READ MY A/N FIRST, DAMN YOU!!!! *giggles*

A/N: Happy anniversary, honey! -gets backhanded by angry readers- Ow…okay, that didn't go as expected –rubs cheek- I know, I know, you guys are angry. But this is the one year (and 3 weeks) mark of Human Trafficking so I thought I'd start off the New Year with a bang…literally. So, as a present to all my lovely readers who have grudgingly stuck with me for this long all through the horrible updating and the unedited chapters and the blood and the sweat and the blistered fingertips and bleary eyes and the stupid sticky keys that never seem to want to unstick, I wanted to express my gratitude and love to you all. So, this chapter is one of the longest and it is the most action-filled chapter that will probably ever pop up in this story. So much is happening in this chapter that I got lazy and decided that putting in POVs is stupid. The little (--) marks will be the sign that shows that we are alternating POVs. It'll only be Bella and Edward's POVs (sorry for those who are easily annoyed by alternating POVs; third person doesn't fit in this particular chapter), so we won't be digging into other point of views quite yet. Anyhow, I'm much more boring than the actual chapter, so continue on my lovelies!

Disclaimer: I own nothing!!!


Bella POV, December 29, 2006

I felt detached, parted from everything but the little girl in my arms that slept quietly, not stirring at all as harsh winds caressed the metal frame of our shelter like a serrated knife to skin. I hummed quietly and twirled a curl of her bronze hair around my finger, smiling at its softness.

My stomach was twisting uncomfortably and I had to breathe deeply to quell the sickness that threatened to overcome me. They'd practically been feeding us antibiotics for the past couple of days and though the other girls were used to it and claimed the nausea would end soon, I doubted the burning would go away. It was deeper for me, as if the antibiotics they gave me were killing more than just bacteria. I felt as if they were killing me too.

Aro had been discussing Katea's death while Caius forced me to be there to hear the verdict. I was lucky though, despite the circumstances that had brought them to their decision. I couldn't be touched at the present time, not when people were looking for me. Felix had picked up a paper and saw what just happened to be my missing person's advertisement. They were looking for me still, which meant that Edward and Emmett hadn't told anyone about me. That was a relief; I could only imagine the kind of trouble they would get into trying to break me out from this place. Still, there were thousands of people in Chicago and in every city that would follow. Someone was bound to recognize me or my description despite how vague it was. They knew that I could easily just let something slip….

Of course I would never do such a thing, but with the insistence of the others, particularly an angry Rosalie, the thought was very intriguing. Aro knew what the girls were saying, knew what they were encouraging me to do. Was it really betrayal if the betrayed were willing?

Internally scoffing, I shook my head. That was like asking whether or not statutory rape was rape. That was like saying that insanity was an excuse for rape. That was like saying James was innocent…

Ignoring the clench in my chest, the loss of what I had once owned so preciously without even realizing, I carefully tugged at the tangled tresses of hair that fell around Vanessa's face, admiring the faint glare of light against each strand. If she was given the chance at being a teen, I predicted she would be the girl all the boys were after, wishing desperately for a chance to hold her hand and just talk to her for a moment while inside their stomachs would be full of butterflies as they pined after her.

Yes, Vanessa would be a lovely girl. I tried to quell the fears I held shallowly within me, the ones that stirred right beneath the surface of my exhaustion. There was only so much I could do for her in this place. I was limited to walking around in my metal cage; fixing her bed; giving her a sponge bath if she needed assistance (which she did at the moment); and occasionally I was able to make her food with the rations they gave us, loafs of bread and salty cured meats being the largest portion of our diet. It was disgusting and left a horrid taste in the back of my mouth, but Vanessa was always ravenous when it came to food. I had had to make her drink water between bites so she wouldn't get sick. My imagination ran away with me when this happened, forcing my mind into a darker place where I knew Vanessa had been starved at some point.

"We cannot stand this any longer, Bella," Rosalie whispered to me, her eyes glowing with determination and fear.

"Neither can I," I replied. Her eyes widened. "My stomach is still killing me. When are they going to stop giving us the pills? I don't think I can take it much longer."

She growled, her red-toned lips quivering as she grimaced. "You know what I mean, Bella."

I sighed and looked back down at Vanessa's face, her cheeks pink as she dreamt.

