Dear Readers,

It's been long, and here I am! This is short and simple, but I hope it entertains you and keeps you wanting more. You have hope, I may finish this story! So hopefully your patience can last a little longer while I write my story. Read and enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, it belongs to Stephenie Meyer.


Chapter 17
Fear

It was almost impossible to contain the anger coursing through my entire body. I tightened my hands around his neck, yearning for his death. "Where is he?" I seethed, ignoring the frightened yelling beside me. Their arms tried to restrain me, tried to prevent me from breaking this poor bastard's neck, while frantic shouting and reasoning tried to calm me down. "Tell me now, before I end your life right here!" I was seeing red.

With a final tug, I felt myself forcibly removed. Snarling wildly, I fought with all my might to break from their grip and return to my prey, but the nuisances blocked my way. I flailed wildly, "Don't you dare stop me!" I roared, but their grip would not loosen. Even more infuriatingly, I felt more hands wrap around my arms as they slowly wretched me away. I tried to hold on to him tighter.

Through my rage-induced sight, I watched helplessly as Esme blocked my line of sight completely, "Edward Anthony Cullen!" she admonished heatedly, swinging her palm across my cheek. A tremendously echoing ring reverberated around the room, followed by a deafening silence. My face went along with the pressure, leaving a surprisingly numbing sensation across my cheek. My breathing was harsh, as I felt the anger dissipating and the calm and composure returning. However, when I connected my eyes with Esme, the calm was inevitably replaced by shameful disappointment. If she could, Esme would be crying her heart out because she was in pain too.

"Let him go," she commanded, the hands immediately releasing me. I stood up straight, taking in a deep, yet ragged breath.

"Edward Anthony Cullen," she repeated, though noticeably calmer and stronger, Esme engulfed me in warm embrace, "don't tell me you're sorry," her hold tightened, "just promise me you won't do it again." Her voice was torn, filled with sorrow and unshed tears.

I returned the embrace, hugging her close to me, and replied with a silent nod.

An unspoken moment passed among us, each one of us trying to rein in our emotions and compose ourselves. Carlislie, being a man of calm and self-control, was the first to speak, "Now that we have achieved some restraint, perhaps we should go over this situation once again,"

"With a little more rationality and less insanity, if possible?" Jasper 'politely' added, massaging his temples with a less than amused glare. The atmosphere and tension was really overwhelming his state of mind.

Now calm, and able to think sensibly, we decided to move our conference into the sitting room. Carlisle immediately turned to our guests, "Now David, Mina, was that really Seth, your son?" there was all focus on the two, "and we respectfully ask that you refrain from hiding any information from us, as we would know immediately," Carlislie nodded his head towards me, "and it would be for the best, so that we may find Bella as soon as we can."

Just by the look in her eyes I could see that Mina was afraid to share, no doubt her motherly instincts kicking in, whether Seth was her biological son or not. As well, she had only been acquainted with our family for a short period of time, it was very unlikely that she could really trust us. David, on the other hand, knew Carlisle and I certainly hope he wasn't that stupid to be unable to grasp the severity of the situation. We watched patiently as the two shared a meaningful look before turning their attention back to Carlislie. "We will share with you as much as we can," David replied firmly, placing out his hand.

Smiling warmly, Carlisle grasped the outstretched hand, "Thank you, my friend." It was without a doubt that this friendship would transcend time. "So once again I ask; was that really Seth who took Bella?"

Mina nodded solemnly, "Without a doubt. I'd recognized my son anywhere,"

Carlisle pressed on delicately, continuing with his investigation and yet was careful enough to not to break a mother's heart, "And what would Seth have to possibly gain by taking Bella?"

Mina's every movement was scrutinized carefully, her every action was watched with the utmost care for any sign and clue. She bit her lip worriedly, grasped David's hand tightly in hers, "It has been almost a month since Seth decided to," a tense pause, "run away. However before he made his decision, we had a disagreement. Seth and I were discussing about his abilities, and he wanted to…" a deep breathe, "experiment."

"His new vampire abilities?" Esme asked, confused.

Placing his hand on her own, and squeezing gently, Carlisle clarified, "or to be more precise, his transformation abilities. Am I correct?"

