I'm back…well, Vampward and Vampbella are. Sorry about the delay in updating. Real life is kicking my hiney! I'm busier than I've ever been…gah! As a result, my updates are not as frequent as I would like. I have an explanation on my blog (link in my profile) and on my Facebook page: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation.

Anyhow, up next is Edward's surprise that he is planning for his bride along with the return to Chicago for a brief reconnaissance mission. There will be some action. There will be some romance. So, yeah…

Not mine. I'm not Stephenie Meyer. :-(.

Chapter Fourteen

"I'm not telling you," Edward sang as he typed on his computer. He was checking his business and seeing how Jasper was running it while he was on 'sabbatical.'

"Come on! Please?" I wheedled, crawling onto the bed and putting my head on his chest, looking up at him. I jutted out my lip, whimpering quietly.

"Pitiful, Mrs. Masen," he snorted. "Tomorrow night is all you're getting. Alice is helping you get ready while I prepare for our date."

"A date?" I asked, arching a brow.

Edward smiled and turned his attention back to the computer, again thinking in binary code. I growled. Edward chuckled as he continued to work on the computer. I hopped up and went downstairs into the kitchen where Esme was stocking the shelves with food. Why? I have no clue. We don't eat.

Esme turned and gave me a warm, welcoming grin. "Edward not being forthcoming as to his surprise?" she quipped.

"No," I pouted. I heard Edward's ghostly chuckle up in our room. I scowled in his general direction before sitting down on the stool in the kitchen. "Mum's the word, supposedly."

"I know that you're anxious, Bella. However, your relationship with Edward hasn't been very traditional and from what I've seen, he's a very traditional, loving man. Despite being married to you, he still wants to woo you. Take you out on dates. Make you feel special," Esme explained, sitting down next to me. "Now, you're dates can't be the typical fare. Not yet. So let him do this for you, Bella. He loves you so much."

"I love him too," I whispered. You know that, right? I love you, Edward.

Love is such an insignificant word for what I feel for you, angel. It barely scratches the surface. Esme's right, too. I want to spoil you, love.

I laughed quietly. Esme's tawny eyes were twinkling. "Are you two talking?"

"Yeah. It's cool that we can have conversations without anyone every knowing, you know?" I replied.

"I can imagine. I wish I had that level of intimacy with Carlisle. When you share a home with three other vampires, alone time is at a premium," she said, giving me a wicked grin. Esme arched a perfectly groomed brow and thought what she intended. Sex. Making love…all while being in a house full of vampires…yeah. Ugh!

"I can imagine," I snickered.

"Bella, how are you doing with all of this?" Esme asked, her face falling and her warm hands wrapping around mine. "Your life has changed so quickly in the past month."

"Tell me about it," I said. I twisted my hair nervously as I thought back to the craziness of the past month. "I meet my singer who also happens to be my mate. We piss off some psycho red-headed vampire who believes that Edward is her mate. For revenge, said psycho changes Edward's best friend and in death-defying fashion, my true nature is revealed in order to save my mate. Jasper tells me of how I was changed and gruesome nature of my transformation into a vampire. I become engaged and married within a week. I have to change my mate on the night of our wedding, teach him the ways of being a vampire. We bond as mates and while I should be terrified in making love due to my attack, I'm not. I'm insatiable for my mate. It's mind-boggling." I snorted humorlessly. In some ways, my life had become infinitely better. In others, it had become devastingly worse.

"Those changes would fell even the strongest immortal," Esme said quietly. "However, I'm talking specifically about how you were changed. Jasper still feels badly that he showed you what he saw."

I gulped and felt my stomach churn. The memories that Jasper showed me flickered in my mind like some twisted version of a slasher film. "It makes me sick," I spat. "Why would this vampire do that? He took everything away from me."

Esme sniffled, rubbing her hand through my long brown hair. "I can only imagine," she cried. "I know what you're feeling, though. My first husband…"

"I know. Carlisle told us," I murmured. "Your bastard of an ex-husband was a monster. Just like James. They took our innocence without our permission. Your ex-husband took your child. James took my life. You're lucky. You got revenge on your monster. Mine's still out there."

"Judgment will come for James," Esme said coldly, her eyes frosting over. "He will be tortured and no longer be on this Earth if I have anything to say about it. He hurt and changed Alice. He…did…unspeakable things to you and I will personally account for his death, as would anyone in this family."