"She'll die if I say anything," I said quietly, keeping my voice low and smooth for Vanessa's sake. I'd heard somewhere that voices could change the tone and mood of a dream. Or maybe I'd just experienced that myself. I couldn't remember.

"You can take her with you; demand that she be released as well. There is no time for questions and doubts, Isabella. If you wish to be free, you must take the opportunity as it comes. It's waiting for you." A thought came to mind.

"You don't want to live anymore, do you Rosalie?" I looked up from the curls and watched as Rosalie's clear blue eyes, burdened as they were, lowered to the rail of the bed, her fingertips caressing the rusted metal pipe. Her breath was shaky, as was her voice.

"There are few things I truly believe in, Bella. One of them is my religion. Suicide is not something I can be forgiven for…but, if given the opportunity to end this, all of my suffering, I would take it with the knowledge that this was the only way I would be free without having to repent for my one unforgivable sin." I pondered that for a moment, nodding when I decided that I understood fully.

"What of the others? Are they willing to die as well?"

Rosalie didn't speak. As she reached to pet Vanessa's head, her hand shook.


December 30, 2006

"Stop sneaking peaks at my shit, Edward."

I rolled my eyes and sat back down, tapping my foot to an erratic beat. Jasper had been hovering above his sketches for hours and still had yet to allow me to see them. I'd been patient at first, understanding how unnerving it could be to have someone look over your shoulder consistently, but now he was just being ridiculous.

"Look, I'm not allowed to do anything with the planning, so the least you could do is fill me in."

"I fill you in and then you'll start trying to tell me what to do. Nuh-uh, not happening."

I groaned and whined, "Oh come on, I'm not a fucking kid. I won't bother you any more than necessary!"

Jasper turned to me, eyebrow raised. "You're sounding like a kid to me." I growled in frustration.

"It's not my fucking fault you haven't learned to share!" He chuckled and turned back to his work.

I frowned at his back and angrily kicked at the couch opposite me, stupidly waking Emmett from his hibernation. He was one of those people who were easily woken by any movement but not from sound. The big bear of a man would blearily look up, growl at whoever was closest and, if worst came to worst, would attack with a swipe of his massive hand. Alice was clairvoyant enough to see when it was coming and I always knew when Emmett would snap. Jasper hadn't known that, though, the first time Alice had asked him to wake up Emmett. He'd been left with a massive bruise on his shoulder. Emmett always laughed whenever it was brought up.

"Whas goin' on?" Emmett perked unnaturally, his head shooting up and his curly hair flying and frizzing away. It kind of freaked me out, seeing him act differently. Emmett was a creature of habit and he rarely deviated.

"Just making a call Em," Jasper said as he snapped his phone open, slowly pushing each number with his forefinger—I silently laughed at his technological stump—and pressed the phone to his ear.

"Hey, Peter," instantaneously, Emmett's and my own attention were on Jasper and the unheard phone conversation.

"Yeah, I've got it, down to the last detail. Yes, it should be successful if all goes according to plan; if not, the back up plans should insure that we don't leave empty-handed. I…no, I don't think that would be a good idea but I have a feeling that they won't listen to me anyway," Jasper's eyes drifted to us, catching me for a moment.

"Yes, we'll meet you tomorrow morning, seven hundred hours, got it. Bye."

Emmett gave me a look and then turned back to Jasper with an eyebrow raised. It was of no consequence seeing as Jasper's eyes were shut tightly with restraint. It took me a moment to recognize it as anger, frustration that played back to after he had come back from Iraq. I hadn't known him immediately after that, but I did recall that Alice had been extremely calm throughout the duration of Jasper's healing. The restraint he had had during his military career had been driven away by the pain of a nearly fatal injury and in between his bouts of fury, Alice had managed to retain a strange sense of serenity so as to not fuel Jasper's agitation. He hadn't had any slips of composure since that time but from his expression, it looked like that record was nearly about to be broken.

Slowly, Jasper unclenched his fists and opened his eyes warily, as if expecting bombs to go off any second. Instead, he was met with silence. He cleared his throat.

"Guys, I –"

"It's no use Jazz, they won't buy it. Besides, I want to help, too!" How Alice managed to silently sneak through my apartment when the door was a mere fifteen feet away, I'd never know. Jasper sighed, a sigh of fearful yet fond exasperation. He'd gone through this before.

