AN: I'm so glad you all liked my drunk Bella! Haha this chapter is a bit different. There's some action going on. I hope you still like it afterwards and please review, because they make me happy.



"You're not buying me a house, Edward!"

The car was big, had a lot of space, but being in that same space with the Cullen Family for more than an hour decreased it to a claustrophobic area. I felt like I couldn't breathe.

The penitentiary where my mother was being held was on the other side of the country, go figure. We just needed to get to the airport, fly over to Virginia on their private jet (yea, a private jet) and then drive another two hours to the prison, give my mom a ride back to the plane, fly her back to Washington and set up her ID and a place to live and her job and what not.

Easy Peasy.

It was all very exciting, don't get me wrong.

But I was also so nervous that I thought I might pass out any second now.

But Edward had decided, amid the awkward silence within the car, as I sat next to him in the back seat with Seth driving and another guard in the passenger seat, that we should discuss school related matters.

The first thing he laid down were rules.

Like I was five years old.

He would pick me up and drop me off every morning and afternoon

He would escort me to any parties or dances I wished to attend, or at the very least have two or three guards at my sides at all times

He'd have a guard outside the school at all times

He'd have a guard shadow me through the school at all times

If I came to a point where school stressed me out too much, he reserved the right to pull me out

If my grade dropped below a C average, he reserved the right to pull me out

If I wished to join any sports teams, I had to consult him and I had to make sure I had guards with me at all times

Same goes for clubs

I had to text him during lunch to tell him I was aright

Now honestly, how did he expect me to react to this?

I started off by telling him to fuck himself. I could get the dropping me off in the morning, since he was a clingy son of a bitch, but picking me up? If I was going to hide the fact I was engaged to this lunatic, then it might help if he, you know, didn't show up in his eighty thousand dollar car with tinted windshields and bullet proof glass.

Another thing that was not going to happen was me carrying him on my arm as he paraded me around any parties I wanted to go to. If I ever decided to go to a party, then it would be without him because I would only go to get away from him in the first place.

I would not have guards shadowing me around the school.

I would not have them waiting outside.

I would not have them spying on me every second of every god forsaken day.

I wanted to feel slightly normal, for crying out loud.

So After me screaming at him for several minutes, and after he got a severe migraine I'm assuming, he relented on the guards shadowing me, but convinced me to let them stay outside the school by reminding me people would want me dead very soon. Kind of made a girl feel special, right?

He wouldn't back down on the dropping me off and picking me up thing, though. Which pissed me off.


That brought us to now, when I was crossing my arms over my chest and pouting and fuming, he deiced to bring up the dandy little fact that he was buying an entire house right by the school for me.

"Edward, just rent a place out for crying out loud. It's a tourist town, there has to be places for rent. I lived there for crying out loud I know there are places for rent!"

Edward sighed and squeezed the bridge of his nose, as if trying to shrug off a painful ache. "Bella, please." He groaned. "It's not even that expensive. It's very rustic, very run down. But by the end of the week the guys I hired will have it nice and cleaned up and you can even decorate it any way you want."

"Edward, for fucks sake what are you not understanding here?" I looked at him with eyebrows raised. "I don't want you spending a couple hundred thousand dollars on me. On a house. On anything, actually—"

"Then you're not going to want to know how much the ring cost, huh?" he cut me off, smiling.

"No, Edward. No I don't." maybe it was my tone that wiped the smile off of his face, but I liked to think it was the look I gave him. "All I need is a room to put my clothes in and sleep. That's it. Not an entire house."

"Well, I figured since Rosalie, Emmet, Jasper, Alice, You and I, and Carlisle, Esme Seth James and three other guards are going to be living there as well, it might be easier to just buy a house an d build some addition on it."

There was a long, very strained pause, after he shut up, in which I could feel Seth's eyes nervously glancing back at me through the rearview mirror. "Are you kidding me?" I asked quietly.

He shook his head. "I figured you'd want to be with your friends."

"Yes, Edward I want to be with my friends." I agreed, nodding enthusiastically. "But not you and your brothers and your parents and body guards who all have guns!"

Edward sighed again. "Well there was no doubt we couldn't separate you three." He explained. "But I did not want to leave you alone in a house where I could not protect you if needed. Emmet felt the same for Rose, so did Jasper for Alice. Carlisle would like to stay with his sons since we are the men to take over the business soon and communication will be easier with us together. Esme hates to leave his side so she will come as well. And the guards are there for our protection. If it helps as all, I brought the fewest amount possible to still be safe."

I had stopped listening to him half way through his spiel, but he didn't seem to notice.

