The Pain that Returned to Kill Me
This is a sequel so if you haven't read PART I yet, then stop right here and go back. If not, then please proceed onto PART II.
It all belongs to SM.
I sat in my Advanced Calculus class on the first day of my senior year. I had just returned from the best summer vacation ever and I was saddened to go back to school, but I knew I had to finish up.
The past two weeks had been glorious. I spent so much of my time either with Jacob or my aunts planning my massive wedding. I spent countless hours on the floor of Alice's room going through every single detail and I thought that we had most of the stuff completed by the first week, but Rose told me that this was just the first version. Apparently, we had to plan at least six different versions of my wedding and I was to pick the best one when it came closer to June. Each edition of the ceremony came with a different dress and a whole new set of decorations. I loved to go through the magazines and see what other brides were planning, but none of it seemed right for me. I didn't let my aunts choose my dresses because that was something I wanted to do with mama later on.
I hadn't told anyone in Vermont about my wedding yet because they would sure as hell find out when they got their invitations in the spring and I didn't want the rumors to start so soon. I was inviting over two hundred people from Newport and even had to trim it down so that it wasn't overloaded. Alexia of course knew about everything and she was actually helping me plan for the wedding, but she promised to not tell anyone besides David. I hadn't asked her yet, but I knew she would love to be my maid of honor. I didn't know who my other bridesmaids would be, but I had time to figure that out later. Even though I hated to do it, I moved my engagement ring to the other hand so that no one would ask too many questions. I thought that would keep people from asking, but I had no such luck. Already, three girls have oohed and awed over my engagement ring and asked me where I got it. I just lie and tell them that it was a gift from daddy, so it would sound more believable. I would be happy to tell everyone I was engaged, but Grandpa said it would just draw more attention so I kept myself under the radar.
Jacob tried to put on a happy face whenever I talked to him about wedding things but I could see the trepidation behind his eyes. He told me that he didn't care what I planned for the wedding as long as we were married but I didn't want to scare him so I eased up on the planning for the time being. I let Alice take over until I got a break out of school. I wanted to plan everyday all day because I loved it so much, but I knew mama would pull the plug on everything if I let my grades slip one bit. Daddy even refused to let me look at wedding books until my first break from school, so I had to push all of that out of my brain so I could concentrate.
I was taking really hard courses this year and was even getting college credit for some of my upper level classes, but they still weren't too bad; just a little more work than usual. Jacob was also taking a huge course load at Dartmouth, but he was well on his way to graduating at the same time I was. His garage was opening in October and I was so proud of him for creating an entire business from scratch.
As I thought about the love of my life, I could feel my insides burning with lust and I knew I had to control myself since I was in public. Since that night he proposed to me, we had only had sex two other times; once in the shower the next morning and another time a couple days ago when the family went hunting. I couldn't explain how that boy affected me because I didn't think it was humanly possible to put it into words. Now that the floodgates had opened, just his touch was enough to send my mind into a dangerous place of passion. I had to watch myself around daddy, but mama had gotten used to leaving her shield up so that I could think freely. She told me that daddy was going insane and there was no reason he should be subject to that kind of torture. I didn't know how long I could last if my family didn't go hunting soon because my body was doing strange things without Jacob's touch. I realized that I needed him more than ever and it took all the strength I had not to rip his pants off whenever I saw him. Everyone laughed because daddy was always the one who wanted to be inside everyone's heads, but now there was no way for him to get out, not that he needed to hear my thoughts to know what we were doing; the sounds coming from Jacob's bedroom where enough for anyone to know.
That's why I refused to have sex with Jacob when anyone was in the house. He would whine for hours about the abstinence, but I still wouldn't budge; it was just too embarrassing. My body did weird things when I was with Jacob and I couldn't control anything that was happening so there was no way to control my screams whenever he "hit the spot". I tried to silence myself, but there was no way and I couldn't do all that when my super-hearing vampire family was in the house, which was all the time.
I loved being with Jacob…that way and it only got better with each time. He made me feel complete and I couldn't ever imagine not being with him now that I had. He was practically my life source and I knew he needed me too. It was like he used to explain it: a steel cable holding me to the earth. There was no way I couldn't see myself with Jacob two, three hundred years from now.
