Hello all. I'm so sorry for the delay, seriously I am. It's been way too long since I updated, after I said I wouldn't wait so long but my life has been so hectic.

Just to catch you all up, I now have a boyfriend who I am absolutely crazy about 3 I've known him for years and our relationship just sort of happened. Anywho, that's a huge reason why I haven't been uploading. But I'm going to try to avoid this giant gap happening again.

And I'm busy trying to catch up with school so I can pass with alright grades.

And I'm always at the doctors or my physical therapist. Sorry.

Also, this chapter was freaking ridiculous to write. I must have rewrote this thing like 3 or 4 times before I finally just stuck with this final copy. I'm sorry if it's not at my best. I've been thinking about the chapter after this so much, that I'm having trouble producing this one.

There are probably a lot of grammar errors, I apologize. Sometimes, I'm just not paying attention.

I hope you all can forgive me for being so late. Thank you to all my reviewers who helped to kick my butt into gear!

I'm not going to dedicate this chapter to anyone since I'm not 100% proud of this work. Sorry again.

Please, please, please make sure you review. With each of your reviews, I write a little more and I write a little better.

Okay. Sorry again. Please try and enjoy!


I awoke sometime later in my bed, and curled against something hard and hot. The warmth was nice, but it made my insides twist slightly. Warmth wasn't what I was accustomed to. Warmth wasn't what I needed.

I needed the chill that sent electric down my spine.

No. Warmth wasn't what I needed.

My eyes felt heavy and the thought of opening them seemed like much too exhausting of a chore so I just lay there.

"Seth, seriously, we should get out of here." The voice I recognized instantly as Jacob's came from the other end of the room. Jacob? Why was Jacob here?

"Then go." I realized then that I must have been lying on Seth's chest, because a gentle hum vibrated my head with his words. "I'm not leaving her alone until one of the Cullens comes to get her." Jacob sighed and I could hear him getting more annoyed. In fact, I could almost imagine his jaw tightening and fists clenching.

"Seth, stop. Your little crush on her is cute and all, but we need to go. One of them will come to get her when they can." Jacob snapped at him. I felt myself frown slightly. 'Little crush?'

A lot of things seemed to make sense then. I guess maybe I was so caught up in Edward and Jacob that I never thought to consider that any one else could ever have feelings for me. The thought made me sad. Seth didn't deserve to like me when he could have any girl in the world.

Why did I have a knack for attracting all the people I didn't deserve?

"A little hypocritical aren't we, Jake?" Seth challenged back at him while managing to keep his voice level and clam. His warm arms were wrapped around me, one of his fingers absentmindedly tracing small shapes. It was very relaxing even if I felt on edge.

"Excuse me?" Jake snarled, almost making me flinch if my body didn't feel like it had been run over by a truck.

Repeatedly.

"Jake, I'm not going to fight with you. But you know I'm right. You know damn well that if you hadn't imprinted, you'd be the one holding her right now. And nothing, probably not even a direct order from Sam, would get you away. Just because you can walk away from her now, doesn't mean the rest of us have to. You're just upset that she's dating Emmett now, which really has nothing to do with you. Oh, and while I'm at it leave my feelings out of this." I guess I'd miss when Seth Clearwater had grown some balls. I wanted to cry and hug Seth for defending me because slowly I remembered how irritated I've been with Jacob.

Jacob had Angela and he still thought he could control my dating life? Where the hell was the fairness in that.

Jacob didn't respond immediately before sighing. "I…I just…"

"Want her to be happy?" Seth prompted in an all-knowing voice.

"More than anything." Came Jake's immediate response. A sad feeling twisted in my stomach at his words. My small Jacob drawer that I had been trying so hard to keep locked away rattled.

"Then you need to let her go." There was a long silence that left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. I took a deep breath and forced my eyes open, to find Seth's looking back at me with amusement.

"Hiya, Bells." He said quietly, but happily. I smiled at him and pushed myself up to a sitting position, groaning once my shoulders popped loudly and my vision went dark with dizziness. "How do you feel?" He asked, sitting up so he could rub my back. I rested my elbows on my knees and dropped my head into my hands as he rubbed my back calmly.

"Like I decided to play chicken with a truck." I admitted honestly. Two chuckles made me whip my head around in surprise. I knew that I heard Jacob, but the sudden silence made me think he left. His lips were pulled back into a small, tight grin. That was Sam's Jacob looking at me. Not my Jacob anymore.

Well, not that he could ever be my Jacob ever again.

No, my Jacob was gone. Forever. No longer was there any potential of an us. Jacob belonged to Angela now. And who was I to stand in the way of that?

"Hi Bella." I nodded and smirked a little. Then, like an actual truck hitting me, all the memories of yesterday came flooding my mind. Everything. Jasper, Edward and Rosalie, the vampire at my window, Emmett...

"Bella, calm down." I didn't even realize my heart rate had doubled in speed until Seth shook me slightly out of it.

"Emmett. What happened to Emmett?" I asked frantically. I saw them both exchange a look and my stomach completely dropped. "He was hurt…" I mumbled while rubbing my eyes forcefully so maybe I could actually wake up from a horrible nightmare.

"Bella." My hands were pulled away from my eyes to lock with Jacob's familiar dark ones. "He was chasing down that vampire, when the other one got the advantage. Embry left his post because he caught a whiff of Victoria and chased her to find her and the other leech…hurting Emmett." I could tell this was hard for him, which made tears start to pour down my face. Subconsciously, I knew the hurting a vampire required…gruesome means. "Listen to me!" Jacob snapped, making my body freeze. Seth's low warning growl made Jacob loosen his hold on my wrists slightly. "He's alive."

He's alive. He's alive. He's alive. He's alive.

No matter how much I repeated the sentence in my head, I couldn't quite believe it.

I felt his pain. There was nothing like it in the world. Just the thought of the pain I felt hours earlier sent an uncomfortable shiver down my spine and a subtle throbbing throughout my body. I scrambled out of bed and almost fell down because of my jell-o knees but didn't thanks to Jacob and Seth's quick reflexes.

"Easy." Both of them commanded quietly. "Bella, you can't go over there right now." Jacob said when I slipped on my shoes. I whipped around and saw red.

"You will not tell me what I can and can't do, Jacob!" I shouted at him as memories of him acting like Edward made their way into my mind. "Someone out there just tried to kill Emmett and you think I'm just going to let him suffer by himself? Jacob, he's everything. I can't lose him. He's my best friend." I sobbed out, not caring that his eyes tightened at the words 'best friend'. Good, he deserved it.

But the truth was, Emmett was my best friend. Yes, in an entirely different way than Jacob, but his own way just the same. That's why we clicked so well compared to Edward and I. Edward and I weren't friends.

I didn't have time to act on this new revelation, because warmth enveloped me. "Of course not. You're stubborn Bella, and I realize that you're not going to listen to us. That doesn't mean that it's a good idea for you to go over there. When I got to the scene, things were pretty bad and Embry was hurt pretty seriously. Luckily, Dr. Fang got there when he did and managed to set his bones back before they healed improperly or he would have had to re-break them." Jacob shuddered at the thought and I was instantly hit with guilt. Someone else was hurt on my account and instead of being with their brother, Jacob and Seth were here with me.

"Is Embry…Okay?" I asked into Jacob's chest. His woodsy scent was familiar but made my stomach twist uncomfortably.

