CULLEN FAMILY: Esme and Carlisle. Rosalie and Emmett. Jasper and Victoria. Edward. Alice. Wensley and Jessica.

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

Rated: T.

Author: xPaige Turnerx

Summary: COMPLETED AND WAITING TO POST. "Trust me, dating a vampire and having a wolf for a brother are the LEAST complicated aspects of my life. Every now and then my nose reenacts the elevator scene from The Shining, and I randomly wake up in the woods. Normal was shot to Hell a long time ago."

"At the center of your being

you have the answer;

you know who you are

you know what you want."

-Lao Tzu

Bella came to moments later. She gasped, brown eyes shooting open, and took a second for her mind to register that she was upside down. A groan seeped in pain escaped her lips and she grabbed the steering wheel, feeling the blood rushing to her head. Or maybe from her head. She watched, listened to it drip, drip, drip into a small red puddle the size of a quarter, on the roof of the truck. Broken glass filled the surface, spilling out onto the wet pavement of the highway around her.

Trembling fingers pushed the button on her seatbelt and she fell on her shoulder, glass digging into her skin. "Ow!" she yelped, rolling onto her stomach. Blinking the stars from her eyes, Bella spotted the magnum just outside her shattered window and started dragging herself to it. Her skin split open in small cuts from all the glass; a battered, bloody hand gripping the handle of the gun.

Tacky gold tipped cowboy boots stepped around the car, stopping on either side of the gun in her hand. "That's not gonna hurt me," a velvety smooth voice teased. Bella recognized the vampiric perfection to it and sighed into the pavement. The man crouched down, chilly fingers brushing the top of Bella's hand, along the long barrel of the gun. "Hmm. At closer inspection, I'd wager it will hurt me, a great deal. But it won't kill me. Won't stop me. Won't even slow me down. It'll just make me angry."

A hand gripped the back of her coat and Bella was dragged out of the truck, hoisted to her feet, and shoved into the underside of it. She felt the bent metal dig into her back, staring into the cold red eyes of a human drinking vampire. He was handsome, but she was starting to think there was no such thing as an ugly vampire. Dirty blonde hair pulled back in a tie, scruffy chin, sharp features. He wore no shirt, only an open leather coat, and jeans with an equally tacky belt buckle that was nearly the size of his head.

Movement caught her eye and Bella spotted two more vampires lurking nearby. One with, admittedly, hella cool dreds, and another that looked vaguely familiar. She was pretty sure he'd recently gone missing in Seattle; she saw it on the news.

"That was you in Seattle, all those killings," she said.

An excited smile pulled at the blonde's lips. "So you do know about us! We had a little wager going; if you were aware you're dating a vampire, or if they were having some sort of fun with the little human. Here I thought they were just being greedy, that they didn't want to share, wouldn't let us play too." He blurred up close, painfully grabbing her chin, and jerked her face side to side so he could inspect it. "They've claimed you, haven't they?"

"Well, it's twenty-seventeen, so no. You can't claim people anymore, unless you're an asshole. You've claimed people, haven't you?"

Dreds cracked a smile, his white teeth a stark contrast against his beautiful dark skin. "She has bite."

"I like it," Blondie said. He gasped suddenly, mouth falling open, and wiped his hand on his pants before offering it. "Manners! So sorry, I haven't had a conversation with my meal in a long time. My name is James, that is Laurent, and this is Riley. Originally, he was also just my meal, but he proved useful. Do the same, and perhaps the end of this night will turn out better than you fear."

James looked on expectantly and after a heartbeat, Bella shrugged. "Um, no?"

"Delightful," he laughed. "I know from searching your room that your name is Isabella Swan," the fucker who kicked our ceiling, "and it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I've been waiting for so long now, anticipating this moment. Anticipating my first taste."

His words rumbled out in a growl at the end, red eyes darkening to more of a maroon. He eyed the line of blood dripping from Bella's eyebrow, down her face, and off her jaw. With her hand that wasn't holding the gun, Bella wiped at her neck where she knew more blood was collecting. "So why aren't you ripping my throat out?" she asked. "They made it seem like a simple paper cut would be my end."

