Direct quote from Midnight Sun, Chapter 12:

"Tomorrow it's my turn."

Her forehead puckered, "Your turn to what?"

"Ask the questions." Tomorrow, when we were in a safer place, surrounded by witnesses, I would get my own answers. I grinned at the thought, and then I turned away because she made no move to leave. Even with her outside the car, the echo of electricity zinged in the air. I wanted to get out, too, to walk her to her door as an excuse to stay beside her...

No more mistakes. I hit the gas, and then sighed as she disappeared behind me. It seemed like I was always running toward Bella, or running away from her, never staying in place. I would have to find some way to hold my ground if we were going to have any peace.


The above is copywrited by Stephenie Meyer, as are all characters in the Twilight series. All direct quotes are used with respect. I'm not SM, I don't pretend to be. I just hope that SOMEDAY we'll read HER version of the rest of this...

Thanks for reading...

Please review.

Be gentle. *flinches*


Chapter 12, continued....

And I would find that balance, bring us peace.

No mistakes, Cullen. Wow. The vampire who hears voices, has his own now?! Geez.

I stayed away....most of the night. Searching my mind, my dead heart, and my father's council...

"Esme's ecstatic, Edward, you know that," he said as I quizzed him over things I already knew, largely my family's reactions, but needed to hear out loud. "Emmett thinks you've finally cracked, that I missed your insanity in my examination of you, in that Chicago clinic," Carlisle smiled at Emmett's playfulness. But he could not keep the concern out of his mind.

Careful, Edward. It's a risk, if things end badly...

I nodded at the thoughts he tried to hide. "What about my skin, the burning, when I touched her? What could cause that?" I tried to distract him from the clinical observations we'd been over a hundred thousand times, since the "incident" in the school parking lot.

Stifling shock that I had even tried, Carlisle measured his response carefully, "I don't know, son. And you can't hear her. It raises my curiosity." His thoughts dove into our chromosomal make up and what truly changes when we become vampires. "How much does our brain really change?" he mumbled, lost in thought.

I waved him off the subject, more concerned about the sanity of the path I was on than ever, when I heard the unmistakable sound of Rose's heels in the depths of the garage, near the Aston Martin.

"Knew you'd come running to your baby's side if I got too close," Rose snarled as I appeared, in a flash, between her and the car. "Just wanted your attention, Edward." One hand was now tracing the lines of the Vanquish, her razor sharp nails barely a breath from the paint job. "What are you doing, Edward?!" she demanded, her thoughts whirling around in a blur of rage, hatred for this life, and what was that, jealousy? "Alice has seen it, you WANT her?!" she screeched, her vanity and, yes, jealousy, flaring.

I took a hesitant step toward her, palms out, trying to keep my position, but let her think I was trusting her. "I've not made a decision, Rose. I'm drawn to her, yes, her blood. I've never had these feelings before. What you have with Emmett..." I trailed off, realizing, too late, that I should have chosen a different argument.

SSSSSCCCCRRRAAAATTTTCCCCHHHHH

"ROSALIE LILLIAN HALE!!" came our mother's voice from somewhere deep inside the house. She must have been in Carlisle's study, judging from the time it took her to arrive in the doorway.

Rose flinched at the sound of Esme's anger. She hated making Esme use that motherly tone. Just then, Esme appeared within arm's reach of both of us, wearing all the sternness she could muster. Emmett tagged along behind, to play referee. Rose backed down immediately.

We will talk Cullen, she snapped as her heels clacked away, Emmett's booming chuckle drifting back to me.

Nice kitty, he thought as he slapped her voluptuous bottom on the stairs, you coulda taken him, babe.

I quickly tuned their minds out as Emmett tried to calm Rose, but he was obviously turned on by his sometimes-wife's strength and anger.

"Oh, your poor car...." Esme drawled. "I'll make her buff this out, immediately," she said, motherly tone and all. I sighed, internally. She was our mother, for all intents and purposes.

"Don't go up there now, Esme" I warned as Emmett let loose a playful growl, one we've all been tortured with for decades.

"Later, then" Esme smiled. If she could, I think she would have blushed.

My, their appetites are still amazing after all this time; she chuckled, thoughts lingering on the house in Vancouver, the most recent fatality of Rosalie and Emmett's affection. I liked that house.

