Alice: -moping-

A1969: Alice—moping over a coat that was so last chapter is not you!

Alice: hm...true, it was from last chapter, anyway.

Kagome: you'll find a better one.

A1969: anyway, finally—an update! –claps-

Bella: I won't even bother to say how many months it's been—you'll just faint.

A1969: -sarcastically- thanks, Bella. You make me feel so much better, really you do. Anyway, thanks to those who read and reviewed the previous chapter!

Bella: I didn't mean it that way.

A1969: hmph! You'll have until the end of the chapter to figure out how to make amends. –evil grin- enjoy the chapter!

-o-Chapter Thirteen-o-
-Abducted and Absorbed-

-x-Renesmee-x-

I was surprised.

Sesshoumaru's back was turned to me, but I could almost picture him narrowing his eyes at Naraku. The wind blew his hair to one side, exposing the back of his neck. My eyes widened when I realized that, at any second, the overwhelming desire for his blood would drive me insane again...

Huh?

I blinked as I looked at him, astonished. There was...he had no...he had no scent. His addictive scent was gone...

How could that be? I stared at his back. I wasn't driven to insanity as the wind blew from his direction to me. I didn't lose my mind, despite the fact that he was only a yard away from me...

"Lord Sesshoumaru," Naraku said mockingly, diverting my attention. He retracted his broken tentacles, his eyes fixed solely on the demon before him. "Why am I not surprised? You seem to grow more compassionate as each day passes."

"Silence."

In the blink of an eye, Sesshoumaru suddenly vanished, only to appear—a fraction of a second later—in front of Naraku, sword aimed towards Naraku's heart. Naraku suddenly spun around so he avoided the blade, his tentacles flying around. Without warning, one tentacle shot towards Sesshoumaru's back.

Sesshoumaru leapt gracefully into the air, avoiding the tentacle. As he fell, he aimed his blade towards Naraku's head.

I turned my attention from their battle, to Jacob. My eyes widened in horror. Jake's eyes were closed, his tongue sticking out. I placed a hand on his head, his shaggy fur caressing my skin.

"Jake," I whispered.

He opened his eyes for a moment, as though to make sure that the voice he heard was mine. His eyes snapped shut. At that moment, it felt as though my heart stopped beating in my chest.

"Jake!" I hissed, shaking him. "C'mon, wake up!" He was panting by now. My eyes landed on his muzzle. His mouth was covered with Naraku's dark noxious miasma...poison.

No.

"Jake!" I gripped his fur tightly. He didn't respond.

NO!

Never before had the possibility of losing Jake crossed my mind. I had no reason to even think about losing him—he was everything I had. He was the sun, the air, the laughter—he was my life. And why would I even contemplate on losing my life?

"C'mon, Jake, this isn't funny!" I hissed, pretending to be annoyed. His eyes remained closed. My heart stopped. I couldn't perceive anything. I couldn't hear the battle between Sesshoumaru and Naraku, I couldn't hear Alice and Rosalie's frantic pleas for me to run. I didn't notice them, because I didn't care about them—at the moment.

All I cared about was Jacob.

Jacob who seemed as still as stone...

"No way," I muttered. Automatically, my hand flew to his neck, to his jugular. There was a pulse! It was weak, but it was a pulse!

"Ness, watch out!" Alice suddenly shouted.

Huh? Before I could even look up from Jake, my ears picked the sound of something whooshing through the air. I looked up just as Naraku's tentacle wrapped around my waist, drawing me away from Jacob and towards him.

As he drew me towards him, I was able to make out, from the peripheral of my vision, Sesshoumaru's cold eyes narrowed slightly at Naraku. I was also able to make out the looks of pure horror on Alice and Rosalie's faces as they watched Naraku pull me towards him...

Towards him and away from Jake...

"Let me go!" I shouted, flailing my arms.