Jasper hissed from within his room, able to hear our conversation. "He also needs to atone for Alice's life as well. James is as good as fucking ash!"

"Damn right, brother," Edward snarled. They both growled lowly before we were met with silence once again.

"You have two valiant champions right there," Esme chuckled. "Jasper feels responsible for you since he found you after your attack and Edward…dear Edward, the love emanating from him is blinding."

"I feel the same way," I murmured. Closing my eyes, I drew in a breath. "I don't know how I'm going handle all of this when we're back in Chicago. I'm so terrified that…I mean, James and Victoria…" My breaths were becoming erratic and I was suffering a vampire version of a panic attack.

Edward ran downstairs, nuzzling my cheek. It's okay, love. His arms were wrapped around my waist as I burrowed my face into his chest. I could see Esme's confusion on her face through Edward's mind. Her mind was asking a million questions. I know my brain was trying to articulate what I tried to say out loud but failed.

"Esme, I think what Bella is trying to say is that she's unsure how she'll react when she sees Victoria and James. James, specifically. Am I right, angel?" Edward asked. I nodded, pressing my body closer to his. His strong arms banded around me, holding me protectively to his strong chest. I've got you, Angel. I love you so much. You're so strong, baby. He kissed my forehead before continuing. "Also, all of the war games have prepared us for anything but not of crippling fear. Terror. This will be the first time that Bella will have seen James since her change and she's facing her attacker, the man who took her life and innocence. Her reaction is an unknown. Alice has seen nothing. We're going in blind and it's unsettling, to say the least."

Carlisle strode into the kitchen, his golden eyes calm and soothing. "I have no doubt that we will be fine. Victoria's army is filled with newborns that are unseasoned and driven by their instincts. The crux of the matter is that we need to lure them away from the city."

"How do we do that?" Edward asked.

"I have no clue or if it's even possible. Are there any parks in Chicago? It's been a long time since I've been there," Carlisle sighed, running his hand through his blonde hair.

"Grant Park," I replied.

"Yes, that will work," Alice chirped as she danced down into the kitchen. Jasper was following close behind. "The park closest to Buckingham Fountain might be a good place to stage our attack. It'll have to be at night, though."

"Yeah. A bunch of sparring, fighting, murdering vampires in broad daylight would garner a lot of attention," Jasper said dryly. Alice rolled her eyes, smacking Jasper's chest. "Before we go into battle, though, we need to do some reconnaissance. Also, we need to do a head count. Who's helping us? What are our strengths? Weaknesses?" Alice elbowed Jasper. His nose wrinkled and he quickly began chanting the Declaration of Independence in Mandarin. "We're not going to worry about that now, though. Edward? You're coming with me."

"Right," Edward smirked, kissing my lips chastely before following Jasper out of the house. Carlisle followed them out as well.

"Esme, we're helping Bella get ready," Alice chimed.

My eyes bugged out. Really? "Alice, what time am I going out with Edward?" I asked.

"He's picking you up at seven tonight," she replied.

"What time is it now?" I pressed.

"Two in the morning," she answered, twirling her short black hair.

"Why would I need seventeen hours to get ready?" I growled. "Am I that hideous?"

Bella, you are the most beautiful woman in the world, Edward thought to me. Alice is being well, Alice….

With Edward's admission, I stood up and darted away, wanting to feed before my date with my husband. I also did NOT want to be tortured for seventeen hours. That would have been pure hell. No. Thank. You.

xx A&M xx

"I still could have filled all of those hours," Alice said forlornly. Esme was curling my hair. Alice was sitting on the counter and Kate smelled various perfumes with a look of absolute disdain. I returned from my hunt, sated with three deer and one random bear nearly six hours from when I left the house. Esme had to physically restrain Alice until three when she threatened to rip off Esme's arms to make me gorgeous. I was pushed into the shower and every inch of me (well, nearly every inch) was buffed and polished with lotions. Hello? My skin is like marble. I don't need lotions.

My sister is weird. I've come to this conclusion.

And obsessed with all things fashion. However, I'm okay with that. I'm fashion-challenged.

"Alice, you have a sickness," Esme giggled.

"That's putting it mildly," Kate snickered. "Within the first thirty seconds of meeting her, Alice compliments my hair and then tells me she wants to give me a makeover. The world does not revolve around fashion, flat irons and makeup."

