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 (dated March 22nd).

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.

Chapter Sixteen

BPOV

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?"

EPOV

I blinked a few times, staring at the woman who had broken my heart a few short months ago. The woman who I thought I was supposed to spend my life with. The woman who, ultimately, led me to that club where I met my Bella. Then, I registered her thoughts in my brain.

Edward looks even better now. Maybe he pulled the stick out of his ass and we can have some REAL fun. Put that cock to good use, baby.

Bella must have heard that. She growled, narrowing her deep amber eyes at my ex-fiancée. I pulled my wife, my mate, my love closer to me and kissed her forehead. Tanya hissed lowly, seeing me be demonstrative with Bella.

"Tanya?" Alice asked. Her eyes glassed over and she nodded. "The ex. Talk about awkward."

"Ex?" Tanya snorted. "Hardly, little one. We were supposed to be married. We can still get married, Eddie."

Over my smoking ashes, Bella snapped mentally.

"I don't think so," I said coldly. "I'm happily married. Not to you and not to someone who can lie about being pregnant or cheat on me or…be a complete bitch toward me and my family."

Tanya's eyes flashed in anger. Her lip pulled back and she growled at me. She was quite new to this life and dealing with her newborn emotions. "I'm not a bitch, you fucker," she spat. "I did not cheat on you…we had an open relationship."

"You wore a ring that I bought for you," I growled. "We were going to be married. The ultimate commitment, Tanya. Regardless, that's not happening. I'm married…mated…and happy. You just need to go away."

As much as we should dismiss her, she's working for James and Victoria, Alice said mentally. Victoria changed her three weeks ago, shortly after our last recon mission.

"I have a question for you, Tanya," Alice began, nonplussed to Tanya's anger and disdain toward her. "Who changed you? You're eyes, they're very red and your emotions are all over the place."

"A redhead," Tanya answered. "She promised me that I could get my love back."

"Where did you meet her?" Jasper asked.

"Some club. I was out with a few friends and I was missing Eddie," she replied, looking at me longingly. "I still love him. I want another chance. The redhead said that she could make me more beautiful and that Eddie would want me. Well? Did it work?"

Bella rolled her eyes. I just snickered. "Nope. Tanya, I do not feel anything toward you. If anything, I feel pity for you," I said, looking at my ex-fiancée. "You were lied to, Tanya. That redhead, her name is Victoria. She believes that I'm her mate. She's using you to get to me."

"Lies," Tanya said, glaring at me. "She promised you to me. She said I could keep Eddie. All I had to do was kill that." She pointed to my girl. She rotated her shoulders, cracking her knuckles and prepared for her fight. "I've never fought anyone. Why not start now?"

"You can try," Bella said, arching a brow. With that, her shield slammed down around us and Tanya couldn't even approach us, touch us, even if she tried. Tanya snarled, launching herself at Bella. She was met with the shield, falling to the concrete in a heap.

"What the fuck?!" she shrieked. She glared at us and then at Alice and Jasper. "The redhead said that you'd be an easy kill. She lied." Tanya hopped up and huffed out a breath. "This isn't over. I will get you back, Eddie and your little wifey will be ashes."

"No, she won't," Alice sang, bouncing over to me and Bella. "You will, honey. Go off and play in traffic, slutbag."

Tanya screamed shrilly before dashing away. I frowned at Alice's dismissal. "Was that wise, Alice?" Bella asked, her mind reacting like mine was: confusion at Tanya's departure.

"No, it's good," Jasper replied, rubbing his hand on his chin.

"Why is it good?" Bella asked. "She's probably going to Victoria and, um, James. They're going to rally the troops and the fight will be worse."

Alice's eyes were glazed over. Her mind was filled with a vision. Nothing had changed. It still showed a battle in the fall in Grant Park. However, standing off to the side with Victoria and James was Tanya, glaring at Bella and ready to kill my girl. The battle blurs and it's the end. We're all intact, as I could see. Bella is holding Tanya's head before tossing it into a fire. I walked up to her in the vision and kissed the shit out of my wife before running off to do god knows what. Alice snapped back to reality. "Their anger, hatred and jealousy are drives them. Their emotions will blind them to their weaknesses and our strengths. It will be an easy fight. Plus, we may have an advantage."

