A/N: hey there...

Yes. This is really update. Yes, I finally did just post a new chapter after 7-days-short of two years of not writing. For this, all I can say is.. I AM SO INCREDIBLY SORRY! I honestly, completely am. It was my second-last year of high school and I was really focusing on my grades, and this was taking me away from my schoolwork way too much, so I tried to keep off of it for a while. Then I realized I spent way too much time absorbed in fanfiction, but unfortunately I am not so good at balancing and henceforth mostly cut fanfic off. Grade twelve started and I wanted to really focus on my grades (I was a mega-nerd). I got my first boyfriend, went through some stuff with my family, and was dealing with the usual high school drama. Then came graduation and right after I was supposed to be doing an internship for this whole year, and the month and a half I was there was crazy busy, but things didn't work out and I ended up just spending the year at home working. Anywho, so much time had passed by then that, though I so badly wanted to finish this story, it had been so long since I posted that I forgot what exactly had happened and where I was and even how to begin again. I tried, I wrote bits and pieces of this throughout the last year, but I never really got very far before now. I've been reading through reviews (and some criticizing my writing and choices really hurt and make me not want to bother posting), but some people so genuinely love this story—they love it nearly as crazy much as I do—that I feel like such an awful person for not updating. And, though I wanted to just write this whole story and post it chapter by chapter when I was done—to ensure readers would know I wasn't just going to stop posting again—I saw the recent reviews of newer readers who've just found the story and are dying, on a cliff-hanger, for the next update. So, without further ado, here it is.

But, here's a quick review for anyone who hasn't read this in a long time...

Bella was kidnapped by vampires James and Laurent 8 months previous. They tormented her and did awful, traumatizing things to her. Then she found a way to escape. She chose to live at a boarding school near Forks rather than with her mom and dad in Phoenix as she wanted to protect them and keeping James and Laurent from finding her again. However, upon arrival at the boarding school she finds that not only one, or even two, "bloodsuckers" are at the school, but seven of them are. She can tell by their skin, their eyes, their temperature, their voices, their scent. She is horrified by this and doesn't know how to act to keep them from going after her or her loved ones and hurting her further.

In the last chapter Bella was with a few friends (non-canon) she had made in Brinnon (the school near Forks) at a concert in Seattle. Having learned that Edward followed her there, she ended her friendship with the guys in order to protect them from being sought after by vampires. She hitches a ride with the first vehicle that lets her, and books it away from the on looking Edward Cullen, who henceforth chases her by car through the streets.

Edward cannot read her thoughts, Jasper can't sense her emotions, and Alice can only murkily see her future. Edward does not understand her behaviour towards him and finds her to be a mystery—but Bella is certain that he knows of her past and is waiting, scared as can be, to find out what he's going to do next—what his plans are.

I hope that overview helps. If any of my old readers from two years ago do happen to read this, please leave me a review and let me know. Again, I am so sorry for the wait and hope you can forgive me and trust me again. Thanks for reading.

Last chapter excerpt:

'Furious and horrified, I ran to my Volvo and followed the direction the man had went, trying to catch his thoughts. In Xavier's, Aiden's, and Trevor's minds it was difficult trying to find improper thoughts—but it certainly wasn't in the man's thoughts Bella was with. Please, let me find her quickly!'

Bella's POV

My heart was beating rapidly in my chest. My thoughts were a buzz. I had just harshly ended my relationship with some of the best friends I'd ever had. I had also thwarted Edward Cullen. My thoughts were intricate and dizzying, flashing by faster than I could comprehend. All I knew was my friends were now safe, and I was rid—even if only temporarily—of the monster who would not let me free.

My mind was on overdrive. I felt like my mind was full of intertwined, dimly lit, endless hallway. I was desperately trying to find my way out into the light. Consumed with this, the fact I was in a truck with a driver whom I had no connection to had yet to enter my mind.

Whether I would ever be able to talk to Greg, Xavier, Aiden, Trevor, Keeton, and Griffin again, as well as how long I had until Edward Cullen made his reappearance, were foremost in my thoughts. The lighter in my pocket, the suitcases I left behind, Renée and Charlie, my past and future—everything was jumbled up and pounding in my head. All security I had was now lost. The only people I had really confided in were now free from my dangerous interaction. Besides Angela, there is no one to support me. And of course, there is still no one, and will never be any one, who can shield and protect me from my impending fate.