Alice and Rose were in the two black sedans following behind us, and would be sitting with me on the plane. I was supposed to go alone, but I convinced Edward to let me have Rose and Alice come along too for mental support or else I might just have a mental breakdown. Of course that meant Emmett and Jasper were coming as well.

"Bella." Edward called, trying to grab my attention from the window. "Bella, you're being ridiculous."

"Shut up Edward." I snapped, still not looking at him.

"Bella look at me." For whatever reason I glanced over at him, and his gaze was so piercing and strong and held so much emotion that I just couldn't look away. "You have to stop acting like every little thing I do is making the world fall apart. I bought a house for you to stay at while you attend school. But I'm also a millionaire. I will listen to your opinion, I will listen to you bitch about certain things, but ultimately, this expensive shit I buy for you puts no dent in my wallet at any time."

I frowned and stared him down, losing when I had to look away. "Fine." I pouted, looking back out the window.

I felt his hand on my knee and I looked over at him, shocked. He had refused to come close to me ever since the night I got drunk, which made me nervous as hell, so this was… odd. It surprisingly made me feel warm.

"Hey." He said softly. "It's going to be okay. We're seeing your mom tonight. She's going to be with you for the rest of your life. This should be a happy day. For both of us."

"Why both of us?" I asked quietly, really only paying attention to the way he rubbed his thumb against my leg.

"Because what makes you happy makes me happy." He answered honestly, smiling that crooked smile that sent my heart racing.

I swallowed thickly and nodded. "You're right. I'm sorry."

"No need to be. I know you're temperamental. It's what I like about you." And he winked which just about made me shit my pants.

We got to the hanger where his jet was surprisingly fast, but I had to wait in the car for five minutes while Seth and the guy next to him scouted the area around us. But once it was clear, I got out, stood beside Alice and Rose, and together we entered the plane.

It was like a fucking hotel in the air. They had chefs bring us food the minute we hit maximum altitude. We got hot towels, six flat screens, and the comfiest chairs I think I have ever sat in. Alice sat across a table from me, and Rose was to my side, holding my hand since for some reason she knew I was near mental breakdown.

But give me a break. The last time I saw my mom was in court when she told me never to see her again.

"What if she doesn't want to see me?" I asked aloud, not really directing it to one person, but hoping someone would answer it.

"She didn't want you to see her in prison." Alice chimed in instantly.

"Yea. That has to be the most embarrassing thing for a mother." Rose added. "But I bet you she thinks about you every day, and wishes constantly for a day like today to happen. To see you again, Bella."

I nodded my head, but I couldn't fully believe them.

"Remember when we all came over your house a week before Christmas?" Alice asked.

Rose chuckled next to me, remembering before I could. "Oh yea. And your mom tried to make sugar cookies but they got burnt so she tried to make them in the toaster oven and the kitchen caught on fire and the fire department had to come."

By this time they were laughing, trying not to, but unable to hold it back. And I couldn't help but laugh too. We needed new cabinets for the entire left side of our kitchen. My mom was mortified. When it caught on fire she just screamed and ran around the kitchen twice before shuffling us out of the house.

"She's a horrible cook." I giggled, wiping a tear from my eye.

"No, no, remember that cereal she made us one morning?" Alice asked. "That was the best cereal I've ever had."

And we were laughing all over again. And it felt normal. Except for the fact that I could feel Rose's ring against my hand, and see Alice's resting on her finger.

That was definitely different.

I sighed and leaned back in my chair, casually looking over my shoulder at the boys in the back of the plane, playing some sort of card game with a load of cash stacked in the middle of a table. Figured. Looked like hundred dollar bills too, the rich bastards.

"I think I'm falling for him." I said quietly, suddenly, unable to look away from him as he smiled and laughed and aimed a friendly punch at his brother.

"I figured it'd happen sooner or later." Rose said soothingly, rubbing the top of my hand.

"I don't want to like him though."

"I didn't want to like Jasper."

"I definitely didn't want to like Emmett."

"They just have this way about them." I sighed. "Like they know exactly what to say or do or think."

They nodded in agreement next to me as Edward sensed my stare and turned around, waving at me lightly before I could turn around, blushing furiously from getting caught ogling that god.

"Last night Emmett gave me a snow globe of Italy." Rose said, sighing deeply and leaning back, relaxed, into her chair. "He somehow knew that I've always wanted to go since I was a little girl. But he gave it to me last night and he said that we couldn't go now, not while things were so shaky, but the snow globe was a promise of a weekend that would leave me breathless."

I watched her as she sighed again and smiled, like her mind was somewhere else, her heart steadily moving towards Emmett.

"When Jasper proposed," Alice said, turning out attention to her across the table. "He got down on one knee and promised me everything I could ever want. He told me that my needs far exceeded his, that he would always be worshipping the ground I walked on, and kissing the air I breathed. And he kissed me and it felt like my world exploded."