Naraku chuckled menacingly as he drew me towards him, his eyes narrowed deviously. "Compared to the others, you're quite weak, aren't you?" His eyes darted to Rosalie and Alice, both of whom were still attached to his barrier. His spiteful eyes flickered back to me. "And compared to the others, you're attachment to that mangy mutt blinds you more than anything, does it not?"

My eyes widened as I felt anger seething through me. "Don't you dare insult Jacob!" I snarled. How dare he...after what he did to my Jake...

Naraku clicked his tongue in mock sympathy. "Of course," he said apologetically. "After all, we must not insult those who are on the very brink of death, correct?" His smile turned sadistic.

At that second, I snapped.

How...dare he...imply—I wouldn't let Jake die!

I growled at him as I narrowed my eyes angrily. I could feel strength flowing through my body—strength from Sesshoumaru's blood. Angrily, I gripped Naraku's tentacles with both my hands, crushing the bony appendages with my fingers.

I landed on both my feet as I fell to the ground in front of Naraku, whose smile only widened. He didn't seem at all flustered about my rare display of bravado.

"Very good," Naraku commented, smirking.

I growled at him, my eyes narrowed. "Anger is such an effective tool, isn't it?" Naraku mocked. He glanced at Sesshoumaru, smirking. "Is it not, Lord Sesshoumaru? This girl's anger enabled her to use the strength of your blood—interesting, don't you agree?"

Sesshoumaru frowned infinitesimally at Naraku. I was still amazed that I was able to look at him and not go crazy—what had happened to his delectable scent, anyway?

I pushed the train of thought from my mind. Even without his scent, the very memory of it would be enough to drive me mad.

"Enough." Before Naraku could throw another word, Sesshoumaru sped towards him. I quickly jumped back just as Naraku parried Sesshoumaru's blade with his tentacle. Stupid choice, that one. Sesshoumaru's sword...Bakusomething easily sliced through Naraku's tentacles.

I pulled my attention away from their fight and sped towards Jacob in record time. He was still out cold, and he had...stopped moving.

No...

Once again, my hand flew to his jugular. His pulse was so weak...Was Naraku's poison this potent? Was it so deadly that it could incapacitate Jake?

Behind me, I could hear Sesshoumaru and Naraku battling it out. It seemed like the demon Sesshoumaru was winning...but I could care less who won, at the moment. All I cared about was Jacob...

"Jake...?" I whispered.

To my relief, he opened one eye and narrowed it at me, telling me to leave him and run. "I won't leave you, silly," I mumbled, trying to smile reassuringly.

"Ness, take Jake and run!" Rosalie screeched. I glanced over my shoulder at her. She and Alice had long since given up on trying to break Naraku's barrier—their main goal now was to make sure I ran off. "Find Kagome—I'm sure she'll be able to help you!"

I didn't need telling twice. If there was a way to help Jake, I'd take it. Without hesitating, I lifted Jacob into my arms, and he growled in protest. Jake didn't like being the damsel in distress—I'd have to remember to rub it in his face...

I made for the row of trees. But before I could reach it, a black blur speed in front of me, blocking my way.

Gasping, I took a step back as Naraku grinned maliciously at me. "Where do you think you're going?" Naraku said, smirking.

"Get out of my way!" I snarled. My mind tried to tell me that, with Jake in my arms, I would have a hard time defending myself, but all I could think about was the irrepressible need to find Kagome, to help Jake...

"Please say you do not expect me to move," Naraku mused.

Before I could retort, I felt a high rise in energy heading towards my back, accompanied by massive heat. My feet suddenly moved beneath me, forcing me to jump to the side just as a flash of blue roared beneath me, towards Naraku. Naraku's eyes widened as he was blown off his feet and into the trees. The flash of blue easily tore down the surrounding trees, and left deep grooves in the ground.

Sesshoumaru's attack disoriented me midair, and I fell on my side to the ground, forming a depression in the earth. Jacob fell from my arms and hit the ground with a dull thud.

