I bolted upright in bed, shaking, and trying to catch my breath.

Breathe, Bella, breathe, I told myself.

It's been nearly six months since he left. I gasped and clutched my chest, the familiar hole feeling wide open this morning.

The nightmare last night was of a different kind than usual.

I can barely process the scene unfolding in front of me.

He's leaving me.

After he kisses my forehead and turns around, a large russet wolf jumps over my head and takes Edward down to the ground.

They struggle for probably one human second but it feels like an eternity as I'm rooted to the spot.


I'm screaming but it feels like I'm underwater.

The wolf tears his head off and turns to face me, blood dripping from his mouth.

That's where the dream ends. I rubbed my chest subconsciously to help ease the aching.

I peel myself out of bed after much deliberation about what to do today. Charlie has already left to go fishing, I assume. Jacob hasn't spoken to me in weeks. The hole in my chest aches once again as I think about it. The pain makes my face turn into a grimace.

I stumble through the bedroom door to the bathroom, deciding a hot shower will help clear my mind.

After I brushed my teeth and ran a brush through my wild waves, I turned the shower on to heat up. I slowly peeled out of my pajamas and stepped under the hot spray.

I let my mind wander as I begin to wash my hair.

I've never seen a wolf as large as the one in my dream. It was the most beautiful color of red I've ever seen in my life, only a close second to that of Jacob's skin. I shiver thinking about the friend who abandoned me.

When the wolf turned to face me, the eyes looked almost human. In fact, they were human. I wonder why a wolf would have such gorgeous brown eyes.

I turned the water off and twisted the water out of my hair before wrapping it in a towel. After drying off, I paced around my room, trying to decide what to do with my day.

I didn't have a shift at Newton's today. I went grocery shopping yesterday after school.

I looked through my window to see the sun trying to peek through the early morning clouds.

It was then I made my decision to try and find the meadow. Our meadow. Jacob was supposed to help me but I can do this by myself.

The familiar ache graced my chest again and I rubbed it, as if that could make the pain go away.

I quickly dressed into a shirt and flannel, jeans, hiking boots, and a light coat. It is March so the weather is slowly beginning to transition into spring.

After packing a map, compass, and water, I headed to my truck and climbed in. After turning the key I took a few calming breaths as the anxiety and pain rose up in my chest.

I pulled out of the driveway and drove towards the highway, to the trailhead.

I climbed out of the truck, grabbed my backpack, and slung it over my shoulder. I walked around the front of the truck, pulled the map and compass out, and tried to map a route to where I thought the meadow is.

After marking the map with checkpoints, I began the trek.

While walking I had a lot to deliberate. Being out alone in the woods gave me a lot of time to think to myself, though I now know no one could hear my thoughts anyways.

I chose to think about the things that made my chest ache the absolute worst in order to help myself heal. I no longer had my Jacob, my warmth, my sun.

I shook my head and decided to start with Edward. I winced at the pain that took my breath away at first. Then I started to think about why they left.

Maybe I really was a danger magnet to the Cullens. I couldn't seem to go 6 months without injuring myself. I laughed bitterly at the thought, considering it was in fact Edward who threw my body back into a glass table, escalating an already tense moment. I rubbed the scar on my upper arm, wincing at the memory.

I tripped over a branch and nearly hit the ground face-first, but managed to right myself before I hit the forest floor.

Edward left me, saying he didn't love me anymore and maybe that was the truth. Who could love a silly, naïve girl like myself? Granted I was the one who figured out his secret before anyone in this small town did.

I shook my head and got my train of thought back on the tracks.

I thought about Jacob. He's never treated me like breakable porcelain like Edward always did. Jacob was always the sunny boy who made mud pies and wrestled in the ocean waves with me. He was my sun, my warmth, my Jacob.

I found that for once, the hole in my chest aches but for a different reason than Edward. In fact it almost brought me to my knees as I thought over Jacob's behavior recently.

What did I do to drive him away? I'm absolutely sure there's no way he's still sick after many weeks.

How could he contract mono, I thought.

Unless he was going around kissing every girl he saw, I deemed it highly unlikely.

I sighed as I finally stepped through the underbrush into the clearing.