"Yes, it does," Alice replied seriously. Her golden eyes were narrowed and her lips pursed. Kate shrugged, flipping her long hair over her shoulders. Esme continued curling my hair, humming quietly. The tenor of her thoughts was of love and that she was thrilled that she had three new children to care for in Emmett, Edward and me. However, her mind was focused on me and my brutal introduction to the vampire world. She saw me as a daughter and 'Momma Esme' was ready to kill to protect me from the sadistic monster that was James. She was plotting a million different ways to torture and maim him before lighting him on fire.

Esme is, quite honestly, very scary when one of her children has been hurt. Who would have thought that Esme was so malicious? But, I'm okay with that. I'll glad help her in some of the maiming so I can get my own revenge on this fucker.

Kate cleared her throat, putting the perfume down. She looked slightly nervous. "So, I ran into Jasper and Carlisle on my way back from hunting," Kate said. "Garrett was snagged by Edward to work on whatever he was working on. Anyhow, they said that they want to run a recon mission in two days, three days at most."

"It'll have to be after sundown. The next few days are going to be sunny," Alice said as she peeked into the future. Kate nodded and wandered to my closet. "Pick a skirt, Kate."

Kate snorted. She shot me a look. I love her but dayum. I want to smack her sometimes. All-knowing little troll.

I laughed, nodding at Kate. She pulled out a full yellow floral skirt with black and green accents and a black tank top. With a sardonic grin, she held it up for Alice's approval. "It'll do," she said airily.

Esme finished my hair and Alice began attacking my face with makeup. For nearly an hour, she was trying to perfect my eyes. She wanted me to have the ideal 'smoky' eye and it was meshing. I would have been happy with some mascara and possibly some lip gloss.

My eyes were deemed perfect and the rest of my face was addressed. Then, Alice all but demanded I get ready because Edward was on his way to pick me up. I still had no idea what was happening on our date. I was putting on my shoes when I heard Edward's voice float up to my room. Slowly, I walked down the hallway to the stairs and floated downstairs to my husband. He looked amazing. He wore a pair of jeans, a gray t-shirt and a red blazer. It was all very reminiscent of our first date. He even held a large bouquet of flowers in his hand, smiling sweetly. He walked to me, holding out the flowers. I took them from his hand, inhaling the fragrant blooms.

"Thank you," I said quietly, looking up at him.

"You're welcome, angel," he whispered.

"Okay, before you leave! We need a picture!" Alice squealed. She pushed us together and whipped out a camera. I growled at her. She petulantly stuck out her tongue as she clicked picture after picture.

"Alice, we've got to go," Edward said, exasperation lacing his tone. "We're going to be late."

"Not with the way you drive, Masen," she snickered.

"True, but still. Stop taking a litany of pictures so I can take my wife out on a romantic date," Edward said pointedly. Alice rolled her eyes and slunk back to Jasper. Edward plucked the flowers from my hands and handed them to Esme. Her mind told me that she'll put them in some water, placing them inside of mine and Edward's bedroom. Using my gift, I thanked her. Edward dragged me to my Ferrari.

"Who said you could drive my car?" I teased.

"Come on, Bella," he whined. "What's yours is mine, right? Hell, I've got a couple of sports cars in storage that I'd love to see you behind the wheel."

"So you have other vehicles besides your Volvo?" I asked.

"Yep. A silver Jaguar, a black Alfa Romeo and an orange Maserati," he said with a sexy smirk. "They're stored in a garage just outside of the city. I got each of them as a reward for completing work for huge clients. I had three contracts that were worth a lot of money and hence, three fuckhot cars."

"An orange Maserati," I giggled. "That's amazing. We'll have to get it while we're on recon."

"Is that wise?" Edward asked as he pulled away from the house. He sped away, driving along the highway to downtown Whitefish Bay.

"It won't take long," I shrugged. "Where is the storage facility?"

"Just off of 90/94," he replied.

"We'll have someone drive us and then run to the storage facility, take your car and drive back here," I said, giving Edward a wry grin. "But, I get to drive her since you're driving my baby." Edward pursed his lips, narrowing his contact covered eyes. They were green. "Where did you get those?" I asked pointing to his eyes.

"Jasper. He broke into an optometrist's office, swiping several green colored contact lenses. He said that they don't really match my original color but it looks more natural. Brown was too dark and the blue would have looked too girly," he chuckled. "Can you see the red?"