"Logically I know the scent is coming from you, right in front of me," James began thoughtfully. He crossed his arms, one hand lifting to tap at his chin. "But it is powerful and simply saturating the woods. My senses cannot separate you from the scent in the woods. It was clever of them to take you through there so often."

"I-" Bella blinked. "Yes... yes, that was the plan all along. I did that on purpose."

Riley hissed, his eyes blacker than the night sky. "Just kill her and be done with it already! The others could be on their way as we speak."

"Riley," James pouted. "So rude of you to mention that in front of her. There's no need to sour her last moments on earth with fear. Forgive him, Isabella. He's quite young still."

"Damn Millenials," Bella shook her head with a click of her tongue, "always in a rush."

Again, James' face lit up with glee and she heard Laurent snicker. "Yes! Oh, I do like you, Isabella!" James purred with hooded eyes. "I'll let you in on a little secret. I was recently left, my partner running off with... a cowboy, of all things," he said with disgust, looking down to his boots and buckle. Bella's heart stuttered in her chest, thoughts flashing to Victoria and Jasper. What were the chances of her being connected to two cowboy vampires? When she glanced back at James, he was grinning at her maliciously. Before she could blink, he tugged her forward to slam her against the truck again. Pain flared all up and down her back, in one of her shoulders. "Clever, clever little human!"

"Victoria-"

A stone hand wrapped around her mouth, Bella's jaw aching under the pressure of his grip. Red eyes danced with fury and humour. "You don't get to say her name. Nobody says her name but me." He sighed wistfully, face falling. "We were together for nearly a century. I know your pathetic human mind can hardly wrap itself around the concept of such things, but try to understand loving someone for one hundred years. She was my everything and she threw it away for a little southern charm."

"How come she didn't recognize your scent?" Bella asked after yanking her face free. She felt his nails scrape her cheeks, knew she had scratches but was mostly just thankful he hadn't ripped her jaw right off.

James lazily patted her cheek. "Interrupt me again, and I will show you your own heart, Isabella." He glanced up to Riley. "Our young lad here proved his worth, as I told you. He very nearly got away from me with his unique gift. He can change his scent, which is utterly fascinating to a Tracker like myself. It came in handy when we realized he could also change our own, confuse our enemies, hide us from other trackers. Victoria has no idea I'm here, and it's a surprise, so please keep this between us."

"I promise," Bella smiled sweetly.

Dramatically, James clutched at his heart and looked towards the sky. "Alas, I should have known it was not meant to be between us. Victoria does not have the same mettle as we do, her poor stomach is weak for a vampire. Weak like those abominations she's playing House with. She would... take her breaks for months at a time, sometimes years. The funny part being," he leaned close to her again with a smile, "if she had a stronger stomach, she would have been with me when I stalked your girlfriend."

Bella's heart sank into her sneakers, the fear that had been building in her chest falling way to a numb anger. "Excuse me?"

"Yes!" James crooned. "It's a funny coincidence that I could not be more happy about. Three of my lovely ladies in one. Victoria, my love. Mary Alice, my obsession. Isabella, my vengeance. I knew your sweet little Mary Alice when she was still a human. In fact, she is my only target that has ever gotten away. A mistake I intend to fix before leaving Washington."

Bella's hand snapped around his neck, felt his chuckle in her palm, and glared fiercely at him. "Don't you touch her!"

"I'll touch her as much as I want, she is mine," James snarled possessively. He shoved Bella into the underside of the truck again and tightened his ponytail. "If you can't keep things civil, I will be forced to end this right here and now. Is that what you want?"

The rage in her gut was battled down again, knowing that now was not her time. Not with the other two closer, just off to the left. Bella forced herself to relax, to smile, and shook her head. "Nope," she said tightly. "Forgive me. I can't seem to get a grip on my road rage." She scuffed her shoe against the pavement for emphasis.

James grinned again. "Of course, dear." He scooped down to pick up a small pipe-looking piece of metal that she assumed came from her truck... somewhere. The engine maybe, or the underside. "I believe this is yours, let me give you a hand gathering this all up." He looked around, twisting the metal around in his hands. "Would you be a pal and hold this for a minute?"