"Mom," I chuckled "we all did. I need to get out of here. Rose is still angry and I think it's best that I remove myself before she wants to break anything ELSE of mine in front of me..." I trailed off. And so I don't have to hear that, I thought as Emmett let off another growl.

"But were will you go?" Esme asked, legitimate concern coloring her features and thoughts.

I couldn't answer. My mouth wouldn't form the words, so I turned on my heel, went quickly to my room, changed, and was gone before her concern turned to worry, colored with joy – which I wasn't sure I deserved.

When I reached her window, I knew immediately Bella's night was troubled. Her breathing was ragged, her pulse accelerated, agitated. I pulled up the sash and ducked inside right as my girl exploded upright in bed, eyes glazed, but open.

Shit. Did she see me? Did I close the window? What the Hell? I wasn't used to doubting myself. Of course, I wasn't used to being a stalker, either. Well....that inner voice chided. I shook my head of those memories, and ducked into Bella's closet out of sight.

As if she knew I was there, her slender form slumped back on to the bed, hair splayed on the pillow, in a tangled mess of strawberry-scented beauty. Something achingly human, stirred in me, a desire so strong to have been the reason behind that messed hair.

NO MISTAKES.

I think we're past that, thanks I thought to that "other" voice in my head, as if I needed one more.

Another rustle of sheets snapped me to attention as a sigh filled my ears, my being, and my soul – if I had one. Utter contentment in that sigh. And her heartbeat evened out as I peered around the rest of her scant collection of clothes. Alice would be physically ill; to see this...so few clothes...I chuckled to myself as that scene played out in my head. My favorite sister and her irritating obsession. But the chuckle stuck in my throat, with that last habitual breath.

Bella was a sight. Her hair was only the beginning. Legs, tangled in the covers, more skin exposed than should be legal...even if I was an intruder. Boy shorts, the color of the Forks sky most days....barely covering...even closing my eyes as quickly as I did would not un-see that image as I stood, rooted to the spot, trembling now. Bella, so achingly human, so beautiful to me.

I crept, like the monster I am, eyes closed, to pull her extra comforter over those pale, soft, and deceptively long legs. Another contented sigh ripped through the electricity already building, again, in the little room. My hand, burning again, twitched of its own accord and it was all I could do, even with my considerable strength, to not push that strand of her mahogany mane off her cheek.

However, I won the battle this time, and settled into the rocker instead, sitting firmly on my traitor hands. I let various scenes of the day replay through my mind as I listened to her breathing and beating heart: Bella in gym, Bella's explanations to Jessica, the nearly visible electric current between us in Biology and those things she would never see: Alice's vision, Rosalie's temper-tantrum...all was interrupted by a shrill bleating – her alarm.

I'd been so wrapped up in her scent, her heartbeat, watching her sleep, and pondering everything, that the dawn had snuck up on me.

I'm definitely losing it, I thought as I absorbed the landing from her window and heard Bella's groan as she slapped her alarm silent. I ran for the nearby woods, not wanting to be seen by Chief Swan, especially. The wind whipped around me, and I felt myself almost soaring above the ground, as I raced for home. Ignoring all the thoughts from inside, I headed for the Volvo, trying not to look at the defaced Vanquish.

I sped back, knowing I'd have to park, hidden, until the cruiser and Chief Swan were safely gone. And as soon as he was out of sight, I poached his space. I had to smirk to myself as I heard the rustle of Bella's lace curtain as she peeked out her window, to see if I'd kept my promise.

Is this really me? I shifted restlessly for the few minutes that it took Bella to nearly fall down the stairs, clank around in the kitchen, and appear at the front door. My Bella. She almost lurched out of the house, not bothering to lock the front door, and almost threw herself down the front walk to my car. There was a moment of hesitation, when I thought she'd had a flash of sanity and decided to turn and run back inside, as she reached the passenger door, but she clambered in anyway, a shy smile teasing the edges of her lips.

"Good morning," I said. "How are you today?" I asked, looking over her face, as if seeing it for the first time, drinking her in and chuckling darkly at that choice of words.

Her response came too quickly, "Good, thank you." How I wished I could hear her thoughts, know what those dreams had been about. Those dark circles under her eyes - were they my fault?

"You look tired" was all I could say, without letting her see how depraved I really was, being in her room while she slept. I sighed, internally, as I lamented my existence yet again.

"I couldn't sleep" she squeaked, embarrassed. And then that mahogany wall came around, bathing me in the scent of Bella, and strawberries. I inhaled deeply, savoring the burn.