I let my mind wander further until the bell rang signaling the change of classes. I walked out of the room and began heading towards the other side of campus for my music class. Over the years, I had gotten away from playing music but Jacob encouraged me to take it as an elective instead of art. He said I could still paint at home, but I just think he likes hearing me play; I didn't mind.
I was halfway there when I felt someone's cold hand rest on the small of my back.
"Hello gorgeous." A low voice whispered.
"Hello Andy. Is there anything you need?" I asked irritated as I maneuvered out of his grasp.
"Nope, just wanted to welcome you back from break. How was your summer?" He asked in a polite tone.
To tell you the truth, Andy was a really nice guy when he wasn't hitting on me. He knew about Jacob, but that didn't stop him from always hanging out with me. He muscled his way into our group and everyone liked him because he was funny and cute. He continued with the gift giving and when we came back to Vermont after our vacations, I had a huge stack of presents all addressed from Mr. Flowes and Jacob was pissed beyond belief. We all calmed him down before he went over to Andy's house, but he was still mad when I told him that it wasn't that big of a deal. I gave the chocolates to my uncles who used them to play their stupid drinking game and burned the flowers. I donated all the jewelry and stuffed animals because there was nothing that Andy could give that Jacob couldn't. He was still a good friend so I didn't rake him across the coals whenever he came to talk to me.
"Great Andy. Oh and I would appreciate it if you didn't send me anymore gifts, but I know you will anyways." I smiled awkwardly.
"Of course I will sweetheart."
The sound of his pet name made me cringe, but I pushed out the thoughts of me drinking his blood.
"What about you Andy, how was your vacation?" I asked trying to change the subject.
"Fine. I went with my sister to China with our church. It was ok." He shrugged.
"That sounds cool. Did you get to visit Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Army?" I asked.
"What the hell is that?"
"You've never heard of them? Oh my god, its fabulous. The emperor created this huge army in 247 BC when he died and he used them to guard him in the afterlife. You should have visited them. They're of great historical and artistic importance." I rattled off my facts and could tell that my inner nerd was coming out, but I didn't care. Through all my travels, I had never been to China, but I really wanted to go. The only problem was that there were just way too many things to see in China; it would take me an entire month to get through everything I wanted. Maybe I could ask Rose and Emmett to take me when they went on one of their honeymoons.
"No, we didn't get that far, but next time, I'll be sure to check it out." He smiled.
"You be sure to. Its important."
"Well I'll see you at lunch ok Ness?"
"Alright Andy. Bye."
I waved and went on my way to the music room. I walked in and was immediately pulled to a seat by an bubbly Alexia. Her and David were still together and we had already set up a double date for the coming weekend.
"Come on Ness. I have the perfect spot for us." She beamed.
She pulled me into a seat front and center, "Really Alexia? This is way too close. You know Mrs. Put spits." I giggled.
"You haven't heard? We have a new music teacher and he is cute with a capital Q."
"Don't you have a boyfriend and I'm pretty sure, that this new guy is way too old for you."
"David wouldn't mind me just looking. And trust me Nessie, you'll want to look at this one."
I heard the door open and several girls sighed lovingly as the teacher walked into the classroom. He wasn't anything next to Jacob, so I didn't find a reason to ogle him, but I guess he was ok looking. He was young, tall and tanned with dark brown hair that fell over his deep brown eyes. He was muscular and filled out his polo shirt nicely, but of course, no one could ever compare to the way Jacob's muscles tightened with every movement.
"Good morning class, my name is Mr. Roberts and I'll be your new music teacher. Mrs. Put is out on maternity leave and has decided to stay out for the rest of the school year." He smiled and flashed his bright white teeth.
I heard the heartbeats in the room go crazy and looked over to see Alexia practically falling out of her chair. Goodness ladies, let's get ourselves together please; it was embarrassing.
"Let me introduce myself. I am from Los Angeles and just graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in music. I came back here to take care of my mother and the school graciously accepted me. I play almost every instrument, but my best is the trumpet."
He looked around the room, " I want everyone to introduce themselves and give us a little taste of what you can do." He smiled and the hearts went racing again.