She sat still, blushing, as if she hadn't meant to tell us the kissing part, but was unable to stop herself. "You kissed him?" I asked, shocked.

"Well, he kissed me. And then I might have participated." She blushed deeper, but was smiling.

"I kissed Emmett way before we got engaged." Rose said, looking down at her hands. "He's got some sexy animalistic magnetism to him. I can't stay away." She giggled and I blushed for her, for the both of us. And I thought Edward and I had been moving too fast. Maybe we weren't moving fast enough at all.

"I'm gunna sleep, you guys." I said, standing up. "I didn't get any at all last night." Rose and Alice gave me a sympathetic look as I moved by them, through the large room that housed the chairs and the mini bar. I passed Edward, who watched me intently as I left the room and entered the connecting room in the way back of the plane. It was a small bedroom, in case anyone on the plane had wanted to sleep. It had a queen bed and some pull out couches along the wall.

I flipped the light off and curled underneath the blankets, closing my eyes.

And then suddenly I was standing in front of Edward.

He stood just out of reach, smiling. And his shirt, where was his shirt? My eyes scanned over his incredibly toned chest, down to the V that led down down down, to some hidden treat. I swallowed and looked back up at him.

We were in the middle of a meadow. It was dark out, only the moon lighting the entire place. But I could see him clearly, thank god. I reached my hand out to touch him, wanting to feel him, but he stepped back.

"Edward." I whined, stepping forward, reaching.

"Bella." He whispered back. And he was suddenly gone, disappeared, out of sight. My heart dropped to my feet as I looked around at where he had been, where he had been smiling and teasing me, but he was gone and all I could see were flowers.

And then a breath ghosted across my neck, raising the hairs on my arms. "Kiss me." He whispered, speaking to me, through me, into me.

And I turned around and I was in his arms, holding me up and my fingers threading through his hair. It was so soft, thick. And his lips were so close to mine, smiling, so close, closer. His body, pressed against mine, his lips, so close, and his breath, ghosting across my face.

I woke up gasping and panting, holding my hand to my chest, my forehead covered in a cold sweat.

"Were you dreaming about me?" I gasped and looked towards the door, where Edward was smirking cockily. "You said my name all sexy like." He clarified.

I blushed furiously and tried to untangle the sheets from my legs. "Don't flatter yourself, Edward." I snapped, but my voice broke. I cursed quietly.

"No, no, I think you were dreaming of me." He said, unwilling to back down. "That's fine, because I have all sorts of dreams about you."

Suddenly the room seems a little too small.

"Are we almost there?" I asked, my voicing small and squeaky. Edward chuckled and pushed himself away from the wall.

"I came in here to wake you up." Edward said, moving back towards the body of the plane. "We're landing in five."

I rubbed my face with my hands, shaking the dream off of me. Edward had left, and I looked around the room quickly before hopping out of bed. I liked sleeping without pants so . . . yea didn't want Edward catching anything he didn't deserve to see you know.

I sat down beside Rose, across from Alice. It didn't look like they had moved at all.

"Almost there." Alice whispered quietly, smiling. Rose took my hand and squeezed it. I glanced over at her and smiled.

"I'm okay now you guys." I lied. "I just can't wait to see her."

They saw straight through me, judging by the way Alice gave me a pout and a curious glance to Alice, who looked back at her the same way while squeezing my hand again.

I could feel the plane descend, my ears first ringing, and then popping painfully. We landed smoothly enough, but I hated flying one way or another so I kept thinking it'd crash, that a wheel would give out or we'd get hit by a flock of seagulls and flip and crash and blow up into a thousand pieces.

But of course we didn't since obviously I'm still here.

It landed with a bump and a squeal of the tires that led us into the hanger, where we were escorted off and promptly brought to a set of cars.

"Edward, I feel like I'm being shipped to a maximum security prison for shits sake." I complained as he led me through the hanger with his hand pushing lightly on the small of my back.

"Bella, please, this was last minute. She was released sooner than we thought so we couldn't have scoped the place out as best as we could have." Edward explained, sitting next to me in the back of the car, surrounded by tinted windows.

I snorted and looked out the window, at the trees we drove past. "Am I going to be able to get out of the car to see her?"

"Of course." He answered instantly. I let out a breath I hadn't known I was holding. "We're going to a prison, Bella. It's one of the safest places for us."

That wiped the smile clean off of my face.

It was warm out today. The sky was blue, not cloudless, but still beautiful. The sun seemed too bright, almost blinding, but I stared at it through the windows and watched it as we twisted around corners, exited and entered the highway, passed by other cars.