"Yeah, he's healing pretty quickly, but that doesn't mean he's not beating himself up about it." I pulled back and tilted my head in confusion. "When he got hit, everyone went to check on him and Victoria and the other one got away." Jacob explained causing me to roll my eyes. I pulled away and we stood slightly awkward away from each other.

Werewolves and their damn egos.

"But why can't I see Emmett?" I pressed. Jacob sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets uncomfortably.

"Dr. Fang said he had to get all of Emmett back to the house so he could help get him all…fixed up." He trailed off and I saw him cuss under his breath because he accidentally told me what I didn't want to hear. 'all of Emmett.'

He was ripped apart.

My stomach, which still felt as though it had fallen, quickly rose up to my throat and I sprinted to the bathroom, making it just in time to hunch over the porcelain throne and spew whatever was in my stomach. I made violent noises as my stomach emptied itself and I started crying again, partially because of the pain of throwing up and mostly because of Emmett. I tried to wave Jacob away when I saw him walk in the bathroom but he just scoffed.

"Shut up, Bells." He told me, making me glare at him through the hair I was fighting to keep back. "This is what best friends are for, isn't it?" He questioned as he pulled back my hair for me and held it there as another round came out. I didn't miss the way he mentioned that he was my best friend and I didn't protest. No matter what happens to us, we'd always be best friends. Just because he wasn't mine, and I wasn't his, didn't mean we couldn't be friends until the time came for us to part ways.

If I chose to move away, move on from Forks, he would have Angela. And I would have Emmett.

Thinking about Emmett made me lurch again and I sobbed into the toilet as more emptied from my stomach. How could there be so much inside of me?

"Thank you." I croaked out once Seth came in with a glass of water. "Both of you." I added. Seth just nodded at me and readied a toothbrush and cup of mouthwash while Jacob continued to hold my hair back and rub soothing circles on my back. "I don't deserve you." I mumbled into the toilet. They both laughed and I did the same as I flushed the disgusting stomach waste away.

He's alive.

I had to keep reminding myself, otherwise another round would have came up.

"I'm really sorry for how I acted last night, Bella." Jacob said as he helped me stand on my shaky knees.

"S'okay." I told him before starting to brush my teeth.

"Well, it isn't, but thank you for that. I didn't mean to act like him." I shrugged and smiled at him through my toothpaste filled mouth. Things were so easy with Jacob. "So, you and Emmett, eh?" He asked once I started to rinse my mouth with the mouthwash. I just gave him a look and swished around the burning liquid in my mouth. "Fine, fine. Don't tell me." He raised his hands in surrender. His body stiffened and his nostrils flared suddenly and I groaned. I was so not in the mood for another vampire here to ruin my day. I spit in the sink and looked up.

To my surprise, it wasn't a vampire that wanted to kill me, just Jasper appearing in the doorway.

"Jasper?" I asked in confusion. His eyes were dark as he raked Jacob in and I snapped my fingers, making him look at me. "What are you doing here?" When his eyes focused on me, they turned back to their golden hue.

"Well, I just came to get the scent darlin'. But I could hear you heaving from miles away and the smell of wet dog just made me want to check up on you." I blushed and glared at him before a little before the worry crept back. He grimaced slightly.

"He's alive, Bella. That's all that matters." He tried to comfort me but I just frowned.

"He's hurt though. When can I come see him?" I asked hopefully. I could see that he was fighting with himself internally and bit my lip, looking at him hopefully. He groaned and I thought I almost saw him stomp his foot.

"You think you can get anything you want with those eyes, don't ya?" He asked with a sigh. I giggled at him and his eyes twinkled. "Right now isn't a good time." I opened my mouth to protest, but he lifted his hand and sent me a dose of calm. "It's five a.m. and Charlie won't be home until later tonight. Give Carlisle some time to work his magic, and I'll come get you at around two." I wanted to protest, but I'm sure that even doing this was a bad idea so I sighed and nodded.

"Thank you." I said sincerely. He smiled and looked to Jacob.

"I'm going to get and see if I can track that scent. You coming?" I was in complete awe that Jasper and him were speaking but Jacob nodding and following him was even stranger.

"I'm sorry that I've been such a horrible friend, Bells." Jacob said before squeezing me in a vice grip of a hug.

I knew if I said it was okay, he would protest, and if I told him he hadn't, he would argue so I just nodded against him.

He looked deeply into my eyes for a long minute before turning and jogging down the steps to follow Jasper. I heard the front door open and shut and I just stood there stunned for a minute when Seth came walking out of my bedroom, his hands over his stomach.

"You okay?" He asked hesitantly. I nodded and gestured towards his stomach. "I'm hungry." He said bashfully.

"You sound surprised." I teased as I walked down the stairs and to the kitchen. Seth followed eagerly and watched as I looked at the fridge. It was so early but I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep until I saw Emmett alive with my own eyes. There was some turkey and mash potatoes left over from last night's dinner that Charlie was supposed to eat so I stacked everything left onto a plate and stuck it in the microwave.

"I'm going to make Embry some food, too. That should distract me." I mused aloud. Seth laughed.

"I think he'll like that, Bella. Pretty girl plus a bunch of food?" I laughed with him and once the microwave beeped, I set the plate, which was stacked completely in front of him. His eyes went wide and the look in his eyes made me smile. They worked so hard, they deserved this.

I searched the contents of the kitchen, trying to distract myself with the recipes appearing in my mind.

Seth was a superhero in keeping me sane. He always stayed on innocent, light hearted topics—careful to avoid sensitive subjects and always made it his mission to make me laugh. He was such a good kid.

But no matter how much I tried to keep my mind occupied, the only thing I could focus on was Emmett.


"Ah, hello Bella." Billy said as the screen door opened.

"Hi, Billy. I heard Embry was staying here while he healed." My statement came out more as a question but he smiled sadly and nodded.

"Yes, I'm letting him stay in the girls' room until he's fully healed." He rolled away so I could walk in. "Seth." Billy greeted as I held the door open for him. His eyes widened when he saw all the containers Seth was carrying and I laughed.

"I'm sorry, I hope you don't mind." I stuttered quickly. The thought that I may not be welcome in Pack business anymore didn't really occur to me until now.

"Bella, you bringing food here is never frowned upon." I couldn't help but laugh at that while I tried to help Seth set the containers on the table. I was right to cook for Embry, because it served as a good distraction with Seth all morning. "Besides, maybe it'll put Embry to sleep and he won't be such a pain in my ass." I heard a loud 'Hey!' from down the hallway and couldn't help but to laugh.

Billy stared in awe as I put a good chunk of lasagna on a plate followed by cheddar crusted potatoes, fried zucchini, and garlic bread around it. I grabbed a fork, knife, and some napkins while instructing Seth to pour him some soda, before walking down the hallway.

"Bella, baby, tell me my ears don't deceive me." He said as I walked in the room. I smiled at him but it was hard once I saw him. He was propped up in a sitting position with bandages over his ribs and some still healing bruises.

"Oh Embry." I rolled my eyes and walked over to the bed, placing the plate on his lap and sitting down beside him. His eyes popped and he almost started to drool at the sight before him. I swear, these boys never eat enough. God Bless the women who marry them and have to put up with their endless stomachs. Catching me completely off surprise, Embry turned and pressed his closed lips to mine in a split second kiss. I would've panicked, because now I had a boyfriend to worry about, but it wasn't a romantic type of a kiss. It actually reminded me like kissing a cousin or a very close friend.