I slumped downwards in my seat, letting my head fall limply. The staccato pulsing in my mind had yet to cease. I took a few deep breaths, trying to ease my body into peace. It was then, as my mind calmed down, that I realized where I was sitting. The vehicle I had flagged down was a dingy truck, driven by a greasy man reeking of alcohol. The speedometer showed we were going much above the city limits, and the wayward steering emphasized the drunkenness of the driver. No longer was I scared of males – not human ones. The man at the wheel, though muscular and bulky, seemed weak and harmless. He was safe and he was shelter. A smile spread over my face as I realized how lucky I was to have escaped Edward Cullen—it was a very close call.

I relaxed into my seat and looked out of the window into the landscape blanketed in nightfall.

"Sooo," the man began in a lazy voice, "wat's yur nahme?"


"Murie. Why dat dere's a purty name. A purty name fer a purty gurl." The man winked at me, smiling a toothy grin.

"Thank you."

"Naw, dere ain't no need to tank me, m'only speakin' dur truth." The truck continued to fly down the road, and I found myself barely able to keep enough attention on the man to respond at my cues. I was worried about how long it would take Cullen to find me, and what he was going to do when he did.

"Yer a vury niice lookin' gurl," he took a swig from his flask, "kwite da gurl. Y'know Iv'always wanted a gurl like yer self. Nihce legs, tinney waist, womanly fihgur ... you could make m'very happy, Murie. Dun't cha want ter make meh happy?" I saw him wink at me from the corner of my eye. "T'wouldn't take vurhy much. Just a cuhpull minuhts. Why dun't yeh say we go back t'my place? My buhdies would luhve ter meet ya. We cud spenhd der night tergether, den mayhbe temorrah too. Whatcha say, shugar?" The speedometer had not declined in speed, but only increased. The man had consumed even more alcohol and was edging closer to me in his seat, his glances towards myself becoming quicker.

"Oh, I don't really know. I'm not sure if you'd want someone like me." I pretended to be shy, to stay in his good graces. If I curbed his advances long enough, he would hopefully drink enough to pass out.

"Ehh'curse yer wat I wahnt. I woodent'a said nuthin if I hadden sought soh." He reached his arm towards mine, aiming to rub it against my own. Luckily, his movements were slow and easy to predict.

"Mmm, what are you drinking? It smells so good!" I motioned towards the flask. My diversion worked; he changed the subject immediately, trying to figure out how to tell me what the drink was. To say his mind is foggy would be an understatement.

The odd conversation continued, unsteady on his part and placating on mine. He had been driving us towards a place to stop for the night, but he luckily became weary and passed out. Relief flooded me.

I quickly put the truck in park, then unbelted his seatbelt and pulled his heavy body into my seat. It took much of my strength to do so, but I managed. Anticipation welled up inside me. Cullen was tailing the vehicle. The little space between us was rapidly dissipating.

I dove into the driver's seat, put the truck into drive, and jabbed my foot onto the gas. Ideas of where to go whizzed through my head. Somewhere populated. Somewhere with fire. Somewhere where I can be protected. Suddenly, La Push rang in my mind.


I wasn't certain where I was going, but I somehow vaguely remembered the area from when I was a kid. I thought maybe I could crash at the Black's for the night—though the terror of being back on that reserve consumed me, held me back. Then I let out a gasp as a knowledge I never paid much attention to me dashed into my mind. The legends, the legends from La Push. The Third Wife, the stories... I remembered Jacob Black telling me about his ancestors who were werewolves. About how they fought the "cold ones". And it hit me. Maybe I figured it out before, but somehow forgot in the mass confusion in my mind as only one word echoed through it over and over again: survival. But however it was that I overlooked it, it was finally coming to me know. These "cold ones" are vampires. Bloodsuckers. Filthy, heartless monsters. And the La Push tribe has legends about them. Knowledge, wisdom. They also mentioned stories, mythical fables about werewolves—could it possibly be true? Could there really be a creature out there who could have the power to fight against these cold ones? My mind shifted back to La Push, and I made my decision. Despite what happened on that reserve eight months ago, that was the place I had to be. With Billy and Jake Black. Maybe they can help me, somehow. I can never express how utterly lucky I am that the surroundings were familiar and that I knew La Push was nearby.