"Not at all," I replied, tracing my finger underneath his slightly darkened skin under his eye. He smiled and slowed down the car, maneuvering the vehicle in the downtown area. He parked the car in front of a movie theater. I arched a brow. You're taking me to a movie? What about the humans?

I rented it out, he replied, kissing me soundly. "You mentioned something about your hatred of romantic movies and I wanted to school you in some of the most iconic romantic movies ever. So, I arranged to show you two of my favorite cheesy romantic movies."

"And what are those?" I asked, arching a brow at him.

"The Wedding Singer and Never Been Kissed," he responded, giving me a sheepish grin. "Plus, I had a bit of a celeb crush on Drew Barrymore. She is amazing and actually utilized me to launch her professional website."

"Was she one of the huge clients that earned you a fancy car?" I giggled.

"Yep. Ironically enough, her paycheck got me the Maserati," Edward replied. "Anyhow, I have the theater rented out from now until midnight. Garrett showed me how to run the projector and it's just you and me." Edward got out of the car and opened the door carefully, chanting to not ruin the Ferrari. Unconsciously, I shielded him from any nearby humans. It wasn't overbearing but I could tell that he was not comfortable. The grip on my hand was tight, almost to the point of pain. Once I shielded him, he relaxed and gave me a grateful smile.

Inside of the theater, the largest movie screen was set up for us. The residual scent of popcorn, candy and humans clung to the fabric of the chairs. I wrinkled my nose slightly at the scent. I was happy that I had hunted prior to this. My shield will be in full effect tonight.

Choose a spot, angel, Edward said mentally. I'm going to start Never Been Kissed first.

I nodded and picked a seat that was not covered in stickiness. The lights dimmed and the movie screen flickered to life. Edward sat next to me and nuzzled my cheek before turning his attention to the movie screen. The movie was sweet. I enjoyed it and could see why Edward liked it as well. In light of the craziness in our lives right now, the easy-going comedy of Drew Barrymore and David Arquette definitely made me forget the stress of the impending battle.

The movie ended and Edward switched it to The Wedding Singer. I enjoyed this one a lot more. I remember the bad fashions of the eighties and when the CD player first came onto the scene. I found it to be completely romantic when Adam Sandler's character serenaded Drew Barrymore's. No one had ever done that to me and as odd as it sounded, I was jealous of a fictional character. Edward was extremely swoon-worthy. He was definitely much better looking than Adam Sandler, but the notion of someone writing a song just for me made my dead heart stammer.

After the movies were over, Edward left a wad of cash in the projector room as a tip. Also, it was for some slight damage we caused to the chairs we were sitting in. During the first movie, things kind of got hot and heavy and I sliced through some of the fabric with my nails when Edward sucked on my ear.

Like the gentleman he was, Edward helped me into the car and he quickly pulled away from the movie theater. The drive was quiet. Edward was humming quietly, the same song that was song at the end of The Wedding Singer, "Grow Old with You." I chuckled at the implications of the song. We would never grow old. Edward would forever be frozen at the age of twenty-five. I would be twenty-one for eternity.

The ride was short and soon Edward parked the car on the driveway of Esme's home. Out of the car, Edward pulled on my hand to the beach behind the property. Just before we reached the sand, Edward saw a guitar leaning against a tree. He laughed, picking it up and reading the note attached to it. "Alice's doing. She's handy but not. You know?"

"What does the note say?" I asked.

"It says, 'If you're feeling musical…and you won't break it.' Apparently Alice saw something that indicated that I needed this," he snickered. Taking my hand, we walked a few miles down the beach and reached a picnic sort of thing with candles, pillows and a warm bonfire. Edward sat down and placed the guitar off to the side. Tugging me to his side, he held me in his lap. "So, what did you think of the movies?" he asked.

"I liked them. The second one brought back a lot of memories from when I was in Seattle in the eighties," I answered. "God, the fashions were so cheesy. It was bad."

"I can imagine. I remember the badness my mom dressed me in the eighties," Edward grumbled. "I refused to wear polo shirts for nearly a decade after I was in second grade. My mom put every color polo shirt on my body that year. Blech!"

"Sorry, baby," I said with mock sympathy. He growled and before I could blink an eye, I was underneath him. His contacts had long since disintegrated. His irises were swirling with red and black. He looked dangerous. He looked beautiful. Soon, his irises were black fire and he nudged my legs apart with his knees, settling between them. His rock hardness was pressed against my pussy. Leaning down, Edward crashed his mouth against mine and we both moaned. His hands moved along my arms until he reached my breasts, palming the while his mouth moved feverishly with mine. My fingers were tangled in his soft hair, trying to bring him closer to me.