Bella rolled her eyes. "Depends. Do I have a-" Quick as lightning, his hand shot forward and he jerked the metal into her abdomen. Bella's eyes widened, hands reflexively reaching up to grab his wrist, feeling the warm blood soak their skin. "-CHOICE! Oh, mamma! What did – you just – ugghng." She blinked down at the metal sticking out of her gut, their hands coated in a dark, angry red. "Yup. That's in me. That is super in me. Ouch."

"Not the reaction I was expecting," James murmured. He watched on with thoughtful eyes, letting go of the metal to lift her chin with his bloody fingers. Search her face for something. "You owe me a scream, human."

She pulled in a breath that felt like it leaked right back out, picturing a balloon with a hole in it. God. Did he hit her lung? "Keep – ungh – keep dreaming, buddy. How dare you make me bleed my own blood."(1)

"Still no fear?" James asked curiously.

Bella leaned heavily against the truck. Felt thick, warm liquid soak through the bottom of her shirt. "I don't... don't suppose you guys catch a lot of movies on your nomadic t-travels, hm?"

"You have a smart mouth." James traced a line of her own blood down her chin.

"I know. My mom always said it'd be the death of me." Bella looked down at the metal and sighed before looking back up. "I hate it when she's right."

Riley stomped his foot, pavement cracking under his shoe. "Kill her already, James!"

"No!" the blonde snarled at him. "Not this one. I like this one, I have big plans for her." He turned back to Bella. "I don't need Victoria back if I have you, and you don't need Mary Alice if you have me. Help me exact my revenge, Isabella, and I will give you the gift of immortality."

"It's a no from me," Bella choked out. "And Simon."

Hand wrapped around the metal still sticking out, James twisted it in her gut. She had to swallow her scream of pain, face twisting up in agony. "You are surprisingly tough."

"Gah!" Bella grabbed his arm, tapping the butt of the gun against his stone shoulder. "Not... not the most sur-surprising thing about me." Her grip on his arm tightened and she glanced at the other two clumped together. Please work. Please work. "Hold onto your pants, jackass, 'cause I'm about to blow your friggin' mind."

James looked at her curiously, in time to see those brown human eyes blink and come back as red as his own. In the time it took him to gasp in surprise, he was being flung sideways, colliding with those other two and launched back into a tree.

.

.

.

"Something's wrong," Alice whispered.

The other Cullens glanced up from the various things occupying themselves, to look at the pixie. The only other two people missing from the house were Rosalie and Wensley. Esme set her phone on the table, having checked for the hundredth time if Bella sent her a text. "What's wrong, honey?"

"I don't know," Alice shook her head, inky black spikes bouncing, "but something is wrong. I can feel it. She should have called."

Edward frowned. "Don't get yourself worked up over nothing, Alice. You will drive yourself crazy and only torture yourself until she gets back. We need to trust that she knows what she's doing."

"It's not that," Alice insisted with wide, earnest eyes. "No... no, something is wrong. Something-"

Her phone vibrated.

"Three vampires. Bella is hurt. Border."

Rosalie's voice was clipped, strained, and anxious before she hung up.

.

.

.

"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit," Bella chanted under her breath as she ran through the woods. One hand clutched at the pipe in her gut, the other still had a fierce hold on the gun.

.

.

.

Each Cullen tore through the woods at breakneck speeds, Edward ahead of the group. Alice was in the middle with Jasper, eyes black and endless. "And you didn't think to mention that the hill Bella took you to, where she told you she dies, happens to be in. The. Border?!"

"To be fair, this was before we thought that perhaps there could be something in the border," Jasper replied weakly.

.

.

.

"Don't die, don't die, don't die, don't die."

.

.

.

The group separated. Esme and Carlisle raced through the woods towards the highway, Emmett and Edward headed to the farthest edge of their land, Jessica and Victoria heading straight on. Each of them all racing in the general direction towards the border.

Alice demanded Jasper take her to the hill.

.

.

.

"I'm in the woods, I'm in the woods, I'm in the woods."

.

.

.

