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.

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?

Chapter Fifteen

It had been a few days since our reconnaissance mission to Chicago. Edward had withdrawn from all of us. I was worried about him. He wouldn't talk. He wouldn't interact. He just sat on the roof of the house, staring out over the lake. He hadn't moved since he scaled the walls and taking his perch on the roof.

I missed him.

Jasper sauntered up to me and sat down next to my spot in a neighboring tree. I wanted to watch Edward surreptitiously. I blocked my mind and watched him. Hey, Bells, Jasper said to me mentally. No change?

I shook my head, giving my friend and brother a frown. "What do you sense from him?"

Anger. Despair. Guilt. Fear, Jasper explained. Anger is the most predominant emotion. He's pissed off over what happened in Chicago. Jasper stared at me and his eyes were questioning.

"He killed a vampire, popping off his head like a zit," I said, chuckling darkly. It was funny to see. Disturbing, though. "Plus, he dealt with the bloodlust of the freshly spilled blood of the vampire's victim. We dumped them both into a dumpster near Wrigleyville, torching it."

"Do you remember what the victim looked like?" Jasper asked.

"A little taller than Esme, blonde hair, hazel eyes, I think," I replied.

Did she look like this? Jasper questioned, showing me a picture from a newspaper in his mind. The girl was beautiful, young, happy and the daughter of one of the local politicians. My eyes widened as I nodded. "Crap," Jasper hissed. The politician is out for revenge for his daughter, Emma. She had recently graduated from Harvard Law School and was going to work in a local, prestigious law firm. Jasper swallowed thickly, clamping his eyes shut.

"What, Jas?" I asked, putting my hand on his bicep.

Edward's going to flip his shit. Are we shielded?

"Yes, I can only hear you," I replied. "What is it?"

She was pregnant…about three months along, Jasper said, giving me an anguished look. She had just told her boyfriend the night she went missing. He had proposed to her, obviously without a ring but he had done so because he was happy about the baby.

I growled, leaping out of the tree and onto the ground. My temper flared. The vampire, Ronnie…UGH! He had not only stolen one life, but two! TWO!

Bella, keep it together, Jasper chided, taking me into his arms. Edward's starting to suspect something.

"I have to tell him," I whispered brokenly.

Get him away from the house, Alice said to me, her mental voice sounding somber. He's going to react. Badly.

Edward must have heard part of Alice's conversation to me. He jumped down from his perch on the house, glaring at Jasper. "I'm going to react badly to what?" he snarled.

"Edward, come with me," I said in a soothing voice. I put my hand on his arm. Angrily, he ripped it away. His eyes were black and he was in full bloodlust, despite the lack of blood. He needed to feed. Jasper bathed him in a wave of calm. His black eyes cleared slightly but he was still agitated. "Please, Edward?"

He narrowed his eyes, stomping away from the house and toward the beach. I followed him. Jasper stayed back but close enough if Edward became too much for me to handle. With his newborn strength, he could easily hurt me. Then, he'd feel even guiltier. On the beach, I could hear the low, rumbling growl of my mate and husband. His posture was tense and he was ready for a fight. "I'm away from the house," Edward said coldly. "Talk."

I flinched at his tone. I know that he was hurting and angry, but I didn't want it to be directed at me. Jasper, feeling my uncertainty, moved closer. "We know who the girl was that was attacked by the vampire we killed," I said, my voice quaking.

"Who?"

"A daughter of a local politician," I replied. I was nervously twisting my wedding set on my finger. "Her first name was Emma."

Edward turned around and glowered at me. "There's more," he spat. "You're shutting me out."

I gulped down some venom as I looked up at him. "She was pregnant."

"WHAT?!" Edward roared. His eyes blackened and he ripped out a nearby tree, tossing it into Lake Michigan. He shattered all of the deck furniture into tiny splinters. He screamed and fumed, saddened at the loss of life for Emma and her unborn baby. Then, he glared at me, blurring toward me. "You knew this?"

"Jasper just told me," I whimpered. I stared up at him, chanting for him to not hurt me. For the first time, I was afraid of my mate. He was not in his right mind. Jasper must have known that and he flew, pummeling Edward onto the sand.

"Get off me!" Edward screamed.

"I may not be a mind-reader like you and Bellsy, but I know that you were very close to hitting your wife," Jasper hissed. "Your anger is all encompassing. You're in bloodlust and you'd hate yourself if you hurt Bella. She's your mate. She didn't intentionally keep this from you. I just found out. Now, don't make me rip off an appendage because you're thinking of hurting my sister. Your wife, asshole. Wife. The woman you love. She didn't do anything to deserve your ire." Bella, go to the house. I've got him.

