Chapter 1 - Beginning

Jacob's Point of View

This was it, then. The ocean of pain. The other shore so far away across the boiling water that I couldn't imagine it, much less see it.

I felt empty again, now that I'd lost my purpose. Saving Bella had been my fight for so long now. And she wouldn't be saved. She'd willingly sacrificed herself to be torn apart by that monster's young, and so the fight was lost. It was all over.

I shuddered at the sound coming from behind me as I plodded down the stairs – the sound of a dead heart being forced to thud.

I wanted to somehow pour bleach inside my head and let it fry my brain. To burn away the images left from Bella's final minutes. I'd take the brain damage if I could get rid of that – the screaming, the bleeding, the unbearable crunching and snapping as the newborn monster tore through her from the inside out...

I wanted to sprint away, to take the stairs ten at a time and race out the door, but my feet were heavy as iron and my body was more tired than it had ever been before. I shuffled down the stairs like a crippled old man.

I rested at the bottom step, gathering my strength to get out the door.

Rosalie was on the clean end of the white sofa, her back to me, cooing and murmuring to the blanket-wrapped thing in her arms. She must have heard me pause, but she ignored me, caught up in her moment of stolen motherhood. Maybe she would be happy now. Rosalie had what she wanted, and Bella would never come to take the creature from her. I wondered if that's what the poisonous blonde had been hoping for all along.

She held something dark in her hands, and there was a greedy sucking sound coming from the tiny murderer she held.

The scent of blood in the air. Human blood. Rosalie was feeding it. Of course it would want blood. What else would you feed the kind of monster that would brutally mutilate its on mother? I might as well have been drinking Bella's blood. Maybe it was.

My strength came back to me as I listened to the sound of the little executioner feeing.

Strength and hate and heat – red heat washing though my head, burning but erasing nothing. The images in my head were fuel, building up the inferno but refusing to be consumed. I felt the tremors rock me from head to toe, and I did not try to stop them.

Rosalie was totally absorbed in the creature, paying no attention to me at all. She wouldn't be quick enough to stop me, distracted as she was.

Sam had been right. The thing was an aberration – its existence went against nature. A black, soulless demon. Something that had no right to be.

Something that had to be destroyed.

The pull that I felt earlier had evaporated, a sure sign that Bella's life was no longer linked to mine. There was nothing that could stop me from destroying her killer spawn. If she'd survived, she would have hated me for this. She would have wanted to kill me personally.

Not wanting to take another step towards the abomination, I stood my ground and thought about what would happen if I stayed on my course. Rosalie would try to kill me when the creature was dead, and I would fight back. I wasn't sure if I would have time to finish her before the others came to help. Maybe, maybe not. I didn't much care either way.

I didn't care if the wolves, either set, avenged me or called the Cullens' justice fair. None of the mattered. All I cared about was my own justice. My revenge. The thing that had killed Bella would not live another minute longer.

Why should I care what anyone thought? Bella didn't care what she had done to me – letting herself be slaughtered like an animal. Why should I take her feelings into account?

And then there was Edward. He must be too busy now – too far gone in his insane denial, trying to reanimate a corpse – to listen to my plans.

So I wouldn't get the chance to keep my promise to him, unless – and it was not a wager I'd put money on – I managed to win the fight against Rosalie, Jasper, and Alice, three on one. But even if I did win, I didn't think I had it in me to kill Edward.

Because I didn't have enough compassion for that. Why should I let him get away from what he'd done? Wouldn't it be more fair – more satisfying - to let him live with nothing, nothing at all?

It made me almost smile, as filled with hate as I was to imagine it. No Bella. No killer Spawn. And also missing as many members of his family as I was able to take down. Of course, he could probably put those back together, since I wouldn't be around to burn them. Unlike Bella, who would never be whole again.

I wondered if the creature could be put back together. I doubted it. It was part Bella, too – so it must have inherited some of her vulnerability. I could hear that in the tiny, thrumming beat of its heart.

Its heart was beating. Hers wasn't.

Only a second had passed as I made these easy decisions.

The trembling was getting tighter and faster. I coiled myself, preparing to spring at the blond vampire and rip the murderous thing from her arms with my teeth.

Rosalie cooed at the creature again, setting the empty metal bottle-thing aside and lifting the creature into the air to nuzzle her face against its cheek.

Perfect. The new position was perfect for my strike.

The murderer stared past Rosalie's shoulder at me, its gaze more focused than any newborn creature's gaze should be.

Warm brown eyes, the color of milk chocolate – the exact same color that Bella's had been.

My body jerked to a stop. The eyes were my only distraction for what I was about to do. For a split second I remembered Bella, my Bella, with her beautiful brown eyes, eyes that would never open again.

It was in this moment that Rosalie finally noticed my pause, and I realized my mistake as soon as she did. I shouldn't have been so distracted. I had lost my perfect chance.

Rosalie got up faster than even I could see, ran into a far room and locked the door. Like that would stop me. Nothing could touch me in this moment. The creature needed to die.

I harnessed what energy I had and phased into the ferocious beast I had lived as for so long. My wolf instincts guiding me, I rammed my entire body into the wall of the adjoining room, bursting a giant hole where my body had been.

Standing there, unphased by my appearance, were three bloodsuckers, creating a protective shield in front of the thing. Perfect. At least it wasn't in anyone's arms. Once the bloodsuckers were distracted, it would be vulnerable.

It was in this moment that I noticed an absence of voices in my head. Where were Seth and Leah? Seth was a friend of the leeches, wouldn't he be trying to stop me?

I couldn't dwell on the revelation. The opportunity was in front of me. However, I knew from my earlier thoughts that I probably wouldn't be able to win this fight. So be it.

Focus on the prize, hopefully survive long enough to kill it, maybe take some of the other bloodsuckers with me.

It was then that I hear the only sound that could touch me in this instant.

A frantic pounding, a racing beat...

A changing heart.