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 The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)

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PostSubject: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:59 am

The Turning Point

Part 1
I couldn’t believe it. How had all those days gone by so quickly? It was August thirteenth, and I was facing a day full of over-enthusiastic relatives and friends. Today I was getting married, and I still wasn’t totally convinced I was doing the right thing. I fingered the carved wolf on my charm bracelet and thought of Jacob; I felt a pang of pity and regret for him. I still loved him, and it pained me to see him hurt. What were you supposed to do in situations like this? I sighed at my reflection, smoothing out a crease in my white wedding dress.

Renee came in. “Honey, they’re just about to start.” I smiled, but the smile was half-hearted. By getting married, I was making Edward happy. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t see that look of hurt in his eyes ever again. But it seemed that I would hurt someone no matter who I chose or even if I didn’t choose. After one last sigh, I followed my mother into the vestibule of the church, waiting for the music to start playing.

Part 2
The church organs started up, and I began to walk up the aisle accompanied by my father. Everyone was staring at me, smiling. I could feel panic building up inside of me as I inched forward toward the altar. The walk seemed to last a lifetime. I breathed deeply, in through my nose, out through my mouth. This was not a time to lose control. There were hundreds of people I knew here, and I could not let them (or Edward, especially) see what a sacrifice this marriage was.

Part 3
I focused on Edward, standing in the sanctuary next to the minister, his face alight with joy. I looked into his eyes, and I remembered the reason I was going through with this. I loved Edward, and I loved my friends and family. I wanted them to know I was okay and happy before I vanished off the face of the earth. Finally, after the painstakingly long procession, I stopped to stand next to Edward. The minister had just started to speak when suddenly, the door banged open.

Part 4
I turned around, startled, to see who our late guest was. When I saw who it was, my jaw dropped. It was Jacob. I was too surprised to stop staring at him. Jacob glanced at me once before taking a seat near the back, but even in that one look, I could tell he was suffering. Edward gently tapped me on the shoulder, and I felt myself blush crimson as I realized what I had been doing. I turned back to the altar, feeling tears gathering in my eyes. I didn’t blink, afraid that my tears would brim over and stream down my cheeks.

Part 5
“Will you, Edward Cullen, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” Edward gazed at me intently, a look of intense devotion in his eyes, as he said, “I do.”
“And will you, Isabella Swan, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” I fleetingly looked at Jacob, who was shaking, and then at Edward. “I do.”
The minister smiled. “I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Edward grinned and bent down to kiss me. He kissed me more passionately than ever before, and my heart thudded in my ears as the world spun. I felt the usual faintness sweep over me. I broke off and looked at the back of the church, catching a glimpse of Jacob on his way out the door.

Part 6
I wanted to run right out of the church and follow Jacob. I wanted to comfort him and tell him that I would always love him, at the very least, as a brother. But instead of following and comforting Jacob, I stayed with Edward. I loved Edward too much to run off from our wedding to console Jake. Once we were outside, Alice ran up to give me a hug, followed by the rest of the Cullen clan, Renee, Charlie, and Phil. “I’m so happy for you guys!” she exclaimed, “You’re one of us now!” She embraced me again, but mid-hug, she stiffened, and her eyes grew wide. “No, not now,” she moaned.

Part 7
“What’s wrong, Alice?” I whispered. I turned to Edward, hoping he would tell me, but he just shook his head. However, it only took me a moment to realize what was wrong; Jacob was back, this time accompanied by his whole pack of werewolves.

Part 8
I gaped at them, alarmed by their sudden appearance and menacing looks. Sam and Jacob walked toward us.
Jacob spoke first. “I suppose you will be…um…leaving in a little less than a month.” There was a slight note of pleading in his voice.
“Yeah, we will,” I said apologetically.
Sam cut in sharply, “So, you’re definitely going to break the treaty and change her.” It was more of a statement than a question.

Part 9
“That’s the plan.” Edward swiftly positioned himself protectively in front of me.
Jacob looked at me one last time, and the pain in his eyes was horrible. I couldn’t stand it. “I guess this is it, Bella. Goodbye.”
I just looked at him, tears streaming down my cheeks. Jacob turned to go, and I shouted, “Wait!” He halted, facing me with a questioning look. “I’m sorry, Jacob,” I sobbed. “I didn’t want to hurt you, I really didn’t.”
Jacob swept me into a bonebreaking hug, and I choked out, “Jake, you’re suffocating me.”
Jacob grinned momentarily, but then, with a somber look, he walked away, followed by Sam and the others.

Part 10
I watched them leave, willing myself to stay calm; this was my wedding, after all. Edward gently embraced me, as if I was something easily broken, and I leaned against him, inhaling his sweet scent. I could feel my panic beginning to subside somewhat as Edward held me close.


Last edited by helloeverybody on Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:00 am

Part 11
The festivities passed slowly. How many people had Alice invited? It seemed never-ending, the constant barrage of congratulations and well-wishers. Little did these people know that they would, most likely, never see me again.

Part 12
It was nearing the end of the reception, and I was looking forward to finally being able to spend some time alone with Edward. We ran to Edward’s silver Volvo, which Alice had decorated in honor of our wedding. Once inside the car, Edward and I waved out the window until everyone was out of sight. After a couple minutes’ drive, we pulled up in front of the Cullens’ house.

Part 13
“The rest of the family moved out for the week,” Edward explained, “We have the house all to ourselves.” Edward opened the door for me, and I stepped out of the car. No sooner had my feet touched the ground when Edward lifted me up into his arms and said, beaming, as he nudged the front door open with his foot, “So now, Mrs. Cullen, I believe I get to carry you over the threshold.” I giggled, and Edward carried me up to his room.

Part 14
Edward placed me on one side of the ornate bed, and he lay down on the other side. I shivered.
Edward looked at me with concern and inquired, “Are you cold?”
“Nope. I’m fine.” I didn’t want him to move away from me. I’d rather be cold. I leaned forward to kiss Edward, but for some reason, he pulled away.

Part 15
“Bella, there’s something I have to tell you.” His face was serious. “I don’t think I can hold up on my end of the bargain we made, at least not tonight.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Today has been one of the best days of my life,” Edward said, “If I were to,” he paused, “hold up my end of our bargain tonight, I might lose myself in the moment and crush you. That is a danger on a regular day, but on a day such as this, the danger is even greater. How about tomorrow instead?” He pulled out his flawless crooked smile that I could not resist.
“Fine.” I pouted, feeling especially childish.
“Good.” Edward kissed me on my forehead, then on my lips. As usual, I did not control myself, and Edward broke off. “Seriously, Bella. You have no sense of self-preservation.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
He kissed me and held me to his chest, and I fell asleep in his arms.

Part 16
In the morning, when I woke up, Edward was gone. I sat up and looked around, but there was no sign of him anywhere. I climbed out of bed and tiptoed down the stairs, afraid that someone else might be in the house. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I thought I heard a movement coming from the kitchen. My heart stopped for a second as I imagined who could be moving around inside the house. I headed toward the source of the noise, grabbing a chair for protection as I went. As I turned the corner, I bumped into the person who was in the kitchen, and it was definitely not Edward.

