A/N Okay, so this is the Rose POV. I think you'll love it. It's Rose, Emmett and they are FBI guys – soon to be recruited with the FPI. What's not to like? Be sure and read the "LKA: Superhero Saga; Stage One," and "Sidekick Registry: Superhero Saga; Stage Two," to get background for this POV. I mean, this could stand alone, but it helps. Plus, Leah has some funny kick-ass one-liners. ;D

Thanks for reading our summer indulgence as we share our love for comics and manga in this wild AU superhero saga. : ) Get into it people!

Partners for Life

(Rose's POV)

I looked over at the buffoon the agency had saddled me with and grimaced as he shoved half a hot dog in his mouth. He was disgusting.

"Umph mumph good you umph mumph one," he mumbled over at me and I wrinkled my nose with distaste.

"Pardon me?" I pushed my glasses further up my nose. "I couldn't understand you with all the food in your mouth," I added quietly under my breath, ".... stupid oaf."

"I said this is so good you should try one," Agent McCarty repeated himself more clearly looking over at me, his light brown eyes shining with mirth at having annoyed me. I don't know why he persisted in pushing all my wrong buttons; it was like he took some sort of perverse pleasure from getting me riled up.

"I'd rather not eat the intestines and other animal organs and bits that go into those sausages," I retorted rudely and Agent McCarty just roared loudly with laughter, a couple of bread bits flew out of his mouth, landing on the dashboard of the car. This was my first field assignment and I get the man who can eat half a pig as my partner. Great, just great….

I had been introduced to Mr. Emmett McCarty two days ago. I had been on my boss' case for months about getting out and doing some field work instead of always working at a desk and I had finally been given my first case - and my first partner. I had to wonder if my boss was high or senile when he partnered me with Agent McCarty. We were complete polar opposites. He was new to the agency, recruited fresh from the Phoenix Police Force, loud and opinionated, and always wore an annoying smile. I had been working for the agency for five long years behind a desk and I had earned my right to this case; I had been top of all my classes; I strove to be the best and now I was stuck here in a car in Sedona with Agent Emmett McCarty.

"This is ridiculous, the anonymous tip said that something interesting would be happening here and there is nothing going on," I snapped impatiently, then pointed to people as I listed them exiting the hotel, "Family on their holiday, Native American girl, couple on their honeymoon."

Agent McCarty chuckled looking over at me, wiping away most of the mustard that had somehow made its way onto his face. He was charming in a boyish way, but it was irritating to me. He was just so calm and relaxed about everything.

"You're way too high strung, sweetheart - just relax," Agent McCarty commented, stretching his arms out, and then maneuvering one around my headrest before leaning into me with a wink, "I'm enjoying spending time with you."

"Well the feeling isn't mutual," I growled grabbing his arm and placing it back on his side of the car before retorting, "And don't call me sweetheart."

Agent McCarty pouted, "That hurts my feelings Rose."

"It's Agent Hale, or you can call me Hale for short," I reminded him shaking my head in exasperation. I had told him again and again, and still he persisted in calling me by my first name.

"But Rose is such a nice name," McCarty protested smoothly.

I glared at him in response and Agent McCarty smiled widely, ending in the slightest smirk. I rolled my eyes. The oaf still had mustard on the corner of his mouth.

"You still have mustard," I pretended to wipe my mouth on the side where the mustard was and Agent McCarty raised his hand to the wrong side rubbing his cheek.

"…Where? …Here?"

"No it's…"

"Here?" He still wiped at the wrong side. Did he have a learning disorder?

"No…ugh just let me."

I leaned over with a towlette from the dashboard, and dutifully wiped away the mustard. Agent McCarty's hand shot up and took my hand, effectively keeping me on his side of the car, our faces inches apart.

"Has anyone ever told you that you have really beautiful eyes? Like amazingly beautiful?" Agent McCarty asked staring up into my eyes and I felt my breath hitch in my throat as my mouth dropped open in shock at his forwardness.

Get a hold of yourself Rosalie Hale, I yelled at myself, forcing my mouth to close.