"Alice, this isn't one of those things you can help with. You know how dangerous this kind of thing can be; I know you do. It's too dangerous for all of you," Jasper turned to look at Emmett and I, the severity of what we were trying to do weighing his gaze with harshness and cold reality. However, Emmett and I had seen that sort of crude gaze before from someone who had not only experience the tortures of cruelty but lived that life daily. We were affected but we had felt a stronger, more concentrated dose of such a gaze. We stared back. He didn't turn back when he said, "I'm sorry Alice, but my answer is no."

Alice stared at him with a serious expression on her face before turning him around and pulling his face to nearly the same level as her. Somehow, Jasper had managed to remain standing even when Alice had pulled his face lower than her own. On his face was a frown and on Alice's was a half-baked smirk that totally contradicted the look in her eyes.

"Jasper, are you really going to order me?"

"I'm sorry, Alice."

Alice leaned her forehead against Jasper's.

"You know I wouldn't ask you for this just to see how far my power stretches, right? You know this is for a reason?"

"Yes, I've taken note that you are an opportunist." Alice laughed lightly, and I wished I could turn away. It was always strangely attention-drawing, the act of them conversing so intimately in such close proximity to others. You could practically see the auras and how they mixed together. It was brilliant.

"Bella's my friend…or, she will be. If this plan of yours works out like it did in my head, I'll be well on my way to having someone to talk clothes about, and maybe even a model for my designs!" Jasper laughed but it seemed half-hearted, like he was trying to hide away his own sorrow in Alice's excitement.

"Alice, there is always the possibility that this won't work out. What if you don't get Bella as a friend?" Jasper had lost friends before, but he'd never lost family. In his eyes, I could see the fear he held for us all, especially Alice. He'd been brought up in foster care, no true family to speak of. When he'd been thrust into our own strange family, he'd never known the difference between us and a normal, blood-related family. All he knew was that we were together and happier than any people he had seen prior. We provided a sort of security that was never brought by the military or foster care; we had love, as corny as it sounded. We were his to keep and be a part of for as long as he wanted. He would fight with all his strength to keep things that way, I knew.

"Jazz," Alice sighed. "She's going to be my maid of honor. I've already seen it, her dress, the way her hair will be, every single detail. I've never had this many visions before in such a short amount of time. It's for a reason. She has to be part of my future. I love her too much; she's my best friend." She's gotten him. Anything that Alice loved was going to be accepted by Jasper as long as it didn't directly affect her livelihood. She'd seen their wedding, for goodness sakes. This obviously meant she would live through the ordeal, and get a best friend to boot? Of course he'd let her…even if he would strongly suggest that she wear a bullet proof vest and tennis shoes the entire time. Jasper could only handle so much in any case.

"Not that you lovebirds are done with your moment," Emmett gagged, "I think we ought to go over this plan before Jasper tries to convince us this isn't safe. I've been waiting for action since forever!" Jasper groaned. I almost smiled; there was only so much to be happy about. I could only hope that Isabella was still there, still holding her strength as she had silently vowed when she had left us.

December 31, 2006 11:29 P.M or 2329 hours

"Are you aware, Isabella, that there is a militia of men and women coming out today to infiltrate our base of commands in order to retrieve you?" I shakily shook my head. My cheek was sore and raw, my ribs aching with every breath. How was it possible to live through agony? It made me wonder if this was even worth it, but then I thought back to my little girl, innocent Vanessa, lying in a heap on the floor, unconscious from one hit. I had to be strong for her.

"Jane, you mustn't lose your temper, love. It is rather unladylike." Aro smiled, a fondly exasperated grin on his face. For whatever reason, this young girl of possibly seventeen or eighteen stood over me with a grimace on her face, as if her inability to glare me down until I was a puddle of sobbing weakness on the floor was of great insult to her. Her icy blue eyes never left me even as she spoke, her glare infinite.

"She doesn't even react, Aro. She doesn't even seem to feel it. Not one bit. How can she not..."

"Alas Jane, she confounds us all. As for her daughter, she is not as special, now, is she?" I nearly growled. They knew nothing, absolutely nothing, of Vanessa. She couldn't speak to me properly, mere mumbles and garble would spill from her lips every time she tried with the exception of one simple sentence: I want Mommy. But she drew pictures in the dirt, intricate little designs that made me think she wanted to tell me something but couldn't put it into words for some reason. It worried me but at the same time, it made me very proud. She wanted me to see what she was seeing and was doing everything she could to give me that privilege.