Part 17
“Alice, you scared me!” I was too surprised to sound angry. “I thought that Edward and I were supposed to be alone!”
“Oh, um…well…you were. That was until Edward decided to take every possible measure to ensure your safety during your honeymoon.” I was nonplussed. “He’s out hunting.” I sighed. Well, at least he would have to hold up his end of the bargain tonight.
“So when is Edward going to be back?” I asked.
“He should be back in a few hours…around two in the afternoon, I think.”
“So why did he have you come to keep an eye on me?”
Alice grimaced. “This is EDWARD we’re talking about, Bella. Edward is extremely over-cautious, you know that. It’s just Edward being Edward.” There was something in her face that made me believe that she wasn’t telling me the whole story.

Part 18
“Alice, is there something you’re not telling me?” I looked at her sternly, and she averted my gaze.
“Bella, why are you holding a chair above your head?” Evasive tactics. I could easily see through that. Nevertheless, I blushed as I placed the chair back on the ground.
“Is something wrong?” Alice once again avoided eye contact. She was starting to get me angry. “If Edward told you not to tell me, that’s his problem. Tell me NOW.”
“Well, Bella, don’t get angry at Edward, it’s not his fault. It’s actually mine, really, for telling him before telling you.”
“WHAT IS IT?!?” Alice’s vagueness was getting on my nerves.
All Alice said was, “They’re coming.”

Part 19
“WHO’s coming?”
Alice looked uncomfortable. “The Volturi. They’re coming to Forks, presumably for you. You and Edward need to figure out—fast—what you’re going to do. Becoming a vampire is a very permanent decision, so you must be positive that you want to and are ready to be changed. If you are ready, you need to tie up any loose ends quickly. Otherwise, we will do all we can to protect you.”

Part 20
I paced back and forth in the living room, waiting for Edward to return from hunting. Finally, Edward arrived, gathering me into his arms and kissing me tenderly. Although dazed by Edward’s scent, I remembered why I had been waiting so impatiently for him.
“Why didn’t you tell me about the Volturi?” I demanded.
“Bye Edward! Bye Bella!” Alice shouted as she practically sprinted out the door.
“I didn’t want to frighten you.”
That vampire could be so infuriating. “I thought I told you to screw the protecting me crap.”
“I know, Bella. Will you please forgive me?” He blew his dazzling breath into my face, stunning me.
“Sure,” I agreed dazedly. He swooped down to kiss me, and I wrapped my arms around him. Edward smiled, thinking he had won this round. “So, Edward, it looks like we need to speed up the arrangements for changing me into a vampire if we don’t want problems with the Volturi.” Edward looked at me intensely, and then he looked away.
“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?” he asked.
“Yes. I am completely sure.” I could see the sadness in his eyes as I said that.
Edward exhaled. “Okay, well if we’re going to do this, we will have to do it soon. If you are going through the changing process when the Volturi arrive, you might be all right. But if they decide that we have waited too long to change you, that would leave you defenseless. So I need to change you as soon as possible. That’s why I went hunting today. If I was suddenly overcome by thirst and drank your blood, I wouldn’t live another day.” Edward looked so vulnerable as he said this that I almost, almost didn’t bring up our bargain. I knew it was selfish, but I wanted this too much.
“Edward, if I’m going to be changed into a vampire, there is one other thing that has to happen first, remember?” Edward seemed shocked. If it had been any other time, his facial expression would have been comical, but now was not a time for humor.
“Yes, Bella, I know.” Edward was scared; I could see it in his face and hear it in his voice. “If something happens, just know that I love you more than anything else in this world.”
“I love you too, Edward.”


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PostSubject: Re: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:00 am

Part 21
The honeymoon was over. It lasted all of two days, but Edward and I didn’t really care. Edward would be changing me tonight, and I wanted to go see Charlie one last time. I also wanted to see Jacob before I changed into a vampire. I wasn’t sure how things would turn out, but I did want to say goodbye to him all the same. Saying goodbye to Charlie was very difficult. I’m not usually very emotional, but the combination of saying goodbye to Charlie and Charlie’s talking about my trip to Alaska put me over the edge. My tears were bordering on hysterics by the time I reached La Push. I just sat in my car with my head on the steering wheel and cried. I thought I had understood the sacrifice of becoming a vampire and saying goodbye to everyone you loved, but I did not understand the severity of the feelings that came along with this.
After a while, I heard a tap on the window, and I looked up, tears streaming down my face.

Part 22
“Hey, Bella.” His voice was gentle and full of concern.
“Hey, Jake,” I sniffed.
“Can I come in?”
I opened the car door, and Jacob got in the passenger seat.
“Are you okay, Bella?” Jacob asked. I just looked at him, amazed by his intelligence. “Okay, stupid question. What I mean is, what’s wrong?”
“The Volturi are coming, and I need to be changed tonight. Even doing this now is pushing it. So I’m saying goodbye now because I don’t know exactly who I’ll be after this.”
“You know,” Jacob said, excited, “You don’t have to go through with this right now. Our pack could help you again, and then you could stay a human longer.”
I shook my head. “It’s too dangerous, Jake. I’m not going to have you risk your life to protect me. It’s bad enough that the Cullens are risking their lives for me, and I can’t stand the thought of both of you getting hurt.” Jacob tried to interrupt, but I overrode him. “The Volturi are very good at what they do—they would kill you if you ever faced them in a fight.”
“But what if I don’t care?” This was not going as well as I had hoped it would.
“What if I do?” Jacob remained silent, so I continued, “Jake, I may not have chosen you over Edward, but that does not mean I do not care for your life.” Jacob glared at me accusingly. “Jacob, seriously, I love you. I don’t want you to get hurt because of me.”
“Too late.” Jacob stepped outside the car and slammed the door behind him, turning his back on me.

Part 23
I ran out of the car and followed Jacob. “Jake! Wait!” Jacob turned around and looked at me, his eyes red. “Please… wait a minute and hear me out!”
“What, Bella? What could you possibly say to me to make me feel better?” I opened my mouth to answer, but Jacob continued to speak. “Seriously, what could it be? You’re going to become one of…them, a MORTAL enemy, and you don’t want to hurt me?!?”
“Jake, I…” I had no idea what I was going to say. “I just…just…” Jacob’s face looked tortured for a second, and then he did something I had not seen coming. He kissed me.

Part 24
I tried to fight Jacob off, but he wouldn’t let go of my face. “Jacob!” He didn’t listen to me. “Stop!” Jacob broke off. “I’m MARRIED, for Christ’s sake! You can’t just go and KISS married women!”
Jacob grinned mischievously. “I’m sorry; I forgot that you were married.” He grinned again.
“What do you look so happy about?” I shouted, “Wipe that little smirk off your face! It’s not funny!”
Jacob burst out laughing, choking out, “You… are… so hilarious…when you…are…angry.” I kicked Jacob’s shin, afterward nursing my big toe and hopping on one foot. This caused Jacob to laugh even harder.
I was fed up with Jacob, and even more so fed up with myself. I didn’t know why I had even bothered to go visit Jacob; I thought he had decided to let me go. Instead, he had kissed me, and now I was even more confused than before I came, if that was even possible. I felt the urge to punch Jacob’s face with all the force I could muster, but past experience told me that would be a bad idea.
“Goodbye, Jake. I’ll see you later…or not.” This was not the way I wanted to end things between Jacob, but I couldn’t see any way to end this better.
“I’ll see you later, Bella.” Jacob smiled at me, and his smile told me that we would work things out…eventually.
“Jacob, thank you for…everything.” I walked back toward my car, got in, and drove away, the tears running thick and fast down my face.

