words to Bella couldn’t have described the atmosphere better; it was eerie.

Bella stood off the field with Esme, watching attentively. Edward took his position in left field; Carlisle took his between first and second bases; I took mine behind home plate. My pixie-like wife skipped cheerfully up to the pitcher’s mound, wanting desperately to beat Emmett and deflate his ego just a little bit. Whether or not that was possible was completely up in the air.

Emmett stepped up to the plate, holding a steel bat that was completely overshadowed by his size. He made a scene of setting up, and when he was ready, Alice threw a swift pitch directly into my mitt. I threw the ball directly back to her and grinned; she flashed the smile of an angel back at me. Emmett set up again, shaking his butt in a way only Rosalie would find attractive. He stopped, and Alice threw another pitch, at which Emmett swung forcefully. The steel smashed the ball making a thunder-like sound. I didn’t even have to look at Bella to see the realization come across her face. The ball went soaring out over left field and into the woods, and could have very easily been a home run. We could only hope that Edward would make it there in time. I heard Bella mutter “home run,” and Esme telling her to wait. My hopes were answered as Edward came out of the woods triumphantly, glove held high with the ball in it.

The game continued like any other, Bella’s scent barely bothering me as I focused on the task at hand: beating the rest of my family. Rosalie made it around the bases for a single run just before Edward caught the third out. He ran, beaming, over to Bella. I jogged, vampire speed, over to Alice and kissed her cheek. She pushed me away playfully and walked over to home plate.

The score went back and forth like it normally did, and the competition was just beginning. Carlisle was at the plate, Edward at catcher. Alice stood on the mound, ready to fling another ball past. She stood still, smiled slightly, and raised her arm to throw …

That’s when she froze with the blank look I had seen so many times; the look of having a vision. She gasped, and Edward snapped his eyes up to her. Instantly, he was at Bella’s side.

I could feel it in the air; this was not a good vision. My eyes flickered from Edward to Alice to Bella, and I unsuccessfully tried to comprehend what was going on.

“Alice?” Esme questioned nervously. I stood just behind the mound, my own emotions masked by the intensity of those around me. Most of the family was nervous, but Alice was radiating pure panic. Her pixie-like body was frozen on the pitcher’s mound, and the look on her face was a combination of disbelief and horror.

“I didn’t see -- I couldn’t tell,” she whispered, guilt adding in to her melting pot of emotions.

“What is it, Alice?” asked Carlisle calmly, though he was just as panicked as the rest of us.

“They were traveling much quicker than I thought. I can see I had the perspective wrong before.” Her voice was shaky, and I ran over to embrace her.

“What changed?” I asked.

“They heard us playing, and it changed their path,” she mumbled guiltily. Simultaneously, we glanced at Bella. I was having enough trouble being around her, and I had been abstaining. How we were going to keep her safe around “normal” vampires was beyond me.

“How soon?” Carlisle turned to Edward as he said it.

“Less than five minutes. They’re running -- they want to play,” Edward responded, scowling.

“Can you make it?” Carlisle’s eyes flickered back and forth between Edward and Bella. There was a pause as Edward took a deep breath and closed his eyes, grimacing.

“No, not carrying--” He stopped mid sentence. “Besides, the last thing we need is for them to catch the scent and start hunting.” He sighed again, so frustrated it pained me to be near him. The emotions were suffocating me, coming together to torture me. Whoever said vampires couldn’t get headaches was an idiot. I nearly doubled over in pain.

“How many?” Emmett turned to Alice, concern enveloping him. Rosalie stood next to him, angry and irritated. . It wasn’t surprising, seeing as she was being ignored by even Emmett, who usually gave her attention whenever she wanted it. Meaning that Emmett gave her attention pretty much all the time.

“Three,” Alice sighed. I hated that my own wife was this miserable. I tried to send a wave of calm over her, but I was too overtaken by the guilt, frustration, and fear to do much of anything.

“Three!” Emmett exclaimed, shocked. “Let them come,” he finished, a calm excitement slowly overtaking his fight-ready body. His face showed not annoyance, but a little bit of anticipation about what was to come. I rolled my eyes. Emmett never changed.

Carlisle’s face didn’t mask his indecision very well. Whether or not we would keep playing was up to him, though I doubted that any of us would play full strength, and Edward playing was completely out of the question. We stared at Carlisle, waiting for the verdict.

“Let’s just continue the game,” he said, breaking the painful silence. His voice was unnaturally cool. “Alice said they were simply curious.”

“Are they thirsty?” Esme asked Edward, worry written on her forehead. It was too quiet, too fast for Bella to hear. He shook his head, and Esme relaxed slightly, as did the rest of us.

“You catch, Esme,” Edward said. “I’ll call it now.” No one seemed surprised at this in the slightest, other than it taking so long for Edward to say it. I walked back over to the field and watched Bella take her hair down and make a statue of herself, not masking her floral scent in the slightest. Alice called them on it.

“That won’t help,” she said. “I could smell her across the field.” Edward might as well of had a neon sign strapped to him that said ‘frustrated,’ it was so clear. “I know,” was all he said. A near-silent conversation went on between Bella and Edward, and I didn’t even bother to listen. The seconds ticked by at a painful speed; silence coated the field. The clock in my head sped up as the tension rose on and around the field; the others approaching. The last words said before they came were an apology from Edward, as he angled himself toward what was coming.