Abruptly, Edward stopped and stared down at me. He balanced on one hand, tracing my cheek with his thumb. So beautiful, he murmured. "I can't believe I get to keep you forever, angel."

"Me neither. I never thought I'd fine someone. I was content to roam the world all alone and then you change everything. In a good way, though," I replied, running my fingers along his pouty lips.

"An amazing way," he smiled. Leaning down, he kissed me chastely before pulling back. He helped me up and reached for the guitar.

"Feeling musical?" I teased.

"I heard your inner monologue about how you want someone to serenade you," Edward said quietly, almost sheepishly.

"Shit," I said, clapping my hand over my mouth. "I thought I had my shield down."

"Nope, I heard everything," Edward said as he checked to see if the guitar was in tune. "I promise you that I will write you an Edward Masen original, but this is the best I could come up with tonight."

"You're going to play for me?" I whispered. Serenade me?

"I want to make part of your dream come true, angel," he smiled softly. His long fingers wrapped around the neck of the instrument and he began strumming Extreme's 'More than Words.' His eyes were fixed on mine as he carefully played the chords on the guitar. Once the vocal part began, his velvety, warm voice caressed my ears.

Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you

It's not that I want you

Not to say, but if you only knew

How easy it would be to show me how you feel

More than words is all you have to do to make it real

Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me

'Cause I'd already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel

That your love for me is real

What would you say if I took those words away

Then you couldn't make things new

Just by saying I love you

More than words

Now that I've tried to talk to you and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes

And just reach out your hands and touch me

Hold me close don't ever let me go

More than words is all I ever needed you to show

Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me

'Cause I'd already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel

That your love for me is real

What would you say if I took those words away

Then you couldn't make things new

Just by saying I love you

More than words

I was crying by the time he was done singing to me. He barely put down the guitar when I pounced, smothering him onto the blanket. I was too emotional to say anything vocally but my mental chants were of love, devotion and everything else lovey and fuzzy.

"Bella, there's something else," he said as he took my face in his hands. "Now, that I'm somewhat okay with going out with babysitters, I managed to get you something when we were in Michigan. Consider it a late wedding present."

"Edward, just being married to you is present enough," I said.

"Well, I felt horribly that I couldn't buy your rings and well, I think you'll like it," he said as he reached into his jacket pocket. He handed me a long, slim box. Please accept it, angel. I want to spoil you and this is the first of many presents I intend to get you, love.

I arched a brow and opened up the box. Secured inside was a diamond and sapphire bracelet. It looked like bubbles of sparkles that danced along the bracelet. "Edward," I whispered. "It's beautiful."

"It pales in comparison with you but it'll do for now," Edward said as he gingerly plucked it from the box. He put it around my right wrist, kissing the inside of my palm.

First, you take me out on the sweetest date ever. Then, you serenade me to one of the most romantic songs. Finally, you give me this gorgeous bracelet. Edward…there are no words for what I'm feeling right now. I'm so…so…

I know, angel. I feel the same way, he cooed, kissing me sweetly.

Once I got control of my emotions, I begged for Edward to make love to me. In a heartbeat, our clothes were shredded and he was sliding inside of my body. We made love all night long until the sky began to lighten and the fire was just a pile of glowing embers. We were still connected intimately, wrapped in the blanket as the sun peaked over the horizon, covering us in its warm orange glow.

"Thank you, Edward, for such a wonderful date," I murmured against his hair, holding him to my body.

"I know it was slightly lame but I wanted to take you out," he replied, brushing my hair from my face. "With everything that's going to happen, I wanted to see you smile." That earned him a radiant grin. "And I've succeeded."

Guys, you've got get moving. Several early morning runners will be at your location in ten minutes, Alice said to both of us. Clothes are just in the tree line. And Edward? You owe Bella a new skirt.

Edward rolled his eyes and picked me up. We walked to the tree line and found a pair of jeans for both of us along with v-neck t-shirt for Edward and graphic t-shirt for me. We got dressed. Edward darted back to the fire and picked up our shoes along with the guitar. With one more look at our mini-oasis, we left for the house and preparations for the recon mission ahead of us.

xx A&M xx

Two days later, we were all caravanning down to Chicago. Edward and I were in the backseat of his Volvo that was being driven by Garrett. We were divided up into teams and going to scour the city for any new vamps that were created by Victoria or, gulp, James. Our team consisted of Edward, Garrett, Kate and me. We were going to search the north side. Esme, Carlisle, Alice and Jasper were going to search the south side.