This was why I didn't want to take music. I hate performing in front of people, especially my family. Daddy was basically a concert pianist at the age of fifteen and Aunt Rosalie was just as good. Grandma Esme, Aunt Alice and even mama, could sing any tune place in front of them and they all sounded like angels from heaven. Uncle Jasper was a genius at the guitar and Grandpa could play anything from any era. Even Uncle Emmett could belt out any jazz piece on the saxophone and clarinet. He was the best to watch because his massive size made him the perfect deception. He was a beautiful player but hardly ever did.
Each person in the class introduced themselves and began playing their respective instruments. There were a lot of piano players and they were all very good. I shouldn't have been surprised; it was almost an unwritten rule that private school kids had to attend music lessons from the time they were born. I was shocked at how beautifully Alexia played the flute and she could have easily gotten in Julliard if she were to try. Then it was my turn.
"Hi, my name is Renesemee Cullen, but everyone calls me Nessie and I play the piano." I smiled.
"Great, why don't you show us what you've got." Mr. Roberts said.
I went to the baby grand in the corner of the room and sat down. I wanted to play something spectacular so I didn't look like a fool next to the ten other kids who had went before me. I let my fingers rest on the keys and began to drum out the hardest piece daddy had taught me; Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto. I didn't want to look up from my fingers because there was no way I could take the judging eyes of my classmates, so I kept my head down and continued to play the almost six minute song with ease. I let the notes poor from my fingers and sighed happily as I brought the piece to a close. The last note was a deep, dark chord that resonated throughout the entire room and it was strangely relaxing. I got up from the bench.
No one made a sound as I went back to my seat next to Alexia. When I sat down, I could hear her sobbing and looked up to see tears streaming down her face.
"Oh my god Alexia re you ok. What happened?" I whispered.
She opened her mouth a couple of times to try and speak, but she didn't for a minute, "Nessie, that was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. You're better than any fucking symphony ever." She whispered.
I giggled, "Calm down Alexia, it wasn't that good."
She spun me around in my seat and I saw everyone's eyes on me. Their mouths were hanging open and I could see more tears coming out of some of my classmates.
Mr. Roberts got up from his seat and handed me a piece of paper before telling the class our assignment. I didn't listen to him, because I was reading my note.
That was incredibly beautiful and I don't understand why you aren't touring right now. It took me a full year to learn how to play that piece and I still can't do it as well as you just did. I would like you to stay after class so I could have a word with you.
As soon as the bell rang, I told Alexia I would see her later and went up to Mr. Roberts' desk.
"Uh…you wanted to speak with me sir?"
"Yes Miss Cullen. Do you realize how amazing your talent is?"
I blushed red and began to stutter, "It was just something my dad taught me."
"Well I would like to speak with your parents. I want to work with you privately because there is no way I can let you go to waste any longer. I see the talent just sitting underneath you waiting to be set free. I can tell you have more to get out of you. Of course, I'm not as good as you, but I can help you with some technique issues I saw and we can work to hone your already natural ability. That is, if you want?" He smiled.
"Well I'm sure my parents would be happy to consider it, but I'll have to talk to them." I replied.
"Don't worry about a thing. I will call as soon as school is out."
"Ok, well then we'll see what they say." I smiled.
I didn't know how I felt about this. I like playing piano, but not that much. Private lessons seemed like more of a thing a person would do if they were planning on doing it professionally and that most definitely wasn't me, but knowing daddy, he would make me do it because he told me to take every opportunity available.
I walked out of the classroom and made my way to the cafeteria where I saw the rest of my friends sitting at our normal table. I got my food and headed to our spot where everyone greeted me with smiles.
We talked for most of lunch and I didn't even realize it hadn't eaten anything. I picked up the slice of pizza and as soon as the first bite entered my mouth, I knew what was coming.
I rushed myself out of the cafeteria and headed to the nearest bathroom. I locked the door so no one would barge in and laid on the floor while the pain took over my entire body.
Ever since the end of summer, my intense pain crept up on me at any moment. I had a feeling it had something to do with the sex I was having and somehow I knew the two were connected, but I had only had sex a couple times; why would my body be reacting this way? My pains were coming back and with a lot more frequency. It has happened twice since we had gotten home and each time, it felt worse than the last. I didn't tell anyone because I knew it would sent them into a panic, so I just bore it for the five minutes the hurt ripped through my body.