Keeping Edward from catching me was hard. His vehicle was fast. I had to resort to taking roads unexpectantly, buying any time I could. The truck was nearing its maximum speed. I was finding it hard to keep control. I had to continuously stay in populated areas, because I was afraid otherwise he'd leap out of his car and chase me by foot. The wheels slid over the pavement like shears on silk. My heart was having a battle in my chest, beating against by insides. My breath was gripping my throat, refusing to exit. The adrenaline shot through me—and Cullen only seemed to go faster.

I finally made it. There, ahead of me, was La Push. I recognized it immediately from my early years and reoccurring visits. Edwards's car seemed to slow to a crawl behind me, as though he was uncertain if he should continue. Already, I could tell I had made the right decision.

Unfortunately, a dark sensation scampered through my stomach as I remembered the last time I was in La Push. What started all of my problems.

I drove down the dark streets at a slower speed, scanning the area for the Black household. Maybe Rachel or Rebecca would be there, too.

Their small house stood out like color in a black-and-white photograph. Safety, security, shelter, and sanctuary were all inside. I pulled the large, rusty black truck up to the house, parked it on the street, then proceeded to ring the bell.

I was anxious. What would I tell them? If I said anything about the man in the truck, they would tell Renée and Charlie. They couldn't come here. I suppose I'll just have to make an excuse.

Reaching for doorbell, my whole being clenched in anticipation.


It was Jake who opened the door.

He was the same I remembered from before the eight months that had passed. Though he was maybe a bit taller, he still had his childish facial features and boyish charm. He was skinny and unintimidating. My eyes skimmed over his beautiful russet skin and long, rumpled black hair. I whisked over his body to meet his dark mahogany eyes, and saw they were doing the same.

He was wearing an oversized shirt with a car dealership logo on it, as well as batman pyjama pants. I had to chuckle at his unchanging style. Then I realized he was in his pyjamas, it was early morning, and I was standing on his doorstep with bloodshot eyes and day-old clothing. I was about to begin to explain myself when Jake began to speak,

"Bella! It's really you! What are you doing here?" His mouth shot into a vigorous grin and his tired eyes lit with excitement. Before I could think of how to reply, his arms were wrapped around me and pulling me towards him. I returned his strong hug. Neither of us wanted to let go. I was afraid when I did, all my problems would catch up with me and I'd collapse. In his grasp, I was safe. Why he didn't let go, I don't know, but I didn't have time to think about it.

"Hey Jake." I smiled up at him through our embrace.

"Hey Bells. Woah, you look tired! What are you doing here? Not that I mind." He winked at me. I laughed.

"Well, I know that I left Phoenix for Boarding School, right?" Jake nodded, "Well, I'm actually over at the one in Brinnon." His eyes widened in surprise, "I was at a concert yesterday, but I uhm, I..." my eyes flashed to the truck, "I went my own way home. A nice man drove offered to drive me, but he had too much to drink and so he had me drive. He passed out after that. I really had no idea where I was, but then I began to recognize the area and could make out that I was near La Push. I hope you don't mind me dropping in like this."
"Oh, not at all! Wow, you must be tired. Here, you can sleep in my room. I'm already awake, anyways. I'll just watch some tv while I wait for you." He enthusiastically led me into the house, but I couldn't agree with his offer. I was scared.

"Uhm, Jake, I...I don't know how to say this, but you know, after last year...well, I was wondering if you could stay with me while I sleep? If it isn't too much trouble for you."

He paused in surprise, and then hesitantly agreed. I could tell he was thinking hard. I think he partially blames himself for what happened to me. If he had've stayed by my side, maybe I would have been protected. Maybe he could've helped fight them or call for help—that's what he's always thought. I'm happy he wasn't there. James and Laurent would've killed him instantly...or worse. I shivered.

Jake put his arm around me and led me to his room. He gave me some of his baggy clothes to wear and while I changed he wrote a note to Billy to let him know what was going on and to know not to disturb us.

I crawled into Jake's bed and he followed. Snuggling beside him, for the first time in months I went to sleep with the slightest smile on my face.