"I've never been over here before." I said after a while, what must have been at least an hour.

"You're going to go everywhere." Edward said, resting his hand on my knee again. I didn't mind so much. He wasn't doing it in any sexual way at all. He was doing it as a friendly gesture, a calming move to try to relax me. And to be honest it worked. I felt my muscles relax, if only a little. They wouldn't completely unclench, I knew they wouldn't no matter what anyone did, but he helped.

Edward Cullen helped.

Such an odd thing to think. An odd sentence. Never figured I'd put those words together like that. But it did. Edwards Cullen helped me relax.

I looked over at him and I even smiled. He was already looking at me, staring as if he could never look away. He smiled back and my heart skipped a beat.

"I've wanted to lie on my back," I said, looking away and staring up at the tinted brown sky. "In the middle of a green field in Scotland since I was a little girl. I saw a picture in a magazine once. I wanted to see the stars there, right next to a big lake, where I could put my fingers in the water and I could get the chill from it. And I wanted to spend hours there, just counting the stars until I couldn't count anymore. Just let everything slip away into the night time around me, and stare at the moon until it got as big as the world."

I sighed and placed my hand, almost without my doing so, on top of the hand that rested on my leg. He tensed for minute, I felt it, almost as if he were surprised that I had done something like that.

"And my mom told me about the ocean one time." I continued. "I see it all the time whenever I went down to La Push with Jacob or any of that crowd. But she told me stories of these big ships, like in the movies, and how when she was a kid my age now, she had gone on one with her mom and there was a storm, and it felt like the world was drowning, like the water was engulfing everything and the rain was destroying and plummeting down onto her like it was weeping, sobbing, in so much agony. And the boat was turning and sagging and twisting and she thought she was done for, she was going to die. She told me she felt the world in its rawest state, felt it at the seams, tearing and ripping. And she said she had never been so exhilarated in her entire life."

I rubbed the seam of my pants with my other hand, still not looking at him. "Anyways, I wanted to feel that since she told me. I wanted to feel the world, feel the edges of it, feel it tremble and shake and threaten to shatter. I wanted that feeling so I knew that my entire life wasn't that. So I knew that when I felt the lowest of the low, that in fact the world was not tearing and turning and ripping. That I was okay. It was going to be okay."

His hand was getting tighter on my leg, not uncomfortable. Just telling me he was there.

"And when we took those cars." I said, my voice getting all thick and heavy. "I felt powerful. And I was in control. We took the car, we controlled the car. It was someone else's, they held the key, they had driven it their entire life. And we could just snatch it away and it was ours. And I remember my mom, and she was so sad whenever we drove the highway to get to the meeting place, she'd just sit still and look out the window while I'd cheer, and stick my head out the window and feel the wind hit my face and know nothing else could beat the feeling.

"And I missed her. The minute they took her away, the minute I turned back this one time and there were one, two, five, six cop cars chasing us and I looked back at my mom. And just by looking at her I knew they were after us. And she was looking in the rearview mirror and then back at me and back at them. And there was a moment where the car went fast. There was a moment when her foot hit the car as fast as it would go and we would have lost them, Edward. We had the good car. My mom was the best. We would have lost them. And my mom lets go of the gas. And pulls right over, on the side of a highway, and we are surrounded by cops.

"And my mom, she turns to me and she's crying and the tears are falling down the side of her face and she grabs the side of my face. Her hand could cover the length of my face, and she seemed to engulf me. And she looks at me, right in the eye, and she just stares at me. And she says to me 'the good guys finally caught us, huh? Guess that makes me the bad guy.' And she leans over real fast and kisses me right on my forehead, right between my eyes, before she sniffs and wipes her cheeks and she leaves the car with her arms raised.

"And this guy grabs me, with big arms, and pulls me away from her and I'm screaming so loud, as loud as I can. And I felt it. I felt it then. I felt the world tear. I saw it rip part and tear as she was thrown down on the hood of the car and she was cuffed and she wouldn't look at me when she was put in the cop car, wouldn't look back at me. But I could scream. And I did scream. They tried to quiet me, but I just screamed and screamed and screamed because my world had torn and all I felt was like I was falling. And nothing was stopping me."

I swallowed thickly and wiped my eye before chuckling to myself. "It's all so silly." I sighed. "But I missed her so much, Edward."

And I looked over at him now, actually looked at him.

"Thank you. Thank you so much." I whisper.

And he's staring at me so hard I just know he's thinking of something, but he isn't giving it away, and I can't take anything out of that look. He only nods once, quickly, curtly, and just looks at me like he's seeing me all over again.

I don't know why I said all those things. Maybe stress, maybe the new air. But I said it, and it was done, and he was still here, still holding on to me, still telling me he wasn't leaving yet.

