I hadn't been handling this situation well and I knew that-I'd been frozen with uselessness, immobile in the face of what had happened, and that wasn't typical of me, but it was just that my usual reaction was to disaster was to be a disaster right back at it-to tear into things and destroy them, take them to pieces. Spencer being a vampire was only that much more of an argument for handling this just the same way-I could have killed him immediately-it would have been difficult with his strength and volatility right now, but I could have done it. It was probably a solution that someone would suggest to me sooner or later, in fact-but probably not anyone who was imprinted. Even if they were a little thrown off by the fact of being imprinted to a vampire, they'd understand the whole fixation and polar realignment thing-why that really, really wasn't an option.

And so instead I was stuck with him as the extreme, extreme exaggeration of any unhealthy relationship-he was terribly bad for me, he was dangerous and possibly event fatal-but I couldn't let him go. I was stuck here doing nothing about it, and that had been slowly driving me crazy-but then again, I was probably used to the feeling.

The moment that someone knocked on the door and announced that they were the police, and that I should open up, though-that was the moment that all dramatic angst and impotent heartbreak fell away to holy hell, what do I do? Blind panic was almost preferable to the waiting, though, at least there was some action and motion in it-the moment that I heard the word "polizia" from the other side of the door, I was moving. I might not speak much Italian but that one wasn't terribly difficult to figure out-I'd been surprised temporarily that no one had been called here to find out what was going on with the uncontrollable screaming and breaking furniture, but that thought had been replaced by other important things since then. "Shit!" I was on my feet in an instant, stumbling, looking frantically around the room as if hoping to see some sort of way that I could solve this problem, that I could hide him quickly and somehow make this room look like anything but a disaster area.

Nothing jumped magically to mind-my eyes fell on the closet for a moment, remembering the time he'd shoved me into his in London to keep me from being seen, but he was such a dangerous thing to touch right now-I seriously doubted I could get him shut into anything very quickly, that would require a lot of unlocking and locking and careful handling and corralling. The Italian police didn't seem inclined to wait that long. "Polizia! Apra il portello!"

"I don't know what that means!" I yelled back at the door, unhelpfully, but my nerves were frayed already and they were making a very bad situation a lot worse, and I did not appreciate it. That dangerous stillness was falling away from Spencer now, he was moving-eyes fixed on the door, pulling more insistently against the cuff, his feet bracing against the floor. I was closer to him now, trying to approach carefully while I figured out what to do with him, but the instant I got close he turned and snapped at me, and I had to pull my hand back. "Dammit! Spencer!"

"Stiamo venedo all'interno! Punto a partire dal portello!"

If I had spoken Italian, I would have known that meant that they were coming in-after a moment it didn't really matter, though-when something slammed into the door and the lock broken and the door swung open, I pretty much got the gist. There were four officers, uniformed, guns drawn-they poured into the room immediately, totally unsuspecting of what was really going on here and in more danger than they had any idea-Spencer's hand lashed out for them as they came in, and I just barely managed to catch it and drag it back, waving frantically to the officers that this was really not as good of an idea as they thought it was. The closer they got, the more violent Spencer's thrashing was getting-not a restlessness anymore but a furious, intense hunger that was going to be difficult to deny. "Get back! Get back, he is not safe!"

Either they understood as little English as I did Italian, or they just really didn't care-one of the men circled behind and grabbed for me. I probably should have warned them that technically, I really wasn't all that safe as well-I was not what I looked, I was too small and female to be able to pull away from the officer the way that I did, no real effort but impatience, frantic and upset at how this was unraveling. He did manage to distract me and pull me away for long enough that I lost my grip on Spencer, though, and he was coming at the other officers with another sharp lunge-strong and sudden enough to break through the metal bar the way he'd been breaking through things for two days, snapping it cleanly in half. The cuff held but it was dangling uselessly around his wrist as he moved-quickly, naturally predatorily, slamming into the nearest man and taking him down in a tumble before I could get there-biting back a reaction and pushing the man off me, perhaps too violently but I wasn't going to worry too much about his safety right now because he was the one that had prevented me from getting there, robbed me of those three seconds I would have needed to pull Spencer off before he leaned in and bit into the man's neck with his teeth.

