A/N: Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging reviews:)

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, settings, etc. of the book Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse. The original characters and plot are the property of the brilliant Stephenie Meyer.

Bella turned the windshield wipers on high, but the rain was much too powerful for them to keep up. She

pressed down harder on the gas pedal. The truck refused to go higher than fifty-five miles per hour. The

two-lane road was completely deserted in both directions. A tiny gleam of light in the distance caught

Bella's attention. She craned her neck forward, closer to the windshield and squinted. Coming toward

her, in the opposite lane was a black Mercedes that she recognized instantly as Carlisle's. It was gliding

effortlessly along the road at an impossibly fast speed. Water spouted from the tires as gracefully as it

would from a fountain. The car swerved suddenly and made a perfect U-turn, despite the high speed it

was traveling at, and stopped on the other side of the road.

Bella turned the wheel of her truck sharply to the right and followed suit. Alice was out of the Mercedes

almost before it stopped and was walking toward her hastily. Bella got out of her truck and slammed the

door of her truck so hard, it shuddered from the force. The road was dark, with only the faint glare of her

headlights to give them any source of light.

"Bella-" Alice began.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Bella demanded as she closed the gap between her and Alice.

"Please, just-" Alice tried again.

"You could have told me. You of all people! You knew what I had been through, and . . . and you didn't

even . . . " her voice cracked with emotion.

"Bella, please," Alice pleaded, putting a hand out to her cautiously.

"No!" Bella recoiled.

"You were supposed to be my friend," she whispered.

"Bella, I am your friend," Alice said, desperation in her voice.

"Please, you have to understand why I couldn't tell you. I tried, but I just couldn't. Edward and I, both of

us, we . . . " Alice sighed, and started over.

"He knew what a wreck you were and he didn't know the best way to tell you. And then . . . you and

Jacob Black . . . " she trailed.

Bella closed her eyes and her stomach churned at the thought of Edward knowing what had happened

between the two of them.

"He only wanted you to be happy, " Alice said delicately.

Bella's shoulders heaved and she sank to her knees on the cold, wet road. Alice was at her side, putting

a comforting arm around her.

"I missed him so much," Bella cried into her shoulder.

"Bella, I'm so sorry," Alice said, pained, while stroking Bella's rain-soaked hair.

"I'm so very sorry."

Bella could feel the cold that had seeped into her bones begin to dull as the hot water from the shower

comforted her body. She dressed in a sweatshirt and pajama pants and went downstairs. The rain was

coming down in a torrent and the wind howled violently, rattling the windowpanes of the house with its

fury. She curled up with a blanket on the couch, flipped on the television, and let the background noise

soothe her as she drifted into sleep.

A loud crack of thunder and flash of lightning that illuminated the entire room woke Bella suddenly. The

house was eerily silent and pitch black. The blank screen of the TV told her that the power had gone out.

She got up and felt her way blindly around the living room, banging her knee on the corner of a shelf in

the process. She made her way to the kitchen to the "emergency drawer" that Charlie insisted they have,

and felt around for the candles and matches.

She lit a candle and waited for its glow to light the way for her, and nearly dropped it when she saw the

shadowy outline of a figure sitting on the couch in her living room. She stifled the scream that had crept its

way up her throat, and waited with bated breath for her heart to calm itself before speaking:

"Hello, Edward."

I hope this chapter was okay. I know it was a lot shorter, but I had to stop it here. Stay tuned for the conclusion of the story, which will more than likely be the next chapter. :) Thanks for reading!