"That is highly inappropriate," I scolded him pulling back automatically and putting that comforting space between us. A little flustered I brushed fallen bangs from my forehead, and then pushed my glasses up my nose. "Don't push a sexual harassment charge, Agent McCarty."

"Sorry." But he didn't seem sorry at all. I opened my mouth to begin a lecture but he shushed me as he pointed out a figure stalking back to the hotel and passed me the binoculars, "Hey partner, it's the Native American girl from before. She wasn't out very long, she actually looks…scared almost."

I raised the binoculars to my glasses and peered through them. The girl was tall, supple and lithe body, face was pale considering her dark complexion, and overall apprehensive looking. Her face was flawless, a little hard looking, which made me think she didn't smile very often. She must have to put up with a horrible partner too. We watched as she returned to the hotel in a hurry.

"Think she knows something?" I asked him curiously handing the binoculars back.

Agent McCarty peered through them quickly, biting his lips thoughtfully. "I don't know, she's not from a local tribe."

"How would you know?"

"Well we're in Hopi, Apache, and Navajo territory. She's not any of them. She looks more like the Native Americans up north."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm from around here – grew up here - and I know." He turned to me, "especially the beautiful ones I've studied extensively."

"Oh," I breathed, "you are a boor."

"Maybe we should keep an eye on her."

"She doesn't fit the profile," I mused pulling out the file and reading through it quickly, "Whoever has been killing all those people works in a group, at least four or five of them. She's obviously alone, and definitely single."


"We keep looking, lets do some leg work tomorrow – for now, I'm tired."

"All right," Agent McCarty looked back at the hotel before starting the car and driving to the motel that the agency had booked for us.

I glared at the receptionist and folded my arms across my ample chest.

"What do you mean you don't have a booking for us?" I demanded then I turned to Agent McCarty who was standing a little too close to my right, "McCarty, you called and reconfirmed the hotel like I told you to, correct?"

Agent McCarty smiled innocently but said nothing. He didn't book the hotel; I knew I should have done it myself.

"Do you have any rooms available?" I demanded and the receptionist checked her computer screen lazily, pausing to glance up at Agent McCarty with a flirty smile. I snuck a quick glance at Agent McCarty who winked at the girl. I rolled my eyes - Pig.

"I have one available," the receptionist told us reluctantly holding up a key as her eyes drifted to Agent McCarty again and I snatched it from her grasp.

"We'll take it."

I understood the receptionist's reluctance to rent us the room when I walked in - one bed. This was the mission from hell. I dragged in my overnight bag and Agent McCarty followed in after me carrying a small duffle bag.

"Oooh one bed - cozy," Agent McCarty whistled when he saw the bed and I sighed with frustration. This was definitely not my week.

"You should get acquainted with the floor since that's where you'll be sleeping," I snapped grabbing a pillow and shoving it in his chest and Agent McCarty's face fell. Like a kid who had just been told he couldn't have any ice cream.

I decided to have a shower before bed so I grabbed my bag and walked into the bathroom without further words. Once in the bathroom I locked the door and put down my bag turning to the mirror sighing deeply. I unclipped my hair, letting my blonde tresses fall to my shoulders. When I was working I wore my hair pulled back from my face, twisted at the back of my head, it wasn't often I let it fall loose like this. My ivory skin was smooth and free from blemishes. My eyes were sapphire blue; Agent McCarty wasn't wrong, my eyes were very beautiful. I wasn't conceited or anything, but I knew my eyes were my best feature. In some jobs women used their looks to sleep their way to the top but that wasn't me, if I was going to get to the top, I would get there on my brains alone.

I took a quick shower, changing from my sensible black dress suit to my plain pair of pale blue cotton pajamas. Satisfied that I was presentable I exited the bathroom and found Agent McCarty asleep in the middle of the bed, snoring gently. I glared down at him in frustration but I couldn't help but notice that his face took on an innocent, boyish look when he was sleeping. I contemplated kicking him off the bed but he was too large for me to physically remove and I doubted he would move willingly. I grabbed the same pillow I had pushed at him earlier and settled into the small armchair. It was uncomfortable but I shifted a little and then closed my eyes. I would lay down the law about the bed tomorrow, for now, I really needed some sleep.