White. White, silver, and red. Beautiful glass; windows, walls, sculptures. Laughing. Tears. Tears running down cheeks, over painted lips trembling with a watery smile. A white dress; flowing and elegant, classic, breathtaking. A silver dress; sharp, stunning, flowing like water down her body.

Sunlight catches the stained glass window, colours dancing through the yard. Across her face, her beautiful, happy face. She points at it, laughs, glances up with a knowing look. An inside joke. Wiggles her fingers in a greeting.

Music plays softly in the distance. Harps, chimes, a cello. Simple but strong. Her choice, her pick. Edward's composition.

Metal clinks against metal. Gold against gold. Band against band.

"I do."

.

.

.

Bella's inhumanly fast paced running was dying out, her burst of adrenaline and speed fading quickly. She hoped James had been telling the truth and it was impossible (or at least very difficult) to pick her apart from her scent in the forest. Now the only thing giving her away was her heartbeat, but the woods were full of critters and animals. She had a chance.

A chance to make it back to the Cullens, a chance to live. Oh, the irony was painful, as painful as the jagged metal sticking out of her abdomen. She finally, finally, finds the desire to live, and now she's about to die. Fate was a twisted fuck, and if she wasn't so scared, she might have laughed. Instead, she tucked Charlie's gun into her belt, grabbed the nearest tree, and spun around it to press her back against the bark. She needed to catch her breath and form a plan.

Just as she turned the tree, however, a cold, stone hand wrapped around her mouth again. Her scream was muffled to nothing, and her back was pulled against someone's chest. Someone's curvy chest. A familiar curvy chest. "Shut up!" Rosalie hissed in her ear.

Relief poured out of Bella in waves and she sank back into the blonde's hold. She tried to thank Rosalie for finding her, tell her that there were three vampires chasing her, ask where Alice was and if she knew what was happening... but all she could do was cup a chilly cheek with her bloody hand.

The gold of Rosalie's eyes instantly faded to a hungry ebony. Black pits glared down at Bella and her hand was snatched away, yanked down to her side painfully. "Don't do that," Rosalie warned quietly.

"Oh shit, I'm so fuckin' sorry!" Bella gasped loudly, her other bloody hand coming up to cup Rosalie's other cheek.

Disbelief and annoyance were both abundant in that beautiful face, Rosalie slamming Bella's hand down to her side. "What did I literally just say?!"

"Mmmmm, dunno," Bella grinned with a shrug. She doubled over, pulling her pant-leg away from her actual leg, the fabric soaked through with her own blood. "I feel woozy."

"Bloodloss," Wensley growled as he blurred up. Bella very briefly had the urge to tell him if he took off his dark clothes, he could be a chameleon. No one would ever find him against the snow; his pale skin and equally pale hair. "It's just the three vampires, like we suspected. The blonde split off from the other two, they're circling around us."

Rosalie's frowned deepened into a scowl. "We need to get her to Carlisle before she keels over. Three on two are not favourable odds."

"I believe in yooou," Bella sang under her breath. "Jess said you're badass in a fight and I believe it! Fuck. I really don't feel good, guys. I should, I need to sit down, maybe I should sit down, I think."

Strong arms caught her as her knees buckled, before she could plop down in the snow. Rosalie's anxious face swam into view, though the edges of the forest around them were starting to get fuzzy and black. "No, no! Hey. Look at me, you need to keep going. You can rest when we find Carlisle, okay? Until then, I need you to stay with me."

"But I'm sleeepy!" Bella whined.

The vampire ignored her protests, scooping the teenager up in her arms, and started following her brother through the trees. "Too bad," she muttered to the loopy girl. "We've put too much time and effort into you now, you don't just get to die."

"I don't wanna die," Bella replied honestly. She blinked ruby red eyes up at Rosalie, looking past to the stars in the sky. A beautiful, clear night. "I never told Renee that. I should have. She worries, I know she does. I catch her watching me, sometimes. Like she's waiting for me to pull out another razor. I hate that I did that to her. Put that fear in the back of her mind forever. She would have wanted to know I don't wanna die anymore."