I smiled.


There was a long process to go through when we got to the prison, papers to sign, ID's to check. I felt comatose, sitting on a bench outside the prison, staring through the grid lock fence, looking into the brick building, willing the two large metal doors to open.

Edward was somewhere, taking care of last minute things. Some guard was close by, always watching. The rest of the family was in the cars, waiting patiently until I needed emotional support in which they would gladly give me.

My heart was beating so fast it almost hurt, like it was hammering into me and my thoughts. I tried controlling it a while back, but that was impossible. There was no stopping it.

Every little sound, every intercom system blaring from inside the building made me jump, made me look to the door. But it was closed. It seemed as if it were staying closed.

I looked up at the guard tower, right beside the gate. I could see the guard, but he was busy looking my way, probably making sure that Seth and whoever else had been in the passenger seat weren't about to kill me or something.

There were really real false alarms too, like when a man walks out because he's freed, and I watch them in their black jackets squint at the sun as if they are really seeing it for the first time. Maybe they are. I've seen two guys leave. One man had a wife and a little girl waiting for them, and the girl screamed and jumped into his arms when he came out. The wife just cried.

The other guy walked down the sidewalk, alone, to the bus stop. I watched him board the bus, watched him pause before stepping up the stairs and take another hard look at the prison before the bus pulled away. Maybe for people like him, prison was the safest place, because everything was done for you, everything was safe.

Outside of there, you had to do things on your own.

I sighed and folded my hands in my lap, then rested them on the bench, then folded them and began twiddling my thumbs together. I bit my thumb nail, tucked and un-tucked my hair from behind my ear, twitched and jumped at every noise.

But the doors did open.

For a third time.

How did I know this was it? How could I have possibly known, without seeing her body at all, that this was it?

I don't know. Because she was my mom, I guess.

I was on my feet, my heart exploding in my chest, roaring through my ears. I felt as if I could hear everything, yet nothing. I could hear the gate creak, and hear Seth breathe and the guy next to him shift. I could hear the engine of the cars behind me, the highway down the road, the inmates yelling in the courtyard behind the big brick wall.

Yet I wasn't listening to any of it. It was just noise, floating around, passing through one ear and out the other. All I really heard was my heart beat, and how impossibly fast it was going.

Because the gates were opening.

And opening.

And they were open.

And there she was—

My mom, standing there like some action figure—

And she looked up at the guard who opened the door from a panel in the tower and nodded her head.

And she walked out through the arch way and onto the pavement beneath me. She didn't see me, like I was a shadow from the bench, but I saw her, saw every bit of her.

Her hair was so much longer, to the middle of her back. It looked thinner, and there was definitely more gray. Her clothes hung from her body like some misshapen rag, her shoes, though, were clean and un-scuffed.

I looked her up and down, again and again.

This was real. I knew this was real. Yet I looked at her, and I felt it as a dream. Because this could only be that. A dream, way out on the horizon, untouchable. But she was real. This was real. My mom was there, walking towards me, looking down at her feet as she shuffled along.

"mom." I tried, but my voice was so small, lost in the air around me. I cleared my throat and wiped the sweat from my brow. "Mom."

And she heard me. Her head snapped up instantly, like she had been shocked, and her eyes found me without even taking a second to search. They found me, and locked in, and got as big as any eyes I have ever seen.

I worried, foolishly, stupidly I guess, that she wouldn't recognize me. It had been so long, anyways. But I knew in that moment that that fear was useless and stupid. Because I could see it right there, right in her eyes. She saw me, and she knew it was me, and everything was like it was.

Because she was my mom. And I was her daughter, and she wasn't locked behind bars in some prison.

"I finally caught you." I swallowed, breaking the silence with a strangled voice. "Guess that makes me the good guy, huh?"

Strained, rough silence followed and for a moment it seemed as if she would run screaming, like when she told me to not visit her anymore, she meant even when she got out, like she was ashamed of me, didn't like me anymore. Maybe I wasn't a good enough daughter, or friend, or side kick in crime.

But she blinked, and her eyes glittered, and I saw she was crying, she was actually crying. Which made me realize that I was, too. I was crying.

"My beautiful, beautiful girl." She whispered, looking me up and down, still in her same spot. Her voice sounded the same as I remembered it, as I heard it in every one of my dreams. "Oh my beautiful girl."

She looked back up and met my eyes and she smiled. And I smiled.

Because I saw now that it just wasn't me who had been waiting so many years for this moment, but her as well. She didn't hate me. She did want to see me.

She moved forward, a small movement, but I saw it. She wanted to come closer, to touch me, hug me, hold me. I felt the same.

