Chapter 1

Edward's Point of View

The poor girl lay on the ground, trembling with a mixture of fear and thirst as the Volturi loomed over her. She had already figured out that I was the mind reader and was spilling every secret she knew about the newborn army and the Volturi's lack of action, wanting someone to know the truth. I felt great gratitude toward her for this, for she had a very pure mind for a newborn, even if she did crave Bella's undeniably sweet blood.

"Take care of this, Demitri," Jane ordered calmly, and that was when I panicked.

"Wait!" I said rashly. Bree looked up at me from the ground, confusion in her ruby eyes. "We could teach her our ways," I suggested to Carlisle. "She wouldn't have to die." I felt the need to repay the favors Bree had done for us, and this seemed the proper way. I knew I had said the right thing when her thoughts glowed with gratitude toward me. Even if the plan didn't work, at least she would die knowing that we would be willing to help her.

"We would be willing to take full responsibility for the girl," Carlisle agreed, and Jane's thoughts became bored.

"I wouldn't take on the responsibility of a newbron in your...circumstances," she said slyly. "You are already walking on thin ice." She stared pointedly at Bella, and I held her protectively.

"I would rather take the risk than see anyone else slaughtered today," Esme chimed in rather coldly, her mothering instincts kicking in as she watched the young girl looking fearfully at the Volturi. Jane sighed exasperatingly, though still managed to retain her composure.

"Very well," she said tonelessly. "We will be back to check on you." And then she swept away in the opposite direction, the other members of the Volturi following behind her in a perfect arrow formation.

I let out a small sigh of relief when they left, and I felt Bella relax slightly in my arms. Bree remained on the ground, afraid to get up with Jasper hovering over her, her muscles still tense from Bella's scent. Her thoughts, however, were directed toward me.

'Thank you!' she thought joyously. 'Thank you so much!' I nodded to her, a kind smile on my face, which was basically the opposite of Jasper's expression.

He was wearing a scowl, his forehead creased with lines of fury, his thoughts full of distrust, despite the fact that he could feel the waves of gratitude rolling off of Bree's tiny body.

Esme went over to Bree and helped her up, which sent Jasper into a panick attack for his mother, though Bree clearly wouldn't harm her. Jasper's past was affecting him more than even I could have seen, and that simple fact left me wondering whether we had done the right thing by taking in this young vampire.