I woke up with the sun low in the sky, still lying beside Jake. He was flipping through an automobile magazine. When he felt me stretch he put it down and flashed a smile, "good afternoon sleepy head." I smiled in response. "Ready to get something to eat? I bet you're starved! I know I am!"

"Yes please."

Jake led me into the kitchen and began to fry some eggs. He said I could shower while he cooked, and I couldn't help but give him another suffocating hug. I practically skipped to the shower. By the time "breakfast" was ready, I was clean and dressed.

"So, you're really just over in Brinnon?"

"Yeah, Heritage Collegiate."

"That's awesome! We'll definitely have to get together more often."

"Yeah, of course."

"So, your truck out there is gone."

"I guess he didn't want to stick around." I said, thinking about what the man must have thought when he woke up.

"It's alright, I can give you a lift back, but you better stick around for a bit first. I know when Billy gets back he'll be more than excited to talk to you."

"Where is he?"

"He's fishing with Harry Clearwater," Jake shrugged.

We began to discuss what had happened since we last saw each other—minus the kidnapping. I told him about Heritage and he talked about life on the reserve. I forgot how much I missed him when he wasn't around.

Jake gave me his cell number so I could call him if I ever needed something, or wanted to talk. I knew his offer wouldn't be forgotten.

I had been trying to figure out how to ask him about the legends of his people, of vampires and werewolves, when Billy came through the door.

"Hey Bella, it's great to see you! How have you been holding up?"

"Oh, alright I suppose. Thanks for letting me stay here to sleep and eat and stuff." I graciously smiled.

"It's no problem! Come by anytime you want, I love seeing you here. Jake does too; you should hear how much he's talked about you since you've been gone!"

A large smile spread across my face, "Thanks Billy."

"Hey, Jake, would you mind driving back to the store and picking up some pizza for supper?"

"Can't we get it delivered?"

"That costs more money."

"Why don't we just have fish?"

"We've had fish almost every night this week. Besides, I want to get Bella something a bit nicer while she's here." He tossed me a half-smile.

"Oh, alright. Wanna come, Bells?"

"Actually, Jake, I'd like to talk to her for a bit, catch up."

"Can't you do that when we get back?"

"Oh, c'mon now Jake, you've been with her since she came here last night, I want a turn." Billy winked.

"She's only been awake for a couple hours."

"Still, it's longer than I've had with her."

"Fine, you can come with us."

"No, I've been out enough today. I'm tired."

Jake looked irritated, so I decided to step in.

"Hey, Jake, after last night I feel like lazing around for a bit. We have all the rest of today, and you driving me home, to talk."

"You're leaving today?" Hurt rang in his voice.

"I don't want to be an inconvenience."

"You're not!" He exclaimed, smiling hugely.

"Alright. But I have to be back for school Monday," I insisted.

"Yes ma'am!" He skipped out the door grinning. His happiness was infectious.

"So Bella, how was the concert?" Billy asked warmly.

"It was alright I guess, nothing too special."

"Your friends didn't want to drive you home?"

"No, I left a lot earlier than they're going to be. It was supposed to last the weekend."

"Why'd you leave early?" Billy wrinkled his brow in questioning.

"I don't know. I wasn't really into the music."

"Oh, I see. So, how's Heritage?" He watched me intently, as though searching for something.

"How do you know I go there?"

"It's the only boarding school in the area."

"Oh, yeah, right."

"Well...?" He pressed.

"It's pretty good, I guess." I shrugged. I had little to say about the school. In fact, it was the one place I really did not want to think of right then. Billy nodded agreeably, but his expression showed that he knew I was hiding something.

"Say, Billy, I have a question about the legends of your people."

"What do you want to know?"

"When I was younger, Jake told me some stories about the cold ones..."

"He did?" Billy appeared alarmed.


"I knew I should never have taken him to that tribal meeting." Billy mumbled under his breath.

"Are those legends true?"

"What do you mean?" He asked back cautiously.

"Are there really werewolves...and cold ones?"

"That's what the legends say."

"Do you believe it?" I asked, my eyes staring into his, pressing into them, hoping that I could maybe, finally have somebody who understood, and somebody who could at least give me a little bit more knowledge about these cold ones that I have come to hate so intensely.

"Why do you want to know?" He asked hard and serious, not the gentle and friendly tone I was so used to.