"Thank you so much, Bella. This totally just cheered me up." He said before shoveling the food down his throat. He moaned at each taste and I just laughed and ruffled my hands through his hair.

"How are you feeling?" I asked while playing with his hair.

"Much better now." He said with a wink. I biffed his head and he continued to eat. "But seriously, I'm so pissed I let her get me. Bitch got away."

"Embry, this isn't your fault. I'm just upset you were hurt on my account."

"Oh shut up. We're designed to kill leeches, Bella. I should have been paying closer attention." He said with his mouth completely full of food. I smiled sadly and closed his mouth with my finger. He gave me a bashful look before chewing and swallowing the rest of the food in his mouth.

"As long as you're okay." I said softly. He gave me a warm smile and the door opened with Seth carrying two cups of soda.

"Sup Seth!" Embry said happily as he took a glass and chugged almost the entire cup. I smiled and left for the kitchen where Billy was shoving his face full of food in a plate I guessed Seth made for him.

"Delicious, Bella." He moaned gratefully. I laughed and readied some of the double chocolate cake on a new plate. I swore his eyes were going to fall from his skull. "If the rest of the pack sees this, they're going to start getting hurt on purpose." He teased. I smiled at him and brought the cake to Embry, who already finished all of his food.

"Those potatoes were the absolute shit, Bella! I think I'm in love." He rambled but his jaw just dropped when he saw the cake I was holding. "Wow." He whispered as I replaced his empty plate for the cake one. "Seth, you've got to try this." He moaned after he took a bite.

"Don't worry about that. I already had some food." Seth joked, making him glare. I glanced at the clock on the bedside table and frowned. It was 1:30 so I should leave. As much as I wanted to see Emmett, I was petrified at what I would find. Would he dismembered throughout the Cullen household? Would he be able to hold himself together?

"Alright, I have to get going. Feel better Embry." I said with a grin. He leaned up and I got his hint, leaning down we kissed each other's cheek like my Italian family always does when we see each other.

"Thank you for the food, Bella. I'm serious." It was strange seeing Embry so sincere, but I was happy about it.

"Of course. Feel better, Em." Seth walked me out to my truck and I stood there for a long moment before throwing my arms around him tightly. "Thank you for staying with me yesterday." I whispered into him.

"Anytime. I'm glad I could help. I hope Emmett gets better." Once we said our goodbyes, I hopped in the truck and pulled away to start the drive back to Forks. My phone rang and I flipped it open to put it on speaker.

"Hello?" I asked while putting the phone in my lap.

"Bella. Where are you?" Jasper's voice was urgent and I winced. I didn't expect him to be early. Of all times for the vampires not to be punctual…

"I'm on my way back from La Push. I made food for the wolf that was injured." I explained as I pressed the gas a little more. "I'm sorry, I didn't expect you to be early." I added when he didn't speak.

"Don't apologize, Bella. I was just worried. Where are you?" His voice was laced with calm and I seriously wondered if his power could work from afar.

"I just crossed the La Push border." Instantly a whirling sound of wind came from the other end so I knew he was running. I flinched when the cab door opened and he chuckled before hanging up. "Damn vampire speed." I mumbled as he shut the door. He laughed at me and I couldn't help but to notice his worried eyes. "Something wrong?" I asked hesitantly. I don't know if I could deal with more bad news.

"I just miscalculated the situation. Things at the house aren't going well." He explained in a solemn voice. He calmed the panic before it caught it my throat. "Carlisle hasn't left Emmett's side and his healing seems to be taking longer than normal. Edward and Rosalie are stressed and their emotions are haywire. As if things couldn't get any worse, Alice started having some sort of emotional breakdown and I haven't been able to pull her from it." My head was swimming with all this information. The entire family stressed and hurt.

"Are you sure you still want to come over?" He asked hesitantly when I drove past my house. I nodded.

"I have to try to help somehow." He nodded in understanding and remained quiet as I turned in the Cullen driveway. "How are you feeling?" I asked. I remembered him yesterday, the Major threatening his body and mind.

"Much better. Thank you again for that, Bella." I smiled and parked the car, glad I was able to do something right. The closer we walked to the door, the more tension I was able to pick up on, probably much to Jasper's dismay. He frowned and mumbled an apology before running in ahead of me. I followed and instantly felt weighted down with stress and worry.

My eyes unconsciously gazed up the beautiful glass steps and I took a step towards them, before being enveloped in cold, familiar arms.

Jasper held me in his arms and as soothing as that felt, I know he was mostly doing it to prevent me from running upstairs. I could hear Emmett grunting and I could feel a sick pain in my stomach.

"How could this happen…" I whispered pathetically.

"It's not his fault. It was a newborn and he wasn't prepared." Jasper tried to soothe me but I was shaking from anger and despair. All I wanted to do was be near him. "Trust me Bella, if you saw him right now you'd pass right out." I winced at the truth of his words. They tried to rip him apart and some…pieces were separated from his body.

To my surprise, I noticed Alice sitting on the sofa curled up in a small ball rocking back and forth.

"Alice?" I asked, pulling away from Jasper's arms and walking towards her. She looked at me and I gasped in shock. Her eyes were gray. Not black like when they hungry, but gray with gold around the edges. Her hair was frizzy and she looked frazzled.

She looked like she was losing her mind.

"I can't." She sobbed desperately. I looked to Jasper whose face was in complete despair as he stared at his wife. "What is happening!" She screamed as she grabbed her head desperately.

Another shout of pain came from upstairs and my head spun. I wanted to see Emmett. Alice yelled as well. It was as though the world was swirling around me.

"Alice, it's okay." Jasper was at her side, kissing her face.

"Please, make it stop." She choked out. Jasper closed his eyes and touched her face. Her shaking body calmed and her body untensed. Her eyes slipped shut, as though she fell asleep but I'm sure she was just relishing in Jasper's ability. I walked on numb legs to the kitchen, where Esme stood sobbing silently into her hands.

"Esme." I whispered. She looked up at me, venom pooling in her eyes. She ran to me and hugged me as tightly as she ever could.

"I…" She tried to speak but just squeezed me tighter. I didn't question it and just hugged her as tight as I could manage. I understood her completely. She was terrified. Her two children were causing great distress in the house, her other son was almost murdered, her daughter was losing her mind, and she was forcing herself to keep it all together.

Esme Cullen's family was falling apart.

And I couldn't do anything to stop it.

"I want to help." I whispered against her comforting granite neck. She rubbed my back soothingly.

"I know." We walked back to the living room where Jasper was holding Alice tightly to her chest.

"Alice?" I asked. Her dark eyes lifted to mine but I knew she was looking through me as though she was hypnotized. They clouded over again and she started to groan in pain. I recognized the look in her eyes now; it was the same as when she was having a vision. In fact, everything about her at the moment was as though she was having a vision. Her stiff posture, glazed far away eyes, twitching fingers; all of it. It was as though…

I sat on the coffee table and reached out to hold her tiny hands in between mine.

"Bella?" Jasper whispered warningly. I could understand why. Alice was unstable and the last thing we needed right now is me getting hurt because of that. I sent him as much confidence as I could muster and he sat back slowly, his arm seeming ready to reach out and hold Alice back if necessary.

"Alice, you need to stop looking into the future." I commanded. For a split second, her eyes snapped back to the warm gold color I had grown so accustomed to and I saw the real Alice in there. But just as quickly as they came, the gray was back. "Trust me, please. I know sometimes you can't control it, but if you have to stop looking."