"Neither could I," I joked. Actually joked. Wow. Humor. Emmett will be proud. I can hear him, "Wow, not Broodward. Sweet."

She laughed, a breathy sound, which snapped me back to the reality of her near nakedness as she slept. "I guess that's right. I suppose I slept just a little bit more than you did."

I chuckled, more knowledgeable about that then she knew, "I'd wager you did."

Gnawing a little at the inside of her lip, she forced out a question. "So what did you do last night?" That glorious color raising a bit, across her nose, bringing with it her heady aroma to assail me, again.

Does she really want to know? Or is this just idle prattle, her way of appeasing me? Why, oh why is her mind silent to me?

Another chuckle escaped me, and I had to admit that I liked the way it felt. I'm not entirely sure whether the chuckle was at me, or her attempt at small talk. "Not a chance. It's my day to ask the questions."

Her shoulders straightened as she tucked a curl behind her ear, forehead creasing, blush deepening. "Oh, that's right. What do you want to know" the last word ending in a bit of a sigh.

"WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!" my frustrated mind-reading voice yelled. Hmmm, let's start simple.

"What's your favorite color?"

Did she just roll her eyes?

"It changes from day to day."

Hey, I could've used Emmett's favorite, "What's your sign?" I'm new at this, give me SOME credit.

"What's your favorite color, today?" I asked, my frustration coloring my tone.

"Probably brown" she said, sighing almost too quietly for me to hear, some thought pulling her lips down at the corners.

I couldn't help the snort. What an odd answer! "Brown?" my right eyebrow rising with the question, hands tensing on the wheel in frustration over her silence. If only I could hear her.

"Sure. Brown is warm. I miss brown. Everything that's supposed to be brown – tree trunks, rocks, dirt – is all covered up with squashy green stuff here." She almost whined.

Are you that unhappy here? Could I convince her to leave, to be safe from me? To go back to the brown?

I looked over at her then, and her heart lurched when our eyes met. Her chocolate brown, to my topaz gold, locked in a kind of understanding. I thought I saw a sadness there, but an excitement too, maybe. Measuring her emotions was so hard, without my gift.

"You're right," I breathed, choosing a lighter conversation path, taking in the beauty and color of her hair and her get-lost-in eyes. "Brown is warm" and then my traitorous, burning hand, betrayed the brain controlling it. It moved quickly, almost too quickly for her to see, and swept the full mahogany curtain back over her shoulder.

ARRRRGHHHH! Part of my brain screamed at the motion. Part of it hoped she understood the draw I felt, to be with her, to touch her, to feel her. Her heart lurched, again, as her eyes took in the school parking lot, shock draining the remainder of the blush from earlier. Please, Bella, I drove slowly this morning! Well, slowly for me....Ah, Rose is still angry...

"What music is in your CD player right now?" I almost mumbled, crushed under waves of anger from Rose's thoughts. There was shocked disbelief from Emmett, impatience from Alice (We'll be great friends, Edward), and the mingled confusion, jealousy, and eternal battle for control from Jasper.

She fully chewed her lip this time and her brow creased in the middle. This is her thinking face? I committed it to memory.

"Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory" almost wincing when she said it. I smiled at another similarity, mashed the middle console open and pulled out the same CD, dropping it in her hand carefully trying to avoid contact this time.

"Debussy to this?" I teased, raising an eyebrow to show her I didn't judge the diversity of her music choices, badly. She kept her eyes down. What is that? Shame? That got filed away, too. I'm glad I have so much extra time to study these images...

She handed it back, eyes still down at her hands, then gazing out of her side of the front window at the school. Before she could think to do it, I was out of the car and opening her door for her. Chivalry may be dead, but it was so engrained in me I couldn't stop if I wanted to. I managed to control the traitor hand as it tried to reach for her, to take that delicate hand and help her out of the car. I knew her well enough, already that she wouldn't really approve.

We walked up to the school together, close, but not touching. I asked a few more questions, filed away a few more Bella expressions for further quantifying and cataloging later. I could barely contain my joy that she was a willing participant, or seemed to be, to my game of a million and one questions. I worried that she answered out of some sort of twisted sense of obligation, but even that couldn't stop me.