My eyes widened in anger as I turned to the demon. Sesshoumaru's sword was still pointed towards the felled trees, his eyes narrowed.

"You tried to kill me!" I growled at him.

He ignored me. It was then that I heard it—a low rumbling noise, coming from where Naraku was blasted into the trees. I stood up, my eyes following Sesshoumaru's gaze. Without warning, the ground suddenly shook, and I swayed slightly.

The rumbling grew louder. Two large red eyes suddenly glowed from the remaining trees, two red eyes that seemed to get bigger and bigger as it drew closer.

A giant spider suddenly burst from the trees, screeching at the stoic Sesshoumaru. My eyes widened in shock and surprise. Whoa...radioactive spider scenario...I shook my head. The spider that raised its forelegs menacingly at Sesshoumaru was as dark as night. Its eyes were blood red, and on its abdomen was an equally blood red hour glass shaped marking...

My brain realized something. "That thing is...Naraku?" I choked, shocked.

No one answered. Alice and Rosalie were equally stunned by the overgrown arachnid screeching in front of them.

"Whatever form you take," Sesshoumaru said coldly as he stood between me and the spider, "is powerless against me!"

So saying, he slashed his sword through the air, and a flash of blue streaked towards the spider, effectively hacking off one its legs, which fell to the ground with a loud crash. I gaped. This was all so unbelievable, so hard to take in...

The spider screeched as it fell sideways, falling to the ground, raising a cloud of dust in the air. "Pitiful," Sesshoumaru commented, his tone bored. He strolled, almost leisurely, towards the spider, sword held at his side.

He suddenly stopped, his eyes narrowed at the spider. Without warning, webs suddenly shot out from the spider's mouth, covering everyone in the clearing, including me and the others!

My eyes widened in surprise as the spider's web fell on me. Revulsion coursed through me as I struggled to loosen myself from the silky web, to no avail—spider webs were stronger than steel.

"Yuck!" I heard Rosalie shriek. "In my hair!"

I struggled, thrashing through the spider's webs. A few feet away from me, Jake was oblivious to the glittering web. I had to get to him! I had to help him get to Kagome!

"Wait for me, Jake," I muttered.

A few yards away, Sesshoumaru had already broken free of his web in record time and was preoccupied with the giant spider. I couldn't see him, but I could make out the sounds of his sword slashing through the air, and a random arachnid body part crashing to the ground.

"Stupid things!" I snarled, trying to rip the webs apart. So useless! The harder I resisted, the stronger they latched on to me! I had to get to Jake! I must!

A low growling noise a few feet away from me suddenly diverted my attention. My eyes widened in surprise and joy. Jacob was on his feet, ripping at the spider webs with his jaws.

"Jacob!" I exclaimed.

He turned his eyes towards me, eyes that seemed to say, "I'm coming for you."

Jake gave one final tug at the cobwebs that held him, and then he was free! "Nice job, dog!" Rosalie called out. She and Alice had already managed to divest themselves of Naraku's webs.

Jake was immediately beside me in a heartbeat. He carefully gripped the webs on my head with his jaws and tugged.

"Meidou Zangetsuha!" It sounded as if Sesshoumaru's battle with the nefarious Naraku wasn't quite over yet.

Jake growled as he tugged at the webs that held me. This close to him, I could see the miasma that dripped down his muzzle, and onto the webs. The webs hissed as the miasma hit it. My heart thudded in dread. Jake had ingested a lot of miasma...

"Hurry, Jake!" I heard Alice call out. She sounded panicky.

Jake gave one last final tug and the webs fell away. The moment they fell away, I hurled myself at Jake, hugging his great, shaggy neck. "Jacob!" I gasped, burying my face in his fur. "You're wounded—we need to get you to Kagome." I closed my eyes.

Jake licked my cheek with his tongue, and I resisted the urge to cringe. Acidic miasma from his tongue stung.