Jasper tensed and suddenly his hands were on her shoulders, appearing to hold her back. I never thought I'd see the day when Alice would snap at me, but I guess my life was just full of surprises lately. Her lips were pulled back into a menacing snarl and she snapped at me like a dog to someone it hated. I flinched back instinctually even though I knew she was no match for Jasper with his strength and military training.

Jasper's eyes were calculating as he watched me relax back into my normal position. My heartbeat had definitely spiked but I knew that I had to be strong.

"You need to stop looking! Think of your family! Esme and Carlisle are so worried about you Alice. Do it for me. Most importantly, do it for yourself and Jasper." At the mention of her mate, her eyes focused back onto mine.

Maybe I was expecting her to yell at me, or go crazy and start breaking things, but she did something completely unexpected.

She closed her eyes. Jasper was completely frozen as her form leaned forward.

"No!" The door burst open and a blur of white caught her before she fell on the floor. The blur, who I know realized was Edward, laid Alice on the couch and started cooing relaxing words to her motionless body. In an instant, Edward was pressed up against the far wall, Jasper choking his neck.

"What did you do?" Jasper snarled at him.

"Nothing! I could just hear her thoughts!" He tried to explain. I knew I couldn't handle settling the Major down again so I focused on as many calming thoughts as I could muster and pushed them his way. Slowly, he released Edward's neck one finger at a time until he was on his feet.

"What happened to my wife?" Jasper's menacing voice was enough to send a cold shiver down my spine. As crazy as Alice has been lately, Jasper was still her mate. He still loved her through thick and thin, and now he wants answers about her mental health. It was beautiful.

"From what I can gather from her mind the past few hours, it's as though her future-seeing ability is taking control." Panic rose within me and I realized how much I truly missed having Alice in my life—as a non-psycho sister. If this could explain her weird behavior, than I wanted it fixed immediately.

"Why isn't she moving?" Esme's voice was so heartbreaking, she could have brought an entire military fleet to its knees. In fact, she could have brought and army of sadistic newborn vampires to its knees,

"It's as though she's asleep." I added as I stroked the back of my knuckles on her icy face. Sadness filled me as I realized this is what death looked like. If I had been ignorant to this mythical world and found Alice Cullen lying like this, I would call the police and report the death of the sweet and mysterious girl.

"Actually, it's more of a coma." I flinched at the new voice and turned to see Carlisle assessing the situation with his tired gold eyes.

"You've seen this before?" Edward asked, momentarily distracted as Rosalie entered the room, her perfect face pulled in a tight façade of normalness. I had to respect Rosalie, even if she wanted to kill me on more than one occasion, because she sure knew how to put on a mask and keep the world out.

"Yes. It's been such a long time." His voice faded to a dull hum and I realized from the look in his eyes that he was lifetimes away in memory. "One thing is certain, the venom has forced her into this state for healing." Being the idiotic human I was, I didn't understand how the venom could force her to do anything. That was definitely a question I would need answered.

"What can I do for her?" Jasper asked miserably.

"Let her rest. I'm sure the cocktail of calm and relaxation you sent her triggered the healing process. It was a good thing you did it." Jasper nodded and carefully picked up Alice, who looked so much younger in her comatose state and he walked at a normal human pace up the steps, probably to place her in the bed they shared.

"How is Emmett?" Esme asked when the silence between everyone in the room became too much to bare. Carlisle, who was still lifetimes away, flinched at the voice but nodded quickly and held Esme close.

"He is healing at a surprising rate. He should be fine in a few hours. Bella, if you would like to see him, you can now. Just try to keep him still."

Well, I certainly didn't need to be told twice. I tripped twice running up the steps but couldn't find it in me to be embarrassed about it. I ran in the door and halted my movement completely when I saw Emmett lying on the bed.

Apparently, my chest had been feeling tightened since my panic attack the night before, because the second I saw him, my chest eased and a breath of air escaped me. He was absolutely flawless as I took in his shirtless form with a plain white sheet conveniently covering most of his right side. He smiled at me with those damn dimples and a bubbly tingle shot from my ankles to my throat and I couldn't help but to smile back.

"Hello, Handsome." I said breathlessly. His booming laughter made everything seem like a horrible nightmare. Alice going catatonic, Edward and Jacob trying to control my life, young werewolves getting hurt at my expense; all of it seemed so impossible.

"Hi, beautiful." His comment made my face heat up and he smiled at me. I was unable to control myself as I sprinted towards him and wrapped my arms around his neck and held him close. "Easy, Bells." He whispered. Like the complete idiot I was, I got lost in his eyes and forgot he was hurt. I pulled away, cussing to myself when his left arm wrapped it's way around my waist. Our emotions flooded together and I couldn't stop the tears that swelled in my eyes. The relief was so overwhelming that my eyes slipped shut.

"I'm so glad you're okay." I whispered so I could control my voice. He leaned forward a little and kissed me right above my right eye.

"I'm sorry I left you, Bells." His cool breath tickled my skin and I giggled a little through the few tears that managed to escape.

"S'okay." I mumbled. He sighed and pulled back slightly so he could look straight at my eyes.

"No, it's not, Bella. I left you completely unprotected. I didn't know the pack was watching for sure." His voice got lower. "All I wanted to do was see you, since Edward and Jacob brought up something about a panic attack?" I blushed and looked away from his eyes.

"Nope." He said whilst removing his arm from around my waist and holding my chin so I was forced to look him in the eyes. "Don't do that, Bells. Honesty policy—remember?" I sighed and let my eyes slip shut. I hated when he was right. And it wasn't like I wanted to keep things away from him, I was just too much of a coward to face them.

"Everything just became too much. I was so worried about you, and the pack that I just lost myself." I really wasn't in the mood to talk about all my trivial worries while Alice was in a coma and the rest of the Cullens stressed about what was going to happen next. He was quiet for a long moment so I opened my eyes so look at his soft ones. He opened his mouth and I expected him to say something supportive and calming to relax me.

"You stink." He said instead. My shoulders slumped and I scowled at him.

"Well aren't you Romantic." I folded my arms and tried to look away, which was impossible due to his grip on my chin. To my surprise, he leaned forward and a left a shockingly brief and sweet kiss on my lips. Even that tiny little connection sent my heartbeat soaring and my emotions into a deep state of calm.

"I'm just saying. I've been freaking out for hours and you've been rolling with the dogs?" I giggled at him and felt my muscles relax slowly.

"Embry got hurt so I made him food to distract myself since I wasn't aloud over until now." I saw his eyes soften with sadness at the thought of someone getting hurt. He was quiet for a long time before he dropped his hand and hugged me tightly to his broad, but comforting chest.

"I shouldn't have left you alone." He whispered, probably more to himself than anything. I took a deep breath of his sweet, cinnamon like scent of his shoulder, before lazily rolling my head to side to look at his neck. There, I saw a dark fissure line and winced. He immediately squeezed me a little tighter. "What's wrong?" He whispered. Although it scared me, I leaned forward and left a tiny kiss right above the line and frowned.

"They got so close." I went to reach out and touch the fracture, but his hand quickly caught mine and brought it up to his lips to kiss.

"It will never happen again. I won't leave you." I couldn't tell if he meant leave me as in die, or leave me as in this new relationship, but something tells me that there wasn't a difference in his book. "Don't touch it. It will be like touching broken glass." He murmured before letting go of my hand. I settled for letting it rest on his chest and relaxing to the sounds of his unnecessary breathing.

