Now that July isn't as busy as June, I hope to have this fic finished by August. That is my plan.

Thank you to Kyla713 and Packy for always being in my docs and looking things over. As well as to Mo for always helping me to get rid of my self-doubt.

Anyway, I think I'll let you guys just get on with reading. Just see me at the bottom.



My eyes bolted back and forth between the newborn vampire Bella and Esme. I held both arms out, one facing Bella, the other toward Esme as the room began to feel smaller and more suffocating. Soon, the rest of the family rushed in. Carlisle's eyes met mine, and I could see the worry in them. Worry for his mate, Bella, and

The blonde vampire that I had seen with Bella's roommate, Alice, was intently focusing on the room. I could feel calming vibes pushing throughout the room, but were making no impact due to Bella's hard-to-penetrate shield.

The larger, bulkier one just stood there, crossing his arms. From his thoughts, I could tell he'd rather be anywhere but there, somewhere off with the blonde beauty next to him. Her thoughts were along the same lines. Though, interestingly enough, she blamed Esme for the spot they were in now.

My, my, my. When secrets fester.

Carlisle took a step forward, facing Bella. He held his hands up, showing he meant no harm. "Bella, please calm down. Lower whatever shield you are using, and I promise we will explain anything you want, and will get you fed."

Bella shook her head, her now red eyes flashing with rage. "I don't want to calm down. I don't feel safe here. You all took away the one thing that made me feel safe. I had to go through this alone, when all my body and thoughts wanted was him as you let me burn."

The monster in me cheered at her admission. The very heart of me wanted to rush to her side and claim her as my mate. A total turnaround from everything I had been fighting since the very first moment I ever laid eyes on her when she was a precious, beautiful, breakable human.

Carlisle, ever the calm one, tried once more to get Bella to go and hunt. "I don't care if you leave with me or Edward, but the sooner you do, the better. And again, I promise that we will answer any questions you might have."

I pleaded with her in my mind to just do what Carlisle said, because I had a feeling that the whole situation was going to turn volatile, more so than it already was. Esme's mind was a hurricane of pissed off thoughts, all hurled at me. I gave up trying to pick them apart.

Bella looked at me long and hard. If we leave, can we run? Can we hide? You will keep me safe?

I nodded my head, not wanting to give anything away. I promise with all that I am, I will keep you safe. I go wherever you go.

Carlisle knew we were talking to each other, but he never let it slip to Esme. Finally, Bella took a nervous step forward, her shield slowly dropping as her eyes canvassed everyone in the room.

"Are you seriously just going to let her walk out of here? Let him take her? After what he did to her?" Esme screeched as she stared at Bella.

Carlisle sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. His fuse was growing shorter. "Yes. I am. I trust him. I trust her."

I noticed how he didn't say he trusted Esme or anyone else in the room. And now, all my thoughts, all my curiosities over the last seventy odd years, came hurtling back. Is Esme who she really lead us to believe she was? Did she plan for all of this? Is Carlisle truly Esme's mate? Did she purposely insert herself to bring down Carlisle?

Bella stood beside me, leaning her now hard, cold body against mine, seeking refuge.

Esme took a few steps backward and was now blocking the door, her arms crossed. "Well, I can't let you do that."

That was when I lost it. Rage boiled up inside me, and the monster came face to face with Esme. I rushed forward and slammed into a stunned Esme. I pushed her forward, clear across the hall, where the drywall was now cracked due to the force of her body.

I was seething, my hands now up at her throat. "Why are you the one who thinks you can make choices for everyone? Every move I made back before I left, you seemed to object to. And now that there is a new vampire, you seem to think you can leash her, too. What is it you have against me? Why have you never liked me?" I asked, pushing her further into the drywall.

"I owe you no answers, Edward. And you won't get into my mind either," she replied, defiance clearly in her eyes.

"You owe me that and so much more. I wouldn't be the vampire I am today if it wasn't for you causing me to flee. There was a time I loved Carlisle, and he was the only family, father and friend I knew in this life and you had to shatter that. So yeah, I think you owe me," I spat out at her.

I couldn't bring myself to pull away from her, not after the rage had taken over. Suddenly, the urge to end her existence was strong in me. I wanted her gone for all the hurt she'd caused me.

Why is there a human heartbeat? The monster in me snarled, and I turned my head down toward the hall.

Bella suddenly picked up on it and made a mad dash through the hall, leaving all of us behind, but not for long. Soon, she had three vampires on her tail, when we heard Alice call out to Bella that she wouldn't hurt her.

Bella abruptly stopped in the foyer after going downstairs, her hands at her throat. I slowly walked up behind her and wrapped my arms around her.

"Let's go, love. Shield up. You'll get your fill of blood soon. I promise. Focus on me."

I slowly began to walk Bella to the front door, when Alice made a peculiar statement.

"It all unravels in time, Esme. The lies...The secrets..."

Suddenly, Esme's mind was completely clear. There wasn't a chaotic mess of nonsensical ramblings that I had to dig through to get through the heart of it all.

My grip on Bella tightened as I shoved her out the door gently and turned my head toward Carlisle, my eyes wide.

If only he could see what Esme had just shown me in my head. If he had, he'd have crumpled to the ground due to his mate breaking their covenant.

Esme snickered as more and more flashes came at me. Her voice once again in my head. So calm, so sinister.

You were always the monster, Edward. I just had to unleash you. And unleash you, I did.

Bella was growing impatient by me, her hands gripping me, tugging me further out the door. Inside, I was a mess and had a million questions buzzing around inside, but I needed to focus on getting Bella fed and away from here.

I had just taken a few more steps when Esme assaulted me with one last thought.

With one important word.



If you'll remember, I never really said Carlisle ever created Esme... ;)

All I ask is that you all please trust me. All the answers will be revealed. There is a reason behind everything. You'll see.

Thank you for reading and reviewing. I look forward to your thoughts.