"It is of no consequence, dear. She will not be here to confound us for very much longer. James, step forward." I stiffened as I saw from my kneeled position on the concrete his jean-clad legs step forward. The fear was there but now I could only focus it on a select few people. The girl on the floor was my priority at the moment. She had to be safe from these men and women. She was only safe when she was with me, protected from everything and everyone. I cared for no one more than I cared for her.

However, my heart was stretching itself towards others that I wasn't aware it could possibly stretch to. The men who had so graciously and stupidly offered to rescue me from my prison were on my mind, their kind faces and warm gestures to comfort me a significant reminder that they were to blame for my most recent beating. It didn't matter that I was beaten, it was bound to happen eventually anyway, but this meant that they were in danger. Someone would figure it out. They'd leave one track uncovered for someone capable of tracking something like this down and they'd be caught and done away with. Aro was too powerful to let his sovereignty fall.

"You are particularly lucky, Isabella, to have someone like James who is so fond of you. You would be on the warm end of a gun if it weren't for that fact. James, you are free to keep Isabella; from now on, she is your responsibility. She is no longer of any use to us. Do away with her as you please." I didn't search for the leer that was most definitely on James' face. Instead, I focused on Vanessa.

"I won't leave without Vanessa. She's mine; you can't take her away from me!"

"Silence, you insolent girl! You will not speak to Master that way!" Jane's hand made to slash at my cheek and I flinched back only to find that her slap had not made purchase against my face. My eyes warily opened to see James holding her hand by her wrist.

"Don't harm my merchandise, Jane. I like to do that myself." Even through James playful words, I saw the harshness in his eyes, the warning aimed at the girl with the outstretched arm. He didn't want me to be harmed by Jane. He wouldn't allow her to.

Jane glared back at him but not in the same way she had me. When she glared at me, I was nothing but a speck of insignificant dirt on her shoe that needed to be swiped away so she wouldn't have to stare at it any longer. With James, he was an equal, someone who worked with her, not equal enough to be a friend but enough to be someone to look to for assistance. It reminded me that I was merchandise and not a person. It made me remember that James was my owner, not my protector. That spot didn't need to be filled. I was a protector for Vanessa. Protectors didn't need to be protected.

"I believe this girl is perfect for our plans, isn't she Jane? Young, innocent, beautiful; yes, men will love her. And bless her heart, she doesn't even speak or complain or cry! My, my, we have quite the little angel on our hands, don't we Isabella? However, even you were that way once, if I remember correctly. As you can probably relate, you know how easily an angel's wings can be sullied, don't you Isabella?" I stared in horror as he lifted Vanessa from her spot on the floor. His lips ghosted over her neck as he delicately took in a deep breath through his nose, smelling her scent. No, he couldn't, he wouldn't do something so disgusting, so heinous…no, he couldn't….

I was pulled away, screaming and practically retching as Aro's hand caressed her cheek gently, a smile on ghosting over his face as he did it. Just as his hand reached down to her shirt, just when I was ready to bite off James' hand to relinquish his grip on my arm, Aro's head shot up. There was the sound of rustling, the sound of shrill shrieks and angry hisses and whispers from outside the door that enclosed us. That had to be the girls; the monitors were in the room that Aro had called me in to, the only room with an accessible exit to the surreal world outside the metal cage. Felix quickly went to the door and stepped out to see what the cause of the ruckus was.

December 31, 2006, 11:25 P.M or 2325 hours

"If there is anyone that will knowingly screw up in the next few minutes, may you pray that I don't find out about it otherwise prepare to be shot in the leg now." I ignored the fact that Peter was staring at me as if I was the only one he was talking to. Unfortunately for Peter, I was prepared to stand back with Alice and Emmett, just to insure that no one he truly cared for was hurt. Besides, Emmett and I were the best at handling Alice when she was having one of her visions and at the moment, she was chockfull of them. She had been burdened with headaches for the entirety of the afternoon, her mind littered with pictures and blurring people coming in and out of the future. If people didn't make up their minds about actions they would take, things would change and her visions would never stop. She'd never had so many at one time, anyhow, and was unused to being bombarded so frequently. I didn't envy her ability at the moment.