"Emmett?" I asked, forcing myself not to fall asleep in this perfect tranquil moment.

"Yes?"

"Is your venom the same as Carlisle's?" I wasn't sure exactly where the question came from, but now that I said it, I was really curious. Thinking about it now, I really didn't know all that much about the life I begged to be a part of.

"Of course not." He scoffed quietly. "See, you know how all fingerprints are different?" He started, flipping my hand over so he could run his fingers along the lines of my hands. I hummed for him to continue. "Well, think of venom the same way. No two vampire's venom is the same, because no one is the same."

"Huh. That makes sense." I added in a tired voice. The relief was too much and I never wanted to leave his side. I don't care how attached I am to him, I never wanted to go through that again.

"But that's not to say that some of us aren't connected through venom. Think of it as genetics, actually. Carlisle bit me, so his venom mixed with my blood and my body chemicals and my muscles and my everything, so my venom became unique to me, even if could somehow be traced back to him. That's why he's my 'father'." By this point, his fingers were making imaginary patterns on my wrist until I realized that he was tracing my crescent scar. "Because Carlisle created us, we sort of have this family bond that pulls us towards him. Alice and Jasper don't have that though, since Carlisle didn't create them." I suddenly found myself wondering if Jasper ever felt pulled to find and speak to Maria, the sadistic seductress who forced him to take the lives of hundreds.

Does that mean Alice and Jasper could leave at any point they wanted to, and not feel regret about it? Would they ever just pick up and leave?

"Bella." I turned to see Carlisle walking in. "I have to go with Emmett to continue with some of the healing process. Edward and Rosalie have left to try and track Victoria and her companion. Esme went to clear her mind and went shopping. Will you be okay with Jasper?"

I frowned and looked at Emmett. Of course, I had no problem staying with Jasper. I knew he would protect me. But I never wanted to let Emmett out of my sight again. I would never be able to deal with it if he got hurt again. Emmett reached out and brushed his fingers over my cheek, making the blood rush up to meet him. He smiled sadly and sent me as much reassurance as he could.

"Of course, Carlisle." I said without taking my eyes away from his. I leaned forward and left a swift kiss on his lips before leaving the room. I could feel the tightness in my chest threatening to return, but I forced myself to be calm. Emmett would be okay, I'm sure of it. After going to the restroom and splashing some cool water on my face, I passed by the now empty room and frowned.

I walked past the room and stopped in front of another. The door wasn't completely closed but I still lifted my hand up to knock softly. A soft 'Come in' vibrated the now empty house immediately.

I walked into the study, amazed at the hundreds of old dusty books that lined the shelves and the many candles that flickered around Alice, who was lying on the bed. Her chest rose and fell as though she was alive and human, and in fact, she looked like she was sleeping. I know this wasn't their bedroom, but I had a gut feeling Jasper would bring her here. Jasper sat bedside, rubbing circles onto her stone hand. His eyes met mine and I saw all of it. I saw the hurt and worry, the fear and anger, the worry and the love.

I saw Jasper.

"I heard your conversation with Emmett." He said softly before glancing at Alice again, as though making sure she was still there.

"So do you know what I want to ask?" I questioned, pulling up a chair from his desk and sitting on the opposite side of him, holding Alice's free hand.

"Not necessarily." He smirked and I was suddenly fascinated with Alice's perfectly blue painted nails with black designs.

"Do you ever feel pulled to find Maria?" I asked softly, knowing he would hear me now matter how quietly I tried to say it. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stiffen slightly before he continued to rub circles onto Alice's hand.

"No." I looked up in confusion, trying to understand what Emmett told me. "I did when I first left." He clarified. "When Peter and Charlotte came back for me, I was so relieved to be away from war. But when we parted ways, I found myself longing to find her again. Everything changed when I found Alice, of course." His words were so quiet that if I closed my eyes, it was as though he was the wind.

"So a mate can fight the bond?" I asked for clarification.

"A mate changes everything, Bella." He laughed once and I studied Alice's beautiful face. I longed for my sister to come back. Whatever this was had to be fixed soon. "If I were a nomad and had no reason to survive or stay in one place, I would eventually find Maria—whether I wanted to or not." With that, it all made sense and I nodded and we sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes.

What was wrong with the world lately? Why was Alice losing her mind? Why was I such a damn danger magnet? Why did people have to get hurt on my account? Why were Edward and Jacob trying to control my life?

My body flinched as I thought of Edward and I felt Jasper's confusion.

"What do you think is wrong with Edward's eyes?" I asked casually. When he didn't answer, I looked up and saw the confusion evident on his face. "Don't you remember yesterday when Edward tried to slap me?" His eyes flared with anger but I could see the confusion still underlying beneath them.

"I…I'm unsure of what you mean." His eyebrows furrowed and I realized that Jasper, a vampire with supposed perfect memory, was trying to remember something.

"You said that you didn't stop him because something in his eyes confused you." My statement was coming out as a question and my head started to hurt.

"It's all a blur." He admitted the more he tried to think about it. I felt so bad for Jasper these past few days. His life was practically run by the Major when I was around.

"That's right." I whispered to myself. His eyes were burning into me so I cleared my throat and looked up at him. "Is there a way that I can speak to the Major?" I asked hesitantly. Instantly, his eyes told me no, it's too dangerous. But I could see the understanding flicker in his eyes when he realized that even though he might not remember, the Major might.

"He always listens, Bella. He sees everything as I do." He said quietly.

"I know. But I need to speak to him. He needs to be in control for you to remember." His lips pulled down into a small frown when he realized the truth behind my words. He stood suddenly and kicked his chair, thankfully not enough to break it or anything in the room.

He walked over to his desk and gripped it tightly, making the wood protest loudly. His head was hung low and a small sliver of fear crept into me when I realized that I had no clue what he was doing. He was taking deep loud breaths and clutching the desk so tightly his knuckles were turning even whiter than his normally pale skin. He was making small grunts and mumbles.

I could feel his anger and resentment but I was smart enough to not move. He took a deep breath and pried each of his fingers of the desk one at a time from his right hand. He still gripped with his left and appeared to be leaning on it for support. He carefully opened a top drawer and reached it with his free hand. I recognized instantly a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I wanted to protest, because I resented the smell of smoke but I was smart enough not to move or say anything. He took another deep breath before removing his left hand so he could hit the pack against his hand once. He proceeded to take one out and light it as though it was all habit.

Emmett told me once that alcohol didn't bother vampires, since the alcohol burned almost instantly, but some actually liked the taste. It made sense that some would like to smoke, since the taste was probably as addicting when they were humans without the consequences. After a few deep breaths with the cigarette I felt a small surge of confidence and stood as quietly as I could manage. I didn't approach him though, I knew that much.

"Jasper." I whispered as quietly as I could manage. His body twitched slightly at my voice but other than that, it didn't even appear that he heard me. My hands were folded in front of me, my thumb of my left hand digging into the palm of my right—a public speaking technique I learned in my speech class. "Major Whitlock?" I asked in a more confident voice.

Slowly, at a nice human speed, Jasper turned to me, cigarette hanging loosely from his lips. I noticed how erect his posture was and his calculating look in his eyes made me feel as though I was glued to where I stood. He assessed me for a few moments before reached up to pull the cigarette from his mouth and blow out some of the white, disgusting smoke. The smell didn't bother me in small doses, so I hoped I would be okay.