She would look at me, through her lashes, if something I asked was about to bring on an easy blush of embarrassment. She'd look me straight in the eye on the easier things, like movies and books. Oh, her love of books rivaled my own! I thrilled at another baseless similarity. What good does that do you, Cullen unless you turn her? Alice's vision danced restlessly in a cobwebbed corner of my brain, but I was too content – yes, me, content – watching and reading the face of Isabella Swan to give in and let it out into the light of day.

While checking down the mental list of questions about her favorite, well, everything, a few added by Alice, I nearly stumbled when her answer to "What's your favorite gemstone?" brought the answer "Topaz" and the deepest blush yet. I searched her face, her eyes, and searched through the stored expressions to find one that fit the one she wore now. Was that her shocked face? Her answer shocked her?

We gazed at each other, intently, as her expression changed again, to true embarrassment now, as she inhaled through her mouth and sucked lightly on her lip. "Tell me" I almost commanded, hoping I was keeping the desire out of my voice, trying not to let my eyes linger on that lip too long. She avoided my gaze, at every turn, after I tried weaseling the information from her in other ways.

Looking firmly at her hands, Bella sighed, "It's the color of your eyes today" as she twirled a curl between what I thought were the most sensual fingers I'd ever seen. "I suppose if you asked me in two weeks I'd say onyx" she blurted, jolting me out of my reverie.

Anger, the color of blood, flared behind my eyes. NO! But I buried my fury in a rather curt, "What kind of flowers do you prefer?"

She can't be THAT interested in me. She's sure to run, now. She's so observant. So soft.

Edward! Alice's chirp shot through my brain like ice, and her newest vision began bombarding me. It seemed my mind wasn't as settled on the issue of Bella as I thought it was, but Bella didn't seem to notice the preoccupation flicker across my face. I fired off more questions on the way to Biology.

And then Mr. Banner backed into the room with the audio-visual equipment, again. Oh great, I sighed internally, silently sliding my chair away.

Edward, just ditch, if it's too hard came Alice's chirp again, followed by the memory of her vision of me massacring the entire class, that first day.

The light went out and immediately that burning spark ignited between us. My fingers found the grooves they'd made in the table that first day. Bella leaned forward, resting her chin on her arms folded on the table. He fingers latched onto the lip of the table, much like mine. I watched her for a moment, for a number of her breaths, taking in the view of her hair falling around her shoulders, down her slender back. My traitor hand twitched to bury itself in that thick mane. My eyes lingered, as they had early this morning, following the lines of her back, down to her small waist.

I longed to pull that waist against me, crush her to me, letting her warmth burn me in places I'd never burned before. I wondered, again, what she was thinking. Afraid to look too long, afraid to look away. I watched, as she stretched, just a little, moving the fabric of her jeans, slightly, from the bottom of her shirt. A peek at the peaches and cream skin just above the dimples of her lower back, the light dusting of nearly blonde hair there, nearly drew me into a frenzy. My body nearly hummed with the same electricity drawing me in, begging me to touch her, feel her, and burn.

Ugh, snap out of it, Cullen. I chastised myself for letting my mind travel that path, while I realized my arousal would be evident, if I stood to leave the classroom. Damn you, Alice, and your insistence at tailored clothes! More wood chips fell across my shoes as my fingertips pulverized the table underneath them.

We sighed, together, as Mr. Banner slowly, even slowly for a human, moved to turn on the lights. Bella risked a glance in my direction as she uncurled her fingers and straightened her posture. Something in her glance made me inhale another gulp of her scent, searing my throat as I tasted, as well as smelled, something new coming off of her skin. Is that sweat? Or something else? My mind locked down before the word "desire" could fully form.

NO! This has gone too far, already!

Snapping my teeth together, venom nearly dripping from my lips, I rose from the torture-chamber chair, quickly assessing the damage to the table and whether or not wood powder clung to my clothes, and waited for her to gather herself. I couldn't make another round of questions form around my clenched teeth, so we walked to the gym, once again, in silence. Both of us seemed to be lost in our thoughts. If she missed my questioning, she didn't mention it and I didn't trust myself enough, yet, to unlock my jaws.

Bella paused at the girl's locker room door, fidgeting, opened and closed her mouth once, looked down at the floor, and played with the straps of her backpack.

What are you THINKING?!

With a deep breath, she looked up, her chocolate eyes molten with some emotion I hadn't categorized yet. I held her gaze, while my traitor hand reached the edge of her hair, at her temple, before I could stop it. Brushing down to almost the center of her jaw and dangerously close to the pink of her lips, my marble skin almost ablaze before I reined it in.

