Bella's POV

I stumbled out of the car, tripping over my feet in my haste. I quickly righted myself again and ran, wincing as a shrill shriek filled the air. Run. Don't stop. My breaths were coming out in pants while my heart was hammering hard and fast in my chest.

I was running past Mike Newton's car when I saw something from the corners of my eye that made me stop. I heard another angry shriek, and a muffled thud as I stood there, battling with my instincts to flee. I looked down, wide-eyed, at Mike Newton's body. His eyes were open wide, staring up at nothing. His skin was pale, more so than usual. He looked...dead.

I backed away, as the thought sank in, horrified and curious at how this had happened. No time. I turned and started running again. The sky darkened, and thunder rolled in the near distance.

My legs burned and my chest ached, but I kept going. I grunted, pushing myself, panting for breath as I turned the corner.

I could hear the wicked flaps of wings over head, but I didn't glance up. It was so hard for me to not look back. I kept my eyes straight ahead, not sure where I was going, or what was going to happen to me, but kept running anyway.

As long as I kept Victoria distracted and everyone safe, I didn't care what happened to me.

'Right, that's why you have a crazy bird, bat, demon thing flying over you trying to kill you. Aren't you the martyr?' An inner voice taunted.

Shut up.

The streets were deserted, like an abandoned town in the middle of nowhere or a nightmare where no one can see you and you're all alone. I darted past an ice cream store, and stopped. I stepped back to look inside the deserts store window, squinting past the delectable sweets on display, to where a family stood.

I blinked hard, squeezing my eyes shut for a moment.

They were still there, frozen in place. I pushed my face into the glass, palms flat on the cold surface, and stared at the group. The mother was smiling down at her cute, little kid, who held a small cone topped with a chocolate ball. The owner gazed at them both, a kind old man I have had the pleasure of knowing during my own childhood.

What is going on?

I stepped away from the store, and ran. Lightning blazed up in the sky, the loud rumble following it seconds after the bolt had passed.

There was another shriek, followed by a maniacal laugh and the angry fluttering of wings at chase. Victoria was right over me, circling me like a vulture would do to a carcass.

The sky opened beyond me, letting lose a torrent of rain and lightning. I instinctively looked up when the thunder crashed right over my head and gasped as I saw Victoria skimming above me.

I missed the curb, and stumbled, falling down on my knees. Cursing my clumsiness and the pain in my knee, I recovered and stood. My knee throbbed and I turned to look up at Victoria, who still hovered over me, laughing at me.

My breathing was coming out in small but heavy pants. I didn't know what to do. I was hurt, tired, angry, and afraid, the list just kept going but I knew I should keep running far away from Victoria, but where could I run? She had the advantage here, she can see me from high above, and follow me wherever I went.

Hopeless. You should have waited. You should have done something-

Like what? I have no master over my 'powers', I barely even know what they are. And I'm supposed to be saving the world from some super evil scheme that is kept secret from me.

How am I supposed to save the world when I don't even know what I'm saving it from?

Unprepared… I was willing to sacrifice myself so willingly and I don't even know why there trying to kill me.

That's not a fair fight…

Shut up.

Isn't this what I wanted? I wanted to keep all of them safe; I wanted them to have enough time to get help.

I wasn't even thinking I'd survive.

The rain poured over me, drenching my clothes, my shoes, everything. It was cold. I wasn't planning to survive this.

I know. Should have thought of that before you ran crazy through the streets of Forks, hurting your knee and getting wet.

Next time… Have a V8?

Shut up.

Another peal of thunder echoed nearby far into the wild forest of Forks.

Then it came to me... The forest. Trees. Cover. I needed cover. I could feel the adrenaline building in my system, ready to force its way out. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and I could feel the rush of energy that sizzled under my skin and it scared me...

I was terrified of the sheer power I held. I didn't know the extent of it, but it frightened me.

Use it. How bad could it be?