"Isabella." His voice was completely different than what I expected. Not only was it not the smooth one of Jasper I was so familiar with but it wasn't even the menacing growl that I had heard when Jasper lost it yesterday. This voice was rough and sounded, dare I say, more human than anything I heard from a vampire. I could completely hear his southern accent, not the subtle drawl that Jasper would sometimes let out when he spoke of his past or let himself relax.

I opened my mouth to speak but something within me reminded me that I wasn't speaking to Jasper, I was speaking to the most feared vampire war general probably in history. "May I ask you a question, sir?" I asked, keeping my eyes averted from him. He paused to suck in another hit as his eyes continued to assess me. I suddenly felt very vulnerable and weak under his gaze.

"Permission granted." He said, the white smoke gentle pooling from his lips.

"Yesterday, when Edward almost attacked me, you—I mean, Jasper hesitated because he saw something in his eyes. When I asked him about it, he couldn't remember." He just stared at me, with something similar to humor glistening in his eyes, and I realized I hadn't asked him a question. "Did you see what I saw in his eyes?"

Another pause. "Yes." I resisted the urge to roll my eyes, because I didn't want to do anything to anger him, even if the soldier in Jasper swore never to let harm come to me.

"Can you explain what it was?" I asked, biting my lip and digging my thumbnail harder into my palm.

"You won't like the answer." I was confused because from what I was told, the Major was ruthless and didn't care for feelings at all.

"I don't care." He smirked at that and took another hit of his cig.

"Fascinating." He said more to himself. "Human blood." I froze with fear because I realized how dangerous this was. He laughed once, a cold and petrifying sound. "That's what his eyes meant. He's been drinkin' from humans." He spoke so casually, as though we were discussing the weather but my mind kicked into overdrive.

Edward? Edward was drinking from humans? Edward, who valued every human aspect of life, was drinking from them?

"But…how has no one noticed?" I asked aloud. The Major shrugged and flicked the finished cigarette into the trash before lighting another one. The room already had a thin film of smoke hovering about but I didn't say anything.

"He is their golden boy. Not only do they not suspect him to do anythin' wrong, but their subconscious wouldn't let them notice if that were the case." I couldn't help but totally agree with that. "His eyes weren't red because he drank as much animal blood as he could manage." I didn't miss the way he grimaced. The Major didn't like animal blood all that much, that I could see. "When Emmett and he fought, even though Emmett would have won the fight, Edward was slow and sluggish because he was overfilled with blood to hide his eyes. But human blood ignites our primal instincts to survive. When you angered him, you saw fire in his eyes, correct?" He asked in a calm controlled voice.

"Yes." I answered immediately. He shrugged as though that gave me all the answers, which I guess it sort of did. He looked over to Alice, his cigarette hanging from his lips and frowned.

"I have failed her." He said so softly, I almost missed it. We were quiet for a long minute before I let out a breath of air I didn't know I was holding.

"Thank you for protecting me recently." I said without moving my eyes from Alice.

"I am a soldier, Miss Bella. It was no trouble." When he said Miss Bella, I suddenly realized that's why Jasper must call me that. If the Major was always watching, he probably took the reigns sometimes.

Another silence.

"In fact, I should thank you personally for pulling Jasper back when I was…less than forgiving." I looked at him and noticed he was staring right at me. I wanted to tell him it was no trouble at all, that I would have done it for anyone, that I wanted to help, but I knew that no one probably ever received such kind words or treatment from him.

"Of course."

Another silence.

It was so strange to me. I had heard all the horror stories of the Major, yet he was acting so calm and collected to me.

"I know Jasper already answered this question, but I am curious. Do you ever long to return to Maria?" I asked softly. He snorted. Jasper Whitlock snorted. I was so amazed at how human he was acting. If the God of War was a violent murdering beast, then why did he act so…normal when there wasn't a battlefield involved?

"Not for the friendly ways you may believe." I shuddered at the truth of his words. Maria ruined Jasper's life—both human and vampire. He wanted revenge. "But she is where I belong now." He said, gazing at Alice again. I couldn't believe that tiny Alice had tamed this savage man.

"Her visions…do you have any idea why they're taking over?" I asked. The cigarette moved around his lips slightly and his head cocked to the side as he thought.

"Something inside of her is wrong." He explained. "I need to do more research and pick at Carlisle's ancient brain." I nodded. "Vampires don't get sick, Miss Isabella. But sometimes, for reasons that we don't even understand, they go through periods of insanity. They lose their damn minds. Alice was treated like a prisoner—a mistake—in her human life. Sometimes, she has flashbacks so vivid she can't speak for days." I frowned at this new information. I had always hoped that all the vampire memories would erase or ease the ones of her horrible human life. "Her venom is different then most. There is not a doubt in my mind that the answer to her problem lies within her venom."

It was all so much to handle. I had expected the Major to throw me around a bit, or yell at me, or intimidate me. But he was nothing but cooperative. Edward drank from humans. Alice's problem has to deal with her venom. I shook my head and took a deep breath.

"Thank you for speaking to me, Major." He smirked a crooked confident smile at me. I didn't miss how dangerously attractive he was in this second. I couldn't help but to wonder if his, dare I say, sexy good looks and charm was a reason so many people followed him.

"I'll always be watching, Isabella. You are wise beyond your years. If you have any more questions, or if you just need to talk to me, you know where I'll be." I couldn't find it in me to be annoyed that he called me by my too formal first name.

"Emmett and I are not linked by venom, Isabella." He said after a short silence. I tilted my head in confusion. "But he is as much my brother as anyone in this damned existence. You are good for him. And he is good for you."

I smiled. "Thank you."

"Let me give you one piece of advice. In all my years with Alice, one important thing I have learned is that when two people care about each other, your heart starts to make judgment calls—not your brain. When the time comes, you must decide which one you need to listen to."

I nodded and turned to the door as he flicked his cigarette in the trash. He sat down by Alice and grabbed her hand again. I couldn't help but to be mesmerized as he leaned forward and ever so softly whispered to her. "Come back to me." Then, his dark eyes and formal posture shifted and I recognized Jasper once more. His eyes drooped as though he was tired and I realized that allowing the Major to take over must be an exhausting process. He didn't look at me, and I wasn't up for any more discussion so as quietly as I could manage, not that it mattered, I left and shut the door with a gentle click.

My head and heart felt heavy as I walked down the hallway. Edward was drinking from humans. I walked down to the door when it opened to reveal Emmett. He hugged me immediately and I smiled.

"Good to see you walking, you big lug." I said into his chest. His laughter rumbled off my face. He kissed the top of my head.

"Nope! Off to bed, Emmett!" Carlisle commanded somewhere behind Emmett. I laughed at Emmett's childish whine from his father's order.

"Come on, pops, there's no harm in holding her." Emmett tried to protest. I saw Carlisle's menacing fatherly glare and smiled. "Damn old man." Emmett muttered, earning a slap on the back of his head like they did on NCIS. I giggled.

"I have to get going anyway. I'm going to make Charlie some dinner." In reality, I just didn't want to be here when Edward arrived, otherwise I was going to reveal his entire secret to everyone and I didn't know if that was path to go about yet. He pouted and I reached up on my tip toes to give him a swift kiss. "I'll text you." He smiled at that before going with Carlisle upstairs.

"Bye, Bella." He called from the top of the stairs. I laughed and waved goodbye.

"You expecting company, Bells?" Charlie asked with his mouth full. I was almost relieved, because he hadn't seemingly taken one breath after I put the plate of leftover food from Embry in front of him. I was actually worried that he was going to stop breathing just so he could eat.