The militia group was probably filled with some of the most skilled people I had ever met. There were two translators who knew various languages combined, two medics, Jasper (the team strategist), Peter (the commander of this mission), and six other men who were the powerhouse of the group. It was relatively small but all were armed and well equipped to enter the building.

The members of the group had their heads bowed, the only woman in the group holding a rosary tightly in her hand as she mumbled so quietly that only that tightly knit circle could hear. There was a collective "amen" and they stood up straight, removing the guns from their belts. Jasper, the only one who didn't pull out his gun, carried a rectangular box of aluminum, his military issue radio. Every one of them had a radio attached to their vests.

"I'll be staying outside the building with Zafrina," he said quietly as he placed the box on the hood of his truck. "She'll be needed outside; there's no point in having her run around in there, it'll just cause more of a stir." I could tell it really bothered him to not be able to help out, but his arm was at a major risk. If there was a tear or if he put strain on it, there would be lasting pain and possibly even nerve damage. He couldn't risk it.

Zafrina, a tall woman with deep-toned skin with a rich accent, knelt next to Alice's slightly hunched figure. With her head pressed against Jasper's car, she was mumbling to herself, her eyes shut tightly.

"How are you, dear?" Zafrina asked worriedly, patting Alice's shoulder with a large hand.

"About as good as I can be, considering my mind is being torn apart," Alice hissed in pain. Jasper shifted but didn't say a thing.

"Maybe I can help," Zafrina said kindly.

"Zafrina…," Jasper growled. "Not now. She won't be used to it. It would only frighten her."

"I was only trying to help alleviate the stress," she replied.

"I know, Zafrina, but save it for the girls. They'll need it more. We don't have time, anyhow."

"Why not?"

"It's started."

December 31, 2006, 11:30 P.M or 2330 hours

James was running too fast for me to catch up but somehow, I managed to stumble along so quickly that my feet were bleeding from the scrapes of cement, Vanessa's body in my arms. Adrenaline pushed me to the room that James normally took me in, one that Vanessa had never been in. I had never thought that I would ever follow James for a second, but this was an exception. There were bad things happening, I could tell. If anyone was hurt, any of the girls or Vanessa or the people breaking into the warehouse, I wouldn't be able to live with myself. I should never have spoken to Edward and Emmett. I should have done as I was told and kept my mouth shut.

"Isabella, get over here." I hesitated but placed Vanessa down along the wall, far away from the bed, and walked over to James. Even breathing deeply as he was, he looked intimidating, like he would strike me at any moment. His menacing grimace worried me.

When I reached him, his hand shot out and grasped the hair at the base of my neck and pulled. I cried out as I fell down to the floor, wincing as he tightened his grasp.

"Isabella, what have I told you every time we are in this room?" When I didn't answer, he pulled my head back until my neck was bare for him to see. "Answer me."

"I'm yours," I gasped. My scalp felt like it was bleeding.

"Exactly. And when I say jump, what do you ask?" I didn't answer again, this time setting my jaw tightly. I wasn't his slave; no matter how much he tried to make me his, I refused to not fight back.

He growled. "If you don't cooperate, you and the girl will die, Isabella. Your lives are in my hands as of now. Now when I say run, what do you ask?" I stared in astonishment. He pulled my hair again and I replied quickly.

"How far?" He nodded.

"You will obey my every order, Isabella, do you understand? Of course you do. Now, sit on the bed. I've got some business to take care of." He stood, his palm brushing against the skin of my neck as he passed behind me. He didn't turn back to look at me as he left.

December 31, 2006, 11:45 P.M or 2345 hours


There was an explosion, fire and smoke coming from the metal building. The screams were loud and high, only muffled by the cage and dense clouds of dust and smoke. Jasper was shouting commands to staying along the walls while Zafrina geared up in a heat-resistant suit and a couple of fire extinguishers. Jasper looked to us a couple of times before shouting out, "Emmett, Edward, put on a suit. You're helping Zafrina!"

Quickly, we grabbed suits and pulled them over ourselves. Emmett grinned wryly at me, "Finally, we get some action." I smiled back tightly, my heart racing in my chest. In moments, we were following Zafrina into the flames.