"Isn't this sweet?" I looked up and, in the same instant, Jake spun around, keeping me behind him. Naraku stood in front of us, his red eyes glinting maliciously.

My eyes widened in surprise. Naraku was...he was...he was nothing more than a floating head! I blinked. Freaky. Disturbingly freaky...

It seemed Sesshoumaru had been ruthless.

Jacob growled menacingly at Naraku. I stood up and peered from behind Jacob. "What?" I taunted the floating head. "Sesshoumaru didn't finish you off?"

Naraku's dismembered head only smirked, and I saw his eyes dart to the side. I followed his gaze. Dread suddenly built within me...why did neither Jake nor I realize that we were trapped in Naraku's barrier? Why hadn't Alice or Rosalie warned...? I looked towards them. They were shouting, but I couldn't hear them. The barrier blocked off the sound.

I looked around again. Sesshoumaru was standing just outside the barrier, his eyes narrowed menacingly at Naraku. I take it he hated the exasperating barrier. But if he was feeling flustered at being hampered from reaching Naraku, I felt something else...

Panic.

Jacob growled once again at Naraku. His growl was low, almost feeble...

"You're show of bravery is to be commended," Naraku's head said. "It's not every day that I come across a worthless beast who can withstand my miasma for this long."

With a chill in my bones, I noticed his use of the word 'withstand' rather than survive.

I stood by Jacob's side, my eyes narrowed at Naraku. "Let us out!" I snarled, clenching my fists.

"I wonder why they bother asking for release when I have obviously no intention of giving it," Naraku muttered to himself, amused. "You see, Renesmee, I have something you want, and you have something I want."

I glared. "I'm only half a vampire," I pointed out. "You've never met me before—what the hell could I have that you would want?" My voice betrayed my frustration. Jacob was getting weaker, despite his enduring display of bravado.

Naraku smirked. "I want you," he said. My eyes widened, and Jacob growled. "Don't think I desire you," Naraku corrected, amused yet again. "Rather, I want your entirety, your very essence. In short, I wish to absorb you."

I blinked. Absorb...?

"And in exchange," he went on. "I will make sure your dear Jacob is not killed by my miasma."

From the peripheral of my vision, I could see Jacob's legs quivering as he struggled to remain standing. Miasma dripped from his mouth. His fangs were bared at Naraku. He couldn't understand what Naraku was saying, which was a relief. I didn't want him straining himself.

Wait...what would happen to me if he absorbed me? Of course...I would die. But if the exchange would be Jacob's wellbeing, then I didn't have to think about it—Jacob was my life. Even if I died, through him, I would still exist.

I didn't need to think about it.

I stepped towards Naraku, and Jacob growled at me. I could feel his mouth gently closing around my arm, stopping me.

"Let go, Jake," I said, shrugging his arm off. I kept my gaze fixed on Naraku.

Jacob suddenly yipped as the miasma overpowered him. I heard a loud thud as he fell to the ground, unconscious. I couldn't bear to look at him.

I took another step away from Jake and towards Naraku. From the periphery, I could make out Alice and Rosalie screaming at me, their voices annulled by the barrier. I could make out Sesshoumaru, his golden eyes narrowed at me. I think he knew what I was going to do. Of course he did. He seemed like the type of guy who would know everything.

Kinda like Edward. As I took another step towards Naraku, I felt dread building within me. My vampire family...what would they think when they realized that I had given myself to Naraku to save Jake? I hoped they wouldn't blame Jake...

Thoughts of my family filled my mind as I took the steps towards Naraku. Bella. Edward. Alice. Rosalie. Emmett. Carlisle. Esme. Renee. Charlie. My Quileute friends...

I was suddenly a foot away from Naraku's floating head. I looked up at him, scowling. "Well, here I am," I said,defeated. "Keep your bargain and spare Jake."

He grinned manically. "We'll see."

My eyes widened as tentacles suddenly burst from the base of his head, and wrapped around me.

-o-Kagome-o-

"Edward!"