"Not that I know of." I trailed off, standing up and stretching slightly. The phone rang and with a heavy sigh, he forced himself away from the mountain of food. I rolled my eyes as I headed to the door.

"Men." I opened the door and was completely shocked by who I saw standing there in the drizzling rain, holding a few grocery bags, with wide smooth brown eyes and a shy smile.

"Hi Bella." She said in a hesitant voice. I was still in complete awe she was here.

"Angela?" I asked, just to be sure. "What are you doing here?" I questioned curiously. In her other hand which didn't hold grocery bags, she held up a pack of double stuffed Oreos.

"Jacob told me about what happened yesterday." A warm feeling filled my stomach. "About him and Edward, about what happened to Emmett, and about everything that happened with you. I'm not a rocket scientist or anything, and coming over unannounced probably wasn't the best idea, but all of that meets the requirements of an emergency girl night." She gushed quickly, blushing all the while. I couldn't help but to smile at her because she was trying so hard.

Immediately, I wanted to tell her I was okay, and that she didn't need to worry about anything like I would to anyone who came and wanted me to talk about my problems, but then I realized that I didn't want to send her away. Angela knew about this life now. I didn't need to hide things from her just because she was human.

"I'm sorry. I should have called…" She trailed off awkwardly. I shook my head and threw my arms around her tightly. She managed to somehow hug me even while holding everything.

"Thank you. Come inside." I said after I pulled away.

When I shut the door, I noticed Charlie come joggin down the steps in his uniform.

"Was that the station?" I asked even though clearly I saw the answer. He nodded gravely.

"Yes, another missing teen a few towns over. I'll probably be there most of the night." He stopped when he saw Angela. "Hello, Miss Weber." He said politely as he finished getting ready.

"Hi, Chief Swan." She said politely. "Is now a bad time? I could leave…" Always so considerate, but Charlie probably didn't miss the way my eyes widened in fear at the thought of her leaving.

"No, no. It's fine. I'm actually glad you're here. It means Bella won't be alone." I smiled at him and he gave me a subtle wink. Within ten minutes, Charlie was pulling out of the driveway in his cruiser to face probably what was another problem of Victoria. Angela had put the two pints of ice cream in the freezer and poured us some milk.

"So did Jake send you here?" I asked curiously as we set up on the couch. I offered her a blanket and we settled on either end of the sofa. She laughed a tiny laugh.

"Hardly. I sent him away once he told me what happened. He was a total jerk to you." She ripped open the Oreo bag and we eagerly dove in.

"He told you everything?" I asked while licking one. She shook her head.

"No. All he said was that he started acting like Edward and flipped when he found out about you and Emmett. He got pretty offended when I wouldn't take his side." Just hearing Emmett's name made a small blush climb to my cheeks.

Unable to resist myself, I dove into what transpired the night before. She sat there and watched me ramble without interruption. She nodded and listened diligently as I flailed my arms around and complained.

"I know they think they have my best interest at heart, but seriously, that's a load of bull. I expect it from Edward now, because of his crazy obsessive ways, but Jacob was a curve ball I wasn't planning on. They both have someone so why can't they stay out of my business?" I finished with a loud huff. Most of the package of Oreos were gone by now. "Sorry." I said bashfully when I realized just how much I rambled on.

"It's perfectly fine." She said quickly. She seemed almost giddy with the fact that I rambled. "I agree with you though. I get that they care about you, but it's your life and your decisions." Even though I wasn't all that close with Angela, I noticed something hiding in her voice. She blushed when she caught my eye and sighed. "Jacob let it slip about your…plans to be like the Cullens."

Of course Jacob would.

"Ahh, yeah." I trailed off awkwardly, realizing that Angela probably wouldn't understand or judge me for my choice. Her eyes watched her warily and I could see the questions she wanted answers to in her eyes, but like always, Angela bit her tongue and nodded.

I tried not to see the way her eyes glazed with tears slightly at the thought.

"I'm glad to see you eating." I damn near blurt out like a moron. Her hand, which had grabbed a cookie, paused momentarily and I could see an inner fight as she looked between it and the package. Her shoulders rolled back with soft determination and she popped the entire cookie in her mouth no problem. I smiled warmly at her and waited for her to finish.

"I promised Jacob I would try. He's been nothing but supportive, of course, but I know he worries about me now." I snorted and she gave me a strange look.

"He would worry about you no matter what." She blushed slightly and played with her hands. "I'm serious. You could wear a Halloween sumo-wrestler fat suit and have terrible sunburn, and that boy would kiss the ground you walked on."

We laughed together and it was easy. For the first time since I moved to Forks, being with a human companion was easy.

A buzz from her pocket distracted her and I slipped her phone out of my pocket, flipping it open to find a message from Emmett.

'Despite what lies Carlisle may tell you, I'm feeling loads better if you happen to be looking for company.' I couldn't help but smile as I read it.

'Angela stopped by and surprised me with girl talk and food. I'll call you tonight. I'm glad you're feeling better.' I replied swiftly but Angela still caught me and gave me a knowing smile.

"I'm terrified of losing him." I blurted out. Her eyebrows shot up and she tilted her head in confusion. "That's what I was telling him yesterday in the rain. I was so terrified to let him in because I know he'll be the best thing that's ever happened in my life. And if he's the best…then what happens if I lose him?" I shuddered at the thought. If I thought losing Edward was hard…could I even survive Emmett not being in life?

The answer was clear and left an unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach.

No, I wouldn't.

"That's crazy." She said, surprising me. "I told you before. When you guys are together…it's like magic. The entire universe revolves around you two when you touch. He's crazy about you, Bella. You guys have something unexplainable." I bit my lip and tossed the idea in my head, but decided the hell with it and told her anyway.

"Emmett slipped up a while back." Her eyes widened in fear, so I figured I should speak quickly. "He had a complete meltdown afterwards because of all the guilt he felt. No one could break him out of it." Sadness bubbled inside of me at the memories of talking to a wall for hours on end in hopes of him coming back.

"But you did?" She whispered softly, obviously seeing that I was thinking hard about something. I didn't fight the blush down as I nodded.

"Somehow. And when he did, he wouldn't speak. He was so terrified that the family would disown him or some nonsense like that."

"I can't imagine Emmett not speaking…" She trailed off, more to herself than anything. I grimaced.

"It was the scariest thing. But, some weird things have been happening since. Whenever I'm in danger…he knows." I had to force myself not to give out every detail like I was tempted to. For starters, there's a wolf somewhere running around and I sure as hell don't need them letting that slip to the pack. Second of all, there's a psycho vampire who could use this against me. And finally, to my knowledge, Edward still didn't know about it. And I'd like to keep it that way. Although I'm sure he's going to have his questions after my meltdown last night.

"He knows?" She prompted to force me from my thoughts.

"Yes. And I know when he's in danger too." She shook her head and I felt bad for dumping all my issues on her. "That's what happened last night. I felt him being hurt."

"I'm sorry you had to go through all this alone." She said after a few minutes.

"I wasn't alone…" I tried to argue, but saying it sounded sour from my mouth. Just like usual, Angela was right.

"Yes, you were. When the Cullens left…none of us understood what happened to you and we didn't know how to help. Even though you had Jacob, that entire normalcy got messed up with the whole werewolf thing. I know there's a lot I don't understand yet, but I want you to know that I am here for you, Bella." My heart swelled at her kind words.