My temples throbbed, and I glanced up at Victoria, who was spiraling in the sky, darting away from the lightning that aimed at her. I balled my hands into fists and ran into the thick cover of trees by the side of the road.

I smashed into leaves and twigs, scraping my face as I ran past them. I ran desperately, slipping over roots and rocks that came in my way. Pay attention. Focus.

The forest was dark, the only light available coming from the frequent lighting that cracked in the sky, in the trees around me.

Something slammed into me from behind, pitching me forward into the muddy dirt. My face was pushed into the mud. I gasped taking in a mouthful of dirt in both mouth and nose before coughing to expel some of it.

"Did you think you could hide from me?" Victoria said into my ear, her body making it hard to move or breathe as she lay on my back, forcing me down into the wet ground. She pushed my head farther into the thick muck before stepping off me, laughing. "That was fun, but I would have preferred more of a chase. Like hide and seek.…" She laughed again.

I rolled on to my back and quickly sat up. I glared up at her, spitting out the remaining mud from my mouth. Her hair was plastered over her head and face. No longer, the fiery curls that made her so frightening but a dull red. Her wings hung behind her, dark and wide in width.

"Come on, Goddess. Give me a challenge..." She toyed with the knives at her belt, her long fingernails stroking the hilt of one.

My heart stopped. Literally. I crawled backwards on my hands until my back hit the hard, rough wall of a tree trunk. I braced my hands against the tree behind me and tried getting up, but my shoes slipped in the mud. I clung to the trunk and found enough purchase to stand up. I was covered in mud and grass from head to toe.

Victoria laughed at my struggle and took a step towards me. I pushed back against the tree and brought my hands up in front of me, palms facing outward.

Stand firm.

Victoria's eyes narrowed and a growl slipped past her lips. She took another step forward, while sliding one of the deadly knives from her belt. My eyes widened and I stared at it, watched it gleam bright in the dark. It was as long as my forearm with a curved tip, the hilt was a dark wood with carvings all around it.

My hands were shaking, but I held them up, feeling the energy pulsing in my fingertips. Victoria hissed as she took another step, tossing the knife in each hand. The pressure at my temples tightened and focused.

She was taunting me: Playing with the sanity and fear. Victoria smiled tossing the knife higher in to the air, and took a step towards me.

Survival instincts kicked in. Hard. The impact hit me like a physical blow. I exhaled sharply as my body rocked forward. Victoria sailed backwards, back, back, screeching as she crashed into a tree. The tree groaned.

I slumped back against the tree, exhausted, I could still feel the throbbing in my hands and at my temples, but the juice was gone, depleted.

Give me a couple hours.

I dropped my arms at my sides, clenching, and unclenching me hands to relieve the strange, ache at the center of my hands.

This saving the day stuff is hard. I was getting more and more tired every day. I felt drained, mentally, emotionally, physically. I was tired. I wanted to curl up in a corner and sleep, deep and peaceful.

The air around me was cold, and I shivered struggling to straighten my back against the tree.

A low growling sounded from the darkness, and Victoria stepped forward. She was covered in muck, twigs and leaves tangled in her red hair. Blood streamed down her face from a cut on her forehead. I noticed she was limping and hissing as she made her way back to where I stood.

Why won't you die...?

She stopped and laughed, tilting her head to look up at the raging sky. She had another knife blade in her hand. The wicked point gleamed in the white light from lightning.

My heart quickened. She extended her wings to their full width, and pushed off with a single powerful beat of her wings.

I gasped. She was gone in the blink of an eye, and her speed scared me. She was a million times faster and stronger than me. And she can fly. Some part of me wanted to stomp her foot and yell, "Not fair." The more mature part was calculating my chance of survival, and escape.

Not very high….

Not very optimistic…

The fact chipped away at the hope of ever escaping her and this nightmare. I stepped away from the tree, holding my arms out as I fought for balance on the slippery ground.

