From the Journal of Edward A.M. Cullen: March 17, 2005. Bella's bedside, Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona.

How many times have I wanted to kill her?

How many times has she nearly died—because of me?

And yet, as I sit in this hospital room at her bedside, shamming sleep-- she is merely sleeping.

Images flicker behind my closed eyelids. Bella, broken and bleeding, reflected a thousandfold in shattered mirrors. James' taunting, gloating eyes meeting mine as he bit her, staking a claim on what is mine.

Flames, flickering, roaring to life, reflected in the shards, reflecting my rage, my pain, my longing...


Scents. Gasoline and fire, burning wood, the incense smell of James' decapitated body as it burned.

But none so compelling as the scent of her blood, flowing freely from her head, her wrist, her leg...

It is too much...the beautiful, terrible crimson rush, every drop of it a separate flame in my throat, pooling, wasted-- scattering my thoughts like ashes in a high wind; there is only ---need.

"Edward, you must do it now, or it will be too late." Carlisle urged

If I do nothing, she will change, and suffer the tortures of the damned in the process. If I let her become as I am, will she hate me? If I try, if I taste her, I could kill her. I want her desperately.

"There is a chance. See if you can suck the venom back out. The wound is fairly clean."

Clean, but for the presence of my enemy in her beloved body.

She screams in agony, her body thrashing in helpless convulsions and I feel the pain as if it is in my own body, every scream a venom-filled bite piercing me, a fire burning away my fear, my doubt, my indecision.

I love you, I thought to her fiercely as I bent my mouth to her wrist. You must live!

I taste the burn of venom and the harsh tingle of morphine, and intermingled between them both a promise of ecstasy. It sings, but the music is indistinct—the venom and the morphine distort its perfection. I concentrate harder to isolate the venom taste, and as I draw it out the taste that calls me becomes stronger.

The venom is gone and the pure taste of her flows into my mouth.. My breathing labors and my loins tighten at even the memory of that taste. Of her. Liquid light burning its way through my body and leaving rapture in its wake, ecstasy too intense to bear..

For the briefest of seconds, an altered state of consciousness-- the burning ballet studio, Carlisle across from me, Bella between us, quiet and still. Too quiet. Too still.

I pull away.

I open my eyes.

Thank God—she is only sleeping.


A/N: If you like this story well enough to favorite it, please also take a moment and review. Tell me what you like about it, whether I'm doing Edward justice, and what other journal entries you'd like to see. I really love input!