"What do you mean?" Bella asked.

"It's all still fuzzy. I can't tell for sure but we may have several allies that are not a part of the immediate family," she said. "I don't know. We'll have to see." Our cell phones chirp and it's Carlisle. He said that he found a newborn near some music school by U.S. Cellular Field. He needed our help trying to control her. We all took off and found Carlisle and Esme with a very young looking newborn. She had to be no more than fourteen or fifteen. Esme's arm was dangling off her shoulder with venom seeping through her jacket.

Bella growled, zinging the shrieking newborn. Then, she forced the girl against the wall of the building. Jasper was focused on the girl, sending her waves of calm. Hell, it would have knocked all of us out but she was not budging. She still kept screaming like a banshee.

"Will you shut up?" Alice barked. The girl stopped wailing and stared at Alice. "Screaming is not going to make the thirst go away."

Carlisle had stopped dressing Esme's wounds and walked to the girl. Bella was still keeping her pinned against the wall with her shield. I walked over to Esme as Carlisle moved to the girl. Esme was still cradling her arm. Her thoughts are of pain from her arm and pity for the feral girl in front of us. "Esme, do you need help?" I asked quietly.

"Carlisle just patched me," she said, giving me a grimace. "It hurts, Edward."

"What can I do?" I questioned.

Esme maneuvered her jacket so I could see where the arm was being held to her body by a few sinews of muscle. "Bite my shoulder and inject your venom," she choked out.

"Carlisle won't attack me, will he?" I asked. I remember when Bella was injured. I was so possessive of her. I growled and threatened Esme. In a way, I still felt guilty for that. Yes, it was instinct but Esme is the embodiment of good and love. After Bella, of course.

"No, he won't," she said. "Please, Edward." I nodded and bit down on her shoulder. I pushed my venom into her skin. The muscles reattached and her flesh healed in front of my eyes. Once her arm was fully reattached, she patted my arm and stood up, walking to Carlisle who was still trying to interrogate the newborn vampire. I moved to Bella. She was glaring at the girl. I could tell why. Her thoughts were of blood, draining every human in the city, and destroying any vampire who got in her way.

"Sweetling, you need to calm down," Carlisle said quietly.

"I need more blood! So thirsty! I need more! So much more!" she moaned, falling onto the ground.

"Remember your humanity," Carlisle whispered.

"She can't," Alice and Bella chimed in.

"Why?" Esme questioned.

"She has no recollection of her human life. I think it's because of James. He must have changed her," Bella said. "It also explains why she's so vicious."

At the mention of James, his face filled the girl's memory. The things he did to her made my stomach turn. This poor girl, no more than fourteen years old, was raped by that monster in every way possible while her body underwent the transition from being a human to a vampire. Additionally, James kept her as his personal plaything. In his presence, she was stripped of her clothing and forced to sit at James' feet while she wore a collar. Whenever he wanted it, he impale himself inside of this girl's body, tossing her to the side when he was done. She was so blinded by her loyalty to James that she let him do it to her without any fight.

Bella was crying next to me, undoubtedly reading the same thoughts that I just saw. I held her tightly and nuzzled her hair. Hits too close to home, Angel?

I hate taking the life of another being but she needs to be disposed of, Bella's tiny voice said in my head. Her amber eyes found mine. She's too far gone and I refuse to let her be James' toy.

Alice must have seen Bella's decision. She leaned to Carlisle, whispering quietly in his ear. His shoulder slumped but he nodded, seemingly agreeing with what Alice was saying. Jasper and Carlisle moved surround the girl. She hissed angrily, aware of the threat. Bella had dropped the shield so the girl could be approached. The girl swiped at Carlisle before launching herself at Jasper. She bit down on his arm and sprinted away. I took chase, catching her easily just outside of U.S. Cellular Field. I didn't want to be the one to kill her. The guilt from what happened before was still too fresh in my mind. Jasper came up to me and plucked the squirming girl from my vice-like grip.