This time was just as painful as the others and I writhed on the floor of the bathroom and tried to hold in my whimpers. I felt the blood drip from my lip as I dug my teeth into it trying to quiet myself. After two minutes of fire in my stomach, it began moving to my back and I knew this was where it hurt the most. My spine began to tingle and as soon as it hit my lower back, I convulsed on the floor so violently that I heard my head crack on the tiled floor, but I wasn't unconscious…yet.
I grabbed onto anything I could reach and heard the steel of a pipe snap under my strength. I took my other hand and dug it into the floor. The third minute brought the pain into my chest and my heart felt like it wasn't going to beat much longer. I felt the blood vessels in my eyes burst as my straining got more and more intense. I had never experience this kind of pain, but I knew I had to keep it all inside so I didn't scare the humans.
The fourth minute dragged on and I prayed that the pain would subside but it only got worse. I couldn't hold in my screaming any longer and let out a wail that I knew would alert someone to my agony. I needed someone no matter how much I was scared. I screamed as loud as I could and hoped that anyone could help me. I screamed for my family and for Jacob who the only one who could stop the pain.
I heard the door being pounded, but I was in too much agony to move. The banging got louder and I heard people shouting on the other side of the door, but I still couldn't move. As the banging got louder, my mind began slipping farther and father into darkness. I tired to hold on by bringing Jacob's face to the forefront of my mind, but it didn't help. I felt the pain shoot into my brain and I knew my darkness was about to take over. I had to stop the hurting before I died; I couldn't even hold on any longer, but I wasn't sure how fast the darkness would come; I had to take the pain away myself.
I lifted my head up off the ground and brought it back down against the tiled floor with as much force as I had. I immediately blacked out as soon as my skull cracked with a deafening snap and couldn't fell a thing.
I didn't know how long I was out, but when I brought my mind back to reality, I felt the throbbing pain all throughout my body. I took a deep breath and smelled the clean smell of antibacterial; the hospital.
I opened my eyes and felt the pain increase as my body became more responsive. I looked around but no one was in my room. I was dressed in the normal hospital gown and heard the beeping of the machines that were hooked up to my arm. There was an IV in my vein so that meant Grandpa Carlisle had gotten to me.
Good. Now I don't have to explain my freakiness to the nurses.
I sat up in my bed and heard my heart rate increase as I exerted more energy. Grandpa must have heard it too because he was in my room within three seconds. His face looked worried and pained.
"Renesemee. Oh thank god. How are you feeling?" He spoke restlessly.
"I'm fine Grandpa, Just another one of my attacks. Nothing too serious." I smiled.
"Nessie, you have to stop putting this off like it doesn't hurt. I know it does and you have to tell me everything." He spoke sternly.
"No, really. I'm fine. Where's Jacob?" I asked trying to change the subject.
He sighed and didn't push anymore, "Everyone's in the waiting room. I didn't want you to be overwhelmed when you woke up. Jacob is about to rip up the nurses; he's so nervous." He smiled.
"Can you get them please?"
"Sure, would you like everyone?"
He kissed my forehead and slid out of the room without making a sound. I rested my head back on the bed and waited for the hugs that I knew were coming.
Ten seconds later, I head the door bang open and before I could even turn my head, Jacob had me in his arms.
"Oh my god Renesemee. I've been going crazy out there. What the hell happened?" He asked while placing light kisses on my face.
I giggled, "Jacob, I'm fine. It was just a small attack."
"NO the hell it wasn't. You fucking banged your head against the floor. The entire bathroom at Vanderbilt has to be redone because you ripped the sinks out of the walls and there's blood everywhere." He replied frantically.
Damn. I didn't know I did all that, but I probably wouldn't have noticed if there was a wild stampede going through the bathroom.
"Really, I'm fine." I tried again.
Jacob lifted up my gown and I was glad I still had on my underwear, "Does this look like you're ok Ness?"
He pointed to my stomach and I saw deep gash marks all over my skin. I didn't know where I got them, but that wasn't really an issue at this point. They were healing, but I could still see the redness around the edges. I didn't know what to say because usually my pain was internal and I could lie about it, but now I had physical injuries and there was no way to hide those.
Before Jacob or I could say anything else, mama pulled me into a hug so tight I thought I was going to be crushed. The rest of my family pulled me into hugs and Uncle Emmett actually lifted me off the bed and the IVs we ripped out of my arm as he spun me around the room. He set me back in the bed after daddy smacked him in the head. Jacob had moved to the corner of the room and I could see the tears start to come out of his eyes. I knew he was just scared for me and this was exactly why I didn't want to tell anyone.