Bella's keen of anguish reverberated throughout the clearing. She sounded like an angel in lament instead of a wailing vampire.

We were still stunned. Barely a minute had passed since Hakudoshi had left with the abducted Cullens. It was as though the shock was enough to freeze us all in place. Inuyasha stood by me, his eyes fixed on Bella. Miroku and Sango were both looking up at the sky, as though they expected Hakudoshi to return. Shippou clung to my leg.

We were a frozen tableau.

"Edward!" Bella's third peel of anguish snapped us out of our shock.

Blinking, I gently disengaged Shippou from my leg. I hesitated, then I approached Bella. She didn't react to my presence. Her eyes were busy looking frantically up at the sky. There was agony, frustration and bitterness in her lovely golden eyes.

"Bella?" I whispered uncertainly.

In the blink of an eye, she was suddenly standing. "Tell me," she choked. She looked as though she wanted to cry. "Where have they taken Edward and the others?"

I switched to English. "Most probably to Naraku's castle...but we don't where that is."

Bella bit her perfect lip. "What do you mean you don't know?" She was struggling to maintain her calm. I had a sneaking suspicion that she wanted to yell at me. "You...you guys have been fighting Naraku, for Pete's sake! Surely...?"

I sighed. "The truth is," I said. "We're not even sure if Naraku's still got a castle—I think he gave up living ostentatiously since Mount Hakurei. So...we're not sure where his latest hide out is..."

To my surprise, Bella fell to the ground, landing on her behind. It was as if she crumbled elegantly to the ground. Her honey colored eyes stared blankly past me, unseeing.

"Edward," she muttered. She shook her head so fast, I was amazed it didn't fly off. "This...this can't be happening..."

"Kagome!" Inuyasha's urgent voice made me whip around. He was staring behind him, at the trees. "Naraku's scent...Naraku is close by!"

Before I could even react, Bella suddenly shot off the ground and towards the trees.

"Inuyasha, hurry!" I urged, clinging tightly to his back as he ran through the forest. "Are you sure Naraku's at the well?"

"I could smell him in the well's direction!" Inuyasha said. "Remember—he wanted Renesmee too. She's at the well!"

Flying on Kirara beside us, Miroku and Sango exchanged significant looks. For what purpose did Naraku want Renesmee?

"Oh no, you don't," Bella snarled fiercely under her breath. She was running ahead of us, her desperation and anger propelling her faster than Inuyasha. "You took my husband—I won't let you take my daughter!"

The forest was nothing more than a blur as Inuyasha paced to keep up with Bella. We hurtled through the trees, until we finally came to the clearing of the Bone Eater's Well.

The sight that greeted us at the well made us stop.

On one side of the clearing were Alice and Rosalie. Both vampires' arms were halfway through Naraku's barrier, effectively holding them. In the middle of the clearing was another one of Naraku's barriers. This one was larger. Renesmee and Jacob were in the barrier, as was Naraku's floating head. Jacob, in his wolf form, was lying on the ground, unconscious. Renesmee was standing in front of Naraku. Standing outside the barrier was Sesshoumaru, his eyes narrowed at Naraku and Renesmee.

Renesmee, who stood in front of Naraku, looking up at him with hate in her eyes. She muttered something, and Naraku smirked. His lips moved as he answered her. A second later, tentacles burst from the base of Naraku's head, wrapping around Renesmee!

"Renesmee!" Bella shrieked. A fraction of a second later, she launched herself at the barrier, to no avail.

"Inuyasha, quick!" I shouted as I jumped off his back.

But before Inuyasha could even draw Tessaiga, Jacob suddenly sprang from the ground and lunged towards the bundle of tentacles that encased Renesmee. He tore through them with his fangs, ignoring the miasma as it gushed from where he bit.