Tears were pouring down my cheeks as I ran away from my brother and my mate. Once inside of the house, Esme and Alice enveloped me in their arms as I fell apart. My heart was shattered for the girl. I was also upset at how Edward reacted to the news; the look of hatred in his eyes. Was that look for me? Or was it in general due to the situation?

I let myself be guided to the room that Edward and I shared. Esme and Alice lay down on the bed with me as I cried. I'm not sure how long we lay on the bed. But, Esme was gently running her fingers through my hair while Alice was holding my hand as I curled up against her shoulder. Carlisle had come into the house, walking into my bedroom. He was a bit bedraggled and wet. My brows furrowed.

"Carlisle, why are you dripping lake water all over my carpeting?" Esme admonished.

"I got thrown into Lake Michigan," he said, giving his wife a sheepish grin. "Edward is having a newborn temper tantrum." He shot me a look, giving me a sympathetic look. "Initially it was over the girl and her baby, but now, he's having a fit over how he treated Bella. He feels guilty for even entertaining the idea of hurting her."

I sat up, wanting to go to him.

"Stay, Bella," Alice said as she hugged me. "It'll be a few hours before he can get control over his emotions." He's hurting, Bells. He feels horribly about the girl but even more so about you. He loves you so much but the fact that he was so blinded by his anger and bloodlust that he could even entertain the idea of hurting you is making him feel like a monster.

"He's not," I whispered.

"He's a newborn. We expected this," Carlisle said as he took my hand, dripping some on the bed. "I'm surprised it took this long for his anger to manifest itself."

"Carlisle, before you continue with this conversation," Esme said fiercely, "you need to dry off. You're ruining the area rug." She hopped off the bed, tugging on her mate's arm. He followed her, shooting me an apologetic grin.

Once they were gone, I turned to Alice. "When will he be back?"

"Late, late tonight," Alice explained. "Edward was blinded with bloodlust, Bella. He didn't see you. He just saw the bearer of the bad news. It didn't even register in his mind that you were the bearer. He feels horribly and he needs to get over it. He's afraid that you hate him."

"No!" I wailed.

"Shhhhh, it's okay, Bells," Alice said as she hugged me. "Jasper is telling him that, but only after he's ripped your mate a new asshole for making you cry. My man is quite protective of you because of your relationship after you were changed." I nodded, holding onto Alice's tiny body.

My sister soothed me for the remainder of the day, idly playing with my hair and prattling on about what she wanted to do with her time after this drama with James and Victoria was over. I didn't really pay attention. I just let Alice's lilting soprano wash over me. We stayed in the bed until the sun dipped below the horizon and the room grew darker. Close to midnight, Alice pulled away and kissed my cheek. "He's on his way back, Bella."

"What will happen?" I asked.

"You'll see," she smirked, dancing out of the room. We're all going to hunt. You'll be fine! The door opened and closed, leaving me along in the house. I walked to the window seat, curling up in a ball. I watched as Edward walked back into the yard. His posture was slumped and his mental conversation with himself was filled with much guilt and anger. Again the door opened and closed. Edward's smooth gait moved across the floor of the main level to the stairs. Edward sighed quietly, ascending the stairs slowly. He paused just outside of our door before opening it up. His features were drawn into a deep frown and his eyes were contrite.

"Hi," he said, his deep voice sound rough and sad.

I didn't say anything. I just stared out the window. Venomous tears were spilling over my cheeks. Hugging my legs, I rested my head on my knees. Edward walked toward me, sitting on the window seat. "Do you hate me?" he asked, his voice breaking. "I was awful toward you."

I looked up at him, unsure how to respond. I didn't hate him but I hated his reaction to what I said. Yes, he was in bloodlust, but I'm his mate.

"Bella, please?" he pleaded, his own eyes filling with tears. "Talk to me, angel."

I don't know what to say, I replied. I understand that you were in bloodlust and that you were reacting to the situation but…it hurt, Edward. It hurt a lot. I slammed my shield down after I said that, curling up into a tighter ball. I didn't want to be comforted by him, nor give any comfort. I was hurting.

"I'm so sorry, Bella," he cried, reaching for me. I moved away from him, leaning against the window. The wood creaked under my weight pressing against it. His hands flew to his hair, tugging on the strands forcefully. "I didn't know what I was doing! Please, Bella. I need you, angel. Please? Please say that you forgive me."

