Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, nor any of the characters. I just borrow them for my own selfish pleasure.

A/N: Please review, even if it's to say it sucks. I really want to hear what you think. Thanks.

The Vote

Bella turned to look at me first. "Do you want me to join your family?"

Did I want her to join my family? Of course! I would love nothing more than to have Bella by my side through all eternity, but that was NOT what was best for her. How could I be selfish enough to ask her to give up her family, her friends, her soul, just so I could keep her. Surely she would come to resent me for it if I did give in and make her like me. I put on my smooth poker face, trying hard to conceal the emotions pulsing through me now. "Not that way. You're staying human." I answered flatly.

Bella nodded once, trying to keep her face composed, but I could see the hurt in her eyes.

"Alice?"

"Yes." Sorry Edward, you knew I wasn't going to say no. This is how things should be.

"Jasper?"

"Yes," he said gravely. I know you don't want this for her, but it does make sense. Once she is immortal too, you will finally allow yourself to be happy. I hate feeling the conflict that is constantly consuming you.

Surprise flitted briefly across Bella's face at Jasper's response. I'm sure she had counted him as a "no" due to his standoffish attitude towards her, but that was merely precautionary. Jasper knows how much she means to all of us, especially me and Alice, he can feel it.

She turned to face Rose now. "Rosalie?"

Edward, I am NOT doing this to make you happy. "No," she answered. Bella turned her head to move on, but Rose held up her hands to stop her.

"Let me explain," she pleaded. "I don't mean that I have any aversion to you as a sister. It's just that…this is not the life I would have chosen for myself. I wish there had been someone there to vote no for me." She needs to realize what she is doing. I hope Edward can talk her out of this. How could anyone voluntarily give up on humanity for this existence? I was dying when Carlisle changed me, we all were. She is not, she has to see what she's giving up!

Bella nodded her head slowly and turned towards Emmett.

"Hell, yes!" He grinned. "We can find some other way to pick a fight with Demetri." I wonder if she will still be clumsy as a vampire. I can't wait to see that, and she'll be my sister, so I won't miss any of it.

Bella grimaced at as she turned to look at my mother. "Yes, of course, Bella. I already think of you as part of my family." Don't be upset with me son. She is already as much my daughter as Rose or Alice and I can't stand to see you suffer any more.

"Thank you, Esme," Bella murmured as she turned towards Carlisle.

Edward, I know your position on this. I also realize that you must secretly yearn for this to happen. Your main concern is for her soul and I do not believe as you do.

Carlisle directed his glance at me instead of Bella. "Edward," he said.

"No," I growled. I felt my whole body tense, as if prepared to fight. How could he do this?! He is going to agree to change her.

"It's the only way that makes sense," he went on. "You've chosen not to live without her, and that doesn't leave me a choice." Be reasonable, my son, you know she will eventually die if left human. She is also very well informed and really seems to want this. It is her choice now, not yours.

I let go of Bella's hand and shoved away from the table. This can not be happening! Not now, not to Bella. She is too good to become one of us. Too sweet, and innocent for this lifestyle! How can they not see that?! I stormed into the living room and, without thinking, ripped the 60-inch plasma TV in half. Emmett would be mad at me for that later, he had it shipped here from Korea, but it was better than taking out my aggravation on my family members. I was too enraged to hear some of the lingering conversation, and then Bella spoke the words that snapped me to.

"Well, Alice," she said. "Where do you want to do this?"

Wait, what? I know what I said on our way to Volterra, but I am not sure if I am able to do it. I don't know anyone besides Carlisle with that type of willpower, well maybe Edward…

"No! No! NO!" I roared, As I stormed back into the room. I moved as close to Bella as I could - my face directly in hers. "Are you insane?" I shouted at her. "Have you utterly lost your mind?" She has to understand what she is doing! I was so very angry I had to really struggle to keep myself under control.

She cringed away from me with her hands over her ears. Later I may feel badly about my actions, but not right now. It is imperative that she grasps what she is asking.

Oh, no. I can't just do this without some sort of preparation, especially now. I need to make sure I've hunted well, and prepared mentally. "Um, Bella," Alice spoke with an anxious voice. "I don't think I'm ready for that. I'll need to prepare…"

"You promised," Bella interrupted.