Part 25
When I returned to the Cullen house, Edward was waiting for me. He held me close, and I breathed in his comforting scent. We stood there, arms around each other, until Carlisle and Esme arrived. Edward carried me upstairs and set me down gently on his bed. It was then that I realized how tired I was. I yawned, and Edward lay down beside me, putting his arms around me. As my eyelids closed, I realized that this would be the last time I would ever sleep.

Part 26
When I awoke, it was dark outside, and I could hear voices downstairs. I sat up, and Edward kissed me tenderly on the cheek.
“Bella, it’s nearly time,” Edward said, “Everyone’s here, and we’ll need to start the process as soon as possible.” What Edward was saying hit me with full force. Tonight I was going to be changed into a vampire. As I thought about it, I felt a wave of nausea hit me, and I slumped back against the pillows.
“Are you okay, Bella?” Edward’s eyes were full of concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied weakly.
Edward did not buy it. “Bella, I told you already that if you are not absolutely one hundred percent sure that you want to be changed into a vampire, don’t go through with it.”
“No, Edward, it’s not that. It’s just…just that…I’m feeling…slightly…” I breathed deeply.
“Slightly what?”
“I’m feeling slightly—nauseous,” I said, running to the bathroom as I said it. I lifted the lid to the toilet and leaned over, trying not to throw up. Edward came in, a solicitous look upon his face.
“Bella, are you okay?”
I retched. “I’m fine,” I panted, bending over the toilet again.
“You don’t look ‘fine,’ Bella.” Edward strode across the room and held my hair back as I threw up again. Once I was finished, Edward got me a towel and wiped my face.
“Thanks, Edward,” I said, standing up and nearly falling over. Edward caught me and steadied me.
“Are you ABSOLUTELY sure you want to go through with this, Bella?” Edward inquired, one final time.
“Yes.” I was determined on this. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life…or existence with Edward. “Let’s go.” Edward helped me down the stairs and into the kitchen, where the whole Cullen family was waiting.
“We’re ready,” Edward told them, facing Carlisle as he spoke.

Chapter 27
“Well, I’ve been thinking about this, Edward, and I think we should actually do this upstairs in your bedroom,” Carlisle said, “It’s more private, and she’ll probably be more comfortable—” Carlisle grimaced, “—well at least as comfortable as she can be.” At that, Edward lifted me up into his arms and carried me back upstairs to his bedroom. Carlisle and the others followed behind, closing the door once they were all inside.
“Are we ready to start?” Carlisle asked Edward. Edward looked like he was going through some internal struggle before nodding and looking at me.
When I didn’t object, Edward sighed, and said, “Yes, we’re ready.” Edward kissed me the way he did right before he left me, urgently and passionately at the same time. “I love you, Bella Cullen.”
“I love you, Edward.”
Edward lowered his head to my neck. His teeth were less than an inch from my neck when I heard Alice gasp.

Part 28
Edward paused, looking at Alice with wide eyes.
“We need to leave, NOW!” Edward shouted, scooping me into his arms and practically flying down the stairs. I was buckled into the car before I even had a chance to ask what was going on. Edward stepped on the gas, driving at breakneck speed down the street.
“What is going on!!!” I yelled.
“The Volturi are arriving ahead of schedule,” Edward said, his eyes focused on the road and his hands clenching on the steering wheel. “We need to get you to the airport and on the next plane out of here.” Edward looked at me with panic in his eyes, and he kissed me, turning his eyes back to the road. We drove in silence to the airport (going over 100 miles per hour). The rest of the Cullens got out of the car behind us, and we walked inside the tall cement building.
While Carlisle and Esme bought the plane tickets (in cash—they had learned something from their experience with James), Edward held me in a protective embrace, and I nestled against his cold, hard chest. Carlisle and Esme returned, handing out the tickets to each of us. Together, we walked to the boarding gate, gave our tickets to the stewardess, and found our seats.
Our plane landed in New York, a city that we hoped was big enough to hide us. Rosalie hailed a cab, and as we were getting inside the cab, Edward stopped in his tracks, staring at something over my shoulder, his mouth agape in horror.

Part 29
“What is it, Edward?” He didn’t answer; he just kept staring at me, a look of agony on his face. I glanced over my shoulder, and I felt terror seize me.

Part 30
“It was a trap,” I whispered, barely breathing.
“No, no, no, Bella,” Jane said, standing behind me and poised to attack. “This is not a trap. You see, Bella, Edward, we did not receive an invitation to your wedding. We merely thought we would come in person to congratulate you both.” Edward growled protectively and started forward. Jane took hold of my arm, watching Edward with a malicious look on her face.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Edward,” she taunted, “You wouldn’t want me to…slip and hurt her pretty neck, now would you?” Edward stepped back, his eyes burning with hatred. “That’s it, Edward. Now listen to me closely, and I will have no reason to harm anyone.” Edward clenched his teeth, glaring at Jane.
“Hey lady!” the cab driver shouted, “I have a job to do! So either get in the cab, or shut the door and let me do my job!”
“Just a minute longer will suffice,” Jane told the cab driver. Then she turned to Edward once more. “I can see that you have not changed Bella yet. You do remember the deal we had, don’t you?” Edward opened his mouth to speak, but Jane continued, “I need to discuss the current situation with Marcus, Caius, and Aro. In the meantime, I need to keep the girl with me. You will not follow us. You will not try to find her. That goes for your family in the cab as well. Do you hear me?” Edward just glared at her. “No violence is necessary here, Edward. Now get in your cab, and Bella will come with me.”


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PostSubject: Re: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:01 am

Part 31
I exchanged one last fleeting glance with Edward before Jane started pulling me toward a black car with tinted windows. Jane pushed me inside the car, and then Edward was gone.
There were 3 other vampires in the car. I could tell just by looking at them that they were part of the Volturi guard. They looked at me menacingly, and I started to hyperventilate.
“What do you want with me?” I asked Jane, bordering on hysteria. Jane looked amused at my question.
“Well, it doesn’t matter what I want with you, Bella, because it is Aro’s decision. And, just so you know—if you try to escape, Edward will be…eliminated. Now be quiet,” Jane said sharply. It was then that I realized that I was sobbing, gasping for air. “I said, BE QUIET!” Jane shouted, causing me to cry even more hysterically. I put my fist in my mouth to muffle the sobs, rocking back and forth.
I must have fallen asleep during that endless car ride, for I was shaken roughly and stumbled out of the car. We were at a smaller airport, where we boarded a private jet headed to Volterra, Italy.
It was dark when we finally arrived in Volterra. I was starving—I hadn’t eaten anything since last night, maybe longer, because of the time difference. I followed the vampires until we reached the hall where I had first met Aro.
“We have the girl, Aro.” Jane thrust me forward toward Aro. I could feel my knees shaking beneath me.
“Hello, Bella! How are you?” Aro boomed jovially. I glared at him. How could he pretend that he had not just separated me from Edward and flown me halfway around the world against my will? “You’re not happy with me, Bella, I can see that, but there is a good reason for all of this, I assure you.”
“Then why?” I asked, my voice breaking as I started to cry. Aro looked at me sympathetically.
“You were supposed to be changed, Bella. You were supposed to become a vampire or otherwise face the…consequences.”
“What are these consequences?” I inquired, my voice trembling violently.
“Well,” Aro hesitated, looking at me apologetically, “the deal was that you would be changed into a vampire instead of dying.” My breath was coming in sharp gasps now. It hurt my lungs to breathe.
“So…you’re going to kill me?”