Run! Go before she comes back! Hide! I turned and ran into the darkness of the forest. I was panting hard now, my chest aching from the lack of air.

Lighting flashed behind me, followed by the thunder that shook the trees at either side of me. I ran into what seemed to be a clearing, and I shivered as the rain hit the bare skin of my arms. I turned around in a full circle, debating running back to the safe, darkness in the forest.

She'll find me either way, anywhere I go.

A laugh sounded from behind me. I whirled around stumbling over my feet. Victoria stood a few feet away from me, holding the same knife in her hand. She watched me with a near predatory glint in her yellowed eyes.

Maybe she'll get struck by lightning…

Shut it.

I stepped backwards, blinking against the rain. She flashed me a sinister smile and took a step forward.

"What do you want with us?" I asked. I took another step backwards, slower this time, watching her reactions.

She limped forward, her back bowed outward as if she might drop into a crouch at any moment. She was like an animal, the way her top lip was pulled up in a snarl, and her fingers were curled in to claws. Her ink black wings flared out, gleaming with rain wetness.

"What do you want?" I repeated after a few minutes. She stared at me, her face was caked with dirt, and blood, her gaze was calculating and cold. I stood still, having enough common sense to know that if you run from an animal, it will chase. It was like playing a game of cat and mouse.

Victoria's head tilted to the side, her cat like gaze taking the same cold, detached, inhuman glint. She took another step forward then stopped, crouching down close to the ground. Her nostrils flared, and her lip pulled back, showing a row of perfectly white teeth. "You. I want you."

My breath hitched as a smile curved her lips, a beautifully dangerous smile.

Then she lunged. Her body smashed into mine, sending me soaring through the air and down to the hard ground. She growled, sitting up and wrapping her hands around my throat. The wind flew from my lungs.

I struggled against her, kicking at her, flailing franticly and she let go of my throat. Instead, she dug her wicked nails into the soft skin of my arms. I cried out, punching her face.

Ow! I shook out my fist. She didn't even flinch.

She laughed and I thrashed against her. She was too strong. Victoria tried to pin my arms, and she just couldn't get a good grip on me writhing underneath her and she screamed in frustration, her nails digging harder into my skin.

"Stop it!" She growled, and slapped me hard on the face. I reeled, head snapping to the side, cheek flaming, and lip burning.

Taking advantage of my distraction, she pinned my arms with her knees and sat on my chest. Her heavy weight was crushing my chest to the point I could barely breathe. "Victoria..." I gasped.

My breathing was coming out in frantic, heaving gasps. She laughed, leaning her face down close to mine. "Did you really think you could escape me? Nobody will come for you." She laughed, leaning back and reaching her hands to her belt.

"You know, I promised James not to hurt you.' Don't touch her, Victoria. Don't lay a single hand on her. She's mine,' He said to me." She frowned, the hands at her belt stopping their fumbling. She stared ahead of me, her gaze distant.

I waited; watching her face, heaving for breaths as she slowly squished my lungs under her weight.

"But." She shook her head, and smiled. "Then again, it's a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission...right, Isabella?"

She slid the knife from her belt with a soft metal hiss. My eyes widened and I went nuts, writhing to get free. Victoria laughed, throwing her head back as a flash of lightning sizzled in the sky above her.

"You're crazy." I gasped. She looked down at me, smiling wickedly. She brandished the knife in her hand in my face, the sharp metal gleaming in the faint light.

"Maybe..."She chuckled. I struggled, but she had me securely pinned down, and all I could do was watch that points coming straight for my eye. A whimper burbled up from my gut. She laughed.

She pressed the knife close to the skin at my throat, and I gasped as the cold metal touched my skin. "I enjoy your suffering, Goddess, and after I'm done here with you, I'll find the rest of you. The Volturi will prize me for doing what James could not do..." She emphasized her words by pressing the knife further into my skin.

I turned my face away. If she was going to kill me, I didn't want to see my death coming.