And suddenly the officers understood what I had been trying to tell them from the moment they'd gotten in the door-that Spencer was dangerous, and that he wasn't the kind of dangerous they were used to. Most of them fell back instinctively with shouts, and more Italian, in the tones of someone swearing a blue streak-one of them had the initiative to aim his gun at Spencer and pull the trigger, but the bullet hit harmlessly and bounced to the floorboards-he probably hadn't yet discovered how newly close to invincible he was, but the shot did catch his attention, which certainly wasn't good for the man who had fired it. He looked up with another snarl-perhaps the reason that I hadn't expected him to speak was that this coarse, feral noise sounded so much more natural to him, so much closer to indicating what he could do-and that was enough of an excuse for him to change his focus again, he was so damn fast, and coming at the man who'd shot at him now with his colleague's blood in his mouth already, all down the front of his shirt and on his hands, and I had to change my own course from pulling him off the now-unmoving policeman to saving a different one altogether-the ones who were lucky enough to be closer to the door and not actively drawing attention were already heading for it, spooked and terrified by the all of the blood, on Spencer's mouth, splashing on the floor, splattering on the wall.

I didn't think to shift when I went after him, and maybe I should have-it was just that it was such a final and such a combative move-the main weapon that we had in wolf form was our teeth, meant for tearing vampires apart. I did not want to tear Spencer apart-perhaps should have, and didn't. As it was, I came after him nearly human-stronger and much more able to survive him, but it wasn't enough. He seemed to notice me only after I grabbed hold of him and started to drag him away, like he'd noticed the gun only after the bullet had hit him-he struck back immediately, turning fast with a blind hit with nothing but strength behind it-but it was a lot of strength, that was the one thing that the newborns had going for them. I should have shifted-I didn't, and that was the reason that I hit the wall on the other side of the room hard enough to break the drywall with my shoulders and the back of my head.

We healed quickly-of everything, or at least everything physical-I couldn't have blacked out for more than thirty seconds, it was like closing my eyes. This time, though, when I opened them, that immediate anxiety and paranoia that everything had probably gone wrong while I'd been out was entirely, entirely justified. There was blood everywhere-everywhere, they were going to have to reupholster the furniture, replace the carpet, definitely replace the wallpaper, in which case Spencer had probably done them a favor because it likely hadn't been touched since the seventies.

Spencer was gone. He'd left three bodies behind him, likely with not much of that blood left in them, but he wasn't there-I knew instantly, in trite and sappy bound imprinted ways but also in the way that he had become something that you couldn't take your eyes off, could catch your attention and terrify you and try to kill you every moment. In fact, I was surprised I wasn't dead-I'd been helpless for at least one moment there, but then again, it had long ago been shown that vampires weren't interested in werewolf blood. Apparently we didn't taste good.

What that did mean, though, was that very clearly he wasn't interested in keeping anyone else safe. I hadn't seen newborns quite this new before, but I'd seen their savagery, their lack of control. I'd taken responsibility for him in some ridiculous way but I also had a responsibility to protect vampires from killing humans-and wherever he was, he was definitely going to be doing a lot of that.

I got up quickly, no stumbling or catching myself-whatever minor head trauma he'd inflicted, it was already gone, and I wasn't walking, I was running, I didn't have a single thought for discretion because clearly that had already gone out the window with the vampire massacre and all. I barely got outside of the hotel before I was shifting-we were on the outskirts of town anyway, I'd tried to get us as much privacy as I possibly could and that was paying off now-I couldn't even say that I hadn't thought of this exact situation when I'd gotten the hotel room-that I might not be able to hang onto him. Obviously it was the worst-case scenario, but I was good at thinking of those, I had not been anything like an optimist in some time.