But several things happened in a short amount of time that my brain had to replay it several times in order to understand.

The first thing was that Seth was shouting something. "Get down, down down!" he shouted, and I saw him running. I looked ore, and he was running towards me, another man running towards Renee.

"Seth?" I called out, surprised and confused.

But then the gun shot cracked through the air, breaking the silence, slicing through everything. The ground in front of my mom's feet popped up in a plume of tar and she screamed, shocked. But she was tackled by Seth's other guard.

And all I could do was stand still and look like an idiot. My mom was screaming and the guard was pulling her back, shooting over his shoulder. He pulled her towards the cars and Seth was running towards me, as if he were going to tackle me like the other kid did. But another shot, and another and another ripped through everything, and one was followed by a thud, and a grunt, and Seth flew back, the bullet ripping through the center of his shirt.

"Seth!" I screamed, covering my mouth.

What struck me the most, out of everything, was how loud it was. There were too may gun shots, coming from everywhere, it seemed. And people were screaming, and alarms were blaring, and people were falling. I wanted to cover my ears and crawl away, but I knew Seth had just been shot, and he was lying so still on the ground.

"Seth!" I yelled again, running towards him. There were rounds of shots, some hitting the ground by my feet. I felt one breeze by my arm and slice through my shirt sleeve before burning my skin. I hissed in pain and dove to the ground, crawling towards Seth before turning him over.

My hands were shaking as I ripped through the whole in his shirt. "There's no blood." I whispered, looking all around. "There should be blood."

I tore the shirt open and stared at his chest, at the vest that covered it and the bullet lodged in the armor. "Son of a bitch." I whispered. Seth's eyes were closed, and I could see now, past my panic, that he actually was breathing. Just unconscious. I'm guessing that would leave a scar.

I looked around me, trying to analyze something, anything. I saw so many people, or maybe it just seemed that way to me. I couldn't tell who was us and who was them, whoever 'them' was. But we had these guns out and shooting and people were getting hit and people were falling. I saw the guy in the tower, the one looking at me earlier, aiming his gun over here.

I felt the ground tremble by my hand where the bullet hit and I looked from there up to him again. "You've got to be kidding me." I whispered.

I rolled away, trying to get back behind a car, but those were way too far away now. I wouldn't make it without being shot, for sure. I looked around me, panicked. I had no idea what to do in these situations. Sure, maybe Emmett or Jasper or Edward did. They probably knew how to shoot someone from five hundred yard by the age of seven.

But I didn't know what t do, where to go, how to even shoot a fucking gun.

"Edward." I mumbled, looking around me. "Edward!"

I looked back up at the guy in the tower, but he had pitched forward and was falling over the railing and spinning through the air, down down down. I closed my eyes as he hit the ground, obviously having been shot. "Oh god."

I scrambled to my feet, needing to move not safe anywhere, having to get out, away from the noise and the screams. I could hear sirens now, screaming through the streets. Cops.

Crying from pure, outrageous fear, I sprinted across the lot, trying to get to the corner of the building, to try and get around it and to safety until the cops got everything under control and until Seth was okay, and everyone was alright.

But then I heard him.

He was screaming my name, and it hit me through all the noise, just his voice. I stumbled, and turned back, still running, but not so sure now. He was coming towards me, eyes wide and crazy and he was running so fast, so incredibly fast. But he was looking past me, over my shoulder, at something behind me.

And I was turning back now, looking and finding what he saw, staring at the man with the gun, how he looked at me an how he raised it and how it was me, only me, he wanted to shoot.

Things slowed down, almost comically.

I could see every strand of my hair pass over my face from running, from stumbling. I could hear every intake of breath, every gasp of air. His gun, his arm, moving so slow, as if he had to push it through the air.

And I had never been so . . . struck dumb in my entire life.

I wasn't scared or relaxed or stressed or calm. I wasn't mad or sad or upset. I wasn't anything. I was just a product of my surroundings, just a girl, in the pathway of a bullet, about to die.

I wasn't Bella Swan.

I was just a victim now.

No longer the abducted Forks resident, but the murdered daughter of Police chief Charlie Swan.

Something snaked around my waist, something strong and thick and I was pulled off of my feet. It felt as if someone hit me over the head with an iron rod, and I was snapped back into reality, and things picked up pace.

Edward was behind me, I knew his smell, and he was burying his face in my shoulder, ducking my head into him with his other arm, turning me around while I heard the man fire his gun. I don't know how I knew it was him form everyone else. I just knew it was him.

And I was falling to the ground, the minute I heard it. Edward grunted and we crashed to the gravel and I was trapped under his iron grip. I turned my head, panting, saw only a glimpse of the cops come running from their cars, screeching to a halt. I saw the man with the gun widen his eyes and drop his gun in surrender immediately.