"Look at me." said Victoria. "Look at me, Goddess." I felt a sharp pain against my neck, then hot blood trickling down my neck, mingling with the cold rain water. It was the sharp point in the knife. She pinched my chin between her fingers, and her nails dug into the skin, forcing me to look at her.

"Look at me, Isabella."

I looked. I looked up at her. She was poised over me, her hair hung between us, wet and dripping water on to my face. She had a triumphant smile on her face. "Weak. You are weak. Always getting in our way, interfering with our plans. I will kill you slow-"

Something whipped over her head, too quick for me register what it was. Victoria growled, sitting up on top of me. The knife was still pressed into my skin. I didn't move.

She hissed and ducked, just as another... arrow whizzed past her head.

Victoria scrambled off me, crouching down, and hissing. I took deep, required breaths, and lay stunned.

Breathe. Breathe slowly, before you faint. You wouldn't want to do that? Not here.

I was gasping, heaving in air like…well, air. Another arrow whipped over my head, and I craned my neck back, carefully, and…

Jasper.

He walked forward, a bow and arrow balanced and ready in his arms. His face was drawn in an angry concentration, his blue eyes glaring at Victoria.

Hm…I figured him more of a gun kind of guy.

I wanted to cry, to run up, and hug him with the relief that pressed my heart. I couldn't though. I could barely move from the shock.

I'm sure he felt it.

He'd better have felt it. I don't feel like talking. Or moving.

Jasper let loose another arrow as he moved closer to where I lay and I heard another scream.

I groaned, sitting up on my elbows, unsteady, shaking. Victoria was standing, her wings beating frantically a few feet away from me, retreating slowly. Her eyes were glued to Jasper, the yellow orbs glinting abnormally in the dark.

She almost looked scared. Almost. I repeated to myself as I caught the regretful, angry looks towards me. I shuddered. She really is crazy and she really does want to kill me.

Of course not, she just wanted to play hide and kill Bella. It's a very educational game.

I sighed. We can't control what we think, we can only ignore it.

She hissed one more time in my direction, before lifting off with one powerful beat of her wings. She disappeared in seconds.

"Bella?" I looked up to see Jasper standing over me. He frowned, worried, as he looked me over, lingering over the injury at my neck.

"Yeah?" I panted, my arms quivered.

"You alright?" He asked, squatting down next to me and brushing a soothing hand over my forehead. I felt the instant lethargy from his touch. I didn't fight it. I want to sleep.

"Yeah, no, fine for now. Alice?" I fell back on to the ground, sighing in relief as I felt my body relax.

He is the perfect sleeping aid.

"She's with Rosalie. Just hold on a second, okay? Edward will be here in a few seconds." He stood up and wiped away the dirt and muck off his pants from where he had sat.

I shook my head drowsily and watched as he walked off to where a small, thin arrow stuck out from the ground. The arrow had a single white feather at its end. I noticed that the feather bore a golden tip... like the color of his hair.

So tired...I blinked to keep my eyes open but I was quickly loosing the fight. I heard a deep chuckle and a soothing whistling from somewhere far away...I closed my eyes for just a second. The hairs on the back of my neck bristled and my temples tingled. I smiled to myself…

"Edward...?"

"I'm here..." I opened my eyes. Edward stood over me, his bronze hair falling over his eyes. His magnificent wings were filling the range of my vision.

"Good..." I whispered, closing my eyes and succumbing to the deep, peaceful sleep.

***************************************************************************************************

I like this chapter. It was...strange writing it...I like it though. And technically, there is no cliffy. I know you all hate them, but I really can't help it...

This story is beta-d by Sendmeonmyway. She's an awesome writer, and I admire anyone who has enough patience with my brainless errors. Seriously, I make the stupidest mistakes.

I'm rambling. Anyways, You should go check out her stories, there all really good.

I'm sure you all have some questions, so please don't be afraid to ask. I'll answer them...I don't bite…;]