Shifting had quickly come back again from something to be resisted to something natural, even refreshing-it was raining hard when I got outside, but my wolf form was so much more capable of dealing with that, had better sight and surer footing, could pick up what wasn't completely washed away of that burning vampire scent. I was entirely focused on it-he seemed to be heading east, away from the city, and chances were that he was moving fast, he would be discovering exactly how fast he could move. Gradually I became aware of the other minds at the back of my own-usually that realization was more immediate, but perhaps I usually just cared more. At the moment, if you weren't Spencer, you were a waste of my time.

Leah? That was Jacob, I could tell-everything else was just confused whisper thoughts and recognition, but Jacob would have some better idea of what was going on. Then again, a lot of it would also be new to him-such as the important points of Spencer Is Now A Vampire and Leah Seems To Have Lost Track Of Him. I could feel him sifting through that-and then, the inevitable reaction. ...Shit.

Leah? That was Seth-clearly confused, concerned, and I could feel him in my thoughts as well even though he would have so much less context for it-felt and nearly saw the knowledge of my imprint and my terribly exciting saga of death and destruction over the last few weeks-perversely, resentfully, I felt that they shouldn't be as surprised by any of it as they seemed to be. How would they even know to recognize my life if it wasn't a total disaster? Shit!

Seth! Somehow it was okay for Jacob to say it, but not my little brother, it sounded wrong. Language! God!

You're not Mom, was his immediate response-no real malice in it, an old argument. Speaking of, she's wondering when you're going to call. ...Should I, um-?

Do not tell her about this.

Okay, okay. A moment of silence, more casual invasion of my thoughts. I would never get used to this-I was already in a worse mood than I had been, though it would have been difficult to improve on a runaway monster lover. When do I get to meet him?

He's a vampire. Paul. His mental voice was easy to recognize, if only for the way it had of disrupting absolutely anything else that was going on. You're not going to meet him. Leah's going to take care of this, aren't you, Leah?

I hope you don't mean what I think you mean, because I will kick your ass. I knew what he meant, and it pissed me off-my mood was rapidly deteriorating now into the destructive bitchiness that I was used to. I'd felt different the last few days, I'd been calmer, and it was easy to think that it had to do with the pack mind-but it had probably been Spencer. Too bad he wouldn't be doing much calming me down anymore. Dammit! Dammit!

Not directed at Paul, for once-I was losing Spencer's scent by the second, it just wasn't holding up in the rain. Luckily, I didn't have to explain that one, either-they knew. Leah, do you- Jacob again, but I couldn't read what he was asking right away, he seemed not to have decided. I could send someone.

...Huh? Poor Seth. He should have been taking notes here.

Their senses are better than ours. Plus Chase says they know his scent, they've uh-tracked him down before.

Tell Chase he's an asshole. I didn't like the reminder of the situation Spencer used to be in, but for the first time an upside of his condition was occurring to me-at the very least, they wouldn't be able to push him around anymore. It might be a little funny to watch their surprise-not enough to balance out all the downsides, but still. ...Yeah, okay. You know where I am?

I know where you are.

Hey, you haven't heard from Carlisle, have you? It was an off chance, but then again I'd sort of put myself out of communication for a few minutes, and besides-it had suddenly become that much more desperately important that he get here very fast.

Carlisle Cullen? The problem with saying weird things was that it immediately made the guys start digging into my thoughts-as if they had any right? ...No, Leah, I haven't been chatting with any bloodsuckers lately, why?

Nothing. Never mind. Tell me if you hear from him, all right? I'm going back for my cell phone. Tell Chase to meet me at the hotel.

Leah? Seth again. Be careful?

Little late for that, Seth. But he was right-that would have been a good idea. If I'd been at all careful, I'd still be back in La Push-none of this would ever have happened. That would have been better...right?