Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of these characters. No copyright infringement is intended


People rushed passed me by, assuming that I was some kind of drunk or drugged up to the eyeballs in whatever the latest street craze was these days. They would be partially right, just I wasn't in this situation by choice. As much as I tried to move, my body was still paralyzed the only indication that I was still alive was the ability to move my eyes. Someone leaned over me, the stench of beer and sweat normally would've made me vomit, but I wasn't able to respond. He pushed me causing me to slump flat to the wet concrete before he thrust his hands in the pockets of the jeans I was wearing, I assumed he was looking for a wallet or other valuables. Of course came up empty. Another man joined him peering over his shoulder to see what he was doing.

"What the fuck you doing man?" He hissed, nervously looking around before he too leaned closer. "Shit, you robbing a corpse? That's fucked up, even for you. I want no part of it."

The sound of footsteps running away was all I heard then the man who was robbing me quickly followed his friend. Rain continued the fall and soon I was soaked to the skin, cold but incapable of shivering. It felt as if I was locked inside a tomb, which unfortunately was my own body. I closed my eyes and waited for death to finally take me feeling it would be a welcome relief from this hell. The temperature dropped and I closed my eyes as I began to drift away. I began to imagine that Bella was with me, that we were together again in our bed, she was wrapped in my arms having just spent hours making love. I worshipped her body, every curve, every last inch of her. She turned in my arms and her face changed, it wasn't Bella there any longer it was Heidi. I screamed but no sound would come from her lips. My eyes snapped open and I was shocked at what I saw, a woman was kneeled down next to me, her hand was on my cheek, the concern she felt was evident on her face.

"What happened to you? Can you talk?" She whispered to me. Her fingers pressed against my neck, I assumed she was checking for a pulse. "Shit, shit." I could only watch as she pulled out a cell phone from her pocket dialing a number before she pressed it to her ear.

"Hello 911? I need an ambulance quickly. I'm on the back of Gresham Street, in the alley… Yes I know that's not a great area… No I don't know what happened… He's not my client, I'm not a hooker. Look, if you don't get here he's going to die…He's a mid twenties male, looks like he's been badly beaten up. You need to get here, now! He's… he's barely breathing and I'm scared he won't make it… Okay, I'll be here with him. I won't leave him."

She ended the call, her face filling my field of vision. "You're going to be okay, there is an ambulance on its way. I'm not going anywhere, I'm gonna stay with you. Just don't go anywhere, okay. Focus on me. Shit! You're freezing. Here, let me put this over you. It won't do much but it should help."

With that, she removed her jacket and draped I over me. It didn't make me feel any warmer but the sentiment was enough to warm me. How long it took for the EMT's to arrive I couldn't guess, but true to her word she stayed with me until they did. I could hear her voice right until they loaded me into the back of the ambulance, then they closed the doors, leaving her outside.

The light inside was too bright, the fluorescents hurt my eyes to look at them so I closed my eyes for the rest of the journey to the hospital. Once we arrived I was moved quickly through the ER and into a treatment room. People were bustling in and out as they tried to assess what was wrong with me, I wished that they would work it out and I wanted to know every bit as much as they did. Laurent promised to help me, not nearly kill me. I wondered at the time if it was too good to be true, his promise that he help me get out of there, and back to Bella and my family. I should've trusted that doubt that niggled deep inside of me, but no. I just never thought for one minute that when my family saw me again, it would be on a mortuary slab as they were forced to indetify my body.

I heard a lot of medical terms being thrown around, but it seemed that no one knew what was actually wrong with me. They drew some blood, talking about tests and possible overdose. People came and went, all offering an opinion as to what they thought was wrong with me. I just wished there was some way that I could tell them what was wrong, and who I was so I could see my family and Bella now that I was I knew what was happening there was a lot of commotion with monitors and alarms beginning to beep. More people rushed into the room as I heard a shout of.

"He's crashed!"

A jolt of pain ran through my body as it lifted up into the air before it slammed back down onto the firm surface below. This repeated itself several times and I wanted to scream at them that I was obeying, they had no need to punish me, I would do anything they asked of me if only they would make the pain stop.

Then, there was nothing, just endless darkness enveloping me as I faded away once again.