Rosalie's perfect face was etched in beautiful sorrow, though she refused to look down at the girl in her arms. She focussed ahead on Wensley, ducking around and behind trees. "I will tell her," she said softly. "Should the worst come to pass. Your mother will know you fought for your life, Bella."

"Ha ha, you called me Bella."

The sympathy was gone in a flash, Rosalie's cold mask back in place. "Immature child."

Stopping abruptly, Wensley turned and gripped Rosalie's shoulders, shoving them down into a crouch beside a bush. "Fifty yards ahead, two of them. The third is close by, I know it. Bringing up the rear, probably. Damn it."

"I don't like the blonde," Rosalie growled quietly. "There's something about him, some experienced ease. The other two are younger, I can feel it. They have a list of vulnerabilities. We go through them."

Wensley's dark eyes narrowed. "Two against two, while we're weighed down by this dying mess? What if they have gifts? No, it's too dangerous. No. We need to wait for the others."

"If we wait, we risk nomads finding us first. All three of them. At least we have the element of surprise on our side this way," Rosalie snapped. "We go through. That's our only viable option."

A heated look passed between them, Wensley's lip curling back in a snarl. "Or we use the most logical option at our disposal and just give them what they want. She's dying anyway, look how much blood she's lost."

"Wens-"

"She is not worth losing family!" he barked out. "This is all because of her, they're only after her! If we give her to them, they'll leave us be. They will continue through, like all the others. Look at her, Rose, she is as pale as we are, her fingers are shaking, her eyes won't focus. Listen to how faint her heartbeat is. The least it will do is buy us time to find the others."

A stone hand shot out, grabbing the front of Wensley's vest, and yanked him in close. The growl in Rosalie's chest was more impressive than his snarl, and twice as threatening. "Enough, Wensley," she said quietly. "I no longer find your biting remarks and animosity towards her amusing."

"How fortuitous that I'm not looking to humour you, Rosalie," he shot back. "Unlike you, my distaste of the human is not some joke. She has not wormed her way under my skin as she has you."

Bella perked up, blinking the blackness from her vision. "Aww, is that true, Rosalie?"

"Don't look at me," Rosalie grabbed the girl's chin and turned her face away. "This is not about the moronic girl."

A pout slid onto Bella's face. "Hello, Emotional Whiplash, my old friend."

"This is about Alice. The girl who helped you pick out Jessica's ring. The one who found you, who convinced you to come back with her, and give us a chance. You sister," the blonde continued. Her eyes searched her brother's, face softening slightly. She lost the bite and let go of his vest. "How far would you go to save Alice the agony of her heart breaking?"

Black stared down black, both unwavering. Wensley frowned and straightened his vest. He looked out at the trees, where the two vampires were quickly coming up, and back to his sister. "As far as it takes." He turned to Bella who was struggling to keep her head up. "They will not touch you."

With that, he blurred off through the trees. After a heartbeat passed, Bella heard the collision; stone against stone, like a meteor hitting the earth. Snarls erupted after that, and she was lifted back into Rosalie's arms, off through the woods.

She knew his chances were not great; he'd been uncomfortable with two on two, never mind two on one. But with every wince, every backwards glance from Rosalie, Bella felt her heart crack. The worry in those black eyes was enough to drown in.

Oh, this night was not going the way she planned, not at all. Fucking Sam.

Though the sounds of their fighting faded, Bella watched Rosalie for any trace of a reaction. Any tell that she knew what was going on. And she got that tell in the form of Rosalie slamming to a halt, looking back over her shoulder in the direction they left her brother. The blonde bit her lip anxiously, eyes wild. "I... Bella... he needs help."

Rosalie looked back towards her, Bella knew that. She could feel the blonde staring at her, looking for answers. Permission to go back for Wensley, maybe, or for Bella to demand she take her the rest of the way home. Of course, Bella wanted to tell her to save her brother. Wensley was an ass, but the rest of the family swore up and down that he was a good guy beneath it all.

In light of his recent self-sacrificing actions, Bella would have to agree. He hated her guts, she knew this, and yet he still fought off two other vampires so she and Rosalie could escape. Possibly risking his life, definitely getting the beating of a lifetime.

