I walked with Alice and Edward in a black mood. No way on earth I was doing the talking today. Besides, whatever happened to Edward's view of 'cutting out the middleman'? wouldn't this make me the middleman? I stored that argument way for later. Alice's sly smile distracted me from my plotting. I looked questioningly at her but she didn't look at me.

"Nice choice." She chimed at Edward. He smiled in response. "For this anyway," she continued, "Very business-like I think. "

"What?" I asked; I didn't like being out of the loop.

"She's talking about the car." Edward clarified.

"Oh? what are we taking?"

"The Bentley Continental GT." Alice answered. I didn't bother asking what that was; I'd see soon enough.

It was a big, black, and I agreed with Alice. It looked very professional. Just another really fancy car, I supposed.

I slid in the back. Alice gave me a bit of a surprise and sat with me in the back seat. "Your going to have to be our chauffeur today, Edward." He rolled his eyes ans started the engine.

We took off into the downpour headed for the school. I guess technically it made sense we were going to the school. Go to where the kids are, but bring the little kids home, I don't know. I was still surprised that out of all places, the police station, chamber of commerce, a post office or something, why the high school? it all seemed a bit silly to me but if that's where people were....

I stopped this train of thought. Why waste my time thinking about silly things like that. People new the Cullens were vampires. It didn't seem real. Not quite tangible. It was hard to take it so seriously when it felt like I should be waking up. And then there was the matter everyone seemed to be putting off. The Volturri.

My stomach flipped. What would they do? They couldn't massacre a whole town... could they? I wasn't sure. Maybe they would never know. The only reason they found out I knew was because I went there. I told myself these things, but I knew I was deluding myself.

We pulled up. But before Edward even turned into the parking lot, people were staring. My face burned. These windows were tinted, right?

Almost as soon as the car stopped there was a bubble of people around it. Edward looked in the rear view mirror at me. "You can do this," He insisted. I nodded in agreement but we both knew I was kidding myself. Alive took my hand and squeezed it gently, "You ready?"

I looked at her and begged her to kill me now, spare me the torture.

"It will be fine, Bella." Edward repeated. I wasn't sure he believed himself, but I felt slightly reassured. Slightly. Very slightly. My heart thudded. I couldn't do this...

Edward opened the door and stepped out, fluidly. I looked outside, through the windows, the people stared at him. All of Forks must be here. He opened the door for me. He offered his hand. I didn't want to take it, didn't want to make any move to get out of the car, but I did. And I felt better when I did. I knew rejecting Edward's hand would be perceived as fear and I couldn't have anyone thinking they forced me into coming.

I stepped out of the car, not half as gracefully as Edward, and Alice emerged behind me.

It was silent. Awkward. Edward seemed to be concentrating, probably weeding through minds, and Alice had the same air of severity about her. Then there was me, fumbling and awkward, and nervous. Everyone stared. Was I supposed to be talking? I couldn't open my mouth right now if I wanted to, I'd vomit.

I closed my eyes, to escape theirs. I had to compose myself. I needed to look relaxed around the Cullens. The people didn't know it was them that frightened me.

I smiled and cleared my throat, "Um, Hi, everyone," Wow, that was dumb. Come on, Bella, focus. "I'm guessing you all know Alice and Edward." I gestured like a fool, and a stony silence followed. "I'm, um, definitely not the best public speaker." I said cynically, boy was that an understatement, "But, I, um," Ah, crap. I took a deep breath, "I'm here to clarify a few things." I paused. No one said a word. "I guess I should start by saying that the Cullens are vampires." A dull roar of murmurs spread through the sea of faces.

"How do we know for sure?" A male voice said from off to my left.

I answered the general direction, "You don't. I, personally, don't think they should have to prove it to you either. If you don't want to believe it, good."

I felt dizzy. I hated crowds. I hated crowds. I hated crowds. It was silent again.

"We're just here, because it's a pretty big shock and we know a lot of people aren't taking the news very well. We know a lot of you are scared, but there's really no reason to be and we're here to help you see that. The more you know about the Cullens, the more comfortable you'll feel around them. There's really nothing to worry about." I gulped. Here came the response, right on cue.

"What about Jasper?" A woman asked.

I glanced at Alice. She didn't visibly react, but then, what did I expect? "Did anyone have a problem with Jasper before they read to book? I don't think so. Jasper is aware of his limits and is perfectly safe. He's even been around my blood since then," My eyes flashed involuntarily to Edward, no need to tell them that didn't really turn out well. "And I'm here. I'm fine."

There was discussion, but no one argued. I sighed in relief. Then:

"But why even take the chance? Why even come to the high school?"

I didn't have anything to say, "I, uh...." crap.

Edward saved me, "We did it to blend. But I suppose that would be pointless now. We don't need to go to school if everyone agrees that is best, but I assure you, it's not a necessary precaution. No one here is in any danger of us."

The silence that followed Edward was different than the one that followed when I spoke. Deathly silent, no on breathed, let alone speak. But no on said a word likewise.

Then someone spoke, a girl, "That wouldn't be fair. How would any of them get into college if we didn't let them finish high school? That would be stupid. I say let them stay." We all knew a college degree wasn't an issue for the Cullens and they could easily home school. I wondered what her motives for speaking up were....

No one disagreed. I was impressed.

Then a girl, a little older than me, stepped forward. She had thick-framed black glasses on, and thin straight blond hair. I glanced up at Edward, he raised an eyebrow at her. She raised hers back, acknowledging him. She pulled out a small pocket knife from her faded jeans and lifted up the blade with her thumb nail. She turned with the blade raised to show the group of people, then lowered it in front of her with her back to me. I realized what she was doing, just as she raised her hand to the crowd like she had a question.

She turned to faces us and showed us her palm. Blood dripped from a small cut on her hand. She waited. Neither Edward or Alice reacted in the slightest. In fact, both looked rather bemused. She smiled and turned her back to us.

"There. I say they're safe enough to be around." She had a deep voice, but it wasn't hard or manly.

I understood she had just done us a favor and smiled toward her.

mmkay, chapter doesn't end here but that's all I had time to write! So i figured you'd rather have this now than wait for all of it. correct me if i'm wrong! sorry guys, i KNOW it's been a long time, but i've been busy getting my life in order. For those of you who care my grades have gone up! :) I got a 3.6 last semester. YAY! hopefully I will have time to update my other story tomorrow and finish this chapter next weekend. If not, I'll probably get to it for sure next weekend. things are calming down a bit.

Oh! BIG NEWS! Someone FINALLY figured our the flaw in the story!!!! And I don't think they even realized they did. If you wanna know what it was you can go read the reviews for the last chapter and see if you spot it! :-P I'm evil, aren't I?

And whoever it was who was dissin the name lloyd a while back...ur a meenie face! lol just playing. I do like that name actually. I would never name my kid that, but it's nice for someone else :-)

Thanks guys, for all your patience with me! I can't believe so many people were/are so understanding. I mean it, you rock. And I will sincerely try to update more now that things are calming down.