"Oh, it's just... I know some people who look like the cold ones..." I hedged.

"What do you mean?" Billy was suddenly staring at me with intense eyes.

"They're pale white, unusually attractive, and very strong; they smell sweet and have the strangest color eyes." I described in the best detail I could, the detail that follows me around nightmarishly, day after day.

"Like the men who kidnapped you?" He let out, barely above a whisper, but still in the hard tone. I could almost sense fear in it, but I perhaps was just imagining that, making up things that weren't really there.

"Yes." I answered, matching his quiet tone, except I couldn't say it hard, only gently and dripping of fear – all in that one short word. But maybe he missed it.

Billy let out a sigh of worry and anguish.

"Did you notice anything...unusual...about how the men who kidnapped you acted? I mean, not that what they did wasn't 'unusual'..." Billy seemed uncomfortable. I was too. Thinking about James and Laurent send chills up my spine. "I should've asked you once you returned home, but with the hospital and then you being sent off to boarding school, things were so hectic. But I need you to tell me what you know." His eyes probed mine.

"I'm sorry Billy, but I've already said enough. I can't tell you more about them unless I'm certain you know what I'm talking about."

Billy nodded soberly. "I understand. Well, from what you've said they do seem like the cold ones from the stories, another name for them being, well, being..." he stopped, his voice changing to a whisper, "...vampires."

"Do you believe the stories are true?" I whispered urgently.

"Any legend of my people holds at least some truth." He responded elusively, while sizing me up intensely. It was as though he was trying to find something hidden in the depths of my eyes, in the small fidgets of my body, in my shape and figure and size and every feature, he was probing me. "Have you ever...seen...a, uh, a ... a cold one?" I asked.

"Have you?" he questioned back.

"Please Billy. I can't say anything if I don't know how much you know."

Billy measured me with his eyes, speculating. Time seemed to drag on as I waited for him to respond. Then, as though I had passed some unwritten test, he spoke again. "Yes. I do believe the legends are true, and I think you do too." He paused, the proceeded cautiously, "were the men who kidnapped you cold ones? ...Vampires?"

The next word, so very faint and quiet, managed to fight its way out of my mouth, "...yes." Just one small word. One small, quiet, whimpering whisper.

"And you're still alive?" He pressed, his eyes flaming with the passion, the desire, the need to know.

"Yes. I managed to find a fault in their actions." I whispered, an urgency underlying every word I spoke.

"Tell me more." He replied, stern yet cautious.

"No, not right now. There's something else I need to tell you about." I insisted, the urgency dripping from my mouth, far more than an undertone now.

Billy nodded, agreeing.

"I escaped from those two cold ones, but at my Heritage Collegiate there are seven others. One of them especially seems to have something against me, as though he knows something."

"Seven?" Billy whispered unable to mask his surfacing horror. He jumped quickly to the next burning question, "What is the name of the one who especially dislikes you?"

"Edward Cullen." I spat, though perhaps I only spat it in my mind, and it only came out as a whisper to him. I cannot say for sure, my mind is just too cluttered up to tell left from right.

Fear and panic washed over Billy's face. "I know him. Or, I've heard of him. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, and Edward. All Cullens. They once lived in Forks, years and years ago when my grandfather was young."

He knew. He really knew. He knew what vampires were, he understood the horror of bloodsuckers, he understands the absolute abhorrence I have been through, what I am still going through. He understands, he knows. I never thought I'd be having this conversation with someone, that during any time in the remainder of my short life I'd be able to console with another human, talking about the disgusting race that terrorizes and victimizes us humans. But this is really happening.

"I know them. All of them. Except, there is a man named Jasper and girl named Alice with them now." I replied, as quick as I could what with the mess of thoughts spinning through my head.

"Do they . . . " Billy began, but before he could finish the door was frisked open and in appeared Jake, two large pizza boxes in hand.

Our conversation was cut off, for now.


Though Jake interrupted our conversation, the peace of knowing that someone else knew, without me telling them, consumed me entirely. I was able to laugh and joke and smile with them, because I knew with them was safety. The Cullens are scared of this area, of the werewolves from the tribal legends. For now at least, I have some safety. And two warm, amazing friends to love me.