It'll be fast, Edward. She won't feel a thing. Jasper made her feel lethargic. Bella took my hand as Jasper took her around the corner to finish the deed. The loud sound of metallic scraping filled our ears. The girl was no more. The sickly sweet smell of her burning body assaulted our noses. Jasper walked back out, saying a quiet prayer for the girl.

"James is going to be pissed," Alice said, crossing her arms over her tiny frame. "He really liked…umm, doing stuff to her."

"She couldn't be swayed to adopt the vegetarian lifestyle?" Esme asked, her features filled with sadness.

"No. She was mentally ill prior to her change and it carried over to her vampire body," Jasper said. "She was bipolar. James knew this and would attack her sexually when she was depressed, when she didn't have any fight in her. It was a blessing that she found us." We stood quietly, mourning the life of the girl for a few moments.

"We probably should get out of here," Alice said. Her mind was flashing with visions of James running with Tanya to our last location. "Swim our way back up to Whitefish Bay. It'll leave the trail cold." She wrinkled her nose. "I really liked this outfit."

"You can always swim naked, darlin," Jasper smirked, giving Alice an appraising look.

Alice gave him a wink and darted away. Her jacket fluttered to the ground as she giggled. "Is she going to swim naked?" I hissed.

"I think so," Bella replied, snuggling against me. "I can still hear Jasper's thoughts and I just had a lovely vision of Alice's bare ass." Carlisle and Esme took off and I could hear their thoughts, too. Bella and I wrinkled our noses. Lake Michigan was going to be desecrated by two sets of horny vampires. Bella shrugged off her jacket, her amber eyes darkening. Wanna make it three sets of horny vampires?

Fuck. Yes.

xx A&M xx

Bella and I separated from our new family for a few days. We continued swimming until we reached Canada. We made love, hunted, made love, talked, made love and tried to forget the insanity of the two monsters in Chicago. Not to mention my psycho ex-fiancée who was determined to get me back. Not likely, Tanya.

When we arrived back at the house in Whitefish Bay, we were forced into the shower since we had been without clothes for several days and subsequently covered in dirt, bark and remnants of our meals. Esme didn't want that in her house and we didn't blame her. Bella and I were a mess.

Plus, it gave us an opportunity to break in the Jacuzzi tub in our room.

Did I mention that I was insatiable for my wife?

After our sexy times in the tub, Bella and I dressed and went downstairs. There were a few more guests at the home besides Kate, Garrett, Alice, Jasper, Carlisle and Esme. My memory recognized them but they were fuzzy. Bella must have sensed my confusion and mentally reminded me of the guests. Carmen, Eleazar and Irina. They were at our wedding. Irina was with Laurent.

I nodded, remembering the group of vampires. They were a part of Kate and Garrett's family that lived up in Denali. Are Rose and Emmett with them? I asked.

No. They stayed in Denali. Emmett is in better control of his bloodlust and hatred of me, but it'll be a long time before he's kosher with me, Bella frowned, kissing my ear.

We were broken away from our private conversation when Carmen asked us a question. "How is it, Edward? Have you acclimated to being a vampire?"

"Yes," I replied, giving her a smile. "When I met Bella, I knew that was destined for this life."

"You've not tried any human blood?" Eleazar asked.

"No. No human blood," I sighed. "I was tempted about a month ago, but Bella helped me remember my humanity."

Bella told Carmen and Eleazar the story about Emma, Ronnie and the baby. It was still too fresh for me. The overriding guilt over what happened to that girl and her baby just ate at me. The subsequent actions of how I behaved toward Bella were as equally as atrocious.

Jasper sat next to me, elbowing me in the ribs. Stop with the self-loathing and guilt, Edward. I know that the Emma/Ronnie situation was tough for you but you need to let it go. I'm certain that Emma appreciated what you did to Ronnie. Bella's forgiven you. Now, you have to forgive yourself. I'm having a hard enough time with Irina's sadness and now your guilty conscious? He calmed me and smothered me with brotherly affection.

I gave him a weak smile before turning back to Carmen and Eleazar. "I don't know about you," Eleazar began. "I'm afraid of what's happening in Chicago. We need plan for every contingency. How are his fighting skills?"