"I know you were in bloodlust, but as my mate, your mind should have first thought to protect me, not hurt me. Even while I'm in bloodlust, my main concern is for you," I growled, glaring at him. Edward hung his head shamefully. "You're new to this life…I get that, but it doesn't negate the pain I felt when I thought you were going to end me."

"What? I never…Bella…I couldn't," he whimpered, reaching for me. I jumped away, sitting on the couch in the room.

"Yes, you could have," I spat. "You were going to. Jasper stopped you, Edward." I opened my mind, showing him what I saw just prior to Jasper pouncing on top of him. Edward fell onto the ground of the bedroom, clutching his chest.

"Bella," he whispered brokenly. "I will never forgive myself for almost hurting you. You are my whole life, my reason for existing. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't even remember the conversation we had about Emma. I just remember flying into a rage. Did I?" Did I hurt you? Physically?

"No but I'm hurt emotionally," I said quietly. "I'm afraid that if you fly into bloodlust like that again…" I clamped my eyes shut, my mind spinning of what my mate could do if he couldn't gain control of his bloodlust.

"Are you afraid of me?" Edward asked, his voice breaking.

"Right now? Sort of," I said, looking up at him, noticing that he was kneeling in front of me. "Are you in control of your emotions? Will you hurt me?"

"No, angel," he pleaded. "Please, Bella. Let me show you that I'm okay. My heart is breaking because you won't let me touch you."

Unconsciously, I had my shield wrapped around me. Edward couldn't have touched me, even he wanted to. I was hurting without his touch. I bit my lip, thinking about his heart-felt plea. My shield slowly dissipated and I moved closer to him, still filled with trepidation about his temper from earlier today. Once my shield was gone, Edward gathered me in his arms, holding me to his chest. "I'm so sorry. Please forgive me," he chanted, burying his nose into my hair. He repeated that over and over again, along with proclamations of love. At first, I was stiff and unsure how to act. His tears against my chest broke my resolve and I wrapped my arms around him. He gripped me tightly, still murmuring his apologies. He truly had no control over his actions. Based off his memories, the whole exchange about Emma, the vampire and the pregnancy was a blur to him.

"It's okay, Edward," I whispered against his neck. "I forgive you."

"Really?" he muttered, looking up at me with impossibly sad eyes. "I would never intentionally hurt you, Bella. When Jasper told me about what I did, I was sick. I was so afraid that you'd hate me forever."

"Not forever," I quipped, putting my hands on his damp face. His scarlet orbs stared at me, filled with such despair. "We just need to work with you on controlling your bloodlust. You hadn't fed since our trip to Chicago and hearing about that girl just sent you into a panic. Until you get comfortable with our way of life, you need to feed more often."

"I just couldn't get the look of Ronnie's face out of my mind," Edward said as he caressed my skin on my face. "His eyes were still moving after I removed his head from his body. And the blood…so much blood!"

"It's hard killing another being, evil or not," I said. "Ronnie was sentient. He could make decisions, carry on a conversation…"

"Just because he was sentient didn't make him any less of a monster," Edward growled. "He killed that girl needlessly and to find out that she was pregnant?" I could never drink from a human, regardless of how good or bad they are. It's too much, angel. I can't be judge, jury and executioner.

"No one expects you to be," I whispered. "You don't have to drink from humans, Edward. If you don't want to kill vampires, we won't think any less of you, either."

"I want to be able to protect you," Edward said as he wrapped his arms around my waist. "Today, you needed to be protected from me. I'm so sorry, Bella."

"Like I said before, I forgive you," I said quietly. "You just need to forgive yourself. You're not a monster."

"Yes, I am," he choked out.

"No, you're not," I said fervently. "Out of the two of us, you have yet to drink human blood. I've lived on it for decades. I was the judge, jury and executioner. I listened to the tenor of people's mental voices, determining who'd drink from. I had no right. They should have been arrested and taken care of according the law, not my sick moral values."

"I'm still a monster because of my actions. I will do everything in my power to make it up to you, Bella. I promise you," he said. "I love you."

"I love you, Edward," I replied, kissing his cheek. "I know you weren't in your right mind. I get it. I'd hurt Jasper more times than I care to admit during my newborn year."

"But, he wasn't your mate," Edward said dejectedly. "I was so blinded by the bloodlust that I didn't even register who was talking to me. I should have known that it was you, Bella."