Part 32
I felt my heart skip a beat. Darkness clouded my eyesight, and I swirled into unconsciousness.
“Bella, Bella! Wake up!” Two cold hands were helping me into a sitting position. “You hit your head pretty hard on the stone floor,” Aro said with concern coloring his voice. My eyes fluttered open. “Bella, are you all right?”
“Yeah, I think so,” I replied, “I’m just a little dizzy.” My stomach growled.
“How long has it been since anyone fed her?” Aro looked around angrily, and when no one answered, Aro commanded, “Jane! Get some human food for Bella! We don’t want our guest passing out again, now do we?”
“Yes, Aro.” And with that, Jane hurried off to get some food. Aro turned back to me, a look of exasperation on his face.
“Bella, you should know that we weren’t going to kill you. If you had just let me finish, I could have told you that I have an alternative.”
“You have an alternative?” I sighed with relief.
“Yes,” Aro chuckled, “an alternative. I can tell you what my alternative is over dinner. Bring in the dinner, Jane.” Jane came in carrying a plate of food for me, and behind her walked a woman, her eyes full of fear. My stomach churned.
“Dinner?”
“Yes, we can both have our dinner at the same time,” Aro laughed again.
“Is that necessary?” I asked weakly.
“Do you have an objection?” Aro inquired politely.
“Um…well, it’s just that I don’t do too well around…um…blood.” Aro roared with laughter.
“How ironic! You are uncomfortable around blood, yet you are married to a vampire! Hilarious!” Aro was shaking with laughter. “If you insist, Bella, I can wait to eat my dinner until you are gone.”
“Thank you,” I said gratefully, sinking my teeth into an apple.
“Anyway,” Aro continued, “my alternative to your death is this—”

Part 33
There was a loud screeching noise coming from the passageway I had come through to get here, followed by a shout, and running footsteps.
“Bella?” It was Edward, followed by the rest of the Cullens.
“Edward!” I tried to run to him, but my path was blocked by Jane. She grabbed hold of my arm in a firm grip. The Volturi surrounded Edward and held him in place. Edward struggled to get free, but to no avail.
“I believe I told you, Edward, that Bella would die if you tried to find her.” Jane grinned maliciously. “Now, Bella must suffer the consequences for your actions.”
“No!” Edward shouted, as I felt a sickening pain in the back of my head, and I knew no more.

Part 34
‘She can’t be dead. She can’t be dead,’ I thought to myself frantically, looking at Bella’s limp and lifeless body. A couple Volturi lifted Bella and carried her out of the room, her arm dangling uselessly.
Bella was dead. And it was all my fault. If I had just listened to Jane, Bella would still be with me right how. That horrible scene played over and over in my head. Jane hitting Bella, Bella crumpling to the ground.
Bella was dead. My life was over.
I struggled uselessly against the Volturi guards’ restraints.
“Bella!” I cried, as if calling her name could bring her back.
Jane walked toward me, clasping her hands together.
“Well, I think our problem with Bella has been cleared up. You can go now.” Jane smiled her evil smile before saying, “Take them away.”
We then were forcibly removed from the hall. Once outside, Alice walked toward me, a look of pity and grief upon her face.
“Edward,” Alice started, a note of pleading in her voice, but I knew what she was going to say. However, this time I didn’t just want death. I wanted revenge.

Part 35
We were in a hotel room right outside of Volterra, Italy. I quite wasn’t sure how to go about avenging Bella’s death, but I was going to spend as much time as necessary here figuring it out. I wanted the Volturi to suffer; I wanted them to feel a tenth of the agony I was feeling right now. I felt a surge of hate for the Volturi and a wave of grief so intense that Jasper walked out into a different room. My emotions must be driving him insane. The moment Jasper left the room, I felt my pain increase tenfold, and I gritted my teeth. I couldn’t use Jasper as an emotional crutch and make him go through this with me. This was something I was determined to deal with on my own.
Then I remembered that no one had told Bella’s friends and family yet. This was something I did not want to deal with. I sat on the bed, my face in my hands. I felt trapped inside my own head. I wanted to escape, to die. The image of Bella’s face floated in front of my eyes, and I closed them, willing the image to go away. I wanted to stop thinking, stop feeling, stop remembering. I couldn’t even sleep the pain away.
If only I had just listened to Bella, if only I had just changed Bella into a vampire, she wouldn’t have—couldn’t have died. Now Bella was gone, and my existence was an empty void.
I breathed deeply, and thought about who I should inform first. Automatically, I thought of Charlie, but I had no idea what I would tell him. So instead, seized by some crazy impulse to talk to someone who could understand my pain, my feelings for Bella, I dialed Jacob’s number.

Part 36
“What is it, bloodsucker?” Jacob asked, “Have you called to gloat?”
“Gloat about what?” I inquired, nonplussed.
“Gloat about how at this moment, Bella—” the name cut into me like a knife “—is nearly finished transforming into a vampire.” I took a deep breath.
“Actually, Jacob, that’s not what I called to talk to you about, but what I have to say does concern…Bella.” I choked out the last word.
“Then what is it?” Jacob asked impatiently.
“Jacob, Bella…Bella…is…” My voice broke.
“Bella is what?”
“She’s…dead, Jacob.” This was the first time I said it aloud, and it made it seem so much more official. There was silence on the other end of the phone, so I continued, “The Volturi…killed her. I tried to save her, but I…” My voice trailed off, and I struggled to keep calm. I could hear stifled sobs coming from the receiver, and I waited for Jacob to finish. When Jacob had gained a little control, he spoke.
“Does…does Charlie know yet?” I could hear Jacob’s voice shaking.
“No…I haven’t called him. I didn’t know what to say.”
“Well, someone has to tell him.”
“What do you suggest I tell him? That the vampire Mafia killed his daughter? Yes, I’m sure that would go down well with Charlie,” I snapped. I sighed, “Look, I’m sorry. I’m just…feeling so…” I thought about Bella’s crumpled body, dead and lifeless, and I felt again that unbelievably strong surge of hatred for the Volturi.
“Yeah, I know.” Jacob’s voice was dull and lifeless as he spoke, and I sensed that it was time to hang up and give Jacob some privacy. I felt an unusual feeling of gratitude for being able to talk to Jacob, someone who might be able to understand my inner turmoil.
“I have to go now, Jacob.” Now I wanted wallow in my misery in private.
“Me too.”
“Goodbye. And…thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” I heard the click of the receiver, then a dial tone.