Another somber nod, the pain was clearly evident on Mina's face. David held her tighter, whispered reassuringly to her, but she could no longer continue. Her voice had constricted, her heart was mournfully shattering. But Carlisle pressed on, we needed answers, "But you did not want him to transform another?"

Mina gave another nod; David continued for his wife, "Yes. We did not want him to dramatically change a life this way. And we were worried about the repercussions of his actions. But nevertheless, Seth is a stubborn one and does not like to be restricted."

I stood up abruptly, realization dawning upon me, and now I was absolutely seething, dangerously, "He wants to change Bella?" my teeth gritted, I could hardly control myself from running out that door and finding Bella this instant.

David answered with a grim nod, "and he will change her with or without her consent."

The tension within the room increased tenfold. The severity of the situation had amplified astronomically, and we were left without a solution. Emmett boldly dared to break the apprehension, "So, what do we do now?" This is the one key question that everyone wanted to know the answer too, but it was this one question that made us all speechless. What would we do? How do we approach this foreign situation to us without even the slightest idea on our perpetrator's next move? How on earth can we find Bella, let alone bring her back to us?

Unable to tolerate the tension, the shame and anxiety of the entire situation, I swiftly withdrew from the room without a single word and out of my domicile. The forest would have to remedy my anger, withstand my frustration for the time being for I was feeling such an excruciating pain. My legs soared across the earthy ground; I found solace in the run, surrounded my nature, and before I could realize, I had stopped. There was nothing special or memorable about this area; it was just simple and plain, I had just stopped.

I needed to accept it, I had let Bella down. I made a promise with her that I would protect her forever, but I didn't, and she's gone. And now, more than ever, I was absolutely determined to find her, and I know I will find Bella no matter what, but this feat might take something just short of a miracle. Stay safe Bella, I will bring you back to me.

- B -

I was neither awake nor asleep; neither dead nor alive, I was just there. All that surrounded me was a dark abyss, not black nor white, but just dark. I knew of nothing, nothing of any importance to explain to me my whereabouts. It was just dark, and I was just there.

However there was pain, agonizingly tormenting pain. The mindless rush that I experienced was unbearable. It was fire coursing through my body, poison streaming through my blood, and convulsions took over my body. How long has it been; days, weeks, months? And among the pain and this dark abyss I could discern voices, a simple wistful voice, echoing all around.

Isabella…

The voices were calling me, beckoning me forward, but to what?

Here, Isabella….

The whispers were turning into dreams, visions. All I could do was watch languidly as the images flashed by; my mind filled completely with pictures and moments of everything.

It was so painful, so agonizingly tormenting. I wanted to scream, to cry, to hold my head and erase the memories. But there I remained, completely helpless and unable to do anything to fight back, to hold my own. Why was I so useless? Even for myself I couldn't do anything. Why was I here? Why am I still alive? Death would be warm and welcoming; I could be with mom again and escape this cruel reality. Ever since my birth I've dealt with nothing but pain and suffering. I've undergone great pains just to live, so what is the point of my existence?

Do you want to know? The voice was back.

I can lead you to your freedom…I can show you what you truly desire…

This felt very familiar, as if I've experienced this moment before. Pressure welled inside; there was something within me that desired to release itself. The more I tried to contain this beast, the harder it was to deny its emancipation.

Give in, Isabella…

The temptation was slowly getting harder to resist. But fear and logic set me back. What would happen? What is this?

Isabella, this is want you want….

Fear seized my entire body as this slithering feel conformed to my soul, grasping hard and never letting go. The darkness transformed into a brilliant pair of crimson eyes as I felt a hand latch onto my hair, pulling me back.

Give yourself to me, and I will give you freedom…

Terrified screams and pain-filled shrieks replaced the darkness and deafening silence.

- E -

How long has it been since she'd been missing, snatched away suddenly from right under my own careful watch? Alice's infuriating compulsion constantly, and painfully, reminds me of the time; twelve days, two-hundred and eighty-eight hours, seventeen-thousand two-hundred and eighty minutes, one million thirty-seven thousand two-hundred and eighty seconds – eighty one…eighty two...eighty three. The guilt swallowed me whole.