But I could only focus on Edward, and the way he was breathing.

Using every ounce of strength I had, I pushed him off of me and onto his back and looked down at his face, scrunched up in pain. "Edward." I breathed, touching the side of the face. "Edward, where did it hit?"

And my voice broke, and he heard it, because his eyes opened and I could see the pain tear through him. "It's my arm." He spit out through his teeth.

I looked to the arm closest to me, then the other. Then I saw the blood, spotting only at first on his shirt sleeve, then staining it and spreading and pouring out. "Edward, oh god, Edward." I whispered, looking back over to him.

"It'll be fine." He panted. "It's just a flesh wound."

"Edward, it's bleeding so much, oh my god help! Help we need and ambulance!" I looked around me, crazy eyed, waving for paramedics to come over.

"Bella." Edward asked from below me, and I looked back down, the adrenaline coursing through me like fire, setting everything ablaze within me.


He brought his hand up and cupped the back of my neck, bringing me down with the strength of his good arm and crashing his lips to mine.

He was still at first, his lips unmoving, as I sat in shock at what was happening.

And then I kissed him back.

I'm not sure why. I don't know why I kissed him back or why I panted into his mouth and hung onto his shirt like he was going to fall away, or how we kissed so hot it almost hurt my lips.

But it felt good. It felt really good.

He was pulled away from me by the paramedics and loaded onto a gurney. I sat on my ankles and looked up at him as he smiled down at me and winked. "See you in my hospital room?" he asked as they loaded him into an ambulance.

I nodded, slowly, struck by just how bad my hands were shaking.

But I wasn't too sure it was from the adrenaline.


I found my mom by the bench I had been sitting at when I was waiting for her. I sat down silently beside her.

"Hey." I said quietly, looking at my hands.

"Hey." She said, even quieter. "Bella, what did you get yourself into?"

I swallowed thickly and looked up at her, looked into her eyes as she stared at me with concern and sadness.

"Nothing I wasn't all willing to get into." I lied easily, smiling. "It's just a bit more dangerous than I anticipated.

She smiled, but I could tell it wasn't real. "I missed you so much Bella." She whispered, reaching up to touch the side of my face. I smiled, because she felt real. "I thought of you every single day, of every hour, every minute. I always saw your beautiful face in everything."

"I missed you too, mom." I said quietly.

"But if you have done something to get me out that endangers your own life," she continued, her voice hardening. "Take it back. Please, Bella, take it back."

I smiled sadly and turned into her hand, still cupping my cheek. "I'm fine, mom. Everything is fine."

Because I could feel his lips on mine still, I could taste him, and it sent these tingles all through my body which electrified me, charged me. I think she saw it, too. "I'd never ask you to do anything to get me out, Bella, that could hurt you." She told me.

"I know, mom. I did it on my own."

She smiled again and leaned down to kiss my forehead. "I love you so much, Bella." She whispered against my forehead.

"I love you more."

She wrapped her arms around me to hug me, but I hissed in pain and pulled back, forgetting about the burn on my arm. My mom grabbed my shoulders and held me shoulder length away from her, staring at my face and my eyes and then looking over me until she saw my torn sleeve and the blood. She sighed, exaggerated, and pulled me to my feet.

"Come on, baby girl, you should have gone to the hospital with the other guys." She said, pulling me along behind her.

"I'm fine, mom." I complained, trying, and failing, to tug away from her. "It barely even hurts."

Which was a lie… it actually hurt like a fucker, burning and searing and bleeding all over me.

"Yea, okay Bella." She laughed. "It's good to see you're just as bad as lying now as you were before."

I laughed, and looked at the back of her head and she pulled me through the cops piled around, taking statements, and the detectives and forensic people, and under the police tape, past the crowd of people waiting around and watching what was going on.

I just stared at her, because she was here, and this was as real as it got.

I had my mom back.

And I can't remember ever being happier.


There were three guards outside my room in the hospital. I was just going to be placed in the ER room, but somehow, since obviously I'm with the Cullen's now, someone pulled some strings and I have some big ass room just so a doctor can come in, clean my burn, put three stitches in it and put some gauze on top.

I tried to be as polite as possible to the doctor. I mean he was form the ER, and he had to walk half way across the hospital to look at my arm.

But no matter how many times I tried joking, or being serious, or smiling, he just got more and more moody. I understood, obviously. I mean, I wouldn't have even bothered coming to look at me. Stupid rich people, right?

The minute he left, however, I was on my feet, moving.

"Whoa, Bella, where do you think you're going?" Seth said, stopping me instantly right inside my door.