Part 37
I was in a dark, cold room, deep underground. My head throbbed; it felt like someone was drilling my skull with a jackhammer. I tried to stand up, only to find that I was unable to move. The pain was nauseating. I saw a shadow pass by the entrance to the room.
“Hey! Excuse me!” I called. I heard quick footsteps, and then Aro appeared in the doorway.
“You’re awake, finally, Bella. I am sorry about this, Bella, but it seems Jane got a little carried away when she was conversing with Edward.” I grimaced. “Can you sit up, Bella?” I struggled to get into an upright position, but my head hurt too much.
“No, I can’t.”
“Well, that’s probably best,” Aro said solicitously, “You should heal better lying down, I think. At any rate, I’m glad you’re awake. You’ve been out of it for quite some time; at first, we were under the impression you were dead. We weren’t sure how hard Jane had hit you. We discovered you were alive soon afterward, but still there was a while when we thought you might not wake up.”
“How long?”
“A couple days.”
“Where’s Edward?” I asked, looking around, wondering where he could possibly be. Aro looked uncomfortable.
“He’s…not here.” My heart stopped.
“He does know that I’m alive, though?” Aro looked uncomfortable again. My pulse sped up, and I felt suddenly dizzy. I remembered the last time Edward thought I was dead. “I have to get him, Aro. I have to find him.”
Aro sighed, “I know. Unfortunately, I cannot help you. Marcus and Caius are against me on this. They want to see if Edward’s power will strengthen while seeking to avenge your…death. They then want to force Edward to join us, using you as leverage. I’m so sorry, Bella. There’s really nothing I can do.” I was speechless. All I could think of was Edward, my husband, thinking I was dead, putting himself in danger to avenge my alleged death.
“I must go now, Bella. I will tell you if anything happens, but you could be imprisoned in here for weeks…months.”
“Months?” That sounded so long.
“I’m truly sorry, Bella, but I really must go. I’ll have someone bring you some food. You must be starving. Feel better.” And with that, Aro left. After a while, someone brought me food, and soon after eating, I fell asleep.
Life continued monotonously for weeks. Every day, I felt Edward’s absence, but each day that he was gone meant that he was still safe. After a while, I stopped keeping track of the date. What was the point? Nothing new ever happened; nothing ever changed.
One day, when Aro came down, I asked him how long I had been here.
“Well…it’s the thirteenth of September,” Aro told me. I gasped. “What is it, Bella?”
“It…it’s my…birthday,” I stuttered, surprised. I was now two whole years older than Edward, almost no longer a teenager.
“Well, then, happy birthday, Bella!” Aro exclaimed.
“Happy birthday, Bella,” I muttered grimly to myself.

Part 38
It was Bella’s birthday today. If Bella were alive, she would be turning nineteen. I pictured Bella as if she were alive—stubbornly refusing to allow us to celebrate her birthday, while Alice went behind her back and planned a party anyway. But all that was impossible now. Now that Bella was…gone.
Instead, I mourned Bella’s presence. I paced the hotel room, thinking of all the things I had done wrong. I ignored Bella when she asked me to change her into a vampire; I put her in harm’s way, and she paid the price for my mistake. I wanted to hold Bella in my arms, smell the familiar, somehow-floral scent of her blood that enticed me. I had thought it and talked about it, but Bella’s death still seemed unreal to me. I felt hatred brew inside me like a noxious gas, and I decided I was done with waiting to get my revenge.
My phone rang. It was Alice. Of course.
“Edward, please don’t do this! You haven’t got a chance against the Volturi all by yourself! You know Bella wouldn’t have wanted you to do this!” Alice was frantic.
“I’m sorry, Alice.” I hung up the phone and left it on the table on my way out the door.

Part 39
A couple hours later, Aro rushed into my cell, looking agitated.
“What is it?”
“Edward.”
“Edward’s here?”
“Yes, and he wants revenge.” My breath caught in my chest. He was here, and there was no way he would last against all the Volturi. I felt my eyes well up with tears as I thought of Edward’s doomed fate.
“I’m sorry, Bella.”
“I have to do something!” I cried.
“I know.”
“THEN HELP ME!!!!” Aro looked torn.
After a while, he sighed, and asked, “What do you need?”

Part 40
I dialed Edward’s number, but he didn’t pick up. I decided to call Alice; maybe she was with Edward. I called her number and waited for her to answer.
“Hi Alice,” I said tentatively.
“Bella?” Alice’s voice sounded weak with relief. “You’re alive, thank God.”
“Alice, I NEED to talk to Edward. He’s not picking up his phone.”
“I know,” Alice sighed, “I called him a couple hours ago, and he hung up me. He left his phone in his hotel room.”
“How do you know?”
“I’m there right now.”


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PostSubject: Re: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:02 am

Part 41
I couldn’t believe it.
“You’re in his hotel room? You’re…” I paused, thinking, “Where exactly are you?”
“Right outside Volterra. I’ll be there soon.”
“No, Alice. Stay where you are.” I couldn’t believe I was saying this. “You and Edward don’t have a chance. All the Volturi are here. I can’t have you dying, too.” I realized I was crying. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately.
“Bella, I can’t just leave you and Edward to die.”
I took a deep breath, using all my willpower to say, “Don’t come, Alice. Edward is here, in Volterra, right now, and there’s nothing you can do.” My voice was trembling. “Alice, please, stay away, for Jasper’s sake, if not for anything else.”
“But you and Edward will die if I don’t—” I cut Alice off.
“But you, Edward, and I will die if you do.” There was silence on the other end.
“Bye, Bella.”

Part 42
Before going to attack the Volturi, I went hunting. I wanted as much strength as possible. I wanted to do as much damage as I could before they killed me. I had no hope for survival; I knew that there were too many Volturi and that they would, eventually, destroy me.
But that was how I wanted it. I couldn’t stand another day without Bella, another day of seeing her face and hearing her voice in my head, wishing she were there. Somehow, I seemed that if I sought revenge for Bella’s death, it would bring her back to life—to me.
I thought about Bella’s sincere smile, her laugh, her mouth-watering scent. I missed her so much. We were going to go to Alaska and live together forever. But the Volturi murdered her, and now she was gone. Forever.
The Volturi ripped my heart out, and now I was going to make them suffer. It was this one thought that made me smile grimly as I headed toward the underground lair of the Volturi.

Part 43
I heard a crash come from overhead, followed by thunderous footsteps. I knew Edward must be here. I sat on the cold, stone floor and hugged my knees, rocking back and forth to calm myself.

Part 44
There were even more Volturi than I had expected. I attacked, not thinking about anything except how much I loathed the Volturi. I was finally going to get my revenge that I so desperately wanted. I reached the first Volturi guard, and I took my anger out on him. Once I had finished with him, I headed toward the back of the hall where Jane, Aro, Marcus, and Caius were, dodging the Volturi guards’ arms as they tried to stop me. I would not have made it across the room without my ability to mind-read.
I saw Jane ahead of me, a wicked gleam in her eye.

Part 45
“You killed Bella.” I glared at Jane. I hated her with every part of my being. Jane smiled a twisted smile and turned her evil, red eyes onto me.
It was agony. It felt like every limb in my body was on fire. I writhed on the ground in pain, wishing for it to end. While I was incapacitated by Jane’s stare, the Volturi guards took advantage of my weakness. The pain doubled as I felt ten pairs of vampire teeth tear into my flesh.

Part 46
I smiled as Jane lifted the match over my mangled body. I was going to die, and I would never have to feel anything again.
“NO! STOP! Please!” It couldn’t be. “Please, please, don’t kill Edward!” Then I saw Bella across the room. She was sobbing uncontrollably, each cry racking her delicate frame.
Bella was alive? I no longer wanted to die—I wanted to survive, to hold Bella, to protect Bella.
But before I could do anything, Jane dropped the match.

Part 47
“NO!”
Everything was a confusing blur. One second, Jane was dropping the match; the next, Jane was in pieces on the floor and Edward was up on his feet, fighting off the Volturi. Then I spotted Alice, Edward’s savior, moving so fast I could barely see her. For once, I was glad that she ignored my wishes.
However, my happiness was short-lived. The Volturi soon had surrounded Alice and Edward, trapping them inside their circle.