"If Edward and Bella are together, they are virtually unstoppable," Alice said proudly, giving Bella and me a wide grin.

"What about when they're separated?" Carmen asked, arching her brow.

"We haven't tried that," Carlisle said thoughtfully.

"I think it's beneficial to separate them. I know Bella is older and a more skilled fighter," Eleazar said. "Edward cannot rely on Bella's shield or his connection with her."

"Can you please not talk about us like we're not here?" Bella asked coldly. "What you're saying makes sense but we're right here! Don't ignore the two people you're discussing."

"My deepest apologies, Bella. You as well, Edward," Eleazar sighed, dipping his head in apology. "That was very rude and uncalled for."

Bella huffed, falling back against the couch. I shot Eleazar a look before wrapping my arms around my angel.

"Can I make a suggestion?" Garrett asked. "Why don't we play capture the flag? Edward and Bella will be the captains, thus separating them."

"Capture the flag?" I questioned. "How does that have anything to do with what's going on in Chicago?"

"It's about stealth, using your wits and your resources," Carlisle said. "Plus it's pretty fun. We had a game that went on for nearly three days once. Ironically, Laurent was the one who won that match, taking down Kate in the water."

"Fucker," Kate spat.

"Amen, sister," Irina growled.

"So, what are the rules?" Bella asked. "I'm vaguely familiar with the game but I want to make sure that we're talking about the same thing."

"Each team will get a flag and it will be hidden in your assigned territory. However, it must be at easy access and not hidden so deeply that you have climb trees, dig up rocks or swim underwater," Carlisle said, shooting Jasper a look.

"I thought I was being clever," Jasper shrugged. "You have admit that I was pretty fucking ingenious in hiding the last flag in an underwater cave."

"It was but it didn't follow the rules,' Carlisle snickered. "I was glad I was on your team, though. For the first time ever, I was on the winning side for capture the flag."

"That's because Jasper cheated," Esme laughed.

"So, the flag needs to be in plain sight, not hidden. Got it," Bella said. "What else?"

"The first team that gets the opposing team's flag in their territory, wins. However, once you're 'attacked' by a member of that team, you're out and you go to the penalty box, located in the middle of the playing area," Eleazar finished explaining.

"One more rule…mates cannot be on each other's teams. So, if Bella chooses Jasper, she can't have Alice as well," Carlisle said. Irina scowled. She was the only without a mate. Would she be able to play?

Esme gave Carlisle a warm smile. "I'm going to sit this game out, Carl. My arm is still sore," she said. Carlisle nodded, kissing her lips softly as Esme got up to leave.

"That evens up the teams," Kate said. "Bella is the captain of one team and Edward, the other." She shot us both playful look. "No cheating."

Bella's shield slammed down around her mind. "Done. I can turn off the reception of my mind. He can't hear me now."

"Can you hear him?" Eleazar asked.

Bella blinked, closing my mind to hers. "You're all empty to me, now. It's weird, but I can turn it all off," she said, sidling closer to me. I held her to my side. Not being able to hear her or for her to hear me was unsettling. I felt like I was fighting without a limb. We were so in sync with each other. The physical touch of her body brought me some solace but it wasn't the same.

"Fascinating," Eleazar mused, staring at us. "You two move like one single organism. It will be a challenge to play this with you two on separate teams."

"I'm up for the challenge," I said.

"Me, too," Bella smirked. "But next time, we play on the same side."

"Deal," Eleazar chuckled. "Change into some easy to move clothes and meet at the clearing fifteen miles from here." Eleazar showed me a pictures and the way to get there. "Follow our scents if you don't where I'm talking." We all nodded and went up to change.

Bella put on a pair of black skinny jeans, a black t-shirt and black leather jacket. On her feet were a pair of knee high black flat boots. She plaited her hair so it fell into a long braid down her back. I followed suit and put on a pair of black cargo pants, a black long-sleeved Henley and a black North Face fleece. I found a pair of black motorcycle boots in the closet and a black baseball cap to put on my head. Once we were dressed, we took off to the clearing. Carlisle and Eleazar's scents were guiding us to it. "Race you," Bella giggled before taking off at full-steam.

