My breath was coming out in short puffs.

I fought the urge to cry and instead crawled away from it.

It didn't matter, the wolf still stalked closer.

When it was no more than a foot away I closed my eyes, ready for the first bite.

That's when he came.

"Edward!" I shouted.

The wolf and Edward were just a blur. I heard bones breaking and teeth snapping as the two fought. It wasn't until I saw a wolf, crumpled on the floor that I was able to exhale in relief.

Edward was okay.

"Thank god." I ran to his arms.

He held me close, my body molding perfectly to his.

"I thought I lost you." He said.

"I'm sorry I left." I mumbled at the same time.

We broke apart, still hold each other, and locked gazes. "You saved my life."

"Let's get you home." He said.

He carried me all the way back.

I savored the feel of being in his arms.

He was walking at human speed.

"I'll kill her." James growled.

My fists clenched as James' words were spoken. "Do you know what that human almost did to us?"

I nodded my head, unable to disagree. "If you hadn't caught the wolf, we would have been found out."

"They'll retaliate." Was the only thing I could say.

"No they won't. They were on our land." James said.

I wasn't so sure, but I nodded in agreement.

"I want that girl punished." He said.

My stomach dropped. I didn't speak.

"Send Riley for her." He said.

I paled. Riley was a monster. He toyed with his victims both physically and mentally. It didn't matter what happened to Bella as a human. When she turned her body would be perfect.

Skin flawless from any scarring.

"James are you sure?" I asked.

He had me pinned before I even blinked.

"Do it."

"Go easy on her." I warned Riley.

He smiled, "Don't worry Eddie. I won't rough her up too bad."

He laughed as we made our way to Bella's chambers.

I took a deep breath before I knocked.

"Edward!" She smiled when she opened the door.

Both Alice and Rosalie were in the room with her. Bella paled when she saw Riley.

"What's…" Her words fell off as understanding dawned on her.

"Alice, Rose out." I ordered.

Alice looked frightful and Rosalie looked downright murderous as they passed me on the way out.

"I…I'm…sorry." Bella stammered, backing in the corner of the room.

Seeing her afraid of me was even worse than seeing her afraid in the woods. I kept my emotions in check. Duty to the coven came before anything else.

"I won't leave the house again." She cried.

I grabbed her as gently as I could. Her eyes pleaded with me to let go as I handed her over to Riley.

I walked out of the room, unable to watch.

I waited outside her door all night as I listened to her scream.

I curled into myself and cried.

The bruises on my body were more visible now that time had passed. Black and blue.

I didn't hurt though.

What hurt was the fact that my protector was the one to put me in harm's way.

For the first time in my seventeen years here, I was punished for something.

And I hated it.


"Bella?" Edward.

I couldn't speak. I knew if I opened my mouth I'd cry and that was the last thing I wanted to do.

Her heart sped up as I got closer.

She was afraid of me. That hurt.

I climbed into bed with her, and pulled her into my arms.

She shook as I held her.

"I'm sorry…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…" I went on.

She cried herself to sleep.