Enough! More pressure than that, and you could break her! Where would you be, then, Cullen?

My traitor hand fell to my side, already the tingle beginning to burn, and forced myself to walk away, yet again.

Touching her is a MISTAKE!! What happened to NO MISTAKES?!

Oh, shut UP! I sighed at my own voice, screaming inside my head. I didn't break the Bella bubble, but trying again had been a mistake on so many levels. Again. My hand burned and I stole a glance at it, almost expecting to see the flames.

I watched her, in gym, again, through Mike, even though his head was like walking around in bad porn, and Emmett had enough of it for me to know the difference. At least, today, Newton did not pester her, or have too much time to fantasize while playing a one-man badminton routine. Even with his slower reflexes, Newton was decent at keeping the birdie away from my girl. I regretted even having to concede that much to him.

Fishing the bottle cap out of my pocket, I fiddled with it in the burning hand, wondering at the conflicting desires burning along with it. The scent of her blood burned at my throat, my thirst. The warmth of her skin burned at a desire I'd never felt before, even in my fuzzy memories of being human.

Emmett stirred next to me, eyes on the bottle cap as I spun it on the desk.

He's got that bottle cap, again. Yesterday, he wants me to play with the humans. Today...he's like a cat with a bird.

I cringed at the analogy as Ms. Goff droned on. Ben's thoughts were on Angela, a disjointed plan forming, one that I could see would work, if he kept his resolve. That buoyed my mood a bit.

Sorry about the Vanquish, dude. Emmett thought, apologetically, as he recounted what he saw of Rose's confrontation with Esme, after a "cooling off" period with him, the lurid details of which he lingered on...

"Gross, Em." I mumbled, quiet enough that no human could hear.

"Sorry, bro," he rumbled back, quickly diverting his thoughts to a short spat between Alice and Jasper, the only kind they ever had, as she always saw what he'd say and her answers to it. Jasper wanted to end my torment, thinking one fall "off the wagon" wouldn't hurt his record much, and Alice defended me gallantly saying that I was now 95% decided about not killing Bella and exposing us.

I shook my head. "I'm messing things up," I said, full vampire whisper still engaged. "I'm putting us all at risk. Rose is right, and for what?"

Emmett's broad shoulders raised once in a shrug. It's your call. Alice says she'll be one of us...he trailed off; as a low growl escaped me, before I could stop it. Whoa, easy, bro. So, you don't want to turn her. Let Carlisle do it.

Another growl, this one almost loud enough to disturb the class around us, slipped from my lips. Sorry! You don't want her, then?!

"I can't risk it. She's the Chief's daughter, Em. We'd have to leave, always running, until all the humans involved die off. And would she love me, after that? Hell, she moved here, to make sure her mom was happy, you think she'd LOVE me for taking her from a family she loves that much? Would you want that? Would Rose?"

Emmett rumbled a chuckle, All good points, bro. It'll work out...I won't bet against Alice. And then he was thinking about his next prank on Jasper. I inserted grunts and suggestions, where necessary, knowing that Alice would just see it all and Jasper would be warned, unless it was such a good one, that even Alice thought it was funny.

Part of my mind was still listening to and watching Bella, part of it concentrating on not jumping up and down, screaming over the burning of my hand, part of it listening to Ms. Goff, as she called on me. "Quel chmin a Saint-Sulpice?" I answered, at her summons, and with the remaining spaces of my mind, I pondered the situation I'd put my family in over this weakness, this human. Yet, she was so much more. Not only her blood drew me in – it was everything.

My brooding was interrupted by the dismissal bell. I bounded from my seat, ignoring Emmett's chuckle and his smug thoughts. I leaned against the wall where I'd met her yesterday and felt my own snugness at her reaction when her face broke into a huge smile as our eyes met.

Before I allowed myself to berate myself over what that smile meant, I launched into the rest of my questions, not acknowledging my traitor hand and its actions.

"What do you miss about Phoenix?"

She was silent as I imagined she tried to find the words. Would I ever get used to not hearing her?!

"Mom. The sun, some days," she said. I'd like to think that the "some days" was for me. "The smell of creosote. The cicadas. The enormity of the sky. The barrenness, the brownness of the trees."