The day passed peacefully, the three of us catching up in the best way we could, both of them careful to sidestep anything which could have any reference to the time I spent missing, pinched from this very area I had previously thought of us a second home. No, we avoided the subject entirely, focusing on lighter, airier, happier subjects. Though I was impatient for time alone with Billy again to talk further, I could not help but enjoy time with people who I've known for so long, who I love so completely, whom I consider my very own family, without the huge, nagging fear of being found and hurt by those who tortured me. Or worse yet – the fear of others I love being hurt by them. Of course, the fear was still very much present in my mind, but the house and the family in it gave me such love and comfort that I was able, miraculously, to push most of these thoughts out of my head for the afternoon and evening. Soon a day had fully had passed, and I could not remember a single time I had smiled and laughed more since I escaped from the two "men" who changed and debased my life forever.

It was getting late, and I started to get nervous as the sun disappeared and darkness filled the air, and the idea of the encroaching night here, not knowing any more information from Billy, terrorized me. I had to know at least a little bit more. And luckily, when Jake finally left my side to shower, I had a few precious minutes to talk to Billy. He seemed to be having the same thoughts as I was.

"Bella—" he began as soon as Jake excused himself. I was intent on him, eager to absorb whatever information or comfort he would give me. "There is so much more I have to tell you, and so much more that I want to learn from you. However, I don't want Jake getting suspicious. I already know that he doesn't understand why I insisted on sending him out, without either you or I, this afternoon to pick up our dinner, and I don't want him prying and trying to get out anymore information. I promise that I will most definitely make a trip to Brinnon to see you one day this week when Jake is in school, but until then I have a book I want to legend you which records in writing the oral legends of my people. I know the information will be of great use for you. There is also a young man here I need to speak with about this, a man apart of the Council of Elders. He will be able to help you; to help us," Billy spoke, his voice strong but quiet, forceful in a way that showed how very vital every word he was saying was. But, before he could get even one more word in, the water stopped. Our short time together was almost at an end. "My house is always open to you, and I encourage you to stay here as often as you possibly can. I will speak to the elders and form some kind of plan to protect you. These Cold Ones, bloodsuckers, as you call them, will not terrorize you forever. I promise I will do everything in my power to protect you. I think of you as my own daughter, Bella, and..." he began to choke up with the next words, tears coming to his eyes. Pain clouded over the entirety of his figure, his orbs watery and sad. "...and...I just...I'm so very sorry I couldn't have protected you that day. If only I had've been more attentive, inquisitive, maybe I could have.. m-maybe I could have helped you, s-stopped them. . ." he was choking over his words, ". . . somehow."

Tears flowed to my eyes, too. I had wished so badly before I understood what monsters the two men were, that Billy and Charlie would have protected me, saved me from all I had to go through. But as time passed I was nothing but grateful that they were at least able to save themselves. But, if there possibly are werewolves on their land, why didn't they send them to save me when they learned what had happened, who I was taken by? I questioned to myself, becoming angry and bitter and completely saddened by the possibility. But even if I tried, I couldn't have continued feeling the anger or bitterness, because I knew from my heart that if there were anything they could have done, they would have risked their lives, their everything, to protect me. "It's okay Billy, it's okay." I whispered, comforting, my last words to him before Jake cracked open the bathroom door.

That was the last words spoken for the night, before Billy situation Jake and I in his room, him in a sleeping bag on the floor, I cuddled into his bed.

Though we both ended up in the sleeping bag on the floor before the sun arose. Even in a house where I felt safe and protected, my unconscious thoughts always found reason to wake me from my sleep with plaguing nightmares.

But, morning soon came.

My second day with the Blacks passed much the same as the first, with gentle smiles and genuine laughter, and love that warmed the house from top to bottom. I wished I could have never returned to school, but I couldn't make the Cullens anymore suspicious, and I certainly couldn't have the office calling my parents telling them of my absence, as it would only lead them right into the home of the beasts—the one thing I gave up returning to my formerly quaint and cozy home in Phoenix to prevent.

Billy drove me back to the school in the afternoon, me squished between him and Jake in the front seats as we continued our chit chat and playful jokes to the school. I learned about what Rachel and Rebecca were up to, what was happening at Jake's school and learning more about his friends, Billy's fishing stories and old tales about the town and the family line. I told them about my classes and about the few friends I made (excluding Greg and the rest of the guys, for their safety). Time passed so quickly I could barely believe we were already at the school. Though a sinking feeling thudded through my stomach, there was still the light, tingling sensation of hope all through me. Clutching my bag with Billy's beloved book inside it, I departed from the Black family.

