A/N: So yeah, hope you're enjoying the story so far. I am trying as hard as possible to use the original characters and their corresponding personalities created by Stephanie Meyer but… I dunno. Please r&r guys. I do not own the characters.

3: A Grudging Understanding

I knew I should never have entered into that forest… I knew that as well as the werewolves. But… I shook my head vigorously, a dark scowl clouding my face as I paced at the border of La Push. That boy wolf… Jacob… he would find her and bring her home safely. Surely that was what he would do… after he had told me to leave with such fire and conviction. I could feel my face contorting into something ugly. Really ugly. Well… ugly for a vampire. I realised that I had stopped pacing and was staring into the trees anxiously, watching for any sign of her. A disgusted noise escaped my throat and I threw myself down against a rock. How odd it was that my fate was intertwined with a human… a human who longed for a damned existence. Shaking my head a little I became aware of a smell I had not noticed before, the smell of a werewolf. At first I pretended I was completely unbothered by that fact, staring off to the west. I knew who it was… before his massive form stepped out from the trees. I stared at the ground for a long moment, assessing my situation. I wasn't quite on the La Push land… just very near the border so I wasn't breaking the agreement or anything. On the other hand I had entered there earlier and I knew he knew that. My chances of running away were slim to none, both our abilities being relatively evenly matched. I ran a hand through my hair, finally glancing up at the human form of the werewolf, rising apprehensively to meet him.

"Hello Sam…"

My voice was quiet, guarded, and I guessed that was what my face was as well. He was furious with me… that much I knew; yet he was the epitome of calm.

"Edward."

He jerked his head, eyes staying unwaveringly on mine.

"We meet again…"

"Yes, how pleasant these circumstances are."

He spat sarcastically. He had an odd look on his face as though he were either holding back laughter or an extremely contorted face of disgust. Judging from his thoughts I could hazard a guess at which it was. He was such an odd fellow; his manner was the exact opposite of his what his voice and facial expression was suggesting. I folded my arms across my chest defensively and subconsciously readied my body for flight.

"What were you doing there earlier tonight?"

"What, Jacob didn't tell you, his great leader?"

That achieved a reaction. He made a sudden start toward me, his fury barely contained with his whole body quivering. I watched him, a smug sort of smile on my face. I knew I was provoking him… I also knew I probably shouldn't be but… it was just so much fun. He stopped and I noticed he was telling himself to breathe and calm down. I whistled and laughed humourlessly under my breath.

"Gee Sammy, you really need to control that temper of yours…"

He threw me a black look as he regained control of himself. I didn't understand myself being this reckless, and at the back of my mind I realised there was a voice telling me to tread more carefully. I sighed a little and looked down at the ground.

"The only reason I am not in werewolf form is so that the rest of the pack doesn't rush to my side and tear you limb from limb right now. What do you want Edward?"

I stared at him, stunned. He was protecting me? On purpose? The confusion must have shown in my face because he made an exasperated noise and folded his arms, mimicking my stance.

"Believe it or not, as much as we don't want anything to do with her anymore, we still want Bella to be safe. You're the only one who can ensure she doesn't do anything too stupid. Jake would be distraught if something terrible happened to her. He… just… doesn't… realise that you… you need to be… in the picture."

His voice was extremely harsh and the last part of his sentence extremely jerky, as if he were admitting to a murder or something. I paused a moment, considering what he was saying. It must have taken a lot for him to admit that. I was about to make a smug remark, but I held back for a moment. The silence drew out, the both of us were watching the other warily, each of us refusing to be the first to break the precarious peace. Suddenly, something caught me… that boy… Jacob. His thoughts were racing around in circles as he ran away from something… someone. So he had left her there. I could feel my face darkening as annoyance quickly turned to rage.

"And tell me Sam, why should I believe you care for her when he" I spat "left her all alone in the woods"

I caught him off guard. He started but soon recovered himself, a dark scowl quickly replacing the wariness that had inhabited his face before.

"So that's why… you came for your vampire girl. Planning on doing it tonight then?"

I froze, sheer hostility occupying my face.

"What was so important that you needed to break the treaty to get to her?"

"You know very well that she attracts accidents. I don't want her killed!"

"So you'd rather take her soul then?"

He asked, a smug look on his detestable face. I felt the tortured expression I gave him.

"You know I don't want to. That I have no choice…"

His face twisted into a strange and horrible smile.

"Really? Because all I see is a girl who has until graduation to remain human. A girl tearing herself up because her best friend is a werewolf and her boyfriend's a vampire..."

I was on him in a second, clutching his shirt and snarling in his face.

"You know I would change it if I could. I don't want her to suffer, but an eternity with me is surely better than the long painful death of…"

I shuddered and couldn't finish. I returned my glare back to Sam.

"You know that I don't want that future for her."

I spat in his face.

"Then why don't you just leave?"

I threw him away from me with a disgusted look and stepped back a little.

"We tried that remember?"

I glared at him and he at me, dark understanding shooting between us. A grudging understanding you could call it. He rose to his feet and brushed himself off, seemingly unfazed.

"In any event, if I left she would be killed anyway. Even your bunch," he shot a furious look "I'm sorry, pack, couldn't protect her from that coven…"

"Edward… why did you come here?"