"Hey there sleeping beauty, time to get up," I heard Agent McCarty call out merrily and I opened my eyes and found myself on the bed with Agent McCarty leaning over me, a smirk across his face. He must have freshly showered, I could smell his cologne and his hair was still wet. I placed a hand on his shoulder and pushed him back forcefully as I sat up.

Damn, I had a crick in my neck from sleeping on that stupid armchair.

"How did I get here?" I asked confused rubbing my neck and Agent McCarty smiled innocently.

"I moved you this morning; you looked pretty uncomfortable on that chair."

"No thanks to you," I muttered but Agent McCarty purposefully ignored it.

"I checked in with headquarters, they received another tip that advised us to get to Bell Rock as soon as possible."

As Agent McCarty informed me, I yawned, asking, "What time is it?"

"Eight thirty."

"Is this tip for real?"

"Don't know but I think its worth checking it out."

I sighed. I didn't want to follow this tip and have it be a dead end like yesterday.

"Ok, let me get ready."

It took me less than fifteen minutes to be showered and dressed in my black suit and heels, my glasses perched on my nose. Agent McCarty was ready to go as soon as I emerged and we grabbed our bags and left the room. I went to hand the keys back at the reception and the same receptionist from yesterday was working. She raised an eyebrow as I approached.

"How was your night?" the receptionist asked curiously looking behind me for Agent McCarty.

I placed the key on the desk haughtily looking down at her - "Better than yours." A smirk came to my face as I walked away.

Agent McCarty drove, as the car rumbled across the desert. I searched for any sign of anything out of the ordinary. Suddenly I spotted something. A dark grey vintage VW bug was parked close to the base of Bell Rock, there didn't seem to be anyone else around.

"Over there," I pointed out briskly and Agent McCarty followed my finger with his gaze.

"On it."

When we pulled up beside the car we both stepped out eyes alert and ready to draw our guns if needed. I peered over at the abandoned car then over at Agent McCarty.

"Everything looks clear," he confirmed to me. Agent McCarty knelt down and inspected the markings on the ground, "looks like there was a scuffle here but we missed it."

"There's blood," I knelt next to him and pointed at the dark red substance on the ground and he nodded, frowning.

He stood and moved around to inspect the little bug.

"There are bags in the car, I don't think whoever left them wanted to," Agent McCarty commented then he raced to our car and started rummaging around in the trunk where our bags were. He appeared moments later with a coat hanger and twisted it out before shoving it down the car window and jiggling.

"What are you doing?" I demanded hands on my hips glancing around nervously.

"Breaking into the car," Agent McCarty replied smartly and I raised an eyebrow.

"You know how to do that?"

"I know how to do a lot of things," Agent McCarty turned to me with a wink then he added, "While I'm doing this, why don't you call in and find out who this car belongs to."

I pulled out my iphone and dialed.

"Agent Newton here."

I groaned, Agent Newton - great.

"Newton, I need to find the owner of a license plate number," I snapped into the phone.

"Well if it isn't Agent Hale, how are things with your new partner? You two make out yet?" Newton chuckled at his own joke and I wished that I could punch him through the phone.

"First off you've made a rather inappropriate comment – of which I could file a complaint against you. Second, I'm on field and you're supposed to give me back up – not harassing dialogue. Do I make myself clear, Agent Newton?"

Agent Newton, being a regular pain in my ass, had asked me out on a date once and I politely told him that I wouldn't go on a date with him even with a promise of eternal youth. Ever since the rejection he made it his mission in life to make my life miserable.

"Just put me through to Angela, Newton," I growled in annoyance, primping the side of neatly pulled back hair, and rolling my eyes.

"I'm on it," he muttered, frustrated I'd put him in his place once again.

"Hey Rosalie."

I sighed in relief as I heard the familiar voice. Angela Webber was my only friend at the FBI, and I used the term friend loosely. I talked with her at the water fountain and allowed her to call me Rosalie instead of Agent Hale because we'd worked behind the same desks next door to one another for three years.