"I know, but…Seriously Bella! I don't have any idea how to not kill you." I have never been tested like this before. I faired pretty well last September when she was bleeding, but eventually I had to leave the room. It was too enticing to even smell her blood.

"You can do it," Bella insisted. "I trust you."

What! Alice just told her she thinks she may KILL her, and Bella is still insisting. Maybe I should check into mental health professionals for her. She has some serious lack of self-preservation. A low growl escaped from my chest.

Alice shook her head at Bella quickly. She had a panicked look in her eyes.

"Carlisle?" Bella inquired as she turned to look at my father.

I took her face in my hands, forcing her to look at me. I placed my hand out towards Carlisle. I just needed a second to think of a reason to postpone this conversation. This can not be happening!

I am capable. It really should be me, I do not think Alice is ready for this challenge. One mistake could have dire consequences. "I'm able to do it," he answered. "You would be in no danger of me losing control."

"Sounds good." Was all Bella was able to say, since I was still holding her face tightly.

"Hold on," I said between my teeth. "It doesn't have to be now." Please, it can't be now. I have only gotten her back. What if she hates me for this, I can't bear to lose her again.

"There's no reason for it not to be now," she said.

"I can think of a few." I had more than a few deterrents lined up to give, but reminding her of Charlie should do the trick.

"Of course you can," she said sourly. "Now let go of me."

I did as she wished, and let go of her. I folded my arms across my chest and gazed into her beautiful brown eyes. "In about two hours, Charlie will be here looking for you. I wouldn't put it past him to involve the police." I wasn't too worried about police involvement, but she would not want to do anything to place my family in danger. It looked like this might work.

"All three of them." She replied frowning.

I continued looking into her eyes, willing her to be reasonable about this. I need more time to think things through. Her eyes softened just a bit; maybe her resolve was crumbling. I would need Carlisle back on my side, at least temporarily, if I were going to keep Bella human for the time being.

"In the interest of remaining inconspicuous," I spoke to my father through gritted teeth, "I suggest that we put this conversation off, at the very least until Bella finishes high school, and moves out of Charlie's house."

"That's a reasonable request, Bella," Carlisle pointed out. It would be better this way. Easier for Charlie than any immediate action, and graduation is not that far off.

I watched as pain and confusion flickered in her warm, chocolate eyes. Surely thinking of her father's reaction to waking up and finding her gone again, only this time, gone for good.

"I'll consider it." She pursed her lips as she spoke, but her voice was more resigned.

I felt my body relax as she spoke the words I desperately needed to hear. "I should probably take you home," I said, I knew I had to get her out of here as soon as I possibly could. I could not give her time to think of reasons to rebuke waiting until after graduation. "Just in case Charlie wakes up early."

Bella glanced over at Carlisle. "After graduation?"

"You have my word." He replied. Edward you must understand, I hate to undermine your opinion on such an important matter, especially where Bella is concerned, but I must do what she's asked. Someday I hope you'll realize that this truly is the best decision for all involved.

Bella seemed more at ease after my father's promise to her. She took a deep breath, smiled, and turned back to me. "Okay. You can take me home," she answered.

I grabbed her hand and rushed her out of the house, using the back door so she didn't see the television I had destroyed in my rage. It was a silent trip back to her house. I used the quiet to think of my next course of action.

It seemed that nothing I could do or say anymore was going to stop the inevitable. Bella was going to become a vampire. She was going to walk away from everything, give up her soul to spend eternity with me. The thought of being able to keep her for all eternity had my cold, dead heart so full of joy it felt it would burst through my chest. I also felt incredibly guilty and selfish for being so happy. I had never wanted this future for her. I have tried time and time again to circumvent this very thing and failed miserably. I could not deny that deep down this is what I truly wanted, and I hated that I wanted this. If only I could come up with some reason to postpone the transformation. Just buy a little time, maybe I can convince her to change her mind.

Surely there must be something she wants more than becoming a vampire. Maybe a compromise can be reached, I guess it's time to find out.

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

* Sorry about ending it like I did, it almost seems incomplete, but due to the amount of dialogue in the following pages between Bella and Edward, I felt this was the place to end it.

All dialogue comes from Stephenie Meyer's book New Moon, pages 533-537