Part 48
We were surrounded. In the corner of my eye, I saw Marcus heading toward Bella, looking grimly satisfied.
I needed to protect Bella; I needed to keep Marcus from her. Somehow, Alice and I broke out of the circle, and we rushed toward Bella. But Marcus got there first, his teeth poised upon her neck.

Part 49 Bella’s POV
His hands were hard and cold upon my skin; his tight grip hurt my arm, but that wasn’t what I was worried about. For his teeth on my neck could kill me at any second, if Marcus chose to do so. I struggled to get out of his grip, thrashing and kicking. I heard a bone in my leg snap, and I realized it was useless to resist.
I saw Edward and Alice running toward me.
“Edward!” I cried.
“Edward, stay where you are unless you want me to suck your human dry.”
Edward stopped, gazing at me with terror in his eyes.
“Please, don’t hurt her,” Edward pleaded, “She hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“Then you must do exactly as I ask.”
“I’ll do anything,” Edward said.
“Then join us, and her life will be spared.”

Part 50 Edward’s POV
“NO! Edward! Don’t listen to him!” Bella’s voice sounded distant as I considered my decision, though I really had no choice. I saw Bella’s panicked face, full of fear, and I heard her pulse racing. She was going to die if I didn’t join them.
“I’ll do anything,” I said again, looking away from Bella’s face as I said it.


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PostSubject: Re: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:02 am

Part 51 Edward’s POV
“Good, very good,” Marcus said, a tight smile curling his upper lip. “Now there’s just the matter of…initiation to deal with.” His smile broadened. “Now kill the psychic, and your human will go free.”

Part 52 Bella’s POV
“NO! Edward, I’m not worth it!” I screamed, as Edward headed toward Alice with a determined face.
Edward jumped at Alice, and suddenly Alice was behind him. Edward attacked again, and Alice swiftly dodged his blow. Edward and Alice wove in and out of each other’s paths, never able to gain an advantage on the other.
I couldn’t believe this. Edward hadn’t even hesitated before engaging himself in a battle to the death against Alice, and Alice hadn’t tried to convince Edward to do otherwise.
Even though Edward was doing this for me, I felt the sting of betrayal as though Edward had turned against me as well.

Part 53 Bella’s POV
As I watched helplessly from where Marcus held me, I heard a voice behind me. It was Aro.
“Marcus, I think we should move Bella downstairs. She is distracting Edward.” Marcus looked unhappy. Aro said exasperatedly, “You don’t have to take her. I’ll bring her below and you can stay here to watch the fight.”
“Fine…whatever.”
Aro grabbed my arm and started to lead me toward the staircase. However, no sooner had Marcus released me when I felt my right leg crumple beneath me. I’d forgotten all about my broken leg while watching Edward and Alice fight. Realizing what the problem was, Aro picked me up and carried me downstairs; as he walked, I watched Edward and Alice over my shoulder until they were out of sight.
“Aro, what was that about? You know perfectly well that I want to be near Edward!”
“Bella, we don’t have time for this. You need to get out of here NOW before the rest of the Volturi catch on to what’s going on. I figure we have about ten minutes before that happens.” Aro was now running down the dark passageway with me in his arms.
“Catch on to what?”
“Edward and Alice are distracting Marcus and the others so you can get out of here, Bella. They aren’t going to fall for it for much longer.” We had reached an opening in the wall that headed outside. “Now go! Edward can explain the rest to you later!”
“But what about you?”
“I’ll manage.” And with that, Aro disappeared down the passageway, and I realized then that I was all alone.

Part 54 Edward’s POV
I saw Aro come back into the hall. Alice and I looked at each other for a brief moment and sprinted as fast as we could toward the exit. The Volturi guards started to follow us, but Aro commanded them to stop. I knew that Aro would be considered a traitor by Marcus and Caius because of this, and I glanced behind me as I ran, seeing the livid faces of Marcus and Caius and the rather shocked faces of the Volturi guards.

Part 55 Bella’s POV
The darkness was palpable in the cold night air. I stumbled around in the shadows, trying to find my way to a lighted street. Finally, after a few minutes, I came upon a cobblestoned road that was, fortunately, lit. I limped down the deserted street alone, feeling jumpy. I heard a rustle of leaves in a nearby tree, and I scanned the street suspiciously, looking around to see who was there. Then I saw a cat run across the street.
“God, Bella, get a grip,” I told myself sternly, “There’s no one else here.” I heard another rustle in the trees, and I had the feeling I was being watched. I shuddered involuntarily. What if something more was hiding in those trees?
I was just being paranoid. The Volturi didn’t even know I had escaped.
I continued to hobble down the street, feeling slightly embarrassed that I was so easily frightened. But then I felt a cold hand upon my shoulder, and another hand clamped over my mouth as I screamed.

Part 56 Edward’s POV
“Bella, it’s just us!” I said, trying to calm her down so she wouldn’t make any more noise and alert the Volturi. Her blood was racing; I had forgotten how amazing it smelled.
“Edward!” she cried, “I was so worried!” Bella kissed me with an alarming intensity; then she dug her face into my shirt, sobbing.
“Bella, I’m fine.” I tried to reassure her, but she wouldn’t stop crying. I could feel her trembling against my chest, and I held her close. “Bella, everything’s okay now…you’re safe.” Alice looked at me, raising her eyebrows. Bella continued to shake uncontrollably.
“What did they do to you?” I asked, feeling anger at the Volturi flare up inside me. Bella didn’t speak; she just kept crying.
‘Edward,’ Alice thought to me, ‘We need to get out of here…now. We don’t want to push our luck.’
“You’re right, Alice.”
“Right about what?” Bella had finally emerged from the folds of my shirt, her face streaked with tears and her eyes startlingly empty. I knew that face would haunt me for the rest of my existence.

Part 57 Bella’s POV
For a moment, he didn’t answer; he just looked at me, worry creasing the lines in his face.
“Bella, what did they do to you?” Edward asked once more, his voice becoming urgent. Again, I didn’t answer, pulling myself closer to his cold, hard chest and feeling a wave of panic wash over me as I thought of the Volturi.
“Bella!” Edward sounded slightly angry now. “Did they hurt you?”
“No,” I choked out, my voice muffled by the fabric of Edward’s shirt. I didn’t want to let go of him; I never, ever, wanted to leave Edward’s comforting embrace again. “It’s just…you…” My voice trailed off.
“I know, Bella, I know. I’m here…don’t worry…shhh…” Edward gently picked me up and began walking down the street, cradling me like a child. Alice walked in silence next to us, not wanting to intrude. I breathed in Edward’s intoxicating smell, sighing deeply. I nestled against Edward’s chest, and I drifted off to sleep, feeling safe for the first time in weeks.

Part 58 Edward’s POV
I couldn’t believe it. After an entire month of believing Bella was dead, an entire month of thinking my existence was worthless, Bella was alive. I felt like I was in a dream—even though I hadn’t been able to dream for almost a hundred years. Less than a day ago, I had thought Bella dead, and now I shivered at the thought. Countless times Bella’s life had been put at risk because of me. Now that Bella was back in my arms with her warm, frail body huddled against my chest, I wanted to make sure her life would never be put at risk again. I finally wanted to make Bella indestructible.

