Chapter 3

The rest of the day trailed on as normal for most, and I spent the afternoon considering how fat I should take the new news. For the sake of convenience and lowering the level of stress, Edward should probably get Bella away from Forks for the time anyways. During Math I focused on the timing of the visit; I estimate some time on Saturday. With Bella gone the rest of us can focus on Victoria. I still hadn't decided whether it would be best just to chase her out of town or not, but knowing Edward he is going to want her gone ... for good. If it is just her, as my visions are telling me now, then all of us should have no problem surrounding her and cutting her off, I am only worried about how long that might take us.

At the end of the day I knew that I would have to play it off as if nothing happened, and wait to talk to Edward about it until he comes home from Bella's tonight. I jumped into the back of the car before most of the students made their way to the parking lot.

As Edward came into view he was walking with, not only Bella, but Mike Newton as well. This was odd, but I suppose I would have seen it if I wasn't focusing on our predicament with Victoria It seems as if they were talking about car problems, and I could faintly hear the conversation. What did catch my attention, however, was Edward's offer.

"I know a few things - I could take a look, if you like. Just let me drop Alice and Bella at home." Wow, Edward must really not be in the mood to talk to anyone about what happened today at lunch, including me.

The two crossed, leaving Mike behind who must have declined the offer, towards the car, and were relatively quiet getting in - I chose to boost the conversation.

"You're really not that good a mechanic, Edward. Maybe you should have Rosalie take a look at it tonight, just so you look good if Mike decides to let you help, you know. Not that it wouldn't be fun to watch his face if Rosalie showed up to help. But since Rosalie is supposed to be across the country attending college, I guess that's not the best idea. Too bad. Though I suppose, for Mike's car, you'll do. It's only within the finer tunings of a good Italian sports car that you're out of your depth. And speaking of Italy and sports cars that you stole there, you still owe me a yellow Porsche. I don't know that I want to wait for Christmas." Actually, I knew that I couldn't wait for Christmas, and through everything I still had my visions on the look out for any hints that Edward wouldn't want to wait either. It's things like this that Edward pretends to let slip his mind, such as buying a wonderful car for his wonderful sister who saved his life, which I try to remind him of any chance that I get.

"And speaking of Rome," I continued, "Angela and I have been planning a weekend trip to Los Angeles, but there are only so many places that you can visit and shop there. I really wanted to take Bella on a grander trip. It has been so long since the two of us have done anything really fun together, and I want to do something nice for her. Right Bella?" I didn't really leave time for her to answer. "So I was thinking ... do you think it would be worth asking Charlie if we could steal Bella for, say, a week to take a REAL shopping trip to Rome? or London Maybe? I'm sure I could work some magic on him, he does seem to like me more than you, or maybe we just shouldn't ask him at all."

At this point we were almost home. Edward would drop me at the edge of the drive way as usual, and I began wondering if Bella would ask him about what happened at lunch. We pulled up to the edge of the winding road. I hopped out. Please find a way to get her out of here, Edward. We will explain everything when the time is right, but it will just be easier if she's not in the picture when Victoria gets here. I was satisfied with the slight nod he gave before driving off again.

I almost wanted to go inside and pretend like nothing had happened; I wanted to wait for Edward to return, but I knew that we had to keep everyone informed, and the more time we have to plan the better.

I walked up the steps to the large door, just standing, looking at it as if it were a way for me to keep all of my visions hidden from everyone else. I knew I had to face them at one point or another, so I opened the door slowly, hoping that I wouldn't be bombarded with people.

As soon as the door opened a flash of blues and greens blurred before me, and then a crash. Emmett and Jasper were in the middle of one of their wrestling matches - Emmett winning as usual. Their cheerful mood would make this news that much harder to deliver. It wasn't that this was anything to get upset about, but it would cause tension, especially with Rosalie who still had not warmed up to any activity involving Bella, even if she wouldn't be there.

"Sorry, darling," Jasper was at my side, "but I don't really have time to talk." he pressed his lips to my cheek and gave a slight smile, but in another instant, he was gone with Emmett right behind him.

I would have to tell them ,and soon. I knew Edward would keep Bella out of the loop for her own protection and to keep her from worrying; despite the years, she still doesn't quite trust our abilities, especially with a single vampire.

Rosalie came blithely down the stairs in one of the new outfits that we had picked up. She searched the room for Emmett, obviously looking for his approval and praise of her new outfit, although for what it's worth, eh wouldn't notice any of it without being prompted.

Maybe I should start with Carlisle; he would most likely be level headed about the prospect. I couldn't bring myself to dampen the overall cheerful mood of the house. Since Carlisle had mentioned this morning his early departure from work, and since he wasn't in sight I headed to his study. As I took the first step up the stairs, I was blinded by a vision.

Edward's car pulls up in the drive way the sky is dark, but it is too early to be completely black; it is probably just after dusk. This is strange that Edward would be back from Bella's so quickly. Edward steps out of the car, but crosses around to the other side before making his way to the door. he opens the car door, and I am able to recognize her by the shoes alone.

"Bella's coming!" I couldn't even take the couple of steps back down the the main floor before Esme poked her head around the upstairs corner.

"Tonight?" In addition to the excitement in her voice, a slightly frantic look crossed her face; I didn't need a vision to know that she would be worried that the house would not be in good enough condition for any guests no matter how many times they have visited us.

"Yes, Esme, tonight," I looked outt eh window at the already setting sun, "she should actually be here in about an hour or so."

"Well, wonderful, but why without much notice? Is something wrong?"

I couldn't explain everything just then, Esme was already worried about having guests, let alone a vampire coming to town. I focused.

Bella sits beside Emmett looking right at home as she continues in conversation with Esme.

"No, there is nothing wrong. She is probably just looking for a change of scenery, she just got ungrounded, you know"

"Oh, how lovely. I wish I had food." A loud crash came from downstairs. "Oh, and would you tell those two to cut it out, we are expecting guests and I would prefer not to have any broken furniture."

"Of course, and she has probably already eaten." I turned and proceeded down the steps.

After convincing the boys to do their damage outside, I surrendered myself to the confines of y room to consider the best course of action.

Could Victoria be the cause of so many fatalities in Seattle? I thought that we had determined them to be caused by a new vampire, probably a newborn stranded after being bitten. Victoria would know better than to be so messy in such a populated area. Or could she have done this on purpose to distract us from seeing her coming sooner. Why now? Why alone if she knows that there are so many of us? What was she planning?