December 31, 2006, 11:48 P.M. or 2348 hours

I heard a high-pitched scream and knew that one of my girls was dying, painfully. Smoke was entering through the space beneath the door and I carried Vanessa to the bed, pulling the covers over her face so try and keep it from entering her lungs. James always had gallons of water here but the times that he grew thirsty during his time with me. He often didn't release me from the room until a day or more after I first entered. Unfortunately, his normally large supply had been depleted to only about a half gallon, hardly enough to douse both Vanessa and myself. Instead of doing as I had planned, I sprinkled water over the sheet covering Vanessa.

I coughed roughly, my eyes stinging. Gripping the pillow case off the bed, I poured the water over it and placed it over my nose, effectively protecting my mouth. There was shouting, so many male voices that I wasn't sure if it was all just one person or many.

With one hand holding the cloth to my mouth, I managed to move Vanessa to the farthest corner of the bed, far away from the door. I curled myself around her as best I could.

This wasn't what I had wanted, never in a million years. How could I have been so stupid? How had this even happened, this entire mess? I'd left my apartment, tripped over a cat, bought coffee, went to work, and then headed home. I was supposed to have continued that cycle for months, maybe even a year or two, before actually going on to being something successful, maybe even happy and content. How did it all lead to this?

The door slammed open, revealing Caius' murderous glare. He lifted his hand and his sterling revolver. It seemed strange that now, as the gun was pointed at me, that I could see the intricate designs that had been etched into the butt of the gun, the beautiful vine-like spikes and the strange words that were Italian, I was sure. Before Katea's inevitable demise, everything seemed too sharp for human eyes, an ephemeral moment it had been. Now, everything was moving at a snail's pace, time sluggishly crawling to the point of my death. Would my lackluster life flash before my eyes now?

"This is all your fault, you wench!" The gun clicked loudly despite the screams and the sounds of flames being fanned. He offered no further explanation for the crazed look in his normally sharp eyes. Instead, he stepped forward only to be pushed to the ground, head cracking against the concrete block of flooring, his gun bouncing heavily off the floor and closer to me. James panted, his face bloodied and hands looking blistered. Still, he smirked at Caius' body as he stepped over it, mumbling, "Always hated that guy."

"Get up," he growled angrily, "we're leaving. If the girl slows you down, I'll kill her myself." James ran to his special corner of the room, the one where he held his duffle bag full of things that I didn't care to remember the names of.

"Fuck," he cursed, "give me the girl. I'll drop her outside while you get the stuff. Don't you dare leave this room, you hear me?" I nodded, eagerly taking in Vanessa's face as James uncovered her body and threw her over his shoulder hastily. Inside, I was cringing at his crude handling but knew that a bruise or two was better than seeing my girl die. Quickly, I bagged the items James had as he ran back out to the main room with Vanessa in his arms.

It felt like betrayal, like I was leaving the people who had readily accepted into their inner sanctum just for my own selfish reasons. I didn't dare look out the open doorway to see what was happening. People were still screaming.

"Bella!" I turned to see someone who I'd never thought I'd see again.

December 31, 2007, 11:54 P.M. or 2354 hours

Never in my life had I ever imagined so much destruction and flesh splattered across one room. Metal barracks were being burned rapidly, women and children scrambling to escape the heat but some unable. One girl was brave—or stupid, depending on your point of view. She'd protected the children—as soon as I'd seen them, I had nearly vomited at the realization of what had become of their innocence—from the fire but had left her scantily clad body too close to the flames. She was alive, but only barely and was with the medics at the moment. Her blonde hair was charred at the edges and her skin had suffered burns so bad that the skin was peeling back, black as fresh ash. Her unconscious state was the only thing keeping her from continuing her previous screaming.

The fire had been extinguished but Zafrina had to calm down the girls, an impossible task because of the shooting that was taking place in one corner of the room. The smoke had given the enemies the advantage because they knew their environment better, but we had better men. We walked around with gas masks on our face, staying close to the walls while the others took to the center of the warehouse. We were lucky; the room was large enough to maneuver ourselves without running into the enemy. Emmett and I had shed our suits and opted for helping push the women and children outside the danger zone. We couldn't risk having them get shot. That had been the purpose of the fire: to eliminate the evidence of trafficking, the merchandise.