Jacob gave one last final tug, and Renesmee was free. She coughed and fell to the ground, on her knees. What happened next was a blur. More of Naraku's tentacles suddenly shot out from beneath his head, heading straight for Renesmee. Jacob suddenly rammed into Renesmee, sending her flying against the barrier wall. Naraku's tentacles wrapped around Jake instead, absorbing him.

Renesmee's scream, though inaudible, was bloodcurdling.

"Inuyasha!" I shouted.

"On it!" Inuyasha suddenly lunged into the air and, at the same time, he unsheathed Tessaiga. "Adamant Barrage!" Spears of adamant rained down on the barrier from above, dispelling it.

"Jacob!" Renesmee shrieked. She was nothing more than a blur as she rushed towards Naraku's head.

Naraku chuckled as he flew into the air, away from Renesmee. His tentacles held Jacob in his grasp, Jacob who had lost consciousness. Jacob, who was slowly being draw in towards Naraku.

"Dammit," Inuyasha growled as he landed beside me. "We can't do anything as long as he's got that wolf!"

"Let him go!" Renesmee shrieked, glaring up at Naraku. There was a wild frenzy in her eyes.

Naraku only chuckled. "The anger and desperation on your face is beautiful to behold," Naraku said, as he slowly absorbed Jacob.

-x-Renesmee-x-

No, no, NO!

I felt so helpless as I looked up at Jacob, dangling from Naraku's tentacles. His eyes were closed. NO!

"Let him go!" I shouted again, clenching my fists. I was only dimly aware of Inuyasha and the others. All I could focus on was Jacob...

The bastard Naraku raised an eyebrow. "You can set him free," he said.

I bit my lip. Of course—my life for Jake's. It was something I didn't have to think about.

"No!" I glanced to one end of the clearing, to where Bella and the others were. Wait...where were Edward, Emmett and Jasper? "Ness, no!"

Was she crazy? Jacob's life depended on me! He needed my life! How could I not?

But before I could do anything, there was a high rise in energy in the clearing. My eyes widened in surprise as I spun around, towards the source of the tremendous aura.

Sesshoumaru stood several yards behind me. He was pointing his sword straight at Naraku. Blue light emanated from him and the sword—his aura, I realized. His heinously powerful aura...

I suddenly realized what he was going to do. He was going to blast Naraku to kingdom come...he was going to kill Jacob along with Naraku!

Sesshoumaru's cold voice suddenly rang throughout the clearing. "Dragon—"

"NO!" Without even thinking, I lunged towards him. Of course, he was quicker. He immediately jumped back just as I landed on the spot he had been standing on a fraction of a second earlier.

"Meddlesome half-breed!" he snarled. I inwardly cringed as he bared his fangs at me, his golden eyes narrowing.

"Stupid buffoon!" I growled, glaring at him. "Watch where you point that thing!" He glared at me, and I felt my anger slowly turn to fear. Sesshoumaru's glare—when directed at you—was more terrifying than having to confront a smiling Jane.

Naraku's chuckling pulled my attention away from the demon. "Too bad, Renesmee," he said as I spun around to face him. I felt my body freeze. His tentacles had completely wrapped around Jacob now, enveloping him in a slimy cocoon.

"NO!" I shouted. Desperation rose within me. At that moment, how I wished that I was a full vampire! At least, I would have been able to help Jacob!

"Hiraikotsu!" Sango shouted as she hurled her massive boomerang at Naraku. Naraku only raised an eyebrow as Sango's boomerang came into contact with a barrier that materialized around the fiend.

"Leave him to me!" Inuyasha snarled as his Tessaiga glistened with diamonds.

Naraku smirked. "Unfortunately," he said as the barrier slowly rose higher...and higher. "I don't have any more time for you, Inuyasha." He looked at me. "And as for you—remember, Renesmee. I gave you the chance to die for him, and you didn't."

And then, right before my eyes, the barrier slowly started to fade...

"Jacob, NOO!" I shrieked as I lunged towards the barrier. I felt myself soar through the air, propelled by my vampire strength and desperation. I felt the wind rush past me as I reached a hand out towards the barrier...