"I'm sorry Ness, but I was going as crazy as Jacob was in that waiting room." Emmett said.
"Nessie, you have to stop trying to hide this. It's obviously more than you've been letting on. Tell me what's going on?" Grandpa asked.
"NO. I said I was handling this and I am." I replied angrily.
"Nessie, you can't lie any more. Tell us what the hell's going on." Jacob said sternly.
I turned my head and sighed, which was a clear indication to leave me alone. I saw daddy nod his head in Grandpa's direction and he left the room without another word. No one spoke for the next five minutes until Grandpa came back with a large, slightly balding man with a white lab coat.
"Renesemee, this is Dr. Vac and he is here to talk to you." Grandpa said and the man moved forward.
I was still mad, but I tried to be polite, " Hello." I said shortly.
"Hi Renesemee, I am just here to talk to you and your family. How are you today?" He asked in a voice that told me what kind of doctor he was but I decided to ask anyways.
"What kind of doctor are you Mr. Vac?"
"Uh…a psychiatrists sweetheart."
I nodded and turned to my family, "You think I'm crazy?" I whispered.
"Not crazy Nessie, we just want to know what's happening to you." Jacob whispered back and came to the side of the bed to take my hand.
"I told you that nothing was going on."
"Ok that's enough Nessie. Its obvious that your lying to everyone because there is nothing physically wrong with you so it had to be something going on mentally." Daddy said angrily. Mama rubbed his back and he calmed down, "We just want to help."
I began to cry and I had no idea why. I was frustrated because I didn't know what was going on with me and I knew it was scaring my family. I wish I could ease their worrying, but there was nothing I could do. It was pointless and I knew no human medication was going to fix my problems, so why should I even try?
Jacob pulled me into his arms, "I'm sorry baby, but we're just trying to help. Please don't cry." He whispered into my hair.
"I know Jacob, but I just don't know what's going on with me." I said back as I wiped the tears from my eyes, "I wish I did, but I don't."
He nodded his head and kissed my cheek, "We're going to figure this out, I promise." He said.
I turned back to Dr. Vac, "So what do you want to ask me?" I whispered.
"Your father tells me that you've been having these pains for about a year? Is there any precursors or anything that sets them off?" I looked at daddy, but he moved his head slightly in Grandpa's direction. Oh that's right, to everyone on the outside, Carlisle was my father.
"No. This time it was a slice of pizza, last time it was just running. They happen all the time since the summer and I can't control them." I sobbed into Jacob's shoulder.
"Hmmmmm….can you explain them to me. What is the pain like?" Dr. Vac asked.
"Ummm…well they used to be just pricks throughout my body and then as the months went on, it increased and now, I can barely move without it tearing through me. Its like fire all over my skin and no matter how much I scream, it never goes away." I whispered.
"Do you smoke?"
"Are you sexually active?"
I blushed a deep red and nodded my head. I heard daddy grind his teeth but he didn't say anything.
"To be honest, I have absolutely no idea what's going on. Have been traveling lately?"
"I went to Spain at the end of the summer and Washington state, but besides that, no."
"Could you have picked something up from an animal? Like a virus or something?"
I almost laughed. If only the doctor knew what kinds of animals I hung out with.
"Well I would like to feel you glands to see if they're swollen. If so, then we know it's a virus or parasite."
I almost panicked because I had never been examined by anyone besides Grandpa and this doctor would surely see the differences with me if he touched my skin, but Grandpa came to the rescue.
"That will be quite fine Morty. I already checked and I can assure you its no virus."
Dr. Vac didn't look convinced but he nodded his head and turned his face up while he pondered more ideas.
"I see and are you sure you're not imagining all this? Maybe this is something that's just going on in your mind. From the tests, there is nothing that is physically causing the pain. It seems to all be internal." He said.
I sighed and nodded my head. There was no way a human doctor could help me so I didn't know why I was talking to him, "Your probably right." I smiled.
Everyone in my family sighed and I could hear the frustrated noises coming from Jacob. They wanted to know what the hell was going on, but no one had any answers.
Dr. Vac left the room and Grandpa followed him so that he could sign some papers to release me.