I laughed internally as she tucked her hair behind her ears and struggled through her description of the enormous Arizona sky, "extending white-blue from horizon to horizon, barely interrupted by the low mountains covered with purple volcanic rock." The funniest, was when she tried to describe to me how the half-dead vegetation could be beautiful. She turned sideways in the passenger seat, left leg pulled under her right, hands flailing, and face serious, yet awestruck as she sensed that I didn't share her admiration of it.

My eyes lingered at her throat, her cheeks, as she blushed, bringing that scent ever so much closer to the surface, when I asked her to describe her room in Phoenix, and then they slid down the curve of her breasts, her waist, the seam of her jeans, going up...

ENOUGH!

"Are you finished?" she asked, voice a little rough from so much talking. I needed to remember, she was human, she needed liquids. Or was it rough from relief that my seemingly endless stream of questions had ebbed?

"Not even close – but your father will be home soon."

"Charlie!" she nearly shrieked, hand flying to her throat, just about where my eyes had lingered, only seconds before, above that lovely pulse-point. "How late is it?" she gasped, as seemingly unaware of time's passing as I had been, a larger feat for me. Her eyes darted to the dashboard clock, panic starting to settle into a line between her eyebrows. Another expression filed away.

And it hit me hard then. Just exactly what I was asking of her, bringing her into my "life" and with it, all my secrets.

"It's twilight," I murmured, looking at the horizon, the grey light fading away. Letting my thoughts tumble over each other as Alice's vision roared forward from its neglected corner. My head snapped back to Bella, "it's the safest time for us. The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way...the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don't you think?" Even if that darkness is me? I hid my question behind my thoughtful but, far away smile.

Without even a heartbeat's pause, her voice rang out with – What is that? Contentment? – "I like the night. Without the dark, we'd never see the stars." Her lips turned down in a frown. "Not that you see them here much," she grumbled.

At that, I had to chuckle. I couldn't help myself. Her almost pout at something she had chosen for herself, made me nearly laugh out loud.

"Charlie will be here in a few minutes. So, unless you want to tell him that you'll be with me Saturday..." I hinted, goading her a bit and raised my eyebrow as if it was a question, hoping she'd take the bait, be forbidden to go. Part of me pleaded that there would be something to ensure that someone would know where to look, if she didn't come home from our outing.

"Thanks, but no thanks," she almost snapped, shifting stiffly to gather her backpack and her battered copy of The Complete Works of Jane Austen. "So, is it my turn, tomorrow?" she smiled, teasing me a bit.

I faked outrage, "Certainly not!" I smiled back, "I told you I wasn't done, didn't I?"

"What more is there?" she sighed, exasperation dashed through with sarcasm that created such a breathy tone, my heart would have lurched, if it was still beating.

"You'll find out tomorrow" I teased, reaching across her lap to open her door for her and listening to that very alive heart begin to beat in a frenzied staccato and I froze. All humor left. "Not good" I mumbled, too loudly, as the thoughts of the invading minds reached me.

"What is it?" she breathed, panic welling, again.

My jaw clamped shut. "Another complication" I managed between my teeth, glancing at her face in the dim light. Is this it, then? The end, already? Anger coloring my movement, I shoved her door open, roughly, and pulled back faster than I'd meant to. Venom flowed quickly into my mouth.

Headlights crawled over the Volvo, and small, black Mercury parked against the curb, facing us in the driveway. Confusion and questions sizzled through the passenger's mind. It was a mind that felt familiar and menacing, like a headache, if vampires got headaches. "Charlie's around the corner" I breathed, staring down the eyes only I could see in the downpour.

Bella hopped quickly out of my car, confusion obvious on her features as she made her way up the walk, trying to see inside the other car, squinting. She glanced at me and once she reached the door, I floored the accelerator, squealing into reverse and around the corner.

"Hey Bella," I heard behind me over the squeals of my tires. The speaker was practically beaming as he looked Bella over. I growled into the empty car, almost drowning out Bella's "Jacob?" and my fury continued to churn as my fingers started to dent the steering wheel. As Charlie's cruiser crunched on the gravel driveway, I parked down the street, worried for her safety.

A young Quileute? And an Elder of the Tribe? Carlisle needs to know...

Charlie's mind did not show any signs of alarm at the arrival of the Quileutes. Old friends, perhaps? This does complicate things.

The Elder's thoughts were cold, angry, and protective of his friend's daughter. Would he tell Charlie the stories Jacob told Bella? Would he break tribal confidence to warn his friend?

"I need to speak to Carlisle" I said to the darkness and sped home, knowing I'd return later.