"Thank you….so much." I whispered so I could keep my voice under control.

We spent the next few hours laughing and talking about the men in our lives, the supernatural, and eating junk food. I was amazed at how much she was trying to eat—even if it was all unhealthy for her. I could see the happiness in her eyes. Angela was a girl who was nice to the foulest of human beings and never once asked for a damn thing in return, she deserves Jacob. The more I spoke with her and saw the selfless and fragile girl, the better I accepted the whole imprinting situation.

Once the sun set and we nearly drank all the soda she bought, she gazed out the window in deep thought.

"You should tell him how you feel, ya know." She said after we finished cleaning up our trash.

"What?" I asked dumbly. She smiled at me sweetly. She never got annoyed that sometimes I asked stupid things, or zoned out, or couldn't form coherent thoughts. She was totally fine with my annoying self.

"You should tell Emmett about what you're feeling. If you guys have an honesty policy, then he deserves to know, don't you think?" I knew she was right, but damn it I didn't want her to be.

"I know." I mumbled, jumping when the doorbell rang.

"Who's there?" I shouted from behind the door. Even if a vampire or werewolf could bust through the door with minimal effort, I didn't need to be hurt by some stupid human.

"The dumbass who doesn't deserve the time of day." I wasn't really up for seeing him, but I noticed how quickly Angela ran to the nearest reflection to adjust her hair and smooth her clothes. She was crazy about Jacob.

"What?" I asked, opening the door to face him.

"I wanted to apologize. To the both of you." In either hand was a bouquet of flowers, which earned him some surprised eyebrows. "I'm an ass. Bella, I know I already apologized but I still feel guilty as hell. I haven't been a good best friend to you, and I'm willing to do anything to make it up." He said as he handed me one of the bouquets. "Angela, I was stupid in assuming you would take my side when clearly I was the one who was wrong. I've just been trying to keep everything the same and it hasn't worked." He handed her the other one. Her entire face glowed with happiness as she took a deep whiff of the flowers.

"Do you both forgive me?" He asked when we just shared a look. We smiled at him and at the same time explained.

"There was nothing to forgive." We laughed and I walked to the kitchen to put the flowers in a vase. I absentmindedly sorted the flowers, allowing myself to get lost in the colors. I didn't rush, since I knew they were probably having a moment of some sort.

Emmett was alive. He was injured, but he was healing. Embry Call was alive. Injured, but healing. No one is dead.

I miss Alice. She hasn't been herself lately, but I know that whatever it is that's taking over her visions is what's causing her strange behavior. I need her to wake up from this coma. Jasper needs her to wake up.

What was going on in the world?

My phone buzzed so I answered.

"Hello?"

"Hey." Emmett's rough familiar voice was like music to my ears.

"Emmett." I sighed in relief. "Something wrong?" I questioned.

"No, I just needed to hear your voice. It's been a hectic day." I laughed in agreement. "Plus, Alice mentioned your name and since I'm not aloud to leave without Carlisle, I had to call you."

"Alice?" I cut in quickly. "She's awake?" My hope spiked.

"No. She shouts random stuff that doesn't really make sense. We think it's visions that are forcing their way in. She shouted your name, so I had to be sure you were okay." My heart ached for my best friend. She didn't deserve all this pain—all this heartache.

"It's probably because Jacob showed up. She searches for me all the time, so maybe it was just habit." I suggested, frowning at the thought that I caused her pain.

I heard the door shut.

"Jake left!" I heard Angela call.

"Okay!" I shouted back. "But yeah, like I said, maybe some are just forcing their way through."

"Maybe." I could almost hear him shrug. I sighed and looked up to gaze out the kitchen window when a blur of movement caught my eye. I tilted my head and squinted, trying to look out into the darkness.

Angela came in and sat by the table as Emmett and I talked before giving me a wink and walking back into the living room. A few minutes later, I heard the television turn on as Emmett and I joked about nonsensical things.

I was in the middle of laughing at one of his cheesy jokes when a small thud came from the kitchen. "What was that?" Emmett asked curiously.

"I don't know." I admitted honestly. "Angela? You alright?" I called out. But I heard nothing. "Hello?" I tried again.

Something slammed this time and I let out an instinctual yelp.

"Bella?" He asked seriously.

"What's wrong?" I asked, trying to peak around the corner.

"I heard movement." His words were dark and almost unfamiliar. Against my better judgement I crept towards the archway and slowly peaked my head around the corner. "I'll be there soon." The familiar rushing noise filled my ears.

"Angela?" I whispered. I figured that if it was a vampire, I wouldn't have a chance in hell of defending myself anyway.

I tip-toed into the living room, and immediately my heartbeat started racing. Where was Angela?

I went to move in front of the couch when my eyes locked on the ground. My breath caught in my throat and my vision blurred. My hands went numb and I barely noticed the phone slipping from my hand and crashing like glass onto the ground.

There, on the ground, Angela Weber lie on her back, eyes shut and soft moans escaping her lips. Her shirt was drenched in dark red blood and a small pool formed beside her. I let out a strangled scream as I took in the sight of her.

The door slammed open so hard, I was sure some hinges broke, not that I cared. I barely noticed the large forms of two or three of the pack come flying in but I couldn't take my eyes off of Angela. I crouched down next to her and cradled her head in my hands.

"Ang?" I whispered, tears slipping down my face. Her eyes opened lazily and tried to focus on mine.

"Bella…" She trailed off, but I shushed her.

"I'm so sorry." I cried. She shook her hand and tried to lift her hand. I went to grab it, thinking she wanted me to hold it, but instead heard the familiar sound of paper. I unraveled the paper and read the words written in blood.

'Give yourself up to me, or next time your friend won't be so lucky. Next time, I'll make her suffer. Next time, she won't survive.

~V'


Ta da!

Not really. There were some parts clearly where I was really into writing it! For instance, the whole Jasper/Major and Bella scene. I really enjoyed that one.

Okay. Yes, Seth liked Bella. Clearly. Seriously, there's no doubt in my mind that he did in the books.

I thought checking in on Embry would be a lighthearted break in between.

The Cullen house certaintly is chaotic! I know some of you are probably confused as to why Edward and Rose aren't the spotlight, and that's because right now, Alice is. The family is so concerned with her that they don't have time to fight with them. There will be more issues with them coming.

Poor Alice. =( Sorry guys, but I knew this was going to happen to her chapters ago! Wait till you see what I have up my sleeve! I hope it's okay.

I hope the venom explanation (treating it like genetics) made sense!

The Jasper&Bella scene was my favorite part of the chapter. I know, the Major doesn't seem like anything you would imagine, but that's exactly how I pictured the war general when he wasn't at war. I liked making him more human. To me, it made him more deadly. Hope you enjoyed that!

Angela's surprise was for some much needed girl time that sometimes we all need!

And the ending. Sorry about the ending. Hate to say that this was destined since Jacob imprinted on her! Some emotional shit next chapter to come with her, Jacob, Emmett, and Victoria!

And don't think I forgot about 'mystery man' and Victoria. A lot will make sense next chapter.

The wolves not seeing who attacked Angela is possible, in my book, because they're all so focused on hunting down that trail that the ones guarding the house are frequently distracted. Plus they couldn't smell him.

Okay. I hope you enjoyed the chapter. It was brutal to write, so I hope the next one will go much smoother!

Please review! I know it wasn't my best, so don't be too hard on me!

Hugs, Kisses, and Apologies.

~Pepper