"Okay, enough beating yourself up," I said. "You made a mistake. So did I. I should have forced you to feed after we got back to Chicago. You would have been in a better frame of mind. I'm sorry about that." He gave me a look of disbelief, arching a sculpted brow. "Now, did you feed?"

"Yeah. Jasper took me north and I gorged myself on a ton of deer," Edward replied. "I'm kind of sloshy."

"You needed it," I said, poking him in the stomach. He rolled his eyes, holding me to his body. His mind was repentant, still apologizing for his actions from earlier today. "Stop beating yourself up, Edward. We can move on from this, okay?"

"Okay," he said, still clutching me to his body. Can we make love? I want to show you how much I love you, Bella. Please?

I nodded and in an instant, our clothes were shredded. Edward kissed every inch of my body before sliding inside of me, healing our connection and our hearts.

xx A&M xx

A couple of weeks after our recon mission to Chicago, things had settled down some. Edward and I had set up something for Emma's fiancé, family and honorarium for her unborn child. Edward was slightly mollified after that, but he was still feeling guilty about the whole situation.

If only we had gotten there sooner…

If only Emma wasn't walking that night…

If only Ronnie hadn't chosen her as a victim…

If only…

If only…

I tried to explain to Edward that we can't change the past but move on to the future. He struggled with that, still drowning in his guilt for Emma, her unborn baby and her grief-stricken fiancé. It wasn't until we got a phone call from Emmett that Edward got out of his funk.

They talked on the phone for hours, laughing over the shenanigans they shared as humans, talking about Rose and Emmett's wedding ceremony, which was scheduled for some time around the holidays, and finally discussing Edward's loss of control with me. Now, Emmett wasn't my biggest fan. He still garnered resentment towards me but he was pissed at Edward for his temper tantrum. After an hour long tongue lashing, Emmett finally moved on from his tirade, asking if Edward had seen the latest Cub's debacle.

A couple of days after that, I was hunting with Kate, Edward and Carlisle. Garrett was strategizing with Jasper for the battle. Alice and Esme were in downtown Whitefish Bay doing some shopping. Kate and I were burying our kills when she sniffed the air. Someone's coming, she thought.

"Do you recognize the scent?"

Kate furrowed her brow, concentrating on the smell around us. It was earthy and slightly sour, but familiar. "It's Laurent," Kate replied. "I wonder why he's here? He and Irina were talking about taking a long, extended vacation during your wedding."

As soon as Kate mentioned Laurent, Edward and Carlisle had returned. The look of shock on their faces was apparent. "What is it?"

"I heard Laurent's thoughts," Edward hissed. He's close with both James and Victoria.

"Out loud, Masen," Kate barked.

"He knows James and Victoria. Apparently, the three of them were nomads in the early part of the century," Edward said, his face showing his disgust. "How long has he been with Irina?"

"A few years," Kate replied. "They met while Irina and I were on the hunt. He charmed his way into our family, my sister falling immediately for his smooth ways."

"He's coming," Carlisle said, arching a brow. "Act like you know nothing."

Edward banded his arm around my waist. I stared into his eyes which were now a deep orange. I kissed him softly as we heard our 'guest' run through the forest. A few moments passed. Laurent sauntered from behind a tree, leaning against it casually.

"Hello, Kate," he said, with a heavily accented voice.

"Laurent," Kate replied, coolly, dipping her head in acknowledgement. "I see that you've slipped on your diet. Given up on eating animals?"

"Oui, mademoiselle," he replied, wrinkling his nose. "The thrill is not there in regards to the hunt. Besides, the flavor is all off. I missed the flavor of humans. Did you know that each culture has its own flavor? I'm partial to Italians. The taste of their blood is ripe with garlic and spices, just like Italian food. Delicious!"

Edward growled lowly, wanting to run with me. No, Edward. We must stay. We need to find why Laurent is running this way. I searched Laurent's brain for his mission but he was well-versed in keeping his face impassive and his mind empty.

Kate wasn't nearly as surreptitious as me. "Why did you leave my sister?" she growled.

"We felt it necessary to part ways," Laurent replied, idly staring at his grimy fingers. "She believed me to be her mate. Alas, she was not. She was just a warm body for me to fuck."

"You asshole," Kate snapped. She lunged for him, wrapping her hand around Laurent's band of dreadlocks. She pulled back, causing Laurent to fall. In a blink of an eye, Kate was straddling Laurent's waist with her hand around his neck, zinging for all she was worth. "A warm body to fuck?"