An ongoing and painstaking investigation had been conducted within our family, but every member, so far, has followed a clue that ended up in bitter disappointment. And to make the situation even more troublesome, since the school year has ended for the summer, Angela, and Jessica especially, have been inquiring about Bella. Fortunately, Alice, as devious as she is cunning, has miraculously helped our family dodge many problematic situations, such as my "sudden" decision to cancel my trip to travel the world, but our excuses can only last for so long. We were on a painful deadline.

Our guests, the Alvarezes, have decided to take it upon themselves as their responsibility for Bella's kidnapping, and have been most helpful to our search; but unfortunately it still has all been very difficult. Our best result yet is that we have slowly begun to pinpoint Seth's location. For certain, we know that he is within the Washington area, but it is still rather a large scale of land to search for him and Bella.

I'm afraid to imagine Bella's current situation. Without a doubt, her transformation would be complete and she would be a creature just like me. As much as I had to have her back, I'm terrified at the thought of her spurning my existence, my life as a vampire. I tried so hard, worked so diligently, to keep this secret hidden, and waiting for the right moment to reveal my true self. My hard work destroyed by a single and careless moment.

At this current moment, I was reviewing over portfolios and information sheets of our investigations. Any clue or hint we found, we were sure to record. Any tiny pattern was crucial in our finding Bella. A giant map of Washington was spread out, completely hiding our dining table underneath. Multi-coloured pins decorated the areas that we have already investigated, and that being said, there were many sectors that were already looked at. We were either overlooking something, or Seth was rather skilled in staying out of sight.

But I just couldn't understand it! Logically, there should be cases of missing persons or sudden appearances of dead bodies whose death would baffle the medical world, but there weren't any at all. We have followed case after case where the disappearances were limited to two or three, but that isn't enough to conclude that it is the work of a vampire. If Bella is a vampire by this point, she would need a vast amount of blood to sustain her newfound, and inevitable, thirst. Perhaps Bella hasn't been transformed yet. I sincerely hoped that was the case.

A comforting hand placed itself on my shoulder. "You need to feed, Edward" Alice spoke softly, she too was tired. "Just for an hour, you won't be able to find Bella in this state. It's been days." I grasped her hand tightly; Alice's presence was comforting, almost warm. Small arms engulfed me from behind, "We'll find her, I promise." I can't say for how long we stayed like this, reassuring each other that we would find Bella.

I ran, and ran, and ran through these endless trees. Maybe I hoped, wished, that Bella was at the end of my journey, standing there and beckoning me to come to her, save her. A simple deer sufficed, but the blood was cold on my tongue. There was no thrill in the hunt, no desire for blood, I just needed all that I need to survive. Before I knew it, I was standing a distance away from Bella's old house, the Swan's. How long has it been that Bella has taken refuge with us? It felt like forever, like she's been with us, me, forever.

What did they think that one night we first found Bella that they couldn't find her? That she successfully escaped their torment? Did they care at all? Joshua seemed particularly unaffected by her disappearance the days we see him in class. Charlie was perfectly impassive in his patrol car, unworried by his missing daughter. It disgusted me, how these two men were so cruel and abusive to Bella. Dare I venture closer to the Swan residence? My legs moved on their own accord, curious to the ongoing beyond their front door. But the closer I got, the stranger I felt. It was odd, a curious feeling prickled at the back of my neck, and I knew something was wrong. The air was tense and cold and unnaturally silent. I ran to the door, it was eerily quiet inside. Tentatively, I opened the door and a fresh scent of blood hit me. I immediately saw Charlie's unconscious body lying haphazardly at the foot of the stairs, he appeared unhurt. He was not the source of the blood.

"Edward" a purr reached out to me, "Imagine seeing you here."

There she was, perched over another unconscious body, her smile gorgeous as ever but her eyes redder than blood. "Come join me, I am about to have a magnificent feast."

My worst fears came true, Bella was a vampire.


Feel free to make any constructive comments, anything you want changed to the story and I will try my best to acquiesce to your suggestions and requests. As well, just let me know if I'm missing anything in this chapter, mostly content wise or any catching up that I missed.

Thank you for reading!
Sincerely Lady R. Lotus