"Oh my god!" I shouted, looking up at him. "Seth! You're okay!"

He looked at me strangely and then back at the other men stationed outside my door. They were smiling, laughing, as I threw my arms around him and hugged him. "Um, yeah. I had a vest on. It only bruised a bit." He said, suddenly embarrassed.

"You don't get a day off or whatever?" I asked, trying to catch a look at the wound on his chest. I could see it sticking out beneath him, the padding I mean, where they bandaged whatever happened there.

"I don't really even know what I would do with a day off." Seth admitted, laughing as if it were funny. I kind of thought it was sad, but whatever.

"Where's Edward?" I asked after a while.

"Oh, he's down the hallway. Let me walk you." He grabbed my arm delicately, and upon scanning the hallway up and down, moved me swiftly from the room and to the opposite end of the hall.

It was obvious enough that that was Edwards room. I mean, there were literally three guards outside the door, and two more at the end of the hallway. I was even starting to suspect that the man dressed in black doing laps up and down the hallway wasn't a patient, either.

Seth knocked on the door.

"Yup." Someone called out quietly from inside. Seth stepped to the side, allowing me to open the door.

"Oh," I said, turning back to him for a second. "Could you just tell my mom to wait out in the waiting room for me? She just went down to the cafeteria to get some food. She should be back up here and looking for me soon."

He said he would, so I entered the door, closing it behind me.

Edward was lying on a bed, covered in a white blanket, wearing a hospital gown. I could see his arm covered in gauze and ace bandages, and he looked really pale, but he smiled when he saw me. "Bella, didn't expect to see you for a while."

I smiled and moved to the bed next to him, to get a closer look at the bandages. "Does it hurt?" I asked quietly.

"Not too much now. They gave me some pain killers. Feeling pretty good, actually." He laughed, joking, but I didn't really feel like laughing. He saw it too. "What's wrong?" he asked, placing his hand on the one I had resting on his mattress.

"It's just—" I paused and swallowed before shutting my eyes tightly. "I don't want you to feel like you have to jump in front of a bullet to save my life, Edward. I'm not that important. You obviously are, though. I have my mom out of jail. You're working on Charlie's debts. I'm happy, Edward. I don't need you getting shot in the head to save me, though."

I waited quietly, eyes still shut, but he remained silent. I opened my eyes. He was looking at me odd, a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

"You want to know something weird?" he asked after a long, strained silence. I nodded my head. "When I came out of the prison with all these papers I had just signed, I heard the gunshots. And I had been raised my entire life going through situations like these. I was raised to fight back, to shoot, to not panic. But then I heard gun shots, and this pain ripped through my chest, almost as if someone had just misfired and shot me through the chest. That's what I thought at first.

And then I realized it was panic. I had just never felt it before. And I dropped the papers and I was running out into the middle of this gun fight, without my gun. And do you know why, Bella?"

I stayed motionless, scared that I actually did know why. I just wasn't sure what to feel.

"Because you were out there." He said, his voice dropping, the smile slipping from his face. "You were out in the middle of that and I had never been so scared in my life. When I saw that man raise his gun, saw you running and you didn't even see him—" he cut off, closing his eyes tightly as if he were in pain. Maybe his pills were wearing off. I didn't think so, though.

"I didn't think of myself, Bella. I didn't think of what I was doing or what I would do when I got to you. I just felt this horrible, horrible pain run through my entire body, like I was dying a thousand times over, and when I got to you, the gunshot that hit me felt like a mosquito bite compared to what I had been feeling. Because I felt you under me, in my arms, felt you breathing, alive."

I swallowed hard, staring him straight in the eye. I couldn't look away.

"Someone who can make me feel that way, make me so blind to every thought I had been raised to think, every action I had been taught to take, is worth saving, Bella."

He wasn't smiling anymore, but there was something in his eyes, something deep and hard.

"I'm really confused about things, Edward." I whispered, not even knowing what I was saying.

"I know. Me too."

"I don't know what to think. Or what to feel. I can't control this- this need, sometimes, to touch you or kiss you or be around you. But I get so mad, Edward, at these little things and all of that need just vanishes and it's like when I first met you. I'm- I'm really confused Edward."

It felt like there was no space between us now, like his hand, resting on top of mine, brought us so close together. I looked into his eyes, he looked into mine, but they were dropping to my lips.

"Can I kiss you?" he asked quietly.

I swallowed, and looked at his eyes, to his lips, to his eyes again. And I realized I wanted to kiss him too. I really wanted to kiss him, feel his lips against min the way I felt them a few hours ago. Because I liked the way they felt, the charge they gave me.

"So now you ask?" I joked weekly, trying to crack a smile but failing.

He smiled though.

And so I kissed him.