He asked again, his voice comparatively softer, but his expression still guarded.

"I told you," I said looking away from him "I came to find her and take her home."

"But why did you really come here?"

His whisper was right by my ear and I jumped slightly, turning sharply. I had let my guard down, he could have killed me then and there… but he hadn't. I frowned a little.

"You could have killed me"

He turned around and walked a few paces away, laughing loudly and humourlessly, before turning back and throwing his arms out to his sides.

"You're avoiding the question Eddy…"

I flinched at the uncouth name

"Don't call me that again!"

I snapped at him. He grinned widely his face riddled with malice.

"Well, if that's all you've got to say I think we're done here. Oh, and if you come to get her… we'll consider the treaty broken."

"No… wait…"

He turned, seemingly uninterested. He wanted me to beg. I wouldn't do it… I set my jaw stubbornly.

"Oh-ho… you still don't get it do you. For a ninety year old you certainly are thick!" Suddenly he was at my side, yanking my head back into a painful position, exposing my neck. He leaned down right next to my ear, resisting my attempts to throw him off. "Go on… tell me… tell me why you came for her. Thousands get lost in these woods… why her?"

His voice was a mere whisper, filled with malice and yet… for some reason I felt it was a disguise for sheer curiosity. I frowned, that seemed odd.

"Tell me… she is your blood singer yes? You find her irresistible…"

He was taunting me, sounding the word 'irresistible' very deliberately and making each syllable pronounced.

"No…"

I managed to gasp. Sure, we didn't need to breathe but that didn't mean that the stretching windpipe didn't affect our speech.

"You want to drink her dry. That's what you want to do… that's what you've always longed to do…"

"No…"

I said with more strength.

"All you've ever wanted is to lure her in… that's how you filthy blood suckers work… isn't it?"

He shook my head a little.

"Go on, say it… that's what you came here for… to find her in the wood where no one would here her scream."

"NO!"

I yelled as I threw him off me with such a force he flew and smashed into the rock I had been leaning against just a moment ago.

"I LOVE HER!!!"

I strode towards him, seething with anger, ready to kill him. But something stopped me. He was laughing. He was laughing… my anger changed to bewilderment and I just stood there feeling and surely looking stupid. He stood, holding up the back of his hand to his mouth which had begun to bleed.

"Interesting…"

He said, backing away from me. There was a strange emotion in his eyes that I couldn't recognise. I turned with him as he began to walk backwards to the forest, always keeping his eyes on me.

"What?"

I asked guardedly. He paused a moment, cocking his head to one side.

"The vampire has feelings… of love of all things... Well, isn't that interesting. It's almost as if he was… human."

I frowned, for some reason he found the thing I tortured myself about every night the most amusing thing he had ever seen. A low growl escaped my throat but he held up a hand.

"I'll go and fetch her for you… wait here and don't do anything rash or… thick"

He grinned strangely and disappeared into the trees, leaving me standing there utterly lost. I sat down on the rock and suddenly it hit me. That look I had seen in his eyes… it had been satisfaction. My frown deepened as I thought about that… that's what he had wanted me to say? That I loved her? I ran my fingers through my hair and stared at the forest lost in thought. The sunlight could just be seen lighting the horizon when they finally emerged, Bella looking dishevelled and extremely grass-stained, Sam looking as cool as cucumber. I ran forward and enveloped her in my arms, my hand coming up to cover the back of her head in an almost protective manner.

"What took you so long werewolf? I thought you knew everything about this land"

I said sourly, managing to give him a black look over her head.

"Bit difficult to find things when you're carrying a load."

I knew he wasn't talking about Bella. We glared at each other, but there was something different about this one. Running deep underneath, deeper than I'm sure either of us was truly aware… even underneath the now strengthened loathing… was an understanding. He watched us for a moment, the shadow of recognition flickering across his face before he turned suddenly towards the tree line. I watched him go, wishing he would just get out of sight. Just before he entered the forest he stopped, his back to us but his head slightly inclined towards us.

"We'll be in touch."

"What? Why?"

I asked sharply, moving Bella a little to the back of me.

"Oh believe me," He said turning finally and looking at me, his face in a mild sneer, "I have my reasons."

He glanced from Bella to me before turning swiftly and striding away into the forest, his form changing to a wolf as he went, not giving me a real chance to answer him.

"Edward… what was that about?"

I looked down into those big brown eyes filled with fear… and I just couldn't bring myself to tell her what had happened.

"Don't worry about it. Let me take you home alright?"

She looked at me stubbornly and stepped away from me, folding her arms.

"It's too late for this Bella, you have school in a few hours. Charlie will be up soon. You need to get home."

She sighed a little before jerking her head in response, knowing that she needn't worry about the truck I guessed. It was a sunny day so I couldn't exactly go to school. With that I threw her onto my back and took off back to Forks, my mind reeling as I went. An understanding… a grudging understanding but an understanding nonetheless. For some reason the notion amused me and a small smile played across my face as I placed myself lightly in her rocking chair, resting my head on my index fingers as I watched her crawl numbly into bed. The next few months were going to be interesting indeed.

A/N: R&R, R&R. Thankyou guys for reading all this stuff. You're all awesome.