"Agent Newton is a jerk," I huffed into the phone and Angela snorted in agreement.

"At least you don't work in the same office as him any more," she commented dryly, "So how can I help you?"

"I need you to run a license plate for me."

"Can do."

"S as in Sam, T as in Tom, J as in Jack, and Five, Zero, Five."

There were the sounds of frantic keyboard punching.

"Ok car is registered to a Leah Clearwater, comes from Forks, Washington. She has a clean record, from what I see – no tickets – nothing."

"Next of kin?"

"Her mother died last year, father passed away five years ago, she has a younger brother Seth Clearwater."

"Got a photo of Leah Clearwater?" I asked hopefully. It would be good if we knew who we were looking for.

"Yup, want me to send it to you?"

"That's why I asked for it." I said, and she laughed. I added, "Do you have a phone number for her brother?"

When the photo of Leah Clearwater popped on my iphone screen I wanted to smack a hand against my forehead. It was the Native American girl from yesterday. Seth Clearwater's number came through, and I gave Angela a quick "thank you," hung up, and dialed Mr. Clearwater immediately. I got his answering machine so I left a message.

"So what do we do now?" I asked while walking up to Agent McCarty.

I glanced around the landscape. There was no sign of anyone around. It looked like a ghost town.

Agent McCarty had managed to open up the car and after sifting through the personal belongings, pulled out a Dell laptop. It was dark grey, not lime green or some other college age girl's color, meaning Leah was a serious person with goals.

"We shouldn't look any further and call this in to inspect. It's against the privacy act," I told McCarty.

He opened the laptop anyway and punched a button to turn it on. "Oops, looks like I hit this button by accident." He pushed the history, and once again, "oops, I'm so clumsy today." He scrolled down the history of sites she'd been searching.

I stood with my mouth agape at how flagrantly he was doing something else illegal.

"Excuse me, Agent McCarty, but cease and desist now."

"It looks like when this screen happened to open up it shows that she's been looking up every newspaper in the country chasing down the same unusual killings we've been chasing down."

"What?" I grabbed the laptop from him. The sun was making it difficult to see the screen. "Oh my - what if she's been behind these killings?"

"I guess that's why we're here."

I closed up the laptop and handed it to Agent McCarty. "You do realize none of this is admissible."

"Doesn't matter - we know Ms. Leah Clearwater is definitely a person of interest and we need to find her. Did you call her brother?"

"How'd you know?"

"I have good ears."

"I left a message."

He nodded and then placed the laptop back into the car and locked it up. "We'll call in someone to tow this thing back to a local station. Have our guys give it a better look. From all the luggage and looks of the interior she's been on the road for a long time. She has a tendency to eat burgers, I noticed – a real carnivore."

He straightened his coat and started walking back to the car. I watched him, and for the first time he impressed me. When it was time for him to be an agent, he was very good.

"Hey, Rosie, let's get some grub," he yelled, while opening the door. "Seeing all those burger wrappings makes me want one."

And then he'd go and squash any positive feelings. What an oaf.


When we entered the burger joint Agent McCarty made a beeline for the counter to order but I took a moment to survey the occupants: a young family, an old couple, a group of rowdy teenagers, and a table of two men. The two men looked strange; they were covered from head to toe in coats, tight black jeans showing excellent contour, sunglasses, and hats. One of them was even wearing a scarf, which looked out of place. They were much too over-dressed for the Arizona heat.

They just sat and I wondered why neither of them was eating; they were just staring in the direction of the young family eating their meal. How very strange.

I moved up to the counter with Agent McCarty as he ordered then he turned to me curiously,

"You want anything?"

I perused the neon menu then shrugged, "A light salad, thank you."

"You should get a burger."

"I don't want a burger."

"Suit yourself."

I pulled out my purse but Agent McCarty was already handing over money. He winked at me. "I got it Hale."

"This isn't a date McCarty," I pointed out.

It took a moment for our order to arrive, and when it did he was served a giant burger with cheese and greasy fries. He scooted it to me, "here have a few fries. You need the protein."

"Fries don't have protein."

"Hmm, they don't?" He popped one in his mouth.