But the barrier had vanished and with it, my life. I felt myself fall to the ground, as though in slow motion. My eyes were fixed on the spot in the air where the barrier had vanished. My vision was marred by strands of bronze ringlets that swept to my eyes as I fell, fell...I didn't even bother to right myself in midair.

"NO!" In that instant, I felt something in my chest. It was as if my heart was being twisted and then slowly cut apart so I could feel nothing but pain. It was as though someone had punched a hole through my chest, and wrenched away my heart, which crumbled into a million fragments...

There was too much pain. "JACOB!"

So much pain...

"JACOB! JACOB!"

And then, the pain overpowered me.

I could feel myself falling, falling into a black abyss...

I hoped that I would never wake up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

What had happened?

I was lost. So lonely. It was black. It was quiet. Where was I? I don't know. I couldn't remember...I've often thought what it would be like to be tucked away, in a place where you couldn't feel anything. Like the womb. Nothing can hurt you in the womb. Maybe that was where I was? It was dark. Quiet. I could not feel a thing...

Not even the intense anguish I was supposed to feel.

Why, though? Why would I be in anguish...?

"Is she coming to?" came a familiar voice. This voice was angelic, beautiful—but it was broken.

"I'm not sure," another voice replied. This one was beautiful, too—and it sounded defeated.

What was wrong with all these gloomy voices...?

I groaned. That groan did something, then. It alerted me to the fact that I was conscious. It also made me remember...

Jacob, gone.

Jake...

My eyes flew open. My vision was blurred. The dark sky above me was blurred. My eyes felt hot. Tears, I realized...

"Renesmee?" Bella, sitting beside me, said. She sounded cautious as I slowly sat up. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and onto my lap. The others were sitting around me. They all looked withdrawn, silent. But the most devastated of faces belonged to Alice, Bella and Rosalie...

And me.

I felt it. A tearing, grinding, cracking sensation in my chest. It was pain. It overrode even the thirst I felt.

My heart was breaking.

I'd always thought that that was just a silly phrase used by mediocre romance novelists. I also thought that it was so impossible for your heart to actually break. It was all in the hypothalamus, right? All in the head?

Then what was this pain in my chest?

It was as if a hole was being punched through. It was as if a fist stronger than vampire skin burst into my chest, took my heart, and was slowly twisting it, cracking it, until there was nothing but fragments left. And then, those fragments dissolved into oblivion. My heart was gone...

But the pain remained.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

As if it wasn't enough for Fate to take Ja...him away. It had to take away my family too!

My eyes were wide as saucers as I stared at the faces of Alice, Bella, and Rosalie. "That's not right," I stuttered. "That's impossible. Edward, Emmett and Jasper..." My voice trailed away.

Bella couldn't speak, so Kagome said, "Hakudoshi and Kagura...they took the three of them away. Imprisoned them in a barrier..."

I looked at the remainder of my family. I knew that if they had hearts, theirs would break like mine. I knew that if they could cry, tears would stream down their cheeks...I wasn't the only one suffering...

"Yeesh!" We all jumped, even Bella and the others. We turned towards the rough voice of Inuyasha. He was sitting just behind Kagome, arms crossed across his chest, half his face hidden in shadow. "You guys sighing and moaning as if it was the end of the world," he scoffed.

I felt anger coming from my decimated vampire family. "Instead of sighing our butts off, think of it this way—the sooner we kill Naraku, the sooner we can get your mates back," Inuyasha said.

Alice stared at him with wide eyes. "Do you think," she said quietly. "That that monster can be defeated?"

"Do you think we're weak?" Inuyasha said, rolling his eyes. "It's only a matter of time before I run Naraku through my Tessaiga." He gripped the sheath of his sword as though to emphasize his point.

Alice and Rosalie narrowed their eyes at him, Rosalie murmuring quietly in translation for Bella. Alice sighed. "If you think you can defeat this Naraku and help us get the others back," she said, determination in her butterscotch eyes. "We're in."