Part 59 Bella’s POV
When I woke up, we were in a plane. Edward’s arms were around me, and I couldn’t believe we were finally together again. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t asleep.
“What are you doing, Bella?”
“Pinching myself.”
“Why?” Edward asked incredulously.
“To make sure I’m awake and that you’re really with me after all this time,” I answered. Edward smiled his crooked smile and traced his finger along the side of my face. I shivered at his touch and smiled back at him.
“I missed you,” Edward said, as he leaned in to kiss me.
“I missed you too, Edward,” I replied breathlessly, kissing him back.
“Bella, we’re not on a private airplane,” Edward pointed out, “The man across the aisle is getting nauseous watching us.” I giggled, and Edward grinned broadly. I rested my head on Edward’s chest, and he hummed my lullaby softly.

Part 60 Bella’s POV
“Bella,” Edward whispered in my ear, his cold lips gently touching my skin, “It’s time to wake up, love. We’re home.” Edward helped me out of the car, and we walked toward the house.
Once we were inside, Edward wrapped his arms around me and kissed me lightly on the top of my head. I heard Alice head upstairs to give us some privacy. Edward and I just stood in the kitchen together, our arms entwined and our eyes never leaving one another’s faces. After a time, though I don’t know how long, the phone rang, breaking the silence.
When Edward answered the phone, he looked worried.
“Yes. We just got back.” I looked at Edward curiously. ‘It’s Charlie,’ he mouthed, turning back to the receiver. “Well, Bella is extremely tired after our trip, so maybe tomorrow night? Okay, thanks. Bye!”
My stomach sank. I had completely forgotten about Charlie…and Jacob. I turned to look at Edward, knowing he wouldn’t like what I had to say.


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PostSubject: Re: The Turning Point (Post-Eclipse)   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:02 am

Part 61 Bella’s POV
“Edward, I need to see Jacob.”
“Yes, I know.” This wasn’t the answer I had been expecting from Edward. I sensed that something was wrong.
“What’s going on, Edward?”
“Well, Jacob thinks you’re dead.” Edward looked at me apologetically. I felt my breath catch in my chest.
“He thinks I’m…I’m…dead?” I could hear my voice shaking as I spoke. “I need to call him…NOW.” I ran to the phone and dialed his number. Billy answered.
“Hello?”
“Hi Billy. It’s Bella. Is Jacob there?” I asked frantically.
Billy sounded shocked as he said, “No.”
“Do you have any idea where I could find him?”
“No. .” “He disappeared a few weeks ago. Right around the time he heard you were …dead.” Grief and worry colored Billy’s voice.
I dropped the receiver and sank to the floor, sobbing.

Part 62 Bella’s POV
Once I had calmed down slightly, Edward drove me to La Push, insisting that I was in no condition to drive. For once, I didn’t argue; I just got in the car and urged Edward to drive faster.
Once we got to La Push, I ran out of the car toward Jacob’s house. I rapped urgently on the door, waiting impatiently for it to open. After what seemed like forever, Billy opened the door, his face sagging with fatigue and worry.
“Billy!” I rushed forward to give Billy a hug. Billy hugged me back, his eyes questioning.
“Bella, you’re alive…how?” I understood Billy’s concern, but I didn’t have time to explain.
“Long story. But Jacob…” My voice caught in my throat, letting out a dry sob.
“We can’t find him anywhere,” Billy said sadly.
“What about the telepathic connection? Can’t you find him that way?”
“We had connection with him for a while, and we tried to get him to come back, but he wouldn’t answer to anyone.” Billy sighed hopelessly. “But a couple days ago, we lost the connection completely.”

Part 63 Bella’s POV
My breathing was coming in ragged gasps. He couldn’t be dead. No. Jacob wouldn’t do that. Would he? I felt dizzy, and I could see darkness gathering at the edges of my vision. I wobbled, and Billy steadied me, leading me to the couch.
“Breathe, Bella.” Billy looked at me, concern etched in his face. I sat on the couch, my head in my hands.
“Do you think he’s…?” I asked through my fingers.
Billy didn’t answer. He just looked away, a tear running down his cheek.

Part 64 Edward’s POV
Bella sat nervously in her seat, her breathing faster than usual. Because of the gravity of the situation, I drove Bella right past the treaty line toward the Blacks’ house. Once we arrived, Bella sprinted out of the car and headed toward the house. I stayed until Bella had gotten inside before getting back in the car. I decided to drive slowly, wanting to be close by if Bella needed me. However, no sooner had I started the ignition when Sam and Paul appeared in the middle of the road.
“What are you doing here? This is our side of the border,” Paul said aggressively.
“I had to drop Bella off at Billy’s house. It was an emergency.”
“So you’ve heard about Jake.” Sam sighed.
“Only that he disappeared.”
“Well, he’s done more than disappear. His telepathic connection broke a couple days ago. We don’t know if he’s even alive.” Sam shook his head. “How’s Bella taking it?”
“Not well. She started into hysterics, and I drove her here to talk to Billy. My guess is that it will only get worse, once that she knows that there’s a high possibility Jacob is…” I anxiously looked back toward the Blacks’ house, where, at this very moment, Bella was probably receiving the bad news.
“Don’t worry. Billy will take care of her,” Sam reassured me, “I actually need to talk to you about something.”
“What?”
“In private.” Sam stared pointedly at Paul.
“Fine! I’m gone!” Paul stomped off angrily.
“Anyway,” Sam said, turning to face me with a grim look on his face, “I haven’t let on to the pack just how likely it is that Jacob is dead. I’ve been careful to not transform and let one of them know my doubts, because I don’t want them giving up on Jacob. But I just thought I should warn you to prepare Bella for the worst. The chance that Jacob calmed down enough to change back and break the connection is very low. Jacob is most likely dead.”
I had been expecting this, but I still was unprepared for the feeling of guilt that washed over me. It was my fault that Jacob thought Bella was dead, my fault that Jacob was probably dead, and my fault that Bella would be devastated by the news.

Part 65 Bella’s POV
“But couldn’t Jake calm down and change back?” I didn’t see what was so irrational about that, but Billy kept shaking his head.
“I don’t think he could, Bella. He was really upset. You should have seen him.” Billy shuddered slightly. “He’s dead, Bella,” Billy said, his voice breaking, “You can’t save him now.”
“You’re wrong.” I stood up to leave. “Goodbye, Billy.” And without another word, I left the house and ran up the hill, where, hopefully, I could find Sam and see what I could do for Jacob.

Part 66 Bella’s POV
As I neared the top of the hill, I spotted Edward and Sam conversing, both with serious expressions on their faces.
“Edward! Sam!” They turned, evidently surprised to see me.
“Bella? I thought you were at Billy’s.”
“I was. But, actually, Edward, I need to talk to Sam. About…Jacob.”
Sam and Edward exchanged a meaningful glance before Edward said, “Okay, Bella. I’m going to go wait in the car. It’s parked on the road. See you in a bit.” Edward kissed me swiftly on the cheek and headed toward the car.
“What’s going on?” I asked suspiciously.
Sam opened his mouth as if he were about to say something, closed it, and sighed.
“Nothing Bella, nothing at all.” I knew he was lying, but I didn’t have time to press him at the moment.
“Sam. I want to help you find Jacob.”
“Bella, I’m not sure that’s a good id—” Sam started, but I cut him off.
“I don’t care whether or not it’s a good idea.” My voice was shaking. “I want—I need to find Jacob. I—I don’t know what I’d do if he—if he—” I blinked back tears, willing myself not to go to pieces in front of Sam.
Sam sighed.
“Come with me.”