Garrett found a parking spot just off of the highway and we got out, climbing on top one of the buildings. We were all wearing black. Kate's hair was braided down her back and she looked menacing. Garrett was ready for this all to be done. All of us were, honestly.

"Do we want to stay together or split up to cover more ground?" Kate asked.

"I think we should split up," Garrett said. "Bella? What do you think?"

"Split up," I said, opening my mind. "If you find someone, call out to either Edward or me mentally."

"How far is your range?" Garrett asked.

"For people that I know, five miles," I answered. "We've never checked Edward's range."

"Don't rely on me too much. I'm still trying to make sense of all of the voices screaming in my brain," he said, grimacing slightly. "The only person I can hear clearly is Bella and that's because her voice is loudest."

"If we don't respond, call our cell phones," I said. "Meet back here in two hours."

"Okay. We'll head south and search through the theater district, by the lake and end up here," Kate said.

"We'll head north to Wrigley Field and Goldcoast," Edward replied. With a decisive nod, we all took off and ran quickly along the rooftops of the city. Edward was definitely struggling with all of the scents of the humans but he was mentally chanting that he still had his humanity.

An hour into our mission, both Edward and I smelled a new vampire. It was a combination of the cloying scent of Victoria and something sour. In addition to the scent of the vampire, there was also the scent of fresh blood. Edward's eyes went black and he growled. I slammed my shield around him and led him toward the vampire who was feeding on an unsuspecting woman. Edward clenched his fists, wanting to get in on the action but I used my gift to stop him. No. Edward, you are good and will never drink from a human.

His bloodlust quickly faded and he looked at me. His glassy stare was now normal and he nodded. The vampire dropped the woman and wiped his face with the back of his hand. His mind was searching for more blood. He hadn't even registered Edward and me behind him. With a quirked brow, I zinged the vampire causing him to fall to his knees.

"MOTHER FUCKER!" he screamed.

"Didn't your sire teach you to keep your eyes, ears and nose open?" I asked as I walked to him. He was fairly new. His blonde hair was shaggy and his eyes were bright red.

"I don't know what you're talking about, bitch," he spat. I zinged him again, causing him to fall onto the corpse of his victim.

"He's lying," Edward said. "His mind is cycling through memories of Victoria and about fifteen other vampires."

"What the fuck?" he hissed, staring at my mate.

"Mind reader," Edward replied smugly, tapping his temple. "The redhead, what did she tell you?"

"Once I woke up from being burned," he snarled, "she told me to do one thing. Feed."

"Nothing else?" I asked.

"She gave us a date to meet back together," he said, eyeing me warily.

"When?" Edward growled, picking up the vampire and shoving him against the wall of the building. The vampire squirmed and glowered at my husband. "I asked you a fucking question, asshole. When?!"

"Early fall, I think," he squeaked as Edward tightened his hand around the guy's larynx.

"EXACT. DATE," Edward seethed.

"October 31st," the vampire answered, gasping for breath.

"How many are there?" I questioned, standing in front of the vampire. "Besides the redhead?"

"There's her and some creepy fucker with a ponytail," he answered. "He's scares the shit out of me."

Edward and I shared a look. "Why do you say that?" Edward asked out of morbid curiosity.

"He plays with his food. It's disgusting. The things he does with the humans are foul. He loves to fuck them and cover his whole body with their blood," he replied, his mind showing James raping a young girl and the draining her dry. "He tortures the humans. Even the redhead is sickened by this but she tolerates it because she knows that he can get her what she wants."

"What's that?" Edward asked.

"You," he answered, giving Edward a twisted smile.

"Wrong answer, asshole," I said as I zinged him with my strongest jolt of pain. He moved against Edward's hold. Drop him, Edward. I need to kill him. Edward's eyes widened and I gave him a sympathetic smile. Edward's hand was removed from his neck and the vampire fell into a spasming heap on the ground. Pick up his victim and toss her into the dumpster.

"What about her family?" he whispered as he bent down to the drained girl. Her eyes blue eyes were vacant and staring at nothing.

"Does she have a purse?" I asked. Edward shook his head and closed her eyes. "Check her pockets."