"Oh no!" I laughed, speeding up to catch up with my angel. We were fairly evenly matched based off our speed. However, I still had my newborn strength and will continue to have that for at least a year. I kicked it into high gear and surpassed Bella relatively quickly. She growled in frustration as she tried to catch up with me. I dodged trees and small rocks until I reached a stream. With a graceful leap, I flipped over it and continued along my way to the clearing.

A few minutes later, I stopped in the clearing. Eleazar was grinning and Carlisle was chuckling. Bella sped into the clearing, tackling me to the ground. She was laughing. "No fair! You and your damn new born strength! I want a rematch when you're weak like the rest of us."

"Deal," I laughed as I kissed her palms. I flipped easily and helped her up, twining my fingers with hers. The rest of our family arrived with Esme in tow. She held two flags, one red and one blue. Bella plucked the blue flag from Esme's hand. I begrudgingly chose the red one.

"You have your flags, now choose your teams," Eleazar said. I'm curious what each of them will choose.

"Ladies first," I said. Bella smiled and chose Jasper. As a result, I picked Alice. Carlisle encouraged me to choose twice. I picked Carlisle. Irina went with Bella. When all was said and done, my team consisted of Carlisle, Alice, Carmen and Kate. Bella's team was Jasper, Garrett, Irina and Eleazar. Esme said that she'd be the referee, stationed at the penalty box at the center of the field.

The game field was roughly thirty miles, end to end. Bella was going to take the north end, hiding her blue flag somewhere up there. I was stationed in the south. We were given a half hour to place our flag and discuss strategy. After the half hour, Esme would send a text to our cell phones, indicating the game had started.

We divided our team into two teams. Carlisle and Kate were going to defend the flag while Alice, Carmen and me would go and steal Bella's flag. We strategized for the entire time before we got the go ahead from Esme. Silently, we took off toward Bella's home territory. Alice was dancing from tree to tree while Carmen and I easily moved through the underbrush. My mind was working a million miles a minute. I didn't want to be caught by anyone on Bella's team. The competitor in me wanted to fucking win.

Carmen swore and she was tagged out by Irina. Alice, in retaliation, tagged Irina out before hopping back up into the trees. Edward, I can smell Garrett. He's close to you. Do you hear his mind? Alice asked mentally. I stopped, listened with my ears and with my mind. I could hear disjointed thoughts. He was trying to mask his inner-monologue. I followed Alice's lead and hopped up into a tall pine tree. I wasn't nearly as adept in moving in the trees as Alice was. Then again, I was nearly a foot and half taller than Alice and weighed easily twice as much. The disjointed thoughts were following me. I looked down and saw the underbrush moving. Flipping down, I put my hand on Garrett's back. "You're out, friend," I said quietly.

"Damn," he frowned. "I thought I had you." He held out a fist and I bumped it before he darted to the penalty box.

Keep your mind open, Edward. Eleazar is still out there, so is Jasper and Bella. If I know them, Eleazar is the last person on their offensive team. Jasper and Bella are guarding the flag.

"How are we going to get the flag if Bella has it surrounded by her shield?"

You use your masculine wiles to break her down. Use her weaknesses for you to your advantage, Alice said as she hopped down. From what I gather, once Bella shuts anyone out of her mind, she can't hear them or sense them. Her only sense is that of smell. You need to mask that so she doesn't know you're coming.

"Are you saying I should find some shit and roll around in it?" I asked.

Fucking gross, Masen, Alice chided. But exactly what I was thinking. Also, inside of her shield, she can't smell anything but whatever's inside with her. Right?

"So rolling around in shit might be fruitless?" I smirked. "I'd rather not, Alice."

I hear them talking. I can get both of them in one foul swoop, Eleazar's mind chattered.

"Go," I said silently before running at full tilt toward Bella's territory. Eleazar swore in a language that I didn't recognize, continuing on to his intended target, my flag.

"God damn it!" I heard. "Alice, you are one evil little monkey."