Part 67
I felt like every limb in my body was on fire. How could I have done anything so stupid—so selfish? I hadn’t even thought before making my decision; in my grief, I had forgotten all about my family, my friends—everyone else that mattered to me. As I had run in front of the car, there was only person in my mind. That face now swam before my eyes, going in and out of focus, as I lay on the ground, numb with pain, a dark fog thickening in my vision. I whispered the name that had been haunting me as I fell into nothingness.

Part 68
There were voices swirling somewhere around my head. I struggled to make sense of what they were saying, only able to make out phrases.
“Call an ambulance!”
“…could’ve sworn I saw a dog…”
“Hello. I need an ambulance…yes…he was hit by our sixteen-wheeler…we’ll wait.”
Every bone in body ached. I could tell that when I was unconscious, I had morphed back into a human. A familiar blue light began to spread throughout my body; I felt a tingle in my limbs as my body tried to heal itself.
“What the…?”
The two shapes that had been bending over me backed away slowly. I groaned, trying to move, but a hand stopped me.
“Stay where you are. You don’t want to make these injuries any worse.”
But I had to go. The paramedics would notice that I was healing abnormally fast.
“I can’t…I have to go…” I tried to make them understand my urgency. “They’ll notice…the light…”
“He’s babbling.”
“Well, he’s lost a lot of blood.” One of the two men bent over me once again to check my injuries. “My God.” The first man put a hand to his chest in surprise. “He’s healing.”
“I need to get out of here.”
The man just nodded, looking dazed.

Part 69 Jacob’s POV
I slept for a while in the back of the truck, Bella’s face weaving in and out through my dreams. Once I woke up, I discovered that the first driver, the one who had realized I was healing, had dropped his partner off at a warehouse around dawn. Without his partner to talk to, he turned to me.
“What’s your name, kid?”
“Jacob.”
“So, what are you exactly?” Stupid, nosy truck driver.
I didn’t answer; I just glared at him. There was silence between us for a moment.
“So, this chick Bella, who is she? I heard you calling her name while you were sleeping.”
I glared at him again. “No one important.” Yeah right.
“Okay…” the truck driver said, his voice disbelieving. “So, Jacob, why did you jump in front of our car? Was it this Bella chick?” This truck driver seemed to have no sense of self-preservation.
I just stared ahead, my limbs shaking, trying to resist my violent impulses.

Part 70 Jacob’s POV
I couldn’t stand another second of this truck driver’s relentless, annoying questioning. The driver had allowed me to stay with him for a couple days so I could recuperate, and during these two days, he had nearly succeeded in driving me insane.
I sighed, wishing I could think of something that didn’t make me feel sad or angry. I just wanted to be happy again like I used to be.
I finally decided to head home. I had tested my self-control, and I had failed; I knew now that I couldn’t handle Bella’s death by myself, no matter how much I wanted to be alone. I had been gone for weeks, and Billy and the pack were probably worried about me.

Part 71 Bella’s POV
There were always a few people from the pack in wolf form at a time, just in case Jacob transformed; if he did, we would know he was alive. Until then, I paced back and forth in the Uley’s kitchen, chewing nervously on my fingernails, waiting for news.
After many hours, news came.
Embry burst through the door, a grin on his face.
“Jacob’s alive!”

Part 72 Jacob’s POV
I was running through the trees, flying back toward La Push. I could hear Embry’s voice in my mind.
“Jacob?” I could tell he felt relieved.
“I’m here. I’m coming.”
Images from Embry’s mind flashed before my eyes. I saw Bella standing in Sam’s kitchen, a troubled look on her face.
Embry knew the confusion I was feeling, so he elaborated.
“Jacob…Bella has been worried sick.”
My heart wrenched with grief at the name.
“Bella’s dead, Embry.”
Another image of Bella flashed through Embry’s mind.
“Isn’t she?”
“No.”
I ran faster still, desperate to see Bella in person, unable to believe my own mind telling me that she was alive.

Part 73 Bella’s POV
I stood outside, waiting at the top of the hill, long after the sun went down and the moon came out. Many times the wolves tried to get me to come inside, away from the cold, but every time they asked, I ignored them. All I could do was think of Jacob.
After a while, Embry and Quil came to sit outside as well, bringing a quilt for me. Together, we waited for Jacob to come.
As the sun began to appear on the horizon once more, I could barely discern Jacob at the bottom of the hill, limping.
“Jake!” I cried, running down the hill towards him, tripping on a rock in my haste and falling to the ground. Ignoring my injuries, I continued running, anxious to finally see Jacob face to face.
When I reached Jacob, he scooped me into a bonebreaking hug, my feet temporarily losing contact with the ground.
“You’re alive, Bella,” he said, his voice husky with fatigue and relief.
“Yeah, I know.”
Jacob smiled slightly.
“And you’re human.”
“I know.”
Jake grinned again and kissed me. And without thinking, without knowing what I was doing, I kissed him back, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I missed you,” Jake said, panting slightly.
“I missed you too.”
He kissed me once more, and again I didn’t stop him. Instead, I was running my fingers through his hair, my world spinning, knowing I should stop but at the same time wishing this moment would never end.

Part 74 Bella’s POV
Quil and Embry hooted with laughter, and Sam pulled them both inside, looking back apprehensively at the two of us.
I pulled away from Jacob, tears starting in my eyes.
“What’s wrong?”
“I’m married, Jake. I’m not supposed to be doing this.” Everything was so confusing. I thought I finally had my feelings for Jake under control. “I have to go now, Jake, before I do anything else I’ll regret later.”
At that, I hurried away from Jacob, who looked slightly hurt, pulling Edward’s cell out of my pocket and dialing the Cullens’ number.

Part 75 Edward’s POV
While Bella was at La Push, I had talked to Carlisle, and he said that it would be best if we changed her as soon as possible; the Volturi would probably come back for her, and this time they might not keep her alive. I sighed, wondering if Bella could handle all of this in just two days.
~~
When I arrived, Bella’s tear-stained face was smudged with dirt, and her hands and knees were bleeding freely. Her eyes looked blankly ahead of her, devoid of their usual sparkle.
Bella was oddly quiet on the drive home. I asked her if she was alright, and she just nodded, saying nothing.
“How’s Jacob?” I asked, breaking the silence.
“Good.” Bella turned to stare out the window, her eyes glazing over with tears. I sensed it was not a good idea to press her for information.
After a while, I brought up the subject of her becoming a vampire, and Bella mumbled something in response, turning away to gaze out the window once more.
I dropped the subject, driving the rest of the way home in silence. I was feeling uneasy about changing Bella; she had seemed so ready before, but now she appeared to be having second thoughts.
Despite my qualms, I helped Carlisle get ready for the transformation, which would be tonight, if all went as planned.

Part 76 Edward’s POV
As I leaned in toward Bella’s neck, Bella’s blood raced through her veins. I rested my lips on the base of her throat, almost as if to kiss it, preparing to sink my teeth into her flesh.
“Edward, wait—” I stopped. Bella took a deep breath and continued, “There’s something I have to tell you.”

THE END.

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