Nothing, Edward said forlornly. With a sigh, he picked up the girl and tossed her into the dumpster. He quietly said a prayer before turning his attention to the squirming vamp at our feet. "He needs to pay for his victims." Edward picked up his twitching form and held me against the wall again. "Tonight, Ronnie, you die," Edward snarled.

"How do you know my name?"

"Mind reader, remember?" Edward growled. "Not many people refer to themselves in the third person. So, yes, Ronnie is meeting his demise tonight. I hope you burn in hell." Closing his hand, Ronnie's head fell off his body and rolled away. Edward flung his body into the dumpster and drop kicked Ronnie's head inside as well. I lit a match, tossing it inside. It ignited immediately and we sprang to the rooftop, running back to the building we started at with Kate and Garrett.

They were already waiting for us when we got back. I could smell smoke on them. "Did you both run into someone?" I asked.

"Yep," Garrett said, wrinkling his nose. "I hate burning vamps. It never gets out of the clothes."

"Tell me about it," Kate grumbled. Edward didn't say anything. He looked solemn and distraught. "What about you two?"

"We found someone and got some information," I said as I took Edward's hand in mine.

"So did we," Garrett said. "It looks like the end of October is when they're planning to attack. Victoria and James are the ringleaders. There may be few older vampires besides the newbies, just mainly nomads who are looking for a fight. Anyhow, we killed our source and dumped into the sewers." Garrett laughed and he and Kate shared a high five. Edward flinched. "Shit, Edward, I keep forgetting…you're so new to this life. Are you okay?"

"A bit rattled," he answered honestly. "Our source killed an innocent girl and we had to torch the victim and the vampire to cover it up. She didn't even have any ID. It seems so empty."

My mind filled with guilt in taking his life. I felt horribly for the girl we lit on fire. This was all my fault and…

"No, it's not," Edward said sternly, taking my face in his hands. "It's not your fault. I feel badly about the girl. The vampire? Not so much. He was disgusting and deserved to meet his maker."

Garrett's cell phone rang and he picked it up. "Hello?"

"We came up with nothing," Esme said on the phone. "Carlisle and I are going to wait for Alice and Jasper. Then, we're heading back to Whitefish Bay. Did you guys have any luck?"

"We did and we'll tell you once we're back in Wisconsin. We'll meet you up there," Garrett said. The phone clicked off and he pocketed it. "Now, do you want me to drive you to the storage facility for your car, Edward?"

"No. Running will be fine. It's three in the morning. No one will see us," Edward explained.

"Drive safe," Kate said. Together, Garrett and Kate jumped off the building and we could hear the Volvo start up. Once they pulled away and I couldn't hear their minds, I sat down next to Edward who was on the ledge of the building.

"You okay?" I whispered.

"I'll be fine," he said, giving me a weak smile. "Like I said, I've always been more a lover. Not a fighter. I just killed someone today, angel. I strangled a vampire until his head popped off. That's sick."

"Now, despite the fact that you killed someone today, you were very controlled," I said, lacing my fingers through his. "You kind of lost control when you smelled the fresh blood but you reeled in your bloodlust relatively quickly."

"That's because you shielded me," he muttered. "However, I feel so badly about the girl. It's so pointless the way she died. Plus, what if she had a family? A husband? Boyfriend? How will they identify her?"

"Well, she didn't have a ring on her finger," I said. "I don't think she was married. In regards to the identification, they can do it through dental records. Her bones will remain."

"What about the vampire?"

"He'll be ash," I answered, nuzzling his side. "Once they identify her, we can make an anonymous donation for her funeral if you want."

"I want," he murmured. "Please?"

"Anything for you," I promised. "Now, let's go get your car and drive back to Wisconsin."

"Kay," he said as he kissed my temple. "Since I've been traumatized today, can I drive? I mean, she is my car."


A/N: Lots of stuff happened in here…not going to recap it but this chapter was jam packed. I hope you liked it. Pictures from the chapter are on my blog (link on my profile) along with a PSA about upcoming stuff…My life is literally imploding. In a good way, though. Read my blog post entitled 'Public Service Announcement' dated January 15th. It'll explain everything.

Up next will be some fallout of the recon mission and some fighting in Wisconsin. Possibly an introduction of a new character (and not a good guy); a blast from Edward's past, as it were. Who do you think it's gonna be?

Find me on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation or on twitter: tufano79. As always, leave some lovin'…Hugs!