So yeah, Bella's answer was obvious and she was definitely going to tell Rosalie all of this.

However, she was a little distracted by the wildly familiar hill in the middle of the little clearing they'd stopped in. Something about this place tickled the back of her brain, like a memory she couldn't quite recall. Somewhere in her mind, she knew something was playing out. A scenario that involved this place, her, Rosalie... others. She just couldn't see it, but she could feel it. Like if she squinted hard enough, she would see others around her.

Before she could relay any of this, though, she was rolling through the snow and grass. Another echoing bang, vampire colliding with vampire, and Rosalie was tackled to the far side of the clearing. James was there, a malicious grin on his face; all fangs. Rosalie pushed the fallen tree off of her legs and flipped up to her feet, a snarl shaking the rest of the woods around them.

Bella, herself, flipped onto her back with a groan. Hardly any of the metal was sticking out of her gut anymore after she landed on it and she knew she had to get it out before it went right through her. She refused to be a shishkabob, and with that horrific image in mind, she yanked the metal out.

"Oh fuck, okay, nope. Bad idea. Fuck. Fucking fuck." Her hands pressed against the wound, trying to keep up with the blood flowing out. "You idiot!" she shouted. You total, utter moron. You complete baffoon. You... you... "Somebody get me a fucking band-aid! Rose! We pulled it out!"

The snow around her was slowly being stained red, a crimson trail left behind as she dragged herself with trembling hands towards the hill. In her peripherals, she could see Rosalie and James tossing each other around the clearing. A clash of fists and fangs, spiderweb cracks left behind after each hit. His fist shot out like a bullet, but Rosalie caught it in a vice-like grip. She wrenched it down, yanking him forward, and smashed her forehead into his face.

Rosalie Hale could headbutt like a fucking Krogan.

Bella let out a sigh when she finally reached the top of the small hill, rolling onto her back once again. Something about this felt right, felt like the good kind of déjà vu. Well. It felt as right as bleeding out in the cold night could. That would probably never feel totally great, but she could admit that it could have been worse.

Not by much, but every little bit counts.

.

.

.

"Alice? Alice, come on! I can hear them!" Jasper gasped. He hauled the pixie up to her feet, hand clasped tight in hers, and dragged her towards the noise.

Alice blinked until her eyes cleared, shaking her head. "I just – I saw-"

They broke through the trees and into the clearing, and if her heart was beating, it would have stopped. Rosalie, full of cracks, had just finished ripping the man's arm clean from his torso, and launched the rest of him across the clearing and into the trees. Bella, her love, her mate, her beautiful Bella, was laying in a puddle of her own blood. So much that it looked as if the hill itself was bleeding, seeping out into the snow around it.

A choked noise tore from Alice's throat and she jerked forward.

.

.

.

Well, that's not something you see every day, Bella thought to herself as they sky shimmered. The forest around them trembled, shifted, cracked open with a blinding light, and Bella was one hundred percent convinced she just died. She fucking died, because of course she did. Of course she wasn't getting out of this alive, no. No, no! That was just too much to ask for, apparently. She fought, and fought, and fought her whole life, and now she was fucking dead.

Dead.

Bullshit.

But hey, at least the pain in her head was gone. For the first time in... forever, there was no pressure. No dull throb behind her eyes, no residual trauma waiting to bloom into full-on agony. The release of painful pressure that flowed through her body was euphoric and so soft, she almost fell asleep.

Or... or maybe she was on the verge of passing out.

Hard to tell, in that kind of situation.

The red of Bella's eyes faded, more and more pale, until she blinked bright blue eyes up at another pair. "Am I dead?" she asked, breaking the absolute silence that had fallen over the clearing.

The woman above her stared back in a stormy silence. Her blonde hair (so many blondes tonight, hopefully this one wasn't trying to kill her too) was perfectly golden; rich and thick, gathered in three braids all pulled back and tied together save for the long bangs framing her angular face. Those blue eyes stood out not only with the intensity they held, but by the black warpaint that engulfed them, a line dragged down each cheek to her jaw. What really drew the gaze, however, what really demanded attention, was not even the weird clothes she wore; a mix of leather and cloth, but...