I rolled my eyes, as they brought me my salad and I began to eat it. I turned to see those weird men again, staring at the family.

Agent McCarty grinned widely at me. I ignored him and made my way to a table, and he followed me with that smirk on his face.

I was sitting there watching Agent McCarty inhale his burger when the door to the burger joint slammed open and the strangest looking woman hobbled in, leaning on a big stick. She had one leg, wild red hair, and red dirt all over her. She looked like she had just gone rolling around the Sedona desert. The guy with the scarf was on his feet in a moment running over to her really, really fast. He held her delicately in his arms.

"Victoria," I heard him say to her and then their hushed whispers. They were talking so quietly I wondered how they could hear each other.

I nudged Agent McCarty with my leg.

"Been watching them since we walked in," Agent McCarty murmured under his breath to me as he ate his burger, then raised an eyebrow at me, "What's with them?"

"Probably artists - we are near an artsy community like Sedona," I replied with the only answer that made any sense and even then it didn't seem right.

"Odd group – definitely worth keeping an eye on," Agent McCarty commented shoving fries into his mouth and his head was facing me but his eyes were on the three suspects who were talking furiously now. Scarf Man was getting exceptionally irate. Whatever Red was telling him, really wasn't good news. Child of Emo seemed awkward shifting from one foot to another.

Agent McCarty was right, they did look odd. Scarf Man grabbed Red's arm and practically carried her away, Child of Emo followed obediently, though he did stop to look longingly at the young family before leaving. Agent McCarty got to his feet, wiping his mouth with a napkin before throwing it down on the table.

"Come on, let's follow them, you can run the license plate while we're driving."

I barely had time to protest when Agent McCarty grabbed my hand and dragged me behind him. We got in the car, and he waited for the right moment, pulled out of the parking lot and followed the odd group driving in a long white Cadillac with Nevada plates.

When I got off the phone with Angela my heart was pounding with excitement. We had been following the suspects and to our surprise they were heading back towards Sedona, towards Bell Rock. This was perfect.

"The car was stolen in Las Vegas - the owners were murdered, sucked dry like all the rest," I said.

"And they are heading to Bell Rock… think one of them knows where Leah Clearwater is?"

"I didn't' see her with them, so I suppose we'll have to ask them."

We continued following for 40 minutes and then one of them leapt out and ran across the desert faster than I'd ever seen a human run. This wasn't right. The heat was causing my eyes to play tricks on me.

Agent McCarty pulled over and we watched. The one who had run up to Victoria pointed and then took off running very fast again, this time away from Sedona. The car followed the man who ran too fast to make sense.

"Did you see that?" Agent McCarty stated in total amazement.

"I'm having my doubts… that what I'm seeing… is what… I'm seeing," I said, equally amazed.

"Where do you think they're headed?"

"He seems to be following something," I told Agent McCarty, "quick, let's not lose them."

He hit the gas and we started following them once again.

Both McCarty and I were in a bit of shock, but still did our job, keeping these possible murderers in sight as they sped over the speed limit across the two lane highway. They must notice we are following them. They kept speeding up.

"Should we use the siren?" I asked.

"No reason to yet – we'll keep following."

Once they hit Highway 40 the car was traveling at a constant 70 mph.

"They're headed toward the California border, I think," I said, as Agent McCarty kept pace with the Cadillac. "We'll need to call in once it gets busy."

"Needles isn't exactly a hub of activity. In fact it's pretty dead for hundreds of miles through here. We're in no man's land."

The white Cadillac suddenly left the 40 and traveled south down the 93 toward Wikieup. This was dead. It was all high desert, and there wasn't any traffic.

"Wait, where'd the Caddy go?" Agent McCarty asked.

He drove a little ways further. There were a lot of gorges and scrubby brush, small rivulets that fed to the south and west toward Lake Havasu. I was sure to look over the map.

"There," I pointed out toward the open desert. "It's out there."

We saw the Cadillac parked far out in the desert.

Agent McCarty pulled over. He grabbed some binoculars from the glove box and looked toward the Cadillac. "I don't see anything."