"Kate," Carlisle admonished.

"Wait!" Edward whispered. "His mind is showing his true intent while Kate is doing her shock thing."

Edward and I focused on Laurent's mind as he struggled against our friend. We could see flashes of a conversation with James on the phone. I could see a heartbroken Irina as Laurent told her goodbye. Edward snarled lowly when we saw Laurent drink from an unsuspecting Italian man. "Got it," I said. "He's heading to help James and Victoria."

Laurent hissed, bucking Kate off him. She flew across the forest, landing against a tree. "Yes, you bitch," Laurent growled, seething at me with such hate. "They were my old coven. My old friends. When James contacted me regarding a situation he was attending to in Chicago, I jumped at the chance to help. Living the vegetarian lifestyle was bland and boring. When Victoria mentioned a human that she believed was her mate, I knew she was talking about you." Laurent's eyes narrowed at Edward. "She'll be so pleased that you're already a vampire and not a human. She can fuck you without breaking you."

"She can keep dreaming," Edward said calmly, but his ire was bubbling underneath his steely tone. "I am mated. But not to Victoria."

We probably should let him go, to see what his mission is in Chicago, Carlisle thought to me. I hate to release him, but I hate the idea of hurting him more. He was once our family.

"Not according to Kate," Edward and I replied. I was holding Kate back with my shield to prevent her from taking off Laurent's head.

"Kate, behave," I said. She nodded. I released her, turning to Laurent, causing him a great deal of pain in his manly bits. He howled in pain, cupping his crotch. "You will be released in a few moments. However, your relationship with the Denalis and the Cullens is now over. You go back to your pathetic excuse of a coven and help out James, Victoria and their minions. If you do, you risk certain death."

"You know?" Laurent whimpered as I increased the voltage on his dick.

"Do you think we're really that dumb?" I said condescendingly, smacking Laurent's face. "You will go and deliver a message for us. If you don't, you're as good as dead. We'll see you make your decision and before you'd even register it, you'd be ash, Laurent."

"What's the message?" Laurent asked, his eyes filled with tears of pain. I spread the feeling of pain from his crotch to his whole lower body. He groaned, falling over.

I looked back at Carlisle, who walked over to Laurent. He grabbed Laurent's neck. "James and Victoria will pay for what they did to my children," he seethed lowly. "Death will be a gift after what we have planned for them." Bella hit until he's unconscious and then we'll run. I nodded giving him a full body shock at my highest frequency. He screamed before slumping to the ground. We all took off, running back to the house with Edward and me in the lead.

Alice and Esme pulled up to the house just as we arrived. Alice was all rattled. "I saw Laurent," she said.

"Did you see his decisions?" Kate asked, her anger evident in her tone.

"He's leaving here, terrified of Bella and you," she smirked. "More scared of Bella. What did you do to him?"

"I boiled his balls," I chuckled.

"Remind me to never get on your bad side, angel," Edward said.

"You almost got zinged there two weeks ago, bucko," I chided. His smile faded and he nuzzled my neck, apologizing, yet again. I elbowed him in the ribs. He gave me a tiny smile before we turned back to Alice.

"Anyhow, Laurent, once he regains consciousness, will go to Chicago. It'll take him a month to deliver the message. He will get caught up in melee of James and Victoria's lifestyle," Alice explained, wrinkling her nose. Edward and I watched as Victoria enjoyed a threesome with Laurent and James while they bathed in the blood of a recent victim.

"Ew, that's just wrong," Edward choked out.

"I need to bleach my brain," I groaned.

"Shut it, you two. This is the second time I've seen it," Alice grumbled.

"Does Laurent's decision change the timeline?" Esme asked. "Is it still in October?"

"Based off the trees and the weather, it appears so," Alice said. "I don't know what the outcome of the battle will be but it's still on. I can see us all stand in Grant Park."

"What about the Volturi?" asked Garrett, as he and Jasper joined us outside. "They've been awfully quiet. If they hear about a newborn army, they will put an end to it and to anyone who knows. That includes us."

Alice's eyes glazed over, searching the future for any indication that the Volturi would get involved in this mess. "Nothing. I don't see the Volturi at this point in time. They could be aware of it but choosing to not do anything or they simply don't care."

"Well, if that's the case, we've got a little over two months to work on our fighting skills," Jasper said, cracking his knuckles.

xx A&M xx

We decided after a week of training, that we'd do another recon mission. This time around, we were divided up into pairs. Edward and I were wandering around my old neighborhood. He furtively looked around his surroundings, seemingly uncomfortable.