My whole body ached, this was a relief of sorts as it meant I'd regained some kind of control over it, I remembered not being able to move. There were voices all around me, I thought I heard Bella and I fought to open my eyes and to sit upright but I couldn't, my arms were restrained. It had all been a dream, being free from the hell hole, getting back to my family. I was back there, paying for my stupid attempt to escape.

I pulled frantically against the restraints, crying out in my terror, not caring what the consequences were. The voices around me grew more terrified as I fought back, this was new. I'd expected to be silenced before now. But instead I heard Bella's voice.

"Edward? It's okay baby, you're safe. Please just relax, it's all going to be okay."

My eyes snapped open and I saw her standing next to me, her hand shakily reaching out toward me but she pulled it back slightly every time I yanked to get free. Then I saw that my wrists were bound to the metal sides on the bed.

"Let me go, please! I beg you, please I just want to be free." I sobbed. Bella's face crumbled, her hand covering her face, she backed away from me as if scared. There was a button on the wall that she reached out with a shaking arm before pressing with the palm of her hand . The door swung open and a male nurse came into the room, she took this chance to leave, it was like she couldn't get away from me fast enough. The large male nurse was towering over me, I began panic which was quickly replaced by a seething anger which I realized that this was my time to fight for what I wanted. "Get away from me, you can't take me back. I won't let you, I'll die before I let that happen." I shouted for Bella but she never came to me, she didn't try and save me. More people came into the room but I didn't pay them much attention as they held me down, all I wanted was her and she deserted me. My fight was gone, there was no reason to struggle if the one person I loved more than anything else could walk away so easily.

I felt their hands on me and her name fell from my lips repeatedly as I felt the sharp sting of a needle pierce my skin before an all too familiar feeling calm washed over me once again, embracing me as it took me back into the darkness with it once again.

As my eyes flickered open I looked around the room, this wasn't the same one as I had been in before, there wasn't that familiar 'hospital smell' about it. Confusion flashed through me as I wondered where I was, initially I thought that this was some part of Volterra that I hadn't seen, but this was heaven compared to where I had been. Things didn't make sense though, I could see a window with a view of trees and sky. Words could not describe how it felt to know that I could see the pale blue mottled with patches of white. I sat up in bed taking in my surroundings, it looked almost like a hotel, but I knew that it wasn't, it was too sterile; that also made me think that it wasn't Volterra.

The heels of my hands rubbed against my eyes as I tried to bring myself back around into the world of the living once again. I heard the door open and with some trepidation I turned toward it, and found myself staring into the eyes of the woman I loved, the one person I had longed to see more than anything. Tears filled her eyes and her face crumbled as she held my stare for what felt like forever before she rushed to me. My arms enveloped her, holding her to me so I could inhale her scent once again. The door opened once again and my parents stepped inside. My mom burst into tears and was comforted by my dad. I was free, and safe at last.

Once I could find my voice I asked. "How did you find me?"

Carlisle spoke. "You found us, or should I say you made your way back somehow. I received a phone call to say that an unknown male matching your age and description had been brought in unconscious. All the hospitals in a 50 mile radius have your description. We never stopped looking for you."

"Thank you." Was all I could say, but it didn't seem enough.

Knowing that I was finally free would take some getting used to. It was strange to know that I could get up and walk around and look out of the window whenever I wanted. Occasionally I would flinch when the door would open into my room. The worst reaction that I had was late one night when I panicked as I woke to find no Bella at my side and a nurse I didn't recognize coming towards me with a syringe It was a natural reaction for me. Nothing good ever came from a syringe while I as in Volterra. Fearing that she was here for nefarious reasons I screamed, lashed out and knocked it from the nurse's hand. This caused her to stumble backwards and lose her balance. She fled the room, I never saw her again. Bella ran back into the room and found me huddled in the corner, breathing heavily. It took her a long time to calm me down. I clung to her, sobbing and shaking until I was able to regain some of my composure. My parents moved me to a private clinic where I would have a dedicated team looking after me, people that I could trust. They wanted me back to how I was, but that was a battle that would take some time. I just never realized how long it would take, or what the cost would be.


Authors note:

Pre-reader – Leigh Warner. Thanks to everyone for reading and reviewing, hope you are liking that he is finally free. How to make that happen and keep little drama going was hard but I hope that I got it right. A MASSIVE thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter, sorry if you didn't sign in I couldn't reply BUT I did appreciate all your support. Taken was also one of the Fics Of The Week over on The Writers Coffee Shop which was a huge honor for me.