"I don't like this," I said. "I think we were lured here."

"I think you might be right."

Agent McCarty climbed back in the car and there was a sudden jolt. It made my heart leap in my chest. Another jolt and the car was being pushed off the road.

We were searching around the outside frantically, as something landed on the hood suddenly, crushing it. When I looked out the windshield I saw it was a man. A tall, muscular man with wild red eyes and… and something I never thought I'd see, his lips pulled back exposing fangs. His body shimmered in the Arizona sun.

Emmett McCarty was trying to turn the engine and it wasn't moving. The man on the hood effectively ruined the motor when he landed on the hood, smashing it in. Smoke came from underneath.

"What do…we do?" I asked, feeling more fear than I'd ever felt in my life.

Agent McCarty pulled out his gun. "I haven't got a clue."

I looked out and the one legged woman and the other one walked toward us. But now there were more of them, all with shirts off and… sparkling. None of them were covered and overdressed any more. They didn't look human.

In a second, the car doors were ripped off the hinges and I felt a hand grab me hard and yank me out from the car, dragging me across the ground. I tried to fight, but the hand holding me felt like a piece of granite. The creature only laughed as I tried to fight him off.

I heard McCarty shooting at the men, but it didn't seem to harm them.

They dragged us across the desert, and then threw us down on the ground. Before we could stand, the creatures that I knew now were definitely not human, surrounded us.

If bullets didn't harm them, I knew nothing would. We were dead.

"Any…" I was breathing so hard, "any ideas… A-a-agent… McCarty?"

He held around me, pulling me close. I didn't mind the maneuver right now. In fact, it was quite comforting.

"I'm out of bullets – not that it matters," he said.

"I… I," I turned to look at Agent McCarty. His eyes showed such concern for me - his beautiful brown eyes that always smiled. Without thinking I lifted and kissed him on the lips. If this was my last day on earth, I was going to do what I had wanted to do since I first laid eyes on the brute.

He grinned, his eyes searching mine. "Not exactly the time or place but…" he kissed me back, placing his hand at the back of my head, pulling me in tight.

We suddenly heard laughing. The two of us pulled away, but our hands still touched. We were going to most definitely die today.

The one who crushed our hood and seemed to be the leader finally spoke, as he walked up to us. I wasn't sure what they were waiting for.

"Well, well, well, what have we got here?" The young man with extremely pale and shimmering skin said, almost playfully, "Want to tell me why you were following us?"

"We're… on our honeymoon," Agent McCarty said, and I smiled making eyes at him, playing along. "We just thought 93 might be a short cut to take us back to Bell Rock."

I added, "I hear it's lovely at night. They place lights around it and…"

"Shut up!" He grabbed McCarty hard around the throat, lifting him off the ground, showing us that we didn't have a chance. "You're lying - you stink of lies." He threw him back to the ground beside me.

McCarty gave me a quick little smile, showing he wasn't hurt.

"She's pretty, really pretty," Child of Emo was suddenly beside me, touching my hair, sniffing me, and Agent McCarty used his body weight, ramming the creature backwards, so that he rolled off the side of the gorge to the river.

The rest laughed.

The girl said, "He's protective of his partner," and then purring "and so big… and strong – for a human."

They knew we were partners. They were playing with us. What did she mean, "Human?"

Child of Emo leapt back to us, not even hurt by the move. He pointed at McCarty, as if telling him he would pay for that.

"Riley, stop messing around," Scarf Man scolded him and Victoria attached herself to Scarf Man's arm possessively.

"What should we do with them James?" Victoria asked in a saccharine voice.

James glanced over at Agent McCarty and me, like we were nothing. He then laughed.

"Leave no witnesses – but let's make this fun." He looked to me. "I could use someone like you. Would you prefer to join or die?"

"What kind of question is that? Join what?" I was getting pissed.

"Oh come now agent – FBI is my guess. You are investigating the recent deaths of people drained of blood, and somehow picked up on us. How odd. You wouldn't happen to know the wolf girl, would you?"

"Wolf girl?" I asked, completely befuddled.