I stopped short when I realized the early spring weather had yet to bring it back to life. It was cold and dead, like Edward.

It'll be as if I never existed.

I scoffed at the sound of his voice in my head.

Then I felt a sick feeling in my gut and whipped my head up to see a figure about 50 yards away from me, across the meadow.

I strained my eyes to make out dark skin, dreadlocks, and red eyes.

Red eyes.

I gasped.

"Laurent?" I said quietly.

I shook my head a little, just to see if I was imagining this. This was one of the only reminders that he was real.

"Bella?" He asked in disbelief.

"You remember." I felt fear starting to bubble up in my throat as he thought over his response.

"I didn't expect to see you here." He said casually, lifting his hand to look as his fingers and then dropped his hand and walked forward.

"I do live here. Didn't you go to Alaska?" I thought out loud.

He stopped abruptly, about ten yards away, his scarlet eyes piercing through mine. I lifted my right arm to hold my left one.

"I did go to Alaska but you can imagine my surprise to find the Cullen mansion empty and you…here by yourself." A sly grin appeared on his face and disappeared as quickly as I could blink.

The hole in my chest seemed to throb in time with my heart.

"Weren't you a pet of theirs?" He said casually, strolling around in front of me.

I gulped and looked at the ground as I realized his eyes were still red. If he has really gone to Alaska, his eyes should be amber by now, right? I shuddered slightly before looking up to meet his gaze.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that." I winced once again as the aching hole in my chest throbbed once more.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I realized I have come to meet death itself. My gut told me to palacete him and then try to get away as quickly as possible. I swallowed hard as he continued his questions.

"Do they visit often?"


I realized that lying probably would've been better. For once, I didn't hear Edward's voice in my head and that hurt nearly as much as hearing it did.

I quickly tried to distract him from the line of questioning he had about the whereabouts of the Cullens.

"Did Victoria ever find you?" I asked slowly.

"Yes she did…I'm afraid I'm actually here as a favor to her…to see if you were under the protection of the Cullens." His face turned into a hard grimace as the words left his lips.

I can imagine my face turned sheet white as my heart dropped into my stomach. I started to breathe heavily as his eyes met mine once again.

He clicked his tongue and sighed. "She won't be too happy about this."

I took in a shaky breath and asked, "About what?"

"About my killing you," he sighed and looked to my right side.

I gasped and felt my blood pressure rise and then in a flash, Laurent was in front of me. His hands caressed my cheeks as he cooed.

"Oh don't fret, Bella. I am doing you a kindness," he left one hand on my cheek as he continued while I tried to calm down. "She plans on killing you slowly, painfully."

"Why?" I managed to squeak out as the world around me began to cloud as I feared for my life in front of the vampire.

"A mate for a mate. But worry not, I'll make it quick, you won't even feel a thing."

And with that, he backed up a step and bared his teeth, like a cat, ready to pounce and drain me of blood.

All I could think about at that moment was Charlie and Jacob. Edward didn't even cross my mind because when the words "a mate for a mate" left Laurent's lips, I felt a deep searing hatred. Edward, how could he leave me alone and defenseless! He had have known this would happen, right? Carlisle at least, with hundreds of years as a vampire should've seen this coming. Alice should've seen this coming.

Laurent's red eyes stared into mine but before he could strike, there was the sound of large branch cracking.

Laurent froze and turned slower than I had ever seen a vampire move and his red eyes widened in horror.

"I can't believe it," he breathed almost too quietly for me to hear.

I turned my head to see what had caught his attention when a huge black wolf appeared through the trees. He was growling and snapping his jaws, stalking forward toward where Laurent and I stood.

I sucked in a startled breath and thought to myself If I'm not going to die by a vampire, I'll definitely get killed by that thing.

Just when I thought it couldn't get much worse, more wolves stalked out of the woods behind the much larger black wolf, the Alpha, I assumed.

One wolf that came out of the woods startled me so much I gasped and took a step back. It was the russet wolf from my dream this morning. I shook my head as I must've thought I was imagining this, all of this.

Then the russet wolf turned his large head to meet my eyes. I noticed they were the same beautiful brown eyes that Jacob had. My Jacob.