"Hey," called one of the group, Garrett I think his name was, "can you check in that other room? We've got it handled out here. I don't think there's much over there, anyway. Jasper's gonna kill me for not sending you back outside right away but he'll have to deal with it." I nodded and headed back, removing the thick leather gloves from my hands. They'd been guaranteed to keep my skin from burning off but they were swelteringly hot themselves.

Looking into the room, I peaked in, hoping not to see something that would give Peter a reason to shoot me in the leg. However, the only one I saw was another girl dressed in the same clothes as the other girls, hardly anything. Thinking I could sneak forward rather than calling out to her (most of the girls hadn't spoken English, anyhow, and were very hesitant to even come in my direction), I thought maybe I'd sneak up on her. That is, until I saw something familiar as my uncontrollable gaze traveled across her body. She had bruises, many of them, across her shoulders and backside, but the ones that were the most reminiscent were the thick, healing bands around her ankles. They looked pink, like they were just healing from an Indian burn…


She turned around, eyes wide as she stared at my face. Her face hadn't been that badly bruised and scraped when I'd last seen her and I cursed myself for taking so long to get to her. But that was the least of the issues. I was just so happy that she was alive.

"Bella, we've got to get out of here. The others are already getting out safe and sound. Come on, let's go!" I walked over to her and grabbed her wrist, intent on dragging her still body out the door with force if necessary. It took her a moment to react, and even then it didn't seem right.

"No, I can't go with you! Let me go!" She struggled and fought but I didn't let go even as I stopped trying to drag her along.

"What are you talking about? We need to leave, now." She shook her head frantically, trying desperately to shake off my hand from her wrist. "I'm sorry, I can't go with you. Please let go."

"Bella, you're safe now." Why didn't she understand? The others were safe. What else was there left for her here? Surely nothing material could be worth death?

"Vanessa isn't! I have to get her back!"

"Bella, she's probably already—"

"No! I'm not—"

She didn't get to finish and I didn't get to hear. Before I knew what was happening, I was flying forward toward the wall that Bella had been standing next to, my cheek pressed tightly against the metal wall. I couldn't move my face as it was being crushed. There were no words as I used all my strength to push myself around until I was facing the one who had attacked me. Immediately I recognized him as someone dangerous, someone who had no sense. His eyes were dark and any remnants of sanity had long since disappeared.

"She's mine. You can't have her," he growled.

It became an intense fight, fists punching into one another and feet kicking shins. We were equally matched but he was loose, wildly swinging at me with such vigor that I was worried I'd end up being hit even if he didn't intentionally hit me. However, as I ducked from his hits, he finally took the final blow and tackled me against the wall, knocking the air out of my chest. I struggled to breath and he made it even harder by pressing his palm against my throat, pushing tightly as I gasped.

His eyes were wild as he smirked at me. "Isabella didn't tell you, did she? Oh, she's such an obedient, shy girl…Did she tell you that she's mine? Oh yes, she's become mine now, owned by me, ruled by me; I am her master. She wouldn't leave with you because I told her not to leave the room. Yes, such a good girl. And how wonderful it was to taint her, to own her as I have. You can never have her. Tell him, Isabella. Tell him who owns y—" James maniacal grin was planted on his face even as his eyes widened in shock. Warm liquid had sprayed across my face and I gasped as his hand fell from my throat. A loud crack echoed through the room, the walls vibrating against my back. James fell to the ground, revealing quite a sight.

Bella sat on the floor, eyes wide open in shock, hands clasped tightly around a silver revolver.

The alarm on my watch went off. It was midnight.

A/N: I swear, that isn't a cliff hanger at all.

To be totally honest, this was one of the first scenes I ever came up with for this story…actually, it came up after rape scene. I thought, "Wow, that chapter will be epic"…and it kind of was. I liked it. Again, I apologize for such a long wait and I wish I could make it up to you all but I can't…until I update again, that is.

Now, who would like to get a fan fiction written for them, and only for them? I'll write any kind of Twilight fan fiction for one of the reviewers. Your review will be randomly selected from the bunch and I'll contact you immediately to get the information I need (i.e the who, what, when, where, why, and how). Everyone can participate but only one can win! Oh, and anonymous reviewers must leave an email address otherwise I cannot contact you and you cannot receive your fiction. Sorry, those are the rules.