The enormous pair of wings on her back. Also, potentially, the impressively large looking sword on her belt, of which she rested her hand on the hilt of. But mostly the wings.

"Are you an angel?" Bella asked. She looked more like a warrior than anything, but again... big white wings.

Raising her chin, the woman's voice rang out firm with an authority Bella had never heard before. A command to it that silenced the very night around them. "Nei."

Brows furrowed, Bella stared up at her. "Are you Death?"

"I am the Gatekeeper."

"Of death?"

The Gatekeeper frowned, those stormy eyes on Bella again. "Of Valhalla," she declared.

"So... death?"

Shoulders fell just barely, Bella only noticed because of how close she was. "Stop saying death, I have nothing to do with death."

Bella clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes. "That's exactly something Death would say."

"I care little for Dauða, and even less for being compared to him," the woman warned in a throaty voice that sent cold shivers down Bella's spine. This was one serious goose.

"What do you want from me?" Bella asked weakly. The black spots in her vision were making it increasingly difficult to look at the woman.

Blue eyes blinked apathetically down at her. "Ekkert," she said flatly. She reached down to grab Bella's chin (seriously, people needed to stop grabbing her fucking face, how fucking rude) and wrenched her head to the side. The collar of her shirt was yanked down, the mark on the side of her neck exposed (and tingling almost painfully, but she wasn't sure if that was just in her head). "You should not be and yet you are, your blood seeps through the Skiptu. Náð hennar will decide what becomes of you, back in Valhalla."

"No!"Alice gasped and lurched forward. She froze, with everyone else in the clearing, when the woman dropped to one knee, a hand on Bella's shoulder, the other gripping the handle of her sword. "Please, don't. Just – just wait, please. Don't take her. Please. You can't, you can't take her."

"Vampíru,"the woman scoffed darkly. "She does not belong to you."

"She does," Alice insisted miserably, her hand outstretched to her girlfriend. "She belongs with me and I belong with her. You can't take her from me, I'm begging you. Please."

Those blue eyes snapped back down to Bella and the teenager knew what was coming. There was no trace of compassion inside, no pity, no concern, not even mild curiosity. Only the cold night reflected back at her and she shook her head. "Hoe, don't do it."

The sky shimmered again and everyone leapt into motion. Alice and Jasper shot forward in the blink of an eye, and James raced through the trees in the opposite direction. Rosalie, being the closest, threw herself at the woman and latched onto her in the very last second.

As the light died out again, Jasper and Alice collapsed to the bloody snow of the hill. Darkness seeped in around them, the woods came rushing back in, everything as it was, with one aching difference...

The other three were gone.

.

.

.

1 – Dodgeball, dude!

Okay, so totally forget about that snapchat thing. Like literally a few hours after posting that chapter I was shown a prime example of why that would be a bad idea, and to be honest I completely forgot about internet trolls, guys. I THOUGHT WE OUTGREW THEM. WTF. So yeah, I'll put in more effort to be interactive on my tumblr. .com. If you have questions or concerns or want updates, just send me messages there. Frequently asked questions will be answered publicly to save time and effort, so keep checking there. I have a feeling y'all have some words for me because

CHECK OUT THIS ENDING. Who's mad? I assume most of you. Most of you are mad, right?

I just... I have big plans for this story, now. It started out as this small, basic thing, but you guys inspired me and now I have GRAND PLANS. James is connected to Victoria AND Alice. Jake and Leah are gonna stir up drama in Forks with the Cullens. Fucking Sam is gonna be a lil bish and make trouble. ROSE AND BELLA ARE IN VALHALLA (and obvs escape but HOW? Will they go back? Who else is in Valhalla? What's the deal there?). Still that creepy ass monster in the border. Bella's gotta figure out what the fuck she is, finally.

All these things must be answered because I won't do you like that, my dudes. I was just gonna leave it like this originally, be the ultimate ass because this wasn't really a story, but it IS now. Y'all like it so much. So let's take this adventure together! Onto the next "book"!

peace

Paige (the ultimate ass)