"Well he was helpful." Emmett replied sarcastically.
"Even though he was absolutely no help at all, I think he might have a point. Nessie maybe I should give you some private sessions so we can determine what the hell's going on." Jasper said.
"No. I don't need private sessions."
"They might help. I can focus on just you and maybe there's a chance I can help you get better."
I shook my head and tried to change the subject, "How much of a spectacle did I make at school?" I asked no one in particular.
Daddy sighed, "They sent everyone home. People were really freaked out. Headmaster Bots had to call the fire department and police to get you out of that bathroom."
I nodded my head. I knew something like that was going to happen, and that was why I was trying to hold everything in. Great. My first day of senior year and everyone now thinks I was more of a freak than usual.
"You'll have to do some major damage control when you get back. Everyone needs answers." Mama said.
"That has already been taken care of. I called the Headmaster and told him that Nessie was having complications from a surgery she had over the summer. He shouldn't be a problem." Grandpa said as he walked back into the room.
I was able to go home after another hour in the hospital and laid on Jacob's shoulder as he drove me home in his Hummer. As soon as I was in the door, Jacob carried me upstairs and laid me gently in his bed. I went to sleep instantaneously and didn't dream about anything. I stayed in the darkness until I smelled bacon cooking downstairs. I woke up in Jacob's arms as the morning light streamed through the window.
I got off the bed and headed to the shower. I pulled off my clothes and stepped into the warm water as it flowed over my body. I washed my hair twice and used Jacob's body wash to clean myself. I know it sounds weird but I liked to use Jacob's body wash instead of mine. It wasn't too masculine that I smelled like a biker, but just enough to remind me of him when I missed his scent. I stepped out of the shower after fifteen minutes and looked at myself in the mirror. I still had the huge gash marks all over my stomach, but they looked a lot better than they did yesterday so I knew they would be gone by the time I went to bed tonight.
I wrapped a towel around my body and left my hair air dry as I walked into Jacob's closet and pulled out my clothes. I knew that today was going to be a rough one because people were going to be asking me how I was doing. I hated answering that question, but it was always the one people asked. I didn't want to chose anything too flashy so I pulled on a pair of dark wash jeans and a dark blue, short sleeved shirt that was simple enough, but the tag said Versace so I knew it was expensive. I paired my outfit with some white Louboutin pumps and threw on a white belt to match. I pulled my hair into a ponytail and checked to make sure I had my ring and bracelet on; I never left home without them.
I stepped out of the closet and giggled when I saw Jacob sprawled out on the bed with the sheets hanging in every direction. The muscles of his back where glistening in the sunlight and I had to shake my head to make me concentrate. I went over to the side of the bed and placed open-mouthed kisses on his shoulder until I felt his body shift. He turned his head to meet mine and smiled.
"Good morning Alpha." I whispered.
"Good morning my lovely." He yawned loudly and then his face turned serious, "Nessie, what the hell are you doing out of bed? You should be taking it easy? Are you even ok to go back to school?"
"Jacob, calm down. I'm fine."
"I still don't want you going to school right now. What if you have another attack?" He asked frantically as he swung his legs over the bedside.
"It's all taken care of. No big deal." I smiled.
He nodded, "Are you going to start your sessions with Jasper?"
"No Jacob. I told you I don't need them besides, I already know what's wrong with me and I know how to fix it." I lied and I think Jacob saw right through me, but he didn't say anything.
" You want me to take you to school?"
"Nope, I'm good. Don't get up." I giggled.
"Are your sure? I don't mind." He said as he rested against the headboard.
"No really, I'm fine." I made went to get away from the bed, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me into his lap.
"You're not going anywhere for the next five minutes." Jacob said.
His lips crushed to mine for our normal 'good morning' kiss and I felt my body immediately react to his hot tongue as it swept the inside of my mouth. I lightly sucked on his bottom hip and let out a quiet groan when he deepened his movements. We stayed connected for exactly five minutes before he breathlessly pulled back. We both had to suck in deep breaths and I couldn't move for another minute while I regained my composure.
"Have a good day. And if anything happens, call me." Jacob whispered against the skin of my neck and I nodded.
He placed one last kiss on my shoulder and I got off his lap to head to the door.REVIEW RIGHT AWAY