"So you don't. Well… we really don't want to keep you if you're not worth keeping alive. But I like to give choices. That's how young Riley came about."

Riley - who I now knew Child of Emo to be – nodded, and then said suddenly in my ear, "I was a security guard."

"I have a wonderful idea," Victoria chimed, speaking up, "Let's tie them out there in the middle of nowhere – just like the Indians used to do - and let the sun do a bit of damage until this evening. They'll be begging us to change them when it hits a hundred and twenty degrees or higher. It will be fun to torture them a little and then tonight – I want to change the big one. James – you can have the blonde. You can give her to Riley as a present."

Riley smiled, as he sniffed me again. "Yes, please Master James. I want her."

"You can't have me," I slapped at him and it hurt. He was a rock.

"You okay?" McCarty asked me, rubbing my hand in his. My hand was shaking.

"Barely," I said very quietly. I was terrified.

Victoria smirked and she and Riley grinned toward us, their pearl white teeth glistening.

"What are you… people?" I asked glancing at her.

"Ever heard of vampires?" she whispered in my ear, suddenly beside me. They all moved so quickly. She then backed off and laughed.

I gripped Agent McCarty's hand more tightly, knowing that I was about to die and once again, without thinking I turned and planted my lips on his passionately. I was not dying or becoming a monster like them, before kissing him again. He returned the kiss and he whispered, "I think I love you."

"Same," I whispered.


We were both strapped by leather ties to each appendage, outstretched on the desert floor in between scrub brush, rocks and lots of dirt that blew across from the afternoon hot winds. We tried desperately to get loose the first hour, but to no avail. Now we simply lie on our backs, accepting our fate. With no cover the sun was beating down on us hard. We were covered in sweat.

We'd been here for hours and it was actually nice talking with Emmett. I was calling him by his first name now, and I allowed him to call me Rose. He came from a large family and he was the oldest son. Me, I was an only daughter and from Boston. I had attended Brown, and he attended a community college and then joined the police force.

Our lives were so different, and yet I loved listening to him tell me the story of his life. I'd never met a man like him. He made this not seem so horrifying.

"It's…" my mouth was so dry, "very hot here."

"Yeah." He turned to me, his eyes still smiling though we'd been here hours. "Hold on Rose."

"Not sure… I can."

I glanced to the side and every so often spied the vampires watching us. This was their entertainment – watching us slowly die. But we wouldn't die. They said in the evening they would change us. By where the sun was in the sky it was nearing five or six in the evening. The sun was getting ready to set. I didn't want to be what they were. I didn't want to be a vampire.

"If I could," I told Emmett, "I… I would ask… you to shoot me."

"No…" He turned so that I could see his face. His lips were cracked, and by how mine felt, I knew mine were also.

"Yes," I wanted to cry but I was too dehydrated. "I… don't want to be…" I glanced over at the vampire girl, Victoria… "That."

"Keep hoping. Keep… hoping we'll be… saved."

I realized Emmett was very positive. There was no way we'd be saved from this.

"How cute," Victoria cooed her voice harsh and cruel, having been listening in and was suddenly next to us, sitting on her haunches, smiling with that horrible grin, as if watching us tortured like this was a sport.

Dust was suddenly swirling around us and I coughed. Dust was being kicked up everywhere and the one-legged vampire, Victoria was screaming, "Nooooo – not her!"

"It's the dog!" James yelled furiously.

I hadn't seen him for awhile. What did he mean "it's the dog?"

Agent McCarty and I looked up, to a descending helicopter above us. Jumping from the helicopter hovering above us was Leah Clearwater.

We simultaneously said versions of "Oh… My… Goodness!"

Right before our eyes Leah Clearwater's body transformed into that of a giant wolf and she fell upon Riley ferociously, ripping him apart.

The heat had to have been playing tricks on me. That wolf was enormous. I closed my eyes, passing out.

A/N Haha, okay during that last scene where Leah leaps out of the helicopter, I heard old Batman action scene music start up. LOL

As always, REVIEWS save lives. So please review. : ) Thanks for reading the third stage. I know, cheesy and corny, but you gotta love Rose and Emmett. :D