"Have a fun week Bella, you need the extra laughter," Jake smiled hugely, accenting the sentence with a wink. "And you better come here again ASAP! I've missed you like crazy Bells!" He exclaimed, grabbing me up into one huge bear hug. My heart warmed at the action.

Billy was next, giving me a strong yet gentle hug, and patting my back as he whispered in my ear, "Be strong Bells. We better hear from you soon. I need to hear from you soon. I need to make sure you're safe, that you're okay. And that you're happy. Or, as happy as you can be with all that you've been through and that's going on. I love you like one of my own." He let go and smiled a full, but sad, smile.

We sad a few more goodbyes, then they returned to their vehicle and drove away, waving all the way.

I walked over to sit on my favourite bench in the parking lot, eager for a chance to play everything over in my head. The beauty of the cool and crisp November day drew me to the bench even more. Though I was scared to be back at this place—of the Cullens' and Edward chasing me, of Greg and everyone and the awful thing I had to say to them, and the pressure of having to act like a normal teenage girl, I was still able to look forward to pulling out my note pad and doodling while playing everything though in my mind.

Then, once I saw down but before I had a chance to so much as open my bag, I saw the dark, malicious eyes I had come to recognize so well during my time here so far. It was a Cullen. The very one who followed me to Seattle this weekend, who there also watched me intensely from afar, studying me. The very Cullen who chased me through the streets as our racing vehicles stuttered and sprawled through the area.

It was then that I thought really, very fast. Maybe it wasn't the best decision, but I didn't have time to think options and possibilities through. There was a tree planted in an island in the parking lot right by my bench. It was tall and strong with a large trunk, its top nearly empty but a few crunchy, brown leaves adorning it. I arose, pulled up my sleeves, and began to walk away. Five, ten, fifteen steps. That should be good, I thought. With about twenty large strides between the tree and I, I raced at it with all mymight. One foot ahead the other, fast, forcefully, sprinting. The wind ripped at my hair and my feet slammed against the pavement as I threw myself toward my target. The skin of my arm tore against the bark, and my body slammed against the grass. As the surface of the skin was sliced through by a sharp piece of the tree's bark, and as I was thrown toward the ground, I let out a thunderous, deafening, high-pitched scream.

I fell to the ground and began to gasp with the pain. Edward did not come closer. He saw and smelt the blood and merely backed up, his eyes still plastered onto my being. He wouldn't dare go after my blood in such an open place, especially not with what was happening now—

Ms. Cope dashed through the doors, nearby curious and some even alarmed students and teachers followed behind. My thoughts were misty. I hadn't quite meant to push my arm into the tree quite so hard, and I certainly hadn't notice the one sharp bump in the tree's bark. The laceration was deeper than I intended—but I did what I had intended to do: I surrounded myself with an audience to keep Edward Cullen from doing whatever it is he wanted to do to me. Whatever it was he had been chasing me down in his car for. Pained, but yet happy, I let the gentle murmuring ache in my head overwhelm me, and I passed out.

It wasn't until after I awoke that I realized how foolish it was of me to not have been more careful in the damage I did to myself. The slit in my skin would need stitches. Now, I really wouldn't have otherwise minded this. No, I wouldn't have cared about the pain or the damage even in the slightest.

That is, if my doctor wasn't a callous bloodsucker eager for a chance to get me alone.

'Why couldn't I have just gotten Billy or Jake to have walked me to the door in the first place? Stupid, stupid...' I berated myself. Then, from my place lying on the examination table, I watched as the office door opened and the blonde-haired doctor walked in. Then the one, overwhelming question rang through my mind—What do I do now?


.*. The non-canon guys from the band are mostly out of the story now. How does that make you feel?

.*. So, we finally see some of the Blacks. Woo! Your thoughts?

.*. How long have you been reading this story and waiting for an update? Are you a newer reader to the story, or an old faithful ready to have killed me (or at least strangle me till I promise to have told you how the story would play out)? Again, I am SO SORRY! Please, leave a review, whether new or old to this story.

I will be updating ASAP. I promise.