Rosalie and Bella nodded, too. Their eyes were still shadowed with grief, like that of the bereaved, but there was something else there now. Something that slightly veiled the sorrow in their dark, ochre eyes...

A desire for revenge.

I bit my lip and looked down. That was what I envied about pure blooded vampires. If they put their minds to it, they can easily control their emotions, what will all the room in their heads and all...

But me...

The pain in my chest throbbed and bled. It was too much pain...

Oh, Jacob...

"I'm so sorry," I muttered.

Everyone's eyes were suddenly on me. I looked at them all. "I...I..." The pain was building...so much pain. I wanted to get rid of my chest!

"Oh, Renesmee." The next thing I knew, Bella had me in her stone arms, drawing me close to her. She buried her face in my hair. "It's alright..." she whispered, stroking my hair. I let the tears fall. I could feel myself convulsing as the sobs and the pain racked me.

I gripped Bella's arms tightly as the pain became even more pronounced. How was I going to cope with pain of this magnitude? It seemed like the burning pain suffered by vampires during the transformation was nothing compared to this torture...

I let go of Bella. "I'm sorry," I whispered. "It's just...I need...to be alone...I..." Before anyone can stop me, I stood up and darted out the room as fast vampire speed allowed.

"Renesmee!" I hear Bella yell as I felt the rush of the cool night air through my hair.

"Let her be for now." Inuyasha's gruff voice was the last thing I heard before I darted into darkness of the forest.

But no matter how fast I ran, the pain would not go away.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

After what seemed like two hours of non-stop running, I stopped at the edge of a ravine. It was a fifty foot jump to the other side, which I could have easily managed in a heartbeat. Beneath the ravine, I could hear the distinct howl of a river rushing past.

I closed my eyes, felt the wind playing with my hair. For an agonizing moment, I remembered the way Jake used to toss my hair around, commenting on its striking color when the sun hit it.

My eyes opened. "Oh, Jacob," I whispered. Why? Why him? With a stab of horror, I realized that Jake wouldn't be...if it wasn't for me. I was the one Naraku wanted, but Jake had saved me...

I wound my arms around my middle, as though I was trying to hold myself together. There was too much pain! How could someone live with this kind of pain?

The wind howled mournfully through the ravine, rushing up and blowing around me. I felt it caress my hair, my arms, my face, on my lips...I imagined it was Jake...

A muffled sob escaped me as I opened my eyes again, staring dead ahead. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob...everything seemed so meaningless...so useless...

I glanced towards the bottom of the ravine, where the river slithered beneath like a glistening snake. A vampire could so easily survive the fall from here to there...a vampire could not drown—they didn't need air. A vampire's skin could so easily protect him from whatever piercing object he would encounter when he hit the water...and cold would not affect a vampire.

But I wasn't a vampire.

Sure, my vampire skin would protect me. Sure, my vampire strength could easily propel me from the water to the river bank. But I had one thing a vampire didn't have...didn't need...

I needed air.

I took a step towards the ravine, but stopped. If I did this, I would only be adding grief to Bella, to my mother. Not to mention, Jake would have disapproved...

But no.

I needed to be where Jake was...

I refused to say goodbye...I'd follow him, wherever he was...

All hesitation vanished as I plunged into the ravine.

The sound of the air rushing past me was the last thing I heard before I hit the icy water below.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

A1969: and that's that.
Alice: I thoroughly disapprove of you updating late!
A1969: urgh...hey, you don't think I feel guilty about that?
Alice: no.
A1969: -.-
Kagome: oh, ignore Alice. She's not always this moody. Wait...where's Bella?

Alice: oh, she went somewhere...she wouldn't say, though.
A1969: anyway, I'd like to thank those who read and reviewed the previous chapter! I'm sorry if I take so long—I've just been so busy. That and I just got better. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Review please!