It was then that the world seemed to slow, time seemed to have stopped. Images flicked before my mind's eyes, faster than I could focus to realize what they were. I felt warmth spread through my body and the hole in my chest seemed to close up almost completely during this brief moment that felt like forever. I felt a feeling similar to a rope being weaved between the small distance the wolf and I shared. I smiled and the wolf did what I assumed to be a smile back.

I turned my gaze to Laurent just as he took off into the woods at a vampiric speed. The large black wolf snarled and snapped his jaws before descending after the vampire. The other wolves immediately took off behind their leader.

The russet wolf looked to his pack mates before meeting my eyes once more, a look of longing passing through his.

He then turned abruptly and tore after the other wolves, to chase down and kill Laurent, I assumed.

After feeling so strangely safe for a period of five seconds, fear immediately took over and I allowed my legs to spin me and run off in the direction I had come.

I tripped many times on my way back to the truck and made it back in about an hour. After unlocking the door, I threw my backpack inside and slammed the door quickly before locking it.

I breathed heavily as I turned the key. I reached into the backpack and grabbed the water bottle. I took a large swig of the cool liquid and continued to try to calm my breathing.

I threw the truck in drive and tore out the dirt parking lot and sped down the highway.

As I drove, my thoughts couldn't help but stray to Jacob. He had never called me like he said he would. I had an overwhelming urge to go to him, an invisible rope in my chest pulling tightly towards the reservation.

I did a quick U-turn and sped toward my childhood best friend's home.

As I pulled into the drive, I was suddenly attacked by feelings of anxiety, guilt, and…. self-loathing? I immediately realized these strong feelings were not my own.

I put the truck in park and turned the engine off. I slid out of the driver's seat and marched up to the front door and banged on it. Loudly.

I heard some shuffling around and then the door opened to reveal Billy Black, a second father to me.

He took a deep breath as an unknown look crossed his face before saying, "Hello, Bella." His voice was deep and weary, almost like he was exhausted.

I frowned before I replied, "Hey, Billy," I toed the porch with the toe of my hiking boot as I spoke my next words. "Is Jacob in?"

I raised my head to meet his gaze and he looked…upset?

"No, I don't believe he is right now. You'll have to come back later Bella."

I was about to respond when I heard shouts coming from the backyard. The invisible rope in my chest slackened. I sent Billy a look of disbelief before storming around his wheelchair into the house. I sprinted for the back door as he called after me. I busted through the door and right into a very tense conversation.

"Why don't you idiots just leave me alone!" Jacob yelled at two boys I recognized to be Embry and Quil. Although, boy is probably the wrong word, considering all of them looked like men. Very large and tall men.

Quil and Embry stopped short when they noticed me standing there, shock evident on their faces.

"Oh shit" Embry whispered.

Jacob slowly turned his head around to meet my eyes, his own widening. A look of love and longing passed over his face. The familiar brown eyes I had just seen in the meadow two hours ago, in the face of the wolf, took in my whole appearance. Pain and fear immediately took over the previous emotions and his mouth set into a hard line.

I took a really good look at him, his body. He had bulked up considerably and if I hadn't known him my whole life, I probably wouldn't have recognized him.

A strange feeling of calmness and warmth spread through my body and I almost wondered if Jasper was hiding in the trees a couple of yards away.

I was shocked when I realized that the thought of him didn't make my chest hurt.

"Jacob." I heard my voice say it on its own.

"You shouldn't be here." Jacob spat out and then immediately looked guilty for saying it. I felt his pain through the invisible rope in my chest and gasped, clutching my chest.

I took a big gulp of air and crossed my arms. He didn't think I was stupid, did he?

"You haven't returned my calls," I said bitterly. Then I felt brave. "Is there anything you need to tell me?"

A look of understanding flashed through his eyes as he sighed. He turned to his friends and mumbled something about needing to speak to me privately. Quil and Embry immediately turned and ran into the woods, snickering to each other and cat calling.

Jacob took a deep breath, shaking his head before turning to meet my eyes again. Once again, the calm feeling returned along with warmth. It almost felt like my heart was beating again for the first time in six months. His eyes soften for a quick second before his face hardens again.

"Yeah, I guess there are some things we should talk about."