Alice giggled. Through her mind, I saw a very sullen Jasper stomp away to the penalty box. She smacked Jasper's ass, saying that his tactics were so transparent that she could see through them a mile away. Plus, her premonition-sense gave her and edge. I snickered until I reached the heart of Bella's territory. Her scent was heavy in the air. She was right by the rock that held her blue flag. Edward, Carlisle's out. Eleazar is working on getting Kate. If she's removed, no one will be there to guard our flag. I gestured for her to go back. On it, boss.

"I smell you, Edward," Bella said.

Damn, her shield is up. Well, that's a good thing. I can get to the flag without having to 'flirt' my way to it. "I can smell you, too, Bella," I called out. I inhaled deeply. "Perfection."

"You're not getting my flag," she said defiantly.

"We'll see about that, Mrs. Masen," I said, coming out from my hiding place in the trees. I heard a quiet pop and I knew that she put her shield. "Don't trust me?"

"I trust you implicitly," she smiled. "In life, you're the one I trust more than anything but we're not working on the same side, Edward. You want my flag."

"I want more than your flag," I said as I sauntered toward her. "It's a shame that your mind is closed me, Bella. You'd see what I want more than anything."

"I'm not falling for that," Bella said as she turned her back on me. "You can't try and seduce me to lower my shield, Edward."

"I could just tag you out. Then, you'd be out of the game and I'd capture the flag easily," I said, my voice dropping to a deep resonant tone. "I am faster than you." I ran toward her, stopping millimeters away from my wife. She tried to touch me but I ran around her before she could even register what I was doing. We played this game of cat and mouse for a few minutes before I ended up sitting on a tree limb, grinning goofily. Bella was glaring at me. Most of her offensive gifts were not usable on me since she was focused solely on the shield. She tried to zing me but it wasn't even painful. It was more like that feeling when your foot's asleep. "Come on, Bella. Let me have the flag. I'll give you so many orgasms…You love it when I use my tongue on you."

Her arousal permeated the air. "No and stop trying to seduce me."

"It's working," I sang from the tree branch. Bella growled and she lowered the shield. "Why did you lower it?"

"Because we're going to fight for the flag…no powers," she said. "I can hold up the shield for as long as possible. This game would never end. I'm pretty certain everyone wants to have a clear winner before we fight Victoria and James."

Everyone who was tagged out had come over to Bella's territory. We were circling each other. I focused my attention on Bella's mind, trying to get her to crack, to give me anything about what she was going to do.

No dice.

Damn it.

"So, no powers. That means no zinger or mind control, either?" I asked. "I don't want my balls boiled."

"I would never do that to you," she smirked.

"Liar. You zinged me a few times while you held the shield," I snorted.

"Those weren't full zings. They were love zings," she smiled, fluttering her eyelashes.

"Whatever, wife," I laughed. "You still zinged me." She giggled and flipped over me, landing behind my back. She wasn't touching me but she was as close as she could be without touching. I turned and our 'fight' began. It was a full-fledged attack. More like wrestling. We moved like lightening around each other, twisting and turning as we battled with our hands and feet. Bella flipped and wrapped her arms around my waist, tossing me into a nearby tree. It crumbled under my weight and I flew back to her. Our wrestling increased. I tried to not use my newborn strength but it proved to be difficult. The adrenaline pumping through my body was causing me to fall into bloodlust. I refocused my thoughts and pulled myself out of bloodlust. It did make me lose my edge over my angel.

She was a far more experienced fighter but I was stronger than her. Even without my newborn strength, I would always be stronger than her. As I wrestled and fought with my wife, I picked up some new tricks and I regained my advantage. With a twist and a turn, I had her pinned under my body. My lips were against her soft neck. "Yield?" I purred.

"Fuck, yes," she growled.

A/N: Quasi-cliffie. There will be smexy times in the next chapter. Anyhow, no pic teasers, really, for this chapter. I do have a rendering of what Tanya looks like (that pic is on my blog). The link for my blog is in my profile. You can also find me on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation or on twitter: tufano79.

In addition to the smexy times, Bella and Edward are going to be discussing their future after the battle, communication from the Volturi and a message from James and Victoria. In my head, we've got perhaps five more chapters in this story, plus an epilogue. I've got a rough plan. I just need to write it out.

Leave me some lovin!