"What's wrong, Edward?" I asked, squeezing his hand.

"I'm feeling like we're being watched," he shuddered. "Do you sense another mind? Not human, vampire."

I opened my mind, listening for someone besides Edward. "No, nothing. I can feel what you're experiencing, though. The air is too still and something is not quite right," I said, looking around the streets. "Come on, let's walked toward the city. I don't smell anyone and I can only hear human thoughts."

"Dreams?" Edward asked, as we walked briskly through the streets.

"Yes," I smiled. "Humans can have some of the most beautiful dreams." I looked up at him, smiling shyly. "You had such wonderful dreams about us."

"I have no doubt," he smirked, kissing my knuckles. "You are my dream girl."

"Cheese," I giggled, hip checking him.

"You love me," he laughed, kissing my neck softly, something he did quite often. I sighed, snuggling against him for a moment before tugging on his hand to keep moving.

"I do love you, Mr. Masen," I said.

"As I love you, Mrs. Masen," he quipped, pressing a soft kiss to my mouth. We walked for a few more hours until we reached the federal complex in the heart of the city. Alice and Jasper were already there, chatting quietly. "Anything?"

"Nope. Perhaps James and Victoria are telling their creations to feed elsewhere after the last recon mission," Alice shrugged.

"My guess is that they had to destroy some or they destroyed themselves," Jasper chortled. "Newborns are quite volatile."

"Not all newborns. Emmett was pretty controlled and Edward had the one instance but other than that has been pretty even-keeled," Alice explained.

"It helped that Edward was a pretty easy-going guy as a human, too," Jasper said. "Your strongest human traits carry over to your new life as a vampire."

"So, you were able to toy with emotions as a human?" Edward asked.

"Not really. I was a dynamic individual. I sashayed my way into the confederate army, becoming the youngest major in the history of the confederacy. My real age was just a little over nineteen. My superiors thought I was twenty-one. I could get a rise out of my troops easily and that's what led to my promotion," Jasper explained. "From our interactions when you were a human, seemed to have a good read on people. That carried over to be your telepathy."

"What about Bella? She's got multiple gifts," Alice said. "The telepathy, shield, zinger and mind control."

"I would have loved to known you as a human, Bella," Jasper whispered. "I can't say what human traits those encompass but my guess is that her telepathy is similar to Edward's. She must have been able to get a good read on people. The shield, possibly protecting herself from the bad things in her life. The mind control and zinger? Not sure. Those are offensive gifts…I'd have to do some more digging."

"Do all vampires carry over gifts?" Edward asked, wrapping his arms around my waist.

"Not everyone," Alice replied. "Garrett, Esme, Rose, Emmett and Carlisle don't have special gifts like ours."

"Eh, I'm thinking that Emmett's gift is his strength," Jasper argued. "The only person I'd seen that's bigger than him is Felix from the Volturi guard."

"But Felix is as dumb as a post," Alice snickered. "A-duh, me smush vampire."

"He's definitely not that sharpest tool in the shed. That's why he's always paired up with Demetri. He has enough brains for the two of them," Jasper laughed.

"I thought that vampires have infinite space in their minds," Edward said, scratching his unruly hair.

"We do. Some of us expand our minds. Others just let their intelligence be squandered," I said. "Or they never had it to begin with."

As I said that, I heard another mental voice. It wasn't anyone we knew, but the voice was female. Edward's posture stiffened. He looked around our location. "I know that voice," he hissed.

"Of course you do, Eddie," came the purring sound of a woman. We all turned and saw an attractive, beautiful blonde walk toward us. Her hair was curly and her skin pale. Her gait was feline in quality with a confident stride. Her crimson eyes indicated that she was like us…a vampire. "Don't you remember me?"

"Tanya?"

A/N: I'm stopping it there. Sorry about the cliffie but this is where I wanted it to end. The next chapter will be in Edward's point of view. We'll hear his reaction about seeing his ex-fiancée, and seeing that she's a vampire. Who changed her? Who's side is she on? Additionally, we're also going to have some fluffy times. The past few chapters have been a bit heavy and we need some happy times. Send me some ideas of what a band of vampires can do for fun (and not a group hunt). Also, should Emmett and Rose come back? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

No real pictures for this chapter. I have one and it will be posted on my blog (link in my profile). Also, find me on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation and on Twitter: tufano79. As always, please leave me some positive reinforcement. Thanks! *Hugs!*